Alice crouched in the shadows of a building that once held people.
Now it was a shell, emptied of all life and stained with death, like everything else that remained in the city. Besides her was crouched Claybourne, his face streaked with an equal mix of fear and excitement, his rifle held to his chest like a holy relic, the whole look offset somewhat by the deer stalker hat pulled down hard over his ears. Beside him stood his daughter, Janice, peering round the corner of the building onto the street beyond, a pistol in her hand, a smoke in her mouth and a voice that belied experience beyond her 17 years on the planet.
“I can see them.” She whispered, voice husky and worn through too many cigarettes and sleepless nights, “They’re here.”
The street beyond was an exercise in hell.
The pavements and roads remained littered with the rotting corpses of past victims, some bloated with maggots, some little more than reminders of where once life ran. It had been a long time since humanity had tried to fight back and these, these bodies were simply reminders of humanities spirit and its ultimate failure. The cause of such destruction, such death ran in between the buildings ahead and Janice watched the scene with a sick fascination. Lithe, skeletal and deadly, the aliens scurried back and forth, every movement filled with intent and purpose, though what these could be were beyond Janice’ understanding.
Xenomorph’s; that’s what Alice’s husband had called them. Of ‘strange form.’ That form had become stranger over the years, the creatures adapting to their environment, spawning from the bodies of animals as well as humans. Dogs seemed to be the most common, anything smaller not being able to physically cope with the catastrophic change the new ‘birthing’ process involved. It had been how they had managed to get such a strong grip on society, how they dominated so easily.
They took the strays first, animal and human alike, planted their eggs in them.
Held in containment, deep within the recesses of secret government installations… Facehuggers, as they came to be called. Small, arachnid-like and the size of the average giants hand, they were a plague waiting to be released. When the original aliens burst from the chest of the First Contact crew, they sensed them, sought them out and upon liberating them, the infestation truly began. A monstrous virus, capable of laying the world to waste. Egg infested travellers, ripping from the flesh on foreign soil; Pandemic in such a short time. We burned so many of them, but there were so many more; hives under the great cities of the world, and from these breeding pits they regenerated new forces to deplete the old at an astonishing rate.
Soon, they didn’t even use hives, simply allowed the impregnated to wander free until the inevitable chest pain followed by slow, bloodied and excruciating death. So sure were they of their domination. So sure were they of their victory.
And yet, we still did not know why they had come here, still did not know what their agenda was and as Janice squinted her eyes against the glare of the midday sun, she wondered if it truly mattered anymore.
Survival, that’s all that seemed to matter now.