God her hair smelled good.
"Don't scream, sweetie," he grumbled through his moustache, "I'm not going to hurt you.
Brian Irons pressed his cheek close to hers, his rough stubble grazing against the peach-soft flesh. Chris Redfield's sister. He'd seen her before, doing sisterly things like bringing her brother lunch or something of the sort. A youngin'. Still in college. Fresh.
"You're just my leverage," he smelled her again, "That's all, baby girl."
He removed his massive, quivering bicep from her throat and pressed her up against a wall of the secret corridor. It was a corridor that led from the S.T.A.R.S. office directly to Brian Iron's wing of the police station. This hidden corridor had been installed during renovation, renovation that was overseen and paid for by Umbrella. This was so Irons could keep an eye on the S.T.A.R.S. members. It was an unknown fact that Irons had worked for Umbrella as a weasel for years, tipping them off on who knew too much or who was getting wise.
"You bastard," Claire choked as she gasped for air.
Irons felt his stomach churn longingly for that bodice as he watched her breathe.
"Keep you're back to me, sweetie," he said gruffly, aiming the gun at the back of her head and tapping it just above her skull, "You know it's funny how the one phrase every man has heard every bitch ever say is 'you bastard'."
"Undoubtedly," Claire spoke spitefully, "You've heard it the most."
Irons chuckled, "And from you, I'm sure I'll hear it many more times. But relax, I don't want you dead. Despite the fact that you're kin with one of the worst cock suckers I've ever met."
He watched her slender muscles flinch, wanting to hit him. Come on, baby. Throw a punch. Make me bleed; I like it when they struggle. Come on.
Claire didn't move.
Irons sighed in the candle light of the corridor. The power had gone out in his wing of the police station, which was so big both wings had their own power sources. Thus, he had to use the archaic yet simultaneously haunting method of candles. He liked the orange warmth. It put anxiety in every victim he had brought back here. It was in Claire now.
She stiffened as she caught her breath, smelling the awful, stagnant air.
"That's right. Vile isn't it?"
"You're a sick fuck, Irons."
He shrugged, giggling, "Well, like brother like sister, I suppose. Come, we're going to have a little chat in my office."
He tapped her head as if to say 'mush'.
"Why do you want me, Irons?" the bitch didn't budge.
Irons growled and reached out for her ponytail—a perfect handle—and yanked her down the hallway towards his office.
you stupid cunt!"
Behind him, he could hear Joseph and Leon banging on the wall that he knew would never open. That thing inside him breathed again, begging him to "kill". He should. He rose the revolver—a cougar magnum—and pulled back the hammer.
No. Not yet.
Brian Irons was still a meticulous planner. He knew the rules set by himself for himself. Stick to the plan. They would die. Just stick to the plan. The thing inside him screamed.
His hand still upon Claire's ponytail, Irons began to walk her down the hall.
"What am I here for, Irons?"
"Like I said, sweetie, you're my leverage."
"Leverage? Leverage for what?"
"Leverage for getting Umbrella to notice me again. That little girl you've got with you—Sherry Birkin—she's the daughter of William Birkin," he paused and smiled behind his moustache, raising the hand and gesturing outside the walls to the entire city, "The man responsible for all of this."
"My daughter is in your hands now, Leon…"
He was getting sicker. Evil hath cometh and the tyranny of evil men has been delivered to the weak.
He had watched his daughter sent, by God, to the arms of a saint. At the church, he had watched her. She was safe.
For the first time in a decade, he had thanked God.
But evil still roamed free in the desolate aftermath of hell's rising.
The fury hath cometh.
Yet a light glimmers faintly.
"You're there now, Leon…she's safe in your arms. Her guardian angel…she's safe under your watch…I have deemed it so…"
He looked up at raining pouring down from the sewer grate.
"But he too cometh, from the mouth of satan himself. He brings the dark."
"God dammit!" Leon smashed his body again and again, rattling the walls around them in the silenced S.T.A.R.S. office.
Claire was gone. Just like that, Leon had let Claire get taken away. He'd let his guard down.
Joseph stood behind him, still holding the shotgun. Sherry was hidden behind a desk, watching Leon's rage beat against the wall.
"Dude, stop!" Joseph called, "You can't get through the door."
"Yes I can!" He slammed his fist in it to no avail—even with his heightened capabilities he felt useless.
Exhausted, he stood facing the wall, his forehead pressed against it. He panted.
Sherry crept up passed Joseph, who watched her as she moved quietly up to Leon's side.
"Mr. Leon," she said softly, taking his bloody hand in hers, "Please stop. That won't get Claire back."
Leon sighed and turned to face the girl, sitting down on the floor with her. Joseph sat against a desk across from them.
"Shit…" Joseph said, shaking his head.
"That was Irons."
"Well so what the fuck, man?"
"No bad words," Sherry chimed in.
Both men looked at her, bewildered.
"You promised, Claire."
"Right, ok so still…how is he still alive?"
"You mean you hadn't seen him since attack?" Leon asked.
"No. After the infected were released on the city he just disappeared."
"Have you covered the entire police station?"
"No. I-I couldn't! This place is the size of a city block! Only this wing and the main entrance have power. Everything else is still infested."
"And Irons' office is in the opposing wing."
"Right, so he's been hiding out there. But I don't see how he could have survived. I had to go there a couple of times to get shells from the weapons room. It's swarming with carriers."
Leon was quiet, deep in thought, unaware that his hand still protectively clasped Sherry's.
"Dude, it just hit me," Joseph said with eyes wide, "A trap door? To our old offices?"
"I know, and there's almost no doubt it leads back to his office. The weasel never left that place except to go home."
"It's messed up. I'm almost positive he was working for Umbrella. This way he could spy on us all the time!"
"That, or he's just crazy. And a perve."
"Look, we have to get out of here. Joseph, do you have any ideas?"
"I was planning on using one of the squad cars when you showed up, but they've all been taken or destroyed."
"Well we can't just huff it out of town."
"No, you think?"
"At least," Leon paused, knowing full well what the reaction would be, "Not on the streets…"
Joseph's eyes got huge, "Dude, no. Absolutely not—no! I won't do it."
"Come on, Joseph. We've got no other way."
"You know I hate the sewers, Leon. You know I do. The things that are down there—"
"That's all urban legends—"
"The things that are down there now! Forget it!"
"Joseph, it's that or we try the streets."
"At least in the sewers we can avoid the zombies."
"At the expense of dealing with God knows what!"
Leon stood, "That's a risk I'm willing to take."
"What about Claire?" Sherry asked worriedly.
Leon knelt down and picked her up, "Don't worry. I'm going to get her right now."
At this, Joseph shot to his feet in protest, "The hell you are! You just got here—you're still all fucked up! I'm not going to let you run away without me!"
"Joseph it's too risky to bring you and Sherry along. I can move quickly on my own, and I need you to look after Sherry."
"Why can't I go instead of you? I've wanted so bad to crack that Irons bastard right in the head! Now's my chance, my legitimate chance—and you're going?! Why?"
Leon wanted to tell him, but he just couldn't. He wanted to say because Albert Wesker had infected him with the T-virus and now he was a mutant freak with super powers…a bit melodramatic but nonetheless, he kept his mouth shut.
"Just let me do this," Leon said.
Joseph, assuming it was some attempt on Leon's part to look macho and heroic in front of Claire, gave up, "Fine, just shoo. And take my gun."
"No thanks, you'll need it more than I will. You know, just in case."
Leon walked over to a pile of 2 x 4's Joseph had used in attempts to blockade the door. A tool belt sat on the floor, and he picked it up. A framing hammer—that was all he needed. Leon took it and a flashlight sitting on one of the tables.
"This is all I'll need," he said as he opened the door, secretly quivering in fear of what Claire was going through.
"What are we going to do?" Joseph asked.
Leon looked at them, Sherry sitting on a desk against one side of the office, Joseph sitting on a desk against the opposing wall—both swinging their legs. Leon walked back and placed his hand atop Sherry's head, looking at Joseph, "Just hang out. I'll come grab you when I have Claire, and we'll get the hell out of dodge."
"Fine, but if you're going to be a douche, at least be a douche with one of these," Joseph made his way over to a steel cabinet and removed two walkie-talkies, tossing one to Leon.
Leon looked at it and smirked, "What? The babysitting job too much for you?"
"I don't need to be babysat!" Sherry cut in.
Joseph only frowned and switched on the radio, "Channel two."
Leon did the same, "Need a baby monitor so daddy can keep an eye on things?"
Joseph made a face, "Whatever, jackass. Just get back here on time, ok?"
Leon grinned, "No problem."
He left and closed the door behind him, leaving the two in silence.
"So," Joseph asked, "do you…play video games?"
"…That's just terrible."
Claire was thrown violently into a velvet green armchair. She watched Brian Irons close the hidden door behind him. They were in his office, which looked more like an aged study taken out of a Victorian house. Books sat decrepit in old shelves alongside the heads of animals that had fallen prey to this creep during his many safaris. She could not ignore, in particular, the face of a shaggy buffalo which glared behind with black eyes behind its fur. The smell was musty and hot, laced with cigar smoke and body odor. A fireplace popped and snickered with life, small flames permitting shadows to dance freely about the dark room.
Then Claire saw her. A white dress, spattered with blackening blood. Long, blond hair that hung matted and wet from her sunken skull and drooped over the side of the desk upon which she lay. Her intestines were exposed through holes in her clothing and flesh, prodding out like red knuckles. Claire became very afraid as she saw the girl's half open eyes looking at her, glimmering in the firelight.
"Don't mind her, sweetheart," Irons said, "She's just come to join us?"
Claire realized he was talking to the corpse.
"Who is she?"
Irons looked at her from behind the desk, lighting a cigar, "The mayor's daughter. Mr. Warren wanted me to look after her. She's safe and sound, and God isn't she beautiful?"
Claire turned away as Irons began to stroke the girl's clumped hair. When she looked back he had taken a seat behind the desk, leaning against a tattered American flag that hung lifeless in the dark.
Just keep on, Claire, just keep on.
"Why do you want Sherry?"
He grinned from behind his cigar, and Claire instantly became disgusted (more than she was already). The man sat in his office, smoking cigars and eying a dead chick while outside people were dying.
"It has to do with Umbrella, sweetie. Stuff involving her old man," he exhaled smoke, "I wouldn't worry that pretty little head of yours with it."
"She's my responsibility. And her parents…I thought they were dead?"
"Of course, that would make sense because you picked her up at the orphanage. Well they are, but before they were dead, they were scientists for Umbrella. As you may have guessed they were scientists who worked on the very projects that have infested our beloved Raccoon City."
"Like I said, what does that have to do with her?" she winced as he started playing with the fingers of the girl's hand.
He didn't respond.
The two glared at each other, Claire's pretty face firm with hate while his hate hid behind a grin and a cigar.
"Baby girl, you're wearing thin on my patience. Don't cross the line."
Leon kicked the locked door open, stepping into the shadows of another hallway. Windows omitted thin beams of silvery light into the room, their glow catching on the dust particles that were startled by the sudden action. The only noise was Leon's shaking breath. In one hand he clutched the hammer, in the other the flashlight which he had turned off.
In the dark he waited, closing the door behind him.
Breathing, softly breathing.
Then came the slowly sounded croak of a groan, a wet groan that gurgled in anticipation of the feast to come. The figure stepped from the shadows, tall, thin, wearing a policeman's uniform. White, dry flesh coming off of the bone in flakes shown in the window's light.
Leon lit the flashlight and it's glow showed the outstretched arms and the milky-white eyes wanting him. The flashlight was sent spinning to the ground and Leon swung the hammer round with the ripping claw forward. He struck its temple and black blood slopped out. In the strobe light effect of the spinning flashlight, Leon turned and flung the zombie over his shoulder and into the floor. Once more the hammer was raised, and once more he came down upon its skull which cracked and fragmented. The rotted brain bounced out amidst the pieces of bone and flesh.
"That's one," Leon said, and he kept moving.
"I'm sorry, kid, but that's just not possible," Joseph tried desperately to deliver this in the most authoritative tone he could.
"It is too, you know it would happen," Sherry responded, refusing to budge.
"No," Joseph shook his head, "Absolutely not. Spider-man could not beat Batman. So just forget it."
"He could too! He's so strong, and he has web cartridges that he could use to shoot around the city! In the tv he always beats up people ten times stronger then he is, and Batman's just a normal guy!"
"Hey, Batman is not just some average dude! He is trained in, like, twelve different martial arts! The guy's mega rich and really brainy! He beats up bad dudes ten times stronger too, and without super powers."
The two still sat face to face, sitting on desks opposing each other. Joseph held his shotgun on his lap while Sherry fidgeted with a pendant that hung from her neck.
"Batman's a butthead. And you are too," Sherry mumbled.
"You're face is a butthead."
"You're mom's face is a butthead."
"You're such a piece of shit, Irons," Claire practically spat, still forced to sit in the arm chair, "Chris always told me you were. He was right. But even he didn't know you were such a crazy, sadistic piece of shit."
Irons eyes slowly rose from the dead body on his table, his hand stopping along the hip of the corpse. His eyes, which had always been notoriously unreadable, became suddenly dark.
"What did you say?" he asked as he put down his cigar.
"Which part, you sick, spoiled bastard. The part where I called you a shit or the part where I questioned your sanity?"
"Shut that cock hole of yours, bitch," he rose the gun.
Claire flinched but didn't stop, "Go ahead, Irons. Shoot me. What good will I be then?"
Looking her up and down, he replied, "Oh you'll still be plenty of good."
"God, you're fucked up."
Irons knew that Claire was trying to wear down on his patience, Claire could see that. But she had to keep him unfocused and frustrated. It's something Chris would have done: keep him uneasy and furious and he will be irrational.
"Go ahead, Claire Bear," he said, "Squawk all you want, pray that your precious Leon will come and protect you like he promised."
Her eyes widened a little.
"That's right, honey. I saw your little conversation in the S.T.A.R.S. office. I've been watching you pretentious fools for quite some time."
"I'm not worried about Leon kicking your ass. If he doesn't, I will."
Irons stood with the desk between them. Claire saw it as a sign of defense. Irons was afraid. But he was also insane. Claire began to wonder just how the girl on his desk died.
"You're a fucking coward, Irons."
Too far. Claire jumped up as Irons kicked his desk sideways and crashed over it.
Leon felt the horrifically satisfying crunch beneath his sneaker—the zombie letting out a last croak as crimson oozed out along the floor.
"That's four," Leon spoke on a breath as he whirled around to catch another in the jaw with his blood-ridden hammer.
The jaw was torn lose, dangling on the hammer. The carrier stumbled back against the door Leon had been trying to reach. With a single leap Leon shoulder-checked the zombie through the door. He toppled over the helpless body, rolling to his feet into the next room.
Breathing hard, Leon listened through the dust and rot for something. Anything. He felt blood run down from the hammer to his sleeve, and he took a moment to remove the chunks and wipe the blood off.
Then she screamed.
Kill kill kill…
Claire gasped for air as his fat fingers clamped down upon her throat. Again and again, he smacked her across the face, forcing her down to the ground.
"You're cunt is mine, bitch," he whispered into her ear, his moustache tickling her cheek.
His hot breath was rank with cigar smoke and bourbon. He reeked of panic and fury as he bore down upon her, his fingers twitching as they went for her jacket to her t-shirt. It was a strange, nauseating stench that left her with a cold burning realization that she as helpless.
She couldn't breathe. Her head begin to lose gravity, she felt dizzy. His teeth gnashed as he felt underneath her shirt, his sweaty fingers groping along her smooth skin. She was his now. His hand leapt to his belt and he began to unbuckle.
Claire squirmed and he brought the other hand up, both on her throat. He thrashed her head into the ground. Hard. Now she was lost as his hand went back to his pants.
There was no mercy in his motion. No lingering thought of compassion. He sought flesh. He wanted to tear through it and dig out the soul inside. He wanted to relish in the agony of others and watch flesh curl as it burned.
"There's a bit of Marquis de Sade in all of us," Wesker had said.
"Get away from her-"
Leon swung the hammer like a windmill and brought it up into that stupid fucking moustache. A shot rang out. He watched Irons' head cock up towards the ceiling as he rolled backwards, blood pulling an ol' faithful from his gaping face as he screamed.
Irons tried to raise the smoking revolver he had drawn, but Leon brought the hammer down upon his wrist. The gun clattered to the floor as Irons rolled to his back in agony. He lifted the hammer again, his willpower quivering beneath the weighty idea of beating this fat fuck to a pulp.
His converse high top upon the weasel's fatty throat, Leon lowered the hammer for a moment as he hovered over his old boss.
"What are you looking for, Kennedy?" He spat beneath the weight, "What are those evil eyes searching for?"
"How long has Umbrella been buying you out?"
The grim man chuckled, "That's not even the situation. You don't know how deep you've waded from shore, boy. You'll be hard pressed to find answers this deep."
"I can certainly try."
"You don't get it. You and I are on the level. You're like me; you just don't know it yet."
Leon twisted the hammer around in his hand to bring the teeth forward as he rose it into the air and brought it up into the bastard's nose. He felt it stick so high up into Irons' skull that when the police chief screamed he felt the vibrations in the hammer. With on sturdy yank he pulled the man's face off.
The brain bounced and sloshed onto the floor with bits of the skull.
Leon was quivering with rage. Irons was still alive? Cradled up in his office while the city fell to shit? The scene of this sniveling bastard hungrily atop Claire burned him. Seeing the beautiful figure lying balled up on the floor made him instantly drop to his knees attentively.
Her hands lowered from her ears and her gorgeous blue eyes opened, bathed in tears.
"Leon!" she jumped up into him, wrapping her arms around him tightly.
The impact made him fall back but he sat up, Claire now sitting on his lap. They sat there for a moment. Even though Leon had sensed it, he looked around to make sure Irons was gone. Suddenly Claire pulled away from him.
"You're bleeding!" she gasped.
"what? Oh, damn…"
It was true. Irons had drawn a gun as Leon had entered, getting off one shot before he was popped in the nose. The bullet had scathed just along Leon's left oblique. It wasn't bad—at least Leon didn't think so.
"You fucker!" she hit him and sat back on his lap, "How could you get shot again?!"
"What the hell? I just rescued you."
"Oh please, I could have handled it myself."
"Oh don't let your neo-nazi feminism misinform you."
Suddenly Leon's radio, hanging from his belt, crackled to life, "Leon…I'm very bored…and…Sherry's calling me names."
"I am not!" Sherry's voice chimed in.
Leaning back on his elbows, Leon removed the radio from his belt and replied, "I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Is Claire with you?"
"Yes, I had to save him," Claire leaned down and spoke beside Leon.
"The hell you did…"
"Haha. Leon you bitch."
"Shut up, Joseph. Let's just get out of this place."