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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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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Storming The Gates (pt.5)

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Outside Nottingham. Graveyard.
(Gisborne leads Robin and Much to the tunnel entrance.)
Gisborne: “Robin… this is it.”
(Gisborne
kneels at the side of the rock-covered grave and starts moving the
stones off. Robin kneels on the other side to help. Much, scared of
disturbing the grave, stands off, distressed, until Robin glances at
him. Then he kneels by Gisborne to help.)
Much: “You shouldn’t mess with graves.”
(They
clear off all the rocks and Gisborne lifts off the cover. Robin looks
down the steps. Gisborne watches him, waiting for his approval. Robin
starts down the steps.)

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Allan sits on a windowsill on the south side. Isabella and Marian enter the room.)
Isabella: (Winks at Allan then turns to Marian:) “So, how’ve you been? How’s life in the forest?”
Marian: “Isabella, listen-”
Isabella: (Continuing over her:) “Cosy, I’d imagine. What with both Robin and Guy fighting for your affections. (Marian says nothing:) You know I never thought I’d see my brother relinquish his power and position for anyone.”
Marian: “We obviously have a lot to catch up on. Like how you went from helping us save the men of Locksley to rounding them up to fight for Prince John.”
Isabella: (Glances back at Allan:) “Oh, you two are like a broken record. I can do no more good for the people of Nottingham if I’m no longer sheriff.”
Marian: “There is always a choice. You can choose to stand with us again and refuse the Prince. The King will be here imminently and-”
Isabella: “Do you really think it’s that simple?”
Marian: “Yes! The time is now, Isabella. The Prince is clearly in trouble otherwise he wouldn’t be asking for reinforcements. This is our chance to be rid of him for good.”
Isabella: (Considers this:) “What about Robin and my brother? They won’t simply ignore my betrayal.”
Marian: “I’ll speak to them on your behalf. I’ll make sure they know you did what you had to to survive.”
Isabella: (Nods:) “The Prince left me no choice.”
Marian: (Moves closer, softly:) “I know.”
Isabella: “And I would never have let anything happen to either of you.”
Allan: (From the window sill:) “We know, Iz.”
Marian: “We believe in you. We can make this right, together.”
(Isabella nods, smiles then leans into Marian who gives her a warm embrace. The sheriff sighs against Marian’s shoulder as she and Allan look to each other, relieved.)

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Nottingham Castle. Tunnel.
(Robin leads them with a lit torch. The tunnel turns into stone column supports. Much stops.)
Much: “Oh! We’re under the castle.”
Robin: “Much, keep moving! Come on!”
(Gisborne
steps on a trip stone and grunts in surprise. He and Robin look round,
hearing gears turning. They see a barrier come down a few paces in front
of them.)
Much: “Oh no! (They rush to the barrier, but
it’s already down. Robin and Much pound on it as Gisborne tries to lift
it. Then they see another barrier coming down back the way they came.
They rush to it and again they’re too late. Robin looks at the floor and
then the ceiling, which has a round grate in it. Much raises his sword
at Robin.)
I knew it would be a trap!”
(Robin holds his hand up to silence him.)
Robin: “Much… let me think.”

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Somewhere By A Riverbank.
(Nyko and Octavia kneel by Lincoln’s freshly dug and filled grave. The warriors place large stones atop the dirt to ensure the grave is not disturbed. Marcus stands a few feet behind them covered in soot. Allowing them some privacy, he walks over to Abby who is washing her arms and hands in the river.)
Marcus: “I moved the bodies into the barn and set it ablaze. Not what I’d call the most dignified of funeral pyres but at least their souls are at peace.”
Abby: (Shaking her head:) “This is all my fault. I should never have come here. It’s because of me that Lincoln and the others died.”
Marcus: “Abby, listen to me. None of this is your fault. The fact that those men died trying to save us means that we cannot be swayed from our mission.”
Abby: “What if she’s already been captured? What if John has already locked her away somewhere.”
Marcus: “We will find your daughter.”
Abby: (Nods:) “But what if the prince refuses to release her?”
Marcus: “We won’t leave without her. (Places his hand comfortingly on her shoulder:) I promise.”
(Abby covers Marcus’ hand with her own as the two smile at each other. The moment is shattered however by Octavia’s wails of grief for Lincoln. As the warrior woman screams to the heavens, Abby makes a move towards her but is stopped my Marcus.)
Marcus: “Let her mourn.”
(Abby nods and walks in the opposite direction, her guilt threatening to overwhelm her.)

Nottingham. Outside the main gate.
(The gate is closed. Will, Djaq and Little John walk down the bridge and stop in the middle. The only sound is the breeze blowing.)
Will: “Nearly time.”
Little John: “It’s
quiet, isn’t it? Calm. It’s like when you’re hunting. The moment you
spot your prey, your stag, there’s a…stillness. Just for a moment, you
wonder whether you can go through with it. Whether you can slaughter
this beast with… so much…”
(Shakes his head, unable to find the word he wants.)
Djaq: “Dignity?”
Little John: (Looks at Will:) “Yeah. Dignity.”
(Will puts a hand on Little John’s shoulder in agreement, then notices movement behind him.)
Will: “John…”
(Little
John turns round to see the Locksley men coming out of the forest with
torches, axes, scythes, flails, any tools or farm implements they could
muster.)
Little John: “They’re brave, but they can’t fight, Will. Look at them. It’ll be a massacre.”
Will: “They’re not going to fight, John.“

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Nottingham Castle. Tunnel.
Much:
“So Allan’s told her! (Looks at Gisborne.) Or him. (Points at Gisborne.) I knew we shouldn’t have trusted you.”
(Gisborne grabs Much’s shoulders.)
Gisborne: “If I knew this was a trap, do you think I’d be stuck in here as well?”
(Gisborne roughly pushes Much away.)
Robin: “That’s enough! The both of you! This isn’t Allan, this is something else. (They hear a loud rumbling noise and small white pebbles start pouring down on them. Looks up.) What is that?”
(Gisborne and Much look up in a mix of disbelief and fright as the deluge continues.)
Much: (Whispers in hopelessness:) “There’s no way out.”
(Robin gives him an intense look.)
Robin: “There’s always a way out, Much.”
(Drops his bow and takes off his quiver.)
Much: (Unconvinced:) “So this is how it ends. This is how we die. Buried in limestone. (Gisborne looks at Much. Much gives a sidelong look at Robin.) Hardly fair, is it?”
Robin: “If one of us can reach the top, we can hold out longer. Much, come here. Gisborne, get on our shoulders.”
Much: (Starts to go to Robin, then stops.) “No! It’s got to be you, Robin. You’re the one who has to live. It has to be you.”
Robin: (Relenting, realising there’s no time to argue:) “All right. Come on. Let’s do this.” (Much and Gisborne grab each other’s shoulders and knock heads.)
Much: “Ow!”
Robin: “Ready?”
Gisborne: “Go!”
(Under
the relentless cascade of gravel, Robin pulls on their clothes and
climbs up on their shoulders, then pulls up Much’s hand as Much and
Gisborne grunt under the strain.)

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Allan still sits on the windowsill talking with Isabella as Blamire approaches.)
Isabella: “Hm?”
Blamire: (Quietly:) “Hood and his men have entered the tunnel.”
Isabella: “Good. Time for you to leave I think? (Blamire nods and leaves the room. To Allan:) So predictable.”
Allan: (Eying her warily:) “What have you done, Iz?”
Isabella: “Me? Oh, just a small insurance policy. To make sure Robin and my brother don’t spoil my plans.”
Allan: “You’ve booby trapped the tunnel? What about-”
Isabella: (Leaning in and cutting him off:) “Think about it this way, Allan. With them out of the way you’ll have no one left to doubt your loyalty. No one left to take you for granted. And with Guy dead I can finally be free to bring honour back to the Gisborne name.”
Allan: “You really think I’m just gonna sit here and let you kill them? You think Marian will ever forgive you if Robin dies? Guy’s your brother and my best mate, you can’t let this happen!”
Isabella: (Her smile faltering:) “Their fate was sealed the moment they entered the tunnel. It’s out of my hands.”
(As Isabella turns away from him, Allan leaps down from the windowsill and grabs the sheriff by the arm.)
Allan: “Nothing is over till it’s over. Tell me how to stop it, tell me how to save them. (Pleading with her:) Please, Iz, I know you don’t want to do this.”
Isabella: (Stares at him a moment then relents:) “There’s a lever on the top of each door. A fail safe.”

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(Allan pulls Isabella to him and kisses her deeply.)
Allan: (As they separate:) “You won’t regret this.”
(Allan takes off running out of the Hall leaving Isabella to stare after him an evil glint in her eyes.)

Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(Blamire enters from the stables.)
Blamire: “Raise the portcullis! Move out! (The portcullis starts to move. Blamire leads soldiers through first. The village conscripts unwillingly line up behind.) Open the gates!”
Nottingham. Outside the main gate.

Will: “Fellas, these gates will open soon. Now, it is our
task to stop the supply train in its tracks. And that is exactly what
we’re going to do. As an army, as a militia, we would be crushed. The
sheriff’s men would hack us down like weeds. But Robin told us to stop
them by any means necessary. So, when these gates open, and the supply
train pulls
out, we are going to sit down. (Little John shoots Will an incredulous
look.)
Just sit and block their path.”
Little John: “What?! (Steps towards Will:) They will be—we will be crushed.”
Will: “Dignity,
John. Dignity! This is the only way we can stop the Sheriff and not get
everyone killed. The sheriff ’s men will have to choose: stand aside or
carry out a massacre.”
Little John: (Flustered:) “Will! (In Will’s ear:) These are the sheriff’s men. I think we know what choice they’re gonna make.”
Will: “We’ve got to try, John. (to the villagers:) If we all stand together, we have a chance!” (The villagers nod. Little John eyes Will, still unsure of the success of his plan.)

Tunnel.
(Robin stands on Much and Gisborne’s shoulders, one
hand each holding one of theirs. The rocks continue to pour down on top
of them.)
Robin: “Don’t worry! I won’t let you die!”
Gisborne: (Panicked:) “Aah! I’m sinking!”
(Gisborne
lets go of Robin’s hand. Robin reaches up and grabs the grate. After a
moment, Much’s hand slips from Robin’s grasp and Much flails his arm.)
Much: “I’m going under! Aah!”
Robin: “Give me your—” (Robin brushes Much’s fingertips.)
Much: “Aah! Robin!”
(Robin hangs from the grate by one arm and finds Much’s hand again.)
Robin: “Much!
Stay together! Much, if you stay together, you can breathe for a little
while longer! And keep your hands moving, so I know! Much! (Much’s hand slips from Robin’s.) Much! (Robin reaches for Much’s hand, but it disappears under the growing pile of gravel.) Much!”
(Robin reaches up and grabs the grate with both hands, and grimaces with grief at losing his best friend.)

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Outside the main gate.
(Little John and Will turn round as they hear noise at the gate.)
Will: (Crosses his legs and sits defiantly as the gates open.) “Here goes nothing.” (Little John and the men sit, too.)
Blamire: (Steps forward, and calls down:) “You there! Move out of the road! (Nobody moves. Forcefully:) Move out of the road, I said. Or prepare to die where you sit. (Blamire stares a moment, then moves to the side. to the soldiers:) Men, draw your swords! (The guards put a hand to their hilts, but do not draw. A restrained yell:) I said, draw your swords. Now!”
(The guards half-heartedly pull their swords free. Blamire draws, his eyes wide with anger, and steps towards Will. Blamire raises his sword with both hands, preparing to stab down. Will leans back, sticking out his chest, ready for the blow. Blamire hesitates, looking at all the faces staring at him. To Will’s relief, he slowly lowers his sword. Isabella appears on the battlements over the gate with a crossbow. She aims it at the men.)
Isabella: “Get out of the way! (Blamire turns aside and looks up at Isabella. Isabella shoots and hits Will in the shoulder. All the men groan. Little John looks up at Isabella and starts to stand, but Will grabs his arm.) Cut them down!”
(Nobody moves. Blamire frowns, then his attention is caught by Djaq running up behind the villagers with a sword.)
Djaq: ”You bitch!!! (Djaq strides through the men. She stands before the guard next to Blamire, presenting him her sword lying across both palms.) Go on, be a man! Start with me!”
Isabella: “Do it or die.”
(Djaq glances at Blamire, who is glaring at the guard. The guard yells as he raises his sword.
Djaq attacks viciously, and the guard sinks to his knees and falls back.)
Djaq: (Frenzied. to the men:) “To arms!”  

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(Will
and Little John get up. Djaq fights guards. Little John charges a
guard. Will pulls out the arrow as Blamire and the guards, retreat from
the battlements. The village men fight with their various
weapons. Little John makes it through the guards in front to the
conscripts in the town and herds them back.)
Djaq: (Makes her way to the gate.) “Will, come on!”
(Will defeats two guards.)
Will: “Let’s go!”
(Allan, Clarke and Marian appear from the dungeons.)

Allan: “She lied to me, I can’t believe it.”
Marian: “We’ve just got to hope there’s a lever on the other door, come on Allan!”
(Marian grabs Allan’s hand and pulls him out the gate and down the bridge. Meanwhile, the
villagers charge the gate as Djaq finishes another guard.
Watching from below, Clarke

sees Isabella
stare down in disbelief, then realise she needs to retreat. Determined not to let the Sheriff escape, Clarke follows.)

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.)

Rescues, Revelations & Returns (pt.6)

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Tunnel.
(Marian and Eve run down the tunnel to the first barrier.)
Eve: “Well this shouldn’t be here.”
(Marian stops and almost runs into her with a desperate cry.)
Eve: (Feeling the door:) “There’s got to be a latch or pulley to open this thing.”
Marian: (Pointing:) “Up there, there’s a rope!”
Eve: “We’ve got to reach it, Marian.”
(Eve laces her hands together for Marian to step on.)
Marian: (Steps up on Eve’s hands and reaches up for the rope:) “I’ve got it I’ve got it!”
Eve: “Then pull!”
Marian: “I’m pulling!”
(Eve lets her dangle from the rope a moment then grabs her by the waist and pulls her down before taking the rope herself 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! No-no-no-no-no-no! Come on, come on. (Marian brushes the gravel from Robin’s face, pinches his nose, and breathes into his mouth as Eve helps Gisborne sit up, patting his back. Gisborne coughs.) Come on! I need you! Breathe! (Eve moves quickly over to Much. Marian breathes into Robin’s mouth again as Eve 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 have a plan to finish.“
(Eve pulls a small bottle out of one of her 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. Eve returns the bottle to her pocket as Robin coughs.)
Robin: “We need to find Isabella now!”
(Eve pulls Much up to his feet.)
Marian: “The entrance to the castle’s blocked.”
Eve: “Follow me!”
(Eve puts Much’s arm around her neck and helps him along the tunnel. Marian 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: ”Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
Blamire: (Steps forward.) “Leaving you to the mercy of your people, Sheriff.”
Isabella: “They’re going to tear me to pieces, because of you!”
Blamire: “Yes, and I’m sorry I’m going to miss it. I’ve got to be somewhere else.”
Isabella: (Grabbing his arm:) “Where’s Meg, what have you done with her?”
Blamire: “Oh, she’s fine, but she’ll have a sore head in the morning. If she survives that long of course. Goodbye, Sheriff.”
(Blamire leaves. Isabella turns round and suddenly sees Djaq, striding slowly towards her, short 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.”
(Djaq deliberately takes a step and Isabella stabs out at her. Djaq grabs Isabella’s arm and her neck and twists her into the opposite side of the steps. Djaq holds her against the wall by her chin. Marian, Much, Eve, Little John and Gisborne crowd behind Robin.)
Robin: (Leans into Isabella’s face.) “It’s over, Isabella.”
Isabella: “Robin, you have to let me explain..”
(Djaq roughly pushes Isabella’s chin as she releases it.)
Robin: (Furiously:) “Tie her up!”
(Little John steps forward to obey.)
Isabella: “What? (Little John grabs her shoulders and pushes her into the wall.) No, no, no, no.”
Robin: “I can’t take the risk.”
Marian: “Robin…”
Robin: “Once we’ve secured the castle, we will sort this out.”
Isabella: “John, don’t do this.”
Robin: “Get it done!”
(Isabella’s eyes plaintively follow Marian as Marian follows Robin towards the Marketplace.)

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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. Marian frowns, irked by Robin’s words. Gisborne stands solemnly behind Isabella. After several moments, Much runs in from the main gate.)
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.)

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Outside the main gate.
(The gang hurry to the gate. Much stops just outside it where a heavy burlap roll lies, bulging in the middle. Little John throws his staff aside as he runs for the gate. Robin stops beside Much, then they and Little John step forward, grab the edge of the cloth and pull it, unwinding it. Bishop Waleran’s body rolls out. Djaq jumps over the edge of the cloth as the three men drop it and kneels by Waleran’s head. She turns Waleran’s head and the unseeing green eyes stare up at the sky. Djaq looks back at the gang, shaking her head. Robin is visibly distressed. Marian looks down at the Bishop, noticing the signs of torture across his body. Eve grips Much’s hand. Little John drops down to sit on the ledge of the bridge. Will stares in disbelief. Djaq closes the Bishop’s eyes. Robin shifts his feet, keeping his emotions in check as he sees a smug look across Isabella’s face. Gisborne stares out at the trees beyond, alarmed.)

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Gisborne: “Close the gates. (Marian 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!”
Marian: (Turns to the peasants inside:) “Move!”
(Gisborne pulls back Isabella as Will pulls Djaq inside. Robin stands staring, seething in anger and fitting the pieces together, as Much pulls the cloth out from under the Bishop and tosses it over the side. Little John picks up Waleran’s body, slings it over his shoulders and gives the new troops one last look before heading inside. Robin doesn’t move.)
Little John: “Come on!”
(Blamire circles behind Vaisey, the Sheriff of Nottingham, at 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 Will each have a door ready to push closed. Robin finally turns and strides in as the gates close behind him.)

Tunnel Vision (pt.3)

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Sherwood Forest. Outlaws’ camp. Thunderstorm.
(Thunder rumbles. Allan and Gisborne are making arrows.Robin enters bringing two large purses.)
Robin: “All of this needs to be made into arrowheads. We’re running out of time.”
Will: “Robin!”
(Robin turns to see Will and Djaq enter the camp.)
Robin: (Smiling:) “Am I glad to see you!”
Will: “We just heard about what happened, what’s going on?”
Robin: “We think Isabella’s trying to raise an army for Prince John before the King arrives.”
Djaq: “The King?”
Robin: “We have word that Richard returns to England soon.”
Allan: “Hang on a minute, Robin. We don’t know that Isabella is behind the raids. I mean we intercepted the Prince’s message to her. How is she even meant to know what’s going on?”
Gisborne: “The warrior in Locksley was taking the prisoners back to the castle. Isabella has to know something.”
Robin: “Well whatever the case we need to be ready. Djaq, Will I need you to make arrows. (Jangling the purses.) Lots of arrows.”
(Djaq and Will nod and move further into camp.)
Marian: (Confused:) “Hold on, where were you two when the attack on Locksley was happening?”
Will: (Looking to Djaq who nods:) “We were with Matilda.”
Allan: “Matilda?”
Djaq: “Yes. We…well we have some news.”
(Little John runs in, pushing Will 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 Much as he comes in explaining.)
Much: “It’s all over Nottingham. We’re outlaws again!”
Djaq: (Concerned:) “What?”
Much: “All known associates of Robin Hood are once again outlaws.”
Little John: “Except him!”
Much: “Allan’s been pardoned by the sheriff… for services rendered.”
Allan: “What?”
Robin: (Holding in his temper:) “John, let him go!”
Allan: “Let me speak!”
Little John: “Why? You’re good at that, aren’t you? Speaking, lying…(Much tries to pulls Little John back.) Twisting us around your little finger.”
Much: “John! John, come on!”
Robin: “Let him go.”
Much: “Come on!”
(Little John lets go, throwing Allan’s head down.)
Little John: “Liar!”
(Robin turns to Allan and puts a hand on his shoulder.)
Robin: “All right?”
Allan: “I haven’t done anything! (Robin, Little John and Much line up to face him.) I swear, I haven’t betrayed you. I left the castle this morning with you all, I’ve got no idea what’s going on. (to Gisborne:) You believe me, Guy.”
(Little John charges Allan, but Much puts his hand to his chest and stops him.)
Gisborne:
“Well, you’ve done it before…”
Allan: “So you think I’m a coward? Is that it, yeah? What, that I’ve… sold you out to save myself somehow, yeah?”

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Marian: “Enough of this! (Gets up and stands next to Allan.) I don’t know who was responsible for the raids but I do know that throwing accusations around won’t solve anything.”
Allan: (Pleadingly to Little John:) “We all believe the same things, John.”
Little John: “I don’t know that I do.”
Allan: “Well, I know we do, eh?”
Robin: (Reigning in his temper:) “You’re the only free man among us, Allan. What are you waiting for?”
Allan: “What?”
Marian: (Gently:) “There’s got to be a reason why Isabella has kept you off the wanted list. (Glancing at Robin, then back to Allan:) Go back to the castle and find out what’s going on.”
Allan: “What if it’s a trap?”
Marian: “Allan, she loves you. I think…(Hopeful:) I think she’s trying to send us a message somehow.” (Allan looks to Robin.)
Robin: (Nods.) “You think there’s been a coup?”
Marian: “Well it makes a lot more sense than Isabella just suddenly deciding to betray us all.”
Allan: “And I’d never seen that warrior before, he ain’t working for Isabella.”
Marian: “The message from Prince John was addressed to the Sheriff. It never mentioned Isabella by name.”
Gisborne: (Shaking his head:) “I think you’re reaching now, Marian.”
Robin: (Making his mind up:) “Go on, Allan. Find out what’s happening in the castle.”
Little John: “This is a mistake!”
Robin: “I’ve made my decision, John. (to Allan:) Get going.”
(Allan glances at Little John then turns and runs out of camp towards the castle. Will watches him go as Little John angrily hits a post that Gisborne is leaning on.)
Little John: (to Gisborne:) “Don’t you even look at me!”
Djaq: “Robin, what about the rest of us?”
Robin: “The rest of us? You mean we outlaws, Djaq? (Looking to Marian:) We do what outlaws do, we storm the castle. We claim it under King Richard. We put Isabella (At Marian’s look.) or whomever 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.”
Much: (Stands and goes to Robin.) “We can’t take a castle.”
Gisborne: (Staring out thoughtfully:) “We can if we go down the tunnel.”
(The gang all look back at Gisborne.)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Rufus, sitting in a chair, looks at Isabella from under his eyebrows.)
Rufus: "Nervous? (Rufus walks towards her. In Isabella’s ear:) I feel like some entertainment. (Walks behind her, then suddenly rushes at her other ear:) Can you dance?”
Isabella: (Looking at him in disgust:) “You must be joking.”
Rufus: “Oh, no. (Rufus advances on her until she has her back to the wall. Isabella reaches behind her back.) No, no, no, no, no. (Reaches up and twists a bit of Isabella’s hair.) I’m deadly serious. (Rufus pulls out his knife and holds it at Isabella’s stomach.) Well Sheriff, dance, then. (Isabella glowers at him but picks up her skirts and starts hopping. Rufus starts to clap a slow beat and returns to his seat.) And smile.”
(Isabella obediently puts on a smirk. Rufus continues to clap and Isabella, humiliated, to dance.)

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Outlaws’ camp.
(The gang all gather around as Gisborne draws in the dirt with his sword.)
Marian: (Frowning:) “I’m sorry, but I grew up in the castle, I never found a tunnel.”
Gisborne: “When the old Sheriff began the Black Knights he became paranoid about repercussions, so he built himself an escape route… the tunnel.”
Marian: “No, I would have known, I would’ve heard something..”
Gisborne: “The diggers were silenced. (Quietly:) I made sure of that. (Draws more. Normally:) So no-one else knows about the tunnel, especially not Isabella. (Robin steps forward, listening intently.) It starts here in a derelict churchyard outside the west gate [draws a long line] and it leads directly into the heart of the castle. (Stabs the sword into the dirt.) I say 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 will 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. We need to get inside the castle.” (Slides the sword home.)
Little John: “Since when have you cared about our people?”
Gisborne: (Turns to John:) “I don’t! Or King Richard. (Looking to Marian:) Meg is in the castle. I just want her safe and she and I will ride away from Nottingham together, before the King returns.”
Marian: “You’re leaving?”
Gisborne: “I cannot stay here. Not after everything I’ve done. The King will-”
Marian: “If you’re looking for redemption you won’t find it by running away.”
Robin: “Marian, that’s enough. Gisborne has his reasons. We go through the tunnel, and that’s what’s important. What happens after that is another matter.
(to gang:) The rest of you, get whatever money we have and melt it down to make arrowheads. (Softly, to Marian.) We have to prepare for the raid.”
(Robin leaves as Marian looks after him. She then glances at Gisborne who returns her look briefly before following Robin.)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Isabella worriedly paces the floor as Allan enters the room.)
Allan: “What the bleedin’ hell is going on, Iz?”
(Isabella turns to face him, relieved that he’s alright and rushes towards him.)
Isabella: “Oh, Allan. Thank God you’re here.”
Allan: “Yeah, well it’s not like I had any choice. The gang all think I’ve betrayed them. What were you thinking?”
Isabella: “It wasn’t me, none of this-”
Blamire: (Walking into the room:) “Sir Allan a Dale, I presume?”
Allan: (Turning towards him:) “That’s right. Who are you?”
Isabella: “Allan, this is Blamire..”
Blamire: “Lord Blamire, if you please.”
Allan: (Frowns a moment then realisation dawns on him:) “Blamire? The leader of the old Sheriff’s army? (Looks to Isabella.) That Blamire?”
Blamire: “The very same.”
Allan: “Impressive. (Smirking.) How was the Holy land, see the King didya?”
Isabella: (Warningly:) “Allan..”
Allan: “Last I heard, your army got its arse kicked. (Eyes widening, smiling.) So that’s what’s going on! You’re nicking villagers to build up a new army before the King returns. (Blamire glares at Allan, who’s on a roll.) I’m not being funny, mate, but a bunch of villagers ain’t gonna do you no good. I mean if an army of fierce, fully trained warriors couldn’t beat the King then-”
Blamire: (Voice raised:) “Believe what you want, fool. (Pointing at Allan:) You’re here to help me make sure Isabella does as she’s told.”
Allan: “Ha! If you find a way how to do that, make sure you let me know.”
Blamire: “I believe I already have.”
(Suddenly Rufus hits Allan in the back of the head and Allan slumps to the ground.)
Isabella: “Allan! (Raging at Blamire and Rufus.) Cowards! Couldn’t even face him like a man.”
Rufus: (Laughing:) “Of course not, where’s the fun in that?”
Blamire: “Chain him up. (To Isabella:) Now we’ll have your full co-operation.”
(Blamire leaves the room as Isabella looks down at the unconscious Allan.)