The Frozen Phoenix
Written by John S. Badger
HARRISON Stargate Pioneer
DR. ELIAS YHedgehogsFly?
SCENE: Scientist in laboratory
ELIAS: (Talking to himself) If I mix more of the mutagen in, I may be able to ensure the lion chromosomes- no wait… The panthera leo hassss...
SFX: marker on board furiously writing
ELIAS: If I incorporate more of Aquila, I think the eagle will be better pronounced. The lion is only 63% by volume, after all.
SFX: Door opens
HARRISON: Hey Doctor. The new kid’s here. You should tell her that joke you know. Might warm her up to you a bit better. And please… Don’t screw her up like the last one.
TAYLOR: Sounds very exciting. Hey Dr. ELIAS. I’ve always been such a fan of your work. I’ve been paying attention to your works since I was 12. Your thesis in genetic engineering was a work of genius. Literal genius.
ELIAS: (somewhat annoyed) I don’t remember asking for a new assistant, HARRISON.
HARRISON: She was requisitioned. You need her. You’re overflowing with knowledge, but you’re also over-exerted. Teach her a couple things. If you don’t like her in two weeks, we can file for a replacement.
TAYLOR: I’m sorry. I thought I already had the gig.
HARRISON: (whispering) Listen, kid. He’s pretty wound up. Let him get used to you. Make yourself useful, and learn a thing or two.
TAYLOR: If I’m not sticking around, my college needs to know. I’m being graded for my internship.
HARRISON: (leaving) Have fun.
SFX: Door closes
TAYLOR: That’s far from reassuring.
ELIAS: (goes back to talking to himself) Okay. So the Y chromosome will ensure I’m keeping them both the same sex.
TAYLOR: Dr. ELIAS? What are you working on, on the board there?
ELIAS: Look, kid. I’m really not in the mood to train yet another kid who thinks I’m a genius. I’m tired of the echo chamber that has become my life. I need someone who will help me grow. You’re not the one. I stopped trying to teach scientists years ago.
TAYLOR: If I knew what it was that you were working on, I may be able to help, you know.
ELIAS: That’s cute. I just started this equation, and the fact that you don’t know what I have writ-
TAYLOR: (slowly) If the variable X is for the genes, then this would make sense. But I think you’re mistaking genes and chromosomes.
ELIAS: No… I can’t see… Well, I’ll be a two headed donkey. (pause) Come with me, kid… Let me get off... this... ladder first. There we go. Follow me.
SCENE: deeper in lab
ELIAS: How familiar are you with mythology- what’s your name again?
ELIAS: How familiar are you with mythology, TAYLOR?
TAYLOR: What kind of mythology are we talking about?
ELIAS: All mythology. I’m specifically speaking creatures though. Can we agree that before we go in here that you won’t scream?
TAYLOR: I don’t scream.
ELIAS: Good. Here’s a vomit bucket. I can’t have you contaminating the lab.
SFX: heavy door opens with a vacuum seal
TAYLOR: What’s the bucket f- oh my- (dry heave)
ELIAS: (impressed) No screaming. Points to the new kid. You’re looking at past experiments I got to learn from. In an attempt at creating a minotaur, I wound up with the legs of a human, and the torso and head of a bull frog. In that vat, there was the attempt at a mermaid. Needless to say; it didn’t go great. It’s more a man than maid. Not my greatest achievement, and it spiraled me into a long depression, which resulted in the miniature man with a scorpion tail and head. Both at the wrong ends. Embarrassing, to be sure.
TAYLOR: (vomits into bucket)
SFX: splash in bucket
ELIAS: (impressed again) And points for getting it into the bucket. Kid, I think we’re going to get along fine.
TAYLOR: (nauseous) I’d like to go now.
ELIAS: But I haven’t even shown you the back roo- you know what. It has been a big day for you. We should go back to the mathematics. Theory is much more satisfying anyway.
SFX: Heavy door and vacuum seal opens and closes. Pause. Small glass clicking
ELIAS: Here. Drink this. It’ll help with the nausea.
ELIAS: Maybe I came on a little strong at first. I’ve had a slew of terrible assistants. They’ve only done what I told them, but never have they helped me advance. I think you could be of great help. Hey. Hey!
SFX: Door closes in distance.
HARRISON: I get it, TAYLOR. It’s a horrendous image. But you know where else has horrendous images? Hospitals. Hospitals help people. People are made well again from what otherwise would have killed them 200 years ago, with only a simple shot. All because scientists dug bodies out of graves, cut them apart, and learned from them.
TAYLOR: I saw half human, half animals in there! There’s no way to justify that!
HARRISON: Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Have super powers?
TAYLOR: Yeah. But this is horrific.
HARRISON: Science is messy. Science makes mistakes. Science helps move us forward. Okay… Have you ever wanted to fly?
TAYLOR: All the time.
HARRISON: Bad traffic, and all you need do is jump out of the car, flap your wings, and you’re on your way. No more being late to work.
TAYLOR: I didn’t see any winged men in there.
HARRISON: No. You wouldn’t. Not exactly, yet. Did dr ELIAS show you the back room?
TAYLOR: No! I ran as soon as I saw a small whale with horse legs.
HARRISON: Yeah. The unicorn. It was half narwhal, half horse. I told him he should have used the genes of a goat, splicing the… Nevermind. Listen. He’s in there concocting the future. 20 years from now, you’ll see fairies taking your order at the local Spaghetti Saloon. He’s not far off, but this is when science is the messiest.
TAYLOR: I can’t do this.
HARRISON: I understand. Please don’t forget the nondisclosure agreement you signed when you checked in. That’s still in effect.
SFX: overhead door bell dings as the door closes
HARRISON: You really ought to learn when it’s too soon to show the new kids your failures.
ELIAS: I was about to show her into the next lab.
HARRISON: It’s already too late by then. Next one who comes in, you can’t show them that lab for a week. Deal?
ELIAS: If they can’t stomach the labs, why are they even in science?
HARRISON: Let’s not pretend that your experimentation is bordering the line of “normal.” You freak the kids out.
ELIAS: Maybe that’s the problem. We’re not getting experience in here. We’re throwing kids into the lab, hoping they won’t yell at the ants every time they step foot in here.
HARRISON: Yell at the ants?
ELIAS: Vomit. Yelling at the ants.
HARRISON: Oh. Clever.
ELIAS: I need to get back to my work.
HARRISON: Experience costs money. You haven’t gotten any grant money to pay for experience. You’ve shown the board nothing to justify any more funding. And, if you show them this, you’ll have another thing coming. It’s kids in college, or nothing. And, you can’t pretend to be able to do it all yourself.
ELIAS: Can you leave me alone, now? I think I’m right about to figure this one out. (to himself) The hormones could be extracted from the minnow, so it isn’t fully developed
EDIT: In ELIAS’s last line, have it fade out.
SFX: overhead door bend jingles. Door closes.
HARRISON: I wasn’t expecting we’d see you around any time soon.
TAYLOR: I wasn’t planning on ever coming back. I was thinking about what you said. Science is messy. You also said there would be fairies in our every day life. Let me ask you a couple questions. If I leave, can you promise not tell Dr. ELIAS that I was here?
HARRISON: Of course. What’s on your mind?
TAYLOR: There are humans involved in his experiments. Where are they coming from?
HARRISON: Test tubes. They’re not humans like you and me. They’re zygotes that are incorporated into other creatures.
TAYLOR: Where are the zygotes being harvested?
HARRISON: The answer is somewhat convoluted, but long story short: we have an egg bank that we take the unviable eggs, and he makes them viable.
TAYLOR: Essentially reviving lost potential humans?
HARRISON: In a manner of speaking, yes.
TAYLOR: Nobody comes into existence without fertilization. Where is that from?
HARRISON: Depending on the form dr. ELIAS is trying to create. It may be from a horse freezer, or from the aquarium. We’ve even collected from a public swim-
TAYLOR: Nope! No thank you. I’ll let you keep that one to yourself. (changing subjects) Graverobbing was illegal when scientists started taking bodies, which has led to scientific research, leading to the saving of countless lives. Is there anything illegal that I would be required to do, if I work under Dr. ELIAS?
HARRISON: We have yet to step into the realm of the illegal. Maybe extralegal, but not illegal, per se.
TAYLOR: I just don’t want a criminal history, just because I wanted an A for my internship.
HARRISON: I can guarantee you that you’ll get no A for your internship.
TAYLOR: What? Why not?
HARRISON: Dr ELIAS is of the opinion that to get an A means there’s no possible improvement. If he graded himself at his prime, he would still give himself a B. Not a B+, if there ever was such a thing. He holds himself up to an impossible standard, and he expects the same from those under his tutelage.
TAYLOR: This is impossible.
HARRISON: (inspiring) Impossible. Yes. But, not impractical. He is on the verge of changing the world. There will be tons of legal battles, even once he has succeeded on a scientific level. It will be an uphill battle, and he knows it. Ethics will be brought into question, and rightfully so. But, ultimately, Dr ELIAS is making a difference, even though nobody outside these walls know what’s going on in that laboratory. With a very small number of students who couldn’t hold their lunch down. Speaking of… If you come back to work with Dr ELIAS, my wife sends me enough food for the entire staff, every day for lunch. Today it’s a whole rotisserie chicken with potatoes and a salad. The break room smells exquisite.
TAYLOR: I can’t imagine I’d ever be hungry here.
HARRISON: You get used to it. The first month, I would have been in agreement with you, but you become somewhat numbed by the grotesqueness of it all. What do you say, TAYLOR? Do you want to work with Dr. ELIAS? You’ll learn a ton, but you’d help ground him, when he thinks too highly of his work. Yes. He told me about the chromosome vs. genes suggestion. Sure enough, it rectified some of the kinks in his arithmetic.
TAYLOR: Can I get familiar with-
HARRISON: Go ask the doctor. He’ll be the one to decide if you can even come back to the lab.
SFX: knock on door
ELIAS: (muffled) come in… come in!
SFX: door opens
ELIAS: Oh. It’s you. How’s it going, kid?
TAYLOR: Let’s get one thing straight: my name is TAYLOR. I’m not a kid. A kid wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between chromosomes and their genetic makeup in a mathematical equation. So? What’s the status on yoooouuuur… Phoenix..?
SFX: slow clap 3x
ELIAS: Well done. WELL done.
TAYLOR: You don’t think the slow clap is too tropey? Heck- calling out the tropiness of the slow clap has in and of itself become too tropey.
ELIAS: How did you figure out that it’s a phoenix? I can’t see anywhere in the equation that gives it away.
TAYLOR: I can see that by the way you added that problem on the left side, that the- no. You have a book on this desk with your scribbling all over it.
ELIAS: (disappointed) Oh. What brings you back here?
TAYLOR: I’ll work with you. But a few things you have to agree to.
ELIAS: I don’t do demands, kid.
TAYLOR: It’s TAYLOR. If you want my help, you need to “do demands,” old man. It’s TAYLOR. Also, I won’t go into that frozen lab for at least a week. I want to eat a bit longer.
ELIAS: That’s where all the hands-on happens.
TAYLOR: I’ll do it after a week. In the meantime, I can help you mix genes, predict mutations, write out the equations from that ladder of yours, and (smirking) I can make us coffee, I make a great cup of instant java.
ELIAS: We don’t do coffee here. Just tea. There was the one experiment that went haywire when the coffee was introduced into the vial. The acid wasn’t a good addition. The result was a face that was all puckered.
TAYLOR: You’re so smart, but you’re so stupid.
ELIAS: (offended) TAYLOR, you’re new around here, and I understand that you don’t know the rules in my lab, but nobody makes demands of me, and nobody tells me I’m stupid. Just yesterday, you told me I was your idol.
TAYLOR: I said you were a genius. Not my idol. You need someone who’ll give it back to you, just as much as she’ll take it. I’ll help keep things organized, so you can focus on doing the experiments right, instead of the haphazard methods you’ve clearly been using. Half this stuff should be under dry ice, and you just have them set up like a mad scientist’s laboratory. Have you forgotten basic aseptic protocol? Let’s clean this place up. It’ll probably be close to a week of cleaning up anyway. And, after my semester with you, if we have a success, I get an A.
ELIAS: You don’t get participation trophies just for being around.
TAYLOR: You give me an A upon a scientific victory within the next semester, or I walk today.
ELIAS: Science isn’t that quick.
TAYLOR: Then you have nothing to worry about. Agreed?
ELIAS: (delayed sigh) Agreed.
TAYLOR: There. Isn’t that better?
ELIAS: Moving the blast freezer was a stroke of genius.
TAYLOR: Yep. This way, as soon as you’re done with the spinner-
TAYLOR: Yeah. That’s what I said. As soon as something’s done in the centrifuge, you extract the unwanted plasma, and put it straight in the blast. But I’d say the bigger accomplishment, is having cleared off all these counters. I do say… I have taken a look at your board, and I think you could pull off the phoenix. Obviously, you need a bird, but a bird that can respawn. In Alaska, there’s a wood frog that freezes in the winter, and then in the spring, it just hops away.
ELIAS: Two things. One, ice and fire are diametrically opposed. And two, the wood frog never dies in the process.
TAYLOR: It does. The body freezes. The heart even stops beating. You could just pick the frog up, throw it against the wall, and it would shatter into hundreds of pieces. It is a dead frog for all intents and purposes.
ELIAS: So, your suggestion is to get a bird that freezes, and that comes back to life?
TAYLOR: Something like that. How were you thinking of comprising a phoenix?
ELIAS: As far as the bird is concerned; there is the likely hoatzin from the Amazon. It looks the most like the phoenix everyone knows. The tail is too short, and they’re rarely seen actually flying. The harpy eagle, on the other hand, is much more arial. Again, tail is too short. But, a peacock tail would be a good addition. (pause) You know what though… Now that I’m thinking about the frog idea. I think it may just work. The frog is amphibious- a close relation to reptiles. Go back 160 million years ago to the jurassic era, and fowl was first being formed from reptiles, also known as dinosaurs. If we do the editing just right, we should be able to meld them with very few hiccups. To be fair; the freezing thing isn’t exactly a bird rising from the ashes, but it’s a start.
TAYLOR: You’re talking of cutting and pasting everything like it’s a possibility.
ELIAS: It is, though! I have proven the process over and over. My only drawback, is that I have been taking the wrong parts, and pasting them to the wrong ends. Here. Check this out.
SFX: marker on board as ELIAS speaks
ELIAS: I’m trying to do what GMOs do in crops. When a vegetable doesn’t grow well in a certain environment, you add the genetic code from an animal that does do well in that environment. Take for instance corn. It doesn’t do well in a flooded environment. So geneticists added frog DNA to the kernel, and now we have flood-resistant crops.
TAYLOR: That makes sense. How many species have you successfully spliced together?
ELIAS: Zero. Well, not to the desired result, anyway. The most I have spliced to an undesired effect has been three. Why? What are you thinking, ki- TAYLOR?
TAYLOR: Thank you. I think we need to start off with the birds, before adding the reincarnation super power. Do you think we could figure out the peacock and the... hoatzin? The one from the Amazon?
ELIAS: Yeah. Hoatzin. I like your thinking. So, instead of just getting the genes from a bird, and a frog, we work individually?
TAYLOR: Sometimes baby steps are the best, and most efficient ones.
ELIAS: Let’s do it. I need to make a couple calls, but we should be in business in the morning. Get yourself some rest. Tomorrow, we cook.
HARRISON: Doctor. Your package arrived. I must confess I don’t know that it’s exactly what you were hoping for though.
ELIAS: Well? Bring it in.
HARRISON: Yes sir.
SFX: crate dragged. A bird squawks.
POSTMAN: Who’s signing for this?
HARRISON: I’ll take that.
SFX: pen on paper
HARRISON: And here’s a box like you’re accustomed.
ELIAS: I don’t need a bird. I needed a bird’s DNA.
POSTMAN: I just deliver. I don’t take requests.
HARRISON: New distributor, I presume?
ELIAS: Not everyone has DNA of an exotic amazonian hoatzin within a day’s shipping. The bird on the other hand?
SFX: door closes
TAYLOR: Why can’t we just use this one’s? We can extract a sample, and we can have a pet around here. (fake british accent) It has beautiful plumage. It is deceased! Bereft of life!
ELIAS: What are you doing? It’s clearly not dead.
TAYLOR: (british) It’s pining for the fjords! (pause. Back to American) You don’t watch Monty Python, do you?
ELIAS: I don’t spend my time on such frivolous things. As you can see, I “science.”
TAYLOR: That’s no fun. So, what are we going to do about the DNA?
ELIAS: Sequence the DNA, I guess. That will be a bit longer, but no way better to learn, I guess.
TAYLOR: And then what happens to the bird?
ELIAS: (scratching head) I wasn’t expecting to get a bird.
TAYLOR: We can keep him here, and I can take care of it.
ELIAS: Him? No no no no no no no. I needed a her. I needed a female. How am I supposed to-
TAYLOR: I don’t know that it’s a he. My bad. How do you find out if it’s a boy or a girl?
ELIAS: Here. You just…
SFX: crate opens. Bird squawks.
ELIAS: Hold it right heeeeere. Okay... I’m not feeling… (sigh of relief) It’s a girl. Excellent. Grab that packet with the syringe. The blue packet.
SFX: packet crinkles
TAYLOR: Do you want me to pull it out?
ELIAS: Please. And grab the alcohol pad. Now. After we get done creating a fowl between these two, we can blend these with the harpy. We’ll have half harpy, and a quarter whatever this one is, and a quarter whatever the other one is.
TAYLOR: Are we just putting it in the mixer, and hoping the right attributes are going to manifest?
ELIAS: Of course not! I don’t make mistakes like a man mermaid, and not learn a thing or two from them.
ELIAS: (clenched teeth) There is no such thing. Don’t you ever suggest it again.
TAYLOR: (defensive) Alright! (back to normal) So, how do we fuse them together, creating the right bird?
ELIAS: Are you familiar with CRISPR?
TAYLOR: Of course. It’s the process of editing genes.
ELIAS: Right. They edit the genes to extract bad hereditary genes, like poor eyesight. Except we’ll be using the cryo-electron microscope so we can add the desired genes, as well as suppressing the ones we don’t want. We just have to know which genes are which. It’s the step I constantly get caught with my pants down on.
TAYLOR: So, how do we learn?
ELIAS: Trial and error, kid. Trial and error. Here. Hold it up by the legs which I draw some blood.
TAYLOR: (eyeroll) Yeah. I’ll take the bird.
SCENE: ELIAS shows TAYLOR the experiments
TAYLOR: (hesitant) I think I’m ready to see the rest of the experiments.
ELIAS: You mean the cooler of failures? I’ve been wondering when you’d be ready. When was the last time you ate?
TAYLOR: Breakfast before we came in.
ELIAS: And it’s 2 now. Good. Take the bucket again. Just in case.
SFX: cooler door opens. Bubbling, cooler noises, and other sciency sounds.
ELIAS: Keep breathing. You saw the attempt at the minotaur.
SFX: cooler door closes
TAYLOR: (trying not to barf) So… have you been testing the mythological creatures, and attempted them again after initial failure?
ELIAS: Heck no. There are too many types, not to try them all.
TAYLOR: (still keeping breakfast down) Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep working on the same one until it was a viable creature?
ELIAS: Why would I do that? I spent months, if not years on each one of these already. My calculations are correct.
TAYLOR: Yes. But those are now months or years wasted, if they don’t teach you anything. Look. You have an oversized snake with 6 heads. What was this supposed to be?
TAYLOR: So, what was wrong with this one?
ELIAS: Hydra was the nine headed snake. Do you even know how to count to nine? It’s an utter failure. I used the strains of 18 double headed corn snakes, and a nerodia. It’s a water snake. I also incorporated steroids, so it would be larger.
TAYLOR: So, the number 6 versus 9 makes this attempt a failure???
ELIAS: If you had 9 scoops of ice cream, or 6, which is more?
TAYLOR: Don’t patronize me. You’re the one giving up after a six headed hydra.
ELIAS: Who’s heard of a 6 headed hydra?
TAYLOR: Okay. So, you’re getting a result you don’t like, and then you move onto your next project? That seems illogical.
ELIAS: Look, kid. It’s only illogical if you like failing on the same thing multiple times. A fool tries the same thing multiple times, expecting different results.
TAYLOR: You’re a scientist! (getting more worked up as sentence progresses) We of all people should know that observing the results from an experiment should teach us what not to do again. You’re not doing the same thing again, if you’re changing your approach. (calming) Okay. So, you worked with snakes, you’re working on a bird, and you’ve created this… Half sheep half lion?
ELIAS: Half goat, one third lion, one sixth snake.
TAYLOR: Okay? Where’s the sna- oh. It has scales on its legs. What was it supposed to be?
ELIAS: A chimera. Are you not familiar with the Iliad?
TAYLOR: I try to stay clear of the boring books. So, what’s in that room?
ELIAS: We’ll have to go back later to that room.
TAYLOR: I would have never believed an incubation time would have been accelerated into only 8 days for a bird.
ELIAS: I learned how to integrate the fruit fly DNA into all my creatures, so their “natural” lives are far shorter. Shorter gestation, shorter lives. We learn how they live, in a far shorter timeframe.
TAYLOR: (disbelief) Fruit flies.
ELIAS: (factually) Fruit flies. We learn evolution of fruit flies far quicker because they reproduce much faster than we do. By the time you’re 20, there will have been over 600 generations of fruit flies. This makes the leaps in the evolutionary process faster to observe. Long story short, you find an average lifespan of the fruit fly with whatever we combine it with. Give or take a period of time.
TAYLOR: Okay. So we add the fruit fly, the harpy eagle, the hoatzin, a peacock, and the wood frog, and we have our final result?
ELIAS: After we use the gene splicing, that’s the general summation of it.
TAYLOR: Where did you learn all of this from? You went to the University of Buenos Aires with full scholarship, but how did you get the scholarship?
ELIAS: Let’s just say I am a byproduct of Project Paperclip.
TAYLOR: What’s Project Paperclip?
ELIAS: It’s of no matter, that’s what. You’ve stalled long enough: Can you finish the equation, or not?
SFX: marker on board
TAYLOR: I think if we added the strain from the peacock…
ELIAS: Here we go! My favorite, and worst moment. We find out if the species we created was a success. If it is… We have a phoenix. If not…
TAYLOR: Let me look first. I can let you know.
ELIAS: Okay. Sit here at the microscope. It’s still in the sac, so it’s not fully formed. Can you see if it’s a bird? Do the legs seem to be feathery? It would look like hair in the pouch, so young.
TAYLOR: Doctor… It looks like… we have… successfully created a bird.
ELIAS: Yes! We should only have another couple days before it hatches, for lack of a better term.
TAYLOR: And then what do we do with it?
ELIAS: We let it live.
TAYLOR: How will we know it’s a phoenix? (flippantly) Toss it in the freezer, and watch what happens?
ELIAS: (factually) Toss it in the freezer, and watch what happens.
TAYLOR: No. For real.
ELIAS: I am being for real. Once we monitor it, and know it can live, we will introduce it to the sub zero temperatures similar to the wood frog’s winter habitat.
ELIAS: Step one is complete. You knew this day would come. This is the most exciting part of the experiment though.
TAYLOR: (betrayed) You said that about finding out if your creature was a viable living form. They can’t both be your favorite parts.
ELIAS: Ah, but they can both be my favorite. And, this is the second moment of truth. We saw that it can live with fervor. Now, we see if it can die with dignity. This is what we’ve been been building up to. It’s the phoenix. The phoenix that arises from the ice. Freezing is the most humane way to cease an animal’s… life.
TAYLOR: I’m out. I’m leaving. I can’t be a part of this any more.
SFX: coat being thrown onto a surface
ELIAS: It got too real. Science is messy, kid. It’s time you pulled up your big girl pants. Stop being a child!
SFX: door closes. Cage opens, bird squawks. Freezer opens. Metallic clicks. Freezer closes.
ELIAS: (to himself) I was an adult from childhood.
SFX: overhead door bell rings. Door closes.
HARRISON: Doctor ELIAS is not going to want to see you. You don’t walk out on him. Much less, twice. He is furious with you.
TAYLOR: How did the experiment go?
HARRISON: You don’t get to walk out like that, and expect to know about the projects. You’re out. I get you were dissatisfied with the means, but science doesn’t have a clear-
SFX: door opens
ELIAS: Hey Harrison, make sure we get the package out in the post to- Oh! Taylor! I’m about to pull the phoenix out of the oven- freezer. I’m about to pull the phoenix out of the freezer.
HARRISON: (disbelief) Doctor?
ELIAS: Just make sure you get the package out in the post today, okay HARRISON? Come on, TAYLOR.
SFX: freezer opens, metallic clicks. Freezer closes.
ELIAS: (in british accent) This phoenix is no more. It has ceased to be. It has expired and gone to meet its maker.
TAYLOR: You have seen it!
ELIAS: After you left, I was furious. I remembered that “pining for the fjords” reference you made, I watched it, and it was hilarious. Now, about this bird…
TAYLOR: Do… we just… sit here and watch it defrost?
ELIAS: Unless you wanted to nuke it in the microwave.
TAYLOR: NO!!! (pause) That… isn’t an option… is it?
ELIAS: No. That would kill it. For real. Well, definitively kill it this time.
TAYLOR: (prodding) Did you watch Monty Python because you cared about me, doctor ELIAS?
ELIAS: I wouldn’t go that far, TAYLOR. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have thought to add a frog DNA to create the phoenix. I want to show you what’s in the laboratory while we wait. Follow me. I’ve been working on a project since before you started here. My passion project, so to speak. Are you familiar with the book of Revelation?
SFX: entering and walking through frozen lab as ELIAS talks
ELIAS: And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
SFX: door opens
TAYLOR: (strongly concerned) Doctor ELIAS.., NO.
SFX: large insect buzzing
ELIAS: (in awe) Aren’t they… magnificent?