Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4



ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT. WASHROOM. DAY.

Stepping out of the tub, Gabrielle winces as her feet make contact with the chilled floor. She grabs a piece of threadbare linen and starts to dry herself off, looking elsewhere as she does so, so as not to see what her body has become from months of misuse.

As dry as she can possibly make herself, she reaches for and dons her clothes, smoothing out the wrinkled fabric with the palms of her hands, and taking in a deep breath before releasing it as a weary, saddened sigh.

Taking a last look around the tiny room, she slings her pack over her shoulder and steps out into the dimly lit corridor, looking first left, then right, trying to decide on a direction. The scent of cooking food comes from the left, and though her stomach voices its displeasure, she turns in that direction, her promise to help these people spurring her on.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

The kitchen is small and crowded with people who give her blank, and sometimes reproving, stares as she passes by. Though no one is outwardly rude, itís obvious that sheís seen as just another unwelcome mouth to feed, and a foreign mouth at that.

The line moves forward, and she grabs a plate, holding it out as a washed out old woman ladles something undefinable onto it. At the end of the table are wooden mugs filled with cool water, and she grabs one, then shuffles away from the swarming mass of people, determined to find a quiet place to eat, but unsure where to find such a spot.

A hush falls over the room as a tall, thin, and dark man enters. He spots Gabrielle immediately and changes direction to come to her side.

AMUN
I am Amun, her Majestyís advisor.
A space has been prepared for
you. If you will follow me,
I will take you to it.

GABRIELLE
(gratefully nodding)
Thank you.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BEDCHAMBERS. DAY.

The space is surprisingly large.  Even more surprisingly, it is empty. Ten pallets are laid in orderly rows along the floor. Gabrielle is sitting in the one farthest from the door, in a semi-lit corner, her gear spread around her.

Away from prying eyes, she lays her mostly full plate on the ground and forgets its presence as she reaches into her travel bag and pulls out her scroll and quill. Unfurling the scroll, she stares down at it, willing the words to come, but her mind refuses to issue them.

GABRIELLE
Great. Even my
muse has left me.

She slowly rerolls the scroll and places it carefully back in the bag. Her hand brushes against the urn that carries Xenaís ashes, and after a small pause, she lifts the urn from its confines and sets it in her lap, both hands cradling it protectively.

She stares down at for a long moment, lost in thought, before lifting her head and blinking away tears of fresh grief.

GABRIELLE
(whispering)
Xena?

(pausing)

I know, wherever you are,
you can hear my thoughts.
And I want you to know that
even though weíre not together
right now, I still love you

(beat)

with all my heart. And I miss you.
More than you will ever know.

A teardrop falls on the urn, marring its pristine black surface, and she brushes it away with a careful thumb.

GABRIELLE
(cont'd)
I know you might not understand
why I asked you to leave. I donít
understand it myself, sometimes.
But I know that I need . . . this.
This time to be alone with my
thoughts. And my feelings.
And it hurts . . . so much.
But I know itís for the best.

(agonizingly whispering)

It has to be.

She breaks down for a moment, then gathers herself with the inborn strength so characteristic of her.

GABRIELLE
(cont'd)
I remember once, a long time
ago, when you tried to teach me
about healing. And you told me
that I always had to remember
to remove a bandage gently,
because if I moved too harshly,
I would reopen the wound, and
it would take longer to heal.

(beat)

Thatís what I am now, Xena.
An open wound.
And with you just . . . popping in
and out of my life like you were,
there was no way that wound could
heal. So I had to send you away, so
that I could heal. I only hope,
one day, youíll understand.

Lifting the urn almost reverently, she places a gentle kiss on the lid, then cradles it against her cheek.

GABRIELLE
(cont'd)
Remember once when I told you about
there being two kinds of tears, Xena?
The kind for those who leave you, and the
kind for those you never let go? Well,
I mean those words now more than
ever. And I wonít say goodbye, Xena.
Because weíll be together again.
One day.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MISTY LIMBO.

Xena turns and looks back and forth between the two choices. She takes a step toward darkness. Then she stops, a brow goes up and she looks over her shoulder at the light.

XENA
It can't be this easy.

(contemplating)

Choose wisely?

She looks back to the rock where she and the old man had been sitting.

XENA
(cont'd)
(questioningly)
Tries to hide from the light . . . .

She looks to the light.

XENA
(cont'd)
by seeking the darkness.
Of course, it's a test.
To find what I truly want,
the real answer is in the light.


With that she turns and walks toward the light. As she gets closer, it flashes.  It seems to envelop her and she disappears. Once she is gone, the light dims and grows black while the blackness grows brighter.

The stranger reappears and simply shakes his head as he looks first to the darkness that has swallowed Xena, then back at the now transformed bright light.

STRANGER
It was for the best, Xena.
(beat)
You know that in your heart.

 

CUT TO:

INT. DEPTHS OF HELL.

From within the very depths of Hell, LUCIFER stands hunched over what appears to be a flat-topped rock, cackling with glee at whatever it is heís seeing. Behind him, a heavy door opens with a loud squeal, and the sounds of footsteps echo in the cavern. He ignores the intrusion, and continues to look downward.

DEMON #1
(off camera)
My lord, we've brought you
a woman who was loitering
outside the gates.

LUCIFER
(still turned away)
Throw her in the pits with the others.
I'm busy.

DEMON #2
(off camera)
But, my lord . . . .

LUCIFER
I'm busy, I said! Now get out of
here before you join her!

XENA
(VO)
Aww, c'mon "Lucy".
Is that any way to treat an old . . . friend?

 

Hearing the voice, Lucifer spins, enraged. Xena is standing between two demons, looking listless and gaunt. Her eyes are soulless, dead, devoid of any emotion. Snarling her name, he flies across the room and grabs her around the neck, squeezing her throat with all of his strength.


Being a ghost, the maneuver isn't very effective against Xena, and, realizing this, he stops, but doesn't release her.

LUCIFER
Do you know how long I've
waited for this? How many times
Iíve dreamt of your eternal torture?

XENA
(dryly)
I've got a pretty good idea.

LUCIFER
And now, at last.
You're mine.
Body.
And.
Soul.

XENA
(conspiratorially)
I'd look into getting my dinars
back if I were you. You got
a pretty bum deal.

LUCIFER
(laughing)
Death hasn't changed you, Xena.
You're still the same bitch
with the rotten attitude.

He strokes her cheek with a long nail.

LUCIFER
(cont'd)
Youíll make a
lovely
little pet in my zoo.


Xena smiles, though itís devoid of humor.

XENA
I didnít know you were into
exhibitionism.

LUCIFER
(laughing)
Oh, Iím into many things, Xena.
Most of which you taught me.

(beat)

Now . . . why are you here?


XENA
(shrugging)
I was in the neighborhood.
Just thought I'd drop by.
Catch up on old times.
You know.

LUCIFER
I do. I do indeed.

(looking around)

And where's your tasty little girlfriend?
Iíd love to get my claws into her too.

XENA
(unconcernedly)
I died. She didn't. C'est la vie.

LUCIFER
(grinning)
Itís like that, is it?

Poor, poor Xena, doomed
to spend eternity alone while
her sweet little soulmate
continues on with a new
life, new love. Soon, you
wonít even be a memory.


Lucifer releases his grip on Xena and covers the place on his chest where his heart would be, if he had one.

LUCIFER
Kinda gets you right here,
doesn't it?

XENA
(unmoving)
Believe what you want.



LUCIFER
Oh, I will. I will.
An eternity of watching you suffer.
Iíd almost think it was a gift from

(pointing up)

ĎHimí.
You werenít exactly one of his
favorite people in the end, were you?

(off of Xena's silence)

Why are you really here, Xena?

XENA
(smiling)
Maybe I just wanted to go somewhere
where a dead chick like me can
still kick a little ass.


Lucifer's laughter fills the cavern. He slides an arm around Xenaís shoulders, pleased when she doesnít resist.

LUCIFER
You know, Iím tempted to
give you a personal tour of
my favorite hot spots,

(chuckling at his own humor)

but youíd probably
like that too much.

XENA
(shrugging)
What can I say?
I have many skills.

LUCIFER
Indeed you do. Skills Iím sure
I could put to good use. 
But itís not like I can
trust you, now is it?

XENA
You got me.

(beat)

I will admit, the last time we
were together I was a little . . . .

LUCIFER
(cutting her off)
Conniving? Traitorous?
Deceitful?

XENA
Just the type of person you
need down here. Come on,
Lucy. Give me another chance.

LUCIFER
A chance?!? You?? Like the chance you
gave me before betraying me and
throwing me down into this stinking pit??

XENA
(with heatedly)
Oh, come on, Lucifer. Tell me
youíre not enjoying playing King down
here. Lording it over everybody,
playing your sadistic little
games with their souls.

(beat)

Or did you really think you were
ever going to become anything more
than a second-rate angel? Still
answering to the top dog in the kennel.

(beat)

If anything, you should be thanking
me for doing you the biggest
favor of your life.

Lucifer releases his hold on Xena and crosses his arms over his belly, literally doubled over with laughter. Xena looks on, her face expressionless, as his mirth slowly plays itself out and he is able to straighten up once again.

LUCIFER
Xena, I hate you.
I hate everything about you.
But by everything unholy,
you are the most brazen being
I have ever met.

(beat)

I like that in a woman.

XENA
Iím glad you approve.

LUCIFER
Oh, I do. Not enough
to buy into the line of bull
youíre trying to sell me, but
I approve just the same.

XENA
What would it take to convince
you of my . . . sincerity?

LUCIFER
Let me get back to on that.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM. MORNING.

With a gasp, Gabrielle sits up from her furs, panting.  Her body and hair are wet with sweat. Her eyes, large and frightened, dart around the darkened room until they come to rest on the urn which sits to her right near her head. Her stomach twists in revulsion as the last remains of her nightmare flow from her waking mind period.  It's the same one sheís had every night since Xenaís death.  Her nightmare joins with the present reality, which speaks to the truth of her dream.

She grits her teeth against a rage building within. A rage that urges her to smash that complacent, silent urn. To smash it and scatter its contents to the four winds so that she never need look upon it again and be reminded that her reality is far worse than her dreams could ever be.

Instead, she takes the urn and pulls it to her in an almost desperate embrace as she wills her breathing to calm and her thoughts to quiet.

GABRIELLE
Time to get it together, Gabrielle.
You cannot keep simply existing
like this. You need to heal and
move forward with life.

(beat)

You will heal.

(beat)

All these people are counting
on you to help. And you canít
do that if youíre one step away
from falling apart all the time.

She takes a deep breath, then lets it out slowly. Her expression hardens to one of firm resolution, and she nods to herself.

Her hands are steady as she holds the urn up to the torchlight, and a small smile curves her lips as she brushes a speck of dust from the shiny finish.

GABRIELLE
(cont'd)
You always did like
getting dirty.

Sniffing away the last of her tears, she carefully stows the urn back in her bag, then rises up from her bed and slings the bag over her shoulder, determined that this day will end better than it began.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAPITAL CITY. DAY.

Gabrielle and Zenobia along with a handful of guards are walking through the city. Gabrielle is clearly disturbed by the destruction surrounding her. Fires still burn in various places, and the stench of death and decay under the hot sun is almost intolerable. Swarms of flies invade the city, and their annoying drone adds to the already dismal atmosphere.

GABRIELLE
Such a waste. It must have
been very beautiful once.

ZENOBIA
Very beautiful. It was a jewel
of my empire. One of many,
perhaps, but no less
precious because of it.

GABRIELLE
How could something
like this happen?

ZENOBIA
A common warlord. He calls
himself Brakus. He came from
the west. From your homeland.

GABRIELLE
(surprisingly)
From Greece?

ZENOBIA
Yes. He apparently heard
the legends of the gold in
our temples, and the treasures
buried with our fallen
Pharaohs and decided
to take some for himself.

GABRIELLE
But how could a common warlord
stand up against the might of the
Egyptian army?

ZENOBIA
(frowning)
That I do not know. He has bested us
at nearly every turn, invading at will. He takes
what he wants, and kills anyone who stands
in his way. Men, armed and unarmed,
women, children. It matters not to him.

Reaching out, Gabrielle plucks a piece of tattered, common cloth from the shattered spokes of a wagon wheel. She rubs the cloth between her fingers, deep in thought. Then she looks over the crumbling city wall to where the warlordís forces are still camped. Their bright, well made tents give a counterpoint to the enormous destruction within the city.

GABRIELLE
(pondering)
Why is he still here? Itís pretty
obvious thereís nothing much left
to be gained here.

ZENOBIA
My advisors, those that are left,
believe he will only be satisfied
when we are completely destroyed.

GABRIELLE
Do you believe that?

ZENOBIA
(sighing)
I . . . do not know what else to think.
It is as if he has a personal
vendetta against this city, and
perhaps, Egypt as well.

GABRIELLE
(nodding)
And do you have any idea what
that could be?

ZENOBIA
None.

Gabrielle crumples the cloth sheís holding in her fist. Her shoulders straighten and her chin lifts. She looks Zenobia directly in the eyes.

GABRIELLE
Well, I donít know about you,
but Iím not about to let some
two bit warlord with an
attitude problem destroy
this city and her people.

(beat)

Letís figure out how to send
this idiot back where he belongs.

After a moment, a rare, delighted smile spreads itself over Zenobiaís beautiful features.  Her dark eyes light with a sparkle of hope which had been absent for months. She draws herself up regally, slowly and deliberately, and bows her head in deference to Gabrielle.

Gabrielle stares back, stunned at the honor sheís been accorded, then turns away to the wall, letting the cloth drop from her fingers.

She rests her hands on her hips looking over the village and trying to decide the best way to mount a defense. Suddenly her hand shoots out and she catches an ARROW that would have found its way directly into Zenobiaís chest. She looks at it, as shocked that she caught it as that it was launched in the first place.  She then drops it quickly, eyes scanning the perimeter.

GABRIELLE
DOWN!

Gabrielle pushes Zenobia towards a wall where she is protected by two of the guards traveling with them. Gabrielle and the other three guards take up defensive positions. SWORDS and SAIS are drawn as they scan for their attackers.

Looking toward the top of a wall, Gabrielle sees movement. She motions for the guards to stay put and she cuts right, moving quickly. She tucks her sais against her forearms and takes a leading run, jumping from the base of a well, then to the top of the wall.

She balances herself as she moves along the wall to get closer to the attackers. She can see as she approaches, there are three scouts.  One is armed with a sword.  The other two are armed with BOWS. Getting solid footing, she grins.

GABRIELLE
Hello, boys. Nice
day for a fight.

The three men are startled by her appearance but recover quickly. One draws his sword and charges, while the other two string arrows. Gabrielle is quick to block the first blow from the charging man with her sai. She wrenches the sword from his hand sending it to the courtyard below.

GABRIELLE
Now thatís not very nice.

She grabs the man and tosses him from the top of the wall. He lands, unmoving outside the village wall. Gabrielle turns to the others, who both release their arrows at the same time. She dodges from side to side letting both arrows fly past her, harmlessly embedding in a wooden wall behind her. She throws the sai in her right hand, hitting one of them in the chest.  He falls inside the village walls. As her hand comes back up, she has the CHAKRAM in it, and the grin is back on her face.

The last archer looks up as he strings another arrow. The blood drains from his face as he sees the chakram in her hand.

GABRIELLE
Ah, ah, ah.
You donít want to do that.

He looks nervously toward the tree line, tipping Gabrielle off immediately. She sees about a half dozen more men hiding in the tree line.

GABRIELLE
(shaking head)
Of course.
They never learn.

Tired now of playing with them, she moves to the last man on the wall and delivers a roundhouse kick, knocking him from the wall. Then she turns and releases the chakram.

It bounces first off a rock, then connects with the head of the first man. From him it flies to the second man, then off a tree to take down two more men. It then ricochets off a tree and returns to her hand. She watches as the last two men run deeper into the woods. Then she looks down to see the last man she knocked from the wall struggling to his feet. She vaults from the wall and lands over him. She pushes him back and holds the tip of her remaining sai to his throat.

GABRIELLE
You tell Brakus to leave
this land and these
people in peace.

(pushing the SAI against his throat)

This is his only warning.

The man nods, clearly shaking.

MAN
Who are you?

GABRIELLE
Xenaís finest student.

She moves away from him, allowing him to scramble to his feet and run after his compatriots.

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT TWO

ACT 3