Chapter II: Uroboros Rising
Excella Gionne was an absolute vision, standing in the African sun, her body wrapped in a fine silk dress, hugging all the right curves and complimenting her alabaster flesh. The garment had a diving neckline running all the way down to just above her navel, revealing the soft contours of breasts. Here and there her look was accented with gold accessories, a watch, a large necklace, a belt, and her five inch stiletto heels. Whatever she wore, even in this unforgiving land, screamed and shrieked an elegance that was not subtle, in any sense of the word. She stood at the end of a long tin metal dock, the sun glaring and reflecting of its surface making everything seemingly brighter, washed out, and scorching hot. She pushed the rose tinted designer sunglasses up the bridge of her nose and squinted around at her surroundings. Clashing against the cerulean rolling waves of the ocean to her right was the cold and industrial oil refinery to her left. It reached towards the sky, great smoke stacks tainting the air with an acrid black smoke. A movement behind her, and the clunk of boots of metal is what made her turn around quickly, thinking it was one of those Plagas ridden soldiers Wesker had insisted upon being created.
Walking up the dock towards her was a figure dressed in a black cloak and bird-like ebony mask, its eyes ruby red and glittering, even in the shadow cast over it by its hood. It moved closer, looking forward and walking and a steady pace. Excella turned, waiting for it to speak.
"The BSAA have arrived in Kijuju."
Excella's full lips curved into a smile. "Perfect."
Behind the hooded figure two of the Plagas infected guards were stirring, suddenly looking out at the ocean. They pointed and looked through the sights of their guns. Excella raised an eyebrow as the sound of a humming motor broke through the air. She turned on her heel and followed the soldier's gaze. Coming fast from the horizon was an enormous boat, made of gray steel, with flags flying above it, ripping through the wind. One of the flags was marked with the symbol of TriCell, and Excella's eyes widened at the sight.
The hooded figure stepped forward, standing just behind Excella as the boat drew ever closer, bouncing up and down in the rolling waves. Excella's fingers tightened around her gold clutch, and she reached a hand up to her ebony hair, twisted into a bun atop her elegant head, and made sure every strand was in the right place. Next she snapped open her clutch and snatched out her compact mirror. She flipped it open and checked her visage in the tiny mirror, making sure she looked absolutely flawless. She twisted her head left and right, making sure her blush was even, up and down, making sure her foundation was blended softly. When she shut the compact and shoved it back in her clutch, the boat was docked, and a couple of Plagas soldiers were escorting a man off, AK-47s ready in their grip.
Excella stood tall as Albert Wesker approached them, calling off the guards with a simple wave of his hand. They immediately turned and boarded the boat, leaving the three of them alone on the dock. Excella looked Wesker up and down, taking in his black leather trench coat, handsome face, tinted glasses, and head of platinum blonde hair. She smiled, extending her hand forward.
"Welcome to Africa Mr. Wesker."
Albert smirked and took her elegant hand in his gloved one. He shook her hand once and nodded. "Nice to see you again, Ms. Gionne." He started to move forward, down the dock and towards the oil refinery.
"Likewise. How was your journey?" Excella asked, following him, her heels clicking against the metal.
"It was fair. I am impressed with the soldiers; they are far more advanced than the ones in Spain, from what research I've gathered." Wesker spoke, his voice smooth and cool. A thin wave of cologne wafted from Wesker, subtle and strong, a silent dominance that made Excella shiver.
"As you said, Plagas adapts to the thoughts and feelings of the host. The fact that the government has very recently collapsed, somewhere inside their minds, they could be desperate for a leader." Excella glanced at more soldiers as they stepped off the dock and threw themselves into the shadow of the refinery, the cooling shade relieving the soft sting of the sun. "Irving certainly did his job." She looked forward again as they reached a pair of double doors that led to the inside of the refinery.
Two infected soldiers rushed forward and each took a handle, opening the door for the three of them. Wesker smirked, glancing at both soldiers and proceeded forward. "Is that so Ms. Gionne?" He asked, turning left to descend a set of stairs.
"It is human nature, despite any parasite controlling one's body, to want a leader. Humans want guidance, they crave control and structure."
"Interesting." Wesker responded simply.
Excella looked at Wesker as they finally entered the facility, turning left as soon as they came through a door, and ascended a set of dirty stairs. Their footsteps reverberated off the cement walls as they moved, no one saying a word. Excella could hear the distant workings of machinery, the shouts of workers, and the steady breathing of the cloaked figure next to her, moving deliberately and fluidly. When they reached the top of the stairs they took the first door on the left, which opened up into an enormous room with catwalks and large windows. They worked their way across the catwalks, climbing up and down ladders, walking across many platforms. The work was absolutely horrific. Excella glared as they reached yet another ladder. Wesker was the first to go down, followed by Excella, and at last the cloaked figure. Personally, Excella was surprised she hadn't broken a heel already. She had no idea that this oil refinery was so…inconvenient. All the while those infected soldiers stood about, their eyes wide and bloodshot, and their mouths blood stained, and sometimes disfigured. These soldiers were absolutely hideous, but necessary to keep the threat of the BSAA at bay. Their involvement was not originally planned, but after experimenting on some specimens taken from the village, the results had pleased Wesker immensely, and as soon as Excella discovered the BSAA had discovered Irving's presence in Africa and were on their way, she had Irving infect a group of villagers, which eventually led to an outbreak of Las Plagas.
It was then that the parasite got a bit out of hand. Instead of manufacturing soldiers for their cause, the parasite adapted to the villager's thoughts and feelings, eventually developing a cold blooded hatred of anyone who was an outsider. A xenophobia spurned by the parasite that invaded their bodies. They had no immediate control over the infected that occupied the village, but they discovered that with their soldiers, such as the ones around them at that moment, could be used to obtain control over them, as slight as that power may be. After all, the soldiers and the villagers shared a common ailment.
They eventually reached an industrial elevator and clambered into it. Two soldiers filed in after them and one pressed the 'up' button. The elevator doors rattled closed and the platform jerked upwards, rattling the entire way, taking them higher and higher at an alarmingly quick pace. Behind Excella, Wesker cleared his throat and clasped his hands behind him, looking upwards for the quickest of seconds and then forward again. The entire ride up was perfectly silent besides the chillingly raspy breath of the infected in front of them. Excella glared at them in disgust as they reached the very top floor, the doors sliding forward and the soldiers moving forward and then standing to the side. Excella walked out, finding herself in a long hallway with a single door at the very end. The fluorescent lights were weak and fading, casting a blurry light on the dirty cement walls and floor. As soon as Wesker exited the elevator, she moved forward, the cloaked figure at her side, Wesker bringing up the rear. As they drew closer they could see a bright fluorescent light pinching through the gap between the door and its frame. Excella approached the door and reached out, grabbing the handle and pulling it open.
"Excella, Wesker! Nice to see yous two again!" A comic voice called out to them from inside the room.
Excella's eyes shot to a man standing by a massive window that looked out to the Atlantic Ocean. He was dressed in a white dress jacket, a pair of faded black and crème striped pants, and a flamboyant orange shirt, unbuttoned just enough to expose the dip in between his collar bones and a silver chain. Hanging from a breast pocket was a pair of aviator sunglasses, and on his feet a pair of unnecessarily loud crocodile skin shoes. Excella took in his appearance and smirked. Ricardo Irving had always had an interesting sense of fashion, ever since he had contacted her just a few months ago. He certainly dressed for something, but Excella was not too sure that 'impressed' was it. Excella looked away from his outfit and up into his eyes. He had a pale youthful face with a trace of a facial hair, and a head of strawberry blonde hair.
Ricardo Irving, his entire being, was a caricature of a New Jersey native, from his outlandish clothing, to his voice. But despite all of this, Irving was an incredible business man, and the right one for the job at hand. Irving was able to meet every request Excella and Wesker had brought fourth, quickly and efficiently, and that simple fact is what made him a valuable asset.
"Nice to see you too, Ricardo." Excella gave the man a sly smile.
"Please sit down." Irving motioned to an aluminum meeting table in the middle of the room. Upon it were old cups of coffee, a half bottle of whiskey, and piles of papers and files in folders.
Excella and Wesker moved to the table and sat down, scooting the chairs forward, causing them to screech against the cement floor. Ricardo was at the other side, pouring himself some whiskey into a coffee mug. Wesker sat next to Excella, leaning back in his chair, hands before him, fingertips touching each other. His focus was apparently on Ricardo. Excella looked back at Irving, sitting up straight and crossing one leg over the other.
"So the initial infe—"
"Who's that?" Ricardo interrupted Excella, motioning at the cloaked figure standing behind them with his cup of whiskey.
Excella was taken aback for a moment, looking from the cloaked figure back to Ricardo, but before she could responded Wesker straightened up a bit, lowering his arms to the arms rests of the chair.
"Who this is, is of no importance. It is a weapon, and a body guard of sorts for Ms. Gionne." Wesker spoke coolly, not even glancing at the mystery behind him. "Please, Excella, continue what you were saying.
"Of course." Excella answered, shifting in her chair as Ricardo starred at the cloaked figure for a few moments, then looked at Excella. "As I was saying, the initial infection has spread like wildfire across Kijuju, and the BSAA have put up a barricade, both to contain the violence, and in hopes to prevent your escape." Excella nodded at Irving as he lowered himself into a chair, kicking his feet up to rest on the table.
"What's the status on Uroboros?" Irving asked, downing the last of the alcohol, and smacking his lips.
"Uroboros has been planted." The cloaked figure spoke up suddenly, its voice soft and muffled.
Ricardo raised an eyebrow. "It can talk."
A corner of Wesker's mouth twitched, but otherwise he remained totally composed. Excella watched him as he sat up fully in his chair, looking at Irving. "This is where you come in Ricardo." Wesker adjusted his sunglasses as he spoke. "You will lure the BSAA's Alpha team to the location where Uroboros has been planted. Uroboros will kill the team and you will report back to me on the creature's behavior."
"You've gotta be yankin' my chain Wesker." Ricardo stiffened. "What if that thing turns on me?"
"You of course will be armed, and for extra measure, you will have the accompaniment of our guest here." Wesker motioned a gloved hand towards the cloaked figure. As soon as he did, Ricardo didn't look very assured. There was a stain of anxiety still on his face. Wesker saw this and sighed, "I assure you Mr. Irving, our guest is fully capable of protecting you, and itself. I've put in much effort to ensure that."
Ricardo looked out the window in thought, his hands still wrapped around his empty cup. After a few moments Ricardo took his feet off the table and planted them on the floor, then lifted himself out of his chair. "Alright. I'll collect the data, but I want another mill."
Excella scoffed, "Absolutely not—"
"Done." Wesker interposed.
Excella shot Wesker a wary glance, but he was not paying attention. Wesker stood up and shook hands with Irving. Excella also stood, smoothing out the wrinkles in her dress, and readjusting her necklace. Irving was striding towards the door and opening it.
"Alright let's go." Ricardo said to the cloaked figure and slipped out the door, but the figure didn't budge.
Wesker walked over, leaning in close to it. "Go with him and protect him if there are any threats." The figure's mask nodded and it moved swiftly to the door. "Oh, and keep a close eye on him, as well."
"Affirmative," came the muffled voice, and the guest walked out of the room, its black high heeled boots hitting the cement with a dull click.
As soon as it was down the hallway, near the elevator, Excella turned to Wesker. "Why did you send her with him?" Excella crossed her arms and clicked her heel against the floor, raising an eyebrow in curiosity. "That idiot could put them both in jeopardy."
"Relax, Excella." Wesker lifted a hand to her face for a brief moment and then dropped it, walking towards the door. "This is a sort of training for her." He reached into a pocket of his trench coat and procured a hand held electronic device, the screen large with a small keyboard at the bottom. Lines of data were displayed on the screen along with a picture. He watched as the data moved across the screen, and after a moment started to press a few buttons on the keypad. Excella watched him, a blush blooming on her cheek in the wake of the man's touch. "In her advanced stage, this is a perfect opportunity to test the P30." Wesker slipped the device back into his coat and turned to Excella, who took a deep breath in, trying to collect herself in Wesker's gaze.
"I think it's time for an injection Ms. Gionne. Where is the serum?"
Excella nodded and moved forward. "I have a case on the boat." As she got closer, Wesker stood back, opening the door wider for Excella, gesturing for her to go first.
"Excellent," Wesker smirked, his voice a cold purr.
Chris and Sheva both turned quickly, guns raised in front of them, aiming at the commotion going on to the left. Chris searched area and finally his eyes came to rest on the struggling of a woman on a high up balcony. She was hunched over the rail, her blonde hair covering her face, as she gasped and sputtered, obviously sobbing. She was wearing a dirty and torn dress which was a deep crimson, like blood, and stopped at her knees. She reached out a hand towards them, as she struggled to stand up straight.
"Help! Somebody help me!"
But just as she started to stand, using the rail for support, one of those villagers kicked open the door she had escaped from. He grabbed her arm and pulled, but she held fast onto the railings. She was crying out, kicking and screaming as the man pulled harder, eventually ripping her off the metal. He dragged her back in as she whimpered and screamed. Chris's mouth opened wide as, just before the door was slammed shut, the girl expelled a drawn out and desperate "Help!"
"C'mon. We need to help her!" Chris said to Sheva, who nodded in response.
They ran forward, towards the stairs that led up to the house, passed piles of burning tires, and more abandoned and dilapidated buildings. When they reached the stairway, guns raised, Sheva motioned for Chris to go first; she would bring up the rear. Chris ran up the stairs, his legs kicking off the stone steps until he reached the door. Chris raised his gun above his shoulders, ready to fire. Sheva moved behind him, crouching down and sweeping the area with her gun, just in case any locals decided to ambush them. That fight in the public assembly area had told them to trust no one in this damned village. Everyone was an enemy, and they needed to keep on their toes if they wanted to survive. Chris paused at the doorway, taking in a deep breath, calming the hammering of his heart. As soon as he expelled the air he swooped in, crouching slightly and moving swiftly into the dark interior. Chris's eyes immediately fell on the girl, stumbling towards him. Chris stopped as she fell into his arms, limp and cold. A thick layer of sweat covered her skin as he held her. Sheva walked in just as she did this, her gun raised. Chris gripped the girl tighter and moved her in front of him, his hands grasping her torso.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Chris asked the girl, but she stumbled in his grip. Chris was not able to get her to stand up straight; she was like a rag doll. Chris looked at Sheva as she moved deeper into the dwelling, her gun still extended forward. "Be careful. They may still be here." Sheva looked at Chris and nodded.
The home was not very large, but it was divided into two rooms by a wall that came from the front and stopped in the center. In that wall was a large hole, exposing the copper rods that held the cement up sturdy. Here and there were piles of broken furniture and worn shelves that decorated the room. It looked as if the occupants had pushed everything to the edges of the room, and Chris's mind instantly flashed to when he and Claire used to do the same thing, push all the living room furniture to the walls, and set up a massive fort made of pillows, cushions, and sheets. To see it here, however, was completely haunting. What were they doing in here?
The girl started to squirm in his arms and Chris looked down. She was moving her arm, her breath raspy and her moans were muffled by sealed lips. She was raising her arm, up and around his back. Chris looked down at the girl in his arms and asked, "Are you okay?" But she didn't answer back, still squirming. Suddenly her hand latched onto his shoulder strap. Chris's eyes widened at the strength of her grip, which was almost vice like. The next moment, the girl yelled ferociously, and her face opened up, revealing the same kind of mandibles their first enemy had wielded. Chris gasped as the girl straightened up, quick as lighting, all kinds of horrifying sounds escaping the gaping jagged hole that was this monster's mouth. Before Chris could react the girl had brought her mouth closer and Chris could feel the hot and humid breath, and could smell the rancid stench that came along with it. The mandibles were stretching around his head, and he was sure that he would be enveloped by them.
"Chris!" Sheva shouted somewhere to his right, but he could not see her.
Then there was the echoing sound of a round being fired, and the next moment the girl was off of him. The round hit the wall with a ping and Chris opened his eyes. The girl was standing across the room, her face still opened, dripping with blood and saliva. In the next second she was running forward again, her face now closed up, but she was still dangerous. Chris raised his gun and fired two rounds, the first hit her chest, which caused her to stumble backwards, and the next hit her shoulder. Sheva rushed forward and fired her gun, her rounds ripping into her arm. Chris glared and aimed at the woman's head as she recovered from the bullets. As soon as his aim was lined up, he fired. The round entered the woman's skull and a massive explosion of blood, flesh, membrane, and bone spurned a massive tentacle that erupted from her neck.
"What the FUCK?!" Chris shouted as he took aim again, firing without a specific target. The rounds tore into the monster's torso, but it kept coming forward. Chris's heart beat fast at the tentacle whipped around, and to Chris's terror, he saw that it was tipped with some sort of blade.
That's just perfect!
Sheva fired her gun at the monster's legs, a round hitting its knee and causing it to fall to the floor. Chris seized the opportunity and ran forward. When he reached the creatures body he brought his knee up towards his chest and with all his strength, brought it down on the base of the tentacle. There was a wet snapping noise and the tentacle was smashed against the cement. The writhing appendage stopped whipping about, and the body lay motionless. Chris stepped backward, breathing hard. He looked at Sheva still had her gun pointed at the silent corpse.
"What the hell did they do to her?" Chris asked, gripping his gun tightly.
"No idea. But I have a strange feeling that whatever happened to her, could happen with the others."
Chris and Sheva shared a worried glance.
Whatever is wrong with the villagers, what happened here changes everything.
The sudden shouts and screams of villagers is what made Chris and Sheva snap to attention. Both of them turned, guns already firing on the advancing threat.
Alpha team was filing into the dark room, their guns glinting in the single fluorescent light that flickered above them. They had their guns drawn and were sweeping the area. They talked in muffled voices, one of them that must have been the leader of the pack, was touching a radio in his ear. There were five, maybe six of them, all armed to the teeth with weapons and armor.
Ricardo Irving's eyes flashed as he moved to the door, hoping beyond hope this would work. He reached out and gripped the door with his right hand, the handle of a case containing a laptop in his other hand. Before he opened the door he took a deep breath in. As soon as he opened the heavy metal door there were red laser sights trained on him. His muscles tensed as he looked forward, his eyes widening and his jaw dropping. Irving was no actor, but he certainly did think he was doing a damned good job of pretending to be caught off guard.
"Freeze!" The leader called out, his voice as cold as steel.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the BSAA." Ricardo let the door screech shut behind him. "Seems like yous guys are smarter than you look." He let out a nervous chuckle.
"Drop the case." The leader snapped, raising his own gun, pointing it at Irving's chest. "Do it now."
Irving glared and dropped the case; a little annoyed at the man's demanding tone. His eyes shot towards the ceiling, waiting for it to come, hopefully any minute now. As soon as the leader gave the sign, one of the agents rushed forward, snapping up the case. As soon as the agent returned and set the case down on a nearby wooden table, another two agents rushed forward, each grabbing a hold of one of his arms. Their grip was tight and digging into his skin, the pain of it made Irving wince.
The leader of the group snapped open the case, revealing a single silver lap top, shinning brilliantly in the dim light. Irving watched him intently, the air thick with tension only he could feel. These ignorant bastards, thinking they had won, when at this very moment, that cloaked figure Wesker had sent to help him, was luring Uroboros closer and closer to them. The figure had told him that Uroboros sensed the heat in living creature's bodies, since the creature was essentially blind, so it had to rely on those senses to capture its prey. And since there was such a large heat signature in this very room, it would be immediately attracted.
"So Irving," the leader spoke as he turned the laptop on, "Where is the buyer? They have to be around here somewhere."
"Well, yous guys came a bit earlier than I suspected. My client should be here at any minute." Irving sneered at the leader.
"You and you," the leader gestured at random agents. "Cover the doors, shoot anyone who approaches."
"Yous guys are just too smart for me. Too smart."
With a sudden bang the ceiling of the room collapsed in, whipping up a cloud of dust and dirt. They were all blinded and taken off guard. When the agent's grips loosened on Irving out of surprise he pulled himself free and dove to the side, crawling towards the door. The agents were shouting as the dust started to clear, and then they were shrieking as a massive monster stood in the center of the room.
Uroboros was a great writhing mass of ink black worms that were formed into a torso, head, arms, and legs. A thick gooey substance oozed off the worms, hitting the floor with a wet smack. It stood almost to the hole in the ceiling when it stood straight up, its arms long and tentacle like whipping around as if they had a mind of their own. As Uroboros stood there, a brief moment passed as the agents stood there, mouths agape, then they lifted their guns and started to fire. Rounds tore in and disappeared as it hit the massive beast. A roar shook from the beast as it was hit by machine gun fire from all sides, the air thick the sound of gun fire. Ricardo ducked and slipped out the door he had entered from, looking through the grate on the door.
Suddenly the monster drew back one of its massive arms and swung it around, knocking three agents off their feet, each landing hard on the ground. Irving mocked a wince and laughed. The Monsters was now approaching the fallen soldiers, swing its arm again, and as soon as the arm descended on one of the agents, a crack of bone stabbed the air.
"What the fuck!" one of the agents screamed as he pulled the trigger of his gun, unleashing a torrent of bullets at Uroboros.
"Shit! Shit! It's coming this way!"
"Get out of here! Go, go, go!"
Irving looked away as Uroboros dug a tentacle through one of the agents. The writhing mass broke through the man's chest, coming out on the other side. Then the monster tossed the corpse to the side like a rag doll, moving on to the other agents.
It took mere moments for Uroboros to kill the others, leaving behind a mass of bodies, and splatters of the black ooze that dripped of its body. The monster eventually left through the hole in the ceiling it had created, the squishing sound of the worms wriggling about following the beast, a disturbing sound that made Irving's stomach turn.
Irving paused outside the door a moment, letting the silence of death settle inside the room, making sure that Uroboros was far away. When it was safe Irving smirked and turned away, walking towards the elevator at the end of the filthy corridor. He slipped his hands in his pants pockets as he walked. After observing the killing potential that Uroboros wielded, Irving was pleasantly taken aback. The monster was very lethal and had a bloodlust that could rival the most dangerous of BOWS on the market right now. But alas, it was not Wesker's plan to sell this creation. Too bad, it would have easily sold for millions, if not near a billion.
"Where's the laptop?"
Irving jumped when the muffled voice broke through the newly drawn silence. He turned around to see the mysterious cloaked figure, standing mere feet away. Irving's eyes widened as he remembered the laptop her had forgotten. Without a word to the figure Irving hurried down the corridor again, opening the door and slipping back inside. Once inside Irving paused, looking at the carnage all around him, blood and black slime covered almost everything in the room; even the now broken table the laptop has been set. Irving sighed and moved through the room, hopping here and there to avoid the puddles of ooze. There was a terrible smell in the air that must have come from it. It smelled like sulfur, so thick and pungent that it burned his nose and made his eyes water. Irving wiped the tears away with his sleeve and finally reached the crumpled pile of debris. He bent down and threw some splinters of wood aside, seeing the metallic case slowly being uncovered. When he had finally cleared the way and retrieved the case there was a thin veil of sweat on his brow. Irving exhaled deeply and wiped the dust off the laptop, grabbing a hold of the case lid to shut it, but something was missing, something that made him stop for a moment. Irving opened the lid wider and looked at the edge of the laptop, his eyes narrowing. The slot where the hard drive should be was gone, empty, non-existent. Irving shit the case and looked wildly around, grimacing at the thought that it might be somewhere in this carnage.
"Shit, shit, shit." Irving whispered under his breath as he maneuvered around the room, craning his neck in different directions, trying to find the hard drive.
"Sheva, there's a door, but it looks broken."
Irving froze. His eyes were wide, his breath stopping. He slowly turned, searching for the place where the gruff muffled voice came from. His fell upon the door that the BSAA agents had come through, dented in warped by Uroboros's rage. Then there came a banging noise from the other side, and that was all that Irving needed.
Screw the hard drive, this was not in the plans, and Irving didn't fancy the prospects of getting killed, or worse, arrested.
With a mighty force Sheva and Chris kicked in the door that had blocked their path. It fell away from the frame, dented and mangled, clattering to the cement floor with a noise that echoed inside the tiny dimly lit room. Chris entered the room first and Sheva followed, both of their guns raised and at the ready. Sheva scanned the room; her eyes narrow as it took in the scene that had just walked into. Dead bodies littered the room, and just like the corpses of Alpha team they had come across on the way up here, each was covered in that thick inky substance.
"What the hell happened in here?" Chris spoke to her right, his voice thick with disgust.
Sheva looked over the corpses, heavily armed with both weapons and armor. Like Sheva had said, these wounds were not made with bullets. This had to be something else, something much more ominous. And what exactly was this horrible slime that stained the room? Sheva walked cautiously though the room, looking for any clues that might give them some answers.
Chris was jogging across the room, finally crouching next to a man who was leaning on a pile of rubbish. Sheva looked over, seeing that the man was moving and whimpering with pain. His breath came short and weak, causing him to speak in a raspy whisper. He too was covered with that black substance, as was the floor around him. Sheva couldn't help but think what a horrible death bed that was. Chris bent lower; reaching an arm around the man's back, helping him to sit up.
"Hey, who did this?"
The man squirmed moaning in pain as he fell back against the pile of debris, too weak to sit up. Chris kept a comforting hand on his shoulder, as if to tell him it was all going to be OK. But the man already had blood stained around his mouth, indicating internal bleeding.
"Something attacked us…Irving…He got away…It was a set up…" The man moved a hand to the wound in his abdomen, dark with blood.
"A set up?" Chris asked, surprised and confused.
Sheva narrowed her eyes as the man looked down, slowly reaching into his pocket for something. Chris and Sheva watched as the man extracted what looked like a hard drive for a computer. He lifted it as Chris reached out his hand to retrieve it.
"What is this?" Chris asked, looking into the man's glazed eyes.
A sudden movement to her left made Sheva's head snap towards the sound of shuffling. Just as her eyes fell upon a barred window there was a shadow that moved quickly passed it. Sheva glared and moved forward, her gun gripped in both hands.
"Its data regarding the deal…I stole it from their computer."
Sheva reached the window and looked to the right. All the way down the hallway there was a figure dressed in lightly covered clothing, the light was coming from behind it, so what Sheva could see was cast in shadow. Sheva had approached and looked just in time to see the figure dash around the corner, vanishing from sight, only leaving the shuffling sound of footsteps in its wake.
The man was breathing heavy now, his lungs trying to get air as the rest of his body was slowly dying. "You got to get it to HQ…" The man paused for a moment, looking into Chris's face, then his neck went limp and his head fell to the side. He was dead.
"Hey…Hey, hang in there!" Chris shook the man's body lightly as Sheva turned around, the image of the figure still in her mind.
Sheva watched as Chris paused for a moment, sighing, then stood up slowly. Sheva moved forward a few steps, slightly numb by this atmosphere of death. All around, and scattered throughout this building, were the fallen bodies of the BSAA's Alpha team. These were men they had worked with, men they had known, men who had devoted their lives to the same cause as themselves. Chris too seemed to be wrapped up in this numbness, his eyes unfocused and distant.
"I saw someone, but they ran away." Sheva said softly.
They watched each other for a moment before Chris reached a hand up to the radio, pressing the button that would initiate an outgoing message.
"Kirk, do you copy? We got the data, but Alpha team is down. Irving got away." Chris glanced around the room again, and then looked back at Sheva.
"Roger. Relay the data from the vehicle at the storage facility." Kirk's voice broke through both of their radios, fuzzy with static.
"Copy that." Chris muttered and dropped his hand.
He then strode forward towards Sheva, holding out the hard drive for her to see. She looked at it and nodded. Their eyes met in the dimness of the light and they held that gaze for a few moments, neither them having to speak about the loss that lay slain around them. After a full minute Sheva looked away, once again scanning the room.
"I don't like the looks of this, but we have to keep moving" she said and strode across the room to the aluminum door.
"Right…"Chris replied from behind.
Sheva paused at the door and looked around, noticing she was not being followed. Chris was bent down next to one of the soldiers, searching his gear for something. Sheva raised an eyebrow and asked, "What are you doing?"
"These guys have to have some clips on them. I get the feeling we're going to need all the ammo we can get our hands on. Search that body over there." Chris pointed to the corpse nearest her without looking up from his work.
"Right, of course. Good idea." Sheva nodded and crouched down next to the man.
Even if they weren't alive, Sheva felt absolutely horrible about pillaging these men for left over ammo. It was true that they needed all they could get, but it still felt like a morbid kind of theft. Sheva furrowed her brow as she unzipped and unclipped the man's gear, reaching her hand inside and feeling for the cold metal of a clip. After about five minutes of searching all the bodies, Sheva had found three full clips and a can of first aid spray, and Chris had found two first aid sprays and 4 clips. This brought their inventory and ammo supplies up significantly.
After they were done they left the room through the only other door that hadn't been kicked off its frame. This led them to a small corridor that they followed, eventually veering off to the right and leading to an old industrial elevator. Chris pushed the call button and the platform rattled up to them, then the gates slid open. Chris stood back and smiled, "Ladies first."
"How kind of you Mr. Redfield." Sheva smirked and entered the elevator, Chris following close behind.
"Ready?" Chris asked as the gates closed.
"Roger." Sheva replied.
Chris reached out and pressed the down button and after a few moments the elevator lurched into life, bringing them down into the basement section that would lead to the storage facility.
This certainly was a basement alright. It looked like a basement, it felt like a basement, and it smelt like a basement. The walls were damp and the air was cold. The smell of sewer and wet dog wafted through the air like some morbid perfume. Chris scrunched his nose for a moment as he tried to get acclimated to the new environment. It was very dark down here, only the occasional overhead fluorescent light available to shed a blanket of light down the long corridor that eventually snaked to the right. Chris and Sheva looked at each other then moved, Chris leading while Sheva followed. They jogged down the corridor; hands gripped on their guns, until they turned right and went up a small set of stair that led to a rusty barred door. Chris pushed it open to reveal another room, much like the one they had left, but this one had another hallway leading out of it on the left wall, and a maintenance door against the opposite wall. When they both shuffled in Chris's eyes moved to a single corpse lying on the floor. It too was dressed like the other members of Alpha Team.
Another body! Damn it! Are there no survivors!?
"Chris this door is locked." Sheva's voice ripped him from his anger and he looked up.
Sheva was standing in front of the orange maintenance door, her hand gripped on the door's handle. She was pulling it, but it wouldn't budge. She let her hand slip and turned to face Chris. He sighed and looked around the room, and even at the body before him, thinking that the fallen agents might have been trying to escape before he was killed. But there was no hint of a key, and Chris's face fell.
"Maybe we'll find something down this hallway." Chris motioned to it, but Sheva's face read ambivalence.
All around the room were more globs and streaks of that black slime. Sheva was probably wary of what they might encounter. She eventually nodded, probably because she realized they had no other options.
When they moved through the dark hallway they found themselves in a room with high ceilings and a chain link fence that enclosed a small section of the room. On the other side of the room was a massive furnace big enough to park a Hummer. Chris and Sheva stood in front of it, wondering what exactly it was used for, especially in a place like this. Chris walked up to the furnace window, smudged with soot, and peered in. It was completely empty, no sign of having been used for a while. Chris shrugged and turned around to see Sheva investigating a large canister on the nearest wall.
"It's gas." Sheva said simply. "And it can be taken off of its mount if you pull hard enough."
"For the furnace. This is probably where they dispose of garbage." Sheva replied, taking a few steps forward.
"Or other things…"Chris said, knowing that it sounded a bit paranoid, but after the things he had seen, he wouldn't discount the potential.
There were more bodies in here, and even if he was used to it, each one still brought a pang of surprise and a shiver of terror. What exactly happened to these guys? Was it the villagers? Had they caused this massacre? No, it couldn't have been, these men were armed more heavily than they were. It had to be something else.
"Chris!" Sheva exclaimed, pointing at the floor.
Chris followed her gesture to the floor and a warm rush of relief flooded trough him when he saw, glinting in the red lights of the furnace, a small key seemingly fallen out of the nearest corpses hand when it fell. Chris smiled and walked over, bent down, and picked up the key. He slipped it into his pocket and smiled at Sheva, then with one last look at the furnace, jerked his head towards the door, telling Sheva that they should get the hell out of there.
As they walked back through the corridor the hair on the back of Chris's neck started to stand up and he paused for a moment. Sheva stopped next to him, her eyes wide and worried.
"Did you hear that?" Chris asked in a whisper.
Sheva looked around, upholstering her gun as she did. Chris could have sworn he heard something move, something almost slither across the cement floor. Chris also took out his gun, holding it up and looking at Sheva. She met his gaze and they both nodded, deciding to sweep the area again. Those villagers could have followed them down here, and the basement of a derelict building was not somewhere he wanted to be stuck. The next moment they both moved forward, guns raised, until they broke away from the hallway and entered the first room again. They searched the area with the barrels of their guns, ready to fire at the first thing that moved. Chris jogged over to the maintenance door, slipping the key from his pocket. There was urgency in his movements; a sort of desire to leave was quickly as possible. Sheva was next to him as Chris held the key up to the lock, seeing if it was the key the lock required.
Then from the corner of his there was a swirling of movement and Chris looked around quickly, his eyes being drawn to the ceiling. His eyes widened as he took in what exactly was going on. There was a mass of what looked like large worms writing and slithering on the ceiling. Thousands, if not millions, of worms squirmed their way to a decayed humanoid figure. They wrapped themselves around the figure as it grew larger and larger.
"What the hell is that?" Sheva asked in disgust as they stood by the door in shock.
Soon the mass got to large and fell to the floor with an echoing wet smack. As soon as it was on the floor, black writhing tentacles shot out from the body, reaching across the floor until it grabbed onto the corpse of the Alpha team agent. When the body was almost covered in tentacles it was dragged into the mass as it slowly stood up, taking on a roughly human form with arms, legs, and a head, but it was all covered in a thick trunk of worms. The worms absorbed the corpse wrapping around it and pulling it into itself. There was a feral gargling snarl was the monster drew up into its full height. Now a black writhing monster, dripping wet with that inky black ooze.
"I think that's what got Alpha team!" Chris said, raising his gun and pointing it at the slithering mass.
They both managed to fire off a few rounds before the monster's arm shot towards them, extending well passed its original size. Chris and Sheva dove to the side, narrowly avoiding the attack, landing in the entrance of the hallway. The monster turned towards them and moved forward faster than Chris would have guessed it could. On four legs it moved towards them, a dull roar breaking through the squirming worms. Chris and Sheva stepped back, firing at what they guessed to be the head, but it still advanced without a flinch.
"Fall back!" Sheva shouted, and they both turned on a heel and ran down the corridor, entering the furnace room.
When they entered they hooked a right, turning around to see the monster hot on their heels. Sheva stood and fired until there was the dry click of an empty click. She ejected the clip just as the creature reached the door, slamming in another as a loud siren went off and a flashing red light turned on above them.
"What the hell?" Sheva asked watching as a heavy sliding door shut behind the creature, locking them inside.
They were now locked into a room a room with a monster they had never encountered before. With a precious supply of ammo, and seemingly no progress in actually hurting this thing, Chris was starting to fear for the worse. That was until he spied the gas canister standing against the nearest wall. The image of this creature absorbing the corpse flashed within Chris's mind, and he rushed forward, prying the canister off the wall until it clattered heavily onto the floor.
"Sheva, get over here!" Chris called out.
Sheva stopped firing at the approaching beast and turned around, spying the canister and immediately knowing the plan. She dashed over as Chris backed up, his gun raised and ready. The monster was quickly squirming closer, its movement's jerky. But soon the enemy was right above the canister, and as Chris had predicted the worms wrapped around it, fusing the orange of the canister to all that black. Chris took aim and fired, resulting in a spectacular bubble of fire that engulfed the monster, reducing it to a squirming puddle.
"Brilliant!" Sheva shouted and clapped Chris on the shoulder.
"Thanks—" Chris started to speak, but was pulled from his thoughts by the sight of the creature forming again from the puddle. "Shit! Can nothing kill this thing?" Chris raised his gun and fired.
"Chris, I think we need something a little stronger." Sheva put her hand on his shoulder and motioned to the massive furnace behind them.
"You're right. C'mon, we have to lure this thing inside." Chris nodded and they both turned, standing just inside the furnace.
Chris looked behind him, making sure the monster was following them, and indeed it was, now reassembled back into its original form. Chris fired at the monster as it moved closer, slowly walking backward as it took its first step into the furnace. The monster had to rearranged itself to fit through the door, easily collapsing its structure to slip through the tiny entrance.
"Sheva, go around and pull the handle of the furnace's control panel." Chris shouted over the creatures growls.
"What about you? You'll be burned alive!" Sheva shot back.
"I'll slip out at the last second. We have to make sure this bastard stays in here."
"If you say so." Sheva took a deep breath in and turned, exiting the other only other door.
Chris back up into the furnace a little more, still firing at the monster as it moved forward. He aimed at its head, its arms, and that mass of an orange tumor that stuck out of its chest. Chris was pleasantly taken aback when, as soon as the round tore into it that tumor the creature wailed and stopped its progress. That must be the monster's weak spot. Chris shot at it more, and each time the monster shrieked in what Chris guessed was pain.
"I'm turning it on! Watch out!"
That was Chris's cue to leave. Chris glared and raised his gun one more time as a large buzzer sounded the closing of the furnace doors. He cleaned out the clip and turned, crouching down and rolling out of the door before it sunk any lower. He rolled across the cement until her sprang up and turned around, watching as the doors touched down, shut tight with the sound of hydraulics. In the next moment the entire chamber was filled with the bright yellow and red glow of burning fire. Chris and Sheva stood by the window, panting and out of breath, watching as the monster fell to the floor, writhing and tossing this way and that, shrieking in pain.
When it was all over there was silence. Chris walked over to the entrance as the door slid open again, looking in to see what had become of the monster. All that was left was a thick puddle of watery inky slime. At this Chris sighed, and his muscles relaxed, his shoulder falling. It was dead. They had done it. The two of them had done what the entirety of Alpha Team could not, and he couldn't help but feel a sense of pride.
"This thing was responsible for the deaths of Alpha Team. We need to report this to HQ."
Chris nodded, "I agree. Whatever that thing was, it changes everything."
"I got it."
Sheva glanced at Chris, standing with the door of one of the sandstone colored Hummers wide open, a large case sitting on the seat before him. They had escaped the building's basement via another service lift, finding themselves in the storage facility Kirk had told them about. This is where Alpha team had parked their vehicles, and acted as a makeshift head quarters while behind enemy lines. It was secluded with a limited number of doors, so they could keep any amount of invaders at bay. The roof was very high and covered with large windows that let in huge amounts of daylight. The whole facility was freakishly silent, and relatively untouched from what Sheva could see as she swept the room with her gun. It looked like the chaos outside these walls hadn't sunk its crazed teeth into it this place yet. It was almost like a haven.
A small part of Sheva wanted to stay here, wanted to crawl into one of those Hummers and sleep for a few days. She was already tired, exhausted from this fight for survival, and her whole body ached. Yet despite all this pain, there was something inside Sheva that made her keep moving forward. In her mind's eye she could see her parents, smiling and happy, still alive. That thought made her take a deep breath in, drawing her nerves together, composing her emotions and mindset once again.
Still watching the surrounding area Sheva spoke, "What was that thing?"
"A BOW that scum bag Irving left behind to set us up," Chris replied, opening up the case to reveal a laptop, the background emblazoned with the BSAA logo. "Considering what it did to Alpha Team, I think we're lucky to still be breathing."
Sheva lowered her gun, confident in the evidence that showed there were no threats in the immediate area. "If only we could have gotten there sooner."
"If we had, we'd probably be dead too." Chris answered darkly, glancing at her over his shoulder.
Sheva's face fell and she looked away from Chris. She knew he didn't mean it, but his works left a sting. What he had said was true. If they had been mere moments sooner, that thing would have definitely killed them both. After seeing what it did to Alpha Team, slaughtering a huge group of professionally trained and seasoned soldiers, there was no question what could have happened. Still, Sheva could not help thinking that they could have saved them. They could have killed it. After all, they had defeated it, just the two of them. What made them any different? Sheva looked back at Chris as he stepped away from the laptop. He is what made things different. Chris Redfield and his colorful resume. He was the one best suited for these situations; after all he had seen and done.
"Chris to HQ, do you copy?" His hand was on his radio, sending his words back to Kirk.
Kirk's voice sprang to life in Sheva's ear just a few seconds later, "This is HQ. Excellent work out there. We'll analyze the data immeadiatley."
"This whole town has gone to Hell," Chris spoke urgently, not letting HQ just slip away while they had a solitary moment to relay their experiences to the right people. "The people here, they're acting like those Ganado detailed in the Kennedy report and aside from that, there's something new, something we've never encountered before."
"Our transportation has been taken out too," Sheva piped up. "Requesting a mission update."
"The mission stands. Capturing Irving is your top priority. We believe he may have fled to the mines on the other side of the train station."
Sheva and Chris looked at each other, their eyes wide with anger and confusion. Never before had HQ been like this, at least not since Sheva had joined. They were usually very adamant about keeping their agents safe. To keep the mission objectives while the initial infiltration team had been wiped out was alarming, and a little too suspicious.
"Wait, we're the only two left, you want us to go in there alone!?" Chris snapped his eyes narrowed.
"Delta team have been dispatched and are on their way."
Sheva's eyes widened and a stab of fear punctured her stomach.
"They will assist you in locating and apprehending Irving."
Chris sighed with frustration, his saw tight with anger. Sheva moved forward toward Chris as if he were Kirk. "But wait, we can't…" He voice was on the verge of shouting, on the verge of panic.
Kirk interrupted her, his voice firm and resilient, "I repeat, your mission stands. We can't afford to let him get away. Proceed to the mines beyond the station. Over and out." Kirk cut off the connection, his farewell cold.
Sheva clenched her jaw, the anger building up in her chest until it blew up. "This is insane!"
How could they be doing this? How could she be in this situation? Sheva had never felt so vulnerable during a mission. She felt naked to the constant threat that stood in the shadows of this impoverished village. At any moment they could be killed, just like Alpha team, or they could become victims to the animal like brutality of the villagers. Visions of a machete being pushed through her stomach, a pipe wrapped in barbwire being slammed against her head, a glass bottle exploding against her chest. It sent shivers down her spine. Inside her there was fear wrapped delicately in anger. It was deep, penetrating every fiber of her. This was real, and her mind knew, her heart knew, her body knew. She could be easily killed. Chris could be easily killed, and she then she would be all alone. Alone in a deadly town, with no one to watch her back. The possibility of dying was very high, and it was this that made Sheva the most nervous.
It was Chris's gruff voice that pulled Sheva from her thoughts. He spoke as he shut the Hummer door, walking forward a few feet to stand next to her. "Ever get the feeling you're expendable."
Sheva turned to Chris, her eyes filled with worry. She wanted to say 'never', but then she would be lying.
A/N: Wow. Another heavy chapter, but it was enjoyable I hope? Sorry for the long update, my laptop got a virus and I had to get it repaired, and on top of that I've been doing a bunch of things for college this fall, and on top of THAT I caught a slight case of Writer's Block for about a week and since I self Beta this story, it takes a bit longer. Sorry for any mistakes I did not catch, I hope it didn't ruin your experience too much.
Now it's time to get to work on the next chapter! See you then!