-Two hours later, deeper in Mysterious Canyon-
Diana hurried to the site of the smoke as fast as she could and found that her worst fears had come true. While standing twenty-five meters away from the camp she spotted tents lying in charred ruins and the bodies of Professor Fauntleroy's team lying on the sand all around the camp. Some of the tents had been burned and their contents were still smoking... Diana thought that she could see bodies lying just outside of the scorched tents, but she was not really sure if they had been burned or were just scorched from proximity to the flames and part of her did not want to find out. Ami whirled overhead and looped around, performing a hurried landing to Diana's right.
"Man, this place was trashed!" Ami declared. Diana remained silent as she looked over the camp and used her Smart Glasses to scan for survivors or for any signs of life. So far she was not picking up anything, not even a vulture landing to begin eating the bodies.
"Ami, please fly overhead and search for any survivors. I will search for Professor Fauntleroy." Diana requested as calmly as she could. She was keeping a stoic face, but internally she was distressed by what she was seeing. She should have teleported here right away, but she had decided to take the scenic route and now the professor and his team were paying for it.
"OK! I'll keep an eye out for whoever did this as well and let you know if they're coming back or if anyone approaches the camp!" Ami replied before taking off into the air, leaving a distraught Diana to begin her search for survivors on the ground. Diana took a deep breath and walked into the camp to look for anyone who might have survived the bandit attack.
-Inside the camp-
Diana began to walk around the edges of the camp with the intent of working her way to the center. She used her Smart Glasses to look for anyone who was playing dead to fool the attackers into leaving, but so far every expedition member she had found lying on the sand was dead for real. They had multiple bullet wounds to the torso and had bled out long ago. All of them were young adults around Diana's age or just a couple of years younger than she was.
Having confirmed that all of them were truly dead, Diana turned towards the interior of the camp and began walking towards it to search for anyone who may have escaped the massacre and taken shelter in the few tents that had not been put to the torch. Diana spotted one and approached it... she had gotten within five steps of it when out came three expedition members, two males and a female.
"Don't shoot us!" One of the males, a dark-haired young man with a bullet wound in his left shoulder, pleaded. Diana had no intention of doing so because she was here to rescue them, not finish what the attackers had started.
"Do not worry. I am here to help. Professor Fauntleroy sent for me, but I fear that I am too late to be of help." Diana informed them. The female, a young woman with shoulder-length brown hair who had a grazing wound on her right arm that had been crudely bandaged with gauze, looked at Diana.
"It was a mess. We were starting to take down the camp when all these men in black clothes rode up to the camp and began firing at us. They didn't demand food, money, nothing. They just started shooting and riding through the camp shooting anyone they could find. There's a few of us who survived, but we don't know where the professor is." The young woman told Diana a bit about the attackers and how the massacre started. Diana frowned deeply. Based on the description of their clothes and their tactics, she knew exactly who the attackers were... she had fought a bandit gang named The Marauders alongside Ben several months ago. Diana thought that they had all been killed or rounded up, but she had been sorely mistaken.
"I will start looking for the professor. I need your help to find the other survivors." Diana informed the trio. They nodded.
"We'll begin searching the camp for our friends. You go look for the professor. His tent isn't too far from here.. I'd say about ten meters at most." The dark-haired young man told Diana and pointed to the west. Diana nodded.
"Very well then." Diana said and began walking to the west without further ado.
"Hey Diana, I see that you found some survivors!" Ami spoke to Diana.
"I did. Ami, please keep them safe while I go west. I was told that the professor's tent is not too far from here. Please fly overhead and keep an eye out for trouble." Diana requested.
"Sure thing, Diana!" Ami replied. Diana hurried west and could see a lone tent standing at the distance the young man had told her it was. Hopefully Professor Fauntleroy was still alive and not lying dead on the tent floor. If he was not in his tent, maybe he had fled the tent and hurried to hide elsewhere when he heard the sounds of gunfire and screaming coming from the main camp.
[Post Word Count: 900]
[Total Word Count: 1,775/7,000]