Reclamation is a 2017 short story written by Yvonne Navarro, published by Titan Books as part of the anthology Aliens: Bug Hunt. A prequel to Aliens, it focuses on Corporal Hicks as he deals with the loss of his wife, Rachel, to an aggressive alien species. Several years later, an organizational oversight sees Hicks put on a mission to the very world where his wife disappeared.
Corporal Dwayne Hicks recalls the first time he laid eyes on Private Rachel Miller — as she nailed another Marine's hand to a table with her combat knife for groping her in a bar. Eight weeks later, they were married.
Around a year after they first met, Rachel Miller-Hicks is dispatched with her unit to investigate a small, uninhabited moon thought to be harboring pirate spacecraft. Hicks eagerly awaits his wife's regular video messages from her ship, the USS Paradox, updating him on the squad's progress, through waking from hypersleep, to setting down on the moon, to investigating a derelict ship they find there. However, Hicks' adoration turns to horror when a final message arrives showing his wife's squad under attack. She tells him they are being assaulted by "some kind of alien" and barely manages to send the transmission before the unit is seemingly overcome.
The incident is buried and Hicks is threatened with court martial when he repeatedly tries to press the issue. However, five years later, he is reassigned as part of a mission to recover USCM equipment the same uninhabited moon, thankful but not surprised that the operation that claimed his wife's life had been buried so deep this connection to it had now been overlooked. As part of a squad under the command of Sergeant "Gunny" Maxwell, Hicks travels to the moon, keeping his own, very personal interest in the mission secret.
After setting down on the surface, the squad soon finds the wreck of the USS Paradox. Moving inside, the unit finds evidence of a firefight, before discovering the desiccated bodies of several Marines — including a PFC R. Miller-Hicks. Unable to conceal his emotions any more, Hicks reveals his connection to the previous operation. Moving on to the ship's hypersleep bay, the squad discovers some kind of alien nest, before they are attacked by the same creatures that slaughtered the previous operation. The squad is butchered, with only Hicks managing to escape and sealing the creatures inside the Paradox.
Upon returning to his home base and reuniting with his regular unit, Hicks finds comfort in having finally laid to rest his wife's fate. However, he still yearns for revenge against the creatures that killed her, and hopes one day to get the chance.