A Rose by Any Other Name

Two Unmarked Graves

Robert Jacks took in a gasping breath only to get a mouthful of dirt. He tried to force his eyes to open but once again the dirt hindered him. Opening and closing his fingers was more difficult than he wanted to admit. With every new discovery Jacks was becoming enraged. Shoving his arm up through the dirt, he found the freedom to move his fingers. It was all the leverage he needed to pull his entire body through the muck and mire.

Looking around he realized that he was in a makeshift cemetery chock-full of unmarked graves. His own grave was no more than three feet deep. "Lazy bastards. No respect for the dead…They couldn't even bury me correctly." He shook his head roughly and pulled in another gasping breath. He was relieved to be breathing at all, and yet, strangely his thoughts had never strayed toward death. Never once throughout the whole ordeal had he felt truly dead. He'd been at the point of dissolution once before and he knew without a doubt it wouldn't be hard to recognize the sensations a second time.

"Son of a bitch." He caught sight of the gaping holes in his shirt and growled. He could still feel the bullets lodged in his stomach. His moronic killers hadn't even checked him for other weapons. Yanking the knife from its holster on his leg Jacks used it to methodically dig each slug from its resting-place in his abdomen. The thought crossed his mind that through it all he had felt minimal pain. Even then it hadn't remained long. It was time to find Sherry and get back to the HCF before Wesker came looking for him.

Wesker grasped the metal security doors in both hands and wrenched them open. The doors protested loudly but slid past their bearings. He'd been in enough Umbrella laboratories to know the layout without having to look where he was going.

A sardonic smile crossed his lips at the sight of the Tyrant in the chemical tank. If only Harley had known her beloved Vincent Goldman had been stealing her research. He wondered how much she would have warmed to him if she'd known.

On the upper level he'd read Vincent's work on Beta Hetero Nonserotonin. This complex name was nothing more than active brain secretion made from extreme fear and anxiety. With this simple difference in the genetics of the Tyrant, there would be no proof that he had taken Miranda's creation. He was safe from her taking over his study as well. Everyone within Umbrella knew Miranda Harley had never been totally aware of the truth.

He'd continued looking for Vincent in spite of what the boy had said. No one in Umbrella died that easily. It wasn't the simplex order of things. He'd also been looking for another way off the island since it was obvious he wouldn't be using his plane.

Here in the research room, Wesker found the answer to all his problems. The figure stood in the shadows, breathing heavily and holding his side. Without looking closely he knew it was Vincent.

"Wesker?" His voice was distant and racked with pain.


"What are you…why are you here?" He moved slowly forward and into the semi-light of the nearest console. Wesker narrowed his eyes. He wasn't certain how much Vincent knew about what had happened at the Arklay mansion. When he didn't answer, Vincent groaned and sat on the floor. "I knew they'd send you. Umbrella's number one assassin. So they know what's happened."

"They do."

"She gave the order." Vincent said, meaning Miranda Harley.

"She did."

"She's still bitter about…I should have known. Kill me then. I can't take this pain."

Wesker's smile made his blood run cold. "I'm not here to kill you."

Vincent scratched at his chest absentmindedly. "It's hot in here." He said finally. "I'll ask you again. Why are you here?" "Questions." Wesker told him simply. "And an escape route."

"Easy enough. How about a Helicopter? You can fly one…right?" He got to his feet and staggered. "We'll get to the questions…later."

Wesker grabbed his arm roughly and jerked him the rest of the way up. "Where is the helicopter?"

Vincent bent forward and threw up. Wesker ignored the green liquid sliding down the toes of his boots. "There." He answered unsteadily. "The heli-pad has already been used… the self-destruct sequence…"

"You stupid…" Wesker's grip tightened on Vincent's arm as he dragged him toward the remaining helicopter. "I never understood where they found you morons in the first place."

"Not so fast, you son of a…"Vincent said slowly. "My leg is killing me."

"Screw your leg." At the heli-pad, Wesker tossed him in the direction of the helicopter. "Get in." Stumbling, Vincent fell to his knees.

"I can't." He said through gritted teeth. Wesker left him there and checked the helicopter to make sure it was operational. The ground beneath his feet began to rumble and groan. It wouldn't be long before the whole island exploded.

He returned to Vincent and caught the tail end of a bloody smile. "What's so funny?" He growled. Helping him to stand, he pushed him into the co-pilot's seat.

"You. I mean…you know everything…you're such a…you're such an asshole." He answered, coughing haggardly. He sat in the seat scratching at his arms. Wesker's snort of laughter seemed to startle him. "It's burning." Without warning, he vomited on the floor. "Dear god it hurts." Ignoring his painful moaning Wesker jumped into the pilot's seat and guided the helicopter into flight.

Moonlight Sonata was playing on the stereo in the corner of a dark room. Leon S. Kennedy sat alone, trying to force down the bile in his throat. He felt guilty for letting them kill that man, but at the time he hadn't been able do much about it.

Again he wondered whom that man had worked for. It didn't seem likely that he had come from Umbrella. If he had, there would have been something identifying him. The black uniform just didn't seem to fit.

But what bothered him the most was the fact that the man had called him by name. For the life of him, he couldn't remember. And how had he known about Ada? He'd only known Ada for that short period of time and he was pretty sure they'd been alone. It really didn't matter however, the man was dead and dead men told no tales. Reaching over, he plunged the room into silence. In most cases dead men told no tales, but that meant nothing to Umbrella.

He had to go and check on Sherry. For some reason, he'd been doing that a lot lately. What could he possibly be worried about? Sherry was safe. Wasn't she?

A large group of men sat around a metal table tossing poker cards into a pile. The boisterous laughter echoed down the hallway and made it impossible to hear the impending doom that was headed their way. As the door fell to the floor, ripped from its hinges, the clamor dissipated.

Robert Jacks stood in the now open doorway and grinned at them wickedly. Not one man moved. "Gentlemen." He said, holding out a closed fist for all of them to see. "I believe these are yours." Opening his hands he let the bullets, once lodged in his abdomen, fall to the floor.

Vincent Goldman's skin turned a sickly green and his eyes had begun to glaze over with pain. He'd been moaning incessantly. Wesker swore under his breath in aggravation.

They were now a hundred and twenty five miles away from Sheena Island and thousands of miles from their destination. "If we're going to Rockfort Island, Wesker, we're going to wrong way." Vincent said weakly.

"I know that."

"If not Rockfort perhaps the Antarctic?" He seemed a bit better. Color was returning to his cheeks.

"The Antarctic is not a prison island."

"You're driving me insane. Don't you ever say anything?" He shouted suddenly. Wesker watched out of the corner of his eye as Vincent bent and began heaving. "Open the door." His voice was raspy. "I'm not throwing up in the cockpit anymore. I can't handle the smell." Growling, Wesker threw open the hanger door. He maneuvered the helicopter into a stationary position and waited for Vincent to finish.

Vincent's body disappeared through the doorway before Wesker could make a grab at him. "You stupid…" He had other plans for Mr. Goldman and at the current moment they didn't include death.

Hearing the splash, Wesker jumped in after him. Almost instantly he knew something had once again gone terribly wrong. It became even more apparent when the sandbag hit him in the back and accelerated his descent into the water.

The metal cord tied to his ankle was making it impossible to claw his way to the surface and the sandbag was dragging him down to a dark and watery grave. Angrily, Albert Wesker screamed, but the air bubbles were the only things returning to the surface.

"Terribly sorry there wasn't enough room for the both of us." Vincent Goldman laughed painfully. "Those sandbags are somewhat heavy." Smiling to himself, he sat in the pilot's seat and patted himself on the back for making sure a sandbag still remained on this particular craft. He'd been using the sandbags to ensure the weight limit was maxed on each helicopter to avoid unwanted passengers.

He coordinated his global position on the monitors. He'd be heading to the nearest Umbrella facility to report Albert Wesker's death directly to Oswell Spencer. Then he would have Miranda Harley and there would be no one to stop him.

Perhaps she would make an excellent test subject for his next Tyrant. It would be ironic that the next "Harley" Tyrant would be Harley herself.

Coughing haggardly, he watched the blood pool on the console in front of him. Vincent had no way of knowing that no one would ever see him alive again.

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