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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.

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Xena: Warrior Princess Virtual Season

Episode 703: Strange Tidings

Written by Joseph Connell

Directed by Slash


 

TEASER

 

1.EXT. FOREST – NIGHT

We see a thick set of bushes. There are indistinct voices on the other side. A hand wearing a gauntlet reaches up and oh so carefully pulls aside one of the closer branches. We now see Roman soldiers moving about their camp.

There are three tents that can be seen. A small knot of Romans crouches around the main campfire, laughing and boasting among themselves. Several are playing dice. There’s a rack of weapons nearby, and a sentry paces the perimeter.

Eyes scan the camp, following the sentry as he makes his rounds. This leads to the group of soldiers playing dice.

One throws the dice into a circle drawn in the dirt before them all. He throws his hands up in triumph as the dice land; clearly he has won this round.

 

FIRST LEGIONNAIRE
(triumphant)

Ha! Ten!

 

The other two groan. This has not been their night.

 

FIRST LEGIONNAIRE

Another round?

 

SECOND LEGIONNAIRE

Same odds?

 

FIRST LEGIONNAIRE

Double.

 

THIRD LEGIONNAIRE
(waves off)

Too rich for me. And I’m on watch soon.

 

The first sneers and looks over at the sentry.

 

FIRST LEGIONNAIRE

You in?

 

SENTRY

I’m on duty, Valarus. I’ll not be flogged if I can help it!

 

The three laugh aloud.

 

SECOND LEGIONNAIRE

Not what I heard, Quintus!

 

The sentry laughs good-naturedly. This is an old routine for them all.

 

SENTRY

Yeah, and your mother was an Elijan!

 

The second legionnaire waves this off and the three return to their game. The sentry returns to his circuit.

 

CUT TO:

2. EXT. FOREST – NIGHT

We see the hand suddenly let go of the branch it was holding down, causing the bushes to sway ever so slightly.

 

CUT TO:

 

3. EXT. ROMAN CAMP – NIGHT

The sentry hears this disturbance and moves to investigate. He brings his javelin up and cautiously approaches the bushes.

 

SENTRY

Who goes there?

 

He approaches the bushes, the point of his javelin visible.

 

SENTRY

I said…

 

A single gauntleted hand suddenly shoots out of the bushes and grabs the javelin, pulling it and the sentry into the foliage.

The other three Legionnaires look up from their game.

 

FIRST LEGIONNAIRE

Quintus?

(to the others)

To arms!

 

SECOND/THIRD LEGIONNAIRES
(simultaneously)

Right!

 

The First Legionnaire stands and draws his sword, approaching the bushes where the Sentry vanished. The Second and Third Legionnaires are behind him, the Second armed with a javelin and the other with a sword and shield.

Suddenly there’s the sound of something zipping through the air. The First falls back, several throwing knives sticking out of his chest. The Second also falls back, blood streaming from his neck. He drops his weapon and grasps his neck as he falls to his knees.

 

SECOND LEGIONNAIRE
(choked)

Huh…huck!

 

He collapses completely. The Third Legionnaire brings his shield up and turns back towards the tents.

 

THIRD LEGIONNAIRE
(shouting)

Intruders! Intruders!

 

CUT TO:

 

4. EXT.FOREST – NIGHT

From the attacker’s POV, we see him charge towards the Third Legionnaire. Something zips past our sight and the shield is cleft in two. The Legionnaire stumbles back, trying to bring his sword up. The same unseen weapon cuts into him and sends him down.

More Romans appear and are cut down in rapid succession. The action appears choppy and confusing to watch: we see Romans charge and fall or fly back. We see the attacker only in flashes, enough to see he is dressed entirely in black and clearly armed to the teeth, charging and hacking and blocking smoothly and efficiently.

 

FADE TO:

 

The attacker’s boots now walk among the dead. We pan up the boots, then the legs, hips and torso.

They are dressed in black leather armor not unlike what Ares wears, though there are multiple knife sheaths sewn into the material. This armor is now shiny with bloodstains that glisten off the firelight nearby.

CUT TO:

 

We see the attacker’s eyes directly on, slowly looking from left to right. They are a very familiar pair of orbs.

 

CUT TO:

 

From just over the attacker’s shoulders, the left hand is seen raising a weapon: it’s the chakram. The attacker looks into the bloodstained metal and we see the clear reflection there.

It is Gabrielle.

The eyes reflected in the metal are cold and angry, mesmerizing us with their intensity.

 

CUT TO:

5. EXT.CAMPSITE – NIGHT

Gabrielle, dressed in her normal outfit sans the armored pieces, jerks awake and sits up. She looks about the campsite and sees Xena asleep nearby. She breathes out a quiet sigh of relief...but it catches in her throat.

She finds the chakram in her hand. Its edges are heavily bloodstained.

 

CUT TO:

We see a clear reflection of her eyes in the edge of the chakram. They are absolutely terrified; yet they mesmerize us with the same intensity as in the dream.

FADE OUT:

END TEASER

 

ACT I

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