Derek Reese's squad found her in the ruins of the old Russian consulate. Because of their many emergency storage caches the old consulates had always been prime hunting grounds for resistance fighters scourging for supplies. They found the intact bunker door, definitely the best luck they had in a long time. When, they bypassed the locks, swung open the doors, and there she stood in the middle of a pre-war electronic warehouse it was as if Lady Luck had been flown down from heaven to grace their presence.
It was hard for women to be pretty in their world. With so little water, it was better to drink what you had than bathe? People ate what they could find and to heck with balanced diets for a good complexion. Beauty treatments? those were legends of the past. Even still there were some women with natural beauty to inspire their masturbatory fantasies. This one she took all their breath away. Her skin was milk, not a blemish or a bruise, and no radiation roughness. And those eyes! For the first time in their lives they realized brown could be something rich and lush, not like the mud and dirt that pervade their lives daily. For endless minutes they just circled around her barely able to believe she was real.
Derek finally broke the silence. "You got a name?" He had encountered ferals so regressed they didn't speak, but they were usually naked. This woman wore clothes, soft white stuff, probably from the bunker.
She gazed directly into his eyes. He felt almost light-headed. She was amazing looking. "Cameron."
"How about a last name?" Derek continued.
She shook her head. That didn't surprise him. A lot of younger people had no idea what a last name was until the resistance gave them one.
While his men continued to ogle her, Derek scanned the bunker. Cameron could have been in here for years. He saw mountains of discarded food cans. Then he saw the old man in the chair brain splattered all over the wall behind him. He brought Cameron to the body. "Who is this?"
"Philip." Her eyes were emotionless, but he must have been the one that saved them both. Cameron would have been a baby when the bombs dropped. Of course, that didn't make old Phillip a saint either, a lot of men saved women just so they could use them.
"Was he your man?" Bailey asked.
Cameron looked puzzled.
Sumner chimed in too damn eager for answers about that situation. "Your husband, your lover, the guy makes you howl like a wild coyote with radiation burns."
Her expression didn't change. "Phillip took care of me. He never made me howl. He kept saying the food was running low and there wouldn't be enough. He said I should eat him if I could."
Derek cut the men off before anyone could reply to that. "He was probably her father." The old man did look like Cameron, and who else, but a parent would sacrifice themselves like that. "Did Phillip have a last name?"
Cameron shook her head again.
"In the old days, they use to make last names out of the father's first name, so your last name's Phillips, Cameron Phillips. Can you remember that?
"Cameron Phillips," she repeated.
A smile flashed across her face for a moment. Derek felt something too much like electricity strike him. Damn, this was the world that had been. A pretty girl smiled at him and suddenly everything felt wonderful.
He forced himself to think about the practical. The bunker was filled with electronics. Old Warsaw Pact stuff that Skynet had not infected. It was a mother lode of supply hunting. "Sumner, radio for a salvage team. We need to harvest this."
Sumner pointed at Cameron. "What do we do with her?"
"Take her with us. It wouldn't be safe to leave her here." Actually, the opposite was probably true. This bunker had avoided detection for years, maybe even since the beginning of the war. But the Resistance needed the electronics and if they were going to deprive her of a safe haven, he should at least find her someplace else. Then, he noticed Bailey and Sumner high fiving each other. Not good. "Hey, think with your big heads, not the little ones. We still got to get back to Alpha."