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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Jill hung back as far and long as she was able, but once the second round of bloodshed started, she picked up her pace. She watched the skirmish in the corner of her eye, her attention divided between Wesker and his opponents, any Lickers that hadn't yet engaged him, and the surrounding doorways -- and tried her best to ignore Wesker's movements, the ease with which he made them, even if he wasn't at his best. Just another reminder of what she'd done to save her own skin.

As she went, she used every loud noise she could -- the sounds of strikes landing, Lickers shrieking, blood splattering, sinewy flesh smacking against the tile -- to mask her footsteps, but there was relatively little need. Lickers weren't the smartest B.O.W. around, and as long as there was life to destroy and sounds to lead them to it, that would be their focus. Unless Jill fired off a round or landed on top of one of them, she was probably safe.

She sped up. At first, she tried to avoid any blood on the floor, not wanting to track the smell with her -- but it was soon impossible. The Lickers had made a literal bloodbath of the soldiers, and Wesker's progress certainly wasn't helping. So she kept going, having to pause here and there as a Licker scrambled across her path, or step around some mutilated mound of flesh or bone or whatever was left of the terrorists; at one point she slipped sharply on a particularly thick puddle of scarlet, but recovered her balance in a fraction of a second and kept going. As focused as she was, the motion was all but unconscious and she didn't even loosen her grip on her gun.

At the door, Jill immediately located the security panel and crouched beside it, letting her gun hang at her side and fishing in her hip pack for the screwdriver. As predicted, the entryway was locked down tight, bars twice the size of her bicep holding the door in place on top of whatever internal locks it had. Another glance over her shoulder, and then she set to work -- she hadn't mentioned that she needed another ten seconds max to get the plate off before she could actually hack the system, but it was a moot point now. Wesker was holding up his end of the process.

She set the metal cover aside silently but swiftly, shifting in place as she reached into the vaguely organized mess of wires. Like she'd predicted, it was nothing terribly complicated -- more or less a replica of the one she'd gotten through at the entrance, so hopefully the whole compound would be wired on the same basic set-up. It would definitely make her life easier.

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