Best Argo General Story

The Mares of Glaucus

by Gloriosus, scout58, LRMS




(Trumpet Fanfare)




Another Gloriosus-Hammerhead Production


OPEN on a pastoral scene. On this clear day the sunlight illuminated the grassy field where the wild flowers have started to bloom. PAN RIGHT to reveal a magnificently appointed chariot being tended by a slender driver while his well-dressed passenger and a rustically dressed fellow stand by a chest-high timber fence. CLOSE IN on the

figures as we hear the ever increasing rumble of thundering hooves as teams of horses race past the couple while towing the racing chariots behind them.

Subtitle appears: Potniae, Central Greece …

"The horses are looking good this year, my King," remarked the rustic as he scratched his beard.

"Indeed Canthus?" asked King Glaucus, looking at the trainer closely. "Are they truly fast enough to beat the teams the other Kings would field at the games? Will they be able to beat Diomedes' mares this season?"

"Oh, I'd say so, sire," Canthus assured his worried sovereign. "I've yet to train a faster team of mares than those you see before you pulling the white chariot. I don't think there are any horses alive today that are faster than them."

"We shall see, for even now I have my men scouring the countryside looking for promising candidates." The old trainer looked sidelong at the king, and shrugged. He was the king, and if he wanted to waste the effort on this useless quest, who was a trainer to question him.

As the king turned to leave, he gave Canthus one last order. "Oh yes, make sure the mares do not mate this season," at the trainers startled glance, Glaucus explained. "I have it on good authority that frustrated mares make the fastest runners." CUT TO a shot of the King's chariot retreating into the distance with its passengers.

CUT TO a coalescence of light forming into the briefly clad, yet well-endowed, figure of the Goddess of Love. "Ex-squeeze me!" she exclaimed, "Have you been listening to Poseidon again? That is SO not how it works!" As Aphrodite fumed, her body trembled with fury at the thought that her mares wouldn't be given the chance to mate this year. "Ooooh, if your wife hadn't already run off with someone else I'd make you sorry!" she yelled, shaking her fist at his rapidly disappearing form. She then pulled her translucent robe about her as she gathered herself and looked back at the racing teams. A mischievous smile crossed her features.

"Well, I'll teach you, Glaucus," she promised, "I'll teach you a lesson you'll NEVER forget." And she disappears in a burst of light.

CUT TO: Argo and Ruffian enjoying a leisurely lunch. CLOSE UP of Argo's head as she munches. A breeze blows, and the mare's ears twitched as she looked up. PULL BACK to reveal a smiling Aphrodite standing before the golden mare. "Hello Argo," said the goddess, "I need a favor."

Music swells and OPENING TITLES -

A lone equine figure in a verdant field, as clouds billow and rush overhead, "In a time of Myth and Legend, of Spirits and Demigods …"

Shot of a team of horses pulling a chariot, "… A horse was considered nothing but a beast of burden …"

Now a galloping Argo, in full harness, fording a stream with the warrior princess on her back, "… but one would challenge this assumption …"


Shot of a galloping Argo with Autolycus riding her barebacked, "… She was Argo, Mare of Justice …"

A shot of a galloping Chestnut Mare, "… The Passion …"

A PAN-SHOT of a herd of wild horses streaming across the screen, "… The Fury …"

Poseidon rising out of the surf before a challenging Argo, "… The Danger …"

CLOSE-UP of Argo rearing against a reddening sky, " … Her courage will change the world."


The camera follows Ruffians path as she canters over to her companion while we hear Aphrodite talking with Argo.

Subtitles sequentially appear:


Written by Gloriosus and LRMS

Dedicated to the memory of the race-horse, Ruffian, who was the real Trooper.

Guest Starring:

Alexandra Tydings

Clayton Moore

Adrian Paul


"Hello there, Argo," Aphrodite crowed. "Remember me? Aphrodite? Goddess of Love? Yeah, I know. Xena wasn't too fond of me. Well, I'm fond of you. I was impressed by the way you made a complete fool out of Discord a while back. She was trying to find out who killed that bounty hunter, whats-her-face. Turned out it was you. I'll always

remember when she shouted, 'I don't do animals!' Ha! I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself.

"Anyway, I hear that you've been making a reputation for yourself now that Xena's gone. I was sorry to hear that the warrior princess croaked. I really was. Mind you, I'm just a little ticked off that your recent antics have kept her reputation going. A lot of people believe that she rides you still. That she's still involved in the affairs of the

mortal world through her mighty horse.

"I don't know if I like that. I still remember when a bunch of kids defaced my temple. They wrote all over the walls, 'Elect Xena God' and other such nonsense. What did they shout as they ran out? 'Xena rules! Aphrodite blows!' Now that wasn't funny in the least.

"Yeah, I know. I'm prattling on and on. You must excuse me, I'm new at asking animals for a favor. If it were any other horse, and any other situation, I wouldn't even bother. But it's a special situation, and you're a special horse, so here we are.

"Okay, okay. You want me to get to the point? Fine. Here's the deal."


5-10 second Shot of Argo and Ruffian standing there, nodding occasionally, as Aphrodite gesticulates wildly. Meanwhile the clouds stream overhead time-dilation style, to indicate passage of time.

CUT TO a CLOSE-UP of Aphrodite speaking: "… and so Glaucus, that's the king, he's like so wrapped up in this racing thing, that he's not allowing his mares to mate, believing it'll make them more spirited, or run faster, or some such thing," concluded Aphrodite to the disbelieving snorts of the horses. "TELL me about it," she said, rolling her eyes. "So will you help me?" asked the scantily-clad goddess, batting her eyelashes at the mares.

Argo looked over at Ruffian who neighed and nodded vigorously. Argo turns back to the goddess, and whinnies her assent. "Kewl! I've always said you were the brains behind the warrior princess!" Aphrodite gushed, as Argo pawed the ground and looked away, embarrassed.

CUT TO two mounted agents appearing in the distance, just cresting a hill.

CUT TO the horses, as Aphrodite says "Well … gotta go. People to do, and events to arrange. Tah-TAH," and she vanishes with a flash.

Argo turned back to Ruffian, *Are you sure about this?*

Ruffian snorted again, as she nuzzled Argo's shoulder, *It sounds like a hoot. Plus we get to strike a blow for truth, justice, and the equine way!*

Argo gave her companion a long look, *I think you need to work on your motto.*

Ruffian whinnied and began to canter towards the distant agents, *Hey, I'm a horse, not a bard.*

OPEN ON a brightly colored, columned throne-room, painted frescoes decorate the walls, and a powerfully built figure sits upon the throne, attended by his aged advisor. The surf is heard in the background, and the clear blue skies are visible through the windows.

Subtitle appears: Bistone, Thrace ...

"Oh, were it but spring!" lamented the royally garbed figure to his minister.

"Your majesty?" asked the bemused minister.

"Here I am, the master of the most spirited horses in the civilized world, and the closest games are nigh a month away." King Diomedes explained as he shrugged his heavy mantle from his shoulders, and looked out the window towards the Thracian shoreline. "I'm afraid that Lightning and Thought will waste away from lack of competition."

"Oh, I'm sure there is no threat of that, your highness," assured Menoetes confidently. "What with their diet of man-flesh, and the exercises you put them through, they will most certainly be ready for any competition."

"But I do not want to wait!" growled the king, chewing his thumbnail. At his minister's "Ahem," he stopped, and pulled his hand away. "Certainly there must be some funeral games we can attend, hmmm? Some noble cousin certainly died, or something?"

The aged minister, simply shook his head and hid a smile. "I'm afraid not your majesty, they all seem to be in excellent health."

"Well, I'm just going to have to see about that," Diomedes paused in thought as his counselor looked at him with wide eyes. "Maybe Pelias," the King mused. "He's certainly made no friends since he usurped the throne of Thessaly."

"Your Majesty!" exclaimed Menoetes in shocked tones.

Diomedes seemed to take notice again of his advisor, "Oh, peace, peace, Menoetes, my friend. I'm just engaging in an idle notion,. Nothing to worry about, I won't do anything rash." At his monarch's assurances and dismissal, the minister bowed and backed out of the throne room, while the king returned to his surf-watching. "Yes," he

rumbled to himself. "I think the death of King Pelias will do most nicely."

Answering him on the wind (faint voice over by Aphrodite) "And you'll get yours too, bub."





King Glaucus had been summoned by a messenger bringing word of his agent's success.

As he entered the stables he stopped and stared at the captured Chestnut mare. "Where did you find her?" He asked awestruck.

"Out on the plains west of here, sire," replied the agent, obviously pleased with his monarch's delight.

The old king carefully made his way around the horse, "Pale forelock, white star, stockings on the rear legs, and a beautifully proportioned body. I'd swear she was Ruffian."

Both the agent and trainer looked surprised, "Ruffian? Certainly she's retired by now?" Ventured Canthus, not wishing to disillusion his king.

"No, no ... I'm sure of it. I made a fortune betting on her, and always thought King Idomaneus had retired her a few years prematurely," mused Glaucus, as he moved to check Ruffian's teeth. Ruffian snorted and backed away, and the King laughed, patting the mare's snout affectionately. "That's right Ruffian, a lady never reveals her age." He turned to the stable-hands and directed that Ruffian be quartered and fed the finest oats they had on hand. "You take good care of her, you hear? She still has some races left in her."

CUT TO the lone figure of Argo trotting across the plains making her way to the stables of King Glaucus.

*I can't believe Ruffian, that little git, just volunteering her own captivity. Is that smart? No. Is that clever? No. Any man with common sense should have shied away from so forward a mare. But do they? NO.* grumbled Argo as she continued forward. *Isn't that just like a male, to take the first good-looking filly who shows the slightest bit of willingness.*


Argo contemplated the bottle of perfume Aphrodite gave her. *I don't like working with magic. I wouldn't do it if there were any other way to help my fellow mares.*

King Glaucus was once again inspecting his horses in one of his stables. He was happy with what he saw. Canthus wasn't too sure.

"The horses seem restless," the trainer said. "This isn't good."

Glaucus shook his head. "Nothing that can't be whipped out of them. You handle the horses the way I say, and..."

Glaucus looked over at the stable door. He saw a beautiful lady in a diaphanous gown. She was just standing there, looking at him.

"And who is this?" The king asked.

"Who is who?" The trainer asked.

"The beautiful lady standing by the door."

"That's no lady," Canthus said. "That's a horse."

Glaucus gave the old man a look. "Not funny, Canthus. That's insulting our..."

Glaucus looked again. There was indeed a Palomino standing there by the door. A beautiful horse, but no woman in any way, shape, or form.

Glaucus ordered the horse stabled. Then he went off to throw some cold water on his face. The day must have been more tiring than he had suspected.


That night found King Glaucus restless. He had enough of tossing and turning in his bed. He finally got up, slipped on a robe, and set off for the stables. He couldn't help himself. It was as though the sirens that once plagued brave Ulysses were calling him.

He entered the stable to once again behold the beautiful lady he saw before. Curiously, she was standing in one of the stalls.

He apologized to her as he let her out. "I knew I had seen you. But the next time I looked, you were a....Oh...Never mind. It's just that..."

The woman smiled, and ran out of the stable. She took off at an amazing speed. Glaucus took off after her.

As he chased her through the woods, he had difficulty seeing what he was chasing. As the form raced past one tree, she was a horse. After slipping past another, she was a woman.

Glaucus continued running, but he didn't tire. Normally, a run like this would leave him out of breath. But this time, he seemed to grow stronger with every step. In fact, he realized that he seemed to be leaping through the though he was...galloping!

Glaucus stopped. The female he was chasing stood in the forest awaiting him. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever beheld, with her flowing mane, and muscled flanks. It aroused him to no end.

He stampered in astonishment as he looked down at himself. He saw his black, equine body. He felt his tail wag in terror. Was his senses deceiving him? Had King Glaucus indeed transformed into a horse?




Argo gazed at him serenely. The moon shone down through the forest canopy, lighting the scene, and as Glaucus composed himself, the golden mare turned around, flirtatiously flicked her tail at him, and took off. The king couldn't help himself, he took off after her. Never had he desired so bad as he did this palomino. Again they raced

through the woods, and back into the fields, he keeping apace of her as she delightedly ran on.

Through the night they cavorted, playing tag with each other as the sovereign let his senses go, believing that he had fallen into a divine dream. Gradually, they made their way back to the palace grounds, with Argo returning to her stall, and Glaucus returning to his chambers, falling into a deep and relaxing sleep.

CUT TO Morning on the training field. CAMERA PANS to follow Glaucus driving a chariot around the track only to stop on Argo and Ruffian being harnessed for the first time to a chariot. The palomino pawed the ground as the thoroughbred patiently stood as the grooms set the bridles, harnesses, and reins.

*Enjoy your romp?* asked the chestnut.

*Actually, yes,* admitted Argo. *I just wish these people would hurry up.*

Ruffian snorted, *Whoa … slow down a bit. Pulling a chariot is nothing like running cross-country. These adjustments are as much for our benefit as they are for the driver's control.*

*So we're dragging a cart? What of it?*

Ruffian looked at her companion, *It's not a cart, it is a chariot. And when we race, we must be able to match our paces. Whoops … here comes the trainer. Now, remember, pay attention to the driver and our rhythm, and don't be rattled by our counterparts pulling the other chariots.*

FADE TO Canthus, who approaches Glaucus still in his chariot, while they watch the mares being put through their paces.

"I don't know sire, there's something about those two horses," Canthus admitted as he looked out on the field. "They seem more … I don't know … with it?"

"Well, they do seem to have a mind of their own," observed Glaucus. "But that's not always a bad thing. And it looks as if Argo is receiving instructions from Ruffian."

"Indeed. She is improving with every circuit. How did you settle on the name Argo, for the palomino?"

The king shrugged, "Something in a dream, I guess. Anywise, she looks like an 'Argo'." Canthus laughed with his sovereign. The King certainly looked better rested today, than he had recently, and he drove far more steadily than had the past few years. "Oh, yes, Canthus; I'm having the carpenters come over to the stables to see if we can get some louvered shutters installed to replace the old solid ones. The stables struck me as being rather stuffy."

WIPE TO Nighttime …

Glaucus felt young again, chasing after this golden-haired nymph through the woods. His feet flowed over the tangled roots, rocks and vines like water, sure-footed and never tangling. The nymph became a golden-mare, and Glaucus the black stallion, as the chased each other, reveling in the freedom the night had brought. The mare ducked behind some shrubbery and returned to her nymph form. From behind a tree, she leaned out and smiled at the King.

Glaucus rushed forward to catch her, only to feel her silky hair brush by him, leaving an intoxicating scent, when she ducked under his grasping arms. The King gripped the trunk and swung himself around to see the lovely palomino galloping off into the woods.

With a joyous laugh, he galloped after her.

FADE TO Daytime …

Ruffian nuzzles Argo after their last practice race around the track. *Argo, you really mustn't be startled when the other horses take off at the same time we do.*

Argo shakes her head. *I don't know. I feel like a panic attack coming on when that happens.*

Ruffian snorted her amusement at Argo's observation. *But that is part of the joy of racing! The surge of adrenaline, the excitement, the tension, and the final release; nowhere else can you experience those sensations.*

Argo just looked at her companion.

*All right, almost nowhere else.* Admitted Ruffian to her companion's amusement.

CUT TO Nighttime …

CAMERA PANS through the forest following the golden mare and black stallion as they race through the woods.

Glaucus was again frolicking with Argo, while they were racing North and East towards the Thessalian Border. In between their sprints, the two would revert to their laughing human forms. The blond nymph swathed in diaphanous robes would squeal with delight as she again narrowly eludes the king.

The sovereign himself delighted in his renewed vigor and suppleness of his limbs, it was almost as if he was reborn with every re-occurrence of this dream ….


All this time, Glaucus was aware of this fragrance. Where had he sensed it before? Yes, it was in the air the first time he had encountered the girl. And he now realized it was in the air every time he had beheld her. Now the fragrance was all around him. Was this the reason for all this? Was Glaucus under an enchantment?

*Please, help me! They plan to kill him!*

That voice? It seemed to come from the horse.

*Look beyond! That man is in danger!*

Glaucus looked to see Pelias of Thessaly riding through the night. He was being pursued by two men on horseback. Where were his guards? Where was his protection? How could this happen to one such as he?

Glaucus and his equine companion gave chase. Soon they were galloping straight for Pelias's attackers. They successfully spooked their horses, causing them to turn tail and flee.

"King Glaucus!" Pelias cried as he dismounted. "Thank the gods for your timely intervention. But how did you arrive so?"

Glaucus looked to see Pelias. He then looked at himself. He stood on two legs, and was quite his old self again. "Pelias? What have I just done?"

"Done?" Pelias snorted. "Why, you ran over here like a madman, and scared my attackers. You and that horse."

Glaucus turned around. He saw the palomino galloping off.


Behind him the King of Potniae heard a thump, and turning back the old king saw Pelias staring wide-eyed at the arrowhead projecting from his chest. "I should have known it wouldn't have been so easy." The Thessalian gasped, as he collapsed, Glaucus catching him.

"Who would have done this?" asked Glaucus.

Pelias looked up at him through rapidly fading eyes, a last glimmer flashing as he managed "Diomedes ... (gasp) Honor me, good Glaucus, and (wheeze) my thanks for what you've tried (gasp) to do. Make sure I am ... avenged."

Glaucus' eyes flashed in anger as he heard, the Thracian's name, "I will, Pelias, rely on it," he promised softly, holding the dead monarch tightly. Off in the distance he heard the frantic cries of his men searching for him.


CUT TO the race track.

The next day Glaucus reined in his horses, bringing his chariot to a halt in front of Canthus.

"What is happening?" asked the Trainer.

"Diomedes," growled the King, Ruffian's ear twitched at the sound of that name. "He had Pelias killed."

"The Thessalian upstart?"

"The very one, so I sent messengers to Acastus, Pelias' son, to inform him of his father's fate, and to arrange the funeral games to honor his dead sire."


CUT TO interior stables.

Later that evening, Argo was trying to talk sense into her companion. *Ruffian, what is with you? We do not have to race, that's why Glaucus has all these other horses.*

*We're racing!* Ruffian insisted stubbornly.

*We are NOT racing!* Argo rebutted, *We are here to reform the King, and change his ways.*

*And this will best be done by racing!*

*No it will not!* Argo whinnied in frustration.

*Yes it will! And what makes you think this just concerns Glaucus?* asked Ruffian.

Argo paused, *Well, Aphrodite said --*

*-- I heard what Aphrodite said, and what Glaucus proposed crossed the line. But he isn't the only one who does this sort of thing.* Ruffian explained as Argo nickered her disapproval. *Listen mate,* snorted Ruffian. *You haven't raced, so you don't know how it is. But there is nothing that can compare to the thrill of chariot racing. The perfect blend of man, machine and two horses working as one. And while chariot racing tends to highlight the technology and the driver's skills, it still boils down to the horses' strength, speed and desire to win. It's as thrilling to the driver as it is for the horses, and the drivers are by their very nature enthusiasts and very competitive.

*Now Glaucus favors the Egyptian-style chariot, it's lightweight, the better for us, and it grips the turns far better than the either the Greek or Persian-styles. Plus, I've been watching the king, the old fellow can DRIVE!*

Argo regarded her companion solemnly, *but why are you so insistent on running this race?*

Ruffian sighed deeply as she slowly munched her oats. *It was me last race. King Idomaneus was driving and I was paired with me mate, Trooper.*

FADE TO SEPIA-TONED FLASHBACK (maybe stock footage from Ben-Hur) with Ruffian's Voice Over.

*We were running hub-to-hub with Diomedes and his mares, Thought and Lightning, going for all get out … and it was going around that last turn when it happened. Diomedes left his lane and cut us off, and in the process shattered Troopers' right foreleg. Oh we tried to hang on … Trooper running all out on only three legs, me matching her pace, all the while King Idomaneus was trying to rein us in. But we'd be damned if we'd let that THRACIAN and his unnatural mares beat us …*

CUT TO Ruffian and Argo, back in the stables.

*In the end, they did … Trooper died, and I was retired.* Ruffian turned to her companion. *Don't you see? I OWE that Thracian bastard for what he did, and I want to show the world that you don't have to resort to unnatural methods to better our performance. Just treat us right and be a competent driver, and WE'LL win them races

for you!*

Ruffian looked away, embarrassed by her outburst, as her friend nuzzled her in sympathy. *I'm sorry, I had no idea that this meant that much to you.*

Ruffian snorted in derision, *Well, unless you were on the racing circuit, you wouldn't know.* The other mares whinnied their agreement and sympathy. Finally Ruffian turned back to Argo. *But now do you understand why we HAVE to race? Why we HAVE to WIN?*

Argo breathed a ragged sigh as she nodded. *We will. For you, for Trooper, and for racing horses everywhere, we will.*

CUT TO exterior Stables, as a neigh of exultation filled the air.




The following day was that of fanfare and festivals. Despite the horrendous circumstances that brought it on, the crowds that gathered knew that this would be a chariot race to watch and enjoy.

In the background, storm clouds were brewing over the heads of the arguing royalty. "You can't prove any of this!" King Diomedes yelled. "You only have the words of a dying old man. He could not have known who was truly behind his attack."

"The King of Potniae points to you from the grave!" King Glaucus remarked. "And I will see to it that justice is done. Even if it means war between our kingdoms."

Diomedes demurred, "It need not go to that. Let the chariot race decide. If I lose, I will allow for an impartial investigation into my affairs. If I win, you will drop the matter entirely. In this way, we may hope to prevent further bloodshed."

King Glaucus didn't like this bargain, but shook on it all the same. "Then let the horses decide the outcome. Let the games begin."


CUT TO the tent of Glaucus.

A track tout came into Glaucus' tent, as the king and his men made ready. "Ah ... good morning sire, I'm pleased you could come out to the games. Would you like to judge the chariot races?"

Glaucus issued a short bark of laughter. "Actually, young man, I'm entering them," the king informed the astonished official.

After the tout gulped for some air, he checked his racing tablet, "By the gods ... I ...You're registered all right. But ..." pulling himself together, "So you'll be racing with which horses?" the tout managed to ask, as he prepared to make the notes on his wax tablet, only to have it falling out of his trembling hands as he heard the monarch's answer.

"Ruffian and Argo are my team."

"Ruffian?" the official squeaked, "I thought she was retired."

"Hardly," the king laughed, "as will be proved in today's race."

Quickly picking up his dropped board, the young tout began making the proper notations with his stylus as he rushed out muttering, "Oh, the wagers are going to be flying today!"

CUT TO Diomedes; the CAMERA PANS following his progress out of Glaucus camp and comes to rest on a pair of horses.

*Is that him?* asked the golden mare.

*Ooh, yas!* the chestnut confirmed. *Mark him well Argo, THERE is a man who'll stop at nothing to win a race.* Ruffian then noticed an excited crowd approaching. *Uh-oh ... fans!*

Argo held herself up proudly, *I'll try not to disappoint.*

"Hey look," one of the excited fans exclaimed, "it IS Ruffian."

Punctuated with a joyous shriek, a babble of voices filled the air, as the crowd rushed forward, trying to draw as near as Glaucus' groomsmen would let them, to view the legendary racer, while a bemused Argo looked on.

CUT TO a coalescence of Pink Light ...

"Ooooh ... I just love it when a plan comes together," chortled Aphrodite. "This is going to be so much fun!"

CUT TO the racing board, as the touts announced who were to be racing, along with the teams.

"Acastus of Thessaly, driving Rumor and Panic;" A cheer went up.

"Hippolytus of Attika, driving Poseidonis and Edindale;" the announcer paused to allow for the applause.

"Medon of Phokis, driving Zephyr and Borealis;" (applause)

"Strophion of Locris, driving Harpy and Typhoon;" (applause)

"Agathocles of Syracuse, driving Bucephalus and Winged Fury;" (applause)

"Xanthippus of Phrygia, driving Hermes and Hera's Wrath; (applause)

"Diomedes of Thrace, driving Lightning and Thought;" (silence, interrupted by the occasional boo's and hisses)

"And, here's a surprise ladies and gentlemen, from those thrilling days of yesteryear, we have Glaucus--" a sustained cheer went up at the mention of the old king's name, "and ... and ... will you guys be quiet! and he's driving ... Argo and Ruffian!" An even louder cheer arose, especially from the older fans. The bookies went about, as markers were

placed and bets made. The announcers took their place, as the drivers and groomsmen checked the chariots, horses, bridles and other gear, prior to the final preparations for the race. Along the racetrack, the banners of the respective nations snapped in the stiff northerly breeze.


Diomedes mused over Glaucus' choice of horses. "Ruffian huh? She was put out to pasture long ago. The same goes for her rider. What is Glaucus trying to prove?"

"That's not all, sire," an advisor said. "I understand that the palomino with him is named Argo."

"A good name," Diomedes said. "Jason himself saw fit to use it for his ship."

"Xena herself saw fit to use it for her horse!"

Diomedes was startled by those words. He looked over at the object of conversation again. "Are you suggesting that..."

"The mare fits our description of the beast," said the advisor. "And wherever she is, the warrior princess cannot be far behind."

"According to my reports, Xena is dead."

"I have heard that too. Yet word has it that she continues to help those in need. Some say she does it through her horse, if you can believe that."

Diomedes gave this great thought. He didn't want the fabled warrior princess on his back whether she was living or dead. The race had yet to start, and already it was full of surprises. He swore to take steps to prevent any more.


CUT TO the ceremonial platform …

The various aides filled the gold cups of their respective monarchs and champions as the Thessalian priest began the ritual libations.

Lifting his cup in the air, the priest intoned: "To King Pelias, may you find pleasure in witnessing these games that we hold in your honor and memory." The drivers lift their cups, and hailed "To Pelias!" and took their first drink.

Lifting his cup a second time, the priest intoned: "To our noble participants, your coming out in respect to our departed sovereign honors him, and his kingdom."

"To the city of Iolkis, and Thessaly, may your years be prosperous." Responded the contestants, and took their second pull at the cup. The aides refilling, when the vessel was emptied.

Lifting his cup for a third time, the priest intoned: "And finally, to the Gods, may they smile in favor on us this day."

CUT TO Aphrodite enjoying a honey soaked, sesame seed confection.

Voice Over of the Contestants' "To the Gods!"

"Oh don't you worry honey," Aphrodite assured them. "We do."

CUT TO Glaucus' Pavillion.

After the king had inspected and assured the horses, they were harnessed to the king's chariot, the spar running between them, and they stood patiently, as the reins were fitted to them and draped back into the vehicle. Glaucus checked the fastenings of the under-carriage and dabbed a bit more grease to the axle, while Canthus hovered


"Are you sure you're up to this, sire?" asked the trainer, worriedly.

"Never more sure in my life," responded the old-king as he tested the hub-pegs. "I'll show that young punk, Diomedes, that he can't do his dirty work in my kingdom and get away with it!" The king then stood up as his trainer threaded the securing strap through his riding belt. Mounting his chariot, he secured the ends of the straps to the

two anchor points that were mounted on his chariot's frame. "Come on Ruffian, Argo," coaxed the monarch. "Let's show them what we can do."

The horses then wheeled the chariot out, joining the other contestants on their way to the starting line.

CUT TO The barkers warming up the crowd, as the final wagers are made and registered.

CUT TO the horses, as they greet Ruffian and inquire after her new "trainee."

Prancing to the starting line, were Diomede's mares, Thought and Lightning. *Stand aside everyone,* began Thought, *We take large steps.* finished Lightning, pompously, as they pulled up next to Argo and Ruffian.

Argo snorted her contempt, *What a pair of blowhards*

Ruffian nodded in agreement, *Well, what did you expect of mares fed on human flesh?*

Argo's ears pricked up in astonishment, *I thought you were just being mean, when you called them unnatural.*

*Uh-uh … with those two, unnatural is what they are, and unnatural is what I call them.*

CUT TO Diomedes and Glaucus.

"You should have stayed retired, old man," Diomedes shouted over the crowd noise. "You and that old nag don't stand a chance."

"Then you better stay out of my way junior! I wouldn't want to run you over." Returned the king spiritedly.

A hush fell over the crowd, as the nervous tension filled the air.

CUT TO the trumpeters, lifting their celtic horns. The starting notes sound, and the chariots take off in a cloud of dust, and the thundering sound of hoof-beats.


CLOSE-UP of the starting line as the horns sound.

"AND THEY'RE OFF!" shouts the Barker for the benefit of the less sharp-eyed patrons of the race. "Acastus, Glaucus, and Diomedes take an early lead, closely followed by Agathocles and Hippolytus, with Strophion, Medon and Xanthippus bring up the rear of the pack."

CUT TO the race in progress, with the Barker's description provided as a Voice Over.

"The contestants are now jockeying for position as they go into the first turn, and OH! Strophion's chariot flipped, and he's left in the dust as Medon and Xanthippus zip past. LOOK AT THAT! Ladies and gentlemen, I'm looking at as pretty a piece of driving as I ever did see. Glaucus just threaded his way between Acastus and Diomedes as nice as you please, and barely missed being clipped by Agathocles."

CLOSE UP of Diomedes as a mixed expression of fury and admiration crosses his features as he watches Glaucus take the lead.

Hearing his left hub scrape, the Thracian looked over to see Acastus crowding him as the maneuvered for the straightaway.

CLOSE UP of Glaucus, as he quickly checks on his pursuers. A look of pure delight is on his face as he snaps his reins and shouts: "On Ruffian! On Argo! Go go go go!"

CLOSE UP of the horses, as their ears pricked up at his urgings, *Hey Argo! Want to show them what we really got!*

Argo snorted, *WHAT do you mean, "really got?!"*

*Let's pick up the pace!* Urged Ruffian, as she did just that.

Argo kept up, flipping her ears back as she eyed the straightaway they were on.

CUT TO a shot of the lead three. ZOOMING OUT to take in the entire pack as the narration continues.

(Voice Over) "OK, right now the pack is led by Glaucus, with Ruffian and Argo; Acastus and Diomedes are following with Medon competing with Hippolytus, Agathocles, and Xanthippus for the outside lanes as they look forward to the next turn. Glaucus makes the turn! And it looks as if Diomedes is tangled up with Acastus! OH NO! Hippolytus just ran into Medon, causing them both to spin off the track! Now it's Agathocles and Xanthippus bring up the rear. Ladies and Gentlemen, now three charioteers are out of the race!

"Diomedes is now separating himself from Acastus as he moves to catch up with the King of Potniae on the final leg. However, Acastus is keeping the distance close! Agathocles and Xanthippus are now running hub to hub, as the racers now enter the final straightaway on the course! Diomedes is making the all out effort now, Acastus is barely keeping ahead of Agathocles and Xanthippus, but despite Diomedes's best effort, it looks as if Glaucus is pulling away! This is incredible folks! A driver out of retirement, managing an unknown and a retired mare, has been leading this race all along, and looks to finish - OH, he hit a rock on the course - Glaucus is now balancing on one wheel, trying to control his chariot. I tell you, the groundskeepers should be executed if anything should happen. Glaucus is all but hanging out of the upper edge, trying to right his chariot! Diomedes has caught up! Now it's Diomedes and Glaucus. Glaucus and Diomedes, as the Potniaean brings his vehicle down onto both wheels.

Glaucus and Diomedes, Diomedes and Glaucus, this is the time for the final efforts. It's going to be close … It's close folks! HO! The flag's waved, and … Glaucus wins!"

A cheer emanates from the crowd, as the official raised Potniae's flag in signal of Glaucus' win.


"Glaucus cheated," Diomedes shouted at his soldiers. "He had help from the warrior princess herself. And I mean to prove it! I want you men to search the grounds. Check ever member of the audience before they disperse. One of them must be Xena. Find her!"

Diomedes stormed alone to his stable where he shouted at his horses. "You two nags should have been put to sleep seasons ago judging by the poor sport you gave today! By the gods, you should be fed to men rather than the other way around!"

His tirade continued, angering the horses. Not only were they getting angry, they were getting hungry. And Diomedes was alone with them. If they must be put to sleep, Thought and Lightning figured that they ought to go on full stomachs.

Diomedes didn't even have time to pull out his sword. He did scream once. It was barely heard outside.




King Glaucus had just unhooked the horses from his chariot when a young messenger ran to him with the news.

"Your highness," the young man cried. "Diomedes' horses are on a rampage! They've just killed and eaten Diomedes himself. Now they're running around loose, trampling anyone in their path. The soldiers can't stop them!"

Argo and Ruffian took off to face Thought and Lightning. If it's a battle the two unnatural beasts wanted, they were going to get it.


CUT TO: Argo, breathing heavily, trotting up to Diomedes' pavilion with Ruffian close behind. About the stables are a bunch of upset grooms wringing their hands, and peering in anxiously, while a bunch of soldiers were on the ground, moaning and being bandaged up.

Upon entering the stables, Argo and Ruffian find themselves face-to-face with Thought, as in the background we hear chomping noises, as Lightning gnaws at that last bit of bone.

*Oh, hello, Ruffian,* greeted Thought pleasantly, *I see you haven't lost a step.* Argo and Ruffian stopped in astonishment at this observation. *I DO hope you and the newbie haven't come to gloat, I find gloating to be most distasteful.*

*Well, your distaste didn't stop you from gloating the last time we met!* challenged the Chestnut.

*Well, of course not. We had won then,* Thought remarked in surprise, astonished that this had to be pointed out. *Oh, Lightning … we have visitors.* With a hearty "P-too" Lightning turned around.

Argo looked at the two dark horses with a mixture of disgust and surprise. *But why did you consume your Master?* she asked, as nothing else occurred to her.

Lightning snorted as Thought answered for them both *Oh, that! Well the brute had the temerity to suggest that it was OUR fault that you had won the race. When anyone with half a brain would had noticed it was his lousy driving. In fact, we'd have won if Diomedes had bothered to steer clear of Acastus.*

*Yeah, right, and if we hadn't have hit the rock, we'd have won by a length instead of a nose,* Ruffian returned tartly.

Lightning and Thought looked at each other and apparently shrugged, *True, true, and were "if's" and "but's" grain, we'd all eat our fill.* The four horses snorted in amusement. *By the bye, you wouldn't happen to know someone who is in need of a pair of championship mares, would you?*

This time Argo and Ruffian looked at each other, and Argo reluctantly volunteered *Well … maybe King Glaucus would … but you would have to give up dining on human flesh.*

Thought and Lightning nodded, *Oh definitely. After Diomedes, I could settle down for a lifetime of oats.* And at that, the four mares went trotting out to Glaucus' pavilion, as Diomedes' retainers followed in a line, uncertain what to do.

CUT TO the Celebration.

Glaucus is gathering the acclaim of the crowd. "Brilliant driving's" and "Stupendous race's" were shouted out at the old king, as he held up his hands to quiet them.

"Thank you, my friends, but I must confess a secret." The crowd leaned in closer as they held their collective breath, Glaucus paused for a moment to keep them in suspense, and then announced, "I could not have won this race without the excellent running of my mares: Ruffian and Argo." The crowd went wild.

With the flower garlands about their necks, Argo and Ruffian managed to look bashful, and allowed the congratulatory pats that the crowd bestowed upon them. With Thought and Lightning safely ensconced in Glaucus' encampment, their thoughts could now turn towards their own futures. *Well Ruffian, was that enough racing to suit


Ruffian snorted and rubbed her nuzzle against Argo's *Yes, it just feels so much better to retire on a win. And THAT was a race these people will remember.*

*It was at that,* agreed Argo, and after the celebration, and after a little bit of help from a certain Goddess, the two mares galloped off into the sunset.

FREEZE FRAME of Argo and Ruffian against the setting sun, (Voice Over by Aphrodite)

After that race, King Glaucus would go on to treat his mares properly to the end of his days; Thought and Lightning continued to provide wins for their new owner's family, and were most happy eating the grain they were provided.

Acamus, had received justice for his father's murder, and through acclamation ascended to the Throne of Thessaly, ever advised to avoid his father's mistakes and pay Hera her due. Thus, I paid off my favor to Hera.

Glaucus's son, Bellerophon, would have to learn his lessons the hard way; but that is another story.

And as for Argo and Ruffian, w-e-l-l, let's just say, that from that day on, in the racing circles, they would be forever known as the Mares of Glaucus.

Subtitle sequentially appears: THE END

Gallop on Argo!



Argo (V.O.) - Melinda Clark

Ruffian (V.O.) - Danielle Cormack

Aphrodite - Alexandra Tydings

King Glaucus - Clayton Moore

King Diomedes - Adrian Paul

Produced by: Gloriosus, HammerHead

As Aided and Abetted by Golden Mare, HammerHead, scout58, yarrielle, bumper, Stroppy Lass, perk05.


Argo, Xena and Aphrodite are properties of MCA/Universal Studios and Renaissance Pictures, no copyright infringement was intended. The rest of the characters either belong to us, or to the Greek Mythologies.

Gross liberties were taken with the legends of the Mares of Glaucus, and the Mares of Diomedes, but I hope that the gists, and some of the particulars, of those legends have gotten through.