The room smelled like cement. The whole damn mansion had the same smell; a little too new, a little too clean to be a real home. A fake and sanitized front just like Umbrella itself. Hopefully now, like the mansion, the rotten festering secrets would be exposed. They had proof now. They had deaths. Umbrella would never be able to cover this up.
Alice removed the syringe from his arm and pressed her thumb gently over the mark. Matt put his hand over hers and gave her a slight smile.
"Thank you," he whispered.
That's when Alice's face cracked. Her eyes sagged and her lips trembled as a ragged gasp burst past her lips. Her tears flow hot down her cheeks and her throat burns in agony.
"I couldn't... I couldn't lose..." The syringe, still in hand, clattered empty to the floor.
Matt pulled into his arms and the wet of her tears joined the grime on his shirt. He held her in silence because what was there really to say? Anything would have simply come out as platitudes. Meaningless. Somewhere out there a few therapists were waking up with the feeling their income flow was about to become consistently a lot heavier.
Alice's chest shuddered against his as he ran his fingers through her tangled hair. Holding her like this brought back memories of his little sister Lisa, getting scared of thunder or a bad dream and climbing into bed with him when they'd both been very small. He'd been scared of the thunder too but he never admitted it. He wanted to be brave for both of them. Lisa had grown up brave. Strong. Ready to mount an offence against Evil and Corruption.
Now she was dead, ground up in the cogs of Umbrella. Sacrificed so that their PR would remain spotless and their stock undisturbed.
"What do we do now?" Matt barely breathed the question but Alice shifted to look up at him.
A brilliant light blinded them both and Matt threw up his arms to shield himself catching the briefest glimpse of hazmat suits, gas masks, white and faceless-
"What are you doing?"
Alice's voice: hard and furious. The sound of punches landing.
Matt felt strong hands grab him and wrench him to his feet. He struggles but the antivirus rushing through his system has made him weak. He catches a glimpse of Alice being swarmed by suits.
"Alice!" he cries.
Something cold against his skin. Something pierces it.
No! No no nononononono-
His vision goes blurry and the last thing he sees before darkness takes him is Alice throwing a suit against a wall.
I want them quarantined. Close observation. A full series of blood tests. Lets see if they're infected.
Take them to the Raccoon City facility then assemble the team. We're re-opening the Hive. I wanna know what went on down there.
Just do it.
Time passes in flashes. A face here, a burst of pain there, all jumbled together. Sometimes a voice crying out, sometimes a man, sometimes a woman. Or maybe just one, it's hard to tell. All that is constant is that their bodies are no longer their own. They are hosts, they are subjects to whims, doomed to forever float in-
Alice's eyes opened.
The first thing she realized was that she was naked, barely covered by a flimsy hospital sheet. The second was how maddeningly bright the room around her was.
She sat up too quickly and felt the numerous IVs shift within her skin. Then with a roar of determination and pain she pulled them from her body. Shaky and cold, she lowered herself from the table to the floor and almost welcomed the chilly shock to her bare feet.
Then she saw Matt. He lay there, eyes closed and head-to-head with her table. All IV'd and barely covered like she was.
"Please don't be dead," her voice croaked from lack of use. Her mouth was dry and when she swallowed her throat scratched in protest. Carefully she reached out and firmly shook his shoulder. Nothing. She checked his pulse which throbbed with strength and practically wilted with relief. Alive. Alive. She grabbed for the main drip and pulled-
Matt's eyes snapped open as he yelped in shock.
"Hold still," Alice pushed him back as he tried to sit up, "Let me get the rest."
He managed to restrain the rest of his cries to gruff grunting.
"Where are we?" Matt asked as he slid off the table, trying desperately to preserve his modesty.
"I'm not sure. What's the last thing you remember?"
"Umbrella suits," Matt rubbed his face, "You fighting."
Alice nodded then gestured to the room's single door.
"Guess that's our way out."
She grabbed one of the IVs and yanked it from it's pack. She made it about halfway across the room before she stumbled. Strong hands grabbed her arm, steadying her. Alice glanced up at Matt who gave her a small smile. This was becoming uncomfortable familiar she thought to herself as she straightened and shook him off. Shoving the IV end into the card swipe she set to work. Matt leaned over her.
"Can you actually pick the lock?"
"Piece of cake," Alice mumbled. Or it would be if her head would stop swimming.
Sure enough though: CLICK.
They found a few lab coats a couple rooms down and with silent thanks to whomever they belonged they tossed their patient coverings.
"I wonder why no one's tried to stop us," Alice murmured. Peering around a corner. Still empty and not a sound.
"I'm wondering why we haven't run into anyone. No staff, no patients, not even a janitor. It's like this place has been abandoned," Matt remarked.
Something cold and hard formed in the pit of Alice's stomach.
Several flights of stairs downwards and a few empty room inspections later they came to the front entrance of the hospital. Outside-
"My God..." Alice breathed. Matt shook his head: "God didn't do this."
Smashed cars, smears of blood and carnage, wreckage everywhere. Papers and garbage scattered all over, pulled this way and that by the wind. Alice caught a glimpse of a newspaper headline:
THE DEAD WALK
Matt was watching her. She returned his gaze, her face set with determination.
"What do we do now?" he asked.
Alice walked to a police car a few feet away from the entrance. In the front seat a shotgun had been left abandoned. She pumped it and it clicked a promise of pain to give.
She glanced back at Matt. He nodded.
Time to get to work.