Resident Evil: A Change In Pace

8: The Investigation Begins

Chapter Eight: The Investigation Begins...

Snafu's Notes: Bet you didn't see that one coming, didn't you? The idea of Jill as a super-soldier had long since interested me after Jill used Chris as her personal punching bag in Resident Evil 5. No, she will not be as freakishly strong and has powers like Project Alice from the movies or Al Wesker, but she could count as a super soldier in her own right. Agility-wise, she's as fast as her evil counterpart in Resident Evil 5. Strength-wise, she's on par with Chris. Basically, gun and fighting wise, she is a combination of both her MvC3 and her RE5 versions (or as one of my friends had jokingly put it, Jill is a graduate of the John Woo School of Gunplay).

Wednesday, August 11, 1998

Raccoon Bistro - downtown Raccoon City.

Following the Spencer Mansion fiasco, things went downhill for the surviving S.T.A.R.S.

Rather than face the Internal Affairs Bureau, Rebecca had resigned from the Raccoon Police Department and was currently laying low. Barry had taken a leave of absence and was currently preparing to move his family to her parents' place in Toronto. Brad was M.I.A., but was seen in the city.

That left Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

Despite the evidence the surviving S.T.A.R.S. had brought back from the mansion, Irons had refused to allow Chris to open an investigation in regards to Umbrella's bioweapons program. Even more worse, the evidence has all but vanished into thin air when Chris searched for it. All of the documents, the files, even the video of Kenneth's death, which would have blown the whole case open.

When Chris had confronted Irons about the missing evidence, his reply was that several federal agents had retrieved the files and had taken them. Of course, Chris knew that Chief Irons was full of shit, given the fact that he was on Umbrella's payroll. Irons had allowed several Umbrella goons to simply waltz into the R.P.D. and retrieve the documents and files taken from the Spencer Mansion.

Aside from that, Irons had the Raccoon Special Tactics and Rescue Service dissolved, pending an Internal Affairs investigation into the special unit's handling of the Spencer Mansion case. In S.T.A.R.S.'s place, Irons had established a new unit - the Select Police Force. Of course, Chris and Jill were banned from joining, Irons opting to put them on the streets as beat cops.

At the moment, Chris and Jill were having lunch. Since the Grill 13 was having some problems with their gas lines and Emmy's Diner was being fumigated, they decided to have lunch at the Raccoon Bistro, located down the street from the Raccoon Police Department. It was they day off and rather than remain cooped inside his house, Chris and Jill decided to go out for lunch instead.

"The evidence is gone, Jill," Chris said as they sat at an outdoor table. "Everything we found inside the mansion is gone. I kept it inside the evidence locker and I got cleaned out."

"Why are you surprised?" his lover retorted. "We saw the files back in the lab. Irons is on the payroll. How else can he afford those tacky pieces of art?"

It was true. One day, Chris and Jill were on their way to the motor pool when they came across Irons holding a portrait of a nude woman being hanged. His secretary was also with them, her face was one of disgust at her boss' choice of art. Irons' taxidermy was bad enough, but this was pushing it.

"Did you know that Irons made a pass at me today?" Jill continued as she sipped at a glass of water.

"What?"

Jill nodded. "He offered me a spot in the S.P.F. All I had to do was to talk with him over dinner."

Chris' eyes narrowed. "I don't care if he is the Chief of Police. I should wring his fat neck."

As the pair talked, a waitress approached their table from inside the bistro, balancing a circular tray in one hand.

"I've sent in a request to the F.B.I.," Chris said, "in regards to Chief Irons."

Jill snorted. "Good luck with that. Those take weeks, let alone months." She leaned back in her chair. "You know...Alyssa could be of use."

"The reporter from the Times?"

The former thief nodded. "I think both her and Bertolucci could be of some use for us. Before you stored the files, I made several copies. Didn't have enough time to make all of the copies, so I made copies of the records of all of the R.P.D. on Umbrella's payroll, and emailed them to Alyssa. I told her not to act on the info, because things are too hot. I would bet my lockpicks that they would try to make her disappear."

"Smart move," Chris complimented.

Jill grinned. "You've been rubbing off on me."

As the couple/partners continued to talk, they failed to see the approaching waitress. They also failed to see the waitress pulling out a loaded revolver from underneath the tray.

The false waitress casually flipped off the safety and took aim. One second later, she pulled the trigger twice. Fortunately for Chris and Jill, a passing waitress was rushing past when she fired. The waitress took the rounds in the torso, crying out as she fell. Chris and Jill looked up as the woman fired and saw that the waitress had taken the bullets that was meant for them.

As the patrons scattered, Chris immediately flipped the table up and both him and Jill hid behind it, using it as a shield, Jill cursing to herself that she left her own handgun in the car as the false waitress advanced, unloading her gun into the table, hoping that she would eventually hit the two S.T.A.R.S. survivors.

Once the assassin ran out of bullets, Chris quickly reacted. As the assassin reached for a speed loader, Chris pulled out his replacement firearm - his H&K USP pistol - and fired twice. The first shot blasted the gun out of her hand. The second caught her in the shoulder, causing her to stumble over a table and fall to the floor.

As Jill tended to the injured waitress, Chris zeroed in on the gunwoman. She was holding her shoulder, glaring at Chris, who kicked her gun to the side. In the meantime, three R.P.D. squad cars showed up, one of them containing both Rita and Branagh inside.

"You tried to kill my partner and me," Chris said as Branagh came up beside him, his Browning drawn, while Rita helped Jill with the injured waitress. "Who are you? who are you working for?"

"Who do you think, Redfield?" the assassin shot back. "You can't win against us."

She then produced a pill and swallowed it. Seconds later, she keeled over, dead.

Branagh kept his gun trained on the woman. "What the hell?"

Chris inspected the woman's body. He sniffed the woman's open mouth. "Burnt almonds...cyanide. She killed herself. Fucking poison."

"Who the hell was she?" Branagh asked.

"Someone who tried to kill both Jill and myself," Chris replied. "We were lucky."

Chris turned around to look at Jill and Rita. As it turned out, the assassin wasn't the only casualty. The waitress had bled out, despite Jill and Rita's efforts to keep her alive.

Jill reached out and closed the dead waitress' eyes, anger evident in her own.

'Those Umbrella bastards!' her mind screamed. 'They killed a waitress just so they can try and kill Chris and me!'

By this time, more cops had arrived on the scene. Chris and Jill both gave their statements and were allowed to leave. Of course, there was no way that the crooked R.P.D. officers could spin this in an attempt to frame Chris and Jill. After all, several security cameras and a load of witnesses saw the woman open fire on Chris and Jill.

In the chaos, nobody noticed the black sedan drive off.

*&^

Later on...

Barry had found out about the attempt on Chris and Jill's lives and had rushed over to Chris' home after making sure his family was safe.

"Are the both of you okay?" Barry asked after Chris had let him in.

Chris nodded as he closed the door. "Yeah. Jill's a bit shook up over what had happened. She's in the den. Where's Kathy and the kids?"

"They're at home, under guard," Barry replied as he and Chris entered the den. Jill was seated on the couch, having changed out of the bloody clothes and tossed them in the trash. She was seated on the couch, cross-legged, wearing one of Chris' T-shirts and a pair of shorts, sipping a mug of herbal tea, her Samurai Edge on the coffee table, loaded. Chris' own USP rested beside hers, also loaded.

Barry sighed. After all, he could sympathise with the guilt that has been plaguing Jill, seeing someone die in front of them wasn't easy.

The older man took a seat in the armchair, while Chris sat beside Jill, one arm wrapped around her shoulders for support.

"I've heard from Branagh and Rita about what had happened," Barry said. "Doesn't get any easier with age. People die in our line of work."

"She died in my arms," Jill whispered. "She wasn't a cop like us. Just an innocent girl. You want to know what she whispered to me before she died? She said that she didn't want to die. I tried to save her Barry...but there was too much damage..."

"It was Umbrella," Chris said. "I'm sure of it. But Irons is refusing to let us investigate the matter. He's trying to sweep it under the rug."

Before Barry could comment, the house phone began to ring, bringing the conversation to a halt. Chris absently reached over and was about to pick up when he looked at the caller ID. There was no name, nor number shown.

Chris' hand moved from the receiver, then relented before moving down to the speaker button. He pressed it, activating the line. "Hello. Redfield here."

"Christopher Redfield," the unknown male voice said. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Chris looked at both Jill and Barry, who both decided to keep their mouths shut, as the man on the phone believed that Chris was alone.

"Who the hell are you?" Chris demanded.

"Now, now, Mr. Redfield, no need to be rude," the man replied. "I represent Umbrella Pharmaceutical Incorporated."

"How did you get my number?"

"We have our ways. Now you and your comrades have stumbled onto something big at the Spencer Mansion. We have also discovered that Albert Wesker was planning on defecting from our little family. So in effect, you have done us a favor by eliminating him. We do not tolerate traitors."

"You called me for a reason, so let's get to the brass tacks," Chris said.

"Straight to the point. I like that. As I've said, you have stumbled onto something big with the T-virus outbreak at the Spencer Mansion, along with Wesker's betrayal. It's because of that, my superiors have decided not to liquidate you for your...'service.' We instead have a proposal for you. You have also been having trouble with Chief Irons. This is where we come in. All you have to do is simply change your story about what has transpired in the Spencer Mansion. Do that, and we will get Irons off your back. We will also give you a substantial payment for your troubles."

"Did you know that someone from Umbrella tried to kill my partner and me earlier today?" Chris replied. "An innocent woman was caught in the crossfire, and was killed."

"That was regrettable, but we do have elements within Umbrella that act of their own accord. My clearance comes from the highest priority."

"Not only are you asking me to change my story in regards to the Spencer Mansion, but you're also bribing me with blood money. I lost a lot of good friends because of your little biohazard. You can keep your damn blood money. Sooner or later, the people will find out what has happened here, and will hold Umbrella responsible."

A pause.

"You disappoint me, Mister Redfield. Now, I can't be held accountable for what happens to you...or to your partner, the lovely Officer Valentine."

Chris looked at Jill, whose blue eyes were wide with shock. "Bring her up at your own risk."

"Mister Redfield, you are in no position to be making idle threats," the man replied. "Now, as for your partner...we are quite aware of the P20 serum inside her body, as well as her...attributes. She is indeed the original super-soldier. Which is why a squad of Umbrella Special Forces has been dispatched to her apartment to retrieve her. Her body will be quite useful for White Umbrella's experiments. They should be retrieving her as we speak. Maybe if you're lucky, then you can see her again."

Click. The line went dead.

"I'd like to see the look on those bastards' faces when they see that Jill isn't there," Chris said as he turned the speaker off.

"You're not worried that they might come here next?" Barry asked.

"The R.P.D. does not have my address on file. All they have is a P.O. number," Chris explained. "But in case someone does go digging, they'll be sent on a wild goose chase. Got a friend in the records department who is on the level. I'm safe for the time being." He looked at Jill. "As for you...you should stay here."

Jill nodded. "Okay."

&^%

From the diary of Jill Valentine...

Friday, August 13, 1998.

It's official. Chris Redfield and I are no longer part of the Raccoon Police Department. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So far, I've been hiding out at Chris' place. My apartment has been compromised. Sure enough, White Umbrella had sent a squad to kidnap me and take me to God-knows-where. Even more worse, Chris and I found out that Elran of the Juvenile Crimes' Division was posted outside my building, acting as a lookout, making sure that no one interferes in my abduction.

Since then, White Umbrella had made a second attempt in kidnapping me, a brazen attempt since I was still on the job. That attempt failed as well. That did little to help Chris' mood. Fortunately, Umbrella had backed off, after their last attempt. Sending Umbrella the message that any attempts to kidnap me will result in either bodily injury or death tends to work wonders.

Anyway, as I've said earlier, We're no longer with the R.P.D. Chris resigned first...after punching Elran's lights out.

Can't say that the asshole had it coming.

It happened earlier today, at the tail end of our shift. Elran had bumped into him and spilled hot coffee onto his shirt. Elran apologized for that, to which Chris replied, "No problem."

Then Chris punched him in the gut, which was followed by Elran landing on the desk, after Chris had uppercutted him. Chris tossed his badge on top of Elran's shirt and announced his resignation. As Chris walked by me, he gave me a wink as he passed. I think that it was shear dumb luck that Chris wasn't charged for assault.

Of course, I tendered my own resignation when Irons made another pass at me, and followed Chris out of the R.P.D.

What surprised me was the fact that Chris was just able to stroll out of the police station without incident. As we headed back to his place, I soon found out why. Shortly after filing our reports to Chief Irons, Chris made a copy of the list of R.P.D. officers on Umbrella's payroll and sent them to the Assisstant D.A. It also helped that his wife and kid were present at Raccoon National on the day of the bank robbery, which meant that he owed Chris a major favor.

Chris once told me that it's always good to have a backup plan. Now with Irons and the rest of the crooked cops being occupied with threats of a investigation from the state D.A.'s office, Chris, Barry and I can start our investigation into Umbrella.

*&^

Redfield Home - two days later.

A war council was meeting inside the den of the Redfield home. The council consisted of three of the four surviving members of the now-disbanded S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team.

Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine were seated on the couch, while Barry Burton was resting in an armchair. On the coffee table were three folders, each bearing the insignia of the entity that they have come to hate: Umbrella.

One of the files had something interesting. The folder had the heading GENE-VIRUS: SEALED.

Having a girlfriend whose specialty is breaking into cars proved to have its benefits. Earlier that day, as several Umbrella goons were tailing Chris in the Raccoon Zoo, Jill had broken into their car and pilfered the aforementioned files, which were hidden inside a steel briefcase. After Chris had given the two goons the slip, both he and Jill retreated to the safety of his home.

Suffice to say, after Barry had read the files, the mood was grim.

"It's not over yet," Chris said. "The nightmare continues. I thought the T-virus was bad."

"So what do we do now?" Jill asked.

"If these reports are true, then the G-virus is much worse. Only problem is that most of the research is over in Europe," Chris replied.

"I got to make sure that Kathy and the kids are safe in Toronto before I do anything," Barry said. "Sorry, you two, but you're on your own."

Jill tapped the reports with one finger. "There's another Umbrella lab in the city. I'll hang around town and see if I can find."

"Looks like I'm on my own," Chris said. "I'll head for Europe and check things out there. I got a couple of contacts who owe me a couple of favors." He turned to Jill. "Sure you don't want to come with me?"

Jill nodded. "I'm a big girl. I can handle myself."

"I know you are, Jill. But Umbrella's becoming pretty unpredictable," Chris pointed out. "That makes them even more dangerous. They can either kill you or try and capture you for the secrets you have. Once I get things settled in Europe, you and Barry will meet me there."

Both Barry and Jill nodded.

*&^

The following day...

Jill watched from the open doorway as Chris continued to pack his clothes. "So when do you leave?" she asked.

"Three days," was the reply. "Having second thoughts about me leaving?"

"No. We agreed to this." It was then Jill had an idea. “Chris, can you do me one favor before you go?”

“Sure. What is it?”

Jill took a deep breath. “Before you go...I want you to marry me.”

Chris stopped packing. He slowly turned around. “Huh? Did I hear you right?”

“Yes, you did, Redfield. I'm asking you to marry me.”

"I always thought that it was the guy who should be asking down on one knee," Chris mused. “I think we're a bit short on money to hold a wedding ceremony Jill. Though it would be nice. Least you save me the trouble of asking you. What do you have in mind?”

"City Hall," Jill suggested. "I know one of the judges there. He was the judge at my trial back when I was a teenager. If we can't do it at City Hall, the Clock Tower has a chapel.”

Chris thought about it for a moment. They had been together for over a year, and had survived one of the most terrifying experiences in their lives. It took him only a moment to reach his decision. "Got something nice to wear?"

^%$

Raccoon City Hall, two hours later...

'Never thought that I would end up getting married inside City Hall,' Chris thought as he stood alongside Jill. 'Then again, I never thought I would end up getting married period.'

Two hours later and Chris and Jill found themselves inside Raccoon City Hall. The fist phone call was to Barry and Kathy, who decided to take time out from their packing to act as witnesses. The second call was to Rita, who arrived shortly after the Burtons, with Marvin in tow.

It was a momentous occasion...despite the fact that it was totally unexpected. The Burton family were clad in semi-casual attire, while Rita and Marvin were in their R.P.D. uniforms. Chris was dressed in the same suit he wore to Claire's graduation, only with no necktie, while Jill had on a simple blue summer dress.

The wedding of Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine took less than thirty minutes to perform. The judge, a older man by the name of P.K. Howard, conducted the ceremony. Of course, Barry and Kathy had loaned Chris and Jill their wedding rings for the ceremony, which were later returned to the couple after the ceremony was complete. Afterwards, the marriage certificate was paid and filed. Of course, Jill had decided to keep her last name, rather than take on her husband's surname.

Copies of the marriage certificate were made, one for Chris, the other for Jill, while the master copy remained in the city's files.

As Chris was chatting with Barry, Kathy, Rita and Branagh, Jill was talking with the judge. Turns out that the judge's eldest daughter and her husband were among the victims of the 'cannibal murders' months earlier. Only his grandchildren - who were with him and his wife at the time - were spared.

"I am very happy for you, Valentine," Howard said. "I wish it could be under more pleasant circumstances."

"Thank you, Your Honor," Jill replied. "So how's your family? Are they holding up okay?"

"As well as they can be under the circumstances," Howard replied. Like Jill and the others, he also held Umbrella in great disdain, and also disliked the police chief for his handling of the case. "I've talked it over with the wife and decided that it would be best that we take the kids to visit my youngest down in Virginia. I got a bad feeling that something big's gonna happen here soon. Might as well get them the Hell out of Dodge. You watch your ass, Valentine."

"You too, sir."

(*&

Raccoon Airport - Wednesday, August 19, 1998

Chris Redfield stood in the terminal alongside his wife of three days. While Jill was dressed in casual attire, Chris was disguised in his old Air Force officer's uniform, complete with former rank.

Luck was on their side, as no one from Umbrella was tailing them. Had they were, Chris and Jill would either ditch them or knock them out. Chris would switch planes upon arrival in Washington, D.C., before heading to Madrid. There, he would begin his investigation into Umbrella.

As the stewardess announced that Chris' plane was starting to board, Chris picked up his shoulder bag. "There's my plane. I really wish you'd reconsider."

Jill smiled. "I told you I'll be fine, Chris. I'm a lot tougher than I look."

"I believe it," he replied. "I was partially responsible for making you tougher."

"You better get going," Jill said. "Take care of yourself, Chris."

"You too."

After a final kiss and embrace, Jill watched as Chris walked down the corridor, stopping to turn and wave at her. Little did Jill know was that she would not see Chris again for nearly two months.

Next Chapter: Jill escapes from Raccoon City moments before its destruction. Chris reunites with Jill, and calls in a favor to several old friends.

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