Alien: Covenant

The prequel novel that could have been (My outline)

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OvomorphMember78 XPJun-07-2017 11:26 PM

Hi! First time poster, but a lifelong Alien fan. I have followed the last two movies with great interest simply because the questions and ideas appeal to my imagination and passion for storytelling. Covenant was a fantastic movie and the novelization was even better, so I was really disappointed when the plot for Alan Dean Foster's prequel novel surfaced. Everyone pretty much expected a David/Shaw story and in my disappointment, an entire plot synopsis based on that idea quickly unraveled from my mind's eye. It's the easiest time I've had committing an outline to paper from start-to-finish because it's a story I've wanted to see told since Prometheus ended and before Covenant began. Knowing how passionate you guys are about these movies and characters, I felt compelled to share. The detailed story would not only flesh out those glimpses of David and Shaw's journey from The Crossing, but also address a lot of loose ends from Prometheus and Alien while reinforcing some of the ideas from the novelization. There are a few ideas I would probably tweak since it's a first draft, but this is what I would have done for a Covenant prequel from David and Shaw's end:


Shortly after the events of Prometheus, Elizabeth Shaw and David are on their way to the Engineer home world. Shaw is very apprehensive about repairing David, using the opportunity to confront him about the death of her colleague and lover, Charlie Holloway. She knows his intentions are very shady, and so for the next couple months, he goes unrepaired while she explores the ship in more detail. She throws herself into figuring out where they’re at without the benefit of the star map, which only David can access, and through sheer ingenuity (and some input from David), she discovers that they haven’t even left the Zeta II Reticulii system yet. Mind you, this planet is supposed to be on the other side of the known galaxy. Cabin fever and the grim realization that she may not see her goal fulfilled begin to set in. For a while she prefers the company of memories (mostly of her father and Holloway) rather than David, and for a long stretch of time she doesn’t go anywhere near the pilot’s chamber.

After experiencing a particularly poignant dream involving her father, Shaw realizes she needs David more than her good judgement can allow. Using tools from David’s utility belt, Shaw finally reattaches David’s head back onto his body, an act for which David is particularly grateful. He redeems himself in a big way when Shaw is injured in a perilous part of the ship and he rescues and nurses her back to health. David confides that his actions during the Prometheus mission were at the behest of his creator, and admits to harboring a deep hatred of him, even after death. Shaw and David begin to bond and David’s ability to navigate the star map enables them to travel much faster to their destination (thanks to a recently discovered gravity drive and knowledge of more efficient course patterns). David admits that it’s impossible to determine how long it will take to reach the planet itself, and recommends cryo sleep. Shaw reluctantly agrees and is placed into one of the hibernation pods by David.

With David on his own, he’s able to explore the ship at his leisure, and knowing how to read and speak the Engineer’s language, he unearths something of an historical record depicting how the earliest Engineers (or rather, their species) existed millions of years ago. Essentially, the albinos (which is what I’ll call them since they’re not all Engineers per se) emerged from a very unique, immutable genetic material, which they later harnessed through their own scientific genius to create other beings in their own image, thus making them Gods. They created others to recognize their superiority and serve their increasingly ambitious needs to create and spread their influence across the cosmos. One such servant even sacrificed himself to seed the earth at the elders’ behest.

David eventually reaches an historical period of interest, in which the albinos first encountered one of their planet’s most alien and predatory species. A tribesman was facehugged by one of the dormant creatures and intensely studied by the Engineers (the albinos who do the elders’ dirty work creation-wise). More of these “xenomorphs” are born through one sacrifice after another, but they become increasingly harder to dispose of, even though their physiology yields great rewards.

It’s revealed that what we’ve come to recognize as the black goo was actually part of an attempt by a sect of Engineers to retain the genetic essence of the xenomorph, which they could use to weaponize the genetic fluid from which they were created. Their ability to harvest and manipulate this sacred fluid is hubris against their own creator, and they even come to worship the aliens as a gift from a superior power. A violent civil war breaks out once the Engineers’ operations are exposed on the homeworld, the Elders prevail with the help of their loyal followers, and they banish the surviving dissidents into the far depths of space. Ultimately, they also decide to flush the indigenous xenomorph eggs from their own planet because they’re way too dangerous and unpredictable. They gather as many eggs as they can find and carefully secure them in a vast cargo hold. One Juggernaut leaves to dispose of them. Of course, we will see that ship again.

Naturally, David is extremely interested in the implications of this and relates more deeply to the dissidents than his own human creators. His attitude toward the world they are about to visit completely shifts from curiosity to pure determination. He’s starting to develop ideas. This is his quest now.

As seen in the Covenant flashback, the ship arrives at the homeworld 2 years later and David bombs the **** out of them with the same weaponized liquid their descendants developed against them (and humanity) millions of years ago. Shaw is asleep during this, and is seemingly only awakened after David has crashed the ship in a heavily forested mountainside. David tells her that they experienced a malfunction in the ship and crashed, upon which he has awakened her after assessing the threat level. In reality, he has woken her up A YEAR after the crash. During that time, he explored the landscape, surveyed the city he massacred, and watched how the virus mutated and exterminated the remaining life forms, from aviary creatures and four-legged beasts to insects. He explored the citadel that would become his base of operations and sets up shop, all the while learning so much more about the struggle between the elders and engineers.

While David is out scavenging for edible plant life, Shaw becomes more and more suspicious of his claims that the engineers were exterminated before their arrival and learns that most of the urns in the cargo hold have been released. When she confronts David about this, he almost lies to her about the payload accidentally deploying but catches himself and admits that he dropped it on what he deemed a race of tyrants. Shaw says that she never really trusted him and tries to flee through the bowels of the crashed ship, realizing how deranged he really is. She desperately tries to re-activate the ship from the pilot chamber, an act which is recorded and inadvertently broadcast to the void of space. David bypasses his way into the pilot chamber. Despite putting up a valiant fight, Shaw is crippled by David and taken to the citadel. Before losing consciousness, she has a dream/memory of her and Charlie having an intimate heart-to-heart after their discovery in Scotland about how vast and full of possibilities the universe is.



So that's it. A lot of dot connecting, but the characterization would be very important since it's mostly just two characters. I was surprised by how tragic the end turned out to be as I was writing it, but it felt right. Thanks for letting me share!



1 Responses to The prequel novel that could have been (My outline)


OvomorphMember78 XPJun-08-2017 9:54 AM

Original post finally showed, so...yay!


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Alien: Covenant is a sequel to 2012's Prometheus as well as a prequel to 1979's ALIEN. Alien fans looking to know more about Alien: Covenant should check back often. is an information resource for film enthusiasts looking to learn more about the upcoming blockbuster Alien: Covenant. Providing the latest official and accurate information on Alien: Covenant, this website contains links to every set video, viral video, commercial, trailer, poster, movie still and screenshot available. This site is an extension of the Alien & Predator Fandom on Scified - a central hub for fans of Alien and Prometheus looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Images used are property of their respective owners. Alien: Covenant, Prometheus and its associated names, logos and images are property of 20th Century Fox and are in no way owned by Scified and its related entities. This is a fan-created website for the purpose of informing and exciting fans for Alien: Covenant's release. If you have any questions about this site, its content or the Scified Network in general, feel free to contact Scified directly.

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