A Family Affair


TEASER

Night. A Shepherd looks for his dog at night in the woods.

SHEPHERD
Pluto? Blasted dog! Where in Tartarus?! Pluto!
Confounded dog! Pluto! Come here! Pluto!
Here, boy! Come! Come here! By the gods!

A bush shakes.

SHEPHERD
Pluto?

Pluto jumps out, barking.

SHEPHERD
Oh! Pluto! Zeus, you scared me!

Pluto keeps barking.

SHEPHERD
Hey, none of that.

Pluto continues to bark. He jumps into a bush, gives a yelp and is silent. The Destroyer (unseen) runs out and attacks the Shepherd. The camera moves to a puddle that turns red with blood as the Shepherd screams.

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Joxer removes a bunch of dead daisies and replaces them with new ones in Dahak's temple where Gabrielle died.

JOXER
I brought your favorite. Daisies. They're in bloom
now, so I can bring 'em fresh to ya every day...Gabrielle.

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Clips from "Sacrifice II."

JOXER
Gabrielle!

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Joxer moves to drop a daisy into the pit when a hand grabs his. He screams. Xena pulls herself up enough for Joxer to see that it's her. Xena is dirty from climbing.

XENA
She's alive!

JOXER
Xena? What're you, what're you doing?! Gabrielle's
alive? She's alive?!

Xena climbs out.

XENA
Yeah. I had a vision. I couldn't be sure until now.

JOXER
A vision. Xena, no one could have survived that fall.

Xena takes a drink of water.

JOXER
And if they did, the lava river would have...

XENA
Poteidaia. She would've gone back to her family.

Xena leaves.

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Sun.

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Poteidaia. Girl #1 picks up a pinwheel and runs off with Girl #2.

JOXER
You know, I can see Gabrielle growin' up around
here. Helping her mom and dad with the chores.
Playing games with her sister. Makin' the other
kids laugh.

Children are heard laughing and clapping.

EXTRAS
Tell us a story! Tell us a story!

Xena and Joxer move to see if it's Gabrielle, but it's a puppet show told by a man.

EXTRA
Dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum. Oh, what a lovely
day it is, today! Oh, hello. Who are you?! Hello,
boys and girls.

XENA
Funny, I just thought that maybe...

EXTRA
My name is Mr. Wolf.

JOXER
I love this story.

Joxer sits on a bench with the children.

EXTRA
It's a nice day today, isn't it?

JOXER
Yeah.

EXTRA
Ooh, what are they?

JOXER
Sheep.

EXTRA
They look very nice. Four plump-

Xena turns away to see the back of Gabrielle. She doesn't know, however, that it's really Hope. Hope turns around. Smiles spread over both Xena and Hope's faces (Hope is pretending to be Gabrielle).

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Xena and Hope look at each other and just as Xena is about to move forward, Joxer jumps in front of Xena.

JOXER
Gabrielle?!

He moves to Hope.

JOXER
Gabrielle? I don't believe it! You're--you're
alive. You're...and you're...here. You're here!

They hug and she kisses him.

HOPE
I've missed you, too.

Joxer laughs and faints. Hope moves to Xena and they hug tightly. Joxer gets up.

JOXER
Yeah, I...um, oh, you guys, uh, catch up. I'm gonna
go check out the sights.

Joxer leaves.

HOPE
I can't believe you're here.

XENA
The gods, themselves, couldn't keep me away.

HOPE
Xena, when you didn't answer my messages,
I thought you-

XENA
Messages? Gabrielle, I never got them. I
thought you were dead. I thought I'd lost you forever.

HOPE
You nearly did.

Voice-over of Gabrielle screaming.

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Hope and Gabrielle fall. Gabrielle screams.

HOPE (voice-over)
It was a nightmare, Xena.

Gabrielle screams.

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Poteidaia.

HOPE
We just kept falling-

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The pit.

HOPE (voice-over)
-straight at the lava.

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Poteidaia.

HOPE
I got knocked into a niche in a wall. But Hope...

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Hope falls.

HOPE
Why, Mother?! Why?!

Hope lands in the lava.

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Poteidaia.

HOPE
I don't know how long I was out. When I came to,
I tried to shout for your help, but I couldn't.
I just laid there.

XENA
You were in shock.

HOPE
Yeah, I was a mess, for a long time. If you never
got my messages, then how did you know I was alive?

XENA
It's hard to describe, but I saw you. Not now,
it was someplace in the future.

HOPE
The future. Don't tell me you've become an oracle.

XENA
Not a very good one. I got a definite sense of danger
around you, not the peace and quiet of Poteidaia.

HOPE
You're right, there is danger, here.

Joxer enters, looking ill.

JOXER
Xena, Gabrielle. You guys better take a look at this.

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Xena picks up the Shepherd's cane. She puts it down and look up in a tree to see the dead Shepherd.

HOPE
By the gods, that's the worst yet.

XENA
There have been others?

HOPE
Sheep, cows, a horse, never a man. Until now.

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Gabrielle's home. The windmill turns.

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Inside. Lila, Herodotus and Hecuba stand on one side, and Xena, Joxer and Hope on the other.

HERODOTUS
Xena. We wondered when you'd get here.

XENA
Hello. It's nice to see you all, too.

HECUBA
Oh, Gabrielle? Aren't you gonna introduce your
other friend?

HOPE
These are my parents, Hecuba, Herodotus and
my sister, Lila.

JOXER
Joxer, the Mighty, at your service. Ma'am. Sir?

He clasps arms with Herodotus and moves to Lila.

JOXER
You know? Any sister of Gabrielle's, is a part
of her family.

LILA
Pleased to meet you.

JOXER
Is that fennel soup?

Joxer and Lila move off.

HECUBA
Oh, what a nice young man. So gallant.

Hecuba takes Hope aside, leaving Xena and Herodotus alone.

XENA
So, how's she been?

HERODOTUS
Without you? Just fine.

XENA
I meant, after everything she's been through.

HERODOTUS
You should know, seducing her away from home
with your heroics? Filling her head with strange
ideas. "How's she been?" Changed forever,
'cause of you.

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At night, the Destroyer (unseen) moves towards the barn.

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Xena and Hope wait in the barn, an animal carcass hanging from the ceiling.

XENA
It's almost dawn. Bad luck about the storm.

HOPE
Are you giving up? Of course not. You never give
up on anything, no matter the odds, the cost,
the pain. I missed you, Xena.

XENA
Back atcha.

She tosses Hope an apple.

XENA
Still, hunting the thing in the daylight might be
better, anyway.

HOPE
I thought you wanted to get it someplace confined.

XENA
I do and I will if we can track it down to its lair.

The side door opens. Xena turns and closes it. When she looks back, the carcass is gone. Xena draws her chakram and looks around.

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Outside the rain pours.

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The Destroyer sneaks down behind Hope. Hope turns to see the Destroyer, who moves right past her to Xena. The Destroyer hits Xena a few times and knocks her chakram into a beam in the ceiling.

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The rain falls and the wind howls outside.

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The Destroyer runs past Hope again and towards Xena who draws her sword. Xena fights the Destroyer who knocks her sword next to her chakram. He grabs her by the throat and picks her up. Hope wears an excited look as the Destroyer holds one of his spikes in Xena's face.

XENA
You shouldn't play with your food.

Xena grabs the chain that held the carcass and catches his arm in it. She flips from his grasp with a yell and holds the lantern up. The Destroyer cringes from the light and growls. Xena opens the side door.

XENA
Gabrielle!

The Destroyer breaks free. Xena and Hope run out of the barn, followed by the Destroyer. Xena and Hope run into the house.

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Xena and Hope enter the house and Xena closes and bolts the door.

XENA
Brace yourselves!

Xena and Hope hold the door.

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The Destroyer rams the door.

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The house shakes. Hope moves to join Gabrielle's family and Xena continues to hold the door. She is wet, dirty, has a bruise under her eye and a scratch on her arm.

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The Destroyer rams the door.

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Xena puts a board on the door.

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The Destroyer rams the door.

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The house shakes.

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The Destroyer rams the door.

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The house shakes.

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The Destroyer rams the door.

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The house shakes.

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The Destroyer rams the door.

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A spike comes through the door, nearly hitting Xena. Lila gasps and holds Hope. Xena moves along the side of the wall as the Destroyer plants his spikes in, following her. The attack stops. It is silent for a moment, when the Destroyer's hand crashes through the wall and grabs Xena by the throat. Xena draws a dagger to fight, but he suddenly runs off. Xena looks out and sees that day has arrived.

XENA
Daylight's got him on the run.

Xena sits, a little shaky.

JOXER
What was that?

XENA
All I know is; I cut it up pretty bad.

HOPE
You did?

HECUBA
Gabrielle, you've hurt your knee. Come, and I'll
see to it. Lila, get me some fresh water. Herodotus,
get a clean cloth.

Everyone leaves but Joxer.

JOXER
Xena, you don't look so good.

Xena stands.

JOXER
You know, um, whatever that thing is out there-

XENA
That thing is Dahak's grandchild. The Destroyer.

JOXER
Destroyer. Uh, Xena, let me go get Gabrielle.
Why don't you sit down for a while?

Xena grabs Joxer.

XENA
That thing is the Destroyer. And that means that
the girl in the other room is not Gabrielle. It's Hope.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Gabrielle's house.

JOXER (voice-over)
Xena-

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Inside.

JOXER
-you're hurt worse than ya know. Of course,
that's Gabrielle.

Xena grabs him by the mouth and pulls him over to the door.

XENA
You shut up and you listen to me. I wanted
to believe it too, 'cause she is good, but she's
not Gabrielle.

JOXER
How do you know?

XENA
The monster. She was directly in its path, and it
blew by her, not once, several times. And
she never even moved.

JOXER
Okay, if that's really Hope, why didn't she kill you
herself, hmm?

XENA
Because she enjoyed it, watching her
creature try to tear me apart.

JOXER
If that's Hope, why don't we just go in there and-

Joxer starts to draw his sword but Xena stops him.

XENA
Joxer, don't you see, huh? As long as we pretend
to play her game, the family is safe. And I can
use her to help me kill the beast. And after that...

JOXER
I guess that vision of yours really was Hope, after all.

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Gabrielle and Lila's bedroom. Hecuba tends to the wound on Hope's knee. Hope stops her.

HERODOTUS
Maybe, next time you'll listen when we tell ya
not to go courting trouble.

HECUBA
Oh, come on, dear, she's fine. You'll get one of
your headaches.

Herodotus and Hecuba leave.

LILA
Don't worry, Gab, that thing looked awful, but at
least Xena wounded it.

HOPE
I heard.

LILA
It's bound to be weaker next time Xena tries. She'll
probably kill it, no problem.

Hope opens the window.

LILA
Gabby, what is it? What's really wrong?

HOPE
When Xena kills the monster, Lila, we're going
to be leaving. I'm gonna miss you. I wish there
was some way that we could spend time together
before I go.

LILA
Of course, there's a way.

The pinwheel in the window turns as the wind blows.

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The windmill turns. Xena and Joxer are outside, Xena is polishing her sword.

JOXER
You can't kill Hope. Well okay...you can, but
you can't. Don't you remember Ares dealing with
the Fates? You kill Hope and they'll-

He pulls his hand acorss his throat.

JOXER
-pfffft ya.

XENA
Ares released that debt when he thought Hope
was dead, not that it'd stop me. Hope and her
monster must die, whatever the cost.

JOXER
Xena, didn'tcha see that thing? It's huge. It had
spikes like this.

He sighs.

JOXER
Well, at least you got a piece of him.

XENA
Didn't.

JOXER
Well, not a big chunk, but you wounded it, right?

XENA
Nothing. I just said that to make Hope think I hurt
it. I can track her. She'll lead me straight to
it. And then-

JOXER
We'll kill 'em both-

XENA
(whispers) Yeah.

JOXER
-for Gabrielle. Aah, who am I kiddin'? You're in
no shape to take on a monster.

Xena puts her sword in its sheath.

XENA
Sure I am.

JOXER
Good.

XENA
I'm gonna need a backup plan. It's not gonna
be easy.

JOXER
No.

XENA
I need you to scout the land, calculating all the
flocks. Maybe then, we can get a fix on where
the beast will strike next.

JOXER
Good idea.

He clears his throat.

JOXER
Wait. You want me to count flocks of sheep?

XENA
Think you can handle it?

JOXER
Mm--hmm.

Xena leaves.

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Herodotus and Hecuba clean up.

HERODOTUS
I appreciate that she saved our lives. That doesn't
give her the right to take our little girl.

HECUBA
Oh, Sweetheart, Gabrielle's not a child. If she
wants to go with Xena, we can't just lock her
in her room.

HERODOTUS
Talk to her. Let her know the kind of mistake
that she's makin'.

Xena enters.

XENA
What kinda mistake is that?

HERODOTUS
The kind of mistake that can ruin a life or take one.

HECUBA
If you're lookin' for Gabrielle, she went for a walk.

HERODOTUS
Without you.

XENA
Did she?

HERODOTUS
That's right. They wanted to spend some time alone.

XENA
'They?'

HECUBA
Gabrielle and Lila. After all, they are sisters. And,
blood is thicker than water.

Xena leaves.

HECUBA
But we'd like to thank-

She sees Xena is gone.

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Lila and Hope walk along.

LILA
Gabby, slow down. Where is this special place
of yours, anyway? I'm gettin' hungry.

HOPE
You're not the only one. It's just off to the left.

LILA
Ahh, good. I hope we brought enough food.

Hope chuckles.

HOPE
There's plenty. Come.

Xena catches up.

XENA
Gabrielle! Lila! Ah, you guys walk fast!

LILA
What are doing here?

XENA
Your parents said you went out for a walk. I thought
I'd join ya. You don't mind?

HOPE
Why should we mind?

LILA
Fine with me.

HOPE
Oh, no, no, not that way.

LILA
I thought you said left.

HOPE
This is a shortcut. It's much faster.

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Joxer counts sheep.

JOXER
Two hundred, thirty-eight.Two hundred, thirty-nine.
Two four-

He sneezes.

JOXER
Great, lost count, again. One. Two. Three. Fou-

Falls asleep and snores.

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Hope stands on a bridge that only has a small piece of it left.

XENA
So much for your shortcut.

HOPE
I could've sworn this bridge was sound.

LILA
You must be thinkin' about someplace else.
It's been like this for years.

HOPE
Do you think it's further down? Hmm.

Hope moves further out on the remaining part of the bridge.

HOPE
What do you think, Lila?

LILA
Careful, Gabrielle. I--it doesn't look safe!

Hope uses her powers to break the support beam under her. The piece of the bridge shakes.

HOPE
Ah! Lila! Lila!

Hope backs up frantic, and Lila moves to her.

LILA
Gabrielle?!

Lila moves to help Hope, who pushes her onto the broken part. The piece breaks and starts to fall.

XENA
Lila!

Lila screams. Xena grabs it with one hand and the sound part of the bridge with her other hand.

HOPE
I'll get Father.

Xena grabs the sound part of the bridge with her feet.

XENA
Okay. I gotcha.

The bridge breaks further and Lila screams. Xena holds out her hand.

XENA
Okay. Lila. Come on. Gimme your hand.

LILA
I--I--I--I can't!

XENA
Yes, you can! Come on!

Lila does and Xena grabs her. Xena lets go of the broken bridge and takes a firmer hold of Lila.

LILA
Ahhh! Oh, Xena!

Xena pulls Lila up next to her.

LILA
Oh, thank the gods! And you! Thank you for saving me!

XENA
No thanks needed. You all right?

Lila nods.

XENA
Good, now, go home. Call off the alarm. Your
parents will be worried.

LILA
But, what about you? What are you gonna do?

XENA
Some search and destroy.

Xena leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Destroyer sits in the cave. Hope enters.

THE DESTROYER
Mamma.

HOPE
Hello, beautiful? Are you cut? Hmm? Did she
hurt you? Let Mother see.

The Destroyer moves to hug Hope.

HOPE
Now stop that.

Hope looks the Destroyer over, and he moves to hug her again.

HOPE
Stop it.

The Destroyer tries again to hug her.

HOPE
Stop!

Hope pulls back and the Destroyer cuts her with one of his spikes by accident. He cowers back. Hope looks at him and talks in a soothing voice.

HOPE
My child. Mother won't hurt you. No, no. There.
We're too close to fulfilling my father's plan to fail
now. Listen to me. Hold still. Be careful with Mother.
Let me see if she hurt you.

The Destroyer rests his head on Hope's shoulder as she looks at his back for wounds.

HOPE
Careful. Good.

She sees there's no injuries.

HOPE
She was using me to get to you. Xena knows
who I am. Yes. Good. Rest now. Tonight, I want
you to enjoy every moment. Yes.

Hope leaves.

THE DESTROYER
Mamma.

The Destroyer roars, then hangs his head.

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Xena sees Gabrielle (though she thinks it's Hope).

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Hope moves past Joxer, who awakens and follows.

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Gabrielle moves along.

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Xena follows Gabrielle.

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Hope moves along, followed by Joxer.

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Xena follows Gabrielle.

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Hope moves along.

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Joxer follows Hope.

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Gabrielle moves along.

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Xena draws her sword.

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Joxer draws his sword.

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Xena moves in.

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Joxer moves in.

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Hope moves along.

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Xena runs.

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Joxer runs.

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Hope moves along.

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Xena runs.

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Gabrielle moves along.

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Joxer follows.

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Gabrielle moves along.

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Xena runs.

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Gabrielle moves along.

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Joxer runs and breaks a stick as he does.

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Gabrielle stops.

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Hope stops.

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Xena runs.

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Joxer comes up behind Hope, sword raised and yelling.

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Xena comes before Gabrielle, sword raised and yelling. Xena stops.

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Joxer runs, sword raised and yelling.

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Gabrielle looks at Xena.

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Joxer is thrown back into a tree by Hope's power. He is knocked out.

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Xena looks at Gabrielle.

XENA
Gabrielle? Gabri-

Gabrielle starts to cry and Xena lowers her sword.

XENA
Is that you?

Xena drops her sword.

XENA
(whispers) Ah, sweetheart.

Xena hugs Gabrielle.

XENA
I'm so sorry. Oh.

They hug and cry.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Xena and Gabrielle hug.

XENA
(whispers) Honey. Honey. Oh.

Xena breaks the embrace but holds Gabrielle's face and Gabrielle holds hers.

XENA
(sobbing) I searched for you. I searched for you.
I was afraid that...

GABRIELLE
You thought I was dead.

XENA
Yeah.

GABRIELLE
What else could you think?

XENA
(sobbing) I could've had faith. You would have.
I should've known you'd survive.

She hugs Gabrielle again.

GABRIELLE
How could you? I didn't know that I was gonna
survive.

Xena stops the embrace and faces Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
I'm not sure I have, really.

XENA
Sit down.

Xena sits Gabrielle on a rock and kneels beside her.

XENA
What happened?

GABRIELLE
I don't remember much. I remember falling. Oh,
I remember fire and the rocks.

XENA
Shh.

Xena kisses Gabrielle's hand.

GABRIELLE
I remember Hope, screaming when she died.
I just blacked out, then and I woke up in this
hospice. Apparently, I had been there for a long
time, and I--I sent word to you.

XENA
I don't know how to tell you this...

Xena looks at Gabrielle and Gabrielle figures it out.

GABRIELLE
Hope's alive.

Xena nods slowly.

GABRIELLE
By the gods, she's alive.

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Joxer wakes up. He is tied up and hanging in front of the Destroyer's cave. He turns and comes face to face with a bloody skeleton. He screams. He turns to see several other skeletons and then Hope.

HOPE
Are you comfortable? Good. It won't last long.
When darkness comes, my child will awake.
He'll be hungry.

Hope leaves.

JOXER
(mumbling) Hey! Hey! Get back here! What did he do!? Oh, shit.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and Xena walk along.

XENA
Gabrielle, slow down.

GABRIELLE
Xena, we're almost there.

XENA
Look, you'll blow the plan if you don't get focused.
You lose your head, and we are history.

GABRIELLE
The thought of Hope with my family. I mean,
if she were to hurt them...

XENA
She won't. Now that she knows I'm on to her, she'll
use your family as leverage. As long as she needs
them, they're safe. You know that.

GABRIELLE
I don't know that.

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Xena enters Gabrielle's home.

XENA
Herodotus, Hecuba can I, um-

She puts her sword on the table.

XENA
-can I have a word?

HERODOTUS
Why? So you can do to us what you did to Gabrielle?

He moves aside to reveal Hope, who is battered, bruised and cut. She glares at Xena.

LILA
And you're supposed to be her friend! What
kind of friend does this?!

Herodotus picks up an ax.

HERODOTUS
Get out. And don't come back. Ever.

XENA
But, Herodotus-

HOPE
You heard my father.

Hope uses her powers to make the two swords on the wall float behind Herodotus and Hecuba, ready to kill them.

HOPE
Leave, Xena, before somebody else gets hurt.

HERODOTUS
I'm warning you, Xena, any bloodshed here, it'll
be on your hands.

HOPE
He's right. If you were a real friend, you wouldn't
leave poor Joxer all alone out there, waiting for
the monster.

LILA
You sent him out there alone?

HECUBA
Poor young man. He's just too brave for his
own good.

HERODOTUS
Or too stupid.

Herodotus turns to look at them and Xena leaves.

HERODOTUS
Well, it's true. He'd have to be a fool to take it on
alone. Ask her.

He turns to see Xena gone.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joxer struggles as the sun sets. The Destroyer can be heard growling in the cave. Joxer struggles to escape.

JOXER
Ah, shit.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The windmill.

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Gabrielle is hiding in the barn. She looks out at the house and sees Hecuba step out. Hecuba empties a bowl of water and sobs before going back in the house. Gabrielle leaves the barn.

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Lila enters her bedroom and takes a sheet off the bed. She shakes it out, and when she puts it down, Gabrielle is there, having come in through the window.

LILA
Gabrielle, you scared me! I told you I was gonna
get cloth for more bandages.

Gabrielle closes the door and then puts a hand over Lila's mouth.

GABRIELLE
(whispers) Just don't say anything.

She sits Lila down on one bed and she sits on the other, facing her.

GABRIELLE
Look it's me. It's Gabrielle, all right.

Gabrielle takes her hand off Lila's mouth.

GABRIELLE
Just-

Sh holds up her hand. Gabrielle speaks softly.

GABRIELLE
Now, I want you to listen to me. I know that thing
in there looks like me, but it's not. She wants
to kill us all.

LILA
Wh--wh-

Gabrielle puts her hand on Lila's mouth again.

GABRIELLE
No. Sh. Just listen. Remember...remember when
we were kids? We got lost in the snow and I promised,
that I would give you my solstice gift, if you would
just keep walking till we found help. And I
kept my word, do you remember? I gave you that
rag doll. Don't you remember?

Lila nods and Gabrielle takes her hand away and holds Lila's face.

GABRIELLE
Now do you believe me?

Lila hugs Gabrielle.

LILA
Gabrielle, what are we gonna do?

GABRIELLE
Take this cloth out there. Act like nothing is wrong.
Tell Mom and Dad that you need some help with
some medicines, and bring them in here. Be
careful. Hope is very smart.

Lila leaves. Gabrielle looks around the room and stands beside a mirror, but is not close enough to be seen in it. She picks up a doll, and Hope enters, her reflection in the mirror.

HOPE
Hello, mother.

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Dusk has fallen. Joxer struggles to get free as the Destroyer growls. The chakram flies and cuts Joxer down before digging into a tree. Xena gives a yell and then flips, landing between Joxer and the cave. Joxer stands. Xena hits the tree and the chakram falls into her hands. She cuts Joxer free.

XENA
Joxer-

JOXER
Ah.

XENA
-run to the village. Tell them to light torches and
keep 'em burning till you hear from me. Go.

Joxer runs off.

XENA
She-eeeeeeee-yah!

The Destroyer steps out.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

The Destroyer steps out.

XENA
Come and get some.

Xena runs. The Destroyer roars and follows.

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Gabrielle's home.

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The bedroom. Hope takes the doll from Gabrielle.

HOPE
It's turned into quite the family reunion.

Hope walks by the door and closes it with her powers before sitting on the bed.

HOPE
What is it now? Four generations? Your parents,
there's you, me, my pride, my joy. Your grandson,
mother. (whispers) The Destroyer.

GABRIELLE
Why aren't you dead?

HOPE
Well, it's certainly not for your lack of trying, is it?
The truth is, I could say the same thing about you,
if I cared, which I don't.

GABRIELLE
I saw the fire. No one survives that.

HOPE
No one but me. Dahak's flame, rising to save
me. But then, I've always been daddy's little girl,
haven't I?

GABRIELLE
(whispers) Always.

HOPE
Is that why you never loved me?

GABRIELLE
I loved you, Hope. I just had to stop you.

HOPE
For Xena?

GABRIELLE
No, for us all.

The Destroyer roars and Hope looks at the door. Gabrielle runs and vaults out the window.

HOPE
Bye-bye, mommy.

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Xena runs into the barn.

XENA
Gabrielle.

Gabrielle is gone. Xena turns to see the Destroyer. Xena holds up the lantern, but the Destroyer throws a water bag which knocks it from Xena's hand. It breaks and puts out the fire. The Destroyer roars and Xena runs at him. Xena dodges his blows and he gets his spikes trapped in the wood. Xena rolls away and throws her chakram. The Destroyer pulls the wood off its hinges (still on his spike) and holds it in front of him like a shield. The chakram hits it and he gets free of the wood. The Destroyer runs at Xena who draws her sword and holds it in front of her. The Destroyer runs into her and slams her into the wall. He holds her there, her feet dangling. He roars twice.

XENA
Bite me.

Gabrielle enters.

GABRIELLE
Wait!

The Destroyer turns to see Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Let's do it together.

The Destroyer drops Xena and moves to Gabrielle, arms outstretched.

THE DESTROYER
Mamma.

He moves to hug Gabrielle, but she flinches. The Destroyer whines and backs up. Xena gets up. Gabrielle holds out her hands and takes the Destroyer's hands. He leans in and hugs her. Gabrielle is terrified. Xena stabs the Destroyer in the back and he screams. He stands up fast and knocks Xena off of him. She lands hard. Gabrielle moves to her side and helps her up. The Destroyer continues to scream. Hope enters.

HOPE
No-o-o-o-o-o-o!

The Destroyer stabs her. He turns to see Gabrielle with Xena and then back to Hope. He looks at Xena and Gabrielle and roars. He turns back to Hope realizing it's her and he hugs her, sobbing.

THE DESTROYER
Mam. Mammmma! Ohh. Mammma! Ohh.

He hugs her, and Hope hugs him. Hope looks at Gabrielle as she hugs her son.

THE DESTROYER
Ohhhhhhh! Ohhhhhhhhhh!

The two slowly die. They lay down, dead, still hugging. Gabrielle starts to move to them, but Xena stops her.

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Gabrielle is outside the barn. Xena exits and sits.

GABRIELLE
It's over. Or is it? Xena? Do you ever...do you get
the feeling that sometimes, nothing is really over?
You know, it just keeps coming back around, but
it's...it's wearing a different face. It's--it's the same
underneath. Do you know what I mean?

XENA
Sure. I was trapped in a cycle of violence and
hatred. And no matter how I tried to break free,
something always pulled me back...until you.

GABRIELLE
Xena-

XENA
No, it's true. You talk about trying to find your way,
but to me, you are my way.

GABRIELLE
How can I be your way, when I--I'm lost, myself?

XENA
I'm searching for answers, too. But how we look
for them doesn't matter...as long as we look for
them together...you and me.

Gabrielle sits next to Xena and puts her arm around her, resting her head on Xena's shoulder.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle
Renee O'Connor as Hope

GUEST CAST
Ted Raimi as Joxer
Willa O'Neill as Lila
Geoff Snell as Herodotus
Lisa Crittenden as Hecuba
John Smith as Shepherd
Mark Viniello as The Destroyer
Nancy Howie as Girl #1
Alexandra Hoskins-Smith as Girl #2

Teleplay by: Chris Manheim
Story by: Liz Friedman and Chris Manheim
Directed by: Doug Lefler

Disclaimer: No Spike-Skinned, Beast-Like, Incredibly Hungry Offspring who can't stand the sun were harmed during the production of this motion picture.