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CAVE OF ECHOES


“Cave of Echoes”  Episode 37/224

[TEASER]

I:  “Sure is pretty countryside.  So-- who is this girl who’s in
trouble?”

H:  “Don’t know.” 

I:  “Well, what about Elopius-- the guy who sent for us?”

H:  “Don’t know him, either.”

I:  “D’ya have any idea what kind of trouble she’s in?”

H:  “Nope.”

I:  “Did it ever occur to you that you might be too trusting?
What if this is just a big set-up-- or-or some sort of trap?”

H:  “Then we’ll have ta [sic]-- fight our way out of it-- like we
always do.”

I:  “You know, that’s what I like about you, Hercules.  You never
lack confidence.”

H:  “Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets you through.  Now--
do you mind?” 

I:  “I know, I know-- shut up-- and enjoy the scenery.”

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Man’s Voice:  “String him up!”

Parentheses [Par]:  “Come on-- let’s talk this over.  For a bunch
of civic leaders, you’re really not being very high-minded about
this.”

Man:  “Civic leaders?  You called us crooks.”

Par:  “I was only writing the truth.”

Man:  “The truth?  The truth is, you’re gonna hang.”

Par:  “But that’s illegal!”

Man:  “‘But,’ nothing, you troublemaking rodent.  Get ready to
take your last ride.”

I:  “Ooh-oo-oo-oo-_oo_-ooh!  Oo-wah!”

Man’s Voice:  “Who _is_ this guy?”

I:  “Enough horsing around, don’tcha think?”

H:  “Sounds to me like this man didn’t have a fair trial.  Hi--
how you doin’?”

I:  “Don’t you guys understand that hanging is an archaic and
barbaric institution?”

H:  “I’m sorry.”

Par:  “Hey!  I’m not complaining.”

I:  “All right-- gimme your best shot.”

Man:  “We liked the old odds better.”

H:  “Come on.  We’ve got places to go.”

I:  “Yeah.  Oh!”

H:  “Oh-- sorry.”

Man:  “Just one question, big fella!  You got a name?!”

I:  [Laughs]

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Par:  “Hercules?!  And Iolaus?!  I’m a big fan ’a both ’a you--
believe me!  I know all about your adventures.”

I:  “I like this guy.”

Par:  “The name’s Parentheses.  I’m a writer.”

I:  “Yeah?  You can’t be very good if they were gonna hang you
back there.”

Par:  “A-actually, I’m _too_ good!  You see, I wrote about how
they were looting the royal treasury in Macedonia?  So-- where
are we going?”

H:  “A-ha!  _We_ aren’t going anywhere.  This is where _we_--
part ways.  Oh, and-- be careful what you write, and-- how you
write it.”

Par:  “You’ve gotta take me with you.  This is a writer’s dream!
Hercules and me?!  And-- Iolaus?!”

H:  “Ah, we can’t do it.  Where we’re going it might be dangerous
and you-- could get hurt.”

Par:  “Hey-- if a certain group of scoundrels is still lurkin’
around with their rope-- I could get dead.”

H [Sighs]:  “OK-- guess you’re coming with us-- for the time
being!  We’ll-- drop him off somewhere safe.”

Par:  “Boy-- before you guys came along-- I thought my only
chance of havin’ a good day was getting buried in a worm-free
grave!”

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Par:  “Wow-- I can’t believe my luck today.”

Elopius [Elo]:  “Hercules!  Hercules!”

H:  “You must be Elopius.”

Elo:  “Oh, Hercules-- you really did come to rescue my daughter,
didn’t you?”

H:  “Oh, don’t worry.  Iolaus and I will get her out.”

Elo:  “It’s a terrible place!  It’s filled with sounds that can
destroy your mind!  Nobody’s ever come out of there alive!”

H:  “I know, I know.  I understand.  I’ve been here before.  This
is the Cave of Echoes.”

I:  “Ah.”

Par:  “Doesn’t look so bad to me.”

I:  “Kind ’a jumpy, isn’t he?”

H:  “He’s-- a writer-- what do you expect?  I wonder what’s in
there?”

Elo:  “It’s a monster.  I didn’t think you’d come for Melina-- if
you knew the whole truth.”

I:  “W-w-w-ait a minute.  This is Hercules and Ioalus.  Monsters
are us.”

H:  “Yeah [Chuckles]-- ah, have you-- seen this monster?”

Elo:  “Not exactly.  But the sound is in-- ”

H [Interrupting]:  “No, it’s OK.  It’s O- it’s OK.  Let’s do it.”

I:  “Ah, d’ya mind?”

Par:  “Ah-- what about me?!”

H:  “Ah-- we’ll-- give you all the gory details when we come back
with Melina.  Why don’tcha keep Elopius company?  Oh.”

Par:  “How can I learn anything if I’m not where the action is?!
The story’s in there with Hercules!  My big chance!  One-on-one
with the son ’a Zeus-- and I’m out here.”

Elo:  “If anybody should be pacing and talking to himself, it’s
me!  I’m the one who’s got a daughter in that cave!”

Par:  “I’ll tell her you’re waiting.”

Elo:  “Are you crazy?!  Come back here!  Hercules told ya to stay
put!”

Par’s Voice:  “Too bad!”

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[ACT I]

H’s Voice:  “Very clever.”

I’s Voice:  “What?”

H:  “Bringing enough string into a cave to fly a kite.”

I:  “Wait a second, Hercules.  This is a _great_ idea!  I mean,
this is gonna save our lives.”

H:  “Iol-- .”

I [Interrupting]:  “Remember Theseus?  I’m just gonna let the
string-- ”

H [Interrupting]:  “Iolaus!”

I:  “-- go with me any direction-- ”

H:  “I was kidding.”

I:  “Oh-- OK.”  [They laugh.]  “What was that?”

H:  “I don’t know.  It-- could be Elopius’ monster working up an
appetite.”

H and I:  “Whoooooooooo.”

Woman’s Voice:  [Echoes]

I:  “You think that’s her?”

H:  “The more noise she makes, the better chance we’ve got of
finding her.”

I:  “Yeah.  Oh, hey-- I got an idea.”

H:  “Io-- ”

I:  “Melina!”

H:  “Uh-oh.”

I:  “What?”

H:  “Come brace yourself!”

I:  “What for?”

H [Whispers]:  “Come on.”

I:  “Ah!”

I’s Voice [Echoing]:  “Melina!  Melina !  Melina!  Melina!
Melina!  Melina!”

I:  “Wow-- I’m not gonna do that again.”

Par:  “Hercules!  Iolaus?!”

H:  “Parentheses?”

I:  “Boy, that was loud!”

H:  “I thought I told you to stay outside.”

Par:  “Uh, I know.”

H:  “Then, why didn’t you?”

Par:  “And pass up an opportunity like this?”

I:  “Ah.”

Par:  “Betcha didn’t even know you were losing it.”

H:  “It’s-- all right, Iolaus.  We’ll-- find a way out of here.”

I:  “What?”

Par:  “Uh-- what is it?  What’d I do?”

H:  “It’s-- not what you did, it’s-- what you’re doing.  You’re
slowing us down and we don’t have the time to take you back.
So-- let’s-- go.  Oh, just-- don’t-- yell.”

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Par:  “Uh-- while we’re on the way-- let me recite an epic poem I
wrote about your battle with Antaeus, the rock monster?”

H:  “Huh-- what do you know about that?”

I:  “What?”

Par:  “Just listen.
There once was a monster of rock--
who was mad that he couldn’t walk or talk.”

H:  “Uh-- actually, he-- could-- walk and talk.”

Par:  “Uh, he could?”

H:  “Uh, yes-- he could.”

Par:  “So-- what’s the real story?  What happened?”

H [Sighs]:  “Well, it-- started with Hera-- who else?  She had
just stolen the eternal torch from Prometheus.  And I was
searching for it with Deianeira, and we-- came upon this clearing
in the forest.”

[[[[[[Deianeira [Dei]:  “It’s made out of bones.  Those are human
bones.”  H:  “Trophies.”  Antaeus [Ant]:  [Growls]  Dei:
“Hercules, do something.”  H:  “Me?”  Ant:  “You have a nice
skull.”]]]]]]

H’s Voice:  “I had to-- protect Deianeira, so I-- didn’t have any
choice but to fight Antaeus, the rock monster.”

[[[[[[[Fight]  Dei:  “Are you all right?”  H:  “Yeah.”]]]]]]

H’s Voice:  “And, just when it seemed Antaeus wasn’t a threat,
anymore-- ”

[[[[[[Dei:  “Are you all right?”  Ant:  “Nobody beats Antaeus the
Giant!  Dei:  “Antaeus?  Uh!  Uh!”  H:  “Why can’t I ever run
into any nice giants?  What the-- ?  Hah!  Ahhhhh!”  Dei:  “That
is Antaeus the Giant!”  H:  “I think-- we can skip the formal
introductions.”  Dei:  “He gets his strength from his mother!”
H:  “Am I supposed to be interested in his family tree?”  Dei:
“Look-- the Earth is his mother.  It’s where he gets his
strength.  It replenishes him.  Don’t let him touch the ground!”
Ant:  [Laughs, then groans]]]]]]]

H’s Voice:  “Deianeira was right.  Antaeus couldn’t revive
himself.”

Par’s Voice:  “What an incredible story.  That’s really how it
was?”

H’s Voice:  “That’s really how it was.”

Par’s Voice:  “I better take notes.”

I’s Voice:  “Oh, brother!”

Par:  “I’m just striving for accuracy.”

Par:  “So-- are all these monsters you fight in dark, gloomy
places?”

H:  “It, uh-- seems that way.”

I:  “Well, the Hydra wasn’t.”

Par:  “It must have been one of those rare, sunworshipping
Hydras.”

I:  “Rare, sunworshipping Hydra?  To tell the truth, we didn’t
get a chance to ask.  You know, _I_ had to rush _straight_ in
there.  I drew my sword as I was going-- ”

H [Interrupting]:  [Clears throat]

I:  “Oh, yeah.  Yeah, yeah-- Hercules was there as well.”

H:  “Thank you.”

[[[[[[H:  “Get back, Iolaus!  [Whispers]  “No, Iolaus!  Don’t
provoke it.”  I [Normal Voice]:  “Hercules, what are you doing?”
H:  “Look out!”  I:  “Ahhhhhhhhh!  Uh!”  H:  “Come on.  Come on,
let’s get outta here.  This thing stinks.”  I:  “Yeah.  What was
that?”  H:  “Tatonya, the day after ya marry her.”  I:  “Hey.”
?’s Voice:  “What the-- ?”  H [Yells]:  “Iolaus-- grab that
torch!”  I:  “But the gods!  They’ll be angry!”  H
[Interrupting]:  “Just get it!”  I [Yells]:  “Ahhhhh!  Ahhhhhhhh!
Ahhhh!  Ahhh!  Ahhhhhhh!”  H:  “Uh!  Iolaus!  The torch!  Quick!
Give it to me!]]]]]]

I’s Voice:  “And that was the beginning of the end-- for the
Hydra.”

I:  “Fire-- can you believe that?”

Par:  “Amazing.”

I:  “Ye-eah.”

Par:  “You know?  I should really write something about that.”

I:  “Yeah.”

Par:  “Something that captures the emotional dissonance that
pervades these creatures’ psyches.  Something that-- explores the
existential force that carries Hercules and you through these
challenges.”

I:  “What is he talking abou?”

H:  “I have no idea.”

I:  “Um-- Herc, maybe-- ”

H [Interrupting]:  “Yeah-- we better move faster.”

Par:  “Y-- you think it’s a monster, Iolaus?”

I:  “Yeah, it could be.”

Par:  “Uh, uh, back up a minute.  How big?”

I:  “Oh, I don’t know-- maybe it’s making that noise because
it’s-- bangin’ its head on the ceiling.  Or-- maybe it’s hungry.”

Par:  “Look at this place.  You see anything around here for a
monster to eat?”

H:  “Nope.”

Par:  “That’s what I mean.  I’m out of here.”

H:  “Uh-- uh-uh-uh-- you’ll be safer with us.”

Par:  “But you guys are going the wrong way!  You’re goin’
to_ward_ the monster!”

H:  “You wanted an adventure, Parentheses.  You’ve got one.”

Par:  “Bu-- bu-- ”

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[ACT II]

H:  “You’ll be all right.  Just take some deep breaths.”

Par:  “Gotcha-- deep breaths.  Can I just ask you a question?”

H:  “Ask”

Par:  “Just-- how big was the biggest monster you ever fought?”

H:  “It was big.”

Par:  “Uh-- how big is big?  Iolaus?”

I:  “Hmm?”

Par:  “How big?”

I:  “Aw, big, big-- _really_ big.  Bigger than a big-- thing.
Bigger than-- this part of the cavern.”

Par:  “You really fought a monster bigger than this cavern?”

H [Chuckes]:  “I-- I didn’t stop to measure it.”

I:  “Yeah, but believe me, Parentheses-- I don’t think there’s
been anything _ever_ bigger than that sea monster.”

Par:  “You did beat it though, didn’t you?”

H:  “Well, yeah-- eventually, after it ate me.”

Par:  “Uh-- you let it eat you?”

H:  “Uh, it-- wasn’t exactly my choice.”

H’s Voice:  “But unfortunately, I-- wasn’t the only one in
danger.  At least it didn’t chew us.  But it was-- _pretty_ ugly
sliding down that throat.  It-- didn’t get any better when we hit
the stomach.”

[[[[[[H’s Voice:  “This way!”  H:  “Stay here.]]]]]]

H’s Voice:  “If nothing else, I-- wanted to get away from the
stench.”

[[[[[[H:  “Uh!”  Y Dei:  “Ahhh!”  H:  “Hold on!  I’ll come back
for you!”  Y Dei:  [Screams]  H:  “Give me your hand!”  Y Dei:
“Uh!  Didja kill it?!  Didja kill it?!  Is it dead?!  Is it
dead?!”  H:  “It’s dead!”]]]]]]

Par’s Voice:  “That’s disgusting.”

I’s Voice:  “ ’Could’ve been worse.  They could’ve been
digested.”

Par’s Voice:  “If the monster’s as big as this cavern-- then
we’re doomed.”

H’s Voice:  “Parentheses-- you’re worrying too much about this
size thing.”

Par:  “Guys, I’ve been bitten by dogs, and believe me-- the
length of their teeth was directly proportional to the depth of
my pain.”

H:  “The only size that matters is the heart of the person who’s
fighting.”

Par [Scoffs]:  “Easy to say when you’re as big as you are.”

H:  “Well, that has nothing to do with courage.  Look at Iolaus.
I’ve never seen him back down from anything.”

I’s Voice:  “Or anyone.”

[[[[[[Woman’s Voice:  “Hercules.”  H:  “We heard you were in the
neighborhood.”  I:  “We just had to say, ‘Hello.’”  H:  “Hello.”
Thugs’ Voices:  “Get them!”  “Get ‘em!”  [Fight]  Hanging Man:
“Oh.”  I:  “I gotcha!”  Hanging Man:  “Oooh.  Oooh.”  I:
“Ahhhhh!”]]]]]]

I’s Voice:  “The greater the odds against me-- the more I like
it.”

[[[[[[Man’s Voice:  “Get the shrimp!”]]]]]]

[[[[[[H:  “Bad time!”  I:  “He was mine.  I had him cold.”  H:
“Well-- now he’s cold and wet.  Uh-- behind you?”  I:  “I
know!”]]]]]]

I’s Voice:  “Of course, when I’m fighting, I-- try to stay on top
of things.”

[[[[[[I:  “Next time!  Feed me when I ask to be fed.”]]]]]]

H’s Voice:  “Yeah, but-- sometimes, your choice of weapon was
questionable.”

I’s Voice:  “Hey-- ya have to be resourceful.”

Par’s Voice:  “Weren’t you scared?  Outnumbered like that?”

I:  “Sure I was.  You know, you learn to put it behind ya.”

H:  “The trick is to keep your wits-- and not let fear paralyze
you.”

Par:  “Keep our wits.”

H:  “Yeah.”

Par:  “Good-- good, I-I’ll try and remember that.  What if it’s
not a monster?  What if it’s a giant?”

I:  “I’ve never heard of a giant living in a cave this deep.”

Par:  “I have.  There’s supposed to be a secret undergroun river
that they drink from.  It makes them bigger-- and meaner.”

H [Chuckles]:  “Now, where did you hear something like that?  No,
not all giants are bad.  You take Typhon, for instance.  He was--
just lonely.”

[[[[[[Typhon [Ty]’s Voice:  “Who’s there?!  Wanna be the one to
set me free?  I’ve been here so long.  Oh-- you’re not going to
hurt me, are you?”  H:  “It never entered my mind.”  Ty:  “And
you won’t laugh at me or call me names, either?”  H:  “No.  Why
would I do that?”  Ty:  “Well, that’s what all the other
travellers who stopped here did.”  H:  “The sign of Hera usually
brings out the evil in people-- but I’d rather bend the old witch
out of shape.”  Ty:  “You called Hera an old witch?”  H:  “Yes, I
was-- being kind.”  Ty:  “Whoa!  Wow!  I don’t believe it!”  H:
“Uh, that’s OK-- most people don’t.”  Ty:  “This is great!  I
mean, nobody ever said I was graceful-- but it feels so good to
get around like a normal human being again!”  [Laughs]]]]]]]

I:  “Wait a minute, Hercules.  What about Gargon?”

H:  “You’re right.  Some giants aren’t-- so good.”

[[[[[[H:  “You know?  This really-- isn’t necessary.”  Gargon:
“Oh, yes it is.”  Villagers:  “Oh!”  H:  “Maybe we do have to do
this.”  Man’s Voice:  “Look out!  Here he comes!  Look out!”
Gargon:  “Now I kill you!”  Villagers:  [Cheer]]]]]]]

H’s:  “Those villagers were so happy when that giant got knocked
out.”

Par:  “What if this giant’s a bad one?”

I:  “Take it easy, Parentheses.  We don’t even know if there’s a
giant down here.”

Par:  “But if there is?”

H:  “Giants are just like everybody else.  Some are good.  Some
are bad.”

H’s Voice:  “If there is one down here-- why don’t we give him
the benefit of the doubt?”

H:  “That’s the point I’m trying to make.  You never know how
anything in life is going to turn out, so why-- worry about it?”

I:  “Yeah-- and it’s the surprises that make these adventures
more interesting.”

Par:  “Interesting?”

I:  “Yeah.  You see-- Parentheses-- you can see-- a mug as--
half-full or-- half-empty.  So, this-- cave may take us on a
journey to a new adventure, or-- ”

Par:  “Or a tomb!”

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[ACT III]

I:  “Parentheses-- still got all your moving parts?”

Par:  “I think so.  [Sighs]  I’d swear my life passed in front of
my eyes.  Hey-- where’s Hercules?”

I [Sighs]:  “I don’t know.  We should look for him.”

Par:  “This isn’t what was supposed to happen.  I don’t wanna be
the one who writes Hercules’ obituary!”

I:  “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Just look for him!”

Par:  “I’m trying!  I’m trying!”

Par’s Voice:  “Look!  Look!”

H [Muffled Voice]:  “I’m-- under here!”

I:  “Ah-hhh!  Comin’.  Ah!  Boy!  What is it with you and
rocks?!”

Par:  “You’ve had this problem before?”

I:  [Gasps]

H:  “Once or twice.”

I:  “Once or twice?!  Come on, Hercules!  It _always_ happens to
us!”

[[[[[[Nemis:  “Go!  Help Penelope!  Help Penelope!”  Sharos:
“Hercules.  I couldn’t undo it!  This one’s got two!  Oh,
Hercules-- break it!”  H:  “Run!  Get out!”  Nemis:  “Go, save
yourself!  Go!  Penelope!”]]]]]]

I’s Voice:  “And then, there was that time with Xena.”

[[[[[[H:  “Look out!  Get Down!  Get-- down!  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!”
Darphus:  [Laughs]]]]]]]  

I’s Voice:  “Now, don’t forget about Ares.”

H:  “I guess you’re right, Iolaus.”

Par:  “You’re preparing me for the worst, aren’t you?”

I:  “No-- no, no, no, no-- that was _not_ the worst.”

H:  “Don’t panic.  We’ll be fine.”

I:  “Yeah-- we’ve done this a million times.”

Par:  “Yeahhhhh, but-- ”

H:  “You comfortable?”

I:  “I’m holdin’ the torch.”

H:  “Oh.  Excuse me.”

I:  “Watch.  He’s _really_ good at this.”

Par:  “Amazing.”

H:  “Yeah.”

I:  “Well?”

H:  “I’m coming.”

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Par’s Voice:  “We could have died back there!”

H:  “Parentheses-- if you’ve lived a good life-- death doesn’t
need to be feared.”

Par:  “And how do you know?”

H:  “I’ve been to the other side.”

Par:  “You’ve been to the other side?”

H:  “Yes-- it ended up as one of the most moving experiences of
my life.”

H’s Voice:  “I was able to see my family, again.  They all looked
so peaceful-- the children-- and Deianeira.  She was even more
beautiful than I remembered.”

[[[[[[Boy:  “Your turn!  Here!  [Etc.]”  Ilea:  “Wait for me!”
Deianeira [Dei]:  “Hercules?  Hercules!”  H:  “Deianeira.”  Dei:
“I am so glad you’re back.”  H:  “Back.”  Dei:  “You’ve been gone
much too long this time.  I swear, if you were gone any longer,
you’d be-- a stranger to your own children.”  H:  “Too long.”
Dei:  “Awww, gosh-- I know you’re a busy man.  You have monsters
to slay and-- villains to battle.  We should be grateful we get
to see you at all.  You must be starving.  Come on, let me fix
you something to eat.”  H:  “Wait.  Let me say hello to the kids,
first.”  Dei:  “Oh!  What am I thinking about?  Children!  Your
father’s home!”  Clonis:  “Daddy’s home?”  H:  “Aeson.”  Ilea:
“It really is Daddy!  Daddy!”  H:  “Ilea.”  Ilea:  “Daddy, I
missed you.”  H:  “I missed you too, Ilea.  I missed you all so
much.”  Ilea:  “Are you crying, Daddy?”  H:  “No-- no, it’s the
wind-- just-- blew something in my eye.  Oh, my god-- my little
baby.”]]]]]]

Par’s Voice:  “I’m surprised you came back.”

H:  “I had to.  My work in this life wasn’t finished, yet.”

Par:  “But-- Hercules, you must get lonely.  She was your wife.”

H:  “I-- try to stay busy.”

Par:  “But, what about-- fun?  Women?”

H [Sighs]:  “Iolaus?”

I:  “Hmm?  Oh-- women.  Yeah, well-- they’re good-- I mean, once
you work out how to talk to them.”

[[[[[[I:  “Uh-- ”]]]]]]

I’s Voice:  “But I’ve learned a language that seems to work.”

[[[[[[I [Sighs]:  “I gotta go.”  [Sighs]]]]]]]

[[[[[[H:  “At least your lips are working.”  I:  “That’s not all
that’s working.”]]]]]]

Par’s Voice:  “Women just don’t like me.”

Par:  “I guess they can see I’m a coward.”

H:  “Why would women see you as a coward?”

Par:  “Uh, I don’t know.  I always seem to be afraid.”

H:  “Fear isn’t a bad thing.  It can keep ya from getting killed
by doing something foolish.”

I:  “Yeah, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a higher opinion of
yourself.”

H:  “Absolutely.  Besides, I’ve seen fearful people do truly
brave things.  Salmoneus comes to mind.”

I [Snickers]:  “There must’ve been a dinar in it for him.”

H:  “Nope-- just my survival.  And his help couldn’t have come at
a better time.  You see, I was-- blind and-- well, he was my
eyes.”

H’s Voice:  “And despite the danger he was in-- Salmoneus really
helped me out.”

[[[[[[Marcus:  “We seem to be just out of their range.”  H:  “Not
mine.  Salmoneus!  I’ll need your help.”  Salmoneus [Sal]:  “What
if they get lucky?”  H:  “Stay behind me.  How far?”  Sal:  “Two
hundred and twenty paces.”  Marc:  “What’re you doing?!”  Sal:
“He can’t see!  Now, where were we?”  H:  “Is my direction
right?”  Sal:  “Yeah.”  H:  “How did we do?”  Sal:  “Ah-- ten
paces to the left-- and they’ve moved ten paces to the right.
Ah-ah-ah-ah!  Hercules!  We better get out of here!  They’re
about to dislodge a boulder the size of Mt. Olympus!”  H:  “Tell
me how close my last arrow was, then run for the woods.”  Sal:
“It’s heading straight for us!”  H:  “How close?!”  Sal:  “Three
paces left!”  Tiron:  “Marcus, get back!”]]]]]]

H’s Voice:  “A lot of it is just-- attitude-- you know, how you
think of yourself.”

I:  “Now-- I mean, if you think of yourself as a coward, you’re
probably gonna act like one.  Why don’t you try thinkin’ about--
how much good you’re gonna do for a change?”

Par:  “Oh, I don’t know.  Just the thought of going blind gives
me the chills.  I don’t even like being in a dark room.”

H:  “Iolaus.”

I:  “Hmm?  It’s gotta be hers.”

H:  “At least, we’re going in the right direction.”

I:  “Yeah.”

Par:  “Melina!”

H [Sighs]:  “Here we go, again.”

Par:  “What?”

I:  “Brace yourself.”

Par’s Voice [Echoes]:  “Melina!  Melina!  Melina!  Melina!”

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[ACT IV]

H:  “Is everybody OK?  Iolaus.  Parentheses?  You all right,
Iolaus?”

I:  “I’m not the one that’s whimpering!”

Par:  “Well, I wouldn’t be if you got that torch lit!”

I:  “I’m trying, all right?”

Par:  “Hurry! I need light!  If I can grab a-- I can’t take this,
anymore!”

H:  “Parentheses-- you put yourself in this situation, now, live
with it!  You can sit there and panic and make things worse-- or
you can-- swallow your fears and work with us.  Now, what’ll it
be?!”

Par:  “S-sorry.  I-I’ll be OK.”

H:  “All right, that’s better.  Now, let’s light this torch.”

I:  “Yeah.  You wanna do that again?  Here.”

Melina [Mel]’s Voice:  “Hello?!”

I:  “We’re gettin’ close.”

Par:  “Let’s keep moving.”

H:  “He’s gonna be all right.”

I:  “I think he’s more afraid of you than he is of the dark.”

Par:  “Hercules?  Iolaus?  We’re wasting time.”

I [Whispers]:  “Oh, wasting time.”

H:  “Well, well, well,”

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Mel’s Voice:  [Screams]

H:  ““If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that was Echidna.”

Par:  “The mother of all monsters?  You fought her, too?”

H:  “Oh, yeah.”

Par:  “Where?”

H:  “Where else?  Another cave?”

H’s Voice:  “Echidna kidnapped my mother.  She wanted to use her
as bait to-- kill me.  I’d been wounded by Hera’s archers.”

[[[[[[H:  “Put her down!”  Echidna [E]:  “Hercules!  Why isn’t he
dead?!”  H:  “Bad archers!”  Alcmene [Alc]:  “Good genes!”  H:
“Nobody-- takes advantage of my mother.”  Alc:  “Hercules!  Be
careful!”  H:  “I said!  Put her down!  E:  “I think I’ll kill
you both at once!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Ahhhhhh!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”  H:  “Mother!  Run!”  Alc:  “I can’t leave you!”
H:  “You’ve got to!  Now run!  Over here, Echidna!  It’s me you
want!”  E:  “Have it your way!”  H:  “Iolaus!  Get her out of
here!  Go on!  I’ll take care of Echidna!”  Demetrius [Dem]:
“You’ll have to get past me first, you little runt.”  H:
“Iolaus!  The arrows!”  I:  “Where are they?!”  Dem [Laughs]:
“Now it’s you and me, Hercules.”  E:  [Screams]  I:  “Herc-- ”
E:  [Screams]]]]]]]

Par’s Voice:  “You didn’t kill her?  Even when she tried to kill
you and your own mother?”

H:  “She didn’t deserve to be killed.  What she needed was the
love that only one man in the world could give her.”

[[[[[[Ty’s Voice:  “Honey, I’m ho-ome!”  I:  “Herc-- did we make
it in time?”  E:  “Typhon-- it’s you.  Where on Earth have you
been?!”  Ty:  “I’m sorry.  I would have been back ages ago, but--
Hera held me prisoner.  It was Hercules who set me free.”  E:
“I’ve been such a fool.  And I’ve done such horrible things!”
Ty:  “But I still love ya, Echidna.”  E:  “You do?  Then come
here, lover-boy!”  Ty:  “Oh, Baby, you’re the greatest!”]]]]]]

Par:  “Those two fell in love?  Maybe there’s hope for me yet.”

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H:  “Watch your step.  It’s slippery here.”

Mel:  “Is someone there?  Please, help me.”

H:  “Yeah, we’re on our way.”

Mel:  “I’ve caught my foot on something.  Please, help.”

H:  “Don’t worry.  We’ll getcha out.”

I:  “Yeah.  [Whispers]  Ohhh.”

H:  “Uh-- go back, Iolaus-- there’s nothing you can do.”

I:  “Aw, Herc, I gotta try.”

H:  “I can’t help her, either.”

I:  “Aw, no.”

H:  “Parentheses-- you’re the only of us who’s got a chance to
save her.”

Par:  “I am?”

I:  “Yeah.”

Mel:  “What are you guys doing?”

H:  “Now, listen carefully.  We’ll lower ya down-- but you’ll
have to deal with whatever’s holding her-- yourself.”

I:  “Yeah-- and you’re gonna need this.”

Par:  “I’m not sure.”

H:  “Attitude, Parentheses-- attitude.”

Mel:  “Would someone please help me?”

Par:  “All right.  I can do it.”

I:  “Good man.”

H:  “Ready?”

Par:  “Yeah.  Yeah.”

I:  “Got him?”

H:  “Yeah.  Careful.  See anything?”

Par:  “Just a-- pretty girl.”

Par’s Voice:  “I see something!  Give me more light!  I’m not
sure what it is-- but I’ll get it.”

Par:  “It’s nothing!  Heh!  There’s no monster down here!  Her
foot’s caught in a root!  Hi.”

H:  “Give me your hand.  There you go!  Here ya go.  Got a hold?”

Mel:  “Yeah.”

H:  “OK.”

Mel:  “Oh, thank the gods.”

H:  “No-- he’s the one you need to thank.”

Mel:  “You’re a brave man.  Thank you.”

I:  “Uh-- call me silly for asking, but-- what’s a nice girl like
you doing in a cave like this?”

Mel:  “Ooh!  That’s the reason.  Come on, but-- keep your voices
down.  This part of the cave can turn even whispers into sounds
that-- shatter your eardrums.”

Par:  “Wait for me, you guys.”

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Mel:  “Hello, Zeus.  Why’d you run off like that, you silly
little boy.”

I:  “You risked your life for that?”

Mel:  “Oh, he’s barely a month old.  I couldn’t let him come in
here by himself.  Come on, I’ll show you a secret passage out.
Come on.”

I and H:  “Secret passage?”

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Elo:  “Melina!”

Mel:  “Father!”

Elo:  “Melina!  Ohhh!  Oh!  _Why_ did you go _into_ that cave?!”

Mel:  “Well-- Zeus ran off-- and I followed him.  He got down to
the deepest part of the cave before I could catch up with him.
And then when I reached for him, I-- slipped into a pit.”

I:  “Yeah-- we got there just in time.”

Elo:  “There was-- no monster?”

Mel:  “Father, I’d-- I’d like to introduce you-- to the man-- who
rescued me.  Thi-- [Whispers]  I don’t even know your name.”

Par:  “Parentheses.”

Elo:  “Oh-- I-- didn’t think I’d be thanking you like this when
we first met.  You said you were a writer.  Make any money at
it?”

Par:  “Not with my poetry.”

Mel:  “You’re a poet?”

Par:  “Yeah!  Wouldja like to hear some?
There once was a girl named Melina-- ”

H [Clears throat]:  “Ah-- you’re on a roll, here.  Don’t blow
it.”

Par:  “Actually, I do celebrity stories, too.  Thanks for the
material, guys.”

I:  “That’s OK.  Actually, we have had some good adventures,
haven’t we?”

H:  “Yeah, we have.”

Woman:  “Help!  Help!  A-- a warlord named Attilus-- has captured
our village-- on the other side of the valley!  We need your
help!”

H:  “Looks like we’re about to have some more.”

I:  “Aah, does it ever end?”

H:  “Not in this life.”

I:  “Bye.”

Elo [Whispers]:  “Thanks.”

H:  “Be safe.”

I [Sighs]:  “Don’t we ever get a rest?!”

H:  “I thought we just had one.”

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