The bitch walked down in her boots into the bowels of the Nostromo to tell us how to do our jobs as engineers keeping the ship in one piece. A hard landing had knocked some parts loose and she'd given us only a few hours until the sunset on this rock to put them back together so we could fly again.
It didn't look that tough. Brett and I talked about it and decided that patching this part, changing out another part and cleaning things up might just get us moving again.
Ripley's always pissed off most anyone who came into contact with her. She's one reason why the crew's so glad that most of the time together is spent in the deepest of sleeps outside of death.
"So Parker can you give me an estimate on how long?"
"How long for what?"
I loved fucking with her head. She just looked at me, her body tense and her eyes piercing. As warrant officer, she took no flak and had zero sense of humor.
"How long until you get this piece of junk ready to take off again?"
I paused, amusement in my eyes.
"Oh, five hours maybe longer," I said, "Some important parts blew out on that rough landing."
She ran a hand through her curly hair that still looked slept on from the chamber.
"Oh the atmosphere was brutal," she said, "Like flying through a sandstorm."
"So they really going out there…"
"I think they're just looking for trouble," I said, "If it's a distress signal, something awful happened."
"You don't get paid to think," She said, "You get paid to keep this ship together so we can fly it and so we can mine the ore."
I wanted to kick her ass but I lose some bonus points over it and I didn't think it'd help as uptight as she was.
Brett just kept saying me too, which she called him on more than once. We just stared at her as if she were a fucking genius and we were idiots. Just to get her out of there so we could work in peace.
Brett shook his head.
"Damn Company is ripping us off again," he said, "Remember those shares they promised us for checking out LV228?"
I remembered that, it'd turned out to be what my brother in the Marines would call a bug hunt. Zippo, except for some old husks where some critter shredded its skin.
"We don't go out there…we lose everything," I said, "Besides, we're safer inside here than those high ranking fools will be out there."
He nodded obviously in agreement. We hardly disagreed on anything…except basketball teams.
Later on, I went up to talk to Dallas before he left with the others to go out and find the source of that signal.
"So Ash, you think it's going to be something dangerous," Dallas asked, "We need to use any weapons?"
The science officer pondered that question and then shook his head.
"No…there's no indication of any threat," he said, "Besides if it's an intelligent life form seeking help, why would it attack any respondents?"
Made some sense to me as I looked at Dallas who digested it. I don't know how much he trusts Ash. None of us know him any better than we know Ripley. They were both last minute additions to our regular crew.
"Dallas…Kane's about ready," Ash said, "Lambert should be up here too."
"I think they should be briefed as well. We don't have any idea what's out there."
"The beacon's very primitive…very cryptic too…for a distress signal."
"You keep working on it," Dallas said, "and notify us immediately of any changes."
"Ripley and I will be working on it," he said, "We'll try to keep patched with you for communications but we don't know what the atmosphere's like out there."
Dallas adjusted his suit.
"We'll have to take our chances," he said, "Mother's not telling me much at all. What about you?"
"No more than what she's told you."
Dallas sighed reaching for his helmet.
"Then we won't know until we get there."
Kane walked up to them followed by Lambert.
"You ready to go Boss?"
I watched Dallas nod and the three of them walked away from Ash to confer by the doorway that would open putting them in the containment area so another door would allow them to go outside the ship. They all put on their helmets and Ripley joined Ash and I as we watched on the monitor as they helped each other with their helmets.
Then the door opened into what looked like a swirling storm outside. Just like that they were gone.