Here you are, enjoy.

As We Fall

The group was running down the halls of Auriga, hyperventilating as the corridors seemed to become more and more lit as they reached the hangar where the drop pods and the ship sat. As if to prove they were reaching salvation, the halls were warmed with a golden light from the hangar bay.

But what would be a treasure chest without a dragon to guard it? Thought Tear as she ran next to the loping creature that was her Sergio.

What would be salvation without a leviathan to impede it?

Tear's legs pumped as she raced toward the end with the group, adrenaline saturated her system and provided an icy clarity of every shape, sound, shade and thought. Her mind worked to one single end:

I must kill every single living thing that impeded their progress to the ship, and killing every single living thing that would try to do harm to Sergio, even at the cost of her own life

She couldn't feel any fear.

She could not feel any sorrow.

She couldn't feel any doubt.

The only feeling that burned like a star inside her; was rage

Rage over what had been done to her, to Sergio, to everything. With every fiber in her body, she hated the universe and everything in it. Everything, save Sergio, the only one she could count on to be there with her right to the very end.

She bent around the corner only to hear her boots clank as she stopped cold next to her beloved.

Before them, stood a creature, another half-breed in all its macabre magnificence. But this terrible half-breed, they could recognize, the face belonged to Tear's mother, Madison.

If one could ever question the existence of evil in science, one cannot doubt it when confronted with familiarity in its dark fruit.

William sat on his chair, smiling sheepishly, next to his desk as he loaded his handgun. His mind was blurry, like a night of heavy drinking and waking up the morning after. The half-breed was just about to escape, or so it pretended to do, but William still had one last trick up his sleeve.

Experiment 35

He smiled at his own genius, he used the mother of the Tear girl with the end of comparing the success rate of the transformation sequence from parent to child genomes. Her mother, who was quite young, took well to the experiment, still another half baked monster, but it retained enough coherence to be coaxed into stalking about the escape pods and ship with the promise that the child would come to her.

It had taken some coercing but he managed to convince the abomination and now, it would focus on retaking her child, but the half breed, she had to simply wound enough to restrain it. The mother would take care of the other humans, the half-breed she was told, needed to live because if she died, her daughter would die too by some strange means.

The woman-thing was too insane to question how her "baby" would die, but William would indeed shoot her if the boy was dismembered.

The monster had been lovely once, just like her daughter, and her resistance to cooperating with the experiment had been admirable, but nothing could stop progress, to do so was a crime beyond forgiveness.

He glanced at the monitors, the girl was approaching the creature and trying to speak to it, the half-breed was standing quietly behind her as to protect. The humans were slinking past the girl and the boy as she gestured them to get into the ship. William had locked down the controls for the ship and it was going to be impossible to hack them open, they weren't going anywhere, he knew.

He smiled and walked out the door to his little safe-room.

The creature's body was warped and monstrous, just like all the others, but it possessed a vestige of the elegance of Sergio's form. The creature's asymmetrical arms possessed slightly human hands but the tips were topped off with long, black claws that resembled more an artisan knife than an appendage. The rib cage was triangular and dense and so were the legs which looked more alien than human. The creature's face was unblemished and untouched by the change.

There were no words to accurately describe the macabre experiment that stood before them. And no words to accurately describe the look in her eyes, the insane blood thirst, and the twisted affection she bore.

Hatred of the half-breed and love for the girl

Before Tear could speak, the creature stormed towards the girl and screamed at the half-breed.

"My baby!" it screamed hysterically.

Tear screamed briefly at the sound of the monster's voice and broke into tears at the loud pitch of the same. Sergio stepped in its way and counter rammed the monster without the intention to hurt it, but Madison, was not another feral monster, she was the attempt before success. She was close to Sergio in all ways, mentally, morphologically but most importantly, physically.

She grabbed Sergio by the top of his head and swung him clear over her head and into a wall. The metal moaned and protested the sudden slam of weight into the wall but it held. Sergio, while dazed he clung to the wall instinctively and was surprised by what he saw, Madison was ignoring Tear and the rest of the group, she was focused solely on him. Tear's mother loped and bounded out of the small bridge that separated the Auriga's main body from its towering hangar bay and clawed her talons into the wall. She looked up at him and smiled maliciously. Sergio grimaced at her and looked back to Tear to see if she was alright. The second before she caught his left leg in her large hands, Sergio and Tear locked "eyes" and an unspoken communication passed between them.

"Get to the ship"

Tear ran past Johner and the others and went to Call who was fidgeting with her arm's plug in order to hack the system and open the door to the shuttle.

Sergio snapped at Madison, then forgetting who she was just as he had forgotten himself when the red mist fell upon his eyes, the bloodlust. As he tried pulling himself toward her in her iron grip she jumped off the wall and let herself drop. The half-breed scream a feral scream, more alien than human and swiped at her face slashing across it and gashing it deeply. He succeeded in making her let go of him, but where she landed staggeringly on her feet, he landed on his back.

His instincts kicked in and he was on his feet in a second snapping his jaws at her only to have her swing her full body weight into a blow that smashed across his face. As he tumbled backwards she slammed into him and blew him into the wall. Sergio kicked her away and tried climbing upwards for a better angle to pounce on her and she latched onto his tail swinging him like a bat into a column.

Every nerve in his body screamed in fear, she was beating him, any reasonable creature would back off but his mind wouldn't allow him to. His, other mind anyway, the part of him that was more monster than human. When it really came down to it, his personality and that of the older creatures of the hive amounted to the same thing when blood was drawn.

"Kill, Kill, Kill"

The Madison-creature cracked Sergio across the face again and again as he snapped at her hands and her chest. A tangle of claws, teeth and feral anger

A metallic voice that in no way reflected the madness inside the ship spoke loud and clear for all to hear, monster and human alike.

"Three minutes to self destruct"

Call shot one terrified look at Ripley and Tear, then she hacked the door to the ship.

Tear ran to the edge of the bridge and screamed, a note of terror in her voice.

"Sergio! We have to go now!"

Whatever discordant thing was fighting the boy's nature in his brain, the human won. And the urgency of their situation, and how very close they all were to death.

Kicking his adversary in the face and curling the talons to slice for good measure, Sergio bounded to the wall and nearly ran up the length of it by the time the Madison-thing could look up to him.

In the seconds this took to be done, everyone seemed to know what to do.

The pilot seats were manned and everyone else sat anywhere else they could. Tear jumped into the ship and into Ripley's arms only to look back and see Sergio standing at the threshold.

An instant of silence traveled between them and his fist smashed into the control panel for the doors to close shut.

The last thing he heard out of her mouth was a shrieking no.

A miserable scream of defeat and of a treasonous intention dawning on the one who raised her voice, Sergio didn't look back as he ran down the halls to where he knew the pods were.

He knew that somehow the Hive would find him

As he loped through the halls he saw William, the man had a look of madness in his eyes like he was not all there anymore. A thought of revenge flashed through Sergio's mind but he pushed it down without hesitation and ran on all fours across the hall and within a few seconds caught the scent of the Hive.

They were behind him, following.

He ran into the pod which actually turned out to be a drop ship for cargo destined for deep space stations and he clutched at the control panel starting up the large ship. The anxiety of his Hive-mates was electric and urged him to work the machine faster.

Clumsily he set the machine on autopilot

When the computer stated the protocol for the response to any destruction of the Auriga was to go to Earth Sergio canceled the command and set it for the farthest constellation of stars he could think of and set it on a course there.

The drop ship lunged out of its magnetic holdings and shot out of the ship through the same way Tear's ship had just gone.

Out of malice, for any other pods out in the cosmos making their way slowly to Earth he reset, he was aware of how simple pod software was so he set the machine to shoot out a different command to any survivor pods in range. Of course, by design who would have tried to send someone away from Earth in an unforgiving space. This made the pods especially vulnerable to manipulation.

Darkness stretched before him, every single star at an impossible horizon.

"Is it over?" asked Sky, her black maw breathing next to Sergio.

The half breed didn't answer.

The Auriga self destructed with the power of several nuclear warheads as its generators and engines were just that, over twenty six in number.

A cataclysm of force hit the drop ship like a tidal wave and slammed them all into the ceiling and compartments of the ship.

The Hive screamed and shrieked in distress

Spinning into the darkness of space with an uncertain future and what looked like a certain death upon him Sergio screamed to the top of his lungs against a cruel fate to an uncaring universe.

A blast wave struck the ship with the force of a giant hammer and swerved them into space. Broken controls on the ship with damaged systems flickered like lights in the darkness of the universe, a single engine quietly limping toward correcting its trajectory to its destined star system.

Hundreds of miles behind it a trickle of drop ships formed into a small beeline behind the damaged ship, their systems powering down and setting their human cargo into suspended animation for the decades long trip into space.

Fear not the dark, but what it harbors.

The murderous story was over for those who escaped to Earth. But for the marines and scientists upon the pods and a single man in a monster's body in a dying cargo ship, it was something that would last for so long as he drew breath.

A short ending to a popular story. I apologize it took me so long, I could not decide on an appropriate ending. I had to wrap up the story (under threat of murder by my few readers). Also I rethought certain things as to the next part of the story so things will be different when I begin the next section. This story is over, its sequel will be:

"Aliens: Emerald Hell"

I will post it on February 20th

Happy New Year everyone

-The Varajan