Chapter 1: Trains and Travelers
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Derp, I decided to re re write the first chapter and some other chapters as well. I just need to find the time.
The clock hit the 5 pm in the afternoon when the young Redfield girl stepped onto the train station platform, slowly and calmly making her way towards the cart number 6 where she had her seat.
The red haired girl couldn't deny that she wasn't looking forward to this trip. After all, she would finally meet her brother and friends after a long while and even the thought of seeing them made Claire smile so warmly that even some people who passed her started to smile. Claire was radiating with happiness.
The train trip would be long and it would go directly through a larger mountain; the route was pretty well known for that. A 25 minute ride through a long tunnel in utter darkness.
The day was really that long yet but with the people coming and going from work the platform was pretty crowded but Claire didn't mind that, she liked lively places. The trip would take well over 3 hours, so it would be pretty late when she arrived but Chris had promised to be waiting for her. It was pretty strange that her brother had insisted on picking her up; was he afraid that she'd get in trouble again? Not likely, but there was still a small chance for that, after all, she hadn't been invited to join the group just for the leisure, no; they were up for something and wanted her in.
Claire had only light luggage with her consisting of her handbag with few spare clothing as well as her wallet and phone. The young Redfield had always traveled with light luggage but after the Raccoon City incident she had started to take even less stuff with her in order not to be hindered if another outbreak happened.
The Redfield girl knew that she'd be lying if she said that she wasn't even slightly worried of what was going to happen once she arrived at her destination. Sure she was happy to see Chris, Leon, Jill and even Barry after a long time but they all had been very secretive about the meeting, as if they didn't want to risk the information. It had been Jill who had contacted Claire and she hadn't revealed much, only that they all had gathered to do something and that they wanted Claire to take part of it due to her experience. What ever it was they were up to, it was important and Claire was dying to know what it was.
'Leon…it has been such a long time. Last time we talked he said that he wanted to…' Claire though as she remembered the last time she had met Leon about 4 months ago. They often kept contact through e-mail and phone, but rarely met face to face. They had only shared a short moment alone since Chris hadn't left his little sister out of his sight even for a minute as usual, but during that time Leon had expressed his interest to be with her once they had achieved 'something that would tip the scales so that they didn't have to be in constant danger.'
She had felt so baffled at that time that she couldn't give Leon any answer, but the ex cop had only smiled at her and told Claire to think it over. And Claire had done exactly that. The young Redfield woman knew that she wanted to be with Leon, but would their current state of life allow a long-term relationship? RIght now it felt like it wasn't possible but if Umbrella was brought down, perhaps then.
When Claire finally stepped on to the train and found the right seat, she noticed a nice looking old lady sitting on the chair next to hers, knitting something that looked like it was going to be either a glove or a sock. Either way it looked warm…. too warm for the current hot summer. A Christmas gift perhaps?
Claire walked swiftly over to her seat so that she didn't block the corridor that was swiftly getting crowded with all the people trying to find the right carts and seats. For a business day the cart was surprisingly full. The train also had a luxury business carts but the tickets were ridiculously expensive.
The old lady with almost pure white hair noticed Claire sit down next to her "Hello Dear heart! How nice to get some pleasant company. I feared I'd have to spent the whole trip alone." The old lady laughed, she clearly was a good spirited old lady.
Claire smiled a bit "Thanks, I certainly hope I'm pleasing company." She replied with a warm smile.
The old lady had bright red glasses and rich looking purple dress. She looked really nice and sweet old lady. But for some reason Claire felt slightly uncomfortable, perhaps it was the 'dear heart' that the lady had called her. That name always caused Claire to think of Wesker who had threatened both her and Chris on the Rockfort Island…not to mention he had taken Steve's corpse and used it most likely for experimenting.
2 years had passed, but the events of the island and Antarctic were still fresh in her mind, she would never be able to forget them
The memories of Steve, the mad twins and Albert Wesker never ceased to haunt her. Claire shivered; she hoped that she would never ever have to see that man again.
His words still taunted her, as did his golden eyes.
"Maybe he will come back alive, just as I did..." Wesker had said to her when she had demanded him to not to touch Steve's corpse in any way.
Claire closed her eyes, and sighed. She had enough nightmares, and she certainly didn't want to have them while awaken. She looked past the old lady through of the window. To be honest, she had nightmares really often and they almost always had something to do with Wesker, Chris and Steve.
The train was old and it nudged slightly when it started to move, slowly picking up the speed.
"Going to visit family?" the old lady suddenly asked.
Claire turned her attention to the woman, and was a bit baffled, since she had been buried in her thoughts. The silver haired woman clearly was the talking type, but Claire didn't mind. Some people found small talk to be a bother but Claire enjoyed it. It took a moment from Claire to fully understand what she had asked her but the younger Redfield quickly embraced the small talk and left the unpleasant memories buried into her mind for now.
"Something like that, I'm going to meet an old friend of mine and my brother. " She answered truthfully. The idea of the old lady being an umbrella spy crossed Claire's mind but she banished it as stupid right away.
"That's nice dear! I myself on the other hand..." the old lady started to tell Claire detailed description of her family tree and newborn twins….
The train slowly picked the speed more and more. Claire really couldn't listen to old woman, but tried to look like she did. The mention of twins made her only think of Alexia and Alfred. She studied the train cart with her sky blue eyes; there weren't that much people in this cart and most of them were reading or listening to music. There was even a young couple that sat few seats away from her and they were kissing and laughing softly.
"I love you Claire" She could hear Steve's voice in her mind. Steve...was she really going mad? She had to get her mind into something else, right now!
The old lady quickly stopped talking when she realized that she had made a mistake in her knitting and quickly tried to fix the damages. Claire noticed a newspaper in a holder next to the old lady. "Mind if I borrow this?" Claire asked politely and pointed at the daily newspaper.
The old lady gave her almost ferocious grin "Not at all!" And handed the paper to the red haired girl who gracefully accepted it.
When Claire was just about to open the paper, she heard the cart door open and close behind her, not too near, probably 4 or 5 seats behind her.
A man walked past her with big bag. He was rather puffy looking middle-aged man, clearly a business type. Then Claire heard rustle behind her and heard how the bag hit the floor, the poor man had crashed into someone.
She didn't pay much attention to it first, but when she heard a dark, far too familiar voice her blood turned into ice.
"Look where you are going." A cold male voice said viciously, every word dripping of venom.
Claire who, was about to open the paper slowly, opened it up as fast as possible to cover her face.
No one else could have that cold, rich, deep and cruel tone. No mistake.
She felt the man walk past her, almost touching her. Claire felt her heart start to race with slight panic as peeked from behind the paper when the man had passed her.
Black outfit, metal case, blond hair.
And Claire certainly didn't want to know what was in the case...
She got herself behind the paper again; her heart was going too fast for her own good.
Claire started to feel light headed ' this can't be true, it just can't.' she thought and swallowed hard.
Albert Wesker was a vicious and cruel man with deep undying hatred for the Redfield siblings. He had betrayed the S.T.A.R.S, almost killed Chris, taken Steve's corpse….
And now he was on the same train as Claire.