A Solstice Carol

And here I thought Charles Dickens was a literary genius. Yes, folks, it's the ancient world meets "A Christmas Carol" meats "Great Expectations." Our gals team up with Senticles (more Xenite irony) to stop the eviction of an orphanage on Solstice Eve. Finally, one of Gabrielle's plans actually works, but not to fear, Xena still gets to bash some heads in the end (which is certain to become one of the most classic fight scenes in Xenite history).

King Silvas: "I find you both guilty! And I sentence you to ten years hard labor. If you won't pay what you owe, then by Hades, you'll work it off. As to the charge of celebrating the Winter Solstice, I find you guilty of singing carols and decorating a tree. Twelve more months! Take them away."
Guard #1: "Yes, Sire ... you heard King Silvas, remove the prisoners."
Guard #2: "To the poor house with you. Move it!"
Old Man: "We're too old to live in a poor house."
Guard #2: "Then you'll die there."

King Silvas: "Senticles."
Senticles: "Yes, King Silvas."
King Silvas: "Have you prepared the eviction list for today?"
Senticles: "Today? But, Sire, today is Sol--"
King Silvas: "Yes?"
Senticles: "Today is so ... late -- so late. Look, it's nearly dark."
King Silvas: "Then I suggest you better hurry, unless you want to add your name to that parchment. Court adjourned!"

Gabrielle: "Now, no spying. If one of us sees the other shopping at a stall then she turns around and walks the other way. Agreed?"
Xena: "Yeah."
Gabrielle: "No peaking into other people's bags too. I mean, being surprised is half the fun, right?"
Xena: "Right."
Gabrielle: "Now nothing can cost more than five dinars."
Xena: "Then why don't I just give you five dinars and you can buy something that you really like?"

I'll meet you out back
Gabrielle: "Hey! ... what was that about?"
Xena: "He stole my chakram. I'll meet you out back."

Young Girl: "Now all we need is Solstice pudding."
Young Boy: "And a goose, don't forget the goose."
Young Girl: "Lynel, can you get us a goose, too? The round thing looks like the King's crest."
Lynel: "In honor of his cold heart."

Xena: "Nice tree."
Melana: "May I help you?"
Xena: "Yes, that's mine (one ribbon clad chakram)."
Melana: "Lynel ..."
Lynel: "I just borrowed it for the tree. I was going to give it back."
Gabrielle: "Funny how the ribbons bring out its shine."
Xena: "It's not an ornament."
Lynel: "Flashy thing like that, what else could it be?"

Senticles: "Hear ye! Hear ye! By order of King Silvas -- ‘Be it known you have until midnight tonight to pay taxes in the amount of 1,000 dinars or face eviction'."
Guard: "Why wait? Look around, they're violating the prohibition. I say arrest them now!"

Funny how the ribbons bring out its shine
Gabrielle: "I didn't know you did gift wrapping."

Xena: "What did he mean ‘violating the prohibition'? The children were just enjoying Solstice."
Melana: "Yes, but here celebrating the Winter Solstice is a crime, and anyone who gets caught can expect to pay a price."

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