The first book in a brand new official trilogy of books taking place in the Alien universe, Alien: Out Of The Shadows, is set to be released on January 28th. The first book is being written by Tim Lebbon, followed by Alien: Sea of Sorrows, written by James A. Moore and released July 29th, 2014. The book takes place between Alien and Aliens, centering on what happens to Ellen Ripley during that time.
According to author Lebbon, “The basic pitch is: After destroying the Nostromo, Ripley spent 57 years adrift before she was rescued. But she didn’t spend all that time asleep.” He has also revealed the novel will contain subtle references to the film Prometheus. Arrow In The Head recently received an exclusive excerpt from the novel that we have shared with you below:
Between blinks, Ripley’s world turned to chaos.
As soon as the Samson’s hatch was open the aliens surged out. They were so fast, so silent and furious, that she didn’t have time to count. Their limbs powered them along the docking arm and through the air lock, skittering on the metallic surfaces. Someone shouted in surprise, and then the creatures struck the heavy netting.
Ripley crouched down clutching her sand pick, ready to drag the creatures toward the vestibule’s rear doors. But something was wrong with the net. It held two of them tightly in a tangled jumble, but two more thrashed violently, limbs waving and slashing, tails lashing out, and those terrible teeth clacking together and driving ice-cold fear through her veins.
“Careful, they’re—” she shouted.
And then they were through.
The tightly coiled metal-cored netting ruptured, high-tension wiring thrashing at the air with a high-pitched whipping sound. Welford screamed as his features blurred. Blood splashed across the vestibule, painting the harsh white surfaces a startling shade of red.
Hoop shouted as he ignited his plasma torch. One alien surged at him, then kicked sideways against a rank of fixed seating, veering away from the waving flame.
Directly toward Ripley.
She crouched against the bulkhead and propped the long pick’s handle beside her, pointing it up and away from her at an angle. The alien—tall, spiked, chitinous, with razor nails and the curved head and extruding mouth that had haunted her for so long—skidded toward her, claws scoring ruts in the flooring as it tried to slow. But not quite quickly enough.
It squealed as the point penetrated its body somewhere just above it legs. An acrid stench made Ripley gag. She heard fluid spattering onto metal, and then she smelled burning.
“Acid!” she shouted. She shoved forward with the sand pick. The alien stood its ground, crouched down with its hands clawed and waving, mouth snapping forward. But it was playing for distraction. Ripley heard the soft whoosh! of its tail, and ducked just in time.
The pick was snatched from her hands and sent clattering across the vestibule.
Ripley feinted left toward the airlock, then leapt to the right, following the curved wall toward the rear doors. She sensed the thing following her, and as she approached the doors Hoop shouted.
She dropped without hesitation. A roar burst all around her and she smelled hair singeing, felt the skin on the back of her neck and scalp and arms stretching as an unbelievable heat scorched the air above and behind her.
The alien squealed, high and agonized.
Ripley looked toward the open exit doors just as another shadow powered out through them. From beyond she heard an impact—wet, meaty, a thud and a grunt. Someone screamed.
Something grasped her hand and she cried out, rolled, kicking out, her heavy boot connecting with Hoop’s thigh. He gasped, then grabbed her tighter and dragged her across the vestibule.
The alien was still squealing as it burned, thrashing back along the curved bulkhead toward the air lock doors.
And toward Powell. He was standing over the two aliens still struggling in the net, aiming his charge thumper. There was something wrong with his face. Ripley saw the splash of blood across his chest and neck, saw it dripping from his feature. He was totally expressionless. He waved the thumper back and forth, but didn’t seem to be seeing anything.
She glanced aside from him and saw what had become of Welford. He was meat.
“Powell!” she shouted. “Eyes right!”
Powell lifted his head. But instead of looking right at the blazing alien that was staggering toward him, he looked left at his dead friend.
Kasyanov leapt across two rows of seats, braced her legs, and fired her charge thumper at the burning alien. The shot was deafening, pulsing in Ripley’s ears and blowing the flames back from the creature’s sizzling hide.
It screeched louder. But it continued on toward Powell, falling on him, and Ripley didn’t quite close her eyes in time. She saw Powell’s head erupt beneath the impact of the burning thing’s silvery mouth.
“What the fuck?” Hoop shouted. Kasyanov fired the thumper again, two more times, shattering the alien’s head and spreading its burning parts across the floor and wall on that side of the vestibule. Flames curved across the windows, smoke formed intricate patterns, and an acidic haze rose.
“We need to get out!” Ripley said.
“Where’s the other one?” Hoop asked.
“Through the door. But the acid will—”
“Kasyanov, out!” Hoop shouted.
Kasyanov came for them. Ripley saw her disbelief, but also the determination that had smothered her terror. That was good. They’d need that.
One of the aliens trapped in the netting broke free, streaking toward them across the vestibule. It knocked seating aside, jumped over the back of a row of fixed equipment racks, and bore down on Kasyanov.
Hoop raised the plasma torch. But if he fired this close he’d fry the doctor as well.
“No!” Ripley said. “Hoop!” She sidestepped to the left, never taking her eyes off the alien. It paused briefly, and her selfish thought was, Not me, don’t come at me. Fear drove that idea, and moments later—as the alien leapt and Hoop fried it with the plasma torch—she felt a flush of shame.
But Kasyanov was alive because of Ripley’s quick decision. She’d acted on instinct, and her baser thoughts, more taken with self-preservation, had needed a moment to catch up.
The Russian nodded once at her.
Then one of the acid-splashed windows blew out.
The storm was instantaneous. Anything not fixed down was picked up and blasted toward the ruptured window, carried by the atmosphere gushing out into space under massive pressure. Broken chairs, dropped weapons, wall panelling powered across the vestibule and jammed against the window and bulkhead. The noise was incredible, a roar that threatened to suck Ripley’s eardrums from her skull. She tried to breathe, but couldn’t pull air into her lungs. She held onto a floor fixing for a row of chairs with one hand, reaching for Hoop with the other.
Hoop clung onto the door frame, Kasyanov clasping onto his flapping jacket.
Ripley looked over her shoulder. Two tattered bodies—all that remained of Welford and Powell—were pressed hard against the broken window, the two dead, burned aliens almost merged with them. The surviving creature, still tangled in netting, was clasping onto the airlock doorway, but as she watched its grip slipped and it impacted against its dead brethren. Things were drawn through the airlock and whipped around toward the breach—clothing, body parts, other objects she couldn’t identify from inside the Samson.
She saw Powell’s right arm and chest sizzling and flowing from spilled acid.
“We don’t have long!” she tried to shout. She barely even heard herself, but she could see from Kasyanov’s expression that she knew the terrible danger they were in.
Courtesy of Arrow In The Head