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*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?

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14. Chapter 14 (one year earlier)

It’s been days since the bombing of the interzonal relations center, I’m not sure how many, I haven’t been keeping count. I keep on waiting for Zacharia to approach me, to get angry at me and Robin for going ahead with the plan despite his direct instructions to stay put at the base, but he doesn’t seem mad at all. In fact, in those brief moments when I do see him all he seems to feel is pity. He’s sorry that we couldn’t stop the bomb plot, he’s sorry that we couldn’t save all those lives. I on the other hand am having no trouble getting angry. I’m no calmer now than I was when we left the alliance base. I spent most of my time, day and night, planning different ways to make them pay. It comes before showering, sleeping, and even eating. But it’s all worth it, because I know that someday, somehow they’re actions will catch up with them, and they’ll feel the pain of losing everything too. And I want to be there when it happens. I want to be the person who makes it happen.

There’s a sharp knock at the door, and before I even have a chance to say ‘come in’, the door opens, and Robin appears. She looks just as awful and run-down as I do, if not even worse. She doesn’t speak at first, she just stands there in silence for a few moments, as if she’s temporarily forgotten how to speak.

“You have a visitor.” She finally manages to force the words out, her tone just as uncomfortable and choked as the expression plastered all over her face. Her eyes are sympathetic but hidden beneath a mist of misery. The hand that isn’t holding the doorknob is shaking. She’s breaking inside. I want to say something comforting, but nothing springs to mind except a long rant about getting angry and making them pay instead of sitting around and crying all day...and that won’t help, that will only make things worse.

“A visitor? Who?” I ask, confused. Who would come here looking for me? Who would know to come here in the first place? Robin’s face just seems to break at my question, and she inhales sharply, her breath strained. Tears brim in the corners of her eyes, she’s about to start crying… “It’s okay,” I blurt out, withdrawing my question, “Uh... where is this person?” I ask instead.

“The main office.” She mumbles, keeping her head down. I don’t ask anything else, she’s already exhausted. I shut the door after me, giving her some privacy to mull things over.

I have a visitor.

Who?

It would have to be somebody who knows the location of the emergency base and who knows that I would probably still be here. Luci? She’s always been able to track us down...but no, Luci wouldn’t come here. If she did she’d automatically be either shot or locked up. But if not her then who else? Who else would know to come here? Unless...no. I can’t be him. He wouldn’t...would he? I mean following the bombing he might have had a change of heart...so maybe, just maybe, it’s Daniel? Maybe he’s come back? Maybe he wants to help? It would make sense. He knows where I am, he knows how to find this place, and after what happened a few days ago, he might have changed his mind about running away from all of this. Something’s rising up inside me, hope? Longing? Anxiety? Anticipation? Whatever it is I’m not sure I like it.

I pause outside the main office, my hand hovering over the doorknob. I’m being ridiculous. If it is Daniel then that’s fine. If it’s not then that’s fine too. I’m fine. It’s all fine. Fine fine fine

I force my hand down and turn the doorknob sharply, bursting through the door before I have a chance to change my mind. But ‘my visitor’ is nowhere to be seen. It’s just Zacharia, sat at his desk as usual.

“That was a little violent,” he notes, referring to my abrupt and sudden entrance, “Remember, I can’t afford repairs anymore.”

“What’s going on? Robin said that I had a visitor.” I stand frozen in the doorway, confused.

“You do.” I jump at the sound of a second voice behind me, one I recognise instantly as none over than the voice belonging to the leader of the northern resistance, Beverley. I turn around to face her, she’s stood to the right of Robin’s desk, flicking through some files.

“What are you doing here?” I ask immediately, the question leaving my mouth like it’s some sort of subconscious protocol.

“You don’t look too good,” she avoids my question, putting down the files and walking over, “I know you’ve been through a lot recently but really… you look like you’re back from the dead.”

“What are you doing here?” I repeat my question, still not moving from the doorway.

“How about you sit down?” She suggests, sighing. I think about it for a moment, before walking over and sitting down opposite her.

“What are you doing here?” I try one final time, tired of waiting around for her to get to the point.

“I came to talk to you, to make a...proposition.” She reveals, speaking carefully.

“What sort of proposition?” I dig deeper, feeling more and more uncomfortable with each second that passes.

“I want your help.” She finally manages to get the words out, clearly not happy about having to confess it. I have to say, it takes me by surprise. Normally when I’m stuck in a room with this pair it’s because I’ve stepped out of line and need to be reminded of my place. I’ve never seen Beverley so desperate before.

“Why? Don’t you have more influential people to turn to?”

“Not anymore…” She trails off, shifting in her position, it’s almost as if she’s embarrassed. “Grace kicked me out of the alliance and the resistance about a month ago. She thought my head wasn’t in the game anymore, that I wasn’t committed enough. You see after...after...after Max died- after Max passed away, I-I wanted the alliance to retaliate against Luci and Elda, but Grace wouldn’t authorise it. She thought that it would be a waste of resources. We got into a big argument and she fired me, simple as.” Beverley explains, unable to look me in the eye as she speaks.

“She did more than just fire you…” Zacharia speaks from the back of the room, “She slapped you in the face.”

“And the next time I see her she’ll get one in return.” Beverley snaps. She quickly regains herself though, and looks back at me with a face of stone once more. “Anyway, I want your help to go after Luci and Elda and what’s left of the alliance. You’re the most stubborn and hotheaded agent I know.”

“And that makes me perfect for this how…?” I question her logic, struggling to see how I could ever be her first point of call in this sort of situation.

“You’re passionate and driven, you refuse to quit and you always see things through. You go through hell and come out stronger. You’re willing to do stupid things for what you believe in, and right now, I need some stupid things.” It feels odd to be complemented by someone who's spent so much time screaming at me over the years. I always thought Beverley saw me as nothing more than a nuisance. If I didn’t know any better I’d begin to think that she admired me.

“So I’m an idiot with a gun?” I summarise, still not wholly convinced.

“You’re a rebel.” She rephrases, “And a crazy one at that. You’re always first to the fight, you take things too far-”

“And that’s a good thing?”

“Honestly Annabeth, at the moment ‘too far’ isn’t far enough. I want to make Luci pay, I want to make Elda pay, I want to make Grace and Charles and anyone else who contributed to that horrific bombing pay...I want them to lose, and I know you do too.” She argues. If those weren’t my exact thoughts from about an hour ago I’d tell her to get lost, but I recognise too much of my own motivation in hers to shoot her down automatically. The more she talks the more the idea appeals to me.

“What would you need me to do?” I begin to cave in, leaning in closer.

“First, you’d come back to the North.” She begins to explain, smiling at my question, “From there we’d find a safe place to stay where we could think up clever ways to cause a whole lot of trouble. We’d make it up as we went along, but one things for sure, we wouldn’t stop until we’d done anything and everything that we could possibly do.”

“I’d tag along too,” Zacharia calls from the other side of the room, looking up from his desk, “Robin can take charge here. I fancy a change of scenery.”

“So...does it sound good?” Beverley asks the all-important question, pressuring me for a final decision.

“If I do this, then you’re not my bosses anymore. We’re equals, a team. If I want to do something I won’t need your permission.” I clarify, wanting to make this one thing clear. I’m done taking orders.

“Of course.” Beverley nods, a tiny trace of reluctance lingering in her tone.

“Then I’m in.” I decide, “Let’s make them pay.”

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