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       Resident Evil Legends Part Four - Calm Before The Storm, p.1

           Andreas Leachim
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Resident Evil Legends Part Four - Calm Before The Storm
Resident Evil Legends Part Four: Calm Before the Storm

  By Andreas Leachim

  Copyright 2016 Andreas Leachim

  Cover art and design by Andreas Leachim

  This is a work of fan fiction based on the Resident Evil video game series. All characters and names and related trademarks are the property of Capcom. The author of this work receives no financial compensation from it and does not seek to infringe upon Capcom’s copyrights in any way.

  Chapter 1

  Once upon a time, Brian Irons had been a good police officer. During the span of his impressive thirty-year career in the Raccoon City Police Department, he had done just about everything there is for a police officer to do. He started out as a rookie doing routine traffic stops and quickly climbed the ranks, serving on the city’s original S.W.A.T. team and then spending several years as a detective investigating murders and other violent crimes. He was well-liked among his fellow officers, received several awards and medals for exemplary service, and seemed destined for a long career in upper command. By the time he had reached the rank of Captain, he was a highly influential member of the force.

  Looking back on it, those early years right before he became Captain were probably the best years of his life. He had still been enthusiastic about the work back then, not yet worn down by the stresses of administrative work, not yet jaded by the realities of upper-level management. He still had dreams and goals back then.

  He and his former partner and longtime friend Barry Burton instituted the first incarnation of the S.T.A.R.S. team in Raccoon City. Although Irons never actually served on the team due to his other duties as Captain, he oversaw its creation and over the years used his influence in the department to increase its funding. And when he was finally promoted to the position of Chief of Police, the S.T.A.R.S. team became his main priority. He always felt a personal amount of pride at how the unit grew and developed over the years.

  Under Irons’ excellent leadership, the RCPD became a shining example of law enforcement in the region. They experienced tremendous growth and prosperity, an exponentially increased budget, more men on the force, more advanced equipment, and most importantly, a nearly flawless record with the people of Raccoon City. Some cities constantly dealt with corruption in the police force, but the RCPD managed to keep itself above common problems such as police brutality and corruption, working to become a model police force for other cities to emulate. The department actually set a record for the fewest number of internal investigations and formal complaints. Morale was high, public approval ratings were through the roof, and the S.T.A.R.S. teams became nationally known.

  Of course, Irons’ personal life was less successful. He always had an affection for gambling, whether he liked to admit it or not, and his collection of artwork and sculpture, while impressive, put him into rather serious debt. His first wife divorced him long ago, and he never managed to recover any semblance of a healthy social life after she left. His entire life became one of extremes: the exceptional success of his professional career, and the pathetic depths of his personal life. He spent all his time at the station, so much that his office became his real home. He received some slight satisfaction in the knowledge that his legacy was assured, and his art collection gave him some sense of personal accomplishment, but other than those few distractions, his life was rather empty.

  But at least he still had his honor. Once upon a time, Brian Irons had been a good police officer. And then one fateful day, a mysterious man named Albert Wesker walked into his office and destroyed it all.

  As he looked back on it now, Irons realized that he was easy pickings for Wesker and Umbrella in general. Deep in debt, doubting his own personal worth, he allowed the manipulative Wesker to completely take advantage of him. He accepted the money and just let it happen. He just handed over responsibility without a fight. He traded in his dignity, his self-respect, and for what?

  Money? Is that what they’d given him? Is that all?

  Irons sat at his desk and looked up at the wall. Secured in a glass case were dozens of the medals and awards he had received over the years. Shiny gold pins with red and blue ribbons lined the case, but to Irons they looked like dead butterfly specimens in the office of an entomologist. Even inside the case, they accumulated a thin layer of dust over the years, like abandoned graves. Next to the case were framed pictures of Irons throughout his career, from the picture of his graduating class at the Academy, to the framed newspaper article about his promotion to Chief.

  The Brian Irons in those pictures and photographs, the Brian Irons who was awarded those medals, the Brian Irons that he used to be, no longer existed. All that remained was a hollow shell that Umbrella poured money into.

  What did Umbrella really give him in return for his compliance in their illegal activities? It wasn’t just money. They offered him an escape from the overwhelming stress of his job. They gave him freedom from responsibility, freedom from consequence. From the moment he accepted that first envelope full of money, he stopped truly being the Chief of Police. After that day, Umbrella was the real commander of the police force, and Irons was just a figurehead. From then on, Irons was not the one making the decisions, he was just the messenger. He accepted their dirty money in return for a life free from responsibility.

  He closed his eyes. He wanted to be free from the weight of his office, free from the constant stress of decision, free to enjoy the success he achieved in his long career. He only wanted some of the pressure on his shoulders to lighten up. Umbrella did all of that, and more. And Irons soon discovered that all the responsibility they took away soon became replaced with guilt and self-hatred, which was so much worse.

  The radio intercom on his desk buzzed loudly, waking him from his reverie. He knew what was going on before the voice of the guard on the roof came through the speaker.

  “Chief Irons, the Alpha helicopter just returned.”

  Irons pressed the button and said quietly, “Who’s in the helicopter?”

  After a short pause, the guard said, “Redfield, Valentine, Vickers, and the new girl from Bravo, I can’t remember her name.”

  Irons’ tongue felt dry in his mouth, and his voice came out like a forced whisper. “Tell them to come to my office immediately. They are to speak to no one else but me, understand?”

  “Okay. Yes, sir,” the guard said, a million conflicting emotions evident in his voice.

  Irons reached for the button once more, but hesitated, his finger hovering over it uncertainly. He gave in and rested his hand on the desktop. He had no doubts that his orders would be followed, but he could not help but wonder what was going through that officer’s head right now. What everyone in the entire department must be thinking.

  Bravo team had been missing for more than thirty hours with no communication. And now Alpha team had been gone for almost seven hours, only to return with half their number. Irons felt lucky that it was so late. Few officers remained in the station at this time of night. But he knew that as soon as the morning shift came in, the news would spread like wildfire, and Irons had to stop the flow of information right now, before it ever got started.

  There was no knock on the door. It just flew open with a bang and Chris Redfield charged into the office. Irons tried not to blanch at the sight of him. Chris was still smeared with blood all across his arms and chest, and his face was contorted into a mask of anger and desperation. Somehow, he looked exactly like Irons imagined he would look, even though Irons had no idea where Alpha team had been or what they had faced.

  “I want you
to tell me right now what’s going on!” Chris screamed, storming right up to Irons’ desk and stabbing a finger at him. “Right now! Just what the hell did you get us into! Tell me that you don’t know what I’m talking about! I dare you!”

  “Sit down, Chris,” Irons said.

  “Go to hell! You sent us there! You lied to us! You don’t have authority over me anymore, you son of a bitch! Tell me what’s going on or I swear to God I’m going to rip the truth right out of you!”

  Suddenly, Jill Valentine was there, pulling Chris away from the desk. Rebecca Chambers was there as well, helping her. Chris struggled against them, but they managed to pull him back. Beyond them, Irons could see Brad Vickers standing helplessly in the doorway, completely confused and unsure what he could do. As Jill managed to get Chris to sit down despite his arguments, Irons spoke loudly enough for Brad to hear him.

  “Close the door, Brad. Lock it.”

  Brad quickly did so, apparently glad to have something to do. He shut the door and swiftly slid the deadbolt into place.

  “Sit down, all of you,” Irons said.

  Rebecca shook her head and went up to the desk, waving her hands excitedly. “You’re not going to believe us,” she said pleadingly. “What happened to us, everything that we went through, you just have to listen –”

  “We’re not telling you anything until you give us some goddamn answers!” Chris shouted, Jill still holding onto his arm. He finally gave in and flopped down into one of the leather chairs. Jill sat down beside him, hands remaining on his arm as if to hold him down.

  Irons looked at Rebecca. “Please sit down. Tell me everything.”

  At once, they all started talking, their voices coming at him like a tidal wave. He sat impassively and tried to understand everything, tried to take it all in. Rebecca’s plaintive requests that he believe her, Chris’ angry accusations and horrific descriptions of what they went through, Jill’s fearful explanations and nervous details. Irons only heard a fraction of what they said, with their voices all coming at him at once, but it was more than enough to verify the absolute worst he had imagined.

  And of course, Wesker’s name came up often. Whatever plans Wesker had concocted must have failed, because Irons sincerely doubted that Wesker intended for anyone from the S.T.A.R.S. teams to make it back here to incriminate him.

  The details that spilled out made his skin crawl. Rebecca’s terrifying story of a train full of undead people, Jill’s insane description of a mad woman with chains around her wrists, and most of all, Chris’ violent retelling of their final moments before the helicopter arrived. Hideous descriptions of death and horror, of the monsters that lurked in the underground corridors of the Umbrella laboratory. They told him everything in bloody detail, so much information that it made his stomach churn.

  Brad tried to get a word in here and there, but the rest of their voices drowned his out completely. He looked shocked and disgusted, and Irons realized that he was hearing the story for the first time as well.

  “And everyone else is dead!” Chris shouted. Jill winced as if in pain as he said it, and Rebecca and Brad could only look away. “They’re all dead! They were killed in that hellhole you sent us to! Joe, and Ken, and Forrest, and everyone else! Barry’s dead, and it’s all your goddamn fault!”

  Somehow, that struck a nerve. Irons snapped back, “You shut your mouth, Chris. I’ve known Barry Burton longer than you have. He was my best friend long before you ever met him.”

  Chris rocked back in his chair, the anger and hatred never leaving his eyes, but for the moment he remained speechless. In the few moments of sudden silence, Jill finally said in a tired voice, “Chief, just tell us that you didn’t know about it. Please tell me that you didn’t know about what was happening there.”

  Irons very quickly made up his mind. This was his only shot and he knew it. If Chris and the rest of them walked out of here not believing what he said, then by tomorrow morning their horrific tale would be on the front page of the Raccoon City newspaper. Irons had not spent thirty years protecting his city to see it destroyed by a scandal of this magnitude.

  Suddenly, all of the responsibility that Umbrella had so willingly taken from him landed right back on his shoulders. And he found that he liked its weight.

  “I have to tell you a long story,” he said.

  “We have the time,” Chris responded, his voice hard.

  Irons took a deep breath and let it out slowly, considering his words. “The Umbrella Corporation owns the City Council. They own it completely, every single councilman and woman is paid off and firmly under their thumb. It’s been like that for more than twenty years. I didn’t really realize the extent of the corruption until after I became Chief of Police. Umbrella controls the local government here. They pretty much own the entire city.”

  “Jesus,” Jill whispered. Chris merely shook his head bitterly.

  “Not long after I was promoted to this office, I was invited to a special meeting with some members of the Council and some representatives from Umbrella. At the meeting, they told me about some of their more secretive projects in and around Raccoon City. As Police Chief, they said I was entitled to that information. They told me about the experimental laboratory out in the Arklay Mountains.”

  “So you did know about it,” Chris said.

  “I knew it was there, but they didn’t give me any details. They wanted me to know just enough to involve me. But they stressed how secret and important all their research was, and assured me that everything was legal and above board.”

  “Did you believe them?” Jill asked.

  Irons could not help but shrug. “Not really. Sort of. It wasn’t really a case of whether or not I believed them. All I knew was that I was now a secret partner. I was implicated in whatever it was they were doing.”

  “So you just went along with it?” Chris asked, frustrated. “Didn’t you suspect what was going on?”

  “Of course I did, but who was I going to tell? They control everything, Chris. If I told anyone about it, they’d clamp down hard and deny everything, and the city would have no choice to believe them. Someone else would be quickly promoted to take my place, and I’d probably wind up in a ditch somewhere.”

  “Were they ... were they blackmailing you?” Rebecca asked nervously.

  “In a way,” Irons admitted. “And in return for my assistance and help in keeping all their secrets, they very generously offered to increase my salary.”

  Chris covered his face with his hand and rubbed his eyes. “Jesus Christ, I don’t believe this.”

  “They were bribing you?” Jill blurted incredulously.

  “Please,” Irons said, trying to sound genuinely offended. “I didn’t realize it at the time. I thought it was some kind of bonus, some new perk of my position. It wasn’t until I figured out they were paying me the exact same amount every month that I began to catch on.”

  “How could you not know?” Chris asked disbelievingly. “What did you think they were giving you the money for?”

  “Don’t be an idiot, Chris,” Irons said. “No one came to my office with an envelope full of money and said, ‘Here’s your bribe for the week.’ It was added into my paycheck, it was built into the system. I had no reason to believe anything out of the ordinary.”

  How quickly and easily the lies spilled out almost surprised him.

  “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Jill asked. “Didn’t you ask why you were being paid so much extra?”

  Irons had to laugh at that. “Come on. Would you tell payroll if your paychecks were too big? No one is that honest.”

  “So you took their bribes,” Chris snapped. “How long have they been paying you?”

  “Since I became Chief, like I said.”

  “So they’ve been paying you off the whole time I’ve worked here?” Chris asked. “Jesus, Brian. Barry always stood up for you, always believed you were a
solid guy. How can you even live with yourself?”

  Irons hesitated for a moment. “You have to understand that even when I was being paid, I convinced myself that I was still clean. I took their money, sure, but I never let it influence me or my decisions here at the station. They never gave me orders to follow, they never made demands. There was no secret agenda I was supposed to follow. I worked hard and I did my job honestly. But I was fooling myself, I guess.”

  “What do you mean?” Rebecca asked.

  “Wesker,” Irons said. He spoke the name like a curse.

  Chris leaned forward. “Did you know about him the whole time?”

  “I didn’t know he worked for Umbrella at first,” Irons lied. “His papers were all in order and everything looked good when I accepted his transfer. I mean, he was an excellent police officer, Chris. You know that as well as I do. You can’t tell me there was any reason to doubt his credentials. But he came by my office one day, not long after he started here, and made a comment about ‘our mutual friends’ or something like that. I figured it out pretty soon after that.”

  “And then what?” Chris prodded.

  “And then nothing,” Irons said, shrugging. “What could I do about it? If he worked for Umbrella, then he probably knew about the bribes. He must have been put here for a reason, and I was too scared to do anything about it.”

  “So you’re saying that Wesker was planted here by Umbrella? For what reason, to spy on us?” Jill asked.

  “Possibly. To spy on me, perhaps. But I really think that they put him here in case something went wrong, so they had an informed employee in the department. They didn’t trust me with any details, but they wanted someone here who knew enough about their operation to make critical judgments in case of an emergency.”

  “Wesker said pretty much the same thing,” Chris said. “He said he was the research leader of that entire lab.”

  “I didn’t know that,” Irons said honestly. In all their years of dealing with each other, Wesker had never actually told Irons his position at Umbrella, although Irons had always suspected he was just middle management.

  “It didn’t really matter, though,” he continued. “Most of the time it never came up. He played the part of the perfect officer for years. Very rarely did he ever talk to me about Umbrella, and even then it was like he was just making a polite suggestion. He never said anything overt, never gave me orders or anything like that. He would just come in and tell me that a certain investigation wasn’t worth our time and maybe we should drop it.”

  “And you did as you were told?” Chris asked.

  “Of course I did,” Irons admitted. “What else could I do? Like I said, they own the entire city. Nothing goes on without them knowing about it.” He paused then and said to Rebecca, “That’s what I meant about fooling myself. All those years I took their money and still thought I was clean, but the moment the put any sort of pressure on me, I caved in right away. I was too scared to do anything else.”

  “But ... but could you just go along with it?” Jill asked. “If you knew that something illegal was going on, then ...”

  “And what evidence did I have?” Irons asked. “I had nothing to go on other than my own suspicions. And remember, they promised me that everything was legal. I had no evidence of anything else.”

  “And they were bribing you,” Chris added.

  Irons leaned forward and folded his big hands on the desk. “They had me backed into a corner before I even realized it. They gave me just enough information to implicate me, had Wesker spying on me, and started sending me money that I didn’t ask for and didn’t know what to do with. How do you turn down a bribe, when you don’t even know it’s a bribe until it’s too late? How could I even try to go against their wishes without them destroying my whole career? I wasn’t about to risk everything just because I had a hunch that they were breaking the law.”

  “Some cops trust their hunches,” Chris said.

  Jill sat up and interrupted them. “Okay, so you knew that Wesker worked for Umbrella. You knew about that lab in the woods. But that’s all in the past. What about yesterday? What about Bravo team and their mission?”

  Irons looked at Rebecca again, “You probably know more about it than I do. All I knew at the time was that Enrico got a call, and it was about a train derailment or something like that. I got the news from Wesker just as you were leaving.”

  “He told you the call was about a train?” Chris asked.

  “Yes. I had no reason to suspect it was anything else.”

  “But when we came to talk to you –” Jill started to say.

  Irons waved his hand to silence her. “I know, I know. When Bravo team left, Wesker told me that it was about a train. But about half an hour after, he came back and told me a whole different story.”

  “What did he tell you?” Jill asked.

  “The call was fake. I don’t know how or why, but he said it was fake. He said that Bravo team was being redirected to Umbrella’s lab out in the mountains. He said there was a situation there and he needed Bravo team to handle it.”

  “That was all?” Jill asked.

  “I asked him for more information, but he refused to tell me anything. He actually said it was ‘need-to-know’ information, and he said that I didn’t need to know. There was a problem at the lab and he sent Bravo team there to deal with it.”

  “And you believed him?” Chris asked incredulously.

  “Of course not!” Irons snapped, slamming his hand on the desk. “I knew he was lying, but what good did that do? I couldn’t call Bravo team back even if I wanted to. And even if I wanted to send someone after them, I didn’t know where that lab was located. I still don’t know where it is. Once Brave team left, there was nothing I could do. Wesker told me everything was fine, and I had no choice but to hope to God he was telling me the truth.”

  “And what about us?” Jill asked. “When we came to talk to you?”

  “What can I say? I lied to you.”

  “Jesus ...” Chris said.

  “Wesker called me on the phone about ten seconds before Barry burst through that door demanding answers,” Irons explained. “He told me to tell you that Bravo team was sent to a government facility. What was I supposed to do?” Irons asked, honestly. “What could I possibly say that would make sense? I had no idea what was going on, so I just went along with the story Wesker gave me. I mean, I had nothing else I could tell you.”

  “Wesker said that you personally okayed the mission,” Chris said.

  “I didn’t okay anything. I found out about it after you did. Wesker barely had the time to warn me that you were all coming up here.”

  “So you just lied to us?”

  “What else could I do? What else could I say? Think about it, Chris. I didn’t even know the truth. What would have happened if I’d told you what I knew? Would you even believe something like that? You’d think I was delusional.”

  The question silenced them all for a moment, and even Chris could not come up with an answer. Irons took some small satisfaction in that. They were actually going along with him on this strange mixture of lies and truths. He was mostly making it up as he went along, and it looked like they believed it, or believed enough of it to make the rest seem plausible.

  “Wesker was the only one who knew where Bravo team was,” Irons said carefully, trying to give them a solid line of reasoning for his deception. “He was the only one who knew what was really going on. I didn’t dare cross him. If I told you the truth, or even some other lie that conflicted with what Wesker already told you, I had no idea what he might do. He said he had a plan and everything was going to work out fine, so I had no choice but to go along with it, and pray he was right. Telling you the truth wouldn’t have helped anything, it would have only made things worse. And it wouldn’t have saved Bravo team anyway.”

  After another lengthy pause, Chris
finally said, “Okay. So you didn’t know anything yesterday, but what about today? You barricaded yourself in this office and wouldn’t let any of us even talk to you.”

  “That was Wesker’s idea,” Irons lied. “He still wouldn’t give me any details about Bravo team or their mission, and just said that everything was under control. He said Bravo team would be back here at the station some time this morning.”

  “And what about us?” Jill asked.

  “You were going to find Bravo team. Wesker couldn’t prevent that from happening, which was one small point in our favor. But he said that he was sending you on a wild goose chase and you wouldn’t be involved. You’d circle the mountains in vain for awhile and then come right back. I had no idea if he was telling the truth or not, but what could I do? Tell you not to go? You had to go, and I wanted you to go.”

  “You wanted us to go?” Jill asked, shocked.

  “Of course I did. If Wesker was telling the truth, then it didn’t matter. But if he was lying to me, and Bravo team truly was in danger, then you had to go after them. You had to try to find out what was going on. You would either come back in an hour with nothing to show for it, or Wesker would send you to actually help Bravo team, which is why you were going in the first place. I had no problem sending you after them, because I thought it actually might help.”

  While Chris and the others were mulling that over, Irons opened a drawer on his desk and pulled out the envelope that Wesker had given him the day before. He set it on top of his desk. This was the big lie, he thought to himself. This was the lie that would make or break the entire house of cards he had just built. If they bought this one like they had apparently bought the rest of them, then maybe he could hold off for a few days. It would give him time to come up with a better solution, maybe find a way to fix everything that Wesker had managed to destroy. But right now, he needed to make them believe.

  “Wesker came by my office just before you left last night,” he said. “He told me that everything was going according to plan, but there was one slight change. He said that he wasn’t coming back with the rest of you. He said that his work here in Raccoon City was done, and this was the last bribe I would ever have to take.”

  Chris eyed the envelope. “How much is in there?”

  “He said about fifty grand, but I haven’t bothered to open it up to count it. I didn’t know if Wesker planned to fake his death or something, but he said that I was never going to see him again. He promised that the S.T.A.R.S. teams were coming back, but he wouldn’t be with you.”

  “Did you believe him?” Jill asked.

  Irons waited a moment before shaking his head. “No, I didn’t. I thought that you were all going to disappear with him, that once he was done using you, you would all die in some mysterious accident. Whatever was wrong at that lab, Umbrella would never allow there to be living witnesses, especially not members of the police force.” Irons allowed himself a short dramatic pause, absentmindedly tapping the edge of the envelope with his finger. “I had almost resigned myself to the fact that all of you were being led to your deaths, and in my negligence, I had allowed it to happen.”

  Like any police officer worth his badge, Irons knew a bit about human psychology. And his time as an administrator had given him much-needed experience dealing with people and solving problems among them. He had just told Chris and the others a mishmash of the truth, half-truths, and outright lies. He had confessed that he was guilty of accepting bribes, and also guilty of negligence. That was the hook, the embarrassing truth that they already suspected him of, that he admitted in order to make them more likely to believe the things that weren’t so true. It was an old trick among con men and pathological liars, to confirm one truth in order to conceal a bigger lie.

  As for his knowledge of Wesker and his dealing with Umbrella, that was mostly fabricated. But he had sprinkled his lies with just enough truth to make them sound genuine, and it had worked. He felt confident that all four of them believed him. Or at least, they believed him enough for now. Maybe later on they would discover cracks in his story, but for now they accepted his words as truth. So it was time for him to drop the big lie.

  “I need you all to listen carefully,” Irons said. “Everything that has happened to you tonight, everything you know about Wesker and Umbrella, and everything I’ve just told you. All of it has to remain a secret. For a little while, you cannot tell anyone –”

  “What are you talking about?” Chris snapped, sitting up quickly. “We can’t hide what happened, we can’t cover it up!”

  “We have to tell everyone!” Jill agreed, “We can’t let them get away with this!”

  “You’re just trying to cover your own ass!” Chris accused.

  “The FBI already knows!” Irons’ shouted, his voice drowning out everyone else’s. Chris stared at him in complete shock.

  “About three hours ago I called the Feds,” Irons explained, his voice lower. “I told them everything I just told you. Federal agents arrived here in Raccoon City not more than an hour ago.”

  “The Feds?” Jill said, stunned.

  Irons looked at the four of them plaintively, apologetically. “Wesker said you’d be back in an hour and you weren’t. I couldn’t get anyone on the radio, I couldn’t get Wesker on the phone. I had nothing left to hide behind. I had no choice.”

  “And you told them everything?” Chris asked.

  “Yes, everything I knew. When I knew for certain that Wesker lied to me, once I accepted the fact that you were probably not coming back at all, I had to call the Feds. I had no choice but to tell them what happened. I’m not prepared – this city is not prepared – to handle a scandal this huge, a catastrophe of this magnitude. The entire S.T.A.R.S. unit gone in one night, killed at some mysterious science compound in the middle of the forest? I had to give up and call them, because I had no one left to turn to.”

  “They’ll bury you,” Chris said quietly. It didn’t matter if he meant Umbrella or the FBI.

  Irons nodded. “You’re probably right. Maybe I can cut a deal with them, no jail time in return for my cooperation. Maybe some time in witness protection, just in case.”

  Jill said, “If you called the Feds, then why aren’t they here? Why aren’t there FBI agents swarming around this office right now?”

  Irons managed a weak smile. “Because it turns out I didn’t have to call them at all. They already knew most of it.”

  “How could they ...” Jill whispered.

  “They were already investigating you, weren’t they?” Chris said. “Or were they investigating Umbrella?”

  “They didn’t say,” Irons said. “But they knew about the lab, and they knew about Umbrella’s hold on this city. They had phones tapped and satellite photos and who knows what else. They’ve been investigating this for years, I think.”

  “Then why aren’t they here?” Chris asked, repeating Jill’s question. “If you confessed, then that’s all the evidence they need, right?”

  Irons shook his head. “This isn’t just about me, or Wesker, or even this whole city. All of Umbrella is involved in this, all the way to the CEO, and they want to catch them in the act. So they have to sit quiet and wait until Umbrella tries to cover this up. If they show their hand too early, then the upper management will just shift the blame and claim innocence, and there won’t be any evidence to connect them to the lab out there. But in a couple of days, maybe in a week, once Umbrella tries to cover up what happened tonight, then the FBI can get hard proof that the people at the top knew what was going on.”

  Irons leaned forward and looked right at them one at a time. “If you want Umbrella to pay for what they’ve done, you have to keep all this a secret until the FBI decides to act. I don’t know when that will be. But you can’t tell anyone what happened. You can’t tell anyone.”

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