Table of Contents / AVELLAN
Aliens: Brood War
By Jose Rodriguez Jr
Based on Alien by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett
Cover by Tatiana Villa
Copyright 2020 Jose Rodriguez Jr
This is a work of fiction. Characters, businesses, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Table of Contents
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LV-223 had seen better days, as far as any activity from some form of life. Storms came and went. It was mostly inhospitable to most complex life. In a large plain was the wreckage of a ship and a badly damaged lifeboat. On the side of the lifeboat, near the ground, the hull began to violently buckle as if something was ramming it repeatedly. After several clashes, the hull finally gave way to reveal it was a fully grown Deacon.
The creature immediately burst from the hole it created and ran off to the nearest opening to the Engineer’s installation. This was a highly evolved animal with very acute senses. It was at the facility it would find food of some form.
Lightyears away on a different planet, a military-owned DSRV or deep space rescue vessel, descended on a human colony, landing inside a large bay that slowly opened up to receive it. It was a smaller ship, capable of carrying one thousand tons of equipment and its crew of five plus an android.
In the control center of the colony were several people in suits. Many had fallen and lay slumped against the bulkhead. Those that were still standing, violently coughed and were breathing heavily.
One man sat at the communication terminal. “This is Dr. Carson of Aurora to Avellan,” he said. “Please, come in.”
“This is Mic of the Avellan,” came the response, “What’s your status?”
Mic was shorthand for Michelangelo. The name ‘Mic’ was preferable due to only having one syllable He was a new ‘combat’ droid, designed by Weyland-Yutani for the USMC to do whatever it took to protect humans. His mission, whatever it was, was secondary, only to be completed if at all possible. This was done to give him a more humane decision-making process instead of a cold-hearted one.
“Everyone’s alive,” Carson said. “But we’re not doing so well. We don’t have fresh air. Diagnostics indicate it’s the converter. Must be leaking or something.”
At the controls of the Avellan, Mic replied through his headset. “We’re here now, everything will be fine. Let me wake the crew and we’ll get right on it.”
Carson fell back in the chair, coughing. “Hurry.” He said weakly.
After forty-five minutes, a hatch on the Avellan opened. Five individuals in protective suits emerged. Two of them carried suitcases for their equipment. The bay would normally be filled with breathable air before stepping into the actual colony.
One of them, Lieutenant Toby Kai, an Asian-American male with brilliant green eyes. In charge of the group and a certified doctor, gave out instructions. “Shaw, take Layton and Eastman. Check out that converter. Zima, you’re carrying the case, you’re with me.”
Private Elena Zima had training as a combat medic and was a young Caucasian woman from Ukraine; blonde hair, blue eyes, with dreams of becoming a full-fledged doctor one day.
“Have you seen the latest tournament?” Zima asked as she and Kai headed for the control center.
“Not yet,” Kai answered. “My wife sent the video, but I haven’t had a chance to view it. According to the message, my son won first place. Whenever I get back I’ll have to have him teach me a few moves.”
“I messaged my mom,” Zima said. “Horse got sick. I told her not to worry as long as it gets to the vet on time.”
The other three members of the team entered another room. There was a lot of machinery around that gave it a daunting look.
“Ok guys,” Shaw began. “Converter should be about halfway across the room.”
Sargent Lisabeth Shaw, Elizabeth Shaw’s twin. She’s been hoping to find her sister ever since the Prometheus was reported missing. Unlike Elizabeth, she had decided to go down the engineering path with some training as a combat medic.
The two men with her were Kamaru Layton and Kenny Eastman.
Corporal Kamaru Layton, is an African-British man with a shaved head and bright blue eyes. He was another brilliant engineer, like Shaw.
Private Kenny Eastman was the final member of the team. An American male; buzzcut hair, and brown eyes, he was a young technician on the engineering path with some training as a combat medic.
“I think I see it,” Layton said.
Eastman was carrying the suitcase. “Readings indicate very little O2,” he said. “What are they doing here anyway? Doesn’t seem like a good place for a colony.”
“It’s a Weyland-Yutani testing site,” Shaw replied. “They want to get into terraforming planets.”
“All the more reason for this place to succeed,” Layton said.
“Yeah,” Eastman added. “But an entire planet? No wonder they’re having problems.”
“Aw, c’mon man,” Layton said. “It’s like when you’re trying to start a relationship. You start off small and work your way until you get in the bed, but you wouldn’t know anything about that yet.”
As Layton then laughed hysterically, Shaw chuckled and said. “Ok, man. Eastman, run a diagnostic on the converter.
The three stood around the equipment in question. Eastman opened the suitcase and pulled out a tablet to connect to the converter and begin running tests.
Kai and Zima entered the command center. There were a few unresponsive bodies scattered about. Several people, including Dr. Carson, immediately ran up crying and coughing. “Help,” ”I can’t breathe,” “Thank god you’re here.”
Zima held one out of empathy.
Kai maintained his composure. “Where’s Dr. Carson?” he asked.
“That’s me,” Carson said, stepping in front of Kai.
“Explain what happened,” Kai asked. What are your symptoms?”
As Carson began to explain, Zima grabbed a tablet device similar to Eastman’s and hooked it up to the life support terminal.
“First, it was a funny smell,” Carson said. “A few people got sick. We figured out it was the converter quickly but had no way to fix it. So we immediately called the company. We didn’t think it was a big problem until it got worse. Soon, we were all like this and everyone put a suit on just to breathe normally.”
“Looks like they were poisoned,” Zima said as she read from the tablet. “The air isn’t being filtered. They should be fine as long as they stay in the suits, or I should say they won’t get worse.”
Kai reached into the suitcase and pulled out two handheld devices. He gave one to Zima and said. “Take this blood oxygenator. Let’s get these people back to the Avellan and use it to filter out the toxins.”
Pressing a button on his suit, Kai then said. “Shaw, can you read me? ”
“Loud and clear,” Shaw answered.
“What’s the status of that converter?” Kai asked.
“Diagnostics still running,” Shaw said. “So far, it’s found several faulty capacitors but that’s all. It should be done soon.”
After a moment, Eastman disconnected the tablet. “Looks like it’s three capacitors,” he said. "Redundancy module looks fried.”
“Good,” Shaw said, rummaging through the suitcase. “I’ll take a small problem any day. Layton, fix those capacitors. Eastman, Go back to the Avellan and bring five extra capacitors. Mic should know where they are. I’m going to put together a new redundancy module.”
“Yes, Sargent.” Both men immediately said and did as instructed.
Eastman left and was approaching another exit to the Avellan when he met up with Kai and Zima escorting the first patients. “How are they?” he asked Zima.
“They’ll live,” Zima answered. “How about you? You find that leak?”
Eastman allowed Zima and her patient to enter the Avellan first. “Nah,” he said. “No leak. Just a few capacitors and redundancy module.”
“Looks like I win.” Zima laughed.
“Now hold on a minute,” Eastman cried out. “It was the converter, it just wasn’t leaking.”
Entering the Avellan, Zima giggled as she led her patients. “Sorry,” she said. “Not how it works.”
Eastman grunted as he entered. “Kai?” he called, searching for an opinion.
“Don’t ask me,” Kai said. “I didn’t make the rules or play, but as I understand it there was no leak, so I got to give it to Zima.”
Eastman grunted even harder as he walked down to storage and called. “Mic, where are the capacitors for a type three converter?”
Mic had stayed behind, taking care of the Avellan. “Box four ‘B’,” he said. “Second shelf on the right.” He usually monitored the situation from the ship. Deploying in extreme cases of emergencies.
Back by the converter, Shaw and Layton worked diligently.
“Got any plans when we get back?” Layton asked.
“Nope,” Shaw answered. “Well, maybe visit family and friends, but mostly stay home.”
“I’m going straight on vacation,” Layton said. “Paris, City of Love, here I come.”
“That’s nice,” Shaw replied. “I’m sure your girlfriend will appreciate it.”
“Destinee,” Layton said. “Nah, we broke up.”
Shaw lightly laughed. “Here you are giving Eastman a hard time, at least he has a girlfriend. A nice one too, Macy.”
“I was just joking around,” Layton said. “Gotta have fun in this line of work. Aren't you lonely?”
“Nah,” Shaw said. “I got the USMC. Keeps me plenty busy.”
“USMC, really,” Layton asked. “Even you must crave a man’s attention.”
“I get it when I want it,” Shaw replied. “No problems here.”
Just then, Eastman walked in.”Gottem.” He said, joining the duo and handing Shaw the extras.
“Almost done,” Layton said.
Shaw put the extra capacitors away on a nearby shelf and then made a few more welds to a small circuit board box-like device in her hand. She gave it o Layton who took a few moments to install it.
“Got it,” Layton said, “Everything’s in place.”
“Ok, let’s go,” Shaw said, then called. “Shaw to Kai.”
“Kai here, go ahead,” he answered.
“All done here,” Shaw replied. “Give it twenty-four hours before the air in this facility returns to normal.”
“Roger,” Kai said. “Come back for now. We’ll check up on things later.”
It would take the entire twenty-four hours for the facility to filter out all of the toxins and start pumping out breathable air. Everyone gathered in the dining hall and sat in front of a hot plate of food.
Carson raised his glass and said. “To the crew of the Avellan, this meal we are about to eat wouldn’t be possible without you. We owe our lives to your timely intervention.”
The rest of the facility members raised their glasses and said. “To the Avellan!”
Kai was sitting in front of Carson. He took a drink and said. ”You guys are lucky the company doesn’t put any of their assets more than a year out. It took us almost eleven months to get here. How did you manage food, showers, bathrooms?”
“Easy,” Carson answered. “We did everything inside of our mobile testing lab. It wasn’t designed to be lived in for long periods of time, but it came through for fifty-plus people in a pinch.”
Shaw, sitting next to Kai asked.“How are things in general? I read you guys do a lot of tests here.”
“Things are great,” Carson said. “Just before the air got bad we were testing a new kind of stimulant, it’s designed to rouse you from your hypersleep faster.”
Layton was on Kai’s other side. “Sounds helpful,” he said. What is it?”
“A stimulant in the form of a pill,” Carson replied. “For people like you actually. They’re safer and faster. You can take a few for some field testing if you want. You guys are here anyway.”
Zima was sitting with Eastman next to Shaw.
“I was thinking of paying Ukraine a visit,” Eastman said. “What’d ya think? It’s part of my goal to visit every place back home.” He then scooted closer to whisper. “Is it true, you can see the size of the Ukrainian President’s balls from space?”
Zima lightly chuckled at the joke. “My brother and I grew up in Kyiv till our teens,” she replied. “We would visit the family from time to time. I don’t know what to tell you. Home is home. Seemed average to us. Maybe you and Macy will like its countryside better.”
“Lieutenant,” Mic called over a radio.
Kai spoke into what resembled a watch. “I read you, Mic,” he said. “What’s up?”
“Please, come to the Avellan,” Mic responded. “Alone.”
Back on the Avellan, Kai found Mic standing near the communications terminal.
“What’s wrong?” Kai asked.
Mic stepped away from the terminal and pointed at it. “I thought it better if you see it for yourself.” He said.
Kai walked over to read the message. “Everything looks legit,” he said. “Looks like we have ourselves another mission.”
“Pardon me, Sir,” Mic said. “When should we notify Shaw?”
“Might as well tell her now. She’s gonna find out sooner or later,” Kai said, then speaking into his wrist-mounted radio. “This is Lieutenant Kai to all members of the Avellan. Top priority. This is not a test. Report at once for deployment. We have a new mission.”