BIRTHMARK, THE THREAT OF AN EMPIRE

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Part 2

“Yes I did. But right now this is our moment. You and I

can make history. Except Murat, nobody knows about our power.

Let’s keep it as a secret. During the battle we’ll get a

chance to destroy the enemy without being seen.

“I agree on this brother.

THE NIGHT OF THE ATTACK – NIGHT

Arkan’s Janissaries, together with Torkal’s and Leonidas’ men

are assembled to march. Arkan gives the signal to Murat to start.

Murat signals the trumpeter to blow his hornet.

Dionysian rides between Arkan and Murat dressed as a man.

In the front line their artillery marches.

A dozen cannons pulled by mules and an equal number of carts

loaded with canon shells are pulled by another set of mules.

Behind them there are soldiers on horseback carrying muskets.

There is also the unit of Janissaries riding behind and

armed with their Yatagans swords.

“Our army is smaller than Pasha’s, but…”

(he winks his eye to Murat) “Our secret weapon will make

all the difference.” “You can say that again Captain.”

Murat assures him smiling.

MARCHING THROUGH A FOREST – NIGHT

By now Arkan’s army is a few hours away from the enemy camp.

Arkan gives the signal for the men to rest.

After the rest Arkan takes a look straight ahead of him as far

as his eyes can see. The forest looks endless.

He turns to Leonidas with a question on his face.

“You sure this passage we’re in is the right one to get us

behind the enemy lines?”

“Yes Captain Arkan, that’s the right and safest way to Omer

Pasha’s rear line. We’ll surprise him, but…”

“But what? Spit it out Leonidas.”

“Well after the wooden area there is a little shallow river we

have to cross which will take us there behind enemy lines.”

ROSSING THE RIVER – NIGHT

When the last of the troops finally cross the river they are

inspected by their leaders. Then Leonidas walks in front of

them holding a map.

“According to my information the enemy is just a half hour

walking distance from here. So we have to be silent

and not to awaken them.”

NEAR ENEMY CAMP

The enemy’s camp is camouflaged between trees.

There are guards in front of the tents. Arkan approaches

the men in charge of the mules that carry the cannons.

“That’s far enough. Release the animals now from their loads

and pull the cannons yourselves the for rest of the way.

We don’t want the animals start neigh and wake up the enemy.”

Meantime the archers take position along the front line and

start shooting at the enemy’s guards. When they fall,

Arkan’s gunners start shelling at the enemy camps.

Carnage is immediately created with tents blowing up in the

air with their contents of dead soldiers. In the darkness and

pandemonium Arkan and Dionysian hide behind trees.

Dionysian and Arkan are attached to each other.

“Ready brother, let’s do it in the name of our mother.”

Seconds later a fearsome thunder accompanied by flames and

destructive power hits a number of tents blowing them up.

Then the air is filled with screams of wounded men and horses.

Ecstasy and delight show on Arkan’s and Dionysian’s faces.

When the chaos of fire settles down the remaining troops

of Pasha run for cover. Finally a trumpet sounds from the

enemy camp requesting to surrender.

When it’s all quiet and the battle cry temporary ceases,

Omer Pasha accompanied by two of his officers proceed

in the open holding white flags of surrender.

Arkan with Murat approach them with a triumphantand

victorious smile on their faces.

Arkan’s bows with sarcasm.

“My honorable Pasha, what is your wish now, to die as

a brave warrior that you never were, or beg for your

worthless life as a dog?”

I leave this decision to you brave Janissary Captain.

The Sultan ordered me to bring your head to him, but I

failed my duty and I am at your disposal now.”

“Oh, great Pasha I am surprised with your honorable and

humble words. You have values after all.” Arkan mocks him.

Then Arkan approaches him, grabs his arm and separates him

from his officers. When the two are in some distance in the dark,

Arkan grabs Pasha’s neck with anger.

“Damn dog. You caused your daughter’s death with your

actions. I should kill you right now as I promised to myself

a long time ago.”

Pasha’s face shows remorse.

Arkan continues: “Ayla, was the only woman I ever loved

and you took her away from me.”

Then he tries to remove his Yatagan sword but stops.

“You deserve to die now as cowardice dog, but I forgive

you in her memory.”

Pasha bent his head with remorse. “Allah is my witness, her

memory hunts me down forever.”

“I feel sorry for you.”

Arkan says and moves away from him in disgust.

FESTIVITIES ROOM

Here Arkan, Murat, Dionysian, Torkal and Leonidas celebrate

their victory over the Pasha.

“Captain Arkan you are famous now. You thrashed Sultan’s

Troops” Torkal says to Arkan.

“I wouldn’t be able to manage that without your joint

participation.”

Then Leonidas approaches Arkan.

“What will be your next move Captain?”

“I’m thinking to move away and leave the late Osman Pasha’s

Pashalik to Torkal and his men. Then Murat and I will go

and fight other battles.” Arkan answers to him.

PORTE – PALACE OF SULTAN SELIM - DAY

The Sultan sits in a magnificent throne surrounded on both

sides by two fierce looking Algerians guards armed with large

Yatagan swords. The Sultan relaxes smoking his nargile.

It’s a hot day and two pretty slave girls holding two large

feathers ventilate the Sultan.

Suddenly the doors in front of him open widely and a man is

thrown in front of the Sultan in chains. The man is Omer Pasha.

The Sultan looks at him with disgust. Then he lifts his

foot and kicks Pasha on his head.

“Have mercy on me Great one and may Allah reward you in heaven.”

“Silence useless dog, no mercy for you.” Then he orders his guards:

“Take him away from my side. I don’t want to see him again.

Bring me his head tomorrow.”

Then the guards remove the Pasha away in chains.

LARGE UNDERGROUND CAVE – NIGHT

Arkan, Murat and Dionysian, together with their Janissaries

stand in the middle of a natural cavern chiseled smoothly

around the walls and listen to a Greek Orthodox priest who

stands in the middle and reads from the Bible.

The cave is lighted by torches.

UNDERGROUND CAVE – LATER

Now all them are sitting on picnic tables and dine on Fasting meal

as it is the Orthodox Easter Week. Then the cave door opens

and Leonidas with a few of his men enter smiling.

He approaches and sits on their table.

“I hope you boys saved something for us to eat.

We came a long way.” Leonidas says.

“If we knew you were coming we would save more food for you.

Now you have to help yourselves with whatever is left.” Murat says.

“Tell me Captain how you find your new faith?” Leonidas asks.

“It looks interesting for starters. All these mysteries and

prayers mystify us. By the way, how did you find us here?”

“Everyone in this area knows about you Captain and your

Janissaries turned Christians and that’s the danger of it.”

“What danger you are talking about Leonidas?” Murat asks.

Leonidas face becomes serious now.

“That the Islamic population knows you’re here.”

“But we’re Janissaries, and people fear and respect us.”

“But they don’t respect Janissaries turned Christians.”

“He’s right Murat. After the humiliation of Omer Pasha’s

troops the news must be all over the dominance of Sultan.

We must hide. They’ll be looking for us.” Arkan adds.

“I want to talk to you about it later Captain.” Leonidas says.

UNDERGROUND CAVE – LATER

Arkan, Murat and Leonidas have a conversation.

“What was it you wanted to talk to me about Leonidas?” Arkan asks.

“Captain now that you and your men found your Christian roots it

would be dangerous to stay around here, news travel far.”

Leonidas says in a serious way.

“We are thinking what to be our next move, Leonidas.”

“I have an idea Captain. Why don’t you join forces with us

and we all move away from here. My men and yours will be a good

force to stand any threat.”

“Thank you for the alliance you offer us Leonidas.”

AT THE FOOTHILLS OF A TOWN

Arkan’s and Leonida’s men stop at the foot of a small town.

Some faint lights blink in the distance.

“What kind of town is that Leonidas?” Arkan asks him.

“Just like any other Captain.”

“I see that, but is it a Christian town?

“There is no town in the domain of Sultan Selim that is

inhabited only by Christians Captain.”

“I have an idea Leonidas. What if we try to recruit new men

among the Christian people of each town we find? A small but

dedicated number of young men who choose to join us?”

“We can try, but I’m not sure if we get many volunteers.”

“Why not, don’t Christians hate the Sultan?”

“As any slave hates his master. But during the centuries of

slavery and suffering they lost their identity and spirit.”

“How did you get your group then?”

“We all grew in one area and dedicated ourselves to freedom.

A long story Captain.”

“Then you could teach the same spirits to the new recruits.”

“Well I can try that captain, but in the mean time I’ll go in the town with a couple of my men and have a look.”

OUTDOORS CAFÉ

Leonidas with his two men sit in a table. An old man in his

sixties approaches them holding a tray and an old discolored

towel that was probably white once.

“Good morning boys, where are you from? I didn’t see you here

before, you’re travelers?” The waiter asks them in Greek.

“Yes we’re and come for a rest.” Leonidas answers.

“What’s your pleasure today? Would you like coffee, tea

or a Turkish delight? The waiter asks.

“Brink us some fresh coffee.”

“Would you like me to send you a coffee cup reader

to read your cups?”

LEONIDAS’ TABLE - LATER

A middle age woman is reading Leonidas’ men empty cups.

When she finishes she starts reading Leonida’s cup. As she reads

his cup her face becomes serious and suddenly stops reading it,

and stands up to leave. Leonidas and his men look at her strangely.

“Eh, lady what’s wrong? Why don’t you finish reading my cup?

“There was nothing much to see… in it mister.” She says to him and moves away. Leonidas stops her and brinks her back to the table.

Then he puts some more coins in her apron pocket.

“Read my cup again lady.” The woman looks at the bottom of his cup

and her face again becomes gloomy.

It’s the same thing again mister… It shows death.”

Her hands are shaking now as she continues.

“I see an agonizing and terrible death in your cup mister.”

After that she stands up and leaves fast.

A shivering sensation shows on the faces of Leonidas’ men.

“That’s a stupid superstition Leonidas, you don’t

believe it do you?”

“I don’t know what to say guys. My mother was a coffee cup

reader and most of her predictions came through.” Leonidas says.

That moment three young men in their late 20′s and probably

farmers from their appearance sit in the next table.

When the waiter approaches them he smiles and salutes them.

The young men order some soup.

Leonidas group look at them unconcerned and continue their

conversation. Suddenly a woman with tears in her eyes

crosses the street and approaches the young men’s table.

YOUNG MEN’S TABLE

The weeping woman stops in front of one of the three young men

embraces him and starts talking. Leonidas and his friends

overhear her.

“Oh! Kostas my son, what a disaster found us.”

She starts screaming now very loudly. Leonidas and his men

look at her with grief.

“What’s happening mother?”

“Your father son, he’s dead. The animals, the Turks killed

him yesterday and for what? He was working in the ranch of

his rich Turkish master and accidentally left the gate of

the corral open and some wolves got in and ate some sheep.”

“You scared me mother, what this has to with my father’s

death?” His mother in tears replies.

“Your father’s master had your father arrested for his negligence

and decapitated. That’s the law in his domain he said.”

Kostas, her son jumps from his seat and holds his mother

in excitement when he hears her story.

“What? My father is dead? I’ll go there and burn that barbarian.”

“No my son you’ll die too.”

She continues with anathema and curses against the Turks.

TOWN OF PLATANOS – THE BEHEADING EVENT

A circle of people surround an old man in chains. Next to

him stands a rough looking man wearing a mask and holding a

big axe. The crowd of people consists of Christians and

Muslims. The Christians start crying and pray.

The Muslims look and seem to enjoy the event.

Then the crowd leaves a space between them for the Turkish

owner of the land who ordered the execution of the Christian

slave victim. He walks to the center and starts talking.

“You all know who I am and who this damn Christian slave is

and what he did. The punishment for his negligence is death.

Enjoy it.”

Then he signals the executioner to do his duty.

The executioner with a swift movement brings his axe to the

neck of the victim severing the head from the rest of body.

The blood splashes the faces of the nearest bystanders

staining their faces…

RETURN TO THE TAVERN TABLE

When Leonidas listens to the conversation of the mother and son

jumps up from his seat and goes to them.

Addressing the mother says: “Madam excuse me. My name is Leonidas

and overheard your drama. I like to help you by punishing the man

who did this to your husband.”

“Young man how can you do that? That evil man is rich

and powerful.” “Leave this up to me ma’am. I have my men.

Just give me the information.”

Then the woman tells Leonidas the information while her

son Kostas weeps.

“Thank you ma’am I have what I need and your revenge will be fulfilled.” Then he turns to her son Kostas.

“What about you? Would you like to take part of the punishment?

Come and join us.”

Kostas looks at his mother’s reaction.

“Go with them son, revenge your father.”

TOWN OF PLATANOS - NIGHT

Leonidas with a group of his men including the young Kostas

brake down the door of the rich Turkish Master.

Several of the house guards rush from different directions to

stop the intruders, but Leonidas men cut them down with their

Yatagan swords and shoot them with their muskets.

The commotion got the Master out of bed to investigate.

Kostas points at him. “That’s the man guys. That’s my father’s

Master who ordered his decapitation.

Leonidas to his men: “You heard him guys get him before

he runs away.” Leonidas men grab the man and tie him up.

TOWN OF PLATANOS – DAY

A mixed crowd of villagers, Christians and Turks surrounded

the Master who’s lies on the ground in chains, just like Kostas

father did. Kostas’s mother stands on top of the Master kicking

him all over.

Arkan, Murat and Dionysian are also in the crowd watching.

Leonidas stands in the middle of the crowd and speaks to all:

“Villagers. Today you’ll witness a fair justice, an eye for an eye.”

He points to the Master on the ground.

“I believe you all know who this man is and what he did

yesterday to a poor man in his employment. His act left a

widow and an orphan behind. You also know the reason for that.

The Master on the ground looks at the people’s faces for mercy,

but their faces express no pity.

“Do you think this man deserves forgiveness?”

A silence rises from the crowd and everybody looks at each other. Then everybody shakes their heads negatively.

Then Leonidas addresses the Master on the ground.

“You heard them, they sentenced you.” Leonidas to the crowd:

“Do you think punishing him the same way is justifiable?”

“YES! YES!” The crowd screams enthusiastically.

“Your wish will be granted. He’ll be decapitated by the

same man who executed the poor man yesterday.”

Leonidas to his men: “Bring the executioner here.”

Two of Leonidas men bring the man to the center of the

crowd tied up.

Leonidas points the executioner to the crowd.

“This man will carry out the sentence.”

Leonida’s men cut out the ropes of the executioner

and give him his axe.

“You know your duty. Cut your master’s had now.”

Leonidas orders him.

The executioner looks reluctant. He looks around for support.

Leonidas pulls out his Yatagan and points it to the throat of the

man. “Take your time and do it now or…” The man obeys in fear.

When the act is finished, the man drops the axe on the ground.

Then Kostas jumps in front of him with a Yatagan and kills him.

OLD COMMUNITY HALL - DAY

“A dozen young men of the town of Platanos listen to Arkan.

All of you heard from Leonidas who I am, or I was before and

who this man is.” He points to Murat.

“We were born of Christians parents just like you but we

were abducted at youth and fell victims of the Paidomazoma.”

He continues. “You also know by now what happened to the Pashalik

of Osman Pasha and the battle with the Sultan’s troops.”

The young men listen with expression of wonder and respect

on their faces. Murat and Leonidas look serious.

Arkan continues: “The reason you are here is I need your help

and cooperation. No far from here we have our main corps of

combatants. EX-Janissaries like me and a group of rebel force

of Christians that belong to Leonidas.” He points to Leonidas.

The young men look at Leonidas smiling.

Arkan goes on: “As I said we are looking for young Christian

volunteers like you to join us in the fight against the Sultan.

It’s time for the Christians to finally become free from

slavery. Do you want to join us?”

The young men stand up and applaud with enthusiasm.

“Remember, it won’t be easy. It would be a sacrifice to the end.”

FOOD SUPPLIES DEPOT - DAY

A number of horse-pulled wagons filled with food supplies,

young volunteers and weapons are carried out of Platanos town.

Arkan addresses Murat & Leonidas:

“So far we’re doing good guys; we have extra men and supplies,

and when we get a chance we’ll train our new men.”

“Meantime”, Leonidas adds with a worry face.

“The Sultan probably monitors our moves with his spies”

HIGH PORTE, SULTAN SELIM’S PALACE QUARTERS

Sultan Selim sits in his monarch throne. In front of him

Vizier Aslan stands in a respected position.

“What is your information on Arkan, Aslan?” He asks him.

“My long live master, that Captain is not an ordinary

Janissary. After his victory against Omar Pasha, he’s

recruiting new volunteers against us.”

The Sultan’s face is on fire as he growls to his Vizier.

“I hope your information is correct Aslan or your head

is at stake. ”I understand your rage master and guaranteed

you my information is reliable.”

“What do you suggest?” The Sultan says.

“We should dispatch two units against Arkan. One behind his

lines and another ahead of him. This way we’ll have him trapped.”

ARKAN’S ARMY ON THE MOVE

They are marching towards a town.

So, that’s your home town Leonidas eh?” Murat asks him.

“What is it called anyway?” “It’s name is POTAMIA.” Leonidas says.

“Any family there?” Murat continues.

“Just my young sister.”

LEONIDAS SISTER’S RESIDENCE

When they are at the door Leonidas stars knocking.

A moment later the door opens and LEONORA, a pretty girl in her 20′s, with dark wavy hair opens.

She wears a crucifix on her neck and a pair of gold

earrings in her ears.

She recognizes Leonidas among the rest of the group and jumps

in his arms. She looks very emotional.

“Oh brother Leonidas, I am glad you remember your family home

after all this time.” She says to him.

But when she faces Arkan and Murat and Dionysian in their

Janissary outfit she backs up suspiciously.

Leonidas notices it and relaxes her suspicions.

“Don’t worry sister, they are all friends and on our side.

They are also Christians.”

After the introduction they all sit for dinner.

Leonora serves the group with whatever is available in her kitchen.

Arkan watches her graceful moves with admiration while in the

meantime Dionysian watches her brother with curiosity.

“What are you doing in these parts brother?

I thought you’re in the East.”

“We are on a mission of recruitment new volunteers here.”

At that instant, Arkan’s chair starts braking up and he falls

on the ground. The view is embarrassing for him as he tries to

lift himself up and looks uncomfortable.

As everybody starts laughing, Leonora rushes to him with concern

trying to hold him up.

Arkan looks at Leonora with embarrassment on his face.

“Don’t worry about me Leonora. It looks like I was too heavy

for your chair. I’ll reimburse you for it.” He sys to her.

“What? You’re serious Captain?” Leonidas says laughing, then

to his sister: “He’s just embarrassed Leonora don’t pay attention.”

Then to Arkan: “Captain after all the battles together this

is the first time I see you fall.”

“It’s always a first time for everything, right brother?”

Dionysian comments with a smile.

LEONORA’S BACKYARD – NEXT DAY

Arkan, Murat and Leonidas have a drink of wine as they

discuss their next move. Meantime Leonidas face looks serious.

“Men, I suggest we change plans. I just received news from

my people that the Sultan knows about our plans.”

Arkan and Murat look at him startled.

“That’s impossible. We only talked about it among ourselves,

unless there is a spy among our men.” Arkan says.

“I’ve got an idea about this Captain, let me handle it myself.”

Murat suggests.

That moment Leonora just comes out and serves them some

coffee. She looks at Arkan’s chair with a smile.

“How do you find this chair now Captain?” She asks him.

“I don’t know yet Leonora, if I don’t fall again, be sure it’s a good chair.”

Leonidas looks at her and waits until she leaves.

“There is something else now men.” He says.

“What is it Leonidas?” Arkan asks.

“It’s about my sister. She asked me to take her with us.

She said she can’t stay here alone anymore.”

Arkan thinks for a moment.

“That’s not a problem Leonidas. She can help with the

preparation of our food supplies. Tell her it is okay.”

Later when Arkan and Dionysian are together,

Dionysian asks him smiling.

“Tell me brother, it’s this just this reason only that you accept Leonidas sister to come along, or something else?”

“What do you mean, sister?” “I’ve seen you watched her

from the corner of your eye. You like her don’t you.”

A look of shyness appears on Arkan’s face.

A VILLAGE TAVERN - NIGHT

Murat walks in and sees a group of his Janissaries as

they drink and have fun. When his men see him they invite him. Murat joins them smiling. However, his eyes observe each

one of them carefully.

“How you brave Janissaries like the change of strategy,

that instead of fighting for the Sultan we turned against him?

A Janissary next to Murat smiles and says.

“But Lieutenant, we believe we are all Christians now like you and the Captain and want to fight and liberate other

Christians.” Yeah, that’s the spirit my man.” Murat adds.

They all start laughing proudly except one of them whose

face looks serious and dark. Murat watches him as he

discreetly leaves the place.

ARKAN’S AND LEONIDAS’ TROOPS IN ARRAY

Arkan signals to Murat to start the marching.

As the men start the marching an officer below Murat’s rank

comes out of his line and approaches Murat.

Bows his head to Murat and says: “Where are we heading sir?”

“To the South, the town of TRIPOLIS.” Murat answers.

“Yes sir.” The officer bows again and returns to his line.

Murat eyes’ follow him until he sees a trooper approaching

the officer and starts talking to him. The trooper is no

other than the man Murat noticed the previous night who left the tavern discreetly. Murat’s face shows satisfaction.

FOREST AREA, TROOPS MARCHING

Arkan and his companions reach a forest area and stop. Then Arkan tries to see ahead between the trees but he’s not able because of the forest density. He sends Murat and a couple of men to go inside the forest and investigate it’s safety.

Murat turns to Dionysian with a smile.

“Would you like to come with us Dionysian?”

She smiles and follows them.

As they all ride deeper into the forest they hear a woman’s anguish voice in a small distance ahead. Murat’s face has a

questioning look when he looks at Dionysian. She looks back at him in bewilderment. Then they both get of their horses and walk near the spot where the herd the woman’s voice.

They find a middle-aged woman lying on the ground under a tree. Great pain shows on her face. Dionysian with concern on her face steps closer to her.

“What’s happening to you lady?” She asks her.

The suffering woman lifts her head with effort and looks at Dionysian. “I’m in labor… lady and it’s just started to come down. Please help me, I’m in great pain.”

Murat and Dionysian look down at the suffering woman. Murat looks hypnotized, but Dionysian’s face is illuminated.

She turns to him. “Murat hurry up and bring my brother here I need him.”

Moments later Arkan shows up with a wonder on his face.

“Brother hold hands with me. We must try to help this poor woman to deliver her baby. She’s in pain.”

Then both of them hold hands and concentrate.

Moments later a white flash comes out of them and engulfs

the pregnant woman. When this happens the woman’s face shows a relaxation and tranquility.

“Oh, Holy Mary thanks for your Mercy.” Then she turns to Dionysian and says: “If it’s a girl I’ll name it after you young lady.”

Then a tiny little head comes out of her.

Dionysian holds the baby tenderly that happens to be a female. As Arkan and Murat watch the event stunned, Dionysian approaches them holding the newborn in her hands and

shows to them.

“This is the beginning of new life boys, the miracle of birth. That’s how we all came into being.” Then she gives the newborn to the woman and embraces both men and kisses them.

Next Dionysian cuts a piece of her inner clothing and gives it to the new mother to wrap up her newborn. Next she asks the woman: “Where do you live lady? Do you have a family around here?” When the woman answers her face has an imploring look.

“My house is by the end of the forest, can you help me get there? My husband will be worrying by now.”

Then they place her on a homemade stretcher and carry her.

ARKAN’S AND LEONIDA’S MEN MARCH IN A VALEY

By sunset they settle down to rest. As they rest Arkan approaches Murat with a scheming face.

“What have you discovered so far with your idea Murat?”

“I’ll tell you later Captain.” He says to Arkan.

A few minutes later the officer who asked Murat an information approaches him again with curiosity.

He bows in front of Murat and asks: “With your permission sir, you said our next destination would be the town of Tripolis but this town is not the one.”

“Yes I did, but Captain Arkan and Leonidas decided to attack

this town first and liberate it from the Turks.”

The officer tries to hide his disappointment but Murat

notices it immediately.

“Why, does it make any difference to you which

town we get in first?” He asks him in return.

“No Sir I was just curious.”

Arkan who watches the scene from a distance, approaches Murat. “I believe you’ve got your man now eh?”

“Yes captain, I did. That officer who approached me wanted

to know why we didn’t go to Tripolis as I mentioned to

him at the start. He’s collaborating with another trouper.”

“You know what you have to do. The only thing I don’t get

is how the Sultan enlisted them.” Arkan comments.

“We’ll soon find out Captain.”

TOWN OF TRIPOLIS

As soon as the troops enter the town, Leonidas sends three

scouts from his unit to snoop around the interior.

“You think this town is occupied by Turks Leonidas?”

Arkan asks him.

“I guess so, as most towns are. We will soon know.”

Then the rest of their troops are spread around trying to cover their presence from passing onlookers.

Dionysian and Leonora approach the men.

“Hi Leonora, I didn’t see you since we left your town.

How do you like the long horse-riding?

“It’s enjoyable but it makes me tired.” Then looking at Dionysian smiles and says: : “Your sister keeps me company and managed it.”

INSIDE TOWN – LATER

It’s nightfall and Leonidas’ three men walk along the streets of the town that looks quiet with all its house windows tightly shut. The stillness of the night is interrupted by the bray of donkeys here and there. Next the men find a tavern and get in.

INSIDE THE TAVERN

The place looks quiet, with the exception of two men drinking in a far corner of the tavern. Leonidas men go and sit to a close by table.

“What’s your pleasure boys?”

The tavern’s man asks Leonidas men.

“Some good wine will do.” One of Leonidas man answers.

As Leonidas men drink they keep their ears open to eavesdrop

in the conversation of the men in the next table.

TWO MEN TABLE

They talk in a low voice while watching suspiciously

at Leonidas’ men.

“They say the siege of citadel will not last long. Then you

know what it’ll happen to our Christian brothers eh?”

“They will be all massacred,” says the other man and tears

drop from his eyes.

“What a horrifying thing. Who leads those cutthroat monsters?”

Continues the first man.

“The ruthless IMBRAHIM PASHA. The Sultan told him not to

return, unless he massacres every man and child and sells the women to slavery.” Adds the other.

Hearing this, one of Leonidas man makes the sigh of Cross and

asks the two men in the next table.

“Come and sit with us brothers.”

Both men look at Leonidas’ men suspiciously.

One of them: “Who are you people? We’ve never seen you before.”

“We aren’t from around here. We belong to a fighting force…”

Leonidas man answers.

At this point one of the other Leonidas men squeezes his

friend’s arm to be careful.

“Come and sit with us and tell us all about this coming

slaughter and we might be able to prevent it from happening.”

Then the two men go and sit at Leonidas’ men table

ARKAN’S & LEONIDAS’ CAMP

Arkan, Murat and Leonidas know the bad news by now.

Leonidas is devastated and walks in circles.

“We have to get there on time to prevent this from happening.

Are you men ready for that?”

“Let’s make a plan.” Arkan and Murat say.

FOOTHILL OF TOWN – DAY

Arkan, Murat and Leonidas with their men arrive a little late to save the town as the army of Ibrahim Pasha has already started massacring the inhabitants.

Our heroes the only option left for them to do is watch

the terrible happening from a distance without being seen.

OBSERVATION GROUND

The three men watch the slaughtering event with the use of binoculars. Hundreds of helpless unarmed Christians are besieged and slaughtered by the infidels. The blood flows everywhere on the ground.

Suddenly the three men’s attention is turned on a bridge not far away from the main event.

On the bridge they see a group of women holding their children and dance leaving sounds of lamentation.

Arkan and Murat move their binoculars from the eyes and look at each other enigmatically.

Meantime Leonidas’ face becomes sad and tormented.

Arkan and Murat look at Leonidas enigmatically.

“This is the doomed dance of death.” Leonidas explains.

“What do you mean?” Arkan asks.

“When those women’s dance ceremony ends they will all fall down the cliff with their children. They’ll sacrifice themselves and them.” “Are you serious? Why?” Murat asks.

“To avoid being captured, raped and sold to the slave markets.” Leonidas answers with weeping eyes.

After that Arkan and Murat put on their binoculars and see the women dragging their children to follow their dancing steps, then hold them up in their arms start falling down the cliff one by one leaving sounds of torment mixed with curses.

OUTSIDE OF BESIEGED TOWN FORTRESS

Now Arkan and his men have reached outside the fortress of the town with their horses and canons. Ibrahim Pasha’s men are inside the castle celebrating their victory and unaware.

Dionysian stands between Arkan and Murat as both make plans of attack. Suddenly her face illuminates with an idea.

She turns to Arkan.

“Brother, I have an idea. Why don’t the three of us dressed like Janissaries and try to enter the town?”

Then Arkan, Murat and Dionysian all dressed like Janissaries soldiers cross the gate and enter the town. There are two guards at the sentry that come out to inspect them.

First guard asks:”Stop! who are you and where are you going?”

“We lost track of our regime after a battle and need shelter

for the night.” Arkan reports to him.

Second guard asks: “What regime is that, HASAN BEY’S?”

“Yes.” Murat answers.

Then the first guard says to the second: “Who cares man, let them pass. It’s only for the night.” Then he adds:

“Go right ahead to the first building. There must be some food leftovers for you to eat. Watch the dead bodies on the ground.”

When the three of them reach the building, they hear loud laughing and shouting of men drinking.

Immediately Dionysian and Arkan hold hands together and concentrate their minds towards the building.

A few seconds later, the building gets on fire.

The men inside start screaming and yelling for help.

Then a loud noise of a collapsing roof is heard which traps everybody inside. A feeling of satisfaction shows on Arkan and Dionysian faces.

A few moments of silence, then a lot of loud voices come from different parts of the establishment. Soldiers running confused from different directions, screaming the name of Allah in fear. That’s the moment when a heavy artillery gun shelling is heard near the gate.

Arkan and Dionysian take cover until Leonidas and his force enter the scene. The Turks running in every direction not knowing what hit them. There are many dead all around from the gun shelling. Ibrahim Pasha with a couple of his adjutants come out of a building confused and terrified.

Arkan recognizes him from his attire.

Arkan points a tree to Dionysian. “Sister, go and hide behind that tree now.”

Then he immediately pulls out his Yatagan and runs to the spot where the Ibrahim Pasha and his two adjutants are standing.

With a swift blow he cuts one officer’s head and wounds badly the other. A terror appears on Ibrahim Pasha’s face when he sees his officers down by a fearless Janissary.

“Why did you kill my officers? Who are you?”

“I am your worst nightmare. Why did you massacre the

people of this town?”

The Pasha looks at him incomprehensibly.

“What the hell are you talking about you fool?”

They were our enemy, Christians. You’re a Janissary and

belong to the Sultan Selim –“

Then his face changes expression and says:

“In the name of Allah, tell me the truth, aren’t you the

renegade Arkan? The janissary responsible for the killing

of Osman and Omer Pasha?” Arkan laughs proudly.

“Yes and I’m proud of that and you Ibrahim Pasha prepare

to die for the destruction of this town. But first call your

troops to surrender, or I will annihilate them all.”

Ibrahim Pasha looks terrified now. Meantime, Murat and Leonidas approach with their troops.

Arkan slowly draws his Yatagan and brings it to the throat of the Pasha. “Well what’s going to be? Are you going to tell them to surrender or prefer to die now?”

What’s left from the Pasha’s men run for their lives. Then Arkan and his friends free the enslaved town of Christians.

Arkan and his renegade army, camp nearby the town for the night. As the regiment rests, Murat observes the officer whom he suspects for a spy behind a tree. The officer approaches another man and they both talk in the dark for a few minutes.

Murat is watching them but he can’t hear their conversation. Then the other man goes to his horse while the officer returns to his tent. Then immediately Murat gets behind the man before he gets on his horse and puts his knife on the man’s throat.

“Tell me where the hell you are going in the middle of the night, or I kill you now.” Murat orders him.

The man recognizes Murat voice and panics.

“I am going for a fresh air Lieutenant.”

Murat starts curving the man’s throat and asks him again.

“Tell me the truth or I kill you know and the other officer

who sent you.”

“Okay Lieutenant I’ll tell you, don’t do it.”

“I have to meet my contact a few miles from here…”

Mean time Arkan who watches the scene from a small distance gets close to them.

“Murat, go get this man’s counterpart in the tent and bring him here.”

Both men are now tight up with ropes next to the other.

“Why you betray your regime?” Murat asks the officer.

The officer keeps silent. Then Arkan brings his Yatagan to the man’s throat. “Talk now or you both die. Who is is your contact?” “A man sent from the Vizier. They’ve got my family hostages to spy on your moves Captain.”

“So you chose to have all our the men sacrificed for your family?” Arkan asks him. Fear shows on the faces of both men. Immediately Arkan with a swift movement of his Yatagan cuts both men’s throats.

“It was so simple Murat, you see, we got them on the moment.”

“Yes Captain.” Murat says smiling and they both go to their tent.

TROOPS ON THE MOVE

It’s morning, and they are all ready to march. Leonidas approaches Arkan and Murat with a worrying face.

“I have bad news again men.”

He says to them. “What’s the matter Leonidas?”

Murat asks him.

“Two of my men returned early this morning with bad news.

The town of Petra, our next destination is already on the target of Sultan’s plan.

He already sent a force to that city. Now how does he know we are heading there, it’s a mystery to me.” “His Vizier used a spy ring to follow our moves. We got them, but not on time.” Arkan says.”

“Then, we have to hurry before the Sultan’s troops get there first.” Leonidas says.

As they are all heading trough a forest area Dionysian goes to Arkan and whispers something to him.

“What was that Dionysian?” Arkan asks.

“I just said I don’t feel well brother, can we halt here for the night?” “Of course sister” He replies.

TROOPS CAMPING

As Arkan and Dionysian sit side by side they start talking.

“So brother what do you think of yourself now that you know

you are…“ She hesitates to complete her sentence.

“What exactly do you mean?” He asks her.

“Well now that you are different? I mean Christian?”

“I considered myself lucky to be one.” He answers looking

at her eyes as they start closing from exhaustion and smiles.

Then he stands up and starts walking down the path for fresh air. It is a bright moonlight and Arkan’s face shows cheerful.

As he walks leisurely further down he hears voices of fear

and desperation. He hides behind a tree and sees a group of frightened people who look like villagers trying to hide behind some trees to avoid a band of half a dozen armed bandits who run behind them threatening. When the villagers reach some trees stop running and find shelter behind them.

As they stay silent they look at each other relieved.

At that moment, the sound of a baby crying in a young woman’s arm panics the rest of them fearing it would be heard by the bandits.

Some of them close to the woman signal her to try to stop her baby. The woman tries unsuccessfully to stop it as its cries

continue. Then in her desperation she puts her palm on the baby’s mouth until the baby stops crying.

When she realizes that her baby might stopped breathing she holds it up and shakes it, but it doesn’t show any life.

Then the woman starts screaming desperately.

“My baby, my baby died…” Then everybody looks at her in grief. Meantime Arkan runs silently behind the bandits to surprise them, but as he does that the last one in the group sees him and informs the others. Then they all stop to face him. But when they see Arkan’s outfit, they look at each other undecided. That gives chance to Arkan to jump at them and start cutting them down with his Yatagan.

This is the moment when the young mother holds her lifeless baby up screaming.

Arkan approaches the woman with a helpless look in his face. As this turmoil goes on some of Arkan’s men accompanied by Murat run to the scene. Behind them Dionysian follows.

When Dionysian sees Arkan runs to him as Arkan points the lifeless baby to her.

“What’s the matter brother?” “This woman’s child looks like dying. Some bandits… never mind that I’ll explain later.

Let’s save the child from asphyxiation, sister.”

Then both of them hold hands and use the same procedure of concentration and make the miracle. The child starts giving signals of life and begins crying.

When the mother sees the miracle of reviving her child back to life she bursts out in tears. She kneels in front of Dionysian and Arkan and says: “You are my child’s Angels and gave it back to me. I’ll pray to God for the rest of my life for this miracle.” Meantime the rest of villagers who witness the event surround the mother in awe and start praying.

Meantime Leonora and Leonidas arrive and witness the event.

Then Leonora approaches Arkan and holds his hand tenderly.

Arkan’s eyes shed tears now. Leonora embraces him with affection and Arkan responds. As this happens Murat takes

Dionysian in his arms and kisses her.

“You guys since you are so attached to each other, the next

thing to do is to get married.” Leonidas says smiling.

“Yeah but before that we must hurry to get to Petra town before the troops of Sultan reach there first.” Murat says.

ARKAN’S ARMY APPROACHING PETRA TOWN

Arkan’s and Leonidas troops stop. Ahead of them and in close distance is the town of Petra. It’s a cloudy morning and the visibility is poor. Arkan takes out his binoculars and surveys around. The town looks quiet until the sound of church bells is heard in some distance.

He puts down his glasses and asks Leonidas: “Leonidas what is that? Is it Sunday today, why the church’s bells are sounding?”

“I am not sure Captain, I’m lost. But it’s easy to find out.” Next he asks two of his men to go to the town and find out.

The bells continue ringing while Leonidas face shows confusion.

“Wait Captain… this sound of bells doesn’t indicate a Sunday’s mass. I think the town is mourning someone.”

“Who might that be?” Arkan asks curious.

“It’s when someone important dies Captain. We soon find out from my men when they come.”

Soon the two men Leonidas sent return.

“Yes boys what did you find out?” Leonidas asks them.

“Leonidas, there is a bad feeling in town.” One of them says.

“What do you mean?” Leonidas asks.

“The town lost one of its oldest priests.

He died last night.”

The other man replies.

“I don’t see how this death makes things so dramatic, Leonidas.”

“It does Captain as some people consider an event such as this as bad luck.” Leonidas replies. He also adds.

“Which means, the Sultan’s troops are near.”

INTO THE TOWN OF PETRA

A small group of Arkan’s and Leonidas men accompanied by Leonidas and Murat enter the town holding Christian symbols.

When the town’s people see them, surround them with curiosity.

One of their elders and apparently in charge asks them:

“Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“We are members of a rebel group who liberates Christian towns from the Sultan’s army. Your town is in danger…“ Leonidas tries to explain but before that he is interrupted by the elder.

“We heard of you. Are you part of the Janissary army under the brave Arkan and his men?” When Leonidas and the rest of the men hear that, are stunned. “How did you hear that old man?” Murat asks him. “Your fame is spread around, young man.” Then Murat tells him: “Let’s not waste any time, Sultan’s army will be here soon. We are here to prepare

your town before they come.”

ARKAN’S AND LEONIDAS MEN SPREAD ALONG THE FORTIFICATIONS

When the daylight disappears slowly and darkness falls, a long moving mass of people shows crossing the valley.

When they see that, Arkan and Murat look at each other with concern.

“They are finally here Captain.” Murat says. Arkan stands up to give orders. “Prepare your men. Leonidas, send some of you men to protect the women with their children and the elders. Next have the rest of them ready for assault.” Then he turns to Murat: “You Murat have your gunners arranged along the walls as we agreed and have your Musketeers spread alongside the uncovered parts.” Then he turns to his sister and says:

“And I, with my sister Dionysian will use our power to destroy as much of the enemy as possible.”

By now, the Sultan’s army is close enough for Murat’s gunners to fire upon. Murat gives the signal to his men and the gun shelling of fire starts. Meantime Leonidas men start shooting at them wildly.

This sudden attack finds the enemy unprepared and it holds back. However, this pandemonium lasts a few moments. Suddenly a heavy barrage starts from the rear of our heroes’ position.

They look back and see a threatening view. A large body of enemy soldiers is counter attacking them. As their attention is on them the enemy from the front raises an attack by firing at them heavily.

As a result several of Arkan’s and Leonidas men are killed. This sudden and unexpected tactic startles our heroes. Desperation shows on their faces as they look at each other. Mean time the enemy from the rear rushes in and attacks our heroes as they seem unprepared. Many of Arkan’s men fall and Leonidas himself is wounded in the arm.

Suddenly a couple of the town’s men scream at Arkan.

“The gate, the gate… let’s all run into it.”

“What gate?” Murat shouts at them.

“That hatch door over there.” One of the town’s men indicates

Arkan and Murat turn their faces and see a dark large opening near them. They look at each other for a few seconds undecided and then, Arkan screams at Murat: “Murat, take Dionysian, Leonora and some of our men and run through that gate. I’ll stay here with the rest our men and Leonidas’ to fight.” As he says that he turns his head around like looking for something. Then he starts calling Leonora. “Leonora, Leonora. Where is Leonora Murat?”

“I didn’t see her for a while Captain.” Murat answers.

Next Murat with his men and Dionysian ran through the gate. Leonidas lies on the ground as he’s been hit by a bullet. Arkan can’t help him as he’s been hit himself also by a bullet. Meantime Leonidas as he can’t see his sister Leonora, starts calling her in desperation. Then Arkan hears Leonora’s creams for help as she is grabbed by two Turks from behind.

Arkan tries to move towards them to save her, but one of the Turks see him coming, he pulls his gun to shoot him.

But as his attention is on him Leonora drags the side knife of the other Turk with a swift move and stabs him, then runs and hides. The other Turk surprised looks at his friend on the ground and doesn’t see Leonidas raising his gun and shoot him. By now many raiders from the front walls joined together with those from the rear, jumped in and surround Arkan and Leonidas. Arkan pulls out his Yatagan sword to defend himself but he’s slow on account of his wound and the Turkish soldiers disarm him and Leonidas and take them prisoners.

Some of them look at Arkan’s outfit and recognizing him as a Janissary and stand back.

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