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“Death in Chains”  Episode 9/12


Karis [K]:  “Only a fool would challenge the gods this way,

Sisyphus [Sis]:  “Don’t worry, Karis.  I’ve taken care of


Guard1:  “Sorry, sweetheart.  The king doesn’t want any visitors,
today.  But, stick around.  I’ll show you a good time.”  [Guards
laugh]  “Hey, I said no--”

Guards:  “Hey!  Oh!  Run!  Don’t touch her!  She killed him!”


K:  “How can you eat at a time like this?  It’s a trap, isn’t

Sis:  “Patience, Karis-- you’ll spoil the surprise.  [Knock at
front door]  Come in.  We’ve been expecting you.  I guess you
know who I am.  And this is my wife--”

Celesta [Cel]:  “-- Karis, hello.”

K:  “You know my name?”

Cel:  “I know everyone’s name, though few know mine.  It’s
Celesta.  Are you ready to begin your journey, Sisyphus?”

Sis:  “Of course.  But first, there’s so much I wanna know about

Cel:  “You’re not afraid of me.”

Sis:  “On the contrary, I’m fascinated.  And how about you,
Celesta?  Are you not the least bit curious about _my_ world?
Sit.  Enjoy a sumptuous feast of earthly delight.”

Cel:  “All right, Sisyphus-- but this doesn’t change things.  As
soon as we’re finished, we will go.”

Sis:  “Splendid.  After all, a visit from you happens only once
in a lifetime.  A toast-- to a long life, and a peaceful death.”

Cel:  “My flame!  What is the meaning of this?!  I wasn’t told
you were a sorcerer.”

Sis:  “No sorcery, my dear-- a simple trick-- devised with wires
and [boards?]-- an illusion I created-- to deceive you.”

Cel:  “But, do you realize what this means?”

Sis:  “Of course-- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


G:  “Looks like they’re having fun-- not that I envy them, or
anything.  I mean, what does she have that I don’t have?  OK--
love.  But what about the important things in life?  Travel;
adventure; meeting interesting people?  And as for the apple, I
can pick my own.”

Toxeus [Tox]:  “Well, well-- if it isn’t the legendary Xena.”

G:  “I lost my appetite”

X:  “Do I know you?”

Tox:  “I’m Toxeus.  I saw you fight Nestor[?] awhile back.  My
army could do with a-- warrior like you.  How about it?”

X:  “Join a band of worthless, lowlife scum-- I think I’ll pass.”

Tox:  “Pity-- I have a strict recruiting policy-- join or die.”

[Fight-- Xena “kills” Toxeus]

X:  “Another wasted death.”

[Toxeus comes back to life]  [Laughs]



G:  “I don’t get it.  Toxeus knew your reputation.  So, why would
he wanna fight you?”

X:  “Becuase he knew my reputation.”

G:  “Oh.  You mean, he wanted to be known as the man who killed

X:  “Argo[?]”

G:  “That’s not a smart goal.”

X:  “What’s up?”

G:  “What’s happening?!”

X:  “I don’t know.  Take cover.  Go!”

Hades [H]:  “Always ready for a fight.  That’s why I like you,

X:  “Hades.”

H:  “God of the underworld-- at your service.”

X:  “What do you want?”

H:  “Hey, relax.  I’m a big fan-- though for a while, you were
working us pretty hard down there.  I need your help.  My
sister’s been captured by King Sisyphus.  He holds her at his
castle.  I want you to rescue her.

X:  “Why me?”

H:  “You know him.  You’ve seen the deadly tricks he’s capable
of.  But you have to act quickly.  Time is short, and the price
of failure is high.”

X:  “What are you talking about?”

H:  “In a few hours-- Celesta’s eternal flame will burn out.  If
you don’t release her before that happens-- eternal suffering
will be the fate of all mankind.  You know who my sister is--
don’t you?”

X:  “Death.”


G:  “I’ve been thinking.  If Sisyphus gets his way, and nobody
ever dies, people will have to watch how they word things.  I
mean, if you tell someone that you’ll love them forever, it means
forever.  Xena!”


X:  “Let me take a look.  Take this.  It’s for the pain.”

G:  “Is his leg broken?”

X:  “Among other things.  Gabrielle-- take this.  Go help the

Man1:  “Save your medicines.  There’s nothing you can do for

X:  “What happened here?”

Man1:  “Rockslide in Ketamus[?]  The others are old or sick.
We’re heading for the hospital in Corinth.”

X:  “Let me help.”

Man1:  “Suit yourself; but you’re wasting your time with that
one.  Only death will give him release.”


G:  “Hold still.”

Man2:  “Ahh-- get away from me.”

G:  “I, look-- I’m trying to help you.”

Talus [Tal]:  “Here.”

G:  “Thanks.  I’ve gotta stop his bleeding.”

Tal:  “Easy, easy-- you’ll be OK.  So, where you from?”

Man2:  “Carthage.”

Tal:  “Carthage?  Well, we have your great city to thank for the
weather.  There was once a young man, Lepidus.  And he met the
beautiful Io in Carthage.  They fell madly in love.  The gods--
they grew jealous of their-- great love-- and condemned them to
separate destinies-- Lepidus to live only in the summer, and Io,
only in the winter.  Luckily, Aphrodite-- she took pity on the
lovers and, uh-- thought of a way to reunite them.”

Man2:  “How?”

G:  “What’s it gotta do with the weather?”

Tal:  “Well, Aphrodite turned Lepidus into snow, and Io into
rain.  So, in the winter, when snow falls, it’s really Lepidus,
blanketing his love, Io.  And in the spring-- well, the gentle
rain-- that’s Io caressing Lepidus.  You’ll be all right.”

Man2:  “Thanks.”

G:  “Where did you learn that?”

Tal:  “Ah, books-- I read a lot about medicine.”

G:  “No, I meant the-- the great bedside manner.”

Tal:  “Oh-- well, I guess a good story-- always helps me through
the hard times.  Hi, I’m Talus.”

G:  “Gabrielle.  Where are you headed?”

Tal:  “Well, I was on my way to Corinth-- when I met these
people.  Never seen so much suffering.”

X:  “Gabrielle?!  Get me some more water.”

Tal:  “There’s a pond not far from here.”

G:  “Let’s go.  And I’ve got a story for you.”


G:  “And so, until we release her, nobody on earth can die.”

Tal:  “Well, that explains it.  You know, awhile ago, I would’ve
been glad to hear that Death had been taken.  But now--”

G:  “I know.  It’s like, after seeing all this suffering, I
understand how important she is.”

Tal:  “You know-- not everyone would risk so much for the sake of
mankind.  You’re very brave, Gabrielle.”

G:  “Well, I have a lot of help.”

Tal:  “When I was a small boy, my mother worked for King

G:  “Really?”

Tal:  “I practically grew up in the castle.  I could-- show you
the way.”

G:  “That sounds great.  What’s this?”

Tal:  “Jasmine blossom-- it’s a rare beauty-- just like you.”

G:  “Talus!  Wait!  No!  Stop it!”

Tox:  “Where is she?”

X:  “Some guys never give up.  You look good.”

Tox:  “Like I said Xena, I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”


Tox:  “I could get used to this.  Give it up, Xena!  You can’t
kill me.  I’m a god.”

X:  “You’re no god, Toxeus.  Death’s capture has kept you alive.
And when I release her, you will die.”

Tox:  “That’s not gonna happen!  Just where I want’cha!”

X:  “I’m not that easy.”


Sis:  “I know I can’t blow out your candle, Celesta.  But I’ve
noticed, when you’re not holding it, it burns down very nicely.”

Cel:  “If it burns out, I will cease to exist.”

Sis:  “Well, that’s the point.  You should’ve thought of that
before you came to my castle.”

Cel:  “I had no choice.  You should not have angered Zeus.”

Sis:  “I _can’t_ concern myself with Zeus’ petty jealousy.  My
kingdom needed water.  I made a deal.  It’s not my time, and you
know it.”

Cel:  “That is a decision for the gods.”

Sis:  “Not anymore.”

K:  “It isn’t like you to be so cruel, Sisyphus.  What happened
to the compassionate man I married?”

Sis:  “My compassion brought death to my door.  If I release her
now, it’ll be all over.  What else would you have me do?”

K:  “I want you with me, my love.”

Sis:  “And I will be.  In a few hours, the candle will burn down,
and extinguish-- so will Celesta.  And you and I will be together
for all eternity.”


Seerus:  “Men-- follow me to the next village.  There, we’ll make
our own conquests.”

Tox:  “So, you’re the new leader, huh, Seerus?”

Seerus:  “Toxeus?”

Warrior:  “But, Xena killed you!”

Seerus:  “You’re still alive.”

Tox:  “Very observant.  There is no death anymore.”

Seerus:  “But how?”

Tox:  “That’s not important.  What I need is an army-- to stop
Xena, before she ruins it for all of us.  Who’s with me?”

Seerus:  “Xena’s a powerful woman.  I mean-- look what she did to

Tox:  “Cowards!  Maybe this will make you change your minds!”

[Toxeus “kills” his men]

Seerus:  “So-- what did you have in mind?”  [Warrior in
background:  “We should be dead, but we’re not.”]

Tox:  “I knew you’d come around.  Saddle up!  We’ll follow Xena
to Corinth-- and capture Death for our own safe-keeping.”

Seerus:  “What if she tries to stop us?”

Tox:  “How can she?  We’re immortal!  And if she tries-- we’ll
make her one of us.”




G:  “So, what do you think of Talus?”

X:  “He’s nice.”

G:  “’Nice?’  Hah!  You’re kidding, right?  You didn’t hear the
story he told.  It was warm and sensitive.  And it cheered up
that poor man.  He’s perfect, Xena.  He’s funny; he’s smart;

X:  “All right.  All right.  He’s more than nice.  I’m glad
you’ll have some company.”

G:  “Why?  Where you going?”

X:  “You two head to the hospital.  I’m going on alone.”

G:  “But, what if--”

X:  “Gabrielle, the hospital should be full of people looking for
relief.  Tell them about the injured people on the roadside.  And
stay out of trouble.”

Tal:  “She’ll be all right.”

G:  “I hope so.”


Tox:  “They’ve split up.  We’ll do the same.  One of them will
lead us to where Death is held prisoner.  Follow them closely!
And report back to me.”

Warrior:  “Yes, Toxeus.”

Tox:  “Remember, your deaths depend upon it.”  [They laugh]


Warriors:  “Faster!”  “Lead the way!”

[Xena wards off two horsemen following her.]


[Xena gains access to the castle]


X:  [Knocks out sword-wielding guard]  “Nice try.”


Sis:  [Laughing]

K:  “What is it?!”

Sis:  “Xena is here to rescue Death.”

K:  “Xena, why?!”

Sis:  “She’s a warrior.  Without death, Xena has no way to defeat
her opponents.  [Laughs]  This makes things much more
interesting.  [Laughs]


Old woman:  “Water.  Water.  Please.  Someone?”

Tal:  “You see what you can do for her.  I’ll fetch water.”

Old woman:  “Thank you.  Don’t be afraid when I tell you this.  I
died this morning.  But as I was crossing to the other side-- a
strange thing happened-- and I wound up back here.  Where is

G:  “King Sisyphus has captured her.  But don’t worry-- my
friend, Xena, will make everything all right again.”

Old woman:  “Oh-- is your friend a god?”

G:  “No-- but she knows Sisyphus, and she can take care of

Old woman:  “But what of Death?  How will she handle her?”

G:  “What do you mean?”

Old woman:  “Come closer.  If your friend touches Death, or
allows Death to touch her, she will die.”

G:  “Xena’s in trouble.  I have to go to her, Talus.”

Tal:  “Sisyphus has guards posted at every gate.”

G:  “It doesn’t matter.  You know the castle.  Now tell me how I
can get in.”

Tal:  “I’ll do better than that.  I’ll show you.”

G:  “You don’t have to go, Talus.  We may come in contact with
Death herself.”

Tal:  “I assure you, Gabrielle, I’m not afraid of her.” 


Sis:  “Welcome back, Xena.”

X:  “Always the grand entrance.  We need to talk.”

Sis:  “What should we talk about?  Relive old battles?”  

X:  “Let’s talk about Death.”

Sis:  “Why must you be-- so depressing?”

X:  “Don’t you realize the pain you’ve caused?”

Sis:  “Nonsense.  My subjects are overjoyed.  Their king has
given them eternal life.”

X:  “You’re blinded by your selfish desire to live, Sisyphus.
Now, tell me where she is-- or I’ll make your eternity a living

Sis:  “Still favoring brawn over brains, Xena?  Think about it.
You must have loved ones-- somewhere.  You never have to leave
them-- never have to watch them leaving you.  You’d have eternal
bliss.  Perhaps you should take some time-- mull it over a

X:  “Sorry, Sisyphus-- time is the one thing I don’t have.”

Sis:  “On the contrary-- time is the only thing you have.”



Tal:  “I found an escape tunnel-- back when my mother worked in
the castle.  Nobody knew about it, except us children.  Here it
is.  Come on.”


G:  “Not much of a housekeeper, is he?”


Toxeus’ goons:  “This way.”  “Yeah.”


G:  “Talus, this could be dangerous.  You should go back.”

Tal:  “And leave you alone.”

G:  “There’s no reason for both of us to risk our lives.  Look,
Xena’s my friend.  It’s got nothing to do with you.”

Tal:  “I’m not leaving you, Gabrielle.  I’ve never met a girl who
knows every line of Sophocles by heart.  I’m not gonna let
anything happen to her.”

G:  “Thank you.  Actually, I’d rather not be alone in a place
like this.”

Tal:  “Well, there’s no need to worry about that.”

G:  “You, you know-- there’s-- there’s a high rate of infection
in wounds left untreated.”

Tal:  “Right, uh-- maybe we should find you a doctor, uh-- you
can’t be too careful.”

G:  “Then again, we could just--”

G and Tal:  “Run!”

Toxeus’ goon:  “Get them!”

G:  “Which way?!  Talus?!”

Goons:  “Forget him!  Get the girl!”  “Get her!”


Tal:  “Wait, it’s me.”

X:  “Talus?  What are you doing here?!”

Tal:  “Gabrielle wanted to tell you not to touch Death.”

X:  “Of course not.  Where is she?  I told her to stay out of

Tal:  “She was concerned about you.  I-- I don’t know where she
is now.  We ran-- and there were these tall, ugly guys who looked
like they were dead.  And then I fell in here.”

X:  “They were Toxeus’ men.  We’ve gotta get out of here.”

Tal:  “Ah, it’s all my fault!  I should never have let her come!”

X:  “When Gabrielle has her mind set on something, nothing can
change it.  You’ll learn that soon enough.”

Tal:  “We’ve got to find her.  I’ve never seen this part of the
castle before.  It must be in one of the king’s traps.  We’ll
_never_ get out.”

X:  “Shh!  Listen.”

Tal:  “It sounds like water.”

X:  “It must drain somewhere.  I found it.  Let’s go.”


Warriors [Off-screen]:  “I want her!”  “Hey!”  “This way!”  “Find

Tox:  “Where are they?!”

Warrior:  “We cornered the girl, but the guy fell down the trap

Tox:  “You lost them?!  Fools!  Search the castle!  Find Death,
and bring her to me!”

Warriors:  “Right!  Let’s go!”  “Come this way, quickly!”  “Check
behind those arches!”


X:  “Come on.”



X:  “Rats!”


X:  “Stay right behind me, Talus.  Talus?”

Tal:  “I’m OK.  I guess I’m just not-- used to this much

X:  “Why were you headed to Corinth?”

Tal:  “I grew up in Corinth.  I-- guess I just wanted to see it.”

X:  “One last time.  Is there anything I can do?”

Tal:  “No-- thanks.”

X:  “Does Gabrielle know?”

Tal:  “I should’a told her-- I know.”

X:  “How long have you known?”

Tal:  “I started getting the pains-- about a year ago.  And
they’ve been getting worse ever since.”

X:  “This makes my job a lot tougher.”

Tal:  “What you’re doing is right.  There are too many people who
need her.”

X:  “I can see why Gabrielle thinks you’re so special.  Come on.”


K:  “Sisyphus-- I need to talk to you.”

Sis:  “Not now, Karis.  Xena has proved more of a challenge than
I thought.”

K:  “What we’ve done is wrong.  I realize that, now.”

Sis:  “We’ve cheated death.  How can that be wrong?”

K:  “What about those who need her?!  The people who are in

Sis:  “I’ve given them life.  Isn’t that what they want?”

K:  “If I were to give myself a mortal wound, would you have me
suffer as well?!”

Sis:  “Enough of this nonsense!  If Xena wins, I die.”


Tal:  “This hall leads to the king’s private chamber.”

X:  “Good.”

K:  “Xena.”

Tal:  “Your Highness?”

K:  “Talus.  I want to help you.”

X:  “Why?”

K:  “Because what my husband has done is wrong.  Look, you can’t
defeat him without me.  Enough if you survive his traps, you’ll
never reach Celesta in time.”

X:  “Thanks for the advice.”

K:  “Wait!  Please.  I know another way.”


Sis:  “Well, Xena.  It seems, finally, the spider has caught the
fly.  What’s the meaning of this?”

K:  “It’s time for you to listen to reason, Sisyphus.”

X:  “I agree.”

Sis:  “Xena.”

X:  “It’s time to let Death go, Sisyphus.”

Sis:  “Not without a fight-- draw your weapon.”

X:  “No weapons-- there’s someone you should meet.”

Tal:  “Do you remember me, your Highness?  My mother and I lived
in the castle when I was-- a small boy.”

Sis:  “Talus-- how are you, my boy?”

Tal:  “Not good, your Highness.  I’m dying-- or at least, I
should be.  You were very good to my mother and me.  Now, I ask
you for one more act of kindness.  Let Celesta go.”

Sis:  “You don’t understand.  If I let her go, I will die.”

Tal:  “You shouldn’t fear it.  I did for the longest time.  But
now my suffering has-- grown so-- real-- and deep.  Now I know--
death can be a friend-- a resting place.”

Sis:  “You must understand, Talus, that-- I’m not suffering.  My
life can still be good.”

Tal:  “I don’t believe that.  When the good King Sisyphus sees
all the pain and misery he has caused the world, he’ll die inside
a million times in regret for what he has done.  Don’t you see?
It’s not how long you live that matters.  It’s how well you live.
Please, let her go.”

X:  “You’re a great king, Sisyphus.  Be remembered that way.”

Sis:  “I was so concerned with my own life, I forgot about the
rest of the world.  I’ve been such a fool.”

K:  “Oh-- it’s not too late.  I will miss you.”

Sis:  “Don’t count me out yet.”

X:  “Sisyphus-- there’s not much time.”


G:  “Xena!  Talus!  They’re right behind me!”

Tox:  “Stay away from those chains!  Or this young thing-- will
be Death’s first victim.”

Tal:  “Let her go!”

X:  “Talus-- let me.  Shouldn’t you be looking for a shallow
grave somewhere?”

Tox:  “Just a few more minutes.”

X:  “Come on, Toxeus-- wouldn’t you rather have me by the throat
than that scrawny little girl?”

Tox:  “Are you offering to join me?”

X:  “Run me through, and I’m yours.”

G:  “No, Xena!”

X:  “You unlock Celesta.  I’ll handle the others.”


Warrior:  “Die, Xena!”

X:  “Not today!”

Tox:  “Get away from those chains.”

X:  “You all right?”

G:  “That was a little close.”

Sis:  “I’m ready, Celesta.”

Cel:  “Your time will come.  First, someone else needs me.”

G:  “Wait.  Wait.  There’s been some kind of mistake.”

Tal:  “No, Gabrielle, it’s-- no mistake.  I have to say goodbye.”

G:  “’Goodbye?’  I don’t understand.”

X:  “Talus is very sick.  He has been for a long time.”

G:  “But I didn’t know.”

Tal:  “I’m ready.”

G:  “No.  You don’t have to take him.  We saved you.  You owe us.

Tal:  “I should’ve told you.  Forgive me, Gabrielle.  All I
wanted was a memory of you.”

G:  “This can’t be happening.”

Tal:  “We’ll meet each other again, someday-- on the other side.”

G:  “You won’t forget me?”

Tal:  “How could I?”

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