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BATTLE LINES I



“Battlelines, Part I”  Episode 11/111

[TEASER]

Man’s Voice:  “Report for morning drills!”

I [Yawns]:  “Ow.  Ah!”

Fiducius [Fid]:  “Good morning, students.”

Cadets’ Voices:  “Where’s Cheiron?”  “It’s gonna be a long morning.”

Fid:  “I said-- ‘Good morning, students’.”

Cadets:  “Good morning, Fiducius.”

Fid:  “Until further notice-- I will be acting headmaster, here at the academy.”

H:  “What happened to Cheiron?”

Ja:  “He got called home to his kindrah.  A courier came at dawn. They just left.”

H:  “That’s kind of weird, don’t you think?”

I:  “Mmm-- what’s a kindrah?”

Ja:  “It’s Centaur for ‘Clan’.  Don’t you pay attention in language class?”

I:  “Mmm-- not really.”

Fid:  “And-- while I’m in charge, I’ll be making a few changes around here-- particularly in the arear [sic] of discipline.”

H and I [Mockingly]:  “‘Particularly in the area of discipline.’”

Fid:  “Furthermore-- I will be asking Cadet Jason to supervise your drill instruction.”

I:  “Aw.”

H:  “Teacher’s pet.”

Ja:  “All right, uh-- let’s, uh-- let’s start exercising.  Stretch it out.”

I:  “You know?  I think we should follow Cheiron.  I mean, what if he needs us?”

H:  “Yeah-- I think Cheiron can take care of himself, OK?”

I:  “That’s true-- but he would never leave the academy unless it was a _major_ crisis.  I think it’s our duty to go.”

H:  “Aw-- really?”

I:  “Also-- it’s Friday.  It’s the end of the school week.  We won’t miss a thing.  OK, bottom line-- ”

H:  “Yeah.”

I:  “Do you really wanna spend every minute with ‘Fiddleface’ and the royal pain?”

Ja:  “I heard that.”

I:  “Oh!”

Ja:  “Let’s exercise, huh?”

H and I:  “This is us leaving.”

H:  “Hey.”

I:  “Hey-- whoo.”

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I:  “There he goes.”

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I:  “We’ll never catch Cheiron.”

H:  “Sure, we will.”

I:  “Herc-- get real.  He’s too fast.  He’s got twice as many feet.”

H:  “Well-- I got two and you got two.  When you add us together, we’re just like a Centaur, all right-- huh?”

I:  “Yeah, well-- I know which end you are.”

H:  “Oh, really?  Yeah?

[Fight]

H:  “What next, huh?”

I:  “Whoa!  Uh-oh.  Ahhhhhhh!  Whoa-- nice catch.”

H:  “Thanks.”

I:  “You know, this is getting to be a bit of a habit.”

Lilith [Lil]:  “Quiet!  Insolent fool!”

I:  “Hey!  Watch the lips!”

H:  “Wait a second, I know that voice.  Lilith?”

Lil:  “You have a good ear.”

I:  “Yeah, I have a sore mouth.”

H:  “I see you’re still an Amazon.”

Lil:  “I’m now captain of this scouting party.”

I:  “Oh, get out of town.  Last time I saw you, you were just a junior cadet.”

Lil:  “Yeah?  Well, things have changed!”

H:  “Lilith!  He meant no offense!  Right, Iolaus?”

I:  “Right, right, no offense.”

H:  “Listen, Lilith?  Remember, back at the academy, they teach that leaders don’t need to be cruel to be in charge?  The best ones can also be merciful.  You can’t have forgotten that.”

Lil:  “Yeah?”

H:  “Yeah.”

Lil:  “Well, we’ll take you to Princess Cyane.  She’ll decide how to deal with you!  Come on!”

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[ACT I]

Lil:  “The prisoners, my queen.”

Cyane:  “Thank you, Lilith.  Well-- what a pleasure to see you both-- especially you, Hercules.”

H:  “Uh-- same here.”

Cyane:  “It, uh-- pleases me to have the son of almighty Zeus-- here to witness the founding of our new homeland.  Where’s  Simula?”

Simula [Sim]:  “Yes, Cyane.”

Cyane:  “Perhaps, you remember meeting Simula.  She’s our oracle.  And it was she who-- divined the will of the gods and led us here.”

H:  “Oh, well-- pleasure to see you, again.”

Sim:  “Maybe for you.”

H:  “Uh, y-you know?  We-we better be on the way.”

Cyane:  “Uh, but we’re having a-a-- great banquet tonight to celebrate our good fortune.  You must stay.”

H:  “Um-- well, you see-- we might have a friend who’s in danger.”

I:  “Um-- uh, Herc.  Herc.”

H:  “Yeah.”

I:  “We’re talkin’ about Amazons, here.  Amazons.  You know?  And besides-- wha-what’s the rush?  I mean, it’s almost sundown.  We’ll never find Cheiron in the dark.  I think we should stick around.  Please?  Please”

H:  “OK.”

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Strife:  “All righty.  Here’s your new assignments.  Zeus-- kitchen duty.  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Pffffft!  Apron’s over there.  Ummmm-- Hera-- uh-- the garden-- a-and just-- try and cheer up a little.  Huh?  J-just try it.  Now-- as for you-- Uncle Ares-- whoa.  Discord-- don’t do that.”

Discord [Dis]:  “You know, Strife?  You’re lucky it was me-- and not your-- Uncle Ares.  My brother hates it when-- lesser gods use his throne.  Kind of a-- clean freak thing.  Got the message?”

Strife:  “Got it.  Um-- speaking of messages-- did your Amazon friends get theirs?”

Dis:  “They’re feeling right at home.  My plan is working perfectly.”

Strife:  “Your plan.  Nuh-- nuh-nuh-nuh--nuh-nuh-nuh-- see?  You think you’re so smart because you’re a millennium older.  Well, this was my plan.  Mine!  Mine!  Mine!”

Dis:  “All right-- fine!”

Strife:  “Mine!”

Dis:  “Fine!  It’s your plan-- happy?  The important thing is, we are about to stir up some serious misery.”

Strife:  “The pain-- the suffering.  Uncle Ares is gonna be so pleased with us!  [Laughs]  Let’s rock.”

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I:  “So?  You’re an Amazon?  What’s up with that?  Huh.”

H:  “Oh.”

Cyane:  “Settle down, Hercules.  I don’t bite.”

H:  “Yeah-- yeah, well, I just wanted to make sure you feel comfortable-- you know.”

Cyane:  “Ooh, you don’t seem to be.”

H:  “OK.  [Laughs]  Uh-- the thing is, I’m not sure how to act-- around you, you know?  I mean, the last time, I-- you know-- ”

Cyane:  “-- was-- the last time.  Well, let’s just-- put it behind us.  You see?  From where I sit, the future looks good.  We’ve-- finally found a place we can call our own.  We can-- hunt and-- build our homes-- finally be at peace.”

H:  “I’m really happy for you, Cyane.”

Cyane:  “Yeah.  There’s just-- there’s just this one thing missing.”

H:  “Oh, yeah?  Um-- yuh-- th-those dancers must practice-- ”  

Cyane [Interrupting]:  “Hercules.”

H:  “Yeah?”

Cyane:  “You could stay awhile, you know?  With us-- with me.”

H:  “I thought you Amazons only gave orders.”

Cyane:  “Well-- you’re no ordin’ry man.”

Sim’s Voice:  “Help!”

Sim:  “Help!”

Sim’s Voice:  “Help!  Help us!”

Cyane:  “Get a poultice for her wounds-- quickly!”

Sim:  “Oh, thank the Fates I was nearby.  I managed to save Melina but-- for the other two I was too late!”

Lil:  “What do you mean?!  Where are the other sentries?!”

Sim:  “Gone!  The beasts attacked under the cover of darkness and dragged them away!  It was vicious!  Cowardly!”

Cyane:  “Who did this?”

Sim:  “Centaurs!”

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[ACT II]

Sim:  “There!  You see?!  There!”

H:  “Are you sure that it was Centaurs?”

Sim:  “Of course, I’m sure.”

Amazon:  “It’s true-- they burst from the darkness.”

Sim:  “You see?  From the beginning of time, they have persecuted us-- stolen our food-- chased us off our land!  They’re no match for us in battle!  So, instead, they _strike_ at night like jackals!”

Lil:  “They will pay for this outrage!”  [Amazons Cheer]

H:  “Hold on.  Hold on!  All right, all right, everybody, calm down.”

I:  “Yeah, yeah, yeah, just _hold_ your horses.  Ah-- bad choice of words-- I know.  I’m sorry.”

H:  “Yeah.  Listen, this does _not_ make sense, all right?  Centaurs don’t do sneak attacks!  It’s not their style!”

Sim:  “And how are you such an expert?”

Lil:  “Because his teacher, Cheiron, is a Centaur!”

I:  “Hey, uh-- don’t help, OK, Lilith?”

Sim:  “So-- that makes _you_ Centaur spies!  Seize them and execute them!”

I:  “What?  What are you talkin’ about?”

Cyane:  “You will do no such thing!  I do not remember putting you in charge, Simula.”

Sim:  “Your Highness, our very existence is at stake!  We dare not show any mercy!”

Cyane:  “And I will make that decision!  Now, let them go!”

H:  “And we are _not_ your enemy here!  Neither is Cheiron!  Now, you all came to our academy, and you met him.  He treated you with respect.  He also help free you from Leeseus.”

Cyane:  “Look-- we remember.  Where’s Cheiron now?”

I:  He was called home by his kindrah.  We were chasing him and-- and we bumped into Lilith and her happy hunting party.”

Lil:  “Hmm.”

Sim:  “Pity they didn’t finish you off then.”

Lil:  “Hmm.”

H:  “Cyane-- now, we are not spies.  You _do_ believe me?”

Cyane:  “Look-- I want to-- but an attack on one of my sisters is an attack on all of us.  You must go.  You must go find Cheiron, and tell him that his Centaurs must release the captive Amazons.”

H:  “You don’t even know-- !”

Cyane:  “Tell him that the attacks _must_ cease, and restitution paid, or there _will_ be war!”

Amazons:  “Yeah!”

H:  “Well-- look who’s back to givin’ orders?”

Cyane:  “Lilith will join you on your mission to the Centaur enclave.”

I:  Whoa-- what do you mean, ‘Lilith’?  What about me?!”

Cyane:  “We’ll keep him here with us, just to ensure you and Lilith return safely.”

H:  “OK, you know what?  No.  Iolaus-- let’s go.  Cyane?”

Cyane:  “Go.”

Lil:  “Come on, cadet.  Try to keep up.”

I:  “Oh, great-- fine.  Well, I guess me and the gals can find something to do.  Ooh!  Or-- maybe I’ll just-- shut my big mouth.”

Amazon’s Voice:  “Good idea.”

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H:  “Lilith give it a rest, wouldja?”

Lil:  “No!  Why should I?!  Oh, man, you guys are all the same-- always defending your corrupt, male-dominated culture.”

H:  “You know?  I gotta say, you were a lot easier to get along with back at the academy.”

Lil:  “Yeah, well, back at the academy I was all alone.  You and the boys could treat me any you wanted.”

H:  “You-- no, you’re right-- some of the cadets were jerks, OK?  Half of ‘em treated you like you were a porcelain doll; the other half ignored you.”

Lil:  “Oh, then you admit it!”

H:  “Yeah-- but get over it!  OK?  You give up on half the world, and you’ll prove ‘em right-- ‘The girl can’t take it.’”

Lil:  “Look-- I wanted to be a warrior.  The Amazons made that real for me in a way you and your academy-- never could!”

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H:  “Lilith.  Lilith, wait up.  Lilith, listen.  I know-- really-- ”

Lil:  [Screams throughout]

H:  “Lilith!  Don’t-- let go!”

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Lil:  “What is this place?”

H:  “It’s called a Qu’ho.  It’s the Centaur council.”

Lil:  “Are they gonna put us on trial?”

Cavil’s Voice:  “That would have been my choice.”

H:  “Who are you?”

Cavil:  “I am Cavil-- solon of this Qu’ho-- and I will ask _you_ the questions.  Are you not Hercules-- love slave of the Amazon, Cyane?”

H:  “No-- uh-- w-well-- no, we’re just friends.”

Cheiron:  “Be careful how you choose your friends.”

H:  “Cheiron?”

Cheiron:  “What are you doing away from the academy?”

H:  “Oh-- well-- Iolaus and I thought that you might be in trouble, so we went after you and then, uh-- well, we got captured by the Amazons and it all got kinda complicated after that.”

Lil:  “Complicated?  Is _that_ what you call a sneak attack by a herd of Centaurs?”

Cheiron:  “I know of no such attack.”

Cavil:  “You see?  It has ever been so 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.”

Lil:  “What?!”

Cavil:  “Last evening-- when the sun went down-- two of our clan were taken by these-- brazen harridans.  I saw it with my own eyes.”

Lil:  “Then you are either deluded, or a liar!”

H:  “Cheiron-- whatever Cavil saw last night, it wasn’t the Amazons.  They were at their camp, celebrating a new homeland.”

Cavil:  “Ah-- but there’s the dilemma.  Their new homeland-- is on our land.”

Cheiron:  “This is why I was summoned by my kindrah-- to lead our forces and drive out the Amazons.”

Lil:  “Then, you admit you attacked us!”

Cheiron:  “I admit no such thing!  Until last night-- I pleaded with our council to be patient!  To forgive their trespasses!  But, now-- ”

H:  “I can’t believe what I’m hearing.  Are you really willing to go to war over a plot of land?”

Cheiron:  “This is no longer-- about  land.”

H:  “I do not understand!”

Cheiron:  “The two casualties-- were my brother and his son.”

Cavil:  “Perhaps, next time, your friends will choose their victims more carefully.”

Lil:  “Hey, we’re the victims, here, not you.  Now, I demand you give our sisters back!”

Cheiron:  “Silence!  The Amazons are the aggressors!  And they must leave the grasslands at once-- or we will make them leave!”

H:  Back at the academy, you were always telling us-- that we should mantain peace.  You’re always telling me not to let my anger cloud my thinking!  Why can’t you take your own advice?”

Cheiron:  “Go back to the Amazons.  Tell them they have until dawn.  The choice is theirs.  They can leave-- and avert a war-- or they can stay and start one.”

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Lil:  “Hercules-- wouldja slow down?!”

H:  “No.”

Lil:  “Your problem is-- you won’t admit you might be wrong about the Centaurs!”

H:  “No, you see, my problem is that nobody will admit that they might be wrong about anything!  The Amazons, the Centaurs have been fighting for centuries, and they’re both too blind to listen!”

Lil:  “Listen to what?!  Hello-- they attacked us!”

H:  “That’s not what Cheiron says-- he says it was the other way around!”

Lil:  “But he’s not telling the truth!”

H:  “That’s my point!  Don’t you see?!  Somethin’ doesn’t add up, here!  It’s like what Cheiron said, appearances can be deceiving.  If I only had enough time to figure this all out.”

Lil:  “What if you don’t?”

H:  “Two people that I care about are gonna spend tomorrow trying to destroy each other.”

Dis:  “Aw-- poor Hercules-- I hope he doesn’t stwain his little bwain with all that thinking.”

Strife:  “Oh, let him strain away.  It’s over.  Stick a fork in little Herc ‘cause he is done!  Ladies and gentlemen-- this war is on!”  [Laughs]

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