AMAZON VILLAGE - SAME DAY
Xena stops walking and regards Melosa with cool blue intense eye contact.
C'mon! Give the kid a break.
She was only doing what I told her to do.
True Xena. But she did put forth the
challange and you defeated me as her champion.
It's Amazon law that she is now their queen.
Xena contemplates a possible solution.
Don't your people have rules and
counter rules for everything?
I'm sure there's something in
your law books that can fix this.
Melosa retreats in thought.
There is the Ritual of Submission for an Amazon
who wants to relinquish her authority.
Okay. What does she have to do?
At the next full moon she must proclaim her intentons
to the entire nation and name a suitable replacement . If
the Amazons accept her choice, she must then go through
with the ritual to prove her intentions are forthright.
Xena's eyes narrow.
And what exactly is the ritual?
She must go into the Hills of Lissos, unarmed with no
provisions and spend three moon rises reflecting on her
decision. She will live off the land by her wits, keeping herself
one with the earth. When she returns, this will prove to the
Amazons that her intentions are honorable.
Isn't that wolf country that borders Centaur territory?
Yes. The solitde and danger are to keep her mind
on the importance of the decision she has made.
Xena exhales a long, slow breath.
Gabrielle is a storyteller not a warrior.
Anyway, how'd she get this princess
thing bestowed on her anyway?
As Melosa begins to explain, one of the elders interrupts, calling her away.
We will talk more later.
Melosa leaves with the Amazon elder and Xena heads to the hut that Ephiny had pointed out.
INSIDE GABRIELLE'S HUT - SOON AFTER
When Xena enters the hut she finds Gabrielle pacing the floor and mumbling to herself. Seeing Xena at the doorway, Gabrielle immediately moves to her.
It's about time you got here. Do you know what
the want me to do? I'm their queen now and they
want me to stay and rule the Amazons. I can't even
get Argo to follow me for Zeus' sake.
Boy have they got the wrong girl.
Xena leans against the door frame with an amused expression on her face.
Okay your majesty, before we proceed,
can you explain to me how you got to
be Amazon royalty in the first place?
I left yesterday,
you were just
little blonde bard from Potadeia.
Xena moves into the hut and sits down at a table in the center of the room. Propping her foot up on the leg of the table, she reclines back and waits for the story.
When we were in the arrow attack and
I threw myself over Terreis, well before
she died she gave me her right of caste.
It turns out that she was Queen Melosa's
sister and the next in line to the throne.
Gabrielle pauses to observe Xena's reaction. Xena just sits silently rocking the chair, then motions with her hand for Gabrielle to continue.
I've inherited this hut, all these
weapons and all her clothing.
Xena casually stands and pulls a hunting knife off of a nearby wall. As she examines it, she
looks over to Gabrielle nonchalantly.
Nice place you've got here.
Gabrielle contorts her face into frustration and starts pacing again.
Will you be serious?
We have a major problem here.
Helloooo! I can't lead these women.
Xena sets the knife down on the table and walks over to Gabrielle. She grabs her by the shoulder, turning her to make specific eye contact.
First of all, if I didn't say it before,
what you did during the arrow attack
was very brave and I'm proud of you.
Gabrielle's face beams as she recieves some seldom heard praise from her hero.
And don't sell yourself short. Whether you
realize it or not, you're a born leader.
Gabrielle scrunches her nose.
You really think so?
Yes! But I also think you're still a little
wet behind the ears to be tackling
the entire Amazon nation just yet.
Xena guides Gabrielle over to the table and sits her down in a chair. Then takes a seat opposite her.
There is an Amazon ritual you can perform
to restore Melosa back as their queen.
Now you're talking my language.
What's the plan?
Xena leans forward and picks the hunting knife up off table. Hurling it into a beam by the door, she quirks a satified eyebrow, then resumes her conversation with Gabrielle.
At the next full moon, you have to go before the entire
nation and declare intentions to relinquish your position.
Then you name Melosa as your chosen successor.
Gabrielle stares at her with intense conviction and then suddenly relaxes.
That sounds simple enough.
Gabrielle rolls her eyes.
did i know
you were going
to say that.
Then you must spend three moon rises alone
in the Hills of Lissos. It's pretty rugged country and
it's also known for its vast wolf population. When you
go, you can't take any provisions or weapons with you.
Gabrielle slumps back into her chair, exasperated.
Oh, is that all? I thought you were going
to tell me I had to risk my life or something.
Gabrielle's expression becomes somber and a sense of fear pours from her usually sparkling
But if you want, we can just turn and walk
out of here. No one will stop you as long as
you're with me. And just for the record, I don't really
give a damn about Amazon rules and rituals anyway.
Gabrielle regards Xena's words and embraces the warrior through eye contact, as a determined
look comes over her face.
Xena, I appreciate your offer but
the Amazons have accepted me as one
of their own, so I feel I owe it to them to
respect their laws and traditions.
Xena sits back in the chair with her brow furrowed.
I was afraid you were going to say that.
Will you teach me what I need to know
to get through this?
We'll start tomorrow morning, your majesty.
After all, how can I refuse a request from
the Queen of the Amazons.
Gabrielle expresses a sense of pride and then smiles at her as Xena walks to the doorway
of the hut. Before she leaves Xena stops and turns back to Gabrielle.
One more thing, your worship.
I'm your champion, not your consort.
Is there any place in particular you
would like to stable me tonight?
Gabrielle contorts her face into an irritated smile as Xena leaves the hut.
THE ENTERPRISE D BRIDGE - JUST AFTER COMING OUT OF WARP
The Enterprise has been selected to host a group of historians who are to study ancient Earth 's myths and legends surrounding the Centaur nation and in particular, the Ixion Stone.
Jean Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise, jumped at the chance to be a part of this time travel
expedition, having a great fondness for arceological studies.
Lieutenant Worf, the only Klingon to serve in Starfleet and a current member of the Enterprise crew, is also very much looking forward to this mission for different reasons.
After just catapulting themselves back in time by a slingshot maneuver around the sun, Captain Picard rises out of his chair and steps prophetically toward the view screen, gazing at the blue and brown sphere, which is ancient Earth.
Standard orbit Mr. La Forge.
Lieutenant Yar, what is our chronometer reading?
In ancient Earth years 924BC
This will make our historian guests happy.
Captain Picard taps his communicator badge.
Picard to Lieutenant Worf.
(voice from Picard's communicator)
Tell our guest we've arrived and we will
beam down at 1400 hours.
Captain Picard sits back down in his command chair and turns to Commander Riker, who is
seated on his right side.
Well Number One, I'm going to exercise captain's priviledge
here and lead this away team. You have the bridge.
Captain Picard heads for the turbo lift and signals for Lieutenant Yar to follow him.
Tasha, you're with me.
Lieutenant Yar steps away from her tactical station on the bridge and into the turbo lift with Captain Picard. The doors close behind them making a suctioned sound.
END OF ACT 1
AMAZON FOREST - NEXT MORNING
Xena is instructing Gabrielle on weapons contruction and where to find food while she is out in the wilderness.
Come on Gabrielle, pay attention.
Now show me again which mushrooms are edible.
Gabrielle examines three different species, picking them up and rolling them around in the palm of her hand. Then holds one up to Xena.
Xena raises and unhappy eyebrow.
Well, I guess we won't have to worry about finding
the body because you'll have poisoned yourself
so bad the wolves won't touch the tainted meat.
Gabrielle throws the mushroom down in disgust.
You know, I've spent six months on the road
with you and you'd think I'd be familiar with
this stuff by now, but Nooo, I had to have my
nose buried in a scroll most of the time, while
you did all the food gathering.
Listen, you're only going to be out there for three
moons. It's not like you'll starve if you don't eat.
You obviously have me confused with some one else.
I go without food for even a day and you're going to have
one extremely cranky X-Amazon Queen on your hands.
Now show me again.
For the next hour Xena takes Gabrielle deeper into the forest and points out a variety of nuts, berries, bark and insect life that is edible and easy for Gabreille to find.
TRANSPORTER ROOM ENTERPRISE D - JUST BEFORE BEAM DOWN.
The away team consisting of Captain Picard, Lieutenant Worf, Lieutenant Yar and three male historians prepare to beam down to the ancient Greek landscape on a quest for information
about the Centaur nation and in the legend of the Ixion Stone. Everyone is dressed in period costume incase accidental contact is made.
Do we have everything we need Mr. Worf?
Yes Captain. We're taking only
bare essentials so we can experience
the way people lived in these ancient times.
Captain Picard quirks and eyebrow.
Mr. Worf, you're going to make this
away mission interesting aren't you.
Worf's smirks with flared nostrils.
The Centaurs have been of interest to me since I was
a boy. They are a very noble race. I think it would
benefit us to experience their living conditions.
I hope our historians share your same feelings.
Captain Picard turns to Lieutenant Yar.
what is our
I've issued type 3 phasers, one
phaser rifle and we'll also have these.
Pointing to the supplies bundle, there is a long sword for herself, Worf's Klingon batleth< and staffs for Captain Picard and the three historians.
But I don't anticipate any trouble.
They're more for show if we encounter anyone.
Ready to beam down, Tasha distributes the weapons. Worf carries his batleth at his side, while Tasha straps her long sword to her back. Everyone steps onto the transporter pad and prepares
to beam down.
Mr. O'brien, energize.
AMAZON VILLAGE PRACTICE FIELD - MID AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle are armed with staffs and are practicing defense techniques along with several other Amazons. The session has lasted for about an hour.
Okay Gabrielle, now I want you to defend
yourself against my moves.
Gabrielle stands poised in a defensive posture with intense consentration on Xena's staff.
Xena lunges the staff at Gabrielle's mid section and she neatly deflects it away. Then Xena spins and swings the staff low to take out Gabreille's feet, but she leaps up at the last minute, causing Xena's maneuver to miss. Xena counters with an overhead chop which Gabrielle captures by thrusting her staff up horizontally over her head.
Seeing Gabrielle on the verge of exhaustion, Xena backs off and lowers her staff with a satisfied grin on her face.
You're really getting the hang of it.
That really felt good. Now I know why
your eyes light you when you fight.
Xena becomes serious, not realizing that her features are so animated when she is engaged in battle.
Now I want you to only use this in defense.
You go aound provoking a fight and you may
bite off more then you can chew.
Whatever you say Xena.
A small band of Amazons stroll over to where Xena and Gabrielle are practicing and a tall, muscled, red-haired woman, who appears to be the leader, confronts Xena.
RED - HAIRED AMAZON
Hey Xena, you need to do better then that
or our new ' queen' is going to be easy pickens.
Xena gives the woman a cold caluculating stare with glacial eyes.
What's your name?
RED - HAIRED AMAZON
(low, methodical voice)
Well Hestra, why don't you and your little friends
just run along and play elsewhere.
A smug look comes over Hestra's face.
Why bother anyways. She's too scrawny
to make much of a difference.
Gabrielle steps up to Hestra to intervene.
Listen Hestra, why don't you just move
along and don't make trouble?
I'm asking this as your queen.
Hestra stands toe to toe with Gabrielle and with a slight hip twist, bumps her and sends
Xena lunges with lightening speed, lifting Hestra up by her clothes and pins her to a nearby tree, holding her by the throat.
You don't really want to do this, do you Red?
Gabrielle gets up and runs over to the two women trying to disarm an explosive situation.
Xena, put her down... Please?
Yeah Xena, mustn't disobey
the queen's orders.
I'm not an Amazon so she's not my queen.
Then do it because I'm asking you as your friend.
Ephiny runs over to see what the comotion is about.
What's going on here.? Hestra why do
you always have to cause touble?
Xena releases her grip on Hestra and lets her drop to the ground, then storms off toward Gabrielle's hut.
(yelling in Xena's direction)
We'll settle this later, warrior princess.
Hestra trudges off in the opposite direction as Ephiny goes over to Gabrielle.
Xena was giving me some staff instruction and
Carrot Top over there, came looking for a fight.
Hestra's a troublemaker. She and her group are not
pleased about the treaty with the Centaurs at all.
The only time they're happy is if they're at odds with someone.
I better go check on Xena. I've never seen her
get that angry so fast.
Gabrielle walks toward her hut while Ephiny goes to report the incident to Melosa.
BEAM DOWN POINT - MID AFTERNOON
A sparkly swirl of demolecularize particles forms as six colums materialize into the Enterprise D
away team. Tasha and Worf immediately fan out to find a suitable place to build a camp and to set up the necessay equipment they will need to conduct their observations. Captain Picard stands and inhales a deep breathe of fresh, wilderness air while observing the rugged landscape of the ancient past he now stands in. The historians recheck the equipment, making sure there was no damage during transport.
Having found a campsite location, Tasha and Worf start to walk back to the beam down point.
So Worf, how are you going to explain
that forehead if we encounter and lifeforms?
(slighty annoyed voice)
Very simple. This time period is full of many
different species. In addition to the Centaurs,
there are Minataurs, Cyclops, Hydras, Giants...
Okay, okay...I get the point.
You sure know a lot about this period in Earth's history.
As I was growing up, my adopted parents
encougaged me to learn about this time
because being the only Klingon among humans,
it was good to relate to a period in history where
there were groups other then humans here.
After returning back to the beam down point Tasha reports to Captain Picard.
We found a clearing about a two hundred
meters north that will make a good base
camp. If we get started now, we should
have everything set up by dark.
The landing party members pick up the equipment and head north to the site that Tasha and Worf
GABRIELLE'S HUT - LATE AFTERNOON
Entering the hut, Gabrielle finds Xena packing their things into Argo's saddlebags.
Xena, what are you doing?
Xena glances up at Gabrielle with cold, angry eyes.
END OF ACT 2
GABRIELLLE'S HUT - LATE AFTERNOON
Gabrielle walks over to Xena and tugs at her elbow.
Xena, what do you mean we're leaving?
I haven't performed the ritual yet.
Xena pulls away and continues to pack the saddle bags.
Because what they want you to do is ridiculous.
It's not to me.
Xena stops packing and looks at Gabrielle.
Listen! I am not going to risk your
life over some stupid rule the Amazons
are enforcing because they were to
pig-headed in the first place to take my advice.
I got you into this by challenging Melosa
and it will be a cold day in Tartarus before I put
you in deliberate danger to fix something I caused.
But Xena, I want to do it.
For the Amazons?
No. For me.
Xena walks over to Gabrielle and puts her hand on her shoulder.
What are you saying?
Gabrielle pulls away and moves over to the table, then sits down.
For the past six months I've been following
you around like a little puppy dog. Every
time you get into a fight, I can see you watching
me out of the corner of your eye to make sure
I'm okay, and I know that's very distracting.
I'm just a liability to you.
Xena comes over and sits down at the table across from Gabrielle, who has buried her face in
her crossed arms. Xena reaches over and tilts her face up to make eye contact .
That's not true.
Yes it is and you know it.
Gabrielle, you are very important to me.
Gabrielle stands up and walks over to the window.
I know, but I don't want to be a liability anymore.
If I can complete this ritual, it'll
make me a better helper to you.
Xena gets up and stands next to Gabrielle at the window. They both stare out into the village for a moment.
I like you just the way you are.
Well, I don't.
Xena continues to stare out the window for another moment in contemplative thought.
The full moon's tomorrow night.
We'd better get back to work if we want you ready.
Gabrielle grasps Xena's elbow, giving it a quick squeeze.
ENTERPRISE AWAY TEAM CAMPSITE - EVENING
All the gear has been unpacked and Tasha has assembled the portable force field that surrounds
the perimeter of the camp. Each member of the away team has recalibrated their communicator badge to a special frequency that enables them to freely move in and out of the force field.
A high powered telescope has been assembled for long-range viewing of the the Centaur villages and surrounding areas.
Captain Picard walks through a stand of trees just over the ridge and finds Worf pearched at the edge of a cliff looking down to the valley below. Tiny specks of light can be seen from the villages
that make up the Centaur nation.
The sun has just set and the serenity of the night with its sweet, fresh air is welcome change from the confines of the ship.
Look at the beauty of the Earth under the sky Mr. Worf.
That's something we just can't appreciate, being in space.
It's something that I often long for, Sir.
The holodeck has many programs,
but there is nothing like the real thing.
Worf takes a deep breath and slowly inhales the brisk, pine scented air. In the distance a lone wolf bays and is joined by another and another until a synphony is formed. Captain Picard looks up
to the sky and observes the heavens.
Looks like we'll have a full moon for tomorrow night.
Out of all the curiosities we've seen in space,
the familiar stars of home are always the best site.
Captain Picard sits down on the ground and grabs a handful of dirt, bringing it up to his nose and sniffing it.
Ahh! There's nothing that smells as
good as the soil from which life eminates.
I need to do this more often. No
sense in letting you and Commander
Riker have all the fun.
Worf props his foot up onto a nearby rock and leans forward onto his knee.
Well Mr. Worf are you ready to see ancient
history tomorrow? I know your fondnesss for the Centaurs.
Worf's eyes light up.
I've studied the Centaurs in depth. They are a proud
race and noble warriors. Just like the Klingons.
As Captain Picard and Mr. Worf continue to enjoy the peacefulness of their surroundings, suddenly
the calm is broken by the feeling they are being watched. Captain Picard quickly gets to his feet.
As they start back to the camp, they look behind them and see a set of yellow eyes staring at them from the top of a nearby hill. Then another and another appear until at least twenty pairs of eyes are coming toward them in the shadows of the moonlit landscape.
It's a foot race to make it back to the safety of the camp and its surrounding force field before they
are over taken by the hungry wolf pack. The sound of paws hitting the brush in concert with howling and barking, is almost deafening as the two men begin to tire from the pace.
Emerging up over a hill, they can see the campsite in the distance. A few more meters and they'll be safe, but the noise of the pack is uncomfortable close. Worf feels a nip at his heal but tactfully side steps a second strike. Captain Picard looks back and sees a huge fury gray body lunge at him, but manages to duck and then leaps over the sprawled out animal in his path.
Finally reaching the force field, Worf and Captain Picard dive through and watch wolf after wolf bounce off the protective shell, then angrily skulk away.
Tasha kneels down by Captain Picard, who is still on the ground.
Are you all right Sir?
Picard exhales releasing the adrenalin rush that powered him to safety, then stands up. He tugs at his clothes to reposition them correctly on his body.
(smiling in relief)
Well, Mr .Worf, that certainly got the heart pumping.
Are you all right?
Worf stands and dusts off his clothes, then turns to Captain Picard.
I guess we'll be making our way into camp
before sunset tomorrow.
The pack circles the campsite for the next hour, ocassionaly leaping at the force field and being rewarded with a nasty sting on the nose. Then one by one they slowly move away.
Before the last wolf leaves, he urinates at the edge of the force field to mark the territory.
AMAZON VILLAGE - THE NEXT NIGHT AT THE FULL MOON
A gigantic bon fire blazes away in the center of the village as Amazons dance aound the inferno to
the methodical beat of a drum as they chant.
Gabrielle is seated on a platform above the dancers dresses in royal leathers and Amazon jewelry. Ephiny is seated to one side and Melosa on the other.
Xena observes from the doorway of the hut, unable to attend the ceremomy because she is not a member of the Amazon nation.
Ephiny stands and walks to the head of the platform. After a moment, she raises her hands and all activities stop. The Amazons gather around the platform to listen to their leaders.
Sisters... Queen Gabrielle will speak now.
Ephiny sits down and Gabrielle gets up, taking the center of the platform.
Sister Amazons. Eight days ago I became your
Queen through the Right of Challange to bring
peace with the Centaur nation. But I am young
and inexperienced, and I have much to learn.
My intentions are to relinquish my claim as your
Queen through the Right of Submission.
A loud mur mur goes through the crowd of women.
As my successor, I name Melosa to
lead you. Her strength and wisdom
and will keep our people strong.
Another mur mur goes through the crowd and then suddenly, they start to chant.
Melosa... Melosa... Melosa...
The drums begin to beat and everyone starts to dance which signals their approval.
Gabrielle sits back down and shortly after Melosa stands up, taking the center of the platform. She puts her hands up and the crowd again goes silent.
Sisters, it is with great courage that Queen Gabrielle
has made this decission. Her heart is truly Amazon.
A barage of war cries start from the crowd.
To prove her worthiness to our people, tomorrow
Queen Gabrielle will make her way to the Hills of Lissos
to meditate on her decission for three rises of the moon.
A louder war cry emerges and then a frenzy of dancing and drums begins.
Melosa, Ephiny and Gabrielle leave the platform. Ephiny escorts Gabrielle back to her hut.
GABRIELLE'S HUT - AFTER THE CEREMONY
Xena stands on the porch of the hut and sees Gabrielle and Ephiny approaching. When Gabrielle reaches the door she rushes past Xena without saying a word. Concerned, Xena turns to follow but
is stopped by Ephiny.
She's nervous about tomorrow.
Actually, II think she's scared to death.
Amazons an their damn rituals.
(slightly angered voice)
Hold on a minute Xena. She's not
scared of letting us down, She's scared
of letting you down.
No it isn't. The kid worships the ground
you walk on. She lives for your approval.
Xena looks out into the distance.
I never asked that of her or anybody
else for that matter.
You may not have asked for it, but let's face it Xena,
you are quite an icon. Most of the Amazons would give
a limb to be in Gabrielle's position, traveling with you.
Xena reflects on Ephiny's statement.
what about you?
Me? I'm content with my
nice, healthy fear of you.
A slight smile forms on Xena's face.
Now why don't you make sure she
gets some sleep. They'll take her
into the hills at sunrise.
Ephiny walks away and Xena enters the hut. She sees Gabrielle sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning on her elbows, deep in thought.
Hey, you okay?
Oh, just dandy.
I've just gotta say that I'm pretty
worried about tomorrow.
Xena comes over and kneels down in front of her.
Listen to me. You've trained hard and learned all
your lessons well. I want you to know that I'm very
proud of you and have total faith in your abilities.
Do you really mean that?
Hey, you've been around me long enough
to know I always mean what I say.
Good. Now let's get you out of those
leathers and you need to get some rest.
AWAY TEAM CAMP - EVENING
Worf is peering through the telescope in the direction of the thrunderous drums they hear in the distance, while Tasha stands beside him with a pair of high-powered binoculars. After he is through looking, he eyes over Tasha's clothing from head to toe.
The historans costumed you well.
You could easily pass for one of those
women in that village below.
They're having quite a celebration.
I wonder what's going on?
END OF ACT 3