P R A Y   F O R   T H E   P R E Y
A ROLE PLAYING CAMPAIGN

CHAPTER ONE:  “SECRETS OF ACHERON”

01 -- “ H A L L O W E D   G R O U N D”

     An ice world.  No snow…just overlapped glaciers and chunks of ice for as far as the eye could see.  Virtually no wind.  A modified Daihotai with huge cleats and spikes rides over the sheets of sheer ice.  It stops at an incline rising up to a dropoff…

     Both guys who exit wear cold-weather environment suits…One carries a backup full of stuff.   Both wear heavy cleats boots

     “This is friggin’ weird!”
     “Not weird…rare.  The whole planet flash froze within a span of maybe 6 months.  This is—watch your step—A time-machine.  Everything is exactly how it was more than 5 000 years ago.”
     “No snow”
     “Nearest snowdrift is over 4000 kilometers south of us.  The oddest weather patterns I have ever seen…Set the sonar over there…”
    One guy sets up the machine while the other climbs the peak.  He reaches it…and stops dead…
 “McCready…Forget the sonar…”
The other guy stops and climbs to meet his comrade… They both gape…
“Call Palmer…tell him we earned our bonus…”
Pulling away…we see the dropoff is not a cliff…but one side of a massive scar in the ice.  Huge black strips line the circular crevice carved into the glacier…

A huge crash trail….carved right into the solid ice…stretches for all the way till the horizon…

THEME MUSIC …

Aftermath of last episode.  The crew recovers from the loss of their Captain…
A scene with Maller getting drunk in his crew quarters.
The PCs receive two transmissions:

NOTE 1
>RECEIVED STATUS REPORT.
>-MY EYES ONLY-
>EDGINGTON 001-675-897ABD.
>REPLACEMENT COMMANDER UNAVAILABLE.
>A. CROWE ASSIGNED AS REPLACEMENT.
>STUDIED SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY REPORT
>SENDING CLEARED OFFICER FOR RENDEZVOUS AT ANCHORPOINT
>REPORT IMMEDIATELY.
>ADDITIONAL -- R. ZAGADKA NOT CLEARED FOR MISSION PARAMETERS.
>CONTACT UPP MILITARY AUTHORITY AND RELINQUISH.
>R. ZAGADKA NOT AUTHORIZED FOR ANY COMPARTMENTALIZED INFORMATION.
>ADDITIONAL, ADDITIONAL – SMUGGLER VESSEL “SUPERTRAIN”
>REPORTED DESTROYED 32AU FROM THEDUS.
>REASON… DESTROYED BY ENEMY FIRE.
>IDENTITY… UNKNOWN.
>END REPORT.
>EDGINGTON 06/23/82

NOTE 2
>PROCESS
>FILE SCRAMBLED.
>DECODE:
>”MALLER HAD A GUN.  I HAD…”
>MESSAGE FOLLOWS:
>
>DFTJTF CVF
>   HJGDF
>MESSAGE ENDS

 AFTER DECODING
>MESSAGE FOLLOWS:
>
>ZEFIRO 300
>   BURNS
>MESSAGE ENDS
    Achorpoint is obviously fairly close…only a few days from their last position.  Of course, the didn't so this.  They decided to rendezvous with a UPP ship to drop of Zag.  What started as a simple mission turned deadly.  Crowe noticed the UPP Black Ops troops across the docking tunnel wearing USCM weaponry.  Crowe immediately draws as the UPP train their weapons on Zag ducks.  Gunfire erupts.  The UPP flees, Zag is pulled back into the vessel.  What happened?  Many theories exist.  The most popular theory is that UPP troops were going to kill Zag and blame the marines for it.  Perhaps Zag knows too much.  Now the Deterrent crew is stuck with him.  Somerville confines him to quarters until they can figure out what to do with him.  More for Zag’s protection than anything else.

   They then journey to Anchorpoint and pick up Adrian Brian Ocdugal, their new Doctor/Xenobiologist.  He is on loan from the Anchorpoint USCMC Biological lab.

    Burns is the smuggler from the Supertrain...obviously a last transmission.  Zefiro 300 is a dead world.  No mining, no colony.  It sits around a White Star between Thedus and Frontier 18 ly away.  Approaching Zefiro 300, long range scanners detect a single ship.  A big Dolomite, casually drifting from one of Zefiro’s 16 asteroid moons.  As the Deterrent approaches within 400 000 km, the Dolomite takes off.  At 12 AU/H, the Dolomite is much faster and outrun the Deterrent…but not the dropships.

    The crew splits up between the two craft.  The majority of the PCs are one craft.  Melinda Sutton pilots the PCs craft.  The other ship take severe damage and is forced to retreat.  The chase begins.  The Dolomite can been seen clearly…it is loaded with weapons.  Its called the WASP.  The other Drop continues the attack, attempting to disable the vessel.   The Wasp retreats into Zefiro’s atmosphere, damaged.  A missile it fired off returns and slams the rear of the dropship.  Melinda Sutton is severely injured.  The Dropship goes down.  Crowe makes an admirable attempt to set the craft down gently...meaning it crashes.  The dropships falls quickly out of control.  It eventually slams into snow really fast, hydroplanes across a lake, and nose dives into an ice wall.   Melinda Sutton needs immediate medical attention.  She has about 12 hours or so to live.

    All they get from the sketchy radio from the Deterrent is that the planet is almost impossible to scan and it will be at least a day before they can get the dropship back to working order.  The Wasp was under its own power and may have soft landed.  They may have a medical facility.  The crew is relatively good shape otherwise and their new Doctor sees to the few injuries other than Melinda.  Maller, apparently a master of Survival, helps the group prepare for the trek across the ice.

    The ice world moves from solid glacier ice to hard packed snow.  No life, very cold…but occasionally…there are some water patches.  Oxygen levels are stale but OK.  A marine discovers tread marks on the ground from a vehicle.

    Later one of the Force Recon discovers the blur of a vehicle up ahead.  It’s a Battle 8X8 with five smuggler on board.  They don't know about the PCs yet.  They are on a survey run.  They will be here in five minutes…

    Force Recon sets up an ambush.  A short battle ensues.  When the battle reduced to two enemies, one attempts to throw a grenade but is taken down.  The grenade explodes behind.  The ground shakes and the man falls through the snow.  The other soldier stops dead.  Then he drops in the snow to his knees…then his waist…He grabs for dear life.  Suddenly the ice gives away.  A huge canyon reveals itself…150 feet across…miles in every direction…to the Horizon.  The smuggler falls to his death.

The vehicle is intact, on the PC side.  However, what’s in the cavern gets their attention…


    There is a spacecraft sticking half way from the ice, 50 feet down…on the other side.

    In the 8X8, they can find maps and a radio inside.  One map is of consequence.  It shows the location of the Wasp and various patrols away from the vessel.  But far away...meaning they were down here BEFORE the Wasp landed...meanding landing here was no coincidence.  The Wasp had a base here.  Not only that but they were here looking for something...something...like the Alien ship sticking from the ice wall.  The Wasp was the vessel that bought something from the Smugglers in the previous episode but we don't know what it was but obviously it led them here.

    The canyon has completely encircled the group.  The Force Recon shoots grappling hooks over to the other side.
    The radio comes on…A voice from the Dolomite….

“3030 Alpha….3030 Alpha…”
“Elvis…over…Elvis over…”
    If the PCs had given a good response like “sideburns” or “The king”, then they would have received and order to return to base right away.  They didn't.  The comm went out…and company is enourte.

    The PCs traverse the cavern with relative ease.   As Ocdugal works his way across the cavern,  three more vehicles with five smugglers each arrives.  However the real danger is the low model dropship coming behind them.  One of the 8x8s has a sniper rifle and takes out a Emil's rifle.  A rocket launcher blows Crowe off his feet, forcing him to fall back over the edge, hanging onto the cable Ocdugal tries to traverse.  Crowe falls down to the alien ship.  A fight ensues.  The dropship will go ever the edge and shoot cables onto the vessel.  Then soldiers attempt to rappel down to the alien ship.  Crowe fires several grenades into the dropship, crippling the vessel, forcing it down.  The cables go taut and and the dropship is left hanging underneath the alien craft.  When one of the cables snaps loose, it cuts one of the smugglers in half.  To avoid the cable, Crowe falling into the alien ship.

    Inside the craft is a very Giger-like storage room with four large organic cylinder…One has dislodged.  They can retrieve that.  Ocdugal's cable snaps and he also fall into the vessel below.  A failed attempt to blow the Dropship's moorings almost takes the whole cavern down.  The dropships eventually falls on its own.  Tara Montgomery rappels down to save Crowe and Ocdugal.  Above, the USCMC show their stuff.  Almost all but one of the 8X8s are destroyed.  One 8X8 flies off the edge of the cliff...down to the spacecraft below.  This sparked a funny conversation between Montgomery and Crowe.  They are inside the alien ship...

Crowe: " Tara, I want you on Motion, tell me anything that moves."
At that point, the 8X8 drives off the cliff and plummets down towards them...
Tara:  "Does that count?"
Crowe looks up...he sighs...
Crowe:  "I hate my life..."
    The crash fractures the ice and the alien ship is about to fall.  Crowe attempts to retrieve another cylinder and almost is killed acquiring it, when the ship finally breaks free and plummets into the darkness.

    The map indicates the Dolomite is only a few hours away.  However, it is at a base.  A large one.  The 8x8 hardly carries everybody.  They bury the alien cylinders a kilometer away from the base.

    The PCs can sneak up and stage an attack.  There are four battle towers and four bunkers...more than 100 opponents.  Suffice to say, a hard fight.  A fight the Marines are unwilling to partake in.  Because of some great rolls from the engineer on the Deterrent and the Doctor on planet, Melinda might be able to make a pickup.  The Dolomite however, is still a threat as it has Surface air abilities.  Crowe fashions an odd plan.  Someone will laser target the Dolomite base, allowing an aerial strike from the Deterrent to find and hit the base.  However, the laser is cobbled together and will only work within 100 meters.  Emil Lang volunteers but with the winter conditions, can't leave the laser position.

    Meanwhile, the other Dropship from the Deterrent gets ready.  Sommerville asks Zag to join the attack.  William Sutton, Melinda's husband joins as well.  The missile launches...the dropship soon after.

    The missiles takes out half the base but upon returning Emil is shot in the leg.  Force Recon run to assist and find themselves chased down by fifty armed troops.  The remaining marines run to rescue in the sole 8X8 in their possession.  The group run for their lives away from approaching army.  This whole sequence was put with classical music.   The battle is intense.  The 8X8 is hit and tumbles down a hill.  The marines exit and stand ground.  Melinda Sutton hurts but wants to fight.   The Dropship enters the atmosphere…

    Even Maller, virtually indestructible, falls.  Wounded, and out of ammunition (and in a moody slow-mo), he drops to his knees and tries to pull his backup weapon...

    The Deterrent Dropship flies overhead and lays down suppressing fire.  Smugglers duck and fall.  The dropship lands and help arrives.  The marines help the wounded on.  Ocdugal, Crowe, and Melinda carry each other, hampered by Crowe getting shot in the knee at the last moment.  They try to reach up the dropship ramp...

Melinda is shot eight times in the back.  She falls inside the dropship.  William completely freaks out.  Crowe drags him back into the ship and the Dropship escapes.  Upon escape, the Deterrent fires a Space to ground nuclear missile now that they have the ground coordinates of the Wasp...the Smuggler's legacy is no more.  Wounded, physically and emotionally, the dropship returns...

SMUGGLERS
     Characteristics:   INT:  3  WILL:  3 PRE:  4  TECH:  5
                                   REF:  3  DEX:  3  CON:  4  STR:  3
                                   BODY:  3 MOVE:  4
     TO HIT:   GUN:  8  Combat Move:  4
                       HTH:  7
                         Dodge:  8 DRIVING:  7 FLYING:  7
WEAPON                  RANGE     DC     ROF     SHOTS      Remember
Falcon Street 12mm     75m          3         1             6
Ventral Heavy Rifle     900m      4         30             90
     HITS:  15
     STUN: 15
     SP: 10

THE WASP
Variant      Body     WT     Armor      MV     Move     Mach     Orbit     SR
Wasp       20         45 000         5          -5         40             1             12         50
Communication Range:  Orbital, FTL
Crew:  3-- support for up to 500.
Additions: Fire Retardant, Flares, Raft, Emergency Rations, Sleeping Bags.
Range:    Atmosphere:  Unlimited.   Orbital:  Unlimited
FTL:  15     FTL Speed:  0.8
Automatic Systems:  9 Base skill
Armament:   1 Particle Beams, 2 30 mm Railcannon turrets (each turret has two linked guns),
 6 infrared lasers on turrets, 20 decoys, 2 maneuvering drones

BATTLE 8X8 ATV
MANUEVERABILITY:  -3
LOCATIONS:                 STRUCTURE               ARMOR
     MAIN BODY:  150 SDP  50SDP
     SPIKED WHEELS: 50 SDP  30 SDP
MAX SPEED:  125
ACCELERATION:  33
VEHICLE HARDPOINTS:
WEAPON                           WA     RANGE     DC     ROF     SHOTS
Ventral “Maniac” Rotary  -1         1000m          2         90         900

SMUGGLER DROPSHIP
Variant      Body     Armor MV Move Mach Orbit SR
UD-4B          3             1     -2         150     2.5     8.5     11
Basic Armament:
UD-4B: 1x25 mm "Gargoyle" Gattling, 8x120 mm rockets
WEAPON         WA RANGE     DC         ROF     SHOTS
25mm Gattling     0     13000      8(.7k)         20         300
BASE SKILL:  8

0 2   - -   “ P U R G  E ”

    Tara Montgomery, Lynn Logan, Sarah Shusset and Griffon Westlake land on Zefiro to retrieve the alien modules.  They pull the cylinders out…

    One cracks open.  Electrical energy shoots out, stunning the group.  The other cylinder unlocks and opens.   Inside, a leathery, egg-shaped object cracks open…

THEME MUSIC.

     Everyone still recovers from the battle planetside from the previous episode.

    Still in the medical bay, Crowe and Maller receive word that contact was lost with the other dropship.  Unable to go down and check on them

    Unable to rescue them as their other dropship crashed previously, they prep a supply pod with sensors—Magnetic, Heat, and Video.  The video feed was sketchy but the heat sensor picks up five targets…not four.  One small heat source moves away from one of the still heated targets.  After a few hours, they all wake up, with little memory of what happened.  They notice the open cylinder and find a what the PLAYERs know to be a dead facehugger.  The PCs, unsure of what it is, retrieve it and the dropship returns.  OcDugal immediately places the four NPCs in quarantine and the facehugger is placed in a sealed stasis tube.

    The infected body is Tara Montgomery.  The alien has almost full Hybridization.  Stats follow...

CHARACTERISTICS (Tara-Alien):
INT:  6          WILL:  10         REF:  10          TECH:  6         DEX:  11
CON:  11         STR:  8          BODY:  9
HITS:  45              KD:   9           ED:  22
STUN:   63          SD:   22           REC:  19
Notable Skills:          Comp. Programming:  +2          Hacking:  +3
                                  Evade:  +1                                   Security Systems:  +1
WEAPONS:              Range:     WA:         DC:          SPECIAL
Attack Tongue          1 m          +2                  6            Armor Piercing (halves KD)
Teeth                          1m            +1                 4            Can also grapple
Claws                         1 m           +1                 4            Can also grapple
Acid Spit                   12 m         -2                  5            Continues burn (see above)
Tail                             2 m          -3                 n/a          Grapple
     The Alien will run away from Crowe initially.  It is experiencing emotions it was not designed to handle.   It recognized him but not sure when.  Crowe receives one free reprieve from the alien.

    The medical attention turns to Griffon initially as being the one infected…but it is a red herring.  He isn’t.  He has a dark spot on the outside of his lungs but it is, in fact, a hemmoraging blood vessel in his right lung which does require minor surgery…probably caused by his shock on the planet.

    The Doctor discovers this and may even be in surgery as the other three marines are released.  As an additional red herring, Lynn will choke on a cornbread in the mess bay…someone saves her.  She thanks them.  Tara loses her appetite after that.

    While talking to Crowe in a hallway, alone, she will stop and moan.
She screams and starts slamming into the wall.

    Her chest will pop, spraying Crowe with blood.  The chestburster will emerge from her chest.  Crowe must beat a 15 Presence Roll or be totally stunned.  By the time help arrives, the alien will dart and run.  It will escape into a air duct and vanish…

    After everyone recuperates…they can try to find it.  Of course, the PCs don’t know how big its going to get.

    The alien is waiting.  It moves down one deck then below the Fridge…it then moved up to the Fridge to hide.  The cat will get caught by the marines and escape.  Someone can go get it.

    Closing the blast doors will not work…the alien will hack every individual door…The PCS are unaware….

    Swinging meat in the Fridge will be another red Herring.  This however, sparks an alien attack.  Unaware of the side effects, Maller fires up to the alien as it grabs Dekker.  Acid spray reduces Maller to one point and Decker is kidnapped.

    Later, after Maller recuperates slightly, the radio comes on…the Decker's voice groans…no way to get a location.  Maller suggests using the PDT…they will find Decker in #44…weapon control…

    The alien now moves down to the bottom deck in engineering and hides in  #44, weapon control.  There, the alien reprograms the Ion Cannon to feed back on its capacitor and then the alien shuts off the hazard monitors and computer screens.  The crew only have a few minutes.  The alien sets up another trap there.   Motion detects something moving extremily slightly in the External Weapons control bay.  The object is one of those bobbing ball-bearings sitting on top of the computer screen.  The screen shouldn’t be blank…there is just a flashing cursor.   There is a bloodied PDT on the table…

    The radio comes on…the kidnapped NPCs voice groans…no way to get a location.

    Someone must have hacked the system.  It wouldn’t be hard to get the system up and running.  The warning hazards go off!!  Ion Capacitor overloading!!!

    FOOM!!!  A massive EM charge electrifies the hull.  The charge remains and any attempt to turn on an electrical circuit results in a short circuit.  All electrical devices go offline.  This includes Pulse Rifles, Smart Guns, radios, and Motion trackers.  All lights go out as well.  This is a big charge and may take hours to dissapate.

    The alien is using the air ducts to move around.  It should be obvious that Tara’s knowledge is in the alien and it is using that knowledge against the crew.  There are many solutions to kill the alien but sweeping the ship is not a good one.  One possible solution is to close off as many air lock manually and force the creature using the flame units or pistols into the large airlock on deck 2.  Crowe and one of this Force Recon men, Terry,  decide to go ino the duct to force the creature into the airlock while the remaining marines sweep deck 2, the level they think they have the alien trapped in.

    During this time, Maller and OcDugal find Decker…he is about 15% converted into an egg but with the doctors help…they may be able to save him.  He will loose one of his legs though.  Crowe loses Terry when they split up.  When Crowe searches for him, he finds the alien and is chased back tothe air lock.  There, the Marines blow the lock and the alien is swept into space.  Maller saves Crowe...recuperation and repair can begin...

0 3   - -   “ R E Q U I E M   F O R   A   S Y N T H ”
     A TF Cargo Crawler floats in deep space.

     A beared man sits at a desk in an office.

    The door opens and an aid walks in.
     “Dr Keitel…We received a transmission from the Wasp.  They claim they won’t be able to make the rendenvouos.
    The claim marines are pursuing them.  They were forced back down.
    They’ll still search the planet but wanted us to have the photograph.  They just transmitted it.”

    “Is it here…”  The aid hands him a poster-sized paper, rolled up.  Keitel unfurls it…He sees the massive Giger lithograph.

    The Marines recuperate.  Terry stares at Tara’s coffin.  They ship needs work badly and Anchorpoint is the only good place.

    Decker is in serious bad shape.  He must be placed in stasis else he will die.  OcDugal can study and can stop the transformation but doesn’t know how to reverse it.  This procedure takes a whopping 32 hours to complete after major exhausting work.

    When they arrive at Anchorpoint, they meet up with Edgington, who just received the report.  He also adds that a new dropship is currently unavailable because if the Deterrent costs too much radar, it will pop up on radar.  They have got to be more casual about this.  The same goes with replacement personnel.  They can maybe get another pilot soon when they can squeeze in a dropship.  A fighter is out of the question.  Plus the fact the the Marines' budget is fluctuating and in danger of being caught

    Edgington also adds that Zag’s face popped up on UPP propaganda television…that he’d been killed by a USCMC Marine Force that attacked an UPP space lab without provocation.

    Zag can either be taken into custody or placed in penal colony or cooperate with the USCMC and have a nice life…as a civilian.  Zag doesn’t like either option.  Crowe offers a third option under tolerance by Edgington:  Be promoted to "Private" and join the Force Recon team as Tara's replacement.  The Marines now have access to Zag’s skills.  He takes Crowe's offer, since he’s technically dead and the Deterrent doesn’t exist, the Marines can do pretty much what they want with him.

    OcDugal takes Decker to the Biospacelap at Anchorpoint.  He successfully remove the rest of the alien conversion from him but he will be missing most of one leg and all of the other.  Some reconstructive surgery will be needed on his chest and a clone leg will need to be grown.  He is out for a few weeks at least.  Decker is not going back with them.

    Edgington is unclear how the Marines should proceed.

    Before the Marines get any smart ideas, a vessel arrives in a side scene.  A small TF-Cargo Crawler.  It arrives with a lone passenger.  An “Ash” Synthetic…same actor…same everything.

    He insists on seeing the Marines and mentions the Deterrent vessel by name.  Edgington is obviously suspicious and asks where the Marines have been where someone could identify them.

    They can meet.  Ash knows everything the Group has been doing because he was the medical synth assigned to a scientific expedition vessel that has been tracking them.  Weyland Yutani commissioned the vessel more than fifteen years ago to investigate the Nostromo and since then, the group of men and women have turned fanatical.  Ash is unsure of the motives of his operators but was programmed to follow Dr Keitel’s orders but his higher programming is hardwired from Weyland-Yutani.

    Those orders were to observe Keitel and assess the alien’s threat.  WY’s opinion now is that if the alien destroyed the Nostromo, they need to examine whether or not they can contain it themselves.

    However, Keitel believes the alien is more important than any corporation and went missing more than five years ago.   Ash waited for a moment to escape.   He realized it had gone too far when Keitel ordered a hit on a corporate vessel…the same corporate vessel that struck down the UPP station and crashed (after Keitel attacked it) on Sunvale.  That vessel was corporate but Ash knows it wasn’t WY.

    He escaped and has been floating in space ever since.   Ash would prefer this information go to Weyland-Yutani but Keitel must be stopped before he unleashes the alien upon mankind.  Keitel is unraveling the conundrum of the creature.   He believes it to be the key to unlocking the mysteries of an alien species that pre-dates mankind by millions of years.  Keitel volunteered for the mission…which is unusual for him because he was always stationed on Earth as a biologist / botanist / paleontologist.  He loves studying animals that had been extinct for millions of years…obviously; he views these ancient aliens as the greatest discovery in history.

    They must stop Keitel because he believes the Alien was released on this alien race as a form of evolutionary catapult and should be released into mankind…He is heading for a planet out of the fringe.   Keitel received a communication from the Wasp…the Wasp was going to sell Keitel a file they purchased from Morpheus.  They sent it when they realized they were not going to make it.  That file contains a picture taken from the inside of an alien spacecraft…Ash doesn’t know where the Morpheus got them…but putting two and two together, it is obviously connected to the alien.

    The Marines should be obviously suspicious and may even decline.  If they ever get volatile about it, then Ash will offer something in return…the location of the Ripley report…

    The Ripley file is sealed off in a safe on Weyland-Yutani controlled world and would offer access codes for the Marines to breach security and steal the disc.

    Ash offers this because most of the information in the disc the Marines know anyways but there is additional information the Marines might want.  Plus the Marines may encounter questions on this mission to stop Keitel the disc may answer.  Weyland-Yutani is still on the fence on this one.

    The truth is Ash is lying the group.  He has been re-programmed by Keitel to lure the Marines to another corporate vessel.  The second Black WY Trader.  They have one of the two last crates from the Morpheus.  The Trader is chasing Keitel.  What follows is a cat a mouse game as the Marines are led further and further away from the known space.

    He first tells them to go to GC 987.  That’s where he was last spotted.   It is a two-week cryo trip.

    There, it is a dead world.  Like Titan.  A hugely thick atmosphere.  Carbon Dioxide and Methane is the primary atmosphere.  Oceans of Ethane lap a few continents.  Scanning the surface is difficult.

    Scans of space shows some debris.  There was a battle but no casualties.

    Finally a spec on the surface.  A small space-to-surface transport parked at the base of a mountain, near a shore.

    They fly though heavy red fog.  They finally see the mountain…it is a perfect pyramid, 500 meters tall.  The craft is parked from a Terran air lock fitted over an opening in the side of the mountain.  The craft is open and exposed.  The low red fog sits so low; most of the mountain is concealed.  The shore is only visible for about 100 meters.  It moves more like oil...

    Lightning occasionally strikes the side of the mountain.

    The craft did not have an airlock.  The atmosphere has rushed in.  A dead man in a spacesuit, ripped to shreds on the pilot’s chair.  The ship has taken no damage and still has fuel.  It is a short-range craft and must have had a mother ship.  Everyone operates it.  There is no log to speak of.  The black box records the audio of the last thirty minutes before the vessel went offline.

 Static
     “You’re transmission is breaking up.”
     “<garbled> Something was removed here.  My god…this is enormous.
     “I got no video on my board, sir.”
     “<garbled> Marking’s scraped off in places.  They were here.”
     “<garbled> This is creeping me out…let’s get the hell out of here…”
     “<garbled> Something this important, we must go on…we have to go on…”
     <pause>
     “Russ?”
     “Russ?”
     “<garbled>  Found something…transmitting amplified video, send up to Masse.”
     “What the hell is that?”
     <Pause
     “Masse here, tell them to get back now.  Transmission received.
     “Russ….return to ship…return to ship….
     “Masse, this is Clarke, I got no video from the ET.  Audio is going.”
     “Get them back…”
     “Russ…..Russ…”
     “Masse, I think I see someone emerging.  Not sure who…only one…not sure where the other three are…”
     “About time….what….MOTHER FUCK!!!--…….”
END

    There is one stock alien outside and three inside the mountain.  Checking the creature reveals human DNA.  Ash knows none of this…honestly…He left before all of this happened.

    The airlock works but it is unsure what the atmosphere is like inside.

    When the inner air lock door is opened, they see Atmosphere processors that have stopped working.  The atmosphere is dead and helmets should be kept on…however, breaches are not life threatening.  The temp is normal…the O2 is dangerously low.

    They see a perfectly smooth circular tunnel.   It leads them into an alien bone corridor.

    This whole place used to be a Jockey Race navigation center.  The communication array has since broken away.

    It branches off in a T Intersection that circumnavigates the whole mountain.  There are more branches…seemingly going nowhere.

EVENTS:
    1:  The area opens up there is a large area of hieroglyphics.  One is the alien lithograph.

    2:  One alien attacks them.  It runs down the corridor and can be taken out with relative ease.

    3:  The biggest area is closed off by a door…When touched, the door spreads open like a Vagina.  It leads them into a huge domed room.  It reaches more than 100 meters high.  There are some pictograms on the walls.  One shows the Jockey Alien.

    4:  A room looks like it has been excavated.  Something large has been gouged from the wall and removed.

    5:  The room has some equipment on the walls.  There are fingers sticking from the walls.  If anyone plays with them, it will activate a holographic star map that will rise from the floor.  It starts to advance the stars’ movements from 100 000 years ago and advances through to the present in a span of 30 seconds.  Stars die, some explode, some flicker on and flicker off.  Stars move around.  A nebula envelops the group.
    Someone spots the stars of Orion’s belt flickering like flashbulbs.   There are several stars highlighted by targeting reticules.   A good twenty can be seen.

    A 16 Astrogation roll will determine one is this world.
    A 18 Astrogation roll will determine one is Earth.
    A 22 Astrogation roll will determine one is a surveyed world LV-989.

    The others flashed on too fast for the Marines to spot…

    Another alien will attacks upon leaving the room.

    There is nothing else here…the material on the walls is organic but not nearly as tough as alien skin.  However, an alien specimen can be retrieved.

    Examining reveals the alien had a human host.

    LV-989 is three weeks deeper into space.

    There, they find a Black WY Trader entering orbit.

    LV 989 is like Venus.  Volatile and dangerous.  Super hot.

    The Trader is immune to EMP weaponry…

    The Marines fire first...

STATISTICS
Variant              Body     WT         Armor     MV     Move     Mach     Orbit     SR
Black Trader      25         58 000         10         -6         --                 --             --     10

Communication range:  Orbital, FTL
Crew:  1 Navigator, 2 Engineer, Capsules for 60 crew, 500 more capable in Cargo
Maneuverability:  +8 to guided missiles.
Additions:  Full Stock
Evacuation:  4 EEVs, 300 Space Suits, 30 Drop Pods.
Armament package:  10 Smart Guns, 100 Pulse Rifles 30 Flame-throwers, 200 Pistols, 50 Shotguns, May be replaced  with higher TL weapons.  Up to 30 other weapons.
Range: Orbital:  Unlimited
              FTL:  15
              FTL Speed:  0.9 ly/day
Drop Slots:  2 with a third for the TSAPC.
Craft Slots:  2
Cargo Slots:  8
Automatic Controls:  Base 12 skill
Basic Armament:  12 XIM-28A missiles, 3 800 particle beams, 6 30mm Railcannon turrets (each turret has two linked guns), 9  infrared lasers on turrets, 80 orbital mines, and 40 decoys

    The vessel can be severely crippled to destroyed.  The wreckage will detonate and / or enter the atmosphere in less than 20 minutes.

    Inside, the vessel is a mess.  The Marines find a dying survivor.  He reveals that this ship IS NOT Keitel but a corporate vessel sent to find an eliminate him.  The exact corporation is not revealed.

    Obviously, Ash has been leading them on.  He tells Crowe that it is not one corporation that operates these vessels…its all of them.  Each one has a Black Trader doing their dirty work…kind of a coincidence.  The first vessel was CSC, this one was Weyland Yutani..

    Ash doesn’t apologize, nor does he deny any of it.  Its was the lesser of the evils.  Let them catch Keitel and the alien threat would be released when they lost control of it.  He will fulfill his part of the bargain.  The planet, what’s left of it…is theirs.  It is useless to Keitel now.

    35N, 1 hour, 45min for coordinates.

    Ash’s memory will completely wipe in three seconds, leaving the file necessary to the location of the Ripley file…  Someone will have to hack into his brain to get it.  The file is located in the Weyland Yutani HQ tower 4, Floor 80, in the clean room.  The file is a secured, sealed hard drive labeled E-1101-Betaden.

    The planet is hostile.

    The marines find an egg silo.  In it is the same as the inside of the alien ship…However, it is completely empty…there might have been hundreds, maybe even a thousand eggs.

    All Gone

    A side scene later…A planet…a colony…a city street…an alley…A gang of kids walk down, smoking up and drinking…around a dumpster…

    An egg opens…

04 -- “ S H A D O W   T I M E”

    The opening shows a large clean room.  White walls.  Hard drives stick out at every space on the wall.

    A scientist pushes one into a place.  It is labeled (E-1101-Betaden)--the Ripley file.

    The scientist walks away…he leaves the rectangular room

    Lasers fencing activates on the floor and roof.
 
    A long tunnel stretches away.
 
    Two machine guns on laser sensors move back and forth.
 
    A laser fence activates over the whole corridor.
 
    The scientist leaves…
 
    A sliding glass door slams down hard behind him.
 
    The scientist exits the safe.  The door to the safe is a massive wedge, twelve feet at it’s thickest.  Lock holes scatter over the surface.
 
    The door slowly closes behind.
 
    On either side are two guards.  The hallway continues.  The Scientist vanishes down one corridor.
 
    Two more armed guards at the intersection.
 
    Through glass…outside the building…the safe is 80 floors up on a 150-floor building…
 
    Weyland Yutani Headquarters on the Hyperdine.

        The Marines receive a transmission.  Contact with Gimeno last week is lost.  They have teams investigating…but it was near UPP and Pandora and you can’t help feel suspicious.
Marine connections reveal the deck plans and the obstacles awaiting the Marine if they decide to go for the Ripley File.

    What was funny here was that the obstacle of breaking into this corporation seemed daunting...if impossible.  This safe holds the Ripley File.   The adventure depends on what the PCs do to crack open the safe.  Their strategy is vital.  The PCs thought it would be impossible.  Often, Crowe would just say, "No, we're not doing this.  We are not trained for it.  Its a job for spooks."  Unfortunately, as Maller said, "We also have no choice..."  So the plans we written up...

    The strategy involves getting into the monstrous city with ten kilometer starscrapers and approach the 200 floor WY HW and break into the 100th floor.  Easier said than done.  Beyond the safe which is daunting alone, there are guard outposts every fifty floors.  There is one just above the safe.  Forty guards each with a watch commander.  Three thousand more troops sit on the fiftieth on top of the 50 floor archology below.  They cannot be alerted or its all over.  Like many skyscrapers.  There are four express elevators that move the entire distance and each 50 floors is a new set of smaller elevators.  Every fifty floors is a new building.  However, using the security system against itself maybe the solution.  It can arm itself against any attack and can seal itself off from anything.  Trapping the guards in their areas may work.  However, that is not all.  The Watch Commander's hand is required to open main safe door with the additional hand print from a guard AT the safe.  They can open the outer door but only a WY engineer with access can walk by the guns and scan his retina which will disarm the laser and open the inner transparent door.  Not done yet...There is a WY Gunship parked on the roof which often patrols the building.  Beyond that, six more are parked around the perimeter of the city.  They can be at the Tower in 20 minutes upon alerting.  Suffice to say, the Marines figures this was impossible.

    However the key to succeeding in this was to use the skills the Marines did NOT learn from being Marines.  Many theories arose.  One possible solution was to hijack one of the perimeter Gunships and use ti act crippled, take out the tower gunship and drop through the upper levels in force.  This does not overcome the problem of the safeguards themselves.  Luckily, months earlier, the marines helped a defecting WY engineer to Hyperdine.  The engineer, Dr. Walter Emmerich has since defected to the Marines.  The PCs believe a turncoat is still a turncoat but have no choice to to receive help from this Engineer that take control of the security system and can get past the second security wall by re-entering himself into the WY roster to recognize his retina.  Everything else, the PCs have to do...

Two sessions were involved in planning the mission.  The idea of faking a crippled gunship was dropped, leaving a hole in the plan.  However, not all was lost.  Maller used his hidden contacts to not only get the deck plans of the WY HQ but also a Skymaster.  The Skymaster is a "space-limo" reserved only for corporate heads.  Obviously, the suspiscious past of Maller emerges again.  No one asked questions... Not even when Maller also presented the Marines with temporary weapon replacements that cannot be traced.

    So the plan is:  The Skymaster with Marines not wearing marine armor and brandishing untraceable non-cmc weapons will land at one of the perimeter bases and hijack one of the gunships.  Imitating an escort and its high-ranking official, the two ships would approach the tower.  Emmerich would claim themselves to be a high ranking engineer (recently passed away).  The building would go in security lock down until the Engineer arrived.  When arriving, the Marines wearing the WY uniforms and weapons from the Gunship crew, would infiltrate the  Security Office, take out the control crew (with stun pistols), lock out the barracks, and use the security system to lock down the building.  After that, the Marines would then drop to the floor below with the Watch Commander as a hostage.  They would incapacitate the safe guards, use one and the Watch Commander to open the door, and Emmerich can open the inner door.  Then grab the files and get the hell out of there and hope no one sets the alarm which brings the Gunships.

    The first stage goes without a hitch.  The Gunship is taken and the Marines approach the tower with ease.  They dock, file into the building and even take out the Security office.  However, something is different...there is a weapon detector at the entrance.  Not in the plans...  However, the office was still taken...A breeze.  However, on the roof, the Gunship commander realizes the Engineer that has arrived is already dead.  Down below, the Marines take out the guards at the safe.  This was fun since the Force Recon know this material and did their job but the Marines often were problematic.  They missed a couple shots but luckily nor problems.  Then the Gunship on the roof takes off and starts to fly down.

    The safe shocked everyone when another door appeared.  However, it seemed recently built and with a key lock, was easily opened.  It seems apparent that the Marines were expected.  Then the Gunship from the roof arrives.  Demanding the two vessel identify themselves.  The Skymaster is still moored to the building.

    Meanwhile, the safe lock downs are overridden and the doors open.  The computer room revel's itself.  The truth is that the room is fake…and pulling out the file activates an elevator taking the people in the safe (Maller, Emmerich, and OcDugal) down 500 meters into the ground level.  The Elevator takes them outside a computer lock in a darkened hallway.  No cameras…no sensors.   A biohazard warning sign rests outside.  The door has a title...E-1101.

    Back above.  Unable to identify itself, the CMC Gunship flees.  The WY vessel turns on the Skymaster. It fires on it and the Skymaster begins to break free.  Before another missile hits, the CMC Gunship takes the blast, fires back, and destroys the Gunship.  Holland grabs the pilot from the Skymaster before it breaks off and falls to is destruction a mile below.  The CMC Gunship, also severly damages, will soon crash as well.  Knowing that would spell doom for everyone, Sarah Shusset collides the craft INTO the building.  The alarms go off.  The 3000 troops below work their way up.  The Gunships take off....and Maller, Emmerich and OcDugal are still below out of communication range.  With the CMC Gunship needing repairs, Crowe prepares for a fight...

    Down below, this is where Weyland Yutani keeps their information and data on the alien.  A completely sealed computer area here (independent from the rest of the building) has the Ripley file that can be removed.  This area is like a massive level on its own.  Machinery runs automated…the whole place is computer controlled.  OcDugal finds a lab labeled BL3 where he finds a dead facehugger here as well dissected egg.  There is another room...BL4. Maller, meanwhile find the Ripley files and begins to transfer it to a disk they can remove.  Maller sees the alert and realizes they have to go.  OcDugal doesn't have time to examine BL4.  He takes a peek anyway...and sees someone has attached organic technology from a synthetic to an alien egg.  OcDugal doesn't want to go.

    Above, Crowe removes a missile from the Gunship and places against the entrance where the soldiers below will come.  Tension increases.  Gunships close, Corporate Military climb.  Maller and OcDugal are nowhere to be seen.  Crowe is afraid he might have to leave them.  They finally arrive and they all jump into the repair Gunship.  The craft takes off but not before Crowe detonates the missile, destroying the entire floor.  The Gunship escapes...they have the file.  A success...

The denouement here happened at Gateway at Earth, later.  Edgington adds that no one knows where Adm Frost is.  Upon hearing that the WY expected them, it seems apparent they've a spy.    Edgington tells the Marines to check their files.  Examine their people and see who is lying.  The problem is so many of the crew had sorted pasts.  Back on the vessel, Maller reveals to Crowe in private his past...he is, in fact, the son of Daniel Grant, head of Grant Corps.  The two stare at each other across the room.  Crowe tells Maller to keep it quiet. Maller is not a spy...but someone else is...

THE RIPLEY FILE

 CASE HISTORY
NOSTROMO INCIDENT:
 The Commercial Towing Vehicle- NOSTROMO, carting an ore-processing refinery of huge proportions, awaits their return to Earth. On June 6th of that year, a transmission of unknown origin was received by Transtar 1104Alpha Relay by Weyland Yutani.  Aware that BioNational could reach the transmission before they could as they had a survey team on Pandora, WY sends a direct override command to the Nostromo.  It stops nearby at Thedus to take on Ash, a prototype synthetic organism from Hyperdyne, and continues on its mission to retrieve the ore processor around WY-221.  On the return course, the path is altered.  The crew is awakened, and their on-board master computer informed them of the transmission of "unknown" origin.  The crew left the refinery in orbit and took the "tug" down to the unknown planet- LV-426 as it is officially designated. A landing malfunction keeps the Engineering Staff- PARKER and BRETT, busy with repairs, as Captain DALLAS selects Navigator LAMBERT, to join him and Executive Officer KANE, don Environment-Suits and walk through the atmosphere to find the source of the transmission. Meanwhile, Science officer ASH monitors their progress, and Warrant Officer RIPLEY, attempts to unscramble the contents of the mysterious beacon's message.  DALLAS, LAMBERT and KANE, discover, to their amazement, what appears to be a derelict spacecraft, of alien origin.   The structure and interior of the derelict seems "bio-mechanical".  KANE climbs a wall to find the fossilized remains of a giant-sized alien crewmember, from an obviously intelligent species.  Meanwhile, RIPLEY discovers, quickly, to her astonishment, that the transmission is NOT an SOS as first deduced, but a WARNING beacon.
 The trio in the derelict finds what appears to be a ragged, "melted" opening in the deck.   KANE quickly volunteers to be lowered into the darkness, hoping to find something of value. KANE, still attached to the winch-cable, finds a place full of leathery objects.  A spidery alien leaps from the egg and emanates a fine acid-spray to melt through Exo.KANE's helmet, pries open his mouth, wrap it's "fingers" around his skull, it's tail around his neck, and proceeds to plunge a tube down his throat.  KANE quickly succumbs to a coma, and the limpet-like body of the ALIEN covers his face completely. Having hauled KANE back up with the winch, DALLAS and LAMBERT carry the hapless KANE back into the outer-lock.
 So.ASH opens the inner-hatch, over-riding Wo.RIPLEY's authority.  Presented with a "fait accomplis", RIPLEY and ASH help DALLAS and LAMBERT rush KANE into the medi-lab. Eng.PARKER, Wo.RIPLEY, Tech.BRETT and Novo.LAMBERT watch on, as Cpt.DALLAS and So.ASH examine Exo.KANE's condition. DALLAS is keen to free KANE from the "face-hugger's" grip, So.ASH endorses allowing the ALIEN to continue feeding him oxygen.  After attempting to "pry" the "face-hugger" from KANE's head, the tail coiled tightly, around KANE's neck, threatening to strangle its victim. ASH attempts to remove the "face-hugger" by laser (on DALLAS' orders), which reveals, for the first time, that it has concentrated "molecular acid" for blood. Just one drop of ALIEN blood melts through two decks.
 Later Exo.KANE awakens.  With no warning, during dinner, KANE begins to hack and cough. Convulsing, KANE collapses onto the table, while the rest of the crew hold him down, believing him to be choking on food. Instead, the unimaginable happens.  Blood seeps through Exo.KANE's tunic, and in a matter of seconds, a creature literally "punches" it's way through KANE's chest, killing him. The "chest-burster", small enough to be contained within a human body, but bearing razor-sharp teeth and impossible strength to break bones, emerges from the gaping hole in KANE's chest. The creature leaps from KANE's prostrate body, across the table, and with great speed, vanishes down the nearest gangway.
 Information past this point is sketchy.  BRETT is the first to fall victim to a now fully-grown creature.  DALLAS later also falls victim.   Wo.RIPLEY has been suspicious of ASH for some time.   RIPLEY accesses MOTHER herself.  Wo.RIPLEY types in the question; "Request answer for Science Division's inability to neutralize ALIEN?" MOTHER replies; "Special Order 937 ... Science Officer's eye's only.  She manages to over-ride the security system, and discovers the contents of "Special Order 937":
"NOSTROMO REROUTED TO INVESTIGATE TRANSMISSION.
GATHER SPECIMEN, RETURN ORGANISM FOR FULL ANANYSIS IN COMPANY LABS. CREW EXPENDABLE."
ASH, a Class one Synthetic from Hyperdyne and programmed by WY, was ordered to retrieve a specimen no matter the cost.  The 3 survivors at last converse with ASH,  discovered and disabled.  It is at this point, they decide to destroy the ship.  However, the alien eliminates all but RIPLEY.  RIPLEY sets the NOSTROMO to self-destruct herself.  The vessel is destroyed.  RIPLEY escapes in the Narcsissis Shuttle.  Wo.RIPLEY places Jones in a cryo-tube, and casually readies the shuttle for auto-cruise ... However the alien traveled with her.  RIPLEY blows out the one air lock on the shuttle, and the creature is swept into space.  Ripley enter hibernation, in hope the Network will pick her up.  It is unusual to report that the transmission on Acheron has since gone quiet…

KEITEL INCIDENT
 Weyland Yutani commissioned a vessel more than fifteen years ago to investigate the Nostromo and since then, the group of men and women have turned fanatical.  Dr Keitel was ordered to investigate what happened to the Nostromo and locate the transmission source.  Also to retrieve a specimen.  Keitel believes the alien is more important than any corporation and went missing more than five years ago.  Keitel is unraveling the conundrum of the creature.   He believes it to be the key to unlocking the mysteries of an alien species that pre-dates mankind by millions of years.  Keitel volunteered for the mission…which is unusual for him because he was always stationed on Earth as a biologist / botanist / paleontologist.  He loves studying animals that had been extinct for millions of years…obviously; he views these ancient aliens as the greatest discovery in history.  Since his disappearance, WY has come to the conclusion that the risk of one corporation gaining absolute control was too much and made an information alliance with Hyperdyne.  Soon the CSC and BioNat came onboard.  Grant Corp was the last to join up.  They commissions one vessel each funded to share crew and information.  It is unlikely this alliance will last upon the eventual capture of one of these creatures alive… But who will make the first move…

ACHERON INCIDENT
 The shuttlecraft NARCISCUSS drifted slowly through dark space for 57 years. A deep-salvage crew, on the far-rim of known space, rescues Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley.  Weyland-Yutani Rep. CARTER BURKE preps RIPLEY aboard Gateway Station, orbiting Earth.  Ripley debriefs representative from the Interstellar Commerce Commission.  The Narcissis shuttle did not contain a log of the Nostromo other than itself recorded.  It confirmed the landing and confirmed the take-off and eventual destruction of the master vessel.  But beyond that, nothing could be confirmed.  Of course, Weyland Yutani knew of the transmission but decided not to release this information to the ICC.  The ICC has been kept out of the loop, not even being informed of the Archanosis Project (the alliance between the master corporations).  The ICC seats too many members from smaller groups, companies, and governments…the risk is far too great.  Unfoundedly, all the specific information from the Nostromo was also lost.  The exact coordinates of the transmission had to be relayed from Ripley herself.
 Ripley report is not endorsed.  Without additional evidence, the ICC cannot recommend a course of action to WY other than Lt Ripley’s dishonored discharge from corporate service.  WY, unconvinced Ripley holds any additional use, relives her.  However, C. BURKE, still with the Ripley information, decides to take action.  He enlists the help of the Bioweapon’s division.
 LV-426, now christened Acheron is now home of HADLEY's HOPE, the terra-forming Colony.   Base Coordinate Hollister retrieves a transmission from BURKE to investigate the coordinates Ripley relayed.  Hollister assigns Mr. and Mrs. Rooker to investigate the coordinate (45N, 45W, barely 175 miles from the Atmosphere Processor but well away from any core sample surveys)

 CASE NOTE:  All further information regarding the Hadley Hope colony past this is missing.  A team of UPP officers invaded Stage 3 security at the Hilo Colonial Administration HQ and stole the optical disc containing the colony log. The Acheron log was kept out of the loop…there were no duplicates.  From what memory serves, not much was on that file anyway.  Ripley did not retrieve the log from Hadley’s hope and it was destroyed with the colony (see below).

 Transmission from Hadley’s Hope is cut.  BURKE informs RIPLEY that a mission to ACHERON is planned, but that "only" a "downed-transmitter", may be responsible for HADLEY's silence. The Marines will be going as a "precaution". Wy.BURKE and Lt.GORMAN both want RIPLEY to accompany them as a "consultant".  RIPLEY refuses, citing her unfair punishment as her last involvement with official WY business. BURKE and GORMAN assure her of the capability of the Colonial Marines, and BURKE plays upon her psychological fears, and offers the "carrot" of re-instatement as a Flight-Officer with WY, "If she takes the mission". RIPLEY relents later
 The reason for using the USCMC for the mission instead of Corporate Military was simple, but twofold.  First the mission was expensive the field such a  force so far away.  Also, it starved off suspicion since it might have been a downed transmitter.  The crew of the USS Sulaco consisted of:  GORMAN, APONE, HICKS, FERRO, HUDSON, DIETRICH, SPUNKMEYER, DRAKE, WIERZBOWSKI, FROST, VASQUEZ, CROWE, BISHOP, BURKE and RIPLEY.
 Although WY would have liked to assign its own Synthetic, Admiral Frost was insisting on only two staff from WY.  Since Ripley was needed, and Burke a necessity, the CMC were allowed to use their own.  An attempt to break in a re-program the Bishop android met in failure.  It is assumed that the marines met with the creature in question and suffered numerous losses.  No log entries were made by any crewmembers.  The computer was re-programmed my WY staff to relay ship status to Network instead of the CMC command to maintain security.
 -  The team leave for the planet surface leaving no one on board.
 -  The Sulaco loses contact with both ground APC and Dropship.
 -  External sensors detect a energy buildup in the Atmosphere Processor.  This information is confirmed by ICC relays.
 -  The Sulaco is given remote instructions from the CMC Synth Bishop.  The Synth remote pilots the remaining dropship.
 - Said dropship flies into the Processors for unknown reason.
 - Said Dropship returns to Sulaco port.  Sulaco recognizes only four survivors.
 -  The main air lock suffers a massive decompression.  Dropship radar acknowledges a five life form of significant size.  Five life form is forced through the airlock.  The video feed available.
 -  Ripley’s only entry in the Sulaco log:  Survivors:  Cp Hicks, So Bishop (severely damaged), herself, and Rebecca Jordan (sole colony survivor) enter Hibernation for return to Earth.  Ripley adds no other information as to the fate of the colony or of C. BURKE.  Sadly, considering the radius of destruction, the transmission source was vaporized.

 FIORINA 161 INCIDENT
 The USS. SULACO cruised through deep space, upon its return voyage to Earth.  WY reprogrammed the computer to jump out at Weyland Yutani instead.   Sulaco encountered moderate damage to the launch bay.  This damage fractures a computer conduit, sending the Sulaco off course.  Network has confirmed the presence of at least three other life forms on board the ship at this time using data collected from the few sensors inside the Sulaco.  One of these, the biosensor on the hibernation bed, detects major damage.  Another short in ConFlap 234 Alpha causes an electrical fire.  Automatic fire suppression is not successful.  The computer initiates a rapid crew egress on an EEV-1 escape module.  The fire breaks out of control.
 ..."STASIS INTERRUPTED ...FIRE IN CRYOGENIC COMPARTMENT ... ALL PERSONNEL TO BOARD EMERGENCY EVACUATION VEHICLES ..."
 Medical sensors detect a fourth lifeform in one of the Hibernation modules.  The EEV is detached over FIORINA FURY-161. INNER-VEIN ORE REFINERY. DOUBLE-Y CHROMOSOME CORRECTIONAL FACILITY. MAXIMUM SECURITY."
 Medical scanners on the EEV relay that Ripley is the only survivor from the EEV, retrieved by base personnel.  Approximately 48 hours later, the Sulaco goes quiet.  Continues searching has proved unsuccessful.
 The facility’s computers transmit a message to GATEWAY STATION, and Weyland-Yutani's Communications Dept. receives; "FIORINA CLASS-C PRISON UNIT. REPORT CRASH OF EEV-UNIT 2650.
 LT.ELLEN RIPLEY - SURVIVOR ...
 CPL.DWAYNE HICKS - DEAD ...
 UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE - DEAD ...
 BISHOP SYNTHETIC HUMANOID 341/B - NEGATIVE CAPABILITY.
 Obviously the suspicious nature of the crash forces a quick rescue.  Dr. Walter Bishop, creator of the Bishop synth, and a WY operative, is sent with a full compliment medical team and corporate military to Fury 161
 The next transmission arrived more than 72 hours later.  Again from the medical scanner on the EEV.
 FOREIGN TISSUE FOUND UNKOWN ORGANISM – RIPLEY, ELLEN.
 The WY team went into full alert.  Now they have a change to get a live specimen.  WY quickly asks base personnel to quarantine Ripley and await their arrival.  However, they never respond.
 Approximately 24 hours later, the WY team arrives.  They discover another creature has overrun the base but that is had recently been destroyed.  Bishop quickly attempts to secure the facility and find Ripley.  They find her in the lead refinery.  Bishop attempts a diplomatic course, and pleads with Ripley to come with them and retrieve the creature safely.
 Ripley refuses and plunges herself into the firepits of the refinery, destroying the only known alien specimen with her.  The only base survivor, Prisoner Franklin Morse, injured, refuses debriefing.  Hoping he may reveal more later, he is remanded into Federal Custody after debriefing and deposited on the Medium Security Facility on Faust 232.
 WEYLAND-YUTANI PRISON FURY-161 CLOSED AND SEALED. CUSTODIAL PRESENCE TERMINATED. REMAINING REFINERY EQUIPMENT TO BE SOLD AS SCRAP.
 The facility of Fury 161 is closed.  Considering the base’s massive size, only the refinery and the surrounding crew decks were salvaged.

AMMENDMENT:
 It is unclear how WY and the Arachanosis project can retrieve information or specimens further.  Admiral Frost of the CMC, upon the completion of this report, is starting an underground project to reveal the actions of the corporations in these incidents.  It is imperative an operative be placed in this group to relay information.

REPORT FILED BY.
MASSE, PATRICK M.

 XENOMORPH BIOLOGY REPORT < TO BE UPDATED>
 RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS BY:  Dr Patrick Masse, Dr Wainslaw Orona, Dr. Adrian OcDugal

 The creature that has commonly become known as 'the alien' – the xenomorph that was first encountered on LV-426 - has presented a great number of questions to Weyland Yutani. The mystery surrounding these creatures has hardly been helped by the sole sources of data coming from unreliable and unscientific eye-witness reports.
 Dissection of the creatures has proved problematic, since not only are they impossible to subdue or tranquilize, but any breach of the exoskeleton invariably releases potent acidic compounds at high pressure.
 Reports have previously been filed on the life cycle stage manifesting as the parasitic creature commonly known as the facehugger. We are now able to fill in some details relating to the xenomorph's life cycle beyond this stage.
      Once the embryonic Alien (commonly known as a chestburster) has been implanted within the host organism, a remarkable system of chemical restructuring takes place:
      The gestating Alien absorbs organic material from the host organism host, breaking it down at a molecular level and forming new compounds.  All organic molecules are based on long-chain hydrocarbons bearing different activating groups. The carbon units are disassociated from their existing compounds and are then recombined into crystal lattices that are used in the formation of the creature's hard bodily structures.   The freed H+ ions are combined with surplus sulphate (SO42-) and nitrate (NO3-) groups to form the powerful acidic compounds that have been previously regarded as the Alien's "blood", although our research has proved this term to be unhelpful.
     Much has been made of the Alien's apparent ability to operate with neither respiratory nor digestive functions: there is no real evidence of the creature actually eating, and we have yet to discover any form of digestive system; its evident imperviousness to the effects of vacuum would preclude any form of respiration in the sense that we understand it. Essentially, the Alien is able to operate without otherwise essential functions because it does not possess them, deriving its energy instead from a powerful bio- electrical charge generated within its body by means of acidic reaction. The Alien's "blood" is, in fact, a component of a powerful biological "battery".
     Since the aliens have a hard body casing full of furiously reacting chemicals (hence the reason they tend to explode), it is probable that some of the reactions give rise to gaseous products which would require venting in order to keep their internal pressure and temperature stable. There is no reason why the creatures could not then use this by-product as a form of audible threat when squaring off against an opponent.
     There have also been many queries raised as to the creatures' sensory apparatus. As far as the Alien's means of perception is concerned, dissection have again offered us new insights.
     The ornate structures of the Alien's cranial exoskeleton appear to be designed to capture and amplify atmospheric vibrations: sound. The extended lateral rows of these structures along either side of the skull allow the Alien a wide field of "hearing" and acute sensitivity. This would, of course, be of no use to the creature in the context of a vacuum, and we were thus forced to consider further possibilities.
     Spectroscopic analysis of the material composing the "blind" frontal plate of the skull has shown that it is composed of the unusual C60 carbon-lattice, which is known to demonstrate exceptional conductive properties. Behind the frontal plate, a series of highly sensitive thermoreactive organs are found. We can infer from this that the creatures are also able to register thermal signals and perceive radiated heat images, an ability which would be of obvious benefit in environments lacking atmosphere. These sensory facilities are obviously of great benefit to a creature as aggressive as the Alien.
     Closer examination has also revealed vestigial photosensitive organs flanking the skull's frontal plate.  With the range of sensory information available to the xenomorph, "eyes" that see in visible light wavelengths would seem surplus to requirements. However, the purpose of a rudimentary "sight" seems to be twofold:  Firstly, the Aliens themselves have little or no body heat, other than that produced by their internal chemical reactions (which is almost non-existent when the creatures are inactive). The Aliens' "eyes" enable them to perceive each other.  Secondly, in order for the Alien to operate effectively as a hostile organism, an accurate means of depth perception is required.  Stereoscopic sight serves this function admirably.  However, since the vast majority of these creatures are asexual and (as has already been noted) do not need to kill for food, there would appear to be no need for their remarkable killing ability unless expressly bred for that purpose.
      Observation of the Aliens in a simulated hive environment has shown us that they operate in a manner not dissimilar to that of worker ants, with their belligerence limited only to organisms not native to the hive. Thus, the creatures generally operate in a manner benefiting the hive community, with any creature straying therein being met with swift and aggressive retaliation.
     In short, this life form appears to be the ideal basis for a hive community, demanding none of the standard conditions (such as food or a breathable atmosphere) most need to support them. It is a life form able to meet the needs of the community whilst requiring nothing in return, and one capable of meeting any threat to that community with a lethal response, for which this creature is uniquely equipped.
     Ovomorph / Facehugger Dissection
     The WY research team's preliminary studies of the xenomorph popularly known as the 'Alien' have, by necessity, concentrated on the fully developed specimen, since this has offered the greatest potential for the BioWeaponry division to make inroads into the established market. However, in an effort to better understand the propagation of these creatures, we have lately turned our full attention to the first life cycle phase, the 'egg' and 'facehugger' manifestations.
     At first, it appeared obvious that the facehugger was a semi-independent lifeform whose only purpose was to implant the embryonic Alien within its host organism. The facehugger's relation to the Alien was self-evident by the fact that it possessed acidic 'blood' and operated upon the same bioelectrical chemistry as the Alien itself. This gave rise to a serious problem: if dating attempts on the ancient starcraft (the 'derelict') discovered by the crew of the Nostromo on LV-426 were to be believed, the facehuggers could not possibly have survived the length of time between the original crash and the subsequent discovery. It was at this stage that we first began to look at the egg/facehugger as a single united organism and were presented with a scientific breakthrough.
     We knew that no life signs for the facehugger itself could be detected within the egg prior to release upon a victim. And through observation and deep scans of the facehugger's release upon a live subject, we further concluded that, whereas the egg had previously been considered only as a vessel for containing the embryo-delivering facehugger, dissection and deep level scans revealed it to be an organism in its own right.
     This previously unknown organism - christened the ovomorph - proves to be exceptionally resilient.  Although its carbon lattice based composition and life functions powered by process of acidic reaction are similar to the already known phases, the ovomorph locks its reactive acids into relatively stable salts or trace metals. These decay slowly, releasing the acids and generating the bio-electrical charge at a much reduced rate, in keeping with the ovomorph's sedentary and essentially passive nature.
     At the base of the egg-structure, dissection revealed a cluster of conductive matrices similar to that which we believe to be the full-fledged alien's central nervous system. This rudimentary CNS is linked to thermo/pressure-sensitive veins running over the exterior of the ovomorph's 'shell,' enabling it to 'perceive' the proximity of a suitable host.
     (It is worth observing at this point that the ovomorph's sensory apparatus are only likely to be triggered by the proximity of an organic and ambulatory life form and that the arrangement of the facehugger's gripping appendages and ovipositor are specifically tailored to a certain body mass range and configuration of respiratory and digestive organs. It is therefore our conjecture that implantation is unlikely to take place within an unsuitable host: an invertebrate, for example.)
     Upon detection of a prospective host for the embryonic Alien, the ovomorph releases a catalyst that unlocks the acids bonded into the chemical salts. These are then transferred to the facehugger organism that becomes 'live' only at that point. Essentially, the ovomorph transfers its remaining bio-electrical potential to the facehugger, sacrificing itself so that the facehugger can then become sufficiently active to attack the host upon the opening of the ovomorph's casing.   Once released, the facehugger uses a similar set of thermoauditory responses to those used by both the ovomorph and the adult Alien to attack its prey. Utilizing a secretion of its acidic compounds to penetrate exceptionally resilient hides (or armor), it then uses a DMSO-delivered cyanide based toxin in concentrations relative to the optimum size of the host in order to render a case of deep toxic shock. (Thus, should the facehugger be unfortunate enough to attach itself to a host that does not fall within the mass range of its prescribed target form, the cyanide dose is either ineffective or fatal.) This state reduces the victim's vital signs to an absolute minimum and thereby optimizes the chances of survival.
     It's most remarkable feature, however, is the facehugger's ability to sample the contents of the
victim's respiratory system to ascertain the appropriate composition of preferred breathing atmosphere. It then alters the balance of reactive compounds within its metabolism to form by-products resembling the host's required atmospheric mix. Thus the state of hibernative shock is prolonged by simulation of the victim's natural environment by the facehugger.
     We have also determined that even the most rudimentary fetal Alien implanted within the host
organism over an extended time scale would be impossible, and is this circumvented. The facehugger attaches what we can only describe as a knot of specifically tailored 'cancers' that bring about the previously described chemogenetic restructuring. This gives rise to the infant stage of the fully-formed Alien, commonly known as the chestburster.
     Thus, the first stage of the life cycle is actually the ovomorph - a creature symbiotic with the facehugger, whose only function is to facilitate the implantation/impregnation within the host of the specific tumors that later form the Alien.
     Appearance of the Adult Alien
     Much has been made of the Alien's ability to determine their adult form based upon the host organism. We assume that the development of the chesburster and the subsequent adult is directed by the host in which it gestates. Presumably, it has to adapt to the environment in which it will be hunting, and the best way to do this is by learning things like the type of atmosphere, gravity and available nutrients from the host via metabolic contact.  Therefore, the form of the chesburster and the adult will be determined in part by the host, but there can not be any genetic transfer.
     If an egg is laid in an optimal host, it is adapted to its environment and takes a full term to develop. If it is in a non-optimal host, it risks detection because of its alien metabolism and must therefore develop rapidly. In such a case, the chestburster may appear immature.
     This theory suggests that the embryo implanted in the crewman Kane aboard the Nostromo was a transitional form between Aliens optimized for humans and those optimized for the beings aboard the derelict spacecraft found on LV-426. The chestburster therefore emerged quickly and immature to avoid detection.   The creature encountered on Fury-161 was implanted in a dog.   This embryo was non-optimized, and hatched quickly. It was a transitional form between dogs and humans, just as the creature aboard the Nostromo was a transitional form. This theory could account for the varied appearance of the creatures encountered.
  Alien Genetic Makeup
     The xenomorph's ability to alter its appearance based upon its host organism has raised questions about the genetic makeup of the creatures. Although evidence of the actual genetic code of the Alien species is sketchy at best, there are a number of theories on the subject.
 If the Alien species uses DNA, it is not likely that their DNA looks anything like ours. This is primarily because of the 'acid for blood' phenomenon we are familiar with. At low pH, DNA tends to 'melt'; the two strands separate and lose most of the chemical properties of DNA that make it useful as an information storage molecule. At even lower pH, DNA will become degraded and literally will fall to pieces. This suggests that the acid contained in the Alien bloodstream would not be using DNA as an information storage molecule.
      It is also unlikely that the xenomorph would be able to make use of terrestrial DNA. The issue of randomness in evolution suggests that the species could not use the exact genetic code as humans.
      Additionally, our DNA is used to encode the amino acid sequences of our proteins, most of which are designed to function around pH 7. The xenomorph proteins probably function somewhere below pH 0. Human proteins will fall apart and become degraded in that pH range. The Aliens have to be using an entirely different set of amino acids to make sure that their proteins are not destroyed by the internal pH (assuming they use amino acids at all). If, by some miracle, the Aliens do use DNA, it would have to be as different from human DNA as their amino acids and proteins would have to be from ours in order to survive their internal pH. This suggests that human DNA would be completely incomprehensible to them. If the number of amino acids they use is greater than 64 or less than 16, they would be using different sized codons than humans do, creating an additional barrier to compatibility. The latter assumes that they only use four bases in their DNA as we do, which is unlikely, since they must be using modified bases to begin with.
     Finally, there is also the possibility that they may be working with single or triple stranded DNA
instead of the terrestrial double stranded form.
 Discussion of observed characteristics
     The alien life cycle is divided into two distinct stages which are reminiscent of the alternating sporophyte and gametophyte generational stages of plants and fungi. Plants produce distinct types of reproductive cells (spores or gametes) which give rise to genetically distinct types of organisms.  Spores grow into gametophytes, which produce gametes, while gametes fuse to form sporophytes which produce spores. In the alien species, the sporophyte stage could be represented by the juvenile stages. These would create the embryoembryo. The gametophyte stage could be represented by the adult stages. These would create eggs after gamete fusion. Such a strategy in might be indicative of an chaotic and dangerous natural environment (see discussion of hypothetical ancestors). We have zero knowledge of the genetics of these creatures, and further speculation on the existence or nature of alien reproductive cells would be unfounded.
     The alien morphology seems to be a mélange of arthropod and vertebrate characteristics. The segmented exoskeletal carapace and variable numbers of limbs are reminiscent of terrestrial arthropods (as well as armored fishes and reptiles to a lesser extent), while the adult body plan seems more vertebrate in nature; the presence of a jaw, spine terminating in a tail and limbs ending in grasping hands and feet as opposed to the mouthparts, legs and body plan of an arthropod suggest a vertebrate morphology. The larval legs are articulated via an endoskeleton, which appears to be covered in a sheath of muscle and a pliable external layer of protein and silicon. This seems to indicate that the oldest ancestors of these creatures possessed endoskeletons, and that exoskeletons evolved later. As is the case with vertebrate evolution in the Silurian and Devonian periods, the endoskeleton may have evolved first as a means to protect the CNS, and the exoskeleton could have evolved secondarily; in response to environmental challenges.
      Interior carapace pressure might indicate a higher average planetary pressure than 14 psi. This could be a defense mechanism, or it could simply be circulatory pressure. The internal physiology of the organism has yet to be revealed to any great extent, but pulsing "artery-like" structures have been observed in emergent nymphs, implying some sort of pumping "heart" organ. Possibly the homeworld is larger or the atmosphere is heavier than on earth. The larval air sacs/bellows might be a historical adaptation to living beyond the aqueous environment, but it is possible that these are a parasitic adaptation, and are not required by the organism. The degree to which they function is probably dictated by the atmospheric requirements of the host, but we have no knowledge of the organism's atmospheric requirements. If such sacs are required, the larva will not survive in vacuum. The adults appear to function as well underwater as out of it, implying that the do not use air sacs. It is possible that inert gasses irritate the adults. Possibly, they breathe using modified gill structures located in the dorsal vanes.
     Body temperature is ambient, perhaps indicating a generally warm planetary surface temperature, or geothermal habitat requirement. It remains to be seen how long the imagoinstago can survive in a vacuum or sub-freezing temperatures. The low pH of the blood would seem to indicate a drastically reduced freezing point. The various adult forms demonstrate aversion to open flames, but unlike the eggs and nymphs, are not flammable. This suggests temperature boundaries within the upper limits of terrestrial environments.
     The lack of obvious eyes in any observed stages indicates that the aliens either live entirely in
enclosed or subterranean areas, or that there is no visible light incident on the surface of the homeworld. If the organisms lived entirely underground, their size and potential for well populated nests implies a well developed and robust subterranean ecosystem. If they lived the entirety of their lives in their nests, they would be dependent upon the movement of prey and hosts into the nest for survival. It is possible that they lure these into the nest, but the aliens seem quite capable and adept at retrieving them as well. If they dwelled on an illuminated surface for any amount of time, eyes would be a distinct advantage.
     The aliens display significant ability to cling to and move on vertical and inverted surfaces, supporting the idea that a significant portion of time is spent underground or in enclosed spaces. Nests fit this description, and it may be that castes which venture outside of the nest posses eyes. In this case, these castes have not yet been observed. The nests might be constructed above or below ground or water, but seem to be designed so that the resinous construction material covers all surfaces near their cores. Partially submerged nests would require air chambers for hosts and larvae.
     Copious amounts of a viscous substance are constantly being secreted from the mouthparts and neighboring regions. This substance appears to be used in constructing nests, hardening to form a resin. Thick strands may also be produced, although the mechanism for this is unclear. Prior to hardening, the resin does not display caustic properties, and may act to neutralize acids. This would be useful, both in offering protection from an acidic environment, and in protecting the nest from being accidentally dissolved.
     Sensation
     Since the creatures do not posses any eyes by terrestrial standards, they must have some other means of sensing their environment. If the body plan is conserved between juvenile and adult stages, it is reasonable to assume that the same types of sensors are used in each case. The eggs appear to be able to detect motion and proximity, and to be able to distinguish between hosts and nestmates.  The sensation of heat may not be important to this process, as the natural host may have had a similar ambient body temperature. The larvae are capable of locating and determining the distance to the host implantation orifice, and of leaping through space to that orifice. The adults are capable of distinguishing between nestmates and potential hosts, and are capable of detecting movement. They are probably also possessed of pattern recognition systems, and spatial arrangement recognition systems. Adults have been observed to fixate on objects using their heads, suggesting that their primary sensory organs are located in the anterior portions of their heads.
     All adult stages are capable of producing a variety of sounds, and it is probably the case that they can hear and communicate via sound. Communication with "stripped down" eggs is probably better facilitated via chemical means than sound. It is likely that recognition of nestmates is achieved via a combination of chemical and sonic communication. Eggs might communicate with each other via chemical signals. Some degree of communication between eggs is likely, as only one egg ever responds when presented with a viable host, even if there are numerous eggs in proximity to the host.
     The detection of motion and proximity may be facilitated via sonic systems. In terrestrial nocturnal, subterranean and aquatic environments, these have proven quite successful, and accordingly, the shape of the head is reminiscent of cetacean crania. However, the large curving structure of the head might serve as some other sort of sensor as well. It could be used to detect EM wavelengths other than visible light, although it is not obvious how useful such a structure would be in detecting longer or shorter wavelengths. Possibly, the creatures posses a sensory system similar to the "motion tracking" technology developed by humans.

END FILE
 
  05 – “MUSIC OF THE SPEARS”
    A white hallway in a hospital.  Half the lights are off.  A doctor approaches the desk where a receptionist sits. 
    “Any word on the power”
    “No idea—“
    A man screams.  Two orderlies carry a man in a straight jacket from down a hallway, past the desk, to an open doorway.  He kicks one of the orderlies in the testicles…the orderly is not pleased.
    “That the new guy?”  The receptionist asks.
    “Yeah…boy does this guy a have story to tell.  Brought him in the other day.  Found him alone on a cargo ship.”
    “I heard…you think he’s telling the truth?”
    “Come on, Lara.  Think about it…first, there were ogres and trolls, then bogeymen under the bed…then that stupid gray alien myth that lasted a century…there will always be monsters in dark places just as long as we don’t see the light.”
    “I heard the transport that brought him is missing.”
    A long pause…Doctor shrugs…
    “That I didn’t hear.”
    “I saw it in the Paper.”
    “Paper?”
    “Yeah…the one I read every week”
    “Okay, Lara, I wouldn’t consider The Argus Global Enquirer as the Paper.”
    “Still…kind of odd…”
    “This guy is simply disturbed.  If I get close the Hobbes murder case, I think I can bring this guy back to reality… ”  The doctor walks away to the mans cell as he is thrown in.  He looks back to the receptionist, “Plus I think we have got a bigger problem finding those three escapees…”
    The doctor enters.  The man looks a little word and unshaven.  His eyes dart everywhere.
    “Well, Mr. Horvath.  How do you feel?”
    Horvath darts his eyes to the Doctor as the door closes behind them.  The walls are yellow painted metal.  A blue sun shines through a small plexi window.  There are two restrainment chairs in the room facing each other.  Horvath sits on one…The Doc sits on the other.
    “This area is not secure…the air vents are too big.”
    “Why…do you not want to escape?  Cause if you tried, I don’t believe it would be too hard.  Three did it yesterday.”
    “I heard…sure they escaped?!”
    “Its not a wise maneuver here…This is the only built structure on the planet.  Escapees get found fast.  But if you insist on the air vents…they are twelve feet above you…”
    “Its not about keeping me in…its about keeping them out!”
    “Who?”
    “What!”
    “What?”
    “What…. keeping what out…cause I don’t think they search wanted adds looking for mates.  Its not how they work?”
    “Who…what are they…”
    “The Nameless…God never intended them to exist in our universe …not animals….nameless…”
    The lights flicker…both look up.
    “Boogeymen?”  The doctor asks
    “Implies men…No…More…worse…Boogeything…doesn’t quite roll off the tongue though does it?”
    A pause…The doctor speaks up…
    “Tell me about the transport…the cargo vessel you were on…the Rauitenan.”
    “What’s to tell…I was the engineer…”
    “Engine work?”
    “Sometimes…”
    “Life Support?”
    “Yeah…”
    “Gravity Control?”
    “Do I tell you how to do your job?!”
    “Sorry…”
    “You’re gonna die to Doc…”
    The Doctor looks up from his notes and locks eyes with Horvath…A small bang outside…the lights out in the hall go out…the light cell light stays illuminated.  The doctor stands and walks to the door.
    “Stay here!  Don’t go out there!” Horvath snaps.
    The doctor cracks the door open.  He slowly creak it ajar.  He pears out.  Outside…the hallway is empty.  The doctor looks right and left.  He steps out, letting to door swing wide…
    Horvath kicks the other chair, sliding out into the hallway in to the shaft of light emenating from the cell.
    “Don’t you see…they’re here!”
    The hallway is empty…The receptionist’s desk is empty…
    “Lara!”  Nothing…
    The Doctor turns and looks back into the cell.
    “There must be crisis on another floor.  I’m sure its nothing.”
    Horvath grumbles, “You’re wrong…”
    Huge monstrous claws grab onto the Doctor’s face and drag up through the ceiling…”
    A long pause…
    “I told you…”  Horvath whispers…
    A shadow rises into view…
THEME MUSIC…

    The PCs have this BIG gigantic file from the previous episode to look through.  There are many leads but the most promising should be finding the Prisoner Morse.  Technically, he should still be alive.

    Faust 232 is sizable prison colony floating in the middle of deep space, half a light year from any star.  Only people heading there knows where it is.  Escape is impossible.  Like all WY Prison facilities, it is a work camp, building gravity plates for internal corridors in space vessels.  Getting a prison roster from the computer will reveal he is not there…. obviously, they changed his name.  He is still there.

    The PCs can also study the crew dossiers diligently, trying to find the hole the crew profiles trying to locate the mole.  But nobody is lying.  If they push NPC, they will reveal some of their secrets but nothing damming.  This will result in a dead end…

    Faust is between Scorcher and Twilight.

    However, if the Marines go there, they will be sidetracked.  “Nam” will awaken them after only a few weeks and inform then inform command staff only  (NOTE) that they have gone off course…

PRIORITY OVERIDE ALPHA.
AE-35 ANTENAE CONFIRM BURST TRANS.
USS DETERRANT
RE-ROUTED TO NEW COORDINATES.
AUTHORIZATION:  FROST, ADMIRAL, J.
COORDINATES S12, 123.60.128.
PLANET:  DANVERS 231
COMMUNICATION LOST WITH COLONY.
PRIORITY ONE FROM FROST, ADMIRAL, J
INVESTIGATE CAUSE
IF NOT IN THE DETERRANT MISSION CHARTER
THEN DEPART.
IF WHITHIN CHARTER, EXPEDIATE PROBLEM.
RECOVER SURVIVORS.
IMPERITIVE
COLONY MUST BE PURGED BY 10/11…(THREE DAYS FROM ENTERING ORBIT)
ARRIVAL OF WY INSPECTION/REASEARCH TEAM EMINENT.
END OF LINE.

ADDENDUM: 
COLONY DATA
DANVERS COLONY
FANCHISED TO WEYLAND YUTANI FROM THE INTERSTELLER COMMERCE COMMISION
SHUTTLE FREQUENCY:  6 MONTHS
DISTANCE FROM NEAREST COLONY:  6 LY
PERSONNEL:
    6 ADMINISTRATION
    25 SUPPORT
    2 MAINTENANCE
CAPACITY:     MAXIMUM LOAD -- 100 PERSONNEL
        CURRENT LOAD – 65 PERSONNEL
DEPENDANTS:  ADMINISTRATION LEVEL 8 ABOVE
PURPOSE:    CLASS – 1 MENTAL INSTITUTION
        MAXIMUM SECURITY

    The Command staff can share the info…but this is obviously serious.  They have 72 hours from entering orbit to leaving.  If there is an alien presence…it must be eliminated at the PCs leave by the time the WY crew arrive.  Nuking the facility from orbit is doable but only if there are no survivors.  These guys are civilians down there after all.
    They will arrive in orbit in under 6 hours…not giving much time to prepare unfortunately…
    Anyone doing research cannot find much info on the Danver Mental Institution.  Only that it consists of one structure that branches off to several, and that it is located in a plateau in the middle of a mountain range surrounded by major gulf streams from a poisonous ocean.
        Upon arriving, there is no activity from the station. 
    Power only is supplied to the center building and its only sporadic.
    There is no airlock, just very large doors covered by an awning.  It is raining.
    The Dropship can land outside and the crew can move via APC to the door.
    There is an human strung up like a crucifix, disembowled, hanging above the awning.
    THE TRUTH IS:   An Alien Queen has developed here but the psychotic tendancy of the hosts forces the a Queen to lose control of her minions when they get to far.  She has full control when they are in her domain, in the lower levels.  While inside the main complex and the “patient wings”, the aliens start to wig –out.
    EVENTS:
    1:  They first see a patient dead with his chest ripped open…but not by an alien…by a knife.  An alien chestburster lies dead with a acid burned knife inside of it.
    2:  They find a room filled with alien skins…lots of multed alien skins…
    3:  They find a restraint chair in a shaft of light… The patient room, called “seclusions” is empty…
    4:  Hydrotherapy…The room is empty.  Fungus is starting to grow in the pools.
    5:  Shock Therapy.  The room has been completely destroyed by alien hands…
    6:  Then they pick up movement…two targets…moving perpendicular to the group.  One man runs, followed by another man with a knife.  He tackles the man and stabs him repeatedly.  The man is killed before the PCs can intervene.
    The man is Walter Hill.  He has major acid burns to his arms, chest, and face.  He is partially psychotic and feels absolutely no fear and virtually no pain and he has commited himself to kill all the spawn. 
    A chesburster will them emerge from the killed man and try to make a run for it. 
    Hill believes the PCs to be innocent but is weary.  He warns that when you kill one, more come. 
    At that point, Motion will appear less than 20 feet away and an alien will drop right by Hill.  Hill screams at the alien and the alien withdraws, almost like it was hit…but it wasn’t.  The alien can then be killed.
    The PCs can then be curious about Hill.  This is something  that will come up again later. 
    Hill says he can sniff those spawn easily now and has passed judgement on six traitors to the devil already…but he is running out of knives.  He adds that in the sub-basement, the monstors act very differently.  Very busy…like angry ants…but very orderly. 
    But while in the complex…they act like …weirdos… They spend hours in some of the seclusions.  One destroyed the shock therapy room.
    Hill is always angry and if anyone tries anything, he will punch them.  He is almost completely immune to stun and is really tough (STR 7).
    Hill then shows them a seclusion.  An alien is there…it has clawed off its legs and is working on its arms.  Hill hasn’t killed it yet.  He thinks its humerous.
    Hill has said he has killed 6 bursters and has seen about ten patients killed in the fighting.  Not including the body out front.  He says there were 85 patients in the complex and last count last week.
    Hill want to kill some aliens.  He cares not for survivors but they are all taken down below, to the kingdom of ants.
    Then movement…aliens are coming.  From every direction
    A first ten…then fifteen….  Hill gets his knife ready.  He hears them and runs off down a hallway. 
    Twenty aliens total are coming from every direction.  The is a heavy fight.  They drop from the roof and floor about 50 feet away.  Ten more pop up ten feet away.   Dekker completely looses it and fires like a madman.
    OcDugal is attacked, grabbed, and pulled down into the floor. 
    From ahead, the motion picks up twenty more aliens.  The PCs should pull back to the APC.
    If they don’t…send twenty more.
    Dekker won’t leave unless someone forced him.
    The PCS must withdraw.  The APC will give them covering fire and the aliens will reatreat.  In all, almost 40 – 50 aliens should be killed.
    The numbers to make sense.  The aliens should have less numbers than this…
    The PCs quickly remount a counter attack to face against the aliens and rescue OcDugal.  Meenwhile OcDugal sees something while being cocooned…a first for the group.  An alien queen.  The aliens have another form of reproduction other than what they knew previous.
    The Marines break back into the complex and enter the sub-level.
    There they find an alien hive.  The whole area has been converted into an alien hive. 
    They find OcDugal and free him.  They also see the Queen.  Maller and Crowe offload everything and finally toss in OcDugal Demolition pack, taking out not only the Queen, but the entire friggin bulding as well.  The crew escape just in time before the bulding collapses. 
    The crew return to the world with a nuke and vaporize the colony off the planet. 
    Please note that Walter Hill is successfully rescued before that.  

 06 – “BROTHERHOOD OF THE DRAGON”
 
   Opening…A jail guard walks down some stairs from an open jail cell.  The main hall is enourmous.  Five levels high, and a quarter of a mile long.  Thousands  of cells.  The guard approaches a computer terminal an inserts a key into the port.  
    guard looks our and sees other guards with weapon manning posts every 20 meters.  
    “Lockdown!”  he screams.  He turns the key and all the cells close at once…
    The guard enters an office where a base coordinator sits at a desk.  He wears a military uniform.
    “Lockdown successful…Stage 3 complete.  Night shift’s beginning.”
    “Excellent…Problems?”

    “Just a couple contraband found in a few cells…nothing to write about sir.”
    “Excellent…Dismissed…” 
The guard turns and walks out.
    VO:  “I know you can see me my lord…I know that you can read my heart.  I pray that you will someday forgive my sins…for I have sinned many.  I have done terrible things….Terrible things…”
   
A knock on the door…”Yes…”  The warden says.  The door opens and the guard staggers back in…
    “Is there something else Ja--…” The Warden trails off as the Guard falls forward with sharpened shovel through his back…  The door opens…The Warden sees shapes entering..
    VO:  “But what they did was worse…But that was your doing, wasn’t it, my lord…Part of your plan…to test my faith.  I see it all now.  I survived the first test…and that night, by your blessing, I slept without dreaming.  At first light, I gave thanks…”
    A bloody key is inserted into the computer console…the jail cells all open and thousands of men rush for the guards.  The guards fight back but none make it to the sirens.  Helmets fall to the floor.  Some guards fall from stun weapons but the guards are quickly overwhelmed..
    VO:  “The backworlds were lonely…but at least there, the stars in heaven were reminders of distant humanity.  Here, I was pressed in on me from every side with only my sould to give me direction."
    Prisoners run from every cell into the main hall.  Explosions echoe.  Guns fire.  Screams overpower them.  One cell seems quiet…no one ever left that one.  
    “In a brief moment, I saw salvation…I understand now.  You gave me a chance at redemption.  I prayed for strength.  I had come so far…survived so much.  All my brothers laid slain."  
   
The prisoner of the cell still sits in it.  He writes at a journal.  We are hearing his words…
    “True eveil has yet to be seen or encountered by the man of my current home.  When I say ‘they did muc worss’…I don’t speak of the prisoners.  The true evil came from a forde that bought and sold life.  It didn’t care of any one person.  It was the true evil…Men called it the company. “
   
There are several large drawing across the wall…a couple of bald people…characticurtes.
    “ I couldn’t stop it…but maybe…I could hurt it…”
    “Here…I wait…Hear my confession lord…And in your mercy, deliver me from evil.  Grant me eternal salvation…if not…then let me strike down at evil…just once…”

    One drawing is of an alien…

    THEME MUSIC

    The PCs need to get this man from prison.  He is Franklin Morse, the only survivor from Florina 161.  Unfortunetly, its in the middle of a prison riot…

    The remaining armed guards are in siege in a warrant office by the entry dock.  500 Prisoners have secured the facility.  Ten guards and the warden are held prisoner on the other side of the main facility in the Warden tower.
   
    Obviously the Marines can make a deal with the guards to help secure the facility.  Release the prisoner they want for help.  The Marines won’t need to take out more than 50 or so prisoners before they give up.  There is a leader.  His name is Crax…a huge mover of a dude.
    Characteristics:      INT:  1        WILL:  3    PRE:  2        TECH:  1
            REF:  3        DEX:  4        CON:  6        STR:  6
            BODY:  6    MOVE:  3    
    Notable Skills:      Autofire/Firearms:  +3    Surveillance:  +3        Evade:  +5                    Brawling:  +3        
    HITS:  35    No Armour

    During the fight to push the prisoners back.  One PC notices ONE prisoner still in his open cell.  A bald man.  The PC notices the alien drawing on his wall.  There are others.  Bald people…one is a woman.  It looks like Ripley…with no hair.  They have found Franklin Morse.
   
    The Riot and can quelled and the facility secured.

    The PCs secure Morse .

    Morse is quiet and very polite.  Upon interviewing him…
    “You know…I never thought there was a god.  For almost my whole life.  Not even when I meant Dillon and the few he had already convinced.   You now why I started to believe…it was because I was caught.  However among my brothers, my faith strained the most…until I saw the Devil himself.  When I dream of the past, often, it has eyes…How dark would they be?   But there were no eyes.  My soul had been like a settlement, damp with fear and guilt, dark and empty.  I saw it…nothing reassures your faith in God then seeing the devil itself.  It came down from the heavens…along with the angel I know of Ripley.  It tested us.  It’s why we were there in the first place.  Sometimes I think Dillon knew that in some small degree.  It killed 26 of us…27 when you include me.  But we cleansed it.  The creature was killed…but it wasn’t over.  Ripley had been possessed by the beast.  Golic called it a Dragon…a beast from the depths, a soldier of the Morning Star.  Ripley could have walked into the waiting hands of the servants of Satan…You know them as Weyland Yutani.  She chose not to.  Ripley sacrificed herself—falling into an ocean of fire.  Fury is safe now.  Evil will no longer return there.  When you record history, note that Ripley’s sacrifice allowed mankind a chance of redemption.  As a martyr, she cast her soul into the fire so that man may emerge into the light when the apocalypse arrives.  You see, the Company rules…rules everything…and they sold their soul to the devil many years ago.  We now must pay for that.  The devil is coming to take our souls.   If that angel hadn’t hurled herself to the flame, you wouldn’t stand chance.  As Ripley said, this creature was a mother to the creatures…capable of spawning armies herself.  
    “When I say my prayers and thank the saints of the past, Ellen Ripley is first name I speak.  I understand now why the devil came to Fury.  It was a message…. A message that Dillon understood and explained to us.  We were warriors against darkness…The Brotherhood of the Dragon.  But it showed that upon the greatest sacrifice, man will prevail.  Know that more of these sacrifices will be necessary.  I know that one of you will give themselves to save everyone when the time comes.  I ask you then…return me Fury.  Its where I below.  I have started an new order.  They know where I will be and they will find me.  Its there where we will wait.  I thought Fury was a place where the holy go to die…now I believe it’s where the Holy go to remember.  When civilization falls, Fury will remember.  So its where I must go.”

    Morse wants them to take him back to Fury…
    “The Company scavenged the whole place…but they didn’t check the garbage.  There are many treasures you can find in trash.  You just have know what to look for…People throw away so many treasures…art…poetry…and occasionally…even people…”
   
    The PCs go to Florina 161.

    A short journey.  Morse is very religious and keeps to himself.  He avoids women like the plague.  

    He requests being locked in his room when not needed.

    Florina is abandoned and dead…and virtually untouched since the movie.  Oxygen level is fine but the temperature is 25 degrees below zero.  No snow…just cold.  It will be like this and in perpetual darkness for at least another 72 hours until the sun comes back up.
    
    The main entrance is intact.  A simple ramp leads to the main doors.
    
    Everything electrical has been removed. All doors need to be opened manually.
    
    Morse leads them on a tour of the facility…
        1:  Long dark oval hallways.  Huge.  Damp.  Burnt candles lie everywhere.

        2:  Medical.  The supplies have all been cleared out.  The room is empty. 

        3:  Then to the work room…where they lowered the EEV when it crashed.  It has been removed.  Every single piece from the Sulaco is gone.

        4:  The Mess Hall.  The tables and chairs are all gone.  There are blood stains on the     floor.

        5:  The Refinery is optional…it has been totally stripped clean.  Morse explains how the     creature was killed there.

    The Garbage area is full of junk.  The PCs have to dig.  They eventually find a hand connected the quarter torso and head of Bishop.
   
    There is nothing else here.  

    Bishop requires a lot of work to get running again.  He first words are “Ripley?”

    He knows everything from Aliens and Alien 3 until Ripley deactivated him.

    He had access to the Colony Log and to Ripley’s confidential report.  

    He explains how a Queen had made nest at the Atmosphere Processor and the Marines were ambushed.  Only Hicks survived with Ripley and Newt.  Now they are all dead.

    However, when the PCs inform him of the facts they have, he tell them that not all the info the PCs have is correct.  In fact, there is a correction.  They report that said the Rooker Family were sent to Ripley’s coordinates…but according to the Colony log, it was the Jordan family that came back with the discovery…that they had found an alien spacecraft.  The Father had been impregnated and that eventually led to the destruction of the Colony.  

    The Rooker family found nothing…Ripley’s report, when she made it to the company, was incorrect.  She never trusted them…She lied.  Problem is, the Colony families were heavy explorers and were surveying every inch of the planet because of the massive mineral deposits there.  When rumors spread that something unusual was there, the surveys increased.  It was only a matter of time before someone would find it.

    Eventually, the Jordan family did.  Ripley deleted the log about the Jordans and forwarded log minus that information when they survivors returned the Sulaco—the colony log that the Marines stole at the beginning of the game.  The coordinates that Ripley gave was within the blast radius.  She figured it was best the Company thought the ship was destroyed.  

    Bishop has the original colony log…with the Jordan coordinates.  It points at a grid reference 75 kilometers outside of the blast radius.  Within the massive EMP pulse but well away from the lethal radiation.  It could still be there…

    Acheron is a two and a half month Journey back in the opposite direction.

    Bishop can be re-worked and rewired and maybe fixed to close to %90 of his original.  He will agree only because he is needed.  But it’s not something he really desires.          

    Acheron is patrolled by Welyand Yutani for people’s safety.  More like they don’t want anyone landing on their planet unless it is one of them.  It is not hard to avoid detection.  However, this planet has reverted back to its primordial soup quickly after the Processor nuked.  Plus the massive radiation and magnetic burst screwed the planet even more, resulting in a volotile atmosphere.  

    Deep cold and a hazardous atmosphere is constant throughout.  Heavy Environment suits are mandatory.  

    Worse still, the atmosphere is so volotile, the Dropship is best to land and take off.  Hovering is not recommended.  The coordinates fairly exact but the ground it so rocky and jagged, footwork will be needed to reach the area, which sits in a mountain plateau.

    Not everyone should go btw.  Scanner don’t work much.

    The trip can last only a few minutes.  Bishop regales stories from Ripley about what she said about the ship…that the fact that is must have been over a kilometer from end to end and as tall as the Seattle Space Needle at its highest point.

    However, when they reach the peak…its gone.  A note to OcDugal indicates that there are impressions the craft made when it crashed…but there is no blast scoring from Terran reactors…This thing took off under its own power.

    If someone brings up Keitel…simply put…He is good…but there is no way he is that good.

    Something not human controlled this craft.

    Fade to a dark office where Dr Walter Emmerich flips a light on.  He reaches into his mouth and pulls out a small disc the size of a dime.  He retrieves a small machine from his pocket and slips the disc in.  He plugs the assembly into the computer.  The Ripley files comes up.  He smirks.  

    The door breaks open and Marines train their weapons…

    CUT…Emmerich is dropped on a chair.  Edgington orbits around his office.  The marines leave the two alone…
    “You are either really good, Emmerich, or really dumb.”
    “I can explain.”
    “Crowe was right.  He told me to watch you.  Figured it was to easy for you to simply make a full sized copy of the disc so they would find it.  This…this is good though…I like this.  Spy Shit is cool…”
    “Colonel…If you give me…”
    “You couldn’t have been alone on this…  I hate to say this but… No one man could have planned this.  I fear you probably have a contact still…either here or on the ship.  If you come clean…where’s, when’s and why’s….we can make a deal.”
    A pause…
    “Well…whom do you work for…”?
    “Frost…”
    “What?”
    “Listen Colonel.  Admiral Frost believes there is a Mole…that’s why I was sent.  Truth is…I always worked for the CMC.  The first defection was only a ploy to extract some information from the rival before coming back...Frost wanted me to send him a copy of the file to make sure the information wasn’t modified when it left the Deterrent.”
    Pause
    “I mean come on, Colonel, if I wanted to smuggle out info, they would send somebody a little less suspicious then a two-time turncoat.  He didn’t inform you because he was afraid you would tell OcDugal and then the mole could very well know.  I am no mole, Edgington…”
    Edgington exhales…”Shit!  I knew this was going to be too easy…”  He orbits back around his desk.
    “Then, I have no idea where to look…”
    “That group is very well connected.  Everyone is friends with everyone on that ship.  Finding a mole would be difficult, loyalties will be shattered when it’s discovered.”
    “So…I guess you knew everything from the start…"
    “Yeah…I do know why the secrecy?”
    “So you know about Frost and his little…Agenda.”
    “With Alexandria…yeah…Corporations found out…all hell would break loose…”
    Edgington rubs his head…
    “Who else knows…did you tell ANYONE on the Deterrent?”
    “No…Just you, Frost, and myself…”
    BANG!!  Edgington shoots Emmerich square in the chest.  Emmerich looks up in shock and looks back down at the bullet hole.
    Edgington orbits back around to face the Doctor.  
    “Actually Doc…I didn’t know…”
    Edgington cracks a smile.  He stares at Emmerich’s fading breath.  
    “Hmmm,,”
    BANG…final shot…
    END CHAPTER ONE…