‘But what makes you so certain?’ smiled Iseult. ‘How can you know?’

‘I don’t know.’ replied Mac. ‘I just know.’

Mac sipped from the cup he was holding.

‘Why clean up this place once the guards left? Why catalogue all the paper that has been blown everywhere? Why comfort everyone here and welcome any strangers who chance upon us?’

‘Because …’ started Gilly and Iseult together.

‘Because,’ continued Mac, ‘this is what we have always done and will continue to do until we can no more.’

The candle sputtered again and Mac looked over his shoulder.

‘What they are doing to the world now is so far beyond our ordinary comprehension that we are probably better served not even acknowledging what is going on.’

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