Perdicus Darnay stepped out of his carriage, and it immediately drove away. He tipped his hat to a peasant woman who crossed in front of him as he stepped closer to the Defarge's saddle shop.
"He's here!" one customer hissed inside, glancing out the window. Callisto nodded, and everyone took their places, as if it were a play with it's opening night at hand.
A man came up to Perdicus and grabbed him from behind.
"Time for a trial, traitor," the man muttered. Perdicus was dragged off to the jail, speechless.
Draco stood up to face the tied up Gabelle. "I wish I didn't have to do this," he said. Gabelle didn't understand what he meant until a dagger was drawn. Gabelle's eyes went wide.
"Do it," Callisto urged, standing up and narrowing her cold eyes at her husband.
"No, don't," a deep voice boomed from the doorway. Hercules Lorry stood tall, casting a shadow over the room. It was already evening, and the sun was just setting. You wouldn't be able to tell from the room.
"Get him," Callisto said calmly to a group of dirty-looking male peasants. They growled and approached Hercules, rifle drawn.
"People these days just need to learn to put the safety on their weapons!" Hercules chuckled. He made it look like he was about to walk away, and then turned back as soon as he sensed one man upon him.
Lorry kicked the rifle out of the man's hands.
"Now we're even!" Hercules frowned and flung him across the room. The impact made a hanging saddle fall off the wall. Callisto eyed Hercules. The saddle that fell was a specific register saddle. A register for Darnay. Anytime she made a saddle for someone and never gave it to them, it was a death card - automatically. It was her motion to her husband and followers that the chosen person must die.
Several other men rushed towards Hercules, daggers and weapons out in the open.
"What if I were to tell you I just came in here for a saddle?" Hercules stared through the man's eyes as he lifted him off the ground. He spun him in a circle twice, and threw him across the room. The rebel landed next to Callisto. She made no intention on helping him.
"Thank you, Atalanta," Hercules laughed. He never thought the maid could have taught him any move like that.
The fight continued, and towards the end, Hercules had knocked ten people unconscious. He looked around breathlessly.
"I'm not too impressed," Callisto stepped forward with confidence. "That was only ten. How would you feel against thousands?"
"Well, in my ancestor's legend, it said he had no problem with it!" Hercules laughed, only half kidding.
"Yeah, well mine too," Callisto turned her back and raised her chin. She snapped her fingers, and from out of no where, down from the rafters in the ceiling, a net fell on top of Hercules.
He didn't know what hit him, and tried to escape, only tangling himself up more. Almost giving up, Draco grabbed his arms and forced them behind his back.
"What was that?" one man called out from the corner. The shop fell silent except for a moan or two from an injured rebel.
The sound was heard again, this time by everyone.
"Yiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi!" a yelp was sounded as the saddle shop door was kicked in.
"Xena?" Hercules said, his back to the door. He tried to turn around and tripped on the net. Callisto kicked him once to make sure he'd stay that way for a while.
Xena stood in her new outfit. A replica of an ancestor of hers, she grabbed her chakrum.
"Sorry Callisto, but I gotta keep the tradition going," Xena laughed once and flung the chakrum towards Draco. He ducked and the metal object bounced on a metal post, flying back to its master.
"How'd I know how to do that?" Draco scratched his head.
"Don't know, don't care," Xena muttered as she pulled out a rifle of her own. She went to untie Hercules. When no one resisted - not even Draco - she looked up. Callisto was escaping through a back door.
"Where do you think you're going?" she asked, throwing her chakrum once more. It hit a long shelf over the door, and it tumbled down, blocking the door. The contents on the shelf were saddle making tools. Callisto cursed and turned back to Xena.
"I don't have time for this child's' play! I have work to do! Charles Darnay must die, I'll see to it!" Callisto looked at Draco. "Stay here and make sure no one leaves."
Everyone knew that she was wasting her breath on that last order.
Draco looked at Xena. "Don't make me hurt you, I don't want to."
"Why are you so nice about it? Your wife is a murdering witch, and you condone it?" Xena asked, discretely and carefully untying Hercules' bonds and ripping a hole in the net. She didn't look back at the door at which Callisto had left through.
"I didn't have a choice. You know, arranged marriages and all. Besides, I like being in power," Draco shrugged it off. He looked around and saw that the rebels were starting to wake up.
"Looks like the power doesn't like you much, though," Xena pointed out.
Draco pursed his lips but didn't answer.
Hercules stood up and stepped out of the net quickly, before anyone could notice.
"Didn't I ask that you stayed there?" Callisto stepped out of the shadows, a bloody dagger drawn. Xena's eyes went wide, all senses alert. She looked around for Gabelle. He was gone. Callisto noticed that Xena was looking for him.
"Oh, this?" Callisto said as Xena looked at the dagger. "Oops!" Callisto giggled.
Xena gave a disgusted look, and grabbed Hercules' arm, signaling that they needed to leave now.
"Don't walk away when I'm talking!" Callisto shrieked, throwing the knife. It whizzed past Xena's ear and stuck in the front door.
Xena swallowed, and Hercules winced.
There was a knock on the door. It was a quiet knock, and Callisto nodded for the nearest man to answer the door. All the rebels were awake now. Hercules knew that wasn't a good sign.
As the man started to walk towards the door, Xena stuck out her foot in his path. He stumbled, groaning. He chose the smart choice: he stayed on the ground.
Draco walked to go get the door. "Can't find good work these days," he mumbled to himself.
He opened the door - and was immediately knocked out.
Gabrielle Darnay stepped into view.
"Oh, was he a bad guy or good guy?" she frowned at the still body. Xena grinned at her daughter and ran out, Hercules on her heels.
"Where to next?" Gabrielle sighed proudly.
"Answer my question first: where did you learn to do that?" Mr. Lorry rubbed his wrists and neck.
"Atalanta has been a great maid all these years!" Gabrielle answered, Hercules understanding. Xena was quiet until she spoke up on their next destination.
"We need to get to the courtroom now. Perdicus' trial is being held there," Xena whispered to her two companions.
"How do you know? What's going on?" Gabrielle said hurriedly, panicking. She had followed Mr. Lorry here, thinking that something wasn't right. Mr. Lorry had followed Xena, thinking the same thing. Xena had followed Perdicus - KNOWING that something wasn't right.
"I saw Perdicus get grabbed as soon as he stepped near the saddle shop," Xena answered.
"Why didn't you do anything?" Gabrielle whined, hoping to get to her husband soon.
"I couldn't. I can't explain much, but me versus a thousand people just isn't a fair fight," Xena clenched her teeth and looked around at the town.
"Why did Callisto say something like that to me, too?" Hercules asked, furrowing his brow.
"Callisto is the leader of the people against the monarchy and aristocrats. She's the leader of the peasants, and she has a lot of say in the jury in France, and she also influences the people who go to the guillotine. She sends them there for her own revenge. She cares nothing for the people," Xena explained, still talking in a quiet tone.
Gabrielle wanted to hear no more. "I'll find a way to get on that jury," she said.
"No! There's no way you can. They want people with their point of view. Only former-prisoners of the Bastille are allowed on it," Xena said.
Hercules and Gabrielle looked at Xena with their eyebrows raised.
Xena sighed and nodded. "I need to go change into some different clothes."
"We call Perdicus Darnay, a French aristocrat, to the stand!" a member of the jury shouted. The crowed cheered and shouted, almost everyone mocking Perdicus.
The courtroom was crowded, and Gabrielle and Hercules sat towards the back, not wanting to be noticed. They didn't have a change of clothes, so they looked like the aristocrats they were.
"Traitor of our country! Kill him!" someone called out. A few laughed.
"Does anyone want to speak for him?" the judge called out to the jury. Their justice system was so mixed up.
"I do," Xena stood up. She took in the jeers and things thrown at her.
"Listen!" Xena called. Most of the courtroom fell silent at this juror's attempt to take control. "I was once a prisoner in the Bastille. I was rescued by the kind and generous people, Draco and Callisto Defarge," Xena shuddered at her lie.
People started at her, and a few started to whisper. Some nodded, while others were still. Gabrielle looked hopeful in the back of the room.
"Perdicus Darnay has married my daughter. Together, they are very happy. I don't want to break that feeling, and together, they are for you people, and agree with your beliefs," Xena stretched the little truth.
A few people clapped and cheered, while still, a few stayed motionless.
"I assure you that Perdicus Darnay would never think of spying in either country. He lives in England only because he never wanted to be near his uncle, Ares. We all know that Ares is now dead, and he has no problem with that," Xena finished.
From across the room, Perdicus cringed. Xena had to be careful on what she said. There was no telling on what proof someone could bring up.
"Jury?" the judge asked. They cheered and shouted two words:
Perdicus yelled for joy, and Gabrielle ran down that aisle and jumped into his embrace. As some guards untied him, he hugged Gabrielle tight.
"Perdicus! Are you all right? If they hurt you—" Gabrielle cried. Xena and Hercules looked on, smiling peacefully.
"I'm all right now that you're here!" he laughed.
Gabrielle held him tight.
"Where's little Gabrielle?" Perdicus asked, grinning.
"She's safe with Carton. He offered to watch her for the week," Gabrielle said, secretly thanking God for Carton.
"Well, then let's go home."
All four of them walked down the street towards the river, wanting to go home now. Perdicus promised he would never return to France. Gabrielle smiled at that, and could only hope.
"There he is!" someone called out. Xena, Hercules, Gabrielle, and Perdicus were all stunned when Perdicus was again tied up.
"What are you doing?" Xena asked, wanting to fight them. She knew if she did that, though, she would be against thousands of rebels.
"We have an arrest warrant," one soldier answered.
"Who signed it?" Gabrielle said, not letting go of Perdicus' arm.
"Callisto Defarge. She has proof of treason," and with those words, the soldiers grabbed Perdicus and dragged him off to the prison.
Gabrielle fell on the ground, sobbing. Hercules bent down to comfort her, and Xena stood still, watching them leave. Her heart had skipped a beat.
No. They couldn't have found it…
"Perdicus Darnay is called to the stand!" it was a month later, and the same judge that judged Perdicus' earlier trial was here again. He sighed. The days seemed longer lately.
"State your case, madam," the judge nodded towards Callisto. Velaska, who was sitting right next to her master, grinned wildly. Callisto stayed calm and unfolded a few pieces of paper.
She walked up to the stand.
"I have proof that Perdicus Darnay, nephew of Ares St. Evremonde, is a traitor and deserves to die!" Callisto screamed, holding the stack of paper high.
Gabrielle immediately started to cry, and Xena held her in her arms. Her daughter was suffering more than Perdicus was. They all knew the fate of her husband. Mr. Lorry sat still, sad yet calm.
"I will summarize these papers, because I would be ashamed and embarrassed to read it aloud! This is a terrible thing to write, and an even worse thing to admit to doing!" Callisto shouted. The crowd started to get rowdy.
"It says in this paper, which I will post on the wall, that Xena Manette killed my family!" Callisto faked a few tears. Brushing them away, she began the bulk of her speech.
"I was only three when it happened. Dr. Xena Manette was practicing medicine here in France. She is older than me by fifteen years. It was the beginning of her career, and her studies included practices.
"My family was sick with the plague, and I was the only one of us who had not caught it. Therefore, I was adopted by a family, the Defarges. Xena claimed that she could cure my family with a new vaccine that had come out. She forgot to tell us of the other risks. My family got over the plague immediately, but then caught the small pox disease. She said that this rarely happened, and that it was an accident. My family died painfully and slowly!
"I have in these papers, proof of this incident! She was foolish enough to start an autobiography in her cell in the Bastille! At the end of her paper, she cursed the St. Evremondes! She knew where the aristocrats and peasants were headed! They were headed to war, and she said it! She never wanted to associate with the higher classes, and as for her time on earth, she said, 'good riddance'!"
The crowd was in chaos now. Callisto grinned inside and continued:
"Yet at the end of her little 'story', she wrote the words: 'recalled to life'. She supposedly wrote these as we, the Defarges and peasants, were breaking into the Bastille, saving her life as well as others'! She had officially said that she owed us her life. Well, if we can't have hers, we'll take her son-in-law's!" Callisto finished, and the crowd was incredible.
"Jury?" the judge asked.
"Guilty!" was the dreaded word. "Guillotine!"
No one could calm them down. With many tears, Gabrielle rushed to see her husband.
"Get back!" a soldier called to Mrs. Darnay. She looked at him with red eyes.
"Can I not see my husband for the last time?" she cried.
The soldier hesitated and then nodded, making sure the judge was not watching as the Darnay's hugged and kissed.
"Do not fear for me, but do mourn a short while. Take care of little Gabrielle. Tell her about me," he parted with Gabrielle, mouthing that three-letter phrase. Gabrielle returned the love.
She rushed out, crying. She wanted to go home, but she wanted Perdicus to come with her.