Hoggins and I shuffle out of the conference room, both in foul moods. I was in a good one until this idiocy started. And I am so glad we don’t have to wear uniforms. We only have a Velcro pocket to reveal a badge that says, Police. Ours are bigger and dark gold. People don’t know the difference except we’re the only cops that matter.
They sure do hate us whiteys, don’t they? Hoggins says in the gloomy hall light.
Can you blame them? I say. He says nothing until we walk down to his cluttered office at the asshole end of this building. We sit down and he offers me Vicodin. I chew a couple and swallow. We’re all on it, every single one of us, because there’s no reason not to. Without it we’d have gone insane long ago.
Hoggins says, i’m supposed to brief you, wringing his hands.
OK, I say. Pretty soon i’ll be high and wishing I was home listening to Gregorian chants.
I apologize for calling you a Neanderthal back there. You’re the only one that has any conception of science. It’s just a high school physics level, but that helps a little.
A screen comes on that expands into a three dimensional hologram. A blue line appears and snakes into purely random movement until it turns red and bursts into violent, chaotic, turbulent mess.
May you live in interesting times, I say.
Hoggins looks surprised. I say, mathists call it a pathological curve. We’re looking at events since just before the beginning of the war?
Yes, he says. There are others in history.
Like when Guttenburg set his presses going so Luther could finally break the choke hold the Roman Church had on Europe?
Yes, Jim, and thanks for remembering i’m Catholic.
Fuck you, I say. Get on with this.
He touches something on his desk and something similar to what had been there appeared. Not identical, but it obviously represented something very like it.
What’s this, I say lazily, smiling and stretching like a dope fiend.
This, he says, is where it started right at the end of the red line. It’s the 1960s.
Ha! There’s just something about that time.
Everyone from that time, of course, has been dead for centuries, but it never loses its appeal. The music, the fashions. And at its heart is something that destroyed almost everything.
Why Lombardi? I say. What’d he do?
IDK, he says.
I am losing my temper.
According to Hugh Everett’s physics, the universe is constantly splitting off. Kennedy gets shot here, in that other one he doesn’t, I say.
Yeah but he’s not the center of this shitstorm, Hoggins says. It’s Lombardi.
How can you know that? Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle…
There’s a way around that.
Just assuming I believe you, does it matter when I hit Lombardi?
Yes. It has to be the morning of the game before he leaves home.
You’re making all this shit up, I say angrily. Because you’re pissed off and you’re scared and you don’t want to die anymore than anybody else.
No. I’m taking a lot for granted but…
What are the odds? About the same as me hitting a home run at Yankee Stadium?
Close, he says.
Well, I say. That’s been done before.