Resident Evil: Partnership
"It's nothing personal," she said to it calmly, "you could just consider it evolution in action." The gun she carried coughed once and blood splattered the pavement as the corpse finally slumped, a decomposing hand dropping away from her leg.
"Ripping off Larry Niven lines now, Candace?" the brown haired woman commented, pushing her glasses up. Her own gun still trailed a bit of smoke from zombie killing, the rotting bodies scattered around them in the wrecked amusement park.
Candace chuckled softly, her red hair flowing down her back, "I really need to find a partner who isn't as well read as I am, Lisa."
Without saying anything more they moved away from the entrance, past a still burning hot-dog cart and over the scattered prizes from some carnie's game. The air was filled with a odd mix of scents, everything from the dead bodies laying around to spoiled cotton candy, the mix nearly enough to turn one's stomach.
Lisa stepped over a child's body, deliberately not looking at what was left of the cute little girl, her pink dress blood stained and soiled. "I thought they had the outbreak contained," she commented, sweeping the area warily with her eyes.
"That's what the scientists said," Candace replied, the tone of her voice indicating how much faith she put in their opinion. She ducked beneath the decorations as they walked by the funhouse, thinking how odd the situation was. The sun was shining, flowers were in bloom around them and the dead were walking.
Technically they weren't dead, but the difference was a minor one. Nearly fifteen years ago the T-virus had been developed by the Umbrella corporation in the hopes of creating a valuable bioweapon, but things went hideously wrong. Mutating bodies and destroying higher brain functions in days or even a few hours the T-virus made humans into rotting killing machines, almost unstoppable except for head shots and filled with an unholy hunger for human flesh.
Umbrella, operating with a complete lack of ethics, had allowed the virus to be released, testing it originally in the city of Raccoon and later in locations around the world. Umbrella used it's resources to evade responsibility, bribing investigators and discrediting opponents but eventually, with the aide of a mole in the company, Umbrella was brought down.
Sadly, it was too late.
Sometime during the various releases the virus changed, mutating so that it could incubate harmlessly in some hosts while manifesting violently in others. Carriers unknowingly brought it to various parts of the globe, the virus spreading horror like wildfire across the world as scientists worked frantically to find a cure. And the military went into full mobilization to kill zombies and contain the carriers, hoping against hope to stop the spread.
'Which brings me back to us,' Lisa thought grimly. Her simple black t-shirt and jeans were chosen for easy movement, criss-crossed by a gunbelt, ammo pouches in her vest. She had been killing zombies for nearly a year now, Candace for even longer, and often she wondered when her luck was finally going to run out.
There was a familiar sound off in the distance, a broken moan, and both women tensed as the funhouse burned away behind them. Fire worked to kill the undead, and exploring the structure was too damn dangerous, so Candace just triggered a thermite grenade and tossed it inside.
"I'll take point," Candace said firmly, pistol ready as they moved forward on the midway, the still rides eerily silent all around them.
Lisa followed her lead almost instinctively, the two walking along the silent row. The moaning grew louder, the only sound that the damaged brains and vocal chords of the zombies could manage to produce. She stopped beside Candace as she knelt by the corner of 'Hell's Gate' and peered around at the open area in front of them before cursing softly.
"Penguins," Candace said in disgust.
In the open area zombies lurched about hungrily, while perched on the stage a group of three nuns and their guards attempted to hold them off. The guards had clearly run out of ammo a while ago, falling back on using their rifles like steel clubs to try to keep the zombies away, the two men injured in some way or another.
"I thought the army was stopping any attempted rescue flights into the hot-zone?" Lisa growled out.
"Theoretically," Candace sighed. She studied the group even as she pulled her second gun, "At least now we know why we spotted movement."
Lisa held a gun in each hand, too, "I guess we have to save them."
"Try to, anyway," Candace agreed, "as much as I hate to waste the ammo." She took a deep breath and stepped around the corner to run at the zombies, guns firing rapidly. There were twenty or so zombies, and in seconds she dropped eight with perfect head shots, diseased brain matter exploding from weakened skulls.
'How does she do it?' Lisa wondered as she scrambled to catch up, her own shots splatting into zombies. Most of the time she got the heads but not always, the lurching movements slowing her down, throwing her aim off. Still, they were able to mow them down in short order, the turned to face the survivors.
"Oh thank God, I..." one nun started before Candace raised her gun.
"Shut up," Candace said coldly, "did any of you idiots take the T-Virus tests?"
The older woman in the group met her eyes, still wearing the traditional headdress of a nun, though otherwise she was in street clothes. "No," she shook her head, blonde hair shining when it touched her shoulders, "we thought..."
"Shit!" Lisa cursed loudly, feeling suddenly sick to her stomach as the realization hit her.
"Miss," the brown haired nun protested.
The older woman put a hand on the girl's shoulder, hushing her. She looked at Lisa and Candace shrewdly, "You're carriers, aren't you?"
"Yes," Candace said, her face like stone.
One of the nuns instinctively scooted away from them and Lisa smiled grimly. In a act of supposed mercy the carriers of the T-virus had been allowed to live in the hotzone , rather than being killed out of hand. In reality it was merely passing the buck, letting the zombies and mutants here kill them rather than the army.
"We'll need to test you all," Lisa said to the five of them softly, "we've got the gear back at the van, we'll take you there."
"Thank you," the older nun said, "I'm..."
"Don't," Candace said to them curtly, "if you're going to turn, I don't want to know your names before I have to shoot you."
That comment pretty much killed any conversation as they weaved their way through the wrecked park and out to the front gate. The van was a bit battered but it had held up pretty well, even with the dented sides and broken blinkers. Heaving the side door open Candace grabbed the medical kit and the testing gear, opening the cases and setting up with long practice.
"What's going to happen?" the youngest nun asked, looking at her with wide eyes, her reddish hair falling into her face.
As Candace removed sterile pads and vials of fluid, her face intent on her work, Lisa explained, "In carriers the T-virus in inert, if you're going to turn it multiplies rapidly as well as releasing a toxin into your blood stream. The toxin is what we test for."
"Who's first?" Candace asked, keeping a wary eye on the two guards. Both had been hurt already, little cuts and scrapes exposing their systems to the virus, of the group they were most likely to be infected first.
One by one they took their turns, Candace taking a swab of blood, putting it on a sterile pad then a drop of the testing fluid on it. "How long does it take?" the one guard asked, his short black hair falling into blue eyes.
"Not long," Lisa answered, eyes fixed on the samples. Three stayed a cool green, but two reacted with the chemical to turn a violent red.
"Fuck," The older guard cursed softly, looking at the test in dull shock. He lunged for his rifle unthinkingly, but Candace was ready for it.
With a deadly calm Candace fired her pistol, punching a bullet through his head. The nuns screamed in horror as he dropped, splattered with gore and bits of his skull. "Shut up," she barked out, "he was dead anyway, it was just a choice of the T-virus or me."
Meanwhile Lisa was holding her own gun on the youngest nun, the other positive. "Please," the redhead asked softly, "isn't there any other way...?"
Lisa made her voice as gentle as possible, meeting her eyes. "Even if we let you go," she explained, "it only delays things. You'll change eventually, lose your mind then attack someone."
"I know," she said softly, voice broken. She pulled her nun's wimple off, casting it to the ground as she shook her head, letting her hair flow free. Meeting Lisa's eyes she asked, "Then can I borrow your gun?"
"Wha..." Lisa blinked.
Candace nodded, having see this sort of thing before. She handed the weapon over butt first even as she said, "I'm sorry."
"Me, too," she answered. With that she walked around the other side of the van, out of their lie of sight. There was the sound of a muffled shot then a soft thud.
"She shot herself," the other guard realized, "fuckin' shit!"
"Are we in hell?" the older blonde murmured, seemingly unaware of the tears that were trickling down her face.
"Maybe," Candace said firmly, "but it's a hell we could get out of." Having got their attention she continued, "Scientists all around the world are working on a cure for the virus, and they have to succeed eventually. Until then we just have to concentrate on surviving."
"And then what?" the brown haired girl asked dully.
"Well personally I intend to track down anybody left associated with making the virus and shoot him personally," Candace said.
"Ditto," Lisa growled, glasses gleaming.
"Revenge isn't very godly," the blonde nun pointed out. She puffed out a weary breath, "I'm Chris, by the way."
"Maybe," the surviving guard pointed out with a grim smile, "but I can get along side that easy." He nodded, "Jon."
"Amber," the last nun murmured.
'That's almost exactly the same speech Candace gave me a year ago when she found me,' Lisa thought as they all climbed into the van to go back to what could laughingly be called their base, 'how often has she had to do this, I wonder? How long has she been surviving here?'
As the van bumped down the road, leaving two bodies and idealistic dreams behind them Lisa decided it didn't matter. All that did was that they were going to survive, and hopefully have the chance to make the ones who put them here pay.
Notes: this is loosely based around SD Perry's novelizations for Resident Evil, though these characters are my own. I thought about writing a Rebecca and Jill Valentine romance fic but there's very little subtext between them in the novels... The medical science is loosely based on fact, such as the AIDS virus' ability to lay dormant in carriers, and so on.