Chapter 2

Reunion With Evil

I Drink Alone

By

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

I drink alone,

Yeah, yeah, with nobody else,

I drink alone,

Yeah, yeah, with nobody else,

Yeah, you know, when I drink alone,

I prefer to be by myself,

Every mornin' just before breakfast, I don't want no coffee or tea,

Just me and my good buddy Weiser, that's all I really need,

'Cause I drink alone,

Yeah, yeah, with nobody else,

Yeah you know when I drink alone,

I prefer to be by myself,

Yeah, the other night I lay sleeping, and I woke from a terrible dream,

So I called on my pal Jack Daniels, and his partner Jimmy Beam,

And we drank alone,

Yeah, yeah, with nobody else,

Yeah, you know when I drink alone,

I prefer to be by myself,

The other day I got invited to a party,

But I stayed home instead,

Just me and my pal Johnny Walker, and his brothers Black, and Red,

And we drank alone,

Yeah, yeah, with nobody else,

Yeah, you know when I drink alone,

I prefer to be by myself,

Yeah, my whole family done give up on me,

and it makes me feel oh, so bad,

The only one who will hang out with me,

Is my dear Old Grand-Dad,

And we drink alone,

Yeah, yeah, with nobody else,

Yeah, you know when I drink alone,

I prefer to be by myself,

Yeah, you know when I drink alone,

I PREFER TO BE BY MYSELF!

Ron had been caught unprepared for the sudden outbreak in this desolate stretch of the Nevada Desert, he had left his bag with all of his weapons in the cargo hold of the bus, and unfortunately, he would need to make some kind of run to them if he hoped to even stand a chance.

"Damn." He said in a harsh voice, kicking himself for his lack of forethought.

"What?" Bonnie asked, completely caught off guard by Ron's sudden outburst.

"All of my weapons, I left them on the bus." Ron explained.

"Like they're going to help us now." Bonnie replied, in a voice that had sarcasm dripping from every syllable.

"Yeah, they will . . . there's only two ways to kill these things, and blowing their brains out is one of them." Ron replied.

"What's the other?" Kim asked.

"Removing heads from shoulders." Ron replied.

"Both dangerous." Kim replied.

"But very effective, KP." Ron replied.

"So, what are you gonna do, Ron?" Tara asked.

"Only one thing to do." Ron replied, not meeting anyone's eyes.

"And that is?" Kim asked, almost knowing the answer.

"I make a run for the bus, and I get my weapons." Ron replied.

"How sure are you that they haven't gotten to the bus, and driven off with it by now?" Bonnie asked.

Ron rolled his eyes at this comment, and began to laugh derisively.

"These things have no idea how to drive, Bonnie . . . they lose all higher functions when they turn." Ron stated, snickering slightly, unable to help himself.

"Like I knew that, Stoppable." Bonnie stated, now turning her back on Ron, who was still chuckling slightly.

"I'll worry about them when the time comes . . . right now the weapons in the bus are our only chance to keep breathing." Ron replied, now walking up to the door.

"Oh, no you don't," Kim stated, grabbing Ron by the arm, "why has it got to be you, Ron?"

"I'm the only one that's dealt with these things, KP . . . I have more experience with these things than anyone else in this room." Ron replied, now turning to look at Kim, his expression stony.

"Alright . . . fine," Kim said, relenting, "but if you die out there . . ."

"You'll kill me, I know." Ron replied, finishing Kim's sentence.

"Got that right." Kim replied, now letting Ron out of the building.

Ron took off at full speed toward the bus, and got the cargo doors, flung them open just as he stopped in front of them, grabbed his duffel bag, and ran back to the front door, as he rounded the corner to the front door, he stopped short. A zombie had appeared at the front door.

"Okay . . . looks like the game is afoot." Ron replied, now reaching into the duffel bag, pulling out a Desert Eagle .50 caliber pistol, and loading it quickly, before pulling back on the slide, and disengaging the safety.

"Let's play, dude." Ron said, now pointing the miniature cannon at the zombie's head, taking careful aim, and squeezing the trigger.

The gun fired with an ear-splitting BANG! The resulting impact from the bullet caused the zombie's head to explode in a red mist, leaving little behind but destroyed bone, and brain matter.

"BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!" Ron yelled now running back inside, tugging the door closed, and latching the lock, before running away from the windows, and getting behind the counter of the diner they had run into before this had started.

"Everyone behind the counter, and keep your mouths shut." Ron stated, as everyone ran behind the counter, and got quiet.

"Oh, my God, we're gonna die . . . we're gonna die." Tara stated, her voice beginning to crack with panic.

"Press pause, T . . . you're not gonna die . . . not if I can help it." Ron replied, now looking over the top of the counter, and seeing zombies crashing through the windows.

"EVERYONE UPSTAIRS!" Ron bellowed in a commanding voice that Kim had never heard before.

Once upstairs, Ron looked around . . . they were in the truckers lounge . . . in the center of the room, was an LCD TV set that Ron would have killed to have, attached to a DVD system. As Ron looked closer, he noticed that there was a piece of paper attached to the DVD player.

"I wonder what this is all about?" Ron asked no one as he walked up, and took the note . . . it only said two words:

PUSH PLAY

"Okay, now I know we've been set up." Ron replied, now looking at the DVD player, starting it up, and pushing play. Quickly, the machine began playing the message that had been left.

"Good evening, Ronald," the man on the DVD stated, he had short brownish blonde hair, and his eyes were hidden behind black sunglasses . . . even his recorded image made Kim shiver as she studied him.

"Why am I not surprised." Ron stated, shaking his head, as he looked at the man's face in disgust.

"Perhaps you are wondering why I have gone to such elaborate lengths to lure you into my little trap? Simple . . . I plan to kill you." The man stated boldly.

"Easier said than done, Wesker." Ron replied, smiling slightly.

"Again, perhaps you are wondering how I plan to do it, since you seem to be like a cat with nine lives . . . again, it's rather simple . . . the fact that you have no cell reception in this area is not a coincidence, it is of my doing . . . there is a jamming signal in the air that renders cell phone usage void, but not GPS . . . thanks to your brown haired, green eyed little friend, I have been able to track you the entire time since you left Middleton." Wesker stated, smiling sadistically.

It didn't take Ron long to figure out who Wesker was referring to, as he began to stare daggers at Bonnie.

"Oh, don't blame her, it wasn't her fault, she had no idea that I had baited my trap so well." Wesker stated smugly.

"Ha, ha, ha . . . son-of-a-bitch." Ron stated on a chuckle.

"Then again, knowing you as I do, you did not come unprepared, but I still believe that you will not be able to get out alive without the help of Leon, or Claire." Wesker stated.

"That's what you think." Ron replied through gritted teeth.

"You are welcome to try, though . . . please, don't disappoint me, and die quickly." Wesker stated, before the DVD shut off.

"Cocky little son-of-a-bitch, ain't you?" Ron stated, staring daggers at the television, as though his vision alone would melt the screen.

"Who was that man, Ron?" Kim asked.

"Someone I never hoped I'd see again, Kim." Ron replied.

"What's his name?" Crystal asked.

"His name is Albert Wesker . . . and he is the ultimate reason that Raccoon City was wiped off the map." Ron replied.

"What do you mean?" Kim asked.

"He was a Captain with the Raccoon City Police Department . . . part of the S.T.A.R.S. team." Ron replied.

"S.T.A.R.S.?" Kim asked.

"Special Tactics And Rescue Squad, kind of like a S.W.A.T. team." Ron replied.

"And how is this his responsibility?" Bonnie asked.

"If he didn't destroy the original mansion lab in the Arklay Mountains last year, Raccoon City would still be around, and I wouldn't have lost a cousin in the process." Ron stated boldly. This was his first mention of his cousin, Reuben, since he had come home.

"So, the viral outbreak was started by that . . . but, he was a police captain, it's his job to protect and serve." Bonnie stated.

"He was . . . but he was also a plant by Umbrella . . . one of their agents. But he went rogue on them." Ron stated.

"Just how bad is he, Ron?" Kim asked.

"He would make anyone we have ever faced off against before look like your garden variety schoolyard bully, Kim." Ron replied.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call Shego a schoolyard bully to her face, Ron." Kim replied.

"Even Shego would give this guy a wide berth, KP . . . she may be many things, but she ain't a cold-blooded killer . . . Wesker is." Ron replied.

"So what do we do now?" Crystal asked.

"Simple . . . we fight our way out . . . anyone know how to use a gun, or a weapon of any kind?" Ron asked.

Tara, Crystal, Hope, and Kim all stood up at this question, and Ron began passing out weapons, finally handing Hope a large machete, before looking at the others.

"We're getting out of here . . . anyone without a weapon, stick close to someone that has one . . . the bus is in a garage in the back of the building, I'm going to replace the tires myself, and then, we're getting the hell out of dodge . . . but before that . . . I'm going to set this place to blow." Ron stated.

"You're gonna WHAT?" Kim asked.

"I'm gonna rig this place, so that it'll blow . . . we can't take the chance of any of those things getting away from here, and spreading the virus throughout the desert." Ron replied.

"Stoppable's right, K," Bonnie stated, now looking at Kim, "if this thing spreads, there'll be thousands, if not millions before nightfall tomorrow . . . we can't let that happen."

"Alright, lock, and load, ladies . . . it's time to go hunting." Ron stated, pulling back the hammer on the .50 caliber hand cannon in his right hand, before leading the charge down the stairs.

Within a few minutes, Ron had cleared a path forward to the garage the bus was in. It was a small windowless room in the back of the truckstop, where several large tires lined the walls. Ron began looking through the racks, and racks of tires, before stopping in front of four brand new tires that matched the size of the four slashed tires on the bus.

"Alright, everybody, keep your eyes open . . . time for me to get to work." He stated, hoisting the bus into the air, and getting to work, pulling the rims off in a matter of a couple of minutes, before mounting the new tires, balancing them, and feeding air into them, before mounting them back onto the bus, and lowering the hoist.

"Everybody in . . . Kim . . . pull the bus to the front of the building, I'll meet you all there, and keep the door closed until you see me." Ron replied, running out of the repair bay, and back into the main truckstop.

Ron was running around the building at a fever pitch, setting charges of C4 explosives along the foundations, before dropping small charges down each fuel tank outside. As Ron dropped the last charge, Kim came around the corner with the bus.

"Perfect timing, KP." Ron said to himself as he ran for the bus. He got to the bus, just as Kim opened the door, without slowing down. Ron jumped in, and got his feet in just as Kim closed the door.

"DROP THE HAMMER ON THIS THING!" Ron yelled, as Kim pressed her foot all the way to the floor, causing the bus to surge forward, and pick up speed, as they got back on the highway, Ron pushed the detonator in his hand, sending the building up in a huge fireball that sent flames 500 feet into the air.

"There's a little something in the air this morning, and they call it zombies." Ron stated, looking back at the destroyed truckstop.

"Alright, Bonnie . . . let me see your cell phone." Ron stated, holding out his hand.

Bonnie willingly gave up her cell phone to Ron, who opened the back up, and found what he was looking for, a high tech micro antenna.

"This is how he found us . . . it's a high tech micro antenna, the signal can be picked up by orbiting satellites that can pinpoint our exact location, that's how he was able to track us through Raccoon City." Ron stated, now looking through Bonnie's previous calls list.

"Oh, take a look at this? Who on Rockfort Island were you trying to get hold of?" Ron asked.

"Rockfort Island? No . . . that was Carson City." Bonnie stated.

"Wrong again, Bon-bon." Ron stated, dialing the number, only to hear Wesker's voice on the other end.

"Miss Rockwaller, I'm surprised to hear from you."

"No less than I am to hear your voice, Wesker." Ron replied.

"So, you did survive . . . perhaps I underestimated you, Stoppable." Wesker stated.

"Perhaps you did . . . have a nice day . . . Allie." Ron replied, causing a roar of rage from Wesker. Ron quickly turned the phone off, so they couldn't be tracked.

"All cell phones off until we reach Carson City." Ron stated, and the movement was in unison, as cell phones were turned off at once.

The rest of the journey to Carson City was uneventful . . . when they arrived at the arena, Ron slipped out of sight to make some rather important phone calls. Ron was not going to let Wesker ruin anything this time, this was the last straw for Ron, he was going to call out the big guns, and he was in no mood to play around.


After the National Finals:

The Upperton University cheer squad took second place to Michigan State this year, guaranteeing them a place in next year's competition, but during the entire routine, Ron was nowhere to be found, either in the bleachers, or on the arena floor, for that matter.

"Where's Ron?" Kim asked, looking around.

"Outside, probably, I overheard him saying that he was going to make some phone calls." Tara stated, heading for the dressing room.

Once out of the dressing room, it didn't take the cheer squad long to find Ron, surrounded by four people, a young woman, possibly in her 20's with her auburn hair tied back in a ponytail, a tall man, wearing black, with a brown bomber jacket, a somewhat older man, wearing a green shirt, and a pair of grey cargo pants, and a girl, no more than thirteen years old, with shoulder length blonde hair, and piercing blue eyes.

"Ron, over here." Kim called out. Ron turned, and walked to them, the four strangers in tow.

"Ladies . . . second place. Who beat you?" Ron asked.

"Michigan State." Kim stated.

"Well . . . they're a fairly good team to beat you guys, then." Ron stated, smiling slightly.

"Want to introduce us to your friends?" Crystal asked, staring at the man in black with a crushing expression.

"Not a problem, this is Claire Redfield," Ron stated, pointing to the woman, "Chris Redfield," he stated, pointing to the man in green, "Sherry Birkin," Ron stated, pointing to the girl, "And Leon Kennedy." Ron finished, pointing to the man in black.

"And just who are you guys?" Bonnie asked her snarky manner in place.

"She's a real charmer, isn't she?" Sherry asked, her eyes fixed onto Bonnie in a death glare.

"You got a big mouth, little girl." Bonnie stated, getting on Sherry's level.

"And I can back it up, too . . . would you like for me to prove it?" Sherry asked, standing eye-to-eye with Bonnie, and not flinching.

"Alright, Sherry . . . take it down a couple of notches." Leon stated, walking up, and laying a hand on the girl's shoulder.

"These are the other four known Raccoon City survivors." Ron stated, panning his hands to the group.

"The other four . . . why call them in?" Kim asked.

"After the truckstop, I felt we needed a little more firepower, KP." Ron replied.

"And what good are they going to be?" Bonnie asked, the snarky manner still in place.

"You got two cops, the sister of a cop, and a brilliant scientist all in one shot here, need I say more?" Ron asked.

"Who's the scientist?" Kim asked.

"I am." Sherry replied.

"You . . . you don't even look like you're out of Junior High yet." Tara commented, noting the young girl's age.

"Under normal circumstances, I would be . . . but I did something only one other person has been known to do." Sherry replied.

"And what might that be?" Bonnie asked snidely.

"Graduate high school and college . . . with a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, Calculus, Chaos Theory Mathematics, Computer Programming and Chemical Engineering in less than eight months." Sherry replied, smiling.

"And how did you pull that off?" Kim asked.

"With a 225 I.Q." Sherry replied, smiling sweetly.

"She is not modest." Leon stated, shaking his head slightly, with a slight smile on his face.

"And to top it off . . . she can type 300 words a minute." Claire added. This had the added benefit of leaving Bonnie completely speechless for the next two hours.

"We need to get back to Middleton . . . I wonder what kind of surprises Wesker has in store for us next?" Ron asked no one, shaking his head as he headed for the parking lot, and the bus that would take the squad home, with four extra passengers.

Ron was not planning to play this time . . . his idea was a simple one, stop the bioterror threats before they had a chance to take root. But it was not going to be easy. There would be problems, but he also knew he had a very elite core of people to help him in this, and it should be no problem for them. The main question would not be where Wesker planned to strike next . . . but when.