Disclaimer: Any character, object, plot device, or setting not immediately recognizable as the intellectual property and/or trademark of either Capcom, Paramount Pictures or Gene Roddenberry is probably mine (unless otherwise stated). Any and all characters, objects, plot devices, or settings that are immediately recognizable are not mine. I seek no monetary gain from this and simply wrote it for fun.
Characters: No one recognizable at the moment (unless you count a fatal zombie virus as a character?), but that will soon change, I promise.
Rating: T, because I like to include obscenities as they work for the plot.
Summary: This was the virus that had revolutionized the biotech industry - at the cost of turning thousands of people into undead. History thought it had been lost, destroyed. But now it's back, two hundred and fifty-odd years later, to do its dirty work all over again.
Warnings: Swearing and spoilers for Star Trek XI/AOS and the Resident Evil games through Resident Evil 5.
Author's Note: What started out as a completely crack idea I never thought would get off the ground has suddenly spawned itself a prologue. And the story is actually taking itself kinda seriously. So, uh, we'll see where this ends up, shall we?
Also - I tried to write this in such a way that if you're familiar with one fandom but not the other, things still have a chance of making some sense. And I'm also decidedly more familar (and have more to work with) with the Resident Evil fandom than the AOS canon - especially as I'm trying to avoid letting too much TOS canon seep into it.
Hopefully any confusion will be cleared up as the plot goes along. Otherwise, enjoy!
Matthew Donner was the top virologist in Starfleet. For more than thirty years he'd worked on identifying and cataloguing viruses from all over the galaxy. He'd been the first to discover the genetic link between the Vasuvian flu from Tantus IV and the Leegra Virus from Absolwake. He'd helped engineer a vaccine for Darsky-Caprius Syndrome. And for every last immunization Starfleet cadets received upon admission to the Academy, he had proudly helped develop two thirds of them.
So there was really only one reason his expertise would be required in any given situation. Despite that teeny tiny little seemingly irrelevant detail (for the record: his whole life's work), he still didn't know why he was here, not for sure, and that really pissed him off. He was an old man. He didn't need any of this.
And to top it all off, this facility was goddamn cold. As he stepped out of the turbolift just a beat behind Dr. Parsons – a younger, broad-shouldered man with light, wavy, blond hair and a square jaw – he realized he could see his breath.
That's it, he thought. I've had enough of this. His goddamn breath was curling away from him, visible to the naked eye, for God's sake. His fingers were beginning to prickle, their way of telling him they were about to go completely numb.
He flexed his fingers, hoping to encourage blood flow back to them. "Why the hell is it so damn cold down here?"
Parsons barely turned his head back. "The facility is kept at optimum temperature – "
"'Optimum temperature? For what? Stockpiling the world's supply of ice?"
Now Parsons turned, shooting Donner a look. "The cooler temperature keeps the virus in stasis without harming any of its genetic structure. Surely I do not have to tell you how important that is." His voice, normally cold and superior, was now laced with frustration.
Donner snorted. He'd spent the past two days jumping through bureaucratic hoops just to gain access to this cold, underground gateway to hell. He was running on very little food, even less sleep, and he could practically hear the sound of another stack of papers landing on his desk – even more paperwork he'd have to go through and sign when he got back to San Francisco. And he was constipated, too. Parsons was lucky he was only a little cranky. "And keeping the virus in stasis requires that the whole facility be this fucking cold."
"I believe you were informed of its age. Not only is it very old, this particular virus is…highly volatile. We must take care."
"You'll pardon my skepticism, I'm sure," Donner said.
When Parsons didn't reply, Donner rolled his eyes, flexing his fingers again to try and get them to warm back up.
Rather be back at the office, he thought darkly to himself. Even pushing paper would beat this.
Tactics had contacted him just three days ago. Their request had been short and vague, same as always, but he felt it was safe to assume they'd managed to get their hands on another virus they wanted him to have a look at.
Because you don't say no to a request from Tactics – especially not when Starfleet has already cleared your schedule to accommodate them, he'd followed their instructions.
And that was how he'd found himself here, almost two miles underground, in a facility locked up tighter than Old Fort Knox. He'd been given a battery of immunization hypos before even being allowed past the front door and a second round once he got inside. Then he'd put up with two days' worth the briefings and had had to sign so many different confidentiality contracts he'd been forced to swap from his right hand to his left.
"You know," Donner said, nonchalantly looking around the sterile white hallway, "for all the papers I had to sign and all the stuff you guys told me about what not to touch and how not to walk and who to trust and when to talk about this exclusive little field trip I'm taking, I still don't quite know why I'm here."
"You are the top virologist in Starfleet, are you not?" Parsons sounded surprised, but Donner couldn't be sure it was genuine. For all he knew, that could be condescension in his voice. "Or was I mistaken when I placed my request?"
Donner bristled. "You asked for the best, you got the best," he snapped. "Whatever the hell you have, I can get you whatever the hell you want out of it."
"Oh, good," Parsons replied, but that was all he said.
Frowning, Donner, followed Parsons around another corner, and then both men stopped before a door. Parsons quickly keyed in a code on a pad beside the door, and Donner noted with interest that the keys themselves were fingerprint scanners.
As the doors hissed open and he stepped through, Parsons said, "It's called T."
Donner stopped dead in his tracks. "'T'?" The door beeped at him to move and he stumbled forward. "As in the T-virus? Tactics has a sample of the T-virus?"
Glancing at Donner out of the corner of his eye, Parsons' eyebrows rose. "You've heard of it." As he spoke he guided Donner into a small room off a large laboratory. There was only a simple wall-mounted desk running the width of the room on the far side here, with a clear board mounted on the wall.
"Heard of it?" Donner laughed, his voice high and bitter. "Parsons, the T-virus nearly wiped humanity off the face of the earth in the early two thousands! It's something they teach in elementary world history, for God's sake! Where the hell did Tactics get a sample of it?"
"A viable sample, you mean."
"Viable – it's viable? What the hell do you mean, it's viable?"
Parsons suddenly smiled. It was a wicked thing, lighting up his face in ways that set Donner on edge. "What you are going to see, Doctor," Parsons said, his voice controlled but tinged with sick joy, "is the last living sample of the Tyrant Virus. It is completely, one-hundred percent viable."
As Donner looked on, Parsons lightly touched the clear board with a finger. It immediately sprang to life, turning into a wall-mounted computer interface that Parsons quickly and easily maneuvered through. The floor hissed, and Donner jumped back. A large, cylindrical cold storage container was rising from the floor, and he could hear the windows behind him turn opaque with a tinkle.
"It was found," Parsons said, keying in yet another code on the side of the cylinder, "in the ruins of an military facility underneath old Union City."
"Old Union City…? Really?"
The cylinder opened with another faint hiss, spilling cold fog out of a dark, narrow opening in its top. Donner heard the quiet thunking sounds of hydraulics, and an arm clasping a vial no longer than his hand rose out of the fog.
"My God…" Donner breathed, shaking his head. A few stray hands of silver hair bounced across his forehead. He bent over and looked at the vial.
The liquid inside – frozen, of course, carefully preserved – was a bright blue color and in the lights it almost looked like it was glowing.
This was the virus that had been the tool of the terrorists for years. This was the virus that helped etch so many names into the history books. This was the virus that had revolutionized the biotech industry.
But beyond that, little was known about the T-virus. Umbrella – its parent company – had gone completely under in 2003, and all its research lost. What scientists in the Biohazard Security Assessment Alliance, the B.S.A.A., had managed to extrapolate had been deliberately destroyed in 2021, shortly before the Alliance itself was disbanded, in an effort to keep the world from ever creating anything like it again. What little historians did know Donner read about in his middle school textbooks – the first time he had gotten to study pre-warp-drive twenty-first century history.
Slowly, Donner reached out with a finger to touch the vial. His breath was fogging up the glass. "Is it airborne?"
"No," Parsons replied, shaking his head. "Only one strain has ever been made airborne. This is not that strain."
Donner nodded, lightly touching the vial with his index finger. "So what does kind of information does Starfleet want outta it? The T-virus has been dead for centuries. It's hardly a threat. I can understand wanting to study it, but…"
He lifted his gaze, and for the first time in two days, Daniel Parsons finally looked directly at Matthew Donner.
Their eyes met.
His voice flat, Parsons said, "We are on the brink of war."
Donner felt his stomach drop. His mind immediately shifted gears. As the head of one of Starfleet's many departments, he was privy to more information than the general public. So he knew a lot more about the tense political relations between the Federation and the Raithavians. And he had heard they were slowly disintegrating.
But to be on the brink of war… "How close?"
Parsons shook his head.
"Shit." Donner looked back down at the tiny glass vial. He swallowed. The knot that had formed in his stomach suddenly got a hell of a lot bigger.
He had walked into a trap.
Above all else, the T-virus was a bio-weapon. And there was only one reason to bring out a bio-weapon during wartime. His voice sharp, Donner began, "Does that justify…"
"Starfleet has tried diplomacy," Parsons replied harshly, cutting Donner off. "It failed. The Raithavians are not interested in discussing things any further. They've already attacked a colony on Midgar Nine. Eight hundred dead, hundreds more injured, and they got out before any of our ships could even get close."
"And that gives Starfleet the right – "
"The Raithavians have better weapons than we do. Their ships are stronger. Faster. More people will die if we do not do something."
"And that justifies genocide?!"
"Earth survived the loss of the dodo. The galaxy will survive the loss of the Raithavians."
"I won't do it."
"You don't have a choice, Doctor. Command has already agreed to this. They sent you because you are the best." Parsons smiled. The expression sent involuntary chills racing up Donner's spine. "You, Doctor Donner, will be the first man in two hundred and fifty years to develop an airborne strain of the T-virus."