Rocky walked carefully around the corner of the dimmly lit hall. He held his hand out in order to stop his younger brother from swirving around the corner like a mad-truck. For the past few trips through any of these downstairs halls, Rocky's been hearing a lot of commotion lurking beyond the mansion walls. A restless sort of lurking that would easily spell trouble if the restless got in. A few undead men here and there are nothing compared to an entire army of restless and hungry monsters. Aside from the lightning reflecting on trees casting creepy shadows on the walls from outside, the hall is clear.
"But there're two doors.." Tum tum answered an unasked question. "Which way do we go?"
"The closest first." Rocky made the decision easily. "You open the door, and I'll cover you." He says to Tum tum; grip strengthening around his survival knife, he waits for the room to be opened before him.
Tum waited until he was sure his brother wouldn't be rushed by anything exiting the room once he opens the door, then he turned the knob and backed away, bringing the door open with him. "Is it too horrible? Do you need back up?" He asked coming from around the door. Seeing that Rocky just waltzed into the room, he let his guard down and followed in after him. "Cool! Another shotgun!" He called out. Snatching the gun up, he frowns and puts it back down. "Its all rusted up and bent." He wipes his hands.
Rocky had an expression on his face that said something along the lines of: Which is exactly why I didn't warn you about being careful with it. "It must be a storage room." He comments to himself.
Its dusty, and filled with broken things: the shotgun, an old warn out desk, and a china cabinet missing the glass panes and a drawer. Tum tum was starting to get an idea about what to do with the rusty old thing while Rocky cased a tank of kerocine. Rocky was sure they needed some more since they've already wasted what was in the tiny flask.
"Tum, can you hold this canteen for me?" He hands the little silver square to his brother, who sets down the old gun. Kneeling, he removes a skinny hose from beside the tank and shoves one end into the flask, the other into the tank. Syphoning the liquid out, Rocky watches the small flask fill with the brown liquid. "That should do it. Thanks." He takes the canteen back from his brother.
"Should we explore some more?" Tum tum asks. "We've finally got a new key, Dad could be locked up somewhere behind one of these doors."
"I know. We look around the next hall, then we head back." Rocky states. Removing the map, he follows the trail they've just taken then. "This hall has three rooms in it. That should be enough searching for right now."
"Okay." Standing from his kneel, he brushes a hand down his wrinkled up jeans to free his knees from having the pant all bunched up around them. Spotting a notebook on top of the broken desk, Tum tum lifts it, turning its cover to the middle of the book. It seemed whomever was taking notes never got to finish because his words are cut off. "Listen to this, the workers must have lived here in the house. This guy sounds like one of them."
Rocky took the book from his little brother then began to read it out-loud. "My work is finally done in the lab..."
I worked for seven hours straight today! I'm gonna need something to eat. I hope the others restocked the fridge. Its hard getting a good meal around here when everyone is so work driven.
I ate a turkey sandwich after work down in the kitchen. I watched from the corner of my eye as Frank Jensen paced the room muttering to himself; clutching his stomach with his forearm. He had a picture of his wife Eileen in his hand. I wonder what he's so upset about. He's mumbling in such a way it sounds as if he's suffering of a stutter. Weird. Not the first time anyone around here has been acting strangely either... Last weekend Benard was raving like a lunatic about how he wasn't going to tend to the dogs anymore. Those damned things are giving everyone problems, they've... well, to put it mildly, they've stopped listening to us. One even bit me, but it was just a little nick. I have to go back to the lab and tend to the monkeys later. So boring. The only interesting thing I can do down there is watch them throw poop at each other... although, I've never seen grey poop before. Like I said, its weird around here.
What the hell just happened down there! I saw Tino, the monkey laying on the floor and I... I was practically mauled by the others! They weren't throwing poop... They were throwing Tino's brain. He's been dead for weeks.. how did they? When did they? Oh God... my body hurts so much!
A smear of blood was all that remained on the paper...
"I wanna say he got what he deserved but..." Tum tum shook his head.
He supposed it wasn't the workers fault he was hired to do these things. Although, he could have said no once he found out about what was going on. If he'd found out. Do any of the people working here know what's happened to them? Do they see weird things going on and just write it off. It seemed that way with how he just watched this other guy muttering as he paced the kitchen. Tum tum rubbed his arm to get the frightened chill from it.
"We better get moving." Rocky suggests.
The two exit the room and head over to the door at their right. Rocky stuck the key into the lock and with luck it turned.
Smiling, the older ninja says. "We're in."
"I'll cover you."
Covered as he was, Rocky is still poised to take care of most of the battling. He can't have his youngest brother getting hurt. He's still kicking himself that Colt got hurt. He hopes he's all right, and can recover quickly. That Rebecca seemed to know her stuff. But still, he's gonna worry until Colt is back on his feet.
"Is it clear?" Tum tum whispers.
"Looks that way..." Rocky waited for his brother to enter then quietly closed the door after them. "I can hear rustling around though. So we'd better be more careful."
Tum Tum nods his reply.
The hall lit up before their eyes as a flash of lightning staggered through the sky outside. Rocky flicked at the light switch he pawed for beside the door, but only a small light came on a short ways down the hall at the right of opening the door. Another light is on even farther down the hall passed the windows.
"There's a candle thingy." Tum tum whispers to point out a candelabra sitting atop a fancy cabinet that reminded the young boy of a dresser without any drawers. "Do you have a match?"
Rocky looked at his brother as if he were an alien. "Just forget it. We can see well enough with the light coming in from the window."
Which was a lie, but Rocky was trying to keep his nerves steady. Ever since he got bit by that dog he's felt jittery and edgy. Its like his skin is crawling to get away from his insides. He can't tell his brother's about it, they'd only think he's weak or that they have to protect him and that's the last thing he wants is to put more pressure on them to rush into battle on his behalf. Scratching his arm, he looks left then right. "Let's go down this way instead." Rocky points to the right.
He doesn't like the way the rain is tapping at the window glass. It sounds so... alive. No real rhythmless rhythm to it. Just a dull steady tapping. Tum tum gave his brother a side long glance, but doesn't question his changed mind, and instead follows him down the hall to where the tiny light is illuminating.
"Three doors, should we go inside?" Tum asked reaching for the door knob of the tiny little hole in the wall where the light was coming from. He figured that it was a linen closest. That's what his mother would have used it for, but when he opened it he was very surprised by what he saw, and it showed on his face enough to bring Rocky from looking over the map.
"What's in there?"
"For a minute I thought that it was real, look." He pushes the door open a lot wider.
A small room is revealed, its similar to a ticket booth at a theater only the ticker seller is boxed in not only by the booth itself but the tiny room built around it. Inside is a large white tiger head. Rocky and Tum Tum enter the room to get a better look.
"Bet this cost more than all three of our lives put together." Tum tum mused. "Do you think its weird that Umbrella would have workers living in a place this nice?"
"Maybe they're faking it. You know; give people a nice living space and you can handle them however you want later."
"What's terrible is that Emily is taking those dieting pills... what if something happens to her? What if she gets sick?"
"I know. Wish we could call home or something... but we're trapped here- we can't go outside." He leans a hand on the podium where the tiger's head rest. "This is the worst summer ever."
Rocky hated to say it out loud, but he completely agreed with his little brother on that statement. But then again, it could be a good thing that they stumbled upon this place, they could save a lot of lives if they can get out of here and tell everyone what they know. The police wouldn't listen to them, but they'd listen to their dad.
"We should-.." Rocky started to say, but got cut off.
"What do you think this means?" Asks Tum Tum pointing to the plaque. "Some tigers have blue and some have gold." He reads.
"Not sure, but this one doesn't have any." Rocky noticed. "Let's get moving. I don't wanna leave Colt and Rebecca for too long."
Heading out of the room, the two walk down the hall to the farthest door. Rocky turned the lock then slowly pushed it open. He recognized the hall easily. Its the hall passed the dining room. Its better to leave it unlocked, Rocky decided. They could be fleeing something and need a quick exit. It would be bad if this door were it and it was locked off. He gave Tum tum a scolding look when, upon backing up, he bumped into the male. The younger boy shrugged an apology, then turned to the next door.
"This one's open." He says to his brother. Turning the knob, he froze after a few steps inside. "A zo-..." He points.
Rocky moved to the front of their small line to abserve. He looked over as his brother threw him a panicked questioning look. Rocky shook his head because he wasn't sure if the large male on the floor is undead or actually dead. There's a large puddle of blood beneath his body and as far as they can tell he's laying perfectly still.
Rocky's dual colored eyes scan around the room. Its literally a bedroom: a twin bed sits right beside the door; the blanket has spats of blood on and, from the way the cover is tugged away a bit, so does the sheet. There's a suitcase half packed from where someone, maybe even the man currently on the floor looked as though he were packing to leave. Smart decision. Too bad he'd made it too late. Past the bed is a small desk filled with a scatter of papers, directly across from that is a closet with slatted doors.
"We can go over the bed, just incase." Rocky says in a soft tone.
Nodding, Tum tum urgently crosses over the bed to the other side of the room where its safe, Rocky does the same. There panicked movement caught the attention of the man on the floor, who's movement went unnoticed since he was laying face down in his past kill, lapping gently at the blood spilled all around him. The puddle bubbled where his breath quietly wheezed from his throat at the smell of something new.
"This is a diary," Rocky inspects.
"They sure keep a lot of 'em around here. Must of been the only thing keeping them sane, huh Rock'?"
Rocky didn't answer, too busy reading through the pages. "This might tell us where the lab is. Then we can find Dad and get out of here."
"What's it say?" He holds onto his brother's arm to look over into the booklet.
This whole thing is just getting weirder and weirder. Its like the more people head down into the lab, the stranger their behavior is when they return. Martin went down there yesterday and since then the fuckers' been standing outside of my door- just standing! Never wanting anything, or saying anything... its eerie.
Me and some of the other guys were playing poker one night in Jackson's room. It was a pretty great time, we were looking at some magazines and smoking- we're not allowed to drink in this house- Eric thinks that's part of the reason some of the guys have been acting so strangely. Being liqour free tends to bring out the worst in people. I hope that's the case... someone from BL3 said there was a small leak somewhere and they haven't found it just yet. Do you know what untested chemicals can do to a person? I've seen chemical burns from guys who have been in the boiler room and they aren't pretty.
Martin was in my room today- how did he even get in!? I was sure the door had been locked, but then again it was a pretty long night of work. He said nothing to me, he just stood there with this dumb look on his face. I asked him what his deal was, if he wanted to take a trip into town for a drink or something and he lunged at me! We actually sat there in this... I don't know, shoving struggle!
He drooled in my mouth, he kept... I know this is gonna sound weird but, he kept trying to bite me! He managed to get in a good one too, on my left arm. It wouldn't have happened if I weren't momentarily distracted by yelling over the pain his fingernails were causing me by digging into my skin. I... I had to do it! I had to... to... dammit I snapped his neck! He hit the floor like a lump of meat.. and I... I shoved him out into the hall. This damn bite is pretty deep, I'd better get it checked out.
I must have done it wrong! I mean, I've never killed a man before so... naturally its normal that Martin got up, right? Right? He just keeps showing up at my damned door at night! Am I going crazy? Maybe he... maybe he isn't really there...
They still can't do anything for this bite on my arm, its... it almost looks like its infected. I don't know hwdfgiot to do anyfhwgig there are others outside of my door. I hear them banging and they... they have no expression, no life in their eyes. Its like they don't even know where they are, they just want in. I'm gonna hide in the closet.
"Weird... did he even notice he was doing that?" Tum tum asked when seeing the squiggles and scribbles on the page.
"I'm not sure... I think he might have been... infected." He hated saying it as much as he hated hearing it. Could one bite really turn a person as well?
I fall asleep and I my jaw gets slack... I went ten minutes unable to see anyfring. Wait... I need to. I'm so hungry and my arm smells so good- no dinner! Dinner smells good from where they kitchen it. Why does my head hurt?
So hungry. So hungry. Hungry. Hungry. Hungry and my flesh is so good. So good. So itchy too. So itchy and tasty. Itchy. Tasty. Itchy. Tasy...
Blood and ink ran from there, the diary ended.
"Rocky... the guy on the floor," Tum tum began. "we had a pretty good view of his arms, and they weren't bitten."
"You think that-.."
He didn't get to finish his statement as the closet doors slid open with a loud thwak! There was the bite on the arm! Full of maggots, and dripping with blood. Blood? He must not have been dead for very long if he can still bleed. Oh shit! His speed was impressive as he rushed forward.
"Tum tum!" Rocky called out.
But his little brother moved too late and is now down on the floor in a struggle. Rocky grabbed the undead man by his bloodied, thin scatters of hair and began to tug in order to jerk him off of the younger male. But he hadn't seen the man on the floor getting up, and he hadn't seen him coming over. But he was very aware when a grip as strong as a vice grabbed him by the shoulder. The man moaned horribly while leaning over to bite Rocky anywhere!
Back painfully slammed into the desk, Rocky struggles to keep the larger man from finding a place to bite down on him. A normal opponent of this size would be nothing to the ninja normally, but this man knows no relent, and his strength seems boundless! It was a struggle, with his hand being on the desk to keep him upright, and the other keeping his neck safe from being lunch, Rocky grunted as he struggled to push the man off.
"What was that?!" Rebecca asked standing up.
Colt heard the gun shots as well. His brother's must have run into some trouble. "Rocky and Tum tum must have run into some guys. Its so damned weird... have you ever seen anything like this?"
"Yeah... unfortunately me and my team B.R.A.V.O have encountered something very similar to this just a while ago..." Her brown gaze went heavy as the memory of what she and her team had gone through went flashing through her mind.
"What happened?" Colt asked.
"We were instructed to transport a very dangerous criminal to a safe prison in San Fransico, Billy Koen, but something happened onboard of the train. One minute we were riding along as normal, then some guy started screaming in one of the front cars. He was being bitten!"
Colt swallowed around a dry lump in his throat. How could it be happening somewhere else?
"The guy who did it was like... it was like he was in a trance. He even came at my captain to the point where he had to shoot the man. But the weird thing is... he'd gotten back up! He was shot several more times in the chest and they didn't even faze him... It wasn't until a shot hit him in the head that he stayed down. Billy slipped away from us during the commotion, the next stop was coming up and we couldn't allow him to get away so we all began to search the train for him. It was just weird how it happened... how everything was normal and then..." She shakes her head. Even now she still can't believe it. "But all the passangers who've been bitten, they died... we checked their pulses, but they got up again. They were like murderous zombies!"
Colt had to agree with that because that's exactly what they were. It wasn't enough that they died and came back, but they're murderous. Strong. They have no feelings towards what they're doing. No care. Just a lust for death. Death. Colt touched his thigh as if that could console the pain in his heel. It was feeling somewhat better but not by much. He needs to heal so he can help his brothers, find their father, and they can get the Hell out of dodge.
"I teamed up with Billy once I found him, I'd lost my entire team on that train. By the end of it, we had to abandon the train because it was teaming with zombies. Billy and I were the only ones to live. The train crashed some distance away, we don't know how it got off track."
'That must have been the loud boom we'd heard while camping!' Colt declared to himself.
"I let Billy escape, it turned out that he was innocent of his charges anyway. When we seperated... I caught up with a team assigned to check out this mansion, but we were chased from the forest by these rabid dogs and wound up in this mansion. We all sort of got lost from each other since entering. Some of us didn't even get out of the forest, the dogs ate them..." Her tone lowered to a whisper. "It was the most horrific thing I've ever known."
"Its fine. How did all of you end up here? Surely you're part of any military team or anything like that." She joked to lighten the mood.
"We were camping with our dad, he's gone missing like the rest of your team." He scoots himself back to sit up a bit more. "We've been looking for him since yesterday I think, hard to tell with all the crap on the windows."
Four shots fire off in the distance. "That sounded like it came from upstairs." Rebecca stands from her seat on the desk. "I'm gonna go check it out."
"Okay. Be careful."
"You too. Will you be alright if I leave you here? I'll be back in a moment."
"I'll be fine. Besides, someone has to watch your friend over there." Colt nods to Richard who's laying on the bed, recovering from the poison of the snake bite.
Very big ass snake bite. He hoped like anything that wherever the snake was is where it stayed. A few scattered deadmen all around is fine, but he can't deal with giant reptiles. How could anything even leave a bite like that? He thought that movie Anacanda was an exageration. Guess not.
"Thanks." Rebecca pulled his attention from doctoring the bedridden male. "I'll be back as soon as I can."
Nodding, Colt watches her leave. "Hang in there buddy." He says to Richard while shifting in his seat.
Tum Tum wasn't sure what possessed him to move, but he began scooting his heels against the floor which moved him beneath the bed. The hungry undead was so focused on biting him that he didn't even realize that he was being smashed into the metal framing, which was removing him from the young boy as he scooted away to safety beneath the bed and out of the other side. His ankle was grabbed but a few expertly placed kicks took care of that.
"Rocky!" He called out. Looking left then right, he leaps onto the bed jump kicking into the zombie attached to his brother.
The man slammed into the wall with a thud so heavy Tum tum was sure he'd go through the wall. But Rocky wasn't so lucky because the moment he was freed the man that had tried for Tum tum had him pinned to the wall with his arms stuck at his sides. Rocky shoved his leg into the wall and gave a good solid push with his foot, sending them both backward and onto the bed- as well as on top of Tum tum.
The pile up would have been commical if it weren't so frightening. Three men piled up on a bed and wriggling and shoving at one another to get free. Not to mention the man who'd been kicked into the wall found his barrings and has gotten back up. But Rocky got his barrings back as well.
"Tum, catch!" He chucks his survival knife up and over his shoulder.
Tum tum almost missed what was going on, but he caught the knife around its blade, being sure not to secure his grip until the handle is in his other hand. "Haa!" He cried out when his attacked hit its mark. He'd grabbed the man by the wisps of his hair, and shoved the knife directly up into his open mouth.
Blood squirted on anything within reach; Rocky clamped his mouth shut to keep the toxic red out of his system. The sound was digusting, something like a cow sucking its hoove from a huge mud patch, or someone with a really stuffed nose just decongesting, or one of those jars of seltzer water like you see on all the old gag shows. It was a hard nausious sounding spray. Bleh.
When the man's grip loosened around Rocky, the green ninja sprang up from the bed to address the recovering undead man who's extended arms almost reached out and grabbed him once again. He gave him a very powerful spinning kick knocking him clean into the closet where he emerged from.
"Come on, let's get out of here." He barks to his little brother while making for the door, hand held out to take Tum tum's to pull him along at the speed of someone with much longer legs.
The man in the closet was trapped in a swath of hung-up clothing, the clatter of clothes hangers rattled in their leave; monsterous groans accompany it. Rocky slammed the door closed, throwing caution of others overhearing the loud sound to the wind. He just wanted them out of harms way. Hopefully the man will go back to his unanimated restful state once he realizes they've gone. Not to mention there's the storm. The rumbles could be throwing off the hearing of any undead inhabitant in the area.
"Should we search the room down the hall or go back with Colt and Rebecca?"
"We have to check, Dad could be anywhere in here. He may even be camped out hurt. We have to try to put our fears aside and find him. He'd do the same for us." Rocky glanced at the door to the room where they'd just come from.
That man had been in the closet for some time hiding out from the other guy who'd kept coming to his room... What if anyone bitten changes. What if all the recovery herbs in the world don't make that any better? Rocky walked slowly down the hall, feeling the weight of his 'what ifs'. He was bitten pretty badly by that dog, and though he's on the mend, he can't deny that he's felt funny since. As if his senses and his nerves as being scraped with a fine edged razor. Now that he noticed, he's actually starting to sweat a little.
Wiping his forehead, he catches up to Tum tum, who was already rounding the corner.
"Aaa!" He yelled, slamming his back into the wall to protect himself from something that frightened him.
"What happened?" Rocky hurried to his brother's side, receiving an unanswered explanation.
A man all matters of tattered, his clothing from being attacked, his hair from having it ripped into at the scalp, even bits of his torso are missing, is just banging on the window at the sight of his own victims while in this personal Hell. The sight of the man had Rocky feeling even more itchy, and he unconsciously scratched his arm.
"I don't think he knows we're here. We'd better get moving though." He says to Tum tum.
The younger boy watched the man mindlessly pop himself into the large window for a moment more before following Rocky on ahead. The sound of water greeted them before they even opened the door. Does this lead outside? Rocky cracked the door open and spotted the reason for the bubbling water sounds.
"Its a water fountain." Rocky declares. Pushing the door open farther he walks in.
"Its an indoor green house... cool." Tum Tum looks around the room. "Look, one of those masks we need." He points to the back of the room.
There, past a slew of shelves housing more of Umbrella's plant life, the large fountain where a bunch of vines have overgrown inside of it, and a bunch of box plants that looked like they carry maybe ferns? Tum tum is no plant expert because much like with mysteries its more Rocky's forte. But back there sits another of the stone masks they planned to collect.
"Awesome. Dad's not here, but we at least got something out of this." Rocky says crossing the room.
It was that instant. Rocky moved around the boxed plant, and the plant in the fountain moved in for Rocky.
"Whoa!" He voiced when being snatched up around the ankle and jerked into the air.
"Rocky!" Tum tum called out. He watched in horror as his brother is swung around the room by his ankle. What can he do?! Looking around, he wonders how deep the main root is to the plant, maybe he can cut it.
Another vine shot out and grabbed the younger ninja around his torso giving him a constricting squeeze. Though shielding his face with his forearms, Rocky was no match for the force in which he is batted around the indoor green room, and is out cold when the plant hurls him into a shelf of plant grow powder and pottery.
"Rock...y.." Tum tum kicked his legs to fight the grip around him, but it did no good. Darkness peppered his vision and before he even knew that he was flying towards the back of the room he passed out.