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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,