A New Case

[Vance narrating] – She walked into our office like a refreshing breeze on a sweltering summer day. It had been a long time since Terry and I had a case. It was longer still since we had such lovely company. I didn't know it then but behind that lovely tail lay a trail of trouble as far-reaching as the ferns outside our door.

She came over to my desk with fresh tears in her bloodshot eyes. Call me a fool, but I took her case before she started talking.

[Veronica sobbing intermittently] – You have to help me detective. It's my husband. I don't know where he is.

[Vance narrating] – As you can imagine I felt betrayed in the oddest way and yet strangely hoping we didn't find this husband. Terry had a way with faces. Could tell a stranger his thoughts if he watched him long enough. I knew that if I kept thinking, Terry would chew me out like a dealer with loose sleeves. I replied quickly but it wasn't enough. I would later learn he knew my thoughts before he even looked.

[Vance] – How long has this husband of yours been missing?

[Veronica still sobbing] – A few weeks now. I think he was…please…can I trust you.

[Vance narrating] – With those pleading eyes you could trust anyone.

[Vance] – Of course. We're here to help. Just tell us everything.

[Veronica more confidant] – Thank you detective. You see, I think my dear was captured by the government.

[Vance narrating] – The government is it? A good many innocents nearly went to jail for the rest of their lives before I cleared there name. A good many more did. But captured…

[Vance] – If your husband has been captured by black ops I'm afraid there's not much we can do. What is it that he was captured for exactly?

[Vance narrating] – She looked nervous but yet was blushing at the same time. I certainly hoped I wasn't getting into a high-profile love affair.

[Veronica] – Well, you see. My husband is…he's not…he's not a velociraptor.

[Vance] – There's nothing wrong with that. The world will keep turning with a few less kids in it. Terry over there doesn't mind either. He was married to a triceratops if you can believe that.

[Veronica] – Not that's not it…it's…he's not a dinosaur.

[Vance narrating] – Cross species love, not a problem. Love with an animal, now that put me off.

[Vance] – Err, Miss…

[Veronica] – Veronica.

[Vance] – Veronica. We can find…er…missing animals. But…I mean…

[Veronica] – Oh no! No. You've got the wrong idea. Actually I'm not sure what he is. No one's ever seen anything like him before.

[Vance] – Alien visits and conspiracy theories always put me in a bad way. It's not that I think them impossible, just improbable. The aliens especially. Like a sinocoelurus rolling a bolder uphill, who would come so far just to do some questionable probing?

[Vance] – Sorry, we don't do aliens.

[Veronica] – He's not an alien. He was born and raised on our planet. Just, in the future.

[Vance narrating] – A time traveler. Now that was a new one. I was skeptical, but intrigued.

[Vance] – Terry?

[Terry] – Sounds interesting.

[Vance] – Very well. We'll take the case.

[Vance narrating] – And that, as they say, that was how it all began.