Chapter XIII

Ada Wong decided that the emotionless robotic voice, that was periodically advising employees to leave the facility as long as they still could, was the most annoying part of this mission.

She didn't mind the waiting, which, according to some people, was always unbearable. The waiting was okay. She'd tap her fingers in some random rhythm against the steering wheel of the SUV and check the rearview mirror every few seconds for signs of Wesker… or something else.

So far, she hadn't seen any of the infected, if you didn't count that one Doberman whose life she'd ended by driving it over. Ada guessed that the employees, who'd been so unlucky to have the shift when the virus leaked, were probably lurking in the labs' corridors. From outside the Spencer Estate showed no signs of the little 'mishap' whatsoever, not considering the blaring sirens that had set off a few minutes ago.

If she hadn't been informed about the current circumstances, Ada doubted that she would have noticed the subtle changes. Some broken windows in the Mansion, lights that were out even though they shouldn't, an eerie athmosphere of lifelessness in the air, though she probably only imagined the latter.

She'd gotten the first call a rough thirty hours ago, where Wesker had explained the initial leak to her and the resulting effects it had on their plans. Two of the Raccoon facilities had somehow suffered from a viral outbreak; for reasons unknown until then. Wesker had briefly elaborated the nature of the virus, how it might benefit them, and assured her that he was taking care of Umbrella's Training Facility.

There had been a pause of approximately twenty-six hours in which Ada had contemplated what to do, if the denial to keep her up to date on Wesker's end meant that she had to continue solo from now on, but the surprising call nearly two hours ago had had Ada throw away all the unfinished plans.

It wasn't hard to piece the events together, if one had a little background information. Which Ada had been lucky to be able and obtain. John Howe, an Umbrella scientist working in the third plant of the Raccoon branch had been more than happy to tell her everything she wanted to know.

Initially, John Howe had been her own fallback option, should Wesker's plans turn out to be unsuccessful. She had built up a relationship with the researcher in early fall, and John liked to talk about his work a lot. Ada was always a good listener and he enjoyed opening up to her.

That's how she had learned of the Training Facility's explosion, though the exact reason was unknown to the lower ranked employees. Wesker had been head researcher at the Arklay Lab, aswell as commanding officer of STARS; Umbrella had probably tasked him with taking care of the matter, and the man had impromptu incorporated this new twist into his plans.

On the phone – during their first talk – he had told her that the moment had come and that they needed to grip this opportunity, if they ever wanted to take the cruitial step. He had instructed her to keep ready for all possible scenarios.

Well, here she was, prepared to take down whatever would come at her. Ada had managed to collect a considerable amount of weapons in the short time. Her handgun lay at her side, and there was enough ammo in the SUV to deal with whatever Umbrella had cooked up in their secret lab. She had everything ranging from first aid kits to granades. She would have even brought a rocket launcher, but at 3am in the morning that kind of calibre was hard to come by in the rather peaceful Raccoon City.

Ada tapped her fingers on the wheel with growing uneasiness, fully aware that in the three-something minutes remaining there could still happen a lot. Or not. Wesker could have just aswell died right after he'd placed the call to her. Ada decided that once the countdown reached two minutes and there was still no sign of the STARS commander, she'd mourn over his loss by trying to evade suffering the same fate.

Wesker's death would even bring some positive effects with it. Ever since he'd approached her about her leave from Umbrella, things had slipped out of Ada's hand and she didn't like that. He had somehow learned about her inclinations to offer her services to another company. She held no personal grudges against Umbrella directly; they paid well, the missions were relatively easy and as long as you kept it clean and quiet, all was well. For some time now though, Ada had felt the pressure Umbrella was putting on her. They were drawing her deeper into the net, making it almost impossible to break free again. Ada liked to think of herself as a woman, who was able to do what she liked, when she liked it. She didn't want that to change.

And then Wesker had come up to her and blatantly told her that he was going to lose a word or two about her intentions, if she wasn't willing to cooperate. At first she had denied, right away, but the man had soon made it clear that he had relations far up in White Umbrella, aswell as to people Ada didn't even want to meet.

She'd agreed then, and surprisingly Wesker didn't ask more of her than to keep her mouth shut for most of the time, or dig up some information about this company or that person. The tasks were easy, and she was sure he could have done it himself if he wanted to. But he recompensated her for her troubles and Ada decided to play along for a while.

Only later had she learned that he wanted to leave Umbrella too, but for a man in his position that was probably harder than for her. It was commonly known that the pharmaceutical enterprise made absolutely sure none of their work reached the surface or any rivaling company, even if it meant eliminating the possible dangers absolutely.

He had been waiting for the right moment – dragged her along – and Ada hoped that their unspoken contract would finally end in the next few minutes – whatever way, she didn't really care.

The alarm roared even louder, as only two and a half minutes were left until detonation.

And then he came.

At first, she only saw his figure through the rearview mirror, hurrying towards the started SUV. When he came nearer, she could detect blood on his uniform and wondered whether he had been shot, or bitten, or if it was someone else's blood altogether. He didn't seem to waver in his stride, so whatever it was, it couldn't be grave.

When he got into the car, in the backseat, and slammed the door shut she froze, because he couldn't possibly be alive anymore.

"Drive!" he commanded, looking sternly into the rearview mirror, where their eyes met. Their eyes. He didn't wear his trademark shades, and Ada wondered whether it was the first time she had seen his real eyes. She certainly didn't remember that they were blue…azure like the tranquility of sunrise itself, a relation that sprouted with wrongness.

"Ada!" he urged, and his voice sounded dangerous.

She hit the gas, the SUV picking up speed, but while holding onto the steering wheel Ada fumbled for her weapon beside her, finally getting a grip on it and held it up, evident for him to see.

"You've been bitten," she said, one eye never leaving the mirror. Bitten was an understatement; he looked as if something had eaten him as a whole and thrown him right up again. There was blood trickling from his nose and mouth, and the side of his head was of matching color. Part of his hair was covered in the now dried substance, and the better part of his uniform had turned dark from being soaked.

And there was the gaping hole of fabric Ada could see from her position, but she couldn't judge the austerity of the wound, because it was covered in blood, clotting blood, but blood nonetheless, and Wesker's hand was laid on it. Ada held the weapon in position, ready to pull the trigger and end their business partnership in another way than he might want.

"I'm not, concentrate on the road," he stated, his voice not more but a low hiss and Ada wondered whether she'd ever witnessed Albert Wesker having to keep his temper in check like that.

She didn't pull down the weapon immediately, "Have you been shot?"

He didn't get the time to respond, because behind them the Spencer Mansion exploded, the blast of the nuke nearly sending the SUV flying, but Ada managed to get control over the vehicle again before it was too late. She had to drop her gun in order to grip the wheel with both hands though, cursing her incapability at the same moment. If Wesker suddenly felt the urge to take a bite out of her now she had no means to defend herself from ending up as his breakfast.

Wesker was watching the debris through the rear window, leaving himself a considerable amount of time before finally responding, "Among others, yes."

Ada took her foot off the acceleration, slowing the car down to a more controllable speed now that the immanent danger was gone. The man on the backseat was still regarding the remains of the Mansion, and Ada used the time to scrutinize him again through the rearview mirror.

It was his blood, at least parts of it. She couldn't say where he'd been shot, but he had clearly hit his head against something hard. The now dark hair concealed the exact injury, and Ada could get only glimpses. She had to avoid driving into a tree after all.

The wound on his torso though, she could find no explanation for it. It could impossibly be the shot he'd mentioned, unless someone had gotten him with a rocket launcher or another weapon of that calibre and Ada doubted he would still have been able to move that quickly – to run – if mortally wounded.

Still, as she drove into the breaking day she couldn't keep herself from asking, "What happened in there?"

He turned around then, looked at her as he had looked so many times. Cold, calculating, anticipating. When their eyes met in the mirror again, she couldn't shake off the feeling that there was something wrong about them, even though the reason for the strange glow they held for a second was probably only the rising sun reflecting in them, dipping the natural azure into the dark crimson of a new day.

When he talked, his voice was calm again, void of all the anger from before.

"I died," he said, and somehow Ada knew he wasn't joking.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
- T.S. Elliot


The quote doesn't need explaining, I think.

I hope you liked the bit of background info I gave on Ada and Wesker's relationship. In RE Archives it says that Ada doublecrossed Umbrella alongside Wesker, so I had the two working 'together' (kind of).

I included some hints about the virus' effects in the chapter, such as his eyes and a bit of heightened aggressivity when he talked with Ada. Well, in the future he must learn to keep his temper in check, I guess.

A huge thank you to all the people who took the time and gave feedback on my story! You made my days, guys, and were the driving force that kept me writing! Many of you have fabulous stories of their own, so for everyone who enjoys a good read: Check out their profiles and their works, I tell you it's worth it!

A little sneak peak:

ab esse ad posse
from being to knowing (lit. from being to being able)
After the Mansion Incident Wesker seeks Birkin's help to understand the nature of the virus and its effects on the host.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have any questions about the virus, in whatever way, write a review, PM or email (in profile) and I will have Dr. Birkin cover and explain uncertainties (probably many) in the next story!

And with that Chaed says: See you soon!

Oh! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!