Resident Evil: Field of Blood (Fireheart Fury Book 1)

Chapter 12

“Go back!” Leon ordered.

Sara turned and began to run as Leon opened fire on a trio of oncoming soldiers, but she paused in her headlong rush to check on Leon, hoping he hadn’t been hurt. She was relieved to see him finishing off a kneeling soldier with a fierce kick that broke his neck in an ugly angle.

The influx of soldiers in red-striped helmets poured in from the other pedways, closing in on them. As Sara watched in horror, she was violently seized from behind. She let out a cry of terror.

“I’ve got you now, bitch,” the soldier growled, his mask distorting his voice.

He whirled her around roughly, but Sara had her gun ready. Scarcely thinking, she brought it around and fired a shot at his neck. Sara froze momentarily as the soldier screamed and fell, clutching his neck as blood squirted from the wound.

Another hand took hold of Sara. She spun around, relieved to see Leon. “C’mon; they’re fencing us in.”

Leon aimed the grenade launcher at the group entering from the right artery and fired. Several sharp cries rose and were instantly silenced, ending in a rain of blood and debris. Sara tried to tamp down the wave of nausea that rose as Leon pulled her across the blood-slick floor.

“Where are we going?” Sara panted.

“Wherever they’re not,” Leon answered.

Sara dared a glance over her shoulder. “They’re gaining on us!” she exclaimed.

Leon halted long enough to draw an incendiary grenade. He pulled the pin and flung it at the incoming group. The flames immediately engulfed the soldiers, but the effect was far from desirable. Their masks exploded, blood showering the walls and floors, short black tentacles flailing around frantically.

Sara moaned in horror and disgust while Leon snatched up a bloodied assault rifle and shot down two of them, bursting the writhing tentacles. Unused to this new survival mode she was now in, Sara remembered her own gun. She took two down, though she made two errant shots for each successful hit.

“Not bad. You’re getting pretty good with that,” Leon praised.

Sara trembled with adrenaline, feeling like she’d been catapulted into a live video game. But it was her life at stake, and there were no do-overs. “Wish I wasn’t such a lousy shot,” she quavered.

“You shouldn’t have to do this at all,” Leon returned. “This way.”

They were off again, racing down the pedway. Leon took a sharp right, and they came to a door that read “Generator Room”. Thankfully, the door was unlocked, and after doing a rapid sweep of the immediate area, he ushered Sara in.

A series of gunshots reverberated around the area, and Sara looked back to see Leon fall forward with a gasp. A soldier stood triumphantly behind them, rifle still smoking. Grunting, Leon rolled onto his back and fired a bullet through the soldier’s visor. The soldier collapsed into a lifeless heap.

Sara bent over Leon. “God! Are you okay?”

Leon groaned. “Yeah. Vest caught the bullet. Hurts like hell, though.” He stood stiffly and advanced into the room.

It was vast and full of noisy machines and panels. Leon threaded his way around the humming equipment, Sara in tow. After hitting several dead ends, they found an ascending yellow ladder. Leon climbed the ladder briskly then pulled her up with surprising nimbleness, though Sara could see the pained strain on his face.

They hurried across the platform. “A door!” Sara exclaimed in some relief, pointing at a large white door ahead of them.

Nodding acknowledgement, Leon sped toward it. He stopped before it, gun ready and tried the handle. The door opened easily and a gust of wild, briny wind rushed through.

“We’re out,” Sara realized.

Leon cautiously stepped outside, shielding Sara. Rain poured down in sheets, pelting them sharply as the wind howled fiercely. A flash of lightning dazzled their eyes. Before them spanned an entire potter’s field no doubt full of terrifying surprises.

“Why do I get the feeling we’ve just leaped out of the frying pan right into the fire?” Sara remarked.

“I’m getting the same feeling,” said Leon. “But we don’t have a choice. I’d better call in for that chopper. Hunnigan? Yeah. Call the extraction team. What’s the E.T.A.? Twenty minutes? Okay. We’re gonna have to head to the tower on foot. We got ambushed. Now there’s no safe way back to the garage.”

“On foot?! Great,” Sara muttered, looking about worriedly.

Leon turned to her. “Keep your eyes peeled,” he shouted over the gale. “This might get ugly.”

They began their trek through the vast burial site, scattered floodlights throwing eerie shadows over the muddy terrain. Sara glanced up at the lofty tower looming threateningly on the horizon. It looked so hopelessly far. She returned her attention to Leon who was advancing quickly despite the storm, his form little more than a silhouette. Sara pushed back her hair, struggling to see through the driving rain.

Suddenly, a rough, bony hand burst through the mire and seized her ankle. She fell to the ground dropping her gun and rolling into an open, empty grave where her undead assailant stood waist-deep in murky water. The zombie grabbed her shoulders, trying to sink its rotten teeth into her neck. Sara wrestled against it, astonished at its strength. She cried out in desperate frustration, her feet losing traction beneath the miry water. The creature snapped, rasping loudly above the din of the storm.

Gunfire sounded from behind her, and Sara’s struggle ended abruptly as the creature’s head exploded into fragments of bone and soggy sediment. The headless corpse fell backward with a splash, floating in the flooding pit. She looked up to see Leon still aiming her gun, a scowl on his face. He held out his hand to her which she immediately took in a strong grip, hauling herself up with his aid.

“Were you bitten?” Leon demanded as he helped her stand.

Sara shook her head, too winded to respond. A bolt of lightning lit the field, and Sara felt a stab of horror as she beheld a heartstopping sight behind Leon. A group of zombies were lurching toward them, some holding pickaxes and shovels, others advancing with their arms outstretched. Sara exclaimed, her eyes wide.

Leon whirled around. “Here comes the infantry,” he remarked, taking in the scene. He thrust the gun back into Sara’s hand then drew his own. “Watch out; they’re a tactile bunch.”

“I noticed,” Sara quavered.

Leon opened fire, the blasts almost rivaling the deafening thunder peals. Wherever she could, Sara contributed a shaky shot, stopping only once to reload her gun as she helped thin out the wave of zombies. As the path cleared, Leon advanced, Sara striving to keep him in sight.

A fallen zombie that still refused to accept its death leaped up at Leon’s back, clutching his neck. He struggled, dealing the creature a smart blow with his elbow. The zombie reeled backward, but it snarled, ready to attack again. Sara attempted to shoot it as Leon regained his balance. The chamber clicked uselessly, the magazine empty. Panicking, Sara flung the empty gun at the creature. It hardly seemed to notice as it seized Leon by his neck. In the dim light, Sara perceived an abandoned shovel. She instantly grabbed it, and bringing it forward in a hard swing, she decapitated the zombie.

The zombie collapsed, dropping Leon. He doubled over, leaning on his knees and working to catch his breath.

“Are you okay?” Sara asked.

Leon straightened up and fixed his eyes on her. “Yeah. Nice work getting my back,” he said hoarsely.

Sara chuckled dryly. “No problem.”

A clap of thunder resounded across the island, but now the bloodcurdling sound of screeching blended with it. Sara and Leon looked up to see the source of the cacophony.

A brilliant flash of lightning revealed two female shapes with large, bat-like wings and glowing red eyes diving toward them. Their mouths gaped uncannily in an earsplitting shriek. Another bolt of lightning further exposed four clawed hands and large, scaly feet with black talons.

“Harpies!” exclaimed Sara.

“Grey’s really taken his love of mythology to an unhealthy level,” Leon remarked. “Run!”

Leon and Sara tore through the field, kicking up clumps of mud as they slipped and skidded, trying desperately to evade the grasping hands of the undead that erupted from their graves.

Sara’s knees gave out and she collapsed to the sodden earth, screaming as a zombie clawed its way toward her. Leon appeared before her and dealt the creature a powerful kick before hoisting her up with rough haste. Sara groaned, her lungs aching, a stitch catching her side.

“C’mon, Sara! We gotta keep moving,” Leon shouted.

Sara fought back a wave of dizziness and nausea, daring once to look back. One harpy was still in hot pursuit, the other was nowhere in sight. “Where’s the other one?” she wheezed.

“What?”

Sara turned forward again to see the shadowy figure of a harpy as it plunged toward them. “Duck!” shouted Leon, pushing her to the ground. Before they could recover, a shriek pierced the air, alarmingly close.

Sara looked up, her heart all but stopping as she beheld the second harpy diving down at full speed, talons outstretched. She screamed in horror as she was violently snatched up into the air. “Leon!” she shrieked. “Help me! Leon!”

But as the harpy rapidly ascended higher into the stormy scarlet sky, Sara knew he couldn’t save her. She watched in despair as his figure grew smaller with every beat of the harpy’s wings. Above the uproar of the storm she heard Leon’s fierce and desperate shout:

“Sara!”

☆☆☆

Leon clutched his gun tightly, still staring at the vanishing figures of the harpy and her unfortunate captive. The rare feeling of helplessness laid hold of him momentarily. There was nothing he could do to stop Grey from infecting Sara now.

“I’ve gotta get her back. The vaccine’s our only hope now,” he mused.

A shriek scattered his thoughts. Before Leon realized what was happening, the forgotten harpy had wrenched him off the ground. His gun fell as he flailed desperately in the monster’s vicious grip, her clawed hands threatening to crush his larynx.

Leon’s turned a bleary glare on the harpy’s hideous face. He reached for his trusty knife, drawing it with great effort as his oxygen dwindled, and slashed the harpy’s forearm. With an agonized howl of rage, she dropped Leon immediately.

He hit the ground, briefly dazed, pain shooting through his body. Coughing and gasping, Leon dragged himself away from the hovering harpy. He pulled out the .45 with its single remaining bullet. Trying to focus through the red haze clouding his vision, he aimed at the harpy’s indistinct outline. The resulting screech and the dull thud of her fall was proof of a successful hit.

Leon tossed the gun away and scrabbled through the mud in an effort to stand. A hand seized him and flipped him onto his back. The harpy straddled him, pinning him down with her bulk, wings drooping on either side of him.

She opened her mouth, her fetid breath overwhelming him despite the wind. The cavity gyrated, growing impossibly bigger as a smaller mouth emerged from the gaping hole. A black tongue flicked forth from behind a row of razor-sharp teeth. Leon sought his fallen knife frantically. Luckily, a flash of lightning illuminated the blade; it lay just inches away from him.

Summoning every ounce of his remaining strength, Leon dealt the advancing mouth a sharp, backhanded blow. The harpy roared, raising her arms to strike him. He groped about frenziedly, finally catching hold of his knife’s hilt. Leon plunged it into the side of her neck then jerked it free in a rain of hot, brown blood. He rolled aside as she fell forward, thrashing and gurgling. Drawing his second gun, he fired three rounds into her head. The creature convulsed momentarily before lying still at last.

Leon remained positioned for another shot. Realizing it was over, he relaxed. He started to his knees, but overwhelmed by pain and exhaustion, he collapsed, prostrate. Leon willed himself to rise, but his body refused to obey.

Rolling onto his back, he gazed enervatedly at the raging clouds that cast relentless torrents of rain upon him. Agent Liu’s face and the photos of the abducted women flashed before his eyes. Sara’s terrified screams echoed in his mind as he succumbed to the gathering darkness.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.