Following coordinates transmitted by Weyland-Yutani, Russ Jorden and his family trekked to the
same derelict spacecraft visted by the Nostromo's crew 57 years prior.
Jorden's hope, of course, was to gain a percentage of rights claimed by Weyland Yutani for whatever
findings were discovered.
It was Russ's belief that whatever this was, it was a big find, and the Jorden family would
likely be set up for life - even if the majority of profits went to the company.
Russ and Anne Jorden went to investigate further, leaving their children, Newt and Timothy,
in their vehicle to wait.
They were gone for what Newt could only describe as "A really long time," and to her horror,
Newt's father returned with an alien parasite attached to his face, which would eventually
lead to the Xenomorph infestation within Hadley's Hope.
So, what exactly during Russ and Anne's investigation inside the derelict?
Christopher Golden's novel, Alien: River of Pain, details the events that occurred on
the Acheron colony before Ripley and the team of marines arrived, and reveals some interesting
findings from the Jordens.
Excerpts from the novel describe the following:
At first glance, the gargantuan object rising out of the ground looked almost organic, as
if it were the huge, curving remains of some giant alien beast.
As the crawler slowly rolled nearer, he saw that the shape did, indeed, have some kind
of organic influence in its design.
And there could be no doubt that it had been designed.
But not by humans.
“Oh, my God,” Anne whispered.
They’d never seen anything like the object’s horseshoe shape, or its strange, bio-mechanoid
construction, but it most certainly was a vessel.
Judging from the way the rocky terrain had been torn up, leaving great piles of debris
clustered around it, he felt sure it had crash-landed here, digging up the stone and ash as it scarred
the ground on impact.
They wore belts equipped with core samplers, flashlights, and short-range comms that would
allow them to communicate without having to shout.
Hefting cameras and testing equipment, he and his wife climbed down out of the vehicle
and dropped to the surface.
Clicking on his helmet light, Russ set off toward the derelict object, trudging through
dust and then climbing onto a rocky ledge that protruded from the ash.
Anne caught up to him as he studied the shape and the weird texture of the ship.
Anne took the lead, trudging down from the jutting stone, through drifts of ash, and
up a cascade of rocks beside the hull.
Russ ran his gloved hand over the surface, its texture rough and lined when stroked in
one direction, but smooth when he slid his palm across it the other way.
They began by attempting to walk the entire periphery of the ship, but just a few minutes
after they’d begun, Anne froze up ahead of him.
She glanced in either direction along the broad, tall corridor.
The floors and walls were made of some otherworldly alloy, tubes like veins running along the
ceiling and the innermost wall.
She switched off her helmet lamp to conserve its battery, gripped another light that was
attached to her belt, and turned it on.
Russ did the same.
Streaks of some fluid had dried on the wall in several places.
She reached out to touch the stain, but hesitated, then pulled her hand back.
“That tunnel would take them to the tip of the ship’s horseshoe design—the one
closest to the crawler—which suggested that the more significant finds would be to the
left, in the bulk of the vessel.
Anne suggested that they should leave, that they should call in what they've found up
to this point, and take the kids back into town.
“If we go back, we’ll never know what they really find out here,” Russell said.
“Even our little cut of this find could set us up forever.
Do you understand?
But if we want to protect ourselves, keep the company from fucking us over, we’ve
gotta know what it is we’ve found.”
Anne considered her husband's objections.
It stood to reason, they had they had gone that far.
And she agreed to continue further, on the terms that they would spend no more than half
an hour inside, not wanting their children to be left waiting outside in the crawler
any longer than necessary.
They agreed, and continued forth.
Anne twisted around and saw the shadowy cleft in the wall.
Holding her breath, she edged nearer, and in the light from her belt she could make
out an opening that was much larger than she’d thought.
Floor to ceiling, it curved into the wall, a wide swath of shadow.
Ducking her head into the cleft, she froze.
“It spirals down,” she said.
“Their version of stairs?”
Definitely goes to another level, though.”
The spiral reminded her of the inside of an abandoned seashell, which underlined for her
the strange bio-organic feel of the ship, as well as the emptiness that haunted her.
“You sure we shouldn’t have gone down there, to check out the sub-level?” she
“Maybe, but I’m going to guess that whatever passes for a pilot’s cabin is at the crux
of the horseshoe.
I could be wrong, but we don’t have time to think too much about it.
Whatever’s down there, it’ll be more than just corridors.”
As he spoke, the ship’s inner darkness seemed to deepen.
Anne turned her head and shone her light on the wall, revealing scars in the strange metal.
She stopped again.
“Look at this,” she said, staring at the pits and gashes in the wall.
There were others on the floor.
Something had melted right through, which made her stumble back and look up and around
to make sure whatever had caused the melting hadn’t continued to leak.
Anne fell in behind him again, but she kept her eyes on the walls and floor now, and she
saw numerous places where similar scarring had occurred.
Not just the melted spots, either.
There were scorched holes blown in the wall, as if some sort of weapon had been fired.
If not for the obvious age of the vessel, the way the dust and rock had eroded its hull
and begun to swallow it, she would have begun to worry.
The corridor lit up with a sickly yellow illumination and Anne gasped.
The walls were different here.
If the ship’s construction seemed to hint at the organic, this was something else entirely.
These walls were covered with a smooth, ribbed substance, black and gleaming like some mélange
of insect cocoon and volcanic rock.
She ran one hand over the surface, grabbed a sharp ridge and applied pressure, snapping
a small piece off in her hand.
Chitinous and hard, its thinnest edges were brittle.
When they came to another open cleft, spiraling down to a sub-level, they stopped and stared
at it for nearly a full minute.
This cleft differed from the first.
It, too, had been covered by that chitinous material, as if to adapt it for a different
sort of species altogether.
“Look, let’s just make it to the crux of the ship, to see if that’s the engine
room or pilot’s cabin or whatever.
We’ll take footage of it, and then get the hell out of here.
As long as we get that far, they can’t shut us out entirely.
Whatever might be of value to the company—artifacts, technology, whatever—if it’s down there,
and we pass it by, we’ll regret it forever."
“Were talking crazy,” Anne said.
“Abandoning the colony without a backup plan, with no exit strategy… that’s foolish.
But this… you’re right.
This could be it for us, the thing we’ve been searching for.
The kids are out there waiting for us and they’ll keep waiting.
We’ve left them longer than this, and they know how to entertain each other.
It’s for their sake that we can’t leave here without knowing what it is we’ve found.”
Anne took one more look along the corridor, her light gleaming on the strange ridges and
curves of the glassy black walls.
A flash of connection sparked in her mind—cocoon to web to spider—and she shuddered at the
She didn’t like the idea of them trapped inside some kind of spiderweb.
Not a web, she thought, frowning as she studied the walls again.
It’s more like a hive.
A wasps’ nest.
Either way, she didn’t like it.
Anne led the way into the cleft, and she and Russ followed the spiral down into the lower
level of the derelict ship.
Russ said nothing, but she could see from the way he held himself—the cock of his
head and the slight hunch of his shoulders—that he felt the dark weight of the ship around
Just as she did.
Her heart beat faster and her breath turned shallow as they wound their way down, helmet
lights throwing ghost shapes on the walls.
They found the first dead thing at the bottom of the spiral.
“Holy shit,” Russ muttered.
Anne held her breath as she stepped into the corridor, staring at the thing in the juddering
She was trembling.
In life, the alien had been very tall and powerfully built, with an extended torso and
a long head.
It seemed humanoid only in the sense that it had two arms and two legs, but otherwise
it was entirely other.
Something about it suggested an insect, which gave her an unnerving connection to her thoughts
about the hard substance that coated the walls.
Yet this was no bug.
Its skin wasn’t skin at all, but some kind of armored carapace.
Richly blue in spots, it had faded to gray in most places, and the carapace looked to
have gone thin and brittle.
She felt sure the thicker, darker shell was closer to its living appearance.
Its tail wound behind it, sharp and skeletal, with a tip that would have made a wicked weapon.
Not quite a stinger, Anne thought, but if the alien used it that way it would have killed
a person just as quickly.
“It’s beautiful,” Russ said.
Anne turned to stare at him in disgust.
“Look at it,” he said.
“It’s like nothing anyone has ever seen.
“It’s horrible,” she said quietly, staring at the blue-tinted jaws and the tail.
“This thing was born to kill.”
“It’s been dead for a very long time,” Russ said.
“But I’ll tell you what it was born for… to make us rich.”
He gave a quiet laugh and turned away, moving down the sub-level corridor.
Anne stared another moment at the dead alien, and then followed.
Russ might be right, and she knew this thing couldn’t harm her—its cadaver was little
more than a shell, not unlike the derelict spacecraft they were exploring.
But she couldn’t escape the feeling of its presence.
When she had first entered the ship, she had been sure its halls were as empty as that
Now every shadow felt full of menace, of teeth and slithering, sharp-tipped tails.
The sub-level had been completely taken over by the chitinous walls she’d seen above,
but still there were many spots where something had melted through, sprayed and burned its
way into the floors and walls.
They walked through the darkness, lighting their own way, and at a curve in the hallway
they found three more of them.
One had been torn in half, its desiccated corpse a dried and twisted thing, half on
one side of the hall and half on the other.
Another had an enormous hole through its mid-section, and the floor beneath it had been melted away
into a yawning chasm.
A draft swept in from there, but whether from outside or from elsewhere in the ship, they
could not tell.
There were doors all along the corridor.
Some of them opened easily, while others were stuck shut by that strange, hardened, resin-like
The first two that Russ opened contained nothing more than dust and small, strange bones.
In the next there were thick metal alloy shelves with mounds that were now rot.
It was impossible to know what they had been before rotting.
“Cargo, do you think?”
“Of some kind,” Russ agreed.
“Food or some other materials.
Those first two rooms were pens, though.
Alien livestock or something else…
Whatever they were, these creatures were taking them somewhere.”
That didn’t sound right to Anne.
Didn’t feel right.
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“Not the things we saw back there.”
“What do you mean?”
“Whatever those creatures were, they weren’t the ones piloting this ship.”
He nodded, but didn’t respond.
They continued on, discovering other massive alien corpses in clusters of three or four,
perhaps twenty in all.
Several minutes later, maneuvering through the claustrophobic underbelly of the ship,
they encountered something altogether different.
Now she understood why the corridors were so high and so wide.
They hadn’t been built this size for the sake of grandeur, but simply for scale.
The remains of this new creature were more humanoid than the first, but even larger than
the others—nine feet, Anne guessed.
All that remained of its body was its skeleton—bones inside some kind of exo-suit of the same design
as the ship, with the same techno-organic texture.
This dead thing had been one of the ship’s crew.
She knew it.
“Where are the others?” she asked.
“You think there are other species here?”
“No, no… others like this one.
Where’s the rest of the crew?”
Russ had no answer.
“How long have we been gone from the crawler?” she asked.
“Dunno,” he said, checking his watch.
Not more than that, I don’t think.”
Taking a deep breath, she reached out and took his hand, not liking the fact that their
gloves kept their skin from touching.
Let’s get some images of this guy and the others, and then we get out of here.
Five minutes more,” she said.
They worked mostly in silence, both of them uneasy.
Anne felt disappointed in herself—in both of them.
By all rights they ought to have been ecstatic.
He had been right.
This was going to change their lives.
Their share of whatever the company made from this salvage—from the ship and its tech,
from the alien corpses and whatever Weyland-Yutani might learn from them—meant they would never
have to work again.
They should have been weeping with joy, screaming in celebration.
Instead, Anne felt like she couldn’t breathe, felt the weight of the air inside the ship
as if it might suffocate her.
She just wanted out, and judging from his silence, she knew that Russ felt the same.
It took them ten minutes.
When they’d finished in the sub-level, they lugged their gear back up the spiral, then
paused together and looked along the corridor toward the crux of the ship.
Both of them.
They had been married so long, knew each other so well, that no words were necessary for
a decision to be made.
“This close,” Russ said.
“Five minutes or less, we’ll be at the crux.
See what there is to see.
A few images, and we’re back outside in fifteen, twenty minutes at most.
The kids are probably napping by now.”
“I’m sure it’s been more than an hour,” Anne told him.
But Russ knew that it wasn’t an argument.
They both glanced back the way they’d come, toward the breach in the hull that would be
their exit, and then he hefted his gear onto one shoulder and took her hand.
Together they walked toward the crux.
Around the next corner they discovered one of each of the two alien species, locked in
a terrible embrace.
This bug-like creature was different from its brethren.
It was larger, and had a large, ridged plate on its bright blue head that seemed to be
a kind of crest.
“What the hell happened here?”
“War,” Anne said.
“The question is, where did the bugs come from?
Were they on the ship, in the cargo hold, or were they already here on Acheron, and
attacked the ship after the crash?”
“And what about this one?”
“Why is it so different?”
Anne studied the deadly embrace again, studied that blue crest, and frowned.
“It’s a queen.”
“What, you mean like with bees?”
“Doesn’t this all remind you of a hive?”
She gestured at the crusted walls.
“Maybe the others are like drones, and this one is like a queen.”
“Or maybe that crest on its head just makes me think of a crown.”
The alien she thought of as a queen had impaled the crewman with its tail, but the crewman
had given as good as he’d gotten.
He’d thrust his left arm up inside the queen’s jaws, as if he had tried to destroy its brain
with a bare hand.
“Come on,” Russ said.
“Let’s finish this up.
I don’t want to be here anymore.”
They walked on.
Minutes later, they found a vast chamber where many of the crew must once have been able
The dome curved high overhead, and it was crusted with the same chitin they had seen
“This is just creepy as hell,” Russ said.
“I feel like I can’t breathe.”
Anne could only nod.
There was a platform at the front of the chamber.
On it stood a massive seat and some kind of gigantic apparatus that she felt sure must
have been used to navigate the ship.
In the seat was another of the crew, though this one wore a helmet that covered its entire
“The pilot, do you think?”
Russ asked as they climbed up to investigate.
“Or the navigator.”
“Look at its chest,” Russ whispered, and she could practically feel his breath at her
But Anne had already seen the twisted, mummified bones jutting out of its exo-suit, and the
hole behind its ribs.
“That’s how they killed him,” Russ said.
“Must have used a weapon, or maybe one of their tails, like in the corridor back there.”
“I don’t think so,” Anne whispered.
She’d seen the way the bones twisted outward.
Whatever had killed the giant had come from inside.
She stumbled back from it, nearly slipping off the edge of the platform.
Catching herself, she grabbed the side of the navigator’s chair and turned to face
the back of the cavernous chamber.
When they had come in, the platform had been the first thing their lights had illuminated.
It had drawn them to it immediately.
Now she saw something else.
Many other somethings.
“Russell,” she said quietly.
A disquieting feeling came over her, not quite excitement and not quite fear.
“Look at this.”
Her light played over a low blanket of mist that hung just below the level of the platform.
As she looked, she saw that the vapor itself seemed to have some small luminescence of
Below it, spread out all around the platform in a recessed area of the chamber floor, were
dozens of large pods, each perhaps a foot or eighteen inches high.
They were oval, somewhat egg-shaped, though there was something almost floral about the
tops of the things.
Ugly flowers that would never blossom.
Never, of course, because they had been here for eons.
“It’s weirdly humid in here,” Anne said.
“Maybe the ship is drawing in moisture from the outside, and holding it in this chamber.”
“What are they, Annie?” he asked, staring at the pods.
Anne shone her light around and studied the chamber.
A cargo space?
It might have been, she supposed.
She set her gear on the platform and moved down toward the objects.
“Should we bring one back?” she asked, pushing off from the edge of the platform
and sliding down below the upper edge of the fog.
The pods appeared to have a leathery texture, yet they still reminded Anne of flowers yet
She frowned as she dropped to one knee, and studied the nearest one.
“Are they… pulsing?”
Russ asked from behind her.
“I think so,” Anne replied.
A smile spread across her lips.
It wasn’t possible for them to be pulsing, of course, because that suggested that life
remained in these pods, whatever they were.
Centuries or millennia after the ship had crashed and the bloody battle that had killed
so many on board, these strangely cool hothouse mists seemed to have kept these pods in some
kind of hibernation state.
She reached for the nearest one, her fingers hovering only a foot away.
“Wait,” Russ said.
“We don’t know what they are.”
Anne turned to smile at him.
“If the surface is toxic, it won’t get through my gloves.”
“Let’s just set up the camera, take some images, and Simpson can worry about them,”
“Now where’s your sense of adventure?” she asked.
She saw her husband’s eyes widen at the same time as she heard a wet, sticky, peeling
noise from behind her.
Russ grabbed her arm and hauled her toward him.
“Get back!” he snapped.
Anne lost her balance and slumped against the edge of the platform.
Beyond Russ, she saw the pod opening, strings of mucous hanging from the four petal-like
flaps as it split apart.
Something shifted and jerked inside the object.
“Russell…” she said, suddenly afraid.
“It’s all right,” he told her, glancing over at the pod.
The thing within launched itself at him, latched onto his face, and he tried to scream.
The sound became a horrible gagging as he stumbled back into her.
Anne cried out his name as she shoved and dragged and urged him up onto the platform.
Only there did she see the back of the hideous spider-thing that had attached itself to him.
It’s all right, he had said.
But it was not all right.
Nor would it ever be all right again.
River of Pain makes some interesting suggestions about occurences within the derelict, discovered
by the Jordens.
These colonists came upon to view the aftermath of what appeared to be a last stand between
xenomorphs, including a queen, and what apparently appears to be engineers.
This of course raise some questions about the timing of this particular event.
Is it possible Kane, Dallas, and Lambert, simply didn't come across the same area as
Such a massive ship could, and does, hold many secrets within.
This would at least explain all of the eggs in the ship's cargo - with the presence of
an Alien queen.
And could this glimpse seen by the Jordens somehow be related to events taking place
after Alien Covenant?
As we learned in Alien: Advent, David was apparently working on a Queen to perfect the
Xenomorph cycle...could this queen have been aboard the derelict all along?
What do you think?
Comment below and share your opinion.
As always, I'd like to Thank you very much for watching.
I really appreciate it, and If you enjoyed this video, please make sure to give it a
like, and you can also subscribe for all the latest videos from the channel
A very, very special thanks goes out to Weyland Yutani Executive EmYaruk, part of the Patreon
If you'd like to join the hive and
support the channel, check out my Patreon page for exclusive posts and contests.
In the meantime you can catch up with Alien Theory over social media- follow @Alien_Theory
on Twitter, and @AlienTheoryYT on Facebook and Instagram for more.
And until next time, this is Alien Theory, signing off.