If it wasn't for the zombies, Seras would have liked Raccoon City. It was everything an isolated American mountain town should be and then some. She had expected a town so far from civilization to be tiny and boring, but the place had proven to be worthy of being called a city. It was perfect, just like the brochures said; except for the damned zombies.
Seras was standing in her hotel room, looking out at the night sky, the horizon aglow with the orange light from the scattered fires that had sprung up across the city. Through the window, she could hear the hungry moans and screams of the undead that had infested the streets.
She thought back to a few days ago when she had been briefed by Sir Integra on her first mission to the United States. "Typically, the United States is considered to be well outside of our jurisdiction," Integra had said while pulling one of those smelly cigars out of her pocket and lighting it. "But the company we're sending you off to investigate has its headquarters here in Europe. We feel that whatever they're planning over there might become an issue for us over here, and we'd like to know more about it."
Seras had squirmed in her chair a little at the thought of traveling to America. The last time she had left England, she had been turned into a pin cushion by a Catholic priest. "What do we think they might be doing?" Seras had asked.
"All we know is that it involves undead. I've received a report of a police SWAT team encountering them in some mansion in the hills just outside of this…Raccoon City. The story the survivors are telling is quite interesting, although no one believes them."
Seras blinked, a puzzled expression moved over her face. "America doesn't have anything like Hellsing to counter stuff like that?"
"If they do, I haven't heard of it," Integra said, inhaling on her cigar and letting the smoke drift out her nostrils. "Either way, you'll be going there to investigate what happened. Find out what else the remaining S.T.A.R.S members know about this Umbrella corporation, and then report back here. Walter has further details on how you'll be traveling and how you will be getting back."
Walter had booked her a flight and arranged for a hotel room, scheduling it so Seras wouldn't have to be out in the daylight. The sun bothered her immensely, and what was worse, she couldn't fly over with any of her weapons. "If you need a gun, buy one in a gun store. They sell them like shoes in America," Walter had said.
That hadn't been exactly true. Seras had tried to buy a gun in one of Raccoon City's gun shops, but had encountered a ten day waiting period. She hadn't been in the city a week when the zombies first appeared.
Seras had been trying to find someone named Jill Valentine when she first heard it on the news. A house had been broken into and the occupants eaten. It appeared to be the work of about ten people. Talk of cannibal cults had been all over the place, along with a few scattered muttering of what the S.T.A.R.S members had been talking about a few months prior.
The stories about houses being broken into and people being eaten (All familiar territory for Seras) quickly gave way to reports of violent crimes happening all over the city. There was also some strange disease, much like rabies, causing people to become violent and show signs of leprosy. Those stories gave way to reports of bizarre creatures being sighted in the woods, and near the edges of town.
Surprisingly little action was taken by the authorities. People chalked up the bizarre reports to small-town mania. Sure, there was some bad stuff happening, but the bored hicks in the area were making much more of it than it really was. Seras, on the other hand, knew different. Aside from knowing the S.T.A.R.S account to be accurate, something in her blood could sense the impeding carnage and mayhem. She could practically smell the coming blood storm on the wind, and she didn't like it.
Seras ran her hands through her hair and looked out on the dying city. She let a breath out with a loud whoosh and shook her head. "What a disaster," she whispered. "All those people."
She had seen more than a few zombie massacres since becoming a cop, but this one took the cake. The entire city, thousands of people, all dead or food for the dead. Plus there were the mutants she had heard about, but never seen, lurking out there somewhere.
First thing was first. She needed to contact Hellsing headquarters and make a report. The phones in the hotel were dead, and the cheap cell phone she had brought couldn't raise any bars. "I can handle this. I've been in worse situations," she said to herself. And only one of them actually killed me.
She found her suitcase by the TV, threw it on the bed and opened it. Inside were the two Hellsing uniforms she had packed; one blue, the other yellow. She pondered them for a moment and decided that this was definitely a blue situation. Quickly, she stripped down to her skivvies and put on the blue uniform. Why thigh-high black stockings and a short skirt passed for a military uniform in Hellsing, she had never bothered to ask.
Everyone had evacuated the hotel, even the staff. A maid had knocked on her door several hours ago, telling her that if she was inside she had better leave while she could. Seras made her way to the end of the hall where there was an emergency fire exit. The silence in the empty halls was a little more than eerie, but it was preferable to the sounds she heard when she made her way up to the hotel's roof; an easy feat for her once she was out on the fire escape.
The wails of the undead carried on the flame-lit night air made Seras think that this was what hell must look like. She could hear sirens off in the distance, along with the scattered screams of still-living residents of Raccoon City.
She tried the cell phone again, sure she would get at least a weak signal. Again, she got nothing. "Bloody hell," she muttered. "Why can't I get a signal?"
She put the phone back in her pocket and tried to remember where the gun shop had been. She had walked there a few days ago, so it couldn't have been too far. Even a short walk is going to be risky, she thought. I've got to do it though. I need a weapon, and I need to contact Sir Integra.
She leapt off the roof and down onto the fire escape. The street bellow looked abandoned, but that didn't mean it was safe. She wasn't too worried about running into small amounts of undead, she had fought ghouls hand-to-hand before, but these zombies seemed different than ghouls. They weren't created by a vampire, they seemed to be the result of some kind of virus. Seras had no idea how such a thing might affect her, and she had no desire to learn the hard way.
To be continued…