A Friend In Need - page 2

Xena: Warrior Princess

"A Friend In Need"

page 2

 

ACT ONE

EXT TARA'S HUT

Xena approaches a humble home. Tara's mother, NISSA (50's), comes to the door. Nissa is a motherly but naive woman.

NISSA

Who is that? Is that little Xena?

XENA

Not so little anymore. Hello, Nissa.

NISSA

Oh, you've grown up so much. I hardly recognized you. Come in, come in.

They enter the hut.

INT TARA'S HUT

The home is comfortable. Several weapons adorn the walls.

XENA

What's with all of the weapons?

NISSA

Oh, they're Tara's. She collects them.

XENA

How is she doing? I've missed her.

NISSA

It's hard to know sometimes. She doesn't come home very often. She's always out. She says she's helping people, but sometimes I wonder.

XENA

What do you mean?

NISSA

Oh, you know how she is. You two always found trouble to get in to.

XENA

I remember. Like that time she let the sheep loose during that wedding. We got in trouble for that.

NISSA

I wish that's all that is was. Xena, Tara has gotten, well...she's not the same anymore.

XENA

What? She's gotten married, settled down, and had children?

NISSA

No. You don't understand. She is...different.

XENA

You're not joking, are you?

NISSA

Xena. She's always talking about her suffering. You know, back then.

XENA

I thought we took care of that a long time ago.

NISSA

So did I. You went off to war, and Tara...she went to war, too.

XENA

Where is she now?

NISSA

I haven't seen her for a few days. She said she had some business to take care of.

Argo whinnies outside.

XENA

Stay here.

Xena runs outside.

EXT TARA'S HUT

Four warriors approach the hut. They are dressed in the colors of priests of Athena.

XENA

What do you want?

The lead warrior steps forward. This is erichthonius, head priest of Athena's temple. Erichthonius is pompous, but very devout in his faith to Athena.

ERICHTHONIUS

I am Erichthonius, Head Priest of the Temple of Athena. Three days ago, an item of major significance was stolen from our temple. We have reason to believe that the thief is hiding here.

XENA

There's no one here but me and a friend.

ERICHTHONIUS

Nevertheless, we must search the hut to find the Bow.

Xena draws her sword.

XENA

You'll have to go through me first.

ERICHTHONIUS

If that is Athena's will, you have no hope, woman.

Erichthonius motions to his men. They rush toward Xena.

Xena blocks the first blow, and knocks warrior #1 into the wall. She grabs an iron pot from on the porch and swings it roundhouse at the other two warriors. They go flying.

Warrior #1 recovers, and charges at Xena's back. She stops him with a back kick, and spins him toward the other two.

Xena tosses the iron pot up in the air. She charges the warriors. She ducks under a swinging sword, and then blocks two overhand strikes. The pot falls down on warrior #1's head. He falls down.

ERICHTHONIUS

Get her! She is only one person!

Xena knocks the two swords away from the warriors. Warrior #2 picks up a rake. He swings it wildly. Warrior #1 stands up groggily, the pot still on his head. The rake hits the pot. warrior #1 goes down again.

XENA

Nice try, farmboy.

Xena flips over the warrior's heads. She picks up a shovel. she vaults into the two warriors, knocking them back. Xena plants the shovel into the ground between their heads.

XENA

Go. And don't come back.

The three warriors stumble away. Erichthonius is very angry.

ERICHTHONIUS

The goddess of wisdom and war will not tolerate such offenses.

XENA

Next time you see her, ask your goddess for more wisdom. Maybe you'll learn not to pick fights.

Erichthonius turns and stomps away.

Nissa comes to the door, carrying an axe.

NISSA

I heard fighting. Is everything all right?

XENA

Nothing I couldn't handle. Nissa, did Tara mention anything about Athena?

NISSA

Not that I can remember. Why do you ask?

XENA

No reason. Just a hunch.

CUT TO:

EXT THYATIRA - BARN

Gabrielle sneaks around the barn, her staff at the ready. She hears a footstep. She tenses, then leaps around the corner.

A young man, PERSEUS (20's), falls back, startled. Perseus is the town rebel. He causes a lot of mischief.

PERSEUS

No! I didn't do it!

Gabrielle holds her staff poised at his throat.

GABRIELLE

Didn't do what?

PERSEUS

The sheep were already loose. Someone else opened the gate.

GABRIELLE

What are you talking about?

PERSEUS

Me? Nothing. I didn't say anything.

Gabrielle steps back, and looks around.

GABRIELLE

Is there anyone else around here?

PERSEUS

No. Just me. Why?

GABRIELLE

Someone was shooting arrows. Exploding arrows. And you didn't see anything?

PERSEUS

No, I didn't see anything. I can help you look for whatever it is you're looking for.

Perseus gets up off the ground and dusts himself off. He extends his hand.

PERSEUS

Hi, I'm Perseus.

GABRIELLE

Did your parents name you after the hero Perseus?

PERSEUS

I don't know. I was raised by a shepherd near here. I don't know my parents.

GABRIELLE

You're an orphan?

PERSEUS

It's sad, really, when a person doesn't even know his parents, then gets apprehended by a beautiful blonde warrior with a staff.

Gabrielle smiles, embarrased.

GABRIELLE

I'm Gabrielle. Look, there's something I need to tell you.

Gabrielle looks around, then pulls Perseus around the corner of the barn.

GABRIELLE

Something happened a few minutes ago. It turned my friend to stone.

CUT TO:

EXT THYATIRA - INN

A crowd has gathered around the new "Joxer statue". Gabrielle and perseus push their way through the crowd.

GABRIELLE

See? Stone.

Gabrielle knocks on Joxer's head.

JOXER (V.O.)

Uh? Gabrielle? I can't move.

PERSEUS

So what are we going to do?

GABRIELLE

First of all, we need to find out who did this.

PERSEUS

You think someone did this?

GABRIELLE

Yeah. There were arrows flying, and things started exploding. Joxer, him, he turned around, and then he was turned to stone.

PERSEUS

No. You're not dragging me into this. This sounds like he made the gods mad, so they turned him to stone. They do that to people, you know.

GABRIELLE

No. I didn't know. And since when are you an expert on the behavior of the gods?

PERSEUS

All I know is, I'm not going anywhere near whoever, or whatever did this. I like being able to move.

JOXER (V.O.)

Uh, Gabrielle? I can't move.

Gabrielle gestures to Joxer.

GABRIELLE

Do you think he likes it? Being stuck like that? No. I wouldn't, either. But now you're just turning your back on him. Fine, leave.

Perseus turns to go.

PERSEUS

Don't think I'm being selfish.

GABRIELLE

(Sarcastically)

Oh, I don't. Save yourself, Perseus. It's not like you have to live up to your name.

Perseus turns and walks away.

GABRIELLE

(continuing; To the crowd)

What are you looking at? Never seen someone turned to stone before?

The crowd disperses.

GABRIELLE

Joxer? I don't know if you can hear me, or not, but I'm really sorry that this happened to you.

JOXER (V.O.)

Oh, it's okay. At least I've got my own heroic statue.

GABRIELLE

I'll find whoever did this to you. I'll get you changed back into yourself again.

Gabrielle holds the Joxer statue's hand.

GABRIELLE

I promise. I'll find a way.

JOXER (V.O.)

Gee, that's really nice of you, Gabrielle. And while you're at it, could you get me something to eat, too?

Gabrielle walks away. A bird lands on Joxer's head.

JOXER (V.O.)

Hey, get off me. Gabrielle? Gabrielle?

CUT TO:

EXT DARK FOREST

Tara moves in and out of the trees. She is changed from her original self. We don't see the whole form, but she has been changed into a gorgon.

TARA

Laugh at me, will they? I am a warrior, just like Xena. She's not better than me. She never has been.

(Sardonically)

Xena saved a village. Xena defeated an army. But Tara, she's just a thief. Hah. I'm the best. They'll see.

Tara goes toward a cave.

CUT TO:

INT TARA'S HUT

Xena and Nissa talk.

XENA

What was the last thing Tara said to you?

NISSA

I think it was something about showing them something. Why? What is this all about, Xena?

XENA

I think that Tara has gotten herself into trouble with the gods.

NISSA

But how? She's a good girl.

XENA

That's just it - in your mind, she's always been a good girl. You've been saying that for as long as I can remember. She never wanted you to put her up on a pedestal. She just wanted to be accepted for what she was.

NISSA

What do you think she did?

XENA

There were some men here looking for her. They said she took something from them.

NISSA

But Tara would never steal anything. She's-

XENA

"Always been a good girl." Yes, you've told me. Nissa, maybe you don't know your daughter as well as you think you do.

NISSA

I've always been here for her. She knows that.

XENA

Maybe that's why those men came here, looking for her.

NISSA

What if they find her? What are they going to do to her?

Xena walks outside.

EXT TARA'S HUT

Xena unties argo.

XENA

Don't worry. They won't find her first. I will.

NISSA

Be careful. If Tara's really in trouble, those men might be back. I don't want to see you hurt.

XENA

I can take care of myself. You just watch for Tara. If she comes back, let me know.

Xena mounts argo.

NISSA

Where are you going?

XENA

I'm going into Thyatira. Maybe someone there knows something.

CUT TO:

EXT THYATIRA - TOWN SQUARE

Gabrielle paces back and forth, talking to herself. The townsfolk have rigged up a crane and are hoisting the Joxer statue onto a pedestal.

GABRIELLE

I could go find Xena. No, she's visiting her friend. Maybe I could go find Hercules. Yeah. No. He's probably off on some legendary journey. I could go after that thing myself.

Joxer comes to rest on the pedestal. Several birds now land on his head.

JOXER (V.O.)

I think you should wait for Xena. She'll know what to do.

GABRIELLE

Maybe I should wait for Xena. She'll know what to do. No. That'll take too long. Well, Gabrielle, here we go.

JOXER (V.O.)

I don't think that's a good idea.

Gabrielle turns and looks up at Joxer.

GABRIELLE

You probably don't think this is a good idea, right?

JOXER (V.O.)

Gabrielle, you can't go. That thing...yecch. It's so...Gabrielle, no!

Gabrielle turns and walks toward the forest.

JOXER (V.O.)

Gabrielle. Oh, no. I get turned to stone, and the woman I love is going off to get herself killed. Joxer, this is one fine mess you've gotten in to.

Off Joxer's statue, we:

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT ONE

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