XENA - ANOTHER SEASON 5 - Episode 11

OF CATS AND DEMONS

by Andreas Hloupy (andreas.hloupy@siemens.at)

Follow the whole TV-like series on http://members.tripod.com/XENA_Another_Season5/index.html

Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

NOTE: All works remain the copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent

 

EXT. Grain Field - DAY

A grain field on a seemingly endless plain near a big river, pyramids rise in the background. The crop stands thick and at least 3 feet high. Farm workers, only wearing loincloths, work hard on the irrigation. A women carries water from man to man.

Suddenly high-pitched shouts can be heard. A group of men and women, wearing green robes and carrying lit torches, storm into the field, attacking the workers. Most of them run, but some, are too slow and are struck down by the attackers.

When no worker is left, the fanatics set fire to the grain, throwing the torches into the field. Within seconds the whole field burns, while the attackers move a safe distance away.

One of them is caught in the flames and cries for help, but nobody turns back for him.

A man (CAT CARRIER NUMBER ONE), also in green robes, with a black cat in his arms, stands close by, watching the burning field with great satisfaction.

CUT TO:

EXT. GRAIN FIELD - SUNDOWN

The fire has burned down, only smoke is left. In the background there is more smoke rising from other burned fields, while the sun sets behind the pyramids.

CUT TO:

EXT. WOOD - DAY

GABRIELLE lies on the ground, concentrating intently, slowly advancing while trying to avoid any sound. She carefully moves aside loose wood, then freezes when a snake crosses her path.

She wears boots, a brown, knee-length skirt with extra parts in front and on the back that reach down to her feet, short rust-red top and brown leather straps around both lower arms. Her chobos, two wooden fighting sticks with leather gripping, are held together by a loop of rope and carried on her back.

Finally she can move on, closing in on a rock, approximately 3 feet high, with a little bowl resting on top. Only a inches separate her from the rock when a high-pitched sound can be heard – a Chakram is closing in.

Gabrielle

Not again!

The Chakram hits the bowl, topping it over and the water in it pours over Gabrielle. She turns around on her back and lies flat on the ground. A shadow moves in front of her face.

Gabrielle

When did you hear me come?

Xena (OFF)

I think it was when you stopped to get a leaf out of your hair. That’s a very distinctive sound.

Gabrielle

How do you do that? I was more cautious than Zeus while cheating on Hera.

XENA (OFF)

Gabrielle, I heard you all the way, even when you stopped for the snake. I’m sorry, that’s just the way I am.

Gabrielle sits up and looks at her friend. XENA actually had her eyes covered the whole time with a cotton bandage she now takes off. She wears dark-blue leather trousers and knee high black leather boots. Over a hard black leather top she wears an open, armless coat made of large patches of dark-blue leather and light gray cotton parts, stitched together and padded. She has a sword on her back and the Chakram is back on her belt.

Xena

But it’s okay. I know you, I know every sound you make. It isn’t really a fair test. Actually, you’re quite good already, you can almost spy on someone all by yourself.

Xena helps Gabrielle on her feet. The bard starts to remove dirt and leafs out of her clothes and her wet hair.

Gabrielle

(smiling)

Yeah, as if you would let me do that.

Xena

Gabrielle, you have to trust me. Promise me that you'll wait until I say you’re ready. To go right into the enemy’s lair, spy out his dearest secrets and get out unseen is a tough thing to do, even with livelong experience. Only one failure might be enough to end your career quickly.

Gabrielle

I'll wait until you say I’m ready if you promise me you will actually say it.

Suddenly, Xena pulls out her Chakram and throws it in one fluid motion. It cuts through an arm thick branch and returns to Xena’s hand after hitting a few more trees. The branch, a few inches thick, doesn’t fall immediately, still connected to the tree by a bit.

Gabrielle

What evil has it done to the world?

Xena

Nothing.

Gabrielle

Then don’t change the subject.

The last hold of the branch breaks, it falls to the ground and a short, painful shout can be heard.

Xena

But I’m not so sure about the guy hiding there.

Xena and Gabrielle walk over to the fallen branch where a man gets up after pushing it aside. The MESSENGER is scarcely dressed and unarmed. He is carrying a scroll.

Xena

You better have a good reason for sneaking around here.

Messenger

(angry)

Your little friend didn’t seem to need one!

Gabrielle

I told you, it was a bad idea to do it out here … where anybody can walk in on us.

Xena

You wanted it …

(turning to the MESSENGER)

… but that’s not the point. Who are you? You better speak up and fast, or else your curiosity has bought you a one-way journey to Tartarus.

The Messenger hands Xena the scroll.

Messenger

(bowing)

I’m only a humble servant to my queen and mean no harm. She sends me to give you this message.

Xena grabs the scroll and takes a quick look at the writing. Gabrielle peaks over her shoulder but gets disappointed when Xena puts the scroll down before she can see anything.

Xena

We’re taking a little trip!

Gabrielle gives Xena a questioning look.

Xena

Egypt!

CUT TO:

INT. Mark Antony’s PALACE - DAY

MARK ANTONY, dressed with a leather loincloth and having the rest of his body oiled, stands in the middle of a round fighting ring, his eyes closed. The voice of a CENTURION can be heard from the side.

Centurion (Off)

We have a few problems in the north … two of our forts were attacked. The local commander asks for more troops.

Before Mark Antony can answer, a SLAVE also dressed in a loincloth and with a well-oiled body, attacks him from behind, trying to get a grip on him. While Mark Antony talks, the fight goes on, with Mark Antony dominating the whole time.

Mark Antony

Well, then we will send more troops. And the first thing they have to do is to execute that obviously incompetent commander. Then they will raze ten villages for every fort that was attacked. And you will find me a better commander.

Centurion (OFF)

Of course.

Mark Antony

Anything else?

Mark Antony throws the slave across the ring and waits for his next charge.

Centurion (OFF)

There is news from Egypt. They seem to be having problems with a local cult, burning down their crop. Well, that will keep Cleopatra occupied for a bit.

Mark Antony is distracted for a moment, enough time for the slave to get him into a tight grip. With one fluid motion Mark Antony frees himself, moves behind the slave and strangles him. While Mark Antony and the Centurion continue to talk, the slave is slowly suffocated, not able to free himself.

Mark Antony

You’re forgetting that the city depends on Egyptian grain. And no matter how strong your armies are, if you let Rome starve, Rome will find a way to get rid of you.

Centurion (Off)

So we shall actually send help?

Mark Antony

No. We will do much more than that.

With one last jerk Mark Antony breaks the neck of the slave. He releases his grip and lets his body fall down.

Mark Antony

Make my ship ready. I will personally oversee this matter.

Centurion (Off)

I will see to it immediately.

The Centurion can be heard moving away while two slaves enter the ring and carry the dead one away. Mark Antony follows them with his eyes while a new slave fighter, dressed similar to the first, climbs into the ring, looking scared.

Mark Antony

(to himself)

We’ll take a little trip!

Mark Antony stares at the new fighter for a few seconds, than motions him to leave. The slave is visibly relieved and hurries away.

Mark Antony

(to himself)

Egypt!

CUT TO:

Title

 

In a time of ancient gods ... warlords ... and kings ...

... a land in turmoil cried out for a hero!

 

She was XENA ...

... a mighty princess, forged in the heat of battle.

 

The power ...

The passion ...

The danger ...

Her courage will change the world!

 

CUT TO:

EXT. The void - Darkness

There is total darkness … and total silence … except for two voices.

Demeter

You can't do that, Hades!

Hades

Why? Others did it, too.

Demeter

It's wrong!

Hades

Don't criticize my selection … look at your own. Iambe might be your best priestess … but she's no warrior.

Demeter

At least she's not dead.

Hades

Theseus is one of the greatest heroes Greece has ever born … only just because he lives in the underworld instead of your precious soil doesn't change his worth.

Demeter

You allowed that … you made the afterlife a joke to be laughed at.

Hades

You and the other gods were the ones influencing my domain … and I stopped that. But now the situation is different … there are mortals you can't replace, even when they are dead.

Demeter

Still … it's wrong to let dead heroes fight our war.

Hades

The others will do it, too. Actually, it was already done. Death is not the end … it's just a change of address.

CUT TO:

EXT. Port of Alexandria - Day

The port looks very busy, many people are working, passing by or simply watching. A lot of Egyptian soldiers can be seen. XENA leaves a ship followed by GABRIELLE.

Xena walks up to an Egyptian soldier and shows him Cleopatra’s scroll. Gabrielle stops next to her.

Xena

Good soldier, we're here by invitation from your queen. Would you please inform her …

The soldier stares at Xena (actually past her) and before she can end her speech he turns and runs away in a hurry. Xena and Gabrielle look at each other.

Gabrielle

Is this a good sign or a bad one?

Xena

When I know, I'll tell you.

Mark Antony (OFF)

Maybe I can answer that.

Gabrielle and Xena turn around to face MARK ANTONY, in armor and on a horse, escorted by a large group of Roman soldiers. The area around the two groups empties in a matter of seconds.

Xena

Gabrielle.

Gabrielle

Yes?

Xena

It’s a bad sign.

Gabrielle

Thanks.

Mark Antony

What a pleasant surprise. Why do I get the feeling that you have something to do with the local problems?

Xena

Maybe for the same reason I do.

Mark Antony gets down from the horse and steps towards Xena. His soldiers stay close.

Mark Antony

So, Xena, you’re back in the business. But threatening the food supplies of Rome … don’t you think that’s out of your Arena?

Xena

I don’t know what by Tartarus' darkest corner you're talking about … but no matter what your plan is … it won’t work. Guess what … your nemesis is in town.

Mark Antony

I wouldn’t call you nemesis … I would call you nuisance. But even while I find talking to you very amusing, I think it’s best we continue this at another time – maybe in Rome?

Mark Antony gestures his soldiers and they form a ring around Xena and Gabrielle while Mark Antony himself moves back a few steps.

Xena

You should have brought a few more legions for that job.

Mark Antony

These are the best soldiers of Rome. I think they can handle one woman.

Gabrielle

Aren't you forgetting something?

Cleopatra (Off)

Let’s see if they can handle me.

Everybody turns to see CLEOPATRA, on a huge, open sedan, carried by a dozen slaves. A large force of Egyptian soldiers guard her. By now the port is empty except for these three groups (Xena/Gabrielle, Mark Antony, Cleopatra) facing each other.

Mark Antony

Queen Cleopatra, how good to see you. I greet you in the name of the Roman – Egyptian friendship.

Cleopatra

Cut it, Mark Antony, we are allies because we cannot afford a war against each other, but we’re no friends. Xena on the other hand is my honored guest and you will respect that.

Mark Antony doesn’t look too pleased, but he gestures his soldiers to fall back, which they do quickly.

Mark Antony

Of course. I’m here to offer you help in your current predicament. I wouldn’t want to upset you in any way.

Cleopatra

So you’ve heard already … and now you’re afraid we'll reduce your grain supply. Well, if you want to help then that’s okay with me.

Xena’s look darkens, than she turns and walks towards the ship she just left.

Cleopatra

Xena, where are you going?

Xena stops.

Xena

Now that you have Mark Antony’s support, you won’t need us anymore.

Cleopatra

Xena, my country is in great turmoil, we need every help we can get. Please, stay. Wouldn’t it be a shame to waste such a long trip?

Gabrielle looks at Xena.

Gabrielle

I certainly could use dry land beneath my feet for a few days.

(only to Xena)

I know it will be hard to be at the same table with Mark Antony, but he seems to be on the right side for a change.

Xena looks less than convinced, but finally she walks back towards Cleopatra, passing Mark Antony.

Xena

Okay, we’ll see. But maybe you could let us now know about the problems you have. Your scroll wasn’t very specific.

Cleopatra

Let me show you.

CUT TO:

INT. Dungeon - Day

XENA, GABRIELLE, MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA are standing in front of a cell door, a few guards waiting in the background. Inside the cell one man is chained to the wall (it’s CAT CARRIER NUMBER ONE). His green robe looks shabby, he was obviously been handled quite roughly.

Cleopatra

These fanatics believe they are acting in the name of Sekhmet, the lion headed sun goddess. They burn fields and villages, without plan or reason. They kill everybody who gets in their way, but if they succeed in destroying this year's harvest, they will be responsible for many more deaths.

Mark Antony

Maybe they are supported by one of your neighbors, one that thinks a weak Egypt may fall into his hands, sooner or later.

Xena

Seems like one of your plans.

CLeopatra

No neighboring country would profit from an Egyptian wasteland. I don’t believe there is a foreign influence.

Gabrielle

You said that he is only one of many captured – haven’t they run out of men?

Cleopatra

No, they seem to recruit constantly. When we capture one, two others seem to join. We haven’t found their leader yet and none of the captured has told us anything so far.

Mark Antony

You can’t be serious. Ten minutes with one of my men and they would sing us the names of their leaders to any tune we choose.

Cleopatra

Feel free to try.

Cleopatra gestures towards the cell, but before Mark Antony can react, Xena steps forward.

Xena

Let me do it.

Gabrielle

She’s really good at this.

Mark Antony

She has many skills.

Xena enters the cell and steps in front of the prisoner. She crosses her arms and let her look go over his body. Then, with one lightning fast move, she does her deadly pinch.

Xena

I’ve blocked the flow of blood to your brain. In a minute you will be dead. Just blink an eye if you want to tell me something.

Xena waits, while the fanatic shows not the slightest sign of submission. Xena’s look changes to surprise, than anger. Only moments before the prisoner would die she releases the blood flow. Without another word she turns and storms out of the cell.

Mark Antony

They are really devoted to their cause. But we’ll find one that talks or we’ll kill them all. I will send out my soldiers.

(towards Cleopatra)

Of course, only if you allow.

Cleopatra

All of my soldiers are out there to either hunt the green monsters or to protect vital places. We could use a few more hands.

Xena

Still, that might not be enough. Maybe they would talk but can’t. Somehow I have the feeling that an unnatural force is behind all this.

Cleopatra

You don’t give us much hope. If we cannot find the center of this cult what chance do we have to stop it?

Xena and Mark Antony exchange looks, they seem to have the same idea.

Xena

We could infiltrate them. Someone could try to get recruited by them and find out what’s behind all this.

Mark Antony

But who would be crazy enough to try that. If they find out about the imposter, they certainly kill him … or her … in a most unpleasant way.

Xena

Hold your breath. I’ll do it.

gabrielle

Xena! That’s too dangerous.

Cleopatra

I could never ask this from you.

Gabrielle

You don’t even look Egyptian.

Mark Antony

I’m sure a little makeup and the right dress can change that.

Xena walks over to Cleopatra.

Xena

We have to do something. And I think this is our best chance.

(towards Gabrielle)

Don’t worry, I can take care of myself. I’ll just find their hiding place and than Mark Antony’s soldiers can show their skills.

Gabrielle

Let me guess. I shall stay behind and guard the queen, look out for disarranged tapestry or something. I thought we are past this.

Xena

I need you to get me out of there if something goes wrong.

Gabrielle

(skeptical)

Sure.

Xena gives Gabrielle her best "evil" look.

Xena

But don't worry. I can play a maniac.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

The Temple of Sekhmet is basically a circle of stone pillars, placed in the middle of a mountain valley. There is almost no vegetation of any kind, the ground is made of sand. The sun burns down heavily. There is a group of at least 20 green robed fanatics in the circle, one stands near a slightly larger pillar, with the symbol of the sun carved into it. He carries a cat (it’s the same cat and he is CAT CARRIER NUMBER TWO).

A group of new recruits waits outside the circle and walks in one by one. They step in front of the cat carrier, who seems to look at them for a moment, then two other cultists dress them in green robes and lead them away.

Finally, the last recruit steps forward. It’s a woman with a simple white cotton dress. It’s XENA.

She steps in front of the cat carrier and looks straight into his face. His look is blank, he just seem to stare past Xena. Just then a flash of light blinds Xena, who has to close her eyes for a moment.

CUT TO:

ExT. Savanah - Day

When XENA opens her eyes again, she stands on a plane with scarce vegetation. The sun burns down and she has her normal armor on, but no weapons. Before she can be too surprised, a loud roar can be heard.

Xena turns and sees a big lion running towards her, almost as if coming right out of the sun. Xena prepares for the impact but she is thrown back and the lion wrestles her to the ground. Then he stands proudly over his victim and lets out another big roar.

Another blinding light lets Xena close her eyes.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

Back in the temple, Xena is still standing there as before, in her white dress, her eyes still closed.

When she opens them, her look is as blank as the one of the cat carrier before. She doesn’t react when two cultist dress her in a green robe and lead her away.

Again we are left with a very satisfied looking cat carrier.

CUT TO:

EXT. Grain Field - DAY

Another grain field on a plain near the Nil. Apart from a few workers there is a group of Egyptian soldiers close by.

Suddenly high-pitched shouts can be heard, including a very familiar war cry. A group of green robed men and women, with XENA right in the middle, again carrying lit torches, run towards the field.

The soldiers immediately cut off the fanatics and attack. While they are able to hold their ground against the other cultists, Xena strikes them down one by one, until no soldier is left. The workers, in the mean time, have fled.

As before, with the resistance broken, the green robes throw their torches into the field and fires start immediately. Xena throws her torch too and seems to enjoy it.

A man (CAT CARRIER NUMBER TWO again), of course in green robes, with the usual black cat in his arms, stands close by, observing everything.

While the fanatics watch the fire for a few moments, Mark Antony’s soldiers appear in their back. The COMMANDER pulls out a little parchment, looks at it and then he lets his look wander across the green robed figures. When he sees Xena he takes another look at the parchment, which actually shows a drawing of the warrior princess. Satisfied he puts the paper away.

COMMANDER

(shouting)

Get them, dead or alive. But don’t harm that woman. For Rome!

The soldier’s charge while the green robes turn around surprised. The black cat immediately jumps down from the arms of her carrier and races away, while the fanatics try to defend themselves as best as they can, but they have no chance against the soldiers.

Xena has also turned around, battle ready. But nobody attacks her and she just stands there for a few seconds while everybody around is fighting.

Then, finally, Xena lets out her war cry and jumps right into a group of Roman soldiers. The first one raises his sword, recognizes her and lowers his weapon again. Xena takes the sword out of the hand of the surprised soldier and hits him across the face. Than she attacks the next one, surprising him too.

The commander watches smiling, as his troops slaughter the fanatics, but his smile vanishes when he sees Xena fighting his men. He pulls out his sword and storms towards the growing number of men trying to capture Xena without hurting her.

COMMANDER

If she is seriously injured you all end up in the Arena as food for the lions. Get her, what are you waiting for?

By now, a dozen soldiers surround Xena, but they avoid the raging warrior princess. She acts like a cornered animal, attacking in blind fury anything that comes close.

While the black cat watches from some distance, four soldiers bring forward a net. They manage to throw it over Xena and then all the remaining soldiers charge, wrestling her down.

Quietly, a green robed figure appears (CAT CARRIER NUMBER THREE), takes the cat into his arms and walks away.

CUT TO:

INT. Dungeon CELL - NIGHT

The cell is a large room with stonewalls, a low stone ceiling, a wooden door and a single metal barred window. It is surprisingly clean, approximately 20 wooden beds stand along the wall. A dozen green robed prisoners are here, XENA among them. They all wear heavy chains on their arms and legs.

While most of the others sleep, Xena is standing at the window and uses a little stone to draw a sun next to it on the wall. Her look is as blank as it was during her initiation.

Without warning the door opens and light floods into the room. Guards throw a green robed fanatic into the cell and then take a look around.

COMMANDER (OFF)

Take her next. The one by the window.

Two guards storm into the cell and take Xena between them. She offers no resistance while she is dragged out of the cell. The other fanatics don’t react at all.

When Xena is gone the last guard takes another look, then he turns away and closes the cell door behind him. It’s dark again. Another cultist picks up the stone Xena has dropped and continues her drawing. On the other side of the window a drawing of a cat is already finished.

CUT TO:

INT. Interrogation room – NIGHT

The interrogation room has a big wooden table in the middle, with ropes on all four corners and traces of fresh blood all over it. On the wall a large selection of torturing tools is displayed. In all four corners there are metal braziers which give the room some light.

XENA is brought in by the guards and the COMMANDER, who gestures the guards to leave after they have placed Xena next to the table.

After they have left, the Commander closes the door and positions himself in front of it.

Mark Antony (OFF)

Well, your mission seems to have been a success. You’re wearing a green robe and you’re still alive.

Gabrielle (Off)

Xena, I was worried sick. We didn’t hear from you for a full week.

MARK ANTONY, GABRIELLE and CLEOPATRA come out of the shadows and form a half circle in front of the warrior princess. Xena doesn’t react.

Cleopatra

I’m happy you made it back. No matter what you have found out, I think it’s best to end this, now.

Mark Antony

If I may remind everybody, Xena resisted her capture. By the way, my soldiers are not pleased. But I’m sure you wanted to keep your disguise and that would mean there is still some information that can be gained out of that.

Gabrielle

Xena, what did you find out? Maybe it’s enough already.

Xena

You have to let me go so I can fulfill my mission.

Mark Antony

Well, there you go. She wants to go back. I say we beat her up a little bit and put her back into her cell.

Gabrielle

Beat her up? Are you crazy? I won't allow you to touch her.

Mark Antony

If we put her back into the cell untouched, they'll get suspicious. Don’t forget, it’s Xena who wants to go back.

Xena

You cannot harm me.

Mark Antony

You see, she isn’t afraid of a few bruises to reach our goal.

Cleopatra

We should respect her wishes. She is an experienced warrior and knows what to do.

Gabrielle

But she isn’t going to accomplish anything from inside that cell. Why hurt and imprison her if nothing will come of it.

Xena

Nothing will hold me in here.

Mark Antony

It seems Xena has set her sights on a little prison escape. When we reduce the guards and temper with her chains a little bit, that shouldn’t be too hard. And in a few hours she is out of here, spying on the cult again.

Cleopatra

Well, that settles it. But if you don’t find something during the next few days I want you to return to discuss other options. Even you cannot pretend to be a cultist for that long.

(to Mark Antony)

Be very careful. If she gets injured you have made yourself a powerful enemy. And I don’t mean Egypt.

Cleopatra lays an arm around Gabrielle and leads her a few steps away while Mark Antony moves in front of Xena.

Mark Antony

Believe me, warrior princess, this hurts me a lot more than it hurts you.

After a few moments of silence, he hits Xena hard across the face, than into her stomach and finally across the face again.

Xena doesn’t show any sign of emotion or pain, even as blood runs over her face.

Xena

You’ll have to do better than that.

Mark Antony

(into Xena’s ear)

Believe me, I would if I could.

Mark Antony steps back and motions the commander to take care of Xena. The commander steps forward, grabs Xena’s arm and drags her to the door. When they move past Gabrielle she steps forward and grabs Xena’s shoulder, giving her a loving, caring look.

Xena stares into her face without a sign of emotion or even recognition. When the commander finally leaves with Xena, Gabrielle is left behind looking puzzled and disturbed.

CLeopatra

I hope she knows what she is doing.

Mark Antony

She’s one tough little soldier … I wouldn’t worry about her. You put her deep in the ocean ground and she will find a way out while teaching Neptune’s creatures some manners.

Mark Antony offers Cleopatra his arm and leads her out of the cell. Gabrielle stays behind for a moment, thinking. Then she follows, closing the door behind her.

CUT TO:

INT. Dungeon CELL - NIGHT

Everything is silent in the cell, all the prisoners seem to be asleep. After a few moments the cell door opens and a green robed figure is thrown into the cell by two guards.

GUARD

Which of those filthy bastards should we take next?

Suddenly, XENA moves out of the shadows next to the door right in front of the guards. Her chains are gone.

Xena

How about me?

The guards try to close the door but Xena steps forward and blocks their effort. Next they draw their weapons, but Xena isn’t impressed.

While the fanatics all stand up in the cell and form a group close to the door, the sounds of Xena fighting the guards can be heard. Then, Xena comes back into the cell, dragging the two guards behind her on the ground. They are both unconscious.

After she placed them in one corner of the cell she leads the group of green robed ones out.

CUT TO:

EXT. Rocky Plain - DAWN

The escaped prisoners, including XENA, march in a row towards some mountains. They look badly beaten and weak and no sound can be heard. They wander along like a group of Zombies.

When the first signs of morning appear there is suddenly some stirring in the group. Their heads go up and turn into the direction of the rising sun. The whole group seems to gain strength and confidence, they form a closer group and some start to speak, but to no one special and the words seem to have no meaning. They all start to walk faster. Suddenly Xena lets out her war cry.

CUT TO:

EXT. Rocky Plain - DAWN

A hooded figure walks alone, following the traces of the escaped prisoners. When the figure hears Xena’s war cry in the distance the head goes up and the figure listens for a moment.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

The Temple of Sekhmet is again filled with a group of at least 20 green robed fanatics, the CAT CARRIER NUMBER THREE stands near the slightly larger pillar with the symbol of the sun, of course carrying the cat.

CAT CARRIER NUMBER THREE

(shouting)

Disciples of Sekhmet, hear my words. The lion headed goddess has spoken to me and her message is clear. Burn! Burn the crops in the field!

Followers

(shouting)

Burn!

Cat Carrier number THREE

(shouting)

Burn the houses in the village!

Followers

(shouting)

Burn!

Cat Carrier number three

(shouting)

Burn in the name of Sekhmet!

Followers

(shouting)

Burn!

Cat Carrier number three

(shouting)

Burn the non-believers! Burn the infidels!

Followers

(shouting)

Burn!

Cat Carrier number three

(shouting)

Only the light that shines upon us shall remain! Only Sekhmet will remain!

The fanatics bring forward some torches and raise them towards the sky.

Cat Carrier number three

(shouting)

Sekhmet is blessing us all with this holy mission. We are the chosen ones. We are the instruments. We will cleanse the earth.

Suddenly all raised torches are lit. All the fanatics let out a triumphant shout, then they move out of the circle, running away from the temple in a few smaller groups to burn a few more crop fields.

The cat carrier number three is left behind, alone, but satisfied. After a few moments of silence he turns to leave the temple, but then the cat rises his head and seems to listen while the carrier stops.

Then he turns again, moving towards the other end of the temple, where rocky hills come very close to the stone circle. He stops just inside the temple, next to a pillar and waits for a few moments. Sounds of people coming closer can be heard.

Suddenly, the group of prison escapees, including XENA, appears between some rocks, walking towards the temple. When they are in front of the cat carrier they throw themselves down and touch the ground with their foreheads.

Cat carrier number three

Welcome back, children. You had to endure a lot in the name of Sekhmet, but now you are home again. Rest, for tomorrow you will once again strike fear into the hearts of our enemies.

The fanatics scatter around the temple, resting. But nobody moves into the shadows, everybody keep sits or lies around in the burning sun. Xena sits down with her back to a rock.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

XENA still sits at the rock as before, she has her eyes closed and slowly sways back and forth.

The rest of the temple is quite busy, there are now dozens of fanatics, sitting or standing in little groups together or simply laying around. Some of them prepare food, others talk or make torches for their next raid. CAT CARRIER NUMBER THREE stands close to one pillar and looks at a map, the cat sitting at his feet.

Suddenly Xena opens her eyes.

CUT TO:

EXT. Rocky Hills - DAWN

A hooded figure is slowly crawling up a rocky surface towards the top of the hill, trying to avoid all sound. She moves very cautiously and stops periodically to listen.

When she reaches the edge she carefully takes a peek, observing the Temple of Sekhmet on the other side of the hill. Then she moves away a few feet and rolls onto her back. Blinded by the sun, she puts her arm in front of her face.

Suddenly, a shadow moves in front of her and the hooded figure drops her arm. XENA, who has moved up behind the intruder and is the source of the shadow, grabs the hooded figure, drags her up and pushes her down the rocky hillside, away from the Temple. The intruder rolls down the hill and is not able to stop the fall until she reached the bottom of the hill. When she finally lies still, the hooded figure is unable to stand up right away.

Xena, in the meantime, has followed her down the hill and grabs her again. This time the figure rolls away, leaving the hood behind in Xena’s arms. The intruder is GABRIELLE and she has also lost her chobos with the hood.

Gabrielle

Xena, stop it … it’s me! I followed you.

Xena

You followed your doom.

Gabrielle can barely avoid a kick by Xena and scrambles back to her feet.

Gabrielle

Xena, are you out of your mind?

Xena

Sekhmet has opened my eyes and I will open yours, even if I have to rip them out of your head.

Xena starts to kick and hit Gabrielle furiously, the bard can only block or avoid part of the onslaught and gets hit quite hard.

Gabrielle

I knew it. Xena, they brainwashed you. It’s me, Gabrielle … your friend.

Xena

I don’t have a friend. Friends make you weak and I need my strength to serve Sekhmet.

Gabrielle

Xena, you have to remember. We came here to help Cleopatra. You joined the fanatics to spy on them, not to fight for them.

Xena gets Gabrielle in a tight grip, bending both arms backwards.

Xena

Now you are going to die, slowly … so you can watch your own soul leaving your body.

Gabrielle

Wait. Sekhmet showed you the path, maybe I can be taught too.

Xena thinks about it for a moment.

xena

I was like you, an infidel and a disease on the face of the earth. But Sekhmet showed me, she showed me that the land has to be rid of all life, that the land has to be returned to her, to the lion-headed goddess.

Gabrielle

I want that, too. I can be useful, recruiting more followers for Sekhmet. I have a tongue of gold.

Xena releases Gabrielle and steps back a little bit. Gabrielle rubs her arms and tests her face for blood.

Gabrielle

So, what happens next? You bring me one of those nice green outfits?

Xena

We will go to the temple and Sekhmet will decide if you are worthy.

Gabrielle

Why not skip that part and I just go back to the city and recruit a few more followers for your … lion-headed goddess.

Xena

You follow me.

Xena turns and walks towards the temple.

Gabrielle grabs a fist large stone from the ground, runs towards Xena and than jumps into her back, hitting her hard with the stone on the head. Both women fall forward and lay still for a moment.

Gabrielle

Sorry, Xena, but I can't let you go back there.

Gabrielle jumps to her feet.

Xena

I’m sorry too, but I cannot let you live anymore.

Xena jumps to her feet too, blood running down her forehead. Gabrielle raises the stone again but Xena just tackles her and drags her to the ground. Sitting on top of her Xena grabs Gabrielle’s throat and starts to suffocate her while the bard tries to pry Xena’s hands open.

Gabrielle

(breathless)

Xena … please … you have to remember.

Xena

Save your breath … and die.

Gabrielle

(breathless)

Xena … remember our friendship … India … my sacrifice.

Xena’s expression changes for a moment, as if a faint memory had appeared.

Gabrielle

(fainting)

I love you.

Gabrielle closes her eyes.

CUT TO:

ExT. Savanah - Day

When GABRIELLE opens her eyes again, she stands on a plane with scarce vegetation. The sun burns down and she wears her normal outfit.

Only a few feet away XENA is standing, wearing her usual armor but still no weapons. She is looking in another direction. She watches a big lion that stands only a few yards away from her, looking at them.

Gabrielle

Xena. Xena, where are we?

Xena

We’re in Sekhmet’s realm.

Gabrielle

Xena, are you okay? I thought you’d kill me.

Gabrielle steps next to Xena and lays her hand on the warrior’s shoulder.

Xena

I would have. And I will, if we don’t break Sekhmet’s power over me. We just have this one chance.

Gabrielle

How did we come here?

Xena

You brought us here. No one else could have touched my inner soul and no one else could have followed me onto this plane. But we can talk later. Look at the lion … he represents Sekhmet. The only way out of here is winning or losing against him. But if we loose, Sekhmet has won.

Gabrielle

So you lost the first time.

Xena

You don’t have to rub it in.

Suddenly, the lion lets out a huge roar, than he runs towards Xena. With a big jump he tackles the warrior princess and brings her down. He stands above her and raises his head for another roar when Gabrielle jumps in from the side. She tackles the beast and entangled together they role over, away from Xena.

Xena jumps up and immediately attacks the lion, before he can harm Gabrielle. She tries to get his head into a tight grip while Gabrielle rolls away and stands up, a little shaken.

With one powerful move the lion shakes off Xena and then runs away a few yards just to turn again and watch his opponents.

Gabrielle helps Xena stand up. Both women are visibly hurt and weakened.

Xena

This won’t work … he's too strong.

Gabrielle

I never thought I'd ever hear that coming from you. We have to find a way.

Xena

I just said that we can't overcome him in an open fight, not that we should just give up. I never give up.

Gabrielle

That’s the spirit. So, what do we do?

Xena

I have no idea.

Gabrielle

What about pressure points. Do they work on animals?

Xena

Sure, but I don’t know where to apply them on a lion. I mainly studied people.

Xena raises her right hand, making a fist and than straightening two fingers, like she does for applying her pinch.

Xena

But still, I think I can find a place to put these. You just have to give me one good shot.

Gabrielle

Sure, no problem. In Rome they fight lions for sport, don’t they?

Xena

Yes.

Gabrielle

Do you know how often they win?

Xena

No. But this is not the time to calculate odds. Just do it.

That very moment the lion starts his next attack. He runs towards Xena again. Xena pushes Gabrielle aside.

Xena

Remember, one shot.

Gabrielle

Xena, don’t fight the wind, bend like the grass.

Xena has just time enough to nod before the lions tackles her again. This time, instead of trying to block the move, Xena let herself fall back. With a little help from her and his own momentum the lion rolls over the warrior princess and lands on his back a few feet behind Xena.

Xena and the lion scramble to their feet and face each other, only a few feet of distance between them. Suddenly, Gabrielle tackles the lion again from the side and rolls him over. But this time the lion can get Gabrielle beneath him and put both front paws on her shoulders to push her down. He opens his mouth and shows his array of impressive teeth.

Gabrielle

No!

Xena

Yes!

Suddenly, Xena jumps on the lion's back and grabs him with her left hand while her right arm is raised high above her head, two fingers straight. With one quick motion she pushes her two fingers into the left eye of the lion.

Xena and the lion roll away from Gabrielle, who lies still for a moment and then slowly stands up.

Gabrielle

Xena, are you okay.

Xena is lying beneath the lion, both don’t move. Gabrielle rolls the lion away from the body of her friend and then knees down beside her, taking Xena’s head into her arms.

Gabrielle

Xena, come on, you did it. The lion is dead. How do we get out of here?

CUT TO:

EXT. Rocky Hills - DAWN

Suddenly, Xena opens her eyes. She is still sitting on top of Gabrielle as before their little adventure on Sekhmet’s plane, her hands on the bard's throat. Gabrielle’s eyes are still closed. She seems unconscious.

Then, a few moments later, Gabrielle opens her eyes too. She looks into Xena’s face, still unsure if her friend is her old self again.

Gabrielle

Xena, do you recognize me?

Xena’s expression changes into a smiling, caring one.

Xena

Of course. I’m okay. Thanks to you. Again.

Gabrielle

Don’t mention it. It’s all in a day’s work for a good sidekick.

They stand up, both smiling.

xena

I can remember everything I did. I’m so sorry. I almost killed you.

Gabrielle

It’s okay. That wasn’t you. They made you do that.

Xena

I have hurt so many during the last week. It wasn’t all them, they just had to awaken something inside me and all the old feelings came back. You didn’t save me from them … you saved me from myself.

Gabrielle

We can reflect on that later, we have a cult to bring down.

Xena

You go back to Mark Antony and bring him and his soldiers to the temple. We will end this here and now.

Gabrielle

So their leader is back there?

Xena

Yes.

(unsure)

I think. This man seems to be the leader. But he isn’t the same one who was at my initiation. The Romans killed that one.

Gabrielle

So they just get another one if this one is captured or killed?

Xena

It seems so. But I still think he is the center of all this. There is something I've missed. There has to be.

Xena and Gabrielle stand there for a moment, silent, thinking.

Gabrielle

Maybe it’s the temple?

Xena

Some of the fanatics have told me that there is more than one temple and that the Egyptian army has already raided some of them. They just switch temples when necessary.

Gabrielle

And their leader!

Xena

It seems so.

Gabrielle

So what stays the same all the time? Maybe Sekhmet just takes over a new leader when necessary.

Xena

She hates humans … she just uses them. I don’t think she would choose that as her form of appearing.

Gabrielle

But there isn’t a lion in the temple, right?

Xena

The cat!

Gabrielle

What?

Xena

The cat! It’s the same one the first leader had.

Gabrielle

Maybe she just returned to the temple after her first owner was killed and now the new leader is taking care of her.

Xena

There is not a single animal used by the cultists … but their leader carries a cat wherever he goes? That’s not a coincidence.

Gabrielle

The way you put it, it doesn’t seem so far fetched anymore. So what do we do? Kill the cat?

Xena

You get the Romans and when they attack the temple I'll grab the cat. Then we can decide what to do.

Gabrielle

Feeling uncomfortable killing a god?

Xena

Been there, done that, wasn’t a nice ride.

Gabrielle hugs Xena, than she turns and walks away. After a few yards she turns to wave.

Gabrielle

Take care. I’ll be back in a flash.

Xena

I'll be glad when this is over.

Both smile and then Gabrielle turns again and continues on her way. Xena watches her for a few moments, then she turns and walks back towards the temple.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

Everything looks like before, the sun burns down on dozens of busy cultists. Their leader (CAT CARRIER NUMBER THREE) sits close to one of the pillars, eating. The cat seems to sleep in his lap. XENA has positioned herself close, only a few feet behind.

Suddenly, the sound of trumpets can be heard and all the cultist raise their heads, except for Xena, who continues to stare at the cat.

It becomes evident who made the sound when Mark Antony’s soldiers appear between the rocks, advancing in a tight formation right towards the temple. Two smaller groups of Egyptian soldiers run past them to the left and right to encircle the temple. MARK ANTONY, riding, follows the first line of the Roman soldiers, two men with trumpets and GABRIELLE right by his side.

When the cultist see the soldiers, they drop everything they are doing, arm themselves with anything that’s close and prepare themselves for the fight, letting out high-pitched war cries. The cat carrier does the same, but the cat clearly has other plans.

While the first fanatics exchange blows with the charging Romans the cat jumps down from its carrier and runs towards the other side of the temple. But Xena reacts immediately, throwing a blanket over the fleeing animal and grabbing both. With the wrapped cat under her arm she slowly steps away from the fight that has started at the edge of the temple.

The fanatics fall quickly at the hand of the Romans while the Egyptian soldiers close the ring around the temple and handle everyone that tries to escape their way. Xena, in the meantime, has reached the other end of the temple and watches the struggle of the fanatics. Mark Antony and Gabrielle, now both on foot, join her a few moments later.

Gabrielle

Xena, you made it.

Mark Antony

Impressive. You caught a little hairy feline.

Xena

Impressive, you slaughtered a few dozen helpless, brainwashed peasants.

Mark Antony

We don’t know which of them were given the special lion treatment and which of them are lunatics on their own behalf. But you have nothing to worry about, Cleopatra has already demanded that I capture as many of them alive as possible. She seems to believe the story of your brave, blonde bard.

Mark Antony is right this time, his soldiers actually try to take prisoners, just knocking the fanatics unconscious or taking away their weapons. While Mark Antony was talking, most of the cultists are already captured.

Gabrielle

We don’t know for sure that the cat is involved, but it sounded like the best explanation at the time.

Xena now has opened the blanket and the cat’s head is peeking out. The cat looks innocent, helpless and scared.

Xena

I admit, it sounded better in theory than it looks now in practice.

Mark Antony

(sarcastic)

What shall we do with that beast? Maybe we should put it in chains, or behead it right away, while we have the chance?

Gabrielle

We should take the cat to a priest, maybe he can tell us a little more.

Xena

That’s right, let the holy ones handle this affair. I think I had enough cult for now.

Mark Antony

(even more sarcastic)

They certainly will be very thankful for presenting them with a new pet. You certainly found the best solution for the problem at hand.

The soldiers have by now handled the situation, most of the fanatics are captured, with the rest dead. The COMMANDER steps to the talking group and addresses Mark Antony.

commander

The situation is under control. All the cultists are either captured or killed. Unfortunately their leader offered too much resistance … he didn’t survive.

Mark Antony

Thank you, Commander.

(to Xena again)

You see, at least some of us really do something to solve a crisis.

The Commander leaves to join his men again.

Gabrielle

Anybody can lead an army and let it do the dirty work.

Mark Antony

Ask Xena, I think she would disagree.

Gabrielle

She put her life on the line, she entered the lion's den alone.

Mark Antony

Nobody is knocking the effort. But I think the result leaves room for improvement.

Xena (OFF)

Can you two stop it for a moment? We have a little problem.

Xena, still with the cat in her arm, has turned her back towards Gabrielle and Mark Antony. She looks surprised and when the cat jumps down from her arm she doesn’t move to prevent it. The cat runs towards a figure that has appeared next to one of the stone pillars, directly in front of the sun. The cat rubs herself on the leg of the person that now becomes visible.

It’s SEKHMET, the lion headed goddess herself. She has the body of a warrior woman, very much like Xena, but she has the head of a proud female lion. Mark Antony, Gabrielle and Xena all stare at the Egyptian legend.

SEKHMET

Do you puny little mortals really think that you can stop my plan? This land has been infected by your kind long enough. May Ammut devour your soul.

Before anyone can react, a blinding light is emitted out of Sekhmet’s eyes and hits Xena, throwing her down.

CUT TO:

ExT. Savanah - Day

When XENA opens her eyes after the hit she finds herself on Sekhmet’s plain again. MARK ANTONY and GABRIELLE stand nearby. Xena and Mark Antony wear their respective armor while Gabrielle wears her usual attire - again nobody has any weapons. A few yards away from the group SEKHMET is standing, watching them.

Xena slowly scrambles to her feet, with the help of Gabrielle.

Gabrielle

I was hoping we'd never see this plain again.

Mark Antony

What is this? Where are we?

Gabrielle

Suddenly our story doesn’t seem so weird after all.

Mark Antony

Where is the temple? Where are my soldiers?

XENA

(weak)

We’re in Sekhmet’s realm. She has brought us here to overcome our will. Or to simply kill us. She seems in a very bad mood.

Gabrielle

How can a god be so cruel? Even Ares wouldn’t kill all living things.

Mark Antony

The gods need us the same way we need them. Who would build their temples, who would pray and sacrifice for them?

Xena

I’m not sure Sekhmet is ready for reasoning.

Gabrielle

We have won the fight before … we can do it again.

Xena

Back than it was just some minor representation of her powers, but now she is here in person.

Sekhmet

How right you are, mortal!

Again a blinding light comes out of Sekhmet’s eyes, this time much stronger than before. It hits Gabrielle and throws her through the air. She falls to the ground unconscious. Xena runs towards her body and knees down beside her.

Mark Antony

Stop this. I am Mark Antony, ruler over half the Roman Empire … I am almost a god amongst my people.

Sekhmet

Almost isn’t good enough!

Another burst of light and Mark Antony flies through the air like Gabrielle before him. He drops to the ground but scrambles to his knees moments later, weak but still alive.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

The Romans have surrounded the temple and stare in disbelief at what they see. A fire fills the area between the pillars, MARK ANTONY, XENA, GABRIELLE and a lion can be seen standing in the flames, untouched.

One soldier tries to enter the temple, but has to turn back from the very real flames.

CUT TO:

ExT. Savanah - Day

XENA still knees besides the unconscious GABRIELLE, MARK ANTONY, also on his knees, is only a few yards away. SEKHMET slowly advances towards the group.

Sekhmet

These Roman soldiers will be the right instruments to bring my vengeance over the mortal realm. Nothing can stop me now.

Mark Antony

No soldier of Rome will follow your insanity.

Sekhmet

The warrior woman thought the same, but her resistance was to no avail. No mortal's will can withstand the burning heat of the sun. Your buildings, your cattle, your crop, your very lives crumble to dust before the might of Sekhmet.

Bastet (off)

But the sun should give life, not take it.

Mark Antony, Xena and even Sekhmet turn their head in surprise. Another figure has appeared, close to Gabrielle and Xena. It is BASTET, which has the body of a women, dressed in a light white dress, but the head of a cat.

Mark Antony

Who is she now?

Xena

I don’t know for sure but Cleopatra has mentioned a second sun goddess besides Sekhmet, one with the head of a cat.

Sekhmet

Bastet! How dare you interfere!

Bastet

Do you really think I would let you destroy everything that my power helped to build?

Sekhmet

Try and stop me! I was always more powerful than you. My followers will heal the earth from the infection called life. Your followers will simply perish.

Bastet

As will your own. Don’t you see the insanity of your scheme?

Sekhmet

Who will miss those crawling worms? They where never my equal and never will be. No lesser thing will survive my wrath!

Another ray of flaming light leaves her eyes and hits Mark Antony, throwing him to the ground again, this times unconscious. Bastet steps in front of Sekhmet while Xena stands up and slowly walks towards those two.

Bastet

Stop this now!

Sekhmet

Try and make me! You were always proud of your softness, of your warmth. But why warm when you can burn and why lighten when you can blind.

Suddenly, Xena storms forward and tackles the lion headed goddess from the side. Both fall to the ground, but Sekhmet jumps up immediately and drags Xena up with her, holding her throat in a tight grip with only one hand.

The hand on Xena’s throat suddenly starts to burn and the skin and flesh of Xena burns, too. Xena, in obvious pain, lets out a silent cry, grabbing the hand with her hands, burning them also.

Sekhmet

For that you will die a thousand deaths.

Bastet (off)

For that her name will be praised a thousand years.

Bastet has come from behind and now lays her hands over Sekhmet’s eyes. Suddenly the plain falls into total darkness. Sekhmet’s cries out and tries to grab Bastet’s hands. Xena falls to the ground, finally unconscious.

CUT TO:

ExT. Tempel of Sekhmet - Day

The Roman soldiers still watch when suddenly the flames in the temple die down and only XENA, GABRIELLE and MARK ANTONY are left behind. All three of them stand where they have stood before and now open their eyes. The COMMANDER runs towards Mark Antony.

COMMANDER

Mark Antony, the fire. How could you survive the fire? The whole temple was burning! How could you survive?

Mark Antony

Collect your men and bring them back to Alexandria. We will leave Egypt tomorrow.

Commander

But the fire!

Mark Antony

The sun has burned away what little reason was left in you. How could I live when there was a fire? I don’t want to hear anything about it ever again.

The Commander, confused and terrified, stares at Mark Antony for a moment, but than he turns and runs towards his men to move them away from this strange place.

Gabrielle

You think there was really a fire in the temple?

Mark Antony

After what I have witnessed just now I wouldn’t be surprised if there had been a fire and we survived it somehow. But I won't give this thing too much thought. Egyptian gods quarreling over Egyptian lands, killing Egyptian peasants. I never should have come here in the first place.

Xena

At last something we can agree upon.

Xena knees down for a moment and takes the black cat, rubbing itself at her legs, into her arms.

Mark Antony

You handled this with instinct and courage. I have to admit that you were right.

Gabrielle

And you were wrong?

Mark Antony

I was just badly counseled.

Mark Antony turns around and walks towards a soldier holding his horse.

Gabrielle

So, everything’s all right after all.

Xena

This proves again, it’s not over until the fat bard sings.

Gabrielle

Who’s fat?

Xena

It’s just a saying!

CUT TO:

EXT. Port of Alexandria - Day

The port looks very busy again, but this time no soldiers are around. MARK ANTONY on a horse, CLEOPATRA on a sedan and XENA and GABRIELLE on foot form a little circle, surrounded by a few Egyptian guards and Roman soldiers. Cleopatra has the black cat in her arm.

Cleopatra

So I will allow a small following of Sekhmet, closely watched of course. And for Bastet I will build a new temple to thank her for saving my people. The life taking and the life giving powers of the sun … neither can be forgotten.

Mark Antony

(smiling)

Very wise. But now I must bid you farewell, my queen.

Cleopatra

I know your motives were not entirely selfless, but still I thank you for your help. If you are in trouble yourself one day, you are assured of the same care you showed me.

Mark Antony

The journey home will give me ample time to consider the meaning of your words.

(towards Xena)

For you, Xena, if nothing else it is always exciting to cross your path and therefore I’m looking forward to our next adventure.

Xena

I’m sorry, but I can't return the compliment. I live well without seeing you another time.

Mark Antony

Well, you can’t make friends with everyone, but I know we will meet again. For now I have to return to Rome; there are still wars to win and countries to conquer.

Mark Antony and his men turn and move away from the group, towards his ship.

Cleopatra

And I cannot persuade you to stay a little longer?

Gabrielle

I don’t look forward to a journey over sea but I’d rather be seasick than homesick.

Xena

Who could argue with that? But be assured that we will warmly remember your hospitality.

Cleopatra

It is sad that we only seem to meet in such dire circumstances. I have to invite you for a more leisurely visit soon.

Xena

A message from you will always be welcome, no matter what the reason.

Cleopatra

Good journey and good-bye. May your journey be swift and boring.

With this Cleopatra gives her carriers a sign and they lift the sedan and the queen, and her guards leave Gabrielle and Xena alone.

Gabrielle

An interesting farewell wish. I have to remember that.

Xena

And then you remember me when the first sea monster or pirate appears.

Gabrielle

If more people would wish us boredom, maybe we would stop having so many dangerous adventures.

Xena

People love to watch others fight deadly dangers … best while being safe themselves. This will not change tomorrow or in two thousand years.

Xena turns and walks towards a ship, anchored close by, followed by Gabrielle.

Gabrielle

What do you think happened to Sekhmet?

Xena

I try to not think about it. A powerful but crazy goddess, set to destroy mankind is not something I want to have in my mind before bedtime.

Gabrielle

What is it you want to think about before going to sleep?

Xena

I'll tell you when we are on board!

 


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