A Tale of Two Muses


TEASER

The burning sun.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
"The despair of winter-

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Xena and Gabrielle walk along with Argo under the burning sun. Gabrielle reads a scroll.

GABRIELLE
-is followed by the hope of spring. The infernal
heat of summer, abolished by a gentle autumn
breeze. Life's brutal truths are softened by its
tender mercies."

XENA
You know, I like that.

GABRIELLE
Thank you.

She looks at a hole in her boot.

GABRIELLE
Oh. My writing has allowed me to express my
most inner feelings. I don't know how I'd survive
without it. I wish you had something like that, Xena.

XENA
Are you kidding? I got this.

She holds up her chakram.

GABRIELLE
It's perfect. More hot sand. Touring the world is
sure tough on shoes.

XENA
Yeah, I gotta get Argo to a blacksmith in the
next town.

GABRIELLE
Actually, I was talking about my shoes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tara dances and young people are gathered around watching.

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Temple.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tara dances.

TARA
Ready?!

Tara continues to dance and is joined by Andros. Andros spins Tara and she spins across the room until she ends up in the hands of Istafan.

ISTAFAN
Tara!

EXTRA
It's Istafan! Run!

The teenagers clear out.

ISTAFAN
You know what you've done, don't you?

TARA
Yeah, I know.

ISTAFAN
It's a crime we cannot pardon. She has broken
the goddess' law! You will be disciplined.
Take her!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tara is tied to a post on a stage. Xena and Gabrielle enter.

ISTAFAN
A terrible crime has been committed against our
benefactor and protector, the great muse, Calliope.

GABRIELLE
Calliope? This far from home?

ISTAFAN
Her scales of justice, shall be swift and fair!

Tara's shirt is ripped, exposing her back. Licinus holds a whip and gets it ready.

ISTAFAN
Ten lashes, Licinus and don't spare your arm.
A transgression like this must be disciplined!

Xena kicks the whip from his hand.

XENA
That's not nice.

Xena fights the men.

GABRIELLE
Save some for me!

Gabrielle vaults up and joins in the fight.

XENA
You can take over here.

Xena ululates and flips over to fight some more men. Xena and Gabrielle fight while Tara tries to get out of the ropes. Xena flips back onto the stage with a yell and cuts Tara free. Tara turns to face her.

XENA
Tara? (to Istafan) I don't wanna hurt you or
your people, but I'm not gonna let you beat this
girl with a whip. So, call off your lynch mob
and go home.

ISTAFAN
This is no mob. This is the town militia and I am
the chief magistrate!

GABRIELLE
Tara, what did you do?

ISTAFAN
She committed a crime so insidious, we must
punish it quickly and severely.

GABRIELLE
That's great, Tara. You really messed this up.

ISTAFAN
She danced.

GABRIELLE
What?

ISTAFAN
She danced.

XENA
Danced?

ISTAFAN
Danced.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Town.

XENA
Now, the three of us are gonna walk outta town,
nice and easy. We don't want any
more trouble.

TELAMON
Istafan, I think that banishment is enough of a
punishment for that crime.

EXTRA
Yes.

Istafan sees the people nodding.

ISTAFAN
All right. But, you must leave, immediately!

EXTRA
Yes.

EXTRA
That seems fair.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Telamon and Andros stand with Tara. Xena and Gabrielle wait off to the side.

TELAMON
Tara, I'm gonna miss you a lot.

TARA
Thanks for giving me a job in your store, Telamon.

TELAMON
No, it was wonderful having you around.

She hugs him.

TELAMON
Take care, Tara. I'm sorry it didn't work out.

TARA
Goodbye, Andros.

ANDROS
Tara, I shouldn't have run away when they came
to arrest you. I should have stayed by your side.

TARA
You hadda watch out for yourself. I understand.
(whispers) Take care of your dad. He's a nice guy.

ANDROS
I will.

Tara moves to Xena and Gabrielle.

TARA
Well, let's go!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The three walk along.

GABRIELLE
I don't get that. Since when is Calliope the
muse of not dancing?

TARA
It goes back into their history, something about a
fire that burned down most of the city after a big
dance almost sixty years ago. Thanks, Xena. It
was really nice seeing you again. You too, Gabrielle.

Tara starts heading back, but Xena grabs one arm, and Gabrielle the other. They pull her back.

XENA
Where do you think you're going?

TARA
Look, I know a way to sneak back into the village
so nobody'll see me.

GABRIELLE
Tara, you can't do that. They were going to beat
you. Who knows what will happen if you go back
there after you've been banished.

TARA
Look, I'm on a mission.

XENA
A mission?

TARA
That guy, Telamon, and his son, Andros, they're
the nicest men I've ever met in my entire life. And
they're stuck in that hole where people aren't even
allowed to dance. Look, I can't throw a chakram
and I don't like staffs, but I can dance!

She spins.

TARA
Ever since I was a kid, it was my most favourite
thing to do in the entire world. I even made money,
street-dancing in Thebes. And it breaks my heart
that Andros is stuck there, where people
aren't even allowed to do that. I wanna change
things so that he can.

GABRIELLE
Look, I know people like that. I came from
a town just like it. The people aren't going to change
and you're going to get hurt. I think that
you should stay with us.

XENA
We're going back.

TARA
You're gonna help me?

XENA
Yeah.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Villagers are gathered around Istafan.

ISTAFAN
And so said Calliope, first among muses, "And
none shall dance before me, nor in my house,
nor in my temples." We must preserve
our traditions!

Xena enters with Gabrielle and Tara. Tara has her hair tied back in a cloth.

XENA
I agree.

The villagers turn to see her.

XENA
Tara and I have discussed it, and she wants to
apologize to the whole community.

Xena pulls her forward.

TARA
Ow. Yeah, I'm really sorry.

TELAMON
We can show her mercy if she changes her ways,
can't we, Istafan?

ISTAFAN
How do we know she's really changed?

XENA
Look, Tara wants to stay here with Telamon and
Andros. She understands that she's going to have
to obey the rules. I'm going to hang around for a
couple of days to see that she gets on the straight
and narrow, and after that, if she steps outta line,
you can punish her any way you see fit.

TELAMON
That sounds pretty reasonable, Istafan.

ISTAFAN
All right. But Telamon, I want you to teach that
girl that dancing is evil.

TELAMON
I will.

Istafan and his men leave.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night in the village.

TELAMON (voice-over)
Are you sure you-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle gets the blankets ready.

TELAMON
-and Xena don't wanna spend the night in the
store? We could set up some cots for you.

GABRIELLE
We'll be fine. We're used to roughing it.

TELAMON
Thank you for bringing Tara back to us.

GABRIELLE
It's our pleasure.

TARA
Good night, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Good night, Tara.

Tara and Telamon leave. Gabrielle starts to dance. Xena can be heard in the bathroom.

XENA
Ooh!

She farts.

XENA
Uhhh. I hate foreign food.

There is the sound of a toilet flushing. Xena sighs and joins Gabrielle.

XENA
What are you doing?

GABRIELLE
Ever since I heard that it's not allowed, oh, I've
never wanted to dance so badly all my life. Just
feels so good.

XENA
Let's just try and get some sleep, huh?

Xena lies down and Gabrielle joins her.

GABRIELLE
Ay-yi-yi. Is the plan underway?

XENA
Ahh.

GABRIELLE
Ahh? I gotta dance.

Gabrielle starts to get up, but Xena pushes her down.

XENA
Go to sleep.

Gabrielle dances lying down.

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Village.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle walks along, boots in hands.

EXTRA
I will take all three.

She moves to a Bootmaker.

GABRIELLE
Do you do repairs?

BOOTMAKER
Shoes and boots. Bags and saddles.

Gabrielle throws her boots on the table.

GABRIELLE
I travel. A lot. I don't want some half-hearted
patch job. I just want something that will last.

BOOTMAKER
It'll take me at least three days.

GABRIELLE
Three days?

BOOTMAKER
You didn't hear? Phillipan, the reformer's coming.
People have been talking about it all morning. He's
supposed to be a great preacher of righteousness.

GABRIELLE
That's exactly what this town needs, another
holier-than-thou preacher.

BOOTMAKER
You watch your mouth, young lady!

GABRIELLE
I'm sorry. Look, I uh, you can't make me walk
around barefoot for three days.

BOOTMAKER
I'll getcha some loaners.

A blacksmith works his hammer and Gabrielle dances. She stops when the Bootmaker turns around. He drops some really ugly, clown looking boots on the table.

GABRIELLE
Hmm.

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Istafan and the villagers wait.

ISTAFAN
Here he comes!

Four men carry a stretcher with a man dressed in black, a hat with a veil over his face, into town.

ISTAFAN
Clear the way! In the name of Calliope on behalf
of all the citizens of Palios and all righteous people,
everywhere, I welcome a great man and a great
prophet to our city! Ladies and gentlemen I give
you Phillipan, the reformer!

EXTRA
Phillipan! Save us!

EXTRA
Bless you!

He stands and takes off his veil. It's Autolycus.

EXTRA
We worship you!

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Xena takes Autolycus' arm.

EXTRA
Oh, bless you!

XENA
Betcha could get to like that, huh?

EXTRA
You're our life!

AUTOLYCUS
Got your pigeon. What, didja shoot it from a
catapult? The tail feathers were smokin'. Hey,
how'ja round up all the people?

EXTRA
We love ya, Phillipan!

XENA
We started a rumour about your coming three
days ago. Thanks for getting here so quickly.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, I figure you sprang for the express bird, it's
gotta be important, not to mention the reward you
promised me. Ha-ha-ha. Don't tell me this is another
"Virtue is its own reward" jobs.

EXTRA
We love you, Phillipan!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, Xena, I thought better of you, I really did.

EXTRA
Phillipan! Over here!

EXTRA
Phillipan!

AUTOLYCUS
You know, I might as well go back to Oman, because
I got a good thing going there with the king's
sister. I'm this close to the crown jewels
and he doesn't suspect a thing.

XENA
He does, now. I sent two pigeons. Oh, follow
my lead.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Istafan steps onto the stage. Xena leads in Autolycus.

XENA
People of Palios! May I present to you, Phillipan
of Crete! Reformer of warlords, dancers and evil
people! It's even said that he once convinced
the King of Thieves himself to do a good
deed, for no reward other than his own virtue.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, I wouldn't believe everything you hear.

Autolycus gets on the stage.

ISTAFAN
King of Thieves?! That degenerate blowhard!

AUTOLYCUS
Beg your pardon?

Xena snickers.

ISTAFAN
Sinners like him never have the courage
to be really successful. I'm sure he's just
a fraud and an idiot.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha-ha. No doubt. Would you excuse me?

Autolycus leans down next to Xena who is still snickering.

AUTOLYCUS
This plan of yours, does it involve humiliating
that horse's ass?

XENA
Yep.

AUTOLYCUS
Then I'm in.

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Sun.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus is on the stage.

AUTOLYCUS
Good citizens of Palios, heed my words. You know,
how it happens. It all starts with a tune rollin'
around in your head. The next thing you know,
you're hummin' at work, ain'tcha? Huh? You've
done it. You've heard it. We've all been there. Then
you know what? Your toe starts to tap. And your
heel, followed by your knee, 'cause they're all
connected. It moves on up and then you start gyratin'.
The next thing you know, you just gotta let it go. Ha!

The "Ha!" is shown from four different angles.

AUTOLYCUS
Trust me good people, I know from whereof
I speak. For I, myself, was on that rocky road
to Tartarus. That's right, brothers and sisters. In
my wild and misspent youth I, too...danced!
But, then an amazing event transpired.
The goddess, Calliope came into my life and
claimed it as her own!

ISTAFAN
Praise Calliope!

EXTRAS
Praise Calliope!

AUTOLYCUS
Praise her!

EXTRAS
Praise her!

AUTOLYCUS
Praise her! Get 'em up! Praise her! Nice
and loud, now. That's it. I know you can do it.
Praise her!

XENA
Praise her. Get 'em up. Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
No.

AUTOLYCUS
Istafan, I can tell that you have a righteous
community, here, but I just wonder are you doin'
everything you can?

ISTAFAN
Uh, whaddya mean?

AUTOLYCUS
Well, is it enough to simply eliminate dancing?
What about singing? Painting? Flashy embroidery?!
For shame! I'm telling you, people! Extremism,
in the name of piety, is no vice. Get 'em up and
praise her! Get 'em up and praise her! Praise Calliope!

EXTRAS
Praise Calliope!

AUTOLYCUS
Praise Calliope! Are you praisin' Calliope?!
Get 'em up! Come on! Get 'em up! There you
go, Istafan.

ISTAFAN
Pra-a-a-a-a-a-aise!

AUTOLYCUS
To the sky to praise her! Praise her! Praise her!
Praise Calliope!

GABRIELLE
Can you believe this?

AUTOLYCUS
Come on, folks. Give it up for the goddess.

TARA
He suckered everyone.

AUTOLYCUS
Wave those hand for the muse.

XENA
No, not everyone.

Xena sees Telamon who is not praising.

AUTOLYCUS
Don't you miss the meaning. Get 'em up and
praise her! She's up there! She can't hear! Louder!

Telamon leaves.

AUTOLYCUS
Louder out of you! That a boy! Praise her! Praise
her! Praise Calliope! Praise Calliope!

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Telamon cuts some meat. Xena enters.

XENA
Telamon, you didn't stay for the end of
Phillipan's speech.

Telamon sighs.

TELAMON
I, uh, had all this work to get done.

XENA
Oh, that explains it. I thought, maybe you felt that
Phillipan's ideas were a little extreme.

TELAMON
Well, they certainly are strict. But I'm sure he and
Istafan know what's best.

XENA
It's a pity that the kids don't feel that way. You
know, I sure hate to see children pitted against
their own parents.

TELAMON
That's ridiculous! Andros is my life. He's a good
boy. He's the most important thing in my life, now
his brother's gone.

XENA
His brother?

TELAMON
Yeah. He moved to Athens a few years back.

XENA
Why?

TELAMON
He got a job there. But Andros is gonna stay
here with me. A little moral teaching isn't gonna
frighten him off.

XENA
Well, I'm glad you feel that way. You know what?!
This Phillipan might be just what this
town needs.

Autolycus enters with Istafan and followers.

AUTOLYCUS
I'm tellin' you, Istafan, I see signs of decadence
everywhere I go in this town. Do you realize, on
my way here I saw two people holding hands?
You know where that can lead? Now, brother.

TELAMON
Yes?

AUTOLYCUS
I noticed last night at the meetin'-

He sees a painting of a city. The picture has two hills and a tower in it.

AUTOLYCUS
Now, this is exactly what I'm talkin' about, Istafan.
Look at that filth!

ANDROS
What's wrong with that? My father painted that.
It's where he was born.

AUTOLYCUS
You painted that?

TELAMON
Well, I know it's not very good.

AUTOLYCUS
Good?! It's an abomination! Don't tell me you
don't see it! Look. Look at the firmness of those
rounded peaks! The cleft in that valley.

ISTAFAN
Ahhh! And the tower! Thrusting skyward!
Oh, Phillipan's right. It's obscene!

ANDROS
That's not true. My father's a good man.
He wouldn't paint anything wrong!

AUTOLYCUS
Son, even good men can fall prey to bad influences.
The painting must be destroyed. Calliope has
spoken. Praise her!

EXTRA
Yes!

AUTOLYCUS
Praise her!

EXTRAS
Praise Calliope! Praise Calliope!

They all leave. Telamon looks at the painting.

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Tara is in front of a fire. Tara sees her shadow on the wall and she starts to dance.

SINGER (voice-over)
I'm a Candle in the wind,
My future flickers for my eye.
I'm too restless to be satisfied with silence,

Andros joins Tara and they dance.

SINGER (voice-over)
So I'll push further through the night.
Say you wanna put me out and then I'm wrong,
No, I've heard those lies before
'Cause the fire inside, it just keeps burning,
Just won't stand it anymore.
You came along, you pulled me up when I was down
The way you made me feel just took me by surprise.
You took my hand, you stole my heart, you fed the fire.
When you moved with me you gave me back my life

Let the spirit move me!
Let the spirit move me!
Let the spirit move me!
Let the spirit move me!

Andros stops dancing and moves to the window.

SINGER (voice-over)
Let the spirit move me!
Let the spirit move me!

Tara joins him.

TARA
What is it, Andros? What's the matter?

ANDROS
I'm leaving, Tara. For good. And I want you to
come with me.

They kiss.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle dances.

GABRIELLE
Ah! Cha-cha-cha.

Xena grabs her by her hair and pulls her back.

XENA
Settle down. You're calling attention to us.

GABRIELLE
I can't help it.

XENA
Have you seen Tara? She's supposed to meet
me and tell me how it's going with the other kids.

GABRIELLE
No, I haven't seen her. What's wrong?

XENA
Nothing, I hope.

Xena enters Telamon's.

TELAMON
She's gone. They're both gone.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Temple.

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Andros and Tara enter. They have some water and Andros turns to see Xena who is waiting for them.

ANDROS
Xena?

XENA
So, off you go again. It was all about the cute
guy, wasn't it?

ANDROS
Hey, it wasn't her idea to leave! I asked Tara to
come with me!

XENA
Really?

ANDROS
I've had it! I've had it with their backward ideas!
Their rules! Their laws! My brother found a great
job in Athens! That's where we're heading.

XENA
Mmm and after that? You mean, you didn't tell
him, Tara?

ANDROS
Tell me what?

XENA
That running away isn't a solution. It's what
cowards do when they're not willing to stand
and fight for what they believe in. Isn't that
right, Tara? Look, Andros, I understand why you
wanna leave. But you should understand what it
means. It means you never stop. It means
no home, and no family and your father loses
another son. And it means not ever sticking around
long enough to help the ones you actually claim
you care about. You know, Tara, I got involved
with this because I thought I sensed a change
in you, somehow.

Xena leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle has her boots back which now have steel patches on them. She clicks them on the pavement with her staff. Autolycus watches.

GABRIELLE
I'm really getting into these metal patches.
I like steel.

AUTOLYCUS
Gabrielle, I sense that there's some pent-up
energy, some frustration eating at you, some
unresolved desire. Ha! I can tell, you need to get-

GABRIELLE
Dancing! I just wanna dance.

Gabrielle dances.

AUTOLYCUS
Uh, well, actually, I was on a different track.

GABRIELLE
You know? I hope that Tara can talk those kids
into going along with this.

AUTOLYCUS
Yeah? Well, if she doesn't, uh, I'll be squandering
one of my finest performances.

Istafan and his men enter. Autolycus loudly talks to them to get Gabrielle's attention and she stops dancing.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, ha-ha-ha. Good day to you, Istafan.

Gabrielle starts dancing again.

AUTOLYCUS
Are you ready to see the seeds planted that will
sprout into the fruits of our labours?

ISTAFAN
Uh, yes. Uh, Phillipan, uh, I must ask-

Gabrielle dances more.

ISTAFAN
-do you really think-

He sees Gabrielle and points at her. She stops.

ISTAFAN
What's that you're doing, young lady?!

GABRIELLE
I'm just nervous.

ISTAFAN
Well, as I was saying, well-

Gabrielle kicks and Istafan glares at her. She gives an innocent look and runs her hand through her hair.

GABRIELLE
Yeah?

ISTAFAN
Do you really think military training's what
our children need?

Gabrielle shakes her shoulders.

AUTOLYCUS
'Course. See? All that excess energy that used
to be squandered on degenerate dance-

ISTAFAN
Oh.

AUTOLYCUS
-can now be channeled into martial discipline.
Well, I guarantee it'll work. See, I talked Xena int
leadin' the drill herself. Oooh! She'll whoop
'em into shape! Ha-ha-ha-ha.

ISTAFAN
It's just that there's an election tomorrow. This
may not be that popular with the voters, I mean,
the public.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh.

Tara enters, leading the teenagers. Xena follows.

TARA
Left! Left! Left, right, left! Left! Left! Left, right, left!
Left! Left! Left, right, left!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, doesn't that look good? Praise Calliope!

TARA
Left! Left! Left, right, left! Left! Left! Left, right,
left! Halt!

The teens line up and Xena stands before them.

XENA
All right, now, let's get this going. We're here to
purify your minds. We're here to give you a
little focus. Now, that's a very important word for
you -- focus! Say it with me!

TARA and EXTRAS
Focus!

AUTOLYCUS
Focus.

ISTAFAN
F--f--focus.

Xena leans next to Gabrielle.

XENA
You all right?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, get on with it.

Gabrielle gives Xena her staff.

XENA
(sarcastic) So, some of you think that dance is
a way to express your inner feelings, it's an art.
(serious) Well, Phillipan has asked me to show
you a real art. The art of war!

TARA and EXTRAS
War!

"War!" is shown from thee different angles.

XENA
So, this first move is called, 'Defense of the
Perimeter,' and it insures that anyone who gets
in your space loses an arm, a leg, or a vital body
part! Ha-ha! Then let us begin.

Xena shows them five moves with the staff.

XENA
One! Two! Three. Four! Five.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Ha.

XENA
Altogether, now.

As the teens do the moves, without staffs, it becomes a dance.

XENA
One! Two. Three! Four! Five!

Everyone is impressed.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

ISTAFAN
You were right. This is going down very well with
the voters, I mean, the--the parents.

XENA
With respect, I tend to work better without an audience.

ISTAFAN
Oh, no problem! (to villagers) Clear the area!
Xena needs to work! Now, everyone except the
children, home!

Everyone leaves.

XENA
Okay, so you guys have seen the basic moves.
And now, if you give us some space, my lovely
assistant and I will put it together. Gabrielle.

Xena and Gabrielle dance. They finish.

XENA
All right, who's next?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later that night, the villagers clap as Autolycus takes the stage.

AUTOLYCUS
Thank you. Thank you, but really you give me
too much credit.

EXTRA
No.

AUTOLYCUS
The great changes that have been introduced to
this town recently are the doin's of my friend. I
hope I can call ya that.

EXTRA
Speech!

EXTRA
Phillipan the Reformer.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha, come on up here. You know who he is!
My friend, Istafan! Ha-ha-ha-ha.

EXTRA
Very good!

AUTOLYCUS
Xena? I understand today's teachings went well.

XENA
Very well, Phillipan. The kids are quick learners.
I'm hoping to begin lessons in swordplay by
the end of the week.

AUTOLYCUS
In one week. Praise Calliope!

EXTRAS
Praise Calliope!

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha. That is absolutely wonderful. Well, then,
strategies and tactics can't be far behind, can
they? Did you show 'em those hand-to-hand
killing techniques?

XENA
Tomorrow.

TELAMON
No! My child is not going to learn
how to kill! I won't have it! Teaching them to kill
to take their minds off dance?! Have you heard
anything more ridiculous?!

XENA
Uh, perhaps you can talk about that with Istafan
after the elections, when things have calmed
down a little, when the children are more,
uh...focused.

TELAMON
After the election is too late. Andros, your brother,
Thanos, didn't leave because he found a job in
Athens. He left because he didn't wanna be here.
He hated this place, hated what we made
of it. I've already lost one son because of our
ignorance. I refuse to lose another! But I
know I will, unless things change! As of tonight,
I intend to run against Istafan, as chief magistrate
of our town! We need change! Or our children
will leave us. And our town will die.

People clap. Gabrielle moves over to Istafan.

GABRIELLE
It looks as though you'll have a real election, now.

ANDROS
Father.

GABRIELLE
I wouldn't worry about it, though.

Gabrielle leaves.

ISTAFAN
Oh, I'm not worried.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Telamon stands before the people, giving a speech.

TELAMON
So today, when you raise your arm to vote,
remember you're not voting for Istafan or I, you're
voting for a sane way to deal with our
traditions! Our children!

EXTRAS
And our futures!

TELAMON
Thank you!

The crowd cheers and claps. Autolycus takes the stage. Xena is looking about.

GABRIELLE
What are you looking for?

XENA
Licinus. Where is he?

Telamon joins them.

TELAMON
How did I do with your speech?

GABRIELLE
It was fine. You did drop the line about everlasting
judgment and posterity.

TELAMON
Well, I thought it was a little over the top.

GABRIELLE
Oh, really?

XENA
Let it go, Gabrielle.

AUTOLYCUS
Praise Calliope!

EXTRAS
Praise Calliope!

AUTOLYCUS
Brother Istafan asked me to say a few words on
his behalf. Sinners, beware!

Xena hears a click.

AUTOLYCUS
Your time is at hand.

An arrow is shot at Autolycus, but Xena flips with a yell and knocks it away to save him.

ISTAFAN
Everyone! Stay calm!

Licinus arrives.

ISTAFAN
Licinus, have the militia search for the perpetrator!

EXTRA
Over here, quickly! I'll check the alley!

EXTRA
We'll cover the gates!

ISTAFAN
People! This is what I was afraid of!
Telamon wanted change! Well! I guess he got it,
all right! Our first assassination attempt!
With all this dissension we've been
having lately I think it only makes sense that
the assassin was-

XENA
Licinus.

EXTRA
Oh!

EXTRA
Licinus?

ISTAFAN
Licunus? Well--well, that's ridiculous! It was one
of those young rebels!

XENA
Anytime I have ever seen Istafan, Licinus has
been at his side, until today, when suddenly, for
the most important event of the year,
he's not here.

ISTAFAN
He was looking after security matters!

XENA
Well, he didn't do a very good job then, did he?

ISTAFAN
Aw, this is ridiculous! Why would I want
Phillipan killed?!

XENA
Who said anything about you, Istafan? I was
talking about Licinus.

EXTRA
Yes.

ISTAFAN
What I meant was, aah, someone under my, I--I
mean, uh, someone who works for me...

XENA
You're lost for words? That's somewhat outta
character, don't ya think? Istafan wanted
Phillipan dead 'cause he thought he could
scare you into thinking change would bring
anarchy. This man would do anything to remain
in power, including lying, murdering, and
brutalizing your children.

ISTAFAN
It's--it's all lies. Everything I've done was for the
sake of the children.

XENA
Then it'll be interesting to see how you deal
with this.

Gabrielle snaps and then starts to dance.

ISTAFAN
Hmm, militia! Militia!

The militia starts to move, when Tara starts clapping. The kids joins Gabrielle and dance.

ISTAFAN
Arrest them all!

Xena ululates and flips in front of the kids.

XENA
Come and get some!

AUTOLYCUS
Wait! I have seen the light! Calliope has spoken
to me! The scales have fallen from my eyes!
Hoo-hoo! Hee-haw!

He flips to joins Xena.

AUTOLYCUS
Yodel-ay-hee-hoo! Ha-ha-ha-ha.

He takes off his hat.

AUTOLYCUS
Let's dance.

The villagers pull out instruments. Autolycus dances with Xena.

AUTOLYCUS
Here we go! Whoa. Ho-ho! Come on.

Licinus moves to get Xena and Autolycus, but they kick him away. Xena does a victory dance. All the villagers dance. Autolycus dances by with a little girl.

AUTOLYCUS
Whoa! There you go! Whoa! Ho-ho-ho!

The villagers clap as Gabrielle dances around Xena. Xena grabs her.

XENA
Wait!

Xena does a flip straight up with a yell. She lands with a smile and she and Gabrielle hug.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Bruce Campbell as Autolycus
Shiri Appleby as Tara
Hemi Rudolph as Telamon
John Givins as Istafan
Michael Kupenga as Andros
Campbell Cooley as Licinus
Dennis Hally as Bootmaker
Vicky Haughton Old Lady

Written by: Gillian Horvath
Directed by: Michael Hurst

Disclaimer: No Self-Righteous Magistrates intent on suppressing the basic human right of freedom of expression were harmed during the production of this motion picture.