Ab Esse Ad Posse
Disclaimer: If Resident Evil belonged to me, do you think I'd write fanfiction?
Summary: After the Mansion Incident Wesker seeks Birkin's help to understand the virus and its effects on the host.
A/N: 'ab esse ad posse' is latin and means from being to knowing (lit. from being to being able). This story may be read as stand alone for an analysis of the virus, however if you want to know about Ada's involvement and the previous happenings it is advisable to have a look at 'ab initio' and 'bene merenti'.
They drove in silence, asfixiating silence that wrapped its invisible fingers around Ada's throat and clenched. She kept glancing into the rearview mirror, making sure that he was still there – alive – even though the many wounds on his body clearly spoke against survival.
The man in the backseat looked up, his usually omnipresent shades missing, so that, instead of the reflective glasses, his blue eyes locked with hers.
"Is anything the matter, Ada?" he asked and she thought the question had a mocking tone to it, but she probably interpretated it wrong due to the fact that there was something wrong. Horribly wrong.
There was dried blood on his left temple, under his nose, on his chin. The blue standard STARS uniform that was ripped in the area of his abdomen, soaked with the crimson liquid that seemed to cover most of the man's surface. Wesker should be, for all intents and purposes, dead. Or at least on the brink of death.
She'd picked him up at the Arklay Labs approximately ten minutes ago, before the entire complex was annihilated by the activated self destruct system, initiated by no other than Wesker himself. Whatever had happened down there, it would probably remain a mystery forever, because she didn't think that he was intent on sharing the events.
Her eyes darted back to the road, because she couldn't bear looking him in the eyes any longer.
"Where are we driving?" she asked instead, the question having been on her mind for some time – though more prominent before Wesker had appeared. They would soon be out of the Arklay Forest and enter Raccoon City.
Wesker shifted in the back, trying to wipe off some of the blood from his face, but it was dry and he only managed to smear it more, giving his expression a macabre twist.
"There is an old warehouse located in the west of the city. Close to Umbrella's Raccoon plant. You need to drop me off there and pick somebody else up."
Ada briefly wondered whether the person Wesker spoke about was in someway skilled in the arts of medicine, because the first and foremost thing he needed was medical attention. She didn't even want to think about what would happen if he suddenly collapsed with both of them alone. Ada only knew so much about medicine to realize that she didn't know enough to be of any help and that wasn't going to suffice. She noticed how he barely moved and guessed it might be a precaution to further bloodloss. By the looks of it he might also suffer from a severe concussion, but she couldn't judge exactly how bad it was, and what complications it brought with it.
"There should be a first aid kit somewhere in the back," she offered, thinking it the best she could do at the moment.
Wesker didn't move, didn't even search for the object in question with his eyes. He was concentrating on the outside happenings and merely answered, "You need to pick up a man by the name of Dr. Birkin. He is the head researcher of the Raccoon Lab."
He paused at that, having Ada look into the mirror again, worried that he might have blacked out finally, even though his voice had sounded businesslike rather than on the verge of collapse.
Wesker was fine and continued speaking, "Request admittance by using your inside contact, Howe, and then proceed. Avoid talking with anybody, but don't be suspiscious. Birkin will probably be on the second sublevel, Lab 03-AV. Tell him it's an emergency and if he's reluctant to follow, mention my name."
Ada stopped breathing unconsciouly when Wesker mentioned John Howe. The man had been her fallback option should she have to renounce Wesker's help in the future and had done her best to keep her relationship with the researcher secret. How Wesker knew about it was another questionmark that she automatically moved to the never-to-be-solved compartment of her mind.
"Okay," was the only answer she could formulate at the moment, the sensation in her gut coming back that told her something was definitely wrong and she was driving right into it.
At 4am in the morning, Raccoon's streets were as empty as those of a ghost town and traffic was literally non-existant. The ride to the warehouse didn't need more than another five minutes and Ada was curious as to how the 'drop off' would commence and whether Wesker would need any assistance in getting out of the car, or getting to his feet again altogether.
She could only guess the amount of blood that was on his uniform rather than in his body and it was alarmingly big, letting her wonder whether he was still actively losing it, or if it had already started clotting and the blood vessels healing. That was impossible though, and she knew that alone by looking at the wound on his torso that any doctor would immediately agree with her. Wesker's hand that was pressed on the injury was soaked with the substance, but it seemed to Ada as if it was old blood, rather than fresh, wet liquid pouring from the wound.
She stopped before the grey building that wasn't any fancier than a big, grey block of concrete, a pair of great hangar gates on the front side and a small door located beside them. When she heard the clicking of a door being opened, Ada turned around completely watching in awe as Wesker emerged from the car as if nothing was wrong at all.
Before closing the door he said, "Be quick about it," then straightened, one hand still on his stomach, apparently waiting for her to leave. There was no notion of pain in his voice, of distress, and she guessed he must still be in shock, that by the time she had gotten this Birkin guy they would find him collapsed on the floor, dead… or something along those lines.
Ada gave him an odd look, making her hair stand on edge, which was usually a sign of danger, but hit the gas nonetheless observing the shadowy figure for a moment or two before turning into one of the side streets and headed towards the nearby located Laboratory.
The Raccoon plant was really only a few blocks further away and by the time she had reached the building with the big Umbrella logo on it Ada was already scrambling for a little item in the glove box. She eventually retrieved an identification pass the size of a credit card. The picture on it was horrible; it had been taken after a rather adventurous mission and Ada looked the part on the image. The card showed her Umbrella ID – 134675 – and certified that she was an agent of the company. Contrary to Wesker's card though – so she believed at least – she didn't have access to every building and security level. Luckily she had visited John Howe before and the guard at the entrance should recognize her, even though 4am in the morning might be quite the unusual time to visit one's partner, not to mention that she couldn't memorize John's working hours. There was always the chance that he wasn't here at all.
Ada didn't even take the pistol with her. Weapons were not allowed within the laboratories unless carried by the security guards or other special operatives. And John thought she was only a secretary anyway. She strolled towards the building, doing a tolerable job at hiding the time pressure she was under. Showing the guard at the entrance her ID card he let her pass after a scrutinizing glare and a questioning expression. Working hours only started at six. She mumbled that she needed to prepare something and was granted entrance at last.
The Raccoon Lab had three sublevels. On the first those pharmaceutical products were designed, that Umbrella used as decoy. The remaining two levels were dedicated entirely to the development of the G-virus. It was a derivant of the less powerful T-virus and Birkin was the head researcher.
She was familiar enough with the facility to find her way to the first elevator that was guarded by another officer. He inspected her card and upon approval the elevator doors opened, bringing Ada closer to her goal. Umbrella was very cautious nowadays and Ada was already thinking of a way to get past the second guard. This would prove harder, since her ID restricted further passage.
The elevator doors opened with a cheerful beep that seemed wrong in this place like Ada felt. She walked down the corridor in the fastest pace she could manage without being suspicious. The hallways were empty, her steps echoing loudly. Most staff was still at home and those researchers that worked through were holed up in their labs and stared through microscopes.
Ada turned left twice and then right, almost in a run now. She only had one chance to get past the guard.
"Ma'am, slow down!" the man infront the elevator said, holding out a warning hand and positioning himself in order for his body to block the passage.
"You must let me through!" she begged, desperately fumbling for her card, "My boyfriend – John Howe – his sister! There was a car crash…. please let me through, she needs his help!" Ada shook the ID infront of the guard's nose, without directly handing it to him. She was doing her best as damsel in distress, but the man wasn't impressed yet.
"Ma'am, calm down…. let me see your card fi-"
"-there's no time! She's on the brink of death, it might be his last chance to see her! Please! The lab he works in is right beside the elevator, I need to get him!"
"I can call him up for you." the guard offered, but Ada acted before he could move a finger. She brought up one long leg, kicking the man directly in the chin, rendering him either unconscious or dead. He slumped to the ground without another sound and Ada prayed that the researchers were too absorbed in their work to have heard her little escapade.
"I said I'm going down there myself," she whispered more to herself than to the immobile guard. The elevator was up in a moment and Ada dragged the dead weight inside. Umbrella had no cameras installed within the lifts themselves and she hoped that the employee supervising the security monitors was as sloppy as in the movies.
She reached the second sublevel with another happy sound as the doors opened and it took Ada no more than a split second to find Birkin's lab on the map attached to the wall beside the elevator. It was located just down the hall, to the right, third door on the left.
She was there in no time, but stopped herself before bolting in and blurting out 'Wesker needs your help'. That wasn't very professional, it was dumb at most. Wesker was a dead man to the outside world and Birkin could be working with ten more people in there. She couldn't risk to spill the milk, otherwise Wesker would make sure he didn't miss her head when pulling the trigger and Ada was, quite honestly, very attached to it.
After knocking two times she opened the door carefully, opting to use her decoy as secretary and call the scientist away for some organisatory reason.
The room was white, that kind of sterile color one always imagined hospitals to be like. A huge table stood in the middle, stacked with microscopes, reports and many other utensils Ada couldn't name. In front of one of the microscopes sat a blonde man, who turned around at the sound of the opening door. He was alone.
She didn't know whether this was who Wesker had asked for, but the researcher sitting in the middle of the room looked overworked, derived of sleep and the artifical light dipping his skin in a pale color that made him look almost sickly.
"Yes, what do you want?" the tone in his voice made clear that he didn't appreciate the interruption.
"Wesker needs your help," she blurted out and slapped herself silently for doing exactly what she had promised herself to avoid.
But the method worked. The look in Birkin's eyes changed at once, though Ada couldn't say whether they mirrored worry or something else… something more fearful. The man shot up in a second, all work forgotten and Ada wondered whether he was a friend of Wesker's to abandon his business so willingly. Over time she had learned from John that Umbrella scientists were very absorbed in their work, up to the point where fascination yielded to fanatism.
"What happened?" he demanded.
"He… – I don't know, but he needs medical attention."
Birkin's eyes opened even wider, accentuating the dark rings beneath. With a whispered 'God…' he turned around and assessed one of the many drawers in the room, retrieving a small bag and started stuffing it with anything and everything that was lying around. She recognized bandages, a handful of phials (though she couldn't read the labels), some matching syringes and a handful of other items Ada didn't know of. When she thought he was finished he proved her wrong by gripping one of the smaller microscopes and pushing it into her hands.
"Hold this," he instructed. He seemed to have regained at least a little composure, "Where is he?"
"Follow me," she said and began to lead the way back to the elevator, almost breaking into a run. There was no need for being cautious anymore, she had William Birkin, the head researcher on her heels. If something happened, he could sort it out.
They reached the elevator in no time and Ada prayed that nobody else had made use of it meanwhile. It turned out that nobody had. The guard was still slumped against the lift wall and earned her a wary look from Birkin.
"Who are you?" he asked as he stepped into the elevator.
"I'm working with Wesker," she said, not in the mood for longwinded introductions. This wasn't the time and Birkin seemed to understand.
The elevator came to a halt after what seemed like an eternity and the unlikely pair made their way to the surface, passing the remaining guards without further complications. They asked no questions as they recognized Birkin and didn't even give the microscope in her hands an odd look. She wondered why Birkin had insisted on taking that one along though. She doubted that Wesker was in the mood for sharing his colleague's newest discoveries at the moment.
When they reached the car Ada handed Birkin the microscope and started up the engine, wasting no time to buckle up anymore. The warehouse was three streets down and Raccoon's residents were all sleeping.
"Oh god, is that his blood?" Birkin suddenly asked, bewilderment evident in his voice. Ada looked into the rearview mirror and noticed the many – or rather the one huge stain on the backseat, where Wesker had sat.
"Yeah," she confirmed.
"Did you get a glance at his injuries? Was he still conscious, able to speak? Did he slur the words? Unintellegible talk, uncoordinated movements?"
Ada thought for a moment and all of Birkin's comments fit Wesker's situation perfectly. In such a state nobody could behave otherwise, only worse perhaps.
"No," she said eventually, taking a left turn," He seemed fine… a little distant perhaps. But he's got blood all over him – he might have a concussion - and he covered his stomach with his hand. He told me he was shot… among others and that I needed to get you – we're there."
She pulled the car beside the warehouse entrance, somehow relieved not to have found Wesker in the middle of the street, dead or unconscious. Birkin didn't ask anymore questions, merely opened the door and followed Ada to the small door that Wesker had probably entered through. A massive chain with a lock attached to it had been thrown on the ground carelessly and Ada noted that not the lock was opened, but the chain itself broken. She dismissed the thought of searching for an answer and pushed the door open, Birkin close behind.
The massive hall was sparsely lit, just enough as not to trip over something. Huge crates were stacked all over, giving the building an eerie athmosphere. A layer of dust covered most surfaces.
"Wesker?" she called and her voice was carried into every corner of the room.
They heard the steps and then he came into their sight, azure eyes sparkling in the blackness like the first rays of sun at the beginning of the day for a moment. Behind her Birkin stopped, frozen, like somebody would have pushed the off button on him. Wesker was staring at both of them intently, somehow still managing to stand upright despite his wounds and the only thing Birkin managed to say was,
"Where are your glasses?"
And that was the first chapter of a new story! Welcome back to the readers who've followed this series until now and just welcome to those who found their way here only now. This is a continuation of Bene Merenti and Ab Initio, but it's okay if you haven't read those and just came here for an explanation of the virus. I'll make this story understandable even if you didn't read the previous ones.
Which brings me to: If you have any questions about Wesker's mysterious virus, be it (side) effects, benefits, alternations, or whatever else comes to your mind - ask away, and I'll incorporate it into this story!
Another note I'd like to add is that I won't update this so quickly as the other fics. I find it quite hard to write this with all the revelations, but then again not giving away too much. But I'll add a new chapter at least once a week, so never worry!
A feedback? Critism? Flame me like you never flamed before. Or just tell me how cool a character Wesker is.