In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream

chapter five. hadley's hope

"I admire its purity. A survivor...unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."
-Alien, 1979, Ash


On the landscape of LV-426, there was a storm-blasted vista of tortured rock and bleak twilight. Even though it used to be a desolate planet, there was a metal sign, which read, HADLEY'S HOPE -- POP. 159. Some local thought it would have hilarious to add 'have a nice day' with a spray can. Gale-force winds screeched around the corroded sign, and the colony appeared. In the background, in the complex was surrounded by an angled storm-barrier wall. A vehicle rolled up to the barriers main door and honked. The door slid back, which allowed the vehicle to continue on into the colony streets. As it moved forward, the eight wheels, and the medium-sized cab on top, grew more and more visible.

Inside the colony complex, the vehicle's two, large bright headlights shone through the blowing dust all around the vehicle and streets. As it drove down the street, it passed by an alley, with another vehicle in the back, covered in a plastic tarp that is blowing in the wind. The 'town' was a cluster of bunker-like buildings, huddling together in the wind, like a family of penguins. The eight-wheeled vehicle rolled by and down one of the main streets of the complex. It drove by and under two open windows in the top corner of a building. People could be seen as they moved around inside.
In the control block, inside of the operations room, it was a bustle of activity. It was the nerve-center of the colony, jammed with computer terminals, displays and technicians. Simpson, the harried operations manager walked through the room, as he was approached by his assistant, Lydecker.

"I'll be down in maintenance, okay?"
Simpson informed a technician.

"Al!"
Lydecker called, as he approached Simpson.

"What."
Simpson mumbled, as he continued walking.

"Hey, Al!"
Lydecker called, now getting Simpson's attention

"What?!"
Simpson asked, a bit irritated.

"You remember you sent some wildcatters out to the middle of nowhere last week? Out past the Ilium Range."
Lydecker asked, and Simpson paused for a moment.

"Yeah. What?"

As they walked, they left the operations room and moved into a connecting corridor. It was a wide hallway, which bustled with routine activity. They could see a cross-section of the hardy frontier stock who have come to live in this God-forsaken wilderness.

"One of them's on the horn, mom-and-pop survey team. Says he's onto something and wants to know will his claim be honored."
Lydecker said.

"Why wouldn't his claim be honoured?"
Simpson asked.

"Well, because you sent them to that particular middle of nowhere on company orders, maybe. I don't know."
Lydecker answered.

"Christ! Some honcho in a cushy office on Earth says go look at a grid reference, we look. They don't say why, and I don't ask. I don't ask because it takes two weeks to get an answer out here and the answer's always 'don't ask.' "
Both Lydecker and Simpson said, 'don't ask.' in almost perfect synchronization, since they both knew that would be the reply that they would have gotten if they had asked.

They paused at a junction in the corridor. Simpson turned to face Lydecker.

"So, what do I tell this guy?"
Lydecker asked.

"Tell him, as far as I'm concerned, he finds something, it is his."
Simpson answered, before he heard children's laughing voices, and Simpson looked in their direction.

"Lydecker?"
Simpson asked, a bit annoyed.

The children played, and raced down in the corridor on foot, and on wheeled plastic toys. Simpson gestured toward them, which was a sign to Lydecker to tell them to move out of the area.

"You kids know you’re not supposed to be on this level! Go on. Get out of here!"
Lydecker shouted, as he watched as a child, on a wheeled toy rolled down the corridor, away from him and Simpson.

Three other children chased each other around him,and beside him. He passed by a box to the right of the corridor that has a sign on it which read: WEYLAND-YUTANI CORP. BUILDING BETTER WORLDS.
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