Carlson sighed, leaning back in the pilot’s chair of the UNSC Titannia, one of the largest cruise ships of its class. While most of his co-pilots and passengers were busy having the time of their lives onboard, here he was stuck in the cockpit, bored out of his brains.
At least he had company, one of the co-pilots, a good-looking blonde called Georgina, sat in another chair to his left, gazing wondrously into the vast blackness before them, dotted with the occasional star bright enough to shine through the tinted windows. The nearest star was behind them, out of sight. They were in a relatively new solar system and cruising through to get to their destination.
Immediately something caught Georgina’s eye, and she straightened up with an excited look in her young eyes, she couldn’t have been older than twenty-five.
“Look!” She exclaimed, pointing energetically towards a large, dark mass, “Take the tint out of the windows, I want a better view!” She commanded Carlson, who raised an eyebrow, still leaning back. She stared at him blankly for a second, and immediately she looked apologetic.
“My apologies, sir, may I take the tint out of the window, sir?” She asked, sheepishly.
“Go ahead, just not too much” Carlson smirked, he didn’t really care about the formalities, he just liked reminding her who was the superior, as she often forgot.
As the window became less and less opaque, a huge, green planet was revealed before them, both Carlson and Georgina gasped in amazement at their discovery. No habitable planet had been charted in this system, which meant they had discovered a new planet for colonisation, and there was a lot of money in that. Georgina couldn’t contain her excitement, and leaped from her chair into Carlson’s lap, pressing her mouth to his, he didn’t pull back; he had been interested in her for a long time and he had hoped this would happen.
But in their victorious kiss, they failed to note the asteroid belt that ringed the planet. Immediately an asteroid struck the back of the ship, throwing the Titannia off-course and into the planet’s gravitational pull.
A massive fireball split the sky, speeding towards the planet’s surface like a spear of holy fire. The impact was huge, a noise akin to that of close thunder tore through the relative silence of the jungles, and strange birds cleared the area in cloud-like flocks. The Titannia continued moving along the ground for almost four miles before finally coming to rest beside a thick, roaring river.
Deep under the ground in a vast, dark cavern, the Queen stirred, a slough of dust cascaded to the floor. More dark shapes rose from the eerie mist that hung low to the ground like a sheet, vague beams of light shone down from small holes in the ceiling, water fell through the holes in glimmering streams, to pool on the ground or to run slickly off of the black exoskeletons of slumbering xenomorphs that rested beneath the small rifts in the cavern’s ceiling.
The xenomorphs awoke, stretching their long-dormant bodies and scuttling about the hive, heading for the exits, they could sense nearby hosts, about twenty-six miles east. Among the hordes of smaller xenomorphs a group of larger, more defined creatures arose from the mist, the largest of which, a mighty Yautja-xenomorph hybrid, unleashed a bellow signalling the revival of the hive…
Above the planet’s surface, another ship burst into existence, the Yautja spacecraft hovered still and silent above the planet before discharging seven drop-pods and vanishing into space yet again.
On the surface, the drop-pods all landed with a series of booms, unaware of the human ship crash-landed only eighteen miles west. The seven sleek drop-pods glimmered in the sunlight, and the doors cracked open, revealing the Yautja within, demons in wombs of metal.