The Prodigal


TEASER

Gabrielle plays a pan flute. Gabrielle misses a note and Argo whinnies.

GABRIELLE
Sorry. I said sorry. Everyone's a critic.

Gabrielle plays the pan flute. She stops when they walk over to a rock slide.

GABRIELLE
Wow! Hey! Hey! You know the Orpheus legend?
How he plays music so well, it moves mountains.
Now--now, I know it's only a myth, but there's
often a kernel of truth in even the wildest story.
So, what if I just tried-

XENA
No. No.

GABRIELLE
It was just a thought.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
Here's another one.

Ruffians laugh as they enter.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
I have a proposition for you, ladies.

A cart with large rock spears is rolled in.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
Think about being skewered against the stone
a-la-cart, or simply giving us what we want and
I do mean everything.

XENA
You're not only scum, you're dreamers.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
And you, my dear, are stuck between a rock and
a hard place. So what do you say, shall we be
civilized about this?

XENA
Why start now?

Xena sends Argo away, draws her sword and starts to fight the ruffians. A man attacks Gabrielle with a staff. A ruffian starts to release the cart.

GABRIELLE
Xena! Xena!

Xena laughs at the ruffians.

GABRIELLE
Duck!

Gabrielle throws a rock and hits the ruffian trying to release the cart.

GABRIELLE
Yes!

As the ruffian falls, his arm moves the break and the cart rolls towards them.

GABRIELLE
Uh-oh!

EXTRA
The cart!

The men move.

GABRIELLE
Xena, look out!

Gabrielle trips and falls. Xena runs to her and picks her up, but it's too late to get out of the way.

XENA
Lie down!

Xena hits the dirt.

XENA
Gabrielle, now!

Gabrielle freezes. Xena kicks Gabrielle's legs out from under her. Gabrielle falls, and the cart moves over them.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
Come on.

EXTRA
We need a bigger cart!

The ruffians run away.

XENA
Nothing like a good ambush to liven things up, huh?

GABRIELLE
Yeah.

XENA
Hey, you all right?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, yeah, I'm good. I'm good, uh, considering
I was almost road kill. I'm--I'm perfect.

XENA
Come on, we've been in tighter spots than that.

GABRIELLE
Yeah, yeah you are right. Yeah, since hooking up
with you, well, I've nearly been eaten by a Cyclops.

Xena chuckles.

GABRIELLE
And I was almost forced to marry Morpheus
and practically squashed by a Titan. Why did I
just freeze up?

XENA
I don't know, you're burnt out. It happens.

GABRIELLE
It didn't happen to you.

XENA
No, that's why I always try to remember, "Act,
don't react." Go with your gut.

Xena whistles and Argo enters.

XENA
We'll have to double back and take the coast.
It's longer, but it's safer, too.

GABRIELLE
I don't think so.

XENA
Sure it is.

GABRIELLE
No, I mean, I can't go with you.

XENA
Gabrielle, it was a dangerous situation. You'd
have been crazy not to be scared.

GABRIELLE
I froze, which put us both at risk. If you hadn't
been there, then-

XENA
But, I was.

GABRIELLE
Today, yes. But what about tomorrow and the
next day? I can't expect you to always be there
for me.

XENA
It was just one incident.

GABRIELLE
I can't endanger you. Don't you see that? I'm just
a liability.

XENA
It's a risk I think I can take.

GABRIELLE
But I can't.

Gabrielle starts to take her bag off of Argo.

XENA
I can't help you with this. You're gonna have to
figure it out yourself.

GABRIELLE
I know.

XENA
Where will you go?

GABRIELLE
The only place I know. Home. Things are simpler
there. My sister, Lila's there. I--I can talk to her
about this.

XENA
But, you can't talk to me?

GABRIELLE
Of course I can. I just...sometimes, you--you need
your family to help solve things. I'm sorry.

XENA
No.

GABRIELLE
I have to find out what's going on with me and
I--I have to do that at home.

XENA
But, you're coming back, right?

GABRIELLE
I guess that depends on what I learn.

Gabrielle leaves.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Gabrielle looks at a map as she walks along.

GABRIELLE
Another twenty-two leagues to go? How is
it, man can solve the riddle of the Sphinx, but he
still can't make a decent road map? I don't know.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle walk along. A cart rides by. Gabrielle holds out her thumb, but it moves past her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later, another cart moves by. Gabrielle is leaning on her staff and holding out her thumb. The driver continues on.

GABRIELLE
Please! Please!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later, another cart moves by. Gabrielle shows a little leg. The driver continues on.

GABRIELLE
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later, another cart moves by. Gabrielle swings her bag around, but falls over.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle walks along. A cart moves by, and Gabrielle looks tired. The driver carries on.

GABRIELLE
You son of a-

The cart stops. It's the man who gave Gabrielle a ride to Amphipolis in "Sins of the Past."

ELDERLY DRIVER
Hey there, don't I know you? Come on, Come
on, yeah.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the cart.

ELDERLY DRIVER
You're the chatty one, hah-hah! Boy, you've changed
since I saw you.

GABRIELLE
Oh, well, yes. You know, it's a sad story, which--which
began with King Sisyphus.

ELDERLY DRIVER
Sisyphus, I met him once. A fat man.

GABRIELLE
Well, actually, he's thin.

ELDERLY DRIVER
Never married.

GABRIELLE
His wife's name is Karis and she's lovely.

ELDERLY DRIVER
Dumber than a door post.

GABRIELLE
Are we talking about the same Sisyphus?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
They come to a stop.

ELDERLY DRIVER
'Fraid this is where our paths diverge. You sure
you're gonna be all right?

GABRIELLE
Mm-hmm.

ELDERLY DRIVER
You know, it's still a day's walk to Poteidaia.

GABRIELLE
Oh, I'll be fine. I know a shortcut through these
woods that'll get me home in no time.

ELDERLY DRIVER
The woods? You sure that's wise? The shape
you're in?

GABRIELLE
Oh, don't worry-

She turns around and looks pregnant.

GABRIELLE
-the exercise will do me good.

ELDERLY DRIVER
I don't know, you modern young women. Suit
yourself. Come on. Come on.

He leaves. Gabrielle takes off the blankets and pillows around her waist.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle walks along. She comes across a burnt home and a peasant, putting dirt on two graves.

GABRIELLE
Excuse me. Uh, beg pardon. Sir! Ah, I'm sorry
to intrude. What happened?

PEASANT
Damon's what happened. Him and his gang of
thieves came for their tribute. Only, this time, we
held some of the food back. You know, for our
son. Come winter, our little boy gets awful hungry.

GABRIELLE
I'm so sorry.

PEASANT
Don't be. We're well out of it. You wanna pity
someone, pity the folks of Poteidaia.

GABRIELLE
Poteidaia? Wait, why--why Poteidaia?

PEASANT
'Cause that's where Damon said he was
striking next.

Gabrielle runs off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle runs thorough the woods.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle climbs up a rock and sees Poteidaia, unharmed.

GABRIELLE
Thank the gods.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle enters Poteidaia. No one is there.

GABRIELLE
(whispering) Where is everyone?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle enters the tavern.

EXTRAS
Hooray!

They all look disappointed when they see who it is.

LILA
Gabrielle? Is that you?

GABRIELLE
Lila. Oh.

Gabrielle hugs Lila.

LILA
I can't believe you're back.

GABRIELLE
I know. I'll explain later. Listen, a man named
Damon and his gang are on their way here.

VILLAGER
To sack and burn the village? Strip it of everything
valuable? Old news, Gabrielle.

LILA
Damon and his men have been hitting us for
food and supplies every few months since you
left. They use us while his men attack other
villages. I don't suppose you've brought the
woman wonder with you.

PHARIS
Who cares? We don't need Xena to save us.
We've hired a warrior of our own. Meleager the
Mighty, that's who we're here to welcome.

GABRIELLE
Isn't he the guy who single-handedly killed one
hundred
men at the battle of Liguria?

LILA
Two hundred.

PHARIS
Two hundred and fifty.

Meleager enters.

MELEAGER
Three hundred and seventeen, but, then again,
who's counting?

Meleager passes out.

LILA
Is he dead?

GABRIELLE
Dead drunk.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The villagers move about in the village.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
On three, okay?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and Lila each hold one of Meleager's boots.

GABRIELLE
One, two, three!

They pull and the boots come off, sending them flying into the street.

GABRIELLE
Now, tell me again how we got stuck with him?

LILA
You're the only one who's worked with a warrior before.

GABRIELLE
A warrior. Hah! Xena would never act like this.
It shows a total lack of respect, not just for us,
but for himself. And one thing a fighter can't
afford to lose is self-respect. As a matter of fact-

LILA
Well, if Xena's so perfect, I'm surprised that you
can stand to be around simple people like
us. You know, your family.

Lila throws the boot at Gabrielle and leaves.

GABRIELLE
What-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The tavern.

PHARIS
And so, my friends and fellow citizens, without
further delay, I give you Meleager the Mighty!

The crowd claps, but Meleager doesn't enter.

PHARIS
Meleager the Mighty!

The crowd claps, but Meleager doesn't enter.

PHARIS
Meleager the Mighty!

The crowd claps. There's a loud belch. The people turn to see Meleager at the bar.

MELEAGER
Greetings, good people of...

Pharis mouths "Poteidaia."

MELEAGER
Poteidaia. Sorry about yesterday's, uh, illness,
but, uh, I'm fit now and ready to do battle with,
uh, someone. Still, I'm gonna need a few things,
first. (to Pharis) Where's my money?

PHARIS
Well, it's uh, it's right here in the strongbox. If you
recall, the deal was you get half up front and the
rest when you finish the job?

MELEAGER
Ah, right, just checking. All right, now, I'm gonna
need an arsenal. So I want you to go gather your
spears, knives, bows, arrows, anything that's
sharp and heavy enough to become a weapon.
All right, run along now. That's a very lovely hat,
young woman. You should have her bathed
and brought to my tent.

Lila moves to leave.

GABRIELLE
Lila, look, we need to talk.

LILA
Talk? We haven't talked for months. Why start now?

MELEAGER
-sticks-

LILA
I'm gonna go get our meat skewer. It's not much
of a weapon, but at least I can rely on it.

MELEAGER
-boiling oil-

GABRIELLE
What's that supposed to mean?

Gabrielle follows Lila out.

MELEAGER
-sun-dried hard rodents are good to lift up off
the road and-

He shows how to throw one.

MELEAGER
Anyway...uh, how am I doing?

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

GABRIELLE
Lila, would you please tell me what's wrong?

LILA
I already told you, nothing's wrong.

GABRIELLE
Nothing!? Well, if that big freeze number of
yours is nothing, I'd like to see your idea of something.

Damon's men trash a cart.

GABRIELLE
Now that would be-

LILA
My idea of something. Those men work for Damon.

GABRIELLE
Let's get-

GABRIELLE and LILA
-Meleager.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The tavern.

MELEAGER
So, the Cyclops says to the unicorn-

Gabrielle and Lila enter.

GABRIELLE
Meleager, quick! Damon's scouts are here.

He holds up a wineskin.

MELEAGER
Oh yeah? Well, that's too bad, because, this is empty.

GABRIELLE
You're drunk.

MELEAGER
Yes.

LILA
What'll we do?

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Some of Damon's men enter. Gabrielle stands with Meleager.

GABRIELLE
Smart move, stopping right where you are unless,
of course, you want to take on Meleager the Mighty.

ATHOL
Meleager? I heard he killed four hundred men
at Liguria.

DERQ
I heard five.

GABRIELLE
So, what's it gonna be, guys?

Meleager almost falls over and Gabrielle holds him up.

GABRIELLE
I--I--I can't hold this killing machine back forever.

The men run out.

GABRIELLE
Great job. They're gone.

Lila pops out, who has been holding up Meleager with ropes.

LILA
What're we gonna do when they come back
with Damon?

When Lila moves her hands and the rope, Meleager's hands are pulled, which he looks at funny while Lila and Gabrielle talk.

GABRIELLE
That's--that's a good question. Um, it's a cinch
he won't be much use to us.

LILA
But he has to be! He's all we've got!

GABRIELLE
Well, what about getting the other villagers to
band with us against Damon?

LILA
Without a warrior, no one's got the nerve. That's
why he has to it.

Meleager falls to the ground.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Damon enters his camp.

DAMON
Is it true? Was it Meleager?

ATHOL
Sure as we're standing here.

DERQ
They say he killed five hundred men at Liguria.

DAMON
I heard it was six-twenty-five. But that's not the
number that interests me. No, the figure I'm thinking
of is fifty thousand. As in the fifty thousand dinars
that are being offered for the capture of Meleager.

Athol whistles.

ATHOL
Who wants him that bad?

DAMON
A warlord named Cassius. Turns out his sons
were at Liguria.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle shakes Meleager's face. She turns to Lila.

GABRIELLE
Get some water. Cold water.

Lila leaves. Gabrielle moves to slap Meleager.

MELEAGER
I'm awake! I'm awake. I'm well aware of my
surroundings. Where am I? Poder? Pewter?
Podoohickey?

GABRIELLE
Poteidaia.

MELEAGER
Poteidaia.

GABRIELLE
Do you realize that there are people out there counting
on you? And this is what you show them.

MELEAGER
What do you know, a farm girl like you? How
could you begin to understand the kind of work
I do or how I live my life?

GABRIELLE
You might be surprised.

MELEAGER
Huh! I doubt it. Blood, killing, the gore. It would
turn your stomach to hear about it. Never mind
having to live day after day never knowing when
the next attack will come. Battles. Sieges? Who's
your enemy? Who's your friend? What you're
going to have to deal with? How? And when you
might freeze?

GABRIELLE
You lost your nerve. That's why you drink.

MELEAGER
Can you think of a better reason?

GABRIELLE
No. But I can think of a reason not to. We hired
you to get rid of Damon.

MELEAGER
Yeah, well, you guys are going to have to buy
some decent weapons. I'd say a rack of those
Spartan javelins would do quite well. The kind
that can shoot through fifteen sheets of siege
wood? They make that awful whistling sound.

He whistles the sound the javelin makes.

MELEAGER
Scares 'em every time. That's what you're gonna
hafta buy, yeah.

GABRIELLE
And with what? Huh? The village couldn't afford
both you and weapons. They chose you.
What good are special javelins if no one here
can throw them? The truth is, you're all we've got
and you're a worthless drunk.

MELEAGER
Okay, no more wine until tonight.

GABRIELLE
No more wine 'til it's done.

MELEAGER
Well, let's not be too hasty. What will I drink?

Lila splashes a bucket of water on Meleager.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meleager, Gabrielle and Lila move through the woods.

MELEAGER
My guess is they'll come this way, the most
direct route.

GABRIELLE
Right. If we don't stop 'em here, it's the village
or nothing.

LILA
What do you mean?

GABRIELLE
Now, what do you think of stringing a garrote
along here?

LILA
What's that?

MELEAGER
Good idea. We're gonna need some coverage trees.

LILA
Coverage trees? What are-

GABRIELLE
Right, you go left, we'll go right. The first one
who finds coverage shouts out. Got it?

Meleager goes one way and Gabrielle the other. Gabrielle comes back and grabs Lila. Warriors drop the branches that were hiding them. They move after Meleager.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and Lila move along.

LILA
I still don't know what we're doing.

GABRIELLE
We're looking for coverage trees, then we'll anchor
a garrote for the ambush. Now, what part didn't
you get?

LILA
All of it.

GABRIELLE
Never mind. Xena taught me what to look for.

LILA
Tell me, Gab, is there anything Xena doesn't
know, or should we build her a temple right now?

GABRIELLE
Lila, are you jealous of Xena?

LILA
Jealous? No, just because you chose her over me.

GABRIELLE
I didn't choose her over you.

LILA
Sure you did. But I don't blame you. Next to Xena,
I must seem pretty dull. I don't even know
what a coverage tree is.

GABRIELLE
Lila, we talked about this before I left. Now, I
thought that you were happy I was getting out
to see the world.

LILA
I was happy, until I realized getting out meant
leaving me. How come it took you so long to
come home? You hardly ever sent word. It was
like you forgot I existed.

GABRIELLE
I never forgot you, ever. Look, Lila, Xena's
my friend, yes, but you're my sister. Nobody
could ever replace you. In fact, you're the reason
I came home. For good.

MELEAGER
Hey!

GABRIELLE
Meleager must have found something. Now,
look, you see, we have to have-

They move off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and Lila look for Meleager.

GABRIELLE
Meleager!

LILA
Meleager!

GABRIELLE
Meleager!

LILA
Where'd he go?

GABRIELLE
Wherever it is, it's a sure bet he didn't go willingly.

She looks at the ground.

GABRIELLE
One guy came in. He moved here. Meleager
took him down. Two of them hit him from behind
and fresh drag marks. The kind a litter makes.
And they're deep, which--which means that they
were carrying something heavy.

LILA
Meleager. Do you think somebody killed him and-

GABRIELLE
No, if they'd killed him, they would have left the
body, minus the head, of course, as proof. I'm
going after him.

LILA
Me too.

GABRIELLE
No. Look, the important thing is to safeguard
the village, right? The people would panic if they
knew Meleager was missing. You have to stay
and make sure they don't find out. Will you do that?

Lila nods and Gabrielle leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meleager stands in Damon's camp.

MELEAGER
You want me to join you?

DAMON
Why not? You could be worth a lot more to me
than the fifty thousand dinars Cassius is offering.
Fifty thousand alive. But if I have to, I'll take the
twenty for your head. Your reputation alone's
enough to make whole towns surrender to us
without lifting a sword. So, what do you say?

MELEAGER
Remove these chains, you'll get my answer.

DAMON
You make me sad. Take him away.

EXTRA
Come on.

Gabrielle is brought in.

ATHOL
We caught her near the horses.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Damon's camp.

DAMON
Who are you? What do you want?

Gabrielle laughs.

GABRIELLE
Well, those are two very good questions and not
to be answered lightly. After all, do any of us really
know who we are? And as for what we want, well,
I think it was Sophocles who once said-

DAMON
Kill her.

GABRIELLE
Oh, no. You know-

MELEAGER
Wait! You still want me to join you? A little, incentive
might help. You know what I mean?

Damon laughs.

GABRIELLE
You know-

DAMON
Why not? I'll even throw in my tent for some
privacy. All the better to persuade you.

Gabrielle is dragged to the tent.

GABRIELLE
Hey, hey, hey, listen, guys. I really think we can
work this out. Just listen to me-

Gabrielle is thrown in the tent and Meleager moves inside.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside.

MELEAGER
What, in the name of Zeus, are you doing?

GABRIELLE
What does it look like? I'm rescuing you.

MELEAGER
That's not what it looks like.

GABRIELLE
Maybe not, but it will, now that I'm on the inside.

MELEAGER
You have a plan?

GABRIELLE
Any minute now.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The guards wait outside. The sounds of moaning and a squeaking bed are heard.

GABRIELLE
Oh, Meleager. Hah. Oh, the gods preserve me.
Oh, the gods! Oh, yes! Oh! Oh! No wonder they
call you the Mighty! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Meleager hands come out of the tent and knock the two guards' heads together. Gabrielle and Meleager run off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and Meleager release the horses.

GABRIELLE
Once we're out of here...

MELEAGER
That ought to slow Damon down, huh?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, we got a lot to do.

MELEAGER
Let's get to it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Villagers work on traps for their town.

GABRIELLE
Good. Good. Nice job.

MELEAGER
Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Meleager. We need to concentrate on which
part of the village they're gonna be coming in from...

EXTRA
I've got it.

Lila sees Gabrielle working with Meleager.

GABRIELLE
Once we see which way they're going to come,
we need to think about...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The villagers work on their traps.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night in the tavern.

PHARIS
So, everyone's clear about when to stay on watch?
There's only one thing left to do and that's to
thank the man whose courage and skill we can
rely on to protect us, a man whose very name
strikes fear into the hearts of his foes. Fellow
citizens, I give you, Meleager the Mighty!

GABRIELLE
Go on. Look, the town needs a warrior.

MELEAGER
The town has a warrior.

Lila joins Gabrielle. Meleager joins Pharis.

PHARIS
This time tomorrow, you'll be taking the rest of
the money from this strongbox and leaving,
never to think of us again. But, for the rest of our
lives, we'll always be grateful for your
strength and fearless bravery. Three cheers for
Meleager the Mighty! Hip, hip!

EXTRAS
Hooray!

PHARIS
Hip, hip!

EXTRAS
Hooray!

PHARIS
Hip, hip!

EXTRAS
Hooray!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sun rises.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle stands watch. She wakes Lila.

GABRIELLE
Lila. Lila.

LILA
Oh. Gabrielle. I fell asleep on watch. I'm sorry, I
didn't mean to-

GABRIELLE
It's all right. It's all right. I was keeping an eye out.
Besides, you deserved it. I watched you yesterday.
You know what I saw? I saw a competent, caring
woman. You weren't the little girl you were when
I left here. It just hit me. You are-you've grown up.

LILA
Sometimes I just think I'm growing old. But you!
Planning all those traps? Getting set? Figuring
out those strategies? Xena really taught you
a lot, huh?

GABRIELLE
Yes, she did. She taught me when to fight, when
to talk. She taught me how to know the difference
between a friend and an enemy. And she taught
me what it means to have a best friend.

LILA
Then why'd you come back?

GABRIELLE
Because some things can't be taught. Some
things, you either have or you don't. Like the
connection you can only feel with your sister.
Xena can't teach me that. I already have it.

Lila hugs her.

GABRIELLE
Aw, all right, enough of this mushy stuff.

LILA
No, we need to be on watch.

GABRIELLE
I can only imagine what Xena would say if she
saw us.

LILA
There they are!

GABRIELLE
No, but, I mean, after she said that.

LILA
No, there they are. Damon and his gang!

GABRIELLE
Okay, you find Pharis. Tell him to sound the alarm.
I'll get Meleager. Go.

LILA
All right.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The bell is rung.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle runs to where Meleager is staying.

GABRIELLE
Meleager! Meleager, quick, they're here!

Lila enters with Pharis.

LILA
I ran into Pharis.

PHARIS
Where's Meleager?

GABRIELLE
He's not with you?

PHARIS
No and look, the money's gone.

GABRIELLE
So is Meleager.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Villagers pack up.

EXTRA
We should have given up in the first place!

EXTRA
If we give them the food, maybe they won't-

GABRIELLE
Pharis, let's not panic. Now, Meleager was
important to us, yes-

PHARIS
Important? We're farmers, not fighters. We
counted on him. He stole our money and left
us to die.

GABRIELLE
I can't explain why he left. But this is our chance
to start counting on ourselves. Now, we have
these traps.

PHARIS
Meleager's the key to our whole defense. Without
a warrior, we're dead.

LILA
But, we have a warrior. Gabrielle can lead us.

PHARIS
Gabrielle?

GABRIELLE
Me?

LILA
Who better than a student of Xena's? Everybody,
please stop! Listen to me! I'm no hero, believe
me. But, the way I see it, we have two choices.
We either take a stand and possibly die. Or, we
surrender and die for sure. It's time to stop
talking and start fighting! Isn't that right,
Gabrielle? Isn't that what Xena taught you?

GABRIELLE
Right. Damon and his men won't be satisfied
'til they've picked this place clean. Now, if you
want a future, we have to stop them now.

PHARIS
Run along, Gabrielle. This is a decision for the
whole village, not an outsider.

LILA
Hold it! In case you hadn't noticed, this is Gabrielle,
my sister! This is her village! And if you
people were smart, you'd realize that Xena has
taught her more about the warrior arts
than you'll ever know about anything!

SENTRY
Damon's men have cleared the woods. They're
heading straight for us!

GABRIELLE
Come on, we've gone this far. Let's give these
sons of griffins a welcome they'll never forget.
Now, what do you say?!

EXTRAS
Yeah!

The villagers cheer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Damon's men enter. A man throws food at them.

EXTRA
You want food? Here! Take it!

EXTRA
Hey!

EXTRA
You, come back here!

They run after him, but a trap takes them out.

EXTRA
Yes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
More men enter. Hot stew is dumped on them and then the pots.

EXTRA
Ow, ow, ow.

EXTRA
Yes!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
More warriors enter. The girls dance, showing leg.

GABRIELLE
Yoo-hoo! Boys! Yoo-hoo!

EXTRA
Hey! Give me some of that!

The warriors move forward and fall in a ditch.

GABRIELLE
Now!

The villagers fight them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A warrior enters.

EXTRA
Hey, meat breath!

The warrior is taken out.

EXTRA
Woo-hoo!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A soldier chases a woman.

EXTRA
I got'cha!

Gabrielle hits him with a frying pan.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
More soldiers enter.

EXTRA
Yeah, that's right.

The villagers run away.

EXTRA
Get them!

The soldiers follow, taken out by rolling logs.

EXTRA
Yes!

EXTRAS
We did it!

The villagers cheer.

PHARIS
Have we done it? Have we beaten them?

GABRIELLE
No, they've gone to regroup. Listen! We surprised
them once, but they won't fall for it twice.

PHARIS
Regroup? This is madness, we can't possibly
win. I'm going to Damon to offer our surrender
before we're slaughtered.

LILA
No, you can't!

GABRIELLE
Listen! There's gotta be-

Damon enters.

DAMON
You fools! You let women, children and old men
kick your behinds! Now, take this village or die
by my blade! Front line form! And move!

The soldiers move in.

MELEAGER
Hey! Hydra-heads!

A javelin is thrown and kills three men. Meleager is back.

EXTRAS
Meleager!

GABRIELLE
Am I glad to see you. Pharis thought you took
the money and ditched us.

MELEAGER
I needed the cash to buy the javelins.

LILA
Gabrielle knew you'd be back.

MELEAGER
That's why I'm here. All right, ladies, get out of
here. Let me do my job. Move!

EXTRA
Get them!

Meleager takes out the guards, while the villagers cheer.

MELEAGER
I did it.

DAMON
Guess again.

Damon holds Gabrielle and Lila.

DAMON
Move or I'll slaughter her like a sacrificial lamb!
I swear it. All right, let's go.

GABRIELLE
Oh, my foot! It's asleep!

DAMON
Well, wake it up, fast!

GABRIELLE
Uh, okay, maybe this'll help.

Gabrielle hits a rake, which hits Damon. Lila gets away, but Damon grabs Gabrielle. Meleager attacks him.

MELEAGER
You're real tough with the girls. Why don't you
try someone your own size?

DAMON
Hey! Look, I'm sorry, okay? Can't blame a man
for trying.

Damon and Meleager fight. Damon throws dirt in Meleager's eyes.

GABRIELLE
Act, don't react!

Meleager wins, killing Damon. The villagers cheer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tavern.

PHARIS
Oh, sure, there were a few tense moments, but
I never had a doubt that we could do it.

Lila moves over to Gabrielle.

LILA
A dinar for your thoughts?

GABRIELLE
Don't waste your money.

LILA
Then I'll tell you. You love this village. Love your
family, your friends. But you have to leave and
you don't know how to tell us.

GABRIELLE
It's not just that. Oh, Lila, I wanna be a part of
your life. A day didn't go by that I didn't think of
you, and, I--I missed you terribly.

LILA
You're dreams are elsewhere. Gabrielle, you
are destined for great things. Your heart belongs
on the road, not here in this little village. If you
stay here, your life will never be complete. Live
life, Gabrielle. Don't let it pass you by.

GABRIELLE
I thought I was the only oracle in the family.

LILA
It doesn't take an oracle to realize that
you belong out there in the world with Xena,
helping to change people's lives for the better,
like you did here.

Lila hands Gabrielle her bag.

GABRIELLE
You knew all along, didn't you?

LILA
Yep. You're my sister and I love you more than anything.

Gabrielle and Lila hug.

LILA
Don't forget to visit us, okay?

GABRIELLE
You can count on it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle whistles as she walks along.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle comes to the rock slide, still whistling. The ruffians step out.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
Well, well, well, we meet again. I guess you
would call this a little rock and roll. Ha, ha, ha.
You're not so brave without your well-muscled
friend, are you?

The cart is brought back, spikes now lining the bottom.

HEAD HIGHWAYMAN
Last time we did this, you and your friend chose to
fight, rather than submit. Care to rethink your decision?

Gabrielle fights. The cart is released. Gabrielle uses her staff to vault over it. The chakram flies in. Xena is atop the rock slide.

EXTRA
Not again!

The men run off. Xena laughs and then gives her yell as she flips down.

GABRIELLE
Xena! When did you get here?

XENA
In time to see you vault that cart. Gutsy move.

GABRIELLE
That was gutsy, huh? I didn't freeze.

XENA
No, you didn't. Did you find the answers you
were looking for?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, yeah, I did. You know, it's kind of funny,
don't you think, that we should just run into
each other, I mean, here?

XENA
Not really. I was on my way to Poteidaia just to
see how things were going.

GABRIELLE
Really? So you like that move, huh?

XENA
Yeah, it was all right.

GABRIELLE
All right?! Well, I could teach it to ya.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Tim Thomerson as Meleager
Willa O'Neill as Lila
Steve Hall as Damon
Alan Palmer as Pharis
Kelly Greene as Derq
Anton Bentley as Athol
Barry Te Hira as Head Highwayman
Wally Green as Elderly Driver
Ashley Stansfield as Sentry
Stephen Walker as Peasant
Margaret Conquest as Villager

Written by: Chris Mannheim
Directed by: John T. Kretchmer

Disclaimer: Meleager the Mighty, the generally Tipsy and Carousing Warrior-For-Hire, was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.