Resident Evil 4 – A Separate Ways Prologue
The cold sting of the wind moving past her face enhanced the exhilaration she was feeling from the free-fall. It was the same rush she experienced each time she would skydive in her leisure time, and in some ways the excitement was even more pleasurable than sex. There was nothing standing between her and the ground below. It provided her with a sense of freedom – just her and the continuous uninterrupted descent.
The release point was fast approaching. With a quick tug on the rip cord, the chute deployed, and she was yanked back up into the air. Grabbing the steering cords, her next task was guiding herself toward a clearing on the steep hills below. It appeared to be the best spot in which to land so she could avoid detection. Once her feet made contact with the ground, she found her balance and began to pull in her chute. After it had been stowed, she removed her gloves. Taking the zipper of her jump suit in her freshly-manicured fingers, she began to pull it down the entire length of her body.
Ada Wong stepped out of the tight-fitting garment and began to adjust the straps on her gorgeous red butterfly-encrusted dress. It has been a gift to herself that she had purchased in Paris not two days ago. That was before Albert Wesker had spoiled her vacation with another of his high-risk missions. Feeling the cool breeze flutter the silky fabric about her legs, she took a moment to survey the area.
It was already late autumn in this remote corner of the Spanish countryside. Everything from the grass to the leaves on the trees was in various shades of beige. It was as if she had stepped into a sepia-toned painting that she had seen once at an art gallery in Venice. This location was a far cry from her time in Paris where the weather and the night life were a bit more… appealing.
“What a depressing place this is,” Ada said with a hint of disgust registering in her voice as she un-wrapped her attaché case and checked the gear she had packed. She removed her pistol and holster and strapped it to her right leg. “I think it’s about time I bring up that raise again if Wesker thinks he’s going to keep sending me to any more of these dumps.”
Once she was satisfied with the state of her equipment, she heard the familiar beep from her phone. ‘He’ was waiting for her to report in. Holding the device out at arms length, she hit the button. Almost immediately, the familiar sunglass-wearing face of Albert Wesker filled the screen.
“Well, I see you’ve come dressed for the occasion,” he smirked.
“I didn’t wear it for you, Wesker. I wore it for me,” she replied before turning to face the screen. “Perhaps instead of ogling, you should tell me why it was so important that I cut my trip to Paris short?”
“It couldn’t be helped. Krauser has sent word that he is in need of assistance in retrieving the Master Plaga sample from the area cult group.”
She’d read as much in the briefing packet he’d provided on the plane ride here. The Los Illuminados were a religious cult group set up in this area. They were led by a priest named Osmund Saddler; the man who controlled this Plaga weapon. It had been Krauser’s job to infiltrate the group and steal the sample, but apparently it hadn’t gone according to plan.
“So I’m missing the night life of The City of Love all because Jack Krauser bit off more that he could chew?” This time it was her turn to smirk. She’d never liked Krauser or his methods. Ever since Wesker had brought him into the fold, she had always treated him with suspicion. He was erratic and power-hungry; two things that made him more like Wesker than even Wesker cared to admit. The world certainly didn’t need two men like him.
Wesker of course did not rise to the bait. “The details of this operation will be provided to you at a later time. Right now you have another task to perform. One more suited to your specific… talents.”
“Well,” she cooed, “that could be one of a number of things.”
“I trust you brought your sniper rifle along,” he asked, ignoring her playful tone.
“A girl’s best friend – I never leave home without it.”
“Good, because I have a target for you. One you will need to eliminate before you aid Krauser on his mission.”
Wesker’s face was replaced by a satellite view of the local area. She recognized the wooden bridge and the small cabin from her jump. A small red dot appeared on the narrow road and was heading in her direction.
“My local intelligence networks have discovered that a U.S. Government agent has been dispatched to rescue President Graham’s daughter from this cult. This is an unnecessary distraction to our mission here. I’m tasking you with eliminating him.”
“Do we have an I.D. on who he is?” She asked.
“As of yet, no. My spies are busy tracking this information down, but it is of little consequence. He is currently en route to your location and will be there within the hour. Accompanying him are two members of the Spanish National Police Force.”
“And what do you want done with the local constabularies?”
Wesker’s face reappeared on the screen, his expression cold and calculating. “No witnesses. Contact me when it’s done.”
Ada replaced the phone in her leg holder and picked up her weapons case. The bridge and cabin were just up ahead. She could get a clear view of the area from the cliff. Once this agent arrived, he and his companions could be picked off easy enough.
The air was beginning to grow colder – as if a silent forbearer of things to come. With that thought however, Ada shook her head and smiled. Once she was done here, she’d see to the rest of this little fetch mission. And then she would pick up right where she left off – back in Paris enjoying her vacation. Perhaps afterward she would go to Bermuda and visit the timeshare she had there. A warm beach with white sand between her toes and a small red bikini – she’d have her choice of any man on the island.
At the cliff, she dropped down to an overlook and took out her binoculars. Scanning the bridge, the tree line, the cabin, and the old truck sitting out collecting rust, she saw no signs of movement. The place looked abandoned if not for the smoke coming from the cabin’s chimney. This would be a perfect spot for her to hit them.
Unlocking her weapons case, she removed her sniper rifle and attached the suppressor to the barrel. With practiced movements, she then set out installing the bipod under the weapon. Last but not least came her scope. When the weapon’s assembly was completed, she hitched up her dress and went prone upon the ground. With a few adjustments to the scope, she aimed her rile toward the target area below. Her mark would be here soon.
The minutes passed by to where time began to slow to a crawl. But all of this had been what she had been trained for. An assassin’s life was a solitary one. The only things keeping her company was the light breeze that caressed her dark hair and the beating of her own heart – familiar friends that followed her on every mission she had ever embarked on… until Raccoon City.
It was in that cursed town where she had met Leon – a rookie police officer who had arrived the same day she had. The two of them had teamed up and fought side by side as they faced the horrors that Umbrella’s bio weapons research had unleashed. He had watched her back while she had seen to her mission of retrieving a G Virus sample for Wesker and had even saved her life by taking a bullet meant for her. No one had ever done anything like that for her before. Maybe… maybe that was why she had felt a bond form with him that day – one that she couldn’t describe with words.
My protector. A small smile tugged at her lips as she recalled his face.
She’d hated how the two of them had parted that night. When the Tyrant had cornered him, all of her training had told her to leave and never look back… but she couldn’t. So she had found him and saved his life, but it had come at a high cost. She had died doing so, and in that last instant before she had lost consciousness she had kissed him.
Why had she done that? To this day she still couldn’t answer that question. But it had been… sweet. However, she could still hear the anguish in his voice as he screamed her name. That had haunted her ever since; haunted her because he had felt it too.
Ada was pulled from her thoughts when she heard the sound of an engine in the distance. She turned her scope toward the road and saw a dark SUV driving in her direction; this was their vehicle. Crossing the old bridge, the vehicle pulled off to the side and stopped. She could see into the windshield and noticed two men in police uniforms conversing with someone in the back. From this angle, she couldn’t get a clear view. This must be where her target was sitting.
Pressing her finger on the trigger, she took a deep breath to slow her breathing and took note of the grass blowing in the breeze. The wind was picking up; she adjusted her scope to compensate for it. Her wait was nearly over – the back door opened, and the agent made his way outside. She increased the pressure on the trigger and waited for the ideal opportunity to take the shot.
Ada froze when she centered her sight on the man’s head. That hair…! It… It can’t be…! After shutting the door, the man turned giving her a clear view of his face.
Her skin goose-prickled as she opened both of her eyes in shock. “Leon?!” He was the agent she was supposed to kill?
She blinked in an effort to reorient herself and then returned to the scope. Maybe she had made a mistake? Maybe she had believed this man was Leon because she had just been thinking about him? She double-checked the man’s identity as doubt began to eat away at her resolve. He was speaking into his radio now, but there was no mistake concerning who this man was. The hair, the blue eyes… This agent was Leon S. Kennedy!
He looked so different from what she had remembered six years ago. He looked… formidable… and experienced; a man baptized in fire to which she herself could attest. Even the way he stood held an air of confidence that seemed to resonate through every corner of his body. Involuntarily, Ada felt her tongue moisten her ruby lips. My God… he has grown so much!
Her finger loosened from the trigger as she opened her eyes once more. The will to complete her task was beginning to fail her. “Leon… I… I didn’t know that you…”
What was wrong with her? He was the mark! It was her job to kill him regardless of how she was feeling right now. But as she centered the crosshairs on him a third time, she couldn’t bring herself to pull the trigger. Her breathing began to increase. Soon the cool kiss of the wind made itself known as it began to cross the beads of sweat that had formed on her brow. She hadn’t been prepared for this.
He had pulled out his sidearm and began moving in the direction of the cabin. Ada took her scope off of him and turned to the SUV to find the police officers who had accompanied him here. They were still sitting in the front seat; one was even smoking a cigarette. She felt a sudden wave of disgust form at their actions. They were sitting nice and cozy in their vehicle while Leon did all of the work. Bastards…
Turning toward the cabin, she tried to find him again, but he had already entered the home and was now out of her line of sight. Perhaps he was attempting to see if whoever lived there would know where he could find Ashley Graham. Regardless, she was in a quandary. Leon was not supposed to make it any further on his mission, but she didn’t have the heart to assassinate him in cold blood. To make matters worse, all she could think about right now was their kiss.
The sound of gunfire brought her attention back to the cabin. The shots had come from inside, and they had come from a sidearm. Was he in trouble? There was no time to ponder that query as the engine of the rusted old truck suddenly came to life. Scanning the driver’s side window, Ada could see an old man behind the steering wheel, but where had he come from? Before she had time to answer, the truck was moving and picking up speed… and it was heading for the SUV! The policemen inside began to fire at the driver, but to no effect as the truck hit their vehicle broadside. Soon both went over the cliff and into the river below.
Her eyes narrowed as she silently turned her view back to the cabin. There were four… no five men that were on approach toward Leon’s position. They must have been hiding nearby and were anticipating his arrival. Two of them were armed with pitchforks, and one had a hand-held axe. The other two were unarmed. Something seemed off about their movements however. They seemed slow… almost zombie-like on their approach. One of the unarmed men went through the cabin door. She then heard Leon’s gun discharge again.
“Leon,” she whispered, “where are you?”
The others had surrounded the cabin and were now pounding on the windows from the outside. Leon would be overwhelmed in a matter of seconds if he decided to make a stand there. He must have come to the same conclusion because the next thing she saw, he was diving out of the side window near an old cart. Almost immediately the other unarmed man who had been outside grabbed him by the jacket and the two began to struggle.
“Damn it, Leon. Get out of there!” She couldn’t take the shot and risk him spotting her. If he did, she would have no choice but to kill him where he stood. He would have to do this on his own; she prayed that he was up to the challenge.
Just then she spotted two more men coming in through a field behind Leon’s position. The one in the lead was older; sporting a grey beard and holding a double-bladed axe. Leon’s back was to the man as he punched the one holding him and shot another holding a pitchfork. The man with the double-bladed axe mounted the fence separating them and silently landed on his feet. He reached back with the giant weapon and prepared to swing…
She couldn’t wait any longer. Sighting her crosshairs on the man’s head, she squeezed the trigger. Her rifle silently jolted against her shoulder as the round discharged. The man’s head exploded in a shower of blood, and his body fell behind the cart. By this time, Leon hand kicked his way out of his aggressor’s grasp and put him on the ground. Firing two rounds into the man’s head, Leon stood fast; ready to engage the other three.
The second man behind Leon’s position was almost to the fence. Just as he put his hands on the top rail to boost himself over, Ada fired a second shot in time with Leon’s pistol as he engaged the other men before him. Half of the man’s face disintegrated upon impact, and he fell to the ground in the tall grass concealed from view. She was playing with fire now. If she kept this up, he would spot her handy work for sure.
Two of Leon’s attackers were on the ground, dead. The third broke away and began to run toward a path that led further into the woods. With one shot, Leon hit the man in the leg, and he went face first into the dirt. As he approached the wounded man lying on the ground, he pulled out his knife and stabbed him in the back, piercing the lung. The man struggled for a brief moment and then went still.
“Very impressive, Mr. Kennedy,” she said as she followed his movements with her scope. “I like a man who knows how to use… all of his weapons.”
Centering the scope on his back, she could end this right now. The other two marks were dead; he was the last one. A smile began to form on her lips, and then she opened her eyes. She wasn’t going to kill him; that had already been decided. Instead, she turned her scope and began to scan the area. It appeared that all of the hostile locals were now dead. Leon pulled his knife free and wiped the dark blood on the dead man’s shirt. When he stood, he slowly slid it back into its holder. From his reaction, she could tell this hadn’t been the first time he had taken a man’s life. Ada felt a shiver wash over her again as she watched his movements. He looked more handsome than ever.
Smiling again, she did one final sweep of the area and moved passed the cabin to… what was that? There, at the doorway! A blood-covered man was standing there bracing himself against the door jam and was holding a hunting rifle. He lifted it and pointed at Leon who was busy pulling out his pistol and exchanging a magazine.
All of her training took over at that point as she quickly sighted her scope on the man, took a quick breath, and pulled the trigger. He flew back inside the cabin and landed on his back. A pool of blood began to form on the floor where his head had once been. She turned her attention back to Leon, who had jerked his head around. He heard it! Ada sucked in her breath and held fast as he looked toward the cabin. After standing there for a moment, he shrugged and headed toward the path leading into the woods.
Ada exhaled and leaned her head against the butt of her rifle. Closing her eyes, she offered a silent prayer of thanks that he hadn’t gone to investigate. She hadn’t wanted to kill him. Damn Wesker and his orders. Some things were worth holding on to despite the risk.
She didn’t have time to savor the moment when she suddenly felt the tight grip of a man’s arms around her own as he yanked her to her feet. He reeked of odor – as if he hadn’t washed himself in days. He yelled to another in Spanish. A second man ran in front of her and grabbed her rifle; attempting to remove it from her grasp. His eyes were red, and he smelled just as bad as the other. There was no question of what would happen to her if she didn’t act fast.
Letting go of the rifle, she jumped and landed a kick with both feet into the man’s chest. He stumbled backwards and fell over the cliff taking her sniper rifle with him. When her feet hit the ground, she immediately slammed the back of her head into the other man’s face. She could feel the crunch of bone. He let go of her with a scream and stumbled; grabbing his face as his hat fell to the ground. Reaching to her leg, she grabbed a small knife and quickly shoved the blade into the man’s neck. Pulling to her right, she cut the main artery, and he fell to the ground spurting blood from the wound.
There was one more armed with a pitchfork. He yelled and charged her position. When he got close, she quickly flipped over his lunge and landed behind him. When he turned, she was already waiting with her hookshot in hand. Firing the gun, the grapple hook flew and embedded itself into his head. Dropping the pitchfork, he fell to his knees. His face came off in a shower of blood when she pulled it back.
All three of them were now dead. Whatever this Plaga was, it made its victims almost suicidal when it came to attacking outsiders. She scanned the area around her, but didn’t see anyone else near her position. Taking her phone from her leg holder, she pushed the button.
“Report.” Wesker ordered when he appeared on the screen.
“I was jumped by the indigenous population. I killed three of them, but…” she replied.
“What about the target?” He interrupted without as much as a word of concern for her safety. “Did you eliminate him and his companions?”
“The agent and his friends were attacked by another group of locals the same time I was. The policemen are dead. The agent…” She turned her head and looked toward the wooden path where Leon had disappeared. “…fought his way through. He’s heading toward the village.”
When she turned to look back at the screen, Wesker was sitting there silently tapping his fingers – his expression cold. “I see.” He said at last. “That is unfortunate, but there will be another time.”
His image was then replaced by a local map. “If the agent is moving through the woods, it will take him longer to reach the village. There is a shortcut from your location that should allow you to get there first.” His face then came back on the screen. “I will give you the rest of the briefing there. You have ten minutes, Miss Wong. Don’t disappoint again.”
The screen went blank.
“Oh, I never disappoint, Wesker,” she cooed as she put away the phone, “but unfortunately for you, you’ll find out differently soon enough.”
The same smile began to tug at her lips once more. Not only was Wesker still ignorant to her true mission here, but now fate had given her a wild card to play in this game as well – Leon. He would prove a useful distraction to this group while she worked from the shadows. Still, she would watch his back, just as he had done for her in Raccoon City. Perhaps she would even reveal herself to him at some point if fate decreed it. Although she hadn’t wanted to admit it, she was hoping for the opportunity. And who knew? With a little determination and grit, both of them just might live to see their missions fulfilled.
“Just like old times, Leon.” She purred.
Her smile widened as she picked up her case and began to move toward the village.