1 Episode 1: An Introduction Cold Open
EXT. EAST ADAMS STREET - CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NIGHT
Night city lights. A busy street packed with cars and pedestrians. TRAFFIC NOISES; HONKING HORNS. SIRENS. East Adams Street. A fancy area of the eastside of downtown Chicago. A sign on a restaurant building nearby reads: Russian Tea Time. The cars around are outdated models of the year 1990.
INT. RUSSIAN TEA TIME - DIM - MOMENTS LATER
Chopin PLAYS inside the restaurant themed in maroon and cream, dark carpeted floors and chandeliers. CLINGING of silverware mingles in with the CHATTER of happy customers. All of the tables are filled to the max except for one set for two. A man sits alone at this table. His index finger traces the rim of a glass of red wine. A RINGING sound emits from it. Customers around cover their ears and stare; annoyed by the interruption. The man continues on with the action aware of the MURMURS and sharp looks. This is Elmore Vernon (29) Tall, handsome, and dressed in a stylish gray and black suit. A waiter approaches him.
Sir, excuse me, sir? There are complaints about the noise you're making-
ELMORE RUBS the glass again and it RINGS a sharp ECHO around the room. The WAITER winces.
I bet there is. It is funny, no? Interesting,
how one small thing can impact surrounding?
The RINGING ends and he downs his drink then points to a wine bottle in the waiter's hand.
I-I guess so, sir.
Is there anything else I can get you?
(waves him away)
No, that is all, you can leave bottle.
He checks a gold watch on his wrist impatiently. The waiter places down a bottle of Lynmar Estate and TAPS out of sight. Thankful to be away from the odd man. Elmore reaches below the table; his fingers caress a silver item underneath. In the distance, a little girl watches curiously. He spots this eavesdropper and gives the child a cold look. One that says: look away or else. This frightens the small girl and she snaps her neck back to her mother and father who ignores what she WHISPERS. He then DRUMS his fingers on the top of the item; strangely smirking to himself. The front door of the restaurant CREAKS open. He eyes the entrance. In the background of the BUZZING common area, FOOTSTEPS pound against the floor. Elmore straightens his posture and nods in the direction of the new-comer. Another man approaches the table and takes a seat. This is Carter Knox (25) Tall, attractive, and dressed in a casual outfit.
Sorry I'm late, there was a pile-up on Lake Shore
Drive. This is a little too much for a chat, isn't it?
CARTER checks out the room as he sits.
Well, this place is best in city. It's Russian.
Yeah...well, it all tastes the same to me.
God, are you wrong about that! Something good can never be bad.
(places down his glass)
That is where I can help you, Carter. You have no
knowledge of finery. Even when it sits before you.
Is this why you called me away from my wife
and son? To give me a lesson on finery?
Of course not, that is for some other time. No.
No, I called you here because I have insight
on something you will want to be part of.
I told you I'm no longer interested in experiments!
Those days are behind me. Now I'm just-
A man with a great mind. One that has so much
to offer but decides to leave it undiscovered.
A biology teacher, that's what I was going to say.
What we did together was actual science, you
know that is true. What you do now is not real science!
It's enough for me.
Never settle for less.
Carter looks away a bit irritated.
You are aware of your brilliance, yet you refuse to ignite it.
He brings his attention back to Elmore who pulls the item; a suitcase, from below the table and opens it. Inside is a vial of black liquid. He sits it on the table so Carter can see it, he has a blank expression to the reveal.
Yes, I could use ignition. My lighter is cracked but yours never seems
to waver at obstacle. That is why I called, my friend. I need help.
What is that?
Oh, I think you can do better than that, Knox. Don't you recognize it?
Look closely, closely, it will come to you...any second now.
Carter eyes widen in shock and he jumps back, his arms KNOCK the table over in a rush of panic. The wooden table CLASHES to the floor; Glasses fall from it and SHATTER, spilling wine onto the dark carpet. The suitcase SLIDES a few feet away. Elmore stays seated. The calm mood around shifts to hostel; customers jerk up from their seats, some SCREAM, some are hesitant to move. No one talks. The only SOUND that circulates is the music from the record player displaying the nice piano song.
Relax, relax. I have not done anything stupid yet-
YET, what do you mean?!
You brought it here! To the public and you say you haven't-
Shh, calm down.
The SONG ends and the needle lifts up from the black disc line. PRICK. Elmore keeps cool and places a finger to his lip. Carter stares at him in disbelief. Elmore stands and flashes a grin at the shaken crowd. The little girl and her parents head outside quickly.
Don't worry, all is fine.
My friend had too much drink, that is all. Go about
your business, please, excuse his behavior.
Carter's eyes fixate on the suitcase a few feet away. Terrified.
Am I really insane? No...I disagree with that, I think that title belongs to you.
He swoops down and retrieves the suitcase and SNAPS it shut.
After all...you are the one who invented it.
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