Chapter XIII: Beginning of the End
Location: Grace Clarke Hospital, Washington
Time: 7:00 p.m
His eyes opened.
Sherry was the first person he saw.
It didn't take him long to realize he was in a hospital. Despite the headache threatening to split his head in two and blurred vision, he was able to make out the sickly green walls and her sleeping frame slumped in a vacant chair next to the bed, leading to the door. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know how long she was there or his residential stay in a hospital had been. Already, the bed felt uncomfortable, as if he had been unconscious for more than a day.
In a flash, he remembered everything.
He was returning home from Sherry's invitation, with Claire. They were talking about Jake Muller, the fight they had in the car prior to arriving at her apartment...hell, they were even joking around. The dinner didn't go as well as Sherry had planned but at least he was at a standstill with Muller. While he was able to get through to the him, it wasn't his intention to relive Raccoon City, Rockfort, or Kijuju. He didn't know whether it brought their relationship to full circle or not, he didn't know. However, he saw the potential for Muller to do more than just save the world from a viral outbreak. He offered to vouch for him at the B.S.A.A an Muller accepted his offer.
He called Jill to inform her that they were on their way back, only to be on the receiving end of dead static. He knew something was wrong...everything felt out of place. All he could think about was reaching her as soon as possible. Upon their arrival, they were met with carnage. The entire condo was riddled with bullets. Glass marked the wooded path, as well as shell casings. It was only a matter of time before he realized that they were never safe to begin with.
Their location had been compromised.
He didn't even think twice before he rushed for the door.
No, she wasn't dead; she was kidnapped. Whatever happened, it served as a distraction and he was caught in the middle of it. He had failed her once and now the past was beginning to repeat itself.
Chris ripped the IV from his arm, oblivious to the dull pain and spurt of blood it left behind. A deafening beep rippled along the walls of the room, causing Sherry to stir from her sleep.
I have to get out of here...
She was awake now, jumping from her position. Her voice rang through his ears, but he didn't acknowledge it. He grasped the metal bars protecting the left side of the bed and shook. A sharp pain shot through his abdomen, forcing a torturous cry from his lips. Chris flew back down, gripping his torso. It was then he noticed the bandages wrapped around the lower half of his body.
It wasn't the first time he ever felt pain, but this time everything it was different. How could he have been so foolish? He should have known this would happen. He shouldn't have left Jill alone, knowing well enough that The Family and Neo-Umbrella's existence was a threat to all of them. It didn't take a genius to know they were the ones responsible for the attack and Jill's disappearance.
Again, he let his guard down and he was paying for his mistakes, just as before.
The beeping died out, only to be replaced with silence.
At the corner of his eye, he noticed Sherry's trembling frame by the bedside. "Chris, what the hell were you thinking...? You'll—"
"How long was I out for...?" He rasped.
Sherry didn't answer his question. "I'll call the nurse—"
"...Answer me goddamn it!" His fingers clamped down on her wrist before she could rush for the door. Sherry's fear only intensified as she fought to pull away. He didn't mean to frighten her, but he had the right to know. "Tell me how long...!"
Her voice was trembling. "...Three days. You were out for three days. Please, let go of my wrist Chris...you're scaring me!"
Three days...? Three days...no...it couldn't have been three days...
The words echoed until it became a mantra. His grip loosened, allowing Sherry to yank her wrist away from his grasp. No, it couldn't have been three days. He wouldn't have allowed himself to be unconscious for that long.
"...I'm sorry." He apologized, as she rubbed the slight purple welt that formed. "...I shouldn't have...I should have known this would happen. I have to get out of here...Jill is in danger—"
Sherry didn't allow him to finish. "I have to get the nurse. You're in no condition to go anywhere, let alone do anything. Hell, you're lucky to even be alive at this point."
She was right.
The pain was subsiding, but he could still feel the muscle spasms in his ribs. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know how bad the situation was. Scaring the hell out of Sherry was bad enough and the last thing he needed was Muller breathing down his neck.
He found himself looking around the room once more. "...Where is...everyone...?"
There was a pause before Sherry answered him. "...Claire and Leon went to get something to eat and Jake went for coffee downstairs. Please Chris, let me call the nurse. I'll fill you in on everything else once they check you over-"
"...How bad is it...?"
He knew about his ribs, but there was more to it; he was certain of it.
Sherry hesitated at first, but stiffened when his eyes rested on her. "...There's scarring...and the doctors said...you broke a couple of ribs. You were in a brief coma Chris..."
A shaky left hand rose to his face. It was an automatic gesture, something of which he couldn't stop himself from doing. He could feel the wrinkled skin, as his fingers rolled over the damage the explosion left behind.
His teeth ground together.
He would make all of them pay.
For Jill's sake.
Time: 7:10 pm
Leon found her outside, leaning against a wall near the restaurant. She was staring ahead, watching as cars passed through the busy intersection.
"Claire, I'm sorry—"
"It wasn't supposed to be this way." Her voice rang over the traffic, cutting him off. A bitter laugh soon followed. "None of it was...you'd think I'd be stronger than this but here I am, feeling sorry for myself. It's not my fault, you're right. But it doesn't make things any better."
He didn't argue with her. "...I know."
Claire shook her head. "I should be thanking you...for being there. But instead, I allowed my anger to get the best of me. We've been through hell Leon, since Raccoon City. I shouldn't have acted that way towards you. I should be the one apologizing."
That wasn't something to disagree on either. They had been through hell and back. He would never forget the day he met her. He was a rookie, while she was searching for her brother. It was funny to think that a bioterrorist outbreak could bring them together, but it made them stronger in the end.
"There's no need to apologize. I'm just as angry as you are." He found himself staring at the intersection as well. "I want to find the ones responsible for this as much as you do. I know that we've been through hell together. For me to deny that, it'll be like pretending Raccoon City never happened."
"...Do you still have nightmares about it?"
It was a genuine question, but he wasn't afraid to answer it. He never shared them before, but he wasn't afraid to speak either. "...Sometimes. I still have flashbacks from time to time. The mission in Spain still haunts me, even today. I've had dreams where I wasn't able to save Ashley and she was killed right there in front of me. I stopped having them months ago."
"I still have dreams about Steve." She pulled away from the wall. "I still have flashbacks and nightmares of Rockfort Island...I even have nightmares of Chris and the mission in Africa. I dreamed that he never made it back and...maybe I'm just being silly at the moment."
Leon's eyebrow rose."I don't think you are. There's nothing wrong with feelings, let alone talking about them. These past few days have been stressful."
Claire nodded. "I wonder how Sherry feels about this, let alone Jake. They haven't spoken much since we left for dinner."
"I would imagine Sherry's still shaken up by this but I don't know about Jake. That guy's a walking pile of secrets. It's hard to figure out what he's thinking about."
His response drew a soft laugh from her lips. "I don't think you like him very much."
Leon sighed. He had nothing against Jake Muller, let alone his relationship with Sherry but there was something about the man that rubbed him the wrong way. It was either his personality or the lack of emotions towards everyone except Sherry. It may have been his father's trait, he didn't know. He only hoped that Chris made the right decision in recruiting him for the B.S.A.A.
"I don't hate him. He's just..."
Claire finished the sentence for him. "Cold? Well, I don't think he's the type to reveal his feelings to anyone except Sherry. At least Chris was able to get through to him."
"Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. It's hard to tell, based on the way he kept calling your brother 'Redfield'."
They stood there in silence. Leon found himself pulling out the government issued Blackberry device from his pocket. Nothing came through, just as he suspected, at least not this evening. The last call he received was from Helena. She was aware of the situation, something of which didn't surprise him. Her superiors briefed her during the past few days and every major government branch knew about it. The hero and leader of the B.S.A.A cause was caught off guard while his partner was kidnapped once again. It was a headline worth using, if the media knew more behind the explosion.
"...Well, I am still hungry."
Claire's voice cut through his wandering thoughts. Leon slipped the phone back inside. He couldn't help but smirk at her sudden remark. "Well, maybe we should just get Chinese takeout and head back to the hospital. I'll take you to a nice Thai restaurant someday."
He received a genuine smile in return. "...You know, that's not a bad idea after all."
Before they left, Leon felt the sudden vibration from his phone. It didn't take him long to realize that it was a phone call. He pulled it out once more, checking the screen.
"Who is it?" Claire inquired.
"It's Sherry." The name was clear enough for him to know it was her. Placing the phone to his ear, he answered the call.
"What is it?"
"Leon, you and Claire have to get back here as soon as possible. Chris...is awake..."
Finally, some good news...
It was a start, but it gave them a chance to find out who was responsible for the explosion in the first place. He knew Chris would have pulled through. He had gone through too much to allow this to cripple him now.
"We're on our way. How is he?"
"...I'm getting the doctor now. He's very agitated right now..."
"I'm not surprised. That explosion nearly killed him...he's lucky to be alive. Just hold on until we get there. If anything comes up, let us know."
"Chris is awake?" Claire asked him, as soon as he ended the call.
He didn't know whether to sigh in relief or leap for joy. "...Yes. Sherry is getting the doctor right now. I told her to hold on until we get there. Your brother...has more lives than a cat. I knew he would have pulled through either way."
He couldn't help but return the smile that she gave him.
Location: Zhujiajiao, China
"You will meet a man, once you land in Zhujiajiao. He will be your escort and translator. I made special preparations for you Ms. Wong. I trust that you will behave yourself on this assignment."
Son of a bitch...
A car was in front of the LiYing Airport, waiting for her. She didn't expect 'Alex' to lie about her accommodations, but she did have her doubts. He had already threatened her once, one of which she didn't take lightly. His words haunted her, forcing her to plan ahead. She would be damned if she allowed his operatives to get their filthy hands near Ting or her family.
Her fingers drummed against the glass of bourbon in the circular holder. Under normal circumstances, she wouldn't resort to alcohol as a problem solver, but she needed the drive. She had two choices-follow through on the assignment by handing over Piers, or betray 'The Family'. As much as she teased 'Alex', he wasn't a man to be underestimated either.
"...You are deep in thought."
The deep, accented voice interrupted her thoughts, much to her annoyance. She knew little about the man driving her around, aside from what she was told. He was known only as 'Lee', but she was certain it was an alias. The stench of cigarettes perfumed the black Toyota Camry, despite the opened windows on each side. She wanted nothing more than to kill him, but at the same time, she needed the transportation. The man was an interference, and she wasn't in the mood for small talk, let alone with a lapdog for 'The Family'. Everything about him screamed lapdog, from the way he carried his conversations, to the anticipation of rewards.
It was only a matter of time before his usefulness expired. 'The Family' were known to make people disappear because of their connections around the world, especially Germany. The last time she connected with 'Alex', she learned of a bioterrorist facility in Germany, but it was hidden from the public.
'Lee' was tall, and looked as if he was in his early forties. Short dark hair fell on both sides of his face, reminding her of the serial killer she once saw in a Korean movie. It didn't even surprised her that her escort looked similar to him, considering his narrow build. He wore a black muscle shirt and slacks, giving her the impression of a professional hitman.
The streets were crowded, just as she imagined it to be in China. The sound of horns and random shouting in Mandarin filled her ears, as they traveled to the Langham Hotel. People on bicycles passed by, as they waited for traffic to move. Cramped buildings and small vegetable markets surrounded them on each side, reminding her of the streets in Lanshiang before everything went to hell. She heard that security was tight in various parts of the region, but she didn't intend to overstay her visit.
As long as the Chinese military and B.S.A.A agents didn't go snooping around, she had a high chance of remaining under the radar until her assignment was completed.
"I don't blame you either way. You have your mission to carry out and a price hanging over your head-"
Ada cut him off. "My thoughts are none of your concern. I don't know you, and I'm sure you know nothing about me, aside from what your employers told you. So cut the chitchat and drive."
His laugh echoed around her. "You are quite touchy, but I am not surprised. The great Ada Wong's temper is legendary, it seems."
Her eyebrow rose. "Legendary? Why, I'm flattered. Continue talking and I'll show you more of my legendary traits."
Ada watched as his grip tightened on the steering wheel. "You are lucky to even be alive. 'The Family' should know better than to trust your services."
"Gotten rid of me?" Ada finished the bourbon with one gulp. "And why would they do that? It seems like I'm the only one for their little mission. Now, if I were you, I would continue driving. Things will go a lot smoother that way. Oh, and for the record, they might get rid of you if you're no longer useful to them."
Her smirk returned when Lee grimaced. She could see him in the rear view mirror, all of which pleased her even more. "Cho san ba..." (1)
She knew enough Mandarin to know he insulted her under his breath. "Gun kai." (2)
A growl rose from his throat, but she ignored it. I always seem to get the nice guys on these little projects...
She reached for a bottle of spring water in the small compartment space in the middle of the car.
Location: Unknown Facility
He remembered her well.
He allowed pathetic human emotions to get in the way of his assignment. He would have been a fool to deny she was attractive in her own right, but her attraction wasn't the reason why he found himself in bed with her. She was nothing more than whore on the streets of Edonia, struggling to make ends meet. She was given to him as a housewarming 'gift'. He was known as the rich American man, all of which would bring millions to the underground industry- or at least what the locals were led to believe. He was treated with the highest regard, given the finest food and wine the country had to offer.
Perhaps it was because they never encountered an American, but that was the least of his concern. He was there on business and luxuries meant nothing to him.
That was, until he met her.
She was a natural redhead, with a wealth of long, twisted curls that fell along her back. She wore nothing except tight dresses that gripped her curves in every conceivable way. She was rather useful, unlike the useless women he encountered in America. She cooked, cleaned, and shared his love of classical music. She knew the wonders of Mozart and Beethoven, despite her limited education. He was impressed with her, but for their relationship to transform into a sexual one, it wasn't something he was prepared for or had in mind.
It started with a poisonous kiss and ended with a mistake.
Jaque Muller was a mistake that should have never occurred but in the end it didn't matter. As much as he loathed the child he created with her, there was always some way to utilize past mistakes.
His bastard son would either join him or perish among the weak.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony hummed softly in the background, as he sat in the dark room. Monitors buzzed with activity, displaying news from around the world. Much revolved around the outbreaks months ago, as fear continued to spread. Everything was set into motion, just as he envisioned years ago. Clones did his bidding, while he created a new Umbrella from the ground up. They were only part of his long term project; to create a new order where he was in control.
Every anti-bioterrorist branch would be destroyed, starting with the B.S.A.A.
The chaos would begin with their main branch in London, England. Then it would spread, like a plague until all of them were eradicated. His new virus will truly separate the strong from the weak. Preparations had already begun at his command. It would be a pleasing sight to watch everything the B.S.A.A fought hard to achieve disintegrate into nothing. How ironic that Redfield was a captain and co-director of the organization; after all, he expected nothing less from his top marksman from the late S.T.A.R.S unit. Chris' heroic speeches of justice and world peace were sickening to listen to on a daily basis.
As much as he despised the man's convictions, he was still required to develop a unit with admirable skills. He would have been a fool to disobey Chief Irons and ruin his cover as an agent for the original Umbrella Corp. Little by little, he was able to win over the respect of his team, but he cared little for them. They were only pawns in the twisted game of chess; moved around to only suit his needs.
And now the pawns were about to be moved again.
A soft chuckle emerged from his lips.
The beginning of the end...it had a satisfying ring to it.
Cho san ba: Stupid bitch
Gun kai: Fuck off
A few minor adjustments were made to this chapter.
So I finally updated this story with an actual chapter. This chapter took some time to formulate, and leads into what's coming for next chapter. I have also changed my formatting and took down the unnecessary clutter in the beginning.I have changed the title of this story, since there are a few people who have told me they thought my story would be good as a Resident Evil 7 storyline. Please let me know if you like the title change or , I am really sorry this update took so long. As stated before, I was sick (mentally and physically) and it crippled me for some time.