A Rose by Any Other Name

Marcus Baker, Thy Name is Prey

The metal door flew over their heads and across the room. Wesker stormed past them. His eyes were burning a fierce crimson. He had to go somewhere and collect his thoughts. If not, there was no telling what he was capable of. Once upon a time when he needed to be alone, he'd stood outside and smoked a cigarette. But now, because of the risk involved, Wesker wasn't allowed outside. Instead, he headed for the in-door hot house where the Organization was growing their bio-chemical plants. Pushing open the door a wave of hot muggy air hit him.

This was where he'd gotten the rose for Miranda. He'd been here numerous times before. Riley claimed that it was because the devil had to have his heat. After his violent display a few moments ago, Wesker was beginning to wonder if he were not the prince of darkness that they claimed him to be.

Sitting down next to the rosebush, Wesker reached up and snatched a rose, a thorn ripping a gash along his palm. Bloody thoughts swept over him. He couldn't believe what he had done. A few sharp words from that smart mouthed young man and he had lost control. He'd never reacted that way before. Sure he'd lost his temper, he had been famous for exploding at the S.T.A.R.S. members for all sorts of reasons.

His fingers shaking in anger he began tearing the delicate petals to pieces. It wasn't so bad that he had lost his restrain, but it was bad that he had done it in front of Miranda. Her screams still rang in his ears. He could see himself continually attacking that young man, his vital fluids flying in every direction, splattering against the walls. He was definitely not the same. His blood lust was uncanny. The G-virus had totally changed him. Still, his murderous performance had been played out before Miranda's eyes. He could see her with her head and hands laid against the glass, tears streaming down her cheeks. He'd never meant for her to see that side of him. He hadn't wanted the mother of his child to know what type of monster he really was.

He was indeed a monster. There was no more denying it. Gazing down at the torn petals, Wesker saw what the moist air had done to them. The color was running along the floor. It reminded him of the young man's blood. " A rose by any other name…" He snorted with laughter. "Is Marcus Baker…" The wave of laughter broke over him and he had no control over it. Throwing his head back he let it out and laughed depravedly. All at once, he could feel Marcus Baker's life force slipping away from his body. The laughter pushed its way out and got louder. Suddenly the laughter subsided, giving way to the primal howl of an agonized soul.

Riley ran into the room and kneeled over Marcus Baker who was coughing on his own blood. The room was silent as other researchers joined him, preparing to move Marcus to another observation room where he could be treated. Marcus held his eyes closed and groaned.

Miranda stood in the doorway watching for a moment before sorrow overcame her. She could not stay and watch to see what would become of Marcus. Turning she ran from the room. She had to find Albert Wesker.

Riley was yanking off his lab coat to lie across the chest of Marcus when the laughter began. It was eerie and evil. The entire room paused to listen. Without a doubt they all knew whom the laughter belonged to.

Marcus gasped for air. Just as suddenly as the laughter had begun, it was followed by a sound the likes of which Riley had never heard. It was a long wailing cry so terrifying the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. He turned back to check on Marcus just as the young man's eyes flew open.

The last thing Marcus Baker ever saw was the concerned face of a man he'd hated in life. The last thing he ever heard was the howling of an agonized soul. Mr. Baker wondered briefly if he had been easy prey for that monster before he thought no more…

Miranda entered the hot house just as Wesker's howl subsided. Quietly, she made her way towards him and knelt next to him. Wesker stared at her in silence for a long moment. Why was she here? He hadn't expected her to be. He wondered if she too would condemn him for what he'd done.

Gently, Miranda reached out and touched the side of his face. "A rose by any other name…" She was looking directly into eyes that were a mirror to a dark soul and saw the suffering deep within. She wished there were some way to convey to him that she understood.

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