My name is Vladimir Bulgakov. I was a writer when the troubles began. I did my best to get the word out; use my position to alert the world to the devastation that I saw around me. I lost my mother, my father and my library. Every day I search for books, for meaning, for hope. I can't understand why I was one of the survivors. Why is it me who has immunity and not my parents; what biological coincidence has saved me and is there a reason for it? Is this the apocalypse? Is this God's will? I know not. But I do know this; I see hope and humanity everywhere; even the man wearing the balaclava robbing me for my supplies can be rescued with the right words. Words are what I had and words are what I use now. That being said I have had to learn how to shoot a weapon and I have had to learn fast. My mother was a seamstress and my father an engineer but both were retired and, even as the streets became more and more dangerous, they refused to buy or carry a weapon. They believed, as I once did, that pacifism was the road to salvation. They didn't live long.