Umbrella Surveillance System
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Buck Rogers Buck, bandaged and having chugged half a bottle of aspirin miraculously salvaged, is laying out on a couch in the theater's lounge. It's testament to his own fortitude that with a bit of wound cleaning, assistance in the stitching from his team, and some free time, he's already looking stronger and healthier-- oh, sure, every inch of him aches, thus why he's become a human vegetable for a day or so, but he's clearly not going to die. "You know," he remarks, turning his head and looking over toward the girl who'd managed to find the stash of OTC painkillers, "my leg hasn't ached like this since I crashed that fucking motorcycle."

Turn back the clock to a few weeks ago.

Lillian escaped the thieves and scoundrels who broke into her uncle's plush estate, narrowly dodging a few stray bullets fired into the night. She made it to the light woods of a nearby park, taking cover past the trees, losing herself in the dense foliage made all the worse by panic and shadows. The city around her is loud, alert, the wind sounding like the wailing of the dead. The sirens of police and emergency vehicles, the roars of engines, screams-- it's a chaotic mess, and the scum of the earth is ready to take advantage, as she's seen. She roughly knows the location of Buck's apartment.. it's through the park, past the little streams and foot bridges, past the large statue of some old figure important to local history, fondly dubbed The Monument by locals, and then further across town.

Buck, for his part, is struggling with a stolen motorcycle, making his way wildly through the busy, trouble-strewn streets.
Lillian     Lillian, looking less than stellar after who knows how long away from a proper mani-pedi and a truly relaxing bath, gives Buck an expression of utter sympathy. "It's amazing that you managed to keep yourself intact, all things considered. Just because you're leading us through all this craziness, doesn't mean you have to risk life and limb. There's such a thing as a strategic retreat, you know." Tossing a jingling bottle of pills onto Buck's chest, she locates a perch on the arm rest near his feet. "I miss that motorcycle. We could've used it..."

    A few weeks ago, Lillian was racing through the local park like her life depended upon it - which, considering she lost her purse and had bullets fired at her, may have been dreadfully true. Leaping wildly through the dense foliage, plants and branches unwittingly scratch her knees and the extravagant fabric of her clothes. Exhausted and breathing hard, her legs quickly begin to ache. Heart hammering and face flushed with expended adrenaline, every step begins to feel like slogging through hip-deep mud. Ultimately, she runs herself quite literally to the ground, collapsing to her knees and slamming her hands onto the grass. She's not so far from a stream, but she has to take a break. She can't keep running. Thankfully, she couldn't remember the sound of anyone following her for a while, but exertions cloud her absolute certainty of that hopeful prospect. In any case, she takes this moment to grab a couple breaths, sweat dribbling from her brow to rain down across the Earth.
Buck Rogers "We *did* strategically retreat," the wounded giant gripes, though vocal tone and the upward half-cocked curve of his mouth suggests good humor. "I'm telling you, baby girl, you don't wanna see those things. Their bodies all bleeding like a stuffed pig." He favors his left arm, the right only recently pushed back into its socket, and scratches his chest. The stitching itches something fierce, beneath the dressing, and the healing process has had him topless and baking in his own heat for awhile. "Yeah.. well, it was a bitch to handle; it must've been busted."

Buck swerves past a civilian walking back and forth in the middle of the street, clutching his face; blood drips from his lips, and hanging out of a nearby parked car, passenger door open, is a woman whose face and fingers have been partially eaten. It's only the wedding ring she wears that protected the lower joint. The motorcycle's engine purrs like a kitten, and it navigates with smooth and perfect mechanical precision.

Off at the park, still about fifteen to twenty minutes away if traffic is good, Lillian's pursuit has long since given up. The chunky man has found better ways to occupy his time than chase some fleet-footed bitch. As she pants for breath and sweats, there's a rustle in the bushes near her, the sound of something bumping against a tree just a few yards away. She's unarmed-- but there are a few heavy rocks within grabbing distance, if she wants to pre-emptively strike or arm herself!
Lillian     Letting out a light-hearted scoff, Lillian retorts, "if this is a strategic retreat, then I wouldn't want to see what a standard desperate retreat looks like." She shakes her head soberly, "I'm sure it was horrid. I'm glad I managed to evade that particular nightmare fuel." When she notices Buck scratching his chest, she climbs off the edge of the couch and grabs his hand, "you can't do that. You're going to open your wounds again, and then what?" Breathing out a sigh, she notes, "anyway, even if it was busted, it's better than walking. But we'll get out of this somehow. I just know it. Uncle will realize I'm gone, and send a crew to pick me up. Something like that." She nods firmly, more for herself than anything.

    Weeks earlier:

    Desperately gulping down great lungfuls of air, Lillian could do little more than hold herself on hands and knees in utter exhaustion. Still, hearing the sound of a bush rustling forces her to act beyond her current means. Stiffening in fear, she rolls around until she's resting in a sitting position and staring warily at the source of the noise. Shuddering with her breaths, she gasps out, "hello?...s-someone there?"
Buck Rogers "At least a broken bone," Buck solemnly, grimly observes, resting his head on the couch's arm rest. He's too big for it by far, roughly half his body hanging off, propped up by a boot firmly on the ground. But it's comfortable enough for him to rest, and scratch, and close his eyes, listening to the wind whip outside the second-story windows near them. "The rulebook lists all the requirements, sweetheart." She grabs his itching hand and pulls it away.. and rather than fight, he grunts and lets her, brushing his thumb along her small knuckles. "Oh yeah.. reminds me, that tip off you gave me. Found a key and a map before I went off to the water treatment plant-- and found this half-hidden door leading down under the theater, stamped with a big ol' Umbrella logo."

There's another rustle. As tense as Lillian is, as dark and chaotic as the night has become, as filled with spooks and demons-- the rustle could be anything, is surely the worst possibility.. imagine, then, the surprise, when an old, battle-scarred man, drinking from a paper bag and wearing old military fatigues under a big jacket, stumbles into view. He reeks of alcohol, and he's missing a hand. "It's dangerous out here," he warns, staring at her. "You.. shouldn't be out so late, Sarah. Go home."

"Jesus," Buck spits, the name a curse upon his lips-- there's a fire truck blocking the whole road, having spun out of control and gone full horizontal, while a team of firemen try to put out the roaring flames surrounding them, threatening to spread from this ignited warehouse to the buildings nearby. A few police officers are with them, brave blue shirts. He backs up, and looks for a side street.
Lillian     Lillian winces in sympathy, "well, I hope you've learned your lesson to be more careful from now on, at least." She shakes her head grimly, "if something happens to you - something worse - we'll have much more difficulty getting out of this living hell..." Arching a brow, she simply inquires, "rulebook? There's a book to read about our special situation?" Squeezing Buck's hand, she replies, "you're welcome. You've got no idea how difficult it was to find that information." Hesitantly, she says, "so. An Umbrella logo? I wonder what it's for. Strange that there's a logo in the middle of some random theater..."

    Weeks Earlier:

    Noting that frightful rustle, Lillian shimmies backwards a few inches, still trying to regain her rebellious breath. There's really little imagination required to her surprise, as a man stumbles out from the bushes, since she lets out a scream of pure terror. Cowering back, she looks for something to defend herself with. When she finally notices it's just some drunken veteran, she says nothing in response to his strange delusional words. Instead, she bolts up onto her feet and staggers away as quickly as she can, gasping through the pain of overextending herself all the while. She continues onwards across the park, aiming to cross the foot bridges and surpass the old statue in her route to Buck's apartment.
Buck Rogers "Umbrella covered the renovation costs of this theater a few years back. A couple million down the drain to restore a 'symbol of culture and classic art in the modern age'." His eyes might be shut, but they roll all the same. "There's a plaque out front that says so. That company's got its fingers in everything." He grins at where she is judging from the sound of her voice, cracking one eye open. He's still very bruised, his upper body, chest, and shoulders especially mottled with yellow-tinged smears of black and blue. "I opened it up. There's claw marks on it, on the inside... on the foot-thick steel blast door."

--

The veteran wino says something unintelligible and coughs, doubling over, and it's that moment Lillian chooses to leave. Whether he's infected or just old, she's decided proximity is unwise, and made her way to the monument. She can see it from very far away, and even in the dark finding it proves simple-- like the pole star, obscured by the city's electrical light pollution, the Monument serves to orient the locals. It's a tall obelisk, with a powerful, marble foundation, a bunker-like block of stone and concrete. At its crown, some fifty feet in the air, is the bust of a man, watching over Raccoon City. There's an Umbrella-marked door with a keypad in the foundation, leading to the statue's interior; sometimes, school kids on field trips get brought in and taken on a tour by Umbrella-sponsored guides, walked up the obelisk's internal spiral stairs and allowed to gaze out on small platforms built upon it. But Lillian recalls hearing something, a rumor, once, from her uncle or an associate of his.. maybe on a paper she filed for him, or saw on a desk. There's more to it. If only she could remember the code, or find some way in!

Hopefully, she does. Because the strong lights illuminating the Monument from the ground, making it shine like the sun, have drawn so many people. Dozens and dozens and dozens, flooding the park grounds, a mix of infected, dead, and panicked humans. She's not alone, and running is no guarantee.
Lillian     "Hey, it's not entirely down the drain, Buck." She waves both arms in a dramatic fashion, "if it wasn't for Umbrella, we'd be out a base!" She collapses back on the couch, though this time chooses to perch near Buck's head, so she's close enough to still hold that treacherously scratching hand. "so claw marks and blast doors? Sounds..." She shudders, "familiar?"
--

    Whether old or something much worse, Lillian doesn't remain to find out. Instead, she's shooting off into the night again, and already feeling winded once more. So it does not take long for her to decide slowing down might be wise. By the time she's reached the statue, she's panting heavily, but at least doesn't feel like a landed fish. Glancing around to get her bearings however, she notices figures emerging from the dark. Worse, they're cutting off her escape routes with frightening speed. Glancing back and forth between the Monument and narrowing openings towards freedom, she realizes she's simply too tired to keep running. She has to find somewhere to rest. She can't keep going on endlessly. It's too far to Buck, but at least there's high ground conveniently nearby. Using precious seconds to ease her racing heartbeat, and close her options in the process, she rushes the rest of the way to the structure and hurries to scale the foundation. Sprinting as fast as her weary limbs can carry her, she uses that momentum to slam feet against the foundation and dart up just far enough to catch the edge. With a grunt and a groan, she crawls her other hand to the ledge, and then shimmies herself upwards to the waist. Finally, she rolls over the side and rests her back on solid infrastructure. Staring up at the sky, she spends these moments catching her breath for what seems like the dozenth time.
Buck Rogers "God bless Umbrella," Buck growls, palming his face with a dry chuckle. The hand covers the involuntary wince. "You look at that map, this city's got all sorts of facilities-- you can pick out dozens of ingress points, all over, some connected, some not." His hand falls and he opens his eyes, turning his head to stare out the dimly-lit window as the sun sets over the city. He beckons the girl over with his other hand. "It's a labyrinth, and who knows how many minotaurs are waiting for us?" A smile. "Always wanted to hunt something mythological."

--

Around the statue, the half a hundred dead have gathered. Some are slow, shambling walkers, who bear the marks of recent deaths and infections; by their ensembles, uncoordinated and in varying degrees of formality, the group has traveled through the city streets, picking up all manner of people. The slow ones, though they banshee-howl their hunger and their bodies move with a disgusting wetness, are unthreatening... it's the infected, mixed in, with greater speed and strength, that bear caution. Lillian can hear them, see them, their hunched frames blinking in and out of the lights, shadows dancing. Some of them speak words, real words, mumbling. Threatening. Some snarl. And a few of them try to claw their way up, though so far they're falling down and howling. Move.
Lillian     "I'm sure Uncle Jonah would be proud to hear you say that." Lillian smirks drily, but a flash of hope enters her hazel green eyes, "if the map really has what you say it does, then maybe we won't -have- to wait for my Uncle to arrive. Maybe one of them allows egress as much as ingress." Considering she sits beside Buck's head, she can hardly arrive much closer, but she finds herself rolling her eyes to his remark. "Just remember strategic retreat. I -hope- you don't value seeing 'minotaurs' more important than saving your own life. There are other police departments out there that could use an experienced officer..."
--

    When Lillian has the inclination and energy to glance over the side of the Monument, she stops to stare in rising awe and fear to count so many shambling figures. If she's going to survive this, she's got to get up and turn off the lights. But she's so tired. She's been running almost since Uncle Jonah's house. It would be so much easier just to fall asleep and hope none of the threatening silhouettes make their way up the statue. With an exhausted sigh, overheated and bone-weary, she silences the sweet suggestions with an effort of draining will. Next, she crawls up to a sitting position and unsteadily rises onto aching feet. Tilting her head up, she surveys her next task, considering her approach towards survival and safety.
Buck Rogers "It'll be worth checking it out," he agrees, tilting his head to bring the weight of his gaze from the reflective windows to the girl's pretty face. "There's no way to know what parts connect and what don't-- hell, could be underneath here there's just some maintenance tunnels for an office or a lab working on fluffy bunnies, nothing else. But we'll see."

--

The fatigue is a yoke over Lillian's neck. Is that what it feels like to be an ox in the fields? It's a hand on her head, a pressure on her knees to buckle, a tight sensation in her side that intensifies when she breathes in too deeply. Cardio's the most important thing when the world ends-- and most people haven't trained it at all. But heavy though her limbs feel, there's a strength inside them, a power from panic, a bloodstream injection of desperate fight-or-flight. It's a fidgety energy that demands it be expended before she literally dies.

Before her, she can see that the monument was decidedly not meant to be climbed. The stone and marble have cracked and dried in places, and her small, delicate fingers can feel out spots to grab; with the right footholds, and sufficient leverage, she could cling to it and shimmy her way up, bit by bit, though it'd be exhausting. She doesn't have enough in the tank to experiment. She has to go, or the things progressively closing in on her will be there.
Lillian     Snorting dubiously, Lillian returns, "right, Umbrella Corp's just busy researching how to produce the fluffiest of bunnies. Because that's what the people want." A beat, "on second thought, I wouldn't mind a bunny with genetically engineered fluffiness..." She sighs softly, "I don't understand. What happened?" She waves her heads expansively, "how did all of -this- happen?" She purses her lips uncertainly, and hazel eyes drift towards Buck for hope, "will we get out of this, Buck?"

    The exhaustion of her mad sprint from Uncle Jonah's home and the rush to escape whatever hell seems to be befalling Raccoon City - it was all beginning to converge upon Lillian like a suffocating blanket. Her adrenaline was swiftly running out, if she wasn't running on empty already. Aches and pains nefariously arrive to replace the numbness of desperation, and she already felt the precursors to surrender. Uselessly rubbing her cramping side, she lifts that same hand to wipe away a veritable film of slippery sweat from her brow. Breathing was a challenge, not to mention merely standing on two feet, and her eyelids felt like they each weighed half a pound.

    Tucking her cheek in against her teeth, she bit down until she could taste just a bit of blood. It was enough to remind her body threat was still near, and she approached the monument to continue her treacherous climb. Hands lifting to cracked stone and marble, she groans to lift her tired form. All she had to do was take one handhold at a time - to place on foot up and then the other. That's all she need truly concentrate on. The rest will come after. All she has to do is persevere.
Buck Rogers "I'll tell you what happened," the big, reclining man says, reaching over to cup Lillian's cheek. He's half-scowling. "God decided on a test run for the end times, and we're the lucky sons of bitches getting front-row tickets." That scowl turns to smile, a flash of teeth, eyes crinkled. "You're gonna be just fine, beautiful. C'mon-- I'm unstoppable."

--

The Infected show no signs of pain or fatigue. Even when their fingernails split and rip off in bleeding giblets, they continue to smash their hands into the monument's base, clawing at it, climbing. Eventually, one of them will make it; eventually, the bodies will have piled sufficiently to form a ramp, letting them clamber up. Everywhere Lillian turns, she can see danger and despair, highlighted in such stark contrast by the power of the stationary lights that even the creases on their shirts stand out. As she looks out, a messy-haired head peeks out over the far edge yards away from her. One of them has climbed enough for her to see the whites of his eyes-- he is not rotten, though he is blooded, leaving dark red stains of his hands on the stone as he pulls himself over. He isn't dead; he breathes, and pants with exertion, but he looks so furious, so monstrous in the lines of his face that pull tight like the skinmask of a corpse. He stares at her. He screams, and it's primal and human.

She rushes up. Perhaps the scream jolted some hidden reserve of energy, some animal instinct-- the girl practically flies up, stepping and shimmying with agile expertise, until she's a solid ten feet up the slab. Beneath, the first infected to arrive growls and smacks at the stone, frustrated, banging his head over and over until it cracks and weeps like a sore. Others are coming.

Climb.
Lillian     Smirking lightly at said reclining man, Lillian feels her cheeks warm at that contact, "well. For once in my life, I think I'd prefer the nosebleed section, if I can't get my refund entirely." Rolling her eyes, she remarks, "just remember: strategic retreats are a thing, even for unstoppable men. Especially for unstoppable men. I don't want you running yourself to the ground, when we could just as easily find a safer route..."
--

    This was one of her nightmares. Except, this particular nightmare does not seem to want to end. Instead, every progressive second feels worse, as her body retaliates against her stubborn will to survive. She indeed glances out, watching in horror and astonishment while the men and women of Raccoon City relentlessly follow her up the monument. Then again, could they truly still be called men and women, and not monsters our mindless shades of their former selves? Such deathly white eyes and bloody figures surely don't belong to the living. She forces herself to look away, lest the sight cause her to lose hope. She climbs, and climbs, and climbs, and concentrates on nothing more. Only once she finds the top or falls to the bottom can she dare allow herself any other awareness. The inhuman growls and sickening crunch of bone come to her from a distant horizon, and she silences all but one thought and one concept from her mind.

    To climb.
Buck Rogers Buck grunts and sits up on the undersized couch, the whole thing groaning with his weight. His hands fall and he turns Lillian around, sitting her down on the little bit of cushion between his legs. "Don't wanna be too high up," he says, running his hands from her nape down her shoulders, thumbs pressed to her shoulderblades. "Aren't you afraid of heights? Heh, like that statue you said you were King Konging it at," a firmer press, a kneading of tissue, "that's what, six stories? Seven?"

--

Her lungs burn. They're desperate for oxygen, her heart working double shifts, a beat as fast as a rainstorm melody-- bum-bum-bump, bum-bum-bump, sweating bullets, her thick hair all wet and tangled with forest debris. She climb, climb, climbs, wisely not looking down, hyper-focused. That will to live is rewarded as she ascends, a good twenty-five feet above the ground now. She's well at the point where a fall, if not immediately lethal, is going to cripple her amidst the mob. But just a little higher.. just out of reach, a little more, is the little reinforced balcony jutting out of its side for the people to stand on and view the world. This part is tricky; she needs to not merely climb, but lift her legs, get a firm grip, and overcome the railing, all without falling.

It's the single most difficult portion of her climb. And she can hear things below.
Lillian     Lillian glances aside to watch Buck shift on the couch, only for her eyes to widen in surprise when he guides her from armrest to seat. Giggling bashfully, she notices hands falling upon her back and groans wearily. "Buck, whoever taught you to massage? Please thank them for me?" Blushing faintly, she admits with a chuckle, "King Kong is just a -slight- exaggeration of how things went down." A grunt, glad to know someone that can help ease the aches and pains from a tired body. "Wow, does my achievement grow with every retelling? I can't wait to hear you one day tell people I scaled a hundred story statue like it was nothing. You know full well I was lucky to survive that particular nightmare..."
--

    If she could see herself in the mirror, Lillian may very well have fainted at the terrible sight. Thankfully, she could not, or else all her climbing would be for naught. Heart racing, sweat pouring, attire and hair in shambles, she climbs dangerously strained limbs up the side of the monument with fervent determination. It takes her a moment to register the chill touch of metal hugged between her fingers and the fact that she's risen to the top - shifting gears from her hyper focus was not an immediate thing. By the time she earns back enough awareness to continue, she's hanging from the bottom post of a balcony and her arms strain under the dead weight of a dangling body. Shuddering with the strain, she grits her teeth and groans, tugging herself up enough to tentatively hool fingers over the top of the railing. Slick with sweat and aching from incredible fatigue, those same digits slip and she swings backwards, thumping against the wall. She elicits a half-sob of frustration, and tries again, using her own body as extra momentum. Finally, she gets a better hold, and veritably convulses to lift bring her feet up on the railing. After that, she merely needs to roll forward, and she collapses painfully onto the balcony. Moments later, drained beyond reason, she blacks out.
Buck Rogers "You learn all sorts of things in prison," Buck deadpans, careful not to squeeze the slip of a girl too hard. "And nah, I've seen that half-assed Rushmore. Who just sticks a head on top of a slab? Looks like a Pez dispenser. You had to climb forty, fifty, eight hundred feet up, easy."

--

About thirty-three feet above the ground, Lillian catches her breath on the balcony. It's reinforced and metal, welded into the work, so there's no risk of it falling off; she can collapse to her heart's content, letting the adrenaline drip off her in wet bullets. It's a furnace inside her outfit, that hoody melting her, but provided dehydration doesn't kill her she's safe at last. Sure, there's a flood of bodies beneath her, but she's reached a height they can't follow-- though they try, punching at it, at each other, pushing, stumbling, falling. The infected that was closest to her even made it up admirably high, but as she looks over the ledge, vision swimming, blackening she sees him fall and tumble, decapitating himself as his chin catches the stout corner of the foundation far below. And to think, that could have been here, headless and with pretzels for bones. It's her last conscious thought.

When she awakens, the night has deepened, and the dead have partially moved on. The swarm is smaller; however long she was out, the city noises and stimuli were enough to draw many out, especially since she couldn't be reached. Out of sight, out of mind, eventually-- but not entirely. When she tries to enter, she'll find the little cheap door unlocked, as no one is expected to break in from there. There's a narrow staircase leading down to the base, where she can see the interior of the locked door she couldn't reach before. It is more like a bunker from the inside, squat and wide, strewn with tables, chairs, a TV, a radio, even a computer, alongside a cooler and mini-fridge. It's just.. a room. But there's a partially-roped off exit leading down into darkness.
Lillian     Laughing easily and oh so obviously relishing this massage, Lillian retorts, "in prison? I thought you were one of the most elite police?" A short pause, "unless you like, traded massages for information and favors. Or something similarly unconventional. Like straight out of some movie, where the cop balances on the line of the law, to investigate in a way others can't or won't." She grins at this idea, only to giggle even more, "right, I climbed eight hundred feet up a statue in the middle of Raccoon City. Totally believable. You just can't find a monument like that anymore because reasons."
--

    Lillian wakes up, strangely famished for pretzels. With a groan, she touches her cheek, noticing the soreness there from when she bit herself to stay conscious. She soon notices the rest of her body aches as well, with every motion causing her to feel a tiny shiver run up her spine. It's difficult to see much beyond the landing, but she sits up to glance around nonetheless. Shakily, using the railing as a crutch, she gets up onto her feet. She feels mind-numbingly hot, and winces to slowly tug away her clinging hoodie. She looks out on the city in disbelief, digesting the last few hours of impossible moments and desperate near-deaths. Eventually, too tired to bend down and pick up her sweater, she passes the garment and half-stumbles to the door. Relieved to watch it easily swing ajar, she steps within and surveys her new surroundings. A bit of exploration is in order, so she carefully travels down the stairs, peering into the darkness until she can find a light switch. She practically pounces on the mini-fridge, throwing its door open to indiscriminately consume its contents. When she regains control of herself, the computer's the next stop. She tries to access the outside world through the device, hoping beyond hope to glean even a little information about what the hell happened and if anyone in the city is even still alive. Unless she fails with Plan A, she completely ignores the TV and grossly antiquated radio, simply happy to relax there for a time.

    At least an hour passes before she moves on, questing into the roped-off partition of the monument with whatever supplies she could find.
Buck Rogers The man's thick, scarred knuckles crack as he kneads, nodding. "I am in S.T.A.R.S.," he confirms, though it feels like a lifetime ago. "But I did a stint in prison when I turned eighteen. I was in a bad place back then. Head wasn't on right." She can feel him shrug, discerned through the weight and distribution of his touch as his arms partial-lift. "Learned a few hard lessons. Big one being that I was an ass-backwards idiot of a teenager, ungrateful and deserving of every lick I got." He grins, and his hand lifts to stroke her hair. "Did I say eight? I meant a thousand."

--

The food is mostly junk. There's some frozen microwaveable treats, chips, candies. Even a cooled-off thing of nachos, left in front of a pushed-out chair like someone fled in a hurry. The computer has no internet connection, operating purely on its own internal networks. The savvy young lady's navigation of it results in access to security cameras around the Monument and observing some of the local roads and walkways that lead to it. She can see the dead and get an approximate understanding of her surroundings-- including, in one brief glimmer of a traffic cam, an enormous man in heavy black armor driving toward the park, only to hit a pothole, lose control, and skid across the fresh-tarred black street with a skid of sparks and a soundless crash. He tumbles, and smacks his head hard enough against a car to split the bike helmet in two, as the motorcycle lays heavy on his leg.

The radio plays music, and the TV is a repeated emergency broadcast, one she's heard many times before. Overall, this area seems... normal. And the stairwell leads to what seems to be a basement, filled with boxes and gleaming off-white walls. There's a note tacked to a board that gives her the main entrance's access code, and includes a quick, handwritten note: JERRY, IF YOU SEE THIS, LEAVE. EVERYTHING IS FUCKED. WHAT HAPPENED? I SEALED THE FRONT, TAKING THE MAINT. TUNNEL PAST THE LAB TO THE SHED. I CAN SEE THEM ON THE CAMERAS.
Lillian     "You were in prison?" Lillian blinks in surprise, though she's half-distracted by the wondrous kneading of aching muscles. "Quite the turn-around, Buck. It must be an interesting story to go from that to an elite police officer. You've certainly led a far more noteworthy life than I have. I'm just some random party girl lucky enough to be blessed with parents that can afford an expensive prep school." A slight shrug, "well, that and my Uncle's VP of Umbrella Europe. Also a token of luck." Sensing the touch a fingers through hair, she giggles and states, "now a thousand, mmmm? My friends would never believe it."
--

    Junk food still fuels an empty stomach and a tired body, perhaps more so than any salad or fruit could ever dream to. After turning her hands into a mess of melted chocolate and nacho debris, Lillian ripped away her tights to use as a makeshift towel - for sweat and junk food both. Besides, she was overheating in them at least as much as her hoodie, so she may as well be a bit resourceful. The computer was a massive disappointment, but at least the camera system could be used for sadistic entertainment while she enjoyed her meal. Afterwards, she forces herself to experiment with how to turn on a radio, since the tv was practically useless. Well, if nothing else, there were snacks, and snacks were exactly what she needed.

    Entering the basement, she idly examined a few of the boxes, before locating a board with a note. "A tunnel out of this hellhole? Yes please." Finishing the last of a candy bar, she tosses the wrapper aside and tucks the note in her left boot. Next, she resumes her trek, picking the same route as 'Jerry's' friend through the maintenance tunnel.
Buck Rogers "Maybe I'll tell you about it some day," Buck volunteers, "got a few stories near as cool as the ones we're in now." He hooks his arms around her waist. "Their loss. I like a girl knows her way around big hard things." Classy.

--

Satiated and refreshed, it doesn't take Lillian long to find the side tunnel the note mentions-- it's partially concealed behind some of the boxes, likely moved there to cover the entrance as Jerry's friend departed. The ceiling is low, it isn't wide at all, and it seems like it definitely isn't part of the Umbrella executive suite-- it suits the maintenance name, having pipes and panels and vent coverings galore, leading in long straight lines in dim conditions lit by fading emergency lights. She's lucky she's clever-eyed enough to find her way, though it's helped by the abundance of locked doors she can't enter without the key, including one big gated entrance to a branching tunnel leading left and down. Through the little glass eye-window in the gateway door, she can see a much cleaner, brighter area, looking medical, sterile, even-- bright and white and pristine, with glass chambers and red dotted lines, like a hospital walkway. But try as she might, she can't open it... so she resumes, and eventually winds up coming up through a trap door the key she swiped before works on, climbing up in a tool shed in a shed on the park's edge, well away from the roaming beasts. It's adjacent the road she saw the man on the traffic cam crash on-- though he's a few blocks down, and likely walking, now. But she's alive, and safe, and the street is clear.