AN: Hey guys, it's been way too long. But I'm back, and I'm hoping to get this finished. Thanks for all the messages and encouragement.
Chris wiped the sweat from his face with the back of his hand. He and Jill had gone through at least a half mile of wreckage, but he wasn't satisfied. They still did not find Wesker's body. He heard a sigh of disgust from Jill. "Did you find something?"
He turned to see Jill carefully kicking at a darkened slab of rotten meat. "Could be part of that tyrant we ran into. Or it could have been some poor animal that got caught in the blast." She dug into her backpack and pulled out metal tongs and a small containment box. "Still... better safe than sorry." She picked up the sample and secured it in the box before continuing on the search. "I don't know Chris..." she said in disappointment. "I know that he isn't human, but really, could ANY part of his body survive that? Do you truly believe he's out there somewhere?"
"I made the mistake of believing he was gone before," Chris said. "I'm not going to do it again. Unless I see his body, I'm going to believe he's still out there. And if I see him near Claire again, I'll..." His whole body tightened and his stomach twisted in a painful knot. There were a couple of close calls over the years, but losing Claire to Wesker made him feel like a failure. He was powerless to help her when she needed him the most, and it sickened him. His hands balled into fists and he closed his eyes tightly.
He felt Jill's arms wrap around his torso, and she gently pulled him against her. "We're in this together. Don't forget that," she said quietly. Chris placed his hands over hers and allowed himself a moment to just relax and cherish the woman next to him.
Rebecca was hunched over on the table she used to display all the samples she accumulated in the past two weeks. She leaned on her elbows, cupping her hands over her mouth out of habit. All she could do was stare at the living sample that continued to tap against the glass bowl. It was bone. No flesh, no brain, no drive. It was no different than a rock. But here it was, animated, alive and attempting to escape its prison. She switched her attention to her laptop and scrolled through more files that she had stolen from ActiveCare. What the hell was the VITA strand?
She knew that in Latin, vita meant life or to live. Was ActiveCare looking for a perfected strand of the virus? It had to be. However, they weren't testing this new virus on live subjects anymore. That had to be the reason for the grave robberies. This new information was both good and bad.
Billy was beside her, and he affectionately rubbed the lower half of her neck. "What are you thinking?"
"This whole thing is horrifying," she sighed. "Okay, let's think about this logically. We're here because people have been dying and for some reason bodies have been taken from their graves."
"I took some files from the new medical facility in Beijing called ActiveCare, and it seems that they are trying to find DNA matches to a new strand of the virus. Make sense so far?"
Billy kept quiet, and she was grateful. There were times when she would go on random tangents and rants and she didn't want to be interrupted. " Now, so far, every single file I found has been labeled no match. There were a couple of encrypted files that I couldn't break through, so I sent them to our hacker friends. I should be getting the results shortly. Now there's this business," she pointed to the glass bowl. "Claire's DNA brought this thing to life. And with only a single drop of blood, I might add."
She turned to face Billy and his frown deepened. She bet he could see the worry on her face. "This means that Claire's body isn't completely void of the virus. Billy, if ActiveCare or Umbrella gets a hold of her, we're all in a lot of danger. Her DNA is exactly what Umbrella tried to perfect and more. They don't even need live subjects to create a living weapon anymore..."
"Jesus..." Billy said. "Can you find a cure for her? Or create one?"
"I don't know I-"
Ring ring! Ring ring!
Rebecca pulled out her cellphone from her back pocket and answered the call. "Yes, this is Chambers... oh hello Dr. Shapiro..."
Claire smiled as she saw children running past her, laughing and playing, completely within their own innocent world. That's the way life should be. She continued to roam the streets of Beijing, trying to clear her mind and take in some fresh air. Leon had stayed behind in their hotel room even though he had expressed that he wanted to accompany her. She declined his offer with a small kiss saying that she just wanted to be alone.
Vendors littered the busy streets and she had to step aside to let large crowds pass her by. People were shouting out the names of everything they sold from vegetables to chickens to jewelry. She embraced the rich culture around her and took a deep breath. The last few hours had been taxing, so she desperately needed a breather. She felt something tug at her shirt. She looked down in surprise. It was a little boy. He couldn't have been more than five years old. "Have something for you," he said in a thick heavy accent.
"Thank you very much for your help, Dr-" Rebecca started, but she was cut off.
"Ms. Chambers, the files you sent us were highly classified and rightfully so," Dr. Shapiro said hastily. His voice was stern and serious causing another wave of worry to course though Rebecca's body.
"What is it? What did you find?"
The little boy reached out his hand and waited for her to accept whatever was nudged against his palm. Reluctantly, Claire opened her hand and let the boy drop something into her grasp. It was small and hard, like a rock. When she observed the tiny item closely, she gasped. Candy corn. Her head snapped up and she began looking around wildly. Amidst, the dark haired residents of Beijing China, she saw him.
"There were two files in particular that you would find most pressing, Ms. Chambers. Both files indicate that the both people are perfect VITA-DNA matches, and neither are deceased. The first describes a female subject."
"I am assuming it is Claire Redfield," Rebecca said, hoping it wouldn't confirm her worst fear.
"Correct. The second however, pertains to a male subject. Roughly forty years of age. Highly skilled, trained with a military background. Years ago, he resided in Raccoon City."
"You're kidding..." Rebecca gasped. "That has to be Captain Albert-"
Claire's heart stopped when their eyes met. "Wesker."