Arleigh said Rez was back at his own hotel now, but that he’d come later to spend some time with her and thank her for all she’d done. That made Chia feel strange. Now she’d seen him in real life, somehow that had taken over from all the other ways she’d known him before, and she felt kind of funny about him. Confused. Like all of this had pegged him in realtime for her, and she kept thinking of her mother complaining that Lo and Rez were nearly as old as she was. And

You could buy a burrito there, a lottery ticket, batteries, tests for various diseases. You could do voice-mail, e-mail, send faxes. It had occurred to Laney that this was probably the only store for miles that sold anything that anyone ever really needed; the others all sold things that he couldn’t even imagine wanting.

She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.

Unstuck her in time, day-sleeping in her bedroom. How old was she? Seven, seventeen, twenty-seven? Dusk or dawn? Couldn’t tell by the light outside. Checked her phone. Evening. The house silent, her mother probably asleep. Out through the smell of her grandfather’s fifty years of National Geographic, shelved in the hall.

He looked up at a 1992 calendar, level with his eyes, and about ten inches away. Someone had quit pulling the months off, in August. It advertised a commercial real estate firm, and was decorated with a drastically color-saturated daytime photograph of the New York skyline, complete with the black towers of the World Trade Center. These were so intensely peculiar-looking, in retrospect, so monolithically sci-fi blank, unreal, that they now seemed to Milgrim to have been Photoshopped into every image he encountered them in.

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