— Philip Pullman
Context: If you're the bearer of the knife, you have a task that's greater than you can imagine. A child... How could they let it happen? Well, so it must be.... There is a war coming, boy. The greatest war there ever was. Something like it happened before, and this time the right side must win. We've had nothing but lies and propaganda and cruelty and deceit for all the thousands of years of human history. It's time we started again, but properly this time...."
He stopped to take in several rattling breaths.
"The knife," he went on after a minute. "They never knew what they were making, those old philosophers. They invented a device that could split open the very smallest particles of matter, and they used it to steal candy. They had no idea that they'd made the one weapon in all the universes that could defeat the tyrant. The Authority. God. The rebel angels fell because they didn't have anything like the knife; but now..."
"I didn't want it! I don't want it now!" Will cried. "If you want it, you can have it! I hate it, and I hate what it does — "
"Too late. You haven't any choice: you're the bearer. It's picked you out. And, what's more, they know you've got it; and if you don't use it against them, they'll tear it from your hands and use it against the rest of us, forever and ever."
Ch. 15 : Bloodmoss