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“The Prodigal”  Episode 18/118


[Gabrielle plays pan flute.]

G:  “Sorry-- I said sorry.  Everyone’s a critic.”

[Gabrielle plays pan flute.]

G:  “Wow!  Hey!  Hey!  You know the Orpheus legend?  How he
plays music so well, it moves mountains.  Now-- Now, I know it’s
only a myth, but there’s often a kernel of truth in even the
wildest story.  So, what if I just tried--”

X:  “No!-- no.”

G:  “It was just a thought.”

Bad guy:  “Here’s another one.  [He-he-he.]  I have a
proposition for you, ladies.  Think about being skewered against
the stone a la carte, or simply giving us what we want-- and I
do mean ‘everything.’”

X:  “You’re not only scum; you’re dreamers.”

Bad guy:  “And you, my dear, are stuck between a rock and a hard
place.  So what do you say--  Shall we be civilized about this?”

X:  “Why start now?”

G:  “Xena!  Xena!  Yes!  Uh-oh!”

Man:  “The cart!”

G:  “Xena, look out!”

X:  “Lie down!  Gabrielle, now!”

Bad guy:  “Come on.”

Man:  “We need a bigger cart!”

X:  “Nothing like a good ambush to liven things up, huh?”

G:  “Yeah.”

X:  “Hey, you all right?”

G:  “Yeah, yeah, I’m good, I’m good-- Uh, considering I was
almost road kill.  I’m-- I’m perfect.”

X:  “Come on, we’ve been in tighter spots than that .”

G:  “Yeah, yeah you are right.  Yeah, since hooking up with you,
well, I’ve-- I’ve nearly been eaten by a Cyclops.  And, I was
almost forced to marry Morpheus; and, practically squashed by a
Titan.  Why did I just freeze up?”

X:  “I don’t know; you’re burnt out.  It happens”.

G:  “It didn’t happen to you.”

X:  “No, that’s why I always try to remember:  ‘Act, don’t
react.’  Go with your gut.  We’ll have to double back and take
the coast.  It’s longer, but it’s safer, too.”

G:  “I don’t think so.”

X:  “Sure it is.”

G:  “No, I mean, I can’t go with you.”

X:  “Gabrielle, it was a dangerous situation.  You’d have been
crazy not to be scared.”

G:  “I froze, which put us both at risk.  If you hadn’t been
there, then--”

X:  “But, I was.”

G:  “Today, yes.  But what about tomorrow-- and the next day?  I
can’t expect you to always be there for me.”

X:  “It was just one incident.”

G:  “I can’t endanger you.  Don’t you see that?  I’m just a

X:  “It’s a risk I think I can take.”

G:  “But I can’t.”

X:  “I can’t help you with this.  You’re gonna have to figure it
out yourself.”

G:  “I know.”

X:  “Where will you go?”

G:  “The only place I know-- home.  Things are simpler there.
My sister, Lila’s there-- I-- I can talk to her about this.”

X:  “What, you can’t talk to me?”

G:  “Of course I can.  I just-- Sometimes, you-- you need your
family to help solve things.    I’m sorry.”

X:  “No.” 

G:  “I have to find out what’s going on with me and I-- I have
to do that at home.”

X:  “But, you’re coming back, right?”

G:  “I guess that depends on what I learn.”



G:  “Another 22 leagues to go?  How is it, Man can solve the
riddle of the Sphinx, but he still can’t make a decent road map?
I don’t know.”


G:  “Please!  Please!”


G:  “Hey!  Hey!  Hey!  Hey! Hey!”


G:  “You son of a -- !  [Laughs]” 

Man:  “Hey there, don’t I know you?  Come on, Come on, yeah.
You’re the chatty one, hah-hah!  Boy, you’ve changed since I saw

G:  “Oh, well, yes.  You know, it’s a sad story, which-- which
began with King Sisyphus.”

Man:  “Sisyphus--  I met him once-- a fat man.”

G:  “Well, actually, he’s thin.”

Man:  “Never married.”

G:  “His wife’s name is Karras (sp?), and she’s lovely.”

Man:  “Dumber than a door post.”

G:  “Are we talking about the same Sisyphus?”


Man:  “‘Fraid this is where our paths diverge-- You sure you’re
gonna be all right?”

G:  “Mm-hmm.”

Man:  “You know, it’s still a day’s walk to Potadeia.”

G:  “Oh, I’ll be fine.  I know a shorcut throught these woods
that’ll get me home in no time.”

Man:  “The woods?  You sure that’s wise-- The shape you’re in?”

G:  “Oh, don’t worry-- the exercise will do me good.”

Man:  “I don’t know-- you modern young women.  Suit yourself.
Ciao.  Come on.”


G:  “Excuse me.  Uh, beg pardon.  Sir!  Ah, I’m sorry to
intrude-- What happened?”

Man:  “Damon’s what happened.  Him and his gang of thieves came
for their tribute.  Only, this time, we held some of the food
back-- You know, for our son.  Come winter, our little boy gets
awful hungry.”

G:  “I’m so sorry.”

Man:  “Don’t be.  We’re well out of it.  You wanna pity someone,
pity the folks of Potadeia.”

G:  “Potadeia?  Wait, why, why Potadeia?”

Man:  “’Cause that’s where Damon said he was striking next.”


G:  “Thank the gods.”


G:  “Where is everyone?”


Crowd:  “Hurray!”

Lila:  “Gabrielle?  Is that you?”

G:  “Lila-- Oh.”

Lila:  “I can’t believe you’re back.”

G:  “I know; I’ll explain later.  Listen, a man named Damon, and
his gang, are on their way here.”

Woman:  “To sack and burn the village?  Strip it of everything
valuable?  Old news, Gabrielle.”

Lila:  “Damon and his men have been hitting us for food and
supplies every few months since you left.  They use us while his
men attack other villages.  I don’t suppose you’ve brought the
woman wonder with you.”

Pharis:  “Who cares?  We don’t need Xena to save us.  We’ve
hired a warrior of our own:  Meleager the Mighty-- that’s who
we’re here to welcome.”

G:  “Isn’t he the guy who single-handedly killed 100 men at the
battle of Liguria?”

Lila:  “200.”

Pharis:  “2 hundred and 50.”

Mel:  “3 hundred and 17-- But, then again, who’s counting?”

Lila:  “Is he dead?”

G:  “Dead drunk!”


G:  “On three, OK?  One, two, three!  Now, tell me again how we
got stuck with him?”

Lila:  “You’re the only one who’s worked with a warrior before.”

G:  “A warrior-- Hah!  Xena would never act like this.  It shows
a total lack of respect-- not just for us, but for himself.  And
one thing a fighter can’t afford to lose is self-respect.  As a
matter of fact--”

Lila:  “Well, if Xena’s so perfect, I’m surprised that you can
stand to be around simple people like us-- You know, your

G:  “What--?”


Pharis:  “And so, my friends and fellow citizens, without
further delay, I give you-- Meleager the Mighty!”

[Crowd claps]

Pharis:  “Meleager the Mighty!”

[Crowd claps]

Pharis:  “Meleager the Mighty!”

[Crowd claps]

Mel:  [BELCH!]  “Greetings, good people of-- Potadeia.  Sorry
about yesterday’s, uh, illness, but, uh, I’m fit now and ready
to do battle with, uh-- someone.  Still, I’m gonna need a few
things, first.  [Aside]  Where’s my money?”

Pharis:  “Well, it’s uh, it’s right here in the strongbox.  If
you recall, the deal was you get half up front and the rest when
you finish the job?”

Mel:  “Ah, right, just checking.  All right, now, I’m gonna need
an arsenal.  So I want you to go gather your spears, knives,
bows, arrows-- anything that’s sharp and heavy enough to become
a weapon.  All right, run along now.  That’s a very lovely hat,
young woman.  You should have her bathed and brought to my

G:  “Lila, look, we need to talk.”

Lila:  “Talk?  We haven’t talked for months.  Why start now?”

Mel:  “...sticks...”

Lila:  “I’m gonna go get our meat skewer.  It’s not much of a
weapon, but at least I can rely on it.”

Mel:  “...boiling oil...”

G:  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Mel:  “...sun-dried hard rodents are good to lift up off the
road and [Flinging sound]-- Anyway, uh-- How am I doing?”


G:  “Lila, would you please tell me what’s wrong?”

Lila:  “I already told you-- Nothing’s wrong.”

G:  “Nothing!?  Well, if that big freeze number of yours is
nothing, I’d like to see your idea of something.  Now that would

Lila:  “My idea of something.  Those men work for Damon.”

G:  “Let’s get--”

G and Lila:  “ --Meleager.”


Mel:  “So, the Cyclops says to the unicorn--”

G:  “Meleager, quick!  Damon’s scouts are here.”

Mel:  “Oh yeah?  Well, that’s to bad, because, this is empty.”

G:  “You’re drunk.”

Mel:  “Yes.”

Lila:  “What’ll we do?”



G:  “Smart move-- stopping right where you are-- unless, of
course, you want to take on Meleager the Mighty.”

Sold1:  “Meleager?  I heard he killed 400 men at Liguria.”

Sold2:  “I heard 5--”

G:  “So, what’s it gonna be, guys?  I-- I-- I can’t hold this
killing machine back forever.  Great job.  They’re gone.”

Lila:  “What’re we gonna do when they come back with Damon?”

G:  “That’s-- that’s a good question.  Um-- It’s a cinch he
won’t be much use to us.”

Lila:  “But he has to be!  He’s all we’ve got!”

G:  “Well, what about getting the other villagers to band with
us against Damon?”

Lila:  “Without a warrior, no one’s got the nerve.  That’s why
he has to it.”


Damon:  “Is it true?  Was it Meleager?”

Sold1:  “Sure as we’re standing here.”

Sold2:  “They say he killed 500 men at Liguria.”

Damon:  “I heard it was six-twenty-five.  But that’s not the
number that interests me.  No, the figure I’m thinking of is
50,000-- As in the 50,000 dinars that are being offered for the
capture of Meleager.”

Sold1:  [Whistles]  “Who wants him that bad?”

Damon:  “A warlord named Cassius.  Turns out his sons were at


G:  “Get some water-- Cold water.”

Mel:  “I’m awake!  I’m awake.  I’m well aware of my
surroundings.  Where am I?  Poder, Pewter, Podoohickey?”

G:  “Potadeia.”

Mel:  “Potadeia.”

G:  “Do you realize that there are people out there counting on
you?  And this is what you show them.”

Mel:  “What do you know-- a farm girl like you?  How could you
begin to understand the kind of work I do or how I live my

G:  “You might be surprised.”

Mel:  “Huh!.  I doubt it.  Blood, killing, the gore.  It would
turn your stomach to hear about it.  Never mind having to live
day after day never knowing when the next attack will come.
About the sieges?  Who’s your enemy?  Who’s your friend?  What
you’re going to have to deal with?  How?  And when you might

G:  “You lost your nerve.  That’s why you drink.”

Mel:  “Can you think of a better reason?”

G:  “No.  But I can think of a reason not to.  We hired you to
get rid of Damon.”

Mel:  “Yeah, well-- you guys are going to have to buy some
decent weapons.  I’d say a rack of thoses Spartan javelins would
do quite well.  The kind that can shoot through fifteen sheets
of siege wood?  They make that awful whistling sound--
[Whistles]-- Scares ‘em every time-- That’s-- what you’re gonna
hafta buy, yeah.”

G:  “And with what?  Huh?  The village couldn’t afford both you
and weapons.  They chose you.  What good are special javelins if
no one here can throw them?  The truth is-- You’re all we’ve
got-- And you’re a worthless drunk.”

Mel:  “OK, no more wine until tonight.”

G:  “No more wine till it’s done.”

Met:  “Well, let’s not be too hasty-- What will I drink?”


Mel:  “My guess is they’ll come this way-- the most direct

G:  “Right.  If we don’t stop ‘em here, it’s the village or

Lila:  “What do you mean?”

G:  “Now, what do you thing of stringing a garotte along here?”

Lila:  “What’s that?”

Mel:  “Good idea-- We’re gonna need some coverage trees.”

Lila:  “Coverage trees?”

G:  “Right-- You go left; we’ll go right-- The first one who
finds coverage shouts out.  Got it?”


Lila:  “I still don’t know what we’re doing.”

G:  “We’re looking for coverage trees-- Then we’ll anchor a
garotte for the ambush.  Now, what part didn’t you get?”

Lila:  “All of it.”

G:  “Never mind.  Xena taught me what to look for.”

Lila:  “Tell me, Gab, is there anything Xena doesn’t know, or
should we build her a temple right now?”

G:  “Lila, are you jealous of Xena?”

Lila:  “Jealous?  No, just because you chose her over me.”

G:  “I didn’t choose her over you.” 

Lila:  “Sure you did.  But I don’t blame you.  Next to Xena, I
must seem pretty dull.  I don’t even know what a coverage tree

G:  “Lila, we talked about this before I left.  Now, I thought
that you were happy I was getting out to see the world.”

Lila:  “I was happy, until I realized getting out meant leaving
me.  How come it took you so long to come home?  You hardly ever
sent word-- It was like you forgot I existed.”

G:  “I never forgot you-- ever.  Look, Lila, Xena’s my friend,
yes, but you’re my sister.  Nobody could ever replace you-- In
fact, you’re the reason I came home-- for good.”

[Mel:  “Hey!”]

G:  “Mealeager must have found something.  Now, look, you see,
we have to have...”


G:  “Meleager!”

Lila:  “Meleager!”

G:  “Meleager!”

Lila:  “Where’d he go?”

G:  “Wherever it is, it’s a sure bet he didn’t go willingly.
One guy came in.  He moved here.  Meleager took him down.  Two
of them-- hit him from behind, and-- Fresh drag marks-- The kind
a litter makes.  And they’re deep, which-- which means that they
were carrying something heavy.”

Lila:  “Meleager.  Do you think somebody killed him and--”

G:  “No, if they’d killed him, they would have left the body--
minus the head, of course, as proof.  I’m going after him.”

Lila:  “Me too.”

G:  “No.  Look, the important thing is to safeguard the village,
right?  The people would panic if they knew Meleager was
missing.  You have to stay and make sure they don’t find out.
Will you do that?”

Mel:  “You want me to join you?”

Damon:  “Why not?  You could be worth a lot more to me than the
50,000 dinars Cassius is offering.  50,000 alive.  But if I have
to, I’ll take the 20- for your head.  Your reputation alone’s
enough to make whole towns surrender to us without lifting a
sword.  So, what do you say?”

Mel:  “Remove these chains-- You’ll get my answer.”

Damon:  “You make me sad.  Take him away.”

Sold:  “Come on.”

Sold1:  “We caught her near the horses.”



Damon:  “Who are you?  What do you want?”

G:  [Laughs] “Well, those are-- two very good questions, and--
not to be answered lightly.  After all, do any of us really know
who we are?  And as for what we want, well, I think it was
Sophocles who once said--”

Damon:  “Kill her.”

G:  “Oh, no.  You know--”

Mel:  “Wait!  You still want me to join you?  A little--
incentive might help.  You know what I mean?”

Damon:  [Laughs] 

G:  “You know--”

Damon:  [Laughs] “Why not?  I’ll even throw in my tent for some
privacy.  All the better to persuade you.”


G:  “Hey, hey, hey-- Listen, guys.  I really think we can work
this out.  Just listen to me-- [Screams]


Mel:  “What, in the name of Zeus, are you doing?”

G:  “What does it look like?  I’m rescuing you.”

Mel:  “That’s not what it looks like.”

G:  “Maybe not-- But it will, now that I’m on the inside.”

Mel:  “You have a plan?”

G:  “Any minute now.”


G:  “Oh, Meleager-- hah.  Oh, the gods preserve me.  Oh, the
gods!  Oh, yes!  Oh!  Oh!  No wonder they call you the Mighty!
Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  [Thwap!]


G:  “Once we’re out of here...”

Mel:  “That ought to slow Damon down, huh?”

G:  “Yeah, we got a lot to do.”

Mel:  “Let’s get to it.”


G:  “Good.  Good.  Nice job.”

Mel:  “Gabrielle.”

G:  “Meleager.  We need to concentrate on which part of the
village they’re gonna be coming in from...”

Lila:  “I’ve got it.”


Pharis:  “So-- Everyone’s clear about when to stay on watch?
There’s only one thing left to do-- and that’s to thank the man
whose courage and skill we can rely on to protect us-- a man
whose very name strikes fear into the hearts of his foes.
Fellow citizens, I give you-- Meleager the Mighty!”

G:  “Go on.  Look, the town needs a warrior.”

Mel:  “The town has a warrior.”

Pharis:  “This time tomorrow, you’ll be taking the rest of the
money from this strongbox and leaving, never to think of us
again.  But, for the rest of our lives, we’ll always be grateful
for your strength and fearless bravery.  Three cheers for
Meleager the Mighty!  Hip, hip!”

Crowd:  “Hooray!”

Pharis:  “Hip, hip!”

Crowd:  “Hooray!”

Pharis:  “Hip, hip!”

Crowd:  “Hooray!”


G:  “Lila.  Lila.”

Lila:  “Oh. Gabrielle.  I fell asleep on watch.  I’m sorry, I
didn’t mean to.”

G:  “It’s all right.  It’s all right.  I was keeping an eye out.
Besides, you deserved it.  I watched you yesterday.  You know
what I saw?  I saw a competent, caring woman.  You weren’t the
little girl you were when I left here.  It just hit me.  You
are-- You’ve grown up.”

Lila:  “Sometimes I just think I’m growing old.  But you--
Planning all those traps?  Getting set?.  Figuring out those
strategies?  Xena really taught you a lot, huh?”

G:  “Yes, she did-- She taught me when to fight, when to talk.
She taught me how to know the difference between a friend and an
enemy.  And, she taught me what it means to have a best friend.”

Lila:  “Then, why’d you come back?”

G:  “Because some things can’t be taught.  Some things, you
either have or you don’t.  Like the connection you can only feel
with your sister.  Xena can’t teach me that-- I already have
it-- Aw-- all right, enough of this mushy stuff.”

Lila:  “No-- We need to be on watch.”

G:  “I can only imagine what Xena would say if she saw us.”

Lila:  “There they are!”

G:  “No, but, I mean, after she said that.”

Lila:  “No, there they are-- Damon and his gang!”

G:  “OK, you find Pharis.  Tell him to sound the alarm.  I’ll
get Meleager.  Go.”

Lila:  “All right.”


G:  “Meleager!  Mealeager, quick, they’re here!”

Lila:  “I ran into Pharis.”

Pharis:  “Where’s Meleager?”

G:  “He’s not with you?”

Pharis:  “No-- And look-- The money’s gone.”

G:  “So is Meleager.”



Woman:  “We should have given up in the first place!”

Man:  “If we give them the food, maybe they won’t--”

G:  “Pharis, let’s not panic.  Now, Meleager was important to
us, yes,--”

Pharis:  “Important?  We’re farmers, not fighters.  We counted
on him.  He stole our money and left us to die.”

G:  “I can’t explain why he left.  But, this is our chance to
start counting on ourselves.  Now, we have these traps.”

Pharis:  “Meleager’s the key to our whole defense.  Without a
warrior, we’re dead.”

Lila:  “But, we have a warrior.  Gabrielle can lead us.”

Pharis:  “Gabrielle?”

G:  “Me?”

Lila:  “Who better than a student of Xena’s?  Everybody, please
stop!  Listen to me!  I’m no hero, believe me.  But, the way I
see it, we have two choices:  We either take a stand and
possibly die.  Or, we surrender, and die for sure.  It’s time to
stop talking and start fighting!  Isn’t that right, Gabrielle?
Isn’t that what Xena taught you?”

G:  “Right.  Damon and his men won’t be satisfied till they’ve
picked this place clean.  Now, if you want a future, we have to
stop them now.”

Pharis:  “Run along, Gabrielle.  This is a decision for the
whole village, not an outsider.”

Lila:  “Hold it!  In case you hadn’t noticed, this is
Gabrielle-- my sister!  This is her village!  And if you people
were smart, you’d realize that Xena has taught her more about
the warrior arts than you’ll ever know about anything!”

Man:  “Damon’s men have cleared the woods.  They’re heading
straight for us!”

G:  “Come on, we’ve gone this far.  Let’s give these sons of
griffens a welcome they’ll never forget.  Now, what do you

Crowd:  “Yeah!”  [Cheers]


Man:  “You want food?  Here!  Take it!”

Man:  “Yes!”


Woman:  “Yes!”


G:  “Yoo-hoo!  Boys!  Yoo-hoo!”

Sold:  “Hey!  Give me some of that!”


Man:  “Hey, mead breath!  Woo-hoo!”


Sold:  “I got’cha!”


Sold:  “Get them!”

Man:  “Yes!”

Crowd:  “We did it!”  [Cheers]

Pharis:  “Have we done it?  Have we beaten them?”

G:  “No, they’ve gone to regroup.  Listen!  We surprised them
once, but they won’t fall for it twice.”

Pharis:  “Regroup?  This is madness; we can’t possibly win.  I’m
going to Damon to offer our surrender before we’re slaughtered.”

Lila:  “No, you can’t!”

G:  “Listen!  There’s gotta be--”

Damon: “You fools!  You let women, children, and old men kick
your behinds!  Now, take this village or die by my blade!  Front
line form!  And move!”

Mel:  “Hey!  Hydra-heads!”

Crowd:  “Meleager!”

G:  “Am I glad to see you.  Pharis thought you took the money
and ditched us.”

Mel:  “I needed the cash to buy the javelins.”

Lila:  “Gabrielle knew you’d be back.”

Mel:  “That’s why I’m here.  All right, ladies, get out of
here-- Let me do my job-- move!”

Mel:  “I did it.”

Damon:  “Guess again.  Move or I’ll slaughter her like a
sacrificial lamb!  I swear it.  All right, let’s go.”

G:  “Oh, my foot!  It’s asleep!”

Damon:  “Well, wake it up-- fast!”

G:  “Uh-- OK-- Maybe this’ll help.”

Mel:  “You’re real tough with the girls.  Why don’t you try
someone your own size?”

Damon:  “Hey!  Look, I’m sorry, OK?  Can’t blame a man for

G:  “Act!  Don’t react!”

Damon:  [Screams]

Crowd:  [Cheers]


Pharis:  “Oh, sure, there were a few tense moments, but I never
had a doubt that we could do it.”

Lila:  “A dinar for your thoughts?”

G:  “Don’t waste your money.”

Lila:  “Then I’ll tell you.  You love this village.  Love your
family, your friends.  But you have to leave, and you don’t know
how to tell us.”

G:  “It’s not just that.  Oh, Lila, I wanna be a part of your
life.  A day didn’t go by that I didn’t think of you, and, I-- I
missed you terribly.”

Lila:  “You’re dreams are elsewhere.  Gabrielle, you are
destined for great things.  Your heart belongs on the road-- not
here in this little village.  If you stay here, your life will
never be complete.  Live life, Gabrielle.  Don’t let it pass you

G:  “I thought I was the only oracle in the family.”

Lila:  “It doesn’t take an oracle to realize that you belong out
there in the world with Xena, helping to change people’s lives
for the better-- like you did here.”

G:  “You knew all along, didn’t you?”

Lila:  “Yep.  You’re my sister, and I love you more than
anything.  Don’t forget to visit us, OK?”

G:  “You can count on it.”


[Gabrielle whistles]

Bad guy:  “Well, well, well, we meet again.  I guess you would
call this a little rock and roll.  Ha, ha, ha.  You’re not so
brave without your well-muscled friend, are you?  Last time we
did this, you and your friend chose to fight, rather than
submit.  Care to rethink your decision?”

Man:  “Not again!”

G:  “Xena!  When did you get here?”

X:  “In time to see you vault that cart-- Gutsy move.”

G:  “That was gutsy, huh?  I didn’t freeze.”

X:  “No, you didn’t.  Did you find the answers you were looking

G:  “Yeah, yeah, I did.  You know, it’s kind of funny, don’t you
think, that we should just run into each other, I mean, here?”

X:  “Not really-- I was on my way to Potadeia just to see how
things were going.”

G:  “Really?  So you like that move, huh?”

X:  “Yeah, it was all right.”

G:  “All right?!  Well, I could teach it to ya.”

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