Home > The Umbrella Conspiracy (Resident Evil #1)

The Umbrella Conspiracy (Resident Evil #1)
Author: S.D. Perry

PROLOGUE

Latham Weekly, June 2, 1998

BIZARRE MURDERS COMMITTED IN RACCOON CITY

The mutilated body of forty-two-year-old Anna Mitaki was discovered late yesterday in an abandoned lot not far from her home in northwest Raccoon City, making her the fourth victim of the supposed "cannibal killers" to be found in or near the Victory Lake district in the last month. Consistent with the coroner reports of the other recent victims, Mitaki's corpse showed evidence of having been partially eaten, the bite patterns apparently formed by human jaws.

Shortly after the discovery of Miss Mitaki by two joggers at approximately nine o'clock last night, Chief Irons made a brief statement insisting that the RPD is "working diligently to apprehend the perpetrators of such heinous crimes" and that he is currently consulting with city officials about more drastic protection measures for Raccoon citizens.

In addition to the murderous spree of the cannibal killers, three others have died from probable animal attacks in Raccoon Forest in the past several weeks, bringing the toll of mysterious deaths up to seven. . . .

Raccoon Times, June 22, 1998

HORROR IN RACCOON CITY

MORE VICTIMS DEAD

The bodies of a young couple were found

early Sunday morning in Victory Park, making Deanne Rusch and Christopher Smith the eighth and ninth victims in the reign of violence that has terrorized the city since mid-May of this year.

Both victims, aged 19, were reported as missing by concerned parents late Saturday night and were discovered by police officers on the west bank of Victory Lake at approximately 2 A.M. Although no formal statement has been issued .by the police department, witnesses to the discovery confirm that both youths suffered wounds similar to those found on prior victims. Whether or not the attackers were human or animal has yet to be announced.

According to friends of the young couple, the two had talked about tracking down the rumored "wild dogs"

recently spotted in the heavily forested park and had planned to violate the city-wide curfew in order to see one of the alleged nocturnal creatures.

Mayor Harris has scheduled a press conference for this afternoon, and is expected to make an announcement regarding the current crisis, calling for a stricter enforcement of the curfew. .

Cityside, July 21, 1998

"S.T.A.R.S." SPECIAL TACTICS AND RESCUE

SQUAD SENT TO SAVE RACCOON CITY

With the reported disappearance of three

hikers in Raccoon Forest earlier this week, city officials have finally called for a roadblock on rural Route 6 at the foothills of the Arklay Mountains. Police Chief Brian Irons announced yesterday that the S.T.A.R.S. will participate full-time in the search for the hikers and will also be working closely with the RPD until there is an end to the rash of murders and disappearances that are destroying our community Chief Irons, a former S.T.A.R.S. member himself, said today (in an exclusive Cityside telephone interview) that it is

"high time to employ the talents of these dedicated men and women toward the safety of this city. We've had nine brutal murders here in less than two months, and at least five disappearances now-and all of these events have taken place in a close proximity to Raccoon Forest. This leads us to believe that the perpetrators of these crimes may be hiding somewhere in the Victory Lake district, and the S.T.A.R.S.

have just the kind of experience we need to find them."

When asked why the S.T.A.R.S. hadn't been assigned to these cases until now, Chief Irons would only say that the S.T.A.R.S. have been assisting the RPD since the beginning and that they would be a "welcome addition" to the task force currently working on the murders full-time.

Founded in New York in 1967, the privately funded S.T.A.R.S. organization was originally created as a measure against cult-affiliated terrorism by a group of retired military officials and ex-field operatives from both the CIA and FBI.

Under the guidance of former NSDA (National Security and Defense Agency) director Marco Palmieri, the group quickly expanded its services to include everything from hostage negotiation and code breaking to riot control. Working with local police agencies, each branch office of the S.T.A.R.S. is designed to work as a complete unit itself. The S.T.A.R.S.

set up its Raccoon City branch through the fundraising efforts of several local businesses in 1972 and is currently led by Captain Albert Wesker, promoted to the position less than six months ago.

ONE

Jill was already late for the briefing when she somehow managed to drop her keys into her cup of coffee on the way out the door. There was a muted ting as they hit the bottom, and as she paused in mid-stride, staring in disbelief at the steaming ceramic mug, the thick stack of files she carried under her other arm slid smoothly to the floor. Paper clips and sticky notes scattered across the tan carpeting.

"Ah, shit."

She checked her watch as she turned back toward the kitchen, cup in hand. Wesker had called the meeting for 1900 sharp, which meant she had about nine minutes to make the ten-minute drive, find parking and get her butt into a chair. The first full disclosure meeting since the S.T.A.R.S. had gotten the case - hell, the first real meeting since she'd made the Raccoon transfer-and she was going to be late.

Figures. Probably the first time in years I actually give a rat's ass about being on time and I fall apart at the door. . . .

Muttering darkly she hurried to the sink, feeling tense and angry with herself for not getting ready earlier. It was the case, the goddamn case. She'd picked up her copies of the ME files right after breakfast and spent all day digging through the reports, searching for something that the cops had somehow missed and feeling more and more frustrated as the day slipped past and she'd failed to come up with anything new.

She dumped the mug and scooped up the warm, wet keys, wiping them against her jeans as she hurried back to the front door. She crouched down to gather the files and stopped, staring down at the glossy color photo that had ended up on top.

Oh, girls. . . .

She picked it up slowly, knowing that she didn't have time and yet unable to look away from the tiny, blood-spattered faces. She felt the knots of tension that had been building all day intensify, and for a moment it was all she could do to breathe as she stared at the crime scene photo. Becky and Priscilla McGee, ages nine and seven. She'd flipped past it earlier, telling herself that there was nothing there she needed to see. . . .

. . . But it isn 't true, is it? You can keep pretending, or you can admit it-everything's different now, it's been different since the day they died.

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