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Edition Take a Journey Through Tartarus!


“Surprise”  49/312


Callisto [C]:  [Screams]

Hera:  “Poor Callisto.  Such rage unfulfilled.”

C:  “Who are you?”

Hera:  “A fan.  Your crusade against Xena-- was so vibrant.  Too
bad it had to end unsatisfied.  Look at you.”

C:  [Laughs]  “Hera?  Afraid to show your ugly face?”

Hera:  [Laughs]  “Your irreverence endears you to me-- like a

C:  “What do you want?”

Hera:  “To see you smile again.  I offer you another chance to
carry on your mission against Xena.”

C:  “I’m listening.”

Hera:  “I’ll give you one more day of life-- and a chance at
immortality.  But if you fail, you’re back here forever.”

C:  “What do I have to do?”

Hera:  “Kill my bastard stepson-- the man who redeemed your
mortal enemy.”

C:  “Hercules.”  [Laughs]


Male Voice:  “Nothing like the first day of spring, isn’t there?”

Iolaus [I]:  “Oh, what a beautiful day-- sun shining, nature
blooming--  hoh-- nature blooming.  Come on, Hercules.  Cheer
up-- it’s your birthday!”

Hercules [H]:  “Don’t remind me.”

I:  “What is your problem?  You look great!  For a man of your

H:  “What are you talking about?  You’re older than I am.”

I:  “Yeah, I know, but I’m-- I’m smaller, you see-- so-- not as
much surface area exposed to the elements.”

Falafel [F]:  “Hercules!  Iolaus!  Let me be the first to extend
my best wishes on this-- your special day.”

H:  “Thanks, Falafel.”

F:  “I made a delicious cake for the party.  You like chocolate--

H:  “I love chocolate.  What party?”

I:  “Ah-- the other great big party.  Falafel.”

H:  “Iolaus?”

F:  “What’s the matter?  Iolaus-- you don’t look so good.”

I:  “Yeah-- it was supposed to be a surprise.”

F:  “Oh, no.  Oh, my sincerest apologies.  I didn’t know.”

H:  “That’s OK-- neither did I.”

F:  “Yes, well-- if you’ll excuse me-- I must go-- stuff a

H:  “Bye.”

I:  “Oh, come on, Herc.  What’s one more birthday in a long line
of birthdays?”

H:  “You’re very funny today.”

I:  “Listen-- Alcmene wanted to have a little celebration.  I
think it’d be great, you know?  Um-- it’d cheer you up.”

H:  “Look--I don’t mean to sound ungrateful-- but ever since Hera
destroyed my family, I’m just not-- too excited about celebrating
birthdays anymore.”

I:  “Yeah, well, I understand, but-- you know, you have to
realize-- there are other people around-- who care for you--
wanna celebrate with you-- Iphicles, your mother, me.  Huh?”

H:  “OK.”

I:  “There you go!  See?  Smiling-- little lines crinkle up
around your eyes.   Yeah, I better go.”

H:  “Yeah, you better.”

I:  “Oh,oh-- so, remember-- Alcmene’s at noon-- and, uh-- try to
act surprised, OK?”

H:  “I’ll act surprised.  Wrinkles.”


Jason [Ja]:  “You know-- Hercules isn’t the easiest person to
shop for.”

Iphicles [Iph]:  “Yeah-- you know, he gave away the present I got
for him last year.”

Alcmene [Alc]:  “Thank you.  Do you think he’ll be surprised?”

Ja:  “I’m sure he will.”

I:  “Yeah, well, I certainly haven’t told anybody.”

F:  “I’ll-- get the food.”

Alc:  “I hope he likes his presents.”

Iph:  “Hey, don’t worry about it, Mom.  You’ve done a great job.”

Ja:  “Everything looks beautiful, darling.”

C incognito:  “Excuse me.  I, I-- I’m sorry to intrude-- but I
couldn’t find a guard to announce me.”

Iph:  “We’re having a celebration.  We sent ‘em home for the day.
Who are you?”

C incognito:  “I’ve come to pay my respects.  Last year-- my
family was attacked-- on the road to Macedonia.  My husband was
killed.  My child and I-- we would have-- surely died, if
Hercules hadn’t come along.”

I:  “Wait-- where’d you say this was?”

C incognito:  “I’d heard it was his birthday.  I just wanted to
leave a small gift.”

Alc:  “You poor dear.  Come-- join us.”

C  incognito:  “Oh, no-- I wouldn’t dream of imposing.”

Alc:  “Oh-- please-- you make yourself right at home.  Now, would
you care for a drink?”

C incognito:  “Yes, thanks.”

F:  “Ah-- try one of these.”

I:  “Oh -- they look great.”

F:  “Thank you, my friend.”

Alc:  “You’ve outdone yourself.”

C incognito:  “More punch, anyone?”


H:  “Ah-- hello?  Is anybody here?  Act surprised.”


C:  “Surprise.  [Laughs]”



H:  “Mother!  Mother!  Can you hear me?”

C:  “My, my-- looks like somebody spiked the punch.  Glad I don’t
drink.  You’ve never witnessed the effects of Xanthalian venom
before, have you?  It affects the mind-- makes the victims
susceptible to their wildest imaginings.  By sunset, your friends
will be, um-- driven mad.  Well-- that’s if they don’t-- kill
each other first.  There is an antidote.  But it’s very rare.”

H:  “What do you want?”

C:  “Safe passage through the labyrinths of the gods to the tree
of life.  One bite of the fruit-- cures any illness-- or

H:  “And a whole one makes you immortal.”

C:  “We have so much to celebrate-- your birth and my rebirth.
Oh-- my name’s Callisto.”

H:  “Callisto-- impossible-- Callisto’s dead.”

C:  “Hera was kind enough to grant me one day’s reprieve.  You
see-- we need each other, Hercules.  I don’t have the strength to
defeat the labyrinth’s traps, and-- you won’t find your way
without me.  Nice pants.”

H:  “You’re insane.”

C:  “Just misunderstood.  Shall we go-- partner?”


C:  “After so little time together, it’s funny-- I feel like I
know you.”

H:  “You don’t.”

C:  “Fates brought us together-- although I have to admit, you’re
not at all how I imagined you to be.”

H:  “How disappointing.”

C:  “Oh-- not at all.  On the contrary, I couldn’t be more
pleased.  That look, back in your castle?  The fire and the hate?
I wonder-- did you wear that same look when you watched your
children die?”

H:  “Don’t push me.”

C:  “Oh, but that’s the beauty of it-- I can.  There’s a new and
exciting side of you just waiting to come out-- I can feel it.”


I:  “Oh, what a party.”

Iph:  “Iolaus-- what happened?”

I:  “I don’t know.  Maybe it was the food.”

F:  “Hmm?  Oh-- I heard that!”

Alc:  “Jason?”

Ja:  “Are you all right?”

Alc:  “Yes.”

I:  “Look.”

Iph:  “What’s going on here?!”

I:  “We’ve been drugged.  Everybody all right?”

Alc:  “Where’s Hercules?!”

F:  “Ah-- looks like he’s been here.”

I:  “Oh, yeah?  Open his presents while we slept?  I don’t think

Alc:  “Who could’ve done this?!”

Iph:  “That woman!  Where is she?!”

Alc:  “Something-- terrible has happened!  I just know it!”

Ja:  “Let’s not jump to any conclusions.  We’ll search the

Iph:  “I’ll go with Mother.”

Alc:  “Uh-huh.”

Ja:  “Iolaus and I will take the west wing.”

I:  “Yeah.”

F:  “Wh, wh-- what about me?!”

I:  “You stay here-- in case Herules gets back.”

F:  “By myself?!”

I:  “If anything happens-- yell.”

F:  “Yell?!  Wonderful!  Big help!”


C:  “La-la la-la-la.”

H:  “Cut it out!”

C:  [Laughs]  “Oh, now, now, Hercules-- just because I poisoned
your friends doesn’t mean we can’t be nice to one another.”

H:  “Amazing.”

C:  “You have _no_ reason to be angry at me, Hercules.  After
all, I’m not the one that hung the giant bull’s-eye on your

H:  “You leave my family out of this.”

C:  “Oh, but think about it.  I mean-- well-- if your children
weren’t your children, well, then they’d still be alive now,
wouldn’t they?  Your love-- it’s a curse.”

H:  “And, what’s the alternative?  Be like you?  Alone-- trapped
in your hate?  Uh-- I’d rather take my chances.”

C:  “Tell me, Hercules-- late at night, in the dark all alone, do
you, uh-- do you hear your children screaming?  Do you lie awake
at night, wondering if there was something else you could’ve
done-- maybe if you had-- gotten there a little sooner, been a
little bit more respectful to Hera.”

H:  “Drop it!  I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand.”

C:  “Oh, but, I do understand.  My family was slaughtered like
helpless animals as well!”

H:  “You didn’t learn much from it, did you?”

C:  “I learned to get exactly what I want when I want it!  And
you realize, Hercules, the _only_ reason your friends are still
alive, is because I have allowed it!”

H:  “And I suppose I owe you thanks?”

C:  “Oh, no.  You owe me all.”


Alc:  “This is my fault.  I should never have let that stranger

Iph:  “Hercules is a big boy.  He can take care of himself.”

Alc:  “I know you’re right.  I just so wanted this to be a
special day for him.”

Iph:  “Oh-hoh, I bet you did.  After all, he is Corinth’s most
famous son.  You know what?  Maybe I’ll declare a holiday in his
name.  That make you feel better?”

Alc:  “Why are you talking like this?

Iph:  “Because he has brought nothing! but trouble to my

Alc:  “How can you say that?!  He’s your brother?”

Iph:  “Oh yeah-- we’re one big happy family!  Tell me something,
Mother.  Who insures your safety, every single day-- hmm?  And
where is Hercules through all this?  He graces us with his
presence when he’s not too busy saving the world.”

Alc:  “Iphicles-- you’re-- you’re not yourself.”

Iph:  “I’m just not who you want me to be!  You think Hercules
should’ve been king.  Well, there can only be one king!  And
nobody, but nobody-- is gonna change that!  Not even you.  I’m
surrounded by infidels!”

“H”:  “Mother-- it’s going to be all right.”


C:  “Oh-- it’s beautiful.  Huh-- well?  An open door is like a
friendly invitation.  [Screams]

H:  “You were saying-- ”

“Guard”:  “All who seek passage must first answer my riddle.
Fail, and you will die.”

H:  “Care to be first?”

“Guard”:  “Give a name to this earthly conceit.  It is
unchangeable, but it can change you.  It can teach you or trap
you.  All who reside there are immortal, but you can never go

C:  “I hope you’re as smart as you are strong.”

“Guard”:  “The answer lies before your eyes.  Choose your words
before the sands run their course.”

C:  “It’s unchangeable.”

H:  “All who reside in it are-- immortal.”

C:  “It’s Mt. Olympus!”

H:  “It’s not a place-- that’s the trick.”

C:  “Yeah, well, I don’t see you coming up with anything.”

H:  “Well, if you’d be quiet, maybe I can think.”

C:  “Well, I won’t be holding my breath for that now, will I?
Oh, we’re running out of time!”

H:  “Maybe, that’s it.”

C:  “Oh, yes, of course, it’s time!  Well, that didn’t work.  Any
more brilliant ideas?!  Well, answer!”

“Guard”:  [Laughs]



H:  “The answer lies before your eyes.  Time is running out-- the

C:  “Huh.”

H:  “After you.”


Alc:  “Hercules?”

“H”:  “I’ve come to say goodbye.”

Alc:  “Goodbye?”

“H”:  “I’ve crossed over to the other side.”

Alc:  “It’s all my fault.  I should have protected you.”

“H”:  “It’s too late for that, now.”

Alc:  “No-- this-- this can’t be.”

“H”:  “I never wanted to be a hero, Mother-- but you didn’t give
me any choice.  There was no other way for this to end.”

Alc:  “Hercules-- please forgive me.”

“H”:  “Perhaps-- in time.  Goodbye.”

Alc:  “Wait-- let me come with you-- please.”

“H”:  “I was hoping you’d say that.”


H:  “Ah-- there’s an oil pouch.  We’ll use it to keep the lamp

C:  “Poor baby-- afraid of the dark?”

H:  “You don’t look like you’re doing too well.”

C:  “Oh, don’t you worry your pretty little head about me.  I’ll
be as good as new, soon enough.  In the meantime, a little water
should do the trick.”

H:  “Here.”

C:  “Such a gentleman.”

H:  “Yeah.”

C:  “The world doesn’t deserve you.”

H:  “It doesn’t deserve you, either.”

C:  “We’re not as different as you like to think.”

H:  “Oh, really?”

C:  “We both believe the wicked should be punished-- only I see
something you don’t.”

H:  “Yeah-- I’m sure you’ll let me know what it is, won’t you?”

C:  “All people are wicked-- and they deserve everything they’re
gonna get.”

H:  “I’ve known too much good in the world to believe that.”

C:  “Good?  Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?  If mortals
were good-- well, then, we wouldn’t need you around, would we?”

H:  “You’ve seen the darkest side of people-- a child who watched
her parents die has my compassion.  But you had a choice.  You
chose evil.  That’s where my compassion ends.”

C:  [Claps]  “Your faith in the world is touching!  Let’s see how
well it holds up at the end of the day-- shall we?”


Ja:  “Anything?”

I:  “No-- not a sign of him.”

Ja:  “Now, what?”

I:  “Ah, it’s hotter ‘n Tartarus in here.  You know, I-- I gotta
bad feeling about this.  Let’s go back.”

Ja:  “Wait, wait, wait.  What’s wrong?”

I:  “You ever get a feeling that-- life is just ebbing away?
Kinda getting out of step with things and-- there’s nothing you
can do about it?”

Ja:  “Did you hear that?”

I:  “What?  I don’t hear anything-- what?”

Ja:  “Sh-sh!  There it is, again.”

I:  “I can’t hear _anything_.”

Ja:  “I’ll be right back.”

I:  “Jason?  Ja-- Jason, wait.  Jason!  Where are you?!”


F:  “Ah-hah!  [Humming]  Ah-- King Iphicles!  Just in time.  Uh,
would you be so kind as to hand me that bowl of turnips?”

Iph:  “What are you talking about?!  There’s nothing there!”

F:  “Are you blind?  I’ll get it myself.  So little time!  So
much to cook!  Hot stuff.  Watch the tongue.”

Iph:  “I’m warning you!”

F:  “Be honest!  You won’t hurt my feelings.  I want everything
to be perfect when Hercules arrives.  It’s his birthday, you
know.  A surprise-- not a word to anyone.”

Iph:  “Traitor!”

F:  “What did you do that for?!”

Iph:  [Yells]  “Huh?”

F:  “King Iphicles?  He didn’t like my stew.”


C:  “You’re not living up to my expectations.  I imagined you’d--
spend the day trying to convince me-- that I can change like our
beloved Xena.”

H:  “Xena changed because she wanted to.”

C:  “Did she, now?  You know, she watched me die.  It’s ironic--
you know?  I mean, not long ago, you would’ve joined me in
bringing her down.”

H:  “Wrong-- our definitions of justice aren’t the same.”

C:  “Oh, true-- that’s very true.  I believe that she deserves to
die a very-- slow and painful death.”

H:  “Vengeance isn’t justice.  If you understood that, maybe
you’d find peace.”

C:  “Peace?  Peace?  I dreamed of peace.  I imagined it.  Let me
die so I can find it.  Tartarus should’ve been a welcome change.
Instead-- I learned the true meaning of torture-- trapped in my
hatred with nothing to do.”

H:  “Lady-- immortality won’t solve your problem.”

C:  [Hiss]


I:  “Jason, where’d you go?  Jason?  Jason.  Jason!  Jason!”


Women:  “Hello.”  “We’ve been waiting for you, Iolaus.”  “We
can’t resist your charms.”  “We can’t resist yours.”  “Don’t
leave us waiting.”  “Iolaus.”


H:  “Don’t tell me we’re lost.”

C:  “I can’t seem to-- left or right.  So many details-- I-- know
I should’ve written it down.”

H:  “Great.”

C:  “Oh, no, no-- it’s left.  [Screams]  Hercules!”

H:  “I guess it was right.”


C:  “Looks like I’m in a real bind.”

H:  “Callisto!”

C:  “I’m right here!  here!  here!”

H:  “Callisto!  Keep talking!”

C:  “That’s what I’m trying to do!  I’m over here!  here!
Hercules-- hurry!  hurry!  Your friends!  If I die, they die!



C:  “Hercules!  Hercules!  Hercules!  Hurry!  [Screams]

H:  “Callisto-- hold on!  Grab on!”

C:  “Oh-- my hero.”

H:  “Yeah, right.”


I:  [Laughing]

Woman:  “Come this way, Iolaus.  Catch me if you can.”

I:  “Hey!”


Voice:  “Jason.”


Old Iolaus:  [Laughs]  “Well come on baby, just one more for old
times’ sake?”

I:  “You’re-- you’re me?”

Old Iolaus:  [Laughs]

I:  “No!”

Old Iolaus:  “Come here, handsome.  Let me take a look at that
pretty young face of mine.  [Laughs]


I:  “What’s going on?  Jason!  Jason!!!!  Where are you?


C:  “I think the first thing I’m gonna do, is find the good Xena,
rip out her tongue, just to hear her whistle an apology!”

H:  “I hate to spoil your fantasy, but you’re not out of here

C:  “Oh, but neither are you.”

H:  “When we make it to the tree of life, and when I save my
family and friends, you are going back to where you belong.  I’ll
see to that myself.”

C:  “Enough!  No rooms can hold me.  Haven’t you figured that
out, yet?  And you’re the only one that can stop me, and to do
that, you’d have to kill me.  But you can’t-- your misguided
sense of justice won’t allow it.”

H:  “You’re overlooking something.”

C:  “Oh-- am I?”

H:  “You’ve already been killed.  The only reason you’re still
standing is because I need directions.”

C:  “I’ve-- underestimated you.”

H:  “I’m flattered.”

C:  “Fortunately-- you’ve-- overlooked something as well.”

H:  “I don’t think so.”

C:  “If I go back to the Underworld, I won’t be suffering alone.
I’ll find your children-- Clonus, Aison, and little-- Ileia-- is
it?  And I’ll dedicate eternity to making them suffer.  I mean,
after all-- I got here, didn’t I?  I can get to them.  That’s
it-- that’s the spirit.  Kill me.  I dare you.  [Laughs]  Who’s
trapped in their hatred, now?”


Ja [Voice of Old Iolaus]:  “Thought you could sneak up on me, did
you?  [Morphs into Old Iolaus]  I’m going to kill you.  I’m gonna
kill you!”


“H”:  “We’re almost at the other side, Mother.”

Alc:  “But-- Jason and Iphicles.”

“H”:  “They’ll be joining us soon.  Then we’ll all be together,

Alc:  “Yes.”


H:  “Don’t tell me you’re confused again.”

C:  “Oh, no, I’m-- I’m quite certain it’s this way.  Oh, um-- I
lied.  Lovely detail-- Hephaestus is quite the craftsman.  Hera--
Hercules delivered, as promised.  I fulfilled my end of the
bargain-- it’s your turn.”

H:  “It’s not over, yet!”

C:  “Hercules-- I have enjoyed our little time together.  But you
know-- I think I can take it from here.  [?] Are we having fun
yet?  Oh, look at the bright side-- you’ll be meeting up [?] with
your friends soon enough.  Oh, and this-- this is for Xena.
Goodbye, Hercules.”




C:  “Delicious.  Oh, you’re gonna die on your birthday.  How

H:  “No!”

C:  “Blow it out and make a wish.  A pity we couldn’t work out
our differences.  We would’ve made an unstoppable team.”

H:  “I already have a partner.”

C:  “Not for long.”


C:  “Why can’t you just die like a good boy?”

H:  “I guess I don’t know when to quit.”

C:  “Well, let me inspire you.  Even if you could find your way
without me-- you won’t make it in time to save your friends.”

H:  “That’s where you’re wrong.  I know something you don’t.”

C:  [Laughs]  “Oh?”

H:  “We’re out of oil.  That leads right back to the entrance.

C:  “Oh, don’t-- don’t leave!  Please, don’t leave-- I can’t

H:  “Here-- give me your hand!”

C:  [Screams]  “No!  No!”


F:  “Must find meat.  [Laughs]”

Iph:  “Falafel!  Come on!  Give me a hand!  Get this off!”

F:  “Here, piggy, piggy, piggy!”

Iph:  “Falafel-- what are you doing?!”


Iph:  [Yells]  “My turn.”


“H”:  “This is it, Mother-- right up here.”


I:  [Screams]

H:  “Jason-- don’t.”

Ja:  “Hercules?”

I:  “Hercules?”

H:  “Don’t talk with your mouth full.”

Voice of F:  [Scream]


H:  “You’ll thank me later.  Give me that.  Here-- you seen my

I:  “No, we haven’t seen her.”

H:  “Give them each a bite.”

I:  “Why?”

H:  “Trust me.”


“H”:  “One more step-- and we’ll be together forever.”

Alc:  “I’m coming, Hercules.  I love you.”

H:  “I love you too, Mother.”

Alc:  “What kind of trick is this?  He-- he looks like you.”

H:  “Mother-- I’m right here.”

Alc:  “No-- my son is dead.”

H:  “I’m not.  Oh, Mother.”

Alc:  “Hercules?  Does-- this mean-- I’m not going to the

H:  “Uh-- no-- not yet.  Uh-- here, I-- I-- brought something for

Alc:  “Oh-- for me?”

H:  “Yeah.”

Alc:  “You shouldn’t have.  Oh, Hercules-- now, where have you
been?  I’ve been worried sick.”

H:  “Mother, it has been a very, very long day.  I’ll tell you
about it later.  Let’s go-- find the others, OK?”


Iph:  “Hey-hey!  “I’m sorry you missed your birthday!”

Ja:  “Well, the day’s not over, yet.”

F:  “We still have cake.”

I:  “Yeah-- and you gotta open all your presents, yet.”

Alc:  “Oh, that reminds me.  There was a-- a woman here earlier--
poor thing.  She wanted to leave you a gift.”

H:  “Well-- she did.  She made me appreciate my family more than

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