Study Guide

Going Bovine Chapter 34

By Libba Bray

Chapter 34

Which Treats of What Happens When There Is A Bounty on Our Heads and We Visit Putopia

  • Cam's bracelet is fading fast which means things are getting down to the wire for our main man.
  • They stop to get gas and Cam sees his picture in connection to the people from CESSNAB being interviewed on the TV. The Revolution is still going on, and they are still pretty upset about their smoothie machine.
  • Gonzo and Cam are still wanted by the police for the Konstant Kettle "bombing," too. In other words, these two aren't getting any breaks.
  • United Snow Globe Wholesalers are now offering a bounty of ten grand for anyone who helps capture Cam and Gonzo.
  • They quickly get back on the road and start avoiding the freeways, seeing as everyone and their mom is looking for them now.
  • In the middle of nowhere, they run out of gas.
  • They starting hiking to find gas/help/civilization and come across an old farmhouse, a barn, and a futuristic-looking gas station in the midst of a field of wind turbines.
  • Gonzo is once again convinced that they're walking into a certain death scenario, but Cam manages to talk him into going down there to ask for gas.
  • An eleven-year-old with bedhead answers the door while eating cereal. He tells them the adults of the house are in the basement. While kids eating breakfast are decidedly not scary, nothing good ever happens in basements…
  • Downstairs they are shocked to find tubes, wires, robotics, and computers everywhere. There are three men and one woman sporting lab coats and safety goggles, one of whom is strapped to a chair in some kind of wacky experiment.
  • These are some far-out scientists, man, and the only fuel they have is hydrogen, so the kid is going to rig a converter for the Caddy.
  • Their little scientific haven is named Putopia—"Parallel Universe Travel Office… pia." Ha.
  • The scientists start spouting their parallel universe gibberish, going on about how there are eleven different dimensions and they want to travel between them. The huge tunnel of wire and magnets (a.k.a. the Infinity Collider) is what they believe will allow them to do just that.
  • But… they've never actually sent a person through. Well, once they did, but they think it's best to forget about that time (though we respectfully disagree).
  • They show the boys a video record of their work. In one of the clips, poor Schrödinger the cat doesn't fare so well. Poor Schrödinger.
  • They're pretty into Calabi Yau manifolds, which are "geometrical models that represent the many curled-up dimensions of space we're not even aware of yet." Ah, yes… makes perfect sense.
  • Guess what? Dr. X used to be one of their group.
  • Here's a bit of backstory on the guy: He was head-over-heels with his wife, Mrs. X. Every year for Christmas she would buy him a snow globe, because he loved them, until one year, a bomb went off as she was buying his snow globe and they found her dead, still clutching his gift. After she died, Dr. X was a changed man. (Gee, really?) He became obsessed with finding a way to stop death, and had a theory that certain musical frequencies could open portals in the fabric of time and space.
  • One night he and Ed made a few tweaks to the Infinity Collider, popped a Copenhagen Interpretation song onto the Calabi Yau super-speaker, and—boom—he and the Infinity Collider disappeared. This was eleven years ago, exactly when the Copenhagen Interpretation also disappeared. Dun dun dun…
  • Cam asks if they can send him to wherever Dr. X is. The scientists are intrigued, particularly because if they succeed it could mean more funding for their research. If they fail, though, there are a number of bad scenarios that could unfold. Cam's down to do it anyway, though, since he doesn't really have anything to lose.