from the beginning
Rating: T (just like the virus g)
Disclaimer: I'm a poor student. If I owned Resident Evil do you think I'd use the adjective poor??
A/N: I had this story in mind for a long time, and I wanted to write it before the release of Umbrella Chronicles, which will undoubtedly destroy all my theories over the oh so mysterious Wesker-virus and its origins. I hope to finish this before the game gets out. Nearly all chapters have already been written, so I should update very frequently.
William Birkin had been very reluctant to leave his work. He usually ignored the phone while being occupied with the virus, but the caller hadn't given up so easily. With reason. He wasn't a man to abandon the tasks he was working on before they were finished, but this was an entirely different matter.
His steps echoed through the deserted hall as he sped down the corridor. Many of the neon lamps that were actually supposed to bestow light in the rooms weren't working anymore or had been destroyed, but when Wesker had briefed him on the phone, he had claimed that this way was still safe and free of the infection.
The call. Birkin frowned at the thought, unconsciously quickening his pace. There had been a spill and naturally Umbrella was trying to clean it up. He'd been so absorbed in the work at the Raccoon Labs that the news had struck him as the most horrible and morbid surprise.
Wesker hadn't been very descriptive earlier, but it didn't take Birkin long to put the pieces together and create an image of what had happened. The virus had spilled, for whatever reason, and the employees at the Training Facility had fallen victim to it. The defense system would lock down all contaminated areas, but until the clean up teams arrived he and Wesker were to monitor the happenings and prevent any inconveniences.
Birkin took a sharp left reaching a door titled 'Surveillance'. He pushed it open, flinching slightly as the hinges croaked through the entire hallway in agony. The wall before him was filled with monitors, some working, some not. The few that showed movement were probably for the underground labs, were the spill must have occurred and the majority of workers had been trapped. In front of the screens sat no other than Albert Wesker, though the man did not bother to turn around as Birkin entered.
"You're here," was the only thing he said, his voice calm and collected. Birkin could find no trace of agitation or even nervousness in it.
He didn't answer Wesker, instead walked up beside the man and started to observe the screens himself. He could discern almost none of his former colleagues, the virus and its effects having mutilated most of their faces beyond recognition.
"The Umbrella service should arrive within the next three hours. I have been here for the past thirty minutes, but nothing of interest has happened. As far as I can see, nobody has survived the leak and the carriers still seem to be too busy to escape," Wesker explained.
He pointed to one of the screens that showed a subbasement laboratory, "Some of the Ma-39s have escaped, though it is unlikely that they will make it to the surface area. I haven't seen one attempt to use the elevators yet."
Whatever the last sentence was meant to be, it certainly hadn't been a joke, Birkin was sure of that. He gave the skinned dogs another glance before going on. "What's with those?" he asked, gesturing to three screens that showed only static.
"They belong to the water treatment plant. The reason for their malfunction is yet unknown, but as soon as the team arrives, they will check it."
"And the Ma-101s?" Also dubbed hunters, that kind of BOWs were incredibly dangerous, especially when out of control. Birkin had been one of the leading researches helping in their creation and he had seen them in action more than one time. Whoever had been so lucky as to be in their path had not survived the encounter.
"They are still in their cages," Wesker said calmly, for the first time bothering to look at Birkin. His expression didn't show much, especially with the omnipresent sunglasses hiding his eyes. "At the time of the spill there was no scientist in the observation room. As long as we don't venture down ourselves to press the release button, they should pose no trouble."
It wasn't on his to-do list anyway, and Birkin wanted to avoid getting near to any of the infected if it could be bypassed.
"How come the virus hasn't reached this part of the facility?"
"When the shutdown proceeded, it automatically locked all doors that reach this room or the hallway outside of it. No carriers can pass, and there is no ventilation system connecting to this very part either, making it relatively safe." Birkin didn't like the way Wesker had emphasized the word relatively, but perhaps he only imagined it.
For the first time drawing his eyes from the screen and Wesker, the scientist grabbed for a nearby chair and pulled it over, seating himself beside the STARS captain. He had no intention of standing until the clean up team arrived.
Wesker had turned his attention back to the monitors and Birkin was again reminded of the unfinished research he had been forced to abandon. Just when they had managed to successfully split up the mutagen allowing a selection of the parts they needed.
"It is nearly finished…," he said, not noticing that he was speaking aloud until the last syllables had left his lips. Wesker didn't respond, for what reason ever.
"The G-virus. We have nearly perfected it," he continued, remembering Annette's joy after their recent progress.
Though Wesker did not move his eyes from the screen and he spoke the words calmly, they impacted immensely. "You are aware that they will take it away from you."
Birkin was stunned for a moment, wondering whether he should stand up and head back to the labs right away. "What?"
Finally Wesker's eyes parted from the monitors. "It is Umbrella's standard method of procedure, if you haven't noticed. Once the person in charge becomes replaceable, they do just that – find a replacement. It is their way of ensuring rapid progress."
"I am not replaceable!" Birkin insisted, clearly angered by the other man's statement.
Wesker just shrugged. "Not yet, perhaps."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that once you have advanced enough in research of your precious G-virus, they will distribute it to many eager scientists and dispose of you to make sure you won't get any funny ideas concerning joining any rivaling company. Surely, you must be aware of that, William."
Birkin was so taken aback by the statement that he remained silent.
"They did it in the past, I see no reason why they would change their behavior now."
"But…," Birkin was infuriated. How could Wesker dare?? Would Umbrella dare? They couldn't take it away from him. They couldn't simply take his life!
"Think back fifteen years, William, and tell me what you remember. Weren't we overly exited about all the new projects they assigned us?"
Though he was denying that something like that could possibly happen to him, Birkin knew exactly what Wesker was talking about, the memories now slowly returning. "That was something else," he defended himself, "we made substantial contributions to the advancement in bioengineering through our breakthrough with the Progenitor!"
Wesker glanced at him for another moment, obviously debating what to say in return. "Of course," he settled for in the end.
Suddenly a beeping sound started filling the room, and Birkin instantly turned his head to the computer screens. Something got loose, his mind screamed in alarm, something got loose and it's coming to get you.
There was nothing indicating such an incident to occur anytime soon though. The screens showed no difference from before, and the alarm hadn't gone off. Wesker, however, was fumbling in one of the pockets of his STARS vest, fishing out a small device that looked like a pager.
"I have to go," he said, tucking the pager back into the pocket and standing up.
Birkin's eyes widened, and he shot up from his chair too. "You're leaving?! Just like that?"
"STARS Bravo team is to be sent into Arklay Forest to investigate the 'cannibal murders'. My presence is requested when they leave. I should be back before the Umbrella team arrives though." He started walking toward the door, but suddenly Birkin blocked his path a slight horror in his eyes.
"You can't just leave!," he insisted, pointing frantically at the monitors, "We need to keep up observation until Umbrella comes!"
"You're here." Wesker pointed out flatly.
"Me?! I need to be at work! The virus-"
"-can wait," Wesker cut him off, "Keep an eye on the screens, until I return." And with that he was gone, pushing the door closed behind him and left Birkin alone in the surveillance room.
So this was the first chapter. I'd be happy if you told me what you think, perhaps suggest some ideas of how to make it better.
Now just a little bla-bla on the chapter: I had the outbreak occur - or at least Wesker and Birkin being informed about it - only a few hours before STARS Bravo team will move in. I can't exactly remember how it was in the game, but I guess Umbrella won't dally with their clean up too long.
I hope I was able to show a little of Birkin's paranoia. The man might be a genius, but he's gone totally crazy over the years. And Wesker, well...Wesker's just his usual poker-face self. It lets you wonder if he even thinks, or just knows it all.
Next Chapter should be up soon!