|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
INT. SHIP’S HOLD - CONTINUOUS
Xena warns off the shadows with her oar.
Hold it! Gabrielle and I are on
this ship alone. You're not real.
Solon grabs the oar and shoves Xena backwards with surprising strength.
We're as real as you are.
Cyrene takes hold of the other end of the oar.
Or, you're as real as we are.
Xena takes a firmer grip on the oar, and with a double twist of her body, she wrenches it from their grasp and frees it. She takes a step back.
What do you want?
More shadows appear. Pinpoints of light, staring at Xena from the darkness. One has the vague outline of a forest Amazon. Another might almost be Borias.
We want you to feel
what we feel, Xena.
The shadows close in. Xena lifts the oar to protect herself.
Do you know what it feels
like to burn, Xena?
Xena's eyes narrow.
Do you know what it feels like
to be stoned to death, mother?
Betrayal is something I know....
A chunk of wood comes out of the darkness. Xena deflects it with her oar. Another chunk follows. She knocks it aside.
Don't waste your time.
She doesn't care about us.
You're wrong, mother.
The shadows surge forward. Xena sets herself.
Wait. This is not the way.
The shadows mill around, forming a thick semi-circle around where Xena is standing.
It is the only way
The shadows rush over Xena, flowing everywhere. Xena twists and turns to get away from them, shoving away from the wall and bolting towards the other end of the hold.
The shadows circle her like flies. She strikes out at them, but the take hold of her, and she struggles against their grip.
Leave me alone!
The shadows press down on her, and Xena is inundated with memories of her past. A vision of her giving Solon up. A vision of Amphipolis being destroyed during her early years. A vision of Solon dead in her arms. A vision of Cyrene burning. A vision of Hell opening up beneath Cyrene's inn.
EXT. SHIP DECK - CONTINUOUS
Gabrielle is pinned at the very bow of the ship. The storm is now raging again, and she is tossed against the rails and almost goes over. She holds on tenaciously, facing off against her nightmares.
Hope lunges forward. Gabrielle dodges, but slips on the wet deck and goes down on her knees.
What's the matter, mother?
A little off-balance?
Gabrielle gets up and braces her legs. Her face is grim.
I never did anything to hurt
any of you. Leave me alone.
Two shadows come forward.
That's not true! If you hadn't left,
the slavers would never have taken us!
How we died, because of you!
Gabrielle stares at her parents.
That's not true. If I hadn't
left with Xena....
Xena, Xena, Xena....
See? It's always Xena.
If I hadn't left with her,
I'd have been taken.
So you admit your selfishness!
You never cared about
any of us. Just yourself.
That's not true!
Yes, it's true, Gabrielle. The dead hear
the thoughts of the living, remember?
Imagine how I felt cold in my grave
dying because of you.... Only
to hear you thinking of her.
Gabrielle falls silent.
Imagine how I felt being shoved
down a lava pit... for her.
HECUBA AND HEROTDOTUS
Imagine how we felt watching you
turn your back on us... for her.
Gabrielle holds onto the railing with both hands. She knows there is a truth in all of it, no matter the circumstances.
What do you want of me?
INT. SHIP’S HOLD - NIGHT
Xena is pinned under the weight of the shadows. She fights desperately to get free, but their intensity is too great. The bombard her with images of her past and what she has done.
Over and over again, she feels Solon's death, feels the torture in Ming Tien's dungeon, feels the slap of Gabrielle's hand on her face.
That sound resounds through the hold.
Xena lets out a wordless yell of agony.
Mother! You have one chance!
Solon takes Xena's face in his hands. Xena stares at him.
Don't let her destroy you.
Let her go.
Solon strokes Xena's cheeks with his thumbs.
All you have to do is
tell me you love me.
Solon, I do. I always have.
More than you love her.
Xena stares at Solon.
Give us peace. Don't let us burn with
the knowledge our hearts were
betrayed by one who betrayed you.
Say it, mother. Take her from your
heart, and we will love you instead.
Xena closes her eyes, a look of pain on her face.
EXT. SHIP DECK - NIGHT - SAME TIME
Hope steps forward, holding out her hand. She is no longer mocking. For once, she is somber and serious.
We both made bad choices. But....
No matter what, you're my mother.
Gabrielle watches her tensely. Momentarily, she closes her eyes, and her head cocks in a listening position. She lifts her head and looks back at Hope after a brief pause.
Yes, I am.
Then tell me you love me more
than you love her. Make
that mean something.
Hope extends her hand. She looks Gabrielle right in the eye. The rest of the shadows wait in utter stillness.
Even the storm quiets. Waiting.
Gabrielle reaches out and takes Hope's hand.
Gabrielle pulls Hope close to her unexpectedly.
I can't tell you that, Hope. Because
you're right. I do love Xena more
than anything else in the world.
And, by the gods, after what I've had to
go through to have her by my side, it's
going to take a lot more than you
to take her away from me again.
Gabrielle lunges, grappling with Hope and throwing her off to one side as she plunges right through the center of the shadows, letting out a wild yell.
The shadows swoop down on her, but Gabrielle outraces them across the deck to a small hatch unseen until now behind the mast on the opposite side.
Gabrielle wrenches the hatch open and rips it from its hinges, throwing it back into Hope's face as she catches up. The rest of the shadows pour around Hope, streaming towards Gabrielle with arms outstretched.
Hold on, MOTHER.
Hope points menacingly at her.
Xena's had to make her own
choice down there. Sure you
came up on the winning end?
Gabrielle stares at Hope.
That chakram won't just
split your skull this time.
Gabrielle looks down into the dark hole. She looks up at Hope.
I'll take that chance.
Gabrielle steps through the hatch and disappears. With a howl, Hope and the rest of the shadows follow her.
INT SHIP’S HOLD - SAME TIME
Xena is lying on the ground, her arms outstretched, her body tense. She is staring up through the darkness.
Solon crouches over her, the shadows writhing over his face.
Not even for your son?
She takes a deep breath.
... would never ask that. Yeahhh!!!
Xena arches her back and flips upright with incredible speed and violence. She throws Solon back away from her and dives for the ground, finding her lost oar and then coming back up to her feet in a roll.
Solon picks her up and throws her against the back wall. Xena bounces off and catches her balance. She faces her demons with her head held high.
The darkness closes in around her. Solon leading the way.
Then we will take you to a
place so dark, you will never
find your way from it.
Yeah? Try me.
Xena puts her back to the wall and raises her oar as the shades converge on her. But before they can overcome her, a sound over head makes Xena look up.
A square of light appears, then it vanishes as something falls through it.
Xena drops the oar and catches Gabrielle instead, just as two sets of demons pile on top of them both, their touch bringing great pain.
As their screams ring out, the shadows abruptly vanish.
The sounds disappear.
The ship stops rocking.
The hold is suddenly flooded with light. Wrapped in each other's arms, Xena and Gabrielle look up to see the full moon shining down on them.
The only noises are the creaking of the timbers, and two sets of ragged breathing. Gabrielle lays her head down on Xena's shoulder and closes her eyes.
Xena keeps her head tilted up, drinking in the light as she hugs Gabrielle tightly to her.
The storm is over.
END OF ACT FOUR
EXT. TOWN DOCKS - NEXT DAY - MORNING
It is sunrise over the town. The light does not help the visual any. It is a ragged, worn down fishing village with salt encrusted buildings and a lot of rust on everything.
At the docks, however, stands the lost ship, tied up tightly. There are ladders placed against it, and already men are working on and near it, though they appear very cautious around the vessel.
The door to the inn opens, and Xena and Gabrielle emerge. They walk down to the pier and sit down on a crate, watching the action around the ship.
Doesn't look nearly as scary
in the daytime, does it?
Xena studies the dock in silence.
The innkeeper rushes up to them, nervous and upset.
Ah.... Ah, there you are. Um... listen,
I really do want to tell you just how terribly
sorry I am about what happened....
So you've said.
Ten or eleven times now.
The innkeeper wrings his hands.
Yes, well, it all turned
out all right, didn't it?
Xena and Gabrielle stare at him.
You knew that was
out there, didn't you?
Oh, you can't understand....
The innkeeper sits down.
Belegos was a ship captain. A very
famous ship captain who was a
wonderful fisherman, and a good person.
Xena studies her clasped hands, while Gabrielle listens.
He fell in love with a local lass here
and married her. He was wild in love
with her. Worshipped her... would
have done anything for her at all.
When he was at sea, the lass.... Well....
Anyway, she betrayed him and one night
he docked unexpectedly and went home.
It was their anniversary, you see, and....
The innkeeper gets up and wipes his hands on his apron.
He never got over it. He killed
them both, and disappeared.
He looks at the boat.
A few years later, the calling started.
We knew when the bell rang we
had to send someone out or else....
Those people never came back.
Ah, No. But we had to do it, because
otherwise he'd ruin the fishing,
and you know.... We... live... on that.
Gabrielle looks him in the eye.
You sent us out there to die.
Ah.... Well, yes, but you didn't.
So, all's well then, yes?
Xena stares straight ahead.
Great. Well, I've got to get back
to my inn. Sure you won't stay
with us another night?
Xena turns her head and glares at him.
The innkeeper leaves in a hurry. Xena and Gabrielle are left looking at the boat, and the sea beyond it. After a brief moment, Xena gets up and offers Gabrielle her hand. Gabrielle accepts it, and they walk down the road until they reach the shore, with an unobstructed view of the sea.
They sit down together on the rocks and listen to the waves. Gabrielle picks up a rock and tosses it into the water.
How much of that was real, Xena?
Xena shakes her head.
I don't know.
I mean, how did the captain's ghost,
or whoever, know who to conjure up?
Know which of our memories would....
I don't think he did.
Gabrielle turns and looks at Xena.
I think he just depended on
dredging up the worst things
in anyone's conscience.
Gabrielle ponders this for several seconds.
He sure hit the jackpot
with you and me.
Xena sighs and picks up a rock, tossing it in to the same spot as Gabrielle's.
Yeah. He sure did.
She throws another rock.
Wonder what made him stop?
Gabrielle slowly leans against Xena's shoulder, reaching out to take Xena's hand in hers.
Maybe he finally found someone
who loved the way he did.
Maybe he found two people.
I think he did.
Gabrielle clasps Xena's hand tightly. They both then speak at once.
They fall silent, and look at each other. Xena lifts her other hand and cups Gabrielle's cheek tenderly.
We beat our worst enemies.
A single tear rolls down Gabrielle's face. Xena wipes it off with her thumb, and then rests her forehead against Gabrielle's.
Yeah, we did, didn't we?
After a brief moment, they kiss. When they finally part, they wrap their arms around each other tightly.
Next time we keep the mineral bath,
and let ‘em go answer their own bell.
Gabrielle smiles at the sunrise.
Right there with you, partner.
Right there with you.
A seagull wheels over the beach, as Xena and Gabrielle lean against each other.
Xena and Gabrielle's beauty sleep was not harmed in the making of
this motion picture, but they've both sworn off seafood for a while.
The staff of SVS would like to thank our readers for joining us the past