Friday, November 10

Resident Evil: Surviving Raccoon City - Chapter 1

September 24th 1998 in Raccoon City.

The office was cold, dark, and quiet. The majority of workers had already left for the day and had either gone home to their families or to the local bar for a drink to help them unwind. Finlay, better known to his friends as simply Fin, was the only person left in the room. He moved from cubicle to cubicle emptying the little paper bins into a large black bag. While it was mundane work, Fin, took joy in knowing that it was Thursday, one more day until the weekend. He moved to the last cubicle of the row. It was disgusting, as it normally was. Empty soda cans littered the desk and floor. None of them had been put into the bin that was under the desk. An empty bag of cheeze-it chips was tucked under the computer screen with plenty of bright orange cheeze-it dust over the keyboard.
“Fuck you, Jordan.” Fin muttered to himself as he began to collect the trash into his black bag. He then tied it up and took it out into the hallway and returned with a vacuum cleaner. He was supposed to finish his shift by 7pm but thanks to Jordan’s mess he was behind schedule. A loud noise broke the silence causing Fin to jump and curse at the intrusion. It took him a second to recognize the noise as his custom midi ringtone. He reached into his jeans pocket and took out his cell phone and saw the call was coming from Amber.
“Hey, I’m running late, aren’t I?” Fin questioned as he answered the call.
“Fuck yeah you are. We’re already at the bar, half price drinks baby!” Amber replied, she was having to shout over the music and other patrons. Fin could hear his friends in the background.
“I know, I know, blame that wanker, Jordon. His desk was filthy, AGAIN!”
“Did you call him a wanker? You’re so British, it’s kinda sexy darlin.”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re too much woman for me babe. Speaking of sexy, is Corey there?”
“Of course he is sweetie.” Fin could hear as Amber covered the cell phone speaker and spoke to someone else in the bar. After a second, she came back on the line. “Corey’s waiting for you Loverboy!”
“Fuck it, this place is clean enough, I’m on my way. See you soon!”
“Kisses darlin, hurry up.”
Fin then hung up the phone and quickly put away his equipment and ducked into the bathroom in order to change into the outfit he had packed away in his rucksack. He came out of the bathroom in skinny jeans, a silk shirt tucked into the jeans with the top 3 buttons open to reveal his smooth chest just enough to tease Corey. His hair was a mess from work, and he didn’t have any product to fix it, so he just had to hope that it was messy in a fun and sexy way. It was shoulder length and dyed black, but his brown roots were beginning to show. Fin was a skinny man of 23 years old, with dark skin. He was ready for the night, so he packed his work clothes into the rucksack, threw it over his shoulder and made his way to the elevator.

Half an hour later he was walking down Jack Street. The walk from the office to the bar was unusually quiet. Raccoon City was not the largest city in the world was it was far from a small village in the middle of nowhere. It was large enough to have its own gay bar, the rainbow road, and that said a lot. Fin was lost in his own little world when he was pulled out of by a large rat emerging from the storm drain and running in front of him. While he would have loved to have pretended, he was brave at the sight of the large rodent he wasn’t. He screamed in a higher pitch than even he expected and jumped backward. It wasn’t the fact that it was a rat, he was a professional cleaner, so he had seen his fair share of rats. This one was larger than he had ever seen, and it looked unwell, sick even. Its fur was matted in places and falling out in others, its skin was torn revealing exposed muscle fibre and even what Fin could have sworn was a broken rib. If he hadn’t witnessed it running in front of him, he would have sworn the thing was dead. Yet it was moving.
“Little fucker probably has rabies.” He said to himself, trying to calm himself down. “Breath Fin, it’s just a rat.”
Before long Fin was at the entrance to the Rainbow Road. He showed his ID to the bouncer who quickly checked it and then nodded at Fin as he passed it back. Finley checked his outfit was still looking good and then opened the door. He was greeted by a bar full of fabulous people and of course, Amber waving him down. She was sitting next to Corey. As Fin spotted Corey his felt his heart flutter and quicken its pace. He was beautiful. He was a skinny white guy with smooth pale skin, painted fingernails, eyeliner, and a baggy tank top that hung loose over his torn skinny jeans that were tucked into grey combat boots with untied laces. Corey was very much a punk and had the body type known as a twink in the gay scene. Amber noticed Fin gawking at Corey and interrupted the situation before it got too awkward.
“Stop gawking all slack jawed and get that skinny ass over here Fin!” She said with a cheeky smile on her face. Amber was a transgender woman in her early twenties. Thanks to the miracles of Hormone Replacement Therapy her fat distribution had recently shifted giving her a curvy frame. This change had been reflected in her personality. The shy and timid girl had been replaced with a loud, happy, and confident woman. Her and Fin had been best friends since they first met in elementary school. Back then both of them had been nervous kids deep in the closet. Fin had been the first to come out during middle school and then Amber had followed suite in high school. Amber had to wait until her 18th birthday to medically transition but she had socially transitioned at 16. The two were as thick as thieves now. Since then, both of them had started to explore their queer identities, growing in confidence as they did so. At 21 years old they had started to visit Racoon City’s only gay bar, the Rainbow Road. 2 years had passed since then. In that time both Fin and Amber had become popular locals of the venue which is where Fin had met Corey. Unlike Fin, Corey was fresh out of the closet and still finding himself. Fin made his way over to the table his two friends were sitting at.
“So me and Punk boy over here were just talking about getting some shots in, you game?” Amber informed Fin.
“Oh, yeah that sounds good. I’ll pay, first rounds on me! What does everyone want?” Fin gleefully exclaimed, feeling instantly welcome at the bar.
“Jager Bomb for me babe” Amber replied, ready to take advantage of the free drink.
“I’ll have a blowjob and a double jack and coke if that’s cool?” Corey said, a sly look on his face when mentioning the blowjob drink. It was a double-entendre and an obvious flirt that got Fin a little excited.
“Sure, so I’ll get a Jager bomb for Amber, a shot of tequila for me, and a double jack and coke for Corey, then me and Corey will have to visit the bathrooms for a bit.” Fin said, intentionally returning the flirt. The group laughed amongst themselves for a bit before Fin disappeared to get the drinks. He quickly returned and the three friends continued to joke and drink until around 11pm when they moved to the dancefloor. Corey and Fin were dancing together, feeling more comfortable around each other now that the drink had loosened up their nerves a bit. The night was going well and as the music reached a low Fin felt Corey move closer and begin to go in for a kiss. This was perfect! Fin was overjoyed. He had been flirting with Corey for weeks at this point and things were beginning to move forward.
All of a sudden there was the loud sound of breaking glass which pulled both men out of the moment. The entire dancefloor stopped and faced the bar to see the barman being pulled over the counter, knocking off several people’s drinks that continued to go crashing to the floor. At first Fin assumed that this was some sort of homophobic attack. He had read about bars and other LGBT venues being targeted in his queer zines. Then he noticed that the attacker was biting the barman, tearing chunks of flesh from his victim’s face and neck leaving muscle and bone exposed to the world. Instantly dark red blood began to gush from the open wounds. It pooled on the bar before dripping down onto the floor below. There was a moment of disbelief before the entire bar erupted into panic. Whatever was going on this wasn’t a typical homophobic attack. Corey grabbed Fin’s arm and pulled him through the panicking crowd towards the fire escape. So far people were either trying to deal with the crazed attacker, help the injured barman or rush to the main exit onto the street. Corey and Fin made it to the emergency exit.
“We need to get Amber! We can’t leave her!” Fin pleaded desperately.
“Okay, give me a second.” Corey said as he kicked the fire door open. As soon as it opened the music cut off and was replaced by an ear-piercing alarm. Corey pushed Fin out into the alleyway behind the bar. “Wait for me, I’ll get Amber.” With that, he disappeared once again into the now thinning crowd. The alarm notified the panicking people of the second exit, and they began to flood out of the bar into the alleyway. Minutes passed but they felt more like hours to Fin as he waited, fighting to stay in the spot Corey left him in against the flow of people exiting the bar. There was a gunshot, loud, even over the alarm. Fin felt his heart drop. Then 2 more gunshots. More minutes passed. Then just as Fin was about to give up hoping to see his friends again Corey and Amber made their way out of the bar. Their faces were drained of any colour, Fin could see that they were in shock.
“What the fuck happened in there? I heard gunshots!” Fin said as he grabbed his friends and pulled them into a tight embrace.
“We need to get out of here. Where can we go?” Corey was naturally pale even for a whiteboy but as he asked this question he looked like a ghost.
“My place, it’s not far from here.” Amber answered.
“Let’s go now! We need to get away before those fucking things follow us out into the alleyway!” Corey replied quickly while pulling the other two out of the alleyway.
“What things?” Fin tried to ask but the question was lost in the panic as the trio ran all the way back to Amber’s apartment.

By the time they made their way to Amber’s place Corey and Amber had closed themselves off completely. They refused to answer any of Fin’s questions. As soon as they got in, they helped each other move the couch and coffee table in front of the entrance. They were obviously in shock, so Fin didn’t want to push his friends too much. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder what they had seen that made them this scared. Until today, Fin was sure that Corey didn’t even know how to be afraid of anything anymore. He was the toughest, most fearless, man that Fin had ever met. It’s part of what made Fin fall so hard for him. When around Corey Fin just felt safe. What on Earth had shaken this man who was brave to the point of foolishness?

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