Hey there! Sorry for the long wait. I've been busy procrastinating and working on some other fics. Check out my new RWBY fic; He Looks Good in That Tux.
Anyway before we begin I want to clear some misunderstandings I may or may not have had with this story. I DID NOT WRITE THIS STORY. OKAY? So don't complain to me about quality or anything about this story. Now for the previous chapter I apologize I was not aware until now that it lacked quotation marks. I don't know what Clock Tower was thinking. I'll fix that sometime soon.
Now this is part one of the fourth chapter of the overall story because I'm currently adding quotation marks and italicized apostrophes.
Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil its a product of CAPCOM. If I did Jill's RE3 outfit would've seen another installment. And I would've made her and Chris hook up. And a sex scene or two.
Anyway read and review.
Claire tried to shake the deja vu from her mind as she was bounced around in the back of a Humvee that rolled over a dusty narrow road. The terrain she could see through the dust covered window was nothing like Spanish countryside had been, with its suffocating gray trees that lined winding, deeply rutted roads, yet the sensation of having done this all before was strong. The few trees that dotted the west African countryside reminded her umbrellas and she kept expecting to see some of the same animals they showed on nature shows but was disappointed.
Looking at the bobbing heads of the two BSAA agents that rode in the front of the Humvee she was able to see why this all seemed to familiar. While they both spoke in French accents, not Spanish, and had been perfect gentlemen, the scene was very much like it had been three years ago in the back of that smelly police car before things got out of hand.
'At least I'm not on a motorcycle,'- she thought. 'Then I'd be in real trouble.'
The amount of trash on the side of the road became thicker overtaking the sun-baked soil and dominating the roadside terrain. She recognized the brand names on some of the wrappers and felt a twinge of homesickness as they started to pass by buildings. Unlike the dilapidated structures she had seen in Spain these buildings had never been nice, nor would they have qualified as houses in some parts of the world. They appeared to be built from the same debris that littered the roadsides but what caught Claire's attention was that no people could be seen among them or walking along the road.
The Humvee sped up as the houses became denser and the road turned abruptly to crumbling pavement. The driver ignored a stop sign and took a turn hard to speed down a street. Claire gripped the back of the seat and leaned forward suddenly aware of the danger they were in. The agent in the passenger seat was checking something on a mobile device and pointed to the right side of the street while saying something in French.
"Nous sommes arrives", said the driver. "We are at the drop point. Are you prepared?"
She patted her side where a .45 caliber pistol rested in its holster and felt the pocket of her fading red vest for something hard and metal she kept there. She also wore a belt that held ammunition and a few other items, namely a small flashlight, and a custom smart phone the BSAA issued to its personnel that Claire, being a member of the DSO, was jealous of. Ready as I'm going to be, she said.
The Humvee slowed and turned rapidly into a vacant lot. Overflowing garbage bins were lined against a wall that was bowing inward, and trash littered the pavement.
Remember, said the soldier in the passenger side. Keep your sidearm out where people can see it, but don't go waving it around. Walk like you know where you're going even if you don't, and don't make eye contact with anyone.
"I remember the briefing." Claire said. Before she had been sent off in a Humvee with two BSAA members she had sat in a room for several hours being told the same things people in suits and uniforms had been telling her for the past week. That she was not the ideal person for this job, but paradoxically she was the only one they felt could do it. It seemed as through they were trying to talk her out of it, and maybe some of the more conscientious ones were. It's not a black-white thing, they had insisted. It's just that these people are one step away from being terrorists and you're an attractive, young western woman, so you're going to attract some attention.
Her job was to investigate sightings of her brother, Chris, which was perhaps another reason for the deja vu. Chris had not been suspended from the BSAA like he was from STARS after the mansion incident, he had simply gone AWOL. What surprised Claire was that no one she had spoken to within the BSAA had speculated out loud as to why. Perhaps the answer was too obvious. At least it was to Claire.
Chris had been quite vocal about there being evidence that his partner, Jill Valentine, was alive. He had been his usual tight-lipped self when talking to his sister about the details, but it was clear he thought it was a hot lead and the only thing that surprised Claire was how many times Chris asked permission before tiring of the word no and going off on his own.
'They won't let him search for his partner but they have no trouble at all borrowing me from the DSO to search for him. Like I wouldn't anyway,'- she had thought.
The Humvee came to a stop and she opened the door, noting that she would be alone and out in the open once they left.
"What happens if she doesn't show?" Claire asked.
"Get out of sight and call HQ," said the driver. "We'd stay but orders are to drop you and bug out."
She nodded, remembering that was in the briefing, too, and shut the door. Claire watched the Humvee leave and when it was out of sight walked over to the nearest wall and leaned on it feeling like beacon. She listened for the sound of the Humvee getting blown up by an RPG, which is what BSAA command had been afraid of, and heard nothing but its engine fading.
The silence made her chest feel tight and if her mind went unoccupied for too long she would hear moans. Claire reached into her vest pocket and pulled out a gold colored pin that opened up to show her two tiny photographs. One was a clear photo of a blond, smiling girl. Former First Daughter Ashley Graham. The other was a grainy photograph of a short-haired Asian woman. Ada Wong. Claire liked having them together but rarely looked at them. She remembered the day she'd gotten the little keepsake in the mail along with the note.
'-Something to remember me by. Thought you'd need her, too.'- it had said.
Claire closed it and tumbled it around in her fingers. The urge to throw it away was strong. "The streets of some third-world ghetto would be a good place for it," she thought, but as usual it grew heavy in her hand.
"You want to be careful showing off stuff like that in public." said a woman. Claire's hand was on her pistol when she turned to look but the weapon remained in the holster.
The woman was leaning out over the sill of a window. Her skin was the color of a coffee candy, her hair was black and straight, tied behind her head in a small ponytail. She had an almond shaped face and a tiny nose, while her eyes seemed to blend in with her eyelashes to form black, sparkling pools.
"Sheva Alomar," the woman said, leaping out of the window with the grace of a cat. She wore a light purple tank top with a plunging neckline. It contrasted with her form-fitting olive drab pants and calf-high boots. The cover on her gun holster was unbuttoned. "You must be Claire Redfield."
"That's me, Claire said and put the keepsake back in her vest pocket."
"Sorry for spying on you. I'm not like that, I was just curious."
"You. There aren't many women in this line of work so I'm suspicious of the ones I meet. Hypocritical, right?"
It was but Claire did not say so. There was something about Sheva she liked but could not yet say what it was. "I've known a few suspicious ladies myself," said Claire. Should we be going?
"No messing around, that's a good quality" Sheva said. "Alright, keep close but don't look nervous."
Sheva led Claire out of the alley and they went in the direction the Humvee had been going before it turned sharply into the lot.
"Where is everybody?" Claire asked, watching Sheva's backside as she moved. Sheva was lean but not stringy. Her gun belt rested easily on her hips and Claire had to force herself to stop starring and pay attention to her surroundings.
"You know I was wondering that myself." Sheva said. These streets aren't exactly teeming with people at the best of times, but this is odd.
The building's around them began sporting second stories which were clearly recent add-ons and of slightly better quality than the floors bellow. Soon she started to see people. Bored, black faces, mostly men but a few women. There were no children in sight which she found strange.
When they turned a corner to head down a long dirt street the houses and people began to resemble a town. There were people walking past stalls and shops where the shopkeepers kept narrow eyes on their dry goods. Some were selling meat cut it into rough dark pieces and left hanging on hooks.
"I guess HQ told you close to nothing?" Sheva said, walking a little faster so Claire had to step up her pace.
"Just the basics." Claire said, noting the poor job those around her were doing of pretending not to look at her and Sheva.
"Our contact is up ahead at the end of the square. He's been keeping an eye on things here and hopefully he's got something to tell us." Sheva said as they passed a group of tall, lanky men. Claire felt their eyes on her and shifted her holster around so anyone looking could see the gun.
"About my brother?"
"Maybe. Rumor has it Chris Redfield was seen some weeks ago in this region. Can't imagine what he'd be doing here." Sheva said.
"Looking for his partner." said Claire.
"Jill Valentine? I heard she died."
"Chris thinks she's alive. Guess the BSAA isn't spreading that part around."
"They've been trying to keep the whole thing under wraps but you know how rumors spread though an organization." said Sheva. "Most of us grunts thinks it's bullshit how your brother was treated."
"You're not worried about talking in the street like this?" Claire asked.
Sheva slowed to walk a few feet in front of Claire. "It's not going to matter much. We've got good intel that a bio weapon of some kind is being moved through here, today. Alpha Team is going on ahead of us, once we meet the informant, and after them is Delta Team. It's going to get hot here in a hurry."
"What!?" Claire shouted, then clamped her hand over her mouth. She looked around as though she had screamed in church, then picked up her feet to get closer to Sheva. "That's not what I was told!" she hissed, hoping Sheva didn't take her agitation personally. "I mean, they said there was a guy here who might know where Chris is, nothing about an Alpha Team or a bio weapon."
Sheva's almond face pinched into annoyance and concern, but Claire could feel it was not directed at her. "Oh, that's just like them, she said. Well...you're here now, so lets go."
There were more people around them now still going about their business but moving closer to they two women than they needed to be. Sheva trotted towards a green walled butcher shop with no meat hanging. Rather than go for the front door Sheva went down an alley where a rug had been hung over a hole in the wall. This should be it, she said, leading Claire through the rug.
There was a man inside the room. He wore tan, baggy clothing and a white head wrap. His already pinched face narrowed all the more when he recognized the women for who they were. You're late. It's starting already. There is a man, Ricardo Irving. He will be at the rail yard on the other end of town where business of this sort is usually conducted.
"Who's this Irving guy supposed to be?" Claire asked. A glance from Sheva told her she should let her partner do the talking.
"Irving is a bio-terrorist. A facilitator." said the man in the head wrap. "He will know about Uroboros."
"Uroboros," hissed Sheva. "We've been hearing things for months, but nothing solid." she said to Claire. Looking back at the man, she asked, "What about Chris Redfield? We heard he had been sighted in the region."
"I know nothing of him, only that he has been seen," said the man.
"Well that's something," Claire said. -Something close to nothing.
"When their talk lulled they heard a distant noise through the thin walls. It was a man barking harsh words in Swahili through an electronic speaker. What's going on?" Sheva asked, turning to the man. "There was hardly anyone before we got to the town square, then it looked like people were headed somewhere."
"I told you, it's starting. Whoever is pulling the strings in this place knows you're here and is going to make things difficult. Get going, to the train yard before it's too late."
Sheva nodded and with a tilt of her head bid Claire to follow her out a back door where there was a long dirt path leading down between shanty houses, fences, and piles of tires. Claire felt her mobile device vibrate and she remembered the earpiece she kept in her pocket. Turning it on she fitted it into her ear. "It's Claire, I copy," she said.
"Claire, it's Hunnigan, have you found Sheva Alomar?"
"Yes, we're heading into Kijuju. No sign of Chris."
"Alright, but remember your orders. You're to pull back if you confirm he isn't there. You are not to get involved with regular BSAA operations."
Claire sighed, and knew Hunnigan could hear her. That might not be...
"Possible, yes, I know but I have to say it. More bad news, the comm link isn't as good as we thought it would be so I might lose you from time to time."
"Nothing we can't handle," Claire said, following Sheva around corners and through the simple buildings that seemed to be mostly for storage or work."
"The battery on that thing won't last forever, so I'm going to go silent. Keep me posted regularly."
"Will do," said Claire.
"Was that your DSO controller?" Sheva asked. She had drawn her pistol, so had Claire.
"Ingrid Hunnigan. She helped me through the last mess I was in that was like this."
Sheva slowed and turned towards Claire while continue to move forward. "I read the reports on that incident in Spain." said Sheva. "If half of it was true I might believe a few of the other things they say about you."
Claire almost stopped but continued at a trot. "People say things about me? Like what?"
"Crazy things. I'll tell you later, best we focus now."
Claire agreed but could not help but note how Sheva's words did not irritate her as they likely would from anyone else who told her about gossip then instructed her to focus like she was a rookie. The next building they entered was larger than most of the others. Cardboard boxes filled with fruits and vegetables were stacked in the corners around a support beam in the center of the big room on the ground floor.
There was a man leaning against the pole, bent over as though he was being sick. Fluid dribbled from his mouth when he brought his head up to look at them, his black skin shining with sweat. He stood up straight and was a head taller than Sheva but what Claire noted most was the wounds at the corners of his mouth as though they had been cut or torn, and the bloody ichor running from his eyes like tears.
His mouth opened and Claire thought his tongue was swollen to an immense proportion until it split into four fleshy petals like it was some sort of flower. It was not a flower, though, it was a worm or grub of some kind. The man made a gurgling noise in an attempt to hurl some curse at them then charged.
Sheva put two bullets in the man's face which made him fall forward and land at their feet. Claire stepped closer and brought a boot down on the man's neck, just bellow his skull which was bent at an angle. There was a snapping sound and the body spasmed before going limp.
"The hell..." Sheva said, her breath coming fast as she rolled the dead man over with her foot. His face was a bloody bowl with pieces of the worm-thing mixed in with flesh, bone, and broken teeth.
"Las Plagas." Claire said, eyeing the dead parasite. "Or something that looks a lot like it." Her hand rested on her keepsake which she felt through the cloth of her vest.
'Damn it, Ada, who the hell did you sell that sample to?'
Her hand fell away from the keepsake when she thought of the reason Ada had given her for selling bio weapons to the highest bidders. That someone would do the job if she didn't, so why not get paid? Or something along those lines. Claire could almost picture herself with Ada, resting on a beach on some tropical island far from the world they had helped poison but the vision was fuzzy and hard to hold on to for more than a moment.
"Las Plagas...ganados, like you wrote in your report." Sheva said. "You don't think..."
They noticed the sound of hundreds of voices now, somewhere not far off but distorted by the buildings and alleyways. Beneath the sound, like a blood vessel running through a membrane, was the voice being piped through a mechanical speaker.
"You meet one Plaga, you're soon to meet a lot more." Claire said, looking down at the dead man and calling Hunnigan. She nodded for Sheva to keep moving and followed her out of the building. When she heard Hunnigan's voice, she told her about the man they had killed.
"You might be walking in to a major outbreak." Hunnigan said. "It's too late to back out now...there's no way the BSAA didn't suspect this...Help them capture Irving, he might have information on your brother but don't put yourself at too much risk. You're on loan to the BSAA for intelligence purposes, not added muscle."
Claire's sigh was almost a growl and she bit her tongue to keep from taking her annoyance out on Hunnigan. "Whatever," Claire said, feeling guilty over her tone. "We're heading to a train yard where the BSAA teams are planning to nab Irving. Over and out."
The sound of Ada's patronizing laughter shook Claire's imagination and to focus on the task at hand she watched Sheva's lithe form sway in front of her, darting her eyes to the side whenever she looked back to see where Claire was. They had come close to where the action was and learned the voice they had been hearing belonged to a man using a megaphone.
They were in a back alley which led them into an indoor produce market. Cardboard boxes of tomatoes and other vegetables were stacked in random places and a large window near the front showed them a mesh fence was all that was between them and the massive crowd they had been listening to. Through the window they could see the crowd massed around a wooden scaffold or gallows. Atop it was the informant they had met with not minutes before and Claire wondered how he could have come to be where he was so quickly. He had been dragged up the scaffold to the highest platform and forced to kneel over a chopping block while a man in a long black frock and dark sunglasses shouted into a megaphone down at the crowd.
Behind them stood an impossibly large man with a leather apron draped over his flab-covered muscles. His face was obscured by a black bag and over his shoulder he carried a giant ax. His foot came down on the informer's back, pinning the smaller man to the chopping block.
Sheva looked at Claire and no words were needed to convey their mutual desire and complete inability to help the doomed man on the scaffold.
"We have to double back and go around," whispered Claire. "Before we're seen."
A train of voices all speaking a language Claire did not understand rose up from the back of the building but rather than burst through the door they carried around to the front and became a group of men on the other side of a mesh fence. They started to climb it, unaware or uncaring for the tangle of barbed wire at the top of the fence.
"There's nowhere to go if we double back," said Sheva who had seen a large hole in the ceiling. She pointed to it and told Claire to boost her up.
Claire formed a stirrup with her hands for Sheva's foot, then let her shoulders be used as steps like on ladder. Sheva was light and had the balance of an alley cat. She was strong, too, hoisting Claire up to the second floor after catching her hand.
"Hopefully this was a good idea." said Sheva.
"We're in a better position now." Claire said. She stooped low and looked through the window towards the execution ground. The man with the bull-horn and long black shirt was no longer making a flowing speech but was now shouting slogans and pointing to the captive who lay motionless under the executioner's boot.
"Bastards will pay for this." Sheva said.
"I can't believe all those people are infected." said Claire.
The ax fell on the man parallel to his spine and split the top quadrant of him in half. Claire's insides felt liquid and bubbly at the sight but she had seen worse things and from a closer vantage point, so she got over the feeling quickly.
Sheva kept her eyes fixed on the carnage and she shook her head slowly. "That's no way to go."
"He might be lucky compared to us if we hang around here much longer." said Claire. "Can we use the rooftops?"
Sheva's response was interrupted by the man with the bullhorn, who was barking commands and pointing in their direction.
"Damn, we're spotted." said Sheva.
"Run!" shouted Claire, heading for a door that led them outside to a makeshift patio. Many of the town's roofs were connected by long planks and it was these that made Claire think the rooftops would be a good escape route.
"Kirk!" Sheva said into her radio as she ran. "Kirk, we need air support by the town square, now!"
The reply over Sheva's radio could not be heard over the shouts from bellow. The mob was running to the building the two woman had come from while a scattered few were taking to the rooftops from elsewhere in the square. "Hurry, Kirk, this is going to get very ugly. Good, roger that." said Sheva.
From the top of a ladder Claire fired down at men who were trying to climb it then she pushed the ladder away before a glass bottle and machete were thrown at her. The objects went high and she fired at the men who had thrown them, wounding two who were more angry than in pain over their flesh being torn. "Is the chopper coming?" Claire asked.
"Kirk says in a few minutes. He's here to support the assault teams but we need him more."
"You can say that again." Claire said as a group of men came out of the building they had left. Scoring head shots on multiple, mobile targets was no easy feat and so she fired into their legs, destroying the kneecap of the lead man and causing him to fall and his fellows to tumble over him in a comic pileup.
Sheva ran ahead and Claire followed, struggling to keep up with her speed and balance over the swaying, creaking bridges that connected many of the houses. Few infected men had come to the rooftops and fewer were able to head them off and those that did were shot by Sheva, who put rounds into their heads and upper chests.
While she felt out of practice, Claire was happy to have a competent partner but when they reached the end of the square, near a small outdoor market, they were was barred by a thick steel gate. None of the rooftop bridges led over it and Claire doubted there would be any climbing it.
"We can make a stand there and if things get too hot we'll duck into that building!" Sheva shouted. She left the roof by falling over the side and turning in midair to catch the edge thus easing her trip to the ground. Claire opted to first sit on the edge of the roof then drop down and she felt the shock of the fall in her legs but was otherwise unhurt.
With their backs against the gate they could see the villagers coming. With their dark skin they reminded Claire of ants and she touched each of her spare magazines on her belt knowing she would need them but they would not be enough.
Sheva and Claire began to shoot as the first group came in to pistol range. Bullets from both women hit the same targets but as more came and tried to flank them they automatically began shooting into separate zones, aiming for the heads and upper chests where the parasites resided. Their enemies moved without fear of the bullets but they were like puppets being jerked on strings. This made them inaccurate when they threw things like knives and tools, but their unpredictable movements made them difficult to shoot, at least where it would kill them outright.
An empty wine bottle hit Claire in the chest and Sheva took the wooden handle of a thrown hatched across her shin before the group was close enough so they stopped throwing things. Sheva shot a hatchet-wielding man in the knee making him kneel, then she took the weapon as he raised it and sunk it into his skull.
Through the oncoming group Claire spied a woman trying to ignite a rag tucked into a bottle. When it was lit, she raised it and threw. Without thinking Claire shot into the air and destroyed the bottle. Burning liquid came down over the heads of the infected men and sent them into a raging panic giving her time to eject the empty magazine from her gun and slip a new one in.
"Follow me!" Sheva shouted, running hard to her left where the flank of the attacking group was weakest. Claire followed her into a building where they took a short flight of stairs up to the roof.
"Kirk, we're out of time. Come now or don't bother!" shouted Sheva into her headset.
The men did not flood into the building but instead gave it a wide berth and leered up at the two women. The executioner was coming down the street like a piece of farm equipment dragging his massive, wet ax behind him. He was too big for the door but this he fixed with a sideways swipe of his ax that shook the building.
Both women went to the top of the stairs and fired bullets into the hooded figure that came lumbering up them. Claire hoped he would be so heavy the stairs would not support his weight but they did, and their bullets seemed not to bother him.
They backed up as the executioner came to the top of the stairs. He swung the ax like a scythe which Claire barely avoided by dropping flat on her stomach. Sheva had somehow jumped and landed hard on both feet.
"Push him!" shouted Sheva.
'She can't be serious!' Claire thought, but then saw Sheva charge forward and slide under the big man's legs causing him to stand upright and begin twisting around. Claire jumped to her feet and sprang at the executioner as fast as she could and hit him high in the chest with her shoulder. He was knocked off balance and went down the stairs backward with a crash that made the floor beneath them shake.
Once the men on the street realized the executioner had fallen they began to come inside while others set ladders against the building. Claire put a new magazine in her gun and started to refresh the spent one while Sheva toppled ladders and fire at the men bellow.
When Claire heard the sound of a helicopter she started to cheer but screamed when the executioners ax was shoved up through the ceiling, nearly hitting her.
"It's Kirk!" shouted Sheva. "Let's go!"
She went to a ladder and fired down it to clear the men climbing up, then slid down the rungs. Claire was no so bold but went down several rungs at a time to stand in a group of men with her partner.
The helicopter was at the other end of the square whipping up dust and debris with the air displaced by its whirring blades. Sheva fired her gun as she ran into a group of men and covered her head with her free hand while Claire went after her, also covering her head and feeling blows on her forearms while twisting away from attempts to grab on to her. Had the helicopter not created a disturbance they might not have made such a rush.
They did not run to the gate but instead went into the small area of fruit stands. Claire tripped while turning around and from the ground saw the helicopter's minigun fire into the crowd they left by the house. When the executioner came out of the building the bullets chopped him to pieces and spattered the building red.
"Way to go, Kirk!" Sheva called out. "Roger."
She helped Claire to her feet and they went further from the gate while the helicopter repositioned itself above them before firing a missile into the gate that had barred their path. It was blown in half and off its hinges.
Sheva's headset could be heard crackling and she swore. "Come on. Kirk says it looks like the entire town is rallying on us here."
On the other side of the gate was a narrow dirt street running alongside a dry canal. Wooden bridges went over the canal and lead further into town but Sheva slid over the dirt edge and waived for Claire to follow. "Where are we going?" Claire asked once she was with Sheva.
"Kirk says we should hide, plus this canal will take us in the direction of the train yard."
"Hope they don't follow us in there." Claire said, looking to where the canal became a tunnel not far up ahead.
"Same here." said Sheva who had begun to jog. Claire let out a long breath and focused on Sheva's buttocks and the strong lines of her back they went into the dark tunnel opening.
The tunnel was made from crumbling bricks and was sparsely lit by light bulbs strung along thin, orange cords. The floor was dry and there were places in the walls where people had dug openings for small dwellings. Claire could see why. It was much cooler in the tunnel and she felt a chill from the change in temperature.
They ran into no trouble for a few hundred yards but Sheva suddenly touched her earpiece and cursed. She ran faster and was searching the sides of the tunnels for another little cave and when she found one she bid Claire to follow her inside past the blue tarpaulin that served as a door. Inside, the ceiling was low but the floor dropped off partway in leaving them a place to duck and not be seen if someone were to pull aside the tarpaulin.
The only light was from a board wrapped in clear Christmas tree lights. Sheva was looking for the switch.
"Here," Claire said, finding the switch and flipping it. Only half the lights went off and Sheva was about to tear them down when they heard people outside. Both pressed themselves low to the floor and listened to the muttering beyond the tarpaulin. Sheva started to raise her weapon when the tarpaulin moved but Claire stopped her. The men had seen nothing and were moving on.
"Close one," said Claire.
"I know...whew, makes me wet though."
Sheva's eyes went wide a moment after she spoke and she covered her mouth.
Claire waited a second before smiling. "Same here, she said."
Sheva grinned and was relieved." Glad it's not just me who gets it. You always hear the boys joke about getting erections on missions but I can never tell if they're serious."
"Danger is a turn-on for some people, I guess." said Claire, thinking of one person in particular. "Not that I enjoy this sort of thing."
"No, who does?" said Sheva. Her radio distracted her and she held the receiver tighter to her ear. "Kirk's saying we should stay put for now, there's too many on the move up above."
"That's alright, I was getting tired. It's been a while since I was on a field mission like this." She winced from the countless aches in her muscles as well as the scratched and bruises she had been given by the infected townspeople. After she refreshed her magazines she looked at Sheva. Her dark skin was like polished wood from the sweat she had worked up.
"You said earlier people say crazy things about me," said Claire. "How crazy?"
Sheva sat with her wrists on her knees and waved her gun in a dismissive manner, keeping the muzzle pointed at a wall. "Well, everyone thought Ada Wong was the one who got to you, but after the incident in Spain with the Graham girl the rumors became you were a real Femme Fatale type, sort of like a Jane Bond or something."
Claire smiled with one side of her mouth. "I wish I had it so good."
"Is any of it true?" asked Sheva.
"Depends on what else people are saying," said Claire. "You could say I was dating Ada Wong for a time."
"And the First Daughter?" pressed Sheva, after Claire had been silent for several moments. "Stop me if I'm prying."
She was prying but it did not feel like it to Claire. Instead it seemed like she had known this woman for longer than the short time they had been together and they were now trying to recover lost memories. "I fooled around with Ashley, too, Claire said, then felt sick. No, it was more than fooling around. But I didn't seduce her. We just kind of clicked."
"I wasn't trying to stir anything up." said Sheva. "I was just curious, you know?"
Claire nodded, locking eyes with Sheva and trying to read her. While Claire had been watching Sheva, Sheva had been watching Claire. "Has your curiosity been satisfied?"
"Almost," said Sheva. "I was just wondering about you and Ada. When things got hot, did you ever get...intimate?"
Claire smiled and laughed, wondering why neither of them would just come out and say it. "Yeah, we would. Ada was crazy like that. But maybe not. Lately I was thinking how that sort of thing can help you focus. It can dull a lot of the fear and pain, too."
Sheva rubbed the back of her neck and looked at the ground between her feet. "I've had some self-time on a mission and it helps but, you know."
A feeling that reminded Claire of the first time she had driven by herself on a motorcycle overtook her and she stood up. "It's better when you have a partner," said Claire. "You want to try it?"
"You mean...now? With you?"
Laughing again, Claire undid her belt. "Unless I misread you tragically bad that's what you wanted to ask, right? We've got time if we're quick." Claire unzipped her vest and draped it over a stool as Sheva watched. Her tan linen shirt was next then the sports bra she wore. Sheva began to undress as well, unbuckling her belt before pulling her purple tank top over her head. Her bra slid down from her shoulders and landed in a pile of clothes on the hard packed dirt floor.
Sheva sat down and Claire went to her knees. She leaned over Sheva and their lips met. The kiss was chaste at first then their mouths locked. Sheva's tongue was hesitant but eager and it met Claire's halfway before pressing into the other mouth. They went back and forth and Claire came closer to Sheva, leaning her back so she lie down and their bodies synced.
Touching Sheva was easy. Her muscles were soft and her skin smooth despite the dirt, sweat and grime she had picked up in the battle. While soft Sheva was lithe and wiry and she touched Claire all over while holding her down, pressing the two of them together. Sheva's torso was untouched by dirt and it was there Claire nuzzled and kissed her going from the hard bone of her chest to the soft flesh above her naval, then back up again where her lips clamped over the coffee colored breasts. As she sucked a nipple into her mouth and made it wet with her tongue she felt her buttocks squeezed and caressed. While savoring the last salty flavors from Sheva's flesh Claire was abruptly rolled onto her back and Sheva slid into position to nuzzle and kiss.
Claire's hands were exploring Sheva with delight, noting the differences between her body and those of the other women she had known. Claire felt drunk. She felt like everything had slipped off her. She felt Sheva's upper thigh between her legs as it pressed against the soft flesh there and made her body tighten. Her hands went to Sheva's hips and started to pull down her pants prompting Sheva to deftly remove her boots using her own feet. Claire had to lean down to get her own boots off and they used their brief separation to disrobe completely.
On her back, Claire lay still until Sheva's buttocks loomed over her then she gripped them with her hands while the other woman settled over her, facing her feet. Claire squeezed the buttocks while her tongue found its way between the pink spot of flesh before her. Sheva quivered and Claire relaxed, feeling a lapping tongue between her own legs. Slowly pressure began to build in her and it made what she was doing difficult to concentrate on. Still, she had a better angle and made Sheva come first.
When teeth nipped her inner thigh Claire let out a small squeak and deliver a love bite to Sheva's buttock in return. She rubbed the spot she had bitten and kissed it while spreading her legs wider so Sheva could finish her off. After a short time she did and Claire made no effort to conceal the long satisfied moan inside her.
Sheva rolled off Claire and lie on her back, her arms spread out as she breathed heavily. "That was amazing," said Sheva. "And on a dirt floor no less."
Now that the drunk feeling was over the hard dirt floor felt like ice and Claire sat up. "Someday I'll learn to pack a towel or something."
They were quiet and distant muffled noises crept into the space with them. Claire was thinking of the infected people and the ganado she had fought in Spain. She had been alone then for the most part and her situation had been far more dire. She felt good now.
It was Sheva who broke the silence. "So, I don't normally do this sort of thing," she said.
"What? Have sex with women?"
Sheva chuckled. "After all that you're accusing me of inexperience? No, I mean sex in the middle of a combat operation with a woman I just met not two hours ago. I don't know the rules."
"You know, the rules. The etiquette of the whole thing. I mean I'm not looking for a relationship. Should I even say that word?"
Claire sat up and examined the bite mark on her thigh. It had not broken the skin but the marks were deep and purple. "If there are rules, I don't know them."
"I won't feel bad if I break any then," said Sheva, and picked up her communicator to ask Kirk what the situation was above. She began to dress as she did this and Claire also started to put her clothes back on.
"Roger that, Kirk, we'll be heading their way now." said Sheva. She began putting her clothes on quicker. "He says Alpha Team has made contact with hostiles and he's moving to support them. We're clear to move but something doesn't sound right to me."
"How so?" asked Claire, following Sheva into the tunnel.
Kirk made it sound like Alpha Team was having bigger problems than those infected people, but I can't imagine what that might be.
"Ah," said Claire, thinking she did not have to imagine and could go off memory if she wished but there was no sense in worrying herself or her new partner with speculation. Rather she savored the memory of what had just happened and let herself entertain hopes it might happen again as she watched the nubile frame bounce ahead of her in the gloom.
When the tunnel opened up they climbed the side of it to stand on a narrow dirt street that went between brick and concrete buildings. There were no teeming crowds of infected people but a few were loitering about and some had set up crude ambushes. Claire shot the ones closest to her in the head or chest as did Sheva, only if one had a weapon she would cripple him with a few shots to the legs then use the weapon on his head.
"We're going to need more ammo if this keeps up," Sheva said. "Maybe we'll find some lying around."
"I hope we don't. If they have bullets then they have guns and I'm fine not being shot at." said Claire.
The street led them between two tall concrete buildings, one painted white, the other a patchy blue. At the end of the street was a flight of concrete steps leading up a hill where there were more multi-story buildings. At the top of the fence was a metal gate and at the foot of the stairs was a leaning utility pole that seemed ready to snap under the weight of the transformer it held.
"Wouldn't want that to come down on your head," said Sheva pointing to the pole just before a woman lunged from out of an alley way holding a butcher knife. She lunged towards Claire who sidestepped her.
The woman was tall and wore a colorful but filthy dress. Her face and eyes were ravaged like the infected men Claire had seen but she seemed more feral, like her mind had degenerated more than the others had.
Sheva holstered her gun and drew her knife. "Distract her and I'll put her down." she said.
"Okay," said Claire, liking how Sheva confidently planned this woman's doom while not sounding excited about it. Claire darted at the woman, making her turn towards her for another knife lunge. Sheva was like a sharp wind on an otherwise calm day, clearing the distance between her and the woman in one leaping stride, grabbing her by the opposite shoulder to make her turn before driving the knife into the woman's head from just above the ear.
Sheva moved away and left her knife in the woman's skull. Rather than die she walked in a semi-circle while her body went rigid and shook. Then her head exploded showering the area around her in blood.
A worm, half as thick as the woman's torso had spring up from the neck and was casting its segmented body around like a lasso all while wiggling hooked legs and clacking mandibles. The woman's body wheeled around like a drunken marionette towards Sheva and the worm lashed out at her, missing its target and nearly toppling the woman it rode.
Claire fired at the worm body where it met the woman's neck hoping to dislodge it or kill it outright. It made a lunge at Claire but her bullets had made it like a punctured fire hose and flopped downward then vomited forth a stream of brown fluid before it collapses along with the woman.
"Just like the ganado..." Claire hissed, touching the keepsake under vest pocket.
"Whew... I wasn't expecting that." said Sheva, lowering her gun as she was now confident the thing was dead. "Can they all do that?"
"I don't know how it works." said Claire. "I didn't think they could do that in daylight."
"Looks like the Spanish strain has been modified," said Sheva. "Anyway, I think we need to go up those steps."
Claire nodded and refreshed her magazine. When they turned to go up the stairs they saw a man standing at the top of them and Claire's deja vu returned.
His head was wrapped in bandages leaving a gap for his eye and mouth. He wore no shirt or shoes, only a pair of faded and dirty blue jeans. In his hands he held a chainsaw which he started with two pulls from the starting cord and raised it above his head mixing his high-pitched laughter with the buzzing of the saw.
Sheva laughed and made Claire think she was cracking up. "Watch this." Sheva said, taking aim in the man's direction as he came down the steps. She fired three times and the transformer hanging from the bent utility pole fell to hit the chainsaw man on the top of the head. Its weight drove a sharp corner into the skull cracking it like an egg.
"Very nice." said Claire and patted Sheva on the back.
Sheva's grin became a smile when her radio crackled. Claire could not make out what was being said on the other end but could detect a note of panic in the person's voice. "What? Kirk, explain, what's happening?" said Sheva, her smile gone. "Damn it, we've got to move, Alpha Team needs our help."
Claire felt her stomach turn and wondered what help two lightly armed reconnaissance operatives were going to do to help a BSAA assault team. "I'm guessing they don't need us to bring them snacks and help with the paperwork." Claire said.
Sheva cracked a smile despite her concern. "We can hope that's the case but I can't imagine what they've come up against that they think we'll tip the scale."
"We'll find out when we get there" said Claire. She was not happy about being drawn into heavy combat but knew not being happy never helped.
Sheva's radio crackled again. "Looks like they're sending in Delta Team on top of us. We should be able to link up with them." she said.
More stragglers assaulted them in the alleyways between the tall buildings, some of which they had to go through to get around blocked streets where fires had been set or cars piled on top of each other. They used bullets sparingly but killing in hand-to-hand combat was tiring and put them at greater risk of injury. Hold up a second, Claire said after they had gone through a building. She sat on a stool inside what had once been a bar. Outside at the far end of the street were three men coming their way carrying improvised weapons.
"You're out of shape." said Sheva, watching Claire catch her breath.
"You wore me out earlier." Claire said.
"If you help me drop those three down there I might wear you out again once we see Alpha Team is safe."
"I'll take the one on the right then I'll help you with the other two if you can keep them off me." Claire said, getting off the stool.
"If you can take out two by yourself I'll give you something nice. Deal?"
Claire blinked then looked hard at Sheva. There was a light in her face that knew it should not be there and enjoyed it. You're on, said Claire leaving the building ahead of her partner and going towards the three men. The one Claire had planned to kill was hunched forward intending to stab her with the sharp metal rod he held. The middle one had a machete raised above his head ready to throw or chop with it, while the third carried a wooden club. Stuck me with the nasty ones, I see how it is, Claire said with mock indignity.
"I'll make it worth it." said Sheva. "Promise."
Claire fired at the man with the skewer while the machete blade went past her head, its handle hitting her shoulder. The man she shot was missing half his face and so she dealt him a high kick to the head but that left her open to be tackled by the man who threw the machete. She fell on her back with him on top and his hands around her throat but they relaxed when she pressed her gun barrel under his chin and fired once.
After throwing him off she got up and the man with the skewer came at her. She tried to get away from him but he hit her across the lower back with it, wielding the rod like a club. Claire cried out in pain and spun to fall on her buttocks with her gun up.
Sheva was dodging clumsy swings from her opponent and had moved behind the skewer man, making it dangerous for Claire to shoot him. He held his skewer in front of him like he was holding a fire hose and came forward to impale Claire. She kicked the weapon aside and he fell on top of her and like the man with the machete began to strangle her.
"Need help?" Sheva shouted.
Claire could not answer but she reached for the man's skewer and held it under his chin like she had with her gun on the other man. She shoved it in and did not top until she felt it touch the top of his skull. When she got the dead man off her she sat up to see Sheva standing over the one she had killed, holding his gore-stained club. She dropped it and came over to appraise the corpses Claire had created.
"Guess you earned your treat." said Sheva, helping Claire up then walking her towards a wall.
With her back against the concrete Claire was kissed, deep and hard by Sheva. "I thought we're going to wait...for Alpha..." Claire tried to say through the barrage of lips and tongue.
"We are." said Sheva, giving Claire some space to breath. "Just though you deserved a little taste." She reached into a pouch she carried and pulled something out. "I've been bringing this on missions lately. Comes in handy."
It was a dildo, about seven inches long and only slightly wider than what Sheva could encircle with her thumb and index finger. "Does it..." Claire started to say, then Sheva turned a dial near the bottom, making it vibrate.
"Three speeds. Low, medium, fast." Sheva said, making the vibrator shake at different intensities as she spoke. It was black in color and she ran it over her bottom lip like gloss before twirling the tip in her mouth. She touched it to Claire's lips, who let her slid it in the same distance. "I'm a wizard with this thing, just you wait and see. Gotta keep alive, though."
"That I can do." said Claire, almost giddy over how she felt and fearing that perhaps later she mind find it odd she had been standing over dead men while being shown a dildo. "We should probably get moving."
"Agreed." said Sheva, slipping the dildo back into its pouch and leading Claire down the street.
Her senses had become sharp and her mind focused. She suspected Sheva felt the same.
And we come to the end of part one. How was it. I know it felt short but hey I get to get an update out. It was driving me crazy adding quotation marks throughout the damn thing. Leave a review and check out my RWBY fic. And check out the other RE fic Eleventh Hour.