An animated

script submission from



Third draft 10-18-01

FADE IN: EXT: DAY, OCEAN A corvette is cutting through the water. It is a choppy day at sea and the sails billow frantically. The main sail has a giant stylized eye on it. Behind the ship, near the horizon, a major storm is brewing. The ship shudders and pitches, as it is getting difficult to maneuver it properly. CUT TO: On the bridge, the CAPTAIN is trying to pilot the ship, but she's fighting back. He is an old salt of the sea, with a full, gray beard, but portly from his years on the briny. As he wrestles with the wheel, another man comes up to him, pitched around by the waves. This is MEPHISTO. He is wearing a long topcoat that nearly covers his feet. Rather slender and tall, he sports a pencil-thin mustache, and looks like the magician David Copperfield. The collar of the topcoat is turned up, but is flapping in the wind. CAPTAIN: Things are getting rough. The ship is hit with an oblique wave and Mephisto is sent sliding across the wet deck. He grabs onto the rope attached to the clapper of the ship's bell. The bell clangs loudly, far too close to his ear. He is momentarily dazed. As he staggers to his feet, he is hurled towards the side railing on the bridge. As he gets there, a giant wave sends up a fountain of water. Just as he looks out, he comes face to face with a fish that was caught in the wave. They hold for a moment, and then scream in terror. Mephisto has just had it and throws a major tantrum. He storms over to the Captain, using the slippery deck and tilting ship to get there quickly. As he talks, he, unsuccessfully, squeegees water out of his hair. MEPHISTO: You said the waters this time of year is calm. Well, if this is calm, I'd just love to see what a hurricane looks like! Mephisto burrows right into the Captain's face, which remains unmoved. A drop of water hangs off of Mephisto's nose. The Captain jerks his thumb over his shoulder. Mephisto turns. CAPTAIN: You'll get your wish soon enough. Mephisto heads to the aft portion of the bridge to see one major storm scooting up. He turns to the Captain. MEPHISTO: You were hired for your sailing knowledge, but I could pilot this barge better than you! Another crashing wave hits the ship. Mephisto gets drenched. Looking dour, he doesn't even try to dry off. Why bother? CAPTAIN: The rate that storm is gaining, we'll never make it to Boldoni. The Captain grabs Mephisto and has him steer the ship. Mephisto is horrified as the wheel slams him about. The Captain pulls out a telescope and scans the far horizon. CAPTAIN: Blast this weather. Makes it hard to see if. The Captain stops as he focuses the telescope. Mephisto looks on with interest. The Captain lowers the telescope. MEPHISTO: Well? The wheel spins maniacally as Mephisto leaves it and he approaches the Captain, who hands him the telescope. CAPTAIN: See for yourself. The Captain returns to the wheel, which is rotating with great speed. The Captain puts out his hands to catch it. He grabs the wheel and it stops dead. The ship is righted. Mephisto puts the glass up to his eye, trying to focus it. MEPHISTO: I know there's a trick to make this work. CUT TO: MEPHISTO'S POV THROUGH TELESCOPE There's something hazy in the distance, but we just can't make it out as we slide in and out of focus. CUT TO: EXT: SHIP, DAY As Mephisto tries to work the telescope, another wave crashes into the ship. A finger of water smacks the end of the telescope, collapsing it into Mephisto's face. From Mephisto's POV through the telescope is a crisp and clear picture. It is of Eric's castle, still bathed in sunshine, although the weather is turning foul there as well. A couple of terns wheel in the sky. CAPTAIN: That should fit your needs. Any port in a storm, eh? Mephisto removes the telescope with a noisy "ploip" and hands it back to the Captain. Adjusting himself, trying for some degree of dignity, he gets ready to leave. MEPHISTO: Yes. Fine. Good. As Mephisto heads down the stairs, the Captain starts barking out orders to the crew, who scramble about the deck. Mephisto adroitly avoids them as he makes his way below. MEPHISTO: I don't care where we go, just as long as it's dry. A massive wave crashes into the ship, sending a cataract of water across the deck. Mephisto is not only soaked, kelp fronds hang from him and fishes flop about at his feet. He says nothing; his expression is enough. He goes below. Zooming back, away and up from the ship, our attention turns to the castle. Orchestration swells and the OPENING CREDITS begin. The background fills with views of the sea as we soar above it like a bird. Sea life is leaping out of the water and the waves heading towards the beach. We tilt up and slow down as Eric's castle closes in. A small shaft of sunlight hits the beach, but it is slowly swallowed up by the storm clouds. The TITLES end and the ORCHESTRATION finish with a grand flourish as we settle at Mermaid Rock, just as a wave crashes against it. Ejected by the spray we see FLOUNDER and SEBASTIAN, as they are propelled high into the air, then splash back under. EXT: DAY, OCEAN Under the sea, Flounder regains his bearings and hunts for Sebastian, who is buried head first into the ocean floor. Horrified, Flounder swims over and grabs hold of Sebastian's legs and pulls him free. Sebastian shakes his head with that `ayeayeaye' sound and knocks some mud from his ears. SEBASTIAN: I tell you, mon, dis is gettin' to be a real chore. FLOUNDER: But the King is counting on us. SEBASTIAN: (Resolved) I know. I just wish he'd count on someone else. Sebastian clamps on to Flounder's back fin and they continue to the beach. EXT: DAY: BEACH It is a view of the sea from the beach. It is not a typical tropical day. The storm clouds are gathering and the ocean is frothing up. There is still some sunlight, but it is rapidly retreating. There is still enough light, however. Whitecaps crash angrily on the shore. In silhouette, someone is walking across. They are bundled up against the howling wind. As they look out to sea, Sebastian and Flounder break the surface. The hood comes off. Close-up of the person reveals it to be Ariel. She is wearing a hooded cape with slits for her arms instead of sleeves. It is not a heavyweight garment, more designed for protection against the wind. Ariel goes to the water's edge as she sees her friends. ARIEL: Flounder! Sebastian! FLOUNDER: Ariel! Ariel! Ariel gets down on all fours as the two come up to her. She is elated at their visit. ARIEL: Awwww! You know you don't have to do this. FLOUNDER: But we want to. SEBASTIAN: Besides, your faddah told us to do so. Ariel giggles. ARIEL: I can just hear him now. `Ariel needs constant supervision'. FLOUNDER: `And you're just the crab to do it.' All laugh. Ariel looks at her friends with longing and homesickness. ARIEL: I'm a big girl now. SEBASTIAN: But you'll always be his little mermaid. ARIEL: I know. He does this because he loves me and misses me. FLOUNDER: We all do, Ariel. Ariel stands up. A huge wave slams into Flounder and Sebastian, driving them onto the beach. ARIEL recoils from the strength of the wave, then hurries to get both of them back into the water. ARIEL: (To Flounder) You'd better get back to Atlantica. It looks like bad weather. SEBASTIAN: We'll let your faddah know everyt'ing's all right. FLOUNDER: Good bye, Ariel. Ariel waves good-bye as they disappear under the surface. She continues waving long after they are gone. She puts her hood up and walks along the beach. Suddenly, a vicious gust scoops off the hood. Her long red hair starts to flail about in the breeze. She does not put the hood up; rather, she turns into the wind and gets pummeled by the building fury of the on-coming storm. She is barefoot and she wades just into the edge of the waves. Her feet and the hem of the cape get soaked, but she smiles a happy, distant smile. The more ferocious the storm gets, the happier she seems to be. Sea spray coats her and the ocean becomes an almost constant roar. The breakers smash onto the beach, demonstrating the fury of Nature's power. Continuing to blithely walk along the shore, she begins to sing, her dulcet tones drowning out the noise: ARIEL: How long has it been since I left? Have I spent that much time on the land? I've been in a completely different world Which, at times, I can't understand. To know about fire and footwear, The wind and the rain and the sun, Though difficult and enjoyable, Both a challenge and also quite fun. For no matter where I may go, My heart belongs to the sea But now, I live upon the land And this is the place for me. I love my Eric completely The kindest man I have known He's been by me through the tears and the joy And the compassion that he's shown Ariel holds at the water's edge, as froth and foam cascade about. As she wades back in, she looks down at her feet for a moment, then out to the gathering storm. But there are times I wish I could be A mermaid again for a while Then I look about at what I have And I give myself a great smile I do miss my father and sisters I'd just enjoy hearing their voice But this is the life I have chosen And I know this is the right choice For no matter where I may go, My heart belongs to the sea But now, I live upon the land And this is the place for me. On land is where I will be. Ariel watches as a wave crashes over Mermaid Rock. She smiles wistfully, but her reverie is interrupted by.. ERIC (VO): (From a distance) Ariel! Ariel! Ariel turns to see Eric running down the beach. He is wearing his blue pants and a long-sleeve shirt, buttoned up to the neck against the wind. He catches up with Ariel, but cannot speak, as he is panting. Ariel watches with love as Eric makes the long run. ERIC: No one saw you leave and we were worried. ARIEL: (Pre-occupied) I just needed to take a walk. Get some air. ERIC: We were concerned about you. Both of you. Eric kneels down in front of Ariel and parts her cape to reveal that she is incredibly pregnant. Ariel, almost beatific in her radiance, smiles as Eric gingerly puts his head to her tummy. He smiles with pride as he listens. Suddenly, his head makes a shudder. Eric grins even wider. ERIC: He kicked me. My son kicked me. Eric jumps up and begins to dance a jig around Ariel, singing "He kicked me" over and over. Ariel laughs. Eric stops and holds Ariel close and very passionately. ERIC: I love you so very much. They start to kiss, but an immense gust kicks up and blows them aside. Eric catches Ariel and he looks out to sea. ERIC: We'd better get back inside. It's going to be a howling storm. Cradling Ariel protectively, they make their way back to the castle, Ariel putting her hood on. As they leave, on the horizon is the shadow of Mephisto's ship heading into port. CUT TO: INT: CASTLE, NIGHT Eric struggles to close and lock a window against the vicious wind. Just as he does it and turns away, SCUTTLE is slammed against the window. Scuttle holds for a moment and quickly slides away. Eric turns to see nothing. He shrugs, thinking it's just the wind. They are in the nursery, a massive, almost cavernous, room filled with stacks of shelves and cabinets. Ariel is sitting on a fainting couch or some kind of lounge, feet up, swathed in pillows. A roaring fire casts the room in a warm glow. Around her are CARLOTTA, GRIMSBY and four other people off to one side. On a table in front of her are yards of fabric, wallpaper, paint swatches and other plans. We hear Grimsby nattering on, standing near a covered something. GRIMSBY: This is the bassinet. Made by one of the finest companies in Europe. Real French Oak. Grimsby pulls the sheet off and shows it to Ariel. It is immense. It looks less like a cradle and more like a ship. Ariel is feeling out of sorts. It is nice that this is happening, but it's a bit more than she wanted. ARIEL: I..don't know what to say. Eric walks over and looks at the cradle, then shows it to MAX, his dog. Both of them think it's great. Max is sniffing the legs deviously. ERIC: This will be fine, Grim. As they examine the riotous wallpaper strips, a beautiful sea-green background with a pattern that looks like a fish stops Ariel. It shimmers in the firelight. She picks it up and gazes at it. As she does, she sees images of her family and her life beneath the sea. She smiles blissfully at it, half-lidded eyes misting over. Then.. ERIC: Then it's settled. This one. Ariel is shaken back to reality as Eric makes the final decision on the wallpaper, a boldly masculine gold-and- maroon design with a lighter red pattern that we can't identify. Before Ariel can say a word, the sample is whisked away. The four people off to one side are the wallpaperers, who begin work on the room immediately, covering up the furniture and laying out the drop cloths. Ariel tries to get up but is gently restrained. CARLOTTA: Now, now, your Highness, you shouldn't get up. You need to save your strength. All around her plans and activities are being planned for the birth of her child, but Ariel is excluded. To add to the insult, Ariel is draped with a drop cloth and left behind by the guys. Grimsby launches into song that is in stark contrast to the wretched weather assaulting outside. GRIMSBY: (Rex Harrison-sings) Come along people, no time to tarry, Tide and time wait for no one We must get ourselves fully prepared Prince Eric is having a son. Eric and Grimsby appear outside the room to hordes of servants, eager to do anything. The entire castle is so behind the birth of this child, the excitement is palpable. This is the third-most exciting thing to happen at the castle (the other two being the wedding and the discovery of Ariel's motherhood.) There hasn't been a baby in the castle for years (Eric's birth) and everyone wants to be part of it. Back in the nursery, Ariel manages to disentangle herself from the drop cloth. The workmen are shocked that they covered her. Ariel scampers after Eric, but trailing him. GRIMSBY: It's a most joyous time in the castle Activity is at fever pace As we must have everything ready And everything in its place Even at this hour, the castle is a hive of activity. The castle is being cleaned and polished up with a joyful franticness bordering on zealotry. Something is cleaned up and, moments later, it is cleaned up again. The palace is alive with lively colors, brightening up the dull walls of the palace. CHORUS: The Kingdom is getting a child An heir to the royal throne And we will make this place perfect For his highness' brand new home Ariel pursues, dodging the craftsmen and servants dancing and wheeling about. Going high, going low, she can't get a clear pathway to Eric and Grimsby, who are seemingly oblivious to the action about them and to Ariel's plight. As the servants and help sing the song, Ariel tries to move about. Every time she gets up and makes a little progress, she is quickly placed into another seat. It takes her some time to cross the room. Into a seat, onto a couch, plunked upon a tray cart as it rolls along. Hard seat, cushioned seat, she even lands on a stool. ALL: We will polish the windows Until they glisten and shine GRIMSBY: But please, you all have to hurry There just isn't very much time A sea of people needing his direction surrounds Eric. ERIC: Decisions, decisions, Hundreds have to be made. What kind of clothes will he wear? Where will his head be laid? Eric makes these decisions, much to Ariel's horror. She reaches out to Eric, but is swirled away by another phalanx of helpers. Ariel gives up trying to get to Eric and decides to wait for him to get back in her direction. The way she's getting spun about, she knows it's just going to be a while until they met up. The action is now swirling about the Grand Foyer of the castle. CHEF LOUIS shows Ariel his ideas. CHEF LOUIS: This child will get to enjoy The finest food anywhere A palatial meal for him every night A marvelous bill of fare Ariel is horrified to see such adult meals like escargot, veal, goose liver, items more for a four-star restaurant than a baby's simple tastes. Before Ariel can say a word, it's whisked away and she spins off in another direction. Every time Ariel tries to eat something, it is taken from her as not being good for her. A basket of fruit is whisked away and a piece of bread is left in its place. Before she can get to the bread, it, too, is removed and a glass of water sits in its place. She has little time to react, as the water departs and a hunk of cheese bounces into view. Ariel views that with alarm, owing to the way it bounced. That, too, is removed, replaced with the bowl of fruit at the beginning. Ariel is getting angry. She quickly snatches an orange, but it's taken from her and she gets a potato. We see the frustration starting to build as the music increases in tempo, getting faster and faster as everyone moves faster and faster. CARLOTTA: What about diapers? What about diapers? Are we all set when I ask What about diapers? Behind her, an army of servants with piles and piles of fluffy white diapers are at the ready. Carlotta signals them and they follow her. Ariel reaches out to Carlotta, but she mistakes it for a greeting and waves at her, passing her by. Too many do-gooders are over-attending Ariel, who feels trapped and suffocated. Grimsby and Eric are directing traffic as forests of flowers appear out of nowhere and are plunked down. Ariel finds herself in a jungle, trying to stem the tide of rising hysteria. GRIMSBY: Get it all ready ERIC: Make it all nice GRIMSBY: Be sure it's all pretty ERIC: Check it all twice GRIMSBY: No detail will be overlooked ERIC: Nothing is left to chance GRIMSBY & ERIC: It's all so wonderfully beautiful The baby will be entranced. Ariel extracts herself from the foliage and is nearly bundled up by the bunting people, as festoons of ribbon bedeck the walls and halls. Ariel is treated more like a piece of furniture, moved about and out of the way. The colors are getting to the point of garishness in their brightness. Ariel is steered farther and farther away from the center of action. Ariel ends up in a seat, near an easel. The COURT PAINTER is trying to capture the flavor of the event and when he sees Ariel, starts to put her in the painting, capturing in a few brush strokes her anguish and spiritual exhaustion. She pauses for a moment, and then steels herself. She will accomplish her task. Samples are showcased of everything, whether or not it is even practical. A virtual parade of items passes in review in front of Eric and Grimsby. ERIC: He'll only be bathed in the softest soaps For washing the royal hair, GRIMSBY: The fluffiest towels to cuddle and dry him To show him that we all care. An explosive fury of music and dance detonates as it all races along out of control. CHORUS: The Kingdom is getting a child An heir to the royal throne And we will make this place quite perfect For his Highness' brand new home Do we have enough? And is it all here? These last two lines are repeated again and again, like a mantra, picking up speed and deliberation. Ariel is like a trout, fighting against the tide of people. As the song nears the end, Ariel pushes her way through the crowd and finally screams in frustration. ARIEL: (Booming) STOP! Everyone stops dead, and the song ends. All eyes are riveted on Ariel. She is so very angry and hurt. Eric steps forward, genuinely unaware of what the problem is. ERIC: Ariel, is there something wrong? That was the completely wrong thing to say. Ariel's eyes widen in rage as the servants all take several steps back, leaving Eric in a no-person zone, alone, to face Ariel's wrath, who has no idea what's been happening. ARIEL: Wrong? Wrong? How could anything be wrong? You're having a child and the whole kingdom is in celebration of this. We can't wait for this child to get here. This child will have everything. This child will be perfect. This child is going to be the best. Well.. what about me, the mother?! Remember me, the other half of this? What do I get? Aren't I part of this, too? Am I part of it? I can't choose my child's wallpaper, or crib or even the name. I assume that's been taken care of as well! Ariel leans into Eric, snarling fury and resentment. Eric gulps. One servant with a poufy hat quietly closes a book and puts away his quill, tucking it into the hat. We know what that's all about. Another servant gets Ariel's chair and slowly pushes it towards her, scraping it horridly across the floor. The noise causes everyone to react, as it's like fingernails on a blackboard. Only Ariel is unmoved by the din. ARIEL: I am part of this and I will be involved in this! In all of it! Ariel kicks over the chair, stamping her foot hard. The sound echoes throughout the castle. No one in the kingdom has ever see Ariel this furious. She is at her wits' end. ARIEL: I am tired of being told what to eat and when to rest and what to do! I. Ariel goes silent as her face has a look of total confusion and uncertainty, experiencing something completely alien. We see her whole body shudder. The room is deathly quiet; no one is certain what to do. All we hear is the howling storm and the thunder cracks. Ariel puts a hand to her stomach and her mouth drops open. ARIEL: (Done very quietly) Ow. Ariel looks very scared. Eric leaps into action, going to Ariel and placing his hand on hers. ERIC: (Yelling) Get the doctor! CUT TO: INT: CASTLE, NIGHT In the hallway just outside of the guest bedroom, Grimsby sits on a chair while Eric paces frantically. The flashes of lightening occasionally light the room. We hear the booming thunder. The wind howls and rain pelts against the window. The room is sedate, with only a couple of hall candle sconces lighting them. ERIC: I should be in there with her. Eric starts to go, but is restrained by Grimsby, who speaks in reassuring tones. GRIMSBY: If the doctor needs you, he knows where to find you. Eric stares at the massive wooden doors. He wants to go in so much, but hold back. Grimsby senses his feelings of loss and confusion and counsels him. GRIMSBY: Things like this have been going on since.. well forever. They know what to do. ERIC: But this is the first time for me and for Ariel. I want to do what's best. GRIMSBY: And what's best is to let those who know what to do take care of things. Grimsby leads Eric from the door. Eric walks to the edge of the hall and stands by the window, a massive, cathedral- like, floor-to-ceiling structure. Staring into the storm. Eric looks very small, as he is lost within his thoughts. Grimsby tries to occupy Eric's mind. GRIMSBY: As the Royal Consort to the child, we need to address some issues. Eric waves him off. ERIC: That can wait. A few days won't matter for my son. Eric has a pregnant pause, mulling over what he has said. ERIC: My son. My son. Eric begins to experiment with the way he says that. ERIC: My son. MY son. I'm going to have a son. Grimsby nods appreciatively. Eric starts to sing. ERIC: I've had this dream all my life, I suppose every father does, Of having a child of your very own, We have these hopes all because It's just part of being human The best that could ever be done The feeling of wonderment total The joy of having a son A son who one day will be The ruler of all he surveys A bright shining beacon of courage and hope That follows throughout all his days I will show my son the path To be a person, a monarch, a man, And with compassion and strength and heart To give to him all that I can We go into a fantasy sequence, where Eric is playing with a child, but we never see the child's face. More of a silhou- ette as he does all these activities with him. My son whom I can teach How to play and read and learn The proper approach that a prince should take And the proper direction to turn To have care and concern for those He governs and leads and rules To be able to understand people Seeking wisdom, avoiding fools He'll carry the name that we give him Holding it high and with great pride To understand fully his place in the world And never be haughty or snide. To be the kind of person Projecting dignity and respect To know when to follow a cause And when it's time to forget I will show my son the path To be a person, a monarch, a man, And with compassion and strength and heart To give to him all that I can A son who will always remember That once he was..my son. As Eric sings, he goes through the motions, acting out his nobility. While Eric sings, he is filled with awe on the mystery of life and how both wonderful and scary it is. Just as he finishes, a tremendous crash of thunder shakes the castle and gives up a magnificent flash of lightening. The door opens and the DOCTOR comes out. He is a man who has delivered hundreds of babies, and is tired from the exertion. Eric accosts him. DOCTOR: They are both doing fine. However, she needs her rest. You can have a few minutes with them, but speak in quiet tones. But. Before the doctor can finish, Eric scampers into the room. Grimsby follows behind, but at a distance, remaining near the door. He talks to the doctor. CUT TO: INT: BEDROOM: NIGHT We see Ariel in bed, rather bedraggled from giving birth to her child. Despite her exhaustion, she still looks radiant. The room has many candles about and it far warmer and friendlier than the hallway. Ariel smiles at Eric, but it is a lack-of-energy smile. Holding a bundle, it is their child, swaddled fully. Eric comes over to her and gingerly sits on the side of the bed, looking at the child. Carlotta is folding up some towels rapidly and looks concerned, but forces a smile. Everything is done quietly. ERIC: How are you? Eric holds one of her hands and brushes some wisps of hair from her face. ARIEL: I'm feeling fine. She says it weakly, but he senses a great relief. Ariel cradles up the bundle and unfolds the top. Eric is bursting with anticipation, but keeps his movements small and slow. ARIEL: Here is your child. Eric stares into the bundle. A shock of black hair adorns the head of the now-sleeping baby. ERIC: My son. ARIEL: Our daughter. Eric freezes for a moment, as he feels let down. Carlotta reacts and she feels Eric is depressed over the sudden change of events. He wanted a son; he REALLY wanted a son. Then, Eric shrugs and smiles. It's OK he has a daughter. It really wasn't all that important. He plays with her. ERIC: My daughter. ARIEL: Our daughter Melody. Eric mulls over the name. He wasn't expecting a girl, so he has no name of his own. He still smiles. ERIC: My daughter.Melody. Ariel smiles, as Eric has accepted the name and their child. He begins to look at her. ERIC: My daughter Melody, with her ten little fingers. ERIC takes one of his fingers, which looks huge against the tiny baby hands. ERIC: .and her ten little toes. Eric removes the baby from Ariel. Ariel tries to react. ARIEL: Eric, there's something you need to know before. Too late, Eric holds up Melody and the bunting falls off. Eric is now confronted with an orange fin flapping up and down. Eric is pole-axed. His eyes follow the movement of the fin, up and down, back and forth. ERIC: My daughter Melody. He is in shock as he carefully hands Melody back to Ariel and turns towards Carlotta. He makes a goofy grin. ERIC: My daughter Melody the mermaid! He turns to leave and passes out, crashing to the floor. Grimsby rushes over to Eric, the doctor following. Ariel and Carlotta stare at each other. Carlotta doesn't know what to do with her hands, so she wrings them over and over. CARLOTTA: (Forced gaiety) Well, that went well. FADE OUT, HOLD BLACK FOR A MOMENT CUT TO: EXT: DAY: CASTLE It is a blazingly magnificent day. The storm has passed and everything looks marvelous. With a bird's eye view of the castle, the terns wheel about, gracefully soaring on the thermals. Another bird rockets into view. It has to be Scuttle, as he flies so badly. Chasing the other birds away, he loops and dips, finally crashing into a window of the castle. SCUTTLE: I have to do something about that. Scuttle slides down, squeaking against the window. CUT TO: INT: CASTLE: DAY The other side of the window Scuttle has slammed into is Eric's room. In bed, he turns fitfully, then bolts awake. Eric sees he is in his own bed. Feeling assured, he sighs in relief. He pulls a cord by his bed and rises to get dressed. He crosses over to the balcony window and opens it. The door squashes Scuttle. Moments later, Grimsby arrives and Eric reenters the room. Scuttle rights himself and begins to listen. GRIMSBY: Your majesty.. Eric goes over to the wardrobe and begins to dress for the day, putting on a shirt. ERIC: I guess Ariel got up early. That's good, because I cannot begin to tell you the horrible dream I had last night. Grimsby looks at Eric with apprehension. What could have been worse than last night? Eric is working with one sock on and the other in his hand. ERIC: I got Ariel really mad at me and she let me have it. And with the entire castle staff watching on. Then, she had the baby, but it wasn't a baby baby, but a mermaid baby. Can you imagine anything so ridiculous..in..all.. your..life.. As Eric relates the tale, Grimsby looks more and more dour. At one point, Grimsby shakes his head `no' slowly as Eric slows his story. Eric dejectedly flumps himself into a nearby chair, as reality sinks in. ERIC: It's all true. GRIMSBY: (Nods agreement) Every single word of it. Eric is crestfallen and emotionally bereft. ERIC: I have a daughter who's a mermaid. GRIMSBY: Your wife is a mermaid. Eric quickly corrects Grimsby. ERIC: WAS a mermaid. Grimsby realizes Eric's vulnerable state, but he must remain true to the facts. GRIMSBY: You may take the mermaid out of the water, but you can't the water from the mermaid. She is what she is. Carlotta comes in, bringing fresh clothes. Scuttle takes advantage of this diversion to sneak into the room to get an earful of this news. CARLOTTA: And what a wonderful day it is. Carlotta heads over to the window to take in the breeze, done more for Eric's benefit. She obviously takes in a huge amount of air, holds it for a moment and lets it out. Scuttle goes under Carlotta's dress to gains access and hear everything, but gets enmeshed between some petticoat layers. CARLOTTA: How is the brand-new father? Eric looks down. Carlotta will not stand for this. CARLOTTA: Hmmph! You should be happy. You have a wonderful baby daughter. Eric does nervous work with his hands, cleaning under the nails and picking at them. He is very dejected. ERIC: I have a..a fish. Carlotta is horrified at such a callous response and lights into Eric. He doesn't even acknowledge the tongue-lashing he's receiving. CARLOTTA: You have a daughter, Melody! I have known you since you were born. I've seen hundreds of princesses, tsarinas, duchesses, earlesses and all other kinds of royalty. Ariel was, and is, the best you ever saw. And now, when she needs you the most, you just..just..just do nothing! While Carlotta is lambasting Eric, Scuttle raises the hem of the dress to get more of the details. This is just too incredible to believe. Carlotta wheels about to get to Eric and Scuttle is sent skittering across the floor and out to the balcony. Carlotta grasps Eric's arm and tries to pull him out of the chair. He is inert. Carlotta, fuming, goes behind the chair. Grasping the bottom, she hoists it up and tumbles Eric to the floor. Eric and Grimsby are shocked. Towering over Eric, her arm is pointing towards the door. CARLOTTA: You get out there right now and go see your wife and child! They are waiting in the nursery! Carlotta goes over to the wardrobe and begins to fling clothes out. Grimsby fumes. GRIMSBY: Really, Carlotta, I don't think that this kind of behavior is appropriate. Grimsby gets a faceful of trousers. He pulls it off to confront Carlotta, who is still flinging clothes. CARLOTTA: And which kind of behavior IS appropriate? Grimsby is caught. He realizes that Eric is not acting like he should. He also is not going to cross Carlotta right now. Scuttle looks around the edge on the door as some clothes are picked up and Eric does his best to put himself together. Scuttle tears off from the balcony. Flying his ungainly flight, he scans the waters and sees two recognizable figures. He dive-bombs them. From his perspective, we see Flounder and Sebastian appear closer and closer. CUT TO: EXT: DAY: BEACH We see a two-shot of Flounder and Sebastian. They are waiting for Ariel, but just sit. Flounder becomes intent. FLOUNDER: Do you hear something? Sebastian cranes his neck to hear better, then sees a shadow growing larger and larger around him. This is odd to him so he looks up to see Scuttle crashing down upon him. Sebastian screams in fear and tries to escape. Flounder reacts and dives under the water. Sebastian manages to elude Scuttle, just as he pile-drives into the water. The resulting wave lands Sebastian on the beach. He is furious as Flounder resurfaces. Scuttle is in a pile, as sand and mud hang off his beak. Sebastian angrily scurries up to him. SEBASTIAN: No doubt about it, you have got to do somet'ing about your flying! Scuttle rights himself and sneezes out some sand. SCUTTLE: I'm working on that. Now, what was I going to say? I knew it just before I got here.. Scuttle fumbles about and Sebastian is not impressed. Flounder hangs at the ready. SCUTTLE: It has something to do with someone and.. Flounder tries to help. FLOUNDER: Is it about Ariel? The light bulb turns on. SCUTTLE: Yeah, that's it. Ariel. Ariel and her baby Melody.. Both are stunned. News this important and Scuttle can't remember? Sebastian is flustered as Flounder does cartwheels and loops out of the water. FLOUNDER: Yippie! Hooray! SEBASTIAN: What! How! When? Who? Scuttle frees himself from the muck and bends down to Sebastian. SCUTTLE: And not only that.. Scuttle whispers to Sebastian, whose expression goes from anger to total incredulity to complete rejection of it. This is Scuttle we're talking about. Meanwhile, Flounder wants to know what's happening. FLOUNDER: What? What? Tell me! I'm her friend, too. Sebastian shakes his head in disbelief. SEBASTIAN: Are you sure on this? SCUTTLE: I'll show you. Before Sebastian can react, Scuttle takes to the air, grabbing Sebastian. Scuttle dips and weaves while Sebastian, who howls, is nearly crab-caked by the misses. SCUTTLE: Say, you wouldn't know where the nursery is, do you? Now Sebastian is in abject fear. As Scuttle gets really close to a balcony, he puts out his feet to land. Sebastian soars through the air and smacks against a window while Scuttle lands perfectly. CUT TO: INT: CASTLE: DAY Sebastian is squashed up against a window. As he opens his eyes, he is shocked to see a tiny baby with an orange fin splashing about in a glass bowl, being watched over by Ariel. Sebastian smiles as he sees Ariel so happy and full of life, being with her daughter. As he continues to watch, he sees Eric enter very slowly. Ariel picks up Melody. We do not hear their conversation clearly, just muffled talk and no really distinct words. However, the actions reveal that Eric is reticent to embrace Melody or Ariel. His hands tremble with uncertainty. There is much pleading and cajoling from Ariel, but Eric backs out of the room. Ariel is heartbroken as she settles herself onto the bed quite depressed. Sebastian is so very sad. He is but a crab; what can he do? SEBASTIAN: I've seen enough. Take me back, please. Scuttle salutes Sebastian, completely unaware as to the events that have just occurred. SCUTTLE: Aye aye, Captain. Scuttle grabs Sebastian. The ride down is more frightening than the ride up, but Sebastian is so lost in thought that he doesn't even realize that Scuttle is spiraling out of control until they both slam into the water. Both resurface. SEBASTIAN: Scuttle, we're depending on you to keep up informed. We want to know every detail. What ever happens at any time of the day or night, we want to know. Scuttle is still in the water, gurgling away. SCUTTLE: You can rely on me. Sebastian motions for Flounder to come over. He puts on his best face. No need for others to know about the unhappy parts of this. SEBASTIAN: Let's get back to the King and tell him the good news. Sebastian clamps onto Flounder's tail and they sail off. We hear their voices fading. FLOUNDER: So, you can tell me. What was it all about? SEBASTIAN: I don't know. You can be such a big mouth bass. FLOUNDER: You can tell me, really you can. This is the last line we hear distinctly. They fade from view but we hold for a moment. Then, clear as a bell and just as loud. FLOUNDER: Ariel had a merbaby!? SEBASTIAN: Shhhhhhhhh! CUT TO: EXT: DAY: OCEAN CASTLE The shining spires of Atlantica's Coral Castle glisten as the sun filters through the azure waters. In the lower corner of the screen, Flounder and Sebastian come into view and disappear into the great folds of the castle. CUT TO: INT: THRONE ROOM: DAY KING TRITON is at his throne, working on some important papers. Two of his daughters, AQUATA and ARISTA, are there, watching intently as Triton explains what he does as King. AQUATA: Why aren't you signing this paper? ARISTA: You said it was important. TRITON: It is. But I want to make sure there's enough money in the Royal Treasury to be able to do this right and.. SEBASTIAN(OS): Your majesty. All three look up to see Flounder exhausted and Sebastian hanging on for dear life. Flounder crashes to the floor, as Sebastian sidles up to the King. Triton bores in on him. TRITON: Well, what news from Ariel? Sebastian thinks for a moment on how to give the really important news. SEBASTIAN: She's a you..I mean you have an Ariel, who's you and..that is, I mean to say that the news I have is news and.. Triton looks on bored as Sebastian fumbles about. The two daughters giggle as they go to help Flounder. They grab him and he whispers the news. Meanwhile Sebastian fumbles on. SEBASTIAN: ..it involves Ariel, to whom the news is about, which is.. Suddenly, the two daughters squeal in glee as they swing Flounder about in joyful exhilaration. Flounder cries out as he is spun about mercilessly. FLOUNDER: Hellllllllllpppppppppp! Triton turns to the still-bumbling Sebastian. TRITON: May I assume by their reaction that I'm a grandfather? Sebastian looks on in total dismay, then sheepishly. SEBASTIAN: Didn't I say that? The noise from the throne room has the rest of the daughters come in. Once they hear the wonderful news, Flounder is bounced about as if it were a game of Sponge Ball. After numerous bounces, he lands into Triton's arms. FLOUNDER: Yeargh! He peels out, only to crash into Sebastian. TRITON: Let a proclamation go out that on this day, we have a new Atlantican, my grandchild.. my grandchild.. Triton pauses. It seems he never got a name. TRITON: Sebastian! Sebastian nervously approaches Triton, who glowers at him. Sebastian speaks in a tiny squeak. SEBASTIAN: Yes? (AHEM!) Yes, your majesty? TRITON: I assume my grandchild has a name.. SEBASTIAN: (Laughs nervously) Oh, ho, ho, ho. Her name is Melody. Triton continues his royal edict. TRITON: Let is go out to all parts of the Kingdom to celebrate my first granddaughter, Melody. The throne room erupts in celebration. Triton sees the exaltation of his family, and then beckons Sebastian to him. Sebastian slowly nears. TRITON: I have a very special job for you, Sebastian. I need to to be the liaison between us and Ariel. To arrange a time that I can see my new grand- daughter. Say, next week. Sebastian squeaks. This is not what he wanted. However, Arista somehow hears this and quickly swims to Triton. ARISTA: Oh, Daddy, please let me make the arrangements. I want to be the liaison. Upon hearing this, the other daughters come over and argue about who gets to go to the castle. Triton comes up with a solution. He gets his trident and holds it pointy side down. TRITON: Whoever gets last grab on the staff may be the Official Liaison. Triton holds it outwards and the hands start to grab it, going higher and higher. It is so quick that it's over hardly after it began. The winner is Arista. Arista swims around in circles, as she's so glad to have won. The other sisters are envious, but not resentful. Triton gestures Arista over. TRITON: You are to make arrangements so we can all see the new child. I will come next week, as I want to give the parents a chance to settle in and for Ariel to recover. ARISTA: I'm on my way. TRITON: Take Sebastian with you, as he knows how to get there. Arista looks anxiously at Sebastian. He clamps onto Arista's tail and off they go. Arista moves far too fast for Sebastian's liking and he lets her know. SEBASTIAN: Noooooooo! You're going too fastttttttttttt! Sebastian's voice fades into the waters as Arista speeds out of sight. Triton sits in his throne and mulls over the prospect of being a grandfather. FADE OUT/CUT TO: EXT: ERIC'S CASTLE: DAY It is later in the morning or early afternoon. We see a bird's eye view of the pier that is attached to the castle. We hear a bell ringing and move closer. The pier has a board stretching out from one of the supports. This is the way that the merfolk can contact the castle. There is a ladder that reaches from the pier to a low dock near the water's edge. Arista is ringing the bell, but nothing is happening. She is getting perturbed. ARISTA: How long do I have to ring this? Maybe it's better if I just drag myself up the steps? SEBASTIAN: Oh, well, you know humans. They probably can't hear us. We hear footsteps on the pier. Arista looks up. CUT TO: ARISTA'S PERSPECTIVE Peering over the pier is Grimsby, who is a little shocked to see a mermaid. We reverse to show Arista waving at him. GRIMSBY: (To himself) Oh, just marvelous. (To Arista) I'll be right down, my dear. Grimsby starts the climb down the ladder to the pier. He is muttering, but we cannot hear it fully. Arista watches him with great fascination. She turns to Sebastian. ARISTA: How do they make those things work? I'd much rather have fins. Arista starts to preen and pretty herself. SEBASTIAN: I'm sure you get used to it. They look at each other and laugh. What a silly idea! Grimsby negotiates the pier, as the last rung is a bit higher than the bottom of the pier, so there is a tendency to fall a bit. His foot wavers about, trying to find the floor. It takes a few tries, but he does it. GRIMSBY: Yes, my dear, what can I do for you? ARISTA: Good day. I am Princess Arista. As the official liaison for King Triton, I have been asked to set up a royal appointment for the King to see his new grand- daughter next week. Grimsby is shocked. How could they have known so quickly? He tries to stall out. GRIMSBY: Well, (AHEM) the Princess is still recovering and I'm not certain if a week will be enough time. Arista is not going to be put off by this. ARISTA: If you let Ariel know, I'm sure she'd be very anxious to see her father, the King, and her sisters, the princesses, and let us see her new baby daughter, Melody. Grimsby sees that he is not going to win this discussion. GRIMSBY: We can work on this. Next week at this time? ARISTA: That will be fine. And we'll have it over in the cove on the other side of the castle. It is secluded enough from prying eyes and Ariel can easily get to it. We'll be here at 9 in the morning, as Ariel will be rested. Grimsby is surprised at her acumen. He feels all mermaids are kind of spaced out and is surprised when they aren't. GRIMSBY: I will pass this information on to the Highnesses. ARISTA: I have an idea. If you will leave a basket or bottle here, with the information in it, we can communicate better. GRIMSBY is taken aback. That is a great idea, and he doesn't have to actively monitor the pier. He could also send down one of the young bucks to deposit the bottle or basket. GRIMSBY: That is a wonderful idea. I will leave a note here tomorrow for you. ARISTA: Thank you. So until then, good day. Arista waves good-bye and splashes off, her flukes shimmering in the sun. Grimsby gets a bit of spray from her push off. This is just grand! What more could happen? He makes his way up the ladder. CUT TO: INT: DAY: CASTLE Grimsby comes into Ariel's room, where she is holding Melody and singing a fragment of "Part of Your World" to her. Ariel is seating in a rocking chair. She has recovered from the morning, but is still depressed. She is positioned so if Eric should return, she can get him quickly. ARIEL: I heard the bell, Grimsby. Who was it? Grimsby cannot stand these mermaids, as they are so aware of their environment, he couldn't sneak anything past them. GRIMSBY: It was one of your sisters, uh, Ariadne, Amelia, Alicia, Amanda, Agamemnon. Ariel starts to giggle. It can't be all that hard to remember those names. Grimsby gives up. GRIMBSY: In any case, she is setting up a royal appointment for her and your father the King to see Melody. ARIEL brightens up immediately. This is the best news ever. ARIEL: When? Where? For how long? This is great! Maybe I can get Daddy to make Melody human. The barrage of questions from Ariel overwhelms Grimsby. It sounds like a dull roar. Then he realizes it IS a dull roar. Ariel hears it, too. They both go to the balcony. Grimsby is surprised to see a knot of people yelling and cheering their congratulations. Ariel smiles as she holds Melody up. Grimsby is beside himself. GRIMSBY: I guess everyone knows by now. Delightful. CUT TO: EXT: DAY: STREET Mephisto is striding through the streets of the kingdom, seemingly oblivious to the celebrations around him. He is a man with a purpose. He heads without error to the ship, moored at dockside, and strides up the gangplank. CUT TO: INT: SHIP: DAY In the galley of the ship, we see a variety of people eating. But what a variety of people! They are human oddities. A beautiful bearded lady; a man shooting out a stream of fire at a glass, then eating it; another with skin like a snake; a trio of midgets; and a couple of other people. One is wearing a turban and a loincloth, the other dressed in regular clothes, but wearing gloves. From our location, we can hear hundreds of people speaking at the same time. Mephisto sits at the table, but does not eat. FELICITY, the bearded lady, speaks first. FELICITY: What's going on out there? She motions outside. Before Mephisto can answer, the turbaned man grabs his own ear and stretches it to make a megaphone. We have met HAMMAL, the Rubber Man. HAMMAL: It appears to be a celebration for the birth of the Royal Princess. Mephisto, again, tries to speak, but is overridden by a hulking, Amazonian woman, the Strongest Woman Alive, SAMPO. SAMPO: A baby? A baby girl? Sampo immediately grabs a length of thick metal and shapes it into a heart very quickly. The others applaud. Mephisto again tries to speak, but the MIDGETS stand one atop the other and speak in unison. TOM, DICK & HARRIET: You know what that means? We could get a chance to perform in town! They proceed to do some tumbling. Tom is flipped too hard and heads towards a porthole, which he could easily pass through. Abruptly, a hand lands on his head and he is stopped cold. A little bit of slimy ooze dribbles down his head. On the other end is GREG, the Human Fly. GREG: You have got to be more careful. It just wouldn't be right to have the act be a duet. TOM: My head is all sticky! It'll take forever to clean this up. GREG: Would you prefer the alternative? Greg thrusts his arm out the porthole. Tom hangs precariously over the ocean and is screaming frantically. Greg holds for a moment, and then pulls him in. Saying nothing, Greg rolls his hand off of Tom. TOM: You weirdo. Greg is not offended by the line and smiles broadly. GREG: I prefer to think of myself as a human superlative. Everyone is nattering and commenting between themselves. Mephisto attempts to restore some order. MEPHISTO: Oh, people. Fellow actors. You guys.QUIET! As Mephisto yells, everyone stops and turns to him. Preening himself, he speaks. MEPHISTO: Yes, it is true. The Prince and Princess have had a new baby daughter. And if we play our cards right, we could get to perform at the palace! There are various stages of shock and delight around the table. What an opportunity. MEPHISTO: I go to make the arrangements. This will be our greatest performance ever! Mephisto leaves while everyone talks on. A few of them get up and head to their rooms. Mephisto goes to his room. CUT TO: INT: DAY, MEPHISTO'S ROOM Mephisto is making himself presentable when we hear a rap on the door. It is a special rap. We hear the creak of the door. Mephisto doesn't turn around; he knows who it is. MEPHISTO: Yes, I heard those stories, too, about the baby. And if they are true, even the tiniest bit, we'll have a new member in our family. Mephisto gives a small, sinister laugh. CUT TO: EXT: NIGHT: CASTLE A few days have passed. The castle is ablaze with lights and banners. The celebration continues. A fireworks show is proceeding above the castle. CUT TO: INT: NIGHT: CASTLE The Grand Ballroom is crowded with people. A giant curtain is across a portion of the room to mask the performers. Eric and Ariel are there, and Melody in her crib. She is heavily swaddled, so no one sees the fin portion. From behind the curtain Mephisto gazes at the crowd. He is not nervous at all. The others are restless, except Greg, who sits, reading a book, although the pages stick together. Mephisto turns to them. MEPHISTO: This is just like any other show. SAMPO: Except for the diversion. Mephisto blanches for a moment. MEPHISTO: What diversion? SAMPO Playing before the Prince and Princess. Mephisto relaxes; his plan is safe. MEPHISTO: They're like other people, so, play your parts well! I want a good show from you. Mephisto leans into the last line. We hear a drum roll. Mephisto holds for a moment, and then bursts from the curtains. CUT TO: ARIEL'S PRESPECTIVE Mephisto looks stunningly magnificent as he acknowledges the applause of the crowd. Arms stretched upwards, he does a small turn to the crowd. As the applause dies down, he speaks. MEPHISTO: Ladies and gentlemen, dignitaries, Royal personages. Welcome to this Command Performance of Mephisto's Amazing Circus of Human Oddities. GREG (VO): Human Superlatives! Crowd laughs. Mephisto fumes, but can do nothing about it. He continues. MEPHISTO: What you will see may shock or surprise or even amaze you. But you will never forget what goes on here tonight. The crowd is sufficiently awed. Ariel is very intent, although she keeps an eye on Melody. Eric is rather bored; he's seen things like this before. Ariel never has. MEPHISTO: How do you define strength? How do you define beauty? Can the two exist together? You tell me, as we present Sampo! From behind the curtain steps Sampo. She is dressed in a very feminine outfit and acts demurely. This does not disguise the fact that she is huge in stature. She does some ballet moves and is very graceful. As she twirls about, she stops. A table is blocking her way. She grasps the table. In doing so, the dress is shredded off as she flexes her muscles. People gasp as her rippling shoulder and back muscles burst through the dress, revealing an outfit better suited for weight lifting. Holding the table firmly, she lifts it up and easily transports it over several feet from where it was, and then gently places it back down. Mephisto brings out a chair. MEPHISTO: We see here an ordinary chair. He approaches Eric and proffers the chair. MEPHISTO: Your majesty, I would like you to examine this chair. Please note that it is a solid chair, and that it has not been weakened or tampered with in any way. Eric checks the rungs and the seat back, then knocks on the seat portion itself. He is satisfied it is the genuine article. Mephisto give it back to Sampo, who proceeds to juggle it about. MEPHISTO: If I could have a volunteer from the audience. Out of nowhere, Grimsby is pushed into the area. He tries to escape, but Mephisto is all over him. MEPHISTO: You're a very brave man to do this. She might even get it right this time. Grimsby looks horrified and protests, to no avail. GRIMSBY: Now, see here, my good man, I haven't got time for something this silly and.. Grimsby is plunked into the chair. Sampo comes from behind, grasps one of the rungs with her teeth and hoists the chair, and Grimsby, into the air. Grimsby is terrified as what is going on. Once the chair is as high as it can go, Sampo then balances it in her hands, but on two legs. She makes it wobble and teeter, as if it's going to fall, but doesn't. She then starts to twirl it about, faster and faster. Grimsby holds on for dear life. Suddenly, it's flung into the air and Grimsby is ejected. Sampo grabs both Grimsby and the chair. As the crowd applauds, Sampo proceeds to crush the chair with her other arm. She puts Grimsby down and he scampers back into the crowd. As Sampo takes a bow, a black man with a broom comes out to clean up the mess. He proceeds to sit down and eat the chair. This is IRONGUT. He pulls out a pair of swabs and lights one, then proceeds to spit fire at the chair to char it a bit before he dines some more. Backstage, Mephisto speaks to a shadowy figure. MEPHISTO: You know what to do. All we see is a pair of eyes, white against the dark. The shadow steals away as Mephisto goes out to introduce the next act, shooing away Irongut. MEPHISTO: Now we move from the massive to the minute. A trio of personages no bigger than your thumb, but full of vim and vigor. Here are Tom, Dick and Harriet! The three tumblers roll out and perform a series of back flips and pyramids and hurl themselves through the air and at each other. Everyone is so taken by the action, no one notices a figure stealthily snaking its way behind the crowd. It arrives behind the thrones, near the cradle. As it nears the crib, one of the tumblers spin in the air for an abnormally long stretch of time. People are so taken by this, all eyes are riveted on them. CUT TO: CLOSE-UP OF MELODY IN CRIB We see Melody wriggling about and a gloved hand come in and rapidly unwrap the bunting. When the tail flukes appear, the child is merely covered over and the hand leaves. CUT TO: Backstage, Mephisto looks out at the tumblers, then turns as he hears a sound. We hear the whispered information. Even in his half-face position, we see his evil smile. It's all true! The act comes to a close to riotous applause. CUT TO: Ariel is applauding madly, and then turns to Melody to see her fluke is exposed. Because of the position and angle of the bassinet, no one can see in. Ariel quickly re-bundles the baby, but looks around apprehensively. Then comes a montage of acts. Felicity is an adept knife thrower and lock picker; Hammal ties his body into impossible configurations; Lizard Lad slithers through a 90- degree pipe with ease; Greg scales the walls of the ballroom. Finally, Mephisto comes out. MEPHISTO: What you have seen is amazing, but ask yourself, was it real? Did I actually see what I think I saw? Mephisto pulls out a large, seemingly solid, ring and hold it up. He shakes it and another ring appears, hanging from the first. He spins the second ring and a third appears. A series of rings are produced and he constructs fabulous sculptures with the rings. Suddenly, he shakes the rings violently and we are back to one ring again. The crowd goes nuts. Mephisto puts the ring away. MEPHISTO: You have been mesmerized by what we have done. But you haven't seen real Mesmerization! I need a volunteer from the audience. Mephisto strides up to Eric. MEPHISTO: Perhaps his Royal Highness would care to be a volunteer? Eric is hesitant at first, but heads down. The crowd claps as a chair is placed on the floor. Before Eric sits on it, he checks it out, as it's identical to the one Sampo destroyed. The crowd laughs. Eric sits. MEPHISTO: Prince, look into my eyes. Mephisto does over-exaggerated motions, making it look like he is a really bad hypnotist. Eric is not fazed. He crosses his arms, bored. ERIC: I'm not easily hypnotized. MEPHISTO: What about when you met the Princess for the first time? The crowd roars with delight. Ariel blushes. Eric smiles. MEPHISTO: And you also remember the first time you fell ASLEEP NOW! Instantaneously, Eric falls asleep, slightly sprawled in the chair. The crowd goes "ooooo", as it happened so fast. Mephisto calms the crowd. MEPHISTO: The prince is all right. He is just in a deep slumber. (To ERIC) You hear only the sound of my voice and you will do as I ask. Sleep deeper. Mephisto places him palm of Eric's forehead and he sleeps deeper. Mephisto turns to the audience. MEPHISTO: I cannot make the Prince do anything against his will, or that may hurt or injure himself, but we can do other things. (To ERIC) Prince, you will not be able to remember your name. At any time, when I say, "One, two, three, awake!" and snap my fingers, you will come out of your trance. (Puts hand on forehead). Prince, you are alert. Eric comes around, but is still hypnotized. MEPHISTO: Your Highness, how do you feel? ERIC: I feel fine. MEPHISTO: Are you Mesmerized? ERIC: I said I wasn't easily Mesmerized. MEPHISTO: So you did. (Points to ARIEL). And who is that radiant vision on the throne? ERIC: That is my wonderful wife, Ariel. MEPHISTO: I see. And that gentleman over there? (Points to GRIMSBY) ERIC: The Royal Advisor Grimsby. MEPHISTO: And that one? ERIC: That is Padraic, the Court Painter. MEPHISTO: And you are? ERIC: I am..I am.I.. A look of consternation crosses Eric's face as he struggles to recall. The crowd titters, then laugh as ERIC cannot recall who he is. When the crowd laughter reaches its peak, Mephisto places his hand on Eric's forehead. MEPHISTO: Sleep. Eric goes under. The crowd applauds wildly. Mephisto bends down to Eric and whispers quickly. MEPHISTO: Regardless of your deep love for your wife and child, every time I say the word `baby', you will get more and more angry. When I say it a fourth time, you will explode into a tirade, full of hatred and disgust. You will remember nothing of this, but you will continue to get angry when you hear `baby'. Mephisto comes up slowly and faces the crowd. MEPHISTO: We can also examine the very core of what a person feels and believes. Mephisto turns to Eric. MEPHISTO: Prince, awake. How do you feel? ERIC: I feel fine. MEPHISTO: I understand that there is cause for celebration. True? ERIC: Very true. MEPHISTO: (Ponders for a moment) It's a new child! ERIC: Yes that's right. MEPHISTO: What kind of baby? ERIC: (Snarls) It was a girl. Some people titter uncomfortably. This isn't like the ERIC they know MEPHISTO: A baby girl. ERIC: Yes. Didn't you hear what I said? Ariel winces. The rest of the acting troupe is getting concerned as well. The tension grows. MEPHISTO: Does your baby have a name? ERIC: (Mockingly) Her mother calls her Melody. Ariel pants and wheezes, as the embarrassment is getting too much for her. Mephisto plays his part with mock chagrin, as he "realizes" he's going too far. MEPHISTO: Well, we'll talk about other things. ERIC: That would be nice! MEPHISTO: I shan't talk further about the baby. ERIC detonates and launches into a screed. ERIC: And a good thing, too. I am sick to death about people going on about the baby this and the baby that and how's the new mother. Well, I can't stand either of them. I hate them both! The words sting and cut deeply. Ariel is pole-axed and doesn't know what to do. Mephisto holds for a beat, then.. MEPHISTO: One, two, three, awake! Mephisto snaps his fingers and Eric comes around, completely unaware of what has just transpired. Mephisto looks on sadly, pretending to be remorseful for uncovering this side of Eric. Eric looks to Ariel, tears pouring down her face. She grabs Melody and flees the ballroom. As Eric looks about, the faces of his servants and friends are in shock, or anger or disgust, and the crowd breaks up. Mephisto disappears into the screened-off area. Eric is at a complete loss; but no one will talk to him. Backstage, Mephisto makes a few gestures and the troupe immediately start to assemble their things and prepare to go. We hear the murmuring of the crowd, transfixed at the events that have occurred. Grimsby takes Eric and moves him off to a part of the room, away from everyone. We cannot hear what they say, but it is an animated discussion. CUT TO: EXT: PALACE: NIGHT We see a wagon being loaded up and the last of the troupe get on. Mephisto helps them on. GREG: (Grimacing) How wonderfully pleasant. SAMPO: Who'd have thought it? LIZARD LAD: That's royalty for you. MEPHISTO: Head back to the ship. I want to express my condolences for the incident. HAMMAL: How will you get back? MEPHISTO: Don't worry about that. Just go. The wagon lurches out. Mephisto heads back to the castle. CUT TO: INT: CASTLE: NIGHT We are in the darkened nursery and we hear Ariel sobbing. A gently tapping comes at her door. ARIEL: Please go away. CARLOTTA: It's just for a moment. It's the Mesmerizer. ARIEL: I don't want to see anyone! MEPHISTO: It will take only a moment. Please, your Royal Highness. Wiping the tears away, cuddling Melody, Ariel goes to the door and opens it, we see a shaft of light pierce the gloom and the silhouettes of Carlotta and Mephisto. MEPHISTO: Thank you, Carlotta. Carlotta remains. Mephisto holds for a moment, and then pleads his case. MEPHISTO: I wish to offer my most sincere and abject apology for what happened. I try to bring joy and entertainment to all whom I meet, not this. Had I but known, I. Mephisto holds, then lets his words fail him, bowing his head in despair. ARIEL: Had we all known.. Ariel takes Melody over to the crib. Mephisto grabs a candle to give Ariel light. Ariel settles Melody in the crib, still tightly swaddled. Mephisto holds the candle high to give better light. As she tucks Melody in, Mephisto puts the candle down on a table, then turns to the window. MEPHISTO: Would you like the drapes drawn, your Highness? Ariel nods agreement, and Mephisto pulls them shut. However, he unlatches the catch so entry could be gained from the balcony. MEPHISTO: I realize I cannot undo what has happened. I am just so sorry that it did. Mephisto, looking sufficiently saddened, leaves the castle. CUT TO: EXT: CASTLE: NIGHT We see the nursery window in the background. Mephisto comes into frame, gives an evil smile, and leaves as a shadowy figure lurks around the room from the outside. CUT TO: INT: CASTLE: NIGHT The clock in the darkened room ticks away, showing a late hour. The drapes unfurl momentarily and the figure ducks in. Moving with precision and grace, it looks over at a sleeping Ariel. Heading to the crib, it discovers Melody is gone! It looks about and sees Melody in bed with Ariel. After examining the situation, the figure extracts Melody with a fluid movement. Picking up Melody, the figure looks at her. Then Melody makes a cooing sound. Ariel bolts upright and sees Melody floating. Before she can react, the figure mutes Ariel's mouth and hoists her over his shoulder, then bolts, moving so quickly that they are away from the castle within a few moments. We see a wagon nearby and the figure jumps on. In the wagon, Ariel is shocked to see Mephisto, who glowers at the figure. The figure shrugs, then proceeds to tie up and gag Ariel better. They gallop off into the night. FADE OUT/FADE IN EXT: CASTLE: DAY It is the following morning. The day is bright, but not as bright as yesterday. But there is a palpable sadness in the day. CUT TO: INT: CASTLE: DAY In the dining area, Eric is alone at an enormous table. Although there are three places set up, only he dines. He looks terrible. Grimsby comes in, looking sallow. ERIC stares off. ERIC: No answer, eh? GRIMSBY: She won't reply. ERIC: Look, I don't recall anything I say last night. GRIMSBY: To add to matters, her father, King Triton, is due to show up to see his granddaughter. Eric rises from the table. ERIC: I will prepare myself. GRIMSBY: I will see if I can get the Princess and the baby. ERIC: Who cares? Who really cares!? Shocked at his outburst and feelings, he quickly leaves the room. Carlotta comes out to clear the table. CARLOTTA: Who would have thought it? CUT TO: EXT: BEACH: DAY Eric is standing on the beach in the cove, dressed regally in a white outfit with the gold epaulets. He paces nervously, awaiting the arrival of the King. Max is at the ready, bounding wildly up and down. He wants to play, but Eric is absorbed in thought. He looks up to see a disturbance in the water as it boils and churns. Arising from the depths, trident held high, is the Triton, surrounded by his six daughters. Eric freezes at attention until he comes to the beach, borne on a crest of water. Also along are Flounder and Sebastian. Triton looks about, but sees no Ariel. TRITON: I don't see Ariel or Melody. Eric smiles weakly. ERIC: Well, you know how she is. She wants everything to be perfect for you..and her sisters. The daughters titter as Triton looks regal. SEBASTIAN: (To FLOUNDER) Dat's just like her. She's never on time. FLOUNDER: Except she's has a great excuse this time. Then.. GRIMSBY (VO): Your majesty. Both Eric and Triton turn to see Grimsby fast-walking up the beach. They both wait for him to arrive, which he does, panting and gasping. GRIMSBY: It's her Royal Highness.. ERIC: Does she need a few more minutes? GRIMSBY: Well, uh, she's gone. ERIC: She's gone for a walk? GRIMSBY: She's missing. Her and the baby. Upon hearing `baby', ERIC detonates. ERIC: Well, that's just fine with me. The both of them can just go. I'm sick of both of them! Triton recoils. The daughters look on with horror and fear. Alana breaks into tears at such ugly words. TRITON: What kind of father are you to abandon your wife and baby? ERIC: One who is fed up with them both. And how people fall all over them- selves for them. I never wanted a mermaid for a wife. Or a daughter! Triton is stunned by the words. TRITON: Melody is a merbaby? ERIC: Are all you undersea types hard of hearing? Of course she is and I hate it. Hate it! Hate it! And you, too! Triton is so angered by this tirade he raises his trident to zap Eric, but is restrained by both Andrina and Arista. He thunders on to all around. TRITON: This is why I wanted no contact with the human world. I will find my daughter and her baby and take them home with me. I will deal with you later. ERIC: Good! Find `em and take `em. They're not wanted around here! Grimsby is shocked at the overwhelming vitriol Eric is sputtering. He tries to calm him, but that only raises his ire. Triton turns and leaves, taking everyone with him. GRIMSBY: Eric! Your wife! Your baby! ERIC: Don't you start with me either! I can't stand the whole lot of you! Any of you! Who needs you? Go ahead, run and hide! Eric shrieks after Triton, who is barely able to contain himself. As Eric turns to leave for the castle, he stumbles over Max and slams his head hard into the beach, knocking himself unconscious. CUT TO: An overhead view of the cove shows Eric is splayed out, Max is running and barking frantically and Triton is heading out to sea, leaving a great wake. Scuttle flies into view. SCUTTLE: Hmmmmm. I wonder what's going on. FADE OUT/CUT TO INT: CASTLE: DAY In the library, Eric is stretched out on a lounge, head swathed in bandages. He comes to with a start, reacting to his injury. He struggles to sit up, but is very unsteady. Grimsby enters, but he is rather frosty. GRIMBSY: How are you, your Royal Majesty? Eric is taken aback; Grimsby rarely calls him that. ERIC: My head hurts and I feel badly, but other than that..Wait! What about the arrival of King Triton? Grimsby stares at Eric. His young charge must be insane. GRIMSBY: He came and went, especially after you told him that you hated Ariel and baby Melody and wish they were gone. Eric looks completely lost. ERIC: I said that? Why would I say that? I admit I was a bit shocked at my daughter, but I have come to accept her. She is my child. My baby. Eric gets up and goes over to the fireplace. He stares at an enormous portrait of a king, a man full of regal bearing and stature, what a king should look like. Eric looks very small compared to the portrait. Grimsby comes up behind him. ERIC: He was a great man, wasn't he? GRIMSBY: Yes, he was. I miss him. We all miss him. ERIC: I never really knew my father. GRIMSBY: He knew about people. But no matter who or what they were, he accepted them. Eric turns away from the portrait to see one of him and Ariel on their wedding day. She looks radiant. Eric stares at the portrait. ERIC: I've been such a thoughtless beast. I have to make it up to both of them, if they'll let me. GRIMSBY: So, why did you say those things about your baby? ERIC: What things did I say?! No one will tell me! Eric stares at Grimsby with incredulity, then looks forlorn. He speaks in measured tones. ERIC: What did I say? Grimsby shakes his head ruefully. GRIMSBY: You don't want to know. You never want to know. What do you really recall? ERIC strains to think. ERIC: Nothing. It's like a haze. Eric rubs his head as Carlotta enters with a tray. CARLOTTA: Here is some lunch for you. Carlotta is equally distant as she clunks it down. CARLOTTA: Even strangers are nicer to your wife and daughter than you are! ERIC: What do you mean? CARLOTTA: That elegant Mephisto came by to apologize for his actions. You never did! GRIMSBY: He came by? When? CARLOTTA: Just as Ariel was going sleep, Mephisto came by to help put them to bed. Grimsby puts it together, then steels himself. GRIMBSY: Baby. No reaction from Eric. Grimsby continues. GRIMBSY: Baby. Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby. Eric's faces screws up; he's angry. ERIC: Stop that! (Pause) You're giving me a headache and I hurt enough as it is. Grimsby turns to Carlotta. GRIMSBY: When did you last see the Princess and her child? Carlotta ponders the question. CARLOTTA: Actually, I can't recall seeing her at all since last night. ERIC: She always says `good morning' to everyone, every day. GRIMBSY: Eric, I think Ariel and Melody have been kidnapped! Carlotta gasps in shock. ERIC: Kidnapped? What? By who? GRIMSBY: Mephisto. He did something to you so that every time someone said the word `baby', you got angry. Eric heads over to the window, flings apart the curtains and opens the panes. He sticks his head out. ERIC: Captain Prescott! Captain Prescott! PRESCOTT (VO): Aye, Prince Eric? ERIC: How long will it take to prepare the ships for sailing? PRESCOTT: About an hour. ERIC: You've got 30 minutes! Eric shuts the window smartly, and then proceeds to his room. Grimsby follows him through the castle. GRIMBSY: What are you going to do? ERIC: What I should have done in the first place. What I hope I can do now. We are going to find Ariel and Melody. Eric launches into song while he prepares for his voyage. ERIC: I made a mistake I shouldn't have done it My faith in myself has been shaken I'm not sure what happened Now I look like a fool I really got myself taken I won't ever let that happen again But the damage I've done is severe All that I've worked for so hard is now gone Poof! It just disappeared. Now the time has come To do the right thing That thing which should have been done I'll not make excuses I know I was wrong This task is one I won't shun. CUT TO: EXT: DAY: THRONE ROOM In Triton's throne room, he slams his fist onto the table. Music goes into a vamp in the background. Around him are soldiers, his daughters and other Atlanticans. TRITON: This is what I should have done in the first place. What I hope I can do now. We are going to find Ariel and Melody. Triton goes into his song, handing out orders while he prepares for his journey. TRITON: I made a mistake I shouldn't have done it My faith in myself has been shaken I'm not sure what happened Now I look like a fool I really got myself taken I won't ever let that happen again But the damage I've done is severe All that I've worked for so hard is now gone Poof! It just disappeared. Now the time has come To do the right thing That thing which should have been done I'll not make excuses I know I was wrong This task is one I won't shun. We intercut between the palaces. They are doing the same thing at the same time. Eric's tone is remorseful for his actions. Triton is angry with the humans and will do what it takes to wrest Ariel and Melody from their grasp. ERIC: I must make a brand new beginning This time, I'm doing it smart TRITON: I've learned a hard lesson from all of this I now must be strong of heart. ERIC: I won't be deterred from what I must do Nothing will stand in my way. TRITON: I'll do what it takes to accomplish this deed Should it take me the rest of my days. We have a non-duet duet, where each sings but not with each other. ERIC & TRITON: I thought I was smarter than that And now I am paying the price I let people down with my failures That certainly will not happen twice What lies before me is such a tall order I must make amends for my deed If I even hope to correct all my errors My only chance is to succeed Now the time has come To do the right thing That thing which should have been done I'll not make excuses I know I was wrong This task is one I won't shun I just hope it's not too late I just hope I'm not too late As the music builds, we see both parties heading out to find and rescue Ariel and Melody; Triton in his conch shell chariot, pulled by three dolphins, Eric piloting his ship. EXT: DAY: OCEAN. Mephisto's ship is cutting through the water. CUT TO: INT: SHIP: DAY In the ship's brig, Ariel is at the door, nervously trying to pick the lock, holding Melody. We hear the outer door click. Ariel retreats as Mephisto comes in, smiling broadly. He has two burly sailors with him. The brig has a "visitors" area and the bars are set back to allow opening of the cell door. MEPHISTO: And how are my guests? Ariel grabs a stool and throws it one-handed against the bars. It smacks hard. The sailors recoil. Mephisto grins. ARIEL: How dare you! I demand that you release us immediately! MEPHISTO: Fine. Go. Mephisto points towards the porthole. Ariel looks out to see a vast expanse of empty sea. MEPHISTO: Provided you know the way home. Ariel turns back, seething with outrage and anger. ARIEL: When my Eric gets to you... MEPHISTO: Oh, the Prince. Is this the same Prince who declared his complete hatred of you and your child? Where is he? If he doesn't come after you soon, he never will. And even if he did, he couldn't find us. Besides, I have plans for you and yours. Mephisto glares menacingly. ARIEL: What did you do to him? MEPHISTO: Just let him express his true feelings. But enough of him. On to us. As you know, most people consider mermaids a figment of their imagination. What if I was able to give them a mother and child combination? The money, the fame. Mephisto goes into the hall and returns with the worst- looking mermaid costume. The tail is ratty and shabby and it looks like a costume (and it's also in Ariel's colors). MEPHISTO: We used to have a fake one. You will wear this and your baby.your baby will be the real one! One sailor opens the door, the other hurls the costume in. It lands with an unpleasant thud. Ariel shields Melody. Ariel is scared but defiant. ARIEL: And if I refuse? MEPHISTO: Well, you're not all that necessary to the plan. It would make it work better, but should you have an, oh, "accident", either way works for me. Mephisto smiles wickedly, then turns to go. Suddenly, a piece of hardtack sticks hard in the wall and close to Mephisto's head. Mephisto is impressed as he turns back to Ariel. He smiles grandly, turning to one of the sailors. MEPHISTO: Cut her rations. Mephisto troops out, the sailors following. Ariel ponders her situation. ARIEL: Eric. Oh, Eric. Ariel moves to the porthole to get some air. ARIEL: If it was just I, I would Dive right it. But I have you to think about, my precious Melody. As she looks at the sea, a bird swoops down at her. She backs up as the bird crashes into the porthole. His upper body squeezes in and he's trapped. It's Scuttle, with loose feathers fluttering about. SCUTTLE: How ya doin', sweetie? Scuttle notices the rather seedy nature of the room and Ariel's bedraggled condition. SCUTTLE: Traveling light? Ariel is relieved to see a familiar face, even if it is Scuttle. She moves closer and speaks in hushed tones. ARIEL: Scuttle, I've been taken against my will! Me and Melody! Help us! Even Scuttle understands that. SCUTTLE: Right! (Holds for a moment) What do you want me to do? ARIEL: Find Daddy or Sebastian. Tell them where we are so they can rescue us. SCUTTLE: What about the Prince? Ariel looks downcast; Scuttle doesn't know. ARIEL: I..I can't rely on him anymore. The words are so painful to say, they come out slowly as Ariel understands their import. SCUTTLE: I'll get right on it! Scuttle struggles against the porthole, wriggling about. ARIEL: How will you find us? SCUTTLE: As a bird, I have an uncanny sense of direction and location. Seeing Scuttle in trouble, Ariel pushes on his head and forces Scuttle out with a "ploip" sound. Scuttle splashes into the water, and then rights himself. Scuttle looks up at Ariel as she peers through the porthole. SCUTTLE: Don't worry, sweetie! I have everything under control. Scuttle takes off, but makes a series of loops, uncertain of his bearings. Ariel sighs; she hopes her plan works, but goes back to work on the lock just in case. CUT TO: INT: DAY: SHIP Mephisto strides into the galley to see the troupe in a circle. They are not happy as they approach Mephisto menacingly. Mephisto senses their discomfort. MEPHISTO: Yessssssssss? SAMPO: Is it true? You kidnapped the Princess and her baby? MEPHISTO: That baby is a real mermaid! GREG: Her mother is a real princess! HAMMAL: If they catch us.. Hammal puts one arm under his neck and proceeds to "hang" himself. MEPHISTO: They aren't going to catch us. IRONGUT: The Prince isn't going to stand idly by. MEPHISTO: They aren't going to catch us. TOM, DICK & HARRIET: He'll hear stories if we try to let her perform. MEPHISTO: THEY AREN'T GOING TO CATCH US! FELICITY: He won't give up. MEPHISTO: THEY AREN'T GOING TO CATCH US! Mephisto is seething in rage. They don't have his vision. SAMPO: Well, I'm not going to wait for that to happen. We're turning this ship around. As Sampo charges Mephisto, he dodges her lunge and touches a spot on her back. Sampo goes down in great pain. Mephisto is raging. MEPHISTO: This is the thanks I get? Let us not forget the miserable lives I saved you all from. Slaving away in mines, working in stables, languishing in jail? I was the one, the only one, who saw your greater potential. I had the vision and foresight. So, If this isn't what you want, then YOU leave. As for me.. As Mephisto sings, the other members of the troupe try to incapacitate him, but he eludes their clutches with ease and aplomb, as if they weren't there. MEPHISTO: Everything I've ever wanted I had to fight to obtain I had to be quick with my feet and my fists And equally quick with my brain. Felicity throws knives at Mephisto to pin him down, but he deftly moves just ahead of them. Felicity sends a barrage, but he positions his body so they stick in the hull and not to him. He then leaps out of the way to reveal the outline. MEPHISTO: I have a great nose for talent And seeing the weakness in Man When all of it coalesces and mixes I'm close to achieving my plan of Greg and Hammal try to catch Mephisto in a pincher movement, but he disappears at the last moment, leaving them stuck together and enmeshed. MEPHISTO: Mastery Mastery King of all I survey No one can touch me No one comes near It's best to get out of my way. Lizard Lad tries to slither about his ankles, but another series of swift movements keep Mephisto ahead of him. MEPHISTO: I'm tired of being a doormat Getting trampled and pushed to the side Don't I have feelings of anguish? My courage and daring and pride? Sampo tries to wrestle him to the ground. Mephisto not only eludes her grasp, he cuffs her into arm bracelets. The design prevents her from breaking free using her strength. MEPHISTO: But now I have fate when I want it I can feel in within my grip I won't be deterred from obtaining my goal From my fingers will not be ripped my Irongut tries to blow flames at Mephisto, but he clamps down on his mouth and the flames shoot out of his ears, singeing the others. Mephisto pushes them all aside as Irongut sticks his head in a bucket of water. MEPHISTO: Mastery Mastery The power of hope and gloom My list is checked twice So you'd better be nice Or else you'll find yourself doomed Mephisto looks into a hand-held mirror, preening with pride. The troupe tries to sneak up on him, but he reflects a shaft of sunlight, blinding them. MEPHISTO: Don't try to fool me with flattery Or cajole me with platitudes weak The Road to Success goes straight up a hill And I'm finally reaching my peak Tom, Dick and Harriet launch themselves at Mephisto like human cannonballs, but he swats them away like mosquitoes. MEPHISTO: There's nothing that I will not do For my ends justify my means If you found you were I, wouldn't you do the same? You'd want to achieve your dreams of Mastery Mastery There's nothing else that fits the bill Beauty and grace I guess have a place But so does my might and will And it's all because I possess Mastery The troupe gangs up on Mephisto and seemingly smothers him under a massive dog pile. They learn that he has escaped them again and he hurls a fishing net atop them, adding to the confusion. MEPHISTO: Any more questions? He overlooks his troupe, which are unable to defy or overpower him, struggling to free themselves from the net. Mephisto leaves, his coat swirling about him. MEPHISTO: On to Boldoni! CUT TO: EXT: DAY: SHIP Establishing shot of Eric's ship as it cuts through a sunset sea, reflecting oranges and reds off the surface. We see a second ship, behind and farther back. CUT TO: INT: DAY: SHIP In the Captain's Quarters of Eric's ship is Eric, Captain Prescott, Grimsby and another sailor, who pour over a map of the region. ERIC: Where could he go? PRESCOTT: The nearest port is Boldoni, but they could push on to Port Mahi, another half-day's sailing, depending on the weather. Eric mulls for a moment, contemplating the map. ERIC: If I was he, I'd be feeling very sure of myself, having set up a situation where any pursuit might be delayed. Enough of a delay for him to get to the nearest port. Captain. Prescott snaps to attention. ERIC: Signal the other ship to head to Port Mahi, then come back to Boldoni to meet us. We're going to Boldoni. CUT TO: EXT: NIGHT: PORT The city of Boldoni is a typical seaport town, filled with raucous people and the standard unpleasant mixture of cutpurses, inebriates and other dangerous types. Despite the hour, there is still a bustle. Mephisto's ship is moored. CUT TO: INT: NIGHT: SHIP The troupe is doing much grumbling, owing to the nature of their cargo. FELICITY: This is madness. We have to do something, or we're doomed. SAMPO: We have got to get her free, here in Boldoni. There must be someplace or someone to turn to. GREG: All we would have to do is get her out of the ship or the building. I'm sure she could make her way to the police or.. LIZARD LAD: But would they believe she's a princess? With a merbaby? HAMMAL: Something's better than nothing. IRONGUT: I have an idea. During my fire eating act, I could catch something on fire. In the confusion, say, Felicity and Sampo could get the Princesses out of here. The troupe looks at each other. It's a terrible plan. Irongut senses this and is irked. No one else is trying. IRONGUT: Well, you come up with something. But it better be soon. CUT TO: Ariel, in the brig, has struggled to put on the costume. It is ugly and bulky and looks very bad. She is sitting on a stool, looking at Melody, sleeping away in a wicker basket. Mephisto enters, grinning, as two burly sailors accompany him. MEPHISTO unlocks the brig and enters. MEPHISTO: It is good you've come to your senses. Things will work out for the best. ARIEL: What stops me from calling for help? Mephisto reveals a horrible mouth gag (like in "Silence of the Lambs"). Before Ariel can react, one sailor has the gag about her head and locks it tight. The other grabs her lower fins. Ariel struggles against it, but cannot get it off. She can only make sounds. Ariel then pushes against the sailor on her feet, shoving him against the wall. He was unprepared for this repulse and goes reeling. The sudden shift in weight pulls down the first sailor as Ariel crashes to the floor. Both sailors conk their heads and fall back and away. Ariel heads to the bars as the sailors get to their feet. Seeing her against the bars, they charge her, one high, one low. Ariel hoists herself high and the both miss her, their burly arms getting stuck between the bars. Ariel sees Mephisto cradling Melody. Ariel tries to totter over, but she can't balance on the fin and crashes to the floor in front of Mephisto. Quickly, Mephisto puts wrist cuffs on her. Ariel is crestfallen. MEPHISTO: No one will question me! (To the sailors) Bring her. CUT TO: From the perspective of the troupe, they see Ariel manacled and taken from the brig. Ariel struggles as Mephisto follows behind. The troupe retreats. GREG: We have got to do something! FELICITY: Then let's go with Irongut's plan. Sampo and I will be backstage at that point. We can do it. LIZARD LAD: You have to. You'll know what Mephisto will do once he finds out. If we don't succeed together, we'll all swing together! SAMPO: I can handle him! Sampo grabs a solid chunk of wood and proceeds to crush it to pulp between her hands, leaving a pile of dust. Sampo wipes her hands. CROSSFADE Shot of hands clapping, we are in a performance hall. Mephisto is on stage, greeting everyone. The audience looks rather rough and surly. MEPHISTO: Welcome one and all to the Circus of the Great Mephisto, presenting people and acts you have never seen before! The curtains part to reveal Felicity. The audience recoils in shock at her beard. Sampo comes on, flexing her muscles. Then, brought in by Irongut, Hammal and Lizard Lad is Ariel. She is on a sedan chair and is brought regally. What the audience can't see is that she is chained to the chair to prevent any escape. The chair is put down. The audience gasps as Ariel waves her fake flukes and cradles Melody. Then, from the audience. SOMEONE: Fake! The crowd gasps. Mephisto is unmoved. MEPHISTO: Ah, a doubter. One who feels we deal in chicanery and bluff. One who does not trust his eyes! Suddenly, Mephisto wrenches Melody from Ariel's arms and presents her to the audience. Ariel lunges, but is restrained by the chains. They rattle noisily as Mephisto showcases Melody, her fin flapping away. MEPHISTO: Then explain this! Her mother and she were captured off the Azores. Do not let her appearance fool you! She is gagged for your safety. Once she sings her siren song, we would all be doomed! I did what brave Odysseus did and poured wax in my ears to resist her evil charms and spells. Melody is returned to Ariel, who clutches her tightly. Felicity and Sampo go off stage, but Ariel remains. Irongut crosses over and sits in a chair. MEPHISTO: And she must be constantly guarded against any escape! While Irongut sits, Greg comes out and places a small table in front of Irongut. Greg then proceeds to set a table for Irongut, with a checkered cloth, a set of dishes, utensils, a couple of glasses, a candleholder with lit candle and a small vase with a rose in it. As Irongut remains transfixed on Ariel, he proceeds to devour the tableware. Ariel cannot avoid the gaze of the audience as they are uncertain whom to look at. Melody's tale is flapping about and she coos, which is drowned out by Irongut's noisy eating. Backstage, Sampo and Felicity stand at the ready to put the plan into action, Felicity fingering her lock pick. Onstage, Irongut has devoured everything and pretends to have indigestion. He pulls out a pair of wands and sets one aflame, then begins to eat fire. FELICITY: Get ready. This is it! Before Irongut can set the curtains aflame, a MAN leaps from the audience, wrenches Melody from Ariel and then heads to the door. Distracted, Irongut sends a sheet of flame at the Man, scorching his rear. The Man reacts, but still heads to the door. Felicity comes onto the stage and flings knives to cut the Man's suspenders, causing his pants to fall to his ankles. Just as he nears the door, he sees Greg hanging upside down from the catwalk above the door. The Man stops, holding a happy Melody. Greg smiles. GREG: I'll take that! He grabs Melody and retreats. We hear a deep-throated AHEM! The Man turns to see Sampo. Actually, Sampo's fist as it zooms into the camera. We hear a tremendous thud. CUT TO: EXT: STREET: NIGHT We see the man go flying out the doors as if he were rocket propelled. The doors go flying off their hinges as well. CUT TO: INT: THEATRE: NIGHT There is a healthy circle of distance around Sampo. Roaring in anger, the theatre clears out, people crashing through doors and windows. Greg tries to hand Melody back to Ariel, but Mephisto appears and takes Melody. As the last straggler flees, the local police come in. OFFICER: All right, what's..this..? The Officer sees the hulking presence of Sampo and is stunned. He walks around her and goes to Mephisto. OFFICER: You. Out. Now. CUT TO: EXT: SHIP: NIGHT A partial moonlit night shows Mephisto's ship cutting through the still waters. INT: SHIP: NIGHT The troupe is sitting around a table, commiserating. GREG: What went wrong? HAMMAL: Nothing. It was just an unforeseen event. IRONGUT: It was all so perfect! FELICITY: We were all set and ready to go. Sampo slams her fist onto the table. Everything jumps. SAMPO: Blast the luck! TOM, DICK & HARRIET: We'll have to do better next time. MEPHISTO: Oh, there won't be a next time! All turn to see Mephisto, holding Melody as if it were his own daughter. MEPHISTO: I knew of the plan to free the Princess and her child. That guy was a plant to make certain Irongut didn't set the place afire to let Felicity and Sampo rescue everyone. Mephisto walks among them, Melody giggling in a playful manner, to contrast his stark evil. The troupe is shocked at his knowledge of events. He stops at Sampo. MEPHISTO: And no one is going to grind my head into sawdust, either. It now doesn't matter what happens. We all succeed together or we all swing together. I suggest you opt for the former! Mephisto heads out. Everyone is sufficiently revolted and stunned at the bizarre turn of events. CUT TO: INT: SHIP'S BRIG: NIGHT The door slams. Ariel sits in the brig, cradling Melody, who coos and makes bubbles. She has absolutely no idea of what is happening in her life. Ariel takes solace in the fact that she still has Melody, but her eyes brim with tears over her current plight, seemingly insoluble. She begins to sing. It is a slower, more melancholy version of the song she sang at the beginning of the picture. As she sings, some members of the troupe sit outside the door, listening in and are moved by her situation. ARIEL: How long have I been in this place? It seems like I'll never be free I'm now in a totally strange world But at least I have you with me. I don't know what lies before us, And I'm staying right, near your heart You'll not be abandoned or left alone, We've got each other, and we'll never part. For no matter where I may go, My heart belongs to the sea But now, I'm trapped upon this ship And this is where we must be. Ariel breaks into heart-wrenching sobs. Outside the door, the troupe is also teary. Sampo stands up. SAMPO: That's it. I don't care what it takes, but we're getting them off this ship. FELICITY: But how can we do this? Our last plan went wrong? HAMMAL: We need one that's foolproof. GREG: I hate to say this, but there's a traitor in our midst. TOM, DICK & HARRIET: How can you say such a thing? LIZARD LAD: Did you hear what Mephisto said? He knew too much for it to be mere happenstance. He was informed! HAMMAL: But that means we can't make any plan, as Mephisto would know. FELICITY: I want to know how the Princess and the baby were taken in the first place! HAMMAL: If they had to scale a wall.. Hammal turns to Greg and says nothing more. Greg gets it. GREG: Oh, I see, blame it on the Fly Guy. Well, Felicity could have driven knives into the wall and Tom, Dick and Harriet could have clambered up to drop a rope so Hammal could have captured them! TOM, DICK & HARRIET: Lizard Lad could have slithered through a small open window! The accusations start to fly hot and heavy as everyone challenges everyone else. Sampo has had it. SAMPO: (YELLING) Enough! Everyone stops and faces her. SAMPO: The last thing we need is disharmony now. We have to come up with a plan. GREG: Wrong! We can't make a plan. Greg views everyone uncertain. Felicity then clicks. FELICITY: But we could make several plans. Sampo gets it. SAMPO: That way, if one is detected, we have another one to go to. TOM DICK & HARRIET: And permit one of them to succeed. HAMMAL: But what if we happen to try all of them at once? This would look bad. IRONGUT: Anything's better than waiting for the consequences. LIZARD LAD: Let's break into smaller groups. Keep it to two or three people. GREG: We strike tomorrow! Just, who will be the one to strike? I know nothing. CUT TO: EXT: DAY: SHIP Eric's ship is anchored outside the Boldoni harbor. Between the ship and the shore, a launch is being rowed furiously. Eric stands up and waves at the ship, yelling at them. ERIC: Get ready to make sail! Get ready to make sail! CUT TO: Eric clambering on board as the longboat is hauled up on the davits and the other sailors come up. Eric heads to Captain Prescott. ERIC: They were here yesterday and set sail on the midnight tide. PRESCOTT: Their next stop is Port Mahi. They're not that far ahead of us. Prescott barks out orders as the ship makes sail, then turns to console Eric. PRESCOTT: We'll get Princess Ariel and Melody. Don't worry. Eric heads to the prow of the ship, and stands looking out at the vast reaches of the sea. ERIC: I'm coming, Ariel. A long shot shows Eric and the figurehead of his ship, which looks remarkably like Ariel. A slow crossfade has it morph into Ariel, still trapped in the brig with Melody. We hear a "hsst". Ariel looks about, trying to find the source of the sound. We hear it again. As she turns, she sees a note dangling from the porthole. She slowly moves towards it, then takes it. She opens it and reads. ARIEL: We are getting you off the ship. Be ready. As she reads, a menacing shadow on the wall crosses over ARIEL. She turns in shock and horror. Before she can react, the scene is swallowed up in black. CUT TO: INT: SHIP: DAY Greg is dealing with a longboat and speaks in hushed tones. GREG: We'll have to make certain they have enough water and food. It will take some time to get to the nearest port. From underneath the cover, Lizard Lad pokes out his head. LIZARD LAD: We may be expecting too much to have the princess row. She could head farther out to sea. We hear the click of rifle hammers. Greg and Lizard Lad turn to see a phalanx of sailors brandishing rifles with bayonets at them. One motions for both of them to come along. CUT TO: In the galley, Tom, Dick & Harriet are scuttling about the lower shelves, looking for items. TOM: Here's some lovely grease. DICK: I don't think they'll miss this bucket. HARRIET: I've got a sack full of provisions for them. Suddenly, a bayonet appears and stabs the floor in front of Harriet. All three turn to see more sailors with rifles. They begin to scamper under their legs and create confusion. However, they are captured when a stew pot falls atop them. CUT TO: Felicity and Irongut are poking around the armory, Felicity picking the lock. IRONGUT: I could have chewed through that easily. FELICITY: We need to be subtle and not draw attention to ourselves. We hear a satisfying "click" as the lock is breached. Felicity smiles and opens the door only to see a bristle of guns and bayonets. Irongut tries to shut the door on them. Felicity turns to see more sailors in the hallway. She is chagrined. IRONGUT: Run! Run! I can hold. Irongut looks up to see the fruitlessness of the situation. He releases his pressure on the door. Those troops tumble out. CUT TO: Hammal and Sampo are skulking through the ship, drawing attention to themselves in an attempt not to draw attention to themselves. Sampo is constantly looking about. HAMMAL: Isn't it a bit early to be breaking them out of the brig? SAMPO: The more confusion, the better. It works in our behalf. Besides.. As Sampo's hand pushes along the wall, it touches a coat. MEPHISTO: Besides, it won't work anyway. Sampo turns to see Mephisto. Sailors come out of nowhere, ready to fight. Sampo gives them what for as sailors fly everywhere. As she turns her back to fight more, Mephisto touches the spot. Sampo crashes to the floor in pain. Trussed up in chains that she cannot break, Sampo is dragged to the brig. CUT TO: The brig is filled with the troupe. Ariel is in the corner, chained to the hull. The troupe rushes the gate, but are repelled by the sailors and their weapons. Sampo is thrown in and the door clangs with a disturbing thud. GREG: How could you have found out? MEPHISTO: Because I am the Great Mephisto. You cannot fool me. Besides, the first rule of performance is always have a plant. Isn't that right? Mephisto looks down the gangway and Hammal enters. HAMMAL: That is so right, sir. The troupe rushes the gate and bash against it uselessly. HAMMAL: You see, I saw the opportunity and knew we had to act on it. None of you have the vision and foresight to plan ahead. Mephisto leans in. MEPHISTO: I'll deal with you traitors later. (To ARIEL) As I said, you weren't completely necessary to the plan, so you will join your compatriots at the last curtain call! I never liked any of you FREAKS! Mephisto starts to laugh. Then, we hear a cannon report. CAPTAIN: All hands on deck! All hands on deck! We're under attack! The sailors start to scramble, but Mephisto remains calm. He fairly waltzes out. The brig door slams with finality. Everyone is crestfallen. Greg looks to Ariel. GREG: Some rescuers we turned out to be. TOM, DICK & HARRIET: Maybe we can get out through the porthole. They form a human tower to get to the porthole. Harriet puts her head out and we hear a shot. She pulls back in too quickly and they go tumbling. TOM: Are you all right? Harriet checks herself. She's OK. We hear a voice, calling from outside. VOICE: That was your only warning. Next time, I won't miss. LIZARD LAD: Now what? This is the end. (To ARIEL) You have to believe us, we wanted none of this, but we seem powerless against Mephisto. FELICITY: Not completely. All turn as she pulls a lock pick out of her beard. Felicity goes to the cell door, where she gets it open in nothing flat. Going to Sampo, her locks are easily opened. When she goes to Ariel, a look of consternation crosses her face. FELICITY: These are the newer locks. I don't know if I can get it. Felicity tries, but the pick breaks off in the lock. Ariel and Felicity are crestfallen. SAMPO: The time for finesse is over. Sampo grabs the chain by the wall and clenches it tight in both hands. Sampo strains. The chains hold tight. SAMPO does not give up as her muscles ripple and wobble. GREG: Sampo, it's not working. It's OK. You did your best. SAMPO lets out a primal scream building from deep within her and culminating in a ferocious roar of defiance. One of the links slowly bends apart, snapping the chain. Ariel is free. IRONGUT: Where's your baby? ARIEL: Mephisto has Melody in his quarters. Greg pulls everyone together. GREG: This time, our plan will work. CUT TO: INT: SHIP: DAY There is a guard on the door. Sampo crashing through the door like a raging bull. The splintering wood knocks the guard out. Everyone goes to get their props: Felicity gets her knives, Irongut his fire tools. Greg removes his gloves and takes off his shoes. Sampo stands with Ariel, and notices the chain still dragging off her ankle. SAMPO: I could pull that off you. ARIEL: Later. I want my Melody. The troupe meets in the hallway. IRONGUT: We'll distract the sailors, you two get the baby. CUT TO: EXT: SHIP: DAY The Captain pilots as Mephisto holds Melody. CAPTAIN: I'll not join this ship in Davy Jones' Locker. MEPHISTO: You won't. None of us will. Just prime your cannons and let them get closer. (Towards Eric's ship) You're stronger than I imagined, Prince, but it won't do you any good. CUT TO: Eric's ship is closing in on them. ERIC: They responded to the warning shot. They're heaving-to. PRESCOTT: But I can bet you they're getting ready for a volley against us. I would. ERIC: Prime the cannons, but fire on my command only. I do not want to risk hurting Ariel or Melody. ERIC puts the telescope to his eye. CUT TO: ERIC'S POV THROUGH TELESCOPE Mephisto holds up Melody with one hand and waves pleasantly, then fake drops Melody. He smiles knowingly. ERIC: He may have us over a barrel. Fire another shot across her bow. A cannon responds. CUT TO: The splash of the cannon shot comes perilously close to the bow of the ship. CAPTAIN: That was close. MEPHISTO: No, it wasn't. FIRE! Cannons belch out. Two shots hit, one tearing a hole in the main sail, the other shearing off one of the spars. MEPHISTO: (Yelling at ERIC) Work on that one. Suddenly, we hear cannon fire and the ship is rocked, but nothing came from Eric's ship. The Captain and Mephisto turn to see Eric's other ship, which fired. CUT TO: Eric sees what's happening and barks out orders. ERIC: Signal the other ship. Tell them not to fire. Their shots were more direct, and parts of the ship catch fire. One penetrates the magazine and the powder is in danger of exploding. Chaos reigns. In one of the entries, the troupe stands at the ready. GREG: Charge! They leap out. Felicity sends a barrage of knives, which pins sailors to masts, hulls and the deck. Tom, Dick and Harriet become rolling tumblers and trip up everyone. Lizard Lad flings sailors overboard. Irongut shoots out flames, but catches a sail on fire. Sampo slams sailors into the water as she and Ariel make their way to the bridge. Ariel pauses for a moment as she looks out, then brightens up. ARIEL: That's Eric's ship. He's come for me. Eric! ERIC! Ariel starts to jump up and down to get Eric's attention. Sampo comes back to grab Ariel as the flames start to leap onto the deck and smoke billows. Greg shinnies up a mast to grab a rope. Swinging out, he heads for Mephisto and Melody. Hands extended, Greg sails through the smoke and zeroes in on his target. Mephisto sees him at the last moment and ducks. Greg careens wildly and, on the return trip, knocks more sailors into the sea. The flames are bursting onto the deck in patches. Sampo and Ariel deftly avoid the flames and the sailors, who are now being forced off the ship. They both look up to see Mephisto heading to his quarters. They follow, with Ariel leading. CUT TO: On the other ship, that CAPTAIN is looking through a telescope at Eric's ship. CAPTAIN: I just can't seem to make out the signal flags. All that smoke. Another SAILOR takes a look. SAILOR: I can see the "fire" flag, sir. CAPTAIN: He wants us to send forth another volley. Turn the ship about! We'll give them what for! CUT TO: OVERHEAD SHOT. Eric's ship is at the upper right-hand corner, Mephisto's flaming ship is in the middle and Eric's other ship is in the lower left-hand corner. Scuttle floats into view and circles. Just off Eric's ship, the water bubbling. CUT TO: Triton comes up to see the stern of Eric's ship, unaware of what the problem is. Eric does not fire as he takes another fusillade. Triton, disgusted, submerges. CUT TO: MEPHISTO'S QUARTERS Mephisto is scrambling about, while Hammal is holding Melody, who is shrieking and crying. Hammal has no idea how to stop her. HAMMAL: Perhaps this wasn't a good idea after all. Mephisto turns on Hammal. MEPHISTO: Perhaps you should shut up. The door bursts open. They look up. CUT TO REVERSE: It is the hulking shadow of Sampo, shattered door in hand, which she casts off to the side. Ariel squeezes in beside her. Mephisto grabs Melody from Hammal and shoves him towards Sampo. Her fury is unmatched as she pummels Hammal, but he's the Rubber Man and the punches have no effect. Sampo is stunned but redoubled her efforts. Hammal lets Sampo give him a solid hit. He reels back and bounces off the wall. Curling up, he becomes a ball and slams hard into Sampo. Ariel takes on Mephisto, who smiles cruelly. Melody howls as they circle the desk. MEPHISTO: So it gets down to this. You never were needed. ARIEL: Wrong! It was you who were never needed or wanted. Ariel starts to leap over the desk. Mephisto runs to his right. Ariel spins about, leading with her chain leg. Mephisto reacts too slowly and is caught on the ankles. He goes down, Melody pitching into the air. Ariel reaches out and catches Melody. Mephisto struggles to his feet. MEPHISTO: Let me have it! SAMPO: Then here! Sampo has tied up Hammal and pitches him at Mephisto. Both go down. SAMPO: (To ARIEL) Get out of here! CUT TO: EXT: SHIP: DAY Triton is at the stern of the other ship, near what would be Mephisto's quarters. He fires a massive bolt from his trident. The ship bursts into flame and smoke. Ariel, Melody and Sampo are blown out of the quarters and onto the deck. Ariel holds on to Melody as they pitch about. The ship is a ball of fire. Sampo grabs them both and they head to the railing. SAMPO: You'll have to jump! ARIEL: But I can't swim! Sampo stares at her for a moment. SAMPO: You're a mermaid and you can't swim. Ariel looks sad. ARIEL: I'm not a mermaid anymore. An explosion lurches the ship. The shudder throws Sampo into the water. Ariel looks down after her, holds Melody close and prepares to jump in. She sees Triton come into view. ARIEL: Daddy, help us! Triton raises his trident and envelopes them in a ball of energy. As he lifts them off the deck, Mephisto appears to see them rise up. Heading over to the mini-deck cannon, he primes it to fire at Triton, who cannot see him. Ariel tries to warn Triton but he cannot hear her. CUT TO: Eric, through his telescope, sees the situation. Grabbing a sailor's rifle, ERIC squeezes off a shot. ERIC: Make it count. Mephisto is wounded, but recovers to aim at Triton. Flames are licking about him. He is a maniac. MEPHISTO: No one shall have her. You must all die! DIE! Eric grimaces. He looks about for another rifle. ERIC: Give me another rifle! He's getting ready to fire! FIRST MATE: Fire! Fire, fire, fire! Eric turns in horror. He was misunderstood. ERIC: Nooooooooooooooooo! CUT TO: The Captain of the other ship. CAPTAIN: Fire! Both ships fire simultaneously. Mephisto's ship explodes, lifting out of the water and breaking in two. Smoke spreads outward, enveloping all. The ship sinks rapidly. All we see is debris, including Mephisto's coat and Hammal's turban. At Eric's ship, the crew and troupe are brought on board, wet and grimy. Eric looks out at the smoking wreckage, stunned at the turn of events. PRESCOTT: Eric, I.. ERIC: What have I done? Eric turns to the people on his deck. He eyes the troupe fiercely. ERIC: Take them below. I will deal with them personally! They are taken below. Eric views the carnage remorsefully when we hear the water churning and boiling. All rush to the side to see a bubble rising, phoenix-like, from the water. Ariel and Melody are inside, safe. Borne by Triton's trident, the glowing orb alights on the deck and then disappears to free them. Triton rises up on a fountain of water to deck level. Eric runs to embrace both ARIEL and MELODY. ERIC: I though I had lost you both. He then realizes how awkward it all is, considering what he had done. He backs away and turns to see Triton, looking most unpleasant. ERIC: Your majesty, I.. Before he can continue, Ariel interrupts, stepping in front of Eric. ARIEL: Daddy, here is your grand- child, Melody. Triton stares at the merbaby with admiration and respect. He looks up to see a very sad Ariel. ARIEL: Daddy, I need you to make Melody a human. Eric steps in. ERIC: Stop! Stop now! Eric stares down Triton. Ariel recoils in confusion. ERIC: I will have my say! I have experienced my first test and ...I have failed. I failed as a monarch, I failed as a husband and I failed as a father. Ariel's happiness means more to me than anything else. But she won't find it here. Feet or fins, it shouldn't make a difference. But it did. Eric turns to Ariel. ERIC: I am unworthy of your love. It would be best if you return to Atlantica, with Melody. It's not fair to you, or your father or to Melody to remain on land. She needs to be what she is and what you truly are.. a mermaid. Eric takes Melody from Ariel and moves to one side. He is close, but gives the room for Triton to make the change. Ariel is confused but cannot find the words to say anything. Triton raises his trident. Ariel steels herself against the transformation she doesn't want but knows is for the best interests of Melody. She tries to put on a brave face, but her trembling chin gives away her true feelings. We see the trident charge up. We cut between the faces of the crew and the people, preparing for the event. The energy bolt glows and shoots from the trident. We hear the blast. Ariel is aware nothing is happening. She opens her eyes to see that the bolt has gone to Melody. A ball of white light bathes Melody, too bright to be looked at. When it disappears, Melody is a human baby. Eric looks up, stunned. Ariel, who is relieved that she is staying with Eric, runs to them both. Triton looks at Eric. TRITON: Ariel's happiness means more to me than anything as well. Eric faces Triton. ERIC: I will never fully comprehend the level of your sacrifice that you just made. Triton puts an arm around Eric. TRITON: I believe you have. He turns to go, then pauses. TRITON: But I want a proper presentation of my granddaughter to me. ARIEL: Oh, we will. We most certainly will, daddy. Ariel is enraptured at her daughter and that her husband is back. There are tears in both of their eyes. Triton smiles to himself as he leaves. CUT TO: INT: SHIP: DAY In the brig of Eric's ship, the troupe is in there, looking pensive. Greg is pacing about, talking, but no one is listening to him. GREG: We're doomed. There is just no way around that fact. Plain and simple. End of story. Doomed. Doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed. LIZARD LAD: You know, I'm getting to really, really hate brigs. I've seen enough in my life. GREG: The way things are going, your life may not be much longer! Doomed, I tell you. The door opens and Eric enters, visible upset. Greg forces a smile. Eric peers at them with a furious intensity. It's bad. It's really bad and Greg picks up on this. GREG: (Under) We're horribly doomed. ERIC: The mark of a good ruler is how he dispenses justice: Swift, direct, immediate! GREG: (Under) Are we ever doomed. ERIC: Crimes against the Crown cannot go unpunished, as it gives the improper impression. GREG: (Under) We are incredibly, totally doomed. ERIC: A message must be sent! GREG: (Under) Doomed beyond belief! ERIC: You will be escorted back to my palace, where you will all be summarily released.(To a guard) Unlock the door. The troupe is amazed as they are set free. GREG: We're not doomed? ERIC: Justice means nothing if it's not tempered with reason and mercy. The Princess Ariel has inter- ceded on your behalf, explaining your valiant efforts to free her. Once at the castle, you may go where you wish, or stay in the Kingdom. GREG: No offense, your Majesty, but we're not Kingdom folk. We belong out on the seas, traveling from town to town. LIZARD LAD: Which we are unable to do, as our ship is sunk. The troupe is horrified at the presumptiveness of Lizard Lad and tries to clam him up. Eric makes a wry smile. ERIC: I can do something about that. ERIC leaves. The troupe relaxes. Sampo passes out. CUT TO: EXT: SHIP: NIGHT We hear in the background a party or celebration of some sort as the ship sails on. Ariel is with Melody on the bridge. They are staring off into the distance as a breeze whips Ariel's hair about. Eric approaches from the rear, putting his arm around Ariel. ARIEL: That was a very brave deed you did this afternoon. ERIC: It..it needed to be done. ARIEL: It must have been very difficult to tell Daddy that. ERIC: Actually, I was afraid that you wouldn't want to come back, after what I said. They were still my words, all of them. I wasn't going to force you. Ariel stares into Eric's eyes. She speaks firmly, but kindly. ARIEL: I am your wife, you are my husband, this is our daughter. We are a family. For better or worst, in bad times and good. ERIC: Then, would you do me the honor of marrying me.. again. Eric kneels before them. Ariel tears up. Melody burbles. Eric rises and kisses Ariel. Morphing into the wedding kiss, we hear the cheers of the assembled multitudes. Triton, who beams on, holds Melody. Melody sees Sebastian and proceeds to squeeze the unfortunate crab. But he's slippery and gets squirted out. Above, Scuttle wheels in the sky, crashing into the mast of a ship. The troupe is on the deck of their ship, waving their congratulations. The sail still has the stylized eye on it, but it now reads LIVING MUSEUM OF HUMAN SUPERLATIVES. Sampo is bawling like a baby. The Captain, who originally piloted Mephisto's old ship, is at the wheel, dressed in a snappy outfit. Greg gives a salute to Eric and Ariel and his hand sticks to his head. As to the human participants, Carlotta is a teary mess. Grimsby is also teary, but he's trying not to show it. Chef Louis wheels in an enormous cake, but does not see Max. He runs the trolley over him. Max bounds up and upsets the trolley. Louis manages to right the trolley and keep it from tipping, but in doing so, he overcompensates and the cake falls over onto Louis. He is both livid and embarrassed. Eric and Ariel come to Triton and collect Melody, who looks fabulous in a christening gown. Ariel tears up as she hugs her father, then waves at her sisters. All are happy, except Arista. ARISTA: Hmmph! She gets two weddings and I haven't had any. Attina, who is next to Arista, continues to wave at Ariel. With her free hand, Attina dunks Arista beneath the waves. Flounder is brought up and waves to Ariel. Melody reaches out and grabs him, squeezing him like a plush toy. Everyone giggles. Triton raises his trident and instead of a rainbow, makes fireworks that outshine everything. Back to a three-shot of Eric, Ariel and Melody, the happy family. We hear Sebastian. SEBASTIAN: It's so nice they're together again. Sebastian breaks into song. As he sings, we see shots of both the land people and the merfolk as they react and act out parts of the song. SEBASTIAN: Together again, together again, We'll stay by our side, And we can outride, Whatever they send. With our love so strong, We'll never go wrong, So, things might get stressed, But we're at our best, Together again. When I was but a tiny one My folks would always say: "Money come and money go But friends are there to stay", So, you had better learn, The simple truth I sing, Once you lose all of your friends, You haven't got a thing. ERIC: Together again, together again, I paid a big cost, And I nearly lost, My very best friend. ARIEL: If we understand, It's all in our hands, We won't go astray, And always shall stay, Together again. SEBASTIAN: Now, events can get quite stormy, And you get blown around, But if you're strong and wise on this, You know that hope can be found. Just take a dash of belief, And faith in what you can be, Troubles will scatter like sea foam, You'll be rid of your quandary. Life, we know, isn't easy, mon, Good fortune can shift like the tide, We must be prepared for the changes, And able to take it in stride. You can always rise to the challenge, As long as you are as one, So, if you're there for each other, Your love will not be outdone. ALL: Together again, together again, If you speak from your heart, Then you'll never part, This I recommend. Please take the time, To make love sublime. You can banish strife, And have a great life, Together again. We all have a choice, Let's be of one voice, Together again Together again. CUT TO: Eric and Ariel are kissing. Hold for a moment as the ORCHESTRATION comes to a close, and then cut to black. END

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