A One Shot Fanfiction Story with Matthew Addison of Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse
by Silence Leaflin
He wasn't breathing, but he didn't need to anymore. He didn't feel hot or cold. He didn't feel anything at all. At least… not physically.
Matt remembered everything now. All that had transpired in the Hive and all that came after were as clear to him now as if it had happened yesterday. The last thing he remembered was protecting Alice from the helicopter. Yes, that was him too, the disgustingly and horrifically mutated beast known as the Nemesis. He didn't remember himself then, not really. There hadn't been enough time for that. Alice was the only point of light to shine through the shattered remains of his memories and sanity, muddied by months of torture and experimentation. Barely… just barely… he had begun to remember her with the apology she gave him, her kindness cutting through his rage like a red-hot knife through a solid block of ice. She was only a feeling, a warmth, the notion of a friend in his lonely, confused, and frightened mind… but that had been enough for him to want to protect her. Just that shred of a connection had brought him more happiness in that short moment than all the previous months of his life combined. There had been no friendship in Dr. Isaacs's laboratory. No kindness. No mercy. No explanation. Alice's tearful and distraught apology to him healed it all, but there just hadn't been enough time, before they were torn apart yet again. He protected her with his life. Then why was he here… in the Hive, of all places?
He remembered Alice now. Fully. He remembered… everything. Except how he got here.
Matt looked down at his hands. They were human again, his hands, not the thick, oversized, mutated things he had by the time Dr. Isaacs was through with him. Looking past his hands, he stared at the water below. It was everywhere. It lapped at the metal and glass walls and cast a surreally beautiful array of illuminated colors on the ceiling. He was calm as he stood staring at those lights, wondering at their beauty in this place of fear and death. They were out of place in his opinion, but not unwelcome.
The water wasn't lapping at his own legs, though. It flowed right through him, unencumbered. He couldn't even feel it. Walking as easily as he would have without the few feet of water that surrounded him, Matt wandered the death traps that had once been Umbrella laboratories. Bodies floated like dead fish in sealed tanks behind glass walls, their eyes wide but seeing nothing. He watched them too, just as he had watched the lights, before moving on.
The silence was deafening, the loneliness palpable. He wasn't afraid, no, not like he'd been the last time he was down here. Matt had feared for his life then, but now there was no more life left in him to lose. He understood this as he realized he had no reflection in the glass or in the water. It was like he didn't exist at all, and like time had stopped, for the place was the picture of death and destruction and yet… utterly silent. Like a movie set without the actors. Or a body without a soul. Shades of grays and blues permeated the scenery as he wandered the labs, looking at all the clip boards, mushy papers, office supplies, and pieces of laboratory equipment that were floating in the water. All of them were things that no longer mattered, so trivial and almost laughably simple in their design and function, paling against the horror that had ended so many lives in this accursed place.
He looked to the door when an undead man wandered in. A small furrow came to Matt's brow. Inside that moment, without any fear or sense of urgency, he could watch the man move and consider him objectively. Uncoordinated, lumbering, pushing through the water with great difficultly. A shell without a purpose… a symbol of the worst parts of human nature. The man walked right next to him – Matt calmly moved out of his way – without reacting to him at all. There was nothing to say that he would understand, no help Matt could offer him. There was nothing to be done for any of them anymore.
There were others like that one, and there were dogs, too. Half-decayed, roaming Doberman breeds wandered where he could see them, swimming in the water, scavenging for any living flesh they could find. He stopped and considered them too. How terrified he had been of them, once. Now he pitied the poor things, for they had been just animals and had not understood what was happening to them, and unlike the undead humans wandering the labs of the Hive, they were not responsible for any of this.
One swam in his direction now and Matt held his ground, expecting it to pass him by as the undead man had. It didn't. Instead, it stood in the water some feet away, the water lapping at its shoulders and back, licking away little flaps of rotting flesh from its body. Watching him with both of its yellow, cloudy eyes, the dog sniffed the air as it looked right at him before deciding Matt was nothing it wanted. As it swam past him, Matt curiously wondered why the dog could see him and the man could not. Some say animals can sense things that people can't. That they can even see the spirits of the dead. Why would they be any different now as they were when they were living? Indeed, all the dogs seemed to notice him to varying degrees, but they did not stay long, pushing onward for sustenance in other half-submerged rooms.
Matt understood that he was dead, of course. That realization had come a while ago. What he had yet to figure out was why he was here. If he was dead, shouldn't he move on to… something? Somewhere? He was not a particularly religious person when he was alive, but then again he hadn't believed in ghosts until he became one himself. If ghosts are real, was heaven? Hell? This wasn't the Afterlife, though. This was just… the Hive. So what was he doing here?
A metal-lined walkway and a thick door with a small set of stairs leading down into even deeper water sent a flood of emotions through him. He remembered this room, and the choices that were made within it. He found out exactly what kind of person Spencer was in this room. He also found out what kind of people Alice and Rain were, too. This room was permeated with their energies, all of them. Smiling a little, he was happy at first, but then so very sad. Grief built up inside him and he wanted to cry, but he couldn't anymore… could he? Soon enough, he felt like he was, though no tears fell from his eyes. He missed Alice and Rain so much. They were gone from this place – and Rain was gone from this world – but Matt could feel them, right here. So he stopped wandering… and stayed. Here, where Spencer had heartlessly locked them all in. Here, where the Red Queen had callously demanded Rain's life. Here, where Rain had bravely offered her life so that he and Alice could leave. Here, where Alice vehemently refused to kill Rain to save herself.
Here. They're all here.
It was just their energies, though, not really them. For one as lonely as Matt, though, it was enough to make him want to remain in that room. Matt used to watch those ghost hunting shows before all of this happened. Looking around, feeling and almost seeing the events that had transpired in this room replayed like a movie, he knew what this was. A residual haunting. An imprint had been made here, left behind by people's energies whether living now or dead, that had made such an emotional impression that it was burned into history, replayed over and over and over again. It was like they were right there with him, Rain and Alice. Rain's energy was edgy and strong. It was a good energy, a noble one, deep down. Alice's energy was distraught and volatile, desperate but determined. Hers was strong too, but in a different way. He missed it. He missed her. That's when it occurred to him…
Alice is why I'm here.
Down in the Hive, they had struggled so much together. Memories of Alice saturated his last hours as himself, before Dr. Isaacs stole most of his memory away, first with drugs and then with torture. The fights, the running, their white-knuckle escape, all of that was crystal clear, yes, but also… just… her eyes. Her strength. His admiration for her. There was so much he needed to say to her, so much left unfinished between them. He didn't have the chance above ground in Raccoon City, and even if he had, Isaacs had stolen his ability to properly tell her when he took away his lips.
He owed Alice so much, and he couldn't even say specifically what, but… he just felt that he owed her some amount of thanks. Thanks… for getting me through this. Thanks… for giving me hope. Thanks… for showing me how beautiful survival can be when the right souls come together. And it didn't matter to him that that survival had not lasted for him. It didn't matter that he'd been experimented on afterward, or that she'd nearly killed him when they fought in Raccoon City, or that he'd died protecting her. She'd call all of those things failures – her failures – but Matt didn't see it that way. Fate had been cruel to them both. She was as much a victim as he was. What happened to him had been no one's fault but Isaacs'. Umbrella's. He didn't want her to blame herself for anything, but least of all for what happened to him.
And he couldn't rest until he told her that.
He knew she was still alive. Alice wouldn't be taken down easily at all. The thought made him smile as he watched the lapping water. It sounded so peaceful around him. Benign. Ordinary. Revealing nothing of the raw horror of this place and the strife that had occurred here. He listened to its sounds as he stood by one of the walls, folding his arms. Would he remain here forever in this tomb? A truly dead man among the walking undead? Dead in this water?
Will I ever be able to thank Alice for her friendship, her courage, and her humanity?
I'll wait forever for the chance.