Crusader


TEASER

Landscapes of Greece.

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Najara rides through a few more landscapes.

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Najara rides and sees Dach.

DACH
Around the hill, a warrior's destroying our men.

Najara rides off.

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Xena and Gabrielle fight Najara's men. Najara rides down. Najara rides past Gabrielle, and runs into her with the horse. Gabrielle falls.

GABRIELLE
Uh!

Najara leans down on the horse and trips Xena.

XENA
Uh!

She comes back for another pass, but Xena kicks her off. Xena and Najara fight. Gabrielle moves to help.

XENA
Gabrielle! No!

Najara flips over Gabrielle and kicks her to the ground. She moves to kill her, yelling, but stops. Xena watches, chakram ready. Najara lowers her sword and kneels. Xena helps Gabrielle up and holds her sword on Najara, who is crying.

NAJARA
I'm so sorry. Can you ever forgive me?

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Mountain.

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Najara stands, facing Xena and Gabrielle. Her men join them.

NAJARA
Why were you fighting these people, Dach?

DACH
We thought they might be on their way to Zoras.

NAJARA
You were wrong. These two are on a journey,
a quest. And they're our allies in our fight against
darkness. My name is Najara.

GABRIELLE
I'm Gabrielle. This is Xena.

NAJARA
You've suffered much, Gabrielle, but you've retained
your good heart. (to Xena) And you have chosen
to fight the darkness within you. What courage
that takes. Please forgive us.

GABRIELLE
How do you know all that?

NAJARA
The jinn told me.

XENA
The jinn?

NAJARA
Yes, they're my guides through life.

GABRIELLE
Are they spirits?

NAJARA
They're the jinn, that's all I know. I'd love to stay
and talk more to you, but I know my men are
anxious to move. Bonacar!

Her horse trots up. Najara mounts.

NAJARA
I hope you find what you're looking for. Once again,
please forgive us. It was an honest mistake.

She clicks her tongue and her horse moves off. Her men follow. Najara stops and raises her hands.

XENA
What's she doin'?

Najara turns to face Xena and Gabrielle.

NAJARA
Would you like to join us on our mission?

XENA
What's your mission?

NAJARA
To fight evil wherever we find it.

XENA
Can you be a little more specific?

NAJARA
We're riding against Marat.

XENA
Marat of Crete?

NAJARA
You know him.

XENA
I've heard of him. He's a dangerous man.

NAJARA
Yes, he is. My men thought you were working
with him. That's why they attacked you.

XENA
What's he doing in Phoenicia?

NAJARA
Hunting for slaves to bring back to Crete. A raiding
party of his men are on their way to harvest
human beings from the village of Zoras, about
a day's ride from here. We're going to stop them.
We can do it without you, but the jinn think that
you should come and I would love that.

GABRIELLE
What do you think?

XENA
I suppose we could travel with you a while.

GABRIELLE
Xena's a skilled healer. I'm sure she could
tend to your men.

XENA
Since it was all a misunderstanding, sure.

NAJARA
You're both very kind.

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Dew falls off of leaves.

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Lake.

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Najara looks over the lake and Gabrielle joins her.

GABRIELLE
Are you looking for Marat's men?

NAJARA
No, I'm just enjoying the scenery.

GABRIELLE
You do that too.

NAJARA
Yes, all the time.

GABRIELLE
Najara, how long have you been hearing the jinn?

NAJARA
Since I was a little girl. At first, they frightened me.
After a while, I began to trust them, and now,
they're my best friends. They're so wonderful,
so full of love and goodness.

GABRIELLE
Where do they come from?

NAJARA
The light. They're sent to me so that I can fight
the darkness. It's quite a responsibility.

She sighs.

NAJARA
Well, I think we've smelled the flowers enough.
Come on. Let's get back to the others.

NAJARA, DACH and EXTRAS (voice-over)
(sings) Shine on!
Our labours-

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Camp at night. Najara and her men sing.

NAJARA, DACH and EXTRA
(sings) -for thee.
Long may our voices sing
Praises to thee we'll bring!
Glory to thee
Ever and ever!

NAJARA
Well, it's a good thing our fight against evil
doesn't depend on our singing. We should all
get some sleep.

Najara joins Xena and Gabrielle.

XENA
My men are very grateful for the care you gave them.
You both would be very valuable in my hospice.

GABRIELLE
Where is your hospice?

Najara points to her head.

NAJARA
Up here. It's only a dream, now. It would be a
place where anyone could come to be healed,
poor and rich alike. We would care for lepers,
those too old to tend for themselves, men and
women with diseases of the mind as well as
the body. It's sole purpose would be to relieve
suffering. Oh, there's so much good to be done
and so little time to do it.

XENA
About tomorrow...

NAJARA
Of course. Marat's men should be arriving by
morning. We need to move on the village at dawn
if we want to stop them.

XENA
How do you know about this raid?

NAJARA
One of Marat's personal slaves escaped, came
to me, and informed me of his plans.

XENA
When?

NAJARA
You don't trust me.

She stands and Xena and Gabrielle do too. Najara draws her sword and holds the handle to Xena.

NAJARA
Take my sword and command my army. Don't
let them do anything you don't think is right.

XENA
You can keep your sword. But I will take
command of your men.

NAJARA
Wonderful. I can't tell you how much I love
the challenge of winning your confidence.
(to Gabrielle) And you should listen to her. Don't
trust me too soon. Xena's wiser in that way.
Sleep well.

XENA
Oh, we will.

Najara leaves.

GABRIELLE
You're a tough sell.

XENA
I'm not going into any village with any army unless
I'm sure I'm doing the right thing.

GABRIELLE
I understand. I don't know what to make of her.

Najara prays. Xena watches with an angered look.

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Xena, Najara and Gabrielle look down at the village. Xena holds a crossbow.

GABRIELLE
So that's the village?

XENA
It's too quiet. I'm going in.

Xena leaves. Najara looks to her men.

NAJARA
Don't move until we get the signal from Xena.

They watch her step into the village.

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Xena enters the village. She hears screaming.

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Xena enters a tavern.

EXTRA
Quit fighting us!

Men, women and children are being gathered up. A warrior holds a club over a woman. Xena throws her chakram and stops him. She turns and shoots the arrow.

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Najara sees the arrow.

NAJARA
That's it! Bonacar!

Najara rides and Gabrielle and the men follow.

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Xena ululates and flips in, fighting the soldiers. Najara flips in with her own war cry. She and Xena fight the soldiers. Xena throws a man through the wall and others follow, just as Gabrielle and the men arrive. They fight the soldiers.

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Xena and Najara fight inside.

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Xena flips out of the barn and onto the roof. She gives a yell as she flips and draws her sword. She lands and keeps fighting with the others. A crossbow is fired at Gabrielle.

XENA
Gabrielle!

Xena runs to catch the arrow, but Najara catches it first.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

The surviving soldiers are tied up.

NAJARA
You fought with great courage. That can
be a virtue, but only when it's used on the
side of the light, against darkness. The
capture and selling of people is wrong.

EXTRA
Listen up!

NAJARA
It shames both its victims and those who would
profit from this evil. Slavery paves the path to
darkness. We can offer you initiation into the
way of the light. Let us help you.

GABRIELLE
Do you think it got through to them?

Najara sighs.

NAJARA
I hope so. Turning people away from their dark
side is the most important thing I do. Who knows?
Some of these men, one day, might be great
soldiers of the light.

EXTRA
Come on!

Najara moves to the villagers. She picks up a child.

NAJARA
Forgive those people. They're confused and
misguided. Don't let hatred poison your hearts.
Now go to your homes, and live good lives.

EXTRA
Thank you.

Villagers come up and hug Najara.

NAJARA
Hmm. Oh.

EXTRA
Thank you.

EXTRA
Bless you.

NAJARA
Thank you.

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Xena sees the vision of her and Gabrielle's death.

GABRIELLE
I love you, Xena.

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Najara joins Xena in the barn. Xena is visibly shaken.

NAJARA
It's a great curse to have seen one's own death.

XENA
The jinn told you?

NAJARA
Yes, but not everything. Your vision of death,
does it-

XENA
Yes. It includes Gabrielle.

NAJARA
Does she know?

XENA
No.

NAJARA
That's fortunate for her.

XENA
Do you think it can be avoided?

NAJARA
Of course. I believe our destiny is in our
hearts. But it will take drastic measures to change
an event you've foreseen in your soul's eye.

Gabrielle enters.

GABRIELLE
Xena? There you are.

NAJARA
Listen, I don't know what your plans are, but Marat
controls a village about a day's ride from here.
He uses it as a center for his slave trade. That's
where I'm headed. Would you like to join me?

Gabrielle looks at Xena who says nothing.

GABRIELLE
Yes.

XENA
Sure.

NAJARA
Wonderful.

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River.

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The group moves along. Xena follows behind Najara with Argo and Gabrielle.

XENA
Gabrielle? You've been awful quiet. You all right?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, I was just thinking about yesterday. Amazing.

XENA
Yeah, amazing.

Swans are heard.

GABRIELLE
Swans!

NAJARA
Looks like they're headed for Kuta Lake. Let's
go see them up close.

Najara holds out her hand and Gabrielle takes it and mounts.

NAJARA
We'll catch up with you at Revo Falls. (to Xena)
Will you join us?

XENA
No, thanks. I'm not one for bird-watching.

Najara urges her horse forward. Xena watches them leave.

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Najara and Gabrielle ride to the lake. It's empty.

NAJARA
I guess I was wrong.

GABRIELLE
Well, maybe they're circling?

NAJARA
Do swans circle?

Gabrielle laughs.

GABRIELLE
I don't know. Why don't you ask the jinn?

NAJARA
They're not with me right now and I don't think
they know much about swans.

She chuckles.
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Xena rides and dismounts. She watches Najara and Gabrielle walk along.

GABRIELLE
(to Najara) Can I ask you something?

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Najara and Gabrielle walk along.

GABRIELLE
Personal?

NAJARA
Of course.

GABRIELLE
You seem so happy. It's like what you're doing
has so much meaning for you. Am I right?

NAJARA
I don't think about it much, but now that you mention
it, yes, I'm very happy. You're not?

GABRIELLE
I just...I don't know if I'm on the right path in my life.

NAJARA
You fight for good. What other path is there?

GABRIELLE
You mentioned opening a hospice.

NAJARA
That would be a good way, too. Why don't you
do that? I don't mind if you start without me.

GABRIELLE
You see, if I do that, then Xena and I have to go
our separate ways. She's not the hospice type.

NAJARA
Yes, I see.

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Xena watches, looking hurt.

NAJARA
(to Gabrielle) She's on a different path. Well-

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Najara and Gabrielle walk along.

NAJARA
-perhaps you need to commit totally to your life
with Xena. You two do a lot of good.

GABRIELLE
We do. Najara? Does the violence ever bother
you? I assume that you've killed before?

NAJARA
Yes, as little as possible, but, sometimes it's
inevitable.

GABRIELLE
I don't think I could get used to that.

NAJARA
Gabrielle, you need to make a full commitment
to the light. It will give you faith that what you're
doing is right.

GABRIELLE
The light. I need something.

The swans land.

NAJARA
Swans. Let's get a closer look.

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Xena watches.

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The sun sets.

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Camp.

NAJARA
Marat's main slave center is here. We'll hit it in the
morning from the east, so that the sun will be at
our backs. The most important thing is to make
sure the people being held as slaves are not
harmed. Remember, there are children among
them. Let us move swiftly.

Xena enters.

XENA
So where's Marat?

NAJARA
He rarely comes into the slave center. He has a
stronghold in the foothills east of the village.

XENA
Then that's where I'm headed.

NAJARA
I thought we'd all go after him once we've taken
the village.

XENA
He could swoop down while you're in the middle
of freeing the slaves. It could get messy.

NAJARA
But going after Marat alone-

XENA
I'll take my chances.

GABRIELLE
Look, I've learned you should listen to Xena when
it comes to this sort of thing.

NAJARA
All right. Xena will go after Marat, while we take
the village.

Najara bows and moves to talk with her men. Gabrielle joins Xena.

EXTRA
What is your plan of attack?

GABRIELLE
When do we head out?

XENA
I'm heading out before dawn. You stay
with Najara.

GABRIELLE
Are you sure?

XENA
Sure. I need you there to make sure those children
are safe.

Xena leaves.

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Later. Najara is on her knees praying. Xena enters. Najara doesn't look or open her eyes.

NAJARA
Xena.

XENA
The jinn?

NAJARA
No. I recognized your footsteps. The jinn haven't
visited me all day. Sometimes, they disappear
for weeks at a time. I'm never angry, though. I
understand. They're very busy. There's so much
darkness in the world.

XENA
Najara, your hospice. Why don't you start it in the
village you're going to take tomorrow.

NAJARA
Ah, now I understand. You don't plan to return
after your mission against Marat. You want a
place to leave Gabrielle.

XENA
She'll die if she stays with me. You said it would
take something drastic to change our destiny.
Maybe this is it.

NAJARA
As soon as she realizes you've left her, you know
she'll follow you.

XENA
I see such joy in her eyes when she talks
to you about your mission. She's been looking for
meaning. I think you can give it to her. It
hasn't always been good for her, being with me.
I seem to hurt her.

NAJARA
I know she forgives you. I promise I'll do everything
I can to justify your trust.

XENA
You better. Thanks.

Xena leaves.

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The men sleep. Xena looks at Gabrielle.

XENA
Goodbye, Gabrielle.

Xena mounts Argo and rides off.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Inn.

EXTRA
There you are, my friend. You're welcome.

The slaves are gathered.

NAJARA
This must have been a very difficult time for you
all. Don't carry it with you. Live life to its fullest.
Seize every day as an opportunity to do good. And
remember, you're always free to turn to the
light that drives away all darkness. We'll
make sure you have some food for your journey
back home. And some of my men will escort you,
at least part of the way. As you travel, I
want you to tell all you meet, who are sick
and suffering, that I am here, that I am opening
a hospice here to care for them. Goodbye and may
the light illuminate your way.

EXTRA
Thank you.

Najara is handed a bowl of fruit.

EXTRA
For you.

NAJARA
Oh, thank you.

EXTRA
Thank you.

Najara moves to the slave traders.

NAJARA
You're slave traders. What shall I do with you?
I'll tell you what I want to do. I want to forgive
you and love you all as brothers, but I can't do
that unless you turn to the light. And there's no
reason why you can't. We'll be glad to initiate you
into the way. Just let the light in and the darkness
will be gone.

Najara moves aside with Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Are you really going to open a hospice?

NAJARA
Yeah.

GABRIELLE
Right here. Now.

NAJARA
Of course.

GABRIELLE
I wanna be initiated into the way of the light.

NAJARA
Oh.

Najara hugs Gabrielle.

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Marat's stronghold.

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Marat is sleeping. Xena stands over him.

XENA
Good morning, Marat.

He awakens.

MARAT
Do it, get it over with.

XENA
Do what?

MARAT
What you do to all the people you defeat, cut their
throats if they don't turn to the light.

XENA
What did you say?

MARAT
I've heard all about you, Najara, how you give your
captives three days to turn good before you execute
them. If you think I'm gonna pay lip service to your
mumbo-jumbo just so you can kill me anyway
when you decide I'm not being sincere, you're
dead wrong.

XENA
Where'd you hear all this?

MARAT
I talked to a couple of men who escaped the
massacre at Tyre, when you sent twenty men to
your light.

He spits.

MARAT
Come on, Najara, kill me now and get it over
with! Do it! You filth-

Xena knocks him out and leaves.

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The lake. Gabrielle and Najaras are surrounded by a circle of men. Najara holds a wreath of flowers and is standing in front of Gabrielle.

NAJARA
Flowers cannot blossom without the light of the
sun. Nor can the human soul flourish without
the warming glow of the eternal spirit. Gabrielle,
walk into the light and look no more on the darkness.

Najara sets the wreath on Gabrielle's head.

EXTRA
All right.

NAJARA
Yes.

NAJARA, DACH and EXTRAS
(sings) Show us our course.
Lead us to glory-

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Tavern.

NAJARA, DACH and EXTRAS
(sings) And through the darkest night,
Strengthen our will to fight.
Justice our cause
Faith is our beacon.

Xena enters.

GABRIELLE
Xena, I'm glad you came.

XENA
Najara?

NAJARA
I didn't expect to see you.

XENA
There's been a change of plans.

NAJARA
Why is that?

XENA
I captured Marat.

NAJARA
Congratulations.

XENA
He told me some interesting things about you.
He said that you offer prisoners three days to
turn to the light and then you kill them.

GABRIELLE
Xena, he's a slave trader. You don't believe
him, do you?

XENA
Come on, Najara, how about it? Do you execute
unarmed men without a trial?

NAJARA
Definitely not.

GABRIELLE
You see, Xena?

NAJARA
I liberate their souls.

GABRIELLE
What does that mean?

NAJARA
Gabrielle, we're talking about thieves, slave traders,
murderers, and pirates, not decent people.

GABRIELLE
So you execute them, without a trial? A hearing?

NAJARA
What hearing or trial did these men here
give the people they were going to enslave? In
order for good to triumph, we must eradicate
evil. I always give evildoers a chance to turn to
the light but if they refuse or I sense their conversion
isn't sincere, I send them to look onto the light.

GABRIELLE
Najara.

XENA
Come on, Gabrielle.

NAJARA
No! Gabrielle has turned to the light. She's my
responsibility now. As you said yourself, you
hurt her. That's not going to happen again.

Najara draws her sword.

GABRIELLE
Najara, don't do this.

XENA
Get out of the way, Gabrielle.

NAJARA
(to her men) This is between Xena and me. Stay
out of it. (to Xena) The light will triumph, Xena.

Xena draws her sword.

XENA
Quit preaching and fight.

NAJARA
All right.

Xena fights Najara. Xena gives a yell as she flips over the bar and then another when she flips back over. Najara runs up some stairs. Xena fights her up it. Najara kicks her and runs to the top. When Xena runs up after her, Najara flips and lands hard, breaking the stairs. Xena falls, like another vision Alti showed her. Najara flips to the ground with a yell and Xena flips with a yell to join her. They continue to fight. Xena ululates and flips back onto a table. Najara jumps and breaks the legs of the table. Najara kicks the table which launches Xena. She flips with a short ululation and lands doing the splits. She punches Najara who crashes into a table. Xena uses the table legs as stilts and kicks Najara. Xena knocks Najara over the bar. She has won. Xena turns away, but Najara grabs a branch and runs at Xena when her back is turned. Najara yells and Xena turns just in time to get hit by Najara. Najara beats her with the stick until Xena is knocked to the ground.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

Najara hits Xena some more, until she looks like she did in Alti's vision. Xena is unconscious. Najara gets her sword and holds it over Xena.

NAJARA
In the name of the light! I smite the darkness!

GABRIELLE
What?! No!

Gabrielle covers Xena with herself.

GABRIELLE
You'll have to kill us both.

NAJARA
You don't understand, Gabrielle, that darkness
inside her will destroy you one day.

GABRIELLE
Put the sword down. Najara, you and I, we'll walk
out of here together.

NAJARA
You're just saying that to protect her.

GABRIELLE
Xena's dark side frightens me. I need to
move on, but I could never live with someone who
killed her. There would be no going back
from that.

NAJARA
All right. All right. Get the slave traders and let's
move out.

EXTRA
Come on!

They leave.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Xena awakens and gets up in pain. She moves to the bar.

XENA
Some water.

The innkeeper hands her a bowl of water. She drinks some and spits out some blood along with a molar.

XENA
I hate that. (to child) I got my butt whipped, didn't I?

EXTRA
Uh-huh.

XENA
Well, it serves me right for trusting someone who
talks about being good all the time. You
know what? She's a tough girl, but she's got a
weakness. It's the same one I've got.

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Cave. Gabrielle sits and Najara enters.

NAJARA
What are you thinking about?

GABRIELLE
You're so close to being this ultimate force for
goodness, but that little bit makes you so wrong.

NAJARA
What should I do with those slave traders, Gabrielle?
What would Xena do?

GABRIELLE
She would make sure they were out of business.
She would turn them over to the local government.

NAJARA
But what if the local government supports slavery?
Probably not a problem, because Xena kills most
of them in combat, anyway.

GABRIELLE
Xena only kills if it's absolutely necessary.

NAJARA
And I only kill evil people. Why is she better than me?

GABRIELLE
Don't you think those people deserve a fair trial?

NAJARA
But some fool may find them innocent.

GABRIELLE
But with your way, innocent people could die.

NAJARA
You're right, Gabrielle. I'm sure I've made mistakes
before. But, all I've done is send them to the light.
The eternal powers will correct any mistakes I've made.

A man screams. Najara draws her sword and runs out.

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Najara steps out and leaves. Xena runs in.

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Xena enters the cave.

XENA
Gabrielle!

GABRIELLE
Xena, are you all right?

XENA
I lost one of those good chewing teeth, but other
than that, I'm fine.

GABRIELLE
Xena, we should get out of here.

XENA
No. She's too dangerous a girl to leave on the
loose. She likes killing too much.

GABRIELLE
But she beat you up so badly.

XENA
Well, that's another reason.

Xena looks down a chasm.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

Xena drops a rock and listens for it to hit the bottom, which she doesn't hear.

XENA
Ooh, that's gonna hurt.

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Najara moves to her men's sides. They are all unconscious. She sees Xena's footprints.

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Najara runs to the cave.

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Najara enters the cave.

GABRIELLE
Najara!

Xena jumps down. Gabrielle is hanging over the chasm, the rope burning. Really though, there is a board over the chasm, which Gabrielle is standing on.

XENA
So glad you could make it.

GABRIELLE
Be careful, Najara, she's snapped.

NAJARA
Do you expect me to believe you're going to let
her die?

XENA
Well, let's just see, shall we? I just asked her to
come with me right now and you know what she
said? She said she'd rather stay here and try to
reform you. Seems that your zealotry is less
scary than my dark side. Sniveling ingrate. But if
I can't have her, nobody's gonna have her. It's
part of that drastic change you talked about
and it's sure gonna change by my destiny.

GABRIELLE
Okay.

NAJARA
I knew you were no good for her.

Xena fights Najara, but she keeps Najara back.

XENA
You see, it's a little more difficult with a millstone
like her around your neck, isn't it? You probably
wouldn't care if one of your soldiers died. They'd
just go up to that big, old light in the sky. But you
might miss Gabrielle, huh?

Xena yells and flips, kicking Najara back.

GABRIELLE
Najara, hurry!

Najara fights Xena, but Xena keeps her back.

XENA
If ya don't mind my saying, your focus is a little off.

Najara attacks again. Xena tosses her over the side into the chasm. Najara holds onto the side. Xena puts her boots on Najara's fingers.

GABRIELLE
Xena! Don't kill her.

Xena stops.

XENA
Looks like she saved both our lives today.

Xena pulls out some chains and puts them on Najara. She pulls her out of the chasm and knocks her out.

GABRIELLE
Uh, Xena, can you get me off this thing?

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Outside a village. Najara is tied to a stake. Xena speaks with a few guards.

XENA
You take her from here.

Gabrielle moves to Najara.

GABRIELLE
The slave traders are going to get a fair trial.

NAJARA
They'll probably bribe their way out of it.

GABRIELLE
The soldiers say that you wiped out a village
last year and many innocent people died.

NAJARA
They lied.

Xena is still speaking with the guards.

XENA
Could be a bit of a problem.

NAJARA
Those men were pirates. They sunk many passenger
ships for sport. They had to die. But you believe
what you want, Gabrielle. Be happy.

Gabrielle moves away and Xena steps up.

XENA
Well, these people aren't your biggest fans.

NAJARA
Can't please everybody.

XENA
Did you tell her about the vision?

NAJARA
No. That would hurt her and I don't ever want to
do that. That's your job.

Xena and Gabrielle leave.

NAJARA
I forgive you, Gabrielle.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Kathryn Morris as Najara
Roy Snow as Dach
David Te Rare as Marat

Written by: R.J. Stewart
Directed by: Paul Lynch

Disclaimer: Xena's Best Chewing Tooth was not harmed during the production of this motion picture.