The camera feeds abruptly stopped, and were conveniently replaced with a message indicating that a technical issue had arisen and would be corrected shortly. The viewers were shocked as people were not sure how to process what they had seen. Thousands of miles away on the surface of Earth, Ripley and Hicks quickly swung into action as before Ripley could even finish packing her bags, Hicks said is com unit online and was rapidly giving instructions to Bishop who in turn relayed them to the various members of the unit.
This incident could not have come at a worse time as the security and military presence at Gateway Station or at minimum levels due to the upcoming holiday which allowed many soldiers and staffers to use up their accumulated leave and vacation time down on earth or elsewhere.
As soon as Hicks closed his com unit, Ripley could already make out the silhouette of a shuttle heading towards them as Bishop had clearly wasted no time in getting them transportation back to the station. In less than 30 min. from the incident, Hicks and Ripley found themselves back on the station in a meeting room with as many members of their unit as can you call this quickly.
Bishop relayed that immediately after the incident, medical response teams entered the courtroom and were quickly torn to pieces by what they encountered. The minimal security in place was no match for the creatures, and in no time they had escaped into the station.
Johansson, the newest member of the unit, was the first asked the question about the size of the enemy force they were about to face in their plan of action.
Hicks replied that based on their best estimates there are approximately 200 creatures loose on the station that they have been temporarily confined to the administrative support wing devastation thanks to quick deployment of emergency bulkheads. An evacuation of the station is currently underway but even so there were hundreds of people to get this to get off the station. Ripley thanked an equally cursed the fact that it is a holiday week as many of the normally thousands of support crew and station residents were already off station. Unfortunately the same holiday greatly limited the amount of support they could expect from The U.S.C.M. in the next few hours as well as the availability of large-scale transports to help offload the remaining staff.
Suddenly, a warning klaxon sounded interrupting everybody at the meeting. Status report boards lit up with horrific images showing the nightmares creatures had escaped their confinement and were making their way to the retail and entertainment district.
Despite the situation, many of the remaining staff and their families had decided to spend the time before evacuation doing some last-minute shopping. Most were unaware of what had transpired and were told that they were the station was being evacuated as a precautionary measure due to a potential security threat.
The high-end electronics store was doing a thriving business as many people had gathered to watch the trial proceedings while doing their shopping. The abundance of large-screen monitors in the store made it an ideal place to congregate, shop, and keep informed of the proceedings.
Marvin Erickson was briefly aware of what was going on but paid little attention to it as he was convinced it would blow over soon. He had been with the company over 20 years, and this was not the first time that there was some threat posed. It was very common for those unhappy with the company, usually disgruntled former employees, to to threaten the facility around the holidays. Usually they’re ignored or investigated discreetly enough that the public never knows that the threat ever existed. But now and then the company likes to thump it’s chest and do the big dog and pony show to make people feel safe.
As Erickson contemplated which of the new entertainment systems he wanted to buy for his residence he reached out to inspect the displays in front of him. Suddenly, his whole world literally came crashing down upon him, as glass, lighting, debris, and more rain down from above. Temporarily disoriented from the events, Erickson was overwhelmed by the screeches and impact sounds that had erupted around him. His dazed mind quickly raced to thoughts of a bomb and he wondered if perhaps he should’ve taken the threat evacuation more serious.
As he attempted to regain his footing and stand, Erickson saw a horrific display of nightmarish creatures making their way through the store and violently dismembering anyone in their paths. He made a silent prayer of thanks that he was still trapped under a pile of debris, and as such had gone unnoticed by the creatures.
Suddenly, a deafening roar of weapons fire erupted and Erickson could see on a few of the still functioning monitors that a group of Marines had arrived and opened fire on the nightmarish creatures. Their presence though welcome only added to the carnage as the creatures now focused their efforts entirely upon the new threats, and massed against the Marines accordingly.
Cpl. Robert Taylor, was proud that his squad had geared up and appeared to be the first to respond. He’d been on his way to the briefing with a few of his men when the klaxon sounded. Taking charge, he and the men immediately suited up and headed to the danger zone informing his superiors along the way up his intentions.
The six men who had accompanied him quickly set up a suppression line and unleashed layers of fire on the advancing horde. Anxious to avoid any further civilian casualties the man slowly advanced into the store using tight, controlled bursts as they had been instructed to by Lieut. Hicks. This approach initially had some success but as they advanced the quickly realize that they were on the wrong side of the numbers game. This revelation came too late as they soon found themselves surrounded by the creatures as more and more them flooded into the shopping district. What had started with an easy op visions of medals and promotions, quickly turned into a nightmare for Taylor as he saw his entire squad cut shreds before him and a matter of seconds.
Taylor himself desperate to escape unleashed volley of grenades no longer caring about civilian casualties in the face of the overwhelming odds against him. A series of explosions rocked the concourse, and miraculously Taylor found himself bloodied but alive as he staggered to the turbo lift. The ringing in his ears clearly indicated a concussion but that was minor considering what could’ve happened. Taylor entered the lift and made his way up to the concourse with the intention of regrouping. Suddenly main power went off, and his communication indicated that Hicks and his backup were now trapped between levels in the turbo lifts.
Taylor made his way to the flight lounge, and was delighted to see a military transport’s docking station. The quickly made his way to the airlock to greet the new arrivals and once the airlock manually cycled, he prepared to greet the new arrivals. Very rough looking team of individuals in a type of dark body armor the Taylor it never seen before quickly entered the station.
Taylor step forward to what he assumed was the commanding officer, snapped to attention, and saluted. This was the last action Taylor ever did this without so much as blink an eye individual in front of them shut Taylor squarely between the eyes. The last thing Taylor ever heard was “let’s hurry up and clean up any more Marine stragglers that we find so we can get on with the mission”.
…..to be continued.