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INT. HEDELON CITY MAIN TEMPLE - EVE'S CHAMBERS - CONTINUOUS
Eve jumps up and faces Xena.
Eve and Xena look at each other briefly, then Eve advances and they clasp hands.
Eve seems a bit nervous.
Gabrielle was here.
She told me you were....
Here with her?
That surprises you?
Xena looks away briefly, then back at Eve's face.
I guess you heard.
Eve releases Xena's hands and steps back, then walks slowly over to her washing table and stands, her back to Xena.
It was all over the Far East.
I couldn't help but hear.
She turns again, and faces Xena.
I was on the road and I got
taken... in... by some traveling
monks. They told me.
As a matter of fact, being
your daughter got me out of
a bad situation with them.
Funny how things turn out.
They admired your sacrifice.
She looks directly at Xena.
So did I.
Xena stares at her.
There was nothing to admire.
I realize that now.
You tricked them.
INT. HEDELON CITY TEMPLE HOSPICE - LATE AFTERNOON
Gabrielle is just getting up from the stool next to Evan’s bedside. The patients on the surrounding pallets are all turned on their beds to listen to her, and there are many smiles as she waves goodbye.
That was a great story!
One of the healers has also been listening. He comes up to Gabrielle.
It was indeed. You're new here,
aren't you? I saw you speaking
with the Enlightened One.
That's right. So you like stories?
Very much so. We don't get that many,
and cherish the ones that we do hear.
Gabrielle and the healer slowly walk down the rows of pallets.
Well, I know that sometimes when
you're trying to teach a new way,
that old stories aren't that welcome.
That must be some other way, then,
storyteller. Our way is one of love and
acceptance of others and curiosity
about the world. We love hearing
tales of other people and places.
Gabrielle looks very thoughtful.
That's good to know.
Will you be staying, then? I saw you
have healing skills as well. We
certainly need all who wish to serve.
Gabrielle clasps the man on the shoulder.
I don't know. But if I can
come back to help, I will.
The healer walks Gabrielle to the door and watches her leave. Another older healer comes up beside him and they stand together.
INT. HEDELON CITY MAIN TEMPLE - EVE'S CHAMBERS -
LATE AFTERNOON - CONTINUOUS
Xena and Eve are squared off, facing each other across Eve's small sleeping room.
I didn't trick anyone.
Someone tricked someone.
They think you died, mother.
Eve stares at Xena.
But that's a lot of accusations
coming from someone who's
fleecing everyone in sight.
A soft knock sounds at the door. Eve glances at the door, but ignores it.
I don't know what you're talking about.
I've spent the last few years thinking you
were dead, and now you show up here....
The door opens and Gabrielle's head appears, followed by the rest of her. She looks at Xena, looks at Eve, and sighs.
Thought I heard your voice in here.
Am I interrupting something?
Good. Xena, can I talk to you for a
minute, before this gets out of hand?
Nothing's out of hand. I just
spent the last few hours
checking out the holy dungeons.
And I've spent a few hours
working in Eve's hospice.
She looks Xena in the eye.
We're getting a very
mixed message here.
Xena searches Gabrielle's face, then she looks over at Eve.
Maybe we are. Or maybe Eve can
explain why her soldiers are forcing
men to work because they
can't afford her taxes.
Eve's jaw actually drops.
My WHAT? Mother, you've gone insane.
That's really what happened in Japa, isn't
it? You didn't die. You just went mad.
Gabrielle turns and faces Eve.
There is a small period of silence.
And she's not crazy, Eve.
Eve slowly sits down.
Then maybe I am. If she died, maybe
you're both a hallucination. I've
had a few of those lately.
Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
Maybe we should start
from the beginning.
Xena sits down on the ground with her back to the wall. She crosses her ankles and folds her arms. Her expression is somewhat dour.
Gabrielle looks at her in question. After a moment of silence from Xena, Gabrielle sighs again.
Maybe I should start at
the beginning. You need to
understand why we're here.
Eve looks at her. She folds her hands together in an attitude of waiting.
EXT. HEDELON CITY DOCKYARDS - EARLY EVENING
Several guards stand outside the prison. Four men with robes stand next to them. The guards are pretty beaten up... they sport bandages everywhere, and one is using a crutch.
LEAD MAN IN ROBE
Now, are you sure of what you saw?
Sir, like I said. It was one woman.
But boy, was it a woman!
That's right, and the scum in
the lockdown she was standing
at swore she said she was
the speaker woman's mother.
LEAD MAN IN ROBE
This could be trouble, if it's true.
Let's go talk to that prisoner.
The crippled guard leads them off towards the prison.
INT. HEDELON CITY MAIN TEMPLE - EVE'S CHAMBERS
Gabrielle is now sitting on the ground next to Xena. Eve is seated across from them, also on the ground.
I just can't believe it.
Can't believe what
we saw exists?
Eve gets up and paces.
I can't believe it has anything
to do with me. With
what I'm doing here.
Xena also gets up.
Then come with me.
I’ll show you.
I don't have to see. I know
the people around me.
They're not like that.
Eve and Xena face off again.
That's what you
want to believe.
They aren't! Gabrielle, you
saw them. Do you think they're
criminals and scam artists?
Gabrielle is still seated against the wall. She has wrapped her arms around her knees and is simply watching mother and daughter.
Xena gives Gabrielle an outraged look.
But I know what I saw in that
town, and it was just as real.
Those people weren't
a part of this!
So they coincidentally ran
here to your city and use
your symbol because...?
Eve is frustrated. Xena is frustrated. Gabrielle appears mostly tired.
Both Eve and Xena stare at Gabrielle.
I know what Xena
saw was real too.
I don't believe it! It's not real! You're
making it all up, mother! Just
because this isn't your way of....
Gabrielle gets up and joins Xena.
Eve, your mother has the
imagination of a warthog!!!!
She pauses, ignores Xena's glare.
She didn't make it up. I didn't make
it up. You need to see the truth.
Eve stares at them.
All right. Fine. I'll go, but I'm
telling you, you're wrong.
Good. Prove me wrong.
Xena starts for the door.
I have a service I
have to be at....
Gabrielle'll cover for you.
C'mon. The sooner we
get this done the better.
Gabrielle puts her hands on her hips.
Wait a minute. I don't know
what to do in that thing….
You're the one with the
imagination. Use it.
Eve hesitates. She looks at Gabrielle, who smiles, shrugs, and nods. With visible reluctance, Eve follows Xena out of the room.
INT. HEDELON CITY MAIN TEMPLE - INNER CHAMBER - EVENING
Eve's acolytes are all gathered together, speaking softly. They look up as the door opens, somewhat surprised and disappointed not to see Eve entering.
Gabrielle slips in and walks over to the group.
The little blond girl Gabrielle first met stands up.
What have you done with
the Enlightened One?
I haven't done anything with her.
She's... meditating right now.
She asked me to sit in for her.
The group looks at Gabrielle with deep, deep suspicion.
You're new here. How do
you know anything about
what the message is?
Gabrielle settles on the floor next to them.
Well, funny you should ask me
that. See, I've known Eve for
a really long time, and I know
where she got her message from.
Want to hear the story?
Everyone is still very suspicious, but they are also intrigued. Slowly, they gather around Gabrielle.
EXT. HEDELON CITY DOCKYARDS ROOFTOPS - NIGHT
Xena and Eve creep along the rooftop. They settle on the edge, peering over to see the prison gate.
There are at least six guards on the gate now, and more scattered over the walls. They are now armed with swords and crossbows instead of poles.
Eve looks at the prison.
Anyone can copy that symbol.
It doesn't mean anything.
Xena gives her a sideways look, then settles down to watch. A wagon rolls up to the gates and is admitted.
That's probably to take
the prisoner's work
projects to market.
Eve crawls up next to Xena and they lie shoulder to shoulder. Xena watches the gates, Eve watches Xena.
Did you really die?
Eve reflects on this briefly, looking out across the open space before she looks back at Xena.
To put those souls at rest?
Eve nods to herself.
So, what changed?
The monks told me you...
Xena looks over at Eve.
Being dead bored
the hell out of me.
Xena looks back at the gates. Eve shakes her head and falls silent. After a few minutes, the gates open and the wagon rolls out, filled with crates. The symbol is very visible in the torchlight. Xena looks at Eve. Eve looks uncomfortable.
It's still just a symbol.
Xena rolls her eyes.
All right. Let's wait for the gates to close,
then we'll get in there. You wanna
see first hand? No problem.
Xena and Eve creep over to the far side of the roof, and climb down the wall to the road. They are hidden by the shadows.
When that next wagon
comes up, jump on.
Eve remains silent, waiting at Xena's shoulder. The next wagon appears at the top of the street and heads for the gates. Xena tenses as it comes closer. Eve gathers her robes and prepares to jump also. At the last moment before the wagon comes up to them, Xena turns her head.
I left my heart and half my soul
behind, and I had to come back for it.
The wagon comes even with them, and Xena bolts for it. Eve is caught speechless for a second, then runs after her. They catch up to the wagon and swing themselves onboard just as it reaches the gates.
The gates open, and the wagon rolls inside. The gates slam shut after it.
END OF ACT THREE