Specific Expansion Needed: Need Alien: Prototype info
- "First the marines broke my back. Then my spirit. Well, they tried to break my spirit and maybe they did, even for a minute. Then I met Davis, who gave it back. Hollis, too. Who looked past my five foot nothing, back-braced self, and only saw the warrior in me. Then they took them away, too. My career, my privacy, my friends, my ability to sleep through the night without any goddamn nightmares...Not that I didn't fight back. I'll always fight back."
- ―Zula (from Aliens: Defiance)
Private First Class Zula M. Hendricks was a member of the United States Colonial Marine Corps. In 2137, she was assigned to a corporate security drone squad, led by Davis One, that was sent aboard the Europa to claim the vessel as salvage for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Instead, the team discovered an infestation of Xenomorphs, an event that propelled Hendricks and Davis One on a personal mission across inhabited space to prevent the creatures falling into the company's hands. This led to further encounters with the creatures, most notably at a training mission at Jericho 3.
Three years later, Zula would reunite with her old friend Amanda Ripley-McClaren in a plight against the company to sabotage a black-sited bio-weapons facility.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life and life-changing injuries
- 1.2 The Europa
- 1.3 LV-44-40
- 1.4 AWOL and mutiny
- 1.5 Encounter with Dr. Hollis and the marines
- 1.6 The Queen
- 1.7 Setting a course for Earth
- 1.8 Capture
- 1.9 Freedom
- 1.10 Assignment at Jericho 3
- 1.11 Reunion with Amanda and battle against the Corporation
- 1.12 Exploring the moon
- 1.13 Surviving the nuke, rescue and exposing the company
- 1.14 Operation on the planet
- 2 Personality and Traits
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Gallery
- 6 References
Early life and life-changing injuries
- "I worked three times as hard to get through selection. I crushed it. Then the job crushed me. Instant liability, instant disgrace. Funny how fast your friends can turn on you once you show a bit of weakness."
- ―Zula regarding her botched operation (from Aliens: Defiance)
Zula grew up in harsh conditions in an especially poor district. She described her early life as "survival". At some point, when Zula was eighteen, Colonial Marines were occupying the area, with a squadron managing a crowd. As one marine dealt with a citizen, Zula sneaked up behind him and stole the handgun from his holster. Whilst another marine spots this and plans to shoot her, the latter stops him and queries "how hard she'll fight for it". Zula managed to avoid the marines for eighteen hours until she was finally caught by the previous marine, who convinced her that she should join them. Zula accepts and gave him back his gun, holding the trigger guard with her middle-finger and pointing it at him.
Sometime after her military training, Hendricks was dropped into her first combat operation with the USCM. Mere minutes after dropping into the combat zone, a nearby explosion lands near Zula and she loses her footing and drops her pulse rifle. Before attempting to retrieve it, a second explosion sent her flying. Gravely injured and unable to move, Zula looks to here left and sees an unexploded shell at her side. She turns around and braces for impact as the shell erupts right next to her, her back succumbing to the full force of the blast.
Hendricks found herself facing extensive reconstructive surgery and a lifetime of regular medical procedures to help her manage her damaged spine, which routinely caused her severe pain and often hindered her mobility. Her injuries meant that she was shunned by her fellow Marines and even her superiors, who viewed her as a disgrace for throwing away years of extensive — and expensive — training just minutes into her first battle. As a result, she found herself largely snubbed by the Marine Corps and relegated to routine non-combat operations, a fact she found incredibly frustrating.
Hendricks spent time recuperating from her injuries at Tranquility Base on Luna, under the supervision of Dr. Emi Yang, who hoped to repair the physical damage to her body and return her to fighting strength, although this would be a lengthy and arduous process. Regardless, her recuperation on Luna was not a smooth experience, as Zula had plummeted into a depression, avoiding conversations, eye-contact and staying in her bed for hours on end. While at Tranquility, Hendricks later became close with Amanda Ripley, often accompanying her on her repair jobs, even learning some electronic engineering skills along the way. During one of the jobs, Hendricks found herself aiding Ripley with a situation involving five civilians who were trapped by a malfunctioning airlock door which prevented them from leaving the Weyland-Yutani tech center. Seeking to assist the engineer on duty, Jeremiah Brodsky, Ripley got to work. Asked why Hendricks could not provide technical assistance, Hendricks informed the engineer of the condition of her injuries, which included a back injury. Upon diagnosing the problem, Ripley gave instructions to Brodsky on how to properly proceed. Brodsky however, misinterpreted her words and prematurely rebooted the system, which would have caused the airlock doors to open, if Ripley did not at that moment cut the connection to stop such an action from happening.
Two days later, Hendricks, Ripley, Brodsky and their boss Dimitriy attended a tribunal organized by members of Weyland-Yutani. The tribunal's intent was to determine whether to lodge criminal charges against Dimitriy's company or upon the individuals involved. Brodsky and Ripley proceeded to give contradicting statements regarding the incident, which led a member of the tribunal to point out that the judgement came down between believing Brodsky, who had years of experience as a certified engineer and Ripley, who had prior criminal records with Lunar Law Enforcement and was not a certified engineer. At that point Zula stepped in, asking to give testimony. Upon being given permission to do so, she immediately confirmed Ripley's story. Outraged, Brodsky attempted to refute her claim, but was told by another member of the tribunal that he was now making charges against a member of the Colonial Marines, a matter which could lead to a faceoff in a military court. Brodsky was thus pushed back into silence. Shortly afterward, the tribunal decided to hold Brodsky responsible, which led criminal charges to be filed against him and him being dismissed from his job. Ripley was thus promoted to the position of repair technician. Ripley was grateful to Zula, and attempted to buy her lunch, although Zula quickly pointed out that in her current financial condition she was quite ill-equipped to do so.
- "You are a Weyland-Yutani synthetic, an in-house security officer, a drone. You are literally programmed, from the first chip, to be loyal to your masters. And you've broken free of that. To, what - to save the human race?
I'm no longer satisfied with my programming.
I would like to be more. Will you help me, Zula? Will you join me?"
- ―Zula and Davis (from Aliens: Defiance)
When the Seegson commercial cargo hauler Europa was found adrift in space, Hendricks was assigned as military liaison to a squad of Weyland-Yutani Davis corporate security drones sent aboard to claim the vessel for salvage. However, after boarding the ship, several Davis drones were ambushed by a horde of Xenomorphs. Zula recalled how she did not realize that synthetics could scream. During the ensuing chaos, Hendricks' compression suit was compromised and she blacked out.
When she awoke in the ship's medical bay, she was informed by the synthetic in charge, Davis One, that she had in fact been in hypersleep for almost a month whilst the surviving synthetics had dealt with the Xenomorphs and sterilized the ship. Davis had to restrain Zula just in case she tried something irrational and ended up injuring herself. Zula left the bed and had to wear a shock brace in compensation for almost a month without treatment. To her shock, Davis One later informed her that he had broken his programming, contravened his orders to return to Luna, and hijacked the Europa to hunt down the origin of the Xenomorphs on board, recognizing the threat they posed to mankind. Although initially troubled by the revelation that Davis One had developed free will, Hendricks agreed to help him when she learned that Weyland-Yutani had known about the Xenomorphs in advance, and in fact sought to capture live specimens for research.
- "Stop with the creepy staring. I'm good to go, Davis. I'm colonial marines. And if there's one thing i'm good for, its clearing a room."
- ―Zula to Davis before the mission on science station (from Aliens: Defiance)
Following leads found in the files taken from the Europa's mainframe, Hendricks and Davis took the ship to the science station LV-44-40, which they found apparently abandoned. After boarding the station, they quickly discovered a dead Xenomorph, but not other indication of the creatures' presence. After raiding the station's armory and downloading more files from its mainframe, Hendricks moved to investigate heat signatures coming from one of the storage bays, in case there were survivors on board. Instead, she found a small Hive, littered with the corpses of the crew. After barely fighting off a Praetorian and several Facehuggers that emerged from the Hive, Hendricks and Davis One fled back to the Europa and left the station burning in their wake.
AWOL and mutiny
Hendricks and Davis One had now been declared officially away without leave, and as a result Weyland-Yutani remotely reprogrammed the remaining corporate security drones on board to eliminate them and return the ship to Earth. While Davis One was himself unaffected — having hacked his own systems to remove any potential of company control, he and Hendricks were faced with a mutiny that they had to quell with force. After browsing through her terminal, Zula received a message from Dr. Yang. Yang requests Zula to return to Luna. She states that she misses her and wishes to finish her treatment so that she can make an early recovery to end her constant physical pain. She promises that, as her physician, there would be no "permanent mark on your record". Zula reconsiders, then decides to contact Dr. Yang without Davis knowing.
Encounter with Dr. Hollis and the marines
- "I was a marine, back before the marines are what they are now, and I turned against them. It meant breaking with all my training, the code of loyalty they drill into you, and the pride of wearing the uniform. I'll probably never really get over it."
- ―Zula regarding her fratricide (from Aliens: Rescue)
While looking for survivors in the Alien-infested, Wright-Aberra fuel depot, Hendricks and Davis discover a lone medical officer and microbiologist, Dr. Hollis, hiding in the bowels of the station. Her research skills and firsthand knowledge of the Xenomorph scourge are invaluable to the mission and the two recruit her into the team. Hollis suggests that the two wait for backup, much to Zula and Davis' confusion. Hollis reveals that a heavily armed squad of Colonial Marines threatens to cut things short. Davis believes that the Marines were there to take a Xenomorphic sample back to Earth under Weyland-Yutani's orders. Zula admits to Davis that she has been in contact with Dr. Yang back at Luna. Davis angrily remarks that he had to kill an entire squad of his men to stay secluded, and although Zula tells him that she needs her help, being "physically compromised". Davis replies that they are both compromised in every sense he can think of.
The group suddenly trigger a containment event protocol. Zula and Davis soon become separated from Hollis and the latter becomes trapped with several Facehuggers. Hollis is able to hold them off before Zula got the door open with Davis killing the remaining Facehuggers.
Before the Marines were able to retreat with a Xenomorph sample, Zula and Davis fired a missile into the Marine's ship, destroying it and killing the squad. They then ran the oxygen generators at overload capacity for an hour before igniting the million-plus tons of fuel on hand, essentially turning the station into an fuel-air bomb creating a massive thermobaric event.
Zula is later seen sulking in her room, depressed about having to commit fratricide against fellow marines. Davis visits her, and tells her that he temporarily deactivated his emotional spectrum programming as it was too "overwhelming" for him. Zula requests that he turns it back on, saying that if he truly wants to relate to humans, he can't pick and choose his moments. Davis sits next to Zula and the two share an intimate moment of company.
Back on the Europa, Hollis reveals to Zula and Davis that she is pregnant with a Xenomorph Queen embryo. Hollis says that she wants to surgically remove the embryo so that she can study the specimen, hoping to find a weakness in the alien species. The surgery was a success and Davis hastily throws the Queen Chestburster into a chamber where it is cryogenically frozen. Hollis subsequently took sample for study.
Hollis subsequently rests in a quarantined bed, the aftermath of the surgery supposedly taking effect. Zula is seen talking to Hollis before being interrupted by Davis, citing that there is a problem. It is revealed that the Queen was growing and becoming increasingly restless. As Davis attempt to fix the issue, Zula notices a pirate ship approaching the Europa, with numerous pirates boarding the ship with the intention of obtaining the Queen. Zula and Davis were able to hold off the pirates until Davis became seriously wounded. With little choice left, Zula unleashed the infantile Queen onto the rest of the pirates, with the creature slaughtering them with ease.
Setting a course for Earth
- "As my physician, Dr Yang's first concern may very well be my health, but there is no way she cut that deal for our return without Weyland-Yutani and the marines getting what they want...the precious sample. Without a big fat "unknown alien contagion message popping up on their screens right now, we'd be dead"
- ―Zula (from Aliens: Defiance)
Because of the critical condition the Europa and Zula's back was in, alongside the Queen now being rampant on the ship, Zula set a course to Earth, hoping that Dr. Yang would be able to give the group immunity to prosecution, though Davis was less than convinced given his synthetic status, believing that the company would consider him "hardware" to analyse.
As the Europa approached Earth's moon, Zula managed to bypass Luna air defence after she confirmed that they had a specimen aboard the station. Meanwhile Davis attached a fuel cell to the Queen and sends it into the vacuum of space before detonating the cell, eradicating the creature. Luna air defence responded with hostility and began firing at the Europa, but later ceased after staff back at Luna detected another lifeform aboard the ship and let it go. Zula and Hollis were forced to abandon Davis, who was still in the Europa and ejected themselves from the ship in escape pods. Zula tearfully lamented over leaving her comrade and launched the escape pod, with both the ship and the pod approaching Earth.
The pod parachuted to Earth with a sudden impact, followed by the Europa that crashed besides them. Several hours passed, until Zula and Hollis were finally seen by military aircraft, where they were seized by several soldiers and sacks are put over their heads. Though Zula protested and asked for Dr. Yang, a soldier told her to shut up.
Zula was sent to the Spirow-Dakota military hospital under heavy guard. She was treated by an unsympathetic doctor who branded her a "junkie" due to her constant self-medicating back on the Europa for her spine. Zula asked after Hollis but the doctor was unable to disclose anything. After the treatment was finished, she was constantly surveyed and accompanied in the building by two marines, who goaded and teased her for her disability.
After being assigned a lawyer in the wake of a possible court-martial, Zula was finally able to see Dr. Yang, with the latter citing that no matter what happened, she would always be by her side, with Zula tearfully embracing her.
As the days went by under the facility, Zula would attend regular therapy sessions with Yang, though Zula was always aware that the company had rigged the room and that she chose her words carefully.
Zula later attended a tape-recorded interview, where she confirmed that she boarded the Europa, immediately ignored all attempts at communication from Luna, went AWOL and suppressed a mutiny and killed numerous marines. When asked if she regretted her actions, she replied that although she does regret her actions, she would do it again for humanity's sake.
- "Davis made himself a better person, and I'm better for knowing him, and loving him. He and I, we made a promise to each other, to see the mission through. I might not be a Colonial Marine any more — and correct me if I'm wrong — but who said the mission was over?"
- ―Zula, on retrieving Davis One's neural chip (from Aliens: Defiance)
Zula is later released from the hospital after being given surgery on her back. She is seen out by Dr. Yang, who told her she has an "open road" ahead of her. Zula recalled that she'll miss Yang, but did not tell her where she was going.
It is then revealed that Zula made contact with "less-than-legal underground organizations" that provided her with a boat on an island. Zula took the boat out with a small crew of admirers and scuba-diving gear to the area in which the Europa had crashed. Zula took a dive into the ruins of the ship and, in her solace, managed to recover the deactivated corpse of Davis. She reached within his head and retrieved his neural chip, suggesting that she would soon be able to see her friend once again.
Assignment at Jericho 3
Still recovering from her time in the Europa, Zula decided to take a job at the V-22 facility on Jericho 3 acting as a trainer for the Colony Protection Force trainees. This was so she could refinance her future expeditions to stop Weyland-Yutani's experiments with the Xenomorph. Zula subsequently reinstalled Davis' neural chip into a PAIA, a Personal AI Assistant where he could continue to operate remotely, as well as accessing the systems of the V-22 facility also known as the Lodge.
Reunion with Amanda and battle against the Corporation
Following a later date, Zula managed to locate her old friend Amanda Ripley hiking in the countryside and bought her back to her apartment in the suburbs. She introduced Amanda to Davis and revealed to her that despite both of their best efforts in the past, Weyland-Yutani still eventually managed to obtain Xenomorph samples and intended to use them in a bio-weapons program. Zula convinced Amanda to join forces to stop the company, with Zula stating that its up to them to "finish the job".
Amanda infiltrated a Weyland-Yutani tower, using Davis to gather info on the location of the weapons testing facility, but later comes into conflict with advanced model Corporate Security Drones, Franklin. Just before she is taken into custody, Zula saved Amanda by flying her ship by the tower and launched a missile into it, creating enough of a distraction for Amanda to jump into the hull of the ship, but not before being grazed by a bullet infused with Xenomorph blood.
Zula's ship used the recently launched colonist ship the Gaspar as cover to escape from the company's radar and were on a set course to the research facility. Zula and Amanda both subsequently entered Hypersleep chambers. 9 days later, the ship arrived at its destination and the two wake up. However, Zula expressed concern, as the Gaspar was also nearby. Davis scanned the ship and identified no available life-forms, also noting that "the passenger manifest has been erased and the ship reclassified as a re-supply only".
Amanda and Zula, with Davis, boarded the Gaspar, now abandoned and are subsequently forced to put on pressure suits when entering the facility. Exploration of the depths of the ship result in a sudden encounter with a Franklin carrying a crate. As it fled and attempted to sound the alarm, Amanda tackled the Drone to the floor, but the Drone quickly mounted her and began pummelling at her helmet, causing a crack. Zula gunned down the Drone and saves Amanda.
The two soon realized that the colonists of the Gaspar were being sent back aboard the ship, with the ship being sent into a lower orbit by a nearby planet. Davis uncovered that the black site was rigged with a nuclear failsafe, and the group decide to hijack it from the outside of the site. As Amanda attempted to rewire the systems of the bomb with Davis' chip inside, they are caught by synthetics and a firefight ensued. Zula was shot in the arm and was sent into space, with Amanda following her. Zula realized that Davis is still left inside the systems of the bomb and called out to him, to no response.
Exploring the moon
Amanda and Zula, alongside the Gaspar were sent plummeting into the moon's atmosphere, with Amanda managing to activate one of the suit's emergency landing hex capsules that engulfed the two. This, alongside the planet's dense troposphere allowed Zula and Amanda to survive the fall in relatively good condition. After exploring the abandoned wreckage of the Gaspar, Amanda and Zula explored the planet and subsequently saved fleeing colonist Alec Brand from two Xenomorphs, as well as spot two non-hostile bullet-proof Franklins before setting up camp. During nightfall, it is revealed that Davis managed to contact the two using a micro-transmitter hairclip on Zula. Davis revealed that the black site is a testing ground for generations of bred Xenomorphs, with the colonists being tagged for data research, as well as serving as a lure. He opted for the two to retrieve a tag and return to the Celestial, as the tag would be evidence enough to expose the company for their crimes. From there, Davis will detonate the nuke, destroying himself and the facility and wiping out all traces of the weapons program.
Zula and Amanda then explored the jungle depths of the planet, after detecting a nearby heartbeat they are suddenly ambushed by Alec Brand. He is initially hostile, but eventually allied himself with the two after guaranteeing him a way off the planet. Brand revealed that he had been tagged. Amanda cited that they can use the tag and Alec as testimony to put down the company for good. Davis contacted the group and states that he is transmitting his data to the Celestial and will land the ship at an extraction point.
The group then run into a large open field being chased by a horde of Aliens. Whilst Amanda and Zula hold off the horde, Brand climbed into the recently landed Celestial and strapped himself into the nearest acceleration chair. With the Franklins closing in on Davis' position and attempting to remove him from the nuclear device, he announces to the group that he will be forced to detonate. As the Celestial takes off into the planet's atmosphere, stranding Amanda and Zula, Davis detonates the nuke, destroying the facility. As the blast sweeps the atmosphere and kills all of the Xenomorphs, Amanda activates Zula's hex shelter and the two embrace for impact.
Surviving the nuke, rescue and exposing the company
It is revealed that Amanda and Zula survived the explosion and emerged from the hex shelter, still under duress from surviving Xenomorphs. The two eventually managed to escape the planet with the assistance of Davis, who transferred his AI to a ship. Davis sedated them and returned them to Earth where they were treated for injuries. Following Amanda and Zula's revival, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation was consequently exposed for their violation of human rights and were forced to pay a gargantuan fine, though they paid even more for political bribes and lobbyists to cover their tracks.
Operation on the planet
It is revealed that following the nuclear explosion, the moon subsequently split apart, causing debris to collapse onto the home planet's atmosphere. Amanda and Zula discover that Weyland-Yutanti was looking to purchase copyright over the planet and retrieve bacterial Xenomorph samples from the meteorites. Amanda and Zula agreed to launch a secret operation backed by a small group of Colonial Marines to land on the planet and wipe out all remaining Xenomorphs present. They eventually established themselves within a USCM forward operating base with thirty other marines.
Alec Brand, now a marine and previously assuming Ripley and Hendricks to be deceased, was also briefed on the mission by Lena Bowden and was transported by Davis to their destination where they reunite. After a quick embrace, Amanda and Zula briefed Alec on the mission before subsequently bringing the platoon down and landing on the planet. By dawn, the platoon had set up camp and the question is raised whether Weyland-Yutani are controlling the Xenomorphs somehow. Davis refutes this proposal, stating that the company have changed tactics - instead of sidelining military laws, they have taken the laws unto themselves. Zula noticed Brand's angst and sensed that he was feeling the "tug of loyalties" just like she once did after committing fratricide against fellow marines following the Europa incident.
The following morning, Brand, Amanda, Zula and the rest of the platoon arrived at a large Xenomorph hive. After battling hordes of Xenomorphs and pushing themselves deeper and deeper into the nest, the group encounter a ghastly sight: a large chamber with hundreds of eggs and three Xenomorph Queens. Brand deduced that the chamber had a thin ceiling, and suggested combining the door breaches with Davis' seismic charges to bring the hive down and bury the Queens. As the remaining marines keep the Xenomorphs at bay, Brand rushed the three Queens and places the breaches down as Davis dropped the charges. Amanda, Zula and the remaining platoon retreats as Brand stays behind as the chamber collapses, though he later survived.
Personality and Traits
- "If you want to feel like we do, Davis... You can't pick and choose your moments. The bad's gotta come with the good."
- ―Zula, to Davis One (from Aliens: Defiance)
Zula was a pessimistic and cynical individual, growing up in harsh conditions and falling into a depression following her humiliating injury after one combat drop, and the scorn that she received in the aftermath, especially after her expensive spinal surgery. This further worsened during her mission with Davis after she was forced to commit fratricide against fellow marines to stop them from taking a Xenomorph sample, wondering if she was even "worthy of the uniform". Zula did not seem to get along well with others, and seemed to be quite secluded, having few friends and preferring to be alone. She was particularly ashamed of her back-brace and would subsequently avoid conversations with others or even eye-contact during her time on Luna.
Despite this, she was also very strong-willed and tough, unafraid to speak out against others if her suspicions were raised. She took a liking towards Davis, as he did not sympathize or pity her over the injury (mainly because of his programming) and the two became close allies, with a reinvigorated Zula finding a new purpose in quelling the Xenomorph threat. Following her life as a marine, Zula became firmly anti-authoritarian, and she dedicated her subsequent life to bringing down the Weyland-Yutani corporation alongside Amanda Ripley, whom she formed a strong friendship with.
- During the events of Defiance, Zula was twenty-three years old.
- Aliens: Defiance
- Aliens: Defiance - Extravehicular
- Aliens: Resistance
- Aliens: Rescue
- Alien: Isolation (novel)
- Alien: Prototype
- Brian Wood (writer), Tristan Jones (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #12 (2016), Dark Horse Comics. Zula is 23 on 2138.
- Brian Wood (writer), Tristan Jones (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #1 (2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- Brian Wood (writer), Tony Brescini (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #4 (2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- Brian Wood (writer), Tristan Jones (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #2 (2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- Brian Wood (writer), Riccardo Burchielli (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #3 (2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation (2019), Titan Books.
- Brian Wood (writer), Tristan Jones (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #5 (2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- Aliens: Defiance #12