He was sitting against the metal wall as he looked down at his pulsating slimy clawed arm, the electricity throbbing with each beat of his heart as he began to sweat because of his rapidly increasing body temperature. He couldn`t think clearly because of the mutation as it slowly reached the first neurones of a million within his brain. He looked away from his arm, disgusted by what his own body became, glancing at his left shoulder as he noticed the B.S.A.A. badge sewn on his sleeve. He frowned, only able to see through the left eye since the right one was a ghostly white with which he did not even perceive outlines anymore, and gave it a sad look.
I can`t do this anymore... I'll soon turn into one of those things and then I'll lose my control completely...and... I will only receive the only instinct given the situation all mutated monsters went through… The desire to kill... No, I can`t let this happen, not anymore. There`s no hope left , no cure or any vaccine that could possibly help me find my old self again. Nobody can help me out of this shit. I`ve joined the B.S.A.A. to eliminate the biological threats, to fight against the terrorists, fight against the war, against the death of countless innocent people... I spent my whole life in the alliance which is fighting against the bioterrorism to avoid these outbreaks, to save the world, to cover my comrades, to cover my captain.
He looked up at Chris, who was trying desperately to open the door of the escape pod, hammering his fingers onto the small keys in a rush. From his point of view his Captain looked not only desperate, but panic-stricken, narrow-minded, exhausted, and above all, broken. Broken because of the loss of his Team. Broken because of the many wars he had to go through. Broken because he feared about losing the very last man left.
I`m so sorry, Captain. But you have a future, the world depends on your survival, your fight against bioterrorism. You are the greatest man I know, the strongest, a legend himself can`t lose like this, he thought and grabbed the patch with his human left hand that was covered in grime and some of the slime coming out from his wounds and ears.
A loud and shrill beeping sound came off the lamp above the keys Chris slammed onto when the door of the escape pod opened slowly, waiting for someone to get in. Chris bumped his fist against the wall triumphantly as he turned to Piers, bending over at him with an outstretched hand.
"Come on, Piers. We`re gettin` out of here," he said.
Piers hesitated for a glimpse of a moment, staring at Chris` hand, then he closed his mouth shut and grabbed his hand with his gloved left and let Chris pull him to his feet. They both struggle a few steps towards the opened door as Piers took a step back, pulling his hand out of Chris` grip, shaking slightly.
Chris almost lost his balance, but steadied himself as he looked at the badge Piers had left in his hand. His mouth was open, his breath caught in his throat when he gave Piers a quick disbelieving look as he noticed Piers` attempt to push him into the pod. Chris Redfield wasn`t the heroic Captain which everyone respected for nothing. He was a fully trained solider, far more experienced than most of the men working within the B.S.A.A. around the world. He reacted quickly, too fast for Piers to even notice, grabbing his hand immediately as Piers touched his chest in order to push him hard.
He tightened his grip and pulled Piers with him into the pod, where they both fell to the ground. Piers was stunned by the action, not knowing what had happened as he landed on his Captain, his eyes fully closed in shock as Chris kicked the button to close the door quickly. Piers` eyes shot open as he heard the noise of the door closing. He tried to get up before it was too late, but Chris` grip on his arm was too strong and he couldn`t stand up in time.
The door shut right in front of his face as he stood there in front of it, stunned, in a state of disbelief, desperate and sadness. Everything happened too fast for his wounded and already weakened body, he didn`t even notice that Chris had pushed the button until the lights turned in red when the pod got ready to move from the corridor.
The pod trembled hard enough that Piers shifted from where he was sitting and balanced himself with his left hand on the wall while Chris sat up, relieved that he could save his partner from suicide. Piers winced in pain as he turned his gaze towards his Captain, his anger and despair written in his face.
"What... d...d...did y...y...you ...just do?!" Piers managed to say between his pained breaths as he fell down on the ground again when the pod was pushed into the deep blue ocean.
He let out a loud grunt and sat up against the wall, avoiding eye contact with his Captain. Chris stood up and looked out of the large window. It was dark, very dark. He frowned when he could see the faint lights of the underwater facility on the ocean floor.
"W...why..." Piers mumbled, still shocked by the fact that Chris saved his life and pulled him with him into the only chance to get out of that mess alive. No, not anymore. He pulled a monster with him into freedom. A monster that will – once it mutated – take his life without showing mercy. His fear of mutating grew greater as his body began to tremble with the intensity of his emotions and the more intense pain of his mutating body heating up.
Chris turned to look at him and frowned. "What? You ask me why? Piers you tried to fucking kill yourself, god damn it! And you thought I could let it happen? Who do you think I am?!" he answered with anger written in his voice.
"W...Why? Y...you don`t k...know w...why? H...holy...s...shit C...C...Captain, Y...you can`t save m...me a...anymore! Its too late!" Piers said and grunted as his arm was pulsating and moving more and more. He could see the whitish bubble-like tissue within his muscles raise and shrink with each of his heartbeats, making strange noises as if someone were filling a balloon with fast powerful breaths.
Chris took a step towards his partner, opening his mouth as though he wanted to say something, but was stopped as they both heard a shattering sound from the underwater facility. Both stopped dead in tracks and looked out of the window. Haos had broken free and was swimming towards the pod. Chris gritted his teeth together and mumbled "Damn it!" when the monster gripped the pod in its large hands, shaking it.
The lights in the pod went off. Chris clung to the cables of the ceiling while Piers steadied himself with his left arm and back, pressing his body against the wall behind him. It was already hard for him to sit straight within the shaking pod, standing at the wall was something he could manage for a few seconds before tumbling to the side and trying to regain balance with the help of the cables and handles at the walls. Haos stopped shaking the pod and put its head to the window, roaring at the two small figures inside it.
"God Damn it! When will you finally die?" Shouting was all Chris could do. If he fired at it the water would force its way through the holes into the pod and the pressure would shatter it into pieces, suffocating both him and his lieutenant to death. Again the situation was too fast to react to, but this time Piers reacted faster than Chris.
Placing his mutated arm on the wall while he shouted at Chris, "Get off of the walls!" he focused on the heat within his internal organs where he believed the bioelectricity came from.
Chris blinked at him and quickly removed his hands from the cables, trying to steady himself with only his legs as Piers charged his remaining energy to let out a big flash which went through the wall, through the cables and through all the metallic things in the pod to the outside water, where it found its way through the giant hands of the creature to its whole body, cooking it in the water.
Haos immediately let go of the pod, wincing in pain as the electricity forced its way through its body, breaking it`s bones, burning its flesh, exploding its veins, leaving a cloud of blood and slime flowing out of countless wounds as it began to sink to the ground. Panting heavily Piers stopped his electricity flow, giving Chris a chance to stand up once again and steady himself against the wall and look out of the window at the scene playing in front of them.
He could see the underwater facility exploding behind that giant thing, the pressure of the massive explosion sending the pod faster in the direction of the surface. The lights of the pod flickered and finally turned on again.
Chris began to relax and let out a long calming breath. Piers leaned back on the wall before he let his body sink to the floor again, looking around the pod for a gun since he lost all his weapons in the battle against Haos in the facility. He could feel his control slowly and surely slipping away from him. He needed to put an end to it, no matter what Chris had said earlier. It was his mission to bring his Captain into safety, no matter the costs.
He knew that since the needle he picked up from Carlas` suitcase broke his skin, he had sealed his death sentence. Not a death many people would look after.
Chris sighed and attempted to walk to his partner`s side. All he cared at the moment was his lieutnants well being. He knew he needed help in order to stay in control just a little longer. It would be hard, but he knew he could persuade people to help cure him.
"Don`t c...come any c...closer!" Piers shouted at him angrily and weakly.
Chris stopped for a moment, staring in his eyes – rather into his good eye. "Piers, everything will be okay, you'll be okay. Let me help you," he said calmly, trying to inch closer to him while stretching out his right hand.
"D...don`t! Y...you can`t h...help me, C...captain," his breathing quickened with every step his Captain took closer to him. He flinched, his bloody muscles mutating further within his hot body and making it nearly impossible to move without getting into great pain.
"You`re in pain, let me help you, Piers" Chris continued to come closer without shrinking back in the slightest.
Piers sat up quickly, pressing his body against the wall as he felt a wave of pain filling his whole body, heating the mutated arm up. He could feel faint and white smoke leaving the tiny pores in between his mutated bubble-white tissue. The white balloon-like organs on his right side of the torso where his meat once was burned and ripped off crammed and grew with every breath before shrinking back with released electricity and blueish smoke. His organs throbbed against his bended and broken ribs and he winced in pain of each breath he took, dropping his head. He could feel the mutations within him continuing, changing everything even further. He felt like a raw living fish being thrown into a hot sizzling pan.
Chris` despair grew by the second at the sight of his partner suffering from the intense mutation and temperature. He wanted to help his lieutnant, he really wanted to take all the pain of his last man onto himself, "Piers, let me- "
Piers cried out loud, falling face-down to the ground as his horrible arm changed further. The many bony outgrowths of his arm fused into four digits that resembled lengthening knifes more than fingers. They cracked, tied themselves to one direction, veins popping, blood gushing out and drying on the whitish-blueish tissue before reddening muscles tore themselves apart and bonded their ends to the broken claw-like outgrowths. The swollen flesh of his upper arm and forearm shrank slightly into reddish muscle while newly formed whitish balloon-like organs began to grow larger, pressing against his bones. Tiny sparks were glowing within the mutated organs, coloring them in bright blue.
It was a horrible feeling, Piers wondered how a nervous system could bear so much pain. It was even more brutal for his Captain to stand there helplessly and having to watch the man that acted like his moral compass for the past month turning slowly into something he had to fight to – even if he didn`t want it in the first place.
"PIERS!" Chris shouted, stopping and kneeling in front of him, putting a hand on his shoulder as the sniper pulled it away.
"Don`t touch me!" Piers shouted. He seemed to have gotten some strength back as he was not stuttering anymore.
Chris didn`t listen at him, not in a situation like this. He knew how Piers felt, he knew that he only wanted to avoid hurting his Captain. And he knew that he had to help him, no matter how. He put his hand on his shoulder, helping Piers ease into a more relaxing sitting position in an attempt to make him comfortable.
Even his struggling and trembling against the help didn`t bother him. All Chris wanted to do was to listen at his heart, acting on emotion as he tried to help him, tried to show him that he wasn`t a monster or a Jàvo, that he was loved. That he still was a soldier of the B.S.A.A.
"Piers listen to me. You are a great man, the best soldier I got. I really like you and I can`t let you die here! The B.S.A.A. – no, the world still needs you. Come on, hang in there just a little longer" he tried to explain, but the lieutenant didn`t listen at him.
"Please fucking kill me, Chris! I`ll tear you in shreds if you keep being so stubborn! I will turn and fucking kill you here in this fucking pod" Piers said angrily, his body trembling uncontrollably while trying to survive the intense heat. More smoke was leaving the mutated tissue, heating up even further.
"Shut up! Will you fucking listen to me! You know I can`t do it! We will make it through this! Don`t give up!" Chris shouted at him.
Piers stared at him angrily, his eye showing desperation, sadness and fear at the same time, "Stop that, Chris!" he said and clenched his eye shut because of another wave of pain flowing through his body. It convulsed and cramped horribly, making him gasp for cool air.
A cracking sound coming from his back was heard as Piers leaned forward again, tiny lines of blood coming out of his mouth and Chris realized that the cracking sounds came from the bones of his spine.
He didn`t know what to do. He could do nothing against the mutation, against the pain, against the desperation and fear in that hazel eye. The claws of the right mutated arm dug into the ground leaving four deep scratches on the metal while Piers tried to keep in control of himself, clenching his eyes shut.
He didn`t even know if he would put the bullet into his partners head, he would be dead. He got a feeling that it would only fasten the transformation into something they both couldn`t imagine.
The environment was becoming a lot brighter, they would reach the surface soon. Chris stared at the pitiful bloody figure in front of him and grimaced because of the pain that was filling his heart. Piers` grunting and moaning became louder as his body began to change faster than before. Spikes slowly began to grow out of his back and with them, a dorsal fin. They broke the surface of the skin, ripping it apart in a bloody mess before sticking out into the air. The dorsal fin colored in white from growing out of the bones of the spine slowly turning into a deep violet-blueish color at the tips.
He could see tears forming in those hazel and white eyes which reflected so many mixed emotions. He could read the thoughts out of them, the fear of mutating, the fear of killing, the desperation to keep the control, the anger that he wasn`t already dead, the sadness that he would end like that, the admiration and respect he felt for his leader.
Piers body heat increased so much that Chris could feel its skin burning the soft fabric of his gloved hand, but that didn`t keep him from hugging his partner. He grabbed the burned remains of the vest on Piers` left side and pulled him into his huge arms, the hot smoking skin leaving the smell of burning clothes. Piers was shocked and not able to react at first, unable to realize what his Captain was doing. His pain disappeared for a moment of shock and surprise.
Chris clenched his eyes shut, feeling his skin under his clothes begin to hurt because of the intense heat, his lungs demonstrating against the hot smoke releasing from Piers` skin but he ignored it. He wanted to show his partner that he truly needed him, needed him to stay alive. He couldn`t bear the thought of another man dying under his watch, He swore to himself that nobody would die under his command again after all the years men had died believing in him.
Not anymore, he couldn`t stand another lost soldier, specifically one of his best men and a loyal soldier. The spikes along Piers' back were pulsating with electricity against the big arms, which are wrapped around the lieutenants' body. Chris let go of Piers right before the hot spikes could burn the skin of his arms as he grabbed him by both shoulders, forcing the weakened soldier to look directly into his eyes.
"We'll make it, Piers. I won`t leave you behind, I`ll never leave a man behind. I lost too many men, please don`t do this to me and hang in there" he said firmly, tightening his grip on the smoking hot shoulders.
Piers swallowed, realizing that he couldn`t change Chris` mind because of his stubbornness and desperation. He nodded slightly, letting his head hang as he grabbed Chris` hands, pulling them away from his hot shoulders.
"...I heard you, Chris. Please don`t touch me..." he murmured, wincing as the pain returned.
Chris could only look at him in sadness, trying to get his mic ready to inform HQ, but it didn`t work.
Piers moved a little, pulling on his trousers slightly. Chris let go of his mic and eyed his lieutenant closely. He didn`t want to risk his man finding something at his belt that could help him killing himself. He knew Piers, he couldn`t be careful enough.
"Do you...have to...to piss or what are you doing?" Chris asked unsure.
Piers shook his head slightly and huffed in awkward response. Once he managed to pull down his pants, a growing finned reptilian tail slipped out from the fabric and gently laid on the floor beside him. Hot greying and blueish smoke left the soft pink skin of the tail as hardened skin moved slightly aside to make room for the hot smoke to leave the body in order to shrink the pressure within the veins. After that he let out a relieved grunt and closed his eyes.
Chris frowned when he saw a bit of the white smoke leaving Piers mouth as he exhaled, "We will get a cure. You know they`re already working on a cure. They'll help you. Just stay in control." He was about to turn but stopped. He turned to his partner again and added “Just don`t forget to breathe…. I don`t want you to burn up into flames…”
Piers only closed his eyes, leaning back against the wall with his left shoulder, hoping that they would reach the surface soon so that the B.S.A.A. could come to rescue Chris and put his life an end. Breathing was getting hard. He felt like there wasn't enough oxygen in the air, but he remained silent so Chris wouldn't notice.
Chris was still trying to reach HQ and a cracking sound finally came out of the earpiece. "HQ? It`s Captain Redfield of Alpha Team! Please answer if you hear me!" he shouted at the microphone but didn`t get an answer. He slammed his fist against the wall beside him, still trying to contact them.
"This is Chris Redfield, calling for medical help! HQ answer me!" he yelled and the cracking sounds got louder. Piers opened his eyes and looked at Chris' angry eyes. The pod began to tremble again when it reached the surface, bobbing up and down in the water.
The pressure of surfacing caught both men in surprise. While the older male managed to grab one of the handles of the pod to balance his body, his comrade landed hard on his side. The poor guy groaned out as his body convulsed and quickly released the growing pressure of the high temperature within.
Chris steadied himself on the wall while Piers got up from the ground only to sit down once again. Chris pushed himself against the door, pressing the button to open the door. When it opened a large cloud of hot smoke left the pod like opening a pot with boiling water in the winter air.
Chris stepped to the opened door as the fresh air hit his skin which was, to his surprise, covered in sweat. He didn`t even notice how warm it was inside the pod, his worries for his lieutenant were more important. He recovered and tried once again to contact HQ.
"HQ, this is Redfield! Someone, answer me!" he shouted.
The crackling sound changed as a male voice answered him, "Captain Redfield, this is HQ. What happened? We didn`t get any information from you for hours".
Chris let out a relieved breath as he tightened his grip on the microphone of his earpiece, "Yes, we`ve been in trouble. We need a chopper and immediate medical attention. One man is badly injured, please hurry!"
The voice remained steady, the people in HQ were well trained to keep calm, "Copy that, we`re sending you a chopper from the Chinese B.S.A.A. branch, hold on!"
Chris sighed, his hands removing from the earpiece while he looked around the area. Haos didn`t surfaced like they had, so it finally was dead. One big problem solved.
Piers winced, his mutating lungs making it impossible to breath. He fused his eyes shut and made his legs more comfortable while his reptilian tail cramped up beside him like a snake beinding over after a falcon would grab it.
Chris noticed the twitching and moved next to him, leaning over him. "What's wrong? Do you feel worse?" he asked worried and got no response, Piers didn`t even lifted his head.
He put a slightly burned hand on Piers' shoulder, gently shaking him, worry rising.
"Piers, answer me! What's wrong?" he asked, fear filling his chest when Piers` closed eyes fused together. "PIERS!" Chris shouted at him and after he didn`t get any response he grabbed Piers by the face in an attempt to get him to respond, not caring at the high temperature of the cheeks he held inside his hands.
When Piers twitched Chris noticed that he hadn't been breathing the whole time. The chest wasn`t raising nor shrinking. Panic began to rise while he quickly lay him down, opening his mouth and pressing his lips on the nostrils of his partner as he held his palm onto the soldiers lips to seal them, trying to force oxygen in his lungs through his nose. It didn`t work, Piers' lungs didn`t respond to the act, the electricity that was forming around his body slowly was fading.
"NO!" Chris put a hand on Piers' mutated throat, feeling a pulse which got slower with every passing second. He looked around, trying to find an oxygen bottle and that was when he found himself staring at the fins on Piers` back and tail. His chocolate eyes wandered down to his torso. He removed the remains of the military vest to reveal five large slits on each side of the torso right below the axels. Touching the soft skin at the openings of the slits, he saw strange featherly appendages moving up with the skin within the slits.
"That`s it!" Chris said loudly, grabbing Piers by his shoulders to drag him a few meters to the edge of the opened escape pod.
"Piers, everything is going to be alright" Chris said, holding onto Piers' head and carefully guiding him into the water in the hope that way he would be able to breathe. He used his palms to pick up some of the ocean water and pushed it towards Piers chest right where the slits were. At first Piers didn`t make a move but then his fingers and claws began to twitch slightly as his back rose, the spikes moving to the left and right as his newly formed gills filtered the salty water.
Chris watched Piers` gills moving when he continued to splash water into them. Piers body came back to life as he coughed up. After that he let go of Piers' head and sat down beside his body, gently patting the warm skin between the spikes of his back.
"Damn it, that was close..." Chris mumbled and Piers lifted his head.
After some coughing he began to speak, "...Thank ya, Captain". He wanted to add something but he knew that Chris wouldn`t take it for good, so he kept silent. He continued to splash water at his torso by his own, the cool water actually helped to sink his high body temperature a bit.
Chris grimaced angrily, "Why didn't you told me that you couldn`t breathe anymore! Do you want to fucking kill yourself? After all I told you? That`s not very smart Piers".
Piers didn`t say a word and sat down on his aching butt, twitching as he grabbed his tail and pulled it aside so he didn`t sit down on it. He still had no control in it, he couldn`t even manage to use the muscles growing inside of it.
"Just fuckin` talk to me, I'm trying to say that you`re not what you think you are. You`re still my partner and help will come for us in a few minutes. You`ll see. Please promise me that you`ll try to survive. You can see that you`re still in control. We can fight this whole thing and then you'll be the next Captain of Alpha Team".
Piers turned his head to look at him angrily. "Don`t dare to fucking retire...The world needs you, it always needed someone like you. You did so much for them and you should continue it, that`s your future. I didn`t infected myself for nothing…"
Chris shook his head, "No Piers, I`m too old for this".
The electricity appeared again over Piers' skin as anger rose up in him, his temperature rising once again.
"No Chris, you`re not too old! You`re in top shape and nobody is as good as you. Nobody`s like you, so protective, strong, full of emotion and with morals like you have. Everyone know you, you are a legend, Chris. You can inspire them all, they look up to you”. He lowered his head in shame, his voice faint. “Besides, nobody wants someone like me," he gestured at his mutating body, especially his disgusting tail "as their Captain".
His insides began to burn painfully as his body demanded more water so he went to his knees down at the water, putting his fingers of his left hand together and filled his palm with water before splashing it at his torso once again, careful that he didn`t slap the soft pink skin of his extremely sensitive gills.
Chris stood up, the shadow of his body falling across Piers` sight as he leaned forward and put a hand on Piers' left shoulder, frowning. "I`m saying this for the last time: I need you and you will never disobey my orders again. Did you hear me, soldier?"