"She shouldn't have said that," Carmen whispered. "But she was always like that. I got in trouble so many times."

The Red Center staff had diplomatically said that Carmen 'had difficulty adjusting' when they described her to Jedediah Walker, but the reality had been far more brutal. Carmen's upbringing had left her completely unprepared for Gilead; she had grown up feeling safe, and within reason having the freedom to choose her own path. The stifling rules of Gilead had made her panic, and she lashed out like a trapped animal. It had resulted in plenty of beatings, and worse - eventually she had learned to hide her rebellious nature a little better. But only a little.

"For what it's worth, I'm glad you hit her," Carmen said with a faint smile.