Red laughed as the building behind them burned, and the sound was so beautiful that Blue almost had to pause to catch her breath. Almost. She was a professional, after all.
Blowing up the facility hadn't been necessary. It wouldn’t slow down the Commandant and her forces, nor would it make their escape any easier. But seeing the halo of flame bursting behind Red's head made satisfaction curl inside her gut, and if the two of them were going to be gone for good, then they might as well leave in style.
When Blue had found Red, she was colorless, gray uniform, dull eyes, none of the intensity that drew Blue’s attention in the first place. There was nothing red about her- not that there ever truly was when even her blood shifted colors with the chemicals and nanomachines that made her into a living weapon. Her hair had been red when she first saw her, a long way across the battlefield, but that was another time, another body, and now her black hair tangled outward from her head. Her redness was a secret between the two of them. When Blue had found her, she blended in with the blank walls of the cell, dull and gray.
This whole planet was so unlike the one where Garden had rooted itself. It reminded Blue more of a battlefield than of a home. Tall buildings stood in rows like fence posts, each one housing thousands of people curled up in pods, their minds drifting elsewhere. Every system was automated. There was no one walking the halls between sleeping pods, no crowds on the street. The twisting routes of Garden were always crowded with plants and people, air thick and cloying with the perfume of thousands of flowers. It was unsettling that such a quiet place was the biggest threat to the Garden that had grown her.
Of course, it wasn't quiet now, not with the echoing fire bells and the soldiers streaming from the facility like ants from a nest. Now it was red and beautiful and they were running from it towards something even she didn't know. Red ran up ahead, grabbing her hand as she passed her, and then Blue was laughing as well, and it didn’t matter where they were going so long as they were going together.