Amazon Grace Shooting Draft
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Written by: Jim Fisher and Jim Staahl
Directed by: Charlie Haskell
Production Draft - April 07, 1998
Pages 1-2A, 10, 12, 13-13A, 14, 17-17A, 18-18A, 19, 20, 20A, 22, 22A - April 27, 1998
Full Script - May 02, 1998
Pacific Island Pictures, LTD, All Rights Reserved © 1998
EXT. ACADEMY - DAY
CHEIRON strides across the empty grounds. Suddenly, his ears perk up. Was that a NOISE coming from the gymnasium? Cheiron crosses to the gym and shoulders the door open.
INT. GYMNASIUM - CONTINUOUS
Cheiron enters cautiously. WHOOSH. With a lightning quick reflex, he grabs a javelin out of the air, inches from his face.
Careful. You could put an eye out.
LILITH, a young female cadet, rushes to Cheiron.
Cheiron, sir, I'm sorry. I was using the day off to get in some extra practice.
The outsider works twice as hard just to be accepted. I know.
He hands her the javelin.
Will there ever be a time when I don't feel... different?
Is there ever a time when you are not yourself?
Lilith readies to throw the javelin again. Cheiron stops her.
Remember, Lilith, balance in all things.
You're saying I should have gone to town with the guys.
A good warrior trains for combat; a great warrior trains for life.
You might mention that to the guys.
EXT. PATH - SPOOKY FOREST - DAY
Misty. Eerie. Weird noises. Shafts of light cast ghostly shapes as JASON, IOLAUS, and HERCULES walk.
Then it came again -- the eerie scratching sound. So the knave and the maiden sped the chariot away. And when they get home --
(big, dramatic finish)-- they find the monster's hook stuck in the side of the chariot!
Iolaus and Hercules exchange looks; they're unimpressed.
When I heard that, it was a farm boy and a peasant girl in an ox cart.
I got a scary story! Took place in a forest, just like this. In fact, it could have been on this very road. There were two, no, three young warriors returning from Troy. There was a noise.
A NOISE in the distance. Heads turn to listen.
What? Minotaur? Cyclops?
Your stomach growling?
Iolaus gives Jason a playful shove.
No. It was...
(dramatically)Harpies. Half-woman/half-bird beasts that swoop down and tear the flesh from your bones.
A STRANGE BIRD-LIKE FACE watches from a tree above.
Feathers as strong as armor!
Impossible to kill.
And I swear it's true. Pounced on them right down that path!
Iolaus leaps a barrier and heads down a dark diverging path.
Can't you read? 'No Trespassing.'
Herc points to an animal SKULL pierced by a diagonal ARROW, encircled in a WREATH OF TWIGS and seated atop a PIKE.
So? It's a shortcut. What? Son of a god and future king scared?
I don't break laws just because it's convenient.
We'll meet you back at the academy.
(calls mockingly to them)
EXT.PATH - SPOOKY FOREST - DAY
The temperature drops, Iolaus pulls up his collar. He walks into a huge spider web. Ew. A SCREECH. Iolaus freezes. Out of the trees drop - WAILING, armored, bird-faced CREATURES!
EXT PATH - SPOOKY FOREST - DAY - A MOMENT LATER
Iolaus stands encircled by harpies. SHRIEKING, they rush him. Hercules and Jason charge into the fray. Harpies descend upon Jason and Iolaus as two harpies dive at Hercules. He dodges one and seizes the other, pinning her to the ground.
Herc bends close and pulls off a mask to reveal:
Herc is enthralled at the sight of CYANE. A beat.
You can let me up now.
INT. ACADEMY - GYMNASIUM - DAY
THE CADETS are paired off for practice. A wave of distraction passes over them. A CADET'S attention is diverted and he is knocked off the BALANCE BEAM by his PARTNER'S padded STAFF; a SECOND CADET is smacked by the return swing of the HEAVY BAG; A THIRD CADET gets whacked by the swiveling SHIELD of the PRACTICE DUMMY. Soon all eyes are riveted on the front door: Hercules, Jason and Iolaus stand with Cyane and the Amazons.
Now that we have everyone's complete attention, I'd like you to meet some friends of ours.
Fellow cadets, this is Cyane. She's the leader of the Amazons, Telaquir tribe.
"Amazons!" The word sweeps through the ranks as the cadets offer a tempered welcome. Iolaus sidles up to some CADETS.
(under his breath)
And you guys said we couldn't meet girls.
Cyane eyes the cadets with disdain.
Who's in charge here?
SIMULA, Cyane's trusted ORACLE, steps forward.
There she is.
Too late. The cadets dutifully part ranks as Cyane leads the Amazons to Lilith and offers a salute of respect.
We are honored to meet someone who has undertaken the difficult task of turning these boys into warriors.
Hercules catches up to Cyane.
I'm not master of this academy. I'm Lilith, a cadet.
Why do I not hear the sounds of practice?
That's our leader.
Cheiron clops in. Everyone parts to make a path for him.
He's sent a Centaur to announce his arrival.
(full of loathing)Personally, I find them lowly beasts, but they make good servants.
Cyane nods in agreement.
(clears throat, whispers)
Cheiron is our leader.
The Amazons tense, fingering their weapons. Cheiron is a pillar of civility.
At your service.
I offered Cyane our hospitality before they continue their search for a homeland.
You are welcome here. The ancient feud between Centaur and Amazon is best left in the past.
We accept your offer, Centaur. Our fight is with accursed Zeus, not with you.
I heard Zeus can be a pretty decent guy --
(off Cyane's glare)Uh, when you get to know him.
C'mon, I'll show you where you can put your gear.
Want me to get that for you?
Iolaus reaches for a bag. An AMAZON slaps his hand away, hefts the bag and follows Lilith and the others.
See that? A love tap. She likes me.
I don't know. I gotta go with Herc's technique. Keeping a sense of mystery.
(off Jason's skyward point)You haven't told her Zeus is your father, have you?
And that would be?
When the time is right.
Iolaus and Jason roll their eyes: 'That's good, that'll work.'
EXT. ACADEMY - GROUNDS - LATER
Hercules leads the Amazons on a guided tour of the Academy.
Are they kicking a pig's bladder?
Iolaus, Jason, Lilith, and several CADETS form two teams engaged in an early version of soccer using a water-filled PIG's BLADDER.
Filled with water. It's one of Cheiron's foot drills.
Iolaus and Jason, shirtless, sweaty and panting, approach.
Care to give it a try? A little co-ed competition?
Ah, guys, I'm not so sure it's a good idea.
C'mon. Girls against the guys.
(nodding towards Lilith)
Is she one of the guys?
Lilith? She's, uh --
A cadet. Let's play.
EXT. ACADEMY - GROUNDS - A MOMENT LATER
Hercules displays dazzling footwork as he dribbles past several Amazons. CRUNCH. Cyane wipes him out with a vigorous body check. He looks up, a bit woozy. Staring down at him is Cyane.
Is this how it is played?
She dribbles off with the pig's bladder.
You're not playing by the rules.
(over her shoulder)
CRUNCH. It's Cyane's turn to be wiped out. Shocked, she looks up from the ground at Lilith! She dribbles off.
Excellent move. Worthy of an Amazon.
Intense action: The Amazons, playing hard, knock the cadets reeling as they work the pig's bladder towards Iolaus defending the "goal" between the two spears. Cyane breaks free. She delivers a mighty kick that sends the ball sailing toward Iolaus. SPLOOSH. The bladder knocks him off his feet as it explodes into a shower of water. Herc rushes over to Iolaus and Cyane. As the rest of the cadets pick themselves up off the ground, Herc picks REMNANTS of the bladder off the prone, soaked Iolaus.
(rubbing his chest)
Let's call it a scoreless tie.
INT. ACADEMY - GYMNASIUM - DAY
CLOSE ON - A javelin. As Lilith's hand reaches in to pick it up, another hand (Jason's) grabs it instead.
Here. Let me help you with that.
Lilith takes the javelin from Jason, eyeing him, annoyed, but in control.
You going to throw it for me, too?
(not getting it)
Uh, no. Of course not.
Lilith raises the javelin and gives it a heave. The javelin nails the target with authority (not perfect, but a very nice throw). Jason is impressed. Lilith smiles.
I'll let you know next time I feel a wave of helplessness coming on.
(smiles, charming in defeat)
I look forward to it.
Jason exits. Lilith looks after him, shaking her head and sighing with frustration. Men... A beat, then Cyane enters.
Have you seen Hercules?
No. Care to join me in our javelin drill?
Lilith picks up a javelin and sends it flying through a series of hanging rings toward the bull's-eye across the room. Cyane chooses a javelin, tests its weight, then throws. It splits Lilith's.
Why do you train with boys?
I wanted to be a warrior. There was no academy for women. So came here to the best. It's just been a little hard fitting in.
Lilith swings several of the rings, then makes the tough shot.
An Amazon warrior takes pride in who she is, not how she fits in with others.
Cyane swings all the hoops... and hits the mark, very close to Hercules, who has just entered.
Hope I'm not interrupting.
Hercules, I've been looking for you. I have something to tell you.
Good. I've been looking for you.
Last night, Ares gave me a sign in my dreams. A land we can settle as our own. A days ride to the Northeast. So tonight there will be a big celebration.
Iolaus and Jason enter.
Do I hear party? We're there.
And for one cadet volunteer, it will be a very special evening.
That would be me.
EXT. ACADEMY - GROUNDS - NIGHT
A BONFIRE rages. DRUMS pound out an INFECTIOUS RHYTHM. Herc and Jason approach Iolaus. He is painted in bright colors.
Guess you haven't found the right time to tell her, yet.
Not with you two butting in.
Jason and Herc finally notice Iolaus.
Hey, check it out. They painted me to represent the male in the Amazon culture. Colorful...
and practically useless.
They couldn't have picked a better representative.
On one side of Iolaus and the bonfire, the Amazons begin their celebratory dance (BS&P: NOT AS SEXUAL AS ON "XENA"). On the other side, a line of awkward and shy cadets watch.
Cyane breaks from the ranks of the dancing Amazons. Hot and sweaty, she crosses no man's land to Hercules.
Come. Dance with me.
I'm not really a dancer... I'm more of a fighter.
You don't want to fight me. You'll lose.
She laughs, pulls the reluctant Hercules into the dance. One-by-one the other cadets join in. Iolaus approaches an AMAZON.
Hi. I'm Iolaus. What's your sign?
She walks off as Jason steps up.
He shoots, he misses.
You should talk. I don't see you with anybody.
(smiles, in jest)
That's because they're Amazons. If they were any other women, they'd be wild about me.
Iolaus looks over at Hercules.
Herc's doing okay.
Hercules and Cyane walk away from the dance. Hand in hand --
EXT. ACADEMY - GROUNDS NEAR GYM - NIGHT
-- in the b.g. the dancing builds to a fever pitch.
There's something I've been wanting to say to you. Before you leave.
Go ahead. You don't have to be shy with me.
Okay... Zeus is my father.
(punching him, playfully)
Very funny. You know how I hate Zeus.
I tried to tell you.
Cyane yanks her hand away.
You're not kidding.
(stunned)What part of your father's plot is this?!
But I'm not like him!
I don't believe you!
Hercules watches helplessly as Cyane stomps off towards the nearby door to the gym. Jason and Iolaus join him (from another direction).
Looks like the honeymoon's over.
You had to tell her, Herc. She'd have found out.
Suddenly, Cyane cries out an ANGRY STARTLED CRY, then:
How dare you!
Hercules reacts, worried, and starts toward the gym. A beat, then Iolaus and Jason follow.
INT. GYMNASIUM - CONTINUOUS
Cyane trapped under a CARGO NET surrounded by IMPERIAL GUARDS. Hercules bursts in.
Hey, what's going on?
THESEUS steps out of the shadows.
I'm Theseus, the King of Athens. That woman belongs to me.
INT. ACADEMY - GYMNASIUM - A MOMENT LATER
The Amazons and Cadets, responding to Cyane's scream, rush inside to find Cyane trapped under a net and Herc held at bay. A skirmish breaks out between the Amazons and the Guards. The archers draw their bows. The troops brandish their weapons.
Hold it right there!
Iolaus and Jason step to the front.
Jason, my old friend!
Jason and Theseus embrace enthusiastically. Everyone's stunned. Skirmishes stop. Iolaus frowns, to Hercules:
Did I miss something?
Jason pulls Theseus over to Hercules.
Theseus, this is Hercules, the best fighter in the academy.
Iolaus butts in, extending his hand to Theseus.
I'm Iolaus, Hercules' old friend.
So, Jason, how the heck are you?
I'd be better if you didn't have that woman stuck in a net.
Don't be concerned. It's a minor matter. They're runaway slaves.
Cyane throws off the net.
We belong to no one!
They were tricked. Captured by Zared and his pack of slavers.
The Amazons ready their weapons. Theseus' Guards raise their weapons. Cyane glares at Herc.
I have Zeus to thank for this!
Cheiron makes his way to Theseus, Jason and Hercules.
You are forgetting, Theseus, that as guests, the Amazons are under the protection of the Academy.
Ah, you must be Cheiron. Your reputation for bravery and wisdom is well known. Don't get involved in this. If you do, I would be forced to destroy your Academy.
You and what army?
My army. They are only a day's march behind.
They too are welcome... as guests.
Wait. This is all my fault. I invited Cyane here.
Good. Then you can un-invite them and the matter is settled.
Herc, you can't let them take the Amazons. Nobody should be someone else's property.
Theseus has a contract. In the eyes of the law, he is right.
But the law is wrong.
Allow us twenty-four hours to offer a reply.
Theseus's men draw their weapons. The Amazons draw theirs. Theseus looks between the two groups, then turns to Cheiron.
Fine. Twenty-four hours.
(hardens)But it will do you no good.
INT. KORA'S INN - NIGHT
Packed and rowdy. Jason, half-loaded down with scrolls, approaches Herc seated at a table.
We brought the scrolls you asked for.
Iolaus enters, comically overloaded with scrolls, and struggles, dropping one or two, to make his way to the table.
Is that all there was about Combat by Champion?
Iolaus dumps his load, more or less on Herc's table.
Isn't that enough? There's gotta be something in there to use against
(nasty)Jason's 'old buddy.'
It may be wrong, Iolaus, but the law's on his side! You can't just ignore the law.
Just watch me!
Knock it off! I'll need both of you if this is gonna have any chance to work.
INT. ACADEMY - GYMNASIUM - MORNING
Everyone is assembled. Herc stands in the middle.
I have a solution.
You're right, when you say I should obey the law.
(to Cyane)And you're right when you say slavery is wrong. Therefore, a fair solution is the tradition of champions.
Sounds fair to me.
(referring to Hercules)Why should I trust him to be fair?
If a king can trust a stranger's word, a queen should do no less.
The combat between the champions will be a test of skill in the ropes. The first to knock the other to the ground is the winner. If it is Theseus' champion, the Amazons will become his servants. If it's Cyane's champion, the Amazons go free.
I don't need a champion! The Queen of the Telaquir Amazons fights her own battles.
Jason nudges Theseus.
Yes, I'd like a champion. I choose... you, Hercules.
Me?! As your champion?
You wanted the Rules of Champions. By the way, you know if you lose, you will serve me in place of the Amazons. That's how it works.
(worried, aside to Jason)
Can he do that?
(aside to Lilith)
Don't worry! Herc knows what he's doing... I hope.
If we're all agreed, then I'm ready to start.
I warned you. You don't want to fight me. You'll lose.
Cyane and Hercules climb up the ropes, carrying padded staffs. Then...
A real acrobatic display. They leap from rope to rope. Bump each other. Kicks. Shaking ropes. Slash and dodge. Thrust and parry. Lilith watches, amazed at the action.
Cyane is an incredible warrior.
Then, high on the ropes, Herc gets a momentary advantage, raises his staff to knock Cyane flying, but pauses. With a WAR CRY, Cyane lunges, legs first, and gets Herc in a scissors lock, legs around his chest.
If you have no heart for battle, you should not have agreed to be champion!
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Aaa!
Cyane lets go of her rope, but keeps the leg lock on Herc. She tumbles down, and the sudden jerk of her weight yanks Herc from his rope.
Cyane flips and deftly grabs a rope.
Herc tumbles toward the ground and grabs another rope at the last second, swinging an inch from the floor, then back up on his rope.
Jason and Lilith continue to watch. Jason smiles at Herc's move.
Herc has a few moves left.
Frustrated, Cyane attacks with renewed fury.
Cyane has Herc almost beaten, when, in a flashy, impossible move, Herc turns the tables and sends Cyane to the floor. Theseus' Guards CHEER.
Jason pumps his fist in triumph as Lilith smiles.
The Amazons gather up their fallen leader.
Jason, you were right as always. He is a worthy champion. Well done, Hercules. Pack your things, ladies.
The Amazons brandish their weapons. Theseus' Guards unsheathe theirs. Hercules rushes between the two groups.
Just a minute, Theseus. You're forgetting something.
And that would be?
The Rules of Champions. I won. I get a reward.
Reward!? What are you talking about?
It's in the scroll, old buddy. Sorry about that.
Rules are rules.
What do you want? Land? Money? A new wing on the academy?
Make slavery illegal in your city.
You can't ask for that! The Amazons will go free!
Read the law. I can ask for anything I want.
Can he do that?
Jason moves to Theseus and claps him on the back.
It's like that one time your chariot beat mine. You told me great kings learn from their losses.
Today was an expensive lesson.
Instead of paying passage to that pirate, Zared; pay wages to good people willing to work.
Hmmm, wages? That has possibilities. Then I could tax them.
(off Hercules dirty look)
Not too much, of course... I'm liking this idea.
(clasping Herc's arm)Agreed.
Iolaus pulls Jason aside.
(weighing with his hands)
Cyane loses... but the Amazons get to go free.
Rules of Champions. Herc won, Theseus has to grant him a reward.
Oh, I knew that. But what if Cyane would have won?
I would have had to declare war on Athens.
EXT. ACADEMY - GROUNDS - DAY
Theseus, at the front of his Troops, talks to Jason.
Jason, it's been too long since your last visit.
Hermes' speed, Theseus.
Theseus takes his Imperial Guard and departs. Hercules walks over to Cyane as her Amazons gather up their belongings.
I suppose you're eager to settle your new lands?
It's been a long, hard journey.
Lilith sashes out after the Amazons with her stuff.
I'd like to join that journey, if you'll have me.
Of course you are welcome.
Iolaus frowns to Jason:
She just got here!
Women. Go figure.
Cheiron clomps up to Lilith.
Cheiron, I'm only sorry that my training with you will end.
Every beginning comes at another beginning's end. May you find what you seek with the Amazons.
Lilith hugs Cheiron, then joins the Amazons.
I never thought I would say this to a man, but you taught me a lesson, Hercules. Don't judge the son by the father.
Cheiron, Iolaus and Jason join Hercules.
I hope our paths will cross again.
I do too.
Cyane turns and leads the Amazons from the Academy. Herc stays with Cheiron, Jason, and Iolaus.
I learned something from all this.
Body paint's not all it's cracked up to be.
Lifts his shirt to reveal his body still painted. Cheiron shakes his head in resignation.
As Jason and Hercules double over in laughter, Iolaus frowns and rubs a little at the paint as, we...