Centurion (2010) Script

My name is Quintus Dias.

I'm a soldier of Rome.

And this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story.

Two years on the frontier.

This place is the assehole of the world.

Even the land wants us dead.

Centurion Dias, it's too damn cold to be standing watch.

It's not my watch.

I'm just wondering what's out there.

The patrol returns at dawn.

You should get some sleep.

The longer we stay, the deeper the cold and damp soaks into our bones.

And the rain makes way only for the stinging bite of the north wind.

While we lose brave men to foot rot and frostbite, the Pict king Gorlacon, sends his war parties to raid along the frontier at will.

Gentlemen. Good evening, sir.

Cold night on the front.

My father believed that to truly defeat an enemy, you must know him better than yourself.

I know this enemy well.

They play only to their strengths, and will not be drawn into open combat.

Instead, they pick at the scab until we bleed, hiding in the shadows like animals, striking hard and fast then falling back into the night.

Come the dawn, we count our losses and sow the earth with our dead.

This is a new kind of war, a war without honour, without end.

To arms! To arms!

Marcus, ride to Agricola!

Gate. Move!

Move, soldier!


Gratus.

Save yourself.


Virilus! Virilus!

Virilus! Virilus!

Virilus! Virilus!

The winner.

That's the way! Yes!

Again!

Enough!

You put up a good fight, now you drink with me.

Septus, more ale.

Again, Virilus.

You're a drunk.

An ugly drunk.

And not too bright.

Isn't ten times enough to know when you're beaten?

Damn you! Again!

Once more!

Septus, your ruling.

And watch my flank.

Come on!

Come on!

Virilus! Virilus! Virilus!

You beat him.

Virilus. Virilus.

Sore loser.

Septus?

What are you waiting for, an order?

Get stuck in there!

Damn, that'll sober a man up quick!

When will people learn not to fuck with the Ninth?

You know, some say it's irregular for you to be seen drinking with the men of the Legion.

Septus, my old friend, they forget. I am a man of the Legion.

Soldier, have you been fighting?

Fighting is my job.

I have a message for your general.

Now, point me in his direction before I have you flogged.

Who are you?

I'm the personal envoy of Governor Agricola.

Well, then I suggest you get down off that horse and give me your message, before I have you, flogged!

General, sir!

It would be my pleasure.

All leave is cancelled.

Agricola is mobilising the Ninth. We're going to war, Septus.

Alert the senior legates to break camp and prepare the men.

Sorry, General, sir.

Return to Agricola at once.

Tell him we rode out within the hour.

Yes, General.


Bastard!

Aeron.

Gorlacon.

He was a farmer until his wife was killed.

Then he put down the plow and took up the sword.

He changed the way the Picts fought.

It worked.

He turned the tide, so they made him king.

What does Agricola intend for my people?

Damn you, Pict!

When will he send his armies north?

I am a soldier of Rome!

I will not yield!

Rome will make you bleed for this.

You first, Centurion.


I don't care how you do it, but wipe them out.

Bring Gorlacon before me in chains.

Governor, you're the politician. I'm just a simple soldier.

But I'm not so simple that I can't see you're looking for a way back to Rome.

My bones ache for Rome.

This place is the graveyard of ambition.

And men.

And I won't sacrifice mine to be pawns in your game.

I see.

Let us be frank, General.

The conquest of Britain is a lost cause.

With one bold stroke, we could change all that.

With the Ninth Legion at your command, we can crush this enemy.

You and your men could retire with wealth and honor.

My men have honor enough.

Enough to disobey a direct order?

Well...

to kill the snake, you have to cut off its head.

I need to find Gorlacon.

For that I have someone special in mind.

General Virilus, meet Etain, my Brigantes tracker.

Can't speak a word, but she can hunt anything, over any terrain.

I swear she's part wolf.

I apologize for the theatrics, but I wanted to prove a point.

Slaves cost nothing.

Trust is priceless.

I don't know whether to fight her or...

She's mute, not deaf.

I have my own scouts.

Not like her.

She knows the Picts...

Knows their ways, knows their hideaways.

She will guide you into the mountains.


What's she sitting over there for?

She's been looking at you... I know she has!

I know she has. I've spotted it.

Can't take her eyes off you.

Come on. Come on, you.

She's speechless, you daft bastard.

Septus: She's got not tongue in her head, you fool.

I wouldn't get too close.

No tongue? That's perfect, you know!

More room... Wouldn't go near her, mate.

More room for this. You be careful.

I'm...

I think that's Pict for fuck off.

She must be a good scout if she can find your cock.

I think it's love.

I'll have a go with the mutt this time.


Report.

Three Pict riders and another, a prisoner, on foot.

I think he might be Roman.

Centurion Remus, take the column!


Stay down. Stay down.

Stay down.

We'll get nothing out of him.

Well, we can't take prisoners on the march. You know what to do.

Head or ship?

Head.

I win.

Sorry, mate.

Orders are orders.

Hey.

Thank the gods you found me.

It's not the gods you should thank, it's her...

Etain, our Pict scout.

She found you.

What's your name, soldier?

My name is Quintus Dias, second in command, lnch-tuth-il frontier garrison.

Well, sorry we couldn't get here sooner.

Are you the relief column?

Not quite.

I'm Titus Flavius Virilus, commander of the Ninth Legion.

We've come here looking for a fight.

And you'll get one.

General.

Centurion Dias.

Now you look like a Roman.

How do you feel?

Cuts and bruises, sir...

Nothing that won't heal in time.

Well, sometimes there are scars that cannot be seen.

You escaped the clutches of Gorlacon, but I must ask you to return with us, into the lion's den.

Best to get back into the fight, General.

Spoken like a soldier.

Gladiator.

My father was Scipio Dias.

I saw him win the fight that earned him his freedom.

He was magnificent.

He taught me how to fight and to choose my battles.

Come meet the men.

Septus? Sir.

General. General.

Get this man a drink.

I think he deserves it.

Come and join us. Be warm.

Have a well-earned drink.

Thank you.

Tomorrow you ride by my side.

I thought you could teach me something about Pict hospitality.

Thax. Bothos. Sir.

Sir. Septus, I'll be doing my rounds.

Good evening, General.

I can't understand a word of these Picts.

If they ever catch me, I'm fucked.

I've never seen a general so beloved of his men.

Well, in training he is our scholar, at the feast he is our father, in the ranks he is our brother, and in battle, he is the god we pray to save our souls.

Where did you read that?

It's written on the shithouse wall, sir.

Probably wrote it himself.

He's a ruthless, reckless bastard.

And I'd die for him without hesitation.


It's a trap! Column!

Form up! Form up!

Quickly! Come on!

Come on!

Dismount! Get the horses to the rear!

Tight!

Quickly!

Steady, boys.

Shields!

Watching!

Whatever comes out of that mist, lads, you will hold the line.

Quintus, ride to the rear.

Find Centurion Remus, tell him to pull the column back.

Make a hole!

Keep watching!

Get ready!

Watching.

Hold the line!


Stand tall!


Quintus. Bothos.

You made it. Yeah.

This man saved my life.

Brick, here.

The general? No.

We've got to move.

Can you make it?

Yeah. Yeah. Come on.

Let's get moving.

In the chaos of battle, when the ground beneath your feet is a slurry of blood, puke, piss and the entrails of friends and enemies alike, it's easy to turn to the gods for salvation.

But it's soldiers who do the fighting and soldiers who do the dying.

And the gods, never get their feet wet.


Thax.

Thank the gods some of us made it.

Only you?

Macros, second cohort.

Leonidas, junior scout and peltast.

Are we all that's left?

We were outsmarted.

That's all. Time to go home.

We need to find the general's body.

He deserves a nobler tomb than this.

The general is still alive.

You sure?

I saw them take him away in chains.

Which way? North.

Then we follow north.

You would go after the Picts?

Macros: They'll have patrols sweeping these forests for survivors.

We might as well slit our own throats here.

If the general's alive, it's our duty.

Where did you come from?

From the kitchens.

Good work, soldier.

My name's Tarak.

I'm not a soldier, I'm a cook.

Not anymore.

Scavenge what you can, food supplies, weapons.

Ditch your armor. We'll travel light.

Shit.

That Macros can move.

He used to be a marathon runner before he joined up.

How do you know that?

I made the food, I know everything.


Take cover.


I knew we should never have trusted that bitch.

I know where they've taken the general.

Move out!


This way, the cave.

Get up those mountains. Get up.

Here, some food.

No.

Death caps.

They can kill you in minutes.

To the untrained eye, they look similar to these, which are delicious.

Thanks.

Tarak.

It's Assyrian, right?

Yes.

But it's not my real name. It was given to me.

What's your real name?

I doubt you could pronounce it.

It's from the mountains of the Hindu Kush where I was born.

Leonidas, right?

Greek father, sir.

Move closer to the fire.

Where are you from, Bothos?

I'm from the army.

It's all I've ever known.

They picked me up from the street, trained me, told me I could better myself.

Tell me, Bothos, do you feel better... or worse?

Macros?

I escaped with my life by running from Numidia.

Didn't stop until I reached Greece.

Then I ran for sport.

Now I'm running for my life again.

We're all a long way from home.

This was supposed to be my last tour.

Still could be.

Had my eye on a farm in Tuscany, where the sun warms the skin.

Brick?

What kind of name is that anyway?

Short sir, for Ubrickulius.

Your mother, must have been... wise.

She was a fucking comedian.

Brick it is then.

Get some sleep.

I'll stand first watch.


General. Where are my men?

With your gods.

Traitor!

She would answer your charge, but she cannot speak.

Do you know why?

She was a child when she came to us seeking sanctuary.

Her own village had been slaughtered as punishment for resisting Roman rule.

To set an example, they burned out her father's eyes.

They raped her mother... until she was begging to die.

Etain was forced to watch, before she too was raped.

And finally they cut out her tongue, that she may not speak ill of the bloody Roman Empire.

She fled north and came to us for shelter.

We raised her and made her one of our own.

And when she came of age, we sent her back to you to feign allegiance and deliver you into our hands.

Lorson.

The army is still dispersed.

When it's dark, we go in.


Come.


Pict dog.

Come on. Come on.

Brick, Bothos with me.

The rest of you watch the perimeter.

General. The Legion?

Only myself and a small cohort remain.

Oh, fuck.

Oh, shit.

Leave me.

Come here. Come here. No!

Shut up.

Shit. We need an axe! Leave!

We will not abandon you, sir.

What's left of the legion is yours to command. Now go.

We have to leave.

Go now!

Get them home.

That's for the Ninth.

Where's Thax?

Had to take care of a small problem.

I've got the general's helmet. Where is he?

We couldn't free him.

You. You... Come on.

We've come all this way for nothing.

Fuck.


See what you have done?

Before you die, know that the men who did this will not live to tell your tale.

Well, let's get on with it then.

Your Roman friends should have known, old iron does not bend, it breaks.


Well, what are you waiting for?

Do you fear me?

No man brave enough?

Let's see what you're made of, she-wolf!


Go!


Come on.

We need to keep moving while we have the lead.

On foot over this?

Wherever they may hesitate, we must go.

We keep moving... north.

But our lines are to the south.

And that's where they'll be looking for us.

Look, we can't outrun them... so we have to outsmart them.

We head north, throw them off our trail, then double back...

West then south.

It may take days, even weeks.

But we're so far behind enemy lines, it's our only chance of getting home.

Come on!

You'll be needing this then, Centurion.


When the Picts come after you, they never stop.

They can run for hours, ride for days.

They barely eat and rarely sleep.

Etain, like the wolf, has learned to hunt from birth.

It is part sense, part instinct.

She can read the terrain, search for signs of passing, run her quarry to ground and close in for the kill.

Now she hunts Romans.

Now we are the prey.


Move! Keep moving!

God!

Leo, we've got to keep moving! No.

We need to rest. I can't go on. I'm too cold.

Come, take him!

Brick, find shelter. Anywhere out of this wind!

Enough. Help me!

He's slowing us down.

Just say the word and I'll take care of it.

We live united or die divided... starting with you.

You can stick this out if you want, but first chance I get, I'm taking care of myself.

It's your funeral.


When they paint their faces in the blue woad, it is more than just a decoration, it is a sacred rite.

To the Picts, it means they'd sooner die than fail.

It means for them, there is no turning back.


These men are the best I've ever seen.

Am I worthy enough to lead them?

My father taught me that in life duty and honor matter above all things.

A man without his word is no better than a beast.

I made a promise to a general to get his soldiers home.

That is my task.

That is my duty.


Not bad for a Greek. Come on.

Drink while it's hot.

What is that? The stomach.

The moss inside is half digested.

Try it. it's good.


Quintus? Quintus, they'll have heard him from miles away.

What's wrong?

Move!

Move! Move!

This way!

Move! Come on.

Come on, let's go!

Come on, get up!

Just leave him. Come on!

They're closing in!

Hurry! Come on!

They're coming!

They're closing! Come on! Come on!

Come on! Give me your hand!

No!

Shit.

We have to jump.

Are you out of your mind?

Do it! Come on!

Fuck it.

I can't.

Yes, you can!

You can do it!

No! Tarak!


Come.

You ok?

Come on! Come on up! Come.

Grab him! Grab him!

I've got him.

Where's Tarak?

I lost him.

Thax? Macros?

Get out.

God!

Take off the tunics. They'll weigh us down.

Oh, shit.

Can you walk? Yeah.

Then you can run.

They followed us downstream.

That's it.

Keep going.

Shit.

She's on to us. Damn witch.

How can she do that?

It's not magic, she's a tracker.

She's downwind of us.

What's happening? They're making camp across the valley.

They don't care if we know where they are.

Yeah, but she won't expect... us.

Bothos, watch over Leo.

What are you gonna do?

Going to even the odds.

Come on.

Ok. Come on.


Kill him and be done with it.

No!


No.

They took his fucking head.

Bothos!

They had the same idea as you.

They're not defending their lives or their country anymore.

They've sworn... a blood vengeance against us.

God!

And they won't rest... until we beg them... for death.

Are you ready to get on your knees and beg?

I'm finished.

It's hopeless.

Hopeless?

Hopeless is what they sing songs about, write poems about.

Hopeless is the stuff of legend, Bothos.

And being a legend will get you laid.

What do I have to do?

Keep moving, while we still have darkness on our side.

The gods have forsaken us.

We make our own chances now.


Macros? Macros?

I can't... I can't keep up.

I can't keep up.

Macros, at least this way, one of us will make it.

You bastard! Don't cry out.

Don't cry out, Macros.

They'll end it quicker if you don't cry out.

Don't leave me!

Thax!

Thax!

Come on!

We should give this place a wide berth.

We need food... and a place to rest.


Where the hell are we now?

I'll get some water.

Stay alert. Yeah.

Brick, go back inside.

Go back inside now!

I'll leave you to it then.


You speak my language.

Are you from the garrison?

I thought you stopped coming up this far north.

Garrison? What garrison?

Two days south of here.

They come here?

How do you think I know your language?

I do what I can... to discourage them.

They think...

I'm a necromancer, and they leave me alone.

It usually works on the others.

Why not you?

We're too tired to be afraid.

We were 3,000. Now we are three.

Here.

Brick, put the fucking knife down.

Bothos, there is a Roman garrison two days from here.

It must be the Western Frontier Post at Mentieth.

Two days?

Let's take a look at your friend.

Quintus, what's she doing?

She's a Pict and a woman...

Two good reasons not to trust her.

Right, that'll stop the bleeding.


Death caps.

Smells good.

Well, how's your leg?

Has our witch worked her magic?

Quintus, the mushrooms.

What?

She's trying to poison us.

Why heal your leg only to kill you?

Death caps have white gills.

It pays to know your mushrooms.

Good.

It's really good.

It's delicious.

It's good.

Your men are very nervous.

They ought to be.

A demon stalks us day and night.

A demon?

They call her Etain.

You know her?

If Etain is hunting you, you might as well be dead already.

That's comforting.

Her soul is an empty vessel.

Only Roman blood can fill it.

Where's Arianne?

She went to fetch us some breakfast.

Are you ok?


Is that for bait?

Where I come from it's considered rude to interrupt a man midflow.

Where I come from it's considered only fair to warn a man when he's pissing on his breakfast.

Good point!

Must have been a storm in the hills last night.

Come on!

Trouble. Let's get out of here.

Bothos.

Too late for that.

Hide in the grain store and don't make a sound.


We've put you in too much danger. We'll leave.

Leave now and she'll have you gutted and skinned before nightfall.

Stay until morning and your friend will be fit to travel.

These are your people.

They are not my people.

Not since Gorlacon accused me of witchery and gave me this... to mark me as an outcast... and banish me to live out my days here... alone.

What cruel devices does fate yet have in store for us...

to find sanctuary in the house of our enemy?

Is she angel... or devil?

Clear. Alright.

Get some rest.

I'm a cantankerous old soldier, but not too stubborn to admit when I'm wrong.

I'm sorry I misjudged you.

There it is.


It's getting cold.

Thank you.

You've given us the shelter of your home, the warmth of your fire, and risked your life for us.

Why?

I owe allegiance to no man but whom I choose.

Here's some food for the journey.

Thank you.

Good luck, Roman.

Good luck, witch.


Go!

Bothos, get up! Come on!

My leg!

Look! Look!

See the fires burning?

Look. Hot food and a dry bed.

Come on.


Agricola has fallen back.

Emperor Hadrian has given orders to form a new defensive line to the south.

Giving up the ground we fought for.

And where does that leave us?

Fucked.

How does she do that?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of running.


This is all I could find.

Make them count.

For Virilus.

For the Ninth.


Bothos, they're flanking us.

West wall!


Brick!

Come on!


How much further, do you think?

Don't know. Day's ride, maybe two.


That's close enough, Thax.

Oh, shit.

I thought you were Picts.

We thought you were dead.

Where's Macros?

Wolves got him.

This is it?

Are we all that's left?

Ay! At least the three of us made it then?

Come on!

We're not home yet.

What are you talking about?

We should be at the frontier by now.

No.

Agricola's been given his marching orders.

So Rome's finally given up on this... shithole of a country?

Can't say that I'm sorry.

Then we fought for nothing.


What happened with the boy, Thax?

I have no idea what you're talking about.


This is Hadrian's big fucking plan? A wall?

Hey. Who cares, we made it?

Let's go! Bothos, wait.

Slow down, Centurion.

Thax, what are you doing?

Just making sure that we understand each other.

I understand that many good men died because of what you did.

And you will answer for it.

Why did I just know you were going to feel that way?


Hey!

Bothos!


This report confirms our worst fears.

You fought your war, soldier, and earned the gratitude of Rome.

This man will show you to my private quarters.

He will see you fed.

You look half-starved.

We cannot return to Rome in disgrace.

Better that the fate of the Legion remain a mystery than the truth of their failure be known.

If word gets out, every tribe in every nation will rise against us.

It's too great a risk.

Are we agreed, then?

The fate of the Ninth Legion will be struck from the record.

Aye.

Aye.


I hope the food is to your liking.

I brought you some wine.

It is the least we can do for a hero of Rome.


Is this how Rome honors her heroes?

You want to bury the truth, and me along with it?

You are too much of a risk.

Where will you go?

Where I belong.


No!

It seems my life is in your hands again, witch.

My name is Quintus Dias.

I'm a fugitive of Rome.

And this is neither the beginning, nor the end of my story.