A woman stands in the corner of a bathroom stall, a cell phone pressed to her ear. She whispers, Michael, please be okay.
A smooth female voice answers, All circuits are busy. Please hang up and try again later.
* * *
In the front lobby, a sheet of water trickles over a corporate logo down into a bed of pebbles where a hidden pump hauls it up again. The floor of the lobby is cold marble tile, and the walls are warm-hued hardwood, lined with glass cases themselves lined with gleaming awards. A phone is ringing, but nobody answers.
A small crowd stares at the wide-screen television built into the wall. The ever-present stream of stock quotes marches across the bottom of the screen, but everyone is paying rapt attention to the images of high-rise buildings imploding and collapsing.
A static-y voice speaks, ... but the military will not comment on the nature of the anomaly. The National Guard has cut entry for civilians to the entire Los Angeles county, and is