Too often people ignore the parts of a franchise that they don’t like. Which… in the case of the Aliens / Predator franchises can be considerable. But then my brain decided to wonder “what if it’s all media -in world-?” What would the consequences be? Why would someone writer Alien fiction in the Alien Universe. And this is what resulted…
2225.6.20 — Graduation Day, class of 2225, College of Arts and Sciences, Koschei University
New Kersch, Consolidated Venutian Territories, Venus, Sol System
Commencement Speech, Guest Speaker, Jenette “Jay” Auriga Hicks-Ripley, Ph.D.
There’s a certain amount of decor that always comes with ceremonies like this. But I come from a family where my mom was a pilot, my dad was a grunt, and my foster sister was a hell of a survivor.
And they never let me forget it.
Which is why I’m happily smoking on a cigarette up here and the faculty lets me.
Life’s short and it’s for the living.
That’s it. Speech is done.
All right… fine… I’ll stub it out.
I’d like to talk to you today about changing the world.
2190 — A pair of novels are released to the public under the nom-de-plume of Alan Foster. The first–Fury 161— you probably read in Social Studies. It was a biting social commentary on the privatization of the prison system, using the death of a disabled marine and a very young child to start a dark spiral that delved into corporate malfeasance and terrifying body horror using a metaphorical alien that hatched its young inside people.
This novel was quickly followed by Resurrection Call, which shone an equally harsh light on privately-operated military contracts. It used the same metaphor as Fury 161 — that hideous body-parasitizing alien— to showcase both the dangers of private companies doing military deeds with little government oversight AND the depths to which poverty forced good people to do terrible things.
The secondary character, Annalee Call, even got adapted into other media as a popular heroine of the time.
And, I should note, Foster used my middle name as the name of a ship in Resurrection Call, so, that led to a not-inconsiderable amount of teasing in high school.
Thanks, Foster. Thanks for that. And the rest of you in the audience can stop laughing now.
These novels, undeniably popular, were recognized by a very select few as including intimate details from several—at the time—highly-classified incidents. And perhaps, had those few remained silent, the novels would have peaked in popularity and then vanished into obscurity.
But we know that didn’t happen.
It was today — June 20th — that my mother and father received a dense transmission of information on we now know as the Sevastopol Incident. At the time, I only knew my mother as a retired pilot and my father as a major general.And my foster sister as someone who wrote books under a male pseudonym that combined our dad’s middle name “Alan” and her “status” in the family.
I still remember that day so clearly. Getting the transmission in the morning. My mother calling in my father. Their looks.
The anger… no… the fury on her face. Then they called in my sister.
And finally me.
They told me about the years they didn’t talk about. About their encounters—humankind’s first— with the species we now call Xenomorph XX121.
Now I know you probably know all the details by heart but grant me a moment to present the timeline according to my mother.
Let me be clear on the timeline here: Ripley had first encountered the xenomorphs 2122 on a routine cargo run past Zeta Reticuli. That ended in her entire crew being butchered and her in cryostasis for 57 years. She left behind an eleven year old daughter and partner, both of whom grew old and died.
In 2179, she was pulled into the second incident: the xenomorph invasion of Hadley’s Hope, where she met her future husband and my adopted sister. Their subsequent report to their superiors at the ICC, Weyland-Yutani, and the UAA led to a dramatic purge of several corporate divisions and new oversight on the research of “artifacts of unknown origin”.
Not that it meant much to the public. They just knew that some corporate shenanigans had shaken things up and that this pilot and soldier and little girl had walked off with a hell of a settlement and a non-disclosure agreement.
That seemed to be it. The rest of it–my birth, their day-to-day–seemed to be the artifacts of a life well-lived.
Until the novels came out.
Until the Sevastopol Incident came to light.
The full story can be found under my account in Archive of Our Own