Chapter 19
Game Mechanics and Confusion or In Which a Game is Played

Something was up, Leon decided as he stood in the private elevator. For some reason, Lois had not joined him but what wasn't the first clue Leon had that danger was approaching. Enforcers never met outside the scheduled meetings but for the first time since the creation of the FCPD, the enforcers were having an emergency meeting. Then again, no character has ever kidnapped an author like this before, Leon thought.

News of the break out was already spreading like wildfire among the force causing more than a little confusion. Up to then, the whispers of a character revolt against the FCPD were thought to be rumours. Even Leon had believed that fact. Sure, he had heard whispered complaints from homesick and disillusioned characters but it had never been directed towards the arrest of authors. Only a few times when talking with Nate and Hansen had the point been raised that the arrests clearly violated free speech but like little soldiers they shrugged their shoulders and continued to obey. The FCPD was their only shot at getting home since it controlled all the fictional scientists and while the whole routine was starting to get old, Leon at least kept going. It wasn't the first time he had been forced into a situation he didn't like and he was sure it wouldn't be the last. Hell in Resident Evil 7 he was probably going to end up infected or dead or something if Capcom had their way. He wondered what sort of effect that would have on him when it came out. Actually, 'if' it came out was probably more correct. Although creating for profit was not outlawed and the FCPD actually encouraged it, less shows, books, videogames, etc. were being created. Because of the lack of new material, even Japan was showing reruns.

Was it out of fear of new characters appearing to lord over the humans? Was it fear of insulting the already unwanted characters? Or did the FCPD have some sort of control over the industry? With characters like Luthor always hungry for more power, nothing could be ruled out.

Speaking of Luthor, where was that man? Leon had been unable to track down the criminal and ask what was going on. It wasn't through lack of trying though. It was as if the man had vanished.

Speaking of vanished, what had happened to those two creatures? They weren't in the medical ward, the fairies and healers weren't even aware of a new character arriving. Though five minutes with Google, Leon and the other videogame boys were able to discover the identity of the creatures but it didn't help. Nothing was helping.

He was no closer to figuring out what was going on in the station, what Luthor was after and what Saddler was up to. The freak must have been planning something. It wasn't possible that the madman was content with sitting around waiting to be sent home. Something was up.

Which led him back to the emergency meeting. What was going on?

Leon noticed the wall he was about to walk into just in time to dodge before shaking his head. What was wrong with him lately? He could barely focus. It never showed in his handiwork but if he started to walk into walls like a hard-to-control tank-formation videogame, there were bound to be consequences. The worst of which would be Luthor suggesting that he be replaced.

Why had he been attacked? Saddler probably ordered Salvador to attack him but why? And why had the other enforcers granted the character and his partner in crime shields? Why were they trying to get him out of the way?

Leon shook his head again as he tried to focus on making his way to the door of the meeting area. He was first one there. Odd. He was usually one of the last people to arrive to a meeting because he usually had better things to do. Where was everyone?

'Damn it!' Leon thought. He was doing it again. 'Would it kill you to just focus on one thing for more than five seconds?' He'd never get through the day at this rate. Why couldn't he focus? He wasn't being rewritten. He knew that at least otherwise he wouldn't notice the attention span issue. So what was wrong? Why couldn't he focus? Lack of sleep?

Instead of shaking his head again, he reached for his weapon. If he was this scattered-brained, the last thing he wanted was to be handling a loaded firearm. He removed the magazine and paused to consider where to place it on his belt. A second later the magazine had disappeared from his hands and he was left empty handed. He hated that. It just didn't seem natural for bullets and weapons to reload themselves at his whim. Unlike Hansen who had to reload his weapons manually, Leon had the option of reloading 'out-of-game'. In normal everyday videogames, this meant the player had the option to open their menu and rearrange their items while the action part of the game was paused. For the first few Resident Evil games, this meant the ability to heal, weapons being reloaded instantly, and combining items to solve puzzles. Even in this realm, Leon had the option of manually reloading or using the 'out-of-game' option which basically amounted to him staring into space for a moment while his weapons stored themselves out or items were combined or items he picked up were stored in an invisible black box.

He was almost jealous of Hansen. At least he didn't have these spacing out sessions each time he wanted a weapon. However, Hansen also couldn't carry items other than ammo so Leon had that over him at least. If Leon was truly honest though, he was jealous of his Resident Evil 6 self and normal humans in general. They didn't have to worry about being a fictional character trapped in another realm. RE6 Leon just went out, saved the world, and disappeared back into the minds of the creators until next game. Humans of this realm had lived normal lives up to the point of the incidents.

'It must have been nice to live here prior to this mess,' Leon thought as he halted outside the door of the meeting area. 'Maybe not the city but a town. Maybe— Stop it. You are not going to focus on Raccoon right now.'

At least he had focused on something for more than five seconds before his mind turned into a whirlwind again. There were just too many questions, doubts, and problems. Leon was from a half-action, half-problem solving game series. He didn't like problems that halted progress. He just wanted to survive and get to the end of the game and the game of FCPD didn't seem to be ending any time soon. If this lack of focus didn't get him or someone else killed, it was definitely going to make it harder to solve the puzzles of the station and get to the end.

Of course, there was always the other option open to videogame players. A game over.

'Time to switch subjects. Where is everyone?' Leon wondered as he glanced around the room. It was less than thirty seconds to the meeting and it wasn't possible that they were inside already since the unlocking code hadn't been entered yet. (One of the many other things that drove Leon nuts was the face that only Luthor had the code to open the door to the meeting area.)

What was Luthor's angle anyways? Yes, the FCPD had power but the man was from a live-action TV show. He could easily blend in with the other humans of this realm and make a name for himself in a fashion similar to how he had in his TV show. He would have more power that way and no one to stop him. Superman hadn't been seen in this realm and it wasn't likely the higher-ups of the FCPD would stop him.

Who were the higher-ups anyways? Where they like the enforcers, shawled in shadows?

Damn it. He was doing it again. Why couldn't he focus? Was it because of his doubts about the FCPD? Was it because he had recently read Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie? Was it because Saddler was working for the Director? Or was it because in the novel the Director was— No!

Leon violently shook his head at that thought before a cold chill travelled over him. He knew better than to think about that away from the distractions of the firing range that were bound to confuse even the best mind reader. Why had he started thinking about that?

His eyes scanned the area as his fully loaded shotgun appeared in his hands. It might be a little overkill but with Saddler and Salvador on the loose, it was better to obey the Boy Scout motto. He raised the weapon to his shoulder and pointed it in front of himself. He scanned the area again before lowering the weapon and taking a step forward.

"The joys of not being able to shoot and gun at the same time," he muttered as he took a few more steps forward. There was movement to his left so he quickly turned and lifted the weapon which halted all movement from him. His eyes scanned the area again. There was something there but it was carefully hidden.

Leon was staring at the thing for a full five seconds before he realized what he was staring at. Similar to some giant acid-spitting bugs from his game, there was an invisible person hiding by the window. It was hard to see but over time, Leon had spotted the small movements from the near-invisible person allowing him to spot the character.

"You can turn that ability off. I can see you," he said as he continued to hold the weapon in a firing position.

The character lifted both hands in the air before lowering one to tap something at belt height. A second later, the high school Batman appeared. Leon lowered his weapon the same time Batman lowered his arms.

"Sorry," Batman said as he took a step away from the window. "No one was here when I got here and it seemed fishy. I wanted to check out the area."

"How long have you been here?" Leon asked as the shotgun disappeared and was replaced with his magically loaded handgun.

"Just a little before you arrived. No one's been here before or after."

Leon frowned as he glanced down at his watch. "With the meeting starting in ten seconds, I'd say this was a trap."

"Why set this up?"

Leon shook his head as his mind quickly turned over the facts. Something was up. Something bad and he was willing to bet it had to do with Saddler and Luthor. Las Plagas? Not possible. There were no parasites in the station… Shit.

Leon shook his head as his handgun suddenly became a shotgun once more. "We need to get out of here right now."

Terry frowned although he knew the mask wouldn't show it. "What do you mean?" There something off about Leon. The guy's eyes were dilated making it look like the guy was on slappers. The idea caused Terry's thoughts to crash and halt. Was it possible Leon was a drug user?

He knew Resident Evil had herbs that were placed on pieces of paper. He had overheard a few TV show characters discussing how the herbs could be used and most of them involved abusing them. Was it possible Kennedy was a drug user? Was that why the meeting had been called? To search Kennedy's room for drugs? But then what was connection to Suzuka? Was Suzuka his dealer? The clown had been known to play with a chemistry set. Was that why he had run? Because he knew the heat was coming?

If it was true, he'd have to take him in. It wouldn't be the first time he had fought someone who was supposed to have saved the world and he had the feeling it would be a lot easier than fighting a super powered being. Kennedy had a firearm but he had the suit.

There was a burst of static from the speaker in his cowl. It was small and it was nearly silent and the suit quickly explained it away as an error but it was a reminder. 'Don't jump to conclusions,' Bruce would say if he was there. 'Look at the whole picture.'

Whole picture. Fine. He could do that. He owed Kennedy that at least. If Kennedy was a drug user, he'd be arrested. Duh.

'Big picture, McGinnis.'

Fine. Kennedy gets arrested and then a new enforcer would be brought to the table. One probably under Luthor's control. 'Luthor would win.' But if Kennedy was a drug user, he should get help.

'If.'

If Terry was alone, he would groan with frustration. First, his problems with Static and fan fiction and now he had to deal with Kennedy maybe being a drug user. Why did he steal the stupid suit?

Kennedy did not seem to notice Terry's twisting thoughts. "I might be jumping to conclusions but even if I'm wrong this isn't a safe place to be. Especially if there is a mind reader."

Jumping to conclusions. That's what he was doing and the last time he had done that he had been wrong on both counts. Better to sit back and wait. If he was wrong, he'd be playing right into Luthor's hands. Wait a second. Mind reader? What did that have to do with anything?

"Want to explain that last part?"

Kennedy nodded as he pressed the call button for the elevator. "I couldn't focus earlier and my thoughts eventually drifted in a… direction I normally wouldn't think about."

"And you think someone was directing and reading your thoughts." Wait. If there was a mind reader in the area, he just told them— He had to get to Static now!

The elevator dinged as the car arrived but both males quickly backed away from the door when they saw the character standing there inside.

"Game time," said Yami as he stepped out of the elevator and into the waiting area.


A/N: I apologize for Leon's curse at the end of his POV. In Resident Evil 4, he cursed like three times and only when things were really bad and he never used the f-word. In order to keep his character voice (which he was oddly helpful about for this chapter, I guess he missed this story) I had to have him curse in a manner stronger than I usually use. Also, small note about Leon's magic reloading ability. He actually doesn't have that ability in RE4. All reloading is manual but I'm lazy so I'll just have to remember to change it in the redo. Just didn't want anyone yelling at me for it.

Thanks for reading!

-D101

Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil, Batman Beyond, Lois & Clark, or Yu-Gi-Oh!, or Destination Unknown.

Batman Beyond (Slappers) – A cartoon series. Batman in high school and this show focuses on a lot of problems facing teens including but not limited to drug use. One of the drugs used in the show are called slappers. They get their name from the fact that you 'slap' them onto muscle in order to absorb the drug. The drug itself is called Venom and is the same drug Bane (a villain from the original Batman series) uses to become stronger.

Destination Unknown – A novel.

Lois & Clark – A live action TV show. A show about Superman. In this version you would never realize Luthor is that Luthor if you looked at his picture.

Resident Evil – A videogame series. A lot of this chapter deals with some of the special pieces of the game mechanics found in Resident Evil. Special pieces of note are the inability to shoot or aim while you are moving. It wasn't until Resident Evil 6 that players were able to aim, shoot, or reload while moving. Herbs are health items. They are not smoked and to be honest, I'm not really sure how they are used. For the longest time I thought they were eaten and to this day, I'm still not sure. I do know they are not smoked though.

Yu-Gi-Oh! – A manga and anime series. I recommend watching Yu-Gi-Oh season 0 right about now as that is the Yami I'm using at this point. Or at least that is the feel I'm trying to go for.