The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I am fighting for is the right to prove I am a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I am here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I am Kilrain and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy and that's right here - he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I am not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think.
Michael Shaara
Caine’s a guy who needs to win. He needs to win before he poofs. Or he needs to win before I poof. The point is, he’s not going to just accept us freeing all these kids from Coates and taking over Perdido Beach, Sam said. So we need to be ready. And we need to be ready for something else, too: tomorrow is my birthday. He made a wry face. Not a birthday I’m exactly looking forward to. But, anyway, we need to decide who takes over for me if…when…I step outside.Several of the kids made sympathetic or encouraging noises about how Sam maybe wasn’t going to blink out, or maybe it would be a good thing, an escape from the FAYZ. But Sam hushed them all.Look, the good thing is, when I go, so does Caine. The bad thing is, that still leaves Drake and Diana and other bullies. Orc…well, we don’t exactly know what’s going on with him, but Howard’s not with him. And Lana…we don’t know what happened to her, whether she left or what.The loss of Lana was a serious blow. Every one of the Coates refugees adored her for the way she had healed their hands. And it was reassuring to think that she could heal anyone who was injured.Astrid said, I nominate Edilio to take over if…you know. Anyway, we need a number two, a vice president or vice mayor or whatever.Edilio did a double take, like Astrid must be talking about some other Edilio. Then he said, No way. Astrid’s the smartest person here.I have Little Pete to look after. Mary has to care for the prees and keep them out of harm’s way. Dahra has responsibility for treating anyone who gets hurt. Elwood has been so busy in the hospital with Dahra, he hasn’t dealt with Caine or Drake or any of the Coates faction. Edilio’s been up against Orc and Drake. And he’s always been brave and smart and able. She winked at Edilio, acknowledging his discomfort.Right, Sam said. So unless someone has an objection, that’s the way it is. If I get hurt or I ditch, Edilio’s in charge.Respect to Edilio, Dekka said, but he doesn’t even have powers.He has the power to earn trust and to come through when he has to,
Michael Grant