Wearing chopped-off hair and a dazed expression, Nikita is first seen taking part in a drugstore robbery; more accurately, she is being dragged along for the ride. Yet for all her apparent blankness, Nikita is tough. In the aftermath of a lurid shoot-out, she emerges as the only member of her gang to have survived. And she manages to attack and kill several policemen before the incident is over. Nikita is sentenced to a prison term, and then behaves so badly that she is administered what seems to be a lethal injection. But she wakes up anyway, asking angrily whether she has arrived in heaven. Not really, but she has stumbled onto something almost as promising: a second chance. Nikita is told she must learn to "read, walk, talk, smile and even fight" for the sake of her country. Thus begins the glamorous part of "La Femme Nikita," in which this previously unmanageable street punk is transformed into a chic, ladylike assassin. Nikita is equipped with makeup, high heels, a little black dress and pearls, and sent to work her wiles in various high-risk situations.