Vanja doesn't remember a life before the Metro. She doesn't remember a time where she wasn't half starving in the cold dark.
Her mother, a maid and sometimes prostitute, always told her lovely stories about her father: that he was a great man, protective and loving, and that she lost him in the post-war chaos. Vanja likes to think that's so, but she's not even fully convinced her mother knows who he was at all. From the time she was born, it was just the two of them. Until her mother passed away, too sick to keep working and too poor to get well, when Vanja was 9.
After that, the girl found herself on the street, where she was lucky enough to fall in with a small group of other street kids. She learned to run fast and move her hands faster, picking pockets and grabbing mushrooms from market stalls. Anything to keep herself and her found family of siblings alive another day.
Now 20, she's at the upper end of the group, one of the oldest still alive. Vanja is charming and quick to smile, but tough as nails, willing to do whatever it takes to support her family.