Alien: Into Charybdis by Alex White (2021)

About the Author

Born and raised in the American south, ALEX WHITE values challenging and subversive writing. Author of Alien: The Cold Forge, the Salvagers series–a space opera treasure hunt, the Southern American dystopia Every Mountain Made Low, and a new forthcoming science fiction trilogy, their professional life has enabled them to understand both the corporate and military mind-sets. Alex lives in Huntsville, Alabama, with their wife and son.

Summary

“Shy” Hunt and the tech team from McAllen Integrations thought they’d have an easy job—set up environmental systems for the brand new Hasanova Data Solutions colony, built on the abandoned ruins of a complex known as “Charybdis.” There are just two problems: the colony belongs to the Iranian state, so diplomacy is strained at best, and the complex is located above a series of hidden caves that contain deadly secrets. When a bizarre ship lands on a nearby island, one of the workers is attacked by a taloned creature, and trust evaporates between the Iranians and Americans. The McAllen Integrations crew are imprisoned, accused as spies, but manage to send out a distress signal… to the Colonial Marines.

Alien: Into Charybdis TM & © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

PLACES

Setting: LV991 – ‘Hasanova’ orbits GJ1232 (G 142-11) along with BADAYAGA

Planet initially discovered before the turn of century by Yutani Industries survey, but Weyland discovers Engineer ruins beneath airless surface, presumably buys the world, sets up secret shop prior to the 2093 loss of the Prometheus, well before the 2099 Weyland Yutani merger takes place. The star is perhaps occluded by nearby closer star. Project shuttered after Prometheus loss. After massive financial loss to WY in the 2140’s after Amanda & Zula mischief WY has to divest and auction off excess world holdings and this world slips through the cracks.

UPP buys and sets up first terraforming station, Azerbaijani colonists lay foundation for Hydro-generation facility but by the late 2170’s/ early 2180’s the colony is purchased by Iranians who soon after declare affiliation with ICSC and are embargoed by the UA.

In our universe, it is 10.2615 parsecs from Sol. The star, is somewhere between 2.97 and 5.14 Earth-days – One year on the planet would be 2.97 to 5.14 earth days. It is situated so close to the star, its orbit would be very fast. It has to be that close in order to not be too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist.

[Hertzsprung-Russell diagram]


Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. A plot of luminosity (absolute magnitude) against the colour of the stars ranging from the high-temperature blue-white stars on the left side of the diagram to the low temperature red stars on the right side. “This diagram below is a plot of 22000 stars from the Hipparcos Catalogue together with 1000 low-luminosity stars (red and white dwarfs) from the Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars. The ordinary hydrogen-burning dwarf stars like the Sun are found in a band running from top-left to bottom-right called the Main Sequence. Giant stars form their own clump on the upper-right side of the diagram. Above them lie the much rarer bright giants and supergiants. At the lower-left is the band of white dwarfs – these are the dead cores of old stars which have no internal energy source and over billions of years slowly cool down towards the bottom-right of the diagram.” – image via http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/hr.html

So Brad Suedbeck found the inner and outer radii of the habitable zone, then used that, assumed a circular orbit rather than elliptical, and calculated the planet’s year (one full revolution around its Star). The 2.97 days would be if it was at the inner radius and 5.14 if it was at the outer radius.

Hasanova Colony CorporationHasanova Data Solutions – Previously LV991 (pg46)

Charybdis – Tagh-e-Behesht, “The Vault of Heaven,”

Weyland Corp Scientists – identified Charybdis as a stable lava tube

Corpus Maximus – The Major Body of Charybdis

  • Network Ops
  • Solutions
  • The Human Centre
  • HAPS (Hasanova Atmospheric Processing Station)
  • HAPS-E
  • HALO A
  • Data Store Houses 1-10
  • DS 20
  • Data Store Houses 11-20
  • DS 35
  • Javaher Concourse
  • Data Store Houses 21-30
  • Canary Sensor / Test Console
  • Data Store Houses 31-44
  • HALO B (Q2 FY2186)
  • “Halgheyeh Rãd-o-bãrgh, or ‘The Thunder Ring.’

Daaryacheh-e Tavus (Lake Peacock)

Ghasreh Shab, or ‘Palace of Night’

Astropuerta de Juarez – The UA Astroport in Juarez Mexico

RB-232 – From The Cold Forge, Top Secret Weapons Development Facility

Tientsin – located at 8 Eta Bootis near Arcturus and the site of the Tientsin conflict.*

Exeter Colony – Located in GL 563.2 A (Exeter) system
Howards Restaurant

Bandar Abbas

Lyon – Near Eton during Kam’s school days.

CHARACTERS

Marcus – Gardenia Ship Synthetic

Shy(Cheyenne) Hunt – Floater, Front End Developer for McAllen Integrations (pg 279)

Maggie – Shy’s friend who dies from a bee sting

Mary Fowler – Flight Officer, Vice-President for McAllen Integrations

Valerie – Scientist, Grandpa Mike’s cousin(to Mary)

Jerry Fowler – Captain, President for McAllen Integrations. eagle scout marksman

Noah Brewer – Networking, Data Links for McAllen Integrations, Stoner, assault charge fifteen years ago, in Boston, Massachusetts by a former girlfriend. Records were sealed by his parents.

Arthur Atwater – Climate Systems for McAllen Integrations, used to be a cop,

Joanna Hardy – Mechanical Installer for McAllen Integrations

Tiran Shirazi – CTO for Hasanova Colony

Nadia – Haroun’s Mother, Khanoomeh? Sharif,

Haroun Sharif – Vice President of Operations for Hasanova Data Solutions, attended the military at Isfahan, colonel of the Revolutionary guard.

Sanam – Haroun’s Wife

Captain Akbari – HCC Security Captain (pg 136-336)

Mohammad – Security Guards

Kianoush – Security Guards

Setareh – HCC Security

Pezhvok Joshgani – Head of IT for Hasanova Data Solutions

Arzhang Hamedani – HCC worker who got infected in the tunnels.

Bahman – HCC Line Cook

Dr Kamran Afghanzadeh – Project Manager, Safety Design Branch Manager, Translator for Hasanova Data Solutions, Studied at Eton,

Dr. Lloyd – Exobiologist

Reza Hosseini – (Pg 25-41) for Hasanova Data Solutions

Fatemeh Lajani– Shift Leader and Foreman for Hasanova Data Solutions

Bijan – Piling Driver for Hasanova Data Solutions

Babãk/Babâk(pg 66) Rashid– Second in command to Kamran for Hasanova Data Solutions

Mitra – (Pg 40-41) works for Hasanova Data Solutions

Banu – 4 year old daughter of Haroun (pg 85-276)

Colonel Jennifer Davis – Head of USCM, Kylie’s Boss

Major Rod Callaway – Head of USCM

Major Caleb Murdoch – Head of USCM

The Midnighters consist of one captain, one lieutenant, a Bishop, two sergeants, six corporals, and twenty-four privates. – pg357

Captain Kylie Penelope Duncan – Captain of The Midnighters, has a tattoo of an alien praying at the base of a cross on her forearm.

Private? Addison – Kylie’s best friend and fellow Marine

Lieutenant Percival – Midnighter

Bishop – USS Benning Synthetic Person

Sergeant Hubert Lee – Midnighter, From Alabama, addicted to B 073

  • B 073 (Acetaminophen, Butalbital, Caffeine and Codeine Phosphate 325mg / 50mg / 40mg / 30mg).

Staff Sergeant Wallace – Midnighter

Lance Corporal Russell Becker –

-Did a tour through the Goliath system

-Discharged from Annapolis for misconduct

-Drunk on watch, and sleeping with a superior officer.

-Fourth Generation Marine.

Relation Brigadier General(pg 381)/Major Virginia Becker(pg 318) – Becker’s Mother

-1776 Tattooed on the inside of his wrist.

-24 years old, 6 years of frontline combat experience.

Corporal Cooper– Midnighter

Corporal Ames – Midnighter

Lance Corporal Jackson – Midnighter

Corporal Hanssen – Midnighter

Corporal Brad Suedbeck – Midnighter, nickname ‘Farm Boy’ or Bull(as in Bull Shit)

Private Jason Leger – Midnighter, nickname ‘Maple Syrup’, from Ottawa.

Private Longstreet – Midnighter

Private Keuhlen – Midnighter, holds a record of 26 Black Drops,

Private First Class Garcia – Has been with the Midnighters the longest, only with the Midnighters for (3)4 drops

Private Clayton – Midnighter

Private Rankin – Midnighter

Private Arnold – Midnighter

Private First Class Johnston – Midnighter

Private Bergman – Midnighter

Private Atchison – Midnighter

Dr Matsushita – Character from Matshuita(spelled incorrectly originally and corrected by Alex, spelling advised by Mitch Mitchell) is is from the Alien 3 shooting script, specifically the January 5, 1991 draft by Rex Pickett.

Dr. Richard Scales – Blue’s Boss at Seegson Biomedical

Rook/Father – Medical Synthetic

Theresa Weisenberger

Kevin

Marko Woods – American Ambassador

S.Saffel – Conducted check on Hassanova Plans

Businesses/Corporations/Governments

NATIONAL Data Corporation – Part of Hasanova Colony

White and Associates – Conducted 3D Spectrograph Scan

Weyland Corp Scientists – identified Charybdis as a stable lava tube

International Astronomical Union – Responsible for the nomenclature of stars and planetoids

Yutani Corporation – Historical Competitor to Weyland Corp

UPP – Union of Progressive Peoples

VAJA – Iranian Ministry of Intelligence

ICSC – Independent Core Systems Colonies

  • ICSC Defense Force patrol

Seegson Biomedical

Ministry of State –

The Hague – Home to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.

United Americas – formed in 2103, merges North, Central and South America into one socioeconomic block.

Brands/Tools/Vehicles/Machinery

USCSS Gardenia – Light commercial towing vehicle, 60 years old

Polaris – ATV

Rimco – Vietnamese Parts and Controllers Brand

Daewoo Decade – Personnel Carrier crawler

Citroen MR2 hovercraft

Hasanova Data Cannon – quantum particle array transmits 100 exabytes per second.

John Deere Badgers – Small Exosuits

Caterpillar Power Loader – Large Exosuit

Daihatsu DK – Also known as Big Crabs can scale lattice work.

Corvette – Vehicle for ICSC Patrol

UAEV Blackstar – Seegson Corp Vessel

  • cryo lab on A-deck, aft side

Fisher Sequencer – Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing supports many popular NGS applications including targeted DNA, transcriptome, targeted RNA, and exome sequencing.

Stun Sticks – Cattle prod like device

USS Benning – The Midnighter’s vessel

  • Cargo Lock 8 – Storage for Cryo
  • 2 x UD-40L ‘Cheyenne’ utility dropship
  • APC – All Personnel Carrier

TBPRAE-44

  • three layers: a superhydrophobic bodysuit, a gel-packed webbing of STF “liquid armor” for pinpoint impacts,
  • Teledyne Brown Personal Reactive Armored Exoskeleton, aka TBPRAE-44
  • a.k.a Pray System

National Dynamics SunSpot – “Good Boy”

Laser drill – As seen in Aliens

Sentry Guns – As seen in Aliens

ALON cage – Aluminium oxynitride is transparent Aluminium, internals are made from synthetic resin to mimic a hive so the Aliens wouldn’t try to break out, Mackie design. “Snatchers won’t break out if they think they made it”

RPG – Rocket propelled grenade

EntaCOMM – Software Program

MouseCat – Pocket sized digital tool

NovArc SiteSys – Norwegian Software Program

Tungsten carbide riot jack

Miscellaneous/Terminology

Queenscode – Pagiarus Praeportens Hox genes manipulated.

Cupriavidus metallidurans – eats toxic metals and excretes gold. “Cupriavidus metallidurans strain CH34 (renamed from Ralstonia metallidurans and previously known as Ralstonia eutropha and Alcaligenes eutrophus) is a non-spore-forming, Gram-negative bacterium which is adapted to survive several forms of heavy metal stress.” – Wikipedia

UA FISCO Secret Arbitration clause

Space Beast – Book by Robert Morse recounting his experience with the Alien on Fiorina 161 in 2179.

Black Drop – When a drop involves demons, a.k.a Snatchers/X-Rays, devils of the frontier,

AWS – Asteroid Warning System

COMCOM – Command Communication

Easter Eggs

  • Balaji Imperials – First Appeared in Alien (1979)
  • “I prefer the term artificial person, myself.” uttered by Marcus is a callback to Bishop saying the same thing to Ripley in Aliens
  • Perfectly safe is mentioned in pages 22(in reference to the cryo pods, which failed on The Covenant), 67(in reference to the windows on The Thunder Ring), 225(In reference to the cage holding Marsalis, which Marcus opens).
  • Kamran notes Marcus is twitchy pg126 – Bishop mentions A2 models are twitchy in Aliens
  • “You didn’t see what I saw,” Shy says. pg127 – Mentioned in Alien Covenant
  • Captain Obvious and Gateway Station mentioned on pg 130 is a reference to the Captain Obvious memes used by Gateway Station to convince Titan Books to grant Alex another crack at Alien.
  • Mitchell who informs Dr Matsushita is Mitch Mitchell, a Japanese language expert and fan of Alien.
  • “Don’t touch anything.” uttered by Leger is a call-back to Prometheus when Shaw says it to everyone, mainly David.
  • Shy says “A-ffirmative.” pg 224
  • “Hello, brother,” uttered by Marcus to Bishop is a call-back to Alien: Covenant in which David addresses Walter the same way.
  • “When it holds a claw to its chest, Shy is reminded of Michelangelo’s David, languid of posture.” is a call back to Alien: Covenant statue of David
  • “Get away from that console, you bitch!” is a call-back to Aliens when Ripley shouts at the Alien Queen to get away from Newt pg 264
  • Blue doesn’t know what it’s doing to her mind, but her body is killing her faster these days. Her candle wick may be low, but she’ll make sure the last bit burns the brightest. – Call-back to Blade Runner pg 311
  • Kamran is concealed by the galley island, but not for long. If it comes around one side or the other, it’ll see him. Which way should he flee? Right or left? He glances around for shadows, but sees none. If he makes no choice, he’ll surely die. – Call-back to Jurassic Park.
  • Becker loads the memory core into the Data cannon and the keyboard is just like the one from Alien in the self destruct console.
  • Becker slips on the blood of Arthur, is a call-back to Alien when Lambert slips on Kane’s Blood. The ankle almost twisting is a call-back to Alien Covenant when Karine catches her ankle in the door after slipping on blood.
  • “She puts two more short bursts into the motherfucker—it’s the only way to be sure.” is a call-back to Aliens
  • “Grease that rat fuck son of a bitch!” said Sergeant Lee is a call-back to Aliens.
  • Kylie kicking Dr Matsushita into a pile of bodies is a parallel to 300.
  • “It doesn’t matter who won,” Kamran replies. “We’ll lose.” is a call-back to the AvP Tagline for the film.
  • The island the trio traverse over the black goo is The Isle of the Dead by Arnold Bocklin, it has also been homaged by H.R.Giger and also used as Shaw’s Garden in Alien: Covenant.
  • Hayoola (The Monster) and Shayatan – Shayāṭīn, singular: Shayṭān is evil spirits in Islamic belief, inciting humans to sin by waswasaħ to the heart. By such, they always try to lead humans astray.

Timeline

  • Prometheus Lost
    (2094-2104)
    Weyland Corporation Labs sealed Charybdis Atoll when Prometheus was announced lost.
  • Hasanova Atmospheric Processing Station
    Est 2152
    (30 years old) (pg62)
  • Assault charge against Noah suppressed
    (2171)
    Noah Brewer’s parents seal assault charges brought forward by a former girlfriend of Noah in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Space Beast
    (Circa 2179)
    A book recounting his experience with the Alien by Robert Morse is written
  • Blue begins to work for Seegson Biomedical
    (25th June 2181)
  • INTERLUDE: BLUE
    (2181 – THREE YEARS AGO 25th Dec)
    Blue resurrects a Rat using Plagiarus Praeportens and is forced off her project.
  • THREE YEARS AGO
    (25th Dec 2181)

    pg 365-366
  • Hasanova Blueprints
    (Monday, 2nd June 2182)
    Origin Date (pg8)
  • Joining the Corps
    (2184)
    Russell Becker joins USCM
  • Hasanova Blueprints
    (Saturday, 2nd Aug 2183)
    Revision (pg8)
  • Noah hacks into Shy’s Files
    (Circa Friday, 15th Aug 2183)
  • Eight Months Ago
    (Tuesday, 2nd Dec 2183 23:01:04)
    Top Secret Transcript between Hope and Cittadino. McAllen contractors seek State Department Travel Clearance.
  • Seven Months Ago
    (14th February 2184 01:12:01)
    Weyland-Yutani Company Confidential, Mitchell finds Marsalis and informs Dr Matsushita
  • pg 172
  • Five Months Ago
    (1st March 2184)
    Rose Eagle data intercept, Thien, contacts Marsalis forwarding the GINZA File.

  • pg 278
  • Email to adjust pilings
    (Monday, 26th Jul 2184) 
  • Exercises
    (Aug 2184)
    USS Benning begins exercises.
  • Terminal Call
    Haroun is contacted by Tiran Shirazi about the sensor positions in HALO B, lining up with the survey data lines in the Ginza File.
  • Reza and Mitra plunge Into Charybdis
    (Sunday, 1st Aug 2184)
    assumed dead.
  • Advisor Received
    (Monday, 2nd Aug 2184)
    USS Benning receives Dr Matsushita in Cryostasis.
  • Pg 36 Arming the PL scanner in ten seconds.
  • Email in grief
    (Monday, 2nd Aug 2184)
    Haroun emails Reza a day after he has passed away.
  • “Two weeks, six hours, and forty-two minutes,” Marcus states they will arrive at LV991 (pg21)
  • Point of origin for USCSS Gardenia – Astropuerta de Juarez (Source: Alex White)
  • Marcus is two years, one month, and fifteen days out of inspection of ICC Regulations (pg21)
  • Seal of Approval
    (14th Aug 2184)
    Jerry Approved Drawings by Noah Brewer (pg45)
  • Load program down main engine 1500 (pg51)
  • Configure Thruster Tests at 7 Bells (pg51)
  • Arrive at Hasanova Data Solutions at 8 Bells (pg 46) In transit for 6 months(pg115)
  • USCSS Gardenia lands at Sunset (pg 56)
  • She abandons all dignity and rolls around on the ground for a few seconds, hoping to crush any passengers remaining on her body. (Pg 74)
  • Email Bounce Back
    (Sunday, 15th Aug 2184)
    17:11

  • pg 98
  • (04:58 AM)
    Shy heads to the Human Centre cafeteria for breakfast with Johanna and Arthur before the call to prayer, assuming Iranians keep time with Fajar Time
  • Distress Call
    (Monday, 16th Aug 2184)
    Noah sends a distress call to the USMC at 15:38 USS Benning Time

  • pg169
  • Standing at attention
    (Monday, 16th Aug 2184)
    Lance Corporal Russell Becker stands for 10 mins as his captain checks her emails
  • Defrost
    Duncan asks Becker to wake up the consultant.

  • pg 179

  • pg 180
  • (4 Hours Later)
    Captain Duncan calls all the Marines to the Ready Room and relays that they received a distress call at 15:38 USS Benning Time.
  • Blackout
    (00:35) All communications and observation goes down along with AWS(Asteroid Warning System)
  • ICSC security forces are still two weeks out. HCC has twenty militia and fifteen rifles. pg188
  • Documents
    Tiran approaches Shy with the paperwork “contract promised swift, stark retribution to anyone who dared leak—the threat extended to anyone who knew about leaks.”
  • Rescue
    (2 days, circa 18th Aug 2184)
    Since Noah sent the distress call, HCC and Gardenia receive a call from Captain Kylie Duncan aboard the USS Benning. Sending 2 drops ships on the station.
  • Connection
    (3 days, circa 21st Aug 2184)
    Becker is asked to tail Shy as she completes her work on getting SiteSys online. 
  • Storehouse Forty-Four
    (10 mins)
    Sergeant Lee calls for Corporal Becker to meet him.
  • Arrival Storehouse Forty-Four
    (3 seconds of composure)
    Taking orders directly from Captain Duncan.
  • Interlude: Haroun
    Store House Forty Two, Haroun receives a beating from Sergeant Lee. He begs Garcia to bring back insulin for one of the children who are diabetic and will die before the remaining 4 hours of their 48 hours the USCM can hold the HCC.
  • Discovery
    Shy finds Kamran’s attempts to hook up SiteSys, FUCK_01 and FHUCK_01111(Crossing Common Airflow Manifold data type with the video codec data type.) files were created before Tiran chastises Kamran for not running a background check on the McAllen crew. Stream label HALO B TIMELAPSE shows the prisoners in captivity.
  • First Shift Pass
    (circa 8 hours)
    Shy begins to hook up cameras and ropes Noah into helping.
  • Two Shifts Pass
    (circa 16 hours) 
    Shy continues to hook up all the cameras until Duncan calls her into her office.
  • Interlude: Haroun
    (1 hour ago, circa 22nd Aug 2184)
    Garcia and two members of her team stop by with medicine and food.
  • Open the Gates of Hell
    (5 minutes ago)
    Duncan activates the scheduler
  • Cold
    Duncan reveals she opened the gates five minutes ago and shoots Shy once in the chest and then in one eye in front of Becker.
  • Hide
    (5 mins)
    Kamran and Tiran wait for silence to be safe after hearing Akbari dragged off screaming.
  • Doors Closing
    (10 seconds)
    Door to Javaher NOC opened by Mary.
    (32 seconds to close)
  • Sliding in
    (10 Seconds to siege quarantine lockdown)
    Becker makes it in with 10 seconds to spare.
  • Trophy
    (5 seconds to siege quarantine lockdown)
    Marsalis pulls out the inner jaw of an X-ray.
  • Hamburger
    (10 minutes)
    Duncan lays waste to Becker’s fireteam and rounds up the remaining Midnighters to the Thunder Ring.
  • Read all about it
    (Estimate 22nd August 2184)
    (5:36AM BST / 11:36PM EST)
    5 of the 10 Datacore logs from Charybdis reach Al Jazeera News

  • pg 444
  • A Gift for an Angel
    (2 seconds)
    The dropship maintains level flight for 2 seconds until it hits the spiral.
  • Saved
    Matsushita indicates to Duncan that the mission to Charybdis was part of a 3-year intelligence operation.
  • Ejection
    Father sends Mary and Kamran to ICSC space
    “At the speed you’re going, you’ll be in ICSC space within two months,”
    pg 533
  • Arrival
    Estimate 22nd October 2184
  • Deliverance
    Estimate 5th November 2184
    * two weeks based on Ripley’s recovery time on Gateway in Aliens.

Blueprints for Hasanova Data Cannon by Alex White

Credits

  • Some information and calculations provided by Brad Suedbeck, a fellow gunperson and consultant
  • Some information provided by Kasey Kieta, dedicated fellow Alien Nerd and 3d artist