Ripley, E.L.; Bishop, L.; Jorden, R. (aka Newt)
Location: Docking bay, USS Sulaco, LV-426 (Acheron) orbit
Date: July 28 2179
Contact with: Queen
As Bishop, Ripley and Newt are standing next to the dropship’s rear landing strut, they suddenly become aware of acid burning into the deck. Then the Queen’s tail explodes through Bishop’s chest and he is hoisted up into the Queen’s grasp. The Queen tears Bishop in half, his upper and lower half thrown in opposite directions.
Now the Queen extricates herself from the landing gear bay. How did she fit in there? The bay would be just enough to fit the landing gear, let alone a 12 foot high (not to mention rather bulky) Alien Queen. When the dropship races away from the exploding AP Station, nothing seems out of the ordinary with the rear landing gear, so the Queen must have successfully squeezed herself into the bay without disrupting the equipment or undue harm to herself. Or did it do her some harm? Acid dripped onto the deck the instant before Bishop was skewered. Is this a wound caused by the landing gear? Or does the drool we constantly see oozing from an Alien’s mouth also have acidic qualities? We’ve seen copious amounts of this drool on the Nostromo, Narcissus and at Hadley’s Hope with no apparent affect. The fact the Alien’s saliva on the Narcissus doesn’t burn a hole through the hull, and no trace of Alien presence is discovered by the team who went over the lifeboat, would suggest that what corroded away the Sulaco’s deck was in fact blood and not drool.
We’ve seen that Aliens can fit into very tight places – Nostromo and Hadley’s Hope air ducts, behind the console in the Narcissus, ceiling crawlspaces, even the tunnels between the Queen’s chamber and the lifts in the AP Station would have been a squeeze for the huge matriarch. So it fitting into the landing gear bay, isn’t especially out of the ordinary, but it does beg the question – if Aliens can go almost anywhere, why didn’t they catch Newt? The air duct leading from the Level 2 corridor to Newt’s hide away, was just big enough to accommodate a human adult. Your average Alien is around a foot taller than a human, which may explain it, but why didn’t they just claw their way through the ducts? Since we don’t know how Aliens track their prey, there could be any number of reasons why they didn’t catch Newt. Her cubby hole was right under a large fan. If the Aliens track by sound the noise of the fan could confuse them. If they track by smell, the fan could confuse any odour emanating from Newt by circulating it around nearby ducts. If they track by movement once again the movement of the fan could screw up their tracking.
But we digress. As observed during the dropship launch, the landing gear bay is not pressurised and is open to the outside Fig 2-25b meaning the Queen has been exposed to extreme cold and no oxygen for up to 50 minutes (assuming it takes the same amount of time to fly back to the Sulaco as it takes to fly from the Sulaco). Once again the Queen seems to have suffered no ill effects from either the lack of temperature or the lack of air.
She immediately turns her attentions to Newt, but Ripley distracts her. The Queen looks at Ripley, then starts after her. Ripley bolts for a nearby chamber off the hangar bay, and closes a door behind her. One would think a normal adult Alien would be able to scramble under the door before it closed, but the Queen either due to her size and/ or lack of combat skills, merely rams her head against the door a couple of times before turning her attention back to Newt.
Newt has scrambled into the crawlspace under the grilled deck plates. Instead of reaching into an access hatch for Newt, the Queen simply rips up deck plates as if they were nothing. Note yet another finger configuration. We’re back to the six individual fingers of the Nostromo Alien, but these fingers are up to 10 inches long, with the sixth finger not even attached to the rest of the hand in a conventional manner, but almost hanging onto the hand via a bone from the fifth finger Fig 2-25a. The Queen also has a smaller second set of arms attached to her lower chest which appear to be the same as the other LV-426 Aliens (five fingers; second fused to third and fourth fused to fifth). The purpose of the second set is not known, but may have something to do with her capacity as an egg layer.
Each time Newt just manages to evade the Queen, but she is soon cornered and screams as the monster reaches for her. Just then a door opens to reveal Ripley piloting a powerloader. Now the Queen and Ripley are on equal terms, and start battling it out hand to mechanical hand. The Queen uses pretty much everything in her arsenal to get to Ripley from her inner jaw to her tail. For her part, Ripley bashes the Queen around quite a lot – again without any apparent harm to the Queen. She gets knocked down, then gets right back up again. The loaders blows don’t seem to be enough to break the Queen’s skin and no acid burns are evident during the battle. Ripley uses a blowtorch at one point to ward off the Queen’s wicked jaws and the Queen recoils. The Queen escaped the inferno on Sub-Level 4, but was scared of a tiny blowtorch? It may be she was simply taken by surprise, and while fire doesn’t seem to harm Aliens unduly, they don’t really seem to like it that much either. Now Ripley remote activates the inner hatch of a nearby loading airlock. She then manages to grab the Queen, lift her up and prepare to dump her into the vertical lock, but the Queen is faster and drags Ripley down with her.
As Newt appears from her hiding spot under the flooring, Ripley extricates herself from the loader which is pinning the Queen against the outer hatch, and starts climbing out. The Queen plays her final card and grabs Ripley’s ankle. Ripley trumps this by activating the outer hatch. The loader falls away from the ship, as the Queen clings to Ripley, who in turn loops an arm around the airlock ladder to stop from being pulled out. The Queen’s weight is unknown, but must surely be in the range of one metric tonne, possibly more. It’s difficult to tell, because while being a large creature she is also rather spindly in the arms and legs, and more agile than a being of that size should be. But then again we’re talking about an Alien species here…
But anyway we’re talking heavy – heavy enough to dislocate or break Ripley’s hip, but the woman manages to slip her Reebok off and the Queen falls away screaming and tumbling through space back to LV-426. We’ve established the Queen can withstand the vacuum of space – whether she can withstand orbital re-entry is another matter entirely. Though we don’t know what ultimately becomes of the Queen, it’s a pretty fair bet she was drawn back into Acheron’s gravity, and her actually surviving re-entry and a fall of 39 kilometres should not be ruled out, however unlikely that sounds.
Ripley climbs out of the airlock and close the inner hatch – a superhuman effort considering the decompressing air rushing out, and finds Bishop grasping the deck with one hand and Newt with the other.
Coming soon - Alien3
All copyrights and trademarks belong to their respective owners. This site is for the promotion of selected material, no infringements are intended. All reasonable efforts have been taken to credit the respective owners and/or authors.