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.