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    Solus Magus
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Resident Evil: Fallen Paradise - 4. Escape

Lt. Louis Denvers strolled through the white hallway. He was stationed inside one of Umbrella's Hives that was somewhere in Northeastern America. It was quite far from the chaos that went on in Raccoon City. Safe and sound. He thankful that he was not sent out like the others.

The man was to live another day.

He stopped by the door in order to identify himself so that he may be able to deliver to the one heading the operation. With a quick swoosh, the white doors slipped open. The room was dark except for the big screens that gave a greenish glow to the dim room.

"Permission to speak, sir." He started.

There was a huge chair that had its back on him. The man behind it was in a middle of a videocall meeting with the other heads of the Hives. They have been discussing the necessary repercussions to control the outbreak that happened in the doomed city according to their initial plan.

With a tap on the virtual keyboard, it shut off. The man turned around and faced the former US Marine that was recently hired by Umbrella to be part of the UBCS. All of their mercenaries were trained to be silent about anything confidential. Any breach of such information automatically equates to eviction from the program.

Permanently.

"Bring me some news." The man in white robes commanded. His icy voice pierced through his eardrums like gave a weird tingle all over. "I assumed this is about the progress in Raccoon City?"

“The N-2 missile is ready.” Lt. Denvers announced. "All controls have now been given to you, Dr. Isaacs. The launch in within yours to command."

"Good." The scientist smiled. He spun around and opened his console again. Then he pulled the command and playfully caress the button that would start the launch sequence for the missile. "You are dismissed."

Lt. Denvers pressed the button the close the door and left silently.

Dr. Isaacs slouched back in his chair. He was well aware that he was but a clone of the original Dr. Alexander Isaacs, the co-founder of the Umbrella Corporation. The plan to cleanse the world has begun. His real body were already in stasis together with the Umbrella High Command somewhere else that was safe.

His console rang and another conference started with one of Umbrella's European branch.

"What's the progress of the S-Type Toxin?" Dr. Isaacs asked the man. His accent tried to sound British but failed. The video conference was initiated by Dr. Julius Stanford. He was young aspiring virologist like Isaacs who found a possible way to start a human-based Bio-Organic Weapon.

Their Tyrant Project was a huge success but its limited intellectual abilities were still a huge trade-off for its durability and strength.

"The S-Type Toxin has successfully bonded with the T-Virus. As far as it goes, the new strand of Tyrant Virus was giving psychotropic effects to some of the test subjects but still failing to bond with the host. I have reserved a number of fresh test subjects in our Hive at Nevada and I'm in a flight on the way there." He gleefully announced. Dr. Stanford was a very smart man and his hypotheses were always successful and spot-on for his experiments. "It would be best if I could have a few test subjects that are in the age range of 12 to 14 years old. Based on an early research with the Tyrant Project, the Beta-Hetero Nonserotonin, only secreted by the pineal gland at that age, is a viable catalyst to strengthen the bond between the T-Virus, S-Type Toxin and the host."

"We have a limited number of test subjects in that age range, Dr. Stanford." The founder replied. But the other scientist had already sent impressive amounts of data from his experiments in their Germany Hive. Isaac's eyebrows raised. Surprised at the success rate. "That age group is an asset because of the special neurotransmitter. It has always been a necessary ingredient for our Tyrants. The earlier version of our B.O.W.s already has a good price in the market. A lot of military powers all over the globe are already demanding it."

"That is true." Dr. Stanford admitted. He scratched his thin goatee with a serious but genuine face. "But with the success rate that we have, I will only be needing half. We only we need one successful subject. And then all we need is to clone it. This type of mutual bonding between the three factors was able to re-arrange the DNA of the host to produce psychotropic-like effects. B.O.W.s that are more intelligent would sell at a higher price."

"Cutting our production rate in half is too much of a sacrifice with something that has no assurance." Dr. Isaacs retorted. "It is a sacrifice that we cannot take. Our orchestrated apocalypse have already started. Wars will be fought all over the place and the price will shoot up."

Then Dr. Stanford sent another set of images that popped up on his screen. They were photos of teenagers who were encased in one huge aquarium. All of their stats and brain activities were shown. Dr. Isaac's eyes widened in disbelief and awe. His mouth started to open in order to object. But he was left speechless.

The results were phenomenal. All under the humble leadership of Julius Stanford.

"There is assurance." The British scientist smiled. "These were the first batch of the experiments. Only half died from genetic incompatibility. As of now, they are catatonic but that's why I want to make the next step of this project. Our resources may be scarce so consider that this is a gold mine for all of us. It's a good shot, Dr. Isaacs."

"You have surprised me yet again, Dr. Stanford." A warm smile appeared on his face. It was pride and nothing else. "I will put this into consideration. Then I'll be flying to meet you next week in Nevada."

"Looking forward for that, Dr. Isaacs." With that, the conference ended.

The Umbrella founder found his hand drifting to the launch pad again. Stroking it with earnest. An itching feeling was at the tip of his fingers. It was only a matter of time, a couple of hours at most, before Raccoon City is turned into dust.

A huge crater. Thousands of people dead.

-

Caleb almost pissed on himself.

The huge monstrosity looked at him as he aimed quickly at the head. But he never was able to squeeze the trigger. The staredown felt like a whole day but neither of them moved. There was no way to kill the monster.

Fight or flight. Now or never. His heart screamed inside his chest. Even his vision pulsed from the rush of adrenaline. For some reason, he knew it would be stupid to fire his gun at the thing. His knees weakened. And his hands quivered. If he shoots it, the gun with be jolted out of his hand from the recoil. His grip was that weak at that very moment.

But the monster made the first move.

Caleb stepped back and anticipated any attack. His instincts told him to guard himself from a punch or a jab. But nothing came. His huge enemy walked towards the men from the distance. The thing completely ignored him.

The boy fell onto the ground. He almost collapsed from the pressure. His breathing was in complete disarray. All that he felt was helplessness. In the face of an unfathomable danger, all his defenses collapsed. No rational thinking went inside his head. And any ability to make a reasonable move was thrown down the drain.

He pushed himself from the ground and wobbled back to a corner where he could sit back and breath. Caleb slowly peered from the distance and saw the monster walking away as if he was cute pebble on the road.

"What the fuck was that?" He whispered to himself.

After a couple of minutes, he gathered all back his willpower and stood up. He still had Skyler to worry about. And the direction of the shouting men was no longer an option. That thing already ignored him once. A second time might not be so lucky.

Caleb got back inside to see Skyler standing again with a hand on the wall, supporting him. "Come on. We still need to look for help. This place is no longer safe."

But when Skyler made the first step, Caleb felt the unmistakable chill.

He walked the same way as Cole did. Slow and staggering. Eyes void of life. Nothing left but cataracts due to the high fever that tried to fight off the virus in the system. But no antibodies would be strong enough against this disease.

None.

"No." Caleb croaked. His handgun automatically raised in defense. "It can't be."

Please. I don’t wanna be like them. The boy's voice rang in his head once again.

Then he heard own his voice, too. I won’t let you. I promise.

It was so sickening. A promise that didn't even take an hour to break.

Fuck. What a fucking friend. Killing his best friend in cold blood. Then allowing this innocent kid to die because he was too fucking stupid to think ahead. A worthless hero. His father would be ashamed of him.

Skyler shambled his way towards Caleb. And it was pure mockery of his promise. His hand shook and his cheeks flared. Nothing but anger flared within him. He steadied his aim. There was no dignity left.

Then he pulled the trigger.

I promise. I will fucking avenge all of you.

-

"According to our intel, the Nemesis Project passed by this way." The captain instructed his three-man cell. They were supposed to be more than three but some were just too careless. Bullets were fired. And most of them were wasted. "It shouldn't be too far."

[We have new orders.] Their radio chimed in. The high-pitched child-like voice was always irritating to hear. Of course, it was no real person. It was simply an AI developed by some of the programmers of Umbrella. The called it the Red Queen. [If you have the opportunity to apprehend any minors under the age of 15, please do so. The Umbrella High Command just released this assignment to all UBCS operatives in the field a few minutes ago.]

"Fuck." The one behind him groaned. Then he harshly stomped the pavement in frustration. "Did they just told us to babysit some lost teenagers?"

"Quiet." The captain objected. "We're not paid to question things. Get your ass moving."

But the man just groaned again silently at his pragmatic leader.

BANG!

The gunshot was nearby. All three of them were alerted. The captain made the signal to look for the source. People were no longer supposed to be at that part of the town. Any stray person will be at the hands of the captain should they be needed to be put down.

Their leader scanned the area. He was sure it came from the restaurant. Then he signaled his teammates that he will take lead. The other will follow through and the last member will check their six.

With the final signal, the captain and his back-up rushed inside.

Yet all they found was a teenager who turned around with a gun aimed at the ready. A dead body laid lifeless a couple of feet away from him. It also looked like another kid. An unspoken question flew by their heads. The boy's eyes were a bit sore and tears were on his face. Their suspicions were easily confirmed.

Bingo. A lost teenager.

He was wearing a black leather jacket on top of an orange shirt. A gun holster was strapped to his thigh and in his blue skinny jeans. His blue sneakers were dirtied with grime. And the way he held his gun crossing with the arm holding a flashlight, they knew the kid was trained properly.

"Are you okay, kiddo?" The captain approached. His hands were raised up to show he was not a hostile. And the boy seemed to easily take the bait. "I'm Sgt. Sandro. We're here to help you get out of here."

"I'm fine. The name is Caleb." The boy replied. His voice already had that signed of deepening. It was definitely someone in his teenage years. "You don't look like from Raccoon Police Department."

"We're not." Sgt. Sandro confirmed. His gaze was not wavering away from the young lad. "We're from Umbrella Biohazard Counter-measuring Service. The company sent us to help the city's police force evacuate civilians. We were separated from the rest and on our way to regroup."

"Can I come with you?" The boy pleaded. His lower his gun, and the rest of his defenses. "I was supposed to look help in the Police Department building. But it seems everywhere has already been overrun by those things. Please, help me.

"You didn't have to ask." The captain said. "We're here to secure your safety."

With a good swing, the butt of the rifle hit the boy in the face. The kid stumbled back on the ground. A copper-ish taste was on the back of his throat. He was dazed and confused at the sudden surprise attack of his company.

His eyes were but a blur. Sgt. Sandro approached him with a hesitant look.

"Nothing personal, kiddo." He said with a gruff voice.

And that was the last thing the boy saw.

Blackness.

Copyright © 2020 Solus Magus; All Rights Reserved.
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