BIO HAZARD, the beginning… GO
By HIROYUKI ARIGA, the story narrated on 7 chapters and 127 pages explaining the events before Resident Evil 1
The prologue included a brief interview with R.E. producer Shinji Mikami, and (voila!), a short 7-chapter novel (written by Hiroyuki Ariga) followed.
The story begins when Chris receives a strange late-night call from his long-lost friend Billy Rabitson, and ends when the S.T.A.R.S. chopper lands at the Spencer estate. About 16 or so illustrations graced the pages of this book. Many of them have now become classics.
Right now discover the texts, which explain the events that took place before the beginning of Resident Evil.
Chapter One: Resident Evil
Whenever the phone rings in the middle of the night. I know someone’s dead who wasn’t dead the day before. Happens all the time. Except when it’s a wrong number. Like this totally drunk woman who thought I was her long lost lover. Or the idiot who tied up my line with a long monologue in Portuguese.
I’ve had this late-night fear of the phone for five years now, ever since a state police chaplain called me at two a.m. to tell me my parents were dead. Their vacation van had been crushed by a runaway big rig. The coroner had to ID them through dental records, they were mangled so bad.
Even though I’m assigned to S.T.A.R.S., Special Tactics and Rescue Squad, a Raccoon City P.D. strike force formed to handle violent crime and victim rescues, I still get spooked when the phone rings in the dark hours before dawn. A lot of felonies are perpetrated at night. Most people are sleeping, so there usually aren’t any witnesses around. A violent crime can go unreported for hours. Which means that when I get there, the victim’s usually stiff as a board.
Yeah, when that phone rings late at night, it’s a good bet something bad’s going down.
Like a half hour ago. I was having my favorite dream, the one where I’m a rock star besieged by adoring female fans, when I got a call from Billy, my best friend from school. Normally, I like hearing from old friends, even in the middle of the night. But this was not a normal call, not unless they’d started installing cell phones in coffins. Billy, you see, had been dead for three months.
My old buddy had been an up-and-coming researcher for a large local outfit called the Umbrella Company. Then, about three months before, he’d suddenly been transferred to Chicago to work on some hush-hush research project. He’d left Raccoon City aboard the Company’s corporate jet on what seemed like a routine flight. It turned out to be anything but routine. An hour after takeoff, ground control lost radar and voice contact with the aircraft.
The day after the jet’s disappearance, a fishing boat found several pieces of the plane’s wreckage and the bodies of eight passengers floating in the Great Lakes. Billy and 12 other passengers were never found, and searchers finally concluded that their bodies had mysteriously sunk into the cold depths. Case closed, except for the memorial service for Billy, and some bittersweet memories of a good friend I’d never see again.
Or hear from again. This call had to be some kind of twisted joke. “Whoever you are, you’ve got a sick sense of humor,” I said, wishing I could get my hands on the miscreant on the other end of the line.
“Chris, I swear it’s me. Billy.
This time I listened closely to the caller’s voice, zeroing in on his tone and inflection. It sure sounded like Billy. But I wanted to hear him speak another couple of sentences before I made up my mind. “If this is Billy, tell me how you survived the plane crash.”
“I wasn’t on the plane when it crashed, Chris. Twenty minutes after the Company jet took off, it landed at a private airstrip in the next state. I was taken off the plane and driven right back to Raccoon City.”
I no longer had any doubt. The voice belonged to my old friend. “What’s this all about, Billy? Why would the Umbrella Company go to all the trouble to fly you somewhere, then drive you right back? And why didn’t the Company tell your family and friends that you were still alive? I don’t get any of this.”
“It was necessary that I disappear,” Billy said.
I sat up in bed and looked at the luminescent clock on my nightstand. It was one a.m. I’d only been asleep a couple of hours. No wonder I was still beat. And the drinks I’d thrown down earlier in the evening weren’t making me any sharper.
“I assume you and the Umbrella Company have some real good reason why you had to go underground.”
“Not a ‘good’ reason. An evil one. I’ve been part of a terrible mistake.”
I took a long hit on the water bottle I kept beside the bed. “What kind of mistake.”
“I wish I could tell you everything, Chris, but I can’t reveal details over the phone. You understand.”
“I understand all right. I understand that my best friend is getting weird on me.”
“Chris, I know a secret, the most terrible secret you could imagine.”
“What secret? What are you talking about?”
“The secret behind the chain of murders you’re trying to solve.”
“Don’t play with me Billy. I wanna know what you know.”
“I told you, not over the phone. The line might be tapped.”
“I’m not taking the chance,” he snapped, his voice high-pitched and nervous.
“So what do you want to do?”
“I want to meet. Just you and I.”
“Okay. Where and when?”
“The park near Victory Lake, you know, to the north of the city. Get there as quick as you can.
“What’s the rush?”
“There are people trying to kill me, Chris.”
That did add a degree of urgency. “Okay, buddy, I’ll be there in thirty-five, forty minutes.”
I put on the same clothes I’d taken off two hours before, grabbed another bottle of spring water from the refrigerator and swigged down half in one big gulp. The other half I poured over my head on the way to my car. If I had to hit the road in the middle of the night, I figured it was better to be wet and awake than dry and dead.
My Shelby Cobra rumbled to life and I headed for Victory Lake, confident I could get there in under 40 minutes. Hell, in a Shelby, you can get halfway to the moon in 40 minutes. I took an S-curve at twice the posted speed, then eased back on the pedal and thought about Billy.
He and I had been practically inseparable right through high school, despite that we were considered the “Odd Couple” of our class. Billy was a straight “A” student who never got in trouble, while I barely made passing grades and spent half my life in the principal’s office.
After we graduated, Billy enrolled at M.I.T, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Knowing I wasn’t ready for college yet, I enlisted in the Air Force. We didn’t see each other much for the next four years, although I’d get a letter from him every six months or so. I’m ashamed to say, I never wrote back.
A month after he’d finished gradate school, Billy went to work for the Umbrella Company in Raccoon City. About a year later, I returned home to join the S.T.A.R.S. team. Billy and I quickly resumed our friendship, and saw each other frequently before he announced he was being transferred to Chicago.
Now that I thought about it, it did seem odd that he wouldn’t have written to me at least once in the past year. At the time, I just figured he was busy. But now I knew there was another reason and, to judge by Billy’s terrified voice, a far more sinister reason, why I hadn’t heard from my old friend. What that reason was, I hadn’t a clue.
I cut through the deserted downtown section of Raccoon City and turned onto a two-lane secondary road running north as straight as an arrow. There was nothing else on the road this early, not even farm tractors, and I pressed the accelerator down hard. The Shelby’s big V-8 responded with a throaty roar and I felt my shoulders slammed back hard against the seat as the speedometer climbed to 110 MPH.
Five minutes later I spotted the first hills ahead and eased back on the accelerator. I’ve always gotten a thrill out of mountain driving, and I speed-shifted down to third, then second as the Shelby whipped through the first hairpin turn. The road became steeper as it climbed the mountain, and the curves turned into a series of hairpin turns. My arms were beginning to ache from whipping the wheel back and forth.
Then, just as I started powering through a sharp curve, a woman suddenly appeared in my headlights. I’m doing seventy-five and she’s close enough to be a hood ornament. I downshifted and slammed on the brakes, but I could see I was still going to hit her. So I did the only thing I could. I yanked the wheel hard and plowed the Shelby into the bank bordering the road.
The engine cut out when I hit, and for several seconds I sat there in the sudden silence feeling for broken bones and wounds. Fortunately, there were none, and I turned my attention back to the girl. She had apparently collapsed during the close call, and was lying on the pavement about ten feet from the car. I got out and hurried toward her. As I neared, I noticed with horror that her entire body was covered with gaping wounds.
I came real close to heaving at that point. I mean there were bones sticking through her skin and little geysers of blood where arteries had been torn apart. I fought back my nausea and knelt by her side. She raised a hand weakly and I took it in mine.
“Dear God, lady, what happened to you?”
“He…” her lips formed the word, but no sound came out.
Her throat was cut.
I forced myself to look down at the rest of her mangled body, and gasped at the sight of her lower torso. A huge section of her stomach had been ripped out — as if a Great White shark had bittenn through her middle–and her internal organs had popped out onto the road.
My hands and arms were covered with sticky blood by now and I could hardly breathe, the air was so thick with the stench of reeking intestines. Then, when I thought this nightmarish scene couldn’t get any worse, a terrified scream split the night. I turned in the direction of the cry and spotted a late model convertible pulled over with its top down about fifty feet up the road.
In the moonlight, I saw some kind of huge animal leap into the open car. At first I thought it was a big black Newfoundland. Then 1 realized this thing was at least twice as big as a Newf. The driver started screaming again, and I could see his arms flailing as he tried to fight off the beast. Then, suddenly, he was quiet.
I grabbed my Beretta automatic from under the Cobra’s dash and ran toward the convertible. Fifteen feet away I stopped and aimed the pistol skyward. At the sound of the gunshot the beast whirled and fixed me with a terrible glare. It had hellish red eyes, as if the pupils were oozing blood, and yellowed fangs that looked as fierce as a saber-toothed tiger.
A strange, guttural cry suddenly sprang from the animal’s mouth. “Kuooon,” it shrieked, raising the hair on the back of my neck. Stay cool, I reminded myself. You’ve got a gun, and it doesn’t. Chances are, it doesn’t even know what a gun is. Ipso facto, You, Chris Redfield, are in total command.
The beast leaped down from the car and took an ominous step toward me. Or not.
In the blink of an eye, the gruesome thing was two steps closer. I could smell it now, and the odor was putrid. Like decay. Like death. Time to get serious. I raised my pistol in both hands, took a breath and fired point blank at the creature’s head.
Nothing. No gushing blood, no fragmented flesh and bones. I might as well have been tossing popcorn at the thing. I mean, I know I hadn’t missed. Not from that range. But there were no bullet holes. Hell, the beast didn’t even look winded. What piece of devil’s work was this?
I emptied my pistol at the animal, and was about to make a break for my car, when it suddenly seemed to lose interest in me. The beast gave a final shriek, then turned abruptly and disappeared into the dark woods. For a long time I stood there shaking, the sweat soaking my shirt. Then I took a calming breath, reloaded my Beretta and very carefully approached the convertible.
The driver was dead, of course, ripped apart as cruelly as the woman I’d just left. Half his face was missing, and one eyeball hung from its smashed socket by a string of tissue. The moonlight was shining down directly into the man’s half-open skull, making his brain appear all shiny and pink. The rest of his body looked like it had just emerged from a meat grinder. Not much left you could recognize as human.
I’d seen a lot of deaths lately. Five, counting the two people who’d just died before my eyes. The first murder had happened six months before, and I’d been investigating the strange cases ever since.
Actually, the word “strange” didn’t half fit these killings. Something sinister was at work here, some force beyond a simple human murderer. I’ve been putting in 18-hour days looking for answers, but so far the only thanks I’ve gotten is a boot in the tail from the media. They keep insisting the police aren’t working hard enough on the case. Guess it goes with the turf when you’re a public servant.
I went back to my car and radioed in a report to police headquarters. I couldn’t leave the murder scene unsecured, so I wafted until I heard the approaching sirens, then took off again for Victory Lake. But now there was no way I’d be on time.
Chapter Two: The Necklace
Billy,” I called into the wet wind off the lake, acutely aware that I was half an hour late for our meeting.
No answer, just as there hadn’t been any answer to my previous calls. The night was still hot and I could feel the sweat dripping off the ridge of my chin. I turned and looked toward the moonlit parking lot. My silver Shelby was the only car there. Had Billy gotten tired of waiting and left? Or maybe he’d hidden his car in the trees so no one would know he was there.
I grabbed a large police flashlight from the trunk and began a search of the nearby woods and brush. I looked for an hour but found nothing. Except memories. Billy and I used to play together in this park as kids. Our favorite place had been the boathouse down on the lakeshore. On a whim, I decided to check the old building out.
The door creaked on its hinges as I entered the darkened building and snapped on my flashlight. I swept the light around the interior. There were a half dozen small boats and canoes lying around in various stages of disrepair, a couple covered with what looked to be years of cobwebs. The rest of the space was taken up with disassembled outboard motors and various pieces of machinery and tools.
“Billy, you in here?” I called out. “It’s me, Chris.”
No response. The night was dead still, but for the muffled sound of wind-driven wavelets lapping against the boathouse pilings. I was turning to leave when my light suddenly glinted off a shiny metallic object of some kind lying on the floor. I walked over and stared down at a gold necklace with a small gold coin attached.