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INT. TRAP - CONTINUING
Xena and Gabrielle fall through the trap doors in different parts of the ceiling and hit the floor. Xena goes to Gabrielle.
For the time being, yeah.
Weíre in real trouble here, Xena.
I know. More than I bargained for.
Are Lila and Sarah safe?
Xena looks down.
They are in an enclosed space surrounded by rock. A small opening would allow one person to enter the trap.
Itís a very simple puzzle, Xena.
Even someone with your fading
skills should be able to figure it out.
Xena and Gabrielle get up. Xena goes to the opening, looks inside. It smells bad, and is very dark.
What is this?
Justice. Bold, yet elegantly simple.
One of you will enter that doorway,
Xena, and inside my engine of justice,
I will carve all your crimes, the names
of your victims with knives across
your body, front and back.
Gabrielle reacts, takes a step towards the box.
And then when the knife points meet
in the center, the trap will open, and
the one left behind will be free.
Xena looks around the room. By her face you can see she is realizing how few options there are.
Donít wait too long, Xena.
Xena and Gabrielle look at each other in growing horror and realization.
INT. TRAP CONTROL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Janos pushes the cone tube he was speaking through away. Lila watches him uneasily. The rest of Gabrielleís family is behind them.
Weíve waited such a long time for this.
This isnít right.
Donít go soft on me now, Lila. Think!
What Xena did to all those people, men,
women, children - thatís what wasnít
right. Keep that in your thoughts. You
want to save your sister, donít you?
Not like this. Gabrielle loves Xena.
This will hurt her so badly.
No! You canít think like that. Oh, sure,
at first it will be traumatic, but soon,
soon Lila! Youíll have your sister back...
the one you remember from childhood.
You did the right thing, and someday,
Gabrielle will thank you for it.
Lila looks grievously unconvinced.
I hope so.
INT. TRAP - SAME TIME
Gabrielle is checking out all corners of the trap. Xena sits slowly down on a rock, and starts removing her weapons.
Not a crack. You think we
could try digging? Xena?
Gabrielle turns to see Xena putting her sword down.
What are you doing?
Iím going to get you out of here.
Youíre not going in that thing.
Xena stands up. She is now all business.
Iíve checked this place out. Thereís no
other possible way to do it. One of us
has to go in there, and Iím the one he
wants. So thatís how itís going to be.
Xena moves towards the trap, Gabrielle intercepts her.
Xena tries to push past Gabrielle. Gabrielle throws her back.
Xena, I have a say in this. That manís
insane, and you have to stop him.
You have to get out of here, not me.
You know itís true. You have to survive and
beat him. I canít do that, but I can do this.
Gabrielle moves towards the trap. Xena grabs her. They grapple.
Even if that was true, I wouldnít let you.
Then weíre even, because I wonít
let you walk in there and give
up your life to that BASTARD!
They fight in earnest. Gabrielle goes full out. Xena desperately tries to find a way to subdue Gabrielle without really hurting her, but itís very tough. Gabrielle has gotten very good.
Gabrielle! Think about it! Youíve
got a family out there waiting for
you, a home - a whole life to live!
My familyís right here, and you know
that. You expect me to let you go in
that thing and hear you screaming....
Xena grabs Gabrielle and pushes her against the wall. They are nose to nose. Xena is deadly serious.
I wonít scream.
Your soul will.
You think I wonít hear that?
They stare at each other, then resume struggling, getting more vicious and desperate as it becomes apparent neither will give quarter. Finally, Xena sees a shot, and takes it. Gabrielle goes down hard. Xena catches her as she falls and cradles her body as they both slide to the ground.
INT. TRAP CONTROL ROOM
Janos is getting impatient.
I told her not to take her time.
Behind him, Lila is trying to creep out unnoticed. Janos picks up the tube to speak into it.
Xena? Youíre running out of time.
Janos motions to a posse runner. He leaves.
If I donít hear things moving in
a minute, that chamber starts
filling with water. Your choice.
Janos puts the tube down, looks at Lila.
My men will get Gabrielle out of
there, I promise you. Youíve
got nothing to worry about.
INT. TRAP - SAME TIME
Xena cradles Gabrielleís body as she sits on the floor, all the fight has gone out of her. Now there is mainly grief left.
Sorry I had to do that, Gabrielle.
But youíre wrong. If only one of us can
make it out of here, better it be you.
Xena hugs Gabrielle to her.
This is my price to pay, my love, not
yours. Youíve given up enough. Maybe
now you can have some peace.
Xena cries a few silent tears.
Donít forget how much I loved you, okay?
Xena kisses Gabrielleís head gently, then lays her down. She takes off her sword and sets it across Gabrielleís body, closing her fingers around it. Xena leans over and kisses Gabrielle on the lips, then gets up and walks to the trap. She pauses in the entrance, looks back one last time at Gabrielle, and disappears into the darkness.
INT. THE TRAP - INSIDE
The entrance slams shut and Xena is in darkness. It is very close. The trap starts moving, grabbing her arms and legs and pulling. Xena struggles. Xenaís armor is cut off. She can hear Janos laughing.
INT. TRAP - MOMENTS LATER
Gabrielle stirs, and wakes. She is confused at first, then she looks down at the sword in her arms, and realizes what happened. Gabrielle jumps up and rushes to the trap, to find the entrance closed.
No. No! NO!
Gabrielle beats on the door, then stops, and rushes back to pick up Xenaís sword. She attacks the trap in a total frenzy.
INT. TRAP CONTROL ROOM
Janos is grimly satisfied. He turns to Gabrielleís family.
Donít worry. Unlike Xena,
I keep my promises.
Janos pulls a rope, and Gabís family falls through the floor into the trap room below where Gabrielle is.
INT. THE TRAP
Xena is fighting the machine furiously, but she canít get loose. It pulls her along roughly, finally flipping her completely over onto her back with a loud bang. Xena is now bare, and suspended between a set of knives above her, and a set of knives below her. There are hundreds of them, very sharp.
Ready Xena? I want you to think
about all the people you ever hurt.
he people you killed. You destroyed.
We look down at Xenaís face, and for a moment, we see that she is, in this moment, truly scared. The knives start to move, swiveling as the surface starts to come closer to Xena, making an insect like sound.
You can keep yourself alive a little
longer by holding yourself up. If you
think you can do that anymore.
INT. TRAP - SAME TIME
Gabrielleís family falls into the trap room. Gabrielle ignores them. Gabrielle is hacking at the trap in an almost mindless rage, with Xenaís sword.
Xena!! No!!!!! NO!!!!!
Lila and Sarah try to stop Gabrielle. Gabrielle shoves them away.
Gabrielle! Itís over! Stop it!
Gabrielle does stop and face her. She suddenly realizes why theyíre there.
We did it for you.
For me? For ME?
You donít even know who I am!
Gabrielle raises Xenaí s sword and points it at Lila.
I am not the sister you grew up with!
THIS is who I am now, and the me
you think you did this for hasnít been
around for a very, very long time.
Lila and Sarah are shocked, stunned, scared.
Now. Stay OUT OF MY WAY.
Gabrielle goes back to her attack on the trap. She is actually cutting through the outside, making some progress.
INT. THE TRAP - MOMENTS LATER
The knives come closer. Xena closes her eyes, and sees flashbacks of the people sheís done the worst wrongs to. The images surround and mock Xena. She is very close to succumbing to Janosís plan. She starts to give in and her back almost touches the knives. Through the laughter, though - very softly, she hears her name being called. It is Gabrielle. The knives get closer, the insect sounds get a lot louder. But then images of the good things Xena has done start to appear, and Xena takes heart from them. She opens her eyes and faces the terror of the knives squarely.
Her eyes focus on something. The wall of knives moves suddenly, and all we see is a spinning, clashing metal web that seems to engulf Xena. The last glimpse we see are those blue eyes.
INT. TRAP - MOMENTS LATER
Gabrielle has made a significant dent in the wooden wall. She pulls at debris like a crazed person. Suddenly, all the noise of the trap stops with a huge BANG! Everyone jumps. Then the trap wall opens, and we can see daylight outside. Very slowly, the meaning of this gets through to Gabrielle, who realizes it means that Xena must be dead. The exhausted Gabrielle slowly sits down on the ground, and cradles Xenaís sword in her arms. She is devastated.
Gabrielle? I... Iím sorry.
Gabrielleís face hardens into a mask.
Not nearly as sorry as heís going to be.
Gabrielle stands up, then runs out the open trap door. Lila and Sarah follow her.
INT. TRAP CONTROL ROOM
Janos is ecstatic.
I did it. Everyone said it was
impossible, and I did it. I killed Xena.
The wall in the control room explodes inwards! Xena jumps out, covered in blood and scratches, but very much alive, and really, really pissed off.
You donít have what it takes
to kill me, and make it stick.
Janos is honestly shocked. He rallies however.
I should never have sent a
machine to do a manís work!
Janos grabs a two-handed broadsword, and goes after the unarmed Xena. Itís a classic battle, as Xena uses her skills to avoid being hacked and slashed. Xena uses items never meant as weapons to gain the advantage, driving Janos back. Janos goes on the offensive, then, taking advantage of Xenaís being hurt, and naked and relatively unarmed to drive her across the floor, until her back is to the opening she made in the wall. Janos is sure heís won at this point. He runs at Xena, swinging his sword and yelling like a madman. Xena waits... waits... waits... until the sword is just about to skewer her, then ducks and grabs Janos, using his momentum to take him down. She grabs the sword and holds it over him.
Die hard, you bastard.
Janos looks up at Xena, bravely accepting his death.
Go ahead, Xena. Make me the one
of many, and finish what you started
with my grandparents. I wonít die in vain.
Xena hesitates. Janos twists out from under her and gets the drop on Xena, reversing their positions. Xena locks eyes with him. Janos presses the tip of his sword against Xenaís throat.
Youíll be my first.
They are both still for an instant.
And your last.
Janos stiffens as he feels a sword pressed against his back. He slowly turns his head to see Gabrielle behind him.
Itís worth it.
No, it isnít. Thereís no satisfaction
in it, Janos. No relief. No peace.
Just emptiness, and blood, and pain.
She killed my family.
They were all I had.
I understand you. But you do them no
honor killing in their memory. Choose
life, Janos. Someone has to stop
the cycle of violence. Be that person.
Xena reacts, almost loses it. Janos slowly stands up, moves away from Xena and Gabrielle, still holding his sword out. He backs until he reaches an escape door, then vanishes. Gabrielle drops Xenaís sword and they fall into each otherís arms. Gabrielle is crying.
Xena lifts her hand. It has a dagger in it.
So is he, thanks to you.
Gabrielle looks at the knife, then at Xena.
Good thing you were here, to stop that
cycle of hatred and violence, huh?
Slowly, Gabrielle starts to smile. Xena is bleeding all over Gabrielle as they sit on the floor together.
But you know what? I think I
am getting too old for this.
Gabrielle just hugs her, and we:
EXT. POTADEIA RIVERBANK
Lila and Sarah talk to Xena, Gabrielle is seated on a rock nearby, looking out over the river.
Xena, Iím sorry. Thereís really
nothing else I can say to you.
You did what you felt was right, Lila.
Some people might even agree with you.
You think sheíll forgive us?
Xena smiles sadly.
Bet on it.
Xena, I donít think Janos
will give up that easily.
No. But I donít either, and heís
got something I intend on getting
back. Weíll watch out for him.
Good luck. Be well.
Xena leaves Lilaís side, and walks over to where Gabrielle is seated next to a tree, the tree they met by.
Do you recognize where we are?
Riverbank outside Potadeia.
Do I get a prize?
Gabrielle just smiles, a little wistfully.
And this is the spot you and I
met for the first time.
So maybe this is a good place for us
to go different paths for awhile. Why
donít you stay here, and take a break?
Gabrielle looks back at Potadeia, shakes her head no.
I donít fit in here. I never did, not
now, and not on that day long
ago that brought us together.
Xena studies the tree and puts her hand on it.
Do you regret that day, Gabrielle?
Gabrielle seems a little stunned by the question. She gets up and puts a hand on the tree as well.
If I were back on that day,
knowing what I do now... you
know what Iíd say to you, Xena?
Xena looks at Gabrielle, not really wanting to hear the answer.
No, what would you say?
Take me with you.
Xena holds back strong emotion hearing this, but doesnít quite make it.
And I would.
Gabrielle holds out a hand.
Címon. Our path is waiting, and
weíve got a long way to go yet.
Xena takes her hand.
Our path? Does that mean you
get to choose which fork in
the road we take next time?
Gabrielle laughs, as they walk down the road together.
No corporeal bodies of any leading characters were beheaded,
no bold choices were made, no pots of ashes were transported, and
no soulmates were separated in the making of this motion picture.