|"Ah, Raccoon City, it's good to be home" You mutter to yourself as you pass the welcome sign to Raccoon City. It's been a long tour of duty in Iran and you've finally been let off for your annual three weeks of leave. You shudder inwardly as you remember the terrified faces of those children, looking up at you. Hugging the cooling corpse of their mother. A civilian killed in the crossfire when a group of extremists opened fire on you and your squad. you can almost see those faces, wanting to know why. Why was their mother dead?
You shake your head. Pushing the images to the back of your mind. It was war, casualties happened. "But it's a war you shouldn't be in." That small calm voice said. You push the voice down to the back with the other restricted thoughts. "Your a soldier, It's your job to do what your told and to never hesitate!" You take a hand off the wheel and rub the cool metal of the dog tags hanging from you neck. You can feel the words pressed into the metal. Reassuring in their directness. "Fred Taylor, united states marine corps", "Combat engineer, blood type B-" This was in essence your identity.
"Hopefully I can have a nice, quiet break" You mumble to yourself, "Catch up on my reading." you'd gotten a bunch of books from your old friend Jeff Rosway is a librarian in Raccoon. You smile broadly thinking back to when you were kids. Both of you the booky kind of kids. Jeff was into horror and action. While you were more into fantasy and adventure. The two of you had spent whole summers reading by the lake or in the city park. You sigh to yourself. It’s a pity how things changed when you grow up. Jeff was nearly always busy keeping the library in order, and as for you. Well, you’re fighting in wars you have no part in. So neither of you had much time to hang out anymore. But you usually found time to have coffee once or twice when you were on leave. Hell you both knew that any day your brains could be spread over some wall in a foreign country.
You snap out of your fugue, noticing two things. One, your in business district, stores, cafes and restaurants an all sides. And two, there seemed to be less people around than usual. It was only 5 o'clock on a Friday afternoon and you'd only seen a handful of cars on the road and only marginally more people on the footpath. Even the restaurants and cafes were almost empty. That’s not right, every time you've come home this street had a heck of a lot of youths loitering around, and now you can't even spot a Goth sitting in a corner.
You arrive at your house. A small bungalow you bought with the money earned from selling your parents house after they died. When you get out of your car. An old jeep you bought from the army. And grabbed your backpack and duffel bag from the back seat you notice how quite it is. There should be car noises, kids playing and all the other sounds you hear in suburbia. Which combined with the lack of people was really starting to give you the creeps. Something that’s not an easy thing to do to a solider. "Looks like I’ll be having a quite leave after all.” you say to no one in particular. "Yeah, it's been pretty quite the past few weeks." Comments someone behind you. Sounded like Collin Friar. You look behind you to see him leaning on your front fence, grinning at you. Idiot. You should be able to find out what’s happening from him though. you drop your bags near the back of your car and walk over to lean next to him. Giving him a casual warning. "Hey Collin, just a little tip. Never surprise a soldier who’s just come back from the field. It can end. Badly. But seriously what happened when I was away? Its a ghost town round here." You ask curiously. Forcing a grin. Pretty sure it was just a city concert, free barbecue or something like that.
His face fell. “Haven’t heard huh? There have been a bunch of weird attacks and disappearances recently. From what I've heard the victims have been partially, devoured." You stop him mid sentence. " Hold it! Devoured? What do you mean by devoured exactly." "Bitten. Either to death or so severely that they had very little time for help to arrive. But that’s not the weirdest part. Every body has disappeared before more cops or medics could come. And if anyone stayed with em' after calling for help they disappeared as well. With signs of a fierce struggle. The newspapers say that its a cannibalistic cult or something. But the cops are having trouble stopping it. So they put up a curfew for young people and told every one to stay out of the forest." He whispered. His eyes alight with an almost childish joy. Which was in pretty much direct conflict to the solemn look on his face. Must have a thing for mysteries. You put your hand over your eyes and sigh "Well. I suppose that explains the quietness and lack of people. You know scared parents. Afraid to let their kids out late. Huh, so much for a nice, peaceful break. Everyone’s gonna be paranoid as hell. Not to mention some weirdos might come calling." You shake your head. You hate it when unexpected stuff like this happens.
Collin grinned. "But hey. Your in the army aren't you? You should be able to sort out any weirdos that come knocking." He pushes off the fence and starts walking over to his house. But when he’s nearly half way across he pauses as if in thought. Then he turns around and gives you a kind of sheepish look and shouts "But hey. If you hear any strange noises comin' from my house don't be afraid to come knocking. Bye." And with that he continues walking home. Hmm, seems like he was a bit scared. Still, takes guts to ask for that kind of help. "See you later." You call. Turning around and picking up your bags then unlocking the front door. You pause at the threshold. Looking out at the deadly quiet suburb. You get the distinct feeling that the areas reached critical mass. You know from hard experience that things are usually quiet before violence breaks out. "God bless the right to bear arms." You murmur as you walk in and deadbolt the door behind you.
Over the past few days there have been more reports of attacks and even some pets have disappeared. Seems like the pattern Colin described was true. Body found, body disappears. In one case you heard of a person stumbled across a body in the forest. They called the police and went to meet them at the edge of the forest. When they got back to the site the body was gone but the area still had the evidence. The blood splatters and foot prints marking the place clearly. You’ve never heard of anything like it. And there wasn't any pattern in the victims. Male and female, black and white, Asian, and Indian, old and young. But most attacks seemed to be in or very near the forest that surrounded raccoon city.
you can honestly say that your getting worried, you got out your VP70 and have been cleaning it ritualistically. You even went out to the shed and gathered some makeshift weapons, spreading them out throughout you’re house. You know, axes, hatchets and the like. Now you know that some people liked to keep a baseball bat near their bed. and you gave some thought about doing that. But you had two problems with that. One you don't have a baseball bat, never had an interest in sports. And two, you already had a blockbuster their. Ok, so the whole scenario was getting to you.
On the fourth day of your leave you walked into the living room to eat lunch while watching an old rerun of Sienfield. Cramer had just burst into Jerry's flat. Spouting some nonsense about some zany plan when the screen went blank for a second then a image of a street came on. It looked like the main street of raccoon. "What’s this about?" You notice a live symbol on the top left hand corner. "Right we rolling?" a female voice, calm, controlled and authoritative. Must be news reporter, annoying bunch. The camera centred on a rather excited looking woman standing in font of a cafe downtown. Only a hand full of blocks from your house. A good 2 kilometres away but still too close for your liking. "There has been another attack, a young man has emerged from Raccoon Forest. He has several bite wounds on his arms and upper chest, and seems to be incoherent with fear. He was yelling at any he passed about monsters in the forest. In this condition he stumbled up main street and collapsed by the side of the road. Ambulances have arrived and paramedics are seeing to him know." she gestured to her left and the camera swung round to show an ambulance parked next to the road and three men in white paramedic outfits blocking the victim from view. But from the thin line of blood droplets trailing down the road you can tell he's in a bad way. "This is the first victim of the recent attacks to be found alive. And once the paramedics have stabilized his condition the police should be able to-" A cry of pain and fear halted the rambling drivel she was spewing. And sent a needle of ice into your spine. On screen it looked like the victim was struggling. Grasping at one of the medics. Pulling him closer. Shit, poor guy must be at the end of his rope. You've seen it happen. When someone is about to die and they realise it they can sometimes grip onto someone or something with incredible strength. But this seemed different. The medic was struggling, trying to push himself away, and yelling frantically for the others to help him.
Suddenly you hear the reporter gasp "Oh dear god. He's, biting the paramedic." The camera suddenly goes out of focus as it zooms in on the struggling men. Oh shit! The medic just collapsed on the guy. As the camera refocuses one of the medics scrambles to his feet and runs away. While the other falls on his backside with a stunned look on his face and shuffles backwards till he hits the side of the ambulance. "Oh man, I'm outta here!" You hear someone moan. It must have been the cameraman because the camera fell to the ground. Went out of focus for a second but quickly readjusted. Luckily still trained on the hellish scene. Although on a sideways view.
The bitten medic rolls off the youth revealing his face. Which has a massive section of cheek torn off. And you could just make out the white gleam of bone underneath. Jesus the youth was moving his mouth to the guys throat. Seems like the medic had passed out because he didn't react when the youth bit chunk out of the medics neck. Tearing his voice box and throat and condemning the medic to a quick death. "Jesus Christ!" you mumble. You have never seen anything like this. Jesus. Apparently bored with his current meal the youth stood up, and slowly, purposefully turned towards the other medic. Raising his arms and opening his blood smeared maw. Letting out a lonely, horribly empty moan and took a shambling step towards the other paramedic. Who was still cowering by the ambulance. Poor guy, seems like his cracked. The vague look on his face pretty much matching the one on the advancing youth. The youth reached the medic and more or less fell on him. Grabbing his shoulder and taking a solid bite out of it. The medic barely flinched. Really out of it and judging by the amount of blood gushing out of the wound. He'd had his artery severed and would bleed out in less than a minute.
Just then you hear the sound of police sirens blaring. The other medic must have called them. You hear three or four police cars pull up off screen and the thumping of shoes on pavement and slamming of doors as several officers get out. While this is happening the youth is happily, well, mindlessly munching away on the dying medic. Then an authoritative voice shouts "Lay down on the ground and put your hands on your head or we'll open fire!" The youth looks up from the medic to the source of the sound. And lurches to his feet, letting out another of those sad, hollow moans. And raises his arms in an almost pleading gesture. He takes a single step towards the officers. Crack! a single gunshot rings out. A rustle in the leg of the youth's pants a testament to the marksman's skill. But damn, this guy didn't even flinch. I'd be on the ground screaming if I were hit there. The voice called out again sounding pretty shaky. The confidence and authority gone. "Open fire! Open fire!" The youth was hit with a withering hail of bullets. But they didn't drop him, and he wasn't even jerking round like a person usually would. But sheer weight of fire was pushing him back against the wall. Seemed like the cops had emptied their clips because the gunfire stopped and the youth slid silently down the wall. There was a few seconds pause and the youth didn't move. Three cops moved on screen. Two of them covering the youth.
Seemed like they were pretty shook up as well. The third cop bent down to check the second victims pulse. He looked off screen and shook his head sadly. Then moved over to the first paramedic. He reached down to check his pulse, apparently found nothing then looked off screen at his comrades. And didn't see the guys eyes open. Didn't notice his raising arm till it was grasping his shoulder. Pulling him closer to his blood flecked mouth. The cop screamed out as a large patch of flesh was torn from his shoulder. Drawing the other officers attention. They spun around and pointed their pistols at the struggling pair and hesitated. Not wanting to open fire in case they hit their comrade. By this time the cop and medic had rolled over. The medic on top with the cop still fighting to keeping him at arms length. But the bite he suffered was putting him at a disadvantage and the medic is inches away from the guys face. But the medic is stopped as one of the cops wraps his arm around the medics neck, lifting him off. while the other cop helps the bitten one limp off screen. The first struggles with the medic.
The medic was really putting up a fight thrashing and gurgling wetly. Flailing his arms and trying to bite the arm under his chin. The cop was stumbling backwards. Still keeping his grip firm. Knowing that to let go would get him killed. He was a few feet away from the body of the youth when their was a yell and gunshots off screen. Damn, seems like the bitten cop had turned on his comrade. The screaming and whatever horrible scene off screen distracted the struggling cop who failed to notice the youth stirring behind him. ”Oh hell no." You sigh. Your eyes glued to the screen. Seems like your dealing with genuine zombies. The youth's chest was mush. His organs were ripped apart by the gunfire. And yet it seemed to stop him for just a minute or two. The youth lifted himself up from the wall and gave a sort of boneless lunge. Grabbing the cop by the shoulders and biting his arm. The pain and surprise making him release the medic. Who then proceeded to chomp down on the arm that released him.
As they dragged down the screaming man you notice that the gunfire off screen has stopped. "Not good". You numbly reach for the remote about to turn off the TV when you notice the other medic stir. Well sort of twitch. Seemed like the time it took to turn varied from person to person. Not wanting to watch them, feast. You switch off the TV. You shake out of the horrified daze you were in.
Ok. Shit, analyse. What have you learnt "At the expense of the lives of about 9 people." Mutters that little voice. “shut it?“ you reply. First a shot to the head seems to be the only thing that would be effective against these "things". "But you don't know that for sure.” The voice noted. Well its all I can hope for at the moment. Second thing. This madness went from one two nine in about 5 minutes. Shit that’s fast. The black plague spread slower than that. That means that in under three days the whole city could be dead. "And walking." Shut up dammit, your not helping.
You pause realizing the third and possibly worst of the three things you noticed. The reporter said that the guy stumbled from the forest. Which means the attacker, or attackers are near the edge of the forest and about 23 people had gone missing during the recent attacks. Which meant there was at the very least 33 of these brain dead bastards shuffling round and that’s being hopeful. "Ok I need a plan. Its only a matter of time till that incident spreads through out the city." And it'll only spread faster as more victims are killed. So you can't possibly kill all of them. You don't have the ammo or the endurance. You glance worriedly at your VP70, fully loaded, and with three clips next to it. You're an excellent shot but against a horde of those things. You'd be screwed. Your gonna need to find a place to form a base of operations. It needs to have as few windows as possible and same goes with doors and if possible an upper level with one set of stairs leading to it. Stairs can be easily blocked or even dismantled. Your also going to need supplies. You needed to go to the supermarket anyway but things are going to go to hell real soon. But then what about other people. You need to try to save as many people as you can. "I'm a soldier after all. Its my job to fight for my country." You gather the things you'll need. Your sledgehammer ,VP70 , mobile phone, phone book and wallet. It had a thousand dollars in it. And it was surprising what value money had to some people. You stride to the door. Look around your house. And you have the odd feeling that this was the last time you'd be here. For the hundredth time today you mumble "Shit" to yourself and leave.
end of chapter one
oh and please note feel encouraged to leave feedback, unless it is unconstructive criticism then I shall type out you letter post it to you with a set of clear instructions on where to insert it( possibly your ear, but probably not.) this is my first real story and I need the correspondence.
credit goes to capcom for the games and hence the monsters, characters and universe
and of course my sensei Trent Godfrey, who’s been giving me pointers with my writing