The Key to the Kingdom


TEASER

Two guards roll a giant golden pig into the treasure room.

EXTRA
Careful. This porker's priceless.

They leave. Autolycus opens the head of the pig and looks out.

AUTOLYCUS
Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho. Pearls before swine. Where
are you, my little beauty?

Autolycus sees a big, red ruby. It is behind a set of chimes and knifes.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h.

Autolycus gets out of the pig and moves to the ruby.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, well, well. Let's see. You touch the chimes,
the trap snaps shut. Oh-h-h-h! Ya lose a
hand. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Incredible. Genius. Foolproof.
Two minutes, tops.

Autolycus cuts out the floor from under the ruby and chuckles.

AUTOLYCUS
Ever so gently.

Autolycus whistles. He gets the ruby. He blows the chimes and the knifes fall.

AUTOLYCUS
Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

He looks out the window.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, not the worst drop I've ever made, but by far,
the most profitable. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Hi, yup!

Autolycus falls out the window and lands safely outside the castle.

AUTOLYCUS
Ooh, that gets harder every year. Mmm.

He chuckles and sighs.

AUTOLYCUS
Now, let's take a look at you.

He holds up the ruby to look at it and sees Meg through it, dressed as Xena.

AUTOLYCUS
Xena. Ha-ha-ha-ha. Hey, small world, huh? Uh,
ooh, ya, have business here? Everything seems
to be closed. Uh, yeah. Say, how'd ya like to go grab
a bite to eat? I know this great little place. You'd...

He sighs.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, come on, Xena. It's just a lousy, little
ruby. It's not even worth talkin' about! They won't
even know that it's gone.

EXTRA
Look! The ruby! It's gone!

AUTOLYCUS
Aw-w-w. All right!

Autolycus throws the ruby over the wall.

EXTRA
The ruby! It's back!

AUTOLYCUS
I gave it back! You happy now?!

MEG
What are ya, stupid or somethin'?! That thing
was worth a fortune!

She attacks him, but Joxer enters and holds her back.

JOXER
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Meg. Ya little minx, ya. Sorry,
he's usually a brilliant thief.

AUTOLYCUS
Meg, who's Meg?

MEG
Meg's me and who's brilliant, 'cause it ain't you,
Mr. Stinky!

JOXER
Hey! She fooled ya, didn't she?! Ya
thought she was Xena, but she's not. She's Meg.
Hey, got a proposition for ya.

AUTOLYCUS
Now, now, now, wait a minute. You're saying
that's not Xena?

JOXER
No.

Meg snickers.

AUTOLYCUS
So, let me get this right.

JOXER
Yeah, yeah.

AUTOLYCUS
I threw that precious gem over the wall for no good
reason, huh?

Joxer, Autolycus and Meg laugh.

AUTOLYCUS
Hey! Can you imagine that?!

He laughs.

AUTOLYCUS
I'll kill ya, ya moron!

Autolycus strangles Joxer.

AUTOLYCUS
Wait 'til I get my hands on you!

They fall to the ground, fighting.

MEG
Brawl! Yeah!

Meg jumps on them.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Meg's tavern.

EXTRA (voice-over)
Let's have a little fight!

MEG (voice-over)
Come on! Come on! Make yourselves at home.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Meg leads Autolycus and Joxer to a table.

MEG
Ya want some grog? Plenty of grog. Three grogs!

They all sit.

AUTOLYCUS
So? What's this all about?

JOXER
Well-

MEG
I don't know if I want to tell you. After all, ya haven't
made much of an impression on me...yet.

She snarls at him with a smile. She moves about in her seat, looking at Autolycus. Joxer puts his arm around her.

EXTRA
My turn!

JOXER
Wait a minute, Auto. Now, I got a proposition for
ya. You ever heard of the Crown of Athena?

AUTOLYCUS
Crown of Athena? You kidding? Who hasn't? I've
been after it for years.

EXTRA
Here you go.

Three grogs are brought to the table.

AUTOLYCUS
Problem is, Athena locked the crown away twenty
years ago, after King Cleades disappeared. You
need some kind of a key, but it's a closely-guarded secret.

MEG
You'd be surprised what a young, nubile guard
will scream out when he's about-

JOXER
To meet his maker.

AUTOLYCUS
(to Meg) Yeah? Well, you seem to have a talent.
(to Joxer) What's your interest in this?

JOXER
I worked it out. It's all even-steven. I get half, she
gets half, and you get half.

Autolycus motions him closer.

JOXER
Yeah?

Autolycus knocks him on the side of his head.

JOXER
Ow!

AUTOLYCUS
Just what I thought. It's hollow.

Meg belches.

AUTOLYCUS
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Thrasos
ruled by two extremely greedy warlords?
Ormestin and this Kryptos character? How you
gonna get around them, huh?

MEG
Hello.

JOXER
That's why Meg's dressed like Xena. Look, Joxer
the Mighty brings Xena, Warrior Princess and
Autolycus, the King of Thieves-

MEG
AKA, 'Mr. Stinky.'

Joxer and Meg laugh.

JOXER
That's so...Mr. Stinky.

Joxer looks at Autolycus and finishes what he was saying.

JOXER
In chains.

AUTOLYCUS
In chains?

JOXER
Yeah. Oh, look, look, look, look, let me explain it
to ya. Now, they're grateful. They make me Lord
of the Realm and Ruler of the Treasury. "More
wine, my lord?" "No, no." Ha-ha-ha!

Meg is smiling and nodding.

JOXER
You see? I sneak into the treasury, take the key
from one of the guards. I say something like,
"What's that over there?"

Joxer makes the motion of taking the key.

JOXER
Ya know? Then I free you two, we walk off
rich into the sunset. Well, whaddya think?

AUTOLYCUS
I think it's inbreeding.

Autolycus motions for him to sit and he does.

AUTOLYCUS
Now listen, you two, I'm the expert here. There's
nothing I haven't been able to break into
or out of.

MEG
Oh, come on. There's nothing so appealing to
a woman as a man who can admit his flaws.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, uh, just between you and me, I do have this
little problem with these Scythian double-latch locks.
(laughing) For some reason, they're not my forte.

JOXER
(sarcastically) Heh-heh-heh-heh.

AUTOLYCUS
Still, it's my plan or no plan. You got it?

MEG
So, what's your plan?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thrasos.

TAX COLLECTOR
Come on! Hurry it up!

PEASANT
Please, that's really all that we have.

TAX COLLECTOR
You know that lying to the tax collector's a crime,
don't you?! Or would you prefer to talk to the soldiers?

AUTOLYCUS
Maybe you'd rather talk to us first.

Autolycus and Joxer enter wearing masked black robes. They draw swords. (Autolycus and Joxer are horrible actors)

JOXER
Ha-ha!

TAX COLLECTOR
Who are you?

AUTOLYCUS
We're villains!

JOXER
Bad! We'll kill you! We'll cut--cut you and
then w-

AUTOLYCUS
(to Joxer) They get the idea. (to others) Give us
all your money, tax collector.

Meg enters, pretending to be Xena. (Meg is an even worse actor).

MEG
This is a good day to die.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, no. It is the warrior X--Xena.

JOXER
What! Oh! What shall we do?!

AUTOLYCUS
We must attempt to fight her!

JOXER
I will ram her through with my sword!
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Joxer 'attacks' Meg. They 'fight.'

JOXER
Ah-h-h-h! Ah-h! Ah-h! Uh!

Joxer puts his hand inside his sleeve.

JOXER
She took my hand! Ah-h-h! Ah-h-h!

Autolycus 'attacks' Meg.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah-h-h-h!

Meg disarms him and kicks him in the shin.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh-h-h-h-h! Oo-o-o-h! Oh! Spare us, Xena!

MEG
Now, go away from this place and don't come
back, or you will suffer the wrath of Xena!
Rah-h-h-h-h!

Joxer and Autolycus run away. Meg moves to the Tax Collector who gulps.

MEG
Be not afraid. I'll not harm you. Take me to your
leader. We've got some things to discuss.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joxer and Autolycus walk along, taking off their masks.

AUTOLYCUS
With a body like that, and brains like mine, there
are definitely some possibilities, here.

JOXER
Hey! That's my girl you're talkin' about.

AUTOLYCUS
That's anybody's girl I'm talkin' about. Come
on. She doesn't have an ounce of loyalty for any
one man. Trust me, I know the type. I love
the type.

JOXER
Hey, Meg's different. She's also missing something.

AUTOLYCUS
Yeah, me pressed right up against her.

JOXER
Look, Auto! Get this through that thick, thieving
skull of yours. Meg has had a hard life, and she
needs our help. Now I'm asking you as
a friend, lay off of her.

AUTOLYCUS
You really like her, don't you? Don't you worry, little
buddy. You're dealing with a man of honour.
However, honour requires a higher percentage
of profits.

JOXER
Good. Good, I'm glad you're finally seeing things
my way.

AUTOLYCUS
Fine. Make yourself useful and go get some horses.

JOXER
(whispering) 'Kay.

AUTOLYCUS
On to the next.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Castle.

KRYPOTOS (voice-over)
You're forming another army?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Meg is still pretending to be Xena.

MEG
Exactly. Only my enemies know that I've come
here to form an alliance with ya, so they've
sent an assassin to kill ya both.

KRYPTOS
Impossible. Our secret police would've told us
by now.

MEG
Oh, the secret police?

ORMESTIN
Yes?

MEG
Well, everybody knows about them. But
don't worry. I can stop the assassin. Just
show me your security arrangement.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
They show her around. Meg carries a bag.

ORMESTIN
And of course, there's a platoon of soldiers
on every floor. That door there is a door
to a storage chamber.

They move past a guarded door.

MEG
What about this one?

KRYPTOS
That's off-limits to all except the inner circle of Thrasos.

Meg uses a piece of a broken pottery to mark the pot behind the guard.

MEG
Well, that's good. That's really good.

ORMESTIN
Let's continue.

Gryphia, an old woman exits the room. Meg looks at the guards.

MEG
Secret police. Keep your eyes peeled for an
assassin. There's reward in it for ya.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg opens a window.

MEG
Does this window face west?

KRYPTOS
Yes. Why?

MEG
Well, if you don't know, I'm not going to
tell you.
Meg makes a mark on the window sill behind her back.

MEG
It looks pretty secure. What else ya got for me?

They leave. Meg has made an arrow. A grappling hook flies into the window and Autolycus enters.

AUTOLYCUS
Good girl, Meg. Just give me three minutes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus looks into the room with the door that is guarded. He sees the 'X' on the pot that Meg made. The guards are talking to themselves. Autolycus enters and draws a dagger.

KEY GUARD
It's the assassin!

Autolycus gasps, drops the dagger and runs. The guards follow.

KEY GUARD
After him!

Autolycus runs right and the guards follow. Suddenly he swings on a rope from the left.

AUTOLYCUS
Whoo-hoo-hoo!

He knocks out the guards.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus enters the room. He moves to an open chest to see a baby boy inside.

AUTOLYCUS
What? What is this? Where's the key?

Meg enters.

AUTOLYCUS
Meg, there's no key. There's just some kid, some
baby kid.

MEG
The baby kid is the key, Mr. Stinky. Guards!

AUTOLYCUS
What the-

Guards enter and surround Autolycus. Meg smiles.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Autolycus looks at Meg.

AUTOLYCUS
What are you doing?

Meg does a good job of playing Xena now.

MEG
Autolycus, will you never learn? Why don't
you tell 'em that it was all my idea, huh? Tell 'em
that it was all my plan so that I could come
in here and steal the key. No. Oh, no, better yet,
why don't you tell 'em that I'm not the real Xena.
That's his usual line.

KRYPTOS
Take him away. Lock him in the dungeon.

Autolycus is taken out.

MEG
In stocks! With double-latch Scythin locks.
It's not his forte.

Meg looks in the chest. While Kryptos and Ormestin watch Autolycus get taken out, Meg puts the baby in her bag.

KRYPTOS
It seems we owe you a debt of thanks, Xena.

MEG
I come here looking for allies, and what do I find?
Lax security and thieves stealing babies.

She sighs.

MEG
It's a wonder you aren't both dead already.

ORMESTIN
I assure you, the-

MEG
Shh. No. No. The alliance is off. Just be
grateful that I don't come down here with my whole
army to muss up your fancy hair!

ORMESTIN
Uh, what about the assassin?

MEG
Oh, you're on your own, girls.

She chuckles and leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg walks out. The baby giggles as Meg walks by Gryphia. Meg stops.

GRYPHIA
Hmm?

Meg runs.

ORMESTIN (voice-over)
There is no doubt-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The room.

KRYPTOS
Not now.

They leave as Gryphia enters. Gryphia looks in the chest and gasps. Key Gaurd enters.

KEY GUARD
Everything all right, ma'am?

GRYPHIA
Yes. The key needs his sleep. You can leave us.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dungeon. Autolycus is in stocks.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, Scythian double-latch locks. Ho-ho-ho. I can't
believe I fell for that. It's all right. It's just a little
more work, but it'll all be worth it once I get
my hands on that. No-

Gryphia enters.

GRYPHIA
Why did you steal the key?

AUTOLYCUS
Steal him? She stole him?

GRYPHIA
Tell me about her. About Xena.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, with all due respect, ma'am? Who are you?

GRYPHIA
I'm Gryphia, the guardian of the key.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah. Um. Well, Xena is this warrior. She goes
around righting wrongs and saving people. It's
all pretty sappy, but she seems to get her
kicks out of it. The problem is, that was not Xena.
It was an exact look-alike, some lady named Meg.
Soon to be the late Meg if I get my hands on her.

GRYPHIA
Then she doesn't know the secret of the key?

AUTOLYCUS
What secret?

GRYPHIA
She must be told.

Gryphia leaves.

AUTOLYCUS
Told?! Told what?! What was that all about?

Mogus, another prisoner, laughs.

MOGUS
You're trying to steal the crown of Athena.

He laughs.

MOGUS
Oh! Sure to fail!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, and I was doing so well.

MOGUS
The crown of Athena belonged to King Cleades.
"The key will point to the door.
To the crown of Athena and more."

AUTOLYCUS
Go on.

MOGUS
"Once the key opens the door
The child, w--will be no more."

AUTOLYCUS
That's very poetic, but it doesn't sound good for
the kid. Then again, once I find the door, when
have I ever needed a key?

Autolucys gets the locks off.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha-ha. Now, bear in mind, no matter what
you are about to see, this is a very-carefully planned
technique I've used more than once to escape
from the dreaded Scythian double-latch locks.

Autolycus runs at the bars and breaks the stocks.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah-h! And that is why I am the King of Thieves.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be out for a few minutes.

Autolycus passes out and Mogus laughs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stable. Mogus laughs in a voice-over.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg enters the stable. Joxer moves out to see her.

JOXER
There you are! I was beginning to give up hope.
Where's Autolycus?

MEG
Uh, we, uh, uh-

Meg pulls the baby out of the bag.

MEG
-he had an accident.

JOXER
Oh. Wait a minute. You mean, you and he...oh-ho,
wait, you weren't gone that long.

He chuckles.

MEG
It's not his. It's mine. At least, it is now.

Meg makes cooing noises at the baby, who giggles.

JOXER
Wait a minute. You mean, you kidnapped
that baby? You mean, all this business about finding
a key was just so you could steal someone's kid?
Hey, you used me. And you used Autolycus!

He points to the baby.

JOXER
And you used him! Tell me that's not
what happened!

MEG
Nah, that pretty much sums it up. But nobody got
hurt 'n' Joxer it's all I've ever really wanted. I wasn't
lyin' to ya. I just tricked ya.

JOXER
Well.

Meg snickers.

JOXER
He is kind of cute, isn't he? A-goo-goo-goo.
Goo-goo-goo. A-goo-goo-goo. A-goo-goo-g-

The baby bites Joxer's finger.

JOXER
Ah-h-h-h-h-h!

MEG
Well, he's hungry. And I think he needs some
fresh trousers. Why don't you go to the market
and get him some blankets and somethin' to eat?

JOXER
Why me?

MEG
'Cause fatherhood becomes you.

JOXER
Fatherhood. Okay. I'll get him some strong cheese.

MEG
And some pickles.

JOXER
Right.

Joxer leaves.

MEG
Aww, little man. Oh-h, it's been a mighty big
day, huh?! Sorry things have been pretty crazy,
huh? But, ya know? We'll go somewhere and
we'll settle down, just you and me...Joxer, 'cause
he's funny. You're the best baby. You're the first
baby. Oh, you're the only baby I ever had!

Meg hugs him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Castle.

KRYPTOS (voice-over)
Autolycus is gone!

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

KRYPTOS
He and Xena came here to steal the key and
now they have him.

ORMESTIN
She knows how to get Athena's crown.

KRYPTOS
How? We've been trying to figure it out for twenty
years. "The key can point to the door." That kid
hasn't shown us anything.

ORMESTIN
Xena has figured it out! What are we gonna
do about it?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg tickles the baby's feet.

MEG
Ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka! Ticka-ticka-ticka!

She blows a raspberry on his feet. She gasps.

MEG
Oh! You rude, little man!

The baby giggles.

MEG
You cheeky monkey! Ticka-ticka-ticka!

She sighs. There's knocking on the door. Autolycus stands there. Meg picks up the baby.

MEG
Mr. Stinky, I presume.

AUTOLYCUS
That's right, Meg. It's me, 'Mr. Stinky!'

MEG
So, you got out, huh? Well, I knew you would.
I wouldn't have done that if I didn't think the old
King of Thieves couldn't handle it.

AUTOLYCUS
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Give me that baby! I don't
do kidnapping. I'm gonna take that thing in and
I'm gonna collect a big, fat reward!

MEG
Over my dead body!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, that can be arranged.

He runs at her and Meg swings a stable door at him.

MEG
Ow! Oh!

Meg puts the baby down in the hay.

MEG
Okay. Okay. You'll be safe there.

Autolycus faces Meg.

AUTOLYCUS
You are so lucky that-

EXTRA
Ba. Ba.

AUTOLYCUS
-I'm a gentleman. Now, give me that baby.

Meg draws her wooden chakram.

MEG
I got a shamrock, and I know how to use it.

AUTOLYCUS
First of all, it's a chakram. And that thing is made
outta wood. Now, give it to me!

She throws it at him and hits him in the face. Autolycus falls to the ground, unconscious.

MEG
Yeah! Okay!

The baby is gone.

MEG
Punkin?! Punkin?!

The baby crawls out of the stables.

MEG
Punkin?!

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

JOXER
Baby's gonna be warm, fat and happy!
A-goo-goo-goo-goo! A-goo-goo-goo-g-oh!

Joxer is hit with the door as Meg runs out of the stables.

MEG
Punkin?!

JOXER
Don't you want your squash? Ooh!

Autolycus hits him with the door as he runs out. Joxer falls and his face lands in the squash.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg looks at a baby in a woman's arms.

EXTRA
Oh-h!

The baby cries.

AUTOLYCUS
Meg! Come here, you!

EXTRA
Make way for the royal wagon!

EXTRA
Out of the way, now!

The baby crawls along. Joxer stumbles.

JOXER
I'm blind! Oh, pardon. Whoa!

Joxer is pushed into a man and woman.

EXTRA
Hey!

EXTRA
Hey!

The man holds Joxer.

JOXER
Oh, lady-

The woman punches him twice and they throw him into two men. The baby sees the chariot.

EXTRA
Spread out! They could be anywhere!

The baby crawls to the chariot. Meg looks for the baby.

MEG
Punkin!

EXTRA
It's Xena! Let's go!

EXTRA
Over here!

MEG
Punkin!

AUTOLYCUS
Come here, Meg!

EXTRA
Where is the key!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh! Uh!

Autolycus fights the soldiers. The baby crawls for the chariot.

EXTRA
Let's go!

Meg looks for the baby, and as she ducks down to look, a soldier flies over her.

MEG
Punkin!

Autolycus fights. The baby crawls to the chariot, giggling.

JOXER
The baby!

Joxer runs. The baby crawls into the chariot. Meg looks for the baby.

MEG
Sweetie!

She is not paying attention to the soldiers. One runs at her, but she tosses a blanket looking for the baby and it is thrown on the soldier. Autolycus fights. The baby holds the reins and the horses run.

EXTRA
Giddy.

Meg fights. The horses pull the chariot out of town.

MEG
Pumpkin?

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

The horses pull the chariot out of town. Autolycus and Joxer join Meg.

MEG
Follow that chario-o-ot!

AUTOLYCUS
The horses!

He mounts a horse.

AUTOLYCUS
Come on, Meg!

MEG
Ah-h--h!

Meg joins him.

AUTOLYCUS
Hah!

MEG
Ah-h-h--h-h-h!

They ride off. Joxer moves over to a horse.

JOXER
Okay, ol' Lightnin', we're gonna save that
baby! Okay. A-ho!

Joxer pulls himself up and lies over the saddle. The horse starts to run.

JOXER
Ah! Ah! Uh!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus and Meg ride.

MEG
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Joxer follows, bouncing on the horse, lying over the saddle.

JOXER
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The horses pull the chariot.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus and Meg ride. Meg holds Autolycus' head, her finger in his eye.

AUTOLYCUS
Hey! Hey! Hey! Ow! Ow! What're you doin'?!

MEG
Holdin' on!

AUTOLYCUS
Well, grab somethin' else!

She grabs his butt.

AUTOLYCUS
Ow! Ho-ho!

MEG
Yee-hah!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joxer is in front of the chariot, now riding the horse correctly.

JOXER
Whoa. Whoa.

He stops the horse. Joxer looks up to see a branch.

JOXER
A-ha!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The chariot is pulled. Joxer pulls himself up the tree.

JOXER
Oh. Oh. Okay, baby. Daddy's comin'.

The chariot is pulled. Joxer stands on the branch.

JOXER
Oh, oh! Ready? Set? Ha-hah-h-h-h-h-h!

Joxer jumps, but lands in front of the charging chariot. The horses stop but then move again.

JOXER
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Ooh!

Joxer rolls out of the way as the baby giggles.

JOXER
Whew! That was close.

Joxer screams as he is pulled along behind the chariot, his foot caught in a strap. The baby giggles.

JOXER
Ooh! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow-ow!

AUTOLYCUS
H-yah! Giddup!

MEG
We're catchin' him! Ah!

JOXER
Whoa! Whoa! Ow! Ow!

AUTOLYCUS
H-yah! Come on!

Autolycus and Meg ride alongside the chariot.

AUTOLYCUS
Joxer! What're you doin'?!

JOXER
Plan's workin' great! I'm slowin' him down!

AUTOLYCUS
H-yah!

JOXER
Ooh! Ow!

MEG
Go, Auto!

AUTOLYCUS
Okay, Meg!

JOXER
Ooh! Ow!

MEG
Ahhh!

Meg jumps and lands in the chariot next to the baby. Autolycus jumps off his horse. Joxer is freed from the chariot.

JOXER
Whoa-whoa-whoa! Whoa! Ooh! Ooh!

Meg gets the reins.

MEG
Momma's here, Punkin!

EXTRA
Uh-oh.

MEG
Who-o-o-oa. Who-o-o-o-o-oa!

The chariot slams into a tree and shatters.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, no! Oh!

Autolycus and Joxer run to the shattered chariot.

JOXER
Ooh! Meg?! Meg!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh-h-h! Oh, you and your propositions! Look what
your proposition did!

JOXER
Yeah, well you didn't have to help!

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, sure! You dangle a beautiful woman and a
fancy crown in my face, what do you expect?! It
was a stacked deck!

JOXER
Yeah?!

AUTOLYCUS
Yeah! Meg!

JOXER
Meg!

Meg and the baby laugh. Meg rises from the grass, holding the baby in her arms.

MEG

Well?! We won't be trying that again, huh?!
The baby giggles.

JOXER
They're okay! (to Autolycus) Ya worry-wart, ya!

Joxer pinches his cheeks. Autolycus pushes him away and walks off.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh-h-h-h-h!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Campfire.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, this is gonna slant my reputation. Why,
Meg? Why this baby? Why now?

MEG
(whispering) Would you keep your voice down?

JOXER
Sh-h!

MEG
When I heard about the baby...ooh! There was
no one to love him. There was no one to hold him,
no one to tell him stories. Well, I just reckon that's
a lousy way to grow up.

JOXER
Yeah, in that cold, damp, drippy castle.

AUTOLYCUS
Okay, fine, you rescued a baby. That was the easy
part. Now ya gotta raise it. How ya gonna do that, huh?

Everyone is silent. Autolycus snaps his fingers.

AUTOLYCUS
Unless we go after the crown of Athena. If we
do, that kid will never go hungry.

MEG
Nobody's harmin' my baby.

AUTOLYCUS
Not one hair on his chinny-chin-chin. I promise ya.

Meg looks at Joxer, who nods.

MEG
Okay.

Autolycus chuckles.

AUTOLYCUS
You know, uh, I never really, uh, held a...baby,
before, uh. May I?

JOXER and MEG
Okay.

MEG
Ya gotta hold the back of his head.

Autolycus holds the baby.

AUTOLYCUS
Huh. Ha-ha-ha. Hey, little fella. Ha-ha-ha. Ahem.
Okay, good.

Autolycus hands him back and Meg takes him.

MEG
(whispering) Who's a good boy?

Meg moves off.

AUTOLYCUS
What are you lookin' at?

JOXER
Y'old softy, you. See? It's a good thing Meg took
that baby. Now it's gonna be loved, cared for,
raised properly.

AUTOLYCUS
Yeah, it's a good thing, huh, Dad?

JOXER
Yeah. Dad? Dad.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg sits with the baby.

MEG
They just don't understand, Punkin. Well, they
can't possible know how it is. See, what I had,
now, it wasn't so good. My father, he died when
I was really young, and my mom, she tried hard,
but...well, it just didn't work out.

Autolycus and Joxer listen.

MEG
Well, I was left alone to do what I wanted, and I
made all my own decisions, and I guess I wasn't
too good at that, neither but...things is gonna be
different for you. You see those? They're stars.
When I was a little girl, I--I used to think that all
those little lights came from houses in the sky,
and each one of those houses had a happy family
around a cozy fire. And the lights came
from all the open windows. And I used to think
that at every window, there was a little girl, just
like me, lookin' out at the other lights. And I
wondered what it would be like to be one of them.
Well, one day we're gonna be one of those little
lights. That's a promise.

Autolycus looks at Joxer.

AUTOLYCUS
You know when I said Meg doesn't have an ounce
of loyalty for any one man?

JOXER
Yeah?

AUTOLYCUS
I was wrong.

Autolycus moves back to the fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sun rises.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning. The baby coos. They all look at him. Joxer sighs.

JOXER
Let's...poke it with a stick or somethin'.

Meg elbows him.

AUTOLYCUS
No. No. The old man said,
"The key can point to the door-
To the crown of Athena and more.
Once the key opens the door
The baby"...will drool and wet itself on the floor.

JOXER
That's the worst legend I've ever heard.

MEG
Speaking of wetting himself, I think somebody
needs a trouser change! Yes, you do.
Yes, you do.

Meg moves off with the baby.

JOXER
Yeah.

MEG
Boy. Momma's got it in for you. Okay. Huh! Let's
see. Oo-o-h, who's Mr. Stinky, now, huh? No more
pickles for you.

She throws his trousers on the fire. Autolycus sees there's a map on it.

AUTOLYCUS
Hey. Hey!

He pulls it out of the fire.

AUTOLYCUS
Ooh! Ooh! Hey, hey, here! Help me put this
thing out!

JOXER
What are ya doin'?!

Autolycus steps on it and Joxer helps.

AUTOLYCUS
Come on! Put it out! Put it out! Ooh!

They put it out. Autolycus holds it up.

AUTOLYCUS
Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho! Look! Look! Whaddya see?!

JOXER
Uh-h-h.

Joxer pushes it away.

AUTOLYCUS
No, besides that?!

MEG
What? What is it?

JOXER
It's a map!

AUTOLYCUS
The map to the crown of Athena is on the blanket.
The key will point the way.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Temple.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg, Joxer and Autolycus enter with the baby.

EXTRA
Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.

JOXER
There's the door.

There's a large red cushion on the floor.

MEG
This cushion must be for the kid. That's you, Punkin.

Meg moves to put the baby on the cushion.

AUTOLYCUS
Ooh! No, no. Don't do that. Let me check the door first.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guards move through the temple.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autolycus checks the door.

MEG
Well?

AUTOLYCUS
I'm workin' on it.

EXTRA
Let's go!

JOXER
Hey, someone's comin'.

MEG
Let's just open this thing, and then we can get
outta here.

Meg moves to put the baby on the cushion.

AUTOLYCUS
Oh, oh! No, no, no, no, no, no! Don't put the baby there.

MEG
Are you stupid?!

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, look, I didn't tell ya everything. The rest of the
legend says, "Once the key opens the door, the
child is no more." I wasn't gonna risk the kid.
I just had to know where the door was.

JOXER
They're gettin' closer! Come on, Autolycus!

He claps his hands.

EXTRA
Quickly!

AUTOLYCUS
Okay, there's our way out.

Autolycus looks up at a grate in the roof.

EXTRA
I need two men!

He pulls out a grappling hook and starts swinging it. It hits Joxer who falls to the ground.

JOXER
Oh! Uh!

EXTRA
Fall back!

The grappling hook catches the grate.

AUTOLYCUS
Okay. What are you doin' down there?! All right.
Grab on, now. You two get up there. I'm gonna
go hold 'em off.

JOXER
I'll help ya.

AUTOLYCUS
No, you can't help me and save the baby, too.
Get going.

Autolycus runs off. Joxer pulls the grappling hook and it falls to the ground and hits him in the head. Autolycus kicks the guards back and shuts the door. He puts a board on it and leans against it. Meg backs up from Joxer.

JOXER
I'm gonna get this thing up there, see?

Joxer swings the grappling hook, but wraps around his throat.

JOXER
Okay. Okay.

Meg sets down the baby.

MEG
You stay here.

Joxer throws the grappling hook behind him and it catches his clothes on his rear. He pulls the grappling hook and digs it into himself.

JOXER
Ah-h-h-h-h-h!

Autolycus holds the door. The guards break in, but Autolycus pushes the door shut again. Meg takes the grappling hook.

AUTOLYCUS
Hurry up!

MEG
All right. You give me that!

JOXER
Ow.

Autolycus holds the door.

AUTOLYCUS
Come on! Hurry up! Ooh!

MEG
Go and help Auto.

Joxer helps Autolycus hold the door. The baby crawls to the cushion. A soldier puts his hand in the door and Autolycus bites him. He screams. Meg tries to get the grappling hook up but misses. The baby crawls onto the cushion. Joxer screams when a soldier grabs his nose and pulls him into the door a few times. Meg gets the grappling hook up.

MEG
All right. Punkin?

Meg turns to see the baby on the cushion. He giggles.

MEG
No!

The door opens. A light surrounds the baby and he grows into a young man, King Cleades.

MEG
Punkin?

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Temple.

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

MEG
Whoa!

The soldiers break in.

EXTRA
Come on!

CLEADES
Kryptos.

KRYPTOS
Kill them all.

The rope Meg is holding is pulled up and Meg with it. Cleades takes Joxer's sword and fights the soldiers.

JOXER
Thanks! What's your name?

CLEADES
You can call me Punkin.

Autolycus fights. Kryptos takes the crown and runs out. Autolycus and Cleades fight the soldiers. A yell is heard and Xena flips into the battle and takes out the soldiers. She flips with a yell and lands before Joxer and Cleades.

JOXER
Meg! Nice moves!

AUTOLYCUS
That's not Meg, you moron! It's Xena!

Autolycus takes out the last soldier.

JOXER
Where's Meg?

XENA
She's up there. She's fine.

AUTOLYCUS
How'd you get here?

XENA
Gryphia, the old nurse? When you told her about
me, she came to find me. King Cleades. "The
child is no more."

AUTOLYCUS
This is the king of Thrasos?

JOXER
King? That's my boy! Ha-ha! Ooh, the apple didn't
fall far from the tree! Huh-huh-huh-huh-huh!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later, they all walk along. Xena and Autolycus with Cleades and Meg and Joxer following.

CLEADES
I was a fool. My people were so good, so hard-working.
But, I took all that for granted, and slowly started
to treat them-

AUTOLYCUS
Yeah, like animals. We saw what happened to
your kingdom. You know, your people are
basically bankrupt.

CLEADES
Yes. Through the eyes of a child I saw.

JOXER
Why did Athena make you a baby?

XENA
The eyes of a child are innocent. They can see
the world in ways that we've long forgotten.
Athena gave him a chance to learn and gain wisdom.

JOXER
Oh.

MEG
Oh.

JOXER
Huh?

XENA
Kryptos and Ormestin are going to clean out the
royal treasury and take off. You can regain the
throne if that's what matters to you.

CLEADES
No. The treasury belongs to my people. Without
it, they starve.

He moves to Meg.

CLEADES
I wouldn't be here today if someone hadn't risked
everything for me. I had to see love, and you showed
it to me. Those two have to be stopped. My people
deserve no less.

MEG
You got it, Punkin.

Xena and Autolycus join them.

XENA
You're not alone. I'll be fighting alongside you.

JOXER
You can count on me, son.

AUTOLYCUS
Ah, would there be any kind of reward in this?
I mean, it's not a deal-breaker or anything.

Xena slaps him in the chest.

AUTOLYCUS
Okay, okay, I'm in. I'm in.

MEG
Yeah, like Mr. Stinky said, I thought maybe there
was a reward in it like, I don't know, a crown or a
baby or sum'in' but...okay.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ormestin and Kryptos fill pouches with dinars. A soldier enters.

KEY GUARD
Barge is ready, sir.

ORMESTIN
Good. Load this up. Once the people realize we're
out of here, there might be problems.

KRYPTOS
What does it matter? Let them riot. We have the
crown. Nothing can stop us now.

The Key Guard leaves, but comes flying back into the room with a yell. Xena, Cleades, Autolycus, Meg and Joxer enter.

KRYPTOS
Cleades?

ORMESTIN
Xena. Two Xena's.

XENA
That's right. Makes you wanna cry like a baby,
doesn't it?

MEG
Yeah.

Xena draws her sword and she and Cleades run at them. Xena fights Ormestin and Cleades fights Kryptos.

MEG
Get 'em. Yeah.

Guards enter. Meg screams as her, Joxer and Autolycus run.

JOXER
Oh! Oh! Oh! Okay, fellas!

Joxer yells and swings his sword, standing next to Meg, who holds up her hands. Joxer drops his sword on his feet.

JOXER
Ooh! Ow!

EXTRAS
Hmm?

JOXER
Hold on a second.

Joxer picks up his sword.

JOXER
Ah-h, suckers!

He swings it, but hits Meg in the stomach with his fist.

JOXER
Oh. Ow.

She pushes his hand forward and the guards jump back from the blade. Autolycus breaks a pot over a guards head.

AUTOLYCUS
That was an original.

Autolycus fights the guards. Xena fights Ormestin. Cleades fights Kryptos.

KRYPTOS
What are you fighting for?! We've kept the kingdom
the way you left it! You can share in the wealth!

CLEADES
It belongs to my people!

Autolycus fights the guards.

AUTOLYCUS
Hah!

Joxer loses his sword. The guards run at him. Meg and Joxer turn to run, but run into each other with a head butt. Meg shoves Joxer into one of the guards. She spins and bumps him into the other one. Autolycus fights the guards. Xena defeats Ormestin. Cleades fights Kryptos.

KRYPTOS
Your people! When did they ever matter to you?!

Xena grabs him.

XENA
Ever since he was a baby!

Xena knocks him to the floor next to Ormestin. Cleades stands over them. Xena holds out Cleades' sword.

XENA
It's your kingdom, your justice.

Cleades takes it and holds it on them.

CLEADES
I sentence you...to live. Away from here, away
from my kingdom, away from my people. Go.

Meg and Joxer pick them up by their ears. Meg takes the crown from Kry and Joxer shoves them out.

MEG
Guess this is yours, huh?

Cleades tries to take it, but Meg doesn't let go. He pulls a little harder and she gives it to him.

CLEADES
It's not mine. It was always intended for my
queen, Gryphia.

Gryphia enters, though now a young woman. Cleades puts the crown on her head.

XENA
Athena made Cleades young, so that he could
see anew. And she made Gryphia old to teach
her how to care.

Joxer cries. Cleades kisses Gryphia. Joxer keeps sobbing.

XENA
What's the matter with you?

JOXER
They grew up so fast!

He cries and Meg leaves. Xena follows.

JOXER
Can't...he was this big!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg looks in the chest where she first found Cleades. Xena enters.

XENA
Meg?

MEG
Oh, Xena. Well, everything worked out all right.
Everybody's happy. But then I really thought I
had somethin' in there.

XENA
You do. You've got a warm, caring heart
with a lotta love to give.

MEG
For the right price. Everyone knows that's Meg.

XENA
Who do you think you're fooling, huh?

Xena starts to walk up next to her.

XENA
You've got so much depth that it scares you when
it comes out.

Xena stands just behind her.

MEG
Well, look who's talkin'. There's a million little
lights in the sky, and a million cozy homes, and
I ain't never gonna be part of one of 'em.

XENA
Meg...

She moves next to her.

XENA
...one day it's going to happen for you and you'll
have a family of your own, not a borrowed
one, a family of your own.

MEG
I can't have children.

Xena is silent for a moment.

XENA
You did a wonderful thing here, Meg. You
helped a lot of people because you were able to
love one child. And I can't believe that with
all the little lights in the sky, that there isn't one
waiting for someone like you.

Tears roll down Meg's face. Xena reaches out a hand of comfort, but Meg looks away. Xena leaves and Meg continues to cry.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The stars. Voice-over of Cleades as a baby giggling.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Lucy Lawless as Meg

GUEST CAST
Ted Raimi as Joxer
Bruce Campbell as Autolycus
Paul Willis as Ormestin
Martin Howells as Kryptos
Craig Parker as Cleades
Yvonne Lawley as Gryphia
Norman Forsey as Mogus
Peter Mason as Drunk
Brett Higginson as Peasant
Jon Stubbs as Tax Collector
Geoff Knight as Key Guard

Written by: Eric Morris
Directed by: Bruce Campbell

Disclaimer: No Priceless Porkers, of either organic or ceramic origin, were harmed during the filming of this motion picture.