The Royal Couple of Thieves


TEASER

Sun overhead.

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Priests move through the village with the jewel. Overhead, Autolycus sets up for the robbery.

EXTRA
Hail the jewel.

AUTOLYCUS
Yodle-ay-Hee-Who!

Autolycus escapes with the jewel. He laughs and then looks into a barrel of water to see his reflection.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, hello handsome.

Xena sticks his head in the bucket.

AUTOLYCUS
Now, I know what you want, but I'm afraid a broken
heart is all I can give you at the moment. Hey!

Xena pushes him back and he falls to the ground.

XENA
We need to talk.

AUTOLYCUS
Talk is cheap. I have an expensive ear.

Autolycus runs away and Xena follows.

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Autolycus runs, followed by Xena, who flips overhead, with a yell and uses a clothesline to move above the people.

EXTRA
Who's there?!

EXTRA
Over there!

Xena flips down behind Autolycus with a yell.

AUTOLYCUS
You are a very persistent woman. But this is
mine. I stole it, I have uses for it.

Gabrielle enters in a priest robe.

XENA
Now, what would I want with a melted chunk of
rock sugar?

Autolycus pulls out the melted chuck of rock sugar.

GABRIELLE
Sure looked like a diamond, didn't it?

AUTOLYCUS
Well, I applaud your attempt, but it's not quite that easy
to catch...the King of Thieves. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, oh!

Xena pulls out the carpet from under Autolycus.

AUTOLYCUS
This is not good.

Xena pulls Autolycus down the stairs.

AUTOLYCUS
Not easy to catch, but not impossible. Xena, right.

XENA
On your feet.

AUTOLYCUS
No, this is fine. I hope you have a very good reason
for this.

XENA
I want you to steal the most valuable object in
the world.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, things are looking up.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Town.

AUTOLYCUS (voice-over)
Tying my hands is really unnecessary.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena, Gabrielle and Autolycus sit in a tavern. Autolycus' hands are tied and Xena puts a dagger in the way of his hands.

AUTOLYCUS
I said I would listen to your proposition.

XENA
And it's not like you would lie to us now, is it?

AUTOLYCUS
I haven't yet. Didn't Hercules tell you I was an
honourable man? Well, at least cover my hands.
It's embarrassing for Zeus's sake.

Xena covers his hands.

AUTOLYCUS
Thank you.

XENA
Do you know Malthus?

AUTOLYCUS
Malthus, the warlord, I'm assuming. Yes, his
island is just off the coast. I don't steal from him,
by the way.

GABRIELLE
Hmm, he's afraid.

AUTOLYCUS
No...we have an arrangement. I don't steal from
him, and he doesn't gouge my eyes out with hot
pokers. It's worked out very well so far.

Autolycus laughs, then knocks over some fruit on the table.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh! How clumsy of me!

Xena leans down to pick them up, and Autolycus pulls out his no longer tied up hands and takes a drink. He hides his hands under the cloth before Xena gets back up.

GABRIELLE
Uh. Uh.

XENA
Malthus has stolen a valuable chest. He plans to auction it off this week.

GABRIELLE
Hmm.

AUTOLYCUS
Hmm, what makes this chest so valuable?

GABRIELLE
Oh, it's covered with jewels and gold-leaf.

XENA
It contains the most powerful weapon this world
has ever known.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, what kind of weapon?

XENA
I don't know. I just know it exists. So does Malthus.
The people coming to bid are the most ruthless
villains alive. I want that chest.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha. You don't exactly strike me as
the...mercenary type.

XENA
That chest is very important to some friends of
mine. I promised to return it to them. Will you help?

AUTOLYCUS
No. Not because I wouldn't want to do your bidding,
that's another subject, but as I explained before,
Malthus and I have an arrangement.

Autolycus pulls out his hands.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, the dagger was a nice touch, but it took
me about oh, all of four seconds to get around it.

He gets up, but falls.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh-h-h-h!

Gabrielle laughs. Xena tied Autolycus' feet when she had bent down to pick up the fruit.

AUTOLYCUS
That, however, was very good. Oh, for the
love of Zeus.

GABRIELLE
A really good thief would jump at the chance to
steal from Malthus.

XENA
Well, only if he deserved the reputation as the
greatest thief that ever lived.

GABRIELLE
I thought Hercules said it was this guy.

XENA
Apparently, he was wrong. I heard that Malacious
of Amphese is good and available.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, ha, ha, ha, you're trying to use my ego against me.

GABRIELLE
I didn't think it would work.

AUTOLYCUS
No, it worked, I'll do it. Not for money, though I'll
take a reward, but mainly because I am...the
King of Thieves.

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

KELTON
You will certainly have the gratitude of my people.

AUTOLYCUS
Your gratitude is all any man could ever want
however, this particular man has financial needs.

GABRIELLE
Is money the only thing in your life?

AUTOLYCUS
I believe it is. Now we were talking about a reward.

XENA
Two thousand now. Two thousand later.

AUTOLYCUS
(to Xena) Obviously, no expense has been spared.

XENA
It's all they have.

AUTOLYCUS
(to Kelton) This thing means a lot to you?

KELTON
It's hard to explain. Have you ever known anything
that defines what you are as a person and a
people? It may be just metal or jewels and stone
to others. But to us, it's who we are.

AUTOLYCUS
You've hired the best. You'll get it back.

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Xena tries clothes on Autolycus.

XENA
Sinteres is rich and he's feared. He hires himself
out as the ultimate assassin.

GABRIELLE
If anybody can afford this auction, he can.

XENA
That's why you're going as him.

AUTOLYCUS
Reputation and wealth, well that's good cover.
And where is our friend at the moment?

XENA
Wrapped in an overthrow of Hytillus. We should
be done before he gets back.

GABRIELLE
Sinteres dresses very well. Oh, I like this ring.

AUTOLYCUS
That's mine. I got it from a beautiful princess.

GABRIELLE
Was it a gift?

AUTOLYCUS
You're so young. So, tell me more about this,
uh, Sinteres.

GABRIELLE
Well, I've only heard a few stories, but he's known
as the Warrior Philosopher. Everything he says
sounds philosophical.

AUTOLYCUS
Hmm.

GABRIELLE
He always chews on toothpicks.

AUTOLYCUS
Toothpicks?

Xena pulls a toothpick out of her cleavage and hands it to Autolycus.

GABRIELLE
He's deadly. He once killed a man with only a
rose petal.

AUTOLYCUS
Hmm, interesting. Toothpicks.

XENA
I'm going along as your assistant. Sinteres isn't
known to have one, but I don't think anyone'll
ask questions.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, let's hope he's at least as debonair and
charming as I am, or no one will be fooled.

Autolycus moves elsewhere in the shop.

GABRIELLE
This guy's incredible. I mean, yes, he's good-looking,
but give me a break.

XENA
Look, we should be done in three or four days
and then we won't see him any more.

Autolycus joins them.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, Xena, ha-ha-ha-ha!

Autolycus holds a small outfit in front of Xena.

AUTOLYCUS
I think I've found your disguise. The assistant to
Sinteres would wear no less.

GABRIELLE
Any less and there wouldn't be.

XENA
Stick to the philosophy, not the fantasy.

Xena and Gabrielle leaves, as Autolycus looks at the outfit.

AUTOLYCUS
Hmm.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the boat. Xena wears a blue dress.

AUTOLYCUS
I must tell you, I'm not very fond of water. You
sure this leaky tub is the right one?

XENA
Yes, I'm sure, Lord Sinteres.

EXTRA
Lord Sinteres?

EXTRA
Mmm.

EXTRA
Sinteres?

ARKEL
The journey to the island will take all night. My
master, Malthus, has provided food for the journey.
We leave momentarily.

PROGNESE
Tell us about the weapon.

ARKEL
Malthus will answer your questions. I will
answer none.

Arkel leaves.

MAGMAR
(to Autolycus) I'm Magmar of the Gauls. And I
want you should know, I don't fear you.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Boo!

Magmar falls back, surprised and starts to draw his sword.

XENA
You must excuse my lord. It's been a long journey,
and we're very tired. The fact that he plays with
you is a good thing. It means he likes you.

MAGMAR
Strange humour. Magmar can tell a joke from
a challenge.

AUTOLYCUS
And a challenge with humor brings...mirth without
blood. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Allow me to introduce
my assist, uh, concubine, Cherish. She's just a
little nervous, you see, because, she's never
been on a ship before. So, I bought her some
new clothes.

He holds out the outfit.

AUTOLYCUS
Why don't you go below decks and slip into this?
You'll feel much better.

Xena grabs the outfit with a sneer and leaves.

AUTOLYCUS
Isn't she something?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The boat.

AUTOLYCUS (voice-over)
Of course, the trick in killing someone with an apricot-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the boat.

AUTOLYCUS
-is really in the wrist. The drawback is it kills instantly,
so there's no time to gather information. So for
situations like that, well, I use a muffin.

PROGNESE
Is that what you used to kill Neolos?

AUTOLYCUS
Neolos, uh, well I--I've killed so many, so many
ways, uh, apricots, muffins, those little things
that keep your shirt together instead of buttons.
I can't recall. But know this, that bastard Neolos
died a death that was long and painful.

PROGNESE
He was my brother.

AUTOLYCUS
Yes, well, of course, I must be thinking of the
other Neolos.

PROGNESE
Perhaps, you were.

Xena enters in the outfit.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, very nice. Like the gentle dew of the morning
breath, clinging lightly to your heaving-

XENA
Might I have a word with you alone, Lord Sinteres?
She throws Autolycus against the rail as they move away from the others.

XENA
What do you think you're doing? "Concubine"?

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, come on. Do you really think those people
would believe that someone like Sinteres would
have someone like you without...having someone
like you?

XENA
Just you watch it.

AUTOLYCUS
You know, that really is a good look on you.

XENA
Don't start with me, now.

PROGNESE
Sinteres, this is for Neolos.

Prognese knocks both Autolycus and Xena over the boat. Xena uses Autolycus' grappling hook, which catches the boat. They hang over the side.

XENA
Hold on!

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Xena and Autolycus hang.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the boat.

PROGNESE
No one kills a member of my family, without
paying a price.

AUTOLYCUS
You should raise your prices. Now, my problem
is a vexing one
.
As Autolycus talks, Xena attaches the grappling
hook to Prognese's back with no one looking.

AUTOLYCUS
Kill you, and ruin a beautiful, starry night, or just
injure you to prove a point.

PROGNESE
You're still more myth than man, and I'm the one
to prove it.

Autolycus holds his toothpick. He laughs and turns his back. Prognese draws a dagger, and Autolycus turns around, throws the toothpick, as Xena leaps back, pulling Prognese with her, slamming him into the rail. He loses consciousness, while Xena continues to hang on the line.

EXTRA
What happened?

AUTOLYCUS
Ha!

EXTRA
Don't look at me.

Autolycus retrieves his toothpick.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, that worked up an appetite. And hunger is
the gods' way of saying..."Eat."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boat.

AUTOLYCUS (voice-over)
And I said, "No need to worry-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the galley.

AUTOLYCUS
-it was a stuff chief of the guards!"

Autolycus and Magmar laugh.

MAGMAR
Where's your woman? Did she drown?

AUTOLYCUS
No, no, she didn't drown. She should be here
momentarily. She's newly-conquered territory.
You know how it is.

MAGMAR
Virgin grounds of rubbish!

He laughs.

AUTOLYCUS
Yes, you see, a--a woman's chastity is like a new
hat. A beautiful thing that's-

Xena enters, looking ticked off.

AUTOLYCUS
-going to kill me. Ah, what took you so long my
dear, uh, finishing up my laundry?

XENA
Yes. You left something hanging on the line.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, yes. Well, I knew you could take care of it.
Come, sit, and grab those grapes while you're
at it. A little something sweet for after dinner, ay?

XENA
So, Lord Sinteres, what have we learned about
this weapon?

AUTOLYCUS
Does it really matter? How about some grapes?

Xena places one in Magmar's mouth and shoves it down Autolycus'. He coughs.

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The island. Autolycus and Xena are shown to their room.

ARKEL
Malthus will be greeting his visitors in one turn
of the sand-glass. If you should need anything,
knock on the door and ask the guard for me.

XENA
Arkel doesn't want us wandering around his
master's castle.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah. Nice. Comfy. Well, Malthus certainly is the host.

XENA
We're not here to enjoy ourselves. Any ideas how
you're gonna get that chest?

AUTOLYCUS
What makes you think Malthus is just gonna let
everyone go once it's missing?

XENA
Magmar told me that his former boss has got a
big ego, almost as big as yours.

AUTOLYCUS
Nothing is as big as mine.

XENA
Once he discovers it's missing, Malthus will call
off the auction, without explanation, and send
us all home.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, I like it. But you started by saying, "Once we
have the chest."

XENA
That's your department. We need to talk to Malthus
and find out as much as we can.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, we still have plenty of time before the banquet.
Ah! Only one bed.

XENA
Don't even think about it.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah-hah, well far from it! Tell you what I'll flip you
for it. Tails.

Autolycus flips the coin and Xena flips Autolycus and then catches the coin.

AUTOLYCUS
Oooh! Hey! Ooh!

XENA
Heads it is.

Xena places the coin down her cleavage.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Main chamber.

MALTHUS
Power. To rule the world. What's it worth? How
much will you pay?

Xena hits Autolycus to make him talk.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, Lord Malthus, if this weapon is so powerful,
then why are you selling it?

MALTHUS
I don't fear it. I know its secret. So don't even think
about buying it to use against me. Now, let's look
at why we're here.

He opens curtains to reveal chest.

MALTHUS
Please note, invisible threads, made from human
hair and spider silk. If one is broken, it sets off
an alarm.

AUTOLYCUS
(to Xena) Invisible, right.

MALTHUS
Counterweight balance. Even the slightest change,
lighter or heavier.

Malthus touches the chest and bells ring. Malthus laughs.

MALTHUS
No one gets near this chest without me knowing
about it. Assuming they're able to gain entrance
to this room. The weapon will be demonstrated
tomorrow at noon. In the meantime, enjoy my hospitality.

XENA
(to Autolycus) Let's get to work. I got you here,
now what?

AUTOLYCUS
(to Xena) Now, I need a distraction for my work.

AUTOLYCUS
Lord Malthus, your hospitality is graciously accepted.
But, please accept a gift of my own. For the entertainment
of all, my very own Cherish and her Dance of the
Three Veils. (to Xena) Keep them interested, and
make me proud.

XENA
(harsh whisper to Autolycus) You've got two veils!

EXTRA
Let's see her dance, then.

EXTRA
This should be a great show.

Xena performs the Dance of the Three Veils as Autolycus looks around the room. He takes some wax and stands next to Malthus.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah! I lost count. Where are we?

MALTHUS
Two. Amazing.

Autolycus presses the key hanging on Malthus' belt into the wax, making a copy.

MALTHUS
What did you pay for her?

AUTOLYCUS
Well, I'll let you set the price. She might just be
that added incentive to my bid on the chest, ay?

He laughs.

XENA
Ah!

Xena throws away her second veil, and she stands before Autolycus, holding the third around her waist, waiting for Autolycus to call an end to the dance.

AUTOLYCUS
They want to see more, Cherish.

A servant girl passes Xena, and Xena hits her tray, sending the food flying, which all hits Autolycus.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, that'll be enough for now, Cherish. Thank you.
(to Malthus) Ah-hah, if she has interest as a
bargaining chip, I guess there should remain
some mystery. (to Xena) What?

Xena slams some food into Autolycus' face and runs it down his chest. Malthus laughs and Xena exits.

AUTOLYCUS
My goodness. She's got spunk.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At night. Xena and Autolycus enter the main chamber, Xena in her leather.

XENA
It's all set. Before anyone notices it's missing,
the chest will be tied to the anchor. And now for
the hard part.

AUTOLYCUS
Hard for you, easy, run-of-the-mill for me. There
are four alarm bells connected to those ropes.
Once I secure the bells, move swiftly and stay low.

XENA
What about the spider-silk threads?

AUTOLYCUS
Invisible threads? That's the oldest trick in the
book. Xena, there are no threads, trust me.

XENA
Seems a little crowded in there.

Malthus' body lies where the chest once was.

AUTOLYCUS
Ohh.

Autolycus reaches out to touch Malthus, and breaks the threads. The bells ring. Xena grabs Autolycus.

XENA
No threads! Trust you!

Xena and Autolycus run out.

ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Autolycus and Xena enter the main chamber where all the others wait.

AUTOLYCUS
What is all this about, Arkel? You know, I've got
a few complaints for Malthus about you.

Arkel pulls back a blanket to reveal Malthus' dead body. Xena gasps.

ARKEL
Malthus is dead.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, you're off the hook this time.

ARKEL
Somebody in this room killed him and stole the chest.

PROGNESE
Take care who you insult. Malthus was a fool. He
didn't fear the truth, but he turned his back on an assassin.

AUTOLYCUS
Then, the auction's off, I guess. Well, what a
shame. We'll just have to pack our bags. What
time is the boat leaving?

ARKEL
The boat has already left. And it's gonna stay
away until I have either the chest or the murderer.

Arkel leaves.

AUTOLYCUS
(to Xena) I am out of here.

Autolycus leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus enters the bedroom, followed by Xena.

XENA
What do you mean, you're out of here?

AUTOLYCUS
Malthus' ego was important to our plan. Now he's
dead. So is his ego. So is our plan. Now any good
thief knows when to back off and pick another pocket.

XENA
I can't give up. This chest is too important to my friends.

AUTOLYCUS
Some advice from me to you, find less demanding friends.

XENA
There was a time, when I was young, I was wounded
in battle-

She sits on the bed.

XENA
-and those people found me. They dressed my
wounds and fed me, though they had nothing to
spare. And then, when the enemy came to find
me, one of them died protecting me. However,
I can't expect that you would understand that.

AUTOLYCUS
Understand? What, just because I'm a thief, no
matter how or why?

XENA
Well, I just figured you learned it from your father.

AUTOLYCUS
My father? Well, that would be an interesting subject,
except that he was killed before I was born. My
mother died when I was eight, so, it was just
my older brother to take care of me, like those
people took care of you. And, when he was killed,
you...do what you can to survive. If we find out who
killed Malthus, we'll find that chest.

XENA
Well, let's get on with it then, shall we?

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, yes, but first, I must get some sleep, and I
get the bed this time, thank you.

Autolycus pulls back the curtains on the bed to reveal the chest.

XENA
The chest!

A guard knocks on the door.

XENA
Who is it?

BELART
Arkel sent me to search the room.

AUTOLYCUS
Multi-million dinar castle and no closets.

Autolycus tries to hide the chest.

BELART
Come on, open up!

XENA
One minute!

Autolycus falls.

BELART
What's going on in there?

AUTOLYCUS
I've never been dead before. This should be interesting.

Xena throws Autolycus onto the bed and moves on top of his back.

BELART
Open up!

Belart enters.

XENA
I told you to wait. Please don't be angry with them,
Lord Sinteres.

AUTOLYCUS
What? Ah, yes, yes, I'm enraged. Why, if there was
ever a moment where I was more enraged, I--I
haven't found it yet. Cherish, my toothpicks.

XENA
You'd better go and hurry.

BELART
This looks secure. My apologies.

Belart leaves.

AUTOLYCUS
They might come back at any moment. Maybe
we should continue.

Xena head butts him.

AUTOLYCUS
O-oh!

Xena reads the chest.

XENA
"Don't fear the truth, face it; for, to turn away from
truth is death." That's strange. What did Malthus
say about not fearing the weapon?

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, who cares? We have the chest. But, how're
we gonna get the boat back?

XENA
We put the chest back where it came from.

AUTOLYCUS
Sure, we put the...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Main chamber.

XENA
The trick is, getting this lowered into place.

AUTOLYCUS
Out of curiosity, why not just dump this thing in
the hallway?

XENA
Because, whoever did it thinks they got the upper
hand on us. And putting it right back where he
got it might make him think twice. And, besides,
this is the only place the guards aren't searching.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah-hah, good point. Ah, you know, Xena, it's funny,
um, Hercules never mentioned you.

XENA
Oh, I didn't know you were a confidant of his.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, sure, Herc and I are close, yeah. Well, f--fairly
close. We, uh, we have a mutual respect. Actually,
I kind of like the big guy.

XENA
Me too.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh? You and he didn't, um...

XENA
Mind your own business, Autolycus.

AUTOLYCUS
I didn't think so.

XENA
All right, we're secure. What's next?

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, well, I have to think in reverse, here. I lower
myself down there, then you swing the chest out
when I give the word, ay? A kiss before I-

Xena shoves him off the ledge.

AUTOLYCUS
Oooh!

He swings down.

AUTOLYCUS
Yodle-ay-HE-


Autolycus starts to lower the chest. Arkel is heard from outside.

ARKEL
You idiot!

XENA
Keep lowering!

AUTOLYCUS
Easy for you-

Xena flips down. Arkel enters.

ARKEL
What are you doing here?

XENA
I'm here because a man was killed in this very room.

Xena turns Arkel so his back is to Autolycus.

XENA
The thought of it makes my blood boil.

ARKEL
I should expect no less from a concubine of Sinteres.

Autolycus lowers the chest.

XENA
I'm also here because I knew you'd come eventually.
You've seen a lot of danger in your life, I'll bet.

ARKEL
A fair share and some. Won't Sinteres be missing you?

XENA
I left him passed out in our chambers. All his
energy goes into fighting.

Autolycus has caught his foot in the rope and is now hanging over the ground.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah-h!

Arkel starts to turn his head, but Xena grabs it and turns it back.

XENA
He's not much of a lover. How are you at walks
in the moonlight?

Xena kisses Arkel, and throws her chakram, which cuts down Autolycus. She catches it and stops the kiss.

ARKEL
Are you sure Sinteres is asleep?

XENA
Positive.

Xena kisses him as Autolycus starts to sneak by on hands and knees. Arkel steps on Autolycus' hand.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, oh!

Xena laughs and turns Arkel around so his back is now to the door.

XENA
By the gods, you're an animal! I like that!

Arkel starts to kiss Xena's chest and she rolls her eyes.

AUTOLYCUS
Cherish!

Arkel stops kissing Xena.

XENA
My Lord!

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, there you are.

XENA
Arkel and I were just, talking.

AUTOLYCUS
Mmm, yes, well, it's a good thing because, uh, I've
killed men for less. Come on, Cherish.

Autolycus and Xena leave. Arkel turns to see the chest.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The castle.

MAGMAR (voice-over)
Did you hear? The chest has been returned.

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

MAGMAR
After breakfast, Arkel is gonna demonstrate this
thing. And then we can get into it.

PROGNESE
They should've found Malthus' killer. Who's to
say who's next?

Arkel enters with guards.

ARKEL
Attention! Please. As you all know, the chest has
been recovered. There will be a demonstration
of its deadly power this morning.

A guard enters carrying a covered body, with Sinteres following him.

ARKEL
Some local fishermen will be wiped from the face
of the earth. But, first, I want to introduce you to someone.

The guard places the body on the ground. Arkel pulls back the blanket to reveal Gabrielle. Xena and Autolycus stand, but Sinteres places his hands to Gabrielle's temples.

SINTERES
Stop!

GABRIELLE
Ahh!

SINTERES
Damned are those who dare resist. A little more
pressure, and she's dead. I am Sinteres. The
real Sinteres.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Sinteres holds his fingers on Gabrielle's temple.

GABRIELLE
Ah! Xena, I'm sorry. I had to do something.

XENA
It's all right, I was getting tired of this game, anyway.
Sinteres, I've been looking forward to this.

SINTERES
The Warrior Princess. We finally meet. You
understand about pressure points. And who's
your colorful friend?

AUTOLYCUS
I am Autolycus, the King...of Thieves.

PROGNESE
Impostor! Allow me the honour of killing them
both to avenge the murder of Malthus.

XENA
A murder which you committed yourself.

PROGNESE
That's insane!

XENA
When we heard that Malthus was dead, you said
something about him not fearing the truth. That
was a quote from the writing on the chest. How
could you have known it if you hadn't stolen it?

ARKEL
You're a dead man, Prognese!

SINTERES
No, Arkel, allow me. I need to stretch a little bit
after the journey. Hold a dagger on this young
one, otherwise, Xena might feel bold. Death has
a thousand doors to let out life. And, Prognese,
I've saved one just for you.

PROGNESE
I'll kill you!

Sinteres hits Prognese at several pressure points.

SINTERES
Painful, isn't it? Excruciating pain. And as you
feel the blood drain from your lifeless heart, I
explode your brain!

Sinteres kills Prognese by poking him in the eyes.

PROGNESE
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

SINTERES
(to Arkel) You can kill her now.

GABRIELLE
Ah.

Xena uses Autolycus' grappling hook to grab Arkel's hand. She pulls him away from Gabrielle. Xena handles the guards.

XENA
Come on, let's go. Follow me!

Xena, Gabrielle and Autolycus run away.

ARKEL
Quick! Get some more men! Find the three of
them and bring me their heads!

EXTRA
Yes, sir!

ARKEL
We have a demonstration to attend to.

SINTERES
You're a fool to let her go.

ARKEL
It is my decision to make, Lord Sinteres. My men
will take care of them. Right now, I want to test
this marvelous weapon.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena, Gabrielle and Autolycus walk along.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, just out of curiosity, why did we run? I mean, not
that I disagree, but it doesn't seem to be your style.

XENA
We came to get the chest. That hasn't changed.
(to Gabrielle) How's your head?

GABRIELLE
Have you ever had a headache that was so painful,
you wanted to be dead? Well, I wish I had one of
those right now.

XENA
Come here. Put your head down.

Xena uses pressure points on Gabrielle's neck.

GABRIELLE
Ow-w-w-w! Now I do want to be dead.

XENA
It will take a while to lose it. You're very lucky.
Sinteres knows how to kill using pressure points.

GABRIELLE
Is that the same stuff that you know?

XENA
Yeah, it just depends how you use it.

AUTOLYCUS
I hate to be a nag, but, what's our next step?

XENA
Arkel said that he was going to round up the villagers.
We need to know where he's taking them. Gabrielle,
follow them and mark the trail.

GABRIELLE
What about the two of you?

XENA
Don't worry about us, just be careful.

Gabrielle leaves.

AUTOLYCUS
Can I ask you something? Is your life always like this?

XENA
Pretty much.

Xena starts to walk off.

AUTOLYCUS
Sheesh!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The castle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena climbs into the window, followed by Autolycus.

AUTOLYCUS
I'm a thief, not a human fly.

Xena and Autolycus turn their backs to each other. Autolycus takes off his outer shirts, while Xena unties her shirt to loosen it (she does not remove it).

XENA
Hercules said you were good at this.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, well, if I knew his high esteem for me would
land me in this position in the first place-

XENA
I didn't say he held you in high esteem, I just said
he said you were good.

AUTOLYCUS
You know, it seems pretty clear to me that Hercules
doesn't know a diamond in the rough when he
sees one. I mean, look at you.

XENA
Care to explain that?

AUTOLYCUS
Well, Hercules could have any woman he wanted.
Obviously, he just passed you by.

XENA
Is that supposed to be a compliment?

They turn to face each other.

AUTOLYCUS
No, just a fact, but if he let someone like you get
away, then he must be a...well, all right, yes, it
was a compliment.

XENA
Hercules isn't as blind as you think, but neither
one of us wants to fool ourselves.

AUTOLYCUS
And then there are those of us who live to fool ourselves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arkel and his men ride along with the villagers.

EXTRA
Move.

EXTRA
Keep moving.

Gabrielle marks the trail with two gray rocks and one white one.

GABRIELLE
Go this way, Xena.

Gabrielle looks up to see Sinteres.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Autolycus enter the courtyard, both dressed in their normal clothes.

EXTRA
There they are! Get them!

XENA
We haven't got time for this.

Xena and Autolycus fight the guards.

AUTOLYCUS
Go on, Xena, I'll hold them off.

XENA
Are you kidding me?

AUTOLYCUS
I think I'm kidding myself. Go on, help those people.

Xena runs, mounts a horse and rides off.

XENA
Yah! Come on!

Autolycus fights the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cave. Xena enters.

XENA
Hello again, Sinteres.

SINTERES
Xena. You said you were looking forward to this.
Well, I plan to make you happy. Even though,
this will be the last bit of joy you experience on
this earth.

Sinteres and Xena fight using pressure points. Sinteres hits Xena's upper left arm.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

Sinteres and Xena continue fighting. Sinteres rolls along the ground, and does a pressure point on her leg, dropping her to the ground. Sinteres holds up his fingers, ready to kill Xena by poking her in the eyes.

SINTERES
Good-bye, Xena.

Xena blocks his move a la 'Three Stooges' and kills him with a pressure point to his chest. Arkel draws his sword.

ARKEL
Whoever kills her gets half his bid returned!

Gabrielle and Xena fight.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

Autolycus enters.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, I made it.

XENA
I knew you would.

AUTOLYCUS
Should I concentrate on anyone in particular, or-

He head butts a soldier.

AUTOLYCUS
-or do we hate them all?

XENA
Every last one.

AUTOLYCUS
Yeah.

Autolycus and Xena fight while Gabrielle gets the villagers out.

GABRIELLE
Everybody out! Come on!

Gabrielle joins the fight. Arkel moves over to the chest.

XENA
Arkel, don't!

ARKEL
Let's see what this weapon can do.

Arkel opens the chest. A light exits.

XENA
Gabrielle, Autolycus, don't fear the truth, face it.
Don't run.

Arkel runs and is killed by a flame, shooting from the light. He screams.

GABRIELLE
That was incredible!

AUTOLYCUS
And you want to return this to your friends?

XENA
It belongs to them. And besides, it'll be safe with them.

Xena pulls out a stone with writing on it. Autolycus reads it.

AUTOLYCUS
"Thou shall not covet." "Thou shall not steal"?
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Who can live by those laws?

Autolycus leaves. Xena packs up the chest.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later. Autolycus is paid his money.

KELTON
It's all there, all that we have. But, money alone
cannot repay you for what you've done.

AUTOLYCUS
To be honest, I don't think you have anything that can.

KELTON
Theft is not a thing that we admire, but you truly
are the King of Thieves.

AUTOLYCUS
Yes, I am. Ah, well, we are. (to Kelton) Just make
sure everyone knows about it, because I'm only
as good as my reputation. (to Gabrielle) Normally,
I'd make a more dramatic exit, but, ah, I think I
could use a walk. (to Xena) And what could I say
to you? I've never had a partner in crime before,
and after this...I never will. Ha-ha-ha-ha.

Autolycus starts to lean towards Xena, eyebrows raised. Xena holds out her hand to handshake, but Autolycus kisses it instead. Autolycus leaves.

GABRIELLE
Well, I hate to admit it, but I like him, even though
when you strip it all away, he's just a thief for hire.

XENA
Is he?

Gabrielle looks at the cart the villagers pull, to see the money in a basket.

GABRIELLE
I wish I had known he was going to do that.

She holds up hand to show Autolycus' ring.

GABRIELLE
I wouldn't have taken this.

She laughs.

GABRIELLE
Pretty, isn't it?

XENA
Gabrielle, didn't you read those tablets? "Thou
shall not steal."

GABRIELLE
I promise I'll give it back; as soon as I find the owner.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Bruce Campbell as Autolycus
Mark Raffety as Arkel
Grant Bridger as Sinteres
Crawford Thomson as Prognese
Arch Goodfellow as Kelton
Patrick Khutze as Belart
Ian Harrop as Magmar
David Telford as Malthus

Written by: Steven L. Sears
Directed by: John Cameron

Disclaimer: No Ancient and Inflexible Rules governing moral behavior were harmed during the production of this motion picture.