The scene has now changed to the docks in Egypt, where RADAMES' soldiers are
unloading the ship and securing the slaves. A MERCHANT enters, carrying gold.
MEREB, RADAMES' young servant, enters after MERCHANT, carrying a few casks
Mereb, Mereb...Is that the wine?
You have the gold?
(They exchange gold and wine. The MERCHANT runs off. RADAMES comes down the
platform and onto the docks.)
(He stuffs the bag of gold down his shirt, then turns.)
Master, I am so glad you've returned.
Have you kept my house in order?
Yes, well except for a few casks of wine, which have mysteriously disappeared.
(ZOSER and his MINISTERS enter from SR to RADAMES and MEREB.)
Here you are my son, home at last! Step aside Mereb!
(He bows to ZOSER)
Yes, oh Chief Minister Zoser... loved by the Gods, the people and himself.
Careful boy or I'll have you...
(He embraces ZOSER.)
It's good to see you father.
You were gone for so long Radames, I was beginning to worry. You weren't
injured in battle?
I kept telling the princess that no man could best you with a sword.
No man got the better of me. Though a certain woman might have...
Listen, beyond the fifth cataract the Nile heads directly toward Khartoum.
Then we can attack the city by water? Excellent! You recorded the landscape?
With the maps we made, an illiterate foot soldier could find his way
And you brought us captives. Good. Take them to the copper mines. We can't
seem to keep them alive down there.
(ZOSER motions the GUARDS forward)
Stop! Not this one.
(He takes AIDA from the GUARD.)
I need a gift for the princess.
Yes. She'll be expecting something.
Take the others to the Palace Groundskeeper. They can help with the harvest.
They're all women. They wouldn't last a day underground.
As you wish. They're your slaves.
(RADAMES turns AIDA to face him.)
Give me your hands, Aida.
Your name is Aida?
(To Aida, taking her chains off.)
I'm going to remove these. But know that if you dare try to escape, I will
come after you myself.
You flatter me, Captain. You don't look like a man who would chase after any
I'll make an exception for you.
Mereb, take her to Princess Amneris with my compliments.
(AIDA and MEREB exit.)
You've been gone six months. I really think a personal appearance is in order.
In good time, father. Though you and the Princess should know that as soon as
my crew is rested, I am setting out again.
You can't. Radames, Egypt needs you now. Pharaoh is not the powerful leader
he was when you left.