by Apollymi

Disclaimers: Aliens is the property of James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, and all associated copyright holders, of which I am not one.  I obviously do not own it since I'm not having money.
Dedications: To Katsuko.
Word Count: 157
Archive: DarkMagick(dot)net and Apollymi's Grimoire. Anyone else wanting it, please ask first. I'll probably say yes, but ask first. Notes: This story came about because a new muse (Daeva) came crashing in around 2 a.m. last night to announce I wasn't getting any sleep until I wrote this. Fully formed paragraphs formed in my head until I finally gave in and wrote this out, in bed, half-blind. The things I do for muses...

There is a split second before the training kicks in. It's less than half a heartbeat in length, but even that feels interminably long.

In that split second, his mind rebels against what he is seeing. It can't be real. It just can't be. The specimens were thoroughly secured; otherwise, this room wouldn't have been part of the rough command outpost they established only a few hours ago.

He doesn't question why Ripley isn't defending both of them, herself and the little girl. A brief visual sweep of the room revealed the pulse rifle he gave her sitting on a counter on the wrong side of the glass to be useful. That doesn't sit right; it doesn't track.

By then, though, the training has caught up. His body is already moving even before he yells the command "Shoot it out!" Hudson moves immediately to comply.

If Hicks has his way, they won't be losing anyone else today.