Maternal Instincts


TEASER

Xena and Gabrielle walk to where Solan lives with the centaurs.

GABRIELLE
Remember how it looked the last time we were
here? What a difference a year makes, huh?

XENA
One year, two months, and twelve days, but
who's counting?

GABRIELLE
It'll be fine. You'll see.

XENA
After all that Kaleipus has done to make this
happen, I certainly hope so.

GABRIELLE
I'm not talking about the treaty, Xena.

XENA
Shh.

Solan leaps down from a tree.

XENA
Solan. Solan, you dirty rat!

SOLAN
I almost had you! I've been practicing!

XENA
Very impressive. Don't you do it again. What do
you think, Gabrielle? Some tracker, huh?

GABRIELLE
He's a natural. Hi, Solan.

SOLAN
Hi, Gabrielle! Wait 'til you see! I got a staff, just
like yours!

GABRIELLE
Really. That's great!

XENA
Sounds like you've been pretty busy since we
were here, huh?

Kaleipus enters.

KALEIPUS
He's learned a lot.

XENA
He's clearly had a good teacher. Hello, Kaleipus.

KALEIPUS
Xena. It's been a long time.

Xena puts her arm around Solan.

XENA
Forever.

KALEIPUS
Thank you both for coming.

GABRIELLE
We should be thanking you. This treaty, it could
be the start of reuniting the Centaur nation.

KALEIPUS
That's why the delegates brought their children,
so they can appreciate the legacy we're leaving
them. A legacy of peace, and hope.

GABRIELLE
Hey, what are we waiting for, huh? Solan, I'll race
you to the edge of the village. On your mark. Get set.

She starts running.

GABRIELLE
Go!

SOLAN
No fair! That's cheating!

GABRIELLE
You'll never catch me!

XENA
Kaleipus, you should know that nothing's changed.
I didn't come back here to claim Solan. And besides,
you're more a father to him than if he was really
yours. I just came back here to give him a chance
at a safer future. Thanks to you, the future's never
looked better, for everyone.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hope plays with a ball. It hits the now dry lava pit that holds Callisto. Hope faints. It opens and Callisto is freed.

CALLISTO
A child. I always wanted a child.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

The centaur village. Solan enters one of the buildings and is grabbed. Gabrielle follows. Ephiny holds Solan. Xenan is with them.

EPHINY
Surprise!

GABRIELLE
Ephiny!

They hug.

GABRIELLE
I can't believe this. Xenan? Why didn't you send
word that you were coming?

EPHINY
And spoil the surprise? Besides, as a Centaur
Prince, this treaty's important for Xenan, huh, huh?!

Ephiny sees that something is bothering Gabrielle.

EPHINY
(to the kids) Why don't you two go play? Give
Gabrielle and me a chance to catch up, huh?

SOLAN
Okay.

EPHINY
Ooop!

She takes Xenan's toy.

EPHINY
Sorry, Sweetie, but you might lose him. Lucas will
be here when you get back. Now, scoot!

SOLAN
Come on, Xenan.

Solan and Xenan leave.

EPHINY
Gabrielle, what is it? What's wrong?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto sees the peace totems.

CALLISTO
It's pathetic.

She burns the totems. Two men come running.

SENTRY
Both the totems are on fire! What do you think
you're doing?!

CALLISTO
Just sending a message to an old friend.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later in the hut with Ephiny.

GABRIELLE
I can't believe it's only been a couple of months.
It feels like a lifetime since Xena and I were in
Britannia.

EPHINY
Word was Xena helped Boadicea defeat Caesar.

GABRIELLE
That's true. While we were there I, uh, I got into
a--a very bad situation.

EPHINY
What do you mean? What happened?

GABRIELLE
I had a child. And, sh--she died. I named her Hope.
That's what she was. She was my hope that, um,
despite everything that had happened...this child
was--was worth it all.

EPHINY
You can't blame yourself for her death. Only the
Fates know why sleep steals a child's life. I'm
so sorry.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the totems. The two who attacked Callisto are now burned and tied on the totems.

KALEIPUS
Cut those men down, now! I want the group
responsible for this.

XENA
It wasn't a group. Look, there's no footprints.
Nothing's been disturbed.

KALEIPUS
It could be a god, Ares maybe, angry over the treaty.

XENA
No, it's not his style. There's only one who would
relish something like this. And unless the impossible's
happened, she's trapped for good.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the hut, Ephiny and Gabrielle hug.

EPHINY
You sure you'll be okay?

GABRIELLE
I'll be fine. Now go, or you'll be late for your meeting.
Ephiny, don't forget Lucas. This wolf, it's by Senticles,
isn't it?

EPHINY
Uh-huh?

GABRIELLE
Yeah. Xena gave me a wooden lamb last Winter
Solstice. I gave it to Hope.

EPHINY
Why don't you get some rest?

GABRIELLE
I will.

Ephiny exits. Gabrielle turns her back to the door and Hope enters. Gabrielle washes her hands, and then suddenly grabs her staff and points it where Hope is hiding.

GABRIELLE
Whoever you are, I know you're there. So come
out. Now!

Hope comes out. Gabrielle is unaware it is her daughter.

GABRIELLE
I'm sorry. I--I'm not gonna hurt you. What's your name?

HOPE
Fayla. Are you Xena, the Warrior Princess?

GABRIELLE
No, I'm not Xena. I'm Gabrielle. Xena's a friend
of mine. Maybe I can help you.

HOPE
It has to be Xena. The monster-lady made me promise.

GABRIELLE
Monster-lady?

HOPE
She said she'd hurt me if I told anyone else. And
she can. She's a god.

GABRIELLE
Fayla, this monster-lady, did she tell you her name?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later, in another hut.

XENA
Callisto. I sensed it earlier, but how could she
escape? (to Hope) This message she told you
to give me, what is it?

HOPE
She told me to tell you that she knows your little
secret and she's gonna take it to the grave. That's
all. Now, can I go?

Hope starts to leave.

GABRIELLE
Wait.

Gabrielle stops Hope and sits her down.

XENA
Callisto knows about Solan.

GABRIELLE
But, how?

XENA
Whoever freed her must've told her. But who that
is or how they know-

KALEIPUS
Doesn't matter. Bottom line is protecting Solan.

XENA
What about hiding Solan in the Ixion caves?

KALEIPUS
Should be safe there.

GABRIELLE
Maybe we should take Fayla, too. How about it, Fay-

They look to Hope, but she's gone.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto and Hope's hideout.

CALLISTO
Tell me again how Xena looked when you told her
that I'd take her precious little secret to the grave.

HOPE
Like she'd been stabbed through the heart with
her own sword.

Callisto starts to brush Hope's hair.

CALLISTO
And that's exactly how she'll feel too, when Solan
dies. Stabbed, stabbed through the heart.

HOPE
Ow! That hurts.

CALLISTO
Pierced to the soul of such exquisite pain.

HOPE
Don't!

CALLISTO
Oh, I wish I could've seen it.

HOPE
Stop!

Hope sends the brush flying across the room.

HOPE
You'll get your chance. Why do you think I freed you?

CALLISTO
To make her suffer?

HOPE
To make her stop. My father's kingdom is at hand.
The age of darkness, when Dahak will snuff out
the people Xena loves, 'til he's crushed her very
soul, and as she goes, so goes the world.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Two kids play outside.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaleipus' hut.

SOLAN
No way! I'm not a baby! None of the other kids
have to hide.

KALEIPUS
You're not one of the other kids.

XENA
Kaleipus, do you mind if I talk to Solan alone?

Kaleipus leaves.

SOLAN
What's with him, anyway?

XENA
He's worried about you.

SOLAN
Why? I can take care of myself.

XENA
He is your father. Maybe not by blood, but he
couldn't love you any more if he were. And when
you are a parent and your child is in danger, that
is the scariest feeling in all the world.

SOLAN
You're saying he's scared.

XENA
I'm saying he loves you. And though you might
not understand the reason, you have to trust that
someone who loves you that much is only trying
to do what's best for you. Right?

SOLAN
I guess so.

XENA
So, do me a favour, cut him some slack, all right? Deal?

SOLAN
Deal. But you owe me.

XENA
Big time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another hut. Gabrielle gets some supplies.

GABRIELLE
Thanks.

Gabrielle bumps into Hope as she leave. Hope drops the wooden lamb. Gabrielle picks it up.

GABRIELLE
Where did you get this?

HOPE
I didn't steal it. It's mine. It's always been mine.
The people who found me said so.

GABRIELLE
Found you?

HOPE
They said it was in the basket with me. All's I
remember is lots of water, me crying for my mom.
But she never came.

Ephiny can be heard from outside.

EPHINY
Gabrielle! Gabrielle!

Ephiny enters.

EPHINY
Xena says to hurry. They're ready to go.

She sees the sad look on Gabrielle's face.

EPHINY
Is there something wrong?

GABRIELLE
No. No, I'll be right there.

Ephiny leaves.

GABRIELLE
Look, um, there's something that I have to do,
here. So I want you to do a favour for me, okay?
I want you to wait in my hut 'til I get back. And this
way, I-- I'll know you're safe.

HOPE
Don't see why you care.

GABRIELLE
You will. Do you promise?

HOPE
I promise.

GABRIELLE
Bye.

Gabrielle leaves.

HOPE
Bye-bye...Mommy.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena leads a cloaked figure through the woods.

XENA
Wait. I smell burning.

A trail of fire lights, and breaks off a branch from a tree. Xena throws the cloaked figure aside, and then flips out of the way. Callisto appears, and Xena draws her sword.

CALLISTO
Really, Xena? Is that any way to greet an old friend?
Especially considering the warm welcome I just
gave you.

XENA
How'd you do it, Callisto? Who helped you? That
lava pit should have held you forever.

CALLISTO
Well, that's for me to know and you to find out.

The cloaked figure runs behind a rock.

CALLISTO
But I didn't come here to talk about me. I came to
meet your precious little son. Solan, isn't it? Flesh
of your flesh, bone of your bone, blood of your blood.
Can't wait to see all that.

XENA
Hurt my son and I swear by any god you name, I'll-

CALLISTO
You'll do what? You're gonna make my life a living
hell? Old hat, Dear.

She sends Xena flying with a motion of her finger.

CALLISTO
You did that years ago, when you, uh, barbecued
my family. But now it's my turn to host the cook-out!
And where is the guest of honour?!

She sees the hiding cloaked figure.

CALLISTO
Solan. Solan, dear. Come meet your Auntie Callisto.

XENA
No!

The cloaked figure removes hood to reveal Gabrielle.

CALLISTO
Gabrielle. Clever you, fooling me with the old
bait and switch. Good plan. After all, even I can't
be at two places at the same time, now, can I?

She laughs and disappears.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the Ixion caves.

KALEIPUS
Solan? I thought I told you to wait back there!

He moves forward and sees Hope.

KALEIPUS
Zeus child, what are you doing here?

Hope sends a sword flying at him and Kaleipus screams.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle run along.

GABRIELLE
I don't understand! Even Callisto can't be in two
places at once-

XENA
She's not working alone. She as good as said so.

GABRIELLE
What?

XENA
Someone is helping her.

They hear the sound of someone collapsing.

XENA
I just don't know who?

They run to find a fallen Kaleipus.

XENA
Kaleipus.

GABRIELLE
Oh!

XENA
Kaleipus. Kaleipus, what happened? Where is
Solan? Where's Solan?

KALEIPUS
Safe...went for help.

XENA
Who did this?

KALEIPUS
(whispering) The--the child.

XENA
What? I can't hear you?

KALEIPUS
Raise him.

He dies.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Kaleipus' hut. Xena and Solan stand over Kaleipus' armour and burning candles.

XENA
I'm so sorry. Kaleipus was one of the finest people
I ever knew.

SOLAN
Like my father, and my mom. But, why does
everyone I love die? Is it me?

XENA
No. No, of course not.

SOLAN
Then why are they dead? Everyone who ever
loved me?

XENA
They're not. You still have m - many, many friends.
And they've all said how much they love you and
want you to come and live with them.

SOLAN
But I don't want to. I want to live with you.

XENA
What?

SOLAN
I won't be any trouble, I promise. I'll catch my own
food and keep up. And I'm hardly ever sick.

XENA
Solan, I don't think-

SOLAN
Please. My uncle always said, if anything
happened to him, you'd be there for me.

XENA
And he was right. But all your ties are here. Don't
you wanna be with someone that you know,
someone that you care about?

SOLAN
Yes, you. You said we were friends, and
real friends are like family, right?

XENA
Like family.

SOLAN
Then take me with you, please? Don't leave me.

XENA
When all this is over, you be packed and ready
to go. We've got a lot to talk about. We might as
well do it on the road.

Xena leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto enters the Ixion caves.

CALLISTO
Hope. Hope. Are you here?

She sees Hope sitting on the ground.

CALLISTO
Hope, what's happened?

HOPE
Uh, that half-assed old man. He caught me
coming for Solan.

CALLISTO
So you had to kill him, and look what it's done
to you. Weak as a little kitten. Which means,
Solan is mine.

HOPE
No! You have to get me out of here.

Callisto turns to leave.

HOPE
Leave me now, and join the rest of your puny
gods when Dahak destroys them. Lose everything
I promised, everything Dahak brings.

CALLISTO
Well, what is a little more time?

She sits beside Hope.

CALLISTO
And when you're well, we'll obliterate them all.

HOPE
No, better to crush their dreams, destroy their
future. We'll kill what they love most...their children.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The centaur village.

EXTRA
Come on, boys! Quickly, now! Hurry! Quickly!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle enters her hut. Hope isn't there.

GABRIELLE
Fayla!

Hope enters.

GABRIELLE
Where have you been?! I have been looking all over
for you! You said that you would wait here, remember?

HOPE
I'm sorry, but she wouldn't let me! I tried to get
away, but she-

Gabrielle hugs the crying Hope.

GABRIELLE
Who? Who, Callisto?

HOPE
I have this power to move things. I don't know
why. She says it's 'cause I'm evil.

GABRIELLE
That is a lie. You are not evil. Never believe that.

HOPE
My mother thought so. She tried to drown me in
a basket. She wanted me dead.

GABRIELLE
She wasn't trying to drown you. She was trying
to save your life.

HOPE
You weren't there! You don't know!

GABRIELLE
I do. The basket is all there was. I--I had to put
you in it or, I had to watch you be killed. Now I had
no choice. I loved you.

HOPE
You--you loved me?

GABRIELLE
I--I prayed that the gods would protect you, and
they did. They brought you home.

They hug.

HOPE
We have to go. I'm sorry, Mommy, it was me. I
helped Callisto get out. And now she's coming
for the kids. We have to go! Come on, hurry!

GABRIELLE
No. Wait, wait. Xena has to know this.

HOPE
No, Xena hates me!

GABRIELLE
She doesn't hate you. She just doesn't understand.
Now, she will see what I've known all along, that
you can fight your dark side, just like her.

HOPE
But I'm scared. If Callisto finds out I told, she'll
kill me! She will!

GABRIELLE
She will not find out. I will take you to the safest
place there is, until we can go. Okay?

HOPE
The safest place? You promise?

GABRIELLE
I cross my heart. Don't be afraid okay? Now,
come with me. Let's go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaleipus' hut. The door opens.

SOLAN
Almost ready.

HOPE
Solan?

SOLAN
That's right.

HOPE
Safest place there is.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another hut.

EPHINY
The children? She's targeting the children?

GABRIELLE
She's coming from the south.

EPHINY
I'll round up the kids, get 'em to the caverns.

Ephiny leaves.

XENA
What makes you think you can trust this child?

GABRIELLE
What makes you think that we can't? Xena, she
gave us Callisto's plan.

XENA
Exactly. Callisto wouldn't tell her anything she
didn't want us to hear. The child's probably a
pawn or worse.

GABRIELLE
That is not true. Xena, you were always so quick
to blame her, weren't you? Well, she is not evil!
She's not!
XENA
Hope? The child is Hope?

Gabrielle nods.

GABRIELLE
I'm sorry. I never meant to lie. Xena, I couldn't kill
her. She's my daughter. You're a mother, you
know this! I had to save her.

XENA
Maybe it's not too late. She's young. Poison'll kill
her if her powers aren't mature.

GABRIELLE
Poison? Xena, she is my child!

XENA
She is not a child! She is a body, a vessel, an
instrument for evil. That is all!

GABRIELLE
You are wrong! Xena, Hope is the victim here!
That is why I sent her to Kaleipus' hut, so she
would be safe from Callisto.

XENA
You sent her to Kaleipus' hut?

Xena runs out.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena bursts into Kaleipus' hut.

XENA
Solan?

Solan lies on the table with Kaleipus' armour. She runs to him.

XENA
Solan? Hey. Hey, Solan.

She pulls gently on him, and he falls into her arms. He's dead.

XENA
Solan?

Gabrielle runs in.

GABRIELLE
Xena? No. No. No.

XENA
Get out.

GABRIELLE
Xena-

XENA
Go! Solan.

Gabrielle leaves and Xena cradles Solan.

XENA
Solan please. I'm here, now. Your mamma's here.
Just like you always wanted.

She looks to the sky and begins to scream.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto rises and smiles. Then she frowns.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Xena cradles Solan in Kaleipus' hut. Ephiny knocks on the door.

EPHINY
Xena, it's Ephiny. Xena, please.

Ephiny enters. Xena doesn't turn to look at her. She just stares blankly.

XENA
Go away.

EPHINY
Xena, Callisto's coming. We need your help.

XENA
Go away.

Ephiny leaves. The door opens.

XENA
I said, get-

Xena turns to see Xenan, who gasps. She stops.

EPHINY
Xenan!

Xenan leaves. Xena lays Solan down and covers him with a blanket. She leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle pours poison into a wineskin. Hope enters.

HOPE
Mommy?

Gabrielle hides the vial that held the poison.

GABRIELLE
What are you doing here? I thought I told you to
wait in Kaleipus' hut?

Hope runs to Gabrielle and hugs her.

HOPE
I know, but it was awful. I couldn't stay there! I
was scared!

GABRIELLE
Why? What did you do?

HOPE
I ran. As soon I got there and saw that boy dead,
I ran and hid.

GABRIELLE
Hope, are you saying that he was already dead
when you entered the hut?

HOPE
I thought Callisto did it, so I got scared and ran away.

GABRIELLE
Oh, of course. It had to be Callisto. You said that
she's after the children, right?

HOPE
She is. So, please, can we go now? I don't wanna
die like Solan.

GABRIELLE
How did you know his name was Solan?

HOPE
You--you said so, remember? Now, please, can
we go?

GABRIELLE
Yes. Yes, we'll go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto walks into the village, when an arrow suddenly rips through her body. She turns to face Xena.

CALLISTO
Hurts, doesn't it? Losing your family. Rips out
your heart, your guts, your feelings. All that's left
is the pain, right? Welcome to the club.

Callisto shoots fire at Xena, but Xena comes out and fires another arrow.

XENA
Now!

Centaurs and men leap out and make Callisto a living pin cushion with arrows. Callisto is uninjured. Her eyes glow.

XENA
Fall back!

Callisto screams and the arrows are thrown back, killing some of the centaurs and men.

XENA
Go! Take cover!

CENTAUR
Retreat! Hurry!

The children run by with Ephiny.

CALLISTO
Stupid fools. I'm doing you a favour.

Callisto shoots a fireball. Xena attacks Callisto, stopping the fireball from killing the kids. Xena draws her sword and attacks.

CALLISTO
You'd like to kill me. Wish you could.

Callisto hits Xena and sends her flying into a burning hut.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto walks into the cave, where Ephiny is with the children.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto walks through the cave.

CALLISTO
Why drag this out?! Can't you see I bring you the
gift of oblivion?! Come out, come out, wherever
you are? I promise it won't hurt. Much.

She enters a room in the cave.

CALLISTO
Dead end.

XENA
You got that right. It all ends here with me.

CALLISTO
You don't seem to get it, do you? You've won. All
these years I've spent living to destroy you, thinking
that only if I could give you the same pain that you
gave me, I'd be rid of it, and life would go on. And
then I do, and nothing changes. I don't feel better,
just empty. So you let me go, Xena. You can't win
this battle. And you've already won the war.

Callisto starts to walk out.

XENA
It's not that simple. I won't let it be.

Xena attacks Callisto, hitting her again and again, keeping her in the cave.

CALLISTO
I'm warning you Xena, you're nothing to me now.

XENA
You're breakin' my heart.

Xena kicks Callisto to the ground.

CALLISTO
Walk away.

XENA
Go to Tartarus.

Callisto shoots lightning bolts. The cave begins to crumble as rocks fall.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ephiny is with the kids.

EPHINY
Get down!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena watches the rocks fall.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ephiny is with the kids.

EPHINY
Run!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Callisto gets up, but Xena continues to thrash her, releasing her anger. She gets Callisto to the ground, and jumps on top of her, wrapping her hands around Callisto's neck.

CALLISTO
You'll trap us both! That's your plan, to trap me
here while my pain keeps growing and growing
and you die and yours ends!

XENA
You're wrong, Callisto. You let your pain kill you
years ago. I'm gonna live with mine.

Xena escapes and Callisto screams as the cave crumbles on top of her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
There's a cave-in.

EPHINY
Look out!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena gets up and leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena walks out.

EPHINY
(to the kids) It's okay.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle kneels over Hope's dead body and almost drinks the poison that's killed her, but she empties it onto the ground instead. Xena approaches and they stare at each other. Xena wears an angry face, while Gabrielle is almost in tears. Gabrielle looks away.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ephiny sings at double funeral fire for Solan and Hope. Ephiny finishes and everyone leaves the two mourning mothers alone. Gabrielle turns to face Xena.

GABRIELLE
If--if I had just done what you said when you told
me to do it, then they would still be alive. Kaleipus
and Solan.

XENA
No. Don't you even speak his name.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

XENA
No. No, you lied to me. I trusted you, and you lied
to me. And now Solan is dead. My son is dead,
because of you.

Gabrielle pauses.

GABRIELLE
I love you, Xena.

Xena doesn't reply or face Gabrielle. Gabrielle walks away. Tears fall down Xena's face, and she walks the other way. They two friends have parted.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Hudson Leick as Callisto
Amy Morrison as Hope
David Taylor as Solan
Danielle Cormack as Ephiny
Jeff Boyd as Kaleipus
Reece Rodewyk as Xenan
Chad Bennett as Sentry
Phil Adams as Centaur

Written by: Chris Manheim
Directed by: Mark Beesley

Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle's relationship was harmed during the production of this motion picture.