A Friend In Need - Page 5

Xena: Warrior Princess

"A Friend In Need"

page 5

 

ACT FOUR

Gabrielle reaches out and clutches Perseus' hand; both of them are noticeably frightened. Tara, the gorgon, holds the bow of Athena with an arrow poised at their backs.

TARA

Pray to whatever gods you believe in, for you will be meeting them shortly.

Tara pulls back the bowstring. Perseus screws his eyes shut in fear.

Xena's chakram flies through the air. Xena's battle cry is heard. The chakram hits the bow, knocking Tara's aim off. The arrow flies into the mountain, exploding.

XENA (O.S.)

Gabrielle! Run!

Gabrielle grabs Perseus' hand and they run toward the cave.

Tara pulls out another arrow, nocks it, and sends it flying after Gabrielle and Perseus. They get in the cave and duck off to the side, barely avoiding the arrow.

The arrow explodes, showering Gabrielle and Perseus with dust and rocks.

TARA

Run. I'll kill you just the same. It's more fun this way.

XENA (O.S.)

Not this time, Tara.

TARA

Not even you can stop me, Xena.

Tara sends an arrow flying in Xena's direction. Xena dives into a forward roll, getting by the explosion. Tara slithers off into the cave.

INT CAVE

Gabrielle and Perseus hunch down behind a boulder.

GABRIELLE

We've got to split up. We'll have a better chance of hiding that way.

PERSEUS

What if she catches you?

GABRIELLE

Is that a noble impulse? You may just turn into a hero after all, Perseus. You go this way. I'll go that way, all right?

PERSEUS

Okay. Good luck, Gabrielle.

Perseus stays low and disappears down a tunnel. Gabrielle looks and sees the shadow of Tara approaching. Gabrielle goes down another tunnel.

XENA (O.S.)

Gabrielle!

TARA

You can't save her now, Xena.

Tara slithers down the tunnel after Gabrielle.

Xena runs into the cave. She goes into the tunnel that Perseus took.

INT XENA'S TUNNEL

Xena runs down the tunnel. She stops and calls to Gabrielle.

XENA

Gabrielle? There's a locked chest somewhere in these caves that can free Joxer. We have to find it.

GABRIELLE (O.S.)

Xena? Where is it?

XENA

I don't know. But it's somewhere in these caves.

TARA (O.S.)

You won't find it, Xena. You'll all be dead in a few minutes. Then who will be laughing?

Xena searches the cave for a chest.

XENA

I never laughed at you.

INT TARA'S CAVE

Tara slithers slowly along, her bow nocked, searching for Gabrielle.

TARA

Everyone else did.

XENA (O.S.)

I always considered you an equal.

TARA

So what happened, "Warrior Princess"?

INT GABRIELLE'S CAVE

Gabrielle moves slowly through the cave, trying to find her way in the dark. She trips over a chest.

Tara's shadow moves in the tunnel Gabrielle just came through.

GABRIELLE

Oof.

And arrow comes whizzing through the air. It misses Gabrielle only because she is on the ground. Gabrielle covers her head as rocks and dust shower her.

INT XENA'S TUNNEL

XENA

Gabrielle!

Xena hears running footsteps behind her. She whirls around, her sword leading the way. Perseus stops just short of Xena's sword.

PERSEUS

I can't let her get hurt. She is my friend.

XENA

She's my friend, too. Let's go.

INT GABRIELLE'S CAVE

Gabrielle picks up the chest. It is only about 1 1/2 feet long, but it is fairly heavy.

GABRIELLE

(Whispering)

Xena! Xena! I found it!

TARA (O.S.)

Give up, Xena. You can't beat me anymore.

INT XENA'S TUNNEL

Xena approaches Tara from behind.

XENA

What happened to you? Once we were friends.

TARA

That was a long time ago. You got what you wanted, and I got what I wanted.

XENA

What did you want?

TARA

I wanted people to respect me. Like they respected you.

XENA

I did a lot of terrible things.

TARA

But people knew who you were. Nobody knows or cares about me.

XENA

That's not true.

Xena motions for Perseus to sneak around Tara.

TARA

Don't. I know what you're doing, Xena.

XENA

I only want to help you.

TARA

You lie! I don't want your help. I don't need help from anybody! Do you hear me?

Tara turns toward Xena and nocks an arrow. Tara's face is shrouded in shadow.

XENA

I can help you lift this curse, Tara. Just let my friends go.

TARA

NO! This is some kind of trick, isn't it? You're going to kill me, right? You can't take a little competition. You always were a sore loser, Xena.

Xena extends her hand from the shadows so that Tara can see it.

XENA

Take my hand, Tara. I can help you.

Tara raises her bow and shoots at Xena.

TARA

No!

The arrow explodes, lighting the whole cave. Rocks fall down on top of Xena.

Perseus jumps down from a perch above Tara. He grabs for the bow. Tara knocks Perseus down. He shields his face in terror. he does not want to look on her face.

TARA

You fear me? Good. Now, DIE!

A rock hits Tara in the back of the head. Gabrielle stands, ready to fight for Perseus' life. Tara turns to face Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE

Leave him alone.

TARA

Oh? Who's going to stop me? You?

Gabrielle looks down at the floor by Tara's tail. She doesn't dare look at Tara's face.

TARA

Look at me. LOOK AT ME!

GABRIELLE

Stop hurting people.

TARA

They all laughed at me. They never laughed at Xena.

GABRIELLE

That was in the past. Things have changed.

TARA

You're right. I'm a gorgon now. I can demand respect.

GABRIELLE

You turned my friend to stone.

TARA

He deserved it.

GABRIELLE

He didn't do anything to you.

TARA

It doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore.

Tara nocks another arrow. She points it at Gabrielle.

PERSEUS

No! I won't let you kill her.

Perseus stands in between the arrow and Gabrielle.

TARA

So? The coward rises. I guess I'll just have to kill you, too.

Perseus whips out Gabrielle's mirror and holds it in front of Tara's face. Tara screams and quickly averts her gaze. Tara falls back, stunned.

Perseus grabs Gabrielle's hand, and they rush by Tara, carrying the chest.

They run by the pile of rocks where Xena was standing. Perseus pulls Gabrielle along.

GABRIELLE

No. We've got to help Xena.

PERSEUS

The monster will kill us, too.

Gabrielle shoves the chest at Perseus.

GABRIELLE

Take this. Help Joxer. I'll help Xena.

PERSEUS

But-

Gabrielle has tears in her eyes. She knows that she could very well die here. But she has to help Xena.

GABRIELLE

Just go. I've got to save my friend.

Perseus nods, and runs toward the cave opening.

Gabrielle starts digging in the pile of rocks for Xena.

GABRIELLE

Please, Xena, be alive.

Gabrielle moves aside a large rock. She sees Xena's sword. she starts throwing more rocks aside, frantically searching for Xena.

TARA (O.S.)

Tut tut. Such devotion. Too bad Xena can't see this pretty picture.

Tara has her bow pointed at Gabrielle's back. Tara is across the cavern from Gabrielle. Gabrielle straightens up, defiant. Gabrielle speaks without turning around.

GABRIELLE

You killed her. YOU KILLED HER!

TARA

Oh, I'm sorry. Did I leave you out? I can fix that.

Tara's fingers pull the bowstring taut.

Xena's chakram richochets off the walls and hits the bow. The arrow shoots straight up. There is a large explosion. Rocks fall from the ceiling on top of Tara. Tara screams as she is buried.

The chakram returns to Xena. Xena steps out of the shadows, bruised and dirty. She was buried, just not where Gabrielle was searching.

GABRIELLE

Xena! You're alive.

XENA

Yes.

The mountain rumbles. The cavern is preparing to collapse.

Gabrielle takes Xena's hand.

GABRIELLE

We've got to get out of here.

Xena looks intently at the pile of rocks where tara is buried. A glimmer shows athena's bow. Xena goes to the rock pile and starts digging.

GABRIELLE

What are you doing? The cave is going to collapse.

Xena has tears in her eyes.

XENA

Just go. I've got to save my friend.

GABRIELLE

But, Xena, the cave.

XENA

I've got to save her.

Gabrielle goes and helps Xena move rocks aside. They pull out Athena's bow and arrows. Then they push aside a large rock. Tara lies there, bruised and bloodied. She is alive, but just barely.

TARA

(Weakly)

Xena?

Xena covers Tara's eyes with her hand, so they won't make eye contact. Xena takes Tara's hand in hers.

XENA

Yes, Tara. It's me.

TARA

Thank you.

XENA

I can still save you.

The cave rumble more ominously. Rubble starts falling.

TARA

No. Go. I'm sorry.

XENA

All of us make mistakes.

TARA

Tell Mother I'm sorry.

Tara breathes her last. She dies.

Xena fights back emotions as she stands up. Gabrielle picks up the weapons and guides Xena to the outside. They hurry out the cave entrance. The cave collapses behind them.

EXT CAVE

They look back at the cave. Dust pours out.

GABRIELLE

You did what you had to do.

XENA

I couldn't just leave her.

GABRIELLE

Just like I couldn't leave you.

XENA

She was my friend.

GABRIELLE

You did everything you could do.

XENA

Gabrielle...thanks.

CUT TO:

EXT THYATIRA - TOWN SQUARE - AFTERNOON

A crowd has gathered around the Joxer statue. Perseus struggles vainly to change Joxer back to flesh.

PERSEUS

Presto chango! Ala Kazam!

Xena and Gabrielle move through the crowd. They look up at the statue.

XENA

We've only got a few more minutes before Joxer dies.

(To perseus)

What have you tried?

PERSEUS

I've tried everything. Nothing works.

GABRIELLE

What was in the box?

PERSEUS

There was this small bottle, and a mirror.

XENA

Where is the mirror?

PERSEUS

It's still in the box.

Xena takes the mirror and pours the contents of the bottle on it. She holds the mirror up in front of Joxer's face.

Joxer magically changes back to flesh. He stumbles off the platform.

JOXER

Hey, I'm back!

Gabrielle embraces Joxer.

GABRIELLE

Welcome back, Joxer.

XENA

It's good to have you back.

JOXER

Well, it's good to be back. It's just another day in the life of a hero.

GABRIELLE

Sure.

Perseus looks on, then moves away from the crowd. He starts walking down the road away from town. Gabrielle notices his leaving, and she follows after him.

GABRIELLE

Perseus! Where are you going?

PERSEUS

Home.

GABRIELLE

Are you going to be all right?

PERSEUS

I'll be fine. Thanks to you.

A man and a woman, Perseus' Parents appear down the road a little way off. They gesture to Perseus.

PERSEUS

There they are. Well, I'll see you later, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE

Bye.

Perseus runs to his parents. There are gestures as they talk briefly. Then Perseus' parents embrace him. They all walk away. Gabrielle smiles.

Xena and joxer walk up behind gabrielle.

XENA

Looks like you've saved a lot of people today.

GABRIELLE

Well, a friend in need...

JOXER

Speaking of friends in need, can we get something to eat? I'm starving.

XENA

Anything you want.

GABRIELLE

You've had a rough day.

JOXER

And you're not kidding. Those pigeons - you've never seen such lazy birds. They sat on me all day long. I couldn't get them off.

Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer head back towards town. Gabrielle pats Joxer on the back consolingly.

GABRIELLE

It's just another day in the life of a hero.

FADE OUT:

END ACT FOUR

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