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Beijing, International Airport, Departures

Scene 15

He drove to the airport and, as it happened, the big celestial globe that was placed directly at the entrance to the terminal between coffee shops and boutiques, looked exactly like the one featured on the postcard he had received at the Confucian hall. A caption carried the explanation that the bronze model of the globe had been completed in 1439 with the purpose of showing the coordinates of the stars. The globe, with its planet-ways that looked like flight paths of various airlines, was certainly a suitable installation for an airport – only, what meaning did it hold for Maille? Why had the Chinese secret service sent him here? Maille circled the massive model of the globe once more – there had to be something here to find: some clue, an irregularity, a meaning.