Alex sat at the control panel, and stared down at the syringe filled with a thick red fluid. It was his last stim. And he wasn't sure how long he could go without one, or when he'd find one next. But his left leg was torn up pretty badly. He bandaged it nice and tight, but it would take a few weeks for it to heal. Luckily, he had managed to raid the Medical wing and find some antibiotics and a few rolls of bandages. But he was still running low on stims, and without a few more of those he would be dead in two days. At the most. He was contemplating whether he should use it now, or save it for a later date. But then again, with a limp he was a huge target. The bugs would grab him without a lick of trouble.

"Fuck… my training didn't cover this." Alex murmured, biting the cap off of the stim. He rolled up his pants leg, and stabbed the tip of the needle into his calf. He instantly felt the drug take effect. His leg was numbed, and his heartbeat jumped up. He stood up, and wobbled slightly. He could walk again. But he still had a hell of a limp.

Alexander Fitzgerald signed up for the Marines at the age of eighteen. He wanted to do something that mattered and get paid while doing it. So, he took up the military life. During his time in high school, he volunteered at a lab that studied Xenomorph carcasses, and even took four years of Xenomorph studies. He learned quite a bit about the Xenomorph's body, their mindset, and a few rejected theories.

Alex was a somewhat tall man, standing just a few inches above fellow recruits. His light brown hair was always shaved off, and he even had a scar the barber at the recruiting station gave him. He wore a dull white sleeveless undershirt underneath his ballistic vest to prevent chaffing without restricting his movement or making him overheat. He also wore black military grade trousers, with heavy combat boots. The left leg of his trousers was stained with crimson, however it was dried and barely a bother anymore. He was used to living in terrible conditions.

Alex locked himself in the Captains Quarters, sealed and locked the doors, and closed off the vents so the damn bugs wouldn't pop out of the ceiling while he was sleeping. But he'd run out of food a week ago, and his last sip of water took place four days ago. Through sheer willpower, he was keeping himself alive. Running water was shut down, but electricity was back online. But what good was light if Alex was unconscious from dehydration.

"Damnit… I need water… food…" Alex murmured as he drew to his feet. The stim he took earlier would hopefully keep him awake until he found some water. Dehydration was setting in, and if he didn't hurry, he'd end up face first on the floor. For good.

Alex took his service pistol, and checked the magazine. It was full. The one thing that he wasn't running short on was ammo. He could defend himself, if he had enough strength to hold the damn gun up into the air. He unlocked the doors, and peered into the hallways. It was empty. And the air didn't stink of rotten flesh and piss. That meant there were no bugs out right now. For some reason, they always smelt like asparagus. Alex could get over the smell of dead flesh, but not piss. Why would they smell like piss in the first place? It seemed likely that they were splashing around in the sewers.

Alex moved slowly out into the hallways. Partly because of safety and sound reasons, partly because of dehydration, and partly because of his limp. But he moved at an acceptable pace. He scoured at least two rooms before he found the mess hall. He slowly pushed the double doors open, and peered inside. It was empty. Alex limped into the kitchen, and tore it apart. He found two bottles of water, and a few sealed MRE's. Just when he was about to down one of the bottles of water, the very familiar scent assailed his nostrils. Then he heard a bug's signature screech; loud and high-pitched. Before he knew it, there were three Xenomorphs surrounding him.

"Good girls…" Alex said lowly, limping himself into a corner. He was about to reach for his pistol—which was located in its holster—when one of them moved closer. He snatched his pistol, and raised it. But then his shoulder-lamp went out. He lost sight of all three targets. Alex switched the safety to "burst", and pulled the trigger three times. At least one of the nine shots must've hit something. But his foes were upon him already. He was beaten ferociously, forced to the ground, and bitten. And he felt a burning sensation on his arm. It was a familiar feeling. Molecular acid, Xeno's blood. But it wasn't enough to cause severe damage; it did burn like hell however. There was slight bloodshed, but the acid soon dissolved away. There was a bright red splotch with multiple lacerations left on his shoulder and upper arm.

By the time the three Xenos had finished mauling Alex, he was covered in bruises, lacerations, red marks from their clamp-like grips, and bite-marks. But he was still alive. He didn't expect them to keep him alive. But that only meant one thing. He was going to be cocooned. That's what they thought, Alex had told himself. He wasn't going down. And if he was, he was going to bite, kick, and scream his way to hell. And bring as many of them with him as possible.

Alex brought his head up, and groaned. Blood ran over his lip, he had a nosebleed, and a large purple bruise covered his left cheek. But then he spotted his pistol. That was his salvation. His one way out of hell. He fell over trying to grab the weapon, and soon became alive again. He crawled closer to the pistol. It was right under his hand when one of the Xenomorphs grabbed his leg and dragged him away. He didn't have enough strength to even struggle. He just covered his head and took the punishment like a man. Until he noticed that there were no scratching, no kicking, no biting. It seemed as though they were simply trying to relocate him. Though he knew better. They were moving him to a more convenient location for a cocoon.

"God…" Alex murmured, beginning to struggle. "You can't take me bitch! I'd sooner die…" Alex screamed as he began to kick at the alien form that had a hold of him. But his fight was short lived. Dehydration soon took him, and he blacked out.

By the time Alex came to, his head was throbbing and his chest stung. He was restrained, and the room was dark. But he could make out four different figures in the room with him. All of which were the dark, sleek form of a Xenomorph. They seemed to be communicating to each other, hissing, shrieking, even what sounded like scratching. After a moment, all of them seemed to stare at him. He tried to pull out of his bonds, but he was bound pretty damn well. After a closer examination, he concluded that he was cocooned. But there were none of those disgusting "face-humper" things on the floor. Not even any eggs. There wasn't a single trace of any foul play, beside the fact that he was bound to a wall, of course.

"What the fuck do you want with me?" Alex cried out, pulling away from the wall.

But that didn't deter his captors. It seemed to provoke them. But that assault, that surprise attack… hell, if Alex was watching that from a security camera, he might've even considered it to be a sexual assault, or a rape or something similar. But they caught him off guard. They caught him weak… they basically caught him with his pants down. One of them moved closer. She seemed to be curious, maybe even slightly stimulated by Alex's emotions. Alex, even though he truly did despise the Xenomorphs for what they did, he found himself interested in them nonetheless, until it got to the point where they bound him to a wall. Still, due to his multiple years spent studying the species, he always referred to a Xenomorph specifically as "she" out of habit. He did know of a few rare cases where there was a male Xenomorph, but only during circumstances such as a Hunter—a very elusive species of predator—being implanted with a Xeno embryo. Usually, the resulting Xenomorph would take on the same gender of its host.

The Xenomorph moved even closer, so close to the point that Alex swore he could actually taste the stench of the beast. It was a sour, disgusting taste. Alex gagged heavily, but regained his composure after a moment. The Xenomorph paced back and forth before Alex, examining him. While it walked, Alex noticed a large 8 that was carved into the Xenomorph's head. It was perfectly carved, as though it were branded. Alex remembered that one. He had to help restrain it once, when the scientists brought it in from an expedition out onto T96's brutal jungle terrain. She seemed really pissed off when they first met.

But now the tables were turned. Alex was restrained, and Eight was the one with the power. And she seemed to remember Alex as well. Something told Alex that this was going to end badly for him. But, he just had to go with whatever these things had in mind with him, and pray that he came out of it alive.

"Oh… it's you again…" Alex murmured, dropping his head

Eight turned to her sisters, and the four communicated for a moment. Alex couldn't even get how they understood each other. All he heard was garbled hissing, growling, and a bit of saliva dripping to the floor. The four quickly moved into a large semicircle around Alex, and they all grabbed his shoulders and his arms. They pulled him out of the disgustingly wet web-like material, and forced him to the ground. But it wasn't like he was in any physical condition to fight back. He just fell to the floor, limp and barely conscious.

The four worked together, in seemingly perfect unison. Two of them grasped Alex's arms and legs, and held him down. The other two took hold of his ballistic vest, and quickly tore it off. The metal buckles and Velcro straps were completely useless against the almost superhuman strength of a single Xeno, let alone two of them.

Then it became clear to Alex. They were stripping him down. But for what? So they could just hack him open, right down the middle? Or maybe they took comfort in the fact that his vest would no longer get in the way of beating him if they needed to. Either way, Alex was bare and naked, as far as he was concerned. He never went anywhere without his vest on. It seems a bit paranoid, but there are quite a few people who are angry at the Earth's government, and by extension, its military, for experimentation done on animals and even people. He'd rather wear his vest just in case some nut decided to open fire on a few off-duty Marines. And, it gave him more of a status than his wife-beater undershirt. He never even liked the name, it just sounded stupid.

The four Xenos, headed by Eight, then worked together to drag Alex out of the room, and down the hall. They were much less aggressive then when he first contacted them, though Alex couldn't really tell. He was starting to black out again. He still hadn't had any water for three or four days. The damn bugs made sure of that. Alex could barely hold his head up to stare at his four captors while they dragged him down multiple corridors, and through numerous rooms. Unfortunately, Alex didn't last for five more minutes before he blacked out again.

When Alex awoke, he was lying in a puddle of a room-temperature liquid. And even more was being dumped onto him. But he wasn't concerned with anything else. He wiped some of the liquid off onto his hand, and rubbed it between two of his fingers. It was runny. Alex licked one of his fingers, and his eyes—originally filled with despair—filled with hope again. He shot up to a sitting position, and looked around quickly. The same four Xenos sat around him.

One of them was staring down at him with her mouth open. And water was dripping from her inner jaws. Alex wiped his face off and gagged.

"That's fucking disgusting! Are you trying to make me sick?" Alex screamed, flicking the water off of his hands.

Just as Alex had expected, the Xenomorph had no clue what he meant. They had no perception of emotion, so it seemed. Purely instinct and maybe curiosity. But hell, at least Alex wasn't restrained in alien vomit anymore. Though the stench seemed to stick with him, he'd rather smell like death than actually be dead.

Alex stumbled over his own feet, and fell to the floor. Then he noticed what appeared to a large, clear plastic cup filled with water. Alex scrambled to his feet, and grabbed the cup. He quickly downed the entire thing, holding it above his head to get every last drop of the sweet life water, literally. He set the cup down, and collapsed. But after a few moments, Eight stepped towards Alex. He sat back up, and crawled back slightly. Eight sat down, and tilted her head downward. Then she began to heave violently. After a moment, her mouth opened and her inner jaws emerged. She spat up quite a bit of water, enough to fill the glass nearly to the brim. Of course, there was a bit of spillage, and the water had a few unknown particles floating around in it. But still, Eight stepped back slightly and watched with her head tilted.

The very thought of drinking what a bug had just coughed up filled Alex with disgust and dismay. But he wasn't about to pass up one of the few things that kept him alive in this nightmare. Even if it did come from the enemy's stomach. It seemed relatively obvious that if they wanted him dead or as a host, they would've disposed of him by now. But he still wasn't sure of exactly what they wanted with him. Hell, maybe he was just a form of entertainment to them. He couldn't really ask, with the bugs not being sentient and all. Or so the studies seemed to prove.

Alex, still slightly hesitant, reached for the glass. His throat was dry still, and his body's needs overpowered his mind's complaints. He put his lips to the brim of the cup, and tilted it. Again, he quickly emptied the cup's contents, and dropped the cup. But after a moment, Alex began to convulse violently. After what seemed like an eternity to him, he hacked up what appeared to be mucus. He spat it on the floor, and licked the back of his hand to get rid of the taste of bug spit.

By the time Alex was done having a fit of coughing and gagging, Eight had moved closer to him. Alex, who was still out of it for the most part, didn't notice until she was right on top of him, literally. Eight wrapped her tail around Alex's injured arm, and pulled tightly. Alex involuntarily outstretched his arm, wincing as the rash that began to form was irritated. Eight examined Alex's shoulder, and hissed lowly. She opened her mouth, and a small amount of her saliva dripped onto Alex's shoulder. At that point, Eight released Alex's arm and stepped back.

As soon as the thick, clear goo fell from Eight's mouth and onto his arm, Alex felt an intense burning sensation. He would've tried to wipe it off, but he's sure that he would've just smeared it into his cuts. So he grasped directly below his acid-burns, and squeezed as tightly as he could while groaning in agony. After at least two minutes of it, the burning began to fade. And surprisingly, the rash started to disappear. Alex's arm soon started to regain its original color; what would be expected of a Caucasian male who hasn't washed in weeks, and is covered in bruises, cuts, and blood. And half of the blood isn't even his.

"Son-of-a-bitch!" Alex screamed as the pain in his armed was quelled. "I wish I could express how much that hurt!"

Eight tilted her head in confusion, and moved closer to Alex. Alex was immobilized by lasting pain, and didn't even pay attention to Eight. By now, he was sure that he was just a plaything for her and her "friends". Eight moved around behind Alex, and propped herself up on her hinds legs. Her foreclaws were occupied with Alex's dog tag, which she was trying to undo. It seemed to put her into a trance; shiny metallic objects that produced a fascinating sound when moved. That's what Eight saw in them. All Alex and his human brethren saw was a pair of metal tags that were wrapped around your neck so your teammates could pretend to mourn your death when they found your carcass on the field.

After a few minutes of Eight nearly strangling Alex with his own tag, Alex reached up behind his neck to help her. He undid his tag, and the pair slid off Alex's neck. He then dropped the tag onto the floor, and waited. A few moments later, Eight moved from behind him, and she quickly snatched up the chain and tag combo. She moved the chain about for a moment, before she dropped the chain again.

Eight left the chain alone, and returned to Alex. She set her head on his shoulder, and hissed quietly. The three remaining Xenomorphs retreated from the room. Alex noted this, and shook his head.

"What? What's going on? Something's going down…" Alex murmured softly, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath to assist in purging his body of the pain.

Eight replied with a light, almost purring sound. She wrapped her tail around Alex's waist, and her arm around his neck, while nudging into his shoulder.

"I'm fucked…" Alex thought to himself.