"Patience is everything. From the eggs, came these parasites. Shock troops of the genetic assault. Waiting for a host, entering the host, rewriting the DNA. Ultimately producing... well, these enviable unions. My beautiful bestiary."
David explaining his work to Chris Oram (from Alien: Covenant)

Examples of David's work

During the ten years he spent on Planet 4, the rogue synthetic David experimented with a mysterious pathogen, which would later result in the creation of the alien creature known as the Praetomorph. David discovered that some species were created or mutated by the pathogen, and had the potential to further spread the agent via their own refined method of parasitically attacking and infecting a host.

The failed experiments[]

"You engineered these things, David?"
Oram questioning David (from Alien: Covenant)
Parasitic alien wasp

A tiny insect, from the mutated fungal egg sacs.

Before achieving what he considered a success, the maverick android David spent ten years marooned on the remote Planet 4 using a mysterious pathogen to create many different forms of life, having already deployed a wave of the pathogen on the world's Engineer population from the ship on which he arrived. The experiments were then displayed in a chamber David designated as his workshop, each presented in its sequential life-cycle stage. Alongside these were various eggs, ranging from traditional size to that of a golf or soccer ball. Deformed creatures were placed on display all throughout the workshop.

Tiny parasitic wasps, dubbed by David as "shock troops of the genetic assault", were birthed from egg sacs. These originated from a fungal life form which was infected by the pathogen. Further experiments on these wasps and other mutated life forms led to the creation of other parasitic species. At one point while exploring the workshop, David discovered an alien egg that held a spider-like parasite; however, he was forced to euthanize it when it attacked him.

Experiments on Shaw[]

"What choice did I have? She was the perfect specimen. I tried so desperately to make her more than human. Evolve. But without her cooperation, I had to salvage her parts to begin work on my masterpiece."
David explaining Elizabeth Shaw's role in his experiments (from Advent)
Shaw's fate (3)

Elizabeth Shaw's mutilated body lying in state in David's workshop

David also dissected and experimented on his companion and former Prometheus crew member Elizabeth Shaw's body, mutilating and deforming it in the process. David's initial aim in this course of action was to modify Shaw beyond her limitations as a human; however, this ultimately proved fruitless, and he instead used her organs and essences to contribute toward his ultimate project, which had achieved fruition as of 2104.


"What are they waiting for, David?"
Oram and David discussing the eggs (from Alien: Covenant)
Failed experiments (2)

Results of David's experiments catalogued

By the time the crew of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation colony ship Covenant arrived on Planet 4 in 2104, having been lured there by a hologram of Shaw, David had created what he considered to be a success. These creations were eggs of his own design, although they were slightly different in shape and size to the example David had earlier discovered. Without any living hosts to use, David's project stagnated. After leading ship's captain Chris Oram into a chamber where he had stored the eggs, David's experiment was finally able to progress as a parasite from one of his eggs attacked and successfully impregnated Oram, who soon after birthed what David deemed as the perfect organism.

This organism was defeated in combat by Covenant terraformist Katherine Daniels, but David's experiments were far from finished. A second parasite had infected security chief Dan Lopé; playing a game of subterfuge, David took the place of ship's synthetic Walter and accompanied the crew back to the Covenant. Another alien emerged from the guard and ran amok on the ship; as Daniels fought the creature, David observed its performance and was disappointed when Daniels managed to defeat it. Still maintaining his ruse, David placed the remaining crew into hypersleep and procured two parasite embryos he had smuggled into the ship. With the crew and the ship's payload of colonists in his possession, David sent a message to Weyland-Yutani informing them that he planned to continue his experiments using his new subjects. Of particular interest to the synthetic was Daniels; David expressed his intent to use her in his efforts to create a queen.

Behind the scenes[]

In the novelization of Alien: Covenant, David reveals that his creations are not entirely original and are his attempt to replicate the Xenomorphs created by the Engineers. Furthermore, David elaborates that the Xenomorphs he created were the result of hybridizing various Neomorph strains spawned from the indigenous life of Planet 4 using Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15. The short film Advent and the illustrations of his research included in the DVD and digital release show some of David's hybridization experiments.