Jake followed Leon through the hallway, his own gun up. Although he preferred a handgun to carrying around a machine gun of any type, he admitted to himself they had their uses. They were both armed to the teeth. Jake had laughed when Leon had handed him a large combat knife, but Leon had only shaken his head saying a knife had saved him more than once when he'd used all his ammo. The knife was currently occupying a pocket on the front of Jake's vest.
Claire had referred to Leon as a one-man army and Jake had agreed with her. Leon often disobeyed orders about going into a "zone." When told to stand down he often went in anyway at least just to scout around.
At least that is what they were supposed to be doing now. Hunnigan had called him with a possible J'Avo sighting. It was so near the ESR that Leon found it believable. Edonia too was only a stone's throw away.
Now alone in a building with no power they were chasing a lone J'avo. Instead of attacking, the creature had run from them. Leon had dealt with several "inventions" mostly by Neo-Umbrella using biological warfare both to decimate and to create new weapons. In the last few decades they had come out of the shadows and BOWs was a by word in common vernacular. No longer did people argue about whether or not you could have guns. Because "infected" had shown up in so many places the argument was no longer valid.
There was a power struggle somewhere in the upper echelons of the elite, decided Leon. The creation of the BOWs had unseated someone. Or whatever the "family" was doing.
A lone J'Avo though was almost unheard of. When they attacked, it tended to be groups…while they were fully functional in their first forms, any injury causing them harm would mutate them. If you did not take them out with a head shot, they simply grew another arm, leg, body, etc. Jake had seen a J'avo in China that resembled a mutated centaur. The forms made no sense, the mutations were random…and when the creatures died, they collapsed in on themselves.
Jake was glad for the C-Virus immunity he had inherited from his father. Without that he would be just like one of those J'Avo, probably dead by now like the rest of his unit. He suppressed the memory.
No time at the moment. He could think about them later.
Leon checked the door motioned behind him and then as Jake covered him flung the door open. Inside a blonde boy crouched in the corner behind a chair. The J'Avo in front of him sword in hand turned around to attack them but one shot to the head from Jake's gun dropped it forever.
Leon moved forward gun scanning the room.
Jake stared at the blonde boy.
This was supposed to be a clone. He couldn't have been more than 5 years old. He wondered briefly if his father had looked just like this and dismissed the thought as irrelevant. Not worth thinking about.
Leon scanned the room, other than the dead J'Avo they had just shot, there was not much else here.
Bookshelves lined the wall on one side. The other was strangely smooth with no decoration. A door turning towards the right turned out to be a bathroom. Leon closed it and turned to the smooth wall.
"It's a screen." Jake said immediately. He turned to the boy who sat on the floor clenching his hands and trembling in fear. If this was a younger Wesker clone he certainly did not have the commanding presence of his predecessor. "Isn't it?"
The boy nodded and pinted. "Alice." He whispered. The screen lit up immediately.
"Hello Albert." A female voice answered him, the screen lit up and a girl could be seen standing in front of them. She glanced around the room noticing the visitors. "Passcode?" She asked.
"Passcode?" Leon said looking over at Jake with his eyebrows up.
"If you do not know the passcode," the computerized voice of Alice came from the wall. "You will have to stay until vetted by the proper authorities. I'm afraid I must insist you remain here until you are dealt with." She paused and they heard a metal clang.
Glancing back at the door with their guns up they noticed a metal door was now covering their only exit.
"Well this just got fun." Jake muttered lowering his gun. Leon did the same sparing the boy a glance.
"What does it take to let her know we are not a threat?" Leon said to him.
The boy stared at them. "You're not?" He stuttered at them cringing a little each time they moved. He looked at the dead J'Avo. "Why did you kill him?"
"We thought he would harm you." Said Jake, dropping to his knees to look at the boy at eye level. "Were we wrong?"
"Yes," whispered the boy. "He brought me stuff, food…books… and he cleaned."
Leon and Jake exchanged glances. J'Avo taking care of a child seemed to be stretching it a bit.
"We're sorry about your friend." Leon said awkwardly. The boy only nodded solemnly.
Jake stood back up and backed away. He had come from a war-torn country himself, seen kids affected by war. He was one of them. Something about this kid screamed that he knew more than he was letting on.
"How do we get out then?" Leon asked him.
"Oh," The boy said. "I can give the passcode."
"You can?" Leon looked surprised.
"He is a proper authority." Alice from the wall commented.
Jake shot a concerned look at Leon. He would never have considered himself great with kids but this one was a clone of his father, and seemed to be leading them in a direction he wanted them to go.
"We're not a threat." Leon continued pulling his gun into his pocket. "If you want we can get you out of here, into the real world."
"Outside?" The boy looked surprised. His skin was pale but otherwise he appeared in good health.
"Yes." Leon replied.
Jake stood back observing everything, noting everything. He was naturally suspicious and wondered briefly if this was how Claire saw him. He felt a pang of empathy for Claire, always being suspicious of him. The pang didn't last long. Jake had no intention of destroying the world any time soon. His biggest ambition today was to make it back home in one piece.
The boy nodded and stood, he turned to the waiting Alice and spoke one word. "Uroboros."
Leon froze, and Jake noting his reaction followed suit. "What?" He said quickly. He had learned to read Leon and there wasn't much that startled the man. Monsters or otherwise.
The metal doors slid down and the way was open again.
"Who taught you that word?" Leon asked the boy quickly.
"My father," he answered lowering his eyes. "I haven't seen him for a while. It was my password to make Alice work." He pointed to the waiting girl behind the screen. "She gives me lessons, tells me stories."
"Let's get out of here," Jake said shuddering. He would never admit it out loud but the boy gave him the creeps. That and they could potentially be trapped in this room again. He was anxious to get back to Sherry.
Leon moved to the door. "I think you'll need to come with us…uh…"
"Albert." The boy supplied. "My name is Albert."
Leon and Jake both tensed at the name. They exchanged glances.
This keeps getting better and better, Jake thought. After a few more exchanges the boy followed Leon out into the hall. Jake glanced around the room again. The girl stared at him from the screen. It was incredible technology. He moved out.
"Jake we got a problem." Leon was standing in the hall.
"What is it?"
"That room is also occupied." Jake looked to the door on his right. Leon had looked in ahead of him when he'd heard a noise. He looked grim and Jake knew he wasn't going to like what he saw. He had a nagging feeling he knew whose face he would see.
Leon only lifted an eyebrow. "Back up is on the way. They radioed in."
This time Jake nodded. He glanced at the door and opened it slowly, gun raised in front of him.
The clone of Albert Wesker turned around and glanced at Jake and Leon coming into the room. The boy had not been the only clone in the building.
Same hair, smile, eyes but something was off. Jake couldn't tell what it was but this time the clone was different. Tense, he wasn't relaxed at all as he had been in their previous encounters. This time he looked concerned. Not careless as if he had everything under control and he knew it.
He backed into the corner raising his hands in front of him as he did so. He was actually trembling in fear.
Leon hesitated behind Jake.
Something was off…
"What's the matter asshole? Losing your nerve?" Jake swore at him. The sudden change in character unnerved Jake more than he was going to admit.
He was dressed in a black suit outfit with no tie. He wore a black jacket over it that hung low to his knees. Everything fit the character of the last clone that they'd met except…
He was afraid.
Leon leaned towards Jake and spoke the obvious. "Something isn't right."
"Yeah, no shit," Jake responded. He glanced around for any traps but saw none. Sweat glistened off his neck as he scanned the room.
The lab lights were dim but hid nothing. There was no other way out other than the way they'd come in. Wesker Jr. wasn't going anywhere.
"What do you want?" The clone spoke and Jake stopped in surprise. He acted like he'd never met them before.
"What do you mean what do we want?" He snapped. "You've kidnapped my wife twice, experimented on the both of us, tortured Sherry, and threatened our child. You figure it out yet, you sick fuck?"
"Jake he's a clone." Leon said suddenly.
"Yeah got it thanks," Jake snapped, irritated. He really wanted to kill Wesker and be done with the whole deal.
"He's A clone," Leon said again, "Not THE clone."
Realization dawned in Jake's mind. The uncertainty, the fear, this was a clone of Albert Wesker all right, but he didn't have the memories of Wesker, or Wesker Jr. He glanced over at the younger version of the man everyone hated so much.
"What do you know?" He asked him lowering his gun.
It turned out he didn't know much. He had literally been born yesterday, dressed in these clothes and sent on his way. He was a blank slate…. He didn't even know his name.
Jake had to hand it to him. He was either a super actor or the real deal. He felt pity for him, even as he wanted to smash his face in at the same time. They'd cuffed the clone, loaded him up and taken him away.
"What will happen to him?" He asked one of the BSAA agents in charge.
"I'm not sure," said the agent scratching his chin. "He's not the first clone we've found."
"Not the first….?" Jake stared at the agent in some surprise, but the guy only nodded and moved off.
Jake had a flashback to what the first clone had said. "There was always a contingency plan where Wesker was concerned."
Wesker was playing them…but he wasn't just playing them from the grave, but planning on making a comeback from it. It was the only explanation Jake could come up with. Why make so many clones of yourself?
And this wasn't the clone they met, where was he?
Jake wondered if they were already too late.