Prologue: In This Darkness…
In the shadows of society, you'll find them. In their faces, you'll see no joy or sorrow. In the darkness, they watch. In the silence, they kill. In the blood shed, they stand alone, a force that knows no boundaries and will risk everything for the better good of the common people that don't even know the name of their unsung hero. In the shadows, you'll find them… rising from the dust…
Waking slowly from his stupor, Leon rose from his sleep as his ancient phone resounded through his run-down apartment. Clearing his throat, he picked up the receiver. "Kennedy."
"Leon, sorry for waking you at such an ungodly hour, but we need you at the briefing facility ASAP," and with that, the line went dead as his commanding officer tried his best to sound conversational despite the urgency in his voice.
With practiced speed, Leon was there in fifteen minutes, washed and clean. Upon entry into the facility, he was given a full-length briefing on his next mission.
'NAME: Ashley Graham
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: light brown eyes, shoulder-length blonde hair, fair complexion, about 5'4"
OCCUPATION: College student in Boston, Mass.
LAST SEEN: Leaving her college campus with two body guards, both found decapitated in the car she was to leave in; was wearing an orange no-sleeve turtleneck, green plaid skirt, knee high brown leather boots, and a brown sweater around her shoulders.
BEEN REPORTED SEEN: A rural Amish village in Southern Spain called Pueblo, which is on land that has been owned by the Salazar family, a centuries-old castellan lineage.'
'The President's daughter…?' Leon thought to himself as he was escorted to the air field to leave for Spain. 'Why the President's daughter…?' and as he flew across the Atlantic Ocean, a nameless fear awakened in his heart, and brought back images from the past… a memory that should have never happened… '1998...' Leon then sighed to force out the fear and straighten out the memories and order of events, 'I'll never forget it. It was the year when those grisly murders occurred in the Arklay Mountains. Soon after, the news was out to the whole world revealing that it was the fault of a secret viral experiment conducted by the international pharmaceutical enterprise, Umbrella. The virus broke out in a nearby mountain community, Raccoon City. And hit the peaceful little town with a devastating blow, crippling its very foundation. Not taking any chances, the President of the United States ordered a contingency plan - to sterilize Raccoon City. With the whole affair gone public, the United States government issued an indefinite suspension of business decree to Umbrella. Soon its stock prices crashed, and for all intents and purposes, Umbrella was finished. Six years had passed since that horrendous incident...' "….And here I am…" he whispered to himself, to quiet the disturbance inside his heart.
Frightened, her tears stained her dirty cheeks as she continued to look out of her small, broken window, to look for a tangible hope to cling to. Seeing the gray sunset shrouded in heavy rainfall, masking it behind a cloud of black, her strength weakened as she collapsed to her knees, scared for her life and sanity.
Searching around the room, she fashioned a rudimentary 'bed' with the unused straw and hay on the floor and discarded flour sacks. Then she tore apart the barrels in the room with an iron bar she found, and made an improvisational fence between her and the door to her cell. And taking the metal braces from the barrels, she kept them close as a last resort hand-held weapon, should they come back.
Backed up into her 'secure' little corner of the room, she waited for something, anything, to happen. Deprived of sleep for thirty-six hours now, her heavy-lidded eyes succumbed to the darkness around her as the last vestiges of her mind and the black sunset slipped away…