A Necessary Evil


TEASER

At the Amazon village, Gabrielle hands the mask of the Queen to Ephiny.

GABRIELLE
This belongs to you. Melosa would want you to
have it.

EPHINY
I'll take it on one condition. I only hold it while
you're gone. By Amazon law, you're still the Queen.

GABRIELLE
(to Xena) Queen Gabrielle. Hmm. Does an Amazon
Queen beat a Warrior Princess?

XENA
Do you really wanna find out?

GABRIELLE
(to Ephiny) All right. Just don't expect me to show
up at any parades or anything.

EPHINY
Amazons don't have parades.

GABRIELLE
That was a joke.

EPHINY
I know.

Ephiny holds up the mask and the Amazons cheer. Velasca screams and stumbles over to them, beaten and half-dead.

EXTRAS
Velasca. She's alive.

The Amazons draw their swords.

VELASCA
You're all fools! That mask was mine! By rights
of the Amazon, that mask was mine! Hello,
Gabrielle. Thought I was dead, didn't you?

XENA
I don't know how you survived that fall, Velasca,
but you're hurt. You need help.

VELASCA
I have all the help I need right here.

Velasca pulls out the ambrosia from a bag on her belt.

VELASCA
Ambrosia, a gift from the gods, to make a god!

She eats it and she is transformed into a goddess.

XENA
Go! Everyone! Spread out!

Ephiny and Solari step forward. Velasca stands, her injuries gone.

VELASCA
You! Gabrielle!

Velasca shoots out a blot of lightning.

XENA
Gabrielle, down!

Xena pushes Gabrielle aside and the stage blows up.

EPHINY
Amazons! Attack!

XENA
No!

Velasca trashes the village.

XENA
Come on.

Xena brings Gabrielle to safety.

EXTRA
Run!

XENA
(to Gabrielle) Run!

EXTRA
Where are you?

EXTRA
I'm hurt!

VELASCA
I want Gabrielle! Where is she?!

XENA
Go on. Head for the caves. We'll follow as soon
as we can.

Gabrielle runs off. Xena joins Ephiny.

XENA
Call a retreat. Now or there'll be nothing left.

EXTRA
Head to the woods!

Ephiny makes a bird call.

EXTRA
Retreat!

EXTRA
Come on! This way.

XENA
Now, while she's weak.

Ephiny runs.

VELASCA
Oh, no you don't, Ephiny. I have a special place
in my heart for you, too!

Xena flip, ululating. She hits Velasca, but when she lands, there's an explosion and she's thrown into the air. She lands and dislocates her arm. Velasca is weakened by the use of her new power.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle runs and hides behind a tree.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Amazon village is in ruins.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Ephiny join Gabrielle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon village.

VELASCA
You can't hide from me, Gabrielle! You can't hide from a god!

Velasca laughs.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Velasca walks through the ruins. She picks up the burnt queen mask. She holds it to her face, but then crumbles it in her fingers.

VELASCA
Gabrielle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In a cave, the amazons treat the wounded. Xena holds her injured arm.

EPHINY
Most of us can still walk. But I can't leave the
wounded here.

SOLARI
We wanna fight. Send us back. We can take Velasca.

XENA
No, she can't be killed. She's an immortal.
(to Ephiny) Send the wounded over to Tyldus and
the Centaurs. He'll take care of them. And make
sure that they tell him to stay where he is. Velasca's
not after him yet.

GABRIELLE
No, she's after me. It's okay. I'm all right with that.

SOLARI
Yeah, we can't just hide. We have to do something.

XENA
Yes, I need as many Amazons as possible to
delay her. Don't get anyone killed, just slow her
down. Gabrielle and I need time.

EPHINY
Shouldn't be a problem. I think I'm high on her
list of things to do. Xena, that arm's dislocated.

XENA
Ah, yeah.

Xena crashes herself into a wall of the cave.

XENA
All better now. See?

EPHINY
Yeah.

Ephiny walks away.

XENA
You all right?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, yeah, you know? Ephiny may be high on
the list, but I'm on top. I've never been a target
before. I mean, I've never been hunted. (whispering)
Xena, what are we gonna do against a god?

XENA
Well, we need some help, that's for sure and to
fight an immortal, I need an immortal.

GABRIELLE
Do you know where you can find one?

XENA
Yes. Yes I do.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Labyrinth of the Gods. The head blows fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto is trapped in with the burned Tree of Life where Hercules left her. She picks up a rat and hums.

CALLISTO
No, no, no. No, no. Relax, my furry little friend. No,
you're not dinner. That's the boring part about
immortality. You're never hungry. No, you're definitely
not food. You're my little Hercules. Hercules trapped
me in this little resort. I owe him a lot. And I'm
planning on paying him back for his kindness.
Soon, soon. So, run away like a good little Hercules.

She puts the rat down.

CALLISTO
Run away. Run away.

Callisto kills the rat with a dagger.

CALLISTO
Very soon.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the cave.

GABRIELLE
This is Callisto we're talking about! We can't free
her! There's gotta be another way, Xena.

XENA
Callisto is an immortal. She's not a god, but she's
as close as we're gonna get on short notice.

GABRIELLE
What about Hercules, huh?

XENA
We don't have time to find him. Velasca's just
learning her powers. Every time she uses them,
it weakens her. But the lagtime's gonna get shorter.
Look Gabrielle, I know how much this hurts you.

GABRIELLE
No, you don't! Every time I close my eyes, I hear
her voice! I hear Perdicas scream. Now, I have
to live with that 'til the day I die. What makes you
think that Callisto would help you?

XENA
I'll just have to talk her into it.

Xena leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle travel.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night. Velasca travels through the woods.

SOLARI
Velasca?

Velasca walks over to see Solari and a group of Amazons.

VELASCA
Don't be a fool, Solari.

SOLARI
I'm not.

Solari steps aside to reveal a kneeling Ephiny who is tied up.

VELASCA
Wise, very wise. Bow your head, Ephiny.

EPHINY
You'll have to kill me, first.

Solari kicks her and Ephiny falls forward.

SOLARI
We have no argument with you, Velasca. Many
of us believe you should have been Queen, long
ago. And now that you're a god, we wanna offer
you a sacrifice.

VELASCA
Now, you're talking.

Solari offers her sword to Velasca. Velasca moves forward to take it, but falls in a pit.

EXTRAS
Get her! Now!

The Amazons shoot Velasca with arrows. Velasca flips out of the pit.

EPHINY
Run! Now!

EXTRAS
Move it! Run!

The Amazons retreat.

VELASCA
Very good. You're trying to delay me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day at the Labyrinth of the Gods.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle walk along the roof.

XENA
Hercules said that the ceiling had collapsed.

GABRIELLE
There. I'm sure you know what you're doing.

Xena ties a rope to a beam.

XENA
Now, pull the rope up after me. And don't drop it
again until I whistle twice. I don't want Callisto
getting out if she doesn't agree to my offer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena lands in the labyrinth and Gabrielle pulls up the rope. Xena draws her sword.

XENA
Callisto.

CALLISTO
Xena.

Callisto comes flipping in. She disarms Xena.

CALLISTO
Oh, Xena, so glad you could stop by for a little
visit. And here I was, afraid I'd never get to torture
you again. As you can see, I've been keeping
busy, scarred by fire, entombed for eternity. You'll,
ah, you'll forgive me if I'm not exactly at my peak,
won't you?

Callisto takes a swipe at Xena with her dagger.

XENA
Callisto, I didn't come here for this.

CALLISTO
Well, then you shouldn't have come at all.

Callisto attacks, but Xena flips away and draws her chakram.

XENA
You may be immortal, but I can still do damage.
How'd you like to spend eternity in five pieces?

CALLISTO
Oh, Xena, how I've missed you. Okay, you wanna
talk? So talk. What little thing could you possibly
say that would have any interest to me?

XENA
Ambrosia. I know someone who has it. So you
help me fight them and you get a shot at it.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Gabrielle hears one whistle. She drops the rope.

GABRIELLE
Xena?! Here!

Callisto takes Gabrielle's offered hand. Gabrielle pulls away and Callisto pulls herself out.

CALLISTO
Ah, such a pretty day for a blood bath.

Callisto laughs and Xena pulls herself out.

GABRIELLE
Xena, are you all right?

XENA
Oh yeah, I'm fine.

CALLISTO
Oh, me too, thanks for asking. Oh, but, then,
you've never really cared for me, have you?

GABRIELLE
You're here. It wasn't my idea.

CALLISTO
Oh, no, no, of course not. How've you been? Any
new husbands since the last one I killed?

Gabrielle hits Callisto with her staff across the face. Callisto laughs.

CALLISTO
I knew there had to be some reason you liked
her. That was good, but you know the problem,
don't you? I'm immortal, you can't kill me. You
can't even hurt me. Oh, but you want to, don't you?
Here, let me help.

Callisto stabs herself and then pulls out the sword She laughs.

CALLISTO
See? No blood. Immortals don't bleed. And we
heal fast. Oh, but not in pieces.

XENA
You're a laugh a minute. Let's g-

CALLISTO
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Not until we make a wee little stop.

GABRIELLE
The Amazons won't stop her long. Velasca will
catch up to us.

XENA
We don't have time for this, Callisto. The longer
we wait, the more powerful she becomes.

CALLISTO
Don't you argue with me! You want my help? It
won't take but a minute.

Callisto motions for them to leave.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In a village, villagers crowd around Xena who stands on a platform.

XENA
My name is Xena. Some call me the Warrior
Princess. Some call me murderer. Many years
ago, there was a village called Cirra. It was a
village just like yours, small and--and prosperous,
full of life, until a day that my army came. Until
the day that I came and destroyed it. Under my
orders, my men, they sacked the village, burned
the houses, and killed every living thing. Everything
was destroyed, including the soul of one young,
innocent girl, who will never be able to reclaim
her childhood, and will never know what the Fates
had planned for her if not for me.

The villagers walk away and Xena steps down. Gabrielle places a hand on Xena's arm, but Xena moves on.

XENA
(to Callisto) Let's go.

Xena walks away, but Callisto stands, looking nowhere with sad eyes. Then she follows.

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Velasca moves through the woods, but then stops.

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Artemis' temple.

EXTRA
Come on, let's go for the hunt.

GUARD #1
A dinar donation for the goddess, Artemis.

Velasca grabs the guard.

VELASCA
What do you care of Artemis? She's the goddess
of the Amazons.

EXTRA
Hey, what are you doing?!

Velasca grabs the second soldier by the neck.

VELASCA
I don't need you.

She crushes his neck.

VELASCA
But you remember what you see here. Remember
that you met Velasca, the God of Chaos. Remember
what she did and said in the temple of the Amazon goddess.

She throws guard #1 away.

VELASCA
Artemis, you fake! Where were you when our
nation died?! Where were you when the many
Amazon tribes were scattered and destroyed?!
Where were you when the word "Amazon" became
a joke told by old men in taverns?! I was once
your subject. Now, I'm your equal and your enemy!

She destroys the temple. Guard #1 runs off and she kills him with a lightning bolt.

VELASCA
He wouldn't have told it right, anyway.

She walks away.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In a cavern.

XENA
This is it.

CALLISTO
Ah, it's not bad. Velasca's lightning bolts won't
do much damage here.

GABRIELLE
Xena, those rocks look like they're about to fall.

XENA
I'm counting on it.

CALLISTO
And just how long am I supposed to be fighting
this woman for?

XENA
Get her beneath the rock ledge. I'll do the rest.

CALLISTO
Ah-uh, and then it's you and me and the ambrosia.
I just had a marvelous idea. Why don't you and
I both eat it? That way, we could be fighting each
other for eternity.

XENA
Let's just deal with Velasca, shall we?

Xena moves off.

CALLISTO
First things first.

Callisto and Gabrielle follow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later. Callisto looks at Gabrielle and winks. Velasca enters.

CALLISTO
Now?

XENA
Not yet.

Velasca listens.

VELASCA
(to herself) Three heartbeats. Xena and Gabrielle
have a friend. (yelling) I know where you are,
Gabrielle. Your heart just started beating faster.
I'll quiet it down, soon enough

XENA
It's now or never.

CALLISTO
It just might be both, for you.

Callisto takes Xena's chakram and flips out. She throws the chakram. It bounces on some rocks and then returns to Callisto.

GABRIELLE
What is she doing?

XENA
She just switched sides.

CALLISTO
Hello, Velasca. My, you're looking well. I'm Callisto.
You want Gabrielle. I want Xena. I think we have
something in common.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

VELASCA
And who are you?

CALLISTO
I'm insulted. Xena, your little playmate doesn't
know who I am! (to Velasca) She doesn't like to
talk about me.

Velasca holds up her arm to shoot a lightning bolt.

CALLISTO
Ah-ah! Now, before you start going crazy and
blowing things up, I think you should hear what
I have to say. In fact, I'm your only friend right now.

VELASCA
I don't need or want friends.

CALLISTO
Another thing we have in common.

VELASCA
You must have a death wish.

CALLISTO
You know, it's funny, I think I do.

XENA
We'll only get one shot at it.

GABRIELLE
What are you going to do?

XENA
I'm gonna break up their little party.

Xena flips out from behind the rocks.

XENA
Take her Callisto, now's your chance!

Velasca shots lightning bolts at Xena.

CALLISTO
Stop it! They're trying to drain you! It's just a trick!

Gabrielle jumps out.

GABRIELLE
Velasca!

Velasca fires again. Callisto pushes her down.

CALLISTO
I told you! They're trying to trick you!

Velasca shoots Callisto, who slams against a rock.

XENA
Gabrielle!

Xena flips and kicks Velasca. They draw their swords and fight.

VELASCA
You can't keep this up forever, Xena. I can.

XENA
It's not gonna take forever.

Velasca grabs Xena's sword in one hand and her throat in the other.

VELASCA
Too late. Good-bye, Xena.

Callisto grabs Velasca by the throat.

CALLISTO
You don't just kill me and walk away.

Velasca flips Callisto over. Xena attacks and then Callisto does too.

XENA
Gabrielle! Now!

Xena runs off and Callisto keeps fighting. Gabrielle throws her staff, and Xena throws her chakram. Their weapons hit the rock ledge. Callisto flips away and the rocks land on Velasca, trapping her.

GABRIELLE
Is that it? Is it over?

XENA
No, that side trip to the village cost us. She's
grown too strong. That won't hold her. We've got
some time before she works her way out. Let's
go. You're not gonna get the ambrosia this time, Callisto.

CALLISTO
Patience is a virtue.

The rocks move.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the campfire that night, Gabrielle and Callisto sit together, Callisto polishing her sword.

GABRIELLE
Can I ask you something?

CALLISTO
All right, we both know how much I love chit-chat.

GABRIELLE
When we were at the village and Xena was talking
about Cirra, did you feel anything?

CALLISTO
My goodness, are you trying to figure me out?
I'm flattered.

GABRIELLE
Answer me, or are you afraid?

Callisto stops polishing her sword.

CALLISTO
Let's play a game, shall we? I'll answer your
question, if you answer mine.

GABRIELLE
All right.

CALLISTO
What did I feel when Xena confessed her crimes?
Well the problem is, Gabrielle, I never feel anything.
I mean bits and pieces, here and there, but nothing
solid. Think back to when you were a little girl
and all you knew was your mother and your sister.
And all of your faith revolved them. Now, kill them.

Gabrielle starts to understand.

CALLISTO
My turn.

GABRIELLE
What?

CALLISTO
When I sliced open your husband, how long did
it take him to die?

Callisto laughs as Gabrielle gets up. Xena enters.

XENA
There's a path out of the mountains-

Gabrielle pushes by Xena.

XENA
What's wrong with her?

CALLISTO
We played a game of truth or dare and she's
not very good at it.

Xena sits.

XENA
I know where to make a stand. We have to draw
Velasca there.

CALLISTO
You gonna trust me? You haven't even mentioned
my little betrayal.

XENA
I can trust you because you're after the ambrosia.
And as for your betrayal, it was hardly unexpected.

CALLISTO
So, you knew I would turn. And you knew what
to do.

XENA
And now I know that you and Velasca are enemies.

CALLISTO
All right, so how do we take care of her, then?

XENA
Just beyond the mountains there's a canyon,
there are some ruins in it. And just beyond that,
a lava pit. That's our best bet.

CALLISTO
Well, the ruins will confine her powers. And the
goal is to get her into the lava pit. It's brilliant.

XENA
Without falling in ourselves.

CALLISTO
Ah, but you're forgetting one very important element.
My ambrosia.

XENA
Oh, I haven't forgotten that.

CALLISTO
Good. So I suppose I'm supposed to wear her
down again.

XENA
No, no. No, she's grown too strong. We have to
lure her there.

CALLISTO
Well, we have perfect bait for that. It's your precious
little Gabrielle she wants.

XENA
I know.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day. Velasca comes to the fire. She touches the ashes.

VELASCA
You have a huge start on me, Gabrielle. Then
again, I am a god.

She turns into a tornado and laughs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the ruins.

CALLISTO
Oh, it's a lovely spot. Looks a little like home, remember?

XENA
Either way, it ends here. Let's get to high ground.

CALLISTO
Now, do we stake Gabrielle out like the sacrificial
lamb she is, or are we to trust that she won't be running?

GABRIELLE
I'm not going anywhere, Callisto. Like Xena said,
it ends here.

Callisto laughs.

CALLISTO
Oh, no it doesn't. Because once Velasca's gone,
you still have me to deal with. And by then, I'll
have my Ambrosia. Oh, but I know you too well.
You probably have something figured out for that
too now, don't you, dear?

XENA
Right now the plan is just to deal with Velasca
and stay alive in the process.

CALLSITO
Oh, speak for yourself. Staying alive isn't something
that concerns me anymore.

Velasca comes in as a tornado, laughing.

XENA
Gabrielle!

They all get to cover, but the tornado pulls Gabrielle off her feet and towards Velasca.

XENA
Just hold on! Gabrielle! Gabrielle!

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Gabrielle is pulled along.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

XENA
Gabrielle!

Velasca laughs. Gabrielle grabs a root.

XENA
Gabrielle! Don't let go! I'm coming!

Xena runs and grabs a pole. It breaks, but she holds onto it, and is pulled to Gabrielle.

XENA
Hold on to me!

Gabrielle grabs Xena, and Xena let's go of the root. They go flying towards Velasca, but the pole digs into the dirt and flips them over Velasca. They take cover. The tornado dies.

VELASCA
Gabrielle, you may have made a run of it as Queen,
but this is the end.

Velasca laughs. The ruins start to fill with explosions, but Velasca is nowhere in site. Explosions continue to go off as the others talk.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

XENA
Dive for cover! Callisto, stay down.

CALLISTO
Where's that lava pit you want me to dump her
in? I'm looking forward to this.

XENA
It's on the other side of the ruins. There's a rope
bridge over it. We need to get her there.

CALLISTO
Well, that should be easy enough. She's after
the brat. Where she goes, Velasca goes. And
that leaves me free to get behind her. Wish me
luck. Not that you would. Oh and Xena, the next
time we meet, I'll be a god.

GABRIELLE
She's right, you know. I'm the bait. If it means
getting on that rope bridge-

XENA
Sacrificing you is not part of the plan, not even
close. And it's not just Velasca we need to get
on that bridge, it's Callisto as well. If I'm right,
they'll be so busy fighting one another, that they
won't notice me cutting the ropes.

GABRIELLE
Let's do it.

They run to the rope bridge.

XENA
The other side, hurry!

Velasca make her appearance.

VELASCA
There you are, Gabrielle.

Xena draws sword.

VELASCA
Uh, go away.

Velasca shoots Xena across the lave pit. Xena grabs hold of the rock ledge.

VELASCA
Now, here we are at last, face-to-face. Do you
fear me, Gabrielle?

GABRIELLE
Yes. I don't wanna die.

VELASCA
Hmm, well, at least you admit it. Strange, but I
don't really wanna kill you.

GABRIELLE
Go with it.

Velasca laughs.

VELASCA
I'm going to kill you all right. There's just this part
of me that respects you, because you did me a
huge favour.

Xena reaches for a vine.

VELASCA
The Amazon nation is dead. I've been trying to
revive a corpse. But now, as a god, I can make
the world into whatever I choose.

Xena tries to pull herself up.

VELASCA
And now it's time for you to die.

Velasca holds up her finger. Xena gets the vine.

VELASCA
Oh, it's too easy to kill you as a god and not half
as satisfying as doing it the old-fashioned way.

Velasca draws a dagger.

VELASCA
Tell Hades, I'll be dropping by soon.

Callisto leaps on Velasca.

CALLISTO
Give me my Ambrosia! Give it to me!

Callisto cuts the ambrosia off of Velasca's belt. Gabrielle grabs it. Velasca kicks Gabrielle, who goes flying. She grabs onto the rope bridge, the bag in her mouth. Xena pulls the vine. Callisto is flipped onto her back, but sticks her dagger into Velasca's stomach. She gets on the bridge.

CALLISTO
(to Gabrielle) Give me that!

Callisto gets over to Gabrielle. Xena climbs.

VELASCA
Ah, she's gotta go.

Throws dagger aside and walks to bridge.

CALLISTO
Gabrielle, Gabrielle, give it to me!

XENA
Gabrielle!

GABRILLE
Mmm!

XENA
Give it to her.

Gabrielle throws Callisto the ambrosia. She eats it and turns into a goddess. She turns to face the approaching Velasca.

CALLISTO
Here comes trouble.

Xena pulls herself over the ledge. Callisto and Velasca attacks each other with lightning.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

XENA
Hold on, Gabrielle!

Xena pulls up the rope.

GABRIELLE
I can't hold on! Hurry! Just do it! Cut the rope!

Xena ties the rope around her waist.

XENA
Hold on!

GABRIELLE
Do it!

Velasca and Callisto give up on the lightning and start to straggle each other.

GABRIELLE
Xena, I can't hold on!

XENA
Gabrielle, don't take your eyes off me!

Xena cuts the roe handles with her chakram and Callisto and Velasca fall into the pit, fighting all the way down.

GABRIELLE
Hurry!

Xena jumps. Gabrielle loses her grip, but Xena catches her.

XENA
I got'cha! I got'cha!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle helps Xena up.

XENA
With the bridge out, we'll have to take the long
way out of here. But it's all right, we have time now.

GABRIELLE
How long will it hold them?

XENA
For eternity, I hope.

GABRIELLE
Xena, do you think that, deep down, Callisto feels
sorry for the things that she's done?

XENA
No!

GABRIELLE
I do. I have to or I can't forgive her. And if I can't
forgive her, I can't move on. Goodbye, Callisto.

XENA
Let's go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The lava flows and an image of Callisto and Velasca overlap.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Hudson Leick as Callisto
Melinda Clarke as Velasca
Danielle Cormack as Ephiny
Jodie Dorday as Solari
Mark Webley as Guard #1

Written by: Paul Robert Coyle
Directed by: Mark Beesley

Disclaimer: The reputation of the Amazon Nation was not harmed despite Velasca's overly radical adherence to an otherwise valid belief system.