He watched the man across the table through heavy eyes. They had sedated him again, stopped his cries and frantic clawing and left him weakened. His hands couldn't form a fist properly, which was a pity. The doctor made a show of peering through his notes that he had doubtlessly already read a dozen times beforehand, not really reading , but glancing at him all the while through those stupid glasses. He stank of Hospital, a sick hygienic smell that was prevalent everywhere in this place. Most people would get used to it after a few minutes, but not him.
The doctor attracted his attention by clearing his throat, setting aside the notes and resting his elbows on the table, fingers intertwined.
You're not allowed to call me that.
"I want you to understand that we're here to help. You've been...very sick, and we need to figure out how to make you better." He gave a patronizing 'we're going to be best pals' smile, shifting the notes closer. Saddler was aware of others watching them behind the large mirror that adorned one wall of the empty room. A mirror. Did they really think him so stupid?
"First of all, how long do you think you've been here, Osmund?" The doctor asked with a frown, making it look like he was the one trying to figure it out. Saddler stared at him, his expression betraying nothing. How long had it been? How long since that American had invaded his territory? How long since Ramon and Bitores-
Saddler wanted to start screaming again, past memories becoming fractured and distorted, two completely different recollections mashed together like a derided jigsaw. The drug prohibited this however, and all he could do was rock and ponder the question. He swayed on the chair, seizing the other man up before answering.
"A...few days, a week?" His voice was cracked, ruined from screeching in horror every time he woke. The doctor studied him closely, replying in a hushed tone usually used for terminally ill people lying in bed. "You've been admitted here for four months."
Saddler thought back. Impossible. Last month they had been preparing to capture the President's daughter, Ashley. They had successfully created U3 two months ago...which meant that-
"You are lying." It was that simple, he would cling to the idea and rationalize everything to the effect. The other man had probably been expecting the answer, and shuffled through his notes again. "Osmund-"
"I said you are not allowed to call me that." The doctor looked up, his face puzzled.
"No you didn't..."
Saddler didn't reply. Liar. You heard me. The doctor referred back to his notes. "Os- Mr. Saddler. Four months ago...October 31st to be precise, you were found lying near the bodies of your friends. You had all planned to attend a Halloween party before..." He pulled a photo from the notes, pushing it across the table for Saddler to see. He recognized it immediately.
The doctor's face twisted in a grimace. "Not an agent, Mr. Saddler, simply a violent young criminal. He broke into your home." Two more pictures were withdrawn, although the man held onto them. "Do you remember what he did?"
Salazar's Plaga form disintegrated, the young man crying out-
Mendez fell to the floor, spine protruding-
"He shot..." The doctor shook his head, and Saddler tried again. "The Plaga..."
"There is no such thing as a 'Plaga', Mr. Saddler. You created it from you own mind, reliving the last few months with your friends as a totally different scenario. The Osmund Saddler you know, the priest, the leader of 'Los Illuminados' is not real. You made a world where you could be happy, in charge, with your friends again. You tried to change the ending, tried to stop Leon Kennedy from harming your friends by giving them supernatural powers. Plagas." He cast an eye over the pictures, laying them on the table. Saddler pulled them eagerly towards him.
Salazar. Poor young Salazar, face down in a bath full of red water in his Halloween outfit, caught off guard.
Mendez, his body lying in two halves on a carpeted floor, face frozen in a look of immense pain. A machete lay nearby, a little yellow sign with the number '7' next to it.
The drug, the damn drug. He wanted to scream, to cry out in grief., to fall to the floor and claw at his face again, anything to take away the mental pain. The doctor was watching him carefully, and he stared back with hopeless eyes. "Please..." he whispered. "Please let me..."
The other male looked sympathetic, but pressed on. "Do you remember your home? The village you lived in?" Saddler shook his head, feeling empty. A few more photos were passed to him, a typical living room, sofa, television, even a fish tank in the corner. The village looked just like Pueblo...but...normal. A road ran down the middle, houses decorated with hanging pots, bright and colourful. The last picture contained three people dressed in t-shirts and trousers. Two had their arms around each other, staring at the camera with joyful expressions, the third was crouching and hugging a Husky whose tongue was swiping across his face. It had been taken outside, somewhere green and sunny.
Him, Bitores and Ramon.
A wail left his lips. Finally. It was wearing off. He kicked away the chair, causing the doctor to jump, and sank back into blissful heartache. As he screamed, fresh wounds opened in his torn throat. A trickle of blood ran from the side of his mouth, though he was oblivious to it. He didn't hear anything, not even his own shrieks. He just...fell...
It was nearly sunset in Pueblo. The village was empty, but he still smiled. He was home. A gleeful shout made him turn in time to be barreled into by something. Or, a short, certain someone. Ramon hugged his waist, looking up at him with a grin, dressed in his cost- usual clothes. Someone clapped him on the shoulder and he turned to see Mendez smiling faintly through his beard before giving him a bristly kiss on the cheek. They walked up to the castle together, Ramon chattering away all the while, much to the amusement of the other two. There was no-one about, but it didn't matter. He was just glad to be...
The black garbed man watched through the two-way mirror as doctors and nurses surrounded the writhing male. A loaded syringe was injected into his arm, the staff holding him down. Moments later, he went limp, the doctors and nurses looking relieved as they removed him from the room. Doctor Holloway gathered up the scattered scraps of paper from the table and strode through the door, muttering to himself in distress. He stopped when he saw the man with dark glasses, fumbling with his notes. "I'm sorry sir, did you want to speak with him?"
The man frowned, still peering through the glass. He ran a hand through his short blond hair in frustration.
"No," he said finally, voice heavy with disappointment. "He is too far gone to be of any use." The doctor nodded absentmindedly in agreement. "Yes, his mind is quite damaged...a shame really, apparently he used to be quite brilliant. Still," he mused with a sigh, rearranging the papers "in this place you see a lot of terrible things happen to good people and I'm guilty of almost being used to things like this." The other man gave a grunt in agreement. "A shame..." he repeated quietly, eyes gleaming behind his glasses. Doctor Holloway waited for a conclusion, fidgeting with a red stain on his coat where Saddler had coughed blood from his ruined throat.
"I'm sorry doctor, but he does not hold any interest for me." He held out his hand and Holloway shook it politely. "If he does improve, please inform me directly." The doctor nodded, although he silently deemed that even the slightest bit of improvement would have to warrant some sort of miracle. Mental scarring took a long time to heal, if ever.
The man saw himself out, leaving Holloway feeling mentally exhausted. He scanned the notes again, one picture in particular catching his eye over and over. The photo of the three looking cheerful, content in each other's company. Saddler was smiling, genuinely happy, an arm slung over his taller friend's shoulder, the boy playing with his dog at their feet. Holloway winced in sympathy.
No wonder he's insane...to suddenly wake up alone and remember you've lost everything...
He gripped the photo tightly, staring at the faces smiling up at him and made a decision.
He was going to return the picture to its rightful owner.