But, At What Cost? (pt.6)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Little John and Much man the closed doors of the Great Hall on the balcony. Little John opens the door, throws something out, then spits and closes the door again. Meanwhile, Much yells down to Will.)
Much: “Will, get up here! We can’t hold them!”
(Will, who is helping Djaq, pours from a large pitcher.)
Will: “Just a little bit longer!”
(Clarke stands at his side.)
Clarke: “Come on!”
(Allan, Robin & Gisborne emerge from the tunnel.)
Allan: “Leave the door! Everyone is to follow me! Robin’s orders! (Allan helps Gisborne down to sit on the floor against a barrel.) With me! To the cellars!(Allan leads the peasants out.) Those who can walk help those who can’t.” (Robin leans wearily on a barrel next to Will as Marian runs over to Gisborne.)
Marian: “Guy, what happened?”
Gisborne: “The Sheriff…Isabella…it was a trap.”
Marian: (As Djaq arrives:) “Well you hang on, Djaq will look after you.”
Gisborne: “If anyone can.”
Djaq: “Shh. Less talking I have to see your wound.”
Robin: (Trying to focus, to Will:) “Are we ready?”
Will: “Yeah, we’re done, we’re done. (Looks at Robin with concern.) Are you all right?”
Robin: (Shakes his head solemnly. Mouths:) “No. (Robin grimaces with the first twinge of the poison’s effects. Will nods, understanding Robin doesn’t want to talk about it, but suspects something very wrong with Robin. Shouting impatiently:) Get these people out!”
Will: “Come on!”
Djaq: (Calmly, while tending to Gisborne:) “Robin, look around you. These people are gravely injured, they cannot be moved. And Gisborne? (Djaq looks up to see Marian holding Gisborne’s hand.) I need to operate right away.”
Robin: (Frustratedly:) “We are running out of time and options here! (Looking around:) Start breaking up the ladders for litters we need to get the wounded out of the castle via the tunnel before Vaisey’s army returns.”
(The
gang stand around mutely, watching Djaq prepare to operate on Gisborne
as Robin paces, trying to think. Marian glances at Clarke.)

Marian: “I think I have an idea! Grab as much of Djaq’s concoction as you can and follow me.”

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Nottingham Castle. Poolside.
(Allan and Little John are
positioning barrels on opposite corners of the large swimming
pool. Marian and Clarke do the same with their own
barrels.)
Clarke: “Are you sure this will work?”
Marian: “We have to try. This is the only way we can stop Vaisey’s
army without destroying the rest of the castle.”
Clarke: “How will this work?”
Marian: (Speaking loud enough for Allan and John to hear:) “When the second explosion happens, that’s our signal to light our barrels.”
Allan: (Turning to Little John:) “Are we really going to blow it all up? (Little John makes a face and shrugs. Rubbing his hands together:) Should make one hell of a bang!”

(Little John laughs and nods.)

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Outside Nottingham. Graveyard.
(Much is muttering and complaining to Will as he climbs down the graveyard entrance to the tunnel.)
Much: “Why is it always me? I’m always the decoy.”
Will: “Because after you embarrassed him by saving Marian, there’s no doubt the Sheriff will be after your blood.”
Much: (Stares at Will a moment, then throws his arms up, exasperated:) “Honestly, no good deed.”
Will: “Shh, they’re coming. Get down there.”
(Much nods and heads down the hole into the tunnel as Will takes his position behind a tree, hidden from sight.)
Blamire: (Approaching the tunnel entrance:) “Pick up your feet. I want the castle back in our possession before the Prince arrives.”
(Much, playing the fool, pops his head out of the hole and looks around as if terrified.)
Much: “You? I-I..I thought you’d retreated! (As Blamire and his men step forward:) Don’t come any closer! There are more of me… I mean us! Hundreds of us all down here waiting to kill you all!”
Blamire: “He’s bluffing, he’s alone. (to soldiers:) Kill him.”
Much: “Oh!”
(Much drops back down the hole as the Blamire smiles.)
Blamire: “Come along men, time to hunt.”
(He
sneers as one by one the
soldiers step down into the tunnel after Much as Blamire stays behind.)
Will: (From his hidden position:) “Come on, go down into the tunnel you git.”
(As the last soldier disappears, Blamire looks around unsure of something, then finally enters the tunnel.)

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Tunnel.
(Much runs ahead, looking behind him to make sure he’s being followed as Blamire leads his men down the tunnel.)
Graveyard.
(Will
steps out from his hiding place, bow and arrow in hand. He walks to the
tunnel entrance, pulls out a flint from his pocket and kneels.)
Tunnel.
(Much has slowed his pace to a hurried walk, glancing over his shoulder as the soldier march towards him.)
Graveyard.
(Will
manages to start a small fire with his flint and some dried grass.
Standing, he ignites the tip of his arrow and nocks it do his bow.)
Will: (Taking a deep breath:) “Gotcha.”
Tunnel.
(Much stands wide eyed on the spot trying to see into the darkness as Blamire and his men catch up to him.)
Blamire: “Nowhere left to run?”
(Much’s
response is cut off as an almighty explosion is heard at the far end of
the tunnel. The soldiers make various distressed noises as they are
showered with rocks and dirt.)
Soldier: “They’ve sealed the entrance, there’s no way out!”
Blamire: (As the soldiers murmur:) “Shut up, shut up! We don’t need a way out. (Points at Much:) Forward!”
Robin: (Hidden in the shadows:) “Much, get ready to run.”
(Much, not needing to be told
twice runs back towards the Great Hall entrance. Backing up as the army
approaches.
Robin shoots his
arrow at a small barrel of Byzantine fire and runs for the exit. There
is an explosion and several support columns collapse closing off the
Great Hall entrance. More dust and dirt falls on the soldiers heads.)
Soldier: (Coughing:) “Blamire, we’re trapped.”
Blamire: “This is nothing, organise the men, start clearing the debris.”
(Blamire wanders over to another part of the tunnel. Reaching around in
the darkness, his hands find the handle to the cellar door exit. He
turns it and the door opens. Just as he is about to shout back to the
men four more explosions are heard overhead. With a horrible creaking
sound the ceiling above them starts to crumble.)
Soldier: (Squinting into the darkness:) “My lord!”
Blamire: “Sorry.”
(Blamire ducks inside the door, pulling it firmly behind him and bolting
it shut. Soldiers yell as the ceiling collapses on top
of the army and gallons of water floods the room.)

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Outside Nottingham.
(A series of explosions rock the castle. The villagers and townsfolk turn to watch.)
Marian: “Robin!”
(Marian runs toward him and they kiss deeply. He spins her around and places her back on the ground.)
Robin: “That, my love, was brilliant!”


Marian: “We did it! We did it!”
(Allan laughs. Much punches the air.)
Much: “Yeah! (Much runs to embrace Robin.) You did it!”
(All the people cheer loudly. Robin sombrely walks through them as the people slap him on the back and congratulate him.)
Marian: “Much! Yes!”
Much: (Noticing Robin is gone.) “Where is he? Where’s Robin? He should be here to celebrate.“
(Will stops Much.)
Will: (Solemnly:) “I think there’s something wrong with Robin.”

Much:
(With disbelief:) “What?“
(Gisborne, who is being carried on a litter by Allan and Little John, speaks up.)
Gisborne: “Will’s right. (Gisborne is gently lowered to the ground and is quickly swarmed by Djaq who resumes stitching his wound.) Ah. (Continues:) There was a fight, in the tunnel. Isabella cut Robin with a dagger. The blade was poisoned.”
Marian: “Poison? Where did she get poison from?”
Gisborne: (Glances at Djaq:) “I gave it to her. I was trying to show her mercy. I took it from the Powis stores.”
Djaq: (Stares at him a moment, realising the grimness of the situation:) “You fool.”
Gisborne: (Winces as Djaq resumes her work, to Marian:) ”He’s dying, Marian, and quickly. It’s time to say goodbye.”
(Little John is stunned. Allan hangs his head. Much refuses to believe his ears and runs after Robin, who is steadily climbing the hill towards the forest’s edge. Little John tries to hug Marian.)
Little John: “Marian…”
(Marian wrenches away.)
Marian: “No!”
(Little John reaches for her again, and she lets him pull her into an embrace, sinking against his chest. Will follows Robin, as do Little John and Marian. Allan glances back at Gisborne before following. Robin lets his hand slide over the tall stalks of brown grass as he walks up the rise.)

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Sherwood Forest.
(Robin looks up at the sun streaming through the trees as the gang slowly catch him up.)
Robin: “I’d forgotten how beautiful sunsets here can be. (Robin sighs and turns his head to look around at the trees.) Sherwood. This is home.”
(Robin looks back at the gang and realises he must say his goodbyes, however much he doesn’t want to. He turns to face them. Much tries to be brave and chokes back his tears.)
Much: “Is it true?”
Robin: (Nods.) “The final battle.”
Little John: (Quietly:) “No.”
Much: (Shakes head.) “No, this can’t happen. There’s… there’s a cure.”
(Robin shakes his head.)
Robin: “Much… (Robin steps towards Much.) We have cheated death… so many times.” (Much takes trembling breaths and takes a step forward.)
Much: “What am I going to be without you?”
(Robin claps his hands on either side of Much’s head.)
Robin: “You… are already more of a man… than I will ever be. (Robin pulls Much’s head covering off and looks him sternly in the face.) You are Much… and you are my best friend.”
(Robin gives Much a long embrace and Much can’t hold back the tears any longer. Robin pulls himself away and turns to Marian, tears streaking down her cheeks. Much turns his back, unable to watch any more.)
Marian: "No. (Shakes her head:) It can’t end like this, we’re not finished yet. (Marian looks around desperately as Djaq & Clarke reach the clearing:) Djaq, surely there’s time if we-”
Djaq: “I’m sorry. Even if we rode non stop at full gallop we would not reach Powis and the antidote in time.”

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Robin: (Whispers:) “Marian… Our fight does not end with
my death. Robin Hood goes on. As long as Prince John and his allies
bring misery and suffering to the people of England, you will fight it.”
Little John: (Nods in agreement.) “We are Robin Hood.”
Robin: (Looks to him,  tries to smile. Fiercely:) “Today is a good day to die!”
(Little John hugs Robin. They are both crying now. Will notices movement from the far side of the clearing.)

Will: “Riders approaching!”
(The gang turn and watch as five riders approach on horseback. Leading the group is Octavia flanked by Indra. Djaq gives an audible gasp at the sight of the third rider, Nyko, the Celtic healer. Clarke smiles beside Djaq as she realises there is now at least hope for Robin. However, the Princess’ attention is taken by the arrival of the last two riders. When Marcus crests the hill Clarke cannot remember him for a moment. But as the last rider comes into view, everything falls into place.)
Clarke: (Walking slowly towards them:) “Mom?”
(Robin and the rest of the gang watch as Abby dismounts her horse and quickly closes the distance between she and Clarke, pulling her daughter close to her in an emotional reunion.)
To Be Continued…

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