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EXT. BEACH - SEMI-DARKNESS
THE SURF CRASHING
A MAN is walking towards us as we HEAR -
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER
Athena, hear me! In memory of my once commended virtues - intelligence and strength - that made me beloved of the Gods...
INT. TEMPLE OF ATHENA, ITHAKA - DAWN
The HEAD OF ATHENA, listening...
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER (cont'd)
I appeal to you: take care of my family...Protect my loving wife...
ON THE FLOOR BELOW AS
the SHADOW of Athena's STATUE grows LONGER...and LONGER...
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER (cont'd)
Guard and guide my son; be his friend... Show him the path to manhood as you showed that path to me...
ANOTHER ANGLE
as the STATUE ITSELF passes by us on its way...
PAN TO REVEAL
THE STATUE IS GONE...
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER (cont'd)
Only make him better than you made me... Make him WISE...
EXT. BEACH - DAWN
The MAN getting nearer...
ODYSSEUS' VOICE OVER (cont'd)
Athena, do you hear my prayer? Make him WISE!
The rising SUN REVEALS THE MAN
TELEMACHUS (19), not Odysseus!
He is handsome, intelligent-looking, though his face is branded with his unhappy history. When has he smiled?
Not today. Now he squints at something strange...
TELEMACHUS' POV
coming towards him on the beach, floating, rather than walking, is...the goddess Athena..!
TELEMACHUS REACTS
blinks. Refocuses...
TELEMACHUS POV
The goddess MORPHS into a MAN OF FORTY, who holds up a hand in greeting, smiles... When he talks, his voice is ODD - there is, after all, a goddess inside his body...
MAN OF FORTY
Telemachus?
TELEMACHUS
(confused)
Do I know you?
MAN OF FORTY
My name is Mentor. I am a friend of your father's.
TELEMACHUS
My father... (he looks about, still puzzled) How did you come here?
MENTOR
My ship just landed from Taphos.
TELEMACHUS
(nothing quite makes sense)
But - you recognized me?
MENTOR
You bear more than a passing resemblance to great Odysseus.
TELEMACHUS
Entirely superficial, I assure you.
MENTOR
I'm certain you're being modest. (looks about) What are you doing here, if I may ask?
TELEMACHUS
Uh, walking...
MENTOR
(gently pointed)
It would be good to eat a meal cooked on dry land...
Telemachus reacts to this... he's inviting himself. A series of conflicting emotions crosses his face, embarrassment at the prospect, but also something else - happiness?
TELEMACHUS
Be my guest.
INT. ODYSSEUS' PALACE - MORNING
The SUITORS, still holding at about fifty, at their morning activities, playing CHECKERS on the HIDES of animals they have killed, having breakfast, cleaning weapons, etc...
SOME are even having an ARCHERY contest...
A HUGE BEGGAR we'll come to know as IRUS walks about, scrounging scraps like the dog he is, and laughing at himself, playing the fool for the amusement of the mob...
SERVANTS bustle, setting the tables (again!) sponging down the excesses of last night.
ANTINOUS and EURYMACHUS
are playing CHESS, when Antinous looks up, sees, and nudges Eurymachus, who also looks up -
THEIR POV
Telemachus has entered with Mentor, who surveys the place with tactful astonishment.
TELEMACHUS
This way...
He barges through the Suitors, who watch - this is the first time Telemachus has ever brought a guest to their feasts.
He seats Mentor and himself in such a way as turns them from the prying eyes of the group, and puts a footstool beneath Mentor's feet.
TELEMACHUS
Melanthe. MELANTHE.
Startled by his peremptory tone of command, she comes over.
MELANTHE
My lord?
TELEMACHUS
Wash the feet of my guest. Bring him food.
Melanthe can't help looking over at Antinous.
TELEMACHUS (cont'd)
(sees the look)
Do as I command.
Antinous nods, slightly.
MELANTHE
Aye, my lord...
She fetches the SILVER BOWLS and sets about removing Mentor's leg armor and washing his feet...
Mentor looks about at the riot of boorish activity.
MENTOR
I did not mean to intrude. Are you celebrating? Is this some sort of feast?
Telemachus flushes. Another SERVANT brings food.
TELEMACHUS
It is a feast that never ends because my mother does not know if my father is alive or dead. (off Mentor's puzzled look) These vultures are suitors to the hand of Queen Penelope, who cannot bring herself to accept any of them. So here they perch, eating us out of house and home - and I too weak to prevent them. Thank you, Melanthe.
Melanthe reluctantly leaves. Mentor waits until she's gone.
MENTOR
(studies the young man)
You think your father dead? I do not. Oh, he may be stranded somewhere, held captive on some barbarous isle, perhaps, but he will return. (off Telemachus' look) Oh, yes, return, I promise you. And then - woe to all this princely heap.
He jerks his head in the direction of the swilling mob.
TELEMACHUS
(struggles to conceal his excitement)
My father...alive? (thinks) But even should he see these shores again, how could he hope to reclaim what is his without help? (realizes) I must help him.
MENTOR
Ah, Telemachus, you are growing up fast. This is what I hoped you would say.
TELEMACHUS
But how? How can I help?
Mentor studiously begins to eat, looking "normal"...
MENTOR
Send forth heralds to summon an assembly of the first families of the realm, and there call upon these suitors to disperse to their homes or face the consequences. (throws them a look) It won't do any good, but you will have warned them. What follows will not be on your conscience.
He starts to put on his sandals.
TELEMACHUS
And then?
MENTOR
Ask for a small ship and set forth to seek news of your father. Visit first Nestor, King of sandy
Pylos. He was Odysseus' old comrade-in-arms. If he can give you no information, journey inland and ask King Menelaus of Sparta. If you learn your
father's alive, so much the better; return here and be ready to greet him; if he is dead, then rear him a funeral mound and honor his memory...
TELEMACHUS
What if there is no news?
MENTOR
Until and unless your father returns, you are master here - time to be a man, Telemachus.
TELEMACHUS
Your advice sounds good to me, but first I must sacrifice to Apollo, the lord of Life, that he may show me some sign.
MENTOR
(smiles)
An excellent idea, but pray not to Apollo. (off his look) Seek out Athena, grey-eyed goddess of wisdom, for it is she who ever loved your father. (he rises; loudly) I thank you for your hospitality, young prince. No, stay. I can see my own way out.
He bows and leaves, threading his way past Antinous and
Eurymachus, who wait until he is gone, then look at Telemachus, whose face is shining with new prospects.
ANTINOUS
Telemachus.
Telemachus looks at him coolly.
ANTINOUS (cont'd)
Who was that man?
TELEMACHUS
A friend.
EURYMACHUS
Did he bring news of your father?
TELEMACHUS
(smiles)
Rest easy, Eurymachus. I know my father is dead. You have nothing to worry about.
He leaves, leaving Antinous, Eurymachus, Melanthe and the others, puzzled in his wake. Since when has he accepted the fact of his father's death?
INT. TEMPLE OF ATHENA - DAY
Telemachus walks into the temple and prostrates himself in the traditional manner.
TELEMACHUS
Athena, hear me.
He looks up and frowns in surprise.
TELEMACHUS' POV
The STATUE OF ATHENA is nowhere to be seen. Only the EMPTY PEDESTAL. Telemachus walks over to it, wondering, then turns and hastens from the temple, his decision made.
EXT. STREETS and HILLS OF ITHAKA - DAY
HERALDS SHOUT as PEOPLE listen, startled by their words.
HERALD(S)
By royal decree, the nobles of Ithaka are commanded to meet this day in the great chamber of public assembly..!
SEVERAL SHOTS of the repeated command.
INT. GREAT ASSEMBLY CHAMBER - DAY
a CIRCULAR ROOM with TIERS of SEATS
CROWDED with representatives of the first families of Ithaka, all of them puzzled at this convocation.
AEGYPTIUS, an aged councillor, takes the SPEAKER'S SPEAR and steps to the center of the floor.


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