Chapter 2: A Training Session Turned Nightmare!

Six p.m. seems to have come almost too quickly. To pass the hours, I had just kinda taken a walk around town, looked into some housing and such. I could have taken my car, but I enjoy the exercise. I saw some houses that caught my eye, and with the money I have saved, getting into one should not be a problem.

But first things first.

I have to make the team.

Chris is waiting for me outside the B.P.D. when I arrive. To my surprise, so is Alexis.

"Right on time." Chris says without a whole lot of enthusiasm, "Come out to the back lot. It should be almost empty by now…only a few personnel work past six. Seems kind of weird, if you ask me. A lot of crime goes on at night."

"I can imagine." I say, picturing the horrors that I happen to know go on at night, "I've been places where you didn't want to be caught without a gun after dark."

He turns and leads the way around the side of the building to a medium-sized back lot. There are still a few cars parked within the yellow lines of the spaces, but for the most part the area is empty. Shallow ditches followed by a small expansion of grassy field populated with blackberry bushes stretch out in three directions. It is at least a block to the nearest neighbor. Not a bad place for a training exercise, I think.

Chris walks out to the center of the lot, Alexis and I lagging behind a bit.

She winks at me. "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll do fine."

She reaches out and grabs a loose piece of my hair, tucks it behind my ear.

I smile. "Thank you."

Even through the tint of my shades I catch a sudden twinkle in her eye. After my training is through for the night, I'd like to get a chance to know her better.

"Alan, stand over on the third yellow stripe away from me." Chris instructs.

"Geez, they all look yellow to me." I joke, hoping to add a little humor to the situation.

I take note of the line Chris is on and move to the third one away. We are now face to face, but still some distance apart.

Alexis walks over and sits on the hood of a fancy new Jaguar eight yards away.

Right. She wants to watch. And that's no pressure. I now feel even more determined not to foul up.

"We'll start out light with some hand-to-hand combat." Chris explains, cracking his knuckles, "Just as a warm-up. Though, if Wesker's been training you, I imagine you're probably pretty good at it."

I am eager. "Let's start."

Of course, I will have to use extra care to make sure that I do not hit too hard. Chris doesn't know it, but I could knock his head clean off his shoulders in a single blow. We both slip into a fighting stance.

"Your goal is to pin me down," He states matter-of-factly, "the way we would non-cooperative suspects. I'm a drug dealer and there's a warrant for my arrest. See if you can pin me face-first to the ground with my arms behind my back, the way you would a real arrest. But be careful--as with all suspects, there's a chance I may have a weapon hidden."

Ok. This should be easy. The hard part will be avoiding having my shades knocked off and being exposed as a carrier of T-2 virus.

"Remember, those druggies can be tricky!" Alexis calls from her perch on the Jag. There is quite an edge of humor in her voice.

However, I have no time to respond as Chris is moving in!

I lunge forward and make the first move, attempting to grab him by the arm. He jerks to the side and my hand closes on empty air. He dances to my side and kicks at my midsection. Of course, his hit misses because I am no longer standing where I was a moment ago. I leap up, perform a mid-air spin, and land behind him. He has no time to react as I lash out with my boot and catch him in the spine, sending him crashing to the ground. It was a mere tap on my part, and I certainly didn't mean to send him to the pavement as hard as I did. He just lays there for a moment, and I worry I have broken something.

I come up to him slowly, unable to see his face. "Chris, are you…"

There is a slight jerk in the muscles of his leg, and I know instantly what he plans to do. And I am more than fast enough to avoid it. Yet I don't.

I barely move as he jerks his legs in a scissor-like fashion and removes my left leg off balance, tripping me to the ground. I fall back on my butt as he leaps to his feet.

Better that, I think, than to show off my super-speed which I probably would've needed to tap into to avoid that move at such a close range.

"Very impressive, Alan." Chris gushes, "Not many people outside the Olympics can jump like that."

"I work out." I blurt, as if that explains everything.

Someday, when I am already on the team and nobody is worried about me turning traitor, I'll show them my true powers. But until then I'm going to have to keep a low profile. People tend to become edgy around people who could kill them as easily as popping the tab on a can of soda.

I start to circle Chris, sizing him up for his weak points, when the sudden scent of something familiar reaches my nostrils.

I stop and sniff the wind. Yep. Definitely familiar, and something is setting off alarms in my head. I can't quite place the smell…it's something like the venom of a poisonous snake with a bit of a coppery twist.

Without warning, there is a dull pain in my side and I am on the ground again before I know it. I look up into the smug grin of Chris. Damn. I probably looked pretty stupid just standing there.

I leap to my feet and dodge another blow. This time I catch his arm as it flies by and use his own momentum to help flip him onto his back on the ground. I lose no time in flipping him over onto his stomach and wrestle his arms behind his back in handcuff position.

There. Now maybe I can check out that smell before the next session.

"Good job!" Alexis trills all too happily.

"No, great job!" Another feminine voice declares.

I hop away and leave Chris to get up as Jill round the corner with a woman of apparent Spanish descent, the one who said 'great job.'

She looks pretty close to my age--early to mid twenties--with a kind of stocky, broad build covered by rough jeans and a green T-shirt. Her skin is a kind of olive color, and she has coal black hair framing a smooth, gentle-featured face. At an inch or so taller than Jill, she is well-muscled and attractive looking.

She smiles when I look her way, brown eyes lighting up. "Hi there, handsome! Are you a member of S.T.A.R.S.?"

She rushes up to me like we were the best of friends.

"Me? Not yet. I'm on a trial period."

Out of the corner of my eye I notice Jill approach Chris. "That's Natasha Marini, Enrico's daughter. She showed up looking for clues to her missing father. What should we tell her?" Jill was whispering low, intending for only Chris to hear, but I can hear her as well as if she were talking through a loudspeaker.

Natasha grabs my arm. "It was sooo cool how you flipped Mr. Redfield! I wish I could do that. I have a red belt in karate and…"

I tune out Natasha's over-enthusiastic babbling and strain my attention towards what Jill and Chris are saying.

"We should tell her the truth. Her father is dead." Chris's words are grim, matching his mood.

Jill frowns. "She'll want the details. She strikes me as the type."

There is a bit of an awkward silence between Chris and Jill.

I, on the other hand, am on the receiving end of a one-sided conversation. "….boy, I can tell you, the locker room sure stunk that day! Have you ever had a day when…"

It is a good thing I am wearing sunglasses and Natasha can not see which direction my eyes are focused.

There it is. That smell again. And it smells…dangerous. I can't think of any other way to describe it. Like a panther ready to pounce. I grow more anxious by the moment, and find myself wishing Natasha a thousand miles away.

I can't concentrate!

Chris opens his mouth to talk, and suddenly, "Are you even listening?" Natasha jerks on my arm. Both her and Alexis are standing next to me, and I think I detect just a hint of jealousy on Alexis's face.

"Sorry." I blurt, trying to listen to Chris and Natasha while scanning the area with my eyes for the source of the smell at the same time.

"For the third time, what's your name?" Natasha giggles like a schoolgirl, no sting at all in her words.


I must sound zoned-out, because Alexis asks, "Are you okay?"

I think I detect a bit of movement from behind one of the giant air-conditioning systems on top of the B.P.D. A flash of black.

"Alan. That's a nice name," Natasha rambles on, and I get the feeling she would have said that about any name I could've told her, "I'm Natasha. Natasha Marini. Maybe you knew my father, Enrico Marini? He came up missing over five years ago and I haven't been able to find any information regarding that. I visited what was left of the Spencer mansion, but they've turned that place into a landfill and I couldn't find any evidence."

Suddenly, the scent clicks. And I can't imagine a worse scenario. Well, okay, maybe I can, but it would involve Alexia and an unstoppable army of T-Veronica creatures with a couple of bombs thrown into the mix.

"Natasha, Enrico's dead." I state flatly, trying not to sound as cold-hearted as I know I must've come off, "And you will be too, if you don't…move!"

I catch the blur of movement out of the corner of my eye and try to move Natasha and Alexis safely aside before Dad gets them.

The next split-second is a blur. Even though I managed to move Natasha slightly, my father still hits her a bit and I am forced to let go or risk severely wounding her.

Dad comes to a halt by a streetlamp not twenty feet from where I am standing. He is dressed almost exactly the same as me with black clothes and matching shades, and I know we must look very similar right now. Ugh.

Natasha is only about five feet from him.

"Wesker!" Jill and Chris gasp in unison. I am aware of Alexis backing off to join them. A very smart thing for her to do in this situation.

"Natasha, he's the one who killed you're father!" Chris barks.

Dad nods. "Yep. And I'll kill you just as easily, dearie."

I'm not sure what to do. Any sudden movement from me might startle Dad into attacking.

"You'd better watch it!" Natasha huffs, glaring at my father, "I know karate and Kung Fu!"

I am surprised when Natasha suddenly lunges forward and grabs my father by the arm. No doubt she intended to flip him, but all she manages is to yank him towards her like a silly happy-go-lucky girlfriend jerking her boyfriend towards the next ride at the amusement park.

“Natasha!" I moan, and I feel like slapping her.

Dad is not at all impressed.

Natasha grins nervously, realizing she has made a mistake. "Funny. That usually works."

I know in an instant that if I do not intervene she is doomed.

I start forward at a brisk pace, showing Dad I mean business while at the same time taking care not to startle him into doing anything brash.

He is distracted by me, and Natasha slowly backs away; the first smart thing she has done tonight.

"Leave her alone, Dad." I hiss, placing myself between him and Natasha. I hear her scurry away to Jill, Chris, and Alexis. I smell gunpowder, and even without looking back I know they have their weapons raised.

Great. This is such bad timing on Dad's part. Then again, I suppose he knows that. He always did enjoy inconveniencing me every chance he got.

He smirks unpleasantly. "Alan. You seem surprised to see me." he gestures to Natasha, "Take all my fun away. You're always saving everyone. I find that quite annoying."

He takes one step forward and I step directly into his path. His smirk evaporates. He does not like it that I am being so stubborn.

"Take one more step near them, and I swear you and I are going to have a confrontation." I challenge. But I know I will not have to follow through with my threat. My father is not an idiot. It would be awfully hard for him to dodge the bullets of S.T.A.R.S. while fighting me, and he knows it.

"Fine." Dad says, pretending not to care, "As they say, a bird in hand is better than two in the bush."

And he is gone. Just like that, in a crazed blur of movement.

I frown as I turn to face my friends. "A bird in hand is better than two in the bush? What did he mean by that?"

Natasha is completely dumbfounded, but the expressions of Jill and Chris--even Alexis--turn to pure terror.

"We live on Bush Street!" Jill squeaks.

Chris's tone is not much cheerier. "And we have two kids: Seth and Crystal!"

Alexis snaps her head in Jill's direction. "Oh my god, Wesker's going after them!"

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