Old Ares Had a Farm


This transcript is dedicated to the memory of Kevin Smith


TEASER

Village.

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People move about the village.

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Xena and Gabrielle enter a rowdy tavern.

GABRIELLE
Xena, I'm beginning to lose my appetite.

XENA
Well, let's give it a try. Sometimes, these places
have great food.

Allus whispers to the warrior's he's with and they all laugh loudly. Xena and Gabrielle move over to the bar. Xena looks over at Allus.

XENA
Won't be a sec.

Xena moves over to Allus' table.

XENA
Pardon me...didn't you used to ride with Ahab
the Lame?

ALLUS
Yeah...but I've moved on to better things.

He and the others laugh.

XENA
You look like the self-improvement type. (to others)
And aren't those Attila's colors you're wearing?
Some company. And you...I could swear you're
Turkestan's boy. What is this? A scum-bag convention?

The tavern is full of warriors and it goes quiet. Gabrielle puts down her mug.

XENA
What brings you cutthroats together?

ALLUS
Huh! I don't have to tell you that.

XENA
Oh, but you do.

She puts the Pinch on him.

EXTRA
Get her!

The warriors attack Xena and she and Gabrielle wipe the floor with them. Xena moves over to Allus.

XENA
All right. You got seconds to live, so spit it out.

ALLUS
The warlords of Greece, Macedonia, and Thrace,
have put a price on his head. We've united under
Gasgar the Terrible, to hunt him down and split
the bounty.

She undoes the Pinch.

ALLUS
Ow! Oh!

XENA
All right, hunt down who?

ALLUS
The God of War, Ares. He's mortal and now the
warlords that he crossed when he was a god
are having their revenge.

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Ares walks along. He cracks his neck and moans. Siki jumps out in from of him.

SIKI
Ares, prepare to die!

Ares in uninterested. He moves to draw his sword when Xena and Gabrielle arrive. He draws his sword.

SIKI
Who are you?

XENA
Who are you?

SIKI
They call me "Battling Siki."

XENA
Nobody ever called you that. You just made that
up. But if you don't wanna be known as "Dead
Siki," you'll be movin' on.

SIKI
All right. But the gold is mine, Ares.

He leaves. Ares sheathes his sword.

ARES
I've been gettin' a lot of that, lately. So...what brings
you here? Animal magnetism?

XENA
I'm here to save your butt. The word is out that
you're mortal, Ares. There's a price on your head
and every scum-bag in the world is lookin' to cash in.

GABRIELLE
Gasgar the Terrible, Lombar, the Howl Brothers, Mosher.

XENA
Attila.

GABRIELLE
The Beast of Turkestan.

ARES
It'll be great fighting by your side. We'll take no prisoners.

XENA
No, we're not here to participate in a blood bath.
We're here to offer you a new life.

ARES
You're a little ahead of me.

XENA
Ares, you're gonna spend the rest of your mortal
life a hunted man, unless you assume a new identity.

GABRIELLE
You need to go undercover as someone else.

ARES
Reinvent myself. Well, I'm not opposed to the idea.
I've given a lot of thought to how I'm gonna live
the rest of my mortal life, a-a-a-a king, a priest...if
the cult was sexy enough.

XENA
Ares, you've gotta do something that no one
would ever suspect of you.

ARES
Like what?

Xena leans in closer to him.

XENA
How are you at shovelin' sh[BEEP]it?

She smiles and Gabrielle chuckles.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Xena, Gabrielle and Ares walk along.

GABRIELLE
Ares, what's wrong with being a farmer?

ARES
For a rube, nothing. But for the God of War-

XENA
Former God of War.

Ares stops and faces Xena.

ARES
Xena, let's you and I go crazy on Gasgar and his
boys. I am talkin' about slaughter and mayhem.

XENA
Ares, do you really wanna fight every warrior who
wants to make a fortune?

ARES
Okay, it's getting to be a chore.

GABRIELLE
If we set you up as a farmer, you can come and
go as you please.

ARES
Really?!

He keeps walking.

GABRIELLE
No one would suspect the God of War would be
living on a country farm.

XENA
Gabrielle and I'll stay with you, just until you get
the swing of things.

ARES
Yeah, a plantation, some slaves, half a dozen
flute-playing girls.

XENA
Just what I was thinkin'.

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Xena rides Argo the Second and Gabrielle and Ares are riding a wagon.

XENA
There it is, just as I remember it.

It's Xena's grandparents' homestead. It's a run down hovel.

GABRIELLE
(to horses) And whoo.

XENA
The Elysian fields on Earth.

She dismounts.

XENA
Come on, come on. Well...this is it.

ARES
What? The outhouse?

GABRIELLE
It's beautiful.

ARES
Hello!

XENA
Oo-oo-ooh!

ARES
We're looking at a hovel!

XENA
Look...here. I carved my initial in this pole. Here.

GABRIELLE
Let's see. Huh! It's still there.

There's an "X" there.

XENA
My grandma used to sit in this chair. She'd rock
and she'd tell us stories of the Olympian gods.

ARES
Bet you never thought you'd grow up to kill most
of them, didya?

XENA
But wait...the best is yet to come.

GABRIELLE
Come on.

Gabrielle chuckles. Xena enters the building.

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Inside. Xena is obviously moved to be there.

GABRIELLE
Xena, it's charming.

XENA
It even smells the way I remember it.

Gabrielle picks up a broken chair. Ares enters.

ARES
I don't wanna spoil your waltz down memory lane,
but Ares ain't living here. Now you can tell us all
about your pastoral childhood on the way back
to civilization.

XENA
Ares, it's a little run-down, but we can fix it.

ARES
When I was a god, I couldn't have fixed this place.

GABRIELLE
It's nothing that a little hard work can't put right.

She picks up a table that is missing a leg and it falls right back down.

ARES
See, now you're scaring me.

XENA
More than a band of cutthroats who are out for
your blood?

ARES
Do I hafta answer right away?

Xena opens a door and moves into another room. The door falls off. Xena pops her head out.

XENA
Gabrielle, come check out the stove.

Gabrielle leaves the room to join Xena.

SIKI (voice-over)
So, I got the God of War down-

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Tavern. Siki talks to a group of bargirls.

SIKI
-and I wouldn't listen to his pleas for mercy, and
then I-

He motions with his hand over neck.

SIKI
-fsh! I cut his throat.

BARGIRL
What did he look like?

SIKI
You know? He wasn't as mean-looking as everyone
says, kind of a dark, handsome guy, dressed all
in black with a beard. And he had this gray vest-

Gasgar grabs him and pulls him up from the table.

GASGAR
You didn't kill anyone, you little pimple, but you
might've seen somethin'. That description of Ares
was pretty good.

SIKI
I--I did see him.

GASGAR
Where?

SIKI
Outside of Ipeiros. I followed them as far as the
Lackawan Valley. Then I lost my nerve.

GASGAR
What do you mean, "Them"? Does he have an
army with him?

SIKI
No, no. A couple of women.

Gasgar laughs then throws Siki, who yells.

GASGAR
(to Demetrius) Ares always did have a weakness
for the ladies. Probably lookin' for a place to shack
up with them. Pass the word. We're headed for
the Lackawan Valley.

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Wheat.

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Pink flowers.

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Yellow flowers.

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Homestead.

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Ares is sitting on the porch, his vest off. He wipes his neck with some rags then drinks from a wine skin.

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Inside. Xena and Gabrielle are dressed as farm girls and are fixing up the homestead.

XENA
Ares, hurry up-

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Outside. Ares nearly chokes on what he is drinking. Xena can be heard shouting.

XENA
-with those rags!

ARES
You know what? I, uh...I just can't seem to find
'em anywhere.

He hides them underneath a loose plank on the porch. Xena comes out.

XENA
Well, that doesn't make sense. Come on, then.
We'll do somethin' else.

ARES
Aw! I was doing a thing!

Gabrielle comes out.

GABRIELLE
Has anyone seen that saw I left out here?

ARES
Well, don't look at me. I try to touch tools of common
labour as little as possible.

XENA
Well, that's going to change. Come on.

Xena picks him up by his ear and turns him towards the door.

XENA
Let's go.

She whips him in the butt with a rag.

ARES
Not the butt.

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Xena whips Ares into the homestead, who is walking backwards to protect his butt.

ARES
If that leaves a mark...

XENA
Don't turn around.

ARES
Don't you...

Xena stops and moves over to the fireplace. She gets up a small step.

GABRIELLE
I know I left the saw on the railing.

Ares stares at Xena's behind.

XENA
All right, Ares, I want you to get up here on the
mantelpiece and nail those boards to the ceiling.

ARES
After you.

She gets down and faces him.

XENA
Ares...come on.

ARES
All right.

He sighs.

ARES
What did you want me to do with the rags?

XENA
I wanted you to stuff 'em in the holes in the outside
wall to stop the wind coming through.

ARES
I'd rather do that.

He runs outside. Gabrielle is looking around for the saw.

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Ares goes outside and lifts up the plank where he was hiding the rags. Xena comes outside.

XENA
All right. What are you looking for?

ARES
Okay, I hid the rags. I thought you were gonna
get me to mop the floor or some other demeaning
job I'd rather die than do, but now, they're gone.

Gabrielle comes outside.

XENA
Ah-h-h.

GABRIELLE
This is strange. I left both my boots out here and
one of them's gone.

ARES
Okay, where's my wineskin?

XENA
Something is out there.

GREBA
Excuse me. Hello. My name is Greba. I'm your neighbor?

XENA
Oh, hi.

ARES
Hello.

Ares stands and holds onto a pole, looking at Greba.

GREBA
I've just come from Ipeiros. There's an army moving
toward the valley, led by the warlord Gasgar.

GABRIELLE
Thanks for the warning.

Greba sighs.

GREBA
That Gasgar, he's a bad one. You know what they
say his favourite sport is? It's to take a young,
beautiful, helpless maiden and despoil her of
her chastity again and again and again and again!

Ares claws the pole, obviously turned on by the idea.

ARES
Oh, the beast.

Xena hits Ares.

XENA
Thanks, Greba.

GREBA
It makes me shudder, just thinking about it, being
a young widow on my own-

Ares moves closer to her and flexes his pectorals.

GREBA
-without a man to take care of my wants and needs,
alone in my house, just...over the fence, just there.

Ares gestures in question. Greba eyes Ares with a seductive look.

GABRIELLE and XENA
Thank you, Greba.

ARES
Hey, uh...drop by again, when the news is better.
We'll have a glass of wine, swap tips on raising
root vegetables.

Xena rolls her eyes.

GREBA
Well, goodbye.

Ares waves and mouths "Bye." She leaves.

XENA
All right, you two take care of the thief. I'm gonna
see to Gasgar.

Xena moves inside.

ARES
Oh! Oh! Oh-ho-ho-ho, so you still get to be warrior!

You can hear zips and the sound of someone moving very fast and Xena steps out three seconds later, dressed fully in her armour once more.

XENA
Uh-huh. But believe me I would much rather stay
here and work on the house.

ARES
You know the sad thing? I believe you! Where's
my belt?!

Xena mounts Argo the Second.

XENA
Definitely take care of that one.

Xena rides off.

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Gasgar's camp.

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Inside Gasgar's tent.

DEMETRIUS
Gasgar? Xena's here.

GASGAR
Xena?

Xena enters.

XENA
Gasgar...I've come to present you with a little gift.

GASGAR
What is it?

XENA
Ares' head on a platter.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Gasgar's tent.

GASGAR
So...you want a piece of him, too. Figures. I've
heard about some of the things he's done to you
through the years. Let me ask you somethin' - when
you were slaughtering gods up on Olympus-

XENA
Mm-hm-m?

GASGAR
-why didn't you just take him out then?

XENA
The coward ran, I didn't get the chance.

GASGAR
Hm-m. Well...he's mortal now. So any of us can
kill him. We don't need you...Xena. And we sure
don't need to split the bounty any more ways.

XENA
I'm not in this for the gold. This is personal.
Besides...what if you're wrong? What if it's all
just a rumour, and he hasn't lost his immortality
at all? You'd be stalking the God of War. But I...I
have the ability to kill gods. Now wouldn't that
make a nice insurance policy, hm-m? Besides...I
know where to find him.

She stabs a dagger into the table and smiles.

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Gabrielle and Ares sit before a fire.

GABRIELLE
Ares...when you gave up your immortality to save
me and Eve, that was...that was quite a sacrifice.
Thank you.

ARES
If Eve had died and Xena lost her power to kill gods,
then Athena would have killed Xena, so I was
saving Eve to save Xena. You were an afterthought.

Gabrielle smurks.

GABRIELLE
Thanks, anyway.

Xena enters.

GABRIELLE
How'd it go?

Xena sighs.

XENA
So far, so good. You cleared the chimney.

GABRIELLE
Ares did the heavy work.

XENA
Yeah?

Xena sits next to Gabrielle.

ARES
She's exaggerating. She just doesn't want to
admit she couldn't get me to work any better
than you could.

GABRIELLE
A lot of truth in that.

XENA
You know, my brothers and I used to sit by the
fire, here and tell ghost stories. My brothers...I
miss them sometimes.

ARES
Xena...the thief is still here. He got my gauntlet
this afternoon. Whoever it is, is good, I mean,
very, very good. We didn't see a thing.

GABRIELLE
What if there's nothing to see?

ARES
Like a ghost?

GABRIELLE
Yeah.

Xena snickers.

ARES
You mortals go to the most incredible places
just to rationalize unexplained phenomena.

XENA
You know what's wonderful?

GABRIELLE
What?

XENA
It's wonderful that we're sitting here together in
front of this cozy fire.

GABRIELLE
That's right. Life on a farm is so peaceful.

XENA
Mm-m-m-m-m.

ARES
Are you two insane? The life is incredibly dull.
It--it--it--it's--it's horribly uncomfortable, and,
it--it--it's hard.

XENA
Oh, you'll change your tune when you get a few...

She hears leaking water. The roof starts to leak.

XENA
...calluses on your hands.

The water leaks right onto Ares' head.

ARES
Let me guess. This is your favourite part.

Xena stands.

XENA
Split up. There's gotta be one dry room in the house.

Gabrielle gets up. Ares does not move. Gabrielle can be heard from the kitchen.

GABRIELLE
The kitchen's worse.

Xena enters her old room.

XENA
Hey, it's dry in here. This was my room.

Ares enters.

XENA
Grandpa must have fortified the roof. It's the only dry room in the house.

Xena cleans the debris off of the bed.

ARES
That's a big bed. The three of us can sleep in there.

Gabrielle enters.

GABRIELLE
Three of us in one bed?

ARES
Sure.

XENA
Well, I suppose. We are all grown-ups.

ARES
We certainly are.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lightning flashes.

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Xena, Ares and Gabrielle sleep in the bed, Ares in the middle. Xena turns, and is looking right into Ares' face.

XENA
I think a change of positions is in order.

She turns the other way and Ares moves in closer and snuggles against her back.

XENA
I meant we should both change positions.

ARES
All right.

He turns onto his back. Gabrielle rolls and her hand smacks Ares in the groin. Xena looks up and when she sees where Gabrielle's hand is, she removes it.

ARES
I'm in Tartarus.

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Wheat.

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Ares is sleeping. A roster crows. Xena can be heard shouting from outside.

XENA
Gabrielle! I don't care if it is a ghost. If I can kill gods,
maybe I can kill ghosts, too!

ARES
Oh, thank God I'm a country boy.

He grabs his sword and leaves the bedroom.

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Ares moves to the balcony and looks out at Xena and Gabrielle who find some tracks.

XENA
Wait a minute, drag marks. Look.

GABRIELLE
The ghost stole her breastplate.

Xena and Gabrielle follow the tracks.

ARES
It couldn't carry her breastplate. Had to drag it. An
ample breastplate, to be sure, but...

Ares jumps down from the second story. Ares runs after them.

XENA
This way! Come on!

ARES
O-op!

They move out into a field.

XENA
Something buried our stuff.

GABRIELLE
What is this?

Xena unearths her breastplate.

XENA
Look. Oh! Oh-h-h!

GABRIELLE
Strange.

Growling can be heard. Gabrielle unearths Ares' belt.

GABRIELLE
Where are my boots?

Ares moves to a log where the growling is coming from.

ARES
Sh-h. It's a wolf.

Gabrielle and Xena look into the log.

GABRIELLE
It's not a wolf. It's a dog. Don't they have dogs
on Olympus?

ARES
Not one-headed ones.

Jake barks and jumps out onto Ares, licking him.

ARES
Oh-h! Get it off me!

Xena and Gabrielle chuckle.

XENA
Hey, he's not attacking you. He's trying to be affectionate.

ARES
Well, I am not interested in that kind of relationship.

Ares pushes him off and Jake whimpers.

GABRIELLE
O-h-h-h-h.

XENA
Aw, come here, pooch.

Xena and Gabrielle start to pet Jake.

ARES
Oh, now, don't--don't--don't do that. Now we'll
never get rid of it.

GABRIELLE
Maybe we don't wanna get rid of him.

ARES
Is there anything you and I agree on?

They both look up at Xena.

ARES
Oh, yeah. Anything else?

XENA
All right, Ares...you can stay here with your furry
little friend and fix the roof. Gabrielle and I are
off to town for some supplies.

Xena and Gabrielle leave.

ARES
Can it get any worse?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ares fixes the roof.

GREBA
Hello, again!

ARES
Neighbor lady, hello.

He struts down from the roof and as soon as he touches the ground, Jake is all over him.

ARES
You filthy mongrel.

GREBA
Dogs make me go all cuddly.

Ares looks at her and smiles.

ARES
(to Jake) See the lady? Say hello to the lady. Say hello!

Jake runs over to Greba.

ARES
He's just...

Ares moves over to Greba.

GREBA
My husband and I had a dog. But then he died
three years ago in the battles, my husband, that
is, not the dog. And then the dog was run over
by the funeral wagon that was carrying his body
home. There's been a great gaping hole in my
heart ever since that day. Isn't war just terrible?

ARES
A crime against humanity.

GREBA
I don't know why people can't be more like animals.
I mean, animals don't go to war or lie or cheat or
betray each other. Take this little guy right here.
I mean, when he likes you, he just comes up and
starts licking you. Why can't we be more like that?

ARES
A very, very good question. Maybe we can take him
for a long walk sometime, huh?

GREBA
They wouldn't mind us borrowing their dog - your daughters?

ARES
You mean, slave girls.

GREBA
Oh. They don't act like slaves.

ARES
Well, I spoil them. So, uh, what made you think
they were my daughters?

GREBA
Oh, well, I mean, you being an older man and
everything. Oh, don't get me wrong, I mean,
you're--you're in great shape, and you hold yourself
so well. You know, good posture's so very important.
It's just that you're--you're so much more sophisticated
than what I'm used to, and, well, with the gray hair,
it's just-

Area laughs.

ARES
Gray - gray--gray hair. Gray hair.

Greba touches the small patch of gray hair just above his ear.

GREBA
Oh, you have that patch of gray just there.

ARES
Was that rain I - fix the roof.

He moves to the ladder again.

GREBA
Oh. Well, bye.

ARES
Bye.

She leaves. Jake barks.

ARES
Think that's funny? Yuk it up.

He climbs on top of the roof again, panting.

ARES
Oh!

He can hear the roof creaking.

ARES
Of course.

The roof breaks and he falls.

ARES
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Wood falls on top of him.

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

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena enters with a basket of vegetables.

XENA
Ares-

Ares moans. He has not moved from when he fell and Jake is on him, licking him.

XENA
What are you doing?

ARES
Oh, I'm just lying here smelling my mortality.

XENA
Oh.

ARES
Every muscle in my body aching. I have gray hair,
and the dog has its tongue in my mouth.

XENA
Well, ha-ha, enough of that.

She moves to Jake.

XENA
Scat.

Jake doesn't leave.

ARES
All due respect, Xena, this is the worst idea you've
ever had.

She helps him up.

ARES
Oh! Oh! Oh-h. I'll never make a convincing farmer.

XENA
Nonsense. You just need to know how to
accessorize. Come on.

ARES
Oh!

They leave.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside. Gabrielle rides in with a wagon full of chickens, a pig and a cow being lead from behind.

ARES
I'm guessing these are the accessories.

GABRIELLE
Hey, look what I found.

She chuckles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later, inside. Xena and Gabrielle clean up. Xena is humming the Xena: Warrior Princess theme song. Jake licks Ares' hand.

ARES
This dog is incredibly needy.

Jake whimpers.

GABRIELLE
Why don't you pet it? Then maybe it won't be so needy.

Gabrielle chuckles. Ares pets him slowly. Jake barks.

XENA
Ares, I got a job you might like.

ARES
Really?

XENA
Why don't you go kill a chicken for dinner?

ARES
All right! Now you're talkin'!

He runs out with his sword.

GABRIELLE
Only one chicken.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ares moves out to the chicken pen like a warrior moving into battle. Ares chases the chickens, but he can't catch up with any to kill one.

ARES
Yah!

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

GABRIELLE
Do you think he'll ever get used to this?

XENA
He just has to convince them once. After that, he
can hire in some help or get his dancing girls, for
all I care. But once he is set up, you and I are
out of here.

Pig can be heard barking outside.

GABRIELLE
Mm-hmm.

Ares can be heard yelling.

XENA
What?

GABRIELLE
Xena, I know you wanna help Ares, but you're
here to relive your childhood memories.

XENA
You think so?

GABRIELLE
Yeah.

XENA
Maybe you're right. I was happy here. It was a
peaceful and I...f--felt safe.

GABRIELLE
Hm-m.

XENA
Ever since, my life has been anything but.

GABRIELLE
I'll say. Let's enjoy it while we can.

Xena smiles and mouths "Yeah." Ares can be heard yelling.

XENA
Come here.

They look outside.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ares is chasing chickens, but can't catch one. Xena and Gabrielle watch and laugh.

ARES
Come on. Okay. Come on. Come on.

He yells.

ARES
Come on. Come on. Come to Papa!

He jumps and lands hard. He rolls over. Jake starts to lick him.

ARES
Uh, careful. I'm beginning to like that.

XENA
Uh, Ares, my plan's working perfectly.

ARES
You planned to drive me insane?

XENA
No, my plan to deal with Gasgar.

ARES
Are they leaving the valley?

XENA
Nope...they're comin' right toward us.

A group of Gasgar's men lead by Demetrius is riding towards them.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Ares runs inside the homestead. A man can be heard yelling.

EXTRA
Yah! Yah!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gasgar's men approach.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Gabrielle is helping Xena put on her breastplate.

XENA
All right, Ares, if you can pull this one off and
convince them that you're a farmer, they'll leave
and you'll have your cover.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gasgar's men approach.

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

ARES
But Gasgar and Attila know what I look like.

XENA
Oh, that's the beauty of it. I've asked around.
They're the only ones who know what you look like,
and they won't be part of the search party.

Demetrius can be heard shouting.

DEMETRIUS
You inside!

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

DEMETRIUS
Show yourselves!

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

XENA
Okay, the official story - Ares passed by here a
couple of days ago-

GABRIELLE
Suck it in.

Gabrielle pulls on Xena's leather girdle.

XENA
-and when he left, he was headed for the Hurata Pass.

Demetrius can be heard shouting.

DEMETRIUS
I said get out here!

XENA
All right, you're on.

She tosses Ares some rags to wear.

XENA
I'll be waiting out back. Wouldn't do to find the
Warrior Princess hanging out on a farm.

She leaves.

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

DEMETRIUS
If you don't come out here-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Demetrius can be heard shouting.

DEMETRIUS
-things are going to get ugly.

GABRIELLE
Okay, go out there.

ARES
No--no--no--no. I'm gonna need a moment. Well, stall!

GABRIELLE
Stall?

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

DEMETRIUS
Torch the place.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle messes up her hair and then rips her shirt to expose her bra.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle stumbles out of the homestead and leans on the door. The warriors chuckle.

EXTRA
Yeah!

Gabrielle has a Southern accent.

GABRIELLE
Sorry, I was, um...busy.

DEMETRIUS
Come down here, pretty one.

She starts to walk over to them.

DEMETRIUS
Would you like to help us?

GABRIELLE
Oh, of course.

DEMETRIUS
We're looking for somebody. His name is Ares. He
probably doesn't go by that now. Now, I've never
seen him, but, uh, they say his looks are dark and
women like the look of him.

GABRIELLE
Well, there are a lot of men who come around
here whose looks I like.

The warriors chuckle again.

ARES
Josa!

Ares steps out dressed in the rags. He has cotton balls in his mouth, making his cheeks stick out and a pitchfork in one hand. He has a fake gut. He also speaks with a Southern accent.

ARES
What are you doin'? Get back on in the house, woman.

He tosses the pitchfork aside. Gabrielle walks towards the house and Ares towards the warriors. As Gabrielle passes he tells at her.

ARES
All right!

Ares walks over to the warriors.

ARES
What do you want?

DEMETRIUS
I want you to drop the attitude, farm-boy. Then I
want you to tell me if you've seen anybody suspicious
around here.

ARES
Yes, sir, yes I have. That'd be you.

Demetrius kicks him in the face and Ares falls down. Demetrius dismounts.

DEMETRIUS
Now-

He hits Ares.

DEMETRIUS
-give me an answer. Have you seen any tall, dark,
handsome guy around here? I'm sure your woman
over there would've been all over him if you did.

Xena rides in. Ares picks up a large piece of wood. Demetrius takes it from him and moves to hit Ares. Xena runs over to him and stops him.

XENA
Wait a minute! If he's out cold, how can we
question him?

Jake watches.

DEMETRIUS
He's pretty feisty for a farmer. How do we know
he's not Ares himself?

Ares laughs.

XENA
Are you kidding? Ares' much younger man than this.

Ares looks up at her and growls.

DEMETRIUS
Oh, yeah, you've seen him. Well, the question is-

He picks Ares up.

DEMETRIUS
-has he seen him?

XENA
That's exactly what I'm gonna find out.

Xena turns Ares to face her, grabbing him by his collar.

XENA
Listen...

DEMETRIUS
Put that pinch on him. I've never seen it.

XENA
Well, it's not exactly a spectator sport.

DEMETRIUS
Yeah, but I hear that it makes the nose gush
blood. Are you gonna do it or not?

She puts the Pinch on him.

ARES
O-o-oh!

Jake runs up and bites Xena in the behind.

XENA
O-o-oh!

The warriors laugh. Jake jumps up into the saddle of a tied up horse. Xena turns to Ares.

XENA
You. You are going to be dead in thirty seconds,
you and your little dog too, if you don't tell me
have you seen Ares, the God of War?

ARES
He stayed here a coupl'a nights ago and went to
the Hurata Pass.

Xena is rubbing her sore behind.

XENA
The Hurata Pass.

Ares motions for Xena to take off the Pinch.

DEMETRIUS
Good work.

ARES
(choking) Hey! Hey--hey--hey--hey.

DEMETRIUS
I'll let Gasgar know right away.

XENA
I'm gonna head for the Hurata Pass.

Demetrius and the warriors ride off.

EXTRA
Yah!

Xena undoes the Pinch.

ARES
Oh-h-h-h!

Xena mounts and rides off. Gabrielle comes out of the homestead and moves over to him. Gabrielle and Ares drop the accents.

GABRIELLE
Ares, you shouldn't have come out with such an attitude.

He stands and removes one of the cotton balls from his mouth. Ares chuckles.

ARES
My woman-

He takes out another ball.

GABRIELLE
Yeah?

ARES
-was about to take on an entire army.

GABRIELLE
Oh.

ARES
I-

He takes out another ball.

ARES
-think even a farmer would just have a little bit of
attitude about that, don't you?

GABRIELLE
I was playing with my character. I just used the
first thing that popped into my head.

ARES
I think that says a lot about you.

Xena rides in.

XENA
Well done, Ares. You fooled 'em. They're gone.
(to Jake) Get down from there. Hey!

She throws the chakram at the saddle and Jake jumps off.

ARES
Hey--hey--hey--hey--hey, do not be throwing things
at my dog!

XENA
What do you mean?! He bit me! It...

Jake moves over to Ares.

XENA
Did you say your dog?

Ares picks up Jake.

ARES
He is the only one that stood up for me just now.
I think I'll call you...Horace. Come, Horace, let's
go kill some chickens.

Ares leaves.

GABRIELLE
It's amazing, he's bonded with the dog.

XENA
Well, that dog worships him. That's a relationship
Ares can understand.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena milks a cow, while Gabrielle pets another. Ares is lounging in some hay with Jake in his lap.

GABRIELLE
I see you use the pull and squeeze method. I
prefer the double squeeze.

XENA
Double squeeze takes too long.

GABRIELLE
No, you get more milk that way. It's easier on
the cow.

Xena sprays Gabrielle with milk.

GABRIELLE
Ha-ha-ha.

Ares laughs.

ARES
The Warrior Princess and the Battling Bard,
discussing the correct technique for milking a
cow - absurd and yet, at the same time ridiculous.

XENA
It's important.

Dempar can be heard shouting.

DEMPAR
Hello? Anyone there?

Jake whimpers and runs off.

ARES
Horace! Where you goin', buddy?!

GABRIELLE
In here!

Dempar enters.

DEMPAR
I'm sorry to bother you but I was just wondering
if anyone had seen my dog.

ARES
Your dog.

DEMPAR
Mm-m. Uh, I'm a traveling salesman. I was
passing through here a couple of weeks ago, and
my dog ran off during a thunderstorm. I was just
trying to find him. Y--you can't miss him. He's--he's
got two different coloured eyes.

ARES
One gray, one blue?

DEMPAR
Yes!

ARES
I've never seen him.

DEMPAR
Shame.

Jake barks.

DEMPAR
That's him. That's him!

He runs out of the barn. Ares, Xena and Gabrielle follow.

DEMPAR
Ha-ha. Tha--tha--that's him!

Jake runs.

ARES
That's not a dog. It's a horse. We breed 'em small
around here.

DEMPAR
No, it's--no, it's really him! Jake! Jake, come back!
Here you go! Jake, come back to Daddy!

ARES
(whispering) Run, Horace, run.

DEMPAR
Jake, Jake, Jakey Come back! Not that fast!

Xena touches Ares' shoulder.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jake is in Dempar's wagon. Jake chews on one of Ares' gauntlets. Dempar talks to two villagers. Demetrius and Gasgar arrive.

DEMPAR
Look at the workmanship there.

Demetrius shoves the villagers.

DEMETRIUS
Get out of the way.

DEMPAR
(to villagers) Oh, I'll be with you later. (to Gasgar)
Now, how may I help you gentlemen?

Gasgar sees Jake.

GASGAR
What's he chewin' on?

DEMPAR
Oh, it's, uh, it's funny you should ask that because
it's just one of the most precious things that we
have here.

He takes it from Jake.

DEMPAR
Look at that. It's-

Demetrius takes it.

DEMPAR
Well, uh, it's available, for a price.

DEMETRIUS
It looks like Ares' gauntlet.

GASGAR
Where'd you get it?

DEMPAR
Now, that's a very interesting thing in itself. You see-

GASGAR
Where'd you get it?!

DEMPAR
My dog found it on--on a farm.

GASGAR
What farm?

DEMPAR
A--a f--farm.

Gasgar looks at the gauntlet.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Outside the homestead. Xena, Gabrielle and Ares look around.

GABRIELLE
Maybe he buried it in the field.

ARES
Oh, you are so quick to blame Horace.

XENA
Well, who else would steal your gauntlet?

Greba enters. Ares smiles and moves right over to her.

GREBA
Hello? Bad news - Gasgar's army has turned
around and is heading back down the valley.
A soldier from his army was drunk in a tavern
at Ipeiros last night, and he says that Gasgar is
heading for this farm. Somehow, Gasgar's got
it in his head that Ares is here. Goodness, aren't
people just the funniest thing?

Ares smiles at her.

XENA
Thank you, Greba.

GREBA
Oh, and I also heard that-

XENA
Greba...go away.

GREBA
Well, good-bye.

She leaves. Ares waves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gasgar's camp.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gasgar eats a leg of meat.

DEMETRIUS
Gasgar...Xena's here.

GASGAR
Oh. Good. Send her in.

Xena enters.

GASGAR
I thought you were headed for the Hurata Pass, Xena.

XENA
And I heard you turned your army around. I didn't
want you to waste your time. Ares headed through
here a few days-

GASGAR
That's not gonna play.

He throws the gauntlet at her.

GASGAR
Ares' gauntlet. A dog found it on a farm - a farm
you happened to ride up to when Demetrius was
in the middle of an interrogation. Why are you
tryin' to hide Ares, Xena?

GABRIELLE
I'll tell you why.

Gabrielle enters.

XENA
Gabrielle, what are you doing here?

GABRIELLE
I'm tired of being used by you, Xena.

XENA
Gabrielle, this is not time for one of your little spats.

GABRIELLE
You wanna know where Ares is?

GASGAR
Yeah.

XENA
Don't listen to her. She's insane.

GABRIELLE
I'll tell you who's insane - you. If you think you can
walk away from me. You've fallen in love with Ares,
and suddenly I'm nothin'.

GASGAR
You fell in love with Ares? After all he's done to
ya? That's pathetic.

XENA
You want a piece of me, Gasgar?

GASGAR
None of my business, really.

XENA
Damn straight.

GASGAR
You were about to tell me where Ares is.

GABRIELLE
Yeah.

XENA
Wouldn't do that if I were you, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Xena, you taught me how to fight. I may be tougher
than you think.

She butts Xena's chest with hers.

GABRIELLE
Ares is headed to Pultruis. He's gonna hide in
the Naughton Cave.

XENA
Why, I oughtta...

GABRIELLE
Come on, Warrior Princess. Let's see what ya
got. Come on.

Xena and Gabrielle "fight."

GABRIELLE
Ow!

Gasgar laughs. The "fight" continues.

GASGAR
Whoa. Whoa. Can we take this outside?

They keep "fighting."

GASGAR
Okay, I'll leave.

Gasgar heads out with Demetrius. As they are about to step out, Gasgar grabs Demetrius.

GASGAR
How far to Pultruis?

DEMETRIUS
It's a day's ride.

He leaves. Gabrielle draws her sais and Xena her sword. They stop. Gabrielle laughs.

XENA
All right.

Xena hits Gabrielle's sai playfully with her sword.

XENA
Nice moves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homestead. Ares is sad on the porch. He sighs. Jake barks and runs to Ares. Xena and Gabrielle ride up.

ARES
Horace! Oh, yeah. Come on, come on. Yeah.

He picks him up.

ARES
Oh-h-h-h.

GABRIELLE
I guess you don't need the flute girls anymore.

ARES
Hey, I like his company. It's not like he takes care
of all my problems.

XENA
Here.

Xena tosses him his gauntlet.

ARES
So, what happened to Gasgar?

XENA
Oh, he headed with the others towards the Pultruis
Caves. He thought you were hiding out there for
some reason.

ARES
That would be the Pultruis where the beast of the
seven heads makes his lair?

GABRIELLE
Eight heads - and not one of them is friendly.

XENA
So you can stay here as long as you want. No
one'll bother you here.

ARES
Thanks, Xena, but to be honest, once I'm out of
chickens, I might just move on.

XENA
Well, you should drag it out. You know, you might
find a kind of peace here that you won't find afterwards.

She moves closer to him.

XENA
And who knows? Maybe I'll come and visit ya sometime.

ARES
Or...I could give this whole rural thing a good try.

He leans in to kiss her and Xena pinches his cheek.

XENA
Good boy.

She pats his cheek. She mounts Argo the Second.

XENA
Have fun.

Xena and Gabrielle ride off. Ares watches them leave.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle ride.

GABRIELLE
How are you feeling?

XENA
I've learned something since coming back here.
You can't look for peace in the world around you.
You've gotta find it in your own heart. I was happier
when I was a kid here 'cause I was loved and I
felt like I belonged. I was lucky then and I'm lucky now.

GABRIELLE
Me, too.

Xena smiles.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Kevin Smith as Ares
Noel Coutts as Gasgar
Kirk Torrance as Demetrius
Charmaine Guest as Greba
Norman Forsey as Dempar
Dai Henwood as Siki
Andrew Kovacevich as Allus
Megan Nicol as Bargirl
?????????????? as Jake

Written by: R.J. Stewart
Directed by: Charles Siebert

Disclaimer: Ares went to the dogs during the making of this motion picture.