I looked around as I stood on the steps. No one was moving except the troops, who were shambling about, knocking frozen people over and stealing their valuables. Professor Almstedt had lied. His time stop had not been kept within the purple-blue dome of the hotel’s ballroom. It had spread across the city. What would that mean for the world? What would happen when time started again?
I waited for that moment, my pounding head reminding me that last time, I hadn’t seen it. Last time, Almstedt had had me knocked out. What happened to Corrine after that? What was happening to Corrine now?
I ran into the hotel and luckily didn’t cross paths with any of the dead guys. Did one have to be dead to move around? Was I dead? That was a sickening thought.
The troops stood guard at the doors to the ballroom. I paused and considered how to get past them. They had Uzis. I stuck my hand in my pocket, trying to casual as I turned around, looking for another entrance into the room. I found the note. No way was it a late assignment from a graduate student. I looked at it and this time, it was not a mathematical formula, per se, it looked more like a drawing one might see in a physics class about trajectory and mass. I have a juris doctor degree and yes, I slogged my way through some advanced math classes, but my wife is the brilliant one when it came to math, physics, astrophysics – obviously if this was her project. Maybe if I gave her the note this time she’d figure it out. Or maybe if I could just get to her, she’d make time start again.
The entrance to the staff’s area was not guarded. There was a patrol coming, so I waited by a potted plant. The patrol passed me and I ran for those doors.
I heard a “Unhh” from behind me and felt a sharp pain in my back that spread to my chest. Damn it, I need to come up with a better plan.