8.3.5 SW
20:18/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor > Maintenance Tunnels

Saygin felt his adrenaline kick in. Every cell in his body was buzzing with focus. Something told him if he survived he was going to have an absolute motherfucker of a headache before long.

He loosened his shoulders and elbows, confidently raised his rifle, blocked up, and prepared to take an aimed shot at the creature.

As if recognizing the threat of his firearm, the grey creature retracted its probing tongue and slowly opened its jaws to emit an ear splitting shriek.

It dropped to the floor on all fours and took a sort of defensive stance, but did not immediately attack.

Saygin took the chance to fire his weapon in a short controlled burst at the dreadful beast, hitting it in the upper chest and arm. The beast shrieked again, this one a cry of pain. It bellowed as it charged toward him.

The small, grey Xenomorph rushed Saygin, flailing its arms at him as it did so. Luckily he was able to sidestep the thing and to his surprise, the creature kept running, disappearing around the corner in the only direction Saygin hadn’t yet gone.

"Well shit, I guess we're following him." Saygin mumbled to himself. "Gauss, did you catch any of that? You seen that thing or somethin' like it before?"

Saygin’s earpiece crackled, tzzt - -too fast. I didn’t catch it. But if it didn’t attack, it’s prob- - one of the little ones. - -like workers. Build the -est tzzt

On his guard, Saygin left behind the small nest and moved back toward the junction with some trepidation, following the path of the xenomorph worker. He took a left, heading down the only possible path that Sargent’s team could have taken.

When he reached a turn at the end of the corridor, he noted two doors, one on the wall ahead, and one on the left wall. They were both rendered inaccessible behind a web of resinous material but the corridor that branched right was open. The way was dimmer than the previous one and the piping that ran along the walls and ceilings were thicker with the nest-making stuff.

Ahead, Saygin saw a much larger, open junction that undoubtedly had more tunnels branching off every direction.

tzzt - -aygin, -ur getting -lose. tzzt Not sure - - scratchy static but there is one big one near my - -ocation. tzzt

"Getting close. Good news.... I hope." Saygin was getting worried that he wasn't hearing any of the sounds he would typically associate with a security team marauding through subterranean tunnels, but they could be running silent to avoid more of the critters he saw.

"Gauss, I'm not seeing much in th' way of footprints here. Any clue which way the Team went? Door to my left is not an option. Guessin' it wasn't for their team either."

Suddenly, Buddy the drone rolled toward the junction. Gauss gave Saygin a quiet update over his earpiece as the drone scanned the area ahead.

tzzt I can -ee through Buddy. Just head toward the -unction. - -at’s where the gunfire came from. - -on’t like what you see, but they must have turned - -ight or left because the main -est is straight throu- -. tzzt I can hear two now - - going quiet for a sec. tzzt

Saygin did as Gauss suggested and followed Buddy. Once he reached the junction, he did his best to determine whether the right or left tunnel was the right direction.

Nearing the junction himself, Saygin spotted clear signs of a firefight: scorched walls, slimy boot tracks on the floors, spent ammunition, and most obvious of all… the bodies. One was clearly alien in form. Large, black, and bony with that strangely long eyeless carapace of a head that he was getting used to seeing at this point.

This thing looked just like the creature he saw at the Sotillo, the one miles away that had attacked Malloy. But this one was dead, smoking, and riddled with bullet holes.

Another six feet away from the alien corpse, toward the left corridor, lay one of Saygin’s brothers-in-arms, whose identity could not yet be determined from this distance.

Saygin moved in as wide an arc as he could around the motionless alien towards the fallen soldier. As soon as he was in Buddy's line of sight, he motioned for the drone to stay put, hoping to hell that Gauss was paying attention to his video feed.

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