Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Butterfly Effect - Chapter 7: "New Mexico - Missing Boy"

5 July 2017

The Butterfly Effect - Chapter 7: "New Mexico - Missing Boy"

New Mexico - local media had made a big deal out of the fact the family of a missing boy lived in one of the biggest houses in the area.
It wasn't even a good area, it was just an area; all the houses looked the same.
But of course this was early 1980, before the invention of “architecture”.
Money was no object for the family and they’d spared no expense remortgaging their house trying to locate the boy, not because they were rich, because they were desperate to find what had become of their son.
The boy’s room was in disarray. Papers and objects - plastic toys - littered the floor. Not unusual, but some of these appeared to have been exposed to an immense, overwhelming heat and melted, so that was a big clue: Wolffe had discovered the exact moment something catastrophic had occurred; the problem was this type of event was often beyond any logical explanation.
Local police, with their “local” narrow-minded view, had been dismissive and put it down to a runaway.
Whereas Wolffe, examining the crime scene, knew they were looking at what in science is called an Extinction Level Event, in this case just a small one but nonetheless there it was: An Extinction Level Event.
The mother said: “Given the extreme-sounding nature of what you’ve described, do you think our son’s still alive…?”
She was clearly an unreserved optimist.
What mother isn’t? Because when there's the tiniest chance people cling to hope - it's all they’ve left and Wolffe suspected if hope made any appearance in this particular investigation it would only feature as a small, cameo part.
“It was on the news a while ago a man fell 50,000 feet. He’d no memory of the event but he survived, which implies he somehow figured out how to fly, unaided, and land safely. Your boy was smart? Good at maths?”
“Maths? I don’t understand,” the father said, confused. “The police say he’s run away. But he hasn’t, somethings happened to him! Someones taken our boy…!”
“Looking closely at all the evidence I can see a number of things, including that the police are wrong.”
The police had done all the usual things, canvassed the area with leaflets, organized search parties to look for his body and knocked up all the local perverts and child molesters to no avail.
“Mr Gunstormer, we just need to know you can help us…?” the mother pleaded.
The parents of the missing boy had had good reason to take him seriously. Wolffe was full of dangerous tendencies and, though they know little about Wolffe’s prescription medication (for instance, he’d taken a hallucinogenic to help him make it through the day) or where they should stand with each other, making extensive use of his personal magnetism he was able to placate most clients with solid results.
Wolffe had a bag of apples in his inside jacket pocket, a sleeve of them.
He took an apple out and began eating it (Wolffe also liked kiwnao, but they were more seasonal. And because they were exotic, they were not always readily available).
“The police have no interest in your son because over a million kids run away from home each year, 2000 of which are found dead. And yet something keeps telling you, there’s no explanation for it other than something, this overwhelming intuition as a parent says your son hasn’t run away but is in dire trouble,” Wolffe said taking another bite out of his apple.
To be honest it was really touch-and-go but touch-and-go is what Wolffe did best, it's what he was good at and he just had this feeling, something bad had happened here and it was going to get worse. Wolffe took another look around the place. He kept asking questions, none of which the police had asked.
They’d asked questions like:
“When did you last see your son?”
“What was your son wearing?”
“Has there been any trouble at home with your son?”
“You kill your son, bury him someplace? Tell us now and the law will go easy on you.”
“The police were accusatory,” the parents told Wolffe.
Of course, statistically a lot of murders are committed by people who know the victims, but Wolffe’s take on it seemed mostly educational.
“What about science?” he asked the parents.
“Science…?”
“Yeah, you know, the analysis and testing of all data proven beyond any theoretical, logical speculation - he excelled at science?”
Both parents nodded dumbly.
“Our son had a gift for learning, he relished knowledge, especially science,” the mother said.
All Wolffe recalled from science was burning himself, repeatedly, with a Bunsen burner.
And then an explosion.
So while Wolffe wasn't exactly capable of rocket science he knew when shit don't add up. He fired off a proton beam to get to the heart of the matter.
“I concur, he didn’t run away. Something very scientific happened here - he was working on something, something phenomenal.”
“He was? He was always tinkering, I guess…” the father said.
“Looking at all the evidence and having conducted a very scientific analysis, your son surpassed all the theoretical stuff and found a way to bend space time back on itself and, doing so, entered another dimension - he created a wormhole.”
“So he hasn’t run away…?” the father asked hopefully.
“All evidence points to the contrary. Using a pretty sophisticated system of levers and pulleys I believe your son’s alive, he’s just not here.”
“Where! Tell us where he is!” the father screamed.
“Boris! Boris! Calm down…! Detective Gunstormer cannot know exactly where our son is…!” the mother cried;  she clearly had some theoretical grasp of quantum entanglement, whereas, overwhelmed, the father slumped into a chair, head in hands.
“Why didn’t the police tell us this? Why don’t they know about this! We must call them immediately. My god, a wormhole, our son!” the father cried.
But even if they explained to police the series of events leading up to the boy’s disappearance, the police weren’t scientists. Most of any police force are failed fire brigade candidates and the best presentation in the world of all the facts wouldn’t change that - not that the police didn’t care, it’s just most of them wanted to be out on the fire engines dousing fires and heroically saving people (women particularly) from a burning death.
Face it, that kind of shit makes an impression.
“You’ve seen this before, Detective?” the mother said.
Wolffe nodded.
She really was way too pretty to be a scientist.
“My brother, Horatio Santiago Gunstormer.”
He was the only person Wolffe was aware of who could build such a device to allow 2-way directional travel; it may sound far-fetched but scientific evidence exists to corroborate Wolffe’s version of events.
But Horatio was dead.
Had been for years.
Wolffe pretty much exhausted any hope the couple may have had for their son to return, safe.
That's what he did, after all, exhausted all the possibilities.
“What should we do?” the parents wondered
Wolffe shrugged.
"Some people build a shrine."
"A shrine…?"
"It helps. My advice? I strongly recommend you both take some comfort in knowing that your son is atomically very much alive, not on this dimensional plane but here somewhere…” he said, gesturing around them.