Character musings

...or something like it.

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[AU: Jill, Chris, Wesker] You're not my favorite mistake; you're just a simple regret
Gun it up, At the ready
zerosuitjill wrote in transgenicprose

Reaching the door at the end of the hall, Jill shifted her M92F to her right hand, gripped the handle, and listened. Everything was, for the most part, absolutely still. A low breeze, the slight rhythmic rustling of cloth, the scurry of tiny rodent feet somewhere further beyond -- small sounds, things she wouldn't have noticed just a few years ago. Now each one caught her attention, just like the particularly strong scents of wood, dust, something earthy, and what smelled like a fading whiff of stale alcohol. It might have been akin to a sensory overload for anyone not used to it, but Jill had adapted, like always, taking the small things for what they were and deciding not to waste time with bitter thoughts.

Fairly confident that it was safe to move, she turned the handle and stepped inside, her gun immediately sweeping the area and joined quickly by her small flashlight.

The room was as empty as the rest of the compound. Larger than any other so far, it was about a third the size of a typical storage warehouse. Discarded sheets and tarps littered the cement floor; tables, overturned chairs, dusty beer bottles, a few playing cards, and some shell casings were the only things that stood out. Overhead, a tattered hole in the ceiling, where fresh flakes from the snowfall outside drifted down to gather in the growing mound in the middle of the room. Other than Jill, it was empty.

A loud, solid, and echoing creak gave warning, and she sidestepped just in time to avoid another wooden beam as it dropped from overhead in a startling clatter of noise. It landed hard enough to disturb the thick coat of dust covering the ground, producing a small cloud that threatened to make her sneeze before she moved further in.

She touched two fingers to her headset, pressing it closer to her ear. "It definitely hasn't been used recently," she affirmed, glancing back towards the hallway. "The building isn't more than a few years old, though, so it shouldn't be falling apart like this. I guess they left a few surprises for anyone who might come snooping around." With just enough natural light to go by, she pocketed her flashlight and, with gloved hands on her gun and gun at her side, she ignored the cruel drop in temperature and kept moving, eyes and ears alert.

It was frustrating, hitting another dead end. From the looks of things, the group had cleared out long before now, which at least meant that the local town could rest easy. All the same, it just meant that another town, wherever they decided to hole up next, would be suffering shortly if it wasn't already.


Jill had to give them credit. Zhizn wasn't the most run-of-the-mill terrorist organization out there, even if its methods, mindset, and intentions were just as self-centered and cold-blooded as any other. They'd managed to keep the B.S.A.A. running in circles for months now, at least, which was a feat in and of itself.

Zhizn was actually the first case Jill had been assigned upon her return to duty. That had been over a year ago, and while terrorists were hardly ever cut-and-dry cases, this one was getting more complicated as time passed, not less, despite all their efforts and intel. Based in Russia, the group was said to have had direct ties to Umbrella in the past; even that was shaky information, as the group had proven particularly difficult to penetrate. Even the latest tips the Alliance had received were more rumors than anything, and if not for a couple B.O.W. corpses that had turned up in the nearby woods, the claims may well have been disregarded entirely by the higher-ups. Resources were stretched thin these days, after all, and false alarms were becoming progressively more detrimental to the B.S.A.A.'s cause. Most governments in the first-world countries were feeling the same strain, but the Alliance, as stretched as it already was, was definitely something near overburdened lately.

The thought made Jill exhale a little sharply, her breath visible in the freezing air for a couple seconds. "Pretty sure I'm just finding dust and cobwebs here," she went on, but kept her voice just low enough to prevent much of an echo. "Any luck on your end?"

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It was a twenty-foot drop, give or take, or rather a slide if you worked your way down the bank. For a few heartbeats, Jill saw nothing, and was considering moving closer when a small movement caught her eye and her breath froze. Less than a stone's throw away was a figure: male, going by the physique, dressed in white camo and crouching with his back to her, luckily. An assault rifle was slung across his back -- AK-47, it looked like -- and as she watched, he holstered another weapon at his side, and Jill caught a glimpse of an elongated barrel -- a silencer, as she'd guessed. The man was preoccupied with something in front of him, but she couldn't make it out around his bulk; after a tense few seconds, he suddenly stood, and Jill ducked back a bit. It was unnecessary, as he was preoccupied with a satchel he was lifting, grunting and swinging it over his shoulder in a way that said it had considerable weight. He took a step forward with his burden, and any intention of calling out to him died in Jill's throat.

He'd been concealing a large bloodstain in the snow. He stepped carefully around it and continued on, struggling to keep a hold of the satchel. Under other circumstances, Jill would have figured him to just be a hunter from the town -- but who went around hunting with a silenced handgun and an AK? So she hesitated, quickly considering her options. She needed to contact Chris, but to do that she'd have to wait for the man to be out of earshot, and by then she might lose him. Any footsteps would be concealed within the hour, let alone by tomorrow. She could step out and order him to freeze, but on the chance that this was a lead, giving herself away might ruin any chances they had of getting more information, especially if this guy proved as tight-lipped as some of the others.

Jill bit her lip. The man was getting further away, already harder to see between the growing flakes.

Trust me on this, Chris. Still careful, she made her way silently down the bank, glad to find that snow hadn't yet stuck to much of it and that stray roots provided decent enough footholds.

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