Resident Evil: A Change In Pace

2: Daily Grind

Chapter Two: Daily Grind

Nearly a month and a half had passed since Chris joined the R.P.D.'s S.T.A.R.S. unit.

Aside from being the R.P.D.'s elite special unit which specialized in neutralizing specific threats, such as the occasional militia nutjob and religious nutter that comes venturing down from the mountains, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service also worked alongside the normal police officers, rotating as uniformed officers and police detectives.

The Raccoon Police Department had three types of police uniforms - formal, summer and winter. Whereas the winter uniforms were full-sleeved dark blue uniforms similar to that of the Los Angeles Police Department, only with the R.P.D. insignia stitched onto the sleeve, while the formal police uniform were similar to the current formal police uniforms seen on the New York Police Department the summer police uniform was similar to the classic police uniforms, also of the NYPD from a decade earlier - a light blue shirt, with the insignia of the R.P.D. on a dark blue background stitched onto the short sleeves, and dark blue pants.

At the moment, Chris Redfield was dressed in the latter, since it was Alpha Team's turn to work with the uniformed officers. The navy blue eight-point policeman's cap was on his dashboard, while his sidearm - a VP70 was at his side holster. Chris had absolutely refused to arm himself with a Browning and went with the VP70 instead.

He was outside Jill's apartment building, waiting for her to show up, since her car was still being repaired. After all, parts for a classic muscle car were indeed hard to come by, forcing Jill to have the parts repaired and rebuilt. At least she was insured for the damages.

The passenger door opened and Jill stepped in. Like Chris, she was also dressed in the R.P.D. police uniform, her policeman's hat in one hand. Her short brown hair was tied back into a ponytail.

"Morning, Chris. Been waiting long?" Jill asked.

"Only for about three minutes," Chris said as he put the truck into drive and pulled out.

*&^

Upon arriving at the R.P.D., Chris and Jill had commandeered a squad car and were out patrolling the city streets, Jill behind the wheel while Chris was riding shotgun. Wesker - also in a R.P.D. uniform, but never without his glasses - had assigned the two partners to patrol downtown and uptown Raccoon City.

So far, the morning was peaceful. Aside from catching a couple of kids cutting school and a jaywalker, nothing was uneventful. Soon, lunch had arrived and they were now sitting at a window booth inside Emmy's Diner, one of the more popular hangouts in the city.

Jill had ordered the diner's special, which was a tuna sandwich, a side order of potato chips and a bottle of water, while Chris had a bowl of chili and a glass of iced tea. The two police officers were busy making small talk with each other. As it turned out, Emmy's Diner was also a popular eatery among the police officers. The owner, whose diner was named after her, her father was a cop.

Jill, in the meantime, was in the middle of a giggling fit as Chris entertained her with a story from his past days as a cadet for the military academy. One of his upperclassmen who acted like he was God's gift to the world and treated Chris and the underclassmen like dirt received his just rewards.

"Oh, my God," Jill had said in between laughs. "That was so mean."

Chris grinned. "Can't say that he had it coming," he replied as he took a sip of his drink. "He still didn't find out who had dumped a smoke grenade in his wash and left him with a female officer's uniform. That prank was priceless."

After a moment, Jill said, “You know, we've been partners for a while now and you didn't even told me your parents' names.”

“Thought I did,” Chris replied.

“No, you didn't, Redfield,” Jill replied. “Humor me.”

“My father's name was Lawrence Callahan Redfield,” Chris replied. “My mom's maiden name was Anne-Marie Van Der Broeck.”

“Remind me to write that one down,” Jill mused. After a moment, she said, “We've worked together for over two months and I'm still not believing that you're a prodigy.”

Chris shrugged his shoulders. “Most people don't. I like having them think that I'm some kind of jock who thinks only for himself. Makes the look on their faces even more priceless when I show them up. Also helps to be mindful of your surroundings.”

"Something the Air Force has taught you?" Jill asked.

Chris shook his head. "Nah. Something my old man taught me."

The friendly banter was then interrupted by one of the waitresses screaming.

"H-HEY! HE DIDN'T PAY!"

Five seats behind Chris and Jill, one of the diner's patrons made a mad break for the door. Turns out, he had to get past the two S.T.A.R.S. officers dressed as cops in order to do so.

Jill turned her head and saw the man coming her way. Without getting out of her seat, Jill casually extended her leg out from under the table, right into the guy's path. The guy tripped over Jill's leg, and fell face-first to the floor, just as one of the cooks - a tall, balding man - came running out of the kitchen, baseball bat in hand, preparing to stop the thief, only to see Jill perform the task.

"Ow," the guy on the floor said as he rolled onto his back, finding himself looking into the faces of Chris and Jill.

"Seriously, a dine-and-dash?" Jill deadpanned. "Who does that in this day and age?" She reached into her pouch and produced a pair of handcuffs. "Hope you like jewelery."

"Fuck you, cop," the guy snarled.

"You're not my type," Jill replied as she turned the guy over and slapped the steel on his wrists, reading him his Miranda rights.

At least nabbing the guy had gained both Chris and Jill a free lunch from Emmy. So that was a plus.

*&^

Their shift was nearly over when they got the call over the radio. Apparently, a government employee had gone off the deep end after he had been fired from his job and was now in the middle of the street, ranting and raving at the top of his lungs, threatening to kill himself with the semi-automatic pistol in his hand.

“That's something new,” Chris mused as Jill turned the car around.

“Tell me about it,” Jill muttered as she gunned the engine.

*&^

By the time Chris and Jill had arrived on the scene, they saw that half of the R.P.D. was already there, including several of the S.T.A.R.S. members, including Forest, who had a sniper rifle at the ready.

Wesker was also present, as was Barry. Like the S.T.A.R.S. commander, Barry was also in the R.P.D. uniform, Colt Python in his hands while Wesker was busy surveying the situation.

Several cop cars had both ends of the street blocked off, preventing any escape. From the sidelines, a crowd had formed, watching the standoff from a safe distance. News cameras have also arrived on the scene, and the cameramen were catching the entire spectacle on tape.

Forest had his sniper rifle – a classic bolt-action Springfield 1903 rifle – in place and had the raving man in his cross-hairs. “Got him in my sights, boss,” the Bravo Team sharpshooter said. “Say the word and I'll drop him.”

Before Wesker could say anything, the squad car containing Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine came to a stop, and the two partners stepped out of the car.

“Redfield. Valentine,” Wesker greeted. “Glad you two made it for the party.” He gestured to the man on the street. “Third bureaucrat this month.”

On the street, the guy jammed the gun into his mouth, causing some of the bystanders to scream, but he didn't follow through on his suicide attempt as he took the gun out of his mouth and continued to rant and rave.

“Got a name?” Chris asked.

“Marcus Randolph,” Barry reported. “Worked for the Interstate Commerce Commission down in City Hall. From what we found out, he was fired today and ended up taking a couple of shots at several of his former co-workers and nailed two cops. One of them was wearing his vest, while the others took one in the leg and he and wounded one of the police dogs.”

“The I.C.C.? I heard about that division,” Chris said. “They just bought out a couple of apartment buildings in the town, right?” When Wesker and Barry nodded, Chris removed his VP70 and handed it to Jill. “I got him.”

Wesker, Barry and Jill looked at him as if he had lost his mind.

“A simple problem requires a diplomatic solution,” Chris explained as he stepped from behind the car, telling Forest to hold his fire.

Chris slowly made his way towards the distraught man. When the guy saw him coming, he trained his gun on the young R.P.D. officer. “Stay back!” he commanded.

Chris raised his hands and slowly turned a complete 360 degrees. “Easy, man. I'm unarmed. I just want to talk to you. Be cool.”

Marcus responded by drilling the gun's barrel into his own head. “Not a step further! I swear to God I'll kill myself!” he screamed.

“Just calm down, man. I got a question for you. You worked for the Interstate Commerce Commission, right?”

“NO! THEY THREW ME OUT THIS MORNING!” Marcus screamed.

“No shit?” Chris replied. “They just bought out the whole building I was staying in. Said something about turning it into a parking garage or something, I don't know.”

“It's so unfair...” Marcus moaned as Chris pulled out several folded sheets of paper from his back pocket.

“I agree,” Chris said as he looked at the papers. “Something about the Durable Goods Division. What the hell is that?”

“I don't work there anymore! They're on the second floor!” Marcus ranted.

Chris still held the sheets of paper in his hand. “You know someone I can talk to about this?” he asked, playing the role of the de facto negotiator. “I've written letters, called them, even sent out a couple of e-mails to these guys, and they're jerking me around.”

“No...no...NO!”

“I swear, it just drives me crazy,” Chris continued.

That was when Marcus took three steps closer to Chris. “You're not crazy! I'M CRAZY!” he bellowed.

When Marcus had taken those three steps towards Chris in his rage, Chris quickly reacted. Chris grabbed the man's gun hand and performed a textbook perfect akido throw, sending him to the ground. Wrenching his gun away from him, and pinning him to the ground with one knee, Chris retrieved his handcuffs and slapped them on the man, who was still screaming bloody murder.

Gasps were heard from the crowd as Chris brought down the lunatic without firing a shot.

"Marcus Randolph, you're under arrest," Chris said, reciting the screaming man his Miranda rights. "You have the right to remain silent...so I suggest you use it. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you can't afford one, then one will be provided to you by the courts. You understand these rights as I've explained them to you?"

Marcus was still screaming at the top of his lungs.

"I'll take that as a yes," Chris said as he retrieved Marcus's handgun as police officers approached, guns drawn, not taking any chances. He then stood back up, folded the sheets of paper – which turned out to be copies of his letters of recommendations from his former commanding officer and teammates back in the Air Force – back into his pocket and walked back to Jill, Barry and Wesker.

“You know you're crazy, right?” Forest asked as he placed his rifle on safety.

Chris placed Marcus's gun on the trunk. “Idiot had the safety on.”

Jill handed Chris his gun back. “You call that a diplomatic solution?” she asked, eyebrow raised.

“Nah. Usually, I would have knocked his lights out,” Chris replied as he holstered his weapon. “He's still alive.”

Wesker adjusted his shades. “Not bad, Redfield. Normally I would have shot the guy. But try not to draw that much attention to yourself next time. Last thing we need is a lawsuit on police brutality.”

Chris nodded. “Gotcha, Wesker,” he said as he and Jill headed back to the car.

&^%

Several days had passed since that day Chris had brought the standoff to a halt.

Right now, the S.T.A.R.S. were assembled inside the Briefing Room on the first floor. Half of Bravo Team were in the R.P.D. patrolman's uniform, whereas Alpha Team was in casual attire. Wesker, as always was dressed in black, and his ever-present shades were over his eyes.

“I got good news,” Wesker said as he stood behind the podium. “We're upgrading our guns from that second-rate crap we got from surplus. Kendo's given us a good deal.”

"About damn time," Edward Dewey said. "I hate using these damn antique Brownings. They keep jamming up on me. Why couldn't we get some of the better Brownings that the regular cops use?"

Wesker ignored that question. "I've sent Redfield and Valentine to get the guns from Kendo. They should be back shortly."

*&^

Kendo Gun Shop.

"So this is the place, huh?" Chris asked as he and Jill stepped out of his truck. The gun store was located down a two-lane, one-way side street, meaning that Chris would end up having to take the long way around to get back to the police department.

Jill nodded. "Yup. Kendo's the chief supplier of firearms for the R.P.D. His brother, Joe Kendo, is also a dealer, but he's in Exeter. Joe's specialty is making custom guns.” She noticed the black car parked in front of Kendo's van. "Looks like Joe's here as well."

The partners entered the gun store. Inside were two men, brothers to be precise. One had what looked like a beer belly while the other was more leaner than the older brother. Lined up on one counter, were seven small crates, big enough to hold two guns each.

"Morning, Kendo," Jill greeted.

The owner of the gun shop, Robert Kendo, looked up from his inventory sheet. "Hey, Valentine. You arrived just in time. Joe here just brought the goods." He looked at Chris. "New partner?"

Jill nodded. "Chris, this is Robert Kendo." She pointed to the slender man. "That's his younger brother, Joe. Kendo, Joe, Chris Redfield."

After the greetings were exchanged, Joe pointed to one of the boxes. "Go ahead and open it. You won't be disappointed."

At least the crates were easy to open. Upon removing the lid, Chris and Jill looked inside the crate.

Inside were two Beretta handguns. Tactical black, sleek and in the right hands, very deadly. The S.T.A.R.S. insignia was etched into the gun's handle.

Chris picked it up and began to inspect it, as did Jill.

"That, my friends, is the Beretta M92F S.T.A.R.S. Special," Joe explained, going into a sales pitch. "Fifteen-round clip, laser sighting optional. The S.T.A.R.S. Special has been built to meet the requirements set by Captain Wesker and Chief Irons. It has fixed sights and dotted posts, as well as capable of producing a two-inch grouping within 25 yards with no variations after...3,000 rounds, give or take.”

“Is it capable of double-action fire?” Chris asked.

Joe nodded. “Yup. You can also use it with either hand as well.”

Chris eyed his handgun closely. “Hmm...you enlarged and extended the grip panes below the magazine foot. You also redid the hammer spring cap – normally that would have a laynard ring on the end.” He pulled the slide back. “This is a Brigadier slide. You placed this on the gun so that it can withstand the use of higher-pressure rounds. It's a bit heavier, though. I also saw an extended slide catch and the barrel's made out of stainless steel.”

Jill was amazed at Chris' knowledge. “Wow. I'm impressed.”

The Kendos were impressed as well. “Not bad, Redfield. The stainless steel one is for Captain Wesker,” Joe said. “Look at the slide.”

Chris did so. Etched into the black carbon metal were the words BERETTA M92F SAMURAI EDGE – RACCOON POLICE DEPARTMENT, while on the other side simply had S.T.A.R.S. etched into the metal.

“Samurai Edge?” Chris inquired as he placed the gun into his holster.

Joe nodded. "Yup. That's what I call her," he said with pride in his voice. There's fourteen guns in total - all of them Berettas. I even tested them all myself and I can guarantee that the Samurai Edge is by far the most balanced of all of the Kendo custom firearms. You miss any of the targets with this baby, then you'd be better off with a teething ring in your holster rather than a gun."

"Of course, if you want to modify it to meet your...personal quirks, then come talk to me," Kendo said.

“Now that you mentioned that,” Chris said, “I compete in a couple of marksman competitions. I want this to be a competition-capable weapon. You think you can come up with a medium-weight slide and an adjusted trigger pull?”

Kendo grinned. "Finally. A guy with some creativity. Give me a couple of days, and I'll see what I can do. Wesker said that you would be bringing the payment for these guns?"

Jill nodded. Reaching into her back pocket, she produced an envelope which contained a check from the Raccoon Police Department, signed by Irons himself and handed it to Joe.

Joe accepted the check with a nod. "Pleasure doing business with you," he said. "Let's get you loaded up."

After loading the six remaining boxes into the bed of Chris's truck, both her and Jill were off, taking the long way around – as Chris had predicted – back to the police station. With the help of Barry, the trio unloaded the crates and hauled them to the S.T.A.R.S. Office, where the others were waiting.

Suffice to say, Wesker and the other S.T.A.R.S. members were very pleased with the results.

Wesker casually inspected his own Samurai Edge. “Our thanks to the Kendos,” he said.

Even Barry received his handgun. Unlike the others, his was heavily modified to use the same type of ammo used in his Colt Python, as well as the standard nine-millimeter rounds. “Our thanks indeed.”

By this time, it was close to noon, and the S.T.A.R.S. dispersed for their lunch break. Wesker remained behind as the others went their separate ways.

Jill slipped her jacket over her shoulders as she followed Chris out the office. “You're up for lunch today,” she reminded him.

“I know,” Chris replied. “Emmy's?”

Jill nodded. “Sure.”

As they reached the stairs, Chris stopped for a moment. After a quick search of his pockets, he turned to Jill. “Hold on. I think I forgot my keys. Give me a minute.”

Jill nodded. “Fine. I'll wait for you in the lobby.”

Chris then backtracked to the S.T.A.R.S. Office. Upon entering, he found Wesker inside, along with an unknown man. Chris looked at the man. He was around Wesker's age, with sandy blond hair and day-old stubble. He was dressed down in a dark green shirt and black slacks, complete with loafers. Chris noticed the ID badge hooked to his belt, the red-and-white insignia showing that he was an employee of the Umbrella Corporation. To Chris, he looked every bit of a mad scientist.

“Whoa...um...sorry for barging in, Wesker,” Chris apologized as he retrieved his keys from his desk. “I forgot my keys.”

Wesker waved him off. “No problem, Chris.”

The man turned to Wesker. “This is the guy?” he asked. “The prodigy the R.P.D. hired?”

Wesker nodded. “That's him all right.” He motioned Chris to come closer. “Come here for a moment, Chris. This is a friend of mine from college.”

The man introduced himself, extending his hand. Chris shook it. “Dr. William Birkin, chief researcher for the Umbrella Corporation's labs here in Raccoon. Al's told me quite a bit about you, Chris.”

Chris turned to Wesker eyebrow raised Spock-style. “'Al?'”

“A nickname between friends,” Wesker explained, a rare smirk on his face. “We were rivals of sorts back in college. He was known as 'Scholar Will' and I was known as 'Practical Al.'”

“Catchy,” Chris said. “Didn't know you were a science geek, Wesker.”

The S.T.A.R.S. captain adjusted his shades. “It's a hobby of mine,” Wesker admitted. “Will here made it into a professional career, while I majored in Criminology. He's one of the best scientists in the world.”

Birkin grinned. “You give me too much credit, Al. Besides, I'm not one to boast.” He turned to Chris, while still talking to Wesker. “Did you know that Chris here is a whiz in science, mathematics and physics?”

“It was in his file,” Wesker replied. “Comes pretty handy in certain cases. He's pretty friendly with the forensics team here.”

Birkin humphed. “It's public knowledge. Of course I know. After all, you were scouted by Umbrella upon graduating from high school, and we tried again when you left the military.”

“That I already know about Chris,” Wesker replied. “It's in his file.”

Birkin looked at Chris, as if he was sizing him up. Then he asked Chris a question, to see whether he could answer it. "An air puck with a mass of 0.028 kg is tied to a string and allowed to revolve in a circle of radius 1.1 meters on a frictionless horizontal surface. The other end of the string passes through a hole in the center surface with a mass of 1.9 kilogram tied to it. The suspended mass remains in equilibrium while the puck revolves around the surface. The acceleration of gravity is 9.81 meters per second squared. Tell me the magnitude of the force that maintains the circular motion acting on the puck."

"Easy," Chris replied. "The weight of the suspended mass provides the central force that maintains the circular motion of the puck. Therefore, the linear speed of the puck is 27.1 meters per second."

Birkin was impressed. "That was the hardest Physics questions known to man. And you solved it under a minute. Al was right about you. Your reputation's well-earned."

“It's a talent,” Chris replied. “You're here to offer me a position in Umbrella?”

Birkin shook his head. “No. I hate competition. I work better alone, unless you're my wife.”

Wesker snorted. “Some things never change. Birkin here was ranting about some British aristocratic genius getting her own lab and staff,” he told Chris. “That was a couple of years ago.”

Birkin scoffed. “Alexia has nothing on me. The only thing she had going for her was that she was descended from one of the founding fathers of Umbrella.” Turning back to Chris, he pulled out his business card and handed it to Chris. “Such a waste, a man of your caliber a police officer. Oh well. To each their own. If you ever get tired of playing cops and robbers with Al over here, look me up. I'll get you a real job.”

“Thanks for the offer,” Chris replied as he exited the office.

&^%

Raccoon National Bank – 10 minutes later.

Chris mentally cursed to himself as he and Jill stood in the back of the line inside Raccoon National. The ATM outside was out of order, forcing him to go inside to actually withdraw money from the bank.

Then again, he wasn't surprised, since the ATM outside was always busted. Raccoon National Bank was a bit on the slow side when it came to getting their things repaired.

"Next time, I'm going to the Bank of Colorado," Chris muttered.

"Calm down, Chris," Jill reassured him. "It could've been worse."

As it turned out, things did get worse.

"EVERYBODY DOWN ON THE GROUND! ON YOUR KNEES!"

Seven men stormed the bank. Faces covered in ski masks, dressed in camo fatigues, and each armed with pistols, shotguns, the leader armed with an M-16 carbine. He fired a burst into the air, forcing most of the customers to the ground.

"ON THE GROUND! NOW!" the leader shouted, sticking his gun into the face of the rent-a-cop, who promptly went facedown to the ground. "Forty-five seconds, guys! Move! Move! Move!"

Two of the men rushed to the tellers, demanding money, while the others went around with several bags, demanding their jewels and wallets.

"Come on, people, hand over your valuables," one of the robbers said. "You want us gone? We do too. Give it up." After pilfering most of the customers' items, the five robbers came across Chris and Jill.

Two of the men had their guns raised at the two S.T.A.R.S. members, while the other three kept their guns trained on the other hostages. "You two aren't exempt," the head robber said. "You wanna keep breathing? Then hand over the valuables."

Chris reached into his jacket pocket to pull out his wallet. "All I got are my car keys...my cellphone..." he then pulled out the wallet and flipped it open, revealing his R.P.D. badge. "... oh, and my police badge," he finished.

Before the three robbers could do anything, Chris struck, while Jill took on the other two. His combat training kicking into overdrive, Chris dropped his badge with one hand, quickly swatted the M-16's barrel out of his face, before stunning the head robber with a vicious chop to the throat, followed by a quick disarm of the other two men, knocking their guns to the floor with both hands before taking both men to the ground in less than three seconds, leaving only the head robber.

Meanwhile, the two men had turned, just in time for one of them to get a close-up of Jill's foot, before slipping into unconsciousness from the blow to the skull. As the second robber brought his gun to bear, Jill grabbed the gun's barrel, and yanked the slide off, making the gun useless to the robber.

Jill's fist was introduced to the guy's kidney's making him double over. From the corner of her eye, she spotted movement. The two robbers at the teller were now turning their attention to both herself and Chris. In an instant, Jill had her Samurai Edge out, the safety flipped off, and in quick succession, fired off two shots. The robbers went down, the nine-millimeter parabellum rounds catching them in the shoulders, effectively taking them out of the equation.

Chris, on the other hand, had already taken down two of the leader's buddies, leaving the boss standing alone. In three seconds, the head robber was on the ground, moaning in pain, holding his nose. Chris had broken it with a straight punch to the face.

Chris looked for Jill. She was still standing, her smoking Beretta in her hands. "You okay?" Chris asked.

Jill nodded. "I'm good."

Unfortunately, Jill had let her guard down at the wrong moment. The guy that Jill had dropped with the kidney shot was back on his feet. In one hand, was a Bowie knife. Jill didn't see him coming.

But Chris certainly did. And Jill was in danger.

"Jill, WATCH OUT!" Chris shouted as he shoved Jill out of the way.

Unfortunately, that left himself open to the wild knife swing that followed. Chris let out a sharp yell of pain as the knife made contact, slashing him at his side drawing blood.

Jill looked up, just in time to see her partner take the knife swipe that was meant for her. At that moment, something inside of Jill had snapped. She was more than angry.

She was pissed.

Dropping her run, she jumped to her feet, she charged at the knife-wielding criminal. Grabbing his knife hand, she crouched low and elbowed him hard in the torso. She then followed with a hand-less somersault, using her own momentum to flip the guy to the floor. Jill landed on her own two feet, the guy facedown on the ground, arm wrenched back in a painful joint lock, Jill's knee on his neck. The knife fell to the ground, stained with Chris's blood.

Chris, in the meantime, had saw Jill take down the robber as he held his injured side. Jill had mentioned to him that she was a peak athlete as well as being into kickboxing. This proved it.

Chris looked at Jill's face. Never in his life had he seen such hatred on her face. Eyes filled with anger, teeth clenched as she applied pressure onto the painful-looking hold, making the robber scream in pain.

'Now that's scary,' Chris thought as he retrieved his wallet from the floor.

“R.P.D.! FREEZE!”

“HANDS UP!”

Six more men stormed the bank. This time, the men were members of the R.P.D.'s S.W.A.T. Division. Heavily armored and armed with HP-5 submachine guns, they charged into the bank, only to find that all seven robbers have been neutralized, and the two R.P.D. members responsible for thwarting the robbery.

“Identify yourselves!” the S.W.A.T. officer in charge shouted.

Jill released the hold and stood up, badge in hand. Chris showed off his badge as well. “We're both R.P.D. S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team. We got two robbers behind the tellers and my partner is injured,” Jill said.

The officer in charge gave the order to his teammates to lower their weapons. Switching on his radio, he reported in. “Dispatch, this is Big Bear. Hostiles subdued at Raccoon National Bank, we got three injured, one of which is an R.P.D. officer. Send the paramedics.”

“Copy that, Big Bear,” the dispatch replied.

By this time, Jill was tending to Chris. “So much for lunch,” Chris groused.

*&^

10 minutes later...

Squad cars and media vans were all around the bank when Captain Wesker, Barry, and Chief Irons arrived in a squad car Barry had commandeered from the R.P.D. Upon arriving at the bank, they were ambushed by a throng of reporters and journalists. Irons dealt with them, while Barry and Wesker went searching for their two subordinates.

Sure enough, they found Chris and Jill. The two partners were seated in the open end of an ambulance, Chris on a stretcher, while one of the paramedics was pressing several gauzes up against the nasty knife slash.

“You still with me, Redfield?” Jill asked.

“A little lightheaded, but I'm okay,” Chris winced.

“Just relax, buddy,” the medic said. “You're gonna have to get some stitches, which means you're gonna have to come to the hospital.”

“I'll ride with him,” Jill said. Turning to Barry and Wesker, Jill added, “I'll explain when we get to the hospital.”

Wesker nodded as Barry slammed the doors closed. He banged on it twice, signaling to the driver that he could pull off.

(*&

Raccoon General Hospital, 20 minutes later.

Inside the hospital's ER, Wesker and Barry found Jill waiting outside one of the exam rooms. She was not alone, though. With her, was one of the hospital's doctors. Wesker recognized him as Raccoon Hospital's resident surgeon, George Hamilton, seeing as how the good doctor was also on call as the R.P.D.'s gunshot doctor.

Wesker knew that George was good at his job. So far, none of Raccoon's finest hasn't died...at least, not yet anyway.

George saw the blond S.T.A.R.S. commander approach, with Barry close behind. “Captain Wesker,” the doctor greeted.

Wesker responded with a nod. “Dr. Hamilton. How's Chris?”

George flipped through his charts. “Officer Redfield was brought in with a rather nasty three-and-a-half-inch gash in his abdomen. He lost a bit of blood on the ride here, and is lightheaded at the moment. I cleaned and stitched up the wound, but he's going to need a couple of days to rest and recover. You should be proud, Wesker. From what Officer Valentine has told me, he has only been in S.T.A.R.S. for only two months and is already a hero.”

Wesker nodded. “I'll admit that Chris has his moments. Can I see him?”

George nodded and stepped to the side. Wesker entered the room, followed by Barry and Jill.

)(*

Inside the exam room, Chris sat on the exam table, naked from the waist up. His wound was stitched and covered in gauzes and bandages, thanks to George and his assistant. He was still feeling woozy from the loss of blood, but it wasn't life-threatening, thankfully. The shirt, however, was a lost cause, and had to be thrown away.

The door opened and Jill, Wesker and Barry entered the room. “How you're feeling, Chris?” Barry asked.

“Okay,” Chris replied, wincing. “They gave me some painkillers. At least they're working.”

“How many stitches they put in you?” Jill asked.

“Thirty-three. I forgot how painful getting stitches can be.”

“I got a call from Irons,” Wesker said. “He told me everything. My congratulations to the both of you. Those robbers were wanted in Denver, Colorado Springs, Stone Ville, and Exeter for multiple bank robberies, assaults and murders. The both of you are looking at some major recommendations from the governor, mayor and from the chief.” Wesker then turned to Chris. “As for you, Redfield, you're out on medical leave for the rest of the week. I'll stick you on light duty until those stitches come out. Jill you can use some time off as well.”

“Thanks, Wesker,” Jill said.

Wesker looked at Chris, giving him one of his usual smirks. “Try not to get injured too much in the future, Redfield,” he quipped. “Otherwise, Jill may need to break in a new partner if something bad happens to you.”

“I'll try not to next time,” Chris replied.

*&^

After Chris received several medications for his injury, the four S.T.A.R.S. members returned to the R.P.D. By the time Chris and Jill had returned to the station house, news of their run-in with the bank robbers had became known throughout the R.P.D. hierarchy.

Holding his side, Chris and Jill were greeted with applause and cheers from their co-workers as the two exited the car and made their way from the basement to the lobby. Even Enrico and Bravo Team broke out in applause in support for their teammates as Chris and Jill walked across the lobby of the police station.

Outside at the parking garage across the street, Chris and Jill saw that someone was waiting for the both of them. Standing near Chris's truck, was a blonde woman, older than both Chris and Jill. She was clad in a womens' business suit, looking very professional. In her hand was a small tape recorder. The tag on her jacket showed that she was a reporter for the Raccoon Times.

Jill recognized her all too well. “Alyssa,” she greeted.

Alyssa Ashcroft merely inclined her head. “Jill,” she replied with the same courtesy. She looked at Chris. “So this is your new partner, huh?” She then introduced herself to Chris. “Alyssa Ashcroft, reporter for the Raccoon Times.”

Chris grunted. “Chris Redfield. You two know each other?”

Jill nodded. “Before she took a job working for the Raccoon Times, she worked for the Stone Ville Journal. She covered Dad's trial, as well as my own. So yeah, I know her. She even did an interview on me on how to pick a lock. I knew that either you or Bertolucci would show up.”

Alyssa snorted. “Please. Ben's a no-talent hack thinking he's on my level as a reporter. When I heard about the robbery and that you were involved in stopping it, it was a chance that I could not ignore. So how about it, Valentine? You give me an exclusive for old times' sake?”

“Later,” Jill briskly replied. “Right now, Chris needs his rest.”

“Sure. I can wait,” Alyssa said as Chris got into the passenger's side, while Jill got behind the wheel. “Good work on stopping those robbers.”

“Thanks,” Chris said as he closed the door.

&^%

“So how are you feeling?” Jill asked as she followed Chris' directions to his home.

“I'll live, I assure you,” Chris replied. “Huts like a son of a bitch. Think I prefer getting shot rather than stabbed. Least you go into shock afterwards. My place is in the Cider District. Head there.”

Jill nodded. “Okay.” She then paused for a moment. “Wait. Cider District. That's middle-class right there.”

“Yeah,” Chris admitted. “My parents left the place to me and Claire in the will. Place is paid for.”

“Lucky you.”

Two more minutes later, and they arrived at the Cider District.

Chris Redfield lived in a Victorian-style, two-story house in Raccoon's Cider District that was left to himself and to his sister when their parents had died. Even Jill admitted to herself that his home was very nice.

'Great,' Jill thought. 'Even now, old habits are hard to break. I'm still casing the place.'

She pulled into the driveway. Chris got out of the truck and closed the door. “Try not to wreck my truck, Valentine. I kinda like this one.”

Jill made a face at him. “Whatever. Get some rest, Redfield.”

Jill backed out of the driveway and drove off, leaving Chris to limp up the driveway and into his home.

'What a day,' Chris thought as he entered his home.

Snafu's Notes: So I like Murder at 1600. Sue me. Does that move Jill did on the robber look familiar to any of you? Also, the Kendo Gun Store scene in which Chris describes the Samurai Edge is in fact accurate, as I got the info from RE Wiki. Also, see if you can find the RE: Nemesis reference.

Next Chapter: Jill meets Claire. Chris meets Dick. Jill fights Chris. Chris trains Jill. A houseguest arrives at the Redfield Home.

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