|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. EGYPTIAN CITY - DAY
Xena and Gabrielle walk through the streets of a busy Egyptian city, dressed in robes to blend in. Even so, they receive wary looks from the natives.
Do you get the feeling
we're being watched?
Xena sidesteps a camel who tries to bite her.
In the distance, a huge pyramid can be seen. There are many people in the city. It is loud and chaotic and both Xena and Gabrielle are jostled often.
You think we look too different?
Xena observes two native women in demure dress with covered faces dipping water from a covered, guarded well. In contrast, her robes and Gabrielle's are almost flamboyant, and they both bear visible weapons.
Gabrielle pauses to watch as a number of beautifully gowned men cross before them, heading towards a large structure at the top of a nearby hill.
I think they're headed for the temple,
Xena. That's where we'll have to go.
You sure that's where the Eye is?
Gabrielle does not look entirely sure.
The tablets showed one of their goddesses
with it around her waist, like a girdle.
If it's the same thing.
Xena and Gabrielle are forced to stop as a train of camels cross before them, bearing men dressed in desert robes not unlike theirs.
I can't believe there would be
two talismans that ugly.
Mm. Good point.
The camels pass and Xena and Gabrielle cross the open space and follow a steady stream of natives towards the towering structure on the hill.
Gabrielle is looking at the lines of guards near the building, all of them carrying huge, curved sabers. Xena seems more interested in the narrow, crooked alleys they keep passing.
We're not just going to walk in there
and ask to talk to their goddess, are we?
Xena pulls Gabrielle to one side of the road, a little out of the crowd.
Gabrielle appears relieved.
We're not gonna ask. C'mon.
I think I know a shortcut.
Xena tugs Gabrielle down an alleyway, just as some of the suspicious natives begin to move towards them.
Oh no. Not a shortcut.
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - INDETERMINENT TIME
Anubis kneels in front of an altar. On it rests the chakram. Anubis' eyes are closed and both hands are raised to either side in a classic pose. He is apparently intently concentrating on something.
He is alone in the room, and yet voices whisper around him, words in a language unknown.
The chakram begins to glow, and then, inexplicably, it stops and returns to normal.
Anubis lets his hands fall to the altar. He opens his eyes and looks at the chakram with something close to amazement.
Ares enters, with Qetesh in tow. He saunters to the altar, peering at the chakram with a frown.
I'm not sensing anything
un-goodie two shoes here.
Anubis folds his hands together in a pose of restraint.
As I told you, this is
a complex problem.
No, it's not.
Ares holds his fists out next to each other. He raises one.
He raises the other.
He separates his hands and opens them into an exaggerated shrug.
Where's the problem?
Anubis' eyes narrow, and his canine lips lift into a slight snarl. He gets up and deliberately walks away from Ares, going to a fountain built into the wall where water trickles from the mouth of a sphinx into a stone bowl.
Anubis studies the water, cocking his head to one side as if listening to its voice.
What is that?
Ares points at the chakram.
That? A big round pain in my ass.
Just like it's usual owner.
Anubis leans over, tucking his hands into his robe arms and delicately laps at the water.
Who owns it? I thought it was yours.
Anubis straightens and turns.
No, it is not his. There is a power
here, a strength in this that is far
beyond his feeble decrepitude.
I’m not the one drinking
from a dog dish, here.
Anubis goes back to the altar and kneels.
Qetesh would understand the
power of this. Love binds it.
Anubis closes his eyes, and resumes concentrating. Ares rolls his eyes and leans on the altar.
Love. Give me a break.
Qetesh looks at him in surprised horror.
You mock me!
Qetesh rushes out. Ares turns to watch Anubis, who is kneeling in utter silence. After a moment, Ares waves his hand in front of Anubis' muzzle. There is no reaction. With a disgusted shake of his head, Ares leaves.
A moment later, the chakram begins to glow once again. This time, it doesn't go dim.
EXT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - BACK ALLEY - DAY
This is a dirty, scrungy space full of temple garbage and refuse. A stairwell leads down from the street level, to what appears to be catacombs below.
Xena pokes her head around the corner, then moves towards the stairs as Gabrielle picks her way carefully through the garbage after her.
Xena, where are we?
Xena looks around at the dirty space. She smiles at the memory of the last time she saw it.
We can get into the temple
without being seen this way.
C'mon. The only down side....
Beside the smell?
Hope you like rats.
Gabrielle tugs the wraps tighter on her robes as she follows Xena down the stone steps.
You're the one with the rat hang-up.
It's not a hang-up. I just hate them.
Xena and Gabrielle disappear down the steps. Just as they vanish, several men race into the alleyway, looking all around. After a moment, they run off past the steps and vanish.
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - INDETERMINITE TIME
Anubis lifts his hands up and the chakram slowly rises and begins to spin.
Anubis begins to chant, and the chakram spins faster.
INT. EGYPTIAN CATACOMBS - DAY
Xena and Gabrielle struggle through a corridor that is mostly dark. Xena carries a torch, and the light from it reflects off alcoves that have bodies lying quietly in them. There is a great deal of dust around, and it puffs up as they walk. Gabrielle has drawn a fold of her robes around to cover her mouth.
Rats scurry everywhere. Xena carefully avoids stepping on them as she shoves aside fallen bits of stone and wood. They pass sarcophagus casings with elegant carvings on them, and Gabrielle pauses to touch one.
Xena looks at the carving. She shrugs and keeps going, finding her way from her one memory of this place.
Waste of a lotta good whittling.
No one can see it down here.
Gabrielle puts her hand on the sarcophagus, then she turns and follows Xena.
Yeah, I've never really been into coffin art.
(under her breath)
Xena glances back, hearing her. She stops and waits for Gabrielle to catch up with her.
Gabrielle runs her fingers through her hair.
Yeah. You hate rats.
I hate funeral pyres. C'mon.
Xena stops and puts her arm around Gabrielle, pulling her close and giving her a simple kiss on the top of her head. Gabrielle remains still for a moment, then she returns the hug.
We're almost out.
Gabrielle jumps. Xena kicks a rat off her foot, and they start moving again.
Xena and Gabrielle walk through a arched doorway and find a huge, stone block filling the corridor, blocking their way. There is no other exit from the room save the one they just came in.
Xena turns to look back the way they came. In the darkness, an entire field of glowing red eyes looks back at her.
That answers that question.
Xena hands Gabrielle the torch, and starts to look for a way to move the rock.
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - INNER CHAMBER - DAY
Ares is pacing. He is alone in the chamber, and he ignores the table full of food and wine that lines one side of the room.
Suddenly, a ringing sound is heard. Ares stops and cocks his head, listening.
Ahh... Now that's music to my ears.
Ares rushes to the inner door and opens it, peeking inside. Over his shoulder can be seen Anubis' form, eyes closed, hands outstretched.
Over the altar, the chakram is spinning rapidly, obviously building up to something.
Ares pumps his fist in the air.
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - CATACOMBS - PORTAL CHAMBER
It is an octagonal chamber. One side is the entrance to the lower catacombs, now filled with stone rubble. Xena is emerging from the rubble, dusting her hands off as she kicks parts of the stone tablet out of her way.
Gabrielle emerges behind her. They cross the inner chamber and come to a large, ornate door. It is locked - but from the inside.
Xena puts her hand on the locking bar and starts to lift it, then she stops and leans against the door.
Xena remains still for a brief moment.
Ares is here.
That simplifies things.
Xena looks at her.
Xena unlocks the door and pulls it open. Inside, a lofty, ornate hallway can be seen, well lit and immaculately kept up a half flight of stairs.
Gabrielle starts to move past her, and Xena grabs her arm.
Go find the Eye. I'm going to
find Ares, and see if I can....
Gabrielle turns and walks up the steps without another word. Xena watches her go, aware that something is not quite right.
No time for that right now.
Xena takes the steps two at a time and goes off in the opposite direction, following her instincts.
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE – CORRIDOR – MOMENTS LATER
Gabrielle walks down the corridor, pausing cautiously at each intersection and listening for possible danger.
Go find the Eye. Like I'm supposed to
know where in this damn mausoleum.
Gabrielle hears voices approaching. She ducks into a doorway alcove and presses her body against the stone.
Two men walk past, talking in low voices. They do not see Gabrielle.
The pharaoh sees shadows in every
corner. Now he asks us to find
outsider women. Will it never end?
It is the prophecy, Ekmet. Hush.
The men pass out of hearing range. Gabrielle eases out into the hallway again.
Great. Coincidence. We show up,
they want us. Story of my life.
Gabrielle continues down the hall. More voices approach. This time, there are many of them. Gabrielle looks around for a hiding spot, but sees only a large, ornate doorway without an alcove.
She tries the door, and it opens. Relieved, she goes inside and closes the door just as a dozen armed men troop down the hallway past it.
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - QETESH’S ALTAR ROOM.
Gabrielle stops short. She looks around at the room she is in with great surprise. It is furnished lavishly. There is an altar at one end, but the walls are hung with fine cloths in bright colors. There are large jars of fragrant oils everywhere, and a the scent of incense is almost overpowering.
Gabrielle walks to the altar. It has many offerings on it... beautiful carvings, golden trinkets, and flowers.
There is a sense of peace in the room that Gabrielle has not felt elsewhere in the temple.
Now this is beautiful.
Gabrielle studies the walls, which have hieroglyphs and intricately carven images on them.
What kind of god
lives here, I wonder?
Qetesh appears behind Gabrielle, who does not see her. Qetesh slowly walks around Gabrielle and studies her with great curiosity.
Gabrielle walks over to the wall and traces one of the images, which seems to be of a beautiful woman with many people bowing to her, and offering up gifts to her.
A loved one, I think.
Qetesh seems charmed by this. She walks around to face Gabrielle and waves her fingers, becoming visible to her.
Who are you?
Gabrielle blinks in surprise, but having been around gods quite a bit in her lifetime, is not alarmed.
My name is Gabrielle.
Qetesh leans against her altar.
That is a strange name. Why have
you come here? You approach
my altar empty handed.
Gabrielle walks around to the other side of the altar and examines the offerings.
What are they asking you
for, those that come here?
I already have it. But I'd like to talk to
you about something I am looking for.
Qetesh seems surprised by that. She gets up and touches the wall near the altar. It opens at her fingertips and reveals a huge treasury of gifts.
If you have love, then why
come here? See, these are the
things given to me in return for my
attention. Aren't they beautiful?
Gabrielle's eyes are drawn to a basket in the center of the treasury, from which a chain drapes loosely. It is attached to the Eye of Hephaestus.
They sure are.
Qetesh is very pleased by the answer.
For each one, I granted a love
of the heart, if that heart was true.
And if it wasn't?
Then I got a beautiful gift.
Gabrielle slowly approaches. She points at a golden trinket.
Who gave you that one?
It's very pretty.
The goddess picks it up.
A great man in the court of
the 2nd dynasty. He wished
a wife to bear him a son.
Did he get his wish?
You must be very powerful
then. What about this one?
Gabrielle touches the Eye. Qetesh moves away, suddenly evasive. She turns and motions, and the cabinet closes almost shutting itself on Gabrielle's hands.
Tell me more about you, Gabrielle
of the strange name. Why are you
here, if it is not love you seek?
Gabrielle is in a minor quandary.
Well, it's like this. I'm here looking
for a gift, for a friend of mine.
Gabrielle goes to the altar and picks up one of the offerings, setting it on her hand and holding it out. It is a small statue of a camel, in gold.
Just like this. People give you a
gift, and you give them one back.
If they are worthy.
Gabrielle sets the gift down.
Well, I have a friend who gave
me a great gift, and I want to
give them something back. For
instance, that thing in there.
In your wonderful collection. My
friend would really like it. Could
I trade you something for it?
Qetesh is discomfited. She is not used to mortals making deals with her. She goes over to the closet and opens it, removing the Eye.
This is not something I would trade. It
was given to me by a very great man,
very great. A god. He said it would
protect me. Why should I give it up?
Besides, what do you have to give
to me? Your hands are empty.
Gabrielle hesitates. She does not have anything other than her weapons, and the clothes on her back. Her expression clears suddenly, and she smiles.
But my heart is full. I think I have
something I could trade you for it.
Is it powerful? This....
She holds up the Eye.
Gives me great power.
Can your gift do the same?
Gabrielle straightens, and starts to untie the belt holding her robes closed.
I think it can.
Why don't we find out?
INT. EGYPTIAN TEMPLE - INNER CHAMBER – SHORT TIME LATER
Ares is standing in the doorway, watching what is going on in the altar room.
The door behind him opens, and he turns, not at all apparently surprised to see Xena there.
Well, well. Took ya long enough.
You're slowing down, Xena.
Xena ignores him. She walks to the door and looks inside, her eyes widening as she sees the god, and the spinning chakram.
What’s he doing?
Ares gets in front of her and shuts the door.
You'll find out soon enough.
Now Xena turns to look at Ares.
What are you up to now?
Stooping to stealing, Ares?
Ares laughs. He walks over to her and puts his arm around her shoulder.
I'm fixing your problem, Xena.
My problem? Ares, right now you
are my problem. Can you fix that?
Xena, Xena, Xena.
Things started going downhill for
you when you put all that nice...
Stuff... into my pretty gift.
Ares reaches over and grasps her jaw.
I'm taking it out.
It'll make a world of difference.
I promise you.
Xena pulls free and shoves Ares back.
Ares looks down.
Are they showing?
(looking at Xena)
Maybe I was wrong, hard as
that is to believe. Get lost, Xena.
I don't need your preaching.
The world doesn't
need your meddling.
A loud crack sounds, reverberating through the walls. Ares turns to look at the closed door, and laughs.
Guess we'll find out, won't we?
Ares snaps his fingers and disappears. Xena lunges for him and grabs for his shadow, but the only thing that remains is his laughter echoing through the room.
Xena goes to the door and tries to open it, but it is locked fast, the edges lined with metal and so firmly fastened it doesn't even budge when she yanks with all her strength.
Ares' laugh still echoes.
It's mine, Xena. I've taken it back.
Once you feel that... you'll come
crawling back too. Just wait.
The echoes fade. Xena thumps her fists against the door. She leans against it, and tilts her head in a listening attitude, as though she can feel something through the door.
Xena's eyes close, as she feels the chakram separate.
END OF ACT THREE