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Ten days until the blitz. Khada tries to herd children toward the bathroom while the older students, Voort among them, lug boxes of textbooks to the truck. They’re moving through patches of shade on the way now; the shadows are starting to condense.

“That’s the last of the first-grade stuff,” says Voort to the Red Crescent rep, a little proud that he’s the leader today.

“Great, you’re ahead of schedule,” she smiles, flipping pages on her clipboard. “But so are they.”

Voort follows her gaze up to the slowbombs, almost still now, accelerating at 98 centimeters per day per day.