"Brigid Barkley here interviewing Mr Mick Scerba for Behind the Lines."
“Mr Scerba, do you know exactly how many prisoners-of-war are in your camp?” Brigid Barkley asked.
“We took a chip-based census as we moved them from the original camp to the four, new camps and we have about 62,600 POWs.” Mick answered.
“That is puzzling.” Brigid commented. “We know that 250,000 soldiers left Sacramento. And that was a chip-count so it should be accurate right to the soldier. Commander Pitouia reported that slightly fewer than 150,000 soldiers surrendered in downtown LA. Where have the other soldiers gone? Have you been releasing them from camp?” Brigid asked.
“Nope. Our orders are to detain these prisoners. They are still contagious and we have a pretty tight quarantine clamped down. Besides, where would they go? We are surrounded by desert.” Scerba responded.
“It still begs the question, where are the missing 40,000 soldiers?” Brigid asked.
“By process of elimination it is pretty clear that the soldiers deserted on the trip down from Sacramento. In fact, that might have been one of the deciding factors in why the Cali leaders decided to speed up their advance. We were all taken off guard by their final sprint. We assumed they did it for tactical surprise but it might have been because that was the only way they could ensure having a viable fighting force.” Scerba stated.
Brigid mused, “So you are telling me that 40,000 infected young people are percolating through the countryside exposing the population to genetically engineered, weaponized cholera?”
Scerba said, “The answer is a little more nuanced than that. First of all, we think that most of the deserters headed back north. Why desert and head south if you are likely to be over-run and captured by the force you deserted from. Besides, if your final destination is south then why not ride the bus as far as you can and then desert when you are closer to your destination?”
“The other nuance is that we don't know how many are infected or what they are infected with. We know most of the cases are cholera but there are other communicable diseases that were flaring up as well.”
Brigid turned and faced the camera, “News from the front lines. Brigid Barkley signing off.