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Aliens: Criminal Enterprise is a 2008 novel written by S. D. Perry and published by DH Press. When his brother falls into debt with ruthless drug dealers, Tommy Chase is forced to take a one-time assignment piloting one of the organization's transport ships to wipe the slate clean. The journey takes him to the remote planet Fantasia, where the dealers operate a secret drug lab kept safe by the horde of voracious Xenomorphs that swarm Fantasia's surface. However, when the facility comes under attack from rival forces, the creatures intended to keep the operation safe become an unstoppable threat to everyone on the planet.

Publisher's Summary

CRIMINAL MINES

Caught in a drug scheme gone bad, pilot Thomas Chase volunteers for a short-run mission to the planet Fantasia to save his no-good brother Pete. Everything from synthetic heroin to MX7 is cooked on Fantasia, a rock planet terraformed to hide an elaborate drug manufacturing operation in protected caves guarded by the savage Aliens.

When Chase's craft touches down on Fantasia, a chain of events begins that can't be stopped. As criminals and competitors try to take over the drug empire from the dangerous kingpin, Tommy and Pete are caught in the crossfire. Outside the labyrinth of caves, Aliens scream for human blood.

Plot

When his brother Pete falls into debt with ruthless drug dealers, pilot Tommy Chase is forced to leave his stable job on Earth and take a one-time assignment piloting one of the criminal organization's transport ships, in order to wipe his brother's slate clean. Hidden aboard an automated commercial freighter, the dropship Tommy is to pilot is transported to Fantasia, home to the organization's primary drug production facility; upon arrival, Tommy takes control of the craft and guides it safely to the surface. During the descent, he sees first-hand the secret to Fantasia's security — the planet is infested with Xenomorphs, making any attempt at assault a deadly prospect.

Upon setting down at the dealers' compound, hidden beneath the surface in a network of caves and tunnels, Tommy tries to keep a low profile amongst the hardened criminals who run the facility. However, he is dismayed by the readiness with which his brother Pete engages their morally bankrupt hosts. Tommy's disgust grows when the compound's occupants are invited to observe a regular "feeding" of the Xenomorphs, a procedure that entails the sacrifice of several live cattle to the creatures to serve as new hosts. The operation goes awry and the two men carrying out the feeding are killed by the Xenomorphs, and the Chase brothers are horrified when they are assigned as replacements by Fantasia's manager Trace. They survive the treacherous operation, with Tommy killing a Xenomorph in the process, a fact that earns him a degree of respect among Fantasia's employees.

Unknown to the inhabitants of the facility, Fantasia is secretly under observation by two rival forces — a group of competing drug dealers seeking to rip-off the organization's product, and a cleanup operation sent by the Grant Corporation to wipe out the drug factory. As soon as the dropship is loaded with illegal drugs to be transported back to Earth, Tommy and Pete prepare to leave Fantasia. Their departure triggers the rival dealers' attack, led by Ray Turner, who triggers an EMP to bring down the departing craft. The pulse also disables the incoming Grant ship, which likewise crashes onto the surface. Despite this, the team's leader, former Colonial Marine Sergeant Kaye, insists they continue with their mission. They head out onto the surface and fight their way through the swarming Xenomorphs, hoping to breach the base, but lose more than half of their number before reaching the refuge of the planet's natural tunnels.

Meanwhile, Trace and his trophy girlfriend Didi head out in a small flyer to investigate the downed dropship, leaving Tace's second-in-command Trog D in charge of the compound. Before Trace can reach the crash site, Ray sets down his own vessel next to the stricken ship, planning to plunder its cargo. He sends his crew over to the dropship, but they underestimate the Xenomorphs and are all either killed or taken during the crossing, stranding Ray alone aboard his ship. Back at the compound, Kaye and his men blast their way into the facility and begin their raid. In response to the assault, Trog activates the facility's emergency protocols — blowing all the exterior airlocks and allowing the Xenomorphs inside to deal with the intruders — but in his drug-addled state does so before the occupants can retreat to the secure holdout room deep within the complex. The Xenomorphs rapidly overwhelm the compound, slaughtering or carrying off anyone they can find. Word of the carnage reaches Trace moments before the operations room is overrun.

With no alternative, Trace docks with the downed dropship, finding Tommy, Pete and two goons named Moby and Lee still alive inside. Realizing that Ray's adjacent ship is their only chance at escape, the group makes the risky crossing, but Didi — Ray's source of information on the inside — betrays the others and attempts to abandon them. Her ploy fails and Tommy, Pete, Trace and Lee make it aboard Ray's ship with her, where Trace promptly shoots Ray dead. He then turns his gun on Didi, but finds himself unable to shoot his beloved partner. When Pete speaks up, an enraged Trace shoots him dead instead. Despite being unarmed, Tommy prepares to avenge his brother, but Trace is himself shot by Lee in order to save Tommy, the last person capable of flying Ray's ship off of Fantasia.

Devastated and too exhausted to argue, Tommy prepares to leave, only to receive word from Kaye, who has escaped the compound with one surviving team member and two captured employees in an armored transport. They attempt to transfer to the dropship, but Lee opens fire as they are crossing; Kaye is the only one to make it on board, saved when Didi overpowers Lee so that Tommy can shoot him. Kaye offers his thanks and with his mission technically complete, the beleaguered survivors take off and begin the journey back to Earth.

Reprint History

Aliens: Criminal Enterprise was collected along with Aliens: No Exit in The Complete Aliens Omnibus: Volume 7, published by Titan Books, in December 2018.

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