She stood beside the window, hidden by the curtains, with a phone in one hand and pistol in the other. The former continued to ring on the other end, like it always did, and when the wait became too long she shifted it between her shoulder and cheek. With her free hand, she emptied her pistol magazine. Nothing less than a perfectly normal day. At least, nothing less than what Ada Wong considered normal.
The ringing stopped. “Wrong number.”
Ada responded without a hitch. “Alpha Delta Alpha. It’s a secure line.”
The voice complied. “Are you in position?”
“Nearly.” Ada leaned her head into the light streaking through the window panes, squinting at the high-rise of the distant city. “Just a couple miles away now. Looks so peaceful.”
“Looks can be deceiving.” A flock of birds, startled, raced across the sky. “And it won’t stay that way for long. That city will be in flames by the end of tomorrow, and you need to be in there before it is.”
Ada sighed, but was smart enough to keep it hidden from the man on the other line. “I know. Where do you need me to go once I’m in there?”
Papers rustled on the other end, most likely being maps and documents that littered the offices whenever Ada had the displeasure of visiting. “The police station. It’s the quickest - albeit most populated - path to the lab. That is, unless you want to take your chances in the sewers.”
“I think I'm good, thanks,” murmured Ada, scanning her eyes across the silhouettes of buildings. Nothing moved, as if the city itself was holding its breath, waiting for an inevitable spark to set it ablaze.
The next sentence dribbled out of the phone like it was something unsavory. “You’ll probably need a cop’s help once you’re there. It’s not impossible to maneuver alone, but arduous. The station is run by a madman who’s rigged it with more traps than you can imagine.”
Ada grimaced. It’s not that she loathed working with others, she had done it many times in the past. However, ending the partnership was usually more tedious than starting it. One could fake their own death only so many times, and when that didn’t work more drastic measures were needed. The betrayal reflecting on her so-called “partner’s” face never bothered her, but it was just another step to take. If given the choice, she would work alone.
“Will there be anyone left alive?” she asked instead.
“There should be,” responded the man. “Just make sure they doesn’t leave that way.”
Ada nodded, dropping a couple bullets into the pistol’s magazine. “That’s all I needed to hear. You don’t care how G is brought in, do you?”
The man exhaled harshly, presumably attempting a chuckle. “Not unless you bring one of those shambling idiots with you.”
Ada shoved the magazine into her pistol. “I don’t intend to.”
“Good. Oh, and while you’re there” his tone changed to something a little more nostalgic and bitter, “make sure to look for the Nemesis parasite. Someone stole it, and I know exactly who did it. He’s in that city.”
Ada snickered. “Just send me your grocery list while you’re at it.”
The man didn’t share the same humor. “Don’t leave the city without it.” And the line went dead.
Taking the phone from its perch, she threw it on the hotel bed and turned her attention back to the city. Cars drove in and out of it, unaware of their surroundings and their fate. Shadows weaved in and out of the city’s outskirts, continuing on their day. The surrounding forest loomed over them with its sheltering branches. To the people, it posed as an unbreakable shield. However, its thick, ungiving trunks could also act as a prison.
Ada fitted the pistol back into its holder strapped around her thigh. Tomorrow, she would be entering that prison.
His shadow danced across the walls as he paced around the table. This had to be a prank, he thought to himself as he placed his hands on either side of a crumpled letter he received that morning. An elaborate joke, surely. Why would his future employer warn him to stay away on his first day, and in such an unprofessional and short-noticed manner such as this?
But every time he looked at the official Raccoon Police Department seal ending the message, his confidence wavered. He heaved himself off the table once more and rolled his shoulders in a vain attempt to release stress before pacing again. There was no name signed, no reason stating why he should keep away, and when he called no-one would answer. In fact, some of the other numbers he had been given during his preliminary training didn’t even work: the lines were dead.
And yet, it bore the seal, making the statement official that the new officer Leon S. Kennedy would not start working until the day after September 28th. Leon stood in his apartment, contemplating if he should obey.
Chair legs screeched against the floor as Leon pulled out a seat. He slumped into it, leaning over the note and envelope in which it was encased. His eyes narrowed. He wasn’t one to disobey orders, especially not when he hasn’t even formally started the job, but something about how it was handled bothered him.
“I don’t understand,” he muttered to himself. “If it’s an emergency, they’d need all the help they could get.”
That’s the only thing he could think of at the moment, that this was brought on by an emergency and they hadn’t the time to make a proper note to tell him. Either that, or it was a prank.
Ice warmed in a shot of tequila, glass untouched, beside Leon’s elbow. He originally bought it to celebrate his new career. Now he reached for it, throwing it back, in order to calm his nerves.
Something caught his eye as he lowered his head. Something hidden in the crease of the folded and crinkled letter, reflecting the lamplight that loomed above his head. Carefully, he sat the glass down. Both hands grasped the note. There was no mistaking it: blood stained the page.
Leon shot up from his chair. Thousands of possible reasons as to how and why this stain existed raced through his head. A jilted gang, a crazed officer, maybe even a bomb placed in the compounds… the ideas whirled around Leon’s head as he dressed in his uniform. Whatever situation it was didn’t matter. They needed him.
After changing to his proper attire, Leon dragged his chair over to the oven, planted himself on it, and draped his arms over its back as he watched the minutes wash away. Although traffic was light at this late hour, he couldn’t afford driving drunk and risk getting into an accident at a time like this.
At precisely 11:42pm, he grabbed his supplies and left. He drove the 45-minute long trip, and if the adrenaline didn’t keep him awake his conviction certainly did. The towering skylines and flashing lights of the outlandishly mysterious Raccoon City welcomed him. And, on September 28th 1998, he became ensnared in a trap that was never meant for him.