Chapter 13: On the Run

"Wesker!" Chris hissed. If looks could kill, Wesker would've been dead. Nevertheless, the S.T.A.R.S. member backed up a bit, leaving Alan closer to the traitorous ex-captain.

At that moment though, Wesker was more interested in Alan anyway, so that worked out just fine.

"You!" Wesker sneered, pointing a gloved finger at Alan, "You're nothing but a traitor!"

Alan did his best to look calm and suppressed, even taking the liberty of adjusting his own personal shades and forcing a grin. He'd been thrown around enough, and something inside him was rebelling. He didn't want to appear weak. Not to his dad, not to anyone.

"Traitor. What do you know? At least I come by it honestly."

In a flash Wesker was right in front of Alan. In a flash he grabbed his son by the throat and threw him into a bank of machinery set into the wall, jarring some of the mechanical drawers open and freeing thousands of little metallic beads.

"I've had about enough lip from you Junior!" Wesker spat, "Deal's off!"

"Well, I kinda figured that, being that it's not seven-thirty yet." Alan groaned a bit as he staggered to his feet. Right. Insult him. Why did I think that would be a good idea? And…ow. Don't suppose I could report him for child abuse? Though, technically, I'm not a child anymore…

"What have you done to my sister?!" Chris demanded, interrupting Alan's thoughts.

His face was almost red with anger, his cheeks flushing and eyes narrowed. He seemed to go into a kind of fighting stance as Wesker approached ever so slowly.

Wesker was taking his time, savoring the moment. "Ah, Chris. Always right to the point. But if it's to any consolation, what I do to your sister will far pale in comparison to what I'm going to do to you."

By the time Chris realized Wesker was going to charge him with his super-speed, it was already too late. Wesker had him in a chokehold and had already ripped the gun out of his hand.

All in about three seconds.

The gun, along with the ship-crest, fell to the floor in a clatter besides Wesker's feet. Paying the fallen items no heed, he tightened his grip on Chris's throat and hoisted the other man into the air with just one hand.

Alan backed away from the scene, careful not to slip on all the little marbles that were now practically beneath his feet. Every fiber in his being wanted to help, he just didn't know how.

If I went anywhere near him, Dad would smack me clear to Miami! No, brute force wouldn't do any good. There had to be some other way…Alan's eyes swept the room, searching for something, anything he could use to his advantage.

It was a supply room with little metal chutes and ducts erupting from various pieces of equipment all over the place. Half the gadgets and machines Alan didn't even recognize--they looked completely alien. There were even carts and a little water fountain.

To the other end of the room, Chris struggled in Wesker's grasp.

There was no time to do a more thorough search. Alan's eye fell on a panel of buttons just to his right, built into the corner of the wall. As luck would have it, they were also close to the door. Although it wasn't clear exactly what they did, he hoped it would be enough to create a diversion.

"You were always so concerned about your teammates," Wesker told Chris even as Alan reached the button panel, "Well now you're about to join them. Say hello for me, will you?”

Alan froze just over the buttons. There were at least a dozen of them; little white squares with little labels. He didn't have time to read labels.

I hope I know what I'm doing, He thought as his fingers flew over the panel pressing buttons like they were going out of style, Who am I kidding? Of course I don't know what I'm doing. I just hope one of these doesn't do something really bad.

Several things happened at once then.

The first thing that happened was a motorized cart came to life and rammed right into Wesker's legs, spilling all it's contents--including flasks filled with some type of red fluids--all over him.

The sprinkler came on and an automatic coffee maker roared to life. It went totally berserk and started spouting scalding hot coffee all over the floor.

The lights flickered off, then on, then off again.

"Sorry!" Alan yelled above the chaos as he pressed even more buttons to try and get the lights back on.

"What the…?" Wesker never got the chance to finish as something wet and sticky hit him in the face.

Only when the lights came back on did he realize it was a jelly-like blob substance of the likes which he'd never seen. He had no idea how it had got there or where it had came from. The sticky red goo engulfed his entire face, cutting off his air while the little motor cart continued to ram his legs again and again, as if trying to drive through them.

This was too much for Wesker. He threw Chris down and struggled to pry the extra sticky jelly off his face.

Quick to take action, Alan leapt over the loose marbles on the floor and helped a coughing Chris up. The water from the sprinklers drenched them even more than they already were like a vicious rain. Some how, above all the racket of the room, they still managed to hear a strange squishing sound.

They looked over. Just past Wesker, more of the red goo was oozing out from under a broken wooden crate.

Deciding they didn't want to stick around, they made a beeline for the door--Chris following Alan's lead jumping over the beads.

Just when they'd made it out to the hallway, Alan saw two people he didn't recognize coming after them.

But Chris recognized one of them to be Alexia.

"No way! I thought I killed her!" He rasped, his voice still a bit strained from want of air.

"She's in pretty good shape to be a corpse!" Alan observed.

Chris got an idea. Before she had time to act, he grabbed Alexia by the arm and yanked her rather roughly into the soggy room where Wesker was fighting his battle with the jelly.

An unprepared Alexia slipped on the loose metal beads greased further by all the falling water and skidded right into Wesker just as he managed to pry the gel from his face.

Wesker landed on his back with her on top of him, face to face, almost in a kiss.

Alexia's enraged partner took aim at Chris and fired.

Luckily, Chris had been moving just then, and his shot went wide.

Alan tore off down the hall, Chris hot on his heels.

"We need to get to Claire before my dad does!" He called over his shoulder, "I know where she's at!"

"That's great and all," Chris muttered, "But do you really expect us to just outrun someone who can move as fast as Wesker? Even if we were in training for the Olympics he could catch us."

"Yeah? Well what's your plan?"

"Good point. I just hope Alexia can keep him busy for awhile."

There was another gunshot, and a bullet whizzed so close to Chris's ear he could feel the wind from it ruffle his hair and touch his cheek like a cold, ghostly finger. His ears reverberated with the sound of a rifle being fired in such close proximity.

It wasn't like the little 'pop's heard on TV. A gun being fired off in real life was very, very loud.

Alan threw open door after door in a wild rush, paying very little heed to anything except the mission: they had to get to Claire before Wesker did. There was no two ways about it.

However, their soggy clothes were slowing them down and making running a real chore.

Water! Why does there have to be so much water! Alan thought angrily. He felt as though he'd gained several pounds and was not liking the way the water felt in his boots or the way it made his hair stick to his face in wet blonde clumps. When all this is over, I'm going to take a nice hot shower.

They were now several doors away from where they'd been, but they still had a ways to go.

"We need to find an elevator or stairs." Alan stated, as if sensing an impending question from Chris, "Claire is on B-1, but I only know how to get there from the first floor."

"You're sure?" Chris asked, dubious.

"Positive." Alan snapped, a bit grumpily. Things were not going well for him today, and he really didn't like being second-guessed.

Chris just followed--what else could he do--and snatched his magnum out of his waterlogged side pack between strides.

There were only two bullets left after the whole Tyrant incident, and he was really hoping he wouldn't have to use them. He hadn't exactly gotten the time to retrieve his Beretta from under Wesker's feet.

Or the ship-crest.

@&%$, I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me! Chris thought sourly once the memory resurfaced, Of course, it probably will. What is with me lately? I'm always losing things I need!

An elevator loomed in front of them.

A female zombie dressed in a skimpy red dress stood guard.

"Uuuuhhhhnn?" It almost seemed to ask, it's lifeless eyes focused on Alan.

Alan didn't even take the time to pull his gun, he just shoved the walking corpse out of his way.

"Sorry baby. You're not my type." He remarked as he reached the elevator and punched the button.

Chris actually laughed a bit. "You talk to zombies?"

"Why not?" Alan said, a pale smile twitching at the edge of his mouth, "It doesn't hurt. And it's not like they're going to argue or call you names or anything."

The doors slid open and they stepped inside onto bare tile.

Alan hit the button to the first floor, and the doors closed as the machine started in motion.

Realizing his shades were still on, Alan took them off and folded them back into his pocket.

"That's better." Chris remarked, noting the action with suppressed resentment. Shades reminded him of Wesker. Wesker reminded him of a world of things he was trying to forget.

"Yeah, well…easier to see. I don't have cat-eyes like my dad."

"There's something you can be thankful for." Chris huffed, rubbing a hand to his forehead in an effort to wipe away some of the excess water dripping down from his hair. "How long has your dad been that way? With the virus and all?"

Alan frowned, upset. "I'm not really sure. I found out about it just today. The hard way, I might add. But Dad's been acting kind of funny ever since the Spencer incident. Although he never said anything to me, I'm certain something must have happened there. Something big."

Oh, you don't know the half of it. Chris thought.

There was a ding, and the elevator doors swished apart to reveal a dimly-lit hallway.

"Bingo. Follow me!" Alan started down the hallway until he reached the end, the followed a flight of stairs down to a door. This he flung open excitedly, and rushed in…only to find Claire missing.

Fragments of broken chains hanging from the wall where she'd been were all to be found.

Chris stopped alongside Alan in the middle of the room; his anxious eyes shifting around from wall to wall.

"Claire?!" He called.

There was no answer, only the faint dripping sound of water falling from a leak somewhere in the room. He turned to Alan.

"Where is she?!" His tone wasn't too gentle.

Alan gestured to the closest wall with his hand, "Well she was right there, handcuffed to the wall by her wrists and ankles. But, being how she isn't there now, and being how the chains have been cut and all, I'm going to go out on a limb and say she was rescued."

Chris crossed his arms, thoughtful. "Maybe. Or maybe Wesker just moved her."

Alan shook his head dismissively. "Not his style. Besides, why would he leave fragments of chains on the wall? I'm sure he must've had the key to those cuffs. It wouldn't make sense."

"But who would rescue her? I mean, other than us, obviously."

Alan shook his head, thoroughly puzzled. "I don't know. But we'd better get out of here very quickly. I know my dad well enough to know that this will be one of the first places he will look for us."

"Good idea." Chris agreed.

Together, they headed back up the stairs and back to the elevator. Only, instead of going into it this time, they tried a door to the left.

"I guess we could keep an ear out for her." Chris said, weary with worry.

Alexia was on the prowl, and that made things even more dangerous.

I thought I killed her. Geez, doesn't anybody ever stay dead anymore? Chris was remembering Wesker, whom he'd also previously thought dead. It seemed to him that the good people were always dying but the bad people could somehow cheat their way out of death. Still, he was mystified. How do you survive being blown apart by a linear launcher?! She should be dead, I saw her pieces go flying through the air! Not to mention the fact that the whole Antarctic facility went up in smoke. Seems to me there shouldn't be enough of her left to fill a pothole.

The room they were in now smelled heavily of death. The body of a woman lay sprawled out across the floor; facedown, thankfully. Her blood formed a sticky pool on the linoleum.

Alan and Chris made a face of disgust as they stepped around her, both glad they couldn't see what must have been one hell of a wound to be causing her to bleed so badly.

They left that room for another drab and nondescript office-type room.

"So," Chris stated, "Your last name is Wesker, then?"

Alan stopped and looked at Chris like he'd just asked which direction was up.

Chris put a hand to his face, desperately wishing he'd found a better way to word that before just blurting it out. He must think I'm an idiot.

"Of course." Alan replied, as if any dummy should know, "What else would it be? Alan Stephen Wesker. That's me."

"No wonder you didn't want to talk about yourself much."

"That's right. That's why I didn't tell you from the start. Would you really have listened to the son of your worst enemy? I couldn't risk it. Not in this dire of an emergency. I had to be sure you would come."

"Why me?" Chris leaned a bit against someone's office desk, not caring when he knocked several items to the floor in the process.

"I heard about how well you did in the incident at the Spencer mansion as well as the Antarctic. Quite impressive."

"How do you know all that?" Chris prodded.

"My father was there in both those cases, remember? He told me what went on. From his own perspective, of course. He tried to make it sound like you and the others were nothing but a bunch of meddling idiots who just happened to get lucky, but I knew better. What you did took brains. And guts." Alan gave a wry smile.

Chris looked happy for a moment, the ghost of a smile crossing his own features. But it faded quickly. He cast his eyes downward.

"Maybe. But I don't feel that important. Your father slaughtered half my teammates before I even knew what was happening. And Enrico was even shot right beneath my nose."

"That wasn't your fault," Alan muttered, a most sour expression on his face, "There was no way you could've known."

Chris met Alan's saddened gaze. "You know the truth then? About what happened to Enrico?"

Alan nodded unhappily. "Yes. My dad told me all about it in very vivid detail. He also described how everyone on the Bravo team had died, and even what he tried to do to you, Barry, Jill, and Rebecca. I thought I was going to have nightmares."

"So you really were a friend of Enrico's?"

"Yes. I didn't see him much except the few times he came over to talk to Dad. He talked to me, too. Teased me about school and girls and that kind of stuff. Once, when we were waiting for Dad to get back, he told me about S.T.A.R.S. and it's members. He seemed to hold you and Jill in very high regard. Never had anything bad to say about you. I asked him what he thought my chances were of being able to join S.T.A.R.S. when I was old enough, and he just started laughing like I'd told the world's funniest joke because my father was captain of the team. He told me that as long as I put my heart into it and really tried, training would be a breeze for me. Then, somehow, 'Baywatch' got brought up…" Alan gazed off into space, remembering better times.

"Enrico never mentioned you." Chris brought up, snapping Alan back to the present.

"Well, no, I don't suppose he would have. Like I said, we only met a couple of times, and from what he said he was awfully busy. Though he did find the time to share some stories with my sister and I."

Chris raised both eyebrows, startled. "You have a sister?"

Alan nodded. "Yeah. A little sister. She's only ten." At Chris's surprised look, he added, "What? I happen to know that at least some of the other S.T.A.R.S. had kids. Barry did. And I'm pretty sure Enrico did too, even though I never actually met any of them. At least, from the way he talked that's the impression I got."

"So tell me," Chris crossed his arms very seriously, "How did you know where to get a hold of me? Really."

"Well, I have a friend who is quite the computer hacker," Alan admitted, "I mean, on the professional levels."

Chris nodded. "I see. This…friend of yours, is it the same one who loaned you the jet?"

Alan gave a nervous laugh. "Not really. The jet was actually my father's, and he was pretty miffed that I didn't ask permission before I borrowed. Aw crud, I'm going to be in even bigger trouble when he finds those gashes in the side!"

"That's a bit more believable than your other story about mysterious people keeping to the shadows. Though I will give you points for effort."

"Actually," Alan protested, "I did see some people like that and they were talking about you. Well, not you specifically, maybe, but I heard your name mentioned along with Valentine, Chambers, and Burton. Other S.T.A.R.S. members. But you're right: they didn't give me your number. That was courtesy of my friend Kristy. You understand why I had to leave some of the truth out when we first met? It would've led to questions that would have been difficult for me to answer."

Chris smiled a bit. "I guess you're right. It was a smart thing to keep the truth from us right then. After all I've been through with Wesker…"

"Believe me, I know." Alan cut in, "And I don't blame you. I was shocked and horrified at what he did to everyone at Spencer. I guess on some level I'm afraid he'd betray me, too. Even though I'm his own son…I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around him."

Chris suddenly stood up and straightened. "Well, now that Alexia's in the picture, we'd better hurry and find Claire and get out of here. It also wouldn't hurt to blow this place to bits."

"Alexia? Who's that?"

Chris frowned. "She's the woman who should be dead. It's a long story, but the main gist of it is that she's an evil genius who also happens to be insane."

"Insane? You mean like, diabolical insane?"

Chris shook his head. "I mean deluded and demented. She made this crazy virus from ant genes or whatever and mutated herself into a big, butt-ugly fire throwing bug monster. Why anyone would want to do that, especially someone with her supposed intellect, I don't know. Such a shame, really. Even I have to admit that she was very beautiful. Of course, after she mutated a couple of times, her looks went downhill. She was one of those bent on the end of the world types, or something like that. I really don't know what she planned to do as a giant bug."

"So how is it that's she's back in her own human form now?" Alan asked, "I mean, if she was mutated and all."

Chris gave an exasperated sigh. "I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out how she survived being shot with a linear launcher and then blown apart in the explosion that destroyed her facility. She should be in itty bitty pieces all over the Antarctic. By all means, it makes no sense. But now that she is back, she's worth worrying about. In addition to being a heartless psycho she's very smart and very strong. Her only flaw--well, other than the obvious--is that she's slower than molasses when it comes to the chase. Her and your dad mixed it up once. She caught his hand on fire and slapped him around a bit before he decided to run off. It was actually kind of funny. At least, I thought it was funny until she started in on me. Bottom line is, we don't want to fight her if we can avoid it. She's too powerful for the weapons we have, and I don't know where to find another linear launcher if she decides to go all buggy again. Unless her and Wesker end up killing each other, we're going to have our hands full."

Alan nodded, following. "So what should we do?"

Chris scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Well, Wesker and Alexia probably cleared out of that room by now. Alan, do you think you can go back for the ship-crest? I mean, Alexia doesn't have it in for you, and Wesker's your father. You'd be a lot safer than me. I think we're going to need that crest to get to the self-destruct mechanism. I'll look for Claire and meet you on this side of B-1 in fifteen. We'll go from there. Think you can do that?"

Alan saluted Chris in true S.T.A.R.S. fashion. "Yes sir!"

Chris grinned. "You would have made a good S.T.A.R.S. member. Let's do it!"

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