Book Review 141 // Aliens - Bug Hunt: Deep Background by Keith R.A. DeCandido and Empty Nest by Brian Keene

I know right! How many damn Alien-themed short stories can there be? The answer is a lot hahaha. Well, you will be glad to hear that I am pairing up the stories once again this week, so two reviews for the price of one.

Up first, Deep Background by Keith R.A. DeCandido. This is an interesting tale found the journalist Nickole Kejela as she is given an assignment with a group of Colonial Marines. The ultimate idea of the assignment is to expose Weyland-Yutani's underhanded business practices. The story then joins her on the job as she records the squad's daily training and she starts interviewing them, during this period she is accepted by the team and joins in some lighthearted gambling. As the story seems to be slowing down, we get a booster shot as the team is deployed to LV-148 to evacuate a group of Weyland-Yutani scientists.

The story given to the marines is a simple in and out job. Rescue the scientists before their base is destroyed by a sinkhole. As the marines operate the rescue mission and start pulling out scientists, a mystery cavern is discovered and you guest it Eggs are discovered. Soon shit hits the fan and the Lieutenant of the group is discovered with a Facehugger. Of course, the procedure is not properly followed and the chest buster escapes to start the classic reign of terror.

A day later we rejoin the action to discover Kejela and three marines making their last stand. We only find out their ultimate fate when Kejela's boss reads the report about LV-418. It is then revealed that Weyland-Yutani knew about Xenomorphs presence the whole time, using this info, she contacts the USCM Chief of Staff and in exchange for deleting the report, she is rewarded with a hefty bribe.

A dark tale indeed!

The second tale Empty Nest by Brian Keene, sees us joining Lance Corporal Michael Lombardo at a colony on Taurus 7. Unfortunately for the Corporal, the base is overrun by Xenomorphs. As the sole survivor, Lombardo is left facing off against a group of Xenomorphs and strangely behind a lone surviving colonist.

After luring the alien group into a trap, Lombardo detonates a grenade, blasting them to pieces. With the way clear he rescues the strange survivor, and hands over his knife to offer her some form of protection. As they rush back to the hanger, we discover her name is Alice and she has had a rough life. We discover she is alone and has watched her colleagues die to the aliens, we also discover she is terminally ill from cancer and lost a child to stillbirth. This is a really dark past, that hints as to why she may have survived for so long? Do Aliens sense genetic flaws?

Well turns out this is what the author wanted me to think and I fell for it! As Lombardo reaches the escape shuttle, he is confused as to the lack of Xenomorph activity. At this point, Alice shows her true colours and mutters, "Because they sent me instead", before slitting his god damn throat!! What a plot twist. We discover she is in fact with a child, a xenomorph child, and sees this as her chance to have a family.

What an ending, loved this tale, had me hooked from start to finish. It was amazing.

As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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