He was halfway out the busted wooden door and into the body filled hallway, when a high scream of pain echoed throughout the smoldering apartment behind him.
What the hell is...
Agent HUNK stopped in his tracks and turned around sharply, raising the TMP folding stock to his shoulder and scanned across the room. The red laser sight passed over the area.
The surrounding apartment was almost fully covered in fire and smoke. Flames licked up various curtains, incinerating them into ashes.
The gas mask's nozzles pumped clean air inside for him, as he breathed hard.
HUNK adjusted the strap of the MP-5 on his shoulder and calmly took in the details of what damage the rocket had caused.
The Nemesis's high powered rocket had blown apart most of the apartments front living room. He could see the entire section of wall where the window had stood earlier was now gone.
Fires raged on different sections, all over the apartment and HUNK could see clear down into the streets below.
The thick dark smoke billowed out of the apartment, blanketing the night sky.
He looked down to the floor in front of him, at the fallen figure laying on the ground.
Jill Valentine lay sprawled on the ground of the hallway, a few meters away from him, cradling her leg. Blood ran out of a wound above the knee on the right leg.
It streamed down her bare leg and dripped in several different paths, onto the hardwood floor below. There were several cuts all over her bare back too, from what he could see.
HUNK's trained eye examined the leg wounds briefly from a distance from behind the red tinted eyepieces.
Shrapnel damage from the rocket, most likely. I've seen it happen before.
Jill coughed painfully, attempting to speak.
The lack of a gas mask, unlike HUNK, was taking it's toll. The sour sting of the smoke forced her eyes closed. She managed to gasp out something as her eyes watered.
"Hunk...are you still there? I need your.. I need some help.. please..", She wheezed, between loud coughs. "I can't... I.."
HUNK nodded to himself, lowered the TMP slowly and started to move towards Jill.
Before he could reach her, a familiar icy, disciplined voice from deep in his mind spoke up to him.
Leave her here. She's become a liability, the ice cold, logical voice said.
HUNK came to a stop suddenly a couple meters in front of her and stood still, considering this thought.
A second voice spoke up to him next, a firm resolute voice. It was a survivors voice.
No, she isn't. Go help her out, it said.
She's expendable and has served her use. She'll just slow you down and interfere with the mission, the icy voice replied. The mission must take priority over all else.
The mission will still take top priority, as it always does. She's a survivor, like me, the firm voice replied. She is very useful.
She's slowing down the entire mission. Wherever she goes, the Nemesis will follow, the cold voice reasoned. It'll drain your weapons and resources. It is relentless.
Valentine came up with the idea to use the rooftops, The firm voice shot back. She's resourceful.
You were willing to let Goblin 6 die in the sewers, the cold voice replied. She begged you to save her, you refused. Why are you risking the mission to help this one?
I never jeopardize the mission, the firm voice stated. The only difference between Valentine and Goblin 6, is that Goblin 6 was mortally wounded by Birkin. There was no way I could have saved her, even if i bothered making the attempt. Plus I was three fourths the way up the precinct by that time. I would have had to backtrack all the way to the sewer and she'd be dead by then. It would have interfered with the mission. Valentine is laying right here in front of me with a non life threatening wound. Goblin 6 was a valuable resource, but she was expendable. The only reason I'd go out of my way for Valentine, is so she can show me across Raccoon City.
Are you sure that's the only reason to go out of your way?, the cold voice mocked. You're absolutely sure that the city is the only thing you want the attractive young officer Valentine to show you?
HUNK closed his eyes tightly.
Having feelings during a mission I undertake has never happened and will never happen. In the unlikely case it were ever to happen, I wouldn't let it interfere in the least. That isn't even the reason I want her help.
Really? You do well suppressing all emotion, it's true.. but why did you take a passing glance at her outfit back in the armory? Or lay your hand across her shoulder back on the helipad, when she looked sad? She certainly does have a nice figure on her.
I don't feel anything for her, the firm voice stated emotionlessly. That's not the issue at hand.
Clutching at straws now, are we HUNK? Or lying to yourself? Don't forget that Umbrella clearly wants her dead... and your current presence is helping her survive.
And what if they want her dead? So? I'm not breaking any orders. My mission is to deliver the G-virus to Christine Henri at the 'Loire Village' Paris Umbrella facility. Not to eliminate S.T.A.R.S.
And if they've put a bounty on her head? They probably have, and she could be worth quite a bit.
I wont go for it. I'm not a recruited convict or a hired thug like all of those U.B.C.S. scum are.
If you don't kill her, it's bound to piss someone off in Umbrella.
Then they should have came to me directly and assigned me a mission to do that. Instead they chose to send a B.O.W. after her. It didn't say anywhere in my orders that I was going after S.T.A.R.S., My loyalty to Umbrella will never be questioned. I'm already the best U.S.F.U. Agent they have. I've done more for them than any other soldier.
Someone in Umbrella had your extraction plan scrambled. Somebody wants you to be late delivering the G-Virus sample, or is testing you.
I already know exactly who that person is. I'll beat them by still delivering the Virus sample first. I can deal with it later. The mission has changed unexpectedly, and I need to make full use of all the resources available to me.
Don't be foolish. That Nemesis will continue following you while she lives.
Then I'll kill it. I've survived every seemingly suicidal mission I've ever had. Nothing can kill me. I've already trained against and have killed Tyrants before, back at the Military Training Facility.
But never against anything like this new prototype.
It'll die like any other type, no matter the upgrades it has. I can handle it.
They wouldn't appreciate it being destroyed. It's a valuable bio-weapon that they've been working hard at creating.
I'll tell them the truth, if they ask. It's in my way. Nothing stands in my way.
Her skills may be sharp, but they are inferior compared to yours. She is weak, and hates Umbrella.
She's an elite police officer, but she's also a soldier fighting for a cause, The firm voice defended quietly. I may be a soldier fighting for Umbrella, but I carry no personal grudge towards her.. no matter the opposite sides we fight on.
She is emotional, dangerous to the mission.
That's part of her own personality. It isn't dangerous if one knows how to handle it, and I do. Besides, Her, Redfield, Chambers and Burton were able to beat the odds in the Spencer Mansion. I respect the ability to survive. The odds were completely stacked against them. Why should I leave her to burn to death or be eaten alive in this shitty apartment building? That's too undignified an end for someone of her caliber.
That sounds kind of hypocritical, HUNK. You told Goblin 6 that survival was her own responsibility, and she ended up dying in a filthy sewer.
Goblin-6 was fully aware of the risks the mission held, just like the rest of Alpha team did. The U.S.F.U. always knows what it's getting into. We're the best there is.
"Hunk?...", Jill coughed out again, still struggling to open her eyes against the smoke.
She attempted to rise, but let out a pained moan as she brushed her injured leg against the floor, and stopped. "What are you-
Valentine is wounded, the cold voice stated.
I have enough medical expertise to handle it, my past training covered it. Besides, it doesn't look too serious anyway. The smoke is doing more damage to her.
It'll take time to fix her up and she'll probably need rest.
I can radio Nighthawk for more information later, he can give suggestions on an alternate extraction. We can pick up the pace in the morning, since we have three days.
You may have to carry her up to the roof and over to the next building.
Then I can do that. It makes no difference to me. She'll be fine after the leg is fixed up.
Well then... time to choose HUNK. Are you going to leave her behind to get rid of the Nemesis, or help her?
He stared back down at Jill again, and in a brief moment, he made up his mind.