*Final instalment in the 'Little British Girl' Trilogy *
One year after Elia’s death, and the entire planet is rebelling. With the news of Xander’s assassination attempt against his own daughter alarming the world, Elda and Luci are leading a powerful resistance, competing with the Southern rebellium, with no powerful government to stop either of them.
And yet, nothing seems to have changed.
Annabeth, alongside Beverly, Zacharia, and Steve Ryans, hide out amidst the chaos , unable to prevent what’s happening right in front of them. Disheartened and helpless.
Then one day, a girl turns up, a girl with heterochromia, with some interesting letters, and some even more interesting information. Could it be that Xander Moore had another daughter? And that Luci has a half-sister?


9. Chapter 9

“...back to our top story this morning, just over one year after the leaking of important files to the media, alleging that the late head of Northern security, Xander Moore, had arranged to have his daughter, a young southern girl, murdered, resulting in the death of thirteen civilians, new evidence has been released that proves it was not him who ordered the assassination attempt. Letters written to an ex-lover by Mr Moore prove that he was unaware of the plans to have the southern child killed. They also prove that Xander Moore was unaware that he had a daughter in the south. The child in question is believed to be Luci Reeds, a known anti-zone extremist and terrorist known to be behind numerous tragic attacks from this past year. We now head over to our head of security affairs Diane Samuels who is at the head office for Northern security waiting for a comment from the department…” I’ve been sat watching the news for hours now, stuck to my seat as they play the same story over and over, making tiny little developments each time. I’m still not bored. Watching this seems to bring back all those feelings of victory from the night before, like some sort of high...I feel ecstatic. After a year of losing almost every single time, facing loss after loss, setback after setback...finally, we’ve won! It’s a small victory, but one that will stick in all our heads forever, and hopefully Luci’s too. Wherever she is, North or South, hiding or fighting, I hope she’s woken up to this this morning and known deep down somewhere that I was a part of it. I want her to know that I’m still fighting. I want her to spend time wondering what my next move might be. I want her to be afraid.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” Quinn says, bursting back into the room, “I never imagined that those letters would’ve caused this much of a stir.”

“I know, they haven’t shown anything else on the news this morning. It’s on every single channel...people are getting wound up again, they’ll turn away from the extremist ways of fighting, this will give the resistance the boost it really needs.” I ramble on, my eyes still glued to the screen. This won’t stop people fighting. Zoning is on the way out once and for all, that’s for sure, this was never meant to stop that, this was meant to knock back Elda and Luci and their gun-fired way of doing things. This will calm everyone down a bit, get them to see the other side as human again...then maybe we might finally be able to go about this in a civilised way. These letters could save lives.

“...Don’t you mean the alliance? I thought the resistance packed up a couple of years ago.” Quinn checks, her voice hesitant. She doesn’t know me, but she knows that I was part of the resistance, and not part of the alliance, and it doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together, she knows I’m not the alliance’s number one fan, and she doesn’t want to ruin my good mood.

“The alliance is pretty much dead by now. Last year we set a trap for the leader of the rebellium, and he fell for it. Grace caught him double-crossing her, and whilst she sort of forgave him, most of the important members of the resistance didn’t. Nowadays the alliance is pretty much the rebellium plus Grace, most resistance bases won’t let any alliance members in anymore, and rightfully so. Hopefully this will ruin them once and for all.” I lay it all out for her, trying to keep my head apart from my heart. I want to swear and curse and bang my fist down against the table, but I stay calm, and I don’t lose it.

“I’d like to think that too, so many people have died because of the extremists...but what good will releasing the letters in California do for people living in the South? There’s barely any communication between the two zones now since the main offices for interzonal relations got blown up last year and- well, people other there probably won’t hear about this, will they?” She’s right, I know she’s right, there’s no flaws in her logic, not a single one...but I still feel like leaping out of my chair and wrapping my hands around her throat. Just once would it be too much to ask to have a one hundred percent victory, instead of a fifty percent victory or a sixty percent victory or a ninety percent victory? Why can’t today be completely positive? Why can’t this be an undoubtable success? Don’t I deserve that after a year of losing and losing and losing over and over again? Tomorrow I’ll get up and happily face the chaos and confusion of this civil war, but right here, right now, I just want to sit back and feel completely happy with my victory.

“We can only hope that they’ll find out too, somehow.” I say through my teeth, trying to keep my temper under control. I get up and head towards the door, needing some space. “I’m just going to chat with Zacharia.” I call back, making my excuses. I head upstairs, knowing exactly where he’ll be.

He doesn’t notice me when I first enter the study, he’s got his headphones in and he’s completely consumed by his computer as he types away, refusing to take a day off. He eventually catches sight of me in the corner of his eye though, and jolts, quickly taking off his headphones and spinning around in his chair.

“Annabeth, what was it you wanted?” He asks, getting right to the point.

“What are you up to?” I dodge his question, trying to read the text on the screen behind him from over his shoulder.

“Just some basic admin, there’s a lot of preparation to be done before I can safely head back to the South. Border controls are even more hard to overcome now that they’re made up of officials and rebels, both trying to find people sneaking through.” He explains, shrugging his shoulders.

“You’re still heading back there then, you’re not going to stay for a little while longer to see how this letter-situation pans out?” I check, a little surprised at his eagerness to leave at such a critical time.

“No, no I think my job here is done.” He shakes his head, “I’m needed more in the South, so that’s where I’ll go.”

“Is Beverley still going with you?” I can understand Zacharia’s methodical way of working and living, but Beverley is much more spontaneous, she might stay a little while longer…

“I think so, she still owes Grace a smack in the face.” He laughs, “You know, the offer for you to come with us still stands, you might get a bit bored here now things seem to be calming down a bit.”

“The way I see it they’re just starting to really heat up, people will begin to fight the zoning system in the right way know? With humanity.” I argue.

“Even so, things won’t properly start to get better until both zones are sorted. Are you sure you don’t want to come?”

“Yes-” I automatically say, but I break off at the end, my mind recalling Quinn’s words from a few minutes ago. What good will releasing the letters in California do for people living in the South? We still have the letters, and we’ve already completed the mission once before, so we shouldn’t have much problem doing it again, shouldn’t we? We could all go to the South and release the letters there too! Then the same thing would happen there as it happening here. Luci and Elda, as well as the alliance would all be completely destroyed by such a move. And most importantly, it should work! Zacharia looks up at me, confused by my response. “, no I think I might come with you both.”

“Really? What changed your mind?” He asks, still shocked by my sudden change of mood.

“I think I’ve found a way for you to strengthen the Southern resistance, Beverley to get a chance to get to Grace, and take down the extremist groups in the South all in one.” Zacharia still looks completely dumbfounded, unable to figure out where I’m going with this. “We should release the letters there too! Then people will know the truth about Xander Moore, they’ll still hate zoning but they’ll see the people behind it as human again and they’ll stop bombing innocent people to try and take the system down through violence and destruction.”

“They’ll see it coming, they’ll increase security around printing factories worried that the mission would be repeated.” Zacharia shakes his head, unconvinced by my plan, “It would be a suicide mission.”

“No it wouldn’t!” I stress, “The interzonal relations centers got blown up, remember? It’s almost impossible to communicate between North and South now, all they’ll hear about this will be small rumours that they won’t trust enough to act upon.” I can see that my words are getting to him, slowly and steadily he’s warming to the idea.

“It would still be risky, riskier at least than it was this time.” He reminds me, getting up from his seat.

“When has anything we’ve done not been risky? And isn’t it worth the risk?” I struggle to persuade him, trying desperately to push him over the edge and get him to concede.

“We’d need more numbers as well, at least one person would need to stay away from the factory and keep watch from afar, we wouldn’t know the area as well.” He comes up with one big problem. I try to think up a solution under pressure, using my enthusiasm to fire my brain. ]

“Quinn could come with us!” I realise.


“Why not? She has nowhere else to go? Her mother’s passed away and she left her home to come and find us. I know she’s not trained but it wouldn’t take a lot to teach her how to be on look-out and what to do if she sees anything suspicious.”

“And you really trust her? We’ve only known her for a short while, what if she’s planning on double-crossing us?” Zacharia sighs, biting his lip.

“If she was planning on double-crossing us don’t you think she’d have done it by now?” I point out, “Besides, if Luci proves anything it’s that how long you know someone isn’t important.” Zacharia winces, struggling to come up with a new argument. He paces back and forth across the short distance of the study, mentally weighing up the advantages and disadvantages, trying to decide if it’s worth the risk. To my surprise, he suddenly stops in his tracks, turning back around to face me, his expression unreadable.

“I...I thought that you, that you were, you know? Done.” He struggles to find the words, “I- I thought that you didn’t want this anymore.”

“I...I guess I’d just forgotten how good it felt to win.” I shrug, unable to find a stronger explanation for my rapid change in attitude. The answer seems to escape my mouth before I’ve even properly thought about the question, but it’s one hundred percent correct. After all the death and isolation I’d forgotten why I ever put up with this all in the first place. Now I’ve felt the rush of victory again, I can’t understand how I ever forgot my motivations.

“What if you lose?” Zacharia’s words hit me like a rock, unexpectedly knocking me backwards. He’s right of course. I could fail. I could lose. I could leave the South even more broken than when I arrived. But how much does that really matter in the whole scheme of things? And what do I have left to lose?

“From the moment that we are all born we start to die,” I sigh, falling back into a seat, “After that every second brings us a moment closer to death. And what really is life, hm? Sometimes it feels like it’s just one ordeal after the next, an endless array of torture devices, traps, snares, grenades...the whole lot, it’s all there. But I’m not done yet. I would rather die a hundred deaths than live these last two years again, but the fact that I’m still here, after all that... that proves that I’m strong enough to keep going and survive the aftershock. Because from the moment that we are all born we start to die, and I’m not done dying yet.” I step back, surprised by my own outburst. Zacharia’s staring at me like I’ve just pulled out a gun from my pocket. I get up out of my chair, and head out of the room, murmuring under my breath... “I’m not done dying yet.”

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