God it hurt.

That's all Caroline could think when the waves of pain started coming relentlessly now. Caesar stayed with her as did Alisa and Kara. Maurice and other apes kept watch near the front of the building while Kobas and his band of followers swarmed around a tree.

She thought of the city that she'd left dead behind her, back when it'd been a metropolis for the living. The life that she'd enjoyed with Will, Charles and Caesar…until a twist of fate had torn the growing chimpanzee away from them. In one of her hands, she held the locket that Caesar had returned to her of that family.

Caesar moved fitfully as if not knowing what to do. Alisa and Kara took the lead, wiping the perspiration off her face and the nape of her neck. Remaining close to her, when her body seized up with another contraction.

She manage to sign to Caesar not to be afraid, to stay with her, to see his brother or sister in a sense being born. The world had changed so much since the night of its conception, towards the end of normalcy before the world went crazy.

Getting comfortable on the mat proved difficult as she tried to breathe through contractions while the two female apes tended to her.

Hours of labor behind her already, it looked to be a long day.

Burke left the others and headed towards the next tree. He knew that Caroline likely was inside the building being held captive, put to work most likely even though she was on the verge of giving birth.

If she hadn't already.

She'd have a hard time surviving if anything went wrong with the delivery. He had to find a way to help her through it and then find a path of escape. Maybe Caesar would allow them to leave but as he glanced at Kobas and his clan, he knew that those apes didn't share the same sentiment. Still he crept up even closer and saw the perimeter apes move closer to Kobas and his gang.

That left an opening for him to slip on through the opening. So he sprinted dodging piles of rocks and branches until he reached the opening. He looked behind him and saw that Kobas hadn't noticed. An orangutan and another chimpanzee stepped into his path.

Signing for him to stop and go no further, without a doubt. But he wouldn't be deterred. He had to find her and make sure she was safe.

"Get out of my way…"

The orangutan didn't move but a second warning he stepped aside almost with a shrug. Burke moved past him and went down a narrow corridor until he reached a larger room, where they kept the humans. He saw several of them in barricaded sections and then his eyes widened at the sight in front of him.

Caroline clearly in labor with two apes serving as midwives. Caesar paced nervously like an expectant father.

Burke moved closer and all three apes looked up at him at once. Caroline looked too focused in her own efforts, clearly about to give birth. He stepped closer and Caesar rushed over to block his path. He signed something that seemed to tell Burke not to move.

He struggled with his signing. Trying to tell Caesar he wanted to help. The two female apes looked at each other. Caroline glanced up, her face damp and tried to smile before the next pain hit her.

"Let me go to her…"

Finally Caesar gestured with his hand for him to approach and he walked over. Caroline looked up at him.

"The baby…it's almost here…"

Her emotions were mixed, anticipation yet fear because of the world they now lived in since the plague. The humans who were left often wondered if there was any future for the children, the next generation yet unborn.

They were about to find out as Caroline's baby would be the first born among the humans living here. Alisa and Kara didn't seem fazed to see him there since Caesar had allowed him closer. He moved closer to Caroline who smiled at him through her pain.

"You want to see a baby being born?"

He nodded, then knelt beside her as another pain gripped her, reaching for her hand.

Landon poised in the forest with his backpack. He hadn't seen his son admonishing him in a while now but he knew what he had to do. He knew in his head Dodge had died at Caesar's hands but when he saw the vision of him alive in front of him…he kind of lost touch. '

The feelings of vengeance inside him only intensified…and now inside the backpack he had the tools to stop the apes revolution right in its tracks.

Much later

The lithe woman climbed the tree nimbly after stretching her arms, until she reached the top of it. She'd seen the fire ball but it'd dissipated including the smoke. From time to time, fire fell from the skies, a sign that the gods were displeased with them.

This latest one perplexed her because she and the others had presented offerings to them to be assured of protection of the Hunters who swept through like the wind before leaving them with fewer numbers. They had not seen or heard from them in some moons.

She should go back to the others, tend to the food they'd just gathered but others were there to handle that. She looked across the desert and saw three small dots almost hidden in the landscape.

Narrowing her eyes, she saw they were moving. Curiosity got the better of her and she wanted to get a closer look. She wondered if they'd come from the Forbidden Zone, and might bring a curse. Meaning that the Hunters might sweep in like silent thunder once again.

Still as she slid down the tree trunk she decided to get a closer look.