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One Spark

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Fuck them all.

The thought has been going through her head ever since they dragged her out of the grocery and threw her in the car. When she was brought to Taha's office, when Leïto came and busted her back out. When they shot her full of heroin and dropped her at the foot of Taha's chair like a dog.

Fuck them all.

It's her last line of defense. When she couldn't protect her body or her dignity or anything else, she clung to that thought. In her more sober moments, she decorated it with plans for escape, revenge, the utter destruction of those who were trying to destroy her, but it's the skeleton that matters above all. As long as it keeps repeating in her mind, she hasn't given up.

Fuck them all.

When she wakes on the rooftop and sees what towers above her, it looks like the living embodiment of that thought. Pure annihilation, aimed at the heart of Paris. But those aren't the ones she hates.

Oh, sure, she used to. The assholes in the government who arranged for the banlieues to rot. The rich Parisians who were happy to ignore what they couldn't fix. If she could shove Banlieue 13 down their throats, she would.

But they aren't as bad as Taha.

She thinks briefly of Leïto, right after her eyes fall on the gas can. He kept hope alive, in his own heart and in hers. Maybe things could get better. Maybe Banlieue 13 could be saved.

But Leïto's gone, and so is hope.

Fuck them all.

One inch at a time, fighting through the fog the drugs have made of her brain. Tip it over, strike the match. Send the fucking thing up in flames. Will it make the bomb go off? She doesn't know. Doesn't much care. It'll stop whatever they're trying to do, at least, and if that means losing half of Banlieue 13, well, she's not sure she believes in the place anymore. It's like a fairytale she was told as a child, half-forgotten and probably not real. Only one thing is real now, hammering through her mind like a nail:

Fuck them all.

At last, a flame. She treasures it, staring into the bright spark. Here, at last, is a way to make that dream come true. Blow the fucking place to hell, and Taha and all the rest with it. Then, finally, she'll have beaten him. She cradles the spark in her hands, and in the last action of her life, throws it.


And Leïto catches the match.