|Leon Kennedy||It's Friday night in Raccoon City. The night is relatively warm, for the standards of the season, and Leon Kennedy is out enjoying a rare night off since he began working for the RPD. Streetlights line this section of the sidewalk, dark wrought iron spears with globes of light set at their terminus. It's through this amber-colored nighttime magic that the off-duty officer walks, still wearing his black leather boots with casual clothing. The clock tower above him reads just shy of 9:00 PM, and in the distance, a train rattles on, the faint sound of its whistle carving through the air as it draws closer to the station.|
|Claire Redfield||It's been long day and an even longer week for Claire Redfield.. her friend has been taken by god only knows who, a virus is running rampent through the city unchecked, and the dead are starting to rise... she is, without a doubt, one of the few people who has seen them with her own eyes.. and nobody believes her. She's almost started doubting herself. Who wouldn't?
She's sitting at the train station with her cellphone, sending a text to one of her online contacts, frowning at the reply while music runs right into her earphones. A red lollipop hanging from one corner of her mouth, knees folded up on the bench beneath her and her big dufflebag leaning nearby with all the items anyone would need to bug the hell out if the world suddenly ends.
|Leon Kennedy||Leon, of course, has run into Claire approximately one time, but he didn't seem averse to believing her claims, not when she had the evidence to back them up, at least. Seeing is believing, though, and one picture of a squirrel with rigor mortis does not an apocalypse make.
The young man is wandering along, hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans, an athletic material shirt untucked under his Gore-tex type jacket and his stupid police boots don't do much to make him look less like a jock or total cop noob, but at least his hair is on point, and that charismatic smile redeems him when he spies Claire curled up on the bench. "Claire Redfield," he greets casually, that easy smile spreading across his face, his perfect teeth almost glowing in the light of the streetlamp. "Texting your boyfriend?"
|Claire Redfield||Claire looks down at the screen of her phone then brings it up to speed thumb a reply and lay it down on the bench beside her in the time it takes Leon to make it over to her... She notices him approaching, almost like a hawk really, and from the corner of her eye even.. Her eyes narrow a little behind her black framed glasses and she draws a few bangs behind her ear where they're hanging beneath her sick poop green beanie.
"No." She answers, scrutiny in her eyes, "Are you trying to find out if I'm single because that was cheesy af, dude.."
|Leon Kennedy||"Cheese makes everything better," Leon replies, truthfully, blithely, and with a charming smile. "But, no, I just thought that was a better introduction than 'Hey, how you been since we raided that empty house together'," he continues, with a small shrug.
His clothing goes a long way towards hiding the slight bulge riding above his back pocket on the right hand side, a nice perk about cool weather: it makes it a lot easier to pack heat. The smile fades slightly as his expression turns more serious, brows drawing together thoughtfully. "But, uh, speaking of that, I did some more digging, and... well, it looks like there's definitely more going on than they're letting on is going on."
|Claire Redfield||Like Claire's gortex jacket which could easily hide a magnum revolver in one of the inner hidden pockets. It could hide a sawed off shotgun, proven fact. She stares up at Leon with a bland expression, only glancing away when the phone beside her beeps through her headphones.
"You think?" She asks, not even sounding sarcastic. "What did you hear? The ninty year old woman who suddenly started running around the house chasing her cat or the woman who jumped up a second before embalming and nearly tore the morticians face off?"
|Leon Kennedy||"..." Leon just looks at Claire, slightly speechless. It seems his detective skills need a little polishing. Then again, they're /brand new/ investigative abilities. He didn't have time for journalism in high school, he was too busy tearing it up out on the field. "Uh, no, I didn't hear about those," he admits lamely, looking down at his boots for a second. "But that would tend to confirm, you know, the theory."|
|Claire Redfield||"Huh..." Claire says with another glance at her phone which she picks up to send off another text prior to resuming her stare at the officer. "To be fair, I have dozens of people sending me information about this almost all day long.." The digital revolution after all. "It would, if there were any video of it. Always someone saying they saw it or heard it second hand.." She glances off into the middle distance, "But no first hand accounts. Which is what I'm trying to find."|
|Leon Kennedy||"Hm." Leon frowns thoughtfully, trying to work out a solution to the problem of finding something that's occurring seemingly randomly. "...what if, we went out in the woods and found one of those crazy animals, and then we trapped it and studied /that/ to see what's weird about it? All I've found so far is pictures of them once they're dead, and by then they're like. Normal dead dogs." His shoulders move up and down in a casual shrug. "-Are you waiting for someone out here? I'm not interrupting anything?"|
|Claire Redfield||Claire shakes her head and leans over towards her bag to pluck out a leather bound journal, flipping through to the back, and turns it around on the bench beside her. These animals are very much ''not'' dead, they are however very rotten. "Someone already did the heavy lifting for us." It's damn near a daily evolution of a handful of squirrels from early infection until they're rabid with information jotted into the margins. "But I've seen ''humans'' infected. With my own eyes..." She holds the journal out for Leon, "Mark... the guy who gave me the big ass magnum... he got bit on the arm by one. Ten minutes and his arm was nearly rotting off and he was vomiting blood.. another three minutes and he was mumbling incoherently until he ran off into the woods to shoot himself."|
|Leon Kennedy||"That can't be good," Leon replies, peering down at the journal and then sitting down as he picks it up, flipping through the pages, looking at the photos and skimming the notes. "...this looks real." He's not a photo manipulation expert, or anything, but unless this is the most extensive viral marketing campaign to date, this is real stuff. "You saw this happen?" He glances over at Claire, frowning. "That's some messed up shit."|
|Claire Redfield||"THat's because it is real." Claire Clairefies, "Ranger Jenny.." Pointing at the print in the margin, "I watched her stand up after her heart stopped... it was in the rearview mirror driving away from a group of about half a dozen rotten humans trying to eat us... but.." Her frown deepens, "But here we are pretending that the world is going to be completely okay." She clearly does not subscribe to that anymore. "My ...friend.. Sherry, she got kidnapped by god only knows who.. and this shit is happening."|
|Leon Kennedy||Leon frowns, still flipping through the pages, mulling over this information. "They can quarantine it," he replies, apparently accepting this information as fact. "They'll just round up the infected stuff and kill it off. It'll be messy but we can control it." Can they though? If it's being carried by everything from dogs to squirrels, can they contain it?|
|Claire Redfield||"Will they?" Claire tilts her head a little, "Done a fine job of that during the blizzard huh? What with the stories still circulating that it's going on... despite the fact they had black hawk helicoptors flying over head and unmarked paramilitary groups armed with heavy ordinance guarding checkpoints in and out of the city gunning down groups of ''rabid'' animals?" Claire nods slowly, "Oh yeah, I'm sure we're doing a bangup job... since the cops and STARS are all in on the cleanup." Except they're not, are they?|
|Leon Kennedy||"We're not 'in' on any clean-up," Leon refutes, shaking his head, his bangs tossing slightly to and fro with the motion. "I don't know anything about this other than what I've found out on my own and from you. None of this stuff is coming down from precinct. Someone is keeping this covered up from the RPD or someone in the RPD is keeping it covered up from the rest of us." The rookie cop uncertainly closes the journal and hands it back to Claire. "...there has to be something we can do to stop it from spreading."|
|Claire Redfield||"I think it's well past ''stopping it'', Leon." Claire says quietly, frowning a little as she reaches out for the journal and returns it to her bag. "We're at the event horizon.. nobody wanted to listen when we could have stopped it... now we have to save as many people as we can and start worrying about how we feel about ourselves we can't save everyone."|
|Leon Kennedy||"We can still stop it," Leon argues. "We have to. To protect the city, and the rest of the country." Classic Leon. "It's still small, we can stop it. There must be a way, if we can tell the rest of the RPD and S.T.A.R.S, then we could get it under control and keep it here and exterminate whatever infection is causing this."|
|Claire Redfield||Claire shakes her head slowly, "It took a week for you to come to terms with the idea that this wasn't just the random ramblings of a crazy college student.." She's staring up at him, except for the few times she glances down at her phone, but she always looks back up. "What exactly is your plan? Take all these pictures over and show them to the mayor? Who do you think paid for his election? The chief of police?" She quirks her mouth a little, "No, Leon... we might be able to convince individual officers, STARS, but we're not going to get a sanction on this. Not while the ''Umbrella'' is open.. Thankfully, it's about to start raining shit."|
|Leon Kennedy||Leon frowns again. He's doing a lot of that this conversation. He fidgets with the journal, picking at the binding. "...But if we threatened to go to the media, he'd have to take action. We have to do /something/, Claire. We have to stop this thing from spreading, or innocent people are gonna die." His tone rises in pitch, speed, and volume as he rants on, but then he cuts off, his face hardening with determination. "I'm not gonna let that happen."|
|Claire Redfield||"Stop." Claire waves her hands, suddenly not having fun pointing out the holes in his plan, "I tried to threaten media... I actually showed these pictures at a rally a few nights ago, on campus, in front of hundreds of people and guess what? Nobody gave a shit. Leon, we're not working with an over abundance of highly educated rocket scientists here.." She fishes up her bag and slips her phone in her pocket, "You're trying to be a boyscout, but you're focusing it on the wrong thing... you want to help people? Start stockpiling food... people are going to need food." She was sitting with a bug out bag at a train station...
It is hard not to start connecting the dots.
"Seriously, the ''stop this ship'' is gone. Start thinking ''how do we survive this''."
|Leon Kennedy||Leon might be on the naive side, but he's not dumb. His eyes drift down to her bag, some sort of high-quality, low-weight gear that's clearly intended for high performance, and the locale is not lost on him. "...you're getting out. You're /leaving/ everyone, leaving them to die. You know and you're leaving." He's not having fun anymore either. "How can you just abandon these people? We have to do /something/. We have to protect them. That's my job, I'm here to protect this city." He thumbs his chest stubbornly, not willing to give up on Raccoon so easily.|
|Claire Redfield||"I've sat here every night for a month, Leon." Claire says, tossing her bag up onto her shoulder, "Trying to build up the nerve to get out of this city.." She was ''born'' here, her brother is here somewhere, "I haven't left them yet. I keep trying, even though everyone I've told thinks I'm out of my damn mind. The worst part? When they see it for themselves, they'll think it was them telling the world..." She laughs a little, taking just a little selfish, I saw it first, for herself. "I told you how to help, start stockpiling food.. We can set up a place where people can be safe. Get people to help us defend it.." She's seen it, she knows what's coming. "I'm not leaving, though."
The train pulls away, again, without her on it.
"I still want to know ''why'' this is happening." Because it ''is'' going to happen.
|Leon Kennedy||Leon listens quietly while Claire explains her actions, finally nodding when she admits she's not managed to be selfish enough to ditch the city entirely. "If no one else is going to help us, then we have to help them on our own," he decides, getting up off the bench and handing her the journal. "Where are you hunkering down, then? My apartment is trash, there's no way I can protect anything or anyone there."|
|Claire Redfield||"I don't know." Claire admits, "Somewhere central..." She looks around and, finally, up at the clock tower. Head turned back a little as she watches the hands click over the five. 09:25. "Like here." Pointing up at it, "Start buying as much food as you can... take it to your apartment." She squints, "We'll move it here if I'm right.. and throw a raging dinner part if I'm not."|
|Leon Kennedy||"Canned beans and beef jerky," Leon replies, that casual smile finally returning for a cameo when he decides the situation is being handled appropriately. They're not abandoning anyone to die. That will come later, of course. "Sounds like my kind of dinner party."|
|Claire Redfield||"You're such a cheese ball..." Claire shakes her head, "MREs. They're terrible for you... get crates of them.. easy to transport." She motions, "There's an army surplus story over on Raccoon Blvd. I'll go by goodwill and get blankets, jackets, and clothes."|
|Leon Kennedy||"We need variety, too," Leon replies, shrugging. "Besides, I like baked beans." What a weirdo. "We should probably stockpile ammo if we can, too." Luckily gun control hasn't really taken off in Raccoon City, to any significant degree. By which we mean, almost everyone here is packing. It's a crazy little hick city gone tech-hub when Umbrella moved in. "If we're right about this, it's gonna get hard to find."|
|Claire Redfield||"You're probably right." Claire admits with a sour expression, "My brother probably has a whole bunker full of ammunition..." She reasons, glancing back in the direction of Elma Street, "He left me a key... I'm still kind of hoping I'm wrong, even though I know I'm not." She says, adjusting her bag, "But... I'm going to go take a look in his stores and see what parishables he's got on hand. Let's meet back here when operation doomsday preper is in full swing."|
|Leon Kennedy||"Sounds like a plan," Leon confirms, nodding. "The army surplus store will have good clothing and stuff too," he reasons, with a small shrug. "I'll check it out while I'm there." Which won't be till tomorrow, stuff is closed at 9:30. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his Nokia, chucking it towards her. "Put yourself in."|
|Claire Redfield||"Already lost my number..." Claire shakes her head at Leon and thumbs over her phone quickly, sending him a text message he probably wont know how to answer; ''Its Claire, learn to tech'' She never grabs the nokia. "And get a better phone... soon as the cell service goes down, your analog piece of crap is going to be a very colorful, sliding paper weight." Frowning, she slings her bag on both shoulders and tucks her smartphone into a pouch on the harnass.|