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Chapter 3 : Held at Gun Point
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“I think we’re being watched,” Rebecca Chambers murmured as she peeked through the curtains. She was watching three teenagers standing in the stingy wind on the street corner. One of them was very handsome, which had caught Rebecca’s eye in the first place, but he was staring right at the window she was at. She had to look away to compose herself because she felt as if the guy was staring into her eyes, looking into her soul… ridiculous, she thought.
“Goddammit,” Barry Burton voice rumbled as he stood to his full height of six feet, one inch but his broad chest, shoulders and back made him seem much larger than he really is. Though he was thirty-eight and all that has happened with Umbrella aged him immensely, he is one of the fittest men in their crew, “can’t they give us a break?” He asked no one in particular.
Rule had immediately moved to Rebecca’s side and peeked out along with her. In the background, the sound of Barry cocking his .357 Magnum Colt Python, his favorite weapon, echoed through the flat.
Before the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon City, there had been incidents of a cult killing and eating their victims. The S.T.A.R.S. Bravo unit was sent into the Arklay Mountains, where it was believed the cult was hiding, to investigate.
The Alpha team monitored the Bravos’s progress from the police station when they suddenly lost contact. Before the line was clouded with static, gunshots and shouting could be heard but one thing was heard clearly, the cries of heartfelt agony blared through the radio speakers. The Alpha team, which consisted of Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton, Joseph Frost and Brad Vickers, then followed the Bravos to find out what went wrong but what they came to find was beyond what they imagined.
They had flown in by helicopter and once the team was on ground, they fanned out through the meadow but something went terribly wrong. Joseph, the vehicle specialist, was attacked by a wild dog… then another… then another… then another! The fire weapons the team carried couldn’t even kill the dogs. They were unstoppable machines, taking in the bullets like pills until Chris killed one.
“Shoot them in the head!” He cried out. It worked but it took time trying to aim in the dark so they ran for their helicopter but their pilot, Brad, abandoned them. He’s always been called Brad ‘chicken heart’ Vickers by his fellow teammates but not until that moment did the rest of the Alphas realized how truly cowardly he was. That he would sacrifice their lives to save his own says a lot about his character.
They all, then, ran for safety in the old and abandoned Spencer estate. Lord Ozwell E. Spencer hired George Trevor, an architect, to design the layout of the Spencer mansion. It was rumored that the mansion itself hid so many secret corridors and doors that Spencer had Trevor and his family killed because they were the only ones who knew the mansion’s secrets. But, unfortunately, the mansion wasn’t as safe as the Alphas believed. It was populated with zombies and other unbelievable monsters and there Chris found Rebecca in a supply room.
Barry was the weapons expert in the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha unit. During that night in the mansion, Barry was being blackmailed by the Alpha captain, Wesker. Wesker had been sent in to destroy any Umbrella research and information that might hurt the company and threatened the lives of Barry’s family so that Barry would help him. Since then, Barry had left his family to help bring down Umbrella.
“They look strange, almost like they don’t belong,” Rebecca noticed.
Upon meeting her, Rule had noticed almost immediately how young –- and little -- she is but despite her nineteen years (and her stature of five feet, three inches and ninety-three pounds), she had more experience than he does when it comes to gunning down Umbrella and more brains than half the world put together. Because she graduated from college at eighteen, it made her a good choice to be the S.T.A.R.S Bravo unit’s field medic. Rule had also decided not to underestimate her because she was the sole surviving Bravo of the Spencer mansion incident and she has also survived two more incidents since then.
Barry only shrugged his massive shoulders at Rebecca’s observations. “Rookies,” he said simply, “they always stick out like a sore thumb, no matter who they work for,” Rule shook his head.
“No, that’s not it,” he looked down at Rebecca who had to bend her head far back to look up at him, “what’s it like out there? Twenty, thirty degrees below freezing?”
“Yeah,” she confirmed.
“So it’s freezing out there and those three are standing on the street, all toasty-looking,” Rebecca looked back at the trio just outside their window and nodded.
“That’s right. They should be shivering and trying to keep warm,”
“You reckon they’re Umbrella’s new experiments?” Barry asked. He was already pulling out his second weapon, a Custom Revolver with a huge underlug in .44 Magnum.
“I don’t think so,” Rebecca answered, “it’s too soon for Umbrella to come up with the modified virus that doesn’t deteriorate the flesh,”
“God help us if they did,” Barry swore, “we won’t know who is infected or not,”
“If it hadn’t been for Caliban Cove in Maine, we would most likely be in that kind of hell right now,” Rebecca reminded Barry solemnly. Though Rule didn’t know the whole details, he did learn that Rebecca and four other ex-S.T.A.R.S. members from Maine had set out to infiltrate an Umbrella facility on a remote island called Caliban Cove. They had arrived with a total of five people, only three survived (one of them critically hurt).
The scientist there was mad and was looking for a way to infect the whole world with his newly developed version of the T-virus.
The modified T-virus didn’t turn those infected into recognizable zombies. No, those infected still looked human though a bit blank in the face, and the scientist could control them. They could even speak normally; a deceptive tool that almost got Rebecca killed. Not only that, they could carry and use weapons.
Fortunately, Rebecca, David Trapp (the man who put together the mission) and John Andrews blew that research lab to hell and Umbrella couldn’t get their hands on that virus.
Rule looked back at the trio before turning to the other two.
“I have a plan,”
“What are we waiting for?” Ron asked as he transferred most of his weight from one foot to the other. The trio is standing on the street corner just outside the safe house Professor McGonagall sent them to. When they arrived, it was so cold that it was difficult to even think straight and so, with the help of Hermione’s expertise, they used a spell to keep them warm.
“This is a stakeout,” Harry explained. Knowing Ron wouldn’t understand the muggle term, he continued his explanation. “We’re waiting out here until we see someone come out of there,” Harry said, staring up into the window all the while he spoke.
“What are you squinting at?” Hermione asked Harry and Harry realized he was squinting.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged, “I could have sworn I saw someone peeked through the curtains,”
“You probably imagined it,” Hermione assured him and Harry nodded his agreement. You can never really trust someone’s vision if that person’s wears glasses.
“Anyway,” Hermione started to say, “When I left McGonagall’s office, I did a bit of reading on Raccoon City” she finished casually. Harry grinned. Knowing Hermione, no matter how casually she said it, she was really bursting with information to tell.
“I don’t understand it” Ron said, crossing his arms over his chest as he stared down at her incredulously. “It’s like you have an encyclopedia in your head,”
Hermione only returned Ron’s stare with hostility before continuing with what she was about to reveal. “McGonagall told us that Dumbledore’s grandniece was last seen in Raccoon City, right?” She paused, waiting for nods of consent. “Well, just around the time she disappeared, a nuclear bomb destroyed the city,”
Harry’s eyebrows shot up in surprise and his green eyes widened fractionally. Ron, on the other hand, was confused.
“What in the world is a wha-cha-meh-call-it?” There was a small moment before Hermione started to explain what exactly is a nuclear bomb is. She knew that if she used too many muggle terms, all she’d accomplish is to confuse Ron even more.
“It’s this object,” Hermione started. Harry watched her expression with amusement. Resorting to simple words is not Hermione’s specialty.
“It’s programmed,” At Ron’s even more confused look, she quickly replaced the muggle word with told.
“It’s told to go somewhere so it flies to its destination at a fast speed and once it reaches where it was told to go, it explodes, turning anything in its path into dust,” Harry noticed a small vein throb near her temple as she strained to think up an uncomplicated definition.
“Why was the nuke sent?” Harry asked Hermione, turning back to the matter at hand, but she shrugged.
“It didn’t say much but from what I gathered, there’s been an accident at a nuclear plant nearby,”
“So…,” Ron started, hazarding a guess, “this Portia is dead?” Hermione opened her mouth but Harry answered for her.
“Most likely,” Skepticism then shaped Ron’s features.
“Then why are we still here? Let’s go!”
“No,” Harry said in a commanding tone. It stopped Ron dead in his tracks. “The fact that there’s been an ‘accident’ is too coincidental for me,”
“That’s what I thought,” Hermione agreed.
“But our mission is to find Portia and how can we when the place she was last seen at is in ruins?” Ron sputtered. “What does accidents and coincidences have anything to do with it?”
“Ron!” Hermione scolded, “Wouldn’t you want to make sure your niece is still alive?”
“You know I don’t have a niece, my only,” Ron said, calling Hermione by his pet nickname for her.
“You know what I mean, Ron!” She admonished him. When he reached for her, Hermione slapped his hand away, “and don’t my only me when we’re on a mission,” Ron groaned mournfully.
“Back to what I was saying, there’s also been talk of a conspiracy but those who spoke of it were branded crazy,”
“Why?” Ron asked.
“I’ll just read from what I printed,” Hermione declared. Ron didn’t understand what she meant by printed but he stayed quiet.
Raccoon City, July 24th, 1998
A spokesperson at the Raccoon City Police Department reported that an investigation helicopter of the special task force, S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team, is missing.
According to the announcement from the Raccoon City Police Department, the team was sent in to investigate the Arklay Mountain and Raccoon Forest area, where a number of people have been reported missing. Contact with the team has been lost since the last communication before dawn.
The Raccoon City Police Department suspects the team has been involved in some trouble. Now it will send the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team to investigate and collect information from witnesses.
Recently there have been a number of bizarre murders reported near Raccoon City. This incident is likely to make Raccoon City residents feel even more uneasy.
The special task force S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) was founded in 1996 under control of the Raccoon City Police Department to counteract increasing city terrorism and other crimes.
- From Raccoon Press
Evening Issue, July 24, 1998
“What’s happened with this Alpha team?” Harry asked.
“They came back with one surviving Bravo member and two of the Alpha members dead,”
“What happened?” Ron asked inquiringly. “How did they die? How did the survivors lived?”
“The survivors claimed it was this company’s fault. That this corporation was doing illegal experiments on humans and it made those infected into monsters,”
“They do sound as mad as a hatter,” Ron assented. Harry chuckled but then frowned. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and immediately he knew that they had company.
“Well, boy, I don’t really take a liking to being called crazy,” a voice growled from behind Harry. A cold piece of metal was pressed against his bare neck, sending goose bumps throughout his body. He didn’t need to glance over at his best friends to know the same cold metal was pressed against their necks too.
“Oye! Stop pocking me with that, why don’t you?” Ron cried out indignantly. Harry sent a look at Hermione and silently willed her to tell him to shut up.
“Ron!” Hermione called softly. Once she got his attention, she continued, “Remember what I told you about muggle guns?” Ron nodded but by the look on Hermione’s face, he knew she wanted him to say it.
“Yes, I remember. Muggle guns are used to kill in the muggle world,” He said with verbatim.
“Well, Ron,” a female voice mocked from behind Hermione, “there’s a gun aimed at your head and the person holding that gun won’t hesitate to kill you,” Ron let out a yelp of surprise and immediately pressed his mouth shut.
“Now, let’s do this nice and easy and no one will get hurt,” a third voice said. An instant later, the trio was being pulled across the street and into an alleyway behind a building. They were then faced against the wall, the guns still pressed into their necks.
“Did Umbrella sent you?” the female voice demanded. The three were too frightened to speak for a while but Harry realized they shouldn’t get on these people’s nerves.
“Er – we don’t know an Umbrella,” Harry ventured but the gun behind his neck was pressed harder. Harry then slowly reached for his wand that was hidden inside his coat and wrapped his hand firmly around it, waiting until it was absolutely necessary to use it. After all, he can’t perform magic in front of muggles without their mission being jeopardized.
“Then why were you standing on the street corner, watching us?”
“We were sent here to find Portia Dumbledore!” Hermione burst. She was close to tears, no doubt watching her life flash before her eyes. Ron reached over to hold her hand.
“Portia? Portia Dumbledore?” the third, no the first... wait, maybe the second -- oh, who cares? Harry thought to himself -- voice repeated. Ron nodded eagerly.
“She happens to be the grandniece of someone very important and we were told someone around here knows where she’s at,” Ron explained.
The gun pressed against Harry’s neck pulled away and the voice commanded for the other two to do the same.
“Are you sure, Rule?” the female voice asked. He must have nodded because then the guns pressed into Ron’s and Hermione’s heads also pulled away. Audible sighs of relief could be heard.
“So you’re looking for Portia Dumbledore?” Hermione nodded, “well, it’s too bad you won’t find her.”
“Why not?” Harry asked after a long moment of silence.
“She’s dead, that’s why.”
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