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XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
"GO HOME, GABRIELLE"
by Eddie A. Palmer

Disclaimers:

If you have any comments, ideas or suggestions concerning my scripts, I would be pleased to hear from you. You can reach me at palmer555@Juno.com

© copyright 1998, Eddie A. Palmer. The characters Xena,Gabrielle, Argo, Hercules, Eolaus, Autolycus, Cyrene, and Joxer, as well as the title XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS are the copyright property of the syndicated TV series of the same name, MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in writing these scripts. All other characters, story ideas and the stories themselves are the sole property of the author. These scripts cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of thess scripts may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author, and may not be republished without the authorís consent.

VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL CONTENT: The violence depicted here is relatively mild and not graphicly described. There is almost no sexual content in this script. Now, in my personal fantasies... well, I guess that doesnít really matter.

Finally, let me say, I wrote these scripts out of love for the characters and the stars of XWP. I am posting them here as a tribute to those wonderful and talented people who mean more to me than I can fully express here.





TEASER

FADE IN:

EXT. MODERATELY-WOODED WILDERNESS VALLEY - DAY

Camped in a small clearing, XENA and GABRIELLE are sleeping, with Argo tethered in the background. Xena rolls over and sits up, looking and listening. She looks around at Argo, as the horse SLIGHTLY REACTS to some sensed danger.

XENA (scanning the area) Gabrielle.

Gabrielle doesn't move, so Xena kicks the girl's legs.

XENA (urgently) Gabrielle, wake up!

Jarred from a deep sleep, Gabrielle sits up with a start and rubs her leg.

GABRIELLE Ow! Why did you do that? What's the
matter?

Xena is quickly gathering her bed roll.

XENA Come on, move! I think we have a
problem. Maybe a big problem.
GABRIELLE (refusing to budge) What is it? (beat) Xena, did you
have a bad dream?
XENA We're surrounded. GABRIELLE (frowning sarcastically) By what, savage renegade pine trees? XENA No, by that.

Following Xena's gaze, Gabrielle turns to see a long line of men on horseback appear along the crest of a low ridge. It is a well-trained, impressively-outfitted military force.

Xena and Gabrielle look in the opposite direction to see many similar soldiers riding through the trees toward them.

XENA And that. GABRIELLE (amazed) We're surrounded! XENA You let me do the talking. If
they aren't friendly, we can't
fight this army, Gabrielle. Don't
you dare say or do anything to
provoke them.
GABRIELLE When have I ever done that? XENA Yeah, right.

Gabrielle jumps to her feet and starts pulling her things together.

GABRIELLE (growing fearful) Do you know who they are? XENA (ominously) No, I don't, but they're not
from around here.

The army closes in around them, tightly surrounding the clearing. The leader is a rather flamboyant middle-aged man wearing colorful civilian attire. He rides his horse into the clearing and circles the women, who just look up at him and remain silent. The man, KING AJARRO, stops beside a soldier that looks more like a sneak thief than a warrior.

AJARRO Are you sure this is her? THIEF/SOLDIER It's her, all right.

Ajarro turns his attention back to the women.

AJARRO Xena, Warrior Princess! You are
indeed worthy prey. You have led
us on quite a hunt. It's really
great sport!
XENA I hate to disappoint you, but the prey didn't know she was being hunted. Where's the sport in that? AJARRO (taken down a bit) Point taken, but it doesn't matter. GABRIELLE And she isn't prey to be hunted!

Xena rolls her eyes toward the sky.

AJARRO And who are you? GABRIELLE Gabrielle, just who are you? AJARRO Ah, yes, allow me to introduce
myself. I am King Ajarro, and
this is my magnificent army. We
have journeyed a great distance
to find you, Xena! It wasn't
easy to do, but now you're mine.

Gabrielle looks at Xena, as if expecting her to say or do something, but Xena only glares up at Ajarro and remains silent.

FADE OUT:

END OF TEASER







ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. THE CAMPSITE - DAY

We pick up where we left off. Xena and Gabrielle glance around at the soldiers, then look back at Ajarro.

XENA (serious) What do you want? AJARRO Why, I want you, Xena! You are my
grand prize. A trophy that I am
going to take back to my kingdom
to fight in the arena. It's
really great sport. (a beat) This
can actually be a wonderful
opportunity for you. My people
will love you! You can be a hero
and be well rewarded, if you can
manage to stay alive, of course.
We only want winners, you do
understand.

Ajarro laughs as if he just made a big joke, and he looks around at his soldiers, obviously hoping to hear their laughter, too. Many comply.

XENA All right!

The LAUGHTER dies.

AJARRO All right, what? XENA (much softer) All right, I will go with you, and
I won't give you any trouble.
GABRIELLE (worried) Xena.... XENA No trouble at all, if you will
let my friend go.
GABRIELLE (confused) Xena, what are you saying?

Xena looks away and remains silent.

GABRIELLE (Continued) This isn't you, Xena. You don't
just give up. It's because of me.
If I wasn't here, you'd rip right
through this pack of mongrels!

Xena suddenly turns and grabs Gabrielle by the shoulders.

GABRIELLE (Continued) You'd escape... (tears) ...if it
wasn't for me.
XENA (very stern) Just look around you! Now keep your
mouth shut and leave while you can!
Go home, Gabrielle.

Gabrielle sees Ajarro motion to some of his men.

GABRIELLE You brought an army like this to
capture one woman?
AJARRO Where I go, my army goes. GABRIELLE Yeah, you need them all, 'cause
somebody would kick your...

Xena jerks Gabrielle back around, and shakes her. Then, two soldiers come forward and start draping chains around Xena.

The two savage brutes lock the chains tightly in place, then yank Xena backward. The Warrior Princess reluctantly releases her grasp on Gabrielle. Her strong hands slip from her friend's shoulders, then reach out for a moment, before falling helplessly to her sides.

GABRIELLE (To Ajarro, almost pleading) Do you really think that's necessary?
She gave you her word.
AJARRO The word of a... savage. Now that
I have her, I intend to keep her.
GABRIELLE You are the savage here! XENA It's all right, Gabrielle. GABRIELLE Tell me where you're taking her.

There is no reply.

GABRIELLE (Continued) Then let me go with her. XENA (furious) No! Go home, Gabrielle! AJARRO Yes, be off with you, girl! And
always remember this day, the
day that the great King Ajarro
benevolently spared your life.
GABRIELLE Oh, I will remember this day, all
right. No matter what else I may
forget, I will remember this day,
and I will remember you!

Gabrielle picks up her belongings, including her staff, and walks hurriedly away. The soldiers open a gap for her to pass through. Finally, Gabrielle breaks into a run, and doesn't look back. Watching Gabrielle go, Xena's face is a mask of pain.

CUT TO:

EXT. A SPOT IN THE THICK FOREST - SAME

Gabrielle frantically tears her way through the thick trees and bushes. She abruptly slumps against a large tree, then bursts into tears, totally unable to hold it back any longer.

CUT TO:

EXT. A RIDGETOP - DAY

Concealed behind low bushes, Gabrielle watches the Royal Coach and the large army moving through the valley below. AJARRO is riding his horse near the coach. Xena is on the other side of the coach, in chains and lashed to Argo. Xena is flanked by guards.

Gabrielle picks a berry from a bush and puts it in her mouth. She lays down, rolls over onto her back and gazes up at the sky as she eats the berry.

GABRIELLE Go home, Gabrielle! Yeah, I'll
go home, all right.

Suddenly, Gabrielle seems almost overwhelmed.

GABRIELLE (softly) May the gods be with me.... and
Xena. And the Great King Ajarro,
if I ever get my hands on him!

Gabrielle returns to her kneeling position and looks over the low bushes.

The large entourage is now moving into the thick grove of trees at the far end of the valley.

Gabrielle springs to her feet, staff in hand, and dashes along the ridge crest.

EXT. A RIDGETOP - SAME

Gabrielle comes crashing through thick tree branches to find three of Ajarro's soldiers waiting for her. She slides to a stop and stands blinking at them.

Swords in hand, the soldiers step toward Gabrielle. SOLDIER #1 smiles at her, revealing his rotten teeth.

SOLDIER #1 You didn't think we could see you
up here, did you, little girl? You
ain't too smart, are you now?
GABRIELLE Just three of you? You are not
too smart!

Gabrielle swings her staff, hitting Soldier #1 in the neck and sending him flipping backward. She quickly swings left and then right, taking out the other two. The three soldiers tumble down a steep slope and end up on a pile of large rocks. Moaning, they struggle, trying to stand.

GABRIELLE The next time you boys plan on
having a party, please invite
your King to tag along!

Gabrielle turns and runs down the other side of the hill.

CUT TO:

EXT. THICKLY FORESTED AREA, ALONG THE TRAIL - DAY

Gabrielle is up a tree, laying on a large limb that stretches out above the narrow trail. She stares uncertainly at something in the distance.

O.s., we hear the SOUND of approaching horses.

As six of Ajarro's soldiers come down the trail and abruptly stop, looking ahead. Their leader, a YOUND OFFICER, points in Gabrielle's direction.

YOUNG OFFICER There!

Gabrielle is frightened, but she holds her position, as the soldiers quickly ride toward her. The troopers stop directly below Gabrielle, who is obviously unhappy about the situation.

YOUNG OFFICER There! It's the supply wagons!

Gabrielle follows their gaze and sees three loaded wagons making their way up a little valley. The Young Officer turns to one of his men.

YOUNG OFFICER Ride down and tell them to camp there
tonight. You can stay with them. We'll
meet up with you here tomorrow.

The chosen soldier rides away toward the distant wagons, while the others ride back the way they came. Gabrielle scurries down the big tree, plucks her belongings from bushes and vanishes into the thick trees.

CUT TO:

EXT. A CLEARING IN THE FOREST - DAY

Using shards of stone and other materials she has gathered from the forest, Gabrielle sits at the base of a huge tree and fashions a bow and several arrows. She looks up from her work at sunbeams slanting through the huge trees and at colorful birds flitting among the branches. The scene seems to vanquish all her troubles for a moment.

GABRIELLE Beautiful. How can such a beautiful
world have such ugliness in it?

Gabrielle shakes herself out of the impasse and returns to the task at hand, even more determined.

CUT TO:

EXT. TOP OF A LOW BLUFF - NIGHT

Gabrielle looks down at the three supply wagons camped below her position. There are a couple of campfires, and several soldiers are milling about. Gabrielle steps back from the edge of the drop off and puts the bow and arrows on the ground, and then builds a small fire. She quickly places the cloth-wrapped arrowheads into the flames. Wasting no time, she grabs the burning arrows one at a time and shoots them into the wagons. All three are in flames before the soldiers realize what is happening. Gabrielle discards the bow and flees back into the night. O.s., we can hear the SOUNDS of flames and shouting men.

CUT TO:

EXT. ANOTHER, MORE DISTANT RIDGE TOP - DAY

Gabrielle leans against a tree and watches as Ajarro's coach and his large army arrive at the site of the burned wagons.

GABRIELLE (deeply somber) Maybe that will slow you up a bit.
And maybe even you will have to go
hungry for a day or two.

Gabrielle watches a moment longer, then she shrugs and shakes her head. She turns away and starts up the slope.

CUT TO:

EXT. A HIGH, FORESTED MOUNTAIN TOP - DAY

Gabrielle makes her way among trees and boulders and walks into a small, level clearing. Suddenly, she finds herself effectively surrounded by twelve of Ajarro's soldiers. She assumes a defensive stance. With swords drawn, they tighten the circle, moving in on their prey. Soldier #1 smiles at Gabrielle, showing his rotten teeth.

SOLDIER #1 (sarcastically) Remember me, little girl? GABRIELLE The smell gave you away! What,
you didn't get enough last time?
SOLDIER #1 We took your advice, and brought
more help this time.
GABRIELLE But, then, you have to ask yourself
is it enough? Is twelve enough, is
fifteen, is twenty really too many?

Everybody stops as Soldier #1 puzzles over the questions.

SOLDIER #1 You burned our food, didn't you? GABRIELLE I'm usually a better cook than that. SOLDIER #1 Don't even try to deny it! GABRIELLE Deny it? Actually, I'm proud of a
job well done. Well done, get it?
SOLDIER #1 (recovering) All right, you smart mouth little
brat! You're so slick, c'mon, just
let me see you get out of this one!

Play for humor: Gabrielle charges directly at Soldier #1 and uses her staff to pole-vault high over his head. Taking her staff along, her trajectory carries her beyond the edge of the plateau to the steep mountain side. The slope is not far from vertical, and she can't stop sliding. Going faster and faster, she twists and turns to miss jutting rocks and shrubs. We can hear INTERMITTENT SCREAMS all the way down.

Several hundred feet down, Gabrielle encounters a wide smooth ledge that takes her on an even more dizzying ride, diving and twisting for several hundred more feet. At last, she comes to a large flat rock that forms a ramp which shoots her into space. At first rising higher, she finds herself flailing in mid-air.

GABRIELLE Oh, ZEUS!!!!!!!

Then Gabrielle drops with the high-pitched, diminishing SOUND of a bomb falling. She drops another two-hundred feet to a deep pool. The splash is immense, but the water quickly grows calm. When Gabrielle finally surfaces, she gasps loudly and swims toward the shore. She pulls herself onto a sandbar at the base of the cliff. At first she appears to be doing push-ups, but then collapses face down in the sand. Then, she slowly turns her head sideways.

GABRIELLE Oh, YEAH!! That was loads of fun, let's
do it AGAIN!! (beat) When I escape,
I really escape! (beat) If this keeps
up, they're really going to make me mad.

CUT TO:

EXT. ON THE ROAD - DAY

Gabrielle tops a hill and comes face to face with three dozen men, women and children. They all seem content to ignore Gabrielle, or they're too much in shock to even know she is there. At the bottom of the hill, the village is in flames, and beyond that a band of soldiers are escorting a loaded wagon away from the scene.

GABRIELLE What Happened?

No one answers her, so she grabs a woman by the arm. The woman seems about to jump out of her skin.

GABRIELLE Please, tell me what happened. WOMAN (brokenly, tearful) Soldiers came and said their
supplies had been destroyed. They
wanted more. We told them we had
nothing to spare, but they took
everything, and then burned our
village. There's nothing left.
Nothing!

Gabrielle stands and watches the refugees stream passed her. She stares at the pathetic faces, as realization sinks in, and then guilt.

GABRIELLE (anguished whisper) I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Gabrielle walks down the hill, and through the burning village. The flames roar all around her, the bright light flickers across her deeply troubled but determined face. She steadily walks on in the direction the raiders went.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT ONE







ACT TWO

FADE IN:

EXT. THE TRAIL, THINLY WOODED LANDSCAPE - DAY

Gabrielle is walking along the narrow road. She suddenly stops and seems to be straining her eyes to make out something ahead. She runs forward and finds a water skin full of water, a loaf of bread, and a chunk of cheese neatly placed on a flat rock at the edge of the trail.

GABRIELLE (excitement and disbelief) It must be a gift from the gods!

She looks all around.

GABRIELLE (projecting) Hello! Hello, is anybody here?

Gabrielle slumps down beside some bushes, trying to stay within the shade. At first she just looks at the food and water out of the corners of her eyes, but then she grabs the water skin and starts to bring it to her lips. Then she suddenly stops.

GABRIELLE (thinking out loud) Maybe Ajarro poisoned this stuff
and left it here for me to find.

Then she quickly turns the water skin up and drinks voraciously. Finally, she lowers the skin, breathing heavily. A movement draws her attention, and she looks off in the distance.

Five of Ajarro's soldiers on horseback are on a nearby ridge watching her. They rein their horses around and ride away. Gabrielle slowly shakes her head in bewilderment, then quickly reaches for the food.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPSITE OF AJARRO'S MEN - NIGHT

Gabrielle's head slowly rises from thick foliage. Light from a nearby campfire flickers on her face and on the bushes and trees.

A dozen or so of Ajarro's men are sitting and laying around the fire, several feet from the loaded wagon that they stole from the villagers. Most of them are passed out, drunk or well on their way to that state.

Gabrielle cautiously pulls back and moves around the bushes to another position. The wagon is shielding her from the drunken soldiers. She eases forward out of the thick bushes. She climbs into the wagon bed, near the front, and pulls the tarp over herself.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPSITE OF AJARRO'S MEN - DAY

Gabrielle is peering through a crack in the wooden sideboards, as the soldiers are mounting their horses. Most of the men are moaning and groaning, obviously suffering hangovers. The mounted troops move out and the old wagon lurches forward in a lame attempt to keep up with the horse riders.

CUT TO:

EXT. AJARRO'S MAIN ENCAMPMENT - DAY

The wagon rattles into the Ajarro's camp. Soldiers and horses are scattered across a large area.

Gabrielle peers through the crack and, seeing the many troops, she seems to try to make herself smaller, perhaps invisible. The wagon hits a bump and the jolt makes Gabrielle bump her head.

GABRIELLE (angrily) Oh! You stupid.....

She quickly clamps her hand over her mouth, remembering that she has to be quiet. She glances up toward the driver, as if to see if he heard her outburst. Apparently, he didn't.

Near the center of the encampment, the wagon climbs a gentle hill and stops on a wide flat area under a stand of large trees. Camped soldiers can be seen in every direction. Gabrielle continues to stare through the crack, clearly growing weary. She blinks, as her eyelids grow heavy, and finally she falls asleep. Then, she awakens with a start, at the SOUND of approaching voices.

XENA (O.S.) Where are you taking me? A SOLDIER (O.S.) General Anton wants to see you.

Two soldiers escort Xena in chains and ankle shackles to an aging officer who is standing only a few feet from the old wagon where Gabrielle is hiding.

SOLDIER Here she is, General Anton.

Anton slowly turns to look at Xena.

ANTON (distastefully) Maybe you should chain her to
that tree. And then you can
leave us.
XENA Are you afraid of me, General?

The two soldiers lock Xena to the large tree, then walk away.

ANTON (sincerely) I'm not afraid of you, Xena. I'm
afraid for you. If you try to escape,
you will be killed.
XENA Is there a better fate waiting for
me in your homeland?
ANTON Perhaps not, but survival for now
must be your first priority.
XENA (contempt) Your concern is touching.

Gabrielle's eyes are at the crack in the sideboards.

ANTON You have every reason to feel
the way you do. I'm sorry.
XENA (impatient) Just what is the point of this
little conversation?

Anton steps a little closer to Xena.

ANTON I thought you might like to get
away from that coach for a while.

Anton moves his hand in a sweeping gesture, looking out at the vast panorama stretching out before them.

ANTON And the view up here is truly
splendid!
XENA Yeah, I'm really in a sight seeing
mood.
ANTON I have heard stories about you, Xena.
Some people say you're good. Some say
you're bad, but they all seem to
have one thing in common.
XENA What's that? ANTON Respect. Some because they like you,
some because they fear you, but I'm
not sure anyone in your position can
really hope for more.
XENA What do you mean by my position? ANTON I mean who and what you are inside.
Look, forgive me if I am a bit
presumptuous, but I think you and I
are much alike. I know what it takes
to lead men into battle, and I know
what it does to you. And, I think,
for someone so young and beautiful,
it's all the more tragic.
XENA I did what I had to do, at first.
Then I did many things that I
shouldn't have done. I'm far from
perfect. (pause) Look, what is
this all about?
ANTON Have you been in this Territory
before?
XENA I came through here once a long
time ago.
ANTON Do you know what lies beyond those
mountains?
XENA Yes, I do. Are we going that way? ANTON We will be there in two or three
days. (beat) It will no doubt
interest you to know that your
young friend is still following us.
XENA (struggling with
the chains)
Oh, no! Gabrielle! Whatever you do
to me, please don't hurt her!
ANTON I don't want to hurt her, Xena,
anymore then I want to hurt you,
but if she keeps coming... she
will die. Somewhere out there in
that horrid land.

Gabrielleis still at the crack, listening.

XENA How is she, do you know? Tell me! ANTON Some of my men have been watching
out for her when they can. They
have left food and water for her.
XENA You ordered them to do that? ANTON No, but I didn't stop it. XENA (quietly) Thank you. ANTON I wish I could do more. XENA You can get a message to her. Make
her understand that she can't go
beyond those mountains.
ANTON All right, I'll try, but I can't
promise anything. My men haven't
seen her in a couple of days.
XENA Gabrielle can take care of herself
but, still, something may have
happened to her.
ANTON There's something else. I'm sure you
are aware of King Ajarro's Personal
Guards, as he calls them. Not one
decent soldier in the lot, I'd say.
XENA (apprehensive) What about them? ANTON They're like a pack of mad dogs.
They're dangerous, and not to be
trusted.
XENA (more fearful) Are they stalking, Gabrielle? ANTON I would suspect as much. XENA (furious) Don't you let them hurt her! ANTON She may bring it on herself.

Four soldiers quickly walk up to General Anton.

SOLDIER (urgently) King Ajarro has missed the Warrior
Woman. He wants her brought back.
ANTON (unhappily) Yes, take her back.

The soldiers free Xena from the tree. She just quietly looks at Anton, as the soldiers lead her passed the General.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE ENCAMPMENT - DAY

Soldiers are unloading the last of the supplies from the old wagon. Gabrielle has managed to stay hidden under the tarp. With the work finished, most of the soldiers walk away. One young soldier remains to deal with the large tarp. He lifts one side of the covering and gets a surprise, Gabrielle smiles out at him. He smiles and quickly lowers the tarp. Just then, an officer rides up on horseback.

YOUNG SOLDIER Sir, the wagon is unloaded! OFFICER Good! Just leave the wagon, it
would only slow us down.
YOUNG SOLDIER Yes, Sir!

The young soldier lifts the tarp to look at Gabrielle again. They both smile for a prolonged, uncertain moment.

YOUNG SOLDIER (chuckles) Hi! GABRIELLE (chuckles) Hi! YOUNG SOLDIER Bye! GABRIELLE Bye! I hope it was as good for you
as it was for me.
YOUNG SOLDIER (snickers) Oh, yeah!

The young soldier replaces the tarp over Gabrielle and runs off, to join his departing army. Gabrielle again tries to shrink and vanish as the troops ride by on both sides of the wagon.

With her face against the old boards and her eyes peering through the narrow crack, Gabrielle is badly displeased with this turn of events.

GABRIELLE You're leaving? You're all
leaving? But I just got here!

CUT TO:

EXT. THE DESERTED ENCAMPMENT - SAME

Gabrielle is trudging slowly along in the direction that Ajarro and his large army went. Behind her, the dilapidated wagon sits abandoned, like a symbol for the anguish and despair in the young woman's heart.

FADE OUT:

END ACT TWO







ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. PLEASANT SPOT BESIDE A CREEK - DAY

Gabrielle stands quietly on the bank looking at the water. The serenity is abruptly ended, as a man on horseback seems to come out of nowhere. Gabrielle whirls around, bringing her staff up to meet the threat, but the horse stops and the rider calls out to her.

YOUNG SOLDIER Hey, it's me! Remember? GABRIELLE (reluctant to
drop her guard)
Yeah, I remember. Now what are you
doing here?
YOUNG SOLDIER Looking for you. GABRIELLE Yeah, that's what I figured! You
and the rest of Ajarro's army. So,
where are all your nasty little
buddies? Hiding in the bushes, as
usual!

The boy dismounts and turns to face Gabrielle.

YOUNG SOLDIER I'm alone, I promise. No, I was
looking for you just because....
GABRIELLE (lowering her staff) Just because...? YOUNG SOLDIER (smiles shyly) Oh, you know, just because I
wanted to see you again.
GABRIELLE (smiles) You make it sound like we're old
friends who haven't seen each
other in years. We only met a few
hours ago.
YOUNG SOLDIER (sighs) Every minute away from you was an
unbearable eternity.
GABRIELLE (amused) Did you actually say that? I mean,
people don't really talk that way,
you know?
YOUNG SOLDIER (embarrassed) They don't? GABRIELLE (softly) No, they don't. I mean we have only
just met. We haven't even introduced
ourselves yet.
YOUNG SOLDIER Oh, right. I'm Darrian. GABRIELLE And I'm Gabrielle. I'm very pleased
to meet you, Darrian.
DARRIAN Actually, I already knew your name.
I was there when you told King
Ajarro your name and, of course,
everybody has been talking about you.
GABRIELLE (smiling) Oh, yeah? So, what do they say? DARRIAN Different things, like how brave
you are, that you're spunky, that
you're smart, and that you're
tough... for a girl. And some say
you're stupid, a mindless idiot,
that you have a death wish...
GABRIELLE (the smile
has vanished)
All right! That's enough, I think
I get the idea. So, what about you?
What's your opinion of me?
DARRIAN (honestly) I just think you're beautiful.

Gabrielle is not sure how to respond, but her smile returns. Darrian leaves his horse and walks toward Gabrielle, then passed her to peer into the water.

DARRIAN I bet you there's big fish in this
creek. I'll tell you what, if you
build a fire, I'll catch our supper.
GABRIELLE (nods) You're on.

Gabrielle walks away and starts gathering sticks, and Darrian goes for something in his saddlebags.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPSITE BESIDE THE CREEK - DUSK

Leaning against a fallen tree, a few feet apart, Gabrielle and Darrian are finishing their meal.

DARRIAN (sincere) Gabrielle, you're a wonderful cook. GABRIELLE Thank you! And you're a great
fisherman. (beat) Darrian, won't
you get in trouble for neglecting
your duty, or something?
DARRIAN I'm doing my duty. I'm a scout. GABRIELLE I always thought scouts went out
ahead of the army. The army is
going that way (points) and you
are going that way. (points)
DARRIAN (uneasy) All right, Gabrielle, I'll tell
you the truth. I'm running.
GABRIELLE (somewhat dismayed) You mean, you're a deserter? DARRIAN Yeah, that's right. I guess I just
wasn't cut out to be a soldier.
GABRIELLE What do you want to do? DARRIAN I'm not exactly sure, but I know
I've got places to go and things
to do with my life. (beat) You
could come with me, Gabrielle! We
could see the world together.

Gabrielle is shaking her head.

GABRIELLE (slightly smiles) No, I'm afraid not. I don't know
where destiny is taking you, but my
destiny lies in the other direction.
DARRIAN (astonished) You really do believe you can rescue,
Xena!
GABRIELLE (firmly) I only know that I am going to get
her back, or die trying. Those are
the only two options!
DARRIAN You really mean that, don't you? GABRIELLE Isn't there someone or something
that you would be willing to risk
everything for? To lay your life
on the line for?
DARRIAN (troubled) No, because I don't want to die. GABRIELLE That's why you're deserting, isn't
it, Darrian? You're afraid of dying.
DARRIAN I've never been in a battle, and I
don't want to be in one. I'm not a
fighter, Gabrielle, I'm just not.
GABRIELLE Nobody wants to die, certainly not
me, but sometimes you have to fight,
Darrian. That's the way the world
is. I hope you find that special
something, or a special someone that
you are willing to risk everything for.
DARRIAN Yeah, me too. (beat) But, the thing
is, when it comes to armies and
battles and weapons and dying, I
think I belong in a different world.
Is The Warrior Princess really as
courageous as they say?
GABRIELLE Even more than they know. Xena's
courage could... change the
world.

Gabrielle smiles, her face aglow in the firelight.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPSITE BESIDE THE CREEK - NIGHT The fire has died to glowing embers. Gabrielle is stretched out on the ground near the fire. Darrian is laying a few feet away.

Gabrielle hears a RUSTLING OF LEAVES and opens her eyes, listening. The SOUNDS stop. She closes her eyes, but opens them as the RUSTLING OF LEAVES start again, then stop again. She waits, watching and listening. After a long interval, the SAME SOUNDS are heard again.

GABRIELLE (without moving) Darrian? DARRIAN Yeah, it's me, Gabrielle. GABRIELLE What are you doing?

Darrian is standing a few feet behind Gabrielle. He is slowly working his way toward Gabrielle, trying to muster the nerve to get closer.

DARRIAN Oh, nothing. I just wanted to
say good night.
GABRIELLE Good night, Darrian. DARRIAN (returning to bed) Yeah, good night, Gabrielle.

Gabrielle closes her eyes, and then smiles knowingly.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAMPSITE BESIDE THE CREEK - DAY

Darrian has saddled his horse and he is ready to leave. Gabrielle walks up to him, and he turns to face her.

DARRIAN (regretfully) Well, I guess this is it. GABRIELLE Guess so. Goodbye, Darrian. I hope
you find what you're looking for.
DARRIAN I hope you do, too, Gabrielle.

Darrian mounts his horse and quickly rides away. Gabrielle watches him go somewhat somberly.

CUT TO:

EXT. A SPOT ALONG THE TRAIL - DAY

Gabrielle is plodding along, clearly exhausted. She chooses a large fallen tree as a place to rest. She drops her belongings, sits on the ground and leans back against the fallen tree.

A band of about a dozen of AJARRO'S PERSONAL GUARDS come riding up, quickly dismount and rush toward Gabrielle. She springs to her feet and takes out the first man with her staff. She jumps onto the fallen tree, and there downs two more soldiers. She jumps off the other side of the tree and makes a run for it across a wide open area, but the soldiers quickly surround her.

SOLDIER #1 (exasperated) All right, little girl! Now your
little stick ain't big enough to
beat all of us! And there ain't
no big mountain for you to jump
off of! So, I wanna know what is
it gonna be this time, huh?
GABRIELLE (frightened) Could I get back to you on that?

The soldiers move in, and Gabrielle's expression says she knows she is defeated. Just then, a high-pitched scream, A BATTLE CRY, immediately draws everyone's attention. A horse and rider come jumping high over the fallen tree. Gabrielle realizes who it is and reacts with renewed hope.

GABRIELLE (excited, then
doubtful)
Darrian! (beat) Darrian?

Darrian rides into the surprised group, scattering soldiers in all directions, reaches down and grabs Gabrielle by her arm to swing her up behind him on the horse. Their attackers are leaping at them from all sides.

A soldier thrusts a knife into Darrian's side, then grabs hold of the boy, trying to pull him from the horse. Darrian pulls the knife out of his own side and shoves it into his attacker's neck. The soldier falls to the ground.

Gabrielle kicks an attacker from the other side of the horse. The soldier falls backward, knocking down several more soldiers. Darrian digs his heels into the horse's side, and he and Gabrielle burst out of the vicious pack of killers and ride away.

Soldier #1 watches Darrian and Gabrielle ride away.

SOLDIER #1 (totally exasperated) I don't believe it! I don't, don't,
DON'T believe it!!

CUT TO:

EXT. A WOODED RIDGE SIDE - SAME

Still riding double, Darrian and Gabrielle slowly make their way up the steep slope. Darrian winces with pain and strains to speak.

DARRIAN I think we lost them. GABRIELLE Yeah, but I'll feel better when we
get to the other side of this ridge.

Gabrielle slowly raises her hand to find that it is bloody. She quickly looks at Darrian's bloody side and reaches out to gently touch it again.

GABRIELLE Darrian, you're hurt! DARRIAN Yeah, I think he got me good.

Gabrielle's face is a mask of fear and concern.

GABRIELLE We have to stop and let me take
a look at it. We have to stop
the bleeding.
DARRIAN On the other side of the ridge.

The horse balks and refuses to go any farther. They dismount, and Darrian looks at the horse's front hoof.

DARRIAN Lame! We'll have to leave her.

They take a few steps, but Darrian collapses to the ground. Gabrielle kneels beside him and quickly pulls his shirt open to reveal the wound. Her face tells the story, it's hopeless. She looks at Darrian and forces herself to smile.

GABRIELLE I'll get some water and clean this. DARRIAN (grabbing her hand) No! Please, I don't want to waste a
moment. Just sit here with me for a
little while.
GABRIELLE (trying to hold
back tears)
For as long as you like.
DARRIAN (weakly) This journey has really been a
great adventure for me.
GABRIELLE (tearful, about
to cry)
It has?
DARRIAN (looking at her
intensely)
Be happy for me, Gabrielle. I
finally found someone worth
laying it all on the line for.

Darrian dies, and Gabrielle just looks down at him for a moment, then lowers her head to his chest and weeps.

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT THREE







ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

EXT. A RIDGE TOP - DAY

Gabrielle has found another vantage point where she can view Ajarro's latest campsite. The army is spread out over a wide area. Ajarro's coach can be seen near the center of the bivouac. Here and there, several campfires have been lit, and soldiers are slowly moving about.

A bright flash draws Gabrielle's attention. She turns to her right and looks off in the distance. Lightening is flickering all along the horizon, and the sky is growing black in that direction, as the cloud bank rolls ever closer. The first SOUNDS of thunder rumble across the sky. Gabrielle smiles slightly and nods.

GABRIELLE (encouraged) Good.

CUT TO:

EXT. FORESTED PERIMETER OF AJARRO'S CAMP - DARK, RAINY NIGHT

TWO SOLDIERS on sentry duty are patrolling the area on foot. They pause under low tree branches trying to escape the downpour. There is occasional LIGHTENING FLASHES, followed by SOUNDS OF THUNDER.

Gabrielle is standing behind a tree near the soldiers. She is frightened and seems unsure about what to do. Holding her staff tightly against her body, she stares into the darkness as resolve sets the expression on her rain-drenched face. She swings around the tree and the two soldiers quickly turn to confront her. She knocks both of them unconscious with one determined blow. She quickly walks on her way, moving along a line of thick bushes. The rain is coming down in torrents, as lightening flashes and thunder explodes overhead.

EXT. AJARRO'S CAMP - SAME

Xena is securely chained underneath Ajarro's coach. She leans against the wheel, not totally escaping the rain. A movement draws her attention. She is terrified to see Gabrielle crawling from the nearby bushes toward her. She looks around, deeply troubled. The dim silhouettes of soldiers and horses can be seem nearby. Wet and muddy, Gabrielle crawls underneath the coach.

XENA (harshly) What are you doing here? GABRIELLE (resenting her tone) What do you think? I'm getting you
out of here.
XENA You can't!

Gabrielle is struggling with the chains, but it is hopeless. Frustration and tears are clearly visible on her face.

XENA (Continuing) There's nothing you can do. Coming
here was foolish and stupid, and will
probably get you killed!
GABRIELLE (heartsick) I had to come. I had to do something. XENA (emphatically) Not this! GABRIELLE Then what's your plan? Xena, you
always have a plan. And you're
always ready to fight, but this
time you just gave up.
XENA A good warrior knows it's better
to live to fight another day. If
we had resisted, we both would
have died on the spot.
GABRIELLE You surrendered so they would let
me go. I was standing right there!
XENA I surrendered so we both could stay
alive. (beat) But, you're right, I
do have a plan.
GABRIELLE (hopeful, through
her pain)
What?
XENA (trying to sound
reassuring)
When we get to wherever they're taking
me, I will get a chance to escape. I
want you to go to Poteidaia and wait for
me. I promise, I will come for you.
GABRIELLE That's a plan? That's suicide! XENA It's the only way. Just hold onto the
fact that we will be together again.
GABRIELLE (incredulous) You can't promise that. And when, Xena?
Days? A lifetime? Never? No! No! I'm
getting you out of here!

Gabrielle pulls at the chains, and starts to cry. Xena looks at her friend and tries to choke back her own tears.

XENA (softly) Gabrielle. Gabrielle. Gabrielle,
listen to me... Gabrielle, you're
brave and smart and wonderful, but
you can't help me. Not this time.
GABRIELLE (crying) I have to. XENA Gabrielle. Gabrielle, listen to me.
This is very important. We're
approaching a narrow mountain pass.
You can't under any circumstances
go beyond that point, do you hear me?
GABRIELLE I hear you. XENA There's a harsh, desolate land beyond
the pass. A deadly place. Alone, with
no food or water, you would die. This
is where your journey ends, understand?
GABRIELLE (pleadingly) I can't just let you go. XENA You have to!

Xena shoves Gabrielle away, harder than she intended, and Gabrielle falls back on the wet ground.

XENA Now get out of here! If they find
you here, they'll kill you. If you
truly care about me, don't let me
have to watch you die. Let me carry
your beautiful memory with me, that
will see me through, and that will
bring me back. Go home, Gabrielle!

They hear a low creaking sound and Xena detects a movement of the coach.

XENA (frightened) Go! Get out of here!

The coach door opens and Ajarro sticks his head out.

AJARRO (angrily demanding) What's going on out here?

Ajarro looks down and sees Gabrielle on the ground.

AJARRO (outraged) Guards! Guards!

Gabrielle bolts to her feet and dives into the nearby bushes, immediately vanishing into the dark, wet night. Xena is near panic, struggling against the chains, as a group of soldiers charge up to the coach.

AJARRO (angry) That girl, Gabrielle, was here! Go
after her now! Bring her back to me,
whatever it takes! Kill her if you
have to!

The soldiers rush around the coach, and Xena manages to get her foot out and trips the first man, then several more fall over him.

AJARRO (continuing) Idiots! Captain of the Guards! Captain
of the Guards!

A large muscular officer rushes up to the coach and reports to the King. He is the CAPTAIN OF THE GUARDS. The downed soldiers are getting back on their feet, a couple of them give Xena a dirty look. She smiles at them.

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARDS Yes, Sir! AJARRO (sternly) Form a search party. Take as many men
as you need to bring that girl back!
We'll make an example out of her, and
get her off our backs once and for all!
CAPTAIN (saluting) Yes, Sir!

The Captain walks briskly away, then suddenly stops and looks under the coach at Xena. They exchange dark glares, but say nothing, yet somekind of understanding clearly seems to pass between the soldier and the captive. Then, the Captain walks on, just passing right by the disorganized group at the rear of the coach.

A SOLDIER (uncertainly) Uh, Captain, Sir.... CAPTAIN (displeased) Shut up, and c'mon. All of you!

The soldiers follow their captain into the wet night. Xena silently watches in deep distress.

EXT. THE FOREST - SAME

A long line of soldiers are methodically combing the forest. Two soldiers walk by Gabrielle on either side of the large tree where she is hiding, and both glance back and spot her. Before the nearest soldier can cry out, Gabrielle swings her staff and knocks him out, then she whirls and takes out the second man. She turns and runs into the arms of a Herculean-like Captain. She solidly crashes into the soldier's broad chest, and she is dazed by the impact. She shakes her head and looks up at him.

GABRIELLE Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were
a tree.
CAPTAIN I'm not a tree. GABRIELLE Yes, I can see that. Now, please
let me go!

Gabrielle struggles, but he has her in a tight bear hug.

CAPTAIN (softly) Be quiet! Please, be quiet.

Gabrielle relaxes, hanging limp in his strong arms, and just looks up at the big man. He is glancing around apprehensively, and seems unsure about what to do next.

CAPTAIN I am not going to hurt you. GABRIELLE (nodding) OK.

The Captain carried her to nearby bushes and put her down. He put his hand on her shoulder and eased her down to the ground.

CAPTAIN Be quiet, and don't move. GABRIELLE (nodding) OK.

The Captain takes several steps away, then calls out to his men.

CAPTAIN (projecting) You there! You men search up the hill.

The Captain turns to look in the opposite direction.

CAPTAIN (continuing) And you! Go down along the stream.

Gabrielle remains hidden, peering out of the bushes at the Captain. The Captain watches as his soldiers move away, then he walks back to Gabrielle and gently lifts her from her hiding place.

CAPTAIN (continuing) And, you... You get away from here,
and don't come back. Don't follow
us any farther. We'll reach the
mountain pass tomorrow, and beyond...
GABRIELLE (snaps) Save it! I've already heard. CAPTAIN (firmly) Then you know, you can go no
farther.
GABRIELLE (flatly) I go where Xena goes. CAPTAIN You will die! Go home, Gabrielle. GABRIELLE Have you never loved someone? CAPTAIN Of course, I have loved. Dearly
and deeply! That is why I can tell
you for certain, your friend does
not want you to die for her.
GABRIELLE (softer) Why do you take orders from Ajarro? CAPTAIN He's my King. I am a loyal soldier to
my country and the crown.
GABRIELLE (sharply countering) You're not being loyal helping me. CAPTAIN I thought you would keep my secret. GABRIELLE So, why are you helping me? CAPTAIN Because you need help. Because you
should go home. I don't want to see
you get hurt. Surely you have family
waiting for you.
GABRIELLE (bitterly) You have my family in chains! CAPTAIN The point is, King Ajarro is a
dangerous man.
GABRIELLE So you're not only a loyal soldier,
but you also have some honor and
integrity, as well? Which one of
those concepts permits you to capture
and imprison an innocent woman and
drag her off to a distant land to be
paraded before bloodthirsty crowds,
to be taunted and humiliated and
abused, and then to finally die in
some senseless fight for sport?
CAPTAIN I'm trying to save your life here!
(beat) I won't discuss this matter
with you. Now, go home, Gabrielle.

The Captain whirls and hurries up the hill. Gabrielle stares at him in disgust, then turns and rushes into the darkness.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE MOUNTAIN PASS - DAY (HIGH NOON!)

Xena, still in chains, is riding on Argo beside the coach. Soldiers are all around the coach, and all around the Warrior Princess. She reacts, spotting something disturbing ahead.

XENA (to herself, or
perhaps the gods)
Has she lost her mind?

Gabrielle is standing defiantly in the middle of the trail. She holds her position as the vast army draws near and stops.

Ajarro, seated on the top seat of the coach beside the driver, stands and raises his arms and gestures as he speaks.

AJARRO (amused) What is this? Are you going to
challenge me and my magnificent
army all by yourself?
GABRIELLE (firmly, with loathing) I'm fed up with you... and your army! AJARRO (condescending) Such big talk from such a little girl.
Will you take us on one at a time, or
all at once?

Ajarro laughs with exaggerated exuberance, and he looks around at his soldiers to solicit their laughter, but only a few respond. Ajarro tries to recover, turning back to silently glare at Gabrielle. Deep Silence hangs over the crowd, all eyes on Gabrielle.

AJARRO (growing impatient) What do you hope to accomplish here?
I can destroy you. I will destroy you.
GABRIELLE (resolute) You can kill me. Yeah, I know that.
But I would rather die than standby
and watch you take my friend away in
chains.
AJARRO (on the spot) I am a fair man, and a noble ruler.
I will give you one last chance to
save yourself. Go home, Gabrielle!
GABRIELLE (with outstretched arms) This is my home, and you are an
unwelcome intruder. You're treating
my friend like an animal, but you
are the animal! You should be in a
cage! And any man who follows you
is no better.
AJARRO Anton, bring me her head!

Anton dismounts, draws his sword, and walks toward Gabrielle. Xena is almost frantic trying to free her feet from the leather straps, while trying not to draw attention to her efforts. Anton stops squarely in front of Gabrielle, who doesn't move.

ANTON (low desperate voice) Go on, girl, get out of here. Your
death won't help your friend, it
will just make her feel worse.
GABRIELLE (disdain and sarcasm) Do your duty. Obey your king.

Anton looks at her for a moment, then slowly nods. He suddenly turns to face Ajarro and his powerful army.

ANTON (with firm resolve) Your Majesty, I am a soldier, not
a murderer!
AJARRO (angrily) You will do as I command, or you will
die with her!
ANTON (loud and clear) Then so be it.

Ajarro looks back at his army and motions for them to advance.

AJARRO (screams) Cut them down!

The long double column surges forward toward Anton and Gabrielle, who stand their ground. The column splits to pass on either side of Anton and Gabrielle and to take up formation behind them. Somewhat perplexed, Gabrielle turns to Anton.

GABRIELLE (uncertain) Excuse me, but can you tell me
what's happening.
ANTON (matter-of-fact) You've caused an insurrection. GABRIELLE (nodding and smiling) Ah, yeah, I knew that. ANTON (smiling) You've won, Gabrielle. Now let's
get your friend.

Sword in hand, Anton determinedly strides forward. Gabrielle, her staff at the ready, marches at the soldier's side.

Ajarro's henchmen draw their swords, but wait for orders from their king. Livid, Ajarro turns to his several loyal men.

AJARRO (insistent) Kill Anton and the girl, and the
others will fall into line!

Xena is still sitting on her horse, and still in chains, but she finally frees her feet. She springs into the air and kicks the two guards on either side of her from their horses. Her feet land on her saddle and she jumps high into the air, flying over the coach. Her loud, high-pitched BATTLE CRY echoes through the canyon, as her trajectory carries her violently tumbling into the half dozen mounted soldierswho are advancing on Anton and Gabrielle. The immediate result of her assault is a tangle of disoriented humans and frightened horses. A

nton and Gabrielle, now running to join the foray, are only a few paces away.

GABRIELLE (desperate cry) Xena!

Xena is avoiding thrusting swords and kicking her opponents unconscious. Gabrielle takes out one of the attacking soldiers with her staff and moves on to another. Anton crosses swords with two particularly savage soldiers and is forced to kill them. The battle is all but over as the mounted army closes in to surround the scene, including Ajarro's coach. Ajarro has taken questionable refuge on top of the coach.

AJARRO (frightened) All right! It's over! I give up!

Ajarro stands on top of the coach frantically ringing his hands. Silence and stillness falls over the scene. Gabrielle takes a few slow, deliberate steps to stand beside the coach and look up at the pathetic man trapped there.

GABRIELLE (vindicated and triumphant) Go home, Sport! And you always
remember this day.

Immediately, a loud cheer erupts from the ranks. Anton removes the last of the chains from Xena's body. They are both watching Gabrielle, as the cheering subsides.

XENA (concerned) What happens now? I mean, to you? ANTON (unhappily) Now, we will escort our King home. XENA But won't you and your men be
in serious trouble?
ANTON The Queen doesn't agree with
Ajarro's behavior. When she
hears this story, she'll give
us all medals. And you can be
sure she'll be giving the King
something else entirely!
XENA (incredulous) Ajarro.... has a Queen? ANTON Unfortunately for her, yes.

Anton turns back to look at Gabrielle again, and Xena follows his gaze.

ANTON (continuing) Speaking of getting medals.... XENA (smiles) Yes, I know what you mean.

Xena walks off to join her friend. Gabrielle turns to face Xena as she approaches. Caught up in a mixture of emotions, Gabrielle finds it difficult to smile, but she tries.

GABRIELLE (emotional) Xena, you're free.

Xena embraces Gabrielle.

XENA And, you! You are absolutely
insane, do you know that?

Tears flood Gabrielle's eyes, but she laughs.

GABRIELLE Yeah, I know that.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE MOUNTAIN PASS - DAY

Ajarro and his remaining henchmen are bound to the coach. The troops are mounted and in abreast formation facing the trail. Xena and Gabrielle, leading ARGO, walk passed the soldiers to go on their way. Near the end of the formation, the soldiers turn their heads toward the departing women.

THE ENTIRE FORMATION (boisterously) Go home, Gabrielle!

Gabrielle and Xena quickly turn to smile broadly at the soldiers. Gabrielle waves goodbye.

With military precision, the troops salute. In the distance, a horn sounds and someone shouts commands. The coach lurches forward, and the formation moves out.

Xena turns to Gabrielle.

XENA (quietly, seriously) I still think you were out of your
mind, you understand, but how can
I ever thank you? You risked
everything to save me.

Gabrielle turns away and walks on, tugging at Argo's bridle.

GABRIELLE (dryly) It's not so much that, Xena, I just didn't want to go home.

Catching up, Xena puts her arm around Gabrielle's shoulders, and they both laugh. Life is good again and, at least for the time being, all is well in the ancient world. Surely the gods are smiling, hearing the beautiful young women's laughter this glorious day...

FADE OUT

THE END.


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