Disclaimer- I own nothing from Resident Evil. It is the rightful property of Capcom and I have no intention of profiting from this story.
Within the bowels of the Umbrella facility in Antarctica, Claire Redfield searched desperately for her friend, Steve Burnside, from whom she was separated missing after their attempted escape. She had been through so much after she went searching for her brother and ended up captured. Long story short, it was a whole new nightmare.
It wasn't long until she found herself in a gloomy corridor. There was a nearby door with bars with a card key reader inserted on the side. Claire had recently found a card key and decided to try it out. She approached the door and slid the key through the tiny slot. The card key reader beeped positively and clicked. A moment later, the iron bars blocking Claire's path slid upwards loudly, opening into a dark, shadow covered hallway lined with fierce looking statues of knights. Claire's spine shivered at their appearance but her mind was focused on finding Steve.
She walked down the hallway, looking left and right at the statues she passed, and when she finally looked straight ahead, she felt her heart in her throat.
"Steve!" She cried.
At the other end of the hall was Steve Burnside. He sat bound to a chair by straps on the arm rests and what appeared to be an enormous axe set across his chest. He wasn't moving. Claire rushed over to him.
"Claire...?" Steve said weakly.
There was a switch on the wall next to Steve. Claire pressed it and the straps released Steve's aching arms, which slumped over the sides of the chair. Claire tried to push the axe off of him but it wouldn't budge.
"I can't do it," Claire said as she struggled to move the axe. "Who did this to you?"
Steve looked at Claire, his eyes looked tired.
"That crazy woman," Steve began, his voice strained. "She told me…she was going to perform the same the same experiment on me…that she did to her father."
Claire's eyes widened. Steve was of course referring to Alexia, head of the Ashford family and another member of a long line of psychos Claire had met in her life.
"She's completely insane…" Steve said.
Suddenly, Steve began to twitch and spasm. He clutched his chest and groaned in pain as he began to transform. Claire held him by the shoulders.
"What is it?" Claire said. "What's wrong?"
Steve's arms began to flail wildly, inadvertently pushing Claire away with such force that she nearly lost her footing.
"Claire….help…me." Steve groaned his voice somehow grew deeper, not human…but monster.
His skin started to pale into a shade of murky green and formed what appeared to be scales. His shoulders sprouted large, curved spikes as big as a man's arm. His eyes turned deep red and catlike. And most of all, he was growing rapidly, almost double Claire's height. The creature clutched the axe and stood up, snarling in a deep, rumbling voice like that of a wild animal.
"Steve!" Claire cried as she stared at the monster that had once been Steve Burnside. "No!"
Claire's world went to black…
…and she found herself staring at the French vanilla painted ceiling of her college dorm room.
She sat up quickly, sweating and her heart pounding like a drum beneath her night gown.
She scanned her room with wide, frightened eyes. Long seconds dragged by until she realized she wasn't at the Antarctic base…but in her dorm. She was safe...but not free. Not free of the pain or the memories.
Sighing deeply, Claire flopped back onto her pillow, allowing her body to relax as she replayed the horrible memory in her head again and again, as she did many times before in the past.
"Why does it keep coming back?" She mumbled, clutching her head in grief and frustration.
It had been two long, grueling months since Claire and her brother Chris had escaped from the Antarctic facility...and Wesker. Albert Wesker.
Claire felt her blood boil just thinking about that monstrous madman.
His dark, foreboding image appeared in her mind. His deep, callous voice. His slicked back blonde hair. His glowing, red eyes. He had been responsible for so much she actually found it hard not to think about him. She hated him, not just for nearly killing Chris back at the facility but for the fact he had captured Steve and stated he would be used...as a guinea pig in one of his disgusting experiments.
Claire felt another rush of hatred surge over her like a network of cables channeling every negative emotion in her brain.
"That sick bastard!" She hissed softly.
Her deep thinking was cut off by a soft murmur on the opposite side of the room. Claire turned her head to gaze at her roommate. Gwen Hadley, age twenty, slept peacefully, curled up in her bed. Claire sighed, remembering how much they had bonded since they met when Claire first arrived. Of course they had their natural quarrels once in a while they were still friends.
Of course, Gwen knew Claire was related to Chris Redfield but she never told her anything of her encounters with Umbrellas creations in the past.
Umbrella itself was no where near as powerful as it once was, due to the Raccoon City incident, which spelt the very downfall of the evil corporation. And with Rockfort Island, Sheena Island and the Antarctic facility destroyed, most of Umbrella's illegitimate operations had been destroyed. This, along with the deaths of so many research and security personnel from each disaster, Umbrella was left with little to no chance of ever regaining its lost work and returning to power.
In short, Umbrella was all but finished. But all of the destruction it left in its wake was far from repaired. And Wesker was still at large.
Not long after the destruction of Rockfort, Chris and fellow S.T.A.R.S. members, Jill Valentine and Barry Burton, along with former RPD Officer, Leon Kennedy had begun an underground search for Wesker to ensure his schemes would not prevail. They knew he was as dangerous as ever and he also had some nefarious plot up his sleeve.
Claire however chose to stay out of the whole affair and focus on her normal life. It wasn't that she was selfish but simply that she decided she had been through one crisis too many and after losing Steve, her grief had easily reached the point where it couldn't be ignored.
Claire pulled her blanket over her. As she lay silently in bed, the memory again came flushing into her mind.
She could still remember Steve's final moments. She could still remember Alexia fatally wounding him. But she could especially still remember his final words.
"I'm glad that I met you...I...I love you...Claire"
Just thinking about those three words made her heart shiver. She knew Steve was attracted to her once they had met...but she had little idea he felt that way towards her and once she knew it was already over.
But what really bothered her was a fact she knew and reminded herself of over and over again: She also loved him.
She could feel it in her heart and her mind. Sure he was reckless and immature but he was so kind and thoughtful...but then another unremovable memory rushed into her mind, fueled by Weskers words.
"Maybe he'll come back alive just as I did. And be able to see your sister again."
Just thinking of that statement made her flesh shiver. Wesker was a clever one. There was no telling what he would do next. But if by some hypothetical chance, Steve did come back...would she still love him...even after he had been turned into one of Weskers Frankenstins?
Sighing deeply and unable to answer her own question, Claire went back to sleep, dreading anymore nightmares she would experience before morning.