“SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES”
Enola Wolf’s biological clock was winding down and gobbling up the time remaining to her …
… for child bearing. Enola was an extensively published and accomplished microbiologist, and her dedication to science took up the greater part of her life. She never had the time or the inclination to get married. Further, Enola did not know anyone that she considered to have any of the necessary qualifications to father her child and was well aware that finding a suitable male and going through the mating act would be time consuming, inelegant and could very well prove futile. However, as a woman of science she knew that the statistical probability of her successfully conceiving and carrying a child to full-term was swiftly dwindling leading her to conclude that it would be somewhat of a failure on her part if she did not at least try to pass on her genetic gifts to another generation. It wasn’t ego but rather a logical observation. And so, at forty-three years of age, Enola Wolf decided that she would pursue the only viable option for her—in vitro-fertilization. She began checking out the inventory of various sperm banks, reasoning that as long as she had the opportunity to pick a donor, she would choose the best that was available. Armed with graphs and charts, she scientifically went about her quest for motherhood. A highly accredited biological father was found, and within a year Enola had a son. She named him Dax Exeter Wolf. Dax was born six weeks premature, and due to his early arrival he weighed in at a mere three pounds nine ounces. He also weighed in with a life-threatening complication, respiratory distress syndrome. This disease is brought on by a shortage of a substance, surfactant, which is normally produced in adequate amounts by cells in the airways and found in the amniotic fluid by the 35th week of gestation. The surfactant is released into the pulmonary tissues to aid in keeping the air sacs or lung alveoli open. With the lack of a sufficient quantity of surfactant, the tiny air sacs in Dax’s lungs collapsed. The damaged cells, called hyaline membranes, then collected in his air passages, causing increased blockage which made normal respiration extremely difficult. The newborn had to fight for every breath and was immediately placed in a hyper-oxygenated environment. During the first seventy-two critical hours, Enola was informed on three separate occasions that due to her son’s negative reaction to the surfactant replacement protocol his chance of survival ran from barely possible to bleak—but he inexplicably endured and was thereafter referred to by Enola as her miracle baby.
The real miracle, however, came several years later. Enola and a cadre of child psychologists and pediatricians feared that as a consequence of initial oxygen deprivation resulting from his early battle to stay alive, baby Dax most probably suffered some subsidiary brain damage and might be intellectually disabled. The evidence was compelling. Dax had reached his second birthday and the child had yet to utter his first words or take his first step. Enola kept this lack of development as much to herself as possible and swore, as a woman of science, that she was seeing an indescribable cognizance in her baby son’s eyes. Many rejected the notion as wishful thinking and insisted that she was in denial.
The amazing turnaround occurred at local toy store when Dax was two and a half-years-old. While Enola was pushing him along in a shopping basket down row after row of games, dolls and various other playthings, he suddenly became fascinated with an advanced Lego set. Dax kept reaching for it but Enola quickly dismissed the idea because it was recommended for children within the age group of seven to fourteen. She thought it was simply color attraction, and even with all her positive feelings about her only child she just couldn’t wrap her mind around the idea that he could be capable of constructing anything with the tiny plastic pieces.
In truth, Enola’s early intuition about her son was right on the mark. Baby Dax only seemed to be slow off the blocks because he had been keenly observing and absorbing absolutely everything going on around him. He was engorging inestimable amounts of knowledge into the giant vessel that was his mind. Then, right there among the plethora of bright, multi-hued child-friendly items in Toys “R” Us, Dax Wolf finally uttered his first long-overdue words.
“Mother, I would like to have that Lego set,” he said in a clear voice. “It really interests me.” The stunned Enola could hardly believe what she was hearing and began to laugh uproariously. With great joy and paying no attention to the strange looks she was getting from those around her, she picked up Dax and hugged him tightly. She also complied with her son’s request, and then some, by purchasing every Lego set in the store.
Dax was highly motivated by the building toy and created a multitude of unique and intricate objects that were giant leaps beyond the complexity of those pictured in the instruction book and far above the aptitude of any average toddler. Dax continued speaking in full sentences and then paragraphs—on every subject. Enola decided that public education was out of the question, and dedicated herself to home-schooling her young genius. Very soon his distinctive, high-level genetics kicked into overdrive. He retained everything he heard, saw and read. Dax finally decided to walk only after his manual dexterity was greatly developed. His eye-hand coordination was so extraordinary that at seven years of age he was a top video gamer and also competed in and won the World Sport Cup Stacking Championship—first in his particular age group and then in the overall open competition.
As Dax was growing up, he never mentioned or asked about his biological father, though he knew full well that he had one. Money in the Wolf household was never a problem. Several of the patents Enola held on her microbiological breakthroughs provided a small fortune in royalties.
By the time he reached high school age, Dax was a gangly whiz-kid with no particular interest in any kind of social life. When he wasn’t at Enola’s side learning many of the scientific disciplines and the methods used in pursuing them, he was being tutored by some of his mother’s colleagues in their particular area of study. Dax finished the entire four-year high school curriculum in less than a year, and after perfect Scholastic Achievement Test scores he was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology several months before his thirteenth birthday.
At this juncture, Dax Wolf appeared on the radar screen of the U.S. government. Specifically, he was being eyed by the recruitment department within the Special Technologies Division at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. MIT was advised by DARPA management in no uncertain terms to keep Dax Wolf’s attendance there as low-profile as possible. Dax breezed through his MIT courses and even had time to make improvements on his mother’s discoveries, which increased their wealth even further.
At fifteen, Dax was devastated when Enola was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a few months. He was bitterly disillusioned and this prompted within him a great enmity toward medical science for being unable to save his mother or at least to somehow prolong her life and reduce her suffering. He was furious that short-sighted political expediency trumped certain avenues of critical research that might have made a difference.
A year after Enola’s death, Dax graduated from MIT with doctorates in Biological Fragmentary Molecular Sciences and Quantum Physics. His papers on quasars, dark matter, black holes and hyper-gravity and their relationship to electro-magnetic particle waves were of special interest to the Department of Defense. The higher-ups at the DOD were particularly intrigued with his theory that through the use of an anti-matter matrix created in a super high-speed particle accelerator, unique hybrid micro-miniature black holes could be formed. Unlike normal black holes, these crossbred mini dark-stars could be tuned to absorb all surrounding subatomic energy, which would in turn have the ultimate effect of neutralizing radioactivity. The theory alone was stunning and, if true, could reduce the half-life decay of radioactive materials from thousands and millions of years to minutes or even seconds. To neutralize any form of fission/fusion weaponry almost in an instant would be the Defense Department coup of the millennium.
The fortune Dax had inherited could have easily put him into business in the private sector. But he realized that the research he was doing was truly cosmic in nature and required funding of interstellar proportions. What better sponsor could there be than the Department of Defense? Wolf knew that the he would have numerous opportunities in the future to start his own company. He also found that the DOD wanted him so desperately they acquiesced to his every demand. Since salary was a minor consideration for him, he instead negotiated for almost unlimited funding, minimal oversight and unrestrained access to the world’s most advanced research facilities.
Dax Exeter Wolf spent the workdays of the next two years commuting on a special Boeing 727 from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to various undisclosed black project locations. His main base of operations was the Nevada desert in the proximity of the legendary Area 51. But sometimes he would be flown in a military supersonic jet to other exotic research facilities, such as the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, located at Louisiana State University: or even across the world the Large Hadron Collider outside of Geneva, Switzerland. Aside from working on his own research he was occasionally asked to consult in the development of various covert weapon technologies. One of these projects was the creation of a functioning Electro Magnetic Pulse generator which was small enough for deployment on various air, land and sea-based weapons platforms.
Although he added his expertise to many fields of development, Dax Wolf was unswervingly intrigued with Einstein’s theories of space and time and Schrödinger’s quantum mechanics. He was deeply dedicated to researching the relationship of the work of those scientific masters to the eventual navigation and control of the temporal streams and the galactic continuum. “The fact that one speck of light or a low-frequency radio wave can infinitely travel the endless reaches of the cosmos demonstrates the possibility that time itself could be no less a dimension than any other in the continuum scale and can be a transport means.” Dax would postulate. “The particular method of transversal exists and is waiting to be revealed.”
The prevailing DOD assessment held that the possibility of developing a time exploration mechanism was light-years beyond the realm of current science. Even Dr. Schrödinger’s cat failed to shed any new illumination on the subject. Nonetheless, the military higher-ups at the DOD’s “Dreamland” division, where let’s make believe was the rule rather than the exception, couldn’t help but salivate over the strategic potential if jumping around the continuum ever became a reality.
Dax Wolf’s persuasiveness gave the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s search for chronotempic pathways a new emphasis. After all, how far of a leap was it to go from synthetically engineered nano-black holes to ESP psychics to psycho kinesis to quantum leaping and time hopping? At the very least, with top-secret access to much of the existing particle accelerators and other sophisticated space-age apparatus, courtesy of DARPA, Dr. Wolf was like a child in a nano-particle Legoland.
However, unlike the legendary Albert Einstein or men like Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, Dax Wolf felt absolutely no compunction about creating more effective methods of destruction for use by the military. Wolf’s pursuit of science was purely for science’s sake and certainly not for the improvement of the human condition. “It would amount to a waste of time.” he always argued. “Why bother?” Dax Exeter Wolf was incontrovertibly convinced that humankind was obstinately headed in the wrong direction to a dead end—although it didn’t exactly take a genius to recognize that.
Wolf also sensed an inexplicable presence in the universal order—a presence that he could not quite get into proper focus. Had anyone been aware at this point of exactly what lurked in the darkest recesses of his mind, they would have been wise to suggest to Wolf that he get a life. Unfortunately, that specific concept was the furthest thing from his consciousness. As far as he was concerned, he had a life. It was separate and distinct from all other lives but it was his life—his and his alone. And the cauldron of contempt that churned deep within him was blacker than any project he had undertaken and was as vile as anyone, even he himself, could ever have imagined—and Dax Exeter Wolf’s imagination was unbounded.