"There are some parasites... that have the ability to manipulate the behavioral patterns of their host." -Luis' Memo


Mission: Las Plagas Viral Outbreak

-Retrieve Ashley Graham-

Location: Spain

November, 2004

After escaping many near-misses from the crossbow shots of hooded Zealots, Leon and Ashley looked down at the aftermath of broken glass and blood stains. Helping her up, Leon took his new company's hand and led her through the dense storms of the night until she felt safe enough to travel a few feet from behind his trail. But her bravery soon faded after observing her surroundings— a black, moonless sky with blinding rain and lightning. The duo currently stood in the middle of a forest full of dead trees; their branches swung in every direction. The hums and murmurs of the undead carried on in the distance.

"Leon, I'm so scared," Ashley whimpered. Tears started streaming down from her face. "I-I've never been through something like this before, a-and…" She continued to let out a couple more sobs, and then started again. "Those people aren't people anymore. They want to kill me at any chance they get. I don't want to die here," she stammered, bringing her hands up to cover her face. Leon turned around to face her.

"I'm not gonna let that happen. I know this is all very scary for you. But try to relax the best you can. This isn't my first rodeo. I won't stop until I get you out of here, okay?" he explained, letting his hand fall on her shoulder. She looked up into his eyes.

"I need you to be strong for me. I'll protect you with my life," he affirmed. "You can hold my hand again. Let's get moving." She nodded in reply.

It was about a two-hour trek on foot, but the wandering pair finally found a hidden civilization of wooden homes on their way back from the church.

Leon quickly slammed open the door of an old farmhouse and aimed his gun to the left and right. "All clear on this floor," he noted. Barring the door shut with a nearby broomstick, Leon walked further into the room and pushed a nearby bookcase in front of the entrance for an extra barricade. "Stay down here Ashley," he instructed, "I'll check upstairs."

Ashley trudged to the corner of the wall and slid her back all the way down until she sat on the floor. Her small heaves and pants slightly echoed throughout the room. She closed her eyes as she slid off her boots one by one. The rainwater that had seeped inside of them came splashing out. She wriggled her toes and stretched her body, aching with exhaustion.

She almost started to get really comfortable until she heard gunshots coming from upstairs. Shock and dread overcame her as she cycled through what could be going on up there.

"Leon?!" she called out.

She heard grunts and screams from the Ganados, and Leon could be heard making an occasional shout in the distance. Loud thuds pounded against the ceiling as he took each enemy down. She wondered if she should go upstairs to see if she could help.

No. Leon told her to stay down here. She had to trust that he was alright. She would only be a liability anyway. Her fear eased as soon as she saw Leon's footsteps hustling back down.

"I wasn't too long, was I?" he comically asked, shrugging with a smirk.

"I was worried to death! Don't— don't scare me like that!" she huffed with a pout.

He chuckled. "Here. Found these upstairs," he said, holding up a thin bedsheet and pillow. "The mattress is… well, you won't want to sleep on that," he remarked, rubbing the back of his neck.

"But where will you sleep?"

"Don't worry about me. I need you to get some rest, though. We need to get going in a couple hours to head to the extraction point."

"Alright." She gave him a pensive look before setting her stuff down and going to bed. "Um, goodnight Leon," she spoke with a slight yawn. He gave her a reassuring nod. As if on cue, her weary eyes immediately drifted shut.


It had been roughly six days since Ashley's capture, and in that time she hadn't eaten a single drop of food. Her stomach twinged and grumbled loudly, jolting her awake. She woke up to see the bright morning daylight, but noticed that Leon wasn't around. She immediately began to sweat, breathing heavily.

No later than a few seconds, Leon returned through the front door with a bucket full of eggs and a cast iron pan he snagged from another house. "I figured you were hungry, so I'll cook up some breakfast," he told her. "It won't be your usual gourmet, though."

"Great," she breathed out with a relieved smile, "It's like you read my mind."

Leon struck a match that he pulled from his pocket. Luckily there had been a fireplace in this particular home, as none of the burners were working to his disappointment. He threw the match onto the firewood and set his pan down over it. A few minutes later he was able to make a decent plate of scrambled eggs. Walking over to Ashley's side of the room, he sat the pan down next to her and handed her a wooden spoon.

"Thank you." She hungrily began to devour her food.

"Don't mention it. Sleep well?"

"Yeah, actually. Not too bad despite being cold from the rain." She took two more bites of her eggs. "My clothes dried up overnight, though. So… you said something last night about an extraction point?"

"Yeah, a chopper should be on their way now to pick us up by the time we reach our destination."

"That's great news," she responded, putting a hand up to her chest. "How long until we start moving again?"

"About thirty minutes."

"Okay."

Silence fell between them. No Ganados could be heard outside, which was a good sign for Leon. The light from sun rays cascaded upon Ashley's face as she turned her head to speak again.

"Leon, when did you first join the task force?"

"Back in September of 1998. I was 21 at the time; fresh out of the academy. Tch, even though all the training in the world couldn't have prepared me for something like this."

"Oh. That was back during the incident in Raccoon City, right?"

"Yeah."

"Wow. That must've been crazy. Could you tell me more about what happened?"

"Mhmm. The S.T.A.R.S. agency recruited me into the R.P.D. as soon as Umbrella unleashed the T-Virus on the citizens in Arklay. There was chaos, violence, and death all around me on my very first day."

'Umbrella…' Ashley thought. That was the corrupt pharmaceutical company that broke out all over the news. She tensed, but motioned for him to go on.

"It was pretty traumatic for the average person, to say the least. Bodies were piled up everywhere you went, all while frantic, mutant zombies were chasing after you. Fires broke out everywhere, and police sirens blared all throughout the streets, although our team was being swept out fast; getting smaller and smaller by the minute. I managed to somehow survive and get out of there though. I was only a clueless rookie with no idea how to handle such an unexpected first day on the job," he looked down as he spoke.

"Oh my gosh. That's terrifying, Leon. I'm glad you made it out alive."

"Yeah. But it wasn't all that bad. I met some new faces along the way."

He thought back to Claire, Ada, and Sherry. "If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of that mess."

Ashley concurred with a nod. "Who did you meet?"

"Long story short, two female agents with entirely different personalities. And a little girl. She… she kept me going when I thought all was lost. Even though I wasn't assigned to watch her, it was like she found me and I had to protect her. The whole ordeal inspired me to fight for the remaining people who had no way of defending themselves."

"And now you're more than just a police officer, right?" Ashley inquired.

"That's right. I was promoted to a Special Tactical Agent under the President's direct orders. And that's why I was assigned to protect you," he spoke firmly. "Which is exactly what I'm going to do."

Ashley mentally scolded herself for being so childish towards him during their first encounter in the church.

"You're a hero, Leon," she told him.

He shook his head. "Just doing what I can."

Their conversation ended shortly after he heard a beeping signal from his handheld transceiver. He stood up and walked towards the other side of the room. "Hunnigan, what's going on?"

"Leon, the landing point for the chopper is too crowded with Ganados. The virus is spreading among the villagers like wildfire. I'm setting up a new rendezvous for you," his assistant replied.

"Got it. Send me the coordinates," he said as he signaled out. "Time to go, Ashley."

They headed out.