"Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I shall endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here."
- Canto III
"There's no one left, Wesker. You killed them all."
Her voice was the only one he'd heard in months. It grated and burned.
"Give it up."
The bag of potato chips rustled obnoxiously as she dug through it. Nothing but crumbs and grease.
The blond in the driver's seat wrenched it from her hands and tossed it out of the open window.
She crossed her arms and watched the road.
They stopped near a landfill. Binoculars passed between them. Shoulder to shoulder, he was much taller than her, although they were alike – ethereal, somehow not belonging.
They moved with the same assurance.
She seemed to be of him – like a rib, unbound.
"Perhaps," he replied.
"I don't think so."
He nodded, thoughtful.
The creatures they were watching might be able to see them.
Wesker knew for sure when he and Jill were running down a mound of garbage, trailed by a Pack of Uroborii. Worms bloomed from them like flowers.
She examined the scars on her chest in the mirror of the sun visor. Nimble little fingers touching pink and puckered skin.
She slammed the visor shut.
Wesker glanced at her, a pale eyebrow raised over the rim of his sunglasses.
"Don't. Fucking do not. Just… shut the fuck up before you even start."
He smiled at her fury, his leathered grip on the steering wheel loosening.
Her hand rubbed the scar where the chest plate had been. Tenderly, her fingertips moved to the younger scar on her wrist as she watched the New World pass by.
75 miles an hour at a time.
There had been no one for days - weeks. Not even infected.
The forest was tall on either side of the car. It was raining – a fine cold mist. The air was heavy and chilly. The sky a morose white.
He pulled off the road at a mile marker, driving the car slowly into the woods, concealing it from view of the highway. Jill sat up in the seat, curious. Satisfied, Wesker turned the ignition. The engine cut. Keys in hand. Jill watched.
"You're going to get out now. I wouldn't want you doing anything… unsavory to yourself. Again."
Jill's jaw tightened noticeably at his attack. She bit back an insult and turned her wrists so that he couldn't see them. They burned with shame.
He walked around to the passenger's side, opened the door, and waited. He offered a hand to her. Jill didn't take it. She secretly pleased him with her tiny acts of defiance, her slights. She was hard to loathe when she had so much fight and life.
The trunk popped. Jill took what was left of her belongings. Wesker did the same.
He led the way as they walked some distance from the road. Jill looked back, the car disappearing from her line of vision. She liked to keep the car in her sights, especially these days.
"Where are we going?"
He did not respond and instead studied the compass in his hand.
She followed him.
She'd followed for years in much the same way – unanswered.
A short time later, Wesker was kicking at a mound of dirt. Eventually, he unearthed a handle. He pulled on it and a reinforced door, leading straight into the earth, opened before them. A ladder was attached to the sidewall of the tunnel.
Wesker threw down his suitcase and bag. She was skeptical though.
"Go on, Jill."
At his urging, she tossed hers down as well. She looked at him expectantly then.
He watched as she descended into the hole.
A generator came to life nearby. Lights flickered then stayed on. A lab.
Jill stood in the middle of the room and turned slowly.
"Abandoned," he said to her, travel bag hauled over a shoulder.
The Umbrella emblem was everywhere. It was surreal.
"Bunks down there, on the right. Shower on the left. Pantry at the end."
"What's on the other side?"
"A clinic. Triage."
"And the only way in or out is-"
"The way we came, yes."
It was the most he'd said to her in long time.
She almost enjoyed the sound of his voice.
She microwaved a Hot Pocket. Wesker catalogued vials. Various medications, chemicals, supplies.
The first bite burned her mouth. She frowned.
"This is… real. This is a real lab," she said. Sometimes, she missed talking.
"As opposed to?"
She ignored him. He held a smaller tube up to the fluorescent light and shook it. The contents mixed, changed color. Sunglasses off. Eyes glittering unnaturally. He put a name to it on his list and moved to the next batch of preserved vials.
"You'll be able to do everything here. All the research." She pried. It tested his patience.
She was used to his brush-offs. They were hardly personal now. She sat in the rolling chair and watched him work.
Broccoli, cheese and ham on a rainy day wasn't the worst she could do. Not by a long shot.
While she slept that night, he wrote in a journal. He wrote many things.
He detailed how he'd set into motion a biological apocalypse. Uroboros = Success. He failed the original operative in Africa, but his subsequent slow-release in the States proved fruitful. It spread like wildfire. Within a year, all were infected (worldwide). He and Jill went into hiding. Evaded danger for the most part. When Jill had become compliant, he removed the P30 chest plate. Occasional injections were still required when she was… rebellious (self-injury, panic attacks, hallucinations, suicide attempt). He wrote that part in parenthesis. It aroused feelings of embarrassment in him.
He did not like empathy. It was so wasteful.
He wrote objectively. Scientifically. Clinically.
He did not write about how he felt.
He was to be a god. He did not consider that there would be no one to be a god to.
He was unhappy. More so than usual.
He had falsely imagined some would survive. Re-population would be difficult now.
He rolled the vial between his fingers, writing with the other hand. He set it upright. Stared at the label.
Novarel. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.
"As a last resort, I will begin the project with J.V." read the final line of the first entry.
"Mingled are they with that caitiff choir of the angels, who were not rebels, nor were faithful to God, but were for themselves.
The heavens chased them out in order to be not less beautiful,
nor doth the depth of Hell receive them, because the damned would have some glory from them."
- Canto III