Struggle at Northern Command

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This was written for fun.

"Watson? Watson do you read? This is Captain Parker!" Captain Rachel Parker of British Intelligence paused for a few moments, radio in hand. No response came and she let out a frustrated sigh. She had been trying to get in touch with the soldiers at Northern Command since they left the conversion center in Grimsby. That was more than an hour ago, and no one had answered any of her radio messages. The atmosphere in the VTOL tensed up even more as Hale, Parker, and the soldiers accompanying them started to fear the worst.

The VTOL landed at the gate to Northern Command, and everyone filed out with uneasy looks on their faces, guns at the ready. Parker pulled out her M5A2 Carbine, while Hale got his Bullseye at the ready.

"Bloody hell...don't tell me the goddamn Chimera got here too..." one of the soldiers muttered. They moved further into the tunnel like entrance, eyes looking about warily. The place was usually bustling with life and activity...seeing the area quiet and bare set them on edge.

What was even more unnerving was the dark lump on the floor about ten feet away. Everyone's eyes simultaneously shifted over to it, the atmosphere almost crackling with tension, their footsteps heavy. When they were five steps away from it, Parker drew in a quick breath.

It was Watson, the head of the Northern Command...the one whom she had been trying to contact. Sticky blood fanned out from beneath his limp body, his skin pale and waxy, the radio a few feet away long forgotten. The entire front of his chest was peppered with bullets and his mouth was set in a grimace of fear and surprise.

They stood there staring at the lifeless Watson for several minutes when suddenly the ground began to shake. It was a light vibration that quickly intensified, accompanied by a deafening rumble, the walls swaying, dust and cement falling from the ceiling like rain signifying an impending doom. The soldiers gave out cries of surprise as they tried to stand their ground, hoping that the spot they were standing in wasn't one of the unlucky ones, the helmets on their head suddenly feeling as protective as though they were made of paper.

Hale looked up at the unsteady ceiling above them, and quickly pulled Parker towards him as a deafening crash rocked the structure. She stumbled against him, turning to look at the spot behind her. A towering pile of rubble was now piled on the spot where Parker had been standing only seconds before.

"Thanks," the young British captain gasped as she coughed up dust and blinked rapidly to help adjust her eyes to the sudden darkness. Inwardly Parker realized that this was the second time he had saved her. The first time was when they had first met at one of the Chimeran Conversion Centers. He had shot the control console from the outside under her instruction and prevented her infection by the Chimeran Crawlers.

Hale merely nodded in response and began looking around quickly to see how many soldiers had survived the cave-in. There had been fourteen when they arrived...and there were only eight of them standing before him now, all rummaging through their equipment for flashlights. He was about to conclude the worst about the other six when he heard voices coming from the other side of the rubble.

"Hey! Everyone all right over there?"

"Yes we're fine," Parker called back. "What's your status?"

"Yeah, we're alive, Connors is just a bit scratched up. He'll be fine though, nothing that a first aid kit can't fix." The soldier stopped to catch his breath. "What are your orders Captain?"

Parker paused for a minute, thinking. "We'll take care of it from here. Call up the VTOL and head for Southern Command. We'll radio once we're through here."

"All right Captain. Best of luck to you and the Yank."

Parker looked over at Hale, pleased to see that the "Yank" comment didn't bother him. Despite her constant reminders about calling him Hale, that was the one and only order her soldiers did not listen to, preferring to turn a deaf ear instead.

"Orders, Captain?" a particularly tall and thin soldier standing nearby asked her, surveying the area with cautious eyes.

"We head for the map room. I need to show Hale everything we know about the Chimera."

"All right, here are the charts that explain the progression of the virus in humans. In all the cases we've studied so far, there's been no such thing as a human resistance-"

Parker was interrupted by Hale's sudden grunts of pain. She whirled around in alarm, seeing him sink to the floor, hands clutching his head. He was shuddering and shaking his head violently, sweat breaking out and running down the back of his neck.

"C-Captain, l-look out!" one of her soldiers stuttered.

"Hale?" Parker said tentatively. No...please don't let it be... Suddenly Hale turned around, eyes flashing yellow, the Bullseye in his hands. He fired, letting loose circular orange pellets in the British Captain's direction. Parker dove to the floor and rolled over to a stack of metal crates. One of the Bullseye bullets caught her on her right calf, sending a searing pain up and down her leg. Wincing, she reached for her Carbine, ignoring the smell of her freshly burned flesh.

The soldiers seemed stunned at the spectacle they had just seen and only now did they react. One by one they all dove out of the way as Hale relentlessly fired at all of them.

"Back up everyone, take cover, and hold your fire! The Angel is controlling him!" Parker commanded her soldiers, yelling over the noise of the Bullseye bullets clanging on metal desks, chairs, and crates. For a moment, they seemed to not hear her and started getting out ammunition clips and aiming their guns at Hale. One of them shot a round of bullets into Hale's shoulder. He paid his wounds no attention and continued his assault. They were about to fire all together when Parker stopped them. "No! Did you all not hear what I just said? His health regeneration is limited, if you all shoot at once, you'll kill him!"

"Bloody hell Captain! He'll kill us all!" one of the soldiers shouted, dodging a stream of Bullseye bullets from Hale that almost ripped through his right shoulder.

"I said don't shoot! He's the only hope we've got, let me handle it! Take cover!" Parker ordered angrily, and shoved a new clip into her gun. She had to aim perfectly or else all would be lost. If Hale died, their chances of defeating the Chimera would be slimmer than they already were. They were very close to reaching "impossible"...what would be lower than that? Taking a deep breath at the same time summoning her concentration, she stepped out from behind the file cabinet, dropped to a crouch, and aimed at Hale's hand all in one fluid motion with her Carbine. Sorry about this Hale, but you'll thank me later for it. She shot two shots into each of his hands, the Bullseye flying out of his grip and back behind him. His blood painted a grisly picture against the map of Russia against the wall. Hale gave an animal-like growl of rage and quickly reached for his Carbine, hardly giving his injured hands a glance.

"Hale fight against it! Force the Angel out of your mind!" Parker called to him desperately. He aimed his gun at her, and she thought she saw him hesitate, if not only slightly. The flashing in his eyes seemed to dull and go back to normal, but it came back as quickly as though it never happened. She threw herself behind a desk, narrowly missing a heavy flow of Carbine bullets.

"It's me, Parker! Snap out of it!"

Parker tried to steady her breathing, resting her head against the desk, mentally preparing herself for the next shot when suddenly she heard one of her men shout for her to move. At that exact moment she felt the desk behind her explode and an extraordinary amount of heat engulf her back. She quickly crawled through the bits of flying splintered wood, all the while ignoring the singed smell of her jacket and headed for a set of metal file cabinets.

Parker heard one of her soldiers fire a few bullets in the general direction of Hale, trying to draw his attention away from his captain. She quickly readied her gun drew in a breath, and stood up quickly, thankful for the quick thinking of whoever that soldier was. Hale's back was towards her returning fire in the direction of the soldier who had diverted his attention. Parker sidestepped swiftly until she had a clear shot of his hands, exhaling as she fired. The Carbine flew out of Hale's hands and settled a safe distance away. He dropped to the ground cradling his head, his mangled hands obviously not the source of this sudden bout of pain.

The British captain slowly walked towards him, her Carbine still cautiously aimed at him. Her soldiers watched her nervously, their fingers at the ready on their triggers. Parker circled Hale until she stood directly in front of him. He stopped shaking and slowly lowered his hands, looking up at Parker. The flashing in his eyes was gone.

"Apologies, Captain," Hale said gruffly as he picked himself up off the floor.

Parker collapsed onto the nearest chair, an expression of sheer relief evident on her face. "Welcome back Hale." She watched Hale as he examined his hands. He felt her eyes on him, looked up at her and held his injured hands up. "Nice shooting." There was no anger or even sarcasm there, just truth, and she thought she saw a glimmer of thankfulness in those oddly colored eyes. No doubt he was grateful that she was able to find a way to effectively disable him while he was trying to throw off the Angel's control.

The soldiers were still shamelessly observing him, not bothering to hide their apprehension.

"Thanks. You too," Parker said, holding up her own injured hand. "Oh and here," she added, throwing the canister of Sym-Bac serum at him. Hale caught it and promptly pulled up the sleeve of his uniform, injecting the yellow liquid into his left forearm. There was a series of faint metallic sounds as bullets emerged from Hale's rapidly healing wounds. Parker quickly moved about what was left of the room, picking up various stacks of folders, papers, and rolled up maps.

"All right, we move out." There was no need for Parker to tell them where they were going now. Everyone knew that they needed to find and kill the Angel, and quickly, before it could demonstrate any more of its mysterious abilities.

Author's Note:

Hope you guys enjoyed this. This was just a simple little one shot that I've been working on since the first game, and only now did I go back and finish it. I thought it would've been more interesting if Parker had gone along with Hale, just like how in the second game you have your men following you. It's been awhile since I've written creatively (college is seriously cramping my abilities) so it was nice to return to this after so long. You will see more of me, especially once Resistance 3 comes out!