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Aliens: Infiltrator is a 2021 novel written by Weston Ochse and published by Titan Books. The novel is a prequel to Aliens: Fireteam video game that was developed by Cold Iron Studios[1] and was released on April 20, 2021.

As well as standard print editions, the novel was released simultaneously in audiobook format, read by Bronson Pinchot and published by Blackstone Audio.

Publisher's Summary

The official prequel to the new Alien video game from Cold Iron Studios.

Dr. Timothy Hoenikker arrives on Pala Station, a Weyland-Yutani facility. Lured there by the promise of alien artifacts, instead he finds a warped bureaucracy and staff of misfits testing the effects of Xenomorph bio-materials on living creatures. Unbeknownst to the personnel, however, there is an infiltrator among them whose actions could spell disaster.

Also on staff is Victor Rawlings, a former Marine who gathers together other veterans to prepare for the worst. As the personnel receive a delivery of alien eggs, the experiments spin out of control, and only the former Colonial Marines can stand between the humans and certain death.

Plot

On January 12th, 2202. Dr. Timothy Hoenikker, a theoretical archaeologist who works for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, is sent to Pala Station, a classified research facility on the remote planet LV-895[2]. Upon arrival, Hoenikker is greeted by the stations Reception Tech and veteran Colonial Marine, Victor Rawlings, and gets a quick tour of Pala Station before being introduced to his supervisor, Med-Lab Section Chief Mansfield. Hoenikker soon learns that he will not be studying alien artifacts as promised, but instead will be working with a small group of scientists testing the effects of a pathogen of unknown origin on living specimens that they have named Rat-X and Leon-895.

Late one night, while working in the lab by himself, xenobiologist and veteran Colonial Marine, Dr. Mark Cruz is attacked by his test subject, Rat-X, after having flashbacks and blacking out in its containment room. He came to just in time to escape before subduing his subject with fire. Early the next morning, Logistics Specialist Steven Fairbanks is questioned by security when he is found loitering in a restricted area. Unbeknownst to the rest of the station's staff, Fairbanks had recently been blackmailed by Hyperdyne Corporation while on extended emergency leave. Due to Pala Station's local rat infestation, Hyperdyne thought it best to supply him with rats that used mico-personal data tracker (MPDT) implants to transmit digital information about Pala Station's layout back to Hyperdyne, when released.

Meanwhile, the San Lorenzo had towed Katanga refinery into orbit[3] and Rawlings prepared the arrival of new specimens about to be delivered to the scientists and their personnel, ensuring that everyone had the correct security clearances and personnel files. He also went to Fabrications and ordered personnel to made more security glass for the containment units, remarking the technicians about the characteristics of the Xeno's blood.[4] After that, he headed for the station's HQ and offered Comm Tech Buggy join a "club", in the event of something bad happens.

At the science lab, Hoenikker bonded with colleague Dr. Erin Kash, telling each other about their past before being hired and lured there by Weyland-Yutani. Kash was a surgeon at a hospital in a mining colony six months prior[5]. Their conversation is cut short when Cruz arrived, warning them about specimen Rat-X, which escaped by spitting acid to the glass.[6] Cruz grabbed a flamethrower he had previously stored there and tried to kill the creature, but Mansfield opened the door andthe creature wounded him before running away. He finally killed it, not before losing one man.[7]

Following the incident, things betweem Manpower and Science lab section's personnel got tense when Thompson, the station's commander blamed Mansfield and the lab staff for not following protocols and experiments were restricted.

The existence of a mole is discovered when Dr. Prior analize new rat specimens and discovered the MPDT's on them. They alert security chief Flowers and Hoenikker suggest hacking the signal in order to track who was receiving data and find the mole.[8]

Communications specialist Brennan later tracked and found the portable receiver device for the MPDT's and after making Fairbanks nervous, Chase checked on and discovered the device wasn't from the station[9]. Fairbanks corrected by saying he had just log it, but Brennan didn't buy it. He confronted Fairbanks and made him confess he was blackmailed, but insteaf of turning him up, he blackmailed him in turn. Fairbanks then killed Brennan using the suicide pill he'd been equiped and hid the body.[10]

Despite the ban on the projects, Cruz continued administer Leon-895 with irradiated pathogen, making the monster five times larger and growing an extra set of legs. Hoenikker, in the meanwhile had solved how to find who is using the rats, by checking the movements of employees around the site whereit was found. Because the rats must have been brought to the station recently, making himself a suspect.[11] They tracked Brennan twice and after checking his room they found his PDT but no body. Later, Hoenikker was interrogated by Mr. Tacker along with Fairbanks, the only staff members who had recently arrived, but as he had no consistent proof of them being the culprit, he let them go.

The next day, the lab staff prepared the containment cells for the xenomorphs due to arrive in forty eight hours.[12] Paranoia starts to take place inside the station as Brennan's body is discovered, pointing to Fairbanks again. When searching his room, they found the crime scene, revealing him as the mole.[13] Tacker and Howard found Fairbanks at the containment lab. Knowing he was cornered and nowhere to run, he pressed the release button for Leon-895.[14] The now human-sized creature killed Howard, Mansfield and three others. Hoenikker ran away, pursued by the rampaging monster, killing everyone on its path. Even the synths were unable to kill it. Both the creature and Fairbanks had banished. Due to the two escape incidents, Thompson is relieved from command by Vincent Bellows, the new station commander. He orders placing two synths at the lab to take care of any problem, and if it's the case, destroy every single specimen.[15]

Bellows scolded the lab staff, and warns everyone a second shipment of xenomorphs from Katanga would be shuttling down in the afternoon. Rawlings adived Hoenikker if something bad happens, he would join him and the group. Dr. Kash is put in charge of the xenomorph experimentation, she explains Hoenikker its life cycle and the backstory of Katanga, an orbital refinery which was infected when miners in the planet encountered xenomorphs. She also let out the fact that Pala Station was built before to study strange artifacts covered in glyphs Mansfield brought from somewhere.[16]

Twelve xenomorph eggs were received in stasis containers. Kash explains Hoenikker about the implantation method, telling him he won't have to worry about, because they will be working with the plagiarus praepotens only, before Cruz let them know there was a change of plans and Bellows wants adult specimens. Kash, Rawlings and Étienne Lacroix protested about using humans to breed xenomorphs but Bellows warned them about their own problems, Hoenikker's sister had trouble, Kash had questionable past and Étienne was in prison. They reluctantly complies as Cruz assured them Bellows has a caché of criminals who had signed an agreement with Weyland-Yutani in exchange for some favors.[17]

Nine men and three women are put in the contaiment rooms with an ovomorph. Meanwhile Rawlings had been suffering from PTSD from a previous mission in a mining colony where he had lost a hand in an encounter with the aliens.[18] Fairbanks is bitten by a Rat-X while hiding in one of the station's storerooms. He deduced that specimen had been in contact with contaminated blood and he is probably infected. Hungry and desperated, he killed and consumed the rat.[19] Meanwhile, Hoenikker recognized Test Subject #3 as Monica Enright, his ex-girlfriend from college, and with Cruz and Rawlings' help, he had the chance to talk to her and she revealed she's actually a serial killer, and signed to avoid life sentence in a terraforming prison.[20]

Of the twelve eggs, only eleven xenomorph specimens were produced, Subject #11 fought and commited suicide right before the implantation and the facehugger died moments later. The first two aliens were normal, but with Three, things changed, its skin was dark and leathery with stripes. Hoenikker described it as malevolent. Five had an extra set of arms and Seven was the strangest: a human-shaped albino drone. In the meantime, Cruz and security hunted the still missing Leon-895, who had atacked and killed an operator. He and Hoenikker found it in one of the corridors. Cruz was finally able to wound it and Hoenikker killed it.[21]

Étienne experimented by allowing the xenomorphs to interact, wanting to obtain a deterrent by studying the pheromones. Cruz observed as Six and Eight start spitting acid at the containment room glass ahortly after he felt static at the back of his brain. Other xenomorphs attacked the glass as well and when Cruz let fire rain over Seven they suddenly stopped. Kash hypothesized Seven is a kind of super-drone, capable of leading others.[22] Seven influence grows until it reached six of the xenomorphs and even another specimen of Leon-895, which upset Cruz. They randomly attack the barriers, and every time they start, someone has to activate the flame system in Seven's cage. This prompted Bellows to asign two synths to the task, interfering with the lab routines. Meanwhile Étienne tested a pheromone based deterrentwith partial success.

Things gone awry when Rawlings and security found a mutated Fairbanks inside a storeroom.[23] The monster rampaged though the station pursued by Rawlings and killing anyone on its path. The alarm was activated and in the lab, every xenomorph started attacking the containment glass fervorously. Thinking one of the specimens had escaped, Bellows orders the xenomorphs must be destroyed, despite Cruz's pleas that every alien is in its containment room. The Synths managed to destroy subjects #1, #2 and #5 before the rest managed to escape.[24] Kash and Hoenikker fled the lab as Étienne used the pheromones to mask himself from a xenomorph.

In the meantime, while hiding in a closet, Cruz remembered how his squad was decimated back in LV-832 and decided help Kash, Étienne and even Hoenikker escape to the San Lorenzo in a shuttle. He searched through security vids for a safe way back to the lab and retrieved his prototype acid-resistant armor and a M240A1 Incinerator unit. He found Étienne in a corridor and Kash and Hoenikker inside the latter's room. Cruz revealed there are no hopes in contain the infestation as possible hundred more eggs were brough down to Pala from Katanga. Their only hope is save whoever they can and escape.

In another part of the station, Rawlings, McGann and Buggy observed how Seven and the other aliens rounded up humans in the mess hall and forced them into eggs they transported there. Their plan was the same, reach the shuttle and flee, but Bellows and his group of external security were bunked in the landing bay. Rawlings suggested going outside to a hunting lodge former chief Thompson has in the jungle, call and wait until help arrives. But as he didn't know where is it or even if it exist, McGann suggest they go to engineering to see where the lodge is connected to the power grid and follow it.[25]

Cruz' group arrived at a barricade of a group of Bellow's men and informed them about what's happening in the mess hall. He decided to hook up with Rawlings and his group. Searching through video, they found them heading for engineering. Kash and Hoenikker managed to kill a xenomorph before reuniting with Rawlings, McGann and Buggy. Together, they decide to look after the hunting lodge somewhere two kilometers from the station.

Buggy explains Pala Station didn't have the capacity for deep space transmissions, the simply send it to the San Lorenzo and they forward to destination, there's no way to know if the message was sent unless they board the ship. Another problem is of the three ways to exit the station: the first one is the shuttle bay, the secodn one is on the command suits, both guarded by security. The third one is at the backside of the kitchen, pass the mess hall, right into the makeshift hive. They decide to seal all the doors, keeping Seven and security locked until the latter start to starve, then they would fight.

Thirty six hours later, they opened the doors. Security left the shuttle bay and reached the mess hall but they were incapable of getting in. Cruz and company watched as the missing Leon-895 stalked and killed them. Bellows angrily called in, stating they were interfering with his efforts to retake the station. Six more hours passed and a woman arrived at engineering, she said had arrived in a merchant ship in response to an emergency call from the San Lorenzo. After interrogation and checking her biometrics, Cruz discovered she was trying to lead them into an ambush and he used his flamehtrower to kill four men.

The woman, Susan McCunne, hinted she's from a secret part of the station. Suddenly, the power snapped off leaving the place in darkness, Hoenikker then guessed the xenomorphs had used south access and destroyed a nearby power node. When the lights were back, the mess hall was empty and the xenomorphs have destroyed the security cameras.[26] The group geared up to reach the shuttle bay, killing several xenomorphs as a unit of marines. Leon-895 attacked and wounded Buggy before Cruz managed to make him flee. The Fairbanks monster took McGann by surprise, using her as her shield. With no chance to help her, Cruz mercy killed her and then eliminated Fairbanks.

At less than hundred meters from the shuttle bay, they heard a short-lived fight between a group of humans and xenomorphs. The group lead by Cruz was attacked by the surviving creatures. Buggy lost an arm to an adult xenomorph and Rawlings used acid blood to cauterize the wound. Cruz and the others enters the laboratory where they find Étienne, still alive thanks to the pheromones. From there, they learned that what was left of the security command were making an unsuccessful final push towards the shuttle, commanded by Bellows. After the fight, only the comander remained, and was invited by Cruz to join, knowing he has the shuttle's access code.[27] Bellows explained that Seven is holding the area just outside the shuttle bay with a few xenomorphs, and seeing no other option, he reluctantly gives them the shuttle's access code.

Cruz, Rawlings, Buggy, Bellows, Kash, Etienne and Hoenikker made one last fight against Seven and eleven Xenomorphs. Rawlings and Buggy fell first, Cruz sacrificed himself by detonating his flamethrower to finish off Seven. Bellows tried to abandon them and run towards the shuttle but was dragged into the flames by a dying Seven. Hoenikker, Kash and Étienne then boarded the ship and left Pala Station bound for the San Lorenzo in orbit.

The Leon-895 decloaked and killed Étienne and was in turn shot by Hoenikker. The shuttle prepared to dock with the San Lorenzo when suddenly, Three appeared looking at then from the outside, the xenomorph was trying to get in by punching a hole. Kash and Hoenikker boarded the San Lorenzo and as Kash watched his back, he sent an emergency message from the ship's bridge.[28]

Kash was killed by Monica, and Hoenikker with no other place to go, boarded Katanga trough the umbilical pursued by the xenomorph. He crept deeper and deeper into the refinery and barricaded himself there, waiting for an uncertain fate.

Audiobook

Simultaneous with the physical release, Blackstone Audio produced an unabridged audiobook of Aliens: Infiltrator, read by Bronson Pinchot. The audiobook runs for 9 hours and 8 minutes.

Trivia

  • A different type of Xenomorph identified as a "Drone" was originally going to appear in Aliens. These Drones were going to be much smaller than the "Warriors" seen in the film and white in color, with an excreting probe in place of the inner jaws. They were to be a worker caste inside the Hive, tending to the Queen and moving her Eggs.[29] They were ultimately cut from the movie before filming, although they appeared in the novelization by Alan Dean Foster.[30] While their attributes have since been applied to the Drone from the movies, the original albino caste had yet to appear in any other media until the release of this novel, featuring an albino super-drone on its cover.
  • The events of the novel tie directly into the game Aliens: Fireteam, as is shown in the preview, one of the first missions is locating Hoenikker's PDT inside Katanga.

Goofs

  • In Chapter 3, Cruz is said to have grown up in a ghetto of storage containers on LV-223, a Weyland-Yutani distribution planet that doubled as an intergalactic trash dump. This description contradicts what is known about the moon, LV-223, that serves as the primary setting for the film Prometheus.
  • While the novel's video game tie-in, Aliens: Fireteam, mentions Hyperdyne Systems, the name Hyperdyne Corporation is used repeatedly throughout the novel.
  • Early on in the novel, Security Specialist Reyes tells Rawlings that she questioned Fairbanks when she found him trespassing in an unauthorized location of Pala Station. For the remainder of the novel she is referred to as Security Specialist Howard.

Tie-in Media

Video game

Aliens: Infiltrator is a prequel novel to Aliens: Fireteam video game being developed by Cold Iron Studios that will follow a Marine Assault Unit to LV-895 in the outer colonies, home to deadly Xenomorph legions, hidden corporate secrets, and ancient alien ruins.

References

  1. "Amazon.com - Alien: Infiltrator". Retrieved on 2019-11-04.
  2. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 10.
  3. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 34.
  4. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 36.
  5. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), TitanBooks, page 42.
  6. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), TitanBooks, page 45.
  7. Weston Ochse, Aliens Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 46.
  8. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 59.
  9. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 62.
  10. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 68.
  11. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 78.
  12. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 89.
  13. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 96.
  14. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 100.
  15. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 107.
  16. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books. Page 119.
  17. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 123.
  18. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 130
  19. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books. Page 135.
  20. Weston Ochse, Aliens: infiltrator (2021), titan Books, page 150.
  21. Weston Ochse, Aliens: infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 168.
  22. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 178.
  23. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator (2021), Titan Books, page 188.
  24. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator, p. 200 (2021), Titan Books.
  25. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator, p. 220 (2021). Titan Books.
  26. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator, p. 256. (2021) Titan Books.
  27. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator, p. 278 (2021), Titan Books.
  28. Weston Ochse, Aliens: Infiltrator, p. 292 (2021), Titan Books.
  29. "Alien II" initial treatment by James Cameron
  30. Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 304 (2014), Titan Books.

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