Sanji ran long and hard, her breath coming in weak little gasps. Tears ran down her face. Kadai was dead. And Sanji had just committed herself- and her entire family- to death. Killing an angel was the ultimate crime. She had doomed them.
She ran until she collapsed, sobbing, in a dark, quiet place. It was only when she looked up, tears still streaming down her face, that she realized that she had no idea where she was.
All around her, trees loomed. She must have run into the forest that surrounded her village. She blinked, and stood slowly. She was lost, confused, and alone. It was probably better this way. If she was lost, then perhaps the angels wouldn't find her.
She started walking, trying not to think of Kadai, and what she had done. It would break her otherwise.
Suddenly, voices made her freeze. They were close- but speaking in hushed tones. Sanji could barely make the words out. They were definitely human voices- not angels, and this encouraged her. She began to move closer.
Abruptly, Sanji stumbled out into a clearing. She froze instantly, taking what she saw in.
A group of roughly twenty men, women, and children sat in a circle around a small fire. They had stopped talking as soon as she had appeared, and were all looking at her in shock.
A man recovered first. He was tall, with dark matted black hair, and slightly wild brown eyes that studied Sanji, as if assessing how much of a threat she'd be. "Get her!"
Sanji panicked and turned to run, but more of them appeared behind her. A man stepped out of the shadows to cuff her in the back of the head, sending her sprawling to the ground. He placed his boot on her back, holding her down. She could feel the sole of it through her threadbare shirt.
The man who'd spoken the order approached her, and knelt in front of her.
"What's your name, girl?"
"S-Sanji..." she whispered weakly. "Please.... please don't kill me."
"That depends on how much you know, and how much you've heard," the man growled.
Sanji felt a pang of fear. "Nothing! Please, sir. I just heard voices. I... I need help. The angels... they... my sister... I..."
Shock, relief, and then sympathy filled the man's face. "Let her up. She's no harm."
Once the boot was removed from Sanji's back, the man offered her his hand, helping her to his feet.
"My name is Korden. And this is the rebellion."
Sanji looked around at the faces. "A... rebellion? Sir, I don't understand."
Korden smiled. "All of us have a score to settle with the angels. We are the rebellion. We will destroy the angels, and cast them down from their high horses. You had best walk the other way, and pretend you never saw us."
Sanji looked at him, her mind reeling. This group thought they could defeat the angels. That was insane... and yet Sanji understood. And... she wanted to help.
"Let me join you," she blurted. Her tone came out desperate. "Let me help."
Korden laughed. "Girl, I'm sorry, but we have no use for a child like yourself. What could you possibly offer that could help us? This is too dangerous. Go back where you came from."
Sanji gritted her teeth. "I have nowhere to go. And I do have something to offer."
Sanji took a deep breath, and spoke her crime. "I killed an angel."
Korden was silent for a moment. Then: "Welcome to the rebellion."