written for The Xena Warrior Princess Virtual Season is a work offiction based upon the television series Xena: Warrior Princess.
The original characters are usedstrictly for fan purposes and not for profit.
There is no intent to infringe upon or violate anycopyrights held by Studio USA, Renaissance Pictures, Universal Television or any other organization that owns the rights to this series.
Xena: Warrior Princess Virtual Season
Episode 715: Another Day, Another Warlord
Written by: 'Bardy' Pearl D. Anderson
1. EXT. WOODS - LATE AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle crouch in a thicket beside a road.
Off in the woods they can hear voices calling to one another.
Xena has drawn her sword and is running her fingers carefully along the blade's edge while she listens to the sounds around them.
Gabrielle, still unsure what to expect, sits silently beside her, trying to make out shapes among the shadows.
A faint, nearly unheard sound from the distance draws Xena's attention.
She signals Gabrielle to remain quiet; silently she slides her sword back into its sheath.
Gabrielle nods, as Xena seems to glide up into the trees and out of sight.
Sometime later Gabrielle, still crouching, cautiously reaches out a hand to move a branch in the hope of catching a glimpse of the figures in the distance.
As she allows the branch to slowly return to its place, the light touch of a warm hand informs her that Xena has returned as silently as she had left.
A curious arch of an eyebrow is the only visible inquiry from Gabrielle.
Xena leans toward Gabrielle and whispers.
The lop-sided grin on Xena's face tells her they are.
Gabrielle reaches for her sais.
A slightly wicked and excited smile plays around her mouth.
The look on Gabrielle's face reflects that of the Warrior Princess's.
Still using the foliage as cover they circle partway behind the campsite.
Xena stops, closes her eyes, and listens.
Gabrielle pauses and extends her senses as well.
They hear the faint sound of men talking.
Xena's eyes open, then narrow, as she considers the new information.
Another small sound catches her attention.
Gabrielle bends low to the ground, opens their travel bag and dumps the few items onto the ground, then hands it to Xena.
Xena again vanishes into the trees.
Gabrielle watches Xena as the warrior carefully leans forward from a large branch, the bag held open.
Gabrielle's eyes widen as she catches sight of a bubble-like sack hanging off the center of a branch and realizes that Xena is about to bag a huge hornet's nest!
With one smooth swoop, Xena engulfs the nest with the bag, pulls the top shut, and breaks the nest loose from the branch.
She vanishes again among the leaves and branches.
2. EXT. CLEARING LATE AFTERNOON
In a small clearing, three scruffy men gather around a game being played on the ground in front of a crude lean-to.
Off to the left their horses are saddled and tethered to a line running the length between two trees.
Overhead Xena leans comfortably against the tree trunk and looks over the rough camp, counts the number of brigands, and notes the horses.
Then, without a sound, she stealthily lowers herself to the ground.
She works her way silently around to the horses.
The animals are skittish, but she manages to calm them with gentle strokes before cutting them loose.
That done, she returns to the tree where she has stashed the now furiously buzzing bag.
She whirls the bag once, twice, and then taking careful aim, targets the gambling men.
She leaps back into the tree and stays just long enough to see the shocked realization on their faces.
Xena drops down beside Gabrielle as startled shouts and cries of pain come from the camp, along with the sound of horses scattering in all directions through the brush.
The bard nimbly follows close behind the warrior as they creep closer to the unsuspecting ambushers.
Soon they are close enough to the road to hear the rumble of the wagons.
At a wave from Xena, they settle on their heels to peer through the brush, looking for the exact location of the ambushers.
3. EXT. DIRT ROAD JUST BEFORE SUNSET
On a narrow dirt road a trade wagon comes into view, with the sounds of other wagons behind.
On each side of the road, several figures are hunkered down behind trees and brush, waiting to spring their trap.
Xena assesses the situation as the lead wagon slowly moves forward.
She leans toward Gabrielle.
With a nod, Gabrielle slips quietly to the boulder and presses into the shadows.
A huge log appears out of nowhere and crashes into the road.
Xena's war cry follows.
Gabrielle responds in kind.
Then they both burst into the open behind the bandits.
The drivers pull back on their reins, bringing the horses and wagons to a stop.
The ambushers, startled, leap up and charge at the caravan.
Armed defenders from the caravan run forward, while Xena and Gabrielle push from behind.
It is a brief fight.
Xena happily wades through a small bunch of over-anxious and poorly armed would-be robbers.
Two find themselves flying in opposite directions from a flying kick as the warrior princess leaps over them, landing with her sword at the ready.
Five robbers make the serious mistake of surrounding Xena, thinking their numbers can overcome her.
Leaping and dancing just beyond the clumsy swinging of swords and axes, she smiles grimly as one by one they all fall, knocked out or dead.
When the apparent leader grabs a ram's horn and tries to summon reinforcements she whirls around.
A ferocious smile crosses her face.
Before Xena can act, Gabrielle leaps back from the opponent she has just kicked in the chest and brings the hilt end of a sai up under the chin of the horn blower.
He bites the end of the ram's horn off, loops over backward, and falls unconscious to the ground.
In all, there are at least a dozen bandits down, and only three from the caravan have wounds needing care.
Xena pauses, checking to make sure none of the brigands are in any condition to continue the argument.
Striding to the limp form of the leader, she flips him over on his back with one foot and stares at him thoughtfully.
She notes with amusement he still has the bitten-off end of the ram's horn between his bloody lips.
She looks at Gabrielle still in fighting stance over the fallen man.
She looks up at the approaching leader of the caravan soldiers.
She nudges the unconscious body with her boot.
The leader of the caravan defense troops leans on his sword as he eyes Xena closely.
A handsome man with curly brown hair and a carefully tended beard, he is tall, but finds himself eye to eye with the woman warrior.
He straightens as Gabrielle moves closer beside the warrior.
He turns to Gabrielle.