There are over six million ways to die and yet we invariably choose from a collection numbering no more than twenty. We are nothing if not a predictable lot.
Radiation poisoning, dehydration and gunshot wounds are perhaps the worst offenders.
I, on the other hand, plan to die in the most unique way possible. Although I’ll settle for an uncommon one.
Math is the language of the universe. Some would think our illiteracy a shame, but the Brotherhood believes it is a language only the worthy are allowed to speak.
She calls me Jonesy. My name is Jones. It is as clear as Arial font. There is no additional consonant and sometimes vowel at the end of it.
Knight Casilla has been a welcome sherpa on this climb.
While I can multiply any two integers, I have trouble doing the reverse – factoring numbers is almost like trying to speak backwards.
Many have tried to reconcile Einstein’s law of relativity with quantum mechanics – to merge the infinite with the infinitesimal.
It is a noble goal. However, it remains to be seen whether this scholar found the answer when so many before have failed.
Scenes with Scribe Hammond 1
Hey Jonesy, is it true you’re like a math wizard or something?
Hardly. It’s more of a parlor trick than anything. You give me any two integers to multiply, and I can produce an answer in a matter of seconds.
Wow, that’s neat. Okay, what’s sixteen times a billion?
Sixteen times a…(scoffs). Are you sure that’s the question you want to ask?
What’s the problem? I thought you said any two integers.
(fumbling) W-Well I know what I said. But your question hardly serves as an adequate example of this talent.
Ha! Talent! So you are proud of your little trick. No need to hide it Jonesy. Just own it.
Scenes with Scribe Hammond 2
Stop fidgeting. Casilla cleared out the roach buggers, sprayed ’em real good.
With Tetramethrin ?
With lasers. But your idea is better.
Scenes with Scribe Hammond 3
Did you know there are countless ways you can die just sitting down reading a book? Mold, bacteria, asbestos, scurvy…
Again with the death stuff. Don’t be weird. I can’t think when you’re weird.
My fascination with death is hardly morbid. It’s inevitable, and dare I say, poetic. And I don’t think it’s improper to have some control over the manner in which that poetry is written.
But if you choose how you die, it isn’t death. It’s suicide.
Scenes with Scribe Hammond 4
It just dawned on me that you were the fifth from our class to become a scribe.
Was I? (counts on fingers) 1, 2, 3….hey, you’re right! I was fifth! Sweet!
You seem pleased with this revelation.
Why not? Five’s a good number, right? Yay, five! They’re like “S’s” with attitude.
Wrong, Scribe Hammond. Five is a prime number. It is a cyst suppurating on the chin of an otherwise perfect square.
But…high fives…the fifth element…Roman numeral V!
You’re a cyst, Hammond. A blight on this land.
Hey, weren’t you the second one from our class to be a scribe?
And your point is?
Five times two is ten! Ten is like the roundest number there is! Well, other than zero, but who’s counting.
Anyways, you realize what this means right? Alone we suck, but together we make a good team!
Ugh. Please do not ruin my mathematical analogies with your hokey sentimentality.
Mathemagical, Jonesy. It’s mathemagics.
Scene with Hammond 5
How are those calculations coming along?
Painstakingly. Painfully. The operative word being “pain.”
Or maybe it’s real easy, like “painting” with numbers. (jabs Jones with elbows) Huh? Huh?
Ugh. Do you have anything of substance to offer?
Nope! Just seeing how we’re doing.
Scene with Hammond 6
How much longer until we receive the transmission?
Patience Jonesy. It’ll come when it comes.
The Elders won’t like this. Our tasks numbered two. We were supposed to make the discovery and keep it a secret.
Well, one out of two isn’t bad! If this was baseball, we’d be in the Hall of Fame!
I do not know this “Hall of Fame.” So I have no opinion on what being inside it constitutes.
But I share no enthusiasm in joining any club that would have me as a member.
Ha! You told a joke! Groucho Marx, right? Ah Jonesy, I always knew you had it in you.
Scenes with Jones and Knight Casilla
Is it true some people use the word “knight” as a pejorative?
That’s right sir. Our enemies like to say we’re relics, trying to save the world with our code of bullshit.
And is that what you think?
No sir. It’s an honor to wear the armor and the name.
But you acknowledge there are those who disagree.
Despite our efforts, there are people out there who will call you a “knight” and then snicker at the mention of it.
That’s because sarcasm is a weapon used by weaklings and cowards, sir.
I believe if you have an objection you should speak your words with conviction.
Only then will you earn the respect of others.
You’ll get no argument from me. The world, however, may be a tougher sell.