It was a dark and stormy night ... the gang (Cyrene, Lila, Joxer, Minya, and Autolycus) throw Gabrielle a surprise birthday party. Enter one corpse and it's "Murder She Wrote" Ancient Mediterranean Style. Xena must find the killer by sunrise or Discord (the Goddess of Bad Hair and Over-Acting) will seek out retribution against them all. See what happens when a corpse crashes a party.
Joxer: "Ulp ... surprise."
Everyone: "Surprise! ... oh."
Xena: "Well gee, glad to see you too, Mom."
Cyrene: "Of course we're glad to see you too, dear, but it's not your birthday."
Xena: "No, and it's not Gabrielle's either, not until tomorrow."
Joxer: "That's why it was a surprise."
Minya: "Get it?"
Lila: "It was Joxer's idea."
Xena: "No surprise there, but here's one for you. (A no longer cloaked Autolycus)"
Xena: "Autolycus, I wouldn't have picked you for a party boy."
Autolycus: "Well, call me sentimental, but I hear the words ‘cake' and ‘ice cream' and I'm there."
Xena: "Well, I'm sorry to say, but Gabrielle isn't arriving until morning, so if you don't mind, I'm going to get some shut-eye."
Cyrene: "Not that way, I put you in the room next to mine."
Discord: (in reference to one of her tight little stud-muffins getting a beating) "No, stop ... not the face."
Xena: "You're right, I should start at the bottom."
Discord: "Try that again and you'll be booking a cruise to Tartarus with your friend here, Xena. Oh sure, I know who you are. All Olympus knows the Warrior Princess, Ares has made sure of that. He also made me Goddess of Retribution. Discord's the name."
Xena: "Retribution, huh? I guess you've got to start somewhere."
Discord: "Where I'll start is with the person who did this. Hand ‘em over."
Xena: "You think I did it?"
Discord: "I wish. Unfortunately, I saw enough to know it wasn't you."
Xena: "The only other people here are my family and friends. You saying one of them is the murderer?"
Discord: "No, you're telling me. After all, it takes one to know one, right?"
Discord: "You either cough up the killer by sunrise, or I take one of your buddies. But, either way, someone's gonna pay."
Xena: "I've got until sunrise to find out who did it."
Lila: "Sunrise will be here in no time."
Joxer: "One of us, that's absurd ... heh."
Cyrene: "She's dead, alright."
Autolycus: "Well, that's typical. Leave it to the gods to try and frame an innocent party."
Joxer: "Autolycus is right, she's dead, but she could have had a heart condition."
Autolycus: "Yeah, maybe it grew that knife."
Cyrene: "She was a total stranger, Xena."
Xena: "Then it's time we got acquainted ... let's take a look ..."
Autolycus: "... muzzles ... leather bonds ... manacles ... oh, nothing unusual here."
Xena: "He's right. These are the basic tools of the trade for a ..."
Cyrene: "... bounty hunter."
Xena: "Mom, could I have a word, please ... so, you knew she was a bounty hunter?"
Cyrene: "Not until you pulled out the manacles and chains. That's when it hit me, before that ... (shrug) ... why?"
Xena: "Because when I first heard the crash I went into your room and you weren't there."
Cyrene: "Storm kept me awake. I was putting water on the coals in the kitchen when I heard the crash."
Xena: "I gotta ask you this, Mom. You killed once before to protect me. Is history repeating itself?"
Cyrene: "That was different. I was protecting a child."
Xena: "Well, you know what they say, no matter what your age, you're always a chid to your mother."
Autolycus: "She's a bounty hunter alright. Her name's Raveneka."
Xena: "Looks like this was a business trip."
Minya: "Can you believe that? After all you've done, too."
Joxer: "Yeah, what an insult, 200 dinars. It should have been a thousand, maybe a million."
Minya: "Raveneka ... ugh."
Xena: "You knew her?"
Minya: "Well, I only met her in person once, but I saw enough of her in the stables to last a lifetime."
Minya: "Yeah, she'd catch up to her bounties by slowing down their horses."
Lila: "How'd she do that?"
Minya: "By cutting their tendons. Hobbling, the poor things, most of them had to be put down. Yeah, she was a real piece of work."
Xena: "Are you sure that the dead woman was Raveneka?"
Minya: "Another look and I'd be sure."
Minya: "Yeah, it's her alright."
Joxer: "Aha! So you admit you knew her? Maybe you like those horseys a little too much ... let me rephrase that ... Raveneka killed a few horseys, you got mad and now she's dead ... Oh C'mon, people. Do I have to spell it out for you? Minya in the bedroom with a knife."
Minya: "Oh, get a clue. I didn't even know it was her until just now."
Joxer: "So you say."
Minya: "Are you calling me a liar?"
Xena: "No one's calling anyone anything."
Autolycus: "Xena's right, remember, we're all friends here ... most of us."
Lila: "Joxer's just looking at it from every angle. Right, Joxer?"
Joxer: "That's right."
Xena: "Oh yeah, Joxer's very broad-minded."
Xena: "Look, Raveneka has been murdered and someone here is responsible."
Gabrielle: "Xena, we've got trouble ... what's going on?"
The Whole Gang: "... surprise ..."
Gabrielle: "Okay ... look, Xena, there's a bounty hunter out after you. She's ... on the floor ... dead?"
The Whole Gang: "... dead ..."
Gabrielle: "I guess you found her first, huh?"
Xena: "Yes, I found her. I didn't kill her."
Gabrielle: "Oh, well, that's good. So if you didn't kill her, then who did?"
Autolycus: "Big job running a tavern. Lot's of things to keep track of, huh? Food. Drink. Keys. Hey, what do you know, there's a key to my room, and to Xena's, and to Joxer's. Of course, you'd have a key to every room in the place wouldn't you, Cyrene?"
Autolycus: "Meaning you must know every creaky floor board and squeaky hinge in the place. Why, you could float around like a ghost if you had to."
Autolycus: "Bounty hunter checks in, and despite what she says, I think she knew it. You also knew that it was damn likely that your daughter would be on her list."
Xena: "Autolycus, we've already had this conversation."
Autolycus: "Then you must admit, no one has the means or a stronger motive than your own dear, over-protective mother. Sorry, Cyrene, tough break. Book her, Xena. I'm outta here."
Xena: "He's an idiot."
Discord: "Thanks for the help, Tall, Dark & Mortal. I should have known Xena wouldn't have the guts to turn in her own mom."
Discord: "What's the big idea? I thought you were the poster girl for truth and justice."
Xena: "I am when I'm sure it's being served ... and I'm not."
Autolycus: "You know, it's hard to believe you're new at this. I gotta tell ya, you're doing a helluva job ... vigilant ... hard working ... why you even put a clock on the case ... which reminds me, I'm a little pressed for time, so ... uh ... if you'll pardon me."
Discord: "Pressed for time? I see what you mean ... Suffer."
Gabrielle: "Who was that?"
Xena: "Ares newest find, Discord, Goddess of Retribution."
Cyrene: "If Xena doesn't find Raveneka's killer, Discord's taking one of us ... whether we did it or not."
Xena: "So, where's the fire, big guy?"
Autolycus: "Well, I just thought I had the case all figured out. Sorry I almost got you torched, Cyrene."
Joxer: "So you're saying it was Cyrene in the bed room with a kitchen knife."
Joxer: "In the kitchen with a bedroom knife?"
Autolycus: "Okay, I'm a thief. Hey, there's news. Meanwhile we've got a murderer among us, remember?"
Gabrielle: "I hate to say this, Autolycus, but people have killed for less than diamonds."
Autolycus: "C'mon, Gabrielle, you know my rap sheet. You recall seeing ruthless murderer anywhere on it?"
Joxer: "Hm ... King of Thieves ... Escape Artist Extraordinaire ... Master of Disguise ..."
Autolycus: "... quiet ..."
Joxer: "... I'm willing to bet anything that that mustache is phony."
Minya: "Autolycus could have robbed her after she was dead."
Autolycus: "Now you listen here, missy. I may be a thief, but I have my standards, and ..."
Xena: "... and he wasn't the only one to go through her stuff."
Xena: "There are three scroll sheaths here. One of them contains my bounty. The other's a wanted poster for some guy. And this, the third one, is completely empty."
Minya: "So ..."
Xena: "So, a veteran of the road like Raveneka would never carry any more than she had to. And given that she probably packed in the morning and unpacked every single night ..."
Gabrielle: "... you're saying that someone here took it?"
Minya: "Autolycus could have taken that, too?"
Autolycus: "Of course, I could have."
Xena: "No, it's not his style. Whoever did this was sloppy ..."
Autolycus: "... and dumb ..."
Xena: "... and they packed in a hurry."
Xena: "Raveneka's maps are all squished up on the bottom with her fruit. Whereas, the heavier, less necessary objects are on top."
Cyrene: "Maybe she liked her pears bruised."
Gabrielle: (to Xena) "She's your mother."
Xena: "I can tell you one thing she didn't like for sure and that's lavender perfume. No bounty hunter worth her salt would wear perfume of any kind. They'd smell her before she got close enough to pounce."
Minya: "Smells lander-ry alright."
Gabrielle: "That's impossible, Xena. The only one who wears lavender perfume here would be ..."
Lila: "... me?"
Joxer: "Oh, wait a minute now. Sure, sure it looks bad. Lila in the bedroom with a knife, but it's obvious that may seem ..."
Lila: "... obvious? Joxer, these things only smell of ..."
Joxer: "... dat dat ... please, I'm trying to help you out here ... Now look, Lila couldn't have killed Raveneka. Why, at the time her whereabouts were completely, unequivicably, without a doubt unknown. Which is not to say that she was anywhere near the bedroom at the time of the murder."
Lila: "Okay, I admit that when I saw Raveneka with her back to the corner and her eyes on the door I did think it was odd. But I never touched her things, no matter how they smell."
Gabrielle: "You see, Xena, you can't suspect Lila."
Xena: "Until I find out exactly who did it, I expect everyone."
Xena: "C'mon, Gabrielle, I need your help. Your's too, Autolycus. Joxer ... don't need your help."
Gabrielle: "It's our family we're talking about, our friends. None of them would commit cold-blooded murder."
Autolycus: "Well, as much as this scares me to say this, I think she's right this time, Xena."
Gabrielle: "Look at that. Now that is so odd."
Autolycus: "Looks like kindling."
Gabrielle: "It is kindling. But do you either of you see a wood pile in this room? No. A fire place? No. A stove? No. Do you know what that means?"
Xena & Autolycus: "No."
Gabrielle: "Me neither."
Xena: "There are three candles on the floor, and two more up here (on the chandelier), but there's only space for four. So where did the fifth candle come from?"
Gabrielle: "There's no way anyone came in through here (locked window), how about the door?"
Autolycus: "Locked as well ... from the inside."
Gabrielle: "And who discovered that? Someone with motive enough for murder? Someone who's trying to confuse us? Someone who's looking to beat this rap the best he can no matter what the cost?"
Xena: "I did."
Xena: "Boy, whatever Mom's putting in her grog didn't agree with her (Raveneka). Check it out, look at this rash."
Gabrielle: "Is that blood?"
Xena: "No, it's ink ... and there's a large bump on the skull underneath it."
Autolycus: "Well, whoever did it didn't force their way in because there are no pick marks on the lock and the hinges have dust all over them. So, the real question is, ‘who has the key?'"
Xena: "Uh, that would be me."
Xena: "I found it when I broke in."
Xena: "Now, the real question is, ‘who locked the door from the inside?' Was it Raveneka or the murderer?"
Gabrielle: "You know if she were short enough she could have been stabbed through the key hole."
Xena: "Excellent deduction, Gabrielle."
Xena: "I think the knife is the key."
Joxer: "I still say it was Minya in the bedroom with a knife."
Minya: "Would you can it! This isn't some sort of game, you know."
Cyrene: "She's right. Discord has long ears. She could show up at any time."
Joxer: "That's exactly my point. You keep talking about her ears and she will show up."
Xena: "Alright, which of you owns this?"
Gabrielle: "I should tell you, it's a little known fact, that every sheath bears the grooves left by the blade it holds. No two blades are alike. The knife can identify its owner."
Minya: "Okay, it's mine, alright, the knife's mine."
Xena: "Minya, you might have noticed that your knife was sticking out of her chest."
Lila: "In her heart."
Xena: "No, her chest, about half a hand below her chest, but still, it was enough to kill her ... if she hadn't already been dead."
Gabrielle: "You're saying the knife didn't kill her?"
Xena: "That's right."
Autolycus: "Well, that's just perfect. So instead of wrapping everything up, you're just spinning more yarn to make things worse."
Gabrielle: "No, she isn't ... because I killed Raveneka."
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