Ellen Ripley’s husband, Alex, leaves her and their 3 year old daughter, Amanda.
This is referenced during one of Ripley’s stress induced ‘flashbacks’ so may not be entirely accurate.
Engineer Chris ‘Hoop’ Hooper, leaves his family on Earth to work in deep space.
Hoop is assigned to the Kelland Mining Company deep space mining platform Marion at LV-178.
An incident occurs in the trimonite mine on LV-178, where the miners come across an ancient Alien nest. During the evacuation to the Marion, over 40 personnel are killed when the shuttlecraft Delilah crashes into the station, and the second shuttlecraft Samson docks, but is over-run by Aliens. Only eight personnel survive – Hoop, Karen Sneddon, Josh Baxter, Powell, Kasyanov, Lachance, Welford, and Garcia. Hoop is ranking officer following the death of Captain Lucy Jordan. With the surviving Aliens sealed on board the Samson, they discover their orbit is decaying and send out a distress signal.
2159 (Incident plus 47 days)
Audio visual contact with the docked Samson is lost.
2159 (Incident plus 77 days)
The Nostromo’s shuttle Narcissus docks with the Marion. Ellen Ripley is woken and shocked to find 37 years have passed since the incident on the Nostromo. It’s soon ascertained that the android Ash uploaded his AI into the Narcissus‘ databanks, and has kept Ripley out in space all this time looking for more evidence of the Alien. He picked up the Marion’s distress signal and re-routed them.
2159 (Incident plus 80 days)
Ripley and the Marion crew devise a plan to use the Samson to fly down to the mine to retrieve fuel cells compatible with the Narcissus, and then use the Narcissus to evacuate the Marion. The plan to flush the four Aliens out of the Samson does not completely go to plan. Three Aliens are killed, but one escapes into the bowels of the Marion, costing the lives of Welford, Powell and Garcia.
After they fly down to LV-178, Ash takes control of the elevators in the mine remotely, sending the crew to level 9 instead of level 4. They find evidence of an ancient extraterrestrial race that encountered the Aliens and were wiped out. They battle their way through the ancient races downed ship up to level 4 and obtain a fuel cell, but not before Sneddon is impregnated by a facehugger. Hoop rewires another fuel cell to overload and hopeful destroy the mine and Aliens.
As they ascend to the surface, Baxter is killed when he is partly pulled out of the elevator by an Alien and torn in half.
Lachance flies them back to the Marion where the new fuel cell is loaded. Ash releases the remaining Alien from where he had it trapped in the hold. Just after they witness the explosion of the mine on LV-178, the Alien attacks Lachance, Ripley, Sneddon and Kasyanov as they gather supplies. Lachance is killed and Ripley is gravely wounded. Sneddon sacrifices herself by chasing the Alien into hold 2 with an acid gun, and causing a hull breach just as her chestburster emerges.
Kasyanov and Hoop take Ripley to the medbay, where she is put in a medpod and healed. She also requests to have a partial memory wipe to combat the constant waking nightmares she has of her daughter Amanda being killed by Aliens. Kasyanov, also wounded, then takes her turn in the medpod, but Ash takes control and kills her with a surgical laser.
Ripley, never waking, is placed back in her hypersleep pod while Hoop uses a viral program to purge Ash from the Narcissus‘ databanks. However, it soon emerges than the shuttle can only be released from dock manually. Hoop locks up the Narcissus and ensures that it is launched before he narrowly escapes on the Samson.
Without hypersleep or a hyperdrive, Hoop sends a distress signal and waits.
NOTES: Mention is made that the Nostromo was Ripley’s first deep space flight – which doesn’t jibe with her previous assignments on the Kurtz (2117) and Sephoria (2117-2118). The consistent mention of only one hypersleep chamber on the Narcissus instead of two as shown in the films, would’ve changed the plot of the book somewhat, but doesn’t affect anything historically speaking.