Alfred stirred, his eyes opening to look around the darkened room. He hadn't even realized he'd fallen asleep, he'd been so tired. He pulled himself to his feet, and wondered distantly where Alexia had gone to. They'd been up most of the night, studying the ant(which was curled up in the cadge, sleeping like a dog), and the tracker that came with it. He supposed he'd pushed himself too far, stayed awake too long.

He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and wandered throughout the mansion, looking for his sister and Elena. He found the kitchen empty, as well as the bedrooms, the playroom, the living room, no matter where he looked he couldn't find the two. The Ashford quickly grew worried, all sorts of horrible explanations coming to mind. What if Wesker came back? What if Umbrella tried to break in? What if...

He shook his head, trying to dismiss these thoughts. The virus in Alexia's body made her powerful enough to fight just about any threat. But then, where were they?

As if in answer, the sound of breaking glass came from directly behind him. With a yelp, he turned to find one of Alexia's vines. It waved gently at him for a moment, then made an odd little motion. It took him a moment for him to realize that it was directing him down one of the corridors. He began to walk in that direction, stopping only when he saw it outside another window. He followed it, and when there was no window, it broke through the woodwork to direct him. Did Alexia not care for the state of their home anymore?

Soon enough he stood at the door to Nosferatu's room, just a few feet from the lab. He sighed in frustration, wishing he'd looked there first. He found his sister waiting for him, her arms folded, a frown crossing her features as she gazed at their father and Elena, both of whom were asleep. That was...odd. The creature hadn't slept in fifteen years, at least not that Alfred was aware of. According to the tests, it didn't even need to.

"I have a new theory." she announced in a hushed voice, "Alexander isn't just reminded of me when she's near. I do believe he thinks she is me."

"What?" he looked at her, lost. Wasn't it obvious who Alexia was?

"Remember, his mind has been destroyed by the virus. He has a flawed memory at best, and mostly lives in the moment. We've grown, Alfred. He no longer sees us as his children. However..."

"Elena looks like a little version of you."

'Exactly. I do believe we may use this to our advantage."

Alfred focused his attention back to the sleeping pair, "How?"

"He can protect her, of course. Dearest brother, I won't be here all the time much longer. I will get back into Umbrella one way or another. And if someone is trying to get to her, she'll need something that can fight for her."

"I can protect her."

"Yes, you did a fine job keeping the ant from harming her at all."

The words were spoken flatly, but they affected him as if she'd screamed at him. Again he was reminded of the fact that if the insect had been infected, Elena would be a zombie by then. He folded his arms over his chest, holding himself in a way. He was hurt that she had to point it out, but even more so because she was right. She was always right. He couldn't protect her as well as the other two could...he wasn't gifted with Veronica...

Alexia pressed her body against him, her arm wrapping around him and her hand resting at his waist, "You love her. That's enough. We simply need to keep her around so you may continue to do so, yes?"

"Yes, Alexia." he closed his eyes and leaned into her, taking comfort in how close she was.


As the four continued their moment in the basement, A soft buzzing approached one of the holes that the vines had caused. An ant, smaller than the captive one, entered the house. It was armed with a camera attachment, a metal cutting tool, and a small box.

It looked around slowly, before setting off carefully down the hall. It's wings twitched restlessly, knowing the danger this place presented to it. Still, it was for the greater good, the king and the queen. It's own life was small in comparison.

When it was sure they weren't in the next room, it took off, flying low to the ground. A soft beep only loud enough for it to hear sounded, letting it know it was getting close. Another beep, a different frequency, told it where the child was, but that wasn't it's target.

Finally it found the other ant, the caged queen. It landed near the glass container and chirped, the device on it's back turning on. It leaned on the glass, the screeching filling the air as it was cut. It's mother clicked excitedly, eager to get out.

And then it was suddenly lifted into the air. With a sound of panic, it squirmed frantically in the blond female's grasp. Static filled the air, and it stilled, listening to it's king's voice as he spoke with the black box.

"Stop. I mean no harm, I only want my pet back. Please."

The female tilted her head, and it could clearly see this had been unexpected, "What do you want with Elena Ashford?"

A long moment passed, as if the king was considering his answer, "I want to meet her." he finally said, "They don't want me to know she... she...ex-ist-ts..."

It was the woman's turn to give a long pause, "Who is this?"

"I don't know if I want to tell you."

"I don't know if I'll give you your ants back."

"Alex-and-der. Most people call me Alex."

"Alex?" a male whom the insect hadn't noticed before spoke up.

"You two are the originals, aren't you? They think you're both dead. They think your ap-pla-ca-tion is fake."

"Do they? Aren't they in for a shock, then?" the female.

"Are...are you in France? The site said-" the male.

"Yes. And you're in England. I got my pets there by- ah, he's coming, I gotta go. Feed the queen honey, feed the worker a mix of meat, any kind, and milk. Please, I don't want them to starve. I'll con-tact you again when I can."

"Hey, wait!" the make human said, but it was too late. The king had already turned the box off. The ant looked over at it's mother, then up at the female holding it.

"He's gone, brother." she said as she began to remove the devices the king had strapped to it's back. After a moment, it was pleasantly surprised to be put in the same cage as the queen.

It curled up next to her and looked out at the two, feeling a slight pang of loss. They weren't going home for a while, were they?