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Cole James Stewart was the brother of Liam Stewart and half-brother of Claire Stewart, and an agent of the Children's League. He was older than the age that scientists estimated was the cutoff for those who could have had IAAN, however, he developed Psionic abilities and was revealed to be a Red. He gains a Allies named Ruby Daly.

“They don't burn, do they? Not like us.”

-Cole, In the Afterlight


Cole is an important Children's League agent even before the events of Never Fade as he joined the League with Liam when they were children. He was a key agent in planning the attacks against Oasis and Thurmond. He was confident and cool although he doubted his capacity to control his Psi ability.

Never Fade[]

Cole was first introduced as Prisoner 27, the agent that Vida and Ruby were assigned to retrieve during the Op that opens the book. During this Op, Rob, a corrupted agent in the League, purposely planted a bomb below Vida and Ruby in order to kill them, but the plan backfired. They eventually rescued Cole and brought him back to the Children's League headquarters in Los Angeles. It was revealed that Cole had lost the hard drive that contained research on a possible cure for IAAN. Later in the book, he secretly assigned Ruby a mission to find Liam and get the hard drive back.

In The Afterlight[]

Following the events of Never Fade, Cole formed an alliance with Ruby to gather forces, supplies, and people to finally fight back against the Rehabilitation Camps and free the children inside. After the hit on Oasis, where Liam brought back the reporter Alice Waters from Amplify to the Ranch, it looked like Cole might kick his younger brother out. Eventually, he cooled down, and the kids and remaining agents split into teams for the newest Op. Cole took Liam with him on a separate Op to investigate a Red camp named Sawtooth, after Cole discussed Project Jamboree with Clancy. They are spotted soon after breaking in and Cole is shot in the neck, dying instantly, after which he is bound to a chair with a note saying ‘Try again’ tied around his neck. He is set on fire by the other Reds. All of this is seen through pictures sent from a cellphone to the Ranch.


Cole's true personality was extremely hard to assess. After witnessing his younger sister's death, he became bitter and guarded. During his time throughout the books, he was seen as a man who put off a lot of "macho bravado". He was a charmer as well. His faux confidence led Ruby to delve deep and try to understand why he was so guarded. In reality, his abilities scared him and he let it control him. He knew how to read a room and understood that the other Psi kids needed someone to look up to, so he stepped into that role. Cole deeply cared for everyone and wanted to protect them at all costs, presumably from the guilt of not being there for his sister. He made an impression on everyone and was compassionate and caring to those who knew him. Cole was finally coming to terms with his ability when he told Liam his secret, only to die less than a day later.

Physical Description[]

Cole is described as tall - a few inches taller than Liam - with close-cropped blonde hair and bright blue eyes, and is almost identical to his brother -- so much so that even Ruby had difficulty telling him from Liam in Never Fade when they first met.


Liam Stewart: Brother[]

Cole and his brother, Liam, had a very strained relationship. Part of this was because Cole was hard and mean compared to empathetic Liam. But they both lost their temper and had a streak of acting out. As they got older their personalities clashed and they became icy to one another. Cole was very protective of his little brother, something Liam didn't understand, since Cole had never shown Liam any compassion or kindness, not since they were very young.

But in spite of that, Liam was ripped apart when he hard Cole died, especially because he had finally found out Cole was a Red less than a day before he died. Hence, Cole's death devastated Liam and he felt such guilt for not seeing what Cole was going through and helping him understand his ability so he wouldn't be so alone.

In the end, Cole saved Liam's life by making him run when they were discovered at Sawtooth, and because of that he died by sacrificing himself so Liam could live, ending their cold past.

Ruby Daly: Best Friend and Coworker at the Ranch[]

Ruby and Cole related to each other as both of them had similar and extremely strong powers. Through the course of the last book, they began to trust each other and soon become best friends. They compared each others monsters and talked about how terrifying it is to feel like you could make one mistake and it would all be over. They understood each other deeply, and they had a very strong bond. When Cole died and Ruby went to Thurmound to finish his mission, she remembers his bravery and what he fought for, and that helps her finish the mission.


Cole was a Red. He was angry all the time, as a result from the constant fire in his veins begging to be let out. He could control fire well, and even set fire to a Humvee early on In The Afterlight, just by curling his fist. He had good control and was able to snap his fingers to produce a single flame on his fingers. When angry, he could make the fire engulf his whole arms and body. When Cole was young, around twelve when he developed PSI powers, he would accidently set his toys on fire.

He had a tic in his right fingers and hand when he was angry or on the verge of losing control over his temper.


"Hey, Gem."

"They don't burn, do they? Not like us."