What did we know? This was early days. We had no idea what was out there. How dangerous it might be. It was just a school maths problem. They never asked that in the exams, did they? Like, 'If John walks at three miles an hour from London to Brighton, and he's attacked by rabid grown-ups four times, and they bite his right leg off, how long will it take him to bleed to death?
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When we're strong enough, " said Sam, "will you come with me?" "Where? To Bucko Palace?" "Yes. To find Ella." "Course I will, " said the Kid, and he put an arm around Sam. "It'll be a new grand adventure of the old school. They'll write books about us. Long books. Nothing's gonna split us up, small fry. We're a team. Like Batman and Robin Hood." And he sang. "Ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-Batman!
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If we make our own history, if we tell stories that bring us together, we'll be stronger. It'll give us something to believe in. The sickos can't do that - they're no better than animals - but we can. Every battle we win we have to tell the story over and over, so that we can win more battles. People love stories. They've told stories since even before they could write. Myths and legends, stories of heroes and villains, gods and monsters. Real things happened, the story got told and then the stories became legends. That's what we've got to do - tell our own heroic stories.
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And don't go whining to God about it. It was pretty clear that there was no God up there, no kindly old gent looking down, keeping score in a notebook. You did good, you did bad, it didn't make any difference, did it? This one's going to heaven, this one's going to hell, this one's going to Disneyland. No. God wouldn't have let any of this shit happen. If you were going to believe in anything, then believe in the devil. He was much more real than God. Up there causing mischief. Laughing at the chaos he'd created.
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But I'll never see any of those fish," said Maxie."Or those whales. Or any lions or tigers. I'm never going to set foot in a rain forest now, am I? I won't even be able to watch old DVD's about them without electricity. What does the future hold? It's like going back to the middle ages. Nobody knowing what was going on beyond their front doorstep. All I'll ever know is this. This little bit of London.
There was a reason these boys were still alive, though. Something made them stronger than the other kids, the ones who had died in the early days, who had simply lain down and given up, unable to cope with the terrible things that were happening in the world. These boys were survivors. The will to live was stronger than any other feelings.