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Nicholas

To build Atlantropa they drain much of the Mediterranean, which drops the coast about two hundred meters, and the Children’s Crusaders are still down there off the coast of Abruzzo. They’re white and cold and wide-eyed. Eventually someone mentions the new land bridge and they shuffle off toward it, singing.

“We’re on a Crusade,” explains Nicholas, when people ask awkwardly why he’s not dead. “To retake the Holy City.”

The people try to say it’s dangerous. They try to explain about Israel, and Palestine, and Hamas and the Gaza Strip and suicide bombings.

“We know,” says Nicholas fervently. “Brilliant, those.”

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