“…though you’ve been an excellent asset. I have one last task for you-”
She didn’t think she had ever hated anyone in her life quite as fiercely as she hated him in that moment.
Him, the man she’d spent years supporting. Billions had gone into his projects, the facilities that housed them, the researchers that worked on them, the guards that protected them. Hours of her days, days of her weeks, weeks of her months had been spent by his side, to ensure he’d be fulfilling his part of the agreement. And such a simple bargain too, at least on his end. “I’ll give you anything you want,” she’d promised him, and when he asked what she wanted in return, she’d put a hand on his chest and purred “You.”
He had stepped away from her touch back then, and had continued to do so in the years that followed, but he’d accepted her offer nonetheless. She had no illusions as to the reason why. He did not desire her – she doubted he desired anybody – that much was clear from the countless advances she’d made that he had all evaded, some subtly, some bluntly.
But she had given him what he wanted. She had given him the means to create Uroboros, that perfect evolutionary tool he envisioned.
She had held up her end of the bargain.
And as that very evolutionary tool coursed through her body, ripping apart her DNA and rearranging it into something terrifying and deadly, and primal, the only thought in her mind was that he’d never intended to keep his end. He would walk away as a king, a god, congratulating himself on how perfectly he’d outsmarted her, how she’d died as nothing more than a pawn in his great plan.
The virus crawled its way up her spine, enveloping her nervous system and then finally her brain, and Excella steeled herself for the bursting pain, the horror of turning into a monster, of losing herself, like she’d watched happen a hundred thousand times from behind sound- and bulletproof glass.
…but there was nothing.
Deafening silence descended upon the open space around her, where she was kneeling next to that grotesque pile of bodies – the purpose of which was all too clear in her mind. The BSAA agents stood a good bit away, their weapons pointed at her and wariness, confusion plain on their faces. The only sound was her own rapid breathing, slowing gradually as she realised-
-that she was still here. Uroboros didn’t reject me, a voice whispered inside her, disbelieving, astounded. She had been chosen by it as one of superior DNA, who would be part of Albert’s new world when he-
Oh, right. Her gaze turned upwards to the dark, tinted windows of the ship’s bridge, to what she imagined were his glowing red eyes behind dark, tinted shades. About that…
Albert had fallen silent, had probably abandoned his front row seat if he was smart (and he did think of himself as oh-so intelligent, didn’t he?). Because he knew as well as she did what this meant.
“Your precious Uroboros has been a success, Albert,” Excella said even though he wasn’t listening, couldn’t hear her, but it felt good to say it nonetheless. “I said I’d give you anything you wanted… and now I have. Which means-“
She stared up at where he’d been watching what he assumed would be her end.
“-that it’s time for you to keep your end of the bargain.”
A thousand possibilities had been running through Chris’ head since Excella had stumbled into view, obviously infected, obviously in agony, obviously betrayed by Wesker. Flashbacks to the previous Uroboros creatures – to writhing black masses of chaos swayed by one thing, one thing only – were at the forefront, coupled with the desperate need for fire, something that shoots fire, where the fuck are we going to find fire on this godforsaken ship in the middle of the ocean.
And yet, somehow, that panic paled in comparison to what he was seeing in front of him – Excella Gionne, tall and proud and beautiful as ever, with her hands clenched tightly into fists, staring up at where Wesker’s voice had come from with blood-red eyes that burned with an intensity he was glad wasn’t directed at himself. Something about her tone, the hidden threat contained within her words, the purr of ‘your end of the bargain’ told him that whatever Wesker may have promised her, he better deliver, and fast. Or else.
“Chris,” came Sheva’s quiet voice from next to him, “What do we do?”
At the sound, Excella turned towards them, and Chris tensed automatically, gripping the gun tighter, ready for the inevitable fight. But Excella just laughed, the noise high-pitched and utterly joyless.
“Don’t be silly, you two. You know you can’t defeat me – not with Uroboros on my side. Besides…” Her smile turned predatory. “…you were trying to catch dear Albert before you ran into me, were you not? It just so happens that I have a little business matter to attend to that requires his presence. I’m sure we can work out some sort of truce – three pairs of eyes seeing more than two or one, you know the drill. In the best interest of all of us. What do you say?”
Bad idea, bad idea! screamed one part of his brain. Kill it with fire before it lays eggs!! screamed another. Excella was clearly bad news, and they had no idea what she was capable of now that she had Uroboros, but if he had to guess he would say it probably meant she was dangerous as fuck. And that in turn meant that pissing her off without a way to properly defend themselves if or when she decided to kill them was as close to suicide as it was going to get. And dying had not been on Chris Redfield’s to-do list today.
“I say you lead the way, since you probably know this place better than we do,” he told her and made a grand, sweeping gesture in the general direction of the ship’s bridge.
A bioweapon that was sapient and not immediately trying to kill them was at least a slight improvement in his opinion. Headquarters would probably disagree with that, and he wasn’t entirely sure whether their truce with her would be considered a good move by them. But then again, they weren’t the ones stuck on a ship with her, were they?
Excella’s smile grew even wider. “Perfect,” she said, in a tone he hoped he’d never, ever be on the receiving end of ever again, and sauntered off without turning around to see if they were following or trying to attack her or anything in-between. There was no need for caution when one had Uroboros, he supposed.
Sheva moved first, fell into step after Excella, and Chris followed suit. This was probably a bad decision… but then again, pretty much everything to do with Wesker was.
Casually walking past the Majini that she and Chris had spent the majority of their time together killing had to be one of the most surreal – and unnerving – feelings Sheva had ever experienced. Turning her back to them doubly so. But Excella’s presence seemed to keep them from attacking for the time being, and Sheva really didn’t want to find out what would happen if she shot one of them unprovoked. Besides, it would be bad etiquette, wouldn’t it?
She wasn’t exactly happy with their ‘truce’, as Excella had called it, but she understood Chris’ internal reasoning well enough to know that it was their best bet right now – and that he was as uncomfortable with it as she was. The only person who wasn’t bothered by it at all was, of course, Excella – she seemed quite gleeful about it. Or maybe she was just excited to find Wesker.
Sheva shuddered involuntarily. She had a pretty good idea of what Excella’s end goal in all this was, and Wesker’s stance on it was quite clear as well. They should probably be prepared to get the hell out of dodge once that drama started unfolding unless they wanted to end up as casualties on the sidelines. She had no clue what powers the successful bonding with Uroboros had granted Excella, but if they were anything like the ones Wesker had demonstrated in their earlier fight, she’d rather not get caught in the middle of that.
Her musings were interrupted by Excella swiping a yellow keycard through a reader and gesturing for them to step through the door she’d unlocked. We’ll have our backs turned to her…
She stopped the train of thought before it could go any further. They had made a truce. They hadn’t found Wesker yet. Excella didn’t need them to have their backs turned to kill them, probably. Alright, that last one was less than calming. But still. If she’d wanted them dead, they’d be dead already. No use crying about it now.
Sheva stepped forward, purposefully not looking at the woman next to her, but instead at the room opening up beyond the door. The bridge, without a doubt, though it was cast in shadows and red lights as alarms blared through invisible speakers.
“This is where he was speaking from?” she asked, and Excella behind her made a small affirmative noise.
“And unless he is a complete moron and decided to trap himself in a dead end, he must’ve taken the elevator down. Probably tried to lock it off, too, judging by all the noise,” she added with a disdainful look around.
“Can you get it working?”
Excella laughed. “Darling, this is my ship. I can do whatever I want.”
Sheva and Chris exchanged a poignant look behind Excella’s back as the woman led them up a small set of stairs and to the elevator. A red light was blinking above the closed double doors, but Excella pressed a small, inconspicuous button and typed in some sort of code in the keypad that had appeared from behind a little panel. The alarms went silent, the normal lights turned back on, and the elevator doors slid open. Excella threw a triumphant look over her shoulder and stepped inside.
“Time for the real fun to begin,” she said. “You two coming?”
This time it was Chris who moved first, and as Sheva followed behind him and the elevator started moving, she prayed silently that the ride would be over soon. Enclosed spaces were the worst. Enclosed spaces containing unpredictable B.O.W.s were the absolute worst. And then there were enclosed spaces containing unpredictable B.O.W.s sapient enough to hold small-talk. That might just be a new level of terrible on her scale.
Luckily, Excella didn’t seem to be in the mood for that, and the ride went by in silence, as did the rest of the way right up until the ship’s engine room.
Their steps echoed loudly on the metal floor, countless eyes following them as they went. None of the infected were moving.
“Are you sure he came this way?” Sheva asked. This felt too easy, somehow. Too convenient.
“Up ahead is the hangar, and the fighter jet planned to spread Uroboros. Where else would he be?” Excella retorted, quickening her step. “He’s probably waiting for you two to show up.”
“You think he’s expecting us?” Chris sounded resigned.
“He’s expecting you. Not me. No, he’s probably counting on you two having killed me while he got away. Hmph.”
They had reached the end of the long room, where a keycard activated door waited for them. Excella pushed the hidden button that seemed to be present at every locking mechanism on the ship and circumvented it with some sort of override code. The three of them stepped through, into a narrow corridor, at the end of which was yet another smooth set of doors bearing the Tricell logo. Sheva was getting quite sick of seeing it.
“Just beyond that door…” Excella trailed off. She didn’t need to say anything more. It was clear that they had arrived at their destination.
Chris straightened up next to her. “Since he doesn’t expect you, we should use the element of surprise to our advantage,” he said quietly, as if fearful of being overheard. “I say Sheva and I go in first, to get a feel of our surroundings, and get his attention. He’ll dodge anything we throw at him as long as he’s able to see it coming – but he’ll have no idea you’re even there until it’s too late. Between the three of us, it should be possible to overpower him. Do you need any weapons or anything?” That was directed at Excella. “We have healing items, too–“
But the woman just shook her head. “I have Uroboros. I don’t need anything else.”
Chris hesitated, then nodded. “Alright. If you’re sure.” He gestured for Sheva to take point, but as she stepped forward an idea suddenly flashed through her head. She turned towards Excella.
“Before we go…” Sheva reached a hand into one of her pockets, touching the smooth little vial they’d ended up with the last time they and Excella had met. The woman followed her movement curiously. This was a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake. But her gut feeling told her that they wanted Excella on their side when the shitshow really got started, for more than just a halfhearted truce – and this might just do the trick. “You dropped this earlier. Jill says injecting Wesker with it would act like a poison and… weaken him.”
She coupled the extra emphasis on the word with a look she hoped was suggestive enough to get her point across. In her outstretched hand was the vial containing PG67A/W. Their weapon against Wesker, and now their bargaining chip. She heard Chris take a sharp breath behind her.
Excella was staring at the serum in surprise. A few seconds of tense silence ticked by, stretching into eternity as Sheva fought to stay still and not bolt for it. And then Excella reached out, wrapped her fingers around the vial, and raised her eyes to meet Sheva’s as her face lit up in the most wicked delight Sheva had ever seen a human display, as her lips pulled back to reveal a predatory grin. “How very thoughtful of you. I’ll make sure to put it to good use,” she purred.
Sheva let go of the vial as if she’d burned herself, and stepped back. But she held Excella’s gaze. “You’re welcome,” she said, surprised at how steady her voice was. “Just wait for the right moment. We’ll distract him.”
Excella chuckled. “That shouldn’t be too difficult. Get him talking, and try to maneuver him to face away from the door. I’ll take care of the rest.”
The door slid open behind him, quick, careful footsteps echoing through the hangar bay, and Wesker sighed. They had gotten here in record time, it seemed. “Don’t you two ever tire of failing in your mission?” he asked, without turning around.
“We caught up with you. That’s a success in my book,” Chris replied. He could just about picture the other man standing there, weapon at the ready, determination on his face. That much never changed. Wesker smiled at the thought.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, Chris. There is still so much you don’t know… so much you don’t understand…” He finally turned to face his enemies, standing there just like he had envisioned. “I’ll change that soon enough. But, tell me, how did you enjoy your time with dear Excella? I would’ve loved to stay and watch, but an urgent matter came up and I’m sorry to say I missed the best part.”
“For something as powerful as Uroboros is supposed to be when successfully bonding with someone ‘worthy’, it sure didn’t do much for Miss Gionne when we killed her. She barely put up a fight,” the woman with Chris – what was her name again? – spat out, and Wesker wasn’t quite able to hide the small flicker of glee from showing on his face. He knew he could count on Chris to clean up any abomination Wesker left him with. It had worked before, it would work again. Such a reliable little soldier.
“What a shame,” he drawled, “But then again, she never was much of a fighter, was she? You got lucky.”
“And you got even luckier,” the woman retorted, and something in her tone made the hairs on Wesker’s neck raise in discomfort. Had Excella said or done something during the fight? Should he have stayed to make sure that foolish bitch didn’t endanger the plan?
He supposed it didn’t matter now. He would take care of these nuisances once and for all, and then all that was left to do was to finally release Uroboros. “Let’s see whose luck runs out first,” he told them, readying himself for their attack. The two exchanged a meaningful look-
- and then there were bullets whistling towards him, slowing down to a crawl in midair as he moved, dodged them effortlessly and closed in on the two. They barely had time to process how close he suddenly was before he was on them, driving them back and to the side, away from the door that was their only way out of here. In just a second he would have them right where he wanted them, would push them over the railing down into the big, open space he’d designated as the place of their final showdown, would tear them to pieces with his bare hands.
They were already losing ground, unaware of their precarious position, and he approached them like a predator would his prey, flexing his fingers in anticipation. A low, dangerous chuckle escaped him. This was perfect. He opened his mouth to tell them they had lost…
…but the sound never left him, and in the split second between noticing the flash of triumph in Chris’ eyes and the startling pain of a needle being stabbed into his neck to release an all-too-familiar searing hot liquid into his bloodstream, that annoying, oddly human and utterly unhelpful little part of his brain had nothing to say except It could be worse.
He spun around, lashing out in alarm, the sunglasses knocked off his nose as they collided with the unknown attacker’s forearm… and found himself face to face with none other than Excella Gionne, whose devilish smile never reached her red, burning eyes, who janked the empty vial of PG67A/W from his flesh, and he realised that yes, it could be worse. But not by much.
She would have to commit that facial expression to memory. It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. How his eyes – so similar to hers, she’d caught the glow of them reflected back at her from windows and polished steel walls – widened, how his lips parted, how she could practically see the possibilities racing through his mind, reaching that one inevitable conclusion she knew he’d reach sooner or later.
Got you now.
“How do you do, Albert?” she asked, not expecting an answer and not getting one. She chucked away the vial that had contained the serum, and crossed her arms as he took a stumbling step back, his hand automatically coming up to where she’d injected him. Oh, this would be fun.
It took him only a moment to overcome the surprise, the careful façade slipping back into place, a strained little smile replacing the shock. “Excella… and here I was, thinking I’d lost you. But it seems I underestimated both you and Uroboros, eh?”
She chuckled. “It seems you did. In more ways than one.”
Excella took a step forward – and he took a step back. The smile was gone again, his expression nothing but wariness. But when he spoke again, the tone was still as falsely pleasant as before. “How is Uroboros treating you so far?”
Trying to test the waters. Smart. He was stalling for time, she knew he was. Though that was only part of it. They had never had a candidate successfully merge with Uroboros, had never had much data to go on to figure out what exactly it would do. She was an outlier, an aberration, and this was probably the first time in a very, very long while that Albert had no idea what he was up against. Judging by the nervous stare he was giving her, she figured he didn’t like it much.
She shrugged. “Oh, you know. Pretty well so far. Though I do have to say I was quite disappointed to see you’d snuck away while I was busy entertaining our BSAA guests. I would have thought you’d remember our little arrangement from way back when… then again, you do have a pretty awful track record when it comes to loyalty, don’t you?” She kept her voice sweet, conversational, but the poisonous edge was there, and she knew he caught it.
Someone cleared their throat behind her. “Since you mentioned us,” Alomar said, “Our mission still–“
Excella turned around. “Leave,” she repeated. “This is no business of yours. There will be no launching of any missiles today, that much I can promise you, and the rest of the details we can work out another time. But for now, leave. Albert and I have catching up to do.”
Alomar wasn’t a fool. She knew. That was why she had given her PG67A/W, to get on her good side and secure her own safety and that of her partner. And now, with the new intensity of Excella’s gaze bearing down on her, surely she wouldn’t dare risk all that.
The air whispered behind her, movement out of the corner of her vision, and she had taken her eyes off Albert, hadn’t she? and then pain exploded from the centre of her chest and she didn’t need to look down to know what it was she had seen him do this so many times, how he would rip people’s heart’s out barehanded and she had always thought it was beautiful, that it made him so much more dangerous and thus so much more alluring-
And suddenly, the pressure was gone and he was bolting away, bullets flying past as the two BSAA agents fired, Redfield shouting something she couldn’t hear and it was so empty empty empty empty- and there was a noise that was drowning out the rest of the world, a low snarl gradually increasing in volume, rumbling through her body was it her making that noise? and she felt it stirring inside her, crawling up from where it had been resting, waiting for its cue, red overtaking her vision as the snarl rose to a scream and then the world was a blur and he was right there in front of her – there was a bullet grazing her arm, fired by one of the agents she didn’t know which one but she didn’t care – because the only thought in her mind, going in circles, louder and louder, was traitor traitor traitor traitor traitor he betrayed me and we will make him p a y-
And then it was over almost as fast as it had begun, and she was staring at Albert, at the hand around his throat that was her own, that she couldn’t quite remember putting there, and the hole in her chest was mending itself – no, not itself, it was Uroboros doing it – and replacing the damaged tissue effortlessly.
The hissing of the automatic double doors behind her signalled the departure of Redfield and Alomar, the reason unclear, but the gesture a welcome one nonetheless.
She let go of Albert. He stumbled but didn’t fall, and immediately made to put distance between them again. But she wouldn’t let him. Not again. She had had enough of his games, and it was high time for her to have what he had promised her, what was rightfully hers. So she caught him by the arm, dug in her nails and bared her teeth when he tried to pull away.
After a few seconds he stopped his efforts, and instead stared at her accusingly. “Excella. You’re breaking my wrist.”
The bones were cracking under her grip, but she paid it no mind, tightened her hold until he hissed in a mix of pain and anger. “I’ll break however many bones are necessary to make you stop resisting. The exact amount is up to you. You owe me, Albert. You owe me a great deal, and I will not have you squandering my money for years and years without at least some sort of compensation.”
She apruptly let go of his wrist and shoved him away, following right after. “Now strip. It’s time to pay up”
He realised it had all gone to shit the moment Excella turned around – turned her back on Wesker. Wesker, who was cornered, and knocked off balance by the overdose of serum, and a loose cannon at the best of times. Who saw the opportunity and took it, because that was all he ever did in any situation.
Before Excella’s limp form had even collapsed, Chris was moving, hearing himself yell “Get him away from her!” to Sheva before opening fire. He didn’t delude himself thinking that any of their bullets would hit their target, but then again that wasn’t the point. All they needed was to drive Wesker back, to buy Excella some time and hopefully allow her to heal herself using Uroboros. And then – hopefully – she would rejoin the fight and turn it in their favour.
That sure was a lot of hope to put into the woman who had been their enemy up until very recently… but Chris had been in the business long enough to have learned that rolling with the punches was usually the way to go.
So he did just that, emptied clip after clip, slowly, methodically, trying to choreograph his and Sheva’s line of fire so that Wesker would never get near where Chris assumed Excella was. There was no time to check on her, and the risk of directing Wesker’s attention to her was too great. He just hoped she wasn’t dead. That would really put them in a bind.
Another clip emptied. He reloaded. They were getting dangerously low on pistol ammo, and he’d rather not waste the big guns on an enemy they wouldn’t hit anyway. But if push came to shove-
The thought was interrupted by a piercing, positively bloodcurdling scream behind them, and a blur of movement flying past, throwing itself directly into the line of fire. He and Sheva simultaneously stopped shooting as Excella, covered in blood but apparently otherwise unharmed, cut off Wesker’s dodge and grabbed him hard by the throat. Chris absentmindedly thought that if she’d been taller, she would probably lift him off the ground now, to choke the life out of him, or maybe return the favour and put a hole in his chest… That wasn’t the kind of payback Excella was interested in though, was it?
“Chris! Chris!! Come on, we need to go now!” Sheva was pulling at his arm, her eyes flicking back and forth between the door – their escape – and Wesker and Excella. He let himself be dragged, out into the little corridor, a soft hiss signalling that they’d at least put one little barrier between themselves and the ugly conclusion of the fight. Sheva let out a sigh of relief and slumped against the wall. “I never want to see someone get punched through the heart ever again,” she said. “That was so fucked up.”
He nodded, then threw a glance back. “Should we…? I mean, what if she needs help?”
Her expression turned appalled. “No. No way. I’m not helping her with that!” she hissed, shaking her head for emphasis.
Chris felt his stomach drop. “I didn’t mean it like–“
“I know. But you saw how fast she moved, and it didn’t look like she had any trouble keeping hold of him. There’s nothing we can do now except hope that she keeps that promise of no missiles being fired today.”
“Alright.” Chris searched his brain for a moment, trying to come up with a new plan. “Then we should probably try to get back to the bridge, see if we can figure out where this thing’s headed, if we can change the course. Maybe contact headquarters. They need to know about Excella.”
Sheva nodded. “Let’s hurry then. This place is giving me the creeps.”
The double doors at the other end of the corridor opened before them, and as they stepped forward the eyes and then weapons of every Majini in the room turned towards them. Chris sighed. “So much for the truce.”
Nice things were a rarity to come by in this business.
And with this chapter I have officially run out of leadup for the Main Event (which has been written already and is currently undergoing re-reading and spellchecking). Tags have been updated accordingly.
Mind the tags please.
Excella didn’t give him time to process her words – lest she risk him making a break for it or attacking her again – and instead opted to dash behind him and encircle his waist with her arms to keep him in place. He immediately elbowed her in the stomach and tried to twist around to follow up with a kick. Excella shook her head with a chiding tsk noise and raised a hand to wrap around his throat, not quite choking but giving a warning squeeze. He stilled in his movements.
But the reprieve didn’t last long, since when she ran the other hand down his body appreciatively, just a taste of what was soon to come, Albert growled in annoyance and writhed in her grip.
“Stop that,” he hissed.
Excella laughed breathily, and didn’t stop. “How cute of you to think you can still order me around, after all that has happened. No, dear Albert, I’m afraid I’m in control now, and you had better play nice if you know what’s good for you.”
“You’ll pay for this.”
“I can afford it.”
He let out an unintelligible snarl at that. Excella rolled her eyes.
“But if it makes you happy, I’ll gladly work out a reasonable price for your body with you, and we’ll do the math on how many fucks you owe me by now after living off my money for years.”
The prospect seemed to do little to soother his anger, predictably. But she had better things to do than indulge his moods. Things like finally getting to know what he looked like beneath his layers of clothing… that did sound quite enticing. For so long he’d strutted about in that skintight ensemble, showing off his flawless physique, tempting her with every movement. She had waited long enough.
Albert went still when she started unzipping his top, and then renewed his struggles even more fervently than before.
“Get your hands off me. How dare y–”
A spark of irritation, and she tightened her grip on his throat to the point of pain, relishing the sensation of his body convulsing against hers as he fought to get in air. “Did you pay for these clothes? Did you?” she snapped. “No, of course not. The shades, the boots, the coat, all of it, paid for with my money. They’re all mine. And you will be too, when I’m done with you.”
She actually felt him shudder at those words, a fullbody tremor amidst his futile attempts to break away. It sent a tingle of excitement down her spine. Oh, she couldn’t wait to see him come undone properly. It would surely be nothing short of a marvel to behold.
Excella carefully maintained the hold she had on his throat with one hand, and used the other one to work open the zipper on the front of his shirt the rest of the way, pushing the fabric aside. She couldn’t actually see the bare skin from this angle, but for now it would have to be enough to feel it, to run her fingers across Albert’s chest and stomach to map out the curves and shapes of his muscles. It was so very tempting to simply rip the clothes right off him and get down to business. She didn’t want him fully naked though – no, for now she wanted him half undressed, disheveled, ruined. Out of control. And she had quite a clear idea of how to make that happen.
The snap of his belt buckle opening was loud in the otherwise empty hangar bay, quickly followed by the zipper. Excella smiled against his back. Her fingers wrapped around him, feeling him harden slightly under her touch, and he let out a furious yell, jerking forward and almost bending over double. She held him firmly in place as he struggled to tear free, one hand around his throat, the other around his cock, absently stroking it. When he stopped moving again she hummed in approval, then pushed against his back to force him forward and down.
Once he was on his knees she let go of his cock and used both hands to quickly turn him around, maneuver him onto his back and, all in one fluid movement, straddle him and pin his hands above his head. Wouldn’t do to have him repeat his earlier chest-punching trick.
His eyes were burning so much brighter than usual; whether it was because of the overdose or because of his anger, Excella didn’t know. Up until recently, such a glare would have scared her, or at least intimidated her enough to stop whatever it was she was doing at that time… but not anymore.
“Once I have Uroboros, I’m going to kill you in the slowest and most agonizing way I can come up with,” Albert hissed from between grit teeth.
She felt a curious little nudge in the back of her mind. “No you won’t,” Excella heard herself say, “Because Uroboros will not accept you. You will be consumed like all the other unworthy ones.”
That actually gave him pause. He stared at her as if trying to decide whether she was serious or not. “How do you know?” he growled.
She shrugged. “I know. And you can either believe me – believe Uroboros – or you can continue to seek refuge in your pointless little delusions. But not right now,” she added with a roll of her hips, rubbing against his exposed cock to emphasise what she meant.
He didn’t grace her with an answer, but she did feel his body’s unwilling reaction to her movements, his member hardening in expectation of what they were going to do. Albert looked equally angry with himself as he was with her at this point. She found it oddly endearing.
It was the easiest thing in the world to wrap a hand around him and coax him to full hardness, eliciting fascinating, strained little noises that he tried so hard to hold back. “Come on now, let me hear you,” Excella purred, speeding up her ministrations and causing him to kick at her. When she pushed against his chest and tensed her thighs around his mid to keep him down, he responded by planting his feet on the ground and actually bucking his hips to try and throw her off. Which did nothing except press his cock against her still covered entrance and drawing a quiet moan from her. Albert went very still.
Excella smiled, trailing her fingers down his torso to where their bodies met, untangling the cords of her underwear and pulling it off. She was aroused; all his struggling and little noises had done nothing but rile her up. One more roll of her hips, spreading the slickness between them, and then she had him in her hand again, now fully hard, and was guiding him into her with no resistance at all.
A deep, satisfied sigh escaped her when he bottomed out, flush against her pelvis. Albert hadn’t made a sound, but the way his breathing had sped up betrayed his agitation, as did the widening of his eyes and the way his slit pupils drew narrow. She bent down and kissed him.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for years,” she told him, rising up and then lowering herself back onto him slowly. “Don’t think for a second that you’re ever going to get away from me after this. I’m just getting started. I’m going to possess you in every way possible, and this…” Another thrust of her hips. “…this is just the first step of many.”
She fell into an easy rhythm, setting an eager pace while he endured her, motionless and mute, seemingly resigning himself to his fate. But the way his fingers were flexing where they were restrained above his head betrayed him, betrayed his wait for an opening, an opportunity. Even now, he was holding on to that last thread of control. It simply would not do.
Her hands found their way around his throat almost subconsciously, cutting off his air once more, and then he was writhing underneath her, the goal of staying still, of not giving her anything seemingly forgotten as the lack of oxygen registered in his brain. His arms, no longer constrained by her, came down to pull at hers, try and wrench her wrists away from his neck, to no avail. He bucked his hips, hitting a sensitive spot deep inside her and she moaned, increased the pressure on his windpipe so he might do it again.
And he did, oh he did, thrust up harder as his eyes rolled back in his head and his heartbeat fluttered under her palm. Excella wasn’t sure if he was finally, finally giving in or if this was part of his struggle to get her off, but it wasn’t like it mattered much either way. She was close, so close; just needed that little bit of extra stimulation…
Albert sucked in a wheezing breath as one of her hands moved away from his neck to where they were joined, rubbing fast little circles around her clit while she sped up her thrusts to bring herself to climax in high, wordless gasps. The warmth in her core seemed to expand, shivers running up and down the length of her body as she rode him through it, continued to move even when the aftershocks of pleasure turned to overstimulation and she had to slow down. He was still hard inside her, but had stopped moving his hips, and was instead staring at her body in something like fear.
Excella had only a second to wonder why before she noticed the dark, languid waves that were rising and falling in subconscious patterns all over her arm and, presumably, the rest of her body. Uroboros.
She met his eyes, red on red, holding his gaze for a moment before slowly, ever-so-carefully starting to move again, all her attention focused on him now. She wasn’t quite done with him yet. There still was one final thing she wanted from him.
Albert seemed to realise her intent, but made only halfhearted attempts at struggling, or at hiding the noises he was making under his breath, as she continued to ride him. He looked quite beautiful like this, she pondered, with his hair mussed up and colour dusting his cheeks and a thin sheen of sweat all over his body. Better than any fantasy she could have ever come up with.
He was getting closer, his breathing growing more erratic and the noises increasing in volume, and when his hips gave the first aborted little thrust, she knew she had won. Excella tightened around him purposefully, forcing a groan out of him that was nothing short of sinful, and leaned down to kiss him again when he shut his eyes and tried to turn away. But he was moving beneath her nonetheless, seemingly unable to keep himself still, and soon enough she felt that fullbody shudder go through him once more, as he raised his hips one last time and cried out, felt his cock softening inside her as he came.
She sat in silence for a long, long moment while Albert caught his breath. The sounds of his coughs echoed in the giant room. The places where she had gripped him by the throat were already starting to bruise, his healing slowed down considerably by the overdose, it seemed.
But his voice was as clear as ever when he finally opened his eyes again and stared at her in such bitter hatred that she almost – almost – flinched despite herself. “I’ll kill you,” he told her, just like before, and she was sure he meant it.
Excella smiled, and kissed him one final time. “We’ll see about that.”
Jill had never in her life been happier to see that tanker, a small speck of light in the middle of the inky blackness of the water surrounding it. The flight had been nervewracking, and not even Josh’s occasional quips had been able to lighten the mood as they searched, scanned the ocean for any sign of life. She had recognised the background behind Chris as the ship’s bridge in their earlier call, so he and his new partner had definitely made it onboard at the very least. But everything after the signal cut off was still up in the air.
“There. At our two o’clock,” she told Josh and pointed in the direction of the lights. “Looks like they haven’t managed to blow it up yet.”
The pilot chuckled, and adjusted their course until they were heading straight towards it. “Then let’s hope it won’t blow up until we’ve found them.”
Jill nodded. The fact that the ship was even still there and hadn’t fallen victim to the self-destruct wired to the takeoff of the fighter jet carrying Uroboros yet meant one of two things – either Chris and Sheva had already taken care of Wesker, or they hadn’t found him. She didn’t allow herself to consider the third option.
The ‘copter set down gently, Jill waiting with her SMG at the ready for any incoming enemies. But the helipad was deserted.
“Where the hell is everybody?” Josh asked quietly as they climbed out and got their bearings.
“I have no idea,” she answered, “But I don’t like it one bit. There should be at least a dozen of them guarding the area…”
She trailed off, having caught sight of the darkened windows of the bridge up ahead. A shiver ran down her spine at the thought of who might be watching. Not him, Jill told herself, If he was holed up in there, Chris would have found him already. But it did little to calm her nerves.
Josh touched her shoulder, having noticed her unrest and following her gaze. “Let’s go check it out. We might be able to find them on the cameras.”
She nodded mutely, and motioned for him to follow her lead.
The trip was short and uneventful, and they encountered absolutely no one, which only increased the bad feeling tingling in Jill’s stomach. The ship was manned by hundreds of infected. So where the fuck had they all gone?
Part of the answer awaited them directly beneath the bridge tower, in the form of a wide space devoid of containers, in the centre of which was a giant pile of bodies, infected and uninfected alike, waiting for their unexplained yet abundantly clear purpose.
So he hasn’t turned Excella yet. Which means we have her to worry about, too.
She led Josh past the mountain of corpses, their weapons trained on the unmoving shapes out of cautious habit, but Jill knew they wouldn’t get up again. Nonetheless she breathed a sigh of relief once they’d finally made their way up the steps and could leave them behind for the time being.
The bridge was brightly lit and, just like everywhere else they’d been, deserted. A quick look at the consoles revealed that the ship was on autopilot to an indeterminate location and that all control was locked down with a code. Probably the master code, if Jill had to guess.
Next up were the cameras, of which there were hundreds all over the ship to allow complete and constant surveillance. Not that anyone was watching the screens most of the time. But that wasn’t the point. Right now the central screen was showing the feed from camera #314, trained on the pile of corpses outside.
Jill frowned. “We don’t have the time to go through every single camera view individually. That’d take days. But maybe we can narrow it down with the motion detector…”
She started typing, searched her brain for the right commands. This might still leave dozens of cameras to check, depending on how spread out the infected were between rooms and decks, and who knew whether Chris and Sheva were even moving–
No, they’re alive. They have to be. We’ll find them.
Just then, a soft ‘ding’ sounded behind them, and Jill realised in alarm that it must be the elevator. “Someone’s coming,” she hissed, abandoned the console to duck behind it, weapon at the ready. Josh followed suit.
They waited in silence while the floor numbers above the steel doors lit up, one by one, closer and closer to their position. Jill’s finger was hovering above the trigger, every muscle in her body strung tight like a bow. Please don’t let it be Wesker, please don’t let it be Wesker, please don’t let it be Wesker.
Another ‘ding’ announced the arrival of the elevator. Jill braced herself in the final moment of tension before the doors slid open.
Turn your back on me. Come on already. Turn around.
His fingers were twitching. He closed them into a fist to keep them still. They stopped twitching, and started shaking instead. He took a deep breath to steady himself. His wrists hurt. As did his throat. But at least the coughing had stopped.
Excella was watching him curiously. She was keeping her distance for now, giving him space. But still all her attention was focused on him, and he couldn’t kill her if she was able to see the attack coming. He needed her to turn away first… which seemed less and less likely to happen the more time passed.
She’s learned from her mistakes, you idiot. Maybe you should start doing that too.
“I can practically see the gears turning in your head,” Excella told him, “You should stop overthinking everything all the time. It makes you ill-tempered.”
He stared at her, and didn’t answer. He’d had enough of her trying to coax reactions out of him. Enough for a lifetime, and then some.
Excella rolled her eyes. “Be like that then. See if it does you any good. But, since your arms seem to be doing better now – don’t think I don’t see you moving your fingers there, Albert – how about we get going? The BSAA agents have had more than enough time to play around on my ship.”
She stepped forward, towards him, and he was scrambling back before he even realised he was moving, his heartbeat speeding up, his breathing turning shallow, as his body decided this meant danger. It was a feeling he hadn’t experienced in quite a while – when was the last time someone, something approaching him had been a threat?
Excella, unperturbed by his distress, closed the distance between them easily, and then she was pulling him to his feet and tugging at his clothes, smoothing out the disarrayed fabric, ignoring the way his muscles went rigid under her touch. He wanted her away from him. He wanted her to turn around so he could kill her, and then maybe blow up this entire ship and put as much distance between it and himself as possible.
But Excella seemed rather intent on preventing that from happening.
She stepped back, looking him up and down to admire her work. “It’ll do,” she said with a nod, then reached out and grabbed him by the wrist, ignored his small noise of pain when she squeezed the still healing injury. “Come on now; we’ve got places to be.” And with that, she was moving, and he had no choice but to follow after her.
Break however many bones are necessary, the voice echoed in his head, over and over in tune with the dull throb of his wrist. However many are necessary. However many are necessary. He focused on their surroundings, the path they were taking to drown it out.
“Don’t try anything stupid. You know how that would end by now, don’t you Albert?” she drawled, sounding quite pleased with herself. She seemed to be positively glowing, happier than he’d ever seen her. It made him want to throw up.
“You can’t keep an eye on me forever,” he heard himself say, “Sooner or later you’re going to get distracted. And then I’ll kill you.”
He hadn’t expected her to actually react to that, but she stopped dead in her tracks, the grip on his arm tight like a vice. She turned towards him, stared at him, and then slowly her face lit up with a smile. Something smooth and textureless slipped across his captured wrist, burrowed itself in his skin, accompanied by a sharp, stabbing sensation that had him gasping more in surprise than in distress. Uroboros?
The realisation came a second later, the memory of what she had said earlier, the absolute conviction with which she had told him he would not be chosen as worthy. And then his body was on fire, the agony crawling up his arm and into his shoulder and further, spreading. It felt like dying again, that wet pain in his chest and he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t–
The sensation was gone as fast as it had appeared, and Wesker realised he was kneeling on the ground, holding onto Excella’s lower arm with one hand while the other consisted of nothing but deep, throbbing hurt where she had crushed it into pulp. However many are necessary. Her eyes were glowing in the dim light of the corridor with something like delight.
“No you’re not,” she told him. “You’re going to injure me, and then I’ll heal. And then I’ll break every single bone in your body and fuck you again.”
She apruptly let go of him and turned around, started walking away. He could see the vague outline of where the hole through her chest had been, that he himself had been responsible for and that had put her out of commission for less than a minute at most. The fingers of his uninjured hand twitched. He wanted. Oh he wanted. But his body didn’t move.
Excella looked back to see what he was doing, and when she saw him still kneeling, still in the spot where she’d left him, she laughed. Within a few steps she was back at his side, grabbing his wrist – the uninjured one this time – and pulled him back to his feet with seemingly no effort at all. “Let’s go,” she said. “We’ve wasted enough time dallying.”
He let himself be dragged, vaguely recognising the way to the bridge, feeling his ruined hand slowly healing itself as they went. By the time they had arrived back at the elevator, it looked as if nothing had ever happened to it. Roughly five minutes to heal 27 bones. So how long to heal 206? Long enough for her to rape you again, the little voice in the back of his head supplied unhelpfully. Wesker suppressed a shudder. Don’t think about it.
He was too focused on keeping a hold of himself to really register the ride up. And then the doors opened before them, bright lights assaulting his bare eyes before they adjusted… and he saw that they had company.
Of all the people Wesker hadn’t wanted to see right now, Jill Valentine was probably among the top ten, and the sore but already healing wounds left where the P30 device had once been rapidly elevated her into the top five. Damn you, Chris. Damn you and all your stupid goddamn meddling to hell and back.
He normally would have felt at least a little bit of joy at the shock evident on her face, how she gripped her weapon tighter and fought every instinct in her body that told her to turn around and flee. But it wasn’t him she was looking at.
“Oh, what a pleasant surprise! Never thought I’d see you again,” Excella called with fake glee. “What brings you here, Jill? And who is that handsome friend of yours?”
“None of your fucking business,” Jill spat back. Wesker was almost impressed. Spiteful even when terrified, he had to give her that much.
Excella just laughed. “How rude. But I’ll let it slide. I’m in a good mood, you see.” Her hand around his wrist tightened ever-so-slightly. Wesker fought to keep his face neutral. “I assume you’re here for your other handsome friend and his partner?” she asked, and he could hear the grin in her voice even without looking over.
Jill and the man she was with exchanged a look, and seemed to come to some sort of understanding. “Where are they?” Jill asked, still less than friendly but more controlled than before. Probably fearing the worst. She didn’t have to worry. Chris and his partner had been uninjured when they left the hangar bay, before–
No. No no no no no.
Wesker realised the grip on his wrist had once again become painful. And that Excella was staring at him. And that Jill and her partner were staring at him, Jill’s expression shocked but in a different way than before as her eyes flickered across his body, seeing. She looked back at Excella. “Where the fuck are they?” she asked again. Her voice was trembling with thinly veiled anger.
“I have no idea. We encountered quite the trail of destruction on our way here, but we didn’t see them. Maybe they’re in another part of the ship.” Excella shrugged. “Probably trying to contact their higher-ups to call in reinforcements and maybe a handful of cleanup crews, if I had to guess.”
Jill didn’t seem to know exactly what to do with that information. The way her gaze was drawn to the elevator behind them every now and then indicated that she wanted to get out of here, find her friends. But that would mean maneuvering past Excella and himself, wouldn’t it?
The silence stretched on, until Excella finally let out an impatient sigh and pulled at Wesker’s wrist to make way. She gestured towards the shining double doors. “Go already. The faster you get to them, the faster we can discuss terms, and the faster we can get off this godforsaken boat and back to civilisation.”
Jill hesitated, but her partner took her gently by the arm and led her forward, gun at the ready and keeping a careful eye on them. He hadn’t said a single word during the entirety of their encounter.
When the two were right next to them, Excella leaned forward. “Oh, and tell Agent Alomar thank you from me,” she said in that sickeningly sweet tone of hers. “I really owe her one.”
“Tell her yourself. We’re not your fucking errand boys,” Jill hissed back. Then her eyes found Wesker’s. No fear in them. Just anger. “And don’t think for a second that him sleeping with you or giving you a nice little dose of the serum will change anything. He had planned to inject you with Uroboros, did you know that? He was going to watch you die. He doesn’t care about anybody, and you’re not going to be the miraculous exception to that.”
Excella laughed. “I’ll keep it in mind, thank you.”
She was still grinning when the elevator doors closed, and they were alone again. “Seems like Jill drew a few overzealous conclusions, eh?” she asked, not expecting an answer and not getting one. Wesker thought perhaps Jill’s silent new friend had had the right idea. Excella sighed. “Well, either way. I guess it won’t be long now until the BSAA shows up, and then we’ll find out whether they’re up for negotiating. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
And somehow, he finally found his voice again. “They’ll destroy Uroboros. You do realise that.”
“They’ll destroy all of it except the part that’s fused with me,” she corrected gently. “And it won’t get them a single step closer to neutralising it. What it will do, however, is put them at ease. The two of us will lay low, promise to play nice. I’ll say I’ll keep you under control. And then, when they least expect it, we spread Uroboros. Start small, start slow, and then just let it escalate, all by itself. And then the world will be ours. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
It sounded like absolute and utter hell. But he knew better than to tell her that. She wouldn’t have listened anyway.
Upon return, the bridge had offered little in the way of new insights or help, and after a good ten minutes spent fiddling around with the consoles trying to lift the lockdown on navigation as well as unjam the comm signal, Sheva and Chris finally had finally admitted defeat. So, change of plans it was again – this time to scouring the available log files for a way to backdoor the system somehow. This also yielded fairly limited results, though there was one spark of hope to be found in the form of a Secondary Communications Module supposedly located down below deck somewhere.
For lack of a better idea, they’d decided to try their luck there.
And now they’d finally, finally managed to contact HQ for the first time since they’d ignored their orders and taken off alone, leaving only radio silence in their wake. The higher-ups were understandably miffed about that – but the hasty explanation of just how much shit had gone down in Kijuju and the hairy situation they were in made it clear that there were more pressing matters at hand.
They were told, after a bit of phoning back and forth to confirm the appropriate procedures, that the BSAA would move in with armed backup and that an attempt would be made to get Excella to surrender both herself and Wesker into their custody so they could figure out how Uroboros functioned in connection to her body… and if that didn’t work, they’d take preemptive safety measures.
“Funny way to say ‘blow her the fuck up’,” Sheva mumbled, more to herself than anything, after communication was finally cut. She really didn’t like how many open ends there were to this plan.
Chris made a non-committal humming noise, too busy fiddling with his phone. “Trying to contact Jill, what with the signal no longer being jammed,” he explained in answer to Sheva’s questioning look. “Just to let her know we’re still in one p–”
“Chris?! Holy shit, you’re okay!” Jill’s loud voice interrupted from the phone’s tinny speakers. “We’ve been looking all over for you!” Then, to somewhere offscreen: “Josh! Josh, look, they’re alive! I told you they’re alive!”
Sheva peered over Chris’ shoulder and indeed, there was Josh, looking tired as hell but otherwise fine. He waved when he saw her.
Chris cut the greetings short and got back on topic. “Jill, we’ve gotten through to headquarters. They’re sending in backup. What’s your location? We can tell them to come pick you up.”
“Uh, well. We actually arrived at the tanker a while ago. Been running around trying to find you. Killing infected. Meeting people I hate.” Jill rubbed her neck uncomfortably.
She seemed hesitant to continue, so Josh did in her stead. “It seems like a lot of things happened before we got here. We had a little, ah, encounter up in the ship’s bridge. That’s how we got on your trail in the first place.”
“We ran into Excella and Wesker.” Jill’s tone was nervous; she was gesturing wildly. “She was jacked up on serum or something, her eyes all red and shit. And Wesker… Chris, he had bruises shaped like handprints all around his throat and looked like hell. I’ve never seen him bruise, Chris. Three years of being forced to work with that fucking bastard, been in countless fights alongside him, saw him get his shit handed to him by monsters and weapons and whatnot, and he never had a scratch afterwards. What the hell is going on?”
“Excella was accepted by Uroboros. And decided Wesker owed her,” Chris explained. “She injected him with an overdose of PG67A/W to weaken him. And… well.” He stopped talking, looking everywhere except at the screen.
Sheva decided to step in. “We’re pretty sure she raped him. Not 100 percent, since we got out of there when it got too dangerous to stick around, but judging by what you described…” She shrugged helplessly.
Jill’s eyes flicked back and forth between the two of them, wide with shock. “You’re fucking joking.”
She let out a nervous laugh. “Jesus fucking Christ, no wonder he looked like shit! But listen…” She looked around, as if expecting someone to come bursting out at any moment, and lowered her voice. “Listen, Excella’s always been fucking bonkers. I mean, you heard her rambling about becoming Wesker’s queen and their new world and evolution and all that garbage. Trying to reason with her is a bad idea. Call up HQ and tell them that. It’s a bad idea. She didn’t become CEO of Tricell by sheer luck; once she’s got her eyes set on something, she will stop at nothing – and I mean nothing, as I’m sure you’ve realised by now – to get it. Tell the BSAA that. You hear me? They need to know what they’re up against!”
“It’s a bit late for that. They’re already en route. But they brought out the big guns for this one. I’m sure they’re well aware of how risky the situation is,” Sheva tried to calm her. But Jill just shook her head.
Any further conversation was cut short by a burst of static from their headsets, followed by the grainy voice of one of the operatives. “We have eyes on the ship. Any operatives hearing this message, please respond and make your way back on deck. Proceed with extreme caution and do not engage in combat unless absolutely necessary.”
Josh and Jill exchanged a look. “I guess that’s our cue. Meet you up above?” Josh asked.
Sheva nodded. “Stay safe.”
Chris ended the call and pocketed the phone. He ran a hand through his hair. “Let’s get this show on the road, I guess,” he sighed. “They better have brought like twenty rocket launchers just in case.”
They watched the movement down below, the people scurrying about to secure the area, gearing up and unloading weapons from helicopters upon the sides of which, in bright bold letters, was painted the all-too-familiar acronym B S A A. Excella sighed. “So much for the truce.”
It didn’t look like there would be much focus on negotiating. Which was a shame; Excella would have liked to take the more covert route. But if fighting was how the BSAA wanted to solve this dispute, then who was she to disagree?
She pushed a button to activate the ship-wide broadcasting system, smiling as she imagined how they’d jump at the sound of her voice, unexpected and out of nowhere. “Greetings, agents.” And indeed, there were a few that flinched. “Welcome aboard. By the looks of it, you’re already in the process of making yourselves comfortable, so I won’t bother with the niceties. Hope you don’t mind.”
One of the figures down below – one that hadn’t flinched, she noticed – grabbed a little round mic and replied, their voice amplified loud enough to be audible all the way to the bridge. “Excella Gionne. You have been found guilty of multiple instances of bioterrorist activity, mass murder, illegal human experimentation, and interfering with the work of several of our agents. If you agree to surrender without a fight, we will guarantee your safety while you and your associates await trial.”
Excella laughed. “By ‘guaranteeing my safety’ you mean ‘locking me up in one of your facilities’, I presume?”
There was a long, uncomfortable silence before the figure spoke again. “As long as you cooperate, no harm will come to you.” Avoiding the question. How very novel.
“And if I don’t?”
“In that case, you will be eliminated.” There was no hesitation on that one. They were definitely expecting a fight.
Excella glanced over at Albert next to her, whose face had remained carefully neutral throughout the exchange. She couldn’t quite tell what he was thinking. “You’re not going to be of much use in a fight in your current condition, will you?” she asked, and his eyes snapped over to her in sudden alarm. “No, I think not. You still heal fast enough that they probably wouldn’t be able to kill you that easily, but other than that… no, I don’t think an open confrontation is the way to do this.”
She stared down at the countless figures, all silent in anticipation and waiting for her answer. They wouldn’t be waiting much longer. The pile of corpses below caught her eye, the place where this entire fiasco had begun.
…and suddenly, Excella knew what to do.
She stepped away from the console and pulled Albert with her, gripping his wrist tight to get his attention. “Listen. I need you to do something for me. Can you do something for me, Albert?”
He didn’t answer. Of course he didn’t.
“I’ll get rid of them. But for that to be possible, I need you to work with me. Do you understand?”
And finally, the mask slipped from his face, revealing the faintest hint of a smile. “If I don’t help, they’ll kill you.” The quiet glee in his voice made her want to strangle him. But now was not the time.
Instead, she bared her teeth and snarled. “If you don’t help, they’ll try – and fail – to kill me, and I’ll make sure to hurt you bad enough that your healing can’t keep up anymore and keep a hold of you so they’ll hit their mark. Don’t think for a second that you can ever get away. You can die, or you can survive with me. Those are your choices. So choose.”
The little smile was gone again, replaced by the same look of hatred she’d become so intimately familiar with as of recently – and once again, she had him cornered. But Excella didn’t have time to wait around until he reached that realisation.
She moved towards him, her free hand coming up to rest on his chest. He flinched away, stepped back as far as she would allow. She didn’t let that deter her. “All I need is for you to keep them away from the bridge elevator – I don’t care how you do it, just keep them occupied long enough for me to get back to the hangar bay. Can you do that?”
Albert stared at her for a long, painful moment. Then he nodded.
Excella breathed a small sigh of relief. She wouldn’t have to abandon him after all, it seemed. “I’ll be back,” she told him, with a warning squeeze to his wrist before letting go and shoving him forward, in the direction of the door. “And don’t you dare die on me.”
She didn’t wait to witness his reaction – a shame, really – and instead made for the elevator. Her gaze was fixed on him right up until the doors slid closed, following the dip of his spine beneath the leather fabric, noting the tension in his muscles. Was it because he felt her watching him? She hoped it was. She enjoyed making him nervous.
The elevator came to a stop, and she shook her head to clear it. No time for fantasising. She had work to do.
The engine room was eerily silent except for her own footsteps, hurrying past the corpses littered about without sparing them a glance. The two agents had really done a number on the infected manning the ship, she had to give them that. Not that it would make much of a difference – her tolerance of betrayal had taken quite the hit already earlier, and the BSAA’s thinly veiled threat, expected as it may be, was quite annoying.
Her heartbeat sped up as she stepped into the hangar bay, caught sight of the fighter jet that housed the solution to all those pesky agents up on deck. Warm ripples ran down her body once again; Uroboros sensing her intent, no doubt. Carelessly she leapt over the railing and down onto the jet’s platform, using the energy of the jump to propel herself forward, towards the vehicle and up the open ramp, and then she was there.
Excella put a hand against the metal casing, feeling the life moving about beyond it. She closed her eyes and pulled.
The reaction was instantaneous, a painful shriek of matter bending and ripping to shreds as Uroboros joined her, expanded her awareness, her influence thousandfold. She nudged it forward and watched it crawl across the floor, the walls, the ceiling with dizzying speed, spreading like a cancer and ever expanding, breaking through the confinements of the room and reaching beyond, beyond.
She watched it go, felt it go, and willed it to take over and consume the tanker, and everyone aboard it, living or dead – everyone. Everyone except for Albert.
The unexpected sound of Excella’s voice over the ship’s comm system had been their cue to start running. Jill most certainly didn’t want to be below deck when things got ugly. Josh seemed to share that sentiment, valiantly keeping up with her sprint all the way up the countless flights of stairs that were certainly preferable to risking an elevator ride, with the looming threat of the power cutting out and getting them stuck.
They were greeted at the top by a pair of BSAA agents with their weapons at the ready, who looked quite relieved when they saw Josh, and threw her some very curious glances, she noticed. “We’ve covering all the exits and escape routes. You better get up there,” one of them advised.
Once outside, Josh tapped her arm lightly. “I’m gonna go see if Sheva’s around. You think you’ll be ok on your own for a while?” he asked. Jill nodded with a tight smile, which he returned before hurrying off.
She took a quick look around and scanned the crowd for Chris, finding him next to one of the ‘copters, apparently deep in discussion with an agent she didn’t recognise. His eyes lit up and he waved when he saw her. But before she could make her way over to him, his gaze was drawn to something behind her, as were the eyes of seemingly everyone around. A quiet murmur went through the crowd. Weapons were being drawn.
Jill turned to see Wesker stepping out onto the balcony surrounding the bridge. Excella wasn’t with him. That in and of itself was worrying.
He took a look around, firmly ignoring the fact that every single weapon in the vicinity was pointed at his head, and then slowly, deliberately started descending the steps. Nervous mumbling broke out around her. He ignored that too.
“Wesker!” That was Chris’ voice, amplified by a mic. “Where the hell is Excella?”
Wesker didn’t answer, just kept walking. A few of the agents around her moved back as he approached, anxious to maintain a safe distance. But Jill knew that no distance to Wesker should ever be considered safe. She stepped in his way.
“Where’d she go, Albert?” Jill asked with false bravado, and noted the way his eye twitched at the use of his first name. “Did she seriously get you to stay behind as bait while she bailed on you?”
The tension in the air was thick enough to be cut with a knife, but Jill ignored it. She couldn’t even begin to guess why Wesker would cover for Excella, if what Chris and Sheva had said was true, but they didn’t have time to play games – letting Excella escape was out of the question. So she took another step forward, purposefully invaded Wesker’s space. “Excella’s not on your side. Just like you’re not on her side. Well, not anymore, from what I’ve heard. We have a common enemy here, don’t you think?”
Silence. The current approach clearly wasn’t working. It was time to change tactics Once again, Jill stepped closer, let her voice drop to barely more than a murmur, shutting out the people around her who were watching with baited breath, fearing for her life. “Wesker, tell us where she is. You can’t possibly want her to get away. We can kill her, but not if she has a say in where or how the fight takes place.”
That finally got a reaction. Just the slightest tightening of his lips, but it was enough. She had gotten through to him.
“Where’s Excella, Wesker? Where did she go?”
And finally he opened his mouth, started to say something–
But the words were lost beneath a deep rumbling sound emerging from below deck, its vibration shaking the vessel to its core.
Wesker let out a deep, defeated sigh. “She went to get Uroboros,” he told her, and as the floor’s trembling increased sharply beneath her feet, Jill felt a surge of helpless anger at him, at Excella, and at herself for thinking even for a second that he could possibly be willing to help them. She wanted to yell at him, wanted to throw every profanity she knew at him – but she didn’t get the chance to.
Behind them, the floor exploded in a shower of steel shards, the rumbling turning to roaring as black tendrils crawled up from the bowels of the ship and started pulling the first few corpses from that godforsaken pile towards itself in movements too precise, too coordinated to just be the virus itself.
Wesker used the opportunity this distraction presented to get the hell out of dodge, but Jill knew she couldn’t go after him right now. “We need to get out of here!” She barely recognised her own voice, a high-pitched shriek of terror that hurt the ears. It was drowned out in the terrible noise of metal bending out of shape, giving in beneath the pressure of the formless monster that was Uroboros.
Jill was moving before her brain had had time to catch up with her body’s decision, shouldering her way through the crowd in the general direction of where she’d last seen Chris, ignoring the hectic commands being shouted around her, ordering agents to return fire, the staccato of bullets and deep, booming shots of higher calibre weapons as the order was obeyed. Fire can’t save you now, she thought bitterly. Too late, too little. The ship had turned into a deathtrap, and she didn’t intend on being on it when the trap snapped shut.
She collided with someone, a hand taking hers, and her instinct to fight was gone as fast as it had appeared when she realised with great relief that it was Chris. He must’ve had the same idea as her. Without a word she started moving again, pulled him with her and he followed easily, through the chaos that the fight against the virus had turned into. The deck beneath their shoes was crawling and alive, but Jill didn’t dare slow down.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw a dark shape, an all-too-familiar leather coat billowing, and turned around to risk a shot despite her better judgement. Wesker flinched as the bullet whistled past his head, then disappeared out of sight. Jill cursed through grit teeth.
There went her chance at vengeance, and she was out of time.
The deck ended apruptly just in front of them, beyond that nothing but darkness and the faint rush of waves. She didn’t hesitate for a second, vaulted over the railing in one fluid motion, dragging Chis with her as she jumped overboard. His hand in hers was the only constant in the world as cold air rushed past her body, and then a second later they hit the water, knocking the air out of her lungs. Her battlesuit was soaked instantly, the fabric too thin to provide much protection from the elements, but she ignored it in favour of paddling back up to the surface. Freezing to death in the middle of the ocean would still be preferable to whatever fate would have awaited them if they had stayed on the ship.
A few other splashes around them signified that at least some of the agents had followed their example, though the number was pitifully low. Jill wondered if Josh and Sheva had made it. As did Chris, it seemed, who was looking this way and that and trying to make out faces in the darkness, calling out names whenever he recognised someone and receiving weak replies. But not from the ones they were hoping for.
They floated aimlessly like this for a while, kicking water and shivering in the cold, while far above them the noise of fighting died down. There were no more people jumping overboard. At least not on this side of the ship.
The tanker’s joints screeched and groaned as they were torn apart by Uroboros, the noise deafening even at this distance. Jill realised in horror that it wouldn’t be much longer before the vessel began leaking – and that they needed to get away before that happened. She pulled Chris’ hand, trying to speak through the chattering of her teeth, when suddenly her ears picked up the most wonderful sound she had ever heard in her life: the faint but distinct whirring of rotating helicopter blades.
The other survivors seemed to have heard it too, craning their heads to locate it, and a few calling out when the vehicle came into view and swerved closer. A familiar face, framed by dark hair that was pulled back into a ponytail and being torn at by the wind, leaned out to drop a ladder for them – Sheva, Chris’ new partner, and the most welcome sight Jill could have hoped for. Even more welcome, when they had finally made it up and collapsed into the cramped space in the back, was Josh piloting the ‘copter. Jill wanted to cry.
“We got it in the air just in the nick of time before Uroboros reached it,” Sheva explained quietly. “You’re the only people we’ve seen who made it off the ship.”
Subdued, tired silence enveloped the survivors after that. They were too exhausted to mourn their losses – that would come later. For now, it would have to be enough that they had made it. They huddled together against the cold, glad for the first rays of light that crept over the horizon.
As they rose higher, Jill glanced out to the wreck of the tanker below, which was covered from bow to stern in black, writhing tendrils, and caught sight of a lone human figure by the railing, their silhouette stark against the morning sky. Impossible to tell who it was at this distance – perhaps Excella, perhaps Wesker.
We’ll be back for you, you fucks. Just you wait.
“I’ve been standing in your doorway for over ten minutes now. You seriously need to pay closer attention to your surroundings. And maybe take a fuckin’ break every once in a while.”
Chris didn’t have it in himself to be mad at Jill for startling him so badly. He put down his pen and smiled at her. “And how did you escape from the med wing, if I may ask?”
“Completely legally and through the front door,” she retorted, and rolled her eyes. “I guess they finally decided I’m not going to explode into virus goo or whatever it was they were so worried about. Got another interview later today though, so I’m not allowed to leave just yet.”
The word ‘interview’ was accompanied by exaggerated airquotes. Jill made no secret of her annoyance at the questioning she was going through, but thankfully seemed to understand why it was necessary. Still, she disliked it. As one of the key witnesses of the Kijuju Incident and currently the only person within their custody with inside information on Uroboros, the BSAA was of course anxious to keep her around. Almost as anxious as Jill was to leave.
And in the few days that had passed since Sheva and Josh had fished the meagre group of survivors out of the water and informed HQ of the mission’s failure, most of her time had been eaten up by questioning, medical examinations, and the first few tentative therapy sessions. Chris had barely gotten to see her.
Which was why her showing up now (and the fact that she was suggesting a break, which Chris probably needed judging by the fact that she’d been standing in his doorway for ten minutes and he hadn’t noticed her) was such a pleasant surprise. He let her drag him to the cafeteria, where he ordered for both of them since Jill didn’t have any money at the moment, and watched as she shooed away a handful of scientists from one of the tables by the window.
“God, I hate the food this place sells,” she sighed between two bites, “But compared to the garbage they fed me in the med wing it’s delicious. So!” She grinned at him. “Spill the beans already, mister. What’s the situation in Kijuju?”
“That’s confidential,” Chris told her with fake seriousness.
“You’re technically still in BSAA custody.”
Jill scoffed. “That doesn’t really say much considering I could jump out the window right now and they’d never be able to get me back.”
“Is that the only reason you wanted this table– Alright, alright, I’ll tell you. Sit back down,” he quickly added when Jill started getting up and eyeing the distance between herself and the glass, probably calculating how much speed she’d need to break through it. She was back in her seat in a second, listening intently as he updated her on their progress in a hushed tone.
By now the BSAA were tentatively optimistic about the outbreak being contained. They were still unable to board the tanker itself, but managed to set up a perimeter around the ship to stop Uroboros from spreading too far into the ocean waters. The size of that perimeter was steadily decreasing according to reports, and soon they’d be close enough to get onboard. However, the uncoordinated patterns of the virus gave reason to believe that Excella was no longer on the ship, and if she was gone, then so was Wesker (probably).
Jill frowned when she heard that. “So they got away?”
“The first few hours after Uroboros was released were chaotic,” Chris explained with a defeated shrug. “They had more than enough time to escape before the cleanup crews set up the perimeter.”
“Fucking great. Good luck ever getting a hold of Excella again after that.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll find them. Sooner or later, they have to resurface,” he assured her. But Jill just shook her head.
“I wouldn’t be too sure about that,” she warned. “I’ve told them in their interviews already, and I’m telling you again: Excella’s got tons of safe houses for emergencies, all bought under false names with money from bank accounts running under more false names, usually out in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by miles of privately owned estate to keep away the neighbours. I’ve never been to any of them, but they’re probably stocked up with enough crap to survive an apocalypse or two.”
“So I’ve read. But I think you’re forgetting one little detail here.”
Jill stared at him sceptically. “And what would that be?”
“PG67A/W.” He let the word sink in for a moment before continuing, once again lowering his voice. “The guys down at the lab analysed some of the samples we recovered. According to them, it contains traces of that Progenitor flower thing we came across – which makes sense, I guess, since Wesker got his powers from a prototype synthesised from them. But it means the serum can only be made in Kijuju, and that sooner or later, Excella will have to come back there. And we’ll be there when she does.”
There was silence between them for a moment.
And then Jill let out a bitter, humourless chuckle. “Chris… do you honestly think Excella will let Wesker keep his powers? After his betrayal and attempts to kill her, and everything that happened, can you think of one good reason why she would ever want him to be able to fight back?”
The chuckle grew into a laugh, equally bitter, equally humourless, and Chris didn’t know what to say as heads in the cafeteria turned in their direction to see what was so funny.
Final chapter coming up soon; be hype (if you wanna)! It's going to be from the perspective of the second most likely person.
By the time they reached their destination, Wesker had been too busy fighting the aftereffects of the overdose as well as the steadily worsening withdrawal symptoms due to missing several days’ worth of injections to register that they’d made it. He was barely conscious, vaguely remembered being dropped onto a bed and later Excella climbing on top of him. His memory ended there, though it wasn’t particularly difficult to piece together what happened to him while he was out. He tried not to think about it.
By the time he finally woke back up, she had apparently settled in already, and was sitting on the edge of the bed tinkering with a syringe and some unlabelled chemical components. She threw him a glance and smiled when he sat up, but didn’t acknowledge his presence otherwise.
Wesker stretched his limbs, felt the blood rush back into them. A quick glance down his own body and then around the room revealed that he was naked, and that his clothes were neatly folded over a chair in the corner. He tried not to think about that, either.
His eyes found Excella again, sitting with her back to him, her full attention on the syringe and chemicals. His fingers twitched. But he didn’t move.
“Where are we?” he asked instead, and went into a coughing fit immediately at the dryness of his throat. Excella waited for him to calm down again before answering.
“Europe,” she told him, as if that explained anything. When he just stared at her, she rolled her eyes. “This is one of my private estates – private as in ‘nobody knows I even own it’. The BSAA will hopefully not show up on our doorstep anytime soon. How are you feeling?”
Wesker thought for a moment, trying to settle on one of the dozens of words his mind was throwing around. “Sore.”
Excella actually smiled at that, and he grit his teeth to suppress the wave of nausea the sight brought about. Don’t think about it.
“I would assume so, yes. It seems your body was more used to ’67 than anticipated, and is taking the loss of it pretty hard. But don’t worry, it will adjust soon enough.”
His gaze was drawn to the syringe in her hand. “You don’t have any of the serum here?” He didn’t like how unsteady his voice sounded.
Excella cocked her head to the side, and smiled, and didn’t answer. Somewhere in the back of Wesker’s mind, an alarm bell went off.
“Do you have serum here? Or at any of these private estates of yours?” he asked again, the alarm bell joined by another, and then another, forming a disturbing little chorus that sounded suspiciously like screaming.
“I gave you a small dose earlier. It’s the reason you’re awake. Having you unconscious all the time was boring.” Her smile grew wider. Wesker couldn’t breathe.
Excella ignored his wide-eyed stare, and got up to gently set the syringe and chemicals down on the nightstand. When she turned around to face him again, her expression was serious. “I’ve arranged multiple false leads for the BSAA to follow – conflicting information on where we are and what we’re planning and whatnot. It should keep them distracted for a while, and we’ll lay low in the meantime. Not terribly much to do here, of course, but I’m sure we’ll find a way to… entertain ourselves.”
The words were accompanied by a smirk, and an approving look up and down his naked body. Wesker resisted the urge to cover himself. He bared his teeth at her instead. “If you want me to stay, you should have taken better security measures. This isn’t a tanker full of BSAA agents anymore; there’s not much stopping me from leaving. Unless you plan to hold onto my wrist for the rest of your life.”
Excella actually laughed at that. “As inviting of a prospect as that may be, no,” she told him, an amused glint in her inhuman red eyes. “And while I can think of quite a number of ways to force you to stay, I’m also pretty sure none of them will be necessary. Because despite what you may believe, running away from me is no longer an option – at least not in the long run.”
He didn’t even see her move, only recoiled when she was too close, too fast, pulled him forward by the neck and smiled down at him.
“You’re right; this isn’t a tanker full of BSAA agents anymore,” she told him, voice deceptively soft, “But did you forget already what happened on that tanker, Albert? Did you forget that Uroboros, once released, killed everybody it reached except for you? Did you forget that I found you in all the chaos and death?” Her hand was in his hair, yanking his head back, forcing him to look at her. “It doesn’t matter if you run. When Uroboros starts spreading, I’ll find you again, sooner or later. All the unworthy ones will die, until you’re the only one left amid hundreds of thousands of monsters and corpses. And then where will you run?”
He didn’t have an answer for that. He didn’t have an answer for anything. But he didn’t resist when she pulled him to his feet, and held his head in place to kiss him. Don’t think about it. No matter how secure and remote Excella thought this place to be, he knew from past experience that it would only be a matter of time before Chris kicked down the door with a rocket launcher. And then Excella would die screaming – and whatever came after that, it couldn’t possibly get worse.
The thought was comforting, though not enough to ignore her hand settling on the small of his back, the other still firmly gripping his hair, and his own body’s reaction to her closeness. And her satisfied hum against his lips when she noticed. There were only so many things he could bear not to think about before they fought their way back into his brain with a vengeance.
Thankfully, Excella didn’t seem to feel particularly inclined to take things much further for the time being, and the discomfort of having his hair pulled was all in all much preferable to a broken wrist or getting strangled. Wesker decided that the fact that he was actually grateful for that small mercy was another thing not to think about.
He was still relieved when Excella finally stopped, and moved back a bit to give him space, though he couldn’t help but squirm at the way she was openly staring. A grin slowly lit up her face.
“By the way... we never did agree to a price for your body, did we? We should probably get on that.”
Something like defiance flashed through his mind. “Ten billion.”
Excella laughed. “Don’t flatter yourself. You’re not that good of a lay. Though I might be persuaded to increase the rate if you, you know. Actually tried.”
The suggestion made his stomach curl with another wave of nausea. Something within Wesker snapped. “Why should I? You said you don’t intend on letting me leave anyway,” he snarled, voice trembling with rage.
Excella shook her head. “Oh, Albert. You wound me… and you misunderstand me, as well. I’ll keep you around for as long as you owe me – and when that’s done with, and you still feel inclined to be on your way... well, I won’t stop you.“ Her eyes were sparkling with amusement, and the absolute confidence of someone knowing they had the upper hand. “Of course, the world will be a wasteland filled only with monsters and maybe a handful of worthy ones by that point, so there’s not really anywhere you could go. But you could. Theoretically.”
There was a long beat of silence, stretching on as he twisted and turned the possibilities in his head, searching for a crack, a loophole, anything. But there was only one conclusion to come to.
“And if I stay?” He hated himself for asking, and hated the way her smile widened to show teeth.
“If you stay… I’ll give you anything you want,” Excella promised.
Wesker stared at her. “And what do you want in return?” he asked, his voice barely more than a whisper, knowing even before she stepped forward to put a hand on his chest, once again so awfully close, what the answer would be.
He stayed exactly where he was, and didn’t step away.
Thank y’all for the lovely comments & kudos, and for being along for the self-indulgent, mildly fucked up ride. This fic is dedicated to Excella Gionne, the most ridiculous and wonderful lady in all of Resident Evil, who deserved better and, most of all, deserved some of the hot piece of ass that is Albert Wesker (whether he wants it or not).
The last two chapters (and this one, especially) are veeeeery tentatively open-ended in case I find the inspiration to write more fic at some point, but no promises on that just yet. Until then, take care!