I was stood on the roof of a building half a kilometre away from my former place of work. I was ten storeys above the ground. The single storey building I was staring at through a pair of shoplifted binoculars appeared devoid of any noticeable protection. Across the street from it was a six storey building that I somehow had to get onto the roof of and time everything perfectly.
I was basing everything on one single assumption. The catchment area for Stasis entry was vertical rather than spherical. The initial talk of a bubble may well have only applied to that first transition. Each time I had fallen out on a leap year it was from a few metres above the ground. Even more crucially, each time was at a different height above sea level.
I had no idea what kind of horizontal plane the entry point cut, I was just hoping that it was large enough so that my jump from the roof of the six storey building cut a path that took in the horizontal and vertical planes of the Stasis transition point programmed into my link.
It was a gamble that might lead to my death, but at least there was a mitigating factor that it only might lead to my death. Going to the front door of the CSNCD would certainly lead to my death.
The time dilation of transition would be my saviour if there was going to be one. If I entered the transition zone at precisely noon, the shift between the differing flows of time would give me a buffer that should complete my transition before I hit the roof.
As I surveyed the scene, I could sense a tense energy in the air. A Mexican stand-off and I was standing off against invisible enemies. There was an hour until the link would activate. This was it. I started the countdown inside my digitally functioning brain and made my way to the ground.
It had been a stiflingly hot morning so I was not able to disguise myself in heavy clothing without drawing unnecessary attention. Instead, I’d gone for the bike messenger look. Hardly subtle, but it was a common occupation in these parts. Or had been a decade earlier.
A cyclist required a bike though, so I had to carry on with my pan-European vehicular crime spree. In the ten years that I had been away, it appeared that the security of decent bikes was actually quite tenuous. If me bionic rage could break a flimsy, then I’m sure some bolt cutters would have also made light work of it.
I had prepared a small package to make my visit look official and had even taken the trouble of calling ahead to get a business and employee name for the top floor. I waited until there were only ten minutes on the clock and I made my way to the building.
The streets were busy with people milling around, some heading for an early lunch. I had plenty of cover as I approached the front door and wheeled the bike in. I went to the building reception and told the vacant looking receptionist that I had to personally deliver the package. Barely looking at me, she gave me a temporary pass and buzzed me into the elevator. She hadn’t even noticed that I still had the bike with me.
The lift stopped on the sixth floor and I made a beeline for the roof leaving the bike in the lift doors in an attempt to hinder anyone that might have seen and followed me.
Once on the roof, I peered down at my target and continued my lone Mexican stand-off I still could not spot anyone that looked like they were awaiting my arrival.
In my head I had calculated the spot where my old cubicle had been and where the room had subsequently been constructed to await my first return. With a superhuman dash and jump, I calculated that I should be leaving the edge of this building with just over two seconds remaining until high noon. There was now just one minute and I knew that this just was not right. This was far too easy. Unlike the last time I’d felt this feeling as a deadline rapidly approached, this is one that I was fully committed to.
I stepped back, waited until four seconds, charged my body, and ran. There were 2.2 seconds left when I pushed off from the building. Like a lightning fast long jumper at altitude, I flew across the expanse, entering the predicted transition zone with a fraction of a second remaining.
Transition started, the sense of falling progressively slowed down as real time phased into Stasis time. I was in Stasis. My crazy plan had worked. The four presences that I had trapped were immediately alerted to my presence.
Along with the presences of over two hundred others. The direct link to Stasis had been tested. Now I knew just why the area was not being guarded. What is a year to wait for me to return when they believed that I would only experience a single day?
The two problems I had right now were that I did not have a clue who had initiated the test and that my life would be in danger when I was wrenched out of Stasis again.
I could sense a huge amount of distress amongst the ones that had been brought here against their will. This was no time for me to be a hero though, I had to move into slow time and work on the second of my two problems.
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