The Black Wolf


TEASER

Guards collect taxes.

CHIEF GUARD
Silver. And not even good silver.

FATHER
How can I feed my family, when your taxes drain
me dry?

CHIEF GUARD
Moonlight, take a second job. Or send your wife
and daughter out on the streets to make you money.

Soldiers are attacked by Black Wolf Pack. One places a Black Wolf pendant on one of the unconscious soldiers.

EXTRA
Give this to Xerxes, from the Black Wolf.

EXTRA
Sir, I believe this money belongs to you.

The Black Wolf pack returns the money to the father.

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Later.

XERXES
At first, I thought it was humorous, the audacity
of the Black Wolf and his Wolf Pack daring to
challenge my authority. Well it isn't funny, anymore.
Give up the Black Wolf or my guards will level
your village. You'll be sent to work in the mines.

DIOMEDES
I'm the Black Wolf.

EXTRA
No, it's me!

EXTRA
No, I am!

EXTRA
I'm the Black Wolf.

FLORA
I'm the Black Wolf!

EXTRA
I'm the Black Wolf!

XERXES
Arrest them all. You've got seven days to give me
the Black Wolf, or I'll skin you all, pelt by pelt.

EXTRA
Let's go.

Xerxes leaves and the wolves are taken away.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena rides along.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena stops Argo.

XENA
Argo. You've been needing new shoes since we
left Corinth. Hey. That makes two of us. Come on.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the prison.

HERMIA
Please, please. Let a mother see her only daughter.
She's not like the rest of them. She was well
brought up.

CHIEF GUARD
So well, she wound up in Xerxes' dungeon.

Xena hands Argo to the Blacksmith. Xena looks over to the scene at the prison.

BLACKSMITH
Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

HERMIA
Please, I beg you. She needs her mother.

CHIEF GUARD
She should have thought of that before she joined
the Black Wolf!

Chief Guard shoves Hermia to the ground. Xena runs in.

XENA
You like shoving women around so much? Try me.

CHIEF GUARD
Take her!

Xena fights the guards. She joins Hermia.

XENA
Hey. It's all right.

HERMIA
Thank you.

He sees who it is.

HERMIA
Xena.

XENA
Hermia.

HERMIA
The gods! It must be ten years since I saw
you last.

XENA
Come over here. What are you doing here?
Where's your family?

HERMIA
Persix and Eteocles inhabit the other side, thanks
to that murdering tyrant, Xerxes. And now he's
thrown Flora in his dungeon.

XENA
Flora? Little Flora? She's in prison?

HERMIA
She's not little anymore. She's all grown up and
madly in love with one of the Black Wolves. Diomedes
brought her under the spell of these rebels. He
had her thinking they could bring down Xerxes.
And now...Flora's all I have left in the world.
Why must she die for a lost cause?

XENA
Causes are only lost when people give up. Maybe
Flora knows that. I'll get Flora back for you.

HERMIA
No one's ever escaped from Xerxes' dungeon
before, except through the grave.

XENA
I will get Flora back for you.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Castle.

XERXES (voice-over)
I am-

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Inside the castle.

XERXES
-being mocked by children! You should've
brought me the Black Wolf. Remind me why
I haven't had you flogged by now!

KOULOS
These rebels are incredibly disciplined. The usual
techniques don't work.

XERXES
The feast of Zeus is five days from now. I want
the execution of the Black Wolf to be the main
entertainment. Or I could execute my minister
of security. And that would be you!

KOULOS
I'll find him. A true leader can't hide his identity
forever. Or, we could just pick one, and say it's
the Black Wolf. Who'd know?

Xena enters.

XENA
The Black Wolf would know.

KOULOS
Guards!

XENA
Oh, don't bother the dears.

Xena holds up two helmets.

XENA
They're sleeping.

She tosses the helmets aside.

XENA
If you kill the wrong man, word will get out and
the Black Wolf will have a martyr to hold up in
front of the people.

KOULOS
Then we'll kill them all.

XENA
Good idea, make martyrs of them all. No, Xerxes,
you're right. It's the Black Wolf you want. Cut off the
head of the serpent, and the body withers and dies.

XERXES
Who are you? What is your interest in all this?

XENA
My name is Xena. I'm a problem-solver. I can
solve your problem for ten thousand dinars.

KOULOS
This is outrageous. I refuse to listen to this.

XENA
Stage my arrest in the center of town, in front of
Black Wolf sympathizers. Once I'm inside your
prison, I'll expose the Black Wolf, and hand him
over to you.

KOULOS
Why should we believe you could succeed?

XENA
Ask Mezentius of Tracus about me?

XERXES
Mezentirus is dead?

XENA
Yes, he is. Ten thousand dinars and a new
pair of boots.

Xerxes draws Xena's sword and holds it at her neck.

XERXES
But fail and you will join them on the block, that's
my offer. Take it, or leave it.

XENA
I'll take it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elsewhere in the castle. Koulos enters and gives the gaurds back their helmets.

CHIEF GUARD
Sorry, Lord Koulos, she was too quick.

KOULOS
If I have to rely on you and your guards, they'll be
tossing my head around on the feast of Zeus.
Thank the gods I have my own man on the inside.
And tomorrow, I'll show you how a real soldier
handles this woman.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena fights Koulos. Koulos lands at the Chief Guard's feet and his helmet falls off.

CHIEF GUARD
Would you need my helmet, Lord Koulos?

Koulos turns to face Xena.

KOULOS
You'll go to the dungeon for this, traitor you and
this Black Wolf sympathizer!

XENA
Come and get me.

KOULOS
With pleasure, traitor!

Xena fights Koulos, making a fool of him.

KOULOS
(to Xena) You're making this harder than it
needs to be.

XENA
(to Koulos) Well, you want it to look believable,
don't you? Don't worry. You'll make a comeback...in
the end.

Xena continues to make a fool out of Koulos as she beats him up.

KOULOS
Don't just stand there, get her. Take her away
and that traitor, too.

The soldiers take Xena.

XENA
(to Koulos) Didn't I tell you you'd win in the end?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle enters the village and walks over to Argo.

GABRIELLE
Argo. (to Blacksmith) Where's the owner of this horse?

BLACKSMITH
Are you the one she said would pay me for the
horseshoes? Give me the money and I'll tell you.

GABRIELLE
What happened?

BLACKSMITH
Fifteen dinars for the shoes, five for the feed.
Horse has a healthy appetite.

Gabrielle pays him.

BLACKSMITH
She said you should pick up her gear and meet
her at the tavern.

GABRIELLE
Well, that doesn't tell me where she is.

BLACKSMITH
Xerxes' dungeon.

GABRIELLE
Oh. How can I see her?

BLACKSMITH
Anyone that wants to see someone in the dungeon,
has to get sent there. It's not a nice place to be.

EXTRA
Excuse me young lady.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena is brought into the dungeon.

EXTRA
Go on!

The soldiers push her to the ground.

PARNASSUS
My rock. You like my rock?

XENA
No.

Parnassus leaves. Brigand (Ox) steps in front of her.

BRIGAND (OX)
Looking for the man of your dreams, darling?

XENA
Yep.

Xena punches him in the gut and the prisoners laugh.

XENA
You're not him.

Xena moves along and two Black Wolves stand in her way.

XENA
Listen, you have a choice. Either you let me pass
right now, or you nurse a broken leg.

DIOMEDES
And who would you be?

BLACK WOLF SYMPATHIZER
It's okay, Diomedes. She's on our side. She was
trying to protect me when Koulos arrested her.

DIOMEDES
That means nothing. Anyone who's not one of
us is a threat.

FLORA
Xena, it's been a long time.

DIOMEDES
Xena. This is Xena.

XENA
You've grown up.

FLORA
You've grown legendary.

XENA
I'm different, now.

FLORA
So I've heard. (to others) Would you believe, Xena
taught me to swing a sword and embroider linen
for my wedding chest?

DIOMEDES
(to Xena) You...embroider?

XENA
I have many skills. (to Flora) I need to talk to
you, alone.

Xena and Flora move aside.

XENA
Your mother is worried sick about you. I promised
her I'd get you out.

FLORA
I'm sure I caused her a lot of pain. I regret that.
It doesn't matter. There's no way out of here.

XENA
I'm sure Xerxes believes that. I don't. That airshaft,
we can get up there. You'll have to hold onto my
back, but-

FLORA
Can you carry twelve people on your back? I'm
not leaving without the rest of the Wolf Pack.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Village. Gabrielle is now sporting the chakram on her head as a hat and Xena's whip as a belt. A group of guards sit at a table eating. Gabrielle grabs a tomato, but as she moves to throw it, Salmoneus grabs her arm.

SALMONEUS
Hello, little friend! Looking for some Black Wolf
merchandise?! Shh! Shh! Not too loud. Not just
because of Xerxes' guards, but because these
are incredible bargains!

GABRIELLE
I don't have time for this!

SALMONEUS
Time?! Who doesn't have time for a great deal?
Trust Salmoneus. He only has the customers'
interests at heart. Ask anybody...later. Take a
look at this, huh? This is a nice pouch. You put
this on your back. You can put a vegetable in
there, a scroll. Take a look. Look, here's the Black
Wolf seal. I call it my Black Wolf Pack. Wolf. Pack.
Get it?! You like that? Huh?

GABRIELLE
That's good, yeah. That's nice. I need my tomato.

SALMONEUS
How about a purse? This is a nice Black Wolf
purse. You put it around your waste. You can
put change in there, keep whatever you like. Huh?
Wh--wh...

Gabrielle grabs another tomato and throws it at one of the soldiers.

ARRESTING GUARD
Hey!

SALMONEUS
Not a good idea!

GABRIELLE
Ha!

ARRESTING GUARD
You think that's funny, do you? How about some
time in the dungeon?

The soldiers grab Salmoneus.

SALMONEUS
Hey! It wasn't me! It was her!

GABRIELLE
No! I threw the tomato!

SALMONEUS
Yeah, she threw it!

ARRESTING GUARD
As if.

GABRIELLE
I did! I did!

SALMONEUS
Yeah! What're you doing?!

ARRESTING GUARD
Figure it out!

SALMONEUS
Please!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Koulos enters the dudgeon with soldiers. The prisoners are brought before him.

EXTRA
In here.

EXTRA
Move it.

EXTRA
Hurry it up!

EXTRA
Move, quickly!

EXTRA
Faster.

EXTRA
Now, you'll see.

EXTRA
That's it.

EXTRA
Get in there!

KOULOS I'm not gonna waste any words with you people.
I want the Black Wolf, and you're gonna give him
to me. (to Xena) You! Come here!

Xena is brought up to Koulos and a gate in the floor is opened.

KOULOS
Look down. What do you see?

Xena sees skeletons.

XENA
What's your point?

KOULOS
My point is this.

Xena is thrown in and the gate closed. Flora starts to go to Xena's aid, but Diomedes holds her back. A lever is released and water starts to fill the hole.

KOULOS
(to Xena) Don't worry. You'll make a comeback...in
the end.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Soldiers laugh and watch Xena who takes a breath and goes under the water.

EXTRA
Uh, where did she go?

EXTRA
She can't stay under long?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena rips off one of the skeleton's arms and smiles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Above. One guard starts to poke the water with his sword.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sword pokes into the water.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Above. The soldier continues to poke the water.

EXTRA
Find her?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena grabs the sword.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The butt of the sword hits the guard.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena breaks the gate with the sword.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The gate breaks.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena gives her battle cry and jumps.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena flips out the water, still ululating and holds up the sword. The soldiers hold spears on her. Xena laughs and surrenders her sword.

KOULOS
I want the Black Wolf.

ARRESTING GUARD
Move along. Come on.

Koulos leaves.

SALMONEUS
It's a misunderstanding! I'm just a businessman!

EXTRA
Everyone out.

SALMONEUS
Ow! Uh! Ooh! Wait a minute.

ARRESTING GUARD
Come on. Go on.

Salmoneus is thrown in at Xena's feet.

SALMONEUS
Those boots...that leather...those legs. Xena!

XENA
Salmoneus. I've got a job for you.

SALMONEUS
Ah.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena moves over to the Black Wolves.

DIOMEDES
Here she comes.

XENA
Flora, you won't leave without your friends. Very
well. I can get us all out of here.

DIOMEDES
Oh really?

XENA
Yes. And believe me, my plan will work. Your
tunnel won't.

FLORA
What tunnel?

Xena moves the Black Wolf Sympathizer.

BLACK WOLF SYMPATHIZER
Whoa!

Xena removes the blanket to reveal the tunnel.

EXTRA
How did she know?

XENA
This one.

EXTRA
Who is she?

XENA
This boulder's been shifted too may times not
to show wear. And next time, learn to hide your
excess dirt a little better. Even the guards
will notice this soon. So, what's it gonna be?
Are you in the mood to listen?

DIOMEDES
I vote against it. The idea that Xena, the Warrior
Princess, could be captured and thrown in
prison, sure smells like a set-up to me. If I was
Xerxes, I couldn't think of any better way to get
to the Black Wolf than by sending you in here.

XENA
You're a smart man, Diomedes. And you're half
right. I allowed myself to get captured to get Flora
out. She won't leave without all of you, so I have
a plan. But I need everyone's help, all the prisoners.

DIOMEDES
It's not just my decision to make. Talk. We'll listen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later.

BRIGAND (OX)
What do you want my belt for?!

SALMONEUS
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea. I just need
it and as many as we can get.

BRIGAND (OX)
What if my drawers drop?!

SALMONEUS
I don't think that's likely to happen. Uh, it's a
perfect fit. It's like you were poured into that outfit.
That belt really ruins the line of the ensemble.
Mm-hmm?

BRIGAND (OX)
Whatever.

Brigand (Ox) gives Salmoneus his belt.

SALMONEUS
Ah.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena joins Flora and Diomedes.

XENA
We need some help with the netting.

FLORA
What's the problem?

XENA
Your fellow Wolves don't seem enthusiastic.

DIOMEDES
I'll take care of it.

XENA
You might wanna have someone keep an eye
on the other prisoners. We don't need anyone
talking to the guards about this.

Diomedes leaves and Flora ties some ropes together.

XENA
Those knots will never hold any weight.

FLORA
I know what I'm doing, Xena. I'm not a little girl anymore.

XENA
No, you're not. So, what are you doing in here,
fighting a tyrant?

FLORA
"The times change people."

XENA
"And people change the times." You remembered.

FLORA
I can hardly forget. You used to say it a lot when
our village was being attacked.

XENA
I just didn't want people thinking that they had
no choice.

FLORA
Even back then, you could read people. I could
never figure that out. You always had this knack
for understanding what someone needed,
without asking. That's only one of the things I
liked about you.

XENA
Remember that oak tree by the river?

FLORA
I tried to forget it. You and all those other kids
would climb up into it. And I would be left on the
ground. Then, you'd reach down your hand, and
you'd say, "You gotta have faith, you got to." And
I'd reach up and you'd pull your hand away. I fell
for that every time. I couldn't understand why
someone I admired so much could treat me
like that. Can you tell me why?

XENA
I can tell you that you were the closest thing I've
ever had to a sister. That was important to me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Diomedes and the Black Wolf Sympathizer tie ropes together.

PARNASSUS
My rock.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flora joins Xena.

FLORA
We're just about done, assuming the guards
don't do another contraband sweep. They usually
toss us some food up around midnight.

Salmoneus enters.

SALMONEUS
All right, I got fifteen belts, four robes and three
proposals. This is disgusting work. Still, for
the greater glory of the Black Wolf, huh? A wolf,
who'd be much more widely known, if he had an
agent to promote his image, I might add.

EXTRA
Who is this guy?

XENA
All right, you've added. Now go.

Salmoneus leaves.

EXTRA
Who is he, anyway?

EXTRA
Crazy little friend of Xena's.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later.

XENA
What do you think?

SALMONEUS
You're asking me? Hey, for a fly-by-night operation,
I think it's incredible! These Wolf-people really
know how to organize, you know? Listen, when
you find out who the Black Wolf is, you gotta let
me know. Not just because I'm running a "Guess
Who the Black Wolf is" pool, Diomedes is the
favourite, by the way, but I've got my signature
line of revolutionary Black Wolf Ware
ready to go. I even have a slogan. "Just cry Wolf!"
You like it?! Okay, anyway, I gotta talk to this wolf
person; he's got the power-of-attorney here.

XENA
Diomedes, are you ready?

DIOMEDES
Let's get on with it.

EXTRA
Here we go. Everyone in position.

XENA
One, two, three.

Xena and Diomedes throw the ropes up to an above gate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Soldiers move to the prison.

EXTRA
Rock, parchment, dagger.

CHIEF GUARD
All right.

EXTRA
-two, three.

CHIEF GUARD
Time to feed the animals.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The soldiers enter the prison to find all the prisoners gone.

EXTRA
They've escaped!

EXTRA
Search the area!

EXTRA
Where are they?!

EXTRA
Here!

EXTRA
They've dug a tunnel!

XENA
Now.

Xena and the others come down from the gate and attack the soldiers. Xena gives her yell. They win. The prisoners cheer and the wolves howl (one prisoner gives a Xena sounding ululation).

XENA
Wait! Wait. This is no time to celebrate. Let's go.

FLORA
What's wrong?

The prisoners exit.

XENA
This was too easy.

SALMONEUS
Easy?! This was easy?! Huh?!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The prisoners exit the prison to find the soldiers in waiting.

EXTRA
Halt!

SALMONEUS
Xena? Is this the plan?!

KOULOS
(to Xena) What took you so long? I've been waiting
for you. (to soldier) Round up the others and
take them back.

EXTRA
Yes, sir! Let's go.

KOULOS
(to Xena) Xerxes wants to speak to you.

EXTRA
Let's go.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Inside Xerxes' castle. Xerxes fights a man with a chain as Koulos talks.

KOULOS
At the very least she failed. At the most, she
betrayed you. Once she was in my dungeon,
she began working against you, Lord Xerxes.
She continually harassed my men. She bonded
with the Wolf Pack and led them in an escape.
If she just betrayed me, I could deal with that.
But I cannot tolerate the fact that someone would
try to humiliate you.

Xerxes beats the man he was fighting.

XERXES
Well, Xena, you've said little.

XENA
I haven't had to say much. Koulos said it all. And
he's right. I bonded with the Wolf Pack, and I led
them in an escape. And because of all that,
I was about to become one of them. And then
I would have found out who the Black Wolf is.

XERXES
Well, Koulos, you seem to have set my plans
back a bit.

KOULOS
Respectfully, sir, if this woman had told me of
her plan, I could have guided her efforts. And we
would have the vermin by now. Her silence
is what hurt us.

XENA
Really? Apparently, you weren't completely
surprised. Who's your man on the inside? How
did you know to be waiting for us?

KOULOS
I knew, because I'm good at what I do.

XENA
Oh, yes, I can see that. Even the Black Wolf can
see that, whoever he is. (to Koulos) Send me back in.

KOULOS
They'll kill you.

XENA
I still have some ideas left. And who knows,
maybe I can turn this to my advantage.

Xerxes laughs.

XERXES
Well if they do kill you, I won't have to worry about
doing it. And if you succeed, there may be a job
waiting for you when you get out.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sun.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prison.

CHIEF GUARD
Xerxes commands that you give up the Black Wolf
by the time the sun hits this staff.

EXTRA
Never.

CHIEF GUARD
Or you all die.

The soldier leaves and Brigand (Ox) brings Salmoneus over to the prisoners.

SALMONEUS
Ow!

BRIGAND (OX)
I found him! The little rat! He was hiding
in the latrine!

SALMONEUS
Please, you're making a big mistake. I hardly
know the woman.

BRIGAND (OX)
Any friend of that traitor, Xena, is an enemy of mine.

SALMONEUS
Friend, you see, that's not the right usage of
the word. At best, it was purely a business relationship.

Xena elbows Brigand (Ox) in the face.

XENA
If you've got a problem with me, take it up with me.

BRIGAND (OX)
I got no problem.

XENA
I know I'm not the most popular person right now
but I'm not the one who betrayed you. Why would
I arrange an escape just to tell the guards about it?

DIOMEDES
It makes perfect sense to me. Especially if
you're intent on breaking our spirit. If the escape
fails, and we become demoralized, or the escape
succeeds, and we begin to trust you. No. No,
not anymore.

Diomedes holds up his fists.

XENA
Diomedes, you don't wanna do this. You really
don't wanna do this.

Xena fights Diomedes.

FLORA
Stop it!

Xena gives her yell as she flips over Diomedes. Diomedes grabs a rock. Xena gets the rock, knocks Diomedes to the ground and holds the rock over her head, ready to drop it on him.

XENA
There are two people in this dungeon who know
I'm telling the truth. One is me...

She drops the rock near Diomedes' head.

XENA
...and one's a traitor.

Xena helps Diomedes to his feet.

FLORA
She could'a killed you but she didn't.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside. Gabrielle holds a pie.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Entrance to prison.

CHIEF GUARD
You get fifteen dinars a day. Take him over there.
All right?

Gabrielle throws the pie in Chief Guard's face.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle is brought into the prison.

GABRIELLE
It's really nice of you to walk me down here personally.

He leaves.

GABRIELLE
Excuse me?

PARNASSUS
Do you like my rock?

GABRIELLE
Have you seen Xena?

Parnassus runs away.

GABRIELLE
She--she's tall. She's beautiful. She...piercing blue
eyes. Swings a mean right hook.

Gabrielle sees Brigand (Ox).

GABRIELLE
It looks like she might have swung it already.

XENA
What in the gods' names are you doing here?

GABRIELLE
Xena. You get yourself thrown into a dungeon,
and you expect me to do nothing? You should
know me better by now.

XENA
I should.

GABRIELLE
I figure two things. One, if you're here, it's
because you want to be, which means that you
have a plan to get out; and two, you're gonna
need my help. You couldn't ask for it, of course,
that's not you. But you knew I'd get down here,
and I'd bring you this.

Gabrielle shows Xena her 'hat.'

XENA
My chakram.

GABRIELLE
Ah and this.

Gabrielle shows Xena her 'belt.' Salmoneus joins them.

SALMONEUS
You! That's the Little Miss Innocent who had
me thrown in here in the first place!

XENA
She's my friend.

SALMONEUS
She's your friend. She's your friend? You have
a friend? What is she, a warrior, huh?

Salmoneus feels Gabrielle's arm.

GABRIELLE
Hey, hey! Back off! You know, you wouldn't be
in here in the first place if you had kept your hands
off my tomatoes.

Xena looks at Gabrielle and then glares at Salmoneus.

SALMONEUS
I can explain that!

GABRIELLE
So, why are you in here, Xena? And, why does
everybody hate you?

XENA
It's a long story. Salmoneus will be glad to tell
you. I've gotta go talk to someone.

GABRIELLE
Okay, tell me.

SALMONEUS
It all started when this little blonde and her tomatoes
had me thrown into a dungeon...

Xena moves over to Flora.

XENA
Hi.

FLORA
I've been thinking, about you, and me, how
much we've changed. I realized something.

XENA
What's that?

FLORA
Why you never gave me your hand to climb the
tree. You told me to have faith and I always thought
you meant to have faith in you. But it was me
you were talking about, wasn't it?

XENA
You have to have faith in yourself, Flora, otherwise,
you spend the rest of your life waiting for other
people to offer their hand to you.

FLORA
I told Diomedes the story about the tree. He
doesn't understand it.

XENA
Diomedes is in love with you, you know.

FLORA
Yes and I love him. I'd do anything for him.

XENA
And he'd do anything for the Black Wolf? Yes, I
know who the Black Wolf is.

FLORA
The others thought you could be fooled. I knew
it was just a matter of time. So, now what?

XENA
My plan hasn't changed. I'm still gonna get you
out of here.

Xena leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later.

SALMONEUS
No. No. No. I am not gonna do it. It sounds
too dangerous.

GABRIELLE
Shh!

SALMONEUS
Shh!

GABRIELLE
What's dangerous? Look, Xena wants us to collect
as many shirts as we can, wet them, use them as
air bladders and escape through the underwater river.

Parnassus listens in.

SALMONEUS
Hah!

GABRIELLE
It's a great plan.

SALMONEUS
Yeah, great plan!

GABRIELLE
Shh.

SALMONEUS
If you're a fish, which I'm not.

GABRIELLE
Then you can just stay.

SALMONEUS
The hard decisions always become Salmoneus'.

PARNASSUS
Rock.

SALMONEUS
Okay, how many shorts do you want?

GABRIELLE
I said shirts. Shirts, not shorts.

SALMONEUS
Shirts, shorts, whatever.

PARNASSUS
My rock.

Parnassus moves over to the gate and bangs on it with his rock. Xena grabs him.

XENA
Sometimes, the best place to hide is out in the
open, huh?

Xena opens the rock and find a note.

XENA
"Rebels escaping through underground river."

SALMONEUS
Not nice to listen to other people's conversations.

GABRIELLE
Not polite.

XENA
So, you're the traitor.

PARNASSUS
I'm a spy, there's a difference. They know! I'm
coming out!

Parnassus is let out.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Koulos enters with soldiers.

KOULOS
You're a defiant bunch, I'll give you that. I've
threatened all of you Black Wolves, individually
and in groups. And it makes no difference. Each
one of you is willing to die for him. Then it
occurred to me, you Wolves consider yourselves
to be the saviours of the little people. If that's the
case, then my threats have been misdirected.

SALMONEUS
Hmm?

KOULOS
Guards! Take the old guy!

SALMONEUS
Hey! Wait a minute! What are you doing?!

The gate is opened that leads to the hole with the water.

SALMONEUS
Hey!

KOULOS
Let's see how you react to the death of someone
who isn't a Black Wolf.

SALMONEUS
But, I am! I am the Black Wolf!

Salmoneus starts to howl. The soldiers throw him in and he screams as the lever is released.

SALMONEUS
Oh, no, please! Somebody help me, please! I'm
just a traveling salesman! Someone, someone!

XENA
(to Flora) Flora, do you have faith?

Flora nods.

XENA
Koulos, get him out. I'll give you what you want.

Salmoneus makes a lot of noise, but is let out.

KOULOS
What is it I want?

XENA
The Black Wolf.

She looks at Flora.

XENA
It's her.

DIOMEDES
No! I'm the Black Wolf!

FLORA
Stop! She's right. I'm the Black Wolf.

KOULOS
Excellent.

EXTRA
Let's go.

Flora is taken away.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Inside the castle.

XERXES
This is wonderful and just in time for the feast.

Xena's sword is returned to her.

XENA
So you're planning to execute the Black Wolf in
the town square.

XERXES
Of course. I didn't root her out just to have her
buried in a private ceremony. This will be quite
a spectacle.

XENA
Glad I could help. I'll be even happier when I can
get my payment.

XERXES
Ah, yes, the ten thousand, it's yours. And the boots.
But keep in mind, I wasn't joking when I mentioned
the possible position here.

XENA
What about Koulos?

XERXES
Ah, yes, Koulos. It should be interesting to see
how you deal with him. Well, are you staying,
or leaving?

XENA
And miss the execution of the Black Wolf? I
think not.

XERXES
I would be honoured if you would accompany me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prison.

GABRIELLE
You've got to listen to me.

DIOMEDES
There's nothing you could say to me which would
make me think anything good about Xena.

GABRIELLE
Have you thought that this might be part of the
plan to get you out of here?

EXTRA
Get them lined up!

EXTRA
You'll have to torture us as well.

GABRIELLE
She said if you don't believe me, that I'm to mention
an oak tree that she and Flora used to play in.

DIOMEDES
Talk to me.

GABRIELLE
She said...

Gabrielle whispers in Diomedes' ear, then Salmoneus'. Salmoneus whispers to the prisoner behind him.

EXTRA
Come on!

SALMONEUS
Like this. Hold them high.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The prisoners are lead along.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside.

SALMONEUS
What if the plan works? I'm a salesman, not a
warrior. What do I know about fighting?

GABRIELLE
See the pointy ends of those swordie-things
the guards are carrying?

SALMONEUS
Yeah?

GABRIELLE
Stay away from them.

SALMONEUS
Great advice. Thank you so much.

KOULOS
All hail, Xerxes, Lord Emperor of the land.

Xerxes enters with Koulos and Xena.

XERXES
Citizens of Argos, we have come to a glorious day,
a day when we can restore the order of law to
our land. When law-abiding citizens no longer
have to live in fear of their lives from rebellious
acts of terror. Carry out the execution.

KOULOS
The prisoner, the villainess Black Wolf. Bring
the prisoner forward.

Flora is brought out, wearing a black cloak.

EXTRA
She's the Black Wolf? She's a young girl.

Flora is tied to the executioner's block. Gabrielle takes off her chakram hat.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

Gabrielle throws the chakram to Xena, who uses it to break the ax the executioner was going to use on Flora's head.

GABRIELLE
Now!

The prisoners hold up their hands, and the chakram breaks their chains.

EXTRA
We're free!

EXTRA
Come on, let's get them!

Xena swings into the battle with a yell.

XERXES
Stop them! Kill them all!

The wolves fight. Xena frees Flora and hands her, her sword. Xena fights Xerxes.

XERXES
I owe Koulos an apology, one I will give him,
after I kill you!

Xena kills Xerxes by kicking him into the air, and he lands on the spike of the broken axe. Xena faces off with Koulos.

KOULOS
This time, no holding back.

Xena beats Koulos. Salmoneus crawls along. A soldier flies over him.

SALMONEUS
That must've hurt.

Flora saves Diomedes. The wolves win and cheer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later.

FLORA
We already have some people in the government,
so it won't be difficult to turn things around.

DIOMEDES
But we could've of never have gotten this far
without your help. I was wrong about you.


XENA No you weren't, Diomedes. You knew what I was
there for. To get the Black Wolf. Only I didn't know
at that time it was Flora.

FLORA
How did you figure it out?

DIOMEDES
When Diomedes didn't wanna hear my plan, he
kept looking at you. A lot of the Wolves were
doing that. It didn't take long to notice that that
was the procedure. No decision was made
without a glance to the Black Wolf.

SALMONEUS
That's the old school. Writing is gonna be big
one of these days, believe me. So, what do
you think? I envision a series of scrolls called
'The Black Wolf Chronicles.' I'll draw up the paperwork,
and all the Wolves will sign releases. Hmm?

XENA
Flora, I think there's someone there who wants
to talk to you.

Flora sees Hermia and hugs her.

GABRIELLE
Pretty touching, isn't it?

SALMONEUS
This is what the public wants. This alone'll make
us a fortune!

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Robert Trebor as Salmoneus
Emma Turner as Flora
Kevin J. Wilson as Xerxes
Nigel Harbrow as Koulos
Ian Hughes as Diomedes
Maggie Tarver as Hermia
Ross Duncan as Parnassus
John Dybvig as Brigand (Ox)
Jonathan Bell-Booth as Chief Guard
John Pemberton as Arresting Guard
Tim Hosking as Blacksmith
Colin Francis as The Grump
Adam Middleton as Black Wolf Sympathizer
Jimmy Rawdon as Father

Written by: Alan Jay Glueckman
Directed by: Mario Di Leo