Wednesday, December 5, 2007

U.S.S. Tonoro

Well, I thought it would be a good idea to post an update (and a sort-of rough draft) on what my final project is about. As I posted before, I am working on a meta-fiction set in the Alien universe. The story begins with an introduction from the book's author, Dr. Evan Andrews. Dr. Andrews is one of the seven medical officers aboard the United Systems Military (U.S.M.) Medical Research Vessel Auriga.

The Auriga is on the last legs of its journey to home base (Earth). The ship had to make a stop at the planet known as Arcturus, where the wreck of the U.S.S. Tonoro (which vanished nearly 170 years earlier) was discovered. The Auriga was instructed to pick up "criminal evidence" found on the Tonoro to take back to home base for further investigation. On the trip home, Dr. Andrews, a follower of the U.S.S. Tonoro conspiracy, decides to take a peek at the "evidence." There, he discovers the truth behind what happened to the U.S.C.S.S. Nostromo, the colony on LV-426, the prisoners on Fiorina 161, the U.S.S. Sulaco and her sister ship the U.S.S. Tonoro.

The book Dr. Andrews writes is based on the evidece found on the wreck of the Tonoro which include data found in the Tonoro's computer (videos, radio transmissions), data from the Tonoro's and the Sulaco's flight data recorders, classified files from Weyland-Yutani, and the diary of U.S.C.M. private Alicia Hendrick.

After the introduction, the story picks up 10 years after the events ofAlien 3, now through the eyes of Alicia Hendrick. Hendrick brings the reader up to speed on what has occured in the past 10 years. Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (U.S.C.S.S. Nostromo) is dead, the prison on Fiorina 161 is sealed, and prisoner Morse is re-assigned to another facility. Network Comcon lost contact with the U.S.S. Sulaco shortly after Ripley's EEV crashed on Fiorina 161. A search party was sent out by the U.S.C.M. to find the Sulaco, but after three weeks of searching, they gave up and the Sulaco is presumed lost.

After the Weyland-Yutani vessel Patna dropped off prisoner Morse on the planet of Denobola, the ship heads back to LV-426 (a.k.a. Acheron) in the hopes that the derelict ship the Nostromo investigated 57 years earlier survived the explosion of the Atmosphere Processing Station. They find the ship severely damaged. To their dismay, the chamber where all of the alien eggs were stored collaped and was inaccessible. The eggs are presumed crushed and the Patna returned to the Core Systems. For the next 10 years, Weyland-Yutani experiences financial problems. Their problems escalate after prisoner Morse published his book in which he tells the story of Ellen Ripley and how she died to save humanity from the alien species. In his book, Morse revealed that Weyland-Yutani had planned to use the alien for their bio-weapons division. Rumors began to spread about the destruction of the colony on LV-426 (known as Hadley's Hope). The rumors quickly turned into a full-blown conspiracy after classified information from Weyland-Yutani leaked out concerning the Nostromo and the Sulaco.

Shares of Weyland-Yutani continued to plummet over the years. Then, 10 years after Fiorina 161, the wreck of the Sulaco is discovered by a Weyland-Yutani deep-space probe. The ship is orbiting the planet of Gamma Serpentis when she is discovered ("how she got there is anyone's guess.").

Weyland-Yutani asks the U.S.C.M. to help them retrieve the ship. At first, the U.S.C.M. refuses to help on the basis that "the company has given [the marines] enough headaches already. It is unlikely that the ship is repairable based on the information provided by its computer prior to her disappearance." Weyland eventually managed to convince the U.S.C.M. to cooperate after Weyland promises them to assist in any repairs the ship might need (though they do not mention that the ship's orbit is decaying and towing the vessel back home will be difficult, if not impossible).

This is where the story starts, with the salvage team waking up from stasis as the Tonoro approaches Gamma Serpentis. Once the Tonoro rendezvous with the Sulaco, the story is mostly radio communications between "Search Squad One" and Lieutenant Charles Gorman (Lieutenant William Gorman's brother) on the Tonoro. The search squad finds 5 of the Sulaco's decks scarred from the fire that erupted on board. It is determined by the party that the fire started in the cryogenic compartment and worked its way to the dropship hanger. There, the fire caused the fuel in the dropship to explode, destroying the craft as well as most of the equipment in the hanger. The fire moved its way up through the ship until it reached the reactor room. The computer scrammed the reactor and cut power to the ship's life support systems. The fire continued to burn until all of the oxygen in the ship was burned. The search squad found the ship still had some power in her emergency systems as well as some oxygen left in her tanks. With the help of the atmosphere scrubbers, the team managed to make the air in the ship breathable. For the next three days (it was calculated the Sulaco had 4 days to live before she entered the planet's atmosphere and crashed), the team retrieved everything from the Sulaco's computer and searched for any evidence of the alien that was rumored to have been on board the Sulaco when she jettisoned her cryo tubes. With only 12 hours before the Sulaco crashed, private Aaron Johnson goes missing. The party finds him unconscious in one of the ship's cargo holds which, surprisingly, was not damaged by the fire. What cought their attention was the egg lying next to him, which was empty. Johnson is carried back to the Tonoro (he later regains consciousness in the ship's infirmary) and the team discovers the dead face-hugger, which they also take back to the Tonoro for further analysis.

The team seal the Sulaco for the last time and stay in the area to watch the Sulaco crash into the planet. The Tonoro heads back to Earth. As the team is about to return to their cryo tubes, Hendrick notices that Johnson has not returned from the mess-hall. The crew find him dead in the mess-hall, with a hole in his chest. From there on, the story is centered around the team's attempt to catch and destroy the alien which is killing them off, one by one.

The story ends (as a sort of epilogue) with Dr. Andrews, now 20 years after he examined the "evidence" the Auriga was taking back to Earth. Here, he notes the destruction of the U.S.M. Auriga (from Alien Resurrection) and the discovery of the Tonoro's missing EEV....
....and the alien frozen inside.

What do you guys think? I still have a number of things I need to work out.
Most of the dialog from the "hunting for the alien" section will be taken from Alicia's diary and videos found in the Tonoro's computer.
The "searching the Sulaco" section will include radio transmissions between the search party and the Tonoro, as well as communications between the Tonoro and Network.

Dr. Andrews will be adding footnotes to the story, since more in known about what happened aboard the Tonoro at this time then what the ship's crew knew as they searched for the alien.

Oh yeah, I made a cover page for the story. I posted it earlier in a comment, but I figured I'd post it again (don't ask why). I plan to include pictures with several of the pages.

Any suggestions on anything I should change?

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

The link to the cover page doesn't work, at least for me. That's unfortunate, because I was hoping to get some clues from it.

Clues to what, you might ask?

Well, it's obvious that you've used this synopsis to really think through in detail what role this story plays in the Alien mythos. (A few footnotes or something for those of us who haven't watched the movies since they came out might be nice, although I've been vaguely meaning to watch them again some time). What's less obvious is what claim you're making (implicit or explicit) or how you're relating all of this back to the class.

Is this meta fiction, fan fiction, or both?

I'm interested in the form that you intend on using, but it's hard to comment on it without actually seeing how you're going to do it...