Under Siege (pt.3)

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Nottingham Castle. Dungeons.
(Isabella leans on the door of her cell and sighs.)
Isabella: “It’s not like they died, Allan. (Allan, who has taken over guard duty, glances at her and shakes his head.) So I gave you inaccurate information, what’s the big deal?”
Allan: “You knew we’d head for the internal door first. If Maz didn’t know all the ins and outs of this place we wouldn’t have got there in time. You lied to me, Iz.”
Isabella: (Pouts:) “OK maybe a white lie. But I did it for you. (Allan turns to face her now:) With those two out of the way you could be free to be your own man.”
Allan: “I am my own man.”
Isabella: “Once, perhaps. The man I fell in love with took chances and wanted to better himself. Now since rejoining Hood’s gang you’ve been walking on eggshells. I’m right, aren’t I?”
Allan: (Looks at her a moment before responding:) “Look, I might’ve held my tongue a bit since rejoining Robin but I’m still the same man.”
Isabella: “Is that why they’ve got you on guard duty?”
Allan: “Hey I volunteered for this post. (Pointing to the window:) If anyone else were guarding you they’d have tried to slit your throat by now.”
(There is a long silence between them.)
Isabella: (In a small voice:) “So does that mean you’re here for me, protecting me?”
Allan: “The old Sheriff wants you released and Robin isn’t gonna let that happen. Between the villagers and Vaisey, this is the safest place for you.”
Isabella: (Nods:) “You have to know I had no idea Vaisey was still alive.”
Allan: “Yeah, I know, none of us knew.”
Isabella: “Although I should’ve known something was wrong when Blamire arrived without his army.”
Allan: “Yeah, I bet the guards weren’t thrilled about their new boss either.”
Isabella: “Blamire demands and receives the deepest loyalty from his men. That’s why I negotiated so hard with his brother for command of the army.”

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Allan: (Smirks:) “Negotiated. That’s what we’re calling it eh?”
Isabella: “Think
what you want of me, Allan. Despite the strides I’ve made for myself
this is still a man’s world. I will use every weapon at my disposal to
survive and I don’t apologise for it. But despite my relations with
Henry and Prince John, neither of them could hold a candle to you.”
Allan: (Rolls his eyes, gets to his feet:) “Oh come off it, Iz, you’re embarrassing yourself.”
Isabella: “Wouldn’t
be the first time. Believe what you wish but I say this from the heart. You, Allan a Dale, are the man I love. And, if this is to be my last day
on this earth, then I want you to know that.”
(Allan turns to face her again.)
Allan: (Smiles despite himself:) “You’re amazing, you know that?”


Isabella:
(Returns the smile:) “Isn’t it traditional to offer the condemned one last request? Open the door and I’ll remind you what amazing feels like.”
Allan: (Hesitates:) “Nah, I can’t do that, Iz.”
Isabella: “Allan!”
Allan: (Holds up the keys and puts them into the lock.) “I can’t let you out. (Unlocking the door and opening it wide.) But I can keep you company.”
Isabella: (Raises her eyebrows and smiles:) “Oh you can, can you? (Pulls Allan in for a long, steamy kiss. As they part.) Lock the door.”
Allan: (Grinning:) “Now we’re talking.”

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Nottingham Town. Inside the gates. Dawn.
(Robin climbs the ladder to Much on the battlements.)
Much: “Robin! We’re going to need the King’s troops fast.”
Robin: “Marian won’t let us down.”
(They
both look down at the bridge where soldiers are wheeling a battering
ram made of three thick logs towards the portal. The ram hits the gates,
which have been braced with thin tree trunks. Below, Gisborne turns
sharply at the noise.)

Gisborne: (Yelling up to Robin:) “The gates won’t hold against a battering ram and we don’t have the men to take them on!”
(The battering ram pounds the gates again and archers, behind it, shoot flaming arrows over Robin and Much’s heads.)
Much: “Run!”
Robin: (Down to the men below:) “Take cover! (Will,
Little John and Gisborne scramble to the sides as the flaming arrows
land amongst them. The battering ram pounds the gates. Robin fires an
arrow and a soldier falls. Much shoots another right in the heart.
Yelling down:)
Pull everyone back into the castle courtyard! We defend from there until the King’s troops arrive!”
(Robin tosses his bow down.)
Little John: (to peasants:) “Move! Let’s go. (Little John and the men move a cart into the gateway. Robin tosses his quiver down.) Take cover! Take cover! Take cover!”
Robin: (to Much:) “Abandon this tower. Take a company of archers, hold them as long as possible.”
(Much nods as Robin goes down the ladder. Little John, two men and Gisborne position themselves to turn the cart on its side.)
Little John: “One, two, three.”
(The men turn the cart over.)

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Much: (to men on the battlements:) “Abandon the tower! (Will runs to the castle as the men put up more barriers. Much and seven archers take up position behind the overturned cart.) Steady! (The battering ram pounds the gates.) Draw! (The battering ram pounds again and the gates burst open.) Loose! (Eight arrows fly and fell the first soldiers coming through. The battering ram is pushed in after them.) Run!”
(The eight men run for the castle. In front of the castle gate, Will stands, directing another line of archers.)
Will: “Hold! … Hold! (Much and the archers come round the corner and run past the line.) Nock! … Draw! … Loose!”
(The archers let fly their arrows and immediately retreat to the rear, exposing a line led by Little John.)
Little John: “Nock! … Draw! … Loose! Fall back!”
(Little John’s archers retreat to the rear and Much’s line steps up.)
Much: “Nock! … Draw! … Loose! Fall back!”
Will: “Fall back to the castle!”
Much/Little John: “Fall back! Fall back!”
(Will
and Little John usher the men into the courtyard. Much is overtaken by
the heat of the moment, seeing that most of their opponents are down,
and starts to celebrate, cheering and jumping up and down in front of
the gate. Little John and Will each grab an arm and pull him back
through the doors just before they close.)

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Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(Robin runs into the courtyard, pulling an arrow from his quiver.)
Will: “John!”
(Little John joins Will and Much and helps them and a few men turn over a flatbed wagon in front of the gate.)
Nottingham Town.
(Blamire and the Sheriff march through the town as archers scout the streets. Spent arrows and felled bodies are everywhere.)
Sheriff: “Bring the battering ram, smash those gates! And bring me the prisoner you captured!”
Blamire: “My lord! (Blamire goes back through the town.) Battering rams, now!”
Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(Little John looks through the crack in the gates, then calls out to the men above.)
Little John: “Portcullis! (He
and two men run out from the gates as the portcullis is lowered. Much,
holding his sword, directs a line of archers behind the overturned
wagon. Behind him is Little John’s line, and Gisborne leads a third.
Robin stands in the middle of Much’s line of archers. to archers:)
Get in rank with me!”
Robin: “Get ready!”
Much: (Pointing his sword at the archers:) “Hold! (The battering ram smashes open the gates and they swing back to almost closed.) Draw!”
(Blamire brings Marian forward into Robin’s line of sight between the doors.)
Robin: (Interrupting:) “Wait!”
Much: “Loo—”
Robin: “Wait!”
Marian: “I’m sorry, Robin.”
(Robin
grabs the tip of his nocked arrow and flips it forward to hold it
against the bow. The Sheriff pushes open the left door all the way,
revealing himself.)
Sheriff: “Not as sorry as she’s going to be. (Robin glances back to see where Much is.) She was on her way from Loughborough… with this. (Holds up a folded note and looks at it.) Expecting reinforcements? Not coming. (Tosses the parchment casually aside.) Don’t believe me? Tell him.”
(Blamire shakes Marian, who struggles against his grip.)
Robin: (Whispers meaningfully to Much:) “Much…”
(Robin
looks up at the battlements over the portcullis. Much looks up, too.
Robin turns away from the Sheriff to circle behind Much, feigning
exasperation to the Sheriff.)
Marian: “Troops loyal to the King at Loughborough won’t fight unless Richard leads them.”
Robin: (Whispering:) “Can you do it?”
Much: (Takes a deep breath.) “Watch me.”

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Sheriff: “So what’s it to be, Hood? Surrender or slaughter?”
(Much tosses the rope down into the courtyard.)
Robin: “Neither. (Will, Gisborne and Little John catch the rope. Striding forward, stalling for time:) You see… I don’t trust you… Vaisey. (Much takes up the slack in the rope.) You said you’d take no prisoners.”
Sheriff: (Flippantly, feigning remembering:) “Oh, yes. Yes, I did say that. Well, that was rather hasty of me. I mean, who’s going to pay tax if the villagers are all dead?”
Robin: (Scoffs.) “So… What, you’re going to release all these people now only to make slaves of them later?”
Sheriff: “Glad you’re paying attention.”
Robin: (Scoffs again, shaking his head.) “You don’t give me much of a choice, do you?”
Sheriff: (Chuckles.) “What, have you got some little trick tucked up your sleeve, have you, hm? (Much nods to the men below.) Humiliate me and rescue the girl? (Much looks down at Marian on the other side.) You’re so predictable, Hood. Bored with that game. (Robin’s eyes flicker to Marian. to Blamire:) Kill her.”
Robin: “Marian! Above you! (Running back behind the wagon, to Will:) Lower the rope!”

(Much is quickly lowered down in front of Blamire and Marian, one foot
in a loop in the rope. Blamire draws his sword and Marian elbows him in
the chest, breaking free. She throws her bound hands over Much’s head.)
Much: “Up!”
Gisborne: “Pull!”
(Gisborne,
Will and Little John pull back on the rope. Blamire tries to grab them,
but Much and Marian are quickly raised up out of his reach.)
Robin: “Fire!”
(Up
on the battlements, some villagers shoot down at the soldiers. Robin
and the archers behind the wagon shoot. Soldiers fall. A peasant man
pulls Much and Marian back over the parapet.)
Marian: “Quick! Ah!”
(An
archer leans over the battlements and shoots at the Sheriff, who ducks
and runs to the side of the gate. Blamire stands on the other side.
Marian waits for Much as he tumbles ungracefully over the edge of the
wall and giggles at him. Marian runs down the steps from the battlements.)
Marian: “Come here!”
(She throws
herself into Robin’s arms. Robin gives her a long kiss before setting
her on her feet.)
Robin: “Are you all right?”
Marian: (Nods.) “Yeah.”

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Sheriff: (From outside the portcullis:) “That is the last time you make a fool out of me, Hood!”

Robin: “Oh, I doubt it, Vaisey.”
Sheriff: “Hm, you know I was going to let this be a surprise but… (Moves back to stand against the portcullis looking directly at Robin:) I want to see the look on your face when I tell you.”
Robin: “Tell me what?”
Sheriff: “King Richard isn’t coming either. He was on his way… but he’s dead. (Robin glares at him:) Or at least he was dying when I left him.”
Robin: “You’re lying.”
Sheriff: (Speaking up so Gisborne can hear:) “I must thank you for foiling my trip to the Holy Land. (Lower, to Robin:) France was a much shorter trip.”
Robin: “Explain yourself.”
Sheriff: “Your King’s exploits in the Holy Land were a colossal failure as predicted. Of course, the blowhard couldn’t return home empty handed so when he heard word that there was potential treasure to be found in France, he jumped at the chance. The fool sent all but a few of his soldiers home to England leaving him ripe for attack. The trap set, all I had to do was wait for the King to arrive in the town square and I sank an arrow into him. Your friend Carter arrived before I could finish the job but the King took a nasty shot.”
Robin: “You’re bluffing, trying to break our spirits.”
Sheriff: “Perhaps. Though my ‘death’ did give me the ultimate opportunity to strike. Think about it.  Presumed dead, unwatched by you or the Celts. I was free to go as I please. But, you’re probably right, maybe I am bluffing.”
Robin: (Raising his bow, to villagers:) “Draw!”
(The Sheriff and Blamire run from the gate. The villagers and Robin shoot as fast as they
can.)

Sheriff: (To Blamire:) “To the tunnel!“
Blamire: “Fall back!”
(The soldiers retreat and the battering ram is pulled back to the centre of the marketplace.)
Much: “It’s working! They’re falling back!”
(One last arrow hits the shield of a retreating soldier.)
Robin: “They’re regrouping. (Calls back up the stairs:) Barricade the portcullis!”
(Robin looks behind him at the wounded being taken inside. Robin turns to them. Little John pats the shoulder of an exhausted old man, who gratefully sits down as Little John looks at the wound of his neighbour. Gisborne looks around in despair at the few men they have left.)

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