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Fanfic / The Progenitor Chronicles

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The Progenitor Chronicles is a Resident Evil fanfiction by inserthedgehog. Being a Pseudo-Canonical Fic, it begins in late July 1998, immediately following the events of Resident Evil, and follows the series’ major events until the events of Resident Evil 6, after which the fanfiction diverges into an original conclusion to the plot. Rather than write out events as they happen in-game (for example, writing about the events of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis from Jill Valentine’s perspective), inserthedgehog writes from the perspectives of Rebecca Chambers and another MC, using the in-game events as a backdrop. inserthedgehog gives an example of Rebecca narrating how Chris Redfield warns the survivors of S.T.A.R.S. that Albert Wesker is alive after Chris learns this in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica; it’s not a narration of Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, but it’s an event following directly from it that isn’t seen in the games.

The Progenitor Chronicles is notable in that it puts a heavy emphasis on non-combat roles. The MC, in particular, has no combat training and generally has to rely on his wits to get through biohazard outbreaks, in contrast to the in-game heroes being able to fight their way through them. It is also more character-focused, exploring personal interactions, thoughts, and reactions to the events in the Resident Evil universe.

Can be found here and here

The Progenitor Chronicles provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In canon, Claire is only ever mentioned as being in TerraSave in a somewhat senior position. In here, she’s the leader of TerraSave, only stepping down in favor of Neil around the end of Volume II (~2010). People who’ve played Resident Evil: Revelations 2 know that this turns out to be a bad idea.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Just like in the ‘’Mercenaries’’ mode in the games, Rebecca wields a compressed air can she jury-rigged to be a flamethrower.
  • Afraid of Blood: Myrtle faints at the sight of blood.
  • Assassination Attempt: The Family tries to kill both Rebecca and the MC and fails both times.
  • Author Appeal: inserthedgehog has a few that stand out:
    • Strong female characters. Just about every original female character in the fic fits with the sole exception of Daisy when she’s first introduced. Daisy then undergoes Character Development and plays this straight. Of course, the female characters from canon are all already badasses.
    • Making Easter egg style references. See the Mythology Gag and Shout-Out entries.
    • Using intelligence to combat evil. This story really focuses on Rebecca’s journey to develop something that immunizes people against Progenitor, using her knowledge of biology rather than guns. The MC is no slouch in the brains department either. As a non-science example, President Kaldwin routinely displays a frightening aptitude for strategic maneuvering.
  • Author Avatar: The MC is one for inserthedgehog.
  • Battle Couple: Volume III, Chapter 3 is literally named this. Unique in that it’s referring to the MC and Rebecca complementing each other in scientific expertise in order to fight pathogens rather than actual combat.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The BSAA arrives just in time to save the MC from being pulverized by a Tyrant during the attack on Bear University.
  • Book Ends: The story begins with the MC having a dream symbolic of each mainline game. The story ends with the MC and Rebecca traveling around the world to places symbolic of each mainline game. The dream is an unsettling nightmare, while the trip is real in a world at peace.
  • Bottomless Quiver: Averted. The MC owns 12 arrows and keeps track of every arrow he shoots. He ends with 2 left.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The MC does this during the attack on Bear University. He admits he really should be scared out of his mind and surmises it’s a defense mechanism.
    Rebecca: “You’re quipping at a time like this.”
    The MC: “I feel like I quip at any and all times.”
  • Character Development: The Progenitor Chronicles puts a greater focus on the characters. Some notable arcs:
    • The MC: one of his defining traits is Undying Loyalty and he takes this to an extreme – he either staunchly supports someone or completely despises him. Over the course of the story, he learns to deal with seeing people in less absolute terms, such as recognizing Daisy’s character growth and exercising caution when dealing with President Kaldwin (a politician whom, incidentally, he initially thinks the world of because of her extreme black-and-white, no-holds-barred attitude).
    • Rebecca begins, as she does in the games, plucky and idealistic. She learns over the course of Volume I that evil doesn’t just take the form of monsters one can cleanly defeat; instead, you have bureaucrats playing chess as happened in the Raccoon Trials and the fight against bioterror is a long, drawn-out slog. She loses her idealism and her character arc involves regaining it while retaining the wisdom of experience.
    • While not a main character, Daisy begins content with being a trophy girlfriend out of a desire to be protected. In fact, during the Terragrigia Panic, she has exactly no dialogue and the MC at one point notes that she just sort of stands around following the group as they’re actively trying to concoct plans to escape the city. Afterward, she learns to stand up for herself and become her own person. Her first line of dialogue in the entire story occurs right after she decides this.
    • Claire gets a character arc – one of her strongest traits is her ability to connect with other people; indeed, she’s the one who reminds Rebecca that the people around her are important. Neil’s betrayal in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, therefore, hits her particularly hard, and she eventually betrays Rebecca’s trust in an (unnecessary, but she doesn’t know that) attempt to protect her from a similar fate, thereby becoming the very thing she feared. Her character arc involves her regaining her trust in others.
  • Chekhov's Gun: inserthedgehog is rather fond of these. If he goes out of his way to describe something physically, it’ll probably be important later.
    • The MC describes the tunnel/tram system that connects the airport in Terragrigia to their hotel. When the Terragrigia Panic begins, their first course of action is to use the tunnel to escape the hotel.
    • A subtle example: the MC is looking at a flagpole in the middle of Crystal Quad. Later, he shoots the flagpole with an arrow to distract several Hunters.
    • Undergraduates aren’t allowed in Cornelia Hall, as it contains the university’s most expensive research equipment. Accordingly, the building is incredibly well-fortified. The MC mentions this in passing; at the time, he’s an undergraduate and has no reason to care about the building at all. Where do you think Rebecca decides would be a good place to hole up during the bioterror attack on Bear University, a few chapters later?
    • The MC narrates winding down after work, describing boring things such as the finicky lock to his apartment, how his router is positioned in his kitchen, what his alarm clock is set to, and how his balcony is covered in leaves because he never bothers to go out there. In a subsequent chapter, he narrates this again, with all the aforementioned things changed in some way. Turns out the DSO had broken into his apartment.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: A few.
    • Early on in Volume I, the MC decides to take up archery. It comes in handy when B.O.W.s attack his college at the end of Volume II.
    • When the MC enters college at the beginning of Volume II, he decides to study cells and tissues as opposed to Rebecca’s expertise in subcellular structures (molecules, genes, that kind of thing). In Volume III, this allows him to fulfill a research role Rebecca doesn’t.
    • Rebecca mentions Jill taught her a few things about picking locks. Cue a locked door a few chapters later she needs to deal with when running from Hunters. She gets through using a scavenged paper clip.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Illumina straps Tom to a wall, cuts his vocal cords so he can’t scream, keeps him alive with IVs, and uses drugs to keep all his pain receptors on. Note this means he’s not suffering any actual bodily damage (besides the cut vocal cords), meaning he can’t die of injuries – he’s just in constant pain. All the time. He’s kept like this for weeks by the time the MC finds him.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The MC gets deployed on a mission and he is incredibly nervous, as he's not a combatant. Leon reassures him that he once had to escort a completely unarmed girl with zero combat skills, so he'll be fine as long as he follows Leon's lead. He was referring to Ashley Graham, but Sherry initially thinks he's talking about herself when they first met in Raccoon City.
      Sherry: "I was, like, 10. And Claire babysat me, not you."
    • Rebecca still has her S.T.A.R.S. Samurai Edge that she custom modified from the parts in Resident Evil 0.
  • Dawn of an Era: The end of Volume III is this. All of humanity is now immune to the Progenitor Virus and to every virus that could ever be produced from it, which includes every virus in the series from 0-6.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Amy gets in on the fun when they encounter mutated Myrtle, who is exuding a creepy sultriness (think Rachael Foley from Resident Evil: Revelations):
    Amy: "Did the city get hit by a slut-virus?"
  • Death Glare: Rebecca is apparently great at giving these.
    The MC: [Rebecca] turned to me, her arms folded, with an expression that I was certain could have made that Tyrant from last night flee for its life.
  • Deer in the Headlights: The MC completely freezes when a Hunter decapitates Jay right in front of him and prepares to do the same to him.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: The MC enjoys showing defiance against enemies hilariously above his weight:
    • When trying to get a Tyrant’s attention away from Rebecca:
      The MC: "Hey! Mr. Fashion Disaster! Over here!"
    • Later, he comes face-to-face with Illumina, who'd just effortlessly wrecked the entire BSAA force attacking her base:
      Illumina: "You. YOU did this. What did you do to my virus?! TELL ME!"
      The MC: "You didn't say 'please.'"
  • Elite Agents Above the Law: President Kaldwin inherits the Division of Security Operations (DSO) and makes it her top-secret anti-Family task force, answering to her directly. Given the reveal in Resident Evil 6 that the Family had members throughout the entire world, including within major governments, having this sort of team outside the regular legal system is, at the least, prudent.
  • Go Through Me: At one point, Rebecca does this for the MC. Note that the person she intends to protect him from is the President of the United States.
  • Improbable Age: The MC is 10 at the beginning of the story doing a summer internship in a university research lab. Strangely justified as this is Resident Evil, where just about every character’s accomplishments are pretty far advanced for their ages. Rebecca actually lampshades this:
    Rebecca: [Jill] was in the Delta Force in her early twenties – and people thought me graduating from college ~4 years earlier than normal was an accomplishment.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: The MC sustains a crippling injury at the hands of Illumina and invokes this trope when telling the BSAA team, including Rebecca, to leave him in the base and evacuate – especially since there is an ongoing countdown before the Regia Solis destroys the city again. Rebecca has exactly none of it and runs back into the base to get him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The MC doesn’t pull off anything superhuman, but of the 10 arrows he shoots throughout the finale of Volume II, he doesn’t miss a single shot. Justified in most cases, as he’s either aiming for something large, like a glass door, or he’s shooting at close range.
  • Improvisational Ingenuity:
    • The MC has no combat ability, so when he gets caught in biohazard outbreaks, his only choice is to improvise and he demonstrates his ability to on a few occasions:
      • He concocts a plan where he plants a cell phone somewhere and calls the phone, allowing the ringtone to distract Hunters away from him and his group. Similarly, he gets someone to throw a metal post into the metal detectors at a security checkpoint, setting off the alarm and causing another distraction.
      • He's armed with a bow and arrows later, but knows that weapon wouldn't really help him in a direct fight against B.O.W.s. He does things like shoot a faraway car window, letting the car alarm serve as a loud distraction.
      • He's in a research lab with a pressurized gas tank. When cornered by a Hunter, he breaks the pressure regulator on the tank, causing the rapidly releasing pressure to propel the tank like a torpedo into the Hunter (bonus points for the tank then smashing through a window down the hall, causing another loud distraction).
    • Rebecca is no slouch in this department either. Noting that Hunters, being cold-blooded, are weak to cold, she devises a plan to set off a sprinkler system in a building by starting a fire, then lure the Hunters out into the winter night. Running out into the cold while wet drastically slows them down, allowing for a quick escape.
  • Jerkass: Tom, full stop. Let’s count the ways. He cheats on his girlfriend with another girl who has her own boyfriend. His lover faints during a bioterror attack and he unhesitatingly suggests the group leave her behind. He cowardly refuses to help the group escape Terragrigia. He single-handedly gets someone in the group killed and later laughs about it. He tries to assemble a harem to go to Prom with. He grows up to become a health insurance salesman who uses his position to funnel patient secrets to bioterrorists.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the Family’s Terragrigia base, the MC and Rebecca come across a room with a convenient map of the building and a typewriter sitting on some crates. In other words, if this were one of the games, it’d be a save room. The MC marvels at how typewriters still exist and how Rebecca doesn’t seem surprised that they’d found a convenient map.
  • Light Is Not Good: After completely taking over Natalia, Alex Wesker begins calling herself ‘Illumina’ in keeping with her goddess-complex. She continues wearing all white.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Volume II, Rebecca chides the MC for his animosity toward Daisy and the MC replies that Rebecca is always seeing the best in people. In Volume III, its reversed with Rebecca and Claire.
    Rebecca: “I seem to remember us having this conversation…but in reverse. Me telling you to give someone another chance, you saying I’m always seeing the best in people…”
  • Metal Detector Checkpoint: During the Terragrigia Panic, the MC concocts a plan of throwing a metal object into the detectors at an airport security checkpoint. This sets off the alarm and causes a distraction, allowing him and his group to escape the airport lobby.
  • Mythology Gag: Similar to how inserthedgehog enjoys sprinkling Shout-Outs to other works, he makes references within Resident Evil as well:
    • The MC’s dream sequence at the very beginning of the fic consists of scenes symbolic for each of the mainline games. For Resident Evil 5, though, all he sees is a boulder.
    • Amy, after backhanding Tom for laughing off their ordeal in Terragrigia:
    • Rebecca jokingly rebukes the MC for calling her Becky:
    • The chapters immediately following the events of Resident Evil 6 are called The Rise of Hell and The Reign of Chaos, referencing this line from in-game:
      Carla Radames: “Hell will rise and chaos will reign!” *proceeds to laugh maniacally
    • Rebecca mentions they’re studying Natalia’s hand, which (unbeknownst to the MC, whom she’s talking to) was ripped off by a missed bullet, prompting this response:
      The MC: “…Natalia’s hand comes off?
    • There is a character named Doug who jokingly names a virus “George Bush,” which allows inserthedgehog to reference this famous video:
      The MC: “In less than five minutes, George Bush will be released into the atmosphere.”
    • When the MC arms the Regia Solis, the time it’ll take for the satellite to begin hitting Terragrigia? Seven minutes.
    • Claire references her line at the end of Resident Evil 2 right before shooting Illumina with a rocket:
      Claire: “You LOSE, little girl!”
  • Named by the Adaptation: In-game, President Benford’s Vice President is sworn in after the events of Resident Evil 6, but is never named. The Progenitor Chronicles reveals his Vice President was Robin Margaret Kaldwin. She has a very expanded role in the fanfiction.
  • No Name Given: As noted above, the MC is never named. The Foreword explains that inserthedgehog had trouble coming up with a fictional name that appealed to him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The MC purposely describes one of his lab protocols incorrectly when talking to Natalia to see just how unnaturally intelligent she is. She sees through it, prompting her to try to have him killed later for potentially knowing too much.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted. The MC and Rebecca explicitly discuss how they both study biotechnology, but specialize in different areas. While Rebecca is definitely the main scientist in the story, she relies on the MC for the areas of bioengineering she doesn’t specialize in.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Kaldwin oversees the DSO personally and more than backs up her reputation for not playing around when it comes to fighting bioterrorists.
    Robin Margaret Kaldwin: “When he died, Adam bequeathed the DSO to me. He founded the DSO to be the Sword of the President, and I intend to wield this sword to its maximal effect – until every bioterrorist and their demonic creations lie decapitated at my feet.”
  • Pair the Smart Ones: The MC and Rebecca.
  • Parrying Bullets: During the attack on Bear University, the MC, armed with a bow, shoots an arrow at a Tyrant and it just slaps it away (which isn’t entirely surprising). Later, he fires a gun at Illumina, who proceeds to do the exact same thing with the bullet.
    The MC: “Oh come on! I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen if I used a gun!”
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: The MC falls into this right after his first kiss with Rebecca.
    The MC: [Rebecca] leaned even closer, and before I knew it, we’d locked lips, sharing a long, quiet, passionate kiss. And as she leaned back, away from me afterward, I stared, stunned, into her lovely green eyes.
  • Precision F-Strike: The Progenitor Chronicles is pretty light on the profanity. One very notable exception is Claire after she escapes the island in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. At that point she believes she’s the only survivor, someone she trusted betrayed her, and she has no idea why any of it happened because the mastermind behind it all shot herself in the head and self-destructed her lab before they could find any answers. Claire isn’t in a good mood. At all.
  • Precocious Crush: The MC develops one almost immediately for Rebecca at the beginning of the story, when he’s 10 and she’s 18. The fic is long enough that we see him grow up, though.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Rebecca, furious at the MC for risking his life after he recklessly runs into Bear University during a bioterror attack:
    Rebecca: “What. THE HELL. Were you thinking?!”
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Progenitor Chronicles begins with the MC having a dream sequence where each scene in the dream is symbolic of one of the mainline games (except for Resident Evil 5 – see the Mythology Gag entry). It makes little sense for him to have this dream sequence, since he’s dreaming of mostly future events that he’ll have little to do with directly. That said, it’s a nice way to begin a Resident Evil fanfiction by paying homage to each game.
  • Science Hero: The MC and Rebecca.
  • Shaped Like Itself: A humorous example when the MC comments on Jill shaking off being thrown across a room into a wall:
    The MC: “She got thrown across the room into a wall and she just sounds mildly annoyed. What is that lady made of?”
    Rebecca: “Jill? Jill’s made of Jill. The toughest substance on the planet.”
  • Shout-Out: There are many.
  • Shown Their Work: Some minor examples:
    • During the Terragrigia Panic, Myrtle suggests they call 911. Rita points out that the number is 112 in the European Union.
    • The MC’s description of bow usage is fairly accurate. He wears an armguard and finger tab and he explicitly loosens his grip on the bow before shooting. His remark later about not leaving a bow strung for too long is also accurate, as some bowstrings exhibit creep if they’re under tension for too long. His flashback way later about someone telling him never to dry-fire a bow also is a very real rule.
    • One of his ideas to escape cornering by Hunters involves shearing off the regulator on a carbon dioxide gas tank to turn it into a torpedo. This is a real thing that can happen, which is why Real Life labs using these gas tanks adhere to strict safety requirements (such as ensuring the tank is strapped securely at all times).
    • Descriptions of biology are mostly accurate, or as accurate as can be in a universe where viruses can impart a person with superpowers.
  • Silence of Sadness: During Volume I's finale, Jay is quiet and sullen due to Daisy recently rejecting him (she and her new boyfriend are there with them, no less). When Il Veltro broadcasts their message before initiating the Terragrigia Panic, the group wonders what language they're speaking. Jay answers they're speaking Italian, and Nick jumps in surprise, as those are the first words Jay has said the entire trip up to then.
  • Take That!: Rebecca is quite clear about her appraisal of Simmons and his (lack of) knowledge of biology:
    Rebecca: There was something about developing a vaccine using the blood of Albert Wesker’s son, because he inherited antibodies to the C-virus from his father. This was baffling, since antibodies can’t be inherited and even if they could, Albert Wesker couldn’t possibly have had antibodies to the C-virus as the C-virus was developed after his death, meaning he was never exposed to it. Whoever oversaw this project clearly didn’t know biology.
  • Tempting Fate: The MC is freaked out by Natalia Korda’s unnaturally high intelligence, but decides she’s probably not a threat because she’s just a child. He’s wrong. Very wrong.
  • The Chessmaster: President Robin Margaret Kaldwin.
  • The Everyman: The MC is this. His most notable “power” is his above-average intelligence, but even that isn’t notable when his counterpart is Rebecca Chambers. In fact, it’s heavily implied President Kaldwin invites him into the DSO not because he’s skilled at anything in particular, but because he shows an unflinching loyalty to the people close to him.
  • The Ruins I Caused: The protagonists look at Terragrigia being destroyed a second time by the Regia Soils as their helicopter flies away.
  • Throwing the Distraction: The MC relies heavily on this tactic to get past Hunters, as he’s very much incapable of fighting them off. A few instances include planting cell phones somewhere out of the way and calling them so their ringtones go off and shooting an arrow into a faraway car window to set off the car alarm.
  • Took a Level in Badass: 2 characters in particular qualify:
    • The MC decides to run into Bear University when it’s under attack by B.O.W.s with a bow and 12 arrows (the only weapon he knows how to use) to go help Rebecca. He even says on a few occasions he knows fully he’s in way over his head and doesn’t quite expect to survive the ordeal, but he does it anyway because he can’t stand the idea of the B.O.W.s hurting Rebecca.
    • Daisy starts out content to be an airhead trophy girlfriend for Tom, but eventually decides she wants to be more than that after being inspired by the strong characters around her. She breaks up with Tom and her growth in Volume II through sheer determination culminates in her getting into medical school. The MC eventually admits he misjudged her and apologizes for doing so.
    • A villainous example: Alex Wesker succeeds in taking over Natalia and unlocks the genetic secret to superhumanity, gaining abilities beyond her brother’s. She proceeds to take over the Family as its new head and engineers a virus capable of mind-controlling every human on the planet.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Both the MC and Rebecca fall into this at different times and for different reasons. The MC, in particular, is incredibly disrespectful and rude to Daisy throughout Volume II. Both the MC and Rebecca grow out of it through Character Development.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Illumina makes her debut making the cold and smug monologue one would expect for a villain. Then Illumina realizes her plot has utterly failed; exactly nobody has succumbed to mind-control and she has zero idea why. Cue her turning into a screaming, hysterical mess.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In multiple instances, it’s stated that the MC isn’t physically fit. He mostly gets through the story by devising clever plans. In the instances where he’s actually cornered by a B.O.W., he would easily have been killed if not for someone rescuing him.
  • Weather of War: During the attack on Bear University, the MC notes the Hunters are more sluggish than he remembers from Terragrigia. Rebecca points out that Hunters are based on reptiles, which are cold-blooded, and the winter weather (it’s also nighttime) is slowing them down.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Of the 9 classmates the MC travels to Terragrigia with, 6 of them come directly from The Great Gatsby and provide the drama you’d expect from a group of teenagers. You have Jay, who has a crush on Daisy. Daisy is dating Tom. Tom is cheating on Daisy with Myrtle, who is already in a relationship with George. Nick is the Only Sane Man. Myrtle, George, and Jay don’t survive the Terragrigia Panic and the volume ends with Tom and Daisy still together. Unlike in the original book, inserthedgehog continues the story where Daisy breaks up with Tom after finally having enough of his jerkassitude and proceeds to take a level in badass. Tom…eventually meets a horrific end.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: The MC always calls Rebecca “Miss Chambers” and later, “Dr. Chambers,” out of a mixture of habit and extreme respect. The one time he slips, calling her “Becky,” is right when they begin their romantic relationship.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Rebecca says this in exasperation upon realizing she left her keys behind running from Hunters and encounters a locked door with the Hunters still on their tail.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Illumina orders Jessica Sherawat to commit suicide after she launches the plane that contains the Final Order Virus.
  • You're Insane!: The MC gets this a lot. In one notable instance, he wonders if his own idea at the end of the story is too crazy and Rebecca subverts this trope:
    Rebecca: “We deal with crazy all the time, if you haven’t noticed. We’re fighting a girl who was mentally taken over by a dead woman who thinks herself a goddess and wants to mind-control the planet. Your plot is boring in comparison.”