We rounded the forty-third corner of God-knows-where about ten minutes after I had clambered into the back of the car and let myself sink into the headrest. The leather seats were comforting, almost swallowing me as I drew my knees up to my chest and kicked off my shoes.
This had been the car I had first met Oktyabrina in, although when I had first stepped into the seats, I had been almost dead.
I had sat on the corner that had been the meeting of four streets, staring into the snow for almost two days, having eaten nearly nothing for two weeks. I couldn’t even breathe when I stepped into the cab, the warmth was too much for me and my chest constricted tightly as a fresh track of tears froze on my face.
“What’s wrong, little one?” She had the most soothing voice, but I didn’t dare reply. I was afraid my mouth would betray me – and by the looks of this car, she was part of the government. I closed my eyes and opened them again, watching her for a minute. She smiled encouragingly and I couldn’t help myself.
“They took him. They took him and destroyed where we live... and I have nothing.” I bowed my head and I felt my shoulders start to shake. The woman reached out and took my hand, her lips pressed into a serious thin line, fury etched into her features.
“Your people!” I couldn’t help the words that slipped from my lips, “The government!”
She practically slapped her hand across her mouth and stared at me.
“Y-you think I...” She shook her head violently. “They took my family too, you know.” She murmured, dropping her gaze slightly and caught my hand. “My name is Oktyabrina.”
“Pyetrova.” She paused and looked at me.
“You look familiar, and you look hungry.”
I pulled on my hair band slightly as I stepped from the car and looked at the door of the hangar that doubled as Base. I called this place my home now, purely because I had nothing else, and could see nothing else on the horizon, unless they managed to free him. Nicolai was everything to me... and they took him and left me on the street corner, freezing cold, to die.
Oktyabrina saved me.
This was the least I could do.