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TRANSCRIPTION OF
THE PATH NOT TAKEN



“The Path Not Taken”  Episode 05/105

Jana:  “Agranon--  Will you promise me that when we’re old,
we’ll still come back here and sit under these trees?”

Agranon:  “When we’re old?  We’ll do it every year-- On the
anniversary of our wedding day.  And one day, we can bring our
grandchildren-- lots of grandchildren.”

Jana:  “Ten years ago, a marriage between our families would
have been impossible.  Does anyone even remember what the feud
was about?”

Agranon:  “No one in my family remembers.  Whatever it was, it’s
centuries old, and it  ends when we are joined.”

Jana:  “We’ll definitely bring our grandchildren.  We can tell
them that peace was finally made here.”

Agranon:  “And that one of their parents was made here.”

Jana:  “After our wedding, maybe.  That’s very strange.”

Agranon:  “Strange?”

Jana:  “There’s somebody out there.”

Agranon:  “Who is it?!  Who’s there?!  Run!”

Jana:  “No!  Get your hands off me!”

Sold:  “We’ve got the girl!  Come on!”

Jana:  “Agranon, help me!”

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G:  “You see, Xena, the way I look at it, life is an adventure
to be explored.  And without adventure, what’s the point?
Granted, with you sometimes it gets a bit too adventurous.  But
that’s what makes it interesting.  Who was it that said, ‘If
curiosity is the food of life, then adventure is a meal.’?”

X:  “Sounds like something you might have said.”

G:  “Oh, huh!  Maybe it was me.  Speaking of a meal, hmmm--
Places like this always have the best food.  Ha-ha!-- And
atmosphere-- Two important ingredients to fine dining.  I jest,
you know?  Let’s see what’s on the menu.  You whistled?”

X:  “Yeah, wait for me.”

G:  “Lovely.  Now, this is the salt of the earth.  Well, you
gotta admit, the people of Lerna might never appreciate who you
are, but King Gregor certainly did.  He would’ve lost his whole
kingdom, if it weren’t for you.  Ale, please.  Yep, the baby got
a home; Gregor got a son; Pandora got some rest; and the way you
figured out that prophecy, well, I, for one, am still amazed.”

Man:  “OK!  You win!”

G:  “Hah!  Did you ever notice that we never have trouble
getting a table?”

X:  “A mystery to me.”

Agranon:  “That’s if you’re for hire.”

G:  “Hey!”

X:  “Not that kind of hire, Gabrielle.  Go on.”

Agranon:  “May I sit down?”

X:  “No-- Keep talking.”

Agranon:  “I’m not sure where to begin.”

X:  “Who did you want me to kill?”

Agranon:  “No one-- unless you have to.  May I please sit down?”

X:  “You’re new at this, so listen up.  Anyone coming into a
place like this, carrying a bag of gold, is looking to live a
short life with a messy death.”

Agranon:  “I don’t care.  I’ve gotta get her back.”

G:  “Her?”

Agranon:  “My fiancee.  She’s been abducted, and if she’s not
returned, there will be a war.”

G:  “What?  Who kidnapped her?”

Agranon:  “The King of  Beocia thinks we did it.  My own father
thinks they did it to have an excuse to attack us.”

Man:  “Nice legs!”

X:  “So, who do you think did it?”

G:  “Sorry-- that happens sometimes-- you were saying?”

Agranon:  “I think Jana was taken by someone else-- someone
whose livelihood would be destroyed if this marriage took
place.”

X:  “Does this someone have a name?”

Agranon:  “He’s an arms dealer who operates from the walled city
of--”

X:  “Tracus-- I’ve heard of Mezentius.”

Agranon:  “I imagine you might have.  Tracus seems to be a
crossroads for murderers and mercenaries.”

G:  “No offense taken.”

Agranon:  “Sorry.  You must help us.  We’re talking about two
nations going to war!”

X:  “I don’t work for nations; I don’t work for money; and I
won’t work for you.”

Agranon:  “Please!  Please, you’re right.  I don’t know what I’m
doing.  All I know is the woman that I love more than my own
breath, my Jana, I love her, and I will die for her if I have
to.  Ask anything of me-- and it’s yours.”

X:  “First, there are hungry people in this town who could use
that gold.  I’ll take this.  And you’ll get your Jana back.”

Agranon:  “Thank you.”

G:  “Can I see?”

X:  “Give me that!”

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[ACT I]

G:  “Why don’t I like the sound of this?  You’re going to a
place known the world over, as, _the_ den for cutthroats,
thieves, and mercenaries, and, you’re not wearing a disguise.”

X:  “Don’t need a disguise.  They’ll remember me.  I think I can
use that to my advantage.  And besides, in a strange way, it’ll
be nice to see some of them again.”

G:  “You’re _terrible_ at reassurance-- did anyone ever tell you
that?”  I don’t want you to go in there and then-- decide that
you like it again.”

X:  “It won’t happen-- I’m getting in there, getting the girl,
getting out.”

Agranon:  “I did what you said.  I gave out the gold to the
poor.  Now what do you need me to do?”

G:  “You’re to stay here and keep me company, while we wait.”

X:  “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

G:  “Have a seat.  Let me tell you a story.”

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X:  [Whispers to Argo-- Then]  “Go on.”

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Emissary from Beocia (EfB):  “You’re certain these weapons will
be delivered to Beocia immediately.”

Mez:  “As soon as my people can produce them.  Kidnap your
Princess, did they?  Kolonus scum!  You’ll get the best of my
stock, believe me.”

EfB:  “I appreciate your concern over the loss of our sweet
princess.”

Mez:  “I know what it’s like to lose a loved one.  [EfB leaves]
Is the Princess here yet?”

Marcus:  “She was brought in this morning.”

Mez:  “Well, tell the emissary from Kolonus, that it’s half the
gold up front.  What do you think, Marcus?”

Marcus:  “I think you’re going to be a rich man.”

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1st man:  “And Dectus, he cuts him all the way from his neck to
his gullet!

Dictus: “He said I grabbed her.  She was asking for it, for
Dionysus’ sake.”

3rd man:  “Of course she was.”

1st man:  “Oh, yeah, or speaking the language of love, was she,
Dectus?  Yeah, yeah-- Long live Dionysus!”

X:  “Long live who?”

Crowd:  “Xena!  Xena!  You’re back!”

1st man:  “What happened to you?  You disappeared, then there’s
this talk all over the place that you’ve been working for
peasants for no profit.”

X:  “All part of the cause, boys.  All part of the cause.  It’s
called gaining their trust.  Once you do that, you’ve got them
right where you want them.  There’s profit to be made.”

1st man:  “This calls for a drink!”

Man’s voice:  “Yeah, right!”

1st man:  “So, all that stuff about fighting for peasants and
farmers-”

X:  “Was Draco’s payback for my trouncing him.”

Man’s voice:  “Yeah, Xena!”

X:  “Enough, already.”

1st man:  “And why would you go after Draco?”

X:  “Because he went after my mother.”

Man’s voice:  “Uh-oh!”

Marcus:  “You expect us to believe that?”

X:  “You got something to say to me?”

Marcus:  “I got something to say about your mother-- How is your
mother, Xena?”

X:  “Marcus, it’s been too long!”

Marcus:  “Come.”

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G:  “So how did you two meet?”

Agranon:  “I was out for a ride.”

G:  “In the woods, I bet, on a moonlit night.”

Agranon:  “No-- It was a hot summer day, and no woods.  I was
getting a drink from a spring, when her reflection suddenly
appeared.  I thought it was a water goddess, Panope.  Then, I
looked up, and I saw it was someone far more beautiful.  She
smiled.  From that moment on, I dedicated my life to making that
smile appear as often as possible.”

G:  “That is just too beautiful.  Did you tell her father this?”

Agranon:  “No.”

G:  “Really?  You must.  I mean, once he hears the story, he’s
got to believe that you would never have kidnapped her.  Let’s
go.”

Agranon:  “Gabrielle.  You don’t understand.  There’s no way I’d
ever reach him.”

G:  “I’ll get you in.  I can be very persuasive when I want to
be.  Come on!”

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Marcus:  “Where have you been all this time?  I lost track of
you after the raid on Semplese[?].”

X:  “That was a while ago.”  

Marcus:  “Yeah.”

X:  “I’ve been keeping busy, here and there.”

Marcus:  “I don’t hear much about the great Xena conquests any
more.”

X:  “I don’t care much for popularity.  I just came from Lerna--
the king there had a baby I ransomed.”

Marcus:  “I’ve missed you, Xena.  I’ve thought about you a lot.”

X:  “I’ve thought about you too, Marcus.”

Marcus:  “You have?”

X:  “Yes, many times.”

Marcus:  “Thoughts of anger, or, what we had?”

X:  “Both.  I heard Beocia’s going to war.  I smell profit.”

Marcus:  “I guess a baby’s ransom can’t support an army for
long.”

X:  “Not mine.”  

Mez:  “Dectus!  I’d like some words with you.”

Dectus:  “What about?”

Mez:  “A case full of my new arrows.  A cart full of spears.
They’re missing.”

Dectus:  “I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”

Mez:  “Of course not.  I know you stole them.  But I also know
you have someone on the inside, working for you.  And the idea
that anyone would betray me--  You’re scared; you’re afraid of
me.  That’s good.  And you turned two of my men.  That’s smart.
Stop by my office tomorrow, and you got a job; otherwise, get
out of Tracus.”  

X:  “Mezentius.”

Marcus:  “He’s my boss.”

X:  “Did he kidnap the Princess?”

Marcus:  “Ah-- let’s just say he has all the angles covered.
You are so good.”

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Man’s Voice:  “Just be a moment!”

Marcus:  “I can’t guarantee his mood, but usually, he’s pretty
happy after he’s killed someone.”

X:  “I don’t care if he’s doing backflips.  I need to talk to
him.”

Marcus:  “Let me give you fair warning, Xena.  This guy could
charm the song out of a siren.”

X:  “As I remember, I wasn’t too bad at it myself.”

Marcus:  “Ha-ha-ha!  Don’t you dare bring that up?  That wasn’t
charm.  You tricked me.”

X:  “What trick?  You said you’d do anything for me.  I just
called your bluff.”  

Mez:  “Have her bathed and perfumed and taken to my chambers!
It’s just as easy to kill her in the morning.”

Marcus:  “Mezentius.”

Mez:  “Ah, Marcus.  Why didn’t you tell me the girl was such a
beauty?  I’m gonna have a fine time with her.”

Marcus:  “Mezentius, I’d like you to meet an old friend of
mine.”

Mez:  “Yes, I know who you are.  And, I know why you’re here.
Guards! [Laughs]”

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[ACT II]

Mez:  “The great Warrior Princess.  I’m honored.  I saw you at
the tavern, and I wondered, ‘What would bring Xena here?  What
do I have that Xena could possibly want?’  The answer was
obvious.”

X:  “Make it more obvious.”

Mez:  “Do you think I’m stupid?!  You think I haven’t heard what
you did to Aescalus?  Stole his weapons and ransomed them back
to him.  It was brilliant!”

X:  “I take it you’re not so easily fooled.”

Mez:  “Not by you.  Not by anyone.”

X:  “Are you going to kill me?”

Mez:  “Kill you?  Far from it.  It’s people like you who make
people like me.”

X:  “Then call off your dogs.  Then, maybe we can talk
business.”

Mez:  “Business [Laughs]?  Business, yes.  One hour, in my
office.  Marcus, don’t let her out of your sight.”

X:  “So, show me around.”

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G:  “Don’t worry, we’ll reason with them.”

Agranon:  “I don’t know if he’s gonna be in a very reasonable
mood.”

G:  “Listen.  A sensitive guy like you would only fall in love
with a very special girl.  And anyone who would raise this
special girl is probably very special himself, and therefore,
reasonable.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?”

Agranon:  “I think so.”

Sold:  “Who goes there?”

G:  “Let me handle this.  Take us to the king.”

Sold:  “Who are you?”

G:  “My name is Gabrielle.  And this is Agranon, Prince of
Kolonus.”

Sold:  “Get his sword.  All right, let’s go.”

G:  “Perfect-- we’re getting into the castle.”

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Marcus:  “And that’s the weapons warehouse, where we’re
assembling the shipment for the Beocian war.  Let me show you
one of my favorite places in the compound.”

X:  “Very nice.”

Marcus:  “Mezentius discovered this hot spring under his
fortress two years ago.  Heats the whole building.  This room
has its uses, too.”

X:  “I’ll bet.”

Marcus:  “You look just as beautiful as I remember.”

X:  “What do you remember?”

Marcus:  “Mmm, everything.  Every sound, every touch, every
smell.  Do you remember?”

[Jana:  “No!  Leave me alone!  Leave me alone!”]

X:  “I think we better get back to Mezentius.  We can talk about
this later.”

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X:  “Mezentius, we had a meeting.”

Mez:  “I’m busy; it’ll wait.”

X:  “No it won’t-- we talk now.”

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X:  “I want to make an offer, and I want to give you some
advice.  Both are worth a fortune.  Neither comes free.”

Mez:  “I never make investments without examining the goods.  I
don’t intend to start now.”

X:  “Very well.  Kolonus and Beocia are about to go to war.
Beocia’s army is far better.  It’ll be over in a month.”

Mez:  “Poor Kolonus.”

X:  “Poor arms dealers.  You’ll be winding down before you
finished gearing up.”

Mez:  “I’m listening.”

X:  “I can keep the war going indefinitely.”

Marcus:  “Interesting.”

Mez:  “There might be a deal here.  Go on.”

X:  “I don’t care who wins.  My army will fight for one side,
and then the other.  I’ll keep them far busy to figure out that
you’ve got the princess.”

Marcus:  “Ah, she figured that out herself; I didn’t tell her
that.”

Mez:  “I don’t need you for that.  The girl will be dead by
tomorrow-- her body found by her family, the apparent victim of
the Kolonus barbarians.  Your offer is shallow at best-- No
deal.” 

X:  “Which brings me to my advice.  The girl’s worth far more to
you alive.  When the war’s over, the victor will pay his
treasury to get her back-- either as a trophy or a daughter.”

Mez:  “Intriguing.  What’s all this gonna cost me?”

X:  “Weapons for my army and half your profits, from the war and
ransom.”

Marcus:  “Xena.”

Mez:  “Why stop at half?”

X:  “Well if you push me, I won’t.”

Mez:  “I wouldn’t dream of it.  Very well, a deal.”

Jana’s Voice:  “Stay away from me!”

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Mez:  “What’s going on?”

Sold:  “Up there.”

Mez:  “Well, look at this.”

Jana:  “Keep away from me, I’m warning you-- I’ll jump.”

Mez:  “Oh!  The sheep has fangs.  Good.  This is getting
tedious.  I’ll bring her down.”

X:  “Wait.  Let me handle this.  Worth more alive, remember?”

Mez:  “This Xena is a strange woman.  I like her-- energy.”

Marcus:  “Yes.”

Mez:  “I really hope I don’t have to kill her.”

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Jana:  “Stay back!  I’ll do it.  I’ll take my own life.”

X:  “You’re gonna cut your throat and jump.  That’s overdoing it
a bit, don’t you think?”

Jana:  “I can still jump.”

X:  “You can still jump whenever you want.”

Jana:  “I’m not going back to that man.  I’m not gonna let him
take me.”

X:  “Neither am I.  Agranon sent me.”

Jana:  “You lie.”

X:  “Come down off the ledge, and I’ll prove it to you.”

Jana:  “There’s only one way I’m coming off this ledge, and
that’s straight down.”

X:  “Does this look familiar?”

Agranon:  “He did send you.”

X:  “You’re going to be all right.  Do you know where the grotto
is?”

Jana:  “The hot spring?  They took me there to prepare for that
awful man.”

X:  “Meet me there tonight-- When the moon is in the western
sky.  Now, go inside.”

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Man’s Voice:  “Can you believe that?”

X:  “Did I protect our investment , Mezentius?”

Mez:  “You protected _my_ property, yes.”

X:  “Good.  Now don’t ruin things by letting your passion
overcome your senses.”

Mez:  “Your friend can be quite insulting at times.”

Marcus:  “Perhaps.  But I found it best to listen when Xena
speaks.”

Mez:  “Oh, you found that, did you?”

Marcus:  “Well, there’s a reason for her success.  She know what
she’s doing.”

Mez:  “Go on.”  

X: “ The princess loses half her ransom value if you go to her.
Now, isn’t half a ransom worth a cold bath?”

Mez:  “You seem to know a lot about this.”

X:  “Well, I’ve dealt with this situation before.”

Mez:  “I’ll consider your advice.  Oh, and Marcus, don’t let
_your_ passion overcome your senses-- _or_ your loyalties.”

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1st man’s Voice:  “All clear there?”

2nd man’s Voice:  “Yes.”

Marcus:  “What’s going on, Xena?  What happened to the guard?”

X:  “I wanted to see what the inventory looked like.”

Marcus:  “If you wanted to see the weapons, all you had to do
was ask me.  Now, tell me the truth.”

Mez:  “Faith in the people I work with certainly is in short
supply these days.”

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[ACT III]

Mez:  “And what side of the coin do you fall on, Marcus?”

Marcus:  “Yours, of course.  Know your enemies, Mezentius.
Xena’s army will be going up against these weapons.  I thought
she should get to know the inventory.”

X:  “Your weapons are impressive-- too impressive.  I don’t want
my men to die needlessly.”

Mez:  “That’s your problem.  However it might appear to you, do
not deceive yourself that ours is an equal partnership.”

X:  “I wouldn’t dream of it, Mezentius.”

Mez:  “A wise choice.”

X:  “As long as it’s equal pay.”

Marcus:  “You were going to steal weapons, weren’t you?”

X:  “I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s ever been done.”

Marcus:  “No-- In fact, it’s still being done.  You just have to
know how to-- juggle the inventory.”

X:  “How do you get them out of the city?”

Marcus:  [Laughs]

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Marcus:  “This is one of four water wells in the city.  Only
this one isn’t quite what it seems.”

X:  “A back door right out in the open.  I’m impressed.”

Marcus:  “You know, I never showed anyone this.  I never trusted
anyone.  You know all that talk about you changing-- trying to
leave all this?”

X:  “Not you too, Marcus.”

Marcus:  “No, I-- I didn’t think you did.  But I tried leaving
once.”

X:  “What happened?”

Marcus:  “I was in a raiding party.  Some old man was begging us
to spare his grandson, who was crippled.  And one of my men
said, ‘OK,’ cut the kid’s head off.  You would never kill
defenseless people.  I always respected that.  And I never
really got it until that day.  So I walked away-- I thought for
good.”

X:  “Obviously, you came back.”

Marcus:  “I wasn’t cut out for it, pure and simple.  So I said,
fine, not for me.  So I came back.  You know, the old Xena would
have lopped my head off for a story like that.”

X:  “The old Xena.”

Marcus:  “Yeah, the old Xena.  You know, there is something
different about you now.  I mean, before, you-- were so
determined, like you-- always had something to prove.  But now,
it’s--”

X:  “But now--”

Marcus:  “It’s hard to say.  It’s like, now, you have the
answer.  But I’ve never even found the question.”

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G:  “What we have here is a failure to communicate.  No one
talks-- that’s the problem.  When I meet the king, I’ll explain
that-- this whole war thing is just a terrible misunderstanding.
We’ll get through this, I’m sure of it.  The key is to meet with
him.”

Sold:  “Noon, tomorrow.”

G:  “To meet the king?”

Sold:  “The executioner.  The war has begun, and you two will be
the first casualties.”

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X:  “Oh, Marcus, I can’t do this.  Look, not now.”

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Jana:  “Where were you?’’

X:  “I’m here now.  Are you ready?  Let’s go.”

Mez:  “Who’s in there?!”

X:  “Mezentius.”

Mez:  “I demand to know who’s in there!”

X:  “Marcus said it would be all right to use the spring.”

Mez:  “His timing could’ve been better.  Or, perhaps, it
couldn’t have been better.”

X:  “I don’t usually have an audience.”

Mez:  “I’m not an audience.  I’m a business partner, and I have
something of interest for you.  Please, go ahead.”

X:  “Well?”

Mez:  “I’ve just had word that Agranon, the girl’s betrothed,
has been taken captive by Beocia.”

X:  “That could be useful.  Are they going to ransom him?”

Mez:  “Even better.  They plan to execute him and his companion
tomorrow.  This war will be a bloodbath.  Great start, isn’t it?

X:  “Then I better get ready to fight it, after my bath.”

Mez:  “Why don’t I join you?”

X:  “The last time I talked business with a handsome man in a
hot spring, I almost lost a war.  Now, go.”

Mez:  “Perhaps another time.”

X:  “Count on it.  There’s no time to lose.”

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Marcus:  “Give me one.”

Inn:  “There you go.  Two dinars.”

1st man:  “You heard the latest news on Xena?”

Marcus:  “No, but I’ll bet you’re gonna tell me.”

1st man:  “I talked to a trader who came from Lerna.  He said
she was there.”

Marcus:  “She told me.  She ransomed a baby back to King Gregor,
and made a bundle.”

1st man:  “What?  Ransomed to the King?  No, no, Marcus, she
rescued the baby-- She didn’t kidnap it.”

Marcus:  “No.  You got it wrong.”

1st man:  “Yeah, I’m sure you wanna believe that.”

Marcus:  “Is that supposed to mean something?”

1st man:  “She’s got you fooled, Marcus.  She’s running
something right now, and you’re falling for it like a good,
little lovesick puppet.  This guy worked for Nemos, the king’s
advisor.  She killed Nemos, because he wanted to grab the kid
and blackmail the king.  I swear it!  I swear it!  Where’s the
profit?  I just don’t get it.”

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X:  “You’ll be shipped out this morning, right to your father’s
encampment.”

Jana:  “I hate little places.”

X:  “You’d hate a coffin even more.  Trust me.”

Marcus:  “Hi.”

X:  “Oh, hi.”

Marcus:  “What’s in the box?”

X:  “The box?  Some bows, arrows for weight.”

Marcus:  “Bows and arrows.  Arrows like this?”

X:  “Of course.”

Marcus:  “I didn’t think you’d seen this arrow yet.  We just
developed it.  It’ll go through a wood shield like a dagger
through butter.  Leave a hole as big as your fist.  Let me show
you.  Ah, this box will make a good target.”

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[ACT IV]

X:  “Marcus.”

Marcus:  “What?  Are you afraid I’m gonna hit the princess?”

X:  “Please.  I have to save this girl and stop a war.  I
couldn’t risk telling you.”

Marcus:  “Especially, when I was far more useful being your
stooge with Mezentius.  You get a good laugh, Xena?  Hmm?  About
your old buddy that couldn’t make it on the outside?”

X: “It hurt.  I care for you-- you’re still a part of me.”

Marcus:  “Then, why the deception?  Why couldn’t you just tell
me the truth, and ask for my help?”

X:  “I didn’t know how much you cared.  Now, I know.  I see it
in your eyes.  Come with me, now.  How many of us are left from
the old days?  Most of them are dead.  Marcus, I don’t want to
stand by your grave.”

Marcus:  “You’re not better than me, Xena.”

X:  “You’re right.”

Marcus:  “What makes you think I want to?”

X:  “What made _you_ think you wanted to?  Marcus, it is so
simple.  You do one thing, one good thing, for no other reason
than you know it’s right.  That’s the first step.”

Marcus:  “I’m not that strong-- No-- It’s too late, Xena.  I’m
taking the girl.  Guards!”

X:  “Come on.  Come on.  Up there!”

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Mez:  “What is going on?  Marcus.  Somebody find Marcus!”

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X:  “Move!  You stay here.”

Jana:  “For how long?”

X:  “As long as it takes.”

[FIGHT]

Man’s Voice:  “Get her!”

Man’s Voice:  “That way.”

Man’s Voice:  “Get her!”

Man’s Voice:  “Come on!”

Man’s Voice:  “After her!”

Man’s Voice:  “Get the--!”

Man’s Voice:  “Get her!”

Marcus:  “Xena!  Drop the sword!”

X:  “You’re not going to hurt her.”

Marcus:  “Don’t bet on it.”

X:  “She’s no different than the innocent grandchild of that old
man.”

Marcus:  “You’re right, Xena.”

Mez:  “I’ll have my war, if I have to kill every last one of
you!”

Marcus:  “No!”

X:  “Marcus!”

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X:  “Marcus, I could have saved her.”

Marcus:  “I know-- Was that it?  Was that the one step that you
meant?”

X:  “Yeah.  Marcus, don’t make me stand by your grave.”

Marcus:  “Shh!  Shh,  Shh, Shh.”

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[FUNERAL DIRGE]

G:  “I wish I could have met him.  I’m sorry.”

X:  “He was my friend.”

G:  “To be rememered like that is a good thing.”

X:  “My friend; my friend.”


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