Blind Faith


TEASER

Village.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the town.

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Xena and Gabrielle walk along.

XENA
Good, there's a tavern. I'm hungry.

GABRIELLE
Hey! I've got an idea. Let's shop.

XENA
What do we need?

GABRIELLE
No, not that kind of shop. Shop, shop. You know,
browsing, haggling, getting a deal.

XENA
A deal on what?

GABRIELLE
Ah, who knows? See, that's the fun part.

EXTRA
That's outrageous!

GABRIELLE
Something completely frivolous. Xena, come on,
let's squander a couple of dinars.

XENA
Hey.

GABRIELLE
Okay, I can see it's not your thing.

XENA
Look, if you wanna browse, haggle and squander,
go ahead. I'll meet you in the tavern.

Xena leaves. Lagos watches Gabrielle and nods.

GABRIELLE
Hmmm.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle picks up a cloth.

GABRIELLE
Uh. How much for this piece of scrap?

VENDOR
That finely-woven Egyptian prayer scarf is five dinars.

GABRIELLE
You've gotta be kidding.

VENDOR
I suppose I could knock a dinar off the price for you.

GABRIELLE
Yeah, why don't you? Some fool might come by
who wants to throw away four dinars.

She starts to leave but he grabs her arm.

VENDOR
I can go as low as three dinars but that's firm.

GABRIELLE
Well, you know, I guess I could use it to wipe the
sweat off my horse. One dinar.

VENDOR
Two and you have a deal, okay?

GABRIELLE
Okay, okay.

Gabrielle gives him the money.

VENDOR
Thank you.

Gabrielle wraps the scarf around herself and leave. The Vender kisses the dinars.

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Gabrielle moves along, playing with her scarf.

EXTRA
It's not worth it, I tell you. I can do better over there.

A man grabs Gabrielle but she takes him out and runs. Palaemon grabs her and holds a hand over her mouth.

PALAEMON
Don't make me break your neck.

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Xena exits the tavern.

XENA
Gabrielle? Gabrielle?

Xena sees Gabrielle's staff. She reaches for it.

PALAEMON
Hey! That's my staff.

XENA
It is not. It belongs to a friend of mine.

Xena takes it.

PALAEMON
That irritating little blonde? She won't be needing
it anymore.

XENA
And why not?

PALAEMON
Because I killed her, Xena.

He draws his sword.

PALAEMON
And now, I'm gonna kill you.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Xena draws her sword and she and Palaemon fight. Xena flips over Palaemon with a yell and then Palaemon does the same thing.

PALAEMON
Admit it, Xena. That last move is worthy of you!

They keep fighting.

PALAEMON
Come on, Xena. Don't hold back. Or, are you afraid
of me, hmm? That's understandable. I don't have
a soft spot for you like Draco did. And I'm not out
of control like Callisto.

He moves to take out her legs, but she flips with a yell. They continue to fight. Xena tries to stab Palaemon but she stabs a wineskin. The contents spray out into her face. She turns her back to Palaemon who raises his sword but stops. Xena kicks his feet out from under him and he falls. She holds her sword at his throat.

XENA
What did you do with Gabrielle? And don't tell me
you killed her! I know that's a lie.

PALAEMON
Why are you so sure I didn't kill her?

XENA
'Cause when I got the oil in my eyes, you didn't
strike. You haven't got the killer instinct.

PALAEMON
Hey! Don't kid yourself. I just couldn't stab you in
the back in front of all those witnesses. It would
defeat the entire purpose.

XENA
What do you mean?

PALAEMON
I want to be known as the man who killed Xena
in a fair fight. Face to face.

XENA
So, that's it. You told me you killed Gabrielle to
egg me into a fight.

Xena sheathes her sword.

PALAEMON
Not just a fight. A fight to the death. The man who
kills you will have quite a reputation.

XENA
Where's Gabrielle?

PALAEMON
I don't think it's time for me to tell you that.

Xena puts the Pinch on him.

XENA
Now, you got thirty seconds to tell me where she is.

Palaemon is silent.

XENA
See, I don't think you quite understand. I've cut
off the flow of blood to your brain. You're gonna
die a very ugly death, unless you start talking.

Palaemon remains silent. At the last moment, Xena releases him.

PALAEMON
I did it.

He laughs.

PALAEMON
I called your bluff! I knew you wouldn't let me die!
Not when I know where your little buddy is.
(to villagers) Did you see that?! Tell everyone!
Palaemon called Xena's bluff! (to Xena) Now, it's
your reputation that's hurting. Admit it. I'm a very
formidable foe.

XENA
No, you're nothing but a stupid kid with a very
limited life expectancy.
Xena turns him onto his stomach.

PALAEMON
Hey! What are you doing?!

Xena ties his hand to a large plank of wood.

XENA
I'm not letting you out of my sight until I find Gabrielle.
If anything happens to her, next time it won't be a
bluff. (to Vender) That oil I got in my eyes, has that
got sumac in it?

VENDOR
Yes. I sell the mixture as a dye.

Xena picks up Palaemon.

XENA
Come on.

They leave.

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Xena and Palaemon walk along.

PALAEMON
So, who's this Gabrielle, anyway?

XENA
A friend.

PALAEMON
Yeah, I've got friends who could be following up
right now.

Xena trips on a rock.

PALAEMON
What's the matter, Xena? Battle fatigue?

XENA
You wish.

PALAEMON
Hey, Xena? What do you think of my fighting style?

XENA
What?!

PALAEMON
Come on, give some credit where it's due. I'm
quick, I'm agile, I think on my feet. I bet you won't
fight me again because you know I'd win.

XENA
Don't flatter yourself. Young thugs like you are a
dinar a dozen.

PALAEMON
I know five warlords that'd tell you different if they
could. They can't, 'cause they're dead. You ever
heard of Krakus of Pyla? I killed him. I've got talent
and you know it.

XENA
Oh, yeah and you're real brave. That's why you
kidnap young girls.

PALAEMON
A guy's gotta make a living.

XENA
You kidnapped Gabrielle for money?

PALAEMON
Yeah. When I heard what kind of a girl they were
looking for, I figured I could kill two birds with one
stone. Give them what they were looking for, for
a fee, and get you to fight me.

Xena wraps the rope around his neck.

XENA
Who are these people you're talking about?

PALAEMON
Oh, come on, Xena. You don't want me to make
it too easy for you.

XENA
Oh, no. The easy thing would be killing you right now.

He laughs and Xena lets him go.

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Castle.

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Gabrielle is lead into a room with paintings of women who look just like her.

GABRIELLE
Let me go, please!

APEX
Are those the dulcet tones of the future Queen?

GABRIELLE
Queen?

APEX
Didn't anyone mention that? King Solus has chosen
you for a bride. This is your lucky day.

GABRIELLE
King Solus. No, it can't be possible. I...well, I've
never even met him.

APEX
No matter, my dear. You're sure to win his heart.
You're the right type. Just look around you. As you
can see, we have a long tradition of making innocuous
blue-eyed blondes our Queen.

GABRIELLE
Yeah, well-

She laughs.

GABRIELLE
-I'm more of a redhead, really. Look, I'm not marrying
anyone. For all I know, the king is-

Apex points to a naked statue of the king. Gabrielle looks at it.

GABRIELLE
Incredibly handsome. Not that that--that that matters.

APEX
My hands are tied, Gabrielle. What the king needs,
the king gets.

GABRIELLE
Well, um, if I could talk to him-

APEX
He'd marry you immediately. You're perfect. I trust
you'll find your royal chambers satisfactory,
my Queen.

Gabrielle is taken out of the room.

EXTRA
Get in there!

LAGOS
The warrior woman, that travels with our Queen-

APEX
That braggart, Palaemon, said he'd take care
of her.

LAGOS
She's headed this way. We've got a real problem.

APEX
Solve it! Take the best of the palace guard. Nothing's
to interfere with my plans.

Vidalus enters.

VIDALUS
Tell me all about her. Who is she? A princess
from City-State. A Countess from Carthage. Oh,
they are so sophisticated!

APEX
I'm afraid not, Vidalus. She's a commoner.

VIDALUS
A commoner?

APEX
Yes, but it does present a problem. As you know,
the royal court must approve the king's choice.
I'm counting on you to turn the little peasant trash
into a Queen.

VIDALUS
Me? But I was trained at the royal finishing school,
not on Mount Olympus.

APEX
You'll make her a Queen, or I'll make you dead.

VIDALUS
I don't respond well to threats.

Apex holds a dagger at his throat.

VIDALUS
However, actual pain can be quite persuasive.

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Xena and Palaemon move into a small town.

PALAEMON
O-o-oh! We're getting close now, Xena. We're
about to walk into the middle of some of my friends.
They like me.

XENA
Go figure.

PALAEMON
They won't take kindly to the way you're treating me.

Xena looks about, her vision blurs. Lagos and several soldiers step out.

EXTRA
She's here.

LAGOS
I thought you were gonna kill her, Palaemon?

PALAEMON
I'll get around to it.

LAGOS
Don't bother. If they resist, kill them.

EXTRA
Let's get her!

XENA
With friends like these...

Xena and Palaemon fight the soldiers.

PALAEMON
It would be a whole lot easier if I could use my
hands! Quick! Cut me loose!

EXTRA
Take them!

Xena throws a sword which breaks the rope. Palaemon fights.

PALAEMON
It's my turn now, fellas.

Palaemon fights with sword in hand.

EXTRA
I've got her!

Xena loses her sword.

XENA
Where's my sword?

Xena searches for it with her foot. The soldiers run off.

PALAEMON
Come on. Come on!

He faces Xena.

PALAEMON
Now, where were we?

Xena feels around with her foot near her sword and a chain a soldier dropped. She can't see the sword. Palaemon comes up to her and Xena turns to face him.

XENA
Is there a problem?

PALAEMON
You tell me.

Palaemon waves hand in front of her face.

PALAEMON
You're blind!

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

PALAEMON
You can't see a thing, can you? Where's the challenge
in killing you now? It would be worse than stabbing
you in the back.

He gives her, her sword.

PALAEMON
Here!

Xena finds the chain with her foot.

PALAEMON
When you get your eyesight back, I'll come visit
you again.

Xena tosses the chain up with her foot and grabs it. She cuffs Palaemon's hand to hers.

PALAEMON
Hey! What are you doing? Are you crazy?!

XENA
No, but I am in a hurry and I need you to be my eyes.

Xena puts the key in her cleavage.

PALAEMON
Forget it!

He starts to leave, but Xena pulls him back and holds her sword on him.

XENA
You and I are gonna find Gabrielle. And anything
that happens to me happens to you first.

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Gabrielle drops a rope of sheets out the castle window.

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Gabrielle gets ready to climb down.

GABRIELLE
I hope this works.

Vidalus and guards enter.

VIDALUS
Oh, wait! Stop her!

GABRIELLE
Get away from that! No! Look, you made a big
mistake. I can't marry the king.

VIDALUS
Oh, listen, every bride gets the jitters. Is he the
right one? Will it last? But, don't you worry. Vidalus
will take care of everything.

GABRIELLE
What's Vidalus?

VIDALUS
That's me.

GABRIELLE
All right. Look. My best friend is Xena, Warrior
Princess. And she is not going to like this forced
wedding thing, if you get my drift.

VIDALUS
A little husky, don't you think?

GABRIELLE
Husky?

VIDALUS
This whole threat thing. It's not very ladylike. And
take your hands off your hips! You look like a
scrub-woman!

GABRIELLE
What?

VIDALUS
Just trying to teach you to act like a lady.

GABRIELLE
Stop that! I know perfectly well how to act like a lady!

VIDALUS
You have the hand gestures of a wagon-driver.

GABRIELLE
I can't believe this.

VIDALUS
And that dialect. Thrace? Macedonia? Oh, what
does it matter? Backwoods is backwards, as they
say. Posture is not bad. Yes, we can cover up that
peasant muscle, but these dishwasher hands,
oh-h-h-h! Uh, white gloves might be a solution.

GABRIELLE
You don't think I'm the right type to be a Queen,
do you?

VIDALUS
Not really.

GABRIELLE
Yeah, well I agree. None of this makes any sense.
Why would King Solus wanna marry a complete
peasant stranger?

VIDALUS
Who knows? I say, sit back and enjoy the ride.

GABRIELLE
I can't, I won't, you can't make me!

EXTRA
Hungry, my Queen?

GABRIELLE
Oh, well, a couple of grapes. I gotta get out of here.

The guards stop her.

VIDALUS
How's your curtsey?

Gabrielle curtseys.

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Xena and Palaemon move along. Palaemon tries to pick the lock as they walk.

XENA
So, Gabrielle is to be King Solus' wife?

PALAEMON
Yeah, not such a bad fate. I convinced them she
was the right physical type. Then I played up the
whole sturdy peasant stock thing to make her
sound ripe enough.

XENA
Y'know, something doesn't fit here. A peasant
girl isn't usually a very desirable match for a king.
Something else is going on here.

She puts her hand on his.

XENA
Stop it! Don't even thing about it. Nothing is
unlocking these except for the key.

PALAEMON
You must be pretty scared right now.

XENA
Of you? You must not be paying attention.

PALAEMON
Not of me. Of the unknown. You don't know what's
happened to your eyes.

XENA
Yes, I do. They've been saturated with sumac. It
causes blindness, temporary, if treated within a day.

PALAEMON
And if it isn't?

XENA
I'll be blind for life.

PALAEMON
What's the treatment?

XENA
Cleansing your eyes with a solution of palm oil
and Egyptian senna.

PALAEMON
It sounds hard to find.

XENA
Any market in Athens'll have it.

PALAEMON
Well, if I were you, I'd be headed for Athens.

XENA
Well, you are not me. I've gotta save my friend.

PALAEMON
Well, that must be some friend.

XENA
Stables. The castle's not far from here.

PALAEMON
You can smell the horses from here?

XENA
Well, not the horses themselves.

PALAEMON
That's very observant. You know, being chained to
you might not be so bad. I could pick up a few pointers.

XENA
I'm not teaching you anything.

PALAEMON
Ah, but you already have. I've studied you, Xena.
Every battle, every conquest. How do you think I
became the warrior I am today?

XENA
You are wrong to model yourself on who I used
to be. I was confused back then.

PALAEMON
No, you were committed. You had power and
nothing could stop you. People knew who you
were. You commanded respect.

XENA
I commanded fear. It was no way to live.

PALAEMON
Fear, respect. Call it what you will. But you were
the best. That's why I've got to kill you, Xena. Then
I will be the best.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The royal court awaits.

EXTRA
Thank you.

EXTRA
Wait 'til you see her.

Apex enters.

APEX
As you know, King Solus has selected his bride.
All that remains is your approval. Without further
ado, may I present Lady Gabrielle.

Vidalus enters. Gabrielle does not follow.

VIDALUS
Gabrielle, come on out, we're waiting for you.

GABRIELLE
Not until I speak to the king.

Apex runs a finger over his throat.

VIDALUS
I'm begging you. I'm under a lot of pressure here.
By the gods, girl, have some compassion.

GABRIELLE
All right, I'm coming out.

EXTRA
Ah, there she is now.

Gabrielle exits, wearing a dress of purple, blue and green. The dress shows a lot of cleavage. Her hair is done up in an ugly blue thing.

EXTRA
She's beautiful.

She walks in on her heeled shoes and trips. Vidalus catches her. Gabrielle laughs.

GABRIELLE
This is hopeless.

VIDALUS
Just, remember, baby steps.

Gabrielle curtsey's and starts to fall over. Vidalus catches her.

VIDALUS
You only curtsey to Apex. Just skip the curtsey.
Just remember to watch your tones.

Gabrielle moves to Apex and trips into his arms. Gabrielle laughs.

GABRIELLE
It's so good to see you.

APEX
And now, may I propose a toast.

EXTRA
Hear, hear.

EXTRA
A toast!

APEX
To Gabrielle, who'll soon become our Queen.

EXTRA
To the future Queen!

EXTRA
Hear, hear.

EXTRA
May the gods bless you.

Apex pushes Gabrielle into Vidalus.

EXTRA
Cheers!

EXTRA
To many healthy children!

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Apex enters another room.

APEX
Well, is it finished?

The man steps aside to reveal a coffin carved with Gabrielle's image.

APEX
Long live Queen Gabrielle indeed.

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Xena and Palaemon duck down and see Lagos and his men.

LAGOS
Spread out. You two, go north.

PALAEMON
There's a patrol of guards between us and
some woods.

XENA
If we make it to the trees, we might be able to
lose them.

PALAEMON
You know, you're probably right.

XENA
Follow me.

Xena runs and Palaemon follows. They run past the soldiers.

LAGOS
There she is! After them!

EXTRA
Quickly!

EXTRA
After them!

The men follow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Palaemon run.

PALAEMON
This way, Xena!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The soldiers follow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena runs and Palaemon stops. Xena runs over a cliff.

PALAEMON
Wait!

Palaemon tires to hold her up, but he is pulled onto over, but lands on another ledge. He holds onto a root.

PALAEMON
I'm losing my grip!

XENA
How far to the bottom?

PALAEMON
We're dead.

Xena takes out the key.

PALAEMON
What are you doing?!

XENA
There's no reason for both of us to die.

PALAEMON
Wait!

Xena unlocks the chain and falls towards the water below with a yell.

PALAEMON
Xena!

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Xena falls.

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Palaemon punches the rocks.

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Xena catches a vine.

LAGOS
They're back here.

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Palaemon sits on the ledge.

LAGOS
Check this way!

EXTRA
They're heading around south!

LAGOS
They can't get far! It's a dead end. Check this way.

EXTRA
They won't get far.

Palaemon looks over the ledge of the cliff to see the soldiers. He ducks down and pushes himself against the rocks. Lagos looks over the cliff.

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Xena hangs on the vine.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon and Xena aren't seen.

LAGOS
Come on, keep moving!

EXTRA
They won't get far.

Palaemon sees the plants moving. He looks down to see Xena.

PALAEMON
I'll pull you up! And help you to get Gabrielle back,
on one condition! When you can see again, I want
another shot! A fair fight to the death! If you don't
agree, I'll cut the vine. Agreed?

XENA
Agreed.

Palaemon laughs and pulls Xena up.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle waves.

VIDALUS
No, no! Like this.

Vidalus gives a gentle wave and Gabrielle does the same.

VIDALUS
That's better. Now, work on the look. Haughty, confident.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle puts out her hand.

VIDALUS
You are not reaching out for a glass of beer in a
tavern. You are extending your hand for a kiss.
It should flutter up, like a graceful dove.

GABRIELLE
Flutter up like a graceful-

Gabrielle follows the move, but her final flick hits Vidalus in the face.

VIDALUS
O-oh!

GABRIELLE
Oh!

Vidalus laughs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vidalus holds out a scroll.

VIDALUS
Once more, with style.

Gabrielle puts the scroll on her head and starts to walk.

VIDALUS
Your movements should be slow and gentle. You
are not pulling a plow!

Gabrielle takes the scroll off her head.

VIDALUS
What do you think you're doing?

GABRIELLE
Can you take me to the king?

VIDALUS
And risk a royal hanging? I don't think so.

GABRIELLE
Have you ever been in love, Vidalus? Huh? I mean,
really in love.

VIDALUS
Well, there was a certain someone.

GABRIELLE
Now, when you think of that person, can you imagine
being with anyone else? Well, now you know how
I feel. I can't marry the king because my heart
belongs to another. And even though I can't be
with them now, I'm not ready to be with anyone
else. So you have to help me, Vidalus, please?

VIDALUS
You're breaking my heart. Down the hall, third
door on the left.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Palaemon move along.

PALAEMON
So, what's the plan? Hey! I know! We'll--we'll invade
the same way you did in Vivlauser a few years
ago! Setting the oil reserves on fire was a stroke
of genius! They say you could hear their men scream
all the way to Athens. Or, how about the way you
slaughtered those men in Corinth, eh?

Xena grabs his throat and pushes him into a tree with a yell.

XENA
Those aren't pleasant memories for me. And
I don't like you talking about them as though they are!

PALAEMON
What do you mean? You were brilliant. My only
hope is that someday I'll be half as good.

XENA
And I'm the one who's supposed to be blind.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle enters the King's room. She sits at his bedside (he's hidden behind bed drapes).

GABRIELLE
Your Majesty, I'm sorry to disturb you before the
wedding, but, uh, well, you know, I thought we
should meet sooner or later, right?

His arm falls out. Gabrielle takes his hand.

GABRIELLE
I knew you'd understand. Cold hands. You must
be as nervous about this as I am. Or not. The truth
is, that, well, I can't marry you.

His head turns.

GABRIELLE
No, no, no, it's not you, it's me. I'm just not ready
for this kind of commitment. Which is probably
better for you anyway, because all the men I get
serious about seem to wind up dead. Your Majesty?

Gabrielle pulls him slightly and he rolls out of bed on top of her. He's dead.

GABRIELLE
Sweet mother of Zeus!

Apex enters with guards and Vidalus.

APEX
I see you've spoiled the surprise.

GABRIELLE
He--he's-

APEX
Dead. Yes, it happened a few days ago, an unfortunate
accident in the royal baths.

GABRIELLE
You mean, I'm supposed to marry a-

APEX
Precisely. You see, our kingdom is governed by
a constitution. If the king dies without an heir, then
the throne passes to his cousin in another kingdom.
If, however, the king is married at his death, the
monarchy is dissolved and the power goes to the
kingdom's ministry.

VIDALUS
In other words, Apex becomes king.

APEX
Why, yes. What a happy coincidence.

GABRIELLE
What happens to me?

APEX
Now, that's the fun part. By ancient proclamation,
the queen must accompany her king to the other
side. In other words, the highlight of your honeymoon
will be a trip to the royal crematorium. Cease her!

Guards grab Gabrielle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Palaemon climb the castle wall. They step onto a ledge and look in.

EXTRA
Patrol change!

PALAEMON
There's too many guards.

XENA
How far across the courtyard is the next section
of wall?

PALAEMON
About twenty lengths, why?

Xena holds up her chakram.

PALAEMON
Hey, what are you doing?

Xena throws her chakram.

XENA
Now, listen.

The chakram hits a wall and rebounds. The guards hear the sound.

EXTRA
What's going on?

EXTRA
Come on, over here!

EXTRA
No, this way. This way.

EXTRA
Hold that wall, I heard it!

The guards move away from Xena and Palaemon and over to the far wall.

PALAEMON
Hey! That's great! You gotta teach me-

XENA
Shh!

Xena catches the chakram before it hits Palaemon in the face.

PALAEMON
Nice catch.

XENA
Okay.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Palaemon move through the castle. Guards walk by.

EXTRA
All right, men.

PALAEMON
Everywhere we turn, there's guards. There must
be an entire regiment in here. We better wait here
'til they pass. How are your eyes?

XENA
The stinging's getting worse. The sumac's settling in.

PALAEMON
Then, it may be too late for you.

XENA
Maybe.

PALAEMON
Is your friend really worth all this?

XENA
I'd give my life to save her.

PALAEMON
You see, friends make you vulnerable. That's
why I don't have any.

XENA
Oh, is that why?

PALAEMON
You don't like me very much, do you?

XENA
I don't like who you pretend you are.

PALAEMON
What do you mean, pretend?

XENA
I've met a lot of bad men. They've hardened their
hearts. You're not one of them yet.

PALAEMON
What are you talking about? I'll show no mercy.

XENA
I'm not buying it. It would have been pretty easy
for you to leave me hanging off that ravine, but
you couldn't.

PALAEMON
You know why I saved you.

XENA
So you can kill me in combat? I'm not buying that,
either. You had your chance in the marketplace.
You know what? I don't think you've ever killed anyone.

PALAEMON
Are you crazy! I killed Krakus of Pyla.

XENA
No, you didn't.

PALAEMON
What makes you so sure?

XENA
Because, I did. Be careful, Palaemon. We all
eventually become what we pretend we are. They're
gone. Let's go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
People gather around a balcony. The 'wedding' takes place in the room inside.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The king is propped up and Gabrielle is tied and gagged.

APEX
Yay, gods. Bear witness to the holy wedlock of
this mortal couple, bonded for all eternity. Let no
man put asunder what the gods, in their infinite
wisdom, have blessed. And now for a sip from
the wine of Dionysus-

He holds it to the king's mouth. It pours down his face.

APEX
-to consecrate this holy bond.

He holds it to Gabrielle's mouth, but gagged, she can't sip and it spills down her chest.

APEX
Close enough. Oh, gods on Mount Olympus, if
this union is not blessed, give us a sign.

There's no sign.

APEX
I now pronounce you King and Queen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apex steps onto the balcony.

APEX
My lords, ladies. You common people. May the
gods bless our royal couple!

EXTRAS
Yay!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle looks over at the king.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apex listens to the people cheer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apex re-enters.

APEX
Congratulations, your Deadness. And as for our
Queen, I'm terribly sorry for the tragedy you two
will suffer on your honeymoon. Pity, you seem
so happy together.

The coffins are brought in.

APEX
Put it there. Throw them in!

Gabrielle and the king are put in the coffins.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

A guard walks by. Palaemon grabs him and Xena punches him.

PALAEMON
Nice.

XENA
You're right, this place is crawling with guards.

PALAEMON
Yeah, you better stick close to me.

XENA
Careful, Palaemon. It's beginning to sound as
though you might care.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffins are brought into crematorium. They are laid on the belt that feeds into the fire.

APEX
Burn them both. It was so dreadful, a horrible,
tragic accident, because the king and Queen had
to be cremated at once!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle pounds at the lid to her coffin.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon and Xena move along.

PALAEMON
Which way?

VIDALUS
Hello.

Xena and Palaemon draw their sword and turn to see Vidalus tied to a wall.

VIDALUS
If you are Xena, the gods have answered my prayers.
I'm Vidalus, friend of the bride. Leather, huh? Bold choice.

XENA
Where's Gabrielle?

VIDALUS
Uh, Apex and his men have taken her to the
crematorium. She and the king are to be cremated.
I could show you, but-

Palaemon cuts the rope.

XENA
Let's go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The king's coffin is burned.

APEX
And now, the Queen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle pounds on the lid of her coffin.

GABRIELLE
Let me out!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves towards the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Smoke rises from outside the door to the crematorium.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena, Palaemon and Vidalus enter the hall.

VIDALUS
This is it.

Guards step out of the hall. Xena and Palaemon fight them. Xena flips over the battle with a yell and enters the crematorium.

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

APEX
Xena. Sorry to start without you.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle is inside the coffin.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves closer to the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apex and Xena.

APEX
Your little friend's about to journey to the other side.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves closer to the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle is inside the coffin.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apex and his guards move closer to Xena.

XENA
Where's Gabrielle?

APEX
Problem with your eyes, Xena?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon fights the guards. Vidalus grabs a torch.

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

APEX
She's blind. Toss her in with her friend!

The guards attack Xena. One kicks her sword from her hand and she's surrounded. Xena fights the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves closer to the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon fights the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves closer to the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle tries to open the lid.

GABRIELLE
Come one.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena fights the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon fights the guards and Vidalus knocks out one with the torch.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena fights the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves closer to the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle pounds on the lid of the coffin.

GABRIELLE
I can't breathe in here!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The feet of the coffin reach the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena takes out the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The middle of the coffin moves into the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fire starts to burn at Gabrielle's feet. She coughs and pounds on the lid.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon fights the guards and wins. He and Vidalus run to the door.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena has beaten the guards.

XENA
Gabrielle?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the coffin.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena hears Gabrielle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves more into the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena hears the moving belt.

XENA
Gabrielle.

Xena runs to the belt and Apex quietly moves aside and to the door.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon and Vidalus enter.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin moves more into the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Smoke fills the coffin and Gabrielle coughs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena grabs the coffin.

XENA
Gabrielle, hang on!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the coffin.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The coffin burns.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vidalus stands in Apex's way.

APEX
Out of my way, fishcake!

Vidalus moves, but as Apex walks by, Vidalus hits him hard in the back with the torch. Apex falls to the ground.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Palaemon watches as Xena pulls the coffin out of the fire.

XENA
Gabrielle!

Xena opens the lid and smoke leaves the coffin.

XENA
Gabrielle! Gabrielle! Gabrielle?

Xena feels in the coffin for Gabrielle and finds her.

XENA
Ah, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Xena?

Xena pulls Gabrielle into a sitting position. Gabrielle coughs.

XENA
Are you all right?

Gabrielle coughs.

GABRIELLE
I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay.

Palaemon coughs and leaves. Gabrielle looks up at Xena who isn't looking at her, but beyond her.

GABRIELLE
What's wrong with your eyes?

XENA
I'm blind, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
There must be something that we can do, that-

XENA
The cure is Egyptian senna. You can get it in Athens,
but by the time we get there, it'll be too late.

VIDALUS
Egyptian senna? I have that growing in my garden.
Well, you can't make a good face cream without it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle squeezes out a sponge.

GABRIELLE
Okay, you ready? Now, this might sting a little bit.
Look, I'll try to be careful, all right? Here, tilt your
face up towards me.

Gabrielle squeezes the senna out of the sponge. It hits Xena's eyes and she gasps in pain.

GABRIELLE
How was that?

Gabrielle dabs at Xena's eyes.

GABRIELLE
Okay? Any change?

Xena looks at Gabrielle and slowly Gabrielle comes into focus.

XENA
Now, that's a sight for sore eyes.

GABRIELLE
You can see?

XENA
I can see.

Gabrielle hugs Xena.

PALAEMON
That's good to hear.

Xena stands and draws her sword. Palaemon stands in front of her, sword already drawn. Xena's eyes still sting.

XENA
All right, Palaemon.

She blinks.

XENA
I'm ready now. If you still want that fight, you've
got it.

PALAEMON
I was right about something, Xena.

Xena blinks.

XENA
What was that?

PALAEMON
I said I could learn something from you and I did.

XENA
Oh?

PALAEMON
That you are who you pretend to be. So you better
pretend to be something you can live with.

He sheathes his sword.

PALAEMON
I think I'm gonna pretend to be good for a while.
See how things work out.

XENA
I think you'll like it.

PALAEMON
Thanks, Xena.

Palaemon leaves.

GABRIELLE
You know, he's kind of attractive when he's not
kidnapping me.

VIDALUS
I agree. You know, he and I dealt with those guards
quite handily. I think I might follow him and see
if he needs a sidekick.

GABRIELLE
You know, it's pretty good work, if you can get it.

VIDALUS
Gabrielle, you are a great lady.

Holds out his hand.

GABRIELLE
Thank you, Vidalus.

Gabrielle tries to have her hand flutter out like a graceful dove. Vidalus takes her hand.

VIDALUS
Shame about the hands, though.

He kisses her hand.

VIDALUS
Bye.

Vidalus leaves.

GABRIELLE
You know, this hasn't been very good for my
self-esteem. He didn't like my hands, my walk, my
stomach, my curtsey. Can you curtsey?

Xena curtseys.

GABRIELLE
I...I hate you. In a good way. What about that royal
wave thing, huh?

XENA
Oh, yeah, two hands. Check it out.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Jeremy Callaghan as Palaemon
Chris Bailey as Apex
Sydney Jackson as Vidalus
Graham Lauder as Lagos
Ajay Vasisht as Vendor

Written by: Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster
Directed by: Josh Becker

Disclaimer: Once again, Gabrielle's luck with men was harmed during the production of this motion picture.