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Devil Dogs is a 2017 short story written by Tim Lebbon, published by Titan Books as part of the anthology Predator: If It Bleeds. A prequel to Predator: Incursion, the story follows Akoko "Snow Dog" Halley, still a Captain at this point in her career, as she leads a small contingent of Colonial Marines from the DevilDogs to investigate a scientific research station that has fallen mysteriously silent. Within, they discover a lone Yautja has slaughtered the crew, and the creature is still on board.

Plot

Captain Halley is called in and informed that she has been tasked with a top secret mission, the details of which are withheld from her until the small squad that she is assigned has left on their ship, the Doyle. Once underway, the team is informed that they are being sent to Trechman Two, a research station operated by ArmoTech, to investigate the loss of contact with the facility. The team is placed under the overall command of Section Seven agent Del Kalien, although Halley retains command over the military aspects of the mission. She is frustrated by Kalien's refusal to elaborate on what they might find on the station, but nevertheless follows her orders.

Upon reaching Trechman Two, Halley ignores Kalien's suggestion that they board immediately and instead has the Doyle's pilot, Corporal Hanning, launch a reconnaissance drone. To the team's shock, the drone reveals a Yautja aboard, which eerily watches the drone through an exterior window. While several of the Marines propose they simply nuke the station and leave, Kalien reminds them that their mission is to recover vital research data from the station's computer core, and thus Halley reluctantly leads the Marines aboard.

Once on the station, Halley splits the six-man squad into two teams, leading one group herself and placing veteran Marine Tew, who has faced the Yautja before, in command of the other. They begin to clear the area and search for survivors as they make for the core. Before long, both groups discover bodies, victims of the Yautja that the creature has mutilated and strung up. Suddenly, the Yautja attacks Tew's group; Halley remotely links to their body cameras and can only watch as the creature begins brutally slaughtering the Marines. With his fellow Marines slain, Tew attempts to kill the creature with the plasma setting on his weapon, ignoring Halley's warnings — the blast ruptures the station's hull and apparently kills both Tew and the Yautja.

Halley and the two surviving Marines reach the computer core. As they recover the data they have been sent to retrieve, Kalien, still aboard the Doyle, informs them that the Yautja is still alive. With the data secured, the team is preparing to leave when Halley's suit picks up movement outside the room. The door opens and the Marines open fire with explosive ammunition, unwittingly killing the female survivor who was attempting to enter the room. At the same time, the Yaujta breaks through the room's ceiling and attacks. Amidst the chaos, Halley notices signs of human experimentation on the Yautja. Just as the creature turns to attack her, one of the dying Marines sets off a grenade and the blast knocks Halley unconscious.

Halley awakes seriously wounded but alone. She makes her way back towards the Doyle, encountering the Yautja once again outside the airlock to which the ship's umbilical is attached. Like her, the creature is grievously wounded after the explosion and the two face each other wearily, neither making a move to attack. Kalien calls to Halley from within the umbilical, asking if she has the data they have come to retrieve and making it clear he will not let her on board unless she does. Hearing him, the injured Yautja heads into the umbilical — as Kalien's hideous screams ring out, Halley throws a grenade into the passage and seals the airlock. The blast destroys the umbilical and sets the Doyle adrift.

Now alone aboard Trechman Two, Halley plans to use the station's medical supplies to patch herself up, and then hopes to take a lifeboat to escape back to her home base.

Trivia

  • The encounter between Halley and a Yautja that takes place in the story was previously mentioned in passing in Predator: Incursion, which was likewise written by Tim Lebbon.
  • Lebbon previously contributed another Rage War prequel story to the anthology novel Aliens: Bug Hunt, titled Spite.
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