This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.

       "Dragonskin" - screenplay by Derek Paterson.

       FADE IN:


       EXT. WELSH BOG - DAY

       Two ancient armies come together in a deafening orgy of blood-
       lust and screaming agony!

       Welsh TRIBESMEN hurl themselves against the massed shields
       of ROMAN SOLDIERS.  The Roman shield wall holds against the
       Welsh charge.  Javelins and arrows shower the Welsh,
       inflicting terrible casualties.

       A trumpet BLARES and the Romans advance, killing everyone in
       their path.  The Welsh at the front are cut down by Roman
       swords.  Others die as Roman javelins and arrows rain down.
       The tribesmen fall back.  It's the beginning of a rout.

       CAEDMOR, a boy of 15 with a distinctive streak in his hair,
       sees the shield wall advancing on him.  He panics, throws
       away his bow and flees for his life.  Tribesmen fall around
       him, pierced by Roman arrows.  Caedmor runs and leaps across
       the bog like a gazelle, thinking of nothing except his own
       safety.

       Elsewhere on the battlefield a huge Welsh WARRIOR waves a
       banner depicting a snarling dragon, and tries to rally the
       fleeing tribesmen.  He shouts at them, curses them, grabs
       them -- demands they stand and fight.  It's no good, the
       battle's lost, nothing can stop the rout.

       WHAP!  An arrow hits the Warrior in the chest.  WHAP!  Another
       one.  He falls to his knees, dying.  He looks up at the dragon
       banner, fluttering in the wind.  He holds it aloft, as high
       as he can.  Then he pitches forward onto his face, dead.

       The banner falls into the bog and is trampled by fleeing
       tribesmen who don't even notice it.  And then it's trampled
       by Roman sandals as the Legion advances.

                                                     FADE TO BLACK:

       TITLE:  "Roman-occupied Wales, 97 A.D."

       FADE IN:


       INT. WELSH HUT - DAY

       Early morning.  A cockerel CROWS the dawn.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2.


       Caedmor, older now, 20s and more rugged but still with that
       distinctive streak in his hair, wakes out of a nightmare,
       sweating and gasping.  GWYN, beside him, wakes up.

                             GWYN
                 Your demons haunt you again?

                             CAEDMOR
                 Go back to sleep.

       She does.  Caedmor gets up and gets dressed.  He opens the
       hut door and is just about to exit when...


       EXT. WELSH VILLAGE - DAY

       Roman SOLDIERS enter the still-sleeping village and move
       quickly from hut to hut, searching.  SHOUTS and SCREAMS from
       the villagers inside the huts as they're rudely awakened.


       INT. WELSH HUT - DAY

       Caedmor slams the door shut and heads for the back window.
       Gwyn sits up in bed, puzzled.


       EXT. WELSH VILLAGE - DAY

       Roman Centurion AURELUS, 30s, and his Sergeant, PAULINUS, a
       tough veteran, watch as soldiers drag villagers from their
       huts.

       The villagers, all ages, stand in a frightened circle in the
       village "square," an open area between the huts.

       Gwyn is dragged out of her hut and made to join the others.
       She looks around, bewildered and afraid.

       Aurelus steps forward.  All eyes are on him.

                             AURELUS
                 The tracker, Caedmor.  Where is he?

       The villagers glance at each other.  Many look at Gwyn, who
       wishes the ground would open up and swallow her.  Aurelus
       sees the looks.  He moves to stand in front of her.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 Where is Caedmor?

       Gwyn stares at the ground.  Aurelus lifts her chin and looks
       into her eyes.  Gwyn shakes with fear but doesn't talk.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               3.


                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 You know that name, don't you?

       A ROMAN SOLDIER

       catches a glimpse of Caedmor fleeing beyond the village
       perimeter.

                             ROMAN SOLDIER
                 Halt!

       Several soldiers give chase.  Aurelus follows them.

       Paulinus grins savagely at the frightened villagers.


       EXT. RIVER BANK - DAY

       Caedmor slides down the embankment and hides among tall reeds.
       He ducks as Roman soldiers move along the river bank.  He
       snaps off a long reed and slips under water.

       Aurelus directs his men up and down the river bank.


       EXT. UNDER WATER - DAY

       Caedmor breathes through the reed.

       CAEDMOR'S POV:  shadows move around on the river bank above.
       They move away from the bank.  Soon no Romans are visible.

       Suddenly Caedmor chokes, unable to breath.  He has no choice
       but to kick for the surface.


       EXT. RIVERSIDE - DAY

       Caedmor erupts out of the river, coughing and choking.
       Aurelus pinched the reed so he couldn't breathe!

       Caedmor glares at laughing Roman soldiers who line the river
       bank.

       Aurelus grins as he holds his shortsword to Caedmor's throat.

                             AURELUS
                 And you must be the tracker.


       EXT. WELSH VILLAGE - DAY

       The Romans pull out, taking their wet prisoner with them.

       Paulinus steps up to Aurelus.  He holds a burning torch.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               4.


                             PAULINUS
                 Do you want the village burned, sir?

                             AURELUS
                 We've got what we came for.

                             PAULINUS
                 And the villagers, sir?

       Aurelus looks back at the villagers.  They're frightened,
       expecting punishment from the merciless Romans.

       Aurelus takes the burning torch from Paulinus, turns it over
       and douses it on the ground.  The villagers can't believe
       it.  Neither can Paulinus.

                             AURELUS
                 Lead the way, Sergeant.

       Paulinus moves to the head of the Roman force and leads the
       way.  Aurelus turns his back on the villagers and exits after
       his men.


       EXT. ROMAN FORT - DAY

       A square-walled fort surrounded by a deep ditch.  Sentries
       patrol the walls.  Wooden huts offer protection against heavy
       rain that reduces visibility to fifty paces.


       INT. AURELUS' HUT - DAY

       A fire burns in a stone grate, warming the hut.  Aurelus
       stands by a window, looking out.  His aide OCTAVUS, 20s,
       sits at a table writing on a parchment scroll.

                             AURELUS
                 Rain.  Always rain.  Why does it
                 rain so much, Octavus?

       Octavus doesn't even look up from his writing.

                             OCTAVUS
                 To slow us down, sir.  Otherwise
                 conquering this land would be all
                 too easy.  The gods decided to
                 handicap us with weather.

                             AURELUS
                 I suspect there's more than a grain
                 of truth in your words.  Britannia!
                 Never have I seen a country that has
                 so much water.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               5.


                             SENTRY (O.S.)
                 Patrol coming in!

                             AURELUS
                 He's here.

       Aurelus grabs his helmet and puts it on.  He wraps his cloak
       about his shoulders and hurries out into the rain.


       EXT. ROMAN FORT - DAY

       Sentries open the gates and GENERAL ROMULUS, 60s, rides in.
       He's followed by TEN Roman foot soldiers armed with spears
       and shields.  They're soaked to the skin, but still the
       toughest fighters of the ancient world.

       Octavus catches up with Aurelus.  Octavus steps forward and
       takes the horse's reins as Romulus dismounts.  Aurelus slaps
       his fist against his leather chest armor, the Roman salute.

                             AURELUS
                 Hail, Gaius Romulus!  We're honored,
                 sir.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Don't be.  Centurion or no, it's
                 fifty lashes for you unless you have
                 the tracker under lock and key, as I
                 ordered.

       Romulus walks past Aurelus without waiting to hear his answer.
       He climbs the steps and enters the hut.  Octavus looks at
       Aurelus, plainly worried.

                             AURELUS
                 The Iron General's in a fine mood
                 today.  Get rid of the horse, see
                 these men are taken care of, then
                 join us.

       Aurelus follows Romulus into the hut.


       INT. AURELUS' HUT - DAY

       Romulus warms his hands at the fire.  He's taken off his
       helmet and cloak.  Aurelus enters.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Well?

                             AURELUS
                 Some wine, sir?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               6.


                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 First, your report.

                             AURELUS
                 Very well, sir.  Upon receiving your
                 message I led a patrol to the
                 tracker's village.  The villagers
                 refused to reveal his whereabouts.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Then you've earned yourself fifty
                 lashes.

                             AURELUS
                 That would most certainly be the
                 case, sir, if we hadn't caught him
                 before he crossed the river.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Then you have him?

                             AURELUS
                 If I didn't, sir, I would already be
                 tied to the punishment post awaiting
                 your arrival.

       A ghost of a smile plays over Romulus' lips.

       Octavus enters and stands to attention.  Romulus gestures
       for him to relax.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 This tracker.  What's he like?

                             AURELUS
                 He seems little different from the
                 rest of the locals.  Surly, resentful
                 and uncooperative.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 You ordered your men to beat it out
                 of him, I hope?

                             AURELUS
                 On the contrary, General.  Your
                 message was explicit.  We haven't
                 harmed a single hair on his head.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Good.  Then I'll see him now.  I'll
                 need a translator.

                             AURELUS
                 All arranged, sir.  Octavus, fetch
                 the slave girl.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               7.


       Octavus salutes and exits.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 I assume you burned his village and
                 put its inhabitants to the sword?

                             AURELUS
                 I considered doing so.

       Romulus considers Aurelus for a moment.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 My throat's dry.  I will have that
                 wine after all.

       Aurelus fetches a jug and pours a cup.  Romulus drinks.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 Sicily?

                             AURELUS
                 From my family's own vineyard.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 It's strange that your father sits
                 in the Senate but you're only a
                 centurion.

                             AURELUS
                 Yes, sir.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 You've refused promotion twice.
                 What are you afraid of?

                             AURELUS
                 I'm where I want to be, sir.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Second Legion has earned more than
                 its share of battle honors.  But
                 Brittania is a backwater populated
                 by savages, not worth a single drop
                 of Roman blood.  A soldier with your
                 abilities would suit the Praetorian
                 well.  You'd make a fine officer.

                             AURELUS
                 Wouldn't some consider that dangerous,
                 sir?  The son of a Senator, an officer
                 in the Praetorian Guard?

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Why didn't you kill the villagers?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               8.


                             AURELUS
                 I saw no reason to.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 It would have taught others to fear
                 us.

                             AURELUS
                 The Cymrii already fear Rome.  If
                 you want the village burned to the
                 ground, say the word.  It will be
                 done before nightfall.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Do you feel these people have value?

                             AURELUS
                 If they didn't there would be little
                 point in our being here.  What
                 interest does Rome have in empty
                 lands?  It's the people who make the
                 land valuable, and unique.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 I disagree.  It's the resources that
                 matter.  The Cymrii -- what does
                 Rome care about them?  They're savages
                 who worship unclean gods.

                             AURELUS
                 We've educated savages before.  Turned
                 them into good Romans.

       Octavus enters with a Welsh girl, HYWEA, 20.  Her beauty
       makes Romulus look twice.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 You said she's a slave girl?

                             AURELUS
                 Captured in a raid on a rebel village.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 How did you know it was a rebel
                 village?

                             AURELUS
                 We didn't, until we found Roman armor
                 and weapons buried under one of the
                 huts.  Serial markings indicated
                 they belonged to Ninth Legion.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 And the villagers?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               9.


                             AURELUS
                 Crucified as per regulations.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 But not this one.

                             AURELUS
                 She and a dozen others of pleasing
                 appearance became property of the
                 Legion.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 How is it she speaks Latin?

                             AURELUS
                      (to Hywea)
                 Explain how you speak the tongue of
                 Rome.

                             HYWEA
                 My father was a Roman.  Before he
                 died, we lived in one of your towns.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                      (to Aurelus)
                 Evidently she reverted to savagery
                 upon her father's death.

                             HYWEA
                 We were cast out.  We had no choice
                 but to go back to our own people.

                             AURELUS
                 Be silent until you are spoken to.

                             HYWEA
                 It was harder for my mother than it
                 was for me.  The Druids branded her
                 harlot for marrying a Roman.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Hold your tongue or you'll taste the
                 lash!

                             HYWEA
                 I've already tasted it.  Do your
                 worst, Roman.

       An awkward moment... then Romulus throws back his head and
       laughs.  Aurelus and Octavus exchange glances.  Not the
       reaction they expected from the Iron General.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              10.


                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                      (to Aurelus)
                 Let's go and see this tracker of
                 yours.

                             AURELUS
                 Sir, may I ask why...?

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 In good time, Centurion.  Everything
                 in good time.


       INT. PRISON HUT - DAY

       Caedmor sits uncomfortably on the straw-covered floor.  He's
       chained to the wall.  An empty bowl and jug lie nearby.

       FOOTSTEPS clump outside the door... then the door opens and
       Paulinus sticks his head in.  He makes sure all is well before
       he allows Romulus and Aurelus to enter.  Hywea and Octavus
       bring up the rear.

       Caedmor studies his visitors.  They study him.

       Romulus speaks to Hywea in Latin, she translates for Caedmor.

                             HYWEA
                 The great Roman asks if you are the
                 tracker known as Caedmor.

                             CAEDMOR
                 How is it you are Cymrii, but you
                 speak the tongue of these invaders?

                             HYWEA
                 My father was a Roman.  Answer, lest
                 the great Roman becomes angry.

                             CAEDMOR
                 Are you Roman, or are you a slave?

                             HYWEA
                 I am a slave, as are you.

                             CAEDMOR
                 I am no slave.  I am a free man.

       Hywea looks pointedly at his chains.

                             HYWEA
                 Is your name Caedmor, free man?

                             CAEDMOR
                 Perhaps.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              11.


                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                      (to Hywea)
                 What did he say?

                             HYWEA
                 He said yes, he is Caedmor.

       Romulus delivers a vicious backhand slap that brings Hywea
       to her knees.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Stand up.

       Hywea stands up, puts her hand to her face.  Doesn't look at
       Romulus.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 You will translate everything he
                 says.  If I suspect you are lying,
                 or holding anything back, I'll see
                 you burn slowly.  Tell me you
                 understand.

                             HYWEA
                 I understand very well.

       Caedmor doesn't know what the words mean but he understands,
       too.  Romulus speaks to Hywea, she translates for Caedmor.

                             HYWEA (CONT'D)
                 The great Roman knows you are a
                 tracker.  But he asks, just how good
                 are you?

                             CAEDMOR
                 I know my business.  Translate that
                 any way you like.

       Hywea translates for Romulus.  Romulus speaks to Hywea, she
       translates for Caedmor.

                             HYWEA
                 The great Roman says...

                             CAEDMOR
                 Who is this "great" Roman?

                             HYWEA
                 He is General Gaius Romulus.

       Romulus speaks to Hywea in Latin.  His words shock her.  She
       takes a moment to recover, then translates for Caedmor.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              12.


                             HYWEA (CONT'D)
                 The great Roman says you will answer
                 questions, not ask them.  It's said
                 you know where dragons can be found.

                             CAEDMOR
                 Who says I do?  Whoever told him
                 this is a liar.

       She translates for Romulus.  Romulus glares at Caedmor, then
       turns abruptly and exits.

       Aurelus gives Caedmor an appraising look, then exits after
       Romulus.  Octavus goes with him, leaving Hywea alone with
       Caedmor.

                             CAEDMOR (CONT'D)
                 What is your name?

                             HYWEA
                 Hywea.

                             CAEDMOR
                 Hywea.  A lovely name.  What do the
                 invaders want with me, Hywea?

                             HYWEA
                 I don't know.  But I fear it has to
                 do with the dragons.

                             CAEDMOR
                 There are no dragons left, girl.
                 They are all gone.

       Paulinus sticks his head through the door and beckons to
       Hywea.  She gives Caedmor a thoughtful look, and exits.
       Paulinus slams the door shut.

       Caedmor is left alone to ponder events.


       INT. AURELUS' HUT - DAY

       Romulus sits down and waves Aurelus into another chair.
       Octavus stands nearby with Hywea.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Is there any more of that excellent
                 wine?

       Aurelus gestures to Hywea.  She pours a cup and presents it
       to Romulus.  He takes the wine but doesn't acknowledge her
       presence.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              13.


                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 What do you think of the tracker?

                             AURELUS
                 He's lying.  He knows where to find
                 dragons, all right.  The question
                 is, will he take us to them?

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Oh, he'll take us to them.  If he
                 doesn't, he'll die horribly.

                             AURELUS
                 May I ask the reason, sir?

       Aurelus watches Hywea.  She lowers her gaze to the floor.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Reason?

                             AURELUS
                 I'm curious as to why you would wish
                 to obtain a dragon.  They're so rare
                 that they're a thing of legend now,
                 unseen by any living Roman.  But
                 they also have a ferocious reputation.
                 It's said that male dragons can carry
                 off grown men.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                      (to Octavus)
                 Leave us.  Take the slave with you.

       Octavus exits with Hywea.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 You're aware that our Emperor arrives
                 next month for his inspection of the
                 Outer Provinces?

                             AURELUS
                 Yes, sir.  The entire Legion is
                 looking forward to the visit.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 I intend to present him with a special
                 gift to mark the occasion.

       Aurelus wants to ask, but has to wait.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 You knew my predecessor, didn't you?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              14.


                             AURELUS
                 Yes, sir, I had the privilege of
                 serving under General Flavius.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 Flavius is a good soldier, but he
                 made the mistake of assuming these
                 Cymrii could be allowed to worship
                 their gods.

       He holds up a hand, forestalling any argument.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 Yes, I know it is Roman policy to
                 permit conquered natives to retain
                 their religions.  But that's a
                 dangerous policy when the local gods
                 are as warlike as those of the Cymrii.
                 Their Druids preach that death in
                 battle assures immortality.  They
                 insist the stars in the heavens are
                 the souls of dead Cymrii warriors.
                 That kind of thinking is dangerous,
                 to us and to Rome.

                             AURELUS
                 You intend to move against the Druids,
                 sir?

                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 That's always been my intention.
                 Which brings us to the dragon.  The
                 Druid religion centers around this
                 beast.  It's said that Cymrii kings
                 and princes wear armor fashioned
                 from the skins of dragons.  It occurs
                 to me that seeing our divine Emperor
                 clad in such armor would strike a
                 blow against their faith and dispel
                 their myths.  Thus they will already
                 be weakened when I order Second Legion
                 to seek out the Druids' secret lairs
                 and destroy them, once and for all.

       Aurelus thinks this over.

                             AURELUS
                 I'll admit there's sense in what
                 you're saying, sir, but part of me
                 doubts whether Cymrii rebels will
                 lay down their spears and accept
                 Roman rule because of a piece of
                 skin, be it dragon or otherwise.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              15.


                             GENERAL ROMULUS
                 You have until tomorrow morning to
                 convince the tracker to find a dragon.
                 If necessary, round up hostages from
                 his village and torture them before
                 his eyes.  If they are relatives or
                 friends of his, so much the better.

       Romulus stands up and puts on his cloak.  Aurelus fetches
       Romulus his helmet.

                             GENERAL ROMULUS (CONT'D)
                 I'm returning to Caerleon now.  I'll
                 meet you on the road tomorrow at
                 dawn with ten of your best.  Don't
                 fail me, Centurion.

       Aurelus salutes as Romulus exits.


       EXT. ROMAN FORT - DAY

       Romulus mounts his horse and heads for the gates.  Sentries
       open the gates.  Romulus stops to talk to Paulinus.  During
       the conversation Paulinus glances at Aurelus' hut.


       INT. AURELUS' HUT - DAY

       Aurelus watches.  Octavus joins him.

                             OCTAVUS
                 He's leaving?

                             AURELUS
                 We'll see him again soon enough.  At
                 least I will.


       EXT. ROMAN FORT - DAY

       Paulinus salutes Romulus.  Romulus and his escort exit the
       fort.  Sentries close and bar the gates.  Paulinus stares at
       the gates... then heads for one of the other huts.


       INT. AURELUS' HUT - DAY

                             OCTAVUS
                 What was that all about?

                             AURELUS
                 The Iron General proposes we hunt
                 dragons.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              16.


                             OCTAVUS
                 Is he mad?

                             AURELUS
                 Such talk may earn you fifty lashes.

                             OCTAVUS
                 Dispensed no doubt by the strong arm
                 of Sergeant Paulinus.

                             AURELUS
                 Why don't you like Paulinus?  Is it
                 because he was a gladiator before he
                 became a soldier?

                             OCTAVUS
                 I've nothing against gladiators.

                             AURELUS
                 Tell me.

                             OCTAVUS
                 The Cymrii slave girl's village.

                             AURELUS
                 What about it?

                             OCTAVUS
                 You don't know what happened?


       EXT. HYWEA'S VILLAGE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

       Roman SOLDIERS attack and kill all MALE VILLAGERS on sight.
       WOMEN AND CHILDREN are herded into the village square.  Hywea
       is among them, with her MOTHER.

       Soldiers pile wood in the middle of the village.

       Hywea is separated from her mother and forced to join a group
       of younger women.  Her wrists are bound with rope.  The
       soldiers march the younger women out of the village.  Hywea
       looks back, frightened.

       Paulinus thrusts a burning torch into the pile of wood.  It
       catches immediately, the wood becomes a roaring bonfire.

       Paulinus orders the older women villagers thrown into the
       blazing fire.  Thank God the roaring flames hide their final
       agonized moments.

       Hywea's mother reaches toward Hywea before she's cast into
       the fire and consumed by flame.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              17.


       Hywea falls to her knees, weeping.  A soldier pulls her to
       her feet and pushes her after the other young women.

       Paulinus laughs like a madman, framed by the fire.

       BACK TO SCENE:

                             AURELUS
                 I didn't know.

                             OCTAVUS
                 No reason why you should.  What's
                 one more village?

                             AURELUS
                 Can you bring yourself to tell
                 Paulinus to have ten Legionaries
                 ready to march an hour before dawn?

                             OCTAVUS
                 You're going somewhere?

                             AURELUS
                 That's up to the tracker.  That's
                 why the Iron General wants him.
                 It's said he knows where the dragons
                 dwell.

                             OCTAVUS
                 And does he?

                             AURELUS
                 May the gods help us if he doesn't.

       Aurelus claps Octavus on the shoulder.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 The privilege of command, Octavus!
                 Remember this moment when you next
                 consider applying for promotion.
                 Where's that slave girl?  I'm going
                 to talk to our prisoner again.


       INT. PRISON HUT - DAY

       Caedmor looks up as Aurelus enters with Hywea.

       Aurelus speaks, Hywea translates for Caedmor.

                             HYWEA
                 The Centurion says that if you swear
                 an oath on your honor not to try to
                 escape, he will have the chains struck
                 from your wrists.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              18.


                             CAEDMOR
                 What does a Roman know of honor?

                             HYWEA
                 It is unlikely you could escape
                 anyway.  The Romans are too vigilant.
                 The choice is yours... continue to
                 wear the chains, or be free of them.

                             CAEDMOR
                 Tell him I give my oath.  I will not
                 try to escape.

       Hywea translates for Aurelus.

                             HYWEA
                 He gives his oath.

                             AURELUS
                 Do you trust him to keep it?

                             HYWEA
                 I cannot say.

       Aurelus considers Caedmor...

       ...And Caedmor considers Aurelus.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

       CLANG!  A hammer strikes the chains from Caedmor's wrists.
       Caedmor rubs his wrists.  The BLACKSMITH takes his hammer
       and exits.

                             AURELUS
                 What do you know of dragons?

       Hywea turns to Caedmor to translate, but Aurelus stops her.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 Not him.  You.

                             HYWEA
                 I know nothing of dragons, Centurion.

                             AURELUS
                 There are harsh penalties for defying
                 your Roman masters.  I could have
                 you whipped, or put to death.

                             HYWEA
                 That is your right.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              19.


                             AURELUS
                 And you have no rights.  You are a
                 slave, property of the Legion.

                             HYWEA
                 You need not remind me.

                             AURELUS
                 Do you wish to die in pain?

       Hywea stares at the floor.  Aurelus lifts her chin and looks
       into her eyes.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 What's so important about these
                 dragons that you would give your
                 life to protect them?

                             HYWEA
                 You would never understand.

                             AURELUS
                 We Romans have our gods, too.

                             HYWEA
                 The dragons are not gods.

                             AURELUS
                 But they are sacred to you.

       Hywea hesitates... then nods, yes.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 Tell him his village will suffer if
                 he does not obey.

       Hywea stares at Aurelus... then translates for Caedmor.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 His family, his friends, will be
                 tortured... and then executed...
                 unless he does as I say.

       Hywea translates while Aurelus watches Caedmor.

       Caedmor bows his head and mumbles something.

       Hywea stares at Caedmor.  He looks up, sees her stare and
       lowers his eyes.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 What did he say?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              20.


                             HYWEA
                 He said, "I will take you to where
                 the dragons dwell."

       Aurelus nods, satisfied.

                             AURELUS
                 Bring him to my hut.

       He turns and exits.  Hywea continues to stare at Caedmor.

                             CAEDMOR
                 And what choice do I have, girl?

                             HYWEA
                 None.  None at all.  Come.

       She exits.


       EXT. PRISON HUT - DAY

       Caedmor steps out of the hut.  He shields his eyes from the
       bright daylight.  Hywea waits for him at the steps of Aurelus'
       hut.  Caedmor walks to join her.

       ROMAN SENTRIES watch Caedmor.

       PAULINUS watches too, from the barracks hut.

       Caedmor and Hywea enter Aurelus' hut.


       EXT. AURELUS' HUT - DAY

       Octavus spreads a map on a table.  Aurelus invites Caedmor
       to step forward and examine it.

       THE MAP

       depicts several Roman forts and villages surrounded by
       mountain peaks and rivers.

                             AURELUS
                 Ask him if he knows how to read a
                 Roman map.

       Hywea translates for Caedmor.

                             HYWEA
                 The Centurion says--

       Caedmor stabs a finger at one of the Roman forts.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              21.


                             AURELUS
                 So you know where we are.  Good.
                 Show me where the dragons can be
                 found.

       Hywea opens her mouth to translate but Caedmor shakes his
       head.  He understands perfectly well.  He points to a group
       of mountains some distance from the Roman fort.  A wide strip
       of green forest lies between the fort and the mountains.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 Now that he has shown me... ask him
                 why I still need him.

       Hywea translates for Caedmor.  He replies in Welsh.  Hywea
       translates for Aurelus.

                             HYWEA
                 There are no roads through the forest,
                 only secret ways known to the Cymrii.
                 And you will never find a path through
                 the mountains.

                             AURELUS
                 We Romans are good at finding roads.
                 And where there are none, we make
                 them.

                             HYWEA
                 These mountains are as old as the
                 world.  They will watch you blunt
                 your tools, and they will slowly
                 laugh at your foolishness.

                             AURELUS
                 Fetch me a cup of wine.

       Hywea pours a cup, offers it to Aurelus.  He smashes it out
       of her hand.  It breaks on the floor.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 You are that cup.  Beware, slave,
                 lest you anger me.  Now clean it up.

       Hywea kneels down and picks up the pieces.  She HISSES as a
       sharp edge cuts her hand.  Caedmor kneels down beside her
       and helps her.  Octavus looks at Aurelus.  Aurelus shrugs.

       Caedmor and Hywea stand up.

                             AURELUS (CONT'D)
                 Take him to the slave hut.  Bed him
                 if you wish but you both must be
                 ready to leave when dawn comes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              22.


                             HYWEA
                 Both of us?

                             AURELUS
                 He's of no use to me without a
                 translator.

       Hywea bows.  Caedmor's unsure but he bows too when Hywea
       pushes him down.  Hywea retreats to the door, pulling him
       after her.  They exit.

                             OCTAVUS
                 That went easier than I expected.

                             AURELUS
                 I want you to follow us.  Not so
                 close that they'll see you.  But
                 close enough to catch them if they
                 take flight.

       Octavus grins.  Aurelus notices.

                             OCTAVUS
                 I feared I would be left behind.

       Aurelus claps him on the shoulder.

                             AURELUS
                 You know better than that.  Pick
                 four men and keep your eyes open for
                 Cymrii.  They're not defeated yet.

end excerpt

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