Fighting out of the darkness, the dull echo of distant footsteps and the wail of the warning klaxon, blaring through her nightmares. Panting heavily, she awoke to the darkness.

She expected to feel the ache of a nasty bruise in her side, but as she rolled over, she felt nothing. This wasn't right. She had run and been on the run for nearly two days straight with almost no rest or water; her muscles should've been locked up tighter than bridge cables by now. But as her eyes adjusted to the darkness and her mind regained some focus, she realized she had no idea how long ago that had been...or even where she was.

From what little she could see, the room was a featureless cube, eight feet long by eight feet across. The dingy cot she had been sleeping on was damply stained with sweat, worn leather straps hanging loosely about the corners, foreboding and frightening. She was glad she awoke without those on, or she would have thrashed until her body snapped just to be free. She'd always had issues with restraint of any kind, physical as well as figurative.

She swung long legs across the mattress and onto the cool linoleum of the tiled floor. It was colder than she expected, the heat of September still lingering in her mind. Squeezing the stiffness from her fists, she gingerly tugged at the clasp of her shirt, surprised to find a hospital garb instead. So as she suspected, it was some sort of a hospital. Had her agency contact somehow found her and patched her up? No, that wasn't possible. No one she knew had made it out of that holocaust alive. No one. The thought saddened her for no more than a moment, and her mind quickly returned to the situation at hand.

She unfastened the clasp, letting the thin cloth fall to her waist and exposing her body to the open air. She expected to feel horribly deep scarring, torn flesh, maybe even some exposed bone…but she felt nothing disfiguring besides the snaking curve of a thin scar across her torso. So she hadn't emerged untouched after all. A red light came on in the corner, and she realized a camera was watching her, the whir of the lens struggling to focus with such little lighting. She would've thought such a camera to have a night vision setting. Aware of her half nudity, she stared up at the camera defiantly, taking her time to cover herself before speaking aloud. But as she opened her mouth, a loud voice snapped over an intercom.

"You are in a medical facility for your own protection," boomed the voice. It wasn't quite heavy, almost educated with a hint of sophistication to it, like an accent she couldn't quite place. It certainly wasn't your everyday goon watching and speaking to her.

"Where exactly is that," she asked, her voice sounding weakly hollow in the room.

"In a secure location. The exact specifics are immaterial at the moment," answered the voice calmly. As it spoke, dull fluorescent lights flickered to life above her, the new light casting a dim blue glow over the room. The room looked cleaner than it had in her mind's eye, but as she rose, she realized the condition of the mattress was as she expected. Disgusting, she thought, turning away. What kind of hospital lets that sort of thing slide? Get a sheet, for Christ's sake.

The steel door before her slid open to reveal a brightly lit hallway, and she cautiously stepped into it, her eyes slowly adjusting to even more light. The door automatically snapped shut behind her, and she startled at the sudden motion. Looking back, she saw a magic mirror panel at about eye level. Apparently there were more people watching her than through the talking camera.

The hallway was long and metallic, more industrial than anything. A young woman approached her, dressed as a nurse and handsome in a coldly utilitarian way. She smiled, spreading open a soft brown robe to rest on the patient's shoulders.

"Please follow me," she said kindly, leading her down the long hallway. There seemed to be little activity going on in the hospital; all the rooms' magic mirrors revealing empty chambers. It was creepy how soulless the hall felt, the dark mirrors like empty eyes staring at her, judging her. "Right this way, Ms. Wong," she directed, pointing into an open door by her side.

Ada looked at her, stunned, but fought to keep the surprise from her face. How could this nurse have known who she was?

"How…how did you know my name--," fumbled out Ada.

"There is precious little we do not know about you, Ms. Wong," cooed the voice she had heard earlier. Only now it was through that open door, and the feedback from the microphone was gone. This voice was softer, smoother, still calm and always in control.

Looking back, she saw the impossibly long corridor, stretching into darkness, and she realized she had nowhere else to go. And so she entered the room.

--

The man sitting at the table wasn't quite what she had been expecting. Granted, she'd only had a few sentences and moments to piece together a mental image, but this man was hardly older than she. She had pictured a man in his fifties at least, a smoker, maybe even swirling a glass of brandy or another fine alcohol in front of a fireplace. And definitely in a highball glass.

Instead, she saw a young man who appeared to be in his late twenties, pale and lean. He exuded a cool confidence in his every movement, to such a degree that he seemed almost icy. He smiled at her, a heartless and cold smile that chilled her, like the smile an executioner gives under his mask as he throws the kill switch on the murderer of his family. This was the kind of man who made time for revenge, but still considered himself above the pettiness of it all.

But she was no pushover herself, no matter how badly her head ached. She stiffened, straightening her back to stare him fully in the face as she sat at the proffered chair. It was cold, simple, functional, just like everything else in the hospital. She returned his wry smile, crossing her legs as she leaned back into the seat. She took her time doing this, realizing he was waiting for her to speak.

"Surely you must have some questions…" he began, leaning back into his own chair, a bemused expression on his face. The back was far too high for him, even though he was quite tall. That chair is more of a throne than a chair you just sit and work in, she thought to herself. This guy obviously had some issues.

"Well, there's always the ever popular 'where are we', that I asked earlier," she said, her dark eyes never leaving him. For some reason she couldn't place, she just didn't want to trust this guy. When he reached into his desk, she braced herself, half-hoping he would pull out a gun or weapon so she could leap over the table and stomp his sorry ass. Instead, he withdrew a folder, rather thick, and flipped it open. He seemed to be reading some document, but she couldn't tell with the sunglasses he wore whether he was or not.

He brought a long finger to his chin, gently stroking it as if he were pondering over something rather important.

"Impressive," he muttered. He looked up at her, his forehead furrowing in thought. "I had of course looked over your file prior to the Raccoon City...incident, but it's refreshing to see one so committed to the task at hand," he added admiringly.

"I believe my question was about our location, not my qualifications," she shot back, curious to his file and its contents.

"Of course, of course. You must be tired and confused, Ada...may I call you Ada," he asked, sipping a clear liquid from a short glass, not waiting for her to answer. Not a highball glass, though, she thought, disappointed. Judging by the small portion of his sips, she guessed it was most likely vodka or some other clear alcoholic drink. "Oh, how rude of me...Cindy, could you get Ada something to drink?"

The nurse entered the room again, her walk brisk and direct. "What will it be, miss?"

"I'll have what our esteemed host is having," she said, trying to gauge his reaction. But his only movement was a flick of his finger, signaling Cindy the nurse to do as requested. "Then again, he knows my name but I am at a loss for his..." she began, waving her hand absentmindedly.

"You know who I am, Ada Wong. Just as I know you. Our...business interests are close enough that you should know Albert Wesker when face to face."

"I know enough to know that Albert Wesker died months ago in an explosion big enough to liquify a chunk of the Arklay Mountains," she said, reaching for the glass Cindy held for her. He laughed, taking his own drink into both hands. Surprisingly, it was plain water, probably overpriced bottled water, but water all the same. She inhaled deeply from the glass, trying to locate the faint odor of a drug. Then again, she'd been unconscious for hours, maybe even days, and Wesker and his nurse had all kinds of opportunities to inject her with whatever they wanted.

"Nonetheless, I can recount many incidents where Ada Wong was believed dead, can I not? In fact...," he began, setting down his drink. "I can think of an event only a short while ago...in the destruction of Raccoon City."

"What-?"

"You of all people should understand. The government and Umbrella did what they could to clean up the mess. They nuked it and everyone in the city was vaporized and presumed dead. Even you, my dear."

"I remember an advanced Tyrant model..."

"Much like the last thing I remembered before my...awakening."

"Awakening? What are you talking about?"

"We are two of a kind now, Ada. We have faced the trials and tribulations of life, tasted death...and returned. And we are stronger for it."

"Return...from the dead? You're talking nonsense, Wesker."

"Really? Considering what you fought through, am I the nonsensical one here? You saw the dead walk the earth, consume the flesh of the living...and now you refuse to accept the same notion of it happening to you?"

"Look at me, my flesh isn't rotting off, I'm not hungry for brains!"

"No, not at all. But then...am I?"

"You mean you...?"

"Yes, the rumors of my death were not…exaggerated. I did in fact die in that mansion. But the miracle of science restored me. Just like I used it to restore you."

"...But why me?"

"Your reputation precedes you. Even in our underhanded world of shady dealings and espionage, I came to hear of, even to...respect your skill. After all, HCF had the two of us competing for the top of their payroll for a reason, no?" He laughed, a short, tight snort from the back of his throat. "Then again, they were not so kind as to hand over to me this base of operations..."

"We're not at an HCF base?"

"Of course not. This is a facility I...acquired for my personal needs. The only people here are Cindy and I, and a few other of my most trusted aides. You surely can see the need for secrecy here...Ada Wong is far more useful to me dead than alive after all, wouldn't you say?"

"How am I of use to you at all?"

"Oh, I am sure I can think of something," he replied, finishing the last of his drink and setting down the glass, the ice clinking loudly. He rose from his seat, and even though sunglasses obscured his eyes, she was certain that for a moment, his eyes seemed to shine. "But enough chatter; you must be hungry. Cindy, be a dear and show our guest to the dining hall."

--

Author's note: I plan on taking a few liberties with what is known fact and what isn't in the RE plotline, but I hope to maintain the integrity of each character as best I can. This first chapter was a test of mine, to see how well an Ada/Wesker dynamic would work. Some of the dialogue is a bit extraneous, but what the hell, it was fun writing, and definitely a new experience trying to talk like Wesker. Next chapter will pick up a bit action-wise, and introduce us to some familiar faces. I'm thinking of a few big surprises, but they'll come later on. Hope you enjoy this!