ZENOBIA'S QUARTERS. NIGHT
It's very late at night,
and Gabrielle, Zenobia, and Yavin are sitting at a table, bone tired.
wearing identical, weary smiles. The party has gone on long
into the night, and they can still hear the cheers, and endless retellings
of the battle just fought by those still awake and aware.
That is a sound I have not heard
in many months.
And I have you to thank for
It was a team effort. I'm just
honored that I was able to be
a part of it.
Yavin sits quietly staring
into his cup. Zenobia notices her commander's unusual silence.
Yavin, you seem
We must tell her.
Gabrielle nods her
agreement and Yavin takes a deep breath before beginning.
My Queen, tonight at
the battle's end,
there was a... demon.
It came from the sky.
It was unlike anything I have ever seen.
Yes, my Queen. I saw it
with my own eyes.
It... it went straight for Gabrielle.
Is this true?
But . . . how did you
fight it off?
I know you are a very skilled fighter,
Gabrielle, but against a demon?
her back to Zenobia)
my tattoo. It has some sort of
protection against evil forces.
It saved me once, but . . . .
The three lapse into
silence for a long moment, each lost to their thoughts. Zenobia looks
troubled, and tries, several times, to say something, only to fall silent
once again. Gabrielle notices, and looks up, her expression compassionate.
What is it?
It's all right. Whatever
it is, it's ok to ask.
The other night, when you ran to the
wall, I said that you were hiding
something from me. I could
sense your fear.
Does this attack tonight have
something to do with that fear?
Yes. It does.
And . . . can you explain
it more now?
I can try.
Shifting on her chair, she
leans forward to place both elbows on the table, her head hanging low
between her shoulders. She looks suddenly weary, but still resolute.
Have either of you ever heard of a being
called the One God?
The God of the
Yes. When I was a young
girl, a group
of Elijians came to the city, asking for an
audience with the Pharaoh. When they
were refused, they began to speak to the
common people in the streets, telling them
that they must give up their worship of our
many gods and turn to the one true god.
They were enslaved for their heresy,
if my memory serves.
Does this "One God" have something to
do with the demon who attacked you?
In a manner of
speaking. You see, this god
has a counterpart who rules over the souls
of those he's judged unworthy of paradise.
And that counterpart is a demon, named
Lucifer. And it's Lucifer who I believe is
sending these demons here.
But why would...
Ah, perhaps I do understand. Since the
word of this One God did not sway us
from our beliefs in our own gods, neither
the God, nor his counterpart have dominion
over our souls. And that makes them angry.
Sounds like as good a
reason as any.
And this Lucifer sent his demons
after you because you are rallying
the people behind you, and are
therefore the biggest threat to him.
That's what I'm
You remain quiet.
All this talk of gods
and demons is
beyond a simple soldier such as myself.
Point me toward the enemy, and I will
destroy him, no matter who, or what, he is.
Perhaps such pointing is best left for
the morning, after we have all had a
chance to rest.
Taking their cue, Gabrielle
and Yavin stand and bid their goodnights to each other and the Queen, then
leave to get some much needed sleep.
INT. LUCIFER'S CHAMBERS
LUCIFER is standing over a table looking through several fragile scrolls
which are bound together to form a large book. He flips the pages with an
irritated hand as Xena waits, not very patiently, a short distance away.
Ya know, Lucy, it
concerns me that
you're having to figure this mortality
stuff out by reading a book.
an irritated glance over his shoulder.
In case you didn't notice the sign, Xena,
this is Hell. We break things here.
don't fix them.
Creating life is 'His' job, not mine.
Ya might wanna try looking
under "R" for "Resurrection"
Xena throws up her
Just trying to help.
Why don't you just go
something until I'm done.
I'd much rather torture you.
responding, Lucifer turns back to his studies, continuing to flip through
the pages of the book.
Finally! Now we're
Now where in the . . .well here . . .am I
gonna get a rib?
A rib? What do you need
a rib for?
(pointing to the text)
It says so right here. "Woman is
created from the rib of man."
You sure you got the updated
version of that thing?
Lucifer turns his head and
growls in Xena's face, baring his teeth. Xena smiles and backs off.
All right, let's forget
this rib business
for the moment. What else do I need?
Ah yes. Well, that seems easy enough.
Mm. Hm. Yes, I can see where that would
work. Ah, of course, the final ingredient.
Great! Zap away and
let's get this
damn thing over with already.
My wings are getting stiff.
I can't do it here.
It won't take.
Whaddya mean, it won't take?
How can it not take?
Say it with me, Xena.
You're in HELL.
Land of the dead. Place of no return.
End of the line. Mortals can't
Though I wish they could. There are
a few mortals I'd give my horns to
have down here with me.
News flash, Lucy. This
place isn't that much
different from Tartarus and I made a trip
or two down there without the
Yes, but 'He' closed
Great. What now?
I'm thinking. I'm
Don't you need a
working brain for that?
The chamber shakes with the
might of Lucifer's enraged shout, and the dust from his previous
destruction settles over them both. Satisfied that he has cowed his
nemesis, he spins back to the book, completely missing Xena's deadly
glare. Her claws lengthen as her fists clench, but she forces down her
rage, content, for the moment, to bide her time.
Now, where was I? Ah,
yes. I need to send
you somewhere where all these conditions
prevail, yet close enough for you to be able
to use your mortal form to get to that
blasted city before the war is over.
Oh, yes. Perfect. Perfect!
As Lucifer laughs, Xena's
I'm afraid I can't tell you that, my pet.
It would spoil the surprise, you see.
Sorry, Xena. That's
just not the way
things are done around here.
Hope you like the dark.
Laughing loudly, Lucifer
holds out his hand, and Xena is immediately immobilized. As she struggles
fruitlessly to break free of his hold, he levitates her into the air, and
then forward into and through his PRIVATE PORTAL into the MORTAL WORLD.
Unpleasant journeys, Xena.
INT. UNDERGROUND TUNNELS.
Gabrielle is carrying a
crate deep into a tunnel. She stops and looks where two men are working on
a support beam. She reaches up and runs her finger over a cut that's been
made in the center of the beam.
That cut is perfect.
Now make sure to
brace it and then run the trigger rope
about six paces before this beam. If
anyone tries to get past it, by the time
they get to this position, the ceiling will
be collapsing on them and they won't
know what hit them.
The men nod and go back to
working as Gabrielle picks up her box and continues further into the
tunnel. Stops again and removes a FLASK of Greek Fire and hands it to the
woman working at the next trap.
Now it's going to be
very important to soak
these rags all the way around the opening,
so when the trigger is tripped, the torch
will fall down and light the fire.
Yes, just like that.
Make sure you get
it all the way around.
Once again, she retrieves
the box and turns. At her third stop, she watches men pull a large
beam with multiple spikes protruding all around it.
That would stop a charging Minotaur.
She hands the box to a man
who carries it further back, while she examines everything being done
around her. She turns her head slightly when a shadow is cast over her. She
sees Zenobia move next to her.
Are things prepared to
They're getting there.
Gods, I hope it doesn't come to this.
None of us do.
Come, let me show you something.
Gabrielle follows Zenobia
into a large chamber with several other tunnels leading off of it. The
Queen points to several people who are painting symbols on the walls.
The people are taking a
cue from you.
These are our sacred symbols. They
hope they will protect us the way that
you were protected.
That's a very good idea. Let's hope
those are enough and we don't have to
rely on my more drastic measures.
Gabrielle, our enemy
You are only doing what is best.
Doesn't mean I have to
Perhaps not. But it
might be better if
for now, you act as if you did?
Gabrielle rounds on
Zenobia, hands on her hips.
What do you mean by
Zenobia throws up her
Only that these people take their cues from
you, Gabrielle. If you are upset, or hesitant
in your course of action, no matter the
reasons, they will pick up on that.
But of course, as a warrior, you
already know this.
Zenobia, in here...
I'm a bard. A simple teller of stories.
I fight because I have to, but that doesn't
mean that I have to enjoy my work.
Then why fight? Why put
so much pain and grief?
Because of something I learned in
my travels across this world.
My travels with Xena.
Sometimes the world needs warriors as
much as it needs peacemakers. Because
sometimes, peace is something that must
be fought for, no matter the cost.
Even if the cost is
Yes. Even then.
Now, if you'll excuse
me, I have
some traps to finish laying out.
Gabrielle turns and
continues down the darkened corridor, leaving Zenobia to watch her
retreat, a troubled frown upon her face.
OF ACT ONE