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The following episode written for The Xena Warrior Princess Virtual Season is a work of fiction based upon the television series Xena: Warrior Princess.

The original characters are used strictly for fan purposes and not for profit.

There is no intent to infringe upon or violate any copyrights held by Studio USA, Renaissance Pictures, Universal Television or any other organization that owns the rights to this series.


The script, story ideas, and any characters created by the authors that are not part of the original series are copyrighted and remain the sole property of those authors. Also, any original artworks are copyrighted and remain the sole property of those artists. Permission to use any of the written or drawn works herein must be submitted to the origin author(s) and artist(s).

 


Xena: Warrior Princess Virtual Season

Episode 722: War Cries


Based on a Screenplay by: CNWinters & Rich

Illustrated by Gina

Special Guest Illustrators: Trish


TEASER

1. EXT. JUNGLE 'ROAD' – EARLY AFTERNOON

FADE IN:

Thick tropical foliage hampers their journey over a little used trail.

Xena uses her sword to cut down the jungle vines barring their path.

Gabrielle walks a safe distance behind, her eyes ever vigilant.

Both women wipe sweat from their brows and adjust their backpacks. A flock of birds flutter skywards; they twitter their dismay at the women who have disturbed their nesting place.

A tiny howler monkey in the treetops watches the strangers with interest, joined by others.

In the distance drums hammer out a message they had been listening to since leaving the Olemec village: Drums that had deterred their trek northward in order to help a Queen and the people who had saved their lives.

They have been traveling for several days.

 

GABRIELLE

Do you think the Amazons got our message that we're coming to help?

 

XENA

I’m sure they have. The drums have been beating it out for days.

 

GABRIELLE

They have a funny way of sending messages around here. Don’t think I’ve ever heard this method used in India before...

 

XENA

I don’t think we’re in India anymore... Things are too different…

 

Gabrielle nods and they continue to walk.

Xena makes two more slashes with her sword before switching hands.

 

GABRIELLE

Where do you think we are?

 

XENA
(continued)

I don't know...

(beat)

But, geeze it's hot. And not like desert hot. Desert hot is different... dry. This hot is just...

 

Another swipe. She pauses and leans against a tree, removing the water skin from her shoulder.

Uncapping it, she takes a much-needed swig.

 

GABRIELLE

Hot?

 

Another wipe of her brow with the back of her left hand as she hands the water skin to Gabrielle with the other. Gabrielle takes a few sips.

 

XENA

It's wet. It's sticky. It’s suffocating heat.

 

Xena accepts the water skin from Gabrielle and takes one more swig before recapping it and swinging it back over her shoulder.

 

XENA
(continued)

Are you sure we didn't die on that boat and go to Tartarus?

(Gabrielle chuckles)

 

GABRIELLE

I don't think it's that bad.

 

XENA

Of course not, you're the fair one. I'm the dark one. And any light that gets through this ...

(glances up at the foliage overhead)

... oven down here just naturally clings to me.

 

GABRIELLE

We could color your hair like Guila's tribe mentioned.

 

XENA

Me? Blonde?

 

GABRIELLE

Sure - why not?

(Xena smirks)

 

XENA

Not my style.

 

Xena pushes herself off the tree and takes several steps forward. She reaches down and rubs her legs.

Gabrielle smiles knowingly at her.

 

GABRIELLE

You'll live. You're just not used to being on your feet like I am.

 

One monkey puts his hand to his mouth while the others start to chatter.

 

XENA

How long have I been without a horse? I miss my horse.

 

GABRIELLE
(continuing to walk)

Walking's good for you! It exercises the mind as well as the body. My thoughts are so much more vivid when I'm on my feet.

(beat)

It gets you in a whole rhythm!

 

XENA
(walking stiffly)

I don't need rhythm! I need a few extra pairs of legs!

 

Gabrielle laughs, echoed by the howler monkeys screaming overhead.

 

GABRIELLE
(answering them)

Whoop!!

 

They howl back.

 

XENA
(teasingly)

Monkey see, monkey do!

 

Xena scans the path ahead, checking their direction.

Gabrielle is by her side.

 

GABRIELLE

You don’t mind if I work on my war cry...

 

XENA
(pointing up to the monkeys)

Not if they don’t...

 

Gabrielle takes a deep breath and gives out a cackled war-cry.

The loud chatter and screeching of the howler monkeys in the trees above, fill the air.

Xena wipes her forehead with the back of her hand.

 

XENA

Not fierce enough.

 

Gabrielle purses her lips as if in thought.

 

GABRIELLE

How 'bout this?

 

The next cry comes out sounding like an even higher pitched version of Xena's, and Xena starts to chuckle.

 

XENA

You know Gabrielle, you don't HAVE to have a war-cry.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, just one more.

(a beat – like Tarzan)

Aaaaah-iyaaaa-iyaaaa-i-yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!

 

XENA

Gabrielle, Queen of the Jungle!

 

Exasperated, Gabrielle lets out a sigh.

 

GABRIELLE

I give up.

 

XENA
(muttering)

Thank the gods.

 

A screeching monkey on a vine swoops down before Xena. Xena raises an eyebrow.

Gabrielle catches it.

 

GABRIELLE

I’ve seen that look before? What are you thinking?

 

Xena walks to a nearby vine draped from a tree, and tests it. She gives Gabrielle a grin.

 

GABRIELLE

Oooooh! Monkey see, monkey do!

 

Silhouetted against an afternoon sky, Xena and Gabrielle swing through the forest on tall vines.

Weaving around them in similar fashion, howler monkeys leap, jump and twirl about.

 

CUT TO:

2. EXT. JUNGLE – EDGE OF CLEARING – LATE AFTERNOON

Both women drop from the trees at the edge of the clearing, the hot sun causing them to squint.

The distant drums have ceased their incessant pounding.

A flurry of war cries reaches their ears from the tall grasses ahead of them.

They quickly locate the direction and stealthily follow the sounds eastwards through the brush. At the far end of the clearing, in the tall grasses, an army of men, with painted faces and armed with spears, can be seen moving from one location to another in crouched positions, howling at an unseen enemy.

Xena and Gabrielle recognize them as the Chibcha.

The warriors gesture angrily, brandishing their spears, but seem to be awaiting a signal.

 

GABRIELLE
(looking around)

Where --?

 

Xena motions to the southeast.

Spearheads move forward in the shrubs toward the men.

A higher pitched chorus of war cries rises with them.

Queen Guila emerges, her brightly colored half-moon headdress turning slowly about in the sunlight as she surveys the field, searching for their enemies.

There’s a pause in the screaming, then suddenly, the men leap forward with desperation, bearing down on the Amazons’ position.

Xena and Gabrielle push through the brush and quickly join the melee.

Xena is battling two men at once trading blows with each almost simultaneously.

Guila is in top form, her unusual weapon held firmly in her hand. She moves left to right, deftly avoiding the blows of her opponents, and striking with the speed of a cobra.

Suddenly five men rush her, knocking the weapon from her hand.

One of the men picks it up.

A look of both pride and relief washes over his painted face.

Gabrielle rushes to Guila’s aid.

As the man is about to flee, she trips him and knocks him out.

Another man in front of Gabrielle reaches for Queen Guila's weapon, but Gabrielle grabs it first.

A retreat is called, but the man in front of Gabrielle advances towards her.

Gabrielle swings Guila's weapon slicing the man across the mid-section.

As he crumbles to the ground, his eyes look up into Gabrielle’s, and his hand takes firm hold of her wrist.

Gabrielle closes her eyes and winces as if in pain.

She is suddenly besieged with images of the dead man’s life; working with his father in building a hut, he and a beautiful woman together in a joining ceremony, and finally proudly holding a child up to the stars.

Her heart pounds in her temples as the images of attacking combatants become a memory that is not her own.

The pictures of women warriors ransacking the village spin round in her mind.

She sees the man beg for mercy for the life of his wife and child, but the Queen ignores his plea and gives a nod to her soldier, who stabs the woman and kills his child.

In a flash, the images once again change.

He is at a rally with leaders of his tribe and they are declaring war on the invaders who stole their land and killed their families.

With stark realization, Gabrielle understands who the invaders are, Queen Guila’s tribe.

As the man dies and slumps to the ground, the images fade, leaving Gabrielle shaken and stunned.

The weapon still clutched tightly in her trembling hand.

FADE TO BLACK:

 

END TEASER

ACT I

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