XENA - ANOTHER SEASON 5 - Episode 3

BURN, HEAVEN, BURN

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. Elysian Fields, Forest clearing - Night

The big forest clearing lies dark and empty under a clear but moonless sky.

After a few silent moments the silence is broken.

Xena (OFF)

(shouting)

Hades!

XENA breaks through the line of trees and runs towards the center of the clearing. She wears a white, toga-like dress and her hair is open. She looks angry – frustrated.

Xena

(shouting)

Hades! Show yourself!

When Xena reaches the middle of the clearing she stops, stands still for a moment and than slowly starts to walk around a small imaginary circle, looking towards the edge of the clearing.

Xena

(shouting)

Hades! I know you can hear me. I want to talk! Hades!

Xena stops still, quietly looking around for a few moments.

Xena

Show yourself … you sad excuse for a god.

(shouting)

Hades! Talk to me! Bastard!

Hades (OFF)

You seem upset, Xena.

The voice seems to come from behind her, close to the edge of the clearing. Xena whirls around and stares in that direction.

Xena

To afraid to show your face after you betrayed me?

There are a few moments of silence, than HADES appears, putting his helmet under his arm. He has a serious but indifferent look on his face.

Xena walks a few steps towards him.

Xena

Why?

Hades

The judges decided … there was nothing I could do.

Xena

Don’t give me that. You could have changed the ruling with a snap of your fingers.

Hades

How can I expect other gods to keep the rules if I can’t keep them myself? It’s a matter of principle.

Xena

So Gabrielle went to Tartarus because of a matter of principle?

Xena stops a few steps before Hades, all the time staring straight into his eyes.

Hades

Gabrielle went into Tartarus because the judges found her guilty … guilty of betrayal.

Xena

Gabrielle? She’s the most loyal, faithful soul that ever lived.

Hades

What about Ming T’ien? She betrayed you there, didn’t she?

Xena is baffled for a moment.

Xena

But that didn’t change anything. She did what she thought was right. Wasn’t she punished enough for that?

Hades

It almost ended your friendship.

Xena

But in the end it made it stronger. It became a part of our life. If I do not hold it against her, why do you?

Hades

Betrayal is taken very serious down here. Trust in one another is sacred.

Xena

And what about me? I killed, I looted, I destroyed … and I betrayed, I betrayed so often.

Hades

Your crimes weight heavy and I agree that you may deserve Tartarus, too. But you found mercy in the eyes of the judges and I accept that.

Xena

So you won’t give Gabrielle another chance?

Hades

No.

Xena

And you won’t send me to Tartarus, either?

Hades

No.

Xena turns away from Hades and looks to the ground. Her eyes close and her face shows a mixture of sadness and anger. She clenches her fists very hard – the knuckles turn white.

Xena

You … gods … you put us through a life of suffering … danger … loss … sometimes just for your entertainment.

Xena raises her head and opens her eyes.

Xena

I pity everyone who puts his fate in you. I’m sure you laugh when someone’s praying to you … sacrifices to you. You take delight in everything we hate and a pure soul like Gabrielle is yours to play with.

Hades

You think to low about us and about yourself. Yours is not a normal life and cannot be judged by normal measure. A common mortal prays to Zeus for good weather, to Ares for peace, to Poseidon for a quiet sea and to me for an easy death. But you served and helped us, you fought and hindered us … you walked amongst us. You … and Gabrielle … were not punished, you both were blessed with the gift of choice, the gift to hold your fate in your own hand, battle the will of gods … our will. That is what makes you … both … legend.

Xena

Then I will battle your decision.

Hades

It is over now, Xena. You have lived a full life … maybe not in length, but in meaning. Now you and Gabrielle have to accept your place … let it go, Xena.

Xena

(shouting)

Never!

Xena turns around and makes a few quick steps towards the place where Hades was standing. She has lifted her arms, poised to attack the god. But Hades has already disappeared and only his voice can be heard.

Hades

Don’t do that to yourself. You will never find peace when you cling to your old existence.

Xena stops and looks around.

Xena

Where are you?

Hades

Give yourself peace, Xena. This place has no room for your hate … your anger. It will be washed away if you give yourself a single moment of tranquility.

Xena

But I don’t want to. These are the Elysian Fields … they are supposed to reward you. How can I feel rewarded when Gabrielle is suffering in Tartarus … for all eternity?

There is a long moment of silence.

HADES

Maybe you’re not rewarded. Maybe this is your punishment.

CUT TO:

TITEL SEQUENCE

CUT TO:

EXT. Elysian Fields, Forest Clearing - Day

XENA is sitting in the middle of the same forest clearing. The sky is bright and blue now and a light wind moves the branches and the high grass. Xena has her head between her hands, slowly and slightly rocking forth and back, seemingly in deep thought.

After a few silent moments the silence is broken.

Lyceus (OFF)

(shouting)

Xena!

Xena doesn’t react.

Than first LYCEUS and right behind him MARCUS step into the clearing. Both are dressed in light, white clothes. When they see Xena they stop, look at each other – serious and worried – and than walk towards her. They stop a only a few feet away from her, next to each other.

Lyceus

Xena?

Marcus

Xena, are you all right?

Xena lifts her head to look at Marcus.

Xena

Sure, why shouldn’t I? I’m in the Elysian Fields!

(shouting)

An eternal existence of bliss and pleasure await me!

Xena jumps up and turns her back to the two men, folding her arms in front of her.

Lyceus and Marcus again look at each other. Marcus nods encouraging and Lyceus steps right behind Xena, talking close to her ear.

Lyceus

(quiet)

We know what you are going through, but there is no reason for guilt. Yes, some of the souls here died by your command or even by your own hand. But these are the Elysian Fields. You can find peace here, if you let it go.

Xena turns her head and stares at Lyceus. Her look is soft but sad.

Xena

(quiet)

Where did I hear that before?

Marcus

Xena, come, we want to show you something.

Lyceus raises his hand and strokes lovingly over Xena’s head.

Lyceus

(smiling)

You always cared more for others than for yourself.

(serious)

You might have lost your way for some time, but now you can forget all this. Those that you think will hate you want to meet you … show you that there is peace for you.

Xena

(quiet)

You still don’t understand?

Lyceus

What …

Xena brushes away his hand with a quick movement of her arm, turns towards him and than steps backwards.

Xena

(shouting)

You still don’t understand!

Lyceus

Xena, I …

Xena

(interrupting)

I don’t care for the forgiveness of my victims. I don’t care for peace. I don’t want to let go!

She looks really angry now, almost hateful.

Xena

Hades had no right to do this. Look at me. You might think my soul is right here … but she’s in Tartarus. All that is left is my pain, my hate. I can’t give up on that. It keeps me alive … it keeps my memories alive.

Lyceus looks worried and confused.

Lyceus

Why do you torture yourself?

Xena

As long as Gabrielle is banished to Tartarus I will not find peace.

(quiet)

Maybe I’m not rewarded. Maybe this is my punishment.

Lyceus

Let me help you. I love you … sister.

Xena silently stares into Lyceus eyes where tears are starting to form. Her look is cold, hateful.

Marcus

Xena, there is someone who might change your mind.

Xena turns and sees SOLIN standing right next to Marcus, dressed in a simple white toga. He looks worried, too.

When Xena sees him, her face becomes softer immediately. She seems to forget her rage and slowly walks towards her son.

She stops right in front of him and starts carefully stroking his hair. Tears run down her face as her look turns into peaceful sorrow.

Xena

I’m sorry.

Solin

It’s okay, mother. I forgive you.

Lyceus

Now you have to forgive yourself.

Xena turns her head towards her brother.

Lyceus

It’s not such a bad place to spend eternity.

CUT TO:

EXT. Tartarus, forrest - Night

GABRIELLE is sitting with her back to a dead tree, staring into the night. She is dressed in a simple, two-part outfit, which looks ragged and dirty. She seems to freeze, rubbing her shoulder and arms.

Right next to her TELCHIN, a small, haunted looking man wearing an old, dark robe, squats on the ground, staring at her.

The night is dark, no stars or moon can be seen but there is still some eerie light floating through the trees. Strange sounds of pain and sorrow come from everywhere.

Gabrielle

I think, we should try and make a fire.

Telchin

Wouldn’t work, no, would no way.

Gabrielle

Why can you be so sure? Of course, you’re here much longer then I am but still …

Telchin puts his head to one side and looks up.

Telchin

You see, everyone is tortured differently, everyone different.

Gabrielle

I know, but … wait! You can’t make a fire?

Telchin

Yes, no fire.

Gabrielle

That’s your punishment?

Telchin

Oh, more than that … I will never see flames again, never again. You can try to make a fire, try it, but as long as I am here … it won’t work.

Telchin looks back at Gabrielle.

Telchin

So you want me to go … than you can make fire.

Gabrielle looks back at him, almost smiling.

Gabrielle

No … it’s better to be cold than to be alone. The night will be over, eventually.

Telchin smiles back and than looks up towards the sky again.

Gabrielle looks at Telchin for a few silent moments, her look turning more seriously.

Suddenly her face shows surprise.

Gabrielle

Lila?

Telchin

What?

Gabrielle

I thought I heard … something.

Telchin

Something … or someone?

Gabrielle

Someone … but she’s still alive … I hope.

Telchin

We can hear the thoughts of the living … so nice to hear from the living. Nobody thought about me for so long, so long.

Gabrielle

I couldn’t understand it. It was just a … feeling.

Telchin

You have to give into these feelings, give them room, room in your heart, your soul.

Gabrielle

Then I will understand them?

Telchin

Yes, you understand. For some it’s the only consolation, for some it just adds to the torture, to all that torture. But many just shut them out, listen only to their own pain.

Gabrielle

I will listen …

(thoughtful)

… even if the one I would like to hear most isn’t amongst them.

Telchin

You mean your friend, the one you betrayed, that one?

Gabrielle closes her eyes and hides her head in her crossed arms.

Gabrielle

At least she’s in the Elysian Fields now.

Telchin

Oh yes, that’s good. That’s a good place.

Gabrielle

I wish so hard to be with her again, that it hurts. Do you think that’s what my punishment is all about? Separated from Xena?

Telchin

Could be, could well be. The torture is always different, always terrible. Sometimes it’s pain, sometime it’s loss, sometime it’s guilt … but it always hurts.

Gabrielle looks up and tears fill her eyes.

Gabrielle

I even wish for her to be here, here with me … how can I be so selfish?

Telchin

You have to forget, forgive. There is nothing you can do anymore, nothing we can do.

Gabrielle

She told me once that Tartarus holds only one horror for her … to be parted from me. Now I understand.

Telchin

She must like you, too, even so you betrayed her.

Gabrielle

We were past that. We both had made errors and while we could not forget … we could forgive.

Telchin

Gods never forget … and they rarely forgive.

Gabrielle hides her face again, sobbing. Telchin watches her for a few silent moments, serious.

Suddenly he seems to have an idea, jumping up.

Telchin

(excited)

I know, I know, that


Return to The Bard's Corner