Whoosh! Online
Edition Come visit Xena-Vu!


“Altared States”  Episode 19/22


Icus:  “It’s not true!  It can’t be!”

Moth:  “Icus, he told me himself.”           

Icus:  “Oh, but Mother!”

Moth:  “There’s no time to argue.  Now, get your coat while I
pack some food-- You’re bound to get hungry.”

Icus:  “How long must I be gone?”

Moth:  “Until it’s safe for you to return.”

Icus:  “Oh, but mother, I don’t understand.”

Moth:  “Neither do I, love.  Neither do I.”              

Man:  “Icus!”

Moth:  “Run!  Find a place to hide and stay there.  I’ll find you
when it’s safe.”

Icus:  “Oh, but...”

Moth;  “Go!”


G:  “How was that?”  

X:  “Very good-- you’re getting the hang of it.”

G:  “Really?”

X:  “Come on, Gabrielle, you’ve been wanting to do this for ages.
Just reach under this rock-- give it your best shot.”

G:  “OK.  I did it!  I did it!”

Man:  “Where is he?”

X:  “Here.”

Man:  “Here!  Come on.”

I:  “Let go!”

X:  “Didn’t your mother ever teach you, it’s rude to stare?”

G:  “Stay here!--  You’ll be safer.”

X:  “Come on; come on.”

G:  “Excuse me.”

Maell:  “Enough!  I don’t know who or-- what you are.  But this
business is none of yours.”

X:  “My name is Xena, and the way I see it, half a dozen men
going after one small, defenseless boy kinda makes it my
business.  Call it my maternal instinct.”

I:  “Don’t let them take me, please.”

X:  “No one’s taking you anywhere, hmmm?”

Maell:  “What will be, will be!  This isn’t over.”

X:  “What was all that about?”

Icus:  “That want to take me to be sacrificed.”

G:  “Sacrificed?  You mean like on an altar, with a knife?”

X:  “Who would do such a thing?”

Icus:  “My father.”



Icus:  “I know how it looks, but my father’s a good man.  Once,
when I was sick, he stayed by my bed, night and day.  He never
left till I was feeling better.  He’s always been like that.”

X:  “Then why did he send that thug after you?”

Icus:  “Thug?  Oh, you mean my brother Maell.”

X:  “Your brother?”

G:  “Nice family.”

Icus:  “Maell and his men are very strong in their faith.  He
helped my father teach our people new ways to farm.  Now we grow
twice as much as we used to.”

X:  “And your mother?  You said she warned you.  How does she
feel about all this?”

Icus:  “Oh, I don’t know.  She’s mixed up about all this too, I
guess.  It’s just, my father’s never hurt anyone.”

G:  “There’s gotta be an explanation.  Look, we’ll find it--
right Xena?  Xena?  Xena!”

X:  “I’m up here-- I found it!”

G:  “Found what?”

X:  “This cave-- My army came through here a couple of years ago.
I used it as shelter for my wounded men.  You’ll be safe here.
So make camp;  I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Icus:  “Where are you going?”

X:  “To have a talk with your family.  I wanna see for myself
what kind of a father would want to kill his own son.”

G:  “Come on.”


Anteus:  “Are you telling me you don’t have Icus.”

Maell:  “Well, at the moment, no.  But, don’t worry, my men and I
will get him back, even if we have to die doing it.”

Anteus:  “No!  There’s been too much violence already.  That’s
not our way.”

Maell:  “Well, nor would I choose it, Father.  But this Xena’s
left me no alternative.  These are new times; they demand new

Anteus:  “To follow a path of peace is new.  We teach by example,
not by force.”

Maell:  “But when the truth can help so many, surely, we’re
honor-bound to spread it in the most aggressive way we can.”

X:  “One that includes killing children?”

Anteus:  “No-- I said no!”  

X:  “You better sit down-- You don’t look well.”

Maell:  “My father’s health, like everything else here, is not
your concern.  Now, just give us Icus and be on your way.”

Anteus:  “You have Icus?  How is he?”

X:  “Confused-- He doesn’t understand how his father could love
him one day and wanna kill him the next.”

Anteus:  “I don’t want to kill him.  Surely, he knows that.”

X:  “Then, why are you doing this?”

Anteus:  “Because God has commanded it.”

X:  “God?  Which god?  Ares, or Zeus?”

Maell:  “There is only one true Supreme Deity-- The Almighty God
of my father-- The one whose voice speaks only to him.”

X:  “Uh-huh.  So this all-powerful deity, he told you to kill an
innocent boy?  And I thought Ares was cold.  Why does he want you
to do it?”

Maell:  “Our Holy One is not accountable to anyone, let alone a

X:  “Then you’d better pray he has a change of heart.  Because,
until he does, Icus stays with me.”

Anteus:  “She goes unharmed.  I will pray for guidance, but until
I get it, there will be no more violence-- of any kind.”


Maell:  “She’s gotta die.”

Man:  “But how?  You said yourself, Anteus forbids it!”

Maell:  “My father is a wise man; but also an aging man, in
failing health.  No doubt, he doesn’t see Xena for what she truly
is-- A trial, sent to us, by the Almighty, to test our resolve.
Can you doubt it?  All you have to do is look at her to see she’s
unnatural, an affront to God.  A woman with the strength of ten
men?  Out in the world alone, save only her scrawny little
companion?  It’s a complete abomination!  And to think, this--
_freak_-- of nature-- has my brother-- a boy so-- _innocent_--
and pure, that the All-powerful One has called him to His side at
the tender age of 12.  How do you think the Supreme Deity feels
about that?  Leaving his chosen one in the hands of a woman whose
gods are as primitive as she is!”                       

Crowd:  “Xena must die!  Yeah!  Yeah!”


G:  “Then suddenly, the soldiers burst _out_ of the wooden horse,
surprising eeryone, and uh, and then the-- the Trojans turned
into _growling_ lions, with blood dripping from their lips.  And
then, oh, the Greeks-- they brought in an army of, oh,
fire-breathing, tin-headed Hydras.  And this is very interesting,
isn’t it?  Right?!”

Icus:  “Oh, yeah-- Right.”

G:  “Huh!  You haven’t heard a word I said, have you, hmm?”

Icus:  “Sorry, you tell a great story.  It’s-- it’s just I can’t
stop thinking about my father, and wondering why he’d wanna--”

G:  “Oh, hey, look, there’s no use in speculating.  We’ll know
more when Xena gets here.  I just hope she brings some food.  I’m

Icus:  “Oh, I’ve got food.”

G:  “You do?”

Icus:  “My mother packed it for me.  I’ve got apples and pears
and cheese and some--”

G:  “Is this nutbread?  Ah, yum!  I haven’t had this since I was

Icus:  “Help yourself-- I’m not hungry.”

G:  “Oh, no, I couldn’t.  I-- Well, if you’re sure.  Hah-hah!
Yeah-- You don’t know what you’re missing.”


Moth:  “Hestia-- goddess of hearth and home.  It is many years
since I’ve honored you.  But, please, hear my prayer.  Protect my
son, Icus.”

X:  “Don’t worry, Icus is safe.”

Moth:  “You know my son?  Where is he?  Who are you?” 

X:  “My name is Xena.  Icus is staying with me and a friend until
we can sort this thing out.  That’s why I wanted to talk to you.”

Moth:  “But how did you know I was here?”

X:  “Where else would a woman who loves her son enough to defy
her husband go?--  A shrine to the patron goddess of families.”

Moth:  “If Anteus knew I’d broken with His Gods [sic] and gone
back to the old ones, it  would kill him.”

X:  “Not a tough choice, seeing his God wants to kill Icus.  How
can he believe in a God who needs to murder children?”

Moth:  “Well, he never has before.  And what’s even stranger, not
two months ago, our Supreme One told Anteus to break with
tradition, and make Icus our next leader, not our oldest son,

X:  “Does Maell know this?”

Moth:  “I don’t know.  Lately, Anteus has seemed so secretive and
strange.  I’m afraid he confides more in his own God than he does
in me.  That’s why you have to try and reach him, Xena, please.
To kill a child, it can’t be right, no matter what god you

X:  “I’ll talk to Anteus.  It’s probably better if we went
separately.  It might not be good for your health to be seen with

Moth:  “Oh, wait, wait, I have a little more nutbread.  Would you
take it to Icus?  I packed some in his sack.  But, well you know
how children are about nutbread.  And, Maell had this one
specially made, so, I thought--”

X:  “Maell had this made?”

Moth:  “Uh-huh.  It’s one of those special treats he’s been
bringing Anteus lately.  Still I don’t think he’d mind Icus
having some, do you?”



X:  “Gabrielle, Gabrielle, can you hear me?  Wake up.”

G:  “Uhhhhhh.”

X:  “Here-- You all right?”

G:  “I’m great.  I-- I can’t see, but, I’m good.”

X:  “Try using both eyes.”

G:  “Oh, ah, yeah, that’s better, uh-huh.”

X:  “Think you can stand?”

G:  “You mean, I’m not?”

X:  “Come on!  There you go.”

G:  “By the gods!”

X:  “What is it?

G:  “You are _beautiful_!”

X:  “Uh-huh.  And you are drugged-- With henbane, if I’m not
mistaken, so the effects should be temporary.  But we’ve got to
get you-- walking.  Come back here.  Gabrielle, I need you to

G:  “OK, uh, yep.  But I think this is a big waste of time,
because I have been walking since I was one.”

X:  “This is not about walking, Gabrielle.  It’s about Icus.  You
do remember Icus, don’t you?”

G:  “Of course, I remember Icus.”

X:  “Good.  Do you know where he is?”

G:  “Where?”

X:  “No, I’m asking you.  Where’s Icus?”

G:  “I don’t know.  Icus!  Icus!  [Whistles]  I lost Icus!  I
lost him.  I lost Icus!  [Crying]  I lost Icus!”

X:  “Gabrielle, calm down.  Look, I’m sure you didn’t lose him.
He probably just saw you pass out and went for help.  By the way,
how much nutbread did Icus eat?”

G:  “None!  He, oh, you know, I really wanted to share-- But it
was just too good!  And he said he wasn’t hungry.  And, then, the
next thing I knew, it was just-- gone!  Like Icus!”

X:  “It’s OK.  There’s no sign of a struggle.  My guess is he
went to get his mother.  Aside from us, she’s his only ally.”

G:  “What are we waiting for?  Let’s go!  The rest of you, follow

X:  “Hold it!”

G:  “At ease!  Yeah!”

X:  “I’ve got a better idea.  I’ll go and get Icus, while you and
the-- others try to, um--”

G:  “Work on our song?  Mmm, yeah.  Just between you and me, the
altos are slightly flat.”

X:  “Perfect.  Gabrielle, don’t let _anyone_ leave the cave.
Understand?  Stay here, and wait for me to get back.  Have I made
myself clear?”

G:  “Uh, no.  You’re a _little_ fuzzy around the edges.  So you
keep trying-- You’ll get there.  Now I want everyone this side of
the cave--  We’re gonna keep working till we get it right!  And
I’ve got _all_ day.  So, let’s start with the top!  Are you
ready?  You! You’re a tenor.  Get away from the sopranos!  Hey,
hey!  You’re standing like a stone-- Relax.”


Icus:  “Hurry, Mother.  I think she’s really sick.  She started
talking all strange.  And then she fell asleep, and I couldn’t
wake her!”

Moth:  “All right, I’m coming.  But I’ll be no good to this
Gabrielle without my medicines, now, will I?  Here, go get me
some bitterwort from the garden.  Oh, oh, Icus, I need some
haleanthus (sp?), too.  Icus?!  Icus, do you hear?!”  [Screams]

Icus:  “Mother!  Don’t hurt her!  I’ll go with you!  Just, don’t
hurt her, please!”

Older man:  “Make sure she stays here.”

Guard:  “Don’t give me any trouble!”


Man:  “Close in behind.”

Man:  “Come on!”

Man:  “What’ll we do now?”

X:  “Hmm.”


[Gabrielle conducts the rocks]


Guard:  “Why, you, I--”

X:  “That looks mighty painful.  You really oughtta see a doctor
about that.  Are you all right?”

Moth:  “Don’t bother with me.  The zealots took Icus--You’ve got
to stop them.”

X:  “Where?  They took him where?”

Moth:  “To the mountain; to Anteus.”


Anteus:  “...Please... I beg you...”


Older Man:  “What was that?  You and you-- Go!

X:  “Shhh!”

Man:  “We couldn’t find anything.”

Older Man:  “It’s some sort of trick.  Keep moving!  Hurry!”  

Man:  “Where’s the boy?”

Man:  “He’s gone!  Icus is gone!”


G:  “Wow!  Great percussion!  Now, from the top!


X:  “And I thought our gods were harsh.”


Anteus:  “Please, please, Almighty God.  You alone know how I
have struggled to follow you always.  I have given you my life!
To use however You will.  And it is yours even now, to take or
leave-- As You choose.  But, my son.  Please, don’t take Icus.”

Maell/God:  “How dare you deny Me anything?  Either sacrifice
Icus before the next sun, or I will turn my face upon you and
your people-- forever.  Prove your faith to Me, Anteus.  Prove it
to Me above all things.”



Icus:  “Father!  Father!  What’s wrong with him?”

X:  “The strain must’ve been too much for him.  Anteus, Anteus!”

Icus: “Father, it’s me!”

Anteus:  “What hap--”

X:  “Don’t try to speak.  You’re very ill.  We’ll get you home.”

Anteus:  “You heard it, didn’t you?  The voice-- You heard it.”

X:  “Yes, but unlike you, I don’t believe everything I hear.
This way.”


G:  “What did you say?  I asked him.  What did you say?”  That’s
what I thought.  Thank you!  I gotta go.  You stay here!”

Rock:  “Ohhhhh!”


X:  “We’ll stop and rest a while.  No sense in killing
ourselves-- so to speak.”

Anteus:  “You don’t think much of us, do you?”

X:  “I don’t think much of your God-- or any god who’d wanna kill
a child.  But then, I’m not sure He does.  It’ll ease your
breathing.  Lean forward.  Anteus, I know your mind is hazy right
now, but, did you ever stop to wonder why he’d ask you to do such
a thing?”

Anteus:  “Every waking moment of every day since it happened.  I
keep wondering, Is it me?  Have I done something-- wrong, and
he’s punishing me?  Or is this some kind of a-- a test, to see
how far I’ll go to prove my faith. Or, is He angry with me
because He knows how much I love you.  Or does His love demand
the best, the brightest--  You see-- it-- it never stops.”

X:  “You can stop it.  You’re still the leader here-- You don’t
have to do this.”

Anteus:  “You’re asking me to deny my God.”

X:  “I am asking you to spare your son!”

Anteus:  “And teach him what?!  That faith is just for those
times when it’s convenient to believe?  That, that when it gets
hard, and, and, and,  it hurts to keep faith, y-- y-- you let
go-- until it gets easy again?  What’s the good in sparing his
life if I rob him of the very thing that makes it worth living?”

X:  “You know, I’ll stop you.”

Anteus:  “I know you’ll try.  God help me, deep down inside, part
of me hopes you succeed.”


Icus:  “Mother!  Mother!”

Moth:  “Icus, you’re safe!  Anteus!  What is it?  What’s wrong?”

X:  “Nothing that some rest and a change of diet won’t cure.
He’s being drugged.  That’s why he seems so strange to you

Moth:  “Drugged?  But I don’t understand.  Who’d want to-- Y--
Yes?  Who’s there?”

G:  “You don’t know me.  I’m looking for a woman named Xena!
Warrior Princess!  Ah!  No!  Ow!”

X:  “What are you doing here?  I thought I told you to wait for
me at the cave.”

G:  “I did, and then this rock told me I had to come find you..”

X:  “The rock spoke to you.”

G:  “Oh, yeah, I mean, his voice was a little gravelly, but I
understood.  Right.”

X:  “You see, even she’s hearing voices, and all because she ate
some of the drugged food meant for you.  Where are you going?
What’s the matter?  What is it, Icus?  Come on, I can’t help you
if you won’t tell me what’s wrong?  What is it?”

Icus:  “You!-- It’s God’s command I should die, but, as long as
you’re free, we can’t obey him.”

Maell:  “One move, and she dies.”

Anteus:  “Maell, what are you doing?”

Maell:  “Quiet, Father.  The time for peaceful ways has passed.”

G:  “You know, he was just outside.”

Maell:  “Silence!”

X:  “All right, you’ve made your point.  Now, let her go, and
I’ll come with you.”

G:  “You know, she gets to go everywhere.  You could take me.”

Maell:  “I don’t bargain with savages.”

X:  “And what are you?  Drugging your father; trying to kill your
own brother.”

Maell:  “Enough!  One more move and I’ll kill her-- I swear!”

Icus:  “No!  Stop!  There’s no need to hurt them!”

Maell:  “Then I won’t-- As long as they cooperate.”

X:  “What do you want us to do?”


G:  “That’s a long way down.  Don’t let go.”

X:  “Just don’t let go of my hand.”


Icus:  “Come, Father.  God’s waiting.”



X:  “Go ahead, climb up my body.”

G:  “All right--  OK, now what?”

X:  “Now, for the fun part.”

G:  “Xena, ah, how could you do this?  Did I hurt you?”

X:  “No, no-- Loving every moment of it.”

G:  “How did we get in here, anyway?  And, why does my head feel
like it was kicked by a centaur?”

X:  “Does it?  Good-- The henbane must be wearing off.”

G:  “Henbane?”

X:  “Long story.”  

G:  “Yeah, well, if we fall, tell it to me on the way down.”


Icus:  “I couldn’t let others die protecting me, Father-- Not
when my death is part of God’s plan.  I-- Isn’t that right?
Father, let me help you.”

Anteus:  “No, no, no, it’s all-- it’s all right-- lead the way.”


G:  “Xena?”


Anteus:  “Icus, wait!”

Icus:  “Father, what is it?  Are you ill again?”

Anteus:  “No.  I can’t do this, Icus.  I know what I said about
faith but-- it’s too hard.  It’s too much to ask!  I’m old!  I

Icus:  “Father, it’s OK-- Really, it is.”

Anteus:  “No, our God is a benevolent master.”

Icus:  “What is Heaven like, Father?”

Anteus:  “I don’t know, Son, but it must be glorious.”


G:  “My stomach doesn’t feel so good.”

X:  “Don’t even think about it.  We’re almost there-- almost

G:  “What’s next?”

X:  “Come on.”


Icus:  “I love you, Father.”

Maell/God:  “Anteus, hear Me and obey.  I am your one, true God.
The one who should come first in your heart.  Yet, you love Icus
more.  You always have.  Therefore, you must obey this command.”

X:  “Tell him to stop.  Make him let Icus go.”

Maell:  “Kill him!” [Echoes three more times]

X:  “Get that thing!  Try to stop them!”

Maell:  “You’re too late!  It’s already begun!”


Maell:  “You’ll never stop the will of our God.”

X:  “Killing Icus isn’t the will of any god.  It’s your idea.
Drugging your father simply helped convince him that your voice
was real.”

Maell:  “You know, for a pagan nonbeliever, you’re really quite
bright.  Pity.” 


X:  “Your schemes won’t work forever.”  

Maell:  “It doesn’t need to.  You see, with Icus gone, Father
will have to make me leader.  There’ll be no one left to stand in
my way-- No one.


Maell:  “May our God show you mercy, for I never will.”

X:  “Take my hand.”

Maell:  “Let God’s will be done.


God:  “Hold Anteus!  Let your son live.  Your faith is enough.”

Icus:  “Father!  Oh, Father!”


Moth:  “Bye, Xena.” 

Icus: “Thank you.”

X:  “Take care!”

G:  “Do you think you can talk any louder?  I don’t think they
heard you on Mt. Olympus.  Unless, of course, you’re trying to
convert to the one true God.”

X:  “One God-- Although, you’ve gotta admit, it’s a pretty
interesting theory.  How’s the head?”

G:  “Hey!”

X:  “Whoa!”

G:  “Look , do me a favor, OK?  If you ever see me take a drug
again, just kill me.”

X:  “You’ve got a deal.  Still, for someone high on henbane, you
do a pretty fair voice of God routine.”

G:  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

X:  “Your voice of God impersonation.  Not bad, although, you
could improve your timing.  You almost cost Anteus an arm.”

G:  “Wait!  Are you saying that you heard it, too?  The voice!
And here, I thought it was the henbane.”

X:  “Very funny.  Although, it wouldn’t have been if you had
taken much longer getting that loud-talking thing.”

G:  “Well, that’s just it-- I never did get the loud-talking
thing.  I mean, I tried.  I even had it in my hand, but I lost

X:  “That can’t be.  I mean, come on.  If you didn’t do it, then

Click here to return to the ALTARED STATES page.

Guide Table of ContentsBack to Whoosh!