The world was on permanent hold and the calendar could not be budged. No one knew how Time stopped or why the world was falling apart. No one EXCEPT for Jeremy Fubbergas, “time thief.” He was the Wunderkind who invented “Tri-Step,” a device that increased computer productivity by eliminating time signatures. The invention made billions for IBM-magnum. The mega-corporation stole Jeremy’s invention. In effect they stole Jeremy’s life. He had plans that depended on the money he expected to earn from his invention. He was in love — and Julia Burnheart was a woman accustomed to money. Sadly Jeremy never gave Julia the benefit of the doubt because she loved him with or without money. He also had a problem with self esteem even though he was a certified genius. He believed his only value came from the money he earned. When the corporation stole his invention, Jeremy had no money and no earning power. His parents refused to let him stay in their home any longer. He was a loser in their eyes. Jeremy planned to retaliate against the giant company. It involved a small tweak. He could easily hack into IBM-magnum and plant his clever Renegade virus. Every computer using Tri-Step would be rendered inoperable. Time would stop for IBM-magnum. Jeremy’s Renegade code worked too well with unforeseen consequences. First the code escaped to the internet, effecting cyberspace, eliminating sequential time. The far greater impact came from hybrid computer chips made from living tissue. They were infected and the infection spread to human brains. Biological time stopped. People were disoriented as their bodies rebelled: breaking down, rapidly aging and developing malignant growths. Jeremy was spared. He took stop gap measures against the Renegade code (but they only worked for him because he was the point of origin). Julia slid into a time warp. Before she died she expressed her unconditional love for Jeremy. The young man was devastated. He was abandoned, unable to revise Time or harness the Renegade virus.