Chapter 1: Talking in Your Sleep


((Song Inspiration))

((Slight NSFW warning! And…Blood! And Gore! Beware!))

…Life goes on…

….that’s the saddest part to me…

Sloane smiled when she heard his voice.

His accented tone was deep and rich with his desire but also amused by the woman beneath him. Sloane opened her eyes as his body came over hers, a lazy satisfied smile on her lips.

“Like that, did you?” He rested his forearms on either side of her to keep the bulk of his weight off her.  His chest rested comfortably against her own as she shifted to cradled his hips. He waggled his eyebrows at her which brought a soft laugh to her lips. “Mhm.”

There was something in his gaze that made her pause. That made the sound of her amusement slowly fade.

There was …something here.

Something that was hinted at before, but now…now it was reflected in his eyes like neon lights.

Something important.

Her fingers brushed over his jaw, in a surprisingly tender gesture that had his eyebrows lifting in surprise. But instead of a witty remark, he leaned into her fingers before pressing his cools lips to her palm. His hips shifted against hers and her legs fell open as her hand slid over his jaw to grip the back of his neck, pulling his mouth to hers.  She felt the intensity of their connection curling in her stomach, her body arching off the bed needing to be closer to him.

…And then she felt a pressure under her diaphragm. The pressure grew until it became painful. Her mouth pulled away from his abruptly, gritting her teeth as she felt something tare underneath her ribcage.

“Sloane?” And she could heard the concern in his voice.

“It hurts.” She breathed, “It…” Sloane looked up and froze.

Her eyes grew wide with shock, her own pain forgotten.

Etienne stared back at her with unseeing eyes. And that something that had been reflected there before, that indescribable something more, that …was gone…and all that was left was…an emptiness that stared through her.

The sliver liquid that ran through his body was spilling out of his mouth, seeping out of his wounds to pour over her. He coughed and she felt the cold fluid fall over her cheek, a horrific parallel to the tears she could feel burning behind her eyes.


The spell of the shock finally broke and she reached out and pressed her hand to his stomach in a futile attempt to stop the bleeding. In a doomed effort to stop what she knew was happening, what she …  knew already happened. “You …promised.” She choked out. Begging him to fix it because she couldn’t…

…Because…she didn’t.

Something else pressed up against her ribcage, hard. The pain stole her breath and for a moment her mind was a shattered mirror of chaotic images.

The station. The girl. The Xenomorphs. The death. The blood.

The blood … that wasn’t hers.

But Sloane’s eyes never left his, like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car: frozen and unable to save herself. Etienne’s death played out for her in detailed horror, “Promise me…tell Michael…” The words were choked out around the silver pools, “That she shines brighter…”

And then Sloane heard a distant boom, and slowly pieces of Etienne turned black and started to crumble. The ashy pieces of him pulled away from her on a gust of wind that hadn’t been there before.

Her ribs finally buckled, and then… snapped.

The scream that was building finally found a voice on her lips. It was a cry of utter denial, a cry that came from deep within her. That echoed with the anguished power of her soul.

Sloane woke up to the sounds of screaming that were abruptly cut short on a strangled breath. Her chest was burning as she stuttered and wheezed trying to get air in her lungs.

Her mind screaming at her that that thing was still inside her. That this was her last moment before she ….

Sloane didn’t realize she was crying until she tasted salt on her lips.

Take a breath.

It’s the past. You’re in the present.

She stared up at the ceiling and the let the memories wash over her. Not trying to hold them at bay any longer. It never worked anyway.  It was a wave of destruction that happened every night, every morning. Her hand moved over her chest and the burning sensation slowly faded as she took slow and even breaths.

Moments turned into minutes and minutes turned toward an hour.

She wasn’t…

Sloane sat up and reached for the bottle of pills at the bedside, she looked down at the prescription label. She sighed and just tossed them back on her night stand. “So much for stopping the nightmares.” She muttered, running her hands over her face, pushing her sweat soaked hair out of her eyes as she forced herself to take another slow, deep breath.

“It’s your fault, Sloane.” Sloane flinched when she heard Kenneth’s voice, quiet and sinister at her ear. She closed her eyes, trying to will his ghost away. Trying and failing at telling herself that Kenneth wasn’t really here. But …the truth of his words scraped at her soul and trapped her there with him. Kenneth’s unseeing eyes flashed up at her as he laid on the floor of the cargo bay, choking out his final words.

“You don’t get to take a pill and forget. You left us. You left me. You left Lex. You left Etienne. You don’t get to be happy. You don’t get to move on from us, because none of us will.”

“Because of you.”

“Because of you.”

Sloane opened her eyes, and Kenneth was there sitting next to her on the bed. More silent tears followed the dried trail of their predecessors as she was crushed under Kenneth’s condemning gaze. Sloane had never lost someone under her command before, and then she lost three in one mission. Her eyes moved away from Kenneth to the figure sitting in a chair in the corner of her room. He had the chair turned around, and was leaning on his folded arms as he considered her.


He was covered in blood. A grenade in his hand. “You look like shit, Buttercup.”

Sloane looked down and she was covered in blood. Not hers. Theirs.

The tremble started in her fingers, until it had consumed her hands.

“Don’t answer him, Sloane.” The soft accented voice drifted over the chaos of the moment like a life-line. Her eyes moved to the figure at the window. Etienne’s eyes held hers, and that something was reflected in them again. “You know what you need to do.”

None of them are here.

None of them are here.

Sloane swallowed roughly and pulled up the call interface. She had to try four times before her hands stopped shaking long enough to enter the correct sequence of numbers. A tired but calm voice answered. “Sloane?”  When Sloane didn’t answer, the voice tried again, this time more insistent

“Tell them, Sloane.” Kenneth hissed, “Tell them about how you killed us. That we will never leave because we refuse to fall into the forgotten.”

“Sloane!” the voice yelled her name over the line, grabbing her attention.

“I’m h-here.” She choked out. Her chin trembled, “I’m …here.”

She was the only one here.

Eliza Neil
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