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THE GAUNTLET




“The Gauntlet” Episode H2

additional parts in the video version are notated by "+++"

[TEASER]

Cretus [Cr]:  “Darphus gave them your demands-- just enough crops
to feed our men; only the buildings needed to quarter them.”

X:  “Their answer?”

Darphus [D]:  “They’ve decided to defend themselves.”

X:  “Stupid.  We’ll give them the night to reconsider.”

D:  “Give them nothing!  I say, we attack now, and wipe them all
out!  Let the gods sort out the women and children.”

X:  “We are warriors, _not_ barbarians.  Cretus, you made it
clear that anyone who raises a sword against us will die.”

Cr:  “They said they’d rather die, defending the fruits of their
labor, than give it to renegades.”

X:  “Then tomorrow, they’ll get their wish.”

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-------------------------------

Hercules [H]:  “Oh-- wonderful, Iphicles, absolutely wonderful.
It’s a four-star meal for sure.”

Iphicles [Iph]:  “Why four stars?”

H:  “Uh, that’s just a manner of speaking.  It’s something I
picked up from an epicurean friend of mine.”

Iph:  “Well, why not five stars?  Or-- or, a constellation of
stars?”

H:  “Uh-- a constellation it is.”

Iloron (sp?) [Il]:  “Hercules?”

H:  “Iloron!”

Il:  “Hello, cousin.  It’s been too long.”

H:  “Ah, it must be five years.  Ah, come!  Sit down!  How have
you been?”

Il:  “Good.  Look, we’ve got big problems in the Parthian
province.”

H:  “What sort of problems?”

Il:  “Marauders.  And they’re merciless.  Last week, they
attacked a village near us-- killed every last man.  Look here.
On my way here, I found out that six more villages have been
destroyed in the last month.”

H:   “Looks like they’re intent on overrunning the whole
peninsula.”

Il:  “And Parthus, my mother’s village, will be right in their
path.”

H:  “Then we don’t have any time to waste.”

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-------------------------------

X:  “No word?”

Cr:  “Their only activity has been to fortify.”

D:  “We should’ve attacked yesterday.”

X:  “It won’t affect the outcome-- only make it more interesting.
Let’s go!”

Army:  [Cheers]

X:  “Yah!”

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-------------------------------

[Xena’s army destroys village.]

X:  “Surrender, or die!”

Villager:  “Never!”

Old man:  “No!  Have mercy!”

Villager:  “There she is!  Kill her!  Destroy the witch!  Destroy
her!”

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-------------------------------

[ACT I]

Warriors:  “[?] attack!”  Victory!”  “Long live Xena!”

Salmoneus [S]:  “I’m a modest woman.  Please don’t touch me
there.”

Cr:  “Look at what we found hiding in the feed-bin.”

S:  “Ow!  Ow!”

D:  “Well, what’ve we got here?”

S:  “No, no.  I work in the circus.   Please, don’t kill me!
Please!  I beg you!”

X:  “Give me one good reason.”

S:  “It would be very unpleasant for me!  We haven’t even been
introduced!  My mother will cry?!”

X:  “Take him away.”

S:  “Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!  I’m not even supposed to be
here!  I’m a travelling salesman!  I can get you a great deal on
some clay dinnerware.  I’ve got this walnut utensil--  opens--”

D:  “Kill him!”

S:  “Hold it!  You’re very quick with the ‘Kill him!’.  Wait a
second-- please!  I know people in high places!  Uh, I-- I-- I
know Hercules!”

X:  “What do you know about Hercules?”

D:  “He knows nothing!”

S:  “I do to!  I-- we-- oh, oh, wee-- I’m his best friend!  We’re
like this!  Well, not like that-- kinda’-- kinda’ like th--
Kind-- it’s platonic.  It-- we’re like-- that!”

X:  “Come here, little man.  You amuse me.”

S:  “Amusing?  You like amusing?  A guy goes into a bar walking a
duck.  Owner says, what’re you doing with that pig?!”

X:  “Cease!  I’ll let you know when I wanna be amused again.
Bring him along.  Leave it.  It becomes you.”

S:  “Right!  Certainly.  You’ve got excellent taste.  [Laughs
nervously]”

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-------------------------------

H:  “I can’t believe it’s been five years since I’ve seen you.
Why does it have to take bad news to bring us together.”

Il:  “Well, you’re not the easiest person to get ahold of.”

H:  “Yeah, I-- guess you’re--  right.”

+++Il:  “Who could’ve done such a thing?”

+++H:  “I think he was trying to tell us.  Those marks are the
Macedonian symbols for ‘warrior’-- and ‘woman.’”

+++Il:  “May the gods help us.”

+++H:  “I wouldn’t count on it.”

Girl:  “Mommy?  Where’s Daddy?”

Man:  “Not a man alive.  Curse her[?]!”

H:  “Who did this?”

Woman:  “Marauders.”

H:  “Did you see their leader?”

Woman:  “She was like-- a demon from Hades.”

H:  “A woman.”

Il:  “Do you know who did this?”

H:  “I’ve got an idea.”

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-------------------------------

D:  “That meat is for warriors.”

S:  “Ah.  Um, uh-- there’s more than one way to wage a war.”

X:  “Oh?  Tell me about it.”

S:  “Well-- an army such as yours, with such a beautiful leader
like you-- you need publicity-- public relations.”

X:  “Hah!  I prefer my relations to be private.”

S:  “[Laughs]  No-- you need something to trumpet your victories.
But you don’t wanna seem overbearing or merciless.  You need a
theme song.  Wait a second. 
[Sings]
‘Xe-ena, coming to your town.  
Xe-ena, don’t you wear a frown.’ 

Don’t talk about destruction.  Talk about ‘collateral damage.’
Uh, be like a tax collector.  Tell people you’re doing it for
their own good.”

X:  “You know, for such a wretched little man, you are mildly
entertaining.  Tell me more.”

S:  “OK, uh-- can I just--?  Yeah.  Always address your troops
from your right side.  It’s your best side-- not that you have a
bad side.  It-- You’ve got beautiful eye-- you’ve got great cheek
structure.  Smile more.  Show off your cheeks.  See?  Ahh.
Uh-huh.”

X:  “Don’t stop amusing me, now.”

S:  “No, your Highness-- your Worship-- your, your-- what is your
titular?  Um-- wh-- uh, uh-- How do you like to be undressed?
Addressed?  Hmm?”

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-------------------------------

H:  “Any sign of trouble?!”

Il:  “Not that I can see!  We’re making good time.  I can see the
hills of Parthian province.  Also, I-- think we’re being
followed.”

H:  “I know.  I saw him by the river.”

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-------------------------------

D:  “I say we go here.”

X:  “The western villages?”

D:  “Lightly defended.  We wipe them from the map-- an easy
victory.”

X:  “Easy victories make for weak soldiers.”

D:  “As long as the men get what they want--”

X:  “I don’t want soldiers following me out of greed.  I demand
loyalty.”

D:  “Loyalty, greed, fear-- what does it matter?  As long as they
obey orders.”

X:  “It matters to me.”

D:  “Maybe, one day, we’ll find out whose strategy is best--
yours or mine.”

X:  “I’ll go north with my scouts.  I’ll see for myself.  And
when I return, we attack.”

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-------------------------------

D:  “Still no sign of Xena and the scouts?  The men are ready for
a night attack; I don’t wanna lose the element of surprise.  I
won’t wait any longer.”

S:  “Uh, excuse me?  Wouldn’t Xena be upset-- if you don’t--
wait?”

D:  “You know, little man, you don’t amuse me at all.  We go now.
I don’t wanna see a living thing when you’re through-- not a man,
woman, or child-- understood?”

Cr:  “Don’t you think that Xena--- ?”

D:  “Forget Xena!  I want that village destroyed!  The men can
take what they want.”

Cr:  “Yes, sir.”

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-------------------------------

Warrior:  “Attack!”

[Warriors decimate village]

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-------------------------------

X:  “What have you done?!”

D:  “A message, to those who defy us.”

X:  “You killed women and children?”

D:  “If this doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of the northern
villages, nothing will.”

X:  “You’re a butcher.  Your disobedience will _not go
unpunished_!” 

D:  “I expected as much.”

[Baby crying]

Cr:  “I thought I killed them both.”

D:  “Kill it!”

X:  “Stop!  You kill this baby, you die next.  Contrary to what
some might think, I still lead this army.”

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-------------------------------

[ACT II]

H:  “Looking for me?”

[Hercules knocks out the spy]

H:  “We can do this the easy way-- or we can go back to that
village you destroyed.  Or let the orphans and widows decide what
to do with you.”

Daros:  “Women and children don’t scare me.”

H:  “Don’t they?!  Who commands you barbarians?  It’s a woman,
isn’t it?”

Daros:  “We’re not barbarians.  We’re soldiers.”

H:  “Soldiers-- killing unarmed people-- I guess that qualifies
you as a soldier, doesn’t it?  So, where _is_ your leader--
Xena?”

Daros:  “When she finds out I’m missing, she’ll have you two for
breakfast.”

H:  “Where is she?”

Daros:  “Doesn’t matter.  You’re too late, anyway.”

H:  “Get out of my sight.  I wouldn’t.”

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-------------------------------

Spiros [Sp]:  “Murderers.”

Il:  “No one’s alive-- not even a child.”

H:  “They killed children?”

Il:  “They killed everyone--  women, children, babies.”

H:  “I swear by my mother-- this won’t happen again.”

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-------------------------------

X:  “What are you doing here?”

S:  “I thought you might need some help taking care of the baby--
so I found this shepherdess.”

X:  “I’ve got no intention of taking care of this infant.  I
merely saved him.”

S:  “No, of course not.  [Laughs] If you had any maternal
instinct, you wouldn’t-- not that you don’t have maternal
instinct, but with all the fighting, it gets--”

Shepherdess [Sh]:  “I have some milk for the baby.”

S:  “Oh, proud warriorress?  Can I talk to you for a moment?”

X:  “About what?”

S:  “It’s Darphus.  He scares me.”

X:  “Everyone scares you.”

S:  “Very observant.  But in this case, I don’t think he’s
exactly in your corner, either.”

X:  “You mean, his insubordination.”

S:  “That-- and he’s been stirring up the men about saving the
baby.”

X:  “I’ve got no reason to doubt my soldiers’ loyalty.  And I’ll
deal with Darphus.”

S:  “Yes, I’m sure.  But, but, but-- the best course of action,
given that you and Darphus are at odds--”

X:  “I don’t run from my problems.  I confront them!  And I’ll
deal with Darphus!”

S:  “Excellent choice.  It was just a thought, thank you.”

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-------------------------------

+++[Hercules and Iloron burying bodies]

+++Il:  “You take it personally, don’t you?”

+++H:  “These people have been robbed of their lives.  It’s the
least I can do.”

+++Il:  “Shall we camp here for the night?”

+++H:  “Not here.  Xena’s too far ahead of us.  We have a lot of
catching up to do.”

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-------------------------------

X:  “You defied me.”

D:  “You wanted the village destroyed; we destroyed it.”

X:  “I didn’t order you to burn it, or to slaughter every living
thing.”

D:  “I gave you my reasons.”

X:  “I’m relieving you of your command!”

D:  “My men won’t allow that-- yes-- my men.  You’re the one
who’s stepping down.  And you’ll leave the only way a warrior
can.”

X:  “The gauntlet?  There’s not a man here who’ll raise a hand
against me.”

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-------------------------------

D:  “Take off her armor.”  [Laughs]

X:  “I’ll bury you _and_ your new leader.”

S:  “Can she really make it through that?”

Warrior1:  “No one ever has.”

D:  “Begin!”

[Xena walks the gauntlet]

S:  “Go, Xena, go!”

Warriors:  “She’s dead.”  “Xena.”  “She survived.”

D:  “Kill her!”

Warrior2:  “But she made it through.”

D:  “Good for her!  Now, finish it!”

Warrior3:  “She fought by the rules.”

Warrior4:  “Right.”

Warrior3:  “I won’t cross that line.”

Warrior4:  “Me neither.”

D:  “Enjoy your exile.”

X:  [Spits]

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-------------------------------

Il:  “Hercules?  How about a break?”

H:  “We’ll rest when we find ‘em.”

Il:  “We won’t be in any shape to fight if we don’t stop soon.”

H:  “When we find ‘em.”

Il:  [Hit by arrow]

H:  “Come on.  You’ll be all right.  You stay here.  Who are
you?!  Who are you?!  Why are you attacking us?!”

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-------------------------------

[ACT III]

Sp:  “Go on, kill me.  I have nothing to live for, anymore.”

H:  “Who are you?”

Sp:  “Spiros.  You killed my wife and son.”

H:  “I’m Hercules-- and I didn’t kill anyone.”

Sp:  “Hercules?  But I saw you looting the bodies in the
village.”

H:  “We were burying them.  They were already dead when we got
there.”

Sp:  “My wife and child were in that village.”

H:  “You have my sympathy.  Come on.  Let’s see how much damage
you’ve done to my cousin.”

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H:  “You’ll live.”

Il:  “Thanks.”

Sp:  “I should never have left.  I should never have left.”

H:  “Why did you?”

Sp:  “No one wanted to leave their families.  But we knew someone
had to go for help, so we-- drew straws.  I drew the short one.”

H:  “You shouldn’t feel guilty.  You did what you could.”

Sp:  “But everyone I loved-- they’re gone now-- dead.”

H:  “I once lost my family, too.”

Sp:  “Then you’ll know there’s nothing you can say that’ll make
me feel better.”

H:  “Yeah.  We will find Xena and her army.  I promise you.”

Sp:  “I can be your scout.  I know this countryside well.”

H:  “Done.”

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-------------------------------

S:  “All right.  All right.  You’re safe.  You found some armor.
You don’t know where you’re going, but you’re making really good
time.  Let’s hear it for me!  Hip- hip-- hooray!”

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-------------------------------

X:  “I can take care of myself!”

Sh:  “One of your men came here, looking for you, today.”

X:  “I have no men.”

Sh:  “He was a scout named Daros.”

X:  “What did he want?”

Sh:  “He said he needed to warn you, that Hercules was on your
trail.”

X:  “Hercules?”

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S:  “Please, somebody help me, if you can hear me!  Help me!
Please, somebody help me!”

H:  “Salmoneus?”

S:  “Hercules?!”

H:  “It’s nothing, just-- someone hanging upside-down.  Come on.”

S:  “Hey!  You can’t leave me like this!”

H:  “I know.  I know.”

Sp:  “You know him?”

H:  “Unfortunately.”

S:  “Does he know me?!  I fought a Cyclops with this guy!  And a
lunatic Centaur.  And what about the fifty [randied?] daughters
of King Thespius, huh?”

H:  “Can we reminisce some other time?”

S:  “I had to help the big guy out.”

H:  “Yeah.  I-- should know better than to ask, but, how did you
get up there?”

S:  “I have no idea.  I was escaping this band of murderous
thugs-- led by this fierce, beautiful woman with great--”

H:  “You were with Xena?”

S:  “You know her?”

H:  “Yes, I do.”

S:  “They humiliated me.  They starved me.  They took my entire
line of kitchenware.”

H:  “Salmoneus.”

S:  “I’ve got this great utensil.  It cracks a walnut into two
smooth halves.”

H:  “Salmoneus.”

S:  “Protects the nut, and there are no splinters.”

H:  “Salmoneus!”

S:  “Yes.”

H:  “Just tell me where they are.”

S:  “They’re on their way to Parthus.  And if anything like the
last time, there won’t be any Parthus left!”

H:  “Let’s go.”

S:  “Ah-- what about my cookware?!”

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-------------------------------

D:  “So-- the great Hercules is on our trail.”

Cr:  “Maybe it’s time to change our plans.”

D:  “No.”

Cr:  “But Hercules--”

D:  “-- can be defeated like any other man!  He doesn’t know we
know he’s on our track.  That gives us an edge.  Here-- outside
Parthus, where the road splits-- that’s where we spring our
trap.”

Cr:  “But suppose he’s waiting--”

D:  “We’ll crush him like a bug!”

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-------------------------------

S:  “Can we take a break?  I’m hungry.  I don’t know how I get
myself in these messes.”

H:  “You might try staying away from killers like Xena.”

S:  “I wasn’t with her by choice!  And I’ll tell you something--
she’s not as evil as you think she is.”

H:  “Of course not-- she only kills people for sport.”

S:  “Well, at least she allows them to surrender before
massacring ‘em.”

H:  “She’s all heart.”

S:  “She’s got some heart.  She’s not into that-- scorched-Earth
policy like Darphus.”

H:  “You’re serious-- that she’s not a cold-hearted evil bitch.”

S:  “Believe me.  Compared with Darphus, she looks like the
goddess of love and light.”

H:  “Who is Darphus?”

Il:  “Hercules!”

X:  “Hah!”

H:  “Looks like we’ll get the chance to see which one of us is
right.  Hello, Xena.”

X:  “Hello, Hercules.  Looks like you’re losing your touch!  Your
scout would never make it in my army!”

H:  “You’re right.  He’s not a baby-killer.”

X:  “Don’t tell me you’re gonna spoil it by bringing your friends
into it.”

H:  “No, Xena.  I think I can handle this one on my own.”

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[ACT IV]

H:  “We’ve been down this road before.  The last time, you almost
cost me a friendship.”

X:  “This time-- it’ll cost you a life!”

S:  “Xena, why are you doing this?!”

X:  “If I can bring back the head of Hercules, I can get back my
army!”

H:  “So you can murder more women and children?”

X:  “That was not my idea!  I never murdered women and children!”

S:  “You shouldn’t be fighting each other!  Darphus is the enemy!
You should be on the same side fighting him!  On second thought,
maybe you _should_ work it out between you!”

[Xena and Hercules fight.]

X:  “I’ve got you now, Hercules!”

Il:  “Xena!”

S:  “Come on.  Come on.  Let’s go.”

X:  “Go on, finish it.  Prove you’re the greatest warrior.”

H:  “Killing isn’t the only way of proving you’re a warrior,
Xena.  And I think you know that.”

X:  “What do you intend to do?”

H:  “We’re going after your army.  Why don’t you join us?”

X:  “No.”

Sp:  “Coward!  You can make war on a defenseless village, kill
women and children, but you can’t fight a worthy opponent.”

H:  “Let her go!  She has a fight of her own to deal with.”

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-------------------------------

H:  “Over here!”

Sp:  “More tracks.”

H:  “They tried to cover them up to this point.  Looks like a
larger body of troops went that way.  Let’s go.”

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-------------------------------

Il:  “Let’s wipe ‘em out.  Come on, we can handle them.”

H:  “No.  That’s what they expect us to do.  That’s their
surprise.”

Il:  “An ambush?  For us?”

Sp:  “So, what do we do?”

H:  “We even the odds.  And we get to Parthus before they do.”

S:  “Even the odds?”

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-------------------------------

[Hercules waylays ambush]

-----------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------

Il:  “This way, goat-breath!”

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D:  “We’ve been ambushed, and our horses are gone.”

Cr:  “But how?  Hercules was never here!”

D:  “He was here, all right!  Fools!  He’s long gone now.”

Cr:  “But where?”

D:  “Parthus.”

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-------------------------------

H:  “Women and children all evacuated.”

S:  “And the old men and the boys.  I still say we should’ve kept
some.”

H:  “No, they’re no match for that army out there.”

S:  “Yeah, and we are?  All four of us?”

H:  “Well, the villagers cooked up some surprises.  That’ll
help.”

S:  “Yeah?  Well, what happens when the surprises run out?”

H:  “Looks like we’ll find out soon enough.  You better get to
your post.”

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-------------------------------

D:  “Ready!  Attack!”

[Hercules fights Darphus and his army]

S:  “I don’t believe it; she’s come back.”

Sp:  “That bracelet belonged to my wife!”

+++:Warrior:  “Retreat!”

+++:D:  “Fight!”

Warrior:  “Let’s get out of here!”

D:  “Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!”

[Xena fights and kills Darphus]

+++Warrior:  “Let’s get out of here!”

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H:  “I’m glad you came back.”

X:  “I had to.  They weren’t true warriors.  They had to be
stopped.”

H:  “Is it over now?  All of it?”

X:  “Yes, it is.”

S:  “Well, I’m not making any promises.”

H:  “What is it?”

Sp:  “Salmoneus told me that Xena saved a baby boy at my
village.”

H:  “Is that true?”

Sp:  “Was he, uh-- Did he have a birthmark on his left leg?

X:  [Nods head.]

Sp:  “That’s my son.  That’s my son.  Oh, gods above, thank you.
I don’t know how to--”

X:  “Suppose I don’t wanna give him up.”

Sp:  “What do you mean?”

X:  “I put my life on the line for him.  Would you?”

Sp:  “Yes, and I’ll fight you if I have to.”

X:  “You’d lose.”

Sp:  “Doesn’t matter.  He’s my blood.”

H:  “Xena, why are you doing this?”

X:  “You’ve shown me all I need to know.  Just raise your son to
be as brave as you.  Salmoneus will take you to him.”

S:  “You sure you don’t wanna join us?  You know, for old times’
sake?  I just don’t want to fall into any more traps.”

H:  “Yeah, I’m not sure how many people could stand the sight of
you upside down.”

S:  “I happen to think I have nice legs.”

H:  “Salmoneus, Spiros will keep you safe.”

Il:  “Thank you, cousin.”

H:  “You’re welcome.  Let’s not wait five years to see each other
again.”

Il:  “Not a chance.”

H:  “Take care.  So-- what now?”

X:  “What do you say we go find out together?”

H:  “Yeah.”

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Emissary [E]:  “Feeling better?”

D:  “Who are you?”

E:  “Call me-- an emissary of Ares.”

D:  “Ares, the god of war.  What does he want with me?”

E:  “He wants to give you your revenge against Xena.  But first,
you must do something for him.  You must kill Hercules.”

D:  “Hercules-- how?  He destroyed my army.”

E:  “You’ll need help-- more help than any army can give you.
This beast can give you that help.  Under your control, it can
destroy Hercules once and for all.”

D:  [Laughs]

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