Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4



ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

INT. HELL. DAY.

Lucifer is pacing wildly, storming back and forth in his throne room. The doors open and two demons escort demon Xena in. She looks at her guards and a wicked smile curls on her lips right before she growls at them, causing them to take a step away.

Lucifer charges Xena, and she straightens to meet him. He stops just short of grabbing her.

LUCIFER
WHAT DO YOU THINK . . . .

XENA
Save it.
I was helping you.

LUCIFER
Helping me?
How could you possibly help me?

XENA
By helping your troops in Egypt.

LUCIFER
My troops.

XENA
You know, playing innocent
was never one of your strong suits,
so donít try it now.
Brakus spilled his guts.
So why are you waging
a campaign against them?

LUCIFER
I donít think that should
concern you.

XENA
It does concern me,
Because, you see, you
have a big problem out there.

LUCIFER
Your little blonde friend?

XENA
That would be the problem.

LUCIFER
My forces will prevail.

XENA
No, they wonít.
The mortal men that you sent
couldnít beat her with a stick.

(proudly)

I should know. I taught
her everything she knows.

LUCIFER
One mortal woman, even
one trained by the Ďgreat Xenaí
will not stand against an
entire army of men
loyal to me.

XENA
Hereís a clue, Lucy. Sheís
already doing it.

Xena puts her arm around his neck and turns him to walk toward the table. She pats him on the chest as she guides him over.

XENA
Now come on, Lucy.
Youíve got to tell, Xena
whatís wrong if you
want me to help you.

LUCIFER
I donít recall asking
for your help.

XENA
No, but you need it.
So why donít you tell me
exactly why weíre going
to crush them.

LUCIFER
Ever hear the story of the
scorpion and the swan?

XENA
(rolling her eyes)
Do you guys only know one story?
Not good enough, now come on.

He storms to his chair and sits.

LUCIFER
I donít need a reason.
Iím the KING OF HELL!

XENA
Thereís always a reason, Lucy.
I can see it in your beady little eyes.
And Iím not going to tell
you how to defeat them unless
you let me in on the secret.

LUCIFER
They simply need to be taught that
there is a stronger, higher power
than those they place their faith in.

XENA
Or lower as the case may be.

LUCIFER
As the case may be.

XENA
The fly in your ointment, Lucifer,
is my former partner. Sheís gonna
kick your butt all the way to Rome.

LUCIFER
(laughing)
You seem to forget, Xena, that
I rule down here. And itís a very
nasty place. Iíve thought up ways
of defeating my enemies that you
would never dream of attempting.

(examining Xena)

Well, maybe you would, but . . .
Youíre not the only one who knows
how to win wars, Xena.

XENA
No, but Iím the only one
who knows how to get rid
of your little problem for ya.

She faces his private portal.

XENA
(cont'd)
Your enemy has grown a new
heart, Lucifer. Look at her.
Sheís rallying the troops and
the people are standing behind
her. Sheís given them hope again.

LUCIFER
(disgustedly)
Hope. Do you know how much I
hate that disgusting little word?

XENA
You and me both, buddy. But itís
gonna be your downfall unless you
rip it out by the roots.

(beat)

And Iím the only one who
can do that for you.

LUCIFER
I think not. I was winning
this war without you, Xena.
Iíll finish it without you.

XENA
(shrugging)
Suit yourself.

LUCIFER
Guards! Get her out of
my sight.

The guards do as they are told, and Xena leaves with them, smiling a secret little smile that Lucifer canít see.

After Xena leaves, Lucifer turns back to the portal, frowning as he watches Gabrielle work her magic on a people once beaten and one breath from dying. His claws tap loudly, repetitively, on the table as his rage seethes within.

LUCIFER
(to self)
I wonít say youíre right, Xena . . .
but a little insurance never hurts.

(shouting)

Guard! Bring Baltazar to me.
I have a little job for him.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAPITAL CITY. DAY.

Gabrielle, Zenobia and Yavin are back atop the city wall. The fortifications are back in place, though itís taken all night and most of the morning to get them up, and theyíre not nearly as strong as they once were. The workers, mostly Egyptian soldiers stand tired but resolute, awaiting Gabrielleís next command. She smiles at them.  They nod back and straighten, proud of the gift of her acknowledgement.

YAVIN
(facing outward)
Great Ra, protect us.

Gabrielle turns quickly at the sound of awe, mixed with fear, in Yavinís voice. Her eyes widen as she stares at a long line of enemy soldiers standing atop a sand dune. They are impeccably dressed in BLACK ARMOR with matching SHIELDS and HELMETS. The armor is so dark that it seems to absorb the brilliant light of the sun, and casts the entire dune into a gloomy pall.

ZENOBIA
Reinforcements must have
come in the night. Merciful
Isis, how will we ever
defend against that?

Hearing something very close to panic in the Queenís voice, Gabrielle reaches out and clasps Zenobiaís wrist.

GABRIELLE
I know it seems bad, but donít
give up hope. Theyíre just
men, and they can be defeated.

(softer, to self)

Somehow.

(to Yavin)

Letís get below, I think I remember
seeing something in the boxes of
supplies that we got that might
help us with this.

Yavin nods his assent, and both turn to step off the wall. Both freeze as they take in the sight before them.

Where a group of tired, but willing, soldiers once stood, now stands a large group of men, women, and older children, looking up at her with determined expressions. As she watches, more join the group, coming out from hiding places deep beneath the city. To a person, they are dirty and gaunt, but their eyes are lit by a fierce, proud glow. Some wear bloody bandages over various wounds. Some lean on the strong shoulders of their brethren. Most are armed.  Some with slings and stones, some with pitchforks, some with bows and stout sticks, and some with rusty, half broken swords.

GABRIELLE
(whispering)
By the gods.

MAN
We know what you are doing
for us, and for our city, great warrior.
We ask for the honor to stand
beside you and fight
for what is ours.

Gabrielle and Yavin exchange glances. Yavin smiles, then nods. Gabrielle bites her lip, then turns back toward the ever-growing crowd, summoning her brightest smile.

GABRIELLE
It is I who am honored.
I donít . . . .

(heartfelt)

Thank you.

CROWD
(cheering loudly)
Gabrielle! Gabrielle!
Gabrielle!

CUT TO:

INT. UNDERGROUND HIDEOUT. DAY.

Gabrielle and Yavin crouch among several large, opened WOODEN CRATES. Rummaging through one, Gabrielle pulls out a large, heavy, and greasy jar, holding it in both hands carefully, and staring down at it, undecided.

GABRIELLE
How many archers do we have?

YAVIN
(considering)
Among the soldiers, perhaps
fifty. Perhaps another fifty
among the civilians.

Gabrielle nods, then lapses into silence. Yavin watches closely, before deciding to speak.

YAVIN
Do you have a plan?

GABRIELLE
(hesitating, then nodding)
The beginnings of one, yes.

YAVIN
(carefully)
And it has to do with . . . what
youíre holding there?

GABRIELLE
(nodding)
Greek Fire. You can bathe arrow tips
in it, and light them. It sticks . . .
and burns. Water canít put it out.

YAVIN
(smiling broadly)
Thatís wonderful!

(beat)

Isnít it?

GABRIELLE
(eyes close, remembering)
Iíve seen what Greek Fire can
do to people who get in its way.
And Iím not sure I can let that
happen . . . even to an enemy.

YAVIN
(thoughtfully)
Our archers are some of
the best in the land. Even the
civilians. Perhaps if we gave it to
the best of them, and had them
aim for the enemyís shields?
Perhaps we could force them
back that way.

(beat)

Our remaining archers could fire
regular arrows when the enemy
drops their burning shields.

GABRIELLE
That might just work.

(beat)

Alright, letís get these topside.
Weíve got a battle to win.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAPITOL CITY. EVE.

Gabrielle looks on quite pleased as the preparation are finished up for the upcoming battle. She takes a moment to take a drink of water from a bucket as she looks over the top of the wall at the waiting troops. Yavin stands next to her.

YAVIN
Why are they waiting?

GABRIELLE
Because they have the
ability to wait us out. They
know our resources are limited.
Theyíre trying to wear us down.

YAVIN
Then theyíll be in for quite
a surprise.

Gabrielle drops the ladle into the bucket.

GABRIELLE
I hope so.
Thatís an element we
can certainly use right now.

YAVIN
Itíll be dark enough soon.

GABRIELLE
(quietly)
Yes.

(sincerely)

Yavin, I want to thank you.
Your support has been important.
I want you to know, that
if something should happen,
you do have the ability
to defeat this man.

YAVIN
I know, Gabrielle.
And WE will defeat him.
Together.

Gabrielle nods and watches as the sun makes itís final descent below the horizon.

GABRIELLE
Itís time.
Letís get ready.

Yavin signals for the archers to take their positions. As the archers climb to the top of the wall, Gabrielle and Yavin make their way down to the courtyard. Troops are assembled and prepared to march outside the wall and fight hand to hand.

Carefully, Gabrielle and Yavin move the troops to the gate and wait for the fire fight to begin. Gabrielle takes a deep breath and nods. Yavin gives the signal and within seconds the first arrows are lit and fired.

They both watch as a second volley is fired. A captain on the wall gives the signal and the gates are opened. Gabrielle and Yavin lead the charge out the gates. She is pleased to see that the plan to force them to relinquish their shields has worked for a majority of them. They are far more defenseless than she could have hoped for.

She signals her troops to stand the line and wait for the next volley of regular arrows.

GABRIELLE
Take any that get through,
but donít charge their line.
And watch for their archers.

Two more volleys are fired and then the remaining line charges toward the city.

GABRIELLE
STAND FAST!

The opposing troops charge hard and fast engaging Zenobia's troops. Gabrielle is right at the front of the battle leading the troops by example. She and Yavin are fighting side by side taking down man after man. Gabrielle ducks a swing from a man, coming back up to knock the sword from his hand. She delivers a fist to his chin, snapping his head back. As he falls back into the sand, she turns and takes another man down with a kick to his chest.

Taking a moment to catch her breath, she sees one of her men fighting three soldiers and about to be beaten down. She runs to her man and dodges between two of the attackers to protect the manís back. She can tell heís tired from the sound of his panting.

GABRIELLE
Iíve got you!
Keep at it!

Gabrielle stays busy with the two in front of her. As the second man falls she notices that things are getting very quiet. She lowers her sais and listens, the is a hard sound of air being moved and swept around. She draws a deep breath as she remembers exactly what causes that sound.

GABRIELLE
TAKE COVER!
GET INSIDE!

She begins herding her remaining troops toward the gate. Yavin joins her as they stop and push men ahead of themselves.

YAVIN
Whatís going on?

GABRIELLE
You really donít
want to know!

The sound grows louder and in the light of the moon and the remaining fires a shadowy figure with a huge wingspan descends from the sky. Gabrielle turns and draws her sais. Her fears are realized, but it is with overwhelming relief that she realizes itís not Xena who is coming for her.

GABRIELLE
YAVIN, INSIDE NOW!

YAVIN
(drawing his sword)
I stand with you Gabrielle!

GABRIELLE
This is my fight!

YAVIN
Then it is mine as well!

Gabrielle spins around and shoves Yavin away, pushing him hard to the ground, where he lays, stunned, staring up at her with wide, dark eyes.

GABRIELLE
I donít have time to argue!

With her back turned, Gabrielleís attention is drawn away from the demon descending for her. As he extends his talons to make contact with her body, a BRIGHT LIGHT begins emanating from her back, burning through her clothes and running into the body of the demon. Gabrielle looks as if she is in great pain, but Yavin is afraid come to her aid, for fear of being caught in whatever is taking place.

The demon screams in agony as the light engulfs him. A long eerie howl is heard as the demon flies overhead, flames consuming him until there is nothing left but ashes.

Gabrielle collapses to the ground on her hands and knees, panting hard. Yavin looks down now to see the DRAGON TATTOO on her back. He takes a deep breath and reaches down to help her to her feet.

YAVIN
Are you all right?

GABRIELLE
Letís get inside.
I canít handle two of
those in one night.

The enemy troops retreat in fear as Gabrielle and Yavin run inside the city walls and slam the gates behind them. Gabrielle leans against the gate, still breathing hard, her eyes tightly closed.

YAVIN
So what my men saw last night was
true. There really was a
demon who led the forces.

GABRIELLE
(nodding)
Thereís something more than
meets the eye going on here.

YAVIN
Do you know who sent
these demons?

GABRIELLE
I think I might.

(beat)

But, by all the gods,
I hope Iím wrong.

CUT TO:

INT. LUCIFERíS THRONE ROOM.

Watching the battle through his private portal, Lucifer has become more and more enraged. His breathing is heavy, and he snarls each time his soldiers take a hit from the opposing forces.

As he watches Baltazar, the strongest demon in his realm burst into flames, he howls in rage.  Jumping up from his throne, he begins destroying the room and everything in it.  This  includes the two unfortunate guards who were unlucky enough to be standing inside the door.

All of Hell shakes with his righteous anger, and soon there isnít a thing in his room, save for the portal, which isnít shattered to dust-sized bits.

His anger ebbing just slightly, he whirls back to the portal, and watches.  A crowd of cheering Egyptians greet their savior and hoist her on their shoulders.  They parade her down the ruined streets of the city.

The sound of his fangs grinding together is loud in the otherwise silent room.

Xenaís previous warning comes to him in a thought.

XENA
(VO)
Your enemy has grown a new
heart, Lucifer. Look at her.
Sheís rallying the troops and
the people are standing behind
her. Sheís given them hope again.

Itís gonna be your downfall
unless you rip it out by
the roots.

LUCIFER
Been there, done that,
Xena. Didnít work.

An idea comes to him.

LUCIFER
(cont'd)
Unless . . . .

A smile comes to his face then; a cold and rotting one deserving of gracing the lips of the King of Hell.

LUCIFER
Unless . . . .
Guards! Bring me Xena!

CUT TO:

INT. LUCIFERíS THRONE ROOM.

Xena saunters into the destroyed room, and grins as she looks around.

XENA
Love what youíve done with the place.

LUCIFER
(grinning)
Xena! Just the demon I was
looking for. Come in. Come in!

XENA
(knowingly)
Yeees?

LUCIFER
Iíd offer you a seat, but
as you can see . . . .

XENA
Mm.

LUCIFER
(casually)
Iíve thought about our little
talk earlier, and Iíve decided
to offer you a place as my
second in command.

Xenaís raises her eyebrow.

LUCIFER
(cont'd)
Iím serious! It has great perks, Xena.
All the ass you can kick, all the
souls you can torture. Weekends off.

XENA
Why the sudden turnaround?
Last time we talked, you werenít
interested in a word I said.

LUCIFER
Letís just say Iíve had
a change of . . . heart.

XENA
(smiling darkly)
Letís.

(beat)

Whatís the catch?

LUCIFER
(pretending shock)
Catch?!
Xena, you wound me!
Canít we just say Iím returning
a favor and leave it at that?

XENA
We could . . . but I wonít.
Címon, Lucifer, youíre the
King of Hell. Thereís
always a catch. So spill it.

LUCIFER
(relenting)
Well . . . thereís a tiny catch. But
I assure you, itís one youíll enjoy.

XENA
Go on.

LUCIFER
(muttering)
I want you to get the little
blonde girlfriend out of the way.

XENA
(grinning)
Kicked the tar outta your
army, didnít she?

LUCIFER
(growling)

XENA
(examining her nails)
Iím sorry Lucy, but no can do.
My earlier offer was a one time
only kinda thing. So, if youíll
excuse me, the guys downstairs
just got in a new shipment of the
damned and Iím gonna help
plan their eternities for Ďem.

Waggling her taloned fingers at him, Xena turns to leave.

LUCIFER
WAIT!

Xena stops, then turns.

XENA
Yes?

LUCIFER
(thinking furiously)
How about something to
sweeten the deal?

(grinning)

I know! We all know that when
blondie dies, sheís gonna go . . .

(pointing up)

while youíll spend eternity . . . .

(pointing down)

But if someone, say for instance me,
was to tell you the exact location
of the souls' waiting area, an industrious
demon like yourself just might be
able to grab her before 'He' sends
his little do-gooders after her.

(grinning widely)

Sheíd be trapped with you forever. Just like
you planned the last time you were here.

XENA
(darkly smiling)
Sounds tempting.

Lucifer grins triumphantly.

XENA
But too easy. Thereís something
that youíre not telling me.

LUCIFER
Xena!

XENA
Lucy, I think we know one
another well enough by now
for you to realize I donít
fall for things quite that easily.

(beat)

Thatíd be your department.

LUCIFER
(growling)

XENA
You offer me a delicious
package, all wrapped up in
a pretty little bow, and
present it to me in exchange
for doing something you
know Iíve already
offered to do?

(rolling her eyes)

Please. I didnít fall off
the turnip cart yesterday.

LUCIFER
Well . . . .

XENA
I knew it. So spill it or I walk.
Those guys downstairs arenít gonna
wait long, and I really was looking
forward to a game of Ďwhip the infidel.í

LUCIFER
All right, all right. It seems
your little girlfriend has developed
a skill you didnít teach her.

XENA
And that might be?

LUCIFER
You had the ability to kill
gods. Seems she now has
the ability to kill demons.

XENA
Ya donít say.

LUCIFER
Oh, I do. I do. And in a
very nasty way, too. Didnít
know she had it in her, frankly.

(beat)

So, in order for you to get close enough
to kill her, I'll . . . have to make you mortal.
Temporarily, you understand. You just kill
the blonde, get yourself back to my portal, and

(snapping his fingers)

I make you into a demon again. You get command
of my armies and her soul.  I get Egypt, and
everybodyís happy.

XENA
(thoughtfully)
I dunno, Lucy. Iíve gotten
very comfortable with this form in
the short time that Iíve had it. How
do I know you wonít double-cross me
after Iíve done what you asked?

LUCIFER
(rolling his eyes)
Come on, Xena, you should know me
better than that. Iíve waited all this
time to get you in my clutches. Do you
really think Iíd just let you waltz out of here
as a mortal if I didnít have every
intention of bringing you back to me?

XENA
(considering)
You have a point.

LUCIFER
Of course I do.

(beat)

So, do we have a deal?

Several moments pass as Xena considers Luciferís offer. Then a dark smile, truly evil curves her lips and she nods.

XENA
I think that can be arranged.

FADE OUT:

TO BE CONTINUED . . . .

DISCLAIMER
Hell was scandalized during the production of this episode but
Egyptian tattoo parlors made a killing.

A FRIEND INDEED - PART 2