Where is Neil?
She was a computer geek, a technophile and proud of it, and a proud young mother too. She had hundreds of hours of digital footage on phones and backup drives. Every major life event from his short life, first words, first steps, birthdays. A massive selection of minor ones too, favourite toys, foods, books, television show.
There was more. She knew details only a parent could. His fears, dreams, the tiny nubs of what would one day crystalise into his ambitions. She fed them all in.
Where is Neil?
Even more data was harvested or extrapolated. His gait and how it would change as he grew. His face at ages 4, 10, 16, and beyond. His likely height when full grown (181 cm) and shoe size (10). The books she would have read him, the professions of his four grandparents, where his father holidayed as a child. Everything they could think of, and then everything the system asked for.
Where i s Neil?
Neil’s mother had been working on the first quantum computer. A device that could calculate beyond the limits of simple silicon. Neil’s life was loaded into it with a dedicated neural simulator. An infinite variety of simulations ran, tested against his life then spiralled out into possibility. Waveforms propagated and collapsed.
Where i a m Neil?
The infinite array of Neils could be tracked, security camera footage compared. Across the country police checked a particular door, and found him. His family dropped everything. The press was amazed at the mother who had found her child when the police had failed.
I am Neil. Where am I? Where’s my mummy?
The research time she had booked – had misused to run her program – expired. The next researcher wiped the drives and started again.