"I heard what you did for Monsieur Pierre," the girl said.

 "Everyone has heard. It's not like it matters."

 "It does matter to me," she said fiercely.

 He looked down at the girl, at her shaved head, her sunken eyes, her yellowed skin — even more ghastly in the starlight.

 "Anything you do for any of us... prisoners matters to all of us. It gives us hope."

 He didn't answer. What a tiny speck of hope it was. As cold as the frigid air and as far away as the stars. Disguised as a gem but actually a hoax, a ball of flames waiting to devour them all.

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