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 dark inside. She could make out a long hall, punctuated every few yards by a fluorescent lamp. She didn't have long to look, though -- the voices behind her, now heard through the open door, suddenly paused. One spoke, and then again, louder, as if in a call.

Time to move.

Jill hurried down the corridor, taking the first right to try and break the line of sight with those back at the entrance. A safe assumption, considering the hall was empty--

--until a door a yard to her right suddenly opened. A man stepped through, saw her, and stared -- there was a split-second pause between them, and then both went for their guns: Jill for her sidearm, the man for his. Jill, already having her drawn, was faster.

"Freeze!" She settled her mental crosshairs on the man's throat. He obeyed, stopping with one large hand on the butt of what looked like a Samurai Edge, if she had to guess. "Hands up. Name. Now," she ordered, but she'd only gotten halfway through the last word when there was a sound to her right. Sparing a glance, she saw two men round the corner, and they reflexively raised their AK-47s before she could even begin to speak. Shit.

One of them spoke to her, in Russian. When she didn't act, he tried again, now in a thick accent:

"Put down weapon!"

Jill gritted her teeth, thinking fast, but to no avail -- and in the meantime, the man at gunpoint proved to be surprisingly quick. His hand snapped up to catch her dominant wrist, forcing it down. Jill fired, missed, and then her center of gravity was thrown off as she was pulled forward, undoubtedly meant to be pinned either against the man's bulk or between him and the nearby wall. She didn't give him the chance.

Her elbow came up between them in a display of considerable flexibility, slamming hard into his nose. He yelled, but held tight -- but Jill wasn't done, and drove a short but solid kick into the side of his knee as her arm came back on its momentum to hit him in the face again. At the same time, she pitched backward, and it was just enough to wrench her thin wrist from his grasp. She turned, bolted, and right on cue automatic fire began peppering the walls and floor around her.

One of the men shouted again, and while Jill's Russian was barely enough to hold a conversation about the weather and ask for directions, she knew enough to recognize the word "kill."

Down the hall, into another, praying again and again that she didn't run into a dead end. She was light on her feet, though, and her stamina was well-earned: even as more men fell into the chase behind her, she managed to outstrip them a little more at a time, barely keeping a hallway corner between her and fatal gunfire. Down some stairs -- and deeper into the compound, no less -- into another hall lined with chrome and white tile. It was emptier down here, at least, but her heart dropped when she realized: she'd run right into a solid hall. It ended several doors down, and from the looks of it, those doors only led to rooms. She'd more or less hit a dead end.

Exhaling sharply, Jill tried the closest door -- locked -- and the next -- locked, damn it all to hell--

Heavy boots sounded on the stairs she'd just come down -- growing more desperate, she tried the next door, and thank God, it opened -- she hurried in, did a brief sweep, saw no one, and closed the door behind her and locked it. Her heart was pounding, her breath ragged, but she couldn't stop yet. There were no windows into the room -- not even on the door -- but it wouldn't take them long to find her.

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