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Without Her Angels

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe they thought that thing was real!” Jill beamed as Noelle victoriously held two pale beers in cheap plastic cups. A roar floated through the crowd as the opening riff to “Barracuda” rang out through the concert speakers.

“Feel a bit silly using it when I’m only a couple months away from being legal.” Noelle laughed as Jill drew herself up alongside her. Noelle wrapped her arm around her waist as Jill craned her neck, Noelle turning away as she tried to kiss her.

“Not that I don’t want to Jilly, wait for your birthday.” She said softly into her ear as she leant her head against Jill’s. Jill stuck her tongue out at her as she feigned taking offense.

“Then stop being such a fucking tease!” Jill laughed as she held her drink to her lips, Noelle shaking her head, a reluctant smile breaking over her face. “Oh, the bouncer came through checking stamps; I think he bought mine, but he seemed naturally suspicious of me; the fucking prick.” Jill said as Noelle frowned as she watched one of the bouncers standing next to a member of event staff. They talked quietly to one another before the event staff member began to walk towards them through the crowd.

“He played it off well, go Jill. I’ll meet you in the bathroom ok?” Noelle said taking Jill’s drink as she glanced over her shoulder, the staff member getting closer. She smiled at Noelle, biting her lip slightly as she whispered in her ear.

“Don’t keep me waiting.” She said as Noelle shook her head laughing. Jill fought quickly through the crowd, turning down a dark hall leading to the restrooms. It was oddly clear as she pushed open the door, half of the bathroom’s lights where out, the remaining flickering with a sporadic hum of fluorescent. Jill rounded the corner and clamped her hands over her mouth, suppressing a scream of horror. There was a person at the far side of the bathroom, slumped over on the ground, a long blood streak running down the wall. Their face was so mangled it was hardly recognizable. As Jill’s muffled screams rattled off the walls, the figure stirred, letting out an inhuman groan. Jill turned and ran back into the hall as the corpse rose. She emerged into a darker hall then the one she had entered, rain pattering off the windows as her feet landed hard on creaky wood. She heard a loud crash, the patter of broken glass on the floor as she ran, rounding the corner to see a massive figure turn to face her. Its face was hidden by shadows and it carried a massive weapon.

“STARRRRRSSSS…” It bellowed as it raised its weapon towards Jill. She turned and bolted as flames leapt down the hallway, singeing Jill’s coattails as she ran, her feet clanging on hard metal as cold, salty air blew through a shattered porthole. She kept running turning into a dark promenade, a loud thud coming from a café in front of her.

“May day, maaaaay… daaaaaay.” A gravelly, inhuman voice shouted through the corridors as Jill panted, refusing to stop. She leant on the corner of a doorway, breathing ragged and deep as she rested. She looked up to a see a man in a dark coat and sunglasses before he struck her hard in the center of her chest, landing an immediate second strike on her temple. Jill hit the floor and groaned, trying to raise her hand to her head. Her limbs refused to respond as she looked up; her arms held above her head, bolted into some kind of medical brace. She struggled as she heard voices from an observation room, a clean room suited technician standing in front of one-way glass.

“I want to see how her vascular system reacts to oxygen deprivation after enhancement strain 034, paralyze her diaphragm.” A low, sly male voice came through the intercom as the tech input something into the terminal in front of them. Jill suddenly found herself unable to draw breath, her lungs not responding as she screamed at them to inhale. She desperately moved her jaw, unable to scream or draw breath as she felt as if someone was strangling her beneath her skin. She felt her lungs burn as her vison pulsed in and out of focus, her eyes watering.

“Hmm, an improvement but we can further enhance on the next scheduled strain. Let’s try a stimulant threshold. Start at fifty percent power on every other vertebra.” The voice called out as Jill felt her lungs suddenly respond again, taking a huge gasp of air, her chest heaving as a sudden heat built up along her spine. It rapidly burned hotter, morphing into a searing pain along her back. She pressed her eyes closed as she still fought to catch her breath; an involuntary scream escaping her as it felt like someone was tearing her flesh apart fiber by fiber. The pain peaked and slowly began to fade as she began to sob, still short of breath.

“Progress, still not a bad chart considering the short timetable. I’d say we are ready to begin P30 injections. Have that administered after blunt trauma tests to her bone structure.” The voice returned as Jill shook her head, tears falling past her nose.

“No more, please no more… its been weeks, no more!” She sobbed as she clenched her fists, feeling her blankets ball up in them as she jerked awake. She opened her eyes wide, a hand stroking her cheek gently as she focused on the figure sitting over her.

“Hey… its ok Jill, you’re safe at home. I’m right here, I’m not going to let anything hurt you.” Claire’s soft voice soothed as Jill fought past the disorientation of coming out of the vivid nightmare. She let out a short breath as she felt anguish wash over her, the muscles in her face straining as her eyes misted over, tears spilling from the corners as a sob escaped her throat as she fought against it, the overwhelming stress breaking her composure.

“It’s ok, don’t fight it my love, you’ll feel better. You’re going to be ok, I’m right here with you, I won’t let anything happen to you.” Claire continued to console, reaching her arm across Jill as she let herself cry. Jill clutched Claire’s arm as she shook gently in her grasp, letting the wave flow until thin and distant as the memories causing it. She sat up, throwing her legs of the side of the bed; her arms outstretched on either side of her, clutching the edge of the mattress. She took a series of long, deep breaths as she hung her head, tears dripping off the end of her nose. Claire sat behind her, brushing the strap of Jill’s top off her shoulder, the mottled white scars running over her back visible in the moonlight. Jill’s shoulders heaved with her deep breaths as she felt a comforting warmth spread over her; Claire gently moving over her back, pressing her lips to each flaw.

“It’s been a little while since we had one of these.” Claire said gently as she wrapped her arms around Jill’s waist; resting her chin on Jill’s shoulder. Jill nodded as she leaned her head against Claire’s, placing her hands over Claire’s as she hugged her.

“Couple months I think… thank you for being so good to me.” Jill said as Claire smiled, kissing her neck.

“You say that like it’s a chore.”

“I am a chore.”

“When you tell me I can’t take the girls for milkshakes past ten, or that teaching Valerie how to avoid speeding tickets is not being a good role model; yes you are. But not like this my love.” Claire said, laughing a little as she tightened her grip on Jill. Jill grinned as she held her right hand to Claire’s cheek, running her fingers down to her chin and guiding Claire’s lips to hers. She let her fingers linger for a moment before parting and opening her eyes.

“I love you, my angel.” Jill said nearly a whisper as Claire squeezed her tighter again. “I think I need a bit of air before going back to sleep.” She added, standing and heading over a pair of French doors across their bedroom; a pair of dark curtains drawn across them.

“You want me to go make you a cup of chamomile?” Claire offered as Jill opened the door, the scent of grass coming through a cool summer breeze.

“If you don’t mind.” Jill said softly looking back as Claire stood and headed out of the room. Jill stepped out onto a small balcony overlooking a wide field of tall grasses holding the soil of former farmland. It had been five months since Claire, Jill and her two daughters- Valerie and Edelie- had moved into the thirty-acre property in Talbot County, Maryland. Jill had needed something bigger than her apartment in Baltimore to accommodate the girls and the idea of living in a neighborhood made her claustrophobic. She drew a deep breath as a fresh wind flowed off the bay, a hint of salt on the earthy air in the rural county. It had been a month since her last update from Veronica of Blue Umbrella. All seemed well at the BSAA; having a report from BSAA agents, DSO, CIA and Blue Umbrella report Ada Wong as dead meant they actually believed it. Being a part of a conspiracy to keep her hidden didn’t sit well with Jill, but the progress they had made did. Ada was currently pursuing one of the Oligarchs in Syria, Helena and Leon where in Romania closing in on another fast. Veronica had suggested that the BSAA try to lay low while the fallout of the attacks and poor responses in Ankara settled.

Jill had spent most of that time helping with the liquidation of Philadelphia, simple tasks such as collecting air, soil and water samples; guarding recovery teams and engineers trying to help cleanse and rebuild the vacant city. She Chris, Claire and Rebecca where holding off while Veronica looked for a lead on another player in the Family’s main competitor. They would start on the outer reaches of the circle and slowly move in closer, taking down each layer until the found the head.

Jill caught the warm, herbal smell of chamomile and anise as Claire appeared at her side; a thin wisp of steam rising from the cup she handed to Jill.

“Thank you love.” She said taking the cup as Claire leant on the railing next to her.

“You doing ok?” Claire asked softly as they listened the wind and the crickets humming through the summer August night.

“Yeah, its been easier to come off of these things since…” Jill trailed off as she smiled at Claire. Claire returned the sentiment by looping her arm through Jill’s, laying her head against her shoulder.

“You want to play a late-night game with the girls? Help banish any lingering bad memories?” Claire perked up a bit, sounding more excited then she meant to let on.

“We can’t do that every time I have a nightmare.” Jill laughed as Claire pouted.

“Yeah… thing is I may have already told them yes; they’re waiting with Mario Party in the playroom right now.” Claire winced as Jill looked firmly at her.

“Claire, I seem to remember you going to great lengths to convince me to put them in school despite my reservations about quality and security and the night before their first day you want to keep them up all night playing video games?” Jill laughed as Claire groaned playfully.

“They’re only going to be getting things for you to sign and telling everyone their names tomorrow anyway. They know when you have your episodes Jill; they want to help you too and doing this helps us all I think.” Claire pouted, waxing serious as Jill turned towards her and sighed.

“Fine, but no pouting when I pick Rosalina and kick your ass again.” Jill teased as Claire stuck her tongue out at her.

 

Rebecca rubbed her eyes as she felt them begin to tear up; she had been staring at her computer screen for hours in the lab well into the night. She had been analyzing the progress of Blue Umbrellas study on mutamycene structures withing the E-type genome. The genetic puzzle still baffling her and the Umbrella scientists as they struggled to search for something that could help alleviate Evangeline’s condition as well as potentially cure advanced stage infections of human hosts.

Rebecca leaned back in her desk chair, running her hands over her face as she stared at the sequence again. She stood and began to pace, hearing heavy footsteps come up behind her. She glanced at her watch, reading two twenty-seven in the morning. She reached into her shirt, undoing one of the top buttons as she gripped the small pistol she had kept under her arm.

“Relax Rebecca, I’m no assassin.” A deep, West African accent broke the silence of the empty lab as Rebecca turned to face a tall, dark-skinned man with a bald head and three-piece suit.

“You gave me a ridiculous call sign years ago Gabriel, you could at least use it.” Rebecca replied, releasing her grip on her gun and fixing her shirt.

“As you wish, Source Prodigy.” Gabriel said softly as Rebecca scoffed at the name.

“What brings you out to visit, I never get any at work.” She said sitting back down at her desk.

“I wanted to thank you personally for how you brought Wong back into the fold.” He said flatly as Rebecca laughed.

“I didn’t bring her back into the fold Gabriel, I kept her from lighting a powder keg which would have killed her, me and a whole host of other good people. She knows I’m just as jaded as she is; I’m just a constructivist and think the Organization is the best hope to unfuck this place.” Rebecca said in a forlorn tone.

“Hmm. Nevertheless, Industry reports that Blue Umbrella is pursuing a host of Russian Oligarchs that are trying to fill the power vacuum left by the Family.” Gabriel continued as he paced around the lab with his hands clasped behind his back.

“Yes, they have enlisted Leon Kennedy from DSO, Helena Harper from CIA and Agents Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield and Jill Valentine of the BSAA. They have a good coverage, but Industry has already informed you, correct?” Rebecca returned as Gabriel nodded.

“She has, including your name.”

“Any particular reason we are keeping her in the dark about me still?”

“She has only been part of our mission for a couple of years Rebecca, no need to give her the whole host after the failed recruit. We are trying to be more cautious.” Gabriel replied with a darkened tone.

“Torres, right? I haven’t been able to pick up on her trail yet, but she hasn’t really been a priority at the moment. I’ve been focusing on helping Umbrella hold up on their end of the deal they made with Wong.” Rebecca said gesturing at her computer.

“Yes, she has cropped up on our radar with Tricell lately, but she has only been acting through proxies, I don’t know how much longer she can use them before she has to shed them for another group to manipulate. She seems to have failed to notice us closing in around the Oligarchs and their heavy use of Tricell.” Gabriel pondered as he stepped behind Rebecca and glanced at her screen. “She really wants to try and cure the E-type?” Gabriel asked as he glanced over the sequence on the screen.

“It would be a valuable drug to have in our arsenal, regardless the research we will get will be useful. She actually made a compelling case for keeping E-101 alive.” Rebecca said looking up at him.

“She never bothered to share it with me.” He mused, stepping back into his pattern of pacing.

“You aren’t always the best listener with her, you know.” Rebecca laughed.

“Wong has always needed a firm hand, continues to need one if we are to keep her in line.” Gabriel responded firmly as Rebecca continued to laugh.

“Look at who she has surrounded herself with in the world Gabriel. A rookie cop with stars in his eyes and a little girl who needs her more than anyone else in the world. She needs something far more delicate and she will never let anyone see that.” Rebecca said sympathetically as Gabriel sighed. “You made her into a potent weapon, a force to be reckoned with but she is still human. She needs everything that the rest of us need too.” Rebecca said standing as Gabriel hung his head.

“I know; its where I failed her the greatest.” He said softly as Rebecca put her hand on his shoulder.

“Letting her find her own way, pursue the things she wants is the right call. I know it’s hard, but you are doing the right thing. Besides, the second you backed off of Evangeline, she turned around and joined Blue Umbrella. She’s laying low in Damascus right now trying to set up a deal with one of the outer circle as we speak.” Rebecca said stepping back to her desk.

“Her death was bought by all parties?” Gabriel asked as his typical demeanor returned.

“As far as it seems. Should buy her some weapons smuggling street cred. This is her specialty though. She’ll be feigning the sale of E-101 and that should bring even the sceptics calling. Kennedy and Harper are tracking the Tricell group you clued Umbrella into in Romania, we think we have another outer circle member there and Harper should be getting him on camera and tape for the CIA; and us. You sure you’re going to be able to keep all these parts straight and coordinated?” Rebecca asked as Gabriel smiled.

“Rebecca, that is what I do best. You seem well settled, please reach out should you need any assistance.” Gabriel said as he stepped off towards the lab’s exit.

“You too big guy.” She said softly as she returned to her work.

Chapter Text

Ada ran through the stream of emails from Leon discussing his progress; He and Helena where close to moving on their target. Ada sighed reading the last line of each email, worrying her temple as she stared at the screen. “Hope you and Eva are holding up well. When we see each other again, can we pick up where we left off in Falls Church?” Ada put the phone down, she had yet to respond to any of the emails, only sending Helena the occasional update on her progress. She had been keeping allow profile as she set her feelers out into the weapons trade in Damascus. The market was rich and dangerous; the civil war and all its belligerents constantly trying to get an edge, looking for the next silver bullet. After the incident in Deir es-Zur, bioweapons where in even higher demand from rebel and government forces despite the international condemnation.

Ada stood from the couch in small living room and made her way into the kitchen, searching for something to drink. She sighed after going through cabinets and finding a cheap bottle of white cooking wine, closing the cabinet.

“You aren’t that desperate, get over yourself.” Ada hissed as she strode back into the living room. She stared at her laptop sitting on the coffee table as the subtle tone of an email notification came through. She winced, stepping into the bedroom. Evangeline was asleep on the king-sized bed, clutching a stuffed hedgehog. Ada smiled as she stood over the girl; she had dared to take her out the other day, the child spotting the toy in a marketplace. She had been quietly pining for it the second she looked at it but was too shy to ask directly. After years in espionage and dark dealings, Ada never missed an expression or emotion; especially from the little girl she was watching closer than anything else. The way Evangeline’s face had lit up when Ada had offered it to her made the security and scouting to get the child safely out of the house worth it. She spent another two days watching their borough for potential tails afterwards, well into the night. Evangeline had yet to put the toy down, pacing around the apartment during the restless process of drawing out Ada’s target.

Ada drew a long breath as she watched Evangeline stir in her sleep, fighting a sudden melancholy that spread over her thoughts.

“Was that the first time you’ve ever been given a gift…” Ada muttered as she watched strands of Evangeline’s hair flutter from her steady breath.

 

Chris clattered into the entryway of his home, tossing his backpack to the floor as he let out a long sigh. He stepped into his living room as the evening sun glinted orange across the blank screen of his TV. It had been a day of mission planning for the continuing liquidation of Philadelphia, the monotony of the engineering security and missing persons recovery ended with his weekly visit the BSAA’s psych. Chris felt it was helping him cope but he always left feeling… vulnerable.

He felt a heat build in his face as he shook his head. “Come on Redfield, pull yourself together.” He murmured to himself as potent memories flashed through his head. He felt the wave of anguish rise high over his will and break. Angry with himself he lashed out, throwing his fist through the wall. He froze with his hand through the drywall, rubbing his face as he felt wetness run from his eyes. He felt the despondency swing back around, repeatedly striking the wall, swearing with each impact until he heard a voice behind him.

“That’s not you. A good act Chris but I know that’s not you.” The confident voice came into Chris’s ears as he looked over his shoulder to see his old comrade, Piers Nivans, sitting on his couch.

“Ugh, doc said hallucinations are normal when under extreme stress… just a manifestation of my condition, not an indication of my sanity.” Chris growled more to himself than in response.

“Well they have that right. When we got shelled in Afghanistan, I used to see my brothers while I hid. The hallucinations often would point out things that you knew but couldn’t bring up through the panic or the fear. Remarkable what the human brain does to comfort itself.” Piers said as Chris stared at him. “My brother, Rob, would always sit across from me and identify the rockets as they passed overhead. ‘That was a Brazilian one-o-eight, sounded like it landed in the road, no one would be hurt. That was an Italian one-five-five, big boy but you heard that sound for a while, they probably overshot us.’ I knew all that, but I was too focused on the fact that one could kill me to be able to process that.” Piers said as he stood, Chris turning away.
“I know things have been hard for you since…” Piers trailed off as Chris leant his arm up against the damaged wall.

“I’m proud of you, quitting booze and keeping yourself in the fight. You’re a rock for your sister, for your friends.” Piers continued as Chris hung his head.

“Kennedy has a point about the futility of this.” Chris lamented as Piers frowned.

“You don’t believe that, you have your moments like when I plucked you from that slosh hole in Edonia but you don’t believe that Chris.” Piers said as he stepped towards him. “Every person who can go on to live a normal life because of something you stopped is why you keep going. Think Chris, how many thousands of people shall never be touched by these things because you have been stopping them since you where a S.T.A.R.S. rookie? What you do, your commitment to justice, to helping people who just want to live; that’s why I joined the BSAA, that’s why I followed you. As long as you keep up the fight, that’s what the BSAA stands for, even now with everyone gunning for you.” Piers said as he put his hand on Chris’s shoulder. “Try an relax for a while, you have that annual boot-licking party coming up soon right? Tell everyone I said hey.”

Chris squeezed his eyes shut as he went to put his hand over Piers’ on his shoulder. “I love you.” Chris breathed as he felt his land on nothing. He felt his nails dig into his skin as he balled his fist, hands shaking as he bashed them into the wall again, letting out an agonized scream.

 

“Have you heard the same rumors as me?” Jessica asked as Raymond inspected the blade of his combat knife, his feet up on the conference table they were sat at.

“That Wong isn’t actually dead or that Torres went rogue when she sent us to take Valentine in Philadelphia.” Raymond responded as he looked at her.

“Everyone assumes Wong could come back any minute; she’s done it so many times you’d be a fool not to. I’m talking about what the big brass have been saying to Torres. If she had gone rogue, what the hell was she playing with Valentine over?” Jessica asked as she leant her arms on the table.

“How the hell would I know? How much about Torres do you know?” Raymond tossed back, setting his knife down as Jessica sat back in her chair.

“I try to keep questions about my employer to minimum. I’m not a zealot Vester, just want enough money to retire away from the world.” Jessica said folding her arms as Raymond held his wide.

“A shared sentiment Sherawat. Money and peace are all I want; and in this world, you have to take it and hide it away.” He shot back. “As for what I know about Torres… she used to be Umbrella I think, worked in the Nest at Racoon City. Then oddly enough she was a member of the FBC, high ranking member too. Then that came crashing down too and she went to prison, somewhere nasty too, not a cushy American one. Somewhere between then and now she escaped and developed that neat little talent of hers. I don’t know what drives her, but they have to be paying her something good, maybe she needs some niche chemical to keep all that energy stable within her.” Raymond mused as Jessica nodded.

“I remember her vaguely from my time at the FBC. Lansdale was keeping her in reserve incase Fisher didn’t pan out. He kept her stateside during the Terragrigia Panic. She still got arrested when O’Brian took Lansdale down.” Jessica said as Raymond’s expression soured. “What? Still a sore spot with you?”

“Its not that, they were both scumbags is all. I still can’t believe people think O’Brian was any better than Lansdale.” Raymond groused as Jessica lifted an eyebrow.

“Are you sure it wasn’t just because you where soft on your partner?” Jessica prodded as Raymond glared at her.

“Rachel didn’t deserve what she got. She didn’t want to go, and it was O’Brian who fed that information to Lansdale. It doesn’t matter what he thought he was doing, people still died because of it.” Raymond hissed as Jessica nodded without meeting his gaze.

“I didn’t realize that cut still stung, I didn’t mean…”

“Shut up Sherawat, you don’t do ‘concern’ well.” Raymond interrupted her as Torres burst into the room. She had her regular brooding demeanor about her, black hair hanging in disheveled strands around her face. She wore a black coat over a turtleneck and black cargo pants.
“Feeling a bit goth today Torres?” Raymond tossed playfully as she glared at him. He immediately realized he misjudged her mood as she tossed a chair against the wall as she stomped towards him. She grabbed his knife off the table and swiftly held it to his throat as he stared at her.

“You want to be fucking funny with me after getting an ass chewing from a bunch of pompous business execs and vodka swilling politicians? How about I start pulling off your limbs until it no longer amuses me.” She seethed as Raymond stared into her wild eyes.

“Ma’am, please, what is it that you wanted to speak to us about.” Jessica implored as Torres turned to her. She released Raymond as she paced back to the head of the table. She swung her arm hard, plunging the knife into the wood, penetration to the handle as she pulled a syringe from a pouch on her belt. She pushed the needle into her leg a groaned, hanging her head and drawing a long breath.

“The bosses want to poke and prod the market down here. The mess in Venezuela can be easily used to shut out the US and the BSAA from the region, despite their presence in Brazil. If we play cards right, we can essentially turn the continent into our testing ground for their ‘greater’ projects. We can hide it all as banana republics and gang violence, no one will pay any attention as long as the exports still keep moving.” Torres said after a few moments, sitting at a chair near the front of the table.

“I didn’t realize we had involvement in the ongoing Venezuela outbreak.” Raymond said cautiously as Torres looked at him.

“We don’t, government fumbled a T sample at a university lab and hasn’t been able to clean it up yet because of the lack of essential medicines in the country. Maduro is too proud to ask for foreign aid and the only thing worse than foreign aid is the BSAA. As a result, the infection has slowly spread a few blocks out from the university, just needs one good poke before it turns into a country wide disaster. Now we don’t want that kind of instability, we leech quite a bit of resources from their less scrupulous bureaucrats. We need to threaten American interests with the outbreak, get them worried enough to intervene unilaterally. Will likely force a confrontation which we can leverage with a disinformation campaign about US aggression in the south, play on the old imperial nerves and essentially toss the US back on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico.” Torres said idly tracing a pattern on the table’s surface. “You two will be doing the prodding. I’m to go start a fuss out at our Amazon facility, see if I can start spooking the Brazilian Army.

 

Jill sighed as she closed the front door behind her, setting a large duffel bag down as she unslung her laptop bag from her shoulder, setting them aside in the foyer as she heard the clatter of footsteps from the other room. Edelie bolted around the corner, wrapping her arms around Jill’s legs as she laughed.

“Mommy!” She shouted as Valerie followed closely behind her, Claire leaning on the wall a few steps behind the girls, smiling at Jill.

“Hey there sweetheart, how was school?” Jill asked as she picked up Edelie and walked to Valerie, kissing her forehead.

“Good, they already gave us words for a spelling test next Monday.” Edelie pouted as Jill laughed.

“Well we’ll go over them before then, besides you should be able to do them in English and French. How about you Val?” Jill said as she approached Claire, kissing her before turning to Valerie.

“Good, I need you to sign something saying that I can go do the science lab, they said we’ll actually be able to do experiments!” Valerie said excitedly running into the other room as Jill set Edelie down.

“They good for you?” Jill asked as Claire nodded.

“The system they have for pick up is bullshit but I had the nicest car there so…” Claire laughed with a mischievous smile. “How’s Hugo?”

“He’s… he wants to stop treatment.” Jill said, lowering her voice as Claire quickly embraced her.

“I’m so sorry, you holding up ok?” She whispered into Jill’s ear as Jill nodded.

“Yeah, he’s feeling better now they are no longer giving him the therapy. He’s stable for now but the doctors are saying it could be within the next few months.” Jill said mournfully. “I don’t think we’ll burden the girls with this right now though, not with everything else that’s going on for them.”

“I think… Jill I would never go against your wishes for them, especially something like this but…” Claire stuttered, looking away as she considered her words.

“But… what Claire, you disagree?” Jill said, firm but not accusingly.

“I think they should see this coming a mile away Jill. I think for them, it shouldn’t be a surprise when he passes.” Claire said turning back to look Jill in the eye.

“Claire… they where moved suddenly, Valerie got shot, the time on the ship and we’re just now getting to semblance of normalcy. I was worried about putting them in school too soon because it would shake things up too much for them and telling them to expect the death of their grandfather any day would only exacerbate that.” Jill said as Claire took Jill’s hand.

“But he’s already made the decision. He will pass and that can’t be hidden from the girls. I’m worried that if they don’t understand… especially Edie. I’m worried that if they aren’t expecting it then they’ll spend the next few years expecting him to show up again one day.” Claire said before taking a long breath. “Like you did.”

Jill nodded gently as Claire squeezed her hand. “I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I don’t want to make a decision right now. Let’s talk about this later? Come to a consensus by Friday. I love that you want to be this involved in the girls’ lives, so that means we present a united front; we’ll make the decision together.” Jill offered Claire short smile as Claire returned it, her face lighting up as she suddenly remembered something.

“Come on, I have something to show you for the BSAA founding anniversary.” Claire yipped with excitement as she dragged a groaning Jill upstairs.

“Ugh I told you it’s just a load of political ass-kissing for the big supporters and such. The only reason we’re going this year is cause Roland wants to present me with some kinda bullshit for not dying and coming back to work.” Jill pouted as Claire led her into their bedroom. She emerged from the closet holding a full length, laurel green dress. It had a tight collar and a run of fabric forming the semblance of a portrait collar over the shimmering fabric. It had no sleeves but a sharp halt over the dress’s shoulder. It had a slit running up the legs of either side stopping just above the knee, the ribs of the bodice forming an appearance like a corset. Jill sighed as Claire draped a matching shawl and pair of elbow length gloves over the hanger.

“I grabbed it before I got the girls from school, this way you don’t have to be dragged out by me to go shopping.” Claire stuck her tongue out teasingly as Jill shook her head.

“Claire I was just going to go in something a little dressed up from a standard workday, this is… I hope you kept the receipt.” Jill sighed as she folded her arms and paced as Claire pouted.

“Come on, if they’re going to drag you out there you might as well look so stunning that they’re all lost for words. Not that you aren’t ever but that’s just me.” Claire rambled a bit as Jill laughed nervously.

“Its sweet, really but I don’t think that’s what I want to be doing Claire.” Jill persisted as Claire stomped her foot playfully.

“Jill! Do you know how hard it is to find something this regal that will…”? She trailed off as she caught her tone.

“Cover my scars?” Jill finished for her as Claire nodded, somewhat ashamed. “It is pretty Claire and… thank you for the effort, really. I would just feel a little… too dark femme fatale. You’d have to go out and buy me wings and horns to complete the look.” Jill laughed, trying to put Claire at ease.

“We could do that.” Claire muttered sheepishly, unable to keep herself from blushing as Jill laughed.

“You’re only saying that because the want to sleep with Angelina Jolie after that one movie.” Jill pointed with playful accusation.

“No! I said it before, I want to sleep with Jill Valentine cosplaying as Maleficent; there’s a difference!” Claire argued, her face red as she couldn’t help but smile. Jill sat on the bed, still laughing as she covered her mouth as Claire stuck her tongue out.

“We’ll talk about it babe. In all seriousness, did you keep the receipt?” Jill said taking a breath as she came off the fit of laughter.

“Yeah.” Claire said sadly hanging the outfit back in the closet.

“Good, I want it in black.”

Chapter Text

The doorbell rang as Jill ran her gloved hands through her hair again in front of the hallway mirror, heels clacking on the hardwoods as she made her way to the stairs.

“Polly’s here Jill!” Claire called up as Jill carefully made her way down the stairs, Barry’s youngest daughter standing shyly in the foyer.

“You look really pretty Ms. Valentine.” She said with a smile as Jill held her arms out to embrace her.

“Oh, please Polly, Jill, call me Jill. I’ve known your father way to long for you to be so formal with me.” She laughed as Polly nodded politely.

“Ok Jill.” She smiled as Jill led Polly into the kitchen.

“Ok so the girls’ dinner is already in the fridge, they have to be to bed by ten, they’ll try to make excuses cause its not a school night but don’t believe a word they say.” Jill listed off from memory, grabbing an envelope off the counter. “There’s a prepaid card in here for a hundred dollars incase of some kind of emergency and this is what I owe you. Don’t tell Barry, but it’s a little more than we talked about; long drive out and all.” Jill said as a loud knock came from the door. Claire answered it as Chris smiled at her.

“Hey kiddo, you hardly seem ready to go.” He laughed remarking on Claire’s tank top and jeans.

“I didn’t think the rehearsal would be that exciting, I’m only showing up for the food.” Claire laughed as she adjusted Chris’s lapel. “They require you to wear this thing or you do it for fun?” She commented on his tuxedo.

“This thing was like two grand Claire; I never get to wear it.” He tossed back as he looked at Jill.

“I can’t believe they’re making us show up two hours early so they can just go ‘wow look, Jill came back to the one thing she knows how to do’.” Jill laughed as let her shawl hang off her elbows.

“You look incredible.” Chris said with a smile as Jill scoffed.

“I feel like I’m dressed up for Halloween.” She laughed as Claire stepped in front of her.

“Stop pouting and try to enjoy tonight? I’ll see you in an hour and some change.” Claire said as Jill placed her hand on her cheek, kissing her. Claire placed her hand over Jill’s as she guided her gloved hands over her neck. “I like the way these feel.” She whispered, biting her lip as Jill rolled her eyes.

“Your brother is literally right here.” Jill said with faux exasperation as Claire giggled.

“I didn’t hear anything, we’ll see you in a little while Claire, drive safe.” Chris said as Jill followed him out to his car.

The lights of the D.C. skyline danced over the Potomac River, Jill and Chris pulling into National Harbor. Capitol police where providing security as most of the are was shut down for the massive annual event marking the foundation of the BSAA. Jill sighed at the large fuss as Chris looked over at her.

“How are Val and Edie adjusting?” Chris said as they where slowly directed through traffic.

“They’re doing well, Edie seems to be having a little trouble socializing but Val is jumping in headfirst.” Jill answered as Chris smiled. “Claire is… I didn’t expect her to be doing so well with them. Not because she couldn’t I guess…” Jill stammered, trying not to sound guarded.

“She’s always been good with kids. After Raccoon City I’d argue one of the best if you wanted make sure they’d get anywhere safe.” Chris laughed as Jill smiled at him.

“Yeah… Chris, after we solve this mess with the Oligarchs. I think I might look at stepping back a bit from S.O.A.; not retiring but, I lost a lot of time with the girls and I’m starting to realize that with them home.” Jill said wistfully as Chris looked at her with sympathetic concern.

“I can understand that. As long as you don’t leave me alone with these fuckers.” Chris laughed as he pointed at the large glass structure, traffic slowly creeping closer to National Harbor.

“When I do, I think I’m gonna ask Claire…” Jill trailed off, seeming to hold back nervously.

“Ask her what?” Chris asked as they pulled into a large parking lot, guided by valets.

“The Question Chris, the one where I kneel and such.” Jill laughed anxiously.

“Hmm, puts me in kinda an odd position. Do I stand next to you or Claire? That and who the hell do I dress off of?” Chris laughed as he smiled at Jill. She sighed as she sat back in her seat throwing a slightly annoyed look his way.

“We’ll figure that out when the time comes. I still can’t get over the name of the place.” Jill stifled a laughed as Chris snickered.

“You don’t like the Gaylord National?” Chris said with a grin as Jill broke into an open laugh.

“It just feels a bit silly… and appropriate.” She continued as Chris turned off the car. They made their way into the massive convention center, presenting their BSAA credentials at the door and being ushered into a massive ball room. Jill was immediately led off to the lead table where Director Roland and Deputy Director Agnette where talking.

“Well good evening Agent Valentine; don’t we clean up nicely.” Agnette greeted her with a smile as Roland nodded.

“Glad you could make it; I know these things can be a headache, but the politicians only judge us on our parties and the new recruits need their heroes.” Roland said as Jill shook his hand, patting him on the shoulder.

“As much as I think it’s ridiculous, I understand.” Jill said as Agnette craned her neck looking out across the room.

“They didn’t bring Redfield over here? Go get him, he looks like a lost pup in a suit.’ Agnette said swatting at one of the event staff. Roland laughed as he turned back to Jill.

“We’ll try to keep rehearsal short and sweet. Its mostly just to make sure everyone knows how things will go, no awkward standing around or looking for direction. That and I promise no long speeches.” Roland said as he led Jill to a seat at the head table with a black placard labeled “Guest of Honor: Special Agent Jill Sasha Valentine”. Jill looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

“I’m going to have to kill whoever put that there; would have to of dived into my personnel file to find that.” Jill threatened with a sly smile as Agnette laughed. She glanced at the empty seat next to her position and looked back at Roland inquisitively.

“Who do you have me sitting next to? No name plate.” Jill asked as she paced over to it.

“We didn’t know if you were bringing anyone, told event staff to leave a space.” Roland responded as Jill looked over the placards listing the guests, smirking as she saw the name of the UN Secretary General just a few seats away from her.

“So essentially, I get to sit whomever I like at the same table as all the VIPs you’re bringing tonight?” Jill said with a sly smile.

“That’s one way of looking at it but yes.” Agnette responded.

“Good, keep it open, my plus one will be here when doors open. So how does all the pomp and ceremony start?” Jill asked stepping back over to the director.

“We have event staff to introduce the head table, have all parties walk up and take their seats as they are introduced.” Roland said gesturing to a clear carpeted path running through the tables.

“Seems just a bit much for going to sit down.” Jill groaned looking at the open path.

“Oh, it is Agent Valentine, but this is how you make the politicians think you’re actually doing a good job.” Roland laughed as he stepped over to a podium in the center of the head table.

“I’ll speak briefly thanking everyone, so on and so forth. Then I’ll call you up, present you with the award and then the Secretary General will speak, and the reception can begin.” Roland said stepping up to and then down from the podium as he explained.

“As long as you don’t expect any speeches, all should go well. I’m only really here for the reception anyway.” Jill laughed as the trio stepped down from the head table.

Jill paced in a small line nervously as people began to file in, glancing at the time on her phone every few seconds as the start to the event neared; a buzzing sound filling the ball room as attendees began to take their seats. Jill caught Barry and his wife enter the ballroom, waving from her place amidst the VIPs. Chris stepped up to Jill smiling as she fiddled with the end of her shawl.

“Of all the things I’ve been through, why does standing in front of people still terrify me?” Jill laughed as Chris smiled at her, his hands in his pockets.

“You have to be bad at something right?” He offered as Jill’s phone buzzed.

“Claire’s finally here, said she should be in any second.” Jill said raising her phone as Chris nodded.

“Honestly shocked she isn’t late, its kinda her style.” He said as he watched more people filing into the ball room. “Wanted to prep you before they try to ambush you; rumor has it that the Secretary General wants to present you with the UN service medal after Roland steps down.” Chris said in a slight whisper as Jill rolled her eyes.

“For what?” She said slightly flustered. Chris shrugged feigning a confused look that broke into a laugh.

“No clue really, maybe taking down Umbrella? Something to do with helping eliminate Wesker, prevent a missile attack on a US City. Could have to do with revealing the FBC to be colluding with terrorists to further its goals. I honestly don’t know Jill; you’ll have to ask him.” Chris said as Jill laughed and ran her hand through her hair, holding it as she looked at the lights begin to dim within the ball room. Claire suddenly ran up next to her brother wearing a black leather jacket over a grey hoody and jeans. Her hair was in a loose ponytail as she smiled at Jill; Jill squinting at her.

“All this trouble to get me dolled up in this dress and you get to show up like that.” Jill groused as Claire giggled, swinging her hands in her coat pockets.

“Yeah!” She said poking her tongue into the side of her cheek, trying to hide her grin as Chris shook his head laughing. Jill pulled Claire over to her, wrapping her arm around her waist as Claire stumbled into her. “See you’re the elegant socialite here to receive your awards and recognition and I am your grungy sidepiece that is here to cause trouble at the reception.” Claire added as she lent her head on Jill’s shoulder, feeling her grip abnormally strong around her.

“Thought you didn’t like wearing perfume.” Jill said softly as she leant against the side of Claire’s head.

“Vanilla and sandalwood cause it’s a special occasion. That and I can make ice cream jokes.” Claire laughed as she whispered. The sound of the event introductions began to come through the speakers for the hall; the first of the guests stepping into the room as a spotlight tracked them, applause greeting them as the walked to the head table.

“What the hell do you mean by… oh, Claire!” Jill began to question as Claire let out a near maniacal laugh as Jill got her prurient joke.

“So, I should probably go find Chris and wait out the silly ceremony, right?” Claire asked as the guest in front of Jill stepped out after their introduction.

“Oh no, you’re coming with me. You are my grungy sidepiece after all.” Jill smirked as she looked at Claire go red.

“Up there? Next to the Director and the Sec Gen and all the other really well-dressed people with all of the attention and lights and No!” Claire stammered as she fought Jill’s grip. “This was a joke for the reception Jill, come on let me go.” She said unable to shake Jill’s significantly stronger grip.

“Founding and distinguished member of the Special Operation Agency of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance; Special Agent Jill Valentine.” The introduction rang through the hall as Jill smirked, stepping forward and practically dragging Claire with her.

“Do you have any idea how long I have waited to parade my girlfriend in front of a bunch of people I used to have to pretend to be straight for?” Jill laughed as the spotlight cast its light on her, Claire clinging to her arm as she led her through the center of the room to a thunderous applause. She glanced to her side; Chris, Barry and Rebecca all standing by a large rounded table, smiling as they made an effort to out-clap each other. Claire’s face was a wash with blush as Jill stroked her the hand clinging to her arm feeling, her nerves easing with her defiant gesture.

“Oh my god how did Claire become a bigger rebel than me so fast?” Moira said through a surprised laugh as she stood clapping next to Chris.

“She surprises you sometimes, that or maybe she knew you’d wear a suite and wanted to one up you.” Chris smiled as he looked at her.

“It’s a blazer and my top button isn’t even buttoned, far more casual then a suit. Just enough so I’m not embarrassing Barry.” She laughed as her father shook his head with a smile.

“You pull it off sweetheart, hardly my place to complain.” Barry shouted from across the table as Rebecca laughed, Jill and Claire taking their seats at the head table.

“Do you have any room for a couple more?” An African accent inquired behind Chris as he turned to see Sheva in a lavender dress followed by Parker wearing a tuxedo similar to Chris.

“Sheva!” Chris nearly shouted as he embraced his old partner, Parker laughing as she seemed surprised. “It’s good to see you too Luciani, sorry we didn’t have time to catch up the last time I came through Med Com.” Chris said taking Parker’s hand before turning back to Sheva. “I can’t believe you flew out all this way.”

“I gave Roland the receipt, besides this is a big moment for her.” Sheva said gesturing towards Jill; she was leaning over, kissing Claire’s forehead as she giggled, trying to hide her face as the pair sat between Director Agnette and the UN Secretary General. “Seeing her from when we recovered her to now… its truly awe inspiring; and she seems to be back to herself.” Sheva said as she took a seat at the table as Roland stepped to the podium, Parker nodding in agreement with Sheva.

“Stop staring at me Claire, everyone can see you.” Jill said with a smirk as she looked over at Claire leaning her elbow on the table as she hid her face from the crowd.

“Uh-uh, your biceps are the only thing giving me any comfort right now.” Claire laughed as Jill bit her lip, tensing her arm and flexing as Claire gasped, covering her mouth as she stifled a shaky laugh. She pressed her eyes closed, going a shade redder than Jill thought she could as Roland began to address the crowd.

“I was fortunate to come to the position of International Director as one of our finest members rejoined the fight. Agent Valentine has always shown a tenacity and commitment to the cause of justice and security that makes me intimidated to be in her presence.” Roland delivered with a smile as a gentle laugh rolled through the crowd. “She has committed her life to ridding this world of the malign influence of bio-terror and the entities that perpetuate its existence. She has done so at a tremendous personal cost which is- and I say without exaggeration- beyond what I find personally comprehensible.” Roland continued as Claire place her hand on Jill’s arm as they listened to Roland speak. “And for this incredible selflessness, integrity and tenacity of spirit, I see fit to award Jill Valentine with the BSAA Distinguished Service Emblem of Valor for overwhelming commitment to the cause.” Roland finished to a thunderous applause as Jill stood and approached the podium.

“Well earned Valentine.” Roland said as he stepped away from the microphone to hand Jill the medal and shake her hand.

“Thank you, director.” She returned as the flash of a camera illuminated them. Jill stepped back to her seat, setting the medal down as Claire glanced over at it.

“Pretty, but I think mine is nicer.” Claire teased holding her angel wing necklace out as Jill shook her head with a smile. Roland finished introducing the UN Secretary General as he stepped down from the podium.

“I am thrilled to join you all here today to celebrate this wonderful organization and those who carry out its mission.” He began in a slow voice thick with is South Korean accent. “I admire your continued commitment to the security of all peoples from the uniquely wicked threat of bioterrorism even in the complicated and hostile world we find ourselves in today. The recent incidents in Europe and the Middle East continue to show the world the necessity for such an organization despite what some may say. This mission is only achieved by the hard work and sacrifice that members put in. No one better exemplifies these traits then Special Operative Jill Valentine. For these reasons, the United Nations has saw fit to recognize her lifetime commitment to this fight. Since she was a member of the Special Tactic and Rescue Squad of Raccoon City, to the early days of the BSAA; Jill Valentine has shown a complete and honest commitment to the safety of our world from the threats of bioterror and unchecked corporate greed. On behalf of the members of the United Nations; I, Ban Ki-Moon, eighth Secretary General of the United Nations, bestow the organizations highest individual honor, the United Nations Medal; for a lifetime commitment to a peaceful world.” The Secretary General finished, turning to smile at Jill as she stood to receive the award. A roaring applause filled the hall, a whistle from Barry piercing the din as Jill accepted the award from Secretary Ki-Moon. Several flashes lit them as the photographed grabbed the moment.

“Thank you, your excellency.” Jill said quietly accepting the award from him as he smiled and shook her hand.

“My youngest daughter is like you; she will be thrilled to see you and your partner so confident in the public eye.” He returned as Jill couldn’t help but smile. She returned to her seat, adding the UN medal to her BSAA one as she looked at Claire. She smiled at her, leaning her cheek on her hand as Jill stared at her.

“Proud of you love.” Claire said as the Secretary General continued his address to the crowd. Jill couldn’t help herself, grabbing Claire’s cheeks and kissing her, holding her the moment as she heard a whoop come from crowd, pulling back and laughing as Claire smiled at her. Chris smacked Moira’s hand as she laughed at her sudden and loud approval of Jill’s display of affection for Claire as the entire table of BSAA agents tried to stifle their laughter.

Chris stayed at the table as most of the ball room began to file out into the adjoining hall for the reception, all but Moira following the group.

“You doing ok big guy? I can’t help but pick up on the brooding since its kind of my thing.” Moira said softly as Chris played with idly with the hem of the tablecloth.

“Yeah, I’m doing ok, just a lot on my mind.” He said, suddenly taken aback as Moira threw her arms around him.

“Claire told me that’s what you say when you’re in pain.” She whispered as Chris returned the embrace, fighting back tears as his thoughts threatened to break out. “You have the same thing I do, being the oldest and all. We blame ourselves for everything, you’re doing a good job Chris, I don’t think people tell you enough.” Moira added as Chris could only summon a subtle nod in response.

“Thanks kiddo, want to go get something to eat?” Chris replied after a silent moment.

‘You’re damn right I do, that’s the whole reason I bothered coming to this stuffed shirt convention.” Moira laughed as they followed the tail end of the crowd.

“I can’t believe you guys flew out just for this nonsense.” Jill laughed as Sheva and Parker approached her; Claire clinging to her as they stood in the corner of the conference hall. Jill was already halfway through her second glass of wine as Chris approached with Moira, the pair having absconded with an entire tray of hors d’oeuvres.

“Oh please, this was a big night for you Jill, I’m just happy the big brass is finally recognizing what you’ve done.” Parker laughed as Sheva nodded, taking a decadent stuffed shrimp offered by Chris.

“Whether you want it or not, you’re a huge inspiration to the rest of us; coming back from what happened to you and returning to the fight.” Sheva added with a smile. There was a sudden pop of a champagne bottle and Jill jumped, draining her glass in response as she closed her eyes. She saw Captain Marini slumped up against a rocky wall under the Spencer Mansion for a moment before flashing back to the rowdy gala hall as Claire squeezed her hand, looking concerned.

“You ok my love?” Claire said softly into Jill’s ear as she instinctively nodded.

“Yeah I think I just… I need some air.” Jill said stepping off quickly towards a pair of double doors, grabbing another glass of wine from a server as she stepped into an empty hallway. She made her way over to one of the windows overlooking the Potomac as she drained the glass. The memory flashed back into her vision, the gunshot ringing through the hallway as she dropped the glass on the floor. Jill fought through the haunts as they floated in and out of her mind, melting away as the episode fading. Jill took a deep breath as she opened her eyes, Claire standing in front of her. Jill grabbed her before she could speak, kissing her as Claire wrapped her arms around her.

“Please, just keep me here.” Jill muttered as she drew a sharp breath, pushing Claire up against the window as she kissed her again.

“Whatever you need my love, don’t fight it. Let them pass, they’re just memories. I’m right here with you, it will end soon.” Claire whispered as Jill leant her head down on her shoulder; Claire ran her hand over Jill’s back, tracing the patterns of her scars. Jill shuddered as she took a long breath and straightened up as Claire smiled at her. “You feel up for heading back for dessert?” Claire offered as Jill smiled.

“I think… I’ll take mine right here.” Jill laughed as she kissed Claire’s neck.

“Jill!” Claire hissed as she bent her neck. Jill clamped her hand over her mouth and continued as Claire let out a muffled giggle. Her hands clenched on the fabric of Jill’s dress as her lips danced up the side of her neck, Jill hovering just over her ear.

“I seem to remember something said about ice cream?” Jill cooed, nuzzling Claire and inhaling deeply as Claire quivered as she felt the heat of Jill’s breath on her neck. Her face flushed as she sensed Jill’s tongue on her skin, an involuntary sigh making it past Jill’s hand still covering Claire’s mouth. They both jerked sharply as the click of heels interrupted them, Rebecca covering her mouth as she walked up on them.

“Chris wanted to know if you were ok and ugh… you know this place has rooms, right?” Rebecca laughed as Claire buried her face in Jill’s shoulder. Jill laughed as she ran her hand over Claire’s hair.

“Yeah, thanks for checking on me though. Tell Chris I think we’re going to take off, I don’t want to leave Polly any longer than she has to be.”

Chapter Text

Helena paced around the small dining room of the apartment she and Leon had been sharing for a tense week. She watched rain flow over the window as the lights of the Palace of Culture refracting off the droplets. They where ready to move, the Tricell building was just north of the city of Iasi’s industrial district. It was a Valenta Pharm facility owned by Torsten Vasilyev; a former chair of the Duma Healthcare Committee. He had also sat on the board of directors for Marhawa Academy- the site of the first use of the C-Virus- and had owned stock in Tricell before the company was dissolved and their assets scattered. Veronica had been working on potential leads to begin breaking the shell of the Oligarchs and she had it on strong suspicion that Valenta was hiding Tricell assets in plain sight; a hushed biohazard spill and steady stream of missing persons in the Romanian city since the building became occupied only supported that hypothesis.

“You sure they’re holding the board meeting tonight?” Leon said from the kitchen table, a large marked blueprint for the Valenta Pharm building spread over its surface.

“His plane landed six hours ago, and I’ve been checking the traffic cams along the route from his hotel to the Tatarasi building. I cut my entryway through the sewer to the sub-basement this morning, the security sweeps to frequently to place bugs so…” Helena trailed off as Leon nodded.

“I have a few posts I can rotate between around the property, that and I’ll bring the loud toys just in case.” He grumbled as he stood and went for a bottle of whiskey on the counter. Helena grabbed his wrist, Leon yanking his hand back as she looked sternly at him.

“I need you sharp tonight, I know you’re still processing a lot but… not like that ok?” Helena said firmly, softening her tone some as Leon walked into the living room and threw himself down on the couch.

“When was Ada’s last check in?” He said leaning forward on his knees.

“Two days ago, says she’s working on penetrating the market. There is a Gazprom executive lawyer who has made several trips to Damascus since she started searching, that’s her best lead.” Helena responded as Leon sighed.

“She bother to say why she has chosen to only respond to you.” Leon groused as Helena sat next to him. She put her hand on his knee as he let out a long breath.

“She… she has as much to get over as we do after what happened. The way she’s protecting Evangeline; she’s treating her like her own. We tried to kill her Leon, there’s a trust there that’s going to take time to rebuild, but I still feel like we’re on the right path, Veronica helping keep everything straight.” Helena offered as Leon shook his head.

“I still think we should be leading with the BSAA, not playing this shadow game, lying to DSO, lying to CIA and working for Umbrella of all people.” Leon continued as Helena nodded gently.

“I get that, can’t say I disagree, but we are already behind in the game here. Fighting each other cost us time, the BSAA has to play nice while we poke and prod to actually find out who are enemies are.” Helena said as she checked her camera feeds again. “Target’s getting into their cavalcade. You ready?”

“Car’s loaded and ready to go.” Leon said standing as they made their way out to the apartment’s parking lot, peeling out towards the Tatarasi building.

The side door to the car opened as it began to slow behind the complex, a figure leapt from the car and tucked into a roll as it sped off. Helene stood and ran to a small maintenance shed, opening the door and swinging herself down a sewer access ladder. She hit the ground and held her finger to her ear.

“I’m under, making my way into the sub-basement now.” Helena said softly as she followed the dark corridor until she found a small machine room. She stepped inside, over to a large metal cabinet and pushed. The steel groaned as it slid to reveal a carefully cut hole in the wall leading through several feet of soil into the maintenance walk of the Tricell structure.

“Good, call into Hunnigan just in case we might need a hard pull. Blue Umbrella is a little far at the moment. Remember the story, looks like the firm might be supplying lethal aid to the Moldovan nationalists. There are rumbles of Russia making a play for that country before they become a NATO member state. That should convince the CIA not to a look too close at the fact that you’ve been dark for nearly a month. That and if I come up, DSO is interested in the potential for bioweapon’s use, I’ll have Contra clean things up or fudge reports if need be.” Leon returned as he got out of the car parked by a three-story warehouse two blocks from the building.

“Got it, switching over now.” Helena sighed, lying to CIA had left her uneasy but lying to Hunnigan was something she hated. She set her comms to the CIA’s network, waiting for encryption to be accepted. There was an affirmative beep as she went live and Hunnigan’s voice came through before she could get a word in.

“Harper! Thank god I was starting to get worried; you’ve been dark for thirty-eight days. Where are you?” Helena winced as she cautiously stepped through a fire door into a dark basement hallway, turning right and running towards the staircase.

“Iasi, eastern Romania, basement of a Valenta Pharm building that I have good reason to believe is harboring weapons.” Helena said as she grabbed the railing to the staircase and began scaling it like a ladder; she leapt from side to side as she ascended, preventing any footsteps from reverberating throughout the shaft.

“Understood, based on your last check in and our most recent intelligence the Russian Navy has been slowly transferring assets from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets. That and since the attacks in Ankara and Ukraine they have begun a military buildup and commissioned a national guard. We received a package of intel from DSO that has suggested that they may be exploring the use of potential bioweapons assistance to the Moldovan nationalists as the situation has begun to deteriorate in Chisinau; street protests and police crack downs.” Hunnigan called back as Helena made her way fast the seventh floor.

“Good to know, I might need you to run a fast extraction should things go loud. Or at least beam me some encryption help incase I find the alarm first.” Helena called back as she kept up her steady climb, reaching the twelfth floor before stopping and entering the dim office flat.

“Got you on thermal, two guards at the elevators, facing east.” Leon said as Helena stepped behind a snack machine in the hall and gazed through the near silent space.

“Do we know which room Vasilyev’s meeting is being held?” Helena whispered back.

“Internal conference room on the south end of the building. It must be well shielded because the only thing I see is two security standing in front of it and the occasional suit stepping in or out of the room. Your best bet is going to be to hook into the room’s security system from the maintenance walk in the ceiling.” Leon said as the elevator doors opened, and a group of figures began moving to the conference room. “You have to move now, try getting through to the ceiling in one of the exterior offices and making your way to the conference room, you have barely enough time.” Leon said nervously as he watched Helena stand and begin to run down the hall.

“That would take far too long and I could be wrong about my bearings in the ceiling. The server room shares a wall with the conference room, I’ll get in that way.” Helena called back as she ducked into one of the interior offices.

“No Helena I don’t have eyes in there I can’t cover you!” Leon protested as Helena made her way to the server room door, drawing her suppressed pistol and shooting the lock. She kicked open the door and was immediately met with the butt of a rifle. She hit the floor hard as the guard tracked her. Helena swept his legs as her vision steadied, holding up her pistol as the guard hit the floor. She shot him once through the eye of his sunglasses before sitting up, rubbing her head. She stood and dragged the corpse into the server room and closed the door.

“Helena check in.” Leon called as he watched the floor with his rifle.

“All good, one guard in the server room but he’s taken care of, making my way through the ceiling now.” Helena called back as she climbed a stack of servers and lifted the roof panel. She lifted herself up onto the support beams. She replaced the tile and cracked a glowstick from a pouch on her belt, leaving it on her entry spot before making her way forward. She counted out the paces, knowing the length of each ceiling tile and checking it against how far the conference room would be. She came upon a cluster of electronic equipment mounted in the ceiling as she counted the distance. She knelt down and carefully removed the housing.

“Ok, camera feed and audio.” Helena whispered to herself, taking out a universal adapter and a tablet in a field hardcase. She began to set up the splice as the security camera feed for the conference room lit up her screen. She ran the audio through her headset as it began recording to an Umbrella server through the building’s antenna.

“Leadership has requested that our Moros project be moved to a more secluded location in our eastern holdings. The market has been in upheaval since the deployment of an E-type weapon against other members of the community and leadership wants to keep its best cards close to the chest.” Vasilyev began, sitting down at the center of the table as host of lab technicians sat down opposite him, security on one end and a series of men and women in suits at the other.

“Moros will take a couple days to prep for transport and we have to be sure we will have appropriate facilities upon arrival. If we plan on too long of a transport period, we could risk damaging the NE-α parasite. If we plan too short, we could lose containment in transit.” The lead doctor delivered as one of the security members leaned forward to speak.

“Would it not make more sense to re-locate it to the Basin post since Tricell is building that as their new headquarters.” The head of security posited as the Tricell officials nodded.

“It would be more stable to transport Moros on a ship that could handle its containment requirements with a hidden medical lab. Although the political situation in South America is not yet in a place where we can deem the installation a viable new headquarters, we have confidence in our efforts to establish those conditions.” A man from the Tricell delegation spoke up as Vasilyev looked at him.

“We’ll have it moved then. The harbormaster of Navodari has had it out for us since the minor spill a few months back. Have our contacts at Rompetrol have him and his family disposed of, that should clear a path for the Moros project and reduce the fines we have been receiving. Pardon.” Vasilyev spoke as he glanced at a notification on his phone. “We seem to have experienced a network breach; security is isolating it now.” He delivered confidently as he sat his phone down.

“Shit, Hunnigan I’m going to need a network scramble, I can give you a hardline to the building’s servers.” Helena called in as she started packing her equipment. She left the recording running as she made waited for her response. “Hunnigan, I need a scramble now!”

Ingrid stepped slowly out of her car, having pulled over a few miles after leaving the CIA headquarters. Contra stepped out from the back seat, holstering his weapon as he produced a small first aid kit.

“Well done Hunnigan, I’d say they believed you where in no distress.” He said as he removed a syringe and filled it with a clear solution.

“What is this about.” She hissed as she held her hands on her head.

“Simply follow up, since you chose not to heed my warning.” Contra said as he grabbed Hunnigan’s arm and plunged the needle into it.

“Leon I’ve lost Hunnigan and they detected me in the system.” Helena said grabbing the rest of her equipment and hopping down into the server room.

“Lot of movement on your floor, they’re closing in on the source. Your entry point is cut off but there is a north staircase that seems clear, make for it I’ll cover you.” Leon called out as he adjusted his grip on his rifle. He let out a long sigh as he began to run through his breathing exercises. Helena drew her pistol and bolted through the office she had came in through, turning left out into the hallway as she heard a loud screeching as a thudding, clacking sound began to catch up to her. A licker flew over her as it landed and turned on her, screeching as it gnashed its teeth at her. Its body was suddenly thrown against the wall, splattering blood as Helena looked at the bullet hole in the window. A beam of light shone through it as the loud rumble of a helicopter rang through the night air. A small aircraft cast its light on Helena as she heard its guns spin up.

“Helena, move!” Leon screamed into the radio as the helicopter’s guns tore through the glass windows. Helena sprinted towards the north end of the building as hundreds of rounds ripped the hall apart behind her as she fought to stay just outside the helicopter’s line of fire. She slammed into the wall as she struggled to make a right turn towards the stairs, the gun fire still tracing after her as she felt shards of glass and debris bounce off her. She nearly reached the staircase when she was thrown to the floor, searing pain running through her leg. Her momentum carried her into the door to the stair well, Helena crying out as she forced herself to crawl through the door. She looked down to see a through gunshot in her left calf. She groaned as she reached down, grasping the wound before forcing herself to stand. She limped down the staircase as she heard the roar of more lickers reverberate through the building. She paused to breath, the wound in her leg trailing blood. The building shuddered with a loud explosion as Helena heard a group of lickers enter the stair well, the monsters jumping from ledge to ledge. She made it to the emergency exit and threw the door open, stumbling into the cool night air. It stank of burning fuel and plastics as Helena saw the wreck of the helicopter that had been chasing her down. A black SUV came roaring up to her as she stumbled farther away from the building.

Leon kicked open the driver’s door and lifted his rifle, firing as a licker pushed open the door behind Helena. The bioweapon fell limp as the bullet tore through its head, Leon reaching Helena as two more crawled out of the door onto the walls of the building.

“Come on, we have to move. They sent some kind of Tyrant after me and we don’t have the weapons to fight that here.” Leon said as he slung Helena’s arm over his shoulder, helping her to the car.

“CIA safehouse, just to make sure we have another fall back position if they send that thing after us.” Helena huffed as Leon helped her into that backseat. He returned to the driver’s seat as a licker landed on the hood, screeching as Leon grabbed a loaded MP5 from the seat next to him. He fired a long burst through the windshield, the creature rolling over the top of the car as Leon accelerated away from the building.

“We get what we needed?” Leon inquired after catching his breath, Helena wrapping a bandage around her wounded leg.

“I think, mention of a project Moros and some facilities in southern Romania and South America. That and some plans to assassinate a government official at a seaport.” Helen seethed as she tried to clean her wound in the rapidly moving car.

“Hey, just wrap that and I’ll dress it for you when we arrive at the safe house.” Leon said glancing back as Helena groaned. She complied, sitting back in the seat as Leon passed the main square of the city on his way to the CIA safe house. “Your project Moros has probably already broken out, that’s probably the Tyrant they sent after me.”

“What makes you think that?” Helena asked as he pulled into a nondescript, old, soviet apartment block and parked the car. He got out, keeping the MP5 on a sling at his side, helping Helena out of the back. They made their way towards the back entrance as Leon opened the door and slowly helped Helena up the stairs.

“You never bothered to keep up with the weird mythos these egomaniacal terrorists seem to cling to huh? Moros is the Greek god of doom; doesn’t mean too much on its own but when you consider his siblings- Thanatos and Nemesis- you start to see a pattern in their naming conventions.” Leon said as they reached the top floor. They entered a plain hallway and approached the apartment labeled eleven-fifteen. Leon paused at the door as he pressed his ear to the wood. He heard a muffled sound of a conversation being had one way, as if someone was on the phone.

“You know of any other spooks in the area?” Leon asked quietly as Helena shook her head.

“I don’t think so, I did lose contact with Hunnigan since the op went to shit so I wouldn’t know if anyone could have been sent out." Helena said as Leon frowned, clutching his submachine gun in one hand. He slowly unlocked the door before swinging it open. He bolted into the apartment; weapon raised as he reached the kitchen. He held his weapon on a startled woman who dropped her phone upon seeing him. Leon winced, lowering his weapon as he waited for the familiar voice.

“Leon!”

“What are you doing her Ashley?” Leon said stepping back down the hallway helping Helena into the kitchen, sitting her down at the table as he turned back to the daughter of former president Graham.

“I was here at Manta Rosie University- conference on the Moldovan Nationalist movement and potential weapons smuggling- and an alert came through. My secret service team told me something was happening in the southern part of the city and that they needed to move me. Is everything ok?” She stammered as Leon rifled through the kitchen cabinets, retrieving a medic’s first aid kit and setting it on the table near Helena.

“Oh god you’re hurt, please Leon let me.” Ashley added as she saw Helena’s blood-soaked pant leg.

“Ashley please go into the other room until I’ve…” Leon started.

“I’m not the useless college girl you jet skied to safety all those years ago Leon. TerraSave requires all aid captains to complete an RN certification.” Ashley interrupted as she knelt and began to go through the first aid kit. She used a pair of medical scissors to cut part of Helena’s pant leg away as she began to clean the area around the wound.

“TerraSave, so you took up with that group of naïve bleeding hearts?” Leon laughed as he paced around the room as Ashley meticulously cleaned Helena’s wound.

“They’re only naïve because they lack leadership and people who have real experience with bioterrorism. Just because you and the BSAA kill all the zombies in an attack doesn’t mean people are all of a sudden safe, not still in need of help.” Ashley added as she began to wrap a bandage around Helena’s leg. “Oh, I don’t know if your partner has ever mentioned me before, Ashley Graham.” Ashley added addressing Helena as she finished the dressing.

“Can’t say that he has.” Helena groaned as Ashley tightened the dressing, turning to Leon with an offended scowl.

“It never came up, why are you looking at me like that?” Leon shrugged as Ashley packed up the first aid kit, washing her hands in the kitchen sink.

“I was kidnapped back in o-four by the cultists who discovered the Plagas. They wanted to use me against my father and Leon stopped that from happening.” Ashley said turning back towards the pair, Helen nodding.

“I think I’m familiar with the situation, I think your dad was one of the last real decent men to lead the country.” Helena offered as Ashley scoffed.

“He was kinda a prick actually, took a whole other administration to weed out the Family at the cost of thousands of lives. I don’t know how much he actually knew about Umbrella’s involvement with the US but more than he ever told anyone in office.” Ashley tossed back shaking her head.

“Still was better than what we’re looking at right now.” Leon commented as Ashley shook her head.

“You mean Benford’s vice, Moore? Or the idiot that’s going to beat him, Wilkinson?” Ashley laughed as she looked up at the ceiling still shaking her head.

“What makes you so sure that Wilkinson is going to win? Moore took over after the mess with Tall Oaks and carried out what Adam had wanted.” Leon said as Helena looked concerned.

“Wilkinson is the one talking about pulling back on US support for the BSAA and TerraSave, he even mentioned supporting the return of the FBC.” Helena said softly as Ashley looked at her.

“Yup, cause people are terrified still. The Family is gone, Umbrella is gone, the BSAA is stronger and bigger than ever yet a missile attack lands in Philadelphia. When people are scared, they make stupid fucking decisions and in two months they get to make the decision that picks the most powerful country in the world’s leader.” Ashley said as Leon looked quizzically at her.

“And you’re so sure of this because?” He asked as Ashley rolled her eyes.

“Do you remember what my major was? Government Leon, I think I know a thing or two about what I’m talking about.” Ashley spat as the roar of several helicopters rattled the safe house’s windows. Leon stepped to the kitchen window and glanced out as the flight of aircraft made their way south.

“BSAA, looks like their Euro-division is on a hair trigger after everything with Ada.” Leon commented as he watched them continue towards the plume of smoke rising from the Tatarasi Building. “They should be able to handle things here. Helena we should consider regrouping in Damascus.” Leon added as stepped into the living room, grabbing his car keys from the coffee table. Ashley slipped a small tile into the bag Leon had left on the table as he returned into the room, Helena shaking her head.

“Not just for the sake of my leg, but I need to regain contact with Hunnigan before leaving the country. That and we don’t even know if the data we pulled has made it out yet.” Helena protested as Leon grabbed his bag and slung it over his shoulder.

“I could come with you; help look after that leg of yours. TerraSave has a major operation in Syria working with the Red Cross and the White Hats. I bet I could get you guys a lot of support.” Ashley offered as Leon turned towards her.

“That is completely out of the question. Not only are you not cleared for so much of what we are going to be doing, TerraSave doesn’t really specialize in the type of combat operations we are in. You stay here until your secret service handler gets back. We were never here.” Leon said firmly as he looked back at Helena. “We can’t stay put with a Tyrant in play, we should move, help Ada with her mark since we seem to have ours here. From there Veronica can break down what we’ve learned and hopefully get us closer into the circle’s center.” He said in a hushed tone, glancing at Ashley as she folded her arms across her chest.

“Ok fine but let’s head north to avoid this mess before flying out.” Helena relented as Leon helped her up.

“Sounds good, Ashley stay put, BSAA is here and your secret service handler should be back soon. Don’t mention we where here.” Leon said as he helped Helena to the door, Ashley nodding silently. The pair made their way out the door as Ashley lifted her phone, opening the tracking app for the tile.

“Glad you bought that handler line.” She laughed to herself, having ditched her security detail a couple of hours ago. “I hope you’re doing something important, its about time I got to be on the helpful end of something exciting.” She said as the tracker pinged on her map as Helena and Leon drove off.

Chapter Text

Eliisabet watched light water traffic make its way through the Guayas river, making their way south towards the Pacific. She turned back to the empty conference room on the top floor of two thousand Calle El Oro, Guayaquil, Ecuador. A group of men in suits began to file into the room as Eliisabet glanced over her shoulder.

“We’re ready when you are, Ms. Zlatica.” The lead figure at the end of the table said quietly as Eliisabet pulled out the chair at the other end of the table and sat, leaning back as she surveyed each individual sat around her.

“Project Veidimenn, where are we?” She said after a long moment, directing the question to a man on her right.

“The weapon has been responding well to the strain of the Savage River virus we were able to obtain. In reality it is simply a modified tyrant strain that only targets the human lymph nodes. It was a little difficult to develop a strain to match Veidimenn Subject’s physiology, but we believe the weapon is ready for field deployment.” The Connections researcher answered as Eliisabet nodded.

“Where is Aphos on recovering E101?” She said turning to the head of Connections Tactical.

“We have been unable to find any evidence of the continued existence of E101, we won’t be closing the case, but we have ample reason to suspect that it was destroyed when Wong was killed by the BSAA.” He delivered cautiously as Eliisabet closed her eyes.

“Is E102 ready for combat testing yet?” Eliisabet asked without opening her eyes.

“Unfortunately, there was an incident with E102.” The head researched answered as Eliisabet shot him a dangerous look.

“What kind of incident?” She almost snarled.

` “E102 suffered a cognitive meltdown, the effects threatening the integrity of the facility which houses multiple of E series in progress. Subject E102 was terminated in order to ensure the security of other assets.” He added cautiously as Eliisabet drew a long breath before looking at him again.

“How far is E103 from development?” She said quietly as the room seemed to breath a collective sigh of relief.

“It should be viable with six months given the delayed training schedule after the E102 incident. We definitely have seen some improvement with the one hundred series over the zero series despite delays.” The researcher added. Eliisabet nodded, turning back to the security official.

“Have Veidimenn begin operations immediately, I want to continue to target Tricell industrial assets until we get their benefactor’s attention. By then I would like to have a product to bring to market, understood?” Eliisabet said quickly standing as the security lead raised an objection.

“Ma’am… members of Aphos team have a concern about deploying project Veidimenn without altering the appearance of the weapon as it still retains most of its human features.” He delivered as Eliisabet walked over to him, looking up at him with a seemingly disinterested expression.

“That is the point isn’t it? Combine his combat effectiveness with his ability to appear near human. I want that effect on the targets of the weapon.” She said as he ran his hand over his arm, nervously adjusting his watch.

“There are concerns about potential retaliation from the BSAA.”

“If they find out they would try to recover the weapon, not terminate it. They always cling to the idea that things can come back and that is simply not true. The C-virus infection is complete, and it is a weapon we now have control over, deploy it.” Eliisabet hissed as she walked out of the conference room.

Chris sighed as he pulled up to a stop light on his way into headquarters, fighting fatigue with a six-dollar coffee he intended to drain before even entering the building. He felt a steady bass rumble of an engine as a black hellcat pulled up next to him, the little bit of lingering gearhead in him piqued. The driver seemed to notice, the engine revving a chest clenching note as Chris couldn’t help but smile, shaking his head as the rolling thunder came down off high rpms. The window rolled down, Chris laughing as he returned rolling down his.

“That wake you up big guy?” Claire shouted from the passenger seat as Chris shook his head.

“Weren’t you supposed to help Jill get something responsible? Especially now that the girls are at home?” He yelled back as Jill leaned forward from the driver’s side.

“It has a back seat! Besides Claire replaced her sports car with an SUV so we’re good.” Jill shouted as Claire’s jaw dropped in faux offense.

“How dare you so diminutively refer to Laura as such! She is a beautiful, majestic X4 M and you will treat her with respect.” Claire griped, slapping Jill’s arm repeatedly as she laughed.

“Does it have Edie’s car seat in the back?” Chris asked playfully as Claire pointed furiously at him.

“What as if having kids made her any less sexy? And yes, it does have Edie’s car seat in the back.” Claire responded.

“In fairness Chris, I am the one responsible for this monster; thing is when you go missing for three years you don’t spend much money, BSAA just finally cleared all my back pay so…” Jill trailed off as she giggled, Chris still shaking his head.

“I will take credit for the license plate though, that is me!” Claire perked up as the perpendicular lanes in the intersection went yellow. “Anyway, see you in a bit.” Claire added as the light turned green as the engine to Jill’s car let out a window-rattling thunder as it tore off across the intersection. Chris followed slowly, catching the fading sound of Claire’s cries of glee as he glimpsed at the license plate: C4TR4.

A blue folder landed in front of Jill as she looked up at Claire. She lifted it from her desk as Claire plopped down in her chair across from Jill.

“Agnette finally gave us something other than liquidation missions, South American arms market is starting to heat up. We picked up a serious go between for some of the major manufacturers and the buyers. Chiefly these consist of Cartels, Gangs, isolated guerrillas and there are some unconfirmed reports of Governments expressing some interest in purchase. They all go through this guy Renato Quiroga, arms dealer who’s picked up a recent talent for handling bioweapons. Agnette wants us to find him through his known lieutenants in Guyana and Columbia then roll up on his base of operations and see if we can find out who he’s buying from.” Claire said as Jill began to flick through the file, looking up after seeing a list of incidents Quiroga was known to be involved in.

“They want him taken in or taken out?” Jill inquired, Claire reclining in her chair and putting her feet up on the desk only for Jill to playfully push them off.

“If we are unable to find out who he’s working for from information in his headquarters- wherever that is- then Agnette wants him brought in. If we are able to find something that points us in the right direction, then…” Claire trailed off as Jill nodded solemnly.

“He have anything to do with the Venezuela outbreak?” Jill posed as she read further.

“I don’t think so, not now at least. That outbreak is more of a result of poor availability of medication. Despite that, the government has rejected help from the BSAA, the Umbrella Corporation and Terra Save. The only outside help they have accepted is from an oil company called Gazprom; their hazardous cleanup division.” Claire returned as there was a knock on the door. “Come in.” Claire called out as Chris stepped into the office, Jill setting the folder down as she sat up.

“I heard you got the Quiroga case, have to admit I’m a bit jealous.” Chris said putting his hands on the back of Claire’s chair as she put her feet back up on the desk.

“They still keeping you on liquidation?” Jill asked as Chris pushed Claire’s feet off the desk, Claire pouting and folding her arms across her chest.

“Yeah, running multiple ops at the command level. Roland thinks it is helping smooth things over since the attack. Has anyone heard from Kennedy or Veronica in a while?” He asked in a slightly hushed tone as Claire slowly raised her legs back up towards the desk.

“I received a brief email from Harper the other day about her and Kennedy having a lead that Veronica would contact us about soon. Said they would be meeting up with Ada whom I’ve heard nothing from; guess that’s a good thing though since the world still thinks she’s dead.” Jill said as she stood from her desk.

“Hmm, I can try checking in with her, see if we have some direction to go in. Either way wouldn’t hurt to take down Quiroga in the grand scheme of things.” Chris returned as Jill stepped over to Claire, unceremoniously lifting her from her chair as she yelped in surprise. “If you aren’t going to respect my office furniture you don’t get to use it. Now I get where the girls have been getting it from." Jill said slinging Claire over her shoulder as she fell into a fit of giggles.

“And she thinks doing this will get me to stop.” Claire laughed looking at her brother. Jill paused as she felt her phone go off in her pocket, pulling it out and setting Claire down as she answered it.

“Yes… ok how ser… I understand, I’ll be there shortly.” Jill started to sound frantic as she hung up the phone, Claire placing her hand on Jill’s arm.

“Everything ok love?”

“No, Hugo just took a bad turn and they… Claire I need you to go get the girls from school. I need to get over to the hospital now.” Jill said scrambling around her desk and retrieving her keys and jacket.

“You two came in together; Claire, take mine.” Chris said tossing his keys as both women quickly ran out of the office and took off down the hall towards the parking deck.

“The girls, did we get that paper in saying that I can…” Claire asked as cautiously as their pace picked up into a run.

“Yeah yeah, you should be on all of their paperwork. Oh, make sure you introduce yourself as Claire Valentine, they shouldn’t ask any questions or Id check or anything; just thought we’d get less questions if…” Jill trailed off as Claire tried to hide a smile.

Claire made her way down the hospital corridor with Valerie and Edelie in tow, both looking nervous as they approached the room the receptionist had directed them to. Jill was sitting next to Hugo’s bedside, the EKG steadily beeping as they entered. Jill perked up at seeing the girls, Edelie running over and embracing her mother.

“Hey there sweetheart, you doing ok?” Jill said softly as Edelie leaned her head on her shoulder, looking at Hugo as he stirred.

“No.” She sobbed softly into Jills shoulder as Claire felt Valerie start to squeeze her hand hard. She looked down to see her trying to hold back tears as she looked at her grandfather. Claire put her arm around her as Valerie clutched them of Claire’s shirt.

“Is he going now?” Valerie sputtered as Claire held her, Claire looking desperately at Jill for guidance.

“Soon my love, like we talked about a couple weeks ago.” Jill answered Valerie as Hugo lifted his head slightly, looking at Jill with a smile.

“Look at all of you.” He almost whispered as Claire walked Valerie over to the bedside.

“You two been enjoying school?” He asked as Edelie sat up on Jill’s lap, nodding slightly.

“I don’t like homework.” Valerie said sheepishly, still clinging to Claire as Hugo let out a hoarse laugh, Jill placing her hand on his arm as he shook.

“No one ever does my dear. Don’t you two worry about me now ok? Your mother told you everything that’s happening right?” Hugo asked as the girls nodded.

“Look at me here. Nothing hurts, I’m not scared, and I have all of you right here.” He smiled at them, his broad toothy grin infectious with the girls.

“Promise me you’ll be as good for your mother as you were ever for me, got it?” He added as they nodded gently, Valerie brushing tears from her eyes as Jill grabbed a tissue from the end table and gently wiped Edelie’s nose.

“Claire, come here.” Hugo said softly as Claire timidly approached the side of his bed. “A bit close please, this is important.” He added as Claire lent over, her angel wing necklace hanging as she put her ear closer to Hugo.

“I don’t want to be the old codger who makes some kind of wild demand on his deathbed, but I do have something to ask of you. Whatever may happen between you and Jill- heaven forbid- please make sure she is never alone for me. She is still so fragile and has so few people in her life. She’ll take care of the girls just fine I know, but I worry about someone being there for her.” Hugo said, seemingly strained through the last few words. Claire took his hand and looked him in the eye.

“I promise you; she’ll never be alone as long as I’m here.” Claire said as Hugo smiled.

“I knew she’d pick well, when she finally did.” Hugo laughed as he seemed to float in and out of consciousness. His EKG continued its slow pace for another fifteen minutes before fading. Edelie looked at Jill confused as to what it meant as Valerie burst into tears; Claire kneeling and embracing her as her own ran down her cheek.

“Mom…” Was all she could muster as she gripped Claire, a host of nurses running into the room as Jill looked up to address them.

“He has a DNR note, I’m his power of attorney. This was his time.” Jill said softly as they slowed their panicked motion, offering soft, awkward condolences.

A week later, Jill sat at a grand piano in the funeral home where the few friends and family Hugo had left gathered. The remaining members of S.T.A.R.S., Barry’s family, the brother and wife of Hugo’s husband and Jill, Claire and the girls. Jill sighed as she finished playing, a soft mournful tune that Hugo had taught her shortly before the incident that had put her in the hospital. She was wearing a simple black dress, carefully standing from the bench as Claire stepped over with the girls. She was wearing her black leather jacket over a black blouse and slacks; both girls were wearing hastily bought black dresses. Edelie was carrying a small box of tissues, offering them to Jill as she brushed a tear from her eye.

“Thank you, sweetheart.” She said softly taking one from the box as Claire placed her hand on Edelie’s shoulder. Chris stepped over to the group, smiling at the girls as he stepped up.

“You guys doing ok?” He said kneeling as Edelie reached her arms out Chris hugging her as Valerie nodded, holding Claire’s hand.

“Mom has been helping a lot, talking about how things where when you and her lost you parents.” Valerie said softly as Chris looked confused at Jill. Jill stifled a small laugh as she turned away.

“She’s mom, I’m still mommy.” Jill clarified as she pointed from Claire to herself, Chris nodding. He turned suddenly as he heard yelling coming from outside of the building. He stood as he watched Barry step outside to investigate.

“Take it easy, I’ll go see what that’s all about.” He said standing and walking past Moira and Polly by the door.

“They doing ok?” Moira asked softly as Chris passed her.

“Yeah, it’s a lot for the girls but Jill has a pretty good support system now. Especially with you flying back out so soon after leaving for Egypt.” Chris said as Moira shrugged.

“Anything for Claire and her family, besides I had TerraSave pay for its it counted as bereavement.” Moira said with a smile.

“Any idea what that’s all about?” Chris said gesturing towards the door, shouting still audible.

“No clue, Barry said he was going to go sort it out.” She added as Chris stepped outside. Rebecca was across the parking lot standing between an older couple trying to get out of their car and the funeral home. Barry was quickly coming up behind her, his pace quickening as he recognized the couple.

“Oh no, not now of all times.” Chris muttered as he took off to catch up with the Barry.

“The fucking audacity, the callus gall that you would show up and pretend like you EVER gave a shit about him! The way you would talk about him, about her you nasty, bible thumping pieces of shit!” Rebecca continued her fury as the man stepping out of the car helped his wife with silent indignation.

“Rebecca.” Barry said quietly placing his hand on Rebecca’s shoulder as she fumed. “You need to leave Valentine.” He snarled in the most hateful way he had ever uttered the name. Chris stepped up next to Barry, forming a steadfast wall between the funeral home and Jill’s parents.

“So, you think since her only real parent drops dead you can come and guilt her into some attention you fucking scumbags.” Chris hissed as Jill’s father looked at him.

“So much anger, on this of all days. We are just here to pray for Mr. Longs soul, that in his final moments he asked for forgiveness for his sins and for teaching our daughter that hers where anything but. Perhaps we should pray for you as well.” He said as he took his wife’s arm, pointing at Chris. Chris felt his temper soar, reaching inside his jacket and grasping the handle of his weapon as Barry put his hand on his shoulder.

“Not worth it Chris, come down a few notches.” Barry said sternly as Chris removed his hand from his jacket, turning his back on Jill’s parents as he ran both hands through his hair.

“You two however are not taking a step further; Jill had foresight a long time ago that you two may try a stunt like this. She told me about the restraining order she took out on you two when she joined S.T.A.R.S. and I still have one of these.” Barry returned taking out his BSAA badge. “If I detain you and say I had reason to believe you were a threat to one of my comrades while violating a restraining order, not a cop in the world that would contradict me.” Barry said with a smirk as they stopped.

“She should be rethinking herself after watching what happened to Hugo. God is giving her another chance, trying to tell her this is her last!” Jill’s mother implored as Chris looked back at the funeral home; Jill, Claire and the girls stepping out onto the porch.

“Shit.” Chris murmured as he jogged towards them. “Jill! Take the girls back inside, we have this handled.” Chris said frantically as Jill looked confused at him.

“What do you mean…” She trailed off as her expression soured. She stared off at Rebecca and Barry still holding her parents at bay as Claire gripped her arm hard.

“Chris are those…” Claire asked softly as she felt Jill’s arms begin to quake.

“Yes, Claire get the girls back inside, please.” Chris implored as Jill’s expression turned dark, her fists clenched.

“No Chris, I’m not running from them and they get to see me and what I’ve built despite their attempts to tear me down.” Jill growled as she stepped off towards the other side of the parking lot; Claire with her, refusing to let go of her arm.

“Jill, no. This is too much going on right now, think of the girls.” Chris implored as Claire stepped in front of her.

“Please, my love, let us handle this.” Claire added as Jill stopped. She took a long breath and closed her eyes.

“Chris… take the girls inside, I’ve told them about these people. They know what’s going on.” Jill said calmly, Valerie scowling on cue from her mother, Edelie sticking her tongue out in the direction of Jill’s parents.

“Ok, Claire keep things from… you know.” Chris said taking the girl’s hands and leading them back inside. Claire nodded as Jill looked at her with a smile. Jill grabbed Claire by the hips and pulled her in close, holding her lips to Claire’s for a long moment as Claire reflexively wrapped her arms around Jill.

“What was that one for.” Claire giggled as she hung from Jill’s neck.

“Well I just like kissing you but the one thing I like more is kissing you when people like them are present to grumble and groan over it.” Jill laughed mischievously. She grabbed Claire around the waist and strode over as Barry and Rebecca stepped towards her, keeping some distance between her and her parents.

“Jill, I know this brings up a lot of complicated things but…” Barry started as Jill waved him off.

“I appreciate the concern, both of you. This is really sweet and means a lot; I love you both but I’m ok.” Jill reassured gently, squeezing her arm around Claire slightly as she spoke. “You know this one is going to cost you!” Jill called out to her parents over Barry’s shoulder, her parents opening their mouths to speak before Jill cut them off, “Your lawyer will hear from me, I think I’m going to pay for this funeral off of your bullshit this time; Hugo would have loved that.” Jill taunted as Claire covered her mouth, hiding her grin.

“One more thing before I have Barry toss your sorry asses out of my life again; I heard about the motion you put into a family court in Mississippi about taking the girls from my custody. One; the lawyer who thought that was even remotely possible is damn fool and two; if you ever try to take my girls away from me again, I will kill both of you.” Jill yelled before turning away. She walked back about a hundred feet towards the funeral home as Barry coerced Jill’s parents back into their car.

Claire felt Jills arms begin to shake again as her heart rate flew through the roof. She swiftly embraced Claire, burying her face in Claire’s shoulder as a sob broke from her throat. Claire ran her hand over Jill’s back as the stress of the confrontation landed on Jill.

“Thank you.” Jill murmured as Claire kissed her head. “I never would have been able to stand like that without you.” She stammered as Claire ran her hand through Jill’s hair.

“You’ll never have to stand without me.” Claire whispered into her ear as Jill’s parents slowly crawled by in their car. Claire glared at them over Jill’s shoulder as they slowed. She swept the side of her jacket back to reveal the handgun she kept on her belt, her eyes warning its imminent use as Jill’s parents continued out of the parking lot and away from the funeral home.

Chapter Text

“Christ this is unreal.” Claire said watching the news roll over the TV on the wall of Jill’s office. The reporter for CNN stood with a backdrop of the Venezuelan Capitol, Caracas, in utter chaos.

“Since the outbreak that began almost eight months ago, the infection has spread to the point where a district of diplomatic missions where threatened by the advance. The virus, believed to be a strain of the family as that which led to the outbreak in Raccoon City, has been out of control since it first breached containment from a university lab. The United States and BSAA have offered assistance to help contain the threat but the Venezuelan leader, Nicolas Maduro, has refused all such offers calling them “A thinly veiled attempt by western imperialists and their proxies to further diminish the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people.”. This of course comes amidst the backdrop of US sanctions and increasing skepticism of the BSAA and its influences in the far reaches of the world.” The reported delivered as they paced on the outside of the cordoned off districts in Caracas.

“I really don’t have care for politics anymore.” Jill muttered as she read through the latest update they had received from Veronica. Helena and Leon had pinged a weapon being transported by one of the Oligarchs through Tricell. She had just begun to lose sight of Quiroga when the package they where tracking showed up in a remote compound outside of the Paita District in Northern Peru. They had lost track of it as it was shipped further inland but the location of Quiroga’s headquarters and the only trusted port for Tricell’s project Moros had to be one in the same.

“The Union of South American Nations has demanded that the US military refrain from any operations on the continent as they act as a mediator between the BSAA and the Venezuelan authorities. The United States has responded with a statement reading ‘the United States will always pursue diplomatic solutions to sensitive issues, but never at the cost of its citizens’ safety’ there has been speculation that… hold on.” The reporter paused as she held her hand to her ear, Jill looking up from her computer as Claire sat up in her seat.

“We have just received reports that the US Navy has moved to evacuate all diplomatic personnel from their mission in Caracas despite the exclusion zone and warnings from the Venezuelan authorities.” The reporter delivered hurriedly making their way towards an open square as the cameraman followed her. At the new vantage point several US helicopters could be seen in the middle distance, hovering over a central point in the fenced off infection zone.

“It appears that they have decided to ignore the government’s warnings and pull out the embassy staff without warning.” The reporter continued as a Venezuelan police helicopter flew overhead heading towards the flight of US military aircraft.

“Damn, that looks like a mess waiting to happen.” Jill groaned as she watched the reporter stare off at the confrontation. A thunder rolled through the tv’s speakers as the Venezuelan helicopter erupted into flames and fell to the ground, the soaring sound of a fighter following as Claire jumped in her chair.

“Did they really just…” Claire muttered as she watched the US flight of aircraft take off towards the coast as the reporter looked dumbfounded. The groaning note of an air raid siren began to ring in the distance as the headline changed, “US Military appears to shoot down Venezuelan helicopter over Caracas.”

“I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised after Philadelphia.” Jill said quietly as her phone began to buzz on her desk. “Valentine.”

“You been keeping an eye on the news?” Veronica’s voice came through as Jill put the phone on speaker and set it on her desk.

“Just watched the navy shoot down a Venezuelan helicopter if that’s what you mean; Claire is in my office with me by the way.” Jill returned as Claire mouthed “Veronica?”; Jill nodding in return.

“Venezuelan air defenses just shot down a USN F18 as it left their airspace. Whole region is going crazy and your boss’ talks with the South American Union just fell to pieces.” Veronica said as Jill sighed, putting her hands over her eyes as Claire adjusted her seat to face Jill.

“And we just put something together on the mark you warned me about. Helena’s lead from Romania is heading through an arms dealer the BSAA has been tracking in Peru.” Jill returned as Claire furrowed her brow.

“How the hell are we supposed to go after him with this mess?” Claire spoke up, flourishing inquisitively as Jill covered her mouth and stared off in thought.

“Already have an idea for that actually, we’ve cooperated before so I’m going to offer to run insertion for any BSAA ops in Southern Union states. Thankfully we’ve already heard from the Brazilian government, they want to approve any further BSAA action but aren’t throwing you all out like some of the gulf states.” Veronica added as Claire let out a sigh of relief.

“Well at least we can still go after Quiroga, hopefully find a concrete link on what his relationship to Tricell is and who he’s ultimately working for. We should bring this to Agnette as soon as possible.” Claire said as Jill smirked, looking up from her desktop.

“Just let her know we have actionable intel on Quiroga, she sent a pretty straightforward reply. She wants me and Chris packing. Odd she didn’t say anything about you.” Jill said squinting at the screen.

“Sounds good on our end. I’ll likely see you soon, we’ve already sent the Indemnance to get into position. Good luck.” Veronica said as she hung up, Claire looking at Jill with a slight expression of embarrassment.

“I ugh… approached Roland shortly after Hugo died and asked if I could be held in reserve for anything non-emergency.” Claire admitted as Jill looked at her with a gentle scolding expression.

“Claire, we were going to sort it out when the time came.” Jill said a little exasperated as Claire nodded.

“I know, I know I just didn’t want you worrying about the girls and someone needs to look after them and I can do that while you’re on a mission until we figure something out a little more permanent.” Claire stammered, beginning to show signs of getting upset.

“You shouldn’t be the one making career sacrifices for my kids Claire, you aren’t even at the year mark yet.” Jill said as she stood and paced behind her desk. Claire looked away for a moment as Jill placed her hands on her hips and let a out a long breath, looking at Claire as she still avoided Jill’s gaze. A sharp sob broke the silence as Claire stifled it, Jill quickly stepping around the desk and kneeling in front of Claire.

“Hey… I’m sorry if I came off angry, I’m not mad at you.” Jill soothed as she put her hands-on Claire’s shoulders as she looked at Jill, tears streaming down her face.

“Its not that Jill, I’m just… I am terrified of going back out in the field.” She began as Jill looked into her eyes. “Not for myself, its just… I had a squad wiped in Philadelphia and then the E-type and… what if I’m not cut out for this? I keep winding up the liability and people die because of it.” Claire sputtered fighting her anguish as she tried to speak. Jill put her hands under Claire’s arms and lifted her into a tight embrace as she stood, Claire desperately clutching at her shirt as she buried her head in Jill’s shoulder.

“Its ok and you have never been a liability my love. I know how you feel. After the mansion, after they brought me back.” Jill said as Claire shook in her grasp. “I’m not a liability, I know this even when I struggle to see that; you have helped me see that my love.” Jill continued as Claire gripped her tighter. “We’ll need you before this fight is over but its ok to sit this one out, you aren’t letting anyone down. The girls would be thrilled to have you around; I hate that you’re the cool parent.” Jill added as Claire laughed against her chest, looking up at her with a smile. Jill stroked Claire’s hair gently as she regained her composure.

“Its not my fault, I was just born that way.” Claire giggled as Jill shook her head, smiling.

“You ok my love?” Jill asked as Claire drew a long breath. She smiled up at her again.

“Mm… don’t think so, think I need you to hold me a bit longer.” Claire laughed as Jill kissed her forehead.

 

Three Little Bird special forces helicopters and one Umbrella marked Black Hawke sat on the deck of the Indemnance, rotors spinning. Jill fastened her helmet under her chin as she ran the bolt on her SCAR-L, letting it hang on safe from her sling under her arm. She pulled her goggles over her eyes as she stepped in front of the combination Umbrella-BSAA strike team.

“Listen up! Latest surveillance shows they are expecting company soon, so this is going to be fast and loud. Charlie team will be inserted by Delta one through three at the entrance to the compound and Redfield will take strike team Alpha to the center of the compound via Bravo flight and extract the prisoner as soon as Charlie team secures him. If shit hits the fan Echo team stands ready to deploy and we have V-Tol strike capabilities from the Indemnance if necessary. As always, expect biological weapons to be deployed at any moment, if you suspect you have been exposed to any potential bio organic weapon, administer your spectrum vac immediately and report the incident directly to command. Your lives are far more valuable then the meds so do not hesitate to use them.” Jill shouted as the BSAA and Umbrella soldiers helped secure each other’s gear.

“Vermillion to Overlord we are boarding now.” Jill said holding her hand to her earpiece, motioning to the strike force.

“Alright mount up! Dust off in two!” Chris bellowed as he gave Jill a thumbs up as he ran over to the Black Hawke.

“Just like old times, Eh Jill?” Parker said patting Jill’s shoulder as he stood next to her.

“Hopefully a little smoother than old times?” Jill laughed as she cocked her head towards the lead Little Bird. “Ever deploy on an AH-6 before?” She asked with a smile.

“Can’t say that I have.” Parker said as they started towards the bird.

“Oh, then you’re in for a treat, the ride is a rush.” Jill said with a laugh, taking her on the outer skid of the lead helicopter.

“Delta Flight check in.” The Indemnance mission controller “Overlord” called over the radio as the teams mounted the helicopters.

“Delta one ready to deploy.”

“Delta two standing by.”

“Delta three ready for takeoff.

“Acknowledged, Bravo one check in.”

“Bravo one loaded and ready to go, Overlord.”

“Attention all players, mission greenlight, start your clocks.” Overlord called out as Jill checked the watch on her wrist, setting her mission clock with a simple brush over the touch screen. The four helicopters roared as they took off from the deck of the Umbrella warship, turning east as they formed a diamond on the Black Hawk.

The flight descended to a few hundred feet as they flew over the coast, sands of eastern Piata rolling in sharp dunes below them.

“Two miles to target.” The lead pilot called out as the compound came into view over a rocky ridge. Jill raised a pair of binoculars to her eyes as she viewed the front gate of the compound, the structures resembling a large logistics depot.

“Overlord this is Vermillion, I have personnel moving to the entrance of the compound. Looks like they are trying to set up heavy weapons.” Jill called in as she saw figures running along the walls to the compound and scrambling within.

“Acknowledged Vermillion, Delta Flight you are clear to engage hostile personnel.”

“Ground Commander overrule, belay that order Delta Flight. Only engage targets that engage us.” Jill called back quickly as they approached the base.

“Understood Vermillion, attention all players, ROE defensive engagements only.” Overlord responded as Jill watched the front gate approach. Several figures where stood watching the task force come in fast, most where holding their hands up. One waved a white t-shirt, all of their weapons on the ground as the three Little Birds set down in a line in the courtyard, Jill and Charlie team dismounting and the helicopters immediately taking off again.

“Good call Jill.” Parker quipped over the radio as the team began to move quickly towards the main structure of the compound; people running for cover as the Black Hawke hovered over them.

“Bravo one taking an overhead position, you look clear to the main structure Charlie team.” Jill heard over the radio as she kept her rifle shouldered, sweeping it around corners and checking the open loading zones for any threats. They reached a two-story building at the far end of the compound without incident as Charlie team stacked up on the front door. Jill knelt, unslinging her backpack and removing a rolled breaching charge. She set it against the door and armed it.

“Ok, they have been playing nice for now, better believe they’re all waiting for us in there. I want hand grenades the second I blow the door and then keep advancing. Stick close to me, Quiroga should be in a panic room of sorts in the basement.” Jill said as Parker and several other soldiers gripped grenades. Jill flicked off the safety to her detonator and clicked the trigger. The charge exploded, violently throwing the doors open as several grenades where thrown in after. The tattoo of the explosives shook the structure as Parker looked at Jill with surprise at the abnormally loud explosion.

“Sounds like they had the lobby rigged, move careful, go!” Jill yelled as she stepped into the hazy building, papers and dust still swirling around them. The rattle of gunfire greeted her immediately, Jill moving forward along the right wall as she saw several of Quiroga’s men standing behind desks near the stairwell. Charlie team returned fire as the first of the enemy gunman fell, a round striking his head. It split, his bones cracking as an arthropod like creature rose from his neck. Jill took aim and fired several shots, tearing through the parasite, the body falling limp.

“Plagas!” She shouted as another gunman made his way down the stairs with a light machine gun, sweeping the lobby as Jill fired at him. She struck him once in the shoulder and again in the chest as she neared the stair well. The gunman took aim at her and swept another spread of fire, catching Jill in the chest as she was thrown to the ground. He was quickly dispatched by a flurry of gunfire as Parker ran over to Jill.

“Medic! Overlord Vermillion is down.” Parker called in as he helped up Jill as she gasped for air. She breathlessly patted her vest and gave Parker a thumbs up as the rest of the team continued down the stairs, the gunfire becoming distant. Parker looked over Jill as she took several deep breaths before she could speak.

“Took a few right to the chest, armor stopped ‘em but that hurt like hell.” Jill sputtered as Parker helped her up.

“Let’s get Delta down here to send you back.” Parker said as Jill withdrew, checking her rifle as she shook her head.

“No, we almost got him, I’m fine. Vermillion to Overlord, had some unwanted attention but my armor held, pressing on.” Jill called in as she and Parker followed the tail end of Charlie team down to the basement. There was isolated shouting as the strike team cleared each room, some occasional gunfire as they found more hostiles. The team rounded the corner to find a set of large steel doors, Jill catching up as they stacked up for another breach.

“Just the charge this time, be careful all.” Jill rasped as she set the charge and stood back at the end of the stack. She pulled the detonator as the doors where thrown open, the team filing into a office like space with a large desk in its center. The room was abandoned except for one man slumped over at the desk in the center of the room.

“Quiroga!” Jill hissed, running over to him with Parker as the team investigated the rest of the room.

“Too late pigs, now our little toy is going to make short work of you.” He groaned, brow sweaty and face red and mottled. Parker grabbed a small test tube from the desk in front of him and examined the label.

“Not viral, cyanide.” Parker groused.

“Ma’am! Servers have been destroyed and all desktops have been wiped!” One of the team members called out as they rifled through the room for anything useful.

“Bastard’s not dead yet, medic!” Jill called as the team medic ran over, throwing his kit onto the desk.

“I’ll start him on the amyl nitrite you give him the sodium nitrate injection and um…” Jill snapped her fingers as she tried to remember as the medic handed her a breathing mask and small gas cannister. Jill swiftly fitted it over Quiroga, the device hissing as she opened the valve.

“The sodium thiosulfate ma’am?” The medic offered as he inserted the first IV into Quiroga’s limp arm.

“Exactly, give him the hydro whatever pill too just to be safe. Vermillion to Overlord, we have Quiroga and that’s all we’re getting from this place. They burned and wiped all intel before we arrived. We need medivac for the target, they are suffering from hydrogen cyanide poisoning but he’s still breathing.” Jill called in.

“Acknowledged Vermillion, Alpha is landing now. On the way with a stretcher for extraction.” Overlord returned as Jill breathed a sight of relief. After a few minutes Chris and the rest of Alpha team ran in with a stretcher for Quiroga, the medics stabilizing and cuffing him to the stretcher as both teams made their way out.

“Jeez that’s a nasty one, you ok?” Chris said gesturing at the blackened holes in Jill’s plate carrier.

“Yeah, just going to be really bruised when I take this thing off.” Jill tried to brush off.

“This is Delta 2; I have eyes on some kind of disturbance at the northwest warehouse in the compound. Can anyone confirm?” The voice of one of the pilots came across the radio as the tactical teams reached the stair well.

“Delta 3 confirming, bioweapon making its way out of the structure. Bravo one dust off!” the radio chatter continued as the strike team made it out of the building as the Black Hawk took off. A monstrous creature was barreling towards them the team spread out. It had the torso of a human with the body of a reptilian-insect hybrid.

“What the fuck is that thing!” Parker yelled as he raised his weapon and began firing as the creature let out a blood-curdling roar.

“Looks Plaga based, Charlie strafe left, Alpha right! Focus fire on its joints and protect Quiroga!” Jill shouted as the team fanned out, the soldiers taking careful shots at the creature as it swiped at them.

“Delta flight we could use a hand here!” Jill shouted as she dropped to one knee and emptied her magazine into the creature’s head. It groaned a deep bellowing note as a massive Plaga sprouted from its back and swung its body at Jill. She dove but the monster still caught her, throwing her into a pile of wooden crates stacked near one of the warehouses. Jill groaned as the BOW began to approach her, Jill suddenly showered with spent cartridges as one of the Little Birds fired its guns into the beast. It recoiled and screamed running off in the opposite direction as a flurry of explosions tore at the ground around it. The weapon wailed as the other two members of Delta flight peppered it with seventy-millimeter rockets; the weapon torn to pieces as Chris ran over to Jill.

“Rough break.” He smiled as he helped her up, Jill wincing as she stood, Bravo one setting back down in the courtyard as Quiroga was brought on board. The helicopter took off quickly, heading back to the Indemnance as Delta flight began to set down.

“Yeah, god I’m just happy this was a quick op.” Jill said as she sat on the skid seat of Delta two next to Chris.

Jill cautiously opened the door to the stateroom Umbrella had kept for her; the same one she had stayed in when last aboard the ship. She paced around the perimeter of the cabin, checking the paintings on the wall, the end tables, the kitchen cabinets. She felt her heart race as she checked the door frame, unable to shake the dread feeling she wasn’t safe. She shakily picked up her phone and leant against the counter as it rang.

“Mommy!” Jill broke into a smile as she heard Valerie’s voice answer the phone.

“Hey baby, how was your day?” Jill answered a little shakily, a tear breaking over her cheek.

“Good, Mom got us pizza for dinner cause she blew up the oven.” Valerie said with a sheepish giggle as Jill heard Claire “Lies!”.

“Well is she able to talk? I guess we need a new one.” Jill laughed as she heard the phone being passed.

“First off, I love you and hope you’re doing well; second off your eldest is an embellisher. I accidently set the oven to five fifty instead of three fifty and by the time I realized there was smoke, and I just decided pizza was fine for tonight.” Claire stammered as Jill shook her head with a smile.

“Sounds about right, the girls doing ok?” Jill asked, wiping the errant tear from her cheek.

“Yeah, already got homework done, we were going to watch a movie before bed. How’d the Quiroga raid go? All I heard on my end is that we got him.” Claire asked.

“As well as it could have, I guess. Tried to off himself with cyanide but we got to him fast enough. He folded after about two hours of interrogation. Gave us the dirt on who has most recently employed him, company called PharmatSevastopol. They where the Ukrainian subsidiary of a German chemical company until being quietly sold to Valenta Pharm. They then moved their headquarters to Argentina; the owner of that German firm still sits on the board of directors so this could be our first solid connection.” Jill delivered firmly, “They just received a large shipment of medical equipment from the Romanian Port Navodari. Quiroga’s smugglers made off with about a quarter of that shipment, he says they brought it to a drop sight in Cordillera Azul national park and that was the last they dealt with them.”

“So, our next move will be that headquarters then?” Claire posed as Jill nodded to herself.

“Yeah, Veronica and Roland are working closely together on that. They want to involve some regional partners on this, and we have to plan carefully. They’re likely to have private security as well as BOW’s and we don’t want to start an outbreak in the name of preventing them.” Jill said letting out a withering sigh, her ribs aching as she did. “They want me to move to the Sau Paulo BSAA base and assist until the op is run so I’m probably going to be gone for another month or so.” Jill said softly as she heard Claire exhale.

“You doing ok babe? You sound… stressed.” Claire returned after a moment; Jill unable to hold back tears.

“Just an intense op love, still a little high strung. Hearing your voice helps though.” Jill struggled to keep her voice steady.

“I worry more when you don’t tell me what’s going on love.” Claire returned as Jill felt her composure deteriorate further.

“I just had a close call that’s sticking with me a bit. I don’t know why, its certainly not my first.” Jill whispered in labored breath. “I took three rounds to my chest plate and… and all I could think about is what happened to Val.” Jill stammered.

“I’m sorry I’m not there my love.” Claire offered, her voice cracking slightly as Jill shook her head.

“It’s not your fault, the girls need someone there and you’re doing a great job at that.” I’ll be ok, maybe we can have you bring them down one weekend while we plan this thing.” Jill said softly, rubbing her eyes.

“Ok, you know you can call me whenever you need me, no matter what.” Claire returned as Jill stood, pacing around the kitchenette.

“Yeah, I know. I think I should probably try to get some sleep though, heal up as we make our way through Panama.” Jill said as she heard a soft knock at her door.

“Ok, you rest up. I love you.” Claire said as Jill smiled.

“I love you too, my angel.” Jill mewed, hanging up the phone as she stepped over to the door. She opened it to see Veronica in an Umbrella field uniform.

“Good evening agent Valentine, forgive the intrusion.” She said as Jill rested her hand on the door frame.

“You’re fine, what can I do for you.” Jill said quietly as Veronica wrung her wrists.

“I’m sorry if this is a bit out of line, but I wanted to make sure you where doing ok. I know there are a lot of things going on for you personally as well as operating for two missions at once. The stress is enough on people like me and I’m not maintaining a relationship or trying to raise children.” Veronica said cautiously.

“No, I uh… appreciate the concern, really. I’m, I’m always high strung after running ops like this. You get your blood up so high so fast and I’ve been doing this for so long my body is more used to that what I guess is considered normal.” Jill lamented as Veronica nodded.

“Your ribs doing better? I thought medical said you had several fractures.” Veronica asked.

“Yeah, one of the only positives of being tested on for three years and not dying because of it, whatever they infected me with left me with some pretty strong regenerative abilities. Nothing crazy but as soon as the docs made sure I wasn’t bleeding internally, the fractured began to close. I should be fully back in commission in a few days.” Jill said as Veronica nodded.

“I wanted to make an offer to you, Jill.” Veronica started after a pause. “We owe you so much, even just in that your endorsement of our secret coalition is the lynch pin of our operation. We betrayed your trust and have wanted to take every opportunity to earn it back.” She continued as Jill waved her hand dismissively.

“Keeping up this mission is enough Veronica really.” Jill added.

“I wanted to offer to transport Claire Redfield and your family to the BSAA headquarters in Sao Paulo for the duration of the operation. They would have a dedicated security team assigned only to them in some of the member housing on the base.” Veronica smiled as Jill seemed to perk up.

“I don’t know, US flights have been mostly diverted from the region after that mess in Venezuela.” Jill said cautiously.

“We had no issue when transporting Quiroga across the continent to HQ. I can arrange a fighter escort for them, to assuage any concerns you may have.” Veronica offered as Jill laughed.

‘You guys have fighters?”

“F35B lightnings to be specific.” Veronica returned with a hint of pride.

“Guess knowing the shadier parts of the market doesn’t stop when you start playing for the good guys huh?” Jill quipped as Veronica laughed.

“Hardly, it was a special government contract we where able to sneak into. Despite that I can ensure their safety despite regional volatility.” Veronica returned as Jill nodded.

“I’ll talk to them, when’s the soonest they could come?” Jill asked.

“Two days and I could have one of our planes ready to bring them here.”

Chapter Text

Leon breathed a sigh of relief as he stepped out of the central terminal of Damascus international airport. He slung his bag over his shoulder as Helena took up next to him as they made their way to their rental car at the far end of the lot.

“God, I hate all the transfers we have to do to hide our trail.” Leon grunted as he started to sweat under the Syrian sun.

“Hmm, I’m just happy I’ve had time off my feet.” Helena laughed, carefully stepping on her healing leg.

“Fair. We’re meeting Ada at her current set up right?” Leon asked as Helena shook her head.

“Backup safe house first. She wants assurance we aren’t being tailed.” Helena responded as Leon furrowed his brow.

“She still doesn’t have faith in us?” He groused as Helena rolled her eyes.

“Not everything she does is meant to slight you Leon. I think she’s playing things safe because of Evangeline. Remember when all those people she asked for help showed up to kill her not too long ago?” Helena posed in a sardonic tone.

“That doesn’t mean… she never lets things linger like this.” Leon started to shout before adjusting his tone. Helena put her hand on his shoulder as they stopped in front of his car.

“Give her time, we hit something really close to home with what happened. We need to acknowledge that.” Helena said offering Leon a slight smile.

“I know… I just went from thinking Ada was finally coming around, to losing her back to what feels like nothing and…” Leon trailed off as he looked away for a moment. “I feel like we’re drifting, and I hate that more than when I thought she had betrayed us.” He finished, letting out a long sigh as Helena opened the door.

“Try to keep the brooding to a minimum when we see her ok? I’m sure after all you two have been through together she’ll want to talk as well.” Helena said as she started the car.

 

“Come on pickup.” Ashley said under her breath as the phone rang.

“How the fuck did you get my desk phone Graham?” A shrill, angry voice answered as Ashley winced.

“Look, I’m sorry but I needed to check in with TerraSave cause I think something big is about to happen in Syria. I’m trying to find out more but I’m kinda on my own at the moment.” Ashley said quietly as she heard tapping on the other end.

“If you needed to check in so your little princess cavalcade can get lodging and such then go over to international, this is my Arabian Peninsula response and strategy phone which you should never call about something as simple as personnel check ins.”

“Please! Moira! Don’t transfer me over there, I’m not here in any… official capacity.” Ashley said frantically as Moira huffed on the other end.

“And why the hell should I keep your secrets just cause the secret service charge flew the coop? Your security is already enough of a problem for every mission you show up to for your Instagram.” Moira hissed as Ashley felt herself getting frustrated.

“I ditched my security in Romania Moira. I’m serious though, as soon as I have more, we should coordinate to have a response read, a lot of people could be at risk.” Ashley groaned as she heard Moira laugh.

“So, the princess jumped from the tower and wants to make sure we have a prince to send when she gets in real trouble. I won’t let you die out there Graham but I’m not playing ball. Consider your transfer notation a tremendous gift. Don’t call me again.” Moira finished hanging up the phone as Ashley let out a gruff sigh.

“Ugh, stop it. If you call me a princess again… if you diminish what I’ve done for TerraSave like that… damn it!” Ashley hissed after rehearsing comebacks to herself before opening up her tracking app, the ping steadily moving deeper into the heart of Damascus.

 

“This one up here.” Leon pointed at a side street off of one of the main streets of the Al-Amin borough. They pulled up to an old office building sandwiched between a textile plant and a self-storage building. They got out and walked up to the back door, Helena punching in the code Ada had sent them. They stepped into an empty office floor, taking the staircase up three flights. They entered a different code to access the floor and found themselves in a large flat that looked like it could support several people at once.

“How the hell is her secondary safehouse better than most of our primaries?” Leon said in surprise as Helena walked past him.

“Because she’s Ada Wong?” She posed teasingly as Leon shook his head.

“Ada?” He called out as they made their way through the flat, looking in all the rooms before meeting back up in the massive living room. Leon opened his back pulling his laptop out as Helena folded her arms across her chest.

“I guess she’ll be meeting us?” She offered as Leon shrugged.

“She didn’t give us a specific time, did she?” He said as he logged in, checking for any contact from Ada.

“Guess we stay put for now…” Helena trailed off as there was an audible thump from the stair well beyond the door, a muffled yelp followed by the quick shuffling of feet. Leon drew his pistol, Helena’s weapon already trained on the door. The electronic lock clicked, and the door swung open. Ada was holding an MP5K at Leon and Helena as she held a hooded figure over her shoulder; their wrists and ankles held fast by zip ties.

“Good, I was starting to think something had happened to you two.” Ada smirked as she tossed her prisoner to the ground; a sharp yelp fading into mewling sobs as they hit the floor. “Come on Eva, its safe.” Ada said over her shoulder as Evangeline stepped into view, staying close to Ada as she closed the door behind them.

“You picked up a tail.” Ada hissed, pointing at Leon as she strode over to his bag. She rifled through it for a moment before finding a small tracker, tossing it to the ground and crushing it underfoot.

“That’s fucking amateur Leon. Normally its just cute, but this is serious now. You screw up and it puts me and Eva at risk.” Ada tossed the barb as Leon stared at the destroyed tracker in disbelief. He looked over at the squirming figure on the floor and quickly stepped over.

“It couldn’t be.” He muttered to himself as he pulled the black hood off of Ashley. Her eyes went wide upon seeing Leon; shaking her head in an apologetic manner, her mouth taped shut.

“You didn’t have to be so rough with her, you didn’t recognize her.” Leon said somewhat angrily as Ada rolled her eyes.

“She needed a good scare.” Ada smirked as Leon cut Ashley loose, Ashley peeling the tape from her face as she rubbed the bright red lines on her wrists.

“Fuck, Leon I am so sorry I didn’t mean for…”

“For what, you followed us here, put a tracking device in my bag? Was that even a secure device or could anyone with some computer knowledge access it?” Leon scolded as Ashley went red, avoiding eye contact.

“I just thought you might need help is all, I’m not useless!” She started sheepishly before shouting.

“God, Leon we’ve already run this nonsense before. How the hell are we supposed to lay low and keep playing the market when I now have to look after two little girls and you apparently.” Ada shouted as Leon looked back at her with surprise.

“The way you already have? Ashley can stay put here and fend for herself, she’s an adult. Helena and I are here to make things go smoother for you.” Leon tossed back as Ada folded her arms across her chest and raised an eyebrow.

“Helena maybe, but right now you have just made my task infinitely more difficult by just showing up. Not to mention the elephant in the room in how both of you make Eva exceedingly uncomfortable still. Her wellbeing is much higher on my list of priorities than your pride or usefulness to me.” Ada spat as Leon grew angry.

“Back to just keeping the useful things in your life then huh? Just throw things to the side when you’re done?” Leon griped as a sudden crash came from the far side of the room. Two cylinders flew through the windows facing the street and began spewing gray smoke as Ada swiftly moved to the wall, shielding Evangeline as she watched the window. Helena raised her pistol, training it on the door as Leon joined her. Ashley cowered behind the couch as the door was breached and several armed figured came crashing through the windows.

Ada steadied her arm and fired a burst between both windows as several soldiers made their way through the front door. Leon and Helena both fired, dropping the first wave as a second began a controlled return fire as the slowly moved into the flat. Leon ran over to one of the corpses by the window, grabbing their Bizon submachine gun. Ada lifted Evangeline and quickly retreated further into the flat as Helena and Leon kept up steady fire. Ada set Evangeline down in one of the rooms, returning to Leon and Helena as the third wave made their way into the flat.

“So, this one is your tail then?” Leon shouted over the gunfire as two remaining soldiers kept up fire from outside the flat’s entrance.

“Not the fucking time Leon!” Both Helena and Ada shouted at him as Ada stepped out into the living room, dropping the remaining two gunmen with a short burst. She took a quick breath as she swept her weapon over the corpses as Leon and Helena stepped into the smoky living room.

“Glad we decided on this one first.” Ada started before tearing off towards the room she had left Evangeline in, a loud crash followed by a scream. Leon ran after her to see two gunmen seize Evangeline as they came through the window. The one who had grabbed her was instantly set upon by Ada, her strike throwing him up against the wall. Ada grabbed and tossed Evangeline to Leon in a fluid movement; Leon awkwardly dropping his weapon as he caught her. Ada turned to the gunman closest to the window, the figure attempting to escape as Ada dragged him back in. She hit him hard in the throat before sweeping his legs, grabbing the line he had inserted with and wrapping it several times around his neck. His comrade set upon Ada, drawing his combat knife as Ada rolled, crouched and lunging at him as he slashed at her. Ada grabbed his arm, spinning, twisting and snapping it over her shoulder. She grabbed the knife from his grip as he yells, dragging it along the vein in his arm as she released it.

Ada refused to yield, fire in her eyes as she plunged the blade into the gunman’s chest, stepping on the handle and springing off it as the blade cut to his stomach. She landed a short backflip as the remaining gunman stood, fumbling for his side arm as Ada approached him. He drew his weapon as Ada closed on him, griping the handgun and wrenching it from his grasp, spinning and striking him in the jaw with the butt, carrying her momentum and planting her foot on his chest. He staggered back and rolled over the edge of the window; the line Ada had wrapped around his neck yanking tight as he fell. Ada leaned out of the building, firing the handgun meant for her once into the head of the hanging gunmen before turning back to a still stunned Leon. She walked over to him, smirking as he stared with an open mouth.

“You act like you’ve never seen that before; no one touches what’s mine.” Ada said playfully mussing Evangeline’s hair as she smiled sheepishly at her.

“Any clue who these guys are?” Leon said setting Evangeline down as he and Ada joined Helena in the living room.

“FSB, Russian intelligence service.” Helena said with a frown. “Of all of us, I think I would know.” She added, flipping one of the corpses over to reveal the simple insignia on his vest.

“They’re bold enough to wear uniforms in Syrian?” Leon said as gunfire split the quiet of the living room. Helena instinctively covered her face, diving for cover as the surviving member of the FSB strike team turned his fire towards Ada. She threw Evangeline to the ground as Leon jumped in front of her, the line of fire running from his abdomen to his chest as he fell to the ground. There was a shriek as the gunfire stopped, Helena looking up to see Ashley holding a combat knife she had just plunged into the gunman’s throat, her expression utterly stunned as blood ran thick over her hands.

“Come on Leon, you don’t get to keep pulling this shit on me when I’m walking away.” Ada tried to keep up her idiom as she lifted Leon onto the coffee table, tearing open his shirt as she failed to keep tears running down her cheek; blood flowing rapidly from a dozen bullet wounds in his torso.

“No, no, no.” Ada muttered as Leon was rapidly going white, staring at her, unable to speak. Helena ran over to Ashley, pulling her away from the body of the FSB agent she had just killed as Ada tried to apply pressure to Leon’s wounds.

“Ada, please, I’m sorry about…”

“No, stop it Leon, we’re not doing last words because you not dying.” Ada cut him off as she looked over at Evangeline. “Eva dear!” She called desperately. “I need you to do for Leon what you did for me when I was hurt ok.” Ada stammered as Evangeline ran over to her.

“Ok, I’ll try. Are you sure that…”

“Please Eva! Please just do it.” Ada sobbed as Evangeline nodded, placing her hands on Leon’s wounds, black tendrils of fluid flowing under his skin as Ada gasped, watching the infection spread as Leon’s flesh began to run in odd patterns. His muscle tissue pushed the flattened rounds out of his chest, the metal rolling off his body with the last of the bleeding. His chest rose and fell gently as Evangeline focused, opening her eyes after a moment.

“He’s going to be ok but… his insides are really hurt. It will take a little longer to fix them.” Evangeline said as Ada nodded.

“Will you know when they are?” Ada asked as Evangeline nodded softly. Helena was sitting on the couch holding a still shaking Ashley, stroking her hair as she starred off into nothing.

“Helena, help me with these bodies, there’s an incinerator in the basement.” Ada said softly as Helena nodded. Two hours later Ada paced close to Leon as Ashley sat quietly on the couch; Helena glancing out of the broken windows.

“I’m shocked they haven’t sent a follow up team yet; I know we can’t move Leon like this but…” Helena mused as Ada looked towards her.

“Maybe they aren’t operating officially. Would mean I have the Oligarch’s attention if he’s coming after Eva like this.” Ada added as she looked back at Ashley.

“First time you ever take a life?” Ada said as Ashley slowly looked up at her, nodding as she stared at Leon.

“Hmm. You did well, don’t beat yourself up over your reaction to it. We all have different ones.” Ada offered as Ashley looked up at her.

“Thanks… I’m sorry this is my fault.” She stammered looking at Leon, blood still covering his chest as it slowly rose and fell.

“It isn’t actually. Trust me if you where to blame, I would blame you.” Ada said sharply as Evangeline tugged at the hem of her dress.

“He should be fine if you want to… clean him.” Evangeline said softly as Ada knelt and pulled the girl into a tight embrace.

“Thank you so much my brave girl. You did so well, and I couldn’t be prouder.” Ada beamed as Evangeline smiled. Ada stood and walked over to her briefcase left on the counter, setting it down and opening it. She removed an injector and loaded a dose of E-cure into it, removing the needle cover as she approached Leon. She inserted the needle into his chest as the solution was pushed into his heart, rapidly circulating as the mutamycene infection was purged.

Leon groaned as he came to, placing his hand over the already scarred wounds as Ada took a sharp, relieved breath. Leon turned to look at her and smiled.

“Something witty about playing with my heart, I’m still a bit out of it for good jokes.” He groaned as Ada let out a short laugh. She shook her head, staring at him for a moment. She swiftly placed her hand on his cheek and kissed him.

“Don’t you ever fucking do that to me again.” She whispered in his ear as she withdrew. “And don’t think getting shot makes up for dragging poor Ashley over here into things.” Ada added, returning to her classic demeanor as Leon shook his head with a smile.

“A whole ten seconds of the real Ada, wow!” He laughed as he sat up slowly with Helena’s help. “Other than me, everyone ok?” He asked as Ashley looked up at him with tears in her eyes.

“I’m so sorry Leon, for all of this. They must have followed me here or hacked the tile or something.” She stammered as Leon waved dismissively.

“If secret service or CIA had found us, I’d blame you, but I doubt FSB even knew you where here. Anyway, we should probably get moving to the primary safehouse before more of them show.” Leon said as Helena helped him stand.

Helena packed up their bags as Ada pulled Ashley aside. Leon carefully tried to walk, testing how well he had healed as he noticed Evangeline watching him.

“Eva…” He said softly as the girl looked up at him. “Thank you, I’m sorry if I ever made you feel unsafe.” He said gently, Ada looking over her shoulder as she heard him speak.

 

Chapter Text

Claire adjusted the strap of her backpack on her shoulder as She held Edelie’s hand, Valerie wheeling a large suitcase behind her. They made their way towards the private terminal at the end of Thurgood Marshal Airport in Baltimore. They made their way through the on ram, guided by an Umbrella employee onboard a modified Embraer jet.

“Awful lot of trouble for us.” Claire laughed, looking at the man wearing a suit, Umbrella pin on his tie.

“Hardly ma’am, Operational Director Dittmar wanted you and Ms. Valentine to understand her commitment to the BSAA and the wellbeing of its operators. That includes personal as well as operational wellbeing.” He said with a smile as Claire shook her head, helping Edelie buckle her seatbelt.

“Can we drop the formal crap? Makes me feel weird, just call me Claire.” She said over her shoulder.

“Whatever makes you comfortable Claire, I’m Peter by the way. I’ll spend most of the flight in the front of the cabin. I’ll check on you periodically but don’t hesitate to ask for anything; flight will take about ten hours. Around the four-hour mark we will be joined by the rest of Misty Squadron so don’t be alarmed if you see military jets outside the window.” Peter said as Claire adjusted Valerie’s belt.

“So, we get to see jets up close?” Claire smiled as Valerie perked up. Claire sat across the aisle from the girls, opening her phone and texting Jill as the plane began to taxi, “Taking off now, see you soon.”

Claire stretched as she stirred in her seat, the girls asleep in their seats across from her as she stood and paced towards the front of the plane. The door to the bathroom opened as the pilot stepped out, somewhat surprised to see her.

“Everything well agent Redfield?” He asked with a smile.

“Yeah, just stretching my legs, I get antsy when I sit too long. How far out are we?” Claire asked as the pilot motioned for him to follow her.

“I trust you’ve been party to dozens of flights, have a seat. We’ve had a decent tail wind so we’re about thirty minutes ahead of schedule.” He said as Claire glanced around the large cockpit, the copilot glancing at her. There where two empty stations behind them with their own seats; one looked like a long-range communication set up and the other similar to a weapons control station.

“Is that for…” Claire trailed off, sitting at the communications station.

“Only defensive onboard this model, the company has been trying to set up UAV escort drones for all our corporate aircraft since bioterrorists have begun targeting us too.” The pilot answered as he took his seat. A small tone came from the center console as the pilot smiled. “Good timing Redfield, our escort is here. Misty one-one reading Umbrella friend or foe tags, good to have you guys join the party.” The pilot called over the radio as Claire saw a flight of three fighters come into view off their right side.

“All quiet on the western front today, we see you Misty one-one, Misty 2 take defensive formation around the aircraft; two-two left side, two-three right side.” The lead jet called out as they broke formation and formed in front and on the sides of the passenger plane.

“We should be clear of the Venezuelan border within the hour, then it’s a straight shot to Sau Paulo.” The pilot said to Claire as she watched the fighters match speed with them.

“You guys been having problems with their air force?” Claire asked cautiously as the pilot shook his head.

“Not nearly to the extent that the US and BSAA have. We’ve had a couple instances where they attempted to intercept us outside of their borders but for the most part, they’ve left us alone. They still threaten to shoot down anything from the BSAA, US and even Brazil since the mess in Caracas.” The pilot answered as Claire shuddered.

“Glad we have you guys to fly with then.” Claire said, standing to back to her seat.

Jill looked down at her phone, Claire’s message reading, “Just entered Brazilian airspace, girls are getting a kick out of seeing the Amazon. Miss you!” accompanied with a picture of the sprawling green canopy of the rainforest from a several thousand feet. Jill smiled as she returned to her computer screen, reading the most recent email she had received from Helena, detailing an incident where they had been attacked by FSB agents in Damascus. Jill furrowed her brow as she considered the implications.

Jill looked up to see two BSAA personnel run by quickly in the hallway, her intuition sensing something urgent. She stood from her desk in the Sau Paulo SOA branch as Chris rounded the corner almost running into her at the door.

“Christ, sorry Jill.” Chris said, stepping back and catching his breath.

“What the hell is going on?” Jill asked following Chris as he continued down the hallway.

“Some kind of incident between the Brazilian and Venezuelan authorities near the border, its escalating quickly, reports of confrontations as far south as the Uraricoera River in Brazil.” Chris said as he stopped at the door to the operations suite. Roland turned to see them, a concerned look on his face as he stood over a large control room, a single active screen in the center showing BSAA assets over South America. Veronica was down amongst a group of radio operators holding a headset to her ear as Jill and Chris walked up to Roland.

“What’s going on sir?” Jill asked as he sighed.

“Political mess that could spell more trouble for our operations right now. Maduro has declared the Brazilian state of Roraima and most of Amazonas in retaliation for ‘overt US aggression and western proxies’ specifically calling us out and by extension the Brazilian government for their cooperation with us. Columbia and Ecuador have voiced support Venezuela but have not gone so far as to work with them. We’re trying to move everything out of the disputed zone as fast as possible, Umbrella has four aircraft directly in the new conflict area and is trying to direct them out as soon as possible.” Roland said as he pinched the bridge of his nose, running his hand down his face as his eyes scanned the map in front of him. Jill went white as she made her way down to veronica and the Umbrella comm team.

“Change course two-zero-five and accelerate to full speed, we’ll find somewhere to set you down to refuel if we need to but right now, we have to get you out of the conflict zone.” The dispatcher said, adjusting their mouthpiece as Veronica looked up at Jill, Chris following close behind her. She pressed a button on the console, radio static coming over a speaker as she stood.

“Acknowledged Sau Paulo, Misty one-one accelerating and changing course two-zero-five.”

“What’s going on with their flight?” Jill asked as Veronica took a deep breath.

“We’re directing them out of the conflict zone as fast as we can, they’re about forty minutes from crossing the Amazon. We haven’t had any issues yet, but as a precaution we had the aircraft turn on its combat radar and the fighters prepare for a fight.” Veronica said as Jill nodded nervously.

“I’m not in the way, am I?” Jill asked sheepishly as she nervously listened to the radio chatter.

“Not at all Valentine, we’ll get them here soon.” Veronica said as combat data began to go live on the Umbrella computer screens as the fighters readied themselves. Jill folded her arms over her chest as she watched the large map of South America update every few seconds. A sharp beeping sounded from the terminal in front of Veronica as she silenced it, whipping around quickly.

“Roland! I need the main screen now!” She called out as the computer feed in front of her was projected onto the main screen of the ops room. A zoomed in satellite map showed Misty squadron as well as data and cockpit cameras from the fighter escort.

“Overlord to Misty two-one, we have five contacts bearing two-five-five on intercept course, break off and patch me through to the lead craft.” Veronica shouted frantically as five red marks appeared on the map travelling towards Misty Squadron.

“What’s going on?” Claire asked as she stepped into the cockpit after noticing their fighter escort suddenly pull away.

“Venezuelan air force coming a little too close for comfort ma’am, Misty two will handle things, please go back to your seat.” The pilot said trying to disguise his concern as Claire made her way back to the girls. The seatbelts sign flicked on with a gently tone as Claire sat, Valerie looking up at the light inquisitively.

“Are we landing?” She asked as Claire took a deep breath.

“Not yet Val, there are just some other planes coming a little too close to us, the fighter jets went to go tell them to leave.” Claire offered as she gazed out the window.

“Misty two I need you to transmit radar data now, I need a full picture.” Veronica said as more information began to fill the display in the center of the room.

“Acknowledged Overlord, ready to patch you through to bogeys on your signal.” The lead fighter called back.

“Do it.”

“You’re live”

“Attention oncoming craft, this is Umbrella Corporation Expeditionary Flight travelling along an approved flight path through Brazilian airspace. Disengage current intercept course, disengage current intercept course.” Veronica called out as radio static rattled over the comm.

“Attention trespassing aircraft, you are in restricted airspace under the protection of the Venezuelan Airforce. Your assets are forfeit, you will be escorted to the nearest airfield and land immediately.” An accented voice returned as Veronica frowned.

“Venezuelan air force, this is a civilian flight with approval to operate within Brazilian airspace. Disengage, repeat disengage.” She called back as she watched the radar marks close in. “Misty two break off pattern and make your way back to misty one-one, keep current course. Roland! I need Brazilian air defense on the phone now!” Veronica shouted as she switched radio channels, the mood of the room descending into panic as the Venezuelan fighters closed in on the Umbrella squadron.

“They’re on Veronica, channel four-five.” Roland called back as Veronica changed channels.

“This is Umbrella Expeditionary Squadron Misty declaring emergency. We have hostile aircraft pursuing us into Brazilian airspace, please assist.” Veronica called out.

“Acknowledge Umbrella Expeditionary, recommend landing all civilian aircraft at nearest airfield. All regional air defense assets are presently engaged with hostile aircraft crossing the border. We will do what we can, good luck.” The dispatcher responded as Veronica slammed her fist down on the desk.

“This can’t be, is Venezuela really invading Brazil over the BSAA?” Chris muttered as he looked a Jill, her face white as she starred at the display showing the Venezuelan fighters closing in.

“FOX TWO, FOX TWO, FOX TWO!” One of the pilot’s voices came loud over the radio, panic in his voice as Jill gasped, Chris’ jaw dropping.

“Misty two-two break right, right!”

“Misty two-two deploying counter measures.” The voices of the fighter pilots came through as radio erupted into chatter, Barry running down next to Chris.

“What the hell is going on?” He asked as Chris looked at him.

“The fucking Venezuelan air force just started shooting at us.” Chris growled as one of the fighters’ camera feed showed the aircraft deploying flares as a missile soared by it.

“Misty two-three heading south, south west.”

“Misty two-one form up on Misty one-one and provide cover. You are clear to engage hostile aircraft.” Veronica called

“Acknowledged Overlord weapons hot.”

“Weapons hot!”

“Misty two-three commit… weapons away.”

“Misty two-one status.”

“Formed up on Misty one-one”

“FOX TWO! Misty two-one break left!” The chatter continued as the pilots called back and forth, one of the enemy radar blips disappearing as the feeds showed one of the Venezuelan fighters struck, the plane breaking apart in a ball of fire.

“Good hit Misty two-three.”

“Misty one-one deploy counter measures!”

Claire jumped as the flash of an explosion erupted outside their window as the remains of another Venezuelan jet tumbled to earth. Edelie screamed as Valerie hugged her, unable to hide the terror in her own eyes.

“Keep you heads down girls.” Claire shouted, unable to think of anything else reassuring to say as she looked up the aisle at the cockpit.

“You’re clear Misty one-one, counter measures effective, you at top speed?”

“Giving her everything she’s got!” Claire heard the pilot call out.

“Misty two status.” Veronica called out, her hands on the desk as her eyes where glued to the tactical display.

“Misty one-one maintaining course, counter-measures half depleted.”

“Misty two-one currently engaged!”

“Misty two-two tracking hostile.”

“Misty two-three engaged”

“All fighters focus on destroying enemy contacts.” Veronica tasked as she watched a third Venezuelan fighter disappear from radar.

“Good hit Misty two-two!”

“Friendly hit!” the callout sent a sharp fear through the BSAA control room as the panicked call out came over the radio.

“Who’s hit, sound off!”

“I think it was Misty two-one. Two-one status!”

“Two-one status!”

“Do we have a good chute?” Veronica called out, unable to view any of Misty two-one’s data.

“Misty two-one is down, repeat Misty two-one is down! No chute, no chute, no chute.”

“Misty one-one you’ve picked up a tail! Evasive maneuvers now!”

“Diving now! Get them off us Misty two! I can’t do much!” the pilot called as the plane pitched into a sharp dive as Claire gripped the sides of her seat hard, the girls screaming as a thunderous clatter tore through the cabin, oxygen masks dropping as it rapidly decompressed.

“Val! Help my with Edie!” Claire shouted, unbuckling herself and carefully making her way across the pitched aisle. She helped both girls get their oxygen masks on as another round of gunfire tore through the cabin. A round punched right through where Claire had just been seated as she took a seat in front of the girls, grabbing a mask for herself as she buckled her belt.

“Guns, guns, guns! Misty one-one to Venezuelan air defense, this is a civilian flight carrying passengers!” The pilot pleaded over the radio as Jill stared helplessly at the screen, tears rolling down her eyes as she listened to the radio chatter. Another volley of gunfire tore through the plane as alarms roared through the cockpit, the jet pulling level as the last Venezuelan fighter pursued it; the remaining two Umbrella fighters racing to intercept.

“Mayday, mayday, mayday! This is Umbrella flight Misty one-one we are buddy spike carrying civilian passengers, heading south-southwest at two-three-seven, seven souls onboard. Disengage, disengage, disengage.” The emergency call ran across an open channel as Veronica stared sternly at the screen, the Umbrella fighters closed in. An explosion erupted on screen, the last Venezuelan fighter breaking up after getting struck.

“Good hit Misty two-three!” Veronica yelled as a cheer and applause filled the operations room. Veronica smiled as the two fighters formed on the wounded jet, the pilots whooping as they traveled farther into Brazilian airspace.

Veronica’s smile faded as she heard an alert over the celebratory din, a new contact on radar. She quickly grabbed her headset as she watched it rapidly approach the flight.

“MANPAD launch! Misty one-one take…” She stopped as she watched the surface to air missile tear through the aircraft on one of the fighter’s camera feeds. The cockpit was ripped from the fuselage as it fell below the canopy, Jill letting out a sudden, shocked scream as she covered her mouth. The room was deathly silent for a moment.

“Misty one-one status.” Veronica called over the radio, breaking the silence as they all stared at the screen.

“Misty one-one is down, repeat Misty one-one is down.” One of the pilots called out

“New MANPAD launch! Count six targets in total!” the other fighter yelled.

“Get out of their Misty Squadron, buster.” Veronica said as she set her headset down, turning to see Jill leaving the ops room. She stumbled into the hallway, leaning up against a floor to ceiling window overlooking the bases campus. She felt freezing, her stomach clenching as she struggled to breath, bending over and vomiting on the floor, stumbling a little farther. She looked up at her reflection in the glass as Chris stepped out after her,

“Its ok, its ok, its just another nightmare.” Jill muttered as she stared into the reflection, hoping to see a red device on her chest, hoping to be chased by a towering bioweapon, hoping to feel the pain of tests being conducted on her.

“Just wake up and she’ll be right there, you’re fine.” Jill continued desperately as she failed to see any of the hallmarks of her nightmares.

“Please…” She pleaded in a pained whisper, gritting her teeth. “Wake up!” She growled, throwing her head into the glass, the window cracking around the impact as Jill threw herself into it again. Chris came up behind her, grabbing her and pulling her away from the window. Jill fought, both of them falling to the ground as blood ran down Jill’s head. Chris fought to get a handle on her as she struggled; a despondent, tormented howl escaping Jills throat, ringing through the hall as Chris held her. Jill still struggled against him as her strength failed her; dry keening sobs escaping her as she clawed at Chris’ arm.

“We need to get her to the infirmary.” Roland said softly as he walked over to Chris, pointing to Jill’s bloodied head as Chris silently nodded. He awkwardly lifted them, slinging Jill’s arm over his shoulder, her body limp and breath shallow.

 

Chris entered the small room in the infirmary as the nurse stepped out; Jill sitting on the bed, staring off into nothing. Her eyes where red, several butterfly bandages running over the wound on her head as Chris stepped over to her.

“They gave me some kind of muscle relaxant or sedative or I don’t know.” Jill muttered as Chris struggled to find his words.

“I don’t feel better… I don’t feel anything Chris. It’s just too much and I can’t process it.” Jill’s voice cracked as she continued to stare off. “They could give me the whole fucking bottle and it wouldn’t change how I feel because its just nothing, floating on nothing.” Jill stammered as she shut her eyes, shaking her head as tears broke from her eyes. “That’s all I want, I just can’t pull myself from this, this darkness no matter what I do.” She sobbed as Chris put his hand on her shoulder.

“I heard the message you asked the doctor to relay to Roland, about going out to look for the crash site.” Chris started as Jill looked up at him.

“And he said no because Jill Valentine is a fucking useless wreck and its in the middle of what I’m pretty sure is now a warzone. He can’t stop me Chris, she has survived worse before and I have to know. One way or another, I have to be with her.” Jill stammered as he walked over to the counter, grabbing bottle of the dosage given to Jill; placing it in his pocket.

“Jill… I’ve been here before.” Chris murmured as he sat next to her. “It will never get easier, but you aren’t alone.” Chris offered as Jill shook her head.

“You haven’t been here before; it wasn’t just her Chris. I don’t want it to get easier, I’ve been chasing easier my entire life. I don’t believe its possible at least not for me; there isn’t any coming back from losing them. I. Want. It. To. Stop.” Jill began to shake as Chris wrung his wrists, silent.

“Forgive me.” Veronica said softly as she stepped into the room, the pair looking up at her with solemn eyes.

“Agent Valentine… there are no words.” Veronica started as Jill shook her head.

“Then leave.”

“I heard about your request, I wanted to offer you support. I saw the missile launch; it came from the ground and they plane was flying slow due to damage to the engines. I don’t want to breed false hope, but for the sake of some form of closure, I’d like to support you and Chris in searching for the crash site through Umbrella.”

“Get me on that flight now.” Jill delivered firmly as she stood.

Chapter Text

Claire gasped as her senses flooded to life, her nerves wailing at her. She rolled onto her back, the smell of burning plastics and fuel filling the air. She groaned as she tried to sit up between a row of the plane’s seats, the fuselage split open above her. She winced as she tried to sit up, gasping sharply as she looked down at her arm. A fiery pain shot through her as her body began to make sense of all the complicated sensations. Her jaw dropped, several jagged pieces of metal lodged into her left arm, a long piece pierced straight through her shoulder. Blood was tacky, caked over her arm.

Claire’s heart raced as she willed herself to stand, stumbling down the remains of the aircraft, retrieving a first aid kit from the rear door. She shuffled out of the wreck, falling as she yelped in pain. She gritted her teeth, groaning as she carefully rolled onto her back. She tried to catch her breath as she looked around the crash site.

“Val! Edie!” She screamed as she fought to sit up, leaning on her good arm. A steady column of black smoke rose from one of the wings tossed into the trees away from the plane, the remains torn into several large pieces wedged amongst a host of young trees.

“Mom!” Valerie’s voice called out as Claire mustered the strength to stand, grabbing the first aid kit as she ran to the sound of her voice.

“Valerie! Are you ok?” Claire called as she ran across the ditch the crashed plane had carved into the earth, seeing Valerie standing a few hundred feet from the crash, Edelie crouched next to her. Claire felt tears break over her cheek at the site of them, Valerie covering her mouth, stifling a shriek as she saw Claire.

“Oh my god I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am that you’re ok.” Claire gasped as she ran over to them, both miraculously seeming to be unharmed.

“You’re really hurt.” Valerie cried as Claire fell to her knees next to the girls.

“Nothing that can’t be fixed.” Claire winced, the euphoria of finding the girls fading back into the sharp pain of her wounds.

“I wanted to come get you but Valerie said it wasn’t safe.” Edelie muttered as she held her knees drawn up to her chest.

“That was the right decision sweetheart, are you hurt at all?” Claire asked as she looked over her.

“The crash hurt but I don’t feel like it.” She said softly.

“Ok, Val, my love, I need you to help me build a fire. Just like we did in the backyard.” Claire strained as she tried to prop herself up against a tree.

“I already started grabbing sticks that looked good.” Valerie said with a hint of pride as Edelie stood, moving a small host of rocks into a circle.

“Good, I’m proud of you.” Claire forced a smile as they got to work, pulling a small book of matches from the first aid kit and lighting the small pyramid of dry wood.

Claire took a deep breath as she laid a pair of medical scissors on one of the rocks around the fire. She pushed it forward, so the blade was in the flames as she turned to the debris lodged in her arm. She swabbed the areas around each wound, grabbing the first piece and taking a deep breath. She yanked the jagged metal from her arm a let out a loud scream, tossing the object and clamping a piece of gauze over the wound. She repeated the process for the remaining pieces until she got to the rod in her shoulder.

“Valerie, dear, I’m going to need your help with this one ok?” Claire said as Valerie nodded skittishly.

“I’m going to pull this thing out of me and as soon as I do, I want you to take those scissors and press the flat end to the cut.” Claire said pointing the scissors she had set in the fire, the edge of the blade now glowing. Claire pulled the strap to her tank top off her shoulder as she cleaned the area around the wound. She let out a short breath as she gripped the rod. She winced as she began to pull, her nerves flaring as every fiber of her body screamed at her to stop. The rod jerked from her shoulder as she failed to hold back a scream. Valerie pressed the hot scissor to her skin as the sickening smell of burning flesh wafted to Claire’s nose. She groaned through gritted teeth as Valerie pulled back. Claire looked down at the blackened but sealed wound, awkwardly bandaging it with one hand.

“Thanks Val, you did a good job and believe it or not it actually feels better.” Claire soothed a visibly shaken Valerie. “Both of you come here.” Claire said holding out her arms as Edelie and Valerie drew up next to here. She squeezed both of them tightly, despite the pain in her wounded arm.

“We’re going to make it out of this ok. I’m going to grab some supplies from the plane and start building a shelter for us tonight.” Claire said as Edelie clutched at her shirt.

“How will they know how to find us?” Edelie asked, looking up at Claire.

“They saw the plane crash; they just have to send someone out to get us. I’m sure your mommy is heading getting ready to lead them out here right now.” Claire offered with a smile. She stood and carefully stretched her arms, looking back at the girls. “Stay put, I’ll be right back.” She said stepping off towards the wreck. Valerie followed her after a second, Claire pausing as she heard her footsteps.

“Mom… I…” She stopped as Claire turned to face her. “I know we can’t say certain things in front of Edie because she’s still little but… why did they shoot at us?” Valerie said as Claire frowned.

“I don’t know sweetheart… Its like the people who chased us from your last home.” Claire said softly as Valerie nodded.

“They come after us because they know it will hurt mommy.” She said softly as Claire knelt in front of her.

“I sometimes forget how smart you are.” Claire smiled as she put her hand on Valerie’s shoulder. “The people you mother stops, they know they can’t hurt her. So, they come after the people she cares about. The thing is that often makes her even angrier. They once tried to hurt me and almost did, but your mother saved me, carried me out of there and stopped them. If she wouldn’t have been there to save me, I would have been terrified of her; she’ll be three times as angry now, we just have to wait and keep each other safe.” Claire said as Valerie smiled.

“I’ll go look after Edie.” She said as she ran back to the campfire. Claire stepped through the wreck carefully, retrieving two survival kits stashed inside the plane. She also made it back with their luggage, toiletries from the remains of the bathroom and several large pieces of debris to start constructing a shelter with. Edelie yipped with glee as Claire held up her favorite stuffed retriever having recovered it with her bag. Within the hour Claire had set up a basic lean-to with broken sections of fiberglass and a tarp from the survival kit. She coaxed Edelie into eating enough of an MRE from the stash before relenting to letting her eat the cookie before anything else. Claire laid out a rough bedding in the shelter using a sleeping bag and collection of sweaters she had packed as night fell. She kept the fire going as the girls curled up to her; her arm still aching as she dozed off from shear fatigue.

 

“We sure it was a solid hit?” Torres said as she lay on a surgical table, Raymond standing just outside of the suite light as a Tricell technician in a clean suite drew lines on her bare abdomen.

“Ground teams say the plane broke up after being struck. We pulled back for fear of retaliation and blowing the instillations cover after striking the Umbrella aircraft.” Raymond said as the technician finished his markings.

“Fucking amateurs. It will be hell to find that crash sight now. Have them deploy some weapons to hunt for survivors. And send Moros out, could use some field testing. Make sure everything is programed or ordered for capture though. The only thing more potent than eliminated BSAA operatives and their family is capturing them. Survivors could be valuable.” Torres mused as the technician selected a scalpel from the tray near the table.

“We can continue after you are awake.” Raymond said as Torres laughed.

“They aren’t putting me under Vester.” Torres said as the technician waited for her cue. “How much do you know about my special little talent? I know there are bound to be a lot of fun rumors and you strike me as the type that listens to all, even if you know they’re bullshit.”

“I’ve heard that after you where imprisoned in Egypt there was a deployment of some kind of weapon on the compound. All I’ve heard is that you survived what others didn’t and this is a side effect.” Raymond answered cautiously as Torres laughed.

“That’s about as vague a rumor as I’ve ever heard. When O'Brian fucked the whole of the FBC I was a wonderful candidate to take the fall due to all the press conferences with me standing next to Lansdale. The US decided that giving me to the Mediterranean countries for trial was a concession that they could live with. They get their own villain to try and convict and the US becomes blameless for the Terragrigia Panic.” Torres said as she nodded to the technician. They approached her and slowly inserted the scalpel along the lines drawn on her skin as she winced and groaned.

“Can’t have me under for these things, the more relaxed I am, the stronger the regeneration is. Can’t perform surgery if my wounds keep closing up so here I am.” Torres forced a laugh as the technician continued to cut into her. “They didn’t put me in a prison, they put me into a hole where people don’t come back from, get tossed away for pissing off the rich and powerful. It was my own little bastille for a few years until someone had the clever idea to test some kind of bioweapon on the closed off population. I’m still not quite sure what it was, T-Veronica mixed with… something.” Torres growled through the pain as the tech pulled back a layer of muscle. Another tech stepped in with a sealed medical case, setting it next to Torres as the first reached inside her. They cut and pulled hard as Torres seethed; the tech lifting her liver from her body as the second opened the case. Her organ was sat on an awaiting tray, the flesh mottled and graying. The second tech opened the medical case, withdrawing a healthy organ and placing it into Torres as her groan pitched into wine of genuine pain and distress. Her breath came rapidly it short bursts as she struggled to keep her composure, the techs working fast to seal the wound as her body rapidly accepted the new organ. They stapled her abdomen closed and injected something into her neck as her breathing relaxed, the wound suddenly actively healing itself as Torres drifted in a euphoric state.

After a moment her senses sharpened again as she looked up at Raymond with a sly grin. “Now, as I was saying; I was one of the few survivors of that test in the now infected prison and the people running the show where curious. What else could this odd American survive. So, I got poked around a bit, turned into one weapon to see how I killed prisoners, a different one the next day to kill a few more. I settled into my current form in about a year and half. Unfortunately, there was one big side effect; kept burning through these stupid little organs really fast.” She laughed, slapping the wound on her stomach as Raymond instinctively winced.

“They deemed me ‘non-viable’ due to cost. Then I killed them all.” Torres smirked as she sat up on the table, pulling her shirt over her stomach. “Still have no clue who they were, but I have my theories. Tricell took an interest in me after I escaped; that and few other organizations. I tried out a few but Tricell kept it simple. They pay me well and swap out my spent bits for free. I don’t trust them for a second though.” Torres hissed as she stood, approaching Raymond.

“That’s why I like you and Sherawat. You aren’t ideologues or loyalists; you want a check and you have your own goals. I can always trust you will do what can be motivated by money.” Torres sneered.

“More or less correct.” Raymond groused as Torres laughed. “You want to tell me what that mess about Valentine was?” Raymond risked as Torres froze, turning on him; her shoulders rising steadily as her breathing picked up.

“Someone gunning for me then?”

“I thought you where only driven by money.” Raymond quipped back as Torres glared at him.

“Of all the groups that wanted me, I had one good gig lined up that she destroyed all my chances of getting into. BSAA doesn’t even know she’s a little mole in their midst, the uppity pricks that ditched me calling her source prodigy. I have to slime around with these scumbags in the shit holes of the world because of her, beg for organ transplants from holier-than-thou ex-soviets who shot farmers for a living. Left a bit of a sore spot so you’re damn right when I see the chances for a swipe, I take it. You and Sherawat issue the search party for survivors; make sure the surrounding indigenous accept the Plagas to tighten our defensive circle as well.” Torres huffed, turning and heading out of the surgical ward. Raymond watched her; one eyebrow raised as he ran the information through his head.

“Ok… Jessica we need to have a little talk.” He muttered to himself.

Chapter Text

Claire groaned as she rose from a dreamless sleep, the ache of her wounds coming before her vision cleared. Rays of light came through a midmorning mist, casting over the swirling fog in the torn clearing. The fire she had kept going was smoldering a couple of feet away, the girls curled up together in the back of the shelter; Edelie clutching her favorite toy dog as she slept. Claire carefully sat up, throwing some dry leaves and twigs on the fire. It began to reignite off the coals as she stood and stretched, pacing around the camp for a moment before stepping over to the supplies she was able to pull from the wreck of the plane.

“This could actually be a lot worse.” She muttered to herself as she rifled through the survival kit. It had enough food to last them for nearly a week, a full cooking set, a small crossbow and several bolts, matches, a handgun, signal flare, sheltering material, water purification tablets and a complex first aid kit. Claire wiped her brow as she felt her skin hot to the touch, a sharp thought of panic running through her head.

“Oh shit.” She sighed as she looked at her arm covered in bandages, blood staining the gauze as she began to redress the wounds. The wounds on her arm where ugly but slowly showing signs of stabilization. The wound in her shoulder had turned sickly and swollen around the cauterized puncture.

“Probably the worst possible place to get an infection.” Claire murmured rubbing an antibiotic cream over the surface of the wound, wincing as her nails caught the sensitive tissue. She wrapped it carefully, searching through the Umbrella first aid kit. “Never thought I’d say thank god for Umbrella.” Claire smiled as she pulled a small bottled from the kit labeled “Ampicillin: 200 mg capsules”. She took two pills and pocketed the bottle. She grabbed a pot from the cooking kit and carried it to the treelined, a small creek babbling near the edge of the crash site, filling it with water and walking back to the camp. She grabbed two cans of food from the survival kit, emptying diced tomatoes and chunk chicken breast into a smaller pan from the kit. With her own combat knife, she cut the lids out of both, duct taping them together. She cut a section of her tank top and covered the bottom of one can with it, taping in place before turning the fire. She brushed a pile of coals away from the flames and began to crush the coals up with the hilt of her knife. Claire filled the cans up halfway with the crushed charcoal before returning to the creek. She filled the crude device the rest of the way with sand and small pebbles, finishing the makeshift filter as she returned to the fire. The simple mix of canned chicken and tomatoes was bubbling on the fire as Claire began to filter the water into an enameled kettle she set in the fire. She filled the kettle and sat back, waiting for it to come to a boil as she added some larger sticks to the fire, looking up at the clouds drifting over them.

“I hope you’re doing ok Jill.” She said softly, closing her eyes. “I hope you weren’t watching when we crashed, I hope you’re not blaming yourself.” She continued as she glanced over at the girls. “I know you’ll come for us. I’ll take care of the girls; you just keep going and I’ll be there to make sure you’re ok.” She smiled, clutching the angel wing pendant around her neck as Valerie groggily sat up in the shelter. “Morning sweetheart.” Claire said looking over at her, Valerie carefully shuffling over Edelie as she joined Claire by the fire.

“Doesn’t really look like breakfast food.” Valerie grimaced looking at the bubbling mixture Claire had still simmering on the fire.

“Well we unfortunately don’t have too many options at the moment.” Claire laughed as Valerie poked at the chicken and tomatoes with a spoon. “We need to keep up our strength while we wait for your mom Val. I know this is going to be hard but we’re only going to be eating for energy, not for taste. Can you do that for me?” Claire asked as Valerie held the spoon to her lips, blowing on the contents.

Claire poured the boiled water into canteens from the survival kit as Edelie woke and joined them. With some resistance, Claire was able to get the girls to eat the canned food mix she had prepared and drink the boiled river water; despite Edelie describing it as tasting like a rock. Claire prodded the fire as the girls sat off to the side of the shelter, playing with a collection of sticks and leaves trying to build something from them. Claire sighed as she checked her bandages again, the dull aching pain not lessening in the slightest. A sharp, brief rustle came from the tree line across from her as she perked up, clutching the handgun she had grabbed from the survival kit.

“Girls, into the shelter. Who’s there?” Claire whispered to Valerie and Edelie before shouting into the trees. The girls scrambled behind Claire as she raised the weapon, scanning the foliage for any sign of movement. There was a high, shrill screech as a monster burst from the brush. It was covered in green vines, an eyeless head, gaping maw and long tongue. Edelie and Valerie screamed as Claire steadied her hand and fired, two rounds striking the beast as it shrilled. It collided hard with Claire, Claire rolling onto her back and using her legs to throw the monster off of her. She rolled and tried to take aim as it whipped its tongue at her, coiling around her wrist and yanking her to the ground. Claire groaned as the beast began to sprout more vines from its back. Claire winced as she forced her wounded arm to obey her, drawing her knife and sawing through the limb gripping her as the beast shrieked. She took several steps back, firing at the beast as it plodded towards her. It lunged, its tongue wrapping around her neck and lifting her. Claire emptied the magazine into the creature’s underbelly to no effect as it pinned her to a tree, her feet off the ground. The tendrils growing from its back still fluttering in the air, seeming to seek her as she struggled against its grip. She swung hard with her knife, embedding it in the monster’s neck as she felt the creepers growing from its body grasp at her ankles.

The monster screamed again, Claire planting a hard kick on its chest. It was knocked on its back, its tongue still wrapped around Claire’s neck dragging her with it. She drew her knife from its neck and stabbed it again, forcing the blade through its flesh until its head rolled from its body. It went limp, the corpse releasing her as she took a deep breath, looking over her attacker.

“Well that’s new… shaped and acts kinda like a licker, looks like ivy. Definitely T-virus, definitely makes things harder.” Claire frowned as the soft sobs of the girls rang on her ears. She ran over to the shelter to find Valerie shielding Edelie in the very back of the lean-to, the sleeping back pulled over both of them.

“Val, Edie, its ok. I’m right here and that thing is gone.” Claire called gently.

“Is it gone or is it dead?” Valerie called back, not pulling the sleeping bag off her and her sister.

“Its dead sweetheart, it can’t hurt you.” Claire said with a sigh as Valerie revealed herself, tears streaming down her face.

“What was that?” She stammered as she stared at Claire.

“I guess I’m not surprised you mom never mentioned these things.” Claire lamented as she sat by the fire and dropped the magazine to her handgun, starting to reload it from the box of ammunition in the survival kit. “There are people who make monsters like that as weapons, like how people use guns and jets and tanks.” Claire said softly. “Your mom fights the people who makes those weapons, she’s been doing it since before you where born. The reason they’re still around is because they are really powerful, bad people will spend a lot of money to get them.” Claire said as she finished pushing the last round into the magazine. “Your mom is one of the best at stopping them, so they come after her. That’s why she hid you guys for so long, she was afraid that they would come after you guys to get her to stop fighting them. Thing is it has only made her fight harder to rid the world of those monsters.” Claire ran the slide on the handgun and replaced it on her hip, checking her wounds again.

“That’s why she has so many nightmares?” Valerie said softly as she walked over, Claire hugging her as she sat down.

“Yeah, its been really scary for her, but she doesn’t stop. I won’t either.” Claire said smiling down at her. “Your mom will come; we’re just going to have to start moving. When we here her, we’ll light big fire so she can see us. The monsters found us here, so we have to get away from the crash cause they’ll keep looking here.” Claire said as Valerie nodded.

“Do you think you could kill another one if it comes?” Valerie asked as Edelie listened from her nest of a sleeping bag in the shelter.

“I could take a whole bunch more.” Claire laughed as Valerie smiled.

“Could you teach me to kill them? So that I can help?”

“Maybe down the line Val. Right now, I need you to promise me that no matter what happens, you’ll look after your sister.” Claire asked firmly, looking Valerie in the eye as she nodded.

 

“Ms. Zlatica, we’ve been fighting a potential breach of our network within the last couple of minutes and have traced it back to…”

“Hoechst Celanese in Quito? I’m glad we finally have their attention. Has cyber been able to reverse access their building network?” Eliisabet asked the Connections employee calmly as she sat at the front of the conference table in the empty room.

“Yes ma’am. Their breach is currently being herded by cyber, they have been unable to access any of our information.” He returned as Eliisabet nodded.

“Put me through to their conference room speaker phone, I imagine they are all watching intently to see how their little cyber strike fairs.” Eliisabet smiled as the employee nodded and stepped out of the room. The speaker phone in the center of the table sounded a gentle tone as Eliisabet heard it connect.

“Good evening, I’m looking for a Farnham Gorokhov, Director of Celanese South America branch.” She said with a slight gloating glee lining her voice. There was dead silence for several seconds.

“To whom am I speaking?” I gruff, American accent returned as Eliisabet smiled.

“Eliisabet Zlatica, Chief Operating Officer of the Connections. I’ve been watching you wander around my network for a little bit and decided to give you a call. I figured you have seen how effective our little friend has been at targeting Tricell assets.” Eliisabet gloated.

“You mean that animated corpse of a former BSAA operative you have had leading your marauders into our plants in offices throughout the country? What makes you think we aren’t preparing to come for you right now?” Gorokhov responded angrily as Eliisabet lent her cheek on her hand as she starred at the speakerphone.

“Hmm, probably because I’m in your dispatch network right now and can see that all of Tricell’s assets assigned to protect your chemical operations have been moved to more… vital operations. Besides I know you go above Tricell Mr. Gorokhov. I want you to pass along the tapes of our project Veidimenn tearing through your security. We simply believe that the connections have more to offer you and your friends than the somewhat troublesome, dated and… unreliable Tricell weapons branch. Don’t call us, we’ll follow up in time.” Eliisabet said, hanging up the call without waiting for a response.

 

Claire adjusted her grip on Edelie as she trudged through the thick brush, the canopy already making it seem like night as the sun hung on the horizon. Valerie kept pace behind her, carrying a backpack of what they could carry from the campsite. Claire set Edelie down as she tried to catch her breath, adjusting the straps to the large bag she was carrying.

“Think you can walk for a little bit sweetheart?” Claire asked as Edelie nodded. She stepped back and Valerie grasped her hand as Claire pulled out a small compass from her pocket. She sighed with some relief as she kept heading north.

“Just reach the black river Claire, remember the briefing, remember the jungle training, remember what Chris taught you. We head north, reach the river, then follow it Sao Gabriel. Big city, lots of army and help.” Claire said to herself as she stepped over a large, mossy root system.

“Fuck!” Valerie yelped from behind Claire as she stumbled over a fallen tree branch.

“Val, don’t use that word.” Claire called back as she kept moving.

“I’ve heard you say it like twenty times today.” Valerie returned.

“Well Val, I had to pull sharp metal out of my arm and kill a monster in the last day, so I get to.” Claire quipped back as they reached a small clearing, several felled trees in a grassy covered spot.

“So, if I kill a monster, I can say it as much as I want?” Valerie tossed back as Claire laughed.

“I’m going to say yes, but don’t tell your mother.” Claire relented as she set her bag down near a large tree on the edge of the clearing. “Since its pretty much dark, we’ll camp here for tonight.” Claire said as Valerie dropped her bag and Edelie lay on the ground. “Sweetheart, get up bugs.” Claire said as she stepped by Edelie.

“Where!” She yelped as Claire shook her head.

“There are just a lot out here tonight my love, let me set up camp and then you can lay down.” Claire said as she laid out section of tarp over the ground, running a length of nylon chord between two trees, building a make-shift tent. “Valerie, help me gather some sticks for a fire, Edie can you clear a spot for one?” Claire said as both girls jumped to their tasks. Claire returned to the spot Edie had cleared with a handful of dry wood as she looked for Valerie.

“Val? Where are you?” Claire called, concern in her voice.

“M… mom.” She heard a soft, terrified reply as Claire found her not far from the camp. She stood frozen in front of a large snake, coiled up on itself and baring fangs. Claire cautiously approached her as she saw the serpent, hearing it hiss.

“No sudden moves ok Val, stay calm. I won’t let anything happen to you.” Claire tried to soothe as she drew her knife. The snake hissed again as Claire came up right behind Valerie. She placed her hands firmly on Valerie’s shoulders and tensed. With a grunt Claire tossed Valerie to the side, the snake striking at her as she lifted her blade. The serpent’s jaws clamped hard around the broad edge of the knife as Claire let out a victorious laugh. She quickly grabbed its tail and flung its body as she could, cracking it like a whip with a hard flick of her wrist. It’s hissing ceased with a sickening snapping sound, the serpent twitching her grip, blood running from its mouth.

“Oh my god I can’t believe that actually works, Chris isn’t going to believe this.” Claire mused, somewhat shocked by her own success. She cut the snakes head off for good measure and coiled its body around her arm. “How am I going to convince the girls this is chicken.” She thought aloud as she noticed Valerie staring off into the trees.

“All good Val? Its dead; I didn’t toss you too hard, did I?” Claire said as she walked up to her.

“No, I’m ok. There are lights coming from the trees.” She said pointing off into the distance. A small series of white lights flickered through the thick brush as Claire squinted.

“Go back to your sister Val, think you could start the fire on your own this time?” Claire asked as Valerie smiled at her.

“Yup! Why do you still have the snake?” Valerie returned as Claire looked back at the lights.

“Keep the fire small, I’ll be right back.” Claire said as she stepped off towards the light. She drew her handgun as she swept plant debris away from her foot with each step, keeping them quiet as she approached. It was a much longer walk than she had anticipated, the trees only beginning to thin after nearly ten minutes of walking. Claire crouched low in a bush as she came to the edge of a rough dirt road and looked through at what appeared to be a small village.

“Uncontacted peoples maybe?” Claire pondered, realizing just how poorly things could go if she disturbed an isolated tribe. Her thoughts where interrupted by the rumble of a large truck coming down the road, Claire shrinking back into the bush as it passed, heading towards the village. It stopped on the outskirts of the simple indigenous structures and two men stepped out wearing tactical gear: Tricell logos on the back of their vests.

“We sure this one is fully contaminated?” The first called to the second as he slammed the door to the truck as he approached a dazed looking member of the tribe.

“Should be, we’ve had the perimeter secure since the shootdown. Each chief should be deploying capture weapons, we just have to check the traps. You know what strain they put in them?” The soldier called back as they stepped further into the village, Claire keeping pace in the tree line.

“No clue, lets see.” He said raising his rifle and shooting the man from the village in the head. He staggered as his skull split, a large black Plaga rising from his neck, writhing around as the body staggered off.

“Looks like B-strain. So, they’re actually serious about the threat of attack.” The soldier who fired said, turning to his comrade.” Claire watched them travel deeper into the center of the village, more infected tribesmen joining them as they did. She turned and ran off back into the woods, reaching the girls in their small clearing. Valerie was hugging Edelie next to small, glowing fire, picking up a pointed stick as she heard Claire approach.

“Relax love, just me.” Claire said sitting down next to them. She took a deep breath as she threw some more wood onto the fire.

“Trees should hide the smoke as long as we don’t build it too big.” She said to no one in particular.

“What where those lights?” Valerie asked as Claire pulled the coiled corpse of the snake from her arm.

“I’m not going to lie to you girls ok.” Claire sighed as she began to skin the snake. “I don’t want you to get scared though, we’re going to be ok. There is a village not far in that direction which has been taken over by monsters and the people who made our plane crash.” Claire said as she tossed the skin of the snake and began separating the muscle from the organs. Valerie nodded quietly as Edelie drew up closer to her. Claire offered a smile to the girls as she pulled a pot from her bag and a can of beans, opening it and putting the pot on the fire. She cut sections of the snake and tossed them into the mix as it began to bubble.

“Don’t worry Edie, my dear. Remember how scary it was when that monster showed up at our last camp.” Claire said tossing the last piece of viable meat into the pot.

“Yeah, I don’t want that to happen again.” She said, wrinkling her nose as she looked into the pot.

“I know sweetheart; but if it did, I would keep you safe just like before.” Claire reassured as Valerie looked into the pot as well.

“Are we really going to eat that?” She said, embellishing the last word.

“Yup, that’s what happens when a mean snake threatens to eat one of my girls. I cook him up and eat him!” Claire laughed as she coaxed a giggle from the girls. “I’ll make you a deal, you help me finish this meal and we can break into one of the MRE’s and have another cookie. Deal?” Claire offered as Edelie stared concerned at the pot.

 

Virginia Torres strode quickly into the development division of the Tricell Amazonas facility; Raymond and Jessica flanking her. The walked up to a long observation window showing a padded medical suite with an unconscious figure on a table surrounded by techs wearing positive pressure suits. A researcher observing from the window nodded at their presence.

“This the C-Moros subject with implants?” Torres asked as she turned to look at the techs stapling a surgical incision shut on the body of the man lying on the table.

“Yes ma’am, this subject has received you last three transfers but has yet to be woken yet. His body seems to have accepted them.” The researched continued.

“Why are we here rather than out searching for flight survivors Virginia? We know we lost one of the 43 series lickers to gunshots, there are survivors.” Raymond groused as Torres waved him off.

“Because this is far more interesting, and we’ll have the survivors in hand soon whether you two are out trudging around the jungle or not. This subject is the culmination of a project of mine that I have a close attachment to. That man has been infected with the virus in the Moros host; combination of the alpha parasite and a c-virus mutation, not unlike the old Umbrella Nemesis project. That virus has yet to yield anything interesting other than death, but it has served as a basis for the acceptance of whatever strange cocktail of viruses exist within me.” Torres mused as she watched the techs step back as the figure stirred.

“We’ve been trying my spent organs in a variety of hosts with varying levels of reaction to the infection but when implanted in a host with a C-Moros basis…” Torres trailed off as the subject began to jerk, writhing as his skin darkened. His body made a harsh cracking sound as he bellowed, mutating into the form a beast not unlike that of a mammalian hunter. He growled loudly before collapsing back on the table as the techs stood far away, making for the exit.

“How are the subject’s vital signs?” Torres asked the researcher standing next to her as she stared at the familiar form in the containment room.

“Fluctuating but the subject is still alive. The transformation seems to be complete but uncontrolled. It is unclear what kind of brain activity the subject will have in that form, or if he reverts.” The researcher responded, glancing down at the tablet they held.

“Hmm. Terminate this test subject and bring them for immediate autopsy before they begin to degrade. Let’s see what the transformed physiology looks like, see if we can reverse engineer the catalyst element in my transplants.” Torres said as the tech took off.

“Tricell’s brass knows nothing about this project, its all my research here.” Torres said turning back towards Jessica and Raymond. “Tyrants are outdated, even the C-virus is rendered moot my E-type and A-strain weapons. This… what I am could be the next wave if we can figure it out. It belongs to me though; all this suffering belongs to me. When I successfully reproduce this condition, when I have a working prototype, I’m ditching Tricell and whole lot of washed up, self-aggrandizing, Wesker wannabes. I want to know if I can count on you two, there will be plenty of resources to secure your loyalty after finding a buyer I assure you.” Torres said as Raymond stared blankly at her, turning his gaze back to the mutated subject; the corner of Jessica’s mouth curling as she let the offer sink in.

Chapter Text

Veronica walked quickly over the wet sidewalk in the Zelenogorsk district of St. Petersburg. Rain fell lightly in the early evening as she came upon the address she had been sent. She took a deep breath, adjusting the lapel of her coat as she buzzed the intercom. It crackled to life, silent static as she glanced at the panel.

“Zhuliki i vory.” She spoke as the door clicked open. She stepped into the foyer of the home and was greeted by a short, Russian man in a plain suite.

“Director Dittmar, Mr. Navalny is waiting in the dining room.” He addressed Veronica as she nodded, stepping into a small dining room. The windows faced a back garden that was plainly kept as a man with short brown hair, a plain but serious expression and piercing blue eyes which conveyed a fatigued determination.

“To think I would be willing to meet with an Umbrella stooge to discuss the future of my country.” He said shaking his head as Veronica stood at the other end of the table.

“Mr. Navalny, I know the Umbrella Corporation simply in name does not inspire confidence…”

“No, it really doesn’t, and Alexei is fine Veronica, I despise pomp for the sake of itself.” Alexei interrupted with a dismissive gesture.

“Alexei, we are fighting the same enemy in the shadows that you fight in the open. We know that the Oligarchs have worked hard to spread their influence where the Family no longer holds power. This is no longer a uniquely Russian problem. They, like of the rest of the world now, seem oblivious to what is going on.” Veronica started to pace as she spoke.

“They are oblivious by design Veronica; you have some grand plan to show the world how wrong they are? Like Lansdale? Like Wesker? Like Simmons?” Alexei shot back as Veronica shook her head.

“I do have a plan to expose them, but no one needs to die to make that happen. I need your help to begin to break into their inner circle. You watched the fall; you saw them grab for money and power. You’ve been fighting them longer than most players have known of their existence, we need your help. We need all the voices we can to support us when it comes time to expose them and people believe you when you speak.” Veronica said as snippets of her voice came through an earpiece several blocks away. The figure wearing it adjusted their position from their vantage point, trying to see through the windows of the home with her range finder. The radio chirped, the figure changing the channel to respond.

“Comms check. How’s the feed coming through?”

“Clear enough, has been recording. Looks like we have affirmative proof of Umbrella trying to work with Russian political leaders. Sounds like they’re subverting competing businesses but it’s hard to tell.”

“The analysts can worry about piecing that together. Your insertion was a bit sloppy so command wants to pull you out now while we still can.”

“Understood, Birkin out.”

 

“I still have nothing on why the FSB would have found us at that safe house.” Helena groused in front of her laptop as Ada paced in her penthouse in the Al Malky district of Damascus.

“I still think this is a little too in plain sight to hide.” Leon grumbled from the window he was lent up against watching the busy city center seemingly oblivious to the war tearing apart the country.

“I think you have little to offer on the subject.” Ada snapped as Leon grunted flatly in response. “I’d check with my sources but that kind of defeats the purpose of keeping my continued existence as an intriguing rumor in the underground.” Ada added as she stepped over to Helena.

“I might have something to offer.” Ashley spoke up sheepishly from the other end of the table. Ada, Leon and Helena all looked up at her as Ashley avoided eye contact.

“Well at this point anything is an improvement, what is it?” Helena asked as she closed her laptop.

“At TerraSave, we’ve been working with the White Hats, Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross since the civil war started in Syria. Assad has used bioweapons several times against the rebels and some factions of the rebels have in turn used them on government forces. Creates a mess for civilians that other aid agencies are not prepared for, so we’ve had a large presence in the country for years. I was actually preparing to join that relief effort after I was finished in Romania, I have already been familiarizing myself with the situation on the ground.” Ashley began.

“So, you have a firm understanding of the political situation, I understand how that could be useful Graham but what exactly did you have to offer.” Ada returned, pacing behind Helena.

“I uh… there have been a number of incidents involving TerraSave members, other relief workers and government soldiers. The leadership of TerraSave has reason to believe we’re being targeted by the Russian government. After the incident with the attack on our headquarters in New York in twenty eleven, we’ve been paying a lot closer attention to security. We have reason to believe the attacks are being directed by the FSB or similar agencies. One of our largest posts in the country is in Al Kiswah, just a little farther than the Airport is from here. I could go there, report in and see if I can find out what TerraSave knows about the FSB presence here.” Ashley added, a hint of confidence creeping into her voice as she spoke.

“Isn’t that area rebel held?” Leon asked

“Contested, but certainly not safe. That’s why aid workers are there.” Helena answered as Ashley nodded.

“Can you handle that Graham?” Ada asked.

“I’ll check in with the White Hats in Damascus first, they can give me safe passage as soon as I show that I’m an aid captain for TerraSave. If I leave now, I should be back with something by nightfall.” Ashley responded.

“Ok, well Leon and I have an errand to run so we’ll head out together. Just in case we are being watched, it’ll stretch their numbers. Helena, you keep at it with the CIA, I know things are chaotic since Hunnigan’s disappearance, but they have to give you something.” Ada said as Ashley stood and Leon followed Ada into Evangeline’s room, the girl reading on her bed.

“What exactly are we doing?” Leon asked as Ada turned to him.

“Eva’s a growing girl. I figured while I had the moment, I’d get her some new clothes. You’re going to watch my back so I can actually make sure she gets something halfway fitting this time.” Ada smirked as Leon rolled his eyes.

“Forty caliber, three magazines, hollow points with a suppressor.” Ada said as Eva looked up at the pair.

“What?” Leon said staring at Ada.

“You ready to go sweetheart?” Ada asked as Evangeline nodded, standing and putting on her shoes. “My gun Leon, go get it ready, you’re carrying it for me so I’m not setting off any metal detectors. We’ll just say you’re my bodyguard, people will buy it with all the pissant brooding.” Ada smirked as Evangeline hopped up, having finished getting her shoes on. Leon stepped off to get ready as Ada walked into the living room with Evangeline. Ashley was standing with her shoulder bag, waiting by the door as Ada joined her, waiting another minute until Leon stepped into the room.

“Oh no, we’re not doing that.” Ada commented as Leon adjusted the lapel of his black riding jacket.

“What? There’s nothing wrong with this, besides I thought you wanted the bodyguard aesthetic.” Leon defended, holding his arms apart.

“One, bullet hole on the right side and there’s blood staining, doesn’t matter that its black it looks like shit. That and go put on a real shirt Leon, this is the higher end section of town. If you’re going to play the part, look it.” Ada responded pinching the bridge of her nose as she shut her eyes.

“I don’t have another jacket with me Ada, this is kinda the one I always wear.” Leon said somewhat embarrassed as Ada shook her head and Helena stifled a laugh.

“Go put on a real shirt then, Helena, do you have something he can borrow?” Ada commanded as Leon left to his room.

“I think I have something, might be a bit feminine for him though.” Helena smiled standing up.

“Not really a problem.” Ada returned as she waited.

 

“I feel just a bit ridiculous.” Leon said as he kept pace with Ada. They made their way into Massa Plaza, Ada holding Evangeline’s hand as she looked around at the vibrant Syrian marketplace.

“It’s a peacoat Leon, military inspired and unisex so stop complaining.” Ada returned as they made their way through the thin, midday crowd.

“Yeah but purple isn’t really my color.”

“One, that’s closer to a Navy Blue mixed with Palatinate and two, maybe this will actually teach you something then. Besides all it really needs to do is cover your weapons, so I don’t really care.” Ada quipped as Leon rolled his eyes.

“Any particular reason you are so confident heading out in public like this.” Leon asked as they stepped into a clothing store off the main thoroughfare running through the mall.

“Because I’m me and you’re watching my back on this one. Getting out is good for Eva, she’s spent far too much of her life locked away.” Ada said, smiling down at the girl clutching her hand, still transfixed by the busy seen around them. They walked through the store to the rear; the children’s section Leon could only assume from the size of the clothing, the signs all in Arabic.

“Ok Eva, remember how we talked about you getting to pick some things?” Ada said kneeling next to Evangeline.

“Yeah! I just have to make sure it’s the right size, it’s on the tags, right?” She responded with an excited look in her eye.

“Exactly, go find a few things and we’ll have you try them on.” Ada said as Evangeline began browsing through the children’s section. “Don’t take your eye off her.” Ada said stepping off into the store, Leon trying to protest before she disappeared.

“How the hell does she always do that.” Leon muttered as he awkwardly followed Evangeline through the racks of clothing as she browsed.

“So… are you my dad?” Evangeline questioned as Leon went white.

“What do you mean by that Eva?” Leon stammered, unsure how he had found himself in this bizarre and uncomfortable position: interrogated by an eleven-year-old bioweapon in a Syrian shopping mall wearing one of Helena’s coats.

“Well my mom kissed you, and you fight a lot so… I don’t know what else you would be.” Evangeline said in a matter of fact manner, looking at a plain blue sweater as Leon’s face went from white to red.

“Your mom?” He managed to question as Evangeline laughed.

“Well yeah, she said that she never really had one but she’s pretty sure that’s what she is to me. So that’s what I call her. She saved me from a lot of bad people, keeps me safe and is nice to me. That’s what a mom does right?” Evangeline said inquisitively as she plucked the sweater from the rack.

“Yeah, I guess that’s not wrong. I don’t really know what I am to your mom. We’ve known each other for a very long time.” Leon said after taking a long breath.

“Do you love her?” Evangeline asked, moving on to another rack.

“Yes.” Leon answered before he realized he had spoke as Evangeline let out a sly giggle.

“I think she loves you too.” Evangeline said with a smile, Leon laughing dismissively.

“What makes you so sure.”

“Cause she never stops talking about you, mostly complaining or talking about something you did wrong. Even if it isn’t always nice, that shows she still cares a lot.” Evangeline said as she pushed hanger after hanger aside. Ada walked up behind Leon carrying a dark grey jacket on a hanger, single black stripes running from the shoulders down the sleeve and back.

“Go make sure this fits.” Ada instructed, handing the cruiser to Leon.

“Ada you don’t have to… Jesus… I don’t know the conversion rate but that’s a lot of numbers in any country.” Leon said looking at the tag of the garment.

“I didn’t ask if you wanted it, or to look at the price. I told you, go make sure it fits.” Ada commanded again as Leon silently stepped off, Evangeline giggling as he did.

 

Ashley stepped out of the truck emblazoned with the blue and gold symbol of the Syrian White Hats. She thanked the driver and stepped into the TerraSave post. The lobby was buzzing as several groups of aid workers made their way out the front. Ashley approached the front desk and held her credentials up.

“Good to see you Graham, haven’t seen you since you entered the country. May I ask what you’re working on?” The receptionist said as she scanned her ID.

“It has to do with the security issue we’ve been facing from some federal sources lately, can I speak with the head of this post?” Ashley asked politely as the receptionist laughed.

“You must really be laying low; the director is up in Aleppo after someone dropped a bomb loaded with T-virus in one of the outlying neighborhoods. They’ve pulled someone in provisionally from the Mid-East desk. Burton was her name I think, I’ll let her know you’re coming up.” The receptionist said as Ashley winced.

“No that’s… I know Burton, thank you.” Ashley said taking a deep breath as she walked past the desk and headed down the hall to the director’s office. She paused at the door and sighed, knocking as she heard an affirmative “come in”. She stepped into the small office as Moira looked up from the desk and groaned.

“I thought I told you I’m not bailing you out anymore! No, I don’t have somewhere to put your security, no I don’t have requisition for nicer accommodations, fuck off princess.” Moira snarled as she stood up behind her desk. Ashley closed the door behind her as she stepped forward.

“Please, Moira… its not about anything like that. I need your help.” Ashley started, pleadingly as she approached.

“Of course, you do! How many times have you come groveling up to the high ups for pet projects and long shot tasks for yourself, only to come to me to help make them actually happen? I’ve clawed my way up through this organization Graham, I’m not letting you ride my coattails.” Moira spat.

“This isn’t about me Moira, I’m trying to help figure out what the FSB is trying to do, maybe even stop them.” Ashley pleaded as Moira shook her head.

“We’re walking on a razor’s edge as things are Graham. The BSAA has been shut out so there’s no one here to save us if things go south. We aren’t a militant group; we have to keep aid at the top of what we do, or we won’t be able to get in anywhere. I’m not jeopardizing our mission because you think you can play hero.” Moira answered. “Stop trying to be you fucking dad.”

“You of all people should know better than to bring that up.”

“I know, take that how you will.”

“Its not just me here Moira, I’m trying to help DSO Agent Kennedy and CIA Agent Harper.” Ashley said through a withering breath, feeling heat build in her cheeks.

“Kennedy? As in Leon Kennedy?” Moira asked, recognizing the name as Claire’s old friend.

“Exactly, I was with them and one of their contacts when we where attacked by the FSB.” Ashley said, taking another sharp breath as she remembered the incident. “They need to know where they are coming from. We can tell them without getting involved and they can take care of the threat for the both of us.” Ashley offered as Moira shook her head.

“You where involved in an international incident and didn’t check in?” Moira’s voice built into a shout as Ashley felt tears break over her cheek.

“That’s not what I…”

“I don’t give a flying fuck what you thought it was, you could have put our entire mission here in danger, you could have had our mandates revoked, you could have been killed!” Moira shouted as she stepped around the desk and approached Ashley. “Stop playing around with things that are way too fucking big for you princess!”

“I was trying to help! I still can, they can help us by keeping our people safe, we can help them by giving them information. Please Moira.” Ashley shouted through tears as Moira paused. Ashley broke down, covering her face as she sobbed.

“How bad was the incident.” Moira huffed, asking quietly as Ashley cried.

“Came out nowhere, Leon was badly hurt I… I had to do it and I’ve never…” Ashley stammered as she furiously wiped her hands, feeling the sickly warmth of the blood of the man she had killed still clinging to them. She yelped as Moira suddenly hugged her, Ashley leaning into her embrace as she continued to cry.

“I know what that’s like. I’m sorry you had to go through that. It sounds like you did well, don’t beat yourself up over it.” Moira said softly as Ashley drew a long breath, pulling back as she sat on the small sofa in the office. She wiped her eyes as Moira stood over her.

“You know I’d never leave you stranded right? I won’t let you get hurt I just… I have to think of all the people counting on me. I don’t want you to think you can’t count on me, just don’t think you can take advantage of it.” Moira said as Ashley nodded.

“I know I… I want to be more than just my father’s daughter.”

“Ha, you’re a lot more than that old prick, really shitty bar to set for yourself princess.”

“Can you please stop calling me that.” Ashley said softly as Moira knelt to look her in the eye.

“No… but let’s go let your friends know what they’re up against. I had a full briefing this morning.”

Chapter Text

Chris drove the BSAA MTVR over the winding road leading out of Manaus, Brazil. It had been a day since the crash, Jill sitting silently in the passenger seat as the truck bounced to the Umbrella refueling station; a helicopter waiting to take them out to the last recorded coordinates of Misty one-one. They drew up to the simple heliport, hopping out of the truck as they approached the aircraft. The pair stopped short as a familiar figure turned towards them.

“Agent Redfield, Agent Valentine. Odd running to you all the way out here in the conflict zone.” Deputy Director Agnette said as Jill stared at her, expressionless.

“Director we…”

“I’ve been overseeing the evacuation of all of our forces from the path of the Venezuelan military, this one Umbrella pilot has been particularly stubborn. He’s utterly refused to acknowledge the situation or my authority. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?” She said walking up to Chris. He frowned as Jill looked away.

“Ma’am, we’re not stopping.”

“Good.” She replied walking over to Jill and putting her hand on her shoulder.

“Promise me one thing Valentine. No matter what happens. No matter what you find out there… please come home.” Agnette said softly, Jill looking at her with a pained expression. She opened her mouth to respond, not saying a word as she furrowed her brow. Jill brushed off Agnette’s hand and walked off towards the waiting helicopter. Agnette let out a long sigh as the Umbrella pilot began loading the helicopter with their equipment, looking at Chris as he stood silent.

“Look after her big guy. Good luck.” Agnette said as she stepped off towards her vehicle. Chris nodded as he joined Jill in the helicopter, the blades spinning up as they took off towards the crash site. They where nearly silent for the two-hour flight, Chris anxiously looking over at Jill. She silently loaded the magazines to her rifle, setting each completed one into a collection of pouches strapped to the sides of her tactical rig. He watched as she checked and re-checked all of her equipment, never looking up or saying a word.

“Coming into view of the crash sight now! Running low on fuel so another bird is going to meet us out here from Sao Gabriel, they’ll be able to stay on station for a few hours.” The pilot called over the radio as Jill stood, walking towards the right-side door.

“We’ll fast rope from max height, don’t want to disturb the site if possible.” Jill called out as Chris stood up next to her.

“Understood, you’re clear.” The pilot called back as Jill slid the door open and tossed the nylon line out to the ground. She hooked in and swiftly slid down, crouching as she landed and moving off the wreck of the plane. Chris landed shortly after her as the helicopter pulled the line back and sped off.

“Jill, wait.” Chris shouted catching up to her as she stared at the carcass of the plane. “Take a moment…” He said softly as Jill took a long breath, tears beading up in the corners of her eyes.

“I’ve had enough time; I need to know.” She stammered, stepping towards the front of the mangled plane. She climbed into the torn fuselage and gasped, the mangled corpse of a man lay in the isle of the wreck.

“We have one dead, looks like one of the crew.” Jill called back as tears broke over her face, stepping further back through the plane, looking in between the contorted rows of seating. She gasped as she saw blood on the floor of one of rows, glancing around for any sign of a body. She wiped her eyes as she forced herself to keep going; her feet feeling like lead, her muscles screaming to stop, her chest aching. She reached the rear of the plane, finding no other corpses. Jill stopped at the rear door of the wreck; the first aid kit removed from the cabinet built into the fuselage.

“What?” Jill muttered, a set of bloody fingerprints on the handle of the case. “Find anything Chris?” She called out.

“Three bodies! Looks like more crew and the pilots. No other signs.” Chris called back timidly as he made his way down the aisle towards Jill. She kicked open the back door and stepped out, quickly following the trench the wreck had dug into the earth. Her heart was racing, beating so fast she could feel it against her equipment strapped across her chest. She stepped over the trough and gasped, staring at the makeshift shelter built into the trees. She ran over, staring at a collection of empty food cans, used bandages and small collection of twigs and leaves built into small homes. Jill let out a sharp cry of joy and relief, piercing the air as Chris sprinted up to her. Jill fell to her knees, tears streaming from her eyes as she laughed, unable to completely process what she had just found.

“Jill! Jill what is it!” Chris called as Jill sat hunched over on the ground.

“They’re alive! They survived the crash, they had to of. The girls never could have built this, Claire had to have helped them out.” Jill laughed as she looked around the small campsite, Chris breaking into a wide grin, covering his mouth as tears broke from the corners of his eyes. “This little set up, Val and Edie always build something similar with their toys in the hall; I’ve stepped on it so many times, it’s always in the way, they have to be alive, both of them Chris!” Jill stammered, unable to contain herself as she took a deep breath, covering her mouth as she kept crying. Chris smiled as he stepped closer to the shelter, frowning at the bloody bandages left next to a burnt-out fire. He continued away from the site and stopped when he saw the corpse of the licker-ivy hybrid.

“Jill, come see this.” He said solemnly as Jill collected herself and stood, wiping her face as she approached.

“One of them was wounded I think, maybe by that thing.” He said quietly as Jill’s expression soured.

“Claire would have been the one to kill it.” She said looking at the empty shell casings near the corpse.

“Do you know what the licker 43 is designed for Jill?” Chris asked hesitantly.

“Capture, deemed more viable than the web spinner by Umbrella in ’02.” Jill muttered as she examined the corpse. “No matter what they are still alive, we just might go from rescue to breakout.” Jill lamented as Chris let out a long breath.

“Claire will have taken care of the girls, they’re as tough as their moms.” He said as Jill nodded.

“I’m back Chris, no more despondency, no brooding. Call this in, Claire would have been smart enough to start moving away from the crash sight after this attack. They’ll probably head north and try to find the river. We should be able to catch up with them quickly, couldn’t have gotten far with the girls.” Jill said adjusting her rifle’s strap as she searched around the campsite for signs of her family’s trail.

“Redfield to Uniform-Romeo-zero-two, over.”

“We hear you Redfield, fifteen until on station.”

“We have substantial evidence that Claire Redfield, Edelie and Valerie Valentine survived the crash. We have found the bodies of the rest of the crew. The site was attacked by a licker 43, we believe the entity that shot them down are attempting to capture any survivors. We will be tracking them on foot, take up a search pattern from the crash to the Rio Negro.” Chris called out as Jill whistled near the tree line, pointing to a series of broken tree branches and footprints.

“Understood Redfield, taking up a search pattern, we’ll let you know if we find anything.” The helicopter called back as Chris followed Jill, both taking off into the jungle.

 

Claire lifted Edelie to the ledge above her, Valerie helping her over the lip as Claire exhaled. She lifted her backpack, both girls grabbing it and lifting it up. Claire then grabbed the ledge and groaned, her wounded arm still aching as she forced her way up. She rolled over onto the moist rock and huffed, sitting up as the girls sat, waiting for her instruction.

“Good job girls, let’s keep going, we have a while before dark.” She said as they nodded, Claire replacing her backpack. They had been moving steadily north through the rough terrain since morning, cutting a wide path around the village. The girls where exhausted, quietly taking the food Claire prepared for them in the morning, Valerie mustering some encouragement for Edelie as they kept moving. They had been moving steadily uphill for the past mile, slowing them down but giving Claire hope they would reach a vantage point by noon.

The sun shown directly through the thinned canopy near the top of the hill they had been climbing, Claire getting a stark view of the valley lay in front of them.

“With any luck this will all run straight into the river.” She muttered to herself, setting her bag down. “Rest up, make sure you’re drinking water girls.” Claire said as she stretched her arms out. She sat down, opening her bag and began to change out her bandages again. The infection in her shoulder had refused to get better, but the swelling had not progressed past the charcoal circle Claire had drawn around it. She groaned as the wounds still ached, struggling to heal properly with how much she had been moving.

“How far are we mom?” Edelie asked as she took a long drink from her canteen.

“I’m not sure love, but its going to be a few more days. We just have to keep moving.” Claire offered as Edelie nodded softly.

“I’m so proud of the both of you, being so brave. I know you’re tired, I know you’re scared, so am I. Watching you two handle this so well makes me stay brave too.” Claire smiled at them, Edelie jumping up and hugging Claire. Claire laughed as she held her, perking up when a soft buzzing sound entered her ear.

“Do you girls hear that?” She asked cautiously as Edelie and Valerie craned their necks to the sky. The steady sound of helicopter rotors began to crescendo. Claire scrambled to her bag, finding the emergency flare she had grabbed from the crash, running to the edge of the tree line facing a sheer drop. She stared out over the rolling landscape of trees, searching for the source of the sound. Claire gasped as a black dot on the horizon slowly took the shape of an Umbrella helicopter as it drew closer. Claire raised the pistol high and fired, a bright orange flare soaring up into the sky. The helicopter turned towards he as she let out a loud cheer, the girls watching earnestly as the aircraft drew closer. Claire watched as it neared, less than a mile away. She jumped as a flurry of bright lights erupted from the helicopter, spreading wide on either side.

“Why is it doing that?” Valerie asked as Claire watched intently. A white streak flew by the helicopter at incredible speed, soaring through its flares and crashing into the trees on the other side of the ridge.

“That’s what brought us down, it wasn’t one of the jets, it was a surface to air missile.” Claire thought out loud as she followed the streak of smoke back to a ridge far to their north. “Come on, please tell me you have more countermeasures.” Claire whispered as she watched the aircraft turn hard, trying to put get over the landscape away from where the missile had just been fired. It erupted into a sudden fireball, glowing spectacularly as the wreck fell into the trees not a half mile from where Claire and the girls where waiting. Valerie yelped with surprise and Edelie began to cry, Claire staring as black smoke began to rise from the crash.

“Oh Jill, please tell me that one wasn’t you.” Claire mewed softly, picking up Edelie as Valerie looked at Claire, unsure how to react. “Come on, lets go check on them. I know that looks bad but we where ok. Another helicopter is bound to come after that one soon” Claire said as Edelie sobbed into her shoulder. They quickly stumbled their way through the thin trees along the top of the ridge until they reached the crash site. Claire set Edelie down as Valerie drew up next to her, the helicopter engulfed in flames. Claire winced as she tried to step closer, the heat intense even at a distance.

“So much fire, had to have a full tank or close to, it couldn’t have been from too far.” Claire thought aloud as Valerie looked up at her.

“What if they shoot the next one too?” She asked as Claire looked at her, offering a nervous smile.

“They’ll be smart with the next one, they’ll send it out with more guns and people to come get us. They’ll land far away and then come to us on foot, show us where they hid the helicopter so we can escape.” Claire mused as Valerie nodded.

“Mommy wasn’t on that one, right?” Edelie asked quietly as she stared at the burning aircraft.

“She wasn’t sweetheart.” Claire said instinctively, desperately hoping she was correct. “They would have started at our wreck, tracked us on foot while setting up a search grid.” Claire thought to herself in an attempt of self-comfort. She walked over to the edge of the ridge, looking out over the valley.

“Where did that one come from.” She thought to herself as she heard a sickening shriek come from the trees. “Fuck, lickers. Girls! We’re going to have to move now!” Claire yelled, running back over to them as a green, ivy-like licker leapt from the canopy in front of them. Edelie and Valerie screamed, Valerie hurling a rock at the creature as Claire drew her weapon and fired. The licker whined as rounds struck its head, Claire coming up on the girls. She unclipped her knife from her belt and handed it to Valerie.

“Run! Keep your sister safe! I’ll catch up, go, go, go!” Claire yelled as Valerie clutched Edelie’s hand and took off into the brush, Claire turning back to the licker. It lunged at her as she dove, rolling along the soft ground as it landed, turning on her again. Claire raised her pistol and fired several more shots into its head, the creature charging. It tumbled, suddenly succumbing to Claire’s gunfire as the action locked open.

“Shit.” Claire swore under her breath as she desperately reloaded her weapon, her hands shaking as she heard more screeching coming from the trees around her. A licker came scurrying through the underbrush as another leapt from the trees behind her. She fired desperately at the licker facing her, charging it as it whipped its tongue at her. Claire dodged as she kept firing, feeling the second licker strike her wounded arm with its tongue. Claire screamed in pain as she hit the ground, the licker she had been firing at leaping on top of her. She emptied her magazine into it as it pinned her shoulders, Claire groaning as its claw dug into her wounded shoulder. She kicked at its body, trying to rip at its flesh with her fingers as tendrils of ivy grew from its body, coiling around her wrists and pinning them together. Claire thrashed as the beast seemed to become docile, keeping her pinned as she desperately struggled against it. She heard rustling through the foliage as she looked off to her right, a group of soldiers approaching, wearing Tricell marked gear.

“Looks like there was a survivor, she’s immobilized.”

“Sedate her and we’ll bring her to Torres.” Claire heard garbled voices through gasmasks as a sudden sting erupted in thigh. She looked down to see a small dart that had embedded itself into her leg as the world rapidly went black.

Claire shot awake, trying to get a read on her surroundings. The air was somewhat dank and cool, the sounds of the jungle silent. She was sat on cold concrete in an empty room. Water dripped somewhere in the barren concrete structure, thin beams of light cast through a set of tall, barred windows looking out at the overcast sky. A light rain fell beyond them. The structure feeling cool; water ran over the windows and fell farther as if they were built into the side of a mountain.

Claire looked at her injured arm, her shoulder completely wrapped in fresh bandages. The ran down her arm as far as she could see, they where pinned behind her. She was leant against a solitary steel poll in the center of the room, wrists bound firmly behind her. She strained, the bonds refusing to budge, the surface of the poll too smooth to use to saw them off. Claire huffed into a thick cloth that was tied around her head, covering her mouth as she squirmed. She threw her head back, trying to shake loose to no avail; breathing heavily through her nose, a strand of hair falling over her face.

“Ok, you’ve been in tighter spots before. Jill and Chris will come get you, do what you can to make it easy for them.” Claire thought to herself as she tried to get comfortable, the thin poll pressing harshly between her shoulder blades.

“God damnit, the girls.” Claire thought, hoping the helicopter they saw meant they where actively searching the area, and that they would get to them before Tricell did. The heavy door to room creaked open as two figures stepped inside. A woman wearing black cargo pants and jacket over a dark blue turtleneck approached her; her hair hung in a loose, disheveled manner around her, as if she had just come in from the rain. The other was a man wearing Tricell field gear; he had a mop of brilliant red hair and a sour expression. The woman knelt down in front of Claire, examining her as her hands hung between her legs. She cocked her head slightly to the side as Claire glared at her.

“Who is she?” Torres said plainly as Raymond scrolled through his tablet.

“Claire Redfield, former TerraSave member, current SOA field operative. She was a Racoon City Survivor, was involved in the take down of Umbrella from Paris to Rockfort. She was involved with the Savage River Breach, Philadelphia Missile Attack and the Volnovakha incident.” Raymond rattled off as Torres raised her hand for him to stop.

“Hmm… so we’ve dealt with her before, anything interesting?” Torres asked, still staring blankly into Claire’s furious eyes.

“She was infected with SRT-04, it was ineffective.” Raymond responded as Torres nodded. She reached forward and pulled the gag out of Claire’s mouth, letting it hang around her neck as she sputtered and spat.

“I’m looking at a dead woman.” Claire laughed as Torres snickered.

“Kitten’s got claws. What makes you say that dear? The fact that you’re a BSAA favorite? That your brother is Chris Redfield, poster boy for the whole fucking party?” Torres teased with a sly grin. Claire laughed harder.

“You have no idea who I belong to do you? You have no idea who is coming for you.” Claire shook her head as she laughed.

“Your partner, Jill Valentine you mean?” Torres said smirking. “I’ve been wanting to meet her since she kicked my pathetic field operatives around like toys.

“More than that, dead woman.” Claire tossed as Torres grabbed her by the chin and glared at her. Claire didn’t relent, smirking as she got a reaction from her captor.

“I’m hers, the last thing she sees at night, the first in the morning. I’m mother to her children and you are currently laying your hands on me. She won’t just kill you; she’ll rip you to pieces, tear down everything you stand for. Everything you’ve ever been will burn in her fury, she’ll make sure you breath long enough to watch.” Claire smirked as Torres growled, roughly letting go of Claire’s chin, pulling the gag back over her mouth and tightening it.

“Cute Redfield, really, but you should know better than to offer information not asked for. Have the weapons scour the area near the helicopter crash and revisit the plane. There are likely more survivors. Have the villages infected with Plagas put on high alert for intrusion. Expect the full weight of the BSAA to come crashing through our door any minute.” Torres said pacing around Claire as she let out muffled protests, straining against her bonds.

“Watch out for Valentine, you’ve worked with her before, so I expect you to know her well enough. I want you to make sure she knows we have Claire; I want you to lead her to me when she shows.” Torres said as she knelt behind Claire as she struggled, wrapping her hand around Claire’s throat as she leaned in close.

“When Valentine shows we’ll go see her together, I bet her fury will be a fun challenge.” Torres hissed into her ear as her hand gripping Claire’s throat began to transform into a dark, clawed grip. Claire yelped into the gag, breathing heavily as she felt Torres’ claws brush against her throat. Torres stood, laughing as she stepped away from Claire. She looked back over her shoulder, hair falling over her face as she grinned.

“Oh, I can’t wait to meet her.”

Chapter Text

“And you’re absolutely certain.” Leon repeated as he paced through the living room, Moira leant up against the kitchen table. Helena and Ashley where sitting on the couch as Ada sat at the kitchen table, Evangeline in her room.

“You know on second thought I made the whole thing up; we aid workers just like to play Risk too much. I’m the acting director of the Damascus post of TerraSave Kennedy, I receive briefings from our international security teams. I’m pretty fucking certain.” Moira groused as Ada smirked.

“I’m not suggesting you’re incompetent, it’s just a big leap from our current operations to start targeting foreign intelligence services.” Leon returned, Ashley wringing her hands nervously as they talked.

“Sounds like they attacked first, seems like it makes them fair game. Anyway, just because our focus isn’t combat doesn’t mean we’re oblivious to military actions in the area we work in. We’ve had intelligence gatherers watch their airfields since the war began, gives us the chance to get out of the way of strikes and respond quicker after the fuckers leave. It’s actually worked so damn well that the White Helmets and the Red Cross have been coming to us for intel.” Moira said with a hint of pride, folding her arms across her chest.

“I think Leon is more concerned about whether or not the FSB is actually permanently stationed there or simply operating through Khmeimim Air Base.” Helena offered as Moira glanced at her.

“Harper, right? I’m sure, we’ve baited them with some false movements before and seen their reaction time. They are stationed in a relatively new set of structures on the east side of the base, behind a large aircraft apron. They keep most of their heavy lift stuff over there. They keep it well guarded from the neighborhoods in the east.” Moira continued as Leon paused his pacing. “They’ve become really cocky lately, one of my more… zealous comrades snuck in through an unwatched section of the airfield’s motor pool to get a closer look.” Moira said with a laugh as Ada stood.

“About an hour and half’s drive north of here, we can get this done tonight.” Ada smirked as Helena and Leon looked at her with some surprise.

“Without any additional planning?” Leon asked skeptically.

“They’re cocky, got their hands full with the war and I’ve been itching to chase these fuckers down since they broke in on us last week.” Ada dismissed as Moira laughed.

“She’s bold.” Moira smiled at Ashley as she looked at her nervously. “I can’t say much on how you should go about things but the less you disrupt them, the better. I’d like to be able to continue to watch them in their currently lazy and sloppy state. That and if you find anything useful for us, please share.” Moira added as Leon nodded.

“We won’t forget this help. We’ll keep things discreet.” Leon assured.

“And if things go to shit, we’ll wipe out the whole place, no matter what your aid mission will be safer.” Ada added as Helena laughed. “So, Leon and I will be on infiltration. Helena, I don’t want to stress you leg too much yet, so you’ll be overwatch and driver.” Ada added as Leon stepped off to gather his things.

“Works for me, you want the three thirty-eight or fifty BMG?” Helena asked as Ada smirked.

“Both, let’s make it a party.” Ada returned as Helena stepped out, Ashley following her. Moira watched them head off to the rooms of the penthouse as Ada drew up next to her.

“Daughter of S.T.A.R.S. senior operative and BSAA serviceman, survivor of Alex Wesker’s fear experiments and you’re doing aid work?” Ada questioned as she looked at Moira, one eyebrow raised.

“I’m scrappy, but not a fighter.” Moira returned as Ada stifled a short laugh.

“Heard you and Redfield are close, didn’t want to follow her when she left?”

“No… I joined TerraSave because of her but… I feel like its where I belong. I feel like its where I do the most good.” Moira answered after a moment of thought.

“Not just because you get to push Graham around, keep her close without her realizing it?” Ada poised as Moira went red, staring at Ada as she smirked.

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Moira shot back defensively.

“I have my pretty blond I like to push around too, no reason to be ashamed.” Ada maintained as she walked off to prepare.

“That’s not what… she isn’t my… fuck.” Moira called after her, pouting as she turned to the windows overlooking the Damascus skyline.

 

Jill clutched her carbine to her chest with her left hand as she swung her machete with her right, Chris keeping pace behind her as the made their way through the thick jungle brush. She stepped carefully over a gnarled root, pointing to it for Chris as he followed suite.

“Has Overlord got back to you on what happened with UR-zero-two?” Jill broke the silence as she sliced through a thick branch in front of her.

“Not yet, sounds like it got struck by the same MANPAD that took down Misty. They’ll be a lot more hesitant to send out more aircraft until they have something from us.” Chris answered as Jill stopped.

“Well we’re on the right trail.” She mused, stepping into a small clearing. She paced around the remains of a fire; an empty can and discarded snakeskin near a patch of trampled ground. “Must have been their second night’s camp.” Jill thought out loud as Chris nodded.

“Looks like. There are two trails, one heading north, the other north west. Which one you want to try first.” Chris posed, pointing at the trampled brush and broken branches on the edge of the camp.

“Let’s hope they just walked off to find firewood or something, we’ll press north.” Jill said stepping off towards the vague trail through the brush, clearing the way with broad swings of her machete. After a brief period of trudging through the brush Jill paused, the colors of the trees fading from green to grays and browns. She held up her hand and sheathed her machete, Christ stopping behind her as he shouldered his rifle. Jill raised hers as she crouched into the brush, slowly moving forward, sweeping her steps carefully over the ground to minimize the noise she made. She reached the edge of the tree line as a simple village came into view.

“Indigenous?” Chris whispered as Jill looked through the optics of her carbine.

“Seems like, uncontacted, Kawahiva maybe, based on the info I’ve read.” Jill said as she scanned the villagers aimlessly milling about.

“Bit far north for them actually, its possible they could be an off shoot, but I doubt Claire would have risked an interaction; for her sake and theirs.” Chris offered as Jill shook her head.

“Something’s not right here.” Jill muttered as she continued to scan the villagers. Her gaze stopped as she noticed a crate in the corner by one of the huts, clearly man made far beyond the technology of an uncontacted people. It had a small Tricell logo on the side, Jill frowning as she looked through the crowd again. The grotesque figure of a burst Plaga rounded the corner, the parasite wriggling as it drove its corpse.

“Plaga’s and Tricell equipment. Looks like the whole village is infected, they’re just wandering around aimlessly. This has to be part of their perimeter security; they are all just sentries for whatever base they are launching from.” Jill seethed as she stood.

“Jill! What the hell are you doing?” Chris called as Jill stepped out onto the dirt road and began to approach the village.

“This is a Tricell post now, all the villagers are infected and suffering beyond our help Chris. Not only will this put out one of Tricell’s eyes, this is merciful.” Jill returned sternly, no longer making an attempt to hide herself. She walked up the main road into the village as the denizens turned towards her, pointing and shouting in their native language as the scrambled for weapons. Jill raised her carbine and fired, quickly dispatching a host of the Plaga hosts as more ran out of the huts throughout the village. She paused by the first row of homes, pulling the pin on an incendiary grenade and tossing it in as more Plagas growled at her. Chris caught up to her, the hut bursting into flames as the grenade detonated.

Jill pressed on, dropping Plagas before they could get close, quickly swapping magazines as she made it to the center of the village. Chris helped cover her as she approached a Tricell terminal set up next to a small field antenna.

“Hope this thing is on… whoever’s watching, fire’s burning your way.” Jill threatened calmly into the terminal’s camera before striking the computer with the but of her gun. The screen shattered as the unit fell to the ground. Chris pausing as the last of the Plagas fell under the report of his rifle. Fire raged through the village, spreading from house to house as sparks filled the air. Chris followed Jill quietly back towards the trail that had led them there, returning to the woods to follow the other path.

“Was all that necessary?” Chris asked after a tense few minutes as they returned to the campsite. Jill exhaled, throwing a dangerous glance at him before heading down the second trail, swinging her machete to clear their path.

“It was a risk to the wildlife, to other tribes and an active Tricell asset. I think it was the right thing to do.” Jill groused as Chris reluctantly nodded. “That, and it felt fucking good.” Jill muttered darkly loud enough only for herself to hear.

 

Leon screwed a long, black suppressor onto his M4, setting it down on the open tailgate of the SUV as Helena came up behind him.

“Farm’s clear, I should have no problem posting up on the warehouse roof to give you guys overwatch. Can you give me a hand getting the M82 up there?” Helena said with a smile.

“Yeah, let me just finish this up.” Leon said as Ada stepped around from the passenger’s side of the SUV. Leon held out the suppressed carbine as Ada held up her hand, walking up to the tailgate and pulling out another weapon’s case.

“Got a problem with Colt?” Leon teased as he clipped the M4 to his chest rig as Ada offered him a playfully annoyed smile.

“No, just always preferred the German makes.” She returned, flicking the latches on the case. She withdrew two USP pistols, placing them in twin holsters strapped under her arms. She smirked as she lifted a UMP .40 submachine gun, slinging it over her shoulder, centering it so it sat just over a large pouch on her belt behind her back.

“We expecting that big of a fight?” Leon laughed as Ada loaded her rig with spare magazines as Leon did the same.

“Shouldn’t we always? Seems like whenever I go anywhere with you, we wind up shooting our way out.” Ada returned as Leon grabbed the case carrying one of Helena’s rifles.

“Can’t say you’re wrong.” Leon said, carrying the rifle up a ladder to the roof of the warehouse where Helena was setting up her position.

“Thanks Leon.” Helena smiled at him, her first weapon already resting on its bipod as she gazed through her rangefinder. The lights of the airbase glowed bright through the somewhat rural landscape.

“You can make shots that far, right?” Leon teased as Helena glared at him.

“I qualified for sniper school, you know that, right? Maybe I’ll pierce your ear to make a point.” Helena laughed as Leon shook his head.

“We’ll head in, hopefully keep things quiet, dig around until we have something. If things get loud, make sure to target some of the aircraft that are sitting on the apron. They’ll assume it was a rebel attack rather than a dig for intel.” Leon instructed, waxing serious as Helena nodded.

“Easy enough, decent shooting gallery looking between the aircraft and the motor pool. You two heading in now?” Helena returned.

“As soon as I head back down, Ada and I will run through the scrubland and insert just south of the motor pool, just like Moira showed us.”

“I’ll watch the patrol, see if I can pick up their pattern before you arrive.” Helena added as Leon began to climb back down the ladder. “Good luck.”

Ada was finishing preparing her equipment, screwing a suppressor onto the barrel of her sub machine gun as Leon approached her. She finalized her equipment by slinging a dark equipment bag over her shoulder as Leon nodded.

“Always thought you where just magic, this really all needed.” Leon said as they took off through the dark countryside towards the airbase.

“No, but it’ll minimize the likelihood of an alarm being sounded. Since we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for I figured it’d be best to buy as much time as possible.” She said, lowering her voice as they approached a small collection of shrubs near the exterior fence of the base.

“Vehicle patrol coming from the north.” Helena’s voice sounded over the radio as they watched the headlights of a truck cast briefly over them; the vehicle slowly patrolling the perimeter road.

“You’re clear.” Helena called out as Ada and Leon quickly ran to the fence. Ada slipped on a pair of black gloves, drawing a pair of wire cutters from her tool bag. She swiftly cut through the chain link fence and lifted a flap for Leon entered. She followed, swapping the pliers for a handheld spot-welder. She swiftly repaired the fence, catching up with Leon on the other side of the perimeter road as he swept the landscape with his M4.

“Some movement within the motor pool; single patrol by the radar station and looks like inventory in the truck depot.” Helena called out as Ada and Leon used the wall of hesco barriers for cover as they ran towards the FSB building. Ada threw up her hand as they reached a break in the wall, Leon stopping short behind her as a Russian sentry stepped out and turned away from them, patrolling the perimeter as they hugged the shadows. Ada stepped off silently behind him, drawing one of her pistols. She clapped her hand over his mouth, kicking out the back of his knees. He grunted into her gloved hand as she swung him into the dirt, firing two shots into his head. Leon looked surprised for a moment before adjusting his expression.

“Thought we wanted maximum time in?”

“Well after they came after Eva, I owe them a few corpses.” Ada snarled, picking up the pace as they reached the FSB building.

“Second story window on the east side looks like its cracked open.” Helena called out as Ada reached the south wall of the structure, Leon right next to her. They clung to the wall, rounding the corner to see one of the windows swinging ajar in the night breeze.

“Cold ruski’s can’t stand the heat.” Leon laughed as Ada pulled out a small hooked device from her tool bag.

“You recall this old thing?” She smirked, holding up the hookshot as Leon let out a gruff laugh. She fired the grappling hook to the roof, locking onto one of the railings, holding her hand out to Leon. He rolled his eyes, taking it as Ada grabbed him, the device pulling them both to the roof.

“I’ll insert and clear the room, you come in after and we can start turning the place over.” Ada said as she fastened the grapple of the hook shot firmly back to the railing. She took a deep breath, back facing the ledge as she prepared to leap.

“You don’t want me to head in first?”

“No Leon, I’ve done this a lot more than you, trust me.” Ada sighed, Leon breaking her focus.

“Ok, fine.” Leon relented throwing his hands up, “The backflip really necessary?”

“It’s good for momentum.” Ada shrugged. “That and I like it when you watch.” She winked at him before disappearing over the edge of the building. Ada tucked her legs under her as she flew into the small office space, landing nearly silently as two FSB agents scrambled. One dove for his weapon, the other for his radio. Ada dropped the hookshot, drawing both of her pistols and firing two shots: the FSB agents and the hookshot hitting the ground at the same time. Ada paused, scanning the room as Leon slid down the line, entering the room behind her.

“Hmm, looks promising.” Leon queried, pointing at a large map hung on the wall. He pulled open one of the pouches on his plate carrier and withdrew a digital camera, letting his weapon hang from its strap.

“Looks like they have most of TerraSave’s locations mapped out.” Ada said as Leon photographed the map. “They must have really felt safe here.” Ada added, stepping over one of the corpses. She retrieved her hookshot and strode over to a plane desk with a host of papers covering it. She frowned as she brushed through them, a file laying open showing several surveillance photos of Ashley at Damascus airport and the TerraSave headquarters south of Damascus.

“Leon, here. They’ve been tracking Graham. Doesn’t look like they’ve traced her to us though.” She commented, flipping quickly through the file as Leon came over.

“That’s disconcerting. Not anything particular though other than proof that they are watching TerraSave and their members.” Leon said, laying out the file and taking several photos of each page. Ada continued to go through the loose papers around the FSB office, digging into the desks in search of anything more substantive.

“Ada, here.” Leon called from across the room after a minute of quiet searching. He tossed Ada a brown folder as she approached, Ada opening in and turning past the letter head.

“Memo… detailing the attack in Aleppo, the one Moira said had their director move to coordinate the response personally.” Ada mused as Leon nodded.

“Keep reading.”

“Something about a feint. They meant to lure him out there?” Ada said, concern entering her voice as she looked up at Leon.

“There’s more here on a series of potential strike patterns across the city. They want to wipe out the TerraSave mission there with the director. They’re also planning to raid the headquarters in Al Kiswah and their stations in Deir ez-Zur, Ar Raqqah, Homs and Manbij. Ada they’re trying to drive the whole organization out of the country in one operation.” Leon worried as he began to photograph the files.

“Anything on us or the raid on the safe house?” Ada asked flatly, setting the folder down as Leon looked up at her.

“No, nothing so far.” He said somewhat taken aback.

“Well that’s good. With a major operation about to be underway that means the Oligarch I’ve been trying to establish contact with will likely be in town. That and the fact that the official FSB field office knows nothing about the raid, they where a rogue operation. He knows I’m here and is interested enough to send his thugs poking around.” Ada surmised as she strode over to the window.

“Ada… are you suggesting we do nothing about this?” Leon stammered as he stepped towards her.

“What is there to do Leon?” Ada returned sternly.

“Help them! Ada they are going to be attacked on all sides, scattered and driven out of the country after years of work! Millions of people in this country count on their help!” Leon implored as Ada turned back to the window.

“And how many people die every day in this war Leon? How many, right now, are going to die?” Ada questioned as a roar of fighter filled the night air, taking off towards the east. “Would you have us fight this whole war? Whose side would we join? Leon our work, our mission is what matters here. You can’t lose sight of that because the road is littered with people who need help.” Ada countered solemnly.

“The BSAA isn’t coming Ada, they have no weapons. They can’t fight!” Leon pushed as Ada shook her head.

“We can give this information to Graham and Burton. What they do with it is up to them, now is not the time to talk about this.” Ada finished, drawing an incendiary grenade from her pouches on her belt. “Helena, can you pop a few targets on the airfield? We where a little messy but I think it can easily look like a rebel incursion.”

“No problem, looks like they have a strike coming back right now. I’ll pop the fighter as he lands, should make a big mess and convince anyone it was rebel targeting.” Helena responded. Ada tossed the grenade into the office, Leon leaping out of the window in front of her. Ada followed as the grenade went off, the hot wave of air tossing papers in a tempest as flames consumed the room. There was a distant thudding boom as a loud explosion sounded from the runway. Leon and Ada ran south, sticking to the same route they had entered through as alarms started to sound around the base. They caught glimpses of the wreck of a Russian fighter in the center of the airfield, flames silhouetting it in the dark.

Ada cut through the fence as she and Leon ran back through the scrubland to Helena’s post. She was already packing up her rifles, the SUV running when they arrived. Leon and Ada silently got into the vehicle as Helena sped off, making for the country highway they had come in on.

“Please! You have to do something!” Ashley pleaded emphatically as Ada stood across from her in the kitchen in the safe house. Moira sat at the kitchen table, her hands on the side of her head as she tried to process the information. Leon and Helena lingered in the corners of the room; the trio reluctantly having decided not to intervene in the FSB’s operation against TerraSave.

“We’ve shared everything we possibly could have Graham. We even made a mess of the airfield before we left, that could buy you a few extra days.” Ada offered as Moira looked up at her.

“A few extra days for what? To watch the skies? To just up and leave? What the hell did you expect us to do with this information?” Moira burst in as Ada looked to her.

“We don’t have weapons and we can’t abandon the country, there are far too many people who rely on our presences.” Ashley added.

“Your effectiveness is why you’ve become a target. I’d recommend moving as many of your assets out of the country as possible, even if you just cross the border into Jordan for the time being. The Russians will attack you in Syria but will not risk open war spreading to Jordan or Lebanon. That would invite intervention from Europe, the BSAA can protect you in those countries.” Ada offered as Moira shook her head.

“If we leave it gives Assad the green light to use bioweapons blatantly, there would be no one to bear witness, to counter the effects.” Moira lamented as Ashley nodded in agreement.

“Your mission fails if you stay only to be taken out by the FSB. I’m not insinuating that this an easy decision, but it is clear what you must do.” Ada said as Ashley looked to Leon.

“Please, Leon… you have to do something to stop this.” She pleaded as Leon frowned, shaking his head.

“As much as I hate it, Ada is right. We are doing something about it with our current mission; its just a different timetable on a different scale. I suggest you take her advice Ashley, I’m sorry.” Leon said after exhaling, avoiding eye contact.

“You two are welcome to stay here until this passes, you’ll be about as safe as you can while staying in the country, we have a meeting to prepare for.” Ada said after a long silence in the room.

 

Valerie couldn’t remember the last full breath she had drawn as she kept running, desperately clutching Edelie’s wrist as branches and brush struck the both of them. Her muscles screamed louder than her fear for a moment as they paused. Edelie fell to her knees, sobbing as Valerie struggled to catch her breath.

“Come on, don’t…” Valerie tried to soothe as her sister buried her face in the toy retriever, she always carried with her. She wrapped her arms around Edelie as she shook, unable to hold back her own tears.

“They’re never going to find us… they took mom and they keep shooting all the people who come to help.” Edelie stammered as Valerie hugged her.

“Mom’s tough… a-and smart. She’ll escape.” Valerie stuttered as Edelie lent up against her. “Mommy’s coming, she’ll find us. She won’t stop until she does. We just have to keep moving, try to get back to the camp.”

“What if the monsters are there?” Edelie whimpered.

“Then I’ll fight them.” Valerie returned determinedly holding up Claire’s knife in its sheath. Edelie sniffled, nodding gently as she stood with her sister’s help. They kept heading south, Valerie habitually looking for the sun through the canopy. She second guessed her directions every minute, trying to remember how Claire had explained it to her. They stopped, reaching a steep ridge line; staring over the side as Valerie tried to think.

“Ok… so we left our bags…” She thought out loud as she looked around at the endless jungle, hoping to notice a familiar landmark. Edelie suddenly yelped, losing her footing as she tumbled down the hill, sliding over the damp foliage out of sight.

“Edie! Hold on! I’ll find a way down.” Valerie called out, desperately searching for a foothold around the flanks of the ridge. She clumsily made her way down the hill, sliding into a rotted stump with a soft grunt. She listened for any sound from her sister and stopped dead.

“Echo three-two, I’ve located another survivor. Understood, holding position. You! Don’t move a muscle and everything will be just fine.” The mask-muffled voice of a Tricell soldier came through the brush as Valerie quietly approached. Her vision keyed onto the soldier holding is rifle on a frightened and shaking Edelie, green stains streaking her clothing from her fall. Valerie strafed through the bushes until she had the back of the soldier, slowly slipping Claire’s knife from its sheath. She took several long breaths, fighting to keep her fear down before sneaking out into the open. She came up behind the Tricell agent, his focus entirely on her sister until Valerie plunged the dagger into his leg. He screamed in pain, clutching the wound and falling to the ground as Valerie withdrew the blade; Edelie yelping in shock.
Valerie jumped on top of him, not giving the soldier the opportunity to recover as she began swinging the knife frantically. She brought it down hard on him as he attempted to shield himself, Valerie screaming in fury and fear as she slashed. His arms became torn up, the blade connecting with his armor, glancing off his mask as Valerie kept up her desperate assault. She struck hard with both hands, the blade slipping through the soldier’s guard and finding its mark in his throat. His arms went limp at his side, black blood oozing from the wound as Valerie pulled out the knife, breathing heavily as tears broke of her cheek. She wiped her hair away from her face, blood covering her hands and face as Edelie watched in horror.

“Edie…” Valerie stammered, looking over at her sister still curled up on the ground, clutching her stuffed animal.

“We have to keep going.”

Chapter Text

Eliisabet strode into the massive conference room of the Hoechst Celanese headquarters in Quito, Ecuador. A collection of executives where sat at the far end, the room lined with dozens of armed men wearing gas masks and tactical gear. Eliisabet smirked spectacularly as her small entourage of researchers and security filed into the room behind her, two researchers wheeling a massive crate in behind them. The case was dark grey and metallic, labeled “Sarcophagus: Veidimenn Project”.

“Glad you decided to drop your pride and consider my offer.” Eliisabet shouted across the room as she took a seat at the end of the table, her team sitting around her. “I like the over the top rooms, halls, columns, etcetera. Very Soviet Mr. Gorokhov.”

“You said you could offer a weapon more potent than Tricell’s Moros project and a field of more effective tools in general. I want you to start getting specific.” Gorokhov tossed back as he leaned back in his chair.

“E-type weapons are the future of biological warfare, a proprietary weapon that no entity has been able to reproduce despite the presence on the market. We maintain that as well as halo projects like Tricell, we believe our project Veidimenn is far superior to this Moros project we’ve heard Tricell is working on.” Eliisabet began as Gorokhov shook his head.

“E-types are old news and unstable, a brilliant idea but do you even know where the one used by Ada Wong is?”

“We have it on good intelligence that it was destroyed with Wong by the combined efforts of the BSAA, DSO and the Umbrella Corporation. That was one of several projects underway. When dealing with bioweapons, Farnham, you have to expect the occasional incident.” Eliisabet responded, her tone like she was explaining a simple concept to a child.

“It would take a lot more than a solid Tyrant competitor and E-types to win my superiors over. We have no proof of your weapon’s viability, Tricell has proven to be a long reliable partner.” Gorokhov groused as he rolled his eyes at Eliisabet’s comments.

“Tricell was a corporation built to sell bioweapons and pursue its executives’ agendas. Now it is scattered and clings to your superiors’ vast network for the massive drain in resources it requires toe exist. The Connections have always been scattered by design, never too many assets in one place, multiple clients and efficient inner workings. We can compete with the likes of Tricell while taking up a fraction of the visible footprint. Even with all their clever politicking, the BSAA still closes in around them. Is that really the kind of attention that your superiors want?”

“Hmm… Tricell has been somewhat burdensome within the past year or so, yet they still successfully executed the Philadelphia strike, the US government still chasing their shadows with the CIA and DSO.” Gorokhov began as Eliisabet burst into laughter.

“A missile attack loaded with a basic strain of C-virus Mr. Gorokhov, something the world has seen before. They where ready, they cleared the city and are restoring it as we speak. What did Tricell gain? Attention. We could offer you control of a city the size of Philadelphia or larger; no one would know. What could you do with that?” Eliisabet countered after she stifled her laughter.

“My superiors have given me leave to accept your proposal for… viability trials. Although we are interested in the subtly of the E-type weapons when it comes to advancing our objectives. Our operations are still substantially supported by conventional styles of BOWs sold for use in the field; you will need to prove the viability of such in order to secure our confidence. Your personal appearance has been noted, we will be eager to begin trials.” Gorokhov delivered, standing as his comrades followed suite. Eliisabet broke into a broad grin as she stayed seated.

“I’m so glad they are paying close attention Mr. Gorokhov. You see, I knew you would be nothing but a stooge salesman. I came in person to speak directly to your superiors through whatever feed they be watching. Trials begin now, your proof of viability will be the tapes of project Veidimenn wiping out Hoechst Celanese.” Eliisabet spoke as the Celanese security teams trained their rifles on her. There was a loud crash from behind her, the room erupting into gunfire as Eliisabet closed her eyes. There was metallic rattling as she opened her eyes, the lid to the sarcophagus held in front of her. She smiled as the gunfire ceased, a loud groan from the BOW shielding her as it held its right arm aloft. It groaned as the air of the conference room hummed, Eliisabet feeling her skin tingle, hair raise as the charge built on the creature’s trident-like appendage. It discharged, arcing through the Celanese security team. The air was torn with their screams and the smell of burned flesh permeated the room.

“Hold charge until lethal.” Eliisabet calmly ordered, the current flowing from the BOW for a another few seconds. They released it as the security team collapsed, a low hissing from boiling electrical burns the only sound in the room as Gorokhov stared at Eliisabet and the Veidimenn weapon in horror.

“Now that I truly have your attention, I will reach out to you shortly. Gorokhov has been useful but ultimately he’s inconsequential.” Eliisabet spoke loudly to no one in particular. “If this isn’t enough proof of our capabilities, I encourage you to keep watching. This is hardly over and there are plenty of more targets for us to demonstrate with. We will be able to sustain these operations with the gracious cooperation with the families of various employees of yours. Unfortunately for Mr. Gorokhov, he has no family to secure his release. We will be in touch.” Eliisabet finished as she stood and stepped out of the room, the BOW jumping on top of the conference table and charging the surviving members of the Celanese leadership.

 

Torres sat at the head of the table, her laptop playing the security footage at the Tricell shell company in Quito, Ecuador. Raymond and Jessica sat silently while she reviewed the tapes, Raymond’s combat knife still stuck handle deep in the table. Torres let out a long breath as she paused the footage, looking up at the pair of Tricell field operatives.

“Looks like Hoechst Celanese will no longer be providing material support to Tricell. The Connections just gutted their leadership and what’s left of them in the US has no clue about their affiliation with weapons research. Well played Zlatica.” Torres mused.

“You don’t think that banter was serious was it? Are the higher ups actually considering a contract with another weapons manufacturer?” Jessica spoke up as Torres scoffed.

“Of course, they are, they have their goals and that’s all that matters to them. Besides, they likely want Tricell to be kept on its toes.” Torres dismissed as Raymond frowned.

“Spit it out Vester, I can never tell if you have something on your mind or you just look like that.” Torres tossed across the room.

“Should we not reconsider our current mission? Pursue the Connections so they back off from our operations?” Raymond offered, folding his arms over his chest.

“BSAA and Blue Umbrella are still the biggest threat, we need to keep up the pressure on them until this continent is untouchable.” Torres replied, shaking her head as she stood.

“Ma’am, with all due respect; the BSAA has been three steps behind us since Philadelphia. The US is shut out of the continent, the two most powerful countries are at war and the Umbrella Corporation is far more concerned with the Connections than us. Wouldn’t this be a good time to lay low and focus on securing our place here; finishing your personal project.” Jessica asked, leaning forward on the table as Torres stepped towards her. Jessica instinctively locked up, not taking her eyes off Torres as she stood behind her.

“For what you know… that’s not a bad vision.” Torres said quietly as Raymond’s eyes narrowed. Torres shut her eyes and took a deep breath, brushing a strand of loose hair from her face as she opened them again. “You two know about my attempts to replicate my condition. There was a form of breakthrough during the autopsy of the last subject. The weapon’s organs… my organs, have a manipulation to them as soon as they undergo their first mutation. Something they infected me with to create my current form rewired the genetic code of each of my most vital pieces. They are closest related to the parasites Los Illuminados modified for their Regeneradors. Each part of me acts like one of those parasites when I change, some kind of neurotransmitter sets them all off, like Glenn Arias’ weapons. Its hopelessly complicated yet… we have a working prototype cocktail.” Torres delivered as Raymond raised an eyebrow.

“As soon as we can replicate it with at least eighty percent of a success rate, I’ll be looking for buyers. Now as for Tricell and the higher ups… how much do you two actually know?” Torres questioned, resuming her pacing around the room.

“Tricell faded for a while after Gionne ate it, took us some time to recover. We serve a group of European wealthy, powerful, royal types. Essentially the way Radames’ Neo-Umbrella served the Family.” Jessica spoke up as Torres nodded.
“And against whom do they compete, these rich and powerful types.” Torres asked, walking behind Raymond.

“Anyone in their way? Governments, other companies, each other?” Raymond spoke up as Torres shook her head.

“Not precisely. There are always groups of individuals thinking they know what’s best for us all, trying to prove it in the shadows and in the present. The Oligarchs are how they are known. They play on the level of the Family and a few other entities. One currently controls the Chinese government, having such a closed, regulated society makes it easy to lay low. Another lingers in the United States though they are broken and scattered after the collapse of the Family. Another exists quietly in east Africa, waiting for their time. The most capable and powerful of all these entities is simply known as the Organization.” Torres delivered as she reached the head of the table again. “The Organization has been in the game long before Umbrella knew about the Progenitor Virus. They have been pulling strings silently since before Racoon City. Their most notable operative is Ada Wong, playing our marketplace so well until her recent demise; at least apparent demise.” Torres spoke as Jessica looked on in shock, Raymond trying to disguise his surprise with a gruff laugh.

“I know because their head, or at least their recruiter, reached out to me several years ago. They entered me into a trial period against another potential recruit. They only told me her call sign, Source Prodigy. Needless to say, it was determined I was too much of a risk with my current form. They told me that ‘source prodigy was motivated by a unique compassion that drove her beyond her incredible abilities as an ideal candidate’ and then I was cut off. This had to be late ’06? Then I’m on a bus in London, heading to my flat trying to rethink my entire track in life, and it explodes. Two other bombs went off on the underground too. I was one of the few survivors of my attack, the media and UK government placing the blame on the middle east. People bought it but I knew better, they bomb was meant for me. It matches their operations; Wong pulled a similar stunt in Ankara a few months back to mask her true intentions. First ‘suicide’ attack in the UK and the only since less than a week after they cut me off, seems a bit suspect doesn’t it?” Torres began to fume, Jessica and Raymond silently watching her as she paced. “They began following me shortly after but that abruptly ended in the fall…”

“The raid on the Spencer Estate…” Raymond muttered.

“Exactly Vester, Exactly!” Torres slammed her hand down on the table as Jessica jumped, fire in Torres’ eyes. “That’s when Tricell reached out to me, as well as the Organization. The Organization offered conditional cooperation if would agree to assist with an issue their new recruit had picked up on. They couldn’t admit that they had just lost her!” Torres laughed as become steadily more animated. “I met with their people, killing everyone I could get my hands on. The only one to slink away was some merc looking American who never said a word during the meeting. I then took the security video to Tricell, the welcomed me with an open checkbook. I was given the run of their North American branch, stiff arming suppliers and intimidating regulators and investigators; disappearing the more zealous ones. They never really noticed me skimming budgets, stockpiling resources for my personal projects. I was prepared to take over the whole operation and then Gionne fucked the whole company. We get scattered, resources drained, Valentine returns. Its been hell rebuilding what was lost and now… with everything coming together, I feel them breathing down my neck.” Torres hissed, grabbing the edge of the table, the wood cracking under her grip.

“I’m certain its no coincidence, the Organization has its spies everywhere, I never knew all of their members, never. I know this one, and we have her favorite toy and a working prototype of what I am.” Torres was shaking as she smiled.

“What do you want from us.” Jessica asked after a silent moment.

“Loyalty, don’t worry, I can afford you. I’ve been stealing from them on top of my pay for near a decade. When Valentine shows, Redfield will become my first test subject. It doesn’t really matter if she lives or not, it’ll break her, Valentine and her brother. That combined with the Oligarchs playing with the American’s election, the BSAA will be finished within months. From there we take the fight to the organization until every single one of those bastards is gone, watching everything they ever worked for fall to pieces. What they made me will fund their destruction.” Torres grinned, letting her hand mutate, staring at it as Jessica nodded, Raymond still staring at her.

“We have a name for it yet?” He said flatly as Torres smirked at him.

“Amoraq, combination of coding from dozens of different bioweapons that can walk amongst any population and without warning, tear something as potent as a Tyrant to pieces. Then we blend back into the crowd.” Torres affirmed as her hand reverted back.

“When do we start? I could use a change of locale… and a raise.” Jessica said sitting back in her seat as Torres turned to her.

“Shortly after I deal with Valentine. With any luck she will be able to clue me in to the rest of the Organization while I hold a needle on Redfield. If not, we’ll play Tricell’s game for a little longer.” Torres said looking down at her computer screen, the frozen images of the Connections’ weapon murdering Celanese executives still there. “Not a bad time to be on our way out either. Keep the perimeter tight, I’m going to go check on our guest.” Torres added, stepping out of the conference room as Raymond looked over at Jessica.

“So, are we actually behind her on this?” He asked waiting for a moment to be sure Torres was gone.

“Of course!” Jessica laughed, putting her feet up on the table. “I’ve never been a fan of these fuckers; she’s offering a hell of a payday split between only three people. All she wants to do is hurt the BSAA and this Organization and then we’re done. I can finally retire from this crap before it kills me.” Jessica sang as Raymond nodded.

“Of course, assuming this all… works.” He added with a short flourish. Jessica frowned at him.

“What does that mean?”

“Torres has rarely had large scale success when she makes big plays; before she worked for Tricell and even now. Philadelphia was a disaster and this current mess could easily go the same way. The BSAA busted one of our best smugglers and the Connections have practically pushed us out of Ecuador after ending our plans in Ukraine. Not to mention the fuckers that raided the Valenta Pharm headquarters in Romania. I think a lot more people are onto us than Torres realizes, a lot more heat on her in particular than she realizes. I’m onboard for this but I’m not betting everything on her just yet.” Raymond considered as Jessica sighed.

“There you go ruining my fun. You aren’t wrong though. We’ll play loyal then, but only as long it looks like the cash will keep flowing.”

“Fair enough. We should probably start prepping Torres’ trap, Valentine blew through one of our border posts. Watched her and Redfield burn the whole place to the ground before she destroyed our surveillance.”

“Hmm… I’d love to watch her try and take Torres.”

 

Claire stirred softly, disoriented as her stiff muscles groaned at her waking mind. Her wrists ached, her arms ached, her jaw ached as she struggled to find a position against the pole she was tied to that had even the slightest comfort. She let out a sharp breath through her nose as she glanced at the windows behind her, the slightest moonlight seeping through as she turned back towards the dark cell. She felt her blood go ice cold as her eyes swept the darkness, a hulking shape lurking in the corner. There where wisps of its breath floating in front of its face, moonlight glancing off its eyes as it watched Claire. She let out a muffled whimper as it took a step towards her. It’s clawed hands landed with a menacing click against the concrete as it drew closer, a bass growl exiting its throat as it approached.

Claire desperately struggled against the ropes around her wrists, dragging them against the poll she was tied to, trying to get them loose. The monster drew closer, taunting her with its painstaking approach, letting out another throaty growl. Claire tried not to look at it as she franticly wrestled with her restraints. She looked up suddenly as she felt the beast’s breath on her, shrinking up against the pole as her breathing grew heavy. She shut her eyes, bracing for a searing pain, a slash, a bite. She held her eyes closed for nearly a minute, opening them cautiously. She yelped with surprise into the gag as she found herself face to face with Torres. She was wearing a full battle suit, the top unzipped and hanging around her waist, the legs ridiculously wide as a collection of adjustment straps hung loose.

“Hey Claire.” Torres taunted through a loose curtain of stray hair. She reached forward and roughly yanked the gag from Claire’s mouth as she stood, adjusting her suit and running her arms back through the sleeves.

“What the fuck was that thing.” Claire stammered, still breathing heavily as she adjusted herself on the ground.

“Hmm? Oh, just me… thought you had a thing for bioweapons considering your taste in women.” Torres smirked as she looked down at Claire, zipping up her suite as she stretched out her arms. Claire glowered at her without saying a word, Torres letting her teeth show in a wide grin.

“I just wanted to let you know Valentine is on her way, probably within the next twenty-four hours. I can’t wait to go see her together. She will be so relieved to see that you survived that terrible wreck.” Torres continued, slowly pacing around the room as Claire kept her gaze on her.

“Good, I’ll enjoy watching her pull out whatever you have left in you that is human.” Claire tossed back as Torres laughed.

“Not bad Redfield… but there is very little left in here that is human.” Torres darkened as she knelt in front of Claire again. She held up her hand, the flesh mottling and crawling as it formed into a grotesque paw. “Truly incredible isn’t it?” Torres mused, holding the clawed grip in front of Claire’s face.

“You’re an abomination, just like Birkin, just like Wesker, just like Ashford. You know what they all have in common? They’re dead, long gone because their choices dragged them down, their greed consuming them, their lust for power destroying them.” Claire taunted as Torres’ eyes flashed yellow, inhuman and furious.

“And you think I chose this do you?” Torres growled, grabbing Claire by the throat. She lifted her off the ground with her mutated hand, holding her against the pole as she gasped for breath. “This was forced on me. I was built, made, not asked. I’ve killed all those who did this to me and have used it. What they thought would subjugate me, make me into an instrument of their will I used to destroy them.” Torres denounced, dropping Claire roughly to the ground. She groaned as she hit the ground, her head striking against the pole as Torres let her arm revert. Claire grunted as she felt her head ringing, her knuckles scraped.

“None of that matters… in the end it will just make you easier to break.” Claire forced a devious smile as Torres looked down at her, regaining her composure.

“Oh, but it does matter sweetheart. You see I’ve been painstakingly unraveling my condition since joining this sorry band of terrorists and corporate stooges. I just had a breakthrough, a working prototype virus. You will be our very first subject, with any luck you will end up just like me. If not well… at least you’ll get to see Valentine one more time.” Torres cooed as she placed her hand on Claire’s cheek. Claire glared at her while she spoke, turning quickly and biting into Torres’ palm until she tasted blood. She held it, expecting Torres to strike her, to struggle but nothing happened. She released after a moment, the taste of blood making her feel nauseous as Torres stared blankly, almost bored at her. The wound on Torres’ hand immediately began to close, the skin light pink as it healed. Torres stifled a small laugh as Claire huffed, staring at her.

“Adorable Claire, really. I assure you my bite is far worse, but its not for you.” Torres taunted, swiftly replacing the gag over Claire’s mouth before turning to leave the cell. Claire stared at the door for a moment, the sound of her captor’s footsteps fading as she felt heat build in her cheeks. Tears broke from her eyes as she hung her head, fighting to stifle sobs beneath the night sounds of the jungle.

 

“You don’t know where it is!” Edie cried as Valerie practically dragged her further through the jungle, fighting tears as the little moonlight seeping through the canopy made it difficult to see a clear path.

“Yes I do! We just have to keep going, even if we have to hide for the night. Being dark makes it harder.” Valerie called back as Edelie struggled to keep up.

“Please! I my feet hurt; can we stop Val?” Edelie called as Valerie stopped and hushed her. There was a loud screech as Edelie whimpered.

“We have to hide… and stay quiet!” Valerie whispered, leading Edelie over to a large Wimba tree. They crawled under a section of exposed roots, pulling the brush over them.

“What if there’s a spider… or a scorpion or a snake!” Edelie whispered as Valerie hushed her again.

“I can squish those. I can’t squish one of those monsters that took mom.” Valerie muttered as they heard the loud cry of a licker leaping between trees as it followed the sound of the girls. It leapt to the ground about fifty feet away from them. Valerie clapped her hand over Edelie’s mouth as she began to cry. The licker bayed as it glanced over at them, slowly inspecting the brush around the trees, coming closer to the root they where hiding in when it suddenly turned its head in the opposite direction. A deep screech came from farther off in the trees. It was quickly followed by the distinct report of gunfire. The licker bearing down on them bolted off into the brush as Valerie released her sister.

“Come on, before it comes back.” Valerie whispered, pulling Edelie to her feet as they took off back into the jungle. They ran, dodging vines and thorns as the night seemed to growl at them from every dark corner. They didn’t get far until the faint screeching of the lickers hunting them began to grow close again, Valerie desperately looking for another hiding spot.

“Come on Edie, we have to keep moving.” Valerie sobbed as her sister fell, still clutching her toy retriever.

“They got mom, they’re going to get us too!” She sobbed as Valerie knelt next to her.

“Not if we keep moving!” Valerie yelled through her tears as the howling screams of the lickers closed in, shadows moving through the trees. She hugged her sister, covering her as the screeching reached a peak. Valerie shut her eyes as she heard one land near them, Edelie shaking in her grasp as the night air was ripped apart by the sound of gunfire. The licker closest to the shrieked in pain as it’s skull was ripped to pieces, a beam of light glancing around the trees. Gunfire followed its path, striking the BOWs from their perches as tracer rounds scoured the canopy. The shrieking died down back into the sounds of the night as the light bore down on Valerie. She lifted her hand to shield herself from the brightness, still holding her sister as woman’s voice broke through the night.

“Valerie!” Jill called out in pained relief, sprinting towards her daughter as she realized who had found her.

“Mommy! Mommy! Its me and Edie!” She called as Jill leapt through the bush and plowed into both of them, clutching the sisters to her chest as she wept. Edelie cried as she wrapped her arms around Jill’s waist, Valerie burying her head in Jill’s shoulder as Chris followed close behind her. Jill drew a sharp breath as she composed herself, holding the girls to her as Chris pace around them, watching the trees.

“I can’t tell you how much I missed you too. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry you where on that plane, I should never let it happen.” Jill stammered as fresh tears spilled over her cheeks. “That will never happen again, I promise, I promise I’ll keep you safe.” She broke down sobbing as both girls gripped her harder. It was several minutes before they relaxed their grip, Chris turning towards Jill with a tentative smile.

“First part’s over, not we just have to come up with an extraction solution.” Jill said to Chris as the girls stepped back. “That and…” Jill took a deep breath before opening her eyes and hiding her fear from her daughters. “Where’s your mom… where’s Claire?”

Chapter Text

Ada sat quietly sipping a green cocktail at a white table. The warm light of the dining room melded pleasantly with her senses as she waited for the waiter to return with her entre. This was the fifth time in the last month she had dined as the Naranj in the historic district of Damascus; a pattern she had taken with hopes of picking up some attention from her still shrouded quarry.

A smartly dressed waiter approached her as she set her drink down, clutching a menu. He bowed his head without a word, handing the menu to Ada. She took it, meeting his eye, not recognizing him as one of the staff. She broke open the menu despite waiting for her order, smirking at the calligraphy text written on blank papyrus: “Meeting in Palmyra, The Museum. Bring the weapon or we will not show. Negotiations start at fifty US. We will see you at noon in three days. Miroslav Kuznetsov”.

 

“No, and I’m sticking to it.” Leon said shaking his head as Ada rolled her eyes, the note sitting on the table between them and Helena.

“It doesn’t really matter too much what you say actually, the deal is being done with me, not you.” Ada scoffed, folding her arms across her chest as Helena glanced at the note and back to her laptop.

“As far as we know, Palmyra is still somewhat contested. Dug in rebels matched against underequipped government forces. Makes sense to choose the arts museum though, its kind neutral ground since it’s a huge cultural site.” Helena commented as Leon paced around behind her.

“Makes me more certain about my decision.” He grunted as Ada laughed.

“Then I’ll bring Ashley as my bodyguard then.” Ada returned as Ashley glanced over nervously from the living room; her and Moira where pouring over the trove of data stolen from the FSB outpost trying to find anything more about their plans against TerraSave.

“Leon… she’s going. Stop trying to play protective and let’s talk about how you and I are going to make this happen.” Helena said gently, looking up at Leon with a tentative smile.

“She’s got the right idea.” Ada said, not waiting for Leon’s response. “We’ll run similar to how we have in the past months. Helena will take up a sniper position in the ruins of the southern part of the city. Leon will accompany Eva and I to the meeting. Eva will infect Kuznetsov and we will get what we can from him and move on to the next rung in this vile ladder.” Ada finished, looking at Leon and Helena as they nodded.

“I… wouldn’t it make more sense to let him return to his superiors to infect them too? See if we could permeate the whole group with Evangeline’s abilities?” Leon asked tentatively as Ada slammed her fist on the table.

“No, it wouldn’t! Its already far too much to ask of her as it is, the medication to suppress the rampancy of her condition throws her whole system into upheaval when she uses the mutamycene. She isn’t a tool.” Ada snapped staring at a taken aback Leon and Helena before catching herself. She looked stunned for a moment, her composure retaking its place as her expression hardened. “I’m sorry… she’s been through a lot and while on her meds, its very hard on her is all.” Ada said softly pacing around the kitchen as Helena looked away, Leon hanging his head.

“I’m sorry Ada, I didn’t mean… you’re right. Only when things are absolutely necessary will we ask that of her.” Leon apologized as Ada looked at him, a smile breaking the corner of her mouth.

“Good, go put on your jacket, we’re driving out tonight to begin setup and scouting. I have to go get Eva ready.” Ada said stepping off towards the bedrooms. She reached the end of the hall and knocked on the door.

“Come in.” Eva called as Ada stepped through, closing the door behind her as Evangeline set down her copy of Dracula. She smiled at her as she scooted to the edge of her bed. Ada stepped over to her sitting next to her on the bed as Evangeline leant against her.

“We’re going to be heading to the meeting soon. The one we talked about when we first came here.” Ada said as Evangeline nodded.

“You’re going to need me too… infect him, right? Like the mayor?” Evangeline croaked as Ada wrapped her arm around Evangeline, holding her for a moment before answering.

“Yes, just to learn what he knows and then you can stop. It won’t be like last time, Helena and Leon know that you aren’t like your sister. That and Leon trusts us after you saved him at the other safe house.” Ada soothed, rubbing Evangeline’s arm as she spoke.

“Ok… I’m still scared mommy. I… the new medicine gives me headaches when I use the my…” Evangeline said softly, struggling to remember the word as Ada smiled at her.

“Mycelia dear, that’s what it is called. I know it’s a lot to ask of you, I’ll see if I can get information from him myself first. I promise. The headaches mean that Veronica’s new medicine is starting to work though, it’s a good thing.” Ada said as she reached into the pocket of her coat.

“Ok, that’s good, I guess. I’m happy to help mommy, really. Even when its hard.” Evangeline perked up as she looked up at Ada.

“That’s my girl. Now since this could possibly be dangerous, I’m going to give you something I want you to take very seriously ok?” Ada said withdrawing her old pistol she carried in Racoon City, the gun in a small leather pocket holster. “You still remember everything we practiced right?”

“Always treat it as if there’s a round in the chamber, muzzle down range, only point at things worth shooting, anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice.” Evangeline regurgitated with an eager grin, swinging her feet as she did. Ada smiled, handing the pistol to her.

“Good girl, keep it in your jacket pocket like this.” Ada said as she helped Evangeline place the holster in the left pocket on the inside of her windbreaker. “It’s loaded with a round in the chamber, safety’s on. You are only to use it if there are no other options, ok? You run before drawing that.” Ada said sternly as Evangeline nodded.

“I understand mommy, I know that it means you trust me a lot.” Evangeline smiled, patting her jacket.

“I’m really proud of you, you know, that right?” Ada said after taking a long breath.

“Yeah.”

“Good, I love you Evangeline.” Ada murmured as she embraced her.

“I love you too mommy.”

 

“We’re looking at a large industrial campus with multiple office buildings and research labs. We don’t have any indications yet, but we can’t rule out the possibility of underground facilities as well. That being said the soil isn’t contusive to deep structures so nothing like Savage River or NEST.” Rebecca said as she pointed at satellite photos in the SOA operations office in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The target is halfway between the city limits of Rosario and Perez, Argentina. The property is large and their involvement within both city’s governments deep so we will likely be heading directly into a fight. Our primary objective will be the corporate archives and any information that can be taken from their research departments. That and the destruction of any bioweapons found there. Roland has been handling the political end here, the Brazilian authorities have given support for our actions and the remaining members of the Southern Union have given their support. We’ve deliberately kept Argentina out of the talks due to potential leaks. They still support the BSAA and have largely stayed out of the conflicts going on.” Rebecca continued as she pulled up a map of the continent showing which countries still supported the BSAA operationally and politically.

“Not to shift focus Rebecca, but where are we on…” Barry spoke up as Rebecca held up her hand, sighing.

“I know… last I heard Chris and Jill where sorting out an extraction solution with Blue Umbrella. They have confirmed there are survivors but there are active air defenses in the area. I can’t believe these words are coming out of my mouth, but I actually trust Umbrella to handle it. Veronica has felt… personally about this incident. Even though she is abroad on other business, she is still directing the mission. Chris and Jill… and Claire would want us to stay focused. They’re going to want to take the fight to Tricell after they return.” Rebecca said firmly. Barry nodded as silence hung through the briefing room for a moment, Rebecca continuing after taking a deep breath.

 

Veronica walked briskly, a light rain threatening to become more as she made her way back to her hotel in Saint Petersburg. She held her phone to her ear with one hand and clutched her coat across her chest with the other, a freezing wind coming off the water.

“We’re looking at something they want to keep hidden then, all the more reason to keep pushing. One way or another we have to get boots on the ground to take out those missile sites.” She said softly, instinctively glancing over her shoulder. There where only a few figures on the street, only one heading in the same direction as her.

“Our most recent report from Redfield says they found Valentine’s children and have requested extraction. Claire Redfield is still unaccounted for, but the others have confirmed she survived the crash.” Veronica let out a sigh of relief as she picked up her pace.

“Good, good. I was worried what this would do to Valentine, she’s been instrumental to our mission.” Veronica breathed, glancing over her shoulder again, seeing no one. “I’ve been able to secure conditional support from some Russia opposition leaders. As soon as we find the head of this snake, no matter who it is we will have some domestic support. FSB has been poking and prodding since I’ve been here but nothing serious. There is another player here though, I want security to look into it.” She added as her phone rang another call coming in. “I’ll check in again this evening, I have to go.” Veronica finished hanging up the call.

“What the fuck do you want Gabriel.” Veronica hissed as she answered the second call.

“A message, from Source Prodigy.” The firm, deep voice announced.

“Go ahead.”

“Torres in the Amazon. Valentine is heading into a trap.”

“What do you mean? How could she possibly know that?” Veronica whispered, stopping where she was.

“I’ve had her searching for her for months, she put together her surprising absence from Tricell operations abroad and the sudden issues I the middle of the Amazon. Combine that with the fact the Moros is now somewhere on the continent and the Connections are nearby flexing their new weapon. I can’t say with any certainty on my end; it is possible, but Prodigy is convinced.” Gabriel said sternly.

“Ok… what the hell am I supposed to do with this? You want to start a fast track induction for Valentine so that I can tell her that the unstable woman you failed to recruit who is hell bent on destroying us has laid a trap for her? For what reason? Just because she’s BSAA, because Tricell and her have a history? What the fuck did you expect me to do with this?” Veronica felt anger grow as her voice rose.

“I just wanted to let you know what you are up against. Torres knows that Prodigy is in the BSAA and that you are in Umbrella. She knows about Wong and Loyalty and will do everything in her power to target us.”

“You still think keeping Prodigy from me is a good idea? I understand your caution after Torres but… you would tell me if it was Valentine, right?” Veronica sighed as she continued on her way to her hotel.

“Chambers.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, we have faith in you Veronica.”

“Well that explains a lot. Loyalty still out passing out flyers?” Veronica laughed as she took in the information.

“He has two recruits he has been following for some time, he’s about to make the first offer.”

“Any of my band of special operators?”

“No.” Gabriel responded curtly

“Any reason we need to keep them in the dark? With me, Wong and Chambers present in this little secret coalition would it not be better to bring them all in at once. I hate playing this two-faced game still, especially after it almost got everyone killed.”

“That was Wong’s doing.”

“It was ours!” Veronica hissed abruptly, a long silence following as she rounded the corner and stepped into the lobby of her hotel.

“In time… we have to have absolute confidence.”

“You have to have absolute confidence, I already do. Get over your failures Gabriel, they’re starting to hold you back.” Veronica tossed back, hanging up the phone as she entered the elevator. A gruff Russian man wearing a black coat stared through the glass door of the hotel, flashing a dangerous look at the bellhop as he tossed his cigarette to the ground. He watched the elevator door close on Veronica and walked off, turning down an alley. He looked up the side of the building as he stepped further down the alley. His head snapped forward as he raised his hand to his ear, his body going limp and falling in a crumpled heap. Sherry stepped up behind him, a thin wisp of smoke floating out of the suppressor attached to her handgun as she replaced it in her jacket.

“FSB led me to her, we will be able to blame her disappearance on them without issue.” She said softly, holding her finger to her earpiece.

“Good, you are clear to take your target Agent Birkin.”

 

Ada paced around the Byzantine ruins of Palmyra, Evangeline holding her hand as Leon stayed a few steps behind. Evangeline stopped every so often as she examined aspects of the massive sight, Leon sweeping his gaze across the exits, potential ambush sites. They stopped in front of the beige remains of a temple, Leon’s earpiece chirping as he lifted his hand to it.

“Convoy approaching from the south, looks like Kuznetsov.” Helena called as Leon looked to Ada, nodding as he met her eyes. They waited as a cavalcade of black vehicles made their way into the grounds. The stopped within few hundred feet of the trio, a collection of men exiting the vehicles and taking up positions around them. The door of one of the SUV’s was opened and a man in a gray suit stepped out, slick blond hair and sunglasses as if trying to copy the appearance of a long-deceased villain. Ada smirked as he approached, flanked by his guards.

“Dobroye utro, nachnem?” He spoke with a muscovite accent. Ada stifled a laugh as she took a step forward.

“Po-angliyski.” Ada replied with a stern look.

“Very well, this is the weapon?” Kuznetsov said, gesturing to Evangeline as she gripped the hem of Ada’s dress.

“It is.”

“How would we know?”

“Shall I have it kill you and all of your men?” Ada returned as Kuznetsov laughed gently.

“Well that banishes any doubt that you are indeed Ada Wong. We where concerned when we heard the rumors of your death. Clearly you have been making use of the weapon’s incredible abilities to sustain life.” He returned as Leon paced quietly behind Ada. “I had to know if it was really you, and after I never heard back from the FSB team I sent to investigate, I figured it was. That or a very convincing copy, can’t say that hasn’t happened before.” Kuznetsov smirked as Ada’s expression soured.

“You offered fifty million, the weapon is worth at least one hundred.” Ada responded as Kuznetsov kicked at the dirt, looking up as the ever-present sound of Russian warplanes came overhead.

“Let us stop games Wong. I know you raided my little outpost in Latakia. You and your friends have been nipping at the ankles of my superiors and we have been ignoring you. That ends and you see, I am but one spoke in a wheel. This country has its importance to us and the western influences of the BSAA, Umbrella, TerraSave and the rest of you have become a problem. You can do nothing to stop this.” Kuznetsov hissed as a series of explosions erupted from the far side of the city of Palmyra. It was not a single strike but several, the explosions rolling through the town, picking up in different districts as the sound of Russian warplanes soared overhead. “We are bigger than any country or entity, you can’t play this game.” He smirked stepping forwards as his head split with a wet splatter. Ada immediately grabbed Evangeline as Leon drew his pistol, firing on the stunned guards. The entourage began to retreat into the vehicles as Ada carried Evangeline behind one of the walls of the ruin. Sniper fire from Helena began to strike the vehicles, engines dying as massive rounds from her rifle struck them. Ada unfolded the stock to her UMP as she stepped out and joined Leon.

The guards fell into chaos as Helena systematically disabled their vehicles before targeting them individually, Ada raking fire across the windows as the returning fire sputtered into uncontrolled shooting. It lasted seconds before the enemy weapons fell silent, a small fire starting in the engine of the lead vehicle. Leon and Ada quickly inspected each car, making sure the was no one left before looking back towards the city. Air strikes where still landing as massive clouds of black smoke rose from the skyline.

“Eva! Its safe.” Ada called out, replacing her submachine gun and coat as Leon reloaded, swearing under his breath. “You could have given me some kind of heads up Harper, Eva didn’t need to see that.” Ada groused into the radio as Evangeline stepped out from cover, running to hug Ada.

“I’m sorry… fluid situation. I just got word that TerraSave’s regional director was just killed in car bombing in Aleppo. Moira had to leave the safe house because she’s now in charge. It sounds like things are in utter chaos and…”

“Helena, is there a TerraSave mission in Palmyra?” Leon interrupted as they watched the city begin to burn.

“Sort of, they use it as a staging ground for their broader operations in the desert. Mostly store supplies and give logistical support to their remote missions. Hang on.” Helena returned as Leon looked at Ada, still holding Evangeline as he waited for Helena’s response.

“I took the shot because Ashley and Moira found something, the guy Kuznetsov reports to is a name that TerraSave international has been watching for a while. Guy by the name of Adrien Garmeaux, former board member of a logistics company that the BSAA busted as kidnapping Syrian refugees for viral testing a few years back. He’s been working for a PMC that has been affiliated with Valenta Pharm and the Russian military in Syria. They think he’s our guy and I’d say it lines up. That and Kuznetsov kinda realized everything going on so what was the point of keeping him alive.” Helena reported as Leon frowned, looking at the mangled corpse on the ground.

“Can’t say I disagree… ok, we need to get back to the safe house and prep to move, where is this PMC headquartered?”

“Paris. I’m on my way to pick you up right now.” Helena called back as Ada looked back at Leon, holding her hand to her earpiece as well. It was another minute of distant explosions and jet noise until Helena rolled up in a dust covered SUV. The trio piled in quickly, Leon taking the passenger seat as Helena was on the phone.

“I know just… ok I hear you Ashley but. Look we’re on our way back now, just stay put. Damascus is safe, we’re about two hours out, one and a half if I drive recklessly. Just try and stay calm, we’ll figure this out together.” Helena frantically spoke before hanging up the phone.

“What was that about.” Leon asked as Helena hit the gas hard.

“Ashely, her and Moira put something together that is… disturbing at the least. They kept noticing a reference to another player with Garmeaux, guy by the name of Isaac Shkreli.” Helena said as they roared onto the highway, the burning city behind them fading to a black cloud over the horizon.

“Sounds familiar.”

“He’s former Tricell leadership, one of Interpol and the CIA’s most wanted.” Ada added from the back seat, clutching Evangeline’s hand.

“Right and they kept referencing a decisive blow to follow their plan to drive out TerraSave.” Helena added. “Ashley said Moira has been receiving reports from their missions all over the country that they are under attack. As acting director, she has ordered everyone to make for either the Jordanian or Lebanese borders and request help from either the BSAA or their Euro Zone leadership. The BSAA will be able to handle some of that but their EU branch will be best suited. If I wanted to strike a decisive blow to them, I would attack their EU branch just as they begin to respond, have as many people in the field as possible. They’ll be disoriented and without logistical support or command and control. It would be an utter disaster.” Helena spoke rapidly as she wove in and out of traffic, speeding in excess of a hundred miles an hour.

“With an oligarch and a Tricell higher up, their focus will be on their headquarters. They can hide a sizable force and cache of weapons under a PMC…” Leon mused as Helena nodded, leaning on the horn as she cut off a semi-truck and accelerated again.

“Exactly, this is where we need to intervene. Attack them before they have a chance to move. We keep TerraSave afloat and bag us another one of these fuckers for once.” Helena shouted as Leon nodded.

“So, we get back to the safe house and head out immediately. I’ll get plane tickets ready for us.” Ada called from the back, taking out her phone.

“Make sure to include Moira and Ashley. They’re targets now and safest with us.” Leon called back, Ada frowning briefly before relenting with a stoic nod.

“I have one more piece of bad new… CIA just pinged me. After this catastrophe and Hunnigan’s disappearance they want me stateside for debriefing.” Helena grumbled angrily as Leon sighed.

“They say how long?” Leon asked.

“Nope. I can come with you to Paris, but after that I have to go, or they may catch on. Last thing we want is for some Oligarch with ears in the US to pick up on our operation here. I have to play the role.” Helena answered as Leon nodded.

“We’ll make do. With any luck we should just have to disrupt their plans, not take them all on alone.” Leon said as he took out his phone. He entered a brief text and sent it as they sped towards Damascus.

“You and Moira are coming with us; we’re not standing on the sidelines this time. I promise.”

Chapter Text

“What the hell is going on?” Barry stammered stopping Rebecca as she ran through the SOA ops room in her field gear. “All I got was an emergency deployment notice.”

“Ecuador, Connections are funding a coup. The country hasn’t blocked us out yet and we need to show them we come when called.” Rebecca said quickly grabbing Barry as they ran out into the hall. The made it out to the short airstrip of the base, an osprey already waiting as they ran up the ramp.

“Parker, Nadia. Nice to see Silver Dagger is loaning you to us.” Rebecca commented as the ramp closed and the craft began to take off.

“They have us here with Captain Redfield, figured they’d grab us for this mess. Half the team is already deploying.” Nadia returned as she tweaked the optics on her rifle.

“What are we supposed to do when Chris and Jill call for extraction?” Parker spoke up, looking concerned at Rebecca.

“Umbrella has that handled; we need to focus on our overall mission; guarding countries from this exact kind of incident.” Rebecca responded as Nadia scoffed.

“I know Redfield has said he trusts them but… the idea of leaving him in their hands makes me sick to my stomach.” Nadia muttered as Rebecca nodded.

“I know how you feel. I’ve seen them help enough times that I’ve only just now begun to trust them.” Rebecca returned, taking a seat next to her. “We have a long flight so this should be a tight op by the time we hit the ground. The attack is relatively localized at the moment, molded holding off Ecuadorian security officials. The most information we have right now is that the Connections are using some kind of C-type BOW as their spearhead, attacking of the federal offices in the capitol.” Rebecca started, pulling her laptop from her bag, opening a map of Quito.

 

Jill sat crouched near the top of a ridge overlooking a sloping valley, the canopy of the jungle below rolling like a green sea. She took a deep breath as she adjusted the grip on her rifle, the sun starting to break the horizon. She heard a rustling of nylon and turned, someone stirring int the small, camouflage field tent not fifty feet away from her. Chris emerged with his weapon, closing the tent as he walked up to Jill, flashing a welcoming smile.

“Mornin’.” He grunted as he sat next to her.

“The girls still asleep?”

“Fast… probably haven’t been sleeping at all for the past few days.” Chris commented as Jill nodded. “Let me take a watch, try and get some sleep yourself. We still don’t know how far off extraction is, have to ration our strength.”

“In a minute I… you think she’s still ok.” Jill croaked, staring out into the valley.

“Of course, I found her still kicking in Antarctica before she could drink.” Chris laughed without hesitation. Jill broke into a small grin as she laughed.

“Yeah, I guess she’s a real survivor.”

“I mean, she made it out of Racoon City practically on her own and blew up the NEST.” Chris continued as Jill nodded.

“Shame I didn’t run into her I…” Jill trailed off as Chris put his arm around her.

“Don’t you get me going on regrets.” He mused playfully as Jill let out a short snicker. “How long did you… before now.”

“Since you introduced me.” Jill said quietly, seeming not to realize she had spoken out loud, a mortified expression breaking over her face as Chris chuckled. “She uh… I don’t know. I always felt the kind of comfort that you gave me from her. She just emanates this positive feeling that worst case scenario, she’s there for you. No matter what she’s willing to stick through and I… I’ve needed that my whole life. I’ve needed someone else to tell me everything is going to be fine cause I can never convince myself.”

“Yeah… she was the strong one when our parents died.” Chris exhaled as Jill looked up at him. “I had no trouble handling finances, planning the funeral, helping her get her first car, get into school. It was when I walked around an empty house… when I’d look at family photos that I’d fall to pieces. That and after Piers…” He trailed off as Jill hugged him. She held him for a long minute before pulling back, both of them taking deep breaths as the felt fears, regrets and pain wash off them.

“Umbrella plan or not, I’m going for her tonight. I’ll start with their missiles and then find her. With their air defenses down, we can hit them with everything we have and get us all out of here. I want you to stay with the girls, keep them calm.” Jill said standing as Chris nodded.

“If I thought I could stop you I’d say we should wait for an assault force before moving but… I know better.” He grinned as Jill slung her rifled over her back.

“Good, we’ll have her back soon.” Jill said as Chris stood with her.

“I know, now since I’m not arguing about being put on babysitting duty, you go get some sleep so you’re ready for tonight.” Chris smiled as Jill stepped off towards the tent.

 

Ingrid gasped as the black cloth covering her head was yanked off her from behind, her eyes immediately sweeping the dark room she was being held in. She groaned as an ache spread from her arm, her wrists handcuffed to the chair she was sat on. The only sound she picked up on was the slightest gentle breathing of a person behind her.

“How much do you know about Harper’s operations.” The gruff voice pierced the air as Ingrid took a deep breath, not responding.

“What do you know about Harper’s current objectives.” The voice asked again as Ingrid ran herself through her capture training.

“Ingrid Hunnigan, Field Operative Dispatcher, DOD ID 435-81-9034, September twenty second, nineteen eighty.” Ingrid said flatly as Contra stepped in front of her, pulling up a stool and sitting.

“I have no desire to keep you here like this Agent Hunnigan. Reciting your training lines isn’t going to help me or you set let’s drop it; sorry I missed your birthday.” Contra said with a smirk as Ingrid glared at him.

“That’s all your and whatever fuckers you work for are getting from me.” Ingrid spat as Contra reached forward, taking her glasses of her face.

“I don’t think I’m your enemy Hunnigan, I just need to be sure. How much do you know about Leon Kennedy’s relationship with Ada Wong?” He said, taking out a small cloth from his pocket and wiping the lens of Hunnigan’s glasses. He replaced them on her face as she struggled to make sense of the situation.

“She put you up to this?” Ingrid said as Contra laughed.

“No, she and I work together though. I am concerned that you know more about Ada and Leon’s relationship than you let on. That could be very dangerous knowledge in the hands of someone with something against them.” Contra said, standing as Ingrid followed him.

“Who do you work for.” Ingrid repeated.

“Formally, DSO. Informally well… everyone depending on how altruistic you’re feeling.” Contra said as he paced. “Mostly for Kennedy, whether her realizes it or not. I’m concerned someone is coming after him.”

“Why such a loyalty to him?” Ingrid asked, confusion dripping into her voice.

“Saved my hide a few times for one. Been working DSO for a while and it seems everyone winds up getting one from him. That and he’s the only person I’ve ever met that seems to have no real motive beyond helping people. Real rarity actually so I help keep the muck off him, do the dirtier jobs and keep the politicians and other vultures from getting too close. Ada is appreciative of that end.” Contra said as he sat back down, Ingrid looking intently at him.

“And you think I’m what… gunning for him?” She asked quizzically as Contra shrugged.

“You tell me. You had Harper shoot Ada, sent a whole team of CIA field ops after Kennedy in Chechnya. That and someone is threatening to blow the whistle on what he called in to get Ada out of Simmons’s grasp back before Tall Oaks.” Contra added.

“What… the team we lost in Chechnya… that wasn’t Wong’s contact?” Ingrid said in astonishment.

“Oh, it was her contact, her contact was Kennedy. Someone is considering using his rescue of her against him. Well him and BSAA Director Roland. And Claire Redfield, by extension Chris Redfield. Probably Jill Valentine as well considering her and the junior Redfield are now romantically involved. In essence they’d be taking down the entire BSAA senior leadership just by blowing an old whistle from before Simmons was killed.” Contra mused flatly as Ingrid’s jaw dropped.

“Even with Wong’s death? How could they possibly think any of that would stick?” Ingrid stammered as Contra laughed.

“Wong’s not dead, she never really is, that and the world is a very different place now. When people are afraid, all they need is one commanding, authoritative voice to point and go ‘that guy right there! They’re the source of all your problems’ and they’ll buy it. Anyway, my boss wants to meet you so let’s get you out of the cuffs.” Contra said standing as Ingrid struggled to keep up.

 

Jill watched the perimeter of the Tricell complex from the brush, dusk falling as a patrol made its way around the base of the compound. It was well concealed, built mostly into the side of a cliff face, several large buildings forming a small grounds area around it. Most of the permanent structures looked old, Soviet era but kept up well enough to still function.

Jill had been scouting for hours before night fell, trying to get an idea as to where their air defenses where stationed. She had determined that most of their portable launchers where stationed within an armor on the grounds and that they always kept two sentries at the top of the cliff armed with launchers. In addition, they had two SAM sites at the far north end and far south ends of the compound. They where mostly remote, Jill having already sabotaged the lead missile’s fuel supply; the second the SAMs would fire, the whole launcher assembly would explode. All that was left now was to take out the sentries and eliminate the armory; then find Claire.

Jill laid out her equipment as she planned her intrusion. She had a limited amount of ammunition left; about ninety rounds and only thirty RAMRODS if BOWs where put in play. She had one five-pound plastic charge and two detonators, just enough to finish off the armory. She had taken her machete and combat knife incase things got particularly tight. She took a deep breath as she prepared two small charges with the explosives, setting them to remotely detonate with a signal from her field watch. She replaced her backpack, attached a suppressor to her carbine and made for the compound. She kept an eye on the patrol as she reached the exterior wall, following it until she reached an old drainpipe. Water flowed steadily from it, the basic drainage system running out of the base. She took a breath and knelt down, shuffling through the claustrophobic space for several minutes until breaking into a small cistern under the motor pool.

Jill ran to the far side, a small rung ladder bolted into the concrete. She made her way up to the maintenance access hatch in the corner of the large machine shop attached to the motor pool. It was near empty as she clung to the evening shadows, slipping out the open garage door and diving back into the dark side of the building. She took a moment to get her bearings, spotting the large concrete structure serving as the armory. Jill made her way quickly, shadow to shadow as she reached the building, a single Tricell soldier standing guard. She waited for the activity in the area to die down before setting upon him. She drew her knife a leapt, planting it in the side of his neck. The soldier gurgled into his gas mask as Jill ripped his headset from his ear, stomping it under foot as she dragged his corpse into the armory. She tossed it down unceremoniously as she searched through the weapon racks for the heavy ordinance.

Jill found came upon a series of large crates with Cyrillic writing she recognized as the name of a Russian made shoulder fired missile. She placed the first of her explosive charges on the far side of the crate, pushing it back up against the wall. She quickly searched the rest of the armory, finding as similar stack of crates and setting her remaining charge.

“Come on, clock is ticking. They’re bound to check in on guards soon.” Jill muttered to herself, exiting the armory as she made for the main compound built into the rock. There where a series of service ladders running up the cliff face, Jill making her way to the northern most ladder. The lighting was spotty and dim, the jungle having taken its toll, beginning to reclaim the area. She made her way up the slick, rusted rungs as fast as she could force her arms to, skipping steps as she neared the top. She hauled herself over the ledge and made for one of several concrete structures near the edge of the bluff, spotting the sentries.

“Alright, I’m going to need you two to look away for a moment.” Jill murmured, pressing the button on her watch as the charges detonated inside of the armory. The explosion ripped through the night air as the doors to the bunker where blown form their hinges, the force of the detonation sending a large fireball out from the structure. The fire roared as ammunition inside cooked off, sounding like a skirmish had just broken out. Jill took advantage of chaos firing two shots, killing the two sentries. She ran over to the bodies, kicking their launchers off the edge of the bluff.

 

Claire perked up as a loud explosion reverberated through the base, a Tricell soldier entering her cell shortly after as she heard shouting in the hall.

“You’re moving. Up!” He ordered, cutting Claire’s bonds as she was forced to her feet. She immediately swung on the soldier, groaning as her fist connected with his mask, the lens cracking. She followed with a hard kick to his stomach, sweeping his legs as he cried in pain. Claire grabbed the remnant of her bindings and coiled them around his neck, sitting on his back as she pulled hard. The soldier struggled and gasped as she held back as hard as she could, the soldier ceased his struggle. Claire held tight for another minute before releasing, catching her breath as she felt pain flare through her still wounded arm. She grabbed the soldier’s rifle and made her way out into the hall, turning directly into two Tricell soldiers. She raised her weapon and pulled the trigger, the rifle clicking softly as the soldiers reacted.

“Shit.” Claire muttered turning and bolting in the opposite direction as the soldiers began firing after her. She dropped the magazine as she ran staring baffled, the weapon empty. “What the hell?” She though out loud as she kept running, tossing the rifle to the ground. She continued through the halls, keeping distance away from the pursuing soldiers as the facility’s emergency lights flashed through the dark interior halls. Claire slowed as she ran into a large open room. The ground was a flat concrete pad, a large helipad built into the side of the mountain overlooking a gorge. The area was covered by a large frame, meant to support camouflage to hide the pad but rust and the forest had taken their toll on the structure. Claire looked through across the gorge, a covered concrete bridge running to the other side. Distant fires illuminated a rising black cloud over the opposite peak, rising into the night air.

“Jill… that has to be you.” Claire muttered, scouring the abandoned helipad for anything she could use to warn her. She ran to a small control office, turning over abandoned crates, opening drawers until she found a small emergency kit. She popped open the aging metal clasps and rifled through it, finding an old flare gun and several cartridges. Claire grinned as she stepped back out into the hidden helipad, loading and aiming the flare through one of dozens of holes int the ceiling. She fired and a brilliant white flare erupted from the small handgun, soaring through the ceiling and glowing high in the air.

 

Jill turned from the chaos below her as a glimmer caught the corner of her eye. She stared as white flare flew into the sky not a quarter mile away. She ran in the direction, stopping short above a tall gorge, seeing the faint smoke trail leading from another section of the hidden installation.

“Claire… she must have broken out in the chaos.” Jill muttered, looking for a way across. She noticed a bridge running between the gorge as she ran towards it. It was about a hundred feet below her as she looked for a ladder running to the ledge.

“Ok think Valentine. Possible BOWs in this chaos and we don’t have much to go off of. Even with air defense down it’s going to be a minute. Think.” Jill muttered to herself as she removed two of the RAMROD rounds from her spare magazine. She bit down on the bullets, pulling them from the casing before withdrawing her machete and combat knife. She lay them down on the concrete path build against the ledge and cut into each. She ran her blades through each until they where coated with the anti-regen compound that made RAMRODS effective, replacing the weapons in their sheaths.

“Vermillion to Overlord, over.”

“We hear you Vermillion, go ahead.”

“Air defenses are down, get your asses to the party. Prioritize Chris and the survivors, I’ll extract Claire. Be ready for my call.”

“Understood Vermillion, ETA thirty minutes. Good Luck.” The Umbrella command called back as Jill pulled a line of climbing rope from her bag, fastening it to the railing. She tested its strength with several hard tugs before hooking in with her belt. She swung her feet over the railing and gripped the line, sliding silently down to the platform below.

 

Claire stared out at the fires, hearing the steady report of gunfire and distant shouting, her heart racing.

“Come on, please tell me their missiles are down.” She muttered as a large thud landed behind her. She whirled around to find the beast that had been lurking in her cell standing in the center of the helipad.

“Oh fuck!” Claire yelled as the beast roared, charging at her as she fumbled to load the flare gun. She managed to fire it at the BOW as it charged, the beast howling as the flaming projectile glanced off its hide. It swung its massive paw, striking Claire with the back of it and tossing her across the room. She landed with a sharp cry as the wind was knocked from her lungs. Claire gasped desperately as she rolled onto her stomach, off her injured arm as the pain of her wounds opening screamed over her nerves. Torres reverted back to her human form, pulling her suit back over her shoulders as she let out a long sigh.

“Oh, not bad Redfield not bad at all, might even leave a scar.” Torres taunted as she approached Claire, rubbing the burn on her back. She adjusted her suit to her human form, taking a length of chord from a pouch on her hip. Claire struggled to raise herself as Torres kicked her hand out from underneath her, Claire collapsing back to the ground with a groan. Torres put her foot on the small of Claire’s back and pushed her to the ground.

“You know Jessica didn’t think you’d be clever enough to find the flare gun, Raymond thought you’d catch on the second you realized the guard who cut you loose had no ammunition. I certainly didn’t expect you to kill him, bravo.” Torres taunted as she yanked Claire’s wrists behind her back and bound them. Claire glared up at her as Torres pulled the bond tight, flipping Claire onto her back and putting her foot on her chest. Torres’ words sunk in as Claire fought to keep up her defiant composure.

“Did you really think you had escaped?” Torres mewed, leaning in closer.

“She’s here, just like I said. That fire is burning your way you overconfident bitch.” Claire hissed as Torres lent harder on Claire’s chest.

“Oh, that’s the plan sweetheart, you see you shot that flare off right here like I had hoped. I’ve packed the halls between here and that bridge with J’avo for when our precious Valentine comes.” Torres said with glee as Claire struggled against her.

“You think that will stop her? That’s your grand trap?” Claire laughed back as Torres grinned, her hair hanging ragged around her face.

“Oh no, they’re bullet sponges. They all have blank rounds in their weapons. You see, we can’t have Valentine showing up with any ammunition to spare. That would just ruin all the fun I have planned.” Torres continued as she withdrew a large injector from as holster on her thigh. The needle was several inches long and the cartridge feeding it held a helix of two separate fluids. “Classic isn’t it?” Torres beamed as Claire stared at it in horror. “Now when Valentine shows up, she’ll answer a few questions for me, or I’ll threaten to put this into your heart. Then when she’s told me what I wanted to know; we’ll infect you anyway.” She laughed as Claire shook her head, tears breaking from the corners of her eyes.

“She’ll kill you before you get the chance.” Claire stammered as she fought to keep her composure.

“We will see.” Torres said flippantly. She forced Claire to her feet, drawing a black clothe from her belt. She wrapped it around Claire’s head, tying it tightly over her mouth as she forced her to the edge of the helipad.

“Wonder if we can see her coming.” Torres whispered into Claire’s ear as she stared off across the gorge, a rope fluttering against the far cliff face as the report of rifle fire grew closer.

 

Jill tossed the empty magazine as she slammed a fresh one into her carbine, running the bolt before rounding the corner. She ran forward, not giving the J’avo an opportunity to get line of sight on her. She charged the lead one, running her shoulder into it, knocking it into its comrades. She fired at the J’avo she had passed, striking each in the head as they collapsed. Jill ducked further into the hall as the bioweapons tried to get a shot on her.

“Come on, keep count, you’re running low.” Jill thought to herself as more J’avo fell under the flash of her rifle. Her bolt jerked open as she dove into a side room, empty except for a pole and the corpse of a Tricell soldier. Jill slammed her last magazine into her rifle, running the bolt as she leant out from the room. She fired at the first J’avo that she saw, his head splitting, not mutation following. His corpse hissed from the RAMROD compound as Jill made her way back out into the hall. She checked the next corner, dropping two more J’avo before their comrades turned on her. There guns flashed as they shot at her. Jill pulled herself around the corner, shielding her face from the expected dust and grit kicked up by their oncoming rounds. She was surprised as no clatter of bullets striking concrete followed. She dropped to one knee, rounding the corner again and returning fire, dropping all but one J’avo as her bolt ran open again.

“Fucking hell.” Jills swore, tossing her rifle to the floor and grabbing a submachine gun off one of the corpses. She dropped the magazine to check the count and paused. “Blanks… what the hell?” She though aloud as she realized why there had been no bullet strikes on the wall. Jill dropped the useless weapon and rounded the corner as the remaining J’avo raised its weapon, firing until empty. Jill opened her eyes, unharmed by the blank rounds fired from so far away. She drew her machete as she approached the J’avo, the weapon looking around in panic as she began to run. She held the machete high, swung hard. The blade bit into the weapons neck and severed its head as Jill kicked its lifeless corpse over, taking a deep breath.

“Alright, old school the rest of the way.” Jill murmured as she switched her machete to her left hand and drew her combat knife. She continued down the hall as it opened into an open room, moonlight seeping in through holes in the ceiling as a host of aging running lights banished the shadows. The concrete pad was empty save fore a figure sat on a collection of crates in the center of the room.

“Claire!” Jill cried as tears broke from her eyes as she moved to run. Claire saw her, her expression perking up before melting into terror, shaking her head and screaming into the cloth gagging her as Torres sat up from behind her.

“Such a wonderful reunion isn’t it!” She cried out as Jill stopped halfway to Claire. “Ever since that dreadful plane crash… it must have been chaos in the ops room. I hope you weren’t watching.” Torres taunted with a dark grin. Jill seethed, her shoulders rocking with her heavy breathing.

“You shot down a plane carrying my entire life… I can’t wait to take yours.” Jill snarled as she cut her tactical rig from her chest with her combat knife. Her equipment fell to the ground as she slid the blade down the front of her long sleeve jungle camo. She shed the garment and stretched out her shoulders, her chest heaving as the remains of her shirt fell over her black undershirt. “How would you like to die?" Jill growled, fire in her eyes as she pointed her machete at Torres. Torres couldn’t help but grin as she placed her hand on the side of Claire’s head and whispered.

“Oh, she’s mad isn’t she… she must really like you.” Torres laughed as she looked back at Jill. “Bit of a stay on that actually.” She called out, drawing the injecting device from her leg holster and shifting to Claire’s left side.

“I had a run in with the other Redfield a while back, that sleepy little Ukrainian town. I’m sure you know what I can do when it suits me Ms. Valentine.” Torres smirked, letting her free hand mutate into a dark claw. “This little dose right here is the culmination of the reverse engineering of that condition.” Torres taunted as she tapped the broad side of the needle against Claire’s cheek, Claire shutting her eyes as her chest heaved.

“We have yet to have a test subject that lived but our dear Claire here is a survivor!” Torres continued as Claire’s breath came in short desperate gasps, Torres dragging the edge of the needle over Claire’s neck.

“No!” Jill shouted, more pained and terrified than anything as she stared, Torres looking up at her, breaking into another sly grin.

“Oh of course not… I wouldn’t dare ruin this tender moment between you too, especially after I found out you have just got your girls back. They’re going to want to see their second mommy again too.” Torres pouted as Jill stared in desperation. Torres held the injector away from Claire as she turned back towards Jill. “All I want is for you answer a few…” Torres broke into an ear-splitting scream as Jill hurled her combat knife with all the force she could muster, the spinning blade severing Torres' hand holding the syringe as she recoiled. Her cries of pain melted into raving laughter through labored breath as the stump of Torres’ hand mutated into the paw of her BOW form.

“Oh my god Valentine…” Torres howled with glee as she smiled down at Claire as she stared in horror at Torres’ mutating form. She leaned in close, her loose hair brushing against Claire’s face. “I can see why you like her. This is going to be fun Valentine.” Torres bellowed, shedding the top of her suit as she morphed, skin crawling as her bones cracked into place and her organs shifted. She let out an ear ringing roar as Jill screamed in rage, charging towards the bioweapon. Jill tucked and rolled as Torres swung at her, Jill slashing the back of Torres’ leg. The beast growled as it caught Jill with a back hand, throwing her several feet.

Jill rolled back to her feet, crouching low and retrieving her combat knife as Torres clutched the back of her leg, turning towards Jill and growling. Jill grinned as she watched her bleed. She charged her again, Torres lunging at Jill as she dove to her right. Torres missed her as Jill planted her knife in Torres’ arm, using their momentum to swing onto Torres’ back. Torres howled as she stumbled, grasping at Jill as she slashed her clawed hands away with the machete. Jill raised it high above her and plunged the blade into Torres’ back as she screamed. Torres swiftly grabbed Jill with her claws, hurling her from her back. Jill landed hard on the ground as Torres desperately tried to pull the blades from her arm and back.

Jill groaned as her left arm hung limp, dislocated from the hard impact. She groaned, winced as she positioned it against the hard ground. She gasped as pain flared from her joint, throwing her weight against it as it popped back into place. Torres had succeeded in ripping the blades from her flesh tossing them from her as she began to revert. Jill swiftly retrieved the discarded weapons as she watched Torres scream, her wounds only starting to heal as she returned to human form, her body unable to support her mutated form and her regeneration with the traces of RAMROD on the blades. Her hand had grown back, the skin discolored as she glared at Jill through a shade of loose black hair. She let out a long growling pant as her wounds slowly closed.

“Stings like RAMRODS you craftly little bitch.” Torres spat, falling into laughter as Jill held her blades up, matching Torres’ movements as she paced. “Maybe I should just go for Claire?” Torres mused as she bolted towards the center of the room, Jill charging her as Claire struggled to stand from the crates she was hiding behind. Torres grabbed her injector and kicked Claire onto her back, swinging the needled downwards towards her as she yelped in terror. Jill threw her hand out to stop her, the needle piercing through her hand as she cried in pain, halting Torres’ swing as the solution began to dribble out onto the ground; Claire shuffling away. Jill ripped the device from Torres, yanked it out of her hand and discarded it as Torres swung at her, her hand mutating into a claw as she connected. Her claws bit into the flesh of Jill’s arm as she screamed, half rage half pain. She thrust with her machete as Torres deflected the strike, Jill dropping the weapon and carrying her momentum into a punch from her knife wielding hand. Torres rolled with the strike, spinning to land a kick the Jill blocked, grabbing Torres from behind and bringing her knife to Torres’ throat. Torres blocked the blade from her throat with her hand as Jill pulled it back, cutting deep into Torres' palm as she drew a sharp breath. Torres threw a high kick to strike Jill as Jill dove low, rolling under her strike and sliding her blade along the inside of Torres’ thigh. Torres fell to the ground as Jill rolled over to Claire, crouching low over her as she held her knife. Jill straddled Claire in a fighting position, her lip curling, feeling the urge to growl as Torres stood slowly, Claire whimpering beneath her. Jill looked down at her bleeding arm, felt blood in her mouth as Torres’ wounds seemed to be healing even slower. Torres retrieved her injector and holstered it as she turned back towards Jill.

“They really made you into something magnificent, didn’t they? After all these years without any manipulation you’re still such a potent weapon.” Torres laughed through heavy breathing as Jill yelled, charging her again. Torres attempted to brace as Jill knocked her to the ground. She thrust her knife down hard, the blade piercing between the bones of Torres’ wrist as she blocked it. Blood dripped on her face as her free hand mutated, her claws raking across Jill’s stomach as she kicked her off. Jill instinctively grasped her stomach, feeling blood run from the claw marks torn through her shirt. Torres leapt on top of her, as Jill swung her head, her forehead colliding hard with Torres’ septum. There was an audible crunch as Jill followed it with a hard punch, Torres rolling off her as blood streamed from her nose. Jill’s head rang as she ran for the machete laying close to her. She gripped it as Torres leapt towards her again, Jill bringing it up and thrusting the blade through Torres’ abdomen. Torres gasped, a croaking whine escaping her throat as she felt the large blade pierce her. Jill forced it deeper, running Torres through as she sat up, Torres awkwardly force to her knees. Jill stared her in the eye as she slid the weapon as deep into her enemy as it would go, hoarse breath flowing from Torres’ open mouth. She went pale, her wounds no longer healing as she looked into Jill’s eyes with a blank expression. It melted into a devious smile as she placed her near white, blood caked hand on Jill’s cheek.

“I’m so glad you came.” She murmured, her head swaying slightly as she fought to stay present. Torres let out a withering breath as Jill glared at her, eyes aflame with hatred.

“Oh, daughter of Babylon who art to be destroyed, how happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.” Torres muttered as she gripped Jill’s hair and thrust the injector into Jill’s chest. Jill gasped in terror as she watched the device drain into her body, Torres leaning in close and whispering, “Now you really are just… like… me.” Torres groaned as she slumped over. Jill stood, staggering backwards as she yanked the device out of her as she screamed in abject horror.

Claire struggled, pulling her bound hands under her legs and yanking the gag from her mouth as she ran to Jill as she fell to her knees.

“Jill! Jill look at me, look at me right now!” Claire stammered through tears as she put her hand to Jills cheek, Jill still in shock her expression that of pure fear.

“She spilled half that fucking thing when you saved me. You have immunity to so much because of what you’ve been through. We’ll get you to the BSAA and they’ll make sure you’re ok. Just stay with me, come back to me please.” Claire stammered as she burst into tears, sobbing as she pleaded with Jill. She ran her hand down Jill’s chest covering her wound with her hands. “You are not her! You are not a weapon; you are not a monster!” Claire sobbed, “You never will be.”

Jill snapped back as she looked at Claire, grabbing her discarded knife and cutting her binds, embracing her as she sobbed loudly into her shoulder.

“Who saved who?” Jill croaked as Claire grasped at the cloth of Jill’s shirt, unable to pull herself from quivering sobs as Jill ran her hands over Claire’s back. Claire lifted her head, eyes red, tears streaming. She forced a smile as she met Jill’s eyes, pressing her lips to hers for a moment before falling back against Jill’s chest.

“I love you.” She mumbled through a withering breath. “I never doubted for a second you would come.”

“I love you too my angel, I…” Jill trailed off as she looked over Claire’s shoulder. “She’s gone.” Jill muttered, Torres nowhere to be seen, a streaked pool of blood all that was left.

“It doesn’t matter, I have you back, we need to get out of here.” Claire muttered, still laying against Jill’s chest. There was a distant explosion, closely followed by another as the sound of helicopter rotors filled the night air. The sound a minigun firing shattered the dark as Jill grinned.

“Let’s go flag down our ride.” Jill said softly, sliding her arms under Claire’s legs, lifting her as she wrapped her arms around Jill’s neck. “The girls are safe with their uncle.” Jill added as Claire let out a long sigh of relief.

 

Jessica and Raymond finished packing a sample case and downloading the final parts of the Amoraq research as Torres burst into the room.

“Fucking Christ!” Raymond shouted in surprise, lowering his weapon as Torres stumbled into the conference table, her eyes glazed over and dazed, blood streaming from multiple wounds.

“Virginia! Raymond, medkit now!” Jessica yelled as she ran over to Torres. “You’re going to be fine Virginia, stay with me ok.”

“We should have never let her go on with this fucking Valentine scheme.”

“Not the fucking time Raymond.” Jessica hissed as Torres breathed heavily.

“Fucking anti-regen… fuck.” Torres growled, gripping the handle of the machete still lodged in her abdomen. She screamed as she slowly began to slide it out, feeling it scrape against bone.

“No! Virginia leave it. Raymond, we have to get her out of here now or she is going to die.” Jessica stammered desperately as Raymond ran back to his equipment sitting on the table, calling for security to redirect to their position. Torres continued to pull the machete out of herself, yanking the blade free and tossing it to the ground with a clatter.

“Security can’t make it this far; we need to cut through the offices to meet them at the east landing zone.” Raymond called back as Torres began to wheeze, blood running down her stomach and over her leg.

“Then lets fucking go!” Jessica yelled back as they collected their equipment. Each of them put an arm under Torres, supporting her as they made their way out into the hall. They carried her quickly down the corridor, cutting through the office section of the research wing.

“Security says the air defense is down, Umbrella is swarming the main compound.” Raymond grunted as Torres began to cough, wheezing in between as her chest heaved. Her heart raced as she nearly collapsed, coughing and wheezing as Jessica looked her over.

“Her lungs are collapsing; she’s not going to make it to the evac.” Jessica said, looking up at Raymond, fear dominating her expression. Torres pushed her aside, willing herself to her feet and began rifling through the nearest desk.

“Torres! Take it easy we need to move; your regeneration will buy us time.” Raymond shouted as Torres grabbed a pair of scissors from one drawer. She grasped a mug filled with cheap pens, knocking it to the floor as she stumbled. She grabbed two, cutting the top and bottom off, emptying each until she had two empty plastic tubes. She fought through another fit of coughing as she lay on her bag, unzipping her suit as she opened the scissors and held on of the blades to her chest. She winced as she pushed it into herself, cutting a small hole, inserting on of the tubes until she felt some of the pressure on her chest relieve. She repeated the process for her other side, coughing some as fresh blood ran from the incisions.

“Now… get me to the evac.” Torres grunted hoarsely, grabbing Raymond’s wrist as he looked over her.

Chapter Text

Veronica stirred as she heard her phone buzz on her nightstand, the light shrinking her pupils as she stared at the message.

“Operatives Jill Valentine, Claire and Chris Redfield along with Misty 1-1 survivors Edelie and Valerie Valentine recovered safely. Agent Valentine severely injured during encounter with unknown bioweapon and has been infected with a previously unknown viral agent. She has been placed into an induced coma and is stable, no signs of mutation or abnormal brain activity. Taking directions from Dr. Chambers remotely. Agent Redfield sustained some injuries during the crash and her subsequent captivity, but a full recovery is expected. Tricell facility has been destroyed, all assets moving to assist with incident in Quito, Ecuador.” The email from her second in command read as she breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank god that’s over.” Veronica muttered, sitting up and running her hands over her face. She let a long breath out as she took in the news. She groaned as something struck her in the center of her chest. She looked down to see a small plumed dart buried into her chest between her ribs. She yanked it out as a clear liquid dribbled from the needle. She looked up as a shadow approached the foot of her bed, her vision fading as she slumped over.

 

“I’m still maintaining that this is an international kidnapping.” Moira pouted as she stepped into the Organization’s Paris safe house, Ada leading the way with Evangeline as she, Moira, Ashley, Helena and Leon filed in. It was a simple, post modern decorated penthouse off Avenue d’lvry in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris.

“We can send you back if you like.” Ada quipped as Moira squinted at her.

“You and Ashley are both targets, its too big of a risk to leave you where they’d expect you to be. You can still communicate remotely with TerraSave to help coordinate managing the crisis.” Leon offered as Moira shook her head and looked away. Ashley approaching her cautiously, looking back at Leon with a concerned expression as if asking for help with what to say.

“Do you know who my father is Leon? I’ve been a target since I was fucking eight, this isn’t new shit to me.” Moira shot back as Ashley put her hand on her arm. Moira roughly brushed her off as she walked up on Leon and Ada.

“You two are talking about keeping people safe while you utterly refused to do anything about this!” Moira shouted as Leon looked at Ada. She offered him a slight nod as he turned back towards Moira.

“Do you know why we brought you both here? Specifically, Paris?” Leon asked as Moira glared at him.

“TerraSave Euro headquarters.” Ashley spoke up softly as Moira looked back at her.

“Yes and no. There’s also a private military company headquartered here, Thule Arms and Security. It has two leaders of interest to us, one who we found is the boss of the mark we where tracking in Syria. The other is a former leader from Tricell. Both are here, plotting a strike against TerraSave’s headquarters as soon as your relief and evacuation from Syria is fully underway. We intend to attack them first.” Leon said as Moira’s jaw dropped.

“That… that still doesn’t change the fact that you let this happen.” Moira stammered, regaining her fire as she pointed at Leon.

“I know, we have our mission though Moira. This is us making it work for both our sakes, we aren’t leaving TerraSave out in the cold while still pursuing our targets.” Leon added as Moira seemed to relent. Ashley drew up next to Moira, placing her hand on Moira’s shoulder as she turned towards her.

“Leon’s not the kind of person who lies Moira, if he says they’re going after the people responsible for all this, he is.” Ashley reassured as Moira nodded.

“Ok, I’ll do what I can to coordinate the evacuation from here then. Better have good fucking internet.” Moira groused as she stepped off towards the kitchen. Ashley followed, standing over Moira as she opened her laptop. Ada let out a sigh as Leon turned towards her.

“Could have gone better, but that seems settled.” Leon remarked as Ada nodded.

“Helena, when is your flight?” Ada said turning to her as she looked up.

“About four hours, figured I’d raid your fridge then head out.” Helena mused as Ada nodded.

“Ok, I’m going to go change, we can start scouting out the building before the night crowd fades away. Come get me if I’m not out in fifteen. Eva dear, you can go get settled, your room is at the end of the hall.” Ada said stepping off towards the master bedroom; Evangeline perking up, idly waiting for them to finish talking. She closed the door behind her, set her garment bag on the bed and stepped to a small vanity. She drew the curtain across the door to the balcony, removing her dress and laying it gently next to her luggage. She glanced into the mirror and sighed, her fingers dancing over a collection of scars marring her skin. Racoon city, the Eastern Slavic Republic, Tall Oaks, Lanshaing, Ankara, they had all left their mark on her. They all shared one thing in common; they where all choices she had made, at least the results of them. As much as the memories stung, the phantom pains of the wounds they once were, Ada loved them. They where the one thing she had that had always been uniquely hers, her choices, the sliver of life that she had made for herself. All except for one, the scar hidden under a painstakingly laid layer of concealer along her collarbone. The scar left by Leon’s knife when he had confronted her in Ankara, when he had been convinced she had gone so far down a dark path that she was lost.

Ada’s fingers pressed to her neck, smearing the make up as she saw the white line revealed underneath. She had cared for the wound painstakingly, desperately hoping it would not sully the collection of other trophies she had chosen. It had left its mark anyway, she despised it and it was so entirely hers. Ada felt something drip onto her arm as she stared at the scar, not realizing tears had been running down her face. She glared at her reflection, hating the disappearance of her character, the brief moment of her true self disgusting her. She loathed it, it was weak, careless, susceptible, utterly compromised and she desperately wanted to be her.

Ada turned from her reflection abruptly, unpacking a striped black suit with matching skirt and red trim. She dressed quickly, covering her collar with a small scarf as her phone began to buzz on the bed. She glared at the number as she picked up the phone, she opened the sliding door to the balcony and stepped out into the evening air.

“What do you want Gabriel.” Ada hissed as she held the phone to her ear.

“Veronica has failed to check in. She was last in Saint Petersburg and believed she was being followed by the FSB and another entity.” Gabriel said flatly without introduction.

“And?”

“I figured since you where working with Blue Umbrella now, that would be of concern to you.” Gabriel returned as Ada sighed.

“It is but I can redirect some of my party to deal with that, I heard that Loyalty is trying to play recruiter. Would he know anything about this?” Ada shot back.

“How did you know…”

“Because we talk outside of work. Just because I cut you loose doesn’t mean I cut everyone out.”

“Hmm, you have been serving our cause well despite your declared separation. I was under the impression you where simply taking… a more independent approach.” Gabriel suggested as Ada scoffed.

“More like my own plans entirely, no one needs to know what I want, what I’m eventually going to do.” Ada spat as Gabriel laughed.

“As you say. I would also like to update you on Torres, since you may come across her in your current endeavors. Her status is unknown, BSAA wants to declare her deceased but doesn’t have enough proof. Their Agent Valentine had a run in with her during an operation Blue Umbrella launched against a Tricell compound in the Amazon.”

“Well if they think she’s dead then Valentine must have given her quite the thrashing. I looked into her weapons case, nasty business really; well done Valentine.” Ada mused.

“How have you and your cohort been fairing against the Oligarchs.”

“Oh, well, everything’s falling into place. Tracking the ghosts of my old business partners hasn’t been too hard. The difficulty is acting surprised when they’re still kicking. Stop calling, I’m busy carrying this out, isn’t that what you wanted anyway?” Ada taunted as she hung up abruptly. She stepped back into her room and froze; Leon standing by the bed, a dark expression cast over his face.

“Who was that Ada.” He grumbled as she stared at him.

“Asking to see a woman’s messages is awful controlling Leon; doesn’t suite you.” Ada cooed, brushing off the concern as she closed the door behind her.

“Dammit Ada I thought we where done with these fucking games!” Leon shouted in exacerbation as he took a step towards her, Ada’s muscles instinctively tensing.

“Leon, we are.”

“Then who was that.” He demanded, angrily pointing at her phone. “Every time I feel like I get anywhere with you, you are smoke screening something. Who even are you! Which Ada should I be expecting?” Leon stammered as he spun around and ran his hand through his hair.

“Leon, I’m not playing angles anymore, I’m getting out of this. I told you that in Falls Church.” Ada tried to calm him as he spun back on her.

“And even then, you couldn’t tell me what was really going on! What are you actually playing at here, what are we helping you set up that I can’t see? What is Eva’s roll in all this or is she in the dark too!” Leon ranted, throwing his arms wide as he grew more agitated.

“Leon don’t.”

“You placate me and everyone else just enough, so we stop looking, give just enough help that we count you as on our side. That’s what this always is with you. A little good to buy yourself what you can’t take.” Leon pointed as he stammered through his anger, Ada shook her head. “And the worst fucking part is I don’t even know if I’ve even ever seen the real you. Do you just have a good fallback for every time you have a close call? When I do?”

“What are you getting at Leon. What do you want?” Ada groused as she avoided his eyes.

“I want for once, just one fucking time I want the real you. I want to know exactly what’s on your mind, what you want, what you’re trying to do. I don’t give a shit what it is, I just want the real Ada.” Leon implored as Ada felt her chest lock up. She had rarely felt it, the stinging tightness in her heart. The icy grip of pure terror, the thought of dropping all walls and looking him in the eye. He would despise her, realize the façade of Ada Wong was all he really wanted and that the shell that stood in her shadow wasn’t worth the years of hurt. All that was hers, that was truly her and not the character was him. Every choice she had made beyond the Organization and the choices made for her was him. Dropping those walls would show him nothing, that all the suffering she had put him through was for nothing. He would reject her, as would anyone who really knew her, and that fear clenched tighter in her soul then she could hold back.

Ada starred at him, Leon’s breathing quickening as he starred back in silence. His eyes where stern yet pleading, desperate for Ada to give any reply that wasn’t another quip. He was desperate for her to give him something he could accept and let things float back into a gentle rhythm of normalcy. Ada felt like she was going to burst, her hands quaking as she folder her arms tightly across her chest. She fought hard to keep the walls up, losing as the structure came tumbling down. Leon looked at her in shock as she burst into tears.

“Fine… Fine! You want the real fucking Ada.” She stammered as she turned away from him, still fighting as she felt like the room had just gone up in flames, the delicate balance of years falling to pieces all around her.

“Ada that’s not…”

“No! You shut your damn mouth because you asked.” She screamed at him as tears flowed from her eyes. “I’ve spent my entire life living out the plans of others. I was raised, built into this phenomenal weapon. I hit every benchmark, succeeded at every test and had every choice made for me. I wasn’t me; I was what they wanted me to become! You know when that stopped? Do you know when I started making decisions for me instead of them?” Ada raved at Leon as he continued to look distraught.

“Ada I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…”

“It was for you!” she screamed over him. He starred at her for a moment, Ada’s chest heaving as her words still floated around like the ash of an explosion.

“Started with shooting those dogs off you in the garage… wasted time, ammunition and attracted attention that I didn’t need. Everything I had ever done, been taught to do told me to leave that rookie cop as another casualty of Racoon City. I though… I didn’t want to be an instrument for a moment, I wanted to play at being a decent human, like the hundreds I had watched on my way in. Despite the chaos around them, they where trying to help one another, stopping for a stranger. I knew I wasn’t them; I was raised to be different and after all of that I wanted to feel like a person for a brief moment. It was like playing another role, shoot the dog, save a life, feel good and then on to the NEST.” Ada stammered, breaking the silence as Leon continued to look at her, trying to hide a growing expression of shame.

“I didn’t think you’d follow me around like a lost puppy. Ruined my pacing, I rushed trying to make up time, didn’t anticipate Annette’s resistance and that got you shot.” Ada broke a sob as she continued. “But that was my choice, that’s where it led and you where mine now, my responsibility. I was so out of my element by that point she got the drop on me and next thing I knew I was laying in trash heap unable to move. I sat there thinking ‘so this is why, this is why they told me to avoid all attachments. To steel myself against outside influence, because it would get me killed like this’.” Ada wept as Leon took a step towards her, Ada instinctively raising her hand to stop him.

“And then you came for me and… I was dumbstruck. That’s when I think I got it, that I made a choice which created a different person, the one you saw me as. I desperately wanted to be that person, she felt more like me than I had ever felt but… you found out who I wasn’t. Did you know that my gun was empty…”?

“Before Annette shot you?”

“Yeah… I, expended what I had fighting my way into the NEST after you.” Ada murmured as Leon nodded slightly. “Well, years on I kept running into you and kept making choices that brought me farther from who I thought I was. I started dictating the terms of my contracts, making more choices as myself then as ‘Ada Wong’. That’s the balance I struck until Tall Oaks. That’s when it all started to fall apart. I wanted out, I wanted to be done with it and I made the decision to go for one more pot and run. That’s why I asked you to come with me. Of course, that fell to shit when I found Eva; she wasn’t a virus, a tissue sample a parasite to smuggle. She was a child, a person who had al her decisions made for her, to be used by others as a tool.” Ada looked at Leon, pain in her eyes. “And no one thought of her in any other way, not even herself. I saw so much of myself in that little girl, it hurt me so deeply to watch that happening to someone else… I had to protect her.” Ada gasped, drawing a long breath as she actively fought against the tears flowing from her eyes.

“But you had a fucking question you wanted me to answer. That was my old employer trying to get me back. Telling me Veronica has gone missing and that they’re still trying to recruit to fill my position. I told him to go fuck himself, just like the last time he reached out to me in Ankara, after I almost bled to death in a fucking parking lot.” Ada’s countenance began to return as she angrily turned towards Leon. She drew her pistol from the holster in her jacket, dropped the magazine, locked the action open and tossed it on the bed.

“So there, you have what you wanted? Almost twenty fucking years and you finally broke in, this is what you get, this is what you have been suffering for.” Ada drew a sharp breath before turning away from him, still desperately scraping at the rubble of her character, trying to put up some kind of barrier. “Do what you will, I surrender.” Ada croaked as she felt Leon’s hand on her shoulder. She felt the gentle insistence of him pulling on her as she spun to face him.

“I… I am such an idiot.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.” Ada gruffly tossed back as Leon kept his gaze firm.

“That I believe you, that this is you. It’s all I’ve wanted, all this time its all I’ve wanted to see.” Leon stuttered as Ada fought the urge to smile.

“Well then you really are an idiot.” Ada murmured as she grabbed his cheek and kissed him. She pulled back after a moment, letting her forehead rest against his as he ran his hands through her hair.

“What your old employer said… should we be looking into that.” Leon muttered after a moment, not letting Ada go as she exhaled.

“Yes, we’ll have Helena go find her, she can convince the CIA that its worthwhile. Leon…” Ada trailed off as she looked away closing her eyes. “I want to be honest with you but… you must promise that these things stay between you and me. There is a delicate balance in what we are doing, you know this.” Ada said sternly as Leon nodded silently.

“Ok… the organization I worked for wants to take the Oligarchs down as much as we and Blue Umbrella do. They… try to keep balance in that sphere, they’ve had me take down dozens of bio-weapons companies in the past. I was done serving them not because of any grand fallout I was… its not the life I want anymore.” Ada spoke quickly as she ran her finger down his spine. “They have three other operatives in play. They use codenames for all their players except for me, the three are Source Loyalty, Industry and Prodigy. Loyalty is your man Contra; Industry is Veronica and Prodigy is Rebecca Chambers.” Ada said as Leon’s jaw dropped. Ada gripped him a little tighter as he processed what she just told him.

“How long have…” Leon croaked after a moment.

“Contra was recruited by me on my way to you in Tall Oaks, has a reputation for ignoring directives in favor of watching your back funny enough. Chambers was recruited by Gabriel, my…. For lack of a better word, mentor. That happened in ’05. Veronica is the newest addition; she was recruited by Gabriel shortly after they began their first cooperative effort with the BSAA.” Ada said as Leon nodded. “You ok?”

“Yeah its just… what do they do?”

“Mostly just offer expertise and intelligence. Help the Organization identify and mitigate threats.”

“Threats to what.”

“Us… everyone really. They try to be the clandestine safeguard of humanity, playing deeper than Umbrella, Tricell, the Family or the Oligarchs ever have. They could just do a better job in my opinion.” Ada dismissed.

“And you… when you worked for them.”

“I was their operative in the underground, in the bioweapons market.” Ad said with a sigh, Leon still gripping her as she spoke.

“Ok… Ada I trust you. I trust you mean what you say when you want out, that there is no other angle here. Just this last run with Blue Umbrella, the deal you said you made with them for care for Evangeline. The offer you made me in Falls Church… does it stand?” Leon asked as Ada leant her head against Leon’s chest, a sharp breath breaking her countenance as she fought the mist in her eyes.

“Yes.” She shot it a hoarse whisper as Leon kissed the top of her head.

“Good, when this is over then… I should go let Helena know she needs to change her flight. Where did Veronica wind up going missing?” Leon said pulling back as Ada looked up at him.

“Saint Petersburg, Russia.” Ada said, adjusting the lapel of her jacket.

“I’ll go tell her you… you take it easy for a moment. I know what you just did wasn’t easy.” Leon said, holding up his hand as he backed towards the door. Ada smiled as she rolled her eyes.

“Hmm, there he is again.” Ada murmured as the over-eager desire to help broke through his weathered cynicism.

 

“Fumers! South end of the Plaza!” Nadia yelled over the rotors of the osprey as she gazed through the scope of her rifle. Rebecca, Barry and Parker all stood ready to exit the rear of the aircraft as it settled on the north end of Plaza Grande in Quito. They group hopped out as soon as they felt the landing gear touch down, Rebecca targeting the nearest molded charging them in the overrun plaza as a round from Nadia’s rifle tore through its head.

“Attention all players, BSAA aircraft just took rocket fire in El Placer north of the capitol building. Watch your extraction zones.” Raptor came over the radio as Rebecca fired another approaching molded, holding the cheek of her gasmask to the rifle as she fired.

“Palace now! Presidential security is just barely holding out, say they have some kind of C-Virus BOW bearing down on them.” Barry called out over the radio as the group made quickly for the Carondelet. They kept up a steady fire as they made for the door, Barry holding it for the group as they made their way in.

“Last call they were retreating from the bunker after it was breached to their main offices, we will reach that section faster on the second floor.” Parker called out as he pulled a map out on his hardcase tablet.

“Good, take point, Rebecca you…” Barry started

“Rear guard, just like old times.” Rebecca smiled as they took formation and ran through the empty building. They ran through the second floor, distant sounds of gunfire as they reached the president’s offices. They were abandoned save for the corpses of some of his security.

“Raptor this is Dagger prime; President’s security is nowhere to be found in his office.” Barry called in as Rebecca examined a series of black scoring marks on the walls.

“We hear you Dagger prime, apologies, fluid situation with a lot of moving parts. President was picked up by an Ecuadorian military convoy moments ago. Most of his security was wiped out by a C-type BOW which did not give pursuit. Connections assets seem to be pulling back, we have multiple air contacts that seem to be evacuating their personnel as we speak. The Ecuadorian army was kind enough to leave some vehicles at the rear exit to the palace, you are tasked with taking down that BOW. It was last seen retreating towards their evacuation zone in El Placer. Their anti-air is still operational so it’s on you. Raptor out.” The dispatcher called out as Barry looked at Nadia, Parker and Rebecca. The nodded in silent understanding as they quickly made their way out the back of the palace, a single army Humvee waiting for them.

“Ooh! I’m driving.” Nadia called out as she ran to the door.

“I’ve got gun.” Parker called as Rebecca got into the passenger’s seat. Nadia punched the gas as the group peeled out onto the main road heading north. They traveled through abandoned streets for a moment before seeing a figure stand in the middle of the road in front of them. A massive bolt of lighting arced towards the vehicle, frying the instruments and the engine as Nadia swore, trying to restart the vehicle.

“Parker! Shoot that fucking thing!” Barry yelled as Parker didn’t respond.

“Oh no… no no no.” Rebecca murmured as she looked at the figure, the C-virus BOW, the contorted face that she knew.

“It’s not right.” Parker croaked as his weapon remained silent. The bioweapon began to run off. Nadia, Barry and Rebecca got out, Nadia taking aim as Rebecca pushed the end of her rifle down.

“Wouldn’t it be more merciful.” Nadia said softly as she complied.

“Maybe but… this isn’t for us too… Redfield has to know.” Rebecca said as Barry shook his head.

“We can’t, it’ll destroy him.”

“Then what do we tell him, what do we tell command?” Parker called from the turret as Rebecca stared after the fleeing BOW.

“I don’t know… Piers… what did they do to you?”

Chapter Text

Jill felt her hand twitch as her mind began to flow through waking thoughts, an itch in her arm as she came to. Bright lights beamed through her eyelids as she shut them tighter, a waft of medical disinfectant and generic, dryer-clean sheets hit her nose. Every muscle in her body tensed, her heart rate red lining so fast it hurt her chest. She bolted upright taking a huge gasp as her eyes darted around the room, Claire throwing her arm over Jill and bringing her back down.

“Hey, easy, you’re ok, we’re in the infirmary at the Sau Paulo. You’re ok.” Claire soothed, laying next to Jill as she settled back onto her pillow. Jill brought her hand to her forehead as she took several deep breaths, a heart rate monitor clipped to her finger and an IV in her arm.

“You where out for a couple of days, Becca wanted to make sure the virus didn’t take over your system.” Claire said as she softly brushed her hand up against Jill’s cheek. Claire’s arm was still bandaged, held against her chest in a black sling as she lay next to Jill, her hair hanging loose around her.

“And how long have you been here?” Jill croaked, breaking into a smile as she looked over at Claire.

“Only left to go to hit the head, even took her meals here.” Rebecca laughed as she approached Jill with a small instrument. She held a light in front of Jill’s eyes. “Here… now here. Good. How are you feeling Jill?” Rebecca asked as she moved the light back and forth.

“A bit hungover but that’s probably good all things considered. How bad has the…” Jill trailed off as she reached for her chest, feeling a piece of gauze taped under her shirt. Claire intercepted Jill’s hand, taking it and bring it to her lips before clutching it to her own chest.

“We got extremely lucky here Jill, I can’t say that enough. You did not receive a full dose for starters, but it was distributed throughout your bloodstream. This virus is linked to your neural activity which is why I had you put into an induced coma. Your body immediately began to fight the virus, recognizing most of its components from your existing immunities. The last part was a little tricky but with a bit of time I was able to create an antiviral with the antibodies your blood was producing. You’re still cleansing, but you’re well enough to be awake to fight it.” Rebecca explained as she stood over her. Jill reached out with her free hand and took Rebecca’s.

“Thanks Becca, and the girls?” Jill asked as Rebecca squeezed her hand.

“They’re pretty shaken up but healthy. I still have them set for a run of deeper tests to make sure none of the jungle nastiness will affect their long-term health, but I wanted to do that with your permission only.” Rebecca said as Jill smiled at her.

“After I see them, we can start whatever you think is prudent, I trust you.” Jill said as Rebecca returned the smile.

“I’ll give you two a moment, let Chris and the girls know you’re awake and kicking.” Rebecca offered, stepping off and closing the door to the suite behind her. Jill looked over at Claire, still clutching Jill’s hand to her chest as she burst into tears. Claire kept her eyes squeezed shut as she shook, Jill reaching over and placing her hand on Claire’s cheek; she noticed a visible stain on the growing wet spot of Claire’s pillow.

“I’m right here my love, I’m not going anywhere.” Jill soothed as Claire let out a sharp sob.

“I thought I was going to lose you… when that bitch shoved that poison inside you, I thought that was it. This was all my fault; they took me because they knew they could get to you and they did.” Claire broke down as Jill gripped her, hushing her softly as she ran her hand over Claire’s back.

“You kept our girls safe, you stood tough while taken prisoner and survived. That’s the most important thing Claire.” Jill said softly as Claire leant into her embrace.

“You almost died because of me.” Claire croaked.

“I would die to keep you safe.” Jill muttered as Claire shook her head.

“Where would that leave me… without you…” She stammered through her sobs.

“Our girls would need their mom.” Jill returned as she kissed Claire’s forehead. Claire took a sharp breath before looking up at Jill.

“You’re their mother, they need you most.” Claire objected as Jill squeezed her tighter.

“I’ve been adequate, they needed you as much as I did. I want you to know you are as much their mother now as I am.” Jill soothed as Claire laughed softly.

“I’m just mom’s girlfriend who’s good with kids.” Claire countered as Jill sighed.

“Then be more…” Jill tossed back, trailing off as she ran her hands through Claire’s hair.

“Wha…wait what do you mean?” Claire stumbled through her speech as she felt her heart race. Jill took a long breath before answering.

“You know… make things official.” Jill stuttered as she continued to run her fingers through the loose strands of Claire’s hair as she starred at Jill.

“Jill, are you asking me too…”

“Be my wife? Yes.” Jill exhaled as Claire let out a small whimpering sound as she covered her mouth, fresh tears falling from her eyes as she leant her head against Jill’s chest.

“Yes!” She finally croaked as Jill exhaled. Jill gripped Claire tighter as the door opened, Chris stepping into the room as the two embraced on the bed.

“Good to see you’re awake Jill.” Chris laughed as Jill looked up at him.

“Good to see you too big guy, girls doing ok?” Jill returned with a smile as Claire was still shaking against her.

“Yeah, they’re anxious to see you, wanted to make sure you where ok before bringing them in. You holding up ok Claire?” Chris returned, stepping closer to the bed as Claire continued to cry against Jill.

“I think she’s just a little overwhelmed is all.” Jill mused as she stroked Claire’s hair, Claire laughing as she glanced up at her brother, a smile breaking her across her face as tears ran from her eyes.

“Yeah, just a bit. You see, we’re engaged.”

 

“Remember, stick to the plan and don’t stop for mop ups.” Ada muttered as she and Leon pulled up to the Thule Arms building in La Defense district just west of Paris. Leon stepped out as Ada came around from the driver’s side, the gran turismo chirping at her as she walked up next to Leon.

“Could hardly call it a plan really.”

“Fast and loud is a plan.” Ada mused as she stepped off towards the building, Leon adjusting the hem of his jacket as he followed.

“Who are our innocents.”

“Maintenance staff and reception but that’s it, everyone else is a target and very likely armed.” Ada responded as she held the glass door to the lobby for Leon.

“Think Helena will be ok on her own looking for Veronica?” Leon asked as he stepped in, the broad lobby dimly lit by after hours lighting, a security guard and a receptionist packing up to leave.

“She’ll be just fine; we can back her up if she needs it. She’s smart enough not to get in too over her head.” Ada mused as the security guard looked up at them, instinctively placing his hand on his holster.

“Building’s closed for the night, you need to leave.” The guard spoke up as Ada and Leon refused to break pace.

“We have a pressing meeting; we know you know who is here right now.” Ada retorted confidently as the guard shook his head, the receptionist looking concerned as he tried to step in front of Ada and Leon. He reached his hand out to stop Ada as his head snapped hard to the left, the receptionist letting out a shrill scream as the guard fell to the ground. The soft report of Leon’s silenced handgun rattled around the empty lobby as the receptionist looked stunned. Ada looked down at the corpse, carefully stepping over the expanding pool of blood.

“Well I was going to try and talk through that one but… I did say fast and loud.” Ada sighed as Leon looked at her. “Sweetheart, get home and start applying for another job, sorry about this mess.” Ada offered as the receptionist snapped back to reality long enough to bolt out of the front door.

“Hmm, shall we keep moving then?” Leon posed as he looked at the corpse.

“After you.” Ada motioned, drawing her twin handguns as they stepped off towards the elevators. They rode the car silently to the top floor, the executive offices. The elevator chimed and Ada stepped out into the hall, Leon falling in behind her as they approached the executive office suite. Two guards perked up at the sight of the pair, Ada already taking aim and firing two shots through the glass. The panes shattered as the guards fell, Ada stepping over the broken glass, leisurely crossing the waiting room. Two more guards ran from an adjoining room, Leon dropping them as he followed Ada.

“Hallway, two doors right, one left, one at the end. We need to start looking for evidence of a panic room, anyone they value will have hid there by now.” Ada delivered flatly as she turned into the corridor the last two guards had come through. Ada strode over the carpet, approaching the first door on the right side of the hall. She grabbed the handle and looked up at Leon as he nodded. Ada threw it open as Leon rushed in, two gunshots following as he fired at a man in a suit, scrambling through a desk drawer. He fell to the ground as Ada walked up on him, glancing at the handgun still in the desk drawer. The man groaned, blood soaking through his white shirt as Ada knelt next to him.

“Who else is here?” Ada asked softly as the man glared at her.

“A whole host of mercs armed and on their way to rinse through you two.” He coughed as Ada smiled.

“Good, sounds like they where already heading to the target.” Ada said glancing over at Leon. “Must have taken weeks of planning to make sure you could strike TerraSave hard and fast in the middle of an urban center. Should be another week before you can attempt another attack, TerraSave headquarters will be evacuated by then, hell probably by tomorrow.” Ada mused as the dying man stared at her. “Now, you aren’t going to live long enough to deliver that information to anyone. If you answer my question, I’ll end this right now for you. If you don’t, I’m walking out, and you can exsanguinate alone in this office thinking about who and what you died for.” Ada waxed dark as Leon watched the exit.

“What is it.” The man croaked after considering the offer.

“Adrien Garmeaux and Isaac Shkreli, where are they.” Ada said flatly as the man laughed.

“Long gone, left more than an hour ago with Stjepan Androvich, bet you know that name too. They’re heading to their little hideout in Germany so good…” He was interrupted as Ada fired a single shot through his forehead. She frowned as she stood, the look of pained mirth frozen on the man’s face.

“Looks like we’re at least corralling them, we’ll have to settle with helping TerraSave for tonight. Let’s go, their strike teams will be here any minute and there’s a penthouse across from the executive offices we need to stop by.” Ada mentioned as she stood, Leon stepping out into the hall before her as he swept the muzzle of his handgun towards their exit. They made their way back through the trashed lobby, stepping across the hall to a pair of doors with an address and a label reading “Residence”. Ada knelt and swiftly picked the lock, opening into a massive, mid-century modern flat with rustic French accents. Ada scanned the room briefly, striding across the dark hardwood floor towards a grey on black kitchen. She turned each burner on a massive range on high, gas hissing as she walked over to a climate-controlled cabinet. She opened it and smirked.

“There you are you fucker.” She smiled as she removed a weathered bottle from the cabinet and handed it to Leon.

“Are you serious? We stopped for what, fancy wine?” Leon questioned as Ada rolled her eyes.

“One, its Cognac Grande Camus Freres, 1848; and two, Garmeaux sniped me at the auction for it and I’m not going to let it burn up with his flat.” Ada exacted as she approached a candle by the entryway to the residence. She withdrew a pewter lighter from her pocket, an etched butterfly decorating the side, and lit the candle. “Come on, we only have a few minutes.” Ada added as Leon glanced back at the hissing gas range. They shut the doors behind them and swiftly made for the elevator and back through the lobby, the lonely corpse of the guard the only thing there.

“Leon, remember that little art project I gave you?”

“Making plastic explosive look like sidewalk concrete?”

“Yes, one every three meters along the front here.” Ada indicated as she walked in front of the building’s driveway. Leon laid the explosives down as Ada pulled up in the Gran Turismo. The pulled over again a few blocks down the road as Ada turned the car off.

“You wanted to watch?” Leon inquired as Ada angled her sideview mirrors to give her the best view of the building behind her. She lifted a small detonator from the center console, arming the device as she smirked at Leon.

“Just because I lifted the curtain doesn’t mean I’m out of stunning little tricks.” She mused as a cavalcade of large SUV’s roared past them towards the building, a pair of helicopters flying low with them as they approached. Ada watched as the helicopters rose to land on top of the building, silently mouthing a countdown as the top floor erupted into a massive fireball. Ada smiled as the helicopters where engulfed, shattered glass and debris ripping through their rotors as they began to spin towards street level. Leon craned his neck to look through the rear windshield as the convoy pulled up in front of the building, the helicopters nearing the open road as a second explosion tore through the line of SUVs. Leon flinched, looking back at Ada, her finger pressed hard on the detonator as she smiled into her sideview mirror.

 

Claire tapped Jill’s shoulder as she stirred from her sleep, opening her eyes and smiling up her.

“Hey love.” Jill muttered as Claire stepped over to the small wardrobe in the bedroom, opening it as she looked back at Jill.

“Told me to wake you in time for the briefing today, starts in an hour.” Claire said as she pulled a pair of jeans, tank top and flannel shirt from the wardrobe. “How long since your last dose?”

“I took one right before bed, so probably due for another.” Jill groaned as she tried to sit up, Valerie still curled up next to her on the bed, Edelie with a pillow up against Jill’s feet. “Do you mind? I don’t want to wake them.”

“Too late.” Claire cocked her head with a smile as Valerie stirred. Claire opened a first aid kit on the dresser across from the bed, filling a small needle as Jill sat up in bed, Valerie rubbing her eyes. Claire approached with an alcohol swab, dabbing the skin on Jill’s arm as she administered the antiviral serum Rebecca had been producing for her. Jill took a deep breath as she felt the sting, Claire dabbing the pinprick wound for her as Valerie looked on.

“Morning sweetheart, its ok, Claire’s just helping be get better.” Jill reassured as Edelie sat up at her feet, clutching her toy retriever. “You two sleep ok?”

“Yeah, no nightmares tonight.” Valerie muttered as she wormed her way up to her mother as Jill put her arm around her.

“What are we having for breakfast?” Edelie perked up, crawling to Jill’s other arm, still wrapped in bandages as Claire sat on the end of the bed.

“Mmm, whatever they have in the mess?” Jill looked at Claire as she laughed.

“We’ll all go together in about an hour, get breakfast with your Uncle Chris and Aunt Rebecca. Your mother and I have a meeting we have to go to first.” Claire offered as the girls nodded. Jill reluctantly stood, stepping into the on-suite bathroom to get dressed before returning, Valerie laying her head on Claire’s lap, staring blankly as Claire stroked her hair.

“Who’d you get to bail on the briefing to watch them?” Jill asked softly as she put on a pair of black boots sitting by the door.

“Barry said he’d be ok to watch them; said he cleared a break on this next mission too. Roland has been understanding about everything.” Claire said as Valerie let out a long sigh.

“You guys are going back out to work soon right?” Valerie asked nervously as she looked up at Claire. Claire looked at Jill, a solemn look breaking over her face as Jill sighed.

“We are. The people that took your mom are still out there and we want to stop them from hurting anyone else.” Jill said as Valerie frowned, her complexion trembling.

“What if they hurt you again.” She uttered in a hoarse whisper as tears broke over cheek, Claire leaning down and kissing her head.

“I won’t let them hurt her.” Claire whispered, looking up and smiling at Jill. “And I know your mommy won’t let them hurt me. That and you Aunt Rebecca, Uncle Chris and a lot of other people are going to come with us this time. We’re going to keep each other safe.” Claire offered as Valerie rolled over and hugged her torso. There was a knock at the door, Jill turning and opening it to find Barry, five-o’clock shadow and wrinkled jeans with his BSAA field jacket.

“Sure, you’re up for this night owl?” Jill teased as Barry stepped in smiling.

“Yeah, got the juice I need, just a hard time sleeping is all, a lot on my mind.” He groaned, holding up a paper coffee cup as Claire gave him a tentative wave as she held Valerie to her. “Girls doing ok?”

“Yes and no.” Jill returned in a hushed voice. “We haven’t been able to get them to sleep in their own beds since we got them back. Valerie has been having nightmares every other night it seems and…” Jill trailed off as she looked back at her daughter, starting to sit up next to Claire as she stopped crying. “Something happened between when Claire was taken, and Chris and I found them. She won’t talk about it, not to me, not to Claire. She breaks down every time we even get close to the subject. She’s blocking something out and… we’re going to have to find a kid friendly psych to help. Rebecca is working on it though, thinks our best bet is going to be through TerraSave; have a lot of resources specializing in bioterror related trauma and such.” Jill said letting out a long breath as Barry nodded, putting his hand on Jill’s shoulder.

“They’ll be ok, you’re already doing better than I ever did.” He smiled as Jill let out a nervous laugh.

“Don’t sell yourself so short… nothing that happened to you was fair, or your fault.” Jill muttered, looking back at the bed as Claire rubbed Valerie’s back. “Anyway, we ought to get going. We’ll be back soon, be good for Uncle Barry.” Jill said as Claire stood, Edelie looking over from a small collection of stuffed animals surrounding her. Jill and Claire stepped out into the corridor, following it small lobby entrance of the residence hall of the BSAA South American Headquarters.

“How was the guy they had evaluate our girls when you first got back.” Jill asked as she clicked the fob to the BSAA marked sedan she had been assigned while on the base.

“Not bad but… well he wasn’t really equipped for what the girls are going to need, even with Rebecca standing over his shoulder. I have faith she’ll find someone qualified within TerraSave; they are really good at this kind of thing.” Claire reassured as Jill raised her hands over her nose and mouth as she sat in the driver’s seat. “You ok my love?”

“Yeah, damn infection has been giving me headaches is all. Thank god it has no capacity for transmission, couldn’t stand a quarantine right now.” Jill groused as she put the car in gear. “When did Val’s nightmares start again?”

“She had the first one I saw the night we got back, I woke up and found her washing her hands over and over in the bathroom.” Claire said as Jill nodded, Claire looking at her timidly. “She kept crying that she ‘couldn’t get it off’. I turned off the faucet and brought her back to bed, she calmed down after a few moments, but she never slept in her own bed after that. Edelie woke up screaming the next night so she joined us, hasn’t had any problem sleeping since.” Claire finished with a steady nod.

“And you? How have you been holding up?” Jill asked, glancing at Claire as she flashed her a reassuring smile. Claire returned it, placing her hand on Jill’s thigh.

“Not the first time I’ve been through this crap, practically have a coping routine now thanks to Chris’ insistence. The girls are safe, and I have you, I can handle everything else now.” Claire huffed before she answered, Jill nodding as they approached the headquarters main complex on base. “I’ve noticed you saying it by the way. I appreciate it, really it means a lot to hear.” Claire said softly as Jill looked at her, one eyebrow raised in silent questioning.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, ever since we got back, every time you refer to Edie and Val. You call them our girls now and…” Claire trailed off as she let out a laugh. “That means a lot babe.”

Chapter Text

“Silver Dagger and Agents Redfield and Valentine will insert via Bravo flight from the north end of the compound. Silver dagger will be responsible for seizing PharmatSevastopol’s servers, Agents Redfield and Valentine will enter the facility in search for the weapon designated as Moros and destroy it.” Rebecca spoke as satellite images shown behind her. “Needle recon is currently on sight, Tricell security has been building around the compound for the past few days, they will be ready for us. As Silver Dagger inserts, strike team Aeneid will approach on the ground escorted by Delta flight and led by Agent Luciani. Your objective will be compound security and prisoner extraction. We will hold strike team Hermes in reserve with the rest of Bravo flight and deploy as needed. Umbrella’s ship the Indemnance is stationed off of Buenos Aires and will be available for air support during this operation. Umbrella tactical teams have already set up a forward station and field hospital south of Alvarez, about ten miles from the target. We will operate and resupply from this post, with luck the operation will be over within a few days with the initial phases being completed a few hours after contact. Any questions?” Rebecca finished looking out at the room, nothing but subtle nods and grumbles.

“Alright then, dismissed, deployment will begin at fourteen hundred hours, h-hour at sixteen.” Rebecca added as they began to file out.

“Rebecca, have a minute?” Parker asked as Rebecca retrieved her laptop from the lectern.

“Sure, what is it Parker?”

“Did you read Barry’s report on the Quito incident.” Parker asked softly as the last of the special operators left.

“I did, I… we need to say something to Chris. I know why Barry left out the weapon’s identity, but Chris of all people deserves to know; even if we don’t tell Roland.” Rebecca answered after taking a long breath.

“I don’t know if… if we could put him out of his misery. He can’t still be present, can he?” Parker posed as Rebecca shook her head.

“We don’t give up on people like that Parker, I know Barry wants to, I bet Nadia does too. I can’t go along with that, he didn’t give up on Jill, what do you think he would do for Piers?” Rebecca returned as Parker hung his head.

“I know, but even if we did try to get him back… I doubt Roland would sanction that. Not with everything going on right now.”

“I get your point, but Roland has surprised in the past. Look, Parker, there are a lot of things going on at the moment. We’ll discuss this later; I really don’t need this floating in the back of my mind while sitting across from Chris right now. We will come up with a solution together, something with Piers’ best interest at heart.” Rebecca finished, offering a reassuring smile as she slung her bag over her shoulder. “Good luck today.”

 

“I thought I told you none of the sugary crap!” Jill gripped as Valerie and Edelie sat across from her, trying to hide wide grins as Claire walked around the table, kissing the top of Jill’s head as she sat down.

“Don’t worry, I struck a deal with them, for the next three nights they will substitute French fried for veggies to earn their lucky charms.” Claire laughed as Jill squinted at her, Valerie trying to suppress a giggle as Chris sat down next to her with a bowl of cereal himself. Jill turned on him, raising an eyebrow as he glanced at Claire.

“What?” He asked as Claire laughed, Jill sighing before returning to worrying the omelet she had half eaten in front of her.

“Sorry I’m late, wrapped up issues at the briefing.” Rebecca called as she approached the table, Edelie jumping up and hugging her as she set her bag down. “Hey there sweetheart.” Rebecca stifled a laugh as Edelie gripped her.

“She wants another tour of your lab but is too shy to ask.” Claire spoke through a mouth full of food as Jill slapped the side of her arm; Edelie going red and looking away.

“That’s why I can’t get them to close their mouths while eating!” Jill hissed as Claire smiled at her mischievously.

“Well we could do that if you’d like.” Rebecca said kneeling to Edelie’s height.

“I would, I really liked the… the… its like an opposite telescope.” Edelie struggled to find the word as Rebecca laughed.

“Microscope dear, and maybe tomorrow, if all goes well tonight.” Rebecca answered, looking at Jill as she spoke.

“Fine by me, its good for her to get out of the residence after everything that has happened.” Jill returned as Barry walked up, setting an extra plate of eggs and bacon in front of Rebecca.

“Saw you walk in, figured I’d grab you something.” He smiled as Rebecca thanked him.

“Anything unofficial we should know about Moros?” Claire asked after a moment, Rebecca glancing at Chris and Jill before speaking up.

“Just that it is made with the same purpose as Nemesis, only C based rather than Tyrant based.” Rebecca responded in a low voice.

“Round two then.” Jill grunted as she raised her coffee to her lips.

“RAMRODS should make this much easier, that and high caliber weapons. We’re not sending you in without a thought about this Jill.” Rebecca returned; a serious tone drawn over her voice.

“I… I know Becca, I didn’t mean to insinuate that you weren’t thinking this through.” Jill apologized as Claire looked over at Rebecca.

“It’s possible they may not even have time to deploy it right? It would just be destroying the body and running from the fireball.” Claire said, keeping her voice low as Chris and the girls exchanged increasingly ridiculous faces, attempting to outdo each other.

“It is, that’s the ideal scenario. We just aren’t going to expect the ideal scenario.” Rebecca laughed at the end of her statement, Barry nodding silently next to her.

“We know this through Leon and Helena?” Jill asked after another silent moment.

“And Ada.” Rebecca nodded as Jill sighed. “They said they’ve been working with TerraSave recently, where instrumental in stopping the mess in Syria from being worse than it was.”

“I’ll take them at their word then. They able to break into the Oligarchs’ circle at all or just being outmaneuvered?” Jill returned as Rebecca sighed.

“They got close, have actually taken one out since they were unable to get information from them. They think they have been herding them into a more central location though. Would make a single strike more effective.” Rebecca answered.

“Guess that’s not a bad thing. I only ask because I haven’t heard from Veronica in a while, figured she was doing something more sensitive.”

“I haven’t either. Not yet worried but I was told Helena is heading to meet up with her, make sure all is well.” Rebecca huffed before answering, knowing about Veronica’s missing status but not in a way she could explain knowing.

“Her girl holding up ok? I know you and Blue are working on something to help keep her stable, give her a shot at a normal life.” Claire asked as Jill returned to her meal, laughing at the Chris and the girl’s back and forth.

“As far as I’ve heard she’s taking to the new treatments we developed. Mostly its just a suppressant, keeps the rampant nature of the mutamycene from taking over her mind. She has to take fewer doses now and its much harder for a rampant episode to occur. The trick has been unraveling her genome, its so radically different from the average human’s.” Rebecca sighed as Claire nodded.

“Do you think she has a shot at a normal life at all?” Claire asked softly, fighting conflicting images of what the mutamycene had created and the scared little girl she remembered clinging to Ada’s leg.

“Yes.” Rebecca returned firmly, “Honestly more because of Ada than our efforts. Umbrella and I are dedicated to the research for Evangeline as well as any other E-types that the Connections attempt to manufacture and deploy. Evangeline, however, has a fighting chance at normalcy because she has someone looking out for her. Ada has really bonded with her; despite her best efforts to hide it I’ve even caught Eva calling her mom during some of her follow up meetings.” Rebecca laughed as Claire smiled.

“That’s good to hear. I can’t help but feel… we assumed way too much going after her.”

“We did what we thought was best Claire and when we realized we where wrong, we worked to make things right. As someone who used to work for fucking Brian Irons and Albert Wesker, trust me when I say I know a thing or two about second guessing your actions.” Rebecca laughed nervously as Claire nodded.

“Think we’ll be able to convince Roland to let me pursue Vester and Sherawat after this?” Jill mused as she drained the last of her coffee, Chris looking up at the mention of the names.

“I… I don’t know.” Rebecca answered cautiously as Claire took Jill’s hand under the table.

“I figured that they are still on the upper range of our wanted list. That and they mentioned their boss wanting to meet me back in Philly. This whole recent mess with… Torres was her name right Claire? This whole recent mess with Torres tells me that’s who directed them. I figured that I’d be uniquely qualified to take them out if we didn’t run into them on this next op.” Jill mused darkly as Claire squeezed her hand at the mention of the name.

“That’s not a fight you’d have to go into alone.” Chris offered as Jill stared at him, eventually breaking into a smile.

“I know… I just don’t want to stand by when I know that they’re trying to come up with another way to target me… us.” Jill muttered as Claire lent her head on Jill’s shoulder.

 

“Bravo two-one to Nantucket base, three miles to target.” Jill listened to the radio call out as she helped Claire adjust her equipment, holding onto the bulkhead of the black hawk as the flight of four aircraft approached the Tricell compound in Rosario, Argentina.

“Acknowledged Bravo two-one, ground teams on the clock, arrival five minutes after insertion.” The command dispatcher called back.

“Tip of the spear.” Claire muttered as she turned to face Jill, Jill placing her hand on her cheek.

“You holding up ok?” Jill asked softly as Claire nodded, adjusting the strap of Jill’s chest rig, patting it as she finished.

“Yeah, deploying with the best operative in the whole damn organization helps rid any anxiety.” Claire laughed as Jill scoffed.

“Let’s keep it textbook, kill this thing and get back. I’m already anxious about being away from our girls.” Jill returned as Claire through her arms around Jill’s neck and kissed her.

“You should have come get me back in Raccoon City, bet we could have taken that fucker down easy.” Claire winked as Jill laughed, their equipment clicking together as she held Claire.

“Nantucket this is Bravo two-one, I have contacts on the security wall that look armed, was Roland ever able to clear our ROE beyond defensive with the Southern Union?” The helicopter pilot called out.

“Affirmative Bravo two-one. All units be advised, the Argentinian government and Southern Union states have approved aggressive posture for this mission. Tricell operatives and subsidiary security are to be treated as enemy combatants.” The command operator called out.

“Understood Nantucket. Bravo two-three, take lead position and give as a clear path over the wall.” The pilot called back as one of the black hawks carrying Silver Dagger accelerated and approached the compound wall.

“Here we go.” Claire muttered to herself as Jill handed Claire her helmet. She adjusted her ponytail as she slid the helmet on, the seal hissing as it cleared and began to run its filter. Her optics flickered to life as she saw Jill put her own on. The ripping sound a of mini gun tore through the air as Bravo two-three began sweeping the wall, hovering sideways as the door gun cleared the wall. The rest of Bravo flight settled into a hover over a material yard on the far north end of the compound. Ropes where tossed out the sides as Silver Dagger began to deploy, Claire clipping in and sliding down the line. She joined members of Silver Dagger as they fanned out in a circular deployment perimeter, Jill landing a second behind her.

“Anything local yet?” Jill asked, tapping Claire’s shoulder as she came up behind her.

“Nothing other than the wall, with any luck we actually have them by surprise.” Claire returned as Chris landed not far from them, the last of Silver Dagger deploying as the helicopters began to move off.

“Bravo two-one take up an overhead position to provide sniper cover, two-four and two-three keep pace with us as we advance to the main structure. Two-two move to assist strike team Aeneid.” Chris called out over the radio. “Feeling better about this one than Philly.” Chris offered, Claire could only assume he was smiling under his mask as he walked past her and Jill.

“Dagger, quick advance to the structure, columns and watch the equipment around here.” Chris called over the radio as the members of Silver Dagger stood and took formation. Claire and Jill fell in behind them as they made their way down the maintenance road towards the large office compound about a quarter mile away.

The team moved quickly as they saw the flight of eight AH-6 helicopters land just inside the compound. As soon as they had touched earth, they took off again, the first of Aeneid preparing to breach the compound from the main road. The rattle of gunfire called out over the complex, Silver Dagger nearing the main structure.

“All players this is Aeneid lead, engaged Tricell security around the entrance of the compound, infantry and light armored vehicles.”

“Bravo Two-Two moving to assist, watch the light structures near the entrance Aeneid, movement on the roofs. You have more vehicles heading your way.” The radio lit up as the dirt in front of Claire erupted, the rattle of gunfire breaking the stern silence of Silver Dagger. Jill grabbed Claire around the waist, lifted her and landed with her behind a small maintenance shed.

“Bravo flight I have contacts in the windows, fourth floor of the east building!” Chris’ voice called out as one of the black hawks rotated, its door gunner firing into the building. Claire groaned as she stood, checking her rifle as Jill shouldered hers, tracking the line of fire the door gunner drew across the building.

“Looks clear, you ok?” Jill asked as Claire stacked up on her.

“Yeah, just cut it a bit close, thanks for the toss.” Claire returned with a sharp exhale. Jill ran back out onto the road as Claire followed closely, the rest of Silver Dagger making their way quickly to the building. They reached a rear fire door as Jill knelt, pulling a small shaped charge from a pouch on her belt and setting it over the bolt.

“Stand back.” Jill called over the radio, she and Claire as well as several Silver Dagger members stepping back. Jill blew the charge as the door swung open from the pressure. She ran in, switching on the flashlight on her rifle, sweeping it over the hall as she advanced. Her rifle shook as two cracks rang through the dark hall, a soldier rounding the corner falling as his momentum carried him to the floor.

“Second floor, server room, lets move.” Chris called as the rest of Silver Dagger made their way to the stair well. He stopped next to Jill and Claire as his team kept moving. “Be careful down there, call me if you need help, I can divert the whole team if need be.” Chris said as Claire rolled her eyes.

“A little faith please? Jill’s killed one of these things single handedly with a lot less equipment.” Claire shot back as Chris let out a brief laugh.

“I just want both of you back safe, ok?” Chris returned as Jill nodded.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.” Jill reassured as she put her hand on Claire’s shoulder leading her back down the hall.

“Remember where they’re supposed to be storing this thing?” Claire asked as they jogged through the abandoned halls, the lights out save for the fire alarm going off. Jill held her arm out as she stopped, a familiar screech ringing through the halls as she scanned the corridor.

“Lickers, lets hope just the basics.” Jill muttered as she shouldered her rifle, cautiously stepping forward, a slow clicking coming from around the corner. She checked her bayonet, making sure it was secure as she strafed around the corner, two lickers clinging to the walls opposite one another. Jill raised her hand, pointing at Claire and then at the first licker as Jill made her way slowly towards the second. She held the edge of her rifle near the back of the monster’s head as she stepped, Claire taking aim at the first one. Jill exhaled silently, thrusting her bayonet into the back of the licker’s head, forcing it to the ground as it screamed. Gunfire erupted in the hall as Jill fired a burst into the skewered beast as Claire fired on the first. They both fell with a hard thud as Claire let out a sharp breath.

“I fucking hate these things.” She swore, kicking the limp corpse in front of her as Jill nodded.

“Well at least we know we’re on the right track, come on, lets go. Stair well to the storage level should be at the end of this hall.” Jill returned as they both continued through the dark corridor. They reached an interior stair well, opening the door and making their way down several flights of stairs before reaching a landing scattered with discarded office furniture. Claire stepped to the door as Jill raised her weapon, nodding as Claire pulled the door open. Jill rushed through, sweeping the hall with the muzzle of her rifle.

“Looks clear, cover me for a moment.” Jill said as Claire followed her, keeping her weapon raised as Jill knelt next to the wall. She slung her bag off her shoulder taking out a small brick of plastic explosives and pressing it to the wall. She slid a detonator into the brick and repeated the process along both sides of the hall until her bag was empty.

“Just felt like flexing sapper on me or does this have a purpose?” Claire joked as Jill finished, linking all of the explosives to a remote trigger.

“Little of both.” Jill laughed back stepping off down the hall as Claire fell in behind her. “Just incase this thing proves difficult; we can seal it down here and let Umbrella pound the place from the air.”

“Makes sense, any special tips for taking this thing down? I’ve had only a little Tyrant experience.” Claire returned as the turned down another corridor, Jill checking the placards in front of each room as they passed.

“Don’t let it infect you, makes for a hell of a flu.” Jill answered as she stopped but one of the rooms, picking the lock to the door before forcing it open. Claire inhaled a sharp laugh as they stepped in. Jill dropped her magazine replacing it with a fresh one loaded with RAMRODs. Claire followed suite as they made their way through a small medical suite into what looked like a warehouse, a morgue-like refrigeration unit at the far end.

“We’re looking for a large crate, almost like a coffin about twelve feet long. Should have warning labels and some electronic controls on its side.” Jill informed quietly as she scanned the shelves and supplies stashed within the dark room.

“Not to be an alarmist but…” Claire trailed off as Jill jogged over to her. There was a large grey sarcophagus labeled with stencil writing; “Project: MOROS”.

“Fuck.” Jill hissed as she kicked the empty crate, the lid slightly ajar from being opened. “Looks like its loose. Nantucket, this is Vermillion. We’ve located the Moros sarcophagus, but the weapon has been deployed. Resuming search.” Jill called in as she and Claire made their way back through the medical suite attached to the storeroom.

“Understood Vermillion, Aeneid has secured their objective and extracting prisoners as we speak. The rest of their force is moving to assist you and Silver Dagger.” The command controller called back as Jill looked at Claire.

“Looks like we’re going hunting.” Jill mused as Claire nodded, the pair making their way deeper into the basement level. They strode quietly through the dark hall until Jill raised her arm, Claire freezing behind her. The listened as a low thud and growling breath landed on their ears. Claire lifted her rifle, stacking up close to Jill as the sound grew louder. The lumbering shape of the Moros weapon crossed in front of them, slowly moving through the halls, hunched over due to its height. Claire let out a silent breath as she watched the hulking weapon patrol.

“How are we taking this thing down?” Claire asked quietly as the beast moved off.

“Take out the heart first, should be armored. I’ll handle that, you bring it to its knees. RAMRODs should slice through this thing. From there it should be significantly weakened, and we can kill the parasite, that’s the true threat.” Jill said as she stepped out in the hall. She shouldered her rifle and fired, anti-regen rounds tearing through Moros’ leg as it fell to one knee. The beast roared as it turned on them, gripping its leg and tearing it off, tossing the anti-regen stricken limb. Its flesh contorted, the C-virus forcing a rapid mutation to replace the limb. An arthropod like limb grew, a pair of pereopods growing out and letting the beast stand.

“Well shit that’s new.” Jill hissed as Claire opened up, rounds striking the exposed heart on the beast’s chest. Jill joined her as the weapon awkwardly shuffled towards them, picking up speed as it ripped its limbs from its body. It forced itself to mutate as it clawed the RAMRODS from its skin before they could take hold, turning into a mass of mutated limbs around its torso. It roared as it advanced, propelling itself forward along the walls and the ground as Jill and Claire kept up a steady fire, cutting down against its mutations but not slowing the beast.

“Alright, fall back plan! We’re sealing this thing down here and the flyboys can obliterate this place.” Jill yelled as she replaced her empty magazine, Claire turning to run as they retreated down the corridor. Jill grabbed a frag grenade from her belt, yanked the pin and rolled it into the hall. The explosion invited another roar as Jill sprinted after Claire, approaching the stair well as something soared by the side of her head. The thin, bone like spike of one of Moros’ mutated limbs had been hurled with such force it buried itself in the tiled floor.

“Fucking Christ.” Jill mumbled to herself as she turned and squeezed off a few rounds after the beast as another spine came soaring towards her. She swerved feeling the spine drive into her shoulder as she screamed in pain, falling to the ground. She felt Claire gripping her as she stood, lifted as her partner practically carried her to the exit. Claire grabbed the detonator from Jill’s belt and triggered the explosive. The shock wave ripped through the stair well, knocking them to the floor as the room was filled with dust. Jill landed with a hard groan, the glass of her visor cracking as she hit the edge of the stairs. Claire slid her arm under Jill’s lifting her and carrying them up the stairs, Jill stumbling, still in shock, her ears ringing from the explosion. They reached the ground floor of the complex as Claire laid Jill down, taking her shattered helmet off as Jill groaned, grabbing the spine in her shoulder.

“Take it easy love, you’re gonna be fine.” Claire soothed as she snapped the end of the spine that had pierced through Jill’s shoulder. Jill lay flat on her back as Claire removed her helmet, offering a reassuring smile as she pulled a trauma kit from her belt. Jill nodded silently as she tried to control her breathing. Claire opened the kit, grabbing a sterile swab and setting it on Jill’s chest, gripping the spine and looking Jill in the eye. Jill nodded as Claire yanked the spine from her, Jill hissing as she fought against her heart rate. Claire immediately cleaned the area around the wound, placing a patch of gauze over it and taping it down, the bandage going red. She rolled Jill onto her side with a groan as she repeated the process for the smaller exit wound, binding both sides with a roll of gauze around Jill’s chest and neck.

“Anything else damaged?” Claire asked as she put the kit back on her belt, leaning down to check the dressings. Jill placed her hand on the back of her head, drawing her down and kissing, sitting up slowly before breaking off.

“All good here, thanks love.” Jill returned with a smile as Claire helped her up. Jill winced as she tested the range of motion in her shoulder. “That thing isn’t getting out, enough explosives down there I’m surprised more of the building didn’t come down.” Jill commented as she followed Claire to the exit.

“Good, I really don’t want to get caught in a hallway with something like that again.” Claire returned, pressing her finger to her headset. “Nantucket this is Cerulean, Moros is active and sealed in the underground storage area. Exit destroyed with explosives. We are in need of yellow medevac.” Claire called over the radio as she stood by the door they had breached on entry.

“Acknowledged Cerulean, Aeneid ground teams being redirected to you, request location.”

“North side maintenance door of main structure.”

“Understood, they’re enroute.” The command controller called back as the rumble of a Humvee’s engine approached. Claire opened the door, Jill following as a rattle of machine gun fire erupted. Three BSAA Humvees approached, their turret gunners dropping a pair of hunters chasing the small convoy. The vehicles came to a stop as several BSAA soldiers leapt out, running to meet Jill and Claire.

“This way! Medic setting up in the center V!” the first soldier called as Claire lead Jill to it, the soldier lifting the rear gate as Claire helped Jill in.

“Relax, lay down for me Agent Valentine, let’s get this redressed. No offense Agent Redfield.” The medic said as she prepped her kit. “How much blood loss before you stabilized her?” The medic directed the question at Claire as the roar of one of the little birds came in low overhead, landing just outside of the building they had just come from.

“Not much, was a puncture wound from an organic projectile, bone based by the look and feel of it.” Claire responded as she watched Chris and several members of Silver Dagger emerge with a figure between them. It looked like a man in a torn suite with a black bag over his head as they dragged him to the helicopter. Chris and two other soldiers boarded as it quickly took off, turning and flying off away from the compound. The medic removed Jill’s field dressings and gasped as Jill looked over at Claire concerned. Claire had to stifle her own surprise as well, looking at the wound that she had just dressed. The skin was red, covered with drying blood but the wound itself looked like a fresh surgical scar; the skin closed and rapidly healing.

“Its not disconcerting for everyone to be looking at you with shocked expressions when you’re laying down wounded, no not at all.” Jill carped as Claire cleared her throat.

“Jill, I think your infection is healing you.” Claire muttered softly as Jill glanced at the wound and huffed.

“Fucking hell, I thought we were done with this shit.” Jill mumbled as Claire grabbed her hand.

“Its ok, with any luck this is the only side effect, wouldn’t be that bad honestly.” Claire laughed as Jill smiled at her, squeezing her hand.

“Let’s get the hell out of here, before Umbrella levels the place.” Jill mused as the engines revved up, the small convoy making for the road out of the compound.

 

Ingrid Hunnigan stepped into a small conference room, flanked by Contra as he gestured for her to take a seat. A well-dressed man with a bald head sat at the opposite end, offering her a slight smile as she slowly took a seat, sizing him up as she examined him.

“Please forgive me Ms. Hunnigan I…”

“I prefer Agent Hunnigan, worked hard to earn it so use it. Otherwise ma’am will suffice.” Hunnigan shot back as Gabriel smiled.

“Of course, forgive me Agent Hunnigan. My name is Doctor Gabriel Onyilogwu. I represent an organization whose sole purpose is the preservation of our species, in spirit and in reality.” Gabriel spoke as Hunnigan rolled her eyes.

“You know I work for the US government? I’ve heard this one a lot.” Hunnigan retorted as she folded her arms across her chest. Gabriel laughed softly as he placed his clasped hands on the table in front of him.

“I’m sure you have. You have shown an incredible tenacity in your career Agent Hunnigan. That and you have shown a capacity to let your morality, your humanity to take control rather then dogmatic protocol in the heat of a crisis. These are the qualities we desire in our operatives, which is why I asked my agent Contra to bring you here for recruitment.” Gabriel delivered as Hunnigan scoffed.

“You also did it because you thought I might be a threat to some other aspect of your little syndicate. Wasn’t it?” Hunnigan spat.

“Yes ma’am, you don’t miss a thing. You see, one of our most accomplished operatives was Ada Wong. She separated from the organization after the incidents in Tall Oaks and Lanshaing. I believe she wants to withdraw from this type of life, but she did so in a way that worked against out interests. We had our agents in the BSAA, DSO and Blue Umbrella push to pursue her, to bring a stop to things and there was a serious success.”

“Ada Wong is alive, returned to duty I assume after Leon, Helena and the BSAA wiped out the E-type she was harboring?” Hunnigan returned as Gabriel shook his head.

“Despite my convictions… Ada showed me something I had missed. She is currently serving as the caretaker for the weapon and working with Blue Umbrella to stabilize, maybe even reverse the condition of the E-type. After that I don’t believe she intends to return to the organization. In the meantime, she is pursuing an adversary of ours. Not unlike the Family, this group known as the Oligarchs where Simmons’ competitors in Europe and parts of Asia. My operatives in Umbrella and the BSAA have recruited a host of other agents to help take them down. They don’t know that they are ultimately working in the Organization’s interest, but we have a common enemy who they are pursuing.”

“And you are telling me all this because…” Hunnigan almost felt the urge to yawn as Gabriel continued in his distinctive, West-African accent.

“Because I want you to join the fight. I had Contra and Veronica instruct Leon and Helena to hold back information from you until I could be sure you where not the one threatening the BSAA through the US government. Someone still is however.” Gabriel said sternly.

“Leon and… and Helena are in on this?” Hunnigan asked in almost a hushed whisper. “How did their operation in Romania go, Contra yanked me at a critical moment, and I don’t…” Hunnigan began to stammer.

“They retrieved data critical to outlining the outer circle of the Oligarchs. They have constructed quite the edifice and we are looking for a weak link to penetrate. We are close and…”

“But what happened to them!” Hunnigan shouted as the room fell quiet.

“They escaped, Helena was wounded by gunfire in the building and Leon was able to safely extract her. She has since recovered. Our operative Veronica recently disappeared in Saint Petersburg; Harper has been sent to recover her by Wong. We don’t know her status, but she has been heavily distracted by the events going on at Umbrella even before this. We need more coverage even after we retrieve her.” Contra spoke up as Hunnigan glanced at him.

“Jumping the gun a bit there, Contra.” Gabriel mused as Contra shrugged.

“She’s a good woman Gabriel, and your speeches bore me. I figured we might as well start treating her like she’s on our side.” Contra returned as Gabriel let out a long breath.

“You yanked me in the middle of one of my operations and Helena was shot because of it?” Hunnigan fumed at Contra.

“He had me do it.” Contra pointed at Gabriel as Hunnigan looked between them with scorn.

“It was… indelicate timing.” Gabriel admitted as he sighed. “Agent Hunnigan, I’m asking for your help in taking these people down, to help support you comrades already taking up this fight. I need to know that you can abandon your loyalty to governments in favor of humanity as a whole.”

“Thought I made that clear when I helped clear Helena’s name, hid the man who shot the president and protected Ada Wong after being ordered to kill her.” Hunnigan sighed as Gabriel stared at a notification on his phone.

“Good to hear Agent Hunnigan, intel analysis is your strong suit so I will have you familiarized with all aspects of this case as we know so far. Contra, make your way to Harper, I have an update on Veronica’s potential location and she’ll need anything we can give her.” Gabriel said as Contra stood.

“Wait.” Hunnigan said sharply as Contra paused. “I don’t trust you… either of you. Not yet, but if you are trying to help Leon and Helena, I’m in. I know about the Ada op that Leon called in practically every favor he had for, the one Redfield was involved in. I need you give Helena a message for me when you see her. Tell her I’m ok, have her let Leon know as well. Tell her I’m sorry for turning the tables on her so quickly.” Hunnigan said as Contra nodded, silently exiting the room.

 

“The Russian President is joining a host of business leaders decrying the recent BSAA raid on an industrial park that produced chemicals for the companies Valenta Pharm and PharmatSevastopol. The arrest of the Russian construction Tycoon, Stjepan Androvich, also stunned the international business community as his company, Myezfutora was the company which constructed the compound. The BSAA has stated they had strong evidence to indicate the manufacture of bioweapons at the facility and have acted with support of the Argentinian government as well as the South American Union. Androvich has been handed over to the International Criminal Court with strong objections from the Russian Federation of which Androvich is a citizen. The security company which engaged with BSAA operatives during the raid has justified their response, their CEO, Adrien Garmeaux making a rare public statement in Munich today; ‘The brazen raid on the Rosario facility goes to show just how far the BSAA will go to maintain its relevance in a rapidly changing world. Their continued failures to contain bio terror abroad have made them desperate for a win, using my employees and my clients as a scapegoat. This will not stand; we will challenge this unlawful attack through all means at our disposal’.” The news report played over Jill’s computer as she, Claire and Rebecca watched in the Sau Paulo SOA branch.

“Well he’s out in the open, now what?” Claire mused as Jill stared at the screen.

“We passed the intel to Ada and Leon; they should be closing in on him soon.” Rebecca returned as Jill nodded.

“They won’t stay in one place long, they’re actually scared, after that arrest and Kuznetsov’s death we actually are starting to put pressure on them.” Jill added. “Think Shkreli will be with them?”

“I’m going to say yes. With any luck they’ll have someone else with them, if not then Ada will get it out of them.” Rebecca said sternly as Jill let out a small laugh.

 

“Looking for you is a lot like looking for Kennedy.” Contra murmured softly as he sat down at the barstool next to Helena. She grumbled something unintelligible, raising her glass to her lips.

“Any reason you decided to come find me.” Helena groused, trying to fight the feeling of embarrassment having been found out at a bar during a mission.

“You’ve hit a wall on Veronica.” Contra said softly. “That why you’re drinking?”

“No, I’m drinking cause I had to kill my sister after she was used as leverage to get me to be a part of the assassination of the sitting US president and the murder of about seventy thousand innocent people. You know, survivors’ guilt but I actually killed them and all that.” Helena spat, draining her glass and tapping the counter as the bartender refilled it for her.

“Hmm, well I can’t help much with that.”

“Nope.” Helena said blankly, raising her fresh drink to her lips.

“I have a tip on Veronica however.” Contra added as he waved the bartender off.

“Spill.”

“DSO safe house is currently in use. 22 B, Alpine Lane in the southern residential districts. We have no official missions operating here at the moment, I’m supposed to be investigating but this city has just so much culture I’m finding myself distracted.” Contra finished as Helena let out an acknowledging grunt. She raised her glass to her lips and held it until it was empty, clicking her tongue as she set it down.

“Guess I should go while I can still shoot straight.” Helena mused as she stood. Contra put her hand on her arm as Helena glanced down at him.

“That was the business end. Hunnigan wants you to know she’s ok, she’s sorry to hear about your leg. She feels responsible, but she’s become engaged with a high security project that pulled her suddenly from her tasks here. She also wanted me to tell you that she’s sorry the tables turned on you so quickly.” Contra added as Helena suppressed a gasp.

“Ok… ok. Any idea when I’ll actually be able to talk to her.” Helena said softly as she processed the information.

“Not at the moment. I’m not a part of her operation but I know those who are. I will try.”

“Ok, just tell her I’m ok and… when she gets the chance, there are some things I need to fill her in on.” Helena returned, her voice breaking up a bit as she nodded to herself.

“Will do. Take care of yourself Harper.” Contra finished as Helena walked off.

 

“You sure bout bringing Eva out here?” Leon asked as he looked over his shoulder, the young girl wearing a bullet proof vest as she sat on an exposed air ducts, swinging her legs idly.

“Yes, we may still need to interrogate one of the marks. I don’t like it but she’s safer with us than left at the safe house.” Ada said as she knelt on the edge of the roof of the office building in Munich’s center. She finished priming a series of detonator switches she had lined up in front of her, marking each for the order of detonation.

“Ok, as long as I don’t get stuck babysitting while you do everything.”

“I already wind up babysitting you half the time we run an op and you don’t hear me complaining.” Ada laughed as Leon furrowed his brow, withdrawing his handgun from his holster and attaching a suppressor.

“There’s Garmeaux’s cavalcade.” Leon reported as he watched a line of black SUVs turn down the main road.

“Good, they’re early. Let me know when they’re two blocks out.” Ada returned as she lifted the guard on the first detonator. “Eva my love, loud noises ok, don’t worry, we’re safe up here.” Ada called back to Evangeline as Leon gave her a thumbs up. Ada flicked the switch on the detonator as several distant explosions rumbled, a tower crane on a nearby construction sight listing and then clattering to the ground, falling across the roadway. Ada smiled as it fell precisely where she had hoped. The cavalcade stopped suddenly, turning down a side road next to the building Ada, Leon and Evangeline where standing atop.

“About a hundred meters from the light remember.” Ada called to Leon as he moved around the edge of the roof to watch the cavalcade.

“Now!” Leon called as Ada flipped the second switch. The first vehicle in the convoy erupted in a ball of fire. The line of cars came to sudden, screeching halt as private security exited the other vehicles, setting up a perimeter as they approached the wreck. “Security has exited, all in the open.” Leon said as he ran over to Ada. She armed the last switch and flipped it, the claymores she had planted on either side of the buildings of the alley exploding. The shrapnel tore through the security teams, peppering the armored SUVs, bursting tires as the mercenaries fell to the ground under a hail of claymore pellets.

“Should be easy to handle the rest. Help Evangeline down the fire escape.” Ada commanded as she attached her hookshot to the ledge of the roof and stepped off the edge. Leon sighed as Evangeline walked up to him, taking the girl’s hand as they began making their way down.

Ada stepped over the corpses as she examined the line of mangled cars, carefully considering which to search first. She selected the fourth car in line and grabbed the door handle, popping the latch but not opening it. She circled around the other side and opened the door, grabbing the man leaning up against it. She hauled him out onto the ground by his collar and pointed her handgun at him as he groaned.

“Adrien Garmeaux.” Ada declared more then asked as he nodded.

“You Interpol?” He groaned in a gravelly French accent.

“Oh, if only.” Ada taunted as she circled him.

“Who do you work for Garmeaux.” Ada hissed as Garmeaux laughed.

“Rosneft, like damn near everyone else. Do your research Mrs. Interpol.”

“I know Rosneft is no longer its own entity. Who bought it, who owns your ass?” Ada spat. “I would consider carefully. I had Kuznetsov killed, I blew up Thule’s headquarters and prime strike team and I had a hand in Androvich’s arrest. If you don’t answer… I’ll move on to the next link.” Ada turned dark as Garmeaux’s expression hardened.

“There is nothing you can do to me, nothing more intimidating then their might foolish woman.” Garmeaux spat as Ada smiled.

“Oh, I disagree.” Ada cooed as Leon walked up with Evangeline. “Eva dear, make him talk.” Ada smiled as Evangeline approached. She held her hand out as Garmeaux stared in confusion. A tendril of mutamycene began to flow from Evangeline’s fingertips as she strained, her eyes squeezed shut as the tendril coiled around Garmeaux’s throat. He stared in terror as black threads of fluid flowed under his pale skin. He shook as Evangeline held the connection, opening her eyes and looking at Ada.

“Several men who sit at a table together. He’s hiding their names.” Evangeline said as Ada nodded.

“That’s my girl, focus, he can’t hide anything from you.” Ada encouraged, desperate to end the connection.

“Cole Green, Zachariah Petrenko, Arthur Briggs, Steven Malone, Ibraheem Leevey and Otis Smeshnov. They are the board of group that bought Rosneft. There’s another man who sits at the head of the table. He is dark, covered in shadow, he doesn’t know who he is.” Evangeline said as she winced, straining to keep the connection. Ada committed the names to memory before looking at the struggling Garmeaux.

“This isn’t for you, its for her.” Ada muttered as she raised her handgun and fired a single shot into his forehead. Evangeline took a deep breath as the mutamycene faded. She almost fell as Ada took her up in her arms, Evangeline’s head resting on Ada’s shoulder.

“Shkreli’s among the dead, no one else in the convoy.” Leon said as he returned from inspecting the remaining vehicles.

“Good, lets head back to the car.” Ada returned as Evangeline groaned.

“Did I do ok mom?”

“Yes sweetheart, you did perfect. Rest now, I know that took so much for you to do.” Ada said as she carried her. “I promise you’ll never have to do it again; we’re close to ending this.”

Chapter Text

Helena ran up the stairs, struggling to draw her weapon as she grabbed the railing, swinging herself up the next flight as she reached the third floor. She kicked open the door from the stair well, trying to remember the apartment number as she ran the slide on her pistol, fighting to keep her hands from quaking. She reached the door, a familiar one at this point, shouting coming through clearly as she braced herself. She thrust her heel against the door, right at the bolt, the doorframe splintering from the force as she ran in.

She swept the muzzle of her handgun across the living room and saw Deborah on the floor, Robert standing over her with a clenched fist. He looked up at Helena as she held her weapon on him.

“Too late Harper. Startled me at the door and I had to act. Looks like you killed her.” Robert sneered as Helena screamed, the report of her weapon shouting her down as the rounds began to strike Robert’s chest. He seemed to shatter, floating off in a thousand pieces as Helena approached, tears running down her cheek as she looked down at her sister. Deborah lay in a crumpled heap on the ground, her skin beginning to run like a silk sheet, falling away. She stood, floating upwards onto her feet, her face gray, wet and veiny. She smirked, her teeth inhuman, mutated from the C-virus as she approached her.

“He’s right you know, you just couldn’t keep things together, that’s how Simmons’ knew he could use me against you. It was your fault, all those deaths…” Her distorted voice taunted Helena as she stepped back from the horror her sister had transformed into.

“No, no I tried, I tried to save you! He did this, there was nothing I could… I did what I could! I stopped him, him and Radames can’t hurt anyone else!” Helena screamed at the mutation as it circled her, Helena trying to retreat into the hall. She blinked as she found herself in the isle of a plane, Deborah standing at the far end.

“You still hurt people though, a pattern that surrounds you. Hunnigan goes missing, Veronica, Leon gets injured, the only person keeping the people in your life alive seems to be Ada. What did you do to her?” Deborah taunted as she approached Helena.

“She shot me, tried to kill my little girl because she’s a fucking monster.” Ada spoke up as Helena jumped, looking at Ada as she sat in a row of seats to her left. Her shoulder was torn open, skin deathly pale, her clothing soaked with blood.

“After I saved you in Philadelphia, after I gave you a chance to rebuild your life. I know Hunnigan told you she didn’t want you to kill me, but you did this. Not only that, but as soon as you knew I survived you came back after me.” Ada continued as Helena stepped back, sobbing.

“No, I didn’t, I… Ada I tried to… I was trying to do the right thing…” Helena croaked in a hoarse voice.

“The truth is the one time we needed you to act on your emotions, you acted as weapon. You turned on the people who tried to help you, that’s what you do if you don’t get them killed.” Ada continued as Deborah put her hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t lie to us Helena, it felt good to hear Ada’s threats in Chechnya, just like it felt good when you thought they’d take you in, give you the needle.” Deborah mewed as Helena squeezed her eyes shut. She opened them to a dark room, Leon standing in front of her, Ada holding a gun to Helena’s head.

“Guess we should just shoot and go stomp this terror out” Leon growled as he centered his aim on Helena’s chest. Helena struggled against the shackles holding her to the chair as Ada smirked.

“Then she dies Leon.” Ada hummed as she looked down at Helena.

“No, no, no, no, no!” Helena mumbled in a pained whisper as she hung her head, looking up to see Leon on the floor, blood flowing from dozens of bullet wounds, Ada laying on the ground. She was bleeding from her shoulder, her eyes staring into nothing as Evangeline crouched next to her.

“You did this. You did this because you wanted to kill me.” Evangeline muttered as Helena still felt the pistol pressed to her temple, her own hand gripping it as she felt Deborah’s hand on her shoulder.

“Its ok, do it. Its what you know you deserve.” She taunted, stepping in front of Helena, her skin healthy, smile bright and expression pleasant.

“If you had done this years ago, I might still be alive.” Deborah soothed as a gunshot rang loud in the small room. Helena’s eyes shot open as she drew a sharp breath, feeling her sheets soaked with sweat as she sat up in bed. She glanced over at the bedside table, grabbing her phone. It was still an hour from the alarm she had set to go begin examining the tip she had received from Contra. She looked at her fitness tracker app, sighing as her sleep average was down again, less than four hours a night at this point. She set the phone down, instinctively rubbing her temple as she felt the dream spill into her mind.

She fought to keep the images from her head as she felt tears break from her eyes, a keening cry escaping her lips as she gripped her shoulders. Helena shuddered at the edge of her bed as she sobbed, looking over at the clock after losing track of time.

“Fuck.” Helena sniffled as she realized nearly half an hour had gone by as she brushed tears from her eyes, feeling congested as she forced herself to stand and go to the bathroom of the hotel room. She ran the sink, the Russian night providing instant freezing water from the tap as she splashed it on her face, patting it dry with a towel.

“Pull yourself together.” She sighed in a whisper at the mirror.

“It was just a nightmare, stop being sorry for yourself and get ready. You’re a damn special operative not a useless piece of shit so stop acting like it.” Helena huffed as she left the bathroom and began to prepare to recon the address.

 

Jill felt her shoulders tense just walking through the halls of the infirmary at the BSAA headquarters in Fredrick Maryland. She paced through the halls in front of Rebecca’s research ward, Claire inside with the girls as they underwent a series of follow up tests after surviving in the jungle. Chris sat on a bench along the wall.

“You nervous for the girls or is it just the setting.” Chris broke the silence after a minute as Jill sighed.

“Just the setting. I still can’t stand… medical…” Jill trailed off as she shuddered. The door to the ward opened as Rebecca, Claire and the girls emerged. Edelie was brushing tears from her eyes as Valerie held her hand, both girls with character covered bandages on their arms. Claire offered Jill a reassuring grin as she approached them.

“Everything ok sweetheart?” Jill soothed, kneeling as Edelie held out her arms. Jill lifted her as Rebecca offered and apologetic smile.

“I hate shots.” Edelie spoke softly as Jill ran her hand over her back.

“I know baby, you don’t have any more for a while though. It’s all to keep you healthy.” Jill reassured as Valerie smiled up at her.

“Aunt Becca is much softer than the doctor grandpa took us too.” Valerie smiled, pointing to her arm as Claire smiled.

“They did well, Edie here was very brave even though she hates needles. Claire, Jill, could I speak to you for a minute in my office. Just down the hall.” Rebecca offered as Chris stood.

“You two go, I’ll hangout with the girls for a minute.” Chris smiled as he approached, Jill handing Edelie off to him as she smiled at her uncle.

“Can I ride on your shoulders again?” She asked, perking up as Jill and Claire followed Rebecca. They stepped into a spacious office dominated by a wall of monitors and bookshelves pressed up against nearly every other spot of the wall. There was a small desk in the center of the room with an armchair, couch and coffee table covered with files and more books.

“Sorry for the mess, haven’t had a minute to straighten up since we flew back.” Rebecca apologized, motioning to the couch. Jill and Claire sat as Rebecca retrieved her laptop from her desk and sat down in the armchair, taking a long breath.

“Just to be absolutely, without any doubts clear, the girls had no signs of injury after the crash, right.” Rebecca asked, directing the question at Claire.

“It shocked me but… they where fine, full range of movement, not even stiffness.” Claire answered as Rebecca nodded.

“Do you know how long you where out before coming to in the wreck?”

“Plane went down around what, noon? It was still light out when I woke, hard to tell but it was about another two hours before it went dark so… couple hours I guess?” Claire mulled the thought over as Rebecca typed something on her laptop.

“Jill, when Valerie suffered the broken rib in Sweden, did you read the doctor’s report after her surgery?” Rebecca asked as Jill looked concerned.

“No, I just know it wasn’t as severe as they had thought, they just had to set it right. Rebecca what is going on, you’re starting to worry me.” Jill returned candidly.

“I know, I’m sorry I’m just trying to rule things out. Have the girls ever had a serious illness or injury before this, during their time with Hugo at all.” Rebecca apologized as Jill shook her head.

“No, we’ve always taken great care with the girls.” Jill answered as Rebecca closed her laptop and took a deep breath.

“Ok, I ran a blood test and some other simple examinations on the girls to confirm a suspicion I had after we first got them back. I knew, being your children, that they would likely inherit your dormant strain of the T-virus, the one you where infected with in Raccoon City. I paid very close attention to its presence during Valerie’s growth in utero. She scared me in her second month when the virus suddenly became active, something reacted with her immune system. I was able to replicate that with a blood sample from Chris. Something in you and your brother’s genes makes you have a strong natural resistance to progenitor base viruses.” Rebecca directed at Claire before turning back to Jill. “The virus suddenly stabilized, without interference and Valerie continued developing normally. A few weeks before she was born, all aspects of the active virus seemed to have disappeared from her blood. She was born healthy and when I took a bone marrow sample on her one-year checkup, I discovered traces of the T-virus within it. It was different, different even from your strain Jill. Valerie’s body had incorporated the virus into her immune system. When she becomes injured, her body will deploy a strain of the T-virus to regenerate rapidly. Your blood prevents it from becoming rampant and the Redfield immunity suppresses the infection again after healing is finished. I kept an even closer watch on Edelie when she was born, and she went through the exact same process.” Rebecca finished as Jill stared at her, Claire grasping Jill’s hand.

“So, you’re saying… they have the same kind of regenerative abilities that, what I have after everything in Africa? After this last brush with bioweapons?” Jill stammered as Claire squeezed her hand.

“I’m saying that I took a closer look at their entire physiology after the crash. I thought the issue had gone dormant after their birth, just like your strain had. I only recently realized the extent of this, which is why I needed you to confirm a few things for me. Valerie broke her clavicle, right shoulder, right elbow, left tibia and all but shattered every bone in her left foot in the crash. Edelie fractured her orbital, her jaw and her pelvis in the crash. I could tell by the healing marks on the bones, these wounds should have been fatal.” Rebecca said as Jill let out a sharp sob, covering her mouth as tears broke over her cheeks. Claire wrapped her arms around Jill as Rebecca took a deep breath.

“I didn’t say anything about this before because I destroyed all of my notes on the subject. After we are done talking here, I intend to purge every piece of data related to these tests. This kind of thing… this data is extremely dangerous. I’ve worked with doctors before, before I joined the BSAA again, who would approach these types of studies with the best intentions and become consumed by it. No one knows but us three. It will stay that way.” Rebecca reassured as Jill wiped tears from her eyes, nodding as she placed her arm around Claire, still holding on to her.

“And its not a risk to their health at all.” Jill stammered.

“Quite the opposite, it will keep them far healthier than the average person. It may even prolong their lives. If there is ever anything, they need that you don’t trust a normal physician with, you can bring them to me.” Rebecca soothed as Jill nodded.

“Do they know?” Claire asked as Jill ran her hand over Claire’s shoulder.

“No, they are at no risk, they can’t spread it. If you choose to tell them that is your decision as their mother.” Rebecca said reaching out and placing her hand over Jill’s. “I know this is a lot, I just wanted to let you know before I purge this.”

“Thank you, Becca, really. This was important, a lot more than you could have possibly been expected to do.” Jill said, nodding softly as Claire sat up.

“Your family Jill, the girls are a light for all of us, a small beacon in the mess we have all slogged through. I’d do anything for them, anything for you.” Rebecca smiled as Jill let out a short laugh. She stood, Rebecca mirroring as she embraced her.

“The S.T.A.R.S. baby looking out for all of us, huh?” Jill laughed as Rebecca rolled her eyes.

“You ever use that nickname again we’re going to have to fight.” Rebecca teased as Jill laughed.

“You’ve done enough work on me to know just how badly I’d kick your ass.” Jill taunted as Rebecca shook her head.

“I’m scrappy and quick though, people always underestimate me ‘til I knock them flat on their ass. Send Chris to me on your way out, just need to follow up with him on some stuff from South America.” Rebecca tossed back as Jill and Claire stepped out. Rebecca place her laptop on her desk and sighed. She looked over at a small mirror on the bookshelf behind her desk, rolling up her sleeve as she starred at the reflection. She let her fingers dance over the dark Hebrew letters tattooed on her arm.

“Who is likened unto you amongst all powers…” She muttered, drawing a long breath. She had never been as dedicated to her parent’s faith as they had hoped but the lessons of forgiveness, redemption and perseverance against extreme odds because of the belief in something greater had stuck. It had influenced her career at every turn, constantly trying to keep firm in her belief that people would and could always be more than flesh and blood and suffering. “Jewish-humanism.” Rebecca laughed as she pulled her sleeve back down, that’s what she had called it to her parents when she explained why she hadn’t stepped foot in a synagogue or held shabbat in years. They had accepted it through bit lips and that was enough for her.

“Give me strength.” She muttered to no one as she heard a knock at the door. “Come in.”

“Hey, Jill said you wanted to touch base with me about something.” Chris said as he closed the door behind him.

“Yes, have a seat please and… please do what you need to brace yourself.” Rebecca sighed before speaking, not turning as Chris looked confused before complying, sitting down on the couch as Rebecca took several deep breaths.

“Parker, Barry and Nadia are all witnesses to this and have not come to a decision on how to proceed. I have and I am taking action alone, I want you to understand that.” Rebecca said as she turned to face Chris. “We where ordered to pursue a C-virus based BOW that was used in an attempted coup in Ecuador while you and Jill where recovering Claire and the girls. When we located it, we disengaged to determine what to do. The BOW was… I recognized the mutation and despite the mutation I recognized the face.” Rebecca spoke slowly, fighting to keep her voice calm, Chris already clueing in. His face was white, his hands shaking as he stared intently at Rebecca.

“Chris it was Piers. I am absolutely certain.” Rebecca said after closing her eyes and exhaling sharply. He started to shake his head, slightly before becoming more agitated, searching for his words.

“No… that’s not possible.” His voice came out in a broken whisper as Rebecca nodded.

“Chris… it was him.”

“No… they… they can’t do this to me again, not with him.” Chris stammered.

“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry you have to hear it like this, but you deserve to know.”

“Did he look like he was in pain.” Chris asked after a silent moment.

“I couldn’t tell, it didn’t seem…” Rebecca posed as she held back tears.

“Ok… who else knows?” Chris’ voice cracked as he asked, tears pooling in the corners of his eyes.

“Just who I mentioned. We have yet to report this because… well we didn’t know how to proceed.”

“We have to get him back.” Chris interrupted, his hands clasped in front of him, knuckles white as tears ran down his face.

“I will do whatever it takes, but we need to be careful. We have to do this right and make sure that command doesn’t undermine us. We need time to plan and I know that’s going to be hard for you.” Rebecca tried to sooth as Chris nodded silently.

“I um… do you think… I need an emergency, um…” Chris stumbled through his words as Rebecca walked over to him, placing her hand on his shoulder.

“He’s waiting in his office. I told him that you where going to need a crisis appointment, anything you tell him will be in confidence, even from the BSAA.” Rebecca reassured as Chris nodded.

“Thanks, I’m… feeling dangerous is all, a bit thirsty. None of the good things you know?” Chris stumbled as Rebecca nodded.

“I know, which is why I’m here to help. Is there anyone else you would like me to tell for you so you can talk to them after your appointment?” Rebecca offered as Chris stood.

“Jill and Claire, if you don’t mind?” Chris asked in a hoarse whisper.

“Ok, I will make sure they know. Let me walk you down to the psych’s office.” Rebecca offered as Chris threw his arms around her. “Its going to be ok big guy, we’ll get you through this, you aren’t alone.” Rebecca soothed as she returned his embrace, feeling him shake before stepping back.

“Thanks Rebecca, you did the right thing telling me.” Chris huffed, taking several deep breaths as they stepped out of her office.

 

Rebecca fought off drowsiness as she drove home, having left several hours late, lingering to make sure Chris wouldn’t be going home alone. After speaking to Claire and Jill they had insisted he stay in their guest room for a few nights. He had agreed, almost excited to spend the time with them; Rebecca relieved that she could keep it out of official records, mincing no words with Jill and Claire.

“Treat it as if he was on suicide watch, I don’t think he would but… its not worth the risk. With you two and the girls with him he’ll be surrounded by loved ones, and I trust no one to keep a closer eye on him. Let me know if you need any more help.” Rebecca’s words replayed in her head, silently questioning whether she had made the right decisions in all of this. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by blue flashing lights behind her.

“Oh shit.” Rebecca swore, looking down at her speedometer; she was traveling at about eighty-five in a sixty zone. She put her hazard lights on and grabbed her phone. She dialed 911 and waited for the call to connect as she slowed.

“Nine one one, what is the nature of your emergency?”

“I’m traveling east on highway I70 and have a car with it’s lights on behind me, its dark and it doesn’t look marked, so I just wanted to make sure it was one legit before stopping. I already have my flashers on and have slowed down.” Rebecca said as she watched the car on her tail.

“One moment ma’am… what is the make, model and color of your vehicle?”

“It’s a blue Toyota four-runner.”

“Mhm… we don’t have any officers attempting to stop a car matching that description. We’re sending an officer to you now ma’am.” The dispatcher responded as Rebecca sighed.

“No that’s ok, he just passed me, must have mistaken me for someone, or maybe I was just in the way. Sorry to bother you, thank you so much for your understanding.”

“Of course, stay safe ma’am. Good night.” The dispatcher hung up as Rebecca sighed, pulling over as the car with its lights flashing kept on her. She drew her handgun from her holster and unlocked her doors, not looking as a dark figure approached the passenger door. They opened the door and sat down.

“Why do you always go for your gun when I come to see you.” Gabriel mused as he shut the door, buckling his seat belt as Rebecca accelerated back onto the highway; the car Gabriel had come in keeping pace behind them with its lights off.

“Cause I think about shooting you every time you come to visit me.” Rebecca mused as Gabriel laughed.

“You have been working more closely with Wong haven’t you.”

“I was more referring to what happened with Torres. We bear the responsibility for everything that she has done.” Rebecca stammered, her voice cracking as Gabriel hung her head.

“You really believe that, don’t you?”

“I do. I read Claire’s report. Torres was a bit loose lipped with her. She is doing all this because she thinks Jill is Source Prodigy.” Rebecca burst into tears as Gabriel remained silent. “She almost killed Valerie, Edelie and Claire because she thinks she’s actually coming after me.” Rebecca sobbed, wiping tears from her eyes as she kept her focus on the road.

“This is not your fault Rebecca. You cannot blame yourself for Torres’ actions.” Gabriel said softly after a long silence, streetlights dancing over the dash as Rebecca silently drove.

“Really? Cause It’s not just Prodigy. Do you remember the case I had to leave training for?” Rebecca asked as Gabriel nodded slowly.

“The one with Doctor Stehnis? The one…?” Gabriel asked cautiously.

“That’s the one. The one I worked with on a project focusing on building regenerative viral tissues into medicinal applications. The one I defended publicly from accusations of black-market weapons research. The one who I helped continue his work while he was under house arrest. You remember how he convince me?”

“He said his wife had Amyotrophic lateral scler…

“Oh, you pretentious ass, say ALS like a human, I’m a doctor too. But yes, he said she had it and that’s why he was so desperate. I helped him, I helped him reach a prototype implantation of regenerative organs into a human body. I helped him build a bioweapon that could revert back to human form and I should have known. You knew this. I helped him avoid house arrest to see his wife in the hospital and then poof. Gone.” Rebecca continued, not looking at Gabriel as she kept driving.

“You felt you where doing the right thing, helping heal people who had no hope.”

“And I was fucking wrong.” Rebecca retorted, “That’s why I had to be on the strike team that finally took him down. Even when he escaped, I refused to return until I found him. Took six fucking months but we got the bastard.” Rebecca stammered as she gripped the steering wheel tighter. “And even after all of that, when he surrendered, begged me to take him in, I relented. He was just buying time to make sure I didn’t notice he had just set the place to blow. I think a quarter of our team made it out. I had so many opportunities to stop him before he completed the weapon, before he sold his research, before… I didn’t though. Torres is just a ghost of him come back to remind me of how I failed.” Rebecca finished as Gabriel shook his head.

“Do not give up on your faith in people Rebecca. That is what made you such a tremendous candidate for us. I have never met a member of this organization that believed in the human spirit as strongly as you, do not let anyone take that away from you.” Gabriel declared firmly, looking sternly at Rebecca as a smile broke over her face.

“Thank you, Gabriel, you’re good for some things. I still need to acknowledge my part in this. Torres is an evil of my own making. Of our own making. We must take responsibility for that.”

“I know. I wanted to touch base with you about Jill Valentine’s children. How have they been recovering?”

“Well. You where in my network weren’t you.”

“You let us in.”

“Gabriel, I swear if you for one fucking second consider!” Rebecca began to scream as he threw his hands up.

“I would not dare! I simply found the data… fascinating. Anything that could lead to tremendous medical breakthroughs… or be used for destruction against innocent people, is of concern to the Organization.” Gabriel amended his tone as Rebecca glared at him.

“If you come near those girls Gabriel, I will kill you. No actually, I’ll tell Jill how to find you. I’m sure you know what she did to Torres.” Rebecca threatened as Gabriel nodded.

“In hand to hand combat no less. I was only interested in the scientific implications Rebecca. I can see that his is a line not to be crossed with you, believe me when I say I will respect it. I wanted to let you know that Ingrid Hunnigan is doing well, provisionally recruited by the Organization.”

“Hmm, you have here working on Xi?”

“For the moment, we don’t want to let our rear guard down while dealing with the Oligarchs.”

“Fair point. Was there anything else Gabriel?”

“Keep your faith in people Rebecca, in forgiveness. Make sure you save some for yourself as well, its what makes you the strongest amongst us.” Gabriel finished as Rebecca pulled over.

“I don’t know if I should thank you or kick you out, as always. See you around.” Rebecca muttered as Gabriel exited her car.

“Take care, Prodigy.”

 

“Was there a specific reason you wanted to wait for us to show.” Leon asked quietly as He and Helena walked along the quiet street in Saint Petersburg, a light rain falling.

“Felt unwise to run into a potential trap without backup. Especially since it’s a DSO safe house in use.” Helena returned as Leon nodded. “Ada still mad at me.”

“She wasn’t actually mad at you; she was just frustrated at having to move Evangeline while she wasn’t feeling well. Don’t take it personally.” Leon returned, offering Helena a smile as she sighed. “You holding up? You seem a bit off.” Leon asked as Helena stare straight ahead.

“I’m fine, just trouble sleeping is all. I got message from Hunnigan. She’s fine, just pulling some super urgent clandestine field duty. Assumed it had something to do with her expertise, doubt they’d trust me with anything that deep anyway.” Helena mused as they turned the corner towards the DSO safehouse.

“Hmm, good to hear she’s ok. Some serious bullshit pulling her out in the middle of a field op though.”

“It wasn’t a planned one from their perspective, remember. New handler is really treating me like I’m a loose cannon.” Helena returned with a sigh.

“I’ll have Ada donate his savings to whatever politician he hates the most.” Leon offered with a smile as Helena laughed.

“That won’t be necessary. This one right here, sure you can get in?” Helena indicated as the approached the home.

“Should have no problem.” Leon returned as he punched in a code to the keypad on the door. The bolt clicked as he stepped in, the lights out and the air cold.

“Doesn’t feel in use.” Leon whispered as Helena closed the door gently behind her. “If I where to keep someone in one of these things I’d go with the base…” He was interrupted by the sudden swing of the butt of pistol coming at him. He quickly blocked the strike as his assailant followed up with another strike. Leon stepped into the living room, dodging the strike and the kick that followed. He grabbed their leg, tossing them off balance as he charged. They brought their gun to bear on him as he grabbed it, spinning and pulling their arm under his. He struck hard over his shoulder with his free fist, feeling the strike blocked as he brought his hand back down on their pinned wrist. Leon broke their grip on their gun, the weapon clattering to the floor as Leon felt a sharp sudden pain in his groin as his assailant landed a hard kick between his legs. They followed up with a hard kick to the small of his back as Leon fell to the ground.

“Hands! Now!” Helena shouted, pointing her gun at the figure standing over Leon. The figure raised their hands as Leon groaned, stumbling to his feet as he moved to turn on a light.

“Leon?” Sherry exclaimed with shock as the light flickered on. “What the fuck why didn’t you call ahead?”

“You’ve got a lot better since we last had a chance to spar, well done.” Leon groaned as he laughed, Helena holstering her weapon. “We’re looking for a colleague of ours that was kidnapped, a contact told Helena that she was being held at this address.” Sherry winced as she stretched out her arms.

“I um… hmm. Her name wouldn’t happen to be Veronica would it?”

Chapter Text

Ada glanced at her phone as it buzzed, Evangeline laying across her lap as a movie neither of them where paying attention to flashed across the TV in front of them.

“Veronica recovered. DSO was directed to seize her for questioning, without informing me or Contra, we think it has to do with the people trying to blow the whistle on this, about you. Be back soon.” Leon’s text read as Ada sighed.

“Why the hell did we have to go galivanting halfway across Europe again?” Moira mused as she played with an empty glass of wine at the kitchen table not far from Ada.

“Because its better than being fucking home.” Ashley moped with her head down on the table, pushing an empty bottle of wine back and forth on the table as Moira laughed.

“Ashley, language.” Ada spoke up with a flat look as Ashley groaned. “Eva’s still awake.”

“Ugh… yes mom.” She groaned without lifting her head from the table.

“Sorry Wong, she’s still pouting cause her boy lost the election.” Moira added as Ashley groaned louder.

“I wouldn’t be so flippant. Wilkinson is the bigger fool between them. He already reinstate the FBC yet?” Ada prodded.

“No but its in his first hundred bull shit filled days.” Ashley continued to talk into the table as Ada laughed, shaking her head.

“Relax Princess, the world isn’t going to end because you lost a hundred bucks in donating to the losing side. The bumper sticker on your car will be a bit embarrassing though.” Moira teased as Ashley tried to drown her out with a loud sigh.

“Oh, and did I tell you about what you’re going to do when we finally get back to the states?” Moira perked up as Ashley raised her head to look at her.

“Other than plot to overthrow the government?”

“You say that like I’m not always planning to do that, but no actually. You passed your licensing exam to become a counselor, right?” Moira posed.

“Yeah, a couple years ago after I finished my masters in psych, what of it?”

“Good, cause I said you could take on my nieces as clients. Barry asked me if I knew anyone qualified with a special focus on bioterror incidents and I told him your name.” Moira said as she opened her laptop and began typing.

“Wait what! You just told them I’ll be their shrink? I have never actually taken on a case before, I just got the certification!” Ashley shouted as Moira made a dismissive gesture.

“Relax, they’re family so we really just need the expertise you have. They had a rough go of things recently, plane crash, survived through the jungle alone, chased by BOWs. A lot to sink your teeth into. They’ve been having nightmares since, won’t talk to their parents about it all.” Moira continued as Ashley stared at her, mouth open.

“You’re kidding, not only did you volunteer my name for this but it’s a really severe trauma! I didn’t even know Polly had kids!”

“Oh sorry, that was confusing, not Polly’s kids, Claire’s kids. Cause y’know, she’s like my older sister. Actually, they aren’t really her kids, they’re her fiancé’s kids but they’re practically her kids. They’re Valentine’s kids but they’ve been dating for almost a year and well, they seem close. I saw them at their grandfather’s funeral and they already looked like a regular family and they weren’t even engaged yet. Anyway, I said you could serve as my nieces’ counselor since they don’t trust… well anyone.” Moira finished, sending an email to her father before closing the laptop.

“Moira I’m barely qualified for talk therapy and I mean… if they needed medication of any kind, I can’t write prescriptions! How the hell am I supposed to give them the care they need!” Ashley countered. Moira made a dismissive hiss through her teeth as Ashley stared at her.

“If you think they need meds tell Dr. Chambers, she’s practically the girls’ primary care based on what I’ve heard. I can give you her email, she’s the DM of our D and D group.” Moira returned as she opened her laptop again.

“That’s not the point!” Ashley shouted as Moira sighed.

“Ease up there, Ash.” Moira exhaled, adjusting her tone as she pushed the screen of her laptop down. “This is my family; I don’t have much and you know how fraught those relationships can be at times. I recommended you because you’re gentle, empathetic and somehow stupid smart despite the whole ditzy blonde aesthetic. I told them your name because I really think you can help them… and they girls are hurting.” Moira said, grabbing Ashley’s hand. “Can you please try and do this for them?’

“Yeah, I’ll give it a try. Thanks Moira, what you said means a lot.” Ashley smiled, placing her other hand over Moira’s. Moira glanced at them for a second before pulling her hand back.

“This isn’t because I like you.” She spat, opening her laptop again. “You’re just the best fit is all.”

“Thanks all the same” Ashley laughed as the door to the apartment opened. Helena stepped in, followed by Sherry, Leon and Veronica; Evangeline sat up as Ada stood.

“One, so I guess you just thought to tell me you had recovered her and two, Why the fuck are you bringing a DSO agent that was sent to headhunt one of our own in here!” Ada shouted as Leon looked surprised. Sherry stopped at the door as Helena and Veronica stepped into the kitchen, Moira and Ashley silently watching.

“Ada… its Sherry, of all the people they could have sent after Veronica, she’s the one who will understand when I explain everything.” Leon implored, taking a step towards Ada as Helena began to go through the kitchen cabinets. “This has to do with what Contra warned me about, I know it. Sherry can be trusted, someone in DSO knows what we’re doing.” Leon added in a hushed tone as Ada sighed, looking blankly as Sherry stood awkwardly in the doorway.

“Sherry, come on, close the door.” Ada relented after a long, tense pause; Sherry following instruction as she walked up next to Leon.

“How much has Leon told you.” Ada asked flatly as she looked at Sherry.

“That Veronica and you all are tracking something big. Neo-Umbrella big. He told me that someone has been targeting him within the US intelligence services. That he thinks that’s why I was directed to detain Veronica, that’s why Ingrid Hunnigan has disappeared suddenly.” Sherry reported.

“Hunnigan’s fine, just pulled on some need-to-know special duty. Got it from a reliable source.” Helena interjected as she filled a glass with whiskey from the kitchen.

“That’s about it, all you really need to know. Only reason you haven’t been shot and dumped in the Neva is because you’re pretty much family to Leon.” Ada mentioned darkly as she stood over Sherry. She nodded slightly as Leon put his hand on her shoulder, Ada turning away and returning to the couch.

“A little harsh Ada.” Leon groused as Ada scoffed, not bothering to respond.

“She rough with you?” Ada directed at Veronica, Helena handing her a drink as she refilled her own.

“Shot me with a tranq in my room and could have sprung for something fluffy rather than classic steel but nothing dark.” Veronica laughed as Sherry looked away, trying to hide her embarrassment.

“We’ll stage the safe house as if FSB raided the place while you were tracking a decoy, they set up for you. You aren’t on thin ice with your handler or anything right?” Ada questioned as Sherry nodded.

“No, that should banish any questions and again. Veronica… I am sorry, I didn’t realize I was being used against you.” Sherry stammered as Leon patted her shoulder, stepping off towards the kitchen.

“We’ve all been there recently.” Veronica said as Leon stopped, sighed and walked over to Ada, leaning down and kissing her on the forehead. Helena drained her drink before turning away, placing both hands on the counter and letting out a long sigh before refilling her glass. Ada nodded, placing her hand on Leon’s arm as he walked by, taking the bottle from Helena and making himself a drink.

“We have names now, on good authority and with any luck they’ll be close to the head of this snake.” Ada mentioned after a dismal silence.

“Good… good.” Veronica returned, nodding as Leon wandered back into the living room, standing behind the couch. “We should all head back to the states, regroup with our friends in the BSAA, we can meet at Umbrella National Headquarters in Iowa. We can plan our next move from there and…” Veronica trailed off as she reached into her pocket. “I had a feeling I might be able to run into you all while I was here.” Veronica added as she handed a pill bottle to Ada, Evangeline watching curiously, swinging her feet off the end of the couch.

“Just a refill?” Ada asked as she read the label.

“Next phase of Evangeline’s therapy. Dr. Chambers made the breakthrough, based off a new virus she encountered paired with a reaction to some of Valentine’s blood. Long story but it gave her a new idea of approach to Evangeline’s condition and she’s very confident this will start to diminish the mutamycene’s presence in her.” Veronica smiled as Ada looked up at her. “This is the preliminary part of this phase, getting it into her system now will help us move farther when we get to the states.” Veronica said kneeling. Ada opened the bottle and checked the dosage again. “This will start to limit her… abilities. I just want to make sure you understand. The infection control will begin to wane and eventually disappear so if…” Veronica stumbled as she tried to explain delicately.

“We will find other ways to accomplish our goals without using her talents. Eva.” Ada returned as she placed a pill in Evangeline’s hand, Eva hopping up from the couch and running to the fridge, grabbing a small cup of rice pudding.

“Thank you, Veronica.” Ada spoke softly as she watched Evangeline.

“Its… really incredible to see her look like a normal child. I honestly didn’t know if it was possible. More credit to you than anything we’ve come up with.” Veronica smiled as she stood. “So, do we have a couple spare rooms here?”

“You know we do.” Ada laughed, standing. “Gabriel has expensive taste.” She muttered softly, loud enough for Veronica to hear.

 

Helena sat at the edge of the stairs, staying out of view as she listened to the conversation in the living room, clutching the toy tiger she always went to bed with.

“Look, I know it’s not ideal, but can we put the brakes off for another month?”

“No, the Pacifica is squealing and a fucking nightmare in the rain. Can’t we take it from the Lombardi savings?” Helena’s mother asked as her father paced around the living room, several papers, receipts and a calculator on the coffee table.

“Stop calling it that.”

“Why? That’s what we made it for.” Helena’s mother returned indignantly.

“That was before… the accident.”

“Her name is Helena, just cause you didn’t notice the damn thing rip doesn’t mean we give up on every single one of our dreams. I gave up going for my PHD, you gave up the woodshop, the business. We aren’t dropping this too. I’m not giving everything up because of your mistake.”

“Our mistake, Lilith. Its Helena’s college fund, that’s final. We don’t touch it.” Helena’s father sighed as the silence hung in the air. Helena squeezed the stuffed animal tighter as she felt tears run down her face. A sharp sob escaped her throat as both her parents turned towards the stairs. Helena immediately darted back up, running into her room and diving into bed.

“Shit, shit oh shit.” Helena’s father muttered as he moved to the stairs.

“Let me take this one, find the damn money somewhere.” Helena’s mother sighed as she walked upstairs. She stepped into Helena’s room; soft sobs muffled under a blanket pulled over Helena’s head. Her mother sat at the end of her bed and let out a sigh.

“Lena dear…” She said softly as Helena cried.

“You don’t want me.” Helena stammered, still sobbing.

“That’s not true, your father and I love you. We just weren’t ready when you arrived is all. You where a surprise to us, but the best surprise we had ever got.” Her mother soothed, feeling tears well up in the corners of her eyes. Helena pulled herself from the nest of her blankets and crawled over to her mother, laying in her lap. Her mother ran her hand over her back as she inhaled.

“I’m sorry you had to hear all that my love. Your father and I are just having some trouble fixing the car and… when people get frustrated, they say things they don’t mean. We just wished we had done more to get ready for you, so we could give you everything we wanted to.”

“Its ok.” Helena stammered; her tears stopped flowing as she sniffled. “You give me a lot, I’m happy with it.” Helena offered, rolling onto her back and smiling tentatively at her mother. She smiled, leaned down and kissed Helena’s forehead.

“Making me feel better when I’m supposed to be doing that for you.” Helena’s mother laughed. “You’ll be just like your father.” She added, smiling down at her. Helena blinked and found herself laying in bed, hearing shouting sounding as if it came from her parents’ room.

“Of all fucking nights.” She murmured, sitting up. “I have an AP chemistry exam tomorrow guys.” Helena groaned, jumping suddenly as she heard a gunshot reverberate off the walls. She froze for a moment, a frantic scream piercing the deathly silent home. Helena flung herself from her bed and ran into her parents’ room. Her father was on the floor, a pool of blood spreading from his head, his service pistol laying limp in his right hand. Her mother was sobbing on the floor, curled into a ball as Helena stared.

“You’ll be just like your father.”

Helena gasped as she sat up, placing her hand on her forehead as she struggled to get her bearings, cold sweat on her brow.

“Fuck… fuck!” Helena sighed, wiping tears from her eyes as she looked at the clock: almost three in the morning.

“You’re fine, just nightmares. You’re in Saint Petersburg, you’re going home tomorrow. You just got a little drunk before bed is all.” She muttered to herself as she stood. She wandered into the dark kitchen of the safe house, meandering to the fridge. She opened it, squinting as the bright light landed harsh on her tired eyes. She glanced over at the counter, the bottle of whiskey she had been worrying earlier nearly depleted.

“Come on Harper, you can go a couple hours without a drink, especially if you’re sleeping for most of it.” Helena groaned to herself, grabbing a small cardboard Teremok container. She placed the left over pelmeni in the microwave as set it to reheat as she heard something shuffle behind her. Helena turned to see Evangeline sleepily wander into the kitchen.

“Hey Helena.” She muttered as she walked to one of the cabinets and grabbed a clean glass.

“Bit late for you isn’t it.” Helena posed cautiously as Evangeline walked to the fridge, grabbing a carton of milk and chocolate syrup.

“Yeah but the new medicine is making it hard for me to sleep. At least I think it is.” She said as she set everything down on the kitchen table, looking for a spoon in the drawers.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve been having trouble sleeping as well.” Helena returned as Evangeline poured herself a glass of milk, adding chocolate syrup and stirring it. “Ada ok with you having that so late?” Helena laughed softly, grabbing her leftovers from the microwave as Evangeline smiled.

“She usually makes if for me when I can’t sleep. Mommy’s been extra tired lately though, so I didn’t want to wake her.” Evangeline said as she froze, looking up at Helena like she had just been caught doing something she wasn’t supposed to. “I um… don’t let her know I said that.” Evangeline said, raising her glass to her lips as Helena cocked her head inquisitively,

“Said what?”

“She doesn’t want me calling her mommy in front of other people. She doesn’t want people to know because she thinks they might use it to hurt us. Only in front of Leon cause…” Evangeline stammered as Helena suppressed a small laugh.

“I promise I won’t tell.” Helena smiled, picking at her food as Evangeline let out a sigh of relief. “I want you to know that… I’m really, really sorry for what I did…” Helena sighed after a long pause.

“Ada has explained everything to me. You where doing what you thought was the right thing and a lot of people lied to you.” Evangeline said softly. “I know you’re not a bad person.”

“Thanks Eva… means a lot.” Helena sighed before answering.

“Can I ask a favor?” Evangeline asked after another pause, halfway through her glass as she stepped over to Helena.

“Sure.”

“The new medicine Veronica gave me… its already working a lot. I can’t feel… when I am able to infect someone, I can feel um… its like when you get your fingernail under something, opening bag or a box.” Evangeline struggled to explain. “When I feel that I know I can… push and infect someone. I don’t have to; it is my choice to do and I don’t ever unless I have to, but I can feel it when I hold Ada’s hand and when someone gets close. Since the new medicine it has felt…different, Ada let me try on her with the cure in her hand and I wasn’t able too but… I felt what she did, like when I had healed her, and I was curious if that was… if I could try with you?” Evangeline asked as Helena let out a long breath.

“You um… what exactly would you be doing.” Helena asked tentatively, fear creeping into her mind.

“You wanted to say you where sorry about what happened and… well if I knew what you were feeling, it would be better than any words.” Evangeline posed as Helena nodded.

“Ok… I trust you.” Helena said as she held out her hand, fighting to keep it from shaking as Evangeline approached her. Evangeline grabbed Helena’s wrist and closed her eyes, Helena drawing a sharp breath, trying to pick up on any foreign sensations. She felt nothing as Evangeline opened her eyes and stared at Helena. They stared at each other for a moment as Evangeline’s face began to contort, tears breaking from her eyes as she pulled back, letting out a harsh sob. She ran to Helena, wrapping her arms around her waist as she cried.

“Those things aren’t you fault.” Evangeline sobbed as Helena returned her embrace, Evangeline looking up at Helena. “You aren’t going to be like your dad. We won’t let that happen.”

 

Torres groaned as she stepped from the shower onto the cold tile of the bathroom floor, stepping in front of the mirror and sighing. She traced the scar on her abdomen, the cut that the anti-regen coated machete had made left an ugly, jagged mark, joining a host of others. As soon as Raymond and Jessica had dragged her out of the Amazon facility, they had been ordered to return to the US, await further instruction. Raymond and Jessica had managed to extract most of the Amoraq research and keep it hidden while Torres underwent her recovery. Tricell doctors had performed the most intensive surgery she had ever undergone, replacing one of her lungs, a large section of her intestines, her colon, both kidneys and her pancreas. Torres had been forced to maintain a nearly eight thousand calorie diet, her body sapping her energy as it struggled to keep up with demands of the healing. She felt like shit, constant headaches, odd muscle pains and random cramps as her body tried to adjust.

Torres shook her thoughts from her head as she looked at the bathroom counter. Drops of water falling from her face as she squeezed her eyes shut.
“So, fucking close you useless piece of shit. Had everything in your grasp and you fucked it.”

“Hardly, did you see the look on Valentine’s face when you infected her?”

“With what, half a prototype? She’s probably already over it!” The voices screamed in her head as she felt the ceramic countertop crack in her grasp. Torres let out a withering breath as she opened her eyes.

“If they find out about your research, they’ll take it from you. What’ll your point be? They might ditch you today, that’s why they bothered to summon you before the council. They might just kill you there.”

“They can fucking try.” Torres growled out loud as she looked herself in the eye, tears running down her face as she screamed in rage. Her hand mutated as she swung, her claws shattering the glass. She ripped a chunk of the drywall away as she brought both claws down on the counter, smashing the sink as the wood of the cabinet below splintered. Water ran from the destroyed faucet as Torres hurled a piece of the sink through the glass pane of the shower, slashing the wall behind her. She felt a sting in her leg as she turned to see Jessica planting a syringe in her leg, a nervous determination dominating her face. Torres grabbed her by the throat, pushing her back into the bedroom as Jessica sputtered.

“Virginia!” She gurgled as Torres lifted her with her clawed hand. Her urge to tear Jessica’s head off melted as she felt the medication suppress the raging beast inside her. She dropped Jessica as her hands reverted, the gashes on her face and arms closing as she relaxed. She sat on the bed, dazed, arms covered in blood as the low sound of running water joined Jessica’s coughing.

“I’m… I didn’t mean to do that.” Torres said softly as Jessica stood, clutching her throat as she stepped away from Torres.

“The docs told me this one was going to be… rough.” Jessica responded as Torres nodded.

“You injured?”

“Probably not. Wanted to see if you where going to be ready, I know your body has been forcing you to sleep regardless of alarms.” Jessica responded as Torres let out a neutral grunt. “Are you… holding up ok?” Jessica asked as she handed Torres a fresh towel. Torres glared at her, Jessica retreating to the other side of the room as Torres wiped the blood from her arms, drying herself off as she stood.

“Just not looking forward to this particular ass chewing. Who do they have here?” Torres relented as she stepped to the wardrobe next to the bed.

“The whole group I think.”

“So Androvich’s bosses?” Torres questioned as she slid a black binder over her shoulders.

“Their bosses.”

“Fuck!” Torres swore under her breath. She grabbed a white dress shirt from the wardrobe and slung it over her shoulders. “Everyone then? I mean who do you know is going to be there.” Torres huffed as she popped her collar, slinging a black tie around her neck.

“Green, Malone, Leevey and I think Smeshnov. Briggs is now the national security advisor, so his movements are restricted. Don’t know where Petrenko is, I don’t recognize the last guy but…” Jessica trailed off as Torres pulled a suit jacket over her shoulders, adjusting her lapel.

“They dragged fucking Atherton out here to yell at me?” Torres growled as she sat on the bed, putting on a pair of shoes as Jessica paced nervously.

“That the big guy?”

“Yup, Van Hofwegen, Dutch prick who thinks he’s Derek Simmons meets Albert Wesker. He’s rich and he has a lot of rich friends that’s all. Relation to old royalty or something.” Torres groused as she stepped towards the door. Jessica grabbed her arm as Torres stepped towards the door of her room.

“Just in case. Take it easy in there, you promised me a job.” Jessica smiled as she held out another injector. Torres took it, placing it in her jacket pocket. She placed her hand on Jessica’s arm for a moment, stepping out of the room without a word.

 

“Virginia Torres, chief special operative attached to Tricell and carrier of a unique viral based weapon.” Atherton Van Hofwegen spoke in a deep, Dutch-accented voice. Torres stood several feet from the broad table, about a half dozen men in suits staring down at her. “Do you care to elaborate on your report on the loss of our Amazon facility? On how the BSAA and the Umbrella Corporation where able to find and destroy the instillation? On how you managed to become indisposed and unable to prevent the loss of our headquarters in Argentina?” He continued as Torres scowled at him.

“I took advantage of an opportunity to strike at Umbrella, shot down one of their aircraft and collected the survivors to be used as leverage against them at a strategic moment.” Torres growled as another one of the executives slammed his fist down on the table.

“You were pursuing a personal vendetta! The same one that led to the collapse of our plans in Philadelphia!” the man refered to as Leevey shouted.

“Your plans in Philadelphia fell apart because you deployed an old weapon from a facility run by incompetent hacks. Savage river barely produced a viable virus and botched its whole response. You even lost the E-type the connections where trying to hide under your nose while DSO and CIA tore you to pieces. My evacuation plans where sound and I didn’t lose a single operative under my command. That’s why you had me replace the miserable fucker who botched the whole thing.” Torres hissed in return as Van Hofwegen motioned for them both to stop.

“You have been valuable to our efforts Mrs. Torres; your abilities have been… extraordinary. That being said, this failure, this fixation on the BSAA operative Valentine has proven far to distracting. Now your personal ventures have begun to cost us, and your value is in question. Tricell has been teetering on the edge of failure since Albert Wesker’s death and the loss of your Uroboros weapon. We are now considering alternatives to accomplish our goals, Mrs. Torres. The Connections have been tasked with the next operation of ours in the Philippines. We believe this chance will give you the necessary motivation for you and your teams to stay focused on your task. You will follow up on your superiors’ failure to sever the head of TerraSave’s leadership in Paris. You will attack their New York global headquarters and kill anyone you find. You will have all the appropriate resources to do so but all other funding from us to Tricell is frozen. All projects are to cease until you have proven your worth to us and then and only then will they be allowed to resume. Your failures left cracks in our armor and this has resulted in significant damage to our efforts. We will be withdrawing to our global headquarters in Irkutst where you are expected to join us to reconsider our position… and yours. You are dismissed Mrs. Torres.” Van Hofwegen finished, waving Torres off as she glared at him. She turned and stormed out of the room.

Torres rounded the corner, picking up her pace. She followed the corridor, feeling her skin crawl, physically move as her rage built inside her. She plucked the injector from her suit jacket and rammed it into her leg, feeling her rage come down as the medication coursed through her. She burst into her residence, Jessica and Raymond jumping as she stepped into her living room.

“You grab a sample of Savage River when we left that jungle shit hole.” Torres fumed, pointing at Raymond as she circled the room.

“Yeah, with the research and Amoraq. I have a live one with command interface set up. How did your meeting go?” Raymond asked nervously as Torres shook her head.

“We have enough, I’m not playing their fucking game anymore. They want us to unfuck their mess! The mess they got into in Syria, i-in Paris. They are trying to blame me for every one of their screwups. We’re leaving now. We’re going to D.C. and we’re going to draw out the BSAA fuckers and finish what I started in the damn jungle. Then you get your payday, then we sell, and we can be done.” Torres fumed as Jessica nodded, smirking as she stood.”

 

“He still doing ok?” Claire asked as Jill leant up against the wall, Claire pulling her hair up and tying it off as she ran around the kitchen; steam started to rise from a pot of water on the range built into the island. She spun, looking over the collection of ingredients laid out over the counter, searching for something before resuming the video on the tablet on a stand amongst the bowls and cutting boards.

“He’s fine, girls have him playing a round of Mario Party upstairs. You know you don’t have to do this, right?” Jill offered as she folded her arms over her chest as she watched Claire peel a shallot and resume the video on the tablet.

“Of course, I know I don’t have to do it, I want to cook for my family. Just cause I don’t know what I’m doing doesn’t mean shit.” Claire tossed back as she tossed the diced onions into a pan, the satisfying sizzle of hot oil erupting as they landed. “Come on Gordon, slow the fuck down I’m a beginner.” Claire murmured as she wiped her hands on a towel before rewinding the video as Jill smiled. Claire added a host of seasonings, lifting the pan and swirling the contents, a small flame leaping over the edge as she let out a small surprised cry, melting into a laugh as it went out.

“Watchya looking at?” Claire stuck her tongue out at Jill as she grabbed several cherry tomatoes from a bowl in front of her. Jill let out a small laugh and walked behind the island, behind Claire. She wrapped her arms around Claire’s waist and rested her chin on Claire’s shoulder. Claire hummed softly, leaning her head against Jill’s as she held her.

“Nothing, I just love you is all.” Jill said softly, kissing Claire’s cheek as she laughed, swaying back and forth in Jill’s grasp as she continued preparing dinner.

“We figure out what we’re doing for the girls for Christmas yet?” Claire asked as Jill held her.

“Hmm, well we know what Edie wants…” Jill trailed off as Claire laughed.

“You ready to make that kind of commitment? I mean two kids is one thing but getting a puppy is a lot.” Claire laughed.

“I think we should, would be good for her and we have the space. What about Val?” Jill wondered out loud as Claire tossed more ingredients into the pan.

“I have an idea for her, hinges on your permission of course.” Claire mused as Jill released her, pacing around to the opposite side of the island. She poured herself a glass of wine and sat on a barstool facing Claire.

“What did you have in mind?” Jill asked, raising the glass to her lips, pouring a second and sliding it to Claire.

“Dirt bike.” Claire smiled mischievously as Jill laughed, setting her glass down, shaking her head.

“Seriously? What gave you that idea?”

“Talking to her the other day about how I used to build my own instead of studying in school.”

“A wonderful example truly.” Jill grinned, shaking her head.

“She’s brought it up a couple times since, I have a feeling she’s gonna be a strong, heavy, loud machinery lover like her mommy. Tough as nails, muscle car, guns and the like, all around future bad ass that one” Claire laughed as Jill shook her head.

“Thought bikes and being tough as nails badass was kinda your thing, you talking about the right mom?” Jill supposed as Claire grinned.

“In some ways, in all reality I just like to ride them.” Claire smirked, winking at Jill as she rolled her eyes.

“I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that one.” Jill groused playfully, raising her glass to her lips. “So, you get Veronica’s latest email?” Jill broke the silence as Claire looked back to video, rewinding it again as she turned back to cooking.

“Yeah, how do you want to handle that? Figured we’d all head out Friday, it’s in Sioux City, right?”

“Yeah. However, we have to make it work, the girls come with us. I’m never going anywhere without them again, don’t care what that takes.” Jill muttered, finishing off her drink as Claire paused, looking concerned.

“It’ll be ok Jill, come here.” Claire soothed, setting her knife down and walking around the counter to Jill. She embraced her, holding her for a long moment as Jill let out a long breath.

“Thanks love, think your shallots are starting to burn.” Jill mused as Claire ran back around.

“Fuck, come on don’t lose it here.” She muttered, dousing the pan with white wine as Jill laughed.

Chapter Text

“Hey there big shot!” Claire shouted across the lobby as Moira turned to see her. She ran over, Claire embracing her; Chris, Rebecca, Jill and the girls close behind. “I’m so sorry, heard about everything that happened in Syria, how you got roped into all this.” Claire muttered as Moira stepped back.

“I’m just glad we got you all back safe, and you big guy, come here.” Moira returned, holding her arms out to Chris as he stepped forward. She embraced him as Veronica approached them, the rest of her companions with her. “We’ll get him back, I heard and I just want you to know you aren’t in this alone, k?” Moira whispered as Chris let out a withering sigh.

“Thanks kiddo, it means a lot.” He whispered, holding her embrace for a moment.

“Don’t know this one, who’d we pick up?” Jill asked as she strode over to Leon and Ada, Ashley standing nervously next to them.

“Oh, this is Ashley Graham, she’s with TerraSave and well… we go back. She was caught up with everything going on in Syria with Moira.” Leon answered as Jill looked Ashley over.

“So, this is the one you plucked from Los Illuminados? Hmm… Moira told me you’d be willing to take on Valerie and Edelie’s case? Jill addressed Ashley as she nodded.

“Yeah, I hope she didn’t play me up too much, but I do have a lot of professional and personal experience with these kinds of incidents. I have a decent idea of what they’re going through just based on what Moira told me.” Ashley returned as Jill smiled.

“Don’t stress to much, Leon and Moira have vouched for you. I get mmm, let’s just say very protective of them. I can be a bit abrasive, so I’ll ask forgiveness in advance.” Jill reassured as Ada laughed.

“Putting it lightly Valentine, meant as a compliment though.” Ada smirked as Jill let out a short laugh, looking down at Evangeline as she held Ada’s hand.

“How are you doing sweetheart?” Jill asked as Evangeline smiled.

“Good, we got to see a lot of really cool places, Ada even took me to see a castle in Germany!” Evangeline answered enthusiastically.

“Sounds like you’re making the most of things.” Jill directed at Ada.

“You have to, how have your girls been holding up since the accident?” Ada shrugged, lowering her voice as Jill took a deep breath.

“Better but… its gonna be some time before they recover from that fully.” Jill sighed as Ashley and Moira stepped over to them, Ada nodding silently.

“Veronica has an office set aside for us; we can take the girls while you all have your meeting.” Moira offered as Jill nodded, Ashley taking Evangeline’s hand as Moira stepped over to Claire to collect the girls.

“Her condition is it…” Jill asked nervously as she watched them go.

“It’s under control. Not gone yet but… she’s just a girl Jill, it takes us to make her into a weapon and I have refused to let that happen.” Ada groaned as she folded her arms across her chest.

“I know I just…”

“I know, you’re doing your job by wondering.” Ada cut Jill off as she nodded silently.

“We’re ready if you all are.” Veronica mentioned as she returned from the reception desk. There was a series of affirmative grumbles and remarks, one stern nod from Ada. The group followed Veronica through the security gate and deeper into the building. They stepped into a large, interior conference room, Veronica motioning for them to take a seat.

“Ada, would you like to start by sharing the names that you where able to learn from Adrien Garmeaux.” Veronica stated as she took her seat at the head of the table, opening her laptop as the screen behind her flickered to life.

“When Evangeline interrogated him, she was able to get six names from him. Cole Green…” Ada began.

“American businessman, old Umbrella share holder. Think he does most of his work with the Koch brothers now.” Veronica interrupted, a photo of Green appearing on the screen.

“Zachariah Petrenko…”

“Georgian real estate tycoon with interests throughout public and private infrastructure surrounding the Black Sea. Potent player, we think he might have been in charge of the Tricell facility that was developing the Moros project. Last we saw, he was scouting new locations for a concrete manufacturer in the Philippines.”

“Steven Malone…”

“Think you mean Sir Steven Malone, UK businessman with strong ties to the crown. Most of his ownership seems to be in eastern block military equipment, made his fortune on the Falklands, sold to both sides though.”

“Ibraheem Leevey…”

“Russian businessman who owns the controlling stake in most Israeli defense firms. Makes killing off the Gaza conflict. Also has close ties to the royal family in the Emirates.”

“Otis Smeshnov…”

“Owns the largest trucking company in the Russian Federation, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Helps move everything quietly for this wonderful cabal of ass holes.”

“Last one we know of at the moment is Arthur Briggs.” Ada finished as Veronica sighed, Chris’ fist slamming on the table.

“That fucker has been working for them!” Chris growled as Ada and Veronica turned to look at him; Claire placing her hand on his shoulder as he seethed.

“I should have shot that son of a bitch when I had the chance.” Jill hissed as she watched the general’s photo go up on the screen.

“He’s the incoming national security advisor, isn’t he?” Rebecca asked as Helena sighed, placing her head in her hands as she propped them up against the table.

“He was also the US Army general in charge of their part of the Philadelphia response, almost got Jill and Claire killed along with dozens of BSAA personnel and civilians.” Leon spoke up as the Jill glared at the photo, her nails biting into the lacquer of the conference table. Claire grabbed her wrist as Jill felt the building rage begin to settle.

“Come back to me my love, we’ll take him down.” Claire soothed in a soft whisper as Jill took a long breath to collect herself.

“Veronica, I’d like to ask permission to bring someone else into the fold here.” Helena spoke up.

“Well we’ll call Ashley and Moira Leon and Ada’s plus ones. Who and why Harper?” Veronica returned with a laugh eliciting and eye rolling groan from Ada and an embarrassed look Leon hid with his hand.

“Ingrid Hunnigan. I feel that with Briggs now taking a position so close to where Simmons had been, he will seek out those who took him down. He’ll have only limited control over the DSO due to its visibility to other branches of government and honestly at this point to the public but… the CIA will be far easier for him to manipulate. I’m… I’m honestly afraid for her safety, despite hearing Contra’s report.” Helena relayed as Veronica nodded.

“I… Leon you vouch for Hunnigan yes?” Veronica asked as Rebecca flashed a look to Ada, Ada not breaking her complexion.

“Absolutely, even if its just to keep her safe, its worth letting her in.” Leon returned enthusiastically.

“Good, then when you’re able to make contact with Hunnigan again, bring her into the fold. When was the last time you where able to speak with her?” Veronica turned back to Helena.

“Romania… since the CIA has been… I think they suspect something with me and with Briggs on as the National Security Advisor. I botched the op in Ankara, even the CIA regards it as such and with the mess with Simmons…” Helena began to stumble through her words as Veronica listened intently.

“You’re worried you’re about to become a target, that you’re the most isolated of us and because of your history…”

“Veronica…” Leon interjected as Veronica nodded, Helena visibly shaking.

“Please… I just need a moment.” Helena stuttered as she quickly stood, running out of the conference room. Veronica sighed as the door closed behind Helena.

“She’s not wrong to be concerned. We all need to try and keep an eye on this. I think Briggs should be our first focus. Not as a link honestly, as an elimination. I have a hunch he’s also been the whistle blower Leon and Contra have been trying to flush out. He would be in a position to have that knowledge.” Veronica continued.

“You suggesting that we assassinate the National Security Advisor? Sure you don’t want to just go for the president while we’re at it?” Claire spoke up, half laughing through her second suggestion.

“Ada and I will work on a solution, best to keep the BSAA as far away from this one as possible.” Veronica offered as Rebecca nodded.

“While that operation is being set up… we received word this morning, Silver Dagger I mean, that an incident with E-type weaponry has begun to come up in the Phillipines. Petrenko is the one likely behind this, I doubt the Oligarchs have any particular brand loyalty; especially after Tricell fell to pieces in the jungle and then Argentina. I’d like to ask for Umbrella’s assistance to root them out since the BSAA has been shut out by their current president.” Chris spoke up, fighting to keep his professionalism as Veronica nodded slightly.

“And you would like us to assist in recovering Piers Nivans.” Veronica returned as a stunned silence fell over the room. Chris stared for a minute, his eyes staring into Veronica’s as he clenched his fists to keep his hands from shaking.

“Yes.”

“You’ll need a viral stability serum of some kind. Valentine would you mind donating some blood so that Chambers could…”

“Anything for this.” Jill interrupted Veronica as Chris let out a relieved sigh.

“We’ll need to devise a strategy for retrieval, but we believe this would be in everyone’s interest Chris, we can begin planning after this meeting. The Nivans’ retrieval and our mitigation of the Briggs threat can occur at the same time. Until then I’d suggest that Harper, Kennedy and Chambers return to normal duty. Ada, Jill and Claire should lay low for a time while things get sorted. That and you two deserve some time to readjust with your girls.” Veronica declared, turning towards Jill and Claire with a sympathetic smile.

“We can host so we’re all in one place, could be good for Evangeline as well.” Jill spoke up, glancing at Ada as she nodded.

“We can keep Moira and Ashley safe as well, don’t think it would be wise to turn them out with a target still on their backs.” Claire added, Veronica nodding.

“You all hash out the details, I’ll be right back.” Jill interjected, standing and stepping out of the conference room as Veronica continued.

Jill stepped out into the near empty hallway, following the corridor to a small common area. There where large glass windows looking down over the main courtyard of the complex, Helena sitting on a bench facing the glass. As Jill stepped closer, she could see Helena shaking, hear her trying to stifle her sobbing. Jill sat next to her without a word, Helena straightening up and sniffling as she desperately tried to collect herself.

“You don’t have to stop.” Jill said softly as Helena looked at her, confused. “Crying I mean, wish it hadn’t taken me so damn long to get over that. Let it flow, if you can’t hold it back its because you need to.” Jill added softly as tears continued to flow from Helena’s eyes.

“I um… thank you Agent Valentine I…”

“Jill.” She scoffed, correcting Helena with a grin.

“Thank you, Jill, … I’ve been having a rough go of things lately is all. The thought of another man like Simmons looming over me it…”

“It stirs things inside you that paralyze you with fear. Trust me when I say, I understand what you’re feeling Helena.” Jill returned as Helena smiled.

“Thanks.” Helena croaked, pressing her lips together as fresh tears welled up in the corner of her eyes, Jill putting her arm around Helena as she broke down again. Jill let her cry in silence of a few moments until Helena began to come down.

“If you don’t mind the question, how old are you Helena?” Jill broke the silence as Helena sat up.

“Twenty-seven.”

“Fuck, not your fault but that makes me feel old.” Jill sighed, laughing it off as she cracked her knuckles, wringing her hands. “I was in a very similar place at your age. Only a few years after Racoon City, Umbrella still a massive entity, Albert Wesker still playing the black market and the world oblivious. My life was cuddling my gun when I could get sleep at all, looking over my shoulder, counting on dying every other day on top of my own personal hell cocktail of emotional bullshit.” Jill sighed as Helena looked up at her, nodding along. “I got through it because of the people with me, despite my best efforts to ice them out. I know you have a lot on your mind right now, more than I know. My best advice; don’t ice the people closest to you out. Talk to them, let them know what’s going on even if you feel like its too much to ask.” Jill said as Helena wiped her eyes.

“Thanks Jill I… I’ll try.” Helena answered hoarsely. “I think that’s why I need Hunnigan in the fold. Her and Leon where there for… well I’m sure you heard about Deborah and…”

“You don’t need to relive that right now.” Jill interrupted as Helena nodded, sniffling as she drew a deep breath. Helena let the silence hang for a while, only broken by footsteps behind them. Both women turned to see Ada walking up on them.

“Meeting’s adjourned, lets go pick up the kids from daycare.” Ada quipped as Jill smirked. Ada turned back down the hall.

“I know I’m not in as much as Hunnigan and Leon but I’m here if you need to talk. I bet Leon’s good for a lot but, well I hate the phrase but, ‘girl talk’ I’m good at.” Jill offered as Helena stared blankly before standing to follow her.

“I’m a bit confused, what do you…”

“Helena, I came out in the eighties, I know one when I see one, kinda how we survived back then.” Jill laughed as Helena blushed. “Relax, I’m engaged. Just wanted to let you know that there are some things I get that others might not.”

 

Ingrid Hunnigan held the edge of her cowl as a hot wind blew from behind her. She strode deliberately on the ridge high above Bosten Lake in Xinjiang China.

“When you recruited me, I figured I’d be pouring over intel in a secret bunker in Prague. What the fuck are we doing hiking in the Gobi?” Hunnigan called after Gabriel as he lifted his goggles and turned to her.

“I wanted to show you something. A grim reminder of our job security.” Gabriel bellowed as he gestured to a massive prison compound in the valley beneath them. “Behold the Bositenghuxiang Vocational Education and Training Center. Inside are about a quarter million Uyghur citizens. All are going through re-education before being returned to society as productive and docile participants.” Gabriel delivered with a sarcastic air of a government official selling the program.

“I’m… familiar with this Gabriel, but what does it have to do with bio-terror and the Oligarchs.” Hunnigan sighed as she responded.

“Everything.” Gabriel said firmly, gazing down at the complex. “Why is this going on Hunnigan?” Gabriel posed after a long moment of silence save for the winds of the Gobi Desert.

“Because the Chinese Government fears that…”

“No, why does this continue to occur.”

“Because no one will stop them.” Hunnigan sighed as Gabriel interrupted, looking at her.

“And why will no one stop them. Why not the European countries? Australia, the Asian partner states, the Americans?” Gabriel posed as Hunnigan stared at the camp.

“They’re all trying to do this to someone.” Hunnigan murmured, feeling her chest tighten as the thought washed over her.

“Bio-weapons are the tool of this era, but they are not the evil we try to fight. It is some people’s desire to otherize their human brothers, to step on them in the quest for power and ignore their pleas for help. They know this task does not come naturally so they must force those they want to lead to see their others as less than them. This is the source of almost all human conflict. We destroy ourselves in our quests for power. The Chinese Government has begun using a strain of plagas provided by a Myanmar based weapons group to infect this group to make them docile. One in ten do not survive the implantation.” Gabriel said as Hunnigan let out a withering breath.

“When no one stops things like this from happening, we step in. That is the purpose of the Organization, preserve humanity, in spirit and in flesh, whenever possible. We have been failing for centuries but we will not stop. We must change, which is why we have been recruiting more to our ranks. I want you to begin working on this arms group, find their supply routes, their research and I will have my operatives dismantle them.”

“I’m all for this mission but… Helena and Leon.” Hunnigan said nervously as she folded her arms across her chest.

“We will return you to them soon after this mission is complete. Theirs is far from over and even then, there will be more work to do in the US. We cannot have you return to CIA though, we have very few contacts there and they are only going to become more suspicious under their new leader. Our contacts will arrange a quiet transfer back to DSO for you.” Gabriel added as he turned and began to head back down the trail, Hunnigan silently following.

 

“So, Chris is taking Leon with him out to the Philippines?” Moira asked, half laughing as Claire opened the front door to her and Jill’s home.

“Why’s that surprising?” Claire returned as Ashley, Ada and Evangeline filed in behind her.

“I just heard those two don’t always get along.” Moira shrugged as they stepped into the kitchen, Moira sitting on one of the barstools by the island.

“They’re too similar I think, often see what they don’t like about themselves in the other and project.” Claire mused.

“Sounds about right, he doing ok still?”

“Yeah, needed to spend a few nights here but now that they’re actually planning the recovery… he’s focused, doing better with that.” Claire sighed as Moira nodded.

“So how are we arranging things for the time being.” Ada posed as she strode into the room, Evangeline in tow.

“Hmm, we’ll have you and Evangeline set up in the girls’ playroom upstairs, Moira we’ll give you Valerie’s room and Ashley can have the guest room down here. Claire offered as Moira shook her head.

“I can take the couch, don’t want to put Val out of her space.”

“She hasn’t slept in that room since we got home Moira.” Claire returned quietly as Moira nodded. Evangeline tugged nervously at Ada’s hand as she sighed.

“I’m asking for you relax. Eva wants to know if its ok for her to look at your back yard.” Ada laughed as Claire smiled.

“Sure, go ahead sweetheart, make sure you keep the house in sight though, don’t go to far off into the trees.” Claire said as Evangeline thanked her and ran out the back of the house.

“She’s a bit stir crazy from the past few months. Don’t think she’s ever spent any time somewhere with a backyard so its excited her.” Ada mused as she paced around the kitchen. The was a clatter of activity as the front door opened; Jill, Valerie and Edelie stepping into the kitchen.

“Ok so rooms.” Jill huffed as Edelie ran upstairs, Moira and Ashley stepping off towards their assigned spaces.

“Already set up.” Claire smiled at her as Valerie looked to Ada and back at Jill.

“Is Eva here? You said they’d be staying with us for a bit.” Valerie asked her mother.

“She’s outside, how about you go show her around.” Claire said, cocking her head towards the back door as Valerie took off. Jill closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she approached Ada and Claire.

“I know you’re nervous. I don’t take it personally.” Ada said softly as Jill opened her eyes.

“I… her condition makes me nervous is all. I know you said its diminished, but that doesn’t mean gone.” Jill muttered, pouring herself a glass of wine, offering it first to Ada who took it.

“It isn’t, don’t know if it ever will be, but what made Eveline dangerous was her mental state. Evangeline is no different than your girls in that regard. Traumatized? Yes, but just a sweet child through and through. Has the heart of her fa…” Ada laughed, cutting herself off by raising the glass to her lips. Claire laughed, Jill pouring another glass and handing it to Claire before finishing with one for herself.

“You know you can’t hide it right? I know the fool too well.” Claire smirked as Ada squinted at her. “You two going to make that official or…” Claire teased, tracing the rim of her glass with her finger.

“It’d be a while even if…” Ada tossed back, worrying her drink as she seemed to mull the thought over. “We just got over trying to kill each other so… trust of that caliber takes time. That being said… he’s good with Eva. Hopelessly awkward, but she likes him and that’s what matters.” Ada mused as Claire giggled.

“Oh, you know I’m going to tease him relentlessly about this right?” Claire added as Ada’s mouth curled into a slight grin.

“I would hope so, otherwise what’s the point of sharing?”

 

“Eva! Eva! Your mom said you where out here!” Valerie called out as she approached the trees a few hundred yards beyond the edge of the house. She wandered past a detached garage and pole-barn, leaping over a drainage ditch as her feet crunched over fallen leaves. She paused as she saw Evangeline standing over an uprooted tree. “Eva! Its me! What are you…” Valerie trailed off as Evangeline slowly tried to step back from the pit left by the tree. There were two copperheads coiling over themselves.

“Stay as still as you can, my mom helped me get away from snakes like this once.” Valerie whispered as Evangeline stared at them, stepping slowly backwards as Valerie approached. She got close and looped her arm around Evangeline’s waist and fell backwards with her, pulling her out of reach of the snakes. They rolled together as the closest serpent struck. Its fangs sunk into the loose fabric of Valerie’s sweater, hooking in as the girls rolled away. Valerie shrieked as she struggled to free herself from the snake, Evangeline seizing it in her grasp. The copperhead’s body began to go black, mottling and distorting as the snake writhed, pieces of it falling away as Evangeline’s breath came in heavy, labored gasps. The snake fell apart in a heap of black filth, falling from Evangeline’s hands as Valerie stared in surprise.

“How… is it dead?” Valerie stammered as Evangeline looked up at her, turning away as she burst into tears.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Valerie inquired softly as she crawled over to Evangeline, placing her hand on her shoulder.

“I’m not supposed to that, mommy… Ada told me not to. People would be scared by it; you’re scared by it and don’t want anything to do with me. I got to close to them and that was dumb.” Evangeline stammered as Valerie hugged her.

“I’m not afraid of silly old snake. I saved you, you saved me; that’s how things are supposed to work right? I’ve seen things that are a lot scarier than your… power.” Valerie offered as Evangeline looked up at her.

“You promise, promise you aren’t going to leave, not want to be my friend anymore because… I’m…” Evangeline stammered as Valerie waved dismissively.

“I have a secret too, want to see?” Valerie offered with a smile, Evangeline nodding. Valerie pulled a small pocketknife from her pocket and withdrew the blade.

“Don’t tell my mommy I have this; my mom knows though.” Valerie said as she winced, sucking in a sharp breath as she dragged the blade along her palm. Evangeline covered her mouth as a small stream of blood ran from the wound. Valerie’s skin quickly turned pink, the wound sealing itself as the bleeding ceased. “There’s something special about my mommy and I got it too. I don’t know if she knows but it’s a secret.”

Chapter Text

“What’s on the docket today?” Claire smiled at Jill as she closed the door to her office behind her.

“Thought they had you on another cleanup detail, right?” Jill returned as she looked up from her computer, Claire sitting in the chair across from her.

“I do, found out you’re sitting it out.” Claire stuck her tongue out as Jill laughed, Claire placing her feet up on the edge of the desk.

“Becca needs me for some follow up, that and she needs blood to help build her… well whatever they did to me back in ’06 makes a petri dish for progenitor-based weapon immunities.” Jill laughed as Claire nodded.

“You’re doing the thing when there’s more.” Claire pressed as Jill brushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear, glancing up as Claire folded her arms across her chest.

“I have an appointment with Miriam.” Jill admitted softly.

“You know you don’t have to sneak around for that stuff, makes me think you have a mistress.” Claire laughed, cocking head as her expression fell into a concerned smile. “Its no different than going to see Becca for follow ups. You get that, right?”

“I do its just… every time I go, I feel like I’m, at least sub consciously, saying you and the girls aren’t enough.” Jill sighed, sitting back in her desk chair.

“Of course, me and girls aren’t enough Jill, we aren’t shrinks. Filling your life with people who love you will bring you joy, make you happy, but they won’t bring you peace. That’s why have to face the things that keep us up at night.” Claire said softly as Jill stood, walking around her desk, behind Claire. She wrapped her arms around Claire as she lent down, Claire placing her hands on Jill’s arm.

“I know.” Jill admitted after a sharp exhale through her nose. “I just don’t want you to ever feel like you aren’t everything to me.” Jill added, kissing the side of Claire’s head.

“Oh, I know that I can be far from helpful sometimes, that’s what we have the pros for. I will be there every time you wake up in a bad place though. Whether you want to talk about it or leave it in the past; as long as you’re ok.” Claire added, Jill humming softly as she sat her chin on Claire’s head.

“Thanks love. Go get ready for your cleanup op, I have to meet Becca in about ten minutes.”

 

“Morning Jill, how are you doing.” Miriam Vance, one of several psychologists assigned to the special operations agency of the BSAA greeted Jill as she stepped into her office. Jill had been seeing her since before leaving rehab, off and on and with very little regularity. Dr. Vance had always been respectful but firm about her schedule, making time whenever Jill had asked.

“Not to be rude Miriam, but never too well when I’m walking in here.” Jill laughed as she sat down on the couch across from Miriam.

“You have something particular on your mind.” Miriam supposed more than asked.

“Yeah uhh… statute of limitations ran out on this so I’m finally comfortable talking about it. I think.” Jill sighed, clasping her hands in front of her and balancing her elbows on her knees. “I um… I’ve killed a few men recently in the last few ops we’ve run and… its always different than a bioweapon or a person who’s turned cause then it’s just mercy, you can tell yourself its mercy. But when I kill… humans it feels really different.” Jill started, her words rambling as she subconsciously tried to avoid the train of thought. She looked out the window for a moment, clicking her tongue before making eye contact with Miriam again.

“I keep going back to a man I killed shortly after Racoon City. It keeps coming back every time this happens and um… it’s making me feel… I don’t know exactly, just a lot I guess.” Jill continued, nervously tapping her heel.

“Would you like to tell me about this man you killed after you escaped Racoon City?” Miriam asked, giving Jill a moment to process.

“Yeah I… yeah.” Jill returned, running her hands through her hair. “His name was Carlos Oliviera, escaped Racoon City with me, thought I could actually count on the prick after everything. He was with U.B.C.S., Umbrella’s goon squad for the cameras, make it seem like they cared about the people of Racoon City. He was the kind of old chivalry type; y’know? Hold the door for you, tell you you’re beautiful and make your skin crawl the whole time, constantly trying to put you in a position where you felt you owed him something.” Jill started, Miriam nodding as Jill paused. “Anyway, made it out of Racoon City, actually wound up helping each other survive and when we got out, set up a motel for us to crash as we tried to figure out where to go from there. He went out to a bar and I stayed back. I tried to process that I wasn’t anywhere near finished with this, with Umbrella. I was sitting in the room, trying to think about where I’d start trying to catch up with Chris and Carlos came back into the room. Hadn’t been more than half and hour so I was confused.” Jill began muttering as she stopped. She bit her lip, not making eye contact as she rapidly tapped her heel.

“You can stop whenever you want Jill.” Miriam offered after a minute of silence,

“He made some asinine comment about finally having a moment to ourselves, not being able to ignore… whatever anymore. I brushed it off, like so many other things he had said over the last few days cause I thought despite all the surface shit he wanted to be a good person and then… he threw himself at me. I was so… taken aback by it that I froze, I didn’t realize what he was trying… what he was trying to do until I was on the bed, he was grabbing at my belt.” Jill took a deep breath, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment before opening them again. “I hit him. Hard. Hard enough that I broke my hand and something in his face too, maybe his jaw. He laughed it off, some stupid quip about roughness, I don’t remember what. He was acting like it was a game, I grabbed his throat and squeezed as hard as I could. He didn’t realize how serious I was until he seemed to get lightheaded. I don’t remember to much of what was said I… I was yelling something I think.” Jill paused, wiping a stray tear from her eye as she looked out the window again. “I wasn’t just mad at him… I was going red, everything from…” Jill trailed off, turning back to meet Miriam’s gaze.

“My father, Wesker, Irons, all these fucking backstabbing men who were supposed to have my back, I lost it. Yeah, he assaulted me, probably would have tried for more had I been a more vulnerable… I hate that thought, he probably had with other women.” Jill mused, shaking her head, pressing her lips together as tears rolled down her cheeks. “He deserved a broken jaw, nose, kneecaps, maybe to be choked out and dumped out back in his underwear. Not for him but for me, I wasn’t sadistic, vindictive or the kind of person who fights and… kills for personal reasons.” Jill let out a withering sigh. “He deserved those things that I said, maybe I would have even brought him up on charges; but that’s not what happened.”

“What did happen Jill.” Miriam asked softly as she pushed a box of tissues closer to Jill on the coffee table. Jill quietly thanked her, taking a moment to wipe her eyes.

“I got up and I walked over to my gear.” Jill started again, pausing between words and nodding softly to herself. “I grabbed my knife and walked back towards him, tunnel vision and red. I was just rage at that point and I didn’t feel like I had control, I was going to do what I was going to do.” Jill muttered as she wrung her hands. “I slashed his throat first, he fell to his knees, grabbing it. I grabbed the collar of his shirt and forced him back up, kicking him onto the bed. I stabbed him in the chest, several times actually, I don’t remember how many times. After that I’m not sure exactly what I did but when I… came back down his face was torn up, eyes put out. He had dozens of punctured to his torso, his abdomen was torn open. His legs where weeping what little blood was left and even his arms where cut up. I remember running into the bathroom and seeing myself covered in blood, not quite making the connection that I had done that.” Jill’s voice cracked as she broke down, hanging her head for a few moments before collecting herself again.

“We only have to keep going if you feel up to it Jill.” Miriam offered as Jill sniffled, drawing a long breath, exhaling as she nodded.

“I uhh… I just couldn’t. I’ve seen a licker rip someone to pieces, I’ve killed people with bladed weapons, but this was… hateful. I knew I could be a vicious fighter, I was good at hand to hand in the army but… this wasn’t fighting, this wasn’t self-defense. I reveled in killing him, tearing him to pieces. I don’t even feel shame or or grief. I mean this man for all his bullshit had saved my life more than once and I didn’t even… no I’m sorry I’m victim blaming myself… he attacked me but…” Jill stammered as she gestured, trying to find her words. “I still don’t. I don’t feel regret and that scares the shit out of me. That I could do that to another person, even one who had been so despicable for that moment.” Jill mumbled as she wiped her eyes with the palm of her hand. “That’s not something cops or soldiers do to people they have to kill… that’s what monsters do.”

“Is that what scares you? That you don’t feel regret for killing Oliviera the way you did and that it makes you a monster?” Miriam asked as Jill nodded.

“Or any other men I’ve ever killed. Even clean, combat, self-defense kills. Each one stirs something in me that I despise. It has been coming back, with a few encounters it has been present. Claire and the others notice sometimes, and I could say it’s just because it was me being protective of her and the girls, but it was there before Claire and me. Before that Chris would say the rage was built up from the testing, the captivity but it was there before.” Jill started to sob over her words. “Go back to Racoon City and say it was surviving that hell and its wrong cause it was there before that, before the mansion. That hate is in me, it’s a part of me and I know because I’m the very first person I took it out on!” Jill stammered, pointing the scars running the length of her forearm. “That anger, rage, just utter savagery, what I had the capacity to do to another person is a fundamental part of me and I hate it I hate it I hate it and I am so fucking scared that there is nothing I can do to keep it out. I have it in me to be a monster, just as bad as the ones I claim to be fighting against.” Jill stumbled through her speech, ranting as she forced it out, wiping tears as she stopped.

“Jill… you are not a monster. The fact that these things bother you so much, hurt so deeply tell me that. You have been with a steadily worsening trauma for… decades, decades. We’ve only recently begun treating this, it will take time but me and all those around you who love you will never give up.” Miriam offered as Jill nodded. “I know I’m not going to be able to convince you to but consider stepping back from fast and loud ops for a while. Try and come by more as well.” Miriam added as Jill nodded.

“I think I just need to be confronting these things is all, I appreciate everything Miriam, really. I need to make sure I’m not offloading my baggage where everyone else is, especially with everything going on with Chris at the moment.”

“Did you want to talk about that as well?”

“No, honestly just helping him has been… cathartic in its own way. That and I’m trying to help out one of Kennedy’s colleagues, reminds me of myself a bit.” Jill smiled as Miriam returned the expression.

“Make sure you aren’t wringing yourself out trying to be everyone’s shoulder. You have a bad habit of doing that instead of taking care of yourself.” Miriam scolded playfully, pointing her pen at Jill as she laughed.

“I’m a mother, it’s what we do.”

 

Claire adjusted her grip on her rifle, feeling sweat around the cuffs of her gloves as she slowly made her way forward. The street was empty, the only noise other than her respirator was the truck moving slowly behind her. One of the biggest tasks to undertake in the aftermath of Tricell’s missile attack on Philadelphia had been locating the nearly six hundred thousand missing persons. Most if not all had been presumed dead, some still turned but occasionally, incredibly, survivors where still found. The task had taken months and they had only made it through a few neighborhoods in the north, moving steadily south. Claire had run dozens of these missions now, providing security for the triage teams: members of the Red Cross, FEMA, the Pennsylvania National Guard and TerraSave. Behind every neighborhood they cleared came more TerraSave, the US Army Corps of Engineers and a host of other civil engineering groups to bring the city back from the apocalyptic scene it had been left in.

Claire sighed as she watched a group of TerraSave medics in biohazard equipment emerge from a convenience store, two stretchers with black body bags on them. She walked over to the sidewalk as they passed, loading the corpses into the refrigerated trailer the cab was towing. Claire glanced down the empty street, catching sight of an approaching Humvee and huffed to herself.

“Hopefully something else is going on they need me for other than a literal graveyard shift.” Claire muttered into her mask as a loud crash followed by a shrill scream came from the convenience store. “Who was still in there!” Claire shouted at the TerraSave medics as they turned sharply at the sound.

“Carlyle and Fink! They where checking the stocking area and offices!” The nearest medic called out as they nervously closed the back of the truck, moving towards the cab.

“I’ll go get them, stay put and call in a potential incident, don’t want to get caught out here with a bunch of still walking.” Claire called back as she ran into the store, boots crunching on broken glass. She took a deep breath and clicked on the flashlight attached to her rifle. She made her way through the near empty, disheveled aisles as a steady thudding came from behind the chilled cabinets in the back.

“Too fucking déjà vu.” Claire muttered as she saw the corpse of one of the aid workers, their suit ripped, throat torn open as they lay hunched over near the doorway leading to the back of the store. Claire swept the muzzle of her weapon across the storeroom, the beam of light fragmented by the shelving as she made her way steadily towards a gruesome sound, she knew all to well. She rounded the corner to find two J’avo where tearing at the other aid worker, a spreading pool of blood running over the tile. They turned and howled at Claire as she raised her rifle and fired two quick bursts, dropping both as she let out a sigh. She stepped closer to the body, staring down at the disemboweled medic.

“I’m sorry…” Claire muttered as shuffling came from behind her. There was a crack of a gunshot as Claire felt blood spay over her back, swinging around rapidly as the figure of the first deceased aid worker fell to the ground behind her, features mutated into that of J’avo. A figure wearing the same BSAA field gear as Claire was standing at the end of the hall, thin wisp of smoke floating from the barrel of their handgun.

“Head on a swivel Redfield.” The woman mused stepping back into the lobby of the store. Claire quickly ran to catch up, recognizing the voice.

“Ada!” Claire hissed, trying to stifle her shout in her throat.

“Good, I was honestly concerned it was going to take you a moment.” Ada laughed, holstering her weapon as she approached Claire.

“What the hell are you doing here? Let alone wearing… are you posing as BSAA?” Claire stammered, confused at Ada’s sudden appearance.

“Yes Claire, posing as things is kinda what I do. Was getting a bit stir crazy at the house, that and I found some interesting things when I was reading the interagency memos of Wilkinson’s transition team, they’re going to be reinstating the FBC on day one after the inauguration. Helena dropped an old FBC fucker when this city went up in flames and I felt going through his drawers could be helpful. That and I really can’t stand Ashley and Moira right now.” Ada returned as they stepped back out onto the street, two other BSAA operatives standing with the remaining TerraSave medics.

“Three J’avo, Carlyle and Fink didn’t make it.” Claire reported as there was a silent moment of acknowledgement.

“We’re swapping out, come on Redfield.” Ada spoke up, stepping off towards a BSAA marked Humvee parked behind the truck. Claire hesitantly followed, getting into the passenger’s seat, Ada removing her mask as she started the car. They pulled around the truck and headed deeper into the city.

“Care to share more on why you’re plucking me from cleanup duty for… this?” Claire asked, removing her own mask as Ada drove. “Oh, fuck Ada! Did you just leave the girls with Moira and Ashley?” Claire suddenly shouted, the though dawning on her as Ada smirked at her outburst.

“Relax, they’re with your little sister and their therapist; honestly not a bad group to leave them with. Besides, I know why you’re actually concerned.” Ada said, her tone turning solemn. Claire looked at her for a moment, sharply exhaling as she turned away.

“Can you blame me.” Claire muttered, staring blankly at the dash.

“No. Especially you.” Ada returned, silently driving into Fairmount as the Philadelphia skyline loomed larger.

“How would you do things if it was your girl?” Claire asked quietly as she stared at the lines of abandoned cars heading out of the city.

“I would probably never let her near an E-type if it could be avoided. That’s the kind of protective paranoia I wasn’t prepared for. I’ve been paranoid for most of my life; what’s kept me sharp and alive but… I relinquish logic a lot quicker to protect her…” Ada trailed off as Claire nodded.

“I know that she’s… I mean I’ve seen how she recently, she’s a sweet kid. She needed someone to treat her like she was worth more than just a weapon and you out, of all of us who claim to be the good guys, where the one willing to do that. I just can’t get the gnawing feeling out of my gut when I see her…” Claire returned.

“And I put that feeling there.” Ada murmured, Claire looking away. “I am sorry.” Ada let out a thin breath as Claire looked back to her. “I swear, I only did it to protect Evangeline. There is no other circumstance I would have ever considered doing that to someone. Especially you, after you had helped me, knowing who you are to Leon.”

“Thank you, Ada. I didn’t get it then, I do now.” Claire inhaled deeply before answering. The pair drove in silence for a minute as Ada weaved in amongst destroyed barricades and burned out cars in the city center.

“So, Val and Eva have seemed to be getting along well.” Claire broke the silence, looking at Ada as her lip curled in a slight smile.

 

“You still feel like this is the right call?” Raymond mused as he loaded a small steel crate into the back of the van Jessica was working on.

“How do you mean?” Jessica responded, finishing setting up a makeshift remote driving apparatus on the steering wheel and pedals of the van.

“I mean ditching Tricell for Torres’ scheme. She’s… obsessed.” Raymond returned, setting the box on a small ramp, angling the top towards the rear doors. He stepped inside the Van, closing the doors and setting up a basic trigger for the box. “Fuck these things make me nervous.”

“That’s just because you don’t like needles.” Jessica mused as she rolled and sat up from working under the dash. “As for Torres, I see things as going one of two ways. The first is she actually meant what she said about bolting after this one last little revenge plot of hers and we get a big ass payday on par with the fuckers that built the E-types. Second scenario is she falls flat on her ass, again and we claim that we were just following orders. Big brass is looking for an excuse to axe Torres so all we have to do is give them one.” Jessica finished as Raymond grunted.

“That flippant with your loyalties huh?” Raymond mused as he adjusted the trigger before walking out of the sliding door of the van, closing it and breaking the latch. Jessica’s eyes narrowed as she scowled at him.

“I look out for myself Raymond, first and foremost. You know that.” She hissed, sighing as she stood from the driver’s side of the van. “That being said I want Torres to succeed. I honestly think its our best bet and… she’s been off lately.” Jessica paced around the corner of the van, one of four identical in the small mechanic shop.

“Torres is always a bit off, its part of her charm.” Raymond laughed as Jessica shook her head.

“No, I mean, she’s losing it randomly now. I don’t know it has to do with the stress of her recovery from the jungle or…” Jessica thought as Raymond strode over to a laptop set up on a work cart near the vehicles.

“She’s always been like that; I couldn’t tell you if she was always a psychotic hothead or if the Amoraq is the one doing the talking there. You remember that time she came back into headquarters screaming at Androvich over them diverting funds from her ops to Gionne’s project?” Raymond posed.

“Let’s see if I remember the incident report right; twenty-six security personnel dead, thirty-eight seriously injured. She killed Gionne’s personal assistant, the two researchers she had sent to help sort out the transfer and if my memory serves, she also had a tangle with Wesker. She basically crashed the budget meeting while full beast.” Jessica laughed as Raymond nodded.

“What happened with him after that?”

“Medical rehab, three weeks.” Jessica responded as Raymond laughed.

“How the hell did she get out of that?”

“Albert made some quip about not punishing a weapon for being incredibly effective then fucked off right back to wherever the hell they where torturing Valentine.” Jessica shrugged as Raymond sent an email informing Torres that the needle bombs where loaded and triggered.

“Hmm, do think she knew about his project? Seems like she would have some involvement given our present mess.” Raymond muttered, a simple “On my way” email blinking in response.

“I doubt it, we didn’t. I remember when it went public, she was livid. She seemed… honestly a lot like she is now after that. That but more withdrawn.” Jessica thought as Raymond nodded.

“And she’s not withdrawn right now? Usually would be here berating us for the slow pace. Where the hell even is she?”

“I… honestly no idea, figured she was casing the target or setting up some higher aspect of coordination. No fucking clue honestly but I take your point.” Jessica finished as the door to the corner of the shop was thrown open, Torres storming in.

“Let’s get this moving. Sherawat, get them started and in gear. Vester get the doors and make sure the controls are online. Are your drones in place? I don’t want to have to count on the van’s cameras for eyes when shit starts kicking off.” Torres huffed as she walked past the pair towards the offices off the shop floor.

“Yes, and we have traffic cam feeds on Mass Ave as well as Dupont Circle and Whitehaven Street. What targets do you want to hit?” Raymond asked, following Torres into the office, rows of computers and drone controls set up on a series of desks pushed together to serve the purpose.

“Hit the South African and British embassies, that will cause a stir watching their security fight. Then wait for police and EMS to be deployed and hit the India Embassy and the D.C. Islamic center across the street. Have the infected target the Turkish Embassy just to the south and if possible, take out the Mass Ave bridge to make police response difficult. I’m going to get out of the beltway before this kicks off, let me know as soon as BSAA has begun to respond, I know Valentine will be with them. Took me a little while but I was able to find her new home address.” Torres mused darkly, looking at the drone feeds flicker to life, random shots of rooftops and AC units in Dupont Circle.

“Ok, any particular notes on the use of the Savage River strain?” Jessica asked cautiously as Torres glanced up at her.

“Should be as capable as J’avo but controlled more like Arias’ beasts. Just have the different flags kill each other in the streets for the news cameras. I’ll call for extraction as soon as I have everything I need. Terminate all the infected as soon as that occurs and burn this place.” Torres ordered, stepping off hurriedly towards the exit, Jessica throwing a stern glance at Raymond as he exhaled, folding his arms as he looked that the vans.

 

“Hmm, was honestly hoping for something more exciting. Maybe it’ll prove important down the line.” Ada muttered as she dug through the computer in the former office of Paul Mathews in the PNC building, Philadelphia. Claire paced in front of the desk, holding her rifle as she glanced around the abandoned offices outside the floor to ceiling windows.

“What were you expecting?” Claire asked, half laughing as Ada looked up at her.

“Anything useful maybe, nothing like an Oligarchic link but… it never hurts to check.” Ada mentioned, letting out an amused grunt. “That being said here’s something. Couple of notes and schedules mentioning a US Intelligence service contact and… hmm I know that name.” Ada thought out loud as Claire stopped pacing and walked up behind Ada, watching over her shoulder. “Yeah, French fucker who sells viral samples out of the Embassy basement in Washington. I uhh… may have had dealings with the bastard in the past. Didn’t realize he was still in business, and with someone in the CIA no less. Interesting.” Ada mulled the thought over as Claire heard her radio chirp; direct channel from headquarters.

“This is Redfield.” She answered, stepping back into the lobby of the office.

“Claire! You still on liquidation?” Jill’s voice called loudly through Claire’s earpiece as Ada finished pulling the files from the desktop.

“Yeah, actually following up an old loose end with Ada right now what’s…”

“Shit just hit the fan big time in D.C., specifically Embassy Row. No one knows what but it’s already straining the local police’s ability to respond.”

“Fuck! Ok, we’ll call for a bird to bring us there, meet you at whatever field post they set up first?” Claire returned as Ada walked up to her.

“Yeah, I assume Ada is playing BSAA field agent at the moment, let her know to keep up the act, we could use the help.” Jill finished, the radio going quiet as Claire turned to Ada.

 

“No… no, no, no…” Ashley murmured to herself as she watched the breaking news headline; “bio-terror attacks on Embassy Row, Washington D.C.”

“This is way to close to home.” Moira muttered as Ashley jumped, looking to see Moira standing behind the couch. The feed from a news helicopter showed smoke rising over sections of Massachusetts Avenue, cutting to news feeds on the ground. There was little to see, the cameras beyond the barricades set up by Metro Police. There was a steady tattoo of gunfire rattling off the buildings in the capitol, shouting as emergency vehicles sped to different aspects of the incident.

“What is this about, what could they be going after?” Moira thought out loud as Ashley shook her head.

“These kinds of things don’t always have a clear or strategic motive. Sometimes they make a big mess to cover a single action or…” Ashley trailed off as she heard footsteps around the corner. Moira stepped over to the hallway as Ashley hastily muted the TV.

“What’s going on?” Edelie asked, cocking her head to try and see the screen as Moira knelt in front of her.

“Nothing much, sweetheart. Just found out there’s going to be a big storm soon and Ash gets scared by them is all. Can we go get your sister and Eva and play in the basement until it passes? Just incase there’s hail, don’t want to be around if a window breaks.” Moira reassured, subtly moving to block Edelie’s view.

“Ok, I know they where playing outside, I just want to grab some toys from my room first.” Edelie relented running off up the stairs as Moira turned back to Ashley.

“Go get the girls from outside and do a quick sweep of the tree line, Jill set up a perimeter security alarm after they came home, controls are in the detached garage.” Moira instructed as Ashley, nodded, turning off the TV. “God this doesn’t feel right.” Moira muttered under her breath as she walked into the kitchen, hearing Ashley close the back door behind her as she called for Evangeline and Valerie. Moira sighed as she stepped over to a locked drawer on the end of the island, taking out the emergency key Claire had given her. Moira squeezed her eyes shut, taking a deep breath, exhaling as she slid the key into the lock. The tumblers clicked over the teeth as she turned the key, opening the drawer.

“Ok… you can do this. You did it for Claire, you can certainly do it for her kids.” Moira spoke to herself as she lifted the M9 from the foam mold holding it in place in the drawer. She opened the action and slid the loaded magazine into the pistol, chambering a round with a satisfying click. She grabbed the small holster stored with it and clipped the weapon to her belt closing the drawer and locking it as Evangeline and Valerie ran into the room.

“Ashley said there was gonna be a thunderstorm!” Valerie called out as Moira nodded.

“Yeah, a big one I think, go grab your sister from her room and go hangout in the basement for a while ok?” Moira offered, breaking into a reassuring smile as Evangeline ran upstairs, retrieving Edelie as Valerie glanced at the gun on Moira’s belt. Moira brushed the hem of her shirt over the weapon as a sharp scream split the air from behind the house.

“Ash…” Moira jumped, muttering the name to herself as Valerie stared at the back door. Moira refused to take her eyes off it as she tried to reach blindly for Valerie. “Val, go get your sister and Eva downstairs now, lock the door behind you and don’t open it for anyone except your moms, not even me or Ashley ok?” Moira stuttered as Valerie grasped her hand.

“I know it’s not a storm Moira, they’re coming for us again, aren’t they?” Valerie said softly as Moira squeezed her hand.

“Yes baby.” Moira croaked, unable to come up with a comforting lie as Valerie nodded silently.

“I’ll keep them safe.” Valerie added resolutely, Moira looking down to see her clutching a combat knife in its sheath in her free hand.

“Where did you get that?” Moira inquired as Valerie released her hand, gripping the knife with both of hers.

“It’s Claire’s, she lets me hold onto it because it makes me feel safe. Don’t worry, I know how to use it.” Valerie added, hands quivering slightly as Moira nodded.

“I have to go get Ashley. Get everyone downstairs and…”

“Don’t open for anyone other than mom.” Valerie finished as Moira slowly drew the gun from its holster and stepped towards the back door, turning to look at Valerie as she reached it.

“We’re going to be ok.” Moira reassured as a tear rolled down her cheek, Valerie nodding as she turned and ran off to collect her sister and Evangeline. Moira stepped outside, scanning the property as she picked up her pace, running to the back, towards the garage and pole barn.

“Ash! Ash! Please tell me you just saw a fucking snake!” Moira called out, adjusting her grip on the handgun as she approached the detached garage, the far door open. Ashley flew from the doorway, crumpling awkwardly in a heap on the gravel driveway as a woman wearing a dark combat suite, loose adjustment straps hanging around her legs, her hair hanging in ragged darks strands as she huffed. She turned towards Moira as she raised her weapon.

“This one yours? Bit of screamer but… any good garage has duct tape and zip ties so. New clothes you see, don’t want to get blood on them just yet.” Torres toyed as she approached her captive, Ashley whimpering as she struggled to sit up with her hands held behind her.

“You stay the fuck away from her!” Moira shrieked as she held the gun on Torres. She grinned, holding up her hands as she stepped back, Ashley continuing to struggle.

“Oh I know you… Burton’s oldest, the one who survived Alex Wesker’s cute little hunger games experiment with Redfield.” Torres grinned as she began to approach Moira, hands still held up.

“Stop! You stay right where you are or I will kill you.” Moira hissed, taking a step back as Torres approached.

“Oh, you’re no fun, you are you father’s daughter. I suppose you think you’re going to try and hold me at gunpoint ‘til Jill comes back. Yes, I saw her little laser grid in the woods, tripped it actually. I want her to know something’s happening.” Torres taunted as she stepped back over to Ashley, pushing her back over with the side of her leg as she continued to try to sit up.

“If you touch her one more fucking time, I’m going to splatter you brains all over the ground!” Moira growled as she took aim at Torres’ head.

“Ooh… she is yours isn’t she.” Torres threw her head back and laughed as she paced around her captive. Ashley rolled onto her stomach, screaming a muffled “run!” through the tape silencing her as Torres landed a hard kick on her side. Ashley yelped as Moira screamed, Torres’ hand mutating as she covered her face. Moira fired several shots, the gunshots rattling off the trees as she starred at Torres’ clawed hand in terror; the rounds having no impact as the lodged in Torres' mutated palm. Torres took a deep breath as her claw reverted, collecting the flattened bullets in her hand. She sprinkled them over Ashley, smiling back at Moira. “That was cute Burton, that little thing is going to do you no good.”

Chapter Text

“We figure out what the hell that was yet?” Jill called out as she approached Claire and Ada; both in their field gear, Ada wearing her mask.

“Savage River T-virus strain. That’s why we didn’t have spread or obvious signs of infection.” Claire responded, Jill still wearing civilian clothes with her holster and pouch belt over them. “What took so long?”

“No birds available when I got the call, drove down myself from Fredrick.” Jill responded as a small convoy of Humvees pulled up to the BSAA incident command set up in the Marie Reed Recreation Center. “Why the fuck do we have to be so far from the incident zone?”

“Cause the secret service has everything south of Dupont Circle on complete lockdown to everyone expect Metro Police. Remind me again, the function of Savage River?” Ada spoke up as Claire shuddered, Jill grabbing her hand and squeezing.

“Uses the T-virus to recode lymph nodes to produce P30. Not exactly sure how it works but it was an idea some ass hole got after watching Glenn Arias’ targeting virus.” Jill explained as Ada nodded.

“Hmm, so someone wanted to play embassy security cock-fighting in the US capitol.” Ada thought out loud.

“The virus was deployed with needle bombs, similar to the tech that Neo-Umbrella used to wipe out Chris’ strike team in twenty-twelve. We haven’t had any claim of responsibility yet and the fighting has stopped, all infected neutralized. I’m beginning to wonder if this was meant to grab our attention from something.” Claire posed as Jill stared at her phone in silence.

“It was…” Jill muttered as Claire cocked her head.

“What do you mean, love?”

“She’s… here…” Jill exhaled deeply before uttering each word, fear and rage building as she held her phone up to the both of them, a security notification from her home cameras showing a large beast treading up to the back of their property, entering the garage before the camera’s cut out and the recording repeated starting five minutes back.

“That’s only ten minutes old, we have to go now!” Claire stammered, Jill shaking her head.

“BSAA will want to pull us from the incident and I will not let that fucking happen, you two in my car now! Ada, get Veronica to quietly sent a tactical team to my address. I doubt we’ll be missed here.” Jill stammered, Ada nodding as they took off.

The temperature gauge on Jill’s car had been steadily climbing, the speedometer hovering around two hundred since they pulled onto the highway. Veronica had been able to come through but was still an hour out with support. Within thirty minutes Jill skidded into their driveway, putting the car in park, kicking her door open and bolting to the front door. Ada and Claire kept pace close behind as Jill kicked in the door rather than fumble with her keys.

“Valerie! Edelie!” Jill screamed as she swept her weapon across her foyer. The rug on the ground was crumpled, the mirror on the wall shattered and a massive claw mark bit into the wall. “No… no, no.” Jill muttered, tears running down her cheeks as she ran upstairs, calling her daughter’s names again.

“Mommy!” The call came from the far end of the hall -Valerie’s voice- as a wave of relief crashed over Jill’s terror. She ran to her bedroom door, jumping over overturned furniture in the hall.

 

Moira groaned as she came to, feeling plastic zip ties biting into her wrists as she rolled uncomfortably onto her back on the cold concrete of the garage.

“Fuck, Ash!” She called out as she tried to sit up, struggling to do so as she felt her body ache. “What the hell happened?” Moira winced, feeling something wet run down her forehead. She glanced around the room; Ashley seated on a folding chair. She perked up at seeing Moira, pleading something behind the tape still silencing her as Moira struggled to stand. She stumbled to her feet, almost falling again as her ankle gave way. “Whoa ok that feels… something’s broken.” Moira seethed, fighting against the pain to limp towards Ashley. Moira stumbled as she reached her, awkwardly falling into her lap.

“Sorry about this princess.” Moira muttered leaning forward and reaching for the tape on Ashley’s face with her bound hands. She ripped it off as Ashley yelped.

“Ah! Fuck that hurts!”

“Not worse than whatever the hell happened to me.” Moira rebuffed. “No time for complaints, let’s get the hell out of here.” Moira stumbled back to her feet, limping towards the workbench in the back of the garage.

“We can’t stop that thing…” Ashley mumbled, tears streaming down her face. “I’m so fucking stupid, I’m sorry Moira!” Ashley cried as she broke down, Moira fumbling with a pair of wire cutters just out of her reach. “I should have called out something or suggested fleeing with the girls or just been somewhat useful beyond screaming my head off and getting caught. I’m useless, always the one that takes everyone down, gets people hurt. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

“Shut the fuck up princess! I’ve almost got…” Moira groaned, focused fully on reaching for the cutters.

“Leave, you’re on your feet, get help but don’t let me get in the way anymore. I’m sorry Moira, I’m sorry I let myself get used as bait, that you had the get hurt for it that the girls…” Ashley stammered as she broke down into soft sobbing. Moira sucked in a short breath as she gripped the edge of the wire cutters, snipping the band holding her wrists. She ran over to Ashley and cut her loose as she kept crying, throwing herself at Moira as she continued to sob. Moira sighed as she pulled Ashley back.

“You aren’t useless and I’m not going to leave you anywhere.” Moira reassured as Ashley shook her head.

“I’m sorry I’m just not…” Ashley was interrupted as Moira grabbed the back of her head and kissed her. Ashley was taken aback at first, leaning quickly into Moira’s embrace. Ashley pulled back after a moment, taking a withering breath as she grinned at her, suppressing a smile she felt crawling over her face despite her efforts.

“Look that wasn’t because… you are just… I… shut up princess.” Moira stammered, Ashley covering her grin with her hands as she starred at Moira. She huffed as she grabbed Ashley’s hand and dragged her out of the garage, falling to the ground as her ankle gave way again.

“Come on, let’s go fix this.” Ashley soothed, helping Moira up. Ashley pulled Moira’s arm over her shoulder as they made their way to the house.

 

“Oh, thank god!” Jill bawled as she threw the door to her bedroom open, the girls cowering in the corner. Claire and Ada following close behind, frantically scanning the room, weapons raised. Valerie was leant up against Jill’s nightstand; Edelie curled up to her on her right side and Evangeline clinging to her left arm. Evangeline was deathly pale, her veins black beneath her skin as her breath came in shallow rasps.

“She’s really sick mommy.” Valerie murmured as Jill knelt by them.

“That lady said she had come to take us because you hurt her.” Edelie said softly, her hands quaking.

“She was a liar! She wanted to hurt people and mommy stopped her. She’s the one who took Claire and made the plane crash.” Valerie hissed as she Jill lifted Evangeline in her arms, setting her on the bed, Ada running over to her.

“Come on baby, stay with me.” Ada muttered nervously, drawing a small kit from a pouch on her hip. Jill embraced her girls, holding them tightly to her as sharp gasp escaped her, relief mixing with the latent terror of losing them again.

“What happened here my love.” Jill asked softly, Valerie leaning on her shoulder as she looked up at her mother.

“Eva stopped the monster with her… I don’t know what to call it.” Valerie answered, turning to look at her friend on the bed. Ada was filling a syringe from a small vile from her kit. She grabbed Evangeline’s arm and injected her.

“She used her mutamycene at a late stage of treatment.” Ada lamented in a hushed voice as she watched Evangeline breath softly. “This could have killed her… and she knew that.” Ada’s voice cracked as she lent down, kissing Evangeline’s forehead.

“Where did she go.” Claire asked cautiously as Valerie shuddered.

“The basement, that’s where Eva stopped her.” Valerie returned, standing and walking over to the edge of the bed. “Is she going to be ok?”

“She will be… just very tired and… sick for a few days.” Ada sighed, offering a gentle smile as Valerie nodded.

“Jill… let’s go end this.” Claire broke the silence as Jill stood, nodding and heading over to their closet. She pulled a pistol grip Mossberg five hundred from a safe tucked behind their clothes. She slid the chamber open and placed a shell in, slamming it shut with a loud racking sound. Jill followed Claire down the stairs through her disheveled living room, sighing at the overturned furniture and broken glass. The pair turned fast on the back door as it swung open, lowering their weapons as Ashley gasped, still carrying Moira.

“Oh, thank god, are you two ok?” Claire stammered, running over to help Ashley carry Moira. Jill fixed the overturned chair in the corner of the room. Claire and Ashley sat Moira down as she groaned.

“Where are the girls? Please god tell me they’re ok.” Ashley stammered as Claire knelt next to Moira.

“They’re fine, they’re all fine. Upstairs with Ada.” Jill returned as Ashley let out a long sigh breaking into a sob.

“Come on princess, carry me a bit farther, gotta go let them know we’re ok after all the yelling and gunfire.” Moira smirked, struggling to stand as Claire tried to stop her.

“Hey, just relax ok, we don’t know how badly you’re hurt.” Claire said as Moira brushed her off.

“Relax, I’m a tough little bitch just like you.” Moira stuck her tongue out playfully at Claire as Ashley supported her.

“Be careful ok, Veronica’s on her way soon.” Jill mentioned as the pair stepped off towards the stairs. “Go keep the girls company, you don’t have to see her again.” Jill muttered looking at the slightly ajar door to the basement off the corner of the living room.

“Bull shit, you are not going into something like that alone.” Claire laughed, walking up to Jill. She turned to look at her, concerned and pained as she starred for a moment. Jill reached out and pulled Claire to her, holding her for a moment. Jill rested her forehead against Claire’s for a moment, taking several deep breaths before looking her in the eye. She kissed her a forced a smile.

“Ok love, but I take point.”

Jill poked the muzzle of her shotgun around the corner as the stairs opened into the finished section of the basement. She quickly descended the rest of the stairs and scanned the room, fixating on a small stain on the couch pushed aside in the center of the room. It was black, smeared on the fabric as Jill scowled.

“Jill… mold…” Claire murmured, standing over by the door to the laundry room and unfinished section of their basement. The door was slightly ajar, more black biomass on the ground, seeping into the room.

“Ok… let’s just find what’s left of this bitch.” Jill growled pushing open the door, the mass squelching as the door pushed it aside. Jill’s boots squished into the mold as she stepped around exposed studs, her washer and dryer and froze. There was a huge mass of mold climbing the wall and running onto the ceiling, Torres embedded in it, arms pinned. Her breathing was heavy, occasionally groan escaping her throat as she strained against the mutamycene. The muscles in her neck pulsed as she tried to turn towards them, the mold covering her eyes.

“Hey Jill…” Torres sneered, letting out a short gasp as she strained again. “Oh no need to respond, I know its you. I have to say I didn’t expect this from you. Hiding an E-type weapon amongst your children… that’s so ruthlessly slick. I didn’t see it coming.” Torres laughed, growling as she strained against the mold with no success.

“I’m not too attached to the idea to keep me from killing you, but I would like to know why.” Jill hissed, raising her shotgun and taking aim at Torres’ head. Torres broke into a smile as her breathing came faster falling into laughter as Jill held the gun on her.

“Prodigy wants to know why… they pluck all those particular memories from you pretty head when they cut everything open to see what makes you tick?” Torres hissed, breaking into a gasp of pain as she struggled. “You took so much from me, my last chance too… fuck you Valentine! I’m not going to give you the chance to gloat over me!” Torres hissed, her skin mottling as she attempted to mutate. She let out a shrill scream as her mutation failed, her skin crawling as she finally relented, slumping the mold holding her.

“E-type can’t get in her head, but it can inhibit her mutations… interesting.” Ada commented as she stepped carefully into the room, Jill glancing at her as she stood next to her.”

“Oh, nice to have you here too Wong… the rumors I’ve heard about you adopting the weapon true?” Torres taunted as her breathing came heavy and rasping. Ada scoffed quietly before turning to look at Jill.

“I know you have a score to settle with this thing but think about what she could tell us. She’s incapacitated, Evangeline sacrificed a lot to make that happen. Veronica is on the way, let her take this thing into custody, see what names she can give us if anything.” Ada offered as Jill lowered her shotgun.

“You aren’t wrong. Could make all this shit worth it if we can get to the head of the Oligarchs through her.” Jill sighed.

“That and the potential to understand her mutations would be incredible. Think… potential mutagens to counteract any and all known bio-weapons… could even yield results for…”

“No!” Jill hissed, her shoulders rocking with heavy breathing as she turned on Ada, Claire grabbing Jill’s arm and drawing close to her. “We can interrogate her, or we can kill her, but we are not going to bring her to some Umbrella bunker to be poked and prodded to insanity. That’s where I draw the line Ada! We are not going to turn into them.” Jill growled as Ada starred her down, squinting as she seemed to consider it.

“Very well Jill… we won’t put her in stasis and treat her like a test subject. Death row or prisoner only.” Ada relented, dropping her usual flippant tone as she nodded. The house shuddered slightly as the sound of helicopter rotors loudly interrupted them. “Veronica’s here, I’ll watch Torres.”

“Ok, we’ll fill her in.” Jill returned as her and Claire made their way back up to the ground floor.

“I’ve wanted to see you up close for a while…” Ada muttered taking a step towards Torres as she barred her teeth, a low growl emanating from her throat. “Hmm… damn shame, bet something in you could have been of help to Eva.” Ada whispered to herself.

 

“Good to see you both! Haven’t heard anything since Ada called us in, what’s…” Veronica shouted as the Umbrella Chinook’s twin rotors blew down the grass as they roared.

“Girls are safe, Moira took a beating from Torres, Ashley seems to be ok.” Jill shouted over the rotor noise as an Umbrella tactical team followed up behind them, several of them pushing a large grey sarcophagus. Jill couldn’t help but stare, recognizing the design, having seen an exact copy of the simple Umbrella container split open in the street near her apartment in Racoon City. “Is that necessary?” Jill asked, looking back at Veronica.

“Yes, can’t risk mutations in transit. Is she alive?” Veronica asked as the three of them followed the tactical team to the house.

“Yes, Evangeline was able to incapacitate her in a mass of mold. She’s unable to change at the moment.” Claire added as Veronica’s eyes went wide.

“And Evangeline? She’s going to need…”

“Ada has stabilized her.” Jill interrupted as Veronica exhaled.

“Ok, we should still bring her in to make sure the poor girl didn’t hurt herself. Dr. Chambers is already at our BSL-5 facility in Kansas. We’ll be taking Torres there as soon as we clear up the mycelia.” Veronica said as they stepped into the house.

“Think this place will be livable?” Jill sighed as Veronica offered a short laugh.

“With your local mold people? Condemned. My guys? You’ll never has so much as a stray ant in your basement.” Veronica laughed as a smile broke over Jill’s face.

“Thanks Veronica.”

“We owe you as much.”

“I’m going to have you promise me something I dragged out of Ada as well.” Jill sighed as Ashley cautiously made her way down the stairs to investigate the sudden appearance of the helicopter and Umbrella soldiers. “Don’t turn this woman into a science project. If there’s nothing we can get from her, lets hand her over to ICC or the UN or quietly put a bullet in her head but do not…” Jill let out a long sigh as Veronica nodded.

“You have my word Jill; you don’t need to explain any more… I get it.”

Chapter Text

Virginia Torres Mood Board

Virginia Torres sat in a gray room, only a stainless-steel table in front of her and the chair she was seated in were fixtures. The air was cool and clean, the touch of the steel cuffs on her wrists felt freezing. They hadn’t shackled her to her seat, not physically. Despite straining, pushing the mental trigger, Torres’ mutations where not responding. She shuddered with the effort, feeling nothing responding. She felt ill, cold and shaky, not knowing if it was whatever suppressing her mutations or just the thought of being locked away… again.

“Come on… hold it to-fucking-gether you useless piece of filth.” Torres hissed under her breath as her quaking began to rattle the chains of her cuffs. “They want to watch you break; they want to see if just locking you up will do it. There will be more to come, you know this, we’ve been here before, and you killed them all. Keep it together and do it again.” Torres grumbled as she hung her head, eyes stinging as she let out a sharp gasp. The memories of testing, torment and experimentation were flooding back into her mind, the one useful thing she had from that terror was her transformation and now it was elusive to her. She took several deep breaths, the waters of her mind settling some as she looked up at the black, one-way glass, trying to conceptualize who might be observing her.

“What did you give her…” Veronica asked quietly, watching through the glass as Torres shook, staring down the viewing window.

“Concentrated dose of Valentine’s blood serum, I had been using it to further research on E-type potential cures, but… this came up.” Rebecca responded, the two women staring in silence for another moment. Rebecca let out a withering sigh as a tear ran down her face.

“I know by the way… Prodigy. Gabriel informed me before Birkin grabbed me in Saint Petersburg.” Veronica said as Rebecca glanced at her.

“Then you know this is my fault… all of this. She was coming after me and we… the Organization… we created this…” Rebecca choked on her words as she covered her mouth.

“You aren’t responsible for her choices Rebecca. Yes, the Organization should have… done more about the threat Torres posed after we failed to recruit her but… I don’t know what more we could have done.”

“Take responsibility for this rather than blame the victims of it. You don’t know the full extent of my involvement either Veronica. Why did I leave the Organization for those few years?” Rebecca asked quietly as Veronica shrugged.

“The same reason we all consider ditching the altruistic vision of the council Gabriel represents.” Veronica guessed as Rebecca shook her head.

“I had a project I worked on shortly after getting my PHD in virology, after Umbrella was taken down. We were working on a variety of projects trying to mitigate, cure or even incorporate some of the evils of bioweapons research into medicinal uses. You still need the T-virus to make the vaccine after all.” Rebecca started, letting out a long breath as she closed her eyes. “We experimented with a variety of stem-cell grown organs, manipulating the genetic structure at growth to make them more durable, have higher success rates when transplanting or even impart some controlled, regenerative properties to them. I got caught up in it… so focused on where it could help, I didn’t realize where it could hurt. Like trying to make a powerful lab disinfectant only to find out its being used as a chemical weapon. I helped build what became the base theory for E-types and… well that research when weaponized led directly to what she is…” Rebecca sighed, tears flowing freely from her eyes. “I even publicly defended that asshole who sold it to… whoever did this. I was convinced he was trying to do the same as me, I couldn’t even pull the trigger when I helped hunt his ass down.” Rebecca lamented, Veronica letting out a sigh as she put her hand on Rebecca’s shoulder.

“You did everything you could to fix it, you can’t blame yourself, this isn’t your fault.” Veronica tried to sooth as Rebecca broke down with a sharp sob.

“But it is! She has come after Jill thinking she’s Prodigy, her grudge is against me and she’s taking it out on Jill! Jill’s suffering, Claire is suffering, the girls are suffering, fuck even that bitch in there is suffering because I am still hiding behind my anonymity to uphold Gabriel’s bullshit goals. The only reason I haven’t pulled the whole fucking façade down is because it would hurt more people than it would help…” Rebecca sniffled, collecting herself as Veronica nodded.

“We’re going to fix this Rebecca… with or without Gabriel’s blessing, I’m here.” Veronica reassured as Rebecca nodded, wiping her eyes as the door to the observation room opened, Jill stepping in. Rebecca ran to her, catching her off guard with a hug as Veronica offered Jill a smile.

“I’m so sorry… I… I’m just glad you and the girls are safe.” Rebecca stammered as Jill returned her embrace.

“Hey… take it easy Becca, everything’s fine. How’s the prisoner doing, we get anything out of her?” Jill soothed before directing the question at Veronica.

“Not a thing. Pulling bullshit ultimatums.” Veronica returned as Rebecca released Jill, stepping back.

“Share.” Jill returned flippantly as Veronica inhaled.

“She has told us that she will tell us the name of every Oligarch she knows, including their leader as well as where they hide. After she gets to talk to you.” Veronica sighed as Jill nodded.

“Where are your girls Valentine?” Torres called out through the speaker in the observation room. Jill turned sharply to look at Torres, then back at Veronica.

“Its one way, the speaker is off, I think she’s just trying to play games.” Veronica muttered, checking the intercom. “Yeah, she’s just trying to fuck with us.”

“I know you’re there Valentine… I can smell you behind that glass. I would know having hunted you for so damn long.” Torres continued as Jill walked up to the controls, lifting the one-way glass so that Torres could see into the observation room. Jill turned on the intercom as Veronica took a step back, joining Rebecca behind Jill. Torres grinned, standing from her seat and walking in front of the glass staring at Jill. She glanced over at Rebecca, tears still running down her face as Torres stood close to the other side of the glass. “What’s this one crying about?” Torres asked casually, gesturing at Rebecca before turning to look at her. “Do I scare you… Dr. Chambers?” Torres taunted, smiling as she stepped over to where Rebecca was, facing her. Rebecca stared at her, sniffling as she straightened up and returned the gaze.

“Oh I do, that’s cute Becca, really.” Torres laughed, raising her hands and gesturing at Rebecca. “You know you look like the kind of girl that I would…”

“You wanted to speak to me, Torres.” Jill interrupted as Torres glanced back at her, her lip curling as she smiled through a curtain of loose hair, licking her teeth as she stepped back in front of Jill.

“Where are your girls Valentine.” Torres repeated, keeping a broad smile as Jill kept a straight face.

“Safe” Jill returned flatly as she kept her eyes locked on Torres.

“I can see where Claire gets the inspiration from… the stoic stare, the unbreakable countenance.” Torres scoffs, throwing her shoulders back in a mocking tone. “You do it so much better… no breaks, chinks or cracks in that armor Jill… Claire would start sobbing the second she thought I was out of earshot. Poor girl missed you.” Torres pouted, Jill letting a sharp breath exit her nose as she kept her face still. Torres held her cuffed hands to her chest for a moment, looking Jill up and down breaking into a short laugh. “You look good since I last saw you… how’s the… you know.” Torres inquired, pointing at Jill’s chest.

“You wanted to talk to me… here I am.” Jill hissed, unfolding her arms and letting them hang by her sides a Torres cocked her head.

“Not feeling itchy at all? Not physically I mean… have you been feeling aggressive, rough maybe. Have the urge to pull something apart as this ever-complicating shit-show of a world closes in around us?” Torres asked as Jill watched her sway as she spoke. Torres spun on her heel and stepped back to the table in the center of the room. “You know I understand that, right? It’s not just a viral thing, it’s an us thing; people like you and me I mean.” Torres suggested, sitting on the edge of the table as she faced Jill again, her cuffed hands in her lap. “You are such an effective weapon Jill, barely human anymore really, especially after that little push, I gave you. You still fight it though, your true nature, what you could be.” Torres smirked as Jill remained silent. “Everyone around you will call it some rude name; inner demons, darkness, animal inside, latent rage, whatever. They will tell you to fight it, suppress it, disown it and pretend its not there while making kind and understanding faces. We both know it’s there Jill, I’ve seen it… I’ve felt it when you put me into the dirt.” Torres continued, standing and slowly approaching the glass again. “Its ok to accept that as a part of you, its what makes you strong enough to protect the people you so desperately guard. Rejecting it puts them in danger, makes you weak.”

“I never resorted to killing innocents to protect those I love. Never sold out to terrorists, to greed, to the people who cause these fucking terrors.” Jill hissed as Torres threw her head back and laughed.

“Are you kidding me Valentine? Really? That’s a tall pedestal even for you.” Torres continued in her mirth. “You’re so proud of the start in S.T.A.R.S. but who where you working for? Irons? Wesker? Who was puppeting the shit out of Irons, Jill? It was fucking Birkin who had him in his pocket. Before the mansion, your funding came from Umbrella, S.T.A.R.S. was founded on their suggestion! Your cases where hand picked by Birkin and handed to Irons and then to you. I remember, when I did my homework on you, your first on the job shooting was a guy supposedly building a bomb to hit the subway system at Saint Michael’s? Yeah and he drew on Becca here and you dropped him heroically saving your comrade.” Torres speed up as she talked, Jill shaking her head.

“That’s how it happened, what of it.”

“Wrong! He was an investigative journalist that had gotten just a little to close to Birkin. They had been planting bomb making materials in his apartment for weeks to the point where he couldn’t dispose of them fast enough. Then Irons' private army shows up, of course he draws on you, he knew he was dead anyway.” Torres laughed as Jill took a deep breath, keeping her emotions off her face. “Its ok Jill, I’m not judging you, you didn’t know. I just want you to realize that the only difference between me… and you…” Torres cooed, leaning up against the window as Jill stared at her. “…is which side of this glass we are on.” Torres finished, laughing as she stepped back, walking around to the side of the table. She sat down and laid down on her back, turning her head to the right so she could make eye contact with Jill.

“Where are your girls Jill?” Torres asked again, running her hands through her hair sprawled out over the table. After receiving no reply Torres sighed looking up at the ceiling. “I’ll tell you where mine are…” Torres’ voice drained of all toying, taunting tone as she turned dark. She slowly sat up, looking away from Jill as she faced the wall.

“Theodora was my oldest, she’s in the ashes of the Spencer Mansion… with her father. They had me thinking that they where on some kind of lockdown after the murders in Arklay, after they stopped calling me every night before bed. Then the forest fire, I’m sure you remember that. Biggest burn the Arklays had ever seen, I think they chocked it up to an electrical failure, some random power line. You and I both know it was the Mansion’s self-destruct. That’s when Umbrella finally had the balls to tell me my girl was dead.” Torres delivered darkly; her face blank as she stared at the wall.

“Your husband and you are responsible for that… you where Umbrella, I did my homework on you too, I remember seeing you listed as on the staff for one of the Nests.” Jill spat back as Torres laughed, tears breaking from her eyes as she threw her head back and forced herself to laugh harder.

“I, I was a chemical engineer Valentine, I was in the plastics division of Umbrella. I designed fancy ass Tupperware containers for corrosive and biological materials. You honestly think I had any fucking clue what was going on?” Torres cackled as she turned to face Jill, still sitting on the edge of the table. “My husband worked in inorganic compounds, they pegged him for some kind of herbicide project they where struggling with at the mansion; J-volt or something I don’t remember, and I don’t give a shit.” Torres muttered, her face wet as tears flowed from her eyes, Jill folding her arms as she watched Torres’ hands begin to quake.

“Theodora lover her father, she was daddy’s little girl through and through and couldn’t bear the thought of being away from him for a three-month project. We thought it was a big opportunity for him, for his career. So, they said he could bring her, keep her in the residence they set up for them. She was excited, getting to live in a big house and just have some time with her father.” Torres lamented, shaking her head as she avoided Jill’s eyes. “I encouraged it… I said it was a good idea.” Torres croaked, her voice cracking as she drew a deep breath. “I was a good mother, I always made sure they could take advantage of any opportunity life gave us. I loved my children, I was a good mother, a good wife… but I never loved my husband.” Torres hissed, taking a deep breath as her tone darkened.

“He was stability, gave me my three children and… and he was even halfway decent in bed; when he bothered to ask if I was in the mood first.” Torres muttered, staring at the floor as she wrung her wrists, turning her head as if trying to let the memories run out of her head. “Kept mom’s judgey eyes off my fucking life after I was married, that’s something I know you get.” Torres smirked as she looked up and met Jills gaze, only eliciting a slight squint in Jill’s stare.

“Anyway, so they told me they died in the fire, not when or how just fire.” Torres continued as she looked past Jill at the wall behind her. “I knew it was shit, knew before I heard the S.T.A.R.S. rumors but that was all I had to go off of. All I could think of was my Theodora and how she died, every night a different terror. I just stopped sleeping entirely, stopped going into work, stopped eating, started losing my god damn mind while still carrying my third child.” Torres’ voice broke slightly as she winced, placing her hand over her stomach as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

“My second girl Jill, my second girl is in the ruins of Racoon City. I left my Eleanor with my parents after I started to become unraveled; doctor was concerned my stress levels would be detrimental to health of the baby.” Torres pressed on, wiping tears from her eyes as she scowled, Jill watched silently. “So, my Eleanor went with my parents and I went to see my sister in law, someone I could still grieve with. She was on the east coast, I don’t remember where, somewhere with quiet beaches. Stayed there for months, things began to get better, felt clean with peace and ocean air. My sister in law started acting weird on day, withdrawn. Kept saying the cable wasn’t working, struggling to get the guy out to fix it. She stopped buying the paper, every radio in the house went missing and she suddenly got very strict about me not driving. I started to go stir crazy, decided I, several months pregnant, was going to try and fix the cable in the guest room. I found it simply unplugged so I restored it, turned on the TV and saw it.” Torres paused, looking Jill in the eye as tears flowed from hers.

“That missile took my Eleanor from me, vaporized my parents. I can only hope that’s how they died, because you know what the alternatives where.” Torres seethed mournfully. She took a deep breath, exhaling as she closed her eyes, stemming the flow of tears for a moment. They resumed as soon as she opened them again. “I lost three days after that… first time in my life my memory just, blanked or shut down or whatever. It’s just flashes; broken glass, screaming, grief. I came back on the third day, waking up drenched in sweat and…” Torres broke down, face contorting as she sobbed through her words “I was in a pool of blood and between my legs… there she was…” Torres’ mouth hung open as her words failed her gesturing at nothing as Jill took a deep breath, looking away. “My last girl… my only child… my Julia, still born at my feet. Doctors told me they think it was a sudden, stress induced birth, maybe SIDS. I wished to god I had just bled out in the moment and gone with her, never having to look my last child dead in the face but that was the fucking hand I was dealt.” Torres screamed, placing her hands on her forehead as her breathing accelerated. Jill glanced back as Torres wailed, her grief overtaking her. Rebecca turned away as Veronica placed her hand on Jill’s shoulder, leaning close.

“I don’t know what this is about but… we’ve done our research on her. This isn’t an act, or… at least she isn’t lying.” Veronica whispered as Jill nodded silently, Torres beginning to come out of her despondency.

“Umbrella killed my family Valentine, killed my children and then dumped my ass as soon as the incident was over. No job, no pension, no answers. Just grief and crippling debt. They left me to rot and I promised myself I wouldn’t, I looked myself in the fucking mirror and vowed I would not let them break me and walk off, I would claw my way back and kill every. Last. One of them!” Torres hissed Jill meeting her gaze. “I know you understand that, the bloodlust that accompanies the grief, the angry part of loss. I know you get it because I made sure you would fucking understand.” Torres began a throaty laugh as Jill scowled before forcing the expression away, Torres perking up as she saw it. Torres stood and approached the glass again.

“You know the depth of that darkness Jill, I know you do, losing a child like that. I know what you felt, you know what I feel. I remember you burning that clinic in France, I saw the path of fire you carved through the jungle and I saw it in your eyes when you ran me through with that damn machete.” Torres laughed, her tone falling into a soothing encouragement. “It’s ok… you don’t have to be scared of the things you would do to protect them, to avenge them. That’s what makes us strong.”

“You don’t understand why I do the things I do.” Jill spat, Torres grinning.

“But I do Jill, I know how much it scares you at first, then you let it flow. We were pitched into this and rather than become consumed, we rule it. Anyway, after I came to that realization, I took my damn engineering degree and made some use of it. Direct commission in the US Army, sure you remember that old boy’s club. I dedicated every ounce of my being to turning myself into the ideal weapon to destroy Umbrella, and my vengeance grew beyond them. Any entity like Umbrella became a target, I even began to buy into what you and Redfield where trying to start against bioweapons. I got headhunted by USSTRATCOM and the FBC as Umbrella fell to pieces. I joined the latter, burning a career path through their operations branch. I didn’t do anything else; my life was the job and it brought me to Lansdale’s side so quickly he put me in charge of this hemisphere. Obviously, that had me sitting out of Terragrigia when that particular ball of shit hit the fan. Of course, Fisher had a plan to weasel his way out of culpability, but I was fucking blindsided. Not only where those fuckers making the weapons, they where using them to justify their own power. So, Lansdale went down despite his best efforts and the Mediterranean countries where screaming for their own trophy to incarcerate for the mess. The US decided I was a good scapegoat; used to work for Umbrella, all those press conferences standing next to Lansdale in D.C. and I had no living family.” Torres finished, throwing her arms up as Jill sighed. “Perfect scapegoat, right?” Torres growled as Jill looked at her.

“Lansdale was a scumbag; we can agree on that but…”

“But nothing Valentine, do you know what they did to me.” Torres asked as Jill averted her eyes, Torres standing closer to the glass. “Look at me!” Torres screamed as Jill turned back to her, tears running down Torres’ face as her chest heaved.

“I know you know, tell me Jill. What did they do to me after they locked me up in the middle of fucking nowhere.” Torres seethed as Jill let out a sharp breath, fighting to keep her face straight as she felt the familiar dread, the tightness in her chest.

“They made you into a weapon.” Jill muttered flatly as Torres slowly nodded.

“It didn’t start that way. Some goon had the fun idea of seeing what happened when you release a bioweapon into a prison. They’re all criminals so who gives a fuck, good data right?” Torres said softly, standing close to the window as she held Jill’s gaze. “I survived the initial wave and they found that fascinating. Who the hell is this American woman who’s fending off virals without succumbing herself? I don’t know why I did, maybe running anti-bioterror ops, maybe just drinking Racoon City’s water for years.” Torres laughed, looking up and away as she did. She sighed and returned her gaze to Jill. “Anyway, I became their favorite toy. ‘Got a new strain, give it to Torres. New regenerative abilities after implant, make a note. Survived for two weeks without kidneys, resuscitated and given transfusion.’ They kept building and poking and cutting and testing until I started to have mutations. The first one was induced. It had been at least six months since it started and I already had high regenerative abilities; that’s when they became bold, not as much risk of killing her anymore so let’s try some shit.” Torres laughed, her head floating back and forth as she kept her eyes met with Jill’s. “So, my hand started to go gray and grow into a clawed abomination. I watched it and screamed, I screamed because it hurt, I screamed because it was horrifying and I screamed because I knew it meant they had finally turned me into one of the monsters I swore to destroy. I watched the claws grow from my hand and couldn’t get over just how sharp they looked. I think I starred at them for half an hour before I thrust them through my gut. I practically tore myself in half, the damn thing was incredibly strong.” Torres shook her head, instinctively grabbing her abdomen as she spoke, the mutations still not responding to her call. “Did you ever try to when they had you, when you realized what they where going to make you into.” Torres asked quietly, looking up at Jill. Her lip quivered as flashes of Wesker’s experiments entered her mind, her nightmares. Jill caught herself clutching fabric of her shirt over the scar of the device they planted on her, tears running down her face as Torres gasped.

“You did… oh you did, didn’t you?” Torres soothed softly, leaning against the window as Jill dropped her hand and shook her head, trying to wipe tears from her eyes as Torres watched. “It’s ok Jill, believe me when I say I understand.” Torres said quietly as Jill glared back at her, tears running down Torres’ cheek with her. “How many times?”

“Shut you fucking mouth.” Jill stammered, fighting hard to keep her composure.

“I lost count myself… always wondered if I should have kept tabs. Its ok to cry about it Valentine. It hurts, and it hurts bad… trust me I know.” Torres laughed through her own tears.

“Is this what you wanted, just prod until you got a reaction?” Jill seethed, tears running down her cheek as she glowered at Torres.

“I just wanted to talk; I think it’s been good for us.” Torres shrugged. “I was quite mad at you for a very long time though. You see, I got my chance, like you did… well your friends gave you your chance, I had to make mine. Anyway, I got my chance and I wiped out my tormentors.” Torres laughed as she stepped back from the glass, spinning on her heel as she paced around the room. “I still remember it so clearly, the screams of theirs, the fear just hanging in the air as I took each one of them. I can still remember the taste of their blood on my teeth.” Torres mused, running her hand over her face, letting it linger over her lips as she closed her eyes. “Every last one of them I ripped to pieces. They wanted a weapon and damnit they got one.” Torres laughed, clenching her fists as she grinned.

“After I broke out, took what assets they had lying around and fled. I had a man from Ghana approach me at a bar in Cairo. Thought he was trying to hit on me at first but… well he started going on about a mission to preserve humanity, fight bioterror and the greed that causes it. I’m sure you have heard the spiel.” Torres mused, pacing back over to the window, Rebecca looking away again as Veronica put her hand silently on her arm. “So, I bought the line and went into his “initiation”, was told that there was another candidate vying for apparently limited slots. They never told me who she was, just that her codename would be Source Prodigy.” Torres’ eyes narrowed as she stood in front of Jill again. “So, I fail, she doesn’t. I go off to the UK dejected and full of an existential crisis about my very existence and bomb goes off on the bus I’m riding in London. So, I live, like fifty people don’t, some obscure old colony terror group claims responsibility and I keep my head on swivel. I don’t know how much they involved you in their shit, but I know it was the Organization, it was Gabriel. So that was summer of ’06 and I had started to try to figure out who had beat me out and I remember world news breaking about the final death of the head of Umbrella. That and doing my research I learned about your death. Honestly made me sad at first; fellow Racoon City resident, felt like we fought the same fight at one point.” Torres smiled at Jill as she failed to suppress a scoff. “The Gabriel comes crying back to me, saying there was an issue with their new recruit and they where reconsidering taking me on. Didn’t even have the humility to admit they lost you.” Torres laughed. “So, I go to the meeting and I kill everyone I see. After that, some black-market entities had learned of my abilities and my escape. Took an offer from our friends at Tricell and worked as their North American operations specialist and arm twister.” Torres added as Jill suppressed a small laugh.

“Faux sympathy about feeling bad about what happened to me, going to work straight for Tricell.” Jill scoffed as Torres turned dark.

“I didn’t know they had you. They kept diverting resources from me to Gionne acting as Wesker’s puppet. I wiped the floor with that asshole once I was so fucking angry. Jill you know what they did to me, even with all my righteous anger towards the organization, I would not have stood by and let that happen.” Torres growled as she starred at Jill. “No one understands what that’s like better than me.”

“Bullshit. You started gunning for me the second I came back into play.” Jill tossed back.

“That’s not true, I only came after you when you decided to come back into the fold, I was perfectly happy to let you fuck off and collect what was left of you life after that!” Torres shouted, pointing awkwardly with her hands still cuffed. “You show up kicking in the doors to the place I’m slowly manipulating into my own goals, tearing them apart until I can’t ignore it anymore. So, I decide my side project should be refocused around you.”

“You mean murdering my family and infecting me with some cocktail facsimile of your torment? What the fuck was that supposed to do?” Jill couldn’t hold back her rage as Torres cocked her head to the side and smiled.

“That right there, it’s a gift Jill.” Torres mewed as Jill seethed. “I want you to know its ok to hate me Jill, I want you to hate me. I want you to give into all the darkness, all the blame and rage and hatred and point it all at me. I know it sounds like I’m trying to sign my death certificate with this but I’m not, I know you won’t let anything happen to me.” Torres mused as she looked down. “After all, where will all that hate go if I’m gone Jill? It certainly isn’t going to vanish into thin air.” Torres looked up at Jill, smirking as she broke into a slow laugh, tears spilling from her eyes. She bit her lip as a withering breath escaped her lips.

“I know that hate doesn’t go anywhere, you point yours at me and I’ll point mine at you and we’ll just dance… because I understand you Jill, better than anyone ever will.” Torres croaked as she broke down, falling to the ground as she sobbed.

“The head of your group is Atherton Von Hofwegen. There are like fifty countries that want him on different charges, put him before the ICC and you can do whatever the fuck you want. Their base is Irkutsk, that’s not an exaggeration, they own that whole fucking town tighter than Umbrella had Racoon City, Nest facilities and all.” Torres called from the floor as she collected herself for a moment. “Thanks for the chat Jill.” Torres finished as Veronica stepped forward and restored the one-way glass, turned off the intercom. Jill let out a pained sigh, turning to look at Rebecca and Veronica, both standing a state of silent shock.

“We got the name, and more. Let’s do the work to make it stick but this… this was worth it if we can end this. If you would excuse me, I need a bit.” Jill finished exiting the room into a waiting area in Umbrella’s detention area. Claire stood from a bench against the wall, throwing her arms around Jill as she saw her emerge distraught.

“Did we get what we need or did she just want to torture you.” Claire asked softly, her head leaning on Jill’s shoulder as she still breathed heavily, noticing her heartbeat was racing.

“We got a name and location, she… she just really knew how to get under my skin and…” Jill croaked as she held Claire, looking back at the door to the observation room. “I don’t know… if I didn’t have you and the girls and… there are some things that I absolutely despise in her that feel like a fucking mirror. I think that’s just her in my head a bit still.” Jill coughed, closing her eyes as the anguish of the last few moments danced around her thoughts.

“Let’s go see the girls, leave her and this mess behind us finally.” Claire offered, reaching up and kissing Jill as she nodded, Claire taking Jill’s arm as they walked off.

“She is… far worse than I thought.” Rebecca stammered as Veronica nodded, Torres having moved back to being seated at the table. Her head was down, dark hair sprawled out over the table as she continued to sob. “I… I think with the right resources I can reverse her condition though, similar to how we’re working on Evangeline.” Rebecca said softly as Veronica shook her head.

“You’re talking Organization level resources, full transplants, hours, weeks, months of work and we don’t have that to give to a woman who has been trying to kill all of us.” Veronica rejected.

“I have to right this wrong, Veronica. This is inhuman… we can turn her over to the ICC and then she can…”

“What the hell would they do? Probably just have her killed after making a show of the take down.”

“ICC doesn’t issue death sentences.”

“They’d make sure she’d have an accident. She… Rebecca it’s not worth it.”

“She’s already my patient though, I started caring for her when we brought her in and my Hippocratic Oath demands that…”

“Becca stop it, she’s not…”

“You don’t get to call me that.” Rebecca snapped, staring angrily at Veronica as a tear broke over her cheek. “Doctor Chambers will do.”

“Fine, Doctor Chambers, you can make her comfortable, mitigate what you can to keep her docile but we’re going to hand her back to the US for what happened in Washington. We need the good will with them, so they don’t look to closely at us as we go after the Oligarchs and well… she actually committed the attack.” Veronica gestured as she spoke.

“I don’t care what it takes, I’ll make sure she dies human. After all this bullshit, everything that lands at my feet over this, I owe her that at least.” Rebecca delivered with conviction, sighing as she watched Torres.

“You’re a good person Rebecca, too good for the world we have sometimes.” Veronica offered as an apology. “I don’t want you to get hurt trying to save someone who’s just not worth it.” Veronica finished, walking out of the room as Rebecca exhaled.

“I think I said the same damn thing to Ada over Evangeline…” Rebecca muttered to herself, walking up to the glass. “I’m sorry Virginia, I am the reason you are this way.”

Chapter Text

“Indemnance to Dagger Actual, we have reports of the target near the Batasang Complex, all additional units making their way on the ground but are presently engaged with T-virus weapons in the Quezon Memorial Circle. We’ve put two thirty-fives in your sector for support.” The Indemnance controller called over Chris’ radio as he watched Manila pass beneath him out the open door of the Osprey.

“Feel like we’ve been here before.” Leon mused as Chris let out a short laugh.

“Sorry, but I don’t have a motorcycle for you this time.” Nadia quipped as Leon grinned.

“Hopefully we’ll be coming out plus one comrade this time rather than down one.” Chris sighed watching the columns of smoke rise from the highway as they travelled over it.

“Captain… I’m sorry we held back information from you. Regardless of how we felt, you deserved to know and…” Nadia began before Chris turned, approached her and placed her hand on her shoulder.

“You were trying to look out for me. I have no doubt you had my best interest at heart. We’re here now and we’re going to bring him back. No room for regrets, I still trust you with my life.” Chris reassured as Nadia smiled.

“Thanks big guy.”

“Two miles to target!” The pilot called back.

“Damn that’s a lot of them.” Nadia gasped, looking out the window at a horde of infected making their way up Batasan Road towards the capital complex.

“Anyone thinking it odd that the legislature is facing a complete disaster while the president’s compound has reported no incidents?” Leon growled as the door gunners of the Osprey began to fire.

“Not the time for that Leon.” Chris tossed back as they gathered near the open gate at the rear of the aircraft. He adjusted his chest harness, grabbed a large riot shield lying up against the bulkhead and slung it over his shoulder. Leon clipped his rifle to her plate carrier as Nadia dialed in the optics to her rifle.

“Touching down! Go!” The pilot called out as Leon, Chris and Nadia leapt from the back of the aircraft. The door guns tore through the horde of zombies as the trio sped towards the capitol building.

“We have any fucking clue where he could be?” Chris called to his companions as he kicked open the front doors, Leon and Nadia fanning out into the lobby of the capitol as Leon turned back to him.

“They had called an emergency session of the legislature to deal with the outbreak that started in the dockyards. If I was trying to destabilize a country, I’d start by going to where the most members of their government were and kill them.” Leon shrugged as Chris nodded, the trio running towards to the main hall of the capitol. They rounded the corridor and paused as Leon drew a sharp breath, Chris frowning as he cautiously made his way forward.

The hall was littered with bodies, blood running over the tiles of the floor. There where black burns and gashes along the wall as the trio stepped over the well-dressed corpses as they drew closer to the Session Hall. They stopped at the doors leading in as Chris let out a long breath. Leon put his hand on Chris’ shoulder as they stared at the doors for a moment.

“We’ll keep him distracted, just get close enough to put that drug in him, extraction teams are ready on the roof.” Leon reassured as Chris nodded.

“Nadia, head up to the gallery and give us cover.” Chris commanded after taking another deep breath.

“Got it, Captain.” Nadia returned, running off towards the stairs at the end of the hall. Chris took the riot shield off his back and adjusted his grip on it, making sure his arm wasn’t touching the surface of it. He withdrew a small handgun from his belt, loading of one a few cartridges Umbrella gave him incapacitate Piers. Chris kicked the door to the Session Hall open, stepping into the massive forum as Leon followed, bolting off the left as Chris made his way down the main walkway. A bioweapon with a large, trident like appendage stood at the head of the room, tossing a corpse from the raised podium. It turned to Chris, raising the mutated arm; a massive bolt arcing across the room towards him. Chris knelt, holding up the shield as he felt the air around him energize, the hair on his arms and neck standing up as the bolt struck. The attack stopped suddenly as gunfire erupted from the corner of the room, Leon strafing quickly as he fired as steady burst, Piers turning on him. Chris stood and resumed sprinting towards Piers, Leon diving for cover as the bolt of electricity came hurtling towards him. Another round of gunfire drew Piers’ attention as Nadia struck him in the shoulder with several rounds from the gallery above them. Piers turned his focus, the arc from his arm tearing through the upper gallery as Chris got within range of him.

“Piers!” Chris screamed, tossing the shield down as he took aim at him. Piers turned to look at Chris, pausing for a moment before Chris fired. The needle from Chris’s weapon embedded in Piers’ chest and quickly drained. He raised his arm towards Chris before falling backwards.

“Good up here Captain! Get him under the gallery, bird’s gonna blow the roof so we can extract.” Nadia called over the radio as Chris ran to Piers. He paused for a moment, looking down as Piers lay awkwardly amongst scattered papers and an overturned desk chair.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry it took me so long to come find you… we’re bringing you back.” Chris muttered under his breath as he felt his eyes mist. He holstered the weapon and lifted Piers, careful around his mutated arm. He ran over to Leon as a large explosion shook the building, a huge section of the roof collapsing as the Osprey hovered lower into the room.

“Ride’s here!” Leon shouted as Nadia ran in from the main entrance, the trio making their way aboard the aircraft as it began to lift off and head back towards the Indemnance.

“Indemnance this is Dagger Actual, we have recovered the target and are returning to the bay.” Chris called out over the radio as he laid Piers down on a stretcher bolted in the front of the aircraft.

“Acknowledged Dagger Actual, hate to do this to you but as soon as we offload the HVT, you’re going back out there. Duterte called in a few minutes ago requesting extraction as the situation worsens. We lost contact with his extraction team and are rerouting you.” The controller called back as Chris huffed, looking back at Piers.

“Understood.” Chris hissed, sitting down as Leon stared out the back.

“I know I’m paranoid but that feels off.” Leon mused as they watched the waters of the bay come up underneath them.

“Well then just keep alert. Not like we can say no after all they’re already pulling for us.” Chris groaned. They landed on the deck of the Indemnance as a team of medics met them, boarding quickly as Chris, Leon and Nadia hopped to the deck. A commanding presence among the medics grabbed Chris and pulled him aside.

“Agent Redfield, Dr. Gaultier, I was one of the responding physicians to the emergency call you gave us regarding your sister and agent Valentine. I just wanted to assure you… we will do everything we can to bring him back.” Dr. Gaultier offered as Chris looked him in the eye, glancing over his shoulder as Piers was wheeled out of the Osprey and rushed below deck.

“Make sure that you do and… if he comes back in any way, if you think he could hear or speak or…
“You’ll be the first one I contact.” Gaultier interrupted, breaking into a reassuring smile as he patted Chris’ shoulder. “Everyone on this ship has chosen this path to right wrongs Redfield. This is a big one and we are dedicated to seeing it through.” He finished, stepping off to join the medical team as Nadia approached Chris. She handed him a tactical shotgun and several magazines, having resupplied herself already.

“You holding up, Captain?” She asked quietly as Chris nodded slightly, still staring after the disappearing medical team.

“We have him, I have him back so… I guess the real work starts now. I don’t even know how far gone he was to…” Chris croaked as Nadia placed her hand on his arm. She let out a short yelp of surprise as Chris embraced her, suppressing a sob as Nadia returned the hold.

“We’re here for you Chris, you will not go through this alone.” Nadia soothed as she held him, Chris pulling back for a moment glancing back at Manila still in chaos.

“What would he say right now if he could sit up in his hospital bed?” Chris sniffled as he took a deep breath, his stoic composure returning.

“He’d tell us to get the hell back out there, people need help and he’s in need a of nap anyway.” Nadia said with a laugh as Chris grinned.

“Let’s go make sure he’s still proud of us when he gets up then.” Chris returned as they boarded the Osprey, the aircraft lifting from the deck.

 

“Taking after your adopted father?” Ingrid Hunnigan laughed as she sat down at the bar next to Sherry as she jumped in surprise, almost spitting out her drink.

“Hunnigan? What the hell are you…”

“Relax and lower your voice, not trying to draw too much attention you see.” Ingrid hushed as Sherry nodded.

“I heard you went missing… good to see you’re ok. I think that’s part of the reason I was sent after Veronica.” Sherry muttered as Ingrid brushed off the bartender.

“I was pulled to something important. I’m coming back to DSO but as a… not a double but an intelligence sharing agent.” Ingrid laughed as Sherry raised an eyebrow.

“How are you getting that past CIA?”

“It was a lot easier than you’d think.”

“So, who are you going to be spying on us for?” Sherry smirked as she raised her drink to her lips.

“Mostly I think the intel will be going to the BSAA.”

“That actually makes me feel pretty good.” Sherry laughed. “DSO hasn’t exactly been inspiring the highest degree of confidence in me lately. I’ve heard… rumors about Leon that I know aren’t true but… someone has it out for him. All the intelligence services have felt like their contracting lately, that and the people from Wilkinson’s transition team haven’t helped at all. A lot of early retirements.” Sherry sighed as Ingrid nodded.

“That stunt with Veronica impressed though. My new coordinator has become interested in your capabilities, would like to offer you a spot with us.” Ingrid offered as Sherry cocked her head in interest.

“So, do I just give you my resume and wait for a call back or…”

“He’s in his car out back if you feel up to it now.” Ingrid offered as Sherry grinned. She called the bartender over, paying her tab and following Ingrid out back to a black Land Rover. Ingrid opened the door for her as they both climbed into the back seat.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Agent Birkin.” Gabriel’s low voice greeted Sherry as he looked back from the passenger seat and shook her hand. “My name is Doctor Gabriel Onyilogwu.”

“Hunnigan was telling me that you recently recruited her as a double agent for the BSAA through DSO.” Sherry returned as Gabriel let out a soft chuckle.

“That is one way of looking at her post. Agent Hunnigan serves our Organization as an analyst and coordinator for our field operatives. She formally holds a post at DSO but delivers intelligence to the Organization. She helps coordinate our field operatives in the DSO, BSAA, Blue Umbrella and other sources.” Gabriel corrected.

“Oh… so this is bigger than that… Hunnigan, what am I getting into here.” Sherry asked cautiously as Hunnigan sighed.

“They’re the real deal Sherry, despite some shit methods of theirs. They operate as equals with no fixed leader, trying to unite the people in all these organizations in the most effective ways to take down the greed and scum that push bioweapons around the world. They have me helping Claire and Leon right now from the background with a lot more resources than I’ve ever had access to before.” Ingrid offered as reassurance, Sherry nodding in acknowledgment.

“I trust you Ingrid, because Leon trusts you, but would you have me do if I decided to sign onto this project of yours Gabriel?” Sherry returned cautiously.

“Help defend Kennedy, Wong and their cohorts from an imminent threat from within the US intelligence services.” Gabriel answered.

“Specifics, doctor.” Sherry folded her arms as Gabriel flashed a look at Hunnigan.

“The incoming National Security Advisor, General Arthur Briggs, is working for a group that competed with the Family before you, Leon, Helena and the BSAA took them down. They took advantage of the power vacuum and infiltrated the scrambling US government as it struggled to recover. Now that their puppet has take office, we are concerned with how they may attempt to dismantle the institutions we have used to safeguard our mission. The US’ institutions are visible and resilient but not without their flaws. We believe Briggs has information that could be used to take down Kennedy, Redfield and others who support our mission.” Ingrid explained as Sherry stared at her, concerned.

“I’d do anything to keep Leon and Claire safe, they did that for me.” Sherry stammered as Ingrid sighed.

“We’re asking you to assassinate the National Security Advisor before he has a chance to harm anyone.” Gabriel added as Ingrid closed her eyes and hung her head.

“It’s not ideal, I know but this has escalated quickly, and we need to keep focus away from the BSAA and the others while…”

“I’ll do it.” Sherry interrupted as Ingrid paused. “Not going to feel great about it but if I can stop this before we have another Tall Oaks, I don’t care.”

“We will get you out of the country as soon as it is done and begin working on a public case that will allow you to return home. Until then the Organization will keep you sheltered. You will be an equal amongst us though, not our prisoner or our charge. Is this still something you’re willing to do?” Gabriel clarified as Sherry nodded.

“Yes. So how do you want it done.”

 

“Have a seat, Agent Harper.” The head of Helena’s CIA performance review board gestured as Helena entered the conference room.

“Forgive me sir, but shouldn’t Agent Hunnigan be present for my annual eval?” Helena asked cautiously as she scanned the room, trying to hold her sudden fear in as she recognized one of the men sitting around the table: General Briggs.

“A field agent’s handler is usually present. Although Agent Hunnigan was your handler at one point, she is no longer with the agency. Agent Jerohm was reassigned as your handler during your investigation into the potential weapons smuggling operation between the Romanian and Moldovan borders. Since then you have been checking in sporadically and ignoring calls to return for debriefing before selecting random leads to follow yourself.” The CIA deputy director for special operations spoke up as Helena tried not to stare at Briggs. “I’m going to make this short Harper because frankly I find this all to be a waste of my time. The only reason we haven’t offloaded you to DSO is because the good general here insisted. Said you had a past record of patriotic service and despite your pattern of headstrong and reckless behavior; you get quick and efficient results, when you get results at all. We are concerned with the outgoing administration’s recent move to put DSO’s command authority directly under congress’ joint committee of intelligence; the CIA will be expected to keep up the rapid response to global threats since having DSO removed from direct executive control will undoubtedly slow it down. Despite this patronage Harper I’m giving you “Not Progressing” note in all categories of this evaluation, I don’t care for protest.” The director continued to scold as Helena opened her mouth to respond.

“You failed across the board here; to maintain communication in the field, to produce actionable intelligence and your actions here and in the past have failed to uphold the agency’s values. I’m honestly shocked you haven’t got someone killed yet. You are on thin ice Harper, no more fuck ups. You owe you career to Briggs’ endorsement right now. Dismissed.” The director finished, sliding a copy of Helena’s performance review over to her as she sat for a moment in shock. She silently stood and made her way out of the room, avoiding the gaze from any of the people seated in the room. Helena came back to her senses as she tried to open the door to her car in the parking deck, reaching into her keys, unlocking the vehicle before stepping inside.

“What the fuck just happened…” Helena muttered to herself as she glanced at her phone. “No, don’t call anyone, they’re probably already listening to you. You need to find a way to reach out without being followed… fuck!” Helena swore as she punched the dash of her car, turning it on and pulling out of the parking deck. She pulled out onto the beltway and began heading home, passing her exit as she took a deep breath.

“They might be waiting for you, hell they’ve probably been watching you already. Briggs knows you, knows enough that he’s already isolating you from everyone else. You’re the weak link, they know it, they’re coming for you.” Helena thought as she shook her head, flashes of Simmons, the lab at Tall Oaks coming through her memory as a loud horn brought her back to the present. She jerked back into her lane, narrowly avoiding sideswiping the car next to her. Tears broke from her eyes as her chest felt tight, her heart racing. She pulled off the highway and pulled off in the nearest parking lot; some old warehouse with no one around.

Helena practically fell from the driver’s seat, stumbling to the ground as she tried to control her breathing. She tensed, then vomited on the pavement, spitting as tears ran down her cheek.

“Come on pull it together.” Helena murmured, stumbling back to her car as she drew sharp breath. She sat back down and closed the door, her breathing still heavy, heart rate out control. Something in her broke, pushed over by the fear and the dread flooding her mind. She covered her eyes and screamed, putting her head down on the steering wheel as her voice cracked into wailing sobs.

Helena jumped as she heard her phone buzz, her eyes sore, throat sore as she grabbed the device and held it to her ear.

“Hello?” Helena croaked, sounding more distraught then she had hoped.

“Helena, it’s Jill. We got the name of the head and his base of operations; we’re planning the strike now. I’m texting you the address Veronica is going to pick you up from. Don’t worry about the CIA or your handler or anything like that. We’ll sort out a solid enough story for you before sending you back. We’re finally bringing them down.” Jill’s voice came over the phone as Helena took a deep breath, feeling some of the anxiety alleviate.

“Thank you… I mean this is good, thank you for keeping me informed so quickly. I’ll see you all shortly.” Helena gasped, hanging up as the text for the address came through.

 

“Go!” Chris yelled as he leapt from the rear of the Osprey onto the roof of the Malacañan Palace; Leon and Nadia following quickly behind as the bird flew off. Nadia place a breach charge near the edge of the roof as they all stood back, the explosive blowing a large hole leading into one of the offices as the three jumped down into the building. Chris kicked the door open into the hall as they sprinted towards the president’s offices.

“Heads up Dagger Actual, something’s moving int the river. No ID yet but I have a feeling the connections have a BOW they’re trying to send your way.” The pilot called out as Chris glanced at Leon.

“Would be too easy without that right?” He laughed as they rounded the corner into the presidential offices, making their way through the reception area back to a large conference room overlooking the Pasig River. There where about ten armed men standing around the table with Duterte at the head and a woman wearing a black suit jacket and pencil skirt standing behind him.

“President Duterte, Chris Redfield… Umbrella Crisis Response. We’re here to extract you from the capitol.” Chris paused, identifying himself as Umbrella still feeling strange. Duterte stood and scowled as Chris, Nadia and Leon stepped into the room.

“Introduced as Umbrella mercenaries but I see two BSAA Americans and another US Agent. Doesn’t surprise me since we have footage of you extracting your weapon from our capitol building. I think I’ll start using the emergency powers that the congress gave me before their untimely deaths. Ms. Zlatica, please arrest these people and remove them from my country. They are yours to do what you will after that.” Duterte smirked as Chris felt a burning hatred raise in him, beyond the trap, the double cross. Not only had they used Piers as a weapon, they where insistent on using him to try and blame him and the BSAA. Before he knew what he had done, Chris was watching the shotgun shell eject from his weapon, the slug piercing Duterte’s chest. Leon rolled to the ground and began to fire on the security as Nadia ran forward, leaping on top of the table, sliding down the length of it as she took aim at Zlatica. Chris turned and engaged the security to his right as the room erupted in gunfire.

The back windows shattered as Zlatica fled out onto the terrace, Nadia turning and firing at the security left standing in the conference room. A round from her rifle tore through the skull of one soldier before tumbling into the next, both slumping the ground as Leon swept the legs of the last; firing one round into their head. Chris took a deep breath as he reloaded, Leon looking at him, brushing a splatter of blood from his face.

“Could have gone better, can’t say I have a good record with protecting presidents either though.” Leon mused darkly as Nadia ran back over the table to them.

“You guys recognized that name, right?” She asked as she stood on the edge of the table as Leon and Chris nodded.

“Connections senior operative, probably the one in charge of this whole shit show.” Leon answered as the trio made for the terrace.

“Working with Duterte no less, why?” Chris added as they ran after Zlatica.

“Lansdale wasn’t the first one with idea to stage attacks to consolidate power, he won’t be the last.” Leon shrugged as they came across a shattered window and ran into a large office space. They clicked on the lights attached to their weapons as the scanned the room.

“Let’s see if we can grab her alive, figure out where the fuck they keep crawling back to.” Chris mentioned as they swept the room with the muzzles of their weapons.

“Nice to meet you, Agent Redfield, Kennedy.” Eliisabet’s voice called out from the far end of the room. The three trained their weapons on her as she spoke, holding her hands up as they approached.

“I was curious if they would wind up sending you to this particular incident, or if you where simply going to insert yourself. Makes little difference either way, with Duterte dead, our plans are in a position to advance. I’ll be taking my leave, give Nivans my best.” Eliisabet spoke as a massive object tore through the building in front of them, Chris and Leon thrown backwards as Nadia tried to get her weapon trained back on Eliisabet. A red line appeared in the side of the mass, the opening of a large mouth with rows of misshapen fangs. It withdrew as Zlatica was no longer present, the trio running to massive hole torn in the building, the figure of a massive serpent slipping back into the river.

“Jesus fucking Christ… ever see something like that?” Nadia muttered as she took aim at Zlatica, clinging to the head of the beast as it began to swim upriver.

“Yeah, Lanshiang; only it was much smaller. Don’t waste the ammunition, call in the bird and give us coverage with the guns.” Chris instructed as he turned to Leon. “You and I are going after her.”

“Ugh, fine, we’re going to need wheels, what do you think about borrowing the president’s motorcade?” Leon tossed back as the Osprey began to hover low enough for Nadia to board.

“Good luck you two, I’ll see if I can pull some fixed wing.” Nadia shouted over the rotors as Chris and Leon took off towards the motor pool. Chris pegged a black, armored LX for them as the peeled out of the presidential compound, following the river. The Osprey followed slowly at a safe altitude, door gun spitting rounds at the serpent as Chris and Leon overtook it, turning onto the Mabini bridge as the creature continued to swim east.

“So, what’s the plan here exactly?” Leon asked as Chris accelerated across the bridge.

“Kill that damn thing and apprehend Zlatica.” Chris returned, glancing over to the side as the serpent approached.

“Ok, not a bad plan could just be served with some fucking details!” Leon shouted as the serpent reared over the bridge, opening its maw. A flurry of gunfire from the Osprey struck in as the beast groaned, falling on the bridge as it attempted to move off. Chris hit the brakes of the SUV hard, turning as the serpent’s tail struck the vehicle, shearing off the door and tossing Leon to the roadway. Chris failed to get a handle on it as the vehicle was tossed from the bridge into the river. Chris groaned as the car hit the water, rapidly filling as he dove out from the damage door. He saw the serpent’s tail sweep past him in the water and drew his combat knife, shoving it deep between the beast’s scales. He got little reaction from the massive bioweapon as he began to make his way slowly up its body, keeping a firm grip on his blade as he repeatedly planted it in the monster.

Chris took a moment to glance at the bridge, chunks of concrete breaking away and falling into the water as the Osprey touched down, the faint figures of Nadia helping Leon aboard giving Chris a moment of relief. He made it onto the back of the beast as it cut back and forth through the water. There was a loud crack as a round ricocheted off the monster’s hard scales near Chris. He looked up, drawing his handgun and taking aim as Zlatica fired again; crouched on the beast’s head. The round zipped over him as a rattle of gunfire from the Osprey raked over the beast, Zlatica diving off as they reach her. Chris followed, the beast stopping, rearing up to confront the Osprey as its door gunner opened up. The water kicked up around Chris as Zlatica reached the shore and fired on him. Chris sucked in a lung full of air and dove, the odd, distorted sound of gunshots still ringing as she continued to swim to shore. He reached a stone wall and held his pistol up as he shot out of the water, firing two shots as he saw Zlatica disappear around a flight of stairs leading to street level.

“Leon! I’m on Zlatica but I need…”

“Chris, down now!” Leon interrupted as the head of the serpent came crashing into the dock, blocking Chris’ path as he dove out of the way of flying rubble. The beast hissed as it turned on him, Chris firing several shots into its maw, reloading as he turned and ran, following the stairs in the opposite direction. The bioweapon pursued him, smashing through promenade shops and houses as Chris sprinted towards street level. He almost collided with Zlatica as he rounded a corner, trying to take her down as she turned her gun on him, firing and striking him in the shoulder. Chris groaned as he fell, firing wildly at Zlatica as the beast lowered its head, hissing at Chris as it waited for Zlatica to board. A large smoke cloud erupted from the beast’s head as the shock wave of an Umbrella missile knocked Chris back to the ground. An Umbrella fighter roared overhead as Chris cheered, the serpent’s head split as the smoke settled. Chris ran over to the smoldering corpse as he saw Zlatica picking herself back up after being thrown by the explosion. She began to run as the Osprey flew in low, Nadia leaping from the aircraft in front of Zlatica and striking her hard with the butt of her rifle. Zlatica fell to the ground as Chris ran up to them, Nadia rolling a dazed Zlatica onto her stomach and binding her hands with zip ties.

“Well done Captain, I know you could say you had killed an Iluzija before but now you can say you rode one.” Nadia laughed as she forced Zlatica to her feet and the three of the boarding the Osprey. Leon patted Chris on the shoulder as the bird lifted off.

“Not bad, got word while you where playing crocodile hunter that the BSAA and Blue Umbrella are preparing a joint raid on Irkutsk. Veronica must have got her hands on good enough intel to start going a little more public with the Oligarchs. We’ll get back to the Indemnance, get you patched up and…” Leon was interrupted by a sudden gunshot, Nadia falling to the ground as Zlatica took aim at Chris with a small hold-out pistol. Leon swiftly unsheathed his blade and hurled it at her, the knife burying itself in her neck. Zlatica dropped the gun as her hands instinctively grasped at the knife, blood running thick from the wound, down her neck. Leon ran over to her as Chris knelt next to Nadia; Leon scowled down at Zlatica as she began to choke on blood. He yanked the knife from her throat and kicked her out of the Osprey, spitting after her as she fell.

“We’re on our way back to the ship Nadia, hold on, you’ll be ok. Whole team of surgeons on board to…” Chris stammered, Nadia breaking into laughter as she went pale from shock.

“Relax, Captain. Not the first time I’ve been shot in the back. LA SWAT before this, remember? I’ll be fine, just sore for a bit. I can tell its low, just make sure to keep it clean as you dress it. Don’t want whatever muck was in that water to get in it.” Nadia offered as she tried to lighten things as Leon knelt next to Chris, helping him dress Nadia’s wound.

“She’s not wrong, only issue is it wasn’t the through and through.” Leon offered as Nadia coughed.

“Yeah, feels like it went through the vest, slipped my plate though. With any luck it started to flatten before it hit skin, will make a hell of a scar but all my insides should be happy.” Nadia groaned as they cleaned the wound, applying pressure over it. “Promise me you won’t let Cara know about this one.”

“Shut up Nadia, she’s your wife, of course I’m going to tell her how you’re doing.” Chris dismissed as Nadia groaned.

“Fuck Redfield! I told her I wouldn’t get shot on this one, means I’m going to have to wind up doing all the household chores for a month after I recover.” Nadia pouted as Chris laughed.

“Seems fair since Cara is going to be doing all of them until you recover. This is what, you fifth injury under my command? Why hasn’t she started blaming me yet?” Chris tossed back as Nadia grinned at him.

“Don’t give me ideas, she likes you because she thinks you’re a teddy bear mixed with a guard dog and feels safe with me deploying with you.” Nadia groaned as Leon and Chris helped her lay down on the seats up along the bulkhead of the aircraft.

“Take it easy ok, we’re almost over the water.” Chris soothed as Nadia closed her eyes, exhaled deeply and nodded.

“Good job by the way, being quick on the draw with Zlatica.” Chris said softly to Leon as he suddenly remembered the gunshot wound in his shoulder, wincing as he touched the red stained part of his uniform.

“Made me feel fucking filthy.” Leon scoffed. “I think she wanted to be killed one way or another.”

“Well she can’t hurt anyone else here. Let’s take that solace and move on, we have a much bigger job ahead of us.”