Wide shot of Xena, Gabrielle, and Budeya crossing the now-deserted square on their way to the palace.
This way. I'll take you to my quarters--there's a private entrance.
Xena gives Budeya a speculative look, frowning a little.
Inside Budeya's quarters. Budeya opens the door and silently motions for Xena and Gabrielle to come in. Her room is beautifully decorated, with purple drapes hanging from the windows and bedposts, an ornate fireplace in a corner, and exquisitely crafted wooden furniture. A vase with fruit stands on a table.
BUDEYA (motioning towards the table):
Xena and Gabrielle exchange a quick glance, then sit down on the two chairs in front of the table. Budeya sits down on a couch across from them.
I don't know where to begin.
How about from the start. Who are you? And what's your connection with Ares?
BUDEYA (taking a deep breath):
Not that you could tell now...but I was once a goddess myself. My real name is--
XENA (her eyes narrow):
Nemesis. Goddess of revenge--former goddess.
Gabrielle glances at Xena, surprised.
How did you know that?
Lucky guess. Hercules told me, years ago, that Hera took away your godhood because you wouldn't kill him.
Well, then... Did Hercules also tell you that I had a child with Ares?
XENA (shakes her head slowly):
From the Hercules: the Legendary Journeys episode "Two Men and a Baby":
Nemesis (Budeya), now very young and beautiful, stands facing Hercules.
Why would you get involved with Ares?
Ares came to me. He promised I could be a god again if I gave him a son. I was afraid of being mortal--not knowing what to expect. I was weak--and foolish. I believed him.
Ares never kept a promise in his never-ending life.
Later, Nemesis and Hercules are still talking.
But, why would Ares be after Evander? He cares nothing for any of his children.
Evander--inherited some--qualities from his father.
Evander lets out a loud burp and out of his mouth comes a fireball that bounces off the ground, shoots past Hercules and rockets into the night sky. Hercules looks startled.
Hercules is standing on a cliff in the moonlight holding Evander. He is facing Ares.
I won't let you take away his chance to be a good man.
Good--what good is a good man? (he stretches his arms out from his body and looks up into the sky) He has a shot at greatness! (his voice resonates through the canyon five times before fading)
You don't care about your son.
Oh, I care--in my own way. You see, Evander, grown, will become your worst nightmare--yours and all those good men you care so much about.
A fight scene. Hercules is in front of Ares, in a fighting stance. Ares is holding Evander in his arms.
Evander. (Evander squeals and looks at Hercules) Go to Mommy. Come on. Go to Mommy.
Hercules and Ares watch as Evander slowly rises from Ares' arms, floats through the air and up to the top of the wall where Nemesis is standing. Evander lands gently in Nemesis' outstretched arms and hugs him tightly.
[END OF FLASHBACK]
Nemesis (Budeya) pauses.
Makes sense. Evander had a power Ares wanted to control.
Yes. But as Evander got older, he only became more powerful. I never told him who is father was, but when Zeus started wanting to spend time with his grandson, I told him that Zeus was my father.
From the Hercules: the Legendary Journeys episode "Full Circle":
Hercules and Iolaus at Nemesis' house.
I thought I could teach him to control the power he inherited from Ares. But the older he gets, the more it seems to slip away from him. ... What Evander imagines, he can make real. He's even more powerful than his father.
Hercules stands before his father Zeus, King of the Gods.
He'll kill Nemesis, you know. That's why I took him--to protect her. Didn't she tell you about his powers?
Montage of Clips:
- Four-year-old Evander uses his powers to free Hera from the Abyss of Tartarus
- The Titans escape
- Hercules and Iolaus battle the Titans
- Zeus and Hera get back together
- Hercules and Nemesis smiling with Evander by their side
[END OF FLASHBACK]
But it was nowhere near a happy ending. Zeus and Hera showed up a few weeks later...
Outside Nemesis' home. Evander is outside playing catch with himself. He throws the ball and then has it come right back to him.
Zeus and Hera materialize in the yard.
YOUNG EVANDER (excited):
Evander drops the ball and runs over to them, Zeus and Hera are smiling as they kneel down and give him a big hug.
The camera pans around as Nemesis opens the door. She looks to see Evander with Zeus and Hera.
She walks up to them, trying to avoid looking at Hera.
NEMESIS (smiling at Zeus):
Zeus. What brings you here?
Zeus smiles and pats Evander's head.
I was wondering if tomorrow, Hera and I could take my favorite grandson for a ride in Apollo's chariot.
YOUNG EVANDER (thrilled):
Really? The flying chariot?! (turning to Nemesis) Can I, Mom?
NEMESIS (glancing at Hera for a moment):
I--uh...I'm not sure it's--safe.
YOUNG EVANDER (disappointed):
I--understand your concerns. But there's nothing to worry about. (quietly to Nemesis) I don't really have to come along.
NEMESIS (shaking her head, speaks quietly):
No...it's all right. Hercules told me everything that happened. You helped save his life. Besides, what's past is past. (turning to her son) And Evander would love to go.
YOUNG EVANDER (jumping up and down):
Yippee! Are we ready to go now?
Zeus and Hera laugh.
We are going to wait until tomorrow. (off Evander's disappointed look) You see, Evander, Apollo's using the chariot right now. Besides, I have to pay a visit to the Fates first.
The Fates? What for?
My dreams--they have been dark of late. I think something--strange is about to happen.
I hope nothing's wrong.
Nothing the King of the Gods can't fix. (looks at Evander) Be ready tomorrow at sunrise, young man. We'll be here.
YOUNG EVANDER (grins):
Nothing in the world could keep me away.
[END OF FLASHBACK]
The next day they never showed up. Evander sat at the window all day, waiting--that day and the next day, and the day after that. And still Zeus never came. I called for him but he never showed. (looking at Xena) I didn't know it, but Zeus was already dead. (Xena looks away guiltily as Nemesis sighs) Finally I managed to talk to Athena...
Nemesis stands in a temple to Zeus.
Zeus! Show yourself! (Nothing happens.) Zeus! What kind of king of gods doesn't keep a promise to a child?
There is a bright flash of golden light in front of her. Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, appears.
Athena. What's going on? Did Zeus send you?
Athena is silent for a moment; she looks sad.
Zeus is dead, Nemesis.
What? Who... How...?
The Fates, they prophesied it. It's the Twilight of the Gods. It was said that Xena's child would be the death of the Greek gods. It all happened so quickly. Hera's gone, no one knows what happened to her. And--in an effort to protect Xena and her child--Hercules killed Zeus.
Nemesis looks stunned as she tries to take it all in.
And Xena's child...
Nemesis looks worried as she ponders something.
Athena--I need you to do something for me.
Take away Evander's powers.
ATHENA (shakes her head):
You're next in line after Zeus and Hera--you have the power to do it. Anything could happen... He could die because he has the blood of a god. Or else Ares could try to use him again, because of the powers he has. I am not going to put my son's life in danger--not again.
ATHENA (looks at her intently, then sighs):
Fine. I'll do it.
Evander's room. It's night and he is asleep in his bed. Nemesis stands next to Athena as the goddess raises up her hands. A blue glow starts to emanate from Evander's body, flowing into her hands.
Next morning. Evander sits on the porch staring at the sunrise. Behind him, the door is half-open. Nemesis comes out on the porch.
YOUNG EVANDER (looks up at her sadly):
They're not coming, are they?
No, Evander. They're not.
YOUNG EVANDER (starts to cry):
But grandpa promised!
Nemesis sits down next to him and strokes his hair; she starts tearing up.
You can't trust gods, Evander. They don't...they don't have feelings like you and I do. But I will always be there for you, do you understand?
Evander hugs her tightly as he cries.
[END OF FLASHBACK]
A small tear rolls down Nemesis' cheek.
But why did you lie to him?
NEMESIS (her eyes sparkle angrily):
Well--what was I suppose to tell him? That Grandma disappeared, and Uncle Hercules killed Grandpa? And if he asked why, I'd have to tell him that it was to stop Grandpa from killing an innocent baby?
Xena looks away uncomfortably; Gabrielle is speechless.
That day, Evander noticed that his powers were gone--he couldn't make things come to him the way he always had. I told him the gods took his powers away... I just didn't tell him that it was I who asked Athena to do that. (she sighs) Looking back--I would have done it differently...but I was just so angry. Then, we never talked about it again for years--until one day...
The front yard of Nemesis' house. A somewhat older-looking Nemesis is tending to some plants; a teenage Evander, about fourteen, comes up to her with a bucket of water.
TEENAGE EVANDER (puts down the bucket):
Here you are.
TEENAGE EVANDER (hesitates):
Mom...I wanted to talk to you about something.
NEMESIS (stands up straight and looks at him warily):
What is it?
TEENAGE EVANDER (uncomfortably):
We never talk about my grandparents... How come you're the daughter of two gods and yet you're a mortal? And how come you've never told me anything about my father? Is he dead?
Well...I used to be a goddess, Evander. Then one day, some of the other gods... They ordered me to kill a man, but I couldn't do it. So they punished me and turned me mortal.
Evander looks shocked.
Why did they want you to kill him?
He--he had done something to make them angry. But he was a good man. And I couldn't kill him because...because I fell in love with him.
TEENAGE EVANDER (understanding dawns on his face):
Was he--my father?
Nemesis slowly nods.
TEENAGE EVANDER (distressed):
What happened to him? (off her silence) Did the gods kill him?
Nemesis nods, a tear rolling down her cheek.
Yes. He was killed by Ares, God of War.
Evander clenches his fists, his face distorted with rage and pain.
TEENAGE EVANDER (furiously):
So that's why they took my powers! So I couldn't avenge my father! (looks at Nemesis) Isn't that true? (he shakes his fists with an angry cry) I hate all the gods!
Nemesis stares at him silently.
[END OF FLASHBACK]
I shouldn't have lied to him--but I was so angry with Ares for what he had done.
And then we just went on and didn't talk about it again. Then, some three years ago, Evander started getting some of his powers back.
Three years ago... (to Xena) That would have been after you killed Athena.
Xena nods uncomfortably.
We heard rumors about the Twilight...but we didn't know what to believe. Then, one day, we were going through the woods on our way to the market...
Nemesis (now much older) and Evander (who is in this thirties) are walking along a forest path. Suddenly, five bandits emerge from the trees. They are armed with knives and clubs.
You know the drill. Give us all your money, and no one gets hurt.
Evander steps in front of his mother.
The bandits laugh.
You're gonna take us on, kid? Five on one? I don't think your mommy is going to be a lot of help.
One of the bandits starts approaching Evander, meaningfully tapping his hand with the club he carries. Evander punches him out and he falls back; Evander hears Nemesis cry out behind him and turns around to see one of the bandits grab her hair and push her to the ground.
Leave her alone!
The bandit laughs--but his laugh changes to a scream when an invisible force lifts him off the ground, making him fly through the air and slam into a tree. The other bandits look confused and angry. One of them charges Evander; he holds out his hand, staring intently at the man, and the bandit's own club suddenly jerks in his hand, hitting him in the face. Evander looks at his hands; a close-up of his face, flashing a triumphant smile.
We see a quick montage of shots:
* Evander sending two bandits flying into each other
* One bandit being dropped on his head upside down
* Another bandit flying into a tree
* The bandits running away
Nemesis looks at Evander in shock. Evander seems almost as stunned as she is. He comes up to her, smiling incredulously.
My powers are back. (excited) It makes sense. Mom--we've heard all these stories about the Twilight of the Gods....
What does the Twilight of the Gods have to do with--
Don't you see? I was given these powers for a reason! To end Olympian rule once and for all. The Twilight. (looks at his hands, smiling triumphantly) This is it.
[END OF FLASHBACK]
Then we came here, to Pelius. He used his powers to save the city from a fire--
We've heard about that.
At first, he thought that under his leadership everyone would turn away from the gods. When that didn't happen...he decided to force them to his way of seeing things, by whatever means necessary. I want to stop him, Xena--I can't stand by and watch him do this to people. I feel like it's my fault...I am the one who raised him to hate the gods, and now he is taking his hatred out on their followers. His powers are growing--soon he may become stronger than the gods themselves, and then who knows what he will do.
There is a knock on the door. Nemesis, Xena and Gabrielle turn warily toward the door.
The door opens and a young woman, obviously a servant, comes in. She is in tears.
My sister Arikia...she's been thrown in the dungeon!
She and some other people...they held secret worship services for the Olympian gods. Now they're going to be punished as traitors.
NEMESIS (deeply distressed):
Can you do anything?
NEMESIS (shakes her head slowly, then points to Xena):
I don't think so. But maybe she can.
MEDORA (looks at Xena, wiping tears from her face):
XENA (tries to be reassuring but it's clear that she isn't entirely confident):
I'll do my best to help your sister.
I'm sorry, Medora. (sigh) I hope everything turns out all right.
Medora leaves, closing the door behind her. Xena turns to Nemesis.
Something needs to be done to stop Evander--but I'm not strong enough to stop him. (grimly) I'll have to talk to--Ares. (off Nemesis' shocked and upset expression) Look--Ares isn't the person he was when you knew him. I know you find it hard to believe that he could change--
And you find it easy?
No. But Nemesis...on Mount Olympus, when I was fighting Athena, Ares gave up his godhood to save me--and to heal my daughter and my friend...
Why? (off Xena's uncomfortable silence) It was probably just part of some plan...
Nemesis--he loves her.
NEMESIS (repeats slowly):
He--loves her. Are we talking about the same Ares? The God of War? The one who used me to bear him a child (quick pan to Xena, who winces slightly) and then tried to use that child for his own purposes? (There is an uncomfortable silence; then, Nemesis shrugs) Xena, if you think getting Ares involved is your only choice, then go ahead.
Xena stands up and looks ahead of her.
There is a moment of tense waiting. Then there is a flair of blue light and Ares appears. He looks from Xena to Nemesis, to Gabrielle, and then back to Xena.
So, now you know.
He stares at her grimly as we:
END OF ACT THREE