Live Bait

“I’m on the way.”, came Kenny’s reply.

As Roberts exited the Medbay and rounded the corner, he saw Lori Clayton running down the hall in his direction with her magnum in hand, turning her head to check behind her.

“It’s Johns! He’s turned.”, Clayton shouted, out of breath. “Reyes is dead for sure.”

"Is it lose?" Roberts asked her. He stepped past her, watching the corridor with his rifle.

“I’ve locked the quarantine room, but we’ve both seen these things break through doors.” Clayton reminded him.

"Thanks. Well... Here I go." Roberts moved in that direction with his M41A at the ready.

Clayton followed Roberts back down the hall with the Captain and Paddy not far behind. Paddy was now carrying the Pulse Rifle left behind by Hel. When Roberts approached the door and peaked into the viewport, he saw what used to be Johns. His arms had become slightly elongated, he walked with a hunch, and his head was bigger, longer and misshapen. He held his hands up to his head and bellowed in a strange pained howl.

Roberts stepped back from the window. "Dam, this guy is going to be tuff, I fought one like him on the other ship. He will be super fast and strong, like, rip a bulkhead apart with his fist strong and harder to kill."

Captain Kenny said, "Then should we lead him out and space him or go in guns blazing, Marshal?"

Roberts looked at Captain Kenny. "I would love to Space him but I don't think it will kill him. He is in the quarantine area so we could just suck the air out of it and see what happens to him."

"Great place to start.", the Captain punches away at his data tablet and moments later there is a muffled hiss as the airduct irises close within the quarantine rec and food station, cutting of air supply.

Nothing seemed to happen at first, but after a few minutes without air, the mutated Albert Johns slowly lowers itself into an awkward position on the floor and stops stirring.

"Wish we had a thermal imager right now to see if that thing is still alive," said Roberts. Then he looked one more time "Captain can you tap into the speakers in there? We could just try to talk and see if it stirs at all."

“Before she... before that thing got her... Reyes said there was one of them on the hull of the Cronus. I am assuming these things don’t need air.” Clayton said.

"Well it is just staying still, so there is one way to tell." Using the barrel of his M41A, Roberts tapped on the window and waited. The thing twitched. It clearly wasn't dead. "Great, well... either we shoot it now and hope to kill it or..." Roberts let out a sigh. "Be right back." he said before turning and running off.

Kenny and Paddy kept their eye on the Johns-abomonation in quarantine but it didn’t move by the time Roberts returned, fully dressed in an EVA suit.

In the Medlab, Roku was giving Jensen a shot of Naproleve to help him relax and relieve the pain of the impromptu surgery.

"OK, Cap. This is the deal. I will radio you when to start to open the doors and close them. If I kill it before it gets spaced, great. If not, it will be off the ship. After I get it out of this area, we should flame the room with suits on. Just in case. Make sure as it passes a door, wait a few seconds, then close it behind him. I will lead it to me." Instructed Roberts.

“Just give me the word, Marshal.”

The Captain, Clayton, and Paddy moved to the Medlbay and waited for Roberts to be ready.

Roberts went to his start position at the far second junction. He got in to a one knee firing position with his M41A. He knew he did not have to hit the thing just piss it off to chase him. "OK Cap. Open doors in to the first junction. Once it comes after me, make sure you close the doors behind it."

“Roger.” The Captain opened the door to the first junction. Moments later the abomination came slowly lumbering out the door. Roberts fired a single round out of the M41A rifle to try to get its attention. When and if the thing came at him Roberts would start to fire his fag rounds at the thing. Keying his radio as he moved, "Cap, make sure you are closing the door's behind that thing." he said into his mike.

The creature snapped his head toward the crack of the rifle and began a low, hunched run toward Roberts.

“On it! Move, move, move!” responded the Captain.

Roberts ran to his next position. "Cap, when I get in the airlock, override and pop the outer doors." he requested. He reached the airlock and ensured he was clamped to the safety harness.

As the abomination quickly rounded the corridor and approached, the Captain opened the airlock.

The pressure immediately ejected the Marshal just outside the ship, jerking him left and right. The abomination was launched off of its feet and it slammed into the door jam around the hatch, sending it tumbling outward. On its way, the thing still managed to grab ahold of Roberts.

Roberts kicked at it, yanking his leg free of the thing as it slowly fell away from the ship flailing its long arms. Roberts watched for a moment, then made his way back in to the airlock. "Hey, Cap. Shut the outer door then pressurizer the airlock and antechamber." As he watched the hatch close he put the safety strap back and made his way back in to the ship. When it was clear, he took his helmet off and made his way back to the others.

“Hell of a stunt, Marshal. But I’ll be damned. It worked.” said Cpt McCormick, clapping Roberts on his shoulder. “What say we get our asses out of here?”

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