Fireheart tensed, waiting for whatever had hunted down these apprentices to emerge from the trees and attack, but nothing stirred. Feeling as if his legs hardly belonged to him, he sprang down and stumbled across to Swiftpaw.The apprentice lay on his side, his legs splayed out. His black-and-white fur was torn, and his body was covered with dreadful wounds, ripped by teeth far bigger than any cat's. His jaws still snarled and his eyes glared. He was dead, and Fireheart could see that he had died fighting.
But Alonso kept smiling that smile and nothing made any sense with that smile looking you in the face. 'Jim, don't tell me that, you know, brother-shit. I have been through it all. Take, you know, advice. There is only one thing and that is the kick, the Now. Nothing else counts. Get yours. Get it because, you know, no one cares and they will always put you down in the end, Jim, and the only word that counts is, you know, Now. Not that foolish brother and bopping jazz, Jim. Now. Because if it all don't go up in any, you know, twenty minutes; up, all gone; then they are going to put you down and keep you down. Now.
It was while he was on the tower thatRobbie came to the rampart beneath. 'I want you to look at this,' Robbie called up to him, and flourished a newly painted shield. 'You like it?'Thomas peered down and, in the moonlight, saw something red. 'What is it?' he asked. 'A blood smear?''You blind English bastard,' Robbie said, 'it's the red heart of Douglas!''Ah. From up here it looks likesomething died on the shield.
Only through the group, I realised through sharing the suffering of the group could the body reach that height of existence that the individual alone could never attain. And for the body to reach that level at which the divine might be glimpsed, a dissolution of individuality was necessary. The tragic quality of the group was also necessary, the quality that constantly raised the group out of the abandon and torpor into which it was prone to lapse, leading it to an ever-mounting shared suffering and so to death, which was the ultimate suffering. The group must be open to death which meant, of course, that it must be a community of warriors.