Disclaimer & Notices: See Chapter 1.

 


Mechanic’s Creed
by Red Hope

Chapter 2

“Alright,” Claire replied over the phone. She was relaxed in her office chair, legs crossed, and phone pressed against her ear. Peering across her desk, she met her mechanic’s curious gaze as he waited for confirmation to continue his work. “The labor and rebuild kit will be about a thousand,” she explained. She carefully listened to Alice’s answer then she gave her mechanic a stern nod.

The mechanic, Sam, popped up from the chair with more energy than he appeared to have from first glance. He was a short man in his early sixties, but his excitement to continue working on the vintage Cessna 150 clearly showed on his face. He hurried out of the office and returned to his job on the plane.

“How long do you think it’ll take?” Alice questioned.

Claire shifted against the hard, wood chair. “We have all the parts here to do the job. Sam will probably have it done by Thursday.”

“That’s great.” Alice was impressed, which slipped into her voice.

Claire softly smiled. “We’ll have you back in the air for the weekend.” She bit her lower lip then mentioned, “There is a break-in that has to be performed too. Do you prefer to do it yourself?” It wasn’t required for her shop to do the new cylinder’s break-in, but she always offered it.

“I rather have you do it, Claire.”

Shifting yet again, Claire switched the phone to her other ear. “It’ll only take an hour. We also have to put in a mineral oil. After about ten hours, it’ll go back to the standard weight oil.”

Alice assumed as much and fully agreed to it. She then shifted gears and asked, “How was the rest of your weekend?”

“Quiet.” Claire had a thin smile. “Yours?”

“Uh… there were some issues at work,” Alice hesitantly mentioned. “I had to go in Sunday.” She didn’t care to tell that she’d been working from Sunday on and didn’t expect to get off until Saturday. But some devil in her head taunted her that she’d be working through this coming weekend thanks to Umbrella’s problem at an offsite laboratory in the Arklay Mountains. However, Alice crossed her fingers that she would have off this weekend.

Claire briefly cringed and teased, “Oh the joys of a corporate job.”

Alice chuckled a few times. “I’ve grown use to it.” She considered this past Friday night and the dinner with Claire. “Do you have any plans this coming weekend?”

The mechanic pursed her lips and kept a calm voice despite the suddenly excited flutter in her stomach. “I just plan to do some regular maintenance on my motorcycle.” There was a brief silence, and she could tell Alice was thinking something through.

“The weather is suppose to be nice on Saturday,” Alice started. “Maybe you’d be interested in a flight in an old Cessna 150.”

Claire couldn’t hold down a soft laugh. “I believe that’s a cramped flight,” she bantered. Indeed the early Cessna 150s were not known to be spacious; pilot and copilot were nearly in each other’s lap.

Alice bit her bottom lip and posed, “I’m sure a hundred dollar burger will compensate for the inadequate comforts.” This time she enjoyed Claire’s fuller laugh.

“Hundred dollar burger,” Claire murmured and nodded. But it was true that flying to an airport that had a restaurant serving burgers did cost a hundred dollars by the time fuel was added into the meal. “The Bluffton Airport has a good, fresh burger made from local beef.”

“Perfect,” Alice decided. “So do I have a co-pilot?”

Claire shook her head, but a grin formed anyway. “I think I can fit a flight into my schedule.”

This time Alice chuckled and smiled to herself. “It’s another date then.”

Claire heard the outside door open and recognized one of her regular customers. “That sounds good.” She sat up and mentioned, “I’ll give you a call when Sam gets the cylinder in.”

Alice sensed the shift in Claire and suspected it was from work. “Thanks, Claire. Talk to you soon then.”

Claire felt slightly sadden that she had to be more formal, but work called for her. “Thanks too. Bye.” She heard Alice’s farewell then they both hung up. She immediately stood up and greeted the customer in front of her desk.

The rest of the afternoon rushed by for the shop, and the mechanics quit for the night. Claire received a report from Sam about Alice’s plane. She was pleased by his progress and planned to help him tomorrow after she finished with the Piper Comanche in the morning. She wanted to make sure things were in order with Alice’s plane now that it would mostly maintained by her shop. If the small plane ever had a failure, it would not be because her shop improperly performed their work or missed something. Like the Mechanic’s Creed stated, Claire stood beside her work and skills to the fullest.

As the week progressed, it seemed to steadily slow down despite all the work kept the mechanics rather busy. Today was Thursday and seemed to crawl past when it use to speed by Claire. For some reason, Claire wanted the weekend to come sooner than she normally cared in the past. Inwardly she sighed because she admitted to herself that it was because of her date with Alice. If anything, she would at least get to speak to Alice today about the Cessna 150’s new cylinder being complete. Tapping the socket wrench once against the rolling toolbox, Claire approached Alice’s plane and continued working with Sam.

On the other side of the shop, the third mechanic, Kevin, was bent over the parts cleaner machine and taking care of parts for a nose wheel gear. Over his head was a window, which had a radio blasting a local station’s light music. Kevin was humming the lyrics while he cleaned the parts, but he lost his focus once the music abruptly cut off from a DJ’s voice. After an annoyed sigh, Kevin shook his head but kept going about his work.

The DJ was speaking fast then occasionally hesitated at certain points. His tone grew slightly urgent and caused Kevin to pause then peer up at the radio. Kevin frowned and reached up to push his glasses on again. Once he took in what the DJ was talking about, he twisted around and called, “Sam… Claire, you hear this?” He pointed a dripping wire brush at the radio.

Like Sam, Claire pulled away from the engine then gazed over her shoulder towards Kevin. With a slight cant of her head, she listened closely to the radio announcer. Her brow started to furrow deeper as the DJ’s news tumbled from his mouth.

“Still no explanation for this wave of killings sweeping across this city. A deadly crime spree with no end.” He continued announcing the viral news about the unusual attacks and killings spreading across Raccoon City. Each word trembled in his voice.

Claire felt shaken by the news flash. But once the music returned, she and the other mechanics continued staring at the radio. Lost and bewildered looks were on their faces until Claire snapped out of it first. “Get back on your jobs,” she softly ordered them. However, Claire set her wrench down then weaved through the shop and disappeared into the office. It was time to make that call to Alice.

With a ringing phone in her ear, Claire impatiently waited for Alice to answer her cell phone. After several rings, the voicemail picked up next and regurgitated its usual automated recording, but Claire had hung up. She decided to call at the end of the work day. Maybe Alice was just too busy to get the phone.

Five o’clock arrived rather slowly for Claire. She thanked her mechanics for a hard day’s work. Yet their quiet attitudes said a lot to Claire. Following them into the office, she sat at her desk and waited until they were done writing up their time. A few taps with her pencil, and she made her decision once Kevin and Sam sat down. They most likely suspected Claire’s mood too.

“Listen,” Claire started, “Don’t feel you guys have to come in tomorrow if…” She hesitated to voice what ate at the back of her mind. “Whatever is going on in the city…”

Kevin glanced at Sam then mentioned, “My son lives in the city and…”

Claire bowed her head and had already been considering that about Kevin. For Sam, he had a daughter that worked at Umbrella as a scientist. Claire could tell both mechanics were uneasy about the killings in the city. “Come in if you feel comfortable enough.” Claire lifted her head. “Your families are priority over the shop.”

“Thank you, Claire,” Kevin spoke up first.

Sam nodded in kind. “I’ll call in the morning,” he promised.

“Thanks, guys.” Claire nodded at the door. “Get home and check on things.” She said goodbye to them as they hurried out the door. She waited until their trucks were roaring then she grabbed the phone. She already had Alice’s phone number memorized and instantly hit the buttons. As the rings continued, Claire’s stomach churned with deeper worry.

“Hey, Alice…. this is Claire.” For a moment, the mechanic faltered on what to say to the voicemail. “Your new cylinder is installed… we got it finished today. I plan to do the break-in tomorrow morning.” Claire hesitated again and ran her fingers through her hair. After gathering herself, she softly mentioned, “I uh… heard about the attacks going on in the city. I’m worried… about you.” Claire shifted in her seat. “If you could call me on my cell… or text me. I just need to know you’re okay and safe.” She bit her bottom lip then added, “I don’t want to miss out on my date this Saturday.” But the joke wasn’t enough to make Claire feel better. “Talk to you soon.”

Claire hung up and sat there for several minutes. Her eyes were fixed on the phone as if willing Alice to ring it. But there was nothing. Finally accepting the matter, Claire begrudgingly stood up and decided to go home. Outside her motorcycle waited for its ten minute ride down the road.

Friday morning was not only slow arriving but also a lonely event, for Claire Redfield. Upon arriving at the shop, she discovered that Kevin and Sam were not coming to work due to family affairs. She suspected as much since they each had a child living in the city. Claire didn’t much enjoy working alone, but she had jobs waiting on her. To fill the silence, the radio was switched on and blared soft rock.

First thing to get done was the break-in for Alice’s plane once she moved it outside the shop. Claire performed the necessary procedures for the new cylinder. She then shut it down and decided to return it to the hangar. Claire cleaned up the few tools around the plane and returned them to the shop. Next the small tractor was started and used to move the Cessna 150 back up to its hangar. Claire put the plane away then rode the tractor back down to the shop.

Back in the shop, the radio announcer cut off the music and began a news flash. His frantic report made Claire pull up short next to another airplane. She twisted her head around and stared at the radio. After a hard swallow, Claire forced herself back to work but only ten minutes into it, and she couldn’t do anymore.

“Damn,” Claire murmured. She was seated on a wheelie chair next to a twin engine airplane’s left engine. She glared at the radio like it was the announcer, but it’d already switched to music again. Worriedly, Claire fished out her cell phone and hit the unlock button at the top. Once the screen lit up, there was nothing new on it. There was no text message, no voicemail, or even an email. Claire hadn’t spoken to Alice since Tuesday, late morning.

Popping up from the seat, Claire stared coldly at the radio after hearing the announcer’s report that residence in Raccoon City were told to evacuate immediately. That news didn’t settle well with Claire at all. She hoped that Kevin and Sam were able to get their son and daughter out of the city in time. Whatever was happening in Raccoon City wasn’t pretty and people were being killed at random. There were a couple of theories surrounding the killings and attacks, but there wasn’t anything official.

Claire locked the smartphone’s screen and put it into her left pocket. She put away her tools, which allowed her to think out her plans. Alice hadn’t contacted her at all, and Claire was certain that was a bad omen. From the first minute, Claire could tell that Alice had been attracted to her so Alice’s silence didn’t have anything to do with disinterest. Something had happened to Alice. And it had to be serious considering Alice was a trained security personnel. Claire didn’t like it and planned to find Alice, come Hell or high water.

After another hour, Redfield Wings was shut down for the day. And like the older mechanics, Claire had more pressing affairs than her job, for once. She jumped on her motorcycle and decided to go home first so she could change into regular clothes. Once on the highway to Raccoon city, there was hardly any traffic headed to the city. But the southbound lane crept like cold syrup with residence escaping the city. The thick traffic in the opposite lanes caused Claire to speed faster towards the city. If there had been any police, they were most likely in the city and weren’t patrolling the main highway.

Upon approaching Raven’s Gate Bridge, Claire slowed and passed over the Marble River. There was a huge pile up of cars on the bridge in the opposite lanes. Claire was amazed by it, but she continued into the city on Raccoon Street. She pulled off to the side once she realized she needed a starting point to find Alice. Leaving the motorcycle running and balanced, Claire partially unzipped her black leather chaps and reached into her jean’s left pocket. She dug out her cell phone once she took off her gloves. She needed Alice’s address, but she didn’t have it in her files at work. However, what tidbit would help her was the n-number on Alice’s airplane.

On the FAA’s website, Claire entered the n-number and only had to wait a few seconds before the plane’s information was retrieved from the database. She grinned at seeing Alice’s home address listed under the owner’s information. It was perfect and easy. Next Claire entered the address into Google Maps and studied the directions to get to the apartment complex. It was straight forward so Claire put away the smartphone and became situated on the bike again.

From her mental map, Claire wound through the city until she was on Park Street. Heading west, Claire soon approached the apartment complex that was across from one of Raccoon City’s smaller parks. The motorcycle quieted then was propped up on its kickstand. Claire placed the helmet on the rear seat then unzipped her red leather jacket, her eyes fixed on the quiet apartment building that was fifteen stories high. Checking her smartphone again, she confirmed that it was apartment 532.

The mechanic approached the sealed doors and expected it to be locked, her gloved hand hesitated on the handle. Much to her surprise a resident flung the door open, and she barely jumped aside. Her black motorcycle boots scuffing across the concrete as the frantic resident stormed past with an arm load of clothes.

“Hey,” Claire called to him. She slotted her eyes at the rude male’s fleeing form. She huffed but curiously peered through the doorway, handle still locked firmly in her hand. Claire entered the dark lobby and went directly to the elevators. Curiously, Claire hit the up button, but it oddly stayed dark instead of lighting up.

Quickly realizing the problem, Claire abandoned the elevator idea and approached the steps. Thankfully it didn’t take electricity to work the stairs. As she climbed them, she removed her black gloves and tucked them into each pocket of the jacket. Heavy boots continued softly booming against the steps until the fifth floor was reached in the quiet building.

Halfway down the hallway, the 532nd apartment proudly held it’s golden numbers, even in the dimness. Several knocks against the door didn’t produce an answer. A third set of knocks still wasn’t responded to after a minute.

“Damn,” Claire softly cursed. She tempted fate by turning the knob, which was certainly locked tight. One voice in her head told her to walk away and let it go. But Claire was rarely the one to listen to good advice. She wanted answers and planned to find out what happened to Alice. Bending forward slightly, a quick assessment of the deadbolt told Claire just enough.

Taking a few steps back, Claire looked over her shoulders and shrugged after she decided it was quiet. There hardly seemed to be any life in the apartment complex, which was a plus. First her hands fisted then after a deep breath, Claire gritted her teeth and executed a powerful kick directly at the door. Despite the vibration down Claire’s leg, it didn’t stop her from performing two more kicks that took out the deadbolt. The apartment door swung back on its hinges then hit the wall on the inside of the apartment. So much for Alice’s security skills being applied to the apartment.

Claire smirked and dusted off her hands as she strolled into the apartment. She reached for the slightly damaged door then shut it. A slight pucker of her lips, Claire scanned the obvious living room before her then off to the left was a kitchen. Everything was in order and from Alice’s decor, she could tell modern and contemporary was the flavor. Claire hadn’t quite expected that of Alice, but it was tasteful and not too unwelcoming like some modern furniture. The kitchen had all the standard conveniences and a peak in the fridge told Claire plenty. There was takeout left in there, and Claire honed in on the date sharpied onto the side of the Chinese container. It was from Tuesday, most likely Tuesday night. That much told Claire that Alice had been here Tuesday. But no other indicators in the kitchen helped Claire so she moved down to the hallway and found one room was an office. The last room was the bedroom, which peaked Claire’s interests.

A queen size bed was perfectly made, white comforter glowing from the sunlight coming from the window on the opposite side. There was a soft scent of vanilla most likely from a plugin airfreshner or the like. Claire’s inquisitive eyes roamed across the room’s contents that also included a dresser, nightstand, flat screen television on the opposite wall from the bed, a small white modern sofa near the window, and a full bathroom to the right. Claire crinkled up her nose and decided the room needed more colors, like red and a touch of black.

But it was obvious that Alice was rather clean and organized. Each item appeared to have an exact spot in the room. What drew Claire’s attention first was the nightstand. She approached it and couldn’t help opening the single drawer. Her right eyebrow arched up when a fantasy artwork cover glimmered back at her. That was slightly unexpected, but Claire pulled the book out and noted it was a journal. It was too simple in Claire’s opinion despite the information it would provide her about Alice’s whereabouts. At least she was finally having some luck.

Hastily Claire flipped to the last entry, which was dated the tenth of April. Alice’s last entry was three days ago, and it was a short entry. Claire couldn’t help reading over it in hopes she’d get clues. What’d worried her was Alice’s high stress about work at Umbrella. It was all too obvious within the journal that Alice was struggling with issues, especially with one coworker named Spence.

Claire frowned yet continued back tracking until she came upon the entry about her and Alice’s first and only date. The first few sentences of the paragraph were tantalizing, and Claire forced herself to stop reading because it was personal. After a long breath, Claire flipped to the next page and slotted her eyes at a strange entry about Alice’s meeting with a Lisa. A slight flare of jealousy started in Claire’s chest, but she cooled it and focused on her task.

“What?” Claire murmured, shock crossed her features. She reread the sentence to be sure. If this was true and if Alice was right then Raccoon City was the gateway to Hell. Claire released a low breath and quickly realized what it would mean if Umbrella caught onto Alice.

“What were you thinking?” Claire softly lectured like Alice was in front of her. She slammed the journal shut then stared at the cover of a magical woman who seemed to be flying among dreams. Claire traced the gold strand in the woman’s dark hair. Quickly breaking from the revere, Claire returned the journal into the drawer but a metal glint caught her eye. Drawing the drawer wider, she was startled to find a black handgun staring back at her.

Damn, damn, damn, Claire silently cursed. She was very right in her assumption about Alice’s knowledge of weapons. But for whatever crazy reason, she nervously took the gun from the drawer and studied its sleek form. Down on the grip, Claire recognized the logo for Beretta. She wasn’t sure if there was a magazine in it or not until she turned it over. However after a slight tilt of her head, she spotted three magazines on the left side of the drawer, tucked up in there. All magazines were fully loaded with seventeen bullets each. After an internal struggle, Claire scooped up the magazines and shoved them into her rear left jean pocket. Next the Beretta 90two handgun slid into the rear of her waistband.

“Remind me to give it back to you later, Alice,” Claire muttered. She shut the drawer then hurried out of the apartment. If Alice wasn’t here then Umbrella had to be the next place to try. Claire rushed down the quiet stairwell, her boots booming around her. She surged through the building’s main door, just like the earlier guy had done. A quick glance left and right made her realize just how empty the city was because the residents were fleeing.

Not wasting another minute, Claire scooped up the full face helmet that shined a bright red under the sunlight. She hastily lashed the chin strap into place then mounted the still warm bike. Claire put on her gloves first then started the Honda VTX. A glance at the sun reflected off her dark visor and told her that it was probably two or three hours before sunset. A soft curse went under her breath.

Claire knew where the Umbrella Office was located so she made a right down Ema Street. She followed it for a block then came to a stop light. However, the traffic light was inoperative then there were several cars ahead of her near the intersection. Claire slowed the motorcycle and slotted her eyes at the cars. Not a single car had a driver, and each car was haphazardly parked in the middle of Ema Street.

“What the…” Claire shook it off and decided it had something to do with the evacuation. There were a few wide enough openings for the motorcycle to fit through, but Claire didn’t like it. Instead she turned to the right and slowly drove up onto the empty sidewalk. Carefully the motorcycle rolled down the sidewalk at about ten miles per hour. A few trees’ lower branches caught Claire’s shoulder yet didn’t bother her. Approaching the intersection, relief began rising in Claire until a slowly walking person came around the corner from the interesting street.

The motorcycle’s wheels gave a low squeal against concrete, small smoke wafted behind the rear tire. The bike’s rear tire had scraped across the concrete until its side halted about two yards from the pedestrian. A low gasp filled Claire’s helmet.

The pedestrian was slightly bent forward, his head drooped forward. He took another step then paused and seemed to slowly process what’d almost happened to him.

Claire was still catching her breath, grip tight on the handlebars. She was about to reach for her visor until the pedestrian’s rather calm attitude concerned her. Somehow it was odd because most people would have cussed her out for such a stunt. Instead her right hand went to her thigh, close to her waist where the handgun waited for her. The radio announcer’s warnings about strange murders and attacks weren’t far from her mind.

The pedestrian turned on his feet, slowly. Then his head lifted with seeming great strain. First his bright blue eyes stood out against the grays, browns, and blacks of the city and his clothes.

Claire was prepared to apologize, but it tumbled back into her throat like a prickly lump. What the Hell was wrong with this man? All the scars, cuts, and grotesque flesh were disgusting despite his beautiful blue eyes. But the creepy recognition in his eyes made Claire’s skin crawl. It wasn’t welcoming and something more inhumane about him.

A low growl started from him, like an animal prepared to strike its prey. Claire saw his lips roll into a hungry sneer. Natural flight fueled her entire body, and she instantly revved the motorcycle, which roared above the man’s sneer. Her hand returned to the grip as the motorcycle’s wheels gripped the concrete and sped her away from a pending attack. The strange man had actually jumped for her, but he’d missed and instead met the concrete sidewalk, face first.

Claire gasped until her wild heart slightly soothed, but it did nothing to calm her mind. Was the warnings about attacks and killings really from mutated humans like the one she’d just encountered? Her spinning mind wondered if it had anything to do with this virus that Alice was trying to sneak out from the Hive. Setting the thoughts aside, Claire spotted Umbrella’s Raccoon Office on the right side of Ennerdale Street. But what really caught her attention was the Raccoon City Police Department diagonal from the Umbrella Office.

“Oh my god,” Claire murmured under the helmet. She was astounded by the police barricade around the police department, but there wasn’t any officer at their post. She slowed the bike in front of a white saddlehorse that was stamped with ‘POLICE’ across it. The whole block in front of the police department looked like a damn warzone gone ugly, bodies included. Claire struggled against her stomach’s upturned motion once she saw an officer’s face was gnawed out like a pack of wolves got it.

Twisting her head away, Claire took a steady breath for a moment before riding the motorcycle over to the front door of the Umbrella Office. She drove onto the sidewalk and braked in front of the office’s destroyed glass storefront. Most likely the building had suffered under the battle between the police and strange killers. Claire opted to leave the bike running on idle while she parked it and checked the office. Hopes of finding any information were completely depleted now.

Rushing into the office’s lost front door, Claire confirmed that the office was empty of life. The dark interior of the office revealed that the place had been turned upside down, stripped of certain things, and all the rest forgotten in haste. Whoever had been running the office abandoned it long ago from the looks of things. And instead the city police utilized it for their battle, spent shell casings littered the carpeted floor.

Claire felt like she was dancing as she twisted through the turned over desks, chairs, and file cabinets. It became clear that she wasn’t going to find any clues to Alice’s whereabouts now. As she crept deeper into the office, she reached up and pushed the visor away. She regretted it though because it allowed a stench to hit her nose immediately. She coughed and shook her head to get the smell out, but it was far too strong.

“Major Cain, Major Cain,” a woman hailed.

Claire spun on her heels at the woman’s voice, but she didn’t see anybody.

“This is Major Cain,” the major answered.

Claire honed in on the radio’s direction behind a desk so she edged around it, carefully. Her fingers inched to the handgun hidden at her backside. Major Cain was a familiar name to Claire, for some reason.

“We have begun quarantine procedures,” the woman reported. “All exits from Raccoon City have been locked down.”

“Excellent,” Major Cain agreed. “I will return to Raven’s Gate Bridge at twenty hundred hours.”

Claire crept around the desk’s corner and clenched her jaw upon finding a police officer’s lifeless face staring back at her. But the woman’s voice drew her attention down to the radio on his hip.

“What is your current location, Major Cain?”

“I am almost at the Raccoon Hospital,” Major Cain responded.

“Roger that, sir.”

“Report any major incidents,” the major ordered.

“Yes, sir.”

“Major Cain out.”

Claire stared distantly at the silent radio on the officer’s hip. Slowly the major’s full name came back to her. Major Timothy Cain, who was the Security Director and a Vice President for the North American division of Umbrella. His name was familiar to her thanks to her date with Alice, nights ago. Alice had mentioned something about often reporting to Major Cain about the Raccoon City facility’s security. He was the man that’d served in the army then was recruited by Umbrella later. Alice wasn’t overly fond of him either.

However, Major Cain could be key to finding Alice, Claire realized. She set her mind to it but first decided taking the officer’s radio would be handy. At least then she’d stay informed of Umbrella’s movements, along with Major Cain’s. Hesitantly, Claire knelt down but retrieved the Beretta handgun from her waistband.

Claire wanted to wipe the sheen of perspiration from her brow as she stretched her arm across the dead officer. But she remained focused on her task to get the radio. Frantically her eyes flickered back and forth between the officer’s hollow brown eyes and his radio. Claire’s moist fingers curled around the black radio, which was clipped into place. A weak tug merely caused the body to shift slightly. Claire struggled against the revulsion that traveled through her body.

“Fuck,” Claire hissed after a second tug. She wasn’t about to lower the handgun. Instead scuffled steps brought her closer to the body, which was the first one she’d ever seen in her life. Refocused on her mission, Claire was able to jerk the clip free from the belt and a soft prayer drifted under her lips.

Standing up, Claire took a few steps back yet stared at the officer’s limp body. She wasn’t sure what killed him. Nothing was apparent, but Claire hoped it hadn’t been painful for him. She prepared to depart until she noted the officer’s eyes had grown blue within the last minute or so. They’d been brown earlier, Claire was sure of it.

Again fear built up in Claire and made her flee from the building’s confines. The Honda VTX’s running engine was a draw and brought the racing mechanic onto the sidewalk. Claire hastily put the Beretta 90two into her waistband then hooked the radio to her left hip. Once she mounted the bike, she felt slightly more assured until the movement in the Umbrella Office made her twist her head that way. Mild fear blossomed into raw fear within seconds.

The former dead officer had risen to his shaky legs. He briefly assessed his surroundings, but it was the sweet scent tangled in the rotten air that enticed him to move forward. Finally his bright blue eyes honed in on the source of the sweet scent just outside the building.

Claire was breathing heavy at seeing the staggering officer weaving through the office, towards her. His dark silhouette started forming in the sun’s late afternoon light as he neared the front windows, closer to Claire. His blue eyes were eerie. Claire didn’t need to know how he was up and moving when a minute ago he was dead. She reached for the visor and slammed it down, which made her heart skip a beat. The officer’s eyes went from a bright blue to a glowing blue under the visor’s view.

Claire popped the kick stand and shifted into gear. She sped off before being attacked yet again. There was no doubt the officer would attack her just like the last person. Instead, Claire controlled her fears and focused on her next task, her date with Major Timothy Cain at the Raccoon Hospital. If she could track him down then she would be able to find Alice. All she could hope was that Alice was safely out of the city. But that didn’t boast well for Claire, who was now trapped in the crazed city. If anything, Major Cain could get her out of the city especially if Alice was already gone too. Her hopes began renewing as she raced down Warren Street, headed north to the hospital. Soon she would probably see Alice, get the Hell out of Raccoon City, and end this bizarre nightmare.

To be continued.