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BIOHAZARD 5 is the 2009 novelization of Resident Evil 5 written by Benny Matsuyama. It is part of the BIOHAZARD 5 kaitaishinsho guidebook. Due to the status of Studio BentStuff and the Famitsu-Capcom partnership, Benny Matsuyama's works are to be accepted as part of the mainstream canon.

Plot

Prologue

Chris Redfield ponders to himself if the world is worth protecting. In the past few years he has seen destruction brought about by capitalist greed, of people opening the lid of Hell, unleashing bioterrorism in the quest for money.

In 2003 Chris was a member of a private anti-bioterrorism taskforce. Deep in a secret Russian facility he saw the end of Umbrella in another biohazard, and believed the 21st century was rid of the scourge for good. In fact, Umbrella's research continued on in other forms, through Umbrella scientists fleeing to other benefactors. Now focusing on a non-military client, these third party producers sell on to terrorists. Within the BSAA, Chris is known for his impressive record in counter-terrorism operations, but he himself has long since been hit by the loss of so many of his friends in this conflict.

Kijuju is a city in West Africa Chris is being sent to. He picks up a radio broadcast from inside the city in a local language. Chris is only familiar with a few words in the language, but recognises "paradise", "salvation", "death" and "judgment". The city survived its country's civil war, but there is a great risk of another kicking up due to widespread disapproval of the new government. This is a situation where terrorism and, therefore, bioterrorism, can thrive. Chris' role in this mission is to identify and apprehend a B.O.W. smuggler, but personally wishes to confirm the authenticity of some rumours he has heard for some time. As he leaves his car, he is met by his new partner, Sheva Alomar. Moving through the streets of the city, the townsfolk disappear, leaving an eerie feeling which reminds Chris of other missions. He feels Kijuju no longer exists, that this is Hell in Kijuju form after yet another person has opened the lid with monsters dressed as people had taken over.

Chapter 1

Arriving at Kijuju with his partner Sheva Alomar, Chris thinks to himself if he needs another partner to tag along for the mission as the previous missions beforehand all end up with him escaping unscathed while his numerous partners died to it. For the past few years, he has never formed an proper team within the BSAA and often prefers himself to finish the task with his impressive experiences and endurances as he is tired the aspect of being the sole survivor and hopes to sacrifice himself when an situation goes awry.

Since recent changes in the political side of the country, Kijuju has not been stable for quite a while with its situation getting worse by the hour. Communication has been broken down indefinitely, and the civilians are feeling pretty low with foreigners especially those who're acting under the guise of the world police are enough to break the mental limit of the people hence bringing the necessity of an guide who understands the local language.

According to the intel that they have received, Chris has managed to identify the identity of the weapons smuggler whom he has been tracking down with the smuggler's role now as only an observer. Their main objective is to follow after the forces that have already taken over the area and escort the arrested smuggler out of the area. The mission takes an turn for the worse when Chris and Sheva met the Alpha Team, they noticed the behavior of the Kijuju people are similar to that of villagers in Spain in an biohazardous outbreak occurred 5 years ago. In the report, Chris learns of the Plaga parasite which has the ability to take over the nervous system of the human body and use the brain to engage in battle, effectively turning the person into a biological weapon. Since the incident, the Plaga parasite is modified and upgrade with it's ability now works in 10 seconds and scattered across the Kijuju area.

The people starts to attack the pair with them able to use human language to communicate and tell each other the location of their victims. Furthermore, they are capable of getting over barriers and breaking down doors to reach them with Chris thinking that these people are nothing more than demons with simple thoughts of only catching, biting and tearing apart. Despite of the horrific scenery, Sheva manages to take down few of them with her trusting that Chris will have her back just as he does with hers. Seeing her skills and potential, Chris decides that he will not die just yet with him able to lose his full potential as the face-figure of anti-bioterrorism once again.

Chapter 2

Sometime after, Chris looks at the information from the evidence they have confiscated at the dealing place for the biological weapon among them is an image displayed on the PDA screen issued by the BSAA. Although the faint face is illuminated by a weak light, and the blurry rim of the face is full of fantasy colors, this image had given Chris the hope that Jill, who had sacrificed herself and jumped off a cliff to save Chris in an mission, is still alive with the background of a laboratory. From the beginning, Chris had joined this particular operation cause he had obtained some sort of lead leaked by Irving on the black market when he was looking signs for Jill. As such, he makes his way into the team and positioned himself to deal with this guy who's supposed to be handled by the Alpha team.

But the situation has gone out of hand as they find themselves dealing with what locals called "Majini", the people that had been sacrificed and controlled by the newly improved parasites with the scene reminding Chris of Raccoon City when it got consumed by the giant fire along him fearing that the area might be destroyed completely in order to cover up the incident.

Ricardo Irving, who has discovered the movement of BSAA special troops, released an special B.O.W that is capable of spreading the infection everywhere in the building of the dealing place as a trap for the incoming force. With its high speed, the agile creature manages to wipe out all of Alpha Team members in an instant with only Captain Dan DeChant still breathing by the time Chris and Sheva arrived. The pair find that the members have all been stabbed despite wearing battle suits which include the bullet and knife proof vest with their remains reduced to rotting black corpses. The duo encounters the BOW in an underground furnace with the injuries sustained from bullets did little to no effect, they managed to vanquish the creature by incinerating it with it's temperature hot enough to burn any human to ashes instantly.

The possibility of biological experiments are already being conducted, and Irving spreading it out to nearby areas. Chris sets his eyes out to arrest the criminal with his battle sense awakened from the possibility of Jill's survival as the dangerous mission now falls to their shoulders. As they broke through the countless waves of Majini and caught up to Irving in the building by the hillside, a mysterious figure in a cloak and bird disguise appeared at the scene suddenly, and disappeared along with Irving in a split second with the pair finding themselves slower by a step.

Chapter 3

When Sheva was still only 8 years old, she lost her parents in an medical factory disguised as an Umbrella weapons laboratory with their deaths caused by an biohazard experiment incident. The truth of the incident is later covered up due to the government having close ties with the corporation with Sheva unable to bid farewell. Following the incident, Sheva is taken by her relatives in order to get some compensation but upon finding out that they were not getting a single cent, they deliberately tried to starve her. Sheva later escaped her uncle's house and is taken care by an anti-government team that was frustrated at the government being a puppet to Umbrella Corp with her youth now spent in military clothes.

Following her time in the government, their aims changed from simply overthrowing the puppet government from Umbrella's control to take down the corrupted government and replace it with a new one who won't get bullied by stronger countries. Sheva is treated like an comrade and raised as an ordinary girl unlike the rebel militia. When Sheva reached the age of 15, the organization starts to team up with Umbrella to take down the government by planning a large scale biohazard attack. This decision cause Sheva to left the militia and supplies an US Government agent with information which results the group in taking an major hit.

Shortly after, Sheva heads over to the U.S where she received education under the government's tutelage which prepares her to become an fighter against biohazardous outbreaks and Umbrella. Her dream remains firm even after Umbrella's collapse, their legacy still remains as a simple terrorist can still get their hands on a dangerous B.O.W. easily. Later on the mission, the chopper with its pilot Kirk Mathison is killed and the extermination of Delta Team excluding Josh Stone with the HQ issuing an order of retreating from the field with their considered option of carpet bombing the entire area as to how bad the situation is currently. Despite this, Sheva chose to accompany Chris in arresting Irving for his crimes even with Chris's warning as an result of her own willpower.

They eventually encountered Irving again on the ship which is travelling on the seabed with his face screaming an mixture of of regret, happiness, surprise and pain. Irving had infected himself with several snake-like tentacles as big as Chris' arm spawned from the back of Irving, flapping around while fresh blood burst out from the wounds with him flinging himself to the waters below. Despite the unnerving sight, Chris is not backing down against the guy who has thrown away his humanity with their battle spirit surged out and burns within. Sheva aims to get Chris's recognition as his partner while also trying to catch up and surpass the shadow of Jill, who alongside Chris had took down Umbrella.

Chapter 4

During his time in Kijuju, Irving sees the underground city ruin that protected for generations by a king with it possibly dated back to the prehistoric period with the stones of the structure have been made with care illustrating the advanced architectural techniques of the creators. He had also come to know of the Ndipaya Tribe, who are the natives that live in the wetland outside the Kijuju Autonomous Zone. These tribe people have built various unique wooden structures, and have been living an isolated life free from the city and politics with their ancestors had built a secret advanced kingdom in Africa. However, their tribe is destroyed as the people are used as test subject by the people who have taken a large sum of money.

The entire mining operation has been overseen by Irving, who have been using excuses of vaccines to prevent diseases and injects the entire Ndipaya tribal group of the Plaga parasite. This results in deaths of countless female and children who have yet to reach certain requirement age as well as unborn babies with adult males are controlled by the parasite and enhanced agility. Their hearts are burn with uncontrollable killing instincts and they put up their tribe's traditional war paints on their bodies. Irving belongs to the gigantic enterprise "TRICELL", which holds 3 major sections: shipping, natural resources development, and pharmaceuticals divisions with him being in charge of natural resources department, and his excavation facility belongs to the TRICELL Africa company but the BSAA had failed to spot the key link between the two. Excella Gionne who controls of all departments as well as in charge of the Africa Division of the company and allows Irving to sell secretly developed B.O.W.s on the black market. The series of biohazardous activities is the work of the world's leading conglomerate with the company is also the BSAA's biggest sponsor and influencer.

After the battle, the mutated Irving is killed but not before he left the clues to the pair in the form of Irving muttering Excella's name to the duo as well as the deep passage that had been used for escape by the hooded individual in the bird mask.

As the pair continues deep inside the cave, they come across an sacred place that can only be crossed by the selected few who possesses unmatched intelligence and strength. The underground structure had numerous traps which are difficult to duplicate even with modern science technology, and is operated by natural sunlight. The complicated stairs are used to fend off intruders and have formed a maze with passages constantly swept by the rays of frying sunlight from gigantic magnifying glasses, strong enough to burn a human to death in an instance. This contraption are built with the purpose of selecting the successors. Eventually, Chris and Sheva passed through the area and head deep inside to an underground garden area with the Ndipaya naming it as the "Sun Garden" where people can receive extraordinary intelligence. They take notice of the strange flowers as well as the old print of an Umbrella logo with the pair realizing that Tricell is carrying on Umbrella's legacy mainly become another successor in charge of the Progenitor Virus which laid inside the flowers.

Chapter 5

Back at the mission of capturing Umbrella's founder Oswell E. Spencer, Earl Spencer, Jill had sacrificed herself, who had tackled and leapt off the cliffs together with Albert Wesker in order to save Chris. During his descend, Wesker had managed to use the cliffs to decrease the falling speed with his superb reflexes and strength and survived with Jill, who he managed to save from the fall. Wesker later carries her to his personal laboratory with his intent of giving Jill a taste of a suffering worse than death by injecting an incomplete version of Uroboros Virus.

Jill would then spent her time in an long cryogenic sleep in a low temperature chamber in order for the virus to take effect. During her dormant sleep, the T-Virus which went dormant during the treatment she received in the "Raccoon City Destruction incident", had been awakened. Wesker take notice of it and extract the anti-bodies which he discovers it accelerates the completion process for the Uroboros as the Progenitor Virus is used as its template. Jill is later given an P30 drug which bestows her with superhuman abilities and is used as an right hand man for Wesker. After released from the laboratory, she was given a suit which allows her to execute missions in secrecy. During her time with Wesker, Jill is continuously given mind-controlled drugs with the chemical able to retain the consciousness of the person as well as the memory while being forced to execute the mission. During one of her mission, Jill is assigned to be the bodyguard of Irving with both of them travelling together to Kijuju. The pair had also infected an man with the virus and set him as a trap against the Alpha Team.

After Chris and Sheva confronted Wesker, Jill is given the order of killing both of them before Wesker leaves with her mind begging Chris to put her out of misery. But Chris determines to free his partner even if it ended up being the last thing he will do. Sheva shares the sentiment between the two and helps Chris in his quest by switching from her gun to close body combat in order to subdue Jill. Seeing their determination, Jill is able to override the order briefly in her brain and determines to work hard in getting back to their side.

Chapter 6

Excella, who had been Wesker's partner is betrayed upon being injected and rejected by the Uroboros as oily tentacles sprouts from her body and swallowed whole. The tentacles soon goes to pile of corpses nearby in order to gain nutrients with it absorbing it whole. The size of the BOW is now that akin to an enlarged tree that has its root to the ground for thousands of years. Chris and Sheva soon escapes into the ship itself with them realizing that Wesker's plan to release it to the atmosphere by missile which would be blown by the eastern wind and cover a big portion of the Earth with the event can potentially changed the ecosystem of the planet permanently with Uroboros initially appearing in the populated regions and soon spreading to cities around the world. The plan was succeeded from Spencer with his ideal of "creating a new human race strong enough to survive the virus" with the fate of 6 billion people now resting on the BSAA Agents shoulders.

As they run through the body of the ship, the B.O.W grows larger, expanding it to the size capable of capsizing the ship. It thrust its tentacles into the body of the ship to find the location of Chris and Sheva as both of them evaded the ambushes while navigating in the corridor, until they reached the bridge where they discover the way to overturn the battle against the B.O.W. The pair encountered a satellite laser weapon which has been created by TRICELL as a precaution measure just in case something goes wrong with the Uroboros experiment with its function allows them to transmit a signal to the satellite to fire a gigantic laser beam at the target. Noticing the powerful weapon, Sheva uses it to destroy the mutated creature by firing straight at the core of the beast.

Epilogue

Albert Wesker who had created the Uroboros Virus in hopes of separating and judging all mankind, continuing the will of the now dead Umbrella Corporation. All of the viruses until now that had threatened the world with biohazards time and time again - the t-Virus, G-Virus, t-Veronica, were all made based on the Progenitor Virus extracted from the mythical flower "Stairway to the Sun," passed on by the Ndipaya tribe. The founders of Umbrella took notice of how the virus rapidly modified the DNA of living creatures, were delighted at the aspect and imagined it as the hand of god or a divine medicine to lead humans to the next level of evolution with the world-class pharmaceutical corporation was just a front for hiding all traces of B.O.W. development to sell on the black market which is the company's true objective. They created Umbrella solely to modify the Progenitor Virus to complete the "ultimate" virus to turn the world into their own paradise.

The creation of Uroboros Virus nearly takes half of century ever since the discovery of the Progenitor Virus but the creators who had envisioned themselves as god-like deities had connived and backstabbed each other with most of them perished before seeing its completion. Wesker's main objective now is to spread it around the entire world and bring it into a new age where he had hoped to rid the world of the inferior modern man and be the god of the new. The idea is forged from an quick salvation to the world but devolves into a more aggressive selection of the species with the Uroboros serves as a poison that would only let those compatible DNA evolve to the next level.

Chris ponders the idea of the value of putting one's life into protecting this world as the world with its civilization and six billion souls seemed to be heading for final destruction with wars around the world and countless problems that needed to be quickly resolved, bioterrorism incidents would happen repeatedly. He eventually felt the idea of killing one so another can be rose as an crazed idea with Chris thought that Wesker had followed extreme logic and become intoxicated by power to destroy the world using Umbrella's deadly assets. The pair eventually battles Wesker on volcanic island with Wesker dying from the fight and the world saved from the brink of destruction. They eventually leave the area with the help of Jill and Josh with Chris determining that there is value in winning and that reason is alone to continue protecting the world they belonged to.

"Someday, the world may learn how to avoid destruction. Until then, I'll protect it again and again"
— Chris


Transcript

    ――この世界は、 命を賭けてまで守る価値があるんだろうか?
    クリス・レッドフィールドは、 そう自問し続けてきた。 答えの出ない問い――愛する者たちを、 善良な人々を守るちう意味でなら、 彼にとっての答えは間違いなくイエスだった。 だが、世界はどうか? 欲望に目を眩ませ、 いとも簡単に地獄の蓋を開てしまう愚者だらけの世界を駆け回り、 破滅の穴を塞ぐ任務に意義などあるのだろうか? この世界には確実に、 滅びたがっているとしか思えない者たちが存在する。 断崖の緑で、 金鉱脈を求めて己の足場につるはしを振るう欲深な道化たち。 その尻拭いをすることに、 クリスは疑問を抱いている。 それがこの世界の選択であるなら、 自分たちが身を呈して守る理由も、 意味さえもないのではないか……?
    2003年――彼はBSAAの前身となる私設対バイオテロ部隊の中心物人物として、 生物災害の根源が終焉を迎えるのを見届けた。 製薬企業の仮画の下で、 おぞましい生物兵器の数々を開発していた狂える組織アンブレラ――その最後の足掻きとなる悪魔じみた研究が、 凍てつくロシアの秘密工場深くで潰えた時、 世界は救われたとクリスは信じた。 始まったばかりの新しい世紀は、 自滅へと続くレールから外れ、 光に満ちた未来に導かれていくのだと思えた。
    しかし、 そうはならなかった。
    外れたのはたがただった。 開発されてしまった恐るべき技術が消えることはなく、 それまでアンブレラという組織によって厳重に管埋されていた機密は、 監視機関に粛正される恐れのなくなった研究員たちによってほうぼうに持ち去られた。 それらは法の目の届かぬ地下へと潜り、 ほどなく”商品”として世界中に拡散した。安価に手に入れられる強力な武器として、 テロリストたちはこぞって生物兵器を買い求めるようになった。
    ――いつ終わるんだ? 網渡りが無限に続くなら、 それは滅びと変わりがないんじゃないのか?
    BSAAのエースと呼ばれ、 数々のバイオテロを未然に防いだ輝かしい実績を持ちながらも、 クリスの胸には名状し難い虚しさが去来する。 愚者の開けた穴を繕うために、多くの仲間たちが犠性になってきた。 世界は救われても、 友は戻らない。 失われた彼の片翼――かけがえのないかつてのパートナーも。
    ゥワン!
    耳元をかすめて施を描く、 大型蠅の荒々しい羽音がクリスを現実に引き戻す。 年前の太陽は、 ここアフリカ西部の街キジュジュではすでに、 剥き出しの肌を焙るような熱を放っていた。 メインストリートの店先で、 解体された食用家畜がたまらない臭気を立ち上らせ、 蠅の群れを熱狂させる。 ラジオから流れ出すノイズ混じりの演説が、 街路を渡る乾いた風に乗って耳に届く。 扇動的にがなり立てられたそれは現地の言葉で、 しかもひどく聞き取りづらかったが、 クリスにも幾つかの単語の意味ば理解できた。
”導き……楽園……救済を! 死……裁きを……”
    物騒な響きに、 彼は微かに眉を寄せた。 政権が倒れたばかりのこの国では、 次の指導者の座を巡って有象無象が勢力を競い合っている。街に漂う空気も、 いつ暴動へと発展してもおかしくない苛立ったものだった。 人心を巧みに煽り立てる演説は、 危うい均衡をぐらぐらと揺さぶる暴力的な調子を帯びて垂れ流され続ける。
    ――生物兵器の闇取引には格好の状況だな。
    その取引現場を押さえ、 密売人の身柄を確保するためにクリスはここにいる。 答えは見つからずとも、 今は行動すべき時だった。 幾つかの、 信じ難い噂の真偽を確かめるためにも――。
    どこかでサイレンが鳴り、 スピーカーを音割れさせる演説に被さって街路に響き渡る。 と、 傍らの、 先刻合流したばかりのパートナー――シェバ・アローマが足を止め、 不審そうに周囲を見回した。
    わずかのうちに街の様子は一変していた。 殺気立った喧噪は嘘のように止み、 少し前まであった生活の気配までが消えている。 いつの間にか人通りは絶え、 真昼を迎えた街はさながらゴーストタウンの様相を呈した。 濁った重苦しい空気だけが、 異分子を選別する触手のごとくにまとわりついてくる。
    予感が、 クリスの背を百足のように這い上る。 生物災害との関わりの中で備わった、 一種の超感覚的な察知能力――それが激しく警報を奏でている。 スイッチを切り替えろとクリスを急かす。
    何かが起こり始めていた。 揺らめく陽炎の薄膜の向こうで、 日常を喰い破る何かが蠢き始めていた。
    ふたりのエージェントは、 すでに事態のただ中にいる。 だが、 それはまだ、 クリスとシェバの前に姿を現さない。 強靱な肉体と、 あきらめぬ意志によってのみ凌ぐことのできる死の暴風は、 獲物に襲いかかる前にしばしの静寂を保っている。
    この日、 キジュジュよいう名の街は消滅する。 代わりに同じ地に現れたのは、 人間の仮装をした怪物たちが跋扈する、 キジュジュという名の地獄だった。
    蓋はまた、 開かれてしまったのだ――。

    ――相棒、 か。
    クリスは自分の背後をカバーしている、 出会って間もないシェバ・アローマのことを考える。
    正直なとごろ、 彼はシェバがここまでやるとは思っていなかった。 現地の状況を知るまでは、 むしろパートナーは必要ないとさえ考えていた。 失われる命は少ないほうがいい。 自分は生き延び相棒が死ぬ――そんな、 残される者の立場はもう御免だった。
    事実、 クリスはこの数年、 正式なパートナーとチームを組むことなくBSAAの活動に従事してきた。 任務に必要と判断した時のみ、 臨時であてがわれた隊員と行動することはあったが、 ほとんどの場合において彼は単独での作戦遂行を好んだ。
    無論これは好ましい傾向ではない。ふたりが互いの死角をカバーし合い、 また掩護射撃の連携をとることで、 敵対者を制圧する効率は格段に上昇する。クリスがひとりで問題なく任務をこなせるのは、単に彼の経験量と身体能力がずば抜けているからであって、 要は溢れる才に飽かせて強引に、 パートナー不在の穴を補ってきたに過ぎないのだ。
    誰かと組めばほぼ確実に、 彼はよりリスクを抑えて行動できる。だが、 それは即ち、 その誰かを危険にさらすという意味でもあった。リスクの総量自体は、 彼が単独で冒すはずのものより遙かに小さくなるだろう。それでも、 パートナーを失う可能性が少しでもある以上、 彼は独りでの戦いを望んだ。 自分だけが死ねば済む状況を希求した。
    今回の作戦はしかし、 どうしても現地に精通したバートナーを必要とした。キジュジュ自治区が属する国は長きにわたって政情が不安定で、少し前に政権が変わってからは、 ほとんど内戦と言って良い混乱状態を呈している。鉄道輸送網さえも無期限に運休し、住民のフラストレーションが極限まで高まった状況下では、異邦人――それも世界の警察を以て任じるがゆえに憎悪の対象とされるアメリカ人のクリスの単独行動は、 住民の感情をいたずらに刺激することになる。種々の言語が複雑に混ざり合った現地の言葉を完璧に操り、不測の事態に備えて折衝役を務められる人間の補佐が不可欠だった。
    そうして白羽の矢が立ったのが、 BSAA西部アフリカ支部所属の特殊作戦要員、シェバであったのだ。
    クリスは、女性エージェントに対する偏見を一切持たない。なぜなら、彼にとって無二の相棒だった者もまた女性だったからだ。 彼女は完璧なパートナーだった。どんな窮地であろうとも、 ふたりでなら切り抜けられると信じることができた。 凄惨極まるバイオテロの災禍の中を、天を裂いて羽ばたく一羽の荒鷲となって飛翔できる気がした。
   だが、翼は折れた。片翼はもがれ、 永遠に失われてしまった。残ったのは、 遺体さえも納められていない虚ろな墓だけだった。墓碑に刻まれた名は、ジル・バレンタイン――。
   あの喪失感を二度と味わいたくなかった。だからこそ、危険な任務であるほど独りであろうとした。
   そうした意味では、 この作戦は比較的安全との見通しが立っていた。クリスは彼が追い続けていた武器密売人の身柄を引き取るべく、特例的に支部の垣根を越えて参加するオブザーバー的な立場にある。クリスとシェバの出番は主力部隊が制圧を終え、すてに拘束済みの、アーヴィングなる武器商人が引き渡される段になってからのはずであった。
   ところが、 事態は予想だにしない展開を辿った。クリスたちが主力のアルファチームとの合流に動き出した時には、 キジュジュの住民は人ならぬ存在へと変貌し、殺意みなぎる牙を剥き始めていたのだ。
   それは、5年前に南ヨーロッパの寒村で発生したバイオテロに酷似していた。合衆国大統領令嬢誘拐事件に端を発し、 米大統領直属のエージェント、 レオン・S・ケネディによって報告された“ガナード"のケース――寄生生命体プラーガによる住民の怪物化である。プラーガは人体に寄生して中枢神経を乗っ取り、 人の脳機能を利用してそれまでの行動様式を模倣しながら、組織立った殺戮を行なう生物兵器だった。それを大幅に品種改良し、ものの10秒ほどで寄生対象を支配できる能力を獲得した新型が、すでに大量にキジュジュ自治区へとばら撒かれ、瞬く間に街の全域を汚染していたのだ。
   裂けるほどに開かれた口から、 粘液滴る嘴状の口吻を迫り出させ、 人の皮を被った怪物たちの大群がクリスとシェバに殺到する。人の言葉で獲物の位置を伝え合い、 堀を越え、扉を破ってふたりに襲いかかる。暴徒などという言葉では表現できぬ、 地獄から溢れた化け物の軍勢だった。つかみ、 噛みつき、引き裂いて殺すことしか考えぬ悪鬼の群れだった。
   その、 恐慌を来しかねぬ悪夢の産物を相手に、 シェバはまるで臆するところを見せない。 冷静に拳銃の狙いをつけ、 指先に微塵の震えもなくトリガーを引き絞る。弾丸は正確に、唸り声を上げて接近する怪物を抉った。ひるんだところにムチのようにしなる脚で強烈な蹴りを放ち、転倒させると同時に流麗な動作でナイフを突き立てる。そこには過剰な恐れも気負いもない。為すべきことを為し、生き残る――サバンナの野生動物のような、美しいまでに精悍な戦士がクリスの背を守っていた。同様に彼が、自分の背後を守っていることを疑いなく信じて。
   クリスは内心舌を巻く思いだった。ジルでさえ、二十三という歳の頃にこうは動けなかっただろう。それはちょうど、 ジルが初めて、 生物災害によって生み出された化け物と相対した年齢であった。人間以外のものを相手にするなど、 クリスでさえも想像していない十年以上も前のことであった。
   ――信じてみよう。 背中を、任せてみよう。
   この死地では、そうすることこそがシェバのリスクを減らす最良の手段となる。いずれはBSAAの未来を担うであろう若きエージェントを、こんな場所で失うわけにはいかなかった。そして彼もまだ死ねない。片翼の行方をつかむお一一その幽かな光明を追って、クリスはアフリカの地を踏んだのだ。
   クリスの動きが変わった。シェバを信頼し、 死角の処理を一任したことで、見えているものへの反応速度が桁違いに向上する。腕を振り抜くようにして撃った3発の銃弾は、それぞれ別の怪物の頭部に正確に着弾し、 その生命活動を停止させた。
   ヒュウ! とシェバが口笛を鳴らす。ジルを失って以来、 羽ばたくことのなかった荒鷲が今、新しい相棒を得て再び飛び立つ。対バイオテロのエースと呼ばれる男の、潜在能力のすべてが解放される。
   死の包囲網が、たちまち噛み破られていく一一。

    明けない夜はない。 明日は必ずやってくる――。
    そう無邪気に信じる者に、 人の命を花に喩えて誰かが言った。 それは儚き約のごといものだと。 夜半の嵐が、 明日も咲いていたはずの花を無情に散らしてしまうやも知れぬのだと。
    花弁を、 命をさらう鬼風を吹かせるのは、 連命の悪戯ということもあるだろう。 もしくは、 度し難い人間の悪意であることも。 それが突然の天変地異や戦争であれば、 数多の花が一夜に消え去る。 個の力では抗えぬものが夜のうちに暴れ狂い、 容易に明日を奪ってしまう。 目覚めればもう、 世界は変わり果てているかも知れないと、 世を儚むその誰かは説く。 失われる未来を思い、 深い嘆きを漏らす。
    いささか悲観的過ぎる見方ではあるだろう。 明日が巡ってこないと畏れながら、 人は生きていくことはできない。 明日を信じる者たちが、 寄り添って人間の世界を作り上げる。 未来に向かい、 星の歴史を紡いでいくことができる。
    だが――。
    この夜の嵐は、 巻き起これば何もかもを御破算にしてしまう、 現人数の誕生以来吹いたことのない激烈なものだった。 60億の花を散らすばかりか、 その花をつける木々を――世界そのものを根こそぎに破壊しようする滅びの大風であった。
    終末の日をもたらそうしたのは、 ひとりの男の意志――滅び去ったアンブレラの意志を受け継ぎ、 ウィルスによる全人類の選別を目論むアルバート・ウェスカーの、 狂気に充ち満ちた意志だった。

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