[Still being set up]
Come, dear, come closer.
An older woman beckons to you, motioning for you to leave your solitary corner and approach the cluster of children that have already joined her. You can not see her eyes--the lines of old age and wear have deepened the crevasses in her face. The lack of food has left her features shrunken in. However, she exudes an air of warmth and comfort, and the slightly more relaxed expressions on the other faces around her make you lower your guard. There is no fire to heat the cold cave, and body heat is the only thing keeping your hands from freezing. The woman beckons again, her fragile bird-like hands reached out towards you. The temptation is great--you stand and hurriedly squeeze into the throng.
It happened many, many, many years ago, during a time when you weren't here, much less I.
You peer up at her from the mass of heads and caps, and you single out the lines that are where her eyelids are. She does have eyes--but they have sunken so deeply it was as though she was all skin, nose, and mouth. As she speaks, her head turns upwards as though she were recounting something or reliving it. There is a momentary pause as she recollects her thoughts before she continues.
Back then, the people were still united, the countries still joined in hand, and--no, I will not give you false illusions.
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