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(After leaving the castle, Mary and Bash are being chased by the King's guards through the woods on horseback. Bash leads them to a clearing in the woods)

BASH: This way, Mary, quick.

(That clearing leads off the side of a cliff facing a large body of water)

BASH: We're trapped. There's no way around.
MARY: We have to go back. The king's guards...
BASH: Will intercept us. We'll never outrun them in the woods anyway.
MARY: We'll be captured and dragged back to French court. The king wants England; he won't give up. If we're found...

(The king's men are catching up to them quickly. The hooves of the horses sound like they have arrived)

BASH: Get down, quickly. I'm going to get you back to Scotland.
MARY: How?
GUARD' (alerting' 'the other men 'to their location): This way.

(Bash starts taking off his heavy armor and sword)

MARY: Bash, what are you doing?
BASH: Just trust me. Can you swim? This is the only way out.
MARY: Are you mad? We'll never survive it.
BASH: You can do this.
GUARD: Stop! In the name of the king! Seize them!

(Mary and Bash told hands and jump off the cliff, into the water)


BACK AT THE CASTLE:

GUARD: We've checked every outbound ship from Dunkirk to Bayeux, Your Majesty. The Scottish Queen and your son must still be in France, but...
KING HENRY: They didn't just disappear. Bash has many talents, but magic isn't one of them. Find them! Go.
QUEEN CATHERINE: They've been gone for more than a week. You'll never find them. Francis is back from his own search. I tell him it's pointless, they're long gone, but he persists.
KING HENRY: What did you expect? Mary's his fiancée. They were hours from being wed.
QUEEN CATHERINE: ... Until she rode off with his brother. I'd call that engagement off.
KING HENRY: What I'd like to know is why.
QUEEN CATHERINE: She was probably involved with him for months.
KING HENRY: What is it about her marriage to our son that strikes such fear in your black heart? The truth, Catherine, for once.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Mary is dangerous because she's in danger. Because the English hate her, and they always will, especially if she lays claim to their throne, as you insist. I believe she brings destruction, which will reach our lands and our hearts.
KING HENRY: This isn't your decision, and if I find out her departure is your doing in any way, I'll have grounds to execute you.
QUEEN CATHERINE: I grow weary of your threats.
KING HENRY: I grew weary of you a decade ago. All I need is cause to be rid of you. Perhaps this time, you've given it to me.


IN FRANCIS' CHAMBERS:

QUEEN CATHERINE: You can't do this. Take off for days at a time on your own?
FRANCIS: I had guards with me, guards that I can trust -- Guards that don't answer to you. We're only back because there was a sighting of a girl alleged to be Mary in a village nearby. A girl who appeared to be barely ten.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Well, few people in France have set eyes on Mary. She has money. She can buy passage, as well as silence. She has Bash to navigate for them. You won't find them, and why would you want to?
FRANCIS: Because I want to know why she left.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Well, didn't you ask her?
FRANCIS: She said that she couldn't trust me to put her interests before France.
QUEEN CATHERINE: And she's right. And I know, because you'll be an extraordinary king.
FRANCIS: She made an excuse. It's not why she left, I know it.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Then she's a liar. Why would you want her?
FRANCIS: Because I love her, despite everything that she's done. And because I sense your hand in this.


AT AN INN:

(Mary and Bash have settled in for the night to rest up and dry their clothing)

MARY: I don't think the innkeeper believed our story.
BASH: That we were attacked by bandits?
MARY: Honest people don't ride through the woods.
BASH: Honest, foolish people do.
MARY: Do you think that you're foolish for helping me?
BASH: I only meant that the woods are dangerous. Not as dangerous as court, as it turns out.

(Both of them huddle beside the lit fireplace, soaking up some of its warmth)

MARY: Do you really think that Queen Catherine knew about your mother's plot to have you legitimized?
BASH: Yes. She used the information to blackmail my mother into leaving court. My mother never should have done this behind my father's back.
MARY: And behind yours. You never asked to rule France. This was never what you wanted.
BASH: Try convincing anyone of that.
MARY: They're going to think the worst of us, you know.
BASH: I'm sure Francis already does.

(Mary pulls out a blanket and shakes it loose)

BASH: I'll find some horses tomorrow. We'll get a boat from Calais and put this all behind us. Now, get undressed.

(Bash pulls off his boots and sits them on the ground)

MARY: What?
BASH: You'll want dry clothes. We have a long day tomorrow.
MARY: All right then. Turn around.
BASH: For the entire night?

(Bash finds this comical, but he does it anyway)

BASH: There's not a thing left in your bag that isn't soaked. Let it dry.

(Mary relunctantly starts untying her clothing, while Bash peeks from behind.

OFFSCREEN VOICE (knocking at the door): Innkeeper. Brought you some fresh linen.
BASH: Hide. Quickly. Our innkeeper lacked grace, but he wasn't wearing heavy boots.

(Mary scurries under the table right before the person knocking at the door barges in)

GUARD 1: Well, if it isn't the bastard son of France. Those people you paid off to keep their silence, we paid them more. Where's the Queen?
BASH: I dropped her off in Calais. She's halfway across the Channel in a four-masted galleon.
GUARD 2: Without her clothes? Did they tie her to the bow like a figurehead?

(Several more men barge into the room. They stab a knife into the table and subdue bash, slamming his head against the table)

GUARD 1: The king wants you back alive, but he said nothing of your fingers. Last chance.

(Bash closes his eyes and says nothing)

MARY (emerging from her hiding spot): Stop! I'm right here. Unhand him. This man is under my protection.
GUARD 2: Apologies, Your Grace, but this man is a French subject, not Scottish, - and he's a criminal.
MARY: And what crime has he committed beyond ensuring my safety?
GUARD 2: Weren't you engaged to his brother? I suppose that's why I heard the word "treason" bandied about. All I know is the king wants his son back at court.

(The men start to drag him off)

MARY: I can help.
BASH: No.
MARY: I'll explain why you came with me. I'll make Henry understand.
BASH: And Francis? He won't let you leave twice.
MARY: I jumped off a cliff with you and I survived. This time, let me take the lead.


ACT 2:Edit

(Mary and Bash are both back at court. Bash is in cuffs)

GUARD: The king wants him taken to the dungeon.
BASH: I'll be fine. Be strong. You have to.
FRANCIS (yelling from across the room): Mary!

(He slowly comes up to her, unsure of what to say)

FRANCIS: Is my brother hurt?
MARY: Not yet. They're locking him up.
FRANCIS: And you... are you all right? I suppose you wondered if you'd ever see me again.
MARY: Yes.
FRANCIS: I knew I'd see you. If I hadn't found you, if the guards didn't, I would have come to Scotland.

(He steps closer to her, but she backs away)

MARY: Francis, please, don't. Nothing has changed.
FRANCIS: Everything's changed. We woke up at sunrise in each other's arms and I promised to stand by you forever, against anyone, even my father. And by sundown, you'd run off with my brother...
MARY: This isn't Bash's fault.
FRANCIS: No, you say it's about France bullying you into claiming the throne of England, or because my loyalties might lie to my nation and not to you. But I swore myself to you, and I know you believed me. Tell me what happened.
MARY: My friend died. My heart broke.
FRANCIS: Why did you leave? Explain to me how Aylee's death made you decide you couldn't marry me. Give me an honest answer. I deserve that. I was prepared to give everything to you.
MARY: Including your life... I know that, and I'm sorry, but I can't marry you.
GUARD: The king requests your presence in the throne room.

(Francis and Mary both head that way, but Francis is stopped)

GUARD: Begging your pardon, Your Grace, he just wants Queen Mary.


IN THE THRONE ROOM:

(King Henry and Queen Catherine sit on their thrones, with a room full of spectators)

QUEEN CATHERINE: The guards say you chose to return.
MARY: I am here on Sebastian's behalf. And to make peace between our nations, as it seems there is some ill will in the wake of my decision not to marry your son, Francis. I am hoping you can help me with this.
KING HENRY: I'll help you make peace. Marry Francis, as we'd agreed. Lay claim to England. The story for your abrupt departure is this: you were a bride overcome by nerves.
MARY: No.
KING HENRY: No? You are here at your mother's, at Scotland's, bidding. Your wedding is a treaty of nations.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Women don't often say no, to Henry. When they do he thinks it's a game. It usually is. But Mary isn't your usual girl. She is Scotland. She is its queen.
KING HENRY: All right then. Let's negotiate. As leaders. Shall we start with your desire to protect Bash? You're fond of him, aren't you?
MARY: Aren't you? He's your son. He was protecting me. Bash did nothing wrong.
KING HENRY: And you, you shared a bed with him. There are witnesses.
MARY: They're lying. But go ahead, ruin me. I could give a damn about my reputation in France.
KING HENRY: In Scotland?
MARY: They will believe their Queen.
KING HENRY: A queen with blood on her hands who let her lover die? Sebastian ran off with the future king's fiancée. Destroying an alliance between our countries.
MARY: Don't do this.
KING HENRY: You want to be treated like a ruler? Someone who can say no? Do you need lives at stake to take this seriously?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Henry, you wouldn't.
KING HENRY: You'll marry my son, Francis and accept our nation's support, as you and your new husband, lay claim to England. Or I will execute my son, my subject Bash, for the treason of costing me England. You can watch him bleed to death on your wedding altar.

IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:

(Her servants are gathered around attending to her dress)

QUEEN CATHERINE: Leave us. Now.

(The room clears out)

QUEEN CATHERINE: You should never have come back here.
MARY: I had no choice. Bash was accused of treason. I couldn't let him suffer on his own.
QUEEN CATHERINE: I was afraid something like this might happen.
MARY: Find a way to convince King Henry that I won't back down, before he carries through with his threat.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Killing Bash?! I can't believe he would do it.
MARY: I won't take that chance.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Well, then lie. Say that you and Bash are already married.
MARY: How?
QUEEN CATHERINE: You grabbed a priest on the road. You said your vows in a cowshed. Even Henry can't override a union sanctified by God.
MARY: No, but he can kill Bash in anger on hearing it.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Do you have any other ideas?
MARY: I've sent word to my mother. In truth, I cannot believe that she and her advisors would support a claim on England at this time.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Henry's already been corresponding with your mother... Once he learned that the English Queen was dying.
MARY: She wants me to do it. Scotland wants me on the throne of England. They know it's a risk;
QUEEN CATHERINE: Less so, with Francis at your side.
MARY: They want me to wed the next King of France without delay. So, there is no other option. I must tell Francis of the prophecy.
QUEEN CATHERINE: You must find another way. Francis will reject the prophecy as superstition. And he will convince you to marry him. You know I am right!
MARY: I will explain to him why I believe Nostradamus's visions.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Giving him arguments he can talk you out of with reason and logic. And he will. Because the fact that Nostradamus can see the death of the man you love, is not something that you want to believe either.
MARY: But I do believe it.
QUEEN CATHERINE: You won't when he's done with you, because Francis is reasonable in all things, but he is relentless in his love for you. If you tell Francis, he will wear you down, and he is as good as dead.
MARY: And if I do nothing, Bash will die.


ACT 3:Edit

IN THE DUNGEON:


(Nostradamus sits at his workshop, creating a doll to give to Clarissa. After killing Aylee, Nostradamus locked her up in his dungeon to keep her from doing something foolish)

NOSTRADAMUS: You look pathetic but I feel your hatred. You don't even have the decency to feign remorse for killing that girl.
CLARISSA: I did it to save Mary.
NOSTRADAMUS: You killed Aylee to fulfill my vision.
CLARISSA: The Queen was planning to kill her.
NOSTRADAMUS: So, you've said. And you're right, Catherine would have. Kings and queens do that. To save another, to save themselves, when it suits them, they play God. Monsters like you should not. Did you not enjoy your freedom?! You could go about the castle as you wished. All I asked, was that you stay out of sight: That you harm no one. So that no harm would come to you. You'll stay here until I believe you've learned your lesson... Do as I say, or I'll starve you.

(Clarissa cries as he leaves. She then picks up the doll he threw on the ground and rips it apart)


IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:

(She sits basked in the sunlight that pours through the window, thinking deeply about what to do about Francis and the prophecy until she is interrupted)

FRANCIS: Mary.
MARY: Thank you for coming.
FRANCIS: Is this about Bash? My father just told me that he'll kill him if you don't marry me. And still you refuse?
MARY: Yes.
FRANCIS: I'm sorry. This is insane. How far will you go to destroy us?
MARY: But it will destroy you otherwise.
FRANCIS: What?
MARY: Please, hear me out. I want to explain myself. I want you to understand why I left you. It wasn't for lack of love, or joy, or trust in you. It was because I couldn't bear the thought of losing you.
FRANCIS: That makes no sense.
MARY: Nostradamus had a vision -- Of your death, brought about by me if we wed.
FRANCIS: You left me over a prophecy?
MARY: One that I believe. I couldn't take the risk of being wrong!
FRANCIS: This is madness.
MARY: I know, I thought so too. I didn't believe it, I didn't want to, but, I knew that Nostradamus's visions had weight, even before he predicted Aylee's death.
FRANCIS: Her fall?
MARY: Hours before it happened.
FRANCIS: When the king finds out....
No, you can't tell him! He will burn Nostradamus alive, for heresy, or treason -- both charges apply, not to mention...
FRANCIS: My mother. She was behind this as well.
MARY: All her crimes against me were because she loves you. Does she deserve to burn for that? She would do anything for you. And I would, too. I will not be the cause of your death.
FRANCIS: And Bash? Shall he die in my stead?
MARY: No, of course not.
FRANCIS: Because my father is determined. You will wed the next King of France, or he'll lose any chance of England. Mary you cannot let superstition, or fear, rule your life. You must be the ruler... Taking charge of your own destiny. Marry me. Now, before my mother or Nostradamus can poison you with fear, pressure you...
MARY: You are pressuring me.
FRANCIS: Ah, because I am right. And my mother is wrong to believe in this nonsense!
MARY: She was right to believe. Aylee is dead. I believe!!
FRANCIS: I'll talk to Nostradamus. He'll recant. I'll make my mother see things sensibly. I'll take the risk. This is my life, my risk. Once you get past the grief of Aylee's death, you'll see.
MARY: Your mother was right, you are relentless.
FRANCIS: When it comes to us, yes.
MARY: But I can't do this. I am begging you, please stop.
FRANCIS: I won't. Ever.
MARY: Then I will.


IN THE THRONE ROOM:

KING HENRY: I assume you've asked for this meeting because you've made your decision. Will you marry Francis? Or will you be forced to watch Bash's execution?
MARY: Neither.

(The room erupts in a gasp)

KING HENRY: What's this?
MARY: I have a third option. One I think you would be most interested in. I will stake my claim on England and I will marry your son. But not Francis: Bash. Legitimize him and make him the next King of France.


ACT 4:Edit

(The King and Queen have taken Mary off into a private room away from all of the prying eyes)

KING HENRY: Explain yourself.
MARY: You want England. I want something in return.
KING HENRY: You are talking about changing the line of succession of France.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Bash as king... this is laughable.
MARY: Bastards are being legitimized all over Europe. I believe the Vatican will favor this arrangement.
KING HENRY: How could you know that?
MARY: You said yourself, they want England as badly as you do. They will do anything to keep it from falling into the hands of the Protestants.
QUEEN CATHERINE: You were against this claim before.
MARY: That was before I knew my mother's wishes. And how much pressure her advisors were putting her under. It seems I will be going off to England no matter what I think, but only with Bash at my side.
KING HENRY: So I'll make him a duke, or an earl.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Yes.
MARY: Half measures won't do. I need to be married to the man who commands the king's army.
KING HENRY: There'd be civil unrest. The nobles may reject it. It makes our country appear unstable. And I'd have to convince the Pope to annul our marriage.

(Catherine is clearly unpleased with this idea)

KING HENRY: Are you not acquainted with my very determined wife?
MARY: Perhaps your wife will agree. Because at her core, she is more selfless than you think.
KING HENRY: You think she gives a damn about France controlling England when she is no longer queen?
MARY: It's up to the Queen to decide her priorities. I've given your majesties much to consider. I will take my leave.

(Mary exits, leaving the King and Queen to fight)

QUEEN CATHERINE: You're not seriously considering this? What she proposes would cost me everything... My marriage, my crown, the legacy of our children, your sons...
KING HENRY: Yes... They are all considerations.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Those bitches!
KING HENRY: Who?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Mary, her friends, that parasite Diane, the lot of them!
KING HENRY: My mistress Diane? What does she have to do with this?
QUEEN CATHERINE: You don't seriously think that Mary came up with legitimization all by herself. Bash must have told her. Diane has been working on this behind your back for months.
KING HENRY: Do you have proof of this?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Well, why don't you ask Kenna, your other mistress? She told me and as a result, I blackmailed Diane and I,, sent her off to Paris.
KING HENRY: You admit this deceit?
QUEEN CATHERINE: You would have found out anyway, from Bash, before you took off his head! I suspect that's the real reason why he fled the castle. He was afraid of your reaction.
KING HENRY: So much for the great love story of Mary and Bash. But if he left out of fear, what was her reason?
QUEEN CATHERINE: I have no idea, but she certainly made a mess of things now, hasn't she?



IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:

(After her talk with the King and Queen, Mary retires to her chambers to talk to her ladies about what transpired when she was gone)

LOLA: In truth, Catherine's been relatively kind to us. She was arranging our passage for next week.
GREER: Now you're back and marrying Bash.
MARY: If Henry makes him the next king. It was the only way I could save Bash and Francis, and do as I was bid by my mother, as is my duty.
KENNA: What about me? For Bash to become legitimized, Henry must marry Diane and she'll be back at court as queen.
MARY: If the plan works, yes. I know this must be painful for you. You have feelings for the king.
KENNA: Painful? You have no idea, any of you!

(All of the girls look at her, deducing that she was upset at more than just the possibility of Dianne being Queen)

KENNA: I think Diane was behind Aylee's death.
LOLA: Kenna, what are you saying?
KENNA: Aylee fell, but I think she was poisoned first.
LOLA: What makes you think such a thing?
KENNA: There was a cup shattered at the base of the stairs. A cup that was delivered to me. I saw a cat drinking the spilled contents. Not long after I found the animal dead in the corner.
MARY: Why didn't you tell any of us about your suspicions?
KENNA: You were already dealing with so much and then you were gone. What could I, any of us, done about it in your absence? Who would stand to gain by my death? Diane, certainly. But also Catherine. What better way to warn you of Nostradamus's visions, than by fulfilling his latest prophecy?
LOLA: That one among us would die?
KENNA: And one of us did.
MARY: There was other proof of Nostradamus's power.
KENNA: Yes but it was Aylee's death that convinced you that what he predicted for Francis would come true.
LOLA: Did Catherine know of this last prophecy? Was she aware of it?
MARY: She'd never admit to it, but I'm getting better at discerning when she's lying.


IN CATHERINE'S CHAMBERS:

(Mary goes to confront the Queen about Kenna's suspicions in regard to Aylee's death)

QUEEN CATHERINE (off-screen): And I'm not pleased with her.

(Without knocking, Mary storms into the room)

MARY: Did you poison Aylee? Yes or no?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Leave us.

(When the room clears out, Catherine lets Mary know of her displeasure)

QUEEN CATHERINE: How dare you burst in here after the stunt you've just pulled.
MARY: Give me your answer.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Of course not. I had nothing but fondness for Aylee.
MARY: And Kenna? A cup was delivered to her bedside that ended up in Aylee's hands.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Your friend Kenna, she came to me, she'd found out about Diane's plot to have Bash legitimized.
MARY: Bash told me, but I wasn't aware that Kenna knew.
QUEEN CATHERINE: I saw an opportunity to get rid of them both. I told Diane about Kenna's scheming and I... I gifted her some poison. I suppose I was testing her, to see if she'd actually try to poison Kenna before leaving the castle. And clearly, she tried.
MARY: So, it was your poison. Delivered at Diane's hands and not yours?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Delivered to the wrong girl. You must believe me. Why would I tell you this otherwise? What reason would I have to kill Aylee?
MARY: To make me believe Nostradamus's prophecies. He had a vision of one of my ladies dying.
QUEEN CATHERINE: He never told me. He takes no comfort in the horrors he sees. And he knows that I would probably have killed one of your ladies trying to convince you. I'm telling you the truth.. On my immortal soul. There's still time to fix this. Leave for Scotland. I have connections, I can ensure you find another suitable match.
MARY: Not in time.
QUEEN CATHERINE: No, this can't be happening. You end up with a King, and three kingdoms under your rule, and I lose everything?!
MARY: I am losing the man that I love. I am saving your son! I have made my sacrifice! And now this is your turn. I must talk to Francis and tell him of my proposal to wed Bash before somebody else does.
QUEEN CATHERINE: I might have already mentioned it.

(Mary storms off to find Francis. First, she visits his room)

MARY: Francis?

(Francis is not in his chambers, so she looks for him elsewhere. Meanwhile, Francis goes to visit Bash in the dungeon)

BASH: Francis.

(Francis immediately punches Bash in the face and starts beating him throughout the room)

FRANCIS: Get up.
BASH: I can explain.
FRANCIS: Why did you steal Mary?!
BASH: I was trying to help her.
FRANCIS: You took advantage of her fears, and this family's trust.

(Francis isn't listening to Bash at all. He continues to beat him, despite Bash not fighting back)

MARY (rushing into the room to help Bash and stop Francis from killing him) Francis, stop!
FRANCIS (to Bash): How long have you hated me?
BASH: I was trying to save your life.
MARY: Stop! Stop! Francis, stop! Stop!

(Mary puts herself in between Francis and Bash)

MARY: This isn't Bash's fault! He only knew about the prophecy. The only thing we've done is try to save you. I'm the one who proposed marrying him. I proposed that he be the new heir to the throne.
BASH: You proposed what?
MARY: I'm sorry.
FRANCIS: You are setting the course of nations. Asking the Pope to say that this is God's will! Taking my family's inheritance, from me, my mother, my brothers. And I'm supposed to accept this. You are throwing away everything we had for superstition! Nostradamus knows nothing. You know that I love you. If you think that, because in your minds, you're saving me, that I will forgive you for this, you're wrong.

(Francis angrily leaves, leaving Mary in tears)

MARY: Are you all right?
BASH: When were you planning to tell me? Before or after my coronation?!
MARY: Please don't be angry.
BASH: I never wanted my brother's crown. No matter my mother's plans.
MARY: But will you take it, to save his life?
BASH: Can I have more than a heartbeat to think about it?!


IN NOSTRADAMUS' CHAMBERS:

QUEEN CATHERINE: Why didn't you tell me about your visions of Mary's friends?
NOSTRADAMUS: If I had, you've had killed one of them, no? To make Mary believe?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Well, that was my point to Mary, exactly. It's tragic, about Aylee.
NOSTRADAMUS: At least her death will do some good, if it saves Francis.
QUEEN CATHERINE: But now Mary is so convinced of your power, that she's ready to upset the line of succession. In Mary's mind, this is the only way. Well, of course there are others.

(Nostradamus picks up on the insinuation)

NOSTRADAMUS: Options to keep you in power.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Without power, I am vulnerable. And so are my children. When Henry dies, and Bash becomes king, my sons become targets. They'll threaten Sebastian's rule, as some will say they belong on the throne, one by one, in rightful succession. No, Mary's plan will not do. She and Bash must be stopped in a manner that leaves no trace.
NOSTRADAMUS: Is there no other way?
QUEEN CATHERINE: Can you suggest one?

(Nostradamus says nothing. So Catherine continues giving direction)

QUEEN CATHERINE: Hire a scribe, leave a note in Mary's hand, a good-bye to her friends, she would do that if she and Bash were making an escape. Find a jailer who'll say that she bribed him. Pay him well, and then kill him, too. Take all the bodies to the forest and bury them deep so that when the rains come and the animals dig, their skulls are not found.

(The Queen summons a guard, after giving her instructions, he leaves)

ACT 5:Edit

(The Queen's lackey enters Mary's chambers equipped with a wire to strangle her with, but he finds Mary's bed empty)


ELSEWHERE IN THE CASTLE:

(Henry has arranged a secret meeting between himself, Mary and Bash; thus explaining her absence. Bash was waiting when she arrived)

KING HENRY: Ah, Mary, you're safe. No one followed you, or knows you're here, not even your ladies?
MARY: No, no one knows.
KING HENRY: You've taught me something, Mary. God has a sense of humor. When I heard the Vatican's support of your claim to the English throne, I thought, "A chance this perfect must be crafted by God." But now, I see God's mocking me. I mean, how else do you explain that on the verge of uniting England, Scotland and France, I'd be here, held hostage by the whims of a teenaged girl?
MARY: It's not a whim. I am deadly serious.
KING HENRY: You were never groomed to be king. Your recent actions have shown me that you are not prepared for power.
BASH: And yet, here we are.
KING HENRY: I'll agree to your terms. Let God mock the English for a change.
MARY: Thank you.
KING HENRY: You're serious?
KING HENRY: Your ascent to the throne will not be official until the Pope agrees, which will not be easy. I'll go to Rome, and do my best. I've been a better father to you than Francis, but he's my son, too, and your brother. You have betrayed him. I don't know why, I don't know if it's love, or something else, but this will destroy him, unless he's a stronger man than either of us knew. In which case, God have mercy on you.

(The King holds up a glass and toasts to the two of them)

KING HENRY: To the future King and Queen of France, Scotland and England.

(They all drink)

MARY: There is one other thing. What will we do about Catherine? She won't give up her crown easily.
KING HENRY: I can handle my wife.

LATER:

(Catherine enters her room to find the guard hanging from a noose above her bed. Henry enters shortly after her)

KING HENRY: You're next.

(Henry grabs her by the arm and pulls her into the throne room, where Mary, Bash and Francis all stand)

QUEEN CATHERINE: No!
KING HENRY: It's best if you remain standing.

(Henry starts walking over to his throne)

QUEEN CATHERINE: Are you going to execute me yourself?
KING HENRY: I'm trying very hard not to kill you for the things you've done.

(He sits, while Catherine scoffs)

QUEEN CATHERINE: You've had me followed?
KING HENRY: I know how you behave when you're cornered.
QUEEN CATHERINE: I will never agree to an annulment, no matter what fabrications you concoct to get you England.
KING HENRY: I want all agreed to this plan. When I die, Bash will be king. If he is survived by our children, the line of succession will revert to my sons by you.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Ah, well, it's better than I hoped.
KING HENRY: Especially as you're instantly planning Bash's demise. He would have been next, after you sent an assassin to Mary's chambers this very evening. Now you think you'll simply pick Bash off, once my guard is down, or before they pop out an heir, and the throne will revert to Francis.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Aren't you ahead of me? It's as if we had one mind...
MARY: Catherine, don't. He's thought of every angle.
KING HENRY: Mary's right. Because I know your next plan is to kill me. To remove the largest obstacle and hasten things along. A stray arrow, a hunting accident.
QUEEN CATHERINE: I wouldn't dare.

(Francis suddenly enters to give his two cents)

FRANCIS: Yes, you would. You'd kill everyone in this room to get me on the throne. To protect me, in the hope that I would then protect you. But my first order of business, as King, would be to execute you if you were to harm anyone here. My brother, my father, Mary. This has to stop.

(Finished with his mother, Francis walks over to Mary)

FRANCIS: I see a future for us quite clearly. We would be happy. I would give anything to spend my life, however long, at your side.
MARY: I know you would.
FRANCIS: But you see a future without me, and that's the one you choose.
MARY: You know why it's the only choice.
FRANCIS: It's your choice. You are so headstrong, so, so strong...

(Speaking to Bash)

FRANCIS: And you, my brother I envied you for so long, and look at us now.  You have what's mine, and I have your freedom. Well, I, I plan to take full advantage of it.

(Francis turns and speaks to the whole room)

FRANCIS: Long may you reign.


ACT 6:Edit

IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:

(Mary prepares herself for bed in her chambers, but the Queen wants to have a chat)

SERVANT: Your Grace, Her Majesty the Queen.
MARY: Wait.

(Speaking to the guard)

MARY: Stay. And you, as well. Close the door

(Both the guard and the servant stay in the room)

QUEEN CATHERINE: You're arming yourself against me. Am I really that frightening?
MARY: Am I really stupid enough to find out? What do you want?
QUEEN CATHERINE: You must be very pleased with yourself.
MARY: I take no joy in what this has cost you.
QUEEN CATHERINE: My life, not just my crown. The annulment won't be enough for Henry. To quiet the issues, the questions about his judgment, it's best if I'm gone. He will find some excuse to behead me.
MARY: Then leave France, disappear, and never return.
QUEEN CATHERINE: If only you had taken this advice.
MARY: I believe that King Henry will let you live if he gets what he wants. Grant him the annulment, and then go far from here and grant yourself a happy life.
QUEEN CATHERINE: Oh, Mary, don't you know by now? Happiness is the one thing we queens can never have. Sleep well, my dear.


THE NEXT DAY:

(As Catherine prepares to leave the castle, a group of people have gathered to bid her farewell)

GREER: Do we really have to be here?
MARY: It's the right thing to do.
LOLA: After everything she's put you through?

(The Queen walks through two lines of subjects that have divided for her. In front of some of them, she stops and offers plesantries)

LOLA: I wonder where she's going.
GREER: The official story is that she's visiting her aunt, who is a nun.
LOLA: She'll spend the rest of her life at a convent. I don't believe it.
MARY: She'll be safe there. King Henry would never dare reach for her.

(Catherine finishes going through the crowd, before she speaks with Mary one final time)

QUEEN CATHERINE: Not much of a turnout when one loses power, is there? Oh, and hustled out the back door to boot. It's humiliating.
MARY: There is no shame in what you have done for your son.
QUEEN CATHERINE: A word of advice for the next Queen of France. Remember, no matter how many countries you rule, or palaces you own, power is always fleeting.

(Catherine kisses Mary on the cheek and continues)

QUEEN CATHERINE: It can be taken away by the stroke of a pen or the blade of an axe.

(The Queen turns around to leave. The doors are opened for her), but Henry and a group of men come in through an adjacent door)

KING HENRY: Leaving without saying good-bye to your king?
QUEEN CATHERINE: I was afraid Your Majesty was too busy preparing false documents to send to the Vatican.
KING HENRY: Too busy thinking of you. Catherine, I've realized something, and I can't let you go. In fact, I can't let you out of my sight. Your reach is long, your connection to wealth endless, and your mastery at poisons, ever evolving.
QUEEN CATHERINE: You're holding me prisoner.
KING HENRY: Guarded day and night, or at least until I'm back from Rome. Imprison her.

(The guards take her into custody, but she still has a few choice words for the King)

QUEEN CATHERINE: Whore-monger.
KING HENRY: Devil. Endearments aside, consider this a sign of my utmost respect for your intellect and abilities.
KING HENRY (to the guards): Take her away.

IN NOSTRADAMUS' CHAMBERS:

(Nostradamus brings some food to Clarissa, who is still confined to a cell)

NOSTRADAMUS: Here. Some food to keep you.

(After sitting down the food, he sees the ripped up doll, but before he can say anything else, Clarissa attacks him and escapes)


ON A BALCONY:

(Bash stands on a balcony at the castle, overlooking the scenery. Mary interrupts him from deep thought)

MARY: You look so pensive.
BASH: It's unbelievable. England, the Pope, my own father putting me on the chopping block one minute, and the throne the next. We both did this to save Francis, and, yet, we both lost him as a result.
MARY: Well, the important thing is, he'll still be alive.
BASH: I still can't quite believe it. King. Me, King of France.
MARY: I know you have doubts, but it won't happen tomorrow.
BASH: No, no. My father would have to die first. But our wedding will happen. As soon as my father gets back from Rome, he'll want the deal locked down, France and Scotland united, before the English Queen dies. You're going to be my wife. How very unexpected.

(They both gaze out at the scenary, unsure of what else to say)


END CREDITS

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