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Halley knows nobody comes through this part of the library–that’s why he’s here, in fact, to find a free computer–so he’s surprised to see so many chairs in the Bingham Reading Room. It looks like they actually had a reading, except he can’t remember any such announcement.

He imagines a lonely janitor, gesticulating for an invisible audience. He imagines ghosts settling their cold-jelly bones, drinking ethereal tea. He imagines Long Huo, Chair Herder, ushering his charges to new pastures.

Halley laughs at himself and heads to the computer.

After a fierce debate, the chairs vote to have him killed.