[E]ager to get out of Cambridge for a few hours, I bought a Triumph motorcycle and began to ride into the flat countryside to the north of the city, a realm of fens and watercourses that vaguely resembled the landscape around Shangai. Behind the hedges lay forgotten wartime airfields, from which the bombing offensive against Germany had been launched, but there were new and larger bases where nuclear bombers were parked in their fortified dispersal bays. American military vehicles patrolled the runways, and the stars and stripes flew from the flagstaffs by the gates. Chryslers and Oldsmobiles cruised the country lanes, sudden dreams of chromium, driven by large pensive men and their well-dressed wives, who gazed at the surrounding fields with the confident eyes of an occupying power. From their closely-guarded bases they were preparing England, still trapped by its memories of the Second World War, for the third war yet to come. Then the atomic flash that I had seen over Nagasaki would usher these drab fields and the crumbling gothic of the university into the empire of light....
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