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by cindy lalonde (cindy.lalonde@aol.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Action/Adventure   User Review:

The story begins with the appearance of a 2,000 year old man and a subsequent satellite link that visually sweeps the world back to 12 A.D. A quirky aristocratic Roman family is forced to flee to Judea. Marcus, our hero, forms a lifelong friendship with Jesus. Non stop action includes a pirate fight, over the top adventures with Jesus and his friends, and miracles that would melt the heart of a stone. A friendship unstopped by time and distance culminates in a 33 year old Marcus being the soldier that pierces Christ's side on the cross. The characters are irresistible, bringing the viewers on a roller coaster ride of insane laughter to heart breaking pathos.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


An EAGLE flies over tall jagged rocky hills.It bobs up and
down from the heat thermals as it focuses on a jeep tearing
into a gulley between two cliffs and coming to a screeching
The driver, his blond hair plastered down by the heat,just
sits there, staring at his passenger who jumps out of the
The other man's dark hair is hanging like sweaty rags over
thick features bordering on ugliness, as he unloads climbing
      (strained tone)
Please help me unload this
climbing -what was that word -
Thank you for showing me how it
Shaking himself out of his reverie, the blond man aids in
the unloading of the equipment.
Paul turns to him, a weird look on his face.
Thanks for rescuing me - I think!
The blond man jerks his head in acquiescence, jumps into the
jeep without a backward glance and guns the accelerator
driving away in a cloud of dust.
Paul's bravado fades, replaced by a look of self doubt.
He puts on his backpack and assembles his climbing tools.
                                         AT THE BASE OF
The blond man drives around a corner, out of sight of Paul.
He takes a heavy global phone and keys it.
His mask drops and an unpleasant excitement gleams from his
                       BLOND MAN
Start the experiment.
                                         BACK TO PAUL


Paul starts his ascent on a cliff that is not cooperating.
He finally continues climbing up by using the outcroppings.
He is a talented climber and makes steady leeway. Sweat is
pouring off in buckets,accompanied by steady cursing.
He hangs in front of a rock face.
      (shaking his head
       in puzzlement)
Why am I stopping here?
A huge building housing busy people doing the things that
nations do when they spy on each other.
In an isolated room, two men are seated in front of a
complicated instrument panel.
The rhyme fat and skinny was invented for this duo.
They share insane grins and a total focus on the screens
that add a green glow to their excited faces.
                       FAT GEEK
      (grinning at his
Ya know, it's times like this when
I don't mind being a fat genius,
instead of a dumb buff guy.
                       SKINNY GEEK
Oh, Yeah!
How many people get to track a
2,000 year old young man?
They both start giggling.
                       FAT GEEK
This gives location a whole new
He turns a dial to focus the satellite image of Paul hanging
in front of the cliff and then presses another button.
A flash of light explodes their retinas and one of the
screens turns blank.
They moan in pain and rub their eyes.
They both squint at the blank screen.
                       FAT GEEK
That's gotta be that zillon dollar
camera implanted in him.


                       SKINNY GEEK
Thank God, Genghis Khan, our
understanding boss, is not here!
A man that looks like an angry grizzly bear in a suit
quietly walks into the light.
They both freeze and then relax when they realize his focus
is on the second instrument panel. He waves angrily at the
blank screen.
                       FAT GEEK
At the moment we can't see him
from the implanted camera but the
satellite feed is still working,
and the locater and the
chronometer are working.
The man studies Paul hanging in front of the cliff face, and
despite himself, wonder widens his eyes and he shakes his
      (talking to
I've worked on a lot of X-files
stuff, but this has got to be the
weirdest one!
A man found in a cave in Israel,
who looks to be in his thirties,
wrapped in a shroud and clothing
which is roughly 2,000 years old.
The two geeks look at him with a questioning look.
      (looking disgusted)
Yea,he's got the scientists crazy
because they can't carve him up
like a Thanksgiving turkey.
His body is protected by an
electrical charge.
He doesn't know who he is, speaks
an ancient Aramic dialect, and
learned how to speak English is
two days!
We named him Paul.
He's been insisting that he has to
climb that cliff, so we made that
- possible.


He frowns at the blank screen.
What DID make that(sarcastically)
zillion dollar camera stop
                       SKINNY GEEK
I would guess that your buddy's
electrical charge might be the
His impudent response changes to worry as he sees the angry
expression in his bosses' eyes.
The fat geek tries to distract him.
                       FAT GEEK
Because everything else is
working, the camera will probably
reboot itself soon.
Excitement trumps the bosses' irritation.
Grins despite himself.
They all look at the screen.
Suddenly the rock face starts to dissolve, and Paul is being
pulled in.
                                         THE CONTROL LAB
The skinny geek squeals like a pig getting slaughtered, but
no one cares.
The internal camera is working.
They all intensely gaze at the images on the screen.
Paul is in a huge cavern filled with myriads of fantastic
shapes and colors hinted at by the film noir lighting .
Overwhelmed, he stumbles backwards into a chair conveniently
He doesn't even notice. His mouth is hanging open. He is
overwhelmed until he realizes that a cold glass of water is


next to his hand on top of an exquisite little table. He
slugs it down and collapses in shock.
A scraping sound echoes in the room.
      (eyes huge, his
       voice wavering)
A tiny flame lights up the profile of a man,his shadow
looming huge on the rock behind him. He laughs maniacally,
the sound escalating into a thousand echoes.

Paul tenses.
The sound fades away.
                       MAN IN THE DARK
      (a smile in his
I finally got to try that out on
      (closing his eyes)
This is just a wacked out dream.
I'm probably laying broken and
dying at the base of the cliff!
                       MAN IN THE DARK
You might have wished for that
death if you climbed 6 feet to
your right. There's a portal there
and it would have been a sticky
wicket to find you. This is a big
Am I inside the cliff?
                       MAN IN THE DARK
Let's get into that in a moment.
A large icy mug brimming with what looks like beer
materializes next to Paul, who jumps.
                       MAN IN THE DARK
      (a smothered laugh)
O.K. I'm showing off. But, it is
the best beer you will ever drink
and you do need to relax.


Paul takes a tentative sip, followed by an appreciative
      (making enjoyment
The best beer that heaven or hell
has to offer, eh?
Paul looks around, fascinated.
Does my being here have anything
to do with those dreams I've had,
night after night, AFTER NIGHT??
                       MAN IN THE DARK
      (sounding like a
       maiden aunt)
Life is just a dream.
Aren't you having a wonderful
adventure? And, enjoying the beer
of the gods!
Now, sip on your brew for a moment
and relax.
Might as well enjoy your insanity!
Minutes go by as Paul looks at the wonders of the cave.A
haunting song with a repetitive beat, beat, beat, quietly
fills the chamber. Paul's head slowly sinks, a presleep look
filling his face.
                       MAN IN THE DARK
      (a lulling
       hypnotic tone to
       his voice)
This is the end of the dreams that
have shadowed your old life and
the beginning of the new.
A small circle of light spotlights one of the man's eyes,
which glows with an eerie yellow.
                       MAN IN THE DARK
Paul's head snaps up and he sees the yellow eye which grows
bigger and bigger until he falls into it.As Paul falls he


                       MAN IN THE DARK
      (softly fading)
Enjoy the ride.
The yellow eye fills the whole screen.
An electric blue light shoots from the surface of the earth
to one of the many satellites jostling for space around the
earth. Suddenly all the satellites are joined by the light.
Following the light down to the earth, one can see it
originating from the top of the cliff that has climbing
equipment at it's base.
In all the big cities of the world people are sitting in
groups on sidewalks, nationality forgotten as they huddle
around any instrument that has a screen, hypnotized.
Anywhere there are no video devices and groups of people are
there, outdoor or indoor, a huge screen materializes and the
'movie' is running.
The two geeks and the boss are intently watching the screen.
The chonometer suddenly starts spinning backward.
The skinny geek opens his mouth to squeal, and the boss and
the fat geek simultaneously slap their hands over his mouth.
When they remove their hands, the boss looks at the skinny
geek with exasperation
The only reason you're not fired
for previously busting my
eardrums, is because you are one
of the resident genius's.
But, you do it again, I don't care
if you're Albert Einstein!!
The door explodes inward, and a flood of white coated
scientists and grim soldiers fill the room.
The geeks are terrified, and even the boss looks stunned.
The leader of the scientists is a very tatted and pierced
middle aged woman.
She marches up to the screens with accustomed authority, and
looks in amusement at the Boss's surprise and disapproval of
her appearance.


                       FEMALE SCIENTIST
That's what's great about being a
wak genius. You don't have to
follow ALL the rules!
(looks at the geeks)
Right, guys?
The geeks pick up their piercings laying on the table and
grinning, put them in their noses.
Suddenly intensely professional, she points at the screens
and looks at the Boss.
                       FEMALE SCIENTIST
EVERYONE in the world is seeing
the same thing.
Someone or...something has taken
over the satellites.
That's why we are currently trying
to blow the hell out of that
cliff, because this is definitely
a cyber terrorist's wet dream.
Every intelligence agency in the
world is probably freaking out
right now!!
The screen changes, and a hypnotized look appears on every
face in the room as they stare into the yellow eye.
The soldiers' guns hang slackly from their hands.
The chronometer has stopped at 12A.D.
Two young boys on horses and a large dog are racing down a
tree lined boulevard.
The dark haired boy leans down and whispers into his horses'
ear while stroking him. The horse leaps ahead of the other
The blond boy left behind starts cursing and whipping his
They clatter into a huge courtyard bustling with servants
doing their jobs.
Marcus Scipio Aurelius leaps off the winning horse. He
kisses the horse's cheek and gives him one last stroke
before the groom takes him. He has kind eyes and an
irresistible smile that would charm the devil.
Caligua, the next Emperor of Rome, jumps off his horse with
a frown.
Romulus,the wolfhound catches up with them. He jumps up and
puts his paws on Marcus, causing him to stagger back.


Whoa. Romulus! If you keep
growing, I'll be riding YOU.
A little boy looking like a younger blond version of Marcus,
runs out and flings himself on Marcus and the dog.
Marcus! I was looking for you to
go swimming.
This is Quintus, the precocious little brother of Marcus.
Ten years old and going on 40, with the mind of Socrates and
the wit and sarcasm of Voltaire.
Two other grooms run out of the gigantic stables and one
runs his hands over the whip cuts and frowns. Caligua sees
this, his young 10 year old face becoming haughty and
      (his voice
       dripping with
How dare you stand in judgement on
me. I should have you whipped!
The groom's faces pale in fear, and the joyful sounds in the
courtyard cease. The two brothers look at each other and
Caligula tries to look as tall and menacing as a short boy
Do you know who I am? I am Gaius -
      (and Quintus say
       in unison)
Julius Caesar Augustus
Marcus speaks kindly to the grooms who takes the horse to
the stables, as Caligula looks on in irritation.
The problem is that all your
servants are free. What kind of
message does that send to the
people of Rome knowing that one of
the most powerful and decorated
Senators, does not believe in


                       CALIGULA (cont'd)
      (looking bored and
You can ask Father tonight, since
you're supposed to stay for
dinner. The only good thing about
you staying here is that I get to
call you your new name,Caligula.
Or is it Emperor Liggie? At least,
we don't have to say that loong
By Zeus, I hate that name!
      (jumping around
       like the little
       kid that he
       really is)
Liggie, Liggie, Liggie!
Caligua lunges at him.
Marcus steps between them, the peacemaker.
Come on, Quintus, Gaius. We're
cousins so let's go to the
waterhole and swing on the big
      (mockingly bowing)
Oh, Emperor Liggie! We are not
Marcus and Quintus laugh, and suddenly Caligula suddenly
joins in.
      (looking at
I can see that if I'm going to
convince anyone of my divinity, I
better not have you around!
Go to the kitchen and Magda will
find you something to swim in. She
also has the most fantastic
desert,(grinning in a nice way)


                       MARCUS (cont'd)
worthy of your royal palate!
Caligula runs to the kitchen, acting like a 10 year old, at
least for a few minutes.
Let's go see Dad and Prometheus
for a minute. I need to talk to
You mean that you have a new
routine for them to see!
      (irritated that he
       is so transparent)
Hmmph! I'll meet you in there.
A large man sits at a scroll covered desk, the room filled
with artifacts from the conquered nations of the empire.
His noble and stern face is the face of Rome.
A man stands next to him, the antithesis of the Senator.
Greek, fat, a dead ringer for Peter Ustinov.
Marcus runs into the room, waving the Greek to a chair.
      (an indulgent look
       on his face)
Are you practicing your cousin's
No, No! We're about to have a
grand performance!
Senator Gaius Aurelius, the boys father looks up in
A high piping voice floats into the library, followed by
Quintus, wrapped in a long trailing sheet.
      (nose in the air)
It is I, the next Emperor of Rome
- Caligula! I have come to realize
that the reason that slaves have
lips is not only to scream when I


                       QUINTUS (cont'd)
whip them out of boredom, but to -
(he whips around and bends over
and reveals his underwear)
to kiss the royal butt!
Marcus, Gaius, and Prometheus crack into appreciative
laughter.Basking in his families' appreciation, he flings
himself into his father's lap.
Father, will you please talk me
into being nice to Caligua?
      (an edge under his
       loving voice)
Yes. You are the son and I am the
father! Be nice to him.
      (looks at Marcus)
Good thing the blood royal flows
through our veins, or we'd be
counting the whip marks on our
      (hugging Quintus)
Now, hush, son. He is your cousin
and Marcus' friend so be at
      (jumping up)
Come on Marcus. Let's go swimming!
      (grabbing Quintus
       and swinging him)
Let me shake up some of that royal
They run out of the library, laughing.


      (suddenly looking
Are we ready for the REAL
Performance tonight?
      (looking devilish)
Let the curtain rise!
A large table: at one end, Senator Gaius Aurelius sits, the
flickering candlelight highlighting the planes of his
aristocratic face, while making Prometheus's face look like
The three children are shoveling food in their mouths, while
'secretly' handing Romulus scraps under the table.
Gaius and Prometheus make small talk that weaves with the
sounds of silverware clanking, creaks of wooden furniture,
children talking with their mouths full.
      (bragging to the
And I was in the front line, and
killed a bunch of those hairy
Caligula goes on and on until even Marcus's eyes are glazed.
Quintus looks at his father with that please don't make me
be polite expression and Prometheus gets tired of rolling
his eyes.
      (looking at his
I haven't seen hardly anyway,
today. Magda and Gabo have
disappeared, and come to think of
it, most of the staff are gone.
Gaius looks at Prometheus, who subtly nods, trying to
suppress a delighted grin.
Letigia, Letigia! I need your help
to clean up these dishes!


Marcus and Quintus jerk their heads up in expectation before
a shriek blasts the dining room. Caligula jerks his head up
in alarm.
      (explaining to
The cook's name is Medea which is
bad enough, but to make her mad,
he calls her 'letigia' which means
a shrill whistling kettle.
The dining room door explodes open, and a shrieking older
woman rushes in with a metal skillet in her hand. Prometheus
is ready to leap up and grins at the boys.
Time to get beat!
Prometheus runs to the kitchen, Medea hot on his heels.
      (trying not to
       laugh and
       covering up with
       his haughty act)
Is this a clown act, put on for my
benifit? That's why you should
only have slaves. I would have
beat her severely!
      (acting mock
Boy is your court going to be
deadly dull! When you decide to
talk about something besides
whipping your slaves, let me know.
Stalks to the front of the dining table.
Everyone join me in the living
room while I hide all the
whips!(Tips his head, puts his
finger to his chin, and crosses
his eyes.)Whoopsie, we don't have
any whips!
Everyone tries not to laugh, out of courtesy to Caligula,
who gets redder and redder as Quintus smugly leaves the


      (always the
Come on , Gaius(acknowledging his
real name). Don't give Quintus the
      (relaxing under
Go ahead and call me Caligula. All
the soldiers call me that and even
father calls me that. (He stares
at the living rooms.) If Quintus
is this way at 10, what is he
going to be like when he grows
      (smiling proudly)
I don't know if the world is
(grabs Caligula by the hand and
pulls him up.) Let's go into the
living room.
Everyone is relaxing after a good meal. After a few glares
from his father, Quintus is playing with Romulus, leaving
Caligula alone, who is starting to let his guard down,
talking to Marcus.
Prometheus enters, carrying a tray with three glasses of
wine .
      (looking in
       surprise at his
Father, didn't you say we couldn't
have wine until we're 13?
Gauis subtly nods at Prometheus.
      (smiling at Marcus)
You can thank your cousin,
Caligula, for your first taste of
wine.( he nods at Caligula).
Bacchus, the wine maker for your
uncle, the divine Tiberius, has
heard of your visit and would be


                       PROMETHEUS (cont'd)
honored if you would give your
opinion of it.
      (swells up)
I have had wine many times so I am
the right person to ask.
Prometheus closes his eyes so he doesn't roll them again.
The boys take the wine eagerly, while Caligula puts on his
emperor act
      (acting like a
       wine expert)
Excellent bouquet. Of course, I
always have a slave waiting to see
if I want another glass!
      (trying to look
       innocent, but
Does the slave who wipes your bum
have a special title?
Why, 'Uncle Prometheus',what a
good idea!
      (moves quickly to
       talk to Gaius ,
       while muttering
       under his breath)
The sacrifices I make for my
                                         ABOUT 10 MINUTES
Gaius and Prometheus are in deep conversation. Marcus is
looking extremely relaxed on the couch, Caligula laying on a
pile of pillows, Romulus laying on his back,stuffed.
Quintus grows his horns again.
He walks to the wall and grabs a tambourine, spins around,
and slowly beats the tambourine, finally standing in front
of Caligula, who tries to ignore him.
Walking to the center of the room, he drops the tambourine.
Gaius and Prometheus suddenly pay attention with a what now


      (affecting a Greek
       tragedy pose)
By the Gods, I cannot look upon
Liggie! His Godhood blinds me!!
(He throws his arm theatrically
over his eyes).
      (starting to get a
       silly smiley look
       on his face)
Now you're getting it! You must
teach that to my slaves.
      (throwing both
       arms toward the
       declaiming in a
       revelatory tone)
And I had a vision from the God
Dionysis who showed me from where
this son of Zeus's power comes
Caligula is loving it, while Marcus, also showing an equally
goofy smile, looks knowingly.
Quintus bends over and lets out a very long, very stinky
Except for Caligula, everyone in the room explodes into
laughter, until they all start gagging and putting their
hands over their noses.
Caligula lunges up on a mission to kill Quintus until he
collapses on the floor.
      (looking at his
       dad blearily)
Why didn't you guys have some of
that delicious-his voice
He's out.
Quintus hits the floor like a felled tree.
      (surveying the
I'm glad that the poppy mixture
took longer than usual. I wouldn't
have missed that performance for


                       PROMETHEUS (cont'd)
Vulcan's honey!
Life's never dull with him, is it?
(Looking worried) You're sure of
the dosage?
The dosage came from your cousin
Tiberius' personal expert on
      (a horrified look
       penetrating his
       stoic reserve)
You went to that toady who I
happen to know killed a number of
Tiberius' 'problems'?
And who Tiberius would horribly
kill if anything happened to his
heir and his cousins.
      (with a dismissive
It's done! And dispatched in your
usual efficient way. (He snorts in
The urgency of the situation takes over and Gauis and
Prometheus go into action.
Medea and Gabo, it's time!
Medea and a huge black man with an inquiring lively face run
into the room.
      (nods at Gabo)
Is the wagon ready? (He nods.)
Then let's pick up our precious
Gabo scoops up Caligula like he's a wisp.


You can now tell the world that
you touched divinity. If.. ah..
you dropped him a couple of times
on the way, I would be in your
Gabo smiles knowingly and grabs Quintus effortlessly with
the other huge arm and leaves the room.
Gaius walks up to Medea and to her shock, gives her a hug.
He pulls back and smiles gratefully.
Thank's for playing your part,
tonight, Medea. You're sure you
won't come with us?
       proud, and
       affectionate all
       at the same time)
Sir, you know the answer to that.
But you do know that himself(she
gestures at Prometheus) and I,
after the first few times were
doing it for the kids?
Of course I do. Otherwise, we'd be
the skillet makers' best
(getting his senator look again)
I'm counting on you to do your
part. You'll find ample
appreciation in your monthly
Medusa runs out of the room, crying. Prometheus has Marcus
in his arms and they walk out of the house.
The low voice of Prometheus fills the dark room. He stands
over one of the figures laying in the three beds.


      (whispering in his
Marcus, Marcus!
      (moaning and
       trying to get up)
By Zeus, my head is pounding!
      (helping Marcus to
       sit and gives him
       a skinbag of
Drink, it will make you feel
      (rousing himself
       and whining)
Bacchus, I hate you! Prometheus,
am I going to die? Why is the
floor of the room moving up and
down? Where are we?
Your dad is coming to explain.And
HERE (surveys the tiny hole with a
sneer), is the slaves quarters.
      (moans, his eyes
Not slaves, again!(holds his head)
Please tell them not to rattle
their chains! I'm on their side!
You're experiencing seasickness.
We're on a ship.
The brothers jerk their heads up simultaneously, the room
spinning, lips parted in astonishment, nausea competing with
      (appearing the
       least affected)
What about Caligula?(points at his
snoring form)


Prometheus turns away quickly, so Marcus cannot see the
satisfied devil look in his eye.
Your father, the veritable
fountain of wisdom, will tell all.
Please, Uncle Prometheus! You
voice is like 10,00 daggers in my
I'll go find your father and you
can listen to his dove like tones!
Prometheus tries vainly to flounce while he climbs up the
      (looking in
       surprise thru
       bloodshot eyes)
You were faking it?
Are you kidding? I feel like the
army of Rome is marching inside my
He turns green. Marcus gets him a bucket, just in time.
Quintus pulls his head out of the bucket, vomit running down
one side of his delighted grin.
Brother, we are starting a journey
worthy of the Gods!(looking
nauseous again but noticing his
brother's horrified fascination at
the vomit dripping from his face).
Kiss me!
They crack up, Quintus spitting out vomit.


      (jumping back)
Say it, don't spray it!
The ship lurches and the boys take a dive, still laughing
like banshees. The bucket of puke tipping over.
      (trying to stand
There goes dinner!
They cackle hysterically. The hatch door opens, and a shaft
of light shoots into the room, as Prometheus and Gaius climb
down into the room, promptly holding their noses.
It stinks like the River Styx in
A soldier climbs down with a mop and bucket. Marcus walks to
the soldier, takes the mop with a smile, and he and the
sailor make quick work of the clean up job, Quintus holding
his head.
The soldier leaves.
Gaius looks at the prostrate form of a snoring Caligula.
      (his voice like a
      (not perturbed at
Calm down. I told you who was in
charge of you know what, so not to
(He looks at everyone knowingly)
And, what does everyone think
Caligula will do when he wakes up?
Those that might know the answer,
hold up their hands!
      (with a regal nod)
Everyone get comfortable
Quintus sprawls on Marcus on one of the cots, while
Prometheus unsuccessfully tries to get comfortable.


      (loking grim)
Germanicus(he checks out
Caligula's still sleeping body)is
Caligula's father!!
And the heir to Tiberius's throne.
Five possible heirs to the throne
have died under mysterious
conditions. Tiberius has arranged
for us to disappear for a while.
We are going to live in an unknown
location until the killer is
Quintus' expression is an interesting blend of fascination
with what is happening and a blend of horror and nausea.
Does this mean that we have to
live with (spitting the word
      (a quick smile
       interrupting his
       grim look)
Your uncle Tiberius has a
different destination in mind for
(purposely not looking at
Quintus's relief)
But, we are going to be in the
ship for a while. And don't ask
where we are going, because only
the captain knows.
Gaius pauses for a moment. He looks over at Caligula, and
everyones eyes follows, all reflecting different shades of
dread, even Marcus.
      (his eyes narrow)
Our 'identity' on this galley is
that we are merchant friends of
Petronius. Our lives depend on
this deception. One 'slip' of the
tongue could me death for us all.


He looks at Quintus with all the intensity of a man who once
controlled legions on the battlefields
      (no acting now)
Father, you can count on me. And,
I need to count on you to ...not
let me be myself!
Gaius looks down at Caligula.
We all need to make sure he
doesn't tell the whole world who
he is the minute he wakes up.
Either Prometheus or I will be
here to ... explain the situation
to him when he wakes up.
      (looking better)
Father, did you bring Romulus?
Yes. He's waiting for you.
Prometheus told me you didn't feel
good and you know what a licker
that dog is.
      (looking slyly at
I think Quintus could use some
doggie kisses!
      (looking disgusted)
Quintus, there is a bucket of
water outside. Go clean up. It'll
make ME feel better.
      (mock holding his
ya stink, boy!
I feel the need for a fatherly
They laugh.
Marcus and Quintus leave the room. Gaius looks pained.


I hate to suggest this....
He is interrupted by Prometheus who is holding up a little
What would you do without me? I
have a special water skin waiting
for when Mt Caligula wakes up and
erupts in all his fury.
Gaius climbs up the stairs, the light from the opening hatch
flicking for a second on Prometheus's worried expression.
Prometheus scans the area, looking for the kids. Barks and
peals of laughter lead the way. The boys, hangover
forgotten, see Prometheus and wave him over.
Romulus jumps on Prometheus, as usual.
      (looking regretful)
Come on gentlemen.
(lowers his voice)
You know we can't leave Caligula
like a bomb ready to go off! Your
father's there now, and we need to
help him.
He sees the soldier that cleaned up the mess in the room. He
hands the leash of a rambunctious Romulus to the soldier
with a charming smile.
Please take him to Petronius.
The soldier smiles back and grabs Romulus. The family walks
to the slaves quarters.
Gaius is staring at a now moaning Caligula. His stoic facade
is starting to crack. A creak of wood accompanied by a shaft
of light brings a look of relief.


      (skittering down
       the ladder)
We're here!
Quintus follows, and Prometheus, very painfully.
Caligula comes to consciousness.
      (typical pounding
       head posture)
Marcus, what's happening? (Sees
Prometheus)And you can tell that
winemaker, he's fired!(sees
everyone looking at him)Do I have
three noses?
Prometheus has the drugged water skin ready.
Tiberius has put us all on a ship
going to a secret location to
protect us.Someone wants to be
Emperor so bad, they are killing
all of Tiberius's relatives, which
of course means us. Our cover is
that we are merchants.
      (his hangover
       making him whiny)
Why doesn't Tiberius just have
them killed. And why isn't my
Germanicus here?
      (treading warily)
No one knows who the traitor is.
Tiberius is going to play the
waiting game, a common military
      (not to be
You still didn't answer my
questions. Where is my fat-
He sees the answer in the sympathetic looks that can't be
Caligula arches his back and opens his mouth to scream.


Prometheus pounces, pouring the liquid down Caligula, while
Gauis holds him,gagging but swallowing. His struggles cease.
      (asking in a slur.)
Does this mean that my fat- father
And five other people, including
your father's brother. I hope you
can see the need for secrecy.
You won't have any trouble from
me. (starts crying like any little
boy - except he is not just any
boy.) Please leave that water bag.
I just want to pass out and not
think for a while. Please leave me
      (touching him on
       the arm)
You sure you don't want me to stay
for a while?
Caligula lays down and covers his head with arms and cries
Gaius motions to the hatch, and they all leave.
The brothers are leaning on the rail, wind blowing through
their hair, serious looks on their faces.
Gaius walks to them, adjusting to the roll of the ship.
Come on, boys. It's time to meet
the master of this galley, who
also happens to be a good friend.
      (a worried look)
Father, I'm actually sad for
Caligula. I know if something
happened to you -
His voice breaks and he grabs and hugs his father's leg like
the little boy he should be.


I think his father is the only
person he ever loved.
Come here, you. (he scoops Quintus
up in his arms, reaches for Marcus
and squeezes him to his side. They
hug in silence for a few seconds.
Everyone laughs shakily, as life's
frailty strikes home.
They continue walking to the
captain's cabin.
A solid man in a tunic and a metal skirt is standing, his
back to the door, facing Gabo, both of them looking down at
a map. Romulus is also comically looking at the map.
The boys come into the cabin with Gaius, and Romulus
explodes onto the boys, licking and almost knocking them
The man turns around and gets a big grin on his face.
Prometheus walks in, surprising Gaius.
Gaius! And good ole Prometheus!
Don't worry, Gaius, I put a
trusted soldier to sit with my
I look forward to a night of witty
conversation with my old friends.
Gabo turns his head away to hide his pain, but Gaius notices
and his face mirrors Gabo' expression.
The men hug Roman style while the boys study the leader of
this ship. In his late 40's, his face reflects the extremes
of the ocean he is master of: the relentless soldier of Rome
ready to kill for Empire and duty,and an intense love and
joy of life.
He looks down at the boys, his eyebrows moving up and down
like hairy caterpillars and winks at them to their delight.
      (with a delighted
       smile his
       children has
       never seen.)
Kids, Petronius and I have been
soldiers together for - ?


      (arching one of
       his amazing
       spocken eyebrows)
I think before they named the
hills of Rome -hey, I think that
makes us immortal!(crinkling his
eyes at the kids.) Your pater and
I go way back!
Marcus, noticing Gabo's lonely expression, walks over to
Gabo, and affectionately grabs his paw of a hand.
      (a sincere tone)
Glad you're here, Gabo!
He is the family's protector!
Gabo looks embarrassed. Petronius takes notice.
      (his voice
Stand at attention, young men.
(startled, they comply.)
I am Captain Rona Petronius.And
your name is ?
He looks at Marcus, who drops Gabo's hand.
Marcus Scipio Aurelius, sir, and
this - (about to introduce his
Petronius stops him with a look and then turns to Quintus.
      (eyes wide)
Quintus Caecilius Aurelius,SIR!
      (turning to
       Romulus, who is
       imitating the
And you, give me your paw, mister!
Romulus rolls over,sits up to give his paw, takes it back
after Petronius shakes it, and bows his head.
Everyone cracks up.


Wow! You are one smart dog.( He
roughs his fur up, the dog loving
      (looking abashed)
Yeah, I was training him to do
that to irritate Caligula.
Instant buzz kill. Everyone looks concerned.
       at the boys)
Ever hear of loose lips sink
Watch what you say. If anyone
questions you, act dumb and let me
Everyone on the ship knows "who"
you are, so act like merchants
How do we act like merchants
Gaius and Prometheus look at each other with an oops! look
on their faces.
Marcus takes over.
Just act like rich kids who have
got everything they ever wanted!
Everyone laughs.
Petronius walks over to the kids and hands Quintus a weird
looking contraption,that looks like a mini periscope.
That's for you,guys. When you
figure out what it is let me know.
Go check up on your new friend,
Mario. He could teach you a few
things. We'll see you in a bit.
The boys, Romulus and Gabo leave.


      (eyebrows arched)
How unusual that object looked.
What was it?
I was hoping they could tell me.
One of my soldiers bought it from
a Greek. He didn't know what it is
They sit down as Petronius fishes around until he finds a
dust covered bottle.
Gauis gives it a dismissive wave.
The captain slams down three mugs in front of them, uncorks
the bottle and pours the glasses full. Gaius gives him a
frosty look.
      (frowning in mock
The day is almost over, not to
drink with an old friend is bad
manners, and....
He takes a hearty slug, as does an unprotesting Prometheus,
uses his very expressive eyebrows at Gaius, who gives up and
follows suit.
      (sounding bemused)
You know our departed divine
Augustus Cesar caused this mess!
We both served under Tiberius on
the field. Brilliant leader.
And, then Augustus takes away his
wife, the love of his life, and
make him marry that politically
correct whore!
As usual, your observation is too
true. Tiberius's superb stoicism
has kept him going, but the heart
has gone from the man. He just
doesn't seem to care about ruling
the kingdom.
And that apathy has set an
ambitious serpent loose. That


                       PROMETHEUS (cont'd)
might now cost us our lives.
Petronius clears his throat nervously and quickly pours
another round.
Gentlemen- this situation is
surreal. So, CHEERS!(the men
follow suit.
I met Germanicus. What a leader of
the empire he would have
made.(Both men nod their assent)
His son.....
      (showing the
       effects of good
Caligula is Quintus' pet hate and
as you will find out, he has a way
with words. Thank God, Quintus is
of royal blood. Otherwise
Caliguala would have the flesh
whipped off his bones, and then
the real punishment would start.
      (a smile peaking
But, that fart routine.
Gaius returns Prometheus smile.
As Petronius looks at Gaius, the unthinkable happens.
The face of Rome starts to GIGGLE, thinking of the same
event, aided by alcohol.
Prometheus and Gaius start roaring.
In between laughter, they tell Petronius the story. He
starts howling.
They run out of air.
Here's to CaliguASS!
They all start cackling, united by friendship, and alcohol.
They sit, breathless with laughter.


      (a look of happy
       peace in his eyes)
What a journey into the past
tonite has been. Forgive me,
Gaius, but Julia would have loved
Forgive me, too, Gaius.Your wife
knew how to laugh and take
everybody with her!
At a quick assessment, it's seems
like your oldest has her strength,
and protective drive and the
youngest one has her nutty side!
      (closing his eyes
       and shaking his
Nutty side! You have no idea.
Quintus will take you where no man
has gone before!
Petronius points to the side of the room, where there are
two beds. Looks at Gaius mock unctuously.
I hope this is worthy of Gaius
Julii Auerelius, of the blood
royal, the -
      (playing along)
Well, then, you may kiss the
ringed hand.(extends the hand with
the ring , then squeezes it into a
They all laugh and get up.
Let's go see how they're are doing
with Mario. Stone cold killer, but
the nicest guy in the world.
The kids walk around, eyes aglow, ready for an adventure.A
freed Romulus runs around smelling everything.
The soldier that cleaned up their 'room' shows up.


      (looking impatient)
I've got something to do. Follow
He could tell them to jump off the ship and they would do it
they are so excited.
He stops in front of a tattooed wiry man, squatting and
sharpening a sword.
Petronius wants you to watch over
our 'guests'.(looks at the boys)
This is Mario.
The guard practically runs away. Mario keeps sharpening the
sword, ignoring the kids.
The boys are too fascinated by their surroundings to care.
Mario cracks first.
So, you're the rich man's boys!
Not right now. Dad's last two
caravans got robbed, so that's why
we're hitchhiking a ride with
Captain Petronius.
      (not to be outdone)
He's looking for some new routes
so we can be rich boys again!
Mario laughs, accepting them. The boys stare at his mouth.
All Mario's teeth have been filed razor sharp.
      (enjoying the boys
When all else fails, rip their
throats out!
Marcus and Quintus ooh and ahh. Mario is satisfied. They are
now his proteges.
He takes them into a 'closet', creaking open the door.
Long swords, short stabbing swords, turkish curved swords,
clubs, spears, knives.Killing machines from every culture.
He shoos the boys out of the closet and stays in there as he
closes the door.


Did we do anything to make him
He seems to be the type of guy
where the unusual is usual.
On that note, the door explodes opens. The kids are scared
The nearest soldiers grin in anticipation.
Mario has on soldiers' hobnailed boots, and intriguing
arrangements of leather belts all over his torso.
It looks like half the weapons of the shed are stuck in the
Make way, boyeeeeze.!!
A soldier grabs them to the side and just in time.
Mario turns into a Bruce Lee on steroids. Juggling swords,
throwing them with such speed and power that he could have
impaled 20 soldiers.
He ends his performance by running UP the bulkhead, doing a
flip while hurling at least 4 more blades.
Marcus and Quintus are flabbergasted, while the soldiers
snap their fingers and clap.
Aren't you glad he's on our side?
Quintus and Marcus just nod their heads, eyes still big as
The boys hear Romulus bark furiously.
They approach Mario with a mixture of hero worship and fear
- just the way Mario likes it.
Mario, we have to find our dog or
our father will tan our hides.
That was incredible!


      (slits his eyes
       and grins)
Just be glad we're friends!
The kids back away and start running.
Mario looks pleased with himself.
The day is coming to a close. The three men walk to the
eating area.
Petronius is walking with a small alcohol aided wobble,
Gaius and Prometheus striving to imitate him.
A delicious smell of food floats thru the air. About 80 men
are either eating or waiting to eat. A skinny black man with
dreadlocks is ladling something out of a huge kettle, while
a very short man with huge shoulders slaps a hunk of bread
in the rough hewn wooden bowels and hands them to the
Sounds of multiple culinary orgasms fill the air.
THAT'S the sound of a happy ship.
An army marches on it's stomach!
The boys run up to the men.
You gotta meet Mario! He's
If he can impress YOU, I must meet
The boys lead the men to where Mario is squatting against a
wall, picking his teeth.
He looks at the approaching party, and when he sees Gaius,
he stands up in respect, seeing a born leader of men.


      (bows his head)
I've heard nothing but praise for
your skills as a warrior.
If you're not built like him -
(gestures at the darkness), you
have to - compensate!
Everyone looks in the shadows. Gabo is there, showing the
same gleam of admiration.
      (looking at Gabo)
You don't say much, do you, big
Quintus runs up to Gabo and trys to show off in front of his
new hero.
When you're as big as Gabo, who
cares about being able to talk!
Gabo's eyes show shock and hurt. He moves away, again
blending with the shadows
Mario gets a look of comprehension on his face, and then a
fleeting look of pity.
The family, Gaius, Prometheus and Marcus look at Quintus
with contempt, who as usual doesn't have a clue.
Why is Gabo acting so weird?
Let's go get some of that great
grub before it's gone. Although,
as the captain, I think I MIGHT be
a little irritated if there was
nothing left!
Quintus skips up to Marcus and tries to grab his hand.
Marcus snatches his hand away
As Quintus looks up in confusion, for the first time in his
life, he sees dislike in Marcus's eyes.


Sometimes I wish you would be
cursed by the God Harpocrates. Go
see father! I don't want to look
at you!
Marcus stalks off, leaving Quintus in confusion and pain.
The men walk into his cabin, everyone sitting down with
their bowel.
      (happy to be among
Thank Zeus, the aristocracy hasn't
heard about my cook.(noticing
Gaius's worried look)
My man has checked on Caligula.
He's still out.
Quintus dejectedly walks in with a plate of food and sits
      (looking concerned)
Where's Marcus?
      (looking unfocused)
I don't know.
He starts eating. Everyone lets him be.
They eat dinner in silence.
Petronius gets up to collect the eating utensils, and
Prometheus helps him. The two men look at each other.
      (pointing an
       eyebrow at
Help me outside, Prometheus.
Prometheus looks at Petronius with that classic look of Ya
They leave the cabin.
Father and son sit in awkward silence. Quintus crawls into
his father's lap and looks miserable.


Dad, I forgot. Who was the God
The God of Silence.
Son, you amaze me. As long as Gabo
has been with us, and you never
wondered why he can't talk?
I..... just always thought
about.....other things.
      (looking cynical)
Yeah, starting with a Q and ending
with a S.
Let me tell you a story that I
have told you, but we all know
that sometimes you don't listen.
Many years before I met your
mother, I was a Tribune, fighting
for my life in Gaul and about to
lose my life, when the biggest
black man I ever saw mowed down
the enemy like they were sheaves
of wheat!
      (twisting around)
Later that night, from another
campfire, I heard a voice the had
the power to move the soul. None
were at the battlefield that nite.
They were all transported to their
own personal paradise by that
amazing voice
      (voice tiny)
You know the answer to that.
He served with me for two years
and saved my life many times.
One of those times, the price for
my life was his voice.
And, I hope you noticed, has been


                       GAIUS (cont'd)
part of our family ever since.
Gaius stands, swinging Quintus to the floor.
Now go deal with the mess you have
caused with that misguided wit of
Gaius walks out of the cabin, leaving a dejected Quintus.
Flickering light from numerous pots of fire compete with
Quintus spots Marcus and runs up.
      (trying to act
What's going on?
Marcus stares at him with hard eyes.
Quintus EYES widen with panic as he realizes that Marcus
might not forgive him.
Marcus's face softens, and he pulls him roughly to his side.
Come here, you brat!
Guess who is going to sing tonite?
Mr Weapon freak himself, Mario.
      (still floored by
       his dad's story)
He can sing?
Like Apollo, himself! But, only
when HE wants to. The last person
who tried to make him do it is now
shark turds floating in the ocean!


How do you know all that?
      (still angry at
Because some people actually talk
to each other and listen, instead
of just waiting for the other
person to shut up so they can
Quintus is now totally deflated.
A lilting soft voice floats over the ship. Quintus looks
around. The hardest face has been softened by the voice.
He slowly slips away from Marcus and drifts around, tired
from this long day.
He goes around a corner and sees a huge figure in the
darkness. It is Gabo, tears running down his face.
      (crying now, too)
He launches himself at Gabo who scoops him up like a little
Gabo rocks him while Mario sings his haunting song, the
flames fading away into darkness.
The brothers stand around Caligula's prone body.
Sleeping all the time is not
      (wrinkling his
He can't be sleeping all the time.
His slop pot is full.
Gaius and Prometheus climb down, followed by the soldier who
lifts Caligula slop pot.


      (looking at the
Follow the soldier with your slop
pots and go find some breakfast.
Take your time.
The boys look at each other knowingly and carefully carry
their stinky cargo, following the soldier.
Prometheus picks up the empty water skin on the floor next
to Caligula. He smells it. Gets a look of comprehension.
What a little sneak. His'water'
skin smells like wine spiked with
my poppy mixture.(Waves his hand
to the bags and bales in the
room). I knew I should have put my
'supplies' in the captain's
Can you blame him?
We have to get him up, though.
Prometheus lifts Caligula into a sitting position, while
Gauis waits until Prometheus is out of the way, then douses
him with a bucket of water.
Caligula wakes up with a roar.
Gaius pins him, his hand tightly over his mouth.
Germanicus told me how proud he
was of your behavior at the
Would you dishonor your father'
Caligula's eyes WIDEN and fill up with reluctant tears.
Gaius slowly releases him.
Caligula clutches at his old arrogant confident self.
Good sell, Uncle.
      (flames shooting
       from his eyes)
Your arrogance is making you


                       GAIUS (cont'd)
Your (lowers his voice) premature
emperor act will be the death of
all, and I'm sure you're the head
of the list!
Caligula bends over holding his head. He slowly lifts his
face, his EYES shooting hatred, his expression scary because
it is on the face of a 10 year old.
You are right. I must live to help
Tiberius find the killer who is
wiping out our family.
May I speak to the captain?
      (looking surprised)
Let's go to the captain's quarters
for some clean clothes.
You're -
The sounds of yelling and running are followed by the hatch
being yanked open. Romulus is lowered by a bucket and the
boys leap halfway down the ladder into the room.
       with Quintus)
Pirates!!Captain Petronius wants
you immediately, Dad!
Mario leaps into the chamber, as usual bristling with
Gaius leaps up the stairs.
      (yelling over his
Take care of the family,
Mario hands the boys three short stabbing swords, their eyes
glowing, Caligula forgetting his hangover.
Marcus looks mockingly at Prometheus's portly figure.
I've got to go. What can I loan


Prometheus opens his outer robe and reveals several short
swords in soft sheaths strapped around his gut.
Mario looks at him with new respect.
Aids to stay alive longer!
Incredibly fast, he flips a knife from the sleeve of his
robe and plants it beside Mario's head.
Mario and the three boys look at Prometheus with shocked and
respectful eyes.
      (grinning like a
       hungry shark)
You're in good hands, boys!
He leaps up, swings up to the deck and slams down the cover.
Captain Petronius and Gaius rapidly put on their war gear
along with the rest of the ship.
Isn't that a Roman war ship
The traitor has struck again.
I happen to know that this is one
of the ships in Legate Mettalus's
fleet who is now in Africa.
It could be dispatched by Tiberius
to pick up Caligula.
I thought the same thing. Luckily,
I have this seeing tube I bought
from the same Greek that sold me
that 'thing' I gave to Quintus.
Look at the ship.
Gaius dubiously looks through it and sucks in air.


I guess you saw the legs sticking
out from the captain's quarters.
If I did not have this 'magic'
eye, this would be our last
They finishing gearing up.
Go see Mario and stick to him.
Gaius frowns.
      (lifting his
       sgnature eyebrow)
Now, don't get your dander up.
You don't have your sea legs yet.
We know that you haven't seen a
battlefield in a long time.
Besides, he's the best killer I've
ever seen. You might learn
Gaius mock bows before him with a smile.
True friends save each other from
their egos!
They laugh, grip each others' arms.
It's time for war.
Marcus and Quintus pace around the room, while Caligula sits
in the corner, clenching his sword.
Prometheus is lolling on one of the bales in the room.
Quintus notices him and stops in astonishment, his mouth
hanging open. Marcus too.
Uncle Prometheus, does the
possibility of being killed by a
pirate amuse you?
Prometheus stills affects boredom, flicking off imaginary
lint on his robe.
He finally cracks and smiles reassuringly at the kids.


Don't be such a twit, Quintus.
But, you could learn from your
cousin (points his head at
Caligula starts, surprised at anything complementary coming
from Prometheus's mouth.
Think about it. The pirates have
not arrived yet, so save that
energy for when they get here.
How will we know they are here?
      (straight face)
When you hear screaming and blood
starts to roll into the grates.
Frowns and points at a panting Romulus.
      (looking at Marcus)
Marcus, he must be silent. We're
probably what they're looking for!
All three boys look at the grate with a look of horror on
their faces.
Climb up here and observe the
power of Rome's might.
He waves them to the stair and lifts the grate for them to
Prometheus's voice (V.O.)
The crew is probably erecting a
harpax- a collapsible fighting
tower that protects our archers.
And, did you notice the large
covered objects on the ground?
They could be catapults that throw


                       PROMETHEUS (cont'd)
stones or bolts.
Captain Petronius is Tiberius's
best sea captain-
He closes the grate as they climb back down.
-so the odds are on our side.
Quintus crawls back up the stairs, sticking the top of the
Petronius's gift through the grate.
Guy's. Look at this!! It is the
tool of the Gods!
Caligula makes it up the stairs first and grabs it out of a
pissed off Quintus's hand, and looks through it.
You can see what's going on
without them seeing you! What
witchcraft is this?
He hands it to a delighted Marcus, who then hands it to
Prometheus, who shoos the boys off the ladder, lumbers up
and puts it to his eye.
This surely the creation of Vulcan
himself! I have heard rumors about
a seeing tube that makes faraway
objects near, but never this!
Romulus starts growling, followed by whistling sounds and
screams on the upper deck.
Suddenly they are all knocked on the ground, as the ships
      (sitting up on his
Marcus, put Romulus in the corner,
and make him be quiet! Our lives
depend on it!
You know who they're after!


Caligula looks terrified.
Sounds of swords clashing,men yelling war cries, sounds of
screaming pain.
Quintus creeps up the stairs, and slowly puts the tool up
through the grate. He sees-
Men in the other ship falling from arrows shot from the
harpax,stones and bolts from the catapults crushing and
killing groups of pirates.
Roman soldiers fighting vicious mercenaries.
Gaius, Petronius, and Gabo dispatching pirates as a team.
Mario darting like a deadly imp, doing spinning back kicks
while stabbing and slicing.
Quintus is caught up in the drama of the battle. He looks at
Marcus and Caligula .
We can stab at the pirates' feet
and help out!
How in Zeus's name will you know
you're not stabbing one of our
      (sounding like
       he's talking to
       an idiot)
EVERYONE knows OUR soldiers wear
hob nail boots!
Caligula runs up the ladder and starts looking through the
grate and with Quintus, starts stabbing with their short
Marcus and Prometheus look with shocked amazement at these
A loud yell and suddenly the grate is ripped open. The boys
fall backward and accompanied by a loud roar, Gabo's bigger
brother from Hell leaps down with a massive thump.
He has Mario's smile.
Where is Caligula??


The pirate doesn't see Quintus and Caligula sprawled behind
Marcus leaps forward.
      (eyes sparking,
       sword ready)
I am Caligula! And you shall not
hurt my family!!
The pirate looks at him in amazement and a spark of respect,
yanking him up with one hand like a rag doll, Marcus
twisting and trying to stab at him with his sword.
Prometheus is frozen.
The pirate lifts up a magnificent screaming eagle headed
sword for the death stab and-
Romulus has leaped silently from the shadows and sunk his
huge fangs into the pirates scalp and neck.
The pirate drops Marcus to reach behind him, and as Marcus
is falling, he aims his blade downward and it goes clean
through the pirates foot.
The pirate screams and as he bends forward,Romulus falling
off his back, he drops his sword.
Marcus picks it up, anger making the heavy sword light and
slices through the pirates neck.
      (who keeps hacking)
You will not hurt my family!!!You
will not hurt my family!!
Mario drops in ready to kill.
He looks at Marcus. His mouth drops open, as he looks at the
Pirate King's head almost hacked off.
He walks over and picks up the bloody sword dropped by a
panting glazed Marcus.
About to be sarcastically admiring, he sees Marcus is in a
state of shock.
      (looking everyone)
We won!
As soon as Mario says that, one final whack from above is
heard, and a head plops into the chamber, the mouth still
moving, the eyes wide in surprise and blinking.
Marcus sees it and starts heaving.
Mario picks him up like he's a feather and runs up to the


The sound of vomiting is heard.
Prometheus glares at the boys who look like they've been hit
in the gut. Because the head's eyes are looking at the boys
and one of them closes in a wink.
They run up the stairs, puking sounds heard as they hit the
Prometheus looks savagely happy.
Romulus walks to Prometheus looking for approval, blood
dripping from his mouth.
Prometheus squats down and pets him, while studying the dead
pirate's face, eyebrow lifted.
      (talking to the
I guess the legend about you was
No MAN would kill you.
Petronius and Gaius slowly walk the deck, their swords
ready. Other soldiers secure the ship, the occasional death
shriek ringing out.
A soldier runs up, looking very uncomfortable.
We have(looking at a loss for
a 'cargo' in the slave quarters!
So why are bothering me with this
right now? Is it gold?
Bloodthirsty pirates?
      (looking desperate)
Sir, soldiers have secured the
chamber.(He practically sprints
Petronius and Gaius give each other the what the hell look.
They approach the opened hatch and see the troubled look on
the guard's face.
The two men climb down the stairs.


On a bench, little flower faced boys and girls with dead
eyes are chained to each other with little gilded chains.
They look up at the men as they walk partway down the
Is there no end to man's evil?
Gaius looks at his friend and gets his sandal caught in the
wood of the stairs, as they turn to escape the horror. He
bends over and frees it, and as he leans up, he sees a
huddled figure in the dark corner who lifts his head.A
bruised eye full of pleading shows itself.
Both of the men stare, turn around and walk quickly up the
Petronius is leaning on the railing a tortured look on his
face.Gauis stands beside him.
      (running his hands
       thru his hair)
Give me a thousand men to kill,
and I will do it!!
But, this!
He looks around. Even though the ship is sinking, his men
are delighting in the weapons supermarket scattered on the
bloody body strewn deck.
He becomes the captain again.
Hurry and get your new
'acquisitions.' If you didn't
notice, the ship is sinking!
The men laugh and Roman discipline takes over.
Petronius targets the nervous soldier.
Hurry and clean the slave quarters
on our ship, and have the children
move their possessions to my


Looks at the soldier guarding the chamber and points below
to the slave chambers.
Wait for word, and move them to
the slave quarters on our ship.
Gaius and Petronius navigate the bobbing plank away from the
sinking ship.
Gaius follows Petronius to his captains quarters, who grabs
a huge bottle and fills up two glasses.
They sink gratefully into the chairs and after the first
desperate gulp, stare into space.
Prometheus enters and Petronius waves him to the bottle, and
he follows suit.
      (to Prometheus)
The kids?
Mario's 'adopted'the boys.
Especially Marcus. You should have
seen -.
Gaius points his head toward the tortured face of the
Prometheus nods and nurses his drink.
A soldier appears at the door.
Complete the transfer of anything
useful from the other ship, and
move away as soon as possible. As
soon as the ship is secure, make
sure food and and grog are given
to the men.
The soldier leaves. Petronius stands up, grabs the bottle
and slams it on the table.
      (nods at the
Have at it, gentleman, while I
tell you a sordid tale.
As I'm sure you know, we've been
tacking about Italy, to deceive
the enemy (snorts)-lot of good


                       PETRONIUS (cont'd)
that did, right?
Caligula is going to the isle of
Capri, right off the coast.
And, now I am part of something I
swore I'd never be part of!!
Petronius fills all the glasses again.
You're going to need it.
For the last year, I've heard a
rumor about Tiberius and his new
perversion. I didn't want to
believe it. I knew him when he was
married to his first wife, and you
know what happened there. After
his forced divorce and his
politically correct second
marriage forced on him by
Octavius,something had died in
him. I guess to be replaced by
      (eyes narrowing)
Then, the rumors about Tiberius
using....children for sex slaves
is true, and these children
I was approached six months ago by
a courier of Tiberius about being
part of his 'delivery' system and
I told the courier that Tiberius
could have me killed but I
wouldn't be a part of this.
He respected my decision but I was
told that if I shared this
information with anyone, I would
be killed.
Because of course, the appearance
of a morally correct Emperor must
be maintained.
Our Empire is based on slavery.
And the sad fact is that those
'children' have been trained in
this regard, and seem to accept
their lot. But, the boy in the


                       GAIUS (cont'd)
Petronius stands up so suddenly, the table tips and almost
knocks the bottle over.
Zeus! Those other children have
been 'damaged'.
But,the boy in the corner. That
one beat up eye told volumes.
Damn, damn, damn!THERE IS NOTHING
Captain's talk to each other.
In an attempt to save another one
of these 'loads', a captain with a
conscience got himself and his
crew killed.
As Petronius is emoting, Prometheus tips his head, his
lifted eyebrows and smirk turning him into the devil
Gaius witnesses this out of his eye and turns to Prometheus,
interested and expectant.
      (his voice silky)
I thought you knew me better,
I am the Emperor of Deceit.
And because I have a strong sense
of self preservation, we won't be
fighting for the same seat to
cross the River Styx.
Just leave it to me!
Gaius looks at Prometheus with an appreciative look on his
In the thirty years we've known
each other, his plots have never
Startled and suddenly hopeful, Petronius sits down again.
Speak away! Your code name is
Hermes, the God of Mischief.


Marcus is standing,bloody and still in shock,on a raised
deck, his hand on the back of the eagle head carving on the
bow of the ship.
A cleaned up Caligula is slowly climbing to him, an alien
expression on his haughty face - uncertainty.
He stands a little below the upper deck on the stairs, still
unnoticed by Marcus.
Marcus! Let's get you cleaned up.
Marcus still stands there in a daze, acting like he hasn't
heard Caligula. He slowly turns to Caligula, eyes still
      (a wondering tone)
The crew thinks I'm a hero!
But I'm not!
I just remember filling up with
a....feeling to..to do what I had
to do to protect my family!
The word 'family' goes through Caligula like an electric
current.He freezes.
A look of pain fills his eyes. He jerks around and clatters
down the stairs.
      (yelling in a
       broken voice)
Everyone is looking for you!
Romulus rushes up the stairs past a preoccupied Caligula and
practically knocks Marcus down, licking and slobbering on
him, shattering his trance.
An uneasy, trying to look nonchalant Quintus slowly walks
      (actually looking
I..ah..heard that a retard was
loose on the ship.(He turns his
Marcus shakes his head, smiling at his brother.


      (snatching him up)
All retards must have the blood of
pirates smeared into them!!!
Especially, the blood of the
pirate you gave a special
invitation to !!
He starts smearing Quintus's face in the copious amounts of
blood on his arms, Quintus shrieking, Romulus jumping up,
      (yelling up at
Show over!
Get down here!
As they clutter to the ground, Marcus sees a lot of the crew
lined up including his father, Prometheus, and Captain
They all sword salute him, and yell,"YEAH!
      (looking serious)
We the crew have decided to honor
you for...
Petronius grabs Marcus and swings him up to a nearby keg.
killing the leader of the pirates.
And, I for one are glad YOU killed
the big son of a bitch, because he
has never been defeated in battle!
Marcus looks at the grinning crew and a proud Prometheus and
Gaius and jumps down, squatting down next to Romulus,lifting
his paw.
I give you the true hero of the
Romulus of the huge teeth!!
Everyone cheers.
Romulus bobs his head up and down. Everyone laughs.
As the crowd dissipates , many crewmen flash a look of awe
at Marcus.


      (grabs the kids
Let' sluice you down and get rid
of that pirate musk smell. It's
annoying my delicate nostrils!
Marcus and Quintus are delighted to have the attention of
their bloodthirsty hero.
They laugh, their eyes glued on Mario not noticing that he
is leading them away from the soldiers who are throwing the
dead overboard.
Everyone is getting ready for bed, after a hard day of
A tired looking Marcus and the energizer bunny Quintus are
leaning against the railing, enjoying the cool evening
I'm tired and my arms are killing
      (faking an elegant
EVERYONE knows that hewing and
smoting is rather tiresome!
(he suddenly turns and hugs
Seriously, thank you for saving my
silly life.
      (returning the
EVERYONE knows that the reason I
saved your silly life is that
(affecting a snotty manner)you
They both laugh and Marcus returns the hug.
Let's go to the Captain's cabin
and get some shuteye.
Dad told me that he expected us
after dinner.


      (looking uneasy)
I...I want to get that ..that
thing the Captain gave me.
      (rolling his eyes)
Yeah, I'm sure that I'd want to
keep an object that reminded me
when I look at it,of a time when I
was King of the Stupids.
Besides, we were all told to stay
away from that room.
I'm sure glad that Mr Perfect now
has something over me!
When we get back to Rome, I'm sure
you can entertain our friends.
      (enjoying himself)
That's a great idea!
But you know that with your
ability to stage a drama, I'll
need your assistance to truly
portray you as the idiot you were!
Are you going to cover for me or
not?! Or is your new name Mr.
Brown Nose?
Cover what? I know nothing about
Marcus smiles as he walks away.
Quintus looks uncertain as he walks to the grate.
The guard has fallen asleep. Quintus slowly lifts the grate
and puts it to one side.The stairs are gone, so he swings
down and soundlessly lands.
He looks curiously at the sleeping children grotesquely
clothed in sexually explicit apparel, lying in each others
He frowns then starts looking for the object.


After a few minutes, he hears a soft voice coming from the
darkened corner of the room.
I have it.
Quintus is startled and curious. He tentatively moves toward
the boy.
They look at each other.
Quintus sees a bruised incredibly handsome young boy with
intelligent eyes full of pain and a scar shaped like a star
on his temple.
The boy sees a lively face untouched by the evils of life
crowned with wild blonde curls.
My name is Joseph. (He hands it to
Quintus)Quite a curious
instrument. It looks Greek.
Quintus is flabbergasted to be having an intelligent
conversation in this setting.
Why are YOU here?!
      (tears fill his
       eyes and he
       lowers his head)
My..my father sold me into
One of the children make a noise.
      (in a dead
       hopeless voice)
Go, before you wake the others.
YOU don't belong here!!!
Quintus looks horrified. He tucks the tube in a pocket,
leaps up and replaces the grate.
Head hanging down, he slowly walks away.
The door opens and an unhappy Quintus walks into the
cabin.Romulus whines.
Everyone's welcome is silenced by his expression.


What's wrong?
I went to get the ..tube that the
Captain gave me and there was this
boy there and dad! HE DOESN'T
Gaius leaps up, a vein in his temple throbbing in sheer
Zeus' Balls!
What does it take to make you
If I had been in your chamber
today, I would have hired the King
of the Pirates to be your
      (unfazed by his
His own father sold him into
His own father!
Petronius's face tightens in pain. Marcus looks sympathetic.
Unaffected, Prometheus has a smug, cat ate the canary look
in his eyes.
Gaius softens. He scoops up Quintus and they sit down,
Gaius's arms around him. Gaius nods at Marcus and he comes
over and leans into them. Romulus puts his big head on the
three laps.
Petronius looks on in envy and Prometheus indulgently.
Well, at least today, we all lived
happily ever after!
      (serious but
A philosopher once said that


                       GAIUS (cont'd)
everything happens for a reason.
I hope you realize that boy could
be you.(he grins)
What's your new slave name!(starts
tickling him.)
Quintus squirms out of his dad's arms irritated, but still
He looks at his father.
But, what about...
Gaius slowly towers up over his son. He is now one of the
most powerful Senators in Rome, and a former commander of
100,000 men.
      (laser beam eyes)
You(enunciating slowly)are my son
and I am your father!
Let it alone.
Go to your beds(gesturing)
We've had a long day.
Everyone prepares for sleep.
Prometheus turns off the lamp.
Captain Petronuis and selected soldiers are in full gear as
they welcome the captain of the island command.
The boys walk over and Caligula walks ahead to the captain
who goes into full salute to the next Emperor of Rome.
Caligula starts blowing up with his own power.
Suddenly he hears a snigger, cut off by a moan of pain.
He turns his head and sees Quintus glaring at Marcus as he
is jumping around holding the foot that Marcus just stomped
on .
A tiny smile creeps out.
      (salutes back to
       the captain)
Captain, you can precede me to the
The soldiers smartly reverse and walk down the plank.


Caligula turns around to see a fond smile on Marcus's face
and a reluctant look of admiration on Quintus's face.
You know Gaius, you ARE quite good
at this royalty stuff!
      (actually showing
       a sense of humor)
Wow! A compliment from one of the
world's greatest actor!
(his expression turns somber)
I don't know if that was a slip
up, but Caligula was the name
given to me my father's soldiers.
In honor of my father, I will keep
He suddenly grips Quintus's arms in a gesture of affection.
Quintus looks like Jack the Rippper just grabbed him.
Caligula bursts out in laughter.
I wish you WERE a slave so I could
make you my personal court jester!
Caligula turns to Marcus, sad affection in his eyes
Thank you for ..
Thank YOU for a FABULOUS
They all laugh.
Caligula walks down the ramp.
He turns suddenly and looks at Quintus.
When my toadies are kissing the
royal bum, I'll think of you!
(he looks almost yearningly at
And, I know I will never find a
friend as true as you.
He turns, assumes the royal posture and walks down the ramp.


I didn't think Liggie had it in
him! I -
The boys hear yelling and a smacking sound from down below.
The slaves surface and obediently walk up the stairs to the
As they walk down the ramp, the 'keeper' appears with the
struggling boy who has a fresh bruise on his defiant face.
      (typical evil
You better stop, or you'll take a
short trip off the cliffs!
Quintus tenses to sprint over him,but Marcus holds him in a
death grip.
      (rage boiling out
       of his eyes at
If you don't stop, Dad and I will
beat you to a bloody pulp!
The vicious tone in Marcus's voice shuts Quintus down.
Just Wait!!!
As the keeper struggles to get the boy down the ramp, the
boy jumps off, forcing the keeper to release him or to go
down with him.
His heavy chains sink him like rock.
      (pissed off)
He would have just ended up a
shark's dinner, anyway!
He walks down the ramp to the shore as Marcus drills Quintus
with his eyes, who is shocked and horrified.
Disengage from the shore, men.


The plank is quickly retracted and the oars quickly take the
ship out of the port.
Quintus looks around with disbelief as no one seems to care
about saving Joseph.
Your dad asked that you go to my
He strides away, face averted, little smile on his face.
The boys walk to the cabin, Quintus dejected, Marcus
avoiding eye contact with Quintus.
The boys slouch into the cabin.
      (not looking up
       from his scrolls)
Pick up those rugs on the floor,
In one of those rare instances, Quintus shuts up and helps
Chore done, Quintus mopes around.
The door explodes open, a dripping wet Mario runs in,
followed by an equally wet Joseph,dragging his chains,
Romulus barking.
Quintus and Marcus leap up, laughing and leaping and
yelling, echoed by what sounds the whole crew, trying to
stick their heads in the cabin.
      (facing the room,
       enjoying his
I have just proved that deceit is
mightier than the sword!
Ya, you sure deceived me!
Was I the only person on the ship
that didn't know?
I don't think the cook knew!
Everyone laughs.


Enjoying his moment of glory, Prometheus's motherly
instincts take over, to the horror of an eye rolling Mario,
and tries to help a still chained Joseph dry off.
Mario leaps up, tired of the fussing.
      (looking at the
       soldiers in the
Gentleman, let's go free our new
Hopefully, the blacksmith isn't
too drunk!
The group roars in laughter.
A smiling Petronuis elbows his way into his cabin.
Be on with it, lads!
Free the new member of the crew!
Joseph looks at Petronius with brimming tears in his eyes,
as the laughing soldiers escort him out trailed by the boys.
      (tearing up
       himself, but
       trying to make
       light of it)
Never a dull moment!
Killing the scourge of the seas
one day, committing a crime that
could result in us having our own
individual crosses, the next!
      (giving it back)
Gaius, remind me to call this guy
when I'm dying of twenty diseases
so he can tell me I just have a
      (also giving it
And, when I am the Emperor of the
Kingdom of Wherever, YOU will be
my prime counselor. We'll conquer
Rome in a year.
The three men laugh.


Speaking of the kingdom of
wherever, how long will our trip
About a month, month and a half,
depending on Neptune's kindness.
I will be studying you gentlemen
to learn(bows to Gaius), diplomacy
and(deeply to Prometheus), the - I
now realize the more useful
ability - the art of deceit!!
       tossing his head)
A teacher always admires his
pupil's cringing acknowledgement
of being in the presence of sheer,
raw, talent -
Petronius lets loose a long raspberry.
Thank Zeus!
I was running out of adjectives to
compliment myself!
Even Gauis gives a snort of laughter.
Time to play Captain. I must go
and make sure that the cook
doesn't get too drunk to make
I've found that threats of
keelhauling really motivates a
He leaves with a happy laugh.
The captain, Gaius, Prometheus, and Gabo are leaning on the
railing watching the sun rise.
They hear children's laughter and the sound of running.


Quintus is just what that kid
needed! They seem to be
Does Marcus feel left out?
In a strange way, this couldn't
have come at a better time.
Marcus is on the threshold of
manhood, while Quintus, for all
his brilliance, is still a child.
They are moving into different
worlds.(looking at Petronius)
Mario tells me that Marcus has
quite an aptitude for fighting.
He seems to have made Marcus his
Killing the king of the pirates at
twelve is quite a notch on a young
man's belt.
I think Mario's jealous!
Being that one of my hobbies is
eavesdropping, I've overheard many
a crew member, speak of Marcus
with...almost superstitious awe.
The former slave quarters looks
like a menagerie of offerings from
the whole crew!
Quintus and Joseph stampede up to the men waving at them.
Gabo!!Would you take your favorite
brat for a ride?
Gabo happily complies, loving the attention.
He bends over and scoops up both boys placing them on top of
his shoulders.
He turns, bows to his friends to the boy's shrieking delight
as they slide a bit, and takes the boys for a ride.


And that's why the boy's 'room' is
adorned with 'offerings'.
Traveling on a ship can get
monotonous and having these young
nuts on board is refreshing.
They hear shouts of laughter at the other side of the ship.
      (an indulgent look
       on his face)
Quintus is in pig heaven!
He has a captive audience
Prometheus frowns and grabs his stomach.
I fear I must leave you witty
gentleman.(nodding at Petronius)
Your cook is so inventive, that I
have lost many a battle with
I have a hot date with a slop
He walks the familiar closed knee shuffle to find relief.
Mario is teaching Marcus sword moves.
Marcus is doing well for a twelve year old fighting with a
trained killer.
      (sweat pouring
       down his face)
Let's take a break. I've got the
moves, but you have the youth!
That's why it's good to -
'dispatch' the young warriors
Marcus fetches a pail of water.They sit down and suck down
the water.
Are you gonna settle down and have
a family one day?


Mario's face suddenly becomes scary with anger.
Marcus shrinks back, his eyes huge.
Mario's eyes suddenly focus on Marcus and his expression
      (smiling weakly)
I like you, kid.So I've decided
not to kill you!
(His expression saddens.)
I was a successful merchant on my
way to Rome with my wife and our
Pirates attacked our ship, stabbed
me in the side and left me for
When I came to,everyone was dead.
I died that day.
All I have left is the thrill of
killing those monsters, over and
over, until it's my time.
Marcus looks at Mario with tears in his eyes.
Mario studies Marcus for a moment, then stands up, pulling
him up.
By the way, kid, I'd appreciate it
if you wouldn't ruin my image -
You can count on me, Mario!
      (grabbing a dagger
       in one hand and
       throwing Marcus
       another one)
It's time for close combat
Convince me you mean it!
- Quintus and Joseph giggling when they're supposed to be
Marcus tosses and turns in his cot, eyelids twitching.

-Petronius lectures a thrilled Joseph and a poorly concealed
bored Quintus on the art of navigation.


-Quintus and Joseph playing hide-and-go-seek with the

-The ship stops and the boys and the crew and Romulus, all
go swimming.

-An exhausted Quintus and Joseph lay asleep on a huge coil
of rope like puppies.
Quintus and Joseph are giggling and 'fighting' when they
should be sleeping.
Marcus is tossing and turning in his sleep, as usual.
A hot summer breeze is whipping his long hair. He's standing
on a high platform in front of a pyramid half way built.
He hears a voice beside him asking if he's ready, but he
can't turn his head.
He hears a loud tuning fork sound, the voice says, NOW!
Their combined voices accentuate the sound from the tuning
fork and their voices turn into a roar. One of the huge
stones floats and slowly slides into it's place in the
The boys stop playing abruptly because Marcus is levitating
off his cot.
Their mouths drop open as he stays in the air.
He yells,"WHEN?" and crashes back on his cot.
      (half wakes up,
       looks cock eyed
       at them)
The boys just stare at him like he suddenly grew another
Marcus turns over and goes back to sleep.
Gaius is staring into space.
Marcus slowly walks in, circles under his eyes, and pulls
out a chair and sits in a daze.
Gabo sticks his head in the door, and sees them sitting
there and backs out to leave.


      (smiling at Gabo)
Don't leave! A member of the
family is always welcome!(Gabo
looks pleased.)
I've heard everyone talking about
how much help you've been. They
want you to join the crew.(Gabo
shakes his head no and smiles.
Water's over there.
Gabo gets some water and sits down.
They both look with worried frowns at Marcus who looks
Are the kids keeping you up all
Marcus looks at them questioningly.
You guys promise not to laugh?
Gabo puts his huge hand over Marcus's, and his father
smiles, waiting.
      (not seeing them)
I go to sleep, no problem!
But, instead of resting, I'm
having all these adventures with
this other friend who I haven't
met yet.
He stares into space, and slowly
tells them.
His companion always faceless in the dreams:
-They're flying on gliders powered by crystals. They land in
front of a large group of people in colorful robes. A
priestess takes a huge tuning fork, strikes it on a rock,
and Marcus and his 'friend' match it's tone and create a new
looking Stonehenge.
-They are sitting yoga style in front of a large group of
Tibetan monks in a mountain top monastery. They start the
tone,MMMMM! and as the sound gets louder and louder,
everyone starts levitating, a beatific look on their faces.


Gaius and Gabo look wide-eyed at each other.
They look at Marcus who looks like he just found out he is a
Gabo silently laughs with Gaius.
Marcus, many,MANY moons ago, when
Gabo and I were (he mocks the
quivering tone of an old man)
young, we had a fascinating night
of conversations, fueled, I admit
by a few drinks(Marcus laughs,
starting to relax), and the
subject matter.
One of the stories these Greeks
talked about was tuning forks
increasing the sounds of some
people's voices that could result
in floating objects.
They claim that they read in the
Library of Alexandria, before the
fire, a document that told of this
Your dreams prove that this is not
a legend!
How do you know that I'm not just
Dreams are visions sent from the
Gods, or, as some believe, past
lifetime memories.
The bottom line is, could you have
made this up?
      (happy that he is
       being taken
Guys, it seemed as real as right
Gaius looks at Gabo and Marcus.
      (eyes glowing)
Gentlemen, this is not theory
The boys said that you were


                       GAIUS (cont'd)
floating above your cot!!
Marcus gets the leper look again.
      (laughing joyously)
Let it roll, my son! (He excitedly
jumps up.)
Our flight for our lives has
turned into an adventure!!
He ruffles Marcus's hair and acts like he is going for
Gabo's hair, who jumps up grinning.
      (looking at Marcus)
Loose lips sink ships! This is
family stuff. Only strange people
need apply!
Causing both Marcus and Gabo to smile, Gaius throws his arms
up in a dramatic gesture similar to Quintus.
Something tells me that we're all
going to have our lives changed!
He and Gabo leave a startled and thoughtful Marcus.
Quintus is balled up on the floor of the upper deck behind
the figurehead, looking at the approaching island.
As a shadow falls on him, he looks up.
      (looks down at
Your presence is requested below!
      (slowly getting up)
I know, I know!
I'm sorry. He's a great buddy!


Yeah!What an..irony.The very place
we are 'hiding' in, is the country
Joseph is from and can't return
Marcus waits.
His father was the head of one of
the Sicarii gangs - an
organization dedicated to getting
rid of Romans in Judea.
Joseph was the oldest son, so when
Joseph did not agree to his
father's opinions, sold him into
slavery as a traitor!
At least we were part of his happy
ending. Prometheus say's the
captain is going to adopt him!
Besides, Dad said we should be
here for just a year, so Petronius
could be our ride back home.
      (still looking
You know what a selfish brat I am.
He was the best audience I ever
      (acting crushed)
Ya, brothers don't count, right?
Marcus pinches Quintus hard and makes him squeal with pain.
He runs down the stairs, an angry Quintus hot on his heels.
They almost run headlong into Joseph.
Quintus starts to tear up, and runs away, leaving a hurt
Don't be hurt. Being the totally
self centered twerp that he is, he
has never had a real friendship.
And since he has always gotten
what he wanted, he is crushed that


                       MARCUS (cont'd)
you can't come with us.
Boy, life can change just like
that(he snaps his fingers)!
From hell, to a new life with
great friends, a new father,and(
waves at the ship) a new family.
I hope you know that not only are
you the best friend that Quintus
has ever had, but probably the
only friend he has ever had.
His intelligence intimidates
adults. He's bored with most kids
his age.
He is a blast! I'm...going to miss
him. He has become like the
brother I left behind.
      (eyes widening)
Wow! Would you like us to find him
and tell you are o.k.?
No. My 'father' probably told him
I was killed, and if my brother
finds out I was sold into slavery,
the same would happen to him.
Marcus reaches out and grabs Joseph's hands.
I'm glad we met.
I have to go and get our
Quintus is not good at anything
See you when we disembark!


Gaius and Quintus get to the ramp. When Marcus shows up with
Romulus, the crew cheers. Man mountain Gabo follows and the
crew smilingly acknowledge him.
Prometheus hams it up, daintily clomping along with soldiers
hobnail boots, a shawl around his neck, and his hand campily
swinging his dagger.
The crew bursts into laughter.
Mario walks up and hands Marcus a superb sword, the golden
eagle head glinting in the sun. He can barely hold it.
      (looking like a
       shark about to
This sword is a a gift from the
crew. And(he smiles wickedly at
the crew) from the King of the
Everyone roars.
May you kill many an enemy of Rome
with it!
Here, Here!!
Petronius has his arm around a smiling Joseph.
      (points at Quintus)
Let's hear a cheer for the boy
that kept us laughing!
Quintus turns bright red, while the crew yells their assent.
Joseph walks to Quintus and gives the 'periscope' to him.
      (looking at
       Quintus intently)
This will remind you of our crazy
adventures. Give it to your next
adventure buddy!
Quintus tries not to tear up.
      (tearing up also)
Our friendship isn't over!
Who knows, maybe we'll be here to
pick you up when the traitor is


                       JOSEPH (cont'd)
Joseph looks up at Petronius,who squeezes his shoulder.
If we're not needed in a new war
and my (looks down at Joseph)
second in command agrees, it's a
good possibility!
Petronius walks up to Gaius, Prometheus and Gabo. He looks
at a crew member who gives Gaius a large bottle. Petronius
hugs each of them, a fond look on his face.
      (pointing his
       spockien eyebrows)
Out of twenty years of being on
ship, this trip was one for the
I'll move heaven and earth to be
the ship to take you back to Rome.
The family disembarks, Gabo taking the heavy sword from
Marcus like it's a feather.
The ship's oars pull the ship from the shore, as the family
walk up a sand hill.
As they clear the hill, a group of camels and two men and a
boy await them.
      (look of sheer
       disgust on his
Gaius, PLEASE, NO CAMELS! I hate
the foul beasts!
Gaius ignores Prometheus, walks to the men with a senatorial
expression on his face, bows, and easily slips into a
foreign language.
He slips one of the men a purse. Everyone gets a love the
cash smile on their faces.
They gesture to the camels and the boy who looks about
Marcus's age holding them.
Everyone bows again and the men leave.


      (eyes aglow)
this-list is getting larger
Romulus starts to get agitated around the camels.
Marcus squats down, strokes him, and whispers in his ear.
Romulus relaxes.
By the end of the trip, you'll be
starting a new list called, I'll
Never Do That Again As Long As I
So, you've been on a camel,
      (closing his eyes)
After the trip, I couldn't walk
for a month!
The boy left with the camels walks up to them. He turns to
the camels, yells a command and they all sit, the boys
looking wide eyed at all this.
Where is Romulus going to go?
      (points to a large
Romulus will ride there when he is
That means you and Quintus will
have to take turns walking with
Gaius grabs the hand of Quintus, walks a distance away and
establishes a slitted eye contact with Quintus.
      (thru gritted
Remember the story!


Oh, Father, I promise to pay more
attention so I can be a better
merchants son!
Gaius rolls his eyes for the millionth time.
Marcus walks eagerly to the camel boy.
Heh, I'm Marcus.
I love your camels!
My name is Jonah.
A sudden complaining moan from one of his camels distracts
He runs toward the camel which Gabo is standing next to.
Jonah looks at huge Gabo and looks at the camel and starts
Gabo grins ruefully, and everyone starts laughing.
The camel's expression says ,'See?'
       'business' like
       at age 10)
Mino is just being lazy.
Everyone, let me get you onto your
He walks up to Gabo's camel and strokes the camel, muttering
sweetly into the camel's ear, who moans and rubs it's muzzle
on Jonah's face.
      (looks at Gabo)
He says he will bear you, but you
must walk some of the time.
The camel told you that?
Be grateful, that I can. Camels
are moody creatures, and since
they get you where you want to go,
you want to stay on their good


                       JONAH (cont'd)
Jonah gives quickie instructions on camel 101 to Gabo.
Marcus slowly walks up to his camel.
Noticing, Jonah opens his mouth to protest, shuts it as he
watches what happens.
Marcus kneels and extends his hand.
His camel, Sheba, smells his hand. He reaches up to stroke
her muzzle, and she moans.
Jonah grins delightedly.
The rest of the trip will be
good.She is the ruler of the herd,
and a moody one.
God is good.She likes you!
Quintus approaches Sheba. She wrinkles her muzzle at him and
I would move if I were you. She is
about to vomit on you!
Quintus stumbles backward.
Marcus is your gatekeeper for this
one(gestures at Sheba).
She hates your guts!
Glad we got that out of the way!
I'm glad the little lady(bows at
the camel)is direct.
The guys on the ship told me that
some camels don't immediately show
that they can't stand you, and
suddenly take a hunk of flesh out
of you!
You have wise friends.
To get somewhere, we must be learn
the ways of the 'ships of the


Aptly named, because these beasts
make me so seasick!
The group mount, the camels stand up, Gabo's camel bellowing
from his weight.
They begin their journey to their new home.
They all approach a small cliff overlooking a large house
with stables and a small grove of olives, a lone oddly
twisted tree near the stables. The camels are now jogging,
sensing the end of the journey.
I recognize our people from home,
but who are these other people?
A lot of our servants were jews
who father freed. Maybe it's a
coming home party!
      (brow furrowing)
How did-. I know!
Listen instead of talk!
The servants circle around them, everyone talking at once
and petting a slobbering Romulus.
Jonah yells a word and all the camels sit down.
Prometheus is moaning, as the servants help him 'disembark'.
As Quintus is waiting for Marcus to get off the camel, he
sees a little girl with dark pigtails staring at him with
eyes as mocking and inteligent as his.
Magda runs to Quintus to hug him and follows his gaze.
      (getting a sly
You've met your match, Quintus.
Rachel is a female you.
As Quintus focuses on her, she returns his look with a -and
-you-are-? expression.
Prometheus tries to straighten up and yells.


      (gritting his
Magda, if you don't have a
masseuse waiting for me, I'll tell
everyone you put pork in your
matzo balls!
Magda grabs his arm and slowly moves him to his room.
      (jewish mother)
This girl. Such hands! She could
please Solomon himself!
      (a pained look)
The things I have to put up with
for my family!
The new home gets settled into.
Marcus and his father sit in the room that the senator has
made into his library, scrolls lying everywhere.
Marcus has dark circles under his eyes.
Are those dreams keeping you up?
You haven't spoken of them for the
week we've been here.
      (laughs bitterly)
I'm not getting any sleep because
the dreams have stopped and I stay
awake all night waiting for them!
Magda drags a defiant Rachel in the room, followed by a
pissed off, beat up Quintus.


Apologize to the Sen(bites her
tongue),Mr Mago!
      (a come on look on
       her face)
Aunt Magda, even gossipy Jews
protect their own.
She bows in apology to Gaius.
I apologize sir, for bringing
discord into your life.
But this one(looking at
Quintus,eyes shooting
flames),saying girls are the
weaker species!
I showed HIM who was the WEAKER
She runs out of the room, Magda running after her, yelling.
Everyone looks at Quintus.
One of the grooms skilled in hand
to hand combat has been teaching
I think you should get some
coaching from this guy!
      (wincing as he
       touches his eye)
You got that right!
      (an affectionate
I need - and want to go to a
market where a lot of the trade
routes meet.
Everyone, lets go on a family


Great! I'm up for it!
Ah, I've been feeling kind of
...ill lately.
His eyes dart toward the door.
Gaius and Marcus try to hide their knowing smiles.
Gotta go! I need to clean up!
Waiting till Quintus is well away, they chuckle together.
Son, I think we've met your
brother's future wife!
Both smiling, Marcus looks suddenly serious.
Dad, do you have the same feeling
that I have, that we
are....supposed to go there
Gaius nods his head. They both stare into space.
Gaius, Prometheus, and Marcus are walking in a bustling
throng of many races, who are haggling, selling
anything,bringing mail to waiting merchants and to
relatives. Animals are everywhere.
      (dodging a
       steaming camel
Boy, I'm having a great time!
I'm dying to have o' du camel crap
as my perfume!


I'm just glad you reminded me to
have our purses strapped under our
armpits. I've felt many invisible
Better to have stinky money then
none at all!
-They walk around fascinated by the different races
colliding together.
-They buy food from the local food stalls, laughing while
Prometheus cracks a joke using the food as a prop.
-They stop at a stall and look at weapons, Prometheus
looking at the more deviously subtle weapons.
      (mock whining as
Why can't I be carried around like
the Pasha Muctemuck.
Next life changing adventure, I'll
try to arrange that!
He points to a small plateau.
A tribe of animated Arabs and their camels are jostling
A young boy is standing in the middle of this.
A beautiful bright light surrounds him.
He gesticulates with him arms, grinning, and all the Arabs
laugh uproariously, the camels braying excitedly.
      (putting his hand
       on Marcus's
I have to meet someone. Stay here
with Prometheus.


Marcus will be fine, here. I have
matters to take care of too!
A booming voice makes all of them jerk their around.
The owner of the voice is a tall beak nosed Arab with
commanding yet kind eyes.
      (joins his hands
       together and bows)
I am Saladim. (gestures toward the
Arabs). They are my tribe.
I will be standing here for a
short time, so go finish your
Gaius studies him, likes what he sees.
      (returning the bow)
I have heard of Saladim the Just.
When we return, I would be honored
to share your company.
Gaius and Prometheus leave and Marcus turns to Saladim.
Sir, may I ask why you are
standing here?
Saladim's face is aglow as he stares at the boy on the
He tears his gaze away and talks to Marcus.
I am letting my tribe enjoy the
His name is Jesus.
      (staring at Jesus)
Just looking at him, I feel...like
something wonderful is going to
Saladim suddenly studies Marcus and starts to speak.
      (a natural
His birth was foretold.


                       SALADIM (cont'd)
A star let us know that he was
finally here.
I have followed the boy's life.
You can manipulate facts, but
deeds show the person.
When Jesus turned five, his father
asked him what he wanted for his
He wanted all the poor boys and
girls to have a feast and
His father said yes, and Jesus
went and brought back over a
hundred children who left with a
full stomach, and new clothes!
They look up at the shining figure again.
He will change the world.
Gaius and Prometheus return and go through the thanking
As Marcus reluctantly leaves with his family, he turns to
look over his shoulder at Jesus, who stares back and smiles.
Sorry, Marcus. I didn't bring any
guards, so we must make it home
before dark.
Marcus looks at Saladim over his shoulder.
Remember what I said!
Gaius is eating, reading a scroll in the dining room.
Marcus shows up with Romulus, who gives Gaius his usual wet
      (still reading the
What are you doing up so early?


He looks up and notices Marcus's determination.
Lays his scroll down.
Father, I have to go out today.
I'm bringing Romulus with me and
some well placed knives that Mario
gave me!
Marcus looks at his father, waiting for the no.
I won't say I'm happy about it,
but we both know that things seem
to be happening that are out of
our control.
Gaius abruptly stands up and crushes Marcus to him, then
lets go and sits down again.
      (trying to smile)
Get some food down before you
start your dangerous journey in a
foreign country that hates Romans'
      (getting a strange
       gleam in his eye)
Dad, you do remember, in that
regard, I have a secret weapon!
Gaius jerks his head in surprise, then nods and starts
laughing with Marcus.
Marcus is mounted on Ebony, Romulus enjoying being with his
About a half hour passes as Marcus lets the horse pick his
way. They're in a rocky, hilly valley.
Romulus starts barking.
As he bends forward to pet Romulus, a rock hits him above
his temple and he crashes off his horse, unconscious, his
pants catching on to the saddle, ripping open as he falls.
Two boys, appear from behind a boulder.
One looks like he wants to kill the other.


      (a weasel in a 10
       year old boy)
Barrabus,look at this horse. It
looks Arabian. We can get a good
price for it!
      (smart and sharp)
Judah, how many times have I told
you! Since my father is the boss
of the Sicarrii, I'm the boss when
he's gone!
Get it!!?
And, I heard that a prominent
Jewish family is staying here for
a while, so you probably killed
their son!
      (looking worried)
Nah! I've heard that some Romans
moved in here!
Barrabus walks over to a sprawling Marcus, and looks at the
torn crotch of his trousers.
Romulus growls low.
Barrabus starts laughing.
      (gestures Judah
Look there. I think that proves my
information was right.
As Judah moves closer to Macus, Romulus's growl gets louder.
Judah looks, turns white, backing off.
He turns to run.
Barrabus, please don't tell your
      (yelling at his
       retreating back)
Maybe, next time you'll listen to
Barrabus waits.


You can get up now. And be careful
not to scrape your...(starts
laughing) on the rock!!
Marcus looks down, mortified at his exposed crotch, and
tucks in everything.
      (looking serious)
That saved your life.
I'll have to tell Aunt Magda that
she saved my life.
Barrabus reaches down and helps Marcus up.
Sorry about my out of control
So,how does a Roman kid have a
Jewish aunt?
Marcus freezes, eyes getting huge and wary.
They study each other.
Marcus sees a good looking boy with intelligent cynical eyes
too world weary for his young age.
Barrabus sees the shining good natured interest in life in
Marcus's eyes.
They pass each others test.
Romulus runs to Marcus, knocking him to the ground.
Marcus just lays there, Romulus laying on him.
Barrabus strokes the horse.
By the way, I'm Barrabus.
I'm Marcus. Give me a few seconds.
      (wierd smile on
       his face)
You're in luck. Jesus is going to
pick me up here!
A braying camel sound jolts Romulus who scrambles up,Marcus
yelling from his claws digging in him as he stands up. They
all look up.


A young camel with a happy silly look on its face charges
down the hill toward them, bearing two young boys.
The boy in front is smaller with a crippled arm and leg and
a huge happy smile.
A light surrounds the boy whose arm is around the crippled
It is the boy from the market.
His eyes are exploding with intelligence, humor and life
He sees Barrabus and smiles, and Barrabus melts.
Romulus whines excitedly and Marcus's horse whinnies and
bobs his head at Jesus.
Meet us on the other side of the
hill! The gang's there, and it's
game time!
He looks at Marcus who feels a chill run through him.
It's about time you got here,
Brush yourself off and join the
Jesus waves his hand toward Marcus who sways briefly.
The camel climbs up the hill and rides down out of sight.
Marcus stands up and touches his head. There is no wound. He
looks down.
      (in awe)
Your clothes are whole. I never
get over that!
Now, I know why I saved you.
Have you met Jesus?
No! How does he do...?
      (shaking his head)
We-his friends don't know and
don't care.
Because just being around him is
pure fun!
When he shows up you forget
politics, your crummy home life,
or even if you're crippled.
Come on. Let's go have some fun!


Marcus and Barrabus both ride on Ebony, Romulus running
around, to a tall hill which is a hubbub of activity and a
lot of laughter. The boys dismount and watch as four happy
boys are laying stiff leather skins on the ground.
      (master of
Gang, I ask you to welcome a new
Marcus, this little guy is John.
      (clumsily bowing
       with a sweet
Get ready to have fun!
      (pointing to two
       sturdy young men)
These are my cousins, James and
Jude. (They both make sweeping
And, you know Barrabus!
Romulus bounds up to Jesus, barking excitedly, and Marcus's
horse gallops up and lays his muzzle on Jesus' cheek.
O.K., O.K.!
I present two more members of our
mad gang!
Romulus! ( the dog barks, lifts
his paw and bows his head).
And, the magnificent Ebony! (the
horse lifts his head in pride,
neighs loudly shaking his head,
and paws the ground).
Everyone laughs.
      (looking in
       bewilderment at
How does he know their names!
You might as well stop asking that
and just enjoy the ride!


The camel bellows and charges to Jesus.
She hangs her head down like a little hurt child.
      (a soothing tone)
I know!
Marcus, this is Loly, our
wonderful ship of the desert. She
comes from a very famous family,
and is only here because she loves
Loly bellows,and bobs her head up and down, to the boys
delight and laughter.
Jesus looks at Marcus, who is looking at him, frowning.
Marcus hears in his head, 'Wait!
The boys get back to their setup. They drag the stiff hides
to the edge of the cliff and sit on them, grabbing the sides
of the hide.
Come on Marcus! Hop on!
Marcus uncertainly goes over and sits on the bag leaning
over the precipice. The three boys shoot down the hill,
screaming like banshees. Marcus hesitates, Barrabus runs
over and shoves him and soon he is screaming, too, as he
slides down the cliff seemingly at 60 miles an hour.
They finally slide to a stop and pick up their bags and walk
to a rope going back up the hill, wrapped around a tree at
the bottom and to a tree at the top.
Jesus did that! Otherwise, we'd be
half dead after a couple of runs.
Follow our lead.
The boys, hide in one hand, grab the rope and as they all
pull on the rope, it starts to pull them up the hill. They
get to the top and Jesus sits on the hide, his arms around
John. Barrabus is next to him, and they take off down the
hill, happily screaming.
      (gesturing Marcus
       to the rope)
Help us pull on the rope. Jesus is
going to have John on his
shoulders, so we help get him up
the hill. We all take turns riding


                       JUDE (cont'd)
with John!
Everyone rides up and down until they're half dead.
Jesus looks up at the sun.
Our adventure for today is over.
We have about an hour before it is
Besides, the spirit is willing,
but the flesh is weak!
      (grabs his bum)
And, sore!
Barrabus gathers up the hides and hands them to the
brothers, James and Jude who are sitting on another hide,
hanging on to a rope attached to the camel. Jesus sits on
the camel, arms around a half asleep John.
Everyone, we have a special
adventure tomorrow. Meet up at the
prophets stone and bring a lunch.
(looks at Marcus).
Bring Quintus, tomorrow. He'll add
a certain..flavor to our
The camel leaves dragging the two boys.
Marcus looks at Barrabus, again his mouth open.
Romulus and Ebony surround Marcus, loving on him.
Barrabus walks up and they give him the same treatment.
They sure like you. Do you have
animals of your own?
Barrabus turns his face away in pain.
Marcus tries to distract him.
Why did you hand the hides to the


They wet them to make them stiff
Barrabus looks at the sun in the sky.
Gotta go.
He effortlessly bounds away.
Marcus yells at him.
Let me take you home!
Barrabus ignores him and disappears around a cliff.
The boys and Romulus arrive, Quintus looking around in
When can we expect your wedding?
Quintus and Marcus dismount, Quintus without a retort. He
looks at his brother with wonderment.
      (eyes gleaming)
Marcus, she's smarter than ME!
      (clutching his
The world is not ready for your
Romulus barks excitedly as Barrabus comes jogging up, only
mildly sweaty.
Quintus and Barrabus check each other out, liking what they
      (eyes intrigued)
Jesus always call it right. You're
gonna add some spice to the gang.
(points at Quintus's horse).
You're smaller so let's ride


They mount their horses, Quintus looking intrigued at the
tough looking Barrabus and Marcus looking so excited.
They see the group by one of the many cliffs.
They approach and Quintus sees Jesus - pure humor and
blazing eyes that appreciate you - warts and all.
Marcus nods yes, anticipation in his eyes.
They dismount
Welcome, Quintus. Everyone,
including the animals, follow me!
He walks around a jutting wall of the cliff and seems to
They follow him and come to a hole in the cliff face and go
down, and down. There is faint light in the tunnel.
Loly's bray echoes down the tunnel, making everyone flinch,
but the animals who seem calm.
They round the corner and see multiple waterfalls pouring
into a large single lake below.
Jesus looks proudly at the incredible water park, as if
showing off his home.
Mother Nature at her best!
And, I'll show you why!
He points to the waterfalls, which have a rough pathway to
the top.
There are holes on the top and
each one them leads to the
waterfalls. You can get into them
face first or feet first and
you'll pop out of a waterfall -and
always a different one!
It's safe, I did it!
Little John, lets show them how to
do it!


John swells in pride and walks with Jesus, who helps him up
the 'stairs'.
Jesus grabs John in a bear hug and jumps into a hole on the
right and disappears.
Everyone holds their breaths and then - they pop out
screaming from the left hole.
Everyone is oohing and ahhing. .
      (the responsible
You guys, go ahead!
I'll take care of the animals.
He looks over and sees that the animals are taking care of
themselves, eating rich grass under sunlit cracks in the
He runs for the path.
-Marcus and James exploding out two holes at the same time
-Romulus is swimming around the pool,barely avoiding the boy
-Jesus is being John's 'horsie', riding him on his
-Quintus diving off Barrabus's shoulder.
-Everyone riding the waterfalls until they're exhausted.



Barrabus's hair is in wet disorder, revealing part of a
Quintus reaches out to touch it, his mouth open to ask him
about it.
Barrabus rears back, eyes slitted.
Quintus jerks back, too, eyes big.
Sorry. Some things are better left
He gets a wicked smile on his face, quickly reaching over to
lift Quintus in the air and slings him.
Barrabus climbs out of the pool, followed by a grinning
They all eat, animals and boys laying full and contented
around the lake.


Everyone be quiet and get ready.
The lake starts rippling and a otter's head sticks up. It
swims to Jesus, half slides out of the lake and lays it's
head on Jesus' lap.
Everyone is amazed at this wild animal acting tame.
She slaps the water and four babies swim up and lay next to
Oohs and aahs fill the room.
Mama said if you are very gentle,
she will let you pet her babies!
One of the babies cuddles in John's crippled arm and he is
Tough guy Barrabus acts aloof until one of the babies climbs
in his lap. He melts.
The babies get bold and climb and gamble all over them.
      (looking at Jesus
       in awe)
Jesus. Why do animals..... trust
      (puts his arm
       around John.)
Love answers love. If only the
world knew that the energy of love
is the most powerful force in the
And it makes life so fun!
Everyone looks thoughtful.
Marcus looks at Barrabus whose face fills up with pain.
A growling sound echoes in the chamber.
The mother sticks her nose in the air, wrinkles her noise,
and she and her babies disappear into the water.
Quintus has laid his stench bomb.
Everyone starts gagging, choking and running away.
Loly bellows, the horses scream, and Romulus runs away,
Quintus sits there, a self satisfied look on his face.
Say hello to my little friend!


Everyone cracks up and starts adding their comments, but
still holding their hands over their mouths.
Quintus, the Grand Master of Smell
Fed by cabbage, he's a deadly
All noses, beware!
Nations compete for this new
deadly weapon!
Nations bow before his stench!
My new smell disciples!
Another growler erupts from Quintus.
Romulus howls.
Jesus bellows with laughter and jumps into the lake.
The boys jump in, Romulus jumps in , the horses and Loly
jump in. The otters surface, acting like the clowns they
It's a mess.
Eventually, the otters disappear and they all climb out,
laying on the ground, exhausted and happy.
That was a blast!
Don't let Quintus hear you! You
might encourage him for a second
      (mock serious)
Sorry, boys. I'm all out of my
special 'perfume'.


Everyone laughs, and get ready to leave.
Marcus and Quintus get the horses, followed by James holding
the halter of Loly, while Jesus and John clean up the area.
They all tiredly happily walk out.
They climb out of the cave, Romulus bounding ahead.
Everyone mounts their 'transportation'.
Jesus and John mount the camel, Barrabus on one bag and the
brothers on the other.
      (looking at
You're not going to ride with us?
All Jews are getting ready for
Passover, so it's better for you
if we're not seen together.
Marcus looks questioningly at Jesus, who says in Marcus'
head again, Wait!
They ride in different directions.
Time passes as Romulus and the boys go home.
      (punch drunk from
You do realize that the fact it
took me so long to ask you this
question, is that I'm half dead.
I'm so tired that I didn't notice
that you didn't ask me that
question because I'm so tired,
By the way, what is the question?
They both start giggling until they graduate into hysterical
laughter, accompanied by Romulus' barking.
They slow down.
What did Barrabus mean?


He knows we are Romans.
Who IS Barrabus?
But, who cares. If he's with
Jesus, he's fine!
      (eyes shining)
You got that right!
They ride giggling and talking to home.
Gaius and Prometheus are pouring over a map. Quintus and
Gabo are playing a game of chess, and Marcus and Romulus are
tangled up in each other on the floor.
Zeus, Gabo,if you don't let me win
once in a while, I'm not going to
play with you!
Like right now!
Prometheus gets up in rare anger and walks over to Quintus
who realizes that he pissed off his second father.
You need to apologize to Gabo!
Gabo, I'm so sorry - .
Gabo smiles, understanding Quintus.
Haven't I taught you anything? If
you want to get a person's
attention,you act like you want to
know about THEM!
Ask Rachel about Passover.
You'll have her eating out of your


Quintus looks happy again, and runs out of the room.
I'm starting to realize that my
father's reputation might have
something to do with you!
Gauis and Prometheus smile at each other like oh, he finally
      (looking serious)
How are things going with Jesus?
I haven't had a chance to ask you,
because Prometheus and I have been
working on a project for Tiberius.
      (eyes glowing)
Gentleman, Being with Jesus is an
exciting adventure.
Let me tell you!
The men's eyes start glowing too as they listen. Even
Prometheus loses his constant cynical look as Marcus
finishes his story.
To think that the flight for our
life led us to this legend.
You know that he has been long
anticipated and is supposed to be
the liberator of the Jewish people
and the son of God.
What's he like?
When you are with him, all you
feel is happiness.
You should see the look on John's
face. He forgets he's crippled
around Jesus.(sighs) And, now he's
in Jerusalem with his parents, so
it'll be even longer before I see
him again.
Looking frustrated.


That's what's making me crazy!
I'm pretty sure that he is the
faceless person in my dreams, but
we haven't had any one on one
      (looking sad)
From the stories you've told me, I
don't think he's the liberator the
Jewish nation is looking for.
He sounds like he is the son of a
God of love, not hate.
      (loking at Marcus)
Somehow, I don't think distance
will prove a problem for Jesus.
The horses need exercise so
distract yourself. Take Joshua
with you and your sword. I heard
that a few zealots might be in the
area.(jokingly)Not your NEW sword!
Joshua would have to help me lift
up THAT sword!
Dad, by Zeus, I don't know how I
lifted that sword!
      (shaking his head
       up and down)
When you are a Tribune and are in
battle and you have a thousand
barbarians trying to kill you
you'll know how!
Marcus jumps up and hugs his father, then Prometheus, then
See you gentlemen at dinner!
He runs out of the room.
Marcus it tossing restlessly.
He hears a voice in his head,'go to the twisted tree'.


He leaps out of his bed in his breech cloth, out the window,
and runs excitedly to the tree.
Marcus runs outside to Jesus, who is waiting by the tree,
unconscious that he is almost naked.
      (eyes shining)
Are you?
      (nudges him in the
Of course!
Let's go have fun!
Hold my hand and close your eyes.
Marcus closes his eyes.
A loud whooshing sound. Marcus opens his eyes.
Marcus is staggered by what he is seeing.
A volcano in the distance is glowing. A gigantic yellow moon
is rising. A balmy breeze ruffles the boys hair.
Marcus looks at Jesus with awe and expectancy.
      (looking just as
Fun first! Talk later!
They plunge into the warm sea, followed by usual kid stuff -
laughing, diving, splashing each other.
While they are doing this the sea starts glowing and flowing
different colors.
Marcus shouts in delight as jelly fish surface like glowing
different colored jewels.
A large octopus rises up and wraps one of his arms lovingly
around Jesus's neck.
A dolphin rises under a startled Marcus who clutches it's
Jesus kisses the octopus who slowly slides back into the
water, and Jesus is abruptly thrust into the air by his
The dolphins leap side by the side, the boys holding their
breaths on the down side.


      (laughing joyously)
Get ready!!
The dolphins do a backward roll and plunge into the water
upside down.
The boys emerge,Marcus choking, Jesus grinning.
Wanna do it again?
Now that I know what to expect,
bring it on!!
They enjoy the roller coaster dolphin ride. They suddenly
Jesus gets a surprised awed look in his eyes, and slides off
his dolphin, followed by Marcus.
The dolphins start squealing and leaping with excitement.
Marcus looks at Jesus with a question in his eyes.
The Old Father of the Seas is
The sea starts massively bubbling.
The largest whale this planet will ever see surfaces under
Jesus and Marcus who looks alarmed.
Jesus waves at him comfortingly.
Jesus stands up on the massive whale back and dives into the
water. He surfaces and Jesus swims to the whales head under
his eye.
And such an eye. The gigantic centuries old liquid ebony eye
is filled with such pain.
Jesus strokes the whales face, and then tears of pain flow
out of Jesus' face.
The whale starts crying, too, each huge tear creating waves
as it plops into the ocean.
      (looking up at
       Marcus who dives
His mate of thousands of years
just died.
The whale and Jesus look into each others eyes for what
seems a long time, both crying.
The pain in the whale's eye fades away followed by a


peaceful look.
Jesus and the whale stop crying.
      (stroking the
I am so honored.
The boys and the whale just hang out, Marcus and Jesus
floating on their backs, stoking the mighty giant.
He wants to know if we want to
stroke his tongue?
Well, yea, uh, whatever he wants!
The whale opens his mouth. The dolphins boost them up, and
they grab a hunk of rubbery mouth skin and clamber in.
The kids look like midgets.
Marcus is flabbergasted.
He is inside a whale's Mouth!!!
He looks over at Jesus.
His arms are upward and his eyes are closed and a beaming
smile splits his face. A beautiful multicolored light beams
from him and blends with the glowing plankton on the whale's
A huge vibrating contented humm answers Jesus' energy.
Marcus closes his eyes as the wonderful hum penetrates every
fiber of his being.
The hum fades away.
Follow my lead!
Jesus sits down laying his hands flat on the giant tongue,
Marcus imitating him.
The whale slightly lifts his head and the boys slide down,
their hands and butts creating a wake of green slime.
Just as it seems they're going down his throat, he levels
his mouth.


We've been slimed!!
The whale points his head down and the same trip happens in
reverse.He does this a couple more times and as the boys
slide forward, opens his mouth and the boys spill out in the
middle of gamboling dolphins.
Jesus swims to the whale and strokes him under his wise huge
      (smiling at Marcus)
He says it felt great, and he now
wants to live a little longer.
The mighty behemoth dives, leaving a wake that bobs the boys
up and down. They grab the nearest fin, and the dolphins tow
them toward the shore.
The dolphins circle Jesus, trying to touch him,squealing.
Almost to the shore, they do acrobatic flips, and swim away.
The boys swim to shore, climb out of the lagoon and lay on
a couple of flat rocks.
      (getting up on his
Wow! I never know what is going to
happen with you, but don't ever
stop! I don't even care if I ever
understand what is going on!
      (also leaning on
       his elbow,
       looking at Marcu)
I would have thought that the
dreams would have given you the
How fun would an adventure be if
you didn't have a kindred soul
enjoying it with you?!
God wouldn't send us out alone.
We've been buddies just about
every life we've had!
Why can't we remember, then? Why


                       MARCUS (cont'd)
the big mystery?
God loves us so much, he gives us
do overs!
The chance to create again, anew!
Besides, life with no mystery?
I'm glad that you aren't the
designer of life!
The boys lie around on their boulders, enjoying the sheer
beauty of the place.
Marcus sits up to see everything better.
Where is this beautiful place?
      (again smiling
       like he's showing
       off HIS place)
Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?!
I'm not sure where we are. I just
asked for a beautiful island where
man has not yet been.
Marcus looks at Jesus, realizing that he is with the most
amazing person on earth.
What do you mean, a place where no
man has been?
Marcus sees an expression on Jesus' face that he realizes he
has never seen before - anger.
      (picking up a
       handful of sand)
Man has forgotten that we are made
from this planet.(slowly dribbles
the sand from his fingers).
God gave us this (gestures at the
beauty) as our present because he
loves us so much.


He frowns and closes his eyes in pain.
Marcus hears the rumbling of thunder.
Animals now run from man because
he has the mark of Cain.
One murder has now escalated to
thousands, and will later extend
to millions, which could include
the death of this planet.
His face calms and the thunder subsides. He walks over to
Marcus and squeezes his hand.
I glad that I get my best friend
to be here this time. I'm going to
need one.
Thunder suddenly rumbles, and Marcus squeezes his arm,
jerking Jesus out of his agony, who shakes his head.
Jesus looks apologetically at Marcus and squats in the sand
next to him.
Marcus opens his mouth to speak, and Jesus starts talking.
I know, you want to ask me why
with all the powers I have, why
don't I heal little John.
Marcus jerks in head in shock.
Jesus tears up, but looks proud.
Little John is here to remind us
of our own perfection, and his
courage accepting who he is.
He shakes his head and changes his mood.
We will both be leaving Judea in a
few days.
Emperor Tiberius has found the
traitor, and I'm leaving with the
next caravan.
      (eyes widening)
Then how will we continue our
In THIS lifetime?


Jesus waves at the gorgeous surroundings.
Have friend, will follow!
Get ready to go to a few mystery
Dreams, teleportation- don't
worry, old friend.
We'll just have an - unusual
Distance will be an illusion with
us. I go to my....destiny, and you
will be an acclaimed commander,
known for winning battles in
strange ways - and saving lives in
the process.
Jesus grabs Marcus's hand.
Time to get home.
The surroundings start melting.
      (looking contented)
I'm so glad we reconnected!
Meet the gang at the hill. I'm
afraid it's the last meeting.
I have a special surprise!
Jesus vanishes.
Marcus walks to his window, climbs back in and lays on his
bed, a big smile on his face.
Gaius is at the head of the table that has Marcus, Quintus,
Gabo, and Prometheus waiting for their food.
      (looking grumpy)
Why won't Magda accept any help in
the kitchen so we can eat faster?
I'm famished.


It's about power and control,
something you should know a great
deal about!
The kitchen is her domain and our
hunger temporarily gives her great
power over her starving subjects!
Everyone laughs.
Magda enters the room and everyone studies her face and
notices she does look very satisfied with herself as she
feeds her people, Rachel assisting her.
Everyone is plated and digging in.
      (talking with his
       mouth full)
Will you please SIT down and eat,
Magda looks pleased that Quintus cares.
Because otherwise, Rachel won't
sit down!
Prometheus looks sympathetically at Magda.
Don't try to keep an ego around
this kid!
I should be used to it because of
Rachel glares at her, but decides that eating is more
Romulus is under the table, getting his share, and the
family enjoys the whole breakfast experience.
Everyone except Magda is relaxing after breakfast.
Marcus, looking mentally preoccupied, looks at his dad.
Father, are we leaving right away?


Marcus is totally taken aback by his father and Prometheus's
reaction - total shock.
And you know this how?
Prometheus shocks the hell out of everyone by jumping up
like a little boy.
You saw Jesus!! Give!
Gaius looks at Prometheus likes he's an alien.
Where is the man who is the most
sarcastic cynical mover and shaker
of Rome!
      (sees himself and
       is surprised)
You know, Gaius, I kind of like
this new me.(looks at Marcus)
      (an awed look on
       his face)
Can you wait for the ship voyage?
I can tell you it involved a
really neat whale and dolphins and
(he has everyone's attention).....
He leaps up.
I gotta go. Jesus has something
special planned.(grins wickedly at
Prometheus). How do you keep a
moron in suspense?!
Quintus leaps up.
That invitation includes me of


You know it! You're part of the
The usual arrogant Rachel looks wistful and yearning.
      (in a tiny voice)
Could I go?
Marcus walks over to Rachel, takes one of her hands, and
Of course! Jesus would love you.
      (taking command
Gabo, Prometheus, Father.
We are going to have (starts
yelling) the time of our lives!!
Let's go!!
The kids stampede out of the room.
The kids are early. Romulus is playing a fetch game with
Barrabus. Rachel and Quintus are having a spirited
conversation, Marcus is pacing excitedly. James and Jude
ride up on an old nag.
Jesus explodes around the corner, Lolly's silly tongue
flopping everywhere, everyone yelling welcomes.
Jesus and John grin, John hanging on to the hump. John looks
especially excited.
Seeing Rachel, the camel pounds toward her, stopping in a
spray of sand.
She likes you!(looks at Rachel)
If you don't want a gooey kiss,
step back!
Rachel steps back with a delighted smile on her face,
enjoying the nuttiness of the situation.
Jesus helps John off of the camel, and when he gets on the
ground, Rachel sees his twisted arm and leg and looks at
Jesus with respect. Jesus sees it and they share a look of


Everyone's head jerks up as a terrifying shriek rips the
sky. Two huge birds descend to the top of the cliff they
are standing under
Golden Eagles! The biggest I've
ever seen!
      (beaming proudly)
This is Sarah.(She screams and
flies down and lands on a spear of
stone. Jesus walks up to her and
she draws her cruel beak
affectionately down his cheek)
The kids eyes, especially Rachel's. are beaming with that
I-am-having-an adventure look.
      (pointing up to
       the other bird)
And, he hates humanity. I healed
his wing that had an arrow in it.
The eagle hisses sounding like a giant snake.
Does he have a name?
      (looking sad)
He will not take a man's name. He
is only here because Sara (she
coos, her beak resting on Jesus'
shoulder, causing the kids to
uneasily titter at the incongruity
of it)wants to thank me for saving
her mates' life.
Jesus hugs John to him.
Gentlemen and Ladies! (Rachel
blushes)John's birthday is soon,
so let's give him a birthday he'll
never forget.
Everyone cheers. John's face is blood red and he looks like
he will split his sweet face with smiling excitement.


Jesus pulls a leather coat out of the saddlebag and puts it
on John. It is way too big.
He looks at the boys and points to the bottom of the hill.
Men, run to the bottom of the
hill. Sara is going to glide down
the hill with John in her
claws.(John jerks his head up in
alarm, and Jesus grabs at the
jacket)Holding on to this, of
Then, she will easily deposit him
with one of you!
Everyone oohs at the sheer coolness of this.
The boys run down the hill.
Rachel is uncertain of what to do.
Jesus grabs her hand in a reassuring squeeze.
      (sweetly smiling)
Rachel, we have the best seat in
the house.
Rachel grins. She is experiencing a living dream.
Jesus moves John in position at the edge of the cliff.
      (staring intently
       into John's eyes)
Cross your arms into your armpits.
Hug yourself and do not move your
Get ready, Warrior.
John obeys, his eyes as big as saucers.
Sara flaps her huge wings, and rises up. Another flap, and
she aims down the cliff, deftly grabbing the jacket with her
huge claws.
Everyone is jumping up and down as they watch John 'fly'.
      (yelling at the
Be still and be ready to receive!!
The huge bird carefully flies over Barrabus and drops him in
his arms, lifts up into the sky, and joined by her mate,
flies off with huge screams.
Cheers fill the sky as the kids rush John!
Barrabus swings John up to his shoulders and everyone climbs
up the hill.


Quintus walks next to them and smiles at Barrabus who winks
at him and smiles back.
Barrabus reaches the top of the hill and swings down John,
who runs to Jesus and hugs him. Jesus turns red as his
clenched eyes leak tears.
He stands up and whirls John around to break the moment.
He stands and looks at everyone with a big smile.
Man the mats! (looks at James)
Rachel needs a guide!
Different combinations of kids slide down the hill.
Romulus runs down one time slowly.
Loly tries to and starts screaming in frustration and turns
Everyone is laying down, panting, sharing water skins.
John sits up on his elbow at looks earnestly at Jesus.
What's it like being you?
Jesus looks startled, and all heads eagerly jerk to see his
I feel everything good in this
wonderful world....so
powerfully.(smiling at
everyone)Especially you guys!
Lowers his head.
And..I also feel the pain and the
the hurt of others more
(looks up ruefully) That's why I'm
going to Egypt land to their
mystery schools.
To make me stronger.
Stands up.


One last run!
Everyone grabs a bag, Marcus and Rachel relaxing side by
As fast as lightning, Quintus sits on his bag, calls Romulus
and tries to sit him on the bag.Romulus is half on the bag
when the bag starts moving beyond Quintus's control.
As they move down, both Marcus and Jesus yell.
Romulus falls off the bag, rolls down the hill like a rag
doll and when he stops, a bounding rock cracks his skull,
his neck twisted.
After a horrified paralyzed minute, everyone runs down to
Quintus, who is sitting and staring at the obviously dead
Barrabus squats next to Quintus and gives him a brief hug.
      (Cradling the
       dog's body
Romulus, I killed you, I killed
Jesus grabs John and walks down.
Jesus puts down John and they crouch next to Quintus.
Everyone squats down, circling Romulus, tears rolling down
everyone's face.
      (looking urgently
       at all the kids)
Everyone put your hands on
Romulus and feel how much you love
They gingerly put their hands on Romulus, who has the
lifeless staring eyes of the dead.
      (looking up)
Father, when many are gathered in
your name with love, love will
He holds his hands over the kids' hands. Everyone's mouth
drops open as Jesus's hands start glowing and it spreads to
all the children's hands.
A doggy moan comes from Romulus's mouth who starts to move.
Everyone starts screaming and hugging each other. Romulus,
stands up, shakes himself as he's hugged by everyone there.
Moments pass and they all look at Jesus, a question in their


      (crying like
We will soon be separated.
Don't EVER forget.
Love is the most powerful force in
the universe!! (looks at them all)
Prayer and faith can change the
Jesus opens his arms.
Let us all hug each other. We have
become like brothers.(he looks at
Rachel and grins)And, don't forget
our little sister!
Still shocked from seeing Romulus come to life, everyone is
ready to do whatever he says.
Shyly at first, the boys reluctantly hug. Realizing that
this magical adventure has come to an end, the tears flow.
      (hugging Barrabus,
       then looking at
       him purposely)
You can not change the unpleasant
future that we both know awaits
you. but you CAN control HOW you
play your role.
Barrabus nods at him gratefully.
Jesus has a message for each person.
Quintus, still in a daze, walks up to Barrabus.
      (grabs his hands
       and puts the
       'periscope' in
A friend I made on the ship that
brought us here told me to give
this to a new adventure friend!
For some reason you remind me of
Barrabus looks at it curiously.
What is it?


Even though he is in shock, he gives Barrabus a sly smile.
I hope you have as much fun
figuring it out as I did!
Everyone gets on their respective rides.
Marcus and Jesus look at each other.
      (tears in his eyes)
We'll be back someday.
I know you will.
Everyone rides off, Romulus trotting besides his boys like
nothing happened, causing a a look of wonder on everyone's
Prometheus and Gabo are playing chess. Gaius is reading his
usual scroll.
Romulus bounds into the room, followed by Marcus, Quintus,
and Rachel, who all still have a dazed look on their faces.
Prometheus looks up and becomes alarmed.
What's wrong? Why did you miss
Quintus looks at the men, and starts crying and hurls
himself on his shocked father.
I killed Romulus!!
But, he's right here.
Romulus come here!
Romulus obliges, licking up Quintus' tears.
      (in a self hating
As usual, it was MY fault!!


Prometheus looks at the alive Romulus and at Quintus, then
imploringly at Marcus.
      (in a wondering
Uncle.....He WAS dead.
Jesus brought him back from the
Everyone is thunderstruck. Gabo drops his chess piece.
Prometheus' mouth keeps opening and closing like a fish.
Gaius's eyes are on fire.
It is quiet.
Rachel looks at everyone.
But, it wasn't just him. Didn't
you guys feel like your hands were
on fire?
Marcus and Quintus look surprised and nod their heads.
      (voice rising)
Jesus said that love and prayer
can change the world!
(points at Romulus)
And there is your proof!
Romulus surprises everyone by looking at everyone in the
room and bowing his head.
Everyone breaks into a startled laugh.
Rachel tells the story to the enthralled adults.
I don't know about anyone else,
but I just want to go to bed and
Everyone is caught up in their own thoughts.
The kids walk to their rooms like zombies.
The three men sit there staring into space.
Gaius:God of this boy, please help my friend. He gave up his
beautiful voice to save my life.
Prometheus:I have not believed in Gods for years, but please


heal this great soul's voice.
Marcus and Quintus prayers blending together:He loves us
God. Please help him.
Rachel: Your son has shown us, God, that we can change
Please heal Gabo.

A ray beams down from the skies into a tiny room.
The family is contentedly lounging around the breakfast
table, waiting for breakfast and petting Romulus.
Gabo walks in and Romulus rushes him.
Careful boy!
A bomb has dropped in the room.
Gabo clutches his throat in confusion.
No one has any dignity. Everyone hugging everyone, Romulus
jumping up and barking.Everyone is saying I prayed for you,
while Gabo looks confused and happy.
Gaius hugs Gabo.
      (tears flowing)
I have hated myself these many
years, for being the cause...
Gabo shakes his head and stops Gaius with his hand briefly
over his mouth, smiling.
Rachel and Magda walk into the room.
Gabo touches his throat and starts singing slowing, his
voice rising into all the delicious tones that great singers
can create.
      (looking at them)
Magda screams and throws her apron over her head and Rachel
runs up and hugs Gabo.