This is my RAW (mostly) un-edited chapter samples from an Alien fan fiction story i have been working on. Set after the events of Alien 3, the story follows a series of unfolding events in the remote and unexplored Omega Terminus system...
Cargo - Outer Rims (Gamma Pandion System)
Bridgetown Colony Settlement
Seated uncomfortably in the oversized, hard-shelled combat chair of the UD-4L Cheyenne dropship, Operative Emilie Que maintained a fierce poker face as the military ship landed with a shudder. The vessel settled on its four paddle-like landing struts with an irritating mechanical hiss, as thunderous vibrations rumbled deep through the dimly-lit fuselage. Inside the modified cargo hold Emilie was flanked on either side by two hulking Weyland-Yutani Commandos in their ridiculously inordinate white Apesuits and helmets. The enigmatic commando sect insisted on donning these suits at all times during a mission as a badge of pride and endurance. She silently scoffed at their pitiful notion. Typical male bravado and dick-swinging she thought. Stupid fools would be sorely tested where they were heading, not her problem though. Emilie was more appropriately dressed in a tailored white button-up blouse and black skirt. Her black hair was coiled tightly into a bun on the top of her head, dark almond eyes smouldering.
They were the sole occupants of the ship, except for the two pilots in the cockpit above. Weyland-Yutani had forked the bill to give her maximum privacy on this mission, even so far as having the entire contingent of Colonial Marines that served aboard USCSS Kokoda restricted to the enlisted crewmen decks. Officers and all. The Conestoga class troop-carrier ship currently sat in orbit above Cargo, awaiting their return.
As the ship creaked and groaned around her from thermal decompression Emilie distastefully pushed the drop-harness upwards and away from her, then unbuckled herself from the hard chair. God knows how many grunts had sweated and drooled in this thing before her.
She rose lithely in the gloomy hold and stretched battered muscles that had been pulverised entering Cargo’s stormy atmosphere. The ship’s interior was cool and had contracted her muscles, making the battering all worse.
“Ready to go Ma’am. We’ll keep the engine’s running for your return” crackled the voice of the co-pilot through the fuselage speakers.
Satisfied, she made her way to the front of the hold and slapped at the green button to open the cargo ramp.
The forward hatch cracked open spewing daylight inside as the ramp creaked downwards. Hot dry air blasted up into the cargo hold assailing her composure as eddying winds teased at the clothing and hair. She stubbornly refused to be moved, and when the hot winds had settled she made her way forward and down the ramp, shaded beneath the shadow of the gunmetal grey undercarriage.
Her first impression of the Cargo was about as low as she had expected from her briefing report. She had never been this deep into the Outer Rim systems before.
The industrial sprawl that made up the Capital city of Bridgetown hugged the sloping hills in all directions, descending downwards towards a wide fetid harbour filled with actual ocean bound cargo ships. Drab prefabricated buildings of corrugated steel, glass and rammed-earth mortar painted a mosaic of angles and harsh aesthetics, rising vertically in uneven patterns with no noticeable colour or design to please the eye. This was a city that had been cobbled together with no plan beside’s productivity, low-cost housing and brutal efficiency. An unpleasant ripe smell filled the shimmering hot air, the stench of decay and body-odour almost tangible. Emilie wrapped a scarf around her mouth and nose as she made her way forward again.
She slipped out from the shadow of the dropship and into the harsh yellow-white light of Cargo's large F-class star. The wiltering sun beat down on her with a brutality she had never felt from a sun before. It was truly a wonder there was actually open water on this godforsaken rock.
The landing zone was one of the only areas of open level ground surrounding Bridgetown. Everywhere else she looked was buildings, powerlines, flood lights, solar arrays, water towers and communication units. Not a tree, scrub, or shred of vegetation in sight. The surrounding land was barren, dessicated dirt with evidence of failed agriculture attempts. The sounds of struggling air-conditioning units filtered up from the sprawling city below.
Cargo was home to numerous industries, mostly known as a vital logistical link for deep space transit lines. Even from her distant and elevated position Emilie could spot numerous bulky yellow Powerloader units lugging heavy machine between warehouses and ships. The industry augmentation suits looked like mechanical cartitures of humans wielding large pincer-like hands.
Around her, the auxiliary landing zone was made up of several circular landing pads and a squat little comms towers. The entire area was encased by an oversized chain-link fence. The only way in or out was through a sliding barred gate with a single guard's station.
Emilie made her way briskly to the guardhouse and waved her papers at the man. The man eyed her curiously then lowered his rifle and punched the command for the gate. Emilie strolled through, not bothering to check if her hulking escorts were following. In their thick white Apesuits in the middle of this sweltering humidity they looked utterly foolish. They tried not to let it show but the way their M41a Pulse Rifles had drooped upon entering the angry glare of the sun showed they were likely not relishing wearing their suits.
Waiting on the other side of the gate was a sleek white shuttle car. Actual wheeled vehicles were still common on the Outer Rim planets so this didn't come as a surprise to her. The gull-wing doors were already open, the air-conditioned interior beckoning. She slipped into the front passenger seat, while her escorts settled in behind her.
The driver had already been briefed on their mission, and in silence directed the vehicle into the traffic, and followed the arterial road that led into the belly of Bridgetown. The outer edges of the city made up the suburban districts, home to the mostly colonists . The cluttered over-crowded jumble of apartment blocks reminded her of the Earth city of Brazil, a colourful place she had once had the pleasure of visiting. Bridgetown however, lacked the charm, colour and history of Brazil.
The shuttle eventually pulled up outside an old whiskey bar, a common watering hole for ship crew’s carrying goods offworld. Most crews spent their downtime here while their ships were being re-fueled and loaded for the next haul.
Emilie thanked the driver, slipped from the idling vehicle and into the bar with a purposefully gait. The freckled faced bar-girl jumped as Emilie and her conspicuous escorts burst into the quiet bar, and began wiping clean glasses nervously. The few hagged men and women that sat at the bar or in booths along the side wall glanced up passively, then dropped their eyes as they noticed the authoritative looking asian woman and her armed guards. Most of the workers were here to unwind after a long shift and were not looking for trouble, especially from a Systems Government Operative.
“I’m looking for a gentlemen by the name of Kolt” Emilie inquired to the bar girl. “It is my understanding that he frequents this bar.”
The girl nodded nervously and tipped her head in the direction of a table at the rear of the bar. Her large dark eyes begged her to move on quickly.
Emilie smiled at the girl and slapped a credit note down on the bar and ordered a shot that she quickly downed to the surprise of the bar girl. Most people saw an authoritative, uptight asian woman in formal business clothing and assumed her to be strictly imperious and frank. On the contrary she had grown up on a blue-collar planet not to dissimilar to this one, the daughter of a busy interplanetary shipping company director. Lacking a father-figure in her life she had been slipping into bars and nightclubs since she sixteen. It had just been dumb luck that Van Leuwen had noticed her when he did, saw potential and a set of skills worth developing. This in turn had led her down the path to her current employment.
She knew full well how disarming it was for someone like her to act in an unpredictable nature that defied peoples built-in prejudices and assumptions. Due to that she could get away with acting inappropriately, because most people were too polite and docile to react hostilely or outside politically correct boundaries. She did it just for the shock value, that and it made everyone in the room start second-guessing themselves.
She turned and eyed the table at the back of the room. A lone figure sat cradling a rocks glass half filled with red, sugar-cane champagne and ice, eyes downcast trying to look inconspicuous.
Emilie made a beeline for the man, her two guards stomping along in tow, weapons brandished menacingly.
“Mr Kolt I believe” she said climbing onto the barstool opposite him. Neon lights flickered across the table from a busted advertising sign above them “I am Miss Que, here on behalf of the Systems Government”.
The man was disheveled and unkempt with a mop of scraggly blonde hair and a thick untidy beard. Although only likely in his forties he looked much older, a result of poor lifestyle choices and too much sunlight exposure. His face was tanned, pitted and streaked with red capillaries. He looked up slyly, the hint of a smirk rising on one side of his chapped lips. “I’m flattered I have attracted the attention of an Operative” he said smoothly “but I assume you ma’am, I ain’t done shit worth chasing. Not anything that’ll stick anyway” he said taking a swig of his rum. He looked back down at the table trying to look dismissive.
Emilie snickered at him, drumming her fingers on the table between them “Don’t think too highly of yourself, I wouldn’t normally waste my time with a small-time parasite like yourself, but I have a proposition that might benefit us both greatly.”
He looked up, confusion marring his blue eyes “You clearly ain’t from around here. Yet, you came here for a business proposition? To me?” he asked.
“Believe it or not Mr. Kolt, you come very highly regarded” she replied with a smile.
He snorted and cocked an eyebrow at her “Who sent you, my parole officer?”
“No-one you care to know. I know you are involved in deep space salvage, way out past the Rim, far beyond even this unregulated space. I know your game, hack and steal Commercial ship access codes, CID codes, docking codes and the like. Sell them to smugglers, runaways and pirates. Quite the cyber-warfare suite your ship must have” she eyed him fiercely. “I have it on good authority you have made a small fortune recently. Business must be booming Mr. Kolt?”
“Yeah. so. What of it?” he replied defensively.
“Why do you think that is Mr. Kolt?” She cocked her head to one side “Why are there so many dead abandoned ships out this way?”
“Don’t know ma’am. Just trying to make a buck, support my family. You know how it is.” he smiled at her. Emilie noticed his flattened broad nose, clearly someone who had been on the receiving end of more than a few fists in his time.
She smiled back. “You don’t have a family.” she spread her arms wide. “and I am really not interested in what a scoundrel like you does to feed his booze addiction.”
"Then what it is you want from a scoundrel like myself? You said had a proposal, or are you just here to insult me?" he asked.
"I want to hire you and your ship" Emilie replied. Kolt's eyebrows raised at that.
“I don’t do business with you System Government types." he said, looking back down. “sorry”
"This is strictly under the table. You report to me, I report to my boss back on Gateway Station. You will be paid in cash at a dropspot of my choosing. No Questions."
“So what’s the job?”
“Your specialty Mr Kolt. Deep space cyber salvage”
“Already got plenty of work. Why would I want this? Seems I’d be putting my neck in noose dancing with an Operative and all.”
“There is an unlisted Black Op’s Conestoga class ship out beyond the Outer Rims, Gamma Terminus system. Ship is yours to salvage if you complete the job”. He looked up, a hard look in his eyes. It seemed she finally had his attention.
“Jesus. You must be desperate to offer that. The tech I could wrangle from a Conestoga would set me up for life. Make me a Warlord out in this neck of the woods. What’s the catch? Why me?”
Emilie’s mouth spread wide in a predatory grin “For one, you are the only pilot that has explored that deep past the Rim. You know the risks. You know there are things out there hunting and destroying ships, taking their crews. We know the Black Ops ship is dead in the water, likely a casualty of such a predator. The ship is on an unsanctioned, unlisted mission and we can’t go through the usual channels to investigate it. That is where you come. A discrete entity.”
He nodded thoughtfully, stroked his beard.
“We need to find out what happened to it. I need you to find out what happened to the crew, collect it’s Black Box recorder and recover as much information from its networks as possible.”
Kolt continued nodding slowly, weighing the risks. The cash boon was nothing to him, but access to a military vessel’s tech was irrefusable and worth any risk. Besides, this is what he did best she argued to herself. She knew she had him, she could see the greed in his eyes.
He whistled and stuck two fingers in the air, waving at the bar girl. She approached with a bottle of red rum, casting her glances anywhere but towards Emilie and her brutes.
“I believe a toast is in order” he grinned warmly. The girl poured off two shots of red OP rum into clean rocks glasses, no ice.
Emilie smiled “So, we have a deal?” He nodded deeply. Emilie grabbed the glass from the table and knocked back the strong alcohol in one mouthful, enjoyed the warmth as it slid down her throat. One side of Kolt’s lips curled upwards impressed. He did the same.
Emilie went to stand up, satisfied her business was concluded for now but suddenly found a firm hand pushing her back into her seat. Kolt’s grip was strong as he leered in towards her.
Her two guards raised their pulse rifles into a firing position but made no move to intervene. Kolt raised his free hand to them, signalling his peace.
“I hope you don’t go thinking of screwing me over now miss. I know you have a Colonial Marine’s ship in orbit right now, and my crew just stole your CID codes. Fuck us over and you might suddenly find your ship re-listed as an Arcturian Pleasureship. That’ll get some unwanted attention from scoundrels like myself”. He laughed heartily to himself.
Emilie slowly straightened to full height. Kolt released the tension on his arm as she rose letting it slide down her chest, brushing over a small breast. He grinned wickedly.
Emilie brushed down her blouse and skirt then turned and walked out of the bar, her two guards in falling in behind her.
“I promise you Mr. Kolt, you will get everything you deserve. We will be in touch”
IRaptus Nice. I can most definitely see your Firefly influences here :-) Are you planning to introduce some monsters soon? :-)
Thank you kindly joylitt! Haha nice to see those influences shine through :)
Oh you bet there will be monsters coming!! I was tossing up what excerpt to post first. And although I wanted to post something a little more exciting, this chapter is kind of important to set up the context of the story.
I have (hopefully) a very exciting twist to the Engineer mythos, tech and intergalactic purpose.......
I also promise this is not a Weyland-Yutani heavy story. They have little to do with the bulk of the story and are actually not that evil or nefarious....
Wow! Like things you have written before- very descriptive with details so the reader can use all senses and even smell the environment. I like how you gradually reveal Emile and give background to why she acts as she does. I was not expecting the twist near the end- that was frigging awesome!
As an aside, the whole encounter somehow reminded me of Luke meeting Han Solo in the bar in a twisted way!
just wondering, is there any special meaning to omega and terminus?
Teriminus was a world war that happened in the blade runner universe. is that at all related?
food ain't that bad! - Parker
Timmy the ultramorph no nothing special or profound. Basically latin for The Last Stop.
It is a fictional star-system in the Alienverse, out beyond the Outer Rim. The last named system that humanity has penned. Beyond it is just the void of unnamed systems.
Omega Terminus has not been settled because it is like the Bemuda Triangle of space. I will say no more, because I don't want to ruin the surprise :)
Thanks for reading!!!
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