Lizza was the daughter of a government bureaucrat in in the capital, Washington, and was raised inside the insulated, heavily policed compounds of the well-to-do. From a young age, she was educated in one of the best schools her parents could afford. She was very much one of the "haves" within the failing culture. It wasn't until she was a teenager that she saw what was beyond, on the other side of the massive and heavily armed divide that crisscrossed the sprawling suburbs.
When Lizza was 14, her father was given a residence in a gated mountain community two hour away, which became their summer home, away from the hustle and bustle and stink of the city. It was possible to travel safely enough through the slums of the "have-nots" to reach this distant retreat, but only in large caravans, with police escort. During these journeys, most parents did not allow their children to see what went on out in the slums. They feared that the children would ask dangerous questions, and draw the suspicion and ire of the government. Everyone knew life wasn't fair, but saying so at the wrong time could be deadly. Lizza's father disagreed with this logic. Rather, he reasoned that if his daughter was to have a positive and successful impact on their failing society, she would need to know what the world was really like. For the same reasons, he gave her marksmanship training during their mountain retreats.
Lizza drank it all in, and gradually gained a respect for her own good fortune in life and a soft-hearted sympathy for those who had been less fortunate. Even as the years passed and she entered a prestigious scientific university, she never felt entirely comfortable in the city again. She knew too much. It was only at her father's mountain retreat, where she could wander deep into the forest of the private nature preserve, that she felt at peace. Once or twice, she even cloaked herself and ventured outside into the lawless world beyond the sanctuary of the private compound, but a close call with the watchmen at the gate, in which she nearly was locked out all night, brought a quick end to the dangerous game.
When she was 25, and nearing completion of her university studies, she was traveling home from the mountains with about twenty others, riding in a convoy of Land Rovers, when their police detail created a situation. Two poor children had failed to get out of the way of the convoy in time, and the lead police vehicle had run into their wooden cart of vegetables, smashing it into tinder and pulp. Riding in the first vehicle as she often did, so as to observe as much as possible about the outside world (she used the clever excuse of motion sickness to explain her interest in the passing scenery to the police), Lizza watched in horror as the police jumped from the vehicle and began senselessly beating the children. Jumping down after them, she grappled with the overzealous officers, screaming at them to stop. One of the troopers turned angrily and shoved Lizza to the ground. Something inside Lizza, something that had been festering for years, snapped as she popped back up. One of the officers punched her in the face, but she shook it off and kicked him in the stomach. Down he went, gasping for breath.
Blood pouring down her face, she ripped the peasant children away from the remaining two police officers, who yelled expletives and drew their guns on this unexpected menace. Other policemen were now running up from the rear of convoy. Throwing several punches and struggling to escape, Lizza glanced wildly about, and caught sight of the security officer sprawled at her feet. Snatching his gun from it's holster, she desperately shot the closest policeman in the shoulder, and fired a few shots over the heads of the others. In the ensuing chaos, she fled, racing down alleyways and through backyards, vaulting fences and climbing walls as she ran deeper and deeper into the dangerous unknown.
For six months, she was on the run. Initially, the slum inhabitants helped shield her, and helped her escape the police perimeter that was hastily established, but after a few days, they apologetically abandoned her. She understood. They appreciated what she had done, but the government might very well kill them all, out of sheer spite, if they were found out. Making her way west, into the mountains, she escaped at last beyond the slum towns into the wilds, where she was able to narrowly evade capture for months.
But at last they brought her in, and an unhappy day that was. At first, she expected to have a trial, to expose the police brutality, and be acquitted or at least given little more than a slap on the wrist. She was the daughter of a privileged family, after all. But that imagined prospect quickly dimmed. She was kept in solitary confinement, and not allowed to speak with anyone. Her father came to see her, and solemnly explained that one of the policemen she'd beaten up was the son of a military general, and that if she exposed what had really happened, her father's career would be ruined, and the entire family might be imprisoned. The only way Lizza could save her family's reputation was to take the fall. In exchange, she would be spared the death penalty that the general had sought, and be exiled to a penal colony. If she accepted, there would be no trial: she would just plead guilty, and be whisked away quickly, to live out her days, but never to return. Horrified, Lizza realized that her life was in imminent danger until she was out of the city, and quickly accepted. Barely more than a week later, she was taken away in the middle of the night.