INT - THE MONGOL GALLERY - DAY
The camera focuses on Daniel's face, his eyes fiercely concentrating, then our view point moves to Anna in close up. She frowns and the camera pans out as she talks to Peter.
What do you mean? What is wrong with him?
He's lost the power of speech, haven't you Daniel.
Daniel nods. He frowns and tries to speak. The effort is too much and instead he draws a rose on his sketchbook. He hands the rose to Anna. Although it is drawn, she sniffs it and smiles. The camera focuses on her hand where blood bubbles to the surface as if she has been pricked by a rose thorn.
There are some compensations. I take it he was never much of an
He was a poet as much as a journalist. His words were wonderful.
He once painted me a marvellous picture with words alone.
FADE TO GREY:
FADE UP FROM GREY TO...
INT. A MONGOL TENT - DAY
The scene is rich with reds and browns and golds. The walls are covered with richly woven rugs and here and there are incense burners producing smoke. Daniel and Anna are there. Daniel is dressed in robes that might not have been out of place on a Mongol Khan, or at the very least, a Mongol Khan imagined by a film maker.
Anna, on the other hand is naked but for a brief and transparent garment of palest, thinnest, sheerest silk and golden chains at her throat, wrists and ankles. There are bells on the chains and she wears jewels in her ears, navel, all of her fingers, in her hair, and in her nose, her nipples, her eyebrows, everywhere. The vision, perhaps of a Victorian orientalist pornographer.
Come to me Naksh.
Anna starts to climb to her feet
On your belly, like a serpent.
ANNA (perhaps a little sarcastically)
As you wish my Lord.
Sarcastically or not, Anna moves sensuously across brocade rugs that cover the floor of the tent before pressing her lips to Daniel's slippers. He reaches down and pulls her to her feet and they kiss.
FADE TO GREY
FADE UP TO...
INT. THE MONGOL GALLERY - DAY
He could be a complete asshole, you know, but he spoke so
beautifully that often as not, I found I could not hate him, could not
but go along with whatever game he was playing. You know how
that gets sometimes? Really unhealthy I know, but it's fun for a
He says it's Turkish. Means 'Beautiful'. He got it from a book about
Aimee du Becq de Rivery. Did you ever hear of her?
I'm afraid not. That sounds more Alaric's thing and sadly, we just had his funeral today.
Peter sniffs before continuing.
Sorry about that, please, carry on. Who was she?
Late eighteenth, early nineteenth century. She was born in Haiti when it was still the French colony of Saint Domingue. She was a
childhood friend of Josephine de Beauharnais, who married Napoleon Bonaparte. They both set out for France around the same time but
while Josephine became Napoleon's lover, Aimee became a slave of
the sultan. She ended up becoming mother of a new Sultan and de
facto ruler of the Ottoman Empire despite having the legal status of
property. Daniel loved the story for some reason.
As she speaks, Daniel is listening, clearly understanding but unable to speak. Could it be that he is crying? His expression is ambiguous.
Do you know, he sold something very precious after you two split up. I guess he hoped to get you back somehow.
ANNA (reaching up to stroke Daniel's cheek)
That's sweet. What has he said to his precious wife and children back in Des Moines?
ANNA (with a wry half-smile)
And that says it all, don't you think.
Anna turns to look at Daniel.
Asshole. You didn't have to go to extremes. I told you. All you had
to do was walk out of your Norman Rockwell life and let me co-star
in the movie of your life. It wasn't too much to ask was it?
Daniel makes no response.
Like I said. Fucking asshole.
INT. ALARIC'S BOOKSHOP - DAY
Boudicca, Liam and Cook are looking through the stock in the shop.
Damn, this is just chaos.
I could run it for you. It would remind me of Alaric.
That's not the point is it?
No. I have promised to take on Alaric's sword and I don't even know
what he did. Liam, can you call Peter please. I think we need to work at this together, sword and shield.
LIAM (walking to the top of the stairs and taking out his cellphone)
Yeah, will do.
Peter? Liam. Yeah journalist Liam. Look, Boudicca's asked me to
call. She thinks you need to get together and talk about what you
agreed at the funeral. ...Can't you leave him with Ms Kern?... Okay,
see you soon.
LIAM (reappearing down the stairs)
He's on the way. Maybe Cook and I should make ourselves scarce for a while.
Nah... you two carry on here. I'll go meet him on the way.
Boudicca goes up the stairs and we CUT TO...
INT - THE ROSE AND CROWN - DAY
The pub is almost empty with small tables scattered about as if it were an overstocked showroom. There is a group playing dominoes at one table while Boudicca and Peter sit at another but many more are empty. They each have a pint of Guinness.
I'm conscious that when we spoke about being sword and shield, it
felt like an oath but I haven't a clue what Alaric did.
Maybe we should ask Father Demetrios?
I've a feeling he's an interested party.
I'm sure he's on our side.
And I'm sure he's on his own side, or that of the Greek Orthodox
Church which may or may not be ours.
Well we know de Musca's the enemy.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend? I don't buy that. I reckon de
Musca has enemies all around the world and some of those enemies
may even be on his side. The question has to be what side was Alaric
on? Who can we trust?
Can we trust one another.
We are sword and shield. We're going to have to
I'm not even sure I can trust myself. We know how seductive de
Musca can be.
What? What do you think he can offer you?