Chapter 6: Hero

Alan made a face as he and Chris descended down the stairs into the darkness.

"Remind me again why we're going down here." He groused, "Do you really think Claire came this way?" He was getting the same jittery, anxious feeling he always got when he felt he was being delayed from doing something important.

Claire might need their help and Chris wanted to snoop around basements?

Though he hadn't known her for long--only today, in fact--Alan had decided he really liked Claire. She was smart, witty, and had a certain coolness about her. It seemed that nothing could get under her skin.

As for Chris, the man was a disaster waiting to happen. First, he'd fallen on Alan. Then, after they'd heard the gunshots and rushed to investigate, Chris had accidentally slammed a door on his fingers. After that drama-rama, they'd run into a pack of zombie-dogs waiting for them in some kind of trophy room filled with real stuffed animals and display cases. The ensuing moments had been pandemonium, one in which a stray bullet from Chris's gun had whizzed so close to Alan's face he'd felt the wind from it ruffle his hair. As if that weren't bad enough, the almost-lethal bullet had loosened a huge moose head mounted high on the wall right over him. Alan had barely managed to scramble away before the thing came crashing down right where he'd been only a split-second before. On the bright side, it had totally smashed the zombie dog moving in for the kill.

All things considered, Alan had decided that it would be best to proceed with caution when dealing with Chris.

"Hmm, she might have." Chris said in response to Alan's question, "Let me point out that we don't exactly know where Claire went. One room's as good as another to search. Besides, companies like this always have some sort of secret to hide in the basement."

"Maybe, but ask yourself this: Is that a secret we actually want to find? I mean, we're talking about a place that does biological research and viral experiments on all sorts of species, including humans. We could run into some sort of frog-monster with a laser-cannon attached to it's head. Really not looking forward to that."

A dim reddish glow radiated at the bottom of the stairs. Alan and Chris stepped off the last step and onto smooth sod. They quickly scanned the room.

Broken tables and torn equipment was flung about everywhere like a giant toddler had thrown a tantrum. Chairs lay strewn in splinters. Shattered glass was everywhere. Five or six bloodied corpses wearing lab coats were laying in various positions on the floor and propped against the wall, frozen expressions of terror still etched on their lifeless faces. It was hard to tell exactly what the room had been before it was demolished.

"Oh my god. What happened here?" Chris gasped.

"Well, either some sort of monster got loose in here, or it was one heck of a wild party. Take your pick."

Alan walked up to one of the bodies lying facedown on the floor and gave it a gentle nudge with the tip of his boot. It flipped over, and he found himself staring into the cold face of a young woman around the age of 24 or so. Her chest had been almost completely ripped out, and fresh blood was still flowing from the wound. It looked like giant claws had ripped through her torso.

He backed up, feeling more than just a little queasy.

Most likely a hunter attack. He couldn't think of anything else off the top of his mind that would do that kind of damage in what appeared to be such a short time. It definitely didn't look like a zombie kill.

"These people were killed only recently." Alan remarked.

But Chris had already come to the same conclusion. "Which means that whatever did this might decide to come back."

He started back up the stairs with Alan on his heels. Both friends were trying not to think too much about the scene down in the basement.

They entered another hall and chose the door on the right. It opened into a small personal office. A gold plaque reading 'James T. Miller' was sitting on a sparse desk littered with few personal items. There were no monsters or other nasties in here, at least.

"Ugh! I feel like we're wandering around in circles!" Chris complained. He pulled out his map and scoffed. "Hmph. This shows the layout of the buildings, but not the layout of the rooms inside the buildings. Useless!"

Alan was beginning to feel the same way. Other than a few notes and papers here and they, they had encountered virtually nothing of any significance.

No Claire. No triggering system or any of the like.

Only zombies and zombie-dogs.

It was like a big waste of time. And now they were running low on both time and bullets.

Alan wandered over to the desk and casually opened a drawer. Much to his delight, there were a couple packs of 'American Wolf ' handgun bullets inside.

"Hey! Found some ammo!" He held the packs up triumphantly before tossing one to Chris.

Chris caught it and stuffed the box into his side pack. "You know," He mused, "Umbrella's facilities always had plenty of weapons and ammo laying around. Makes you think, doesn't it?"

Alan nodded. "Yeah. It's like they expect these kinds of things to happen."

Alan watched as Chris spread the map out on the desk and pointed to the center building .

"HCF Central Control. We need to head there. I'm guessing that's where the big stuff will be."

Suddenly, there was a crash so loud that--at least to Alan, anyway--it sounded like a nuclear bomb going off in a toilet. This was followed by a deafening roar which echoed throughout the hallway.

Chris's eyes went as wide as saucers, and Alan didn't need a mirror to know that his expression was mutual.

"I don't know about big things in Central Command, but there's definitely something big here!" He gushed.

Chris sneaked a peek out into the hallway. By the way he quickly retracted, Alan could tell his comrade had seen something, and judging by the terrified look on his face, it wasn't good.

"There's a tyrant out there!" Chris reported, "And he doesn't look happy!"

"Tyrant?!" Alan squeaked. He knew a thing or two about tyrants. That was practically all his father had talked about before the fall of the Spencer estate.

"Tyrants will be the perfect soldiers, the perfect bio-organic-weapons." Wesker had told his family one night, "The size and strength of one alone will make it virtually unstoppable, but could you imagine a whole army of such beings? The world would be at our mercy!"

Wonderful. While most parents discussed school or sports with their kids, Alan and his sister had to listen to their dad drone on about tyrants, mutations, and global domination. The stuff dreams were made of.

His mother had kind of just went along with it, but Alan remembered thinking that that would be one of the worst ideas in all of history. The weapons the world had now were bad enough, and the thought of Umbrella playing God to create something even more destructive had just mortified him. Of course, he hadn't said anything about it to his father. It would only have enraged him.

But Alan had been right about the bad idea thing. As it turned out, one of Tyrant's most notable design flaws was it's failure to listen to instruction and take orders. It didn't understand English. In fact, it didn't seem to understand much of anything at all. Tyrant couldn't be controlled, as Wesker had found out the hard way.

Alan had heard that the tyrant back at Spencer had nearly killed his dad. And he did notice that ever since Wesker had gotten back from that attack, he'd seemed…different. Colder. More distant.

Which is why I'm really not looking forward to my own personal meeting with Mr. Big.

"Do you think it knows we're here?" Alan stammered.

"I don't plan on waiting around to find out. Let's blow!" Chris sped out into the corridor and Alan followed.

Now he could see the incredible hulking creature to the opposite end of the hall, a hole the size of Georgia punched into what once had been the wall.

It was huge! Humanoid in appearance, the creature was eight or nine feet of gray-skinned bulking attitude built like a tank. One arm was shorter than the other and ended in a mace made purely of flesh and jutting spikes. The other arm looked more human and even had fingers, but it was the huge blades erupting from the hand that stripped away any sense of normalcy. There were four of them in all--all long enough and sharp enough to make X-men's Wolverine jealous.

The monstrosity formed it's disfigured mouth into the equivalent of a grin, exposing rotted teeth and gum.

That's when Alan decided to stop looking. Without thought, he raced to the door he'd came in before and retraced his earlier steps with Chris. He barely registered that Chris was no longer with him.

There was another goliath roar. He could hear the monster thundering after them.

He tried the nearest door. Locked. So was the next.

The timing could not have been worse.

The Tyrant exploded into Alan's hall without even bothering to open the door--it just plowed right through it as if the whole thing were made of nothing more than paper ma'che.

Oh *%$#! This is bad! Badbadbadbadbadbad! Alan thought as he saw the tyrant's muscles tense in anticipation of the charge.

There was only one untried door left; and, as luck would have it, it was at the very end of the hall. Alan fired a few handgun bullets into the tyrant and shot for the door.

He was quick. But Tyrant, unfazed by the bee-sting bullets, was much quicker.

The mighty behemoth blew down the hall in a speed surprising for it's size and knocked Alan flying with it's sheer momentum.

He collided with the door at the far end, cracking plaster and feeling very much like he'd been hit with a brick wall going at least 50 mph. His vision temporarily blurred, he looked up to see Tyrant standing not more than twelve feet away.

His plans having absolutely nothing to do with getting ripped apart by the beast, he tried to stagger to his feet.

At that moment Alan felt as if entire spinal column had been smashed halfway into the rest of his body. Pain! Pain ripped through his back like lightning through a lightning rod! He could barely stand. But he was more than aware of what would happen if he gave in to the urge to rest. Mustering up as much strength as he could, he tried for the door.

Tyrant tensed up.

In an instant, Alan knew it was too late. He'd never make it.

Suddenly, "Hey Ugly! Over here!" The sound of Chris's voice mingled with the crack of a magnum being fired.

The tyrant spun around in a frenzy, ready to annihilate this new threat.

Chris fired again, exploding a chunk off the beast's massive shoulder.

It gave a bloodcurdling roar before tearing off after Chris.

Chris darted into the hole the tyrant had made while chasing Alan and disappeared from sight. Tyrant rocketed after it's new prey.

Alan stood propped against the door he'd been trying for, gasping, his muddled mind trying to make sense of what had just happened.

Chris. He distracted it. He…he saved my life. Alan felt a surge of gratitude towards Chris. For all his faults, the man never let a friend down. I owe him. I owe him big time.

The angry bellows of the tyrant grew fainter and fainter as Chris led it further and further away.

After a few minutes, the pain in Alan's back subsided enough for him to move on. It would still be sore for awhile, but not a major handicap.

He threw open the door he'd been trying for and found himself staring out into a grassy field dissected by gravel walkways that led to the Central Control building.

Alan set out onto the walkway, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun as he kept a sharp eye out for danger. Chris will head for this building, and probably Claire did too. He reasoned, After all, we came here to destroy this place and the triggering system is most likely to be there. Where else would she go?

That's it for Chapter 6. Here's some teasers for Chapter 7:

-- Claire and Wesker have a talk and Wesker decides to use her as bait for a trap yet again.

-- Steve and Alexis discover a secret

-- Alan is faced with a tough decision

Of course, that's not all I have in mind, but it's what I'm advertising for now. I don't know for sure yet how long this story will be once completed, but right now I'm guessing around 12-15 chapters. Bear with me. =^_^=

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