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Story Summary - Part 4

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PART 4/4:


"Overhearing explosions outside the deserted mall they were exploring, Ellie and Riley seek out the scene of the battle. On the way they barely survive an encounter with several infected, but ultimately arrive in time to aid Firefly insurgents. However, the Fireflies are not amused by Riley's enthusiasm and take the girls captive..."

As Ellie wakes up she's laying on the ground and three fireflies are discussing what went wrong in their fight against the QZ troops. Ellie reaches out for a shard of glass but it's unnecessary as she's cut loose by the woman who enters the room (the same who took them captive). Riley is also cut loose and the woman hands an envelope to Ellie, telling her to open it once she's back in the QZ.

Riley doesn't want to go back at all and tells the woman that she knows her name is Marlene and that she's the leader of the Fireflies. The two heavily discuss as Riley wants to join the Fireflies but Marlene absolutely doesn't give a damn and thinks it's way too dangerous. A few moments later a shotgun blast makes everyone turn around towards the tunnel.

A few smugglers claim the tunnel is theirs and that they want the toll; everyone must hand over their weapons. Marlene declines and tells them she'll give them some ration cards, but not their weapons. The smuggler is not amused and blasts a shell right through the second Firefly, instantly killing him. Marlene swiftly responds by grabbing her gun and shooting one of the three smugglers. Everyone hides behind cover.

Ellie points to a way out, but Riley instead reaches out for a gun on the floor. The smuggler with the shotgun turns around and notices her, grabs her, but Ellie hurls a rock at his head, throwing him off balance. As he's about to shoot her, Riley shoots him in his arm. Marlene (who apparently has already dealt with the second smuggler) puts a gun to his head and executes him in cold blood. Riley tells her it's the second time they've saved her. Marlene doesn't take this comment lightly and throws Riley on the ground, shouting at her that she doesn't know anything about the world. But Riley replies that she knows enough; she saw her father turn and rip her mother apart and then she killed her own father. Marlene tells her that she's not special but that almost everyone in the world has been through that or something similar.

Marlene then shows Riley the dead Firefly and rhetorically asks if she wants to become like *that*. Otherwise she could also offer to cripple her; maybe that would make her Firefly enough? Marlene looks as if she means it and grabs her gun, but Ellie (who's held by an other Firefly) munches on the hand of the man holding her and grabs his gun. As she holds him and Marlene under fire she tells them to back up. Marlene again names her Ellie, telling her to take it easy, but Ellie shoots a hole in the wall, inches from Marlene's head; she's serious too and asks her how on earth she knows her name.

Marlene then answers her: the envelope she gave Ellie is a letter from Ellie's mom, who gave it to her before she died. She also mentions that Ellie ran away from her last school seven times, and that she has been in a dozen assaults or so. Then there apparently was that one time where she stabbed a kid in his knee with a compass. Marlene tells her she was looking out for her, because she promised her mom she would. Ellie asks Riley what she should do, and Riley tells her that Marlene is telling the truth.

Ellie asks Marlene what the name of her mother was. "Anna", she tells her. Her mother gave up everything for Ellie, so she'd better respect that instead of throwing it away. Just before Ellie and Riley leave the room by climbing a ladder leading up to an alley nearby their school, Marlene gives Ellie a switchblade that belonged to Anna.

Back on the street, Ellie is pretty upset and tells Riley that they should just leave the whole city. But Riley has landed back on her feet and knows that the only realistic picture for them is to stay; they would just get killed outside of the QZ. They climb over the fence and head back to their dorm. The final page shows Ellie after having read the letter, cherishing the switchblade. The letter is hardly readable (for us as comic book readers; for Ellie it's perfectly fine) but from the fragments that are available one can derive the following:

(...) worth living! (...) and fight (...) Fo(rever yours?) (...) Anna (...) (Ma)ke me proud.

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