"Grandmamma?" I asked, as she seemed to be the most calm person in the room now.

"Yes, little one?" The way Grandmamma called me that, you'd think I'd feel patronized, but I really didn't. She was very sweet, it seemed, and I really wished she had been the one who raised me.

"What happened to Elizabeth's mother?" I asked her very quietly.

"All in good time, my child, all in good time," she replied, watching her granddaughter breeze about the room.

"So… How did all this get set up?" I asked in my normal voice.

"Well, the new Leader's first duty was to cancel most forms of communication. Mail was gone, telephones were gone," seeing my confusion, she added, "Mail was a system where you put out letters, a text about anything you felt like, addressed to someone you knew. It could be for business reasons, or to send a package. Anything, really. They came up with a form of mail called email which used the internet-I can't really explain it, it's quite complicated-to send mail very quickly around the world. You couldn't send packages though, just words. Telephones… were much the same as emails. You could talk to somebody around the world as if they were in the same room, no matter how far away they lived. Anyway, he made us all learn the same language, English. No more Russian, no more Japanese, no more French or German. Nobody can speak the language from the country they were born in."

"And what country are we from?"

"Russia. We're Russians," the white-haired woman said proudly. Elizabeth stopped suddenly.

"Grandmamma! Don't fill her head with such… nonsense!" she snapped loudly, "You could be killed for telling these lies!"

"Elizabeth, it'll be fine," she said gently, as if she'd had this argument more than once. The tall brunette bristled, but turned away and continued dusting the mantle piece.

"Actually, I have a question for you, Elizabeth. What does Thaddeus do?" I asked her, raising an eyebrow.

"Research labs. Of course they wouldn't have him testing! If he did, the world would explode," she said like it was completely obvious.

"The environment is screwed up enough with that testing, at least the Earth is somewhat intact," I replied, rolling my eyes. Grandmamma looked up.

"Intact?! You call this intact?!" she exclaimed, the loudest I'd ever heard her. The loudest I'd ever heard anyway speak. Barely anyone spoke over a level 3, which meant that people only about a foot away from you could hear what you were saying. It wasn't a set Rule, but it was something that most people did. "A world where everyone must be in their houses by 7 in the evening or they're shot and killed? A world where children are the ones who support their families? Where anyone can randomly be pulled from their houses and killed to make a point? This is not the world I was raised in. This is not the world I wish to live in. I have been cursed to be born unto this world in the time before this. We have all been cursed!"

"Grandmamma, please," I murmured gently, placing a hand on her thin wrist.

"Of course, of course," she muttered.

The day passed while I gradually got threads to the intricate tapestry Grandmamma had been weaving since I'd come here. The Leader, whose name was Lantana Element, held the world together because she made sure everyone was happy or content most to all the time. She was very kind and good and led the world well, it seemed. Everything seemed good and well. I really started to wish I had lived in those times.

"Tell me, Hanna, what is it that you do?" Elizabeth asked suddenly.

"I woke in an acid factory and lead the Resistance," I told her simply.

"The Unimportant Orphan…" she murmured, "It really would be nice for you to stay. As the leader of the Resistance."

"Why would I do that?" I asked her.

"Because we have a plan for the downfall of this country."

In this chapter, there are some things said about Russia. Now, I am not saying she's cursed to be living in Russia. Russia, I am told, is very beautiful and nice. She is cursed to be living in the Russia of this story, which is brutal and violent, and war gripped. I have a good friend that moved here from Canada, but she was still technically Russian. She lives there now. I would never purposely insult a country or it's people, and if I offended you, I'm very sorry. It was purely for the sake of the story.