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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Operation Outreach - Accounts of the Earth War

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Bionational Internal Memorandum 385769.1/A, rev. II

OPERATION OUTREACH Progress Report:

Government vessel Benedict lifted as scheduled. Standard ship crew, plus Squads 1-4, Fox Platoon,

Company Able, 1st. Extee Division, Second Colonial Marines. Colonel H. S. Stephens,

Commanding. (See attached, personnel appendix, A.)

Bionational ship K-014 launched in pursuit, echo-lock, , full robotics & expendable EXP-series

android crew under the command of Executive Assistant, Security, P. Massey.

(JoelYou know the general layout of this, but Ill recap some of the particulars you

might have missed while you were on vacation. The alien life form the guv guys want is the

big nasty, and naturally theyd like to score it for their own weapons program. Needless

to say this would compromise our own profit structure were it to happen. With the recent

Supreme Court decision on patentable life forms, vis-à-vis created versus discovered,

we might spend ten years in the fucking legal system trying to unsnarl this mess. So up-levels

decided that we should tail the feds to the home-world [the location of which is so damned

secret we couldnt pry it out of anybody for blackmail or money] and get as much info

as we could. And, of course, we dont want the feds to

get their own specimen. This guy Massey has his orders and hes the best there ishe

will do whatever it takes to stop them. You probably have heard that Research got

its hands on a guy salvaged from a cargo express, one of ours, fortunately, with one of the

big nasty embryos wrapped around his face. The ship was cold, systems dead, but somehow

this thing had kept him in stasis, almost as if hed been in a sleep tank. Hell, that

alone is worth a fortune if we can figure out how the hell it did it.

Anyway, both the crewman and the bug on his face were still alive, so theyve been brought

to the Houston labs for analysis. Were still way ahead of the feds on this, and already

geared up for full-scale testing. Start figuring out ways to spend your bonus, Joel, were

all going to get rich off this one. Thats it on the main deal. Theres some other

stuff in this memo the psycho boys are concerned about, so Ill let you get to it. See you

for lunch TuesdayBen.)

The crew of The Benedict had awoken from hypersleep, soon approaching their destination. There

was, of course, a passenger on board not originally accounted for. The surprise took a while to

filter through to Stephens. Hicks wondered if the man would have noticed at all had not

the head count come out one too many. The squads picked it up right awaythey

all knew each otherso Billie stood out for them. But Stephens was a chair jockey;

he had a list of his troops somewhere and couldnt yet identify them by names or faces.

Stephens inquired about the plus-one on his roster, Hicks explained he was responsible

for bringing the extra person, claiming her to be a civilian expert on the aliens. Hardly

a satisfying answer for Stephens.

I am going to throw you in the brig and scramble the code,” Stephens said, still

looking for who didnt belong. “Sir, you could do that. But perhaps GENstaff

might be interested in knowing why the CO didnt discover the stowaway before lift-off,

given that a final inspection is part of the COs duties. Sir.”

Hicks knew this was Stephenss first field command and that he did not want anything

to mar it, make him look bad. Now was the time for his pitch. Stephens was pissed, no

doubt about it, but he had to be working the angles, trying to see how this was going to

look once he got home. Since Hicks wouldnt bet a bent demicred that he was going to get

home, that didnt much matter to him, but Stephens wouldnt be thinking like that.

Sir, if you could show that you were responsible for taking on a civilian expert, then there

wouldnt be any problem. You buried a CMA code in your log, didnt you?”

Hicks hadnt been able to check Stephenss CO log, the access commands for that were

beyond his abilities as a computer break-in artist, but he was fairly certain that the

colonel had installed a CMAcover my asscode so that it was dated near the start of the

mission. This was SOP among nervous officers, a simple piece of insurance that could sit

there unused, unless something wonky came up. It was easy enough. Log entries were all

automatically timed and dated; a CMA code was some innocuous piece of input, usually

a phrase that was related to whatever data were going in, but stilted in such a way that

it didnt quite fit. If a situation arose that was unforeseen, the officer could use

the code to cover himself by entering new data and then referring back to the phrase,

as if it had been put there in anticipation of such happenings. Any lengthy phrase could

be made to say almost anything a bright computer wanted later, and the officer could swear

he or she had known about it in advance and covered it, but in code, so as to keep it

secret from prying eyes.

Why should I help you?” Stephens asked. “Because, sir, youd be helping yourself.

Ill put the rumor out that ourdiscussion here is part of a clever subterfuge you worked

up, for reasons of your own having to do with some kind of secret military business about

which they dont want to know. When we get back to Earth, youre covered and Ill

go quietly wherever you want me to go.” Stephens considered it. He didnt like it,

Hicks could see that, but he was thinking about his future and that was the most important

thing on his agenda. “All right,” he said. “Trot him out and let me see him.”

See her,” Hicks said. “Where did you get her?”

I broke her out of a mental hospital. Sir.”

The matter was more or less settled. Newt was part of the team, despite Stephens' reservations,

and the hinderences that may have been presented regarding plans of his own, but arrival to

the alien homeworld coordinates was soon approaching, and there was little use in losing focus on

the mission at hand at this juncture.

Newt fit in about as well as could be expected. There were suspicions, and rumours, and confusion

about her presence. Hicks kept a close eye on her, even as it became apparent that Newt

slowly began developing a relationship with one of Hicks' grunts, Pvt Bueller. As the

mission continued, Newt reflected on the events so far.

I was standing at one of the viewports, staring into space. The light from the stars stretched

around the ship like glowing white neon. I was trying to remember my parents. All I could

remember was the blood. In the midst of this, what did Bueller see

in me? No one had ever shown interest in me before.

At first it didn't make any sense. Then I realized, he was like me. He knew how it felt

to be alone. Hicks gave me a schedule of token administrative

duties to keep me occupied during the voyage. Hatred of the aliens burned inside him like

an open flame. It was all that sustained him. He'd lost all sense of compassion. I shared

his hatred of the aliens, but suddenly our bitter quest seemed empty, almost ugly.

Bueller and I found an unused storage unit behind the engine compartment and met as often

as we could. It was all so new to me. Maybe Hicks had been hating so long - he'd forgotten

what it was like to care about someone.Maybe I had been locked away so long I'd never had

the chance to try. We stood at the viewport, staring into space.The light from the stars

stretched around the ship like bands of glowing white neon. The aliens destroyed my life once,

I couldn't stop them then- but I could stop stop it from happening again.

As the ship approached the alien's homeworld, I was overwhelmed by a hideous premonition

of death. Bueller and I spent every spare moment together. I knew he shared my apprehensions.

There was an air of desperation to our encounters, as if we didn't dare waste an instant. We

made love, that final day, surrounded by the bleak grey metal of the ship's hull. I remember

thinking how frail we were next to our machines. And for the first time since Acheron, I cried.

"

In his quarters on the chase ship, Massey sat seiza and concentrated on his breathing.

He had never learned to meditate as the masters did, but he could use it to calm his system.

Sure, he exercised his body, practiced fighting techniques, drilled over and over again with

weaponry, but these things brought him no joy. They were to keep him crisp, to maintain

his cutting edge, nothing more. Being in top shape was part of the business, necessary,

and he trained himself as if he were a prized show animal, proper diet, enough rest, technical

mastery as required, no more, no less. He was the equal of any serious athlete, and

against the few who might be in better physical shape or with faster reflexes, he augmented

himself with drugs or figured ways to cheat. If you wanted a man dead, it was better to

shoot him in the back from long range than to stand facing him like some holovid hero.

That was a fools game, and since the last man standing was the victor, it was always

better to slant things your way when possible. Soon another test would come. He must be ready

for it. So he sat, but it was not mindless meditation but mindful scheming that filled

him. In a contest like this, there could be no second-place winner, to be second was to

be last and to be last here was to be dead.

Pvt. Jones was taking her turn at the proximity sensor board. Ten minutes into her tour, a

bogie began blipping. She wasnt deep in this kind of work but since the computer did

most of it, all she had to do was ask. She alerted Colonel Stephens. Jones said. “Sir,

the PS says theres a vessel out there only a hundred klicks back and closing. The thing

musta blown a circuit or something, right?” “Could be an echo, that happens,” Stephens

said. “Run a diagnostic.” “Affirmative, sir.” Jones touched a button.

The image gridded, words sprayed across it, and the result came up almost immediately:

DIAGNOSTIC CHECK COMPLETE, ALL SYSTEMS FUNCTIONAL. “Damn,” Jones said. “Excuse me, sir.

There is a ship out there. Ill sound General Alert.” Se reached for the red button cover,

started to flip it up so she could reach the alarm control.

No,” Stephens said. “Sir, if thats a ship we have to assume

its hostile to our mission, thats SOP—” By now, Jones had turned enough to see that

Stephens had drawn his side arm. An issue softslug pistol. He shot her. Through the

left eye. Gore spattered on his coverall as Joness head snapped back and smashed into

the sensor board. “Sorry,” Stephens said, reholstering his

weapon. The colonel waved his hands over the com unit. “Stephens here,” he said. “Everything

is set. Prepare for docking.” “Copy that,” came Masseys voice from

the com. “We are on the way.”

While General Alert hadn't been alarmed, the squad certainly felt the K-019's docking.

They went to arm themselves, only to find the loading mechanisms of their rifles had

been pulled, rendered useless. They were sensing a set-up. Colonel Stephens spoke on the intercom,

ordering all marines to report to the loading bay immediately. They were met with Massey's

ambush. The hatch slid up and assault-suited men sprinted

through the opening, splitting into two groups, one heading fore, the other aft. Two of them

brought their hardware to bear on Hicks: these were automatic shotguns that fired frangible

epoxy-boron-lead pellets. They didnt have much penetration, but against an unarmored

human target, they were deadly enough. They didnt call them splatter-guns for nothing.

Hicks raised his hands. The last man sauntered into the ship proper,

an antique 10mm recoilless Smith DA-only pistol in one hand. He waved the gun at Hicks. “Hello,

marine. New in town?” “Right on schedule, Massey,” Stephens

said. “Of course. Ive got him. You can put

your piece away.” Hicks felt his guts twist. Stephens was a

traitor. He didnt know who this Massey was or who he representedone of the war

cartels, maybe, some corporationbut Stephens had sold them out.

Newt had been left behind by Bueller, and, not being officially part of the crew, her

absence was not noticed or accounted for by the team of Operation Outreach.

Once again, she was alone. And scared. Her thoughts raced.

For one brief moment I'd found love. One of Hicks' grunts - a Marine named Bueller...What

is it about life that as soon as you find something good - then it's taken away from

you? I could feel the panic rising in my chest,

choking, claustrophobic. My first instince was to hide - just like Acheron - just like

like Earth. That's what the enemy depends on. Human...Alien...they rely on that fear

to endure. It explained the resilience of creatures like

the alien. They don't understand fear. They don't understand anything beyond their existence.

I knew I would have to become like them to survive. It had been four hours since we'd

been boarded. Who the hell were they? Soldiers? Merceneries? It didn't matter. It wouldn't

have mattered to THEM.

She could see Hicks held at gunpoint, and Stephens executed. Massey's logic was that

if a man like Stephens would sell out his own crew, how much could he really trust him?

But there was still Hicks, yet again finding himself in command of a mission after everyone

who outranked him was dead. He tried to get information from Massey. Anything he could

use.

"I still can't figure where the corporation found the balls to intercept a government

ship on a classified mission." "I think you'll find the corporation capable

of almost anything. We still believe in free enterprise -- capitalism. Your government

wants the alien lifeform for itself." "My government? You make it sound like the

corporation is an independant state. Jesus, those things destroyed Acheron. Think what

they could do on Earth--" "I have. We're breeding them. You'll stay

with me aboard the benedict. Your men seem to respect you. I might be able to use that."

"You've already got those things on earth, why not just kill us and be done with it?"

Oh, you're going to die. Rest assured of that. But I'm sure you understand the call of science.

We're charged with investigating the homeworld before returning to earth. Never know what

you might find. If their homeworld follows traditional patterns, there's probably some

sort of ecological balance. Predator, prey. Like Earth - Like you and me. The alien is

a remarkable lifeform, but it may not be the dominant species on its homeworld. A corporation

like Bionational succeeds by staying one step in front of the competition. In five years,

the alien will be obsolete -- passe'. We'll need to find newer, superior biological weapons.

We're fishing. Your marines are bait. "

Hicks' crew approached the Xenomorph homeworld. They were the bait, and were soon to see if

Massey's theory of Ecological balance held true. Surviving the mission was more of an

uncertainty than ever before. Whatever inhabited this world was a mystery, though back on Earth,

at Bionational's lab, there had been interesting developments. Dreyner remained invested in

their studies. He even kept a close eye on Reyne, who under was under constant survellence

in his new enviornment.

"Hello, again. It's Ostrow. Just checking in. The others have forgotten your sacrifice.

But I remember. I'll always remember. We captured it, while it fed on you. It seemed to need

that primitive animal kinship. While it acclimated to the artificial envornment, you were its

home. You gave it your body -- your life. At least you didn't die in vain. You would

have been thrilled with our progress. Originally, of course, we'd merely planned to study the

specimen while awaiting the return of the K-014. For once, we'd had a bit of luck. You

see, the creature we captured, was a queen. And that changed things."

In this series, I'm recounting the Earth War, as depicted in the Aliens comics series, and

the events leading up to it, as well as its aftermath. The accounts are explored as originally

published, despite certain names, locations, and other events having been altered over

time. If you missed it, the previous video in this series is Bionational Executive Assistant

Patrick Massey: A Profile. Stay tuned for the next video, about the Alien Homeworld.

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

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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

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this is Alien Theory, signing off.

The Description of Operation Outreach - Accounts of the Earth War