This is the final chapter, and if you've read it all the way to here, you may want to know that the prequel / sequel to this story is LOKRE2: Nosgoth. Go on my account and look for it there. I'd link to it, but it makes the thing go crazy…
Leon raced along side the train platform, the bulky vehicle clearly designed to carry cargo from it's destination, lord only knows what had been shipped in and out through the endless dark tunnel Leon Kennedy now sough to release from the substantially thick iron gates. The train was activated but if it were to go now, the gates would immediately stop it. There was no way it could build up enough speed to ram them at the short distance the trains front was from them and Leon wasn't about to risk their only chance of escape on such a reckless action.
'Their only escape' who was he kidding? That crazy, psychotic blonde scientist shot Ada, shot her and he watched her plummet down the main shaft beyond the transport and there was nothing he could do to save her. Nothing. What made him feel worse was that for a time, he had hold of her in his hand – on the side of his bullet-wounded arm – and he hadn't the strength to rescue her. He didn't have a clue what had happened to Sherry and Kain, but Claire had contacted him a few moments ago via a walkie-talkie he gave to her all the way back when he still stalked the corridors of the R.P.D when he still naively believed they would find survivors. Of course he had found a few, but what unnerved him the most about it all was that he was the only cop in Raccoon City to have survived this far. Escape was a hairs length away and it had come at a great cost. His tortured heart ached; the dried bullet wound on his shoulder still throbbed dully beneath the makeshift bandage Ada and wrapped his chest in. . . but still the young rookie cop had fire enough in him to fight on. Leon had undoubtedly suffered the most out of all the survivors, the batters war-torn appearance he now wore a far cry from the clean, fresh-faced vibes he gave out upon his first encounter with Kain.
Leon had set the two plugs into the power system a few moments ago and the seemingly sleeping platform lit up in a blinding flash of electric light. The train platform was located in a very odd location. Behind the train itself there were circular iron smelting pools filled with an orangey, smooth liquid much like lava, from which hot bubbles would rise and burst from the molten metal. These pools were not any danger to Leon however, contained behind a steel fence.
Next to the power controls in which Leon had inserted the plugs was a giant mechanical column that ascended far beyond his vision, and all around the walls of the train area were steel pipes and rungs, like an industrial jungle of creepers and various other forms of indigenous growth, the cold grey steel all mysteriously tinted a deep orange by the powerful glow of the iron smelting pools.
The gate controls wouldn't activate without power being restored to the area, and without the gate open, they weren't going anywhere. That was all fixed now, and Leon flew up the bridge that arched over the bulky train itself and burst through a seemingly needless gate that served only to separate the bridge area from the entrance to the train. Leon ran so quickly, and so determinedly that he narrowly avoided a zombie snatching at him from the shadows of the emergency tunnel that lead back to the lab complex. Apparently, the activation of the power and lighting had caused a few hungry souls to be drawn to its glow like a moth to a flame.
The creature that pawed at Leon's dirty uniform was naked but in such an advanced state of decomposition that there was no way to tell what sex it had been in life. Its blueish skin was shrived and prune-ish and its grip was weak and powerless; dry to the touch. It had been like this for a very long time, longer than the other, liquefying zombies on the darkened city streets above that still wore their hair and clothes like the humans being that had previously occupied that body. Horrified by how close he had come, he batted the wailing animal, it's vocal chords so thoroughly shredded by this highly advanced stage of decay that it didn't even sound like it had once been a person at all. If that had been like all the other zombies he had encountered on the surface, it would not have been so easy to throw it off of him. The surface zombies still had a fair amount of muscle tissue left and the inability to feel pain or the inhibition that comes with the fear of pain gave them an ability to summon physical strength the likes of which they never knew as a human.
Upon it striking the ground, there was a terrible crack and as the creature rose unhurriedly and seemingly deliberately from the steel floor, it left a limb behind- an arm – fingers still twitching of their own will. Leon had seen his share of horror movies, but somewhere deep inside of him, he refused to accept what he was seeing. He refused to believe that if he were to die - right here, right now - he would become like that thing. Something inside him was teetering on the edge of an emotional cliff as he raised his handgun in his single good arm to place a bullet in its pulpy brain. Now was not the time to flip-out, but Leon felt as if he had survived too much to transform into that mindless animal – no, animal wasn't the word. As the thing in from of him rose up, eyeless sockets filled with shadow; a perfect companion to its perpetually gaping hole of a mouth, now so damaged it could not be closed; Leon refused to believed he would become such a mindless automaton in death. Even in the most mindless of animals there was some glimmer of life in the way they moved. The creatures' movements were somehow barren and lifeless. Even the zombies up on the surfaced still moved like human beings when they caught sight of potential prey. . .
"I'm not like you. . ." Leon stated to the beast as it continued its lurch towards him, blind to the powerful weapon trained at what Leon thought was personally offensive to him to call its head. He needed to hear himself say it, to hear that the slaughter hadn't robbed him of his humanity in a way in which would make him far worse than any of the monsters he had put to death with his gun on this night.
After slapping at the gate controls thus opening the trains path for its' escape, Leon almost dived into the train when the door veered open with a harsh mechanical whine. Leon readied the magnum. Before setting the train on its journey, he would wait a while just incase someone survived. The thought of leaving Claire or Sherry of Kain behind out of haste to flee from the laboratory tore at his weary heart matching in its intensity the hot, dull throb of the bullet wound he took for Ada.
Ada... . . Leon shuddered as again the moment she slipped from his grasped played out in his scarred mind. She had died because of him. He promised he would protect her and he failed. "I'm not going to let anyone else die." Leon hissed quietly through gritted teeth, his voice rough with raw emotion. Leons' exploration of the train was uneventful. There was only one small seating area right before the cockpit, but the space in the room in the next carriage was wide and vacant; obviously a storage space of some kind, but it was mostly empty save for a small amount of crates at the very end of the train.
The coast was clear; the train left untouched by the monsters that stalked the sterile corridors of the laboratory in search of their next prey. Leon rushed back through to the front of the train, to the cockpit to prepare the train to depart as soon as it was required to. -
- The gates at the front of the train were closed.
Leon shook his head in hazy confusion. Had he opened them before he came in? He was so messed up after that last zombie attack that his memory was clouded in an adrenalin fuelled fuzz.
No time to think. Leon rushed back out onto the platform and to the gate controls to clear their escape. This time he made sure he was pressing the right buttons and bothering to read the other labels on the consol before hitting the big green 'open' button. Was their a timed function on it? That might explain why he was so certain he opened them before he-
- Leon froze. An extreme sense of absolute terror fell over him like a black heavy cloud of malice. What made this emotion peculiar was that it was completely alien to him, as if some malevolent force had descended upon him against his conscious control. At that instant, Leon was sure he was sensing that something wicked and vastly powerful was someplace extremely close by.-
- And this was confirmed by a hot breath on the back of his neck that stung of the same malevolence he sensed before. Before he even turned around, he knew what it was he perceived in such a supernatural sense.
Leon span around as the mighty dark beast let out an inhuman bellow, followed by ragged wail that confirmed Leons' suspicions. The magnificent monster that had him cornered by the gate controls - reset the train gate intentionally to lure Leon out HAD at one time been the vampire Kain.
It was twice Kains' size now. Before Kain was an impressive man whos' very prescience intimidated you with a sinister untamed menace. Now, the thing that screeched into the dead air before Leon was easily over eight foot of demon, patches of the rock hard callous that coated the creature revealed beneath it hints of clothing and white, but dirtied flesh, like something had grown over Kains' entire body and was operating him like a puppet. It didn't look like the Umbrella monsters. . . The blackish – possibly of the darkest of reds – callous that covered the demon had strange, vein-like cracks running through it. From its back protruded long, sword-like spines that shone as the caught the orange neon glow of the iron-smelting pit. The shape of its' head and face had spread out, warping his cranium into an impressive crown-skull and dark, deepest eye sockets almost hid completely the savage yellow catlike eyes that had once belonged to the original Kain. Had a Nosgoth inhabitant seen the face of the beast, they would have instantly recognised its' resemblance to the legendary sword; 'Soul Reaver'.
Leon couldn't think through his sheer terror. His mind wobbled jittery between 'fight' and 'run', his powerful blue eyes bathed in white, piercing terror making them appear amusingly childlike to the monster that had hunted the young officer to the solitude of the train platform. Leon didn't have the chance to react when the demon creature snatched at his throat and raised him off his feet. The Kain monsters' spiteful, icy, yellow eyes trailed from Leons' terrified - but defiant - eyes to the dried bullet wound on his right shoulder; the bullet he'd taken for Ada. Leon struggled, knowing what it had planned, but it was pointless. Kain was so much more powerful than him even as a vampire. Leon could never break free of this monsters grasp with his body alone.
In a last attempt at freedom, Leon released the claws around this throat that he had instinctively gripped when it clutched his, and instead used what little of his strength he had left to jam a round into his magnum and unload it right into the monsters chest. At point blank range, Leon was tanking an extreme risk of injuring himself seriously but he knew that if the demon beast didn't release him now, he would become the unwilling plaything to its immeasurably enhanced lust for blood and carnage. The explosions of the magnum blast threatened to deafen him, as did the thunderous howls – mixed in with half Kain-like moans – of the beast but it was over in a few short seconds. The creature shifted its' grasp on Leon from raising him up by his neck to a mere firm clutch of his good arm with long, spindly, cutting claws. It stared slowly down at where Leon had unloaded a magnum clip into him, and Leons' eyes followed it down. The magnum bullets were lodged in the armour-like skin of the beast, but other than that, they had barely scratched it.
"Not possible!" Leon let out by accident. He could feel the tattered remnants of his mind unravelling at an alarming rate, his soul slipping from his control, threatening to throw him into insanity. It just was not possible! The matrimony of G-virus and Vampire had created something that could not be stopped by weapons crafted by human hands. But something had to be wrong with it. The monster was merged over Kain, using his power against his sentient control like a parasite. There HAD to be a weakness at such an early stage of development. Leon couldn't think. It had to have a weakness, but the threat that the weakness would be discovered after it had torn him to shreds forced rational thought from his mind and thus rendered him incapable of figuring out how to stop the unstoppable demon.
It reeked of evil. Leon could feel the darkness emanating from it in inky, intoxicating waves. Abruptly, Leon was consumed with a sharp pain in his shoulder and he realised that it was piercing his gunshot wound with its spindly, sharp black claws, cutting away the sensitively, newly healed tissue and letting his hot human blood run. Leon gritted his bloodied teeth, resisted the best he could the urge to scream, as that would be submitting to its perverse will. Leon opened his creased eyes briefly as it re-adjusting its claws to see its inhuman toothy smirk at causing him pain. –
- "Stop it!"-
-A high-pitched female voice cried out from the shadows of the corridor the lead back into the winding laboratory. Sherry Birkin emerged, still clad in the red shawl Kain had left behind, loading the handgun that –unbeknownst to her – once belonged to her father. The look of malevolence in her deep blue eyes caused bizarre shivers of fear to run up Leons' spine: The unforgiving look in her beautiful eyes changed her from that sweet little twelve year old girl into diminutive version of Kain.
Surprisingly, the demon obeyed. It turned its' attention from its prey to the small blonde girl and a glimmer of recognition sparked in its eyes.
When Kain had first been dominated by the parasite that had consumed his powerful body, he inadvertently lost while protecting Sherry. Now that it was in the final stages of its mutation, the only memories left over from Kain that were shared between Kain and the parasite that now consumed him, was that he lost while protecting Sherry. Sherry was the only memory Kain still had hold of.
William Birkin watched over the scene from a remote vantage point, now a spirit almost totally deranged from the anguish and sin of Raccoon city that had permeated his – at the artisan of this night - ethereal energies. He laughed to himself as the demon creature, overshadowing his tiny little daughter approaching her with a tenderness of movement that even Kain in his Vampiric unlife lacked. Williams' earlier theory was right. The thing that bound Kain to his former humanity was his prejudice towards humans. Now that he was almost totally assimilated by the G-virus parasite, he lacked humanity but possessed only a slight thread of his former mind. Without his humanity and vampirism, he no longer had racial prejudices towards humans that held him back from truly expressing his desire to protect Sherry. Infact, the desire to protect would never have developed at all if these unique sets of circumstances hadn't come about.
The monster examined her tiny unimposing form with yellow eyes consumed with conflicting emotions. It wanted to kill her bathe in her blood and gore, but something pulled it back from the brink of mindless brutality. The very last shred of sentient mind struggled to break free, clutching piteously to his last memory, his memory of her.
The creature was facing away from Leon, and in the midst of the sword-like spines that protruded from its slender back was a giant eye wreathed in gore-soaked tentacles that gripped to the spines and stole into the body of its host. That was a weak spot if ever he saw one. Leon drummed up every drop of courage in his worn out, dirtied body and with a last bellow, blue eyes burning with a white hot fire, Leon jumped onto the back of the beast and clawed at the bulbous, throbbing, oozing eye with his bare fingertips. It burst in a spray of cold, wet slime and gave out a magnificent squeal a sheer pain. The monster to roared and wailed in pure anguish that its life-force was draining away all because of one mere rupture on its back. Leon was flung off in its pain-induced thrashings, but even with the prey-turned-predator removed from its back, it continued to squeal and writhe and struggle.
Sherrys' concerned bleat rose into the orgy of noise, she ran for it, feeling a maternal instinct override her common sense, but found she was caught on something,-
- Claire. It was Claire. She had hold of her and was stopping her from aiding her former protector.
"He needs me!" Cried out Sherry, fighting against Claires could grip and gazing up at her with tear-rimmed eyes, longing for release.
"Kains' dead!" Cried out Claire getting to the very heart of the issue. "That monster is dying and if we doing get out of here, it'll tear us apart in the process!" Despite Claires words, Sherry continued to fight single-mindedly against her grip right up until – along with Leons' assistance- they dragged her kicking and screaming into the train.
Claire snagged Sherry violently by her arm and threw her against the bench against the far wall of the train.
"I know your upset but you have to understand that you can't help that thing out there!" Claire said to her, crouching down by her beside. Sherry knew Claire wasn't yelling out of anger. She was just trying to get her message through to her mind, clouded by both rage and sorrow. –
- And suddenly, without warning, the intense burning of the thing that had been implanted within her stomach flared up again, this time far more intensely it did burn than ever it had before. Sherry tried to fight showing her pain on the surface, but couldn't resist grimacing in vast pain. She tried to pretend it was the emotion involved that was causing her to flinch. For some reason, she didn't want Claire to know that thing inside her stomach was there.
Leon disappeared into the control room once more, then stormed furiously out of there a moment later after remember he never had a chance to reopen those gates. -
- But Sherry did notice the consol in the control room was beeping erratically. With a complete indifference towards Claire Redfield, Sherry hopped down from her bench and marched over to the consol in the control room adjacent to her. Claire followed her out of curiosity, the purity of her external features feeling somewhat alien to Sherry after the horrors she faced back in the sinister night of Raccoon City. Apparently, according to the blinking consoles, the self-destruct system to the laboratory had been activated and was counting down silently for twenty minuets of which fourteen had already been spent. The didn't have much time at all-
- But there was something else that was causing the consoles to go ballistic. There was a human prescience detected still within the laboratory facility and to her horror, it was Sherrys' mother! Face down on the steel walkway linking the west area to the rest of the lab lay her mother – Annette Birkin – struggling in vain to haul herself up from the floor. Her blonde hair and scientist attires of a white lab coat unmistakably identifying her as Sherrys' last remaining parent. Why hadn't Leon mentioned seeing her? He was going to leave her to die? Her mother?
She didn't need to consider her options for even a moment. With an unexpected burst of speed, Sherry sprinted past Claire – who was in the process of entering the control room in pursuit of her – and raced for the exit of the train. Leon was still struggling with the gate controls to notice her zip down the corridor to the emergency elevator back to the lab. She passed the fallen corpse of the monster that had once been her protector. The diamond hard tissues of its body were liquefying but the main bulk of the creature was still hidden beneath a frothy ooze that thankfully prevented the already emotionally fragile from seeing his dead, unresponsive carcass. He was once such a dominant animal. . . . To see him drained of his brutal soul would tear her apart.
She was sick of death. Her life as a Birkin now seemed like a distant, pleasant dream. She was very thankful of the steep learning curve Kain plunged her into when he gave her a gun and told her to defend herself. It had made her strong. Strong enough to save her mother, she hoped.
Leon could have sworn something rushed past him but didn't feel he could trust his flayed nerves. He ran back into the train but was met with a heavy thud as Claire departed the train right into him.
"What's going on? Is Sherry okay?" He demanded in his commanding, authorities voice.
"Sherry ran out to save her mother!" She wailed in alarm.
"Her mother?" Leon had a profound sinking feeling that threatened to choke him. The woman that shot Ada was on a screen in the control room but he ignored her. . . THAT was Sherrys' mother? He'd done it again. Another person was doomed to death because he couldn't be a good cop. First Ada, then Kain, then Sherrys' mother – and if they didn't hurry – next Sherry herself? Leon broke from Claire but skidded to a halt then the clunk – followed by a mechanical whine – of the elevator to the labs could be heard. By the time that elevator came back, it could already be too late to save her.
"What do we do now?" Claire demanded.
"We go back in and warm the train and for immediate departure." Commanded Leon. "If Sherry does come back, then we'll be able to take her." Leon paused momentarily, recalling how previously in the night, he and Kain discovered an unconscious Sherry, newly infected by the repugnant G-virus transmutation that had once been her father. "Maybe we should just leave without her. . ." Leon muttered as they re-boarded the train. He didn't want to have to say it, but if she did have a G-virus embryo in her then she was as good as dead.
"I don't want to have to say it, but Sherry's infected with a G-virus embryo and I don't want to risk brining one of those monsters out into the outside world!" His tone softened. "I'm really sorry, but it's the only thing we can do."
"There must be a cure!" Claires' maternal instincts kicking in, she began to push past Leon with the intention of moving right back out onto the platform but was stopped dead in her tracks by Leons' powerful grip on her arm.
"Even if there was a cure, the detonation function of the lab is going to go off in just under six minuets and there's no humanly possible way to throw one together in that time!"
I don't care: - I have to help her!"-
- The door to the train compartment whirled nosily open and in its frame stood a figure apparently weakened by their ordeal, leaning on the side of the door. They pushed themselves up into a authoritative rise; Leon and Claire couldn't believe their senses:
It was the vampire Kain.
The first thing he was aware of when he came to was how cold he was, and then he was aware of just how familiar this peculiar sensation felt to him. Shards of memory that had confounded him pulled back together into a working mind and he rose from the oiling, toxic soup that had once been part of his body. Kain fumbled at his back, the parasite that came within minuets of taking complete control of him had been dislodged and he had recovered from his hold over him. Kain was thankful; Had a human undergone such a transformation, there was no way their body could have handled turning back into a man without eventually killing them. The fact that it sought to take his body by growing over his existing body until it became strong enough to gain full control over his mind too aided his speeding recovery. While his body was changing, he was certain he sensed much going on around him. A distant mechanical whine and the sounds of two voiced arguing were all that met his pointed ears.
Resting against the structure before him for a moment, Kain fought to wrestle back his mind from the parasite induced confusion, when what apparently was a door opened before him. He rose to his feet and smirked at what he saw. Leon and Claire, staring wide-eyed at him like they had beheld a ghost.
"Kain!" They exclaimed in unison, but before Kain could board the train and explain to them his inhuman recovery, he found Claire and Leon gripping hold of his bare arms rather tightly.
"You have to go back and save Sherry!" Said Leon in his powerful but youthful growl of a voice.
"She went up in the elevator to save her mother and we can't get to her!"
"She's still infected with the G-virus parasite! You have to find a cure!"
Kain chuckled and raised an eyebrow. "I have barely been awake a few moment and already I am to fix the problems you could not solve for yourselves?" –
- There was an earth shattering rumbled followed by a computer voice "Five minuets to detonation"
The humour faded from Kains' face as he snarled; "You are cutting it somewhat close, aren't you?"
"Help her!" Yelled Claire. "You're a vampire; can't you save her in that time?"
"That is beside the point." Kain replied indifferently, starting to feel like his old, cruel self again.
-"You can't operate the train without us!" Pointed out Leon. "It has special locks on it for detecting biohazardous outbreaks, and detecting a vampire would count. I know for a fact me and Claire registered out handprints as guest on the lab computer so only we can disengage that lock and get the train to work!"
"I trust the lock will work whether your hand is attached to your arm or not?" Kain threatened, the unmistakable predatory look in his yellow eyes gleaming.
"The handprint lock works with the bodies own electrical field. A severed hand wouldn't work."
Kain tried to use his basic empathic skills that all predatory vampires had (it aided in the hunt) in order to tell whether the young officer was being truthful, but was so weak from the parasite and the experiments the scientists had subjected him to that he was simply not strong enough to delve past the young mans' strong will and into his mind.
"Very well . . .." Kain barked, and not forgetting to exchange threatening glares at both of the humans, jogged back into the laboratory,
The elevator that Sherry had apparently taken ascending into the labs at a 45-degree angle and so it wasn't difficult for the vampire to ascend, however what caught Kains' attention on the upward climb was that his red shawl he had left behind for Sherry and Claire as a signal as to the route he took lay suspiciously in one of the air vents along the side of the shaft. This vent was large enough for him to enter without assuming mist form and he collected the tatty piece of red fabric for sentiments sake. It was a clever idea; had Sherry followed the elevator all the way up, it would have taken him a good while to find the area where Annette Birkin had apparently fallen. From the vent, the scent of freshly spilt human blood wafted in from someplace unseen. It was possible that Sherry smelt it too, although it was remarkable that a human – with their insensitive pallets - could have picked up on such a scent.
Kain emerged into a corridor soaked in smears of bloody handprints. The deep neon yellow glow was once again familiar to him; this was one of the service corridors through which he had escaped all those nights ago, before the zombie phage was merely a foul taste of the blood – just a slight palatable trouble to him. He could tell - at least – that the blood was a woman's and thankfully not that of a female child. It pooled at the entrance of a service elevator that had quite literally and most conveniently finished its' decent down to Kains' level. He entered it and was taken on its automatic route to the upper levels of the laboratory, but hadn't prepared for the sensory tantalisation that the blood soaked elevator presented him with. He reached his destination; a small lab in the west section and followed the trail of human blood as swiftly as he could. The mechanical door to the main shaft whined open and with it a heady, saturating, musky odour of delicious fresh blood hit him.
The red blood was what he noticed first of all and it inflamed his hunger so suddenly that he didn't believe he could control himself-
- Until he saw Sherry, crouched by a crippled, blood stained form not ten feet in front of him. The blood of the young girls mother leaked through the walkway and disappeared in drops into the blackness below like crimson rain drawn to the darkness. Despite all her wounds, the woman still lived. She was a spirited one; that he had learnt at the beginning of this mess- and somehow she had struggled through half the lab to get here.
Sherry wasn't moving. Her blue eyes were like liquid pools of misery, rippling with hot tears. . . but something was wrong. . . Something about her didn't seem right to the vampire, and his uncertainties were confirmed in her next words:
"How can you have helped Dad make all this mess Mom?" She cried, crouched down in the blood of the beloved mother. That's what was wrong with her. Her sorrow was mixed with anger, an anger he would never have expected to feel from the child at the beginning of this night. In his absence, she had changed. She had to in order to survive. "You helped to kill so many people! Can you even begin to imagine how much suffering you've helped cause?"
"Sh. . . Sheh.. . .Sherry. . ." Annette struggled out, choking on her own blood and sadness. "I'm sorry I couldn't be a better mother to you. . ." Her voice was soft and melodic, like dark silk. A was a kindness in her that Kain didn't believe she was capable of. He could never understand the maternal instincts of females - even as a human – but had come so much closer to understanding than he could ever admit to with Sherry. "I'm sorry. . . for all the … h-horrible things that must have happened to . .. you. .. ." She raised a clutched hand feebly. Inside the fist was a phial of blue fluid. "Take it. It's my last gift to you." She fumbled with how to express the next part
"It's the vaccine that your.. . . that Will .. . ." She coughed up an unnerving amount of her blood. Kain was morbidly impressed; humans that had bled that much rarely had the will to hang on to life that long. "That should counteract the G-virus embryo inside you. . . I tried to stop the others from taking the virus. . .. but instead threw together a vaccine. . .I knew you would need it. . . William . . . and Moebiuses curse on him. . . he knew this would happen and tried to avert it. . . ignorance is bliss.. . .Moebius rid him of it. . . made his life all those years a living hell . . . I'm so sorry. . .for everything."
Sherry burst into floods of tears, clutching desperately hold of the broken body of her mother. She didn't care about the blood staining her white blouse. She wanted her mother more than anything else in the world and her heart desperately ached until the feelings of intense grief pierced into Kains soul. He snarled at the pain he felt, a pain unlike anything he had felt in a good long while. The parasite had drained him and left him incapable of closing his cruel mind to the onslaught of emotions alien to him. It left him feeling violated and enraged.
Kain clutched harshly at the small girl with one powerful claw and dragged her up, tearing her from her mourning.
"We haven't the time for your incessant whining!" He barked down at her. Sherry's upset expression pleaded up to him with watery deep blue eyes and Kain became aware that he had seriously hurt her feelings. He wasn't too thrilled at the idea of dragging a crying child all the way back to the train, so he swallowed his humungous pride and crouched down to her, wrapping the red shawl she left behind around his clawed fist and dried her eyes delicately with it. "The best way you can honour your mothers memory now is by staying alive, just as she intended." He said, plucking the G-vaccine from her balled fist of the dead mother. Sherry smiled back at him, and strangely enough, Kain found his fury dissolving. He had intended to threaten her that if ever she told anyone of this act of benevolence he would kill her but found most curiously that his hatred died with her smile.
The detonation would begin shortly and Kain hadn't the time to inject the anti-virus into Sherry. There was little point in saving her life if the labs exploded. Kain contemplated heading back the way he came, but it was too far to travel.
"There's an emergency elevator in the place that has that big yellow transport device." Sherry abruptly spoke up, wiping back her tears as if she had read Kains' mind. "Claire must've come through this way: it heads right down to the train. . . " Sherry shrived down into a tightly squeezed ball beside the corpse of her mother.
Kain huffed crossly. "We don't have the time to mourn!"
"It's not that, Kain." Sherry shook her head. "My stomach. . . It's been hurting all night. . ."
Kain clutched her by her arm once again. "Get up. We don't have any time!-" but Kain felt his throat tighten when Sherry went limp in his grasp. Kain took her up in his arms, her skin stained with her mothers blood and burning up, laced with a cold sweat. Whatever parasite had been implanted into her was draining Sherry of what little life force that remained within her. Sherrys' death at such a late stage would be a failure on Kains' part. Holding her tight under his arm, Kain quickened his pace to beyond human speed, racing across the platform trying to ignore the thunderous rumbling from the stretch of blackness above. Somewhere in the labs higher levels, parts were already starting to detonate. The countdown hadn't yet reach zero down in the lowest levels in which the section Kain was in was a part of as he rushed into the elevator and activated the emergency decent to the train platform. He hoped Claire and Leon hadn't left in their haste; the monitors in the train would have warned them that they were still alive. . .
Kain wasted no time in getting Sherry into the train with an eagerly awaiting Leon and Claire. Claire immediately dashed to take Sherry from his arms.
"What's happened to her?"
"It would take too long to explain." Kain pushed her aside and prepared the vaccine sample, however Claire wasn't deterred from her roll as 'mothering figure'. She cradled Sherrys' hot head in her cool lap semi-clad with pink denim whilst Leon hovered on the outskirts of the fuss. "Make yourself useful, boy and star the train!" Kain barked to the young, weary cop who immediately raced into the control room of the train and disappeared behind the mechanical doors.
A telescopic needle extended from the base of the vaccine tube and Kain inserted it into her wrist, unloading the thick blue contents into a part of her young body that Kain was sure had a heady flow of fresh blood to it. Now all that was left to do was wait for the vaccine to work its' magic. The G-vaccine was different from normal medical vaccines, in that it attacked the virus directly rather than injected a dead strain and wait for the body to find its' own cure. Right now, it was a luxury of time Sherry did not posses.
"Will she be alright?" Claire asked him with a rather innocent and naïve trust in Kains' opinion. Kain did not answer her.
Leon came dashing back into the room with a terrified look in his blue eyes. "There's no power to the train! I KNOW I put the plugs in to power it!" He looked thoughtful for a moment. "Kain, when your monster attacked me, it closed the gates to lure me out! Maybe it took out the plugs too?"
Kain snarled, finding the process of escape far too difficult than it would have been if he had been in control. "Then I'll check those plugs!" He spat.
-"I'll take care of Sherry." Claire suddenly spoke up and a prong of what Kain knew to be compassion shot through him. There was no point in refusing the truth; Kain was beginning to think of Sherry as his own daughter. He didn't know why or how it had happened. He didn't understand how one as heartless as him could have formed a bond with such a worthless being as an orphaned twelve year old human child, but he couldn't deny that it had occurred.-
- Now wasn't the time for reflection on his feelings.
Kain exited the train and climbed onto its roof, making his way onto the other side and to the area where the plugs were contained in a power transformer. It would have taken a human a full minuet to make the tip to the bridge to the other side of the platform, but with Kains' strength and speed that he had taken for granted for so long, it took him a matter of seconds.
As Leon had suspected, the plugs had been removed and lay on the floor before the power transformer. Kain reinserted them into the corresponding sockets and the lights of the train area intensified. With his simple task complete, Kain-
- Something off to Kains' right exploded out from one of the iron melting pools beyond the railing and landed behind him his a thunderous boom of power. It would seem that the Kain monster was not the only Raccoon City creature that could set traps. . .
Kain beheld the crouched on one knee form at the centre of the area in a dark brood of power, slowly it ascended to its' feet, brandishing - on both arms – vast bone claws, its' bald head a visage of threatening, ominous control. It possessed the slow, deliberate elegance of powerful movement that Kain – in his better hours – maintained. And when it finished its' ascent, it broke it's stone hard countenance and bellowed magnificently into the air, screaming out into the night for the blood of the vampire before it. Kain roared into the air subsequent to it, secretly to choke back the fear sneaking in with the new emotions brewing within him as a result of his connection with Sherry: Kain was weapon-less; no sword, no magic, no mortal weapons of handguns and machine guns – both of which he had acquired thought his journey but had not brought with him in his arrogance. William apparently had a more profound effect on him that he realised. Now, Kain was the one facing down a beast that he could not hope to defeat, as William had done to him at the beginning of the night.. . . also, Williams' fatherly desires had rubbed off on him too. Whether there was more to this than meets the eyes, Kain feared he would never know. . .
The beast flew at him, its massive bone claws shredding the concrete floor into clouds of dust and chips. Kain dived from its path, but it was a miracle that the power transformer was not damaged in the creatures savage assault, otherwise any chances of escape would have been destroyed. Now that he was at an advantage, he lashed out at it with his claws on its blackened greyish back, but found that although he tore skin, no blood gushed forth. Kain felt his optimism dwindling as the soulless, muscular beast turned to perform a well ordered slashing attack that's power tossed Kain to the other side of the area, into the railings of a large, red platform that ascended high above him apparently intended as a control platform for the iron smelting pools. Kain contemplated climbing its structure to safety, but then remembered he had rarely been know to flee from a fight. He had to flee from the paladin of the circle of nine – Malek – and it had caused his sinister soul to burn like a million suns. This fiend was possessed an air of unwavering strength that the paladin lacked – who had struck him as more of a man who became easily frustrated when met with an adversary of equal ability. This things soulless grimace gave no hint as to its state of mind – if it was even capable of one. Kain was weak and weapon-less. It was strong beyond belief.
"Don't let it end like this. . . ." Kain snarled wearily through gritted fangs. –
-"KAIN!" A holler from somewhere above – the platform – someone was on the platform he was leaning against.
Kain and looked directly up at the figure of a man standing above twelve feet above him. It had been a male voice, but. . ..
- but it wasn't human. It wasn't even a vampire. Kain hadn't a clue as to what it was. Glowing eyes – blue skin – skeletal body – cloven hands and feet like one of the ancients of his kind and a face obscured by a brown shawl that bore a distinctive pattern upon it. It was a creature unlike anything the Umbrella scientists could ever contrive and it's familiarity with his name caused Kain to fall to the conclusion that this strange demon was Nosgothic in origin. Kain was so consumed in the sheer madness of its form that he hadn't noticed the tubular deceive it held in its claws.
"USE THIS!" It called down to him, and tossed him the device. No sooner had it done this, the creature turned and vanished into the labyrinthine facility, tatter cape-like remnants of blue wings the last thing Kain saw of this strange creature.
"Wait – How do you know me?" But it was too late.
Remembering what was going on, Kain dived to his side, narrowly avoiding a slice from the ordered beast and collected his thoughts as to what it was the blue wraith-like creature had tossed him. It was a human weapon loaded with two titanic rockets. A rocket launcher. Kain smiled. In his brief existence in 'peace-time' Raccoon City, he recalled seeing this device in action on a screen in an electronics store. This device was capable of annihilating completely any given target.
Kain aimed the device, propping its heavy tubular form on his shoulder and the viewfinder highlighted his emotionless target with a red cross, mindlessly unaware to the lethal weapon Kain aimed for its torso. Kain felt it necessary – almost compelled – to say something;
"Vae Victus. . ." And he fired. The moment played out in slow motion to him, the steaming trail left behind by the rocket barely had time to hang in the air before the missile met its target. A thunderous boom and the beast was blown into an inky dust baptised in fire and force. Kain had fired at fairly close range so was almost thrown to the floor by the blast. He paused briefly only to smirk, the turned his back on the fiery scene of exploded body parts and proceeded to the train –
- Only it started to move. Before he had a chance to ask himself why, a thunderous belch of fire burst from the corridors leading back to the laboratory. The detonation was happening. Claire and Leon had waited to the last possible moment to make their escape. Kain had to admire their spirit despite all they had been through but he wasn't going to let them leave him behind. The train was still accelerating, Kain jogged, flanking it and then clutched to a ladder on the side of the transportation, hauling himself from the platform but his moment of triumph didn't last long. The platform started to fall down around the escaping train and Kain was left dangerously vulnerable. He slid between the two segments of the train narrowly avoiding the burst of flames that lapped at the sides of the train as it disappeared into the tunnel like grasping hands of the Satan.
Meanwhile inside, Claire and Leon pressed against the floor of the carriage to avoid the deadly blast as the laboratory came crashing down behind the rapidly accelerating train, Claire covering young Sherry from the cloud of dust and debris being blown through their transport. Sherry had awakened from the fever, seemingly as good as new, but her cold sweat hadn't gone away. She summoned all her strength and pushed Claire off from on top of her.
"What are you going?" Was all that Claire could get out before she dashed down the compartment towards the automatic double doors at the end.
"Kain! We left him behind! He was trying to save us!"-
-A crashing jolt shook Sherry from her feet and thumped to the ground. Her hip throbbed excruciatingly even after she struck the cold steel floor that was vibrating hypnotically beneath her body from the speed it was travailing at. Claire dragged herself to Sherry.
"He did save us, Sherry. He got the train running again, just in time for us to escape.. ."-
- The mechanical double doors whirled open and in – seemingly unphased by his ordeal – strode a confident Kain, still equipped with the Rocket Launcher the bizarre blue monster had surrendered to him in his most challenging hour.
"Kain!" Sherry squealed and threw herself at him. An uncomfortable vampire patted his pale-clawed hand apprehensively on the young girls head, feeling the eyes of the two other young humans burn into him with a mixture of conflicting emotions. Claire and Leon were unusually compassionate for humans (though much human literature reveres the non-existent benevolence of the common man) therefore they purely could not understand how such a virtuous young girl as Sherry Birkin could form such an strong emotional bond to monster they completely understood to be a black hearted, foul, despicable fiend whom if he had encountered Sherry under any other circumstance, he wouldn't have thought twice about tearing her open for her blood, doubtlessly enjoying every perverse minuet of it. Yet they suspected Sherry knew this every bit as well as they did and had come to trust and respect him, despite of his obvious evil. If she could see goodness in the heart of the most wicked monster of them all - then despite her transformation into the strong willed young girl she had become under his guidance - then she still possessed the warm heart she had before this night and had not lost it to the horrors of Raccoon City as they all feared.
Leon and Claire slowly warmed to a smile, serving to provoke Kains' feelings of great unease even further. Sherry beamed up at Kain with watery but loving, innocent eyes.
"I thought I'd lost you for good, Kain.. . ." Sherry sobbed.
Kain struggled to find the words through spiralling emotions of anger, embarrassment and self-loathing yet guilt, a feeling of purpose and a powerful desire to protect Sherry. In the end he struggled out the words:
". . And I am . . . pleased to see that you are well." Sherry released him and stepped back, inquisitively gauging his response with her naïve blue eyes. Kain offered little resistance to his feelings of discomfort in the hope that it would deter her from any future displays of passion. She didn't get the hint, a warm smile beaming from her innocent face.
Claire and Leon rose to their feet, a kind of mystified oblivion taking over their war-torn features. Kain knew what he was seeing despite their perplexing behaviour; they couldn't believe that the nightmare was over and they had come out of it with their lives. Kain found it astonishing, too - that any human could have survived such an onslaught of aggression and violence. Perhaps the humans of this world shared little in common with their Nosgothic cousins. . . .
- "So it's finally over. . ." Leon spoke up, his voice low – riskily sorrowful, as if there was something about this night he could miss -
"No. . ." Said Claire. "I still have to find my brother Chris. . ."
Leon nodded. "Your right. . . This is just the beginning. . ." He turned to Kain. "What about you?"
"Umbrella must poses a means of sending me back to Nosgoth." Said Kain. "Until then I will do all in my power to bring them down for the disgusting humiliation they have bestowed unpon me for the past seven years. . ."
Claire smiled warmly. That was Kains' way of telling them that he would stick by them in their fight against the company that committed this act of unspeakable evil. He just wasn't as quick as the others to pledge loyalty to any cause other than his own. There was no question about it; now that they were on their way to freedom, the desire for vengeance burned within them. It was a righteous kind of vengeance; the desire to avenge the many who died in a most disgusting fashion imaginable shrouding there own – possibly selfish - need for revenge. There was one difference between Claire, Leon and Sherry and those who suffered the horrors of Raccoon City; Claire, Leon and Sherry were still alive. Alive, but dead their lives were no longer their own. Leon entered Raccoon City with the hope of finding a new life as an R.P.D officer. Sherry – innocent, defenceless little Sherry – had lost her parents and taken a gun to the walking corpses that roamed the dead city, losing her virtue. . . Yes, Umbrella had-
- There was an earth shattering thump that rocked the whole train, sending Leon and Claire to steel clad ground with a painful thump. Kain instinctively clutched the back of Sherrys' collar causing her to dangle between the floor and his grasp, preventing her from falling. Kain was relived to see he could do this; despite everything he had been through, his inhuman strength and speed were returning.-
- A shrill ring cut through the tense atmosphere like a razor-sharp knife and every warning light on the modern train flashed red, bathing everything in a blood red like as if it were a prelude of things to come, yet somehow failing to mask the pail look of terror that befell Leon and Claires' faces.
A mechanical voice boomed from the loud speaker "Warning. Warning. The self-destruct system has been activated. Each train compartment will detonate sequentially. I repeat. Each train compartment will detonate sequentially."
"What!" Exclaimed Leon. The sentiment was shared. They'd survived all that horror, and now this! It was as if some divine force was determined to put them down.
Kain regained his composure. "There's no time for mindless musings at to what it could be; we cannot have more than five minuets to stop this train and if I don't find out what triggered the alarm, there may not be anyone left to stop the train by that time." Kain picked up the rocket launcher the strange demon had tossed which still had one remaining rocket and proceeded into the back of the train-
- " Kain?" Spoke up Sherry. Kain paused, not turning but tilting his head downwards. At that moment, Sherry struggled with her words. What could she say to him? He had survived so much; he had proven he could handle himself but Sherry felt that if she didn't say something now, his luck would change. "Be careful." Was all she could manage. The words were plain, but their mean – to her – was intense and although Kain had his back to her, she could have sworn that she felt him smile. . .
Kain proceeded into the train and the automatic doors whirled closed behind him, clicking locked no doubt initiated by the trains' computer in order to prevent. Claire and Leon looked surprised and shocked by this development, but Kain and Sherry both had a gut feeling this would happen: after all, it was the final confrontation and there would be no prizes for guessing who – or by now, what – Kain was going to face down.
Kain proceeded with caution down the suspiciously empty carriage at the very back of the train. It was wide and possessed no clutter for the enemy to hide behind and that frustrated him. William was on board; he could smell the thick oily, chemically animal musk of an odour that the mutation possessed in far more subtle qualities when he last encountered him. Now, Kain felt as if he could drown in the artificial animal smell that battered his frayed yet powerful inhuman senses. Even a human would be overwhelmed by the stench. It thickened as he cautiously approached the back of the train, yet the found nothing. "Where are you?" He barked, as if expecting an answer –
- And he got one. A thunderous crash and a panel from the roof of the train crashed down, clipping his left should as he dived to one side, the sharp edge drawing blood. It was immediately preceded by a long, thick discoloured tentacle that swept searchingly from side to side, it's vigorous movements slowed by the sheer size and bulk of it. And dashed back to the entrance doors – now locked (or at least he assumed) – to avoid its' destructive probing, the forceful sluggish swipes denting the metal walls which it hit. Kain could only watch as a colossal gelatinous bulk oozed forcefully through the meter-squared hole in the roof and in a matter of seconds, the entire back half of the train was filled with a giant beanbag-like beast, a puckered opening in its' centre rimmed with discoloured, dagger-like teeth that, as the gaping mouth in its' centre clenched, bearing the smaller teeth near its epicentre. Four giant tentacles emerged from the bulk and slammed into the walls. Acting like anchors, the mass dragged itself closer to him. . .-
- No more time to watch. Kain threw up the rocket launcher, resting its measurable bulk on one shoulder and fired off a rocket aimed at its' disgusting hole of a 'mouth'. There was a thunderous explosion that threatened to throw Kain off his feet, the beast obscured by the thick fog of smoke. Kain dared to wonder if he had beaten it -
-Until it emerged from the fog, its' thick tentacles hauling the beast through the cloud and now it had almost halve the distance between them. One more pull, and it'd be right on top of him.
Kain snarled and tried the doors, to his relief, finding that they were unlocked after all. Racing out into the gap between the two train compartments, Kain was hit by the night air like a wall of icy dread. The tunnel raced past him at an alarming rate: Jumping off at this speed was no option. . .
"Kain!" A voice from the compartment that housed his comrades. "The door won't open!" Bleated a terrified Sherry Birkin, her voice muffled by the metal between them. "Leon and Claire used their 'Guest' clearance to unlock the compartment you were in but this door requires executive clearance!"
Kain shot a look behind him when his pointed ears were greeted with the mechanical whine of the door behind him and saw the claw- rimmed mouth of the beast literally inches from opening. It was too late to ask if the could lock it. . .
Kain looked back at Sherry. "Get away from the door! Try to stop the train!"
"Stop the train? How?" Kain had disappeared from the window on the door. "Christ," though Sherry. "He's become weak by vampire standards but he's still superhuman. . ." Sherry snapped out of her thought and raced away from her door, as per Kains' request. Leon and Claire, still fiddling with what little controls were in this section of the train, noticed her movement and panic-strickenly shot a look to the door she had fled from just in time to see it buckle under the immense strength of the monsters tentacle attack. Sherry steeled herself despite the adrenaline-induced terror. Frowning defiantly at the attack that lurked beyond those doors, she came up with a plan.. . . The control room was locked, but there was a vent connecting the two . .
"Hey Sherry! Where're you going!" Shouted Leon as he caught a glimpse of the young girls feet disappearing into the vent. Moments later, there was a click and the door whirled open.
"Get in! Quick!" They didn't argue. Sherry pressed the door release again to lock it.
"Sherry, where's Kain!" Asked Claire, but her words fell on def ears. Sherry was busy examining the control pad for some kind of emergency stop.. . .
"Where the hell is it?" Sherry asked herself. –
- The hatch of the ceiling abruptly flew open and by the instinct drummed into them from the numerous surprise attacks made on them through this night, Claire, Leon and Sherry snatched at their weapons and aimed up at the creature above them -
- It was Kain.
"Thank God!" Beamed Sherry.
"Hey," Spoke up Leon. "Maybe it's this one!" Leon slapped his palm on a big red button that had been hideing next to the door the whole time.
"Not now you fool!" Protested Kain, but it was too late. The trains screamed as the breaks squeezed on the wheels and metal fought with metal, causing sparks to fly. The force of the sudden stop threw Kain forwards, causing him to land on top of them of the group that had been bunched up into the small room. There wasn't enough time to protest against Leon's stupidity. Kain jumped up and clutched hold of the opening, swinging effortlessly up and onto the roof. He gave them a hand up and they wasted no time in climbing down into the tunnel. There was no time for words. They exchanged defiant glances when from the control room they had literally been in seconds ago came a tremendous thud and a screech of buckling metal. Some of tentacles had burst free through the walls of the train, now moving up towards them at the front of the carriage, searching for a prey to squeeze the very life force out of.
"Run!" Yelled Leon. He didn't have to tell them twice. They sped of the light at the end of the tunnel with every ounce of strength left in their tortured bodies, knowing full well that if they didn't make this one final push, the explosion of the train would move along the tunnel and end their nightmare in a wholly different manner from the way that was literally within grasping reach of them. It felt like a final race against their own mortality; the last test to see whether they truly were worthy of surviving this night.
- And the were-
- But only by the narrowest of margins-
Sherry hit the dirt outside the tunnel along with the other three barely in time to miss the devastating ball of fire that exploded out of the tunnel and dispersed into the air above them accompanied by the greatest bellow of an detonation any of them had ever heard. It was as if the tortured souls of Raccoon city had escaped through that tunnel in a destructive blast of white-hot pain and misery, and as the last wispy shards of flame tangled into the blue sky, Sherry knew it was over. . .
At least for now. . .
"So it's over . . . " Murmured Sherry. If it was over, then why did she feel exactly the same? She looked over to Claire and then Leon. They smiled warmly and wearily to her, but Kain. . . Kain looked angry. . . though he always seemed to.
Kain was the first to get to his feet.
"What's wrong?" Enquired Leon, staggering to his feet to meet him. "Is something following us?"
"No. . ." Said Kain with a thoughtful tone of voice.
"So then what's the problem?" Asked Claire.
Kain smirked that wicked smirk of his and directing his attention to little Sherry Birkin, who had grown to be so much like his own daughter on that night, said:
"It's up to us to take out Umbrella."