GIANT CANNIBALS
Love, lies, mythology and murder on the seas of ancient Greece.
EPISODE III: TRUCE  

The Ithacans and Laestrygonians grow closer.


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SCENE 12INT. BANQUET NIGHT. RAUCOUS CROWDS, FOOD, WINE
BEATRIX:So these - creatures - had a palace?
ODYSSEUS: The princess led us straight up to it. We had no idea what was waiting for us -
BEATRIX:They had a princess?
ODYSSEUS: Do you need me to slow down?
BEATRIX:No - no, weíre just trying to keep the pieces together.
GELASTOS:Beatrix, when was the last time we got a story like this? If you just let my guest speak his piece, Iím sure youíll have a chance to get your pieces in order.
ODYSSEUS:Very well. And a palace they had, looming over the sea-cliffs. Sheíd offered to introduce us to her kin. We approached with some trepidation.
SCENE 13INT. PALACE DAY. ANTIPHATES AND AGNES STAND OPPOSITE ODYSSEUS. PHILAUTOS AND LUPIOS IN BACKGROUND.
SOUNDEXCITED-SOUNDING CHATTER FROM AN ATTENDING CROWD.
ODYSSEUS:Weíre asking for time to heal and rest, and timber to repair our fleet. If you allow this, Ithaca will be indebted to your kingdom.
ANTIPHATES:Indebted. But your aim is to sail away from here, and live out your days at home, is it not?
ODYSSEUS:We won't trouble you long, King Antiphates.
ANTIPHATES:If you see this as a debt, how do you propose to repay it?
ODYSSEUS:In return for your kindness, Lamos will always have a friend and ally in Ithaca.
ANTIPHATES:A friend who never plans to visit. An ally too distant to help us when we need it.
ODYSSEUS:King Antiphates -
ANTIPHATES:Spare it. I've made my decision, King Odysseus. You'll have your time and your timber. Not because you bargained for it, and not because I want to give it up, but because I am a man of honour, and you are a guest in my kingdom.
ODYSSEUS:Our gratitude -
ANTIPHATES:Will be demonstrated by your conduct, and that of your men. (EXIT)
AGNES:You'll forgive my husband. He has a kingdom to worry about.
ODYSSEUS:I'm familiar with that burden. His gift is a generous one.
AGNES:If you feel indebted, I'm sure youíll have the chance to repay it. In the meantime, I suggest you follow him and try talking.
ODYSSEUS:Thank you, Queen Agnes. (EXIT)
AGNES:He looks lonely. And Iím not surprised, after whatís happened to him. Poor man must be sick of the sea by now. (CHUCKLES TO SELF) I reckon I could do more with those boats than heíd ever want to.
PHILAUTOS:You like our ships?
AGNES:(DEFENSIVE) And you like to listen, apparently.
PHILAUTOS:You'd like them less if you'd lived on them for seven years.
AGNES:You'll be relieved to see home, then.
PHILAUTOS:Yes. And no. I was a teenager when I last saw home, and the home I left, I'd much like to see again. But that place hasn't waited for me. Itís not my own.
AGNES:Canít you make it your own when you get there?
PHILAUTOS:Just as I'm sure you can make our fleet your own, if you're clever enough. But boats are no good without skilled hands to use them. Is Lamos famed for its fishermen, Queen Agnes?
AGNES:If only. Weíre shepherds and dairy farmers.
PHILAUTOS:Then give me a home here. Work your plans. Put me at the head of your new fleet. I've seen ten years in Troy and seven at sea; I can make sailors out of your men.
AGNES:And Iíll use you. Just make sure you stay useful.
PHILAUTOS:You're welcome. Youíre paying for it. But I'm cheap. Now what I want to know is: what price will you offer my king for his boats?
AGNES:You met her at the river. And I'll need your help making her dear to him. Go now; weíll talk again. Anthea!
SOUNDEXIT PHILAUTOS, ENTER ANTHEA
ANTHEA:Iím right here. And there's no need to scheme, mother. I wouldn't miss my only chance to get out of this place.
AGNES:Then you'll do as you're told, girl. And not a word to your father.
SOUNDPAN ACROSS TO LUPIOS WITH ANTIPHATES
ANTIPHATES:Make no mistake, Lupios. I donít like the look of you. Any of you. I donít like how my lot are behaving with strangers about. I want you gone as soon as you can go.
LUPIOS:Weíre all thinking of our own homes, Antiphates.
ANTIPHATES:Your men look comfortable here already.
LUPIOS:They look comfortable because theyíre tired. Let them rest, and theyíll get restless.
ANTIPHATES:What about you?
LUPIOS:I have a life to return to.
ANTIPHATES:And your king?
LUPIOS:A better life than mine. Plus an island of his own. Look, I want us gone, same as you do. I'll see that he doesn't forget it.
ANTIPHATES:I donít care much for his tall stories. Right now he doesnít seem to have any direction. What if he needs to be pushed?
LUPIOS:For his own sake? Just say the word.
ANTIPHATES:I'll say the word. Be sure to keep yours.
SCENE 14INT. BANQUET NIGHT.
GELASTOS:Youíd barely made land and they were already plotting against you?
BEATRIX:How could you let them draw you in like that?
ODYSSEUS: We were - so tired. After the war, and the storm, and the years away from home. And at the beginning, there was kindness, or . . . an imitation of kindness . . .
SCENE 15EXT. RIVERBANK NIGHT. ANTHEA SITS BY THE RIVER. ODYSSEUS APPROACHES.
ODYSSEUS:Here again? By the river?
ANTHEA:As are you. With wine, apparently!
SOUNDHE POURS TWO CUPS OF WINE. CLINK.
ODYSSEUS:Youíre always here. Whatís special about this place?
ANTHEA:These big rocks.
ODYSSEUS:Whatís so special about big rocks?
ANTHEA:Nothing. Thatís the point. They block everything out, until all thatís left are the sight of the rocks and the sound of the river. This is the only place I can go without feeling surrounded by the rest of my stupid island.
ODYSSEUS:Why would you hide from your own home?
ANTHEA:I could ask the same of you.
ODYSSEUS:Trust me. It wasnít my choice.
ANTHEA:And this isnít mine. But we both want to get out of here, right? I canít just stay and suffocate.
ODYSSEUS:Anthea, you donít know what youíre throwing away. Iíve spent seven years crawling home. There were moments when Iíd forgotten what it felt like, but Ė
ANTHEA:I know exactly how ďhomeĒ feels. I feel it every day. Youíll get sick of it too, once youíre back there. People like us are bigger than where we came from.
ODYSSEUS:You should be careful saying that.
ANTHEA:Iím not worried about them. They all think Iím mad.
ODYSSEUS:And that doesnít worry you?
ANTHEA:I use it to get what I want. Iím smarter than all of them.
ODYSSEUS:You remind me of someone.
ANTHEA:Some girl you picked up on the other side of the sea?
ODYSSEUS:No. Me. Before Ė
ANTHEA:Before you started crawling away from your own freedom?
ODYSSEUS:You really have no idea how to talk to a king.
ANTHEA:Perhaps you should try to teach me.
ODYSSEUS:Would you listen?
ANTHEA:Probably not. But you can watch me being stubborn.
ODYSSEUS:Iíve had plenty of Ďstubborní from my crew.
ANTHEA:You donít trust them, do you?
ODYSSEUS:Iím like a father to them.
ANTHEA:Or you still think of them as children. What makes you so much more important, anyway?
ODYSSEUS:(MOOD LIGHTENS) Iím a king. Everything I do is important.
ANTHEA:Then I suppose Iíll have to compete for your attention like everyone else.
ODYSSEUS:Unless you think you can trap me here, among the rocks.
ANTHEA:(LAUGHING) Be careful what you wish for, King Odysseus.
SOUNDTHEY KISS
SCENE 16INT. BANQUET NIGHT. A FEW MOMENTS OF SILENCE.
GELASTOS:Odysseus?
ODYSSEUS: Mmm?
GELASTOS:You were telling us about the palace - you - drifted off.
ODYSSEUS: Yes, yes.
BEATRIX:So they were monsters, but they took you in as their guests.
ODYSSEUS: I said they were monsters. I didnít say they were stupid.
SCENE 17INT. PALACE DAY. AGNES AND PHILAUTOS TALKING AND WALKING
AGNES:And youíre sure Odysseus will listen to you?
PHILAUTOS:Heís had seven years to regret the times he didnít. Iím the only man in the fleet worth his ear and he knows it.
AGNES:Would you trust someone whoís doing what youíre doing?
PHILAUTOS:This is why youíre lucky to have me on your side. Odysseus doesnít ďtrustĒ, like you or I would trust. All he does is trick people. When heís not tricking them, heís tricking himself into thinking that they admire him for it, until he sees trickery in everyone he meets.
AGNES:And you think you can trick him -
PHILAUTOS:No-one can trick him. Heís the best. The truth bends around him, like light through a glass bead. But we donít need to trick him. Heís alone and desperate. Seven years at sea. Six days of storms. No hope left of home. For the first time, heís afraid of the Gods. For the first time, heís afraid of his own men. Fate is busy playing her own tricks on my King, and whoís his only friend in all this?
AGNES:Dear Anthea. The lonely little princess who thinks sheís under a curse.
PHILAUTOS:Your daughter is doing our work for us. All we need to do is keep them together for long enough.
SCENE 18INT. BANQUET NIGHT.
BEATRIX:Thereís something more to your story, isnít there.
ODYSSEUS: Thereís always more, but stories are about whatís important. I could spend hours describing the colours of the courtyards, or the names of each -
BEATRIX:What about the princess?
GELASTOS:Yes, what about the princess? She took you to meet the King. What happened to her?
ODYSSEUS: Sheís . . . not important.
SCENE 19EXT. RIVERBANK NIGHT. ODYSSEUS SITS BY THE RIVER, ANTHEA JOINS HIM.
ANTHEA:Whatever youíre waiting for must be important.
ODYSSEUS:Worth every moment.
ANTHEA:You still havenít punished those mutinous thieves on your ship. Have you learned to be nice to them?
ODYSSEUS:If I have, I hope itís not you who taught me. Iíve a reputation to defend.
ANTHEA:Oh, so Iím the teacher now? (BEAT)
ODYSSEUS:Anthea. Meeting you was just what I needed. Without you I might never have felt ready to return.
ANTHEA:How long are you going to be with us?
ODYSSEUS:I donít know. We need to get supplies first - make good the damage Ė I donít imagine itíll be too much longer.
ANTHEA:Iíve been thinking that too.
ODYSSEUS:Anthea, I Ė
ANTHEA:I want to come with you. Now. I Ė I donít want to wait.
ODYSSEUS:You donít know whatís out there. Itís dirty and itís dangerous.
ANTHEA:Youíve survived both.
ODYSSEUS:Anthea, youíve seen my ships -
ANTHEA:Anywhere.
ODYSSEUS:Youíve never left sight of your own shoreline, and you think youíre ready to cross the world?
ANTHEA:Iím not ready to do anything else, Odysseus. Come back here tomorrow and tell me when weíre leaving.
SOUNDANTHEA KISSES HIM ON THE CHEEK AND WALKS AWAY. HER FOOTSTEPS DISAPPEAR UNDER THE RISING WIND.
ODYSSEUS:Ai - Aiolos - Itís not as bad as it looks. Give me a little longer. Sheís clever. So - clever. It blazes in her; you can see it. Clever people donít hang around, pining for this stuff to be more than it is -
SOUNDWINDS FALL.
ODYSSEUS:Look at me. Mile a minute, and it doesnít have to be complicated. Sheís beautiful. Iím Ė well, Iím me. She canít be disappointed, even if sheís only got me for a short time.
SOUNDWINDS RISE.
ODYSSEUS:Itís not just about her! Seventeen years since I saw my wife. The best seventeen years as well. If I make it home, Anthea may be the last glimpse of beauty I can Ė
SOUNDCRASH/DEBRIS. WINDS CRESCENDO UNTIL END OF SCENE.
ODYSSEUS:You really want me to ruin everything we have in some fit of thoughtless honesty? Her fatherís deranged and spiteful, her motherís worse - and anyway, sheís shown me the only trace of humanity that Iíve seen since we made land. What about her? (PAUSE) Oh, itís useless! Youíre the one who did this to me! And I donít need to be scared of you. Youíve got nothing left to take away from me!
SOUNDANOTHER CRASH, THEN CUT.



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EPISODE I: MUTINY  

Odysseus begins to tell the story of how he survived disaster.

EPISODE II: STRANGERS  

Odysseus and his men recover after their ordeal.

EPISODE IV: WHISPERS  

Trouble brews between host and guest.

EPISODE V: CLAMOUR  

Things get serious by the riverbank.

EPISODE VI: RELEASE  

Time runs out for Odysseus.