Message sent: 15 July 2008- 11:24
Message received: 15 July 2008- 11:25
From: Director A. Wesker, White Umbrella HQ, Greenland facility
To: International Umbrella Defence & Security dep. chief Code name: Hunk, White Umbrella military training complex, Israel
Message reads: (Encrypted) The situation has become more complicated. American military intelligence and STRATCOM's Anti-Umbrella P.I.T have managed to confirm that Umbrella has been revived and have commenced 'Operation Unit' to erase its presence and seize all documents and samples from our viral weaponry research. Fortunately, they have no leads on where we have set up our operations, and Project Union is proceeding as planned and should be ready by the end of the month. However, the possibility that the Survivors may have a lead on us cannot be ignored. As a precaution, your orders are to be prepared to evacuate yourself and all senior staff members at a moments notice and to destroy all information you have on Project Union. The last remaining files on our latest project will be well protected in our Greenland facility once the security is upgraded to biohazard level. If an attack is made against any of our facilities, security personnel are authorise to kill all intruders on sight, though a substantial bonus is available if any of the Survivors are taken alive.
Message sent: 24 July 2008- 15:25
Message received: 24 July 2008- 15:30
From: Colonel James Simmons, CIA Sensitive Operations Division
To: Recipients address unrecorded
Message reads: (Encrypted) Sir, I am pleased to report that phase one of Operation Unit is well under way. I can confidently confirm that the few Umbrella agents that successfully infiltrated our branch and the Anti-Umbrella Pursuit Investigation Team have been apprehended and are under interrogation, though we cannot guarantee the same for the rest of the CIA, on account of the fact that our mission requires we are to act as though unsanctioned by any official government authority, and therefore our ability to investigate other departments is extremely limited.
We still have no leads on where Umbrella has set up their new operations or what sort of viral weapons they have access to. To this end, I have dispatched special agent Leon Kennedy to contact and infiltrate the vigilante group known as 'The Survivors' in the hope that they may have information on Umbrella activities that were not recovered when Umbrella inc. was officially dissolved. However, since agent Kennedy has maintained close ties to members of the Survivors, there are concerns that he may allow them to make the first move and help them to destroy all research rather than allow us to recover it. Therefore, we shall continue to carry out alternative investigations in regards to discovering Umbrella's activities.
Chris Redfield cursed himself. He knew the mission was a bad idea. He knew that before they arrived, before they'd even made that journey from Canada, even when they'd first been planning the expedition.
The plan had been simple enough. When Leon had caught up with Claire saying he wanted to help the remaining STARS members destroy Umbrella for good, Chris had been distrustful. But the guy had earned his place among 'The Survivors' (as they had dubbed themselves) when he'd provided them with the final clue they needed to catch up with Albert Wesker.
On his mission to save the daughter of the U.S. president from some religious fanatic group, Leon had met a woman known as Ada Wong; a bounty hunter who until recently had been working for Wesker, but had disappeared, and apparently had been working for a unknown party all the time. Leon explained that at one point during his mission the female agent had been captured and had dropped her communicator. When Leon had discovered the recorded messages showing Wesker was alive and had revived Umbrella, he'd kept it rather than turn it over to the government. After a lot of tedious computer work trying to trace the source of the messages along with a few transmissions Chris had recorded from Wesker's sub after his escape from the Antarctic Umbrella base, the Survivors had finally tracked Wesker's activities to Greenland.
Not long after the destruction of Racoon City a privately funded environmental research base had been built on the western coast of Greenland. Although a lot of construction work seemed to have gone on there, the base itself seemed very small, and there was always plane and helicopter activity to and from there.
Convinced that this was another underground laboratory, the plan had been to reach the base by flying a light aircraft from Yellowknife airport, destroy the whole place with its own self destruct system (or a few well placed black market demolition explosives), settle the score with Wesker, escape in one of the planes at the base, then have Leon contact his superiors to clean up.
The plan had gone wrong from the beginning. For a start there were too few of them. A few months back the Survivors had been caught in a fire-fight after they went to investigate an abandoned Umbrella office building for clues and came face to face with a corporate strike team after the same thing. The resulting battle had left Barry Burton with a bad gunshot wound, and although he'd live there was no way he'd take part in any more missions. It was only luck that he'd recovered enough to give Chris the details of his most reliable weapons contacts. Former Umbrella soldier Carlos Oliveira had also provided useful contacts, as well as invaluable computer expertise. However, whether by bad luck or because Wesker found out the Spaniard was helping his most hated enemies, the FBI had a tip off that Carlos was, contrary to their records, very much alive, and Carlos had vanished rather than risk being arrested for various war crimes.
So the Survivors now consisted of Chris Redfield, his sister Claire, Jill Valentine, Rebecca Chambers and Leon S. Kennedy. All of them were well armed but only Claire and Jill had any body armour (Chris insisted that Claire take one or be left behind, and Leon said he was well trained enough that he wouldn't need any. Chris decided Jill was more likely to find herself in the heart of battle than Rebecca so he let her take the second kevlar vest). It was a big risk to rely on escaping in one of the planes at the base, but the plane they had only had enough fuel to make the trip there. Without a bigger plane it was their only option.
When they'd finely reached the base it seemed to be deserted. After a quick search they found a way in through a wide cargo ramp in one of the buildings. Chris, Claire, Jill and Leon went down to investigate while Rebecca was nominated to stay up top and guard the entrance with the help of a helicopter mounted chain gun. They thought it was a blessing there were no guards about. Then they found out why.
After combing their way through three floors of recently used but unoccupied barracks they came to the fourth floor. No sooner had Jill stepped out of the stairwell than it was sealed off by a metal door.
"Well, well. Look what we have here," a voice spoke softly from hidden speakers in the ceiling; a deep, cold and disturbingly off hand voice. A voice that the four people easily recognised.
"Wesker!" Chris growled in response.
"Correct! And I see you've bought the infamous Survivors with you. Almost reminds of the old STARS team, though I doubt they're up to the same standards as when I was in charge."
"Why don't come out here and find out!" Jill shouted, brandishing her AK-47 as though Wesker might appear out of the wall (something which wasn't entirely out of the question).
"No, I think the fight would be depressingly short if I faced you now. I think it would be far more interesting if I let security take care of you." somewhere in the hallway ahead a door opened "If any of you live long enough I might just tell you what I've been planning all this time; something to take away any hope you have just before the end."
That had been ten minutes ago. Since then the survivors had fought a running battle against a dozen flesh eating zombies. Wesker hadn't been joking when he said they were security. All of the unfortunate T-virus victims were dressed in bulletproof armour and steel helmets. The Survivors had only managed to escape by heading down to the next floor and blowing up the corridor roof with a demolition charge.
Now the only way to escape was to move on and hope there was another way back up which wasn't blocked off. Chris felt like kicking himself. Once again he and his friends were caught in a death-trap, surrounded by undead monstrosities and watched by a lunatic who had control of the entire complex. He was back in the world of survival horror.
"Damn it! That was too close!" Jill exclaimed once the dust had settled.
Chris forced himself to think straight. The others were in just as much danger as he was, and he had decided long ago it was his responsibility to see they got out of this alive. Chris never backed down from responsibility.
"It'll hold them." Chris looked to Claire and Leon. "You two ok?"
"We're fine." Claire got to her feet with a hand from Leon and looked back the way they'd come. Chris Redfield's red haired younger sister shared few similarities with her brother, but they shared the same personality. Faced with the dire situation, Claire put a brave face on rather than let slip she was worried; just like Chris was doing at the same moment.
"How're we going to get out again?" she asked with a steady voice and fearful eyes.
Again, Chris cursed himself. He should have left Claire behind and ignored her demands to let her take part in the raid. Now her life was in more danger than anticipated, and it was his fault.
"Don't worry." he said, covering up his fear more effectively with so many years of practice. "They'll be another way up; if not stairs then some sort of cargo elevator. Our first priority is to secure our retreat before we go any deeper. Let's move out."
They set off again, keeping a careful eye out for anything undead. After only a few minutes the corridor opened out into a large cavern like chamber filled with steel pillars, girders and numerous metal walkways.
"Ah!" Wesker's voice came from speakers bolted to the walls. "You've found your way to the foundation supports. Impressive, but a shame you don't appear to have enough explosives to cause any significant damage."
Chris hated to admit that Wesker was right, but if that whole room, maybe even the whole floor, was made to keep the base stable then the seven bricks of C4 explosives they had would be wasted.
"While you're there, perhaps you'd like meet some of my new creations?"
A scratching sound caught everyone's attention. They swung their weapons in the general direction of the noise and squinted into the darkness. Then was a rhythmic clicking, and a shape began to emerge from the shadows. It was human shaped, but seemed bulky round the shoulders, as though it were hunched. It's long, muscular arms practically dragged on the floor and with its every step the subtle little 'click' echoed in the chamber. When it finally came into view they'd all guessed what it was, but that didn't mean they were prepared for it.
A hunter. Rubbery green skin, body like a gorilla, claws on its feet so long they tapped against the floor with every step, large yellow eyes with a crazed look. Its movement was slow and delicate, its limbs were strong and agile and its head was overly wide with a flat nose and a mouth filled with jagged teeth.
Chris dropped his kalashnikov and reached for the 357. magnum gifted to him by Barry. The hunter reacted to the movement and dived forward, knocking Chris down and slicing his arm so that the revolver fell away. Chris yelled in pain, while the others quickly darted away, trying get away from the monster and find a place to shoot at it without hitting anyone else.
Claire tried to save her brother by rushing in close with her sub-machine gun, but the creature struck out and cut her armour in half, forcing her to retreat. The hunter turned its attention to Chris who was trapped between its legs. It raised one of its wide hands and extended its claws to their full ten inches, leering down as it prepared to strike.
"NO!" Jill shrieked as she dived to where the monster prepared to strike. Chris' eyes widened and braced himself for death
But it didn't come.
The hunter lowered its hand unexpectedly and roared down at Chris with its horrible gasping voice. Then Jill stitched its chest with a volley of gunfire, followed by the boom of a shotgun from Leon's direction. The hunter fell away with its head a pulpy mess.
"Chris! Thank God you're alright!" Jill exclaimed as she knelt next to her friend to assess his injury.
"I'll say," Leon agreed as he inspected the first hunter he'd ever seen. "If he hadn't had held back at the last moment you'd be nothing but a stain by now."
"Held back?" Chris looked up and frowned with uncertainty. "Your right Leon; that could have killed me. So why didn't it?"
"Very good. I see you still have the mind of a police officer." Wesker's disembodied voice gloated from all around. "The reason that hunter stopped was because I told it to. My research has led to a massive leap in B.O.W inhibitors. Inhibitors which can't be burnt off so easily, and allows for more complex instructions. For example, the nineteen remaining hunters on that floor would be spread out through the other rooms if left to their own devices. But instead I've ordered them gather into a pack, somewhere... nearby."
Everyone turned away from whatever speaker they'd been listening to and looked around. It didn't take long to spot them.
The rafters above were thick with green skin and snarling jaws. Easily as many as Wesker had said, they stared down at their prey, eyes glowing a dull yellow in the dark. They twitched as though eager to attack, yet they stayed put and just watched.
Chris felt his blood run cold. The whole thing had been such a bad idea, and now the people he cared about were going to pay the price. Chris honestly cared little about what would happen to him; all his life he'd been too busy worrying about others. He glanced at the people with him.
Jill. The woman he'd shared a close friendship with for many years, and may have shared something more if circumstances had allowed it. She didn't deserve to die at the hands of these monsters, having faced so many of them. She should have been allowed to turn her back on the whole wretched case and live her life in peace, but he knew she'd never forget the horrors she'd experienced, just like himself.
Then there was Claire, his younger sister. Deep down, Chris knew that he'd never have been able to stop her from coming with them; not with her brother going up against Wesker with just three other people, and the possibility that Steve Burnside might still be alive. Nevertheless, Chris would never forgive himself for what was about to happen to her (not that he was likely to live long enough to regret it). After everything he'd done to try and take care of her, she was going to die so young.
And Leon. Chris didn't know him too well, but Leon had helped Claire to escape Racoon City, and had been first to find out when she was taken to Rockfort island, and had taken a big risk by giving the Survivors a chance to destroy the T-virus research rather than follow orders and allow the government to capture it. And having taken that risk he was now going to lose his life because Chris hadn't thought things through properly.
And finally Rebecca, waiting for them above ground. The youngest member of the team; Chris had been glad when he'd convinced her to stay behind after Claire point blank refused. Now it made no difference. The monsters under Wesker's control would find her too, and before the end of the day all of them would either be dead or better off dead.
"Well Survivors," the speakers blurted out "I'd hoped you wouldn't die so quickly, but I'm sure experimenting with your corpses will give me some small entertainment. Goodbye."
The hunters moved, filling the room with their chirping screams. Again Wesker had been truthful when he'd explained the hunter's ability to follow order. Instead of dropping down directly into the line of fire, they scrambled through the forest of girders, making themselves almost impossible to target. The Survivors stood back to back, pointing their weapons at the shapes which appeared and vanished from their line of sight. Then they stopped, just over the heads of the four vigilantes, who crouched down and pointed their guns straight up.
Everyone in the room stopped dead, the hunters staying perfectly still, and the humans afraid to do anything in case they provoked a reaction. Chris could feel Jill's back to his. He could feel a slight tremble, but wasn't sure if it was her or him. Claire was to his right, so scared stiff she was holding her breath. Leon to his left, obviously trying to keep his breathing steady. The hunters, however, weren't moving at all. For a moment, Chris assumed this was some sick mind game Wesker had thought of, but the man's voice came over the speakers suddenly.
"What?" The word sounded surprised, and was spoken quietly as though Wesker were speaking to himself. Then the sound of static coming the speakers faded away, indicating they'd been turned off. Apparently something had gone wrong.
Chris was just considering if they should try and make a run for it, when suddenly the hunters began roaring and scattered, disappearing higher into the darkness.
Everyone simply stared in confusion and gradually lowered their weapons.
"What was that?" Claire whispered in the ominous silence that followed the event.
"Looked as though something scared them off." Leon replied in an equally hushed tone.
Chris found it had to believe that a hunter could even feel fear, but there was no explanation for what had just happened. Then, all of a sudden, he sensed something. He hadn't heard or seen anything suspicious, but he suddenly had a strange feeling, as though he could instinctively feel there was something wrong. As he looked around his eyes fell upon a nearby corridor. There wasn't a door; it was just a short passageway leading to what appeared to be a disused storeroom. What had caught the marksman's eyes were two pieces of paper. They were on the floor of the passageway, and they were moving, being blown out of the storeroom into the huge cavern. The others turned to look when they felt the wind coming from nowhere, but Chris didn't notice because now he could hear something.
It wasn't a hunter. In fact it was defiantly wasn't anything of flesh and blood, and yet it was howling.
A howl was the only way to describe the noise that was coming from within the storeroom. A constant, rising and falling sound which echoed as though it were coming from a pit. Then the room beyond was tinged with a blue light which flashed one moment and vanished the next. The sound quickly became louder until it echoed throughout the cavern, wildly distorted.
And then it all stopped, just like that.
Another ominous silence. The Survivors stared at the passageway, unsure what to do or say. Chris was the first to react, crouching down to pick up his fallen assault rifle. Whatever was in that room, he knew it would be trouble.