2. Daily Bread

Henri’s father is home early from work, much to the delight of his wife and children- but the family’s simple joy at spending an evening together is shattered forever when all of them are killed by a terrorist bomb.

The dead man was a member of the undercover anti-terrorist unit GIGN, and this is the third such incident in which a GIGN member has been killed. The reluctant conclusion is that a mole has leaked information about GIGN members to terrorists, and a top secret investigation is ordered.

Meanwhile, Mireille and Kirika are out shopping; a pleasure for Mireille but merely boring for Kirika. Finally, the two go home for dinner, where Mireille is once again struck by Kirika’s instinctive ability with weapons when the girl expertly flips a knife into her hand whilst they are preparing their meal. A little annoyed, Mireille finds fault with Kirika at dinner, asking why she seems to enjoy her ‘daily bread’ so little. Kirika quietly denies this, stating that she truly does enjoy it; Mireille is not quite convinced, however.

With dinner over, Mireille sets off to take care of other jobs around the house. Watering a plant, she catches sight of Kirika’s pocket watch, triggering memories of its haunting tune, and her talk with Kirika back at the girl’s house.

But there is little time to dwell on memories, for the newly formed Noir has a new job. They have been hired to take down the two men who were responsible for killing the GIGN officers- a terrorist leader named Pierre Cressoy and his associate Jean-Jacques Legrand. A member of the French National Public Peace Dept, Legrand sold information on the GIGN to Cressoy’s group- the People’s Armed Alliance- in return for intelligence that improved his own standing in the department. A lesser faction of the People’s Armed Alliance weren’t too happy with Cressoy’s actions, however, and ordered the hit. Kirika isn’t too interested in the politics, and even Mireille has to admit that all the parties are involved are basically scum. More importantly, however, they will be well paid for the job.

Having located Cressoy’s safe house, the two women make their preparations before heading in for the kill. Unfortunately, Cressoy and Legrand have found out about the assassination attempt, having caught and tortured one of the men who had betrayed them. Legrand is surprised to learn that their potential assassins use the code name Noir; back in the seventies, that was the name of an undercover group who did secret jobs for the government. Could these assassins have any connection to the original Noir, or is it just a coincidence?

Even with the slight forewarning, Cressoy and Legrand have no time to prepare, for Mireille and Kirika are already in the building. Having shot three goons, Mireille waits for Cressoy to run out of ammo before finishing him off as well. Kirika, however, is having a little more trouble. Attacking from behind, one of the terrorists manages to get a garrotte around her neck, and only by holding it off with her gun is Kirika able to save herself. Whilst a transfixed Legrand looks on, Kirika’s attacker pulls tighter on the wire, but the girl is not out of options yet. Reaching behind her, she grabs the man’s sunglasses and breaks an arm off, before stabbing him to death with it. Legrand is only able to stammer “You can’t be Noir” before Kirika kills him as well. Looking on, Mireille, perhaps a little jealous of Kirika’s amazing ability, merely comments that her colleague’s work is always “so garish”.

Mission accomplished, Mireille is happy to walk home and enjoy the beautiful weather, but Kirika cannot help shedding a tear. She is earning a living by killing people, and yet she does understand why she feels no sorrow for the lives she takes. Mireille reminds her that once that question is answered, the time will have come for her to kill Kirika and be done with it…

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