Midnight Missions (pt.2)

image

Nottingham Town. Battlements. Night.
(Marian ties a rope around the post of the gibbet. She heads for the edge of wall as Little John approaches her.)
Little John: “What are you doing?”
Marian: “We have to get word to the King’s troops at Loughborough.”
Little John: “No, Marian. Robin—”
Marian: (Interrupting:) “Wants to protect me. But someone has to get help.”
Little John: “He can’t lose you, Marian.”
Marian: “We risk losing a lot more than each other if Vaisey isn’t stopped. Nottingham is fighting for its freedom.”
Little John: (Smiles in fatherly approval and nods.) “Hmm. Your father would be proud.” (Marian reaches up and kisses his cheek.)
Marian: “Pull the rope up after me and tell Robin… I’ll be back with an army.”
Little John: (Nods.) “Right.”
(Marian
abseils down the side as Little John watches. At the bottom, Marian
looks up and nods. Little John waves. Marian checks for soldiers, then
runs off into the night. Little John looks out at the army in wait under
an orange haze and a nearly full moon.)

image

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Gisborne comes
downstairs from the balcony entrance and sees the gang’s distressed
faces. Robin leans over the far end of the long table. Djaq sits staring
into the fireplace. Will takes off his bandage.)
Gisborne: “What’s happened?”
Robin: (Agitatedly:) It’s Marian. She’s taken it upon herself to go to Loughborough for the troops.”
Little John: (Defending her decision:) “She knows what’s she’s doing. You don’t give her abilities enough credit.”
Robin: “The Sheriff is playing with us! (Stands, exasperated.) He knows he’s got the advantage. We have to hold this castle until the troops arrive.”
Much: “Can we? I mean, how long under bombardment from Byzantine fire?”
Clarke: “We can if we fight fire with fire.”
Djaq: (Looks at her:) “Oh no.”
Clarke: “Can you make it? Do you remember the formula?”
Djaq: “Not without a sample of it. It would be like…”
Much: “But you’ve made it before.”
Djaq: (Defensively:) “That was black powder and if it was an easy thing to replicate every army would use it, Much. If I only had Lambert’s ledger with me that’d be something.”
Clarke: “Where is it?”
Djaq: (Sheepishly:) “I left it in Powis. It was too much power for one person to hold.”
Much: “Now the old Sheriff is holding his power over us!”
Djaq: “I realise that, Much!”
Will: (Cutting in:) “If the Sheriff’s army is making Byzantine fire, they’d have the formula with them, right?”
Djaq: “I suppose they would.”
Will: (Determinedly:) “Right.”
Robin: “We have to take the trebuchets. (Much looks up at him.) A small unit, tonight. You with me? (Little John and Much immediately head for the stairs.) I’ll see you all at the battlements.”
(Robin heads for the door by the fireplace and Gisborne follows him out.)

image

Nottingham Town. Battlements. Night.
(Little John lays out
four coiled ropes in a line along the parapet. Much runs up to Robin to
report as the others ready their ropes for the descent.)
Much: “There’s pockets of men around the walls.”
Little John: “Regular patrols.”
Robin: (Lays down his bow.) ”You all know what we’re doing. We go up along the dry moat… (points below)… then we head for that cart and then the tent. That’ll give us cover until we make our way to the trebuchets. (Gisborne tosses his rope over the side.) Much, you’re in charge. If we don’t come back, you fight to the end.”
(Little John stops and looks at Robin.)
Much: “Well, I’m coming too, aren’t I?”
Robin: “No, you’re not. I need a cool head here. (Much
sullenly relents. Robin gently slaps his cheek. Will stands at the
edge, rope in hand. Much hands Will his bag and Will slips it over his
shoulder. Gisborne, Robin, Will and Little John stand ready with their
backs to the parapet. Robin looks at them all.)
Right, let’s do this. (Little John nods.) Ready?”
(All four abseil down the side.)

Clarke: (Watching them go:) “They’ll be fine. Come on, Much.”
(Much watches a moment longer then follows.)

image

Outside town.
(The four poke their heads up over the edge
of the moat and quickly duck down again as two horsemen go by. After
they pass, the outlaws scramble out of the moat and run for the cart,
ducking down beside it. Beyond it the soldiers sit by the fire and talk,
oblivious to the intruders. Robin peers around the wheel, then looks
back and nods.)
Robin: (Whispers:) “All right?”
(Robin
crawls on his hands and feet to the tent. Will, Gisborne and Little
John follow, all unnoticed. Little John and Will go to one trebuchet,
Robin and Gisborne to the other. They unhook the chains and set them up
again shorter than before, lessening their range dramatically.)
Little John: (to Will:) “Yeah? (Will nods.) Let’s go.”
Will: “Not yet, there’s something I have to do.”
Little John: “Will!”
Will: “Head back without me, I’ll be fine.”
(They
watch as Will runs quickly into the Sheriff’s camp, disappearing into a
tent. The remaining three crawl back to the cart unobserved just as
Blamire starts striding among the soldiers, yelling orders.)
Blamire: “Come on, you lazy rabble! Move yourselves! (Blamire appears out of the haze as Robin crawls back to the wagon.) Get to your posts! Weapons ready!” (The soldiers scramble to obey.)
Robin: (to gang:) “The Sheriff had no intention of waiting till dawn.”
Blamire: “We attack immediately!”
(The Sheriff looks at Nottingham as Blamire strides to his side.)
Sheriff: “Time to wake them up, I think.”
(The soldiers load the trebuchets. Blamire lowers his hand.)
Blamire: “Loose!”
(The
soldiers trip the trebuchets. The flaming barrels are sent straight up
as the Sheriff looks out at the town expectantly. When he doesn’t see
flying, flaming barrels, he turns to Blamire.)
Sheriff: “What’s going on, Blamire?”
(Blamire
looks up as the barrels start to whistle in the air. The Sheriff looks
up, too, and sees the barrels falling down right on top of them. Blamire
grabs the Sheriff and pulls him away.)
Blamire: “Run for cover!”
(The barrels come down on top of the trebuchets and explode, destroying them. Robin takes advantage of the chaos.)
Robin: “Come on! Run!”
Sheriff: “The trebuchets! (Looks round in confusion, then sees the outlaws running.) Robin Hood! Get him!”
(The gang run into a band of soldiers who draw their swords, forcing them to stop in their tracks.)
Soldier: “Stay there!”
Little John: “Robin?!”
(Robin
looks round, but realises they are surrounded. Then he hears hoofbeats
approaching. Will is galloping towards them. He shoots a flaming arrow
at a small barrel, which explodes with a blinding light, cutting off the
gang from the Sheriff and the other soldiers. The threesome fight off
the guards in the bedlam. The Sheriff is bewildered at what’s happening
as Will rides by, holding his bow over his head, cheering at his feat.
He then shoots a flaming arrow at another barrel and it explodes.)

image

Will: “Run for it, Robin!”
Robin: “Come on! Go!”
(The gang run for town as the
Sheriff watches. Blamire remains calm, shouting orders.)
Blamire: “Archers to
the left flank. Prepare to fire!”
(The archers assemble as ordered.)
Main
gate.
(Much, having watched the situation from above, descends
the battlements using the ladder by the main gate.)
Much: “Open the gates!”
(Two

men pull open a door each as Much jumps off the ladder. Robin, Gisborne
and Little John run down the bridge. Will gallops behind them,
the soldiers close at his heels. The outlaws and Will run in and the
men close the gates behind them before the soldiers can get through.
Much,
Djaq and Robin hold the doors closed while Little John and Gisborne put

in the beam to reinforce it. Robin heads for Will before turning to find
Much first instead.)
Robin: “You see? That’s why I had you here! Now you
know!”
Much: (Giddy with success:) “That was brilliant!”
(Robin goes to Will. Much
climbs up to the battlements.)
Robin: “I thought you’d run out on
us!”
Will: (Dismounts.) “Had to go back for something. (Pulls out a thick red book, walks over to Djaq.) By the way, I got you a
little present, courtesy of the Sheriff.” (Will hands the book to Djaq.)
Robin: (A bit suspiciously:) ”What’s that?”
(Djaq smiles delightedly.)
Djaq: “It’s the key to Byzantine fire! (Grabs Will and hugs him.) I
can make some more of our own!”
(Robin looks intensely at Djaq.)
Robin: “So
we can fight the Sheriff. (Djaq looks proudly into Robin’s eyes. Robin
shoves Will’s good shoulder.)
Do it!”
(Robin goes to the ladder. Djaq kisses Will and they both head off into the castle.)
Outside town.
(The Sheriff is
livid.)
Sheriff: “Destroy everything!”
Blamire: “Storm those gates!”
Sheriff: “I want
Robin Hood’s head!”
Blamire: “Attack!”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s