Duty or Death Wish?

8.3.5 SW
20:29/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor Control Level

Ha! All the men and firepower? There was no more backup from Colonial Security so Sharpey gathered his gear and covered the group of civilians on the way to the exit of the reactor complex. Vera led the way and opened the door for the others to file out into the rainy parking lot.

“I’ll be taking that flamer. Go on, now! Get your asses back to town! I’m gonna regroup with the Sec team and annihilate these fuckin’ bugs!” Sharpey commanded.

For a moment, Jensen paused, standing there squinting in the downpour as Sharpey dutifully headed back into danger. He thought for a moment that maybe he should join the man on his mission to destroy this threat. The thought quickly passed as he reconsidered that death wish before turning back to the others.

“Yeah, screw that.” Jensen said to himself as he jogged to catch up to the others, deciding he had already been through enough.

Maryam and Irving helped Vera along through the wet parking lot back to the utility truck.


Meanwhile, in the reactor tunnels...

Saygin took a beat to consider his options:

Running wasn't an option because he wasn't going to leave Dokes and he wasn't fit enough to run while carrying a full grown man.

Hiding was not a great choice either. There was nowhere nearby to get good cover and still have a firing solution. Any animal with a moderate amount of intelligence would find him cowering behind the nearest supply crate anyway and considering these things had already chewed through MULTIPLE members of colonial security (from what he could tell), he assumed they were smarter than the average bear.

That left fighting.

"Dokes, I'm gonna have to fight whatever's headed our way. I hope you don't mind, buddy. I'm gonna do my best, but don't hold your breath. Heh, get it?"

Saygin moved to position himself back against the wall near the corridor entrance that the xeno appeared to be coming down, in the hopes the thing would charge into the junction and give him a brief edge to light it up.

Vigilantly watching the dimly lit southern corridor, Saygin caught sight of an irregular, flickering light from around the east corner at the corridor's far end. After a moment, a shadow began to materialize, its form steadily growing larger as it cast a foreboding silhouette upon the corridor's wall.

As soon as the shape was in range, Saygin pulled the trigger on the incinerator mounted under the rifle barrel. He hoped the surprise would give him enough of an advantage to tilt this fight in his favor. The xenomorph rounded the corner and entered his vantage point. Saygin felt a surge of panic grip him at the sight of its dark, looming figure.

Seeing its prey, the xenomorph crouched low, ready to sprint in his direction, leaving him with no alternative but to unleash a relentless hail of flame upon the entire hallway. In response, the creature emitted a shrill, unsettling shriek of anger and fear, its black form momentarily obscured by the deluge of fire.

Remarkably, the alien displayed an agile and almost unearthly dexterity, scaling the corridor's wall with eerie ease until it reached the ceiling, and from there, it swiftly tore free a ventilation grating and slipped into the ceiling. The disappearance of the creature left Saygin both relieved and deeply unsettled. The creature's capabilities were beyond any target he had ever come across. Coming out of the momentary daze, he realized the incinerator was making a clicking sound, signifying the contents of fuel were spent.

It was uncanny how fast this beast was. Too fast for Saygin as he moved to the east side of the room and tried to reload the incinerator fuel canister. He fumbled with the under-barrel on his weapon and the Xenomorph tore through another grate, lowering itself to the floor like some kind of lithe and deadly insect. It was facing the opposite direction and didn’t see him at first, but it only gave him enough time to drop the fuel canister and pull free an M40 high explosive grenade from his belt. By then, the beast was nearly him.

Unable to retreat, run, or hide, Saygin was caught in the grip of the alien and there was only one escape… death. He pulled the pin and stuck it in the damnable thing’s mouth just as it fell upon him.

For a second he felt enough slack to shuffle loose of the alien's claws and dive across the room to cover the paralyzed body of Dokes. The proximity of the grenade and the enclosed tunnels made the concussion more concentrated. The Xenomorph's acidic blood sprayed across the room, sizzling Saygin’s armor and part of his face, including his ear, but he felt nothing as the explosion rattled him to the core and took his consciousness.

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