7.05 Bloodlust I


ACT THREE

FADE IN

[FLASHBACK]

Rome. The arena from the fight at the end of "Livia," again packed with people. No fights have taken place yet--Eve is to speak first.

CUT TO

The curtained Royal box, which opens to reveal Augustus and Eve, who now has on her green outfit from "The God You Know" onwards.

AUGUSTUS (stands up and speaks to the people):
     Citizens of Rome, before we continue with the gladiator battles, I have someone here who would like to speak to you all. She is... She committed some atrocious crimes in the name of Rome and would like to apologize for them. (he sits down.)

Eve stands up--the people in the arena start booing her and look very angry. Her obvious charisma shows through very quickly though.

EVE:
     Please...let me talk.

The people calm down enough for her to speak, although still don't look happy.

Eve speaking to Romans

EVE:
     I...I know that most of you don't like me--and a lot of you hate me--for what I did in the name of this great city. But, I would like you to know that murdering the followers of Eli and countless, countless others are terrible regrets that I have. If I could turn back time and change my beliefs, my... If I could have caught myself before I became the monster that I was, I would have done it in a heartbeat. I can't ask for your forgiveness because I know how hard that would be, but I ask that...I ask that you give me the chance to try to atone for my actions. A good many of you may know that my mother is Xena, the Warrior Princess. I intend to follow her example and the teachings of love of the Elijans and try to help calm the terror I brought on the Empire we possess. I'm sorry.

She blinks back a few tears and sits down. The people do not react they just stay silent. It is clear that they want the fight to start.

AUGUSTUS:
     The first battle will be fought by...

[END OF FLASHBACK]

Eve is a little teary just talking about it and Xena has her arm around her.

XENA:
     So, I take it that was that.

EVE (sniffling):
     Not exactly...

[FLASHBACK]

Two warriors are in the arena, one with a sword at the other's throat. As Eve watches, Augustus gives a thumbs down sign. The warrior kills his victim.

EVE:
     Why did you do that?

AUGUSTUS:
     Why not? I got the idea from you as a matter of fact.

EVE (shocked):
     What?

AUGUSTUS:
     You have to crack down on scum like them--you can't just let them off. They're criminals, Eve.

EVE:
     What did they do?

AUGUSTUS:
     Them? (short laugh) I don't know. But I'm making an example of them. The other one will be killed too. I'm still not saying I agree with killing innocent people, but you had the right kind of idea with killing the followers of Eli.

EVE (very upset):
     What are you talking about? I murdered them--didn't you listen to what I just said?

AUGUSTUS:
     No, no, I mean making an example of people and showing them what you have the power to do.

EVE:
     They know you're powerful--you're the Emperor! You don't need to prove it.

AUGUSTUS:
     What's power if you don't keep hold of it? You relax for a few months, the next thing you know, there's a Senate waiting to assassinate you.

EVE:
     Julius Caesar got too power hungry--that's why he was murdered. You might be heading down the same way.

AUGUSTUS:
     Which is exactly why you need to show off your might.

EVE (shakes head and pauses):
     That's a risky bluff. I'd expect people to eventually try and see just how far you'll go--and you wouldn't kill them. Would you?

AUGUSTUS:
     I can't say.

EVE:
     Would you?

AUGUSTUS (a little irritated):
     Eve, I really don't know.

EVE:
     Augustus, please tell me that you don't think murdering people is a good idea.

AUGUSTUS (snapping at her a little--he wants this conversation to be over):
     If it serves your purpose, it can be. Any means to an end.

EVE (disgusted):
     You've changed--and not for the better.

Shaking her head angrily at Augustus, she stands up and leaves.

[END OF FLASHBACK]

EVE (speaking numbly):
     And changed he had. Without me--without Livia--there to protect all of his precious Empire, he had to do it himself. (suddenly looks scared, as she twists around to look at Xena--who does not look happy.) And you know what the worst part was? He was right.

Xena looking at Eve

XENA:
     Eve, you don't mean that.

EVE (shaking head, bitter):
     I do. (looks down, not able to hold Xena's stare) It's worked for me before--take the loudest of your dissenters and kill them in the most gruesome way you know how--in public. No one will step out of line for a while. And then, when they do, you just kill them too.

XENA (by the look in her eye, you can tell she is remembering a time when she did the same thing):
     Eve...

EVE:
     But with Augustus... I should've left well enough alone. Should've let him dig his own grave. But I ignored Eli's teachings and took matters into my own hands.

[FLASHBACK]

The room in Augustus' palace where Eve is staying. Eve is sitting, holding a small green vial in her hand, looking at it.

EVE (as she speaks, she starts pacing around):
     I never thought I'd need this again. But...he has changed since I joined the Elijans. And it definitely isn't for the better. The God of Eli says that love is the way forward, not violence. I know that. So, my...stopping hatred can't be bad, can't be a sin. But he also says that you should love others--and forgive those who sin against you. And he forgave me. So maybe I am sinning.

In a spectacular flash of light, the Archangel Michael appears behind Eve, putting a hand on her shoulder to calm her. She turns around.

Michael

MICHAEL:
     Eve...my child. Don't be scared.

EVE:
     Michael, am I doing the right thing? Am I doing what your god wants?

MICHAEL:
     Yes, of course you are. You are Eli's Messenger--you know his will as well as any of us in Heaven.

EVE (shaking head, turns away from Michael):
     Then why do I feel so afraid? So doubtful? Before, when I preached Eli's message of love, I had no doubt in my mind that that was why I was put on the Earth. I was following his command then, and you say that I am now--so why do I feel different?

[END OF FLASHBACK]

A guard has entered. He has a very naive look about him, but looks quite brave. There are several soldiers in the background.

GUARD (warily):
     Okay, that's enough chat now.

XENA (standing up, is not happy):
     We're not finished yet.

GUARD (defensively):
     Hey, I'm just following orders. Don't kill the messenger!

EVE (coldly):
     No pun intended, I'm sure.

GUARD (seeing Xena's glare):
     No, milady. (signaling to other guards.) Leave us for a moment. (he closes the door, not taking his eyes off Xena) Listen, like I said, I can't do anything about...this. But, if you wish it, I can arrange a meeting for you with your husband.

EVE (completely nonplussed):
     Who? What are you talking about? (looks at Xena, who has raised her eyebrows at the guard)

GUARD:
     Your husband...the fellow who came in here with you earlier. I know where he and the other lady are staying. You have to swear not to tell anyone though, either of you.

EVE:
     But... (cut off by Xena)

XENA:
     Yeah, she'd like that.

GUARD:
     As soon as I can get out then, I'll find him for you. Can't say when that'll be though. (remembering his reason for coming, he straightens and his demeanor changes.) But, you really must leave now, I'm afraid.

XENA (reluctant):
     Eve...it'll be okay, don't worry. I promise you that. (they hug) 'Til tomorrow morning. (she leaves, followed by the guard, who is smiling behind her, fairly obviously falling for Xena)

EVE (chuckling softly):
     My husband, huh? Virgil will get a kick out of that one. Or the guard will.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT THREE