Warning: Graphic Content may be ahead. Viewer discretion is advised.
Kingville Forest, a little while later...
I push aside sharp branches, step over pointy rocks, and make my way through that old familiar path to the camp in the heart of the forest. The sights, the smells, the sounds, all come back to me. As I near the opening to the camp I can hear the chatter of people, cups clanking, men growling in brawls, and children screeching. Are they no longer worried about CBTF raids!? This is ridiculous, the whole city could hear this. I storm into the camp, a few of the newer inhabitants getting ready to attack me while the older ones simply stare wide eyed. The whole camp has gone dead silent, except for the whispers I can hear passing around that it's Alexander Wolffe and that I'm alive. Roughly around the middle of the camp I stop and start scanning around me, most of the camp is circled around me either in shock or confusion. I notice nearly half of our old forces are gone. "What happened?" I ask demandingly. Everyone just looks at each other not knowing what to say until a path starts clearing and a young man steps out from it. It's Blaze, another hard@$$ carrier that was one of the original carriers I took under my wing. Really young, early twenties. He left his home after the camps to follow me so he could get vengeance, and fit in somewhere without being looked at as a freak. "Blaze?" I ask curiously.
"You've missed a lot, Colonel Wolffe." Blaze responds as he steps in for a handshake. "There's a lot you need to catch up on."
I return the handshake before having a realization. ".... Where's Dr. Rive?"
Blaze's head lowers. "Like I said... there's a LOT to catch up on."
Flustered by this news, I quickly start speeding over to the command tent, signaling Blaze to follow to fill me in. When I walk in I notice something I've never quite noticed before.... We have really low tech, besides the lone laptop we have. Ah, well. That'll have to be dealt with another time. "What happened with Rive?" I ask immediately as I turn to face Blaze, who seems taken back by the question for a second.
"Well... I think it's better if we with start a little while after you left, Colonel. Everything was going well for the first month, but after a a few weeks went by and no one heard from you people started to worry. When a whole month came and went without word from you, dissension began to rise in the ranks. Rive tried his best to keep everyone controlled, but he can only do so much. Finally came the spark- a CBTF raid on some of our guys downtown. Some of us extremes wanted to get back at the CBTF, while others thought we should just stay back. Bickering between the total extremists and lesser extremists led to debates, debates led to brawls, brawls led battles, battles led to deaths. The whole camp was split in two, and when Rive tried using his carrier-location finder or whatever that ability is, he couldn't pick you up anywhere, so we thought you were dead. Naturally, Rive and I talked about how to fix this and he decided he'd take the lessers out of the camp and into some other location he found while I stayed back and controlled these ones best I could." Blaze explains.
.... Out of all that, the part that disturbed me the most was that Rive couldn't find me with his locating ability, but I don't want to tell Blaze that, he wouldn't understand. "Find Rive." I command him. "Bring him back here with the others as soon as you can." He nods in acceptance and goes to step out of the tent. I turn around to look at the mess this place, the command center of the camp, has become. Disgusting.
"Uh.... Sir?" Blaze's voice asks with a hint of shock to it. I turn around to see him. "I found him a lot faster than either of us thought I would, heh heh." Blaze continues. I look over his shoulder to see Dr. Rive's friendly familiar face behind him.
"I ran over as fast as I could as soon as I got the news." Rive states with a smile. Well, news sure does move fast. "One of my guys spotted you on your way here." Oh, that would make more sense. "How was China?" Rive jokes. Heh. A small grin forms on my face.
"Good to see you, Rive." I tell him. "Start bringing over your half whenever you can, the sooner the better." He nods in agreement.
"It will take some time. But they should all be back within the next couple weeks." He responds.
"Good. It's time to get this camp back into the order it used to be." I comment back. Then I notice Blaze is still here. "Is there more?" I ask him.
"Well, uh, yeah, a little. Nothing too major. Just that the Wind Duster guy has been all over the news lately. They're starting to call him a Superhero... I think they're starting to get used to carriers with this guy. They're starting to see not only that we aren't monsters, but we're also heroes. Cuz of this guy." Blaze explains. Hmph. I don't know what to make of that. "Here I'll try looking some stuff up to show you."
"Carriers are becoming less unknown to the people. Soon enough we won't have to hide, we might even be able to go back to living in the city in time." Rive remarks. Hah! My a$$. Even if the people accept us, the CBTF or the government never will.
"Oh my god..." Blaze utters in complete shock and terror.
"What is it?" I inquire.
"....look at this..." Blaze responds as he turns the laptop towards Rive and me. Live news footage plays on the computer.
"'-heroes!' While not much is known yet on what transpired here at the Beneforce Building in New York City today, what we do know is what was released to the media just a few moments ago that is now spreading like wildfire across the intern-" The Reporter drones on. "-do have some images of what exactly Beneforce was doing here, and even though they are disturbing we feel they must be shown. But be warned that these images are disturbing." Images of dissected and mutilated carriers flash on the screen. "From what we've gathered from authorities, Beneforce was doing illegal expe-" I zone out there, knowing the tale all too well. Instead I focus on the images of all the bodies, the thrown aside bodies of the nameless and forgotten, then they show footage of a large almost vault-like wall opening to reveal just a putrid mess of tangled carrier bodies strewn around everywhere. My fists clench and my mouth drops as the reporter drones on and the images keep playing, the memories keep surging, and the hatred has reached it's boiling point.
Last author note's are still the case.