Pete Larson was never officially in Afghanistan. Before the Downfall, the US Government would have denied his unit’s existence. After the Downfall, there was no Government to bring him home. And that’s when his problems really started.
At the precise moment the Downfall struck, Pete was running tech and operations for a covert Black Ops mission in the mountains of Badakhshan province. There were 14 of them: nine men and five weaponized Beasts on secret loan from Genesys. The men were some of the best soldiers in the world, armed with the most advanced weaponry. That didn’t save them when the revel8 virus crippled their Beasts’ SMART control systems.
Pete was the only one posted outside of the network of mountain caves the team was clearing of terrorists. He could do nothing as the four Tyrannosauruses turned on the soldiers they’d been sent in with. Pete tried frantically to stop the Beasts once they started attacking the men, only to find the system inoperable. He couldn’t order the Beasts to stop. He couldn’t shut them down. All he could do was gaze helplessly at the carnage through the Tyrannosauruses’ mounted cameras, the only thing on them that still worked...
And then, after eating every human inside the caves, the two surviving Tyrannosauruses made their way out. Pete tossed a grenade into the entrance to the cave as they both came charging out, then opened fire with his gun, but it wasn’t enough to stop them. As the first Tyrannosaurus reached him, he realized he was going to die, and all he could think of was his pregnant wife, thousands of miles away in Montana. In the moment before the Tyrannosaurus closed in on him, he saw a pair of enormous tusks and felt a painful shock, then passed out.
When he woke up, he saw it standing above the two dead Tyrannosauruses. A huge armored Mammoth, the fifth Beast on their mission. He didn’t know why it hadn’t turned on him like the other Beasts, and he didn’t care. It had saved him.
He waited up on the mountains for two days, but no help arrived and no one answered his distress calls. It took him another six days to come down the mountains and another week after that to reach a village connected to the outside world.
By that time, he’d crossed the Afghan border into Tajikistan, the Mammoth following him silently all the way. That was where he discovered that what he thought was an isolated incident had toppled all of civilization. He decided to go home and find his wife by the only means left: he walked.
Sometimes the Mammoth would stride alongside him. Sometimes he wouldn’t see it for days. But he always knew it was there. In Kazakhstan, he saved it from a band of poachers. Near Volgograd, he fought alongside it to scare off a raging Stegosaurus. In Ukraine, it saved his life again by charging a gang of robbers.
By the time he reached the ruins of Kiev, people would scatter at the sight of it. Nobody wanted to get too close to the creatures that had destroyed human civilization. All Pete knew was that the Mammoth stuck by him, so he’d stick by it.
In Prague, he heard about Dr. Claw and his New Dawn Army for the first time. Dr. Claw could use someone like Pete, and his followers could even bring him and the Mammoth back across the Atlantic ocean.
Once he reached America, Pete fell back into his old line of work, now for the New Dawn Army. If it could be bought, sold, fixed, made or used, then it was Pete’s business.
When he wasn’t procuring and running things for Dr. Claw, he was looking for his wife and the child he’d never met – if they were still alive. Their home in Montana was gone. No refugees or NDA prisoners had heard of them. Pete didn’t care what Dr. Claw believed, but as long as he helped him, he could keep searching.
Then Dr. Claw came to Pete with a lucrative mission. Pete and his Mammoth would go to the Resistance. He would trade with them. He would fix things. He would sell them equipment. And when the time was right, he would assassinate their leader, Dr. Kapoor.
The Resistance didn’t mean anything more to Pete than the New Dawn Army. His problems remained the same: find his wife, protect himself, survive. He made and sold things for the Resistance just like he had for the NDA. All the while he looked for opportunities to assassinate Dr. Kapoor. There weren’t many. The man was busy – and popular. He’d stalk through the base quickly with a serious look on his face, always followed by others.
And then Kapoor gave Pete the opportunity all on his own, calling him into his lab. When Pete entered, he saw Dr. Kapoor sitting with his back to him and nobody else around. This was his chance. He unholstered his pistol and stepped forward. All Pete had to do was draw and shoot. Before he did, Dr. Kapoor began to speak.
“I hear you’ve been trying to find your wife,” he said. “I wanted you to know that the Resistance has been keeping a database of survivors and casualties you can check. Also that if we find anyone who matches her description, you’ll be the first to know. I know how hard it is. We’ll do everything we can to help you.”
Pete’s hand lingered on his gun, then slowly left it to shake Dr. Kapoor’s. Dr. Claw had never offered to help. Dr. Claw had never cared at all. If this was a war between two sides, then Pete had finally picked his. From now on, he was with the Resistance.