Alan Foster: Alien: Covenant - Origins: The Official Movie Prequel

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Alan Foster Alien: Covenant - Origins: The Official Movie Prequel
  • Название:
    Alien: Covenant - Origins: The Official Movie Prequel
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Titan Books
  • Жанр:
    Фантастика и фэнтези / Ужасы и Мистика / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2017
  • Город:
    London
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-1-785-65476-3
  • Рейтинг книги:
    3 / 5
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Alien: Covenant - Origins: The Official Movie Prequel: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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The mission is the most ambitious endeavor in the history of Weyland-Yutani. A ship bound for Origae-6, carrying two thousand colonists beyond the limits of known space, this is make-or-break investment for the corporation—and for the future of all mankind. Yet there are those who would die to stop the mission. As the colony ship hovers in Earth orbit, several violent events reveal a deadly conspiracy to sabotage the launch. While Captain Jacob Branson and his wife Daniels complete their preparations, security chief Daniel Lopé recruits the final key member of his team. Together they seek to stop the perpetrators before the ship and its passengers can be destroyed. An original novel by the acclaimed ALAN DEAN FOSTER, author of the groundbreaking novelization, is the official chronicle of the events that led up to . It also reveals the world the colonists left behind.

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Alien: Covenant - Origins: The Official Movie Prequel — читать онлайн бесплатно полную книгу (весь текст) целиком

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Alan Dean Foster

ALIEN: COVENANT

ORIGINS

The Official Movie Prequel

For Frank and Barbie,

With thanks and in friendship.

A NOVEL BY ALAN DEAN FOSTER TITAN BOOKS

PROLOGUE

They were all dying, and there was nothing they could do.

Dying in their sleep would not have been so bad. Dying of old age, or an inability to reproduce, or even of disease would have been tolerable. But the cosmos was a cold, uncaring place, and did not care what would have been preferable. At that moment, at that time, it was colder than ever.

Bodies were ripped apart, exploded, sundered, until dismembered skeletons began to pile up against the sides of buildings like white foam from a wave. A tsunami of blood ran down first one street, then another. The inhabitants of the city tried to fight back, and the more they fought, the faster they died. The shapes—the things that roved and raged and ravaged among them—were imbued with an implacable urge to kill.

This they did with an efficiency and soulless resolution that knew no satisfaction. The proponents of the interminable slaughter could never be sated. They killed and would keep on killing until nothing remained that could be called a victim.

* * *

Throughout it all the Prophet slept, and screamed, while around him a select gathering of acolytes shared his visions and shuddered. Shared, and grew ever more resolute in the knowledge of what it was they must do. The fate, the visions the Prophet was unleashing among them, could not be allowed to come to Earth.

If they had to die to ensure that this was so, they would not hesitate. Nor would they hesitate to kill on behalf of the greater good.

I

On the ground, the ship would never have been able to lift off. By contrast, its mass wasn’t a problem where it drifted in Earth orbit, like a sleeping whale in an endless dark ocean.

Its deep space drive was unmatched, its sustaining technology state-of-the-art, its life support systems backed up by back-ups, its purpose… its purpose was noble. To found a colony. To spread the seed of humankind beyond the single small blue-and-white globe on which the species had evolved.

It also would allow those selected to travel to a new world the opportunity to escape the corruption, exploitation, overuse, and sheer grime that had overtaken the home their criminally indifferent predecessors had carelessly fouled.

Secure in his jump seat on the shuttle, Jacob Brandon continued to admire the Covenant’s lines as he gazed out the nearby port. He was her captain, she was his ship. His future. Serving as an adjunct to Mother, the ship’s remarkable all-seeing, all-knowing AI, he would have little to do except estivate in deepsleep until they reached the distant chosen world of Origae-6.

En route, they would emerge from faster-than-light travel a set number of times in order to recharge the ship, but those were preplanned and routine. He looked forward to a command that, assuming all went as intended, would involve as little actual intercession as possible by him and the crew.

He knew Indri Mithun was watching him. The whip-slender dark-skinned man sitting in the opposite seat made repeated pretenses of fiddling with the computational lens that was affixed to his left eye. In reality, he was studying the captain. Having begun in the launch lounge, paused during liftoff, and continuing throughout the ensuing flight, the constant scrutiny was beginning to wear on Jacob.

“Look, Mithun, if there’s something you want to ask, if you have something on your mind, just come out with it. I’m not going to prompt you.”

Visible through the port behind the Weyland-Yutani representative, the curved edge of a lambent Earth rotated in concert with the shuttle as the compact vessel lined itself up for docking. While the other man fidgeted, he did his best to look and sound authoritative, but only came off as patently embarrassed.

“I didn’t ask to be assigned to watch you.”

Jacob pursed his lower lip and nodded sagely. “And I didn’t ask to be assigned a watcher, so we’re in agreement.” When Mithun offered no comment, an irritated Jacob forced the issue. “So, said the watched to his watcher, if you don’t mind your subject asking—what exactly are you watching me for?”

The company rep swallowed and, having fiddled with his eyepiece beyond reason, switched to adjusting the collar of his shirt beneath his dress jacket. He didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands. Jacob’s narrowed stare from across the aisle only made them fumble faster. Outside, beyond the port, a mesmerizing cosmos swung like the view from a carnival ride.

“You must understand, Captain, that as adept as our people and machines are at assigning values and squeezing parameters, selecting a crew for so momentous an undertaking will inevitably be subject to a lot of second-guessing.”

Jacob smiled pleasantly. “I wish you wouldn’t use the word ‘undertaking’ when talking about the mission.”

This time there was some rationale behind Mithun’s adjusting of his eyepiece. His expression twisted as realization followed understanding. Jacob was disappointed. He had hoped for a response in the form of a chuckle, or at least a smile. But then, he had already decided that the company rep wasn’t readily amused.

“A joke. I see,” Mithun replied, without seeing at all. “I suppose I should have used a different term to—”

“Just get to the point, Mithun.” Ahead of the shuttle and visible on the heads-up, the extraordinary bulk of the Covenant drew near. The representative nodded, appearing relieved at no longer having to play at tactfulness.

“To put it bluntly, there are some who are not sure if the company chose the right couple to put in charge of the mission.”

Jacob met the other man’s now steady gaze without flinching. “Mother is in charge of the mission. I’m just the human captain, and my wife is the supercargo. Oram’s my number two, not her.”

“We aren’t as concerned about Daniels,” the representative replied firmly, “as we are about you.”

“I see. And what is it about me that concerns your unidentified ‘we’?”

Now Mithun did smile, however slightly. “There are those who think you’re too ‘flighty.’ Insufficiently serious to be entrusted with command of such a vast and complicated enterprise.”

The shuttle slowed as it approached the main docking bay. A slight shiver ran through Jacob’s body as the much smaller craft began to fall under the influence of the Covenant’s artificial gravity field.

“On what basis did they arrive at the scientific determination that I am ‘flighty’?”

“Certain correspondence.” Mithun looked away, uncomfortable once again. “Between yourself and others. Correspondence that reflected an excess of enthusiasm for non-project-related matters. There are those in the company who feel that your enthusiasm for participatory sports, for example, might detract from your attention to duty.”

“Sports.” Jacob leaned so sharply in the representative’s direction that the other man flinched. “Listen, one of the reasons I was given command of the Covenant was my demonstrated empathy for the interests of the colonists. Once we get to Origae-6, I have to supervise the establishment of the colony. That requires a completely different set of skills from those needed to captain a starship.” He pressed back into his seat. “The company wanted someone who could incorporate both poles of experience. They chose me. The unnamed ‘those in the company’ can go hang.”

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