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ring, ring [Exemplary]

His eyes snapped open, and he lurched up into a sitting posture.

Cold tile under his hand, felt through torn and shredded gloves. Slick with blood and something else, icy-cold against his skin. Ragged breaths sucked in and wheezed out, the resulting rise and fall of his chest sending red-hot lines spidering over his entire torso. Complete, unremitting agony. The crippling, physical pangs and knives of discomfort were bad enough on their own. There was, however...a further complication. A devilishly potent headache, pulsing in time with the blood in his veins.

A sharp, piercing noise. Echoing through his surroundings. Ringing. Quiet enough, in most circumstances, but with the deafening silence of his current locale, coupled with the splitting pain clawing through his head... It might as well have been blared for all the world to hear, from a speaker right next to his head.

The extreme pain of his awakening, and the sudden nature of it left him reeling. Unsteady hands fumbled across the floor, feeling out something to take hold of, some kind of support. Something to help get him upright, get his feet under him again. It took him several minutes of blind reaching before his half-numb fingers curled around...something. The leg of some kind of table, or a shelf maybe, judging by the feel of it.

Carefully, slowly, he hauled himself up. His shoes slid and skittered in the mess on the floor, blood and something slimy green. Traction was a tough thing to come by, and it left him desperately clutching and holding tight to his support. A shelf, he came to find out as he slowly drew himself up to a more or less stable position, legs squarely under him again. Full of an assortment of all manner of smashed and overturned bottles, jars, beakers and racks of vials and flasks. Their myriad contents had all been spilled and splattered over the shelving and wall, pooling down it to add their diverse colors to the mess on the floor.

Thankfully, long since dried and evaporated. Aside from the stains and color, the mystery chemicals had nothing to offer that might prove a risk. No noxious fumes or pesky corrosive puddles to risk having wallowed around in.

Of course, something like that would have been the least of his worries, as he soon came to find out. Much more distracting, and immediate in its risk, was an announcement that rang out. A computerized voice, some sort of recording, spoke through a crackle of static and interference. "T-minus ten minutes until detonation."

"Detonation...?" he mumbled, staggering away from the shelving unit. Slipping and sliding over the slick floor, he caught himself on a table, taking a moment to steady his breathing. "What is the...meaning of this?" He had no clue where he was, how he had gotten here, or what any of this was about. But if there was a detonation already in progress... It was safe to say he was in deep, deep trouble.

His raggedy gloved hand, clutching at the edge of the table, slowly curled into a fist. In the scuffed, stained steel of the work surface, he would barely see a reflection. Even through it all, two dulled points of red light glimmered. "...very well, then...time to make my escape..."

He pushed off from leaning against the table, standing up with great effort. First step: find out where he was escaping from. A map or diagram of the place, maybe...this place had the feel of some kind of underground research facility. Bound to be one around.
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

With a lurch, he started forward. To the far wall of the room, resting one hand against it for support as he moved along it. The door along the wall was smashed completely off its hinges, lying out in the hall beyond. Reinforced, metal, not an easy thing to break. "Curious...smashed it outward from here..." he noted. "Clearly whatever was in here didn't like its lodgings." It was definitely something to keep in mind. Whatever smashed apart a door like that, if it was still in here, would be a serious threat. In his current condition, and armed as he was with only his sidearm, it was doubtful he would be able to actually contend with it. He'd have to avoid it, and flee if he came across it, much as the prospect was like a knife to his pride.

Wearily, Wesker reached for his pistol, holstered under his long coat. In its tattered state, there was a long rent in the material, from the shoulder down to nearly the ribs. The weapon was visible to keen eyes, which would have been more of a cause for disgruntlement in a situation less abundantly grim and isolated. He drew it out, weighing it in his hand to do a quick count of its ammunition. Empty. He grimaced at that, leaning his shoulder against the wall as he fished through his ruined coat for one of the pockets still intact enough, and eventually produced another magazine. Ejecting the spent one from his weapon, he loaded the fresh one, and discarded the empty.

When that was sorted, he pushed forward again. Through the ruined doorway, and out into the hall. Red emergency lights were flashing, and the ringing of the siren was more pronounced out here. A dull droning voice repeated its announcement about the impending detonation. That was going to be an irritation, but he would put up with it. Not as if he had much choice in the matter.

A quick look down the hall revealed it ended shortly to his left, bearing a massive set of steel doors. A computer terminal sat to their right, the screen lit up and active. To the right, the hallway went onward, reaching a T-intersection and sporting a map on the wall. Just what he was looking for. Making note of the sealed door and its terminal for later, he turned to trudge down the hall to the diagram affixed to the wall at the intersection. He reached up a hand to smooth back his bedraggled hair, pushing it out of his face to study the map carefully, for a map it was.

"How convenient...I seem to be directly adjacent to the emergency exit." He glanced back over his shoulder at the sealed doors before returning his attention to the map. "And it seem I woke up in the medical room...odd place for it." He took some of his precious time to memorize the map, until the droning, automated voice intoned that the countdown had reached the nine minute mark. With a sigh of resignation, he reached up to tear the map down, carefully liberating it from the wall. Better to have it with him than try to memorize it in his state, under these conditions.

With some guidance in hand, he turned to head for the emergency exit, delicately folding the map to stow it in a pocket of his coat. Time to see if this was going to be easy or irritatingly difficult.
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

It didn't come as a surprise, but it did come as a source of great agitation. The console controlling the emergency exit was displaying not only the emergency status, but also the message he had been hoping not to see.


The words just hovered there, bright red and glaring. Below them, there was a field for entering something; a passcode of some type, by any decent guess. To the side, there was a card reader of some sort. "Such security, even on their emergency systems..." Despite his growing frustration, Wesker couldn't help a light smirk from twisting his features. "Clearly they only wanted very specific individuals to escape this way." It was proving to be quite the irritant, but there was nothing to be done for it. In his present state, he couldn't very well simply force the emergency doors open. And without the proper card or passcode to go along with it, he couldn't activate the system to open them the regular way. The automated system droned out overhead, warning again of the impending detonation. Only eight and a half minutes left, and ticking down all the time.

He turned away, moving back down the hall to the intersection at an unsteady jog. He tugged the map out of a pocket, unfolding it as he went. "Which...way..." The map was smudged with smoke and grease, and splattered with blood in places. Telltale signs of whatever sort of chaos had gone on here. Most of it was still legible, thankfully enough; some quick study told him all he needed to know. Likely spots to search, to find something useful. Left at the intersection, and off we went. He put the map away again, lurching in mid-stride and staggering until he ended up leaning against a wall. His breathing ragged, he closed his eyes tightly, trying to blot out the agony to focus on the simple objective of moving forward. He briefly considered returning to the medical room, as it was so close; searching through it for something to deal with the near-crippling pain.

He didn't really have the luxury of spending time rummaging among all that wreckage to find anything for that, however. He knew that, and so he forced himself back upright again. And with a stride far more unsteady than his pride would ever normally allow, he was moving. Through a hallway scorched and battered with the signs of a very recent outbreak of violence, but with no signs of the ones who caused it. A normal man might have been unnerved, or at least wary; Albert Wesker was not a normal man.

He was just irritated the mess made it that much harder to move quickly in his damaged condition.
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

A few moments of his unsteady shambling, and his strength began to return. The ache and pain was still there, of course; he was far too battered and bloody to recover so quickly. But focus, and adjustment could block it out. A decisive goal in mind, and a mind as fortified as his could cope with and push through something this trivial. The wounds were searingly painful, but only a few of them were grossly debilitating beyond the pain they caused. It was not the first time he'd been in such a state, loath as he was to admit any such thing. While it was far from a pleasant state, it was a tolerable one; he could function. And as he fought down the pain, he could function even better. Strength and steadiness returned, even if it did mean he had to slow his movements.

Careful, precise, painstakingly slow. Things he couldn't really afford to be under his current time constraints. But better slow, definite and constant progress than lurching, uneven spurts of rapid progress and then who knows how long racked with pain and unable to move onward.

Down the battle-ruined hallway he went, managing to push away from using the wall as a support after a dozen paces. A light had been blown out ahead, sparking and sputtering fitfully. The ceiling around it was scorched black, and marked with several gunshot impacts. Several more trailed away from it in a ragged line, toward one wall and down across it, toward a splash of something viscous and pale green. Quite the mess...but it did prove that there had definitely been some kind of a fight or struggle down here.

Moving past that scene, the next obstacle presented to Wesker was another intersection in the path. It moved on straight ahead, and turned to his left again. Many of the lights were blown out, down the path to his left, and ahead he could see stairs leading further down. Albert Wesker was not a man to be afraid of the dark, but he was also no fool. As difficult as it was to see, no telling what might be lurking down that lightless path; given the condition of this place, it might very well be remnants of whatever horrible event had occurred here. There was bound to be a light source here somewhere, a simple flashlight would do. Perhaps he could locate such a thing further on in his search.

As he slowly, steadily trudged onward, toward the stairs ahead of him, the alarm droned on. The automated voice rang out again: eight minutes until detonation. He ground his teeth together. Time was running out. He needed to hurry.

The hall was not without its own dangers, however. His careful tread was interrupted by a mass of spent bullet casings. Slipping, grinding and rolling underfoot, they nearly sent him toppling over, only bracing himself against the wall keeping his footing under him securely. A ragged breath, equal parts anger, relief and pain, hissed out from between clenched and bloodied teeth. For a precious few seconds he braced himself, taking another quick breath, before moving forward. The ground underfoot sagged and creaked worryingly, the stone shifting and cracking. Dangerously unsteady. Wesker was no architect or engineer, but he'd seen more than enough destruction and damage to buildings and structures such as this in his lifetime. One good impact with the flooring in this poor state and it was highly liable to give way entirely. A worrying prospect, but it would just require more caution.

He crept past the damaged ground, edging slowly along until he reached the stairs. The went downward, just as the map had indicated. There should be something down there to be of help. Security and the quarters for the staff that had stayed here long term were down below. With any luck, he might find something to get past the damn lockdown on the emergency exit. The stairs hit a landing below, rounding a corner to loop back around and mirror their initial descent. He could see light coming from below, but it was dim, flickering. Probably more damage down there. He grimaced, not caring much for that prospect. Still...nothing for it, save for traipsing back to where he had found the map and trying the other way. Nothing over there but the storage and supply rooms, only worth a look in an emergency. So...only one thing to do.

Carefully, one hand holding his samurai edge at the ready, and the other lightly resting on the railing of the stairwell, he started down, into the dimness below...
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

He reached the bottom of the stairs with only minor incident. The last two steps were submerged under water, casting the entire level into a knee-deep flood. Now that he had exited the stairs, he could faintly hear the sound from further ahead; the steady hissing of water from a burst pipe. Whatever had happened here had definitely taken its toll.

The dim lighting, combined with the water, made moving forward a prospect which rapidly grated on his nerves. It slowed him down doubly, on top of aggravating his injured state. The former was all too costly, in his current weakened state; he was all but certain he wouldn't survive the impending detonation if he failed to make it out of this place in time. The latter was just an irritant. He detested being in pain of this level. It was so...so human. Disgustingly, mind-wrenchingly, gut-churningly human.

Wading slowly through the dank corridor, he was forced to keep one arm braced against the wall. Unable to see beneath the murky water, and gauge his footing properly, it would have been insanity otherwise. He continually encountered loose bits of rubble and debris, from the walls and ceiling. Bits of rock and metal, bullet casings and the bullets themselves, made slippery and treacherous with the addition of the disgusting liquid flooding this level. The only upside to it all was that anything else in here, if there was anything else to be found here, would be similarly slowed down and impeded. Small favors, and such an advantage he was reluctant to admit that he needed in his condition, but one he was far from unwilling to exploit to its utmost if the need arose. Mobility was a precious asset in an engagement, as he so loved to prove to his opponents.

A blown light flickered and sputtered overhead, with a crackle and pop. Sparks fizzled from it, and the smell of burning wires was still faintly detectable. Wesker grimaced. Whatever had happened here had been only recently. Quite spectacular that he'd managed to sleep through it. Or remain unconscious through it, perhaps. It also raised an important question, that he had been puzzling over since he awoke: how did he get here? The last thing he could recall before this, he had been...elsewhere. In the middle of that white expanse. The fountain. The Omniverse...yes. Defeated there, in such an ignominious and infuriating fashion, by that damnable double agent. Ada Wong.

Just recalling that memory, and the ludicrous impossibility of him being beaten in a straight fight. He had been weakened, certainly — terribly weakened, barely up to par with even his human capabilities before the viral injection all those years ago — but he had been earnestly trying. Fighting with all the fury and effort he ever had, and still...defeat had been handed to him. The specifics eluded him, no matter how hard he tried to call them back to mind. He had burst from the fetid, bloody waters of the fountain, and assaulted that damnable witch, then...that was where things got fuzzy. Just a red haze of rage, and viciously pummeling, beating her, and then...blackness.

Then he had awoken here, wherever here was.

If he could just manage to figure out where he was and how he had arrived here, perhaps he could come that much closer to actually finding a way out of here in time. It was clearly some sort of underground research facility, from the layout he had observed on the map. The perplexing part was that he had seen no sign of any elevator or stairs leading upward, back to the surface, or to any aboveground facility or structure this place was connected to. It was as if it was isolated, wholly and completely, which was absurd. Certainly not impossible to do, of course, but extremely difficult and costly. Even then, if they could have done such a thing, there had to have been some way to get in, barring the emergency exit. The state of the place, falling apart and ready to detonate after what was presumably some sort of unplanned act of violence, was testament to that.

It left one of two possibilities, that Wesker could imagine right offhand.

One: Some sort of outbreak or failure of the experiments being conducted here, and the chaos here had erupted from that, the security forces stationed here overrun and the damage triggering the self-destruct systems to keep it contained.

Two: Some external force had invaded, causing damage in an attempt to silence the staff here and likely steal something. The self-destruct had been triggered in the violence either by accident, or intentionally, to cover their tracks.

It mattered little, and was just baseless conjecture without more clues to go on, of course...but it was something to occupy his aimless meandering down this partially flooded hall. Just a few paces ahead now he could see a weakly flickering light, hanging halfway out of its fixture in the ceiling, marking another intersection. Straight ahead there should be the armory and security offices. To the left he could hopefully reach the living areas. There was a doorway to the right, as well, though it was unlabeled on the map he had procured. Curious, to be sure, but not something he had the luxury of investigating at the moment. He would give it a look if his searches elsewhere turned up fruitless. It would be a closer destination than traversing all the way back up to the original floor to check the storage rooms. Time was rapidly running out, as the droning voice of the automated system above announced helpfully: only seven and a half minutes left, now.

He reached the intersection, pausing with his hand on the corner of the wall. For a precious few seconds he looked down the hall both ways open to him, weighing his options. Three places to check. He would work clockwise, to try and keep things efficient. To the left, for now. To the living quarters.
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

Down the hall he trudged, slogging and splashing through the water. The ground angled up on an incline, forming a ramp leading up to the doors leading into the living quarters. Thankfully, that brought the water level down to just below ankle deep. Still a nuisance, but a bearable one. He reached the doors, finding them arranged in a set of six, three to either side. One hung crazily off its hinges, another stood wide open. The furthest on the right had been completely smashed in. Definitely a scene of chaos here, even if the remaining three seemed largely untouched by whatever destruction had taken place here. That was a good sign, under most circumstances. But with any luck...the doors still intact would be locked, and become just one more thing to slow him down in his progress.

Pushing those thoughts aside for the sake of not wasting time to dwell on his growing frustration, he slowly stepped up to the first door. Still intact, and securely shut. He tried the handle, and it turned. The door swung inward with only token resistance. A solid shove pushed it the rest of the way open, and into the room he went. The lights were still on, and undamaged here, thankfully enough. Far from fancy, and very sparsely furnished, but serviceable enough. He wasted no time in getting to his search, rummaging and tearing through everything he could get his hands on. Files from the desk, spare clothes from the dresser, and all manner of other detritus soon littered the room, floating in the shallow water. In the end, he'd only managed to turn up what looked like the personal journal of whoever had occupied this room.

He flipped through it as he returned to the hallway, scanning a page here and there but his attention mostly focused on moving on. Nothing of any interest to be found, just personal notes and observations on what had gone on here. The book was discarded in front of the next door, which turned out to be locked. That drew an irritated snarl from him and he stepped back, lifting one leg to deliver a sharp kick. The door rattled, but held firm, even as pain lanced up his leg. He wheezed, clenching his teeth to bite down on his pain as he readied again and with a second kick, the lock gave and the door crashed open. The search of this room provided something of more concrete use, in the form of a note pinned to the desk. The head researcher and chief of security were the ones in charge of managing the access code and the keycard necessary to open the emergency exit. A typical arrangement, and it gave some direction as to what he would need to get out of here. Now it was merely a matter of finding them.

He continued his ransacking of the room, just to ensure there was nothing else of use, before moving on. The next was the door hanging off its hinges. The lights inside flickered and sputtered weakly, and blood had stained the floors and walls. A grisly sight, but it wasn't going to impede his search. Turning the room upside down revealed a memo from the head researcher, noting that the access code for the emergency exit was due to be changed soon, as per standard procedure. That was enough to tell him this was not the room he needed, and he moved on, across the hall to the door standing wide open. Nothing of use was turned up in his increasingly aggressive and frantic searching, leaving him to move on to the last two doors. The one knocked completely off its hinges was pitch black, leaving him no option to search it just yet. The other was once again locked, and far more securely. A kick failed to so much as rattle it in the frame, and even a shot from his pistol to the lock failed to budge it. Snarling in frustration, he turned back for the intersection. The security section had better have something of use.

As he sloshed back down the hall, the automated system droned out overhead. T-minus five minutes until detonation.
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

Down the hall, and then to the steps again. "Back down into this...sludge," he grumbled, as he sloshed into the deeper water. It rose back up, a sharp, icy jump with each of the two steps down into it, crawling up to his knees. In the flickering, unsteady lighting it looked completely black, and he couldn't see the bottom beneath it all. It was a nuisance that was doing little more than dragging things out.

Trudging through the cold, obscuring liquid, he went back to the intersection, pausing for a moment with his hand gripping the corner. He adjusted the grip on his samurai edge, bringing the pistol up and readying it. He had yet to encounter anything down here, but that didn't mean there wasn't anything down here to encounter. And he had a feeling, if there was anything to find here...

"It will be in the security offices...nothing ever goes completely smoothly."

With his gun at the ready, he pushed off and swung around the corner, moving down the new hallway. The lighting was blown out at the far end, casting it into darkness. The lights near to the actual security offices were still working, as much as anything down here was. But further down, the doors to the armory were a yawning void of pitch blackness. Standing wide open and smashed apart, like someone had taken the mother of all battering rams to them, and only the threshold of the room lit by the weak, flickering light from the hallway. "A shame...perhaps something in there could have been of use." With any luck, he might just be able to find a flashlight, to illuminate the area and do a quick search. Something in there might be able to help cajole open the stubbornly locked door in the living quarters. Lighting the way into that other room could prove useful, as well. He didn't know which one belonged to the head researcher, after all.

To the security offices, and predictably the door was shut. The handle turned easily, but there was resistance to opening the door. He ground his teeth together, baring them in a silent snarl as he threw his shoulder against it. With a monumental shove, he managed to force it open. Slowly but surely, dislodging and straining whatever was barring it, until suddenly there was a sharp, jarring crunch and the door flew open, sending Wesker to stumbling forward. Thanks to the murky water throwing off his balance, and hiding the obstacle, he tripped over...something.

He splashed down into the water face-first, seeing nothing but darkness for several seconds, and feeling nothing but cold.

He scrabbled about, getting his hands under him and shoving himself back upright, out of the water. Sputtering and coughing, he felt around blindly for something to support himself, and eventually caught on the door handle. It was a precarious, slippery thing, and not just because of its size. His effort to force the door open had busted the handle entirely, and it now listed at a crazy angle. Combined with the way he leaned on it as he tried to regain his feet, it ended up sending him sliding right off of it. He staggered blindly, drunkenly forward, until his questing hand caught hold of a chair. It was enough to stop him from falling into the water again, and let him regain his footing. A final cough and he spat out a mouthful of the foul water, standing upright again. "Barring the door...that means someone was alive, even after whatever disaster happened here."

He cast his eyes about in the dim lighting, as if searching for some sign of the survivor he expected to find. After several precious seconds of not finding any sign of one, however...he gave it up. Pointless. He turned his attention instead to scouring the room. There was an array of monitors and computers, presumably for monitoring the facility under normal operation. Many of them were blown out, though some still functioned. One or two were racked and flickering, but still in working order. One showed the emergency exit. Another showed the hall for the living area. Another showed that sealed door at the intersection. The last operable one seemed to show the armory. He peered at them for a moment, observing, before an idea occurred to him. He didn't have much time, but...

A little work and effort at it paid off in the end. The cameras were equipped with a night vision option. A quick study of the screen displaying the armory and he was able to spot something that just might be of some use to him in getting that stubborn door open. He'd have to make sure to duck in and grab it. But with that discovery, he turned aside to peruse the rest of the room for anything else of use. There was another side room, another office of some sort. Then a separate office, for the security chief. Typical...the one in charge always getting their private space. Knowing the type of groups who made these facilities, he was probably the highest ranking one here, and the office was more than likely sound-proofed.

He wasn't expecting it to be accessible, but he tried the handle anyway. Locked, of course. Just looking at the door told him it would be at least as sturdy as the last one, and not easy to force open. He dismissed it for now; another task for the item he had spotted in the armory. More out of simple curiosity than anything else, he ducked into the side office to check. There was a corpse there; one of the security officers here, from the looks of it. Riddled with gunfire, and sprawled backward on a partially collapsed table. Armor was ruined, blood was everywhere, but other equipment seemed intact. Among the various items, there it was, clipped to his vest (or what was left of it): a flashlight.

"Such a simple item...made so precious in these circumstances," Wesker mused under his breath as he retrieved the thing. It took a little doing to get it working, but in the end it did finally prove that it was operable. Batteries probably knocked loose in all the chaos, given the state of its owner. With it in hand, he turned back to head for the armory. Little pickup to make, before he continued on with his desperate searching.
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

As he stepped back out into the hallway, a sudden noise caught his ear and he stopped dead. "Something else down here..."

He wasn't surprised. All the noise he'd been making; kicking and bashing the doors earlier, his forcing the door to security open, and his tumble into the water. It was bound to have alerted anything paying even remote attention down here. It had been a faint noise, barely audible over the sloshing and splashing of his own passage through the door. At first he had even mistaken it for his own passage, but it came out of tune with his movements. Something else, slowly shuffling and splashing through the water. Further on, back down the hallway.

"Well, at least I'll have some company," he commented, before putting it out of mind.

Turning toward the armory, he picked his pace up, pushing through the icy water to reach the storage room. Stairs within, just past the light spilling in through the doors, lead him up out of the water, thankfully. The ground was still soaked, a puddle an inch or two deep covering the floor. Finally, relief from the ongoing nuisance of that slimy, obscuring water. At least here, with the aid of the flashlight, he could see the floor, and all that lay strewn about it.

It was a grisly sight, as he had been expecting thanks to the picture of the room he'd gotten from the security monitor. No less than three corpses lay strewn about, along with a typhoon's worth of spent bullet casings and bullets. It was a mess, and he made sure to carefully pick his way along, over and through the treacherous brass minefield. There were two things here that he had an eye for. One of them he retrieved from near a fallen corpse: the weapon of the guards here. Battered, and likely with an empty magazine, but much more useful than his Samurai Edge if he were to encounter something down here. Reliable as the pistol was, it was rather limited. He discarded the spent magazine, and after some searching was able to turn up three more from its former owner. He stowed his pistol in its holster, reloading the rifle as he trudged to the back of the room.

He'd have preferred lockpicks, if he had the time to waste on using them, but in this situation...

He exited the room with a few grenades quickly clipped to his belt, and the looted rifle in his hands. The flashlight had been fixed to the rifle so he could still utilize it, while keeping both hands on the weapon. Slapdash and jury-rigged together, but it would do for now. It only had to last until he could escape this place. Back out to the hallway, and to the door to the security offices. "Now, then...let's see just how sturdy your construction really is." He reached for one of the grenades he'd picked up, striding up to the locked door of the security chief's office. Carefully, he wedged the explosive between the handle and the door, before pulling the pin and quickly sloshing out of the room. Around the corner, into the adjacent side office would have to do. He threw himself around the corner, and flattened himself against the wall as the blast went off.

Stepping back around, he was satisfied. The door was still standing, but the handle and lock had been completely blown off — along with a sizable chunk of the wall and doorframe. A solid kick forced the door open, and he entered the office. He found much of use here, including the security chief's computer, somehow still in working order despite the shape of this place. Already opened to a memo he'd apparently been reading when he had to beat a hasty retreat. From the head researcher, detailing his plans to change the access code for the emergency exit. And a reminder to come by and pick up the new cardkey, after it had been synced to the new code, making sure to store it in the safe.

"How convenient...telling me exactly where it is." A light smirk crossed his features for a second. " I suppose you would have earned some thanks, if you were still alive."

Further checking of the computer revealed the emergency state had locked most of it down, leaving only some basic functions available. One of them, luckily, was 'access secure safe'. Intended to be an emergency use action, most likely, when you didn't have time to bother with entering a password or whatever other inane security measures were in place here to open the safe. Accessing the function, there was a short countdown of five seconds, before the sound of a panel sliding open in the wall behind him. Turning around, Wesker beheld a small safe set into the wall, the electronic lock on it lit up green. A solid tug on the handle, and the door popped open with a hiss. Inside, there was a small collection of items: an electronic tablet, a packet of files in a manilla folder, some sort of sealed metallic tube, and the keycard he was after. All of that, sitting securely in a metallic case to hold it all.

Curiosity got the better of him, and he swept everything up, shutting the case after removing the keycard. Perhaps he could get something useful out of it, once he was out here.

With the case in hand, he turned to leave the office, only to catch sight of something slowly lumbering through the doorway back out into the hallway, across the regular security offices.

Flesh a sickly, greenish-gray pallor. Rotting, falling off, and completely waterlogged from lying around in the water. Eyes a pale, empty white color. Shambling, and lurching to and fro with each step. Arms raised up, fingers erratically curling and uncurling, grasping at nothing and seeking for something its near-sightless gaze couldn't find. Wesker knew right away what it was. "Well, well, well...seems like it was some sort of outbreak after all." No time to dwell reliving old memories, however. The droning, automated voice announced as much: T-minus three minutes until detonation.

Setting the case on the desk, Wesker raised the rifle and sighed down it at the walking corpse. "Be a good boy, and go back to sleep." A burst of gunfire briefly illuminated the room, and the thunder of it drowned out the damn siren for just a moment. Then a dull groan, and a splash as the shambling zombie fell back into the water and returned to death's embrace. "Killing that which is already dead..." Hefting the rifle up to rest on his shoulder, he retrieved the case as he started for the door, back into the hallway. "...how nostalgic."
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

He was careful to step well around and over the fallen corpse as he left the security offices. Both because he couldn't see it to know where it was and didn't want to trip over it for an embarrassing repeat of his first stumble, and he simply couldn't be sure if it was still 'alive' under the obscuring, murky waters. Avoiding it as well as he could was the best course of action he had, short of wasting another grenade on dropping near where it had fallen, to ensure it was blown to pieces and down for good.

But just in case he ran into something else...he'd rather not do that.

In the hall again, he turned to head back for the intersection but was stopped short as something seized his leg under the water. It made him stagger, his balance lost and threatening to send him toppling into the water again. He managed to catch himself on the wall, and with a titanic effort he jerked his leg free of whatever had caught it. "More of them...under the water. Wonderful."

He didn't have time for this. With a scowl on his face, he pushed forward, redoubling his pace in spite of the discomfort it caused him to force his way through the water. An ache in his leg, where knives had been driven into it, started to claw at him again. It made him limp and drag his affected limb just slightly, slowing his pace just that much more. And on such a strict time limit as he was, even a slight hit to his speed was something he could ill afford. Still...he managed to make it back to the living quarters without incident, and back to the sturdily locked door. He dealt with it the same as he had the previous door, wedging the grenade between the handle and door, pulling the pin and positioning himself across the hall, into the room with its door blown completely off already. He threw himself threw the door and around the corner just as the blast went off, and this time he clearly heard the sound of shredding, ripping metal as the door was blown to shreds.


As he was already here, he cast the beam of his flashlight around the darkened room, searching for anything of note. Much the same as the others, with the addition of a researcher's corpse slumped over the desk. Throat torn out by what looked like teeth, if the shape of the wound was anything to go by. Clothes and labcoat drenched in blood. Just to be sure, Wesker spent an increasingly precious moment to put several rounds into the corpse's head, ensuring it would stay down.

He left that room, quickly moving across the hall and into the newly blown-open room. The corpse of what was presumably the head researcher greeted him, shambling through the water at a quick, lurching pace. "Sorry, not in the mood for a hug." A quick burst of gunfire perforated the zombie's torso, staggering it, and a bullet to the head sent it toppling over into the water. "I'd forgotten how simple these creatures were..."

He disregarded that though, stepping over the fallen corpse to the desk. The computer there was still working, but...fitfully so. The monitor was cracked, and flickering unsteadily. All the same, he managed to access it. Emergency protocols had again locked most of it down, leaving only a handful of memos open and available. In one of them, he found what he was looking for: a reminder by the man himself, of the new access code. Seemed he had a poor memory, and wanted to keep it readily available until he could properly memorize it. "How convenient for me," Wesker mused, taking care to quickly memorize the number himself. He only needed to keep it in memory for a minute, no reason to write it down.

When he was confident he could recall it, he turned to leave, only to find another walking corpse rising out of the water. "Just how many of you are there down here?" He didn't even waste time finishing this one off, just sloshing through the water and delivering a sharp kick to stagger it, and a burst of gunfire that finally emptied the current magazine to topple it over so he could move on past it. "No time to waste on dealing with you." As he moved down the hallway, he ejected the spent ammo magazine from the rifle, loading in another. Given the ongoing scene down here, it was likely that any other undead lurking around would have been woken up and alerted to his presence by now. It would be good to make sure he was ready to fight them off, if it came to it.

As he reached the intersection and turned to head back for the stairs leading up, he heard the voice overhead droning on. Time continued to tick down on him; only a minute and a half left now. "This will be cutting it rather close...let's hope nothing else gets in my way."
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

Thankfully, there were no further interruptions on his trip back to the stairs. Up he went, back to the higher level. That was when things started to fall apart, quite literally. More of the walking, shambling corpses were up here. He hadn't seen them before, and there was only one place he hadn't been to when he had previously been up here: the storage rooms. It made him thankful he had decided not to go there first. It would have been a waste of time he couldn't have afforded, given how short he was already running.

But at the same time, he couldn't afford to deal with these damnable things now, either. He dropped the rifle, reaching for the last grenade at his belt. "Time to clear the way forward..." He pulled the pin, and after taking a moment to calculate his aim, he threw the explosive. It hit the wall, bouncing off and then clattering against the ceiling. It hit the floor, rolling and bouncing along before thunking against the shin of one of the shamblers. A second later, it exploded, shredding the zombie it lay at the feet of and pulverizing the others in its explosive radius.

...unfortunately, it also blew out the damaged flooring, leaving a huge crater in the floor.

"..." That drew a silent, disgruntled stare from Wesker. The hole in the floor reached nearly wall to wall, covering the hallway in its entirety. At a rough estimate, it had to be nearly seven feet across. If he could get a good running start, he could easily make that jump, he knew. The problem was...he didn't have much room to get the necessary runup. It didn't leave him with many options, but if he could find some way to get just an extra foot or two of room, to cut down the distance he needed to jump...

A quick, frantic scan of the area allowed his eyes to finally settle on an idea. The walls. They had been pelted with shrapnel, filled with pockmarks and small craters from the blast and from earlier gunfire. It was risk, and if he slipped he would fall down to the lower level again for sure, but if he could manage it...

Steeling himself, he retreated back down the stairs to the first landing. He took a deep breath, readying for what was about to happen. With his battered, nearly broken condition, this was going to be agony and nowhere near as easy as it would be otherwise. He took a few seconds to mentally plan and calculate the angle he'd need for this stunt. There was a solid chunk of pipe jutting out from the wall, which would make a good jumping off point; a clear mark to gauge the distance, and a solid projection to give that little extra bit of leverage. It was the best he had.

He nodded, and broke into a sprint. Up the stairs, and across the dozen feet up to the edge of the new pit in the floor. He pivoted, letting his pace take him up onto the wall. One step, a second step...his traction started to run out, the water still drenching him making it more difficult. But he had enough to cover the third step to reach his jumping point. Kicking off, he soared through the air, hitting the ground and landing heavily. He gave a pained grunt, stumbling forward several paces until he collapsed in a heap on the ground. Several agonized wheezes burst from him as he lay there, involuntarily curling in on himself at the pain.

It wasn't until the automated system overhead announced T-minus one minute until detonation. and then began counting down Fifty-nine...fifty-eight... that he managed to force himself up again, staggering and stumbling onward. "Almost...almost out of here..."
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

Practically limping down the hallway as he was, Wesker was glad for one thing at the least. He was alone here, and there was no one to bear witness to this absolutely embarrassing display he was putting on. Barely able to keep himself together enough to remain standing and moving. The onslaught of brass dotting and covering the floor didn't make things any easier. Slipping and sliding in his unsteady gait, he very nearly lost his footing more than once. Thankfully, and against all odds, he managed to remain upright even through his rushed, agonized stumble. The intersection which would lead him to the emergency exit loomed ahead. The metallic case he'd picked up from below weighed heavily in one hand hand, as the other grasped at the corner of the intersection. Bracing himself for just a second to catch his breath, he swiftly pushed off again, hurrying down toward the console and the massive door it controlled.


The screen of the console still displayed the usual. The emergency status, as well as the countdown in progress. As well as the same AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED message it had before. The card reader attached to it blinked with a red glow, waiting to be used. Wasting no time, Wesker picked the keycard out of the pocket he'd stored it in, and swiped it through the reader.


The light on the card reader flashed blue. Once, then twice, then thrice...and then it blinked green. The screen of the console went dark, before bringing up a keypad, with a simple message: Keycard accepted. Input authorization code for full access. Recalling the code he had memorized, Wesker quickly keyed in the six-digit combination.


The screen went dark again, until after a moment another message flashed onto the screen. ACCEPTED. Opening emergency exit...

Turning away from the console, Wesker settled his eyes on the great metal door. The locking mechanism could be heard as it disengaged, with both an audible ka-chunk and a magnetic humming. With an effort, he managed to turn the handle, and pull the door open. Beyond it, there was...nothing he had been expecting. Just a small room, completely white and illuminated clearly from no discernible source. Empty and barren of anything, save for a single table, on which rested a phone.

A phone that was ringing.

"What...is this?" His composure completely crumbled, replaced by confusion. "Just...a phone? No exit?" He stumbled over to the table, staring at the phone with an expression locked somewhere between enraged and utterly baffled. It took him a moment to process and try to register what this was all about, before finally, he just...gave up. Reaching for the phone, he picked it up, bringing it to his ear to answer. "...hello?" And as he uttered that word, everything went white, as his vision failed him completely. He felt...like he was falling, as he heard words echoing in his mind.

"Are you done playing around, now? It's time to wake up."
"Hold on a second, I have a call..."
[Image: blog-Wesker.jpg]
"Yes, this is Wesker. Go ahead."

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