Battle Lines I Production Draft

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Battle Lines I

Episode #7
Production #V0807

Written by: Len Uhley

Directed by: Charlie Haskell

Production Draft - April 07, 1998
Pages 1-2, 7-8, 16-18 - April 08, 1998
Pages 2, 4-5, 20 - April 24, 1998
Pages 3, 12, 18, 19 - May 02, 1998

Pacific Island Pictures, LTD, All Rights Reserved © 1998

Cast List

Hercules
Jason
Iolaus - (ee-OH-lus)
Cheiron - (KI-ron)
Lilith
Fiducius - (fi-DOO-shus)
Strife
Discord
Cyane - (si-AN)
Simula (an Amazon Seer)
Cavil (a Centaur Elder; Strife in disguise)
Amazon Sentry #1 (Melina)

CENTAUR PRONUNCIATION GUIDE:
Kindrah - (kin-DRAW)
Qu-ho - (KWOH, ending with a sharp, snort-like breath)
Solon - (sow-LAWN)

Set List

Interiors:
Cheiron's Academy - Workout Room
Cyane's Tent
Ares' Throne Room
Great Hall - Centaur Village

Exteriors:
Cheiron's Academy - Rampart
Woods
Amazon Camp
Amazon Camp - Perimeter
Meadow

Teaser

FADE IN:

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - WORKOUT ROOM - DAY

HERCULES, IOLAUS and other CADETS mill about, ready for their morning drills. FIDUCIUS enters, followed by JASON.

FIDUCIUS
Good morning, students.
(beat; no response)
I said, Good morning, students!
CADETS
(sing-song)
Good morning, Fiducius.
FIDUCIUS
(ahem)
Until further notice, I will be acting headmaster here at the academy.

THE CADETS groan. The guys whisper as Jason join them:

HERCULES
Where's Cheiron?
JASON
He was called home to his Kindrah. A courier came at dawn. They just left.
HERCULES
Boy, that's kinda weird.
IOLAUS
Yeah... What's a 'Kindrah'?
JASON
That's Centaur for 'clan'. Don't you ever listen in language class?
IOLAUS
'Class dismissed' usually gets my attention.

They clam up as Fiducius goes by in martinet mode.

FIDUCIUS
And, while I am in charge, I'll be making a few changes around here --

Fiducius backs up and glares right at Iolaus.

FIDUCIUS
Particularly in the area of discipline! Furthermore, I will be asking Cadet Jason to supervise your drill instruction.

Fiducius moves on. Jason smirks at Iolaus, who mutters:

IOLAUS
Oh, yeah. I am definitely doomed.

FIDUCIUS stops at a RACK OF QUARTER-STAFFS. Trying to look macho, he yanks one out. The rest CLATTER to the floor. JASON hurries off. Iolaus whispers, feigning concern.

IOLAUS
Y'know, Herc, I think we oughta go after Cheiron! What if he needs our help?
HERCULES
Cheiron can handle himself.
IOLAUS
True, but, now, hear me out. Cheiron would never leave the Academy unless there was a major crisis. It's our duty to go!
HERCULES
(not buying it)
Uh-huh.
IOLAUS
Also, it's Friday! The school week is over. We won't miss a thing.

Hercules gives him a 'you're pitiful' look. Iolaus confides, eyes darting:

IOLAUS
Okay. Bottom line. Do you really want to spend every waking minute with Fiddleface and the Royal Pain telling you what to do?

Jason tries to help Fiducius stand, but his feet keep going out from under him as he trips over the strewn staffs.

JASON
Wait, hang on. I've got you!
(shouts to cadets)
Okay, everyone, exercises!? Let's move!

Hercules nods to Iolaus. They whisper in unison:

HERCULES/IOLAUS
This is us, leaving.

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - RAMPART - CONTINUOUS - DAY

The guys step out. Over their shoulder, IN B.G., CHEIRON and a CENTAUR MESSENGER gallop away, headed north.

IOLAUS
There he goes!

WIPE TO:

EXT. WOODS - SOON - DAY

Hercules, winded, trots over and leans against a tree. Iolaus, gasping hard, staggers in and drops to his knees.

IOLAUS
Aw, we'll never catch up with Cheiron.
HERCULES
(panting)
Sure... we will.
IOLAUS
Hercules, get real. He's too fast. He has twice as many feet.
HERCULES
Hey, you've got two feet, I got two feet. Add us together, and we're just like a Centaur!
IOLAUS
Yeah. And I know which end you are.

Iolaus playfully tackles Hercules, both laughing -- until a VOLLEY OF ARROWS NAILS the tree where they'd been!

THE GUYS react and leap up, back to back in fighting poses. Then -- FURTIVE ATTACKERS SWISH out of the trees, spinning Hercules and Iolaus with THUDDING kicks as they swing by, only to disappear among the leaves. Suddenly -- silence.

HERCULES
What next?

On cue, a BASEBALL-SIZED WOODEN BALL JAMMED WITH RAZOR-SHARP SHARDS whips past them...

IN A POV SHOT (e.g., Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves), another shard ball whips right at Iolaus! On his fearful scream:

FADE OUT.

Act One

FADE IN:

EXT. WOODS - RESUME - DAY

THE SHARD BALL WHIZZES at Iolaus... holding the log hunk as a shield. The shard ball THUDS harmlessly into the bark. Iolaus looks over Hercules' shoulder at the lethal orb.

IOLAUS
(gulp)
Nice catch.

FIVE PAIRS OF GLOVED HANDS REACH IN and grab them by the arms. The guys struggle, then do a double-take and freeze.

HERCULES/IOLAUS
Leggo! Hands off, you dirty...!

ZOOM OUT TO REVEAL their captors are FIVE MASKED AMAZONS. Two hold HAND-HELD SLINGS, which they are putting away.

IOLAUS
Amazons?
(sotto, to Hercules)
Y'know, this is getting to be a habit.

MASKED AMAZON #1 steps around to grab Iolaus by the face.

MASKED AMAZON #1
Quiet, insolent cadet!
IOLAUS
(through pursed lips)
The lips! Easy with the lips.

Iolaus whimpers as she releases his face. Hercules pulls free of his captors and points at Masked Amazon #1.

HERCULES
Wait! I know that voice. Lilith?

Masked Amazon #1 doffs her mask. It's LILITH the ex-cadet!

LILITH
You have a good ear.
IOLAUS
(rubs face, mutters)
And I have a sore mouth.
HERCULES
So I see you're still an Amazon.
LILITH
And captain of this scouting party!
IOLAUS
Get outta town! The last time we saw you, you were just a junior cadet.

Lilith, hiding her shaky confidence under a bellicose manner, goes nose-to-nose with Iolaus. He backpedals.

LILITH
Well things have changed, haven't they?

He bumps into the other Amazons, who pin his arms.

AMAZONS
Tie him to an ant hill! / Give him a thrashing! / Shave off his hair!
IOLAUS
Ladies, Ladiees, can't we all just get along?
HERCULES
Hold on, Lilith. Iolaus meant no offense. Right, Iolaus?
IOLAUS
Right. Definitely. No offense!
HERCULES
At the academy, they teach us that leaders don't need to be cruel to be in charge. the best ones can also be merciful. I'm sure you remember that, Lilith.

They guys wait anxiously. Lilith mulls; then, stymied:

LILITH
We'll take you to Princess Cyane. She'll decide what to do with you.

Iolaus and Herc share a worried look.

WIPE TO:

EXT. AMAZON CAMP - ESTABLISHING - LATE DAY

IN A CLEARING we see TENTS, a FIRE PIT, and more AMAZONS: practicing archery; sharpening spears; fencing; etc.

INT. CYANE'S TENT - AMAZON CAMP - LATE DAY

THE AMAZONS toss Hercules and Iolaus to the floor of the tent, an Amazon CEO's office. They look up to SEE CYANE standing, imperious, her back to them.

LILITH
The prisoners, my queen.
CYANE
(hard, officious)
Thank you, scout leader.

Hercules and Iolaus look nervously to each other, then back up to Cyane.

Cyane turns to look down at them, frowns -- and then smiles.

CYANE
Well! What a pleasure to see you both.

Hercules and Iolaus double-take and exchange shrugs. Cyane helps them to their feet. She holds Hercules' hand just a beat longer then necessary.

CYANE
Especially you, Hercules.

Lilith and her squad stand set to kill. They lower their weapons, disappointed, as Cyane walks by with the guys.

HERCULES
Uh... same here!

Cyane shows Hercules to a DIVAN. He sits, a bit tentative.

CYANE
It pleases me to have the son of almighty Zeus witness the founding of our new homeland.
(calls off)
Where is Simula?

The other Amazons part to REVEAL SIMULA. Tall, haughty, a drama-queen/fortune-teller-type. She bows slightly.

SIMULA
Yes, highness?
CYANE
Perhaps you remember meeting Simula. She is our oracle. It was she who divined the will of the gods, and led us here, to our new home.

Hercules extends his hand.

HERCULES
A pleasure to see you again.
SIMULA
Maybe for you.

Simula scornfully eyes him, then exits out a side portal. Hercules looks at his palm, then wipes it on his shirt.

HERCULES
Well, guess we better be on our way.
CYANE
But we're preparing a great banquet for tonight to celebrate our good fortune. You must stay!
HERCULES
Thanks. But we have a friend who may be in trouble, so --

IOLAUS glances out through a side flap. He sees THREE FETCHING AMAZON DANCERS rehearsing and flouncing. Iolaus grabs Hercules, whispering (out of Cyane's earshot):

IOLAUS
Herc, we're talking Amazons here! Besides, what's the rush? It's nearly sundown. We'll never find Cheiron in the dark. Let's stick around. Huh? Please?!

Hercules glances at Cyane. She smiles beguilingly.

HERCULES
(sighs)
Okay.
IOLAUS
Thank you!!

INT. ARES' THRONE ROOM - MT. OLYMPUS

STRIFE slouches on Ares' throne, head bobbing, cocky.

STRIFE
Awright. Here's your new assignments.

A WIDER ANGLE REVEALS that he's talking to an empty room.

STRIFE
Zeus? Kitchen duty -- apron's in the corner. Hera, the garden -- and cheer up for once, give it a try. Now as for you, Uncle Ares --

DISCORD MATERIALIZES beside him in a BIG FLASH OF LIGHT AND SMOKE. Strife spazzes out of the throne like Jerry Lewis.

STRIFE
Discord!? Don't -- do that!!
DISCORD
You know, Strife, you're lucky it was me, and not your 'Uncle Ares.'

Straightening his hair, Strife turns his back on Discord, sneering as he silently mouths along as she speaks.

DISCORD
My brother hates it when lesser gods use his throne. Kind of a clean freak thing. Got the message?

Regaining his composure, Strife turns and coolly replies:

STRIFE
Got it. And speaking of messages, did your Amazon friends get theirs?
DISCORD
They're feeling right at home. My plan is working perfectly.
STRIFE
Your plan? Ha! You just think you're so smart because you're a millennium older! Well, this was my plan! Mine-mine-mine-mine!
DISCORD
All right, fine! It's your plan! Happy? The important thing is, we are about to stir up some serious misery.
STRIFE
Yes! Oh, yes! The suffering! The pain! Ares will be so pleased with us!

EXT. AMAZON CAMP - THAT NIGHT

THE ROARING CAMPFIRE'S FLAMES offer a dandy analogy to the surrounding action. Sultry AMAZON DANCERS whoop and shimmy to spirited MUSIC in a choreographed frenzy: it's Busby Berkeley meets Elizabeth Berkley, and yet somehow, G-rated.

Iolaus sits surrounded by THREE AMAZONS, who ravenously gnaw on hefty flame-broiled shanks of some wild game. He tries to get chummy. They ignore him.

IOLAUS
So, what is this, roast elk? Mutton?
(eyes food askance)
Hope it's not anyone I know.

Hercules sits a few feet away on a pile of blankets, smiling as he watches the dance. Cyane sits down beside him, rather close. He slowly edges to one side.

CYANE
Settle down, Hercules, I don't bite.
HERCULES
Huh? Oh, no, I was just making room. Are you, uh, comfortable?
CYANE
You don't seem to be.
HERCULES
I -- I guess I don't know how to behave with you. I mean, the last time --
CYANE
Was last time. Let's put it behind us.
(looking at him)
From where I sit the future looks good.

Hercules nods, shooting for nonchalance. Cyane gazes off.

CYANE
We've finally found a place to call our own. We can hunt, we can build homes. Finally be at peace.
HERCULES
I'm glad for you, Cyane. I really am.
CYANE
Yes. there's just one thing missing.

She inches closer. He tries to change the subject.

HERCULES
Boy, y'know, those dancers must practice a lot, 'cuz they are really --
CYANE
Hercules...
HERCULES
(busted; wincing)
Yeah?
CYANE
You could stay a while, you know. Here, with us. With me.

They are really close now, face to face.

HERCULES
I thought Amazons only gave men orders -- not choices.
CYANE
You're no ordinary man.

Before they can kiss, Simula SCREAMS O.S.! They leap up.

Iolaus' THREE AMAZONS jump up, spilling a sauce bowl in Iolaus' lap. They draw their knives, ready to fight.

IOLAUS
Hey! ...Aww, yuck.

The MUSIC grinds to a halt. The Dancers stop as Simula staggers into view, carrying a dazed AMAZON SENTRY #1.

SIMULA
Help! Help us!

Hercules, Cyane, Iolaus, and the three Amazons crowd around. Sentry #1 GROANS, holding her head, Cyane calls off:

CYANE
Bring a poultice for her wounds!

The Amazons react as Simula rambles, breathless:

SIMULA
Thank the Fates I was nearby. I managed to save Melina -- but for the other two, I was too late!
LILITH
What do you mean? Where are the other sentries?
SIMULA
Gone! The beasts attacked under cover of darkness and dragged them away! Those vicious, cowardly --
CYANE
Who did this thing?!
SIMULA
Centaurs!

As Hercules and Iolaus react incredulously:

FADE OUT.

Act Two

FADE IN:

EXT. AMAZON CAMP - PERIMETER - SOON - NIGHT

A BAND OF TORCH-WEILDING AMAZONS approach. Simula points to HOOF PRINTS. Amazon Sentry #1, wobbly, holds a compress to her forehead. Hercules and Iolaus react with disbelief.

SIMULA
There, you see? There!
HERCULES
Are you sure it was Centaurs?
SIMULA
Of course I'm sure!
AMAZON SENTRY #1
It's true. They burst from the darkness.
SIMULA
You see? From the beginning of Time they have persecuted us! Stolen our food, chased us off our land! They are no match for us in battle! So instead they strike at night, like jackals!
LILITH
They will pay for this outrage!
AMAZONS
Filthy beasts! Justice! Vengeance! (etc.)
HERCULES
Please, everyone, calm down!
IOLAUS
(WHISTLES)
Whoa, hold your horses!
(off their glares)
Poor choice of words.
HERCULES
This makes no sense. Centaurs don't do sneak attacks. It's not their style.
SIMULA
And how are you such an expert?
LILITH
Because his teacher Cheiron is a Centaur!

The Amazons murmur threateningly.

IOLAUS
Um, Lilith? Don't help, okay?
SIMULA
So that makes you -- Centaur spies! Seize them and execute them!

Some Amazons grab the guys. Cyane steps forward, irate.

CYANE
You will do no such thing! I don't remember putting you in charge, Simula.
SIMULA
Your Highness, our very existence is at stake! We dare not show any mercy!
CYANE
I'll make that decision! Let them go.

The Amazons brusquely release the guys. Iolaus HARUMPHS as Hercules pleads their case.

HERCULES
Look, we're not your enemy, and neither is Cheiron. You all met him when you came with us to the academy. He treated you with respect. He helped you gain your freedom from Theseus!
CYANE
We remember. Where's your master now?
IOLAUS
He was called home by his Kindrah. We were chasing him -- when we bumped into Lilith and her happy hunting party.
SIMULA
Pity they didn't finish you off then.

Hercules crosses to Cyane, who is mightily conflicted.

HERCULES
I'm no spy, Cyane. You do believe me?
CYANE
I want to. But an attack on any one of my sisters is an attack on all of us.
(strictly business)
Go. Find Cheiron. Tell him that his Centaurs must free the captive Amazons.
HERCULES
But you don't even know if --
CYANE
Tell him that the attacks must cease and restitution paid -- or there will be war!

She fixes him with a challenging stare. Hercules simmers.

HERCULES
I see you're back to giving orders.

That stings. Cyane struggles but hangs tough.

CYANE
Lilith will join you on your mission to the Centaur enclave.
IOLAUS
Whaddya mean, 'Lilith?' What about me?
CYANE
We will keep him here with us to ensure that you and Lilith return safely.
IOLAUS
Oh. Well, I'm sure the gals and I can find some way to amuse ourselves.

Iolaus winks at his Three Amazon babes -- who promptly grab and twist his arms behind him.

IOLAUS
Or, we could just sit here quietly.

WIPE TO:

EXT. MEADOW - DAWN OF NEXT DAY

Hercules and Lilith plow across an overgrown PASTURE. Lilith WHACKS the tall grass for emphasis as she rages.

HERCULES
Aw, Lilith. Give it a rest.
LILITH
No! Why should I? You men, you're all alike. Always defending your corrupt, male-dominated culture!
HERCULES
(pauses, rolls eyes)
I gotta say, Lilith, you were a lot easier to get along with back at the academy.

Hercules marches onward. She trails.

LILITH
Sure! Back at the academy, I was all alone. So you boys could treat me any way you liked!

Hercules turns to her. In B.G. behind him is a FOREST.

HERCULES
Okay, you're right. Some of the cadets acted like jerks. Half of 'em ignored you, and the other half treated you like a porcelain doll.
LILITH
Then you admit it!
HERCULES
Yeah. So deal with it. You just give up on half the human race and you'll just prove them right: 'The girl can't take it!'

Lilith lets her defenses down, becoming painfully honest:

LILITH
(quietly intense)
I wanted to be a warrior.
(beat)
The Amazons made that real for me in a way your academy never could.

Lilith pushes past Hercules and marches off into the woods. Repentant, Hercules watches after her.

HERCULES
Lilith! Wait!

EXT. WOODS - DAWN - CONTINUOUS

Lilith charges ahead with Hercules bringing up the rear.

HERCULES
Come back! C'mon, I just meant --

ON HER NEXT STEP, a NOSE buried under the soil snags her ankle, yanks her sideways and drags her away, screaming!

Hercules pivots and reacts as he SEES:

A BOARD bristling with SPIKES pops up from a stand of shrubs. The rope that snared Lilith WHIZZES through a hole in the board, reeling her in right at the spikes!

Lilith skims feet-first through the forest like a trick water-skier, kicking up a rooster-tail of leaves and twigs.

TREES WHIP BY as Hercules bounds after Lilith.

Lilith manages to look ahead as she thumps along and SEES:

THE SPIKE BOARD, rushing AT CAMERA!

Hercules makes a diving leap -- and grabs Lilith's wrist! Only now, they're both being dragged along, right at the oncoming wall of death! Then, at the last second --

Hercules jams his hand into the hollow of a tree as he goes by. Both cry out as their arms are yanked hard. Lilith's feet lie mere inches from the spikes. Hand in hand, they dangle just off the ground, grimacing.

HERCULES
Don't - let - go!

Hearing HOOVES CLOP, CRUNCHING LEAVES; they look up to SEE:

FOUR CENTAURS glare down with bows cocked and arrows aimed!

INT. GREAT HALL - CENTAUR FILLAGE - LATER - DAY

It's big, dark. there's a smoke hole up top, though which a SHAFT OF LIGHT stabs down at Herc and Lilith, who stand in a DOCKET, wrists bound by horsehair. In the B.G. shadows are grumbling CENTAUR COUNCIL MEMBERS. Lilith whispers:

LILITH
What is this place?
HERCULES
The Qu'ho -- the Centaur Council.
LILITH
Are they putting us on trial?

CAVIL, one of the Centaur elders, clops into the light.

CAVIL
That would've been my choice.
HERCULES
Who are you?
CAVIL
I am Cavil, a Solon of this Qu'ho, and I will ask you the questions! Are you not Hercules, love slave of the Amazon Cyane?
HERCULES
Yes! I mean, no! We're just friends.
CHEIRON (O.S.)
Be careful how you choose your friends.

Cheiron steps out of the shadows. He looks weary, subdued.

HERCULES
Cheiron!
CHEIRON
(concerned)
What are you doing away from the academy?
HERCULES
Iolaus and I thought you might need help. So we followed you. Only the Amazons caught us, and well, things got kinda complicated after that.
LILITH
Complicated? Is that what you call a sneak attack by a herd of Centaurs?
CHEIRON
I know of no such attack!

Cavil stirs up the Centaurs, whose ANGRY MURMURS BUILD.

CAVIL
You see? It has ever been this between the amazons and us. Their cunning against our strength. Their lies against our truth. They accuse us of the very crimes that they commit!
LILITH/HERCULES
What?!
CAVIL
Last evening as the sun set, two of our clan were taken off by these brazen harridans. I saw it with my own eyes!
LILITH
Then you are either deluded, or a liar!

The centaurs huff and stomp, irate.

CENTAURS
Two-footed savage! Deceiver! She must be punished!
HERCULES
(shouts over clamor)
Cheiron, whatever Cavil saw last night, it wasn't Amazons. They were at their camp, celebrating their new homeland.

THE TUMULT CEASES abruptly. Hercules reacts, wondering how he's put his foot in it this time. Cavil smiles thinly.

CAVIL
But you see, that's the dilemma. Their new 'homeland' -- is on our land.
CHEIRON
This is why I was summoned by my Kindrah. To command our forces, and drive the Amazons away.
LILITH
Then you admit you attacked us!
CHEIRON
I admit no such thing! Until last night, I pleaded with my brethren to be patient, to forgive the trespassers. But now, it is too late!
HERCULES
I can't believe I'm hearing you say this. Would you really go to war -- over a plot of land?
CHEIRON
(voice quavering)
This is no longer about land.
HERCULES
I don't understand...
CHEIRON
The two casualties -- were my brother and his son.

Hercules and Lilith react. Cavil leans in, taunting.

CAVIL
Perhaps next time, your friends will choose their victims more carefully.

Lilith lunges for Cavil. Hercules tries to restrain her.

LILITH
We're the victims here, not you! Now we demand that you send our sisters back to us, or --

Cheiron smashes a fist down on the docket rail.

CHEIRON
Silence! The Amazons are the aggressors! And they must leave the grasslands at once, or we will make them leave!

Hercules stares at his mentor, stunned.

HERCULES
Back at the Academy, you teach us that our first duty is to maintain the peace. You always tell me, don't let your anger cloud your thinking. Why can't you follow your own advice?

The Centaurs gasp, appalled. Cheiron gets very quiet.

CHEIRON
Return to the Amazons. Tell them that they have until dawn. The choice is theirs. They can leave, and avert a war. Or they can stay, and start one.

He pivots and clops away into the darkness. Cavil bows condescendingly to Hercules and Lilith, then follows.

On Hercules' dumbfounded reaction,

CUT TO:

EXT. MEADOW - LATE DAY

Hercules strides along, grim. Lilith can hardly keep up.

LILITH
Hercules! Would you slow down?!
HERCULES
No.
LILITH
Your problem is, you won't admit that you might be wrong about the Centaurs.

Hercules reels on her, simmering. She backpedals.

HERCULES
No, my problem is, nobody will admit they might be wrong about anything! The Amazons, the Centaurs -- they've been fighting each other for centuries. They're both too angry to listen.
LILITH
Listen to what? They attacked us!
HERCULES
Not according to Cheiron. He says it was the other way around.
LILITH
But that's not true!
HERCULES
That's my point! Something doesn't add up! It's like what Cheiron said. Appearances can be deceiving. If I only had time to figure it all out.

He growls in frustration. Lilith sees he is sincere.

LILITH
What if you don't?
HERCULES
(quietly desperate, sad)
Then two people I care about are going to spend tomorrow trying to destroy each other.

IN A FAR SHOT, Hercules storms off. Lilith hesitates, then hurries after him. PULL BACK TO REVEAL Simula the Amazon and Cavil the Centaur seated together on a hill, watching.

THEY MORPH into their true identities, Discord and Strife!

DISCORD
(snide baby-talk)
Aw, poor Hercules. I hope he doesn't stwain his widdle brain with all that thinking.
STRIFE
(over-the-top, gleeful)
Let him strain away! It's over! Finito! Stick a fork in little Herc, 'cause he is done!
(LAUGHS; proclaims, as an M.C.)
Ladies and gentlemen, this war is on!

As their chortles ECHO:

FADE OUT.

IN BLACK, SUPER TITLE: 'TO BE CONTINUED...'

THE END