13: The First Mission, Part One
Chapter Thirteen: The First Mission, Part One
Snafu's Notes: In a nod to her portrayal of Jill Valentine, Melani Jackson was modeled after British actress Sienna Guillory. Jill's likeness in the games is modeled after Julia Voth, in case anyone is wondering. Also, I've been asked whether nor not A Change In Pace will involve the events of Resident Evil 6, the answer is no. Most of the story has already been written. All I got to do is fill in the blanks.
One Week Later...
The Anti-Umbrella Pursuit and Investigation Team was in most cases, a motley crew consisting of members from various military branches, local and federal law enforcement agencies. The best of the best consisting of the Army's CID, Delta Force and Army Rangers units, the Air Force's Combat Control Unit and Security Police, the Marine Corps' Marine Recon Forces, Navy SEALs, members of the F.B.I., C.I.A., Diplomatic Security Service and the NSA.
Each sector had their own boss, along with a regional commander, who answered to the Secretary of Defense and US STRATCOM, who in turn answered to the President of the United States. All were united in their hatred towards Umbrella. Some had friends in Raccoon City, where they had died in the zombie outbreak. Others had friends and loved ones who were silenced upon finding about Umbrella's sinister motives.
The American government was not alone. All over the world, it was the same. In the United Kingdom, it was the S.A.S., and MI-5 working together. In Russia, the Spetsnaz and FSB were monitoring Umbrella's interests in the region. Interpol and Europol were working in France, Spain, Ukraine, Italy and even Turkey.
Colonel Roland Graham of the United States Air Force was in command of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, of which Captain Chris Redfield and Lieutenant Jill Valentine were under his command.
Speaking of which...
Redfield Home, Andrews Air Force Base.
As Claire Redfield prepared for another day of classes, Jill Valentine was preparing for her first day on the job. She had already been issued her badge and ID identifying her as a field agent of the OSI. Unlike the majority of the OSI, as field agents, Chris and Jill enjoyed certain luxuries, one of which was they they could arrive at work in either their Air Force fatigues, or in semi-casual attire, of which Jill was in the latter.
Graham was pretty flexible with the dress code, but he did expect to see his subordinates dress up in their officers' uniform or their fatigues once in a while. As subordinates under him, he expected them to be professional in both their job and in their appearances.
Since it was Jill's first day on the job, she opted to go with the fatigues. After talking it over with Chris, he too followed suit. Only difference was save that Jill's beret was black with her rank of Second Lieutenant, Chris's beret was red, identifying him as a (former) member of the Combat Control Team. He also had a black beret, but out of respect for Graham and his former unit, he wore the red beret with pride.
As with their days with the S.T.A.R.S., Chris had resumed his training of Jill. With Umbrella being a greater threat and Wesker running lose, her training was more important than ever. In the week before Jill was to begin, Chris had discovered that Jill had a natural talent for being a sharpshooter. So aside from hand-to-hand combat, Chris had taken her – and Claire – to the marksman range.
After a visit to the Combat Control Team's armory, Jill had chosen a sniper rifle – a Heckler and Kotch PSG-1 – and showed off her sniping skills, with Chris and Colonel Graham watching. Needless to say, Graham and even Chris were impressed. Jill was a natural with a sniper rifle. Even though she could not join the Special Forces, that did not mean that Chris could tutor and mentor her in the art of war.
Chris's voice broke through Jill's reverie. She looked at her husband, who was also in Air Force fatigues, his red beret on his head.
Jill nodded. Grabbing her own beret, she followed Chris out of their bedroom, and passed Claire on their way out.
Office of Special Investigations – Andrews Air Force Base
The Office of Special Investigations was located on the opposite end of the base. The offices were located inside a modern three-story building which also housed the Air Force Security Police which patrolled the base. Chris and Jill were inside a conference room, waiting for the arrival of their boss and commanding officer. Jill looked at her husband, who looked rather bored.
Upon arriving at the office, they were flagged down by a passing airman who told them that Graham would meet up with them shortly and told them to wait inside the conference room.
They didn't have to wait long, as Graham entered the conference room, holding a manila folder in one hand. Almost immediately, Chris and Jill snapped to attention.
“At ease, the both of you,” Graham said. "Captain Redfield, Lieutenant Valentine, you two are just in luck. I have your first assignment. It appears that someone from Umbrella has defected following several attempts on his life. So far, he's been lucky, but luck can only carry you so far.”
"Who is this guy?" Chris asked.
"He is a former member of the Umbrella Corporation's Umbrella Secret Service," Graham explained. "There are two branches of Umbrella's private military corps."
"The first deals with corporate V.I.P.'s, while the second are a group of nightmen - mercenaries and criminals with military training who specializes in cleaning up Umbrella's mess," Jill said, cutting him off.
Graham nodded. "Correct, Lieutenant. How did you know?"
“I've had run-ins with several of their numbers back in Raccoon City during the outbreak, sir,” Jill replied. “Corporal Oliveira is a former member. You met him back in Sydney.”
"So who is this guy, and why now, Colonel?" Chris asked. "Why is he defecting?"
Graham handed Chris a file on the person in question. Chris and Jill looked at the file on the defector. The photo was of an older-looking man with salt-and-pepper hair, chiseled features, cold eyes.
“Charming guy,” Jill said as Chris handed her the file. “Who is he?”
"The man's real name is unknown, but he goes by the codename HUNK," Graham continued. "British national. Former member of the Royal Marines, was recruited into Umbrella shortly after his discharge, working for Umbrella's Research and Development division in Loire Village under Director Christine Henri. Because of his unique ability to survive even the most deadly of missions, he is nicknamed 'Mr. Death.' The reason why he is defecting from Umbrella is unknown, but you can find out once you get in contact with him."
"Where is he?" Jill asked.
"He managed to escape from France," Graham replied. "He is back in London."
Chris groaned. “London. Great.”
The last time he was in London was with Evil Ed and Graham himself, while training with the Royal Air Force. Chris, Graham and Ed, along with several of their buddies, had gotten into a brawl with several of the locals while drinking inside a pub, thus ruining Chris's happy hour.
Graham turned to Chris. “Is that going to be a problem, Captain?”
"Remember the last time we were in London, Colonel?" Chris snidely asked.
Graham's expression softened. "Oh...that. Now that wasn't my fault. The local tough's girlfriend was flirting with me," he defended. "And you know I'm a happily married man." He shrugged his shoulders. "What can I say? I attract the hot ones."
Chris turned to Jill. "Long story," was all he said when Jill looked at him, eyebrow raised. Turning back to Graham, he said, "Anything else?"
“I want this to go off without a hitch, meaning that the both of you and Barry will be taking a nice commercial flight to London. I've been in contact with MacPherson, and he had notified your old flame, Captain.”
“Mel? What about her, sir?”
“She's your contact. I figured that if you are going to London, better have someone you trust to meet you when the plane touches down. She will provide you with weapons and more intel on your target. Once you made contact with HUNK, then you are to accompany him back to Loire Village for a 'friendly chat' with Director Henri," Graham said. “Barry will accompany the both of you. Just so you know, this is not a honeymoon for the both of you. You are on assignment. You will leave tomorrow. Good luck and dismissed. ”
The following day, Chris, Jill and Barry were walking down the terminal inside Dulles Airport. The trio were dressed incognito, Jill having an overnight bag slung over one shoulder, while Chris and Barry carried sportsbags. Since they were taking a commercial flight, they could not bring their weapons onboard. Mel would provide them with weapons upon their arrival.
“So what exactly happened in London?” Jill asked.
“To make a long story short, Graham, Evil Ed and myself were caught in the middle of a bar fight,” Chris replied. “Graham may not look like it, but he can still hold his own and can still kick my ass six falls out of ten. You don't think that we Air Force boys don't know how to fight, you are sadly mistaken.”
“Given the fact that I am now an officer of the Air Force, I will soon see that myself,” Jill replied.
As Chris, Jill and Barry walked down the boarding ramp, chatting with each other, someone was watching them. She looked like a passenger from another plane, but she was anything but.
She pulled out a cellphone and dialed a number, speaking French into the phone.
“Bonjour, Directeur parlant Henri,” (Hello. Director Henri speaking) the female voice said on the other end.
“C'est Siobhan, directeur,” (It's Sibohan, Director) the woman spoke into the phone. “Redfield, Valentine et Burton vient montés à bord de leur avion. Vous n'avez rien à craindre.” (Redfield, Valentine and Burton has just boarded their plane. You have nothing to fear, Director.)
“J'espère que non. Le paquet est-il en place?” (I hope not. Is the package in place?)
“Oui. Comme vous avez commandé, j'ai veillé à ce que le T-virus a été placé en partie de l'eau potable. Tout le monde en première classe vous obtenez bien plus que le champagne gratuit. Et puisque les pilotes et les passagers de première classe avant d'obtenir leurs boissons entraîneur, ni vous, ni parapluie de nous préoccuper de l'atterrissage d'avion.” (Yes. As you ordered, I've made sure that the T-virus has been placed in some of the drinking water. Everyone in first class will get more than just free champagne. And since the pilots and the first-class passengers get their beverages before coach, neither you nor Umbrella have to worry about the plane landing.)
“A moins que” (Unless...) the woman said with an evil grin, “...l'on compte celui qu'ils vont faire dans l'Atlantique Nord.” (...you count the one they're going to make in the North Atlantic.)
“Excellent travail.” (Excellent work,) Henri said. “Tenez-moi informé. Une fois toutes les trois sont hors du chemin, HUNK n'a aucune chance de s'échapper.” (Keep me informed. Once those three are out of the way, HUNK has no chance of escaping.)
Meanwhile, Chris, Jill and Barry had just boarded their plane.
“Look at that,” Barry said as they passed a seated passenger, a middle-aged businesswoman sipping on a glass of champagne. The woman looked at the three former S.T.A.R.S. members with disdain as they passed. “Folks in First Class already got something to drink.”
“Looks like us second-class citizens won't get any until we're in the air,” Jill said, chuckling as she, Chris and Barry moved on to Coach.
The woman in the meantime, took another sip of her champagne. “What gutter trash,” she snorted.
In Coach, Chris, Jill and Barry found their seats. “At least the flight isn't full,” Chris said, stuffing his and Jill's bags into the overhead compartment. “I'm not that big on airline food anyway. Sooner or later, airline food will kill ya.”
Barry plopped into his own seat. “Sucks that we couldn't take our guns onboard.”
Jill took her seat by the window. “Don't worry. Our contact has some weapons lined up for us once we get to London.”
“Just who is this guy anyway?” Barry asked.
“A former Umbrella operative who defected after they tried to kill him,” Jill explained. “He was in Raccoon the same time as I was when the outbreak happened.”
“Whoever this guy is, he better be worth the trouble,” Chris said.
The three operatives then settled down for their flight as the flight attendants went through with their routine just as the pilot's voice came over the P.A. System.
“Good afternoon and welcome aboard Atlantic Airlines Flight 0601, nonstop from Dulles International Airport to London's Heathrow International Airport. Flight time is approximately eight hours and thirty minutes.”
As the pilot droned on, Jill opened her bag and pulled out a bottle of water. She also handed Chris a bottle, while Barry simply buckled his safety belt and was soon dozing off.
At the same time, somewhere in Hong Kong...
The Umbrella Facility in Hong Kong's main purpose was medical research. However, it also served as a safehouse for members of Umbrella's elite soldiers, the Umbrella Secret Service.
Six of which were inside a hidden conference room. They were the best that the Corporation had to offer. Three men - one Puerto Rican, the second Russian and the third a brooding Japanese man, and three women - a Japanese-American, a German and the team leader, a French woman. This six-person squad was considered the best of the best among the Umbrella special forces, as they had not failed a single mission. They were chosen for their experiences in their respective fields...as well as for their fierce dedication to the company and their lack of remorse in completing their missions.
They were the U.S.S Delta Team. They were also nicknamed 'The Wolfpack.'
Currently, they were in a video conference with the head of Umbrella himself - Lord Ozwell Spencer.
Even as an old man, the regal, aristocratic Englishman commanded respect. Seated inside his private office inside his home, the Umbrella Chief Executive got down to business.
"As always, this is a Class 5 meeting," Spencer began. "Nothing in this room will not be shared outside of this room."
"We know the protocol, Lord Spencer," the commander, Karen Lesproux replied, her English laced with her heavy French accent. Originally a decorated officer in the French Special Forces, she had resigned her commission several years earlier in order to settle down with her husband and start a family. Things, however, did not go as planned. Her husband was an abusive man, even violent towards her. But Lesproux took the abuse in order to keep her children safe. That and she had a very high tolerance level for pain.
But when he had struck down their eldest daughter, Lesproux snapped. When the French police had arrived at the home, they found her standing over the body of her husband, whose neck she had snapped with her bare hands. The wolf had been unleashed. After a much-publicized trial, Lesproux was acquitted and tried her hand in raising her kids as a single mother. But 'trained killer' was something she could put under her resume. The only thing she was good at - besides being a mother - was being a soldier.
After working for several years as a mercenary, she had gained the attention of Umbrella. Following a series of negotiations, Lesproux was given a very profitable contract within Umbrella. So long as she lives, her children would not want for anything. The blood money she earned paid for their food, their private school education and their medical bills. Her strict demeanor and demand for total obedience from her subordinates had earned her the nickname 'Lupo,' which became her call sign. To her teammates, they called her 'Mother Wolf.'
"As you already know, the company has been hit pretty hard in the last several months," Spencer said. "First...we lost both the Arklay Training Facility and the Spencer Laboratory in Raccoon City, followed by the destruction of the city itself due to the viral outbreak."
This, Lupo and her team knew. They were in Raccoon City on assignment from Lord Spencer himself. They were ordered to not only secure the mainframe from the Umbrella labs, but also liquidate any potential witnesses, especially any surviving R.P.D. officers and the Government Special Operations Unit sent in to gather information on Umbrella's illegal activities.
The Wolfpack had narrowly missed killing Brad Vickers, but the Nemesis saw to his death. They were also assigned to eliminate Jill Valentine and take her body to the Umbrella Corporation's headquarters in Europe. But they steered clear of her, as she was being pursued by the Nemesis. If the inhuman B.O.W. did not kill her, then Nicholai would have done it.
But Jill proved to be tougher than expected, and survived by the skin of her teeth.
"Second, we lost the B.O.W. Facility on Sheena Island," Spencer continued. "And now, we lost both the training facility on Rockfort Island and the Antarctic Facility. The Anti-Umbrella Faction is picking up steam, and will be on their guard. On top of that, I've found out that Director Henri was the one who ordered both the B.O.W. T-Type and the retrieval of the G-Virus from Dr. Birkin. Despite the fact that HUNK had acquired a vial of the G-virus, her actions led to the viral outbreak in Raccoon City."
"She overstepped her position," Christine Yamata noted dryly. An American of Japanese ancestry with a doctorate in virology, she was anti-social growing up, which resulted in her deadpan personality. Detached from human emotions, she saw humans as a breeding ground for one thing – viruses, hence her specialty in virology.
Her position in the Wolfpack made it so that Yamata had not only had the chance of studying several of the most dangerous outbreaks in the world – including Raccoon City and out in Africa, where an Umbrella plant was destroyed – but it also allowed her to experiment with cutting edge viral technology. She also had no qualms on performing live experiments on the wounded, and especially on captives, which proved to be instrumental to the mission.
As she was the brains of the group, she was given the call sign 'Four Eyes,' given her talents with virology. She also had used the technology at her disposal to give her the ability to control B.O.W.'s, such as the zombies and Hunters. Her control did not work over the Tyrants, unfortunately.
Spencer nodded. “Indeed, Dr. Yamata. Although I regret having to place Dr. Duvall as the proverbial fall guy, Director Henri believes herself to be untouchable. That will be soon rectified.”
“You want us to eliminate Director Henri?” Lupo asked.
Spencer smiled. It was a creepy sight. “You read my mind, Captain Lesproux. But there's more. We managed to salvage some video feeds from the training facility at Rockfort Island and discovered that Dr. Wesker is not as dead as we originally thought.”
Tapping some buttons on his console, Spencer showed the Wolfpack the salvaged video feeds from the ruined island facility, as well as digital video from the Antarctic base. Several of them included his fight with Chris Redfield in the submarine docks.
“Freeze frame,” Lupo commanded. “Zoom in.”
The image zoomed in on the back of Chris' flak vest, which the S.T.A.R.S. insignia is prominent. “R.P.D. S.T.A.R.S.”
The image shrunk until it was similar to a picture within a picture, with Spencer's face being the prominent one shown once again. “You noticed that as well? Looks like we're not the only ones with a grudge against Wesker.”
Spencer typed in several more keys, and a picture of the R.P.D. S.T.A.R.S. Unit appeared. Seconds later, the R.P.D. Files containing the four remaining survivors of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service emerged on screen, along with extra notes made by the Umbrella staff.
“Christopher Redfield...Jillianne Valentine...Barry Burton...Rebecca Chambers...” Lupo noted.
“Herein, lies my concern,” Spencer said. “These four were part of the elite unit which were decimated during the incident at the Spencer Laboratory. These four are the last survivors. We scouted Redfield early on, given his high IQ, but he opted out for a commission in the Air Force. We reached out to him again in the aftermath of the mansion incident, but he refused our offer.”
“The guy's tough. Too bad he's playing for the wrong team,” Lupo said. “And Miss Valentine...”
Spencer nodded. “It seems that both Wesker and Birkin had a hand in making Miss Valentine into what she is today. I've skimmed through Birkin's notes on Project Valentine, and she could prove quite useful to the Research and Development Division. Imagine the secrets we can unlock within Valentine's body...”
The sole Russian at the table chuckled. “Boy, is Nicholai going to be pissed when he finds out that Valentine is still alive.”
Originally with the Soviet Union's security forces, Vladimir Bodrovski found himself out of a job when the Red Curtain fell. His expertise was in gathering intel, where given the fact that he did not stand out in a crowd, which made his job easy.
His expertise had brought him in contact with the criminal underworld, where he managed to make a decent living. After exploiting the criminal underworld one times too many, he was forced to flee from his native Russia when the heat came down on him. It was Spencer's right-hand man, a fellow Russian by the name of Sergei Vladimir, who had approached him with a job offer. Bodrovski accepted the offer. Given his talents as the Wolfpack's resident surveillance expert, it allowed the unit to remain well-informed during combat situations. The fact that he was handy with a sniper rifle was not too shabby either.
His call sign back in the Soviet Union was Prizrak. Translated into English, it meant 'Specter.'
“Supervisor Ginovaef has already been notified of this blunder and has been demoted accordingly,” Spencer said.
“We could have made contact with her on several occasions,” Lupo said. “But she had the T-Type stalking her. The fact that she is still alive means she either outsmarted it or killed it.” She looked over Jill's file. “Ex-Army. Demolitions and firearms training with Delta Force,” Lupo noted with a bit of admiration in her voice. “and the fact that she survived Raccoon City...”
The tall, muscular Latino spoke up upon hearing the word 'demolitions.' “So she likes stuff blowing up too, eh? Woman after my own heart,” he said.
Born and raised in San Juan, Hector Hivers was considered the practical joker of the group. Even back in his days in the military, he enjoyed playing pranks, as he believed that laughter was the best way to make friends. But as time passed on, the jokes became more physical, which usually ended up in the total humiliation of his intended targets.
He found a second love in weapons-grade explosives, which led him to joining the military. It did cost him a leg, but he did not care. Despite this, he still lacked restraint. That lack of restraint ultimately led to a dishonorable discharge. It would have been followed with a court-martial had not Umbrella stepped in and retained his services.
'Beltway,' as he is called, fit right in with the Wolfpack, as his lack of compassion and his expertise in anything that goes boom proved to be a useful talent for the group.
Four Eyes scanned Chris' bio. “A genius...looks like we were not the ones interested in Redfield. WilPharma and Tricell also scouted him before he signed on to the Air Force.”
“It appears that toughness runs in the Redfield family,” Specter noted as he also looked at Chris' bio. “His younger sister, along with an R.P.D. Officer survived Raccoon City along with Birkin's daughter. She was caught inside the Paris facility and taken to Rockfort Island. I'm willing to bet that her older brother possibly had a hand in her survival.”
“It's likely,” Lupo pondered.
“As it turns out, this also coincides with your next mission,” Spencer said. “You are to head for Loire Village and eliminate Director Henri. I also have it on good authority that HUNK has defected from our little family.”
At that, the Japanese male looked up. No one in the Wolfpack knew his name, but it was a known fact that he was a pupil of Mr. Death himself, and was so emo to the point that he could give Sasuke Uchiha a run for his money. He was a master of stealth, cold and calculating. A former pupil of HUNK, he shared the same qualities as his mentor – sharing the same level of contempt for those Umbrella operatives who were inferior to both him and HUNK.
He was assigned to Delta, despite his requests that he would work at his mentor's side. But HUNK worked better alone. Now, he was a potential traitor. And Umbrella does not treat their traitors well.
“Your orders are as follows,” Spencer said. “You are to head for Loire Village and eliminate Director Henri. Then, you are to head for England, where we have reports of that is where HUNK is hiding.”
“And what of S.T.A.R.S. and Dr. Wesker?” Lupo asked.
“They are your secondary targets,” Spencer replied. “If you encounter them, then eliminate them. However, as they are stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, killing them there would cause even more trouble for the company. Valentine is top priority, as is Wesker, as their bodies will unlock many secrets that will further Umbrella's goals.”
The Teutonic blonde was looking over Jill's records. “Aside from the P-20 in her system, we could use whatever antibodies she developed from her exposure from the T-virus to create a more potent vaccine. The virus in Wesker's body is also quite interesting.”
Hailing from Germany, Michaela Heinzwaffen, codenamed 'Bertha,' was a talented medic, despite her apparent lack of bedside manner. As part of Delta, it was her task to keep her teammates alive. She also served as the unit's 'interrogation specialist.' Aside from her skills of healing, she also was known for seeing how much pain a human body could take.
Her sadistic bedside manner made her unfit in the civilian field, but was perfect for Umbrella. Her ability to bring her victims to the brink of death and back has attracted the attention of several crime syndicates, to which she renders her services as a professional torturer.
“Indeed. Although I fear that I have given Birkin and Wesker too much leeway in their experiments,” Spencer said. “At least Birkin saved me the trouble of killing him. Wesker is the bigger threat. You have your orders. Head for Loire Village and eliminate Director Henri.”
“And HUNK?” Lupo asked.
“Regrettably, I must issue termination orders for Mr. Death as well,” Spencer replied grimly. “Director Henri is the primary target. HUNK and Miss Valentine are your secondary objectives. Detain Miss Valentine. Her teammates are expendable.”
Lupo nodded and with that, the meeting was over.
Beltway was looking at Chris' profile. “Look at this...marksman champion...and a knife nut. Looks like you got yourself a rival, Vector.”
Vector looked up, eyes glinting dangerously. The grip on his knife tightened as he brought up Chris' profile on his screen. Sure enough, Chris' profile showed that he was an expert in knife combat. The fact that he survived the Spencer Mansion, Rockfort Island and Caliban Cove using those same knife techniques backed that claim up.
“Interesting,” Vector said in flawless English. “A man worth killing.”
Eight hours and twelve minutes into the flight...
One of the flight attendants who was stationed in first class came across the female passenger who was just eight hours earlier, sipping on a glass of champagne.
Unknown to her, the champagne was spiked, as was the drinks that were served to the first class passengers and the pilots.
The woman was slumped over in her seat, not moving.
“Ma'am?” the stewardess began, gently shaking the woman's shoulder. “Ma'am? Are you okay?”
A low moan came from the woman as she looked at the stewardess. The skin was pale, her eyes glazed over. Before the stewardess knew what was happening, the now-zombified passenger grabbed the woman and pulled her in. The stewardess screamed as she felt her cheek and throat being ripped out.
The screams the three ex-S.T.A.R.S. members to full alert, which was followed by the unmistakable moan of the walking dead.
The surviving stewardess came running through the curtain separating first class from coach followed by two first-class passengers who had narrowly escaped the onslaught. “They...they...THEY LOOK LIKE ZOMBIES!” the attendant screamed hysterically.
Sure enough, the first zombie that came through was the one that was attacked moments before. Eyes glazed over, skin pale as death, mouth and lower half of her face bloodied, her cheek missing, exposing her teeth as she shambled down the aisle.
“Move to the back of the plane!” Barry shouted to the other passengers as Chris and Jill prepared themselves for the onslaught. “Everyone move to the back of the plane!”
“No knife, no gun,” Jill muttered as she picked up her tray, spilling the food on the floor. “Freakin' great.”
Jill smacked the zombie twice with the aluminum tray, bending it with each impact, until Jill's leg lashed out, the hiking boot catching the undead stewardess on the chin, sending it to the floor. One stomp to the back of the head, and its neck snapped like a twig, putting it out of commission.
“I always said that airline food can kill ya,” Chris said as he plunged a screwdriver – which he pilfered from one of the bags in the overhead compartments – into the downed zombie's brain.
“Looks like you were right,” Jill said as three more zombies came through.
Barry, in the meantime, had also went through some of the bags and came up with a can of hairspray. Fumbling though his pockets, he produced a lighter with the R.P.D. insignia. “All right, you smelly bastards,” the older man said, “come and get your perm!”
Holding the makeshift flamethrower in his hands, he flicked the lighter and squeezed the nozzle.
Three of the attacking zombies were instantly incinerated by the flames.
“Barry, careful!” Chris shouted as he doused the barbecued zombies with a fire extinguisher. “You set the plane on fire, we'll all be toast!”
“Sorry!” Barry replied as he picked up a baseball bat and cracked the skull of a zombified stewardess. He saw another zombie with half of its face chewed off closing in on the Air Force commando. “Chris, heads up!”
“Grr...” Chris gritted his teeth as he clocked the zombie with the empty extinguisher, bashing its head into paste with the extinguisher. “I've had it (CRUNCH) with these goddamn zombies (CRUNCH) on this goddamn plane (CRUNCH)!”
Jill elbowed a zombie in the face, causing it to stagger. She then followed it with a gloved fist to the face. “I am so fucking sick of these things!” she snarled as she yanked the extinguisher from Chris's hands. She then delivered the coupe-de-grace as she smashed the zombie's skull with the extinguisher. “So hurry up and fucking die!”
Barry had commandeered a second extinguisher and was following Jill's lead by caving in another zombie's skull. The threat was almost neutralized, but their troubles were far from over.
“Guys! We got a problem here!” Jill shouted over the melee.
“What problem?” Barry shouted as he smashed another zombie's skull while Chris's foot sent another zombie's nose into its brain. “We're almost home free!”
Chris turned to Jill, who was looking down at the zombie she just killed. Chris looked at the zombie and noticed the formerly clean white shirt with rank.
“Oh, shit,” Chris cursed. “You just killed the pilot, Jill.”
Barry looked at the zombies he just pounded. “Looks like this was the co-pilot and navigator here.”
In a flash, Chris bolted towards the front of the plane, with Jill and Barry following close behind, laying waste to the remaining zombies in first class.
The cockpit was empty, given the fact that the pilot, co-pilot and the navigator were part of the undead that had attacked the plane.
“Chris, can you fly this plane?” Jill asked as Chris got into the pilot's seat.
“It's not a Hercules or anything I've flown, but I think I got the gist of it,” Chris replied as he picked up the headset. “Barry, calm the passengers down and make sure that there are no more surprises onboard.”
Barry nodded. “Got it.”
As Barry departed, Jill climbed into the copilot's chair and strapped herself in. “Better hope that none of the controls or anything else was damaged when the pilots and the navigator turned, otherwise this landing is going to be very interesting.”
Jill glared at her husband. “Define 'interesting.'”
In an extremely deadpan expression, Chris replied, “'Oh crap, oh crap, we're so very screwed' interesting.”
Jill saw that London's Heathrow Airport was in the distance. “Look, Chris! The airport!”
Chris nodded as he flipped the emergency frequency. “Heathrow Airport, this is Captain Chris Redfield, United States Air Force. We have an emergency on-board Atlantic Airlines Flight 0601. Our emergency clearance is C601999.”
“Copy that, Captain Redfield,” the voice replied on the other end of the radio. “You are clear to land. Emergency aid has been dispatched. Proceed to Runway 15B.”
“Okay...let's see if I remember this,” Chris muttered. “Altitude...wing span...landing gear...got it!” He strapped himself into his seat. Jill did the same.
Jill flipped on the intercom system. “Everyone! Get into your seats and strap yourselves in! This is going to be a bumpy landing!”
Chris's grip tightened on the controls. “Hang on!”
Bumpy was an understatement. Despite the surviving passengers being tossed around like rag dolls, the plane had landed with a loud screeching sound. Once all of the plane's wheels were on the ground, Chris hit the breaks. Slowly, but surely, the plane came to a stop.
“Nice landing,” Jill said, her voice filled with sarcasm.
Chris unbuckled his harness. “Thanks,” he replied as he got up. Jill unbuckled her own harness and followed after him. Aside from a couple of bumps to the head, the remaining passengers and stewardesses were alive.
Outside, the fire department, several ambulances and even a biohazard team approached the plane. The plane's hatches opened, the emergency slides inflating, allowing the passengers to escape from the aircraft. Chris, Jill and Barry were the last to leave.
Meanwhile, a squad of heavily-armed SAS troops had arrived and proceeded to enter the plane. The sound of a single gunshot was heard, signaling that there was one remaining zombie onboard. One of the SAS troopers gave the signal to the biohazard team. The six-man team boarded the plane and began the process of removing the undead bodies.
Meanwhile, Chris, Jill and Barry had caught up with their contact. Lieutenant Melanie Jackson of Her Majesty's Royal Air Force had caught word of the outbreak and had rushed to the scene. A petite British woman who was slightly shorter than Jill, with dyed red hair and intense blue eyes, like the three Americans, Jackson was also dressed incognito, clad in casual attire.
Chris approached her first, shaking her hand. “Mel. It's been a while.”
“Captain Redfield,” Jackson replied. “Heard you had been brought back into the Air Force from MacPherson. I thought the bastard was full of himself, till Colonel Graham confirmed it. Has a nice ring to it.”
Chris then conducted the introductions. “My wife and partner, Lieutenant Jill Valentine, and this is Barry Burton. Jill, Barry, Lieutenant Melanie Jackson, Royal Air Force.”
“Welcome to England,” Jackson said. “You always knew how to make quite an entrance, Captain. Follow me.”
Thirty minutes later...
Inside a RAF-owned safehouse overlooking the Thames River, Chris, Jill and Barry were briefed on their assignment. All three were dressed in their S.T.A.R.S. uniforms, the same ones they wore during that fateful mission into the Spencer Mansion. Chris's uniform was slightly modified. On the back of the vest was the 'Made in Heaven' logo – the winged angel holding the bomb with one hand and four rows of bombs underneath the angel.
Jackson was overseeing the operation. “This is a joint operation between Special Intelligence Service and the Office of Special Intelligence. From what we know HUNK is holed up inside a flat on the fourth floor in Manchester. He knows that the three of you are coming and has decided to stay put until you arrive and get him out of there. Once he is safely secured, you will head over to Loire Village to question Director Henri.”
“Who's she?” Jill asked.
Jackson pulled up a dossier on the woman in question. “Christine Henri. She is the director of research and development at the Umbrella's offices in Loire Village. It also appeared that she had a hand in the Nemesis program. Director Henri was also the one who ordered HUNK and his unit to retrieve the G-virus from Dr. Birkin back in Raccoon City.”
“So the whole mess was her fault,” Barry surmised.
Jackson nodded. “Yes. Her hands are stained with the blood of those poor souls. Of course, Umbrella's hit squad has already the same info as you. The only advantage we have is that they don't know the exact floor of HUNK's flat.”
“And I hope you got some toys for us to use,” Jill said. “I seriously doubt that harsh language would be useful against a hit squad armed with firearms.”
“That little problem has been take care of,” Jackson replied. “Hope you don't mind using SAS hardware. Follow me.”
In the next room, laid out on a table, were three assault rifles and three smaller cases.
“Pays to have good friends in high places,” Jackson said as Jill picked up one of the assault rifles. “That is the primary assault rifle of the British SAS – the H&K G36C. Uses 5.56x45 millimeter NATO rounds, 30-round clip. Has a bit of a kick to it, but very accurate.”
“Nothing like a high-quality problem solver,” Chris said as he picked up his own. “Sidearms?”
Jackson opened up one of the boxes. “H&K USP P8 pistol. Eighteen-round clip, laser sighting optional. As you can see, I was only able to get two.” She stood up and retrieved a third box from under the table. “But I got something that might interest Mr. Burton here.”
Jackson flipped the lid open. Barry took one look at was inside, and his grizzled expression actually lit up. He reached inside the box and pulled out the weapon. The weapon in question was a Taurus Raging Bull Revolver. Unlike the tactical black of the USP P8, the Raging Bull was chrome.
“I take it your friend here has a thing for revolvers?” Jackson asked Chris and Jill.
“You have no idea,” Chris and Jill said in unison.
“This is the Taurus .454 Magnum – the Raging Bull,” Barry said. “Robert Kendo was supposed to order it for me, but I had to leave Raccoon with my family.” He opened the chamber. “Please tell me you got the .454 Casul rounds for this baby.”
Jackson grinned and produced a smaller box. Inside was nine speed loaders, each containing six rounds each. Fifty-four rounds in total.
“Christmas has come early for me,” Barry said as he loaded the Raging Bull.
“Tell you what,” Jackson said. “Survive the mission, and I'll let you keep it – no charge.”
“Deal,” Barry said, sliding the revolver into the front holster.
“Right then. Let's pick up Mr. Death.” As Chris followed Barry and Jill out of the room, Melani stopped him. "Captain Redfield. A word."
Chris nodded to Barry and Jill, telling them to go on ahead while he remained behind. "Something on your mind, Mel?"
"I never expected to hear that you got hitched," Melani admitted. "Not after what that bastard Kelso did to you."
"Stacey's no longer a problem," Chris replied. "She was caught in the outbreak. Claire told me that she found Stacey a zombie, and put her out of her misery."
"A fate that I would not wish on anybody," Melani admitted. "So...that's you wife," she said, in regards to Jill. "You always did know how to choose them. Are you happy?"
Chris raised an eyebrow. "You're still concerned about me after all this time?"
"Yes, you bloody oaf. Even though we dated for a while, I still care for you well being," Melani admitted. "Not that I'm trying to hit on you or anything. I don't mess with married men. David makes me very happy. I can see that you care for her a great deal. So...are you happy?"
"Yeah," Chris admitted. "With everything that's happened in between...I can truly say that Jill makes me very happy."
Melani smiled. "Then I'm glad for you. Come on. They're waiting for us."
Jill Valentine was outside the room, listening in on the conversation.
Jill would have been lying if she had said that she was slightly jealous of Melani, she had to admit. But after hearing her husband and his ex talk about her in a positive light, the jealousy faded, her respect towards Melani going up by several points. She quickly retreated from the hall, and waited alongside Barry for Chris and Melani to arrive.
After all, she, along with Chris and Barry, had a mission to complete.
Next Chapter: Meeting Mr. Death. HUNK reveals his motives to Jill. A confrontation with Director Henri. The S.T.A.R.S. versus The Wolfpack.