Scene 6: Total World Domination
A brisk spring day. Helen and Paige stand outside near the arrivals gate at the airport. They blow into their hands and stamp their feet. The whoosh of airplanes can be heard.
Paige: Why is it we must meet him at the airport?
Helen: He’s on a tight schedule, I guess. He gave very specific instructions. I wasn’t about to question them.
Paige: Is he coming home with us, or —
Helen: I’m not sure. There he is.
A man in a Russian fur hat enters.
Physicist: You are on time. This is most excellent.
Helen: Thank you so much for agreeing to meet us.
Paige: Can we, perhaps, go and sit down together —
Physicist: No, this location is serviceable.
Helen: Okay, well why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Physicist: Here, I have photograph. Myself as little baby. You may keep.
Helen and Paige lean over the picture.
Helen: Awww. Very cute.
Paige: This must be your maman holding you?
Physicist: No. This is wet nurse in Mother Russia Young Physicist Training Facility.
Helen: Yes, you mentioned you were a physicist in your message. Maybe you could tell us about your work.
Physicist: Black hole physics, yes. I make superconductor simulations embedded in flat space. I propose new type of ultralight particle forming halos supported by the quantum uncertainty principle.
Helen: Wow. That sounds . . . Wow.
Helen elbows Paige.
Paige: Impressive. Very impressive.
Physicist: Quite standard, actually, compared to former research. But we dispense now with pleasantries. I go to produce required material. You will kindly have transcripts ready for my return.
Physicist: You both completed university training, yes? My requirement for distribution of genetic material is that you score in top ninety-five percentile. Equivalent of your North American A+. I am not wanting to mix my genetics with inferior specimens. Kindly produce documents to prove your intelligence level.
Helen: We don’t have any documents with us.
Physicist: Most inconvenient. My flight departs at two p. m. Ah.
He whips out a notepad and sketches.
I now pose you theorem of moderate difficulty. You have solution by the time I have sample . . . no problem.
He hands the theorem over to them and leaves.
Helen: He didn’t say anything about a test!
Paige: What does that mean, “inferior specimens”? Is he going behind a pillar?
Helen: Could it be a language problem?
Paige cranes her neck.
Paige: I think it’s a bigger problem — he’s a crackpot!
Helen: Very smart people, I have noticed, are often quite odd. Let’s just ask him some more questions. Meantime . . . here, you better do this.
She slides the notepad paper over to Paige.
Paige: No, you.
Helen: I’m not touching it. You’re math girl.
Paige: Normal math, not black hole physics!
Helen: Try. Write something!
They throw it back and forth. The Physicist returns and Paige quickly writes down an answer.
We just wanted to ask you: Why do you want to be a donor?
Physicist: It is most efficient. Statistically speaking, I would never have time to personally impregnate all of the women who now have borne me children.
Paige: All of the women? How many are there?
Physicist: Two hundred and thirty-nine this year.
Helen: This year alone?
Physicist: Total number of known progeny since I begin experiment is two thousand seven hundred and twenty-one.
He reaches inside his jacket pocket, and Helen and Paige both take a step back.
But we waste time. Sample is getting cold.
Paige: Why do you do this?
Physicist: Covert distribution of superior genetic footprint. End result: total world domination. But don’t worry about that. Very cute babies. Look at photograph.
Paige: I don’t think we can be a part of your experiment.
He is examining the theorem on the notepad.
Physicist: Unfortunately, you are correct. Three? The answer you propose to theorem is three?
He does a little bow.
Physicist: It is my disappointing duty to inform you that you are not viable subjects. I now proceed to Cincinnati to next potential vessel. Goodbye.
He gives another little bow and makes an abrupt departure.
Helen: Nice to meet you too.