Disclaimer: Heroes ain't mine . . . Resident Evil ain't mine . . . Claire and Sylar and all other Heroes characters ain't mine. I'm going to mention one OC in this chapter, also, expect some OCs to come by; one of 'em's dead but I'll still mention 'em once in a while, in the future . . . Also, I made up the name of one canon character, 'cos said character's name wasn't mentioned in canon. And that's it.

A/N: So I changed the Heroes timeline from a few months after BNW to a year and a month after BNW, in which Claire is finishing her first year in her new college in New York. Also, watch out for canon characters in this chapter as well. By the way, if there are any grammatical errors, please tell me, 'cos I didn't have enough time to proofread this. Okay, I'm gonna stop babbling now.

ROLL CHAPTER 1!

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Chapter 1:

It's Just the Beginning

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It was a cool night at eight o' clock. Most people would love the breeze passing through, but one person wasn't so happy. Carmen had been sitting impatiently yet silently in her seat as she kept glaring at the car in front of her. Stupid traffic.

Had she not had her helmet on, passersby would have gawked at her to see such a young girl riding a big, black-and-red Harley. She had pushed down the black face shield on her helmet to hide her eyes that continuously dart around in search of any signs (hey, you never know, they might've already gotten there). It felt like another eternity, which was actually just a mere two minutes, had passed before the traffic started moving again. Immediately, she drove off to the nearest deserted freeway she could find and let the speedometer reach up to 80mph.

She pictured a trail of fire on the road as she tore through the road and smiled at the mental image. She glanced down at the phone she had strapped tightly and securely beside the speedometer. "You there?" she screamed through the deafening air that passed as she drove on, her words slightly muffled through the helmet she wore.

"Yes," an English-accented voice of a little girl came through the device.

"Any nearby hotels or motels or whatever?" she screamed to it.

The device was silent for a few moments, then the young girl's voice said, "There is a motel just a kilometer away. You've got a straight road ahead of you. In a few minutes, if you maintain your current speed, you will arrive there."

Carmen nodded. "Alright. Thanks."

The device fell silent at once and Carmen continued driving, maintaining speed. Within moments, as estimated, she had reached the motel. After checking in she went in the room in front of where she had parked her bike and surveyed the motel room. She'd never really been in one before, so, like the ignorant person that she is, she looked up at the ceiling first (One dim fluorescent lamp in the midst of cracks, she noted), then all around her (Peeling wallpaper, asingle bed, a small bedside table with an alarm clock and lamp, a simple armchair, and a bathroom). Sighing, she closed the door behind her and walked to the end of the bed before letting herself fall back-first upon it, immediately noting how lumpy it was but oh well, as she stared through the darkness and up at the cracks on the ceiling.

She tried to sleep moments later, curled up into a ball as she hugged her knees tightly to her chest, her short black hair splayed on the pillow with the longer strands and dyed-blue side fringe in front covering her face, with only her t-shirt and jeans from that day, plus the scratchy motel blanket, to protect her from the cold night breeze drifting underneath the door.

She had too many thoughts swirling inside her head to be able to sleep well. She just had a little too much to take in that day.

She sighed and sat up. She had unstrapped her phone from her bike earlier, and now she picked it up from the bedside table. "You there?" she whispered to it, not wanting to disturb the quiet of the night.

"Are you going to ask me that each time you request something from me?" the English voice came through softly from the device.

Carmen felt a smirk on her lips. "Yeah."

The English voice sighed. "What do you wish for me to tell you, Carmen?"

"I need to know what's happening with the T-virus in Raccoon City," Carmen told the device. "Has it leaked?"

The voice was silent, checking its resources. Its reply came a few seconds later, "Yes. Some have already escaped from the city gates."

Carmen sighed. "Guess it's time, then." She paused. "What's your estimation?"

The device was silent again, before it gave its guess, "In a few days—a week at most."

"I only have that long before it reaches here?" she asked, assessing everything. "Fair enough."

"Get some sleep, Carmen. You're going to need it."

Carmen nodded and put the device down on the table before lying down again. "Thank you, Queenie," she whispered to her phone before closing her eyes and willing her thought-crammed mind to empty itself.

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Oh dear Lord, dear God, youcannotbe this cruel to me, Claire thought to herself as she stood stock-still and wide-eyed in front of her uncle's apartment door. My finals this week are just a frick'n slap in the face compared tothistorture!

Claire should have expected it, but she hadn't. She gaped at him in shock.

He only raised an eyebrow at her in amusement, "Hi."

Shock immediately switched to anger. "What are you doing here?" Sure, after that supposed incident inside his head, he and Peter had become immediate, intimate friends, but really, why was he in Peter's apartment?

Sylar wasn't able to answer, for Peter had arrived from behind his shoulder. He grinned at his niece. "Hey, Claire."

She smiled back at her uncle, "Hey, Peter."

Peter invited her in, and once they were in the kitchen, she opened her mouth to ask something, but Peter asked first, "Coffee?"

"Um . . . sure."

"Cream or sugar?" he asked as he poured some of the said liquid in a cup.

"Cream." Claire sat down and Peter passed her the coffee cup. "Thanks."

"No problem," he smiled at her before sitting down and taking a sip of his coffee. "I guess you're wondering why Gabe's here, huh?"

Claire frowned. "Who?"

"Gabriel," Peter repeated.

"Me," Sylar clarified.

Claire frowned at him from across the island.

"My real name's Gabriel, unless you haven't gotten that," Sylar told her.

"How ironic," she mumbled, rolling her eyes, and sipping her coffee. "Well, what ishe doing here?"

"Visiting," Peter said. "His apartment's just a block away, but he just wanted to see how I was doing."

"Nothing else?" she asked doubtfully.

"Don't worry, Claire, Pete here's about to propose to a certain someone, so we wouldn't be jumping into the sack. And anyway, we're not gay or anything, aren't we, Pete?" Sylar deadpanned.

Peter blushed and started babbling in defense, "I'm not about toproposeto her yet, Gabe. I'm just gonna . . . hint to her that I'm going to, which means I'm gonna give her some space, um, you know, to—"

"Think of her answer?" Sylar scoffed. "Yeah. Riiiight. Like I said, you're still going to propose to her. And I'm sure Em's gonna give you an immediate 'yes' once you get up the courage to ask. What are you so scared about?"

Peter was silent.

"You're scared that she'll reject you, aren't you?"

Peter didn't answer.

Sylar sighed and, like an older brother would do, he patted Peter's back. "Pete, you don't have to be scared about that. She's crazy about you!"

"Who is?" a small voice came from the doorway.

Peter immediately jumped out of his seat, "Emma, hey!" and went around the table to hug her.

Claire turned around in her seat to see the blond woman her uncle had been dating for almost four years.

Emma returned Peter's hug and said with a chuckle, "Miss me so much, Peter?"

"Mm-hm, definitely," Peter answered with a smile as he held her at arm's length, then leaned forward and kissed her.

Claire blushed but smiled at the affectionate exchange, and then Sylar cleared his throat.

"So, um, I better get going, Pete," Sylar drained his cup and stood.

Emma immediately pulled away and started to protest, "Oh, Gabriel, you don't have to leave just because of me."

"Don't worry, Em," Sylar smiled at her, "I just have to get to work—my shift starts in half an hour."

"Oh, right. Catch you later then, Gabe," Peter said.

"You too, Pete." Sylar clapped Peter on the back, squeezed Emma's shoulder—receiving a hug from the said blonde in response—and smiled almost shyly at Claire before exiting the apartment.

"I, uh, I better go too. I've got my finals this week. I just, uh, wanted to drop by and say hi." Claire smiled at them and stood, giving Peter a peck on the cheek and a hug to Emma before leaving the two lovebirds alone.

Once they heard the door close, Peter immediately started rambling on a new movie he bought from the video store last night.

Emma sat on the couch in front of the TV while she waited for Peter to turn it on and insert the disk. "Your shift starts in two hours, right?"

"Yep. And so does yours. Plenty of time to snuggle up and watch some rom-com," Peter told her with a grin as he played the disk and sat down beside Emma, who immediately put her feet beneath her and leaned in to him as he encircled his arm securely around her.

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Claire found him silently walking down the hallway when she closed the door. She strode after him, making her presence known by the slight squeaking of her rubber shoes. He stopped in front of the staircase to let her catch up with him. Once she was beside him, she asked with a scowl, "What were you doing here?"

"Visiting. Weren't you listening?" He raised an eyebrow at her.

"Yes, I heard, but, seriously, what? Are you just getting friendly with Peter because you still want his power or something?"

Sylar shook his head. "It's been almost four years, Claire, and instead of killing people, I've been helping them, giving them a second chance in life. Isn't that proof enough for you that I've changed?" The look in his eyes could only be sad and pleading, but she wasn't buying it.

She crossed her arms in front of her and inquired, "And you think that, by doing all that, what do you think you'll get?"

He shrugged. "A new life, I guess. Maybe even your forgiveness?"

"I will never forgive you, Sylar."

"Gabriel," he corrected.

She shook her head. "I will never call you that. It's too paradoxical. You're not an angel, Sylar. You can't just change and ask for forgiveness for all the horrible things you've done in the past. Even if it's been almost four years."

"But I can try, can't I?" he asked, raising his eyebrows, the emotion in his eyes intensifying.

She glared at him. "You can. But you can't gain my forgiveness in the process." She started down the steps, uncrossing her arms to clutch her bag's strap tightly.

"Well, what can I do to gain your forgiveness, then?" Sylar asked, going after her.

"Nothing. I'll just keep trying to kill you until I succeed," she answered, giving him one last glare before closing the apartment complex's door in his face.

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Gretchen was both scared and surprised. She was just riding her bicycle to the bus stop to go back to her school's dorm. One moment later, something jumped at her from behind, a blood-curdling screech emanating from it as it grabbed her and bit her neck. She screamed and pushed the thing off her.

The thing was apparently a woman with pale, bluish skin; dead-looking eyes; unkempt brown hair; ragged clothes; and blood-stained teeth. Gretchen raised her fingers to her neck and drew them to eye-level. That had been one deepbite.

"Agh," Gretchen groaned, the pain in her neck just starting to sink in.

The woman charged at her again. When Gretchen raised her arms to defend herself, the woman bit her forearm. Gretchen shrieked and tried to shove the woman off her, but the woman sunk her teeth into her arm, eliciting another scream from Gretchen.

The younger woman finally succeeded in getting the pale-blue one off her and cradled her wounded arm. When the woman attempted to attack again, Gretchen prayed to the Lord Almighty for someone—anyone—to help her.

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Carmen didn't expect this. No, she didn't expect this at all.

But it was right there in front of her.

An infected woman had just been pushed off by her female prey. Said victim already had bite-wounds on her neck and right forearm.

This is bad, Carmen thought to herself. This is very,verybad! It's toosoon!

She swung her legs off her bike, drew her pistol from its holster, and fired once at the infected woman's back to get her attention.

The shot rang through the deserted road, and the victim shrieked.

The woman staggered a few steps sideways, then looked behind her and, upon seeing Carmen, advanced.

Carmen shot at the woman's forehead, immediately killing her.

The infected woman fell forward, lifeless, but Carmen shot her at the back of the head too for good measure.

She calmly replaced her gun into its holster at her hip and looked at the victim, whose eyes were wide with fear and shock, both brown pools directed at her.

Carmen smiled at her and squatted in front of her as she held out her hand and said sweetly, "Hi. I'm Carmen. You?"

Gretchen blinked and shook hands, "Gretchen."

Carmen smiled wider. "Hi. Here," she pulled Gretchen up by the hand. "Were you going somewhere?"

"Um, yeah. My school's dormitory."

"Okay. Let's go there then, shall we?" Carmen kept smiling sweetly and innocently and grabbed Gretchen's duffel bag as she led Gretchen to her motorcycle.

"Here, let me drive," Gretchen offered.

"No, no, it's fine. You should really rest," Carmen assured as she sat Gretchen and her bag down then straddled the front seat of her bike, positioning her bags safely behind her on the bike.

Gretchen frowned at her. "Aren't you a little too young to drive?"

Carmen put on her helmet, then gave Gretchen a similar one as she answered, "Nah, not really. And anyway, I already have a license."

"You do?" Gretchen said in incredulous surprise. "Excuse me for asking, but how old are you?"

"Fifteen. Hang on!" And she drove off, passing the discarded bike and pushing 80 miles an hour again, this time towards the city.

I hope there wouldn't be any witnesses. It's too early! Carmen thought worriedly.

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A/N: Yeah, I'm not really happy with this chapter. :( Oh well. I had to put up something just to get the plot moving. /shrug/ Review please and tell me what you think about this chapter! I take constructive criticism!