I said it before in the last chapter: this story isn't exactly on my priorities list, but I keep getting Reviews that you guys seem to be so fascinated by it and want to read more that I finally relented and made the second chapter.
-shrugs- Oh, well. I'm a sucker for my readers. :3 I love you guys! Hope you like it!
May 27, 3156.
Category XG-19/Medical Log #17
Doctor Clark H. Malcolm
It has been little more than a week since I was assigned as the leading medical officer of Project Xeno-Genesis; that is, since I was put in charge of the care of Subject B-10, aka Eva.
To recap, exactly nine days ago Subject B-10 was the host of xenomorph embryo 8-6-X, but, by some miraculous circumstances, was somehow able to survive the embryo's lethal "eruptive phase". This event marks the very first time in the history of our research that someone has survived the birthing process of one of these . . . aliens.
Although comatose with no foreseeable chance of awakening, Subject B-10 remains in a state of steady recovery—mostly all internal damage has been repaired and her destroyed ribcage is gradually being mended. During the xenomorph's eruptive phase, it succeeded in puncturing both lungs and the heart's right atrium, rupturing the liver, nearly severing her spinal cord and aortic arch, and put a hole no smaller than a soft ball in the direct center of her chest cavity. Again, her survival is still a complete mystery to me. In all my years of experience, no human has ever been able to survive injuries so extensive. Had I not witnessed it first hand, I would never have thought it possible. In truth, part of me still does not. . . .
Malcolm paused his typing to massage the bridge of his nose, pinching and puckering his light-tan flesh. This was all still very surreal for him.
Shaking himself back into reality, Malcolm looked at the screen and the little flashing cursor where his caption had ended, waiting to be continued. Try as he might to keep a detailed log, dividing his attention was proving to be exceptionally difficult. He'd gotten very little rest over the past few days, and it was beginning to show: in an unkempt uniform and a tousled mop of shaggy brown hair; his young, angular jaw was often clenched so tightly that it began to ache, reflexes and awareness were beginning to slip, and his ability to focus on tasks and to concentrate were bordering on nonexistent by that time.
Dr. Malcolm was among the youngest researchers working for the brilliant Mr. Charles Bishop Weyland in his secret study of the xenomorphs, and while many of his fellow scientists were skeptical of his abilities due to his age, the young Dr. Malcolm had proven himself as a valuable asset to their cause by means of a brilliant mind and no obvious lack of experience in the medical field. His quick action had earned him the sole accreditation of Subject B-10's survival—no small feat in the eyes of his coworkers—and an incomparable reputation with Weyland himself. Needless to say, he was envied by most of the other staff, even as he insisted he could not possibly take all the credit
Stationed at the computer consol, behind him was the door which led to the separate room where his patient lay perpetually asleep. In the beginning, there were more machines hooked up to B-10 than cells in her body, but now there was nothing more than the basic life support systems, an oxygen tank, and a laser bone repair terminal.
The coma was deep. He didn't see how she was ever going to wake up from it, but B-10 had surprised him countless times already (with her sheer, inhuman resilience and ability to simply survive). He wouldn't put it beyond the girl to continue the habit.
Deciding it was fruitless to wallow in his inability to concentrate, Malcolm rose from his chair, grabbed a voice recorder, and went into B-10's recovery chamber. Dawning latex gloves and a facemask for his mouth and nose, he passed through the sterilization port and into the room beyond.
Bland, sterile white and much too large for one patient, it made him feel empty and alone regardless of whether there was other life present or not. Every piece of machinery, from the constant beep, beep, beep of the heart monitor to the rasping ventilator, was dedicated solely to the single-wide mattress lying to the center of the far wall. The only thing visible atop it was a tangled, ratty cluster of short black hair connected to a face that'd grown familiar over the past few days: gaunt, boney, and translucent pale skin, she was still, somehow, quite lovely—in her own ghastly, macabre kind of way. Another thing that Malcolm dreaded about B-10 was that she was such a pretty girl. Young, full of life and youthful vigor, and with such a bright and promising future ahead of her. Now, she was reduced to a half-dead study specimen. Known by number rather than name. Poor thing, he often thought with the shake of his head.
Once inside, Malcolm went through his usual routine. Checking the subject's pulse and vital signs for any changes (of which there were none), taking verbal notes into the recorder that could provide possible entries for his log, and then went about renewing the intravenous solutions and, finally, reengaged the laser bone repair terminal. This would be the last treatment to fully mend her ribcage and spinal column, thank goodness. Once all the treatments were finally done, there would be no way of telling what might happen next: she could stay in that coma indefinitely and slowly wither away, or she could do the unthinkable and return to the world of the living. But no matter how Malcolm hoped for the latter, getting his hopes up would undoubtedly lead to disappointment. The reality of the situation was: no matter what kind of miraculous circumstances may have transpired that enabled her survival thus far, B-10 was still human, and she wasn't going to wake up from this.
Of that, he was certain.
Back in the other room to continue his log, Malcolm watched through an observation window as a set of needle-tipped robotic arms began zigzagging back and forth over her torso. Thin beams of red light connected machine and body, and a low hum reverberated in the air.
He glanced towards the security door into the hallway out of habit. Against his better judgment, thoughts of the xenomorph came forward from the darkest corners of his mind.
Prior to his assimilation into becoming B-10's personal physician, Malcolm's original duty had been to monitor the gestation of the xenomorph larvae within their hosts and to ensure no complications arose—like regaining consciousness and escaping the facility—and that the hosts' corpses were properly disposed of. In fact, the only reason he was still on the project after B-10's escapade through the canyon was due to "special case protocol." B-10 had regained consciousness less than ten minutes after the parasitoid had detached itself (shocking because it had almost always taken several hours before a host awoke, if they awoke at all) and maintained consciousness despite the use of high dosage sedatives; then it got even more bizarre when the gestation period of the embryo remained in the early stages while its "sister" larvae had already reached the eruptive phase. B-10 was placed in a special observation room to monitor the embryo's progress. There, she was caught speaking to the unborn creature and even referring to it as her "little love." After her escape, it was only due to the speedy recovery of the xenomorph specimen and his success in saving the girl that Malcolm was allowed to keep his job, let alone be promoted to the facility's leading medical officer.
One thing that truly did unnerve him, however, was that he'd neither seen nor heard news of the creature since its retrieval, and he found himself with a morbid curiosity as to its fate.
He'd heard whispers among the staff about the specimen. Hushed tones discussed in the upmost secrecy, in the deepest shadows where no one would know.
There were rumors. There was something special about this one. Some experiment conducted to make it different somehow. To mutate it. It was going to completely change how they studied xenomorphs. To make it easier. It was to be revolutionary. Cutting-edge.
The first of its kind.
Malcolm could only shudder at the idea. Whatever Weyland had planned for the creature, it wasn't going to end well for some poor soul. It certainly hadn't ended well for Eva.
He watched. Fascinated. Mesmerized. The glass was wide and spotless, a complete wall, but it was still a barrier in his work. He wanted to be there beside his creation. To know it. To know everything about it. All the secrets it had to teach him.
Such a fantastic specimen. Barely more than a week old and it was already eight feet tall upright. A xenomorph's accelerated growth at its finest, and its sheer size was matched only by its strength and (dare he say it) humanesque intellect. The wonder of its refined, glistening carapace, black as true as ebony and midnight, but in the right light there were undertones of crimson red and the deep blue of a frozen Hell. A demon straight from the darkest nightmares of mankind. Lethal. Terrible. Grotesque.
And so, so beautiful.
Even restrained as it was—every limb titanium-bound along with the tail and spine-studded head crest, half sedated with enough tranquilizers to kill a bull elephant, and a shock collar powerful enough to electrocute one—it had still managed to kill four handlers thus far. Extra precautions were taken to strengthen the holding cell, but deep down Weyland knew that if this behemoth really wanted to escape, it would have little trouble doing so.
It was one of the many risks that came with his research. But it would all be worth it in the end.
Oh, yes, it would be worth it.
Weyland had already managed to breed countless drones for his study so far, and he was finally on the verge of learning to control them—of tapping into the untold secrets of the hive mind. But it wasn't enough. The natural violence of the specimens had already led to several terminations, and the breeding process was far too slow, not to mention messy and expensive. He could only pay off prison transports for so long before someone slipped or noticed missing prisoners.
That was the purpose of this magnificent operation: to greater simplify the breeding process; to eliminate the host factor entirely. And, finally, fruition was within his reach.
Just in time, Specimen X began to awaken.
The twitch of a claw. Body stirring. Tail swished with some difficulty, heavy and awkwardly restrained. The head swayed, rattling the chains, and steely-fanged jaws parted. With a low, breathy hisssss, the inner mouth extended, oozing clear secretion onto the dark metal floor. The sedative wore away slowly, bringing the beast forward into reality.
Weyland stepped away from the glass. Time to begin.
Please, let it work this time, he begged in his mind and adopted his ever-controlled façade. Hands clasped behind his back as the other test subject was brought (or dragged) in. A long stream of profanities preceded her arrival, and the observation room began to move.
"Allison S. Parker," Dr. Richard Greer, the overseeing researcher to Weyland's experiment, read casually from a clipboard in his hand with a velvety, English accent. Light gleamed from his reading glasses and his well-groomed, oily black hair. "Age: Twenty-eight. Height and Weight: 1.75 meters (5'7") and 50 kilograms (110lbs). No living relations. Conviction: Multiple Homicides and Murder in the First Degree. Sentence: Life without Parole." Only now did he look up, a thin eyebrow quirked. "How very unladylike of you."
The she-devil snarled angrily, "Suck my dick, ya lil' cockbite," and spat saliva from pierced lips. A regular spitting cobra.
Brunette hair was short, cropped, and spiky. An intimidating array of violent and obscene tattoos adorned her otherwise creamy skin. Her physique was lacking—boyish and bordering on malnourished—but the redeeming part was the fight she was managing to put up against the two well-trained security guards attempting to escort her. Kicking, thrashing, throwing elbows, and biting, she made them look like a pair of dime-a-dozen mall cops.
Dr. Greer's demeanor remained blasé through it all. "Charmed."
Yes, Weyland thought, eyeing the day's test subject appreciatively. He gave Dr. Greer the nod he'd been waiting for. She'll do just fine.
The good doctor inclined and pointed the guards toward the corner closest to the observation window where the glass gave way to a vault door. With total darkness on the other side, their visitor was unable to see the prisoner which lay beyond. There, her arms were cuffed apart, and she was ungraciously stripped of all her clothes—which she was less than pleased about. One guard received a good headbutt to the skull, cursing her and ready to beat her face in, but all quarrels ended when his partner grabbed a fistful of hair and wrenched her head back, leaving her chalky throat exposed.
Dr. Greer stepped up beside the unruly woman, bearing a syringe half-filled with clear fluid.
Her eyes got wide, and the struggling intensified. Teeth gnashed, "What the fuck you think yer doin' with that, huh? Unless you got goods in there, you better back the fuck up, Jack."
"Relax, it's merely a sedative. Believe me, where you're going, you'll need it."
He swabbed an alcohol wipe over her skin. There, the needle inserted into her carotid artery, and her thrashes begat a shrill wail of pain as the plunger emptied and was removed.
"There," he commended when it was done, carefully patting her naked shoulder. "That wasn't so bad. Now, you'll be more receptive for what comes next."
She cursed him hazily, and the affects came immediately after.
Stooped deep into a narcotic haze, her knees slouched and muscles fell almost totally lax. Supported by the cuffs alone, the guards had to catch her. A tipsy smile spread across her lips, followed by a low, dopey chuckle.
"Whoa . . . got s'me primo shit 'ere, Doc. . . . Shoot me up ag'n, man, le's have a fuckin' party. . . ."
Uninterested, Dr. Greer nodded to the two guards. Impatiently waiting to get this nuisance out of their hair, they gratefully uncuffed the woman and hauled her forward past the vault door and into a separate chamber. They left her at another door inside and made for a hasty departure, shutting and locking the entrance behind them.
Weyland and Greer stood together at the observation window, glancing sideways at one another, and silently communicated their hopes. When Dr. Greer gave a nod, an assistant at the controls opened the internal door and expanded the smaller chamber's walls until Allison Parker was herded out into the darker room, stumbling drunkenly as the door sealed tightly behind her.
The room grew cold as all the scientists held their breath.
With the pull of a lever, titanium bonds strong enough to restrain a raging leviathan released, and there came a low thump of contact that travelled through the ground. A heavy body removed itself from place, and the dim, dull lighting let them all watch when the scene began to play.
Exposed tendons and black, sinuous muscles stretched out, expanding the gaps between armor plates as the hellish jaw opened wide, squealing long and loud and shrill. Thick, viscous secretion fell from the steely, translucent teeth, and its broad crested head snapped in the direction of a disturbance. Scent particles drifted through the air, grazing the inner mouth, and altered it to the presence of a human.
Weyland stood inches from the glass, wide-eyed, heart pounding as the xenomorph prowled towards the female in the connected chamber. She stumbled and her shoulder fell against a hard metal wall, but in her stupor there was neither pain nor discomfort. Spellbinding, really. She shuffled around, rolling on the walls, giggling at every little thing, and entirely unaware of the bestial shadow looming just overhead.
The xenomorph suspended from the ceiling plates, nimble for its massive size, and scented the human. It screeched once. Piercing, loud, declaring its presence, and as the human turned her bleary eyes up, it lunged.
There was a brief instant of fear that registered somewhere in the dark of Allison Parker's clouded mind. An instinctual fright of imminent danger, a hellish monstrosity towering overhead. Then it was overwritten by the question of wanting to know who the dinosaur suit was.
Clawed fingers shot out, grabbing hold of scrawny, pale arms, and pinned her forcefully to the wall. Unleashing a long, droning squeal, vapors misting the cold air.
This time, she did feel the pain. Great enough to sober her so she knew something was horribly wrong, and she watched as its enormous head bowed forward, face-to-face. Quick, rasping breaths inhaled the scent of human female, and hot gusts thick with moisture and saliva puffed against her face and neck.
She turned, crumpling with fear and disgust, desperate for escape.
The jaws opened. She let out a cry of terror, seeing the inner mouth open and close as it extended to her cheek, tasting fear in the air.
When the xenomorph lunged, Weyland lost sight of the human. For an instant, he debated turning the lights on to be sure the worst hadn't happened, but then he caught sight of shadows moving in his peripherals. A monstrous black shape and another smaller one. A gesture made by the xenomorph that he couldn't decipher, and the other body disappeared behind the first. There was a flicker of moving darkness, and Weyland pressed his ear up against the glass, desperate to know that his efforts would at last be a success—
Weyland jumped and stumbled away from the sudden impact on the glass, adding to the chorus of shocked, startled, and appalled gasps and exclamations which poured out from the other observers.
Blood and gore streaked across the window, painting a grotesque tapestry of vile ichor and crimson. The remains of a human torso slid down the barrier that divided them from the enclosure, slipping to the floor with a wet gush of bitter ends and utter non-existence.
There was a brief clutter of someone fumbling for a trashcan to puke in.
The piercing shriek of the xenomorph, and the monstrosity's head slammed into the mural of gore directly before him. Massive claws larger than butcher knives grappled and raked at the smooth surface, smearing the sea of red, and a huge, spine-encrusted skull crest bashed into it hard enough that an impossible shudder rocked through the densely reinforced frame. And, like the scythe of Death itself, the bladed tail speared into the glass with such force that cracks spiderwebbed on impact, and the reflected light illuminated the smooth brow of the beast, exposing the symbol branded into its immaculate, black carapace—the roman numeral "X".
Dr. Greer took the liberty of activating the enclosure's failsafe and unleashed a torrent of liquid nitrogen right into the head and chest of the behemoth, sending it screeching away from the glass and back into the safety of darkness.
"Goddammit!" Weyland threw his arms up and stormed out of the observation room toward his office to vent, leaving the others behind to get the situation under control.
Weyland's office was more akin to a small museum than anything else. With artifacts of nameless and unknown origin adorning the walls and standing proud atop showy pedestals, what space remained was taken up by file cabinets overflowing with star maps, research accumulated over countless years, and the results of numerous experiments conducted with humans and xenomorphs alike, be them successes or total failures. Among those few undecided was a memory key entrusted with the title: Project Xeno-Genesis.
When Dr. Greer entered the room shortly after, Weyland was too busy grabbing up all his research papers and hurling them into the wall to notice any arrival. The man cocked a dark, well-groomed eyebrow behind the glare of his glasses, but was careful not to draw any closer.
"We were so close this time! How could this have happened? Allison Parker was an ideal candidate; we made sure of it!" Weyland paced a curt line from wall to wall, hands clasped behind him in a furious grasp. He gnarled angrily, "Damn that infernal thing! So far this project has been a complete and utter failure! I'm beginning to think that X is no longer worth the investment—this whole damn thing is no longer worth the investment!"
"Perhaps there is a missing piece to this puzzle. A factor we're just not seeing," Dr. Greer suggested, voicing the thoughts of reason like a true negotiator.
"What factor? What? What aren't we seeing?" Weyland threw his arms up again, livid. "We've taken every factor into account! Temperaments, genetics, personal histories! Hell, we even checked if their appearance affected X's perceptions of them! It just kills them all!"
Weyland snatched the Xeno-Genesis file from the table and balled it tightly in his fist, wanting nothing more than to crush the infuriating thing and everything it was embodying: every single failure that had accumulated since the start of his research, plaguing him like the haunting ghoul of a dead ancestor. Everything he'd ever done that bore him no triumph, he put all the weight of those things onto the back of the one endeavor that could change the very course of his research. New doors could be opened into an endless stream of possibilities if it worked! There would be nothing to stop him!
And the goddamned xenomorph was being temperamental!
Weyland shouted in anger and encroaching defeat and collapsed into his office chair, the memory key falling back onto the desk with a soft clatter, much to Dr. Greer's impassive relief. The good doctor tentatively coaxed the memory key away from the man in his state of despair, not wanting any damage to befall the file which he had helped to create.
"Please, calm yourself, Mr. Weyland," he said. "There's no point in getting upset if it interferes with your ability to continue the experiments."
Weyland ran his hand down his aged, time-and-stress-wrinkled face, slouching in the deep, black leather of his chair. "It's so hard, Richard," he moaned dejectedly. "I've been doing this for years, and nothing has ever been as vitally important and yet felt so utterly pointless. . . ."
"I understand your concerns, but there is no need to overexert yourself. Overreacting will not help either of us. Besides, I've already begun to make preparations for the next—"
"What's the point?" Weyland interrupted and sat up, hunched over with his face in his hands. "We might as well cut our losses, now. It'll never work no matter what we do. . . ." He muttered hopelessly under his breath, "What was I thinking? Trying to crossbreed. . . ."
But Dr. Greer was having none of this. If Weyland couldn't see the importance of this, he would make him see. He went right to Weyland's side, grabbed the back of the office chair, and tipped the man right out of it, sending him sprawling across the white linoleum floor and nearly hitting his head on the corner of the desk. Shocked by the attack and at the nerve of his inferior, Weyland shot up with a ferocious glare and got ready to shout, but was interrupted by a stern, almost lethal gaze from the other man.
A hint of anger dared to come through Dr. Greer's stolid voice, "Pull yourself together, Weyland. You make it sound like this is the end of everything we've ever worked for. The way I see it, the chances of this experiment's success far outweigh the costs. If it succeeds, it'll be worth a thousand host lives—more!"
For a moment, Weyland stared at the younger man. Appearing to exceed Dr. Greer by no less than twenty years, there was a significant difference not only in their appearances but also in demeanor and the outlooks to their combined research.
A few seconds of silence passed as Weyland collected his mind and regained his decorum.
Composed once again, Weyland asked, "What did you have in mind?"
To that, Dr. Greer brightened only a bit. The minutest hint of a smile dared to peer across his lips, and for an instant there it seemed as if he knew something which Weyland did not.
An hour later in the corridor outside his office, Weyland walked the halls with one hand glued to his chin and the other behind his back, brow forever creased in perpetual contemplation. His moment of insight with Dr. Greer had proven to be exceptionally . . . insightful.
That might work, he thought, letting the good doctor's suggestion circulate over and over again through his mind, picking it apart and analyzing every aspect as to the possibility of the idea's success and failure. The most striking part of the whole concept wasn't that he himself had not thought of it (though, the sheer simplicity of the idea meant that was indeed another factor which astounded him), but that, for the life of him, Weyland could not see any flaw in it. That might actually work.
So transfixed was Weyland in his thoughts that he failed to notice as his feet carried him in a direction that was not to Specimen X's containment area as he had planned, but rather a different wing of the facility entirely. So, naturally, when he turned a corner and kept walking, eyes fixed on the passing of each seam in the linoleum floor, he was unable to hear the security door open or to see as one of his paid personnel, spacey and drained by work, stepped out in front of him.
The impact came as a shock. Though not enough to knock either man over, Weyland stumbled back with surprise as the other's folder full of paper scattered across the ground.
Weyland looked up and was surprised to see Dr. Malcolm standing rigid before him, wide-eyed with horror and alarm to have struck his own superior.
"Oh, Dr. Malcolm," Weyland said, unsure of what the proper thing was to say after hitting someone. "Hello."
Had he not been facing down the man responsible for his continued livelihood, Malcolm might have gone cross-eyed at such a peculiar reaction to being slammed into by a sleep-deprived employee.
"H-hello, Sir," Malcolm responded, remembering his manners. Then, he gasped, realizing he had dropped his report in the collision, and worked quickly to pick them up, shocked yet again when Weyland gathered up a few sheets that had fallen at his feet. "Thank you, Sir," he said as Weyland returned what he'd retrieved.
"Sorry for the rude awakening," Weyland started to amend, but Malcolm spoke up quickly.
"No, Sir! I-I mean, I'm the one who should apologize. I wasn't watching where I was going and I—"
Weyland stopped him with a raised hand. "Please, just 'Weyland' is fine. I feel old enough as it is without everyone and their cousin calling me 'sir' all the time."
"Yes, S—I mean. . . . Yes, Mr. Weyland." Nervously, Malcolm shuffled his papers back into the proper order, feeling like a complete and total imbecile.
"Well, carry on," Weyland ended with a casual wave and turned to head back toward the xenomorph containment area.
Dr. Malcolm stopped him. "Actually, Mr. Weyland, I'm glad we met up. You see, I was just about to come find you." He looked at the report in his hands then to his employer's curious expression and offered the papers forward. "Today's report for Subject B-10. Sorry it's slightly overdue. . . ."
Realization flashed over Weyland's face. "Ah!" he exclaimed and gladly accepted the sheets. He took a moment to flip through it and scanned hopefully for the lines that would bring him the best news, but was disappointed by what he found instead. "I see. The coma hasn't lifted, yet, has it? You're certain she won't be coming out of it anytime soon?"
"If at all, but, yes. I don't think she'll ever wake up."
Malcolm was watching Weyland's expression closely, now. While the older man skimmed through the report, he searched for any sign of telltale emotions, anything that might give away the things that Malcolm was expecting: that Weyland knew more about B-10's condition than was just specified in the reports he received.
It was no mere miracle that the girl had survived being a host and certainly no cosmic coincidence that on top of it the embryo was supposedly engineered to be different somehow. He knew it deep down: Weyland was up to something. There was some sort of connection between her inhuman capacity to endure and the xenomorph specimen itself. There had to be.
But there was nothing in Weyland's face that hinted at his theories.
Weyland looked up and smiled hopefully. "Maybe our miracle girl will surprise us again. She's been doing that a lot lately."
He folded the papers once and tucked them under his arm. "Well, while I'm here, why don't you let me get a look at our patient?"
Caught off guard by the request, Malcolm's anxiety resurfaced with a look of stung surprise. "Are you sure, Mr. Weyland? Weren't you going somewhere important?"
"It can wait a moment."
Confused but not about to refuse his employer, Malcolm reopened the security door and led Weyland into the lab. After putting on some surgical gloves and passing through the sterilization chamber, Weyland was reunited with the proud mother of his (would-be) greatest achievement. The reunion was bittersweet, however. As much as he would have enjoyed the opportunity to question the girl, it was a bit of a relief to see her unconscious. The last time he'd seen Eva was nine days ago in her casual jaunt through the canyon bordering the northeast side of the containment facility, an escapade that nearly cost him eleven straight months of research and experiments and 220 million credits worth of human life and equipment. It was nothing short of a miracle that they'd managed to catch up to her, and just in the knick of time, too. One minute later and they would have lost the specimen. It went without saying: seeing the girl harmless and incapacitated was a breath of fresh air.
Still, he was curious. While her survival was the talk of the department, only he and Dr. Greer himself had the slightest inkling as to how that could have been possible for someone such as her. After all, she had a relatively normal medical history: she'd broken an arm as a child, had all the proper childhood vaccinations, and even came down with pneumonia once in the hospital. The only thing that made her different than any other person was a peculiar mental disposition, a kind of insanity if you will, that had her eventually admitted to a psych ward where she fatally stabbed a nurse and tried to paint a canvas with the blood. It was what put her on the security transport vessel Weyland bought potential hosts off of, and it was only after her impregnation with (the now) Specimen X that she began to act . . . motherly.
Yes, Weyland and Dr. Greer had many of their own theories as to how she was still alive, but one possibility that they did agree on was this: however impractical it may be, they accepted the likelihood that their experiments on the embryo pre-impregnation might have carried over into the host as some sort of adaptation (like how the xenomorphs themselves could be physically altered according to their host—dog, human, etc.). If that was true, then there was no telling what else Eva's pliable genetic structure might have picked up from the xenomorphs. The possibilities were endless. Maybe Project Xeno-Genesis wouldn't be a total failure after all.
"As you can see," Dr. Malcolm began, breaking Weyland from his trance, "she's still thoroughly comatose. Even though her vitals have stabilized and her internal injuries mended, there's no telling when she will wake up, if ever. Plus there is the potential for sever mental trauma from the event. I don't even know where to begin with what sort of damage might have been left on her brain; she might not even remember anything at all."
Weyland shook his head in pity, not for the half-dead girl before him, but for the things she might be able to teach him were she alive. Standing beside the medical berth, Weyland looked down at a pale, sleeping face, peaceful with rest and blissfully ignorant of the happenings in the real world, and moved her ratty black bangs from a resting eye. Light breaths clouded the oxygen mask over her mouth and nose in time with her slowly rising chest and the grotesque scar the marred her ivory bosom.
"It's a shame. There was so much she could have done."
"Yes," Malcolm lamented with true, unadulterated pity. If only the poor girl hadn't ended up in a place like this. She deserved better.
Malcolm showed Weyland around the lab after that. Some of the equipment he'd been given and what it was being used for, using this opportunity to assure his superior that his resources were being used to their full capability. Weyland simply nodded as he spoke. Completely uninterested, his mind drifted and wondered if Dr. Greer had gotten the next test subject ready yet when his eyes wandered to an overflowing waste bin in the corner of the room. An idea struck like a brick wall in that instant, and while Malcolm was distracted with talking Weyland crept over to the waste bin and quickly removed an article of white protruding from underneath the lid: a paper gown taken fresh from B-10's own body. Weyland took a moment to consider the new idea pounding in his head and how it might correspond with Dr. Greer's own.
A grin widened across his face. Perfect.
Swiftly removing another article from the bin to rap up the crumpled gown and prevent its contamination, Weyland slipped his prize into his coat pocket and cleared his throat.
"Thank you for the update on B-10's status, Dr. Malcolm, I really do appreciate it, but I'm afraid I must be going, now. My presence is needed elsewhere."
"Yes, of course. Sorry to have kept you waiting."
Malcolm escorted his superior out, shutting the lid to the waste bin near the door before leaving the room which he thought was a little odd because he could have sworn it wasn't open before. Thinking nothing more of it, he opened the security door for Weyland and courteously motioned him out.
"Thank you for the visit, Mr. Weyland. But, before you go, may I ask you something? Completely off the record, of course, and just between two fellow researchers."
Feeling the need to get back to work more than usual, Weyland was tempted to simply keep walking and forget anything had been said, but he was a dignified man and not the type to give such a hard working man the cold-shoulder.
He stopped and turned back. "Certainly. What is it you would like to know?"
Malcolm was very cautious about his next few words, taking care to ensure he would not get into trouble for asking them. God knew Weyland could ban him from the project for something less than what he was about to say. "Please, forgive me if I overstep any of my boundaries, sir, but I feel the need to ask: what's become of the xenomorph? B-10's xenomorph."
Shock and surprise flashed across Weyland's face and disappeared just as quickly. "Why?" His voice was stern and demanding, and his face hardened as he straightened his back taller. "What have you been told?"
Malcolm raised his hands in innocent defense. "Nothing, sir, I was merely curious. Back when I was in charge of the hosts, I was allowed access to the Specimen Information Files, but I can't seem to find anything about B-10's specimen. I was wondering if there was a reason why?"
Suspicious, Weyland's eyes narrowed on the doctor who was suddenly looking utterly terrified, like he was certain he was about to lose his job and everything he had worked so hard to achieve. "It's been taken care of," was all that Weyland told him. "That's all you need concern yourself with, Dr. Malcolm. I suggest you put it out of your mind and focus on your real job. Good day, doctor."
With that, Weyland departed, leaving Malcolm stumbling as if he'd physically been punched and wondering exactly what was so vital and secretive that not even the research facility's head medical officer was allow to know.
Curious, Malcolm thought when Weyland was gone and he had recovered. Very curious.
If only Malcolm had left it at that. If only he had not allowed his curiosity and sense of duty to uncovering the truth get the better of him. Then, maybe, just maybe, things might not have turned out as badly as they were about to become.
-grabs you and shakes you- REVIEW, DAMMIT, REVIEW! Reviews are my crack! Feed the addiction! FEED IT! (Is currently suffering from a mild caffine overdose. Don't mind the craziness.) O-0