Not much shocked Miles Matheson anymore. Living in the world, as it is, you get used to things that you never thought you would. He'd be lying, though, if he told you that seeing the girl claiming to be his niece didn't surprise him. That was Charlie? Had that much time really passed? She had only been six when he saw her last, about six months before the Blackout. So, of course, she would have changed in the fifteen years since then. But she was an adult now; still doe-eyed, perhaps, and a tad too naïve for her own good, but she was an adult nonetheless.

And then she told him that Ben, his brother, was dead. Well, if that didn't just put the icing on the cake...

As soon as she said that, Miles knew that he would have to at least talk to her. Hear what she had to say. Ben was dead, and she was pretty much an orphan. The only family she had left (besides him, although he didn't really think of them as family) was her younger brother, Danny, who had been taken by the Militia.

In Miles' honest opinion, her brother was as good as dead. And going after him would basically be suicide. And like he told Charlie, he'd like to keep his insides where they are. He wasn't going to go. But then, she played the family card. If you asked him then, he would have said that it meant nothing to him – that she meant nothing to him.

But it did. Of course it did. Even if she barely remembered him; even if they didn't know each other anymore, he remembered her. He remembered her as a small, innocent child. He remembered her having one of the most beautiful smiles he'd ever seen.

"I have lost everyone that I care about," she had told him. He wondered briefly if he should be offended or hurt that she insinuated that she didn't care about him, but he couldn't expect her to. They didn't know each other, after all. Not anymore.

"My mom is dead. My dad…is dead. And God knows what they're doing to Danny right now."

Miles didn't like to think what Bass' men were doing to the poor kid right about now. He couldn't blame Charlie for being angry and disappointed with him. If Ben (even thinking about him hurt now) had been taken by Militia, Miles would probably – no, he would have been doing the exact same thing Charlie was.

But Monroe wanted Miles. He wanted him alive, this he knew, but still Monroe would go to unbelievable lengths to get him. Look what happened to Ben (another stab hit his heart, breaking it just a little more). They killed him, and they wanted him just as badly, if not more so.

He couldn't go. Whatever part of him that wanted to help his niece was shouted down by his common sense. He might have been a skilled fighter, and a tough survivor in a ruthless world (some would say he was a cold-blooded killer), but if he went after Danny, there was a really good chance that he would be killed doing it. Regardless, there was still a part of his heart that wanted to reach out to Charlie and comfort her, saying that 'of course, they would go get Danny back together' and 'of course, everything is going to be all right and we'll all live happily ever after'.

But, he would have been lying. The chances that Danny was still alive weren't good. And if he was alive, he wouldn't be for much longer. And things wouldn't be all right. And he had long since stopped believing in happy endings. Despite all this, Miles still wanted to protect his niece, and he had an uneasy feeling about one of the people that Charlie had come here with; the boy – the one who brandished a knife at him and told him that he wouldn't be taking Charlie anywhere. Charlie seemed to trust the three people that she had traveled with implicitly, but Miles knew better.

The other two, the British chick and the chubby guy with the AC/DC shirt seemed okay. None of his alarm bells were ringing about them. But the other one, the younger guy – Miles had a strong feeling that there was more to him that meets the eye. He had a strong feeling that the kid was part of the Militia. He had the look about him; his eyes weren't quite right. They seemed...dead, almost, like he had been brainwashed and then retrained as a soulless killing machine.

Miles only thought this because he knew it to be true. He helped devise the Militia's training methods and they had worked brilliantly thus far, so there was very little chance Monroe had changed the regime in the years since he left. But yes, Miles Matheson knew a Militia soldier when he saw one...and he just saw one. And that meant they were all in danger. It didn't seem that Charlie had the same feeling about the kid. And she was adamant about Miles' helping her get her brother back.

"You are going to help me get him back," she told him, on the verge of tears.

"Why's that?" he had asked. He knew what she was going to say. He really wished she hadn't said it – it would have made refusing her much, much easier. But she did say it.

"Because we're family."

And he caved. But he still was more interested in staying alive, so he told her that he didn't know her, told her that they weren't really family. And she agreed, and stormed out, apologizing for "bothering him".

Miles tried to ignore the part of his mind and heart that was beating him senseless for doing that to Charlie, but it was no use.

He went after her, only to be stopped by the kid he was suspicious about. The second that he held out his hand to stop Miles, he saw it. He saw the scar from the brand, the mark that dubbed you as part of the Militia. He disarmed the kid of his knife once again and pulled down his sleeve to reveal the entire mark.

"Militia huh? When did you join up?"

And then he found himself on the receiving end of a head-butt. Not a well executed one, mind you, but it still didn't feel too good. He recovered quickly and pulled Charlie behind him instinctively when the kid pulled out his bow and arrow and backed out of the hotel.

And that was when Miles Matheson knew that he was in real trouble. The kid would go back for reinforcements and be back there within a couple hours. And that was when he realized, that if he somehow survived the attack that they would launch on him when they came back, that he would have no choice but to go with his niece.

He thought he would have been more upset about that. The truth was, however, (and he would never tell anyone this as long as he lived) that he had been wondering about his brother, and his niece and nephew as of late. He would have set out to be with them himself, if he had known where to find them, and if he thought that he would be able to avoid the Militia.

Of course, he had convinced himself that he didn't go find them because he didn't care. But that was a lie. It seemed Miles was in the habit of lying to himself when it came to things like this. But when he was fighting about seven of Monroe's guys at once, when Charlie helped him out and shot one of them with her crossbow, he had to admit the truth.

He did care. He did. Because, despite everything, Charlie was right; they were family.