Illya passed through the ancient stone portal of Trinity College, his black doctoral robes flapping rather comically in the stiff breeze. Under his arm, he carried his mortarboard, gratefully redundant now, and the folder holding his PhD in Quantum Mechanics, primi ordinis -- the youngest candidate in the history of the College to achieve the distinction. He strode on, past the statue of Henry VIII with its missing, pilfered leg, and the rooms of Isaac Newton, preserved from the days when he had been a student there.
As he crossed the Great Court, the carillon in the Clock Tower tolled the hour. A few undergraduates lounged outside, soaking up the warm May sunshine; they waved to him from their benches beside the Fountain. He returned their greetings with a brisk nod and moved on. The door to the Chapel was ajar and, as he hurried past, he caught snatches of the choir rehearsing a motet by Palestrina, Tui Sunt Coeli. There would be a concert this evening, a celebration for the graduates and their families. Illya had considered attending, but decided instead to spend the evening -- and quite possibly the entire weekend -- in a cheap flat somewhere, nursing a bottle of vodka.