My ideas - sequel, xenomorph-like monsters, theories...

Started by Tomas M, May 18, 2022, 12:22:03 PM

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My ideas - sequel, xenomorph-like monsters, theories... (Read 344 times)

Tomas M

Tomas M

Hello. I've known this forum for a long time, and I occasionally read something here, but I've never posted here.

I plan to post my ideas, pictures, theories here, try to write a sequel to the Alien movies. Hopefully I'll be able to write what's in my mind into some sort of satisfactory result.
You'd better not expect ANYTHING from my sequel, lest you be disappointed. I expected a lot from Prometheus and was disappointed. With Prometheus, my thoughts of a sequel began. I think I've seen all the Alien movies and also Predators, but I'm only basing it on Alien, Aliens, Alien3.

For the beginning, I'll give you one of my sketches. Something like an alien tongue with legs.


Please note that I only speak a little English, so almost everything you read from me here will be translated into English from my native Czech using the program DeepL. This entire post is translated by it.

Tomas M

At one time I thought maybe I should be original and make up my own story and my own monster. I took inspiration from starfish, sea urchins, and hydras, which are animals that have a different body axis symmetry than most animals on earth, including humans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetry_in_biology

I added another axis. I'll explain it with this primitive scheme. For example, both humans and alligators have one axis of symmetry. The left half of the body mirrors the right half of the body. (The internal organs don't, but that's not important.) If I add another axis, it depends on which half I mirror. The result is either a creature that has four eyes, or no eyes, two backs, or two bellies. If I add another axis, I might end up with a creature that has two heads, or two tails, but that's getting absurd. Or, by adding more axes, I could make a human into something like a starfish that has four bizarre faces around its head. If you're familiar with Lovercraft's Elder Things, they're also creatures with different body symmetry.



One of my monsters looks like this. It has a flat body, there' s no way to tell what's a belly and what's a back, they're both the same. No spine, no eyes. The brain is somewhere. In total, it has 16 limbs, each with two fingers, which should function similarly to the fingers of a chameleon. Its jaws are like big fingers, like two four-fingered hands, each finger splitting into two smaller fingers ending in a claw-like tooth, that's 16 teeth in all.





Kradan

Interesting sketches, haven't seen anything quite like it

Tomas M

Tomas M

#3
Basically the same monster, only the legs are more similar to what we know.





The difference here is that the body is cylindrical, so the limbs radiate out from the body like a starfish.



Same idea in a slightly different way.



I'd take this as the definitive version. I imagine the height to be that of a large dog.


I'm taking this creature as a large version of a facehugger for my story. But then I have to get back to the eggs. I think the eggs on the Derelict are part of the ship, they grow from it, and each egg has the potential to produce more facehuggers like sperms if the egg is given enough nutrition. Further, I think that when xenos start a hive, that hive is the same as the ship, and when a certain size is reached, the eggs should grow directly from the hive. If a xenomorph catches a human, it can turn him into an egg and doesn't have to wait for the hive to grow to size. The size of the hive is determined by the number of xenos. I think of the queen as an xenos experiment, a side evolutionary branch that may make sense at some point. So I have three ways of producing eggs. I also think of the large version of the facehugger as an evolutionary branch that arises in response to a Marine attack. The marines shot several adult xenos. What a waste! The response is for the hive to start creating large, combat-capable facehuggers. For my working version, I call them hughunter. It's capable of impregnating a victim or killing an attacker. Unlike the xenomorph, it's more easily replaced. On the other hand, it has lower strength, durability and intelligence. The next evolutionary answer might be to add a door to the hive so that armed humans can't get in.
But I don't see this evolution as real evolution, I see it as an emergence of hidden potential. One might ask the questions, "Xenos hive looks like a Derelict spaceship. They set up a hive inside the reactor. Is it possible that if the hive grew to a certain size, it could harness the energy of the reactor, become a new ship, and fly away? What is the true potential of xenos?"



May 18, 2022, 07:09:18 PM

Freestyle drawing on the theme of eggmorphing.
The rib cage becomes an egg and can open like a clam.

Immortan Jonesy

Pretty cool and interesting :o

Tomas M

After I wrote here last time, my teeth started hurting, I didn't sleep well. But it's gone and I'm writing. The process of writing is not as easy as I would like, but I continue. Right now my text is 22,000 characters long and I'm about a third of the way through the story. I didn't expect so much text, I'm just trying to write the basics of the story.

I'll shorten your wait with some pictures I amateurishly shopped some time ago in Microsoft Painting and Irfanview. The result may not look amateurish, what's amateurish is how long it took me to do it.

Here on the left you can see the original image of the xenomorph figure I used, on the right my result.

What's that supposed to be? It could be a practical xenomorph costume. Without the protruding tubes, the tail and the giant head, it's easy to walk with it on crowded public transport, for example.
It's also what a not-fully-developed xenomorph might look like. A xenomorph child the size of an adult human.



Head detail.


Some more experiments with the head. I used a woman in a latex mask as a source.





A version for erotic nightmares.


Tomas M

Tomas M

#6
I got a bit stuck in the writing, I'm still about a third of the way through, I had a few things I had to make up a bit differently.
I also realized that my ending is pretty open ended and maybe strange. But I've decided to finish it as I have it figured out, and then see if I can rework it. Also, I may have spent an unnecessary amount of time thinking about how terraforming works, even though it's not necessary for the story.


Anyway, I'm going to post at least this first third of the story I've finished here now, so you can make up your own minds if my sequel is crap. For those who don't want to read the whole thing, I'll put a shortened version here, about four times shorter.



Ship
For my story I'm creating a professional space police unit, maybe something like the FBI or NCIS. Let's call it, say, CCIS, Cosmic Criminal Investigative Service. I'm not sure if it should be subordinate to any particular government or international organization. Then it would have an international name.
I also need a ship for the story, let's call it a Dragon class ship. It should be a small, fast, well-technology ship with gravity and anti-gravity technology that allows it to travel interstellar and also operate well in the atmosphere, for example, levitate noiselessly in the air.
(Gravity technology is present in the Alien universe at least as artificial gravity. Hypothetically, if g. technology were used in fusion reactors, I could imagine that the implosion of a gravitational field could produce an effect identical to the hydrogen bomb we saw in the movie Aliens.)

I tried to draw a plan of the ship to help me better plan the story. This ship should be equipped with everything needed in a small space, just like ambulances or fire trucks. And after my attempt, I have to say that it's quite hard to plan something like that, especially when I don't have a proper idea of what all the equipment would be needed. Just like I have no idea what all the equipment needs to be crammed into an ambulance. So, in the end, there are spaces in my ship that I don't have an exact purpose for.
Well, here's the result. 85 metres long, 20 metres wide, about 12 metres high. I was expecting it to be smaller, but the Sulaco, for example, is claimed to be 385 or 731 metres long, and the Nostromo 244 metres.
This is a plan of the lower deck where the crew will be moving. The upper floor contains other systems, such as life support, filtration, decontamination, sensors, transmitter, drone and space probe carrier, bridge system to connect two ships in space, maybe also emergency parachutes in case of gravity engine failure.
On the bottom of the ship there will be some additional sensors, weapons, an extendable landing gear and emergency thrusters in case of engine failure.

The ship has an advanced artificial intelligence, which the crew calls Auntie, as well as 10 robots that are able to work independently or remotely.





The first third of the sequel - SHORT VERSION

(The full version will be up when I run it through the translator.)

Part 01
The Cosmic Criminal Investigative Service has received a report from someone in Colonial Marines Command about suspicious activity by Weyland-Yutani and Colonial Marines. Two ships are dispatched, Dragon1 and Dragon2, each with a crew of eight. One to LV-426, the other to the prison planet Fury.
A civilian transport ship has also been called in, moving within range of LV-426, to wait nearby in case civilians need to be evacuated. The ship returns from the colonies and is nearly empty.
Dragon1's journey to LV-426 will take 15 days.

Part 02
Dragon1 is approaching LV-426. The civilian transport ship is already at the edge of the system.
Dragon1 flies in low orbit over LV-426 and acquires surface information. Radioactive crater where the Atmosphere Processing Plant (APP) and colony should be. An anomaly 35 to 38 kilometres from the epicentre, then further away what is probably a large vehicle.
There's a chance that some of the colonists survived if they're in that vehicle, or if they've taken refuge in a lava tunnel with enough supplies.
Dragon1 is descending into the atmosphere. It launches two winged drones at the crater rim to search for the colonists. Dragon1 then heads for the anomaly.

Part 03
The team discovers something unlike anything humans have seen before. They find formations of various shapes on the surface. What the Dragon1 crew doesn't know is that it is a Derelict, fragmented and scattered by a pressure wave and a missile attack from the Sulaco ship from orbit. However, they don't look like shredded pieces. They appear to have healed and reshaped themselves after being torn apart, and are re-growing back together, connecting with tubes and biomechanical roots. Creating a biomechanical landscape. (Similar to the ones we know from the works of Giger and also his fans.)
Spectral analysis shows a mixture of organic and inorganic elements. Further measurements show that the biomechanical formations suck in the atmosphere and let it out, free of carbon dioxide, like a plant.
The team is saving a more detailed investigation for later. The ship's AI Auntie interrupts them with a report that the drones' cameras have picked up an unknown animal near the crater, in a radioactive area. It is a hughunter. (I've already posted a picture here.)
The captain, unnerved by the discoveries, asks if all data are automatically sent to Earth, just to be sure. Of course they are. He then gives the order to proceed to the vehicle.


Part 04
Dragon1 flies over the target.
Below them is a large vehicle that is commonly used on other planets. It's long, larger than a shipping container, equipped with massive wheels and a hydraulic chassis.
A scan of the vehicle shows only two people lying inside, presumably asleep.
The team suspects they are not colonists, but rather criminals who need to be detained and interrogated.
The team sends two robots, using a government backdoor program to get inside. They quickly handcuff the first person.
The second person is inside a high-temperature waste incinerator. It's a humanoid figure covered in a layer of metallic grey-black shiny unknown matter. It doesn't look quite human, but it is breathing and has a heartbeat.
The shackled man is being transported by the first robot to Dragon1 in isolation.

Part 05
Scan shows it's not a human, but an unregistered android. The brain is synthetic, the body is organic. Very illegal.
More robots are sent to the vehicle. The interior looks like a well-equipped laboratory and a two-person habitation. The robots begin to sample the surfaces with a DNA readers.
Meanwhile, the other two robots X-ray the humanoid. Nothing. Even at maximum power, the beams don't penetrate. Spectral analysis shows that the humanoid's surface contains both organic and inorganic elements, most notably silicon, aluminum, titanium, iron, copper, and others. A more efficient X-ray scan helps to get an image of the humanoid's structure.

Part 06
He is somehow a transformed person. The unknown material is mixed with human tissue. The brain is transformed and enlarged, stretched to almost half its length. Further, the material has permeated the spine, lungs, heart and flows through the blood vessels.
The humanoid is then transported to the ship in isolation for further observation.
Report from the Dragon2 team:
he's searched the prison on the Fury. Someone's been covering the tracks there, but some small samples have been found that have a similar composition to this unknown mass. But microscopic analysis shows no readable microstructure. On a molecular level, everything's disintegrated. The Dragon2 team may soon complete their exploration and head to LV-426

DNA analysis from the vehicle shows mostly DNA from two people, an android and an unknown human. No record. To a lesser extent, there are samples from two known individuals, colony personnel, the chief of supply and the second-in-command. To a lesser extent, there are samples from two other unknown persons.
Auntie reports that the drones have located a possible colonist site. A large lava tunnel in which empty cryo-chambers are visible. The position is approximately one kilometre from the edge of the anomaly. Second report: in the area around the anomaly, drones have detected more moving unknown creatures, four in total. Their danger to humans cannot be estimated.
The ship's sensors have completed a detailed scan of the vehicle. It appears there are explosive devices inside. They will continue to search the vehicle only remotely via robots.
Dragon1 is heading for the lava tunnel.


Part 07
They' re launching a small search drone. Inside the tunnel are cryo-chambers of various sizes, for humans and animals. Another part of the tunnel is covered in biomechanical material similar to an alien hive. Inside is a human person, presumably a woman, partially encased in a fibrous material like glue. It looks as if she has sat down in the tunnel and the biomechanical material has grown around her. Her legs, back and the back of her head are embedded in the material, her shoulders and chest look a bit bony. The drone hasn't detected any life signs.
After a few metres the hive ends with a mass of spider-like legs, they're half-cut facehuggers, maybe hundreds of them. Biomechanical roots are growing into them from the hive, as if to suck the nutrients out of them. Beyond that, it's just an empty tunnel.
Face analysis shows that the person in the tunnel should have been dead for over six years. She died on Earth.
Suspicions are growing that someone on this planet has been conducting illegal experiments on animals and humans bought on the black market.

Part 08
Time to interrogate the android. His name is Cosimo. He starts a conversation about how androids have no human rights. Otherwise, he says nothing at all. He answers most questions with silence.

Part 09
The Dragon1 team conducts a detailed and in-depth scan of the anomaly.
There are fragments of missiles in the surrounding area, probably the result of bombardments that the Colonial Marines can conduct from orbit.
It appears that the objects of the anomaly are slowly, at a speed imperceptible to humans, changing shape and moving towards a single point, presumably the original position of the unknown object that was there before it was shattered by the blasts.
Depth scan:
Below the surface are a number of long and richly branching tunnels extending to depths of up to 900 metres. There are also structures resembling roots that extend to depths of over 5 kilometres. In the centre of the system at a depth of 500 to 700 metres is a smaller system of tunnels and chambers that resemble the internal structure of termite mounds or anthills. The entire underground system comes to the surface at a point that coincides with the original position of the destroyed unknown object.
Crew member Ron voices his speculation, "They're aliens! Even when we first saw this thing, it was clear it wasn't some kind of experiment. And now that we can see beneath the surface that the thing up there is just the tip of the iceberg, this simply wasn't created by any human or android, these are aliens."
The others are skeptical, never on any planet have more than primitive sea bugs been found.
Auntie is unable to analyze the situation. She recommends they withdraw and await orders from command.
Some team members are leaning towards the possibility of exploring the tunnel in person. After the robots rule out the presence of planted explosives and other hazards.
Team members Tess, Alice, and Ron volunteer for the exploration.
The captain decides that two humans are enough and will be guarded by 4 robots for sure. Tess and Alice are going down.

End of short version.

Tomas M

The first third of the sequel - LONGER VERSION


(I also realized that I have minimal ability to write characters. Before I started writing, I didn't even have a name for them. Hopefully it'll work out somehow.)

So let's have this Dragon1 crew:

John - always referred to as Captain.
Terry
Ron
Alan
Tess
Alice
Dale
Mark
+Ship AI nicknamed Auntie



Part 01
Earth: spaceship airport. Two Dragon-class interstellar ships, each about 80 meters in length, with two teams of eight standing between them, the commander in front of them, briefing them on their mission.

A subordinate commander from Colonial Marines headquarters has alerted the government to the suspicious activities of the Weyland-Yutani and the Colonial Marines. The information is that a colony on the planetoid LV-426 near the gas giant Calpamos in the Zeta2 system went silent approximately 6 weeks ago. WY asked the Colonial Marines to check it out, and they dispatched the Sulaco with a minimal crew. It soon headed back, but halfway near the prison planet Fiorina "Fury" 161, the Sulaco experienced a malfunction. Currently, the Sulaco's transponder is not transmitting and information is missing.

An eight-man investigation team on Dragon1 is being sent to LV-426. At the same time, a second team with Dragon2 is being sent to Fury.
Also, a civilian transport ship (let's call it CTS 001) has been called in, moving within range of the Zeta2 system, to approach it in case civilians need to be evacuated. The ship, with a capacity of 500 passengers, is returning from the colonies where it was taking new colonists, and is now almost empty, with only 4 passengers on board besides the crew. The ship is to remain at the edge of the Zeta2 system, waiting for the Dragon1 team to check the planet for any danger and the status of the colonists.
Dragon1's journey to LV-426 will take 15 days.
The crew board and move into the cockpit. The seats are solid, firmly attached to the floor and swivels 360 degrees, with seat belts, armrests, and folding work surfaces and touchscreen computers. The seats are in two rows of four, with the front row having the main controls in front of it. The control has two layers - two separate circuits: a lower push-button control, a backup, and an upper one with touchscreens that can be folded away to the wall to reveal the push-button control. In front of the crew are large flat panel monitors that cover the window. (Exposing the window is a backup option in case the monitors don't work. The window is usually closed from the outside by a massive shield.) The crew settles and the ship begins its launch.
The air around the ship is waving. The ship rises a few inches off the ground. The landing gear retracts into the hull. The ship levitates noiselessly, followed by a quick, silent launch. Within seconds, both ships are through the clouds and in minutes, they're in space.

Part 02
Dragon1 approaching LV-426, crew did not go into cryotubes for the duration of the flight. They have to live in small spaces, but for such a short period of time stasis is pointless, it would only be a stress on the body. The civilian transport ship is already at the edge of the system. They contact its crew and tell them that when the Dragon1 team finds something, they will let them know, or the AI will give them information every 24 hours if they should continue to wait.
The Dragon1 team scans the area around the gas giant. The only abnormality appears to be objects in elliptical orbit 426, which should not be there according to the records. A closer look reveals them to be a Powered work loader, the lower limbs of an android, and insignificant smaller objects. Things that used to be on Colonial Marines ships. After scanning, they approach the remains of the android and use the robotic probe to transport them to the airlock and, after a more detailed scan, to the isolation chamber, where the serial numbers on the parts make it clear that these are the legs of the android Bishop from the Sulaco. Nothing more unusual was found in orbit.
During the android's reconnaissance, Dragon1 flies in low orbit over LV-426 and sceners pick up information about the surface: a large radioactive crater where the Atmosphere Processing Plant (APP) and colony should be. An anomaly 35 to 38 km from the epicentre. Further away, something that is probably a large vehicle, 49 km from the epicentre. In the more distant parts of the planet there are groups of smaller mobile automated terraforming units that indicate normal operation. The colonists do not appear to have used them for shelter, as they could easily use them to send an SOS radio signal.
The bubble of breathable atmosphere created by the APP has most likely already dissipated. The planet's atmosphere still contains too little oxygen and too much carbon dioxide. Humans would suffocate in it. There is hope that some of the colonists survived if they are in that vehicle, or if they have taken refuge in a lava tunnel, of which there should be plenty in the area, with enough supplies and mobile air conditioning equipment.
Dragon1 is descending into the atmosphere. At the crater rim, it launches two winged drones to begin a search for the colonists. Dragon1 then heads for the anomaly.


Part 03
The team discovers something unlike anything humans have seen before. At a distance of 35 to 38 km from the epicentre of the explosion, there are formations of various shapes on the surface. What the Dragon1 crew doesn't know is that it is a Derelict, fragmented and scattered by the pressure wave and missile attack from the Sulaco ship from orbit. However, they don't look like shredded pieces. They appear to have healed and reshaped themselves after being torn apart, and are re-growing back together and connecting through biomechanical tubes. Creating a biomechanical landscape. (Similar to the ones we know from the works of Giger and also his fans.)
Spectral analysis shows a mixture of organic and inorganic elements. At one position there are a number of smaller vents leading into the depths of the earth, in which air flows. The scan shows that through some of the vents the atmosphere is being sucked underground and through other vents it is coming out free of carbon dioxide, methane, moisture, some nitrogen and radioactive elements from the fallout of the explosion. It comes out rich in oxygen, as if a large plant lived underground.
The team saves a more detailed exploration for later; they have to go search the vehicle for colonists.
Auntie interrupts them with a report that the drone cameras have picked up an unknown animal near the crater, in a radioactive area. The drone footage shows a hughunter standing motionless (see picture of hughunter from earlier).
Captain: "No animal looks like that. And it's not moving at all. Is it even alive? It could just be a statue or something."
Alan: "Like some artist made giant sculptures and placed statues of bizarre animals here?"
Tess: "Does the creature have a heat signature?"
Auntie: "The same as the surrounding air."
Alice: "This is the strangest biological experiment I've ever seen. And that's counting the historical record. It looks like the creation of a megalomaniacal madman."
Captain: "Auntie, do you regularly send data back to Earth?"
Antie: "Of course. As always."
Captain: "I just want to make sure. This is a terribly strange place. We'll come back to this later, we need to check out the vehicle."


Part 04
Dragon1 climbs above the clouds and flies over the target.
Below them is a large vehicle standing a few tens of meters from a small canyon, which probably served as protection from the explosion. These vehicles are the kind of vehicles commonly used on planets. It is long, larger than a shipping container, and is equipped with massive wheels and a hydraulic chassis, allowing it to travel over the difficult ground of inhospitable planets. The vehicle doesn't have many windows, at this moment they are all sealed with metal shutters. The air system is working and a slight heat signature indicates that a more human-friendly temperature is being maintained inside.
The team decides to descend just a few dozen meters above the vehicle and perform a rough scan of the interior. On the monitor, they watch what looks like a three-dimensional X-ray image. It turns out there is a variety of equipment inside and only two people, both lying on what looks like a bed or stretcher, one of whom is in a chamber with massive walls and doors. The chamber is connected to the tubular systems and there is a drain leading out of the vehicle. Auntie identifies the chamber as a high temperature waste incineration chamber. No change in occupant position is noted when the scan is repeated. The occupants are either dead or asleep.
If the vehicle was full of people, it could be assumed they're surviving colonists. Now the team suspects that the occupants are possible criminals who need to be apprehended.
The vehicle has access to both the front, the driving cabin, and the back, where there is a large airlock. Auntie remotely verifies that the entrances have normal electronic systems with a government backdoor program (which is found in almost every system on Earth or in space).
The team sends in two robots, their progress monitored by cameras from the cockpit of the ship. The robots are lowered to the ground on ropes and proceed to the front airlock, climbing up the steps. The back door program is activated, the door opens very slowly and quietly. Just as silently, the robots pass through the inner chamber door and enter the darkened vehicle compartment. Of course, night vision is standard equipment. They move even more slowly and quietly. One robot approaches the first person, a man asleep in bed. The second robot takes up position at the chamber door. The robots act in synchrony. The first one, with its equipment for handcuffing people, within seconds handcuffs the sleeping man's hands and feet and seals his mouth (because voice-controlled computers exist and it is necessary to prevent the arrested person from giving any command to his computers). At the same time, a second robot opens the chamber door and very quickly enters, but its program quickly identifies that the person is not suitable for routine detention.
The robot turns on the lights to better identify the person. He's on a medical stretcher. It's a humanoid body covered in a metallic grey to black glossy layer of something. Based on the size of the figure, it could be a man. The robot is detecting up the sound of breathing. The face has only a mouth opening. If it were in another place in the universe, upon first glance, one might think for a second that it was a fetishist resting in multiple layers of latex covering the entire surface of the body, head and face. On second glance, he would notice that there is nothing like a nose above the mouth opening, just a smooth surface. And the head tilting sideways is about half as elongated as a human's. The glossy layer of material doesn't end at the lips, but continues through the open mouth and into the depths. The humanoid's heat signature is slightly lower than that of a human. By listening more sensitively, the robot detects a heartbeat that appears human.
As the team looks at the humanoid through the cameras, the restrained man, now wearing a breathing mask, is transported to the ship by the first robot. Dragon1 lands, opening a ramp and airlock leading to the isolation area.

Part 05
Auntie: "Scan of the detainee shows that he is an unregistered android. The brain is synthetic, the body is fully organic, only containing a nutro-electric unit. I'm transporting him to isolation where we'll run blood, genetic and software tests."
Captain: "Okay. So now... Standard procedure. Until explosives are checked for, we'll work remotely via robots. Tess and Alice, take Robot 3 and examine the humanoid. Mark and Dale, take robots 4 and 5 and do a visual inspection of the vehicle and DNA collection. Then we'll do a detailed scan."
The three robots head out to the vehicle. They'll illuminate the interior of the vehicle. It looks like a well-equipped lab and a two-person habitation, two beds, two cryotubes. The robots begin to sample the surfaces with a DNA reader.
Meanwhile, the other two robots scan the humanoid with a folding x-ray scanner. Nothing. Even at maximum power, the beams don't penetrate. Spectral analysis shows that the humanoid's surface contains both organic and inorganic elements. Of the inorganic ones, mostly silicon, aluminum, titanium, iron, copper, and other elements in smaller amounts. One robot returns, takes a medical x-ray back to the ship, and returns with a device with significantly higher energies, designed to shine through objects. They X-ray the humanoid several times, gradually increasing the power. The computer processes the data and produces a three-dimensional image that clearly shows human bones and some apparently inhuman anomalies. Tess studies the data for a moment before presenting it to the crew.


Part 06
"So there is or was definitely a person inside. We have an unknown black material that appears white on the image because it is excessively absorbing X-rays. And that material is penetrating the skin and go deeper into the body.  The main path of penetration appears to be the face, the mouth, the neck. What looks like a human skull, whose only notable difference at first look is a neurocranium that's some 40% longer, is not really a human skull anymore. Bone and dental tissue also excessively absorb radiation. They're permeated with this unknown material. So is brain tissue - every millimeter is permeated. The neck and chest vertebrae, shoulder bones and parts of the ribs are also transformed. The transformed bones may look human to you, but they're slightly altered in shape. In the lower parts of the spine, where the original vertebrae are, you can see that the entire spinal cord all the way down is transformed, including the nerves that run out of the spine. Further - the material permeates the tissues of the mouth, the entire respiratory system, the heart is transformed and enlarged. Further, the foreign matter seems to flow through the bloodstream, perhaps even transforming the walls of blood vessels and veins. Muscle tissue looks unchanged, digestive system looks unchanged except for the liver. The bones of the hands and feet seem to have dissolved, the fingers are not visible at all. That's about all I can say at this point."
Alan: "How much can we consider it human?"
Tess: "I don't know."
Captain: "The brain tissue, can we see how altered it is?"
Tess: "Not without invasive methods. I can't tell from the scan if there's a mixing of brain matter and foreign matter at the cellular scale, or smaller, or larger."
Captain: "Is there any way we can reverse the change?"
Tess: "Probably not."
Alice: "Shall we take some samples of it?"
Tess: "I'd stay with observation for now. I'd start sampling in the area of the anomaly."
Alice: "The Dragon2 team has searched the prison on Fury. There are signs that someone was doing a quick cleanup and covering up tracks. But some small samples were found there and they have a similar composition to our unknown material. But microscopic analysis showed no readable microstructure, no DNA or anything. On a molecular level, it's all disintegrated. There are organic and inorganic microfragments, but there's no way to piece it together, the computer couldn't handle it."
Captain: "I'll add that the prisoners and guards at Fury Prison have been also cleaned up. No humans were found. Suspicion falls on W-Y. The result of Dragon 2's work looks like they won't find anything more there now. I suppose when they get the first reports of what we've found here, they'll come to us. And when the signal reaches Earth, Command will confirm their decision."
Ron: "Can we guess what kind of experiment these things are? Could it be artificial life based on silicon?"
Alice: "No."
Ron: "Why not?"
Alice: "Just no."
Alan: "Then on some other base?"
Alice: "No."
Ron: "Then what is it?"
Alice: "That's what we're finding out here."
Ron: "What about the android?"
Terry: "It's unregistered, the software is inaccessible, we can't read anything from it, the hardware is at a high technological level that is illegal. The body is organic, as mentioned, and contains genetic changes, presumably to increase regeneration and longevity, the blood is red, absolutely everything about the android is illegal and getting any information out of it won't be easy."
Dale: "A visual inspection of the vehicle showed it to be a versatile and well-equipped lab. Everything you need for DNA reading, genetic editing, micromanipulators, microscopes, and so on. The habitation shows signs of long-term human occupancy. DNA analysis shows mostly DNA from two people, an android and an unknown human. No records. To a lesser extent, there are samples from two known individuals, colony personnel, the chief of supply and the second-in-command. They appear to have been in the vehicle recently. To a lesser extent, there are samples of two other individuals with no records. The next post would be to do a detailed scan of the entire vehicle and then we'll see."
Captain. "Ok. Alice and Tess, transport the humanoid to isolation for further observation. Dale, Mark, and Ron will prepare to scan the vehicle and continue working on it once that's done."
And so it was done. One robot reached the ship for a folding stretcher and was transferred to the ship for isolation. Then the ship lifted off, two arms over ten meters long extended from the sides, bent down and lowered itself on cables. The ship began to slowly fly over the vehicle so that it was between the scanner arms.
Auntie spoke, "I must interrupt you with something new. The drones have discovered the location of a possible colonist presence. A large lava tunnel in one section with a collapsed ceiling. Through the opening we could see empty cryotubes. They're littered with rocks from the collapsed ceiling. Possibly the result of an explosion. Position is approximately one kilometer from the edge of the anomaly. Second report: in the area around the anomaly, the drones have detected more moving unknown creatures, four in total. They're not doing anything special, just walking around. It's impossible to estimate how dangerous they might be to humans. The nearest one is 2,500 metres from the lava tunnel."
Captain: "Empty cryotubes don't really indicate that there are live colonists. We'll go there when we finish the scan."
In a few minutes, the scan was complete.
Auntie: "A quick analysis of the data shows that there are containers filled with probable explosives or flammables attached to the vehicle structure, computer systems and some of the instruments."
Captain: "So, Ron, Mark, Dale, remotely work on the vehicle, I don't suppose you need more than two robots in there? Auntie, fly to the lava tunnel."


Part 07
Dragon1 moves over the lava tunnel and launches a small propeller search drone. The drone flies in. There are cryotubes of various sizes covered in rocks. Some of them are small, so they could hardly be used by humans. There's also a pile of garbage in the tunnel, broken lab equipment, food cans, slag and ash. Another part of the tunnel is covered with biomechanical material similar to an alien hive. In it is a human person, presumably a woman, partially encased in a fibrous material like glue. It looks as if she has sat down in the tunnel and the biomechanical material has encased her. Her legs, back and the back of her head are embedded in the material, her shoulders and chest look a bit bony. The drone detects no life signs, heat signature the same as the temperature of the surrounding rock, no breathing.
The bottom of the hive is made up of biomechanical roots and tubes growing into the garbage. After a few meters the hive ends with a mass of spider-like legs, they are facehuggers cut in half, there are perhaps hundreds of them. The roots of the hive penetrate them too, like tree roots penetrating the soil to suck out nutrients. Then it's just an empty tunnel, the drone flies through it to the end and returns to Dragon1.
Auntie: " Exploration analysis: The person in the tunnel is Janice White by facial recognition. She died 6 years and 8 months ago in a hospital in Dallas, Texas on Earth. Age 27. Cause of death: cardiac arrest. Cryochambers are of different types, for humans and animals. The lab instruments are the same or similar in function to those found in the vehicle. The remains of the creatures cannot be matched to any known life forms."
Captain: "It's beginning to take shape. They've done experiments on animals and humans here. They buy people on the black market, have them smuggled in here in cryotubes that they dump into the tunnel like empty cans. Alan, wouldn't it be time for the first interview with the detainee?"
Alan: "Maybe. But I don't think he'll say anything. Androids never say anything useful."
Captain: "Maybe this one will surprise us."


Part 08
Alan goes to talk to the detainee. He approaches the control panel of the isolation room and views the camera image of the interior. The android is sitting on a folding low bed, looking towards a closed window next to the door. Alan pushes a folding chair in front of the window. He uses the control panel to activate its slow opening. Several metal barriers slowly roll up. The man and the android look at each other through several layers of solid glass the size of the narrow door.
Alan: "Hello, my name is Alan Felix, CCIS investigator, I'm here to question you. What is your name?"
Android: "Cosimo."
Alan: "Is that the full name?"
Android: "Yes."
Alan: "Do you have any questions to start with?"
Android: " Will you tell me my rights?"
Alan: "Every android knows that human society gives androids no rights and androids are considered property."
Android: "What if I'm an android who doesn't know that?"
Alan: "The law requires android manufacturers to put such basic information into the android's memory. Who is your manufacturer?"
Android: "I won't tell you."
Alan: "Is there anything else you want to ask?"
Android: "Why does someone interrogate an android the same way they interrogate a human? Why don't they just take him apart?"
Alan: "It's such a convention to start a conversation. Especially with unregistered androids with illegal hardware and software. During the course of the conversation, there's usually then information that if the android is not testifying trustworthy enough, it will be disassembled, examined, and then deleted and disposed of. If it is sufficiently trustworthy, it will be only deleted and disposed of.
Android: "And does such a threat work?"
Alan: "There's no good statistic for that, because illegal androids are very rarely interrogated. That's because it's illegal to produce them."
Android: "This ship probably contains a lot of technology that's illegal."
Alan: "Of course, law enforcement and the armed forces are exempt."
Android: "Of course."
Alan: "Looks like you were part of a project here. Please tell me about it."
Android: "Maybe later."
Alan: "In the future would be a better time than now?"
Android is silent.
Alan: "We found traces of DNA from five people in your abode. Where are they?"
Android is silent.
Alan: "Based on the frequency of the samples, we estimate that one of them lived and worked there with you for a long time. The other two are from the colony and lived there with you for a while as well. What happened to the first one? I assume he was a colleague of yours."
The android is silent.
Alan: "We're looking for 158 colonists. You are no doubt aware of the Atmosphere processing plant explosion. The colony was in close proximity to it. Do you know anything about the colonists?"
The android is silent.
Alan: "I think you knew in advance that it was going to explode, and you had plenty of time to get away to safety. Maybe because you were monitoring colony or APP activity. You were probably also using the colony's transmitter for your communications. Because you don't have one in your vehicle. I think the colonists figured out you were conducting illegal activity. You destroyed their transmitter, then reprogrammed the APP to explode to get rid of witnesses. And then you waited for your ship to come and pick you up, but we arrived first. How correct is this hypothesis?"
The android is silent.
Alan: " Do you work for Weyland-Yutani?"
The android is silent.
Alan: "Maybe if W-Y wanted to do some research here, they would have sent a ship with a lab and more people. They wouldn't have to set up a colony here at all, and you wouldn't be stuck here with no communication and no ship. Maybe you work for someone who doesn't have those capabilities, can't send a ship here, or can't do it in a way that doesn't draw attention. So you somehow smuggled yourself and your equipment in through W-Y so you could conduct experiments undetected. And given the vast amount of material that was brought here as part of the colonization, it was possible to hide it from the world, even from the W-Y leadership. How correct is that hypothesis?"
The android is silent.
Alan: "We found a lava tunnel with one person and a lot of interesting things. Based on them, we judge that you have been conducting experiments on animals and humans here. Is that right?"
The android is silent.
Alan turns the tablet over and shows a photo of a humanoid in the incinerator. "What or who is that?"
Androdi is silent.
He shows a picture of a hughunter, "What's this?"
Android: "Some kind of animal."
Alan shows another picture of the anomaly.
The android is silent.
Alan: "So maybe later?"
Android: "Maybe later."
Alan gets up from his chair and closes the viewport.



Part 09
He's returning to the cockpit. "Like I said, androids never say anything useful. Any news?"
Captain: "The drones have just started scanning the anomaly. Low overflight. We want the best data possible.
The team is waiting for the drones to complete their flight over the anomaly.
Auntie: "There are fragments around the anomaly, probably from Colonial Marines' conventional missiles. We can deduce that what was here before was destroyed not only by the pressure wave of the exchanger explosion, but also by the Sulaco's missile attack."
Mark: "Falling sky missile system."
Auntie: "Comparison with the images from our first flyby shows that the anomaly objects are slowly, at a speed imperceptible to humans, changing shape and moving towards a single point. I conclude that this could be the original position of the unknown object before it was destroyed and scattered by the explosions."
Auntie takes a moment to process more data.
She shows the subsurface scan images on the monitor and comments on them. Human would have difficulty reading anything in their complexity. "The depth scan shows smaller cavities low below the surface and a number of long and richly branching tunnels extending to depths of up to 400 meters. There are also branching structures of varying densities that extend to depths of over 5 kilometres. Together they form a root-like system. At the centre of the system, at a depth of 500 to 700 metres, is a smaller system of tunnels and chambers that resemble the internal structure of termite mounds or anthills. The entire subterranean system comes to the surface at a point that coincides with the original position of the destroyed unknown object. For better exploration of structures at greater depth, I recommend repeated measurements."
Ron: "They're aliens!"
The others are silent.
Ron: "Even when we first saw this giant thing, it was clear that it wasn't some kind of experiment. And now that we can see below the surface that the thing above is just the tip of the iceberg, this simply wasn't created by any human or android, these are aliens."
Mark: "Only fools believe in aliens. They've never found anything more than sea bugs a billion years late compared to us. The universe is a wasteland."
Alice: "Sea bugs that died out when humans introduced terrestrial microorganisms to their planet. Now humans have a colony there. Sad."
Ron: "Is here anyone who still thinks this is a human creation?"
Everyone is skeptically silent.
Alan: "If they're aliens, where did they come from? Why did they come here? Why hasn't anyone noticed them?"
Ron: "They were already here. Long before humans and before terraforming. It was probably an alien ship. And the Wayland-Yutani found it and covered it up. They built a colony here so they could study it. They did it so they could throw suspicion off themselves if it got out. Probably all the scientists who worked on it have long since departed safely, with all the samples, all the data. They left the android here to distract elsewhere."
Captain: "This planet was a wasteland, what would they be doing here?"
Ron: "What do I know? Search for life? Start a colony here?"
Alan: "Put down roots. Literally."
Captain: "Anything found in the vehicle's computers?"
Ron: "There are explosive systems connected to the computers. The robots first work on stuff that won't explode."
Terry: "I don't think we'll ever get any data out of those computers. If anything, it's from the android. But we'll have to get that one back to Earth first."
Ron: "And there we'll find that there's nothing in it, it's just an empty decoy."
Mark: "Wouldn't they have covered their tracks a little better? If they had a deal with someone from the Colonial Marines, they could nuke the thing and turn it into plasma."
Ron: "If they sent a ship with a minimal crew, maybe they didn't have nukes."
Dale: "We still don't know if it's alien. It could still be a human creation - the biggest and weirdest human experiment mankind has ever seen."
Captain: "Auntie, how do you analyze that? What is it?"
Auntie: "I am unable to analyze it."
Captain: "Let's think about the next course of action."
Auntie: "I suggest we take no action. Suspend the activity and wait for orders from the headquarters."
Captain: "And what should they tell? Tell us to stop sitting around and get back to work?"
Aunti: "For example, they could decide that we should only monitor the situation from a distance until a specialized team is sent in, or until Dragon2 arrives."
Captain: "Dragon2 are on their way?"
Aunti: "That information hasn't arrived yet."
Alice: "We are the exploration team. Who should we wait for? We should explore the tunnel and take samples there."
Tess: "And find out what they did to the woman. Maybe we'll get something from the cryotubes."
Alice: "Maybe we should go there ourselves. The robots will check it out first and we'll go after. The robots will stay there for our protection, just in case."
Alan: "Just send the robots, everything on this planet is terribly weird."
Captain: "Well, I always say, "if we leave all the work to the robots, we'll degenerate into vegetables," but I'm neither now. If the robots check it out properly first and give you enough backup, the volunteers can go down. Your choice, your risk."
Tess volunteers, "I'm not a vegetable."
Alice and Ron join us.
Captain: "Two people are enough, Ron stays here. Well, anyway, the robots... We'll leave number one in the isolation area. Auntie, send two, three, six and seven into the tunnel to check for bombs and threats. I'm calling a short break for us humans for now. And you two, if you don't change your minds, get ready for the drop afterwards."



To be continued next time.

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