Closed In (pt.4)

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Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(As the gang and peasants do what they can to prepare for the next assault, Robin rests his head on his folded arms on the side of the overturned wagon. His face is solemn, knowing their situation is hopeless. Marian comes up behind him and leans an arm beside him.)
Marian: “The people need you, Robin. Talk to them. (Robin doesn’t move or answer.) Robin?”
(Robin remains silent a moment before slowly turning his head to look at Marian, realising he must act the leader. He stands and walks slowly up to the top of the steps. Robin turns and looks around at all the remaining men.)
Robin: (Starting bleakly, then gaining strength and conviction until shouting at the end:) “Loyal comrades… you know the situation. And you know that we are on our own. Now we have already lost friends and loved ones. (Starts to pace along the top.) But England will lose far more if we do not make a stand this day. And yes, some of us may fall, but our fight will live on. In the minds of those that despise injustice, in the hearts of those that cherish freedom, you are the soul of England standing rm against tyranny for a real future. Now ask yourself, is that not something worth fighting for?! (Draws sword.) Together… (raises his sword high.) … for England!”
(All those in the courtyard raise their st in the air and cheer. Will, near the gate, sees movement behind him and looks out the portcullis.)

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Will: “They’re coming! (Draws his sword, looks back at Robin.) We’ll take the fight to them.” (Will pulls an arrow from his quiver, nocks and draws.)
Little John: “Archers! Archers!”
(The
soldiers march down the street and start pushing the battering ram
forward from where it was left. Robin and the villagers let arrows fly.
More arrows whiz past them. Soldiers fall. From the battlements Marian
drops a rock onto a soldier climbing up a ladder towards her. Robin lets
loose arrows as fast as he can nock them. An arrow fells a villager.
Robin quickly shoots the soldier who fired it. Much runs to Little John
on the battlements. Together they push a ladder down with soldiers
climbing up it.)
Little John: “Much, get down to the portcullis. Help hold it.”
Much: “Right!”
Little John: “Go!”
(Marian fights a soldier on the battlements and runs him through. Below, the archers behind the wagon have all fallen or retreated behind other barriers. Much surges forward, shooting an arrow, and motions with his arm for the men to advance.)
Much: “Archers! Forwards!”
(Much ducks to avoid an incoming arrow, then pops up again and shoots as the peasant archers move in with him. Soldiers fall. Marian runs towards Clarke who is trying to help the wounded.)
Marian: “Clarke, you need to get to safety.”
Clarke: “I can help these men.”
Marian: “England has a much bigger job in mind for you. (Glances around at the carnage:) If the King is really dead then you’re next in line.”
Clarke: (Incredulous:) “We’re talking about this now? Marian we’re under siege!”
Marian: “Yes and if somehow we manage to win today then England will need its Queen to lead them.”
Robin: (Having overheard:) “Marian’s right, Princess. We’re fighting for you now as much as ourselves. Come inside the castle and we can protect you.”
(Clarke begins to argue but between the pleading eyes of Marian and determined look on Robin’s face, she agrees and heads inside.)

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Nottingham Castle. Dungeons.
(Isabella adjusts her dress, pulls her cell door closed and locks it.)
Allan: (Lurching forward a split second later:) “Iz, what are you doing, you can’t go out there.”
(Isabella smiles, shaking the keys in her hand then throws them out of Allan’s reach.)
Isabella: (Looking him up and down appreciably:) “Sorry, Allan. This was great for me, as usual, but I have plans of my own to put into action. Bye for now.”
(Isabella blows him a kiss then leaves the room.)
Allan: (Shakes his head:) “Lucky I always keep my lock picks on me these days. (He looks down and notices his state of undress:) Now if I can only find my bleedin’ trousers I can get out of here.”
Nottingham. Tunnel.
(The Sheriff, Blamire and a small company of soldiers walk down the tunnel. Drifts of limestone pellets litter the floor.)
Sheriff: “Robin Hood won’t know what’s hit him.”
(They come upon the wall.)
Sheriff: “This wasn’t here when I left.”
Blamire: “There’s a balance trap. We’ll never get through there, my lord.”
Sheriff: (The Sheriff’s eyes dance over the face of the wall, first frowning, then chuckling as an idea forms.) “Well, we’ll see about that. (Chuckles.) Back. (The Sheriff smiles and turns round, noticing the guards still blocking his return path.) Back! (The soldiers split neatly to each side and the Sheriff walks between them.) Bring down the Byzantine fire!”

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Robin runs in from the main doors to the balcony.)
Robin: “Djaq!”
Djaq: (Not looking up from her work:) “Yes?”
Robin: (Leans on the railing.) “I need that fire! We can’t hold out much longer!”
Djaq: (Looking up excitedly at Robin:) “Robin, Robin! (Steps back to get a long-handled, small pitcher.) Nut oil. The Sheriff had gallons of it in the cellar.”
(Pours the contents of the small pitcher in.)

Robin: “Boiling oil, we can use it.”
(Glances back through the doors.)

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Djaq: “No, no-no-no-no. I can do better than that. (Sets down the pitcher and picks up a short burning candle.) Watch. (Lights a fuse with the candle.) The nut oil is a base compound. (Robin glances back through the doors again. Djaq steps back. Impatiently:) Come on.
(The mixture explodes in a ball of fire that almost reaches the top of
the double-high ceiling. Clarke flinches at the noise. Robin watches in awe.)
That is Byzantine fire!”
Robin: (Pondering the possibilities:) “How much have we got?”
Djaq: (Turns round, arms wide at the several large barrels behind her.) “Gallons and gallons.”
Robin: (Looking at Djaq intensely:) “Get it done.”
(Marian rushes in behind him.)
Marian: “Robin! The portcullis is breached. We can’t hold them.”
Robin: (Looks over the balcony in dismay.) “Damn!”
(Marian grabs his arm.)
Marian: “They’re going to take the courtyard!”
(Robin runs out the doors and Marian follows.)

Courtyard.
(Once outside, Robin sees Much trying to fight
off two soldiers at once from behind the wagon. He quickly pulls an
arrow from his quiver, nocks and shoots. The arrow hits one of the
soldiers in the neck and he drops like a sack of potatoes as Much stands
up and slams his sword into the helmet of the second.)
Robin: “Much! (Windmills his arm.) Pull back! John! Abandon the battlements! (Much
has stepped out beyond the wagon and is furiously fighting two
soldiers. His sword dances as he blocks and brings up a slicing blow at
one, then fights the other off.)
Much! (Much turns around and stabs a third soldier.) Much! (Behind
Little John, a wooden roof is on fire. Little John viciously stabs a
soldier on the floor with the point of a banner pole.)
Get everyone in the hall!”
(The villagers stream past Robin into the castle. Much rallies them to go.)

Much: “Come on!”
Little John: (Waving the banner:) “Abandon the battlements!”
Marian: “Fall back!”
(Marian helps a man inside. Much is the last one. He glances back to be sure before going inside.)

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The Great Hall.
(Robin runs to the railing of the balcony.)
Robin: “Pass out the weapons and ammunition! Gisborne, get these men into position!”
(Will
walks forward from the back of the room, carrying a small barrel on his
shoulder and another full of arrows in his hand. Gisborne, behind him,
starts shouting orders.)
Gisborne: “Barricade the doors! Move!”

(Isabella, wide-eyed but unnoticed, sidles to the back of the hall.)
Isabella: (Quietly:) “Guy.”
(Gisborne turns to face her. She meekly steps towards the tunnel entrance, knowing he will follow.)
Gisborne: “Isabella.”
(Allan rushes past Gisborne as Isabella closes the door behind her.
Gisborne slowly steps towards the door.

)
Allan: “Why’s she gone in there? She knows it’s blocked.”
Gisborne:Why is she out of her cell? (Allan looks sheepish:) You had one job to do!”
Allan: “I’m going to get Robin.”
(Allan starts to leave, but Gisborne grabs him.)
Gisborne: “No. (Draws sword and faces the entrance.) She’s mine.”
(Gisborne takes another step.)
Robin: “Barricade the door!”
(Men race to block the main doors as Gisborne enters the tunnel. Allan looks up at Robin, then decides to follow Gisborne.)

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