Missing Persons

The door to the street swung open and for a moment the bitter October wind held sway scattering
dust and leaves from the street across desks…
Cursing inwardly Randall looked up from the sports page to find a stiff pale awkward looking man
in a severe charcoal suit staring at him

Mr Luiki? It came out as a question…

For probably the 50th time in as many months…I explained that I was Mel Randall and that the
Luiki of Luiki and Associates had retired…I was the new owner…of what exactly?
2 wooden desks…8 metal filing cabinets…a phone ,an antique computer…and a horrendously expensive double page ad in the Yellow Pages for the next 3 years… I was going to change the name but not until the old mans contract expired.

I offered him a seat which meant moving the cat…another thing I had somehow inherited along with furniture…The cat a stripy veteran of the streets…regarded the object of the interruption of his nap with unblinking yellow eyes…and moved without a sound to the spot under my desk by my feet…
The damn thing knew I hated it being there because I invariably forgot and moved my chair only to find teeth or claws sunk into my ankle…I stared at the cat…who simply tucked her paws underneath her body and closed her eyes to avoid my disapproval…

My name is Johansen he said…Lasse Johansen…I have a problem I am hoping you can help me with…I work for a small research lab in Raymondville SRI Inc. I do quality control testing on components for doped silicone wafers from our ion deposition chambers…

All that meant exactly zero to me…and knowing I would get nowhere by interrupting…I tried to put an interested but neutral expression on my face and settled back in the chair to listen…without being too obvious I pressed the record button on the Mp3 recorder which looked like an executive pen set
in the middle of my desk…a gift from Rodica…when she was still speaking to me…a tiny pin hole camera…and microphone hidden in the base of an innocuous object …handy for jogging the memory in case of a disagreement about fees and such…

Johansen pulled a small sheet of paper from his pocket and without looking at said…
Do you believe in magic Mr Randall?
What you are about to see could be considered magic…but it’s really not…its technology…simple science… I have a small garage which I do some work in on weekends…I have over the years bought some old equipment from the University Labs , auctions and occasionally when we were replacing equipment from my workplace…it’s quite functional if not state of the art any more…simple if you like…but it works…I was experimenting with a cast off blank from the kiln at SRI it failed the quality control standards for impurities …something in the autoclave…or perhaps the original kiln
I don’t know…Instead of throwing it in the trash like I normally would I took it home…I was doing some sectioning…to make some slides and photomicrograph’s when one of the wafers I had sliced fell across my capacitor bank. I had been experimenting with a pulsed magnetic accelerator and even though the guide rail had not been charged up; there must have been some residual current in the capacitor bank because this wafer…this cast off chunk of doped silicon…glowed purple and then bright blue and then disappeared.

He paused and looked at me…perhaps waiting for some sort of comment or recognition…
I could give him no such thing…I was thinking just great …I have some whack job back yard scientist in front of me when without a word Johansen slipped his hand into his suit pocket…and then before my eyes in a blue pulse of light he disappeared!
I must have kicked the cat because my ankle was suddenly on fire…and as I pushed back from the desk…the empty chair in front of me moved slightly to right as the cat shot across the room…and then Johansen slowly faded into view with a shimmer like the heat rising from the pavement on a hot July afternoon.

HOLY SHIT what the fuck was that I said…
Johansen seemed pleased with my reaction…the cat was not to be so quickly appeased stalking back and forth across the front of the doorway…she made it plain…she wanted none of this…Give me a minute I must have said…thinking furiously as I limped to the door…
My hands shook just a little… as I opened the door just enough to let the cat out…
The cat wasted no time…and made a beeline for the fence and the dry cleaners across the street dodging cars and trucks with all of the elegance of a motivated sprinter I watched as she cleared the pavement in a single bound and gained the top of the fence before turning to glare at me

I turned around…and once again Johansen had disappeared I stopped in the middle of the room
and said out loud…its not funny… there was no response…On my desk underneath my executive pen set was a slim typewritten sheet of paper.

I must have looked ridiculous I tiptoed all around the office my arms stretched out in front of me
calling Johansen every few feet…and then stopping to listen… Nothing…Waving my arms around in front of me and then whirling suddenly to try and trick him into revealing himself…but there was no sound and not hint of movement…
After covering every corner of the office with my ridiculous Marco Polo routine and finding nothing…I said aloud to the empty room FINE. Lets see how you like this and pulling the keys from my pocket I went to front door inserted the key and turned the latch. I have nowhere to go…and nothing to do we’ll see who folds first.
Feeling foolish for speaking aloud to a seemingly empty room… I finally returned to my desk and the slim sheet of paper.

In four neatly typewritten paragraphs lay the crux of my problem today.

If you are reading this letter the chances are that I am all ready gone.
I have no doubt all ready explained to you about my lab and the accidental discovery of the process which I find myself the willing victim of.

If you go to my garage at 344 Martin Avenue you will find a notebook and some drawings along with a mock-up of a device I created using my Maker-Bot. The mock up is fully functional!! although I cannot stress enough that you must not place the battery’s inside unless you are absolutely certain that you are completely and utterly alone.

I call the device an Angstrom Oscillator for that is part of what the device seems to do…it vibrates light in such a way that anything within range of the device effectively vanishes in both space and time.
No doubt you saw me seem to momentarily reappear, this is a side effect of the fields operation it
seems to create an echo of the object or objects in the field which persist for a few minutes after activation. I assure you I was all ready gone.

Last Saturday night I was testing the Oscillator for the first time it was late and I must have missed my wife Laura coming into the room to bring me a sandwich. I operated the Oscillator with her in the room,she was just in range of the field. I can’t be sure of exactly where I was or when she came into contact with the field I tested the effect multiple times that evening. All I know is I found one of her slippers and a broken plate by the door of the garage. I am not sure where or when we go when the field operates just that we do…go somewhere like a pocket in space and time.
I am hoping to go back and retrace my experiments as closely as my memory will allow
I am hoping somehow to find her. I am carrying a beacon with me as I look…the receiver you will find along with the notes and diagrams in the garage…I am going to try and find my wife…I have no idea where she left the field…just that at some point in my tests she did. I need very much for you to use the receiver and the oscillator and find me.
We are both counting on you to find us and bring us home.