“More and more I find myself wondering if it's all worth fighting for. For a future without fear...yeah, it's worth it"
Calm Before The Storm
It's a clear evening at the end of August. Chris Redfield, Special Operations Agent with the B.S.A.A finds his way to the rendezvous location in an unnamed park. A reliable source is supposed to meet with Chris and his partner this evening in regards to the whereabouts of Oswell E. Spencer, one of the co-founders of the Umbrella Pharmaceuticals Corporation. As he approaches the agreed upon location, Chris can make out the slight frame of a woman sitting on a park bench along the side of a remote path. He doesn't need to see the brunette's face to know who it is.
"Hey." Chris says as he plants himself in a seat next to his partner.
"Hey." Jill responds. She gives him a quick smile before returning her gaze to the lightly travelled path in front of her.
"Have you been waiting long?" He asks.
"No.” She replies, “I wanted to check out the place first before our guy gets here."
"Good. Find any bad guys or suspicious looking trees? I could have sworn I saw a bird give me a dirty look on the way here."
Jill smirks at this, but again it's brief "No, all clear."
Chris was expecting Jill to come back with some witty retort, but he can tell something is bothering her.
"Something wrong?" He asks with a concerned look on his face.
Jill sighs. She watches as a jogger suddenly appears running down the path. It looks like she's taken a great interest in the jogger, but Chris knows she's trying to choose her words carefully.
After a few moments more she responds, "I've been having nightmares again." Her voice is low and her eyes, although still directed at the path in front of her, are distant.
"We all have nightmares" Chris reassures her. She shakes her head.
"No this time is different. I can't explain it, but every time I wake up I can't shake the feeling. One of us always ends up not making it out alive and it just....feels so real."
Chris places a hand on Jill's knee, steadying the leg that has been involuntarily bouncing with anxiety. "It was just a bad dream. We're partners and as long as we have each other's backs, we'll be okay."
Jill turns her head to face Chris, their gaze finally meeting as she rests her hand on top of his. She can see the resolve in his eyes and it soothes her.
"You're right. I guess I'm just being paranoid after everything that happened with Veltro."
The two sit in silence as they continue to wait for the informant. A couple passes nearby with a small child. The young boy is holding his mother's hand and a candy bar in the other. He laughs at something his mother is telling him. Jill watches them for a moment, a strange look on her face Chris has not seen before.
"You ever wonder what it would be like if we lived a normal life?" Jill starts to ask Chris as she turns away from the mother and her little boy. "Get married, settle down and have kids. Watch them grow up and have their own kids. Become a grandmother. Do you think I could live that kind of life?"
"It all depends on the right partner, don't you think?" Chris replies, throwing a sly grin and a wink her way. His response catches her off guard, but she recovers quickly.
"It's getting late. Do you think our guy is a no-show?"
"It certainly looks that way," Chris nods his head in disapproval "But this is the only solid lead we've got on Spencer's location and possibly Wesker. We can't lose hope just yet."
No sooner after Chris finishes speaking, the two spot a tall figure in the distance of the now nearly empty park. Despite the weather being relatively warm with the setting sun, Chris notices the man is wearing a long jacket.
The informant reaches the park bench and extends his hand out to Chris. "You must be Chris Redfield. I don't think we've officially met. Gordon Langley"
Chris and Jill both get up from the park bench. Chris shakes his hand. "Mr. Langley. Do you have the intel with you?"
Langley nods, "Right here." He reaches inside his jacket and produces a Manila envelope from an internal pocket. He hands the envelope to Chris. "This wasn't easy to get, I've been tracking his movement for weeks, but all the information you need is there. He's one paranoid son of a bitch."
"Thank you." Chris says, opening the envelope and skimming through its contents. He sees a photo of Spencer being helped out of a car in front of a large mansion. The mansion looks very similar to the one in Arklay, back in Raccoon City. Chris knows it's him.
"Was he alone? Did you see him meet with anyone?" Jill asks.
"He had a couple of body guards and a man that looked like his butler with him most of the time if that's what you mean. Other than that, I didn't see anyone else."
A little over two hours later, Chris and Jill are back at the safe-house going over Langley's reports. They have been putting together a plan of action, but will need support from the B.S.A.A United Nation division. Oswell E. Spencer looks frail in the images; he's confined to a wheel chair with various tubes to monitor his vitals. However poor his health may be, Chris knows Spencer is still highly dangerous. Who knows what horrors lay behind closed doors in the mansion. The mansion Chris sees is in a remote area of the woods, again very similar to Spencer's estate in Arklay. Langley said he didn't see Spencer meet with anyone while he tracked his movements, but it would be easy for a person to stay hidden in a mansion that big. Did Spencer have an accomplice conducting research in another underground lab that might exist at this estate as well? Could Wesker possibly be using this place as a hideout? So many questions left unanswered. They need to act quickly.
Jill lets out a big yawn as she stretches and relaxes back into the couch. Chris looks up at the clock. It's getting late. He’s also starting to get tired and suggests that the take a break for the night. Jill gathers up the files and puts them in a neat pile on the coffee table. The pair starts talking about trivial things, occasionally cracking a quip at the other, to get their minds off of the gravity of their situation. There’s a long pause as the conversation comes to an end, both simply relishing in the moment of silent company.
Chris is reminiscing on a memory from what feels like a lifetime ago when Jill's head slumps onto his shoulder. She's fallen asleep. Chris thinks about carrying her to the bed, but decides against it. She hasn't been sleeping well and he doesn't want to disturb her. Instead, he rests his own head on top of hers and closes his eyes. Tomorrow, they will contact headquarters and set their plan in motion. It isn't long before Chris too succumbs to sleep.