ACT 4
ACT 3


[fade in]

HOTEL LOBBY -  MORNING

Janis enters the lobby to find Melinda already there waiting.


MELINDA
Janis, over here.

She motions to Janis to come to the coffee shop entrance.


MELINDA
(cont'd)
I have taken the liberty of
ordering you breakfast.
(beat)
2 eggs over hard, rye toast
with raspberry jam and black coffee.


Janis looks at her with hesitation.


JANIS
Okay, who are you and what
have you done with Melinda?


MELINDA
Now Janis, I'm not a scatter
brain all the time.
(beat)
Come on and I'll show you
where we are sitting.


Janis and Melinda enjoy a hearty breakfast while talking about the upcoming day.


MELINDA
I think I'm going to pop
with excitement again.


JANIS
You don't get out much, do you Melinda.


MELINDA
Well, I have been kind of a
book worm all my life.


JANIS
(under her breath)
Why doesn't that suprise me.
(to Melinda)
Well, just relax and follow my leads.

MELINDA
Okay Janis... You're the boss.


Just as they get up to leave, Sebastian enters the coffee shop.


SEBASTIAN
Good morning ladies.
Are you ready to go?


MELINDA
Yes Sir.


SEBASTIAN
Follow me then.  The car
is right this way.


Janis and Melinda pick up their gear and follow Sebastian out of the hotel.

When they reach car, they see Ethan leaning against the bumper.


ETHAN
Good morning Dr. Covington, Miss Pappas.
Beautiful day for site seeing.


Sebastian loads the gear into the trunk while Ethan continues to pour on the charm.

Janis and Melinda climb into the back seat to find a young man already sitting there.


SEBASTIAN
Ladies, this is Young Ares.
He will be coming along to help out.


JANIS
Ares, aay.
(beat)
Interesting name.


YOUNG ARES
It is a family name.  I was named
after my father and grandfather.
It is a proud name passed down
through the generations.
(beat)
Ares was the god of war, you know.


MELINDA
I met Ares once and.....


Janis kicks Melinda's leg, to prevent her from saying anymore.


JANIS
Melinda?.... Don't you mean to say
that you once met a man NAMED Ares?


Melinda thinks for a second, while rubbing the pain out of her shin.  Then the light bulb goes on.


MELINDA
Oh yes..
I met a man named
Ares once and he was
very good looking.


Ethan gives Melinda a questioning look.


With the gear all packed in the car, Sebastian enters the driver's side and they begin their two hour journey to the mountains.








Ethan directs Sebastian as they drive through one small town after another.  The roads turn into dirt and then the dirt turns into ruts.  Finally, they stop at a small
shack in the middle of nowhere.


ETHAN
Okay, this is where we get out and walk.


Sebastian unloads the car, then everyone piles gear and supplies on their backs.


[cut to]

OLD DIRT ROAD - MID DAY

As they continue up the road, the terrain noticably changes into a into a more confined space.  They come to a massive combination of vines where large pieces of a rock face are protruding.


JANIS
What's up there?


Janis points up the side of the rock face.


ETHAN
Nothing much.  Just a view of the valley .


JANIS
Let's go see.


Ethan eyes the vines and rock face.


ETHAN
It looks dangerous.
Let me check it out first.


Ethan hoists himself up onto the great vine and quickly disappears into the foliage. 


SEBASTIAN
It's going to be a while.  Let's
sit down and rest over there.


Janis, Melinda, Sebastian and Young Ares make themselves comfortable on a pile of boulders just to the side of the road.  Janis casually gets out her journal, reads her notes and then scans the terrain.


MELINDA
This is sure a pretty area.
The scrolls described it well.


SEBASTIAN
Where did you learn to read ancient
writings, Miss Pappas?


MELINDA
My Daddy taught me most and
then I went to school for the rest.


[cut to]

RESTING SPOT - ONE HALF HOUR LATER

As Janis, Melinda and Sebastian continue to make small talk, they hear a scream in the distance, coming closer and closer.  Then out of the foiliage comes Ethan, tumbling hard onto the ground.  Janis gets up and runs over to him.

Ethan is in great pain, holding his right leg.



ETHAN
(wincing)
My leg... I think it's broken.


Janis lays him down flat and and examines the leg.  When she gets to the lower part of the shin, by the ankle, Ethan screams.


JANIS
Yup... It's broken alright.












SEBASTIAN
What happened?


ETHAN
(painfully)
I had climbed about 100 feet and when I
went to grab a vine to pull myself up, it's
like something grabbed my hand and
caused me to lose my grip.
(beat)
It's not safe up there.  Anyway, we're
going to have to cut this site seeing trip
short because I can't walk.
(beat)
Sorry ladies.


JANIS
You're absolutely right.  You need
to get back and have your leg tended
to, but Melinda and I will stay and
explore for a couple of days.


Ethan sits up with a concerned look on his face..

ETHAN
Dr. Covington, I insist you
come back with us.


JANIS
Nonsense.  I have explored terrain
like this before.  We'll be fine.




ETHAN
(reluctantly)
Alright.. but I still don't like it.
(beat)
Just don't go climbing up there.


Ethan points to place he just fell from.


ETHAN
(cont'd)
It's too dangerous.


MELINDA
Whatever you say Mr. Ford.


Sebastian and Young Ares collect materials, so they can make a stretcher to carry Ethan back to the shack.   Janis and Melinda sort out the gear they will be taking.



[cut to]

ACCIDENT SITE - ONE HOUR LATER

SEBASTIAN
Okay, we're almost ready.


Sebastian and Young Ares gently lift Ethan onto the stretcher.  They pick up each end and prepare to leave.


ETHAN
Are you sure you won't
come back with us?


JANIS
Ethan, don't worry, I told you we'll be fine.


Ethan's concern is more then just the safety of Janis and Melinda.  He still thinks there is something more to this story then is being revealed.

ETHAN
Sebastian will pick you up
at the shack on Thursday afternoon.
(beat)
When you get back, please
come and tell me about your trip.

Sebastian, Young Ares and Ethan head down the dirt road toward the shack and slowly disappear over the hill.


MELINDA
Janis,  are you sure we're
doing the right thing?


JANIS
Look around here.
Don't you recognize this place?
(beat)
This is the same spot where Joxer
had fallen when he met up with Xena
and showed her the map on the scroll.
I'm sure of it.


Melinda eyes the landscape and then asks Janis for the scroll.  After reading it over, she determines that Janis is correct.


MELINDA
What are we going to do now?


JANIS
Start climbing.


MELINDA
But Mr. Ford said...


Janis interrupts.


JANIS
Melinda, just shutup and trust me.


Janis and Melinda hoist themselves onto the great vine and disappear into the foliage.



END OF ACT 3


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[fade out]