All he could see was darkness. The darkness surrounded him. It tore at him. It hissed at him.
His hand went to his chest. The darkness was inside him to. He could feel it.
He could feel the darkness moving. And then it burst from him...
He awoke, sweat pouring down his forehead.
Harrison Black recovered his breath, memories of the dream fresh in his mind. He wasn't surprised. Harrison had dreamed of the same thing every night for the last year, ever since he was arrested for the murder of a Weyland-Yutani scientist.
Of course, he hadn't murdered anyone. The corporation had framed him. He had been living in a small colony on BG 712, serving as a security guard. When he found out that Weyland-Yutani was keeping a Xenomorph there, he had tried to kill the creature. He had known what they could do.
It had gone wrong. A scientist had tried to stop him, the Xeno had escaped and the scientist had been killed by the creature. Harrison would have died to, but a group of combat synthetics had arrived just in time and stunned the Alien. For trying to stop the corporation's research, Weyland-Yutani had used the death of the scientist as a reason to have him put in prison for the rest of his life. So that was where he was: the prison facility called Eden 439.
As his breath slowly returned, he managed a smile. Eden. This was hardly paradise. On the outside, Eden 439 was a combination of lush green vegetation and cold, shining steel. The inside was a maze of sparkling metal corridors and damp, dark halls. Harrison had recieved the latter of the two.
Harrison lowered his head onto the rough pillow, and slowly slipped back into sleep.
Somewhere in the depths of Eden 439, in a cold, steel corridor illuminated by bright lights, a Combat Synthetic held the barrel of a Pulse Rifle against the back of Dukov's neck. He looked around in fear, the lights blinding him.
"W-where are you taking me?" he stammered.
"The prisoner is not authorized to ask questions," the synthetic replied, increasing the pressure on his spine.
Dukov did not reply, but took a deep breath and murmured insults under his breath. The 2 of them marched down the corridor, the guard not removing the gun from Dukov's neck. Eventually they reached a steel door, with no windows allowing a glimpse inside the room. The door slid open. A hand struck Dukov, sending him sprawling into the darkness. The ground squelched as his hand landed on a soft, mushy material.
"What the hell?" he mumured, unable to see.
A voice came up on the intercom. "Hello, my friend," the man began. "My name is Doctor Cutter."
"Where am I?" Dukov yelled in response.
"You are participating in vital research. Your sacrifice is nessecary to continue the development of the project."
"What project? Please, tell me what's going on." He shivered as a cold chill brushed his face. Then, the reality of what Doctor Cutter had said dawned on him. He frowned. "Hang on... What sacrifice?"
The lights sprang on.
Blood splattered the walls.
And all was quiet...
Doctor Cutter watched Dukov being attacked until he lost interest, and motioned to one the scientist at the computer. She pressed a combination of buttons. A metal shutter slid across the window pane, blocking the gory scene from his view. He smiled coldly.
"Report," he ordered.
The scientist looked at him. "Our control of Project 5 is vastly improved from the previous test. At this rate, we may be able to use the project in active combat by the end of the year. I will have the team run some more tests.
Cutter smiled, satisfied. "If possible, I would like to run some tests using Xenomorphs. Have some prepared and shipped from the Hive Facility."
The cook slopped a pile of lumpy, foul-smelling gruel onto Harrison's tray, giving him a look of distaste. Harrison grimaced at the foul smell.
He settled at one of the crooked tables, and soon after another man, by the name of Johnson, joined him. He consumed a small spoonful of the gruel, and retched. "Man, why do they make us eat this shit?" He pushed his tray away, and looked at Harrison. "Hey man, you look bad. What the fuck's wrong?"
"You ought to talk to someone about that."
Who's going to listen? Harrison thought. He spooned up the food, letting it fall with a plop onto the plastic tray. He eyed it with disdain.
His thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of Kate, one of the only female prisoners in Eden 439. She threw her tray onto the table and ignored it. She looked at the two men. "Don't suppose either of you 2 have seen Dukov?"
The 2 of them shook their heads. "I heard someone open his cell last night. A scientist and a synth, I think."
She sighed. "Well, he's gone."
"How so?" Harrison enquired curiously.
"The scientists have a habit of taking guys out of their cells in the night. They don't return," Johnson told him.
"Where do they go?"
"How the fuck am I supposed to know? You don't find out until they take you, and then you ain't going to be telling anyone."
Harrison frowned, and ate a mouthful of the grey mush. He left the table, leaving the food, and returned to his cell.
A mile east of Eden 439, a Weyland-Yutani Hive Facility emerged from a mossy cliff face, devoid completely of light and life. No animals moved in the dark spaces in between the trees. A roaring truck cut through a wide dirt track. Groups of combat synths gathered in front of large bulkhead doors which slid open, allowing the vehicle access.
Burrowing deep into the cliff, the corridors eventually transformed into rocky caves, coated with the sticky black substance secreted by the Xenomorphs. This was the Hive, a 10 mile section of tunnels full captured or bred Xenomorphs, from simple Drones, to Praetorians and even a small group of Predaliens, though these were kept separate from the rest of the creatures. The remains of several surveillance cameras littered the tunnels. They were no longer used and had fallen into the disrepair. The corporation now used electrified robotic drones, which the Xenomorphs had soon learned to avoid.
In the darkness of the tunnels, a group of Combat Synthetics protected a scientist, the Xenomorphs hissing from the shadows but not approaching. After several minutes, the group came to a halt, and the lead synth turned to face the scientist.
"Orders, sir," he requested.
"The next Xenomorph we encounter, stun it. I want minimal Xenomorph casualties on this one. However, don't hesitate to incapacitate them if you are overwhelmed. You're about as expensive as them to develop. Anyway, once we have stunned the Xeno, we need to get it out. Expect heavy resistance."
They loaded their rifles.
And then the Hive attacked.