A Rose by Any Other Name

Baiting Sheep

"Mr. Wesker, your mission into Raccoon City was less than satisfactory." The man at the head of the table said. Wesker nodded with a frown.

"We understand that Umbrella has the G-virus samples we sent you to procure." The anger was the dominant tone in the female voice.

"On the contrary." Wesker answered. He was fighting his own rage, a rage that was threatening to send him over the edge. "Robert Jacks, the young man that was just in here, obtained the remains of the William Birkin monster. Riley Davis and I are currently trying to cultivate the virus and stabilize it." In a way, Albert Wesker was lying the HCF Corporates. It was true that Robert Jacks had the virus. It was not true that they were stabilizing it. Jacks had hidden the remains of the Birkin monster under the cot in his barrack and Wesker intended to find out why. The Corporates, however, did not need to know this minor detail.

"Whatever the case may be, Mr. Wesker, we hired you to obtain the G-virus for us. If it is indeed true that you and Mr. Davis are cultivating the virus, then Mr. Davis will have to finish it on his own." the deep voice said. Wesker wished he knew their names. It was easier to negotiate with people whose names were familiar. Like Barry Burton for instance.

"Why is that?" Wesker crossed his arms over his chest.

"We've been receiving strange reports from an Umbrella controlled island called Sheena. It seems that there are monster outbreaks appearing all over the island. It may be necessary to send you there to help spiral the situation out of control. Umbrella hasn't had much success in dealing with Bio outbreaks as of late."

"Who's the commanding officer on the island?" Wesker took off his dark glasses and rubbed his temples.

"We're surprised you don't know, Captain Wesker." the female sounded amused.

"Vincent." the name came out distastefully. Wesker sat forward and clenched his fists on the table.

"Indeed." Three heads bobbed in the darkness. It seemed the even the HCF knew of his dealings with Vincent Goldman. But that was something for another time. "Since there seems to be no new research developing under Commander Vincent's control. We will not worry ourselves with obtaining his research."

"When?" Wesker wasn't sure why, but he was almost positive they wouldn't allow him to take Miranda with him. Since it was a simple mission it wasn't necessary to involve an entire squadron of people.

"At the moment, things seems to be slowly progressing. We will let you know."

"Tell us about Ada Wong."

Wesker sighed loudly at the thought of having to explain the whole Ada fiasco. He was as displeased with it as they would undoubtedly be. He began the report at the beginning and left only one detail out, the infernal rhyming bird. They wouldn't understand it's appearance and he couldn't explain it to them either. Three heads bobbed again.

"Mr. Wesker, we hope that further actions like this will be contained by you. You understand the importance of these missions as much as anyone," the female sat up straighter in her seat. Wesker didn't bother looking at them in the darkness. He'd seen them a dozen times before.

"Ms. Wong will not be joining us on further missions. Of that I can assure you." Wesker interlaced his fingers.

"There is new information that we are very interested in, Captain," the deep male voice said. "It seems that Alexia Ashford is not dead."

"Not dead?" Wesker's breath caught in his throat. If Alexia were alive then that meant that the heart of Umbrella was still beating strong. The roots of their corruption were beginning to travel ever deeper with each new discovery.

"She's concealed herself within a laboratory and has been developing something called a T-Alexia virus. Within the next few months, we will be sending you and your team to find Alexia and obtain the T-Alexia virus. It is vitally important that you don't screw up this mission, Captain Wesker."

"We'll give you more details as they come to our attention. For now, we're sure that you have plenty to do in preparation." Wesker nodded. They were right; he had more groundwork he needed to cover than he'd like to admit. For starters, he'd find out why Jacks was concealing the remains of William Birkin.


"You have what?" Riley choked on his sandwich. "That's what was in the bag?" Jacks nodded but said nothing. Riley looked toward Miranda to see how she would react to it, but her head was down and she was dissecting her sandwich. "Why didn't you tell Wesker?"

"I don't know." Jacks snapped. "I just didn't."

"Wesker will think you did it to screw him over you know." Riley pointed out. He swallowed the obstruction in his throat.

"I don't know." Jacks said again. Miranda took the bologna from the middle of her sandwich and laid it on Riley's plate. She did the same with the cheese.

"Come on M, you can't just eat the bread." Riley said softly. "Eat something."

"Davis, leave her alone." Jacks reached over and snatched the bologna off his plate. "She doesn't feel like eating." For the first time since they'd come back Miranda looked directly at Jacks. She looked surprised.

"Now damn it," Riley shouted as Jacks took the opportunity to snatch his cheese. "That's mine!"

"You weren't eating it." Jacks answered with his mouth full. At Miranda's gasp they all turned. Wesker was standing in the doorway his arms crossed.

"For the time being, Riley, I'd rather you didn't congregate with Jacks." The two men looked toward Wesker in surprise. "Don't bother to ask why, Davis. I should think the incident in the Conference room should tell you all you need to know." While Wesker spoke, Jacks quickly wrote something on a napkin and slid it to Miranda. Miranda pretended to wipe her mouth with it. Then he stood and followed Wesker.

After she was sure they were gone, she handed Riley the napkin and left as well. Riley held up the note and read:

Meet me in the side lab after midnight. I'll give you the body parts then.

Jacks

P.s. It's not necessary to eat the napkin.

Riley sighed to himself. What kind of trouble were they getting themselves into?

As they made their way to the Main Laboratory, Wesker smiled to himself. He'd seen the note passed between the three of them and knew what it said. It had been easy to bait these sheep. He'd find out what he needed to know without having to ask anyone anything. All he had to do was wait.

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