8.3.5 SW
20:40/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor > Maintenance Tunnels

In the echoing silence that followed the alien shrieks and muffled explosion, Gauss eyes fixated on the resin barrier enclosing him within a niche in the xenomorph hive. He covered the head of his tactical high-beam with a gloved hand and turned it on. The alien structure, glistening darkly with an otherworldly sheen, bore little wear from the recent blast. He extended cautious fingers, tracing along the contours of the resin, seeking any subtle irregularities or fragility induced by the seismic disturbance. Through the cracks he could see the flaring of bright red light whose source was just out of view.

Every touch was a test for weakness, a potential fracture that could be exploited for his escape from the prison of bio-matter. All the while, Gauss remained alert of any sound of movement from the hive beyond and from the cocooned body that hung partially in his exit.

One last test to perform. Gauss tapped through his P-DAT, closing the subterranean map and bringing up Buddy the Drone’s video feed which was obscured by some debris.

He took manual control of the drone, shaking loose the mucky refuse of the hive, and he looked around the scene. From what he could see through buddy’s camera, there was no sign of movement.

Once he was satisfied with his inspection, Gauss determined his best bet was to bust through and make it to the elevator nearby.

“Saygin. Sharpey. Do you copy? I think it’s clear. I’m gonna try to get out of here.” he said in a half whisper.

Gauss deftly secured his PDAT and he exchanged it for the weighty assurance of his pistol, a WY ES-4 semi-automatic with electrostatic stun capability. Moving with a careful stride, he approached the mass of resin that hindered his path. A human body hung inside there, cocooned, with the lurking potential threat of an alien horror residing within. The thoughts fueled his determination and in a calculated surge of adrenaline, he exploited the weakened sections of the resin. Gauss forced a breach, squeezing through a gap, like a newborn emerging from the womb into the harsh light of an alien world.

The erratic dance of chiaroscuro brought about from the shorted lights to one side and the lingering blaze of the signal flare on the other, made the intense shadows of the hive seem to undulate. The whole storage room appeared as if it was breathing. He headed toward the flare that punctuated the path to his salvation.

Just across from the elevator, he made out another body clinging to the wall above. The sleeping face that was left uncovered belonged to another one of his fellow officers.

It was Hargreaves. Gauss didn't see the shifting of the bulbous egg sac positioned beneath it.

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