New York University, Manhattan 11:44 A.M.
Nate "Shirky" Stryker looked over the NYU courtyard beneath his office balcony. There were 32,000 cobblestones in that perfect rectangle, or a thousand for each of the 32 degrees of Islamic-Rite Masonry, an organization that officially didn't even exist.
Stryker ran his left hand through his graying, dignified temple hair. Beneath him was a galley copy of his next book, Strangled Theories: Why Everything You Know About Memeology Is A Lie. A hot-pink Post-It on the title page said, "Another Million Seller! Fondly, R.M."
Perhaps it is, Stryker thought. Or perhaps it isn't. Time would tell, if Time continued its present lateral [...]