RESIDENT EVIL X SILENT HILL: JUDGMENT DAY
written by Charles Spencer,
inspired by Ygure
"LOST IN THE DARK"
It wasn't the overwhelming, dampening black all around her that made Rebecca Chambers afraid, that made her run through the unending rain and decaying ruins of what was once Black Falls, Vermont. It was her despairing, overhwhelming need to catch up to Cheryl Mason, who ran when Rebecca could virtually feel the hopelessness that clutched the blonde girl's soul. Cheryl had tried to stop the horrid black from coming, but for all of her power, she couldn't. But Rebecca couldn't lose hope, she needed to stop Cheryl...her heart absolutely demanded it. Minutes had passed, and she lost sight of Cheryl...deeply agonized and afraid for the one she adored, Rebecca screamed with both her thoughts and her voice, hoping the girl from Silent Hill heard her, give her a direction to run... "Cheryl! Honey, please stop! PLEASE!"
Thankfully, Rebecca 'heard' an answer in her mind...the pixie got a sense of the direction the thoughts came from, and thankfully she hadn't been far off...but she was jolted with worry because the 'voice' was so desolate in tone...she heard Cheryl's thoughts, full of bleak lament: "No...no Becca no, don't follow me please don't...you can't be anywhere near me, I can't help you...I wanted to help you help everyone I hoped and prayed I could but I failed I FAILED..."
Rebecca's pace slowed as she shifted her course...god, she had to be on the alert at all times, too...she carefully moved through a foreboding alley, her suppressed MP5 at the ready, its attached flashlight switched on... "Cheryl, don't say that! Did something stop you before?! I need to understand what happened -- !"
"I failed Becca I failed you...oh god, Dahlia was right I'm good for nothing..."
"Cheryl -- !"
"I wanted to stop Reeve but I can't...I haven't made any difference, my power is causing so much pain AGAIN..."
It broke Rebecca's heart...dear Heaven, there was such agony in Cheryl's thoughts... "No! Please please please don't think that..."
"It's the truth, Becca. It's what happened. There's nothing I can do. I am nothing...I'm worse than a monster after all..."
Rebecca screamed from the core of her soul: "NO!"
"Please stay away from me please let me go you're better off without -- "
The pixie was crying...tears flowed down her cheeks as she wanted more than anything to soothe/heal/love the haunted girl from Silent Hill. "NO, I CAN'T ACCEPT THAT! I WON'T!" She hoped and prayed Cheryl would feel the love in her heart, she needed the blonde to feel it desperately... "Honey, you haven't failed me yet! THE ONLY WAY YOU'LL FAIL ME IS IF YOU GIVE UP!"
Could Cheryl Mason feel what she was feeling? Could Rebecca help the amazing blonde in her despair? "Becca -- !"
Rebecca Chambers cried in her thoughts, "We swore we'd never fail each other, remember?! Please don't give up because I won't! I won't ever give up on you!"
The pixie kept moving, following Cheryl...desperately following her heart...
Elsewhere in these ruins of the damned: Leon S. Kennedy's team, reduced by one recently by the tragic loss of Marissa Ronson just before the darkness came, could do little else but continue their search for Cheryl and Rebecca from where they left off. They had to move carefully, but the pace was far too tedious...as the five souls scanned the darkness around them, trying to ignore the rain that made them wet, Leon had to give voice to the nagging questions that dominated his thoughts: "Anne, were you trying to say that with the way things are now, the dead are coming back to life?!"
Close by, Anne Cunningham seemed too petite for the bulky prison guard uniform and jacket she wore, but she was the least wet of the five because of that. In a cool voice, more worried about what might attack them at any moment, Anne answered, "You can call it that, Leon. B-but I wouldn't call them alive anymore, either."
Leon pressed, "What's causing this? Is it something like the T-Virus that reanimates and mutates its victims?!"
Another of the group, the former and forever Ranger Caroline Floyd, offered, "That thing I shot wasn't a zombie, Leon. And I did kill him just before."
Leon snarled, "What the hell kind of bio-weapons are Reeve Meyers and The Order using in this town?!"
Anne suddenly stopped and lowered her weapon to glare at Leon with impatience...everyone else reacted as the prison guard who had been to Silent Hill said, "You still don't fucking get it! Or maybe you don't want to? Maybe thinking about this the way you should is too scary for you."
Everyone else looked at her...Karena LesProux asked, "What 'way' should we be thinking, Anne?"
In spite of everything, Anne managed a grin as she focused solely on Leon. "You rode in here on your big white horse with your hot-shit team thinking you were gonna run into all the things you're used to dealing with. Terrorists and their fuckin' pet monsters. As long as you have a big enough gun, you can put any threat down, right?"
The man who survived Raccoon City and a helluva lot more stared back at Anne and said quietly, "It's worked out pretty well so far, Anne. It'll work out here."
"Maybe...or maybe you need to start accepting you dropped down a dark hole so deep, the only way you'll survive is if you start playing by the rules of the hole."
Leon snapped, "What damned rules?!? Anne, ever since this crisis started, we've seen this place go from complete fog to night in a matter of seconds! We've seen monsters so bizarre, they shouldn't even exist! And we've seen things...heard things we shouldn't have..." He frowned as he shook his head...Anne was right, and he hated to admit it. This was all too frightening for him. What he feared the most was...that he was out of his depth, in every way that mattered. "Now the dead are coming back to life and like everything else, I just want to understand how that could be!"
Close to him, Helena Harper said softly, "It's this town, Leon." He looked at her, but the lady he was falling in love with was looking at Anne. Helena seemed...a little too calm, her tone thoughtful as she said to the prison guard, "It's what this town has become, isn't it? Like Silent Hill, this place...changes things. It can change people, too."
It was so dark, Helena thought, she hoped no one noticed the discoloration on her right hand and how big it had become...the fact that hand held her Hydra-70 triple-barrel shotgun helped obscure it from the others.
Anne, not knowing, simply nodded and said, "That's right, and that's what we've got to be goddamn careful of. Black Falls has become a place that... ...that torments those who live in it. A-and from what little I do know, death isn't the end. Death is where it only gets worse. I could tell you more about what I feel, what I'm thinking this place is, but like you I need to know more to be sure."
Leon asked, "What are you thinking, Anne?"
"I told you before, you'd only call me crazy." Anne Cunningham's eyes bored into all of the agents as she stressed, "But I'm as sane as you are when I tell you that exactly like Silent Hill, the one thing you mustn't do is let this place get to you. It'll prey on the darkest shit in your soul. It'll manipulate and trick you, especially if those assholes in The Order are somehow calling the shots! Just don't let any of it get to you, okay? That's what matters, that might be the only way we'll get through this!"
Karena's face was like a ghostly after-image behind the luminous glass of her bio-filter mask, obscured further by the beads of rainwater running down its surface...her expression couldn't be discerned, but her tone was quiet as she looked at the team's leader and said, "Leon...like Caroline said, we need to listen to Anne. We need to remember we're not the only ones in danger. There are so many innocents who need our help." Even as she said that, she felt...distracted. She was indeed thinking of those they needed to save.
But...Karena LesProux also couldn't help but recall her tragic past and she repeated much more softly, "So many innocents..." As she recalled, she felt such a growing, persistent...pull...
...a need that steadily grew in spite of her...
Reeve Meyers smiled as he trekked on foot through the rainy darkness of the town, fearless. The rain was a slight annoyance as it made his robes heavier, but he had nothing to fear from the things that came with the black. Because of the dark influence of his God, the creatures wouldn't think of him as prey. But he was smiling because his mystical power over thought was having exactly the subtle influence he'd wanted. That French agent wouldn't have been able to defend herself against him, even if she was aware of what he was doing. Very soon, Reeve thought, the bitch would do what he wanted. She was on the brink of doing exactly what he wanted, going where he wanted her to go...to the same place he was going. Unlike the interlopers who wanted to stop him, he had no need to take slow, careful steps. He had no worry of being constantly on the defense for an attack that could come at any moment. His pace was brisk and light, and the location wasn't far. It wouldn't take much longer before he got there, and he wasn't alone.
The spectral, eerie giggling from the little ones he led through the darkness sounded like music.
As he promised, they were going to get to play.
"Cheryl, please talk to me!" Rebecca Chambers hadn't heard any kind of response from Cheryl Mason for a few moments, and even that was too agonizingly long. "Cheryl?! Oh honey, please stop...!" She was on a diagonal trek across the fencing that used to be Cussler Street, moving toward a side street called Pitt Avenue --
Rebecca froze as she heard a sound...from up above! A flapping, like...leathery wings...
Without warning, only several yards ahead of the girl, something dropped from the black sky and hit the fencing with tremendous force and an audible WHUUNNG! The impact transmitted through the links of the fencing and into Rebecca's beautiful body -- she reflexively cringed as she felt the impact through the soles of her boots, and she could have sworn she felt every bone in her body vibrating! The pixie stared at the object that fell, but she couldn't tell what it was, it was so dark. She switched on the flashlight attached to her SMG and cautiously moved closer, wary that it might be literally anything...
...and the closer she got, she realized it was a body. Carefully, carefully, the pixie drew closer and closer...and her heart skipped a beat as she recognized what she was seeing. The hooded uniform (or what was left of it), the face mask...in spite of the gory damage, the sight before her was familiar. Rebecca lifted a gloved hand to quickly wipe rainwater from her brow...her wide blue eyes, full of fear, blinked rapidly...the girl didn't believe her eyes, she didn't want to believe as she whispered, "Vector...?"
But then the girl stood over the mangled, gutted, bloody body in black, and there was no denying it. It was George Kishino, one of her friends and colleagues in the BSAA, lying there. Galvanized, Rebecca cried, "George!" The pixie lowered to one knee as she set her SMG down next to her on the bloody-rusty grating. Rebecca's first thought was to help Vector but...no...no-no-no, he was clearly so beyond help, his form still, not even breathing. The brunette sat on her knees before the body, realizing her friend was dead, and her head bowed as new tears spilled down her cheeks...she moaned, "Oh...oh, George...oh, no..."
Suddenly. A moan sounded from the masked body expressing unthinkable agony: "UHH-uhhh..."
Shocked to her core, Rebecca's eyes widened as she screamed, "GEORGE?!" Just like that, she loomed over him carefully, her hands shakily touched the bloody body as she could barely speak: "Oh, god -- ! G-George, it's me, Rebecca!" The sweet girl's years of experience as a medic kicked in instantly as she drew closer to take a fond hold of her friend's shoulders as she tried to soothe him with her voice. "I'll help you, I promise...j-j-just stay calm -- !"
Vector heard her...his masked face looked to her...it was such an effort for him to speak... "Urrhuurrhhh...rrruuhh...Ruh...Re-becca..."
"Shhh, it's me, George. I'm here." But...Rebecca looked upon Vector, and her expression flooded with renewed dismay at the horrific damage he suffered. She wanted to shrug off her backpack and dip into her medical supplies, to do something, anything, but -- ! "Oh Jesus, I don't know how to start...y-you shouldn't even be alive...!"
Vector's voice was so deeply slurred, Rebecca thought the pain he suffered was making him delerious: "Wwwent...flying, Rebecca...they...tuh-took me...up...uhhpp and...awaaayyy..."
Shakily, the pixie tried to calm him. "S-shhh...t-take it easy...!" The first thing she really thought to do at that moment was to check the man's pulse, and one of her gloved hands moved to his neck...her fingers probed, but...but she couldn't find anything at first. "Oh...oh, wait..." His neck had been mangled anyway, her fingers would have sunk into his wounds there... "Wait...!" She then focused on one of his wrists...one of them wasn't bad, she lifted one as the the fingers of her other hand moved and pressed to find his heartbeat...but...
Vector groaned, "Fuh...fix me...pleeaase...everything...hurts...h-hurts so muuucchh..."
For a couple of moments, Rebecca Chambers tried to find the man's pulse...and then she realized something with a horror that chilled her soul. She almost whispered, "Oh, George...you don't have a pulse." He didn't have a pulse, and that should have been impossible. It...
Then Rebecca remembered: Reeve made his threat that in the darkness, those who die are condemned. And even though Cheryl didn't say much -- and seemed to not want to say a great deal, either -- about Lisa Garland, the nurse who cared for her in her first life as Alessa Gillespie in Silent Hill, Rebecca recalled some things she saw in the haunted girl's memories...how the red nurse turned red because she had died...
Rebecca was beginning to understand what condemned meant...even though the implications were incredible...but the evidence was there, right in front of her eyes.
Vector...no, the thing that had once been George Kishino...managed to slur, "Re-becca...where are you...?"
Mournfully, her heart clutched with unspeakable dread...Rebecca rose...she took up her MP5, as well. She held the submachine gun in her slender gloved hands as she looked at Vector, her lovely face full of sadness. She finally moaned, "You shouldn't be alive at all..."
Vector reacted, sitting up and saying in a voice that was growing less and less human by the moment, "Who's there...??" The gory figure in black struggled to stand, and Rebecca knew instinctively, somehow, that she was glad she couldn't see his face. His behavior became increasingly agitated and erratic as he staggered drunkenly on his feet. He was changing, transforming inside and out...through the tears of his uniform, his skin was visibly becoming paler, mottled...his voice was deepening from a groan to something feral as his hands clutched the sides of his hooded head. "Who are you?! Huhh...w-who am I?!? Everything...hurts...need h-help..."
The pixie slowly stepped back from him...her hands tightened in their grip of her weapon...she shook her head slowly, said so softly, "George...!"
The thing shook its head as it lost all rational thought...as it became something more primal and frightening, it growled, "Hurts...hurts to think...need help...whoever you are...I need...need to hurt to hurt TO HURT-HURT-HUUURRR-AAAAHHHH!" Instantly, the thing in black bolted toward Rebecca, the fingers of its outstretched hands hooked like claws, needing to tear to rend to cause as much pain and suffering as it suffered --
Rebecca screamed in anguish as she fired on the thing, her SMG on full auto, and a storm of bullets tore into it...the figure in black staggered backward and fell to the fencing again. But it still moaned terribly...it was still writhing and twitching where it laid...even though it wasn't alive anymore...
Rebecca Chambers could only stand there for a moment as she stared at the thing...her MP5 shook in her trembling hands...there was nothing she could do for Vector, nothing, he was so completely beyond help...
...she couldn't stay there anymore...she had to find Cheryl...and the pixie dashed past the thing, she continued to the avenue as she followed the girl from Silent Hill again and screamed, "CHERYL! CHERYL, PLEASE! I NEED YOU! CHERYL!"
"Leon." For Karena LesProux, the inexplicable pull, the need implanted in her heart was becoming overwhelming. She stopped where she was and asked quietly, "The little ones, the children we left behind in that day care center...?"
Everyone in the team stopped as their leader looked at the masked beauty in black. Leon remembered the day care center well...so many children being safeguarded by a handful of adults led by that lady, Allison. He asked, "What about them, Karena?"
Karena carefully said, "The way everything has changed since we were there, we need to go back. Those children must be so frightened, they must need help so much..." The need to go back was so thick in her voice, too. Her stance was so tense, like a coiled spring.
Leon frowned and said, "We can't just go back to the day care center. We need to keep searching for Rebecca Chambers and Cheryl Mason. Finding them is our mission priority, everything else's secondary."
Karena sounded...wounded as she quickly said, "You want to abandon those children?!"
Leon responded, "That's not what I'm saying! I know we left those kids behind, and we left a lot of innocents at the hospital, too! But we can't just put the mission on hold! If we want to end this nightmare, if we want to save those kids or anyone else in Black Falls, we need to keep focused on our goal!"
Caroline Floyd gazed at her and said carefully, "Karena...you work with Rebecca in the BSAA, don't you? You're friends, right? You must want to find her and that Mason girl, don't you?" Her eyes examined the lady in black with care, as well. This shift in Karena's mood surprised her as much as the others. Anne, meanwhile, looked at Karena with increasing discomfort...in her heart, she had a very sudden, very bad feeling...
Leon shook his head, not giving an inch for Karena. "The moment we find them, hopefully we'll find out everything we need to know about what's happening here, and then we can end it and make those kids and everyone else here safe again!"
Karena adamantly cried, "But those children are all alone!" Anne quickly got more uncomfortable than ever.
The others looked at Karena with increased concern as they stood there in the rain. Helena Harper tried to say, "Th-they weren't alone, Karena. Allison and those adults were there watching over those kids -- !"
Karena turned to Helena and countered with escalating passion, "No, I have to be there! I must help those children! Someone must protect them!"
"Karena, that's enough!" Leon approached her as his expression was as firm as stone. "I don't know why you're suddenly fixated on those kids, but -- !"
But the lady was increasingly agitated as she interrupted him: "I must be there, Leon! You of all people must understand why! You remember what I told you about me -- !"
Caroline Floyd's deep brown eyes gazed at Karena as Leon growled, "Karena, none of those children are yours...your daughters are on the other side of the world -- !" Caroline and the others didn't know that, what Karena had personally shared with Leon before the mission start.
Karena seemed to nearly lose all self-control as she cried, "But these children are HERE, Leon! I NEED TO HELP THEM! Just let me go, I'll go back without you while you carry on with the mission -- !"
Helena, in spite of what distracted her, stared at her teammate fearfully and blurted, "W-wait a minute!"
A dark foreboding in her heart, Anne Cunningham tried to get the team leader's attention. "Leon..."
But Leon ignored the prison guard and almost shouted back, "I'm not just letting you go, dammit! We're staying together!"
Karena beseeched so desperately, "Please let me go, Leon, please!"
Anne said again, louder, "Leon!"
But Leon ignored Anne again as he fixed on Karena and yelled, "I can't do that! Karena, I shouldn't have to order you to stay, but if I have to -- !"
The lady in black shouted, "NO!" At the same moment, she raised her carbine to her shoulder and aimed it at Leon's chest. Her finger rested on its trigger as she said with thick emotion, "You will not make me abandon them. You will not!"
The others froze, completely stunned...Helena managed, "K-Karena...!"
Leon S. Kennedy stared at the lady in black, who seemed prepared to shoot him dead. His expression was grim as he said calmly, "Not too long ago, you were the one who said we need to keep our heads. Right? Take a good look at yourself, Lieutenant, you're aiming your weapon at me."
Karena slowly, carefully began to step back...away from Leon...away from her team...she shook her head as she moaned, "I have to go back...I must go back...I won't fail those children. I-I can't fail again!"
Leon's expression softened...he couldn't just let this happen. For her sake, he tried to say, "Karena..." He took a careful step toward her --
But the Frenchwoman's posture went rigid as her aim on Leon steadied, and she warned loudly, "No!" He froze. He had to. Karena LesProux continued to back away into the wet darkness as she demanded, "Stay where you are! Let me go...please...let me go!" A few yards distant, the lady in black turned and broke into a run back the way they came from. She seemed to blend with the dark and disappeared.
Leon stared after Karena and beathed, "What in the hell...?"
Helena drew close to Leon on one side of him...Anne closed in on the other. They all looked in the direction Karena left and the prison guard asked, "Leon, I don't know what she meant about 'failing again'...do you?"
Leon nodded quietly. "Yeah. I only know because...she told me about what she's been through."
Anne Cunningham stared at Leon. She asked, "It's dark shit, isn't it?" Leon hesitated for a beat...before he nodded in the affirmative. The green-eyed prison guard wasn't surprised...she warned, "Something's preying on that lady, Leon, just like I said. We need to help her!"
Leon S. Kennedy slowly nodded. "I may not understand this, but...I think you're right. We need to -- "
Helena Harper suddenly, urgently asked, "Leon, where's Caroline?!" She looked at Helena, and her eyes were full of fear. "Caroline's gone!"
To the shock of Leon and Anne, Helena was right...they were so distracted by Karena's departure, they never noticed.
Caroline Floyd wasn't there anymore, either.
At that moment. At the day care center, there was a frantic knocking at the barricaded front door. The door usually opened inward unhindered, but it was kept closed by a dresser and several other heavy pieces of furniture. Allison, a beauty in her thirties with auburn hair, clenched a baseball bat in her fist protectively as she moved to the door...she was backed up by a heavyset man toting a pump-action shotgun. The other grownups were with the children in the play area down the main hall. Allison and her friend reached the door just as they heard someone call from outside: "Hello! Excuse me, is someone there! I need help! Please let us in, we can't stay out here! We can't let the monsters get us!"
A couple of feet from the door, Allison was thinking only of the kids she swore she'd protect with her very life ever since all of this shit started yesterday afternoon. She wasn't a mother, but she was a decent soul with so much love in her heart. Once, she had simply been a volunteer here at this day care center, and she looked forward to one day having kids of her own. Allison thought it was good practice for motherhood to supervise children dropped off here by their parents, who were busy for one reason or another. With everything changed so terribly, the lady now took her job of watching over and protecting the kids with deadly seriousness. And she wasn't just about to let anyone in without being sure they weren't a threat. Allison called back cautiously, "Who are you, mister?! What are you doing here?!"
Allison heard the voice answer, "Please let us in! My charges need a safe place, and I hope you can help them!"
"Your -- !" And Allison and her male companion heard a collective giggling from outside. Who and what the sound signified was undeniable to either of them, even though the giggling sounded a little...distorted. More than a little eerie. They exchanged a surprised look before Allison called, "You have kids with you?? What the hell are you doing with kids out there?!? You must know how horrible things are outside!" Things weren't much better inside either, Allison thought, but at least she and the other grownups were keeping the kids distracted and calm, even after the darkness and rain came and replaced the fog. If only those federal agents had stayed...especially that one woman, the one who was so good with the kids...!
He heard the voice become a little impatient: "I know it's not safe out here, but we had to leave the shelter we were using! I've been trying to find them a safe place ever since! Please, I'm begging you, let me bring them in!"
Allison thought furiously for a moment...but she heard the giggling again, and that was what finally made her decide. Hesitantly, she shouted, "A-all right, give us a minute!" She looked at the man with the shotgun and nodded. "Charles, please help me move this crap out of the way so we can open the door!"
Charles had a firm grip on his pump-action, but his expression was careful...he asked, "Ali, you sure about this?"
"It should be okay, you heard kids laughing out there too, right? We've got to let them in!" The man set down his shotgun and together they began breaking down the barricade. With enough weight moved off the top of the dresser, the man moved to one end, picked it up, and began to swing it inward, clearing the door. Charles had the door cleared just enough as Allison thought of something and yelled a question to whoever was outside: "Hey! What made you leave wherever you came from in the first place, mister?!"
Outside, Reeve Meyers smiled as he stood there...giggling full of anticipation sounded from the things that surrounded him. They were once children. After he sacrificed them not long ago for the glory of his God, they became...something else. Their short, nude gray figures collected around him as he answered, "Well, my charges wanted playmates very badly! I just needed to bring them to the right place!"
Yes, the monstrous cult leader thought, and he could feel the children inside the day care center who would soon die at the hands of his charges, become exactly like them. The fates of the adults who wanted to defend them wouldn't be much different. And then this place would be ready for the one he lured here: Karena LesProux, who was so haunted by her past. The terrible energies of what this place had become combined with his own subtle push...
...were more than enough to compel her to return here and seal her own fate. And so the numbers of the potential nuisances to The Order would be thinned further. Just in case.
The door carefully opened inward, and Reeve Meyers grinned...his teeth were bright in the dark as he said, "Candygram for Mister Mongo!"
Allison wasn't even given the chance to realize the fatal mistake she made. In the end, it wouldn't have mattered if she let him in or not. She wouldn't have been able to protect herself or anyone else from the monstrous power of Reeve Meyers.
As this travesty unfolded...and really, it's better not to linger there another moment...salvation came for another.
Elza Walker was lost. Directionless. Thoroughly drenched. Beyond terrified. The blonde girl who loved motocross completely forgot what Rebecca Chambers told her more than once...when she saw Cheryl Mason alight with blue flame and transform before her eyes, she panicked and answered her primal instinct to run, to run as far away as she could. She had heard Rebecca scream after her, but she ignored the medical specialist, even as she saw everything darken and decay, which only fueled her unreasoning terror. Elza ran into a depthless night unthinking...
...and she ran so far so quickly, she never bothered on a set course as she simply sought to get as far from Cheryl Mason as she could...it was finally minutes later she realized...her running awkwardly came to a stop...
...and she looked around her at the persistent rain and depthless darkness and overwhelming decay, in this town that she was already unfamiliar with in the first place now so profoundly transformed, the truth fell on her soul like a ton of bricks: Elza was hopelessly lost and had no idea where to go next. All she could tell was that she was in a back alley somewhere, and she thought it was a miracle she didn't run into some ugly monster that wanted to bite her face off before now. It was too fucking dark, she thought, she fumbled to get her flashlight from her jumpsuit's pocket, but her shaking hands fumbled with it and the flashlight fell and clanged on the grating at her feet. Elza knelt to pick it up, but instead she shakily fell to her knees, and her rushed exhales became terror-wracked whimpers.
Elza Walker cried with shame as her terror compounded instantly, her trembling worsened and her entire being shuddered...she realized how completely stupid she had been, she understood she answered to her own fear and made the wrong choice again...no. She did the LAST fucking thing she should have done, separate herself from Rebecca and Cheryl and Alex and Elle. Oh god, I left them...I left them and I'm alone, I'M ALL ALONE, oh god I should have listened to you, Rebecca, but I couldn't I was a coward a fucking COWARD and now I'm like one of those girls in the slasher movies, not the final girl who kills the maniac with his own knife, oh shit no, I'm one of the bitches who was stupid enough to get separated from the rest of her friends to be all alone in the dark and an easy target for Freddy or Jason or some other asshole who gets off on killing people! We needed to help each other but I was so selfish so stupid and afraid and USELESS I can't help them anymore oh god can I even help myself?!? I was so frightened I'm still so frightened...Cheryl, what was happening to you??? I couldn't trust you like Rebecca did, I kept thinking of you as a monster even after all the shit you told me after you told us what your own mom did to you...
Shuddering as she sat there on her knees in the darkness, her head bowed as rainwater dripped from her blonde hair around her face, Elza moaned, "I'm so sorry...it's so fuckin' useless to say that...I've got to...I've got to do something about it...I've gotta fix this, I have to find them...oh god, will they hate me? They'll call me a coward, I know they will...nonono, don't think that way...your fear's making you think that and you've already done enough stupid shit! I-I've got to find them, I'll do better, we'll help each other through...oh god, will Cheryl forgive me? I'm so sorry so sorry so...so...oh, I don't know what to do..."
Elza heard something. Right behind her. She scrambled to stand and turn as she awkwardly, frantically unslung the shotgun she carried...the poor girl couldn't stop crying, she trembled so badly her teeth chattered...the sound came from somewhere down the alley and Christ, it was so DARK...and she registered she never picked up her flashlight...she cursed herself again for being so stupid. The shotgun in her hands trembled with her. So deathly afraid of taking her eyes from the darkness, she slowly, agonizingly lowered to one knee again...she dared to take one of her hands from the shotgun's foregrip, and the barrel of the weapon dipped toward the grating...she bowed a little and her free hand searched for the flashlight that had to be right there in her reach as she whimpered, "Don't be afraid of the dark...don't be afraid of the dark...don't don't don't don't don't..."
Her fingers touched something wet...heavy...cylindrical...!the flashlight!
Elza sobbed as she quickly grabbed the flashlight, pulled it close and turned it on to shine its light ahead of her...and she saw the Lurking Figure crawling on the grating and it was so close, its metal claws grafted to its arms scraped on the fencing and it was almost ON her, and Elza Walker shrieked as she dropped the flashlight and her hand flew to the shotgun's foregrip instinctively and she fired. CHOOM! The flashlight fell with its light shining toward the monster as it laid on the grating, and she was rewarded (if you can call it that) with the sight of seeing the thing's head explode like an overripe melon that hit the pavement after being dropped from a great height. Elza was still screaming as she racked the pump-action of the shotgun again
(Thank you Elle thank you thank you thank you for teaching me god it IS easier than riding a bike!)
and she fired again, and then she racked the foregrip and fired again on the Lurking Figure, and the monster became something unrecognizable...the girl's screams dipped to wracking sobs as she couldn't stop crying...her every exhale became a moan...
...she had no idea her screaming and her shotgun's resounding blasts had been heard by others...
...Elza Walker slowly began to back away from the mess of the Lurking Figure and the flashlight, she backed toward the mouth of the alley that opened to the street...oh god, she wanted to be done with this. She just wanted to stop killing and being so afraid. She wanted to go home. To her family, to quiet, to sanity, to a life where things were normal again and safe and she could see the sun again.
The blonde was hardly aware she had exited the alley and was on the open street until a bright light shone upon her from her left! In reaction, the girl who loved motocross panicked again, she couldn't help herself as her lovely wet face whipped to the source of the light and she could hardly see anything, it was so bright. She could just barely make out through the falling rain...people just beyond the light...oh Jesus, they had guns! Elza Walker quickly dropped her shotgun and raised her hands and feeling pure terror, wanting so desperately to live, she screamed, "OH GOD, WAIT! PLEASE DON'T SHOOT -- !"
And she heard a woman's strong voice scream back to her from the light: "GET DOWN!"
Elza Walker instantly obeyed and fell to her knees, she curled into a virtual fetal position on the grating as she trembled violently. She had ducked down more than enough so that the Schism that had almost creeped up on her was caught in the bright light, and suddenly things were very loud. Four weapons fired at full automatic and blasted the monster nearly to pieces as it fell.
The blonde was still on her knees, quaking uncontrollably, not daring to look up, she was that close to retreating within herself completely...with all of her soul, she needed this unspeakable nightmare to end. It hadn't...not yet...but she suddenly felt soothing hands on her shoulders. She felt the warmth and presence of others around her. The girl who loved motocross heard that same woman's voice, and it was so much softer as it said, "Hey."
Elza Walker dared to look up...at the face of Claire Redfield. The survivor of angelic beauty was on one knee before the girl. Flanking the woman, their weapons at the ready, were Sherry Birkin, Douglas Cartland, and the girl in black, Rain. Claire smiled and said gently, "It'll be all right. Come with us, you'll be a lot safer!"
Elza's wide blue eyes looked at Claire for a moment, almost in disbelief, before the girl's expression broke -- crying even harder, she fell into Claire's arms...the angel held the trembling blonde in a soothing embrace as her fellow survivors stood by...
In the middle of a major intersection deep within what used to be Black Falls, Rebecca Chambers had to stop. She had to reach Cheryl Mason so badly, but she had been running and chasing after the girl from Silent Hill for so long. The pixie wasn't sure how much further ahead Cheryl was, but she had to stop, to catch her breath, if only for a moment. Shakily, she bent over where she stood and rested her hands on her knees, steadying herself...trying to slow her breathing, to calm, but she couldn't...Rebecca was trembling so from her core, so deathly afraid for Cheryl, needing with all her heart to be with the blonde...
The growls and snarls got her attention.
The pixie straightened and looked around, her eyes full of alarm...she didn't need her flashlight to see that she was surrounded by monsters that encroached upon her slowly and with predatory steps. There were over a dozen of the demonic creatures of several different kinds. Ferals. Schisms. Even a couple of lumbering Closers. All more frightening versions of the creatures she fought before in the fog.
There were a few kinds here new to Rebecca, yet no less terrible. They looked at least in a general way human, but they were lurid visions...they seemed to be mockeries of people. No, Rebecca understood, they were dark and terrible versions of the people they once were, like Vector had become. The three males of these creatures were Minions...they were figures full of threat who were once men become monsters, wearing only jeans and pants, their shirts and whatever else they had once worn turned into tatters...their flesh was terribly dark and decayed and lacerated everywhere...the most distinctive feature of them, though, were the cruel harnesses each of them wore over their faces that also hooked into their features, distorted them horribly and completely...their white eyes regarded Rebecca blankly, yet at the same time with pure hate.
The five females were of two distinct types. Two of them were Banshees...the dresses they wore were bloody and distressed, their skin was virtually white and the hair of them both was thin and wispy, almost insubstantial...they looked like victims of a mad plastic surgeon who gave them extreme facelifts -- the skin on their faces were pulled back so horribly their skin seemed ready to tear, their mouths were made terribly wide...unlike the Minions, they had no eyes...in fact, they bled copiously from their empty sockets, as much visions of agony as threat...Rebecca realized they must have used their hearing and sense of smell to find prey. The three Dolls were clearly much younger in comparison to the Banshees...whoever they had once been, they had become visions of dark allure, wearing very little clothing on their bodies...their hair gleamed silver and their bluish skin looked plastic, and they even moved stiffly, as if they were haunted mannequins that were only recently becoming used to being alive...the faces of two were painted garishly, obscenely, and the third...the third's face was literally broken...all the Dolls were laughing darkly with anticipation.
Rebecca was completely surrounded. She had no chance for flight. All she could do was fight them...or die.
The pixie gathered her inner strength and readied her SMG...her lips were a thin line of determination on her lovely face as her blue eyes hardened. She thought once more in a way she hoped Cheryl Mason would have heard. "I'll never give up on you, honey...never...!"
And then there was no time to think as two of the Banshees screamed, their wails piercing the darkness of Black Falls as the two Ferals charged the girl first. Rebecca could only react, and she fired as she swept her submachine gun from one side to the other, and the bullets cut into the demon dogs. But even as she shot them, the Minions around her charged and one of the Closers moved toward the pixie with ponderous steps. Rebecca still had many bullets in her clip, and adjusted the selector switch on the MP5 before she engaged the two Minions in her sight first. Her expression was calm, her blue eyes were burning with quiet defiance as she blasted one and then the other quickly in the chest with three-round bursts...she saw the Closer approaching on her left, but she had to focus on the remaining Minion on her blind side, and he was much faster...she hoped she'd be quick enough as she whirled around and shot the ugly freak with another three-round burst, and he stumble-fell to the grating...Rebecca turned back to the Closer, hoping to at least slow it down further by firing on one of its limbs --
Regrettably, Rebecca wasn't fast enough...she turned in time to see the Closer looming before her, so damned tall, just before she saw a blur...and then the girl saw nothing at all as she was hit HARD by a sweeping blow from one of the thing's huge, bulbous arms. It was like getting hit by a car. The petite girl's body flew a few yards to one side to lay sprawling on the unforgiving grating. She was unconscious...
...and the monsters that were left closed in on her, ready to pummel and rend and tear the girl apart...they got closer, closer --
"YOU WILL NOT FUCKING TOUCH HER!"
The sheer FORCE of the thought made the black air ripple in the area, and the demonic creatures stopped and looked to the source. They saw someone approaching from down the street with slow steps, her eyes a luminous, burning, furious blue that brought light to the darkness. Cheryl Mason stared at the things with pure, naked rage, her thoughts only for Rebecca Chambers and nothing else as she approached. The demonic creatures responded with a feral fury of their own...the two Closers lurched toward her first.
They were the first to know the pure wrath of the girl from Silent Hill. Cheryl's eyes flared as, by pure force of will, the huge Closers were slowly, systematically dismembered. Each of their limbs were ripped from their profane bodies, as if huge invisible hands took hold of them and pulled them apart...they became gory wreckage, their bullet heads turning back and forth helplessly on their limbless bodies. The blonde girl was even more ruthless with the Schisms: her will reached out, took hold of their long jaws, and with tremendous power she tore them both in half! The Banshees started to scream in reaction, their unearthly wails meant to call out to more demonic creatures in the darkness, but Cheryl cut their voices short with finality by making both of their heads explode...crimson mist was thick in the wet air as their headless bodies staggered around for a moment before they fell. The trio of Dolls simply laughed as they casted their shadows at Cheryl, weapons of pure, arcane force. But with a thought, the girl virtually slapped their assaults aside before her eyes flared once more, and each of the Dolls spontaneously combusted. They were no longer laughing but screaming in agony as their skin melted and they rushed away in opposing directions, trailing fire and bits of them behind.
Cheryl's eyes dimmed to hazel again...her expression softened as she rushed to the brunette beauty who laid unconscious in the middle of the intersection. She was at the side of the girl then, and she fell to her knees. Her slender arms reached out and took hold of the pixie. And then the girl from Silent Hill was holding the upper body of Rebecca Chambers in her arms, and the blonde began to weep.
Cheryl Mason cradled the unconscious girl tenderly and managed to whisper, "Becca...oh Becca, I'm so sorry..."
Her tears fell on the pixie's wet face, mixing with the rain.
TO BE CONTINUED