Author's note: In one of my reviews for this chapter, it was brought to my attention by a sharp-eyed reviewer the fact that the reviewer thought Chris and Claire's parents were dead. This scenario is certainly indicated in S.D. Perry's novels. However, I not only own, but have played and beaten every version of every Resident Evil game to date, and not once did I hear the Redfields' parents even mentioned. Therefore, according to the games, their fate is unknown. I write based on the game-universe, and though I try to stick as close to the games as possible, readers familiar with S.D. Perry's novels will find that my fic differs from those books in many aspects.

Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil or any of it's characters.

Chapter One: A Mysterious Phone Call

Chris Redfield sighed as he pulled the blankets as far as they would go up to his neck. It had been over two weeks since the Antarctic incident. But the nightmares still came. Horrible images of nasty creatures that belonged in some Hell dimension, not here on Earth. But Chris knew better.

Such things were real. He'd seen them, fought them, nearly been killed by them on far too many occasions to count. Huge, slimy green apes that looked like skinned, mutated gorillas. Devil-dogs that ran around with dead, mutating bodies still rotting and dropping flesh. Humans made zombies by an incredible virus. And a smorgasbord of other hellish creatures Chris couldn't even begin to classify.

But they all had at least one thing in common: an insatiable thirst for the kill.

And although the main facilities where the viruses had leaked had been destroyed, and although most of the zombies and beasts had been destroyed, Chris couldn't help but feel it was far from over.

Umbrella was still out there. Wesker was still out there. And whichever 'new' company he had sold his soul to.

Somehow, he doubted it was Disney.

And just knowing such things made him edgy, nervous. Umbrella and all evils associated with it had to go down. Soon.

Until that happened, he would never truly be able to rest.

From it's wooden perch on the dresser next to his bed, Chris's alarm clock barked it's usual cheery greeting. He instinctively shot his arm out and quickly silenced the unwelcome sound. 7am already. Where did the time go?

Right now, all he truly wanted was silence, a place to escape. Perhaps a little more sleep…

Right, so I can continue those wonderful dreams where I'm being chased by ravenous zombies, monsters, and giant snakes. Chris thought sarcastically.

He decided to get up.

Chris had barely pulled his pants on when he heard a light tapping on the door to his room.

"You getting ready, Chris? Alan expects us to show around eight-o-clock." Claire's voice poured from the other side of the door.

"Just a minute," Chris replied groggily. Then, in a much quieter tone, he added, "Don't see why he insisted on meeting us so friggen early for, anyway."

"Okay, I'll be waiting for you out in the car. Crystal Lake is a long drive, you know. It'll probably take us a good thirty, thirty-five minutes to get there."

Chris could hear her retreating footsteps in the hall.

After the Antarctic incident, Chris and his sister Claire had taken into hiding. They knew that Umbrella wasn't through with them, and they didn't plan on making it easy for their foes to find them.

That's why they had rented a 2-bedroom apartment in the small town of Sunnyvale, California. They had both agreed it was too dangerous to go home just yet and risk the very real possibility of walking into a trap. They had needed a place to stay where they could sort of…recuperate. At least until the time came for a counterattack. Claire was still hoping to save Steve.

And if he was still alive, Chris could only pray for the young man who had helped his sister out when he hadn't been there to look out for her.

Claire grabbed the keys to the blue truck and headed out the door. Outside a gray morning mist shrouded the parking lot and she could hear the calls of the robins and crows just getting a start on the day; filling the skies with their piercing melodies. The air was cool and crisp on Claire's face, and she inhaled deeply.

So much better than the foul stench of rotting flesh she'd come to know and hate.

But, as Claire scrambled into the truck, her thoughts were elsewhere.

Her and Chris hadn't told anyone except the other S.T.A.R.S. members the information about their new lodgings. Not even their parents.

So how was it that a complete stranger was able to get ahold of their phone number and call in the middle of the night last night?

Stranger still, this Mystery Guy had known their names. He even knew of Umbrella's viral accidents and the unleashing of the T-Virus in Raccoon City as well as Rockfort and the Antarctic base.

Claire had answered the unusual phone call. The voice on the other end had belonged to a frantic young man babbling something about monsters and viruses. He hadn't said much, except that he had information on a new company that was on the brink of unleashing another disaster: this one on a scale of catastrophic proportions. Claire had tried to get the details out of him over the phone, but he had refused to yield anymore information than the fact that the situation was serious and he would fill them in on the facts at Crystal Lake. He seemed to think that it was terribly important that the Redfields meet him there to discuss the threat. And he wanted to do it immediately. Other than that, the only other information he could supply them with was his name: Alan.

No last name.

No nothing.

More than a little suspicious, to say the least. But he had sounded so desperate…and since he wanted to meet in a well-used park surrounded by people and buildings in broad daylight, it didn't seem particularly risky. But…there was a possibility, however small, that this was a trap.

The truck started after a few turns of the key and Claire hopped into the passenger's seat, reloading her trusty Beretta and carefully slipping it into the pocket of her jeans in such a way that it would not be easily noticed. She did not want to be caught off guard should the situation turn ugly.

If her experiences in Raccoon and Rockfort had taught her anything, it was to always be prepared.

Then she rearranged her pony-tail while looking in the rearview mirror and waited for Chris.

She didn't have long to wait.

He came jogging up and almost threw himself into the vehicle.

Claire gave a little smile. "Aren't you in a hurry all of a sudden?"

Chris gave a halfhearted sideways grin and put the truck into gear.

"I'm just anxious to find out what this is all about. You know, we could really use the inside scoop for once before a disaster blows up in our faces."

"Yes, that would definitely be an improvement over the usual run-panic-and-shoot that usually happens when we get too involved in secret conspiracies. Now we can run-panic-and-hopefully-take-out-the-bad-guys-before-they-unlease-the-super-monster-on-us. It'll be a nice change. If I'm going to be running for my life, I want to be running in the right direction."

Chris chuckled a bit, but his humor almost seemed forced. And she knew why.

Fighting bio-organic-weapons---or B.O.W.s, as Umbrella's scientists called them---was a very serious matter. And it was a struggle for your life.

Umbrella and their monsters didn't care if you were an innocent bystander. They didn't care if you didn't want to be involved. They didn't care much about anything. And that was what made them so dangerous.

"So, maybe we can stop by a mini-mart somewhere and grab breakfast?" Claire suggested brightly, hoping to turn the conversation to something less morbid.

"You're on." Chris agreed.

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