Alien Author:Alan Dean Foster Mother, the Mind Bank computer of the interstellar tug Nostromo, was programmed to pilot the ship across the vastness of space without human aid. But when her sensors picked up an eerie distress call emanating from a small, inhospitable planetoid, she woke her seven crew members out of hypersleep to answer it. — Company regulations clearly outlin... more »ed standard procedure for handling such situations. A skeleton crew had to remain aboard the Nostromo in case of emergency, so only three people suited up to look for the source of the SOS - Dallas, the captain; Lambert, the ship's navigator; and Kane, the executive officer.
As Nostromo's instruments had indicated, the planetoid was harsh and difficult to traverse. It was some time before the trio saw the bulk of a strage ship rising from the raw landscape... a vessel as disturbingly nonhuman as the distress call had been. There was no sign of life about it.
Inside, the wreck was equally desolate. Apart from the automatic signal beacon Mother had detected - a device set untold years or centuries earlier - the only distinguishing thing about the dark interior was a circular, smooth-walled shaft leading down to black nothingness.
While Dallas and Lambert remained above, Kane hooked up to a lifeline and descended into the shaft to investigate. There was something unnerving about moving blindly through unknown passageways, yet he managed to shrug off the vague uneasiness as he touched bottom. He was just a ship's officer doing his duty. Besides, he didn't see anything threatening, only numerous silent cocoon-like structures on the walls of a room in the alien ship's belly.
Then, suddenly curious, Kane touched one of the cocoons - and plunged into horror.« less