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Fallen City

Chapter Text

“Visitor for you Ms. Valentine.” The staff member said poking her head through the door to Jill’s room while Jill sat quietly on a simple couch by the window. She looked up from her book and nodded without a word. The orderly stepped out and a smiling Chris Redfield stepped in holding a small bundle of flowers. Jill’s blank expression was broken by a reluctant smile as she set her book on the small coffee table in front of her.

“You dyed it back? good, I can’t see you as anything other than a brunette." Chris mused quietly walking over to the dresser in the corner of the room, replacing a similar set of wilting flowers in a clear vase with those he had brought. "How’ve you been doing?”

“Terrible, they won’t let me leave yet and I’m caught up on all my reading, this is my second time around on ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.” Jill tossed back sarcastically, Chris laughing as he tossed the dead flowers in a small, covered trash can in the corner by the door.

“At least you’ll be coming back with a sharp mind; we need that more than ever.” Chris added, his tone diminishing to a pensive darkness.

“I only know what a civilian would but from what I understand… things are better yet far more complicated. Not to mention what the cost has been.” Jill spoke softly as she approached the tender subject. “Are you doing ok?” Jill asked as Chris seemed to stare off into space. He snapped back with a curl in the corner of his mouth.

“You are here recovering from one of the most physically and mentally traumatic things I could possible imagine going through and you ask me how I’m doing.” Chris laughed walking over to Jill and sitting down on the couch next to her. “I’m ok, losing men is never easy, but I’ve been good about seeing the shrink I’m… better than I was a few years ago.” Chris added waxing serious again. Jill placed her hand on his shoulder, not saying a word for several moments before Chris looked up to meet her gaze.

“Thanks for not bringing anyone… I know it’s probably hard to keep everyone at bay.” Jill said softly as he looked at her.

“Ha, I had to almost fight Claire to keep her out of my car this time; you know how she is, but I agree with you.”

“I just don’t want anyone to see me like this; I don’t even know if I’m ready to see anyone yet.” Jill seemed to ask herself as she looked away.
“I know, I’ll try to keep them tamped down until you’re ready, even after you get out of here. You know they’re only restless to see you because they care right? Especially Claire, I catch crap every time I come back from these visits.” Chris grinned as Jill laughed.

“She’s always acted like she’s actually your big sister; I really don’t want her to see me like this though, I couldn’t take the way she cares at the moment.” Jill muttered as Chris nodded softly, letting the thought linger before speaking.

“Her best quality though, she just doesn’t know what to do when you don’t need her to go through hell for you. She idolizes you, even more now that she’s joining S.O.A. as soon as she graduates.” Chris reassured as he looked back at Jill.

“Really? She passed the entry course?” Jill smiled, eager to move away from discussing herself.

“Oh yeah, blew everyone else in her class out of the water, keeps saying that she wants to be the first one people think of when they say, ‘Agent Redfield’.” Chris stood as he laughed over the antics of his sister. “We’re getting a new director too by the way; names Roland out from the Pacific branch.”

“Really? So I’ve been out for that long. Do you know anything about him?” Jill thought out loud as she put her feet up on the coffee table.

“Not too much, mission focused but savvy enough to navigate the politics. Claire has a relationship with him though.” Chris said as he idly paced around Jills rehab suite.

“Huh, from that stunt she pulled a year ago?”

“That’s the one, I was able to use that little bit of networking to get a private meeting with him as they start the transition.” Chris said taking an envelope out of his jacket pocket and tossing it next to Jill’s feet on the coffee table.

“And this is?” Jill asked as she picked up and tore open the envelope, raising an eyebrow as she looked at her old partner.
“A directive clearing you for duty within three months as long as you meet the rest of your benchmarks and pass PT, signed by our new director. You will then be immediately reinstated as a senior special operations agent for the BSAA. They’ll likely just have you do retraining for a while but you’ll be back in the fight.” Chris said, barely suppressing the big grin on his face. Jill carefully read through the first paragraph of the memo detailing her new orders before looking up at Chris with a fluttering smile.

“Thank you… it’s not enough but I don’t have anything else to say.” Jill said softly as she kept reading.

“Claire and I have kept up your place in Baltimore too, you can go home the second you get out. I can’t promise what state your piano is going to be in though, we had a couple cold winters and we turned the heat off. If it’s bad I’ll hire the tuner, call it your graduating rehab gift.” Chris added as Jill stood and walked over to him. She threw her arms around him as he silently reciprocated. Jill stepped back after a long moment.

“Let me know if there’s anything you need from me; you’ve pulled me out of this hole practically single handedly, it’s about time I start acting like a partner again.” Jill said with a concerned look at Chris’s stoic face. He nodded silently, taking a moment to find his words.

“The funeral was hard. I don’t think I talked to anyone for a week after; not even Claire. I didn’t drink though, I didn’t run off; he pulled me from that gloom once, I wasn’t going back. I’m back to the fight and that’s what he would want me doing.” Chris said as his eyes softly misted as he spoke. Jill grabbed his hand and squeezed softly as he brushed the corner of his eye with his free hand. He sighed loudly before collecting his composure again, smiling at Jill as he did.

“Thanks for asking, it means a lot. I… have you been to see Valerie and Edelie since Africa?” Chris asked after pausing for a moment. Jill’s smile vanished as her brow furrowed with an expression of shame and guilt.

“No… I haven’t” Jill stuttered turning around and stepping back to the couch. She covered her mouth with her hand and stared in silence as Chris waited quietly. “How long has it been now?” Jill asked gesturing openly as she looked back at Chris.

“A few years, I think. I didn’t let the caretaker know when you went missing, a mistake that was probably for the best. I had planned on coming up with something to say after uroboros incident but…” Chris trailed off. “I’ll meet with Roland again, within your first month I’ll get you a week and a plane ticket.” He added as Jill sat down, still in thought. She looked back up at her old friend and forced a smile.

“Thanks Chris, for everything. I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Chapter Text

“I swear to god if they’re late I’m going to kill them.” Claire laughed as she stepped out of her car as Chris waited for her. They began to walk towards the exit of the parking garage; a cool breeze from the winter night blew through the open structure. The mellow bustle of the Georgetown street below them began to grow louder as they approached the stairs in the corner. A blue CH-R came peeling around the corner, the driver’s window dropped as it pulled alongside the Redfields.

“I’ve got five minutes to find a spot and you can’t say I’m late this time!” Moira called out as she came to a sudden stop. Claire laughed and flourished dismissively as she and Chris kept walking.

“Pay our covers and first round is on me!” Rebecca called from the passenger’s seat as Moira raised the window and sped off to find a place to park. Chris and Claire started heading down the stairs as the sounds of the D.C. nightlife began to come through full force; the occasional revving of an engine peeling out of a stoplight, idle chatter from groups heading to their club of choice and the rumbles of heavy sound systems reverberating through the walls of various dark venues lining the street.

“Why’d Jill say she wasn’t coming tonight?” Claire inquired softly, wringing her wrists nervously as they rounded another flight of stairs on their way to street level. Chris let out a long breath before answering; Claire trying not to look like she had been dying to ask since she heard Jill would be absent.

“She needed to see family outside of the country, she hasn’t had the chance for years so I wouldn’t take it personally. She told me how proud she was that you’re serving with us now.” Chris answered seeing the look of disappointment on Claire’s face as she turned to hide it from him. “She said she had something for your graduation, wouldn’t tell me cause she wanted to give it to you in person.” Chris said hoping to deflect his sister’s concern as they reached street level.

“Ok, I guess it would be a bit much of me to demand her drop everything for me; all things considered. When will she be back?” Claire asked as they paused to wait for Moira and Rebecca.

“She’s on a red eye due to touch down at Dulles by the time we’ll be getting to bed tonight.” Chris laughed as he put his hand on Claire’s shoulder. She playfully tossed it off as she turned to face him.

“So about eight if I have anything to say about it?” She joked as she cocked her head to look over Chris’s shoulder. “Well it’s been a bit too long don’t you think Kennedy?” Claire smiled as she stepped past her brother.

“Well I’m sure your brother has told you how busy we’ve been.” Leon tossed back as he held out his arms to embrace his old friend. Claire ran to him and held him for a moment before pulling back.

“You look good, despite the ragged beard you’re trying to grow. I heard you got a new toy and if it’s true I’m super jealous and don’t want to see it.” Claire teased as she flicked the collar of Leon’s riding jacket.

“Fair is fair, and yes, it is faster than your car.” Leon played back, sticking his tongue out for good measure. Chris stepped over and offered his hand to Leon who took it and pulled him into a hug. “And how’ve you been big guy?” Leon asked letting Chris go with a pat on the shoulder.

“Better, my old partner is finally out of rehab and I finally feel like things are getting back to normal.” Chris said with a small grin, glad to be back on speaking terms with the D.O.S. agent.

“That’s great news. Send her my best; we’re lucky to have her back in the fight. Now where are we supposed to be heading Claire?” Leon smiled turning from the elder to the younger Redfield.

“Just a block and a half that way as soon as Moira and Rebecca get their asses down here.” Claire crescendo-ed as she heard their footsteps coming up behind them.

“Christ Claire, I’m still technically on time.” Moira teased as she and Rebecca joined the group. They all followed Claire’s lead to the club of her choice per the agreement of how they would all celebrate Claire graduating the BSAA Academy; becoming and official field operative. When they walked into the dim light and thumping music the group made their way through the throng of dancing and drinking persons to a blue-lit glass bar. Claire flagged down a bartender, wallet in hand, only to have it plucked from her hand by her brother. He laughed as Leon sat down and handed the bartender his card and opened a tab for the group. Claire playfully punched him in the shoulder but relented as they waited for their order to come up. Rebecca grabbed Claire’s hand and led her with Moira out into the club as Chris sat down next to Leon, waiting for their drinks to be served.

“Is she happy with it still?” Leon asked as he was passed a bourbon on the rocks.

“More than, you really came through for her in a way I never have been able to.” Chris replied, half shouting over the buzz of the club. The bartender passed him a Long Island Iced Tea and the girls’ orders. He easily grabbed all four in his hands and stood.

“It’s what she did for me when I asked, besides I was the only formal witness to her Racoon city involvement that the U.S. would believe. Was a pain in the ass to add her to the official records but after she took an enormous leap of faith for me; she deserved it and more. You going to be good carrying all that?” Leon responded turning to Chris as he stood over him.

“Oh yeah, worked in a bar during high school, still have a couple odd skills from that gig. You not coming out with me?” Chris dismissed with a laugh.

“I think I’m good here for now, when they find a seat come get me. You much of a dancer?” Leon tossed back with a hint of sarcasm. Chris stifled a grin before answering.

“Hardly, just playing waiter for them and making sure no one looks at them the wrong way.” Chris turned to head out to find the trio as Leon swirled his drink, putting away half of it before Chris had left. He stared blankly into the amber liquid as it swirled around the circular ice in the glass. He raised the glass to his lips and didn’t put it down until he had drained it, tapping the counter near the bartender for a another. He sighed as the constant prodding of his thoughts began to dull as his skin flushed with warmth. He felt his eyes water as a wave of emotion crashed over him and passed as he welcomed his next drink; floating his mind into a state he found far more manageable. Leon welcomed the subtle burn in his throat as he felt himself fade into his old self, free from the burden of the decades old fight he had been tossed headfirst into before he had started his first real job.

Leon handed his third glass back to the bartender as his silent moment of self-reflection was interrupted by a strong grip on his shoulder. He turned expecting to see Chris back for refills for the girls only to have his arm grabbed and firmly yanked onto the floor of the club. Stumbling slightly as his body absorbed the reality of his current level of intoxication, he tried to find the silhouette that had pulled him from his chair. He half expected Claire in an attempt to get him to loosen up a bit but found the younger Redfield nowhere to be seen. Just as he turned to head back to the bar the strong arm grabbed him again, tossing him farther through the crowd; his protests easily drowned out by the driving beat of the club music. He found himself tossed up against a far wall in the back of the club, only half-drunk dancers and embracing couples surrounding him as a woman in a black evening dress pressed herself up against him. She pinned him to the wall, placing her hand on his cheek gingerly before looking up to meet his confused gaze.

“Ada!?” Leon gasped at the familiar face now so close to his, the rest of the club furor melting away from his focus as he lost himself in his present companion.

“Long time no see rookie, you know you should always keep a certain sharpness about you.” Ada purred as she leaned closer to him. She paused and wrinkled her nose, “Come on Leon, I followed you in here not half an hour ago and you’re already sauced.” Ada scolded placing a thin breath strip in Leon’s mouth, his jaw still dropped from Ada’s sudden appearance. “There, we no longer reek of a mid-life crisis.” Ada added, kissing her quarry wistfully as he struggled to regain his composure.

“What are you doing here, I thought… after the mess with Radames and Simmons…” Leon struggled to put together a coherent thought. Ada placed her finger on his lips and hushed him, leaning in close and placing her chin on his shoulder as she whispered.

“I wanted to let you know that even though that whole issue ruined me I have one last job to make up the loss. After that’s finished, I think I’ll be due for a retirement from this line of work.” Ada wrapped one arm around Leon’s waist as she brushed her free hand over his chest.

“Come see me sometime soon please? I want to talk about… well a lot.” She wanted as she ran her hands over him. Leon closed his eyes and took her presence in, opening them to realize she was gone. He scanned the mass of dancers and couples to no avail. Leon ran his hand over his face and felt his mouth go dry, his mind begging to return to the bar. He traced the path of Ada’s hand over his chest and stopped at the pocket sewn into his shirt. He pulled out a black, metallic key card with no markings save a written address somewhere in Falls Church.

“Always playing games Ada.” Leon couldn’t help but smile as he slowly made his way back to the bar where he held down the tab for the rest of the girl’s night.

Claire was practically carrying Rebecca as the group made their way back to the parking garage close to three in the morning. Moira was walking close to Leon as he shambled behind Chris, Claire stumbling supporting a giggling Rebecca. Leon had made no mention of his encounter in the club as Chris ordered him a ride in front of the garage.

“Call me in the morning when you get up and I’ll bring you back to pick up your bike.” Chris said patting Leon on the shoulder. “You were in overnight parking, right?”

“Yeah, yeah sounds good, thanks Chris.” Leon stammered as a black sedan pulled up, the driver asking if this was the ride for Chris. He helped Leon into the car, shaking his head as he turned back towards Claire.

“You sure you’re good Moira?” Chris inquired as they began to make their way up the stairs to their cars.

“Yes dad, I cut myself off at midnight.” Moira spat back with a sly smile as Chris threw up his hands playfully.

“Just asking, want to make sure you’ll be fine.” He said as they approached her car. Claire helped Rebecca into the passenger seat as she murmured something about Claire being her best friend before leaning back into a fit of giggles. Claire shook her head with a smile as she looked over at her brother.

“Congratulations Claire, hope drinky over here didn’t make things to difficult.” Moira said as Claire walked over to her side of the car.

“Thanks kid, means a lot that you all came out, drive safe.” Claire said patting the roof of the car before walking off with her brother. They approached Claire’s black Civic as she turned and hugged Chris.

“Thanks for making this happen, it was great to be out with everyone and not have zombies or worse chasing us.” She thanked him as he returned her hug.

“Anytime kiddo, was an occasion worth celebrating. I’m glad we were able to make it happen.” Chris returned as Claire stepped back and unlocked her car.

“You’re going to help me go replace this piece of junk next weekend, right? I get my first special agent check and all and I’m dying to get out of this compromise.” Claire said as she opened her door.

“Of course, take care and I’ll see you Monday morning.” Chris smiled back as he walked over to his car. Claire turned her car on and drove home to her “for when I finally get a fast car” playlist. She pulled into her apartment parking lot at close to five and wound up crashing on her own couch. She was unable to sleep; her thoughts jerking her awake every hour, watching the clock slowly creep up as the light from her windows turned from blue to orange to yellow as the sun rose. She gave up on sleep at nine in the morning and grabbed her keys, walking back out into the brisk morning air. She brushed frost from her windshield as she got back into her car and headed towards the freeway. She couldn’t shake the anxiety over Jill’s absence, not having seen her since Chris had found her in West Africa. In and hour she found herself in downtown Baltimore, pulling into the parking garage of a familiar building; the apartment her and her brother had been watching for Jill for past couple years.

Claire still had the parking pass and pulled into resident parking before walking into the building. She stepped into an empty lobby; mailboxes, twin elevators, a staircase and lone figure by the stairs with several large travel bags around her. Claire froze as she recognized Jill standing on the far side of the lobby. Claire struggled with the conversation she had been rehearsing in her head since she started driving over. Jill was stood facing away from Claire, her shoulders shaking; one hand covering her face, the other clutching her side. Claire slowly approached her as she heard Jill sob softly in the empty lobby.

“Hey…” Claire croaked softly as she got within earshot of Jill. She whirled around- eyes red and tears streaming down her cheeks- to look at Claire. Jill starred at her for a moment without saying a word before attempting to collect herself.

“Claire! I’m sorry… jet lag and allergies. God, I bet I look like shit right now. What are you doing here?” Jill said dismissively as she wiped her eyes and attempted to collect her bags, struggling to find a graceful way to lift all at once.

“I wanted to see you since… well Chris told me you’d be home late last night and… Jill are you ok?” Claire stuttered, stepping closer with a concerned expression dominating her face. Jill sighed deeply staring down at her bags. She drew a long breath before looking up at Claire, forcing a smile as she met her eyes.

“I’m fine, long flight.” Jill responded flatly, still struggling to solve the puzzle of carrying her luggage.

“Well then let me help you carry all this up, get you some coffee or breakfast or something.” Claire responded reaching for Jill’s bags. Jill nodded silently, relinquishing the ridiculous task she was attempting. They silently made their way up the stairs to Jill’s floor, Claire opening the door to Jill’s flat with the spare key she still had. The living room was an open floor plan, leading to a kitchen and a large windowed dining room dominated by a black grand piano. Claire set Jill’s bags down next to the black leather sofa in the living room as Jill dropped hers by the door, shutting it behind her. She walked into the kitchen going straight for a collection of wine bottles on a rack in the corner. She opened a bottle of zinfandel, poured herself a liberal glass; sipping it silently before walking back into the living room.
“Congratulations by the way, I’m sorry I missed the party.” Jill said, seeming to suddenly snap back to reality as she acknowledged Claire standing in her living room.

“It’s ok, I know a lot is going on.” Claire almost whispered as she watched Jill down her glass as if it was water before returning to the bottle. “How was your trip?” Claire asked nervously as Jill refilled her glass and seemed stared off into nothing.

“Jill? How… how was your trip.” Claire asked again after a minute of uncomfortable silence.

“Hmm? Oh, it was fine. I went through Nice and got to try an authentic Carbonara and...” Jill trailed off as she took another taste of her drink. Claire wrung her hands; uneasy at her friend’s distant tone.

“Sounds good… Jill I don’t know where to start. I just want you to know that whatever you need, I’m here for you.” Claire stammered as she stepped closer. Jill looked up at her with a deep melancholy in her eyes, holding her gaze for several tense seconds before responding.

“I know Claire. You’re as good as your brother and then some. I just don’t know what I need right now.” She exhaled, taking comfort in worrying her drink. Claire stood swaying back in forth, looking up at the ceiling trying to think of something to say.

“I heard Chris had the piano tuned up and serviced for you… you up for playing anything for me?” Claire smiled as she tried to bring Jill back to her own self. Jill just shook her head and looked away.

“Oh, come now, something simple.” Claire implored.

“No Claire I…” Jill tried to say as she closed her eyes.

“Moonlight perhaps? I know you know that one inside and out.”

“Claire, I don’t…” Jill shook her head, her hands starting to shake.

“Just the first movement, I’ve even tried to learn the first few bars so that…” Claire urged taking another step forward.

“Claire!” Jill yelled, her glass slipping from her grasp and shattering on the tiled floor. The remaining wine flowed gently between the cracks of the dark tile, the dark red liquid reflecting the soft yellow sunlight shining through the windows. Jill stared at it for several moments as if shocked that it had even happened. Claire took a step back after Jill had shouted, not knowing how to react as tears began to roll down Jill’s face.

“Fuck… Claire I couldn’t if I wanted to.” Jill stammered as Claire reached for a roll of paper towels on the counter and began to wipe up the mess.

“I’m not yet… not everything is back… there are still parts of me that are missing. They fucking ripped me to pieces and I’m still not back yet.” Jill sputtered as Claire stood, setting a wad of red-stained paper towels on the counter. Claire watched as Jill pressed her hands over her face, taking a long breath as she started to collect herself. She looked up as a tear broke over Claire’s cheek from watching her friend suffer.

“They… didn’t tell me everything, I’m so sorry Jill.” Claire said hoarsely as she tried to hold back tears. Jill waved dismissively as she stepped past Claire, grabbing a small box that sat on her coffee table.

“Here I am ruining what is supposed to be a happy day for you.” Jill forced a laugh as she returned to Claire holding the box. “When I was in France, I found this wonderful jeweler who did simple, rustic pieces. I thought this would fit your style.” Jill said opening the case revealing a small silver necklace. The pendant was a pair of feathered angel wings spread wide. Claire took it from Jill and laughed softly, covering her mouth as she looked up smiling at her. “Sterling, shouldn’t need a polish for a bit.” Jill added with a smile.

“It’s gorgeous Jill, you didn’t have to…”

“Pfff, you blasted through S.O.A. training and are now going to be giving your brother a run for the Redfield name. That’s an accomplishment that’s worth at least a small gift. Especially since I missed your party.” Jill said folding her arms as Claire brushed her ponytail aside, attaching the clasp of the necklace around her neck. “I treated myself too, couldn’t help myself.” Jill added holding up a small caracal pendant hung around her neck. Claire reached out to look at Jill’s necklace and stopped suddenly; Claire saw the circular and jagged scar on the center of Jill’s chest. She suppressed a gasp as she reached towards it.

“My god… Jill.” Claire whispered as her fingers brushed up against Jill’s skin. Claire gasped as Jill suddenly grabbed Claire’s wrist, their eyes locking for a long second. Jill’s eyes were free flowing and stern as she held Claire’s wrist firmly, just above her scar. Jill’s chest heaved, Claire feeling her heart race. Claire held her gaze, her surprise and fear melting away as she looked into Jill’s eyes and saw her agony break over her cheeks.

“Jill. As long as I’m here, no one can hurt you.” Claire practically whispered as she felt Jill’s grip lax. Jill released Claire’s wrist, grabbing her in a tight and desperate embrace.

“I’m sorry.” Was all she could muster as she leant into Claire’s shoulder, regaining her composure with a labored gasp.

“You have nothing to be sorry for.” Claire spoke softly as she returned Jill’s grip, running her hand over her back.

“I have a lot that I need to work through Claire. I wasn’t ready to see you yet.” Jill said stepping back and pulling another glass from a cabinet and filling it from the bottle on the counter. “That being said, I’m happy you came.”

“Are you going to be ok?” Claire inquired gently.

“I think so. It’s just been… it’s been a process. A lot is really just stuff I have to do on my own.” Jill pondered as she raised her fresh glass to her lips.

“Ok. And Jill, please don’t hesitate… even if you just need someone so you aren’t alone, I’ll be here for you.” Clair said pulling her keys from her jacket pocket. Jill set her glass down and smiled.

“Thanks, I’ll see you at work Monday?” Jill said leaning against her counter.

“Yeah, call me if you need anything.” Claire offered as she stood by the door.

Chapter Text

Jill jerked awake, yanking her headphones out of the aux jack on her desktop, the monotonous voice reading off the bullet points in the instructional video slowly rolling over the screen in front of her; something about calls for fire during joint field operations. She groaned brushing a strand of hair out from in front of her face. She paused the video and removed the earbuds. She sat back in her chair and sighed, her mind still flashing with images from the nightmare she had just slipped into. Memories, testing, sterile smells and her mind floating off as if unplugged from her body as P30 coursed through her system.

Jill shook the thoughts from her mind, putting her hands over her eyes and exhaling deeply; the dull thudding of an onset headache helping push the unpleasant images from her head. She was sitting in her private office at the BSAA Headquarters in Frederick, Maryland; resigned to studying recent incidents and new BSAA doctrine rather being assigned field work having had been back for just over a month. Jill could hardly be ungrateful for it; the BSAA had paid for her entire rehabilitation, allowed her to rejoin her old post and retroactively reinstate her since her initial disappearance. They let her keep her pension and issued her back pay for her time held by bio-terrorists. They had not assigned her to any field operations or even given her a new partner yet. There had been talk of assigning her to a strike team similar to Chris’ new post, but nothing had yet manifested. Chris had been good at stopping by to see her despite his heavy docket of assignments taking him and his men into the field.

Jill stood from her desk chair and began raising the blinds in her dark office, pausing as she heard a steady knock at the door. She turned and sat back down at her desk, looking at the door as she spoke, “Come in, I’m not busy.”

Chris opened the door stepping through and flashing a smile when he met Jill’s gaze. He was dressed in jeans, a plain gray t-shirt with an olive BSAA jacket on over it; civilian clothes always looked a little odd on him.

“Nice to see you, I take it that the Wyoming incident wasn’t that bad?” Jill said gesturing to a chair across from her desk before folding her arms as she leaned back in her seat.

“Hardly, just another rogue sample, quick and easy smash and grab really. Had the potential to be bad though.” He took the seat offered and shuffled it closer to the desk, resting his elbows on his knees as he lent forward. “How are you holding up here?” Chris asked, his tone shifting.

“I’m ok, fighting existential dread of becoming permanent desk jockey but I’m hanging in there. God, I’m not that old, yet am I?” Jill mused forcing a laugh.

“Please, your still in peak physical condition and have more experience than any of our other field agents.” He said quickly trying to reassure Jill.

“Such a romantic way to put it.” Jill returned sardonically.

“I did have some good news to bring you from Director Roland.” Chris said, a slight smile bending from the corner of his mouth.

“Oh yeah, the new appointee, from Hawaii or the Philippines, right? So, he’s officially moving in now, what did he have to say?” Jill said, her voice quickening with intrigue.

“You’ve been approved for your first field assignment, simple exercise running a local response to a known biohazard outbreak, will give you a chance to practice some of the new doctrine. That and you’ll be able to get you boots muddy again. By the looks of things, it will be a five day FTX in Quantico so you can get used to command and control in addition to your field skills.” Chris said handing a file to Jill to go through.

“Oh, thank god, I was worried, they had denied all my requests with the ambiguous ‘will be considered in time’. Are they giving me say in who I can set as my support team or are they providing whatever fodder has been in the rack too long?” Jill said sitting on the edge of her desk chair as she took the folder; leaning forward, intent of Chris’ answer.

“Unfortunately, your support team will be selected and provided for you, part of the challenge and simulation is they want you to develop interoperability in the field. They also have assigned you a new partner.” Jill sighed and slumped back in her chair as Chris let the bad news out and float around the office. “I assume they aren’t going to pull you away from your new team, are they?”

“Nope and don’t take this the wrong way Jill but, I wouldn’t if they asked. The young guys they put under me need guidance, they depend on my experience to make up for their lack. You know how things have changed, with the Tall Oaks and Lanshiang incident we lost dozens of good people because that was the first major attack they had ever seen. I work well as a team lead and I have a responsibility to pass on what I have learned. That being said you’re getting the next best thing.”

“And what might that be?” Jill asked folding her arms and pretending to pout. Chris just smiled and turned to the door. “You can come in now.” He shouted as the door opened and a young woman wearing black BSAA field fatigues and combat boots walked in

“Claire?!” Jill jerked upright from her pout.

“Yeah! This way it’s still Redfield and Valentine, saves us money on letterheads and such.” Chris laughed as his sister stepped behind him, swatting the side of his head with her open hand as Chris laughed at his own joke.

“Well this should mean I don’t have to spend most of my time getting you up to our speed, you never really told me how you finally got past the vetting process after they first rejected you.” Jill added inquisitively as she eyed Claire. She looked down at her brother for a moment.

“I know you’re trying to be good to your security agreement and all but, not only is this Jill we’re talking to, she’s now your partner. I’ve found its best to be completely honest about everything, no matter what the government or BSAA has had you sign.” Chris reassured Claire as he patted the hand resting on his shoulder.

 

“I busted Ada Wong out of a hostile submarine shortly before the president’s assassination. It was an off the record mission launched by Leon’s friends in the BSAA and US military with me as the main operative. After that another agent smuggled Ms. Wong to the US mainland where she made contact with Kennedy. They weren’t able to stop Tall Oaks but took down Simmons, Radames and the Family. My deal was getting a formal recognition of my role in racoon city.” Claire spilled Jill as she listened intently.

“I had about seventy percent of that story based on what I could get from BSAA documents and Chris but, damn Claire, right after that incident Barry told me about…” Jill trailed off smiling at Chris. “Are you sure this isn’t an upgrade old man?” Jill teased as Chris laughed.

“Get going you two, oh and you should run the kill house together at least once before your FTX. I know what Jill will do but I bet you can’t beat my range scores.” Chris goaded his sister as he stood and headed for the door.

“Finally, something fun to do.” Jill smiled at Claire as she stood to head to the range.

It was raining hard, the cold forcing it to form ice on anything metal or loose as Leon sped through Falls Church. He passed a cemetery and turned into a high-end apartment complex. He stopped just inside the parking lot and pulled the key card Ada had left him from his coat pocket. The address said unit three eighteen; Leon replaced it and parked his motorcycle. He locked his helmet to the body of the bike and shook out his hair, rain instantly drenching it as he made his way towards the building. He checked his pockets instinctively; his phone in his left, keys in his right, his handgun strapped under his shoulder and his knife in its sheath on the back of his belt. He entered the lobby, not another soul present given the late hour, and headed up to the third floor. His boots let out dull thuds against the tiled floor with each step as he steadily moved down the numbered units. At three eighteen he stopped, looking at the reader built into the doorknob. He slid the key card in, and a small LED flashed green and the mechanism clicked. Leon cracked the door enough to notice that there where no lights on inside. He unzipped his jacket and drew his pistol, holding it low as he pushed the door open. He stepped into the living room, glints from glass fixtures and polished furniture winking at him in the dark. He closed the door behind him and let his eyes adjust to the darkness. As rain continued to strike the windows on the far side of the room, Leon’s eyes made out a silhouette facing him from across the room. He instinctively raised his weapon and began to strafe closer.

“Oh, come on Leon, I know we’ve done this before but when was the last time I held you at gunpoint?” Ada’s voice floated through the darkness as Leon relaxed his aim but kept his gun in his hand. Ada stroked the screen of a device in her hand, lighting a single table lamp in the living room. It bathed the room in a soft golden glow revealing Ada standing by a hallway leading deeper into the apartment. She was wearing a black coat with silver trimmings, black leather gloves and fit dress pants.

“Lift the curtain a bit for me this time. How did you know I’d be coming out this night at this time?” Leon questioned as he slowly paced closer to Ada.

“Just for you and only this once Leon.” Ada smirked as she folded her arms and lent up against the wall. “Your new toy has remote start and geo-tag. Ducati has good security but not unbreakable. I attached a little control that sends me a bCC’ed email every time you turn it on. From there it isn’t hard to track.” Ada said as if explaining to a child how to tie their shoes.

“Hmm.” Was all Leon could muster in response.

“Things have changed since Tall Oaks Leon; the politics of bio-weapons are changing.” Ada started, standing up straight and approaching Leon. “Good guys are now realizing that utilizing them with some restraint evens the playing field. Its not like the bad guys are going stop, they just get more careful.” She ventured as she stepped within a few feet of Leon. “O’Brian started that trend, now uprisings around the world are utilizing B.O.W.’s to level the playing fields with their despots. I think I remember BSAA soldier also turned themselves into a weapon to ensure the destruction of HAOS.”
“I didn’t come here for a lecture on your view of world politics Ada.” Leon grumbled as he stared at her.

“Well then why did you come? I certainly hope you didn’t think this was some clandestine booty-call pretty boy. I wanted to warn you that you and your friends at the BSAA have been damaged by Simmons in a way you have yet to realize. Global opinion is changing, the BSAA is being made out as a puppet of the West and the closeness it had been operating with the US military isn’t helping. Many people are ignoring the BSAA’s message or worse, preparing to target it. The next time the UN goes to renew the BSAA’s charter there could be difficulties. Some countries may seek to reduce its powers or remove it entirely.” Ada continued dismissing Leon’s statement.

“And who does that leave you working for Ada?” Leon spoke, his tone darkening with impatience.

“For once… the good guys. Unfortunately, we won’t be on the same side even now.” Ada sighed as she turned to the windows on the far side of the living room.

“What is that supposed to mean? All of a sudden, you’ve decided you’re the good guy? Ada you’ve never bought into the ideology of the terrorists and villains you’ve worked for. I’ve respected that in its own way, but you have still set things in motion that killed innocents.” Leon backed off in tone as Ada watched the rain strike the window, slowly running down the glass, gathering and freezing near the bottom.

“I know Leon… and I was damn good at it.” Ada whispered with conviction. “Radames made me think. She made me… not want to be how I was portrayed. I wanted to do more than just be good at what I did.” Ada added pensively as Leon joined her at the window.

“You will have to answer for the things you’ve enabled if you mean that.” Leon answered quietly after letting her confession hang in the dark air of the apartment for several beats.

“No…” Ada returned placing her hand on her chin. “I will fix what I have broken, help those I have forsaken but I will not turn myself into any self-righteous authority that is just as guilty if not more than me.” Ada spat as she turned towards Leon. “I am going to warn you about something I’ve picked up on though.”

“And am I supposed to accept this as a gracious gift?” Leon threw back angrily at Ada’s dismissal of his life’s work.

“Yes actually. You have a blind-spot in Maryland, Savage River-Valley. Fly an AWAC over it and scan for pharmaceutical grade metabolites in the atmosphere. Do not tell anyone why, they’ll listen to you. Tricell isn’t finished but they are being funded by wealthy oligarchic councils who have a vested interest in undermining the BSAA as well as hurting the US government. Do not mistake that for thinking that the BSAA and the US are always going to have the same objectives though.” Ada said solemnly.

“What are you talking about? There’s a cell right under D.C.’s nose?”

“Would it be the first time? Their patrons are wealthy and influential, but they are not. The BSAA should be able to clear them up. If not, you will lose both Philadelphia and Baltimore in the same way you lost Tall Oaks.” Ada said looking Leon in the eye to convey the seriousness of her message and that her intent was true.

“Ok… you can’t tell me anymore?” Leon eased back after meeting Ada’s gaze.

“Not without risking myself and triggering a rushed attack. Leon, I have one more job to run. I’m not arming terrorists this time, not despots, not businessmen with delusions of grandeur. I’m giving a weapon to people who have been trampled and passed over by everyone including your government.” Ada noted as she turned to face Leon directly. “After that I’m done, I’m getting out of this mess and…” Ada paused and took a deep breath, wringing her wrist in her hand. Leon stared at her, confused as he was certain this was the first time, he had seen her even resemble being nervous.

“When I’m done, I want you to come with me.” Ada said looking him in the eye again and taking a step towards him. She took his hand in both of hers, “You’ve been in this fight for decades, you’ve done your part, I’m tying my loose ends and I know you want out.”

“Its not that simple Ada.” Leon said pulling his hand from her grasp. “I want to, but you are ensuring I can’t. Tell me what weapon you are about to take and who it’s going to, let me destroy it and I can see about ending this.” Leon sighed, turning and pacing away from Ada.

“That was already my plan Leon, you won’t need me to tell you, you’re the hero of my story after all. I just want to be done.” Ada mourned as she stepped after him as he spun to face her again.
“Ada… I can’t just abandon this because I want to… I would have left a long time ago if that was the case.” Leon said trying to find a way out of the corner Ada had put him in.

“That’s ok… you don’t need to make the decision now, let me show you how things have changed. I need to leave, the CIA tail they have on me should be realizing the diversion I laid for them is just that and be on their way. Remember, Savage River Valley, scan for metabolites in the atmosphere.” Ada lamented as she walked towards the door.

“Be the hero one last time for me, ok?”

Chapter Text

“Good to see you settling in Agent Redfield.” The new BSAA director greeted Claire as she stepped into a freshly renovated office cluttered with file boxes and incomplete furniture.

“Thank you and congratulations on the promotion Director Roland. You requested to brief my new partner and I personally before undertaking our next assignment.” Claire returned warmly.

“Yes, I did, oh and nice to meet you Agent Valentine, I’m thrilled to have you back with us and in good health. You have my word I won’t be chaining you to your desk. I will ease you back into operations though, partly why I have assigned you with Ms. Redfield. I don’t doubt either of you in your ability to operate in extremely difficult situations but both of you need time to adjust to work of this intensity. That and the environment we find ourselves in today requires more than chasing down bad actors and responding to crisis. I promise I’ll be honest and open about my choices and reasons, but I will demand the same from you, fair?” Roland said moving a box off his desk to the floor and leaning his elbows over the desk.

“More than fair sir, even the best directors I worked under sometimes would succumb to the cloak and dagger politics of the job. It’s refreshing to have openness between S.O.A. and upper leadership.” Jill spoke up somewhat surprised by Roland’s straightforward approach to the job. Claire nodded silently in agreement, familiar with Roland from her short stint working on one of his operations.

“So, you mentioned we’d be getting our hands on our first case file?” Claire asked leaning back in her chair

“Yes, I’m assigning you to the investigation of a tip on a possible bioweapons cell either business or non-state entity in rural Maryland. Since the last mission we worked on together, Agent Redfield, I’m sure you’ve seen how interoperability with the US Military has been steadily increasing; even with the Simmons betrayal. We had BSAA personnel aboard a US Air force AWAC surveillance plane for training. On their way back to Andrews Air force Base they were running a system check on their atmospheric sensors and picked up something strange; pharmaceutical grade metabolites in the air, enough to get a consistent reading. The readings they took as the passed through the vapor cloud indicate that they originated from the area around the Savage River. We checked and there are no civilian or military drug research operations remotely in that area; at least none that are registered or visible. I’m sure both of you are acutely aware of the state of affairs right now. There is still a massive hole in in the proliferation and creation of bioweapons at the moment and we need to keep it that way. The demand for these weapons has only increased with each successful attack. There are even some indications that Simmons’s actions may have become a self-fulfilling prophesy; the arms race he feared may have be happening though not in the open like it used to be. We are dealing with thousands of new belligerents popping up wherever there seems to be conflict in the world. We’re stretched thin denying these groups the opportunity to do real damage or claim any kind of prominence worldwide. The closest thing to a lead for your case is that somewhere in this part of the state was an FBC auxiliary depot for non-bio-hazard materials. There are hundreds of locations like that throughout the US but it’s the only thing we have. I want an investigation here, if it is indeed a cell, we’ll divert an entire team to clean it up. I want you to read your briefs and do as much research as you can here. Then go find me a concrete answer from the area itself. Let me know if you need higher access to information, support staff or if this turns out to be anything the two of you can’t handle, understood?” Roland delivered with a steady seriousness in his eyes as he pulled a large file labeled “Savage River Case” from one of the drawers in his desk. He handed it to Claire as he laid out all the details.

“Sounds like a good start, here’s hoping it’s just enough of a problem to justify a little ass-kicking.” Claire quipped, smiling at Jill as she took in the assignment.

“Sounds like a good way to shake the rust off my canvasing and investigating skills, just like S.T.A.R.S. huh?” Jill said returning the smile.

“Judging by the instructors report from the Quantico exercise you two are already operating well as a team, let me know if you need anything, dismissed.” Roland said returning to the seemingly impossible number of files and boxes he had been unpacking into his new office. Claire and Jill stood and walked back into the corridor and made their way steadily back to Jill’s office.

“Have they given your own space here yet?” Jill pursued looking over to Claire as the moved steadily past the offices of the BSAA’s upper echelon administrators.

“Only a desk in the pen, at least my computer is new though.” Claire said, the pen was name everyone used for the large, open office space where junior field agents and general research, accounting and legal aides had their desks.

“Shame, I would have thought your brother would have been willing to share considering he’s almost never here.” Jill teased as Claire threw a half-cocked “really?” look her way.

“Yeah well I can’t get all the breaks because my brother is captain of the company football team.” Claire laughed back, blushing a bit despite herself.

“Well since we’re going to need to be able to focus on our investigation, I’ll be willing to share, should be nice having you away from distractions so we can focus.” Jill said as the rounded a corner towards the field agent offices. Claire adjusted her grip of the file, feeling her hand start to sweat where she had been holding it for a while. She cleared her throat and brushed a loose strand of her auburn hair behind her ear.

“Yea, ugh I don’t really know much investigating. I take after Chris so it’s mostly strong sense of morale justice as I point and shoot.” Claire said in a overdone mocking tone of her brother’s speaking voice. Jill laughed as she unlocked the door to her office, stepping and turning on her desk lamp. “I guess I’ll let you lead. I’ll just watch how you move and take notes.” Claire said, wincing at her lack of grace in speaking.

“As long as you keep your eyes where they belong.” Jill played back, seeming to miss the look of silent horror in Claire’s eyes as she tried to hide her face in the case file. “I need to be open about a couple things though now that we’re getting down to it.” Jill added waxing serious as Claire looked up from the file. “I’m going to have some hiccups with getting used to working with a partner again. I’ve been a very solitary person for a long time Claire, Chris will tell you we hardly spoke before the Arklay Mountains. I’m gonna make mistakes and I want you to know its nothing personal.” Jill trailed off, trying to make it through a rehearsed conversation in her head.

“Like when you came home after…” Claire posed as Jill stared off looking for her words.

“Yeah… a lot like that Claire. The doctors have no idea what to make of what happened with me yet, so they’ve diagnosed and re-diagnosed me with a dozen different things. I think I’m going to be fine as long as I take my own advice that I gave to your brother.” Jill said dismissively and a little contempt towards the rehab doctors.

“If you’re ever feeling like less than ninety percent yourself, go see the psych. It’s just like maintaining any other equipment and you’re out their shooting things that used to be people, it’ll fuck with anyone’s head.” Claire muttered as she recited what her brother had told her a dozen times since she began at the BSAA academy.

“Exactly, and the big guy never wants to talk about it but he’s a regular now.” Jill smiled turning around in her chair. She pulled two bottles of water out of a mini fridge in the corner of the office, tossed one to Claire as she opened her own. “I just want you to know that I’m fine from me, I have my moments at home but in the field, I’m focused and sharp as ever. I think it actually helps me put things away to have something in front of me. I just don’t want you getting any impressions from some mouthy doctor telling you that your partner is fucked up six ways to Sunday.” Jill hissed. Claire set the file down on Jill’s desk and looked at her with a gentle concern.

“You know the only gossip about you I ever believe comes from Chris.” Claire laughed. “I remember when Moira told me about what had happened with Polly… she didn’t need me to suddenly convince her that it wasn’t her fault or that what she was feeling was irrational; she knew that. Jill she was not going to be able to pickup a gun no matter what I did, she overcame that in her own time, and she was there when I needed her to be. That’s all I’m going to expect from you too.” Claire finished sympathetically as Jill offered a twinge of a smile to break her grim visage. She woke the screen on her watch and soured as she read through her recent messages.

“Don’t know if you saw… building Wi-Fi is down for the next two hours.” Jill said matter of fact-ly jumping out of discussing herself.

“Yeah, you didn’t see the email this morning, I figured we’d start this case the old-fashioned way in the archive for now. Local servers should be up just fine on the local network anyway.” Claire said adjusting slightly in her chair. “I want to take this out as much as you, but we need to build a really, really good reason to let them cut us loose to run an actual field op.” Claire said tapping the folder on Jill’s desk.

“Alright… let’s go crazy with a request for field study then. I’m dying to get out of here this week so are you up for an all nighter?” Jill asked looking back at Claire, smiling with errant delight at the possibility of strapping a handgun to her leg and going after bioterrorists again.

“Sure, as long as you give me a ride home because Chris insisted on selling my car on our own before buying a new one. Can’t say I’m unhappy with what we got for it but right now I don’t have a damn car!” Claire pouted duplicitously, stifling a laugh.

“Not a problem, you want to get out of here? I don’t know if its because I’m used to doing my investigation in an open office or I just really hate this desk, but I have more than enough space at home if you’re up for it. There’s a good Chinese place down the street from me so you won’t starve.” Jill posed as she stood and pulled her jacket off the back of her desk chair.

“Water Song, right? Remember Chris had me crashing there on and off for years.” Claire added as she stood and followed Jill out of the office.

Jill’s flat was lit with a warm glow from the table lamps in her living room as she poured over a host of documents, maps, satellite photos and archived incident reports. Jill leant forward as she sat on the couch in the center of her living room.

“Ok so I think I found us a starting point to get us out of the office. I looked into the probability of false positives from fertilizer, feed antibiotics or pesticide that had washed out of fields and into the watershed, but our instruments are tuned to filter those readings out. That doesn’t make it impossible but there is a compounding factor making it even less likely. The area around the Savage River National park has only recently opened up some land for farm development for sustainable and eco-friendly businesses. A couple have taken up the offer it seems but no really large operations with a digital footprint, mostly local farms or contract farms selling to larger companies in the area.” Claire said as she lay across a matching chair with her laptop open and propped up on her knees.

“What was the name of the nearest notable town again?” Jill asked as she grabbed a heavy wound field book labeled “BSAA North America: East Sector and Capitol area known belligerent entities”.

“Bloomington, just south of the areas now open for development. The only thing I could find was an old aux post of the FBC, not even like a safe house just extra supplies for this region. It was acquired by Tricell after the FBC was dissolved and its assets sold. This plot was then sold again after Tricell dissolved, this time to the state and they performed a biohazard cleanup operation and sold it to a private real-estate broker. It is now a local dive bar with a title loan office on the second floor.” Clair returned showing her screen to Jill as she clicked through different satellite images of the sight as it changed hands. Jill eyed another ring-bound book sitting on her coffee table- “BSAA Threat Analysis: Tricell”- and shook out a shiver running up her spine. She gripped the book and set it in her lap, opening through the introduction and pausing on a grainy image of a human-Uroboros weapon.

“Well so far that’s our best lead. Maybe they didn’t clean up that well and there’s some lone wolf mad at the world thinking he just found his payback.” Jill said staring at the caption for the image. She felt her heart leap into her throat; “Body Camera Footage: Kijuju West Africa: BSAA Special Operative Chris Redfield: 03/19/2009”. Images flashed immediately in her mind, drowning out her present and forcing their way into her vision. A man on the floor of a dingy room, screaming, writhing in pain, grasping at her for help. Jill felt her pulse race out of control, her breathing quickening as she tried to stifle the urge to throw the book across the room.

“Let’s hope that’s the worst-case scenario.” Claire returned as she turned back to her computer. Jill carefully closed the field guide as her hands began to shake violently.

“I didn’t do that…” Jill muttered barely audible as she squeezed her eyes shut. She exhaled deeply as she kept watching the man beg for help as the Uroboros began to take over him, his eyes going black as he began to scream.

“Its not real, its not real…” Jill murmured as she gritted her teeth and clutched her side, lowering her head as she heard the man scream, his throat gurgling as he was ripped apart by the weapon re-arranging its body to suit its purpose. “I wasn’t in control… I’m not… I’m not…” Jill tried to speak as her chest tightened. She opened her eyes to an obscured view of her living room, her eyes misting as she struggled not to blink. Every time she closed her eyes all she could see was the Uroboros ravaging the man she had infected. She desperately fought to purge the memory from her present mind.
“Right Jill, that would be… hey.” Claire repeated as she looked over at Jill. Her hands where visibly shaking and her face had gone pale. The book lay on the floor as Jill’s eyes seemed to look empty. Claire set her laptop down and quickly knelt next to Jill. “Jill… Jill, are you ok.” Claire said with hushed worry in her voice.

“I’m fine, I’m fine… I’m fine… I’m fine.” Jill returned without looking at Claire, repeating the phrase softly to herself as if trying to convince herself, her throat going dry as she struggled to keep her composure. She let out a massive gasp as she felt like she was hardly getting enough air. “I’m fine!” She cried loudly as tears broke from the corner of her eyes. Claire place her hand on Jill’s shoulder struggling to come up with something to say as Jill tried to cover her face, her whole-body shivering as she struggled against a feeling of overwhelming anguish.

“I’m fine! I just feel like I’m, I’m going to be sick.” Jill stood abruptly and brushed off Claire’s hand, stumbling towards the hall leading to her bedroom. She pushed open the door to her bathroom and took a moment over the sink to try and catch her breath. She felt her muscles in her stomach clench hard as she hung her head over the sink. She felt dizzy for a moment, her breathing coming in raspy sobs as tears freely ran down her face and fell into the sink. “It’s not real, it’s not real, its not real…” Jill struggled to prop herself up on the sink; Claire standing helplessly in the doorway.

Jill looked up at herself in the mirror, her hair clinging to her face in random strands. The jagged lines of her scar were visible as she was hunched over the countertop. Jill blinked, opening her eyes to see a brilliant, red device clamped to her chest. Jill sobbed, staring at it, "It's not real, it's not...No!" She screamed in pain and terror, putting her fist through the mirror; broken glass clattering in the sink, speckled with blood. Jill slowly fell to the floor as pain seared through her arm, her mouth open but her voice failing her as she collapsed to the ground. Claire jumped as Jill shattered the large mirror and ran in as she fell. Claire grabbed a still shaking, sobbing Jill with both arms, holding Jill’s head to her shoulder.

“You’re safe Jill, no one can hurt you. You’re home, you’re safe.” Claire whispered into Jill’s ear as she held her still shaking. Jill responded only by grasping at Claire’s shirt, clutching the cloth in a grip so hard her knuckles went white. Claire held Jill tighter as she watched her hand nervously, blood still flowing from the cuts from broken glass. Claire carefully wrapped the hem of her shirt around Jill’s balled fist, trying to cover the wound. The violence of Jill’s shaking began to subside as Claire gently stroked her hair, feeling a spreading wet spot on her shoulder where Jill had buried her face.

“Claire?” Jill croaked after a minute, cautiously looking up at her.

“You’re ok Jill. Its just me, no one can hurt you, you’re safe at home.” Claire said softly holding back her own tears as he offered Jill a warm smile. Jill nodded silently as she took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as she unwound her hand from being wrapped up in the loose fabric of Claire’s shirt. Jill winced as the adrenaline waned and the pain of her torn up hand came through. She looked up at the counter and seemed surprised to see the remains of her shattered mirror before looking back at Claire.

“Its ok Jill, we just have to dress that is all. Where do you keep the first aid kit?” Claire inquired softly as Jill adjusted herself, attempting to sit up on her own. Claire helped her up as her faculties returned to her.

“Bedroom, just under my bed.” Jill murmured as Claire helped her out of the bathroom, closing the door behind her. Jill was standing on her own now as Claire kept one hand on her shoulder.

“I think I’m good.” Jill said quietly as she stood upright. Claire nodded, reluctantly removing her hand.

“Head into the kitchen, run that hand under some warm water, I’ll be right back.” Claire said turning to the bedroom to retrieve the first aid kit. She entered the dark room, blue light cast over the floor through the blinds. Claire pulled her phone from her pocket and called Chris, stifling a sob as the phone rang.

“Hey, what’s up?” Chris answered quickly.

“I’m in way over my head here, I don’t know if I’m helping or hurting, if I should stay or if she needs space or if I should be taking her to the hospital.” Claire stammered after hearing her brother’s voice.

“Whoa, whoa, slow down and tell me what’s going on Claire.” Chris interrupted

“I think Jill had some kind of flashback while going through a Tricell incident report. I don’t know exactly what but must have been something from before we got her back. It was bad, she punched out a mirror and… and I need to be finding a first aid kit damnit!” Claire fretted as she knelt down and looked under the bed. She found a large field case and pulled it out, setting it on the bed.

“How bad is the bleeding, could she still move her hand?” Chris asked coolly as his crisis handling demeanor came through.

“She could still move it, she’s in the kitchen right now washing it.” Claire said opening the case and confirming she had grabbed the right thing.

“Go back to her Claire, if she can move her hand, she didn’t sever anything. You’re well trained enough to dress it for tonight, make sure she goes to Patient First or something tomorrow though. She’ll be ok, just exhausted, see if you can get her to eat something before, she goes to bed. This kind of thing used to happen almost daily when we first got her back; Jill’s been doing much better though. I figured something like this may happen while she readjusts but this is the first one, I’ve heard of Jill having in nearly six months. Just stay with her for a while ok. Are you holding up ok?” Chris spoke quickly offering instruction and reassurance to Claire as she closed the first aid kit and opened up her delivery app on her phone.

“Yeah, I just hated seeing her like that and not knowing what to do.” Claire said after punching in her order.

“I know, but she wasn’t alone, that’s what matters. Call me if you need more help, I can come out if this proves too much.” Chris returned as Claire headed for the door.

“Thanks Chris, I’ll shoot you a message in the morning.” Claire said hanging up the phone. She stepped back into the hall and heard the soft occasional plink of a piano key being struck. Claire stepped into the living room, the light out save for a white cleaning light above a dripping kitchen sink. Jill was seated at her piano, the city’s night aura the only illumination behind her. She seemed to be struggling to remember something as she idly played a single chord with her good hand. There was a bottle of wine set atop the piano, a nearly empty glass next to it.

“It used to calm me down, playing I mean.” Jill broke the silence softly as she stared at the keys, the low light reflecting off the white, glossy surface. “Its like someone punched a series of holes in my memory, I can hardly do it anymore without having to completely relearn something.” She added as Claire stepped up behind her. Jill lifted her glass only for Claire to gently take it from her. Jill looked up at Claire as she sat the glass back down on top of the piano.

“Can I dress that for you now?” Claire asked mildly, pointing at her still bloody hand. Jill swung her legs over the bench to face Claire and held out her hand. Claire knelt and opened the first aid kit. She opened a sterile swab from the kit and began to clean Jill’s wound, tracing the slashes covering her fingers and knuckles. Jill inhaled sharply as the wound began to sting.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am.” Jill spoke softly as Claire set down the bloody swab and opened another.

“Don’t you dare.” Claire said firmly as she plucked a small piece of broken glass from the back of Jill’s hand.

“Claire, I know exactly what is happening during those… episodes. I know what I’m doing, and it doesn’t make it ok for me to make it everyone else’s problem because I can’t control myself.” Jill lamented. Claire slapped the back of Jill’s hand and pointed firmly at her friend as she winced.

“What the hell did I just say Jill?” Claire uttered sternly as Jill couldn’t help but laugh softly at Claire’s insistence as she began to rub antibiotic cream over her wounds. “You are still healing from a physical and mental injury which would have destroyed anyone else. Being mad at you for this would be like yelling at you for bleeding.” Claire added in a softer tone as she began to place strips of gauze over the smattering of cuts over Jill’s hand.

“It’s worse than normal for me…” Jill admitted in almost a whisper. Claire looked her in the eye as she paused dressing Jill’s wound. “When I was… not in control… I still saw everything; I still remember everything. These… episodes feel a lot like that sometimes.” Jill murmured a Claire began wrapping her hand.

“I couldn’t even begin to imagine Jill; I just want you to know you will never be alone.” Claire said as she finished binding Jill’s wound. “How does that feel?”

“Good, not too tight. Earlier, I could hear you the whole time.” Jill responded, looking at her bandages. Claire smiled as she closed the first aid kit.

“That’s good to know, did it help any?” Claire asked as she stood and sat next to Jill. Jill grabbed Claire’s hand with her good one and held it in her lap.

“It kept me from sinking too far. Normally I feel like I’m just below the surface and can’t find a way out. Hearing your voice let me know that no matter how bad it got, it would end and I’d be ok.” Jill lamented as she ran her thumb in a circle over the back of Claire’s hand. There was a knock at the door as both women looked up suddenly.

“You expecting company?” Jill asked cautiously. Claire just laughed and took out her phone.

“I was promised Chinese tonight, I figured I’d pick up this one.” Claire said standing to go answer the door. She came back after tipping the driver. She set the large paper in plastic bag down on the counter as the warm smell of fried rice and pork filled the space. Jill walked over to Claire and hugged her from behind as she began to unpack containers of food.

“Thanks for everything Claire, I’m all of a sudden starving.” Jill said as Claire grabbed a fried dumpling for herself, then offered one to Jill over her shoulder. Jill laughed as she took it, walking over to her cabinets and grabbing a pair of plates.

“I’ll get the next one. Shit, I was supposed to take you home too.” Jill remembered as she searched through her drawers for forks.

“Pff, I pulled out the first aid kit, you’re my patient and I’m not going anywhere. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise. Your couch is much nicer than my furniture anyway.” Claire preempted any further objection as she dismissed Jill’s statement. Jill responded by shaking her head smiling; not challenging Claire’s assertion again.

Chapter Text

Leon trudged up the stairs, rerunning the conversation he had with is new D.O.S. handler earlier. They had hesitantly taken his tip and performed the fly over Ada had suggested, finding exactly what she had told him. His handler had then informed him that the newly reinstated Agent Valentine was now in charge of the investigation. Leon had been growing more paranoid after his meeting with Ada in Fall’s Church. He had been changing his morning routes, his daily schedule and had even entertained moving; the lingering sense of being watched nearly impossible to shake. He knew that Valentine was one of the few that could be trusted without reservation; if the Redfields where confident in her then Leon would be as well. That’s what brought him to Baltimore at four in the morning.

Leon knocked on the door of Jill’s apartment, hoping it wouldn’t take too much to wake her. He heard shuffling just on the other side of the door after a moment and stepped back, keeping his head naturally low, conspicuously aware of how he must look in the middle of the hallway this late. The door cracked open slowly as Leon spoke, “Sorry for the late call Agent Valentine, I had some pressing information I needed to bring, and I couldn’t trust official channels. Your current… Claire?” He stopped in surprise to see Claire instead of Jill opening the door. They stood staring in disbelief at each other for a moment. Claire not only was surprised to see Leon; she was acutely aware of how things looked; her answering Jill’s door in the dead of night wearing one of Jill’s shirts instead of her bloodstained one.

“Leon… sorry I’m just surprised is all. Jill and I where working a case late and I wound up staying, crashing on her couch I mean.” Claire stumbled trying to return some propriety to her presence.

“Oh, I hadn’t heard, congratulations. It must make things easier getting to be partnered with someone familiar. So, you are both on Savage River then.” Leon spoke hurrying back to his purpose. “The tip to get that fly over came from me. I gave it based on information from Ada.”

“Ada? You’ve seen her recently?” Claire’s interest piqued as she responded.

“Yes, she told me that she’s trying to get out of the game or at the very least she seems to be a little bit more discerning in who she works for. Maybe the mess with Radames has made her rethink things. Anyway, for better or worse, she has never lied to me when it comes to saying how things are going down, even Racoon City. She did tell me she was going after G, just not why.” Leon lamented, “I can’t say too much for risk of alerting those who’s case you are on. This is going to be a dangerous one Claire. Plan on an enemy presence when you follow you leads, bring a full combat load and do everything you can to have a support team without ruffling any feathers. I’ll do my best to get any response from D.O.S. if something goes down.”

“Shit… we had only just started to pick up on a list of possible hazards. You’re saying there is absolutely some form of rogue operation in the area?” Claire gasped at the startling revelation; the implications of Leon’s clandestine tip not lost on her.

“Not rogue, orphaned. They seemed to have been planning something before Tall Oaks and backed off.” Leon added as Claire let it all sink in.

“Ok, we can build an good enough case to head out to the region and begin investigating further. We’re tasked with just intel gathering at the moment but with Jill’s rank we should be able to get the equipment we need no problem.” Claire pondered as she looked back at her old friend. “Who else knows about this?”

“You, me, Ada.” Leon said curtly.

“Ok, keep me in the loop if you get any updates. I assume you mean for me to share this with Chris and Jill?” Claire asked as Leon straightened up, looking over his shoulder.

“Yeah, they’re some of the only people I can trust with this. Best case scenario is its nothing and you guys just run a tight investigation. Take care of yourself Claire.” He said stepping off down the hallway. Claire closed and locked the door and stepped back into the dark living room, her blanket tossed aside haphazardly on the couch. She strode quietly down the hall, the bedroom door cracked. Claire leaned on the door frame and watched as Jill lay sprawled out on the bed. She couldn’t help but smile, gripping the lapel of the shirt that hung loose off her shoulders.

“Don’t be creepy Claire, she’s fine.” Claire muttered to herself as she stepped back into the living room, going back to sleep on the couch.

 

“Ha, worst case scenario is it’s another underground facility that just suffered a containment breach we detected.” Jill laughed as Claire finished work on their mission plan proposal, setting it to print in Jill’s office. It had taken them another two days of planning and consideration given Leon’s warning before they felt ready to go out and address the threat head on.

“Hopefully catching them off guard will be enough for us to sweep through before anything can happen.” Claire added, setting her laptop on Jill’s desk as she stood and grabbed their proposal, placing it in a folder.

“Let’s go by the Ops Boss and get us a support team and then we can drive out the Bloomington. We’ll start with no uniforms and just interviews ok? Leave the big gun in the armory and bring your badge.” Jill said as they stepped into the hallway.

“You of all people should know that the big gun goes in the trunk, not the armory. Rather have it and not need it and all that.” Claire asserted, breaking the serious tone with a mischievous smile.

“Fair enough, We’re just not going in guns blazing. You and I know there is something there but we have to prove it to dispatch before we can rain hell on whatever bastards are trying to stock away bioweapons. No going off half-cocked on this Claire.” Jill returned with a straight face.

“Have you no faith in me Ms. Valentine? I am a graduate of the BSAA field academy and a member of S.O.A; I can handle myself and follow doctrine to a T.” Claire shot back feigning offense by placing her hand dramatically on her chest. Jill shook her head and laughed.

“I have to make sure you get back ok you know. Imagine what Chris would do to me if you got hurt on my watch.” Jill said standing up and grabbing the folder.

“Imagine what I’m going to do if you bore me with paperwork and interviews.” Claire threw back as Jill walked over to the door. Jill met her eyes with a sedate look that convinced Claire she was actually thinking about it.

“All these years I made fun of Chris for complaining about dealing with your indomitable will. Now that you’re mine, I can absolutely see it.” Jill expressed, laughing as Claire went red, following quietly behind her partner. “Come on, let’s go find out what B-team support crew they’re saddling us with.” Jill said stepping off at a quick pace towards the Ops Boss’ office.

 

Claire led the way into the large office suite. It was like the active operations room from the old BSAA from O’Brian’s tenure; only much more task focused. It was laid out more like a press office then a lecture hall with the “editors” office in the back, floor to ceiling windows giving them a view of the whole floor. The pair made their way through the cubicles with different labels identifying what units and what regions the occupants served. Jill knocked on the office door and heard a gruff “enter”.

“Agent Valentine, good to see you ready for field work again. We won’t meet like this every time you head out, but I wanted to send you off on your first myself.” A short woman in her late forties greeted them, standing and offering her hand. She wore a suit and tie with a BSAA nametag identifying her as Marcelline Agnete. Jill had heard rumors about the cutthroat operations boss; that she had been discharged from the Interpol’s Biohazard Defense Team after an embarrassing incident involving the Russian Military. She had been placed on a cleanup operation in North Sea after a cargo ship went down carrying a research specimen of the Abyss Virus. During cleanup, infected sea life began to wash up along coastal villages near a Russian airbase. The Russian military demanded the cleanup be handed over to them and that the task force be withdrawn. When Interpol ordered her superior to withdraw, Agnete prevented him from complying, arresting him and marching into the Russian military station. She arrested their senior leadership and commandeered their aircraft to help evacuate the coastal towns being affected. Interpol fired her as part of an apology but the BSAA had admired her sense of duty to the people she had been sent to help and offered her a position.

“I appreciate the gesture Director Agnete, we’ve drafted our mission plan and ready to proceed to the next phase of the investigation.” Jill said as she stepped forward and set their plan down on the desk.

“Ha, deputy director defaults to ‘director’ huh? Just call me Boss or Agnete, Agent Valentine, no need to be so formal.” The Ops Boss said picking up the folder Clair had sat down. “Damn they’ve kept you in the office too long, this is one of the cleanest formats I’ve ever seen from a field operative. So, the Savage River readings… you want to proceed with interviews… determine cause or plausible false positive… ok, I’ll approve everything here. You’ll be assigned to rapid deployable unit Oscar 12, seasoned ops but new commander, one of Redfield’s grunts who recently got promoted so you should get along. They have yet to check out as a unit on the Ospreys yet so if you call in the cav they’ll be taking the Black Hawks and Chinooks so ETA will be longer than your used to.” Agnete said as she began to sign the authorization for the mission. “This is relatively low risk so I’m not too worried about the slower response times. Agent Valentine I’m restoring your Alpha Tier armory access for this and all subsequent operations. Legal wants to wait but fuck ‘em, I sign these orders and I can tell just by looking at you that the unfortunate incident in Africa was in no way your fault. Just be careful with the big toys? I don’t want my faith to be returned with jacked up insurance costs.” Agnete continued rattling off signatures as quickly as she was talking. She signed an additional card she pulled from her desk, stamped it and handed it to Jill. She handed the folder back to Claire, everything approved. “That weapons pass applies provisionally to you too Agent Redfield, I read Roland’s report so I believe you can be trusted, don’t prove me wrong.”

“I won’t, I returned everything in good working order last time, didn’t I?” Claire responded matching Agnete’s pseudo-serious tone. They reported to the armory and, despite Claire’s desire to go more exotic, checked out a pair of standard issue M4 Carbines and M9 side arms with one thousand, five hundred rounds respectively. Jill also packed a DMR equipped SR25, one hundred rounds for it and a case of twelve anti-organic white phosphorus hand grenades.

They made their way out to the parking garage. Jill had changed into a pair of grey cargo shorts, black combat boots and a blue pull over sweater. She concealed her handgun on her belt, pulling the sweater over it. She let her hair down and kept the rest of her field gear in the black backpack she had slung over her shoulder. Claire was wearing a black leather jacket over a blue tank top and jeans with polished pair of jungle boots. She kept her hair in a ponytail as they made their way through the rows of BSAA vehicles.

“I honestly didn’t think you could look this much like a civilian.” Claire laughed as they stopped in a row of identical BSAA SUV’s. Jill clicked the key she had checked out, the rear lights of one of the SUV’s flashing in response. Claire looked over her shoulder with the look of child that had just been told to eat their vegetables.

“Oh, come on! I know why we couldn’t bring heavy explosives, or the bulldog and I appreciate you saying I could drive but really? That lame-ass exploder? Jill the whole way is country roads! This clunky-ass mom wagon isn’t gonna be any fun.” Claire pouted as she looked at the bland SUV.

“We need room to stash our gear, it has a tracker installed, a radio and it’s inconspicuous, that’s what we’re going for.” Jill responded laughing as Claire stomped her foot leaning more into her pouting child act.

“It’s just two of us with gear that can fit in a Camaro’s trunk, our cell phones can be tracked faster than a car and we keep them on our person, we have radios and we can park far away and blend in fine the way we’re dressed!” Claire retorted exaggerating each point as she made it. “We’re taking my new car, I haven’t had a chance to really take it out yet so here we go!” Claire finished almost skipping towards the staircase to the lower levels. Jill tried to interject and sighed as her partner ran off, grudgingly following her to the level where BSAA staff had personal parking. She found Claire leaning up against a deep maroon colored BMW coupe. She had a giant smile on her face as Jill approached shaking her head.

“Brand new, less than five hundred miles BMW M4 with the motorsport package!” Claire practically squealed as she gestured widely over the car’s rear fascia. She ran over to the driver’s side and got in, the car screamed to life. The bellowing cylinders settled into steady thudding rumbles, the roar dying off and giving way to Claire’s laughter. She sighed as she sat back into the leather driver’s seat and looked over at Jill, standing with her arms folded looking tentatively disapproving. “She costs more than my monthly rent, but damn is she worth it. I loved my bike, but you can only go so long with all leather in the summer heat and that damn Honda was all I could afford for the longest time. Everything should fit in the back, I tossed mine in the back seat while you took your time getting down here. Let’s go!” Claire yelled over the steady idle growling of her car. Jill shook her head but didn’t object. She opened the trunk and placed her backpack and rifle case in before slamming it shut and joining Claire on the passenger’s side.

“I’m going to allow this but no using you BSAA credentials to get out of speeding tickets just because we’re on the job, blending in, remember?” Jill said, the small motors in her seat whined as she adjusted them.

“No problem, I just won’t stop for them.” Claire laughed as the quickly backed out and peeled out of the BSAA headquarters.

Chapter Text

“How the hell did you wind up getting me cleared for this job?” Helena repeated shaking her head in disbelief as she and Leon as they walked up to the massive government complex in McLean, Virginia.

“I’ve slogged through so many infected shit storms so others haven’t had to, it’s earned me some favors.” Leon said as he opened the door for Helena as they stepped into the large lobby.

“Agent Kennedy!” A voice greeted them as a woman in a full suit in tie approached the pair. She had her brown hair back in a tight bun and a small black Bluetooth in her right ear.

“Good to see you Hunnigan, how’s the transition been?” Leon said shaking his former dispatcher’s hand.

“Not nearly as hard as I was thinking, you know after disobeying the secretary of defense during a crisis and aiding a man that shot the president. The US government has been surprisingly forgiving of all that.” Ingrid Hunnigan couldn’t help but laugh. “It is nice to be doing more than just handling bio-weapons. Simmons made a mess for us on the world stage and it goes so far beyond bio-terrorism.” She added looking over at Helena. “Welcome aboard, Agent Harper. If I may what made you choose central intelligence over D.O.S.?”

“I wanted to be the number one field operative for whatever agency I wound up joining. To be honest with you I doubt I could top Kennedy and they kinda frown at agents who where on duty when the president was killed in the secret service.” Helena joked as she looked over at Leon.

“Pff, it would have made for some fun competition but carving out your own path is just as good. Just don’t be a stranger. We’ll have to go out and celebrate at some point Ingrid.” Leon returned directing the invitation to both of his former colleagues. “I have a feeling everything beyond here is need to know personnel only. I’ll catch up with you two later.” Leon added, walking off as Ingrid led Helena beyond the security gate and into the headquarters building.

“I’m happy we where able to rush your transition, we already have an assignment for you Agent Harper.” Hunnigan said leading Helena down a windowless hallway, white noise machines buzzing throughout the common space. Hunnigan opened a door to a small intel office and closed the door behind Helena.

“Good, no rest for the wicked eh?” Helena said taking a seat at one of the guest chairs in front of Hunnigan’s desk.

“I hate to start you off with something a bit messy, but I trust you and requested I be able to work the case with you as the operative. Unfortunately, we’re still talking bioterrorism. Three targets that we have solid information on.” Hunnigan said bringing up profile information on the screen behind her.

“I thought the CIA didn’t perform assassinations.” Helena said facetiously.

“Just the public story, you know that. Doesn’t mean we feel good about but if it prevents an attack or outbreak…” Hunnigan trailed off as she brought up the first target. “Paul Mathews, works for a chemical distribution company headquartered in Philadelphia. His firm used to provide raw materials to a variety of production companies with links to bio-weapons research facilities. We also know that he spent a very short period of time as an FBC informant. We had a deep cover asset witness a recent meeting between potential purveyors of viral agents and US buyers. We where unable to confirm his presence but pulled his DNA from one of the cups from the meeting. His company recently moved their headquarters from North Camden to Central Philly despite having no assets in Pennsylvania. We believe he is either trying to set up a transfer center out of his new offices or even a laboratory as the building they set up in has several medical suits already present on different floors.” Ingrid lectured through the profile handing Helena a folder labeled “Operation Troika”. She flipped it open to see the target profiles as well as several surveillance photos of them in various locations.
“Your second target we believe is not related to Mathews but is actually affiliated with the ‘Connections’; a particularly elusive cell of brilliant biologists and engineers.” Ingrid continued as the photo of a young woman replaced the middle-aged Mathews. “Myra Smith- also has come up under the pseudonym Phyllis Hall- is a special subject handler and is posing as an RN at Will’s Eye Hospital in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia. She is currently in the possession of some form of viral agent as far as our best intel goes. She’s using the hospital as cover while having access to advanced medical equipment to help store her sample. We believe she is in a deep transfer arrangement, waiting for the buyer of the particular weapon she has to arrive but knowing this group, it could be months down the line; the ‘Connections’ are patient and thorough. She is currently assigned to the children’s cancer ward so security won’t be hard but eliminating her in a manner where she can be disposed of without arising suspicion will be.” Ingrid continued as Helena flipped through the photos of each of her targets.

“I can’t say I’m thrilled that we’re going right into shooting people in a populated city, but these scum bags would do far worse given the chance.” Helena mused as she read through other incidents the handler had been involved in.

“Helena, bear with me on this last one ok.” Ingrid said looking at Helena as she glanced up from her file. Hunnigan nodded after locking eyes and clicked over to the next profile. Helena let out an audible gasp as a familiar face flashed across the screen.

“You can’t possibly think… I mean what happened with Lanshiang and Tall Oaks? What kind of standard are we applying because if this is it I should probably blow my head off when I’m done?” Helena couldn’t help but shout as she got choked up over memories of what had happened at Tall Oaks Cathedral; what had happened to her sister and what she had done trying to save her. Ingrid hung her head as Helena tried to calm down, her chest heaving as she regained her composure.

“This is why I wanted you on this with me Helena. We have it on good report that Ms. Wong is in the DELMARVA area and looking to acquire a very specific weapon for her new employer. We aren’t sure what it could be but knowing her history it is likely something cutting edge which we have likely never dealt with before. The thing is I remembered when she was framed, and I remember what is was like not having all the facts, but Ada has done these things in the past. Just because she helped us clear her name and clean up Simmons’ mess does not mean she was all of a sudden one of us.” Hunnigan tried to explain as Helena shook her head, conflicting feelings ruining her ability to rationalize what was being asked of her.

“So that’s it then, I go shoot her and its all over? Redemption means nothing if you don’t pick a side?” Helena huffed still upset with the blue-lit image of Ada Wong labeled as “Target 3”.

“Helena… I don’t want you to kill her. I just want you to stop her, whatever she is doing. I want you to make sure she can’t deliver whatever weapon she is trying to get her hands on. I’m tasking you with this so that we can cover each other here. We both owe Ada, if for no other reason because we owe Agent Kennedy so much. You stop her from delivering the weapon and I’ll handle the Brass. Is that something you can do?” Ingrid asked softly as she looked across at Helena, her arms folded as an angry expression still dominated her face.

“Yes. I hope this is the last time they ask me to kill someone who’s helped us though. What is the goal of these three hits anyway?” Helena relented after a quiet moment of reflection.

“They all are competing and there is a fourth entity present which we have no intel on whatsoever. We’re hoping by going after these three targets in relatively quick succession they will panic, try to pull out and make a mistake we can track. As for Ms. Wong, she’ll be the hardest to locate. We’ve been ten steps behind her for the last three months, but we know she is around the Beltway at the moment. Our operatives almost had a solid tail on her about a week ago, but she disappeared again in Falls Church. We have reason to believe she met with one of her associates there though and that her plans are accelerating. We’re tracking them too as a potential fourth target.” Ingrid finished shutting down the screen behind her.

“Ok, well then where do I start?”

 

After two hours of twenty-over driving, flooring it out of stoplights and carving through winding country roads, Claire pulled into a gas station just outside of Bloomington’s town center.

“Please tell me that when I tell you to slow down or be careful on a mission you won’t regard it the same way when driving!” Jill said standing up and adjusting the hem of her sweater.

“Of course, it’s just that this girl needed to stretch her legs is all.” Claire said running her hand down the side of her car as she walked around to join Jill. “So, what are we playing at? Bureau of commerce reps? Prospective land buyers? Young couple looking to move into town?” Claire teased as they made their way towards main street.

“Let’s stick with ‘we’re from the office of city planning’ ok? Nice and simple, will get questions answered without producing anymore.” Jill said trying to casually laugh off Claire’s suggestions.

“Got it. We should start with the former hazard location, go from there, hit most of the small businesses around that seem like they have a connection or at least an interest in the community’s history.” Claire responded; Jill nodded in return. They walked for several blocks down main street with little more than a passing smile or “good afternoon” as they interacted with people on the way.

Other than the knowledge that it used to be a hazardous site, the restaurant owners and surrounding businesses knew little about the former site or any possible readings. The only semblance of a lead that Jill and Claire found was reference to parts of the Savage River national park being opened up for development. The only caveat to those new businesses was that they had to be sustainable and eco-friendly.

“Well at this point everything seems to be pointing at false positive or raccoon city complex in secret. I guess we go to waste disposal to see if they had anything large like pesticides or fertilizer come through?” Claire said as they walked back to the car.

“Maybe, for now I want to check out this supplier, there’s a good chance that despite their agreement they’re using chemicals in their farming.” Jill responded as Claire unlocked the car and started the engine.

“Oh, come on, I don’t want to play FDA agent, I just want to find this damn threat, take it out and stop stressing about whatever impending doom these assholes are cooking up in secret.” Claire said swinging herself into the driver’s seat.

“We’ll be quick about it, I just will need a soil, water and air sample and that will rule it out ok? We can then peak around all the dark alleys and even go sewer spelunking if you’re feeling nostalgic.” Jill said laughing off Claire’s pouting. She punched the name of the farm into maps. “Looks like it’s all country roads there though.” She added showing the route to Claire.

“If there’s no speed limit sign for more than a mile I’m assuming it means ninety.” Claire smirked as she pulled out of the lot and sped rapidly along the map’s route.

 

They arrived at “Savage River Organic Produce and Livestock” after half an hour of driving through barren country roads. They pulled over onto the shoulder just before the main entrance. Claire turned the car off as Jill opened her BSAA satellite access through her phone.

“Ok so it looks like there’s a shipping area near the processing plant just a mile down the road. As long as you aren’t revving it as we pull in, they shouldn’t notice us parking behind some shipping crates.” Jill said showing the image to Claire.

“Why all cloak and dagger for a bunch of hipster farmers?” Claire asked turning the car back on and proceeding to the entrance Jill had shown her.

“Combination of a gut feeling and just feeling done with interviewing locals today.” Jill Shrugged

“That’s fair, I guess. I just want to know what I should say when I bump into one of them.”

“Surprise inspection, they know they’re under a specific agreement, flash your BSAA card and roll with their reaction. That should clear any issue up.” Jill said checking her own badge on her belt as she spoke. They pulled into a crowded loading dock surrounded by pallets of left-over construction material and detached box trailers and livestock cars. They parked between two refrigerated trailers and turned the car off. Jill drew her handgun and checked the action.

“You at fifteen plus one?” Jill said glancing at Claire as she got out of the car.

“Always, so what to start with?”

“Well right now I’m interested in that warehouse right behind the loading dock.” Jill said gesturing to the large, steel structure on the far end of the lot. They made their way over to the side entrance, sticking close to the wall and watching out for CCTV.

“A bit light on security, don’t you think?” Claire said as the approached the door. It had a key card lock above the handle. “One sec.” Jill whispered as she popped the plastic cover off the lock. She pulled out the socket connecting the lock itself to the card reader and plugged it into an adapter on her phone. “I love the tech they’ve been letting us take into the field.” Claire smiled as Jill ran a simple program to mimic the keycard’s access code. The door flashed green and the bolt clicked.

“Easier than ever, let’s take a look.” Jill said slowly pushing the door open and stepping into the warehouse. She waited for Claire to follow before setting a small device at the base of the door frame.

“Motion tracker, just in case someone comes through behind us.” Jill said as Claire glanced over at it. They made their way through the rows of shelving holding a variety of farm equipment; pallets of wood and steel fencing materiel, soil for greenhouses, plant food, machinery spare parts. In the Center of the warehouse was a large stack of shipping crates with drab paint and no logos. Jill and Claire slowly approached them, the only illumination coming from the dim running lights of the building.

“Odd, what gets delivered to a farm in shipping containers?” Claire wondered aloud as the stopped in front of the stack.

“Farming equipment? Combines? Harvesters? Tractors?” Jill added placing her hand on the handle of the container closest to them.

“Buy why store them here? In the middle of the warehouse where it would be hardest to remove them. I mean these are weatherproof, why not leave them outside and save storage space in here?” Claire said as Jill lifted the handle and swung open the heavy steel door. Claire drew her handgun and clicked on the small light attached under the barrel.

“Bizarre.” Jill remarked as they looked inside the container. It was empty and had a sterile smell, like the disinfectant that hospitals use. They stepped inside as Claire’s light flashed over the pristine walls of the container.

“Do you feel the floor? It’s sloped towards the center. Look.” Claire said as she stepped carefully, pointing her light at the center of the room revealing a drain gate.

“Seems odd for a shipping container, looks like a permanent fixture. Hey, another keycard reader here. “Jill said as she followed the walls of the container to the rear, coming to a small box built into the wall.

“Very odd, false back to a shipping crate? Seems like smuggling or hiding a supply line.” Claire said as Jill got to work cracking the reader.

“Could be, but the only thing it means for sure is something is being hidden from us.” Jill said as the card reader suddenly blinked green. There was a loud clanking sound as the rear of container split and folded back, revealing a staircase. White lights blinked on revealing a small landing at the bottom with what appeared to be a reception desk and a large, logoed vault door.

“Wow, more than just a false back huh?” Claire said as she stepped into the stairwell and quickly made her way down to the desk.

“Regardless I think there may have been something to that scan. Be careful but let’s see if we can get that door open, looks like it might be used to store bio-hazard materials or even a small lab.” Jill said as she followed her. She walked up to the large sealed door and examined the logo engraved on the front. Black, green and blue pentagons all arranged around a central point. “Tricell.” Jill whispered as the realization washed over her. Before she could tell Claire what they had found, her phone began to buzz. She looked on the screen to see an alert, the motion sensor she had set at the door had been triggered.

“Claire! We may have a lot more here than we bargained for, and we have company.” Jill said drawing her weapon and making her way back up the staircase. Claire grasped her handgun, turning off the light as they made their way back up. They cautiously moved to the doors of the container, still swung slightly ajar.

“Footsteps.” Claire whispered. “Has to be a small group, four to six maybe.”

“That was a Tricell vault, at very least they’re holding onto some left over bioweapons, at worst they’re a cell themselves, we need to get out of here I think that’s all the proof we need for dispatch to send us a full response team.” Jill said as she tried to peer just outside of the crate. “There should be another exit other than the one we came in from. I’ll make for that and you make for where we came in, they should be farther away from that one. I’ll meet you at the car. No matter what make for the car so we can call for help, even if I’m late.” Jill said as she pulled back into the container.

“Got it, make for the car via the door we came in from, see you there.” Claire responded as she silently slipped out of the container, weapon raised. Jill followed suite turning toward the unexplored half of the warehouse. She could hear the steady tread of a small group of people making their way to the stack of shipping containers behind her. Other than some unintelligible muttering she couldn’t hear any alarmed voices. Jill focused on keeping her steps muffled as she moved quickly. She reached the far exit and made her back into the open air, her eyes taking a moment to adjust to the brightness. She snuck along the side of the building until she caught sight of the loading dock and ran quickly back to the place, they had hidden the car.

Jill paused to catch her breath, going through her pockets to find Claire’s spare key. She popped the trunk open and pulled out her rifle case. She opened the case and pulled out her SR25, removed the scope covers, bolt flag and slid one of the magazines into the well. She slung the rifle over her shoulder and made her way to the other side of one of the trailers they had hidden the car behind. She pulled a discarded aluminum ladder from a pile of old timber and metal scrap and propped it up against the trailer. She made it to the roof and sprawled out of the metal surface, worn from thousands of miles of wind blowing over it. Jill unslung her rifle, fixing the bipod and shouldering the weapon. She ran the bolt and moved the fire selector off safe.

“Come one Claire, please just tell me your hiding.” Jill whispered as she examined the warehouse through the scope of her rifle, keeping her finger off the trigger as she began running through her breathing exercises, attempting to slow her heart rate. She waited there for five minutes before seeing the door to the warehouse open. Claire ran through and immediately turned around, several shots shattering the still air out over the farmland as Claire fired at pursuers Jill couldn’t yet see.

“Shit! Come on Claire, just make it to the car.” Jill said as she watched Claire turn and run. There was a thunderous boom and Claire was knocked into the grass as a guard wielding a tactical shotgun appeared from the door Claire had just fired into. Jill struggled to keep her breathing steady as she felt her heart rate kick up.

“She was wearing her light vest under her clothes, she had her vest, shotguns don’t always have slugs, she could still be ok, and she needs you to focus.” Jill whispered frantically to herself as she watched several figures appear from the warehouse following the first’s signal, struggling to suppress the urge to drop the man that just shot her partner.

“Not farmers, not even private security, these are professionals, mercenaries.” Jill said as she watched one approach Claire. She couldn’t contain her rage, her rifle boomed and rocked, leaves and pine needles that had fallen on the trailer kicking up in a cloud as the escaping gasses rushed from the muzzle. The round struck the guard in the head, snapping his head violently to the side and spraying the grass behind him in droplets and chunks of red. Jill didn’t wait for his companions to react before firing on them. Spent cases clinked over the metal trailer roof as she moved from target to target, putting two to three rounds in the direction of each. She focused, aiming for their center of mass. She was able to kill two more before the guards scrambled back into the warehouse. She killed another before he made it into the safety of the warehouse.

“Shit, how the hell am I supposed to get down there and get her out?” Jill thought out loud. She was going to have to call in the tactical team and try to hold this stalemate, maybe local SWAT could get here quicker? She emptied her magazine into the door of the warehouse, just to keep the guards spooked before she climbed back down to the car. She found her direct line satellite link to her team with her field bag.

“Raptor this is Vermillion, Agent Redfield is down, and I have engaged an unknown hostile entity. Tricell logos where found on an industrial vault on the location. We are in need of immediate assistance.” Jill breathed trying to calmly stick to her trained protocol.

“Acknowledged Vermillion, stand by.” A calm voice responded curtly leaving a few seconds of dead static. “Oscar twelve is loaded for bear and inbound, eta, four-five minutes. Local area PD has been notified and is enroute with EMS for your partner, eta, two-five minutes.” The BSAA dispatcher’s voice came back through.

“Shit. Ok Raptor, I’m going to attempt to retrieve Agent Redfield, I don’t know how badly she’s wounded.” Jill said desperately fixing her earpiece to the satellite phone. She placed it on her belt and went back onto the trunk and opening another weapon case. She withdrew her M4 and quickly removed the optics cover and bolt flag. She took a small tactical rig from her bag and threw off her sweater and pulled the rig over her brown tank top. She clipped the carbine to the rig, loaded it and ran the bolt. She quickly jogged around towards the warehouse and stopped dead after rounding the corner.

There was a black pick-up pulled alongside where Claire lay, several more guards where picking up their dead, some standing in a small perimeter. One was knelt down over Claire; her hands had been pulled behind her back and tightly bound with zip ties and a black bag had been pulled over her head. They then lifted her and forced her into the truck. Jill was able to breath a slight sigh of relief; she had seen Claire move as they forced her up. Jill refocused and tried to find a target where she wouldn’t risk hitting Claire and fired. One of the perimeter guards fell as he was struck by a short burst of fire from Jill. She rapidly pressed her advantage, moving closer and firing as each of the guards struggled for cover. The trucks engine roared as it spun up mud, making its way back towards the main processing complex of the farm. The remaining guards attempted to return fire, but Jill had caught them in the open and laid them out before they could get an angle on her. They had left another four guards behind that Jill had quickly dispatched. She couldn’t pursue the truck on foot, so she decided to look at the bodies.

She approached the first one she had shot, three weeping holes where in his chest, his eyes staring into the sky. He was armed with a MP5 and had a radio, a sidearm and several extra magazines on his chest carrier.

“No body armor, that’ll make things easier, no insignia either. They either don’t have a formal affiliation or they’re hiding it. Their equipment is relatively light, but their training isn’t basic, hmm.” Jill pondered aloud to herself as she examined the corpses. She removed the radio earpiece from one of the guards and held it up to her free ear.

“Nothing but static, they aren’t amateurs, already changed the frequency.” Jill muttered as she stood. She quickly jogged back over to the car, placing the SR25 and her field bag into the trunk and jumping into the driver’s seat. The car roared to life as she hit the accelerator and peeled out of the loading dock.

“Raptor this is Vermillion, Agent Redfield is alive but captured by the unknown hostiles. I’m going to attempt a frontal assault on their main complex which is masquerading as a farming processing center. Requesting permission to engage the entity as enemy combatants.” Jill called in as she raced towards the main entrance for the farm.

“Vermillion, you have permission to seek out and destroy hostile targets at your discretion. You are clear to move in and retrieve Agent Redfield by any means you deem necessary. Local PD eta is still one-five minutes.” The dispatcher responded after a moment. Jill couldn’t help but smile as they cut her loose.
“Good, no one fucks with my partner.”

Chapter Text

Claire’s body ached, pain spidering over her nerves from a central spot on her back. She groaned and reached up to place her hand on the spot, but her arms didn’t obey her. She tried to shake the fogginess from her mind.

“Come on Claire! What, did you just let if fall asleep?” she thought aloud. To her surprise the sound of her voice only manifested in muffled cooing. A hint of panic seeped into her mind as her senses flickered on rapidly. There were a series of bands holding her down on some sort of examination table, digging in as it restrained her. She strained her arms against the bonds to no avail, the leather groaned but held fast. “Well fuck.” She thought, unable to even lift her neck as the strap laying over her mouth kept her down. “How the hell did I wind up getting…” She tried to clear her mind as it came to her; the farm, the gunfight, the mission, Jill.

Where was she? Did she escape or was she caught too? Regardless, Claire wasn’t going to be able to find out like this. Her body ached from being held in this position for….? Hours maybe? She twisted her waist and felt the twinge of nerve pain seep up from her legs, both asleep from laying for so long. “God it’s cold in here, I feel like that was on purpose, stress positions huh?” Claire thought as she strained, trying to look around the room despite her restricted movements. “Did they really think I was this dangerous?” Claire straining against the table, looking down at herself. She had all over gear taken away and left in just her basic civilian clothes. She noticed something on closer observation, looking down at herself, drawn over her chest, over her sternum, where a set of markings; lines, dots and shorthand notes like those drawn on a patient before surgery.

“What the hell are they doing to me?!” Claire’s chest heaved, pulling the bonds painfully tight as panic set in. The low running lights of the chamber suddenly flashed into full white floodlights, like those in a medical suite. There was a hiss as a sealed door at one end of the chamber and opened. Three figures in white clean-room suites stepped in as the door sealed behind them. They approached Claire and stood over her. Their faces where behind reflective visors built into their suits and the only distinguishable feature on them was the simple, multicolored Tricell logo.

“Make a note, subject has awoken after approximately one hour from administering of phase one, appears alert with all independent cognitive functions.” The figure standing closest to Claire spoke in an authoritative, female voice. Another of the figures began writing using a stylus on the tablet they carried.

“Administer Phase 2, if there is no response administer 3 in thirty Minutes. From there the virus should be coding her lymph nodes to produce P30.” She spoke again looking to the other figure carrying a small, aluminum briefcase. The note-taker leaned in closely to the lead figure and attempted to quietly say something.

“What about the other agent we heard of?” they whispered

“That’s security’s concern, we should be fine down here, besides they’ve been using the weapons against them.” The lead responded swiftly in a hushed tone. “Once she’s compliant, we can use her to delay them long enough to proceed.” The lead followed up as the figure with the briefcase knelt next to Claire. They removed a long syringe and proceeded to fill it, clearing air bubbles. Claire began to squirm on the table.

“What they hell are they going to do to me?” she thought, many different things racing through her head as her BSAA training tried to provide her with an answer as to what was in that vial, the mention of the drug that had been used by Albert Wesker on Jill. The syringe wielding tech swabbed the marked spot on Claire’s chest, a freezing cold, wet feeling and smell of medicinal alcohol flooded Claire’s senses.

“No, no, don’t you fucking dare, NO!” Claire thought, her protests only coming out in muffled cries as she struggled hopelessly against the table.

“Don’t damage the subject.” The lead said calmly. “I told you we should have restrained her more.”

The tech with the syringe didn’t respond and grabbed Claire by the throat, less as a threat and more to stabilize her as he plunged the needle into her chest. Claire yelped as her eyes went wide with the sudden sting. She went limp, chest heaving, struggling for breath through her nose. She felt as if she been given an instant hangover as whatever they had just injected her with quickly made its way through her body.

“Start the clock for phase 3 if needed, keep an eye, when you can issue commands, remove the restraints and send her against the other BSAA agent.”

The maroon BMW roared into the from parking lot, turning hard so that the door faced away from the front door of the building. Two guards in the front of the building stepped back in shock, fumbling for their weapons as Jill swiftly exited the car and swung her M4 over the roof. She shouldered it and quickly fired two shots dropping both guards as she walked around the front of the car towards the front door. She saw another guard round a corner on the inside through the glass and she fired three shots at him, the guards momentum throwing him to the floor as he expired. The glass of the door shattered and rained all over the ground, reflecting red as the guard Jill had just dropped bled on the tile floor. Jill kicked the empty metal frame of the door open and stepped inside of a large lobby, the logo “Savage River Organics” written in a simple green font above a receptionist desk.

She carefully made her way into the lobby, sweeping the muzzle of her weapon across the doors and hallways leading away. She reached the reception desk and found the receptionist cowering behind the desk.

“Up, now. You’re going to tell me how to access the Tricell facility, where to access it and you’re going to do it now.” Jill growled as she grabbed him by the tie and forced him back to his computer.

“You have to understand, there’s a containment zone I can’t breach! You don’t know what you’re trying to steal!” he pleaded as he complied, trying to pull up the layout for the facility somewhere on his terminal.

“You think I’m here to rob you? I’m here to wipe this place off the map after I find my partner, what do you know of that?” Jill scoffed before turning angry, pointing her gun at the receptionist again.

“Nothing, n, nothing! I swear I know they are shady, but I always just kept my head low. I heard the guards’ radio about an intruder they wanted information from. They were bringing her into the basement. That’s all I know!”

“How do I get into the basement then?”

“Ugh… Elevator! The entrance, you ugh, have to have a keycard, swipe it in the elevator and press B2. That’s all I know I swear!” he said panicking as he pulled up the floor plan for the building on the desktop.

“I’m going to assume HR is where keycards are made? Where else could I find one?” Jill said sighing and losing her patience. Before he could answer, the heavy thud of boots on tile got Jill’s attention. She quickly ran to the wall, waiting around the corner of the hallway the sound was coming from. She shouldered her rifle and prepared for them to appear, the sound in steady crescendo as she focused on breathing. The first guards came running into the lobby searching for the cause of the disturbance and where greeted with several shots from Jill. Two were thrown to the ground as Jill rounded the corner finding herself facing four more guards. She fired at the nearest landing a shot on his chest and neck before feeling the bolt of her M4 refuse to cycle forward: empty.

“Come on Jill, you have to remember to count better than that.” Jill chastised herself as she swiftly pulled the M4 off her harness and threw it at the guard facing her, attempting to bring his weapon to bear on her. He recoiled and instinctively attempted to catch it as Jill landed a hard kick in the center of his chest, knocking him into his comrade. The third guard moved around them and drew up his weapon as Jill charged him. She grabbed the barrel of his rifle and pulled it under her arm as he fired it several times. She head-butted him hard and yanked the rifle from his grasp as he staggered backwards. She swung the rifle like a club, connecting hard with the guard’s skull, the weapon’s stock cracking from the impact. An arm wrapped around Jill’s neck as one of the other guards collected himself and attempted to out her into a chokehold. She braced herself, tensed and threw the guard over her, drawing her combat knife as he fell hard, plunging the blade into the side of his neck as he landed hard in front of her. She twisted and drew it back out, blood following the edge in a heavy spray. Jill rolled to the left, drawing her handgun. She turned to face the remaining guard who had begun to track her with his rifle and fired. She shot him once in the head as his body slumped against the wall, sliding to the ground slowly and leaving a red smear behind.

“Alright, hopefully one of these thugs has a keycard.” Jill managed to say as she huffed, trying to catch her breath. She dropped the magazine from her M9 and checked the count, replacing it as she looked for her rifle. She found it amongst the corpses, a little blood splattered across the receiver. She picked it up, clipped it back to her vest and replaced the empty magazine. After taking a quick look over the guards she came up empty.

“Who the hell would actually have one then? Damn!” Jill said looking around at. The mess left in the hallway; it was already starting to smell. She back tracked to the lobby to find the receptionist still hiding behind the desk.

“Security room, office, lock up, anything, where is it!” Jill shouted as she stormed back over to the receptionist desk.

“Ugh… Head of security! His office, his office is on the third floor, room 1803. I think that’s where they print them, I think, please I’m not a part of any of this, I just answered an ad online and didn’t ask about the weird guards, I swear!” the receptionist pleaded as he stayed under the desk. Jill realized she wouldn’t be likely to get a better lead out of him and ran off towards the elevator. She punched the third-floor button and the elevator lurched upwards. Something the receptionist said was lingering in her mind though; calling the guards weird? It wasn’t that odd for a large facility with storage and heavy equipment to have dedicated security, but the way he said implied something else.

The elevator doors slid open and Jill was greeted by a small reception area and directory for the floor. There were two guards standing behind the desk idling talking, staring for a second as the processed what was before them. Jill was quite the sight, tac-harness strapped over a bloody tank top, her hair hung down in matted clumps from sweat and blood; it looked like she was out for more. The guards reached for their side arms as the volley of loud cracks came from Jill’s assault. The first guard took the brunt of the fire, collapsing against the office chair and unceremoniously toppling it to the ground. The second guard was smarter and ran before attempting to draw his weapon. Jill followed him, only to be met by a flurry of return fire as the guard shot from behind cover. The glass on the far side of the lobby shattered as Jill pulled back behind the corner. It was an empty office space by the looks of it.

“Odd, they must have evacuated the building when the shooting started, unless the whole thing was a ruse.” She thought as the air was shredded by the cacophony of gunfire. Jill waited until he stopped shooting before rounding the corner. She kept her weapon shouldered and sighted as she slowly advanced. He stepped out to shoot again only to be forced back by a grazing round from Jill. She kept up a steady, single shot suppressing fire as she got closer, strafing right as she moved. The guard tried to get an angle on her again and this time Jill watched her round tear through the side of his throat. His eyes went wide, dropping his gun and instinctively clutching the wound with both hands. He could only muster a low, desperate gurgling sound as blood flowed between his fingers. Jill kicked his gun out of reach and shook her head.

“Come on Jill, you’re a cleaner shot than that, don’t be vindictive.” She thought, bringing herself back down and refocusing on her task; room 1803. She made her way down the hall without incident, carefully checking corners and office doors standing ajar.

“God, I hate office buildings, so many doors, so many back channels to get behind me.” She worried to herself as she counted the office numbers, 1801, should be just around the corner. She rounded the corner and found a double doored office. Jill tried the door, locked. She stepped back and bashed the glass of the short window in the door with the stock of her rifle, reaching in and unlocking the door. She through open the doors and scanned the room. Several cubicles, a few small offices off the main room, a weapon lock up and a counter in the back with an office copier, Keurig and a computer terminal and specialty printer; a key card maker.

“Finally, a bit of a breakthrough.” Jill said running over to the computer and starting the sequence, plugging in alias information and starting the printer. She slid the still warm card through the reader as the magnetic strip accepted her access code. “Perfect, back to the elevator.” She said softly to herself as a loud crack filled the room as a huge force threw Jill into the counter, knocking the computer monitor over and cracking the plastic cover of the printer.

“Shit!” Jill cursed through gritted teeth as her adrenaline dulled the pain. She swung around and fired a spread into the cubicles, she fell prone and waited for a sound. She heard shuffling amongst the cubicles and noticed one shuffle just a little, as if someone was leant up against it. She also notices a small hole near the glass pane at the top of the makeshift wall. Jill fired a tighter spread into the cubicle wall and hear a thud, a gurgle and notices a spread of blood slowly pool on the floor around the edge of the cubicle. She stood, with some trouble, and circled around to the office space she had just fired into. She found another security officer, not as heavily armed, lying dead with several bullet wounds, still grasping a large handgun. Jill dropped to one knee and picked up his gun, dropping the magazine.

“.45 ACP? Idiot shot through the wall, these damn things are slow, but wow do they punch.” She said dropping the gun and reaching back to her wounded shoulder. The round had missed her shoulder blade and lost most of its speed after it tumbled through the wall. Jill was able to feel the deformed bulled lodged in her left shoulder, getting a grip on it and pulling it out. She gritted her teeth and groaned, her breath quick and sharp as the pain flared across her nerves. She desperately searched through the guard’s pockets, finding a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. “Alright, remember how to do this.” Jill muttered to herself. She dumped out the cigarettes and pulled a multitool from her belt. She pulled the bullets from the guards rounds out with the tool and poured the grains into the cigarette box. After forming a small amount of powder, she knelt so her back was level to the ground, pouring the powder onto the wound. She winced as she raised the lighter to the small patch and flicked it, jerking her hand back as the powder flared hot and singed her hand. She took a deep breath as the pain dulled; her wound cauterized under by the flash of gunpowder.

“Keep going, you have access now, Claire needs you, go!” Jill huffed as she stood, running out of the office, down to the elevator and swiping the card. The basement button glowed green and Jill pressed it, feeling the elevator lurch downward.

The elevator opened into a clean white lobby, much nicer than the one above it. Jill raised her rifle and made her way into the eerie quiet of the pristine white tiled room. There was a desk and terminal off to the right and behind it painted on the wall was a large Tricell logo.

“My luck that the first mission they send me on is a Tricell remnant.” Jill laughed to herself. She walked around the desk and looked at the terminal, two prominent options where open on the screen. One for unlocking the elevator and the other for access to the rest of the facility. Jill activated both, the local PD would be here any minute, but she needed to press on. The door to the rest of the facility hissed and opened. Jill made her way into a hallway similar to the lobby, a small directory indicating offices, hydroponics, animal husbandry, holding laboratories and viral laboratories

“Damn, this place is a fully functional research facility.” Jill muttered, the feeling that was edging into the corner of her thoughts all too familiar. She kept moving towards the laboratories as indicated when a deep keening groan echoed from through the pristine halls. Jill froze, trying to interpret the sound.

“Ok, now this just entered a new level of danger. Raptor this is Vermillion, alert Oscar twelve and local PD we may be facing a containment breach of hazardous viruses and potential BOWs, acknowledge.” Jill said picking up her pace down the hallway. Whatever was groaning ominously around this deserted facility, Claire was also down here, unarmed.

“Understood Vermillion, local PD on location and securing the main structure at this time. Oscar twelve says they have visual on the site and are looking for a safe landing zone, relaying your information.” The steady voice of the dispatcher called back as Jill rounded another corner. The next hallway had a long set of floor-to-ceiling glass windows on one side, showing a massive underground farming complex bathed in ultraviolet light. There was a door in the center and at the far end, a large steer, releasing another bellow like that Jill had just heard.

“Ok, hopefully this is just an escaped test animal. Nothing nasty, just put it down and out of its misery.” Jill coached herself as she replaced her magazine, not wanting to face a potential bioweapon with less than thirty rounds. Her rifle cracked; recoil welcomed by Jill’s shooting stance. The round crashed into the cow’s skull, the animal thrashing and mewling from the pain. Jill fired again, and again as the animal seemed to writhe and scream.

 

“Come on, just die for both of us!” She gritted her teeth as she kept up a steady fire, the animal screaming now in a deep roar. The head of the steer split open, in a manner all too familiar to Jill. Its skin peeled from its skull as only enough muscles clung to the bone to animate it. The split muscles of the face began to swing around as extra appendages, the horns of the steer now like claws on the end of these mutated tendrils. The animal’s ribs where now exposed as it further mutated, the bones clacking together like teeth as it focused on Jill. It let out a wet, horrid scream and began to quickly shamble Jill’s way, almost walking on two legs now as it became a violent weapon.

Jill fired several more shots into the maw of the monster manifesting in front of her. The beast seemed to mostly shrug the fire off, small pieces falling from the damage, a rib snapping and falling to the tiled floor. It kept coming and Jill looked around the hall, seeing only the door to the hydroponics center. She bolted for it, pressing the button on the wall panel, the door sliding open. Jill tossed herself through, closing it behind her and using the wall panel to lock it behind her. The muffled cries of the BOW she had just faced coming through the door as it clattered around the hallway, yet the door and windows held. Jill took a breath and took in her surroundings.

The Hydroponics lab was like a massive greenhouse built underground, bathed in ultraviolet light to help everything grow while using little power. The greenery seemed to be healthy, mostly tomatoes, gourds and other vine-based plant life. It was difficult to make out the full scope of the room with the light level so low, but a small panel next to the door caught her eye. It read, “Fire Suppression System: in the event of a containment breach or aggressive biological incident, the Fire Suppression System may be activated to spare the lives of key staff at the expense of subjects in this room. WARNING; This is a last resort measure! The Fire Suppression System controls are in the back of the room. Make sure all critical personnel are within the marked area before swiping your magnetic strip credentials and then turning the system activation key. The protective shields will raise, and the system will operate for five minutes before giving an all clear signal. You may then return to your duties.”

“Odd, but sounds useful, I doubt this lab is just used as the community garden, better find that system before something else wakes up.” Jill said as she began making her way down the long row of plants towards the back of the room. She brushed leafy branches growing out into her path, glancing at the placards placed beneath each individual plant.: Heirloom Tomato Hybrid, Butternut Squash Hybrid, Vine-ripe Hybrid. None of them looked familiar to her despite the names. A low rustling sound caught her attention, spinning, Jill searched the dim foliage, keeping her rifle shouldered. The low hum a fan quickly accompanied the rustling as the ventilation system kicked in, blowing air over the tops of the plants. Jill relaxed and took a deep breath, continuing on into what felt like an artificial jungle.

The rear wall of the hydroponics lab faded into view through the dim lighting and Jill quickly made her way out into the back walkway. She saw, centered on the rear wall, a small control platform slightly raised off the ground. She stepped up onto the platform and noticed stencil painted writing on the ground. “Contingency Suppression Stand Here.”

“Good, let’s turn this on and find a way out.” She said to herself as she found the key card reader. She swiped hers through and was greeted by an affirmative beep. A concealed panel slid open and a red socket with a key in it rose to fill the space on the console. Jill reached to turn it she felt a cool, smooth tendril wrap around her wrist, preventing her from turning the key. Jill turned quickly, instinctively tugging at the vine that had grown around her wrist. She drew her combat knife with her free hand and severed the intrusive vine, the verdure around her wrist turning a yellow-brown and falling away. Jill was surrounded by a steady creep of greenery, the vines growing over the railings of the platform and visibly approaching her. Another vine lashed out at her from behind, wrapping its length around Jill’s torso, pinning her arms to her sides. “How the hell did I not see this coming? Come on Jill, just activate the suppression thing and clear it all out.” Jill grunted as she twisted her wrist, landing the blade of her knife on the thick green chord wrapping around her. After a few quick attempts at sawing it gave way, the heavy foliage falling away. Jill shook her torso, her hair falling all around her face as she worked her way free. She brushed her blood-caked hair out of her face and lunged for the console. She was intercepted by another heavy vine, knocking her to the ground, but failing to get a grip on her. She fell onto a soft bed of steadily advancing greenery. Jill snapped back up, feeling the thin vines creeping along the floor and already trying to grab at her. The large vine that had knocked her down now was between her and the console. She quickly drew her pistol and shot several times at the vine, it’s constant wriggling making it near impossible to hit. It reared and struck like a whip, knocking the gun out of Jill’s hand only to be met by a hard strike from her knife. Jill pulled hard, severing the end of the vine, smiling in triumph. She made the mistake of glancing for her gun as what remained of the snake-like plant seized her again, pinning her lower arms to her side. She managed to shuffle back to the console, determined to turn the key, despite the leafy onslaught.

She felt the cool metal of the key meet her fingers that where already starting to feel numb. She fumbled desperately with the key, unable to get a solid grip. She felt her hand brush by one of the grenades they had packed; white phosphorus. She grabbed the cylindrical explosive, yanked the pin and awkwardly tossed it into the bed of advancing foliage. It erupted in a brilliant white gleam as the flames tore through the plants, the attacking vines falling away for her as she dove for the activation console.

Jill twisted the key and collapsed on the floor, more vines grabbing and pulling at her as a red light filled the hydroponics chamber. Strong, hydraulic glass walls began rising around the perimeter of the platform, and a low ceiling extended from the wall, the vines growing over the edges of the walls as the raised. There was a loud hiss coming from outside the chamber as the walls sealed against the ceiling, vines covering and growing over the containment room, attempting to find a way in. A fine mist filled the room and in an instant, the entire hydroponics complex was awash in red, orange and yellow light. Brilliant, blinding and hot, there was a roar as every plant subject was instantaneously destroyed, burned to fine ash. Jill felt the heat through the glass and knew she had succeeded. She rolled over, loose vines hitting the floor with a wet thud as she struggled.
“Wow that was a really nasty one, worth the detour to burn it all away.” She said to herself, thinking that Oscar twelve was likely making their way down into the facility. The chamber hissed as it released, the ventilation system hard at work clearing the smoke out of the room. It still reeked of a forest fire, as Jill collected her handgun and knife. She changed the magazine out for a fresh one before scanning what was left of the room. It was now brightly lit with floodlights meant for the cleaning crew which would normally accompany such a purge. For Jill it showed her a small maintenance door which would allow her to make her way further into the facility, to where they would be holding Claire.

The maintenance hall was not nearly as polished as the main laboratory; the walls where dull gray with exposed pipes and power conduits, old fluorescent lights offering scant illuminating as Jill quickly made her way quickly through. Her intuition told her that Claire was likely in either the “Holding Laboratory” or the “Lab Headquarters Complex”. She just had to make her way by deep storage, the bunker’s power plant and the complex called the “Silo”. She passed several labeled access doors indicating storage, offices, labs and simple hallways in different wings. Jill stopped her steady jog abruptly upon a low grunt followed by a shrill squeal filled the corridor. There were several clanging footsteps coming from around the corner as Jill quickly checked the magazine of her rifle, replacing it with a fresh one as the owner of the horrid sounds rounded the corner.

Two hogs came careening around the corner, skin falling away, jaws hanging loose and bony protrusions obscuring much of their face. Jill fired a volley into the head of the first, pieces of bone chipping and shattering. The beast kept charging, screaming as Jill fired on it. It struck her, knocking her to the hard steel floor. The mutated animal kept charging down the hallway, its momentum still carrying it forward. Jill drew her rifle up to her shoulder and fired at the animal’s exposed back side, bullets tearing through the exposed organs and decaying flesh as she emptied her magazine. The animal moaned and then collapsed as the second one began to charge Jill.

She wasn’t going to bet on having enough time to reload so Jill waited for the BOW to be upon her and jumped, clearing the charging beast and bringing her booted heals down on the animal’s back. The beast collapsed with a scream and Jill thrust her combat knife into its back, drawing the blade laterally with two hands, severing the animal’s spinal column. It gurgled as the viral infection driving it failed to keep control of the damaged body. Jill sheathed her blade and reloaded her rifle, onto her last full magazine. She continued down the hallway when she heard another round of roars and growls, this one she already knew.

“That damn viral bull.” Jill swore under her breath. She looked along the side of the hallway and found a maintenance door, opening it and getting out of the way of the approaching BOW. The door let her out into a clean lab hallway, the directory indicating she was close to the Holding Labs. On both ends of the hall where sliding glass doors and just the one maintenance door. Standing at the far end of the pristine, white hallway was the unmistakable figure of…

“Claire! Claire! Are you ok? Are you being followed?” Jill shouted, her head spinning at finding her partner. She appeared unarmed but unhurt, still wearing the same leather jacket and blue tank top as the start of their mission, only a few grass stains on her knees from when she had been shot.

“Jill! I’m fine, I’m fine, they seem to be panicking and I was able to slip out. They caught me square in the back of the head with a bean bag and then again in the back. I’ll be stiff as hell for a week but I’m fine. You look like shit, what’s happened?” Claire said jogging over to her from the far end of the hallway.

“I’m just glad to see you alive! Have you been able to figure out anything about the purpose this facility serves?” Jill said, dismissing Claire’s concern with a half-hearted gesture.

“Hardly, I can only assume it’s a viral research facility focused on either enhancing, manipulating or attacking the food supply. They use the farm front to justify the large purchases, plants and livestock. What’s been going on? How long have I been out?” Claire returned.

“Seems in line with what I’ve been experiencing, farm animal BOWs and all. You’ve been out for, wow about two hours? Our support team is probably in the facility as we speak.” Jill said fighting to stay focused, the relief of accomplishing her goal seeming to make her mind race.

“You didn’t wait for them?” Claire asked in a slightly muted tone, avoiding eye contact.

“N…no, I called in the, ugh, excuse me. I called in the incident and then entered the facility myself to…to… recover you before they arrived.” Jill said, her words failing to come to her quickly. She began feeling foggy, lightheaded as she spoke. “We need to move; I think the ventilation in this section is compromised.” Jill said, alarm creeping into her voice. Claire took a step back and from her jacket withdrew a small oxygen mask and placing it over her mouth and nose.

“There’s nothing wrong with the ventilation system Agent Valentine; the oxygen level has just been reduced to induce light hypoxia. You will suffer no long-term effects so don’t worry.” Claire said as her tone shifted. Jill fell to her knees, the energy sapped from her muscles as the little oxygen she was receiving was all focused on keeping her present.

“Claire…? Why are you being… bitch…” Jill said as the hypoxia began to take hold, her mind going delirious, as if she was drunk.

“Great, you go mean. Everyone reacts to it differently, some laugh some cry, apparently you get mean.” Claire said kneeling down next to Jill. Jill meekly attempted to swat at Claire, missing as Claire easily dodged Jill’s slow strike. “Now, let’s get you ready to move.” Claire uttered as Jill struggled to process what was going on as Claire circled behind her. She unbuckled Jill’s tac-harness and removed her weapons and equipment from her belt leaving her just in her brown tank-top and cargo shorts. Claire pulled Jill’s wrists behind her back and slid a black zip tie tight around them. Jill’s head bobbed, struggling to stay conscious as Claire stood back up in front of her.

“Why… do… Claire? Just grab… thing on chest…” Jill struggled to speak, her mind still trying to make sense of what happened. Did they manage to do to Claire what they had done to her in Africa? Could it even be the same device? Claire remained silent as she said something Jill couldn’t hear into a small device she had failed to notice on her wrist. Claire looked contemptuously at Jill after a soft return message. She forced Jill to her feet, Jill almost fell immediately, stumbling as Claire turned to face her. Claire knelt and put Jill over her shoulder, easily lifting her as Jill’s short-term memory began to fail and she slipped into unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

Jill groaned as her senses flicked back to life, the first thing coming back was a thudding headache. Jill attempted to press her hand to her temple, but her hand didn’t respond. She felt the plastic edge of the zip tie biting into her wrist as her memory suddenly kicked in. Claire, the betrayal, the look on her face as Jill had collapsed. Jill huffed as she felt a piece of tape pressed over her mouth, trying to flick her hair out of her face as she took stock of her surroundings. She was in a neat office, lit only by a dim desk lamp. The floor was smooth tile, but she was seated on a rubber desk mat next to a wheeled desk chair. The walls of the office where glass and through them Jill could observe a massive command room, hundreds of monitors and workstations mounted on a wall stretching two stories off the ground, dozens of laboratory staff and security milling around. The door to the office was open and guard, civilian dressed in a white lab suit and Claire all stood in conversation.

“We will start the automated launch sequence in five minutes. From there both silos will fire in half an hour. The rest of the staff will disperse to our heartland safe houses and await instruction as this facility is compromised. The command and lead research teams will be taken to their observation posts after launch. Redfield, you will go deep storage and fake your capture if the facility falls then resume your rank in the BSAA and await instruction from your handler.” The civilian figure said, typing something into a handheld device as he gave Claire her instructions. She seemed to shudder as he did and nodded silently, walking off as he turned to the guard.

“Lock the door here and rig this room to blow if they breach, I don’t want Agent Valentine falling back into their hands before she is processed like Redfield. We simply don’t have time with the BSAA strike team already in the facility. Send the last of the BOW’s after them and only retrieve Valentine after the launch understood, protecting the silos is our priority.” He finished, turning to glance at Jill. She glared back at him, but his expression did not change as he turned and left. The guard closed the door and activated the lock, returning to the command center as the groups of people seemed to be packing up, getting ready to evacuate.

Jill took a moment to let everything sink in. Processed? What did that mean? And they had done it already with Claire. Where they simply injecting her P30, no they intended to leave her alone for to long. Some form of virus, but no sign of physical distress of infection. The launch… the silos… where they planning to launch missiles? None of it would matter if Jill was unable to escape. After she was sure she wasn’t being observed, Jill rolled on her back and pulled her wrists under her legs. She clumsily grasped the loose end and tightened them until they were painful, yanked her wrists hard against her core as the band snapped. She ripped the tape from her mouth and wrung her wrists as feeling returned to her hands.

“Deep storage then.” Jill said under her breath. She moved to the door and peered through the glass windows surrounding the office. The command center was all but deserted at this point, just as Jill had heard one of the Tricell officials say. Jill stepped back to the desk and grabbed the desk chair. She hurled the chair through the glass shattering three large panes as she stepped through and quickly hid amongst the command center desks. Fulfilling Jill’s expectation, A guard peered into the room and began to cautiously move to investigate the shattered glass. Jill strafed around the desk as he made it closer, sneaking up behind him as his back was turned. She grabbed his chin and braced her hand against the back of his head and twisted as hard as she could, feeling the guard’s spine twist, strain and snap in her grip. She took a deep breath and shook out her hands before flipping over the corpse and searching him.

“UMP .45, four magazines, no side arm, combat knife. It’ll have to do.” Jill said to herself, grabbing the sub machine gun and equipment. She made her way towards the hallway she had watched Claire head down, picking up her pace as she started passing administrative and logistics offices, following the directory towards deep storage. She found a massive bay door on the side of a large hallway, the sign above indicating deep storage. Jill hit the switch on the far side of the door and the mechanism whined to life, grinding as it lifted, and Jill ducked her way in. Deep storage was a massive warehouse, dimly lit and lined with row upon row of shelves stacked high, like an abandoned hardware store. The shelves where neatly packed with labeled crates and containers from simple wood transport crates to steel containers with medical labels on them. They all made for good cover as Jill made her way through the rows upon rows of shelves, searching for Claire.

Jill continued around the sides of the aisles until she saw a figure in the middle of one outline by a dim running light behind them. She stopped and stared for a moment, recognizing the auburn ponytail in the low light. Claire was seated, with her back up against one of the shelves and her hands above her head. Jill caught a glint of metal on her wrists, handcuffs. Jill doubted they were fully closed, and if the where, she was likely holding a key. Jill slowly tried to make her way towards her, Claire’s head slumped over, clearly trying to act as if she was a prisoner. Jill’s boot scuffed as she shuffled over the ground towards Claire, the small sound echoing around the tall shelves. Claire lazily glanced in Jill’s direction processed what she saw. Her eyes went wide, and she immediately began to fumble with her handcuffs.

“Shit. Shit!” Jill swore as she stood up and ran at Claire as she finished unlocking her cuffs. She had just managed to stand when Jill plowed into her knocking her to the ground.

“Ughhh, Jill I swear I was just playing the role; I was playing along waiting for the right moment!” Claire gasped as Jill placed her knee in the middle of Claire’s back. She grabbed her wrists and held them under her leg, reattaching the cuffs she had just escaped from.

“That’s what I said too, I said anything to get them to believe me in Africa, I don’t know how much of you is in there, but that fucking device will make you say anything!” Jill hissed, feeling heat rise in her face from anger. She was angry at Claire, at the people who did this, she felt a low burning rage towards herself too, she had not been able to prevent Claire’s capture, or any of this. Her vision went blurry as she flipped Claire over onto her back. She drew her knife and swiftly cut up Claire’s shirt but was dumfounded; there was no mind control device attached to her chest. Jill paused for a moment, Claire’s chest rising and falling steadily as she breathed heavy from the struggle, looking confused at Jill now just staring at her.

“So, this is why you and Chris never really became a thing huh? You really… ahh, fuck!” Claire cried out as Jill landed a punch square on Claire’s jaw as she taunted her.

“That’s not you talking, I shouldn’t have done that.” Jill winced realizing her anger was misplaced. She took a closer look at the spot where the device had been planted on her chest, back in Africa. Claire had no such device, but a series of odd markings. Jill grabbed Claire’s bra and pulled it down, staring at the markings and revealing two wounds made in Claire’s chest.

“Alright, I was joking before, but Valentine, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Claire snarled and bucked as Jill continued to examine her wounds. They were small, looking like a needle, an injection. The skin around the wounds was pale, almost a sickly green and the capillaries had broken under the skin, causing odd spots of bruising.

“They infected you, somehow, some sort of agent, could it be…” Jill’s voice trailed off remembering some of the retraining that had piqued her interest; how some Tricell laboratories where attempting to produce a drug or parasite that could turn the human body into a P30 factory without the complex and visible device. Could this be a potential new strain? Had they actually been successful?

“Jill…” Claire spoke in a much different tone, it sounded as if someone was choking her. Jill looked up to see a pained look on Claire’s face, as if she was straining against a tremendous weight. Tears rolled down her face as she looked at her.

“Is that actually you?” Jill said softly, not letting her guard down. She knew what it had been like, to fight against what felt like another person trying to keep you away from the controls of your own body, like fighting to drive a car from the passenger’s seat.

“Emergency antiviral, ugh… in every room!” Claire strained and winced as she delivered the critical information. She held her eyes shut and gritted her teeth for a moment and seemed to fall back under the control of the agent in her system. Jill stared at Claire in melancholy disbelief before fully hearing what she said. She immediately stood up, forcing Claire to her feet.

“Ugh, come on Valentine, you banged my damn head up against the ground and you have me talking nonsense.” Claire grumbled as she was forced forward by Jill, her arms cuffed behind her. Jill threw her up against the wall when they stepped out from the aisles.

“One chance, where is the emergency antiviral.” Jill said pressing her forearm up against Claire’s neck.

“Pff, no such thing, they only recently developed the damn virus…” Claire said before realizing she just gave up the game, essentially admitting she was under the control of it. She immediately tried to deflect. “Shouldn’t you be more worried about the BOW’s loose all over the complex, killing your team, maybe even escaping into the local community?” She smirked.

“Alright, since you’re going to be no help…” Jill said spitefully as she spun Claire around. Before she could offer a quip in retort, covered her mouth and forced her down the aisle back into the main walkway.

“Mpphhm, fchher.” Claire grunted through Jill’s hand still covered in the bandage she had dressed as Jill prodded her forward.

“They have to have a containment kit or something around here for biohazard spills…” Jill thought aloud as she kept her free hand on Claire’s arms as they made their way quickly around the perimeter of the deep storage warehouse. They came across a large, steel box bolted to the wall and closed with a heavy-duty lock. There was a large biohazard symbol on the front with the word “Emergency” beneath. Jill shoved Claire to the floor and fired a short burst from her sub-machine gun into the latch, shattering it. She opened the containment kit and began rifling through its contents. She tossed out a handgun, several first aid kits, a gas mask, a clean room suit until finding a small, refrigerated cabinet holding a vial labeled, “Experimental P30 D ANTIVIRAL. Warning: only effective during first stage of infection (approx. 6 hours). If subject has sustained infection longer, terminate.” Jill breathed a sigh of relief. She found a clean syringe in one of the first aid kits and filled the instructed dosage. She pushed Claire onto her back and shoved the needle into her heart, injecting the antiviral as Claire yelped in pain.

Jill stepped off Claire as she began to react. She was breathing heavy, her eyes closed, as if she was wincing in pain. Jill sat back up against the wall and allowed herself a moment to relax while the medication cleared Claire’s system. The Tricell official had mentioned a launch, referred to Silos. There was a missile attack about to take place and despite the presence of the tactical teams, they might not know to stop it. Jill’s thoughts where interrupted by a soft mewling sound.

 

“I remember reading about what happened to you, that you were somewhat present for the whole thing. I get it now. I’m sorry for everything that I… hfffmm!” Claire grunted as her apology was interrupted by Jill covering Claire’s mouth.

 

“You said you get it, there is nothing more you need to say. Now, I believe we have more work to do?” Jill offered a small smile as she helped Claire sit up. Claire nodded as Jill unlocked the cuffs that she had locked behind her.

“There are two, they talked extensively about them in front of me. One is set to target Baltimore, the other Philadelphia.” Claire said wringing her wrists. She zipped up her leather jacket to cover her torn shirt before standing.

 

“Really? Why those cities when this close to D.C.” Jill said as they made for the exit.

 

“They have a sophisticated research facility here but not a sophisticated weapons system. They are worried it would be shot down by Washington air defenses. They want a direct hit because both are carrying some form of progenitor-based virus.” Claire said as they jogged out of deep storage and into the admin section of the complex. “They left everything in front of me so I should be able to shut down the launch if we can get to the silo’s, once the sequence is started, they can only be shut off from the silo terminals. We’re in for it though, they planned to evacuate the place so most of the facility personnel and guards will be far away.” Claire continued as the ran through the control center, still abandoned.

“Well that should be able to get there easily then, right?” Jill said as they reentered the facility hallways, following the directory to Silo 1.

“Most of their loose BOW’s are likely in the silos, this facility seems to be dedicated to methods of controlling bioweapons from the field; everything from P30 to Nemesis.” Claire delivered morbidly.

“We’ll have to stop and get you a weapon then.” Jill sighed trying to think of where the last guard she had encountered was.

“No time, besides, I grabbed the pistol from containment kit, should suit me fine.” Claire said, patting her jacket pocket as they ran. They reached the double doors to the first silo without resistance, the faint sounds of gunfire echoing down the halls from some far end of the facility.

“I’ll take the lead.” Jill said stepping to the door. She held her weapon ready with one hand as she slowly pushed the door open. She immediately fired a burst as she cracked the door a couple inches and staggered back. “Shit, shit! God damn that was a nasty fucking surprise.” Jill paced nervously as she collected herself.

“What was it?” Claire said running the slide on her handgun as she stepped to the door.

“Web spinner, small black one but I mean, it’s still a three-foot spider just on the door for Christ’s sake.” Jill said kicking the door open. The limp corpse of a giant black spider slid across the ground, its legs curled up under it, it’s body weeping fluid from several large exit wounds.

“I remember them talking about a project to work on the old BOW that Umbrella had deemed non-viable. Seems like they kept it up. The only thing I know is they redesigned them to be incapacitators rather than killers. Obviously so other BOWs could mop up the kills but still, I guess that’s something?” Claire added as she stepped into the room. They made their way through a short hallway that opened up to show a room that looked like a recording studio, but rather than a sound booth there was a window showing the tip of a short-range ballistic missile.

“Alright Claire let’s get to it, I’ll cover you. Shut that damn thing down.” Jill said looking up through the silo to see a glint of open sky. The doors where open, launch was imminent. Claire was already working through the main terminal when Jill heard a steady thudding behind her. Whirling around she saw a small group of web spinners enter the room and she fired. She kept short controlled bursts, killing the first wave easily, dropping almost six of the BOWs before having to reload.

“Quickly Claire, we seem to have drawn some attention.” Jill said, firing two quick shots at another web spinner attempting to enter the room. Four more rushed in and scattered, Jill careful to check her lines of fire as she spun to take on the scurrying bioweapons. She felt something strike her in the back and tried to spin around. One of the spinners had shot a strand of web around her back and was attempting to pull her to the ground her with it. She lifted the submachine gun with one hand and splattered the creature all over the wall as it tried to pass in front of her. She struggled to free her arm as another strand of web struck the back of her thigh. She tried to keep her balance as she felt a coil of web wrap around her legs just above her knees. She spotted another web spinner and shot it as she felt the webbing around her legs tense as the fired a loose spread at the scurrying creatures. Her knees where forced together as another web spinner picked up where the first had left off, wrapping the strand of webbing all the way around Jill, pinning her upper arms to her sides.

“Hurry Claire! I really can’t hold them long without help!” Jill shouted, barely managing to reload again as the webbing around her legs threatened her balance. She fell to her knees as she managed to shoot another approaching web spinner. Webbing wrapped further down her torso, pinning her arms completely as she dropped her weapon. She pulled her knife from her belt and cut some of her way loose, yanking the thread and plunging the blade into the head of the attached spider.

“Finished, onto the nex… Jill!” Claire screamed as she spun around and saw nearly a dozen web spinners swarming Jill, her partner barely able to keep them at bay with only a combat knife.

“Go! Now! The second silo will launch any minute!” Jill yelled as she was yanked back and forth as several web spinners continued to attempt to keep her down despite her furious slashing. Claire steadied her arm and shot the closest one to Jill, then another, making an opening for herself. She quickly ran forward, grabbing Jill’s sub machine gun and firing at the remaining web spinners. They attempted to scatter again, abandoning Jill as Claire picked them off. Claire shot the last of the fleeing web spinners and turned back to Jill.

“There was no way in hell I was going to leave you here like that. You didn’t leave me.” Claire said almost angrily at first before pausing and softly acknowledging how much Jill had done to rescue her. Claire knelt to help pull the remains of the spiders and their web off her partner. As soon as Jill’s hands where free, she put her hand on the back of Claire’s head; looking her in the eye.

“Thank you.” She said looking Claire in the eye with a solemn smile. “Now let’s go shut down the other…” Jill stated as a tremendous shaking and roar filled the control room. They ran to the window overlooking the silo to see the missile still stationary. The room quaked and the glass shook in the frame as the glanced through the silo doors. They saw a streaming cloud with a brilliant orange light leading it. There was a loud bout of gunfire from just outside the room as three soldiers kicked open the door. To Jill’s relief they had visible BSAA colors and patches on.

“Agent Valentine! Lieutenant Fallon, team Oscar Twelve lead. I just heard from topside that a ballistic missile was just launched from this facility, do you have any idea what the target was? Command is screaming in my ear.” The lead soldier stepped up; his voice somewhat distorted as it was filtered through his sealed helmet speaker.

“Either Philadelphia or Baltimore, we don’t know which from here.” Claire spoke up.

“Target of two possible, Philadelphia or Baltimore. Understood. Acknowledged, heading topside. Alright ma’am we’re heading topside, dust off all forces in ten minutes!” The Lieutenant said motioning for Claire and Jill to follow them. They ran out into the corridor and towards the entrance.

“Local PD is evacuating the area and as soon as we’re gone the US Air force is taking over, they’re coming in with a few B52’s to blow this whole place apart. The whole east coast is panicking with a ballistic missile in the air and everyone is being called back to headquarters for redeployment as soon as it lands.” The lieutenant filled in the pair as they sprinted through the halls, seeing carnage the team had left behind it; dozens of Tricell guards dead on the floor and several BOW corpses smoldering or riddled with holes. They made their way out of the main entrance into the parking lot with several dual-rotored helicopters spinning with the rear doors open, BSAA operatives packing up equipment and boarding the aircraft.

 

Jill and Claire boarded the nearest one as the hydraulics of the steel door whined, closing it behind them as the engines roared and the aircraft lifted off. The ride back was near silent, the strike team offering Claire and Jill MRE’s and water, the team medic looking over the pair, tending to Jill’s gunshot wound in her shoulder. There was a low boom from behind them as they looked through the small windows onboard. Several blooms of fire and smoke erupted from the Tricell site as USAF bombs began to land.

 

Jill stood silently over her desk, everything at a standstill as the whol of the special operations branch was on standby. The BSAA was preparing to mobilize it's full headquarter's force as the US military and national guard began evacuating both Philadelphia and Baltimore. Millions of people lay in the potential path of the missile and even with the enourmous response Jill knew they wouldn't get everyone out in time.

She had an opportunity to change into her BSAA field uniform but no time to shower, running water through bloods smattered hair had to do. She stood awaiting the word from Roland, all special agents would be sent to ground zero with different objectives, Jill and Claire amongst them. Rebecca had insisted on inspecting Claire given the potential risk to the substance she was injected with. She had cleared Claire after finding only a few instances of the virus left in her system, the emergency kit Jill had used on her helping her system target and fight the infection. Rebecca told her that it was the only reason Claire was stable and under normal circumstances she would keep her under observation for a few days, but with a ballistic missile in the air it would have to wait. Jill's thoughts where interupted by a knock at her office door.

"Come in, It's just me in here." Jill called out

Claire stepped into Jill’s office and quietly approached her.

“I heard what you told Roland in your spoken report. That almost immediately after we disabled the first missile, the second one launched. I still think if I hadn't stopped to help you I could have stopped the second launch. That and the things I said to you, the way my brain came up with the sharpest barbs I could throw.” Claire said softly as Jill turned to face her. She was crying.

“Claire, you did what I did for you, and what I probably would have done. There was no way to know when they would launch and you stopped one, you effectively cut all potential casualties in half, single handedly.” Jill said softly as Claire wrung her hands, brushing tears from her eyes. “And we’re going to save more as soon as we get the word. You have done something incredible while still recovering from being infected with a biological weapon that affected your cognitive functions, you shouldn’t question your actions, you should be proud of them, I am proud of them.” Jill said offering a tentative smile. Claire only seemed to lose her composure more, fresh tears filling her eyes as she flung herself at Jill, wrapping her arms around her partner. Jill steadied herself and reciprocated. Claire sobbed quietly into Jill’s shoulder for a moment before pulling back, not letting go of Jill.

“Thank you, Jill, I…” Her voice trailed off as Jill placed her hand on Claire’s cheek, Claire softly leaning into her touch, smiling at her. Jill stared into her eyes as Claire gently looking back at her.

“Don’t say anything more, I’m just happy you’re ok. We’re going to help fix this, we’re going to make sure that whatever they did to you will never happen again.” Jill said brushing a lingering tear from Claire’s cheek. Claire nodded silently as she lay her head on Jill's shoulder, taking in the juxtiposition of how dire the situation was, how dangerous containing an outbreak in a major city would be and how safe she felt in this moment.

“Jill, Claire, the missile’s target has been confirmed.” The stern voice of Chris came from the door, his face covered with an expression of dread.

“Where are you Harper?” Hunnigan’s voice came through Helena’s earpiece as she made her way up the staircase of the Comcast Center in Central Philadelphia.

“Making my way to the nest I’ve spent a week setting up for Mathews. Window is open and his private helicopter just got instructions to spin up, this is our golden moment for him.” Helena responded lugging the heavy suitcase containing her rifle with her as she jogged up another flight.

“The game has changed Helena, there was a ballistic missile launched from a site in western Maryland targeting Philadelphia with a bioweapons payload of unknown constitution. After this intelligence hit our radar, we picked up a tail on Wong. She’s in the city and believe her presence and the imminent attack are no coincidence. All evidence points to her attempting to either complete her transaction during the chaos of the weapon dispersal or an attempt to take out rival belligerent entities. This is our best lead on her so prioritize Wong.” Hunnigan spoke hurriedly as Helena reached her floor and entered into an empty office suite.

“Understood, with any luck she’ll be heading for our friend from the ‘Connections’, given the mystery around what she’s actually holding, I doubt Ada would be able to resist.” Helena responded as she spotted a window with a single pane of glass removed. She set the suitcase down and began to assemble her rifle; a helicopter’s rotors spinning on the roof helipad of a building one block to the south.

Chapter Text

Ada confidently strode through the marble and glass lobby of One Liberty Place, making her way to the elevators and scanning a keycard she had made for the occasion. She unzipped her coat as the elevator lurched upwards; checking the twin handguns she had slung underneath her shoulders. She replaced them as the number on the car’s display winked closer to her floor. The elevator doors slid open into a nearly empty office floor as she turned right and proceeded down a well lit tile hallway. She drew one of the pistols and casually began to screw a suppressor over the barrel as she neared the far end of the hall, turning into a windowed reception area manned by a single guard. He glanced with surprise at Ada’s appearance as she swiftly shot him several times before her could react. The guard crumpling up against the wall as Ada didn’t change her pace, shooting him again in the head as she passed him and entered a massive office. There was no placard or labels anywhere on this floor, yet Ada knew this was once used by the former Secretary of Defense Derek Simmons to conduct business with the “Family”.

“Let’s see what you thought you had hidden.” Ada said to herself as she strode over to a computer set up on a large wood desk. She pulled a thumb drive from a pewter necklace she wore and inserted it into the desktop. She ran through the security locking down the computer and began copying the contents of the computer’s hard drive to an external address she had set up. The program steadily began running as Ada paced back around the office, massive floor to ceiling windows on the far side giving her a clear view of Philadelphia’s skyline. She glanced as series of large bookshelves lining the interior wall, making her way to them and plucking one of the shelves. It was some simple tome on the evolution of defense department doctrine in the twenty-first century. She replaced it and felt it thud against the back of the bookshelf, the wood echoing slightly. Ada withdrew the book and stared at the back of the shelf inquisitively. She swept the shelf clear, books clattering to the ground as she found a small indent at the end of the shelf. She slid her pointer finger in and pulled, sliding a false back to the shelf revealing a deeper unit loaded with files. Ada smirked as she plucked several from the shelf brought them back to the desk, the cloning program only a few percentage points through its task. She flipped through the file seeming to be nothing more than a basic incident report related to the C-Virus’ development until Ada caught a conspicuous mention.

“The Connections competitor in the region has become bold, hosting one of its newly developed E-types in hospitals throughout the region posing as a child with metastatic lung cancer. Clever ploy really, we assume one of the nurses is the handler. After current operations are completed, we can divert resources to obtaining the weapon. We have however already located their field headquarters for their E-type security operation and that is in a small laboratory built underneath the Queen Lane reservoir.” The report read.
“Better than what I was hoping from you Simmons, guess I’m going swimming.” She commented softly to herself before raising her wristwatch to her mouth. “Zip it up, I got the lead we’re looking for and moving on.” She snapped to no reply, the computer clone rapidly accelerating as the program moved to compress and transmit all files rather than directly copy them. She waited for the process to complete, pulled the drive and made her way back towards the lobby. She removed the suppressor from her pistol and replaced the weapon in its holster as the elevator delivered her to the ground floor again. She stepped out onto the street and looked for the Queen Lane Water Treatment Plant on her phone. The directions pulled up on the screen she made her way to her black F-type coupe. She pulled out onto the main road, heading slowly through traffic as two police cars came racing in the opposite direction with their lights on. Ada paid them little mind as she headed farther out of the city center, traffic slowly lightening up as the last of rush hour began to retreat from the massive town. Three more squad cars came racing in by escorting a SWAT van. Ada glanced in her rear-view mirror as they sped past, wondering if they had spotted her intrusion this quickly.

“Will make things interesting if they’re really this close on my tail.” She smirked to herself as another squad car came screaming by escorting three large military trucks and an ambulance behind it.

“Now that’s a little odd.” Ada frowned as she watched them go by at nearly highway speeds withing the city. Her phone began to buzz incessantly, the emergency alert icon popping up in her message bar. “Bit of an overreaction unless we have a hell of a storm forecast.” She added ignoring the device. Before she could make her next turn, she noticed a roadblock being set up on one of the main streets, National Guard troops in their CBRN gear standing next to armored vehicles as they began redirecting traffic. Ada wondered if Simmons’ old office had some form of biological security mechanism, she may have tripped on her way out when it clicked.

“Shit Leon I hope you made sure someone went out there before you went and put the whole city on alert.” She growled as she hit the throttle, doubting police would care to chase one reckless driver as they prepared for a biological attack. Ada heard a low roar reverberate through the high-rise section of the city as she sped in and out of traffic, trying to escape the city before the panic set in. The roar rose in pitch to the eerie and unmistakable sound of an emergency siren.

“Bet they’ve had that damn thing since the cold war.” Ada said to herself as people began stopping on the street, looking around in nervous confusion as the disquieting rise and fall of the siren began to wail throughout the city. Her windows rattled as three military helicopters flew low over the city. Ada witness the first accident of the panic, a sedan pulling out into a red light and violently getting t-boned by oncoming traffic. She weaved in and out of the confused and panicking drivers as she made her way to the outer edge of the city speeding towards her objective, the message on her phone repeating.

“Warning! A ballistic missile carrying a biohazard payload is targeting the city of Philadelphia. All residents will be receiving evacuation instructions as local police, national guard troops and US Army assets move in to facilitate a safe and orderly evacuation. If you are unable to evacuate for lack of transport or medical conditions, shelter in place, all radio frequencies will be broadcasting emergency information, wear respirators if you have access. If you come in contact with a person infected with a bioweapon agent, avoid at all cost and move to safe space where you can contact authorities for assistance.”

Helena forced a long breath out as she slowly focused the scope of her rifle on the rooftop across the street. The executive helicopter’s rotors where spinning as a small crew milled about, preparing for takeoff. She watched the roof access door closely, the door opening as several men in suits began making their way to the awaiting aircraft. Helena found her mark amongst the group and began to zero in on him.

“No more attacks from you Mathews.” She thought to herself as she began to squeeze the trigger. There was a sudden loud buzzing from her pocket as she instinctively eased off the weapon at the sudden disturbance. “Fuck, terrible timing.” Helena swore as she heard the whirring cry of a warning siren spin up and reverberate off the tall buildings. She looked back through her scope as the rising and falling tone began its menacing tattoo. She searched for Mathews only to see the last two men in suits boarding the helicopter. She swore again and focused her sight on the rotor mechanism itself. The aircraft began to lift off as Helena’s rifle recoiled, the massive bolt cycling and tossing her back an inch in her seated position as the Lapua round rocketed toward the helicopter. It ripped through the mechanism and the rotors began to spin wildly as the helicopter listed off the roof. It struggled to stay airborne as it careened around other skyscrapers. Helena lost sight of it as it pulled a hard turn, smoke not billowing from its failing engine. A few seconds later she heard a loud crash.

“Less than ideal, Hunnigan, the panic has started to set in and one target is down.” Helena called in as she began to pack up the rifle.

“We don’t have footage confirming the kill Agent Harper, are you certain?” Hunnigan came back in a stern manner.

“I put a round through their bird and it just crashed after falling from one of the tallest buildings in the city.” Helena responded, slipping on a pair of gloves to handle the still hot rifle.

“Not good enough Helena, Mathews is still a very high risk, we need confirmation. Proceed to the crash sight and find his corpse or make it.” Hunnigan returned as Helena sighed, bolting the suitcase closed.

“Understood, heading there now. Any updates on Wong?” Helena called back in as she began to head back down the stairs of the building.

“Not yet, we have tracked her to the city though, far to convenient to be a coincidence. With any luck we’ll be able to clear the board and give you to local D.O.S. when they begin responding the attack.” Hunnigan called back.

“Understood, sat nav have anything on that helicopter crash?” Helena called back, jogging down the staircase as fast as the cumbersome suitcase would allow.

“The whole system is going crazy right now, BSAA and US Army assets are flooding the space trying to set up an active battle net. We aren’t going to be able to give you consistent coverage, but it looks like the bird went down somewhere on Market Street, west of your position.” Hunnigan answered as Helena reached street level, exiting a fire door into a empty alley save for her grey Yukon. She slid the rifle case into the back, pulling navigation up on her center console as she drove off towards Market Street.

The exhaust pipe screamed out of tune with the sirens now going off around the city as Ada soared down the highway next to the Schuylkill River. The city was starting to fall apart, lines of cars trying to escape the urban center as Ada sped down the empty end of the highway. The air traffic had started to pick up as multiple waves of military helicopters began setting up evacuation zones, ferrying civilians out to ease the strain on the city’s roadways. The only vehicles sharing her side of the road where convoys of National Guard troops mobilizing to respond to the immanent attack. Ada tore back into East Falls in North Philadelphia and roared into the Queen Lane Water Treatment Plant parking lot. It was abandoned, the staff evacuating and leaving the system on standby. Ada stepped out of her car and smelled the pungent aroma of burning chemicals and plastics. An overturned car lay just down the street engulfed in flames as local volunteer firefighters scrambled to hook up their hoses, onlookers seemingly transfixed as they tried to move past to continue their evacuation. Ada shook her head as she headed towards the reservoir.

“Different city, same reaction. Focusing on the small time when this whole place is about to go up.” Ada said to herself in a dismissive, jaded manner. She stepped up to the service walk over the reservoir and pulled a small device from her jacket, a sonar visualizer. She initiated the view screen on her watch and turned on the device, slowly drawing it across the water’s surface. The device showed her a clear view of the bottom of the concrete structure, revealing a conspicuous hatch at the bottom about twelve feet from where Ada Stood. She took off her jacket and set the device down. She took off her heels, removed her grey sweater in favor for the black undershirt she had underneath and dove into the water. She quickly made for the hatch, twisting it open and slowly easing herself in. She found a small panel built into the wall of the small chamber. It read “Air Lock System: Seal to initiate”. Ada lowered the hatch and felt the mechanism tighten as the water level began to drop. She inhaled deeply as the water was drained through the floor and a steel door opened up in front of her. She examined the doorframe for traps or motion sensors before stepping into what looked like a barracks-office suite. There where several bunk beds up against the far wall, a small room with a shower and toilet in the corner and several computers and what looked like a field communication set up on the other side of the room. She stepped over to the desks and began to look through the loose papers left behind. Check in schedules, personal records, requisition forms for more resources from the “Connections” regional control.

“Hmm, nothing on E, was Simmons off or where they playing him?” Ada thought to herself as she ran her hands through her still-wet hair. She slid the drawer to one desk open to find what looked like a car’s key fob. It had a single button which Ada inquisitively pressed. The far wall cracked and slid back revealing a sealed door with a biohazard symbol emblazoned on the front. Ada smirked as she set the fob down.

“Always with their fancy doors, even the mystical ‘Connections’.” Ada mused as she made her way to the door. She pulled a small shaped charge on the bolt of the door and stepped back around the corner. She opened her phone and linked to the charge, the room thudding with the overpressure wave of the blast, the door swinging open as Ada strode into the room amidst the swirling cloud of dust.

“Status Harper.” Hunnigan came through Helena’s ear as she tried to weave in out of the chaotic city traffic. A multicar pile up near one of the National Guard checkpoints was playing havoc with the evacuation from the city center. People where abandoning their cars in the road as crowds began to take off on foot. A police officer was shouting through a squad car’s speaker how the nearest evacuation zone was south in Rittenhouse Square, Army Helicopters pulling people out of the city every few minutes. Helena lay on her horn as she mounted the curb and sped around the roadblock, a column of smoke raising up south west of her as she sped towards Market Street. She whirled around a corner, dodging panicked drivers desperately trying to avoid the throngs of fleeing citizens as she saw the burning wreck of the helicopter in the middle of the street, surrounded by fire trucks and an ambulance. She pulled up and stepped out of her SUV as a uniformed police officer approached her.

“Ma’am I know things are a mess, but you can’t make your way down this road, please go to the nearest evacuation zone.” He said approaching her with one hand raised and the other on his belt. Helena silently raise her CIA credentials.

“Harper, I have an interest in the passengers aboard this aircraft, where are the bodies?” She said flatly as the officer’s face went white.
“Spooks? Are these guys the fuckers responsible for this mess?” The cop begged quietly as he glanced at the ambulance.

“Focus on your job, officer. Survivors?” Helena dismissed as she made her way slowly to the ambulance as they loaded a stretcher into the back.

“Yeah just one, badly injured but EMTs say he’ll pull through if they can get him a bed despite this whole mess. Name was something Mathews.” The officer answered as the rushing sound of firehoses drowned out the conversation. Helena frowned as she approached the two medics stabilizing him in the back of the ambulance. She showed her badge and motioned for the EMTs to exit the ambulance. One seemed to protest as the other waved them off.

“He’s the agency’s charge now, thank you for stabilizing him.” Helena said to the reluctant EMT. She closed the doors behind her and looked at the injured Mathews with disdain. He was barely conscious, and his face badly burned.

“Hardly fair, it feels more like mercy you vile monster.” Helena muttered as she plucked a vial of morphine from the ambulance’s drug lockup. She filled a syringe with a lethal dose and injected Mathew’s through the vein in his arm. His breathing began to come through labored gasps as he went white, sputtering into his respirator for a few moments before flatlining.

“This is Harper, Mathews has been eliminated, heading to second target.” Harper said stepping out of the ambulance and heading back to her car, following her route east to Will’s Eye Hospital.

“So, they did pull it off…” Ada gasped as she found herself in a lab centered around an empty containment room and a specimen cylinder on the far side holding the desiccated corpse of what looked like a young girl. Ada approached it with an expression of intrigue and shock.

“D-series, if this is simply here then they must have…” Ada thought aloud as she ran to a computer in the corner of the lab. She inserted her thumb drive and after several minutes of attempts, broke into the terminal. She searched through a variety of lab reports on the progress of “Project Evangeline”, references to a natural approach to creating an E-type and a mention of Will’s Eye Hospital in the city. Ada stared intently as she copied several choice files over to her drive before yanking it and drawing her weapon, shooting the computer. She walked back over to the D-series held suspended in storage and looked into the chilled cabinet below it. She gasped at a large case of pressure injection vials labeled “Synthesized From D-Type; E-Type infection purge agent”. Ada searched the lab for a sample transport container and upon finding once, checked the refrigeration unit and began loading it the case with the E-type cures. She walked over to the lab emergency outbreak kit, opening the cabinet and tossing gas masks and packaged clean room suits to the floor until she found the purge controls.

“Good thing some things haven’t changed for dirty pharma.” Ada muttered setting a five-minute purge timer on the lab’s self-destruct system. She ran to the exit, cycled the airlock and swam back up to the service platform of the reservoir. She collected her jacket and put her heels back on as she made her way back to her car. There was a sharp thud as a geyser of water erupted from the artificial lake. Ada stopped short approaching her car.

“So, are you going to tell me what you’re doing here?” Leon asked sitting on green footlocker sat next to Ada’s car; a black D.O.S. SUV pulled up behind it.

“Felt like going for a swim, no one’s around and it felt like the right time.” Ada tossed back casually as she began to return to her car despite Leon’s presence. “Now your turn.”

“D.O.S. has sent me to seek out and destroy Tricell observation posts that they may use to try and experiment with different weapons during the outbreak. Figured you’d lead me to at least one, y’know Jaguar has geo-tags and all.” Leon quipped with a smirk. Ada couldn’t help but smile as she approached him. He didn’t move, his arms folded as she ran her hand over his cheek as he looked up her. Ada inhaled deeply before holding out the case of E-Type cures.

“I meant what I said. These could make me a lot, but they will also save your people who are about to be in very, very deep. Get them to the BSAA, they’ll actually use them.” Ada said with a pained expression on her face.

“And they are?” Leon said taking the case from her with a confused expression.

“Cures for the Dulvey Incident weapon.” Ada said cryptically as a loud splash came from behind them. Both glanced at the reservoir to see a massive plant structure with swinging branches and a large bud the size of a tree broke the surface of the water and slowly grow out over the surface of the water.

“Hmm, so there actually was a post down there. That’s why I brought my own explosives, you can’t always trust their lab purges Ada, they sometimes will leave a nasty present behind for anyone that tries to take them out so the members of a cell can run.” Leon lectured with a pleased smile.

“I want to believe you mean what you say Ada, but you need to give up on this weapon you’re tracking, get out now.” Leon begged as Ada turned back towards him.

“Doing right doesn’t always mean it’s ‘your’ right.” Ada hissed as she glared at him. “Check the self-righteousness Leon, it doesn’t suit you.” She said stepping past him towards the driver’s door of her car. She stopped seeing Leon’s knife planted into the wall of her front tire. She turned glowering at him.

“Role reversal can be tough I know but you’ve made a mess here and I have more this city is going to need from me. I want to believe you Ada, but you’re going to need to prove it to me.” Leon returned walking over to Ada and pulling his knife from her tire, the air rushing out as it deflated. “Come with me, we can do good here, you’ve already tried.” Leon said softly getting closer to Ada.

“Still a newbie who can’t see past his nose. There is more going on here Leon, more players than you know and far more at stake. I’m doing the right thing, I’m trying. Don’t stand in my way, of all times.” Ada faltered as she avoided Leon’s eyes.

“If that is how it has to be. I have work to do Ada.” Leon took a deep breath in disappointment before he spoke. “That crate is full of plastic explosives, clean up your mess here Ada, show me you mean what you say.” Leon said returning to his SUV. Before speeding off. Ada watched him go, her eyes welling as she replayed his words in her head.

“You want proof, fine.” She said with spite dripping from her voice as she clicked open the crate and looked on at the t-virus plant taking over the reservoir.

Chapter Text

Jill and Claire followed closely behind Chris as they made their way to the operations room, a dire quiet falling over the entire S.O.A. branch. Everyone remembered Raccoon City, there had been incidents since but none as thoroughly devastating. They filed into the operations room, standing tightly together, the space not designed to brief the entire S.O.A. staff at once. Director Roland stood at the head of group with Director Agnete as they waited for everyone to file into the room.

 

“We’ve had one stroke of luck in the past hour, the missile and targeting technology used by this TRICELL splinter group is simple and slow. NORAD has just informed me we are still thirty minutes to impact; the target is Philadelphia. That’s thirty minutes worth of civilians evacuated, thirty minutes more for us to arrive. Primary wave agents report to the airfield, you have awaiting transport. Secondary wave agents you will be travelling in convoy, report to the motor pool. You will receive your individual mission assignments while enroute. Wave designations transmitting now, dismissed.” Roland boomed with a stern, matter-of-fact tone before turning back towards the rest of his senior staff. Jill looked down at her phone, the secure message coming through- Agent Valentine, Jill: Designation, Primary Wave. She looked at Chris who offered a nod, then at Claire who offered a tentative smile, holding up her phone to show she was also primary wave.

“So, we’ll all share an Osprey?” Claire offered as agents began to file out of the room. Chris cracked a smile as they took off towards the small airfield kept on the headquarters’ grounds. The trio was greeted by a cacophony of rotor baffle as they ran out of the building towards the airfield. Dozens of Osprey’s and other helicopters engines on and rotors spinning as ground crews where loading small arms and other mission equipment on the aircraft. They ran to the nearest Osprey, its hold filled with supplies and a BSAA tactical team. The lead nodded in silent acknowledgment of the S.O.A. agents joining them, the rear door beginning to close as Jill was handed a headset. She belted the pack to her hip and set the receiver in her ear. She switched it to the local setting and the pilots voice came alive in her ear.

“Auxiliary Tower this is Zulu-mike-niner-fife loaded for bear and dusting off.” He spoke as the whine of engines pitched up, the craft starting to lift into the air. They picked up forward speed as the rotors turned to cruising position. Jill wandered to the front of the cabin, gazing through the cockpit windshield. The co-pilot glanced up at her briefly as she stared into the gray sky.

“Didn’t realize we had special cargo Agent Valentine, welcome aboard.” The co-pilot laughed, trying to break the tension of the cabin.

“You have a lot more than me aboard, both Redfield’s are back there.” Jill smiled and tossed back, relieved to have the small distraction from the immanent disaster.

“Damn, probably the most important flight of the day then.” The co-pilot laughed back as Jill’s phone began to buzz. She saw the incoming secure message and plugged her headset into the phone, answering the message.

“Director Roland, we are getting our directives from the top then?” Jill spoke with some surprise as the director’s face appeared on her screen.

“Good to see you’re already on your way. Agent Redfield is also on the line since you two both have critical roles in this operation.” Roland spoke quickly with the same stern look on his face. Jill looked over to see Chris similarly hooked into and looking at his phone.

“Actually, he’s about ten feet away from me.” She said as Chris flashed her a brief smile.

“Good, you’ll both arrive relatively soon then. You two are going to take command of the southern sector of the operation. Chris you will be taking charge of operation Terminal on the south west side of the city. Your main objective will be to secure Philadelphia international. Jill you will oversee operation South Paw on the south east part of the city, across the Delaware river. Your main objective will be to secure or destroy all bridges leading across to cut off the city. The US army will be mobilizing to the north starting at highway two-seventy-six and moving south slowly building a series of quarantine walls. We have doctrine for this kind of incident now, we will first quarantine then cleanse the city while also gathering as much data as we can to possibly help counter the virus. You may receive additional objectives as the situation develops. Each of your operations will have a coalition task force made up of our own strike teams as well as brigades from the US Army First Armored Division. These soldiers have trained as part of this initiative so you can trust them to effectively work within our structure and at your directive. The Pennsylvania National Guard is already in the city evacuating civilians and we have dedicated several of our own operations to that end. The US Airforce is already flying sorties over the city as well as helping with the evacuation. Unfortunately, we know that it will be impossible to get everyone out before the missile strike, which should be immanent. Each of you will be treated as sector sheriffs and have access to US Military and BSAA assets, use them. Are there any questions?” Roland finished as Jill stared intently at her screen.

“Director, Claire Redfield is also onboard our craft, do you know of her assignment so we may plot an appropriate flight path?” Jill spoke up.

“I believe she is being sent on an insertion to shut down some critical infrastructure that could slow down the viral spread. Several agents are being assigned to those task, Ms. Redfield will receive that information within the half hour. Good luck.” Roland finished as the call winked out. Jill looked at Claire with an uneasy smile.

“So, it looks like I’m playing Colonel while you get to play civil engineer.” Jill said stepping over to Claire.

“Even after I carried you through the joint FTX? Hardly seems fair, but I can see you better in the uniform.” Claire laughed back. “So, I imagine it would make the most sense to drop with Chris, just got my specifics in, north west main water treatment center, they want me to shut it down.” Claire said waving her phone as she spoke.

“Sounds good, we should be able to put you there relatively quickly after we set up our first CP.” Chris jumped in as he too looked through the orders that had come through on his device.

“Attention all units, this is Raptor, over the course of this operation I will be serving as the joint voice of BSAA Director Roland and Major General Briggs. There are 4 sectors that have been established over the city, your sector sheriffs are Colonel Hill in the North East Sector, Agent Valentine in the South East Sector, Agent Redfield in the South West Sector and Colonel Jewel in the North West Sector. Good luck to you all.” The familiar voice of the BSAA dispatcher came through clearly into Jill’s earpiece.

“Agents Redfield will be the first stop at their staging ground east of the airport. From there we will be taking Agent Valentine to her unit.” The pilot came over the local radio as a stern silence fell over the cabin. “ETA 10 minutes.”

They remained silent as they continued their approach. The Osprey began to slow as the rotors tilted up. They started to descend as Jill looked through the windshield over the pilot’s shoulder. A field post was being rapidly set up by US Army and BSAA personnel, several uniformed individuals standing near the landing sight appearing to be waiting on the aircraft. The Osprey touched down as Jill stared at the skyline in the distance. The orange-pink evening sky was marked by civilian and police aircraft facilitating the evacuation, lines of cars making their way out of the city across the major highways. The sky was suddenly shattered by a large explosion several hundred feet above the skyline. It seemed to give way to a large, expanding cloud which began to sink into the city.

“All units be advised, the missile has landed, ground zero near city hall in the south east sector.” Raptors voice calmly informed as Jill just stared at the expanding cloud of the viral delivery agent.

“I think this might be worse than Raccoon City.” She said solemnly to herself.

“Jill?” Claire’s voice called from the back of the cabin. The rear door had opened and Chris and the BSAA tactical team had already ran off to meet their welcoming party. Jill walked over to Claire and placed her hand on her shoulder. Claire avoided looking Jill in the eye, brushing tears from her cheek. Her voice faltering as she tried to arrange her thoughts.

“I could have stopped this.” She said just loud enough for Jill to hear.

“You can’t blame yourself; I understand second guessing yourself when something catastrophic happens. I did the same during Raccoon City. I couldn’t get it out of my head that if I had done something different at the mansion, had I known Wesker would have survived. None of those things where in my control, I did what could and that still saved lives. You prevented one attack, anything that happens out there could have been twice as terrible had you not acted the way you did.” Jill said trying to soothe as Claire still struggled with the guilt of saving Jill rather than leave to attempt to shut down the second missile silo, the one containing the warhead that just detonated of Philadelphia.

Claire threw her arms around Jill and held her tight. Jill was taken a little off guard but returned her embrace as Claire rested her head next to hers.

“Make sure you come back; I need you.” Claire said in a soft whisper before releasing Jill and running off to join her brother. Jill watched her silently as the rear door lifted and closed. The Osprey roared as it took off heading towards the South East Sector’s staging ground.

“I need you too.” Jill said softly to herself.

Claire watched as the aircraft lifted off, rotors turning as is sped off to Jill’s sector. She walked over to join her brother as he was greeted.

“Claire, the army gave us some assets from the First Armored and we have a basic perimeter around the airport at the moment. This is Major Fields and Master Sergeant Raltier.” Chris said, nodding to the two US Army soldiers standing in front of them. “Since we have our primary objective secure thanks to the National Guard deploying so quickly, I’m going to dedicate all assets in this area to deploying the rest of the BSAA field agents and assisting the evacuation. We should have a bird ready for you in moments, I’m assigning strike team Iliad to you as your infiltration team, they’re the ones we flew in with.” Chris said gesturing to the eight-man team standing by beside him.

“Sounds good, briefing has me starting at the Queen Lane Pumping Station in East Falls. Just got to turn off the faucet, right? You won’t be worrying too much to be in command, right?” Claire teased as she gave her brother an affirming smile.

“I know you can handle yourself Claire, just no theatrics please. Have you chosen a call sign yet?” Chris offered a soft smile as he stepped away from the soldiers to speak quietly to his sister.

“Yeah, took a page out of Jill’s book; I’m going with Cerulean.” Claire said with a hint of pride. “I’ll be ok, between you and Jill I’ve learned enough and have plenty of reasons to make sure I come back.” Claire added, addressing her brother’s concern with a more serious tone. Chris smiled at her and put his hand on her shoulder.

“You make me proud you know.” His voice was quickly overtaken by the loud baffle of rotors as a BSAA marked Black Hawk flew low overhead and began to set down near to where they stood. “Your ride is here. They’ll have weapons and mission equipment for you onboard.” Chis added as strike team Iliad began boarding the helicopter; loading a couple a of crates into as the lead motioned for Claire to join them.

“We’re ready when you are Agent Redfield.” The team lead shouted over the roar of the engine.

“You should get going, I promise there will be more to do after you take care of the pumping station. Be careful kid.” Chris said smiling as he turned back to the US Army soldiers and began walking towards a waiting train of vehicles. Claire smiled at her brother and ran off to join her own team.

“Long time no see Agent Redfield, Captain Emmerson Ryker at your service. We were able to requisition a bit of a selection for you.” Iliad lead said with a smile as he closed the door to the helicopter behind Claire as the craft lurched upwards.

“Good, I left all my nice jewelry at home.” Claire responded laughing at her own sarcasm. She knelt down and popped open the BSAA supply crate. “Oh, very nice, you shouldn’t have.” Claire teased as she looked over a series of weapons and BSAA field equipment.

“Figured since they’d be sending you into the water works of an infected city, you’d want everything rated for wet ops, even got a climate-controlled battle suit for you ma’am.” Captain Ryker spoke up kneeling next to Claire and pointing to different pieces of equipment.

 

“South Paw Command, this is Sierra-Seven-Four fixed wing on station. I have eyes on multiple virals making their way east across highway seven-six and six-seven-six, please advise.” The voice of a USAF pilot came crackling across Jill’s headset as she desperately skimmed her briefing. It was all happening at a breakneck pace with no time for her to even know where her command post was being set up.

“Acknowledged Sierra-Seven-Four, standby.” Jill called back. She switched her radio back over to the cockpit’s channel, “Get me in contact with anyone on the ground, they have to have started setting up a staging area by now.” Jill called to the pilot as she looked at the satellite photos to find out exactly where she was.

“Let’s see if anyone is out there; this is Zulu-Mike-Niner-Fife carrying South Paw Lead, we are inbound to North Camden and looking for somewhere to land.” The pilot returned before making his call.
“This is Needle-Six-One, BSAA recon team on sight of South Paw CP, we hear you Zulu-Mike-Niner-Fife. We are set up on a car dealership off Federal Street. Follow signals down, we’re happy to have you here.” A voice called back after a moment.

“Needle-Six-One this is South Paw Lead, do any of your men have eyes on the Walt Whitman or Ben Franklin Bridge?” Jill quickly interjected looking down at her map of the city.

“Yes, South Paw, Ben Franklin is slowly getting overrun by infected and the Whitman seems to be mostly clear except for a few car fires, civilians still evacuating.”

“Acknowledged Needle-Six-One, you have JTAC on sight?”

“Affirmative South Paw. Eyes on Ben Franklin now. We have been attempting to coordinate with local PD as there is a group of survivors at the Police Headquarters south west of Franklin Square.”

“Understood, Needle-Six-One be advised we have fixed wing in sector, I want that bridge cleared by the time I land. Patch me through on the call, I got JTAC certified a couple ago and could use an example up from a pro.”

“Yes Ma’am, Needle-Six-one out.”

“Ok, let’s get down there so I can gear up and start working through this mess.” Jill said to herself as she stared back down at her briefing as it came in, still updating as information was coming in from all the forces added to the fight. They circled over the area of North Camden as the Osprey slowly began to settle down, several soldiers on the ground guiding it into place. The rear gate dropped, and Jill ran out, met by two BSAA tactical team members.

“Good to see you Agent Valentine, we’ve set up our field headquarters in the dealership over there, I’m Marshal Geirg and this is Captain Ylliam. We only have recon and tactical teams on station at the moment, the army is sending us part of the 1st Armored to help keep the infected at bay.” The BSAA operatives spoke as they all jogged together at a brisk pace as the Osprey took back off.

Claire strapped a P226 handgun to her thigh, standing as she checked the straps of her chest harness. It held a combat knife, radio, ammunition and survival kit. Iliad team helped her attach the rest of her gear, helping secure a backpack loaded with a full wrench set, portable plasma cutter and several shaped charges. She was getting a feel for the suit as the climate system kicked in, forming a seal as she slid a air filtered helmet over her head.

“Hearing me ok?” Claire asked Captain Reyker as she tested her helmet radio.

“Loud and clear agent Redfield. Everything feel ok?” He said patting her backpack as he finished tightening the straps for her. He handed her a semi-auto tactical shotgun as Claire bent her knees, mentally preparing for the mission.

“Ah, thanks. God, I love the super ninety.” Claire said clipping the weapon to her chest rig. The helicopter banked hard as they crossed over into East Falls, running low along the main highway.

“Circling over the pumping station now, looks like we have a clear parking lot across the street, a few shamblers but nothing serios.” The pilot called back.

“Sounds good Jenson, set her down.” Ryker answered as the helicopter began to descend. The team opened the doors as they approached the asphalt surface, the helicopter’s landing gear absorbing the gentle shock as they touched down. The team immediately jumped out and formed a perimeter, dropping several infected that came to investigate the sound of the helicopter. Claire jumped out behind Ryker as one infected began to mutate, a horrid extension growing from their shoulders as Claire raised her shotgun and fired. The blast tore through the creature, falling the ground and decaying as the virus consumed the host in desperate attempt to repair.

“Looks like J’avo.” Claire said as the team began to cross the street. They reached a the street level access for the pumping station, one of Iliad team breaching the door as Ryker looked down the stairs.

“Should be two pumps ma’am, we’ll keep the LZ clear for you when you make your way back. Command wants them intact if at all possible but if you can’t close it down for whatever reason, busting the pump housing should force the emergency system to close.” Ryker said turning to Claire.

“Sounds easy enough, like turning off a garden hose. Be careful up here.” Claire said as she turned on the flashlight she had attached to her chest harness and stepped into the dark pumping station.

“South Paw Lead this is Needle-Six-Niner patching you through, standby for call for fire.”

“So, what’s going on with the local police and the evacuation, how many people are still in the city?” Jill said as the made their way through the halls of the car dealership, BSAA troops where setting up a communications suite in the sales tower as the cars where cleared for room for supplies. They made their way up to the roof where an observation post was being set up by a recon team.

“Sierra-Seven-Four this is Needle-Six-Niner, BSAA Recon team, I am certified. Requesting fire on target, standby for 9-line.”

“Acknowledged Needle-Nine-Niner, Standing By.”

“We lost contact with them a few minutes ago, last update they had barricaded the entrances and where fighting off hostiles. Do we have any idea what was loaded in the missile yet? My team hasn’t been able to test air quality, but we all have the spectrum-vac on hand if we encounter the virus.” Captain Ylliam spoke up as Jill walked to the edge of the roof. It was a tremendous feeling of Deja-vu; the sounds of sirens and faint yelling as the city panicked and descended into chaos in front of her.

“IP Delaware Bridge Highway six-seven-six heading two-zero decimal five-zero na. three miles, three-zero-zero feet. Personnel in open. Sector two-one-one break two-one-two. Laser, East one mile, civilians West zero-decimal five-zero miles. East by one-zero-zero degrees.

“Target three-hundred feet at sector two-one-one break two-one-two. Needle-Nine request additional.”

“Captain get your team together, as soon as the strike lands we’re crossing the bridge and going to get them, our first order is always to get civilians out of harm’s way. I’m coming with you.” Jill said turning to the BSAA soldier. “One person at a time.” Jill said to herself staring at the chaotic skyline in front of her.

“All units be advised we have identified the biological agent as a low-grade strain of the C-Virus, be on guard. We have also lost contact with Philadelphia PD.” The voice of BSAA Dispatcher came over the radio. Jill turned and followed Captain Ylliam down to the show room as several soldiers in US army uniforms walked up to them.

“Agent Valentine, Lieutenant Colonel Meyers, 16th Engineer Battalion. We’ve just arrived ahead of the cavalry by the looks of things; it’s kind of chaos out there at the moment, we’ve just been told to head to Camden and report to you.” The Colonel spoke quickly.

“Chaos across the board Colonel, you guys have sappers, right? Start moving south and rig the bridges for destruction, I want to see if we can maintain a quarantine one at least, either six-seventy-six or seventy-six. Should be five total in our sector. I’m taking a team across the six-seventy-six to recover a group of stranded civilians less than a mile into the city. If you get more assets have them dedicate to purging any infected that are crossing over.” Jill said as she was motioned over to a makeshift armory several BSAA and Army soldiers had begun to set up in the dealership. She was handed a small vest, loaded magazines and a BSAA-spec SCAR-L rifle.

“Targets are infected hostiles; ground commander’s intent is to clear the highway so that infantry detail may make a rescue attempt inside the city. Restriction five-hundred or smaller ordnance, anti-personnel if equipped.”

“Copy all Needle-Six-Niner approaching IP, WACM loaded to match commander’s intent.”

“Copy Sierra-Seven-Four.”

“Contact; weapons deployed.”

There was a sudden roar as the fighter passed overhead followed by a series of explosions that rattled the windows of the building.

“Sounds like the bridge just got cleared, you have a ride for us Captain?” Jill asked Ylliam as she ran the bolt on her rifle.

“Three Humvee’s and a truck for survivors, we ready?” the captain returned.

“Sounds like, good luck Colonel, keep in contact, we should return soon.” Jill said following him out to the four waiting vehicles, BSAA soldiers manning the turrets. Jill got into the passenger seat of the lead vehicle as the small convoy pulled out onto the highway, accelerating towards the bridge, smoke still clearing from the recent air strike. Cars where tossed aside with small craters littering the roadway. The convoy rolled over smoldering corpses of mutated J’avo. “They’d usually have weapons caches or drops to equip the infected, with any luck that means we forced their hand, their attack wasn’t fully prepared.” Jill observed as they continued the rough ride.

“I sure hope so, easier to fight of zombies when they aren’t shooting back.” Captain Ylliam called back as they crossed over the bridge. The turret gun opened up as several infected started running towards the sound of the vehicles.

“Left up ahead! Keep them off us!” Jill shouted as the lead car crossed over to the right side of the street, weaving in between abandoned cars as they made their way to the police station. The gunner cleared a path for them as wandering infected moved towards the sound of gunfire.

The police headquarters was a large, figure-eight shaped concrete building, several metal barricades blocking the front of the building with dozens of bodies lying around the entrance, a few infected wandering around. The few zombies left where quickly dispatched by the gunners as the convoy pulled up.

“Captain stay here, you two with me.” Jill said pointing at two soldiers as the rest of the convoy began to secure a perimeter. The trio led by Jill quickly ran up the steps into the police station. “Agent Valentine to any PPD in the area, we have a convoy waiting to evacuate.” Jill held her radio as they made it into the lobby. There was blood smeared across the floor with no bodies in sight.

“Doesn’t look good ma’am, are we sure they were able to hold them off?” One of the soldiers asked as they walked around the front desk, checking for any signs of life.

“There are four floors and roof, let’s clear the building fast, they have to be here somewhere.” Jill said shouldering her rifle as they made their way upstairs. The soldier on point raised his hand as he reached the top step and they stopped. He motioned for Jill to come up and she peered around the corner to see a conspicuous figure lent up against the wall in front of one of the offices. He had a simple holster on his belt, blue vest and striking red hair.

“I see you Agent Valentine, come out, nothing on this hallway is going to bite you.” The figure called out without turning towards her. Jill kept her rifle raised as she carefully stepped into the hallway followed by the BSAA soldiers.

“Raymond, you’re supposed to be dead. You left Parker for dead after he took a bullet for you!” Jill said, her voice laced with contempt.

“It wasn’t personal, about being dead… How many times have they said that about you huh? Anyway, the people you are looking for are in the office right behind me.” Raymond said in a sly, condescending voice. Jill started to pick up pace towards Raymond, stopping abruptly as Raymond drew his pistol. “Now before you go in, you should know that I’ve left an awful lot of explosives in there, this little thing would set them all off.” He hissed holding up a small device in his other hand.

“What are you playing at Raymond.” Jill spat as she kept her gun pointed him as he turned towards her.

“Alright let’s find these pumps.” Claire said making her way down a dark hallway, exposed conduits and pipes running along the wall as dim running lights offered her minimal visibility. She walked down several steps into a large machinery space with two large water pumps dominating the space. She made her way over to a service console against the far wall between the pumps. The screens where dead and buttons unresponsive.

“Shit, power is already going down.” Claire muttered to herself as she made her way back towards the pumps’ intake pipes. There was a large manual valve on one and a mangled mechanism on the other with a handwritten sign- Replacement Part Due to Arrive by the end of the month. Claire sighed as she began to turn the working valve, spinning the large wheel until it refused to budge. She turned back to the still running pump and ran her hands over the housing. She set her backpack down and removed one of the shaped charges she had packed.

“Hopefully this won’t be too hard to repair.” She said to herself as she set the charge and ran the detonator behind the other pump. She clicked the device and massive thud rang through the enclosed space. Claire heard the loud clang of the emergency valve closing, water from inside the pump spilling over the floor. Claire turned to head back to the surface as she heard a strained, groaning sound coming from the pump as the metal began to rattle. The valve attaching the intake pipe to the mechanism explosively burst, water shooting out and filling the chamber in a fast-moving wave that knocked Claire to the ground as it washed over her. She struggled to her feet in now chest-deep water, making her way back into the service hallway, a few inches of water still flowing around her shins.

Claire stopped dead as her flashlight fell on a pulsating, seed like mass attaching itself to exposed conduits. As her light feel over it, it began to germinate, stems growing outwards towards the light, towards Claire.

“Damn t-virus plant!” Claire swore, raising her shotgun and firing at the advancing bioweapon, her blast tearing a hole on the seed’s coating. The growing plant looped around the barrel of her shotgun and yanked, the strap attached to it pulling Claire with it. She splashed into the water as she felt the advancing vine wrap around her neck and begin to squeeze, Claire losing her grip on her gun as she reached for her knife. She drew the blade and sliced through the pant, took a deep breath and grabbed an incendiary grenade from her vest pouch. She pulled the pin and ran to the seed, shoving the grenade into the hole her shotgun had blasted. She dove away from the B.O.W. as the hallway was illuminated by the ignition. The plant went up in white flames as the incendiary burned through it in seconds. Claire stood and took a deep breath and ran back up to street level. She stepped out into the evening light, Iliad team nowhere to be seen.

“Iliad lead this is Cerulean, do you copy?” Claire called in confusion as she ran back across the street to their landing zone.
“Cerulean this is hotel-three-bravo-six, your ride in. LZ became overrun and Iliad team moved south to a gas station to hold out and draw off the infected. Coming in to pick you up now.” The pilot’s voice came over Claire’s radio as she saw the black helicopter settle down in the parking lot. She hopped into the cabin as it quickly took back to the sky.

“Last I heard from them was that they had commandeered a pickup and where heading to the primary, the horde coming after them too much to handle. They should be heading down the Roosevelt Expressway. I lost contact with Captain Ryker just as I came to pick you up.” The pilot called back as Claire held onto the bulkhead.

“With any luck they can get a head start or at least clear a landing zone for us.” Claire answered optimistically.

“Let’s hope cause… Jesus Christ are you seeing this.” The pilot gasped as the Queen Lane Plant came into view. A massive, multi-limb Plant-43 specimen was growing out from the reservoir.

“Explains the friend I ran into in the substation.” Claire returned.

“Get us as close as you can. Iliad team this is Cerulean, please respond.” Claire attempted to reach the team to no avail. “Cerulean to sector sheriff, I have lost contact with my strike team and have encountered an unanticipated sample of the T-Virus B.O.W. Plant 43. Requesting assistance.” Claire opened her channel to the sector command.

“Cerulean this is Fort Washington North West sector dispatch; all air support is currently engaged with civilian evacuation and we have lost contact with National Guard ground teams in your area. We are redirecting fast response tactical teams to your borough but expect heavy resistance.” The army dispatcher responded as Claire let out a long sigh.

“Acknowledged Fort Washington, keep us apprised.” Claire responded before turning to the pilot. “Colonel Jewel basically told us to go fuck ourselves. Let’s hope Iliad team has had better lu.. oh shit!” Claire screamed as the helicopter shuddered as a long swinging branch of the B.O.W. growing out of the reservoir struck them. The aircraft began to spin, warning lights filling the cockpit as the altitude alarm sounded. Claire was thrown clear from the cabin, landing hard in the grass near the reservoir as the helicopter came down in the street with a gut-wrenching crash.

“My employer would like a meeting with you in exchange for these civilians. Otherwise I’m going to have to clean up here, I have other things on my agenda today.” Raymond said stepping closer to Jill as he held is hands wide, taunting her with the detonator. Another familiar figure stepped out from the office across from him as he spoke. “You go with my partner here and promise to cause no trouble and I’ll let everyone out of the building, deal?”

“Fine… let them out.” Jill said lowering her weapon as she turned her head towards the soldiers accompanying her. “Let the captain know what happened, make sure he knows my last order was to leave with the survivors and have the bridge destroyed. Let him know I traded myself as a hostage with hostile agent Raymond Vester. I’ll find my own way out.” Jill whispered before handing her rifle to the soldier. Raymond smirked and unlocked the office door.

“Time to go guys.” He said as several civilians and police, hands bound with zip ties, cautiously made their way into the hallway. The BSAA soldiers quickly guided them out of the building as Jill stayed behind. “Go with Jessica now.” Raymond spat, watching as the hostages filed out with the BSAA. Jill slowly made her way over to Raymond’s partner and scowled.

“Long time cheerleader.” Jessica laughed as she shoved her into one of the small offices off the main hallway, closing the door behind her. Jill backed up against the far wall trying to get the measure of Chris’ old partner.

“What is this Sherawat. We figured out pretty quickly you were on Tricell’s payroll.” Jill growled as Jessica slung a small backpack off her shoulder and began going through it. She withdrew a syringe.

“Toss the headset and spin, hands on your head.” Jessica said with a gleeful smile as she began to fill the syringe from a small vial while standing in front of Jill. Jill scowled as she tossed her headset on the ground and turned. She felt Jessica grab her wrists and pull them behind her, clamping the cold steel of a pair of handcuffs onto her. She stomped on Jill’s headset, plastic crunching under her heel as Jill dared to glance over her shoulder.

“Ugh, I get it, now what is the endgame here, you honestly think my absence won’t be noticed?” Jill groaned as Jessica clicked the cuffs tighter. “Ow, fuck!” Jill shouted as Jessica laughed. She quickly clapped her gloved hand over Jill’s mouth and lent close to her ear.

“You know, I always wanted to know why Chris seemed so obsessed with you, always in your shadow, my little tour at the BSAA. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to taking a little satisfaction in this part of the job. Sadly, it is just a job, maybe we’ll have some more time together after work.” Jessica said releasing her grip from Jill.

“Still playing at the school-girl drama huh. That just how things are in your ragtag band of wanna-be terrorists?” Jill carped.

“The quips are cute but save the talk for your meeting. Can’t have you escaping on us so…” Jessica’s voice dripped with pleasure over the situation she had her once rival in. Jill yelped involuntarily as Jessica plunged a syringe into Jill’s neck, her vision fading fast as she felt the drug drag her from consciousness.

 

“What do you mean captured!? How the fuck does that happen during containment and evacuation protocol.” Chris bellowed into his cell phone as he slammed his fist into the table in his command post at the Philadelphia International Airport.

“Tricell operatives where holding a large group of civilians and police hostage based on ground team reports. Agent Valentine gave herself over for their release. We’re tracking her equipment, looks like she’s being taken deeper into the city. We’re planning a recovery mission as we speak, we want to make sure this doesn’t get botched Agent Redfield, there are a lot of moving parts here.” Director Roland delivered carefully, knowing that Chris was not going to take the news well.

“Let me know as soon as you have one, I want to be on that mission, the airport is secure, they can afford to have me step out.” Chris returned quickly as another call began to come through his phone.

“We’ll make that decision when we’re ready to recover Agent Valentine. I’ll contact you with a sitrep in thirty.” Roland finished, hanging up as Chris looked at the ID on the other call. It read “Veronica-BU”, Chris groaning as he answered it.

“What is it.” He greeted curtly.

“Agent Redfield, we are obviously aware of the incident developing in Philadelphia and wanted to offer our assistance.” Chris’s Blue Umbrella contact began as he laughed.

“And you think what, we’re going to let the Umbrella corporation into an infected city. I remember the last time you guys worked on something like that. The name project Nemesis comes to mind last time you ‘helped’.” Chris spat as he paced back and forth.

“Chris, after Dulvey you still think we aren’t being genuine?” Veronica answered inquisitively.

“You guys didn’t make up for what you did in one instance.”

“Hard to keep working at it when you close us out like this. We have fifteen helicopters, three hundred tactical team members and fifty doctors in the Delmarva area that can be to Philly in less than thirty.” Veronica responded getting to her point.

“Even if we wanted you here, what makes you think that’s my call, huh?” Chris countered.

“In the interest of honesty between us; Roland and the Army have already turned us down but in the chaos, no one would notice, they’d just be happy to help. We also have reason to believe there is an E-type within the city which could make things even more complicated, especially if the Army encounters it first.”

“So you want to circumvent our chain of command just to get another look at an active E-type? I don’t think so.” Chris said abruptly ending the call. He turned to one of the BSAA soldiers running air traffic control for the evacuation. “Don’t authorize any Blue Umbrella flights, no matter what they say.

 

Claire groaned as she sat up, the stumbling figure of the pilot making his way towards her. He knelt next to her as she began to stand.

“Good to see you in one piece, Redfield. I feared the worst when you where tossed from the bird.” He said, clutching his side.

“Certainly seemed to fair better than you. Let me look at that.” Clair said unslinging her backpack as she noticed the red gleam of blood over the pilot’s hand.

“Just a surface scratch ma’am, we need to get in contact with Iliad team.” He said dismissively as he tried to stand. He fell back to his knees as he groaned in pain.

“Stop playing tough, what’s your name.” Claire insisted as she pulled his hand away from the wound. There was a deep puncture, likely from a broken piece of the helicopter; Claire fought to keep a look of alarm from her face as she reached for the trauma pack.

“Phillips, been flying for the agency for about four years.” He responded, complying as Claire laid him down. She pushed the plunger on the kit, filling the puncture with gauze sponges which stopped the bleeding rapidly. She began winding a bandage over the wound, tying it off as the pilot tried to relax. She lifted him and brought him carefully over to an abandoned car, setting him in the passenger seat and reclining it.

“We’ll get you out of here Phillips, hold tight, I’m going to go find Iliad team and chop down that nasty-ass tree.” Claire smiled handing Phillips her sidearm as he nodded.

“Thank you, Agent Redfield, I owe you a beer.” He joked, wincing as he adjusted in the seat.

Claire nodded and took off towards the water treatment plant. She walked up to the main entrance, a F-150 parked haphazardly on the curb in front of the ajar front door. She shouldered her shotgun and made her way inside the building. Claire trained her weapon on a corpse laying in the center of the lobby before realizing she was looking at a bullet-riddled Ivy; the result of Plant 43 ravaging the human body.

“Oh shit, where the hell is Iliad.” She wondered aloud as she made her way into the main pumping complex. The pipes and machinery where wound with green foliage, dozens more Ivy corpses littering the ground, several BSAA soldiers with them. Blood was streaked across the yellow painted equipment. “Oh no, no, no!” Claire exclaimed as she ran over to the body of Captain Ryker, slumped up against a large outflow pipe. She heard a couching, sputtering sound as she checked Ryker’s pulse. Another member of the team, not far off was struggling to sit up, his face torn up, a large gash in his left thigh.

“Hey, you’re fine, we’re going to get you out of here.” Claire reassured him as she tried to take stock of his injuries.

“The place was overrun with the damn B.O.W.s, coming from the ceiling and the walls. Fredricks hit the main stalk with an AT-4 before they started taking us down one by one.” He growled as Claire pulled his first aid kit from his belt, trying to wrap the wound on his leg. “We shut down the pumps, there’s C4 rigged all over the plant, the woman said she set it before she helped fight off the damn plant.” He grunted before laying back on the ground, his labored breathing diminishing.

“Stay with me, we’re getting you out of here, you did well.” Claire said as she tied off the bandage. The soldier’s mention of a woman caught her interest as she heard footsteps from within the complex. Claire stood with her weapon raised, stepping over spent shell casings as she rounded a large pipe assembly.

“Ada?” Claire asked taken aback by the sight of Ada Wong setting a plastic explosive charge on one of the pumps.

“Hmm? Oh hello Agent Redfield. These your men? I’m sorry they had to die this way.” Ada said almost warmly as she looked over at Claire.

“Was what he said true, did you help them fight this damn thing.” Claire asked guardedly.

“We had aligned interests in the matter, consider it a returned favor, I’m just sorry they all didn’t survive.” Ada lamented, sliding the detonator into the pack and turning back towards Claire. She put her hand on Ada’s shoulder as she went to pass her.

“What are you doing here.” Claire asked, her tone turning serious.

“Business.” Ada returned, removing Claire’s hand as she continued onward.

“Ada!” Claire yelled after her, adjusting her grip on her shotgun. “I know Tall Oaks changed you. I know you gave the BSAA the tip about the Tricell hold out. You want to fix what you’ve done, there is something redeemable in you.” Claire risked as Ada glanced back at her.

“Not yet.” She trailed off stepping off again. Ada was suddenly brought to the floor, a firm hand grasped around her ankle as the crazed form of the wounded BSAA soldier crawled over her, growling as his teeth gnashed. The T-virus from the plant bioweapon had seeped into his wounds as he came after Wong.

“Claire!” Ada called out as she rounded the corner and raised her shotgun.

“I’m so sorry.” Claire sobbed and pulled the trigger. The BSAA soldier’s head split as the shot ran through him, the body slumping over as Ada scrambled to her feet.

“Fuck, fuck!” Claire screamed, removing her helmet and throwing it to the floor with a loud clatter.

Claire ran her hands through her hair as Ada looked on silently. She stopped for a moment and turned to Ada, pointing her finger accusingly at her.

“You, you tell me what the fuck you’re doing her right now or I swear to God you’re next.” Claire hissed in anger as Ada folded her arms and sighed.

“I’ve been rigging this place to explode because I tripped a security measure in a bunker hidden under the reservoir. So, technically I am responsible, but I also helped your men when they showed up and I’m about to turn this site into a crater.” Ada spoke softly, admitting her actions. “You going to shoot me Claire?”

“I… Why are you here Ada?” Claire said, backing off some and lowering her weapon.

“I have one more job before I’m done with this gig. You can choose to believe me or not but I’m trying to help some people who have been left behind in all this. I’m not working for the big Pharma, eugenicists or corrupt politicians anymore.” Ada said taking the C4’s detonator from her pocket and tossing it Claire. “That’ll set this whole place off. Take care of yourself Claire.” Ada said turning and picking up a light jog out of the facility. Claire let her go, looking down at the detonator.

“Claire, Claire this is Chris, switch to private channel if you are getting this.” Chris’s voice came into her earpiece urgently as Claire replaced her headset from the helmet she shattered on the concrete floor.

“I hear you, switching.” She replied as she made her way out of the complex. “What’s going on, I’m about to blow the Queen Lane Facility and particularly nasty B.O.W. plant with it. Claire said over the private channel as she made her way back to Phillips.

“Jill’s been taken, there are Tricell agents operating within the city.” Chris delivered grimly. Claire’s heart stopped, her chest tightening in fear and rage. She said nothing as she clicked the detonator, the building behind her erupting in a massive smoke and dust cloud, the Plant 43 specimen collapsing as the shockwave of the explosives ripped it to pieces. Claire stared at the explosion, barely at a safe distance as she began to think about what she would do when she found the unfortunate souls who had taken her partner.

Chapter Text

Jill woke to a loud crash and yelling. She took the moment to look around at her surroundings; a vacant suite in a large office building, several stories off the ground judging by the view out the windows. Night had fallen but other than the dark sky outside, Jill had no idea how long she had been out. The lighting was dim and eerie, some streetlights still on, fires dancing orange light off the glass skyscrapers in the center of the city.

“Fuck! Fuck!” Raymond screamed from across the room, knocking a stack of cubicle walls over with his foot. He threw his phone across the room, a spidering crack forming in the window it struck. Jessica stood up, startled by her partner’s outburst.

“What the hell Raymond? Get yourself together, what happened?” She shouted angrily approaching her seething companion as Jill quietly watched them, testing the cuffs still around her wrists as she lay on the ground.

“Boss is pulling us out and all other major resources. Said that the Army is moving in fast and they sent D.O.S. in early and have been mopping up all our observation posts. The oligarchs got their fallen city, they want to cut all other losses and run.” The Raymond growled, his chest heaving with the rage he was trying to suppress.

“You’re kidding, the first sign of trouble and they panic?” Jessica asked as she stood from her seat behind Jill, stepping over her as she watched her partner seethe.

“They’re sending me to help evac a group of engineers at an observation post near Logan Square to the north. The field HQ said they had to shoot down a BSAA helicopter that got too close, they think they’ll be swarmed very soon.” Raymond continued as he drew his handgun and dropped the magazine.

“Why the hell did they bother sending us in? They realize we burned two cells to get us here and they’re just going to throw it away, send you on an errand and make me babysit an HVT for hours in the middle of an infected city?” Jessica snapped back.

“They said they have no info on the primary target and our people are dropping off fast, in areas with no BSAA or Army. They said it stinks of another Dulvey and want to pull out and let it be the Army and BSAA’s problem. You make it sound like you get the short end of the stick, look at her, she’s out and ready for extraction. Sit here and wait for their signal, hopefully there will be something for me to shoot on the way to the backup objective.” Raymond spat, putting his handgun back in his holster and picking up a rifle lent up against a column. He made for the elevator on the far side of the room before turning back around, “Don’t fuck this up Sherawat.”

“Like I ever had your pompous newbie.” Jessica muttered angrily under her breath before looking back at Jill, still feigning unconsciousness. “Guess it’s just you and me girl.”

 

“I couldn’t give less of a shit what the fucking protocol is right now! I’m on her recovery team and that’s it!” Claire screamed into her radio as Chris tried to calm her down.

“Its not my sector Claire! We have half a million people still unaccounted for and they take priority.” He said back from his command post back at the Philadelphia international airport. He paced back and forth, struggling with his own feeling of helplessness.

“You have dozens of helicopters under your command, my damn mission is complete, what could be more important that getting one of the sector commanders back let alone your fucking partner!” Claire’s anger and distress only increasing as she pleaded with her brother.

“How the hell do you think I feel? I can’t just blow up and run off on a rescue mission in front of everyone that is counting on me!” Chris spat back, pausing for a moment before checking his tone. “I want to grab a gun and run out there after her as bad as you Claire, but hundreds of thousands of people are relying on me, on us to get them out safe.”

“And you think getting Jill back in the fight to help us is a bad idea why? This is going a be a long slog and I need her for it!” Claire returned, still struggling to contain her anguish.

“Claire…” Chris trailed off as he listened to his addled sister. Claire caught herself and was silent for a moment.

“I’ll see what I can do, Southpaw is going well, all bridges are out save one which they are holding so we can still get into the city. I’ll redirect a combat team and helicopter to your location. Jill can’t be the only objective Claire; we have to load that helicopter up with survivors, so you’ll likely have more than one stop.” Chris relented as his phone rang, the ID reading “Director Roland”. “It’ll be there in fifteen, hang tight.” Chris finished as he took off his headset and answered his phone.

“Redfield.” He answered, motioning to one of the BSAA officer’s in the CP to redirect Claire’s flight.

“What the hell happened with Southpaw?” Roland shouted, sounding more concerned than angry.

“Mission is successful and holding at the moment sir, the rest of the assets are facilitating evacuation and search and rescue. As for Agent Valentine, we only have been able to pick up her equipment beacon. We haven’t received any ransom or ultimatum, but we have it from her ground team that she traded herself to a team of Tricell agents who where holding survivors hostage. Based on their report we believe they were the high-level operatives Raymond Vester and Jessica Sherawat.” Chris couldn’t shake feeling of unease that name brought. He had always felt Jessica had been a bit aloof and odd but the fact she had betrayed them for a corporate paycheck still shook him and his faith in the BSAA.

“The damn moles back in town, not good but it makes sense since they would know the most about how we and the US Military would be responding to this mess. Do we have any indication that she’s still alive?” Roland asked dryly.

“With all do respect sir, this is Jill. One she’s too high value and they know that and two… she’s more tenacious and intelligent than any other field agent sir, she’s alive.” Chris faltered at the sudden dread of potentially losing his partner again.

“Understood Redfield. Since things are slowing down into search and rescue rather then combat and contain, I’m giving you command of the entire southern sector. The Army is getting a little demanding for help, confusing our sector lines and prioritizing their people over ours so be firm but professional. This is their home turf but we’re equal partners in this response, I don’t care for the general’s headline grabbing, just get people out.” Roland delivered barely hiding some contempt that politics had already begun to seep into the situation.

“Understood sir. I should tell you that I have sent a rescue party into the city for the helicopter that crashed in our sector; I’ve also told them to search for Agent Valentine.” Chris admitted before the conversation ended.

“I’d expect nothing less Redfield, I know your record. I trust you wouldn’t jeopardize any of this for your personal feelings. Do what you need to. Do we have any idea if Tricell had anything to do with the crash?” Roland questioned after quietly approving of Chris’ actions.

“We don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They seem to be retreating, we know D.O.S. is in the city and they’re targeting the Tricell observation posts. They haven’t been sharing information though, I have noticed a very precise series of explosions every now and then from my unit’s reports in the city. They seem to be driving them deeper into the city towards the Delaware. Last one was somewhere on Walnut Street near the Rittenhouse evacuation zone.” Chris spoke plainly as he ran through the report, he had in front of him. The soldier who had dispatched the helicopter to Claire came back by him giving him a nod and holding up ten fingers. Chris nodded silently as Roland replied.

“Ok, with any luck we’ll drive them to their evacuation zone, and we can grab as many of them as possible. They’ll get sloppy, lets keep up the pressure Redfield.” Roland finished as he hung up.

Helena fought every block to get through the chaos worsened with the missile’s detonation. She was forced to abandon her vehicle at a pile up of abandoned cars as people began to turn, the dispersal cloud flowing in and out of the streets, the wind tunnels of the high-rise city driving it in unpredictable ways. Helena grabbed a gas mask from her passenger seat as she stepped out, walking around to the back of the car, grabbing an M4, several magazines and a pouch she attached to her hip. She was about a block away from Will’s Eye Hospital, stepping up on the abandoned cars as infected began to swarm the streets. She heard the eruption of gunfire nearby as she sprinted and jumped her way overtop of the cars towards the hospital. National guard troops in CBRN equipment where keeping the infected at bay in front of the hospital as Helena ran up to the barricade.

“Don’t shoot!” She said raising her arm and her holding out her credentials.

“Get inside ma’am, got the building sealed against the virus, should be safe as long as we keep getting support flights in.” A soldier nodded at her as she ran into the lobby into a field decontamination shower. After the guardsman manning the station sent her through, she began wading through the throng of refugees, patients and desperate doctors to the stairs. She made her way past hurrying nurses to the seventh floor, making her way to the children’s cancer ward. The floor was mostly abandoned, most of the serious cases already evacuated with the first waves of helicopters.

Helena removed her gas mask and checked to make sure the safety was off her weapon as she began carefully glancing into each room. She came to the end of a long hallway and peered into another room, seeing a lone woman in scrubs standing over a young girl hooked up to an EKG and had an IV in her arm. The woman was holding something to her ear as she spoke softly.

“She’s stable but with the panic I have about twelve hours without support. I can initiate a hard move but I’d rather not since our satellite facility just went down. I imagine you still haven’t heard from the buyer. I know, I’m concerned that they may try to seize her too but… I understand your concern Mrs. Grant but trust me when I say she is safe here and will get a priority flight out. I’ll call you as soon as I know what hospital we will be going to.” The woman spoke quickly, her tone shifting as she seemed to notice Helena, hardly giving it away as she started to speak under cover again.

“Myra Smith.” Helena said flatly as the nurse turned to face her.

“Oh good, about time for our lift out of this mess.” She said unlocking the wheels to the girl’s bed and disconnecting the EKG. She began to push the bed as Helena waited for her to pass, planning to take her shot as her back was turned. As she pushed the bed past her, she turned on Helena and swiftly pinned her to the doorframe, pushing the muzzle of her rifle away. Helena froze as she felt something cold cut into her abdomen, her body panicking and going cold as she felt her target withdraw a combat knife from Helena’s side. Helena let out a shocked gasp, her face going white as she dropped her rifle. Myra grabbed her throat and forced her onto a gurney in the hallway, strapping her down as the blemish of red spread over Helena’s clothes. Myra began to go through Helena’s pockets until she found her CIA credentials.

“CIA op just intercepted me, she’s taken care of but its time to try a hard exit, will check in…” Myra was interrupted by the loud crack of a gunshot. All Helena saw was her suddenly crumple to the floor, a thin mist of red hanging in the air for a split second. Helena struggled to breath as she felt someone come up behind her.

“Damn that’s a particularly nasty one. Not a bad place to get stabbed though Harper.” Ada’s calm voice greeted Helena as she felt herself pushed back into the room she had found Myra in. Ada unstrapped her as she turned to one of the cabinets. She pulled out several bandages, gloves and sanitary swabs. Ada tore open the bottom of Helena’s shirt, running her gloved hand over the puncture steadily bleeding. She wiped away the blood, cleaning the area around it before pressing a large gauze pad to the wound, pressing hard as she looked up at a struggling Helena.

“You aren’t gushing so nothing too bad was hit. Just rela. I know you’ve been following me; doesn’t mean I’m going to kill you though." Ada said as the pad soaked through, adding another and pressing down. Helena struggled to speak, her mind still panicking from the wound.

“Your target is down too; her injuries are much worse than yours. That’s now two you owe me Harper.” Ada smiled as Helena’s bleeding began to slow. Ada taped down the bandage, wrapping the whole dressing around Helena’s torso before turning the young girl still laying in the hall.

“Don’t worry, Kennedy isn’t far behind me, you’ll be out of here soon.” Ada said almost to herself as she stepped over the young girl’s bed. She had dark black hair and a deathly pallor that begged the question as to whether she was still alive.

“No artificial aging, slight enhanced cognitive function, could have shaved her head to hide her in a cancer ward better, but they actually pulled it off.” Ada mused to herself as the girl opened her eyes and looked up at her.

“Who… who are you.” She asked softly as Ada pulled her bloody medical gloves off and replaced her black leather ones.

“My name is Ada; I’m going to be taking care of you Evangeline.” She said softly, helping the girl sit up.

“What happened to Ms. Smith?” She asked groggily as Ada encouraged her to stand from the bed, removing her IV and placing a bandage on her arm.

“Ms. Smith tried to hurt you again, I didn’t want her to do that, so I stopped her for good. I want to help you to get away from the people Ms. Smith works for, the ones who told her to hurt you.” Ada said as she removed a bottle of pills from her pocket. “You still have to take you medicine though, no more needles though, I promise.” Ada said holding a pill out for the child to take.

“Do you have any applesauce? I can’t do pills without some.” She said softly looking into Ada’s eyes with a slightly anxious expression.

“I’m sure we can find some. Do you remember when Ms. Smith taught you how to keep people away, how to call your friends and how you convince others to do what you ask?” Ada said taking the child’s hand and leading her off down the hallway.

“Yes, how I can make people do what Ms. Smith wanted…” She trailed off as Ada looked sternly down at her.

“Good, some people may try to take you, to hurt you like Ms. Smith, Evangeline. I may need your help to stop them.” Ada responded as they reached the elevator.

 

“So, your brother got us a ride out while the Army gives us the finger.” Phillips grunted as Claire checked on his wound.

“Sound like, how are you holding up?” Claire said as the faint sound of a helicopter’s rotors steadily growing louder.

“Just a nasty scratch, stopped bleeding before you left.” Phillips smiled as a BSAA helicopter began to circle the burning ruin of the Queen Lane Water Treatment Plant. It set down in the street a few hundred feet from them, several BSAA soldiers jumping out. They ran over to the pair, two carrying a stretcher for Phillips.

“Captain Ylliam, Needle Six recon team, glad to see you’re ok Ma’am.” One of the soldiers greeted Claire as the other two helped Phillips onto the stretcher. They ran back to the helicopter and boarded, the aircraft dusting off before the doors where closed. Claire sat silently as she reloaded her shotgun and checked the rest of her equipment. Ylliam sat down next to as the rest of the team prepared for their next objective.

“We’re starting with the helicopter crash, supposedly its one of the upper floors of a building downtown, evac bird so hopefully we’ll have survivors.” He said after an awkward silence.

“Then Agent Valentine’s beacon.” Claire said more as a declaration than a question.

“Iliad team didn’t make it?” The captain asked after another moment of rotor noise.

“No.” Claire returned curtly.

“I know what its like losing men, Redfield. It doesn’t get easier, but you go on to keep their sacrifice true and their memory alive.” The captain attempted to comfort her.

“I’m not losing anyone else today.” Claire returned coldly, sliding another shell into her gun.

The helicopter began to circle a high rise building in the downtown area as night began to fall; the skyline half lit by remaining lights and fires burning amongst the chaos. The conspicuous rear rotor of a helicopter stuck out from the side of the building. They landed on the roof, Needle Six and Claire quickly making it down several flights of stairs to the crash site.

“Definitely Tricell involved.” One of Needle Six said kicking the corpse of a web spinner on the ground near the wreck.”

“Where are our refugees though, the crew? Plenty of spent shells, all look like NATO five-five-six.” Claire observed as she followed a trail in the rubble as if something had been dragged through it. It let to the elevators in the corner of the room, large service models likely leading to the maintenance and machine levels of the building. “That looks promising, maybe they’re making another hostage play.” Claire mentioned as she and another member of Needle-Six walked over to the maintenance elevator and opened the door. They stepped in as the rest of the team made their way over, the elevator suddenly groaning.

“That can’t be goo… fuck!” Claire screamed as the cable holding the car suddenly snapped as the elevator began plummeting with her and the other soldier in it. She jumped to the floor laying flat, praying for the emergency brakes to engage. She heard screeching from the emergency brakes engaging, grinding against the elevator shaft as the car began to slow, eventually coming a stop halfway between two floors. Claire stood, offering a hand to the soldier.

“You ok? Looks like this mission has ruined Tower of Terror for me.” Claire mused as she looked through the open door at the lower floor. She saw what looked like a century abandoned machinery space; webbing covering everything as she slid her way down, checking the immediate surroundings as she turned her flashlight on.

“Looks clear, Needle Six-One, this is Cerulean, we appear to have found the floor they ran off to, will keep you updated, recommend the stairs this time.” Claire called in as the other Needle team member jumped down behind her.

“Understood Cerulean, making our way to you now.” Captain Ylliam responded as Claire looked down one of the adjoining hallways.

“Let’s get a lay of the land here.” Claire said raising her shotgun and slowly moving down the hall.

“Sounds good Ma’am.” The soldier responded as she followed Claire. She rounded the corner into an open storage space and froze. There where nearly a dozen figures knelt on the ground, covered in webbing, no signs of life. Claire strafed around the outer wall, her light casting shadows as it danced around the bodies.

“I though spinners where just immobilizers, not lethal.” The needle team member said, an involuntary shiver running up their spine.

“They are, that’s not what killed these people.” Claire spat through gritted teeth. Each corpse had a single weeping gunshot wound in the front or back of their head, frozen expressions of terror cast permanently over their pale expressions. “These mother fuckers are going to p…”

“Redfield duck!” The BSAA soldier interrupted as Claire felt something hit her hard from behind. She rolled as she was knocked to the ground, the massive spider already on top of her as she struggled for her knife. The BSAA soldier ran up and kicked the spider off her, shooting it several times before it keeled over dead. She reached down to help Claire up as two more web spinners came up behind her and knocked her to the ground. She screamed as she struggled, Claire barely getting to her feet as she was dragged off quickly by the bioweapons. Claire raised her shotgun trying to track them as another rounded the corner. She fired, the shot tearing through the monster’s body as she lost sight of the Needle Team member. She ran down the hallway they disappeared in and found herself in another storage room.
It was much more organized, several desks with computers set up, a few large crates in the corner. They where covered with Tricell logos and the label “Web-Spinner type bioweapon”.

“This must have been their little field headquarters the bastards.” Claire muttered to herself as she approached a still running desktop. The computer was open on a recent email chain, Claire skimming it for anything potentially useful.

“Operation was rushed and doomed to fail from the beginning. We still met the essential criteria for a net gain on this operation however, potentially even more if we are able to successfully remove Valentine from the city. The potential for study is limitless based on Albert’s notes on her blood’s resistance and mutated T-Virus. At the very least she would likely make a good sale to another such developer and will help make up for the losses sustained during this operation.” The email read as Claire felt rage build in her chest. She failed to suppress a cry of anger as she threw the monitor to the floor and fired her shotgun into the computer. She turned on the rest of the equipment in the room, firing on it as it sputtered and crashed, the dying electronics sparking as Claire laid waste to the Tricell command post. She caught her breath as she stepped over shattered plastic, listening for anything amongst the crackle of the destruction she had wrought. Claire heard a faint yell coming from down the hall. She turned and bolted in its direction, determined not to lose any more soldiers on her watch.

She ran into a machinery room for the building; transformers, pumps. Hooked into the building’s power was a series of large sample tubes, medical equipment and a bed with a human corpse half mutated by the C-virus.

“They where trying to manufacture B.O.W.s within the city in addition to the outbreak.” Claire observed to herself as she carefully made her way through the makeshift lab. She heard another yell and voices coming from a door at the far end of the room. She approached cautiously, checking her shotgun. It was empty, all her spare ammunition expended. Claire swore under her breath as she lent the gun up against the wall and peered through the door.

“I’ll ask again Chambers; how do I break encryption on the BSAA battle net.” A figure wearing a Tricell branded lab coat said as the BSAA soldier was held on the floor in the same manner the executed hostages had been. Rebecca Chambers was seated in the center of the room, her hands behind her back as she was silently defiant. She looked at the struggling soldier.

“I’m sorry, I can’t tell, there are too many lives at stake.” She lamented as the Tricell official turned back around.

“I know ma’am, its not your fault.” The soldier replied as the man put a pistol to the side of her head and fired. Rebecca screamed as Claire flew into a fury, charging through the door to the Tricell official’s surprise. She slammed into him, knocking him to the ground as she plunged her knife into his side. She withdrew it and stabbed him again in the chest, blood blooming throughout his white coat as Claire didn’t stop. She didn’t count how many times she stabbed him, she didn’t remember picking up his gun and shooting both web spinners lurking in the room. Claire only heard her wild screams and Rebecca grabbing her, repeating her name.

“Claire, Claire he’s dead, you’re safe, you killed them.” Rebecca tried to bring Claire down as her cries of fury diminished into uncontrollable sobbing. She leaned into Rebecca’s shoulder as she held her.

“It’s all my fault, I was selfish and… they’re all dying because of me.” Claire wept as Rebecca tried to console her.

“You did everything you could Claire, you’ve saved countless lives today by playing your part, you saved me. You went right from one op into another, you’ve been pushed far too hard for too long. The fact that you’re still out here helping people is nothing short of incredible.” Rebecca offered as Claire continued to break down.

“It’s not that, they… Jill, I could have stopped this, I chose Jill over a million and a half people and here I am watching them all die… and they have her.” Claire threw her arms around her friend as Rebecca processed her admission.

“We all chose the people closest to us over our duty sometimes Claire. We choose those in front of us that we know we can help rather then what protocol may tell us is right. That’s what makes you good. Back when Jill and your brother where in Racoon City, back when we were all in S.T.A.R.S. I let a convicted murder go because he saved my life. I believed he was innocent even though everything that I was told was right would be to bring him in, I didn’t. Sometimes we know what’s right in the moment even if everyone else would tell you your wrong. How many people has Jill helped save today?” Rebecca confided in Claire as she began to regain her composure. Rebecca helped her stand as she took a deep breath, the two leaving the room starting to reek of death.

“Cerulean this is Needle-Six-One, USAF is inbound to strike this building since D.O.S. has identified it as hosting Tricell’s operational headquarters. We’re trying to get through to them, but the Army is stonewalling us, they’re convinced they’ve breached our battle net. You need to get up here now, dust off in five, strike in about seven.” Ylliam’s voice came over the radio as Claire looked nervously at Rebecca. They took off at a sprint reaching the stairs. After several minutes they made it to the rooftop as Needle-Six stood waiting for their ride to come in. The helicopter began to slowly descend.

“Hit the deck, RPG!” Ylliam yelled as Claire threw Rebecca to the floor. The rocket struck the cabin of the helicopter as it rolled over the edge of the roof, spinning towards the street in flames.

“Shit, nine you got anything through to the flyboys?”

“Nothing captain, they’re still convinced we’re compromised.”

“Call Redfield, we need another bird five minutes ago, seven, find that RPG and blow his fucking brains out!” The captain shouted as the roaring sound of Airforce fighters began to fill the sky.

“Looks like they’re coming in early!” Claire yelled as three F-35 fighters soared low overhead.

“Brace!” Captain Yllaim yelled as there where nearly a dozen massive explosions in quick succession rocked the building. It shook violently, glass shattering up the length of the structure.

“Are we leaning?” Rebecca called out as the building began to list slightly towards the main road. It became apparent after a few seconds, the angle of tilt growing as steel groaned and concrete burst.

“Hold on!” Captain Ylliam called out as the team and the S.O.A. operatives grabbed the railings around the helipad.

“What absent minded fucker just ordered a call for fire downtown! Don’t give me your protocol bull shit Jewel or I’ll send a team into your fucking camp! You just called down danger close onto one of my operating teams calling evac! I have lost contact with them and if they are so much as scratched, I’m blowing you fucking brains out myself. Go ahead report me to your fucking superiors you idiotic ass disaster of a direct commissioned cunt! I swear if any other strikes land in my sector without fire zone clearance I’ll have them fucking shot down!” Chris thundered as his command post was deathly silent, his troops unsure of how to react to their commander’s furry. He threw his headset to the ground and stomped it to pieces before turning back to his command staff.

“Hardly the least professional thing that has been done today.” Chris grunted as he walked over to his comms officer. “Get a bird out their now, make sure they have stingers with them. That wasn’t an idle threat.”

The building crashed into another skyscraper across the street with a thunder that reverberated for miles. Needle team, Claire and Rebecca managed to hold on despite the extreme angle, sliding down the roof into the broken glass sides of the still standing building, making their way inside as they ran up the stair to the roof access. The building had been undergoing heavy repairs before the attack and the massive project crane had fallen across into another building.

“Ok, check that one off my bucket list.” Claire huffed as they reached the roof. She glanced to see the tower crane forming a loose bridge to another building. “Rebecca, where exactly are we right now?” Claire poised as she ran over to her.

“Somewhere on twelfth street I would think, why?” Rebecca responded as Needle team came up behind her.

“Jill’s equipment beacon was last recorded from; we can get her out now if we cross over.” Claire decided. “Captain can you keep this landing zone clear for us and try to get another flight out of her?”

“Yes ma’am. Are you sure you don’t need assistance?”

“We’ll move faster, and I don’t want to test the strength of that crane too much with an entire tactical team.” Claire returned as her and Rebecca ran off towards the makeshift bridge. They mounted the top of the Crane’s frame, using the cladding as a walkway as they ran quickly across. “Don’t fucking look down.” Claire gritted her teeth as she made her way across. They jumped through a broken window in the building where Claire took out her phone, queuing the equipment tracker for her partner up. She was said top be two floors up as Rebecca kept up close behind her. They walked into a hastily abandoned office suite seeing only a rifle, radio and combat rig sitting on a conference table as Claire’s heart sunk.

“Where are you Jill?”

“I still can’t get over the fact that muscles for brains kept pining over you the entire time we were assigned together.” Jessica thought aloud as she circled Jill. Jill tracked her movements, still pretending to be out as Jessica paced. “I mean you have the perfect head cheerleader-football captain aesthetic but still, I swear I never saw him look at any other woman than you. Makes you kinda wonder doesn’t it?” Jessica continued as Jill watcher pass her again. She seized the opportunity and swept Jessica’s legs, knocking the Tricell operative to the ground. Jill rolled over and got her feet, Jessica quickly recovering as Jill landed a hard kick on the center of her chest.

“Come on you precious bitch, let’s see if Wesker left anything worth a damn in there.” Jessica stabbed as she tried to catch her breath. She ran at Jill, throwing a hard elbow that Jill dodged, turning hard as Jessica followed it up with several strikes. Jill struggled to weave around Jessica’s assault, hands still cuffed behind her back. Jessica overextended with on one thrust and Jill threw a hard kick to her side. Jessica staggered as Jill followed with a strike to the back of her knee, knocking her to the ground. Jill ran up on a dazed Jessica, wrapping her legs around her head in the air and brining her hard to ground, choking her out as Jessica struggled to reach for a weapon.

“Guess you were the top...” Jessica croaked as she lost consciousness and slumped over. Jill stood and took a deep breath, spitting on Jessica after grabbing the key to her cuffs. She dragged Jessica over to a pillar in the center of the room and cuffed her to it, taking her phone and running up to the roof of the building. She stepped out into the night air, glancing down at Jessica’s phone.

“Shit, no use trying anything encrypted, would just handover the codes to whatever they have ghosting her device. Sorry Chris, I’ll buy you a new phone after this.” Jill said to herself as she dialed Chris’ cell number. To her surprise he picked up.

“Guess who.” Jill teased as she heard the phone connect.

“Jill! Where the hell are you? Roland is losing his god damn mind trying to find out what the hell happened to you.” Chris almost yelled over the phone.

“I’m fine thanks for asking, looks like I’m somewhere on Walnut Street, high rise, I’m on the roof at the moment.” Jill returned.

“I wish I could tell you that we’d be bringing you back to South Paw, but the operation is mostly underway, and things have changed since you’ve been out of contact. Roland is sending BSAA bird to your location now; he’s listening in as we speak. Claire has been running all over the city trying to find you, we just picked up her and your Needle-Six recon team. D.O.S. just decided to start sharing intel, the remaining Tricell members in the city are pulling out, trying to sneak through the Will’s Eye Hospital evacuation zone.”

Chapter Text

Jill sat up against the bulkhead of the BSAA Blackhawk, as a medic looked her over. Her attention was glued to the screen of a hard case laptop, reading the report. The D.O.S. report showed multiple different Tricell personnel that where likely to be in or making their way towards the hospital; chief amongst these was the mention of a bioweapon’s handler know by the name of Myra Smith. Jill read through her file; she was known to have a relationship with the “Connections” but was working in some form of cooperation with Tricell.

“Better than the alternative.” Jill thought to herself, knowing how bad things could turn if they had two bio-terror operations start fighting in the middle of an evacuation zone.

“Ma’am, you’ll want to carry these in.” One of the BSAA strike team members said kneeling down, holding a small, refrigerated vaccine case and box of ammunition labeled “RAMRODS”. “Sent over with regards from Agent Kennedy.” The soldier said quietly as Jill opened the case and looked at three vials labeled “E-Type counter-agent”.

“What’s your name soldier?” Jill asked as she closed the case and placed in in a pouch on her belt. She drew her M9 from her thigh holster and began loading it with the RAMROD rounds as she looked up at the masked BSAA operative.

“Contra ma’am, not here in any official capacity, however. Just wanted to make sure you were equipped for what may be ahead.” He returned flatly as he glanced out the open door, the curved surface of the hospital coming into view, a BSAA helicopter taking off as several figures ran out, refugees getting on after them.

“Gunshots on the seventh-floor ma’am, I don’t have any security to spare to investigate but we’ve locked down what we could remotely.” A hospital official said as Claire jumped out of the helicopter with Needle recon.

“Got it, captain you help screen for our Tricell targets, I’ll go look at the seventh floor, likely just a diversion.” Claire said drawing her handgun as she took off down the stairs. She sprinted, practically leaping down each flight until she reached the seventh floor. She punched in the door code and stepped into a dark, abandoned hallway. She lifter her pistol and began to pace carefully through the floor, scanning the ground for shell casings or other signs of struggle. “Children’s cancer ward couldn’t have picked a worse place to start a gunfight.” Claire huffed as she read the sign over a nurse’s workstation near the main reception for the floor. She continued down one of the hallways stopping after she caught a soft glint from the ground in front of her. It has a spent shell, pistol judging by the size.

“Well there’s our gunshot.” Claire said to herself as she turned on the flashlight attached to her pistol and scanned the far end of the hall. She gasped. There was a body lay on the floor, a pool of blood formed around their head. Claire cautiously approached as she searched the other doorways along the hall, looking for any potential ambush.

“Needle Six-One this is Cerulean, found a deceased hospital worker down here. Lock down everything you can on this floor until I figure out what’s going on. Any luck up there?” Claire asked, as she stood over the body, unable to make out any distinguishable features.

“Understood Cerulean, we have yet to screen any Tricell operatives, evacuation is continuing steadily. Be advised Vermilion is on station carrying special weapons and ready to assist.” The captain called back as Claire felt a sense of relief flow over her. Her reprieve caught suddenly in her throat as she stepped into the room, seeing a woman laying on a gurney; her chest slowly rising and falling, her torso covered in blood. She ran over to the woman, her breathing coming in labored gasps, a large bandage over a blood-soaked wound in her side, a discarded badge identifying her as Helena Harper, CIA Field Op.

“Harper, the one that Helped Leon get out of Tall Oaks.” Claire remembered out loud as the barely conscious Helena groaned as she heard her voice. “Needle I need a medic down here now, we have a breathing but badly wounded CIA field op down here, looks one of the Tricell fuckers took out her attending nurse and left her for dead, I don’t know if they’re…” Claire trailed off as she stepped back out into the hallway and saw Ada standing at the far end, a young girl hiding behind her legs.

“Ada?” Claire asked, baffled at her sudden appearance.

“Claire… I need you to unlock to door on this floor.” Ada said approaching her slowly, showing her hands as empty.

“Ada, what are you doing here.” Claire responded, gripping her pistol tighter as she looked over at Helena still trying to speak, struggling to move.

“I told you Claire, just my last job, then I’m done. I need to get out of here and I need you to open the door for me; they’ve put this floor on lockdown.” Ada said avoiding the question with a deeply guarded tone.

“Ada…” Helena sputtered from the other room as Claire glanced at her, stepping back over the corpse of the nurse.

“Did you do this?” Claire demanded angrily as she pointed her gun at Ada.

“Claire don’t, just unlock the door, please.” Ada said pushing the girl farther behind her as she kept stepping closer.

“Answer the fucking question Ada! Did you do this?” Claire yelled as Ada stopped, holding her hands up and taking a long breath.

“I killed the nurse; I didn’t touch Helena.” Ada admitted trying to explain the situation, realizing the appearances.

“She was just like that huh? Where they following you? What was your job? Something Tricell brought? Some other bioweapon? Helena get in your way so kill her and the nurse is that it? Innocent people don’t really matter as long as you get you check?” Claire raged, trying to fight the overwhelming feeling of betrayal as she held her gun on Ada.

“That’s not what happened Claire; I was trying to do the right thing here.” Ada returned, starting to show her frustration as she balled her fists by her sides.

“Raptor to all units, be advised we have confirmed E-type weapon deployed to the area at Will’s Eye Hospital, approach with extreme caution, RAMROD ammunition being given out to responding units.” The joint dispatcher’s voice came through Claire’s radio breaking the tension for a moment as she listened and looked back at Ada, at the girl hiding behind her.

“Ada… who is she.” Claire asked, fear tinging the corners of her voice.

“Claire, please the door code.” Ada repeated, almost pleading as she saw Claire’s expression change, shaking her head as she took two steps back.

“Your last job, no wonder. They’re so valuable, so dangerous. Ada do you even realize what you’re doing, what that is!” Claire yelled as she pointed at the girl. She gripped Ada’s leg tighter as Claire pointed at her.

“That thing is designed to destroy countries! They made it a little girl so no one would want to fucking shoot it! Ada you are… you’re going down a path that isn’t redeemable, you’re making me do this and I don’t want to!” Claire struggled as she lifted her gun again, a tear escaping her eye as she watched Ada hang her head.

“Don’t do this Claire.” Ada said mournfully, unable to look up at her.

“You aren’t giving me a choice Ada.” Claire stifled tears as she centered her sights on Ada.

“I know. Evangeline, stop Claire.”

 

Jill hopped out of the helicopter as refugees began to board, moving quickly over to Needle Six as they screened waiting civilians.

“Good to see you again captain, what’s the deal downstairs? I just got the call of the E-type in the field; do we have anything on it?” Jill asked as she grabbed Ylliam’s shoulder.

“Not much yet, the whole battle space is losing their mind, wanting to quarantine evacuated persons, even stop flights. Redfield is downstairs checking on a disturbance, says she found a wounded spook on floor seven.” Ylliam reported.

“And you haven’t sent a follow up team? After she reported wounded, after the E-type warning?” Jill shouted before thinking, Ylliam looking surprised and taken aback by the sudden tirade.

“With all due respect ma’am, we have our hands full up here and Redfield las checking in just under five minutes ago.” He returned cautiously. Jill shook her head at her own outburst.

“Fine, I’ll go check myself, have teams start combing through the remaining population for any potential E-type someone may try to sneak by us.” Jill said in a more muted tone before turning to the staircase and making her way down. She stopped at the seventh floor, the door open as she raised her weapon and cautiously stepped into the nurse’s station. She scanned the room, hearing a faint whimper from one of adjoining hallways. She followed the sound and scanned the space seeing a crumpled form laying up against the wall; shaking, an empty handgun lying next to them.

“Claire! Jesus Christ what happened here?” Jill cried out as she ran over to her partner, holstering her weapon as she put her hand on Claire’s shoulder. She was covering face, sobbing, not seeming to notice Jill as she tried to get a response from her.

“Claire, Claire, come one, it’s me, I’m right here. What happened?” Jill tried to sooth as she looked for any apparent injuries on her.

“Get it out, get it out, get it out.” Claire muttered as she clenched her fists, her skin pale as she started sweating profusely.

“Claire, what happened?” Jill couldn’t suppress the worry in her voice as she struggled to get through to her. Claire glanced up at Jill, forcing a smile, as her expression seemed to return to normal.

“Jill! She’s here; she’s trying to stop me, scraping at the door… I won’t let you in!” Claire spoke warmly before collapsing on the floor, screaming at no one as she rolled onto her back. She grabbed the sides of her head, shaking as if trying to throw off an unseen assailant. She let out a blood-curdling scream as she stood, pale and sweating like before. Her eyes seemed to glaze over, pupils dilating.

“I… I won’t!” Claire yelled her voice a throaty growl. She swung her head into the window of the room in front of her, the glass cracking as she pulled black, blood running down her face as Jill grabbed her, pulling her away as she tried to land another strike. She pulled Claire to the ground and reached for the E-type cures in her pouch. She popped open the case as she tried to hold Claire down. She loaded one of the vials into the kit’s injector as Claire threw Jill off, scrambling to her feet. Jill stared, as Claire looked nightmarish, her eyes almost black, skin pale and veins blue and visible under her skin.

“What the hell is going on Roland, I have teams at the evacuation sight right now with cures and RAMRODS, we can lock this down and have an opportunity to keep evacuating all of the civilians in in the area.” Chris spoke quickly over the phone with the BSAA director pacing in his command post as he watched any camera feed, he could get on Will’s Eye Hospital.

“I agree Redfield, it’s the Army I’m having trouble with. They are losing their damn mind after finding out the threat was E-Type. They’re even angrier that they had to hear it directly from D.O.S. not from us when we knew.” Roland returned, the sounds of shouting coming through his line.

“Just keep them out of my airspace Roland, I’ll get the hospital locked down within the hour. We’ve already had one too many close calls today.” Chris finished, hanging up the phone. He replaced his headset. “Needle-Six-One this is Redfield, have your men set up a stinger perimeter on the roof. Army wants to bring the hospital to the ground, and they may not let us know when they’re coming. If you get a call for fire that doesn’t come from me, shoot it down.”

“Not to question an order sir, but are you sure that’s the wisest thing to do?” Captain Ylliam called back.

“No Captain, but they started shooting first and I’ll be damned if I don’t protect my people. You aren’t expendable.” Chris returned as she checked the last survivor count at the hospital, watching the list tick down slowly as each flight made their way out.

“We appreciate that sir, Needle-Six-One out.”

Jill dodged to her left as Claire rushed her, grumbling and staggering as she cried out before turning her again.

“Go… leave me…” she groaned in gravely voice as she lunged at Jill again. Jill stepped to avoid her again as she charged the injector, Claire charging her again, grabbing Jill’s throat. Jill gritted her teeth as she pushed back against Claire, pushing her up against the wall with her arm as she kept a hard grip on her throat.

“Not… worth it…” She growled as Jill pressed the injector to Claire’s neck and pressed the trigger. The device hissed as if fired a thin, hyper-pressurized stream of E-type cure into Claire’s bloodstream. Claire yelled in pain as she crumpled and fell, Jill supporting her as she went limp in her arms.

“You’re more than worth it to me.” Jill said softly and she slid her arm under Claire’s legs, lifting her as she carried her back to the stairs. A massive shock rocked the building as three BSAA medics made their way down the seventh floor.

“Agent Valentine! Redfield said there was another wounded operative on this level.” They said as they rounded the corner quickly.

“Back hallway past the reception desk, what the hell was that?” Jill asked as Claire groaned in her grasp, two of the medics running off to collect Helena.

“USAF just struck the helipad; military is freaking out over the E weapon and wants to bring down this whole building. Is Redfield ok?” The remaining medic inquired.

“Yeah, should be fine, I think she had a face to face run in with the weapon, BSAA gave me a few cure doses and one is in her system. I’m familiar with how they work, she should be fine with rest and observation. We need to get everyone out through the ground floor now, BSAA sending us help I hope.” Jill returned as the other two medics rushed by with Helena.

“Got it, I’ll head back up, get as many people down via elevators and stairs as possible, good luck Valentine.” The medic called as he took off.

“Jill… don’t let her…” Claire whispered hoarsely as they made their way downstairs as another large explosion rocked the building. Jill heard the roar of a mini gun spinning up and firing as she reached the third floor, the smell of smoke hitting her nose as a third explosion rocked the hospital.

“Hang in there Claire, you’re going to be ok.” Jill returned looking down at Claire, meeting her dazed eyes.

“I know.” Claire responded softly as she lent against Jill’s chest. The staircase began to grow hazy as Jill reached the first floor, the haze erupted suddenly as another missile struck at ground level. Jill spun, covering Claire as rubble bounced off her back, glass shattering and the groan of one of the building’s supports failing reverberated throughout the lobby. Jill stood, looking at the rubble now blocking her exit, fires burning throughout he lobby.

“Ok Claire, almost out.” Jill whispered, setting Claire’s feet down as she slung her still limp partner over her shoulders. She made for the exit, pushing rubble out of the way as she fought through the mess, reaching a large support beam blocking the shattered front door. Jill grabbing the mangled steel and lifted, pushing hard as the support groaned, moving grudgingly as Jill slid her and Claire underneath. The beam clattered back into place as Jill jogged away from the building. Missiles had torn massive chunks from the building as the entire east wing collapsed, Jill staying just ahead of the dust cloud.

“Still with me?” Jill said after getting a safe distance, kneeling and setting Claire down. Jill still held her as Claire winced, putting her hand on her neck.

“All the way, thanks for…” Claire was interrupted as Jill placed her finger on her mouth and hushed her.

“Don’t even.” Jill couldn’t help but smile as Claire looked up at her. She held her gaze for a moment before wrapping her hands around Jill’s neck. Jill lifted Claire up again as she heard a helicopter’s rotors spinning overhead. She turned to see the BSAA helicopter set down.

“You know you don’t have to keep carrying me.” Claire said softly, her blush hidden under a layer of ash and dust covering her face.

“Mhm, go ahead and stop me then.” Jill returned as Claire suppressed a quiet laugh, resting her head on Jill’s shoulder. Captain Ylliam approached the two, jumping down from the aircraft as it landed.

“Roland is pulling us all out, that was a series SNAFU, you both ok?” He asked as they got in the helicopter after him.

“Think so, Claire will be ok after she gets checked out.” Jill said, still holding her partner as she sat down in one of the seats up against the bulkhead. “Needle all accounted for?” Jill asked as Ylliam closed the door, the helicopter lifting off.

“Yes, we had members on surrounding rooftops when the first strike hit. I didn’t hear much after Roland called the full pull out, sounded mostly like screaming. I was surprised I didn’t hear gunshots.” The captain laughed nervously.

“We get everyone out?” Jill continued, straight faced as Claire seemed to doze off on her shoulder.

“Started moving civies to the surrounding rooftops as soon as we got word that the army was going to pull this bullshit. Much shorter trips, moved a lot of people, I don’t know if we got everyone though. Your partner, she’s a monster. Gives her brother a run for his money and I used to operate with his team before Lanshiang. I can’t imagine what we would have done without her.” The captain said gesturing to Claire. Jill couldn’t help but smile as she looked down at her exhausted partner.

“Yeah, can’t really imagine.”

Chapter Text

The helicopter ride was silent as Jill and Claire landed at the BSAA headquarters, greeted by an emergency medical team as another helicopter landed near them. Jill lifted Claire, setting her on the stretcher as Director Roland approached with two armed BSAA soldiers flanking him. Chris stepped out of the second helicopter, walking over to Jill, placing his hand on Claire’s shoulder as he looked down at her.

“She’ll be ok, E-cure took a lot out of her.” Jill said placing her hand over Chris’. “You did well, I can see why they keep you in command.” Jill offered him a slight smile as he nodded silently.

“I’m just glad you two are safe. I think I’m about to get the ass-chewing of a lifetime.” He groaned as Roland approached.

“For what?” Jill laughed as the medics checked Claire’s vitals.

“I just cost the Air Force about a hundred million dollars. One of the fighters that performed the strike on the hospital was shot down on my order.” Chris groused as he watched a convoy of vehicles pull out onto the BSAA Headquarters runway, heading their way.
“Good god… you did what you had to, you protected your people and civilians.” Jill paused, trying to come up with something reassuring to say.

“And they’re going to say the same thing, we don’t even have proof that they took out the E-type.” Chris said forlornly as Roland stepped up on the pair.

“Good to see you both ok, how’s your sister Chris.” Roland said with a surprising warmth in his voice, putting his hand on Chris’s shoulder.

“Exhausted sir, but Jill says she’ll pull through. Had a run in with the E-type but was administered a fungicidal serum within an hour of infection.” Chris delivered flatly as he looked back at Claire.

“Hell of a first op for her, she’s as tough as her brother though. And you Valentine? How are you holding up?” Roland asked as he looked as Claire laying in front of them, her chest gently rising and falling as the medics inserted an IV into her arm.

“Well sir, all things considered. Do you mind if I stay with her for a few hours?” Jill asked quietly as she watched Claire.

“I pulled both of you out for a reason. I need you here for this, then you’re both taking some down time.” Roland’s tone darkened as the approaching chain of army vehicles pulled up. Several uniformed army soldiers stepped out, an older man at the head of the group had a dark scowl across his face.

“I swear Roland he better be here to take responsibility for his actions and turn himself in.” He bellowed as he walked up on the BSAA operatives. Jill noticed the two BSAA soldiers with Roland shift into a fighting stance, facing the Army Officer.

“General Briggs, nice of you to come out personally but Agent Redfield will not be turning himself in and I will not be allowing you to make any arrests on BSAA soil.” Roland returned, his voice dripping with venom as he stepped forward, putting himself between his agents and the Army General.

“He ordered the deliberate downing of an US jet; he’s fucking lucky the pilot was able to bail out. All so your outfit could be the one to stop the E-type? Did you even find it before we wiped the place?” The general began his tirade as Roland listened to him with a straight face. Two army soldiers walked past Roland towards Jill as she lowered her hand to the handgun on her hip.

“We had the entire site locked down and it was the second time you violated our airspace with ill advised and uncoordinated air strikes. We where defending civilians as well as our people!” Roland fumed as he glanced over his shoulder. “What the hell do your boys think they're doing?”

“She was the one infected by the E-type, correct? She has to be brought to a secure facility before we determine she is no longer under the influence of the weapon.” Briggs tossed back as the soldiers stepped up to Claire’s stretcher, grabbing hold of it from the BSAA medics. The soldier closest to Jill froze suddenly as he felt the muzzle of Jill’s side arm pressed up against his neck.

“If you touch her, I will end you.” Jill snarled, fire in her eyes as Chris looked to Roland.

“Roland what the hell do your people think they’re doing?” Briggs demanded, taking another step towards the BSAA director.

“Agent Valentine, if General Briggs does not order his men to stand down in the next fifteen seconds… shoot him.” Roland replied flatly as Jill smirked, kicking the soldier she was holding at gunpoint in the back of the knee. She struck him swiftly in the back of the head with the butt of her pistol. She trained her sights on the General as the soldiers scrambled back to the rest of the unit.

“Roland, you’re going to bring hell down on yourself for this.” Briggs said angrily as he stepped off back towards the convoy. Jill lowered her weapon as the convoy turned and drove off.

“Did that really just happen?” She asked in disbelief, shaking her head as she holstered her pistol.

“Don’t jump the gun on me like that again Valentine. I will always have your back when shit hits the fan but that doesn’t mean I need you starting a gunfight with the US Army.” Roland turned towards Jill with a tone of frustrated concern.

“Yes sir… I think I’ve been ‘on’ for to long.” Jill sighed apologetically.

“I agree, it’s not a hundred percent on you, you’re still in combat mentally. Make sure Claire gets to the infirmary. They’ll want to take a look at her after Savage River and this. Chris, we’re pulling back the large scope of our response to Philadelphia after this fiasco. You did well, we evacuated most of the city, mostly just cleanup and some search and rescue, the army can handle that. I want you to take an hour then contact our South America headquarters. There’s a situation developing in Venezuela and they need to know we aren’t just an organization for our host nation.” Roland said as the BSAA Medics began to move off with Claire.

About an hour later, Chris stood over Claire’s bed in the BSAA research hospital. Claire groaned awake as one of the doctors walked in behind Chris.

“Glad to bring some good news to you Agent Redfield, your sister is showing no signs of infection from either the Savage River agent or the E-type mutamycene infection. We had to give her a transfusion to help her system rid herself of the dead cells, but she should be back up and ready to go within a week.” The doctor spoke as Chris looked over at him with a smile.

“Tough kid isn’t she.” Chris said more to himself than anyone else.

“I heard that tough guy, never gonna let you live it down.” Claire murmured, opening her eyes as she looked up at her brother. “Where’s Jill?” She asked sitting up on her pillow, looking around the medical suite.

“Outside I think, she can’t handle… you know the machines and the smell and such.” Chris tried to find his words as Claire nodded.

“No, I get it, being tested on for three years, I don’t blame her.” Claire said softly, her eyes betraying her disappointment. “How long until you let me out of here doc?”

“As soon as you finish that saline, I’d say you can go home tonight but I wouldn’t recommend returning to field duty for at least two weeks.” The doctor responded as Claire sighed.

“Ugh fine, Chris, go find Jill and let her know I’m ok?” Claire said turning to her brother. “That and you need to take me car shopping again! The Air Force wrecked mine at Savage River!” Claire called after him as he opened the door.

“Don’t worry, and I think I paid them back a thousand-fold.” He laughed dryly as he stepped out into the corridor. He stepped outside to an internal courtyard within the hospital’s complex. Jill was sitting on a bench amongst neatly trimmed hedges. She had yet to change, still covered in debris and soot, a lit cigarette burning idly between her fingers as she covered her face with her free hand.

“Thought you quit.” Chris said quietly as he sat down next to her.

“Y’know, I really don’t need a fucking lecture right now.” Jill rasped, raising it to her mouth and taking a long drag before tossing it on the ground, grinding it out with the toe of her boot. Her dirt covered face was streaked with dry tears as she looked over at Chris.

“I didn’t mean… I just worry about you.” Chris amended his tone as Jill silently nodded in response. “Claire’s going to be fine, they’ll cut her loose in a few hours.” Chris added after taking a deep breath. Jill let out a sigh of relief as she sat back on the bench, staring at the extinguished cigarette at her feet.

“I’m having trouble coming back down… Roland gave me a hell of a pass today.” Jill muttered as she kicked at the ash idly.

“You… you weren’t wrong. God this turned into a huge mess. I think Roland will come through for us though, he seems to have his finger on the pulse of the politics the way O’Brian did, but without the stunts.” Chris remembered as he wrung his hands.

“O’Brian still meant well, took the fall when he needed to.” Jill said softly. “Claire torn up over her new car?” Jill asked with a stifled laugh.

“Already demanded I take her shopping again this weekend.” Chris returned, shaking his head with a smile.

“Tell her I’ll take her, been thinking about replacing mine as well.” Jill said smiling at her friend.

“Oh, thank god, if I had to sit through that whole process again and didn’t get a toy for myself I was going to lose my mind.” Chris laughed in relief. Jill smiled as they laughed together for a moment, feeling a little more like herself. “Do you think you could see her?” Chris asked cautiously.

“I… I tried a couple times at the door and… like I could feel it coming. Its like tunnel vision, I could feel it and just had to leave. If I go down that path Chris, I can’t pull myself out of it. Then things are about me cause I’m losing my shit and Claire will be worried when she needs to be recovering and the doctors helping her will be trying to help me and… She doesn’t need that right now.” Jill said with a pained look, avoiding Chris’ eyes.

“It’s ok, she understands.” Chris murmured as Jill stood.

“I think I should go home for now, Roland demanded I take at least forty-eight hours before returning to duty. That and I am in desperate need of a shower.” Jill finished as Chris stood with her.

“You’ve certainly earned it. Let me know if you need anything.” He said pulling her into a hug.

“You too.” Jill said softly, returning his embrace.

Jill strode across her living room, running her hands through her still damp hair. She had changed into a red flannel hanging open over gray tank and black sweatpants. She made her way into her kitchen, opening her cabinet as her doorbell rang. She set a wine glass down on the counter. She opened the door; Claire standing the hall with a large wrapped package in front of her, a backpack slung over her shoulder. She motioned for her to come in as Claire offered a shy smile.

“Figured you probably hadn’t got to replacing you mirror yet, so I grabbed one for you. I think it should be the right size, but I kept the receipt in case it isn’t.” She said leaning it against the wall by the door. Jill smiled at her as she walked back into her kitchen and poured herself a glass of wine.

“I’m glad to see they actually let you out today. How’d you get here out of curiosity?” Jill said taking a sip as she looked over at her friend.

“Uber, Chris said you’d help me shop.” Claire returned sitting at the counter separating Jill’s kitchen and her living room.

“Jesus Claire, from Fredrick? That must have cost you a fortune.” Jill gasped as she set her glass down.

“I wanted to make sure you where ok is all, I figured after everything… I didn’t want you to be alone.” Claire said softly, setting her bag down next to her stool.

“I don’t think I’m going to want to bring the attack home Claire, I’m not really in the mood to talk…”

“I know, Jill. I’m not here for work, I’m here for you.” Claire said standing and walking around the counter and leaning next to Jill. She looked over and smiled at her shaking her head.

“Persistent, the both of you. Probably why I haven’t completely lost my mind yet.” Jill said picking up her glass and walking back into her living room as Claire watched her. “So, I guess you’re spending the night?” Jill said pointing at Claire’s bag.

“Your couch is more comfortable than my bed.” Claire said jokingly as she stepped in front of Jill. She wrung her wrist in one hand as she looked off to the side for a moment. She bit her lip and met Jill’s eyes. “I’m still a little high strung and… um… well you literally carried me out of… fuck I’m so graceful with my speech. The second I got home I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t safe. That went away the second I pulled up here.” Claire looked away as she searched for her words, stammering through them as she seemed to wince, waiting for Jill’s reaction. She set her glass down on the end table by the couch and approached Claire. Jill grabbed both of Claire’s hand as she looked her in the eye, offering a sympathetic smile.

“Stay as long as you need.” Jill said leading her over the couch, motioning for her to sit as she grabbed her laptop. “You are going to help me pick out a car so we can leverage the best deal out of some poor s-o-b salesman that won’t know what hit him.” Jill said sitting next to Claire as she laughed. The spent a good hour going through local adds, googling photos and reviews before Claire found herself idly scrolling through pictures of super cars that where nowhere near her price range. She felt Jill’s head laying on her shoulder and looked over to see her partner asleep. Claire set the laptop on the coffee table as she lightly patted Jill’s hand.

“Hmm?” Jill groaned as she woke quickly.

“Just dozed off on my shoulder, probably should get some sleep considering its nearly four in the morning.” Claire offered as Jill sat up, shaking off her sleepy disorientation.

“Yeah, probably.” Jill said groggily as she walked off towards her bedroom. Claire followed as Jill sat down on her bed.

“I’ll let you sleep in, no rush to get up since Roland gave you two days to recuperate.” Claire said turning towards the door. She stopped as Jill suddenly grabbed her wrist. Claire turned back to see Jill staring at her with an almost pleading expression. She broke off eye contact suddenly, keeping her grip as she struggled to speak.

“Don’t go…I…” Jill trailed off trying to explain herself as Claire stepped closer, placing her free hand over Jill’s.

“You don’t have to explain.” She said softly, kicking off her shoes as she got into bed with Jill. Claire lay opposite of her as she pulled a blanket over her shoulder. “Wake me up if you need me, ok?”

“I will.” Jill whispered as she closed her eyes.

The air stank, rotting flesh and screams filling it. The rattle of gunfire followed by more screaming, glass crashing as she flew through window, smoke, more screaming. Jill jerked awake, gasping as she felt tears running down her face. She was cold, sweaty as she took several deep breaths. She glanced over, seeing Claire fast asleep next to her, smiling despite her grasping breaths, her body still in the nightmare. She rolled over, ran the back of her hand over Claire’s cheek as she slept. An overwhelming warmth filled Jill’s chest, banishing the feelings of dread that had just been dominating her as she stroked her partner’s face.

“I love you…” She whispered, sitting up gently. Her throat was dry, the glass next to her bed empty as she grabbed it and headed for the kitchen. She stopped in her living room, looking over at her Piano faintly illuminated by thin lines of moonlight coming through the blinds. She sat down on the bench and set the glass down on top of the instrument. She lifted the cover off the keys and sighed, playing a mournful chord, letting her hands slowly dance over the keys as she fought to keep her focus as the gentle melody began to hum from the instrument. She played through to the chorus when she felt the song spill from her lips in a hushed voice.

“I had dream. I got everything I wanted… But when I wake up, I see… you with me.” Jill’s playing increased as she felt herself relax into the old comfort of music, her mind focused and clear.

“And you say, ‘As long as I’m here, no one can hurt you… don’t wanna lie here, but you can learn to. If I could change the way that you see yourself… You wouldn’t wonder why you hear; they don’t deserve you’.” Jill continued through the whole piece, feeling like part of herself had suddenly returned as she took a deep breath upon finishing.

“Jill…” Claire said softly as Jill whirled around to see her leaning against corner of the dining room. Her face shone with a wet streak on her cheek as she smiled at her. “I love you too.”

Jill gasped, covering her mouth, halfway between a sob and laugh. She knocked the bench over as she ran to Claire, grabbing her and falling against the wall; Claire laughing as she threw her arms around her partner. Jill placed her hand on Claire’s face and kissed her. Jill’s heart raced with excitement and relief, the feeling of warmth and comfort washing over her, running her hand through Claire’s loose hair as she lost herself in the moment.

Chapter Text

The Embraer passenger jet settled onto the runway as it passed over the Tigris River. It taxied off the main strip, coming to a stop by a small gathering of crew near the terminal of Mosul International Airport. The gangway was lowered as passengers stepped out into the oppressive Iraqi sun in midday, making their way to an awaiting bus. A woman with a young girl stepped off to the side, nearing an awaiting SUV. Ada reached over, drawing the seatbelt over Evangeline’s lap as the driver looked, back at Ada.

“You can’t even tell by looking at her. Are you certain your tail didn’t track you here?” A dark-skinned man said in a heavy accent.

“I had to put myself out there to get the package but the agent they had on me has been, incapacitated for the moment, no one followed me out of the city let alone here.” Ada returned as Evangeline sleepily rested her head on Ada’s arm. The car began moving towards the exit of the airport as Ada glanced at her watch. Seeing the reminder, she had set for herself she slipped the bag she had been carrying off her shoulder and pulled out a bottle of pills, a plastic spoon and a container of applesauce.

“Evangeline dear, time for you medicine.” She said softly opening the container as Evangeline groggily perked up, taking them from Ada. “You can rest for a while; we still have a long drive.” Ada added as Evangeline finished the container and handed it back to Ada.

“Is it ok if I lay down, I’m really tired.” Evangeline shyly asked as Ada nodded, the child laying down, resting her head on Ada’s lap. She watched the driver look back through the rearview mirror, a visible shiver running up his spine.

“You play the role well, are you ready to speak to Awdil?” The driver commented as he held up a burner cell phone and handed it back to Ada. She took it with no response, only one contact listed in the contacts.

“Wong.” She said as she heard the other end pick up.

“Glad to hear from you, in country without issue?” a chipper accented voice addressed Ada’s callus answer.

“Without issue. I expect your first payment to clear before I arrive, then we can begin to talk about Ankara.” Ada returned coolly.

“Are you certain you want to be a part of this Ms. Wong. My offer still stands, twenty-five US for the weapon and another five for instruction on how to use it.” The voice of Awdil pried again as Ada shook her head to herself.

“She’s not for sale, just her help and mine. I’ll be more than satisfied with the couple mil you’re already promised me.” Ada returned as an audible sigh came through the other end.

“Very well Ms. Wong, that will be the last time I heckle you then. We’ll talk planning when you arrive, welcome to Kurdistan.” Awdil returned as he hung up the phone. Ada closed the cell and handed it back to the driver. She watched as they left the outskirts of Mosul, the green of the Tigris’ floodplain fading into the yellow and tans of the desert. She let out a long breath as she stroked Evangeline’s hair as she slept.

The air was cold, snow starting to fall fresh as the sedan made its way off Camden Road onto a private driveway. It had been a quiet road from the airport in Truro, Nova Scotia. The pair was silent as they stepped out of the car after parking in front a of a humble country residence.

“You’re doing the explaining, you go first.” Raymond hissed as Jessica replaced her white leather gloves over her hands. She glared at him, stepping off towards the building as Raymond followed. Jessica scanned her bracelet over the electronic lock on the door, the bolt clicking as it opened. The pair stepped into the simple, almost homey living room; a woman seated at the couch. Her laptop as open on the coffee table next to a rocks glass full of half-melted ice and a loaded handgun.

“Two days late for check in after a major incident, I almost declared you rogue.” The woman spoke, brushing her dark hair behind her ear as she looked at the pair. Jessica took a step forward and hesitated, the woman staring at her with a dark grin.

“Valentine was able to incapacitate me as…” She was cut off, suddenly screaming as the rocks glass struck her in the side of the head. Raymond stepped back as glass showered over the floor, Jessica’s mouth agape as she turned back to the woman. She was standing, pointing her handgun at Jessica with a vicious look of delight.

“You let some BSAA has been take you down while restrained, you lost a high value target in an operation where things where already going downhill fast while your partner successfully set up a back up egress point. Why the fuck should I not blow your brains out and cut my losses!” The woman’s voice began as a growl and turned into a shrill screaming tirade, shaking the handgun in front of Jessica.

“With all due respect ma’am, Valentine is still one the BSAA’s most respected and capable field operatives, Sherawat was not properly equipped to handle her alone.” Raymond interjected as Jessica took out a handkerchief to wipe blood from her brow.

“Sticking up for your partner, now are we? Parker did get to you, soft, useless fucks the both of you. We have a chance at redemption for you, however. Headquarters was finally able to breach S.O.A.’s data storage. We where only in for a minute before they were able to isolate and lock us out. We spend days going through the data we pulled, and we may have something worthwhile. Looks like someone from the upper echelon has been making a series of well-hidden personal trips to France, coming in at a different airport each time. They’ve been doing an awful lot of leg work to hide this so I’m thinking protected family or some kind of dirt or impropriety. Worst case its something simple and embarrassing; in which case we’ll leak it to tabloids and see what kind of damage we can stir up on social. Best case scenario you will take a leaf out of Albert’s book and see how much chaos we can throw them in as they try to recover their loved ones.” The woman seethed as she returned to her laptop, setting the gun down.

“Do we have any idea who we are talking about?” Raymond asked, stepping forward as Jessica passed behind him, avoiding eye contact with both of them.

“No Vester, that’s why we have special field operatives with investigative skills to go out and figure that the fuck out.” She spat as she typed something into her laptop, a printer in the corner of the living room beginning to click to life. “Your boarding passes, your flight leaves in six hours for the UK, from there you’re on trains and buses to Paris. Meet up with our satellite there for equipment and contingency planning. Consider this you last chance before we decide to pull you back to response team or worse.” She rattled on as Jessica grabbed the still warm paper from the printer. The pair silently made their way out of the Tricell safe house as Jessica stopped by the car.

“Raymond… thank you.” Jessica said softly before opening the door and taking her seat. Raymond rolled his eyes, taking his seat behind the wheel.

“Don’t talk about it.” He murmured as they pulled out of the private property back onto the main road.

 

“Hey there, you where starting to really worry me.” Leon said softly as he sat hunched over next to Helena’s hospital bed. She groaned as she tried to sit up, wincing as throbbing pain radiated out from her wound, forcing her back down. She looked over and offered him a warm smile.

“It’s good to see you Leon.” She said reaching out, Leon taking her hand for a moment avoiding her eyes for a moment.

“I read the report of what happened to you and… well I was curious what actually happened.” Leon sighed as Helena’s expression turned melancholy.

“Are we alone.” She asked without looking up.

“I locked the door behind me for good measure.” Leon returned, still keeping his grip on Helena’s hand. She took a deep breath and looked back at him.

“I was… taking out potential bio-terrorists in the city shortly before the attack. A businessman trying to broker weapons trade, a handler facilitating a sale and… Ada.” Helena gasped as Leon’s grip tensed around her hand. She looked up at his dark eyes, fear washing over her face. “Leon please, you need to understand… I wouldn’t have…” She stopped as he closed his eyes, relaxed his grip and softly kissed the back of her hand.

“Helena… after everything… Tall Oaks, Lanshaing… I trust you. What where you going to do about Ada?” Leon sighed deeply, seeming to hold back his emotions as he put on a strong, caring face for his friend.

“Ingrid and I where planning on subverting our orders, we only wanted to stop her from delivering whatever she was trying to get her hands on. The handler is who did this to me. I was… kind of out of it when the BSAA showed up. I don’t blame the agent who showed up, thinks looked really bad for Ada.” Helena remembered as Leon let out a long sigh of relief. He had a hard time thinking Ada would have attacked his friend so viciously while hoping she hadn’t actually tried to kill Ada.

“I ran into her earlier, when I was clearing out the Tricell observation posts. She gave me a case of E-cure. That’s how the BSAA already had them on station when we told them we knew there was one at that hospital.” Leon said quietly as Helena listened earnestly.

“That explains why… Ada ordered the E-type to attack the BSAA when they showed up, she did that knowing they had a cure so… she wasn’t trying to kill them. God I can still hear the screams though… Leon what is she trying to do?” Helena winced at her memory, looking back at Leon as he stood, pacing around the hospital room.

“I never really know with her but… she’s trying to do something that will get her out. As with Ada, I don’t really understand what that means or what it entails. I doubt this is over though, whoever she decides to sell that thing to will most definitely use it. We can’t afford for that to happen.” He said softly almost to himself. He turned back to Helena and offered a reassuring smile.

“Try to get some rest and not worry about the world for a few days. I’m going to see what I can do to help track down the rest of the bastards that wrecked Philly.” Leon said leaning down and kissing Helena’s forehead.

“I will, come by again if you have the time. This work doesn’t leave me with many friends or…” Helena sighed as morose memories began to bleed back into her mind.

“Makes two of us Helena. I’ll… I’ll be back soon.” Leon smiled as he stepped out, his expression souring as soon as he began down the hallway.

“A pleasure to finally meet you in person Ms. Wong.” A tall man with a short black beard greeted Ada as she stepped into a large conference room; maps and computers dominating any free desk space that existed in the room.

“Likewise, Awdil. I trust you have some semblance of an idea about how this is going to go down.” Ada responded as she stepped up to a large, marked map showing Anatolia and Iraq.

“Mostly complete, we are open to input from your expertise.” He offered cautiously.

“Will cost you extra every hour you have me helping, but I can.” Ada tossed back, matter-of-factly.

“Of course. We will be staging an attack in one of the southern police precincts, midday, simple, likely a car bomb detonated remotely. We will immediately claim credit and you will be just outside of the effective radius with Evangeline. The local government has been making a hard tourism push which this could threaten. You will pose as a foreign tourist and you and Evangeline will likely be focused on by the press office as long as you sing the praises of the first responders in front of the news cameras. Single mother with her daughter talking good about local response? That will be exactly what the Mayor will see as a way to fight off the bad press. We will use our contacts withing city hall to push for him to hold a press conference with you. That’s when you have the weapon infect him. From their we should be able to steadily work out way up until we reach the powers we need.” Awdil delivered his plan with a large prideful smile as he approached Ada, listening blankly.

“If that’s how you want it done, easy enough, when should be ready and how long do you intend to keep me?” Ada returned

“Shouldn’t be more than three months, the attack is being scheduled for a few days from now.” Awdil answered. Ada took a breath, fighting off a curious inquiry.

“Awdil, why spend so much of your limited resources on this. You have been waging a guerrilla campaign for a long time, why not increase the intensity ten-fold and spend less than half what you are paying me.” Ada asked as Awdil lent in close, responding in almost a whisper.

“Not a saleswoman, are you Ms. Wong? We are not barbarians; we are not murderers like so many who may look or speak or pray like us. We were promised our homeland nearly a century ago and the people who shun us, kill us and deprive us of our dignity are the ones who broke that promise. The same powers that demand our restraint and dictate how we should accomplish our goals have abandoned us. Even those who we have called friend, done their work because we believed they where good and righteous have abandoned us to the whims of our oppressors. What else are we to do? This weapon, if it does as we have been told will force our enemies to kneel without killing anymore of their people in the process.” Awdil delivered altruistically. Ada nodded quietly.

“I think you believe that, just know that I will personally destroy your entire outfit if you deviate or try to take Evangeline from me.” Ada warned as she turned to pace.

“Promises mean something to us Ms. Wong, just read out history and you will know.” Awdil tossed back as Ada stepped out of the room without responding.

Chapter Text

“And the vote has been completed, reports have told us that despite some debate and challenges from members of the Bio-Terror Security Sub-Council, the UN charter granting funding and authority to the BSAA has been renewed.” The exaggerated voice of a news anchor delivered from multiple TV’s in the S.O.A. operations office. The group watching breathed a collective sigh of relief. Chris turned and smiled at Jill and Claire, both lent up against a desk facing the TV’s behind him.

“Looks like we all still have work then.” Chris offered as Jill continued staring at the screen.

“Pay attention.” She said flatly as the pundit continued.

“With the abstention from permanent members Russia and China and temporary members Turkey and the Philippines; the BSAA is entering into a period of a weakened mandate and confidence from member nations. The Russian President, Mededyev Vladimirovich stated that his country plans to explore domestic alternatives to the BSAA similar to those announced by Venezuela after a series of attacks in that country where largely overshadowed by the BSAA’s response to the missile attack on the US city of Philadelphia. Officials from China have been heard to be expressing concern over the BSAA’s close operation with the US military, recent data breach and perceived favoritism of Western incidents. China has also announced they will be ending their participation with BSAA exercises with other pacific partners scheduled for this spring.” The report dragged on as Chris hung his head.

“They say that like the Army is our best friend right now.” Chris spat in frustration. Jill shook her head and walked off as Claire looked after her.

“It still doesn’t look good; first someone breaks into our servers now this. I’m surprised that even after what you did in Lanshaing they’d turn us out that easily.” Claire said, her eyes still following Jill as she stepped out of the operations room. Claire stood to follow her, stopping as Chris put his hand on her shoulder.

“That paired with how poorly our pull out went… hopefully we will just have to weather this storm while keeping up with what we know how to do.” He said keeping his arm on Claire as he stepped closer. “I got this one.” He said just loud enough for Claire to hear. Chris stepped out into the hallway, Jill holding her phone to her ear, looking distressed as she paced, turning back and forth.

“Come on pick up the damn phone.” She muttered as she noticed Chris. The phone reached voicemail as she set in down.

“What’s the matter Jill.” Chris said softly as she folded her arms and glanced at the floor.

“I can’t stop thinking… the hack, they might have found some of my requests for… Chris what if there is something that leads them to… What if they find them?” Jill stumbled through her panicked thoughts as she began to break down. She leaned into his shoulder as she squeezed her eyes shut.

“It’s ok, I doubt there was anything that telling, cyber told me that they were only in for about a minute, they think they’ve done an inventory of anything they may have been able to see. That being said, I think you should go see them. After Philly you need the down time and Roland owes it to you.” Chris said softly patting Jill’s back as she collected herself. “I also think you should bring Claire; I think having the extra support would be good for you.” Chris said offering Jill a sympathetic smile that betrayed his thoughts.

“So, she ugh… told you?” Jill said cautiously.

“No, I just can pick up on things going on between the two most important people in my life.” Chris laughed as Jill looked at him nervously.

“I… you’re ok with this right? I know it kinda puts you in a tough spot if god forbid…” Jill danced around the subject as Chris laughed again.

“One, Claire is her own woman, she nor you need any kind of blessing from me. Two, I can’t think of anyone better to be looking after her, and vice versa.” Chris encouraged as Jill laughed softly, breaking the tension of her own thoughts.

“Do you think she’s ready to come with me though, I mean it’ll be a lot to just drop on her, not like I can really talk about it in the open.” Jill said turning back around as she resumed her worried pacing.

“She can handle it, especially for you. I already made the request for the both of you to Roland.” Chris admitted as he held up his phone as proof, a text from Roland assuring him it would be approved. Jill smiled at him as they both returned to the operations room, Claire quickly glancing over as they came back in, a worried smile breaking over her face.

“So, Claire, you two are going to go take some time off in France.” Chris laughed as Jill quietly grinned sheepishly at her.

Claire settled into the window seat of the plane as Jill took the aisle next to her. Her mind was racing from the little information both Chris and Jill had offered her. Something cryptic about going to visit family abroad that Jill tried to see as often as possible. She had little to go off of and new better than to prod about family with Jill. It was firmly branded in her mind after an incident several years ago.

The BSAA was still an idea being floated around by politicians, altruists and the law enforcement community when Claire, Chris and Jill had met up at a café in D.C. for a rare lunch between the three of them. Claire only ever spent time around Jill with her brother but had grown to like her; Claire struggled not to laugh to hard at Jill’s jokes, stare every time she mussed her hair or stretched her arms out in such a way that drew her eye. She kept close to Chris usually feeling too flustered to keep conversation beyond nodding along as the partners exchanged stories. Chris was reliving a memory to Jill about a time Claire had sneaked an entire bowl of holiday candy, deftly placing it in Chris’ room and avoiding blame. Claire laughed along with him as he recalled it with faux bitterness as Jill softly smirked.

“Hardly the worst thing I ever did to him too. You can’t imagine how fun it is having a sibling to mess with, hide all sorts of things from your parents and such. I guess you could always blame your friends for things being an only child, hide all sorts of things that way.” Claire laughed in a rambling sort of way as Chris steadily nudged her harder to the point that he bumped the table. Jill’s expression straightened as Claire stopped, looking confused at her brother. “What the hell Chris?” She laughed nervously.

“You don’t need to police her for my sake you know, I’m not some precious princess you dance around tough topics with.” Jill spat angrily looking at Chris, sipping her drink in front of her.

“It wasn’t… she doesn’t know about…” Chris stuttered as Claire watched concerned as his stumbling response seemed to make Jill angrier.

“No Chris she doesn’t know because I don’t go around fucking advertising it. I know people talk about that shit all the time and it doesn’t bother me. It bothers me when people try to act like I’m a dainty fucking flower that doesn’t like to talk about hurt feelings.” Jill was almost shouting now as she glared at a dumbstruck Chris, Claire becoming more distressed.

“I was trying to stop her from saying something that she didn’t know would be hurtful.” Chris said getting defensive, Claire putting her hand on his arm. He shook it off as Jill stared him down.

“Don’t go acting like this is her fault damnit, you where the one jostling her over the fact poor Jill’s feelings might hurt cause she has a complicated ass relationship with her family. Boo-fucking-hoo for me the damn emotional wreck, right? Bastard.” Jill spat as she stood up and stormed off. Claire stood and ran after her as she walked out of the café, turning down an alley towards where they had parked.

“Jill! Jill please. I didn’t mean to hit a nerve, Chris means well, please don’t be mad at him over something I said.” Claire pleaded as Jill turned back towards her, still fuming. Claire stopped dead as Jill walked up on her. Claire involuntary stepped back up against the wall of the café as Jill approached.

“He knew what the hell he was saying, thick idiot thinks he’s always got to save everyone from everything.” Jill scoffed as she stood over Claire. She looked her in eyes, taking in Claire’s distress at the situation. Her anger seemed to melt into a tentative smile as she looked at Claire. “And here I am proving him right, acting like a proper adult with full control of her emotions.” Jill said in a sarcastic, self-deprecating manor.

“It’s not that, we all have nerves that get touched.” Claire said softly as she calmed down with Jill. Jill held her arms open in front of Claire, motioning gently with her hands.

“Come here, I don’t bite.” Jill said as Claire wrapped her arms around her, Jill hugging her tight as Claire tried to keep her heart from racing. “Let’s make a deal, I won’t throw any more temper tantrums and let’s leave the family talk private.” Jill said as she released Claire.

Claire walked through the memory several times as she quietly held Jill’s hand on the arm rest between the seats. Jill looked up at Claire as she blankly stared at her, trying to find the right words.

“All good babe?” Jill asked, lifting Claire’s hand to her lips as she snapped back to the present.

“Yeah no I… Jill I am more than happy to come with you, I’m just curious who we are…” Claire trailed off, failing to come up with something tactful to say.

“Not an unfair question… let’s say um… extended close family? They are the ones I’ve kept in contact with since… well before I left the Army. After what happened to Barry's family I've tried to keep mine well, hidden.” Jill said in a soft, pained tone. “After I found the one, I kind of only had him. After a few years we found a couple more after he left the country. Other than you and Chris, they’re all I have anymore.” Jill lamented as she squeezed Claire’s hand tighter.

“I’m sorry Jill, I didn’t realize your parents had passed.” Claire said quietly, desperately trying to tread carefully.

“Claire… they’re still alive.” Jill said looking over at her, Claire’s face going red. “I guess if I’m going to drag you out of the country with me you deserve a bit of an explanation.” Jill sighed deeply.

“No Jill you don’t…” Claire was cut off by Jill holding up her pointer finger.

“I want to tell you, of all people.” Jill said softly, forcing a warm grin for Claire. “I ugh… well I was really close to my mom. Like, we'd go do everything together, held her hand even when I was in middle school and she always knew exactly what to say whenever I was upset. She made me feel so safe, so comfortable that I sat down with her when I was thirteen and came out of the closet to her. She grabbed my hands at the kitchen table, stammering through tears that she was so happy I felt like I could talk to her like that. She told me she was proud that I was mature enough to say something and asked if it would be ok if she told my dad. I was overjoyed that she was so accepting, so loving still and I told her she could. A coupled days later they sat down with me again and my dad said they had talked, that my mom had explained everything to him. He said that they were in agreement and wanted to do everything they could to help me get through this.” Jill sniffled a little as Claire placed her other hand over Jill’s, smiling encouragingly at her as she continued. “At this point I was still thrilled, who had heard of that in the fucking eighties? Then my mom said she would help me start looking for solutions, that it wasn’t all my fault, that someone had led me astray, that society was promoting being gay like it was good thing. She looked me in the eye and said that they were also to blame for my ‘affliction’ but they would make sure that I could get help.” Jill remembered, tears falling down her cheek.

“They pulled me out of public school and started signing me up for any activity they could possibly think of. They thought I wasn’t focused enough so my mind was wandering to places it shouldn’t go. Kind worked against them really; I did volleyball, track, a half dozen different martial arts and started getting into ROTC in high school. Plenty of other girls just like me hiding in plain sight, closeted from their families. They signed me up for piano lessons as well, three hours a week. They felt that something so proper and classical would help right my mind. I had a break down during one of my lessons and my teacher, Hugo Long, told me that he knew exactly what I was feeling. I didn’t believe him until he told me how his roommate and him where just like any other couple, just two men and that was ok. His lessons became my refuge after that, sometimes not even playing, just having a place to cry for an hour where I knew I wouldn’t be judged.” Jill said wiping tears from her eyes. Claire squeezed her hand tighter as Jill smiled at her through her tears, picking her thought back up.

“I came in on my mom in the kitchen at night every now and then; she would always be praying. She would beg god for a sign as to where she went wrong with me, ask him to spare my soul despite my ‘depravity’.” Jill sputtered as she fought through the memory. “I often wished she would yell at me, threaten to kick me out of the house but she loved me in the worst way. She still cared for me, looked after me and I think she really believed if she didn’t ‘save’ me, I’d go to hell for it. When you watch someone love you like that, try so hard to do something they think is right, you start to think you’re the problem.” Jill paused to wipe tears from her eyes as she leaned over to rest her head on Claire’s shoulder. Claire wrapped her arm around Jill as she began to sob quietly into her shoulder. She ran her hand over Jill’s shoulder until she felt her sit up. The fasten seatbelts light flashed as Jill wiped her eyes with the arm of the sweatshirt sitting in her lap. She looked over with a smile at Claire as she leaned in and softly kissed her.

“You don’t have to keep going if its too hard.” Claire soothed as the plane began to descend.

“No, I think it’s good for me to tell someone, especially you.” Jill said shaking her head as the plane touched down. “We’ll keep going when we get in the car.” Jill inhaled deeply as the plane taxied to the terminal. They worked their way through customs before securing a rental and heading out of the city. Claire drove as the green rolling countryside of France on D119. Jill coughed, taking a deep breath.

“Think you can bear to hear me keep prattling on?” Jill asked tentatively. Claire gave her a scolding yet sympathetic look. Jill laughed, “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“After, um, a while a guess, I was damn near sixteen, I started feeling like I was really everything people would say; talking about how I dressed, how I acted, who I hung out with. I just hit breaking point and I started to fill their expectations. By seventeen I was sneaking off with people as damaged as me, self-destructing in the worst ways with whatever we could find. My parents would regularly find a pack of cigarettes or half bottle of something in my room, scold me for it, only to talk about how it was just a symptom of my bigger problem. I got infatuated with twenty something girl that took a liking to me near the end of high school. She and I would frequently sneak off, to the point where my parents would call the police. There was one incident where we got caught sneaking into and drinking at an Indigo Girls concert and they called my parents. I remember sitting in the back of a cop car as they screamed at her, calling her a miserable dyke that was responsible for ruining their ‘perfect little girl’. I just kept thinking, ‘mom you’re talking about me too, this is just me!’. It became too much for me and I ran off. I kinda just wandered for a bit, tramping around some of my old hideouts. Bunch of empty beer bottles just lying on the ground and such and…” Jill’s voice trailed off as she stared blankly through the windshield. Claire placed her hand on Jill’s leg as she drove, Jill placing her hands over Claire’s as she took a long breath.

“I broke one against a stone and dragged the sharp edge up my forearm and laid down in the grass. Took me a couple minutes to pass out but I woke up in the hospital, my mother sobbing over me. She kept telling me how sorry she was, how thankful she was that I was ok and for a moment I honestly thought she had a change of heart. She told me that god had saved me because he didn’t want me to go to hell. She told me in my hospital bed that I was still alive so that I could get better; that was the last time I ever talked to her.” Jill coughed as she broke, bending over as she let tears run from her eyes, gripping Claire’s hands tightly. It took her another minute to collect herself as Claire gently ran her hand over her leg, just to reminder she wasn't alone.

“I tested out of school with a G.E.D. before I even left the hospital, ROTC got me into the Army and well… I kind of hoped they’d send me into combat so I could die helping people, something meaningful or even heroic.” Jill struggled to continue as they passed a sign indicating Arrans France in five kilometers.

“Then Wesker reached out to me about S.T.A.R.S. and I felt like I might actually be able to do something good with my life. I still couldn’t shake the dread of just feeling worthless, like nothing I did would matter until I was gone. The mansion just drove that deeper, adding paranoia to the mix. Your brother kept me alive during those years. He came out to me on our way back from the mansion. He said he wanted me to know who he really was after all we had been through. Sticking together kept us sane, dispelled any rumors too, still was something they’d fire you for then.” Jill sighed, taking a long breath as she ran through the flood of painful memories. “This town up ahead, should be a small homestead off the southern road.” Jill instructed as they passed through the small town, by an old stone church and back into the country before turning into a small farm with a large single-story home. There where two young girls playing out front as Claire turned the car off.

“I still struggled even with his help, even with the BSAA. I always found myself asking ‘why do I keep going’ and I never had a satisfying answer until…” Jill trailed off as she got out the car. Her expression melted into a pained, longing smile as the elder of the two girls looked up at the pair. Her hair was dark brown and drawn back in a single long braid. She perked up and came running, shouting, “Mommy!”

Chapter Text

“You wanted to speak to me sir?” Chris said as he entered Roland’s office, the BSAA Director had his eyes fixed to his computer as scrolling documents flashed across his face.

“Yes Redfield, how are you holding up after Philly?” Roland started, closing the document on his desktop and motioning for Chris to take a seat.

“Not thrilled with the results, less thrilled with the coverage of it.” Chris grunted as he sat.

“We saved a lot of lives, contained the outbreak within the city in less than twenty-four hours and have set up a liquidation operation that will let people return in five to seven years. Truly incredible if you ask me yet you would think its worse than Racoon City if you listened to what everyone is saying.” Roland delivered with a nervous laugh. “We believe the E-type wasn’t destroyed with Will’s Eye Hospital, worse is that we know who last had hands on it; Ada Wong.”

“I had heard that was the situation, sicked the damn thing on Claire to escape.” Chris growled.

“We have a lead from a reliable tip that she showed up in Tunisia, international airport in the capitol. She then boarded another flight headed for the Gulf. That’s all we have now but I want you to see if you can pick up on her trail before she sells that weapon to someone.” Roland said flatly as he reached for a large file in one of his desk drawers.

“Sir if I may, where did we get this tip?” Chris poised cautiously, closing his eyes and hoping his hunch was wrong.

“D.O.S. contact I have personally, not official channels. US government isn’t really our best friend right now so most of our intel sharing has become ‘unofficial’.” Roland answered as Chris began to shake his head.

“It came from Kennedy didn’t it?” He said, his tone betraying his anger.

“It did in fact, I find him trustworthy, despite his… complicated entanglement with Wong.” Roland responded in a matter of fact tone.

“How do you know its even credible? He’d do anything to protect her! I’ve seen it in him, he’s not a bad man but he will put people at risk for personal reasons.” Chris fumed, trying to keep from shouting.

“And you never have Chris? You know that pilot broke his legs on the way down, will be receiving a medical discharge. His family wants to come after you for it, US government supports that. Only one staying in the way of that is me, because I know you did what was right; even though the top of the list of the reasons where your old partner and your sister.” Roland threw back at him with a satisfied smile. Chris stood suddenly, angrily turning to leave. “Oh, don’t be so dramatic Chris. I didn’t say I disapproved.” Roland added as Chris turned back from the door, taking his seat again. Roland leaned forward on his desk, “Our willingness, our desire to protect the ones we love is our best quality, it is what keeps us in this fight. It keeps us grounded, lets us look at everyone in the world and understand they feel the same way. The thing that is different about you and me, everyone in this agency is that we have a unique power to help protect so many more than just the ones who are dear to us.” Roland’s tone shifted, quiet and sympathetic.

“Forgive me sir… I’ve always had trouble feeling like headquarters leaves us behind. Kinda started with Wesker and Irons really… never had a good view of those in charge.” Chris admitted in an apologetic tone.

“I’m still new to you Chris. Trust is something earned over time, I wish we had more of it before I needed to ask so much of you. Although our sources don’t believe Wong has any involvement with Tricell, someone has clearly filled that power vacuum and put us in their sights, track Wong and I’m sure you’ll find some other people hiding in the bushes with you. Two birds with one stone, right?” Roland returned, opening a new window on his desktop.

“You going to let me hit the ground again? I can’t stand pacing a trench in a CP.” Chris added light heartedly.

“Yes actually, your full strike team as well as an additional member. E-types are still not fully understood by us yet, combined with the potential for fighting molded and the variety of nasty creatures coming from this thing we want you to have extra medical and scientific expertise. Dr. Chambers will be accompanying you; she’ll be available to join your pre-deployment investigation starting tomorrow so you should spend the day getting back in the groove with your team.” Roland said, typing quietly as he spoke.

“Sounds like a good line up, Rebecca always has impressed in the field. Thank you, Director, I’ll get on it.” Chris said standing and walking out towards the tactical division headquarters.

 

Claire stood dumfounded for a moment, unable to hold back a smile as Jill knelt. The girl running into her arms as she lifted her, she couldn’t be much older than ten years old. The younger of the pair was close behind her, jumping onto Jill’s back as she laughed.

“Oh, I’ve missed you two, how are you sweetheart” Jill said softly as the older child stepped back, Jill’s hands still on her shoulders.

“Good, grandpa said you might be coming soon so he had Edie and me clean our rooms.” She pouted as Jill laughed.

“You two should be doing that anyway, you still doing good in school? Good.” Jill inquired as the child nodded. Jill glanced over at Claire, offering her a nervous smile as she stood, supporting the younger sister on her back.

“Val, Edie, this is Claire. She’s your uncle Chris’ sister and, she’s been helping mommy get better.” Jill said with a shy smile as Claire waved as the girls returned the wave, both sticking close to their mother. Jill set the younger down, “Go tell your grandpa I’m here, I’ll be in right behind you.” Jill said as the girls took off towards the house. Jill stepped over to Claire and took both of her hands in her own.

“Sorry to tell you like this, I have to keep them hidden, hell of a surprise to just drag you into.” Jill said cautiously. Claire still looked at her a bit stunned as she struggled to find the right thing to say.

“Don’t take this the wrong way but… I’m still trying to wrap my head around how… are they…?” Claire asked, interrupted as Jill spoke.

“Mine, yes actually. I didn’t carry them though, they both came to term in an artificial womb, Valerie was born a couple years before… well I went missing and Edelie a few months after I disappeared.” Jill said as she held Claire’s hands. “I found myself needing more after the fall of Umbrella, even with the work with BSAA. People would praise our actions, pat on the back from superiors and then I would go home alone. I had no one outside of work, something I knew I wouldn’t be able to do forever. I had a really hard time realizing that I would die one day and have nothing to show for it other than a plaque on a wall among hundreds of other names.” Jill continued as Claire grabbed her arm as they began to head towards the house.

“I get what you mean, I had a similar feeling with Sherry after Racoon City, leaving her with Leon was hard for me and well… I’ve always had Chris to fall back on.” Claire reflected as Jill squeezed her arm tighter.

“I think I reached a point where needed the good parts of my mother back. I realized I probably would never have that kind of unconditional love again, but I could give it. That was enough honestly. Those two little girls saved my life.” Jill sighed mournfully. She stopped and kissed Claire’s cheek, whispering in her ear, “and you made me excited about it again.”

“Jill!” an older man with a nearly bald head shouted as he stepped out onto the porch. Jill smiled and embraced him, turning back to Claire.
“Claire, this is Hugo Long, my old piano teacher, friend and well we just tell girls he’s their grandpa. Hugo this is Claire Redfield she’s my…” Jill stuttered for a moment as Hugo laughed.

“My girl I knew from the second I met you, do you think I can’t tell by now? It’s nice to meet you Claire my dear, I don’t know how much Jill has told you, but I’ve known her since she was a little girl. Save for my late husband, she’s the closest thing to family I’ve ever had.” He said stepping over shaking Claire’s hand. “We’ve had to keep the girls secret after the whole evil mess with Umbrella, even after we thought it best to keep them hidden. This makes you the fifth person I think to even know about them.” He said turning back to Jill.

“Chris knows and Rebecca was the one that performed all of the medical aspects of things, other than that no one even knows they exist.” Jill added as they stepped into the home. They entered a large living room; Edelie sitting on the floor with a plush dog in her arms, Valerie sitting on the couch with a book in her hands.

“Really? Chris has known the whole time?” Claire asked, still processing everything as the girls looked up at them.

“Claire, he’s their godfather. If something were ever to happen to me, he’d be the one to help Hugo look after them. That and he was the donor, so they are technically, biologically his children too.” Jill laughed as Claire looked stunned. Jill looked over at her tentatively smiling as she continued to look bewildered. “Are you ok?” Jill asked stepping closer to Claire and lowering her voice.

“Yeah… I ugh. I’m sorry its just a lot to take in that my… you have two kids and that Chris has been involved and that Rebecca knew and…” Claire stumbled through her speech as Jill placed her hand on her cheek.

“You feel a little betrayed, left out maybe. Ambushed so shortly after we…” Jill offered as Claire leaned into her touch, placing her hand over Jill’s.

“Kinda, not in such a negative way, I just don’t know how I fit in with this is all.” Claire said softly looking Jill in the eye.

“You fit in however you want my love. If you want them to see us together, if you just want to be Aunt Claire, if you just want to be Mom’s good friend, if you get to the point where you want to be more. I know this is an unfair thing to throw you in, I’m open to whatever works best.” Jill laid out as Claire smiled.

“Thank you; if its ok, I think I’ll just be mom’s girlfriend for now.” Claire said softly. Jill kissed her as Hugo called for dinner from the other room.

“Come on, he makes a Coq au Vin that will rival a Paris Chef.”

 

“Wesker, you’re pathetic.” Jill heard a muffled voice say as she struggled to look through a low, shimmering blue light.

“Well you shouldn’t worry too much dear, you’ll be free of all this anyway.” The sinister growl Jill knew all to well came through as Wesker responded.

“Why eliminate S.T.A.R.S.?”

“Believe it or not, that’s Umbrella’s intention.”

“You’re just a slave of Umbrella.”

“Smart girl, but I think you misunderstand me…” the back and forth continued as Jill fought to see what was going on. The memory of the mansion was hers; the voice wasn’t, she was somewhere else as Wesker continued.

“I guess its time for show and tell.” Wesker hissed as Jill’s vision cleared, the tube she was being kept in draining, stepping out as she saw Claire laying on the ground, staring in horror as she stepped out next Wesker. Jill caught a glimpse of herself in the surface of one of the other glass sample tubes; blonde hair, gleaming red device on her chest.

“Jill, kill her.” Wesker said calmly as Jill turned towards Claire. She tried to scream pull herself back as her muscles refused to obey. She drew a knife from a sheath on her leg as Claire screamed, tears running down her face. Jill held to blade to Claire’s throat and jerked upright in her bed.

Her heart was pounding in her chest, her breath coming in rapid short gasps, tears running down her cheek as she looked down at her chest. Her scar was covered by Claire’s hand, her expression pained and concerned.

“You’re ok, I’m right here. You’re safe.” Claire said softly, her voice breaking up as she watched Jill stare at her, terror and pain in her eyes. She sat up further as Claire held her, Jill’s breathing giving way to heavy sobs.

“You were shaking and… you started screaming my name.” Claire said softly as she ran her hand over Jill’s back. “You don’t have to talk about it.” She added as Jill cried into her shoulder.

“It’s just the same thing in different ways.” Jill gasped as she held onto Claire tighter.

“Its ok, you’re ok. You’re safe, I won’t let anything happen to you.” Claire reassured softly as Jill pulled back for moment; placing her hand softly on Claire’s cheek as she looked her in the eye.

“I love you.” Jill croaked softly, Claire brushing tears from her cheek.

“I love you too.” Claire returned, smiling at Jill as she leaned back on her shoulder, Claire rubbing her back as her heart rate slowly came down.

“Mommy?” Edelie’s voice came softly from the door to the bedroom. She looked groggy; her golden retriever toy clutched to her chest. “I heard yelling.”

“Oh, don’t worry baby. Mommy just had a really scary dream.” Jill perked up, brushing her eyes as she sat up to answer her youngest. “Come on, lets get you back to bed.” She said going to get out of bed. Claire put her hand on Jill’s chest, stopping her.

“I can handle it; you take it easy.” Claire offered as Jill looked back over at Edelie.

“Is that ok with you sweetheart.” Jill inquired, Edelie nodded as Claire stood up, taking her hand and leading her back to her room.

“Grandpa says mommy has a scary job, but she helps people.” She said softly as Claire helped her into bed.

“She does, sometimes its hard to forget the scary parts, they come up in her dreams.” Claire said as she lifted the blanket over Edelie as she hugged her toy.

“Claire, are you our other mommy?” Edelie asked sleepily as Claire looked stunned. Her mind raced while she tried to think of what to say. “Mommy said that we would have two, she just had to go find the other one.” Edelie said, breaking into a yawn as Claire sat on the end of her bed.

“That’s something that’s up your mom I think.” Claire said softly, treading carefully. “She would want to make sure you and Val would be ok with me, and that I would make a good mom first.” Claire added, the thought swimming around her head. Edelie adjusted her head on her pillow as she looked up at Claire.

“I heard you when mommy was scared, you made her feel better. I hope she chooses you.” Edelie said as she closed her eyes. Claire reached over and turned off the lamp on her nightstand, walking over to the door and looking back for a moment before shutting it.

“I hope so too.” She whispered with a soft smile. She couldn’t help the thought; these two kids where half her brother, she could see that in their eyes, their faces. It was so much like her, she felt like they could even pass as her own. Jill was sitting up in bed still when Claire returned, her hand massaging her temple.

“All good with Edie?” Jill asked as she looked up at Claire, her eyes still red.

“Fell asleep before I closed the door.” Claire smiled as she got onto her side of the bed. Jill laid back as Claire drew herself up next to her, draping her arm over Jill as she lay her head on her shoulder. Jill wrapped her arm around Claire as she looked over at her.

“I’m sorry that.” Jill started to say as Claire interrupted by grabbing her cheek and kissing her.

“Don’t you fucking dare.” Claire laughed as she smiled at Jill.

“Fine… thank you then.” Jill said sticking her tongue out at her. Claire nuzzled her shoulder as Jill pulled the blanket over them, slowly drifting back to sleep.

 

Ada watched cars go by as the sun set behind a stand of towering minarets. She sat by the window. She had about a day left cooped up in the suite in down-town Ankara before they had to be in position. Evangeline was sat on a sofa in the corner, eyes glued to a tablet Ada had given her to keep her occupied during the long bouts of waiting. Her phone began buzzing on the windowsill, the caller ID blank.

“Hmm.” Ada muttered inquisitively answering the call, holding the phone to her ear.

“Ms. Wong.” A crisp female voice addressed her.

“Assuming you got the right number, to whom am I speaking?” Ada said playfully, leaning back in her chair.

“No one of consequence, you can call me Veronica. How have you been handling your ne E-type?” The voice pressed on, ignoring Ada’s tone.

“She’s adjusting to her bedtime, the connections didn’t even bother teaching her to read so we’re working through that, thanks for your concern but I have a hunch this isn’t a CPS check in. Sadly, my dear little girl simply isn’t for sale.” Ada spat back. Veronica laughed softly before responding.

“We figured as much, since you are not currently working under the auspices of your organization. We wanted to present a counteroffer to address the root of your current goals that we believe you may be amenable too.” Veronica offered as Ada shook her head.

“Not. Interested. I choose my own clients now.” Ada said flatly, hanging up the phone, looking over at Evangeline, still glued to the tablet.

 

“Yes, it’s in medical transport to our Euro lab now. We weren’t detected, we paid off the clinic, disguised it as philanthropy. The head doctor won’t talk, we made sure he was well enough paid.” Raymond spoke quickly as he reported their success. Jessica was sitting on the couch of the Paris safe house, her weapon disassembled on white towel as she cleaned it. Raymond hung up the phone and looked down at her.

“Well? They want to send us in yet?” Jessica asked, setting the slide to her Glock Eighteen down as she looked up at her partner.

“They want to confirm the sample before we start grabbing kids at random. Apparently even they have limits.” Raymond tossed back.

“Do you think this is even real or are they sticking us with bitch work cause I fucked up in Philly.” Jessica pondered. Raymond glanced down at her, his scowl softening in the slightest degree.

“I think this is glorified babysitting. If its true and someone at S.O.A. did manage to find time to hide a family, then we’re important enough to leverage them. If not, it sends a message to us that headquarters is displeased.” Raymond surmised as Jessica nodded.

“Win-win for them, we get left in the dark.” She added before returning to cleaning her weapon.

 

“Hugo you can’t be serious. Why the hell would anyone want to perform a blood test while getting a flu shot?” Jill said covering her face in the kitchen, her voice barely containing her anger.

“I don’t know what to say, we’ve been seeing this clinician since they where born, he’s trustworthy, I figured he wanted to check for anything else that may be going around this season.” Hugo stammered apologetically, he seemed on the verge of tears as Claire sat at the kitchen table; the girls playing in the other room.

“If he was concerned why didn’t they test you huh? Any clinic should be able to run a basic blood test on sight so why are you waiting for results when they told you not to worry?” Jill’s voice rose as she struggled to contain herself, her face betraying how livid she was.

“Jill, its ok, let’s go take a look at the place, flash a badge if we have to and put this to rest.” Claire offered as she stood and approached her.

“Fine, Hugo you still have my bug-out bag, or did you hand it off the gendarmes when they came by.” Jill spat turning back at Hugo.

“Jill!” Claire raised her voice slightly, putting her hand on her arm. Jill turned glaring at Claire, her expression fading fast to one of regret.

“I’m sorry, both of you I’m just…”

“It’s ok Jill, I made a mistake that could have endangered the girls, you every right to be angry with me.” Hugo said softly.

“But not to scream at the people who are here to help.” Claire added looking sternly at Jill.

“You’re right, you’re right. Let’s grab my bag and go put this to bed.” Jill nodded at Claire. They grabbed a black duffel bag from a locked chest in Hugo’s room. Jill kissed the girls, telling them they’d only be running a short errand as she and Claire made their way out to the car. Jill drove silently for half and hour, Claire growing nervous over the dark aura she felt overtaking her partner. The pulled into the parking lot a country family clinic, several cars parked in the lot as Jill turned the car off. She reached into the back seat and grabbed the bag, setting it on her lap as she went through it. She removed a handgun and holster, taking off the button up she had on to attach the holster over her undershirt. She clipped two spare magazines to her belt as well as an incendiary grenade. Claire stared for a moment as Jill replaced her shirt, leaving it open yet covering her weapons.

“Do you really think that’s going to be necessary?” Claire asked cautiously as Jill mussed her hair in the car’s vanity mirror.

“Rather have it and not need it. I don’t want to fuck around with this Claire, we go in, see the head doctor, sort this out and leave.” Jill said stepping out of the car, a soft breeze catching her shirt as she walked determined towards the entrance. Claire followed up behind her as they approached the front desk.

“Good afternoon Miss, what can I do for you today?” The receptionist asked in French as Jill stepped up to the counter.

“I’m Ms. Valentine, Valerie and Edelie’s mother. I need to speak with a Doctor Lefeuvre about a blood test conducted for the girls. I must insist on this being urgent as I have to leave town soon. Jill replied in perfect French, reaching for her BSAA badge in her pocket.

“I believe he’s in his office at the moment, I’ll let him know you are coming Ms. Valentine.” The receptionist responded, Jill replacing her badge as things went smoothly. Jill smiled at Claire as they walked through the clinic’s hallway to the office at the end of a series of examination rooms. The stepped into a cramped room with a large, plastic wrapped machine in the corner and tall man sitting at a small desk dominated by a large desktop computer. Jill’s brow furrowed at the sight, the computer easily the newest thing in the aging facility.

“Good afternoon Doctor.” Jill started in French, “Do you mind English for my wife?” Jill asked, banishing any doubt as to Claire’s presence as she sat down.

“No not at all, a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Valentine.” He returned in heavily accented English. Claire blushed as she simply nodded, sitting down next to Jill.

“I would like to know why you needed to conduct a blood test for the girls last time their grandfather brought them in.” Jill asked, crossing her legs as she starred intently at the doctor. He took a moment to think before he chose to respond.

“We’ve had a small issue of food borne illness in the community lately, pork related mostly. I’ve been testing all of my patients who’ve been in lately for antibodies fighting such an infection.” He offered confidently as explanation.
“I might have believed that had Hugo also come in for his seasonal flu shot and not receive a blood test.” Jill said with a subtle darkness entering her voice as she stood and paced around the small office. “Xray machine correct?” She inquired pointing at the wrapped machine.

“Yes, recent donation from a local philanthropist, we were going to put a plaque up in the garden for her.” He offered tentatively as Jill unwrapped part of the machine. “Mrs. Valentine if you would please.” The doctor started before jumping with surprise. Jill drew her pistol and bashed out one of the casing panels of the machine, tossing it face down on the doctor’s desk. The multi-colored logo of Tricell was painted in the corner.

“You see doctor, I’m very, very familiar with Tricell’s design in medical equipment, stared at it for three fucking years while they poked, prodded and ripped me apart.” Jill raged, pointing her gun at him as she leaned forward on the desk. “Now here you are accepting their bribes and letting them test on my fucking daughters! You have three seconds to give me five reasons I shouldn’t blow your fucking brains out!” Jill shouted as the doctor started shaking, Claire taken aback at how suddenly things had turned violent but not daring to interfere.

“Please! You have to understand that we struggle to get proper equipment down here, I didn’t think anything about handing over a couple of seemingly random blood samples, Mrs. Valentine I didn’t know they would be targeting you!” The doctor pleaded as Jill stared him down. She sighed, turning away while still holding the gun on him.

“Go doctor, get everyone out of this building, you have two minutes.” Jill hissed as the doctor stood and hurried out of the room. Claire frowned, watching the doctor flee before looking back at Jill. She had replaced her handgun and was holding the grenade.

“Jill… what do we do?” Claire asked nervously as Jill tossed the grenade up and down in her hand.

“Wait another minute and thirty seconds, leave this here and then bring the girls to our second safe house in Sweden.” Jill said staring off as Claire looked at her. She was silent until Jill had finished timing her warning. She pulled the pin on the grenade and tossed it over shoulder as she and Claire left the office. The internal hallway shuddered as the grenade went off, the foul smell of smoke accompanying quickly as Jill made her way through the now empty clinic. Fire rushed through the building as Jill and Claire exited through the front door, fresh oxygen reaching the flames as the building went up. Claire put her hand on Jill’s leg as they sat in the car together, Jill looking over at her, offering a reassuring smile as she saw the unease on her face.
“You going to be ok?” Claire asked softly as Jill took her hand and lifted it to her lips.

“Yes, as soon as we get the girls somewhere safe.” Jill declared, starting up the car.

 

Leon stopped into an alley as he felt his phone go off, the caller ID reading blank as he cautiously answered it.

“Hello?”

“Agent Kennedy, good to see you’re in town. We thought it would be in your interest to inform you that your right on your quarry’s tail, but you’ve picked up three of your own.” A matter of fact woman addressed him as he tried to puzzle out who he was speaking to.

“And you are?” Leon inquired cautiously as he tried to run a trace from his other device.

“Veronica, nice to meet you, now about your problem. Two of them know who you are, one does not. We know, the BSAA knows, but they don’t intend to hurt you. We all know that your association with Mrs. Wong is proving troublesome for the both of you. We would like to offer you some help in exchange for leveraging that relationship for…” Leon hung up as the trace identified it as coming from the central US.

“Will make an interesting trip when I get home.” He mused as he continued down the Turkish street, reaching the best point he had found to observe the flat Ada was supposed to be hiding out in. He stepped into the old warehouse, several floors tall and sandwiched between several other historical buildings. He carefully made his way up the staircase, drawing his pistol as he opened the door to the top floor. He treaded carefully into the empty floor and stopped, a figure at the far end holding a rifle and gazing through the window. He followed the wall, trying to get behind the figure; unable to get much of a read on them, their head shrouded. He got behind them and slowly made his way closer, the floor suddenly creaking under foot. The whirled around as Leon grabbed the barrel of the rifle, tossing it to the side as the figure landed a hard kick to his side. He rolled with the blow, landing a strike on his assailant’s arm, forcing them to drop the rifle as they then drew a handgun from a hip holster. Leon, spun back around, throwing a hard elbow into their stomach, flipping them to the ground as they groaned. He drew his knife and stopped; the blade held high as he looked down.
“Helena!” He shouted through heavy breathing. She groaned as she sat up against him, clutching her side where he had struck her.

“Nice of you to knock.” She said lightheartedly. Leon dropped his knife, helping Helena sit up, holding her as she recovered.

“What are you doing here.” Leon inquired, waxing suspicious as Helena looked up at him with a stern face.

“Ada escaped Philadelphia with an E-type; I have to find her before she sells it.” Helena said with conviction as Leon glanced at the rifle.

“You weren’t going to…” Leon asked cautiously.

“No, no, I was hoping to take a shot at the weapon but she’s not in her hideout. Leon, what are you doing here?” Helena rasped, turning the question back around.

“Trying to get to her before she goes somewhere, I can’t follow.” He said mournfully as Helena nodded softly.

“I hope you beat me.” Helena said softly as she stood and picked her rifle back up, stepping off towards the exit.

Ada held Evangeline’s hand as they made their way into an open-air market, the air alive with dozens of different smells, vendors appealing to passing tourists for interest. She glanced at her watch frequently, eyeing a grey van parked among the vendors’ vehicles.

“Remember, there will be a really loud noise, but we’ll be ok, alright?” Ada said softly, leaning down to whisper to Evangeline.

“I know, I’ll try not to be too scared.” She returned looking up at Ada.

“That’s a good girl.” Ada smiled as they walked to the far end of the market as a massive explosion shook through the stalls behind them.

Chapter Text

Hunnigan looked up as her office door opened, puzzled as she was sure that she had locked it. A man wearing a three-piece suit, his jacket held over his shoulder, stepped inside and closed the door behind him, locking it as he turned towards her. Hunnigan sat up, staring at him as she reached for the sidearm, she kept in a hostler bolted to the underside of her desk.

“Can I help you?” She inquired cautiously as the man looked at her, his expression calm and impossible to read. He offered a gentle smile before sitting down across from her.

“I believe so Ingrid, I think it would be within your best interest to cease your pursuit of Ms. Wong.” He said in a gravely yet warm voice. He tossed a handful of photos on Hunnigan’s desk. She glanced down, seeing several surveillance photos showing Helena in a variety of observation points, some armed and some not. “I believe that things will be handled much more simply by my organization. We would hate to have an incident involving Ms. Harper.” He continued as Hunnigan closed her grip around the pistol. “Oh, and please don’t bother Ingrid.” He added taking out a loaded magazine from his pocket and tossing it on top of the pictures. “I stopped by before you got in today, clever placement but somewhat predictable.” He said as Hunnigan sat back in her chair.

“Who exactly do you represent if I may.” She spat as he leaned forward.

“A group of people who have an interest in preventing the use of Ms. Wong’s new bioweapon. We just believe you are getting in the way.” He stood suddenly and stepped towards the door, turning back to look at her as he grabbed the doorknob. “Name’s Contra Ingrid, I hope we never meet again.”

 

Jill pulled up to the house and immediately ran in the front door, Claire close behind her. She stepped into the living room; Hugo reading in the corner, looking up as the pair stormed in.

“All well my dears?” He asked nervously setting the book down as Jill looked frantic.

“Tricell equipment at the clinic, we have to move the girls now. You remember where the second safe house is right?” She said as she ran over to the far wall in the living room. She pounded her fist a couple of times against it, putting her fist through the dry wall and tearing a hole open to the surprise of both Hugo and Claire.

“Christ Jill, I’ll go set up the flight.” Hugo said softly, shaking his head as he walked into the other room. Jill pulled two large weapon cases from the wall and several ammunition containers, setting them on the coffee table.

“Claire, I need you to go out back, there should be three crates with BSAA markings and customs exemptions on them. Two are empty, I want you to fill them with these.” She commanded, patting the cases as she ran off towards the girls’ room. She opened the door to find the two on the floor, playing with a host of Edie’s stuffed animals. Jill knelt down as both looked up her, picking up on their mother’s palpable distress.

“Val, Edie, do you remember when mommy got lost for a long time.” Jill said after a deep breath, forcing a smile for her children. They nodded as Valerie quietly grabbed Edie’s hand.

“The people who… hurt me when I got lost know we’re here, so we have to go hide from them. Did grandpa tell you about his other house?” Jill asked fighting back tears.

“He said it’s in Sweden.” Valerie perked up as she remembered. “It snows there a lot.”

“Yes, it does my love, we are going to go there for a while, then hopefully we can come back home. Think of it like a long vacation.” Jill smiled at her as she answered. Edie stood and walked over to Jill, hugging her silently, Jill returning in kind.

“You look scared mommy.” She said as she rested her head on her shoulder.

“I am sweetheart.” Jill sputtered, keeping up her composure for her daughter.

“You shouldn’t be scared, Claire said she wouldn’t let anything happen to you.” Edie spoke trying to offer her mother some comfort. Jill laughed faintly, brushing a beading tear from the corner of her eye.
“You’re right, my smart girl.” Jill squeezed her hand as she stood. “Valerie help you sister pack; we have to leave soon.” Jill said taking a quick breath as she left the room, Valerie nodded and grabbed her backpack from the corner of the room. Jill came back to the living room, the weapons gone as she stepped out into the yard. Hugo was helping Claire load his car with two of the crates, the other already in their rental. Claire looked over at her as Hugo closed the tailgate.

“The girls ok?” She asked as Jill walked up to her.

“They’re doing better than me; they have that weird Redfield optimism and calm I never really understood.” Jill smiled nervously as Claire laughed. The girls came outside, Edelie with half a dozen stuffed animals in her arms as Valerie helped her into Hugo’s car. “Got everything? I don’t know when we’ll be back.” Jill said as she buckled Edelie into her car seat. She nodded as Jill looked over at Valerie.

“Yeah mom, I took another look for Edie.” She said with a small look of pride.

“Thanks, you two, be good for Hugo, Claire and I will meet you guys at the airport.”

 

Leon recoiled instinctively as a large blast shook through the street, a large column of smoke rising about a block away.

“Shit Ada, please tell me this isn’t you.” Leon swore as he picked up the pace towards the incident. He could smell the chemical odor of burning plastics as he rounded the corner into what had been a marketplace. Three cars blazed at the far end, stalls thrown all over the ground, people screaming and calling for help. Leon breathed a sigh of relief as he heard sirens rapidly approaching, scanning the debris field for any signs of bioweapons. He made his way through the wreckages as the first police car showed up. A voice called to him, pained as he looked to his right, a man covered in dust lay on the ground, a bent piece of what looked like a car’s frame embedded in his shoulder. Leon glanced around before running over to him.

“I don’t know if you can understand me, just try to relax.” He said trying to assess the man’s wounds. He looked up to see EMT’s making their way through the crowd as first responders continued to pull up on the street. Leon tried to wave them down, desperate to resume his search.

 

“Chris, you need to come see this.” Rebecca said softly at her desk in the BSAA’s medical lab, a live news feed pulled up her browser. Chris stood from the computer at one of her stations, brushing up on all the BSAA knew about E-type bioweapons.

“Initial reports from officials on the scene put the death toll at thirty, mostly foreign nationals on holiday as this is a popular tourist market in this part of the city. The Kurdistan Workers Party has released a statement taking responsibility for attack stating this is the first strike of a wave that shall wash over the Turkish State unless it yields to their demands to honor the original draft agreement from the first world war that initially created a Kurdish state. We have been able to speak to some survivors of the attack who where in the marketplace when the explosion went off. Ma’am you and your daughter where walking through when the bomb went off, what did you see.” A British reporter delivered as he turned to a dark-haired woman, dust covering her black jacket.

“You have got to be kidding me, is she taunting us?” Chris stared, his jaw dropping as he watched Ada play the part of rattled tourist, the E-type clinging to her leg like a scared child.

“Trying to hide in plain sight? Hardly could be effective with the amount of people after her.” Rebecca thought out loud as she watched Ada’s performance.

“She plays this off too well, we need to move.” Chris added standing upright and aimlessly pacing.

“Agreed, go get your team ready, we’ll get a priority flight and head to Med-Comm. We need to plan this carefully, that weapon is already in the city.” Rebecca returned nervously as she stood and followed Chris out of the lab.

 

Ada answered her phone as she drove back to her safe house, taking the side roads in an attempt to lose any tail she may have picked up since her performance for the cameras. Evangeline sat in a car seat behind her, quietly watching cars out the window. Ada’s phone rang, Awdil’s name coming up on the ID.

“Ada, well done, the mayor is moving quickly, wants to hold a press conference in a couple hours with all the international coverage. He has sent his aids out to contact potential survivors for his photo op, my source says you should be getting a call within the hour.” His normally bright tone replaced with a callus focus.

“Good, I we have a schedule to maintain.” Ada returned as she looked at Evangeline in her rear-view mirror, a black Santa Cruz following far behind them as they turned. “Seems I’ve picked up a tail, hopefully your man can speed things up.” Ada added as she hung up the call. She accelerated as another call came through, Ada rolling her eyes as she turned hard trying to lose the truck behind her.

“Hello?” She answered cautiously as she turned left on a yellow light, taking a path away from her safe house.

“Hello Ms. Wong. My name is Ipek Yasar, from Mayor Gökçek’s office. We would like to express our deepest sympathies for the traumatic events that have befallen you in our dear city. Mayor Gökçek would like to invite you to attend a press conference this evening with other survivors of the attack. He will be making a series of announcements about how we shall be seeking justice for the victims, punish the attackers and endeavor to make your trip to our beloved city one you remember beyond the unfortunate incident today.” The accented voice of the staffer spoke as Ada made a hard-right turn, running a red light just as cars entered the intersection. “The mayor would be honored by your presence.” He added.

“We appreciate that Mr. Yasar and would love to attend. Send me an email with the details and we will be there.” Ada said adding her email address before hanging up. She had pulled into the denser, more industrial part of town, cutting through a loading dock, stopping the car.

“Evangeline dear, stay in the car. I have to deal with something.” Ada said stepping out into the alley, locking her car as she slid the key into her pocket. As she had expected, the Santa Cruz pulled into the alley a moment later, stopping about a hundred feet in front of her. Leon stepped out of the truck as Ada smirked.

“More subtle than the motorcycle, but I literally saw you from a mile away.” She chided as he walked up to her.

“Please tell me that bomb wasn’t you.” Leon said stopping as he looked at Ada, her arms folded as she began to pace.

“Not me, not my idea but a set up for something far more important.” She said flatly as he matched her movements.

“Thirty people Ada, does that just mean nothing to you? What was in the bomb.” Leon snarled.

“Explosives, no bioweapons. It was all about getting someone’s attention, not targeting anyone in particular. D.O.S. even know you’re here or are you on vacation?” She added as she stopped, facing Leon.

“Ada… I can’t do this anymore, I can’t keep chasing you around, watching these things happen. After what you did in Philadelphia…” He was cut off as Ada turned angry.

“I didn’t touch Helena; I shot an arms dealer.” She hissed.

“But you set that thing on a BSAA agent!” Leon snapped back. “Do you even know what that does to people when it infects them?” He asked taking another step closer.

“She didn’t give me a choice Leon. I know she is your friend; I know she’s helped me in the past but neither you nor the BSAA have the whole picture so stop acting like it.” Ada returned angrily stepping towards him.

“People will die because of you Ada, I can’t let that happen anymore. Please don’t make me do this.” He said drawing his knife from its sheath and taking a fighting stance.

“People always die Leon, you should be used to it by now.” Ada sighed as she turned from him. She waited for sound of shuffling feet as he charged her, Ada spinning and sweeping low as Leon past her, rotating on to keep himself bearing down on her. He kept up with Ada, slashing as she dodged, moving slightly out of the path of the edge each time.

“Please don’t.” Leon gasped as he swung again, Ada swinging a he countered with his forearm, bringing his knife up. Ada grabbed his wrist and spun, Leon flipping with the direction she twisted. He broke her grip and swung with his open hand, missing as Ada landed a kick on his chest. He retreated, ducking and blocking a flurry of rapid strikes from Ada.

“This is all your choice; you have no faith in me when I’ve shown you things are different.” Ada grunted as she broke Leon’s guard. She struck his side with her fist as Leon recoiled, slashing back quickly, Ada yelping as she felt the blade cut her. Both stepped back, Leon regaining his breath as Ada looked down at the dripping red line running below her collar bone.

“Trust isn’t something you can buy with a few vials of vaccine Ada. I have watched you profit from every damn tragedy I have ever seen, walk off as innocent people die. You don’t care, you have your goals, your jobs and you leave.” Leon rasped as he resumed his fighting stance. “I can’t stand by any more Ada, I’m done. Its finally clear to me that I’ve been your greatest con.” Leon’s expression faltered, Ada pausing as she saw the real pain in his eyes.

“I wish you didn’t feel that way.” She muttered, taking a small cylinder from her pocket, pulling the pin and tossing it the ground. White smoke began billowing up as it sparked, Leon running into the cloud as he heard Ada’s car start. He was greeted by a thunderous shock wave and brilliant flash. He fell to the ground, his vision slowly returning as the world sounded muffled. He stumbled back to his car, blood running from his ears as the effects of the flash-bang wore off. Ada glanced in her rear view mirror every few seconds on her way back to the safe house, glowering at her own expression as she failed to stop a tear from rolling down her cheek.

 

“I can’t believe they’re blowing us off.” Chris fumed in his seat on the BSAA cargo plane next to Rebecca as he watched the news feed detailing the aftermath of the attack in Ankara, hoping to find something to help figure out what Ada was up to.

“Every contact we’ve tried has just said they have operatives in the area closing in on her, CIA and D.O.S. I tried reaching out to Ingrid Hunnigan, but I can’t reach her. Have you been able to contact Kennedy?” Rebecca asked as she looked over at Chris.

“I’m not going to bother with him on this one. I thought we where finally over this with him, made my peace for Claire’s sake and then he’s right back to enabling her to keep slipping through our hands.” Chris snarled as he gripped his phone tighter, the report showing the mayor of Ankara opening a press conference. The camera panned over the stage as the mayor took the stage.

“Oh no, Chris do you…”

“Yeah I see them, what the hell is she planning.” He said nervously looking at the screen as he saw Ada sitting amongst a small crowd of survivors of the recent attack, Evangeline in a simple red dress next to her. “The weapon is with her, this has to be the real attack, Rebecca we have to warn someone!” Chris rambled, standing from his seat as he paced nervously.

“Turkey was one of the countries that shut down their BSAA office after the UN vote, the only way we could get to them is through the CIA or D.O.S. and they’re stone-walling us.

 

“And we want to offer our sincerest condolences to the families of those who were lost and ask forgiveness from those brave souls who came as guests to our city.” The mayor bellowed into the microphone as Ada stood with Evangeline, one of the mayor’s aids leading them over as he turned to face them.

“My sweet girl, I am so sorry you had to have such a terrible day in our city. We are all inspired by your bravery and I want you to know we will stop the people who did this.” He said kneeling, placing his hand on Evangeline’s shoulder. She grabbed his wrist as Ada offered a convincing smile.

“Thank you, Mayor, you have been so accommodating, we have faith the villains who did this will be found.” Ada said playing her part in the photo op as she watched a series of black lines travel up the Mayor’s arm under his skin as he returned to the mic. “Well done Eva, we just have to wait now.” She whispered as she placed her hands-on Evangeline’s shoulders. She gazed out into the crowd as the mayor droned on about justice. She caught a glint of evening sun off a building across the square, the shine staying persistent as Ada squinted at it. Her instinct kicked in as she grabbed Evangeline, placing herself in front of the girl as a bullet tore through her shoulder, splattering ground with blood. Ada screamed in pain as the crack of the rifle wrung out through the square, people screaming as the mayor’s security rushed to protect him. Evangeline screamed as Ada kept her down, looking at the smoking hole in the stage where the round had traveled, the odd chemical smell and uniquely stinging pain clueing her.

“Ramrods, they know, ugh, Eva we have to go!” Ada groaned as her right shoulder barely responded, blood streaming down her blouse as the event fell into chaos.

 

“They weren’t lying, do you think they actually took her out?” Rebecca gasped as the live news feed cut out after the sniper fired.

“No way of telling, but Wong definitely went down. I’m willing to bet it wasn’t Kennedy who took the shot. Shit this is going to complicate things.” Chris groused as he closed the window and paced pensively around the cabin.

 

Ada gasped as she struggled to get to her car, her complexion deathly pale from blood loss. She was having trouble breathing as she lent up against her car, struggling to find her keys. Her fingers where numb, as if she had just pulled them from a snowbank as Evangeline looked on nervously.

“You’re really hurt, we have to find help.” She said nervously as Ada gasped for breath, unlocking the car but unable to stand. She looked down to see where the bullet had tumbled through her shoulder, tearing a massive exit wound. Her clavicle was sticking out, the bone shattered as blood soaked her shirt down to her waist.

“Eva… I don’t think I’m going to make it; I need you to remember to take you medicine every eight hours ok. I want you to go into my phone and call…” Ada struggled to say as her vision went blurry.

“No! I don’t want you to die! You’re the only one who has ever been nice to me!” Evangeline said as she started to cry. She reached out and laid her hands-on Ada’s wound, Ada watching as tendrils of black fluid began to flow under her pale skin.

“No Eva, no please don’t” Ada began to panic, reaching for the gun strapped underneath her arm. She drew it and pressed it to her temple as she watched the infection spread. She winced and squeezed trigger. The gun clicked, the safety still engaged as Ada’s grip failed her, dropping the gun as she watched helplessly as Evangeline’s mutamycene infected her. She stared on in horror as her flesh began to turn black around the wound, the bleeding stopping. Her tissue began moving, sewing itself back together, weaving the muscle back into place as her bone cracked, re-growing as Ada screamed in pain. Her breathing came quick and sharp as her skin regenerated, her feeling returning to her arm as she felt her energy return. She cautiously stood as she looked at her blood-soaked shirt, the massive hole in it revealing freshly healed skin. She threw open the car door and dove for the small brief case she had in the back. She grabbed an injector from the case, priming it and shoving the needle into her heart. She gritted her teeth as she injected the E-cure into her chest, tossing the syringe aside as soon as it was empty. Ada took several deep breaths before looking at Evangeline, watching nervously as Ada gasped.

“Thank you, Eva, you… you did well.” Ada said sitting up, Evangeline’s hands still covered with Ada’s blood.

“When I was… you where very, very scared… of me.” Evangeline said softly, looking away from Ada.

“That’s because you’re very strong Evangeline, Mrs. Smith and her friends wanted to use your strength to hurt people. I was scared you might hurt me because I wasn’t strong enough to stop you.” Ada said, taking a breath before pulling the child into a tight embrace. “You showed me you won’t hurt me. I’m not scared anymore.” Ada whispered as Evangeline hugged her back.

“Ada… I have to tell you something.” She said softly as Ada leaned back to look her in the eye.

“What is that sweetheart?”

“Before we had to run away from the stage, when you where hurt, I threw up in the street. Mrs. Smith always told me no matter who I was with I’d have to tell them because my throw up is special and needs to be cleaned up special.” She said wringing her hands as Ada went white, trying to hide her terror from Evangeline.

“Well, Mrs. Smith was right about it being special. Thanks for telling me Eva, you did the right thing. We have to go now ok?” Ada said, quickly helping Eva into the car. She peeled out of the parking space as Awdil picked up her call.

“I’m sure you saw, I’m fine, we have a serious problem. Evangeline vomited in the street after the sniper fired, we’re going to have a full outbreak within the hour. I’m heading back to the safe house; your people better be there to extract us.”

Chapter Text

Jill opened the door to the Airbnb just outside of Copenhagen national airport, Claire, Hugo and the girls following close behind.

“Go get some rest girls, we have a couple hours before our next flight.” Jill said as the exhausted group fanned out into the home; Jill locking the door behind them, nervously glancing through the windows as she drew the blinds. The girls made their way upstairs, Hugo looking after them as they dragged their feet on the stairs. Claire suppressed a yawn behind her hand as Jill paced nervously, drawing her pistol from the holster hidden by her shirt, dropping the magazine and checking the count.

“Do we need to confirm the boarding pass for the next flight?” Jill asked Claire as she replaced her weapon, running her hands through her hair as she walked a circle around the room. She drew an RF/lens finder from her belt as she held it over her head, scanning the room. She completed a full circle as Claire watched her; a worried look on her face.

“I think we should reach out to Chris, let him know, see if he can help.” Claire offered as Jill put the device away, shaking her head.

“They where the ones, no doubt, behind the breach at S.O.A. It could have been a front to plant something, even if we use secure communication they could be listening.” Jill said stepping past Claire, arming the building alarm by the door. Jill struggled to input the code, her vision seeming to fail to focus as she felt her heart rate increase. “Come on not now…” She murmured to herself through gritted teeth. She turned back to Claire, opening her phone and checking that she had the email from the airline with all of their boarding passes; the fifth time she had done so.

“Jill, slow down for a moment, relax. We’re doing what we need to, we have a long lay over, breath.” Claire soothed as she stepped closer to her, Jill shaking her head as she put her phone away.

“I can’t, have to stay focused so…” she stuttered, her hands starting to shake as she let out a long breath, feeling her chest tighten. “Fuck, I’ve been fighting it for damn near an hour, I don’t have time for this… I can’t be…” Jill stumbled through her speech as Claire grabbed her shaking hands.

“You aren’t alone in this anymore Jill. Breath, relax, don’t fight it, I’m right here.” Claire said softly as she stepped closer. Jill took another deep breath, nodding as her eyes misted up, hanging her head as she let go. Claire wrapped her arms around her as Jill struggled through the panic, the dread. Jill stepped back after a moment, wandering over to the couch as she let out a long breath, brushing tears from her eyes. Claire joined her, Jill laying down on Claire’s lap as she forced herself to relax.

“Thank you, babe.” Jill said softly, running her hand over Claire’s leg as she lay on her thigh.

“Get some rest, I’ll wake you a bit before its time to leave.” Claire whispered as she stroked Jill’s hair. She nodded, drifting off in mere moments as Hugo came down the stairs.

“The girls are asleep, everything ok down here?” He inquired cautiously as Claire looked over at him.

“Yeah, she’s just under a lot of stress. She handles so much she struggles.” Claire said, still stroking Jill’s hair as she slept.

“She have one her… attacks?” Hugo asked cautiously sitting in a chair across from the pair. Claire nodded, not taking her eyes off of Jill. “Poor girl, she deserves so much better than the world has given her.” He said mournfully. “I was thrilled for her when she told me about you, she spends so much time taking care of people with no one looking after her. I think its part of what keeps her going; Jill doesn’t want to stop because that’s when everything she really fears catches up, when she’s alone.” Hugo said.

“I hope I’m enough for her.” Claire wondered out loud as she placed her hand over Jill’s, still resting on her thigh as she slept.

“My dear girl, do you know when she told me about you? Was the first time I spoke to her after we got her back, a few months into her recovery we where able to secure a line for her to see the girls on video chat. She mentioned, let’s see if I can remember her phrasing, ‘this cute little biker girl she had been pining over for a couple of years’. She said she just didn’t think anyone would want to bother with her, given her work and the… well the damage she lives with every day. Being taken for so long, tortured beyond what I could possibly have imagined changed her outlook, said she was going to go for it as soon as she built up the confidence.” Hugo beamed as Claire laughed, unable to hide her smile. “You’ve brought a light into her life that I haven’t seen in a very, very long time Claire. She will never let you go.” Hugo smiled as Claire looked up at him.

“Thank you, Hugo. I think I’m really starting to feel like this is where I’m meant to be.”

 

“Damnit!” Ada swore as she slammed the door behind her, a heavy rain rolling through just as they had pulled up to the safe house. Evangeline started tugging on her pant leg as she locked the door. “What is it Eva…” Ada grumbled turning to see a tall, dark-skinned man standing in the living room by the window. He wore a long grey jacket over a grey and brown three-piece suit. His head was bald and he had a warm but serious presence which commanded fear and respect. “Eva go to your room and lock the door. I’ll be right there to get you ok?” Ada said not taking her eyes off the man as Evangeline looked at her nervously before complying.

“Hello Ada, it has been a long time.” He said after Evangeline left, his voice smooth, bearing a thick, West-African accent.

“Dr. Onyilogwu, I wish it had been longer.” Ada hissed as she stepped further into the room.

“Please Ada, by this point, Gabriel will do.” He laughed, flashing a smile before placing his hands behind his back. “Have the seeds of this private venture bore the desired fruit?”

“Sticking with your tired metaphor? Harvest is still a few months off… hard to say yet.” Ada tossed back as she glowered at him. “Would be much easier if the organization would have allowed me to…”

“You know exactly why we cannot!” He snapped, quickly regaining his composure as Ada paused, pacing back across the room after a moment. “Prodigy source is very concerned about the weapon, says the BSAA is about to join your host of pursuers in addition to D.O.S., CIA and Tricell.” He added with a tone of concern.

“Well I broke up with my D.O.S. tail earlier today; was planning a relaxing evening and pint of ice cream to cry into before you had to come ruining it.” Ada flaunted the warning as she walked over to a decanter on the dining room table.

“Ada, we beg you to reconsider your course of action. This weapon is far more dangerous than anything we have dealt with before.” He continued as Ada filled a crystal glass from the decanter, picking it up and resuming her pacing.

“The instability of E-001 was due to her advanced aging process paired with laboratory testing and no form of imprintation during emotional development. In essence, her benchmarks where all met while in a padded room being poked and prodded and forced to kill test subjects by men and women in white suits. Is it really that much of a surprise she went completely insane?” Ada delivered flatly as she swirled the amber liquid in her glass.

“E-101 is different only in process, not in danger or viability, Ada you must see this.” Gabriel said, his tone concerned and forceful as he implored Ada to see things his way.

“Evangeline is a girl that a bunch of self-aggrandizing human vilipenders decided to turn into a weapon. Should sound awfully familiar to you Gabriel.” Ada hissed as she paced back and forth around the dining room table.

“Ada, let us talk plainly please.” Gabriel started before Ada turned on him suddenly.

“What the facade of ‘Ada Wong’ no longer your proudest achievement. You don’t like to look at this edifice you had me build to be your greatest creation?” Ada’s voice rose as she felt an overwhelmingly suppressed anger suddenly well up beyond her control.

“Ada, we’ve been over this. In our desperation to achieve our goals, sometimes individual lives become devalued. Though this is a great tragedy, it is done for the greater good and only when necessary. One life in a million, that’s the measure of our disruption.” Gabriel said solemnly yet with conviction, the edge of his words cutting far deeper than he realized.

“It was my fucking life!” Ada screamed as tears broke over her cheek, a tempest of childhood memories flooding through her as the walls she faced the world with failing to stand in the face of the phrenic deluge. Gabriel hung his head as Ada shattered her glass on the floor, her shoulders rocking with her heavy breathing as she stared him down. “I have never been given a choice and she had even less than me. I’m not going to let the same thing happen to her. Not by Tricell, not by the Connections, not by any government and certainly not by you. I will burn every single entity that stands in my way, including the organization if I have to.” Ada fumed as Gabriel laughed nervously looking to the side.

“And we’d deserve it Ada, you of all people know this world is not fair. We understand what is driving you down this path, it is, in a more controlled form, what drives us too. In the hands of a single decision maker this becomes dangerous. That is why the organization has never had a leader.” He said pulling out one of the dining room chairs a taking a seat.

“You know, you sound so much like Wesker right now its uncanny.” Ada spat as Gabriel’s look soured.

“You know that’s not true Ada; you would have turned on us long ago. I saw how much you despised playing that loathsome fool. You know things have become more difficult since the theft of Progenitor, even worse since Umbrella’s aspirants where scattered and radicalized. Please abandon this personal mission for the greater good I still know you believe in.” Gabriel implored as Ada regained her composure.

“You just know I was the best. Prodigy, Loyalty and Industry can’t even make up for me even with their oh-so-careful placement by you and the rest of the senior council.” Ada seethed as she grabbed the other crystal glass of the decanter set and filling it.

“You where our infiltrator, playing the black market like a child’s game and you advanced our goals centuries ahead of schedules. You where also a loose cannon, the most emotional operative we have ever trained.” Gabriel said leaning his elbows on the table.

“And I was your fucking best.” Ada added as she took a long swill from her glass.

“You are our best Ada. Please reconsider coming back into the fold.” He said standing and stepping around the table, stopping to look at Ada as he passed. “We won’t interfere with you, if you can’t come back into the organization, please consider working with Blue Umbrella, Loyalty is and Industry are currently working angles there and they are willingly serving our purposes.”

“How do I know they aren’t the ones that shot me today.” Ada said flatly, refusing to look at Gabriel.

“Because Harper shot you today.”

“Get out of my house Dr. Onyilogwu.” Ada spat raising her glass to her lips as Gabriel silently left. Ada paced over to the window as she watched sheets of rain rinse over the glass, Evangeline coming up behind her.

“Ada… “She said softly as Ada turned to look at her.

“What is it sweetheart?” Ada asked turning to face her.

“I heard the yelling. Are you actually… like me?” She asked nervously as Ada walked over to her and knelt down in front of her.

“In some ways, I don’t have your talents, but no one ever asked me what I wanted to be. They made me into something they wanted to use.” Ada answered as Evangeline nodded softly. “The reason I’m having you help me with these jobs is so we can help you control your talents better. That will take a lot of resources that I don’t have right now, but we are getting them. Then we can look after each other so that no one can use us ever again.” Ada said holding Evangeline’s hand as she smiled at her.

“I’d like that, can you come read me a story like yesterday?”

 

Chris and Rebecca ran into the Mediterranean BSAA command post in Beirut, Lebanon. Chris’s strike team branched off to the armory to prepare for deployment as the two senior S.O.A. members went to meet with the regional director in the ops center.

“Good to see you, Redfield, Chambers.” The director greeted the pair in a Italian accent as they stepped into the bustling ops center. “We’re still trying to get you and your teams visas before you can deploy. I’m sure you’ve heard about the situation we have developing on the ground in Ankara as we speak.”

“Visas? We haven’t needed to go through customs for emergencies since 09?” Rebecca asked confused as Chris looked over at her.

“And that was only for an unstable government with regions in open revolt. Why do we need this for a NATO member state Director Accardi?” Chris asked following up on Rebecca’s question.

“Remember the charter renewal vote and Turkey’s abstention? They have quietly been regulating our presence in the country down to nearly nothing lately, recently passing a law requiring special work visas for all BSAA members who are not Turkish nationals. That and they’ve also been policing their own who try to join the BSAA. The effect winds up being that the BSAA simply cannot quickly deploy in the country.” Director Accardi spoke, his tone betraying his frustration.

“So, there is an outbreak of E-type molded in a major metropolitan area for the first time and the BSAA can’t even get boots on the ground?” Rebecca shouted, reeling herself in after catching a few glances from around the room.

“No Dr. Chambers, CIA and D.O.S. are still stonewalling us but we know they have assets in Ankara as we speak. All we have are news outlets to go off of right now. We are trying to work with the Turkish government but so far, we have got nowhere. President Erdogan has remained defiant that Turkey will be able to handle this matter internally. He isn’t even leaving the city. We have heard rumors that he has asked Russia for help and that they already have their bio-chem warfare units on the way.” The Director returned as an aide brought him a printout which he began to pour over.

“All this way just to sit tight and wait for paperwork?” Chris scoffed as he paced around the ops center. Rebecca shook her head as Director Accardi raised a finger.

“We might have our break; the North Atlantic Council is convening an emergency session to consider invoking article five of the NATO charter. We could piggyback off of any of the cooperating European military units, join the fight under their auspices.” The director said smiling at the revelation.

“So, we’ll get ready to head out at a second’s notice, with any luck they’ll move fast enough that we can still make a difference.

 

“Understood, I have her at the safe house again. I doubt she’ll make it much longer after the wound she suffered unless she’s hiding a whole surgery suite in there. Keep up with her associate, we’re bound to get a hard read on them sooner than later. I still can’t believe they’ve evaded us since Falls Church. Understood, we’ll meet at the airport for extraction if things get too hot. Seems to be more panic than actual molded running the streets at the moment, the army keeps up the shooting every now and then. Acknowledged, out.” Helena spoke softly to the second CIA team in the city as she lay with her rifle under a rooftop AC unit.

“Helena!” A voice bellowed from behind her as she rolled out from her position and brought her rifle to bear on the figure, the heavy rain quickly drenching her.

“Leon? What are you doing here?” Helena asked cautiously lowering her rifle as Leon stood staring at her, his damp hair obscuring his face.

“You and Hunnigan fucking lied! Why did you kill her?” He screamed as he stepped closer, Helena instinctively back pedaling.

“I wasn’t trying to shoot her, I was aiming for the weapon, I had Ramrods loaded. Same rifle from earlier, look, one round fired.” Helena quickly replied tossing him the rifle. “She was only wounded; I saw her make it back to the safe house.” Helena offered as Leon dropped the rifle’s magazine and counted out the rounds.

“I saw the blood streak that led to her car, if she wasn’t dead by the time she got there, she is now. There is no way she didn’t bleed out from that.” Leon lamented, still fuming as he tossed the rifle to the ground. “What did it get you huh? Ada’s dead and now the E-type is running loose and another city is in panic.”

“Leon please, I’m sorry. This wasn’t how this was supposed to happen.” Helena pleaded emphatically as a large explosion rumbled through the city, both turning to see a rising smoke cloud about a mile away.

“Who are the bad guys here Helena? Ada was at least controlling the damn thing. You just set it free because you and your fucking agency got trigger happy. Should I be trying to stop you?” Leon mused darkly as he took another step closer.

“Leon, you aren’t in a good place right now. Please, please try to calm down.” Helena took another step back, realizing she was dangerously close to the roof’s edge.

“No of course not, great fucking observation. I’m in the middle of another infected city descending into chaos being betrayed by the people I thought I could count on while everyone else dies. Its got really old Helena, I’m just about done.” Leon laughed as he kept pacing around the roof. Helena glanced towards the building she had been observing, noticing movement near Ada’s car and gasped.

“Leon please, listen to me, I have no idea how but look.” Helena desperately pointed, Leon grudgingly stepping to the edge of the roof to glance in the direction she indicated. As he stepped closer Helena could smell alcohol on his breath. He sighed before looking at her.

“How does she always pull that off.” He said softly as he watched the car pull away. Helena took a cautious step towards Leon as he seemed to relax.

“I know how you must be feeling right now, but we can’t let her slip through our fingers again.” Helena said softly as Leon looked over her. Helena tried to suppress her surprise as she looked at him, the rain masking much of his expression but his eyes declaring the pain he was feeling. “Something happened, you’ve confronted her recently.” Helena realized out loud as Leon looked away.

“I don’t know why it always has to be this way. Don’t shoot her again Helena, if it has to be done, I should be the one to.” He took a deep breath before turning away. Helena sighed as she looked off in the direction of the safe house again.

“Fuck.” She muttered to herself, grabbing the rifle Leon had tossed to the ground.

 

“Vote just came back.” Rebecca said as a secure message came through her phone, speaking to Chris as the plane shuddered, entering a rainstorm.

“Good, are we going to have a place to land after dusting off before approval?” Chris laughed as Rebecca shot him a stern look as they sat in the cockpit behind the pilots.

“The council failed to pass the measure; Turkey dissented. What’s worse is there are ground reports that the president’s compound is overrun, and he and his staff are presumed dead. Turkish military command is denying it but if that’s true. Chris that would mean Russia is the only organized force in their capitol, they effectively control the country.” Rebecca reached the dire conclusion as Chris looked away.

“What does that mean for us?” He asked after a moment.

“We might be able to land in the chaos, but nothing is certain.” Rebecca returned nervously as a sudden roar shook the cabin. “What the hell was that?”

“Fast mover, port side, reading friend or foe tag. It’s US Navy ma’am.” The co-pilot called back as he checked for their transponder.

“Well Christ let them know we’re here, last thing we need is a mid-air in the middle of this mess.” Jessica called back as Chris looked puzzled.

“What the hell is the Navy doing with fighters over Ankara?” He asked as another loud roar rocked the cabin.

“Attention oncoming aircraft, this is BSAA transport flight Mule-eight-five bearing mark two-five by three-five-five at two and half thousand feet. Please acknowledge.” The pilot called out as a third roar passed them.

“Mule-eight-five this is Stroke lead of CVN-Seven-four, currently bearing down on capitol airspace with twenty units loaded for bear. Didn’t realize we had BSAA in the AO. Advising units to keep clear of your flight path. Be advised strikes imminent.” One of the fighter pilots replied as Chris looked back at Rebecca.

“I thought you said that they didn’t pass the article five resolution.” Chris said as blooms of orange bounced off the clouds as dozens of distant explosions began to erupt over the city skyline, illuminating the dark clouds over the city.

“I think the US is acting on their own here Chris; good god could this get any worse.” Rebecca shuddered.

 

“I know this didn’t go according to your plan but that’s hardly my issue at all. I played my part and hell Erdogan is dead, not far off from what you wanted anyway.” Ada spoke into her phone, sheltered from the rain under as gas station far outside the outskirts of Ankara. “I expect payment in full, I won’t bill you for failing to extract me, that’s all the good will you are going to get.” Ada hissed hanging up the phone, fighting the urge to hurl the device as far as she could.

“Is everything ok? Did I do something wrong?” Evangeline asked, stepping down from her seat in the car, her door open. She hugged Ada’s leg as she put her arm around her and sighed.

“It was nothing you did Eva, you did well. Someone else didn’t do their job and cause more problems than should have happened.” Ada said unable to shake dirty feeling as she watched fires light up the sky in the distance.

“If anything, dear, it’s my fault.” Ada said in disgust as she looked on. She sat Evangeline back down in the car and resumed their course east.

Chapter Text

“No sir, we haven’t had an opportunity to view ground zero yet. We’ve had a half a dozen conflicting reports as to what happened after the Navy began raining fire on the city.” Chris said, his phone held to his ear as he paced in front of the BSAA aircraft. They had been able to land but Turkish authorities had demanded that they stay within the bounds of the airport in the eastern districts of the city.

“That’s unfortunate, based on what we’ve been able to pull from our CIA contacts the situation has actually ended with some semblance of calm. The infection was wiped out with the Navy’s strike but so was a large contingent of the Russian bio-chem warfare teams.” Roland said, running his hand over his face as he paced in his office.

“Rebecca says she heard from one of her former colleagues at Atilim University, most of the Russians where armed and seeking to control critical infrastructure. Rumors have gone as far as saying they wanted to reach the military leadership, force them to appoint a puppet government.” Chris added as Roland sighed.

“That fits their playbook, opportunists. Just like Ukraine in 2014, send in your invaders wearing a different uniform. The unfortunate thing is that we can’t independently confirm any of this Redfield. I’m going to have to come out and condemn the US actions in a press conference today.” Roland responded as Chris turned angry.

“Are you kidding? The US Navy stops the outbreak and clears out an attempted coup of a NATO ally and you want the BSAA to go on record saying that was a bad call? We already have a strained relationship with them after the mess in Philadelphia, we can’t afford this!” Chris shouted.

“Chris, if I come out and accept the US version of events when we cannot prove them ourselves, I am giving a pass to anyone who declares a group of health workers enemy agents a green light. That means anywhere we deploy in the world, anyone who disagrees with us just has to convince the right person we are acting as usurpers and they can shoot at us. We are already in a tight spot as things are in the world, we can’t afford to look partial to US interests and hope to still be an effective fighting force against bio-terrorism.” Roland returned, frustration lacing his voice.

“The US is going to be pissed then.”

“They’ll probably have some form of political response, cancel an exercise, close cooperation on a military base or something along those lines. Our mission will endure though, we’ll be able to repair those relationships later.” Roland added, “Try to get to ground zero with your team, if you have no luck within twenty-four hours, make your way back to Med-Comm. The Venezuela outbreak has worsened since they kicked us out and are now asking for us back as observers; the work never ends.” Roland hung up as Chris stepped back into the open hold of the plane, Rebecca checking on her stock of antiviral agents in cold storage. They tried for several hours to contact a variety of Turkish officials, police and military with no luck. The security casually watching the hanger their aircraft was housed in offered no help either. Rebecca lifted her phone after hearing the chirp of a news alert as Chris looked up at her.

“Roland has given his briefing; US is not happy. White house press secretary is talking about ending US intelligence sharing with the BSAA, shit.” Rebecca swore as she paced.

“And I thought Philly turned into a political mess. How do we keep having success in containment only for things to fall apart like this?” Chris groused as he folded his arms, leaning up against the wall of the cabin.

“Chris… I have a hunch that none of this is accidental. Someone is trying to undermine the BSAA and they’re doing a damn good job.” Rebecca hesitated, looking up at Chris as he worried the thought.

 

“I find these meeting places cliché.” Raymond hissed as he sat across from Jessica in a small French café in Oulu, Finland.

“Give up the act and admit you enjoy the coffee and pastries you pent up incel.” Jessica laughed as she took a long sip from her cup. Raymond simply glared as her, not saying a word. “You figure out where they hell they ran off to yet?”

“We’re in the right region, just picked the wrong Nordic country. I was able to pull information on BSAA marked crate delivered priority to Lulea airport in Sweden. Should be able to pick up whatever they rented from there. Not too many options I think so it shouldn’t be much longer.” Raymond said setting his phone down and sliding it to Jessica as she set her cup down.

“Good, I am proud to say I can one up you here. I looked around for homes bought in the area that your little BSAA ping was sent to- it was really quite noticeable so don’t feel that special- looking for anything that was bought by a foreign national. Got several hits, narrowed it down to purchases made using the Dollar, boom one French purchase using US currency. Odd don’t you think?” Jessica mused, cocking her head as Raymond lent back folding his arms.

“Quit gloating, did you actually find something?” Raymond spat, his standard scowl returning.

“Name attached was Hugo Long, hardly any of consequence until I took a peek through our little stash of personnel records we yanked from S.O.A.; Hugo Long is next of kin to our star agent Valentine.” Jessica smiled as Raymond broke into a smirk.

“Fair pull, so we get moving then?” Raymond returned.

“Hardly, I like this spot and really don't want to tangle with the mama bear when we show up. I had tactical set up motion trackers, they’re on standby the second they go off.” Jessica’s voice trailed off as a woman in a black suit jacket and pencil skirt walked by, stopping at their table, smiling at the both of them.

“Can I help you?” Raymond asked, maintaining a flat expression.

“Doubt you're the primary decision maker, Ms. Sherawat I think you and your partner may be interested in what I have to say.” she said, pulling a chair from a nearby table and joining the pair. “I know you are close to apprehending a choice target or two. I wanted to offer my assistance in exchange for an additional target which I have on good authority is currently in the company of yours.” She smiled as Jessica looked curiously at Raymond.

“And who might that be?” Jessica asked defensively.

“The BSAA agent Claire Redfield, I have to say my connections have taken quite an interest in her since we have heard reports that she has successfully fought off an mutamycene infection from E-101. I figured we could simply work in tandem, though I know Tricell would never approve. Fifty grand US for each of you should you comply.” She offered with the same, off putting, chipper attitude.

“What exactly could you offer to our operation since…” Jessica started, Raymond raising a hand to stop her.

“Jessica, she knows us, has a report from our agents about what happened to the E-type in Philly. She probably also knows what was injected into Redfield at savage river. A certain proprietary viral agent that some certain organizations would kill to get their hands on. Especially if they kept burning through their E-types at this current rate.” Raymond realized as Jessica’s expression soured. The woman sighed, sitting back in her chair as she looked at the pair.

“Damn shame, we could have been friends. The Connections will be obtaining the whole package so for your safety I suggest that Tricell steps back and accepts the fate you faced after Kijuju.” She spat as Raymond slowly reached for the weapon he had concealed in his coat.

“Ah, ah… Think hard about that Vester.” She added, snapping her fingers. Raymond did his best to hide his shocked expression as a solid red dot floated over the side of Jessica’s head. Her terrified expression told him she saw the same laser pointed at him. “No sudden moves, no need to get the Finnish authorities on the lot of us. Enjoy your breakfast.” The Connections agent said as she stood and stepped out of the café. The lights winked out after she left, Raymond and Jessica still sitting stunned for a moment before Raymond spoke.

“Send the tactical teams in now, we can’t afford to lose another target.”

 

Jill let out a sigh of relief, putting their rented Atlas in park as she stepped out in front of a small cottage home in Overtornea. Claire jumped out of the passenger seat as Jill helped Edelie out of her car seat. She set her down as Hugo and Valerie got out of the back seat.

“God I’m so happy to be out of that damn thing. Think we can actually breath for a bit?” Claire inquired as Jill walked up to the front door.

“With any luck, the amount of transfers we did should hopefully have thrown them off; maybe they lost us when we burned that clinic.” Jill said as she drew her RF detector from her belt and ran it around the door frame, the device pinging near the bottom. “Shit.” Jill swore as she carefully unlocked the door. “Claire, my tool kit, second crate.” Jill said as Claire jogged back to the SUV, opening the back and going through the three BSAA marked crates, returning with a black bag. Jill opened it as she set it down, opening up a set of thin pliers of different lengths and shapes. She cracked the door open just a hair and began to work through the tiny space. After a couple minutes she threw the door open and showed a small plastic device to Claire.

“Motion sensor hooked up to the building alarm but I never had anything like this installed. Someone has been here. Hugo! Did you have anything like this installed?” Jill called back as she stood looking back at Hugo standing with the girls.

“No, I’ve only kept up with the bills and taxes.” He said, his expression concerned as the girls began to pick up on the distress.

“Shit, we aren’t safe here either. Claire you drive, Hugo get the girls’ vests on. If they’re monitoring this then we have only a couple minutes before they notice it go offline.” Jill said as she opened another crate, removing two large weapon cases and opening them.

“Jill, where are we going?” Claire asked nervously as Jill opened an ammo can as she pulled a light duty machine gun from its case.

“Away from here, we’ll worry about that after we shake this tail. Here, heard you know how to handle one of these, you’re driving.” Jill said tossing Claire a single shot grenade launcher. She slammed the cover of the machine gun down as she ran the bolt, slinging a three-point strap over her shoulder as she threw the cases back into the car. Hugo was helping Edelie adjust a small bullet-proof vest as Claire got into the driver’s seat, setting the grenade launcher down in the door pocket as Jill opened the sunroof. She turned back to see the girls and Hugo closing the doors as the put their seat belts on.

“Edie, Val, I’m so sorry we have to keep running but they people chasing us are very close. If they try to hurt us, Claire and mommy are going to stop them. It could get very loud and if it does, I want you to cover your ears and keep your heads down, get on the floor if you hear glass breaking. Val, look after your sister ok, this could be very scary.” Jill struggled to keep on her brave face as the girls nodded along.

“Ok mom, I’ll make sure to keep her safe.” Valerie smiled nervously; Jill smiled.

“That’s my brave girl, Claire?” Jill said as Claire started up the car. They pulled out of the driveway and back onto the country highway. “Keep heading south until we start seeing the coast, then we’ll head east, we ok on gas?” Jill asked nervously as she glanced behind her.

“Ok, Jill? What is it?” Claire said nervously glancing at her partner, Jill’s eyes locked behind them watching a black military truck make its way over the hill.

“Ok its time to start ignoring the speed limit Claire, Terrangbil APC bearing down on us.” Jill said as she watched it descend the hill, half a dozen motorcycles following behind it. The engine roared as Claire hit the gas, Jill tossed back in her seat for a moment before looking back again. “Heads down girls, it’s going to get a little loud.” Jill called back as Hugo helped Valerie and Edelie get to the floor. Jill stood up on the center console, lifting herself through the sunroof. She steadied her rifle on its bipod, the convoy quickly closing the distance. Jill stared down her sights, centering on the driver’s side of the APC, empty shells clattering over the car’s roof as gunfire ripped through the air. Jill fired several short bursts as the glass of the car’s windshield turned white with spidering cracks.

“Shit. Claire! Looks like they sprung for halfway decent armor, the bikes are hanging behind it.” Jill called down as the APC came up within a few feet of their bumper. Claire pulled hard into the opposite lane as she rolled down her window. “Under the front axle!” Jill shouted as Claire took aim with the grenade launcher. The weapon thumped as the projectile exploded underneath the APC, lifting it off the ground. Its wheels came back down, the vehicle rolling sideways, its momentum carrying it into a tumble. Claire turned hard with a sudden curve in the road, the girls screaming with the shifting weight of the car threw them to one side. The motorcycles rounded the corner speeding past the smoking wreck of the APC as Jill opened up with her rifle. She raked the line of fire across their assailants, the bikers weaving as they tried to catch up. She focused on the closest one, landing several shots on their torso despite their attempts to avoid her. The driver went lip as the bike tumbled into a clumsy roll, Jill firing at their closest companion. Distracted by their tumbling comrade, they failed to dodge Jill’s resumed assault, careening off the road as the driver took several rounds.

Jill checked the belt feeding her gun, less than a handful of rounds left as she looked at the four remaining pursuers. She carefully climbed through to the roof, watching the nearest biker go for a weapon. She threw her rifle at them and leapt from the car; the rifle striking the driver as they struggled to maintain control. Jill landed on the front of the bike, kicking the driver hard in the chest as they both fell from the bike. Jill planted her feet hard on their chest as they hit the pavement; the biker screamed as they slid. Jill jumped as one of their comrades passed, drawing her combat knife from her belt and wrapping her arm around them and holding the blade to their throat. He kept driving, unable to move as Jill held the knife, drawing her pistol with her free hand. She fired at the nearest biker, the rounds splitting the rear of his helmet as he slumped over the handlebars, tumbling to the ground as Jill saw the last drawing their weapon next to the car.

“Throttle, now and you might live.” Jill shouted into the driver’s ear as she pressed the blade tighter to his throat, the bike roaring as they accelerated. Jill took aim low, emptying her magazine as the motorcycle’s rear tire blew out. The bike lost traction, spinning and hitting the pavement as Jill ripped her knife across the throat of her last foe. She tossed the corpse to the pavement as she drew up next to Claire. They both came to a stop at an intersection of country highways, Claire offering a smile to Jill as she got off the bike, letting it clatter to the ground.

“Kinda like watching you behind the handlebars, you ok?” She said playfully, stepping out of the SUV as Jill ran her hand through her hair as she paced around the bike, her breathing still heavy.

“I don’t know what hell we are going to do Claire.” Jill said softly, staring at the bike, blood splattered over the gas tank.

“We keep going, I’m not going to let anyone hurt you or the girls.” Claire maintained, grabbing Jill’s hands as she stopped pacing. Jill smiled at her as she took a long breath. Jill perked up as she heard sobbing from the car, going to grab the door when she noticed a line of holes along the side. “No, no, no!” She whispered throwing open the door to see Hugo holding Valerie as she was crying, struggling to breath. Jill grabbed her daughter and laid her on the ground, running her hand over her vest, finding two rounds embedded in the material. “It’s ok baby, mommy’s right here, you’re going to be ok.” Jill worried as Valerie nodded, breathing still coming in forced rasps as Jill held her. She unstrapped Valerie’s vest, checking her torso, a massive bruise forming over her ribs.

“Plate stopped the round Jill, its still intact.” Claire tried to sooth as she knelt next to the two.

“Good, probably just a couple broken ribs then. Valerie we’re going to get you help ok, just try to relax and focus on breathing.” Jill said holding her hand as Valerie nodded.

“I saw the man pull out a gun, Edie was by the door.” Valerie sputtered as Jill hushed her.

“You did well sweetheart, my brave girl. I’m very proud of you and I’m so sorry.” Jill fought back tears as Valerie’s gasps began to settle some. “Claire, I think its time to call your brother.”

 

Chris’ phone rang as the sun set in Ankara, Rebecca and him still stuck waiting for a chance to visit the sight of the attack. He sighed at the blank caller ID and answered it.

“What is it this time Veronica.” He complained as he began pacing under the aircraft’s wing.

“Same as before Chris, just trying to offer our assistance with ongoing incidents since we believe the BSAA is still the best agency after the same goals as us.” Veronica delivered sarcastically having said the same thing to Chris dozens of times before.

“We assigned Burton to you guys for a tour, you don’t like him?” Chris tossed back.

“Chris, we handled Dulvey together, this is me speaking as me now, ok? We recognize that someone has been trying to work against the BSAA for some time now, it has become much harder for you to operate in different parts of the world. We can operate there, we want to enter into a much deeper cooperation with the BSAA and to be honest, that won’t happen unless something is said from within, from you.” Veronica’s tone shifted serious as Chris scoffed.

“And access is the thing that you think will get Umbrella back into the fold? What could you even offer that we couldn’t do undercover?” Chris dismissed as he reached the tip of the wing before turning back.

“I have two tactical and one research teams at the Ankara ground zero site for starters.” Veronica returned with a hint of pride. “We’d be more than happy to share everything we find, attach BSAA specialists to our units to sneak them into conflict zones. We are committed to this fight Redfield; I know you’ve seen our proof.” Veronica implored as Chris shook his head. He paused as his phone began to buzz, Jill’s name coming up on his ID.

“Feel like holding Veronica? I have a high priority call coming in so you’re waiting.” Chris said, switching over the call before hearing a response.

“He Jill, everything ok?” Chris asked as he heard the call connect.

“No, farthest thing from.” She started, distress coating her tone as Chris stopped his pacing. “They’ve found the girls Chris; we burned the fall back site and they’re still chasing us. I just wiped their last team, but I don’t know if that bought us more than a couple hours. We need help, Val was shot, her vest stopped the rounds, but she has a couple broken ribs. Chris, we have nowhere to go.” Jill fretted.

“Jill, I’ll do everything I can to send you help, I’ll try to head up as soon as I can but. Fuck! Its going to be at least six hours before I can get out there.” Chris threw his fist into the side of the plane in anger, pulling back as a sudden thought dawned on him. “I may have a solution that can get to you much faster. Jill, hang on, I’ll call you right back.”

“Ok, thank you Chris.”

“Veronica, I’ll take your deal if you can do me one favor first.” Chris said as he took Veronica off hold.

 

“Are you completely sure you’re ok with this?” Claire said softly as Jill held Valerie, the pair standing and watching two Blue Umbrella helicopters circle overhead.

“Not really, but Chris would never make the recommendation if the girls would be in danger. Val needs a doctor sooner than later and here they are.” Jill returned nervously as one of the aircraft settled down on the roadway. Two soldiers and a woman with a conspicuous red cross emblazoned on her chest carrier ran towards them.

“Ms. Valentine, Doctor Ellish, Blue Umbrella. I’m so sorry to be meeting you under these circumstances. I’ve been told Agent Redfield has filled you in?” She said as Hugo lifted Edelie and the trio of adults followed Ellish back to the helicopter.

“Mostly, told me you have a ship in the upper Gulf of Bothnia.” Jill shouted over the sound of the rotors. The doctor helped lift Valerie into the hold, setting her on a bolted down stretcher. Jill stepped up and helped buckle her in as Hugo passed Edelie to Claire. The door closed behind him as he stepped up, Jill still kneeling next to Valerie as the doctor began to look her over.

“Definitely a couple of broken ribs, she’s breathing ok, so nothing has been punctured but we’ll still be checking for any internal bleeding when we make it to the Indemnance. The company has been tracking a lead on the Connections who where robbed by Ada Wong in Philly. We had reason to believe they where tracking some kind of package in Finland before orders came in to abandon the investigation for an alpha priority intervention. Your old partner has clearly made an impression on Umbrella’s leadership.” Doctor Ellish said as Jill held Valerie’s hand, stroking her hair as the helicopter lifted off.

“I’m going to assume you have some form of medical facility onboard this ship of yours?” Jill said looking at the doctor cautiously.

“The Indemnance is an out of decommission American LHA, Agent Valentine. She has a large enough hospital to serve a platoon. We’ve done some upgrades since we bought the ship to suit our purposes as well, she probably has the best medical facilities within a hundred miles.” Ellish laughed as she offered Jill a reassuring smile. Jill nodded reservedly as she turned back to Valerie. The flight lasted less then thirty minutes out into open water as the small flight circled around a black with blue painted vessel that resembled a small aircraft carrier. The settled down as a team of doctors met them on the deck. Jill stayed with them as they entered the medical suite. A man in scrubs stepped into the room and approached the bed as Claire caught up to them.

“Hello Agent Valentine, Doctor Gaultier, sorry to hear about what happened. Ellish told me we have a gunshot that was stopped by a ballistic vest resulting in broken ribs and potential internal bleeding. We’re going to start with x-rays and have our surgical suite being prepped in case we need to operate.” The doctor said getting right down to things as they brought Valerie’s bed down the thin hall of the ship. “The chief investigator for our current mission wanted to meet with you, pending your permission of course.” Gaultier added as they entered the x-ray room. Jill stepped back as they set up the device, nodding to the doctor as Claire came in followed by Hugo and Edelie. Jill jumped as the sound of the machine whirred to life. Claire wrapped her arm around Jill’s waist, stepping in front of her. She laid her hand over Jill’s chest, covering her scar as Jill pulled her close, leaning her forehead against Claire’s.

“I’m here, you’re ok, you’re being strong for Val and I can see it, I’m proud of you.” Claire breathed as she felt Jill’s heart thumping quickly as she fought back the memories; endless testing, sedation and modification that had left her a shell of herself. Jill let out a thin breath and placed her hand behind Claire’s head, kissing her for a protracted moment, anchoring herself by her partner. Claire’s fingers curled slighting over Jill’s chest as she felt Jill’s arm tense as she held Claire to her. Claire relaxed her shoulders, letting Jill tighten her embrace as she held her, Claire leaning her head on Jill’s shoulder as her heart rate began to slow.

“Thank you.” Jill muttered as she looked down into Claire’s eyes at, she smiled up at her. “For bringing me back, for keeping me above water, for everything.” Jill stammered, as Claire blushed.
“You make it easy, good hugs and all that.” Claire smirked as Jill squeezed her just a bit tighter, running her hands over Claire’s hair as she met her lips again.

“My angel made in heaven.” Jill whispered as she pulled back. She looked up as Dr. Gaultier took the prints of the x-rays and put them up on a back light.

“Some good news Ms. Valentine, no internal bleeding but one of Valerie’s broken ribs was pushed out of place from what looks like a second impact, we’ll have to operate to set it to heal. It is relatively low risk, but we will have to wait until we head farther south due to incoming weather.” The doctor said as Jill nodded along.

“Good to hear doctor, thank you.” Jill said as they began to wheel Valerie back to one of the patient rooms. Jill followed, Claire still clinging to her arm as they stepped into the hallway and stopped in surprise.

“Jill! Chris called ahead, filled me in on everything. I don’t know what to say, I’m so sorry about everything but thrilled to see you all safe.” A man with a short, graying beard and combed back hair greeted them with a smile.

“Barry!” Jill beamed in shocked surprise. “I didn’t realize you where on loan to Umbrella.”

“Been on the job for a couple months after they kept begging to have Chris back following his tour in Dulvey. They seemed happy enough with the oldest S.T.A.R.S. survivor despite not getting their first choice.” Barry laughed as the three of them followed the doctors into Valerie’s room.

“Good to see you too Claire.” He added quietly as the medical team set up Valerie’s monitoring equipment.

“Same Barry… Moira is well, just to let you know.” Claire said cautiously as Barry took a long breath at hearing the name, nodding his head silently.

“Thanks Claire. Jill, I know all to well you had your reasons to hide them. There’s no where safer for them right now except headquarters back in Frederick. You should breath easy, I heard you’ve had a hell of bad run.” Barry said placing his hand on Jill’s shoulder as he turned to leave. “Let me know if you need anything, I have a decent amount of pull around here.” He smiled as Jill nodded.

“Thanks Barry, I will.” Jill said walking over to Edelie, picking her up as Claire walked over to Valerie’s bedside, the doctors stepping out after finishing set up. Valerie took Claire’s hand as she stood next to her.

“I’m not afraid mom, you shouldn’t worry.” She said softly.

“It’s just me actually, your mom is with your sister, let me…” Claire started before Valerie interrupted with a labored laugh.

“They didn’t hurt my eyes; I know it’s you Claire.”

Chapter Text

Chris stepped over broken glass next to burned out car, thin wisps of smoke floating out from the window as the interior smoldered. He couldn’t shake the feeling on unease, dozens of Turkish military patrolling ground zero as he escorted Rebecca around to different elements of molded carcasses and growths left from the outbreak. The worst aspect was catching a glimpse of himself in the windows of cars and buildings, the blue umbrella logo on his shoulder still gave him chills.]

“This is a really bizarre pattern of growth, right down to the cellular level.” Rebecca commented over the blackened corpse of a vaguely humanoid bioweapon. “The structure is much less orderly, the mutamycene usually builds the molded into a specific form to suit the goals or instruction of the E-type. These aren’t even organized in a way that indicate any known objective, parts of the organism are even fighting each other. They are scattered to, not even in a hunter-killer pattern which even the simplest Tyrant weapons are capable of generating.” Rebecca stood and walked over to another pile of black mold material. Chris followed her behind a temporary stage, a pile of mutamycene material in the roadway behind it.

“Umbrella techs said this was the origin, based on the genetic coding of all the samples they’ve located, they all share the same imprint. We sure it is no longer active?” Chris asked, gripping his rifle tighter as they approached.

“Hard to say exactly, we still know little about how E-types function. It is at very least dormant. We’ve either done enough damage to the infection or the E-type could be out of range to offer instruction, impossible to tell without further study.” Rebecca said as she set down a small briefcase, taking a sample from the material in the street. A woman in Umbrella tactical gear approached the pair, her auburn hair in a tight bun.

“Good to see you two have been working unhindered, find anything useful?” She said with a crisp voice familiar to Chris.

“Veronica?” Chris asked curiously as she nodded.

“They cut me loose for field work every now and then. I just got a report from the Indemnance, by the way. Jill and your sister are fine. They had two young girls in their care and an older man as well. As promised, no questions asked Redfield. You should know they older of the children sustained some injuries during a gunfight, she had armor on so its just a few broken ribs. She’s stable and will make a full recovery.” Veronica reported as Chris let out a long breath as Rebecca looked up nervously at him.

“Poor girl, is Jill going to be able to handle all of this on her own Chris? I know she’s been having some trouble when she comes down from the fight.” Rebecca said softly.

“She’ll be ok. Claire is with her and she’s been good about looking after her.” Chris returned as Rebecca nodded.

“That’s good to hear. To answer your question though, Veronica, we have a few things that will be of great use long term but nothing to put us back on Wong’s trail.” Rebecca said as she sealed her sample container and closed the briefcase.

“Anything is good, I guess. I may have something for you on Wong. We’ve been tracking her for some time, just before Philly, and have noticed a pattern in her client list of late. She has been in negotiations with militant entities in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia and Mongolia. She’s done a phenomenal job and concealing who, but we’ve learned a few and they all have one thing in common; a serious opposition to the Russian Federation. Gives us good reason to suspect she will continue to run in this community of desperate guerilla’s in an attempt to make up for her significant loss of business during the Tall Oaks and Lanshaing incidents.” Veronica delivered as Rebecca stood with her samples.

“Lot of potential leads to follow, tell me you have some direction to point us in.” Chris said with a sigh.

“Better, we where tracking a contingent of Connections operatives in Scandinavia before we picked up Agent Valentine. Last we knew they where pulling back to a base in eastern Ukraine, intercepted communications indicating they were concerned about a competing entity entering the region. Seems to fit the profile we’re looking for.” Veronica said as they began to return to the center of the square, an Umbrella helicopter spinning up its rotors. “We sent the information over to the BSAA as soon as we could confirm, your boss should be giving you a call soon, with any luck the BSAA should have no problem getting into Ukraine.”

“Hopefully, thanks for all of your help Veronica, after the CIA ditched us, I was really starting to worry if we’d be able to keep up with this.” Chris said as all three boarded the helicopter.

“From what I hear you still have D.O.S. in your camp, they seem to have been keeping up well enough with Wong despite their focus on hunting down Tricell at the moment.” Veronica returned as Chris’ expression soured.

“I wouldn’t really say we can trust some of D.O.S. to be perfectly honest with you.”

 

“Ukraine? Ok well at least we’re closing in on her. God I can’t imagine what a mess it must have been in Ankara. Yeah, she’s holding up ok, I don’t know about Roland’s request though. I doubt she’ll be comfortable leaving them here, even with Barry onboard. I know we should tell him but that’s not my decision or yours, Jill has to be ready for that. I’m sure if Roland knew he would grant her an extension. Either way I’ll start preparing to head back into the fight. Thanks, I love you too.” Claire said as she hung up the phone, her brother filling her in on their progress as she made her way down the hallway onboard the Umbrella vessel. She had just checked on Valerie as Jill tried to get some rest in a private stateroom Umbrella had offered them; Hugo had gone with Barry, taking Edelie on a tour to relax her as they made their way south. Claire opened the door to Jill’s state room, the spacious room part of Umbrella’s refit to suit a civilian company’s standards rather than the utilitarian design of the military. Claire closed the door behind her, the room warm and humid; the soft patter of the shower running in the bathroom. Claire stepped over the carpet, stopping suddenly as the low light of the room glinted off a pile of broken glass on the floor. Claire glanced over to see the remains of a bottle of wine and its accompanying glass shattered over the floor of the kitchenette, a small streak of blood spread over the tile leading to the bathroom.

Claire stepped into the bathroom carefully, greeted by a blast of warm air, the clear shower had one pane of glass broken over the floor as the water ran out, spraying across the bathroom. Jill was hunched over still in her bloodied clothes, water running over her as she stared into nothing. Claire carefully stepped over the glass littering the floor, sitting down next to Jill as she watched a thin line of diluted blood flow down the drain from her foot. Jill was shaking as Claire wrapped her arm around her, reaching up and turning off the faucet.

“I can’t… they keep coming for me and I can’t get away.” Jill stuttered softly as Claire held her.

“It’s ok, I’m right here.” Claire mustered as Jill shivered in her arms.

“I can’t get it off, I just want it fucking gone Claire I can’t get away!” Jill sobbed, clawing at the scar in her chest, her nails drawing blood as Claire grabbed her wrist and held her tighter, Jill letting out an anguished gasp. “It’s all my fault, they’re not going to stop. They’ll kill the girls and you and its my fault I can’t stop them.” Jill struggled despondently as Claire gripped her, Jill desperately clinging to her as she shook.

“None of this is you fault, Jill you fought them off and saved as again. You have been fighting them for decades and everything you have is in spite of what they have tried to do to you.” Claire said softly as Jill continued to cry into her shoulder.

“I just want it to stop…” She murmured as Claire rocked gently with her.

“I know, my love. You’re going to be ok; it will stop hurting.” Claire promised softly as Jill gripped her tighter. Her sobbing stopped abruptly as Jill looked Claire in the eye, fighting back the tears as Claire tried to offer her a gentle smile.

“I believe you.” She whispered as she curled back up in Claire’s arms.

Jill was wrapped in a towel as she sat on the bed, Claire dressing the cut along the bottom of her foot. Jill held the hem of her towel up against her chest silently as Claire worked, the broken glass swept into the corner of the kitchenette.

“Valerie’s doing ok, they said we should be into calmer waters in few hours and they can set her rib right.” Claire offered as she finished the bandage. Jill nodded softly, taking a long, deep breath.

“I don’t know what happened here Claire.” Jill mustered as Claire set the basic first aid kit on the bed.

“Its ok Jill, I know better than anyone, I shouldn’t have left you alone even for a moment.” Claire said climbing onto the bed and sitting on her knees behind Jill. “Let your towel down bit, I want to check on that gunshot wound from Savage River.” Claire said softly as Jill loosened her grip on the towel.

“Its not your job to keep me together… I’m already too much of a burden on everyone.” Jill lamented.

“You are not a burden.” Claire returned firmly as Jill pulled the towel off her bare back. Claire let out an audible gasp as she looked over Jill’s skin. Her back was mottled with an orderly pattern of scars. They ran over her spine, along her ribs and down her sides. The skin had healed in odd patterns; tagged, raised and discolored from a variety of cuts and modifications. Claire felt a tear roll down her cheek as she reached out and ran her hand over a long mark between Jill’s shoulders. Jill drew in a sharp breath, the muscles of her back rippling as her whole body tensed up; Claire quickly withdrew her hand.

“Jill, I’m sorry, I didn’t…”

“Put your hand back Claire.” Jill interrupted in a soft mutter. Claire slowly opened her hand again, laying it flat against Jill’s back as she tensed again. She could feel Jill’s shoulders quiver as they tightened, her breathing speeding up as she fought her body’s instinctual response. Her muscles began to relax after a moment as Jill let out a long breath she had been holding.

“I want you to see what they did to me. I want you to touch every scar because when I break down like this again; I want to remember your touch, not theirs.” Jill croaked as she looked over her shoulder at Claire.

 

Ada stepped off the Makhackala to Grozny line, holding Evangeline’s hand as they stepped into a cab waiting at the edge of the train station. The drove to a warehouse in the industrial area of the city, greeted by an armed guard before being led inside.

“Ada, how many more times are we going to have to do this.” Evangeline asked sheepishly as they made their way into a small office withing the warehouse.

“I few more times, then we’ll have everything we need.” Ada returned quietly. “You won’t have to worry this time though; I just need you to make some of your friends for these people. I’m not bringing you back into danger Eva, I promise.” Ada said squeezing Evangeline’s hand as she looked down at her. The child nodded as they sat on couch in the corner of a small conference room. Ada took out a bottle of pills and prepared Evangeline’s medication as a woman stepped into the room alone.

“Good to see you made it here without incident Ms. Wong. You can call me Khava.” She said with a Caucus accent as she pulled a chair over from the conference table. She sat down as Evangeline spooned her pill into her mouth, finishing off the container of apple sauce.

“I take it that you got your associates to stop pouting about my changes to the plan.” Ada said with a slight edge to her words. Khava smiled softly as she looked at Evangeline.

“Of course, we understand that the incident in Ankara was not entirely of your making. We understand that such a valuable resource should not be put in such a risky environment. You mentioned the ability to generate bio-organic weapons and control them from a distance, that should suit our needs.” Khava said softly as Ada stared her down.

“I hope you have the shipping route free and clear; I’m not going to have Eva in that state for long. We just a need a camera feed when the weapons land and we’ll be able to take out your targets. Your first payment cleared on the train, so I see no reason to delay the first phase.” Ada stated as she grabbed the empty container and plastic spoon from Evangeline.

“Good, we can help induce Evangeline’s mutamycene generation within a medical suite we have set up at the other end of the complex. We unfortunately had to decide to remove Kaliningrad from the targets but Volnovakha and Deir ez-Zur have delivery set up as well as our people on sight. We will move the weapons through Dagestan, then to a port in northern Iran. From there by rail to Trabzon. They will diverge to their targets from there. When we receive confirmation that they are on their way, we will move you and Evangeline to our secure location in the mountains from which you can direct the attacks.” Khava laid out as Ada nodded along.

“Good, I expect payment before the attack commences.” Ada said flatly as Evangeline began to pump her legs impatiently.

Ada squeezed Evangeline’s hand as she stood with her in an isolation chamber surrounded by an observation suite.

“Like we talked about Eva, you go when you’re ready.” Ada soothed as Evangeline nodded. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath. She opened her mouth as a series of black tendrils flowed freely, floating the floor and breaking across the ground. The mold flowed out of her forming a bizarre pattern, floating like ink in water. A mass began to form on the floor as Evangeline coughed, breaking the stream of material as Ada picked her up, carrying her out of the isolation chamber. She set her down on a chair facing the chamber as she coughed and sputtered.

“You did well sweetheart, breathe.” Ada smiled as she brushed hair out of her eyes.

“I really don’t like doing that.”

“I know, the yucky part is over, take a deep breath and then I want you to try calling one of your friends.” Ada cooed as she stood behind Evangeline, placing her hands on her shoulders as she watched the mold slowly spread to the corner of the isolation chamber. It began to slowly climb the sides of the glass, expanding as it began to jerk and twist, a monstrous form seeming to step out of the black mass. It growled, a broad mouth breaking in its head as the mycelia bioweapon took stock of its surroundings, stepping forwards with rickety steps as its legs grew large enough to support its weight.

“Am I doing ok?” Evangeline asked as she watched the monster break away from the mutamycene and stand on its own.

“You are, you’re doing great Eva. I need you to tell your friend to stay calm and when they bring the container to the door of the chamber, tell him to step inside and not to do anything until you tell him.” Ada spoke directly and clearly as she watched the beast screech and dart its head back and forth. The chamber opened as a shipping crate was brought flushed to the door. It opened and the monster slowly shambled into the crate, soldiers in biohazard gear slamming the doors shut behind it.

“Very good Eva, dear. Now let’s call another one.”

 

“Understood, keep me updated if anything changes, thank you Contra.” Leon hung up the phone as he stepped out of the arrival’s terminal of Makhachkala International airport in Dagestan. Leon shuddered as the familiar sense of being watched returned when he stepped outside and made his way to his rental car. He inspected the wheel wells, pulling a small device taped inside the rear passenger one and stomping it with his heel.

“Not a bad decoy, lets see where you really hid this thing.” Leon muttered to himself as he crawled under the car, looking for the second tracker that someone had left on his vehicle. After reaching around the undercarriage, guided by the light of his phone, he pulled a small device from the frame of the car.
“Let’s see how close you are really watching.” He said as he attached the tracker to the wheel of the car next to him. He got in his car and pulled out of the parking lot, still unsure who his tail was. “Alright Leon, focus, Ada’s last ping was customs here, but she would likely have taken additional transportation. CIA picked up a few suspect purchases of hermetically sealable containers at the port. Start there.” He said as he drove towards the coast, taking extra turns and back roads whenever he could. The sun began to sink over the Caspian Sea as Leon snuck past the security fence for the port, making his way through massive stacks of shipping crates. He ducked into the shadows as a small patrol of armed men escorted one of the massive loading vehicles to an empty lot, setting down the crate before moving off back towards one of the warehouses.

“Lot of security for machinery.” Leon whispered, screwing a suppressor onto the end of his handgun. He took aim at the work floodlights, firing shot as the light exploded and fell dark. He bolted across the yard to the crate that was set down by the guards, grabbing two spanners from a toolbox left at the base of the floodlight. He placed both wrenches on either end of the padlock, straining as he pulled the outwards. The lock broke under the pressure as Leon wrestled it from the latch, throwing open the container.

“Shit!” Leon hissed, stumbling backwards as he drew his pistol and fired several rounds into the seven-foot molded that awaited him on the other side of the door. The mycelia creature stumbled as black pieces of matter where torn from its head as Leon’s rounds landed. The creature fell with a wet thud, the strands of weaponized fungal colony running loose as its form dissolved. “Molded in fucking Dagestan?” Leon stammered as he got to his feet, holding the gun on what was left of the creature as he stepped closer.

The creature hadn’t made a sound, hadn’t lunged for him, he struggled to reason with what he had encountered. “Bizarre, it seemed dormant.” Leon remarked as he paced around the rotting pile of mutamycene. He took out his phone and snapped several photos before exiting, latching the door and running back into the shadows. He made his way back to his car before he dialed his handler.

“Pictures incoming, E-type weapons in transit at Caspian Sea port. Unknown origin.” He delivered curtly as the call connected.

“Acknowledged Kennedy, standby. We have reason to believe CIA is shortly behind you on this, link up with them and continue pursuing Wong. You should be able to track the logistics of those crates relatively easily, twist some arms if you have to, we’ll have a cleaner team come through after you.” The handler spoke briefly before hanging up.

“Ok, Helena I hope you are getting better intel, guess we’re going to play cat and mouse all the way to Ada.”

 

“Mrs. Zlatica, so good of you to show up in person for this operation.” A man wearing a full-face mask and tactical gear greeted a woman in a suit jacket and black pencil skirt.

“Eliisabet is fine captain. What are we looking at here?” She said looking over the computer screens laid out in front of her showing different camera feeds from tactical team body cameras.

“Teams three through five are closing in on the Tricell funded operation as we speak. We believe it is actually as it appears, simply a chemical company owned through a Tricell shell company. They have been making strong grabs for land since the commencement of hostilities in Donetsk. They have links to Stjepan Androvich’s construction firm, Myezfutora. They seem to be preparing to build another facility here like what they had in Maryland and what they currently have in Moldova and Argentina.” The Connections Captain said as he pulled up a map of Ukraine for Eliisabet.

“Good, observers in place to watch for their quick response teams?” She asked as she watched one of the feeds approach an industrial compound.

“One, two, six and seven are all posted in the surround areas with surveillance active. We’ll know where they’re coming from the second the shooting starts.”

“Well done Captain. Tell you men they have black flag orders. Kill anything they find.”

Chapter Text

“Please tell me you did something right for fucking once!” the shriek came from around the corner as Raymond and Jessica shuddered, their handler storming in. Her hair was hanging disheveled around her face, wearing a plate carrier with two holsters strapped to her thighs.

“We have militants attacking Androvich’s little side project.” Raymond stated as Jessica stepped over to the far side of the room, picking up a rifle from a case up against the wall.

“Well? What the hell are we talking about? Rebels? Feds? BSAA? Who the fuck is shooting up my plant!” She yelled as she threw a crate across the room. Raymond jumped as the container clattered against the wall next to Jessica.

“Torres, how long has it been since you took a dose.” Raymond said softly as he looked at their fuming handler, Jessica standing and approaching the monitors showing the security feeds for their facility.

“Don’t get testy with me Vester, its fucking useful in a fight and you know it.” Their handler returned as she unzipped a pouch on her belt, pulling out an injector similar to an EpiPen. She plunged the needle into her thigh and groaned, taking several deep breaths before looking back at Raymond. “We have anything yet Sherawat? Torres huffed as she brushed hair out of her face.

“Not FSB or anything like that, BSAA doesn’t operate like this and they are far to organized to be rebels.” Raymond said stepping next to Jessica, blooms of light flashing on the night vision security cameras as soft rattles of gunfire broke the silence.

“I didn’t get anything from the squad posted outside of our little bunker here, their uniforms where blank, not even serial numbers on their weapons.” Torres said standing next to him as he watched the security feed. He glanced over at her, staring at a collection of bullet holes in the back of her suit; torn through the form fitting material, blood dried over each hole.

“They’ll likely be watching the other security stations then. Tell them all to stand down, we can fix anything we may break. Tell that Ivan fucker to start shelling Pokrovsk, get some noise cover for us when the media picks up on the gunfire. We can’t afford any more delays on this lab after losing Savage River.” Torres said, calm entering her voice as she began flipping through the different camera feeds. She stopped on the infrared feed of the train yard just outside of the chemical plant, the shapes of a tactical team making their way around the outside of the building, two plant workers knelt on the ground, their hands on their heads. The large shape of a train came up from the south into the camera’s field of view as the three Tricell agents watched.

“We didn’t have any rail traffic scheduled right?” Jessica asked as she manipulated the camera to get a better view.

“Odd, no running lights. It’s stopping.” Raymond said as more of the train came into view, shipping crates stacked on flat cars.

“Our friends seem surprised by it, unlikely reinforcements then.” Torres commented as the tactical team in view turned on the train. Bulges began to appear in the steel of the containers as the soldiers took up a defensive position facing the train. One of the shipping containers tore open as a black shape flew from the hole as the soldiers opened fire. “Shit! Third player in the game you two, lift lockdown and send teams out to secure the site, I don’t need a bunch of BOW’s infecting our construction zone. I want to know what they are ten minutes ago.” Torres shouted as she stormed off out of the surveillance room.

“We better follow, don’t want her to lose it again and kill half of one our own teams.” Jessica said cautiously, running the bolt on her rifle as Raymond nodded. They made their way down the hall of the Tricell bunker and climbed a short staircase to the surface. They came up in a basement, closing the hatch behind them and securing the bolt locks. They ran upstairs into a burned-out civilian home and stopped. The scene was absolute carnage, dozens of bodies littering the floor. Blood was splattered across the remaining walls of the home, a corpse hung impaled on an exposed beam from the ceiling. Several limbs littered the floor as the pair made their way to the door, a corpse laid on the ground, a massive claw mark across his back torn clean through his plate carrier.

“Must have been the ones she ran into on her way in.” Jessica said softly as they came out of the ruin and say Torres’ plate carrier tossed on the ground.

“You ever see her turned before?” Raymond asked as he looked off in the distance, the silhouette of the chemical plant visible as the light of fires flickered off its towers. Gunfire rattled off the surrounding woodlands, occasionally punctuated by a monstrous screech.

“Only in the testing videos, who do you think is coming after us?” Jessica asked as she picked up chatter from the rest of Tricell’s response teams on her radio.

“At first I would have said the Connections bitch again but now… could be anyone. This is one of the hottest marketplaces after South America and The Middle East. That’s why Androvich and his old boys club has been paying us so well to get involved.” Raymond returned as the crack of gunfire was punctured by a deep bellowing roar.

“All teams have left their bunkers, some resistance from our first friends. They’re heading to the plant. We still don’t have anything on the BOW’s.” Jessica stated as she held her finger to her ear.

“Fuck… seems like we’re going to have to go see. I really am not looking forward to dealing with Torres in this mess.” Raymond sighed as they took off towards the plant.

 

“Well done Eva, keep going.” Ada encouraged as she kept her hand on Evangeline’s shoulder. They sat in front a wall of monitors displaying a variety of drone camera angles and hacked security feeds. Molded where pouring from train cars and beginning to overrun the chemical plant next to the rail yard.

“Wong, they have yet to reach the deployment zone outside of Donetsk, what do you think you’re doing?” Khava asked cautiously as she watched the bioweapons tear through a tactical team just outside of the structure.

“Tricell and the Connections are having some fun just outside. I figured we’d join them; see how we do against some real targets. That and they are likely the only entities on sight with the knowledge and capability to stop a bioweapons attack, so I felt it prudent to eliminate them first.” Ada returned flatly as a host of blank monitors lit up showing a series of crates in well lit warehouse. “Good, Damascus is live. Same as Donetsk, right? Police stations, infrastructure and military.” Ada said as the crates began to bend, torn open by more molded escaping into the warehouse.

“Yes, Ms. Wong. Try to keep civilian casualties top a minimum.” Khava responded softly.

“Of course, I’m a professional Khava. Otherwise you would have sent you middling bomb techs.” Ada said with a flavor of distain in her voice.

 

“Good to see you two, you been watching the news?” Med-Comm Director Accardi said as Chris and Rebecca stepped into the ops center.

“I try not to put too much stock in the breaking news race anymore. I assume this has to do with the stories coming out of Syria and Ukraine right now?” Chris offered as he and Rebecca stood next to the director, several different news networks playing across the monitors in front of him.

“Local governments hardly have any idea what’s going on. Whoever is perpetrating these attacks picked well. Assad seems to be responding with his military but its been damn near impossible to get reliable intel out of Syria even before they shut us out. We have a clearer picture from Ukraine, however. Kiev is feeding us all the information they have as it comes in and has already requested assistance in containing the outbreak. Based on the footage they’ve sent us; we are near certain it’s E-type mutamycene based weaponry.” Accardi stated as he looked at the pair.

“My team has been on standby since the attack began in Ankara sir, we’re ready to deploy as long as we have transport.” Chris perked up, his restlessness to get back into the fight coming through his speech.

“Good, we’ll send you on your way then. Be careful on this one Redfield, the report we have is coming out of the Donetsk region, they’re still fighting a civil war there. They aren’t there in any official capacity, but the Russians are supporting the rebels. They won’t be as forgiving as the US if there are any… incidents.” Accardi warned.

“Understood, sir.” Chris scowled before stepping out with Rebecca. “We going to need vaccines? I know they are still somewhat difficult to come by.” Chris asked as he and Rebecca made their way down the hallway.

“Not based on the reports we are getting. If Wong is the one behind these attacks, she’s not there in person. The E-types where never designed for outbreak style attacks, they’re infiltrators. That’s why they disguised them as young girls; you have one infect your target and you can spread that infection and control the subjects with a stable E-type. If she’s using molded that means she’s being more cautious after Ankara, with any luck we’ll find something we can trace back to her in Donetsk.” Rebecca answered as they stepped out of the building and made their way towards the airstrip.

 

Leon watched the terminal to Makhachkala International as the familiar figure of Helena strode towards the parking lot, getting in the car her contact had left for her. Leon started his car back up as she pulled out, taking up a position a few cars behind her as she made her way through the city.

“She’s here, I assume you’re attempts to get Hunnigan off Ada where unsuccessful.” Leon said as he heard his phone connect the call.

“Would seem so, I didn’t think she would be susceptible to intimidation.” The coarse voice of Contra returned. Leon sighed, keeping his tail on Helena’s Jetta as she turned onto the highway heading north.

“I still can’t be sure if she meant what she said, but they both seem to be sticking to her trail. You said you had something else you were looking into?”

“If I may Leon, what is the concern if you intend to take down Wong yourself.” Contra prodded as Leon sighed.

“I don’t know. She’s… there is something else going on with her. I’ve known her for a long time, she’s never outright denied doing things like this until now. She seems… driven by something, even afraid of something. I can’t let her keep this up, but I have to know what it is.” Leon thought, wondering if he’d even have the fortitude to face Ada again.

“I understand. Don’t let her get the better of you, if she claims to truly represent any of this newfound altruism, she’ll stand down when you demand it. As for the other matter, there are rumbles going around our old circle from the Redfield op. The SEAL team that delivered now agent Redfield to that submarine and saw her emerge with Ada are questioning what they where a part of. There are also some members of Archelon station that are spreading rumors. Roland was there, Redfield was there; Leon if that got out now with what Wong is doing it could topple the BSAA leadership as it stands. It would put the US in tight political debacle in the middle of an election year, they’d come after you, the Redfields and Roland.” Contra delivered the dire warning as Leon followed Helena off an exit ramp sending them west towards the border with Chechnya.

“Could be worse.” Leon mused as he looked in his rear-view mirror, an SUV he remembered seeing outside his hotel the other day was keeping pace with him two lanes over and six cars back. “Hmm, now that I think, maybe not. With luck I’ll be able to… resolve this issue with Ada and take the heat off us before people start reaching for their whistles. Contra, if someone tries to bring information to light before then… do what you have to.” Leon sighed as he changed lanes, trying to bait his tail into following him.

“Understood. Take care of yourself Leon.” Contra said as he hung up the phone.

 

“Are they heading to the right place Eva?” Ada asked as Evangeline kept her eyes closed, straining in front of the wall of camera feeds.

“Yes, there are a lot of voices, its hard… can I please take a break?” She struggled as she gripped the sides of the chair, she was sat in. Ada turned towards Khava as she offered a reluctant nod.

“Fifteen minutes Wong, we still have a lot of work to do.” Khava said turning away from Ada’s stern gaze.

“Come on Eva, with me.” Ada said as Evangeline let out a long breath. She lifted the child from the chair and carried her into an office off the security room. The walls where concrete, no windows in the bunker they where directing the attacks from. Ada set Evangeline down on a small sofa in the corner, running her hand over the child’s face. “You look exhausted dear, how are you holding up.” Ada asked softly as Evangeline looked at her.

“Ok, it… it’s a lot more work than I’ve ever done before.” She said mournfully as she tried to avoid eye contact.

“I know, I’m so proud of you for being able to do it. You know if it ever becomes too much you can…” Ada was interrupted by a steady buzzing in her pocket. She withdrew her phone, scowling at the lack of caller ID. “Just a moment Eva.” She said standing and turning away to answer.

“This has to stop Ada.” Veronica’s voice came through the line as Ada sighed.

“God, I need to have this number put on a no call list. I told you I don’t do jobs for Umbrella anymore; red, blue whatever the color of the decade is.” Ada spat.
“Wait Ada! We know a lot more about Evangeline than you may realize.” Veronica stammered before Ada could hang up. She paced around the office before responding.

“Am I supposed to be impressed you know her name?” Ada threw back.

“We know you are working jobs to suite a fine morale line, despite the disaster that you worked out with the YPK. We’ve been looking into your current employer, thought you would want to know about their work with the Salafists in the region, considering they are quietly helping the Russians with their homophobic pogroms.” Veronica delivered sternly.

“The Chechen authority are the ones behind the camps, not the rebels.” Ada sighed, disdain lignin her voice as she lamented the situation.

“And who dictates their shit little justifications Wong, the Salafists your employers are using for weapons, supplies and training.” Veronica retorted.

“Since when are you under the impression that I have ever considered morality in my business.” Ada tossed back, her voice sounding far less convincing than she had hoped.

“Since you drained every last cent from your years of work to warn Agent Kennedy of the threat of Simmons and Radames. We have done our homework Ms. Wong.” Veronica returned.

“Hmm, and now that you have delivered such an impressive speech you want me to stand down because you asked nicely? Made a dramatic phone call as twin attacks ravage different countries?” Ada shot back.

“Hardly, since you seem interested in Evangeline’s well-being, we believe a deal can be reached. We will give you full access to Umbrella’s research and development wing to help find a cure for advanced mutamycene conditions. This will likely yield a cure for Evangeline’s condition; or at the very least a way to manage it like a T-Veronica infection. That and we have wired two hundred and fifty million to your account as show of good faith.” Veronica quipped with a hint of smug pride as Ada stopped dead, turning to look at Evangeline half asleep on the couch.

“Do you honestly think you could do that? Cure her?” She said in a hushed voice.

“With time and study, we have confidence in our capabilities Ms. Wong. Can we count on your help?” Veronica responded as Ada walked over to Evangeline, the child groaning sleepily as Ada place her hand on her shoulder.

“What of my current employer.” Ada asked.

“Eliminate them. Clear their little bunker and we’ll have a contingent out to meet you shortly. We will have to something about D.O.S., CIA and the BSAA. You’ve been attracting a lot of attention.” Veronica returned with a stern tone as Ada sat next to Evangeline.

“Thought you were working with them now. Things not working out?” Ada said playfully.

“Yes and no. We keep tabs on everyone we deal with Ms. Wong, we don’t trust anyone except ourselves.” Veronica paused before responding.

“We may actually get along then. Odd, never thought I would find myself in Umbrella’s employ again. I will see you shortly.” Ada smiled as she hung up the phone. She stood and opened her attaché case sat on the desk in the center of the room. She withdrew a black MP7, sliding a magazine into the well and running the bolt. She took off her jacket and lifted a shoulder harness over her head, sliding her arms through and buckling it across her chest. She slid two spare magazines into the pouches on her right side and made for the door.

Ada stepped back into the operations room of the bunker as Khava turned to face her, surprised to see her shoulder the weapon.

“Wong! What the hell are you doing!” She shouted, making a desperate motion two several other rebels sitting at terminals throughout the room.

“Renunciatory breach of contract, sorry you had to find out like this.” Ada hissed as she squeezed the trigger.

Chapter Text

“Kupala Actual this is Redfield; we have eyes on the exclusion zone.” Chris called in over the thunder of helicopter rotors. He glanced out the open door of the BSAA Blackhawk as they approached the town of Volnovakha Ukraine. The landscape was torn up by years of civil war, fresh fires burning, smoke rising across the vista as they approached. Rebecca sat next to him, a rifle laying across her lap as she held her hand to her ear, listening for the dispatcher’s response.

“Acknowledged Redfield, objectives stand; we have reports of sporadic fighting within the urban center as the BOW’s are spreading out. They no longer seem to be directed and we think that is due to some form of in fighting. We have unconfirmed reports of Tricell agents in the area and an unknown belligerent. Proceed with caution, you’ll have limited support as most of our task force will be dedicated to enforcing the exclusion zone. Primary objective is to find the Tricell operatives and identify the other party. Find out who started this and then get out so we can wipe the field.” The voice of Kupala Actual came through bearing a Slavic accent.

“Understood, what can we count on if things get rough?” Chris called back as the other helicopter of their flight drew up on their right side.

“Your rides in will hold on station in case you need quick extraction. We have one tactical team on standby and an AC-130 with only fifteen on station. Call for fire credentials have been sent to your Dr. Chambers. More assets may become available as the exclusion zone is better established. Kupala out.” The dispatcher responded.

“Looks like the last report we had about the Tricell agents was somewhere in the city. First reports of fire came from a chemical plant near a train yard just outside the city limits. Decent sized town; two hospitals, a community college and tens of thousands of residents.” Rebecca said over the local radio as Chris turned to her.

“Any landing suggestions? I’ve chased terrorists through hordes of molded before and I’d like to avoid it at all cost.” Chris said as they began to circle the urban areas of Volnovakha. He ran the bolt on his SCAR-L, glancing at the twin magazines he had equipped. One with standard anti-personnel rounds, the other holding the anti-mutamycene RAMRODS. Rebecca ran the bolt on hers as well, clipping her chest harness to the rifle as she removed her optics cover.

“I was thinking the main train station in the center of town; clear area, we can fast rope in and head south, see if we can catch Tricell between us and the BOW’s.” Rebecca answered, adjusting a hardcase laptop in it’s sling on her left side.

“Sounds good, still a fan of the 63?” Chris teased pointing at the Stoner Carbine Rebecca was holding as they flew over the city, heading north over the train tracks.

“It’s always been good to me, besides I’m a bit slight of frame and it works well with that.” She tossed back as the two helicopters began to descend in the center of the train yard. One of the BSAA soldiers tossed out a nylon climbing cable as they began to hook in, the occupants of the other helicopter already sliding down. Chris and Rebecca put on their helmets, the soft lights of the display flickering to life as the first their helicopter began to deploy.

“Hold on, RPG!” The pilot suddenly yelled as Chris hooked onto the line. He grunted as he was tossed from the helicopter; the aircraft pulling hard to the right as he struggled to maintain his grip on the line, the roar of the rocket shooting by overhead. Chris hit the ground with a hard thud, the rest of the team followed behind him.

“Contact south west, large rail yard structures!” One of the soldier’s voices shouted over the radio as Rebecca landed next to Chris, helping him up as the BSAA team fanned out facing the buildings. The sudden report of rifle fire broke reverberated off empty train cars sitting idly on the tracks.

“Looks like we found Tricell, let’s move we’re too open here.” Rebecca shouted as she followed Chris into cover behind a small sentry post over a track switch.

“Agreed, India flight, get out of here, we have other friendlies in the area and can’t afford to lose our ride out.” Chris called to the helicopters as the BSAA soldiers began to return fire to the warehouse at the edge of the train yard. The aircraft began to gain altitude as they sped off, Chris peaking from cover, smoke starting to float over the battle space as the occasional muzzle flash came from broken window in the warehouses.

“Understood Redfield, we’ll stay on station and out of harm’s way.” The helicopter pilot called back. Chris stood from cover and ran over to a pair of soldiers concealed behind a stack of discarded rail ties.

“What are we looking at Ramirez?” Chris huffed as he peaked from cover, his rifle shouldered as he scanned for a potential target.

“Hard to say, about a platoon worth of gunfire sir but they seem to lack heavy weapons. After the tracks there’s an empty depot between us and the warehouses we are talking fire from, no way to get to the buildings without being seen first.” The BSAA soldier responded. Chris nodded, placing his hand back on his radio as he stepped behind cover.

“Rebecca! Call our friends with the big guns, we’ll mark with smoke! Strip of Warehouses on the west side of the railway!” Chris called out as Rebecca nodded from her position behind a train car. “Cooper, Angelo! Twenty-millimeter smoke on the warehouses now!” Chris called out as the two BSAA soldiers radioed back in the affirmative. The unmistakable plunking sound of their under-barrel grenade launchers rang out as white marking smoke began to rise from several spots near the warehouses.

“BSAA ground team to Sic Semper, requesting fire on following target please acknowledge.” Rebecca called over the radio as Chris looked up, the unmistakable rumble of an AC-130’s engines coming through the gunfire.

“Acknowledged ground team, go for call for fire.”

“Personnel in structures, south-south west of our position in the central train yards. Target marked by smoke, restrict use to forty or smaller, civilians still in the AO and friendlies danger close.”

“I have infrared on the targets, three rectangular buildings, multiple hostiles facing north-east.”

“Understood Sic Semper, you are clear to engage those targets.”

“Engaging, going hot forty-millimeter.” The gunship called back as the thunder of the Bofors canon broke the sky, streaks coming from the aircraft and crashing into the warehouse, the building shuddering as each round landed. The gunship traced a line through the structure, beginning to fire on the second as dust and smoke rose from the remnants of the first warehouse.

“Move! Hit the warehouse and keep advancing into the streets.” Chris called out as the BSAA tactical team leapt from cover and began to sprint towards the fresh ruin, the hostile gunfire silent. “Rebecca stay on with the one-thirty, keep them in front of us.”

“Sic Semper good hits, be advised ground teams moving into structures now.” Rebecca called out as she kept up with Chris.

“Understood ground team, stand by.” The gunship returned as they made their way across the empty depot and to the warehouse itself. The first soldiers stepped through a blown outdoor frame, sweeping his rifle and firing two shots, advancing as he motioned for the rest to follow.

“One contact behind a load bearing structure sir, the rest were taken out by the spook.” He reported as Chris stepped up next to them. He looked over the corpses, flashes pinging in his memory.

“Rebecca, these are Connections security teams.” Chris said flipping one of the corpses over as he examined their equipment.

“That fills in the blank on our other entity, hmm.” Rebecca returned as the team began to fan out through the warehouse. Another round of fire shook the building as the gunship continued its assault.

“Redfield to Kupala Actual, we have engaged Connections operatives, moving deeper into the city now.” Chris called in as the team moved through the warehouse and back out into the street.

“Acknowledged Redfield, we’ve been having some trouble closing the south end of the exclusion zone. The mutamycene infection has entered a free form targeting state and seems to be nesting. There is a risk we could see a break down like E-001.” The dispatcher called as Chris’ team made it through to a main road through a row of houses. Rebecca took the lead as they looked out into the street.

“Understood Kupala, we’ll try to be quick here.” Chris called back. Rebecca suddenly grabbed the nearest BSAA soldier to her and threw them to the ground as a clatter of rounds ripped through the corner she had just been stood behind. She crawled to safety as the heavy machine gun fire clattered as Chris heard her screaming into her radio, “Sic Semper Infantry Fighter in open! Mark South East of friendly position need fire now!”

“Understood ground team, be advised you have infantry approaching your position from the north, looks like they have a BOW with them as well. Going hot one-o-five.” The gunship called back as a massive explosion threw dirt and debris into the air over the surrounding homes. Rebecca peered back out into the street as the wreck of the armored vehicle caught fire; its ammunition starting to cook off as the squad crossed over to the other side. A clatter of fire tore through the building in front of them; ripping through the roof, shattering windows. Rebecca fell backwards as the team stopped, pulling back and covering all directions.

“Way to fucking close Sic Semper!” Rebecca called out as the fire ceased.

“Apologies ground team you have hostiles bearing down on you, row homes north west in open.” The gunship called back as the team moved for cover. Chris shouldered his rifle as Tricell operatives rounded the corner, met by a flurry of rifle fire from the BSAA team. Three militants fell as the remaining dove for cover, one of the BSAA soldiers tossing a grenade into the alley as a disturbing growl rolled off the buildings. The grenade detonated as a cloud of dust was tossed up, a hulking figure coming galloping through. It through itself at the nearest soldier, back handing him with its massive clawed hand, throwing him to the floor as BSAA soldiers began to fire. It took several strikes to the chest, opening its fanged maw to a massive roar before slashing at another soldier. It knocked him to the ground, blood sprayed in four long lines following the claws.

“RAMRODS!” Chris yelled as he quickly switched magazines as the beast lifted another soldier in its grasp. Chris tried to get a shot, the BOW ripping the solider in half, the man screaming as his remains where thrown at his comrades. It dropped to all fours and charged Chris as he fired, single shots as it drew closer. It reached him, knocking him to the ground as he struggled to keep its gnashing maw away from him. Three quick shots struck the side of the creature, an expression of pain breaking its fury as it turned and bellowed, struck twice more forcing it to retreat. It bounded back through the alley as Rebecca ran over, the barrel of her rifle still smoking as she helped Chris up.

“Jesus Christ, that was like a hunter with fur!” Chris groaned as he got up. Rebecca ran over to the wounded soldier laying in the alley as the rest of the team surrounded her, keeping a look out for any more threats. She looked up at Chris and shook her head mournfully. He let out a long sigh, looking at what was left of the other unlucky soldier.

“Kupala, we’ve encountered an unknown BOW, Tricell affiliated. We lost two of our team to it. Please advise.” Chris called in as Rebecca stood, reloading her rifle.

“Pursue, try to apprehend or eliminate anyone they have in the area Redfield, we need them occupied while we try to get the mutamycene under control.”

 

Jill was sat in a chair in the corner of the medical suite, Edelie and Valerie both asleep in her lap, their heads resting on her shoulders. She watched the steady beat of the EKG as Hugo lay in the bed. He had collapsed the other day just after Valerie’s surgery. She had come out of the hospital bed only for another member of her family to enter. She lightly stroked Valerie’s hair as she lay against her, having stayed up all night in hopes to receive some news on what was ailing her adopted grandfather. Dr. Gaultier, Barry and short but powerfully present woman Jill had been introduced as the captain of the Indemnance stepped in.

“Agent Valentine, I’m so sorry to be the bearer of terrible news, especially after…” Dr. Gaultier began Jill interrupting with a wave of her hand.

“Skip the bedside manner doctor. What’s wrong with him.” Jill said dismissively as Edelie stirred softly.

“Ok, Mr. Long has late stage Leukemia, his flu like symptoms are a result of the diseases toll on his immune system. We can keep him stable and comfortable here, but he will need long term care from a shore facility.” Gaultier delivered as Jill let out the breath she had been holding.

“Of all the nasty diseases in the world and the one that hits my family is cancer?” Jill muttered shaking her head. “Realistically can he recover?”

“With his age… maybe a year with care… its hard to say, it isn’t my specialty Ms. Valentine.” Gaultier trailed off as Barry walked over to her.

“You ok?” He asked softly as Jill looked up at him.

“Yeah, it’s just a lot to process. We’ll get him somewhere soon, after I figure out how I’m…” Jill said, stopping as she looked at both girls curled up against her. She let out a long sigh as Barry hesitated.

“There’s something else, Roland has reached out, he says he needs you and Redfield back for an ongoing incident in Ukraine. Claire’s stalling right now, she hasn’t said anything because she’s waiting for you in the comm’s room.” Barry delivered as Jill nodded silently.

“Doctor, could you please explain things gently to the girls? I’ll go figure out what to do with Roland.” Jill said as she gently unwove herself from her daughters, leaving them groggily stirring in the chair as she stepped off to the comms room at a brisk pace.

“I understand sir, the situation we got caught in is difficult to… I know that sir but we… Tricell was part of our issue as well and… wait she’s right here.” Claire was speaking into a headset, her fingers pinched over the bridge of her nose as she tried to keep Roland occupied. She put the call through a speaker phone as Jill walked up.

“Valentine, I hate to yank you both so suddenly but after Ankara I need my best. Redfield and Chambers are already the site of mycelia outbreak with black market infighting in Ukraine and I need the both of you at ground zero two hours ago. We’re having a difficult time establishing an exclusion zone as the bioweapons seem to have lost their command instruction and are nesting, attempting to reproduce as a sort of organic holding pattern.” Roland sounded somewhat impatient as he spoke.

“I understand sir, forgive me; I just found out my adopted father has been diagnosed with cancer.” Jill said flatly, Claire silently mouthing “What?”. There was a long pause as the static of the call seemed to fill the room.

“I’m terribly sorry to hear that Jill, really I am.” Roland said in a much tamer voice.

“He’s in good care, we had a run in with Tricell elements and got help from Agent Burton and his Umbrella contacts. He’ll be stable ‘til I can get him back to the states. Redfield and I should be to Ukraine in about three and a half hours granted Umbrella is willing to give us a lift, I’ll have them send you a gas receipt.” Jill mused as Roland offered a dry laugh.

“Understood Valentine, I promise I’ll only keep you away until the exclusion zone is viable, three days tops.” Roland returned.

“Thank you, sir, Valentine out.” Jill said as she hung up the call from the console.

“Hugo has cancer.” Claire said still surprised by the bombshell.

“Yes, and we’re needed in Ukraine. Let’s go see if Barry can get them to fly us out.” Jill returned flatly turning towards the door.

“It doesn’t seem to be bothering you that much!” Claire stammered as she burst into tears. Jill stopping, turning back towards Claire, sighing as she walked back. “How can you go straight to work after that?” Claire sniffled as she stared up at Jill.

“I can’t do anything right now… I can’t cure him, fight it for him… it makes me want to rip my hair out.” Jill said softly as she stepped behind Claire, placing her hands on her shoulders. “He needs strength, the girls will need strength. I have to be that; I have to focus on what I can do Claire, or I’ll lose my damn mind over what I can’t.” Jill sighed as Claire placed her hand over Jill’s.

“I… guess. I just can’t imagine how he’s feeling.” Claire lamented as Jill pressed her thumbs into Claire’s shoulder, gently massaging as she began to regain her composure.

“He’ll be making jokes at his own expense the second he wakes up.” Jill laughed as a smile broke over Claire’s face.

“So, what are we doing about the girls; not that I’m disagreeing with you withholding that from Roland.” Claire asked as Barry stepped into the room.

“I don’t like the thought of bringing them with into an active biohazard zone but leaving them in the hands of the Umbrella Corporation makes my skin crawl just on principle.” Jill answered as she fought a shiver running up her spine.

“Leave them with me then.” Barry interrupted as Jill instinctively shook her head.

“Its nothing against you Barry but…” Jill started.

“Jill, I know I’m not the best on paper, but I’ve owed you something like this for years. Let me repay that debt, please.” Barry implored as Jill considered. The mansion, Barry’s betrayal for the sake of his own family now all estranged from him. Jill sighed as she looked her old friend in the eye, his showing his true intent.

“Ok, we’ll call it a repaid debt then.” Jill smiled as Barry released his held breath.

“Let’s go find you a flight then.” Barry smiled as Claire stood up and the pair followed him out.

 

The BOW let out a tremendous roar as Raymond pulled the last of the embedded RAMRODs from its cheek, tossing it onto a small tray held by a Tricell medic. Jessica paced the perimeter of the house they had broken into on the south eastern end of the city. Dusk had begun to fall as the remaining Tricell contingent had been scattered wide by the BSAA, Connections and molded.

“God damnit those fucking things sting.” Torres groaned as Raymond spun back around, their handler sitting naked where the BOW had just been, several weeping sores in the side of her face and neck. The rapidly began to close as Raymond draped a long jacket over her shoulders.

“Look here Virginia, and here. Now…” Raymond said as he grabbed an injector from his first aid kit, holding his finger in front of Torres as she swatted him away.

“Fuck off ‘doctor’ Vester. I’m pretty sure you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing; just trying to look at my tits while I come down. Stop your laughing Sherawat or I’ll tear up that pretty face of yours on my next hunt.” Torres spat as she took the injector and plunged it into her leg, the medication making it easier for her body to return to its human state and stay under her control. “Do we have any word from anyone else?” She murmured as she pulled the jacket tighter around her.

“Just Androvich, getting us evac as soon as the BSAA deals with the molded beast growing out of their nest near the chemical plant.” Raymond said as he closed the first aid kit and grabbed his handgun from the table.

“Shit, we’re going to have to fall back to Romania and burn this whole cell. I better get to talk to fucking Vladimirovich or someone damn close after this fiasco.” Torres spat as Jessica glanced over at Raymond nervously.

 

“I’m fresh out on anti-regen! Are conventionals even doing anything to it?” Rebecca screamed as the deep rumble of a massive molded shook the countryside, the monster towering over the chemical plant in southern Volnovakha. It was vaguely like an arthropod, slowly plodding through buildings like they where made of paper and sand. It was the combined biomass of dozens of weapons and their victims as they formed a hive in a bizarre BOW standby mode.

“Doesn’t seem like it!” Chris said as a BSAA M2-Bradley sped by, it’s thirty-millimeter cannon pumping RAMRODs into the underbelly of the beast. It paused for a moment, swiping at the speeding vehicle, missing as it continued down the road.

“Sic Semper how much longer do you have on station!” Rebecca called over the radio.

“Approximately twenty minutes, we see the thing, don’t worry.” The gunship called back.

“Hit it with everything you got left! We have to do something to it.” Rebecca yelled as the tattoo of the gunship shattered the night air. The deep bass of the creature’s moan rumbled louder than the canon fire as dozens of heavy rounds struck the beast. It buckled somewhat under the strike of the howitzer’s fire but refused to collapse.

“Ground teams we’re fresh out and heading off station, refuel and reload in approximately one hour. Be advised we seemed to have torn a hole in that thing if you can get it down to ground level you may be able to do some real damage, Sic Semper out.” The gunship called out as it flew off to the west.

“Well shit, how the hell are we supposed to bring that thing down when it’s ignoring everything else, we’ve thrown at it.” Chris thought out loud as he watched the lumbering beast cut through a two-story home sending timber and glass across the street in front of it.

“How about a fully loaded bird with RAMRODs?” A familiar and chipper voice answered Chris over the radio as the baffles of a helicopter’s rotors buzzed overhead.

“Claire! About time you joined the damn party! BOW has a wound on its back courtesy of our gunship, see if you can get an angle on it.” Chris called in surprise and excitement as the BSAA Blackhawk spun up twin Vulcans on either side of the cabin, bullets sawing through one of its legs as the RAMRODs stopped its growth. It fell to earth with a heavy thud that felt more like a small earthquake as a massive gash in it’s back gaped at an open angle. It was immediately met by concentrated fire from all BSAA forces that still had ammunition, streaks of red and white gunfire pouring into the monster’s wound.

“Ok, Redfield’s have had their fun, let’s actually finish this.” Jill’s voice broke over the radio as a gleaming streak left the cabin of the helicopter, the rocket exploding inside the beast as it screamed. Three more rockets traveled in quick succession as the creature tore in half, the groans and bellows ceasing as ground crews approached the collapsing remains. Flames lit up at the base of the corpse as BSAA soldiers began to rake flame throwers over the body, burning away the dying mycelia. The BSAA helicopter landed in a small staging area a block from Chris and Rebecca as they ran over, both removing their helmets as Jill and Claire hopped out of the bird. Chris ran to Claire throwing his arms around her as she laughed.

“Good to see you kiddo, hell of a entrance.” He said as Claire pulled back beaming at her brother.

“Still trying to be the most memorable Redfield, got it.” She teased as Rebecca stepped close to Jill.

“The girls ok? I heard about Val and I was worried.” She said in a hushed voice.

“Goddamn nightmare but Barry and Chris came through for us. Val’s doing fine now, both are still on the Indemnance safe with Barry looking out for them.” Jill said with a sudden grunt as Chris hugged her.

“So glad you’re ok, the girls holding up?” Chris asked as Rebecca laughed at his interruption.

“They’re tough, Val’s already up and moving.” Jill laughed as he released her. “So, was that the last of the cleanup?” Jill said pointing to the corpse of the molded hive, smoke now rising as a rank odor of burning fungus filled the air.

“Hardly, but we can set up a secure exclusion zone now that thing is gone.” Rebecca answered as they all watched. Their radios all chirped at once, looking amongst themselves as a secure communication came through, encryptions activating in their battle-net.

“Redfields, Valentine, Chambers; this is Roland on a direct secure line.” The BSAA’s director came through as the group listened intently. “We have a solid lead from Burton through Umbrella. They have been tracking bioweapons in Chechnya after D.O.S. found some of your molded being shipped through Dagestan. Wong was directing the attacks from there and as Umbrella intervened, she fled. They believe they have her cornered in a bunker in the mountains near the eastern border and have requested our assistance. This is our chance to end this, apprehend or eliminate Wong and the E-type by any means necessary. You four are going in alone to minimize the likelihood of detection.” Roland spoke quickly as Jill looked up at Claire, her surprised and conflicted expression turning into one of solemn resolve as their eyes met. “Get out on the next flight, CIA and D.O.S. are supposedly on her trail too but they are stonewalling us on intel sharing. After Philly I’m only putting my faith in you. Good luck, Roland out.”

Chapter Text

“Harper, I just got a report from pursuant two. They’re currently tracking Wong’s contact about a mile behind you; The one we picked up on in Falls Church. We’re close if her inner circle is coming out in the open like this.” Hunnigan’s voice came through Helena’s earpiece.

“Always a good sign when they bother to come after us. Have pursuant team take them out, lets see if Ada even knows I’m on her trail or if her lackey is just being cautious.” Helena returned as she gazed through her rear-view mirror. The line of steady traffic was broken as a sedan swerved across several lanes, chased by a large silver SUV. The sedan sped up as the SUV kept pace, slamming into the side of the car, spinning it out off the road. The car tumbled down the hillside out of sight as armed men began to exit the vehicle and approach the wreck. Helena smiled as she watched, “Hopefully that sends the right message Ada; take us seriously, I don’t want to have to kill you.”

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Leon swore as he felt his car lift and begin to roll over as his tail rammed into him. Glass shattered as the airbags burst, the car coming to a hard stop in a ditch as Leon groaned. He shuffled in the driver’s seat. He heard shouting as he kicked open his door, drawing his handgun from his holster in his jacket as he stumbled out of the mangled car. He saw several men in black tactical gear approaching him, rifles raised.

“Not my fucking day…” Leon muttered as his assailants began to fire. Leon turned and sprinted, following the stream of water in the ditch his car lay. Bullets kicked up water and mud around him as he ran, sliding in some places as the ditch took him further downhill, turning into a wooded area under a large bridge. He came a to a large culvert, running through and trying to catch his breath; the shooting had stopped but he knew they couldn’t be too far behind. He ran to the far end of the tunnel, lifting himself on top of the drainage pipe. He lay low, listening as the steady splashing of his pursuers grew louder. The first of the team made their way through as Leon kept himself low.

“Shit how many where there?” Leon thought as he watched three follow the ditch farther. He drew his knife from the holster on the back of his belt. He slid himself over the edge of the pipe and landed right in front of one of the operatives, swiftly plunging the dagger into their heart as the rest of the team spun. They drew their rifles up as Leon fired at the two remaining members in the tunnel; rounds striking them in the neck and shoulders as they collapsed. Gunfire erupted from outside of the tunnel, clattering off the concrete as Leon fell hard in the mud. Using the soldier he stabbed for cover, he returned fire. The slide for his pistol locked as it ran empty, Leon tossing it aside in favor for the slain soldier’s rifle. He raised himself to one knee and fired a controlled burst, dropping the last of his assailants as he let out a long breath. He tossed the rifle in the mud as he put his foot on the chest of the dead soldier; withdrawing his knife, retrieving and reloading his pistol.

He paced over to the three operatives he had shot, blood mixing with the water as it babbled through the silence. Leon raised his weapon as one of the soldiers groaned, rolling slighting towards him. Leon kicked him onto his back with a pained grunt as he held his gun on him.

“Who are you with! Answer now and you won’t have to bleed out in the middle of nowhere.” Leon spat as the soldier looked up at with a furious glare. He sputtered as blood ran from the corners of his mouth, his expression pale.

“Go fuck yourself scumbag arms dealer.” He spat as Leon landed a hard kick into his side.

“Wrong, try again. Who the hell are you working for!” Leon growled.

“Spooks bud, and there are more of us coming for you.” The dying soldier laughed as Leon’s stern expression melted into one of horror.

“No…CIA is already here, they are… No!” He screamed in anger, firing his pistol into the soldier’s chest. The magazine emptied, the weapon only clicked as he yelled in anger; anger at the CIA, at Ada, at himself. His breathing was heavy as he fell to his knees in the stream running red, his hair falling loosely around his face at he looked at the corpses of the CIA operatives he had killed.

“What am I even doing anymore…” Leon said to no one as he struggled with the realization; had the CIA known it was him? Did D.O.S.? Was it all just mistaken identity?

“Helena… I have to stop this.” Leon muttered pensively standing back up and heading back up to the roadway.

Helena had turned off the main road after watching the wreck, heading into the mountains. She followed a country road that ended at the edge of a fenced in valley. She stepped out for a moment, cut the lock to the gate and continued into the wooded compound. She pulled up to a host of small temporary buildings near a low-lying concrete structure. There was a flat helipad up against the tree line with an unmarked military helicopter sitting silently. Helena turned off the car and stepped out, circling to the trunk. She pulled a P90 carbine from its case, sliding the magazine into place and running the bolt. She made her way to the concrete structure, stepping down a short ramp leading down several stories to a hardened door. She paced over a drainage gate and examined the entrance to the bunker, the simple though to try the handle entering her mind. Helena laughed as she reached out to grasp it, turning to her surprise; the door groaned open into a dark entryway as Helena lifted her weapon.

The sharp beam of her flashlight penetrated through the darkness as she stepped past a series of supply crates and turned down a long hall. There where dozens of doors labeled in Russian as she cautiously made her way down the hallway.

“Ok Harper, remember your Cyrillic, half these things are probably cognates.” Helena muttered to herself as she recognized the word for operations on a pair of double doors near the end of the hall. She stepped into a large room lit only by the dim screens of black and white camera feeds showing the hallway she had just come from. Helena carefully avoided a host of spent shell casings as she noticed large streaks of blood over the floor. A string of monitors where dark along the wall, bullet holes torn through the glass.

“Helena… that nasty cut all healed?” Ada’s voice floated through the darkness as she stepped out in front of the flickering screens, her form silhouetted by the low light.

“Did you do this?” Helena asked firmly, gesturing at a heap of corpses dragged to the corner of the room.

“Yes, unfortunately the workplace became a little too hostile for my liking. What brings you here.” Ada returned with a flippant toss of her wrist.

“You. What you did in Ankara, in Syria and in Ukraine. Ada where is the weapon.” Helena said, anger creeping into her voice. Ada sighed as she turned away from her.

“You won’t see her unless I want you to.” Ada warned her tone turning dark as she folded her arms in front of her chest.

“Ada please, I’ve been ordered to kill you and I don’t want to do that. I just need the weapon, and this can end.” Helena said desperately as Ada shook her head.

“Didn’t feel that way when you shot me in front of news cameras. Really bold move for the CIA to be caught shooting a single mother during a memorial service.” Ada spat back, a sinister smile curling in the corner of her mouth.

“I didn’t have a choice Ada! That thing is dangerous, it’s resulted in the deaths of thousands and you have been helping it the whole time!” Helena stammered in frustration.

“Don’t act like you had a gun to your head Harper. I gave you a choice with the data Leon took down the Family with, you chose to come back to the fight. You chose to accept you mission to take me down, you chose to pursue me after being wounded by that Connections bitch. You chose to keep going, you pulled that trigger and here you stand pontificating about your lack of agency while trying to kill a little girl who has never had a fucking choice!” Ada’s voice built into a tirade as Helena stood in stunned silence.

“Its not that simple Ada, I have a responsibility, I did choose this fight, but we can’t let these things keep happening… I want to help you.” Helena implored as Ada turned her head with a gaze that tore through Helena.

“I stopped believing that when you put an anti-material round through me trying to shoot Evangeline.” Ada spat as Helena felt her eyes begin to mist.

“Ada… I was trying to… did it infect you? Ada please if that has happened none of this is your fault! I… I can get your name cleared… we can put you into some kind of protection. Ada this doesn’t have to be this way, you’ve saved my life twice, with Deborah, in Philadelphia. Please let me help you!” Helena burst into tears as she took a step towards Ada.

“Stand down Harper. You still want to kill Evangeline. I will not let that happen, no matter how many sympathetic tears you shed.” Ada stood firm, her voice softening as she looked past Helena.

“Please Ada… don’t do this. Don’t make me do this.” Helena stuttered, her voice failing her as her grip tightened on her weapon.

“You’re the one with all the choices.” Ada sighed, nodding softly as a loud crack reverberated around the room. Helena gasped, her jaw dropping as she collapsed onto the floor. Her rifle clattered on the ground as Ada stepped forward and kicked it away, Helena convulsing on the ground.

Ada sighed as she watched her with a pained expression, the steady electrical buzzing of the taser the only sound save for Helena’s gasping.

“Thank you, Veronica, have them restrain her in the center of the room. We have more company coming and I’ll need something to distract them with.” Ada sighed as she stepped over Helena, the light catching the prongs in her back.

“These bodies are starting to wreak, let’s toss them in a storeroom before the BSAA shows.” Veronica answered as two Umbrella operatives stepped out of a side room to flank her.

“You sure they have the right information?” Ada mused as the two soldiers lifted Helena, sitting her in a metal chair in the center of the room.

“Yes, had Burton deliver it to them from our mobile headquarters. He’s babysitting Valentine’s children right now, so we knew they trusted his word.” Veronica said flatly as Helena’s wrists were cuffed behind her back.

“Valentine has kids?” Ada laughed in subtle surprise as Helena’s ankles where shackled to the legs of the chair, her head still hanging as she floated in semi-consciousness.

“She’s been hiding them for about a decade, Tricell caught up to them and Redfield had us pick them up. That’s what finally got us in the door with BSAA in a real capacity. Combined with the political turmoil they find themselves in, they could no longer afford to refuse our offers.” Veronica returned as Ada nodded.

“You prepared to deal with Valentine when she finds out that you’re here? I was tangentially familiar with Wesker’s project they ran her through, it was… intimidating. I’ve heard stories of what it did to her and… well I wouldn’t want to deal with that plus angry mom energy fueling it.” Ada murmured in an almost sympathetic tone.

“Do you have confidence in your abilities Ms. Wong?” Veronica asked as the soldiers finished securing Helena, several strips of tape placed over her mouth as she hung loosely back in the chair. Ada sighed as she turned away.

“I’m going to go check on Evangeline. Come get me when we detect movement topside.”

 

“I can’t believe Russia is requiring visas now, thank god Roland was able to pull some strings.” Jill said as she lifted a large footlocker into the back of an SUV supplied by local BSAA. Chris shook his head as he closed the liftgate behind her.

“Turkey was worse, adding a whole host of bullshit that keeps us from showing up in time to do anything other than cleanup.” Chris added as Claire and Rebecca stepped up next to them.

“So, game plan, who’s with who?” Claire said with a smile as she looked at Chris then Jill.

“Chris and I in the first car, you and Rebecca take up the rear. We’ll go in first, see if we can apprehend or at least distract Wong while you two follow up shortly thereafter. That and it will keep us all from being spotted immediately, keep our numbers hidden.” Jill said as she stepped over to the driver’s side. Claire and Rebecca nodded, running back to the other SUV as the pair of gray vehicles made their way to the freeway. They where about two hours north of the target Umbrella had given them, running silent now that they were closing in even though they had yet to hear from the Umbrella tactical team that was supposed to be in the country.

“You doing ok, all things considered.” Chris asked cautiously as they drove south, Jill staring sternly through the windshield.

“Yeah, having something in front of me always keeps everything at bay, no matter what it is.” Jill returned as Chris nodded.

“Care to tell me why you all of a sudden wanted to run the old roster? Claire can hold her own against…”

“This has nothing to do with Claire.” Jill cut him off, wincing as she came off harsher than she intended. “I can’t stomach the thought of putting her in front of the E-type again. Not after I watched what it did to her.” Jill said softly after a long pause.

“I understand the impulse Jill, but you’ll be running ops with her again in future. I had to get over the fact when she joined.” Chris offered as Jill shook her head.

“Its not like that Chris its more… I need her when the shooting stops. I can fight, I can kill when I have to, I can go for miles without stopping but the second I stop…” Jill trailed off as she kept her eyes locked on the road.

“I get that, Piers used to…” Chris started before turning his head away, Jill placing her hand on his knee as he glanced back at her; the silent acknowledgement between old partners passing with a simple meeting of eyes and nod. “I heard about Hugo, I’m sorry.” Chris said after letting out a long breath and running his knuckle over his eyes.

“He’s a tough old fucker. He might pull through yet but… I think it definitely plays into things. I just need to keep myself between whatever we’re walking into and Claire. I can take whatever they throw at me as long as she’s ok.” Jill said softly, turning onto an exit putting them onto a small country highway.

“The girls doing ok, I heard about Hugo and all… Barry is good with kids believe it or not so…” Rebecca struggled to start a conversation as she drove a couple of cars behind Chris and Jill.

“Yeah no, they seemed ok, Hugo keeping things lighthearted for them despite his condition.” Claire returned, awkwardly running her hand over the back of her neck. “You don’t think she switched me out because of what happened in Philly, do you?” Claire stammered for a moment as Rebecca glanced over at her.

“No, Claire she trusted you to help protect her Edie and Val, she only trusted me and Chris because we were in S.T.A.R.S. together. I think Jill is really afraid for you, I was part of the team that received her from Africa and…” Rebecca started, sniffling slightly tears breaking over her cheek as Claire looked on anxiously.

“I’ve worked in warzones, major outbreaks; civilians, military and BSAA. Claire, I have never seen someone so thoroughly broken down in every conceivable way as what they had done to her. I always kept a mantra that everyone did what they did in this world for a reason; even if it was terrible, wrong and damaging, I never believed someone could be fully evil. What they did to Jill, what they turned her into was so extensively hateful; it broke me just watching her try to bounce back.” Rebecca stammered as Claire wrung her wrists in her lap.

“Jill fought every step of the way, just refusing to give in. We couldn’t run tests on her for the first three months because anything remotely medical was just too traumatic. I remember trying to get a reading on her heart rate one day and when I pressed it to her skin, she threw me across the room. She knew what she had done but couldn’t get through what it triggered in her, she fell in the corner and just screamed.” Rebecca said as she gazed on as if reliving the memory in front of her. “I worried she’d never be able to see her girls again, let alone join back up. Since things started with you two… she seems so much more present Claire.” Rebecca said offering Claire a smile, one breaking over her face in response, covering her mouth as she felt almost foolish. Claire let out a small laugh as she blushed at the thought.

“Claire, she’s back for one reason; that’s you. She wants to fight that fight for you. She could stick around for her girls, always for them, but she’s living for you.” Rebecca soothed as Claire nodded softly, unable to find her words as she felt a different set of tears roll over her cheek.

“You would know right?” Claire croaked as she laughed nervously.

“I’ve worked with her for a long time, the only reason you’re sitting with me, not her right now is because she’s terrified of anything coming at you without her standing in front of it.” Rebecca said laughing with Claire as she lay back in her seat and drew a long breath.

“As long as she doesn’t try to send me home on missions, I think I can live with that.” Claire said with a grin as she gripped the angel wing necklace laying against her chest.

 

Leon pulled up the stolen CIA vehicle behind Helena’s as he pulled into the small compound. He stepped out; pistol drawn as he approached Helena’s car. He swept his weapon across the seats, the driver’s door still open, an open weapon case in the back seat.

“Shit, she’s probably already found…” Leon swore as he took off towards the door to the bunker.

Chapter Text

Leon held his flashlight with his left hand, balancing his right arm over it as he swept the muzzle of his pistol over loosely tossed corpses in the hallway. He stepped over the militants, continuing down the hallway; a soft moaning sound and metallic plinking coming from a pair of double doors at the end of the hall. He cautiously opened the door, sweeping his gun in a long arc as he followed the wall in. He stopped suddenly as he stepped into the open space, monitors flickering security footage. The low light glinted off the steel shackles holding Helena in the center of the room.

“Helena.” Leon said under his breath as he lowered is weapon, starting towards his old partner. Helena’s expression lit up before melting into fear, shaking her head with muffled protests.

“You’re losing you edge Leon. She’s been here for nearly an hour before you.” Ada delivered in her gentle and confident manner, stepping from the shadows of the room behind Helena, placing her hand on her shoulder as she confronted Leon. His expression soured as he raised his weapon again, Helena imploring him to leave, words only coming through as muffled groans as she shook against the steel holding her in place.

“What is this Ada… Helena isn’t involved here; this is between the two of us.” Leon spat angrily as Ada looked amusedly at him.

“Yeah, we tried that Leon, Helena ended that possibility when she shot me and then decided to sic her CIA dogs on you. Ms. Harper is in a lot of trouble.” Ada almost laughed as she stood behind her, both Leon and Helena staring at Ada with surprise. Leon swore as he turned away, running his hand through his hair before turning towards Helena, pointing angrily at her.

“I told you to back off! You didn’t and you sent those fuckers after me? You made me kill Americans because you were so focused on her?” Leon stammered as anger filled his eyes, Helena pleading with him, tears running down her cheeks as she shook her head.

“Hmm, I figured they had been following you since we had our little chat in Falls Church. I didn’t realize how far they would go. Do you have any reason to believe you may not be trusted anymore Leon?” Ada pried as Leon raised his weapon again, hands shaking as he held it on Ada.

“What are you hoping to get out of all this Ada, kill me and Harper and just go on serving up the black market now that you have it cornered with one of the most potent BOW’s in existence.” Leon hissed, Ada scoffing as she turned her head.

“You know I’m not so one-dimensional Leon, there’s always another angle. I refused so many lucrative offers for my services and only chose those who wanted to employ an element of restraint.” Ada said defensively as she paced behind Helena.

“Ankara was restrained? Ada you killed thousands, the president of the country died in that attack, the panicked response killed hundreds of aid workers.” Leon shouted as Ada turned sharply to glare at him.

“She killed thousands!” Ada snarled as she pointed angrily at Helena; holding her eyes shut as her chest heaved, a pained and fearful expression on her face as Ada yelled. “The attack as going to use Evangeline the way the E-types where designed, minimal casualties and infiltration. Yes, the president died but he was the target from the beginning. A particularly trigger-happy American agent decided to take the shot in the middle of a crowded square during the second phase and it’s hard to keep a handle on a bioweapon when you’re bleeding to death Leon.” Ada delivered angrily as Helena shook.

“You’re sounding a lot like the Birkins you know. Helena was trying to stop you, she is not responsible for what happened, you are.” Leon spat back as Ada furrowed her brow.

“Cheap words and you know that Leon, are you really that much of a ‘Captain America’ that you’re going to sit here and tell me that because you’re the good guys, its ok if you make a deadly mistake. I remember where you where not that long ago, you don’t believe a word of what you’re saying.” Ada said softly as she paced. “I went to great lengths to ensure things wouldn’t get out of control; I was actually targeting threats to your vision of world order through a few well-paying proxies.”

“You can claim whatever invisible threat you want; you are perpetuating bio-terrorism Ada, you are a part of this. Tricell, the Connections and you; all the same.” Leon lamented as Ada laughed softly.

“Oh, if only. Leon, I stole from the Connections, targeted Tricell because I could and even saved our friend here. Go ahead and ask her.” Ada delivered light heartedly as she ripped the tape off Helena’s mouth.

“Leon! I’m so sorry I didn’t know that was you I… She has more she’s not…” Helena shouted through heavy breaths before Ada clamped her hand over her mouth, wincing as she replaced the tape.

“Should have known better, anyway you can just take my word for it.” Ada rolled her eyes as Helena tossed her shoulders, shackles clattering loudly as she furiously struggled.

“Ada, if you give me the weapon and let Helena go… you can disappear like after…” Leon’s voice trailed off as he looked at Helena desperately struggling.

“Its not that easy Leon. You think Simmons was the only one of his kind? You think the Family was the only group of super-wealthy, super-powerful people with a god complex? I have been fighting the spread of this dogmatic terror more than you, the fucking Americans or the BSAA and you want to make me out to be the villain. I will not hand Evangeline over, you will drop your gun and surrender.” Ada hissed as she drew a small pistol from a holster on her back and pointed it at Helena. Two Umbrella soldiers stepped out from the corners of the room, the red lasers from their weapons floating over Leon’s chest as he kept his weapon trained on Ada. Veronica stepped up quietly behind Ada, a mournful, concerned expression on her face.

“Why is it always Umbrella?” Leon hissed as he stared furious at Veronica.

“I’m sorry Leon, we tried to reach out to you and bring you…” Veronica started as Ada held up her hand to silence her.

“I should shoot you right now, you could kill me easily, but you couldn’t hurt anyone else. The truth gets out Ada, it always does.”

“No Leon, it doesn’t. You wouldn’t know though, because it remains hidden.” Ada said softly as she held her gun on Helena. Leon caught a glimpse of movement behind Ada; two figures running down the hall shown on the security feeds. Leon smirked as he adjusted his grip, the doors to the rook kicked open as Jill and Chris ran into the room, weapons raised.

“BSAA! Drop it Wong.” Chris bellowed as he looked surprised to see Leon. Jill ran over to his other side, keeping her aim on Ada.

“Whoa, whoa. Easy Redfield, hostage and all that.” Leon groaned as Chris tried to make sense of the scene they had just stumbled into. “Bit of a change of odds Ada, last time I’m making the offer. Helena and the weapon and I walk.”

“No, sorry Kennedy but that’s not how this is going down.” Jill hissed as she kept her handgun pointed at Ada.

“Veronica?” Chris stammered as she looked away, seeming somewhat ashamed. “What is this!” He growled as Jill clued in, a look of horror washing over her face.

“Agent Redfield, we found it in our best interest to assist Ms. Wong in her endeavor, she ceased her attacks in Ukraine and Syria because of that.” Veronica said firmly as Chris glared at her.

“And now you lead us here alone, so you can kidnap agents and help her harbor the weapon? Or did you just want it all along? This Umbrella’s way of getting back into the market?” Chris hissed angrily as Jill changed her aim to Veronica.

“Chris, they have them, with Barry, all of them. They had us fucking deliver the girls there, what if it wasn’t even Tricell?” Jill stammered, her fear turning back into rage as she took a step further, one of the Umbrella soldiers shifting his aim from Leon to Jill as she glared at him. “Do you want to know how many Umbrella fuckers I’ve killed grunt?” Jill fumed as she took aim at him.

“Jill, careful.” Chris implored softly as they stood tensely holding their ground. “Veronica had told me how someone was trying to undermine the BSAA, coming after us politically since they couldn’t stop us out in the open after we took down Simmons and Neo-Umbrella. It has been you hasn’t it.” Chris hissed as he stepped closer to Veronica.

“No Chris its not us, there are people undermining you and we have been trying to fight…” Veronica pleaded as Chris interrupted her.

“Get into a formal arrangement with the BSAA and then have it revealed that you’ve been working with Wong, a known arms dealer who’s been behind a host of recent attacks. You’ve been pushing our allies away since Philly, trying to make us look bad, incompetent. You wanted us to find you because you wanted this to get out. The world finds out the BSAA is working with the people who own Wong; we look like we’re just creating crises for our own appearances.” Chris thought out loud as Leon shuddered.

“He’s right, one of my only trusted contacts… he’s been warning me someone is trying to blow the whistle on Ada’s rescue op. Claire was involved, that’s what got her into the BSAA, Roland was there before he was international director. They want to take down the whole agency and have the world behind them.” Leon turned his gun on Veronica as he remembered Contra’s warning. Chris grew angrier as Leon confirmed his suspicion, Jill’s eyes lit with fire as her finger itched over the trigger. Claire and Rebecca burst into the room, adding their aim to the group.

“We heard shouting, what the hell is going on.” Claire said as she stood between Jill and Leon, taking aim at the Blue Umbrella soldier aiming at Jill; Rebecca taking up next to Chris.

“You’re outgunned Veronica. Surrender and there will be no need for any bloodshed.” Leon said as he looked at his companions draw up next to him.

“Good god, Jill… they…” Claire said softly as she looked at the Umbrella soldiers, realizing what it meant for the girls.

“Not going to happen Leon, besides we still have the leverage here, despite all the pissant gun pointing you seem very proud of.” Ada spat as Leon took aim at her again.

“Guess we should just shoot and go stomp this terror out.” Leon growled as he centered his aim on Ada. She gritted her teeth at the threat against Evangeline, her expression turning dark and savage. She adjusted her grip on her handgun and pressed it to Helena’s temple.

“Then she dies to Leon, choice is yours; besides, I doubt you are interested in bringing little girls in the field of fire.” Ada snarled as she glanced at Jill. Jill glared back, shifting her aim to Ada as both Umbrella soldiers trained their sights on her.

“Wait, no one is getting anything they want if we turn this room into a kill box.” Rebecca shouted, dropping her gun to the floor and stepping into the middle of the standoff. “Chris, Jill, Veronica owes us a fucking explanation.” Rebecca said pointing at the Umbrella operative, her expression white with fear over the hostile climate. “And we owe her just enough patience to listen to that.” Rebecca implored her comrades, desperate to try and bring the boiling tempers in the room down. She turned back to Veronica and Ada with a stern expression.

“That won’t happen until you release Harper.” She added as she stared at Ada. Ada returned the look with a glare. She held the look for a few seconds before placing her foot on the back of Helena’s chair and kicking it across to Rebecca, Helena toppling and hitting the floor with a pained grunt. Ada tossed the key to her shackles to Rebecca as she quickly worked to free her. Helena struggled out of the shackles, ripping the tape from her mouth as Rebecca helped her stand, the group watching on silently, weapons still held on each other.

“Please, I need all of you to listen.” Helena huffed as she caught her breath, the effects of the heavy stun gun and being shackled for so long making it difficult to stand.

“The CIA tasked me with eliminating three targets several weeks ago. The first was a businessman trying to break into the bioterror marked using his old FBC contacts. The second was the Connections agent guarding the E-type; we didn’t know what it was at the time. The third was her.” Helena stammered, pointing at Ada as Leon furrowed his brow, an angry frown breaking in the corners of his mouth.

“I didn’t want to pursue her, not after what she did helping me with Simmons. She cleared my name and gave me a new start; I couldn’t just turn around and kill her. Hunnigan agreed with me, we decided we would simply stop whatever she was doing, that’s why I’ve been trying to kill the E-type.” Helena continued as Ada looked away, pacing while still holding her weapon up. “When I went to take out my second target, she got the drop on me. She put a knife in my gut and left me to bleed out, almost escaping with the weapon. Ada took her down and patched me up, it was so chaotic I would not have survived has she not done what she did. She saved me twice and made off with the weapon.” Helena continued as Rebecca helped support her.

“We didn’t begin our relationship with Wong until after Ukraine and Syria began.” Veronica spoke up, hanging her head. “We tried to reach her before Ankara, but she resisted. We knew that she was stuck in the path she was heading down and we tried to offer a way out where lives could be spared.” Veronica said mournfully as Leon shook his head.

“She wasn’t stuck, she had a bioweapon that was in such high demand she couldn’t refuse the money being thrown at her, the power it gave her.” Leon spat. “Why Ada? Why all this, why couldn’t you just walk away, let the weapon be destroyed, hand it over and end this!” Leon implored as he looked at Ada. She shook her head, a pained expression breaking through her resolve.

“Why didn’t you shoot Manuela Hidalgo Leon? She had been infected with T-Veronica and was the daughter of a drug lord who was kidnapping young women. Surely, she was dangerous, take her out before someone could use her.” Ada tossed back.

“Its not the same Ada, no one was actively trying to weaponize her.” Leon returned uneasily as he felt his hand start to shake.

“No? Well then why didn’t you kill Ashley Graham? She was infected with Las Plagas, under saddler’s control. She was going to be used as a weapon against the President of the United States; isn’t that the biggest threat in your world? What about you Claire? Leon thinks we should shoot anything that’s a threat, we coming after you next because you failed to kill Birkin’s daughter in Racoon City? She was infected by the G-Virus, we still haven’t seen a major outbreak of that weapon and thank god, right? One of the most easily spread and violent diseases that makes the Tyrant Virus look like a walk in the park.” Ada ranted as she grew increasingly distraught Leon’s gun no longer tracking her as she paced. “How about you Redfield, you still buying into this? Would you have shot Valentine when you found her under Wesker’s control? Is that the right thing to do or is saving people just a privilege reserved for the people who picked the ‘right’ side.” Ada hissed as Claire looked at Jill, feeling her resolve falter as she saw the pain brought to the surface of Jill’s face. Tears began forming in the corners of her eyes as she kept her glaring expression focused on Veronica.

“The unfortunate truth here is that Simmons wasn’t completely wrong about his fears. His sadistic and inhuman approach to security was incomprehensibly wrong.” Veronica added as Ada worked herself up, her shoulders shaking with anger as she tried to regain her composure. “The arms race he thought was going on is… the Family was one of several entities all vying for world power. They permeate their way through governments until they can shape policy the way they feel is best for them. The Family’s fall put them on notice, made them afraid but they will not stop. They see the BSAA as a threat and need to delegitimize them, isolate them before they can resume pursuit of their goals.” Veronica said as Leon lowered his gun.

“She’s not wrong, I’ve been tracking an effort within the US military to target Roland and you Claire. There are people who want to use what Ada has done now against the both of you.” Leon said as he stepped back, Claire glancing at him as Jill and Chris kept their weapons trained on Veronica and Ada.

“It’s not as simple as saying there are other threats Veronica, Ada still attacked and killed innocent people! We cannot just let that go because she came up with a clever justification!” Chris tossed back refusing to back down.

“Please, Chris look at who she’s been working with. The YPK, the Chechen Rebels, she’s been trying to fight the entities coming from the remaining ‘Families’.” Veronica implored. Jill shook her head as she took another step towards Veronica.

“You lied to Chris, to Barry, to me and you did this just to get leverage on us. I am not going to negotiate with the people who took my girls. You will contact those fuckers on your ship and have them turned over to BSAA or I will kill you, I will kill all of your soldiers and I will find the people you love and kill them too.” Jill exploded, fury dominating her presence as Chris turned towards Leon.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing. Your girlfriend puts on a good show and you fold on us?” Chris yelled as Leon shook his head.

“Its not that simple! She’s not wrong, she’s not lying. There are people trying to split us, to get us to distrust each other so they can beat us.” Leon yelled back.

“They’re standing right fucking there Leon!” Chris screamed back as he stepped up on Leon, shaking his weapon in Ada’s direction.

“Fucking golden boy.” Leon laughed shaking his head. “There is a bigger picture to this than us versus them, there are always more players Chris you should know this by now!” Leon snarled back, sizing Chris up as they fought.

“You are ignoring what she has done because you still have a thing for her Leon, it’s making you weak, making you compromised.” Chris shouted as Leon laughed.

“You never can see past the end of your gun! Then you wonder why everyone starts dying around you!” Leon spat back. Rebecca stepped between them as she felt their tempers begin to burn out of control.

“Same fucking side you two. “She spat, holding them apart with a stern glare directed at both of them.

“Think about it, Redfield. Try to imagine you don’t know everything you need to for a moment. Things like the fact that Ada was the one who told me about Tricell targeting Philadelphia with help from some shadowy ass group, that they where watching the BSAA closely. You found that lab because she told me to warn you. She was in Philly, I saw her, confronted her about what she was doing after the missile launched. She had just raided a connections safe house, taken a whole host of E-type anti-mutamycene agents. Guess where they went; to me and then to the BSAA. The one Valentine gave to your sister came because she gave them to us.” Leon shouted as he pointed at Ada.

“You sent Jill and Claire into a trap. Claire was taken and tested on, Jill was shot and captured, and you want me to fucking thank you!” Chris felt his anger break, dropping his weapon as threw his fist at Leon. He staggered backwards, surprise lasting for moment while he spat blood, rubbing is jaw. Chris fumed, struggling to keep his anger under control. Leon charged Chris, running his shoulder into his stomach. Chris felt the air knocked out of him as he tossed Leon to the side; Leon tumbling to the ground. Chris rolled over onto Leon, grabbing his throat as he groaned and struggled. Leon landed a hard strike, headbutting Chris and throwing him off with his legs.

Helena staggered over to Claire as she watched in horror as her brother and friend fought.

“Please Claire, he wasn’t lying. That’s the one thing I couldn’t make sense of; she only risked using the E-type on you because she knew you could be cured as soon as she got away, I heard her saying it in the hospital and it only now makes sense.” She stammered as they both froze; Chris was brushing blood away from his face as Leon drew his knife. He held it high, stopping only as Rebecca stood between the two fighting men.

“You are not enemies! This fucking stops now!” She scolded as both stared at her, struggling to catch their breath. Claire turned to Jill, still fuming as she held her gun on Ada.

“Jill, please. She’s helped me in the past when she could have left me for dead. I… I can forgive her for what she did if this is all true. Please, I need you to forgive her too.” Claire said placing her hand on Jill’s arm as she kept her pistol pointed at Ada. She shook her head, taking another step towards Ada and Veronica, Claire moving with her. She reached her hand between Jill’s arms and laid her hand over her scar.

“Jill…please.” Claire implored as Jill looked her in the eye. She glanced over at Rebecca helping Chris up, Helena sitting next to Leon as he sat propped up on his elbow. She lowered her weapon reluctantly, Claire embracing her as she did. Jill let out a long breath as she held her, still staring over Claire’s shoulder at Ada and Veronica. The Umbrella soldiers lowered their weapons as Ada holstered her pistol, Veronica stepping over to the group, her head hung low. She held out her hand, a loaded injector in grip.

“Take it, show of good faith that we aren’t going to infect you again.” Veronica said as she handed the E-cure to Claire, still clinging to Jill.

“Valentine… I would never have hurt your girls.” Ada said softly as Jill looked at her, her stern expression not moving.

“E-001, Eveline, was one of the first successful weapons the Connections made by combining biological agents with her genome when she was still a fetus. She had incredible abilities and her birth was an earthquake in the bioweapons market, in the entire production of weapons period. She was kept in a lab, quarantined and tested on. The first time she touched another human, she was told to kill them. Redfield… you know all this right.” Ada started speaking softly as the collective stress in the room began to subside. Claire looked over her shoulder, Jill still holding her as Chris nodded in answer to Ada’s question.

“She developed an obsession with the concept of ‘family’ causing her to kill and manipulate her way into ‘building’ one. Most opinions- both from Umbrella and the Connections- assumed this was a manifestation of her design, clinging to the idea that a family would be the best cover for infiltration and use of the weapon. They never really thought that maybe… just maybe keeping a girl who has been manipulated to age nearly four times faster than an average human without human contact would drive her insane. Maybe she clung to the idea of a family because that was the closest thing to normalcy she had; the violence was the only way she knew to express those desires; it was her whole life. E-101 was an experimental weapons line started shortly before E-001, the major difference was no aging and attachment to a human handler. She was still horribly abused, but she isn’t violent like Eveline. I couldn’t watch a girl given no choice become the target of everyone around her… Redfield, do you know what Eveline said to Winters when he killed her?” Ada continued, her face betraying her emotions as she spoke, her voice cracking as he asked Chris her question.

“Why does everyone hate me…” Chris responded quietly as Ada nodded. Evangeline was being led by Veronica, coming up behind Ada. She quietly gripped Ada’s leg, looking up nervously at her, Ada placing her hand on the child’s shoulder.

“Can you imagine what that life must have been like.” Ada sighed, tears forming in the corners of her eyes as Evangeline gripped her tighter. Jill took a long breath as she looked at the pale girl with dark black hair cling to Ada’s leg. Her eyes were curious, expression fearful as she clung to the only person who had looked at her as more than a tool, a commodity.

“Evangeline? That’s your name, right?” Chris said quietly, kneeling down in front of her. She nodded sheepishly as he offered her a sympathetic look.

“My name is Chris.” Chris offered as Evangeline looked at him.

“Nice to meet you, are you a friend of Ada’s?” She said in a cautious voice. Chris looked up at Ada and offered an awkward smile.

“We don’t know each other very well, but I think we could be.” Chris stammered as he stood, Ada looking at him as he nodded slightly.

“Thank you, Redfield.” Ada said softly as he turned to Veronica.

“Not in this way, but I’ve been trying to get all of you in the same room together for the better part of a year.” Veronica said quietly stepping into the center of the group.

“We have been aware of the Family and their competitors for decades; we knew them from our old contacts before the reorganization of Umbrella. We have been referring to them as the Oligarchs; a group of Slavic businessmen and politicians. When the Soviet Union dissolved, they snatched up wealth and power before the newly forming governments could, hording it from the people it belonged to and returning the country to state like it had been when the Tsars ruled. They had been opposed to the Family since their formation, competing through business and the shadows even forcing conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine to further their goals. Their eyes are set on filling the void left by the Family in the US, buying land, taking over businesses and now manipulating political parties and their elections. They have no one fighting them right now and the only threat they face is from the BSAA after what was done to Simmons. They are afraid of all of you because you are the only ones who stand a chance of stopping them.” Veronica delivered as she paced around the group.

“We need to finish what Ada, Chris and Leon started when they worked to take down Simmons and Radames. We need you all to help us now that the BSAA is under silent siege, the US is becoming compromised and Eastern countries are already in their grip.” Veronica implored as Jill stepped forward, standing over her for a quiet moment.

“As soon as I see my girls… I’m in.”