Battle Lines I Production Draft
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Battle Lines I
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
Iolaus - (ee-OH-lus)
Cheiron - (KI-ron)
Fiducius - (fi-DOO-shus)
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)
Cheiron's Academy - Workout Room
Ares' Throne Room
Great Hall - Centaur Village
Cheiron's Academy - Rampart
Amazon Camp - Perimeter
INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - WORKOUT ROOM - DAY
HERCULES, IOLAUS and other CADETS mill about, ready for their morning drills. FIDUCIUS enters, followed by JASON.
Good morning, students.
(beat; no response)I said, Good morning, students!
Good morning, Fiducius.
Until further notice, I will be acting headmaster here at the academy.
THE CADETS groan. The guys whisper as Jason join them:
He was called home to his Kindrah. A courier came at dawn. They just left.
Boy, that's kinda weird.
Yeah... What's a 'Kindrah'?
That's Centaur for 'clan'. Don't you ever listen in language class?
'Class dismissed' usually gets my attention.
They clam up as Fiducius goes by in martinet mode.
And, while I am in charge, I'll be making a few changes around here --
Fiducius backs up and glares right at Iolaus.
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:
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.
Y'know, Herc, I think we oughta go after Cheiron! What if he needs our help?
Cheiron can handle himself.
True, but, now, hear me out. Cheiron would never leave the Academy unless there was a major crisis. It's our duty to go!
(not buying it)
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:
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.
Wait, hang on. I've got you!
(shouts to cadets)Okay, everyone, exercises!? Let's move!
Hercules nods to Iolaus. They whisper in unison:
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.
There he goes!
EXT. WOODS - SOON - DAY
Hercules, winded, trots over and leans against a tree. Iolaus, gasping hard, staggers in and drops to his knees.
Aw, we'll never catch up with Cheiron.
Sure... we will.
Hercules, get real. He's too fast. He has twice as many feet.
Hey, you've got two feet, I got two feet. Add us together, and we're just like a Centaur!
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.
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:
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.
FIVE PAIRS OF GLOVED HANDS REACH IN and grab them by the arms. The guys struggle, then do a double-take and freeze.
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.
(sotto, to Hercules)Y'know, this is getting to be a habit.
MASKED AMAZON #1 steps around to grab Iolaus by the face.
Quiet, insolent cadet!
(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.
Wait! I know that voice. Lilith?
Masked Amazon #1 doffs her mask. It's LILITH the ex-cadet!
You have a good ear.
(rubs face, mutters)
And I have a sore mouth.
So I see you're still an Amazon.
And captain of this scouting party!
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.
Well things have changed, haven't they?
He bumps into the other Amazons, who pin his arms.
Tie him to an ant hill! / Give him a thrashing! / Shave off his hair!
Ladies, Ladiees, can't we all just get along?
Hold on, Lilith. Iolaus meant no offense. Right, Iolaus?
Right. Definitely. No offense!
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:
We'll take you to Princess Cyane. She'll decide what to do with you.
Iolaus and Herc share a worried look.
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.
The prisoners, my queen.
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.
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.
Especially you, Hercules.
Lilith and her squad stand set to kill. They lower their weapons, disappointed, as Cyane walks by with the guys.
Uh... same here!
Cyane shows Hercules to a DIVAN. He sits, a bit tentative.
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.
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.
A pleasure to see you again.
Maybe for you.
Simula scornfully eyes him, then exits out a side portal. Hercules looks at his palm, then wipes it on his shirt.
Well, guess we better be on our way.
But we're preparing a great banquet for tonight to celebrate our good fortune. You must stay!
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):
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.
INT. ARES' THRONE ROOM - MT. OLYMPUS
STRIFE slouches on Ares' throne, head bobbing, cocky.
Awright. Here's your new assignments.
A WIDER ANGLE REVEALS that he's talking to an empty room.
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.
Discord!? Don't -- do that!!
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.
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:
Got it. And speaking of messages, did your Amazon friends get theirs?
They're feeling right at home. My plan is working perfectly.
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!
All right, fine! It's your plan! Happy? The important thing is, we are about to stir up some serious misery.
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.
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.
Settle down, Hercules, I don't bite.
Huh? Oh, no, I was just making room. Are you, uh, comfortable?
You don't seem to be.
I -- I guess I don't know how to behave with you. I mean, the last time --
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.
We've finally found a place to call our own. We can hunt, we can build homes. Finally be at peace.
I'm glad for you, Cyane. I really am.
Yes. there's just one thing missing.
She inches closer. He tries to change the subject.
Boy, y'know, those dancers must practice a lot, 'cuz they are really --
You could stay a while, you know. Here, with us. With me.
They are really close now, face to face.
I thought Amazons only gave men orders -- not choices.
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.
Hey! ...Aww, yuck.
The MUSIC grinds to a halt. The Dancers stop as Simula staggers into view, carrying a dazed AMAZON SENTRY #1.
Help! Help us!
Hercules, Cyane, Iolaus, and the three Amazons crowd around. Sentry #1 GROANS, holding her head, Cyane calls off:
Bring a poultice for her wounds!
The Amazons react as Simula rambles, breathless:
Thank the Fates I was nearby. I managed to save Melina -- but for the other two, I was too late!
What do you mean? Where are the other sentries?
Gone! The beasts attacked under cover of darkness and dragged them away! Those vicious, cowardly --
Who did this thing?!
As Hercules and Iolaus react incredulously:
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.
There, you see? There!
Are you sure it was Centaurs?
Of course I'm sure!
It's true. They burst from the darkness.
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!
They will pay for this outrage!
Filthy beasts! Justice! Vengeance! (etc.)
Please, everyone, calm down!
Whoa, hold your horses!
(off their glares)Poor choice of words.
This makes no sense. Centaurs don't do sneak attacks. It's not their style.
And how are you such an expert?
Because his teacher Cheiron is a Centaur!
The Amazons murmur threateningly.
Um, Lilith? Don't help, okay?
So that makes you -- Centaur spies! Seize them and execute them!
Some Amazons grab the guys. Cyane steps forward, irate.
You will do no such thing! I don't remember putting you in charge, Simula.
Your Highness, our very existence is at stake! We dare not show any mercy!
I'll make that decision! Let them go.
The Amazons brusquely release the guys. Iolaus HARUMPHS as Hercules pleads their case.
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!
We remember. Where's your master now?
He was called home by his Kindrah. We were chasing him -- when we bumped into Lilith and her happy hunting party.
Pity they didn't finish you off then.
Hercules crosses to Cyane, who is mightily conflicted.
I'm no spy, Cyane. You do believe me?
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.
But you don't even know if --
Tell him that the attacks must cease and restitution paid -- or there will be war!
She fixes him with a challenging stare. Hercules simmers.
I see you're back to giving orders.
That stings. Cyane struggles but hangs tough.
Lilith will join you on your mission to the Centaur enclave.
Whaddya mean, 'Lilith?' What about me?
We will keep him here with us to ensure that you and Lilith return safely.
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.
Or, we could just sit here quietly.
EXT. MEADOW - DAWN OF NEXT DAY
Hercules and Lilith plow across an overgrown PASTURE. Lilith WHACKS the tall grass for emphasis as she rages.
Aw, Lilith. Give it a rest.
No! Why should I? You men, you're all alike. Always defending your corrupt, male-dominated culture!
(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.
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.
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.
Then you admit it!
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:
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.
EXT. WOODS - DAWN - CONTINUOUS
Lilith charges ahead with Hercules bringing up the rear.
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.
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:
What is this place?
The Qu'ho -- the Centaur Council.
Are they putting us on trial?
CAVIL, one of the Centaur elders, clops into the light.
That would've been my choice.
Who are you?
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?
Yes! I mean, no! We're just friends.
Be careful how you choose your friends.
Cheiron steps out of the shadows. He looks weary, subdued.
What are you doing away from the academy?
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.
Complicated? Is that what you call a sneak attack by a herd of Centaurs?
I know of no such attack!
Cavil stirs up the Centaurs, whose ANGRY MURMURS BUILD.
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!
Last evening as the sun set, two of our clan were taken off by these brazen harridans. I saw it with my own eyes!
Then you are either deluded, or a liar!
The centaurs huff and stomp, irate.
Two-footed savage! Deceiver! She must be punished!
(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.
But you see, that's the dilemma. Their new 'homeland' -- is on our land.
This is why I was summoned by my Kindrah. To command our forces, and drive the Amazons away.
Then you admit you attacked us!
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!
I can't believe I'm hearing you say this. Would you really go to war -- over a plot of land?
This is no longer about land.
I don't understand...
The two casualties -- were my brother and his son.
Hercules and Lilith react. Cavil leans in, taunting.
Perhaps next time, your friends will choose their victims more carefully.
Lilith lunges for Cavil. Hercules tries to restrain her.
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.
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.
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.
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,
EXT. MEADOW - LATE DAY
Hercules strides along, grim. Lilith can hardly keep up.
Hercules! Would you slow down?!
Your problem is, you won't admit that you might be wrong about the Centaurs.
Hercules reels on her, simmering. She backpedals.
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.
Listen to what? They attacked us!
Not according to Cheiron. He says it was the other way around.
But that's not true!
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.
What if you don't?
(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!
Aw, poor Hercules. I hope he doesn't stwain his widdle brain with all that thinking.
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:
IN BLACK, SUPER TITLE: 'TO BE CONTINUED...'