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

CHAPTER TWO:  “COLD HEART”

0 7   –   “ K E Y S   T O   T H E   K I N G D O M ”

        Wainslaw Orona’s face appears in a garbled transmission

        “Perhaps our worst mistake was underestimating the sheer instinctual cunning of the creatures.  We didn’t see the underlying pattern behind their evolutionary process—the way every facet of their exsistence was geared towards propogation.  The queens matured at whatever speed their survival dictated.  We had assumed the gestation period was time for the alien embryo to feed and grow, but it was more than that.  It was an opportunity for the unknowing host to spread it’s spore to other sites.  There was a geometric perfection to the infestations.  Each queen would lay still more queens, and with every generation the spore became more entranched more—“

    A huge BANG and a huge dent pounds in the door behind Orona…
        “Ahhh….at last…”
    The Transmission goes dead…

    2182     – Weyland – Yutani threatens to cut CMC funding in half in the next fiscal year.
        --Contact lost with Gimeno colony.  Contact lost with Numan Colony. 
        --Rumors spread through the outer veil colonies of Xenomorph infestations.
        --Several corporations post large rewards for life specimens of these life forms.
    2183    --Now…
   
    Weyland Yutani Research & Defense Headquarters, Earth.

    Four tall buldings stretch high into the sky.

    A rotorless helicoptor flies to a landing pad on the top floor…

    Fade into the building. 

    Huge and thick glass doors slam hard behind a huge computer core.  A scientist scans his ID card and leaves that room and enter a hallway.  He walks down and holds out his hand right to the camera.  Some numbers are hand written on it.  A still is taken.

    This is not a security camera but a hole dug in the wall with a small micro-periscope sticking out.  The scientist passes by.  He enters an elavator. 

   In the elavator, he opens a panel and places his access card in it.
   
    The door opens and another man, an asian man with sharp features enters in a suit.  The scientist exits.  The suit stays.  The doors close. 
   
    On the bottom level, the doors open and the suit leaves.
   
    The Suit walks from the lift and walks through the lobby, out the main exit. 
   
    Through a scope, we see the suit leave and enter a ground limo, which drives off.
   
    The scope is attatched to a rifle to a sniper, the sniper is camoflaughed in a nest literally attatched to the bulding across the block from WY.  From a distance, all you see is concrete.  The sniper talks into a throat box.
    “Shephard…we’re in the briar patch…”
    “Understood…pase one complete…we got it…”

    We focus on the symbol on the snipers arm…


    The PCs are at Gateway station.  OcDugal just returned from OCC and men are circulating back in from leave.  Emmerich has been named the spy and was killed by Edgington.  The PCs are at the mess when their men start circulating back in.  They all want to go back out but the RDPEP is restructuring and it is unsure whether or not they will all get reassigned to the same ship.  Sommerville and his group are not here.

    They have a day to mess with it when Edgington calls the command staff back.

    Weyland-Yutani is threatening to cut CMC funding.  To prove CMC usefulness, they want a complete squad from Gateway back to Earth to be assigned security to their R&D building.  Rumors have been going around that the same group that attacked their HQ on Weyland Yutani may be targeting their building on Earth next.

    Edgington finds the irony humerous but has no choice since Crowe’s group is the only comeplete squad at Gateway right now.

    The PCs equip and take a shuttle to planetsite.

    The WYR&D building is much smaller than the one on WY.  The security chief is a man name Sigel.  He is tall and very mean.  He doesn’t belive they need the CMC.  But hey who cares.  They can assign themselves to several areas:
    1:  The Computer core…level 55.  A Door leads to a huge glass vault leading to the buildings primary computer core.  There are security cameras and fire suppression sprinklers above.
    2:  Lobby…Level 1.  A security station.  Six Elavators here.
    3:  Security office…level 35.  More cameras and other guards. 

    The PCs can park other places to. 

    By coicidence, the building is going to be struck that night…

    A group of men and women are ready to strike.

    A Sniper (base 15) sits across the street out of eyeshot.

    There are two enemy soldiers in the building already.

NAM SHOUN
    Age:  38            Origin:  Alexandria        Rank:  Lieutenant
    Characteristics:     
        INT:  6        WILL:  4    PRE:  4        TECH:  8
        REF:  6        DEX:  6        CON:  4        STR:  4
        BODY:  4    MOVE:  7   
        HITS:  25    STUN:  20   
        KD:  14        SD:  8
    Notable Skills:     
    Autofire/Firearms:  +8        Heavy Weapons:  +3        Sniper Rifle:  +2       
    Surveillance:  +5                All Evade:  +7                    Security Systems:  +6   
    Tactics:  +2                        Leadership:  +4                Parachuting:  +4       
    Intimidation:  +2                Interrogation:  +1                Cooking:  +1   
    Athletics:  +7                    Pilot:  Interceptor:  +2            Hand-Hand:  +3       
    Climbing:  +4                    Martial Arts (Various)            Computer Skills:  +5   
    Zero-G:  +3                      Demolition:  +5

ELISA CLARKE
    Age:  26            Origin:  Alexandria        Rank:  Lieutenant
    Characteristics:     
        INT:  4        WILL:  5    PRE:  7        TECH:  4
        REF:  9        DEX:  9        CON:  6        STR:  3
        BODY:  3    MOVE:  7   
        HITS:  10    STUN:  20   
        KD:  14        SD:  12
    Notable Skills:     
        Autofire/Firearms:  +6        Heavy Weapons:  +3        Sniper Rifle:  +2            Surveillance:  +7   
        All Evade:  +9                    Security Systems:  +4            Tactics:  +2                Leadership:  +2   
        Parachuting:  +4                Intimidation:  +2                Interrogation:  +1                Cooking:  +1   
        Athletics:  +9                    Pilot:  Interceptor:  +3        Hand-Hand:  +8                Climbing:  +3
            Martial Arts (Various)            Demolition:  +2                First Aid:  +3                Computer Skills:  +4
        Melee Weapons:  +6            Zero G:  +3

    There is also a rig in the stock area.

    Nam jobs is to secure Ripley Disc from Crowe.  Elisa's job is to be a diversion..

    They have siphoned gasoline into the sprinkler system and start a fire as coverage

    Elisa strings line around a soldiers throat making a Maller rescue them instead of pursuing. 
   
    Elisa escapes from a bungee cord attatched to the bottom of the express elavator.

    Maller pursuies Elisa.
   
    Shoun is Crowe’s opponent.
   
    Emil will get shot at by the sniper outside…but Emil will know for certain the sniper would have killed him.  He had Emil in his sights. 

    Elisa and Shoun escape.  They have the truck.  Maller chases them in the APC with Sutton at the helm.  A chase through the city ensues.
   
    Crowe is picked up by Shusset in the Dropship and they chase as well.
       
    Maller figths and gets defeated by Clarke and gets tossed onto the pursuing Dropship
   
    When they catch the vehicle, it opens up and a Panther will flyout.

    In the end, the vehicle escapes.
   
    Lynn Logan recognized the symbol…It was not UPP…or another corporate…It was the Oblagon…from Alexandria.

    Good scanning work or other possibilities may eventually get the PCs to find a craft that doesn’t belong… A GPUT Transport…made by Alexandria.

    That craft jumps too fast.

    Another good check will lead the PCs to find out the ship was headed for an uncolonized world surveyed as CSC-040.  A gas giant is the only planet with several moons.  The sixth moon has 2/3 Earth gravity and stale O2 Environment.  Heavy Iron deposits and not much else.

    The Detterent can take them there.

0 8   –   “ D I S C O N N E C T E D   P A R T I E S ”
    When they arrive, there is another Conestoga in orbit.  It has no markings either and has no IFF signature.  It is less than 1k from a GPUT Transport.  A good scan will indicate that the Conestoga is in auto-defense mode.  Meaning it will fire on any target it deems as an opponent the moment it gets in range.  Chanes are, the craft is probable either deserted or has gone quiet.  

    Another good role player can discover that a craft has landed on the surface.  It is a Cheyenee dropship.   Parked next to a mountain.  The remnants of a survey center (one single building with storm shields) is built into the side.

    It is empty…but there is a ladder going down into a secret passage.  There are caves.  Several…Spreading out in every direction.  The PCs find nothing and nobody until they approach a pair of sealed doors. 

    Three people are talking behind…They are quiet.  Carl’s enhances senses reveal a conversation:
<All unfamiliar>
    Deep Voice:   Nothing we have can come close.
    Asian Voice:   What's your Ship equipped with?
    Deep Voice:   Most of the HA-117s are still equipped   with Type 53s...the new variants we have... (a beat) Maybe 4 800 kph.
    Deep Voice:   That'll do.  Most of ours are Mark 48s.   They are about equal to Tolosky's 53's.
    Asian Voice:   Don't you have ADCAPs?
    Deep Voice:   We have 10...and 14 Mod 4s.
    Female Voice:   Advanced Capability.  They clock over 6 000 kph.    They're smarter, more powerful, and with a longer range   than standard Mark 48s.  They can catch CMC vessels.
    Deep Voice:   What, may I ask, is the Predator equipped with?
    Female Voice:  They're all ADCAPS.   She can fire fast.    She's got Tomahawks, and Captor Mines.    All latest variants.
    Asian Voice:  Besides that, she has the standard  Equipment…unclassified:  Both TB-16D and  TB-23 Towed Scanner Arrays, BSY-1 Combat  System, Automatic Fire Control,  Target Motion Analysis--
    Deep Voice:   War is a matter of vital importance to the   state; the province of life or death; the road   to survival or ruin.  It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.  I said it once, I'll say it again.   This won't work.  They've probably thrown a net so big that Jesus himself couldn't get through. 
    Asian Voice:   Maybe so...but Jesus didn't have access to a 2 billion dollar machine.  Of course, Jesus wouldn't need it, but-- 
    Female Voice:  Do you understand what you are doing, Colonel?
    Deep Voice:   There are few people that know as much as I do.  If they did…they would either cry…or fight… I chose to fight.  It starts here.  Now.   I got the plans of the Cheyenne and the HA-117 Fighter here. 
    Asian Voice:   Okay…lets see what you got.

   
Crowe orders them to break in.  The two Oblagon fight. 

    Another fight will ensue.  Finally, a deep voice tell everyone to stops.  Colonel Terrance Merchant steps forward.  Crowe recognized him.  He is a bigwig Conestoga commader usually brought in to command missions demanding the highest skill.  He commanded the flight that took Crowe to the Weyland Yutani Colonial Administration building mission in the first episode and commanded the flight into UPP space when Maller rescued Captain Hudson from the POW camp.
        Merchant explains.  Admiral Frost has been in secret talks with Alexandria to form a non-agression pact the remored Trade and Technology Agreenment.  This is a great threat to the ICC since it places more power with the Earth Government.  The CSC would be especially alarmed since it would lose its investment into trying to take back the Alexandrian government.  Earth would recall the CMC military there obviously, leaving the CSC militia to dry to keep quarantine on their own.  The CMC would then reform their forces back to the UPP where they should be in the first place. 
    However, most of all, it allows superior technology to be in the hands on a force considered inferioer to ICC militia, the Colonial Marines.  If the technology is built within Alexandria and shipped stateside, the ICC corporations would have little change in stealing the technology without great cost to themselves.  The CSC would lose the greatest since it no longer would have support in the ICC to try and take back the lost colony. 
    --Obviously, if the CSC or any ICC corporation got wind of this before it was signed, they would do anything in their power to stop the signing.  That’s the reason of the secrecy.  Most of all though, it would be what the mole really wants to get out.  However, Emmerich was NOT the Mole.  He was working for Frost all along.  He defected from a corporation to another to by a double spy.  He defected to the CMC all along.   Merchant explains all of this to the PCs and says that no one knows where Frost is or where the final signing will take place.
    --Meenwhile, in orbit, someone on the Deterrant is sending a transmission.
    --The PCs hear from Merchant’s ship, the Vendetta, that the Deterrant is sending a transmission.  There is a traitor on board.  It is Dawn, reprogrammed before she came on board. 
    --The Vendetta moves in as a diversion as the PC dropship gets close to to take back their vessel.
    --The PCs disable Dawn but not before discovering she has snapped the neck of their engineer, Thomas Woodruff.
    --Crowe can hack into Dawn’s brain.  He discovers that she sent a transmission to two Black WY Traders enroute.  Further probing reveals that her programming has an imprint of an access override code.
    --Careful matching reveals its Edgington.  He is the spy.
    --However, two Black WY Traders are enroute.  The Deterrant and Vendetta flee.  The Deterrant drops a missile behind and disables one Trader .
    --The Deterrant is led into Alexandrian space where 4 predator dropships pass bay and take out the remaining vessel.
    --Back at Gateway station, Edgington tell a Colonel that they have a ship that has gone roque.
    --Back at a Alexandrian Listening post, Merchant reveals that Edgington was being sent the location as was Merchant, however, they are not where they are supposed to be to receive it.  They were supposed to be at Gateway.
    --Owrd gets out the Deterrant is wanted.  The PCs can go on a small vessel or try to take the Detterant in.
    --Find some way for their ship to be disabled and the three primary PCs captured…

9 –  “F O L D ,   S P I N D L E ,   M U T I L A T E”

    “METEOROID SWARM - DEEP SPACE --  6 Months ago”
    Meteoroids drift through space, silent and peaceful. Suddenly a shark in their midst: Attacking from behind, a ship collects smaller meteoroids in a jawlike scoop, swallowing them whole.  Inside, rotating teeth smash the meteors into rubble. Hoppers fill.  Lasers scan the rubble for composition before conveyors trundle it away. The factory is crudely efficient, PREHISTORICALLY LOUD. Until...The teeth stop rotating...Conveyors seize up...Lasers die... Outside, the jawlike scoop, hinged, begins closing.  Inside, with the LOUDEST CLANG EVER HEARD, the jaws clamp shut.  ECHOES through empty corridors. Only then the ship is hauntingly quiet do we hear the first signs of human life: FOOTSTEPS.  Greasy and agitated, the PROSPECTOR appears. He doesn't know why the machines have stopped, but he does know what's responsible. He stalks to a door...and flat-hands it open.  But the machinery won't reactivate. Screens continue to flash the message. The prospector storms out.  In the shadowy depths of a hopper, the prospector uses a lever to search through meteoroid rubble. Some of the rock is a vitreous, golden-hued. Amber.  Then he spots it. Mostly buried in rubble. What little we can see reminds us of a tail. A dark, coiled tail. Scowling, the prospector reaches down. Pokes it. Feels it. Lifts it up to reveal...A piece of flexible conduit.  He searches on. Finally he abandons his lever for a chunk of amber. He hoists it up, trying for better light. We can't tell for sure – but it looks like something is suspended inside the rock.  The prospector swivels to face the chunk of rock. Now backlit, we see that inside -- suspended in a coffin of golden glass -- is a face-    hugger. A protean Alien.

    PROSPECTOR:  So tell me. Why would such a big company like this be interested in such a little shit like you? Huh?

                "SIX MONTHS LATER"

    Keystone.  Dark.  The lights of a rampant civilization craze the landmasses.  Soon an orbit-to-orbit transport appears. It angles toward a glowing horizon.  Inside a TRANSPORT SHIP, the PCs sit in the dim interior, portholes their only luxury. Some peer out to see...Something huge ahead. Whatever it is, it blots out the starfieldbehind it.  A space station.  Inside, More passengers strain to see.  Now the sun rises behind Keystone, illuminating the rind of atmosphere and then...The space station. Iron black, spired, cathedralesque, designed by Eiffel and then hand-sculpted by Rodin. It looms in geosynchronous orbit 23,000 miles above the planet -- a smirch of Hell right where Heaven should be.

    The transport reaches a blockade of red-flashing buoys.  The buoys turn a provisional yellow. Positioning rockets fire. The buoys rearrange to form a landing corridor.  As the pilot gooses her throttle.  Yellow buoys drift past portholes.  The transport slews into a broadside approach.  CLANGS and WHINES of docking. At the front of the cabin, an ICC MARSHALL rises, brandishing a weapon.

    The passengers and PCs CLATTER to their feet. Only now do we see their chains.  A hand pressing down on a scan-plate. U.V. light passes beneath the hand.  The group including the PCs work through an entrance area.  

    Caged elevator cars transport personnel between levels, comparable "equavator" cars transport them laterally along curved corridors. Now in coveralls, the five new inmates appear. BLOCK GUARD leads. Daggs shadows.

    BLOCK GUARD:  ...touch a guard, you get stitched.  Fail to respond promptly to a guard's order, any guard -- block, solitary, special services – you get stitched. Pilfer supplies, you get stitched...
    GRIMES:  (to Crowe)  "Stitched"?
    GRIMES:  (to Daggs)  What's "stitched"?

    A wicked CHITTERING SOUND: Grimes ducks as the wall beside him explodes with crisscrossing lines. When the sound stops, hundreds of small-bore needles have embedded the wall.

    BLOCK GUARD:  (recycling stitch rifle) Any other questions?

    So far, the station has impressed us as sterile and efficient. But when the overhead DOOR RUMBLES open, we see...Blasting furnaces. Rippling heat. Rising steam. This is the central spire, where space-mined ore is processed into steel. The NOISE is like a hundred train wrecks, and if Hell had nightmares, this would surely be one.  A foundry.  Prisoners work everywhere, stoking furnaces, lifting rock, oiling conveyors, channeling rivers of glowing metal.  The PCs work. They rake limestone over screens, sifting out impurities. The dust gets in their eyes, nose, mouths. Between coughs:  During the work they see a prisoner turns -- and startles us. His skin, his hair, even his eyes have turned an IVORY white from years of working the limestone.

    IVORY:  All sentences are the same. All.

    During the shift, Crowe attacks a guard and gets stitched.  He's sent to the medical bay where a tracer is removed from his back.  After a shift nears its end in the FOUNDRY, a white-hot ingot, circular and massive, is dropped into a quenching tank. Steam blasts upward, drawing the attention of...Grimes. He works near the blast furnaces, shoveling up warm slag like a stable boy mucking stalls.  The cooled ingot is craned out of the quenching tank and dropped in top-loading centrifuge. Airlock doors close. The centrifuge begins to rotate.  Grimes follows other workers to observation windows that overlook Keystone.  Outside, building speed, the centrifuge lowers from the station.  A DETONATION rocks the foundry as...The ingot is discharged. Twenty tons of spinning steel streaks toward Keystone.  Burned gasses continue to belch from the central spire, blackening a full moon.
   
    Inside the Foundry, a small machine spitts out coins. They're crude and dark, made of slag. But the logo is familiar. "Weylan-Yutani."

    AMPLIFIED VOICE:  Prisoner M22197. Step out. Prisoner M22197. Step out.
    AMPLIFIED VOICE:  Second chance. Prisoner M22197. Step out. Prisoner M221--

    Suddenly one man bolts, running blindly.  Guards level tangle guns, stubby and twin-barrelled. MULTIPLE DISCHARGES.  Bolo balls sling through the air...And catch the man, orbiting him, cocooning him in steel filament. He crashes to the floor ten steps from where he started his run. The prisoner is Ivory.

    Inside the SECURITY CORRIDOR.  Again chained together, the five new inmates drag-ass along a corridor. They carry bedrolls. The block guard keys open a security door and ushers them into...A circular control guard room. The walls are solid glass -- but, oddly, they look out on nothing but solid wall.  The guard house begins dropping -- and now the windows fill with the rising cell block. It's a staggering sight: We're in the middle of an immense cylinder, cells ringing the perimeter, inmates roaming like lost animals. Tier after tier rise past the windowed walls -- and it's all the same.  Finally the guard house stops. Security door opens. The block guard unchains the inmates -- then backs off. This is as far as he goes.

    Inside the MIDDLE TIER - CELL BLOCK  The new inmates step onto a walkway. The door locks behind them. A PC peers down the foot-wide crack between walkway and guard house.  The bottom of the cell block lost in shadow. How many more tiers can there be?  The new inmates push ahead.  An inmate brushing his teeth in a toilet. Graffiti-scarred walls. A gang of females rousting a male inmate. A jogger using the circular walkway for a lap track. At least three inmates per cell. No open bunks.  Two JOY BOYS in codpieces pass. They touch Ocdugal seductively. He can bat their hands away. They laugh and blow kisses. Blacks in shower caps playing dominoes. Inmates with bio-electric tattoos. A narcotized guy trying to peel the walls. A man and     woman pulling a stand-up fuck. Inmates watching baseball on a caged monitor.

    VOICE:  No luck, huh?

    They look. The voice belongs to BELLHOP, an ingratiating maggot of a man.

    BELLHOP:   Vacancies are hard to come by in this hotel.

    Bellhop knows where some could be found.

    Down a Zig-zagging staircase, Bellhop leads the new inmates down through the cell block. They pass tier after tier.  The Bottom Tier.  This is it. Dungeon-level.

    DOMINGO:  So what the shit's wrong with it?
    BELLHOP:  Pardon?
    DOMINGO:  How come rest ot the place is full, but this isn't? How come?
    BELLHOP:  Well, it's closer to the gravity generators, so you're a couple pounds heavier, little more sluggish. And the light isn't what it should be. 
    That's all. They inspect the cells. Bunks have springs. Grimes kick-starts a toilet. It actually flushes.  The group settles.  A PC is takes a sink-bath, trying to wash away the limestone and the whole day. PIPES KNOCK, and the faucet sputters dry. He wasn't close to finishing.  Other inmates here seem to be the runts and whack-outs of the prison:  The HIKER, a paraplegic who walks only with the aid of a motorized backpack that "walks" his legs for him... A man thin enough to be a human X-RAY...The GASHER, a self-mutilating woman who notches her skin with a shank...And the ABORIGINE, a dreadlocker who paints his cell wall with primitive drawings. The drawings seem to be of an animal. But before ANYONE can get a closer look...

    BLOCK VOICE:  Lockdown. 30 seconds to lockdown.

    We hear DOORS THUNDERING SHUT.  A WHISTLE sounds. Entry doors open, and unleashed guard dogs stream into the block. Searching tor loose inmates, the dogs race around the tiers...zig-zag down stairs...flood the lower tiers...and appear here.  Circling like a glass carousel, the guard house rises, pushed upward by one massive steel piston. Soon it vanishes, embedded in the ceiling.  All lights extinguish.  In Maller’s cell, Glow-worms dot the ceiling like stars. One falls...and lands on him.  They all hear the night sounds of the prison -- SOBBING, FLUSHING TOILETS, BARKING DOGS.  But a new SOUND rolls Maller back. This doesn't come from above like the other sounds. This seems to come from...The tier walkway. Empty. Quiet.  Was it just the dog? Hearing nothing now.  Later, the SOUND returns.  Through the walkway grating, we see the machinery level below, a jungle of conduit and hydraulics. It's from there that the SLIDING-CLAWING sound comes.  Maller tracks the sound with his eyes. It passes under the walkway...moves toward his cell...and stops dead under his feet. Now something SCRATCHES, as if trying to penetrate the solid floor. For a small eternity, Maller doesn't move. Then the sound SLIDE-CLAWS away.  Maller looks out the bars to see...Someone watching him from another cell. It's the X-Ray man.

    Inside a SOLITARY WARD.  A single-cell door is opened. From inside the dark room, a lonely white face looks out.  It’s a Gas chamber.  Guards shove Ivory into a primitive throne-like chair. Pull straps.  Cinch buckles. Through a window Ivory can see...The faces of the witnesses.  Inside the CELL BLOCK, a pitiless light floods the block. It's met with a CHORUS OF GROANS.  A caged monitor flickers to life. On the screen we see Ivory, strapped down in the chair.  The image appears on screens everywhere.  A black hood is dragged over Ivory's head.  Guards double-check machinery.  The entire block grows quiet, watching.  The female WARDEN appears with captain of the guards, striding quickly toward the chamber. She pushes through a door...and takes her place at the viewing glass. She barely glances at the hooded inmate before nodding approval O.S. We get the feeling she's done this before.  A lever is pulled.  A bag of crystals drop into an acid bath beneath the chair. Gas roils upward... Enveloping Ivory. We know what's happening under the hood: He's holding his breath. Squirming. Working the good air up and down his throat, trying to make it last.  The warden drums her fingers.  The PCs watch.  Finally Ivory inhales. Screams as the gas burns his throat. Goes into hypoxiac spasms. And dies quickly but badly.  Domingo stares open-mouthed as the monitor flickers out. SCATTERED APPLAUSE from some sick fucks around the block.

    Inside a BUNKER.  Ivory's hooded head, unmoving and lifeless.  Suddenly he draws a jagged breath.  He rips off the hood. Though his mind is still dying in the gas chamber, his body, he now discovers, is somewhere else.  "Where's the window? The faces?"   He finds himself in a chair -- this one without straps. He's inside what appears to be a small outpost bunker. No windows. Inactive monitors. Pre-form construction.  "I'm dead, I'm dead, I gotta be dead..."  He stands experimentally. Moves. Runs a hand over equipment. A monitor activates. It shows an external view: The outside terrain is rocky and windswept.  "What planet is this? And how the hell did I get here?"  He finds cots for other personnel -- but there are no others. Just him.  Movement on the monitor. Did he just imagine it? He stares until it happens again: Something slides past the exterior camera, momentarily filling the frame with darkness.  Skeletal darkness.  A SCRATCHING SOUND turns Ivory. He tracks the sound to a seam in the wall panels. He touches the spot -- and can feel the thing outside, the thing barely an inch away, the thing that explores the seam with him.  WHUMP. Ivory stumble-steps back. WHUMP. The seam cracks. WHUMP.  Ivory looks around for a weapon, shield, anything. WHUMP. Something is inside.

    Inside the BUNKER MOCK-UP FACILITY - P-4 LAB.  Now we see the bunker from the outside and see the backdrops, the wind machines, the halt-environment. It's all fake. All but the SCREAMING.  Inside the CONTROL ROOM of the P-4 LAB.  We're watching images from a hidden camera --
jumpy, hard-to-track images of Ivory's death. By whipping tail. By rending arms. By striking jaws. Just who watches these images and where they're being seen -- none of it matters yet. All we know is that this one prisoner has now died twice.

    Space.  A steel ingot is blasted towards Keystone.  Inside the Foundry.  Feeding time: The new inmates file past a portable mess station, taking food. A thick, nutrient-stuffed sausage is plopped down on Grimes' plate.

    GRIMES:  Now we know why the crappers weren't clogged up.
    DOMINGO:   I gotta question. When we die, do we come right back here?

    During the meal, a Crowe spots...X-Ray. The man sits alone on the floor, sipping water. There's a tray of food beside him. Untouched.  If a conversation is started
    X-RAY:  You're strong. You should move up. I tried, once, but they hit me and made me go back to the bottom. (indicating tray) You want it?
    X-RAY:  Water. That's all for me. Water's the only way.
   
    KLAXON HORN recall prisoners.  Outside, a company mining ship is docked at the central spire, off-loading cargo.  Inside the FOUNDRY, Docking officers patrol a platform near the top of the foundry. The mining ship is visible through a viewport. Personel move in and out via an airlock. Beneath the platform, raw ore spills down chutes...drops through SUB-CRUSHERS...then gets hauled across conveyored ore-bridges to be dumped into stockpiles.  OcDugal is among the prisoners who work the bridges, shoveling spilled rock off the catwalks and back onto conveyors. The ore seems endless, and more and more of it falls onto the prisoners' feet. It aggravates him but he figures someone will slow it down.  No one does. Soon the ore is spilling off the catwalks and hailing down on the main floor. Workers take cover.  At the end or the bridge, ore swamps the catwalk. It forms a moving rampart that pushes one frantic worker off the edge...and into the stockpile. SHOUTED VOICES. In moments he'll be buried alive.

    OcDugal could buries his shovel deep into the conveyor system.  the Bridges stop. Crushers die. Chutes go empty.  Guards turn to look.  Though he only meant to stop the one bridge, OcDugal has managed to shut down the entire off-load. The foundry is quieter than we thought possible. Suddenly someone is marching toward OcDugal. It's a guard, a MASTODON of a man. The catwalk rocks under his weight.  Hands grab OcDugal by the head and jerk him off his feet.  He slams OcDugal back -- right into a stanchion bracket. OcDugal just hangs there, impaled, graying out into unconsciousness.  

    Fade to a TELESURGERY BERTH.  A surgical instrument plunks into a pan of disinfectant and spreading blood. Past a tray or fresh instruments...surgical draping...to equipment that monitors vital signs.
    SURGEON'S VOICE:  Lung's holding air.
    WOMAN'S VOICE:  Muscle reweave looks good, too.
    WOMAN'S VOICE:  He's coming around. You want more NumbOut?
    SURGEON'S VOICE:  That's okay. Almost done here.
    SURGEON'S VOICE:  Hmm? Oh, we've seen a lot worse.  Aren't feeling this, are you?

    OcDugal lifts his head to look at the surgeon -- and sees twin robotic arms. They're doing the surgery.  He can lurche up. Human hands shove him down.  Now he sees the ITV (interactive television) system. One screen shows the Keystone-based surgeon, who wears a camera-helmet and electronic gloves. His surgical moves are being mimicked here by the robotic arms.  On the ITV screen, we see the surgeon picking up closure clamps...And then we see the robotic hands using identical clamps to close the incision.  On the ITV screen, the surgeon selects an aerosol canister...And then the robot sprays the surgical site with quick-dry fluid.  Clamps are removed. The incision holds perfectly.  The surgeon ungloves. The robotic arms go limp.

    SURGEON:  Gotta run, Packard -- they're waiting for me on the front nine.  Credit my account?
    WOMAN'S VOICE:  Done.

    The woman's voice belongs to PACKARD. She strips away surgical draping, tosses OcDugal fresh coveralls, scribbles on a clipboard. 
    PACKARD:  We don't give lollipops.
   
    They talk.  OcDugal chats and ask questions.  Packard has no desire to talk.  She eventually calls the guard.  OcDugal claims to be a doctor and wants to see about transferring to the medical bay...

    PACKARD:  One: I'm a diagnostic physiologist, not a "doc." We don't have "docs" here. They wouldn't be caught dead in a place like this even if the money was decent, which it isn't.  Two: I can't afford the time or space.

    The infirmary is cramped and crowded, the med-techs over-worked and underpaid. But to OcDugal, it looks like Nirvana.  He can assess Packard, spotting her inside a glass office. Not as old as he first thought. Not as tough as she thinks. And not at all hard on the eyes.  Packard sorts through a blizzard of paper-work, searching for Transfer forms...

    PACKARD:  What's the scam here? Just tell me up front, and we'll both save time.  We used to use prisoners. They stole everything but the ceiling.
        (response)

    Leg-irons clamp around ankles. TILT UP as Daggs, finished chaining OcDugal, pulls him toward the door. A CRASH turns them back.  MED-TECH #1 dropped a rack of vials. He starts to clean up the mess, but someone lifts him to his feet. Packard.

    MED-TECH #1:  Sorry. Just slipped.
    She checks his eyes. His pupils look like olives.
    PACKARD:  You're gone.
    MED-TECH #1:  Whaddya mean?
    PACKARD:  Transferred. Hydroponics, custodial, anywhere but here.

    Daggs heads for the door. It's not their problem.

    MED-TECH #1:  Hey, look, it was just an accident, okay. Coulda happened to --
    PACKARD:  You're glassed out. You been in the drugs. Christ, I don't believe you people. You're no better than the...  (a new thought) Guard.

    Daggs turns.

    PACKARD:  Unhook him. I'll put him to work here.
    DAGGS:  Who? Him?

    He swaps looks with OcDugal. They're equally surprised.

    DAGGS:  Don't think the captain's gonna go for it. This guy's --
    PACKARD:  I'll square it with the captain. You just unhook him.  (to med-tech) At least I know I can't trust the prisoners.  All right, you want a new job? You got one.
   
    Later, at a work-station, OcDugal is doing a biopsy on a dark pasty substance.  He views it under a magnifier.  A wormlike parasite.  On a chart, OcDugal checks "positive" under the heading "Kennel B, Dog #12." With a resigned sigh, he disposes of the first stool sample and unwraps another.  OcDugal turns. Med-tech #2 is at a monitor, which shows an external view of the station. A ship is at the docking port.

    MED-TECH #2:  Water tanker's in.
    MED-TECH #3:  'Bout time.
    REED (O.S.):  Showers on me, bartender. All the way around.

    Carrying a sealed package, REED enters. He's young, bookishly handsome, fancies himself a cocksmith.

    PACKARD:  (eyeing package) For me?
    REED:  Hand-delivered, please note.
    REED:  Pullin' a late one tonight?
    PACKARD:  Out of here as soon as I inventory this stuff.
    REED:  Why not stop by? You can fix us dinner.
    PACKARD:  Try Hockmeyer. She's young and easily impressed. Might even know how to cook.
    REED:  Tellin' me you don't know the way to a man's heart, Packard?
    PACKARD:  Through his veins, last I looked.

    She inventories. Reed wanders the infirmary, checking things out. He comes to a stop behind OcDugal.

    REED:  Are you doing what I think you're doing?
    PACKARD:  Ten grams of Indapamide? I ordered fifty. And where's my Cloxacillin?
    REED:  Had a problem with the fermentation tanks.
    PACKARD:  Tell me something, Reed. Why is it, if we have an on-site pharmaceutical lab, that I have to beg for medicine? I mean, just out of idle curiosity.
    REED (to OcDugal) Least she's beggin' for something.
   
    He slaps OcDugal on the back -- right on the surgical site.

    REED:  Make it up to you next week, Packard. One way or another.

    He leaves. Packard shakes her head.  Later, in a corridor.  Back in chains, OcDugal is being transported by Daggs. Packard walks in the same direction, scanning paperwork.  If he asks about Reed at anytime…

    PACKARD:  Biochemist. Brilliant guy, really.  Just kind of a sleaze. (nodding ahead)  Works in the P-4 lab.

    They near the lab. A P-4 technician appears, placing a hand on a wall- mounted scanner. The door opens. It's the thickness of a bank vault.  An equavator arrives. Packard steps aboard. The caged car begins rawing away.  Evening.  In lockdown lighting.  The Aborigine paints his wall in the dark.  X-Ray finishes a cup of water.  The Hiker removes his motorized backpack for the night.  Domingo climbs onto the upper bunk.     Later.  The tier dog lies on the walkway, resting but not asleep. Soon its head lifts, hearing something. It's a faint SCRAPING-CLAWING.  Beneath the walkway grating lies the jungle of conduit. Like a living shadow, something down there moves.  Hackles rising, the dog turns and skulks up the stairs. It wants no part of this.  Hiker wakes suddenly -- and doesn't know why. He rolls over to see...A hole in the cell floor. Pried open at a seam.  Silently, Hiker detaches a metal rod from his backpack. Now he finds a mirror and leans out of the bunk to angle the mirror over the hole. He sees...Inside the hole. There's only blackness.  Hiker slithers off the lower bunk and drags himself closer.  The VIEW PEERS UP through the hole as Hiker peers down. And only now do we see the thing behing him -- the dark coiled mass that clings spiderlike to a ceiling corner.  A tail whips through the air, noosing around his neck. Hiker gurgles a scream as the tail rears him back...And body-slams him into the ceiling.  Fluids spatter X-Ray's face. He wakes to see in the next cell...Hiker's body splashing against the ceiling.  A CRY.  Crowe is on his feet, moving to the bars, looking out. Can't see much in the dark. Just movement. Fast, horrid, lethal.  In QUICK PUMMELING SHOTS:  X-Ray screaming, The Rogue Alien turning. Spotting a new target.  X-Ray realizing he's next.  Hiker being dropped to floor. Boneless.  Rogue Alien smashing into side bars. Over and over. Trying to get at X-Ray.  Inmates calling for help. Others waking.  Steel piston moving. Guard house dropping. Spotlights sweeping tiers.  Rogue sizing up bars. Then making an OMINOUS CLATTERING SOUND as its  exoskeleton begins moving, plates unhinging, shifting, collapsing.  Rogue reshaping itself -- then, impossibly, passing through the bars.  X-Ray falling silent. Stunned.  The Rogue snapping back into shape, rehinging in one tremendous body-  flex. And now attacking.  Blood dancing on air.  Rogue attacking.  Entrails spilling.  Attacking. Attacking. Attacking.  The guard house finally bottoms out. Spotlights find...Lights whirl around the tier. The cells there are red. And empty. And quietly dripping.  Flashlight beams probe machinery. SHOTS of huge gears. Pistons.  Conduit. And the first sign of blood.  Guards with dogs track the blood through the machinery level, the bowels of the station. The trail leads to...A utility shaft. In better light, we see the faces of these Special Service guards, a.k.a. the Shit Squad. It's a ragged but tough-ass crew of men and women who will do just about anything for time-and-a-half.  Their BOSS looks down the shaft. It narrows and turns, hiding its other end.

    BOSS:  Right Nut. Get a reading.
    RIGHT NUT shoulders to the front, aims an Echo Location Gun (E.L.G.) down the shaft and pulls the trigger.  Small sonic grenades DETONATE, blinding us.
    RIGHT NUT:  (reading display)  Clear, Boss.

    Guards trade glances. Does that mean it got away? Or does that mean they have to go down there?

    BOSS:  Let's get a deeper reading.

    Right Nut climbs down -- and one look at his face tells us he hates this gig. He reaches the twist where the shaft becomes a tunnel. Beams his light. Sees nothing. Crawls ahead to reach...A juncture. Here the tunnel splits into two passages. Right Nut points the E.L.G. down a passage and FIRES.  We can "see" the sonic grenades detonate. They show clear tunnel.  Right Nut turns and FIRES down the other passage.  A bogey registers. It's far ahead and moving away. But it's there.

    RIGHT NUT:  Shit.

    He deliberates -- then makes the wisest decision of his young life.

    RIGHT NUT:  Clear, Boss. Nothing down there.
    BOSS:  Awright, someone get a torch. Seal this thing up tight as a 12-year-old. Left Nut, pick a dog and kill it. Then drag it around the cell block so they all see.

    Throughout the block, cell DOORS CLATTER open. The new inmates shuffle out, glancing furtively at the two cells now curtained off with tarps.  Sounds of RECONSTRUCTION.  Inmates move for the stairwells. Crowe slows as he passes the Aborigine's cell -- and looks at what he tried to see the night before.  The cave drawings. Stylized and crude. But the beast portrayed is, to Styles' eyes, alien. To our eyes, it is unmistakably Alien.  Chained together, lines of inmates are being herded off to work.

    With OcDugal, He sits at his work-station. Instead of stool samples, he's checking paperwork. OcDugal has access to computer records.  There is no reference to the alien and no reference to any dogs going rabid.  Packard didn’t hear anything.  Outside, in space.  Buoys flash yellow. Soon the drone ship appears -- a sleek surface-to-orbit limousine with stubbed wings and needled nose. It shows the corporate logo of Weyland-Yutani.
   
    Inside the P-4 Lab.   A monitor. We're watching a video replay, "BREACH TEST 12/C."  The video has been heavily processed with reference markers, time-frame counters, overlay graphs. But beneath all that lurks an Alien. It's outside the mock-up bunker, looking for a way in.

    Mohl lowers the room lights and raises the chamber lamps. And now we see it:  A synthetic womb floats in a cradle of zero-gravity, fed by umbilicus.  It gives us the creeps just looking at it, but not Lone, the Wy rep that just arrived. He moves closer. Translucent areas of the womb form glazed windows. Lone squints, trying to see through. Suddenly the womb spasms.

    REED:  Just a reaction to the light. We're trying to slowly brighten its environment to minimize birth-trauma, but...But it really prefers the dark. (to Mohl) Photoacoustic.

    Mohl brings the chamber lamps down, then activates the photoacoustic equipment.  The screen shows a false-colored image of the thing within the womb.  Coiled, knotty-spined, long-headed, we recognize it as Alien. Or something akin.  Lone taps playfully on the glass of the monitor, reminding us of a father at the window or a nursery. Seemingly in response, the colorful life-thing twitches.

    Inside the Warden’s Office.  Lone moves behind the desk. It bugs the warden.

    MR. LONE:  Desk, departure time for next deep-space transport out of Gateway.
    DESK VOICE:  22:50 tonight.
    MR. LONE:  Desk, reserve passage for one.
    WARDEN (thinly veiled):  You're not staying? I was hoping that you could.
    MR. LONE:  I can and am. The reservation is yours.
    WARDEN (realizing):  You can't fire me. I'm on a perpetual contract.
    MR. LONE:  True. But you can be reassigned in cases of gross incompetence. And I think you've qualified splendidly.
    WARDEN:  Because some lab worker flushed something down a drain? Let something slip out under the door?  For that I'm responsible?
    MR. LONE:  No. For trying to keep it from me.  (scanning terminal) I see here there's a position on New Arcticus that requires an employee of your standing...
    WARDEN:  Arcticus? That's twenty months in hypersleep.

    He fixes her with those shark-black eyes.

    MR. LONE:  But only ten one way.

    The PCs see the tarps are gone in Hiker’s cell. The cell has been patched, painted, repaired. The only sign of its former occupant is the metal backpack rod that Crowe finds in a corner.  The sink faucet drips.   Hmmm…Water…If anyone gets any ideas to track where the water goes, the pipes are visible under the grated walkway. They merge with a larger duct that bores through the heart of machinery level.  Some of the joints look rusted. Vulnerable.
 
    Crowe find once of the broken peices of Hiker backpack.  The PCs should plan their escape since to rescue is enroute… The water is the key.  Wait until the water tanker arrives and hitch a lift… Ideas for PREPARATIONS:

        They can use shower caps from black inmates and pick glow-worms off the ceiling, collecting them in the plastic caps for light.  Use the rods from Hiker’s backpack to make a brace that will kill the motor on the cell door.  OcDugal finds an aresol with an alchohol derivative that can he can subsitute for a torch.  Packard will sign it out for him if given a good excuse… The PCs still have to be able to get rid of their Dog.

    Straining to close, the cell door GROWLS. Shudders. WHINES. And then, with a SHATTERING CRACK, it surrenders. The cell door can open as easily as if he were stepping onto a patio.  The solution is wait until the water goes out, the supply vehicle comes in, since there is no water, there is open air in the pipes, which are more than large enough to fit a person.  In fact there are maintenance ladders in the pipes themselves.  Grimes is less than enthused.  Water tanker comes in at the docking port, Level Ten.

    Elsehwere, we see an section of  corridor on an outside wall.  A sign…"HULL-REPAIR PACK -- EMERGENCY USE ONLY"  Beneath the warning, a blast-pack hangs in a wall recess. Hands jerk the pack away.  S.S. guards move down the corridor with a hand-cart.  The cart is stacked high with blast-packs.  Inside the SPECIAL SERVICES ARMORY Boss finishes positioning nozzles of two blast-packs. They've ben integrated into a doorway trap made of welded pipe. Lasers serve as trip-wires.   S.S. guards back off. Boss unpins a sonic grenade and pitches it through the doorway. Lightning-fast.  The grenade trips the beams.  Blast-packs spray from both sides, shooting out a thick hull-patching resin.  The sonic GRENADE DETONATES.  The resin catches the explosion, coating and drying it instantly.  A plate of resin clatters to the floor. A starburst pattern bulges from its center.
   
    BOSS:  There's the concept. Figure we got the makin's for a good ten traps.  Now let's wipe ass and make it work.
   
    Guards begin hauling away blast-packs, pipe, welders. Boss steps to his Right and Left Nut.

    BOSS:  Whaddya think?
    RIGHT NUT:  Think a grenade's a grenade -- and a “decontained biohazard" ain't.
    BOSS:  Yead, I know. That's why I had the foundry make these up.

    He opens a munitions box. Inside are needle-rounds for a stitch rifle big nasty ones.

    LEFT NUT:  Oh, fuck me hard, I love it.
    BOSS:  Four times the normal bore with phophorus-magnesium tips. They'll burn hard and fast, so inboard passages only. Got it?
    RIGHT NUT: (digging in) Party favors...

    Inside the Control room of the LAB.  After hours. The control room is shadowy and quiet.
   
    MR. LONE (O.S.):  I wonder if it knows we're here.  Sometimes it moves in a certain way, turning its head as if to look out.

    Lone sits at the window of the cradle chamber, entranced by the artificial womb that rolls around gently inside.

    MR. LONE (CONT'D):  It makes me wonder. What it must think. If it does see us.

    Finally he looks to Mohl, seated at a console, working with the video replays.

    MR. LONE:  Let me know when you have something for me.

    Mohl nods. Lone turns for the door.  On the PCs, a faucet sputters out the last of its water.   This is it…
   
    After lockdown. A WHISTLE sounds. Entry doors open. Guard dogs run free.  The tier dog appears. Nose low, it circles the walkway and attacks Maller waiting outside to kill it.  The group kill the dog…

    UNDER TIER WALKWAY - MACHINERY LEVEL,  the new inmates drop through the cut-out panel.  Inside the MACHINERY LEVEL.  Blackness. Then an orb of soft light appears, followed by others: The inmates are taking out shower caps filled with glow-worms.  They find a hatch atop the main water line. Its Dry…They can enter here.  They crawl, glow-worm bags strung around their necks like brandy kegs. It's tight in here, no room to turn around, and they hate it. Especially Grimes.  There is a Juncttion.  Each choice is correct.  Grimes slows to a stop. Is the duct sloping? Or is it just his imagination?

    GRIMES:  Crowe. We're goin' down. Shoulda gone the other way, man, shoulda gone left back there at --

    Domingo kicks him in the face.

    DOMINGO:  Sorry.

    They crawl on, Grimes nursing a bloody lip. But trailing, Maller stops to cock an ear. What was that SOUND? He looks back through his legs to see...  A long empty tunnel.  HOLD on the emptiness. And now we hear it: It's that SLIDING-CLAWING sound -- the noise that makes our balls want to crawl up in our stomachs and hide there.  In space, The massive water tanker pilots to a stop just beyond the blockade of red buoys.  The tanker docks.

    Back inside the WATER DUCT.  Running water, coursing several inches deep along the floor of the duct. The PCs take note of the deepening water before crawling on.  The first PC reaches an oversized butterfly valve. Water gushes out around the edges. He tries to rotate it open but can't.  Well…Maller can.  OcDugals can torch hinge of the valve.  From the other side, we see the valve being bent away.  The first PC wriggles through first, then sloshes to his feet. He looks around in dreadful wonder.  A sky of glow-worms illuminates the cavernous grotto. Waterfalls.  Tortured outcroppings of secreted resin. Everything wreaks of decay.  One by one, the inmates enter. All look around with the same thought.  "Let's get through here fast."  Maller eyes the largest waterfall, fed by an conduit near the ceiling.  The adjacent wall looks climbable. He can start for it, pushing through hip-deep water.  Silent, anxious, the other follow. A PC touches an outcropping.  Bones interlace the black resin. Human bones.  Trailing, Crowe hears a SPLASH. He whirls to see...A footprint spreading on the water. Did something fall in? Or did something dive i?  Skirting the waterfall, the inmates climb.   Grimes keeps an eye on the water below. Nothing surfaces to give chase. Breathing a little easier, he climbs out of FRAME -- but we HOLD on the waterfall. Beneath its veil of water, a black shadow climbs.
   
    The first PC to the top will look back and notice Grimes is gone.  They look back down just as... Grimes bursts through the waterfall, skewered on the tail of the Rogue Alien. He tries to scream but can only vomit blooded water. As quickly as he appeared, Grimes vanishes.  Inside the OVERSIZED CONDUIT are ceiling hand-grips.  The group can enter.  Hand over hand, they sling over the quick-moving water, heading upstream.  Whoever is in the back chances a look back to see...The Rogue Alien.  The first PC reaches a landing -- and the end of the line: A downpour of water falls from an overhead shaft. The conduit terminates here.  A good scan will find a ladder through the downpour.  The PCs plunge an arm into the water. Gropes upward. Feels the first rung. Gulps air and vanishes into the downpour. A PC looks back and sees The Rogue right behind the last in the group. In three seconds they'll be dead.   The group climbs the VERTICAL WATER SHAFT.  WATER THUNDERS down -- it's like showering under a thousand fire hoses.  In an UPPER-LEVEL CONDUIT ROOM.  An access hatch turns, opens. The first PC falls out of the HOWLING WATER. The hatch is part of a duct that runs from floor to ceiling.  Moments later, the next PC falls into the room.

    They lie on the floor like docked fish, gulping air. They don't know where they are. They only know they're alive.  Whowever moves to the hatch, pushes it closed -- but something blocks it open.  The Rogue's face rages at the crack.  
    Domingo tries to escape...CLOSE on the trip-beam he doesn't see. The beam of the doorway trap.  The beam he breaks in full stride.  Blast-packs shoot from all sides. Domingo is coated and dried in mid-air.  Trap ALARMS WAIL.  The Rogue's leg thrusts through the crack, groping for the floor. Am arm sweeps around the hatch, swiping blindly. The PC need to duck, dodges, holds their ground.  CLATTERING SOUND. Piece by piece, the Rogue begins extruding through the foot-wide crack, plates and ribs unhinged. The PCs are losing the battle -- and maybe the war.  The hatch explodes open. The group flies back.  The Rogue surges into the room and snaps together with a body-flex.  The group can run, and find a flame-thrower staring at them.

    They duck as the S.S. guard pulls the trigger. FLAME ROARS right over their heads engulfing the Rogue.  More S.S. guards appear, OPENING FIRE with chittering stitch rifles and concussion grenades. Blinding flashes. Streaming trails of phosphorous. Flaming acid.  Burning needles stitch across the Rogue's neck, severing the head from body. Impossibly, it stays on its feet.  Acid lands all around the PCs, opening gashes in the floor.  The captain enters. He steps over the Rogue's head to enter the fray but the head strikes with its jaws, still alive, hooking the captain's thigh and twisting him down. At close range, the captain empties his stitch gun into the head. Acid brains splash back, covering him.   Finally the headless Rogue falls.  The guns go quiet. A long smoky beat. This was, very simply, one of the most hellacious firefights we've ever seen. The room has been blasted into another time zone.  The captain lies dead. But dead, too, is the Rogue Alien. It's over. The nightmare is over.  Suddenly the floor caves in...

    Inside the MORGUE of the P-4 LAB...crash-landing the PCs into the room below. Shaking off unconsciousness, they see...Prisoners. All dead. All inside  shrink-wrap membrane. All torn apart in the most hideous fashion imaginable. One face is recognizable as Ivory's.  The PCs are taken prisoner.  They are sent back down in chains into Solitary.  Night…As the sun is extinguished by Earth, throwing the station into night.  OcDugal looks up in his cell, hours later.  FOOTSTEPS approach, at least two sets. Are they coming for him? He rises in his chains. Sounds of an UNLOCK MECHANISM.  The door opens, pummeling OcDugal with light. But there, amid all that  incandescence, stands an archangel.

    PACKARD:  That's the one.
    SOLITARY GUARD:  He looks all right to me.
    PACKARD:  Hey. If I didn't have to do surgery at this time of night, you think I'd really be here?

    Packard demands answers and now.  They talk in the empty infirmary.  She says she is due for a meeting with Lone in an hour in Warden’s office.  That means the P-4 lab should be empty.  She doesn’t have the code…but the SS Boss did.  She gives OcDugal a scalpal and points him to the Station Cargo Hold.  He finds the Boss vacuum body bag.  Beneath is the shrink-wrapped corpse of the captain.  He  goes about removing his hand.  Luckily, the sensors here don’t require biofeedback. 

    The vault-like door opens. OcDugal can step inside, quickly wrapping up the amputated hand. He ventures deeper into the rambling containment facility, seeing...  Lab animals behind glass... Terminal screens with shifting gene maps...  Automated biochemistry machines -- sequencers, purifiers, synthesizers, fermentation tanks -- all filtering and HUMMING...  Active culture dishes marked "Viable Clone Material"...  Small stockpiles of pharmaceuticals being produced. Drugs are being made here, and that seems to placate OcDugal. Until he spies... Another door. At the far end of the lab.  Its to the  CRADLE CHAMBER - P-4 LAB.  He can peer through the chamber window at the amorphous thing inside.  He can move to a console and activate chamber lamps to see...The womb. Floating. Spasming.  There are computers here.  He can work the terminal, raiding classified files.  Many have the division heading..."Bio-Weapons." Everywhere.  He finda a "PROGRAM DIRECTIVE" file:  "Program Director is charged with determining the feasibility of chemically and/or genetically altering existing xenomorphic species in order to produce a more adaptive, manageable, transportable strain. To this end, Director will avail...(backtracking) “Xenomorphic species..."  OcDgual can now plunder the "PROGRAM HISTORY" directory. Videographs flit across the screen. One makes him backtrack.  CLOSER on the screen. "DECEASED" beneath the face of a woman. She seems about Packard's age. But with the too-old eyes of someone who has seen Hell twice -- and returned to talk about it. The woman is Ripley.

    Now OcDugal notices an open file-box. Videocards. He can pick one at random and feed it into a terminal slot.  "BREACH TEST #4/B." Fast-forwarding images. Stopping to reveal SCREAMING. A man's face in chaos. He's inside the bunker. Being shredded by an Alien.  A second videocard.  CLOSER. Another annotated tape of another prisoner's death.  Before OcDugal tries a third, a NOISE interrupts. He spins to see...Mohl, Reed's assistant. He's climbing a sub-floor staircase – a staircase that wasn't there a minute ago.  OcDugal can slip behind a bulkhead.  Mohl throws a switch. A plate in the floor closes, hiding the stairs.  He moves to the terminal console.  OcDugal spots the The videocard he didn't put away.  Checking equipment, Mohl turns his back.  In one thin second, OcDugal steps out, slip the card off the counter, and retreat to shadow.  Mohl turns. Did he hear something? He scans the control room – and notices the exposed file-box. With the press of a button, the file-box withdraws into the console. Mohl keys it shut and leaves.  OcDgual now has access to the HIDDEN STAIRS
   
    The VIEW LOOKS UP the stairs as the overhead plate opens.  OcDugal descends cautiously. At the bottom of the stairs is a door.   He can lift the unlock-lever to enter...A COLD-CORE AIRLOCK  An airlock. OcDugal reaches the other end.  Peers through a window there but can't see anything. Reconsiders, he notices...Thermal suits hanging on the wall.  Just to be safe, drag one on. OXYGEN BREATHES into the helmet.  Now OcDugal opens the next door. Instantly his legs are gone, lost amid clouds of super-chilled air that billow into the airlock.  The suit's thermo-gauge. seconds ago normal, now the readout hits minus-175 -- and still plunmets.  There are no lights.  Where are the lights? He can move inside to look for controls -- and the door behind him seals, thrusting us into an even deeper dark.  He can wait for his eyes to adjust. Only RESPIRATOR SOUNDS. Finally OcDugal can read his thermo-gauge. Minus-400.  Small blinks of machinery become visible. OcDugal can edge to the lights and can lean his helmet closer. Some kind of bio-readouts? He touches the panel. A light springs on to illuminate...

    The Alien.  OcDugal recoils the width of the room, smashing into more controls. A second light flares on to reveal...Another Alien.  After a momment of waiting for an attack, OcDugal will notice the Aliens haven't moved. Both are encased in glass. Dormant.   The room is a gallery of Aliens. An army of Aliens. All behind glass.  OcDugal can activate more case lights. Each Alien is slightly different: One is silvery instead of black, a chameleon that blends with its background. Another, the Brute Alien, shows a stockier strain, its exoskeleton toughened with thorns. Another is a Siamese, fused to a partner. Another is a complete abomination, as if mutated with thalidomide.  There are more.   Time us up…Packard’s meeting is almost done.  He should go and meet her back in the infirmary…

    PACKARD:  Human experimentation has been outlawed for the last 200 years.  Longer.
    MR. LONE:  Clearly. Yet it's arguable as to whether any prisoner died illegally. 

    Lone, Reed, the new S.S. Boss. All seated, all watching Packard prowl the room, struggling with her temper.

    MR. LONE:  Prisoners who had been sentenced to death. Prisoners this colony was contractually charged with executing.
    PACKARD:  They didn't die in the gas chamber.
    MR. LONE:  Yet they died only after their appeals were exhausted, and only on the scheduled day of their execution. Does a few hours delay make such a difference?
    PACKARD:  It's not the time, it's the way. The way you're killing them twice.
    MR. LONE:  Now you're speaking psychologically.
    PACKARD:  I'm talking morally. Or is that beyond everybody's frame of reference here?
    MR. LONE:  I prefer to speak legally. While gassing is one method, no single mode of execution is mandated by ICC law. Though we're not eager to publicize any of these goings-on, Ms. Packard, they are probably lawful nonetheless.
    PACKARD:  Are they really? You've brought a lethal alien strain to within 30,000 kilometers of a major population. How many ICC quarantine laws does that violate?
    MR. LONE:  Oh, probably a dozen. And on those counts, the Company would be willing to pay all fines levied against it, should --
    PACKARD:  How 'bout this "rabid dog"? How many inmates did it kill? And who's idea was that?
    MR. LONE:  An industrial accident stemming from the incompetence of an administrator who has already been reassigned.  Nothing more to it than that.
    PACKARD (topping out) What the hell are you doing with these things? Why are they even here?
    REED:  Just feasibility studies, Packard.  No big deal.
    PACKARD:  To study what? How good they kill?
    MR. LONE:  Company assets are, as you know, many and far-reaching. There will always be a need for defensive weapons.
    PACKARD: Excuse me. But what this company really needs is a damn good plague.

    Moving on, Lone scans a personnel file.

    MR. LONE:  I see you've applied for early retirement, stress pension. I think you've earned it.
    PACKARD:  No fucking kidding.
    MR. LONE:  700 surveyed worlds, Ms. Packard, more than 300 owned and operated by Weylan-Yutani. Some of them quite desirable. Just pick your world.  I'll make it happen.
    PACKARD:  And if I don't want to sell out? What then? Do I wind up in one of your experiments?
    MR. LONE: You seem to be casting about for a villain where there is none. I'm just a businessman, Ms. Packard. And what I'm offering is a business deal. If you stay, you join the team. If your personal value-structure is such that you can't abide the notion, retire.
    PACKARD:  What happens to Crowe, Maller, and OcDugal? The prisoners in solitary? What happens to them if I leave?
    MR. LONE:  Let's worry about your future.

    Packard leaves and meets back with OcDugal in the Infirmery.  OcDugal notices then he had a videocard, the one snatched from the P-4 lab. Imprinting reads..."E. S. LONE -- EYES ONLY"  Packard frowns.   They both can watch.  The screen:  "BREACH TEST 13/A."  More edited, annotated images of a prisoner under attack -- only now there's a striking difference:  It's happening in the...

    PACKARD:  Cellblock?

    The Alien is smashing at bars, trying to get at the man on the other side. The man is X-Ray, and the Alien is the Rogue. Somehow, someone has managed to record this unforeseen attack  -- from numerous angles.  Packard will now help OcDugal free the other two prisoners and escape.  They can easily disable the guard outside solitary. But now they need to leave soon…Packard offers a solution.

    PACKARD:  Docking port. There's an inbound transport. If I timed this right, we can be on it before they know you're gone.   Now how long can you guys hold your breath?

    Packard snaps open a roll of layered plastic, a small vacuum device  attached to one end. It's three body bags.

    PACKARD:  It's the only way I can get you inside the docking port.  One minute. That's all the time I need.  Sixty seconds.
    PACKARD:  Close your eyes. Take a breath. And then don't move.

    They can obey.  Packard hits the vacuum switch...And, the plastic implodes, shrink-wrapping them in an eyebllnk.  They are petrlfled alive.  Inside an UPPER-LEVEL CORRIDOR  They all start loosing stun and resistance…

    Doors open. Clock ticking in her head -- in our heads – Packard muscles the gurney out, the bodies in a bunk bed type gurney beneath a loose sheet.  She pushes down the corridor and passes foot-traffic.  Making good time, she turns a corner...And finds a roadblock of guards. Chatting.  Packard glances around for a corridor, an equavator, anything that will get her around. Nothing.  She looks down. The sheet has slipped from OcDugals face. He already looks dead. Fighting off panic, Packard jerks the sheet back up and pushes straight ahead.  She passes the guards eventlessly -- though one guard leans out to watch Packard hurrying down the corridor -- hurrying just a little too fast. The guard is Daggs.   Now the GUARD POST of the DOCKING PORT.  Packard reaches the docking gate. She rushes the gurney inside, but...

    VOICE:  Whoa, whoa, whoa...

    She looks back. A DOCKING GUARD is scowling.

    DOCKING GUARD:  Where you goin'?
    PACKARD:  Oh, just want to make sure we catch the transport.
    DOCKING GUARD:  Who's "we"?
    PACKARD:  "Me." Just me.
    DOCKING GUARD:  Well, it's runnin' few minutes late.  So let's get you checked in proper.

    He takes a last hit on his cigarette. Stubs it out. Finds his manifest. Saunters to the gurney. Pulls back the sheet. Are we imagining it? Or are their faces blue?

    DOCKING GUARD:  How'd it happen?
    PACKARD:  C'mon, does it matter? Their dead.
    DOCKING GUARD:  Just askin'. I mean, he looks in pretty good shape.
    PACKARD:  Asphyxia, awright? He suffocated.  You need the I.D.? Here, right on the arm.

    The docking guard starts to write. Packard steals a look at them.  If any any them fail health, she’ll notice one is moving inside the plastic, twitching involuntarily.

    DOCKING GUARD:  Shit.
    PACKARD:  What?
    DOCKING GUARD (scribbling circles):  Company pens. Never work right. (turning away)  Gimme a second while I --
    PACKARD:  Here, here, here...

    She snatches the clipboard, scribbles the prisoner number with her own pen, heaves the gurney away.

    PACKARD:  I'll dump him with the others.
   
    Inside the CARGO ANNEX of DOCKING PORT  The gurney slams to a stop against a cargo container -- and Maller flops off, hitting the floor face-first. Packard falls on top and tears at the plastic with her fingers. She can't break through.  DYING SOUNDS from all of them.  Packard jams her pen into his mouth and tears. A GREAT GUZZLE OF AIR.  She rips more plastic. Birthing free, the first PC rolls to all fours.  After everyone was free…she drops a change of clothes for all…scrubs…Outisde the SPACE STATION as buoys rearrange to greet the incoming transport.

    Inside the WARDEN'S OFFICE.  The DESK CHIMES.  Lone clicks it…
    BOSS (V.O.):  Boss here. Got a transfer that says prisoner M23842 is supposed to be down in telesurgery, but I'm –
    OcDgual? He was moved? By whom?
    BOSS (VO) Packard, in-house D.P.  We're down in the infirmary now, and it looks dead. Now maybe this guy's just lost in transit, but maybe not.  Daggs just saw Packard up on Level Ten.
    MR. LONE (V.O.):  Docking port. Get some men there.  Now, please. I'll call ahead.

    In the DOCKING PORT, Packard and the PCs exit the cargo annex, the PCs wearing med-tech scrubs. They reach the mobile operations console just as...An INTERCOM BUZZES. The docking guard doesn't hear it yet, standing at the nearby view port. INTERCOM BUZZES again.  Packard reaches down and kills it.

    Inside the SPECIAL SERVICES ARMORY.  Scramble lights whirl. On the move, S.S. guards snatch arms from gunnery racks and storm into an elevator.  They squat and brace. Boss slaps open a panel marked "EXPRESS OVERRIDE" and flattens the button inside.  SCREAMING HELLACIOUSLY on its cables, the express car rockets upward, covering ten levels in two seconds.  The Doors fly open. Guards roll out like bowling balls and run to their feet.  Outside, the transport is easing down the landing corridor. But abruptly the buoys change, switching from blinking yellow to a strobing red. The light is so intense it nearly blinds the pilot.   Inside the DOCKING PORT, KLAXON HORNS kick in.
 
   DOCKING OFFICER:  (into headset)  Transport, be advised that --
   
    A sidearm can be pulled from the docking officer's holster. The officer turns to find the  PC with the gun. Packard covers the headset mike with a hand.  They can easily get him to give the right response…

    CROWE:  (into headset):  Be advised that everything is fine.  We've had a temporary malfunction of the shut-down system but repairs are already underway.  Bring it on in, transport.

    S.S. guards double-time for the docking port.  Packard and the PCs watch the transport nose closer.  CHARGING FEET. They spin to see...S.S. guards entering, spreading.  The FIREFIGHT ERUPTS. S.S. guards GANG BANG heavy.   The PCs can fight back but don’t have enough weapons to do so.  Needles stitch and chew circuitry in the console.  Concussion grenades flash and blind all around. One EXPLODES right between Packard and the PCs.   When the fight concludes.
    The Boss checks for a switch on the console -- and now notices some stitch-holes that still burn with phosphorous.  He wheels around. Snatches a rifle away from Left Nut. Ejects the clip to check...The ammo. They used the big-bore rounds.  Now the klaxons die out -- only to give life to a thin PRESSURE COOKER sound. Dreading what he's about to see, Boss turns.  There's a hole in the airlock door. Air is streaming through. Air is streaming out.  Like a vapor-trail, the air bores through the heart of the airlock and spews out the exterior airlock door.  Even the Pilot of the TRANSPORT SHIP sees it.  The pilot slaps overhead switches and throttles back.  Front-facing jets fire, reversing the ship's direction.  The Boss slaps hands over the breach in the door:

    BOSS:  The bulkhead! Get it closed! Someone grab a blast-pack! Move, move, move, move!

    Someone throws an emergency lever. A massive bulkhead begins RUMBLING across the width of the port, isolating it from inner station.  S.S. guards fall back, pulling Packard and the PCs with them.  Right Nut runs for a blast-pack. He finds a receptacle and finds it empty.

    RIGHT NUT:  We used it. We fuckin' used it for the...(whirling) We used it!

    Now Boss couldn't run even if he wanted to: The suction grips his hands, pulling them palm-first through the hole, hyperextending all ten fingers. The horror registers before the pain.  A pressure-crease appears in the door.  One by one, Boss's fingers snap as his hands disappear through the hole.  Guards retreat with the PCs and Packard. Other S.S. guards slash past like scalded cats.  Suddenly the PCs and Packard are alone.  The airlock door collapses...and tumbles through the airlock. It slams into the outer door.  Both doors tear free of the station...fly out the landing corridor...and cartwheel toward the canopy -- toward our faces. The pilot doesn't even have time to get his hands up.  Impact: The doors plow into the cockpit, crushing everything inside.  The emergency bulkhead is about to close. Suddenly a cargo container, sucked by ESCAPING AIR, slides through the opening and wedges, bracing the bulkhead open.  WIND rips at everything. Equipment and people skitter toward the docking port. The PCs and Packard are swept off their feet. They, too, will be carried away unless... Somone can grab a moving equavator car. Packard grabs them. Skidding on their stomachs, they're dragged away from the docking port.  Back-up jets still firing, the transport careens out of control. The ship picks up speed as it arcs out of VIEW, vanishing. Just when we think we've seen the last of it, the ship reappears, boomeranging back into FRAME, rolling wing over wing. It corkscrews down into the station.  Inside the Cell Block, the CONCUSSION rips open a wall.  In ONE ASTOUNDING SHOT, we see debris flying inward...then stopping in mid-air...then reversing direction as the incoming explosion meets the outgoing pressure.  As the wreckage of the transport ship is spit back outside amid a HURRICANE OF ESCAPING AIR.  Inside the Guard House, WINDOWS EXPLODE from their frames. Block guards fly through jagged openings.  A prisoner is pinned against cell bars. He screams but can't be heard over the RUSHING WIND.  LONG SHOT: In a vast cosmic abortion, we see a thousand bodies hurtling past VIEW and into space.

    Inside the Control Room of the P4 Lab.  Emergency lights. They strobe across walls, equipment, the cradle chamber, and...The womb. The Alien inside kicks like an animal with hornets in its brain, stretching the artificial membrane to the limits. Ominously, the first tear appears.  In a CORRIDOR CUL-DE-SAC.  Broken wall panels, equipment, a derailed equavator -- a mass of wreckage is being dumped here, in a cul-de-sac where the wind has no outlet. Soon the pile begins moving from within, wreckage flinging aside. Packard and the PCs are digging themselves out.  Packard can lead them out.  The best place to go first would be operations….to check on the condition of the base, and find others, a way out, call for help…   OUTSIDE OPERATIONS, Reed appears, ducking airborne debris as he makes his way to the Operations Room. A hand clamps his shoulder. It's Lone.

    REED:  They're gone. Everybody. Came through crew quarters, and they're just fucking gone, they're --

    MR. LONE:  Your data. You must --
    REED:  It's goin' down. Whole place. We gotta put out a call, see if there's a freighter or a tug or something close that can --
    MR. LONE:  Your data, Mr. Reed. You must secure your data.
    REED:  Fuck that. I wanna get outta here.
    MR. LONE:  I'll contact Keystone for help.
    REED:  You want ICC Marshalls crawlin' through this place? Down in the lab? You prepared for that?
    MR. LONE:  My main concern is that the data is retrieved and that everyone gets off safely. Now go, Mr. Reed. I'll contact Gateway.

    Still Reed hesitates.


    MR. LONE:  And I'll take responsibility.


    Reed ducks away. Lone pushes into Operations...and moves to the master communication console. He draws a stitch-gun from a dead officer's holster -- and FIRES it into the heart of
the radio equipment. There will be no calls for help.   Outside, small EXPLOSIONS rock the station.   Inside the CONTROL ROOM - P-4 LAB, Reed rushes in. Begins down-dumping data. Notices a flashing message:  CRADLE CHAMBER MICROGRAVITY 97%.  Not understanding, Reed stabs on the photo-acoustic monitor. The screen is empty. Equipment failure? He turns to the cradle chamber.  It's empty.  Reed edges to the window. The voided womb lies at the bottom of the     chamber. Beside it, a hole has appeared in the chamber wall -- a hole where something burned its way out.  Inside the P-4 LAB, Reed exits the control room.  He crosses the main lab as if it were a graveyard at midnight. Then ahead, a section of wall begins warping. Bubbling. Melting.  An arm appears first, pushing through the wall, pores secreting acid.  Bolting, Reed makes it to the door and slaps the unlock mechanism.  And now its legs appear, stepping into the lab.  As the vault-like door opens slowly -- too slowly -- the shadow of the Newbreed Alien falls on him from behind.  

    The PCs enter OPERATIONS.  Empty.  Monitors still work.  They show vacant corridors, twisted conduit, wind-whipped debris.   Nothing.  Nothing at all…
  A Door opens. Daggs and an S.S. guard enter with guns. A tense beat as the two sides glare at each other: Are they still enemies? Even now?
    DAGGS:  (pushing down other guard's gun)  They ain't the problem no more.
    PACKARD:  How many others have you seen?
    DAGGS:  Just the little bridge party we got goin' here.
    S.S. GUARD:  Well, Keystone’s gotta see us. They gotta see the wreckage.
    DAGGS:  Might pick it up on their docking radar. But even it they're launching right now...
    PACKARD:  How long?
    DAGGS:  30 minutes if they bust their dicks.  If they don't...

    Packard hits switches on the master terminal.


    PACKARD OR P.C.:  Calculate available air.

    STATION VOICE:  At present rate of depletion, station atmosphere will be unsuitable for human habitation in 17 minutes. Repeat. 17 minutes.
    S.S. GUARD:  Bonemeal. We're fucking bonemeal.
    PACKARD OR P.C.:  What about the Warden? There's gotta be an --
    DAGGS:  Shit-canned three days ago.
    PACKARD :  Then Lone. Can't believe he wouldn't have some way to bail. There's gotta be something, a lifeboat, escape pod, something in case --
    DAGGS:  It's a fucking prison, huh? You ain't supposed to get off.

    Ideas would be good about now…OcDugal remebers there is an Environmental Status Map (E.S.M.). Viable areas show in blue, unviable in red -- and there's a shitload of red.  One option are space suits.  Environmental suits were at the docking station, but on the wrong side of the bulkhead.  But Thermal suits.  Down in the P-4 lab.  They have air.  They can drop under on Level Six, then cut up a starboard elevator or go over the top, Level Eight.  The group goes for the suits in the lab.   
    Inside the SPECIMEN LIBRARY, a room that recalls a small bank vault.  Hands decode one of the lock-drawers. Unlocked, the drawer glides out from the wall. Inside is a specimen case, a foot square. Mohl lifts the case out. Clutching it as if it held Condor eggs, he turns to run.
The PCs speed over a grated walkway. Maller cocks an ear. FOOTFALLS under the WIND. They look down to spot...Someone running two floors below.

    T
he P-4 LAB….They enter -- and pulls up short, seeing... The lab. Pieces of Reed dangle from equipment like ornaments on a Christmas tree.   They force inside. Listens for danger but hears only the WIND.  They see the hole in the wall where the Newbreed Alien entered:  It offer a ghostly impression of what the beast may look like.   Inside the COLD-CORE AIRLOCK.  The other PC/s enters.  They can grabs the suits. Check air reserves. Grab helmets and tie them together with cord.  They slings helmets over one shoulder, suits over the other. Get the hell out of this place – The PC/S freezes.   A shadow crosses the stairs, the shadow of something prowling the lab above.  The only other door.  It leads to the cold-core chamber. It leads to the other Aliens.  Drawing nearer, the shadow ripples down the stairs. A firefight begins in a crossfire as the Marines atop the stares fire down while the ones below fire above.  Eventually the alien is killed but not before it falls upon the Cold core door, melting through it.  A huge gust of cold air escapes, dropping the temperature in the lab but raising it in the Cold-Core Room.   The temperature climbs sharply.  Heat. The Alien unfolds more, this time with a primal GROAN.   SHRIEKING like a derailing train, the Brute Alien -- stocky and thorned – falls from the broken case and dents the floor. It writhes awake.  The others follow suit....uh oh...

    The PC/s can escape.

   
    Inside the FOUNDRY, Ore bridges have fallen. A cracked furnace pours molten steel across the floor..  Panting hard, Mohl enters. He looks around but can't find anybody. A moment of panic -- and then Lone appears, stepping from shadow. He's been waiting.


    MOHL:  Here. I've got it. Here.


    Lone accepts the case. Sets it down. Opens it.  CLOSER. Inside is the amberized face-hugger -- the original Alien    specimen. Except for small biopsy channels that crisscross the amber, the specimen is identical to when first found.


    MOHL:  We better hurry. You do have a way off, right? You said you did.


    Lone closes the case. Pulls out his stitch gun. Looks at Mohl with eyes dark as death.


    MOHL (stunned):  You said you'd take care of me. If I worked for you. You said --

    MR. LONE:   I know what I said.

    The group find an
equavator hallway but the vehicle is gone.  Behind him, the Brute alien approaches.   As the group runs they see something ahead.  A row of teeth floating in air...the chameleon alien.  
    T
he Brute Alien. Body-thorns rising like hackles, it GROWLS A CHALLENGE.   The Chameleon rears its head and SHRIEKS back.  The two beasts are about to fight and the PCs is in the goddamn middle.  The Brute Alien charges like a mad rhino.  The Aliens collide, shards of exoskeleton shattering away llke shrapnel.
   The fight is short but savage: The Brute brings its head down over smaller shoulder -- and rips out the Chameleon's spine.  

Inside the FOUNDRY.  Entering fast, the other PCs nearly falls over Mohl. He's on the floor dying, his face a pulpy pin-cushion.

    MOHL:  He said we'd be partners...

The close the door behind them as the Brute closes in.  The S.S. guard dives head-first..  
And slides to a stop just inside the closing door. He's safe...Until something grabs his foot and tears him back under.  The DOOR BOOMS closed. Only an arm and the flame-thrower made it.  Daggs grabs the weapon and pushes Packard toward the ladder.   Behind them, the door -- two inches of plate steel – begins blistering.  The PC peers at the docking port near the top of the foundry but sees no movement. He leaps a molten river to reach the elevator. Debris blocks access.  Look for another way up. And now he spots... Lone. Climbing a service ladder.  Lone reaches the docking platform. He sets down the specimen case and moves to the viewport. He unpockets a small box, a Remote Retrieval Unit (R.R.U.).  CLOSE on the R.R.U. opening. The inner lid lights up, becoming a ranging screen. A blip shows a target three clicks out.  Lone thumbs a servo-switch. At first only dark Keystone is visible out the viewport. Then something moves, something highlighted by flaring thruster-jets.   As Lone's drone ship maneuvers toward the station.   The ship looms larger and larger until finally it fills the viewport.  CLANGING SOUNDS of docking. Lone abandons the R.R.U. and turns for...the specimen case, which that OcDugal has already grabbed…

    MR. LONE:  Tell me what you want.  I can give you air. Enough for you to survive until the Keystone ships arrive.  
If you want to negotiate, let's get down to business.   

    A fight ensues between the group and remarkable strong Lone.  Finally OcDugal and he fight over the edge of the catwalk.  OcDugal gives him the alien and lets go.  Lone falls.  The face-hugger hits the main floor and shatters like an exploding star. HOLD on point of impact. Presently white fluid rains down from above. VIEW CRANES UP through the supports of the foundry until we find Lone impaled on a girder. He bleeds the blood of androids.  The group makes for the shuttle.   
    Crowe chances another look over the side.  Where'd it go? Suddenly jaws rush upward and snap shut in his face.  
Daggs recoils all the way to the viewport, colliding with other PCs and Packard. He screams something they can't hear. He slams his helmet against Crowes.  They escape in the ship.  The Brute alien tries to run after them but floats into space, and eventually  into the atmosphere of Keystone.

    The drone ship drifts. FOREGROUND, the bow of a huge cutter appears.
    RESCUE VOICE:  Drone ship, this is ICC Cutter 27, Marshalls' Division. Do you read? Over.

    DAGGS (V.O.):  Uh, yeah. Block Officer Daggs here.  Over.
    RESCUE VOICE:  Pulling alongside momentarily, Officer Daggs. How many survivors aboard?
    DAGGS (V.O.):  Three. Just three of us.
    RESCUE VOICE:  Identify others, please.
    DAGGS (V.O.):  Well, there's Christine Packard, the station D.P. And then there's Crowe, Maller and OcDugal…They’re…
    RESCUE VOICE:  Sorry, didn't copy that.
    DAGGS (V.O.):  I guess they’re just one of the med-techs.
    RESCUE VOICE:  Good enough, Officer Daggs. Prepare for docking.

10.  “A LINE IN THE SAND…”    
    The PCs have not been interrogated yet.  They are being kept in protective custody on board the Keystone Traffic Control Station at L5 until the investigation begins.  Three representatives are arriving.  The first to arrive is a CMC Colonel.  CMC insists on conducting their own investigation since Moloch Island employed non-corporate retainers.  Packard is worried but Daggs isn’t…He innocent no matter what happens.  The Marines are even more alarmed when they are told the marine coming to Keystone is Colonel Montgomery Spears…and old adversary of Maller…someone Maller knows, will not cooperate.
   
    Suffice to say, the moment Spears sees Maller, nothing else matters.  Spears orders the marines taken into custody for return to Earth.  Specifically, they are going the CMC Garrison System at Proxima Centauri where they will stand trial before the Judge Advocate General on charges of desertion.  However, things change.  The PCs are thrown into a cell but soon another marine arrives, Colonel Emerald Elias, head of Force Recon.  He immediately crosses swords with Spears who wants the prisoners to see trial.  Elias cares not for the grunts but Crowe is Force Recon and they take care of their own.  The situation is that no Force Recon soldier, let alone an officer a full line squad have ever been arrested for a crime…ever.  Elias is hard pressed to believe that Crowe would be the exception.

    Crowe is removed from the rest of the group.  Elias orders his restraints removed.  Crowe is lead into a bathroom, where Elias orders Private tinkling to zip up and stand guard outside.  Once alone, Elias kicks a stall door clean off the hinges, propelling to the back of the stall.  He gives Crowe ninety seconds to explain all or he is handing him over Spears.  Crowe explains EVERYTHING.  When mentioning about Colonel Merchant, Elias grows suspicious.  He was never told of the Vendetta’s fate. 

    Elias orders the Private outside to send a transmission to the Vendetta’s supposed coordinates.  The transmission is "Lips".  Later, the response is “Jagger”…evidence in Elias’ eyes that Crowe is telling the truth.  Perhaps his story is true and that Edgington is really a traitor.  It may not be enough evidence to arrest him but the Vendetta has that evidence. 

    Elias later orders all the PCs free citing improper handling and lack of evidence.  In his eyes, corporate knowledge does not equal evidence.  Spears is pissed but realizes his back may be to a wall.  Elias is also much more confident and refuses to stand down.  Spears eventually lets them go.  Elias sends another transmission to the Vendetta.  They organize a rendezvous outside of the Terran Solar System.  There, the Vendetta greets Elias’s personal Snakefighter.  There, evidence is exchanged and personnel are shifted.  Elias and the PCs go on board the Vendetta and meet up with Crowe’s Force Recon personnel and Colonel Merchant.  They plot towards Gateway station.
   
    They arrive and immediately force a lockdown on the station.  With Elias’s influence, the PCs are not arrested upon entry.  Armed, the PCs with Crow’s Force Recon and Elias storm the CMC division of Gateway.  They make it to Edgington’s office, but find it empty.  His computer is still intact.  Lynn Walker goes about trying to break into the system.
   
    The rest go to Edgington’s office.  It is also empty.  He has packed and left.  There is a note left for Crowe…addressed for him alone.  It contains a single blank piece of paper…blank.  Interpretation:  “You have nothing”
   
    Before they leave, the PCs notice a light outside the shutters…odd since it is currently the night shift.  Opening reveals a Conestoga…unmarked.  Edgington.  Before anything can happen, the Conestoga fires both Ion cannon’s point blank at Gateway.  The entire CMC division and most of the Station itself shuts down.  Doors lock, lights go out.  The docking clamps on other ships prevent escape.  The PCs watch helplessly as the Conestoga leaves.  Luckily, the Vendetta took only moderate damage from the blast but their engines are not responding.  Before the blast, Lynn was able to extract the last few files from Edgington’s computer.  Apparently, he received a transmission indicating the location of the TTA signing…a location currently encrypted on a disk in Lynn’s hand. 

    Obviously this Alliance is going ahead and Edgington means to stop it no matter what.  But he has to first decrypt the files, the same as the PCs.  They enlist the help of the Bishop synth from “Aliens” and successfully decode the transmission.  The TTA conference will be held at the capitol building in Arcturus, a huge metropolitan colony.  However, the Vendetta is still in now shape to leave.  Its engines are still offline.  A miracle arrives in the form of the Deterrent.  Sommerville, incapable of simply letting the Vendetta return alone, followed it back into ICC space, only a few days behind.  Crowe pilots one of the Vendetta’s dropships over with Elias and Crowe’s Force Recon personnel back to the Deterrent.

    The Deterrent leaves Earth orbit and speeds away to Arcturus…
   
    At Arcturus, a massive Alexandrian cruiser enters orbit…the conference is beginning.
   
    Two weeks later, the Deterrent enters orbit.  There are no other ships in orbit.  The arriving ships have gone away, leaving the conference below.  Obviously Edgington means to take out the conference with CMC weaponry…killing the treaty before it begins and making the Alexandrian situation even worse.  The Deterrent enters orbit.  The dropships exit.  Crowe pilots one.
   
    Edgington’s ship appear.  A dogfight begins.  One dropship is severely damaged and the Deterrent also takes damage but the other Conestoga breaks in town and burns up in orbit.  The other dropship suits up with a full compliment of Marines.  However, just after the Marines offload on the top floor of the building, Edgington’s dropship opens fire and takes out the dropship pilot.  Now Crowe has to take over.  Meanwhile, the marines led my Maller and OcDugal go to save Admiral Frost.
   
    Edgington and Crowe fight throughout the city.  Edgington is finally defeated when he is pushed into a nearby building.  He is killed instantly.
   
    The marines break into the conference.  OcDgual takes out the sniper aimed for Admiral Frost but not before a shot rings out.  Maller intercepts the bullet, injuring himself but saving the Admiral.  The crippled Dropship returns. The group reunites.  The Admiral thanks them…then insists they all take a long vacation…