Ok, first off I dont own FR, it's characters, nor do I own Resident Evil and it's characters. Now then this story is still set in the FR time frame but with a modern day twist to it. I tried to keep the characters as true to form as possible but... well anyway, I hope you enjoy this story and I'll work on writing more in thr future )
Drizzt was already late for the briefing when he somehow managed to drop the thick stack of files he carried under his arm onto the floor. Paper clips and sticky notes scattered all across the white tile floor of his small apartment.
"Vith!" He spat vehemently.
He checked his watch as he squatted down onto his hunches to gather the scattered papers from the cold floor. Jarlaxle had called the meeting for 1900 sharp, which meant he had about nine minutes to make the ten-minute drive, find parking and get his ass into a chair. The first full disclosure meeting since the S.T.A.R.S. had gotten the case – the first real meeting since he'd made the Baldur's Gate transfer-and he was going to be late.
Go figure. Probably the first time in years I actually give a shit about being on time and I fall apart at the door….
Muttering darkly and feeling tense and angry with him self for not getting ready earlier, he realized that it wasn't so much as him self but the damn case that was the problem. He'd picked up his copies of the ME files right after breakfast and had spent all day digging though the reports, searching for something that the cops had somehow missed and feeling more and more frustrated as the day slipped past and he had failed to come up with anything new. As he gathered the files, his hand suddenly stopped and he found him self staring down at the glossy color photo that had ended up on top.
Oh, Catty… He picked it up slowly, knowing that he didn't have time and yet unable to look away from the blood-spattered face. He felt the knots of tension that had been building all day intensify, and for a moment it was all he could do to breathe as he stared at the crime scene photo. Catty-Brie, age 22. He'd flipped past it earlier, telling himself that there was nothing there that he needed to see…
But that's not true, is it? You can keep pretending, or you can just admit it. Everything's different now and it has been since the day she died.
When he'd first moved to Baldur's Gate, he'd been under a lot of stress, feeling uncertain about the transfer, not even sure if he wanted to stay with the S.T.A.R.S. He had been very lonely until the young woman who lived across the street had shown up on his doorstep and asked him with wide, tear-stained eyes if he was really a police-man. Her father was at work, and she couldn't find her little dog.
Catty-Brie in her pink summer dress, shuffling and shy…
The two of them found her puppy a few blocks away in the park and Drizzt had made a new friend.
Six weeks ago Catty had went on a late night walk in the woods just out side of the town with her dog and became the first victim of the psychopaths that had since terrorized the isolated village.
Enough! She's gone, but you can finally do something about it!
Drizzt fumbled the papers back into their folder, and then stepped outside into the early evening light, breathing deeply. He hurried to his small, black four by four Jeep Sahara parked by the front walk, forcing himself not to look at Catty's house as he started the car and pulled away from the curb. Drizzt drove through the wide suburban streets of his neighborhood with his window down. There weren't many children or pets around anymore. Not since the trouble had started, more and more people were keeping their children and animals indoors, even during the day.
Drizzt sighed deeply to himself. He could feel that something evil was drawing near…
" 'Sup, Arty!!"
Artemis Entreri turned away from the coffee machine and saw Alton DeVirr striding down the empty hall toward him, a wide grin on his Elvin, dark skinned face. Alton just so happened to be an excellent mechanic as well as one of the best shots Entreri had ever seen in action. But that didn't stop the ex- assassin from taken out his frustrations on him.
"How many times do I have to tell you damned elves? Don't call me that!" Entreri fumed as he picked up his cup of steaming coffee from the machine and glanced at his watch. He still had some time to kill before the meeting. Alton stopped in front of him, ruby eyes sparking as the mischievous smile on his face grew slightly wider. Entreri noticed he was carrying an armful of different equipment, everything from vests, utility belts, and shoulder packs.
"Anyways, Jarlaxle gave us the go-ahead to start the search. Bravo team's going in." He dropped his stuff on one of the lobby's chairs, still grinning widely.
Entreri frowned. "Oh really? And when is this?"
"Soon as I warm up the chopper, we're out of here." Alton reached down and picked up one of the vests from the chair and pulled it on over his T-shirt as he spoke. "While you Alphas sit around taking notes, we're gonna go kick some cannibal ass!"
"Whatever. Just don't get your sorry ass eaten out there. I still think there's more going on here than a couple of slobbering nut jobs hanging around in the woods."
"Yes dad." Alton said sarcastically as he ran his fingers back through his stark white hair and grabbed his utility belt. Artemis could see that he was already focused on the mission. Entreri thought about saying more but decided against it. For all his bravado, DeVirr was a professional and didn't need to be told to be careful.
Entreri regarded the Drow a little longer before he made his way to the special ops' meeting room through the doorway of the small upstairs waiting room and down the hall. He was a tad suspicious as to why Jarlaxle was sending the teams in separately. But then again, Entreri made it his business to be suspicious of everybody. Other wise, he wouldn't still be alive.
Artemis sighed. He had to focus and keep his mind on what he could do to find out why people were disappearing, but he was exhausted from running on a minimum sleep and an almost constant anxiety that had plagued him since Catty-Brie's death. Not that he cared about the annoying brat of a woman, but because it affected those who worked with him who did. Maybe he was losing his perspective, his objectivity dulled by recent events…
He forced himself not to think about anything at all, let alone his own personal problems as he neared the S.T.A.R.S. office, determined to be clear-headed for the meeting. The door to the S.T.A.R.S. office stood open and the muted sounds of male voices spilling out into the hall. Entreri shook his head as he stepped into the small, cluttered office that served as the S.T.A.R.S. base of operations.
Zaknefien Do'Urden and Masoj Hunett were over to the side of the room, going through a box of papers and talking quietly amongst themselves. Berg'inyon Baenre, the Alpha pilot, was drinking coffee and staring at the main computer screen a few feet away from him. Across the room Captain Jarlaxle was leaning back in his chair, hands behind his head, smiling absently at something the Chief was telling him.
"Artemis!" Jarlaxle said when their glances met, interrupting the chief as he sat forward. "I'm so glad you're here. Now we can stop wasting time."
The Chief scowled in his direction but Entreri would back down to no man. Even if said man was the Chief of their department. Jarlaxle didn't care much for him either and didn't bother trying to be any more than polite in his dealings with the man. From the glint in his eye, it was obvious that he didn't care who knew it either.
Entreri walked into the office and stood by his desk, setting his coffee on the battered desktop as he regarded at Jarlaxle curiously.
"Why are you sending the Bravo team in?"
The captain gazed back at him impassively, arms folded around his chest. "Standard procedure, my dear Artemis."
Entreri frowned as he sat down. "Don't dance around the subject like you usually do. With what we talked about last week, I thought-"
"I gave the order, Entreri. If you don't like it, then tough shit." The Chief interrupted.
Sanctimonious prick… Entreri thought angrily. He forced a smile, knowing it would irritate the man. "Of course, sir. No need to explain yourself on my behalf."
The Chief glared at him for a moment, then apparently decided to let it drop. It was never smart to cause trouble with the likes of Artemis Entreri. Instead, he turned his attention back to Jarlaxle. "I'll expect a report when Bravo returns. Now if you'll excuse me, Captain."
Jarlaxle nodded. "Chief."
The big man turned then and stalked past Entreri and out of the room. Artemis fought off the urge to plunge his emerald studded dagger in between the hulking man's shoulder blades. His musing was interrupted by Zaknefien's indignant scoff.
"What an arrogant ass."
Masoj and Berg'inyon laughed, but Entreri kept silent. He looked back at Jarlaxle, the Drow's perpetually composed expression was always hard to read. Jarlaxle had taken over Baldur's Gate's S.T.A.R.S. operation only a few months ago and Entreri knew that Jarlaxle didn't do anything if there wasn't a shot at personnel gain in it. The new captain was always the same: charming, smooth, professional, and cool. To put it bluntly, Jarlaxle was just simply Jarlaxle.
The Drow Capitan sighed and stood, addressing his old friend tiredly. "Sorry about that Arty but the Chief didn't put in an effort to look into your suspicions."
Entreri scowled. "Don't call me that! My name is Artemis though I would prefer Entreri to the former, thank you very much." He nodded then as he shrugged. "And that's not your fault anyways. The Chief just needs to get his head out of his ass."
They noticed Zaknefien walking toward them then, his muscles rippling with his every move. He stopped beside Entreri's desk and looked down at the shorter man.
"Forget him. He's just trying to rattle you up a bit. Everyone knows he's trying to do anything and everything to get you to cross that fine line between staying on the team and losing your badge. But you won't give him that satisfaction, we all know you too well for that. Anyways, Uthengental will give us a call as soon as Bravo team finds anything."
Entreri nodded again, but he still felt uneasy about the whole thing. Something just didn't sit right with him. In truth, Uthengental and Dantrag were the only experienced soldiers in Bravo. Gromph was a good scout and a brilliant chemist, but in spite of his S.T.A.R.S. training, he couldn't shoot the broad side of a barn. Wulfgar was from Icewind Dale like Drizzt and was a top-rate communications expert, but he also lacked the field experience. New on the Bravo team was Kimmuriel Oblidora, who'd only been with the S.T.A.R.S. for three weeks and was supposed to be some kind of medical genius. Entreri had met him a couple of times, even did some traveling with the Drow back in their mercenary days, and he seemed bright enough, but he was still young (well, by elf standards anyway).
Why do I have this sinking feeling that it won't be enough, even with all our strength combined? Entreri sighed deeply as he took a sip of his coffee. He found himself staring off into space, alone in the knowledge that the savage murders were only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Zak stood by Entreri's desk for a minute longer, trying to think of something else to say, but the man didn't look like he was in the mood for conversation. Zak shrugged inwardly and headed back to where Masoj was going through files on one of the desks at the far end of the room. Artemis Entreri and Drizzt Do'Urden were the best of the best. If anyone could sort out this crazy and bizarre mess, it would be them.
"Find anything of interest, my young friend?"
Masoj looked up at the older Drow from the messy stack of papers piled high on his desk, a rueful smirk on his lean face. "You're joking right?"
Zak sighed and scooped up a handful of files and perched him self on the corner edge of the desk, resting one arm on his bent knee casually.
"Maybe my son found it. He was still here when I left last night. I'm pretty sure he was going through the witness reports again for the millionth time…"
He stopped then, looking sad and thoughtful. "I really do feel sorry for both Drizzt and Bruenor. Not to mention Wulfgar. He was gonna marry her after all. Makes sense he would want to go with Bravo team to get his revenge. Poor Catty. She was such a nice girl. Just goes to show, bad things happen to good people. Drizzt just hasn't let it go yet. They were pretty close friends…"
"Yea…" Masoj nodded absently. It had been a pretty hard blow.
"What are you two looking for again?" Berg'inyon asked.
Zaknefien and Masoj looked over at the youngest Baenre who still sat at the computer console with his headset on. He had been monitoring Bravo team's progress throughout their fly-by of the forested district but looked bored as hell.
"Zak claims that there were floor plans in here somewhere on the old Spencer estate." Masoj said. He paused and grinned at Berg'inyon playfully. "Though I'm starting to think that ol' Zak's gone senile on us. They say the mind is the first thing to go when you reach his old age."
Masoj and Berg'inyon snickered quietly at the joke. Zak scoffed good naturedly at the pair of young Drow. "Oh yeah? Well "Ol' Zak" could easily kick your ass into the next century, young whipper snapper."
Masoj looked up at him barely able to control his laughter. "Yeah, but would you remember you did it afterwards?"
Zaknefein chuckled as he shook his head. He was only 400 years old (the peek of one's prime in Elvin years) but had been with the Baldur's Gate's S.T.A.R.S. for 15, making him one of the few senior members. He endured numerous old age jokes which usually came from the youngest members of the team.
Berg'inyon cocked an eyebrow as he thought back to the previous conversation. "Why are you guys looking for blueprints to the old Spencer place?"
Zak shook his head yet again as he smiled in his casual way. He found himself wondering again how the youngest Baenre had ever made it into the Alpha team. He was undoubtedly the best hacker working for S.T.A.R.S. as well as a decent enough pilot but he wasn't so hot under pressure. His older brother Dantrag had often commented on this when he wasn't around, and while S.T.A.R.S. generally stuck up for one another, nobody disagreed with the middle Baenre's assessment.
"Let's just say it could come in handy."
"Whatever." Berg'inyon muttered as he rolled his eyes at the nonchalant answer.
"Anyway," Masoj went on, "the council members of Baldur's Gate told the Chief that they had sent someone out to check the place over, and that it was secure with no break-ins."
"So again, why look for blueprints?" Berg'inyon persisted.
It was Entreri who answered, startling Zaknefien in the process. "Because it's the only place in the woods that hasn't been checked over by the police, and it's practically in the middle of the crime scenes. And because it would be best if you didn't always trust what other people say."
Berg'inyon frowned. It was no secret that the human intimidated him. Artemis Entreri intimidated everyone. "But if the counsel already sent somebody out…"
Whatever Entreri was going to say next was cut short by Jarlaxle's voice rising from the front of the room.
"All right everyone, pay attention. Since it seems that young progeny Drizzt isn't planning on joining us, why don't we get this started?"
Zak slid off his perch and walked over to his own desk and took a seat. He hoped that Drizzt would make it in time. His son was never one to be tardy, especially to a meeting as important as this. Perhaps Catty-Brie's death had affected him more than either of them had originally thought. His glance wandered to Artemis a few seats over and ahead. He then realized that he was worried about Entreri for the first time since this whole disaster had started. He'd recruited the man for the S.T.A.R.S. a few years back thanks to a chance encounter they had had when he had been out with his son, Drizzt. The man was an uncanny strategist and was as solid as a rock not to mention the fact that he was a top-notch marksman and a more than able swordsman.
But looking at him now…
Entreri's obsession with the murders in Baldur's Gate was understandable, particularly since his girl friend had mysteriously disappeared. Nobody in the small city wanted to see another life lost. Zak sighed as he thought about Calihye. She had been a pretty and clever thing and she and Artemis had seemed pretty serious. Zak had his own family and, (though he and Malice may not still be together they still had their children to think of) was as determined as anyone else on the team to stop these ruthless killers. But Entreri's relentless suspicion had gone a little overboard.
"And because it would be best if you didn't always trust what other people say." that meant that he suspected that the counsel was lying or that the Chief was…
Zak let out a long lingering sigh as the meeting began.