A/N: Today is the official day of Piers' death in Resident Evil 6. As promised, his final lament has been posted. It was hard to write, both physically getting it written as well as emotionally getting through it. I hope that I was able to do Piers some justice, as well as do my fellow fans justice at coming to terms with such an unfair and untimely death. While I do hope to see Piers again in RE7, I do think his death was beautiful in its own right and I hope that this rendition lives up to that final, fateful scene. For those of you who haven't read the story "Piers' Lament", don't worry. This one-shot stands alone, though I do recommend that if you like this that you go and read Piers' Lament. It'll help you feel better after this is said and done.
Note, this is a nivanfield.
Without further delay, here's the story. Thank you all for reading and, for those Piers' Lament fans, thanks for sticking with me through this little adventure. This one is for you guys.
It's ironic, really. The way things are going to end. And I didn't even get to tell him how I feel…
Numbness washes over my skin, a cold stone dropping in my stomach, as I watch Chris struggling in the grasp of the monster before me. We'd narrowly escaped it several times before, each time closer than the last, only to find ourselves unable to outwit it. We'd tried running, tried shooting and now, we have nothing left to try. It's like nothing can hurt it, nothing can even slow it down. It truly is invincible. The world doesn't stand a chance and neither do we.
I always thought that when it came to death, I'd be ready for it. I mean, I'm a soldier after all, it's part of the job description. Fight and die for your country and all that. But now, facing certain death, my body bleeding and broken, I want to survive. I want to fight. Energy surges through me when Chris gives off a weak call, his body unable to wrench its way free from the fingers of HAOS. My captain hasn't given up yet; he's still trying to survive.
He's not dead, and neither am I.
I don't know what I can do, but I've got to do something. Even though one of my arms is completely useless, the other can still hold a gun, can still shoot. I lost my gun after being grabbed and thrown by HAOS. I can see it several feet away, lying there lifelessly. Is it broken? Will it even phase the creature? Every bullet used against this monster has been a bullet wasted. Is it worth it to try and fight my way to it?
The weak screams coming from Chris were all I needed to tell me my answer. Using every last bit of strength, I push forward, tearing my shoulder free from its captivity and falling face first against the cold metal underneath me. The extreme pain causes my vision to go temporarily black, my mind whirling and unconsciousness inches away from encompassing me. The world around me has gone quiet, sounds fading in and out like a weak radio station, save the metallic click that echoes hauntingly in front of me. I give a weak glance forward, seeing the silver outline in the darkness.
It's the enhanced c-virus.
A million thoughts run through my head as Chris gives off another weak cry, his strength depleting rapidly. It won't be long now, he'll be dead soon-crushed under the pressure of HAOS' grip. My gun is useless; the bullets won't even phase this demon. If I don't act fast, I'll die from blood loss but, worse yet, Chris will die too. He'll die because of me, because he tried to save me from death-like I said, irony. He's always been like that, so self-sacrificing, and now it's going to be his end; very, very soon…Unless I use it. My vision blurs as I look forward, seeing the thin line of silver sitting there, watching and waiting.
Reaching forward, I pull my dying body-broken, beaten, bleeding-towards the small object. A hot sting pricks at my eyes but I ignore it; I can't think about it now. I'm dying, there's no hope left for me. Soon, I'll be a worthless sack of skin lying on the cold metal, eyes glazed over and looking at the beast that will crush my captain. My last thought would be that I couldn't save him, I couldn't protect the man I love-that I didn't even get to tell him how I feel. I can't do that-die like that.
As I reach the vile, its red content glowing darkly at me, I take it firmly in my hand and roll onto my back, holding the thing high, needled tip pointing straight at me. I hesitate, seeing my humanity flash before me. For a short moment, I'm back at home, safe and sound, watching TV and talking on the phone. It's a football game-why am I watching it? I hate football-but Chris is on the line, talking to me about the game. That's why then, his favorite team's made a bad play and he's angry at the coach. I'm pretending I know what he's talking about, agreeing with him. I want to impress him, want him to think we're into the same things. Now it's Christmas Eve, Chris is over at my dad's place-my dad wanted to meet my captain. Everything's so bright, I can't hardly see. There's a warm aroma filling the air, it's Chris. He's standing near me, the scent of his after shave making my head dizzy. He looks so handsome, his features softened by the glow of the Christmas tree. Then I'm in his apartment, wrapping that scarf around my neck, looking at myself in the mirror as I breath in his strong, warm scent. He's behind me, smiling at me. He doesn't know I've been rummaging through his drawers, he doesn't remember that this scarf is his...
Thousands more flash through my head as I slam the vile into my shoulder, biting back the scream that erupts through my throat as every part of me feels as if it's being torn apart. I stand weakly, my fingers unable to hold the vile any longer. I'm breathing hard, sweat pouring down my skin, dampening my clothes, as I glare head long at the monster before me. My right arm is screaming, my entire world is spinning, and suddenly it feels as if a million sharp needles are poking into my flesh. Horror freezes in my system as I watch my arm rip apart and reconfigure into a new, grotesque form. The pale flesh, thick with blue veins, tingles with energy. It's like it moves on its own, lifting up and channeling something-electricity-and discharging it directly at HAOS.
The creature roars violently, dropping Chris in an instant as it shakes about, finally tearing itself free from the door that's been slowly chopping it in half. It gives off a pained hiss as is claws its way forward, angry. I watch it writhe before it finally collapses and begins to crust over, its translucent skin caked with a thick layer of dark brown.
"Oh God, Piers!" I hear Chris say. "What did you do!?"
I throw him a half smirk, the pain coursing through me making it come off more as a grimace. I look towards the airtight door, Chris' eyes following. He turns back towards me, his face serious. I can tell he wants to say something but words don't escape his mouth. I don't press for him to speak, either. We don't have that kind of time. We walk quickly towards the door, the control panel flashing red as we approach. "Warning" a voice calls, "Pressure abnormality detected." It doesn't take Chris long to fiddle with the mechanics, his back to me as I wince and grip my side tighter. My entire being feels like it's going through a meat grinder and it takes every ounce of what's left of my sanity to keep me from screaming. My eyes scan the back of my captain, lingering longer than they should on certain areas.
Even drenched in sweat and covered with blood, he looks good. I can't help but smile to myself, I'm really thinking that right now.
The voice speaks again, her words the least of my concern as a distinct cracking sound comes from the direction of our downed enemy. Chris spins on his heel, his eyes locking on the fracturing brown crust. I can hear him curse under his breath as he readies his gun. I can only stare in a mixed state of horror and awe as HAOS emerges from within its cocoon, its red eyes glaring at me. It begins crawling towards us. Can nothing kill this thing?
"Piers," my name draws me away from my dismay, "You have to fight it. Try and stay in control." I throw a look at Chris, who's eyes have softened some. Fear. That's what's there. He's absolutely terrified. He doesn't wear it well, he's far too hardened a warrior to be wearing fear. It unnerves me. Nodding as a response, we split, running behind the large shipping containers.
We have to keep fighting, even if we die trying. It's what Chris would do, so I'll do it too. I can't give up yet.
As I round a box, I can see Chris leveling his gun, bullets flying into HAOS' side and drawing its attention. I raise the grotesque arm, resisting the urge to throw up when I remember that it is indeed a part of me. I can feel it pulsing, feel its desire to kill. It's like it has a mind of its own and that mind is slowly working its way into my brain, consuming me. Fight it. Chris said to fight it. I can do this…
Sucking in a deep breath, I begin charging the electricity into my arm. Sparks arch their way across the pale skin, bright blue and blinding. "Take this!" I launch the volts at the monster, each strand of blue crackling as it seared into HAOS. It gives off a scream, turning and attempting to swipe at me. I jump out of the way, rolling to a stop on the ground, water splashing against me as another hail of bullets ram into the demon, causing it to roar loudly. Pulling myself to my feet, I hurry away, turning behind another container and making my way to yet another opening.
Each step is harder than the next but I keep going. Chris needs me. As I round the box, I position myself again, only this time the creature is smarter. It arches itself back, spitting venom at me. It splashes against me, the scorching heat burning my skin. I give off a hoarse wail as I thrash under the burning liquid. "Piers!" I look forward, seeing HAOS readying for a strike. Its hands come down, attempting to crush me, but I'm shoved out of the way, the force knocking the wind out of me. I slam into the ground, the thing on top of me crushing against my chest, as water splashes around us.
I weakly open my eyes, seeing Chris over me, face inches from mine. "Try to be more careful." I can only nod, feeling my body heat up as he pushes himself off of me and pulls me to my feet. "We need a strategy," He states, looking in the direction of HAOS. "I'll serve as the decoy. Piers, you get behind it and strike it." He turns towards me, looking me square in the eye. I feel my heart freeze under his gaze, that award winning smile of his crossing his lips, "We're both getting out of here." With that, he hurries away and I have to take a second to orient my thoughts again.
Running in the opposite direction, I wait for the gunfire to ensue. Sure enough, Chris is giving off a dangerous roar as he unloads every last clip he's got into this creature. Staying behind a container, I position my strike and charge up the electricity, this time feeling more natural-something that scares me. No, we're both going to make it out of here…Letting loose the lightning, it smashes into the monsters frail flesh. It squirms before finally crusting over, body hardening again.
"It's trying to regenerate! We've got to destroy it!" I waste no time. Electricity arcs between us and the shell is shattered into a million pieces. HAOS withers, hissing as it flops around, trying to stand again. Through the chaos of the water and blood, I can see Chris rushing in, driving his knife down into the exposed heart, crimson spilling everywhere as he yanks the blade out to the melody of the demon's screams. I hurry forward, taking the pointed end of my diseased arm and driving it into the second heart, HAOS unleashing a deafening roar as its tentacles lash out, trying to be rid of us. Chris throws a smirk my way before he's smacked sideways by HAOS' arm, thrown back with a splash. The monster turns, trying to throw its weight against me.
I shut my eyes and brace for impact, only to feel my right arm instinctively shoot its way up and stab through the creatures ribs. It hisses at me as I start to discharge electricity. The volts course through my body-something that should have killed me-and through HAOS'. It leans in, trying to strike but unable too. I don't know how long I can hold on. As my eyes travel over to Chris' location, I can see him crawling towards the demon. He's got to have some broken bones. He pulls himself up beside me and drives his knife into the final heart, the organ bursting open as I drop away, rolling to safety. I can see my captain remove the sharped end, see HAOS' skeleton face twist in agony as it gives off one final roar and collapses to the ground.
We stare at it, watching for any signs of life but there are none. It's dead. It's over.
My breathing labored, my body racked with pain, I give off a hiss as my adrenaline begins to die down. Everything hurts and worse yet, I can feel every inch of skin slowly succumbing to the will of my right arm. I shake my head, trying to rid myself of the thoughts. I can hear Chris run over to me, "Piers," he says but I'm in too much pain to even answer. His hands gently touch my shoulders as he comes to a stop in front of me, "Come on, just stay with me!" I can't even look him in the eye, it's all too much. I can see him bending down, trying to look me in the face, "It's going to be ok!" There's desperation there-he wants, no, needs everything to be ok. The truth is, it's not.
"I'm sorry…captain," I rasp out, my voice shocking me. I sound sick; I hardly recognize my own words. My left hand reaches out to grab ahold of something, my balance waning. My fingers lace through Chris' Kevlar vest, a tingling sensation coursing through my palm. I've never touched him so closely before…
Pain rushes through me, causing me to grimace and give off a weak whimper. Everything hurts. "I did it…for the BSAA." I toss my head to the side, trying to take in as much air as possible but unable to breathe. He's watching me closely, listening. "For the future." Actually. I did it for him.
"I know," he says calmly, softly, "You did a real good thing."
There's an uncomfortable silence then, both of us having something to say but neither of us having the will to say it. His eyes tell me he's waiting for me to speak up, but I don't know what there is too say. I did this all for him. Injected myself with my own damnation, fought against the onslaught of this virus, kept myself in the utmost control even when letting myself slip into a blissful blackness would have been easier. I did it all for Chris-because I love him. I take a shaky breath. It doesn't matter if I escape, really. I can tell-feel it-that the virus has already run its course for far too long. "As long as you-"
"I don't want to hear it!" His words sound strained yet reinforced. He's still scared, still wearing that fear that he doesn't wear well. His strong, warm hand clasps behind my head, pulling me closer. We're mere inches apart and again my heart hammers away in my chest. I can smell him, that delicious 'man scent' he has that's so different from the others. It's pleasant and it calms my nerves, calms my panic. I breathe slowly, the pain ebbing away as he looks at me straight in the eye, "We're both getting out of here. Alright?"
In that moment, I want to believe him-I have too. After a beat of silence, I give a meek nod. Chris returns the gesture, bringing his hand down to pat my left arm. "Let's go." That smile is there, albeit, a lot smaller than it usually is. I feel the tiniest bit of hope course through me; maybe I can make it after all. He hurries off, glancing behind to make sure I'm following. Stepping quickly, I venture with him to the doorway, looking back at the downed monstrosity as my captain opens the heavy door. He goes through, myself following, and closes it.
We waste no time in speeding through, the female voice from before beginning to speak. This facility isn't going to last, not with all of the holes HAOS managed to punch through it as it chased after us. Glancing at the giant gap, I swallow a huge amount of air. I can see Chris looking at me, still smiling cautiously. Nodding, we dash forward, leaping over the gap and landing on the platform below. We jump again, running forward as the crash of metal sounds behind us. As we move, I summon up more electricity, launching it at the growth that's formed over the pathway. Black dances across my vision as I nearly collapse, but Chris is right beside me, offering me a smile. It encourages me to keep going; to keep myself moving as the facility around us begins to decay. Destroying more disgusting growths as well as crystalids that hatch, we make it to the final door. Chris looks hopeful and I try to smile back, but my body is stricken with pain and moving has become even harder than before. As we push our way through that final door, I collapse in the hall, pain racking my body and the virus quickly possessing me. The urges are starting to fester now, that ungodly urge to kill, to devour. I grip my head in pain, willing the thoughts to go away-they simply come back stronger than before. I groan, Chris looking back at me. "Piers!"
He hurries back to me, even as the metal bolts are forced from their positions by the water that begins to spray into the room. I groan again, fire licking through my veins. "Damn it," It's like he's come to some kind of realization, one that I've already long come too, as his hand floats above my slowly rotting side.
I weakly motion forward, "J-Just go!" I can't make it. It's not possible. I'm too far gone. He needs to leave me; I don't want to slow him down.
"No! You're gonna be ok!" His strong arm-those muscles- reach down, pulling my good arm behind his neck. His hand reaches around me, grabbing me and pulling me up-like an awkward hug. I give off a shout as he brings me to my feet, "We're almost there." Stepping forward and keeping me steady, he walks me to the door at the other end of the hall. It opens automatically and I can hear the relief in his voice as he speaks, "The escape pods." The sound of dislodging metal follows as he walks me to the side and sits me down. Everything's becoming blurry, the world around me starting to fade in and out. I'm losing myself. I can feel it.
"See that?" He asks as water spills from the ceiling and splashes against the ground, "We'll be out of here in no time." There's a confidence there, one that I can only nod too. He stands, walking hesitantly to the control panel, working his fingers over it. As I look up at him, I can feel my pulse quicken and my heart nearly stops. The urge is there, my arm trying to move on its own. It wants to kill him-this virus wants to kill my captain. I force myself to ignore it, to focus on something else-something that isn't killing the man I love and respect-and all I can think of is Chris. It's like it was only yesterday that I met him, finding myself too flustered for words and unable to think straight. And then, when he went missing after Edonia, I nearly had a heart attack. Six months I'd searched for him relentlessly, each trail ending in nothing but disappointment. And then I found him. I look towards my good arm, lifting it and examining the patch that sat there. It's what helped him remember everything in the first place, seeing this patch and seeing what it represents. It helped him remember who he was. He needs it because I won't be around to help him find himself when he's lost in the darkness again.
I grip it with my teeth, tearing it off easily. Taking it in my hand, my eyes examine it. There's blood stains and dirt, water and filth. It's tattered and worn, but it's what he needs.
"Come on…" I hear him say. "Got it!" I can hear the escape pod opening, hear him step towards me, but I can hardly see him anymore. My vision has gone blurry and my hearing is starting to go-though it's better than my eyes at this point. I see the dark blob reaching towards me, "Here we go, Piers. We're getting out of here."
I'm grateful. I can still tell its Chris' voice, I can still hear him.
I take his hand, Chris' strong arms pulling me up. He holds me steady as we walk towards the escape pod and it's almost funny. All I've ever wanted was to be held by him, to hold is hand. There have only been a few moments in my life that that's actually happened and now, inches away from death and soon to be miles apart from him, it's happening. It's strange. I'm happy, even as I tug myself free from him and do the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my entire life-push him into the escape pod-I'm happy.
His body tumbles back, slamming against the hard metal. I can tell he's scrambling to his feet but the door shuts before he can get up. He slams himself against the window, voice straining as he holds back the tears, "Piers! No, don't do this! Open the door!" I look towards him, shaking my head lightly as he shouts, "Goddamn it, listen to me! We can still both get out of here, there's still time!" My eyes travel towards the dim glow of the control panel. I know what I have to do.
Stepping towards it, I can hear him, "What are you doing?" As I stumble towards it, body racked with pain and thoughts growing dimmer, I place my hand on the lever. "No, Piers, don't! You can still make it out!" It's cold, not like Chris' hand which was full of warmth. Not like Chris' body which was full of life. It's cold and dead, like me. "Goddamn it, Piers!" He's slamming his fists into the glass window, trying to stop me from doing what I'd decided I was going to do since we entered this room; since I became infected.
I'm sorry, Chris.
Putting all of my weight against it, it shoves in, locking and letting out a loud beep. The lights go red and the machine engages, prepping for launch. "No!" His voice, usually strong and steady, is teeming with sorrow and on the verge of breaking. I stumble back to the window, attempting to stand tall and proud, not wanting his final memory of me to be that of a fragile being. I want him to see me as strong and brave, to see me as who I really am and not what this virus will make me.
"Piers! Open the goddamn door-that's an order!" As I look up at him, I can tell, even with my weakening vision, that he's given up on changing things. "…No…" He's finally realizing that there's nothing I can do now to stop the escape pod, that there's nothing he can do to make me try.
Looking towards him, I can sense his sadness and I can picture the look on his face. This moment will haunt him for the rest of his life, but there's nothing I can do about that now. He'll have to be strong, he'll have to keep fighting just like he always has. He'll have to continue to protect those who aren't strong enough to protect themselves. He can never forget who he is.
As I hear the locks disengage, I give him a final farewell nod, unable to speak now. There were so many things I wanted to say to him, so many conversations I would have loved to have. So many nights I wanted to share, yet all of that was nothing now. And even though I'll never see him again, even though there was so much left unsaid, I'm happy. I guess it's because he'll live on, that the ultimate testament to my love for him is in this very moment, as the locks disengage and the escape pod begins its quick accent.
I can only watch him leave, hearing him shout for me, desperate for me to come with him yet knowing that I can't.
Instead, I wait for death's cold grip to swallow me and I find myself thinking; does he know I've always loved him?
Water rushes, covering my feet, soon sweeping me away as the facility erupts into violence. I'm swallowed by fire and water but I'm no longer scared. Even as I hear the distinct cry of HAOS being ripped apart by the electricity that pulses through the water, its body breaking apart as it collapses along with me, I'm not frightened. He's safe. My Chris is safe.
But does he know?
Yes. I think he does.