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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[1/2] ....obvs Jill is going for a record in this post

Jill went on glaring. He was playing her, and as well as anyone could.

She exhaled sharply, glanced aside. She needed to live -- it might have sounded selfish, but it was the truth -- and all things considered, she didn't find it likely that Wesker would kill her right away. No faster than the men behind her, anyway.

It was true that Jill, physically speaking, was worth something to Wesker. Even so, that was far from comforting, and only raised the familiar question of which was worse: death, or being at his mercy?

The labs in Africa had been searched, stripped clean, and destroyed. Unless Wesker had planned that far ahead and stashed back-ups of all of his work, his Uroboros plan was shot, which meant he would have to start over.

Including, most likely, isolating the key component that had made the virus so successful in the first place -- the thing that Jill and Jill alone carried, even now: the secret of her DNA, permanently mutated with the genetic coding that would stimulate the production of T-Virus antibodies more or less upon command. Another scar she'd bear until her death.

To that extent, Wesker choosing to spare her was no favor, if it happened, because it only meant that he had another use for her. If that was his intention after the present situation was taken care of -- if he got his hands on her again -- then everything really would be back at square one. Only this time Wesker would be more aware of his shortcomings, would know better than to underestimate both Jill and Chris as much as he had, the ultimate cause of his previous downfall.

It would be worse than Africa.

It was a lot of ifs, buts, and maybes, but the fact still remained that Jill was seconds from death, maybe worse. Wesker, for all his treacherous shortcomings, was still one man, and one man she knew well. The men coming for her blood were many, they were an unknown, and, for the moment, they were the most pressing danger in both the short and long term.

Jill needed to choose, and she needed to do it now.

Certain death -- or take a chance on someone guaranteed to backstab her.

The decision was a logical one, and only her personal bias kept her ambivalent.

Another second, another shuddering impact against the door--

--and then logic won out.

...I'm so sorry, Chris.

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