Author's Note: Another story, this one dedicated to lovely Chaed as a birthday gift. You'll have to excuse me, Chaed, for posting it so very late, since I was in exam week and couldn't get distracted. In any case, here you go: I hope you enjoy this little Wesker-centric piece I truly enjoyed writing. This is for you and for everyone who is fond of RE's #1 villain xD
Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil or any of its characters
Resident Evil: Shattered Mirrors
He was young, very young, when everything happened and the cogs started turning.
Albert Wesker had always been asked the same question, more often than not: why did he constantly hid his eyes from the rest of the people? Back when he had been in S.T.A.R.S., his subordinates had speculated about that fact, many times relating the presence of his sunglasses to high sensitivity to light or even photophobia itself, but Wesker had neither denied it or confirmed it. He always chose to let the matter alone, reply with silence or with other kind of remarks which allowed him to have the last word.
Not many people knew about this particular secret, not a lot of them know about it now either. Of course, they didn't and don't need to know. Even Wesker had forgotten at a certain time the reason behind that everlasting habit, but in just one night he remembered everything there was to be remembered. Many answers were finally within his reach. The answer to this particular question was also in his reach once again.
It was December, 1970, when it all happened. It had been two years since the Wesker Children plan had seen the light, and almost a year and a half since the boy simply known as Albert had been torn away from his family and the world he had come to know through the eyes of a child. Soon, those eyes would be the eyes of an adult, the cold and impassive eyes of an adult who was more consumed by fear of weakness than nothing else.
That specific day in December started in the library of the compound they kept the children in- 'they' being the researchers in charge, of course. Albert, being the quiet, reserved and hard-working boy he always showed himself to be, was in the room reading a thick volume taken from a popular 72-part encyclopedia, 'Survey of Natural History',written by Henry Travis. He was a very avid reader, having read two entire chapters in less than fifteen minutes memorizing almost every detail about the flora described.
With him there were several others of his peers, such as Irma or Hiro, who were also going through the various books in the shelves. The silence between them was broken by rushed murmurs outside the room and signs of building tension amongst the people outside. Irma stood up from her seat, walked to the door and had a look outside with care. The gasp she then released made Hiro near her position, but Albert didn't move from where he was; still, that didn't keep him from feeling uneasy.
"It's Jonah," said Irma with worry. "Dr. Moira is taking him away. He seems hurt and he's crying; I... I think I saw him bleeding."
"What could've happened?" asked Hiro, frowning and lifting his gaze towards Albert... who didn't say anything, not even then. He knew his peer, Jonah, was a strong boy: what could've made him cry? If he was injured, he really wouldn't cry because of some stupid gash or wound, no: it had to be something else... but what?
Albert closed the large tome, returned it to its place and stepped outside the library to have a look at the scene everyone was staring at, finding others like Laura or Derek looking contrite, as if they had something to do with whatever had happened to Jonah. He frowned slightly, watching how Jonah turned his head around to look back at his peers, and it was then when Albert noticed how right Irma was.
Jonah's temple was bleeding and his lips were chapped, his lower one broken and also bleeding. His eyes were bleary and bloodshot, traces of horror and despair in his emerald hues.
The other doctor accompanying Dr. Moira turned around and scowled at the witnesses.
"Don't you have anywhere else to be?" he yelled, making everyone start moving. Everyone except Albert, that was. He had always been a curious one and even though it wasn't his business, he knew something had happened to Jonah. Not that he was worried about the youngster, but no ordinary boy or girl around them could've caused those wounds to his face and such horror to linger in his gaze.
Just what had happened? Albert wouldn't find out until a certain day arrived.
That day, another of his peers, Hans, was called outside the library by Dr. Moira. That day, Albert was also present, and he found the same horror in Hans' amber eyes that the one he had found a few days ago in Jonah's. He tried to ignore the reason why; the researchers in charge always tended to intimidate the rest of the children there. The fear in Hans' eyes though... it was much more different, much more pure and genuine.
They didn't hear of Hans until the evening. The same that happened with Jonah happened this time with Hans, although Hans didn't seem to be in the same state Jonah had. Albert found this suspicious: what was happening there? As they watched Hans be taken away, he heard Hiro trying to console Irma, who was in a friendly relationship with Hans. Albert couldn't help wondering one thing: did they know what was happening?
His turn came soon.
The day after, it was Albert who was called outside by Dr. Moira. When he stood up from his seat, he found his peers looking at him expectantly, as if wishing for everything to go fine, as if telling him to be strong. Strong, why? For some reason, Albert knew why; for another, he knew not. Silent, he exited the library and followed Dr. Moira down the hall, his expression serene.
Then, when he least expected it, arms closed around his upper body, rendering him unable to fight back with his arms, and he was lifted up in the air and taken somewhere else. Albert fought with all his might, understanding: this is what had happened both to Jonah and Hans, this is why they appeared bleeding and utterly horrified, this is what had kept the rest of his peers in silence and trepidation.
Soon, he saw nothing but darkness. Albert was released, but then was hit with unimaginable force. First, a punch to his cheekbone, the first and the strongest he'd ever felt. He stumbled backwards, landing on his back against the ground, and was left numbed and stunned by the searing pain that was quickly spreading throughout his face. He didn't understand: why was that happening?
Before he could stand up and react, another blow came, this time to his stomach. It left him breathless, making white spots dance before his eyes, and Albert fell to his knees, hugging the injure zone as he coughed. All energies seemed to leave him: he was weak, unable to defend himself... and that's what he dreaded the most. It wasn't fear of pain what took hold of him, it was fear of being weak, fear of being unable to oppose those who were torturing him.
That fear was what he needed to react, surprisingly enough.
With a fierce yell in anger, ignoring all kinds of pain, Albert sprung to his feet and dashed blindly towards his attacker, guided by his sense of hearing and touch. He felt them sidestepping, soft cloth touching his cheek as he stumbled forward and hit the wall. A hand yanked at the roots of his hair and Albert exclaimed in pain, something which struck him more than the knee to the gut he then received.
He was thrown to the floor similar to the way a rag doll is shoved away and hit the floor with his elbows and chin. He kept coughing, a small whimper escaping his lips when he tried to stand up again: he had to, there was no way he could allow himself to stay down. He had to fight, he had to stand his ground against his attackers, but how? How to do it when you were blind?
"Can't you fight back?"
Can't I fight back?
"I can fight back! I'm not weak!" Albert screamed, and lashed out at his opponent with all the strength he could muster. Once again though he was shoved back with just a punch to his left cheek, yet that wasn't enough to daunt him. His will was strong; he was determined and courageous, he would succeed, he would prove he was stronger than other people thought. He wasn't one to be underestimated.
"If you're not weak, show it. Heh, look at those eyes..."
"Are you talking about my eyes?" the boy shot back.
"I'm talking about yours, Albert, yes," Dr. Moira replied with a calm voice.
"Why mine?" It clicked. "Are you laughing at my eyes because that's what showed how weak Hans and Jonah were?"
"Exactly. You are weak; there's nothing you can do about it."
"I am NOT weak!!"
No matter how bravely he fought, Albert received the biggest and most painful beating of his life. Blow after blow he was weakened; he couldn't fight back. The beating didn't last long but its duration was enough to have left Albert thrashed, depressed, sitting on the ground with his back against the wall, his shoulders sagged and head lowered. He tasted and smelled blood, he heard a horrible whistling in his ears, he saw the shadow of his attacker in front of him, he felt the cold and rough floor under his injured hands, and then everything became a mix.
Can't I fight back? I should've been able... I'm not weak.
And like all the children who had gone through those moments of torture, Albert allowed his tears to spill.
Damn it, damn it, damn it! I can't be doing this, I can't be crying! It's humiliating: I am NOT weak!
With renewed strength, strength he didn't know where he had gotten, Albert lifted himself up to his feet, dragging his back against the wall as he received the support he needed. He stared at the gleaming eyes of his attacker, narrowing his own blue gaze, and could've sworn his opponent had just smiled at him.
"What aren't you?" Albert was asked.
"I'm not weak."
"I didn't hear you."
"I'm not weak!" the boy said louder, his voice becoming graver. "I'm not weak, you hear me?! I'm not! I won't cease to repeat it because it's the truth! You won't make me think otherwise."
"You made it."
Albert's breath caught in his throat. "What did I achieve?"
"Your eyes have stopped gleaming."
Those eyes have been replaced with ice walls; they are unbreakable, never to crack and collapse.
It's late 1979, and Albert still remembers what happened that night of December. No, it's not Albert: it's Wesker now; there's no room for familiarities. The more he kept people at arm's length the better, since the less he was prone to becoming weak... even though he doubted he was able to do so. He was cold, and not only referring to personality: his entire body was the mirror of his psyche. His skin was always cold, many times paler than usual; his body was similar to a pillar made of the strongest material in the world, a pillar that no matter what it had to face, it never presented a scratch upon its surface.
He's befriended someone, much to his surprise. That someone is William Birkin, and they've been friends for almost three years now, a fact which came as something like a change to Wesker. Even so, he still keeps his secrets to himself, not even if he can find relief in telling William about them. Why though? There are many questions like that to be asked, but not even Wesker wants to find the answers to them.
Why? Because he already knows them... and perfectly. It's very simple, it's always been and it'll always be: why do people avoid things? Because they're afraid of them. Wesker fears nothing, since it's thanks to his lack of empathy that he has what is required to accept reality as it is.
Oh, but he still fears something. Why does he avoid weakness? Why does he avoid showing his eyes to the world, those icy hues that were the mirror of his soul? Because if people saw them and judged the emotions they harboured, they would always come to the same conclusion, the one and only conclusion there was to reach.
Because he feared being weak with all of his might. That's why he hid himself under his cold, impassive façade: because, in one way, he didn't want to be weak. He knew everything that caused him to appear easy to manipulate, weak-hearted and predictable, and that 'everything' were emotions. On the other hand... it's because he can't feel anything. Wesker's numbed his soul so much it could be compared to a blank slate, where there was nothing to see but the pristine surface of the slate, clean of everything that stained and tainted it.
They say the eyes are the mirrors of the soul.
Wesker has shattered those mirrors to miserable pieces. They showed nothing, they show nothing, and they will show nothing. They're impassive, ruthless, cold, almost hollow.
Because he's still afraid, and there's nothing he can do about that.
A/N: There, what do you think of it? I guess it's time I gave a small explanation: you surely must know Wesker has never appeared to be afraid of anything; at least, afraid of nothing like -typical example- the dark or dying, fears like those. But what I do believe, and in this you might agree with me, is that he is afraid of only one thing and one thing only: being weak. You've seen it through the course of the years and the evolution of RE, and I thought it was time I tackled that fact through an usual habit of his: wearing his shades, anyone? xDDDDDD
I hope you liked this piece, and happy birthday again, Chaed!
Reviews are appreciated!^^