The Scientists


A harsh wind blows over the deep snow of a winter woods beneath a bright moon. A rabbit sits below one of the many trees. It’s head pricks up, hearing something. It clarifies the sound and bounds away.

A boot crunches down into the snow, then another as two men step forward, crossing through the terrain. They are in the dress of the 1800s, shirts, ties, top hats and long thick jackets.

The two men walk side by side, neither speaks as the crunch loudly through the woods. The one on the RIGHT holds a long reel of copper wire by his side. The one of the LEFT reaches into his jacket pocket and drops something small into the snow. They walk a few more feet and he repeats the action. Pocket. Drop. A few more feet and he repeats it again.

Close up on one of the items to reveal it’s a small knot of copper wire.

The men continue to walk, Left continues to drop the copper knots.

They approach a tree, taller and thicker than the ones around it. It has long red scars scratched all around the trunk like a wild animal has used it for a scratching post. A very large wild animal.

Right unspools some wire from the reel and takes a pair of ancient pliers from his pocket and cuts off a sizable length. He holds one end against the tree and Left takes the other end and walks it around the tree. He meets back up with Right who takes it from him and winds the two ends together. He turns the twisted ends, and the ring of copper, around the tree until the twisted ends points back the way they came. He picks up the reel and the two men turn right and continue walking. Left continues to drop the copper knots.

Enough of this. I do believe I have already apologised.

Well I don’t know that I cared for your apology.

Care or not it has been given. It would be preferable if we could move past this disagreement, especially in light of the outcome.

I suppose I could consider it.

Yes, well, don’t do me too many favours.

The two men approach another tree, similarly large, similarly scarred.

Oh very well, you know I can be touchy when it comes to my research.

The repeat their actions from earlier, tying another copper ring around the tree.

Well it’s our research if you care to remember, and science is supposed to be questioned. If it was taken on faith it’d be called religion.

Right once again turns the twisted ends to point back the way they came.

Well some would say that we are attempting to join the two.

They continue to walk, once more at a right angle to the tree. The copper knots continue to drop.

Yes, and those same people would also see us drawn and quartered for it. Idiots.

Powerful idiots.

Don’t remind me. I hope this works so we can leave this damn town.

Another large and scarred tree comes up before them and the two men once more repeat their actions.

It will work. Don’t start this again right after I’ve forgiven you.

Of course not, we wouldn’t want you sulking again would we.

They continue to walk.

Sulk! Please I’m a scientist and a gentleman, I’ve never sulked a day in my life.

A gentleman is it? I’m not sure that’s what these ‘powerful idiots’ would call you.

No I presume you’re right.

You agree with me about something! I’m glad to hear it. I do believe they would call you a scientist though, they would just tack ‘mad’ to the front of it.

The two men come upon footprints in the snow, and both look down to see one of the copper knots. They’ve come full circle.

It looks like we’re done. Time to flick the switch. Let’s go be mad scientists shall we?


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