September 24 1998, 9:05 pm- Level B6
This cannot possibly be a good idea....
Oliver kicks the door in and we're welcomed by a black corridor, silent as a tomb. Great. That's fucking comforting. First, I let the boys talk me into listening to Isaacs and actually GOING to level 6. NOW, I'm stuck walking through a dark hallway, with no way of knowing what's in there. Bloody brilliant.
I'm suddenly aware that the boys are looking at me, expectantly. Clearly, something has been said that I did NOT here.
"I said... typical formation?"
Nuh uh. I'm done with this shit. "No. If he thinks he's so fucking smart, let the kid lead. I'll pull up rear."
"...Uhh... Alright... No talking until we... find what we need..."
We line up and move out, slowly. I can feel the warmth of Oliver's body behind me as I walk backwards, rebar in hand, panning from side to side. Nobody speaks. We hardly dare to breathe. The air is thick and moist and the silence is so heavy you can almost feel it pressing down on your body. Every instinct in me wants to drop them both and get out. But I can't. Not Oliver at least. He's a good guy. This kid though... whatever ground we were making, he just lost it all. If he turns, I'll shoot his brains out without even bli-
Unexpectedly, I feel Oliver's back against mine and realize we've stopped. What the heck is going on?
Then I hear it... Groans from the abyss... The song of the infected echos through the hallway. They're here, somewhere. The blackness makes it hard to tell if they're in front or behind. Probably both. Regardless, we're pretty much trapped... There's only one way out. Straight through them.
"I knew this was a fucking bad idea." I murmur
Come out, come out, where ever you are...
September 24, 1998 8:57pm - Umbrella Facility
Being inside buildings is tricky for me.
We just finished barricading the doors, but I'm a strong believer in when in doubt, know your way out. What scares me most right now is that barricading the door is both the smartest and stupidest thing we could do right now.
We're taking the stairs down. Again in military formation. Soldiers unwillingly waging war. Or willingly, depending on whose perspective you're taking.
I want to interrogate Oliver about the plant, but decide against it. I've already got enough people chasing me down without adding Aya and Ollie to the mix.
God, I hope Isaacs didn't see me
I'm considering taking a leaf out of Ollie's book; kill with kindness. I need to keep my sense of disconnect; they could turn, or I'd have to run... the less connections the better. I wonder if they know that too.
The door to level B6 is broken, hanging by the hinges. I pull in everyone's attention. "All qualms aside, we need to stick together to survive" you're using me as much as I am you "keep an eye out for exits, always know where everyone else is, and in close quarters, guns can prove to be more of a hazard than a helper." Aya and Ollie nod in agreement.
Under the stairs is a cluster of unused construction material. We all double check our ammo and begin improvised weapon selection. PVC pipe, you are my greatest ally right now. Aya and Ollie sift through the materials, arming themselves with what appears to be half-inch rebar.
Ollie straightens his posture - valiance is sure to come. "I'll get the door." Of course.
Aya and I position ourselves. We're getting good at this routine.
Ollie sends a foot crashing through the weakened structure. The door tumbles to the ground.
Silence fills the hallway before us, enveloping its victims in a false sense of security.
excuse my rudeness, but I believe that I know something...
September 24 1998, 8:46pm- Umbrella Corporation Sub-Building
The tension between these two is killing me. We're supposed to stick together right? I mean, why argue - we're all in the same fucking boat.
"You want to know what Operation Thermopile is? Fine. They're gonna blow the fucking city up, from here to hell..."
I'm going numb. I can't feel anything but this stupid box I'm holding so tightly. What the hell is wrong with this place? I should have never come...this is rediculos. I continue to listen to what Aya is saying, but I'm thoroughly worried for her well being, and my life. I glare at Steve before kneeling down to Aya.
"I know you don't want to hear this, but it's going to be okay-"
"Shut the fuck up Oliver."
Moody bitch. Fine.
"Just...J-just when are we all gonna blow up?"
She shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I don't know that. But what I do know is we have to leave as soon as possible."
Holding my breath, I stand and then pivot on my heels to Steve.
"I appreciate you have a hunger for knowledge, but what is wrong with you?"
Steve looks at me like I'm an idiot. I clench the fist that isn't holding onto my father in a box.
"Are you using us? Are you using Aya? Seems clear to me that you're having some sort of trouble with this whole teamwork - group - trust thing. I mean, I might be biased because I have no fucking idea what's going on and I'm learning as I go, but is there anything YOU'D like to share with us, Steve?"
He smirks. I am so close to punching him out right now... I can't stoop below his level.
"If you do or don't, it doesn't matter - we are all trying our best here, and if you would kindly cooperate-"
"I HAVE been cooperating. It was a fucking question-"
"A CONDESCENDING QUESTION that doubted Aya. Without her, and me, you'd be dead. Remember that."
I see a quiet flicker in Steve's eyes. Mission complete. This box is heavy, and we've got no where to go.
"We should barricade the door since we broke the lock. We don't want any guests..." I push over a rather heavy waiting chair in front of the door and listen. It's quiet. Aya then flings herself to her feet. "Oliver, open the box."
I spin around. "I..I..."
"Please. We risked our lives at your request for it - it is only fair we get to know what it is." She walks forward, offering her knife to open the seal. I stare into the shiny blade. Practice what you preach, boy... Trust her.
This box is sealed up like a fucking jail cell, Jesus...Oh, oh wait, here we go.
I fold open the cardboard - it's a metal case with the umbrella symbol on it. Well there's no more denying now...Dad, why did you get caught up with these lunatics. Steve leaning on the reception counter points at the paper. "What about the note, Ollie?"
R-right. "Y-yeah! Thanks..."
My hands are shaking as I bring the paper up to my face. Aya's hand on my shoulder helps. I swallow.Dearest Oliver,
I am terribly sorry about not making it for our dinner date but something came up quite suddenly. You see, I've found it! We have talked of it before, but all my life I have wanted to use plants to fix man made problems, to prove to the world of medicine that homeopaths aren't insane. Your mother has helped me through the years by providing me connections, and she actually discovered the plants in the first place! I went in her place because I have more experience with the chemical balancing, of course, and I also wanted to keep her safe. One could say this job is quite the dead end. You see Oliver... I stole the plants. Samples, of course, because the source of the plants is quite fertile, and they won't die out so they can be examined later. I wanted this so badly Oliver, but they caught me. I want you to deliver these to your mother so that way she can expose what Umbrella has done, and receive a grant for finding the cure of this wretched virus. By the time you read this note, I'll most likely be dead. I am sorry son - I have done everything I can for you and Farah.
I love you.
Ian Hughes, Umbrella scientist - Specialist: Plants
Office 401, Umbrella Co. Main Office, Raccoon City.
Oh my god.
I stagger backward, Aya catches me. "The...plants are inside. "
I nod my head. "The plants...to end all of this."
Steve peers at the box.There's no place like home...
September 24 1998, 8:40 pm- Umbrella Corporation Sub-Building
Nosy little fuck.
Steve has clearly been poking around my apartment and sticking his nose where it shouldn't be. None the less, his accusations hurt. I'm not the cold-hearted bitch he apparently thinks I am.
"You know, why don't you just stop right there," The voice comes over the intercom. I can't believe that thing is still working. " Don't spoil it for everyone now, Aya."
That no good son of a bitch. I met him several times while visiting Umbrella with my Daddy. Dr. Isaacs is a smug, egotistical narcissist. I always disliked him. The fact that he is here, and seeming to feel that he's entitled to boss me around makes my blood boil. Son of a Bitch.
"Aya, why don't you bring you little friends and meet me down in sector 6. I've got some fun things to show you." he laughs
"Go rot, asshole!" Angrily I grab a paper weight off the reception desk and throw it at the security camera, smashing the lens. I can't fucking do this anymore. Slowly I crumple under the weight of my knowledge, my fear, and my exhaustion. I collapse to my knees on the floor as one or two tears escape my eyes. The boys behind me tense slightly, and I can feel them glance at each other, unsure of what to do next. Fuck. I didn't want to be the leader.
"Aya...?" Oliver tentatively offers, taking a half step forward, and then backing off.
"Listen Steve, you little shit." I whisper through clenched teeth. " First off, I don't appreciate you snooping around my house after I helped saved your fucking life. I gave you ammo, I took you to safety, I trusted you and welcomed you into my home, and promised to do everything in my power to get you both out of the city safely. And this is how you repay me? With your accusations? So much for gratitude."
I take a deep breath to steady myself. You're stronger then this Aya. He's just some punk-ass nobody little kid. You don't need him.
Slowly pulling myself to my feet, I wipe my eyes and turn to face the boys, back straight, arms at my side, a small fortress against the tide. Oliver has a look of deep concern on his face, Steve is next to him with a vacant expression, his eyes unfocused and his jaw set in a line. Little fuck.
"You want to know what Operation Thermopile is? Fine. They're gonna blow the fucking city up, from here to hell. They are going to take a shit pile of nuclear bombs and flatten this city, like it never existed. My Dad didn't train me in defense. He trained me to survive, and to save as many people as I could in the process. So if you think I'm out to become some kind of hero, you can go fuck yourself. I have one mission, and one only. To get out of this hell-hole alive, and to expose Umbrella's work. You can either stick with me, or get the fuck out of my way."
I refuse to break. I refuse to bow.
September 24, 1998 - 8:31pm streets of Raccoon
There's a monster in my shoulder, trapped beneath the surface, lost and confused. I feel the claws.
A wholly different array of monsters surrounds us. The fall chill feasts on my body heat, causing ice flows to streak my face and neck.
I can barely lift my left arm.
But I can keep running.
My ammo is going light.
I holster my weapon and arm myself with the combat knife.
We reach a side street just west of the uptown core. Monster traffic is light here. Thank god. We can slow our pace momentarily.
Don't let your guard down. Ever
Oliver comfortably clutches his new companion - the link to his father. "We're here." the air is stale and the words dissipate instantaneously.
He is disappointed to feel the door is locked.
"I got this." I approach the door, knife in hand.
The jam is already weakened, presumably from a travelling hoard of things bashing themselves against anything and everything. I slide the knife into the jam, waiting for the - click - yup, that's it. Trying not to bust the tip, I slowly wedge the blade into the crevasse.
The knife dances on the floor.
It's amazing what a kick can do.
Aya is all over that. Immediately she's clearing both sides of the door. Utter zeal shines through her otherwise flawlessly kick-ass exterior. Chinks in her armour are appearing, and I take note.
Oliver follows suit.
I sheath the knife and check my mags. One unused and another in the slot. I hope their security guards use .40's here. I've only used a couple rounds from the M16, and looks like I still have one full 22-round clip.
We're in what appears to be a reception area. Dilapidated, of course. Like some natural disaster's epicentre was this room... but the disaster that ravaged this place was anything by natural. I test my shoulder rotation - hm, improving slightly.
"How's that shoulder holding up?" Oliver's valiance has only slightly diminished from his little rampage at Central and Park. I find myself trusting him more and more. Trust is a dangerous thing
I'm with my dad. We're dressed up in Umbrella uniforms, roaming office hallways, pushing a janitor's cart.
We're out of place, but the place we're in won't notice.
The only reason I'm here and Jake isn't is because dad doesn't trust Jake like he trusts me.
I specifically remember the feeling of simultaneous enchantment and repulsion from the idea of the espionage my father had me doing.
"Well, you suggested it, Ollie. You better have at least something planned." the daggers return, along with my focus.
I can't help but be moderately distracted by the perfect portrait of carnage.
Better than biting heads off.
Holy double-entendre, Batman.
"I... I dunno."
"God fucking dammit, Oliver." Aya takes a moment to compose herself. She's caught in a staring battle with the package. "We almost fucking died for that stupid thing, aren't you going to open it?"
Gotta be honest, I was thinking the same thing.
Hesitation. That's a recipe for disaster, Ollie.
"I... I can't open it... not yet."
"Aya, what's Operation Thermopile?" the words tumbled out of my mouth. Not that I minded, I was gonna ask anyway. I was just hoping I'd have a little more tact when I actually did.
Aya's face is frozen in the purgatory between confusion and anger.
I continue anyway. "I just figured I'd ask, seeing as it sounds a little like a contingency plan or something." the armour's coming down. "Or did you figure it was easier to keep it from us so you could be saved and come out the tragic hero? You know, since we're in the mood for having everything out in the open."
She's frantically searching for her composure, but it's well on its way to Ghana by now. "Listen, kid -"
"You know, why don't you just stop right there." The voice crackled fear in anything still alive. I'm mostly surprised the loud speakers are working. "Don't spoil it for everyone now, Aya."
Aya straightens herself, attempting to establish herself amidst the landscape of ruin. "Dr. Isaacs?"
I know that name, god dammit.
Sept 24, 1998 8:18 pm- Raccoon City
Oh my god. I just shot some guy in the face. What the fuck.
Everything is whipping by me so fast - sweat beading down my face as I glide behind Wonder Woman and Johnny Quest. What the fuck is happening?
A monster to my right, I turn my head, hold my gun out, breathe out and BANG.
There goes her eye. She was probably a nice woman...maybe she had kids...maybe she was someone's sister.
No Oliver, you can't think those things. These things aren't people anymore - they are dead to the world.
Aya whips around and shoots off a man's face, Steve gunning down a couple. "HELP HERE." Aya turns to shoot down the other half of the now dead... well, dead-dead pair. I move my hand to my waist and feel my first aid kit still hanging - good thing it didn't fall off yards back, we'd be screwed. I catch up to them and we all run together, the force of our courageous wind breaking through the mortifying scent of tragedy, in a landscape of ruin. BANG. BANG. BANG.
Three times the charm.
I can feel my ears ringing in utter confusion. The orders screamed by Aya are nothing but muffled suggestions, but I know what she's saying. "Steve, watch my back. Oliver, with me!"
I nod, and stumble up by her. A nearby building is burning, moaning and screaming coming from inside...or so I think. It could be my ears... No matter, we can't save anyone.
No one will save us but ourselves. I hear gun shots - Steve is trying to take down 4. What the hell man!
He backs away, attempting to reload. Aya steps forward and takes out two in no time at all. Steve still backing away, fumbles for another gun instead of reloading to save himself. I run up and push him to the side, shooting the man in the jaw, forehead and eye. He falls back to the ground.
"AAAAGGGGHHH!!!!!" I keep shooting. Something in me has snapped. I'm a murderer on parade, my audience is shocked. Best performance yet.
"OLIVER. STOP." Obey. Breathe. Look at these hands... and at his mutilatied face... or what's left of it. Aya looks away in disgust and Steve gawks at my sudden killer instinct. I laugh quietly.
"What is wrong with me..."
Steve is trying to form a sentence...I can feel it. "Thank you...but calm down. Ammunition is valuable."
Yes sir... Aya taps my shoulder. "...Central and Park."
I turn quickly. I don't see anyone. Shit. "DAD!?" I dart off. I don't care, I have a gun. I need to see him.
"OLIVER! WHAT THE HELL!" Steve catches up, with gun in hand, and Aya covers our sides.
There isn't much on this corner. A street sign, a mailbox, and a dead body - it isn't my father.
"WHAT NOW, OLIVER?"
I... "I don't know. Where to.."
Before I finish, there's something under the mailbox. Something small. I kneel down. Aya shakes her head. "For god sakes." BANG. The dead body pulses.
"You have to make sure they are dead, okay?"
I nod again, but I'm not holding this gun. The box is about as big as my first aid kit, but it's heavier. There's a note. My father's hand writing. No...
Aya and Steve are shooting. I look up, and we are suddenly the center of attention.
"WELL?" BANG. BANG.
"I- I don't know! I think Dad left something for me here!" BANG. Reload....
"Well he isn't here, so we need to get the fuck out!" BANG. BANG.
The crowd is dying down...literally. Aya points. "That radio tower over there, there's a -"
"Wait, what about the sub Umbrella-" BANG. "Lab we found!?"
BANG. BANG. BANG. BANG.
We need to move.
What do you want from me...
Sept 24, 1998 8:05 pm- Raccoon City
This is not going to be easy...
The hoards of dead roam freely in front of my building. They must have doubled in numbers in the time it took us to gear up. My father's convoy clearly drew a crowd. Thank God, I know he is safe. That's all I need to survive.
Now... to get to Central and Park...
The boys and I clump just inside the stairwell door and crouch, keeping well below the thin, slotted window. The crunch of broken glass and the symphony of death ringing in my ears can only mean one thing.
"The lobby's been compromised," I whisper to the boys, "This is going to make our job much more difficult. Here's what we are gonna do. Oliver, I want you to open this door just a smidge, and I'm going to roll your little "bomb" out into the lobby. Then, we need to get back, under the stairwell, where we are protected. Once the explosion sounds, we run, guns out. Chances are, we are shooting for our lives. We are gonna take the side door, and exit into the alley, and make our way down Ema till we reach Park. Then we follow out to Central. Now, in the alley, Run. We'll slow down on Ema so we can better cover our backs, but for now, RUN. Shoot anything in front of you, and be aware behind you, but don't stop. For anything, OR ANYONE." I give Oliver a pointed look and he nods. I think he's finally beginning to understand the horror we are in.
Very soft and slowly, Oliver creeps the door slightly open. I peek through the crack. None of the creatures have noticed. They are all busy... searching. The stench of blood and flesh and fire mix in the air, turning my stomach. Quietly I pull the pin and rapidly roll the grenade towards the center of the lobby. Shutting the door, the boys and I scramble under the stairs, facing the back wall, and all curl up together, ears plugged.
The explosion shakes the whole room, and the door flings open, shooting dust and debris into the stairwell. Grabbing my G36K Rifle and loading a mag, I throw myself out from under the stairs.
We run into the lobby. The monsters are everywhere, littering the ground, crawling, slithering towards us. The rivers of blood flow freely over the ground. We open fire, taking down those closest to us first. Oliver struggles a bit with his gun, but Steve pushes him along in front of him, and Oliver manages to make a mark. Not bad for his first time out. The hoards creep steadily towards us, shuffling and falling over the debris. I throw open the side door leading into the alley, putting my safety on and swinging my rifle onto my back. I draw my loaded Baretta 9mm's and we break into a sprint, running as fast as we can away from the nightmare behind us. I peek over my shoulder, and watch as we leave the shuffling masses behind. But it's not over. Monsters litter the alley, looking for food, hunting for blood. Half eaten bodies, dismembered and mangled corpses crawl out of the shadows to greet us on our deadly marathon. Our guns, ringing in my ears, as we take down monster after monster, never stopping, never slowing, running for our lives...
straight into the heart of hell...
September 24, 1998 - 7:55pm Aya's building
I find myself wondering why I'm with these two.
They're gonna get you killed, you know that right?
Ugh, my conscience is getting in the way of my survival instinct. But not in the way of my need to unravel the mystery that is my father. I don't think anyone noticed me swipe that document. I'll have to find a second to read more into it...
We've been glancing out the window, gauging the roving bands of things. How will we get to Central and Park?
"The water's already been shut off." I could have figured that much.
"I filled up the bathtub with water, and I still have a case of bottled water under the sink." Aya's family is too prepared.
Water is a good idea though.
I'm tempted to interrogate Aya's dad. But he's a military man, and wouldn't give up a fly if it meant going against orders. I still need to gain a little more trust from these two. Outbursts of accusations probably isn't the best way to do that.
Aya returns from the kitchen, strapping her on the slim hydrapack. "Okay gents, what's the game plan?"
We look into the streets with an imposing sense of regret. Could we not stay here?
No, Steve. You have to stop this.
"I have no qualms keeping the same general plan as we did on our adventure here." I find myself liking Oliver more and more. Don't get attached.
Aya chambers a round. "Sounds good." She goes to her father and gives him a peck on the cheek. "Don't wait up." Aya, I don't think now is an appropriate time to be making cheeky comments.
Going down the stairs, we keep our tight three-point system. Landing to landing.
Aya signals me to keep rear point as she and Oliver prepare to open the doors.
how far am I willing to go?
September 24, 1998 - 7:44pm Aya's Armoury
The gun that Steve is suggesting seems alright. It's worrying me though. It's tiny. Is that good? I mean, it's lightweight so I'd be able to carry two-...no, four of them, but then that's all I'd have. Hm...
I don't know anything about guns. Seeing this much metal that has been crafted with the intent to kill is slightly insane. Then again, everything going on in this god dammed city is insane.
I grab the respective ammo cases for the gun that were handed to me, and the strap to wrap around my belt. I'm able to attach the first aid kit too! This is cool... I'm beginning to relax a bit.
Wait...there are a couple things wrong with that.
Aya looks over. "Are you done yet?"
"N-no! Just a sec..."
God, focus Oliver. I grab another compact and attach it to the waist strap. They have knives...I'm gonna need something to put my axe in, because it's the only real weapon I know how to use right now... A chest strap with several pockets and a holster for...something. This should do it. The axe slides in and I feel a lot more safe knowing I don't have to ditch it. I point to another small gun and wait for a response.
"A 22 magnum mini revolver... Nice choice. A little more recoil than what you've picked, but it's easy to use-"
I don't care what else Aya says, I need easy to use stuff. I equip the leg strap and attach the gun and magazines to it. Then something catches my eye.
Steve shakes his head. "No Oliver."
"Can't I take one?"
Aya looks at me like I'm a psycho. "Do you even know what that is?"
"A hand grenade. It would be good for crowd control...you know, in a tight spot where we could hide but they couldn't, or something, I don't know, I just thought that-"
She points. "You would want these ones, not these ones. Concussions are good if you want raw explosive power, but since we need to run a lot, the Frags are lighter and easier to carry."
"...so...I can...take one?"
I grab it and attach it to the last remaining area on my belt. Steve looks mortified. "Don't drop it."
"I'll be careful. If anything it'll help us get out of the building and to Central and Park."
A white wash of silence sweeps over my new friends. They don't want to go. Aya looks at me earnestly. "Are you sure you want to go?"
"With every fiber of my being, I know I have to go."
Steve is getting pissed. He walks away and rubs his face. "It's a suicide mission! Those are main streets!"
"Then I'll go. I have to see if my father is still there." Aya's long beautiful fingers on my shoulder tug at me. "We'll go. I said I'd take you there... and you're right about the grenade - if you use it right when we get downstairs, it'll make a clearing for us to start running. But I'll throw it, okay?"
I nod, and smile small.
"...Thank you Aya."
We look to our other companion. He still seems uneasy. Please, Steve. Please...
"... If either of you fall behind, we're all fucked."
I bite my lip and look down. Aya is concrete.
"...So keep up with me, alright?"
Relief. "..hey! What do you mean keep up with you, you're the injured one." Steve glares at me. Shut up Oliver. Swallow your sarcasm and shut up.
"Thanks Steve."I'm getting the hang of this death trap.
September 24, 1998 - 7:43pm Aya's Armoury
... and I thought having one gun hidden in a broken filing cabinet was weird.
I remove my vest, and wince in pain. Oliver rushes to me. "We need to change the dressings." Although I'm not too keen on wasting time, I trust in Oliver's swift medicinal efficiency to help me live. "Hm.. not as bad as I thought." I allow a brief chuckle, but negate the possibility of replying.
I take a double shoulder strap, sheathing two standard military issue Smith & Wesson M&P .40 Compacts. Nice, a thigh strap for a 5-inch combat knife. Taken. Double mag waist strap. Finally, the crown jewel of my personal artillery, an M16A4 flat-top. Might as well take the shoulder strap and extra mags.
I'm down to my tattered used-to-be-white shirt, but I can't leave the contents of my vest behind. Into the cargo pockets you go.
Oliver, the seemingly normal one, seems a little overwhelmed by the concept of choosing his own weapons. Axe is easy, but guns aren't. My strict survival instinct aside, I decide to lend a hand.
I notice his tantalized gaze fixed upon a Desert Eagle. I avert his trance by presenting a more suitable option. "It's a Smith & Wesson .357 compact. Trust me, we're looking to kill monsters not ourselves."
Steve, you're getting friendly. These people will let you down.
I try and compensate by leaving him to figure out the rest.
I catch a glimpse of a folder.
Look away for ten counts, then take the next opening...