The Narcissus was a modified Lockmart Starcub light shuttle that served as a lifeboat aboard the Weyland-Yutani commercial hauler USCSS Nostromo. Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley used the Narcissus to escape the destruction of it's parent vessel in 2122, along with the ship's cat Jones.
The Narcissus weighed 48 metric tonnes. It's hull, measuring 16.3 meters in length, 19.7 meters wide and 7.5 meters in height, was constructed of conventional composite construction, with a ceramic and composite out skin. The single internal cabin offered 108 cubic meters of space, including numerous lockers and storage space for supplies and equipment. The shuttle was also equipped with a folding tricycle undercarriage, allowing it to set down on planetary bodies if required.
As standard, the Narcissus was designed to carry a crew of three, including a pilot, co-pilot and science officer, although the interior could be easily modified to seat more crew members if necessary. For long duration travel, the shuttle contains two hypersleep capsules, although long-range interstellar transit is not the vessel's primary purpose.
Energy and propulsionEdit
The Narcissus is powered by a 9gW microfusion reactor that drives two Newington A-24 rocket motors. These engines employ water as the reaction mass. Engine thrust can be variably vectored through two forward or four rearward thrust tunnels, allowing the shuttle to move with equal speed in either direction; indeed, the Narcissus was designed to evacuate the Nostromo in reverse when used as an emergency escape vehicle.
For interstellar travel, a Romberg 100C tachyon shunt can propel the Narcissus at low faster-than-light speeds. Fully fuelled, the vessel has a range of 13 parsecs.
When Ellen Ripley detonated the Nostromo's engines to destroy the ship and the Alien on board, she used the Narcissus to escape the blast zone. However, unknown to her the Alien had stowed away on board the shuttle as well, and she was confronted by the creature as she prepared to enter hypersleep. Ripley ultimately killed the Xenomorph when she opened the airlock, almost sucking it out into space, before shooting it with a harpoon gun (which ended up jammed in the ship's airlock door for 57 years) and incinerating it in the shuttle's main rear engine outlets. With the creature destroyed, Ripley and Jones set a course for the frontier and went into hypersleep.
Unfortunately, the shuttle's beacon failed and the network failed to detect the vessel, leading it to drift through uninhabited space for 57 years until a salvage crew discovered it through sheer luck. Jones and Ripley were sent to Gateway Station to recover from their excessively long period in hypersleep, while the Narcissus was studied extensively in the hope that it may shed some light on the Nostromo's disappearance. Evidence from this search was later used against Ripley during the tribunal into the destruction of the Nostromo.
- Like its parent vessel, the Nostromo, the Narcissus is named after an element featured in the works of Joseph Conrad — in this case, the titular vessel from his 1897 novella The Nigger of the 'Narcissus': A Tale of the Sea (retitled The Children of the Sea in some American editions).
- Alien/novel/comic (First Appearance)
- Alien Trilogy (video game)
- Aliens versus Predator (video game)