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Lights and screens blinked on spasmodically in houses all along the empty streets, his own included; the world was plugging in. Urquhart didn't see the need.

He stood in the scrub, down in this pocket of quiet darkness banked on all sides by the spreading radiance. He felt as if he'd just turned on some sharp vector, bearing into a kind of adjacency, another world. Back there was the History of the West with all its glare and anxiety, the long struggle for deferral under a sinking sun. Here was somewhere dark, dumb and solitary, a still point outside the babble and flow. If he ignored it, if he tried to be Outside, maybe it would all go away.

Maybe he could be at peace.

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