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INT. CRYPTOLOGIST’S FLAT - DAY The CRYPTOLOGIST, late 60’s, rugged, sits at his dining-room table, opposite THE KID, a boy who has just reached his early teens, in his small, neat flat. Focus on the CRYPTOLOGIST’s hands, quickly, expertly solving, unsolving and resolving a Rubik’s Cube. CRYPTOLOGIST There are 3 steps to solving every problem. Number one, define the problem. What is the unknown, what is the data? Is the data sufficient to satisfy the unknown? If not, why? Number two, devising a plan. CUT TO. EXT. A SUBWAY TUNNEL - NIGHT FLASHFORWARD. The Cryptologist secures a gas mask over his face. INT. CRYPTOLOGIST’S FLAT Back to the scene at the dining-room table. CRYPTOLOGIST Split the data and the unknown into quantified sets, and define the links between them. If there are no discernible links, then specify, or generalise, define related subproblems and solve those first. Create a plan. And last of all, you execute your plan. INT. A ROOM ANOTHER FLASHFORWARD. The Cryptologist, face hard and spattered with blood, brings a claw-hammer down on a man’s head. INT. CRYPTOLOGIST’S FLAT The Cryptologist holds the Rubik’s Cube up in front of his face. CRYPTOLOGIST You know, there are around 43 quintillion separate permutations of a Rubik's cube. (MORE)

2. CRYPTOLOGIST (CONT'D) 43 quintillion individual cubes, that's enough to cover the planet two hundred and seventy five times. That's what your life is. Cubes, problems to be solved, some with more abstract solutions than others. And you solve them by analysing each incorrect permutation, whittling them down until you're left with a single correct answer. Do you follow me?

The KID looks confused. THE KID I think so. What does ‘permutation’ mean? INT. INTERROGATION ROOM THIS SCENE IS FILMED THROUGH A DV CAMERA POSITIONED IN THE CORNER OF THE ROOM. FLASHBACK. The Cryptologist, 20 years younger, sits at a table in the bare room, his wrists handcuffed. A POLICEMAN speaks from off-camera. POLICEMAN State your name, please. CRYPTOLOGIST You know my name. POLICEMAN Repeat it for posterity. CRYPTOLOGIST No. POLICEMAN Whatever. Date of birth. Let’s see. Oh, it’s today. Happy birthday. CRYPTOLOGIST Thank you. POLICEMAN Anybody you want us to inform about your arrest. Next of kin? INT. THE CRYPTOLOGIST’S BEDROOM - NIGHT PRESENT DAY. The Cryptologist lies alone on one side of a large double bed, trying and failing to sleep. The other side is neatly made and noticeably vacant.


EXT. A PARK - DAY The Cryptologist sits at a stone chessboard in a park. An empty chair sits opposite. Chess pieces are laid out on the board, in the configuration of Sam Loyd’s famous ‘Excelsior’ chess puzzle. The Cryptologist stares at the problem for a moment, before moving the pieces, solving the puzzle. Another man, JULIAN, similarly aged, but smaller, more frail, walks over to the Cryptologist, and sits down, opposite. The Cryptologist clears the chessboard and rearranges the pieces, picking up the two men’s game where they left it last time they met. JULIAN No, your knight was at B6. The Cryptologist pauses, fixing Julian with a cold stare. JULIAN (CONT’D) Not completely senile, eh? How’re the grandkids? CRYPTOLOGIST Emma’s still not talking to me. JULIAN That’s fucking tragic, innit? You’ve got some stories those kids would love to hear. CRYPTOLOGIST I doubt it. JULIAN Obviously have to give ‘em the edited version. Julian moves one of his pieces. JULIAN (CONT’D) Swan’s been in touch. The Cryptologist stops, mid-move. JULIAN (CONT’D) Yesterday. Bumped into him waiting outside the house. I told him, if Sally caught him out there she’d tear his fucking head off, reputation for wanton savagery or no. Had a fucking pistol in his pants, I could see it through his horrible sweater. CRYPTOLOGIST What did Swanny want?


JULIAN You. The Cryptologist takes one of Julian’s pieces. JULIAN (CONT’D) Some problem he wants solved, he says. Seems to think you’s be the best man for it. These fucking lads nowadays, barely a brain cell between them. Wouldn’t tell me what it was he wanted, but it’s not going to be good news.

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