A Friend in Need - Director's Cut


ACT ONE

Gabrielle is looking up at an aura in the sky.

GABRIELLE
Looking out at the cosmos makes you think about
where we are, where we've been, where we're
going now.

Xena sits up on her elbows from her bedroll.

XENA
Yeah and like the bigger now. I mean, Gabrielle,
what are we gonna do? Wander around Greece
our whole lives looking for trouble? Why don't
we go away - far away? Whaddya say?

GABRIELLE
I can't believe you're awake, much less listening
to me.

XENA
Let's go south to the land of the Pharaohs. I hear
they're in need of a girl with a chakram.

GABRIELLE
You know that there's somebody out there.

XENA
Yeah, he's been trying to find us the past half-hour.

Xena whistles. Gabrielle gets up and leaves. Xena follows.

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Gabrielle moves over to Kenji who is in the bushes and has fallen. He is wearing a wooden piece on his back that would provide him with shade when there's sun. Gabrielle helps him up.

GABRIELLE
Are you all right?

KENJI
Ah, yes. Thank you.

Xena enters. He bows, nearly hitting Gabrielle with the wood piece on his back.

GABRIELLE
Whoa!

KENJI
Are you Xena?

XENA
Who's askin'?

KENJI
A messenger - sent by Akemi.

XENA
Akemi? You saw Akemi?

KENJI
Several weeks ago. I was journeying with another
monk through a forest - near the town of Higuchi.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kenji and Saburo move over to the tea house.

KENJI (voice-over)
It started to rain. And we sought shelter at a tea house.

Saburo knocks on the door, the door opens and they enter.

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Inside, Akemi, Miyuki and Ayako are bowing on the floor in front of them. They raise their heads and Akemi smiles at them. Saburo laughs.

SABURO
Kenji...

He chuckles.

SABURO
...not even you could be frightened of this.

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Outside, thunder crashes and lightning strikes.

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Saburo is bathed by Ayako and Miyuki.

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Inside, Kenji is with Akemi who plays a zeng. Kenji is reading a scroll. The robe Akemi is wearing slides down her shoulder. Kenji looks at her bare shoulder and then quickly turns away.

KENJI
Your shuji has great dignity and beauty.

Akemi pulls her robe back up and continues to play.

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Saburo is bathed by Ayako and Miyuki.

KENJI (voice-over)
I am blessed with a certainty about what it means
to be a monk. But my companion was not as
steadfast in his resolve.

Miyuki shakes her foot and the anklet on her ankle rings. Akemi looks up in shock.

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Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods. This is the style used by Sam Raimi for the Force in the woods in "The Evil Dead" including the sound effects. It's called "Monster Cam."

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Akemi and Kenji.

AKEMI
You must leave - now.

Akemi helps Kenji up and leads him out.

AKEMI
Come on!

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Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods.

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Akemi picks up the sacred katana.

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Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods.

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Akemi leaves.

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Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods.

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Saburo is in the tub. He opens his eyes to see that Miyuki and Ayako are gone.

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Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods, over to the tea house and smashes into it.

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Yodoshi roars as he enters, smashing through the wall. He is a giant head and then the rest of his body joins him and his head returns to normal size. He blows out cold air from his mouth, which freezes Saburo. Kenji watches. Yodoshi then inhales, pulling Saburo apart and into him. Saburo screams. Kenji runs off.

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Kenji jumps into the water around the tea house. He pulls himself out of the water and Akemi touches his arm. She has the sacred katana.

AKEMI
I know you're a good man. In the tea house, I
felt the compassion in your heart. Don't fear me.

KENJI
W--who--who was that demon?!

AKEMI
The Lord of the Dark Land. He's preparing an
army to wage war in Higuchi and slaughter, the
populace. Honorable monk...I beg you to do what
must be done to stop him enslaving the souls
of that city.

KENJI
But I'm no swordsman!

AKEMI
There's one in the west, far beyond the setting sun.

KENJI
A samurai?! A priest?! A god?!

AKEMI
No. A warrior princess.

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Kenji holds out the sacred katana to Xena.

KENJI
Xena, you must save Higuchi from destruction.

Xena slowly takes the katana.

GABRIELLE
The Land of the Rising Sun. That's beyond Chin.
I didn't know you were there Xena.

XENA
Yes I was there. I was there. Gabrielle, this is
not going to be the trip that I promised you, but
if Akemi calls, I must go.

GABRIELLE
Wherever you go, I'm by your side.

XENA
I knew you'd say that.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boat.

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Xena sits with the sacred katana and watches as Kenji trains Gabrielle with staffs like they are using swords.

KENJI
The way of the sword is the most ancient of the
warrior's art. With practice, the samurai develops
the sacred virtues of bravery, self-discipline and
honour. A samurai would rather die a warrior, than
live as a coward.

GABRIELLE
This Akemi who sent for Xena, what do you know
about her?

KENJI
She was forced by Yodoshi, the Lord of the Dark
Land, to seduce souls into his grasp. She's very
beautiful...and she's a ghost.

GABRIELLE
She's a-

Gabrielle looks at Xena.

XENA
Gabrielle, before we reach Jappa...I should tell
you everything that happened there last time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle sits with Xena.

XENA
Many years ago...Borias told me about a young
girl who was kidnapped by a Chinese warlord.
She'd been taken hostage from a mighty island,
even further east than Chin.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A drop of black ink moves slowly in water.

XENA (voice-over)
Being the kind of person I was then-

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Xena and Borias enter Kao's home.

XENA (voice-over)
-the challenge of finding a new land to plunder
was just too much for me. I had to meet her.

XENA
So, her daddy's rich, you say?

BORIAS
And powerful. He should pay well for the return
of his sweet daughter.

They move over to Kao.

KAO
Come.

He leads them over to Akemi who is bowing on the floor.

KAO
Akemi, meet-

AKEMI
Xena, the Warrior Princess.

Xena lifts Akemi's head with her boot.

XENA
You know me?

AKEMI
Oh, yes. I've heard that you're afraid of nothing.
Kao here - he's afraid of many things.

BORIAS
This girl has spirit.

KAO
This girl deserves to die. Speaking like that in
front of my guests.

AKEMI
You won't kill me. Xena won't let you. Because in
her heart...she knows that she will soon love me.

BORIAS
Xena loves no one.

Xena glares at him.

AKEMI
I'll be your student, Xena. You'll take me with you.
You'll teach me everything you know.

KAO
I have a few lessons for you!

Kao pulls her to her feet and moves to strike her, but Xena stops him.

XENA
Here. Fifty pieces of gold. It's the best offer you'll
get for her.

KAO
I do what I want with my property. I say this isn't
a good day to trade.

XENA
Is it a good day to die?

BORIAS
It's unhealthy to negotiate with this one. I'd take
the gold.

KAO
Guards!

Xena puts the Pinch on Kao. Xena flips.

XENA
She-e-e-a-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-she-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

She defeats the guards. Akemi watches. Xena moves over to Kao who is lying on the floor, dying.

XENA
I've shut off the flow of blood to your brain. You
got ten...nine...eight...ah, forget it.

Akemi holds out her hand to Xena who takes it and pulls her up. They leave. Borias moves over to Kao.

BORIAS
I would have taken the gold.

Borias leaves. Kao dies.

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The boat.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Akemi writes. Borias looks at her and then moves over and joins Xena who is looking out over the ocean.

XENA
You know, Borias? I have a dream - a dream of
conquering every land between here and Brittania.

BORIAS
Xena, you're always looking for green pastures
to rape and pillage.

XENA
Yep. And maybe there's more in this than just
the ransom, huh? I mean, with her father as an
ally, I could get a nice toehold on that island.

BORIAS
What makes you so sure she'll lead you to Daddy?

XENA
Ah, she wouldn't lie to me. Hm-m. She worships
her teacher.

Borias laughs.

XENA
What's so funny?

BORIAS
Xena, you couldn't teach a dog to bark.

Xena hits his hand away when he reaches out to her and Borias laughs. Xena whistles.

XENA
Akemi! Come here. I wanna show you something.

Akemi joins them.

AKEMI
You're wrong. Xena will be a great teacher.

Xena looks at Borias and snickers.

AKEMI
I'm ready.

XENA
All right. If someone's comin' atcha with a right/left
combination, this is what I wantcha to do - you
feint back, twist in the direction of the blow, and
then deliver a vicious jumping, spinning back-kick.
All right?

AKEMI
Right, so...that's right, a left, a feint, uh, a jumping,
swinging-

XENA
Jumping, spinning back-kick. All right. Now, I'll be a bad guy.

Xena attacks Akemi, who does the moves she was told, but when Xena kicks her in the chest, Akemi fails to block her and is knocked back. Borias laughs and Xena glares at him.

XENA
Lesson one - trust no one.

Xena moves off.

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Night.

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Xena and Akemi are on a row boat beside the larger boat.

BORIAS
Remember, Xena, I get ten percent of the ransom.

He laughs.

BORIAS
Good luck, 'Teacher.'

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The row boat moves off.

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Mountains.

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Xena and Akemi walk along. Several other landscapes are over cut with this image.

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Xena and Akemi walk along.

XENA
Come on, Akemi. Keep up.

Akemi sighs.

AKEMI
My ribs are still a little sore.

XENA
Well, next time we'll start with something a little simpler.

Xena stops and listens.

XENA
Like listening. Listen to that.

AKEMI
To what?

XENA
To life and death. Every sound, every movement, is
a message. A wagon just crossed a creek up ahead.

She closes eyes.

XENA
A deer grazing nearby.

AKEMI
When you listen to the Kami like that, you must
be at peace.

XENA
The Kami? What's that?

AKEMI
The Kami are the powers behind all nature. They
make the sun shine, the grass grow. They brought
you to me.

XENA
No, no, no. When I listen like that, I'm at war. Every
sound is a possible warning of an enemy approaching.

AKEMI
I believe that one day, Xena, the Kami will help
you know peace. And I would be honored...if
you would accept this.

Akemi hands her a scroll with Japanese writing on it.

XENA
Oh-h-h-h...uh-h-h-h-h...

Xena chuckles, confused.

XENA
It's really pretty.

AKEMI
It's our scripts. When my people are overcome
with a feeling, that needs to be preserved, we
write verse.

XENA
Oh, yeah? Like what feeling?

AKEMI
Love.

XENA
Love?

AKEMI
"Yesterday, the moon took lodging on my sleeve.
Today, I have hope for even the brokenhearted stars."

Xena turns away from her.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
So beautiful.

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Xena and Gabrielle are on the boat.

GABRIELLE
To write something like that, she must have loved
you very much.

Xena says nothing.

GABRIELLE
What's wrong?

XENA
The truth is, Gabrielle...she broke my heart.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Xena and Gabrielle are on the boat.

GABRIELLE
She broke your heart? I don't understand.

XENA
For a while, I didn't understand myself.

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A drop of black ink moves through some water.

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Xena and Akemi travel.

XENA (voice-over)
When I traveled with Akemi to her island for the
ransom, I was to learn that my heart was seeking
something else.

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Xena and Akemi arrive at her grandfather's house. Xena turns back and looks at Akemi.

XENA
I thought I was taking you to your father.

AKEMI
His castle's in the north. We came here first to
visit my grandfather. He...died here many years ago.

XENA
Are you telling me that we have walked days in
the wrong direction to see a dead guy?!

AKEMI
We must visit my grandfather to seek his blessing.
He's dead, but I can still speak to him.

Akemi moves before a stone statue. She claps her hands, puts them together and kneels.

XENA
All your talk about moons up your sleeve - you
were playing me for a fool.

Xena draws her sword.

XENA
I oughtta just-

Xena is ready to strike off Akemi's head with her sword, when Akemi moves her hair aside to show a glowing on her skin on her neck.

AKEMI
You hear the Kami through the sounds of nature. In
the same way, I hear sounds that are silent to you.

Akemi faces the statue again and prays. She places a scroll on the statue and smiles. She stands and faces Xena.

AKEMI
My grandfather says that you are a wise and
appropriate teacher and...he feels your sword
is not good enough.

XENA
There's a string of widows from here to Greece
that say different.

AKEMI
Compared to a katana...all other swords are toys.

XENA
Well...then get me one of those.

AKEMI
The great katana lies near here, but...you must
know - in our country, women are forbidden to
own katana.

Akemi moves off.

XENA
Well, they're just gonna have to get used to it,
aren't they?

Xena follows.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A forge hut.

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Inside. Four large men and a Master Swordsman forge katanas. Akemi enters.

AKEMI
Sensei...I come bearing a challenge. My master
wishes to fight you for possession of the katana,
forged from the purest ore of the Hakiman temple.

MASTER SWORDSMAN
Your master must be a mighty samurai.

Xena enters.

XENA
Oh, no. I'm just a girl...in search of a really good sword.

Xena takes off her coat and hat.

MASTER SWORDSMAN
A woman? A foreigner - challenging us for the
sacred katana?! This is a great insolence!

Xena draws her sword.

XENA
Well, I guess you're gonna have to teach me a
lesson, hm-m?

He holds out his katana. Xena attacks him with her sword, but the katana breaks hers in half. The Master Swordsman laughs.

XENA
O-oh, gimme, gimme.

Xena punches him and then fights the other four men. She fights them with no weapons, even though they all have katanas. Two of them grab her and run her over to a wall with spikes. She manages to use her feet to prevent being impaled on them, but one spike stabs her above her right breast (where Lucy Lawless has a small scar in real life, thus explaining where Xena got the scar). Xena pushes them back with her feet and escapes. She flips.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena lands on a table where finished katanas lie face up. She lands with her feet on either side of a katana. The guys come at her again. Xena flips off of the table.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

She kicks one of the men back, onto the swords. The Master Swordsman moves on Akemi. Xena battles the other men. Akemi backs away from the Master Swordsman who comes at her with a katana. Xena grabs a rope and swings.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-
e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena lands before the Master Swordsman and punches him until she knocks him out. She runs over and holds the sacred katana.

XENA
Yeah. Grandpa was right. Now, this is a sword.

She smiles.

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A drop of black ink moves through water.

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Xena and Akemi are camped. Akemi writes with black ink in the snow.

AKEMI
"In a flurry of snow, two breaths of wind unite and
become as one and then disappear into each other."

XENA
Listen, Akemi...I don't want you to take this the
wrong way. I really love the sword and you're a
nice kid, but I just came for the ransom.

AKEMI
I don't believe that.

Xena looks away from her.

AKEMI
What do you hear now?

XENA
Snow falling on cedars. Now...your heart...beating
harder than normal.

They look at each other.

AKEMI
You're a master of war, yet you know no words
to speak of love. And then you go and save my life.
There's no greater gift of love a teacher can give
a student than that. I have another gift I must ask
of you. I saw what you did to kill that coward, Kao.

XENA
It's a sacred trust.

AKEMI
I would be honored, beyond words...if you'd teach
me that.

Xena slowly smiles.

XENA
All right.

Akemi chuckles.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
You knew her for a few weeks-

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Xena and Gabrielle are on the boat. It's night.

GABRIELLE
-and you taught her the pinch? Xena, in all the time-

CAPTAIN
Higuchi is under siege, and there's no place to
dock. I'm turning back.

XENA
What?!

He leaves.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Boat.
XENA
Gabrielle, I've got to go ashore.

GABRIELLE
I'm with you.

XENA
I knew you'd say that.

Xena jumps into the water and Gabrielle follows her.

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Yodoshi's POV, running through the woods and then smashing into the tea house.

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Yodoshi's POV as he smashes into the tea house. Miyuki and Ayako jump out of the way and Yodoshi stops before Akemi who doesn't even finch as she puts the last touch on what she is writing. Yodoshi kneels before her and slams his fist down in front of her. She looks at him, unafraid.

YODOSHI
The katana! You sent it to the foreign whore.

Akemi shares a look with Miyuki who is bowing behind Yodoshi.

YODOSHI
Thank you.

He laughs.

YODOSHI
She's traveling to the city of Higuchi which my
army, right now, is destroying. My general awaits
her and when he captures Xena and my katana...she'll
lose her head to the sting of its blade. So thank
you...daughter.

He turns into a tornado and leaves the tea house and the wall reforms behind him, like he had never been there.

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Higuchi is on fire. Yodoshi's soldiers battle the villagers.

EXTRA
Come on!

Harukata moves about.

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Xena and Gabrielle rise from the water, entering Higuchi. Harukata sees them.

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Xena and Gabrielle look around.

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A catapult fires.

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Higuchi.

XENA
Firebombs.

GABRIELLE
They're going to burn Higuchi to the ground.

Xena sees the water tower on the other side of the village.

XENA
We've gotta release the water from the tower.
Gabrielle, what would you do?

GABRIELLE
I saw these acrobats. They used a-

XENA
Show me, Gabrielle.

Gabrielle moves off and Xena follows. Harukata watches them. Gabrielle grabs a rope.

GABRIELLE
Climb on!

She does and they swing through the village.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

They land on a cloth overhang and bounce, flipping backwards.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-she-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-
e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

They land on a roof top.

XENA
All right. What's next?

GABRIELLE
This way!

They run off. More explosions go off. Gabrielle jumps through a window into another building, but before Xena can follow, a firebomb hits the window, blocking Xena's way.

XENA
Gabrie-e-e-e-e-elle!

A warrior climbs up the ladder to the window. Gabrielle kicks the ladder. The warrior yells. The ladder lands on a crate, like a see-saw. Gabrielle jumps.

GABRIELLE
Whoa!

Gabrielle lands on one end of the ladder.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

Xena sees the other side of the ladder and jumps onto it.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Gabrielle is launched across the village and yells as she flies across. She lands hard on a roof top. Xena cartwheels and then flips.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-she-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-
e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena jumps off of a bar and grabs another, and starts to swing around it.

GABRIELLE
Go for the ladder!

She stops, upside down and looks at the ladder. Gabrielle runs to the ladder.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-she-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-
e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena starts to spin around the bar again. Gabrielle gets to the ladder.

EXTRA
Kill her!

Xena flips from the bar, across the village.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-she-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-
e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena hits the ladder on the other side of Gabrielle. They spin through the village on the ladder until they reach the water tower. Gabrielle grabs the wheel and grunts as she turns it. Xena draws her sword and hits it.

XENA
A-a-a-a-a-ah!

Water sprays out over Higuchi, putting out the fire.

EXTRA
Retreat!

Morimoto looks up at Xena.

MORIMOTO
A wise general knows when a fight is lost, but I
think we will meet again. Soon.

He bows he head and Xena nods. He rides off. Xena laughs.

XENA
Whoo-hoo!

The soldiers retreat.

EXTRA
Yeah! We've won! We've won! We won! We won!

EXTRA
This way!

EXTRA
Hurry!

GABRIELLE
Higuchi is saved.

XENA
Not quite the way I would have done it, Gabrielle,
but it sure worked.

They chuckle.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Higuchi is still smoking, but the fires are out.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
You know, Xena, I still don't understand.

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Xena and Gabrielle walk along in Higuchi.

GABRIELLE
You taught Akemi the pinch. Did she ever use it?

XENA
Yes, unfortunately, she did.

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Yodoshi's home.

XENA (voice-over)
After a many days' walk, we reached her father's fortress.

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Inside. Yodoshi watches some dancers. Akemi enters and moves over to her father, her face hidden behind a mask like she is part of the dance. She stands before him and takes off the mask.

YODOSHI
Akemi?

Xena enters.

XENA
Akemi, what are you doing?

Akemi puts the Pinch on him. The guards attack Xena and she fights them.

AKEMI
You have thirty seconds to live.

Akemi claps.

AKEMI
My brothers, my sisters, my mother, and my
gentle grandparents - I avenge all your deaths
at the hands of this monster.

Xena defeats the guards and moves over to Akemi.

AKEMI
Father...

XENA
Father?

AKEMI
...I pray you suffer in death the way your family
suffered in life.

He dies. Akemi stands.

XENA
What the hell did you do that for?

AKEMI
It was my duty.

She faces Xena.

AKEMI
He had to die.

Akemi leaves.

XENA
I don't care about that. What about the ransom?

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Akemi kneels outside.

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Inside.

XENA
Where's my money?!

Xena follows her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena joins Akemi.

AKEMI
Forgive me, Xena.

XENA
I don't suppose there's any inheritance in this!

AKEMI
I have one last thing to ask of you. Restore my
honour. The sacred katana.

Akemi pulls her hair back from her neck.

XENA
You want me to cut off...that's why you wanted
me to take the katana.

AKEMI
After that is done, take my ashes and place them
in the family shrine in the town of Higuchi.

XENA
(whispering) No, no. (normal) No, I'm not going to...

Akemi stabs herself in the stomach with a dagger.

XENA
Akemi.

AKEMI
I pray you will. "The snow melts...flowers fade...and
I pass as all things do."

XENA
You...

Xena sobs.

AKEMI
"But--but time and love...they go on." (gasping)
Restore my honour, Xena.

Akemi is dying. Xena gets ready to strike.

XENA
A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA (voice-over)
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena gets ready to strike.

XENA
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clips from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA (voice-over)
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena gets ready to strike.

XENA
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA (voice-over)
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena gets ready to strike.

XENA
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA (voice-over)
-aaaaaaaaaa-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena gets ready to strike.

XENA
-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

Xena cuts off Akemi's head.

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A drop of red ink lands in water.

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Xena and Gabrielle walk amoung the villagers. The villagers cheer.

EXTRA
Xena!

EXTRA
Yeah, Xena!

EXTRA
Xena!

GABRIELLE
How will you feel when you come face-to-face with Akemi's ghost?

HARUKATA
Better question is, "How will Xena feel face-to-face
with the ghosts of the people she killed at Higuchi?!"

XENA
What?

GABRIELLE
Who are you?

HARUKATA
My family name is Harukata.

KENJI
But he's known as the Killer of Ghosts.

GABRIELLE
Xena saved your city.

HARUKATA
This time. But that does nothing to atone for what
happened when last she was here.

GABRIELLE
What's he talking about?

XENA
I was fulfilling Akemi's dying wish - to place her
ashes at the family shrine here in Higuchi.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Smoke.

XENA (voice-over)
Word got out that I was honoring the ashes-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena has cut her hair very close to head in ugly clumps. Her face is painted white and she wears wooden shoes. She has a jar with Akemi's ashes in one hand and a bottle of ale over her neck which she takes swigs out of as she walks along the ice.

XENA (voice-over)
-of a girl who had killed her father. The townsfolk
felt that I would be defiling her graveyard. They
banded together to stop me.

One person throws a snowball at her. Most of them carry torches. They surround her. Another snowball is thrown. Xena takes a drink and spits.

EXTRA
Bitch! Go away.

EXTRA
She killed her father.

EXTRA
Go! Go!

EXTRA
Get her! Get her.

XENA (voice-over)
I tried to ignore them, but they came after me.

One attacks her and she knocks him back and takes the torch he is holding. Xena swings the torch around to try to hold them off. The townspeople attack Xena. Her feet are knocked out from under her and she falls, the jar holding Akemi's ashes flying into the air.

XENA
Akemi! Akemi.

The jar hits the ground and breaks, Akemi's ashes blowing away in the wind.

XENA
O-o-o-o-oh! No! Akemi!

Xena swings the torch around at the feet of the townspeople.

XENA
A-a-a-a-a-ah! A-a-a-a-ah! A-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!
A-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

She takes a swig from the bottle as she stands and spits the liquor onto it. A flame hits one of the townspeople who runs around, screaming since he's on fire. The town catches fire as he runs.

EXTRA
Fire! Fire!

Xena walks off. She looks at the torch and drops it as she takes a swig from the bottle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Higuchi.

HARUKATA
The wind took the fire from house to house. Forty
thousand of my townsfolk perished in the flames!

XENA
No, it's not possible.

HARUKATA
That is only the beginning!

KENJI
Akemi told me that after she killed her father,
Yodoshi's spirit was so full of evil, even the underworld
would not allow him to enter. He became Lord
Yodoshi, the Eater of Souls. The forty thousand
lost spirits were at his mercy. Now he holds them,
inside him, enslaved.

XENA
If this is true, then I am guilty of a greater evil than
I ever thought possible.

GABRIELLE
Xena, it was a horrible accident.

XENA
No. No, I must put things right.

END OF ACT FOUR



ACT FIVE

Overlooking the land.

XENA (voice-over)
Can you hear them?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle overlook the land from a high wall. Gabrielle has her eyes closed.

GABRIELLE
I thought I heard a horse, before.

XENA
Listen not just to the sounds, but to what's behind
the sounds.

Gabrielle listens. She hears marching and flames and a horse snorts. These images overlap Gabrielle's face. Gabrielle opens her eyes and the overlapping images fade.

GABRIELLE
How many are there?

XENA
At least three armies are gathering. The general
we met at the water tower was right. We will meet
again and soon.

GABRIELLE
I'll warn the others.

Gabrielle leaves. Harukata enters with Kenji.

XENA
Ghost Killer...I know that you think of me as your
enemy, but you must believe this. My spirit aches
for the torment I've caused.

He nods.

HARUKATA
We both want the same thing - to release those souls.

XENA
You've devoted your life to killing Yodoshi. Why is
it that you have never succeeded?

HARUKATA
I have the power to slay him, but it is impossible
for me to get close enough to use my blade.

XENA
Why?

HARUKATA
Because...I am mortal. Only another ghost can
trap a spirit as mighty as Yodoshi.

Xena looks out over the country. She nods to Harukata and moves off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena is wearing Japanese armour and is kneeling in a temple.

XENA
Akemi...I know what I must do, but I'm afraid that
this day, what's done may not be undone.

Gabrielle enters wearing Japanese armour over her clothes.

GABRIELLE
Xena, the militia is prepared. Why aren't you ready?

XENA
Gabrielle, come here.

She sniffs.

XENA
Come here. Give me your hands.

Gabrielle kneels before her. Xena takes her hands and brings them to her throat.

XENA
All right. Here. Feel the surge of blood under the
skin. Now, just behind-

Gabrielle pulls her hands back from Xena.

GABRIELLE
Xena, you don't have to do this. I understand why
you would never wanna teach me the pinch.

XENA
No. No, today more than ever, I want you to know
what I know. Please?

Xena holds Gabrielle's fingers to her throat and smiles. She helps Gabrielle do the Pinch on her.

GABRIELLE
Why are you doing this?

Blood runs down from Xena's nose.

XENA
Gabrielle, if I only had thirty seconds to live, this
is how I'd want to live them - looking into your eyes.

GABRIELLE
Stop this. Stop it.

XENA
Always remember, I love you.

Xena uses Gabrielle's hand to undo the Pinch. Xena coughs and falls forward onto Gabrielle, who holds her.

GABRIELLE
Why would you teach me this right now? I don't
understand!

Xena wipes the blood from her nose.

XENA
There's nothing to understand. I just wanted you
to know everything I know.

Harukata enters.

HARUKATA
Are you ready?

Xena looks at Gabrielle.

XENA
Let's go. We got a battle to win.

Xena leaves. Gabrielle is stunned and doesn't move.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mountain.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle, Kenji and the soldiers step out of Higuchi.

KENJI
Wouldn't it be better if we stayed with Xena?

GABRIELLE
Xena wants us to lead a contingent to the east
plain. She said a group of Yodoshi's archers are
gathering there.

Gabrielle and the others move off. Xena steps out behind them and watches them leave. Xena moves off in the other direction, off into the mist.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jappa.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena buries her breastplate and her sword. The sound of heavy drums are and Xena looks up. She finishes burying her armour and stands. Drums are heard through the rest of the battle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena runs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena closes her eyes and listens.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Soldiers march.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and the solders stop.

GABRIELLE
It's too quiet out here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA
Gabrielle, what would you do?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle shakes her head.

XENA (voice-over)
(echoing) What would you do?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA
Listen not just to the sounds, but to what's behind the sounds.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and the soldiers.

XENA (voice-over)
(echoing) What's behind the sounds.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA
Always remember, I love you.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle opens her eyes.

XENA (voice-over)
(echoing) I love you. Love you.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

Gabrielle runs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena opens her eyes, having heard Gabrielle. Gabrielle can be heard yelling.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto rides his horse.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena hears the horse neigh.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A wagon moves along. It hits a rock and the jars inside clink together.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena listens. She throws the chakram.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The chakram hits the wagon and the jars fall out, the oil pouring over the ground.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena listens to the chakram.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The chakram hits a soldier with a torch and the torch falls into the spilled oil.

EXTRA
Look out! Look out!

The oil catches fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena catches the chakram.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The oil explodes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
BOOM!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The soldiers near the cart are vapourized.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena ducks as the after shock blows around her, intense.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto is knocked off of his horse.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle is knocked to the ground.

GABRIELLE
A-a-ah!

She shields her head from the after shock.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena shields her head from the after shock that pounds on her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle shields her head.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena shields her head.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mushroom cloud.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle gets to her feet.

GABRIELLE
Ugh!

Gabrielle runs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto stands and draws his katana. His soldiers run around behind him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena runs up a tree, holding a bow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle runs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena fires arrows and kills soldiers, never missing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle runs.

GABRIELLE
Xena!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena jumps from the tree, three arrows firing.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

They all hit their marks. Xena lands and fights a group of soldiers who all have spears. Xena breaks off the tips of the spears and they land in the dirt. She then kicks them, killing the soldiers. She kicks a spear head into the air.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena kicks the spear head.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The spear head comes flying at Morimoto's head, but he catches it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena moves forward.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena stops and listens.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many archers draw back their bows.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena hears the bows readying.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto gives the order to fire in Japanese and the archers do.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A wave of arrows fly.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena looks about as a wave of arrows cascade down around her. She catches two and ducks behind two trees to try and escape the overwhelming amount of arrows raining down upon her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archers fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arrows fly.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena stands between the trees and knocks arrows away from her. Xena is hit in the left shoulder with an arrow.

XENA
A-a-a-a-ah!

She leans against one of the trees.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena breaks off most of the arrow, but some of the shaft is still sticking out in front of her (the arrow did not pass through). Arrows are still raining down upon her. She glares at one that hits near her. She throws down the part of the arrow she broke off and moves again behind the tree.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archers fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena is hit in the left knee with an arrow and falls. The arrow did not pass through. Xena breaks off most of the shaft as arrows continue to rain down all around her. Xena sees a turned over cart. She gets up and limps her way over to it, arrows still raining down.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena limps to the cart. She ducks as more arrows are fired.

XENA
Ugh!

However, the arrows are coming from both sides of the cart and it offers no real protection. More arrows are coming from behind her however, so she ducks over to the other side.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The archers raise their bows. Someone shouts orders in Japanese. They fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena catches two arrows.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archers fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena is hit with a third arrow in her right shoulder as more hit the cart and the ground all around her.

XENA
Ugh!

Xena falls to her knees and breaks off most of the shaft. She bares her teeth in pain. Blood is running down her stomach from her other shoulder wound and down her leg from the one in her knee. Xena tosses the broken shaft away.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archers fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A fourth arrow pins Xena's right arm to the cart by shooting through her elbow. She grunts in pain and breaks it off, freeing herself.

XENA
Ugh-ah!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto shouts in Japanese. The soldiers draw their swords and run forward.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena flexes her right hand.

XENA
All right.

She stands.

XENA
Now you asked for it.

She draws the katana as even more arrows hit the cart. Xena marches forward.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drums are played.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two archers fire as Xena marches towards them, and she's hit in the stomach with a fifth arrow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto shouts in Japanese.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena breaks the shaft just in time as soldiers attack her. Xena fights single handed with the katana, slaughtering everyone who steps up to fight her. She kills them all, one after the other, all falling under her blade. Blood is running from her mouth.

XENA
Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "One Against an Army."

XENA (voice-over)
If I only had thirty seconds to live...

Clip from "Chakram."

GABRIELLE
We're going to be together.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena battles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "The Ides of March."

GABRIELLE
You brought out the best in me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena battles.

XENA
Gabriee-e-e-e-elle!

Overlapping image from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA (voice-over)
...this is how I'd want to live them - looking into
your eyes.

Xena battles, killing everyone who moves to fight her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto shouts orders in Japanese.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena battles, no one even getting a chance to cause further injury to her as she kills them the second they step in reach of the katana.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morimoto shouts orders in Japanese.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena, covered in blood from both her wounds and the blood of others, has defeated the soldiers. She stops and looks ahead, her vision blurred. She sees Morimoto, but makes no move to fight him. He cuts off her head. Red moves down the screen.

END OF ACT FIVE



ACT SIX

Gabrielle runs through the battlefield.

GABRIELLE
Xena-a-a-a!

She sees the chakram, sitting in a river of blood. Gabrielle follows the river of blood with her eyes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The tea house.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The katana appears. Akemi bows her head. The doors open and Xena enters the tea house, naked. Ayako takes her hand and leads her in. Akemi plays the zeng. Xena is dressed in a red robe by Miyuki and Ayako.

AKEMI
You came to me in my dreams and I thought it
was reality. Now you come to me in reality. It feels
like it's a dream. Either way, I'm filled with joy.

Xena moves to her, the red robe floating behind her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harukata stands before a dead body. Kenji is standing with Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
The Ghost Killer. What's he doing?

KENJI
His job - speeding wandering souls on their way
before they can be devoured by Yodoshi.

A soul comes out of the dead body and Harukata stabs it. It becomes a floating face and flies off.

KENJI
Perhaps he sees Xena.

GABRIELLE
Xena is alive! Do you understand? She is alive.

Gabrielle moves off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Akemi is with Xena.

AKEMI
I want to write a verse to express how I feel but
there's no poetry of sufficient beauty.

Xena smiles. Miyuki slowly moves her foot.

XENA
Akemi...I've been in the underworld before, but
it never felt like this.

Akemi sees that Miyuki is about to jingle the anklet. Akemi looks at Xena.

XENA
What's goin' on?

AKEMI
Our bodies? They're an illusion, projected by
Yodoshi. While we are under his power, we must
obey his will.

Miyuki raises her foot.

XENA
Funny, you're just the way I remember you.

Miyuki brings down her foot.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yodoshi's POV, moving through the woods.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Miyuki, Ayako and Akemi bow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yodoshi's POV, smashing into the tea house.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yodoshi smashes into the tea house like a tornado. He appears solid and sees Xena. He laughs then blows her back. He starts to lash at Xena with a flaming whip that his arm has become. He whips the clothes from her back and then moves over to her, his hand back to normal. He pulls her up by her hair and then forces her head down.

XENA
I am at your service, Lord Yodoshi.

YODOSHI
You most certainly are. An eternity of playing the
whore to service my appetite for souls.

He leaves like a tornado. Once he leaves out the smashed part of the tea house, it repairs itself like he had never been there.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Akemi sit back-to-back, tossing rose petals into the water. Miyuki watches them.

AKEMI
Xena...I was so worried that you wouldn't show
Yodoshi respect. He's very dangerous.

XENA
It wasn't respect I was showing him. I have a job
to do. The job that you called me for. I'm going
to destroy Yodoshi.

AKEMI
It will be very dangerous. He seems to grow
mightier with each passing day.

XENA
You're going to have to trust me Akemi. There's
someone I have to meet. They can help us.

AKEMI
You know you are being watched.

XENA
Akemi, I can still hear your heart beating and I
can hear everyone of Miyuki's clumsy foot falls.
She'll try to follow me. Let her.

Xena runs off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena walks through the woods and Miyuki follows a few paces behind her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kenji joins Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Shh. I saw something. The samurai may have
seen the captive. We'll split up.

She moves off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle moves through the woods. She stops, seeing Xena walking around in the red robe in the bushes, though Gabrielle does not know it's Xena. Gabrielle walks slowly and suddenly, Xena steps out in front of her.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

XENA
Gabrielle.

They hug.

XENA
What are you doing here?

GABRIELLE
I was so worried about you. I found your chakram.
There's so much blood.

XENA
I'm all right.

GABRIELLE
What's with the robes?

XENA
Gabrielle, I'm going to kill the Lord of the Dark Land.

Gabrielle sighs and holds out the chakram to Xena.

GABRIELLE
You'll need this.

Xena tries to take the chakram, but her hand passes through it. Xena is as surprised as Gabrielle.

XENA
I can't take that. It's difficult to explain.

GABRIELLE
You're dead. How could you let yourself be killed?

XENA
I'm sorry, Gabrielle. I couldn't tell you. You'd have
tried to stop me, and then we'd both be dead.

GABRIELLE
Is that supposed to make me feel better?

XENA
We've overcome death before. We will find a way
to bring me back. But only by becoming a spirit
can I kill Yodoshi and free those souls that I
condemned to torment. Don't you see that?

Gabrielle hugs her.

GABRIELLE
You're my whole life, Xena. I won't lose you.

XENA
You won't lose me.

Harukata enters and draws his katana. Gabrielle faces him and draws a katana.

GABRIELLE
Harukata, don't you come near her.

XENA
Put down your weapons, Gabrielle. He's working
with me.

Xena gestures with her head to Miyuki in the bushes who is watching them. Harukata gets ready. Xena runs over and grabs Miyuki.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena tosses Miyuki who screams she is tossed. She lands on Harukata's sword and vanishes, screaming. Her anklet falls.

XENA
The anklet!

Xena leaps and catches the anklet before it hits the ground. Harukata looks to Kenji who is behind him. Kenji smiles.

END OF ACT SIX



ACT SEVEN

Xena hands the anklet to Akemi outside of the tea house.

XENA
With this, we can bring Yodoshi to us when we're ready.

Gabrielle enters.

XENA
This is my soul mate. She's a poet like you, Akemi.

Harukata and Kenji enter. Harukata touches Gabrielle's shoulder and Gabrielle turns to face him.

HARUKATA
I have one question. Would you risk your life for
the return of hers?

GABRIELLE
Without hesitation.

KENJI
There is a way, Gabrielle. You must take her body,
burn it, then sprinkle the ashes into the Fountain
of Strength on Mount Fuji. You must find the fountain
before the second sunset after death.

GABRIELLE
That's tomorrow.

KENJI
Harukata will say the incantations necessary to give
the sacred katana power against malicious spirits.

XENA
Gabrielle...

Xena and Akemi join them.

XENA
This is Akemi.

Akemi bows low.

AKEMI
It is an honour to meet you at last.

GABRIELLE
And you, Akemi.

KENJI
Gabrielle can't help with our work in the tea house.
She knows what she must do. And she should
leave soon.

Xena looks at Gabrielle who nods.

XENA
Thank you.

Gabrielle sniffs and starts to leave.

AKEMI
Wait.

Gabrielle turns back.

AKEMI
I would like to give you something to protect you
on your journey.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle lies down, her back exposed. Akemi starts to put a tattoo on her back. Xena lies down next to her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Akemi puts on the tattoo.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena watches.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kenji kneels with the sacred katana and Harukata starts to chant over it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Akemi puts the tattoo on Gabrielle's back.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle has a giant tattoo of a dragon on her back and a fish on her leg. Xena and Akemi dress her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harukata chants over the sacred katana.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside of the tea house, the katana is handed to Xena who hands it to Gabrielle. Gabrielle is now wearing a blue shirt under the Japanese armour.

XENA
Good luck, old friend.

Gabrielle starts to leave, but she turns back to face Xena.

GABRIELLE
I am getting your body back, Xena no matter where
they have hidden it. Before sunset tomorrow, we
will meet again on the side of Mount Fujisan.

Gabrielle starts to leave, but then looks back.

XENA
See you there.

Gabrielle leaves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clouds, thunder and lightning.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle enters Morimoto's camp. It's pouring rain. Gabrielle enters and takes out the guards with a whip. She moves forward and finds Xena's headless body, the arrows still in it. Xena's body is hanging up, naked. Gabrielle falls to her knees, retching. She stands, drawing her katana.

GABRIELLE
Give me her head!

Gabrielle cuts down Xena's body and wraps it in a cloth. Morimoto enters behind her. Gabrielle stops, stands and turns to face him.

MORIMOTO
I've been expecting you. Your friend was a fine
opponent. She provided me with one of the greatest
trophies an honorable samurai could ever claim.

GABRIELLE
You call yourself honourable? You outnumbered
her a thousand to one. You're not a samurai.
You're a fraud. You couldn't have killed Xena
unless she wanted you to.

MORIMOTO
I think it's you with a death wish!

GABRIELLE
I accept the challenge.

Gabrielle and Morimoto face off and slowly circle each other in the rain.

XENA (voice-over)
Listen not just to the sounds...but to what's behind
the sounds. (echoing) Behind the sounds.

Gabrielle listens to the sounds of the rain, the fire, the horses and Morimoto's boots in the mud. This scene is greatly extended from what is shown in "A Friend in Need - Part II." Suddenly, Morimoto attacks with a yell, but Gabrielle is ready and knocks him forward onto his knees. She holds the katana at his neck.

MORIMOTO
It was the greatest honour of my life to send Xena
to an early grave. If I cannot do the same to you
then I ask you to grant me a noble defeat. Please,
remove my head in one stroke.

Gabrielle knocks him out. The soldiers part, revealing Xena's head on a table.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle puts Xena's body on her horse. Gabrielle rides off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tea house. Harukata chants in a voice over.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harukata chants. Xena is disguised as Miyuki, wearing the anklet. She brings down her foot.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yodoshi's POV as he moves through the woods.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena hears him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yodoshi's POV as he smashes into the tea house.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yodoshi smashes in like wind and then forms. He sees Kenji who is lying on his back on the floor before Xena.

YODOSHI
Good.

Xena turns to look at him.

YODOSHI
Huh? Where is Miyuki?!

Harukata rises from the bath and stabs Yodoshi in the back.

YODOSHI
Hyah!

Yodoshi tosses Harukata. The katana falls and Xena grabs it, kicking Yodoshi into the bath. The bath boils and Xena stabs it, but just hits the bottom.

XENA
Where is he?

He is evaporating and becomes the dew on the plank above them. It starts to drip and he forms from a pool of water before them. Xena attacks.

XENA
Du-u-u-u-uck!

He blows fire which hits Ayako who explodes. Akemi's robe is on fire and Xena kicks her into the tub. Kenji stands and Yodoshi turns with Xena and uses the katana to cut off his head, his blood splattering on the walls. Yodoshi blows cold air over the bath, freezing Akemi under ice. Xena breaks free and fights him. He grabs her wrist and burns it.

XENA
A-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

He throws her across the tea house. Harukata stands and Yodoshi stabs him, lifting him into the air.

YODOSHI
We finally meet...Ghost Killer!

Yodoshi shoves him off the sword. Xena stands and attacks him. Xena kicks the sword from his hand and cuts off his right arm from the shoulder.

YODOSHI
Ag-g-g-gh-ugh!

The arm turns into fire and snakes at Xena's legs. She jumps over it.

YODOSHI
A-a-a-a-ah!

Xena stabs him. He turns into the fire and shoots out the ceiling.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside, Yodoshi shoots out of the ceiling.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Xena moves to the bath.

XENA
Akemi.

Xena breaks the ice.

XENA
Akemi.

Xena pulls her out.

XENA
(whispering) Akemi, are you all right?

Xena and Akemi look at Kenji's body and then over at Harukata who is dying. Yodoshi can be heard yelling.

YODOSHI
Egha-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

END OF ACT SEVEN



ACT EIGHT

Xena holds Harukata.

XENA
Harukata, what went wrong?

HARUKATA
He's drinking from the fountain of strength on
Mount Fuji. If you drink...from the fountain and
use the sword I blessed it will be the final destruction
for any spirit. Xena my soul will soon join the
others, trapped in Yodoshi's grasp. You must
finish a job and release us all.

He gasps and dies.

XENA
I will not rest 'til it is done.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moon. An owl hoots.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle burns Xena's body.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
(whispering) I can't let you die.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clip from "A Friend in Need - Part I."

XENA
If I only had thirty seconds to live-

Clip from "The Ides of March."

XENA (voice-over)
-this is how I'd want to live them - looking into
your eyes.

Clip from "Return of Callisto."

XENA (voice-over)
Even in death, Gabrielle-

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Gabrielle looks at the fire.

XENA (voice-over)
-I will never leave you.

GABRIELLE
You will return to me, my friend.

She sniffs.

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Gabrielle closes the lid on the jar with Xena's ashes.

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Sun rise.

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Gabrielle rides.

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Yodoshi lands and gasps. He sees a hawk and possesses it.

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Yodoshi flies.

XENA
Yodoshi a hawk. Even with his injuries, in bird
form he can reach Fujisan in half a day.

AKEMI
Yes, but he's weakened. We're no longer confined
to these physical illusions. We could change into
other vessels.

XENA
What about them?

Akemi looks to see an owl and a mynah bird.

AKEMI
Yes.

XENA
Good.

Xena starts to move off, but Akemi stops her.

AKEMI
Xena. Gabrielle is on her way to Mount Fujisan
and...if she succeeds...

XENA
She'll succeed, don't worry. She's very good at
what she does.

AKEMI
I'm so sorry.

XENA
Akemi...what's wrong?

AKEMI
I have to tell you, what must be done to save those
souls but I feel my own soul is doomed for what
I am about to tell you.

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Yodoshi flies as the hawk.

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Xena is shocked.

XENA
I know that you did what you thought you had to
Akemi and perhaps by releasing those souls
we'll all be redeemed.

The owl hoots. Xena and Akemi stand.

XENA
Come on.

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Mount Fuji.

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Gabrielle rides and arrives at the foot of Mount Fuji. An arrow hits her horse and it falls. Morimoto draws his katana.

MORIMOTO
You'll come to regret not allowing me a warrior's death.

GABRIELLE
It's not too late to put that right!

He jumps down and faces Gabrielle.

MORIMOTO
I will not allow you to find a fountain and revive
your friend.

Gabrielle draws her katana and attacks. They fight. The jar is kicked from Gabrielle's hand. Gabrielle runs off and Morimoto follows. Gabrielle kicks him and they fight hand-to-hand. Gabrielle hits him and he falls, his hand knocking the jar which rolls.

GABRIELLE
No-o-o-o-o! No-o-o-o! No!

The jar roles off of a cliff. Gabrielle looks over the cliff and sees the jar in a bird's nest.

GABRIELLE
Oh.
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Yodoshi flies as the hawk. He lands on Mount Fuji, back in his form.

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Xena and Akemi fly as the owl and the small bird.

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Yodoshi walks along.

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Xena lands as the owl on Mount Fuji.

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Yodoshi uses the katana to turn a brass socket set in the cliff face. The fountain starts to flow.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena jumps behind him and tosses him aside. He yells. When he falls, he loses the katana. Xena stands under the fountain, waiting for the water. Akemi watches, still in the form of the small bird.

XENA
Come on. Come on!

Yodoshi freezes the water, and it knocks Xena back.

XENA
U-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-uah!

Xena goes flying. She lands. Akemi takes her form and picks up the katana.

YODOSHI
What?! My own daughter!

Xena turns and sees Akemi moving on Yodoshi and then get blown back.

XENA
Akemi!

Xena sees the frozen fountain and runs to it. Xena tries to reach up and grab an icicle, but Yodoshi spits out a fireball, which breaks the fountain and sends Xena flying.

XENA
Uh! A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

Xena goes flying. She smashes into a rock and then falls to the ground. Gabrielle sees her.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

Shards of ice fall near Yodoshi. Gabrielle runs to Xena. The fountain flows. Yodoshi sees the ice and his tongue snakes out and grabs a piece, which he swallows.

GABRIELLE
Xena?

Gabrielle sees her.

GABRIELLE
Xena.

Gabrielle runs to her.

GABRIELLE
Xena, what happened?

Yodoshi stands and in a blaze of fire, his arm reappears. Yodoshi inhales, pulling Akemi to him. She plants the katana into the ground, trying to stop being sucked in, but it's only slowing her down.

XENA
(weakly) Told you I'd see you here.

Yodoshi inhales and Akemi is pulled closer to him, and finally, she's sucked into him. Yodoshi catches the katana. Gabrielle holds Xena.

XENA
(weakly) The Fountain of Strength...get water.
Fountain...water.

Xena is nearly unconscious. Gabrielle runs over to the fountain and scoops up some water in her hand which she puts in her mouth. Yodoshi spits a fireball, which hits her back, but the dragon tattoo protects Gabrielle and sends the fireball flying back at Yodoshi. It hits him and he is sent flying back. Gabrielle runs to Xena and kisses her, putting the water into her mouth. Xena opens her eyes and Gabrielle smiles.

END OF ACT EIGHT



ACT NINE

Mount Fuji. Gabrielle chuckles.

XENA
Gabrielle.

Xena flips up and her leather and breastplates form on her, the robe gone. Yodoshi stands.

XENA
Gabrielle, I need the sacred katana to finish the job.

Gabrielle gives it to her.

XENA
Thank you.

Gabrielle looks at the sun.

GABRIELLE
The sun is setting, Xena. I have to find your ashes.

XENA
(whispers) Gabrielle-

YODOSHI
Come on!

He turns into fire and spins into the air. Xena looks at him and Gabrielle runs off. Xena turns back to finish what she was going to say, but Gabrielle has already moved to the cliff.

XENA
Gab-

Xena looks back to Yodoshi who is still flying fire.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la!

Xena turns into fire and jumps into the air.

YODOSHI
Ar-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-rugh!

Gabrielle looks at the jar and then back at Xena and Yodoshi who are both flying fire, setting the forest ablaze.

XENA
E-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

They hit into each other and explode. Xena lands on the ground and reforms. Gabrielle starts to climb down the cliff. Yodoshi lands in pieces and then reforms before Xena.
YODOSHI
Enough of this!

They battle as Gabrielle climbs. Xena kicks Yodoshi back and he disappears into the woods. Xena looks for him.

YODOSHI
Ea-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

Yodoshi flies down at Xena. She knocks him aside and he lands. They fight. They each kick each other and go flying into the air. They battle above the trees and then come back to the ground and lock katanas.

YODOSHI
You are about to join the forty thousand souls
you condemned, Xena. And the first thing I'll do
is take the head off your little friend with the tattoo.

XENA
You won't live that long.

They fight.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

She flips over him then kicks him back. He flies back at her and she stabs him.

YODOSHI
A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

Gabrielle gets the jar. Yodoshi falls and Xena pulls the katana out of him.

XENA
A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

Xena cuts off his head and the souls begin to fly free of him. Gabrielle gets to the top of the cliff and Morimoto is there, his katana drawn. Gabrielle looks back at the setting sun.

MORIMOTO
I deserve the dignity of a warrior.

GABRIELLE
Dignity, huh?

She draws her chakram.

GABRIELLE
Like you showed my friend?

She throws the chakram and it cuts him across his forehead, killing him. Gabrielle catches the chakram and looks at it. Gabrielle looks again at the sun and then moves towards the fountain. The souls move around Xena. Akemi is before her as a soul.

AKEMI
Xena.

XENA
Akemi.

AKEMI
You've redeemed me. You've redeemed them!
You've redeemed yourself!

XENA
Go in peace, Akemi.

Akemi leaves and the souls are freed.

XENA
We'll meet again...one day.

Xena moves off.

END OF ACT NINE



ACT TEN

Gabrielle is moving to place Xena's ashes in the fountain, but Xena stops her.

XENA
No, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
(whispering) Xena.

XENA
No.

Xena puts the lid on the jar.

GABRIELLE
Xena, the sun is setting. I have to bring you back
to life.

XENA
No. Not if it means condemning the souls of the
forty thousand who burned at Higuchi.

GABRIELLE
The souls are free.

XENA
They're free from Yodoshi's grasp. Akemi didn't
wanna tell me this in case I wouldn't come back
to help...but for those souls to be released into
a state of grace, they must be avenged. I must
stay dead.

GABRIELLE
But if I bring you back to life...

XENA
Those souls will be lost forever.

GABRIELLE
But, Xena-

She turns away and then looks at her again.

GABRIELLE
That is not right.

She sobs, then sniffs.

GABRIELLE
I don't care. (crying) You're all that matters to me.

XENA
Don't you know how much I wanna let you do this?
But if there is a reason for our travels together, it's
because I had to learn from you, enough to know
the final, the good, the right thing to do. I can't
come back. (whispering) I can't.

Gabrielle sits down at the fountain. Xena sits beside her.

GABRIELLE
I love you, Xena. How am I supposed to go on
without you?

XENA
I'll always be with you, Gabrielle.

Gabrielle puts her head on Xena's shoulder.

XENA
Always.

The sun sets and Xena closes her eyes and disappears. Gabrielle looks to where Xena was and then out at the sun set.

GABRIELLE
(whispering) Xena.

Xena's face is shown in an overlaying image over the sun.

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Gabrielle is alone on the boat in the ocean.

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Gabrielle is alone on the boat, holding the jar that contains Xena's ashes.

GABRIELLE
A life of journeying has brought you to the farthest
lands, to the very edges of the Earth.

Xena moves into frame and puts her arm around Gabrielle.

XENA
And to the place where I'll always remain - your
heart. So, where to now?

GABRIELLE
I think we should go south to the land of the
Pharaohs. I hear they need a girl with a chakram.

XENA
Where you go...I'm at your side.

GABRIELLE
I knew you'd say that.

Xena chuckles and kisses her head.

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The boat sails off into the sun rise.

END OF ACT TEN

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Marton Csokas as Borias
Michelle Ang as Akemi
Mac Jeffery Ong as Kenji
Adrian Brown as Yodoshi
Yvonne Tan as Ayako
Shiori Terada as Miyuki
Kazuhiro Muroyama as Harukata
Venant Wong as Morimoto
Gary Young as Saburo
Travor Sai-Louie as Kao
Ric Chan as Master Swordsman
Gregor McLennan as Captain

Story by: Rob Tapert & R.J. Stewart
Teleplay by: R.J. Stewart
Directed by: Rob Tapert

Disclaimer: Xena was permanently harmed in the making of this motion picture, but kept her spirits up.