Aliens: Original Sin is a 2005 novel written by Michael Jan Friedman and published by DH Press. A sequel to Alien Resurrection, it continues the story of Ripley 8, now captain of the Betty, as she and her crew pursue a deadly conspiracy and deal with another Xenomorph outbreak on a giant botanical space station.
Not counting the children's book Cyberantics: A Little Adventure from 1992, Original Sin is the first novel in the Alien franchise not to be an adaptation of a comic book. All subsequent novels would similarly be original stories rather than adaptations.
THE ADVENTURES OF ELLEN RIPLEY CONTINUE!
What the crew of the Nostromo found was an alien life form — a hideous, slavering killer, quicker and more powerful than anything they had known before. Only Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley managed to escape with her life, destroying the Nostromo rather than give the monster a chance to reach Earth.
But she hadn't seen the last of the breed. Now, centuries after the death of the original Ripley, her clone has taken up the fight. And she has found, with the help of an android named Call, a brutal hired gun named Johner, and a paraplegic mechanic named Vriess, that there is more to the Alien horror than meets the eye...
In a bar on the space station Byzantium, Johner, Vriess and new Betty crewmember Krakke start a fight with a group of cargo haulers. The brawl quickly spreads to most of the occupants of the bar, drawing the station's security and allowing Ripley and Call to access a secure data core elsewhere on the station while the guards are distracted. After Call links with the mainframe and extracts the classified information they need, Ripley orders the crew to head back to the Betty. However, Vriess accidentally draws the attention of several security officers as he slips away from the scene of the fight and the guards give chase. The Betty crew manage to fight their way to their ship, but not before they are noticed by a reporter named Simoni, who recognizes Ripley and stows away aboard the Betty in search of a story. With everyone back on board, Bolero, the Betty's pilot, bluffs her way out of the station's docking bay after threatening to blast her way through the the bay doors with a bomb.
Elsewhere, on the vast botanical space station Domes Epsilon, the crew prepare to receive a routine supply tube. The delivery goes without incident, but when one of the station's crew goes to unload the pod he discovers a strange leathery egg inside. It immediately unleashes a Facehugger that subdues the hapless scientist. He is discovered by the station's security officer Shepherd and taken to the medical center.
On the Betty, Simoni is discovered and almost ejected into space by the angry crew. However, when Ripley learns that he is a journalist she relents and allows him to accompany them on their mission, although she refuses to reveal what this mission entails. Sometime later, the Betty is approached by an unidentified vessel that docks with the ship and sends aboard several masked, heavily armed men. The crew manage to overcome the boarders before they themselves storm the hostile vessel, only to discover that the crew have committed suicide to prevent questioning. The Betty barely manages to escape before the enemy vessel self-destructs.
Following the assault, Ripley finally reveals to a shocked Simoni what is going on. Some time after the Auriga incident, Call learned of a shadowy government group — which the crew have since christened Loki — that has for several centuries been communicating and trading with the Mala'kak, the alien species whose derelict the Nostromo stumbled upon on Acheron hundreds of years previously. In exchange for access to advanced alien technology, Loki has been arranging for Xenomorph outbreaks at remote colonies so that the Mala'kak can harvest the resultant Xenomorphs, which they require for their own purposes. Since learning of this conspiracy, the Betty crew have been attempting to disrupt these activities, hence why they are now under attack from Loki's forces. During their recent raid on Byzantium, the crew learned of the outbreak now being orchestrated on Domes Epsilon, and are currently on their way there to try and save the inhabitants. Finally, Ripley asks Simoni if he will reveal the existence of the conspiracy to the public. Recognizing an opportunity for fame, he eagerly agrees.
Reaching Domes Epsilon, the Betty crew learn that the impregnated crewmember has already been killed by the Chestburster within him. However, they also discover that the docking bay has been sabotaged, while communications with the station quickly fail as well, and thus they are forced to land on the hull and cut their way inside. Ripley, Call, Johner and Krakke enter the station and meet up with the surviving crew, who propose using a backup supply bay to escape. While investigating the bay, Ripley and Johner kill the Xenomorph, apparently ending the threat to the station. However, it soon becomes clear there are in fact far more Xenomorphs on board, with Ripley also noting that their biology is subtly different to the creatures she has encountered before. Now outnumbered, the survivors make a run for the supply bay but are attacked along the way and scattered. In the confusion, most of the scientists are killed or taken to be impregnated.
Meanwhile, Simoni has also entered the station, hoping to find more material for his story. He too encounters the Xenomorphs, but manages to link up with Ripley and several other survivors. However, he is subsequently killed saving Ripley from a Xenomorph during an attack. The few survivors make it back to the Betty, where Cody, one of the space station's crew, tries to commandeer the craft before being shot by Vriess, revealing him to be a synthetic. Ripley and Call subsequently interrogate the damaged android, learning that he works for Loki and was placed aboard the station to monitor the outbreak and ensure it went as planned. He also reveals that the strain of Xenomorphs unleashed on the station were engineered by the Mala'kak to breed even more rapidly, capable of spawning a dozen creatures from a single host, thus explaining their numbers. However, before he can reveal any critical information regarding Loki, in-built destruct programming wipes his memory.
The Betty departs the ravaged Domes Epsilon, remotely destroying the station with several bombs the crew had placed aboard during their ordeal. With her home and colleagues destroyed, Angie, the sole surviving member of the station's team of scientists, requests to join the Betty's crew on their mission to fight Loki. Ripley agrees, knowing that they will need all the help they can get when Loki comes after them for ruining one of their deals with the Mala'kak.
- Aliens: Original Sin is one of several Aliens/Predator/Alien vs. Predator novels that were never officially published in the United Kingdom.
- Original Sin is one of few stories in the franchise to be set in the 24th century advanced time period of Alien Resurrection. Other examples include the comics Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt and Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts, and the non-canon crossover comic Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator. Several recent novels have been set even further into humanity's future, starting with the book Alien: Sea of Sorrows.
- The book's primary setting — a giant botanical space station filled with lush plant life — is quite clearly based on a deleted scene from Alien Resurrection, in which the crew of the Betty were to encounter several Cloned Xenomorphs within a large botanical garden on the Auriga. Aside from the broad similarities, both the novel and the deleted scene feature small buggy-like vehicles that the occupants use to get around and end with the contents of the garden being sucked into space through a breach in the dome.
- Original Sin was the first Aliens novel to be an original story; all previous books were adaptations of Dark Horse comic books. It was also the first Aliens novel to be published by DH Press (not counting the children's book Cyberantics: A Little Adventure from 1992), taking over from Bantam.
- In the opening scene where the Betty lands on Earth, Vriess has his wheelchair, despite the fact it was left on board the Auriga in Alien Resurrection and destroyed when the ship crashed.
- While recounting the Nostromo's final voyage, Ripley claims Dallas sent images of the Pilot back to the rest of the crew on the ship. However, in Alien, all radio and video communications with Dallas, Kane and Lambert failed before they reached the derelict ship.
- The survivors on Domes Epsilon use thermal sensors to track the Xenomorphs on the station. However, in Aliens, the Xenomorphs are shown to have no thermal signature (similarly, Yautja are unable to detect them with their heat-based vision mode).
- At one point, Angie is referred to as both male and female in the same sentence.