A Rose by Any Other Name

Dream a Deadly Dream

It was a world without Umbrella. The sun was shining brightly and birds were singing somewhere in the distance as Albert Wesker opened his eyes.

Chris Redfield stood beside him adjusting his tie. His tie? Since when did Redfield wear a tie? Scowling, Wesker looked down at himself. He was finding it difficult to grasp the fact that he was wearing a tuxedo. "You look great, Captain Wesker." Chris patted his arm.

"Like a real winner!" Barry Burton shouted, slapping him on the back. Wesker turned to look at him and realized that the S.T.A.R.S. members surrounding him should have, by all rights, been dead.

"Yeah, man, beautiful…just beautiful." Kenneth Sullivan said, brushing off Wesker's lapel.

"Can't believe our Captain is getting hitched!" Brad Vickers laughed loudly. The group laughed with him.

"I…what?" Wesker was speechless. His mind was racing. He wasn't sure what to think. He couldn't remember anything.

"It's okay." Barry squeezed his shoulder. "I was nervous too."

"Yeah, but with a hotty like Miranda Harley, what's there to be nervous about?" Forest Speyer teased. The last time he'd seen Forest, half his skin had been missing and crows were feeding off his remains.

"Miranda?" Wesker whispered. Surely she'd know what was going on here. "Where is she?"

"Hang on there, hot pants," Chris grabbed his arm. "I doubt she's ready yet."

"Let go of me, you…" Wesker stopped himself in mid-sentence. It wouldn't do for him to get angry and fly off the handle just yet. Not until he knew what the hell was going on.

"Wesker, you look so handsome." Jill Valentine said with a smile. "We're all so happy for you." She was wearing a lilac dress. Miranda's favorite color. Surely Jill wasn't the maid of honor?

"About as handsome as a skunk!" Enrico Marini guffawed. Wesker narrowed his eyes and reached up to adjust his sunglasses but they were gone. Barry and Enrico were slapping hands, which seemed strange to him. Barry had shot Enrico dead in the underground passageway of the mansion.

"Awl…the Captain ain't got his sunglasses. What's he gonna do?" Joseph Frost mocked.

"Probably go blind from looking at old Barry's baby powder skin." Richard Akin joked. Barry grabbed him and rubbed the top of his head with his knuckles. Wesker stared at this laughing group. What was wrong with all of them? How were they alive? He'd seen each, with the exception of Chris, Jill, and Barry, die. There had been no mistaking their death. Most of them he'd been responsible for.

Rebecca Chambers came bounding into the clearing and for the first time Wesker took a moment to study his surroundings. They were standing in a wooded area, with the Spencer mansion in the background. The day was sunny and breezy with a faint scent of lilacs and roses in the air. Miranda loved lilacs and roses.

"She's ready. You guys can…Oh Captain, you look handsome." Rebecca blushed as she said this. She too wore a lilac dress. "Miranda will be so happy."

"Come on, Wesker." Chris said with a smile. "Can't keep the lady waiting." Wesker followed Chris into the opening in the clearing and paused as he saw the flower arrangements of red, purple, and white fluttering gently in the wind. White chairs cluttered the sprawling lawn of the mansion and faced an awning covered in similar arrangements of flowers. "I've got the ring." Chris whispered. Wesker groaned. What in the world made Chris think he would ever be the best man?

The S.T.A.R.S. members took their places in the front chairs and stood smiling and him. He and Chris stopped at the awning and waited, although Wesker still wasn't sure what for. Then, as if by magic, the Wedding March started up and Miranda Harley appeared at the end of the isle.

Dressed all in white, Wesker could almost swear he was looking at an ethereal angel. He couldn't help but smile at her. Through the veil, she smiled back, and her smile nearly took his breath away. Whatever he had been planning to ask her, he'd already forgotten about.

In a moment, she was standing next to him and it dawned on Wesker what was happening. Miranda was going to be his wife. Still confused but strangely at ease with everything, he listened as the preacher read the vows and waited for him to repeat them. It went by so fast, the next thing he knew the preacher was telling him to kiss the bride and Miranda was in his arms, his mouth claiming hers. He closed his eyes to let the sensation of her overtake him and suddenly his world was spinning out of control…

He heard the sigh and instantly his eyes flew open. Darkness met him and he fought to see. His eyes for some reason were not adjusting well to the blackness. It was almost as if he were still human.

When he finally regained his sight, he found Miranda lying in his arms her body pressed against him. The two of them were wrapped in a sheet, a tangle of legs. He had an arm draped over her hip and he felt the warmth of her skin next to his. She sighed again and Wesker lost himself. He leaned his head down and kissed her on the soft skin of her neck. He stroked her hair and saw the faint glimmer of a wedding ring on his left hand.

"I love you." She whispered. He closed his eyes to relish in the sound and suddenly his world was spinning out of control…

"Wesker!" The cry was painful. Even hearing it hurt. Wesker's eyes flew open and he was staring down at a sobbing Miranda. He frowned and studied her. Sweat was pouring off her forehead and she was gritting her teeth. He reached out to hold her hand not sure of what was wrong with her. His hand brushed her swollen belly and he realized instantly what was wrong. "Wesker!" The same cry pierced his ears.

For the first time in his life, Albert Wesker was speechless. He was confused. He'd gone from a wedding, to a bed, to this and he still wasn't sure what the hell was going on. He stared down at her until a chubby nurse barked at him to move and he did as he was told.

"Wesker…" Miranda's voice was hoarse. She was in pain. Although he wasn't sure what was happening, he watched as a doctor pulled a screaming baby girl from her and laid the child on her chest. Miranda continued to sob as Wesker looked down at them, overcome. He kissed his wife on the forehead and smiled.

"Sherry." Miranda said quietly. "Her name is Sherry." Wesker closed his eyes for one moment as a strange feeling of pride swept over him and suddenly his world was spinning out of control again….

"Daddy are you listening?" Wesker's eyes flew open once again and he was staring down at his daughter. He didn't know how he knew that, he just did. He nodded but said nothing as Sherry adjusted herself into his lap and put a book in front of her.

"Grandma, what big ears you have!" Sherry shouted in a squeaky voice. Wesker listened for Miranda, surely if Sherry was here so was she.

"Oh ouch." Pots and pans clattered noisily.

"You okay?" Wesker asked, surprising himself. What was wrong with him?

"I'm fine, darling." Miranda answered coming to the door of the kitchen. Her smile nearly took his breath away, not to mention the fact that her stomach was swollen. She was pregnant again. He was speechless. "Thanks for asking." She blew him a kiss and returned to the kitchen.

"Daddy!" Sherry protested loudly. "Do you know what the Big Bad Wolf said?" Wesker gazed down at Sherry and smiled, urging her to go on. "All the better to hear you with my dear!" Wesker's mind was whirling. Hearing…? Why did that spark something in him?

"Little Red Riding Hood said, 'Grandma, what big eyes you have!'" Sherry looked the same as she had when he'd seen her…He recognized the fact that he'd seen her before but couldn't quite remember where. "All the better to see you with my dear!" Sherry shouted. Wesker's mind continued whirling. Eyes…? Why was that starting a wildfire in his mind? Something was definitely going wrong with this whole scenario. He was not supposed to…

"Grandma!" Sherry was almost screaming. She had hopped down from his lap and ran to the middle of the room. "What big teeth you have!" Wesker grabbed his head as Miranda came back into the room.

"Wesker, honey, are you all right?" Miranda sat in his lap and kissed his forehead.

"All the better to eat you with my dear!" Sherry's voice had distorted and sounded almost mechanical. Wesker leaned his head up to kiss Miranda and was shocked to find that she was licking his face. Her tongue touched his lips and he tasted the sharp metallic tang of blood. Wesker closed his eyes for a moment, fighting revulsion, and suddenly his world was spinning out of control for the last time…

"Wesker!" Jacks shouted. He leapt into the rubble and began trying to move the large pieces of concrete and steel. But, like his vision, he wasn't nearly as strong as his leader. Leaning his weight against a large concrete block, he managed to push it away. "Captain! Can you hear me?" Jacks refused to believe that Wesker was dead. After all, weren't monsters supposed to live forever?

He balanced his weight on another large piece and it collapsed beneath him, sending him plunging into the now ravaged hotel basement below. He hit the ground hard and lay still for a moment, trying to force his breath to catch up with him. The piece of concrete he'd been leaning on fell on top of him and Jacks moaned loudly, the pain all at once a fire through out his body.

Miranda Harley was pinned between two pieces of concrete as well. She heard the moan and her whole body went stiff. She wasn't trying to get free anymore. Her insides were screaming that somehow a zombie had survived and was making its way toward her, hungry after its ordeal. She fought to get her arms free to at least fire the gun. Miraculously it was still tucked in her back pocket. Unfortunately, she couldn't reach behind her. She stared hard through the crack in the concrete but saw only smoke and darkness.

Jacks saw Miranda behind the concrete and heard her panicked breathing. Unexpectedly, another sound assaulted his ears. The moan came through clear as a bell and he knew that it was not his own. He saw the zombie rising from the fire and walking slowly in Miranda's direction. He reached for his gun, which had fallen just out of range of his fingers.

The zombie arrived at the concrete in front of Miranda and leaned his body against it. The concrete groaned under the weight and diminished the space around her. She told herself she could deal with the situation as long as she felt certain the zombie could not reach her. "Miranda!" She recognized Jacks' voice.

"Jacks? Where are you?" Miranda cried out. She didn't know why, but she had the feeling that Jacks wasn't going to be able to help her, no matter what happened.

"Hold still. He can't get to you if you hold still." As if in answer the zombie moaned desperately, thrust an arm into the opening between the two fragments of concrete and grabbed at her arm. Miranda screamed in surprise and fear as the zombie's fingers enclosed around her wrist and he began forcefully yanking her arm out of the opening. The zombie dug putrid nails into her arm. "Wesker!" The scream was filled with a new element of terror and pain. Jacks' continued his desperate reach for his gun to no avail. All he could do was watch as the zombie continued to tug on Miranda's arm.

It seemed odd to her that the zombie hadn't even noticed Jacks, but when the pain intensified and it began to feel like the zombie was tearing her arm off it didn't seem to matter all that much. She squeezed her eyes shut, praying that Wesker found her before that happened.

Riley couldn't believe he was seeing Miranda's daughter. Sherry was evading a set of zombie dogs, somehow managing it run in between their lunges. This little girl was very smart. One dog managed to tackle her to ground and was nipping at her face. He jumped off the ladder he'd been sitting on and ran toward her, yelling inanely and firing frantically. The dog fell away and Sherry jumped up, a look of challenge in her eyes. For a moment, he could have sworn he saw Wesker in her face. Could that be the reason Miranda hadn't told them Sherry was her daughter in the first place?

"Sherry. Are you all right?" He leaned down and reached for the little girl. She stared at him for a moment and punched him in the nose. He gave a startled shout and fell backward. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sherry sprinting for the door on the far side of the roof. He pushed himself up to stumble after her.

He reached the door moments after Sherry had slammed it. "Claire!" Riley paused with his hand on the door and listened. Could she be calling for Claire Redfield?

Jacks had said that Claire was the younger sister of Chris Redfield and he'd seen Wesker and Miranda look at each other. He had gathered from things that the two of them had said at one time or another that Chris Redfield was responsible for the so-called death of the "human" Wesker. He could understand why didn't Wesker care much for Chris.

"I couldn't find him." Sherry said with a sniffle. She paused as if listening to Claire speak. "…I can't reach it...." Riley noticed the dripping blood on his jacket and realized that Miranda's Sherry had broken his nose.

The door swung open and hit him in the face. Riley fell backward and this time he stayed down. His vision was swimming. "Take that, zombie!" Sherry shouted, kicking him in the ribs. With that done to her satisfaction, she ran across the platform and disappeared into another door.

"Well…that went well." Riley grumbled, wiping his nose with his sleeve. He got up and followed Sherry at a slower pace not surprised to find that she had disappeared by the time he'd reached the door.

Wesker opened his eyes to heavy smoke and concrete dust. For a moment, he struggled to remember where he was. Ever so slowly it began to return to him. Miranda was somewhere within this rumble and he had to find her.

He remembered his dream about Miranda licking his face and suddenly realized that something was doing just that. He sat up and stared at the undead dog standing next to him wagging its stub of a tail. At one time this dog had been a Doberman Pincher and a highly trained police dog by the look of its collar. It whined pitifully and Wesker noticed with disgust that it was slobbering blood.

"Go!" He growled, pointing toward the street. The dog whined again and took off running in that general direction. Wiping off his face he stood and looked out over the remains of the hotel. Jacks was nowhere in sight. Frowning, he wondered if Jacks had thought he was dead and decided to cash in on his apparent demise.

"Wesker!" Miranda's desperate cry slid into his ears like a cold chill. By the sound of things, he wouldn't like what he found.

"Jacks." Wesker spoke into his com-link. Angry, he wondered where Jacks had gone. Had he been too worried about saving himself to save Miranda?

"Captain." Jacks voice came back strained. Miranda's scream was louder in the background. "Help her." Jacks voice was hoarse.

"Jacks!" Miranda's outcry was raspy. The zombie moan in the background sent shock waves through Wesker's body. He could only imagine what the creature was doing to her. Wesker followed the sound of the frantic screams and found them instantly.

Miranda Harley was thinking of a wolf. She'd often heard when wolves were caught in a trap they would chew their own legs off to get free. If she'd had enough room to move within her own concrete trap, she certainly would have tried.

The zombie was still pulling, gathering force with each yank. Miranda whimpered, her shoulder slamming into the slab hard enough to bruise. She'd given up calling for Wesker. For some reason he either hadn't heard her or didn't care.

"Just pull me out already!" She shouted at the zombie. For a split second the zombie paused as if it had understood her, then resumed wrenching at her arm. She wished she could see something through the crack but she could not.

A strange whoosh resonated on the opposite side of the crack and Miranda imagined that something far bigger was about to have her entire body for a snack. She closed her eyes and promised herself that no matter what, she would not scream again. She would not let these horrendous monsters know that she was afraid of them anymore. If she somehow survived this ordeal, she swore things would change for her.

Albert Wesker grabbed the zombie by the head and turned it roughly, the bones making a loud crack in the sudden silence. It moaned in protest and fell as Wesker shot it between the eyes.

Gripping the sides of the concrete slab trapping Miranda, Wesker threw it to one side and she fell into him, throwing her arms around him. "Oh Wesker." Miranda choked out. Slowly, he put his arms around her and gently patted her back. The gesture was all together dispassionate. Miranda pushed away and looked up at him. Something about the way he'd held her had changed even though she wasn't sure what it was.

Wesker grabbed her arm and inspected it for cuts and bruises. By his expression, Miranda could tell he was not pleased with his findings. Letting go of her, he walked to another piece of slab and leaned down. To her horror, Miranda saw that Jacks was lying beneath it. She couldn't believe he was still alive.

Wesker picked up the concrete with little effort and tossed it aside. Jacks sat up and groaned, sucking in a much-needed breath. He picked up his gun and dusted it off, placing it back in its holster. His AK-47 was gone.

"Give her a shot of the serum I made for Davis." Wesker said, as if he were not at all surprised to find Jacks alive. "That virus works off any open wounds. Get some pain killers, a needle and thread. She needs stitches."

Jacks got to his feet and frowned. "How the hell do you expect me to find all that? Have you looked around lately?"

"I can see perfectly well, Jacks." Wesker growled. "But I also have confidence that you will find what I'm asking you for." Miranda came to stand next to Wesker and placed a hand on his arm.

"Thank you." She said softly. Wesker felt his stomach tighten. She'd never said that to him before. He stared down at her for a long moment, the dream passing through his mind. He gave her a half smile and turned away, pushing the com-link at his ear.

"Riley, where are you?" His deep voice was filled with something Miranda couldn't quite understand.

"In the sewers. Ada and Leon found the entrance and Annette Birkin is here shooting everything in sight. You guys had better get here quick. Chief Irons is dead."

"Damn." Wesker muttered under his breath. "The two of you stay here until you've given her the serum. Then come find me. I'll give you further instructions at that time." He turned to Miranda and patted her shoulder. "Be careful." He whispered. He recognized that something about her had changed. He was, in a way, glad. He had a feeling Miranda was no longer afraid of zombies and he hoped his feeling was right.

The sewer was dark and it stank. It wasn't just the smell of human waste. Like the city, it reeked of death. Riley was sloshing through the mire mumbling. Sherry had done a number on his nose and it hurt to make facial expressions. Not to mention the fact that he was almost certain, without looking in a mirror, he had a black eye. He'd figured out that Leon and Claire had FRS Radios and had been using them to communicate back and forth. It was how he'd learned of the death of Chief Irons.

He was more than happy to hear of the Chief's death. He'd studied the history of the Mr. Irons before coming to Raccoon City and he'd learned that the Chief was a very bad man indeed. Riley had no remorse for someone who hurt children.

He'd also heard from Claire and Leon that they were attempting to escape through the sewers. It was apparent that neither of them knew about the monster roaming around. Something made a loud splash behind him and he turned quickly, his gun ready. Ada stood and brushed herself off.

"What are you doing here?" Riley asked, somewhat relieved.

"The Captain told me to follow the girl. Remember? She disappeared and he told me to find her." Ada said curtly.

"Well, that's understandable. She does have the G-virus you know." Riley said. He moved to her and put a hand on her arm.

"What happened to you? You look like...oh I don't know. But that's bad. Can you see?" So it was true, Riley sighed. He did have a black eye.

He nodded. "Oh sure, but it's the nose that hurts."

"Jacks do that?" Ada smiled slightly. "He's such a hot shot."

"Sure did." Riley lied. He wasn't about to tell her that an eight-year-old girl had done it. They walked together, silent for a moment. "So what's going on? Is it likely that we'll get the G-virus?"

Ada waited for a few more minutes before she shrugged. "I have no clue."

Riley glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and noticed that she was wearing a gold necklace with a large pendant gleaming eerily in the dim light. He started to ask her about it as they crawled into a sewage pipe entrance, but Ada stopped suddenly and turned back to him. " I really like you, Riley. You're a good guy."

He smiled at her and raised an eyebrow. "Does that mean you're still my girlfriend?" Before he could say more, Ada grabbed his chin and pulled his mouth against hers. Riley closed his eyes, not sure what to make of her audacity. "Ada." He whispered. "I..."

"Yeah." She said and kissed him again. Something seemed wrong with her kiss. He wasn't sure why, but there was something not quite right with the whole situation. Then before he could stop her, Ada was gone, crawling away on her own and telling him that she would see him again soon.

Riley sighed happily, ignoring the ever-growing suspicions in his mind. Perhaps Ada wasn't as bad as everyone tried to make her out to be.

William Birkin stomped by above her and Annette froze. How could she have let this situation get so far out of hand? Now her husband was after Sherry and there was nothing she could do about it. There was no reasoning with a monster.

She wondered if Miranda Harley would have been angry with them if she'd known the truth. Annette had always wanted a child, but after she got one, there never seemed to be enough time for her. Work was vitally important and she wished she'd have listened to Albert Wesker when he'd warned her about the dangers of having a child underneath Umbrella territory. She'd shrugged him off at the time, unaware of what Umbrella was capable of. She'd never trusted that upstart scientist, Albert Wesker, even though her husband thought him the most brilliant man alive.

But Wesker hadn't been nearly as good a scientist as he was Captain of the S.T.A.R.S. He was a brilliant man. His mind was put to better use with tactical procedures. She'd been almost glad when they told her that Wesker had been killed in the mansion incident. She had always been afraid of him.

Who she should have been afraid of was her own husband. She had no idea that he would do something like this to himself. Annette Birkin closed her eyes and sighed. In a little less than three days, he whole life had changed. She didn't have any illusions that she would survive these tragic events. She just prayed that she'd done the right thing for Miranda Harley's daughter. Even though she hadn't been the best mother, or even her real mother, she still loved the Sherry dearly. But, would that be enough to save her?

"Annette Birkin." the voice as always, was deep and melodic, filled with mystery and deceit. Annette opened her eyes and turned to face the man the voice belonged to.

"Albert Wesker." She wanted to say more, but the words left her throat. This man should have been dead. Yet after everything she had been through lately, she was not that surprised. He nodded and she noticed that even in this dark room, he did not take off his sunglasses.

Wesker was the epitome of evil. She could feel it radiating off him like a desert sun. "Where is she?" The question came out a command. Annette continued to stare at him, her mind drawing up a blank. Who was he talking about? He must have noticed the questioning look. He scowled and adjusted the glasses.

"She?" Annette's voice came out a pitiful squeak. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh yes you do, Annette. Where is she? Where is my daughter?" Wesker was standing with his legs spread apart and his arms crossed. His expression never changed.

"Daughter?" Annette stuttered. She nearly fell backward in shock. Albert Wesker was Sherry's father? Miranda had had a child by this man? She coughed trying to expel the heavy knowledge even as it sunk deeper.

"I don't believe I hesitated, Annette. Where is my child?" Wesker stepped closer to her and Annette sucked in a breath. There was definitely something different about him. He radiated power. She could almost touch it.

"I sent her to the police station because I thought she'd bee safe." Annette answered pitifully. She'd already had this conversation with a young woman named Claire Redfield.

"Just because they have guns does not make them protectors or the building secure. You might as well have sent my daughter into the heart of the city. The hospital perhaps." He paused in his ravings and took off his dark glasses. Even in the gloom Annette could see his eyes. They were the eyes of something no longer human. They were the eyes off the devil himself.

Annette Birkin backed toward the wall and turned to run but even as she did so, she knew she had no chance. Wesker caught her easily and dragged her into the air by her hair. "Oh god." She gasped. "William gave you the…"

Angrily, Wesker jerked her head back. "Why did you not tell me about Sherry? It wasn't your right to keep a secret like that from me!"

"Albert, I didn't know…We didn't know. She never told us who the father was and we never asked. We just wanted a baby!" Annette shouted, the pain in the back of her head a dull roar.

"You never paid attention to her." Wesker growled.

"And what would you have done? Tell me that, Albert Wesker. If it had been up to you, Sherry would never have been born." Annette shouted back. Wesker yanked her head back harder.

"Why is it that everyone else thinks they know me so well? You and she assumed everything right from the beginning. Didn't you?" Wesker shouted back. "Neither of you gave me the chance to make that decision."

"Albert, I swear we didn't know. Miranda just told us that she would give us a baby with no strings attached. There was no way I could turn down an offer like that." Annette had begun to sob. "I wanted a child so badly."

"Obviously not." Wesker snarled, letting go of her hair. "You sent her to her death."

"Sherry's…oh god no…" Annette choked.

"As soon as your monstrosity of a husband gets a hold of her she will be." Wesker turned to walk away and stopped short in the doorway. "I should have killed you for what you did, Annette. But I think your date with destiny will bring about a fate worse than death." The door slammed in the sudden eerie silence.

With the serum injected and her arm patched up, Miranda Harley felt better. She and Jacks had made it half way across the city without any problems. The zombies had seemed to decrease in numbers and were now somewhat scarce.

While they were heading toward the sewers Miranda had kept an eye out for Sherry. She felt sure that if Sherry could just see her, she'd come with her. Unfortunately however, she couldn't see much of anything in the darkness.

"The Captain is following Ada." Jacks said almost too quietly for her to hear.

"Where's Riley?" Miranda asked. Jacks had stopped in front of a large sewer grating.

"He and Ada are…uh…" Jacks looked back toward her and Miranda noticed how strange Jacks eyes were. When angry, Jack's dark eyes flared an impossible bright green. "That moron! I warned him about her."

"So did I." Miranda said putting a hand on Jacks shoulder. "Is Wesker mad?"

"Mad would be a better word for it, Ms. Harley." Jacks grabbed hold of the grating and pulled. His legs were braced and his arms muscles knotted as he yanked harder. Finally, with a loud groan the grate fell away and Jacks raised his gun. "Be careful down here Miranda and stay close to me. I'd advise using that gun of yours."

Riley wasn't exactly sure how he and Ada had ended up alone in the Sewer Management room. But somehow here they were and something inside Riley's mind was screaming for him to stop.

He lifted Ada and sat her on the table in front of him. Their lips locked together passionately. He couldn't stop himself, not even if he wanted to. Ada had shirt and was pulling it up over his head.

"Riley," She whispered against his lips. Riley liked the way she said his name, never mind the fact that she didn't sound very sincere saying it. The warning sirens in his head grew louder and he pulled his head back from her and listened to the silence. There was something amiss in the quiet room.

"What are we doing?" He asked at last, his voice hoarse. "I'm not sure of this is right…"

"Right?" Ada spat, grabbing him by the shoulders and pulling him closer to her. "Who cares about being right?" She kissed him again, her lips blazing across his own. Riley didn't enjoy the taste he thought he should. The bottom of his stomach was dropping out.

"Ada, wait." He said suddenly. "Something's not right. I can feel it. "

"What the hell are you talking about?" Ada sneered at him and Riley didn't find the expression all too beautiful. She tried to kiss him again but Riley pulled away.

"Wait…" He stepped back and looked away, unsure of what to say. His mind kept returning to the same subject. There was something extremely wrong with this whole situation. Ada had been acting funny since he'd met her in the sewer earlier. When he'd first tried to get her to pay attention to him like this she'd ignored him and made a fool out of him. Now she was being affectionate and throwing herself at him. She was either trying to keep him from figuring something out, or she really wanted him. He was willing to bet on the first one.

"Riley, what's wrong with you? You're acting like a…" Before Ada could finish, the door to the Management room burst open and a Licker leapt through, landing easily on all four legs. It hissed loudly and scrunched up its body. Riley knew it to be in an attack stance. The creatures assumed such positions when they were about to strike at their prey. Slowly, Riley reached for Ada and pulled her off the table. He'd learned that slow silent movements confused the creatures. Since Lickers had no eyes, they relied heavily on their acute sense of hearing.

"Be quiet," Riley whispered in her ear. "It can't sense our exact location of if we're very quiet."

"Kill it!" Ada shouted loudly. The Licker, which had lain still and stretched out its legs, resumed its attack stance and began slinking towards them. "What are you waiting for?" Ada shouted, louder this time. Riley reached into the back of his pant loop where he'd kept his gun and suddenly realized that it wasn't there.

Albert Wesker had been standing outside the Sewer Management Control area for a while, listening to the stillness around him. The dead body of one of the workers was leaned up against the wall almost as if it were planning to sit up and talk to him. Wesker ignored him.

He'd also spent precious time trying to bring up a group of Surveillance monitors that sat unused in the far corner of the balcony. He'd been successful bringing up only three. One was currently showing that the Raccoon City weather station was still on the air. "Sunny with high clouds moving across the area. Fifty percent chance of rain by tomorrow morning?" Wesker read aloud. He laughed to himself and turned the monitor off. He wondered with a smile what zombie had put out that forecast.

The other monitor showed what seemed to be a large trash area. He'd been looking for the former William Birkin but hadn't seen anything for the past hour.

All his waiting finally paid off. To his surprise, he saw something drop from above camera like a fallen star and land on a trash pile not far away. Wesker leaned closer to the screen and realized that he was looking at Sherry. He turned instantly and leapt off the balcony, failing to see the no longer human William Birkin lumbering towards the child.

The Licker crept closer to Riley and hissed again. It sounded like it was clearing its throat before saying grace. Riley stepped back and slammed into the table. There was no where else to go. He could try and leap over the table, but the Licker would catch him before he got very far. Out of the corner of his eye he watched Ada backing toward the door and he wondered vaguely why she wasn't bothering to help him.

The Licker was right at his feet, its tongue tracing across his wounded leg. It paused for a moment, its body tensed and its head cocked to the side. It was confused. Riley could tell that it sensed something alive but tasted something dead.

Riley tried for his gun. Once again, he came up empty handed. He was almost positive he'd put his gun in his belt loop. His shirt was gone and so was his gun. He wondered what the person who found him would think. If there was much of him left to think about.

The Licker raised itself up on its hind legs and placed its talon hands on his shoulders. Riley was surprised to see how human the Licker's hands were. However, human hands or not this creature had no compassion, only the lust for human flesh. It hissed again and Riley caught a glimpse of massive teeth. To Riley Davis, it was almost like staring into his own open grave.

The door slammed on its hinges behind the Licker and for some reason, Riley had the fleeting thought that he was about to be saved. As the Licker's tongue slid over his face, his eyes fell on a Hunter creeping into the room. Its body was poised for an attack of its own. It would kill the Licker to get a human meal.

"Ada!" Riley shouted as the Hunter screeched. He couldn't see Ada but he had the strong feeling that she had no intention of helping him.

Robert Jacks could sense that there were a whole lot of things going wrong at one time. It was an almost tangible force to him. Miranda Harley followed closely behind him unaware of what he was sensing. She was dealing with her own problems.

"Where do they all come from?" She asked staring through a grate at a group of zombies reaching desperately for them.

"This city averaged about two-hundred thousand people, as of three weeks ago. Do the math." Jacks snapped. Miranda raised her gun and squeezed an eye shut. Jacks slapped her hand down and grabbed her by the chin. "Don't be stupid, Ms. Harley. That's a waste of ammunition. They can't get to us through that." But even as he said it, the grate collapsed and the group of zombie filed into the sewers.

"You were saying?" Miranda snapped as she backed toward the wall, her gun raised. She and Jacks began to fire and in minutes, the entire group of zombies lay motionless in the filthy water.

Jacks nodded and turned away, returning to the path he'd been following on their quest to catch up with Captain Wesker. "Not bad." He said over his shoulder. "You and I make a pretty good team."

"Good at killing zombies, anyway." Miranda said with a snort.

"Ada!" Jacks stopped dead in his tracks as Riley screamed.

"Riley!" Miranda shouted, sprinting past Jacks. The water splashed around her knees soaking the legs of her pants, but she didn't notice. Riley was in distress and she was going to help her friend.

The sinking feeling in Jacks stomach returned and he knew that Riley was in a lot of trouble. " Miranda wait!" he shouted. " Reload on ammo and take this." He handed her a new clip for her .38 and handed her his gun. Miranda stared at him and then looked at the gun. It was a .38 as well. She held the guns out in front of her and all at once she felt powerful. "Don't let that go to your head." Jacks warned her. "This is not a video game. You can still die."

Albert Wesker kneeled next to his daughter and felt for a pulse. He was almost afraid to touch her. She looked so fragile lying there on the trash pile. He wasn't sure what to do with her.

She moaned weakly and he drew his hand back, studying her for wounds. He'd seen the Birkin monster in the hall, but had thought nothing of it until now. He'd learned from a conversation between Annette and Claire Redfield that Birkin would go after Sherry because it was easier to implant G-virus embryos in genetically related specimens. Didn't Birkin realize that Sherry was not really his daughter? Annette had also said that Birkin's human mind and memory was fading away. Perhaps he'd already forgotten.

If William Birkin had injected embryos in her, they would pupate and kill her. There had to be a way to reverse the effects before that happened.

"Daddy?" The pitiful moan forced Wesker backward as something inside tugged at him. He wanted to tell her that he was right there, but he couldn't force himself to say the words.

"Sherry?" A voice called from behind the trash bin door. Wesker concealed himself behind a pile of trash as Claire Redfield entered the room. He watched her closely. She looked exactly like her brother and for that he hated her. He would have shot her, but she picked up Sherry and whispered to her.

"My stomach hurts." Sherry answered opening her eyes. At least she was wake. That was a good sign. Wesker vowed that no matter what happened to Sherry, he would not tell Miranda. He couldn't risk losing her too.

Riley closed his eyes and prayed for a painless death. The Hunter leaned forward on his talon toes and began to growl. The Licker paused in its taste test and listened.

"That's right, asshole." Riley said through his teeth. "Competition." He glanced at Ada once again and was not surprised that she was motionless against the wall. The door beside Ada burst open and Jacks stood in the entrance, his Magnum raised. Miranda stood behind him with her guns held up as well. Jacks inclined his head and Miranda shot at the Hunter. It screeched loudly and leapt toward them. Miranda continued to shoot undeterred. Even though she didn't realize it, her bullets were only making the monster angry.

The Licker was very still and Riley was faintly aware that it was about to strike and saw its teeth just as another gunshot cracked through the air. Jacks appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the Licker around the neck, tossing it into the still advancing Hunter. The two monsters fell backward and began fighting each other. Riley fell to his knees and gasped for breath. He hadn't realized he'd been holding it.

As the two continued to fight, Miranda watched them. She was appalled at how human-like their motions were. Ada pushed past her as she headed for the door, but Miranda caught her by the arm and threw her up against the wall. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Why should you care?" Ada snapped.

"What's wrong with you? You just stood there. Are you blind or just stupid?" Miranda growled. She continued to hold Ada against the wall with her elbow against her throat. Ada started at her for a moment before she spit in her face. Miranda grabbed her and slammed her head into the wall. "Why didn't you help him?"

"Why should I? He's weak. Ask your precious Wesker what he thinks about the weak." Ada said through her teeth. Miranda stared at her, letting the words sink in. She knew very well what Wesker thought of others.

"To Wesker, anyone who is not him is weak. Including you, Ada." Miranda said lightly. Ada elbowed her in the ribs.

"Which means that he thinks the same of you, Miranda Harley." Ada grabbed her by the hair and yanked her head back. "All you are to him is a little slut." Miranda used her shoulder to keep Ada pinned against the wall.

A gunshot sliced through the silence and the hunter shrieked harshly, falling to the floor. The Licker was already dead.

Jacks turned toward the women and scowled. "Finish this." He helped Riley to his feet and checked him over. Finding nothing out of order, he handed him a small piece of cloth. Riley wiped his face and sighed.

The distraction was enough for Ada to kick Miranda in the shin and shove her to the floor. "Why didn't you help him?" Miranda said as she stood.

"Why didn't you help Wesker?" Ada stood at the door and glared at her. "You could have saved him, but instead, like the coward you are you stood by and watched."

Miranda jumped at Ada without a second thought her left fist connecting with Ada's jaw. As Jacks and Riley stood watching in shock, Miranda and Ada fell to the ground. Miranda continuously threw her fist into Ada's face. The anger washed over her like a flood. Ada grabbed her hair and the two women were a blur of fists and nails then all at once, blood.

"This could almost be erotic." Riley cracked. Jacks looked at him for a moment but didn't react.

"You're weak, Miranda." Ada said through bloody teeth. Miranda hit her again. The anger was dominating her mind.

Miranda lost control of herself. She was no longer seeing Ada; she was seeing the events in the mansion laboratory. She was watching again as Wesker fell to his knees the river of his blood sweeping towards her. She didn't even notice when Ada brought her elbow up and hit her in the nose. She continued hitting her as her vision swam and she saw Chris Redfield standing in front of her, his gun raised. A part of her exploded and she screamed uncontrollably.

Jacks stared in disbelief at the two women fighting viciously. He hadn't expected Miranda to react the way she had. He didn't think she had it in her. She seemed as if she were in a trance. Riley inhaled sharply and Jacks looked up to see Captain Wesker standing in the door way his face expressionless. He caught Jacks' eye and frowned.

Without warning, Miranda screamed the sound guttural and strange. Ada lay beneath her, in a puddle of blood; her face screwed into a hateful sneer.

"Enough!" Wesker shouted suddenly. Miranda stopped instantly and turned to look at him. At Wesker's nod she stood and backed away from Ada. Ada stood as well and brushed herself off indignantly. Jacks was almost sure he saw her cheeks coloring. "I've had enough." Wesker growled. "There will be no more of this. Am I understood?" The four of them nodded but no one said anything. "Ada. Find Leon and lead him down into Umbrella's Underground Lab. Let him find the virus, then kill him. No use in wasting any more of our men on this." Miranda came to stand next to Jacks and Riley. Riley handed her his cloth and she put it on her bleeding nose. "You three come with me."

Ada disappeared through the door on the other side of the room, but not before Riley caught a glimpse of his gun in the small of her back. After he was sure she was gone, Wesker turned back to the group standing before him. "What the hell was that?"

Miranda shook her head. "It was nothing." She shrugged her shoulders. Riley and Jacks glanced at each other and then at Wesker. The Captain seemed to accept her answer. He took her elbow and stared into her eyes, but neither said anything.

"Riley, can you figure out how to get a set of monitors working? I need surveillance for the Underground lab." Riley nodded wordlessly and followed them back into the sewers. "We'll get to the Lab and Miranda can help you. By the way..." Wesker paused and looked back toward him. "Where's your shirt?"

"You wouldn't believe it, but some of my groupies came running by and ripped it right off me." Riley said with a laugh.

"Groupies for a smart-ass? Yeah right." Jacks snorted.

"What would you know?" Riley shot back. "You wouldn't know a groupie if it walked up and bit you."

"Ah. I see. Your groupies were zombies. Not surprising with you being their King and all… Just sexy enough for them." Jacks laughed. Wesker continued to hold onto Miranda's elbow as he led them into Umbrella's Underground Laboratory where they would end this whole fiasco by obtaining the G-virus and getting out alive.

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