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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Tunnel Turmoil (pt.5)

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Tunnel.
(Gisborne walks slowly, his sword out in front. Allan walks down the other side and sees a grate at the bottom of a wall. He taps it with his sword, making a loud rattle.)
Gisborne: “Shh.”
Allan: “Where does that lead?”
Gisborne: “It leads into the cellar and back to the castle.”
Outside Nottingham. Graveyard.
(The Sheriff walks towards the tunnel entrance as Blamire climbs out.)
Sheriff: “So, you’ve laid out the barrels like I told you to.”
Blamire: “Exactly as you said.”
(A soldier holds out a torch to the Sheriff, who lights a short, thick, stick-like fuse in it.)
Sheriff: “Good. Very good.”
(The Sheriff drops the fuse down the open hole and walks away. Blamire watches him go, confused for a moment, then realises gravely that there’s about to be an explosion. Balls of re erupt from the grave.)
Tunnel.
(Allan and Gisborne fight to keep their balance as the explosion rocks the ground beneath their feet. Dust rains down on them.)
Allan: “Byzantine re.”
Gisborne: “So that’s why Isabella came down here. She’s trying to blast her way out of the tunnel.“
Allan: “Might be a way out for all of us.”
Gisborne: “Go and tell Robin. I’ll deal with Isabella.”
(Allan turns back. Gisborne continues cautiously forward.)

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Djaq is standing on a large barrel. She gives Marian a small one.)
Djaq: “Fill it. Fill it, please. (Djaq hops to another barrel.) Robin! (Robin comes over. Djaq kneels down to him.) Robin, if we use this much Byzantine fire, we’ll destroy everything. (Marian turns back with the pitcher.) The castle, the Sheriff’s army—”
Clarke: “The only way to stop Vaisey is to fight fire with fire.”
Marian: “Yes but with it, we’ll kill every man, woman and child in here.”
(Clarke is about to respond when Allan runs in from an internal side entrance.)
Allan: (Breathlessly:) “Robin! The tunnel! Isabella’s just cleared it.”
(Little John calls out from the balcony where he, Much, Will and several archers stand ready.)
Little John: “Robin! They’re coming!”
Robin: “John, hold them out! (Runs to Allan.) Marian, you’re in charge.”
Marian: “John, hold the doors!”


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Tunnel.
(Isabella waits for Gisborne, seeing the glint of his sword in the dim light. Gisborne walks through drifts of dust and limestone pebbles on the floor.)
Gisborne: “Isabella!”
Isabella: “Guy?”
(Isabella slinks behind a pillar. Gisborne walks on, water dripping around him.)
Gisborne: “Isabella, where are you?”
(Gisborne walks past Isabella’s pillar.)
Isabella: “Come and get me.” (Chuckles. Gisborne stops and puts his sword at Isabella’s throat. Isabella looks back at him.)
Gisborne: “That explosion. (Isabella looks down at the blade.) The tunnel should be clear by now. (Steps forward.) I’d say there’s a way out if you want it.” (Gisborne lowers his sword.)
Isabella: “Look at you, Guy. (Isabella faces him, holding out the bottle of poison on her palm.) Perhaps it’s time you take the poison for yourself. (Isabella reaches for his arm.) After all, you’ve destroyed anyone you’ve ever held dear to you. You know, brother, you loved me once.”
(Gisborne hangs his head as the Sheriff comes up behind him.)
Sheriff: “And me, too.”
(Gisborne whips his head around to look and raises his sword at the Sheriff as the Sheriff walks closer.)
Gisborne: (Turns to Isabella.) “You planned this?”
(Isabella chuckles.)
Sheriff: “Isabella, you will, of course, relinquish your claims to my title, if… you wish to join me. (Isabella unbuckles her cloak and lets it drop behind her before stepping towards the Sheriff.) I didn’t want anyone else to have the pleasure of killing you, so I set up this little trap. (Blamire steps forward and draws. Isabella brings out her dagger.) Stay back. (Gisborne takes small retreating steps.) He’s mine. (Draws.) The man who betrayed me. I made you!”
(The Sheriff immediately attacks. Gisborne blocks and punches him as Isabella darts behind a pillar.)
Gisborne: “You almost destroyed me. The world and I will be better off once you’re dead!”

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(The Sheriff and Gisborne fight. Gisborne has the Sheriff on his
knees. The Sheriff holds up the sword with both hands, blocking
Gisborne’s repeated blows. Isabella steps behind Gisborne and grabs his
arm just as Robin intervenes, catching her other arm and her neck and
twisting her out of the way, but Gisborne’s arm is pulled round,
distracting him. The Sheriff sees the advantage and slices Gisborne’s
arm. Blamire points to the side, directing two soldiers. The Sheriff
attacks again as Robin pushes Isabella into a pillar.)

Robin: (Hissing:) “Still as treacherous as ever.”
(Isabella brings up a knee to Robin’s gut and he is forced back into the soldiers. Robin draws as the soldiers charge him. Robin pushes one aside. Isabella calmly walks over to the Sheriff’s “side” of the tunnel. The Sheriff kicks the back of Gisborne’s knee. Gisborne fights to keep his balance. The Sheriff is about to stab him when Allan charges the Sheriff.)
Allan: “Guy!“
(The Sheriff turns to Allan, who fights with a sword in each hand. Blamire renews the attack on Gisborne. Robin fights the two soldiers. Allan kicks the Sheriff. Gisborne bests Blamire and kicks him back. Allan spins and kicks back the Sheriff. Robin fights off the soldiers. Robin, Allan and Gisborne retreat to the right side of the tunnel, each under an arch. Isabella advances, pointing her dagger at Robin. The soldiers and Blamire regroup. Robin draws his knife and holds it out with his sword. The Sheriff steps between the pillars in front of Allan as Blamire faces Gisborne. All have their weapons outstretched in front of them.)

Sheriff: “How appropriate. A battle so huge should come down to the important few. (Gisborne, Allan and Robin stand ready. The Sheriff points his sword at Allan.) Oh, and you, Allan.”
(Allan smirks at him.)
Isabella: “This is your chance, Allan, join the winning team. (Glances at Gisborne.) Leave these two to rot down here.”
(Robin looks sideways at Allan and Gisborne and nods.)
Robin: “Together.“
Allan: “Brothers in arms.“

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(The Sheriff attacks Robin, Blamire attacks Gisborne, and the soldiers attack Allan. Robin blocks the Sheriff ’s blow and twists under his arm, away from the wall as Allan dropkicks one of the soldiers. Gisborne also makes a twisting move against Blamire, moving away from the wall. Allan quickly dispatches the remaining soldier and faces Blamire. The Sheriff swings at Robin, who blocks. Robin swings and the Sheriff ducks as Gisborne knocks down a soldier. Meanwhile Blamire punches Allan’s face, causing Allan to drop a sword, then Blamire kicks Allan in the chest, kicking away Allan’s remaining sword at the same time. Allan falls on his back, then kicks himself to his feet again. Gisborne sees he’s
defenceless.)
Gisborne: “Allan!”
(Gisborne tosses his sword to Allan. Robin wrestles the Sheriff to the floor. He grits his teeth and stands over him, holding the point of his sword down.)
Robin: “This is for all the lives you’ve ruined… (Isabella stands behind the pillar, watching.) … for all the people you’ve killed.”
Sheriff: “Now, Hood…”
(Robin changes his grip on his sword and holds it over the Sheriff. Isabella charges him, but Gisborne sees her.)
Gisborne: “Robin!
(Gisborne pushes Robin out of the way, but Isabella reaches with her dagger and grazes Robin’s neck. Robin turns and points his sword at Isabella as Gisborne stands over the Sheriff defenceless. The Sheriff sits up and stabs Gisborne with all his might. The Sheriff pulls out his sword and Gisborne grimaces.)
Robin: “Gisborne! (Gisborne falls on his side towards Robin. Allan, having knocked out Blamire, steps over and kneels at Gisborne’s side. The Sheriff gets up and sees Blamire on the floor. Gisborne tries to stand, but falls again. Robin brandishes his sword at the Sheriff.) This ends… here!”
(Isabella points her dagger at Robin.)
Isabella: “How right you are, Robin Hood.”
(Isabella touches her neck in the same spot as she cut Robin and hisses loudly. Robin fingers his wound.)
Robin: “It’s a scratch. It’s nothing!”

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Isabella: “No-no-no. You should be careful. I mean, this blade, it could be rusty or… or even worse.”
(Allan guards Gisborne from the Sheriff.)
Gisborne: “What have you done?”
Isabella: “I used your poison on the blade. A few drops owing through your bloodstream… (Robin lowers his sword.) … I say you’ll be dead by sundown.”
Robin: (to Gisborne:) “Is this true?”
(Gisborne nods, grimaces in pain and lets his head sink to the floor. Robin contemplates his fate.)
Sheriff: (Ecstatic:) “Oh, this is too good to be true. You’ve killed Robin Hood! Ah! Oh, we’ll be back (Robin steps forward with his sword up.) to finish the rest of you off with an army. I have to go greet the Prince, he’s arriving very soon. Please… wait for me. (Steps behind Isabella.) We don’t want to miss the big moment.”
(The Sheriff pulls Isabella down the tunnel. Gisborne groans. Allan turns him onto his back and Robin drops his sword and kneels at his side.)
Gisborne: (Huskily to Robin:) “Clear the people out… through the cellar… backs onto this tunnel. The Sheriff will take his men the easy route through the Great Hall.“
(Allan nods to Robin, indicating he understands even if Robin does not.)
Allan: “So we hide our people in that tunnel until he moves his men through, and then we lead ours out.“
Robin: (Nods to Allan.) “We’ll tell Marian after we get Gisborne to Djaq.”
Gisborne: “Leave me, there’s no time-”
Robin: “There’s always time to save a life. Djaq’s seen worse wounds. Besides, Marian wouldn’t let me hear the end of it if I let you die.”
(Gisborne nods and Robin and Allan lift the prone man to his feet and head towards the castle entrance.)

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.)

Midnight Missions (pt.2)

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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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!”

Rescues & Returns (pt.6)

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Tunnel.
(Marian and Allan run down the tunnel to the first barrier.)
Marian: “Well this shouldn’t be here.”
Allan: (Feeling the door:) “There’s got to be a latch or pulley to open this thing.”
Marian: (Pointing:) “Up there, there’s a rope!”
Allan: “We’ve got to reach it, Marian.”
(Allan laces his hands together for Marian to step on.)
Marian: (Steps up on Allan’s hands and reaches up for the rope:) “I’ve got it I’ve got it!”
Allan: “Then pull!”
Marian: “I’m pulling!”
(Allan
lets her dangle from the rope a moment then grabs her by the waist and
pulls her down before taking the rope himself and pulling on it hand
over hand. The barrier raises and limestone pebbles spill out from
beneath. Robin falls out. Marian gasps at the sight of his body. Much
and Gisborne fall out after him. Not one of them is moving.)
Marian: “Robin! Come on, come on. (Marian
brushes the gravel from Robin’s face, pinches his nose, and breathes
into his mouth as Allan helps Gisborne sit up, patting his back. Gisborne
coughs.)
Come on! I need you! Breathe! (Allan moves quickly over to
Much. Marian breathes into Robin’s mouth again as Allan pulls Much out of
the stones. Robin opens his eyes with a gasp. Marian gives him a long
kiss.)
I thought I’d lost you.”
Robin: (Coughing:) “Not when we’ve a plan to finish.“
(Allan
pulls a small bottle out of one of his pockets, uncorks it and holds
the bottle under Much’s nose. Gisborne looks around, recovering. Much
starts coughing at the smell of the bottle’s contents. Allan returns the
bottle to his pocket as Robin coughs.)
Robin: “We need to find Isabella now!”
(Allan pulls Much up to his feet.)
Allan: “The entrance to the castle’s blocked.”
Marian: “Follow me!”
(Allan
puts Much’s arm around his neck and helps him along the tunnel. Gisborne
and Robin dig out his bow and quiver before following.)

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East exterior corridor.
(Blamire and Isabella meet at opposite ends of the corridor, Blamire by the main doors. Outside the gate, the peasants shout in rage.)
Isabella: “The peasants are trying to get into the castle. You have to protect me.“
Blamire: (Steps forward.) “Can’t help… (Isabella strides quickly towards him.) … sorry.“
Isabella: “They’re going to tear me to pieces.”
Blamire: “Not my problem. (Isabella stares at him in utter disbelief.) I’ve got to be somewhere else.“
Isabella: “I just gave you an order.”
Blamire: (Scoffs.) “You have no idea what’s happening here, do you?”
Isabella: “What? You can’t just leave me here to be massacred by this rabble. (Blamire glares at her, then turns to leave.) Please. (Isabella pulls on Blamire’s arm.) For pity’s sake, help me.”
Blamire: “If you want to save yourself, hear this. Deliver Gisborne to the tunnel.“
Isabella: “That doesn’t make any sense. My brother is dead.”
(Isabella turns towards the portcullis.)
Blamire: “Goodbye, sheriff. And good luck.”
(Blamire leaves.)
Isabella: “Blamire!”
(Realising he’s not coming back, Isabella turns round and suddenly sees Djaq, striding slowly towards her, sword drawn.)

Djaq: “You always were afraid of me. And now that you’ve shot the man I love…you should be terrified.”
Isabella: (Raising her hands placatingly:) “Djaq, I had no choice…”
Djaq: “Oh really? Well neither do I.”



(Djaq steps to her and pushes her into the wall, then pulls and
pushes her into the opposite wall. Isabella pushes Djaq away, then
punches her, grabs her and throws her into the wall. Djaq turns and
kicks Isabella twice. Isabella grabs Djaq and twists her down the
corridor, slowly making their way to the sidesteps. Djaq grabs Isabella
and throws her against the pillar at the top of the steps. Isabella
pulls a tiny knife.)
Isabella: “Don’t come any closer.”

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(Djaq
deliberately takes a step and Isabella stabs out at her. From behind, Clarke appears, grabs
Isabella’s arm and her neck and twists her into the opposite side of the
steps. Clarke holds her against the wall by her chin as Djaq looks on, impressed. Marian, Much, Allan,
Little John and Gisborne crowd behind Robin.)

Robin: (Leans into Isabella’s face.) “It’s over, Isabella.”

Isabella: (Looking to Allan:) “Allan, please…”
Allan: “You lied to me, Iz. You were willing to let them die.”
Isabella: (Panicked, to Marian:) “Marian?”
(Marian says nothing and walks away.)

Nottingham. Marketplace.
(Robin stands on boxes/barrels
outside the portcullis to address the peasants. Gisborne guards a
dishevelled Isabella. The gang stand around in support, Will with a
bandage around his shoulder.)
Robin: “In the name of King Richard, I charge Isabella of Gisborne with high treason and crimes against the people of Nottingham. (Points to the castle.) The castle and everything in it belongs to the people! (Robin
raises his arms and all the townsfolk and villagers cheer and
celebrate. Gisborne stands
solemnly behind Isabella. After several moments, Much runs in from the
main gate.)

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Much: “Robin!”
(Robin recognises the
alarm in his voice and immediately jumps off his perch. Much motions for
them all to follow. Gisborne grabs Isabella’s arm.)
Gisborne: “Move! Move!“
Back At The Cave.
(Octavia, Nyko, Abby & Marcus all wait at the mouth of the cave. Henry glances back at them with a pleading look in his eyes. Indra slowly stands and pulls her sword from the fire. Approaching the bound man with purpose she speaks these words before running him through:)
Indra: “Your fight is over.”
Outside the main gate.
(The gang hurry to the gate. Gisborne stares out at the trees beyond, alarmed.)
Gisborne: “Close the gates. (Allan looks out as Gisborne draws his sword. Robin frowns at the trees where several hundred soldiers are making their way towards the town. Blamire gallops out to join those soldiers. A man in long, black cloak rides his horse to the front to meet him.) Man the battlements!”

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(Clarke glances up at the troops. Marian turns to the peasants inside.)
Marian: (to the peasants:) “Move!”
(Gisborne pulls back Isabella as Will pulls Djaq inside. Robin stands staring, seething in anger and fitting the pieces together. He doesn’t move.)
Little John: “Come on!”
(Blamire circles behind Vaisey, the former Sheriff of Nottingham, at the front of the troops, and stops his horse beside him.)
Blamire: “My lord.”
Sheriff: “Blamire, you old tomcat. How the devil are you?”
Blamire: “The plan is in place.”
Sheriff: “Good. (The Sheriff smirks and chuckles, revealing a gold, jewelled tooth, then pulls up the hilt of his sword by his face.) Oh, this will be so much fun.”
(He kisses the cross-guard, then lets it slide back into its scabbard. Robin still hasn’t moved.)
Little John: “Come on!… Robin!”
Much: “Robin!”
(Much and Allan each have a door ready to push closed. Robin finally turns and strides in as the gates close behind him.)
To Be Continued.

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Plan of Attack (pt.4)

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Sherwood Forest.
(Will, stood making arrows in the camp,
looks out into the forest as Marian addresses the Locksley men while
walking among them.)
Marian: “Those of you who can fight must help us intercept the supply train. (The men start muttering many reasons why not.) Those are your crops inside that castle. Your livestock, your brothers. Damn it, men, it’s time to stand up and fight! (Marian puts her hand on a Locksley man’s shoulder. Little John strides towards her.) Take back what’s rightfully yours.”
Little John: “Marian…”
(Little John pulls Marian away from the man.)

Marian: “They’ve been trodden on, John, and they’re taking it! If they would only stand together, they could help us.”
Little John: “Defeating the sheriff is our job, Marian. Even if it is the last thing we ever do.”
Marian: “Standing together and trusting each other is also what we do, John. Somewhere along the line you’ve forgotten that. Besides, how much longer are we supposed to fight for these men if they cannot find the courage to stand up for themselves? Now if you’ll excuse me, Allan and I have to be leaving.”
(Little John watches Marian leave, opening his mouth to say something then thinks better of it and walks away.)

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The Cave.
(Inside the cave, around the fire pit, sit Octavia, Nyko, Indra, Abby & Marcus. Across the way, still restrained is Henry.)
Octavia: (Staring into the fire:) “So, who are you and why the hell should I help you?”
Marcus: (Glances at Abby then begins:) “My name is Marcus Kane. I’m… in the employ of Abigail and we’re trying to find her daughter.”
(Abby looks over at Henry as he scoffs at Marcus’ words.)
Abby: “Marcus I think we owe them the truth.”
Octavia: “Seeing as the man I love and my entire clan died trying to save you I’d say the truth is the least you owe me.”
Marcus: (To Abby:) “Are you sure? (She nods:) Very well. Abby and I are searching for her daughter, Princess Eleanor. We’d heard she was last seen near this area.”
(Octavia and Indra exchange looks.)
Octavia: (To Abby:) “Clarke is your daughter?”
Abby: “Clarke?”
Octavia: “That’s what she calls herself, her alias.”
Abby: (Nods:) “That was the name of her cat.”
Octavia: “My men would have told her to use a pseudonym when they were traveling.”
Abby: “Of course. (To Octavia:) You know my daughter?”
Octavia: (Dryly:) “We’ve met. She’s had a rough few years.”
Henry: “Being abandoned will have that affect on a person.”
Abby: (Defiantly:) “I didn’t abandon my daughter. (to Octavia:) When my brother in law came to power in the King’s absence I knew it was only a matter of time before he came after Eleanor.”
Indra: “Clarke.”
Abby: (Looks to the warrior woman:) “Yes, alright, Clarke. (Continues:) I knew if John captured her she’d spend the rest of her life locked away. Her claim to England’s throne is much stronger than John’s.”
Marcus: “I sent the Princess away with eight of my finest trained guards. We both felt it was her best chance at survival.”
Henry: (Laughs:) “You were wrong.”
Abby: “When John’s men came for her, Clarke had already gone. I spent a year under house arrest before Marcus and I managed to escape to Aquitaine.”
Henry: “Where you’ve been hiding ever since. (As Abby turns to him:) Well it’s true isn’t it? You’ve been hiding behind the Queen Mother until the King’s return.”
Marcus: “Actually, I’m the one who prevented Abby from returning sooner. It just wasn’t safe, it still isn’t.”
Abby: “But, with news of the King’s imminent return and Joan’s war with John, I couldn’t be separated from Clarke a moment longer. I need to find my daughter and make sure she’s safe.”
Indra: “The Princess is under the Commander’s protection. (Looks to Abby:) She’s the safest she’s ever been.”
Marcus: “Clarke is in Powis, your Capitol?”
Henry: (As Indra is about to respond:) “No, she isn’t.”
Indra: “Quiet, pig!”
Abby: (To Henry:) “What do you mean?”
Henry: (Spits blood disdainfully from his mouth:) “I mean that your daughter is no longer in Powis under the Commander’s protection. She was last seen in Nottingham, foiling Prince John’s coronation.”
Octavia: (Shakes her head:) “Nottingham. Of course.”
Abby: “The Queen spoke of Clarke’s exploits in Nottingham with Robin Hood’s gang. I’d hoped she would’ve left that behind her by now.”
Octavia: “Lady, your daughter isn’t one to take the easy way out of things.”
Marcus: “Can you take us there? After we were captured we sort of got turned around and-”
Octavia: (Cutting her off:) “We’ll take you there. I have a feeling Nottingham is exactly where we need to be. (Looks over at Henry:) I’m right, aren’t I?”
(Henry looks at her but says nothing. Octavia smirks, suspecting she knows just where Blamire’s army is headed.)

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Outlaws’ camp. Thunderstorm.
(Robin leans on the rope ladder, his knife in his hand. He relates his plan for dealing with Isabella and Prince John to the gang.)
Robin: “We take the castle. (Stands and walks round the ladder.) We claim it under King Richard. We put Isabella under house arrest. We release the supplies. We release the men. (Looks round at gang for reaction.) And we hold that castle till King Richard returns.”
Gisborne: (Steps forward:) “The tunnel starts here in a derelict churchyard outside the west gate [draws a long line in the dirt.] and it leads directly into the heart of the castle. (Stabs the sword into the dirt.) We go down the tunnel, we seize Isabella, and we force her to dismiss her guards. If we take Isabella, we take the castle.“
Robin: “If we time the break-in to coincide with the supply train leaving, most of the guards’ll be busy with the convoy anyway.”
Little John: “How do we know that this isn’t a trap?”
(Gisborne pulls his sword from the dirt and puts the point in his scabbard.)
Gisborne: “Because we want the same thing.” (Slides the sword home.)
Robin: “Marian may want to believe she can get through to Isabella but I say it’s too late for that. The six of us have to be ready to do what’s necessary to save those men.”

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The Approach To Nottingham Castle.
(Allan & Marian walk side by side headed toward the castle. Allan is still more than a little hurt by the earlier events.)
Allan: “I put my neck on the block time and time again and for what? Nothing.”
Marian: “Everybody’s on edge, Allan. Isabella’s playing every card she has available to her.”
Allan: (Not listening:) “You give ’em the best years of your life… and for what?!”
Marian: “Allan, stop feeling sorry for yourself and listen to me. We both care about Isabella and right now we’re her last chance at redemption. If there’s a chance we can convince her to release the villagers without bloodshed then we have to take it.”
Allan: “Yeah, alright but how come you’re not coming with me?”
Marian: “I have to find Clarke and make sure she’s ok. If things go wrong then I have to get her out of the castle.”
(They come to a stop just outside the castle gates where dozens of women and children flock the square.)
Allan: “This is insane.”
Marian: (Tucking her hair back into a loose bun to keep it out of her face:) “You’re a free man, Allan a Dale, use it to our advantage.”
(Allan nods and the pair make their way through the crowds. Allan headed for the main steps as Marian heads toward the dungeons.)

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Nottingham Castle. Tunnel.
(Men work with hammers and anvil, pounding out thin strips of iron. Isabella comes down with a guard and Clarke.)
Isabella: (to guard:) “Secure the Princess. (Isabella makes her way to the men, smiling.) Make sure our surprise is ready before Hood arrives.”
Clarke: (As a guard shackles her to a wall.) “So you’re just going to leave me down here?”
Isabella: “I can’t very well put you in the dungeons now can I? Robin and his men would only find and release you. No, I need you here safely hidden away.”
Clarke: “Then why not lock me in a bed chamber?”
Isabella: “Because my guards are busy with the men in the courtyard. I can’t spare anyone else to go chasing after you when you eventually escape. Here is the best place for you. My workers can keep an eye on you while they finish their work.”
Clarke: (Looks back at the workers:) “What are they doing?”
Isabella: “Setting a trap for Hood. I’m counting on my brother’s underestimation of me to lead him to his death.”
Clarke: (Turns back to her:) “You won’t win, Isabella. When Richard returns you will hang for your crimes.”
Isabella: “Perhaps, but I’ll take my chances. (to Guard:) Gag her too.”
(The guard reaches into his pocket, producing a filthy looking rag. Isabella keeps a tight smile and leaves.)
The Great Hall.
(Allan sneaks into the Great Hall and hides behind the long backed chair as he hears voices approaching.)
Isabella: (Walking into the room, Blamire following:) “The Princess has been secured and won’t be an issue going forward.”
Blamire: “Are you sure it’s wise to-”
Isabella: “I felt it prudent to keep her out of your reach, Blamire. We don’t want her having any more bruises now do we? Besides, I need you focused, the time is fast approaching. Prepare your men to move the villagers out.”
(Blamire bows slightly then leaves the room.)

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Allan: “Please tell me that guy hasn’t been knocking Clarke around.”
(Isabella freezes. Allan makes a half spin round the chair and walks out.)
Isabella: “Allan, how on earth did you get in here?”
Allan: (Spreads his arms:) “I’m a free man, remember? (Sighs:) What are you playing at, Iz?”
Isabella: (Smiles at him for a moment:) “You can’t be upset with me for pardoning you.”
Allan: “You almost got me lynched by my own gang!”
Isabella: (Pouts:) “Aw, poor Allan. But don’t you see? Now you’re free. You don’t need them anymore. Join with me and we can rule Nottingham together.”
Allan: “Iz, you’re out of your mind. There won’t be a Nottingham left if you ship all the villagers off to fight for Prince John.”
Isabella: (Sighs, rises from her chair:) “So what would you have me do, Allan? Defy the Prince and join you and your friends in the forest? Perhaps snuggle between you and Guy for warmth? Be serious. The time for those games is over. The King is returning and John will not leave quietly. Come back and join the winning team.”
Allan: “You think the Prince is going to win? He’s already fighting a war against his sister. When the King and his army returns, John will be crushed.”
(Isabella says nothing, walking past Allan to think.)
Isabella: (Turning back to him:) “If your gang think you’re a traitor, how did you escape?”
Allan: “What? I don’t know, I’m me aren’t I. I talked my way out.”
Isabella:
(Smiles:) “No, Robin would’ve killed you if he thought you’d betrayed him again. You didn’t come alone, did you?”
(Allan looks at her unable to deny her suspicions.)

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Tunnel.
(Clarke sits chained against the tunnel wall, gagged. She watches as the workers file past her having completed the trap. As the last one leaves Clarke is left alone. She briefly tries pulling on her restraints before the manacle digs into her flesh drawing blood. Slumping back against the wall, Clarke hears footsteps approaching. As they reach the bottom of the steps, Clarke relaxes as she sees Marian walk into the candlelit room.)
Clarke: (Muffled with the gag:) “Marian!”
Marian: “Shh, it’s alright I’m going to get you out of here.”
(Marian looks around the room and spots one of the workers tools that has been left behind. Grabbing it, she returns to Clarke’s side and starts working on the lock.)
Clarke: (Still gagged:) “Mpghfh!”
Marian: (Shakes her head:) “Oh, sorry. (Marian reaches up and pulls down Clarke’s gag. The princess turns her head and retches at the aftertaste of the gag.) I’ll have you out in no time.”
Isabella: (Walking casually into the room:) “Oh, there’s no rush. (Marian turns toward the voice:) Why don’t you stay awhile?”
(Marian stands and faces Isabella. The sheriff folds her arms and smiles at her best friend. Marian, surprisingly not feeling threatened, returns the smile.)
Sherwood Forest.
(On their way to Nottingham, the gang stop to say goodbye before going their separate ways.)
Robin: “We get into the castle, we capture Isabella, release the villagers. But if the convoy leaves, then we’ve failed. And Will, John, Djaq, it’s up to you to stop it, no matter what. (Will and Little John nod solemnly.) This could be the last time we see each other. (Robin hugs Little John. Much extends a hand to Will and they shake warmly. Gisborne stands back, watching, when Djaq taps him on the shoulder and gives him a hug which Gisborne awkwardly returns. Then Much hugs Little John. to Will:) Best of luck. (Robin and Will shake hands and Robin winks at him. to Gisborne:) It’s time.”
(Gisborne follows Robin as Much releases Little John. Little John gets his staff from where it was leaning against a tree and they set off to put the plan into action.)

Isabella Makes Her Move (pt.3)

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The Cave.
(Henry stands at the mouth of the cave still shackled. His attention is caught by the arrival of Marcus & Abby followed by Nyko and finally Octavia. Henry, amused by the sight of his would-be targets turns to Octavia.)
Henry: “Found what you were looking for? Where’s your lover?”
Octavia: (Her back turned to him:) “Your brother killed him. (Henry closes his eyes and braces himself for what he knows must follow. Octavia turns and punches Henry hard in the face. He straightens and waits for more. Octavia delivers two more hard punches straight to Henry’s face. Octavia’s barrage of blows continues as her anger and grief merge into one prolonged bout of violence. Finally, after turning Henry into a bloody mess, she pulls him up.) Your brother dies next.”

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Isabella, appraising her situation out loud, gets up off her chair as Blamire goes to stand by it.)
Isabella: “If I disappoint the Prince, I hang like every other noble who’s ever failed him. (Takes a deep breath.) Blamire, I need those men.”
Blamire: “Tricky. Hood’s protecting them in the forest.”
Isabella: “Then it’s Hood I need to destroy. (Turns aside, thinking aloud.) I need to get to his weakness… (sighs)… exploit his vulnerabilities.”
Blamire: “Which are?”
Isabella: (Thinks a long moment.) “His friends. That odious little gang. The idiot cares about them. That’s his weakness. (Sighs, turns to Blamire.) Blamire, bring me some parchment, I have a proclamation to write.”
(Blamire walks to the door as Isabella turns to her chair.)
Clarke: “What proclamation? What are you doing?”
Isabella: (Rolls eyes:) “Robin, like your uncle, values loyalty above all else. If he thinks he has a traitor in his midst he’ll be more concerned with dealing with that than interfering in my business.”
Clarke: “You want them fighting amongst themselves while you what, sneak men into the forest and gather up the villagers?”
Isabella: “I need Hood distracted. I can work out the details later. Besides, (As Blamire returns and hands her parchment, quills and ink:) if this works out the way I think it will, I’ll be killing two birds with one stone.”
Clarke: (Shakes her head as Isabella writes:) “Whatever you’re planning, Robin will see through it.”
Isabella: (Continues to write:) “Only if he wants to. You forget, Hood now has two rogue members in his gang. One who covets his lover and the other… well lets just see how things turn out shall we? (Isabella rolls up the parchment and holds it out to Blamire.) Now, I want you to issue this proclamation and I want you to make sure it’s spoken about in every corner of Nottingham that due to his duties and loyalties to the sheriff, the outlaw Allan A Dale is pardoned for all his wrongdoings.”
Blamire: “Allan A Dale has—”
Isabella: (Interrupting:) “Shh. Just do it. (Blamire nods, takes the scroll and leaves. Isabella smiles. to Clarke:) Trust me.”
(Blamire goes up the stairs. Isabella sighs, satisfied with her plans and sits down. Blamire gives her one last glance before disappearing out the door. She laughs.)

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Nottingham Town.
(Little John and Will look for tools in an empty shop. A fanfare sounds.)
Little John: “They’ve taken everything.”
Will: “Even the forging tools.”
(Little John jumps at the sound of Blamire’s voice and they both go to the window to peek out at him.)
Blamire: “This is a proclamation from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Let it be known that for services to the sheriff, the outlaw Allan A Dale (Little John and Will exchange incredulous glances.) has been given immunity from prosecution. He is a free man.”
(Little John seethes with anger as Will stares in disbelief. Blamire moves on. Little John turns on his heel and leaves.)
Will: (Glancing at where John was:) “John! (Looks again, seeing he’s gone.) John!”
(Follows Little John.)

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Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp. Thunderstorm.
(Thunder rumbles. Much brings in a small chest and sets it down by his bunk. Allan and Gisborne are making arrows. Djaq watches Much from her bunk also making arrows. Robin & Marian enter bringing two large purses.)
Robin: “All of this needs to be made into arrowheads.”
Much: “Robin.”
Robin: “We’re running out of time.”
(Sets the purses by the chest, deliberately ignoring Much.)
Much: “Robin!”
Robin: “Where’s Will and John with those tools?”
Much: “What are we going to do about the Princess! (Robin finally looks at him.) Clarke.”
(Robin steps forward, then changes his mind, shaking his head. He picks up the two purses and heads to a bunk.)
Marian: “We’re working on a plan, Much. We can’t do anything until we’re ready to act.”
(Much notices Allan say something to Gisborne who laughs.)
Much: (to Allan:) “You say something?”
Allan: (Holding his arms out:) “Why is it always my fault?”
(Much walks out, pointing at Robin.)
Much: “I can’t just sit and do nothing!”
Allan: “Since when?”
Much: (To Allan:) “Listen you-”
Robin: (Turns angrily to Much.) “Much, Clarke can look after herself. We’ve got a castle to take.”
Much: “I know.”

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(Little John runs in, pushing Much aside in his hurry to get his hands round Allan’s neck.)
Allan: “What?”
Little John: “Traitor! What did you tell them? (Through his teeth:) Judas!”
(Robin looks at Will as he comes in explaining.)
Will: “It’s all over Nottingham. Allan’s been pardoned by the sheriff… for services rendered.“
Allan: “What?”
Marian: (Outraged:) “John, let him go!”
Allan: “Let me speak!”
Little John: “Why? You’re good at that, aren’t you? Speaking, lying… (Will tries to pulls Little John back.) Twisting us around your little finger.”
Will: “John! John, come on!”
Robin: “Let him go.”
Gisborne: (Draws his sword and points it at John. Icily:) “Let him go, now.”
(Little John sneers at Gisborne then lets go, throwing Allan’s head down.)
Little John: “Liar!“
(Robin turns to Allan and puts a hand on his shoulder.)
Robin: “You all right?”
Allan: (Rubbing his throat:) “I haven’t done anything! (Robin, Will, Little John and Much line up to face him.) I swear, I haven’t betrayed you. (to Much:) Much… (Much stares at him a moment, then looks to Robin, who returns his gaze with doubt in his eyes. Little John charges Allan, but Will puts his hand to his chest and stops him.)
Will: “No.”

Allan:
(Pleadingly:) “Will… (Will, in answer to Allan, raises his eyebrows and shrugs, then looks Allan in the eye as if to say, “Well, you’ve done it before…” Will looks at Robin. Robin looks up in exasperation at the sky. Voice almost breaking, beseechingly:) Robin… (Robin shoots Allan a furious look.) So you think I’m a coward? Is that it, yeah? What, that I’ve… sold you out to save myself somehow, yeah?“
Much: “You’ve done that before!”
(Little John nods in agreement.)
Allan: “I know! And every day I wish I could take that back, you know that!”

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(Nobody says anything. Robin frowns, trying to decide what to do.)
Marian: (To Will:) “What did the message say exactly? Word for word.”
Will: (Thinks:) “Er…’Let it be known that for services to the sheriff, the
outlaw Allan A Dale has been given immunity from prosecution. He is a
free man.’

Marian: (Repeating:) “Services to the sheriff? (Rolls her eyes:) Isabella. (Turns to Robin:) This is just one of Isabella’s games. She’s trying to mess with our heads. She wants us fighting among ourselves.”
Djaq: (To Allan:) “Perhaps she wants you back?”
Allan: “You what?”
Marian: (Considers this:) “Possibly. (To Allan:) Well think about it, in her own weird way, Isabella loves you. The King is returning and she’s trapped on the wrong side of things. Maybe this is her way of asking for help?”
Allan: “Yeah, or maybe this is her way of killing me off? (Looking around the group:) Death by lynching!”
Gisborne: “You’re reaching, Marian. My sister made her choice a long time ago.”
Marian: “Well there’s only one way to find out. Allan and I will go to the castle.”
Allan: “You what?”
Robin: “No, Marian.”
Marian: “Robin, listen to me. Although Isabella is surrounded by guards she’s alone. I believe that if Allan and I can get an audience with her then we may be able to reason with her.”
Much: (Scoffs:) “Good luck with that.”
Marian: “If we’re in the castle we can also find Clarke and make sure she’s ok, Much. (To Robin:) You know I’m right.”

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Robin: “How can you be sure that the moment you enter the castle Isabella won’t throw you into the dungeons? (Looking over her shoulder at Allan:) And how can you be sure he’s not betrayed us?”
(Marian glances over at Allan then back to Robin.)
Marian: “Because he swore to me a long time ago that he would never betray me. Do you remember? (Robin nods as he thinks back to the day Edward died.) I trust him with my life. (To the group:) As I trust you all.”
Djaq: “Marian, if you go to the castle who’s going to show us the way into the tunnel?”
Gisborne: (Steps forward:) “I will. I can get you inside the castle without anyone noticing.”
Marian: “Then it’s settled. Allan and I will go to the castle while you plan your attack.”
Robin: (Sighs:) “I know better than to try and change your mind by now. (Looks to Allan:) If anything happens to her I swear I’ll-”
Allan: “I know, all right, I know.”
Gisborne: “Allan? (Smirks:) Good luck.”
Allan: (Gives him a frustrated look, then cracks a smile:) “Yeah, thanks.”(Marian grabs her cloak and Allan side steps Little John to grab his own as the duo exit the camp.)