[Secretary] "Welcome, new Branch Heads, to our Paris Laboratory! We owe our success to Professor Carlotta, though we do have a new post-doc named Christine Daei. Good luck with the upcoming grant season!"
[Managers] "Ho ho ho, we have heard this lab is haunted by a Phantom, but we know that's not scientific."
[Lab manager , mysteriously] "You would do well to heed the rumors. The Phantom is real!"
[Managers] "Prove it!"
[Lab manager] "Here's his list of requests, plus receipts from his per diem."
[Prof. Carlotta] "I look forward to being PI for the next grant!"
[Managers] "And we look forward to your success! Cheers!"
(from the dark, the voice of the Phantom rings out)
[Phantom] "Fools! Dr. Daae should be PI! Ignore my requests at your peril!"
[Managers] "Never. Prof. Carlotta is the star!"
[Chandelier crashes down, destroying much lab equipment]
[Managers] "Err... on second thought, let's go with the post-doc."
[Dr. Christine Daie] "Woo! Everything my Angel of Funding taught me is true!"
[Visiting CEO Raoul] "Wait, is that my old high school crush, now a scientist? How cute. I think I'll recruit her. Hey, Chrissy-babe, remember me? Want a well-paying job at my company?"
[Daae] "So many offers!"
[Phantom] "Fool! I'm offering you salary and research independence! All you have to do, is do whatever I tell you!"
[Raoul] "But Christine, I offer you freedom, as long as you do whatever I tell you!"
[Managers] "No, you must stay and do our grants!"
[Daae] "I need to check with my Angel of Funding!"
[Phantom] "That's me. I dreamed of being a researcher, but with only a fine arts degree, I was ostracized and cast out. With you, I will finally prove my theories are worth funding!"
[Daae] "Wait, I thought you said you'd ensure I'd have funding?"
[Phantom] "Well, it's soft money. But I'm sure we'll get it."
[Raoul] "Christine! My offer of a corporate sector position still stands! It's mostly administrative, but you'll have a window office!"
[Phantom] "Never! I've decided to kidnap her..."
[Managers] "But the grant is due in 15 days!"
[Phantom, continuing] "... to do the greatest experiment ever!"
[Phantom] "Too late, she is mine!"
[Raoul] "No, she is mine!"
(the manuscript goes on with 3 pages of this exchange, which we shall omit for brevity's sake.)
[Managers] "Christine, it's decided, you will be PI for a grant, with the Phantom as Co-I. Carlotta can wait until next year."
[Carlotta] "Screw this, I'm going off to industry."
[Daae] "Can I join you? I think we can get seed money from the SBA as a woman-owned business."
(Carlotta and Daae walk off. Phantom appears, looking puzzled. Raoul looks at him hesitantly.]
[Managers] "Err... either of you two gents know how to write grants?"
* fin *