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Hugs to Die For is a 2017 short story written by Mike Resnick and Marina J. Lostetter, published by Titan Books as part of the anthology novel Aliens: Bug Hunt. In it, a small Colonial Marine inspection detail is sent to a Weyland-Yutani space station to oversee the facility's containment measures. When they fail disastrously, the Marines find themselves caught up in a mass Facehugger outbreak.

Plot

Owing to incidents at several other Weyland-Yutani research facilities, the United States Colonial Marine Corps has insisted on being allowed to inspect the company's latest research space station during construction. General Amotz is assigned to lead the inspection detail, alongside fellow Marines Ribar and Cortez, who serve as her security detail. A Weyland-Yutani representative named Jones takes them on a tour of the facility, focusing in particular on the "Egg Lab", an automated facility that removes Facehuggers from their Eggs, neuters their ability to impregnate hosts, and removes their tails to make them easier to handle. The objective is to produce controllable specimens that can be used as a source of Xenomorph acid, which has high value as an industrial cutting agent.

The group watches a demonstration of the process. An Egg is delivered to the chamber via an automated conveyor, before the Facehugger is coaxed out of its shell with a mannequin, which is bestowed with artificial movement, body heat, mammalian pheromones and carbon dioxide emissions to fool the creature into thinking it is a live host. Once the Facehugger attacks, it is captured, its dorsal proboscis is cauterised and its tail is removed with a laser scalpel.

However, when the neutered Facehugger is being delivered to the large liquid-filled tank where its compatriots are being stored, it fights the mechanical claws that hold it, tearing its skin and spilling its acid blood on the mechanism. The Facehugger escapes while the mechanical arm that had been carrying it strikes the tank, cracking the glass. Seizing their chance, the Facehuggers already imprisoned within begin pounding the weak point, eventually shattering the tank and freeing them from containment.

Working as a unit, the Facehuggers pile up against the window through which the inspection team had been observing, tearing thrww of their number apart so that their blood melts the glass and opens a breach. The Marines open fire on the creatures with their sidearms, but there are simply too many of them. Ribar is wounded by acid, while one of the creatures wraps itself around a guards knee, constricting its limbs until it shatters his kneecap, incapacitating him. Suddenly, un-neutered Facehuggers join the melee, several of their castrated compatriots having breached the Egg storage room and released them from their Eggs. Jones, Cortez and the wounded guard soon fall victim to the viable creatures.

Amotz and Ribar manage to eliminate the initial wave, but many of the Facehuggers escape into other areas of the station through holes melted in the deck by their acid blood. Ribar refuses to leave without his son Daniel, who has been left in the care of a Weyland-Yutani aide somewhere on the station, but Amotz sends the wounded Marine to their ship, promising to find Daniel herself. She takes a rifle from the fallen guard. Before moving on, she euthanizes Jones, Cortez and the weapon's original owner, sparing them the horror of dying from the Chestbursters they now host.

Moving through the corridors, Amotz eventually finds Daniel in one of the station's sleeping quarters. She recovers the boy, but when the aide proves too terrified to move she leaves her behind. Amotz fights her way back to the docking bay with Daniel in tow, but finds their way cut off by multiple Facehuggers clinging to damaged wires and piping dangling from the ceiling, forming a living curtain of flesh. She attempts to head back and take another route, but an enormous swarm of Facehuggers blocks their path. With no alternative, Amotz charges the living curtain, spraying the Facehuggers with automatic fire. As they fall, their blood melts through the floor, forming a chasm that Amotz is forced to leap across, badly burning herself on the acid still raining from above but succeeding in propelling Daniel safely across the gap.

Seriously wounded and close to unconsciousness, Amotz is saved by Ribar and their pilot. She awakes on the surgical table aboard their ship, heavily medicated and her wounds tended to. Ribar thanks her for saving his son, and both reflect with dry humor on their experience.