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Scene Title Snip
Synopsis Having been transported to 2009, John Doe seeks counsel with Edward Ray about their reasons for returning to the past, and his motivations for the future.
Date March 7, 2009

Textile Factory 17

Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in the Red Hook neighborhood, Textile Factory 17 was once a part of a greater industrial complex in New York in the late 1800's. The building itself has that distinctive architectural look of an industrial revolution factory; constructed primarily from aged red brick, Textile Factory 17 however has one defining trait that sets it apart from the other factories in the area, an outer wall that surrounds the factory that closely resembles the bailey of a castle more so than an industrial complex.

The Factory complex is made up of seven distinct buildings, all having been abandoned since the company that owned the mill went bankrupt thirty-six years ago. The factory, warehouse, commons and shipping buildings all sit in derelict condition, having been cut off from the majority of New York's homeless due to the heavy gate that cordons off the facility from the nearby roads.

While it rests clearly in public view and is considered a historic landmark to the Red Hook neighborhood, time and circumstance has not allowed the factory to be refurbished for other purposes.

For generations, Textile Factory 17 produced a nearly unending supply of cloth and fabric goods to the New York area. Long having been shut down, the factory floor still resembles much of what it did back in that day, with massive automated looms connected by dust-laden threads of colorless fabric that sag and twist together.

Walking between the hanging threads, the sound of scissors snipping string catches his attention. Boots quietly thump across crumpled newspapers covering the floor, and cautious footsteps lead an all-too-curious man towards the peculiar noise.

As he rounds the corner and comes into focus on the source of the sound, there stands his mysterious benefactor – Doctor Edward Ray – with a pair of shears, snipping lengths of string off from where they are tangled in the looms. Additional lengths have been draped over his arm, hanging limply down to dangle at either cut end by his waist.

Edward pauses as his scissors move to a new string, and he turns to the sound of paper crinkling under an unexpected guest’s footsteps. Pale blue eyes peer through circular lenses of glass that catch the muted sunlight filtering through tall and dingy windows. “Well, hello there, John.”

John. The name is as foreign as any to him, and why Edward insists on calling him that is still an unknown. Inching towards the shorter man, eyes moving to the scissors, then up to the threads overhead in the loom, John finds his voice, “H-Hello – “ and he’s still somewhat startled by the sound of it, “Edward.”

“Come now, John, I’m not going to bite.” A feigned smile creeps up on Edward’s lips as he snips on end of another thread, guiding it down as he follows it back to its source, snipping the other end in the way a gardener would trim a bush. “What brings you down here? I thought you and Niles were working on the generator?” His words are for John, but he speaks at the threads, as if unable to pry his attention away from them.

“Why do — “ John’s brow tenses, “why do you call me that?”

Finally, Edward’s focus is drawn away, his brows furrowing deeply as he scrutinizes the man in front of him. Only now has he noticed John has changed into normal clothing, not his hunter orange prison uniform. Edward himself still wears the unflatteringly colored jumpsuit.

“I call you that, John, because I don’t know your real name.” The notion from Edward makes one of John’s brows crook up in puzzled confusion, but before he can croak out another question, Edward has resigned himself to a wordy explanation.

“When I coerced access to the prisoner manifest from my guards, you were listed as a serial number.” The shears are slid into the jumpsuit’s pocket, while Edward leaves one arm hooked out like some classy waited, but instead of a white cloth draped over his arms it’s those threads. “I wanted to call you something, something human. So, I chose the obvious – or so I thought.”

Pacing around John, Edward lays the threads out on a table along with piles of others and a spool of yarn, continuing to talk even while his back is to the younger man. “John Doe, it’s a term «history of term».” He looks over his shoulder towards John, one brow raised, “Or would you prefer I just call you thirteen?

No.” He manages to choke out the words. Better to be anonymous than to be just a number. John brings both hands to his head, stepping away from Edward just in time to miss the smile curling across his lips. “I—how the hell did you do it, Edward? How did you — the whole prison break—“

“I’m a planner, John.” This time Edward’s smile is far more genuine. “The people who put me away for the remainder of my natural life failed to understand just how long my long view is.” The shears come out again, and Edward moves to more strings that have come tangled out of the loom, snipping and pruning them away with a gardener’s delight.

“But none of that really matters right now, does it?” Snip. “I got you here, I took you through time, John.” Edward turns around with a frustrated look on his face, as if put-upon by this entire conversation, “I think I may have just earned a little of your trust after orchestrating all of this.”

John takes a half-step back, bumping into stacks of old boxes as he clears his throat. But Edward just continues to talk, “We need to get the generator here up and running or we’re going to be working in the dark, and just because we’re ten years away from our eminent incarceration, don’t think that any of this is done.


“Like I told you, John, I’m a planner. Allen understands that, Eric understands that, April—“ Well, perhaps April doesn’t entirely, but he sees no need to over-emphasize the point of Miss Silver’s uniquely colored approach to things. “All I’m asking for, John, is a little time to get things organized, and then we can start taking things back. Taking your life back.”

Edward’s eyes narrow slowly, “Don’t you want to be somebody, John?”

The words ring true, something familiar about them in the haunting way deja-vu is. John’s limbs tense, and he looks from Edward up to the exposed rafters in the ceiling. “I—“ his throat tightens, and words don’t come perfectly to him. “I’ll—go see if Niles needs any help.”

Edward’s nod in a placating one, followed by a crooked smile, “There you go, John.” The shears are motioned away from Edward, towards the direction John had come into the factory floor from, “now run along before Niles electrocutes us all.”

Despite Edward’s conversational tone and harmless demeanor, there’s something about him that causes John to bristle. Something about the way he carries himself and the look in those pale eyes of his that doesn’t set right with him. Nervously, John gives a nod and makes his way around the loom Edward is trimming string from, and wordlessly steps out of sight.

Edward, keeping his focus on the strings, carefully chooses one, bringing the shears around it before hesitating momentarily. “Good boy, John.”


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