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Ripley studies the photograph, stunned. The face of a woman in her mid-sixties. It could be anybody. She tries to reconcile the face with the little girl she once knew.

BURKE: She was cremated and interred at Westlake Repository, Little Chute, Wisconsin. No children.

RIPLEY: No children. . . . . I promised her I'd be home for her birthday. Her eleventh birthday.

Let's get one thing straight... Ripley can be one tough lady. But the terror, the loss, the emptiness are, in this moment, overwhelming. She cries silently. Hugging the photograph to her.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM -- ON RIPLEY -- GATEWAY: Not cool. Not unemotional.

RIPLEY: I don't understand this. We have been here for three hours. How many different ways do you want me to tell the same story?

She faces the eight members of the board of inquiry at a long conference table. Gray suits and grim faces. They aren't buying. Behind Ripley. on a large videoscreen, Parker grins like a goon from his personal mugshot. His file prints out next to it. Brett's face and dossier replace it, and then the others as the scene continues... Kane, Lambert, Ash the android traitor, Dallas. Van Leuwen, the ICC representative, steeples his fingers and frowns.

VAN LEUWEN: Look at it from our perspective, please. Please. Now, you freely admit to detonating the engines of, and thereby destroying, an M-Class star freighter. A rather expensive piece of hardware...

INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR: Forty-two million in adjusted dollars. That's minus payload, of course.

VAN LEUWEN: The lifeboat's flight recorder corroborates some elements of your account. And that, for reasons unknown, the Nostromo set down on LV-426, an unsurveyed planet at that time. That it resumed it's course and was subsequently set for self-destruct. By you. For reasons unknown.

RIPLEY: Not for reasons unknown. I told you, we set down there on company orders to get this thing, which destroyed my crew and your expensive ship.

Van Leuwen sighs with exasperation.

VAN LEUWEN: The analysis team, which went over the lifeboat, centimeter by centimeter, found no physical evidence of the creature you described...

RIPLEY: Good! That's because I blew it out the goddamn airlock! (pause) Like I said.

INSURANCE MAN (to the ECA rep.): Are there any species like this 'hostile organism' on LV-426?

ECA REP.: No. It's a rock. No indigenous life.

Ripley grits her teeth in frustration.

RIPLEY: Did IQ's drop sharply while I was away? Maam, I already said it was non-indigenous. There was a derelict spacecraft. An alien ship. It wasn't from there. Do you get it. We homed in on it's beacon...

ECA REP.: And found something which has never been reported once from over three hundred surveyed worlds... 'a creature... (she reads from Ripley's statement) ... that gestates inside a living human host,' these are your words, 'and has concentrated acid for blood.'

RIPLEY: That's right. Look, I can see where this is going. But, I'm telling you these things exist.

VAN LEUWEN: Thank you, Officer Ripley. That will be all.

RIPLEY: Please, you're not listening. Kane, the crew member. Kane, who went in that ship, said he saw thousands of eggs there. Thousands...

VAN LEUWEN: Thank you. That will be all.

RIPLEY: Goddamnit! That's not all! Because, if one of those things gets down here, then that will be all! Then all this... this bullshit you think is so important, you can just kiss all that goodbye.

The looks of the members at the table is enough to tell that what Ripley did wasn't smart. The ECA Rep. just stares at her and Burke leans back in his chair and rubs his head. Ripley ignores them and stares at Van Leuwen. She knows she had to say it, even if it meant that she would be found guilty.

CLOSE-UP: on Van Leuwen as he reads the verdict of Ripley's inquiry. While he reads, the camera switches back and forth between Ripley and Van Leuwen.

VAN LEUWEN: It is a finding of this court inquiry that Warrant Officer Ripley, NOC14472, has acted with questionable judgment, and is unfit to hold a ICC license as a commercial flight officer. Said license is hereby suspended indefinitely. Now, no criminal charges will be filed against you at this time..and you are released on your own recognizant for a six month period of psychometric probation. To include monthly review by an ICC psychiatric technician.

All the while Van Leuwen reads, Ripley just stands and stares at him. Now that she has heard the verdict, her eyes close in defeat. Her face is a mask of tightness.

VAN LEUWEN (close on him): These proceedings are closed.

Ripley's video-dossier fills the screen behind her. At the bottom, a new entry prints out: FILE STATUS: CLOSED.

CLOSE-UP ON RIPLEY as she stands with her arms crossed by the conference table. Burke comes up.

BURKE: That could have went better. Look, I think they... Ripley!

RIPLEY: Van Leuwen!

She shrugs off Burke's restraining arm and catches up to Van Leuwen as he and the other representatives head for the rooms elevator.

RIPLEY: Why don't you just check out LV-426?

VAN LEUWEN: Because I don't have to. There have been people there for over twenty years and they never complained about any hostile organism.

Van Leuwen steps toward the elevator with the others, but Ripley stops him.

RIPLEY: What do you mean? What people?

VAN LEUWEN: Terraformers... planet engineers. They go in, set up these big atmosphere processors to make the air breathable. Takes decades. It's what we call a shake 'n bake colony.

The door tries to close. Ripley holds it back. The other people are getting annoyed.

RIPLEY: How many are there? How many colonists?

VAN LEUWEN: I don't know. Sixty, maybe seventy families. Do you mind?

Ripley's hand slides off the door, strengthless. It closes in her face.

RIPLEY: Families... Jesus.

EXT. ALIEN LANDSCAPE -- DAY: Panning slowly across a storm-blasted vista of tortured rock and bleak twilight onto a metal sign which reads HADLEY'S HOPE -- POP. 159. Gale-force wind screeches around the corroded sign.

As we move up the sign, the colony appears in the b.g., a squat complex surrounded by an angled storm-barrier wall. A vehicle rolls up to the barriers main door and honks.

CLOSE-UP: on the right four wheels of the vehicle as the door slides back, allowing the vehicle to continue on into the colony streets. As it moves forward, we can see that it has eight wheels and a medium-sized cab on top.

EXT. COLONY COMPLEX: Angle from street to the side of the vehicle as it drives by. Its two large, bright headlights shining in the blowing dust all around the vehicle and streets.

As it drives down the street, we pause for a second on an alley with another vehicle in the back, covered in a plastic tarp that is blowing in the wind.

SEVERAL ANGLES ESTABLISHING the town, a cluster of bunker-like buildings huddling in the wind. The eight-wheeled vehicle rolls by and down one of the main streets of the complex. It drives by and under two open windows in the top corner of a building. People can be seen moving around inside.

INT. OPERATIONS ROOM -- CONTROL BLOCK: The nerve-center of the colony, jammed with computer terminals, displays and technicians. Dollying ahead of Simpson, the harried Operations Manager, as he is approached by his assistant, Lydecker.

SIMPSON (to a technician): I'll be down in maintenance, okay?

LYDECKER (walking toward Simpson): Al!




LYDECKER: You remember you sent some wildcatters out to the middle of nowhere last week? Out past the Ilium Range.

SIMPSON: Yeah. What?

As they walk, they leave the operations room and move into a connecting corridor. It's a wide hallway bustling with routine activity. We see a cross-section of the hardy frontier stock who have come to live in this God-forsaken wilderness in the b.g.

LYDECKER: One of them's on the horn, mom-and-pop survey team. Says he's onto something and wants to know will his claim be honored.

SIMPSON: Why wouldn't his claim be honored?

LYDECKER: Well, because you sent them to that particular middle of nowhere on company orders, maybe. I don't know.

SIMPSON: Christ! Some honcho in a cushy office on Earth says go look at a grid reference, we look. They don't say why, and I don't ask. I don't ask because it takes two weeks to get an answer out here and the answer's always 'don't ask."

They pause at a junction in the corridor. Simpson turns to face Lydecker.

LYDECKER: So, what do I tell this guy?

SIMPSON: Tell him, as far as I'm concerned, he finds something, It is his.

Children's laughing voices can be heard o.s. Simpson looks in their direction.

SIMPSON: Lydecker?

The CHILDREN are playing and racing in the corridor on foot and on wheeled plastic toys. Simpson gestures toward them, telling Lydecker to move them out of the area.

LYDECKER: You kids know you’re not supposed to be on this level. Go on. Get out of here.

CLOSE-UP: of a child on a wheeled toy as he rolls down the corridor in our direction. Three other children chase each other around him in the b.g. and beside him. He passes by a box to the right of the corridor that has a sign on it which reads: WEYLAND-YUTANI CORP. Building Better Worlds.

EXT. ACHERON -- THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE -- DAY: An eight-wheeled tractor roars into view across corrugated rock, blasting through soggy drifts of volcanic ash. Strange wind-etched rock shapes are all around.

INT. TRACTOR: At the controls, intent on a pinging scope, is Russ Jorden, independent prospector. Beside him is his wife / partner Anne and in the back, their two kids are arguing over a game.

BROTHER: Do too. You go in places we can't fit.

SISTER: So! That's why I'm the best!

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