"Marine unit Bravo Six is inside the complex and advancing. All clear so far, over." Cpl. Andor Faison said into the radio on his shoulder. His four man team had just breached a blast door in the mining facility they were investigating here.
"Copy that, six. We lost contact with Bravo Four in that area." The advisor said. "Keep your eyes open."
The radio went silent.
Andor motioned to his team to move into the corridor. PFC Andrews, PFC Davidson, and Corpsman Weatherby moved up in front of him, pulse rifles at the ready. This was the fourth colony they had to investigate in the year. All across the universe, colonies had suddenly gone dark, and every time, the Colonial Marines were sent in to confirm what everyone thought, but none had the guts to say. The Aliens. Xenomorphs. Whatever you wanted to call them. The settlers had been slaughtered by the damn things.
Each time Andors team went groundside, some squad in their company would be killed. Then they were pulled out and the Navy bombarded the settlements from orbit. This day was different, though. Three teams had been killed, and they were still here. Weyland-Yutani definitely had stakes out here to buy off the military to stay. And it would just get men like himself killed.
The team reached another blast door. Andor motioned to his demolitions man, Davidson. The marines took positions on either side of the door. Davidson removed a round charge from his belt and placed it on the door. It beeped twice and blew, the door gone. The marines ran in with rifles ready, covering each other in the wide, dark room.
"Eyes and ears open, squad. Davidson, be ready to deploy an explosive solution if things get heavy." Andor said. The demo expert primed a grenade in his left and kept close to Andrews. Andrews was a close combat specialist, and at this moment fixing a long combat knife to the front of his rifle.
"Why do you have that little butterknife, anyway?" The corporal asked. "If the enemy gets close enough for you to use it, you're already dead."
The man shrugged. "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it."
Andor looked the room over. It was the same pre-fabricated steel as every other place they'd been, the lights all gone leaving a maze of shadows for aliens to hide in, to wait for you. This looked like the command center, there were windows looking out over the drill zone, and desk chairs had been thrown around. Looked like someone left in a hurry. Andor couldn't blame them. He wanted nothing more right then than to get back on a Cheyenne dropship out of this place, and his team with him.
A slight movement caught his eye.
"Andrews, with me, Davidson, Weatherby, cover us!" he shouted, turning on his flashlight and running over. Instead of alien drones, he and Andrews found a marine woman of Bravo Four, a PFC named Kelly, if Andor remembered right. Andrews was close to her.
Andor slung his rifle behind him and got to her side. Andrews looked very concerned. He felt a pulse, a bit slow maybe, but still strong. She groaned softly as they got her up.
"Take her over to Weatherby." he told Andrews. The man hurriedly did as he was told. Andor was about to catch up with him, but as he took a final glance around, his foot kicked something soft. He knelt down and picked the object up out of the shadow.
He recoiled and dropped it, realizing it was a dead facehugger. He caught his breath for a moment, trying to tame the sudden adrenalyn rush. He thought of the implications, then ran over to the others.
"Weatherby, we need emergency surgery on her now!"
"What for?" the medic asked as Andrews set Kelly down against a table.
"She's got one inside her." he said, looking around for any threats. "Davidson, keep us covered."
Andrews looked ready to panic. "Are you sure, sir?"
"I found a facehugger right where we found her. It's safe to say I'm pretty damn sure!"
Weatherby hesitated a moment, then got to work. He wasted no time in unpacking his medical kit.
"Andrews, your knife!" he said, and the marine handed it over without question. There wasn't time to unbutton all the crap they strapped onto a Colonial Marine, and Weatherby cut away Kelly's fatigues around her torso. At another time, Andrews may have been angry, and Kelly may have been embarrased, but life and death meant more to them than her modesty at the moment.
Weatherby was the teams sort of rookie. He had been with them for a few months now, but he had never had to treat anything more than cuts and acid burns before without a full stocked hospital, not a bloody first aid kit and a borrowed knife. But this was what he had, and this was where and when he needed to do it.
After sterilizing the knife with a lighter, he made the first incision in her stomach. In the bodies he had studied, the chestbursters would roost in the ribs, and he would have to go around them to get at the alien embryo. Andor and Andrews looked up and around. They weren't sure that aliens could smell blood, but they weren't going to take a chance. Weatherby made his second cut, and now had a way in. He stopped for a moment, then plunged his hand into her body. It was not a good feeling to have his hand inside a persons guts, but he took his time, and made sure he didn't accidentally damage a vital organ. Then he felt something that should definitely not have been there. He pulled it out, and held a small alien body. It squealed at him, and he threw it across the room. Andor flipped up his rifle and shot a burst at it. The creature was easily ripped apart.
Weatherby started to patch up the cuts he had made in Kelly's body and Andrews put his jacket around her. As soon as they had her stood up between them, Andor said, "We have to get moving. Davidson, we're pulling back to the LZ. I'll call the other squads, we're getting off this rock now."
"Hell yeah, let the Navy deal with these sons of bitches." Davidson said, shaking his rifle.
"You got that right, marine. You got that right. Good work there, Weatherby." Andor said, heading for the corridor they came in through.
"Thank you, sir." He fell in with the others as they headed away. The hall door closed up again, just as an alien crawled from the shadow, sniffed the dead chestburster, and hissed in the dark. As the men of Bravo Six would soon find out, their time here was far from over.