Crimson Head Elder Resident Evil website community

THE CRIMSON HEAD ELDER

Resident Evil Tome of Curiosities & Community
Podcast Interviews with the actors  &  developers of Resident Evil

バイオハザード アンブレラ・クロニクルズ サイド A
Translated by TheBatMan, George Trevor & fletcherc

Published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten / 角川書店 in 2007 as a small paperback (Bunko), and authored by Osamu Makino, Biohazard The Umbrella Chronicles Side A is the first in a two part novelisation, based directly on the narrative events of the video game, Biohazard The Umbrella Chronicles.


Biohazard The Umbrella Chronicles Side A consists of four main sections: Preface, Ecliptic Express, Mansion Incident, Fall of Raccoon City.



Exclusive translation below by Crimson Head Elder:

PREFACE

This story is about a screen; about a powerful, invisible shield called Umbrella. It is of course, a purely hypothetical story. Some countries in this world are referred to as 'rogue states'. They say that they support terrorism, and that they are both militarily and economically placed under huge pressure. However, other countries are considered to be 'developing a social network' and receive every possible assistance. There are still many people who are foolish enough to believe that a clear dividing line differentiates the good from the bad and the bad countries that are spawned by the good countries must be punished with a vengeance. These days, even a primary school child would know that such distinctions are completely arbitrary, and only on the basis of profit and power are these interests taken. Who is good? Who is evil? Who has the power to decide? Ground water, which, depending on how you see it perhaps not even the good guys can be counted. Figuratively speaking, a cold, poisonous rain patters onto our world. Because of this poison rain, we are all dependent on a screen in order to survive. Anyone who has found a place under this umbrella can anticipate as much support as possible. But those who are not under this umbrella will be declared a rogue state.

The beginning of this legend was in 1967 in the tower room of an old castle. The castle was owned by Ozwell E. Spencer, a Lord well known throughout Western European nobility. Lord Spencer had put parts of his castle under the disposal of a certain Dr. James Marcus who had for many years been in the employment of a prestigious Swiss university. Marcus was discovered at this university thanks to his research about the extinct earth-antiquity of microbes to a very interesting virus. However, there was a conflict of interests between different groups inside the institute, of which Marcus found himself once again on the losing side. This led to him being sidelined and relegated to a meaningless position. This was due to a scandal which involved falsified test results, with Marcus stood at the end of the line with no one to pass the buck onto, despite him having nothing to do with the whole affair. But even this was not the end of his losing streak. His previously very generous research grants, which came largely from public funds, were radically cut back.

The university did not prevent him from continuing his research; however, they refused him any further financial support. This was a clear sign to Marcus that his days at the institute were numbered. In a seemingly hopeless situation, Marcus contacted his old friend Spencer and pleaded with him for financial support. Spencer responded promptly. He first made inquiries about Marcus's research, and gave him an answer just a few days later. His offer was, however, subject to two conditions: First, Marcus would leave the university immediately. The Spencer foundation would occupy him with a much more generous salary than he had ever received from the university. Secondly, Marcus had to keep the final results of his research under strict secrecy. If these two conditions were met, Marcus would have state of the art lab facilities at his disposal and a place to live. Any contacts with the outside world were to be avoided if possible. Well, Marcus probably would not have made this pact with the devil were it not for the fact he could immediately continue his research. Spencer's offer seemed very generous and he readily agreed. The two then employed another nobleman, a man named Edward Ashford. Marcus's future was now secured, his epoch-making research could continue.

On the day when Marcus finally reaped the fruits of his years of work on microbes, he ran around purple-faced through the laboratory and was excited as a teenager would be before his first date.


"Please understand me, Ashford! This discovery will shake the world! It is nothing less than the fulfilment of an ancient dream of humanity!"
"I have sympathy for your feelings" said Edward Ashford sleepily. He was slumped over his chair as he sat.

"But to wake and get me up in the middle of the night from my sleep! What do you believe I feel?"
"I beg you! Don't imagine it like that! After all, this is about a miracle! The discovery of a miracle!"
"You know?"


Ashford looked for a moment at the ceiling.


"What?"
"Lord Spencer is not here. He hates it if one bullies him. I am against most probably too good-natured."
"All right. Nevertheless, Ashford, you have to watch this! Here!"


Marcus brought the image of the scanning electron microscope on the monitor. The otherwise pitch-black screen showed some objects resembling rice grains with tails.


"Look closely" he said with the pride of a boy showing his best friend his most valuable toy. "These are E.Coli."


Ashford was unimpressed.


"Well you may be surprised, but I actually recognise"

"I have killed them with the help of 0.1 ppm of chlorine."

"I understand. So you have woken me up in the middle of the night to show me a dozen dead E.Coli?"
"Shush!"

Marcus put his finger to his lips and pointed to the screen.
With a very thin needle, something was injected into the nucleus of the dead coliform bacteria. Amazingly the bacteria suddenly began to beat wildly in frenzy. More than that, they became longer and longer and eventually divided in the middle to form to separate parts.

"They divide Ashford!"


Marcus had tears in his eyes. But Edward didn?t seem to share his excitement in the least.


"Doctor?" Edward's voice indicated he was clearly annoyed.

"It is surely not the first time that cells emerge from a state of apparent death and re-animate. Such a thing is even common in higher organisms, but?"
"Wrong, wrong" interrupted Marcus, violently gesturing with his hands. "This is something completely different! These cells are not apparently dead! Their nuclei were destroyed completely, their cells completely perforated. They were completely dead, completely dead. And then, after I gave them our aforementioned virus, you know the original virus already and implanted it, they began to grow and multiply again!"


On the screen it was clearly visible, as the revival of the coli form of bacteria continued to increase with almost incredible speed. Edward stared at the image.


"Completely dead" he murmured thoughtfully.
"Exactly. Without a doubt. Why would I lie? And everything is described in this document!"


Marcus handed Edward a thick wad of paper.


"Should I read it all now?"
"No. I will briefly explain it to you. You are not a layman. One look at the test results and you have understood what an amazing thing this is. So, what you see here are the old drawings of an experiment in which the Miller Experiment of 1953 has been recreated here more or less. I have a glass beaker with methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water vapour filled and hermetically sealed. Into this mix I gave ten units of the original virus, which previously was killed with chlorine. It has then been heated and exposed to an electrical discharge. Now, what do you believe was the outcome?"


"You've already told me. Basically, you have repeated the Miller experiment. I'm sorry, but the results of this experiment have been known for years."
"Listen to me! In principle, it is the Miller experiment. He has simulated a primitive atmosphere and provided evidence that life could form in this atmosphere of organic compounds. And from this arose, ultimately, life. This is however, about something completely different! Well, to the point that from amino acids and proteins, nucleic acids occur in both experiments. But in my case the protein eventually becomes a structure with a membrane, which has begun to multiply by division."
"Impossible. That can not be."


It was only natural that Edward steadfastly refused to believe Marcus. Simply because he had just claimed no less that he had successfully recreated in the laboratory, the birth of life on Earth 3.8 billion years ago.


"But it's true. Full details of the experiment are described in detail in this paper. If you think that I am lying, just repeat it and examine it yourself. You can repeat it as many times as you like, the result will always be the same; the original virus causes the primitive DNA to arise from the protein soup."


Edward wanted to believe it but still could not bring himself to. But the possibility that there may be something in this let the excitement from Marcus gradually skip over to him.


"You are right Marcus. We should tell Spencer."
"Finally! Finally you understand!" Cried Marcus as Edward grabbed his right hand, beaming. 
"Let us go immediately to Spencer."


Edward threw his overcoat over himself and took Marcus, still wearing his white lab coat, in tow. It was a memorable night. And the events of that night would finally lead towards the creation of the Umbrella Corporation.


ECLIPTIC EXPRESS INCIDENT ~
CHAPTER 1

The young woman propped her elbow on the open side window of the car and sighed. How could she have been so naive? She should have known, ever since that guy had picked the Arklay Mountains of all things for their romantic little trip. Another one of those morons on the lookout for a quickie. He didn't give a damn about her or her feelings. She heaved another weary sigh. That guy was an idiot. Without the slightest chance of improvement.  First there had been this seemingly endless ride and then the engine had choked off in the middle of the woods. And even before their first kiss! He had walked off right away to get to the next gas station but she was sure that it would take him at least two hours to get back to the car. Two hours. Goddamn two hours! With another deep sigh she glanced at her watch. It seemed that all she could do was wait. The moment he came back she would tell him to take her home. Sure it was still early but it just appeared a waste of time to spent even one more minute with that loser. How could she have ever fallen for that stupid pick-up line of his and ended up in this god forsaken place? Well the answer was really quite simple: it was all because Jeff didn't seem to take much interest in her as of late. There have been all those quarrels and arguments between them so she had taken this opportunity to stir up his jealousy when it presented itself. Yes, that's why she was here right now. But why in the world had it to be with such a loser ?

 

Something tore her away from her thoughts. She glanced into the rear view mirror and noticed a dark shape advancing on the parked car. Finally, she thought, he's back. She didn't turn in her seat though; she didn't want to give him the impression that she had eagerly awaited his return. Instead, and just to get her low opinion of his attitude across to him, she kept her gaze on the mirror. That's odd. Something about his walk seemed strange. With every shuffling step he took his torso swayed from side to side and his head lolled like the head of new born. What's wrong with him? He walks like a zombie right out of some horror movie ...No need to panic; it was him alright. She recognized his T-shirt and jeans and above all his stupid winged cap that somehow made him look like some weird angel. No doubt it was him. Slowly, very slowly, he advanced on the car. What does he want, scare me? After leaving me sitting around here in the woods for goddamn two hours ? "That's it, damn it!", the young woman exclaimed, her voice raised. "First you ran out of gas and let me wait here in the dark for hours and then you try to pull that zombie act on me! Thanks jerk, I've had enough! You take me back to town right now! I'm hungry you know, and I'm gonna grab something to eat. Without you! You spoil my appetite .." And I know you're just as hungry as me, she thought, suit yourself.

The shambling figure came close to the car, its hands reached through the open window and forcefully gripped the head of the woman. It took one bite to rip the pale skin on her neck open and tear it to shreds. Like a fountain the blood from her artery splattered the interior of the car.

CHAPTER 2

"Medic! Man down !" Someone hollered near by.

"I'm no god damn medic". Rebecca Chambers mumbled to herself and took off. She and her comrades from S.T.A.R.S Bravo team, a special forces unit of the RPD had been making their way by helicopter, through the Arklay Mountains, to investigate a series of bizarre murder cases, lately occurring in the area. Tonight the weather had been dreadful, and proven less than favorable for such a chopper mission. Like some sinister omen of an oncoming apocalypse, the dark storm clouds still hung over the mountain ridge, stray lightning occasionally illuminating the sky. And as if that hadn't been enough, a sudden gust of wind had sent their trusted chopper spinning, forcing them to make an emergency landing, somewhere in the pathless area of the Arklay Mountains.

"Medic! Over here !" A grinning, sturdy-built man waved Rebecca over to join him. It was Edward Dewey, one of Rebecca's senior teammates in Bravo.

"I'm no medic, I'm Rear Security !" she hissed, kneeling down beside Edward. Though tending to the wounded was part of her duty as RS, it was by far not all. Bringing up the rear, sentry duty, and even sniper missions were her area of responsibility. Being a simple medic, or army doctor left you with purely medical tasks, while RS meant actively handling combat situations.

"Listen, kiddo, I've just lost my right arm !"

"I bet you'll be as right as rain once you stop hiding it behind your back" Rebecca coolly replied. Compared to Edward - a guy who looked like he could easily wrestle down a grizzly bear - she looked like a school girl who just happened to be here by accident.

"Dewey, this is hardly the right time to make fun of the rookie !" the Captain warned. Edward just shrugged. He was an RS like Rebecca.

"Chambers, report" Enrico Marini, Captain of Bravo team, obviously had some difficulty to make himself heard over the wind and the pattering of the rain all around them.

"Everyone's alright, sir" Rebecca replied. Which was a bit of a miracle really. Despite the stormy weather and total darkness the helicopter's pilot had managed a text book emergency landing; The bird was still in one piece, had not crashed into the trees, or crashed into some canyon. All members of Bravo team had made it safely out of the chopper, and now looked almost as relaxed as a bunch of boy scouts at summer camp.

"Alright people, now listen up !" the Captain shouted while looking sternly at each of his team members.

"Thanks to our excellent RPD pilot we're all alive and in one piece. But that's no reason to get overly optimistic about our situation. We're in the middle of the mountains, it's dark, and this damn storm is not making things any easier. So don't you get too cocky; one mistake could put the whole team in danger."

The Bravos listened to the words of their captain just like small boys being scolded by their father. Marini knew that he could trust each one of them with his life. Together they had gone through countless dangerous missions, and somehow he considered them his family, his children.

"Now, our chopper has gone down in area 'Romeo'. Those mysterious murders on the other hand happened in the vicinity of an old mansion, southwest from our current location. Since air recon is out of the question Bravo team is going to search the specified area on foot. Starting now."

At this point Marini turned towards the stricken helicopter.

"Dooley ! Radio communication is down so headquarters is likely going to send a search and rescue team. You'll stay here in case they find the crash site."

The captain took a brief glance at his watch.

"We'll be back in two hours. Alright everyone ! You know the drill. Let's go"

Bravo Team disappeared into the dark forest, icy rain pelting down on them, like a biblical plague. Yet none of these hardened, elite soldiers cared. This entire mission was nothing more than their usual job, plain and simple. Of course none of them, including Rebecca, knew what kind of terrors this night would have in store for them.

WESKER 1

Around the same time two men were engrossed in a discussion at the exact place where said terrors would originate from. One of them was tall and wearing sunglasses. The other wore a white lab coat and a tie that hung loosely around his neck giving him an all over scruffy look. Something about him seemed to scream 'hospital'. The two of them were standing in front of a row of monitors.

"Dammit, the whole world swims in shit these days! Shit running around, shit laughing you in the face, shit lying to you and shitfaced assholes who make your life a living hell. And you can try all you like: the shit's just not backing down!" The man in the lab coat grimaced, a clearly disgusted expression adorning his features.

"Yeah, right," the guy with the sunglasses said, obviously not interested in the others rant.

"With the technology we developed here we're at least able to find some use for the goddamn scum out there. Don't you think, Wesker?"

Wesker didn't answer. He kept his expression perfectly blank which seemed to irritate William Birkin, the man in the lab coat. His voice grew louder and almost beseeching.

"When you use shit as fertilizer you get excellent soil and therefor a good harvest. That's exactly what we did! We used the scum as fertilizer. That's what all this is about! That's what all our research was for!" Birkin had talked himself into a rage and was now getting off his chair. "That was my mission: to turn this shit-encrusted world into a better place!"

Wesker clapped his hands mockingly.

"Are you making fun of me?"

"On the contrary, Birkin, I think you're a genius." This was obviously just some cheap and rather cynical flattery but Birkin's face lit up immediately. "Unfortunately there is one major problem with geniuses
like yourself," Wesker added.

"And that is?"

"You completely lack a sense of reality."

"Oh really? I am absolutely aware of reality," Birkin answered sounding a bit like a sulking school boy.

"Then what exactly is this?"

Wesker pointed at the row of monitors in front of them. The flickering screens showed different parts of a vast research lab, every room devoid of human life. There were human-shaped figures, shambling around aimlessly, but no real humans in the true sense of the word. They dragged their almost ripped off arms behind them, trudging awkwardly around on stiff legs which joints had seized to function hours ago, and their cracked open skulls offered an interesting view at their dull grey brains. These creatures were not human anymore, they were dead. The walking dead.

Restlessly they were wandering the empty rooms and hallways of the lab area.

The floor beneath their rotted feet was alive though. On the monitors it looked like thousands of fat rodents scuttling this way and that but a closer look revealed that those moving creatures weren't even mammals: they were leeches. Huge, slimy leeches that crawled on every surface, floor, walls and ceiling.

"So, Dr Birkin, what do you call that?"

"This is bad. Really bad ..."

"And what are you going to do about it?"

"Wait a second, don't act like you've got nothing to do with this! You're just as responsible for this as I am. What am I saying? All this is mainly your fault!"

"Go on."

"And therefore ... therefore you should finally start taking said responsibility and do something about all this."

"I intend to. But what's your plan?"

"I ... don't know. I really don't know." Birkin slumped back in his chair burying his face in his hands. Images of a silent hell kept flickering across the row of monitors in front of him.

CHAPTER 3

At exactly 11:02 pm Bravo Team discovered an overturned vehicle including the mutilated corpses of several MP officers. Documents found on site stated that they had been on their way to deliver a prisoner to a nearby military base where said prisoner, one Lt. Billy Coen, was supposed to be executed. He had been found guilty of killing 23 civilians during an anti-guerrilla operation and since his body was not among those of his keepers he was now officially a fugitive. Captain Marini immediately ordered his team to start searching for Coen. Somehow the prospect of having to deal with a known enemy instead of a faceless (and maybe even non-existent) serial killer roaming the Arklay Mountains helped lifting the spirits of all team members.

Marini made them fan out in groups of two and soon they took up pursuit, following the trail of blood through the dark and wet forest.
Rebecca had teamed up with her training instructor Richard Aiken. This search through dark woods turned out to be quite a challenge, especially for her sense of direction. The Arklay Mountains were famous for their dense and almost impenetrable undergrowth and for that very reason Rebecca soon lost sight of her partner, her inexperience with outdoor missions like these suddenly becoming all too clear. There was of course a simple rule for situations like this: stay where you are. And technically, she was well aware of that rule. Technically. But in a sudden rush of panic she started off again through the forest.

After a while she came upon the train. A train standing in the woods in the middle of the rainy night, on tracks that vanished in both directions into the gloom, its windows smashed. It looked like a giant mortally wounded animal. Maybe there's been an accident, Rebecca thought. Or maybe it's something related to those recent murders?

"Is anybody there?" the young Bravo shouted but no response came. And then she saw movement inside one of the cars. She set out again and slipped through a half-open door into that car, acting more on reflex than anything else. Dead silence greeted her. A peculiar smell reached her nose, definitely not a good one. The damp air the wind outside pressed through the broken window panes carried the faint odor of blood.

"Raccoon City Police! Is anybody there?!" Rebecca shouted again, straining to make her voice heard over the patter of rain. But there was still no response. "Anybody ?"

No answer. The shadows surrounding her seemed to swallow Rebecca's voice. It was at that moment that she sensed the presence of someone behind her and she wheeled around. There, at the passage to the next car, stood an odd-looking figure shrouded in semi-darkness.

"My... my name is Rebecca Chambers, Raccoon City Police Department"

The figure started to shuffle closer. It was a man and he was deathly pale, baring his teeth at her. The reason for his ghostly pallor soon became obvious: the throat beneath his face was ripped to shreds.

"My name's Rebecca Chambers, are you ...?"

Rebecca paused, her eyes traveling back to the ghastly wound. Torn sinews and blood vessels dangled from the man's throat. Nobody could survive a wound like that. Never! But the figure was still moving towards her, awkwardly shambling like this was the first time it had ever used its legs. It moved closer and closer. And Rebecca started to back off. This was answered by a bizarre groan from the strange creature and murky white saliva began seeping from its mouth and dripping from its chin.

"S-stop right there! Freeze !"

Rebecca drew her gun out of its holster, pointing it at the figure. It was standing so close to her now that she could smell it. The sickly sweet stench of decay. I know what this is, she thought, still backing off, I have seen this before. In movies. Zombie movies. This is a zombie. But ..how ?!

Suddenly all of the previous sluggishness seemed to drop away from the creature and it lunged at her with outstretched arms, ignoring the fact that the muzzle of a gun was pointing at its face. But Rebecca had never shot at a human being before and her finger lay useless and limb over the trigger. A monster, this is just a monster, not human, just a monster,
Rebecca repeated to herself, struggling against the rising panic but she couldn't find the strength to pull the trigger. And then the creature grabbed her shoulders, pulled her close. The gaping mouth approached her throat, slobbering and slavering. The stench of decay and excrement rolled over Rebecca in nauseating waves.This ... thing wants to eat me !

Finally Rebecca managed to pull the trigger and the muffled report of the gun filled the interior of the car, its muzzle pointing at the creature's stomach. The grip on Rebecca's shoulders loosened as the figure stumbled backwards. She fired again. And again. The bullets ripped through flesh and intestines, tearing pieces from the decaying body, and the stench grew almost unbearable. The monster stumbled again but refused to go down. After three hits with 9mm hollow-point bullets !

Now there was no more doubt that Rebecca was up against a real zombie here. And you couldn't kill a zombie with just one hit. The young Bravo member chided herself for not having shot earlier and now she pulled the trigger again and again, until she realized that she had gone through a whole clip. The creature was still standing upright, making another shuffling move towards her, as if nothing had happened.
Okay ... so maybe you have to go for the head,
Rebecca thought, the useless gun at the ready. She felt her mind working slowly, too slowly, and in her current state it took her much too long to come to that one crucial conclusion. I have to run.

Only it was already too late. With gaping jaws the undead creature made another attempt to tear Rebecca's throat to shreds. And then there came a shot. Like an overripe pumpkin the head of the zombie exploded and the whole body folded up and sank to the floor. Rebecca turned around. She was now facing a tall young man, his muscular torso giving him the air of a big cat poised to attack. There was a certain feel of danger about him. His right arm sported an elaborate black tribal tattoo but Rebecca was much more absorbed by the huge gun in his left hand.

"Who ...?"
"Billy Coen, doll-face."
"Don't call me doll-face."

Rebecca ejected the empty clip from her own gun and reloaded, then pointed it back at Billy. She was almost a little relieved to have found another human being.

"So you're the one who escaped from the MPs."
"Looks that way, doesn't it?"
"Then you can consider yourself arrested."
"Can we chat about that later? I'm a bit busy right now ..."

Billy raised his gun.

Before Rebecca could say another word, a shot rang out. For a second or two Rebecca thought she was about to die, that she had been gunned down, but the bullet had flashed past her and had hit something behind her with a loud smacking sound. She wheeled around only to see half a dozen walking corpses lurching towards her from the passageway to next car. She let out a strangled cry and backed away until her path was blocked by Billy's broad chest.

"Was are these ... things?"
"Zombies, I guess," Billy answered. His arm came into view as he pointed his gun past her face and pulled the trigger. Twice. Three times. With every bullet he fired a zombie was thrown to the floor, not to get up again. Billy delivered precise headshots to the horde of shuffling creatures but it was no use. There were just too many of them.

"We better get out of here! Now !" Rebecca urged and grabbed Billy's hand.

"Too late for that."
"What?"
"See for yourself."
He pointed at one of the smashed windows, where the rain poured into the car. Outside in the forest the dark trees were moving. But of course it was not really the trees that were moving.

"The train's moving!"
"Exactly."

Like ants swarming from an anthill, more and more zombies appeared, only to be thrown back by the bullets from Billy's gun. He really had his hands full. Rebecca raised her own weapon.

"Anyway, we need to get away from here."

They began moving towards the front of the train while trying to decimate the numbers of zombies still coming from the next car.
"Aim for their heads !" Billy shouted.
"I know," Rebecca replied.
"Then why don't you do it ?"
"I'm trying. I'm not so good at shooting."
"No shit. And what are you good at?"
Rebecca said nothing.
"Okay, alright, nevermind." Billy said.
"Just where exactly are we going?"
"To the front of the train."
"Why ?"
"To stop the train."
"I see. But you are aware that I'm going to arrest you after that ?"
"Absolutely. And now shut up."
"How dare you ... Hey, you missed that one crouching behind the seat over there !"
"Just shoot him yourself!"
"I'm trying. I can't get a clear shot."
"You're wasting ammo."
"I don't mean to ... "

Rebecca glanced briefly into the next car.

"What ... in the world ...?"

For a moment she was speechless.
The car they now entered was completely black. The walls, the ceiling, the floor, the seats, everything was gleaming in greasy black. And the black mass moved like it was alive, consisting of countless small writhing creatures.

"Slugs," Rebecca murmured.
"No. It's ..."

Suddenly the black sea in front of them boiled up and a massive blob came soaring through the air.

"... Leeches !" Billy screamed and with a deft move of his knife he cut the slimy black creature in half before it could reach his face with its Y-shaped mouth and its hundreds of sharp needle-like teeth, ready for a kiss ... It had been a close call.

A panicked scream almost escaped Rebecca's lips when she saw that the leeches, each one about the size of a human foot, had turned around simultaneously. It was as if the monstrous creatures were regarding Rebecca and Billy eyeless. And then, only a second later, the black mass came at them like a pile of wriggling stinking excrement.

WESKER 2

"That must be the ghost of Dr. Marcus," Birkin murmured, a grim expression on his face. "He's come to take revenge."
 
"You don't say," Wesker said drily.
 
"Are you telling me you're not afraid ?"
 
"Why should I? It's just another monster."
 
"Yes, but ..."
 
"Is that your guilty conscience rearing it's ugly head ?"
 
"Maybe."
 
"There's no reason. All you did was stamp on a pile of shit."
 
"Marcus was ... he wasn't just a pile of shit."
 
"Are you feeling sorry for him ?"
 
"I ... respected him. He discovered the mother virus after all. And he developed the t-virus which we're working on now."
 
"Then why did you kill him ?"
 
"But that's not true! You killed him !"
 
"Let's just say you haven't been an innocent bystander during the whole affair."
 
"I know. And that's why ..."
 
"And that's why you're scared shitless."
 
Birkin just nodded and buried his face in his hands.
 
"Bullshit !" Wesker snarled.
 
Birkin gave him a sullen look.
 
"And why is that bullshit to you ?"
 
"For our part Marcus was nothing but a nuisance, that's why we eliminated him. Thoroughly, I might add. That's how you deal with your enemies, there's nothing to it. And we succeeded, Marcus is gone. That thing, that's not Marcus, that's just some monster. No need to go after it. It's going to die anyway sooner or later, just like Marcus' beloved little private zoo ..."
 
Wesker looked down on Birkin who himself stared dejectedly at the floor. The sunglasses hid the taller man's expression but the cold disdain in his eyes was still noticeable.
 
"Do you honestly believe that there is something super-natural going on here ? That this thing is some kind of ghost ?"
 
Birkin said nothing.
 
"That's bullshit, Birkin. You're delusional."
 
"B-but ... are you sure we ..."
 
"Yes. We killed him. Period. No-one survives a bullet through the head."
"That's exactly why I think it must be his ghost ..."
 
A forced smile flitted across Wesker's features.
 
"Alright Birkin, I'll explain it to you. Do you remember the spot where he went down after I put that hole in his head ?"
 
"His desk. Where he conducted his experiments ..."
 
"Good. And maybe you'll also remember that standing on that very desk was a glass jar containing a leech, a leech whose DNA Marcus had altered with the mother virus."
 
"I remember ... yes, now I understand ..."
 
"Good for you."
 
"But, that would mean ..."
 
Birkins voice faltered, so Wesker continued.
 
"Just before he died, Marcus thrashed around, smashing most of the things on his desk, including the glass jar. The leech came free and when Marcus finally died it fell from the desk onto his body, onto his head to be precise. His head which -if you remember- had popped like a cherry."
 
Birkin gave a disgusted little groan as if he was reliving the past events in all their horrific glory.
 
"And there, on Marcus' busted scull, the mother virus had set to work."
 
"So ... that makes him a zombie ?"
 
"Oh no, he's more than that. This monster seems to be of high intelligence, something you would never find in a zombie. And apart from that, it had taken the virus ten years to resurrect its host's body which is far longer than it would take to turn someone into a mere zombie. I've got my own theory: presumably the leech, affected by the mother virus, has assimilated Marcus' cerebral functions and has repaired dead or missing parts of the body thus remodeling it over a large period of time. That's why it has Marcus' memories but it definitely is something else entirely. The Marcus we both knew, the one who could get in our way, he's dead and gone."
 
"Interesting. Most interesting."
 
Birkin looked up. There was a peculiar gleam in his eyes, like the eyes of a child who had been given a new toy.
 
"So there's no need to fear, Birkin. He's a test subject like all the others. And he fits so neatly into our current research to develop the ultimate biologic weapon. I don't understand why you keep seeing the ghost of a dead man in the light of all the assembled facts."
 
"You're right. You're absolutely right. I've just been too nervous, that's all. Won't happen again. So ... Where are you, Marcus ? Come out, come out, where ever you are ..."
 
Birkin started pressing buttons on the controls in front of him enthusiastically, the pictures on the monitors flickering from one surveillance camera to the next.
CHAPTER 4

"I've seen people doing this in movies, you know? Running around on the roof of a train? I never thought it would happen to me though." Rebecca had to scream to make herself heard over the storm and pouring rain.

Rebecca and Billy had managed to escape from the leech-infested car and had at some point climbed through a hole in the roof.

"I must say it looks a lot easier in the movies," Rebecca continued. "I can't even keep upright here. How do those movie heroes do it?"

The young police officer had squatted down on the car's roof like a spider and kept crawling on inch by inch. Up ahead a shot rang out. Billy looked back at her and his strained pose reminded her of an ancient ninja warrior just before a fight.

"What was that?"

"Another zombie had been hiding over there," Billy answered, locking eyes with her. "Tell me, are you afraid that I might mistake you for a zombie or why do you keep babbling?"

"You're so mean! How can you ...?"

But Billy didn't even hear the rest of the sentence. He had sensed movement and turned to look straight ahead again, pulling the trigger a second later.

"Is there ...?"

A shot rang out. And another.

"... what?!"

Boom. Boom. Boom.

"Leeches!" Billy screamed.

Rebecca started visibly. But after a second she grabbed her combat knife and began stabbing at the coiling masses of leeches. She was much better at handling her knife than her side-arm and did exactly what she had been taught at military training. Unfortunately her deft movements made her leave her crouched position on the roof and a moment later a gust of wind almost sent her flying.

"We better get back inside!" Billy shouted. "Maybe it's a bit quieter in one of the other cars."

Soon they found an open crack between two cars where they could climb back into the train.

"Hey, wait for me!" Rebecca had to struggle to keep up with him. Once they were back inside and finally save from the wind and rain, an almost unreal silence greeted them. No more monsters were in sight. When she realised that they were now standing directly in front of the driver's cab Rebecca heaved a sigh of relief.

"About time. I could really need a break," she said stepping closer to Billy who still kept his weapon at the ready and a tense expression on his face.

"I wanna know what's going on here," she continued but Billy ignored her. And Rebecca ignored him ignoring her.

"Corpses. Walking corpses. Dead and decaying. But why can they still move? And then those leeches! I have never seen leeches that big before! I mean, they were huge! I really wanna know what the hell is going on here!"

"When you're under attack you don't ask questions. You shoot. And save your questions for later." Billy answered.

"Maybe. But anyway, it strikes me as odd when someone is attacked by living corpses and obviously hasn't got the slightest problem with that."

"Can you shut up please?"

"No, I can't."

"Yes, you can! Just stop babbling!"

"I'm just ... scared, you know? I'm scared that when I stop talking I won't be able to take one step further through this nightmare."

"If you can't walk, just say it. I can give you a piggyback when I get out of here."

"Uhm ... thanks. Too kind."

"And now shut your trap."

"Alright," Rebecca said and then pressed her lips firmly together.

"..."

She shook her head. "Dammit, I can't do this. So anyway, how come you ended up here?"

"They transferred me to some other prison and on the road we got attacked by those monsters. The vehicle got knocked over. All the guards were killed."

Rebecca glanced at Billy sceptically. "You mean you weren't responsible for the deaths of those men?"

"Do you really believe that I single-handedly knocked over a police van and bit all the officers to death?!"

"Granted, that would have been a bit strange ..."

She gave him a scrutinizing look, remembering the state of that MP vehicle from earlier. And the bodies lying next to it. Brutally mutilated bodies, maimed beyond recognition, and no indication that a weapon of some kind had been used. And she was supposed to believe this to be the work of a man who tried to escape? No. Even if Billy had had all the time in the world ... No human being could have done something like that ... Although, what if it had been the work of a sadistic killer, who had already butchered 23 civilians?

"While I was running away from those creatures I stumbled upon this train. And that's it."

"But why didn't you wait for help? You must've been aware that you would be considered a fugitive if you left that vehicle."

"Just as I said: those creatures were after me. What was I supposed to do? Wait around and get torn to pieces?"

"True ... uhm, can I ask you something?"

"If you make it short."

"Tell me ... are you really a criminal? Somehow you don't strike me as someone capable of murdering 23 people."

"I don't know, who you trust, but I know who I trust. And that's myself."

"Hm, alright, then I'm going to trust my judgement. But anyway, it doesn't really matter now. We don't have any other choice, we have to work together ... what ...?"

The roof of the car sagged with a creaking sound.

That hole in the roof back there ... how did it get there? Something must have caused it ...

Suddenly the roof caved in above them and a creature, different and more terrifying than anything they had encountered so far, bore down on them, wielding massive spiked claws. Anything caught between those huge things would get turned into mince in a matter of seconds.

"What the hell ...?!"

This time even Billy was speechless. Without taking her eyes off the creature Rebecca raised her weapon.

The monster had a curved tail with a giant pointed stinger on its end.

"A scorpion?"

Even while asking Rebecca pulled the trigger, making the gun spit fire. There was a short metallic clank.

The bullet had obviously ricocheted off the creature's armored outer skin. One of it's claws already tried to stab at Billy who took a desperate leap behind one of the well-cushioned benches. He watched as the bench behind him was crushed a second later. Those claws didn't cut their victim: they squashed it. Unbelievable forces were at work here.

While Billy and Rebecca tried to avoid the scorpion's attack they fired away at the creature but neither of them could manage to even make a scratch on its skin.

"I got it!" Billy suddenly shouted.

"What?!" Rebecca screamed against the blast of her gun.

"Aim for the head!" He had already started to direct his bullets exactly there.

Rebecca immediately pointed her gun at the scorpion's bizarre head but somehow the creature managed to ward her bullets off with its claws.

"You know what?"

"What?"

"I think it's trying to protect itself."

"Yeah, I think it does."

"Well, it wasn't doing that before. No matter where we shot it. Because it has this thick amour everywhere. Except on its head. That's why it's using its claws to protect itself."

"..."

"Watch out!"

One of the claws rushed towards Billy and the ex-marine had to duck quickly beneath it. As if by magic he came up right in front of the giant scorpion's mouth and pressed the muzzle of his gun against its head. Before the claws could reach him to tear him to pieces he had unloaded a whole clip into the creature's head. As a result the claws froze in mid-air and than clattered to the floor. The legs crumbled beneath the armored body as it sank trembling onto the wooden boards.

"It's over."

Rebecca turned around just in time to see the tail of the allegedly dead scorpion rise and the stinger rush with terrible speed at Billy. The ex-marine hit the floor at the last possible moment so that the stinger did nothing more but scrape along his arm before it buried itself into the floor. And then it really was over. The monster was dead.

"Are you okay?" Rebecca asked and helped Billy back to his feet.

"Thanks."

"For a homicidal lunatic you got pretty good manners. Oh, you're bleeding."

Rebecca pulled a cloth from her backpack and dressed the wound on his arm.

"Does it hurt?"

Billy just shrugged.

"You feel nauseous or cold?"

Billy shook his head.

"Show me your hands."

Billy did as he was told and presented his hands to her.

"No sign of paralysis or spasms. I think you're gonna be fine."

"Hey, you're a medic or what?"

"No. I'm rear security and quite an expert on chemistry."

"An expert. Okay, and what does the expert say about this?"

He pointed at the empty driver's cabin before them. The seat at the controls was unoccupied and it looked like no-one had sat in it for quite some time.

"You know I heard this story: the Umbrella Corporation owns this luxury train which takes their personnel all the way from the city to some management training facility somewhere in the Arklay mountains. They own the tracks and everything. And the train is computer-controlled. Must be this train we're on."

"Umbrella? You mean that pharmaceutical company?"

"Exactly. That big global conglomerate. They're not only into pharmaceuticals but also into every field of biotechnology."

"I'm afraid we won't find out where this train is really heading."

The door to the next car slammed open and a horde of zombies came bursting in, arms stretched out at them hungrily. They were getting into each others way so at first only a few of them made it over the doorstep. Billy began to take down the ones in the front, working his way through them firing bullet after bullet.

"Keep them off my back, will you?" Rebecca shouted while claiming the seat in the driver's cabin. From her pocket she took a small amount of a clay-like substance. It was a brick of plastic explosive and she planted it firmly onto the controls of the train.

"Fifteen seconds should be enough," she murmured to herself and attached the proper length of fuse to the explosive. A second later the fuse was burning.

"Fifteen. Fourteen. Thirteen ..." Rebecca stepped out of the driver's cabin and reunited with Billy. "Eleven! I placed a bomb in there. Ten ..."

"What?!"

"Nine more seconds before it goes Boom! Eight! Seven ..."

"You gotta be kidding me!"

The zombies still came pushing into the car. Rebecca took up position next to Billy and opened fire.

"Four! Three! Two! Take cover! One! -- NOW!!!" At the last possible moment the two dove for cover behind the car's benches. Rebecca had timed the detonation precisely with just the right amount of explosives. She felt the thunderous roar and the following shock-wave hitting her even in her crouched position. A wall of flames came rushing down the car consuming anything in its wake. And then the emergency brakes of the train kicked in. It was an automatic fail-safe designed to bring the train to an immediate hold if necessary.

The shock-wave and the fire had already put a damper on the zombies' assault and now the sudden stop made them tumble all over themselves and knocked them around in the car. An ear-splitting shrieking sound echoed through the train, it was like the brakes were screaming for help.

We'll jump the tracks
, Rebecca thought while the aftershocks of the explosion still reverberated through her body.

The zombies got strewn all over the car but that didn't keep them from trying to grab at their prey. Rebecca and Billy set to work with their knifes to diminish their enemies' numbers when suddenly they noticed that the train had actually stopped.

"Let's go!" Billy jumped up and grabbed Rebecca by the hand to drag her with him but she just stayed where she were, rooted to the spot.

"Edward ..."

At the front of the zombie horde a man came stumbling at them, a man she knew very well. A man in a S.T.A.R.S. uniform. It was no other than Rebecca's fellow Bravo teammate Edward Dewey. So apart from her other S.T.A.R.S. members had found this train before it had started its journey. And as sure as this was Edward Dewey it was just as obvious that he was dead. His stomach had been ripped open and his intestines were hanging out of the gaping wound. Rebecca couldn't move and just kept staring at him.

"Stop that bullshit, will you?" she said, struck by the wild hope that this was somehow a joke, as she took a step towards him. "I warning you, Edward, this time I won't let you get off that easy." She smiled. Acting like a zombie in this kind of situation was so much like Edward, wasn't it? Wasn't it? Unfortunately and anyway you looked at it: what was standing there before her was a walking corpse, grunting like a wild animal.

"Edward, that's enough ..."

She took another step towards him but then the report of a gun made her stop. A perfectly round hole had appeared on Edward's forehead and blood and brain matter got propelled out of the back of his skull. Released from his misery the S.T.A.R.S. member fell to the floor.

"What do you think you're doing?!" Rebecca screamed turning on Billy. "You killed him! You're a murderer! A murderer!"

She started hammering her fists on Billy's broad chest again and again and as hard as she could. It was the shock of course, the shock of seeing her teammate lurching around as a zombie, the man who joked around with her only hours ago. Billy made no move to stop her. He ignored her while he kept shooting at the zombies that were still approaching them. Then he grabbed Rebecca's arm.

"Let's get out of here!"

A loud sob escaped Rebecca's lips and she started crying like a child. She knew it. She knew that there wouldn't have been any help for Edward. No, death was his only salvation.

Billy finally dragged her out of the train into the night.

WESKER 3

"Who is afraid of Marcus? Nobody...", Dr. Birkin hummed while he worked the monitors. Beside him, Wesker had settled on the chair, but appeared to be neither interested in the monitors or the boisterous and merry-looking Birkin.

"He is nowhere to be seen. So he bailed."

The monitors continued to show constant changes in live images from all corners of the Umbrella Training Centre. Judging by these pictures, the training centre was a kind of haunted house in a way, which was teeming with ogres and monsters.

The first director of the training centre for future high-level personnel of the Umbrella Corporation had been just that, Dr. James Marcus. But before more detail can be revealed on the fate of the ill-fated scientist, it is necessary to say a few words about the international conglomerate Umbrella.

Everything began with the discovery of the 'proto-virus' in 1967. This discovery was one of the reasons for the rapid growth of Umbrella. It has to be assumed that this virus in ancient times made a crucial contribution to the emergence of life and death on earth. In other words, this original virus was the answer to the question of questions, a question whose answer has fascinated scientists for centuries; the question of the origins of life.

In any case, the virus had the ability to mix genetic information to cause unique mutations. And it possessed the ability to transfer these altered genes into other organisms by infecting it and causing a fresh spontaneous mutation. This ability to transfer to spontaneous mutation functioned both between whole individuals and between individual cells. The original virus was one of the great discoveries of the century, but hardly anyone took any notice. And nowhere were the facts of this discovery ever published. But why?

Behind this wondrous discovery stood three men. Ozwald E. Spencer, a famous noble, Edward Ashford, also noble, and Dr. James Marcus, Spencer's friend from university times. Lord Spencer was the most inhuman man, which you can imagine. Although blessed from birth with wealth and prestige, he still suffered from a painful ambition, an insatiable greed for more. Spencer dreamed of ruling over everything and everyone. The whole world he wanted for himself. Anything less, simply would not satisfy him. Of the three, Spencer was the only one who really understood the potential power of the proto-virus over mankind. And it was only logical that he instigated the launching of Umbrella Corporation in order to feed his hunger for power. This differentiated his thinking and his attitude from the outset in principle to Ashford, who was concerned only about the reputation of his family, or from Marcus, who wanted simply to pursue his research with a vigor.

After its establishment, the Umbrella Corporation gave itself to the outside world the appearance of a globally operating pharmaceutical company. But secretly with the help of the research on the proto-virus they could significantly advance in the field of biological weaponry. Spencer's first goal was to dominate the arms market. In fact, the Umbrella Corporation grew like wildfire to a considerable size. This rapid growth had been fueled mainly by the political power of the original virus as the ultimate threat.

While Marcus was one of the discoverers of the original virus, the rapid growth in size and power of Umbrella meant he was soon pushed to the sidelines. Power struggles and plots had never been one of his strengths. Spencer, however, was a true expert in fighting with hooks and eyes, and had an easy time dealing with Marcus. Almost overnight, Marcus was pulled out of all the company's planning and shifted to the post of Director of the company's own training center. The scientist immediately realised that this was done to remove him from the power centre of the group. But he never fought against his transfer because he knew he could gain something positive from it after all: There, in this remote training center in the woods, it would easily be possible to evade control by the central office and work quietly on his research. In a sense, therefore, Marcus was even grateful to Spencer for this transfer.

In his new workplace, Marcus worked diligently to create a new bio-genetic weapon by implanting leeches with the original proto-virus. In addition, he devoted himself to the development of the T-Virus, an improved version of the original virus. That this would ultimately also benefit Spencer, Marcus was well aware, but he did not directly scruple to create a weapon. He was also still fascinated by the possibilities of the original virus.

For Marcus, his time as Director of the training centre was happy, as his goal had always been to explore and discover new things. Secretly he hoped to find something spectacular, and thanks to these new discoveries finally earn Spencer’s true recognition, and then with his honor restored, he could return to his rightful place at the centre of the company. But once the T-Virus was finally completed, Marcus discovered that he was, to Spencer, just a pawn in the game all along. The ominous came without warning. Marcus was approached on day in his lab by Albert Wesker and William Birkin; - two employees whom he trusted completely – and was murdered by them. The two were acting under the direct orders of Spencer.

Now ten years later, Birkin and Wesker were planning the reactivation of the training centre and had returned there. But at the place of their crime they found Marcus’ ‘ghost’ and all kinds of angry monsters in response. No wonder Birkin was frightened at the sights on the screens. Again and again was ‘Dr. Marcus of that time’ spotted on the monitors, as well as several bio-weapons created by Marcus in the form of leeches and other creatures.

“Well…” Birkin was irritated. “Look at the time, Wesker!”

Birkin pointed to one of the monitors. There, two people were seen. A young couple, but no doubt that it was not a romantic rendezvous which had brought them to this place, both were armed.

“Well, well, this is amusing.” Wesker, whose interest had suddenly been reawakened, got up from his chair.

“The woman is a member of S.T.A.R.S.. Rebecca Chambers is her name. I do not know the man. Looks like Bravo Team got lost here. I wonder if they took the Ecliptic Express?”

“You know the woman?”

“She works for me.”

“And what do we do now?”

Wesker shrugged his shoulders.

“Lean back and watch. Find me images of Marcus!”

What do you mean…” Birkin began looking from camera to camera. While he worked on the keyboard of the control panel, he sang his strange little song.

“Who’s afraid of Marcus? Nobody, nobody…”

CHAPTER 5

Rebecca and Billy had jumped off the burning train and vanished into the darkness of the woods. There were monsters everywhere. First they crossed paths with a giant black dog who followed them persistently like a real hell hound would. Its body was apparently rotting, chunks of torn skin barely covering dark red muscles and exposed ribs while a horde of wiggling maggots feasted on its innards.

After they had disposed of the dog, they got attacked by more leeches and zombies but luckily they could escape through an underground tunnel which had suddenly opened up right before them in the undergrowth. At its end they climbed up an old rusty iron ladder which finally brought them to the front door of a large building. Maybe they would be safe in there ...
Rebecca and Billy slipped through the double doors and found themselves inside a hall of such immense proportions that under different circumstances they could have had quite a decent round of tennis in it. Back to back and with their weapons drawn they worked their way through their new surroundings.

"Look at that!" Billy pointed at one of the walls where a portrait of an elderly man took up quite some space. The man himself wore an expression of nervous eccentricity.

"That's the first director of this joint, Dr. James Marcus."

"You know him?"

"Only his name. He must be dead like 10 years now."

"I sure hope the guy's really dead. I have had quite enough of people who are technically dead but insist on lurching around ... Director you say? What is this place anyway?"

"Some kind of training facility, I think."

As if to underline Rebecca's assumption a recorded message of a man's voice started playing suddenly.

"Attention, this is Dr. Marcus. Please be silent as we reflect on our company's motto: Obedience breeds discipline, discipline breeds unity, unity breeds power. And Power is Life."

"Fucked-up motto," Billy whispered.

Rebecca's radio started making noises but it was not only statics, there was a message there.

"... chard ... this is Richard ... Rebecca, where are you? Rebecca ..."
Rebecca's hand flew to her radio.

"This is Rebecca. I'm in a building belonging to the Umbrella Corporation. Maybe their training facility."

"We're en-route to the mansion. Like we planned in the first place."

"I'll be on my way there as soon as the sun's up. I won't go back into the woods by night, it's too ..."

"Understood. The woods are crawling with those monsters. We see you after dawn then."

"Roger that." She replaced her radio on her belt.

"Hey, why didn't you mention me?" Billy asked.

"I didn't, eh? ... Maybe I forgot."

"That doesn't sound like you're very qualified for police work, does it?"

"And what qualifies you for judging me? Maybe the fact that you haven't been very qualified for Marines work either?"

That earned her a sharp look from Billy. Obviously he didn't take kindly to statements like that.

"I'm sorry, I ..." Rebecca hesitated and after a short pause she continued. "Okay, why don't we stop beating around the bush? Is that story true? Did you really kill those 23 civilians?"

Billy answered without lowering his gun. "It's true I got the orders to wipe out the whole village. And it's true that nobody in that village survived."
He looked at Rebecca.

"Maybe I'm really not qualified for the army."
"But I think that ..." She didn't finish her sentence.
"What do you think?"

"I don't know. Let's try and get out of this mess first. So please don't bolt on me, alright?"
"Why don't you just say you need a bodyguard?"
"If anyone needs backup here it's obviously you. So stop being so damn ungrateful."

They locked eyes. After a moment of silence Rebecca continued:

"Okay, why don't we just go on helping each other like we did so far."

They left the entrance hall over a flight of stairs which brought them on to the second floor. The whole building was dark and gave the impression that it was kept together solely by its thick layers of yellowing varnish. There was not a single living soul to be seen.
Something came dripping from the ceiling. Twisting and wiggling the thing hit the floor, then reared up immediately and leaped forward.
Billy opened fire.

Black chunks of flesh got blown all over the place - a giant leech!
Rebecca looked up at the ceiling and couldn't stop herself from screaming: above their heads there was a glistening mass of creatures and for a moment the leeches dropped down separately like big fat rain drops but a second later they became a hail storm, covering the floor in slimy black bodies. There were just too many of them. Far too many to take them on with simple handguns.

Billy and Rebecca desperately tried to crush as many of them under their feet as possible, and those who lunged at them they disposed of with their combat knives. But no matter how many leeches they killed, there was no end to them. But then, suddenly ...
What the hell is that? Rebecca thought.
It looked as though the glistening black creatures were trying to huddle together, forming a heap, no, a figure. A human shape.
Accompanied by sickening slurping sounds the leeches slithered on top of each other, climbing higher and higher until they had taken on the form of a human being. And this creature, this awkward thing which looked like a man made of clay, started moving twisting and staggering towards Billy and Rebecca.

Rebecca felt vaguely reminded of certain primitive lifeforms like cnidarian who clustered together in so-called colonies. A large number of individual animals would form a firm collective that could act as an independent being. Some coral and jellyfish species were known for this behavior, maybe these leeches in human shape were a kind of colony. But whatever they were, to Rebecca they were too much to cope with. She went rigid with shock.

"Rebecca!"

Billy's voice shook her out of her stupor a moment later and the young Bravo member started firing her gun again. Leeches splashed around like drops of blood. The lanky limbs of the creature twisted awkwardly this way and that and it was not exactly clear if those movements spoke of agony or excitement. After a few hits the creature was no longer able to sustain it's human-like form and collapsed into a heap on the floor.

"RUN!" Billy yelled.

While constantly firing their guns the two of them sprinted on. They crossed the room without looking left or right, they just kept going. Thousands of leeches began to form even more of those human shaped collectives and that was definitely not a sight either of them wanted to stay around for. They bolted from the room and ran down a corridor as fast as their feet would carry them.

After a short while they reached a kind of stone balcony and stepped outside. Dawn was still a long way off and a stinging cold rain was beating down around them. There was a steep drop beyond the rear walls of the mansion. A yawning black chasm as far as the eye could see, a picture of sheer hopelessness and desolation. The balcony connected to some kind of walkway which looked like it could take them into the adjoining wing of the house. The stone banister on their right was so weather-worn it would crumble at the slightest touch. Billy seemed unfazed by that and walked calmly along the banister, followed by Rebecca who kept her back pressed against the wall, taking sideways steps to move forward.
A growl reached her ears. And just a second later something heavy hit her; the young Bravo didn't even get a chance to dodge. Rebecca's small frame was thrown aside and flung over the crumbling banister. This was not the first time today that she had to look death straight in the face, but suddenly Billy was there, grabbing her wrist just in time. She could only admire his reflexes.

"Don't let go!" he yelled and tried to pull her up again.

But the thing that had attacked Rebecca now turned on the ex-marine. It dug its claws deep into the flesh of Billy's back and opened its enormous jaws to try and get a bite out of his throat. At first glance the creature looked like a baboon. It definitely was some kind of big ape but its face was distorted and ugly in an almost grotesque way. Rubbery, gnarled muscles could be seen where the skin was torn or had burst, and from the open wounds a sticky liquid seeped onto the wild patches of fur.
Billy briefly wondered if this baboon might be somehow related to all the other weird creatures they had encountered on the train and in the woods. Monsters seemed to be quite common in this area ...

Just when the creature was about to rip Billy's throat open he pressed the muzzle of his gun against its head, and calmly pulled the trigger. To avoid getting hit by ricochets he tried to lean out of the way as much as possible but there was really no reason for that: the bullet went straight through the ape's skull, eliciting a shrill, almost human-like cry from the the creature. At the same time it was thrown off Billy by the force of the bullet's impact and landed on the stone walkway like a sack of bloodied fur.
All the while, even while fighting off the crazed baboon, Billy hadn't lost his grip on Rebecca's wrist, and now he finally pulled her up.

"Thanks," she said, looking rather pale.

Billy's reply came -as always- cool and calm: "Save it."

At first Rebecca felt offended at his tone but after glancing around she realized that they definitely didn't have time for acknowledgments. One by one more of the ghoulish apes appeared, announcing their presence with high-pitched screams. And they attacked without hesitating. It seemed those creatures had been fabricated as part of Dr. Marcus' private zoo, somewhere in his laboratories. Quite possibly Dr. Marcus had even determined their behaviour when faced with human enemies: it was a rather primitive pattern, almost identical with each creature. Crouch, leap, attack. Even their speed and the moment they leaped into the air could be more or less anticipated. Billy rather quickly figured out their timing and so he dispatched them almost with ease.

Rebecca also stood her ground. She wasn't nearly as effective as Billy but still good enough to back him up. It didn't take long before she started babbling how disposing of the creatures was almost like having fun at a shooting gallery. Once you knew how it worked of course. They soon left the stone balcony and entered the building again. They reached a big auditorium which in turn brought them to a rather impressive observatory. And even here the monsters were ever-present. Mad baboons, leeches, walking corpses. At this point Billy and Rebecca started to get used to encountering those grotesque creatures but it seemed that there was simply no end to them. When a giant bat (that could have been easily mistaken for some kind of winged dragon) appeared right above their heads, even Billy showed signs of exhaustion.

"Will this ever stop?" he growned, irritated.

They were in a chapel now. Shooting walking corpses in a solemn environment as this would get anybody down.

"Look at this!" Rebecca pointed to something on the marble floor. She pushed one of the wooden benches to the side a bit to reveal a set of stairs, leading down into the darkness.

"Hey, good job." said Billy which made a proud smile creep across Rebecca's features. "Right, what are we waiting for?" He took the lead and followed the stairs down, deep below the earth, until they reached a large, cavernous room.

"Is this ... a train station?" Rebecca asked.

It was indeed a station, an underground cable car station. Their was a car right in front of them, hanging from its thick cable. Apparently someone had built the chapel right above a cable car system that stretched between the steep face of this mountain side to some old rusty factory, which crude buildings could be seen a few hundred meters away in the semi-darkness.

"You think it still works?" Billy wondered.

"Let's just give it a try," Rebecca replied.

They stood before the glassed front of a control room. Billy went in and turned the main breaker. A motor started somewhere and a winch began pulling the steel cable above them tight. The car lurched forward. Quickly Billy swiched off the power again.

"Looks fine to me. Okay, let's go!" Rebecca said and stepped into the car without a moment's hesitation.

"Well, if we really have to ..." Billy mumbled.

The ex-marine returned power to the engine and hurried after Rebecca.

WESKER 4

“They have done well to get this far.” Said Birkin with a tone of sincere admiration.

“What did you expect? S.T.A.R.S. is an elite unit of the police.”

“Yes, but even the guy with the tattoos. I wonder who that is?”

“I overheard the police radio. That’s Billy Coen, a former marine. He was convicted by a military tribunal and sentenced to death. The guy has killed 23 civilians.” Wesker said cheerfully.

“These two would make wonderful data just ready to be gathered. Fortune seems to be favoring us this time.”

“You really are an incorrigible optimist. Birkin. What do you intend to do?”

Birkin looked at the monitor. No, he started at himself positively. But his focus was not directed at the monitor itself, but the thoughts inside his own brain. Finally, he nodded vigorously and said: “The T-Virus is actually completed. Thus we can transform this whole fucking waste into highly useful compost. However…I aim at something still higher. It would still be possible for me to create an even more powerful virus. Theoretically, it is even completed already. All that remains is for it to be trial tested.”

“And what does that mean?”

“Further research.”

“Here?”

“Exactly,” said Birkin.

“Why would you want to perform a test at an already contaminated place such as this? Do you want to use those two as test subjects?”

“Even I would not care! If I could eliminate this whole shit storm in one go…”

“The plan for the reclamation of the Training Centre is doomed to failure”, objected Wesker.

“Why is that?” Birkin asked in astonishment.

“Somebody has to take responsibility for the release of the virus.”

“But that’s Marcus’ fault, not mine.”

“Umbrella will not last much longer.”

“…What…what are you talking about?”

Birkin sounded as though the end of the world had just been announced. He had worked for a long time under the care of Spencer. For Birkin, Umbrella was the world in which he lived. Outside it was just a poor, shitty world. And he would not dream of putting one step into this world.

“You do not mean to leave?” Birkin asked anxiously. Instead of an answer Wesker got up from his chair. Birkin protested: “Hey, wait a minute! What is this…”

Wesker turned away from the screens and began to walk with quick steps. 
“Hey! You cannot be serious! What will become of all my research? My research!”

Wesker paused and answered, without turning around. “Do not worry. The research will continue. The T-Virus is almost finished. The data that I was able to gather here, that is the ultimate souvenir. All that remains is to collect combat data. And for that reason, the task force S.T.A.R.S. was formed. I will bring them into the mansion. You can stay here and research to your heart’s content. Here, for you!” Wesker threw something at Birkin and left the room. Birkin looked at the object Wesker had just tossed him. It was a key with the logo of Umbrella Corporation.

“Damn. What a bastard! A complete fucking asshole!”

Birkin pounded repeatedly on the table with his fist. Was this really the end? He was so worked up that he could feel no pain. On the table there was already bloodstains. He gritted his teeth so tightly that they crunched. He looked for a moment like a madman, staring at his own fist, from which the blood poured, and then Birkin began speaking to himself in a hoarse voice. He spoke to himself, and it sounded like the monologues of a man who had lost his obvious mental balance. “You know it…but from all over here…and you know it yourself…are not stupid…you know it only too well…the thing is gone…so…that is need…destroy everything before it becomes even worse there.”

Birkin flipped the cover over the switch for activating the self-destruct device on the control panel. Among them were two key holes. Birkin put the key which he had received from Wesker into one and turned it. Then he undid his own key from his necklace and put it into the adjacent hole. Birkin turned the second key and watched as a valve opened up in the middle of the control panel, under which was a red button.

“This is probably the end,” muttered Birkin quietly. His excitement seemed at once like it was gone.

CHAPTER 6

Rebecca wasn't exactly sure if what she smelled in the half decayed factory building was blood or rust. She was running with Billy along a dark and narrow corridor flanked by various rust-covered machines which purpose was lost to her.

"What the hell is this?" Billy asked, pointing at a row of cylinder shaped water tanks made of glass - probably armoured glass. They were huge. And in each one of them something floated ...

"This one looks like one of those monster apes," Rebecca said and bent down to read the 'product name' from a little plastic label. "Says they're called Eliminators."

Monstrous creatures of every form and shape were collected here. Black hounds with vicious jaws. Strange beings that looked like a mixture of a human and a reptile, covered in thick scales.

"The freak show's come to town."

"Does this mean Umbrella is mass-producing these things?" Billy asked.

"Yes. Commissioned by Marcus."

"I think I'm beginning to understand what's going on here."

"And what's that?"

"These ... things. They're weapons."

"How?"

"If you send men to war they still have their own will, you know? Their own free will weighs more than the orders of a superior officer. It takes a lot of effort and time to bring a human under your control. But these creatures? They don't have a will of their own. Control them and what you have is the perfect soldier. They're not even afraid to die. Hm, I don't know. I wouldn't like to command an army of these even if I was an officer."

"Weapons. So they conducted their experiments here and then tried to mass-produce all the creatures that they assumed would be a success?"

"I think they didn't just try. Look around. This is a production line." said Billy.

"I heard somewhere that Umbrella was up to a lot of strange stuff. There were rumours that they developed and sold bio-genetic weapons. Those things seem to be just that." Rebecca had been walking on while saying this and now found herself in front of some kind of a control panel. "What's this?"

Before Billy could say or do anything, Rebecca had already pressed one of the plastic buttons on the panel. A jolt went through the room and then suddenly the floor below their feet started to slowly sink into the ground. Apparently the whole construction was some kind of service lift, taking the two of them deeper and deeper into the ground.

"If this thing keeps going like that we're gonna end up in Hell," Billy mused, a faint smile on his face. But actually they both didn't feel much like smiling considering that the lift took them to some unknown destination. There was a point where even the naivest optimist began to get worried. And then, the lift stopped. Suddenly it was very very quiet around them. So quiet that both Billy and Rebecca could hear the faint rushing of their own blood in their ears. Even here, half a mile underneath the surface, there were endless rows of rusted machinery with unclear purpose. Something went 'splat' in the semi-darkness.

"Not again ..." Billy muttered but it was already too late.
Giant leeches came crawling from everywhere. Like a slimy river they covered every surface, floor, walls and ceiling. Rebecca and Billy had drawn their weapons, waiting for the attack, but nothing happened. Not one of the creatures showed the least bit of interest in the two humans invading their territory. Instead they flowed together and up the steps of a broad staircase that lead to a higher floor. And there, on the gallery, stood an old man.

"Who are you?!" Rebecca yelled. The face of the man reminded her of the portrait she had seen back in the entrance hall of the training facility.

"My name is Marcus. Dr. James Marcus," the man answered. His voice was dry and, like his face, bereft of any emotions as he was looking down on them.

"Director Marcus? Impossible! He's dead."

The man just gave a jerkily shrug. "No, he's not dead. He was never dead. Listen to me and listen well." The way he uttered those words sounded like he was talking to them with his mouth full.

"Attention! This is Director Dr. James Marcus. Please be silent as we reflect upon our company's motto: Obedience breeds discipline. Discipline breeds unity. Unity breeds power. And power is life." The voice was eerily monotonous but grew in volume with every word.

"It has been ten years since Spencer's assassins had shot me. Oh the pain, the terrible pain. Never seizing, it was like going through Hell."

"What ... what is he talking about?" Rebecca whispered.

"You think it's really that Dr. Marcus?" Billy was at a loss here. He didn't even dare pointing his gun at the old man.

"And then those bastards stole my work. Everything I have achieved. But alas, my God has been very generous towards me that fateful day. Attention! This is Director Dr. James Marcus. Please be silent as we reflect upon our company's motto: Obedience breeds discipline. Discipline breeds unity. Unity breeds power. And power is life!!!". The man was yelling now, faint tremors running across his features.

"Secretly I managed to merge my own cell tissue with that of my leeches and then I enhanced it with the T-virus. Thus a miracle happened! Thus I am leech among leeches and, at the same time, ALL leeches! The leeches are with me and they have grown with me!" The tremors became more pronounced. With every twitch, wrinkles rolled like waves across his face and something seemed to thrash about inside his mouth, trying violently to find a way out.

"I'm very fond of leeches. In a certain way I even love them. I am leech as well as man. I am an emissary. Arbitrating between man and leech." His face contorted as if he was in extreme pain. But it wasn't even a real face anymore.

"Leeches. Leeches, leeches. Slippery, slippery leeches. But they are me. Slippery. I am begging you, please. Slippery. Slippeaaaaargh!" He howled like a wounded animal. His features began to droop, his skin hanging limply from his cheekbones. And then it just dropped off, flowed down his body right onto the assembled leeches at his feet. The creature, that had no longer any resemblance to the deceased Dr. Marcus, started to absorb the mass of writhing bodies, curiously mimicking the clothes of the old man for a short while. And then it leaped. With a splashing sound the leech-man hit the floor in front of Rebecca and Billy. It was unnatural, the way it moved, trying to get up. It's long arms looked like thick braided strands of rubber. Suddenly one of those arms whipped around and shot straight at Rebecca, who dodged it at the last possible moment. Sharp claws dug into the floor, spraying sparks.

Billy opened fire, his bullets ripping into black and bloodied flesh, making the creature back off a few steps. But not an inch further. Again it attacked, this time with both whip-like arms. The claws rushed passed Billy's face, missing his nose by a hair.

"Give it a wide berth, Rebecca. Stay away from it!" Billy yelled and retreated.

Meanwhile the young Bravo had produced a small round object from her pocket.

"Get further away from it," she screamed in his direction, turned her back to the approaching monster and started to run. After a short distance she risked a look over her shoulder. "Hm, that should do it." She stopped abruptly and then threw the round object into the creature's path.

"Get down!!" Rebecca yelled and hit the ground. A bright light filled the room, then the explosion shook the whole building. The blast wave swept rusty splinters and other debris across the floor.

"What the hell was that?!"

"A hand grenade. The world's smallest hand grenade. Made in Holland."
When the billows of smoke thinned out a bit something on the basement floor became visible. A mass of wriggling, slimy things.

"No, this can't be ..."

The hand grenade did not really have much of an effect. The writhing mass just changed its form adding more and more of the leeches that were streaming towards it from all directions, wave after wave, to be absorbed by the creature. It grew bigger and bigger, doubling its size, tripling it ... it didn't take long for it to reach the size of a small building.

The creature started trembling, its skin ripping and tearing away, revealing innumerable rows of what looked like thick spikes or thorns.

Then its head split open into four segments leaving a bizarre hole. The flaps of skin turned into spiked tentacles that swayed about like seaweed under water. And then the creature started moving towards Rebecca and Billy, quickly picking up speed.

"What in god's name is that?!" Rebecca yelled and immediately opened fire.

"Let's get out of here. Now!"

Billy followed her example shooting at the advancing monster before taking his own advice and turning to run. In one corner of the room there was a control panel for the lift. Neither Billy nor Rebecca hesitated; they both made for the lift, reaching it almost at the same time.

Billy pressed the start button. A jolt went through the whole structure and for a moment it felt like the lift would descend but a second later it started to to move up. It had a long way to go but it quickly began to pick up speed. With a hopeful expression on her face Rebecca stared upwards.

Then -as if to shatter all her hopes- a monotonous computer voice announced:

"The self-destruct sequence has been activated. All personnel must evacuate immediately. The self-destruct sequence has been activated. All personnel must evacuate immediately. This is not a drill."

"Self-destruct sequence?" Rebecca asked. "Are these people completely crazy?"

"Someone wants to get rid of all those monsters ..." Billy stopped abruptly and Rebecca knew why.

"I can hear it, too." she said. There was a scratching sound, like a claw scraping along a wall.

"It's behind us!" They yelled simultaneously.

"Shit! If that thing catches up with us we're done for!"

"Faster. We have to go faster!"

Rebecca started pummeling the control panel in front of her.

"Stop that!" Billy growled and grabbed her hand.

"Hey, don't touch me!"

"If you hit the wrong button we'll be in serious trouble."

"Let me worry about that."

Rebecca shook off his hand and reached into her pocket.

"What now?"

"Another hand grenade?"

"Don't be stupid. You'll destroy the lift!"

"But I have to do something!"

"How about shutting up for a change?!"

"Wouldn't dream of it."

"Shut up!"

"How dare you ...?"

"There!"

"What do you mean, there?"

"Oh for heaven's sake, we're there!"

The two of them had been so engrossed in their little fight they hadn't noticed that the lift had already stopped at its final destination at the top level of the facility. They quickly got out and took a look around. What now?

Up above there was a hole in the ceiling. It looked like the whole roof had been constructed to slide open, maybe to give helicopters access to this area when transporting heavy machinery. Sunlight filtered into the room. Morning had finally come and the rain had stopped. There was even a patch of blue sky over them.

But Billy and Rebecca didn't have time to enjoy the view. They crossed the large room, searching for a way out.

But their search was cut short when suddenly a new monster greeted them - a monster that tossed steel plates around like they were plywood. Its body was littered with spiky tentacles and each tentacle seemed to have a life of its own testing its surroundings to sniff out its next target. The creature opened its gigantic jaws to present two rows of massive crooked fangs.

"Fire!" Billy and Rebecca screamed simultaneously and started shooting. Clearly affected by the hail of bullets the creature backed off a bit but every time one of them had to reload it moved its enormous bulk in their direction again.

Rebecca and Billy decided to split up so they could attack their enemy from both sides. Whenever the monster went for one of them the other was there to distract it. This plan proofed to be astonishingly successful: none of them even got scratched by those large tentacles. But it soon became obvious that ordinary ammunition would never suffice to take the creature down. It was only a matter of time really before one of them would run out of ammo or just collapse from sheer exhaustion. Especially Rebecca could not go on like this forever. One false move and the monster would just  crush her beneath its massive body.

"Oh god, how long can this thing keep going?!" Rebecca yelled.

"It's over when it's over!" Billy replied.

"Yeah, over for us."

"Hey, I got it! Look up there!" Billy pointed to the hole in the roof. "Looks like our friend is afraid of sunlight."

Now Rebecca could see it, too. No matter if it was attacking or retreating, the monster always made sure to stay out of the little patch of sunlight.

"Let's give it a try! Drive it into the light!"

And so they did. They regrouped and resumed firing at the creature, aiming carefully to drive it slowly but surely into the center of the room, right underneath the hole in the ceiling. And indeed: the monster tried to avoid the light.

"We have to get that sliding roof open! There must be some kind of lever or button to activate it." Billy looked around and then pointed at a large red button."Could be that one. I'll keep our ugly friend occupied and you go ahead and push the button, okay?"

"Roger!" Rebecca already started running towards the button.

"Hey, tall dark and ugly! Over here!" Billy fired a few bullets to get the creatures attention. Its eyeless visage moved in his direction, its gaping maw oozing white slime. A second later Rebecca has reached the button and pushed it down hard with both hands. Somewhere a motor started. Something rattled. It seemed to have been the right button! With a metallic squeak loud enough to drown out the gun shots the roof panels began to move. Inch by inch sunlight streamed into the room while the creature hastily tried to get out of the way. But already half of the room was brightly lit by now and finally the first rays of sun hit the monster. Something hissed and steam rose up as the creature's skin dried and crackled like old rubber.

But it was not over yet. The thing that had once been Dr. Marcus squirmed and struggled in its final death throws. Unfortunately Rebecca was in its way. It all happened very quickly. The creature reared up and just threw the young Bravo off her feet. She felt like she got hit by a car as she was flung up in the air. A second later she hit a wall losing the grip on her gun. She finally landed on a her stomach, not able to move or breath. And still the monster was not finished with her.

But Billy was also on the move. He dashed forward and grabbed Rebecca's gun. Without hesitating he started firing both guns and bullet after bullet ripped into the creature's flesh before it could get to Rebecca. And then it finally collapsed, its skin looking like cracked clay.

"Rebecca! We did it!" Billy yelled.

But his euphoria was only short-lived. There was definitely something going on with the dead creature; strange noises came from its huge form.

"Watch out!" Rebecca screamed and they both started running. A moment later the shock-wave of an explosion pushed them to the ground.

When they got back on their feet again they saw that there was nothing much left of the creature. All that remained was an ugly mass of vaguely organic looking tissue spread across the large room.

They had finished the monster but they weren't out of the woods yet.

"The self-destruct sequence has been activated. All personnel must evacuate immediately. This is not a drill," the computer voice droned on.

"Let's get out of here," Billy said and started running again. Rebecca nodded and followed him. Victory was close ...

WESKER 5

The train was derailed and overturned. It was the train that had brought Rebecca and her companion here, the Ecliptic Express. The front car of the train was derailed and destroyed, smoke still rose from the ruins. Two men stood amongst the smoke, their expressions unreadable.They were tall men with muscular chests. Both wore long coats that hid their bodies, but even so it was obvious that they were both well trained physically. The first man held a knife with three blades arranged asymmetrically like something used in ancient Indian antiquities. Wesker, who had arrived from the research centre through the underground passage, threw the two just a quick glance and was about to walk past them.

"Going somewhere, Comrade Wesker?"

Wesker paused and answered, without looking at his questioner. "I'm on my way to my next mission, Colonel Sergei Vladimir."

The man, Sergei, made a greasy looking grin. If it was a grin, then you had to assume that the more human side of his personality was obviously broken.

"The plan for the reactivation of the training centre was your idea. You were charged with the implementation. And now we have this fiasco. One might think you owe an explanation, Wesker." Sergei smiled, as if he had just made a successful joke.

In contrast, the countenance of the man behind him remained remarkably impassive. His face was stiff and cold as ice. So rigid was it in fact that one could quite easily have regarded it as a very intricately designed mask.Granted, Sergei's eerie grin had something mask-like. In any case, there was no doubt that these two guys had very little humanity within them. But Wesker at this point did nothing to point this fact out. The Commander of S.T.A.R.S. ignored Sergei's request and wanted to go.

"You want to go without simply answering for it do you?"

"The T-Virus has broken out. The training center is lost. It will be blown up in a few moments."

"Blown up? You do not say, comrade. I think I need to clarify something here. We have jointly committed to Lord Spencer. We are comrades. Unilateral action by individuals cannot be tolerated," said Sergei. He played with the clean knife in his hand and pointed the gleaming blade directly at Wesker. Sergei's face wore a devilish grin.

But Wesker was not intimidated. He met Sergei's eyes for a moment in silence and then said; "You probably belong to the bracket of men who gladly allow themselves to be dominated."

Sergei looked at Wesker in amazement.

"Restricted guys like you are always asked by someone who dominates and controls.," continued Wesker. "And you know why? Because you cannot make one single decision on your own. You think that you serve Lord Spencer but you are wrong. You simply are controlled by someone who dominates you. You are a robot. Your stupid mass is afraid of nothing more than change. As long as nothing changes for you, you do not care if anyone else is ruling and dominating you. Yes, they often do not get it again."

"What do you mean?"

"The fact that one day you will eventually work for me, Sergei."

Upon hearing this, Sergei laughed ostentatiously. "You really are as stupid as they say, Wesker! But I love conceited, arrogant guys like you! You know, every person fits physical pain. And people like you have physical pain. And people like you are no exception. I am looking forward to it! I can not wait to see you crawling on the ground and see you whimper for mercy with tears of blood after it had pierced your eyes, tore your fingernails right out, and pulled out each tooth individually!"
Sergei stuck his tongue out,grinning widely now. He pressed the blade of his knife into his mouth and pulled back sharply, still grinning. On his tongue, a straight line appeared, made from the pouring deep red blood.

"Pain is the messenger of the gods. It is the bond that unites us human beings with the gods. And I think you have earned something like this. I speak from pain, which is a gift from the gods. Ivan! Show him what it means to feel pain!"

The man, who had been standing behind Sergei the whole time, moved forward with smooth movements. He was a big build, and his body moved like a spring. Before Wesker he came to a halt. At the same moment, Wesker shot him without the slightest hesitation. Id did not seem to bother him to shoot another man. On the other hand - his opponent was not really just a 'man.' Although Ivan was hit by a volley from Wesker's kalashnikov, it seemed to make little difference to him. A little blood and flesh splattered, and Ivan took a few steps forward having suffered little significant visible damage. However, this did not seem to surprise Wesker one bit.

"Just as I suspected," he murmured under his breath.

 

And then he sprinted off, Ivan close behind. After mere seconds he had caught up with Wesker and grabbed the man's shoulder. Wesker spun around and fired, hitting Ivan square in the chest and head. But not even bullets from this short a distance could do much harm to Sergei's bodyguard. He just moved his torso out of the way, loosening his grip on Wesker's shoulder.

Wesker used that chance to free himself and get further away from his opponent.

This time Ivan leapt up into the air and landed only a few feet next to Wesker, only to deliver a roundhouse kick which would have certainly floored the S.T.A.R.S. captain if he had not dodged it at the last possible moment. Ivan went for a punch next but Wesker blocked his fist with both hands. Smoothly Ivan followed up with another kick and this time he hit his target.

Wesker spun over two or three times in midair before colliding with a near by wall. Unimpressed he continued the seemingly hopeless fight. He even took a second to glance at his watch. In the meantime Ivan came running at him, welcomed by a hail of bullets, but it was pretty obvious that those bullets would not stop him. Apparently Wesker's prime objective was to stall for time. He ran off again and Ivan followed suit. At the underground corridor's entrance Ivan finally caught up with him and blocked his path. Wesker hit him with another round of bullets but Ivan just stood there like a statue, with nothing about him indicating that he even registered the impact.

And then it happened. A glaring light bathed their surroundings in painful white and with a thundering noise the floor beneath them began to shake. A second later Ivan was hit by a massive shockwave. The training facility exploded. And that was exactly what Wesker had been waiting for.

When the dust had settled Wesker was gone. Nevertheless, Sergei laughed.

"Not bad. Not bad at all. Don't you think, comrade Ivan?"

Ivan didn't respond. He was staring in front of him, right at the spot where Wesker had been a moment ago. It was like he could still see his opponent.

"He had been counting on this," Sergei continued unfazed. "Probably he even knew that you would not attack him with full force yet. He wanted to buy time so he played a little game with us. The guy is good. Damn good but also a little stupid. I think we couldn't find a better sacrifice for the god of pain than him. What do you think, Ivan?"

All the excitement the previous fight had caused him seemed to have gone from Ivan. His face showed its usual blank expression, cold and emotionless.

"Alright, enough talk. Let us go and get the Talos prototype. Everything for Umbrella!"

CHAPTER 7

The sun was up and dominated the blue sky to the east. It was morning. The clearing on the small hill was bathed in sunlight and seemed to be the perfect place for a little rest. The lush green forest surrounding it bristled with life and it was quite unimaginable that it was so close to the place where they had gone through a virtual nightmare ...

Rebecca could feel the thunder of the massive detonations getting closer and closer to her, she could see the gigantic ball of fire and the flames consuming the entire training facility. And then, with something like a satisfied burp, a cloud of black smoke left the wreckage.

It looked like the self-destruct system had been designed to leave nothing to chance, again and again small detonations shook the ground beneath their feet. The heat emanating from the destruction sight even reached the small hill and warmed their faces.

The nightmare was finally over. Rebecca took in the view, the destroyed buildings reminded her a bit of a movie set.

"Looks just like they were shooting a movie down there," she said.

"But it wasn't a movie." Billy stood next to Rebecca, scanning the remains of the training facility where they had been fighting for their lives only minutes ago. "There're no credits rolling when your life is over. And my life goes on after the curtain drops ..."

Billy held out his hands towards Rebecca, the handcuffs were still in place. Just the chain linking them had been severed.

Rebecca ignored that. She took a step towards him, reached up and undid the prisoner tag that he had been wearing around his neck.

"What are you doing?"

"I will state in my report that the prisoner Billy Coen has died last night."

"Rebecca ..."

"From now on you can consider yourself a zombie," she laughed.

Billy gave her a smile. "Well, I'm feeling pretty good for a dead person today."

"Although you smell a bit burnt. What are you going to do now?"

"I have no idea. What about you?"

"I've got to get back to the Arklay Mountains. My team is waiting for me."

"So, this means goodbye then."

They turned to look at each other, holding the other's gaze for a moment. Then they saluted.

And then, without another word, Rebecca marched off into the woods to head for the mansion. Of coure she was not aware that what was awaiting her there was even more terrifying and grotesque than anything she had been up against the night before.

THE MANSION INCIDENT ~

WESKER 6 

 

Wesker had long since shed his white lab coat and left the Training Centre at speed in order to immediately make his way to the meeting place. There he had to don his second face; that of Captain of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team. He had led his men into the woods where the monsters were waiting for them. The Alpha Team was instructed to trace the Bravo Team, who had been missing in action since the previous night. At least, that was what the official order had been and it seemed perfectly reasonable, given the circumstances. Wesker was the only one that knew from the outset what his team were going to expect in this hell they were going to. In the end, only two of his team members would make it to the mansion alive; Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

 

For Wesker, so far everything had gone as expected. Although perhaps it would be more accurate to say that everything went according to plan for Wesker. How far would the developed biological weapons fare under real combat conditions - under combat conditions with well-trained operatives? This question would be answered in a large-scale experiment. And that was the real reason that Wesker had the Alpha Team lured to the mansion.

Would the biological weapons be a match against a battle-hardened and fearless elite unit such as S.T.A.R.S.? All data, which would contribute an answer to this question, would be fully recorded. A tiny module had been integrated into the helmet of each team member, which recorded everything from vital body functions and miniature digital cameras that were attached to the headsets of the soldiers. Wesker would collect all the memory cards from the modules after the mission was over. He wondered how the mutant creatures would react against his men and what strategies they would adopt when fighting? What tactics would both sides use? These were the questions Wesker was hoping to find answers to.

Accompanied by his last two remaining team members, he entered the mansion. Three surviving members of an originally six man strong team; - these figures alone at a glance made it clear what unrelenting harshness Alpha Team would face in the coming hours.

Finally, the team had fled from a pack of half-decayed black dogs and made it into the mansion. When they were finally behind the safety of the front door, they were greeted by a pervasive atmosphere of calm. The continuous struggle of the last few minutes suddenly appeared like a distant dream. They stood in the spacious hall. But before they could plan their next move, they suddenly heard the sound of gunfire in the distance coming from somewhere within the mansion. The three responded bluntly.

“I’ll go and check it out,” Said Chris.

“I’m coming too!” replied Jill.

“Be careful, people.” Ordered Wesker. “I will stay and hold this position. We will meet again in 30 minutes, right here.”

After synchronizing their watches, the two were on their way to the door that led to the dining room. Jill and Chris had only been gone a few seconds when Wesker sprung into action. He knew this mansion like the back of his hand, no wonder after all, the mansion was owned by Umbrella Corporation. Wesker ran to the wall opposite. There, behind a painting, there was a tiny slot. Wesker fished a card from his pocket and placed it into the slot. As if by magic part of the wall opened very quietly and very slowly, revealing a passage into an adjacent room. This was the control room.

On the walls of the control room, 25 screens were lined up. The pictures flickered over them, showing in detail what was going on inside the mansion. Wesker would not have to explore every room like Chris and Jill would, he could see everything from here on out. He settled on a very functional acting chair in front of the wall of screens. Everything that happened from inside the mansion would be observed from this control room and recorded.

“Well, let’s get started,” Wesker said to himself, and began to operate the switchboard. One of the monitors showed his two team members as they moved through the dining room. The duo crossed the dining room and stepped through a door at the end of the room into the adjoining room. There, a figure whose movements looked somewhat monotonous and mechanical. At first glance it looked like a man, but in reality it was not human. It was a former-man, a living-dead man. A zombie.

Wesker hit a button and zoomed in closer. The zombie was crouched there, holding someone in its arms. Not to protect him of course, but to feast on him. The camera zoomed in closer to the face of the man being eaten alive.

“Kenneth…”, mumbled Wesker and he grinned mockingly. “What a shame. “So shortly before the finish…”

The man was Kenneth Sullivan, a member of S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team. Wesker watched the dying man for a while, but the images soon bored him. Again, he flicked a switch and focused on another of the monitors. It looked as though he had come across some survivors from Bravo Team. Wesker could see a woman holding a man in his arms. The man was Richard Aiken and the woman was Rebecca Chambers. Wesker brought up the vital functions of the two members on another of the monitors. “This guy will not live,” muttered Wesker and reached into a drawer, pulling out an aluminum box. He tapped in a PIN code, and the lid of the casket opened. Inside the casket was a shot kit with a bottle of fluid and a vial for pumping the fluid into a syringe. He rolled up his sleeve and plunged the needle into the vein of his arm. In the clear vial he watched the mingled red threads of his own blood mix with the pus-yellow liquid in the syringe, he pushed down on the plunger. For a moment, the captain of Alpha Team pulled a twisted little face. Then he took a deep breath. On the monitor it was obvious his men had begun firing upon the zombie that had eaten their comrade. Wesker’s breathing became faster and shallower. On his forehead, tiny beads of sweat began to appear and the vein on his temple was pulsing. Wesker gritted his teeth until he could hear them crunch. A sudden pain like a thousand hot needles perforated his body. The glowing feeling dispersed in his body for a moment, then it gathered up again and traveled from here to there. Wesker endured the pain without a single complaint. He possessed an almost superhuman stamina. An ordinary man in such pain would have already fainted, perhaps even died from shock.

On the monitors it was visible that one zombie after another had been left in a shower of blood and flesh on the ground. Again and again, more shots rang out. Between all this Wesker could hear the sound of his own heavy breathing. He began to tremble violently all over his body. Then he could hold out no longer and Wesker slid slowly out of the chair and onto the floor. There he lay curled up like an embryo. The violent shaking and trembling continued. For a while, he flapped his limbs wildly and uncoordinated.

Then, suddenly, the pain disappeared. It was as if a strong wind had driven out the dark clouds in his mind and opened up the clear blue of the sky. Everything appeared to Wesker in absolute clarity and distinctness. For Wesker, it was a feeling as if he had lived his entire life up until that point blindfolded. Something tore in his head, and burst out, like the birth of a new star in boundless universe that expanded inside his brain. And then Wesker remembered. He remembered what it must have been like to be born as a primitive life inside a hot and oppressive sea, comparing himself to the very first organic compounds that had the ability to reproduce. And now the exoskeleton had arisen inside of him as he had been given a portal, back from the completion of the very first small brain right through to the current dominant organism humans had become. He remembered the whole 3.8 billion years.

And then Wesker knew it. He knew what he was now; he was standing at the summit of 3.8 billion years of evolution. Wesker laughed. He laughed heartily and was holding his stomach with laughter. Then he reached fro his sunglasses and glanced at the two ‘monkeys’ who were busily hopping about on the screen. What poor, primitive creatures, thought Wesker. Mere intermediate products on the long road to evolution…

WESKER 7

It was dawn on July 25th when the disturbing events surrounding the mansion drew to a temporary close. The S.T.A.R.S. unit of the Raccoon City Police Department had been virtually wiped out completely. Only Chris and a few friends had survived. Evidence that bore witness to what went on in the property were all burnt up now. At least so it seemed. For just before the self-destruct explosion took place, in the catacombs beneath the lab, something remarkable took place…

Dust danced in the darkness. Again and again the tannoy blared from the loudspeakers and called on all employees to leave the building immediately. It did not have much time. But he was here, and his consciousness returned slowly. He knew he was no longer a man. He had been dead. Yes, he could still clearly remember the cold and darkness of death. To conquer that death had been Wesker’s biggest goal. The situation had required that he himself had died. Albert Wesker; employee of the Umbrella Corporation, was dead, he no longer existed. And there were people who could testify to that. The organism that was Wesker had died the moment the Tyrant had caught him. His body was no longer that of a man. Though his skull was shattered and half his brain matter had been crushed, he lived. All the tormenting pain had vanished in the moment in which he advanced towards death as a human. And the virus created by Birkin had done its work inside Wesker’s body, converting the intense pain to a completely opposite feeling; joy. Wesker could feel the joy of being alive. He was resurrected as a member of a new human race, and he experienced the sweet taste of this sensation like a swim through golden honey. And all this, from the very beginning, had been part of Wesker’s plan. He now did no longer have to guess what it was like to be reborn in another form.

Wesker came back from the abyss of nothingness. And at the moment of his awakening, he realised that his old life had been one, long sleep. It was even more than that; the whole of mankind lay in slumber. The people, the supposed ‘pinnacle of creation’, were not much better than monkeys! Wesker knew he had now risen above humanity, yes, he would be the new and true ruler of all things and beings. And now he had to prepare everything so that he could reign as lord and master of a new era. Of that Wesker was convinced. His ability to think did not seem to have been damaged; he could see things now even more clearly than ever before.

It seemed like the Tyrant had been defeated. Wesker had been able to feel its death, as if they had communicated a weak vibration between themselves. And soon shortly the whole laboratory here would fly up into the air. He had to hurry up to be away from the building before then. But before that he had something that needed to be done. Wesker got up and moved towards his goal, his goal was the laboratory. More specifically, a room on the forth basement level of the laboratory. Wesker had the intention of taking all the research data from the plant. Only with this data would it be possible for him to gain control of everything. Now he was sitting in this room, working on a keyboard and staring up at the screen before him. But no matter what he did, the same word always appeared on the screen again and again, the word; ‘Deleted’.

“Damn it, Sergei has been busy here…” muttered Wesker.

A computerised voice spoke with quiet authority. “Due to the emergency situation, all data has been evacuated to U.M.F.-013. Albert Wesker. Those access rights to the mainframe were revoked by me.”

“What the hell…”

“My name is Red Queen. My primary task is to protect the Umbrella Corporation and the management of their facilities. My second job is to protect the lives of the employees of the Umbrella Corporation. My third task is to…”

“Shut up!” Cursed Wesker and drummed inconsistently at the control panel with both of his fists until it completely smashed. The machine was silent. Wesker’s eyes burned red with anger.

RACCOON CITY ANNIHILATION ~

CHAPTER 1

It was in a high-pressure high-temperature solution resembling the primordial ocean. It was dreaming. A dream of only smell and sound. An unpleasant dream. It was irritated. The source of the discomfort was anxiety. The anxiety of birth. But it had no mental capacity to understand that experience. That is why it was suffering from unpleasant dreams. Then it woke. For it, this was the moment of birth. There was no difference between awakening and birth. It was starving.  But, this was no simple hunger for food. A much more advanced and complicated craving. In other words, something resembling love. An intense love toward its objects. A desire to love it, own it, and bring it under its control. That was its drive. Where did it learn this? It was from that which created it, its creator-----God. God engraved into it the name of what it must love. Now it has awakened. The solution began to drain out of the tank. It was the first time it breathed in air. The glass smoothly lifted. It took a step into the world. And roared the name of what it desired.  “STARRRRRRRRS!!”

CHAPTER 2

Anybody who witnessed that event would think, that it was hell. The city was overflowing with the dead. They were starving. They preyed on the living. They envied the living. That is why they chew on the flesh of those still living, and convert them to the same fate. Gangs of cannibal-dead paraded around the city.

A car flipped on its side was engulfed in flames. A charred body crawled out from inside, and stood up to quench its thirst with the blood of the living. There were sounds of gunshots in the distance. There were people yelling and screaming. A police car races through the streets. It hardly looks like they are trying to help anyone. A house is burning. A nice little French restaurant. The restaurant was engulfed in flames and the neighbors were next to fall prey to the fire. No firefighters will come to the scene. No spectators will gather either. The house just burns. A city transformed into hell.

This is Raccoon City. An industrial city in the Mid-West of America with a population of about 100,000. The city was developed by the Umbrella Corporation. They built all the factories in the city, and the Umbrella Corporation in some way employed 30% of the residents.

If not for the virus leak, it was quite a peaceful city. But the Umbrella Corporation had designed the city for extreme emergencies. Extreme emergency meaning when there is a bio-hazard. There are only two freeways that lead out of the city. To get to the freeway in the North, you must drive through the property of Umbrella Corporation’s factories. Ordinarily it was not treated as private property, but it could be easily blockaded. A mobile wall had just been positioned to block the entire road. In the early morning, residents were directed to evacuate the city from this road, but as soon as security detected people who were infected with the virus, they shut-off access.

The Western freeway faced the Arklay mountain range and was connected by a bridge that extended off a sharp cliff. No resident was aware of the fact that this bridge was actually a drawbridge, and with a flip of the switch the middle would split making it impassable. That is exactly what had happened. Since the bio-hazard outbreak, the city has been in lock-down.  Umbrella had sent in their private security force, the UBCS, to maintain order within the city. However, this was merely a formality, as nobody believed that a force of several dozen security personnel could manage this situation. The number of zombies multiplied exponentially. Those remaining in Raccoon City were left with only one choice. To be killed and resurrected as the living dead. But, even in this hopeless situation, there were some who did not give up. Jill Valentine was one of them. She secretly came to Raccoon City in order to investigate the evils of the Umbrella Corporation.

Jill, together with Chris, attempted to warn the public about Umbrella Corp’s virus leaks and dehumanizing experiments. But the information she had, lacked concrete evidence for the media to take them seriously. Having a reputation as conspiracy-nuts was tolerable, but as a result of their persistence, the police issued search warrants against them as prime suspects of several incidents including the explosion at the mansion. It was an easy move for Umbrella Corp, who had the city police on their payroll.

Chris was collecting evidence at the European branches of Umbrella Corp. Jill secretly remained in Raccoon City to dig up more information on Umbrella Corp. It was during this time that the chaos began. From early in the morning, emergency warnings were sent from the radio, television, and loudspeakers mounted on emergency vehicles, telling all residents to evacuate immediately. At that point the situation was relatively calm. Umbrella Corp already knew that the virus had leaked into Raccoon City, and that zombie attacks had been reported. Of course, none of that information was made public. Unsuspectingly, the residents began to evacuate. Just two hours after the evacuation began, infected evacuees were discovered. The government sent in the army and Raccoon City was completely closed off. Now, all that remains in the city are dead bodies and the forsaken. They will probably both be disposed of and eliminated from history.

Jill was trying to somehow escape from the city. But she was in a hopeless situation. With her back against the wall, she had run into a blind alley. She had used up almost all of her bullets. The only other weapon she had was a knife that she had just killed five zombies with, but there were at least 50 zombies gathering at the entrance of the alley. Once they bite you, you are infected. Even to Jill, it seemed impossible to escape uninfected with these 50 or so zombies advancing toward her. It seemed that all she could do was pray, but Jill would not pray. If a miracle were to happen, she had to make it happen with all that she had left in her.

She loaded the last cartridge into the gun. With precision, she terminated a zombie with each bullet. She was finally down to her last shot. Jill looked for a zombie worthy of the last bullet, but the dead all looked the same. She blasted the forehead of the zombie right in front of her. She was out of ammo. Jill pulled out her knife, as the zombies marched toward her. With all the strength she could muster, Jill kicked them to the ground, slit their throats, and broke their necks. Then a miracle happened. God must have been listening to her. There were sounds of gunshots. The zombie approaching her fell to the ground. Then the next zombie fell, and the one after that. The precision was even more impressive than Jill’s. Each shot pierced through a zombie’s head. The zombies continued to hit the asphalt. There were only a few left standing. In small numbers, they were no match for Jill. While they clumsily moved toward her, she tore their necks to deliver them their second death. In no time the mob of zombies were no more. A young man in army uniform appeared with his assault rifle.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Yeah thanks. You have a good aim,” Jill complimented.

“You’re no amateur either. Most people wouldn’t even think about fighting those monsters.”

“Even housewives could do what I did.”

“Well if you’re an ordinary housewife then that makes me a boyscout.”

“I’m Jill Valentine. I’m a member of S.T.A.R.S.” She stuck her hand out.

“Wow, you’re from S.T.A.R.S. Isn’t that the elite unit of the police force? But I heard that you guys were wiped out.”

“I am a survivor. And who are you?”

“I’m Corporal Carlos Oliveira from the U.B.C.S.”

“What’s the U.B.C.S.?”

“Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service. We’re Umbrella’s special forces unit to counter bio-hazard outbreaks.”

“So you work for Umbrella….” Jill took a step back.

“Yup. We came on a rescue mission to find survivors like you. But, since we all got split apart during the chaos of panicking people and the zombie mobs, I’m not sure we’re really helping.”

“Helping? Us?” Jill laughed scornfully. Carlos confidently responded, “I’m good with my gun. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe.”

“That’s not the problem,” Jill protested. And glared straight at him.

“The reason we’re in this mess is because of Umbrella!”

“Whoa whoa, calm down. Look, I’m a mercenary and I just get paid to deal with situations like this.”

Jill continued to glare straight into his eyes. Then she relaxed and said,

“Alright. I’ll believe you.”

“Great. Now that you believe me do you want to move together? It’ll be safer than being alone. Here.”

Carlos tossed his AK47 he had slung on his back to Jill. Jill grabbed the assault rifle and cocked it with ease.

“It seems like you’re the one that needs company,” Jill remarked.

“Maybe so. Anyways, a rescue chopper will be arriving to the police station. It’ll take some time to prepare for takeoff, but we should head there in advance. Come with me.”

Carlos looked at Jill and sensed that she was annoyed. He added, “please.”

“Alright.”

Jill nodded in agreement and let out a laugh. In that moment the ground suddenly trembled. Was it an earthquake? As Jill braced herself, the ground began to violently shake. Carlos crouched down.

“Its not an earthquake”, Jill exclaimed.

“Look, the trees by the road aren’t moving. The telephone lines are still too. It’s only shaking where we’re standing. Be careful.”

Right as Jill finished her warning, the ground split open and its head popped out. It was a monstrous worm-like creature. It had a huge head, and its enormous body was the size of a train coach. The researchers at Umbrella Corp called it the Grave Digger. Each section of muscle stretched and contracted like an accordion, and released a yellowish viscous liquid. The opening at the top of its head---perhaps a mouth---was surrounded with four razor-sharp fangs. Deep inside the opening, there were countless thorn-like protrusions facing inward to prevent anything the Grave Digger bites onto from escaping.


It was making the sound of mud being squeezed through the hand. A brown substance oozed out of the opening. The opening expanded widely and the four fangs faced outward. With the viscous fluid gushing out, it came straight at the two. Jill and Carlos jumped out of the way. As the momentum of the Grave Digger carried it straight passed both of them, they shot the beast full of 5.45mm bullets from both sides. The Grave Digger’s body was adapted to penetrate through rock and was unbelievably hard. The bullets made scratches but nowhere close to critically damaging the monster worm. The Gravedigger lunged passed them and tore through the asphalt road, disappearing underground in a matter of seconds.

“…..wow. What the hell was that?!!” Carlos peered into the hole where the Grave Digger disappeared. The ground began to tremble again.

“It’s coming!” Jill yelled.

The four fangs thrust out of the ground right beneath Jill. Jill saw the mouth wide-open and spread her legs so that her toes were just able to cling onto the sides. Luckily she was not eaten, but she was flung into the air. Jill regained balance in the air and as she landed on her feet she fired back at the Grave Digger. But, the bullets just seem to bounce off its body.

“Jill! You need to shoot inside it!”

Jill quickly understood what Carlos said, and ran away from the beast to gain some distance. Then she waved her hands in the air and shouted,

“Here’s your lunch. Come and get it!”

Whether or not the Grave Digger heard Jill, it was heading straight for her like a rocket. It shut its mouth and aimed its fangs at Jill. Her plan was to provoke it and shoot into its open mouth, But with the mouth closed she had no shot. The bullets hit around the mouth and merely scratched some skin off. It was a failed attempt. The Grave Digger was aware of its weaknesses. That was the only explanation for how it attacked. Jill dodged the monster worm that came thrusting toward her and rolled to her side. The Grave Digger returned underground and disappeared instantly.
Jill said to Carlos, “Looks like one of us is going to have to be the bait.”

“Bait?”

“….alright. You don’t look appetizing anyway.  Hey, do you have any grenades?”

“Yeah, a few American ones.”

“Good. I’m counting on you.”

The ground began to tremble again. The two braced themselves. The Grave Digger’s head popped out right next to Carlos. It knocked Carlos down with its head. The overgrown worm went straight for Carlos as he rolled on the ground. Just as it was about to thrust its long fangs at Carlos, Jill rolled in between and stuck her gun inside the Grave Digger’s puckered mouth. She smiled as she pulled the trigger. At the rate of 600 bullets per minute, the bullets blasted into its mouth. The monster worm writhed in pain. Sludge-like body fluid gushed out and the beast finally opened its mouth.

“Now Carlos!” Jill directed.

Carlos was already in motion, and threw the grenade into the open mouth. They both took cover as quickly as they could. Together with a subdued explosion, yellow and brown body fluids splattered everywhere, along with pieces of freak worm flesh and shell. Regardless of how hard the shell was, it made little difference to an explosion from the inside. The smell of the blood and flesh must have attracted the zombies, as they began to amass from all around the area.

“Lets go,” Jill commanded as she pulled Carlos’s arm.

“Where?”

“Underground.”

They knocked the zombies out of their way, cutting them with their knives, blowing them up with their shotguns, and blasting their heads with their handguns, as they made their escape.

WESKER 8

Wesker was sitting in his chair surrounded by all sorts of devices. It was a small room. No, it was not even a room. This was a car. Formerly an Umbrella Corporation monitoring vehicle. In front of him were twelve monitors big and small, projecting scenes from 58 surveillance cameras around Raccoon City.

However, Wesker was not looking at these. He was resting against the back rest with his eyes closed. His eyes were moving behind his eyelids as if he was looking at something moving. As if he was watching a dream.

He was synchronizing. Out of the various changes that Wesker experienced from the virus, this ability was the most unexpected. He was able to synchronize with all organisms affected by the t-Virus and t-Virus mutations. He gained the ability to co-experience what all infected creatures perceived. He was even able to understand and control their perception.

Just like a centipede never has trouble controlling all of its legs, Wesker never drowned in the flood of perceptual information transmitted from all the infected creatures. And as if having a conversation with a friend in a noisy crowd, he naturally honed in to the most necessary information while the rest became noise. Although depending on the organism, there was a difference in quality of synchronization. For instance, usually infected insects were drained of most of their perceptual ability and he only received a blurred image. He was only able to get a clear perception and in certain circumstances trade information with Tyrants.

Wesker was looking at Raccoon City. Looking through the eyes of one of the Tyrants. Its name was Nemesis. Umbrella Corporation's ultimate stalker. You could say it was like a robot programmed by Umbrella Corporation to faithfully follow orders. Wesker was able to connect directly into its consciousness. He shared the innate deep craving that Nemesis felt.

That is why he understood that this craving was a form of love. The name engraved in the stalker was S.T.A.R.S. The surviving members were its targets. It would hunt them down and kill them. Already, Nemesis had found one of them, pursued and finished him off. Of course Wesker knew who it was.

Brad Vickers, an Alpha Team member of S.T.A.R.S. He was a cowardly man unfit for STARS. He was able to survive this far because of his cowardice but he could not escape the hands of his stalker. Wesker enjoyed the same ecstasy Nemesis felt as it killed Brad. Just like a martyr dreams of going to heaven, Nemesis dreamed of slaughtering his target.

There were few that still stayed alive. Nemesis had reawakened in pursuit of this ecstasy. Wesker followed the golden stream of consciousness passing through the soul and submerged into Nemesis's mind.

----Nemesis. 

Wesker spoke.

----The ultimate stalker.

When he spoke his voice penetrated Nemesis's mind and morphed into thoughts. Then Nemesis's own thoughts began to move around like a periscope looking for its master. It pointed directly at Wesker. Wesker was being gazed at. He felt it through the void.

----Nemesis, listen carefully. I am your God, the God of Gods.

God? An image of some superior existence that gives orders emerged into Nemesis's mind. That image became almost identical to that of God. Tyrants listen to human orders because they were designed to be controlled by someone. And the only one who can control Nemesis was “God”. The code engraved into Nemesis and Wesker's existence merged into one.

Wesker slipped into Nemesis's mind and used the control system to assume the position of God within him. Wesker was now able to control Nemesis as he pleased. Wesker was confident of this. But he was not interested in controlling Nemesis at the moment. He just wanted to make the preparations so he could control Nemesis. Nemesis awoke. The scientists had just put on special protective gear onto him. It was to not only protect Nemesis from attacks, but also included a safety system to prevent Nemesis from becoming uncontrollable due to a virus malfunction. Nemesis also had a small camera imbedded in him. Through this camera, Umbrella Headquarters would be able to collect information. Nemesis was about to leave the laboratory escorted by Umbrella personnel. “Nemesis, listen to me.” Wesker gently whispered to Nemesis. “I am your God and God of everything. I am watching everything move you make. Nothing can escape God's eyes.”

Nemesis answered with a growl. “Good. First, you must obey my orders. That is your mission.” In response to Wesker's words, Nemesis's thoughts solidified and were transmitted to Wesker. The amorphous response was unmistakably an affirmation. Wesker saw it clearly. Affirmative. That was what Nemesis was saying. “If you find the target alert me. I want to see you in battle.” Another affirmation. Wesker slowly opened his eyes. And he looked at the monitor in front of him. It was a picture of hell.

WESKER 9

Nemesis was the ultimate stalker. Everything he saw and heard was captured by the camera and mic implanted into him, and sent to headquarters. The images sent from the camera were automatically examined to detect, extract and analyse “faces”. 208 points are checked in order to find a match with the target, then he would be informed. He experienced this information as light. Once a target was identified, the smell and body temperature were detected and recorded. He would stalk the recorded smell and body temperature tirelessly. The light he experienced varied in intensity and direction. Of course the light informed him the direction of his target, and the intensity indicated the proximity of his target.

Nemesis had found a light. The face has been identified and he knew the target's name. Jill Valentine. The glow inside the darkness. Nemesis stalked the light. Even if the target gained distance, he would not hurry and he would never give up. He saw the light.

Wesker, who shared the sensations that Nemesis had, knew what this meant. The target was close. Nemesis was extremely excited. Wesker was influenced and equally shared the excitement. Soon he would corner her and take her life with his own hands. He was dreaming of it. He was a yearning for it. Jill was right there. He could feel it on his skin as he approached her. From the other side of the door, he could feel the rich sensation of his target.

Nemesis opened the door. Without warning, a grenade exploded right at his feet. The explosion blew metal fragments in every direction and Nemesis was blown away. He tumbled two or three times before he smashed into the wall. The metal pieces hailed onto Nemesis, penetrating through his protective gear and digging into his body. Wesker also felt the impact. He was experiencing the pain. It was a violent pain. But, it was distant, like the pain in a dream.

Nemesis got back up. He was not critically damaged, but the metal pieces were still stuck in his body. The light had weakened a little bit. But the traces clearly indicated the target. Nemesis began his pursuit. Wesker shared the elation that Nemesis was experiencing. “STARRRRRRRRS!!” , roared Nemesis.

Wesker opened his eyes. He was feeling the excitement of closing in on the target mixed with intense pain. He typed in a search on the keyboard. The monitor projected the tunnel that Nemesis had just seen. Nemesis began to walk. Wesker switched to the next surveillance camera. Finally, he located Jill and Carlos.

“Jill.....I'm looking forward to seeing how well you do against Nemesis.” He switched screens again. Various views of Raccoon City popped up on the screen. Then the monitor projected an underground laboratory where the research for the G-cell that birthed Nemesis was conducted. This laboratory was also about to be abandoned because of a virus leakage.

It was here that another Tyrant was fighting. The T-103. Not as powerful as Nemesis, but it could be controlled with quite a bit of precision. Wesker focused his consciousness and submerged into the Tyrant. The Tyrant had captured a woman. A beautiful Asian with silky jet-black hair that defined her handsome face. Ada Wong.

Wesker knew that name. In fact, he not only knew her name, but she worked under his orders. Traitor. Wesker 's feelings merged with the Tyrants feelings and transformed into a tenacious anger. Ada shot multiple rounds into the Tyrant. The pain. It was nothing unbearable but quite irritating. The Tyrant ran up to her and grabbed her by the neck.

“Ada!” someone shouted. He was the reason she betrayed Wesker. The cause of her disobedient actions. It was a young cop who shouted and Wesker knew his name too. Leon S. Kennedy. He was a new police officer that had been stationed to Raccoon City Police Department today. But why did Ada fall for this guy of all people..... Wesker expressed his agitation inside the Tyrant's consciousness. As he was was consumed in his thoughts, he felt a sudden blow right in his face as if he was hit by a hammer.

Ada shot the Tyrant's face from point blank. The Tyrant was unable to endure the blast and threw Ada. She smashed straight into the wall like a ball, as the Tyrant lost balance and fell into the incineration pool below. Wesker barely escaped out of the Tyrant as its body was instantly reduced to ashes in the thousand-degree flames. Wesker woke from the nightmare. He had never experienced it, but if the object of his consciousness died, Wesker would undoubtedly be affected too.

Wesker opened his eyes. He looked at the monitor. He saw Ada held by Leon confessing classified information that she should not have disclosed. Not only that, she is trying to help him escape with this top-secret information. Why are “humans” so foolish. Wesker sighed in dismay. Compared to them, Tyrants are so much better made. Wesker refocused his consciousness back to Nemesis.

WESKER 10

He was trembling with anger. His intense emotion was about to rip his body apart, but he was able to control it because of the extreme pain he was also feeling. Wesker shuddered inside of Nemesis. The pain from the grenade that had exploded near his stomach remained in his body. By enduring that, he was also able to endure the anger that was boiling his mind.

Kill. Kill them. His mind was filled with the desire to kill. Kill those inferior monkeys. Make them suffer so much that they will regret ever being alive. Then finish them off. Nemesis was stalking them, following the traces of light.

Wesker's anger was transforming the body of Nemesis. The monitor on Nemesis's protective gear detected the physiological changes and released a large dose of tranquillizer into his blood stream, enough to knock out an elephant. But, even that would not stop Wesker's anger. His constant pace of walking and attitude showed no difference. But, a major physical transformation triggered by the anger was taking place.

Wesker sent the zombies in order to slow Jill and Carlos down. But his control over the zombies was not anything like the precision he had over Nemesis. He just directed them towards their prey. Of course, he didn't expect the zombies to kill them. That is why he sent in the monsters, they were the killers. He had no intention of allowing the zombies to finish them off. With my hands, Wesker thought to himself. With my hands, Nemesis thought to himself. I will kill them. At that point there was already no distinction between Wesker and Nemesis. When he imagined the feeling of killing them,  it was no longer distinguishable whether Wesker or Nemesis had experienced the deep tingling ecstasy.

The pursuit continued. From the dead-end of the corridor to the stairs. Up and up the stairs.

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