AN: Gah, I'm stupid. Starting a new fic while I'm already writing one? Someone give me a cookie.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Resident Evil or Haunting Ground. Which is really sad.
The black soles of expensive, European shoes made gentle thuds as they met the polished floor, the owner walking in a slow and controlled manner. His pitch-black attire was a screaming contrast to his deathly pale, almost transparent skin and the sterile, white walls in the hallway. A young woman wearing a lab coat stepped out of the elevator he was heading towards, her body stiffening into a violent twitch upon seeing him. He strode past her without even the slightest hint of acknowledgment of her presence. He could feel her large, terrified gaze in his neck which was swiftly broken the second he turned on his heels inside the elevator. She clutched her documents tightly and hurried away, switching simultaneously between walking and running. His gloved finger pushed the button to the third floor.
Once the doors closed shut in front of him, Albert Wesker adjusted his sunglasses and allowed the corners of his mouth to twitch into an inconspicuous smirk. There were plenty of rumors whispered about him in hidden corners within the walls of this compound. His sharpened sense of hearing had caught more than a few conversations between the workers, too often revolving around him. One man had claimed the reason of Wesker's insistent use of sunglasses at all times was because he apparently was able to kill people with a mere glance of his eyes. This had amused Wesker to such an extent that he for a brief moment considered to seek out the man and allow him a glint of his red irises. But that thought had been swiftly waved away as that tragic creature of a human being was nowhere near worthy of such a sight. Wesker slid his hand slowly through his hair and cocked his head slightly upon seeing numerous matt, dirty blonde strands attached to the palm of his glove. He swiftly wiped his hand off on his suit pants and kept his gaze straight forward, not wanting to scrutinize the loose hair any longer.
"Floor: three. Bio labs," the female computer voice informed coldly. Wesker stepped out of the elevator, passing a couple of elderly scientists who reacted the same way as the young woman. He raised a brow in amusement. Surely he wasn't that intimidating? Perhaps his interesting reputation caused this overwhelming distress among the workers every time they entered his presence. Which he thought was to the better, although he was starting to get annoyed at being treated like a deadly, highly contagious disease. Wesker walked calmly through the labyrinth of hallways that anyone else would have needed a GPS device to navigate through, but he had etched every square meter of this compound into his memory permitting him to always find his desired destination, which at this point was the office of the somewhat bothersome and twitchy Dr. Hamilton. Wesker clenched his fist and knocked it lightly on the office door. The sound of glass shatter ricocheted through the clammy air.
"Aw, blast it!"
Wesker ignored this and opened the door. A thin man in his mid-thirties was crouching down over a broken vase, making a desperate attempt at finding pieces that would fit together. He looked up, all color instantly draining from his hollow face.
"Albert! I-I mean, Captain Wesker! I-I mean, Mr. Wesker! I -"
A swift gesture from Wesker's hand instantly shut him up, demanding all of his attention. Wesker indulged in the pleasant silence for a few moments before speaking.
"What are the results of my tests, doctor?"
Hamilton blinked. "Y-yo-your tests?" he stammered nervously and started fidgeting with his tie. "I don't… the r-results are… uh… th-they are s-somewhat a-ambiguous-"
A new, more irritated gesture made Hamilton close his mouth.
"What are the results… doctor?" Wesker repeated, with an alarming frostiness in his voice. Frightened, Hamilton stepped back. He proceeded to scrutinize his sneakers before collecting enough courage to answer.
"The results… a-are… bad. Sir. T-the virus that was in-injected into you h-has started to break down the DNA-structure in y-your cells."
A clamming silence entered the room. "Go on," Wesker pushed. Hamilton swallowed.
"Well… i-it's breaking down your body cell by cell and when your damaged cells duplicate, t-the copies w-will also be... mutated… and i-if that happens… when that happens, y-you are inevitably g-going to develop multiple types of cancer."
Wesker went quiet for a moment. "How long do I have, doctor?" he asked, sounding unmoved.
"I'd say between n-nine months to two y-years."
Wesker nodded. "Then I suggest you get busy."
Hamilton blinked. "B-busy? With what?"
"With finding a way to stop this from happening, of course. I don't intend to die just yet."
"I… don't think that's possible… sir…"
"Of course it is," Wesker answered coldly. "You just have to find a solution. And soon."
Hamilton stared at him with plea in his weary eyes. "Sir… you can't a-ask me to f-find a cure for cancer within nine months."
"That wasn't a question, it was an order," Wesker spat. "If you value your life as much as I value mine, it would be wise of you to obey it."
With this, Wesker turned on his heel and vanished out of the room, leaving the doctor alone with his thoughts.
"That is all. Class dismissed."
The suffocating silence in the auditorium immediately exploded in the sound of chairs scraping on the floor and cheerful chatter from bored students. Fiona Belli let out a sigh of relief before stuffing her books into her backpack. It was finally weekend and her parents were coming to pick her up. She was really looking forward to seeing them again, it had been too long since last time they had been together. A strand of thin, blonde hair fell into her blue eyes. Fiona tucked it behind her ear and flung the backpack over her shoulder before heading towards the exit. She smiled of utter satisfaction as she felt the pleasant warmth of the sun caress her pale skin. With light steps, she paced to the student housing area, humming joyfully to herself. When Fiona first had arrived here, she had been in complete awe over the old and amazingly beautiful architecture of this college but now she hardly took any notice of it. She arrived at the entrance, reached out her hand and played with the indentations, stretching out on the entire gate in intricate patterns. With a groan, she used her bodyweight to force the door open. Sometimes she got annoyed at herself for not being into any type of sports, but it was just too boring and tiring and she couldn't think of any situation that she, an average college student, would ever be in need of it. A sudden, laughing flash fled past her and startled her. It was quickly followed by another one.
"Catch me if you can, sucker!"
"You're dead, Jimmy! You hear that? YOU'RE DEAD!"
Fiona smiled and shook her head.
She stepped inside and looked around. There was a gang of girls standing in a wide circle, chatting and giggling cheerfully. One turned her head towards Fiona, eyed her up and down before flashing a brilliant smile and continued talking to the other girls. Fiona raised an eyebrow at this and turned on her heel and up the stairs to her room. She was pondering her parent's plans for this weekend. They had called it a nice surprise, but she had reasons to doubt it was indeed that. They were the sweetest, most lovable people on the planet, but their conception of a nice weekend was never quite at harmony with hers. When she reached the door to her room, she could hear music inside.
My roommate's inside. I wonder why she wasn't present during the lecture.
The other girl was lying on her bed, lifting her head in an uninterested manner as Fiona entered the room and continued listening to the music.
"Hi, Mindy!" Fiona greeted, having to raise her voice to drown the screaming of the vocalist. "We missed you in class today!"
"Great," she answered, staring at a crack in the ceiling.
Fiona traced her finger along the back of one of her suitcases, which she had made sure to pack the evening before. She glanced at Mindy. "So… I'm going to leave now. For the weekend."
"Have fun," Mindy said and gave her the thumbs-up sign. Fiona sighed and lifted the suitcases.
Wesker was not feeling very satisfied at the moment. Being in Dr. Hamilton's office two times at the same day was stretching his patience over the limit and his already thinning nerves made him ponder how hard he could punch the younger man without separating him from his pulse.
"What do you want, Hamilton?" Wesker asked in annoyance. "Somehow I doubt you've managed to come up with a cure in forty-five minutes."
"There is no such thing," Hamilton snapped with anger in his voice. "I've told you already."
Wesker took a threatening step towards him, making him notably more amendable. "N-not to say all hope is l-lost," he added quickly. "I-if you would just… have an o-open mind."
Wesker raised a brow. "About what?"
Hamilton sucked in a deep breath. "About Azoth."
Wesker squeezed his eyes shut and sighed.
Not this again.
"Aren't you a little old for fairy tales, doctor?"
Hamilton clenched his fists and glared defensively at Wesker, although Wesker was clearly able to see this glare as an attempt to cover up his wounded pride. Wesker sighed again.
"Do you have any scientific evidence of the existence of this… Azoth?"
To Wesker's surprise, Hamilton smirked in response and ducked to search for something under his desk. Wesker stretched his neck to see what the younger man was getting. When his head popped up again, Wesker swiftly returned to his common, nonchalant posture. Hamilton lifted a heavy jar up and placed with utter caution on the desk. Wesker's eyes widened at the sight and stepped towards it with his gloved hand reached out. "What is that?"
"That," Hamilton said, with an affectionate pat on the jar's lid, "is a luminescent."
Wesker stared at it in silence. The blue ball of light swayed peacefully inside the jar. It floated towards Hamilton, hindered by the thick glass surrounding it. He grinned.
"Why is it doing that?" Wesker asked, adjusting his shades.
"A luminescent is attracted to Azoth. Every living being has it, although in very small amounts. It seems that I carry more than you."
He paused, waiting for Wesker to say something. When he didn't, Hamilton's smile slowly faded from his face. He cleared his throat and continued; "Azoth i-is the very essence of life. If used properly, it can cu-cure any illness, create new life, and even… grant the user immortality.
Wesker thought about this for a moment. "That sounds wonderful," he said, with a hint of smugness in his voice. "But I could use something a tad more solid than 'essence'."
Hamilton immediately vanished under his desk again. A second later, a pile of old parchments was slammed on the pinewood, sweeping off a porcelain figure of a cat. Hamilton took no notice of it as it was brutally shattered at the floor; his nostrils widened in excitement as he pointed his shivering index finger at the parchments and said; "Read."
Wesker glanced down at them. "I don't understand Italian, doctor."
Hamilton blinked. "You don't? Well…" he took a deep breath and bent over the desk. "Everything about Azoth is explained in details here. Every single thing... is described… by an extremely talented alchemist by the name of Aureolus Belli. Well, at least he was. With alchemy you can convert the essence into power. Power to give you life."
Wesker raised a brow. He had never heard the doctor speak for so long without stammering or looking at his shoes. "To be fairly honest with you, I can't say I believe a single word of it."
Hamilton sighed. "I knew it. You're too narrow-minded. But you need to know that you can't afford to let this pass as merely a 'fairy tale'."
Wesker tilted his head slightly. He glanced at the parchments once more. Although he didn't understand the text, he recognized some numbers scribbled in a corner of one of them as coordinates. "Where do these lead to?"
"To Mr. Belli's castle. He was quite rich."
"I see. I suppose I should pack my bags then, I'm going to Italy."
Hamilton smiled nervously. Wesker did not return it. "I suggest you work with the cure while I'm gone," he said coldly and walked to the door. He placed is hand on the doorknob and added; "If I find out that you are using me or giving me the run around… that is sure to be the last thing you ever do."
Wesker could hear Hamilton swallow behind him. He turned the knob and stepped out of the office, wondering if there was anyone loyal enough to him to be able to keep the doctor on a tight leash and fend off any attempts of a bribe. Just as he rounded a corner, he bumped into an elderly nurse, recognizing her after a few moments.
"Ah, nurse," he greeted. "You're the one taking care of Krauser, am I correct? How is he…?"