JP with Omni and A.Patient.Man
8.3.5 SW
19:38/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor Fuel Storage

The team, led by Sargent, moved over and along the far west wall of the structure past the office whose glass reflected their high beams. Sargent held up a fist to signal the others to stop. Further down the warehouse aisle he could see an obstruction that seemed to run beneath the observation deck from the wall to some of the many tanks.

"Something blocking us up ahead. Some kind of wall?" Sargent slowly approached to analyze the strange obstruction which seemed like like an organic wall that contained elements of both biological and mechanical form and from the light that reached it, the walls appeared to have a sheen or slickness to them.

"Respirators on." the Marshal replied and they all slipped on their masks.

"Looks wet or something..." Sargent said to the Marshal who scanned with the IR camera.

"Don't touch anything." the Marshal replied. "Still don't understand how this stuff works. Seems different from everything else I've seen so far but you never know."

The way was blocked, forcing them to move back and around the closest tank and into the second aisle. So far, no obstructions forward so they approached the area where the hole would be and found another organic barrier obstructing the opposite side, acting like a funnel that led right to the hole. It was hard to see at first, since all of the organic matter seemed to be one, but the Marshal was just able to make out the forms of two large bulbous, leathery, egg-like objects that braced either side of the hole, each nestled into grooves in the wall. Above these were two even stranger sights. There seemed to be some sort of animals cocooned into the moist bio-mechanical walls. One of them showed signs of something bursting from within and the egg-like pod below it was sagging slightly, its top open like a flower in bloom. The other egg seemed undisturbed.

"What in god's name..." sneered Sargent.

"Those are somewhat new to me." said the Marshal, nodding at the cocoons. He felt his throat dry within his respirator.

"Well I've see that burst pattern before." said Sargent.

"...yeah... the wolf thing... at the comms outpost..." the Marshal remembered. He started piecing things together. "...I may have seen something like this on the Cronus. But... not like this."

Outside, the exterior security team, including Saygin, could see the flashes of moving torches from within.

Moving in a bit closer, Sargent jolted as a reaction to the sight of something on the ground. A pale creature lay on its back curled up like a pale dead spider.

"Marshal? What about this?" he asked with his mouth hanging open in wonder. The floor beneath the creature was stained red with dried blood, though it didn't seem to come from the creature that lay in it.

"Nope..." the Marshal replied. "The eggs though... one of those was in a crate in the forest. Looks like whatever the hell that thing is came from inside it."

"And whatever the hell jumped out at Saygin came out of that cocooned animal..." Sargent hypothesized.

The motion scanner pipped its uncertain and weak signal directly in front of them, putting the team on edge.

"Sensing movement just there." Baird pointed at the side with the unopened egg.

"Strange... Not seeing any heat signature from the thermal scan... but... the animal on the wall. It's... still alive." he paused for a moment. "We need to destroy all of this. Starting with that egg."

Just as the Marshal raised his rifle to aim at the egg there was a shifting squelch from behind them and the scanner pipped again.

"Holy shit... there's another one." said Baird.

The Marshal turned to look. Cradled along a dip in the wall they had already passed was another sagging egg. Scanning the wall with his camera and light, the Marshal saw a warm heat signature as well as one other sagging egg. No open wounds marred the cocooned animal victims above the eggs.

A shriek came from above as one of the spider-like creatures fell from above, fanning open it's spindly finger-shaped legs...

The creature managed to reach its victim, hugging the face of Marshal Glenn Roberts. Immediately, the respiratory covering the Marshal's face began to sizzle and smoke as acid ate through the synthetic materials, causing him to gasp and clutch at the beast with his free hand.

The Facehugger's attack made short work of the Marshal's respirator and forced its way into his mouth. The Marshal gagged and choked. He felt a horrible, yet strangely loving sensation take over him. It was a firm but gentle caress around his head; then a smothering sensation followed by a warm burst of oxygen-rich air filling his lungs. He fell to his knees but it felt as if it was happening in slow motion. Everything was fine. He was just having a bad dream, he should go back to sleep.

The other two panicked.

"Fuck! Marshal!!!" yelled Corporal Sargent, kneeling over the Marshal and dropping his weapon to the ground.

"Shoot the damn thing!" shouted Baird.

"Gimme some, goddamned light, man!" Sargent ordered.

Baird shone the light on the Marshal's limp body, but nervously darted his eyes around the darkness, hoping not to see any other creatures. Corporal Sargent grabbed at the Facehugger which tightened its grip around the Marshal's neck with its tail.

"It's fucking choking him, man!" Sargent groaned.

"Use your knife, kill the damn thing." replied Baird.

"Goddamnit, Blue! You saw it yourself, these fuckers have acid for blood."

"Great! So we melt his face off or let him choke and die?!" he cried in desperation.

Through the blocked hole, Al Saygin and the exterior team heard the muffled turmoil going on inside.

tzzt What in the absolute fuck is going on in there!? tzzt

"We don't have time for this..." said Baird nervously and immediately headed to the intact egg and started plugging it with pistol rounds.

"Mother f - -!" shouted Sargent, wincing at the shots and picking up his rifle.

Baird moved on to shoot the cocooned animal above it and he didn't stop firing until his clip went empty.

"Saygin. Marshal's down. Repeat. Marshal is down." Sargent barked over the radio.

tzzt Motherfucker... tzzt "Ok Hargreaves, Gonzalez, get in there, rifles hot, but please don't shoot anyone important! Carson, you're with me in case I need cover while I open some exits for our boys. GO!" said Saygin, so fast it all sounded like one long word.

Hargreaves and Gonzalez looked at each other somewhat hesitantly, but then turned around and made their way to the entrance, rifles ready. It wasn't long before they were coming up on the scene. The Marshal lay on his back and Sargent was yelling at Baird to stand down and get his wits about him.

tzzt Hold fire, we’re coming in. tzzt said Hargeaves across comms.

tzzt If either of you are still alive I need a status report yesterday! tzzt said Saygin, feeling impatient and fighting the urge to blow the building to pieces and be done with it.

The damp, putrid smell of the resin walls and eggs was overwhelming for the officers even through their respirators.

Sargent addressed the two officers as they approached with their high beams, “You two, help me get the Marshal out of here! Watch out for more of those things, fuckers are fast and there could be - -“. He was cut off as there came a blood curdling wail.

Hargreaves and Gonzales stood up from trying to help the Marshal and turned their flashlights toward the terrible sound. It seemed to be coming from the one of the cocooned animals that looked to be a sort of elk.

There was a sickening pop and the beast fell silent. Another crunch and pop followed and something small erupted from inside the cocoon.

It was hard to make out in the shaking light. With a snarl the thing shot out in a pool of gore onto the floor, moving fast, into the darkness toward the fuel tanks.

Greg Sargent's head felt slightly limp in his dismay of another problem, “Let’s move!” he commanded.

The other officers fell in line and picked up the Marshal, cringing at the proximity to the strange alien creature that had attached itself to his face.

tzzt Sargent, I need best egress. I can open the north bay door if that's your fastest way out. tzzt

There was no response to Saygin across comms but a moment later, Gonzales was rounding the bend toward Saygin and Carson.

“Yo, Saygin… I don’t know about this, yo. We got the Marshal in the FAV. He’s got some… thing… on his face. Some kind of alien thing. Corporal Sargent wants to take him in to Sci-Med.”

"You went quiet! What happened in there? Any more casualties? Is the Marshal wounded? Where the fuck is Hargreaves? Why isn't Sargent with you!?"
Saygin went sprinting off toward the FAV.

As he got within earshot he yelled "Hargreaves! Sargent! Why the hell are you still here? Get that thing rolling to sci-med and have a trauma team waiting! And PLEASE start responding to your GODDAMN COMMS!"

Baird looked back to Saygin and Gonzales as the others helped get the Marshal situated in the rear seat. “The Marshal is still breathing somehow with this thing wrapped tight around his face! But we still have one more of these damn things running around inside there! We need to destroy the damn thing and go find gold team. We are going to drop off the Marshal and head back. Shouldn’t take more than 15. Think the four of you can squash this bug?”

"I guess we have to try. Get back here fast in case we have more casualties. Gonzales, guard the entrance. Everyone else, lights on, trigger fingers itchy, let's go hunt us a bug." Saygin said as he put on his Kevlar vest and lit the pilot light on his NSG23.

Baird nodded and handed over the motion detector to Saygin. "We'll be quick."

With that, he checked the clip in his pistol and got into the FAV Stinger. Not a minute later, they were driving back the way they came through the forest road toward the settlement.

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