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Residence (Hall) Evil
Author Ciel, Dr. Leo
Participants Ciel, William Wiggin, Albert Wesker
IC Date: 31 October 2201
RL Date: 31 October 2011
Story Arc
Location UC San Angeles

October 31, 2201

"You can’t be serious," Ciel said, wagging a stick of celery in Albert’s direction.

"Of course he is serious," William said. In a fluid movement, he snatched the celery from Ciel between his fingers, twirling it between them before flipping the sprig back into her lap. "Albert cannot tell a joke to save his, or anyone else's life."

"Yes, I am serious," Albert said. The oldest of the trio but still only a young man himself, Albert stared at Ciel over the top of his cheap black sunglasses. He tried so hard to affect a sinister demeanor, but never quite had the oomph to bring it off. "Already, we can stimulate muscle reaction in dead tissue. All it would take is the right kind of vector to totally automate the process."

Ciel remained incredulous. "Zombies," she said. "Do you even hear what you’re saying? Halloween or no, you’re talking about zombies."

"'Zombie' is such an imperfect word," Albert said, rolling his eyes. "This is a matter of cellular regeneration, not some kind of schlocky movie."

"Yes, you are much more literary," William countered. "More inspired by Herbert West."

"Like Herbert West," Albert said. "But better. West was a man of limited vision --"

"I suppose you would do something so much better," said William. "Something that would change the world."

"Perhaps I would," Albert replied.

"This is a ridiculous discussion," Ciel said. "It’s bad movie science! It’s ludicrous! Shambling rotting bodies somehow carrying on enough metabolic activity for muscular action and simple behavior?"

"Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease," Albert said, looking triumphant.

Ciel was familiar with the broad strokes. "Spongiform encephalothapy?"

"Why not?" Albert said. "Myoclonus and ataxia changing gait and posture, speech impairment, dementia... textbook zombie, no un-death required. Would it be so hard to imagine such a disease that also caused necrosis? Everything you would need for a Miskatonic University party."

"You were always one for a tailgate," William said with a dismissive snort. "So what purpose does this trick serve?"

"It would stop death in its tracks," Albert said. "The possibility of creating a single 'zombie' opens the door for endless biological applications. You could stop death. Think of what the human race could become if no one ever had to die?"

Ciel sighed. "You’re sick, Albert."

"He is hardly sick," William said. "Only taken to flights of fancy. Perhaps it is true what they used to say about novels rotting the brain. What was the diagnosis?" William looked over to Ciel, and then back to Albert. "Ah! Spongiform encephalothapy all along."

Albert chuckled. "Well met," he said. "You are right. We are hardly about to experience anything like a zombie apocalypse. No viral vector currently in circulation could cause anything like even one of Romero's daydreams."

With that remark, Albert Wesker rose. His movements were always slow and deliberate, to the point where some other students had diagnosed him informally with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Albert placed his utensils precisely on his tray, draping his napkin elegantly over the remainder of his food before turning towards the considerably less tidy trash cans. "Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a class to attend to."

The two young men shared a synchronized nod. "William." "Albert." And then, and only then, would Albert move to acknowledge Ciel. "Miss Mallory."

"Party tonight," William called at Albert's back. "Are you quite sure --"

Albert waved blindly behind him in his usual dismissive manner. "You two have fun. Three is a crowd, after all. I have lab work to finish."

"Well don’t go making any zombies!" Ciel said.

"My dear," Albert said, turning and giving Ciel a smile that sent a chill down her spine. "I assure you that the thought will not even cross my mind."

"Not if he wants to get out of Genetic Engineering III in one piece," William muttered under his breath.

Albert took his leave. While Ciel was distracted in her own thoughts, William picked up another piece of celery from her tray, expertly dipping it in her small allotment of hummus, and offered it to her with a small flourish. "Celery is for eating, Ciel. It is fresh and cold. It will get warm soon."

Ciel's dietary habits, or lack thereof, was shared knowledge between the three. William seemed to take some delight in making sure Ciel ate properly. Sometimes Ciel wondered whether or not William imagined himself to be her older brother.

"I really hate him sometimes," Ciel said, grabbing the celery and chewing on it angrily.

"Albert is harmless," William said, knowing full well he was not. "He wants to push your buttons. It is purely primate dominance behavior. You replaced him as the biology wunderkind."

"Yeah, I guess."

"Are you ready for the party?"

"Yeah, I’ve got Sarah’s outfit all together now. And you?"

"Of course." William allowed himself one of his rare smiles. "Yet I think you are more interested in my tights --"