Predator: Incursion is a 2015 novel written by Tim Lebbon and published by Titan Books. A sequel to Alien: Sea of Sorrows, the book follows a large cast of characters as they deal with a dramatic escalation in the number of Yautja attacks on the fringes of human space. Among those combating the deadly incursions are Lieutenant Mains and his elite squad of Excursionists, who become stranded on a Yautja space habitat and there discover the horrifying reason for the sudden onslaught. The novel was originally set to be released on September 25, 2015, but this was later pushed back to October 20, 2015.
As well as the standard print edition, the novel was released in audiobook format in 2016, read by John Chancer and published by Audible Studios. It was released on April 26, 2016, as part of Alien Day.
THE RAGE WAR
This terrifying assault by the Yaujta cannot go unchallenged, yet the cost of combat is high. Predators are master combatants, and each encounter yields a high body count. Then when Lt. Johnny Mains and his Marines — the VoidLarks — enter the fray, they discover an enemy deadlier than any could imagine.
Following the recovery of samples from New Galveston, Weyland-Yutani has been running a successful Xenomorph research program aboard the USS Evelyn-Tew for some time. However, the vessel is sabotaged by the synthetic Liliya, who releases the test subjects and steals the team's research data while the creatures slaughter the crew. She flees the vessel in an escape pod as emergency protocols take the Evelyn-Tew into a nearby star, destroying the ship and all the Xenomorphs aboard. Adrift in space, Liliya sends a message to the Founders informing them that her mission is complete and waits to be found.
Hundreds of years later, Lieutenant Johnny Mains and his small squad of Colonial Marine Excursionists, the VoidLarks, respond to a Yautja attack on the remote colony of Southgate Station 12, near the edge of human space. They kill the two hunters responsible, but lose two of their own in the process. With the situation under control, they return to their previous duties — covertly surveilling a vast deep space Yautja habitat just outside of the Human Sphere. As they observe the vessel, they receive word from USCM command that there has been an alarming increase in Yautja incursions into human space in recent months. Soon afterwards, several Yautja vessels launch from the habitat and head for the Human Sphere. Deeming them hostile, Mains and his VoidLarks engage; they destroy several of the enemy ships, but their own vessel is critically damaged in the process and they are forced to land on the habitat.
Meanwhile on the planet LV-1529, scientist Isa Palant is attempting to research the Yautja, working from second-hand accounts and limited biological samples, hoping to learn more about their physiology and society. The two Yautja slain by Mains and his squad at Southgate Station 12 are delivered to her laboratory, and Palant eagerly goes to work studying the bodies, joined by new assistant Milt McIlveen, a company man. Meanwhile, fellow scientist Angela Svenlap receives a cryptic message from the Founders, its content driving her to sabotage the base with a bomb, destroying the compound and killing most of the staff; Svenlap herself commits suicide when discovered. The survivors, Palant and McIlveen among them, take shelter from the planet's harsh climate in a remote, dilapidated warehouse that escaped the blast.
Aboard Charon Station, the overall command center for the USCM, General Bassett and Weyland-Yutani executive Gerard Marshall learn of a spate of similar terrorist attacks throughout human space, killing tens of thousands. In response to the total loss of contact with the base on LV-1529, Marshall contacts Major Akoko "Snow Dog" Halley and dispatches her and a small contingent of her Colonial Marine regiment, the DevilDogs, to investigate. When they eventually reach LV-1529, they find the survivors under attack by Yautja; the Marines quickly slay the remaining creature and rescue the survivors from the base. Back aboard DevilDogs' ship, Palant informs Halley that the Yautja are apparently entering human space because they are fleeing some greater threat — information she and McIlveen have learned by translating intercepted communications between the creatures that attacked them. Realising the inevitable toll of fighting the Yautja on a large scale, Halley permits Palant to compose a transmission to the invaders requesting a temporary ceasefire.
Aboard the Yautja habitat, Mains and his surviving VoidLarks discover evidence of a massacre, Yautja torn to pieces by unknown aggressors. The stranded Marines face assaults by the remaining hunters on board, of which there are apparently few, but the repeated contacts begin to drain their supplies and reduce their number. Their attempts to commandeer a Yautja vessel to escape fail when they find the alien technology completely indecipherable, but during one such attempt they notice another vessel, seemingly not of Yautja origin, attached to one end of the habitat. Moving to investigate, the group discover the cause of the slaughter aboard the habitat — Xenomorphs, apparently brought there by the unidentified vessel. The creatures attack, killing everyone but Mains and another Marine named Lieder, but the two survivors manage to fight their way through and reach the unidentified ship. Aboard, they discover a ruined android named Patton, and realize the Xenomorphs are somehow under its control.
Far outside the Human Sphere, Liliya now resides with the former Founders, a faction of dissident human scientists that fled human space centuries before, seeking to create a new, free society among the stars, far beyond the influence of the rest of mankind. However, Liliya has become disillusioned with the group's cause, which now focuses on returning to the Human Sphere and reaping revenge for the perceived persecution that first drove them out. To this end, they have renamed themselves the Rage and, building upon the research originally brought to them from the Evelyn-Tew by Liliya, have succeeded where countless others before them have failed — they have developed an effective means to control the Xenomorphs. They have now bred an army of the creatures, planning to use them as shock troops in their assault, operating under the command of their android generals, just as Mains discovered. Deciding she is no longer willing to assist the Rage in their planned genocide, Liliya steals the secret to the their Xenomorph control and flees for human space, hoping that the information she carries will help mankind repel the impending invasion. Discovering her betrayal, Beatrix Maloney, the leader of the Rage, dispatches Alexander, the greatest of her android generals, to mercilessly hunt Liliya down.
In response to Palant's request for a ceasefire, a peace meeting is arranged between humans and Yautja in a neutral location, the creatures requesting that Palant herself lead the human delegation. Speaking with the senior hunter, named Kalakta, they discover that the threat from which the Yautja are fleeing are the Xenomorphs, which the Rage have unleashed upon them in order to test their army in battle ahead of their advance. Realizing that the organized army of creatures may be unstoppable, the two sides agree to work together to combat the threat.
As she races toward the Human Sphere, Liliya is captured by a Yautja vessel and subjected to horrendous torture by its crew, who recognize her as a member of the Rage. Only when the ship is attacked by Alexander's Xenomorph army is she able to convince her captors of her true intentions, and she flees the destruction of the vessel with Hashori, her torturer, who intends to regroup with other Yautja for the fight back.
Aboard the Rage vessel attached to the Yautja habitat, Mains and Lieder learn the true scale of the threat now facing humanity — accessing the ship's data banks, they discover that the Rage have intercepted and captured a fleet of colony ships sent out from human space centuries before, each one containing thousands of colonists in suspended animation. They deduce that the Rage have used these captive humans to breed their vast Xenomorph army; the same colony vessels are now heading back towards human space, bringing with them their deadly cargo. However, before Mains and Lieder can transmit news of their discovery back to the USCM, Xenomorphs swarm into the ship.
In 2016, Audible Studios produced an unabridged audiobook of Predator: Incursion, read by John Chancer. The audiobook runs for 11 hours and 30 minutes and was released on April 26, 2016, to coincide with Alien Day, alongside a similar audiobook of Alien: Invasion, the second book in the Rage War trilogy.
- Predator: Incursion was the first Predator novel to be published by Titan Books, taking over from DH Press. It was also the first Predator novel to be published in the United Kingdom since Predator: Cold War some 18 years earlier — the intervening books were only ever released in the United States.
- With Predator: Incursion, Tim Lebbon became the first author to pen more than one Alien/Predator/Alien vs. Predator novel since John Shirley, who wrote Predator: Forever Midnight and Aliens: Steel Egg in 2006 and 2007, respectively. With the subsequent release of Alien: Invasion, he also became one of four authors to have penned more than two novels for the franchise, the others being Steve Perry, his daughter S. D. Perry and James A. Moore, with whom Lebbon worked on the 2014 Alien novel trilogy.
- The prologue in which Liliya steals the Xenomorph research was originally planned to take place aboard the USM Auriga during the events of Alien Resurrection, but this was altered in subsequent drafts.
- When introducing Major Akoko "Snow Dog" Halley, the book mentions that she has only ever fought a Yautja once before. Lebbon would later write about this encounter in the short story prequel Devil Dogs, included in the anthology Predator: If It Bleeds.
- When Isa Palant is negotiating with the Yautja, Kalakta references the events of Predator 2, describing the Yautja's encounter with Mike Harrigan and implying that he is in fact descended from a member of the Los Angeles hunting party.
- The ship Aaron-Percival mentioned in the novel was named after AVPGalaxy administrator Corporal Hicks.
- Despite the title only including Predator, the Aliens also feature in the book and are a key aspect of its plot.
- The cover of the novel appears to be taken from a promotional image of Wolf for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem; the fact the background appears to be a sewer tunnel (as seen in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem) further supports this.
- The prologue makes it clear the Xenomorphs being studied aboard the USS Evelyn-Tew originate from samples recovered from LV-178, referring to the end of the novel Alien: Sea of Sorrows. However, the book dates this prologue as occurring in 2351; Seas of Sorrows took place in 2497, almost 150 years later.
- Mains and his squad face down two Yautja on Southgate Station 12 at the beginning of the story, yet later the book states there were three.
- ↑ "Titan Books - Predator: Incursion (The Rage War #1)". Retrieved on 2015-09-16.
- ↑ "AVPGalaxy - Tim Lebbon Interview (Predator – Incursion)". Retrieved on 2018-06-27.