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[Quest] The Sound of Silence

Some kind of...of demon. Or vampire. Or...or something!

The captured man struggled only for a moment, sucking in a breath to ready himself to put up as much of a fight as he could -- he wasn't exactly a soldier, just a man who'd been in this town for way too damn long to exist without some fire in his blood and steel in his bones. He wasn't a warrior, by any means, but he was a fighter!

All thought of resisting or putting up an actual fight fled from him when the first blow struck home.

He pushed away, freeing himself from the vice-like grip on his shoulder, and whirled around to face his attacker, only to be met with a gloved hand crashing into his chin. The empty palm hit with with a solid smack and threw his head backward, and his body snapped forward again only a split second later as a knee lodged itself in his gut with what had to be the force of a cannonball. He wheezed out all the breath he'd caught, staggering back with hands curled around his gut.

Stars danced across his vision as an elbow slammed into his ear, and thunder rumbled in his head in tune with the deafening crash from overhead as an open palm grasped the back of his head. His world went white as his face was driven into the ground, only the dull crunch of impact echoing in his head.

Dizzy, and barely aware of what had just happened, he just groaned as fingers grasped the soaking wet collar of his jacket, and hauled him up off the ground. "Now, then...as I said." The voice was smooth, despite the vicious assault its owner had just doled out. "...I wish to have a word with you."

As he tried to draw enough breath to manage a response, a gloved hand closed around his throat, choking the airflow off. "You won't need to say anything. I never said this would be a conversation. You, my friend..." The man in black hauled his prey further up, releasing the back of his jacket and simply tightening the grip on the poor soul's neck. "...don't need to worry. You'll tell me everything I want to know."

As he hung there, hands scrabbling and grabbing at the iron grip around his throat, the man gurgled breathlessly. Half-formed grunts and words, a mangled attempt to ask for mercy or curse at his attacker, all spewed forth into the rain.

But they slowly died off, growing quieter as even his last few gasps of air were spent. He renewed his struggles and effort, kicking and clawing, silently screaming and thrashing. His mind screamed for air...!

...then it screamed for a different reason. Pain.

"You're going to tell me everything you know...about Oswell E. Spencer. His associates. And Silent Hill."

It spread out from his neck. Little lines, curling and slicing down. Across his torso, then to his limbs. Up his neck, over his face and around his head. Hair-thin strands of molten agony, growing worse and worse, spreading and wrapping further and further around him. His eyes went wide, bulging as his ground his teeth. One good breath, so he could clear his foggy mind and land a clear blow...!

Then he saw the colors. Shimmering and sparkling. A white glow, masked by the dark and the rain, and all the colors of the rainbow. Faintly shining, shimmering, rippling across the ground and nearby walls. It grew more pronounced and clear, and worst of all, the pain started to lessen. It went from unbearable agony, trailing off into...into nothing.

There was...there was...

Light. Colors. Lightning...all white.

What was...?

Albert Wesker strode slowly out of the alley, hand slowly curling into a fist around a last few dregs of omnilium. "Information never came quite so easily, before..." he mused, lifting both hands to adjust his long coat. "I suppose I really should thank you, Omni."

Quote:Beginning work toward 'A Gate in the Moors' quest.
Post Word Count: 660 // Total Word Count: 660
Post Character Count: 3,674 // Total Character Count: 3,674
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

His amusement was short-lived.

Only moments after he stepped out into the true force of the downpour, he practically felt eyes watching him. Just moments before a voice drifted his way through the sheeting rain. "An interesting way of gathering information you have, mister...Wesker."

Despite his short association with its owner, the sound was unmistakable. Wesker slowly turned his head around, looking down the street. Back toward where he had come from, before his detour. There stood Xehanort. The old man, hunched over with the weight of his years. Arms folded so casually and calmly behind his back. The young girl at his side, holding an umbrella over the both of them; only moderate protection against this downpour, but it was better than nothing.

"I have little taste for wasting time on such trivialities as polite conversation with a drunkard," Wesker said dismissively. "The information that piqued my curiosity has now been attained; its presence will serve me quite well." He turned and started away, pacing into the gloom and damp. "Now, please do excuse me. I have...an appointment to see to."

Despite the finality of his words, there came a plodding step behind him, lightly thudding on the cobblestones and splashing through already growing puddles. A slow pace, even and measured, clearly in no rush. Wesker could have easily outdistanced such a thing.

Again, Xehanort's words drifted toward him, the knowing grin plastered on his features a near-tangible thing lurking among his tone. "And where exactly is this appointment of yours to be scheduled? I didn't gather you were much of a doctor, and your business doesn't seem to be stationed here."

Looking back over his shoulder, the former Umbrella executive could see the reflection in the old man's golden eyes as lightning flickered overhead. Unnatural, inhuman, some might say evil. Whatever they were, though, they were set in the face of a schemer. A different league of predator to the one that Albert Wesker had been cultivated and built himself up to be, but no less dangerous. A much more thorough schemer and planner; not the cunning hunter and clever organizer. He was a man who could see a false pretense and an underlying plan when it was set in front of him, even if he couldn't tell what it was kept behind the speaker's back. He knew there was something in both hands; just not which one was the coin.

"....perhaps you can find out for yourself," he finally spoke, the faintest hint of a smirk curling at his face. "I suspect it will be quite a long trip, however. Are you certain you can keep up, old man?"

There was an amused glint that flashed through Xehanort's eyes, as he shifted his posture. Straightening up and standing tall as he could with a brief outbreak of pride. "Don't go thinking a little roadtrip through some foul weather and terrain will be the end of me, boy." The grin on his face, bared teeth and all, spoke enough that said the threat was only mostly false. "I've been on longer roads than you can wrap your mind around. This won't even register."

"Well then. At least your confidence will survive the trip."

Quote:Post Word Count: 535 // Total Word Count: 1,195
Post Character Count: 3,113 // Total Character Count: 6,787
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

It would be the worth of several days' journey from Darkshire to the area where Silent Hill supposedly stood. 'Supposedly', in this case, because the directions he'd acquired were woefully imprecise and outdated. Filled with old memories and thoughts of the place being unnatural, shrouded in a fog that would never leave, and the town not being there anymore, even if its structure was. There wasn't anything natural left there, and it was best left forgotten.

With how fragmented and blurred any recollections of the place had been in the man's head, it seemed he'd been trying to do exactly that, and forget the place. Aside from where it was, and what his business had once been there, it was all a vague ghost in his mind. A tourist resort town, at once point. Many names he knew and which dredged up old thoughts in the mind of the Umbrella executive.

Oswell E. Spencer, of course. James Marcus. William Birkin. Billy Coen.

All individuals he knew, either personally or by name. Or...individuals he had known. There were all long since dead or lost to the world, where he had come from. One of them dead at his own hands. To hear that name return from his past, as if taunting him, along with all the others...others he had all had a hand in ruining or destroying...

It wasn't quite worrying, but it was unnerving. It unsettled him enough to put a crack in his very carefully maintained composure, and spur him on to go investigate personally. All of the major residents of the town had vanished without a trace, it was said, when the town was lost to the fog. Rumors of all sorts of abhorrent actions, demonic rituals and sacrifices, working with the undead in both a scientific and magical way. Drugs and medicines of a type he was familiar with, absurd magic and voodoo rituals, satanic and other such religious babble and drivel. There were rumors and whispers of it all associated with the place, providing many reasons why the town had gone quiet and been abandoned.

...but not why its inhabitants had disappeared. Many had been primes, he gathered. Supposedly immortal and able to return from death. For them to have simple all have been slaughtered was a possibility, but it wouldn't explain their long-term disappearance. A puzzle, to be sure, and one which gave him no small measure of things to consider. Albert Wesker never did anything without a plan, never walked into something without at least a clear picture of what he was going to do. It was his policy to always have some understanding of what he was getting himself into.

It was a longstanding part of his plans he had been forced to set aside, just this once. His mind burned too feverishly with questions and worry which demanded answers and soothing for him to take his usual calm, methodical approach. He could wait it out, further dig around and dredge up answers from here and there. Find others who had been part of the town, or had something to do with it, and dig up facts and tidbits of information that way. It would take time, but it was all but a certainty that he could find someone who knew what he was after, or at least enough of it to answer the most burning questions and ease his mind, make his eventual trip to the town itself that much easier to plan for and deal with.

He knew that, but it didn't make it easier. It only made it harder. Time would just give his unease time to fester and spread further cracks in his calm facade and collected persona. He had to remain the dignified, unflappable businessman and diplomat. Maintaining such a role wasn't an easy thing, sometimes; this situation only proved as much.

"If you keep thinking so intently, you're going to wind up going gray even sooner." The smirk was evident in the words. Xehanort, seated in the seat opposite him, was eyeing him with a smug, amused look on his weathered features.

Wesker lightly shifted in his seat, adjusting his posture to lean slightly more to his other side. "Mmm...my apologies. I've just got quite a lot to think about." Not a complete untruth, for once; his mind was racing with things he had to consider. Facts and could-bes; maybes and might-not-bes. Worries and concerns, and assurances and discrepancies. What could and might go wrong; what was sure to go right and what couldn't afford not to. It was enough that his mind had little room for anything else.

"This appointment of yours must be quite important, if it has you so frazzled and frantic," the old man noted. He sat calmly there in his seat, fingers laced together and resting on an upraised knee. His age and feeble appearance did nothing to diminish the impossibly proud posture and bearing he kept himself with. Aged like an oak tree; bent and shriveling, but still undeniably sturdy and robust. There was every likelihood that Wesker could have pulled the pistol from his shoulder holster and shot the grinning old man right between the eyes, and it would scarcely phase him. "How much further is this trip of yours supposed to be? You were more than a little vague about where it was all headed."

Wesker brought up a hand to pull off his glasses. He slowly turned them over in his hands for a moment before speaking. "...the exact distance eludes me."

The admittance of cluelessness caught Xehanort off guard, triggering a mild scowl to flit across his weather-beaten face. "You are traveling to a place you don't even know the location of?" His eyes were wide, and he shook his head. His beard swayed under a silent chuckle. "And they said foolishness would abate with age...clearly you have more years yet to gather before that holds true."

"I did not say I have no clue where I am going," Wesker corrected. He folded the arms of his shades together, and slid the folded glasses into a pocket of his coat. "A town by the name of Silent Hill. Supposedly lost in a cloud of fog that rolled in off the lake one day many years ago and never dissipated." He let his arms slowly lower down, resting on the rests to either side of his seat. "There are rumors of many...interesting occurrences in the town prior to those events. Several individuals which were tied to my past before arriving to the Omniverse are mentioned among the town's founding and its rise to prominence."

This earned a slight upcurl of one eyebrow from the dark-skinned elder. He leaned forward in his seat, shifting to let his propped up leg slide off his knee and back to the floor with a light thud of his boot. "So it's sentimentality, then?" He peered intently, eyes flicking to and fro over the face of his travel partner. "How...quaint."

Albert Wesker just let the corner of his mouth lightly rise, the barest hint of a smirk. "Sentimentality?" There was a chuckle, hidden in that word. "No...nothing so moral as that. Curiosity." He leaned back, resting his head against the cushioned rest. "They were responsible for much, in my old life. They did a great deal of research, and some of them founded the company I worked for and rose to prominence and success in." He closed his eyes momentarily.

Spencer and Marcus...they had founded Umbrella. Manipulated the world, and so many countless families. Twisted and raised dozens of children, all for the sake of one old man's dreams and delusions of godhood. Then the likes of Birkin...had just been another pawn. A brilliant researcher, but a coward and a fool. Some small shred of pity yet lingered, even in the heart of a man like Albert Wesker. Birkin could have been a valuable asset, had he survived. The improvements he might have been able to make to the G-Virus, had he been allowed to continue his work...or even if all of his original research notes and samples had been recovered, it would have added years, perhaps even decades worth of work to what would need to be unraveled and pieced together later.

"...I simply wish to discover what became of them, in this world," he finally continued. His eyes snapped open, and he sat up straight again. "If they have survived all this time, then perhaps they may have some value again." He lifted his arms, spreading them to either side, palms up. "If they are alive, and yet still trapped somewhere within the town...then they simply wait to be saved, and delivered from its confines. Doing so would no doubt be quite the boon to the reputation of anyone seeking to garner praise." He curled one hand into a fist, the leather of his glove squeaking under the strain. "And if they are gone...then there is sure to be some trace of their work left behind. Along with traces of whatever happened to them. Finding out that much, even..." His other hand curled into a matching fist, the squealing of leather evident again. "...would be a boon all on its own."

Xehanort studied the other man for a long, silent minute. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the rain continued to pound down on the roof and windows in the still moment. Finally, the old man let his face split in an amused smile. A chuckle rolled up from within him, rising swiftly into a hearty, amused laugh. His hands came down to rest on his knees, supporting himself as he gave into his mirth and merriment for a moment. When he finally straightened up again, there was an amused grin playing at his face, showing just the tiniest hint of bared teeth. "So, then...you have nothing to lose from this venture of yours, and quite a bit to gain regardless of its outcome."

Wesker let his hands slowly lower, resting them back on the armrests of the chair. "Precisely." He gave a brief chuckle. "I always have some kind of plan...even if it is one I have to form en route to the site where it will be carried out."

Xehanort lazily leaned back in his seat, bringing an elbow up to perch on the armrest, and his chin lighting on the upturned knuckles of the same hand. "On the matter of that...you still have not said how long the trip there will be."

"Patience, Xehanort...I know where it is. Several days travel, on foot, at a steady forced march." Wesker lifted one hand to lightly tap at his forehead. "I know the location, and distance...but not the intervening terrain. Whether that march was a straight line, or one which followed roads and paths, I cannot say. It could take us half that time, or twice that time."

"Hmph." Xehanort rolled his eyes. "At least you know how to travel in luxury, I suppose..."

Quote:Post Word Count: 1,834 // Total Word Count: 3,029
Post Character Count: 10,287 // Total Character Count: 17,074
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

Albert Wesker stared down the barrel of the gun he held, leveled and pointed steadily at the angry, twisted face of the old man, Xehanort. Everything had gone precisely according to plan; and furthermore, just as he had hoped, the old fool had been none the wiser right up until the moment it was too late to matter. The look on his face at the first sound of impact had been priceless. The look on his face now, held at gunpoint and lit by the blazing glow of mangled, burning wreckage, was worth far more than that.

"I suppose you think you're clever, don't you, boy?" Xehanort barked. His gloved hand lightly pressed against a bloody wound in his side; he hadn't escaped the crash without injury, uncannily sturdy though he was. "All part of some fool scheme of yours, no doubt...or just the ploy of some opportunistic vulture, perhaps."

"Does it really matter, at this point?" Wesker shook his head. A lazy, satisfied smile hung on his face, even as his free hand rose up to wipe blood from his temple. Even though he had arranged the incident in its entirety, made sure his seating arrangement was as safe as could be, and painstakingly worked to assure that it would be one he would survive, he hadn't gotten away entirely free of injury. He was bloodied and battered and bruised, his suit torn and shredded, but he was alive and whole, and mostly unimpeded by the extent of his injuries.

"Whether this was all planned from the beginning on my part, or simply capitalizing on an opportunity inherent in the chaos of such an event...one simple fact remains, you insufferable fool." He shifted his hand, the muzzle of his samurai edge pistol dropping an inch. "Only one of us will be walking away from here. Only one of us will manage to make the winning ploy here, and use the other as a piece of their schemes."

Xehanort's face twisted into an ugly scowl, bloodied hand dropping to his side. "Ha! You think so highly of yourself." His eyes flashed in a dangerous manner, the shadows dancing in his wake from the flickering firelight seething and roiling behind him. "Think that just because you set this up so you'd have the advantage it means you've already won." He threw an arm out to one side, a sheen of frost turning the air white. "There's no such thing as a guaranteed victory. Not in this situation, or any other."

"I don't need a guaranteed victory." Wesker just tilted his head slowly to one side, his eyes blazing red in the shadow he was cast in. "I can't win this engagement, anyway. That much is obvious."

A curl of one eyebrow was the only indication the old man gave of whatever thoughts went through his head. "Then you're an even more indescribable fool than I took you for at first," he sneered. It was a subtle thing, but his posture relaxed ever so slightly; tension leaking and bleeding out of his body and limbs. The outstretched, frost-coated arm turned slowly so that the hand hovered between Xehanort himself and the madman who held him at gunpoint. Frost coated his gloved fingers, a sphere of crystalline ice slowly spinning above his palm.

"I cannot win this particular engagement," Wesker said again, his lips curling into a devilish smirk. "A vulture, as you so keenly put it, does not need to win." He snapped his arm out to one side and fired a single shot, before diving in the other direction and dropping flat to the ground.

Lightning split the sky overhead, thunder following mere moments in its wake with a deafening crash, leaving the scene bathed in monochrome deafness. Amid the light and noise, there came a cacophonous string of destruction from the wreckage, blocked out by the fury in the skies overhead.

In an instant, Xehanort found himself floored by a wave of force like a giant hammer, thrown to the ground and left pinned there, pierced by countless shards of shrapnel, pieces of metal and wreckage from mere needle-like slivers to chunks the size of a sword. His eyes bulged out as he strained to lift his head, staring down at himself. Tremors and shivers ran through his body, his mouth hanging half open in something between a silent scream and a desperate effort to draw breath into perforated lungs. A shaking, quaking arm slowly raised up, wispy trails of frosty air clinging to the fingers.

A sturdy boot came down on the trembling hand, smashing it against the ground amid the swish of a ragged black coat. Standing tall, the face of Albert Wesker leered down with a grin plastered onto his face. "I cannot win what I have already won." Soft words, barely loud enough to register in ringing ears over the sizzling and hissing of heated metal in the damp air. "The moment you chose to talk rather than strike, I had won," he sneered, relishing in the moment and slowly lifting the pistol in his hand.

Xehanort's eyes flashed with murderous intent, fingers of his smashed hand curling and squeezing down in a deathgrip around the limb grinding them into the dirt.

"Defiant even until the last moment. How admirable." Wesker steadied his aim, taking his time to line up the perfect shot. "You can take solace in one fact, at the least." He tilted his head back, the firelight casting it into clear view. "I will make ample use of all of the information I dig out of that decrepit old head of yours. And..." A smile twitched at the corner of his mouth. "...I'll make sure that little 'daughter' of yours is well taken care of."

The golden eyes of the seeker of darkness snapped open wide to that, and the voice of the despoiled god rang out in mocking laughter, before the report of a gun sounded three times and ushered in silence.

Quote:Post Word Count: 1,000 // Total Word Count: 4,029
Post Character Count: 5,585 // Total Character Count: 22,659
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

In the back of a much more robust means of transportation, Albert Wesker finished re-dressing himself, adjusting the collar of his suit. He was still sore from the strain of the activities to dispose of the old fool, Xehanort, but he had managed to handle the worst of his actual injuries. Some lingering wounds, but the flow of blood had been staunched for now, so there was no great risk at the moment. He pulled gloves onto his hands, flexing and clenching his fingers into a fist to secure them firmly in place before settling into his seat with a quiet sigh.

"Efficient work as always, sir," came the voice of his driver, from the front seat. "I don't think he even saw it coming."

"He saw something coming, I've no doubt," Wesker mused dismissively. "But I suspect you are correct that he had no idea of the lethality of it." The plan had been hastily cobbled together, and had put even his own life in harm's way, but it had been effective. A prearranged and organized crash, with some explosives secured to the car in such a way the crash would only expose them to set off the true depth of the trap. It had cost him another driver, of course; the poor fool had been destined to die in the crash from the moment he had been summoned. The omnilium put into him had not gone to waste, and been repurposed into the one now driving him through the moors.

"Everything else went according to the plan, I hope?"

Wesker chuckled at that. "Of course. The old man's body was broken down, and the knowledge I gained from it was most..." He lifted a hand, spreading the fingers wide as frost slowly crept over the glove, the air around it turning white and misty from the chill. "...interesting."

"Magic. Never would've thought I'd see it." The driver was clearly incredulous, impressed with even something so minor. Of course he was just a simpleton, loyal without question but just a common man from the lowest rungs of Umbrella's former hierarchy. Exposed just enough to the horrors to be able to keep his cool when confronted by the strange and monstrous, but a far cry from any of their true professionals.

"And this is only the tip of the iceberg." Wesker clenched his hand, crushing the cloud of chilly mist to nothing, the frost on his glove crunching slightly as it was likewise banished. "There is so much more to be had, both from what I pried out of the memories of the old man and lying in wait in the town of Silent Hill."

"The plan for that is still the same as before, sir?"

"You will drive until we reach a point that I have identified from the information my guide so graciously provided. I will depart on my own from there, and you will return to the mansion with our guest." The executive turned aside, lightly brushing a hand along the forehead of the young woman laying unconscious in the seat beside him. Xehanort's so-called granddaughter; someone summoned by him, no doubt holding more secrets yet to be pried out of her head with the right incentive. "Ensure she arrives there intact, even if costs you your life."

"Understood, sir." The driver's eyes never left the front of the rugged truck. There weren't exactly roads out here, and offroading in terrain like this without your full attention on where you were going was a recipe just asking for disaster to come and pay you a visit. And there wasn't another arranged crash this time, so no guarantees of survival if one should rear its head. "Should I have medical attention arranged for her?"

The despoiled god quietly pondered over that. Given how frail she looked, and the somewhat...feeble and all too human nature he had witnessed thus far, it seemed unlikely she would exhibit the same speedy recovery and bounce back from injury that he had grown accustomed to so far here. "Yes...see to it that she receives any treatment she requires." He reached down to his side, picking up his sunglasses and sliding them over his eyes. "And make sure to arrange proper security for her. Don't let her out of the mansion. For her safety."

"...of course, sir. I'll see to it."

Of course you will, Wesker thought. You couldn't do otherwise even if you wanted to.

Quote:Post Word Count: 742 // Total Word Count: 4,771
Post Character Count: 4,121 // Total Character Count: 26,780
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

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