This is about an alternative Ellen Ripley
story-arc in which we find Ripley now army-retired and serving as a fleet commander and supervisor only as she trains and readies her crew so that the US space-shuttle Nostradamus can land on Venus and report on an intelligence-signal sent from there which resembles in signature one Weyland picked up so many years ago as a signal sent by the vicious Xenomorphs.
As Ripley prepares her crew (including Oram, Daniels, Beck, Tyrese, Shelbye, and Shah) to troll around Venus looking for signs of Xenomorphs, her crew must overcome internal conflicts and power-struggles so they coordinate a practical survival scheme.
This yarn was inspired by my general love of Alien
films and how they highlight an enduring human fascination with the 'metaphysics of survivalism.'
Ripley flipped through the preliminary reports the company prepared for her as the US shuttle Nostradamus prepared to land on Venus. Ripley's crew (including Oram, Daniels, Beck, Tyrese, Shelbye, and Shah) were ready to listen to her every command (she was Fleet Commander now after all, taking the special title as an honor afforded to her by Weyland Industries). Ripley knew that none of the crew members had ever seen a Xenomorph up-close-and-personal, so she trained and prepared them as best she could, telling them how to dodge and evade and when to run like hell and how to function as a team to trap the vicious insectisoid-dragon like creatures to confuse/disorient/disarm them. Ripley was now considered a "Xenomorph Guru" (perhaps the first and last US astronaut-soldier to be given such a prestigious call-sign).
ORAM: Do you trust Commander Ripley, Shelbye?
SHELBYE: She is the official 'Xenomorph Guru.'
ORAM: What does that mean? I mean, are these 'Xenos' legit?
SHELBYE: They're definitely vicious aliens, Oram...
ORAM: Well, I'm not rattled by 'corrosive-acid blood.'
SHELBYE: If one of them sprays you, you become a used sponge.
ORAM: I'm aware; I'm only concerned Ripley has been scarred and has become 'biased.'
SHELBYE: Nah; she seems to understand what it means to prep for these nasty alien things.
ORAM: Well, if she fails, I'm taking over; I know Daniels won't cheer.
SHELBYE: You better be careful; there's talk of Daniels and Shah subverting your authority here.
Ripley ordered the team to scour Venus terrain after the Nostradamus successfully landed on the planet. They were looking for any signs of Xenomorph activity. Ripley's space-council on Earth informed her there was no definite proof the intelligence-signal was sent by the Xenos, but Ripley was war-weary enough to wisely conclude that the signature, with its eerily alluring invitational tone, was some kind of 'booby-trap' orchestrated by the Xenos. Ripley only wanted to collect evidence it was indeed the Xenos so she could report to the council that the Xenos were now wandering around Earth's solar-system. Besides, she simply didn't trust anyone else from Weyland to lead this mission as Fleet Commander. Ripley was also aware, however, that her Nostradamus crew didn't fully trust her, since she was declared now to be only a supervisor without any obligation to join in on any battle-missions/initiatives. They considered her a 'fat-cat' or 'lame-duck.'
The Venus trek-crew wandered around for a long time before Beck realized there were some Xeno-like footprints near a cavern near the terrain they were scouring. Daniels reported this find back to Ripley (who was supervising from the Nostradamus). When Daniels signed-off, however, Oram grabbed her transmitter-receiver and told her that he'd personally keep correspondence with the Nostradamus from Venus from now onwards. Daniels was very irked and demanded to know why Oram was the 'better man' for the job, but Oram simply winked and explained he had more courage and self-awareness to be the official communicator! Daniels whispered to Shah, "If Oram buckles, tackle him to the ground --- I'll take back that transmitter-receiver!" As the crew wandered into the cavern near were Beck found the footprints, they heard distant screams from what sounded like an alien creature. Oram immediately phoned back to Ripley and reported this, and Ripley ordered that they split up and have one half the team investigate the origin of the creature sound.
ORAM: Do you realize that 1/2 of our crew is dead?
RIPLEY: That's because you botched-up the cavern-inspection order.
ORAM: No! I had one half the team investigate (just as you commanded).
RIPLEY: You should have been part of the team that investigated...
ORAM: How'd I know that the sounds were made by vicious predatory Xenos?
RIPLEY: Well, we have photographic evidence now that they were in fact Xenos.
ORAM: Those photos cost the lives of valued crew-members...
RIPLEY: I doubt you 'valued' Daniels' life; rumor has it you two were seriously quarrelling.
ORAM: Well, now she's dead, Commander, and I have to ask what the point of this mission was!
RIPLEY: Our purpose was to bring back evidence the Xenos were in Earth's solar-system.
ORAM: Wow, Ripley! You sound eerily like Weyland himself.
RIPLEY: That's not funny; he's the last person I emulate, Oram.
ORAM: Weyland had a big head but also a big mind. What will be your place, Commander?
RIPLEY: I simply want to eradicate all Xenos and help humanity do likewise...
ORAM: Let's hope these alien creatures are not messengers of debates.