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"I found it, just short of Zeta2 Reticuli. We haven't reached the Outer Rim yet."
Lambert (from Alien)
Zeta Reticuli

Location of Zeta Reticuli (circled).

Zeta Reticuli (Zeta Ret, ζ Reticuli, ζ Ret) was a wide binary star system in the southern constellation of Reticulum. From the southern hemisphere, the pair could be seen as a naked eye double star in very dark skies. Based upon parallax measurements, this system was located at a distance of about 39 light-years (12 parsecs) from the Earth. Zeta2 Reticuli was orbited by a circumstellar debris disk. Both stars were solar analogs that shared similar characteristics with the Sun. They belonged to the Zeta Herculis Moving Group of stars that shared a common origin.

Zeta Reticuli was home to Calpamos and its moons, among them Acheron and LV-223, (located in Zeta2 Reticuli) and KG-348 (located in the "Zeta Reticuli region").

History

The Engineers

Zeta Reticuli had a very long history of human, Engineer, and Xenomorph activity. It holds great historical precedence for being the location of mankind's first documented contact with both of the latter alien species, and also the location of which most of humanity's most infamous conflicts with the Xenomorphs took place.

In a time of unrecorded history, the Engineers took up residence on LV-223, one of the three moons of the gas giant Calpamos. A research facility was built there, dedicated to the study and weaponization of Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 with the end desire being to unleash the pathogen on the human race. The Engineers ended up losing control of the pathogen and it resulted in the deaths of most of the researchers there, save for a select few that managed to place themselves in suspended animation.

Also at some point, a Juggernaut-type starship containing Xenomorph eggs crash landed on LV-426, another moon of Calpamos. The Engineer piloting the vessel apparently died from a chestburster, and before succumbing to death, it sent out a transmission meant to ward people away from the moon and its dangerous cargo.

Human/Xenomorph conflicts

In 2093, the human scientific vessel USCSS Prometheus arrived in Zeta Reticuli. They had been led to the system based on an ancient star map constructed from several unconnected ancient cultures during an expedition on the Isle of Skye back on Earth, and perceived this as an invitation from the Engineers. They set down on LV-223, the endpoint of said star map, where the crew was almost immediately besieged by a series of horrific mishaps involving Chemical A0-3959X.91 - 15. The crew also found and awakened one of the hibernating Engineers, who immediately proved hostile and slaughtered several of the humans. By the end of all of the carnage, the Engineer perished when the last of the Prometheus crew performed a suicide collision with a Juggernaut he had been trying to depart in so it could go to Earth and finish his people's' original mission. Only Elizabeth Shaw, the scientist whose research had started the expedition; and David 8, an android, remained. The two left LV-223 and Zeta Reticuli aboard a second Juggernaut, hoping to seek out other Engineers.

Roughly thirty years later, a second vessel, the commercial towing vessel Nostromo, passed through Zeta Reticuli while towing cargo from Thedus to Earth. MU/TH/UR 6000, the ship's artificial intelligence computer system, intercepted the Engineer signal from the Juggernaut on LV-426. The planetoid, and the system itself, were unsurveyed at the time, as no one from the Prometheus expedition returned to relay any information of those events. Following the Weyland-Yutani Corporation's Special Order 937, the computer had the Nostromo and her crew investigate the signal. This resulted in a single Xenomorph being brought aboard the Nostromo from the derelict, which proceeded to kill off the ship's crew. Ellen Ripley was forced to blow up the Nostromo and killed the Xenomorph, and fled aboard the shuttle Narcissus.

At some point between the disappearance of the Prometheus and the destruction of the Nostromo, Seegson, a rival corporation of Weyland-Yutani, constructed Sevastopol Station in the Zeta Reticuli region. The station was a massive habitat and port, and in 2137, it became the sight of a horrific Xenomorph infestation. A cargo ship, the Anesidora, had discovered the flight recorder from the Nostromo and it brought them to LV-426. They discovered the derelict as well, and when the captain's wife was attacked by a Facehugger, the crew brought her to Sevastopol for treatment only for the resulting Xenomorph to get loose aboard the station and reproduce. Ellen Ripley's daughter, Amanda, arrived on the station soon after to recover the flight recorder and managed to survive both the Xenomorphs and the station's hostile inhabitants long enough for the station to be sabotaged and plummet into KG-348, the gas giant which it orbited.

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation soon became obsessed with the Xenomorph species, but were unable to confirm the exact coordinates of the derelict, as anyone who had learned of them either died or disappeared indefinitely during the previous two incidents. When the terraforming colony Hadley's Hope was established on LV-426 in 2157, the company had secretly backed its construction with the sole purpose of discovering the alien creatures. Ellen Ripley was finally recovered after 57 years adrift in the Narcissus, and from her, Carter Burke finally learned the derelict's location and had the colonists of Hadley's Hope investigate it. This triggered a series of horrific events that led to the entire colony being infested with Xenomorphs, who eventually produced a Queen and wiped out all but one of the colonists.

A detachment of Colonial Marines responded to the loss of contact caused by the infestation, accompanied by Burke and Ripley. Only Ripley, the surviving colonist Newt, the android Bishop, and Corporal Dwayne Hicks survived, and the colony itself was obliterated due to a reactor malfunction, killing most the Xenomorphs there. A second marine group arrived soon after and battled the remaining Xenomorphs while searching for the USS Sulaco, the ship that ferried the first marine detachment to LV-426.

LV-223 Wars

By the year 2219, LV-223 had since become rich with a wide plethora of alien flora and fauna. This was a direct result of the Juggernaut that the Prometheus destroyed more than a century earlier unleashing the samples of Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 it was carrying upon the planet. Many of the resultant organic life forms developed traits very similar to both the Engineers and the Xenomorphs, and actual Xenomorphs later made the moon their home as well when clusters of them were brought to there by colonists that were trying to flee from the Hadley's Hope infestation aboard the Onager.

A documentary film expedition arrived on LV-223 in 2219 aboard the vessel Geryon, with the ulterior motive being to find out the truth behind the loss of the Prometheus. Aside from the Xenomorphs and the black liquid-spawned wildlife, the crewmembers also found hostility in the form of two surviving Engineers, who sought to leave the planet to finish their mission of destroying humanity. All of the chaos on the moon drew the attention of a clan of Yautja, thus beginning a four way battle between them, the humans, the Xenomorphs, and the Engineers.

Several weeks later, a Colonial Marine contingent traveled to LV-223 to investigate the delayed return of the Geryon, and they found only five survivors: Angela Foster, Galgo Helder, Jill, Chris Hanlock, and the Yautja Ahab. After further conflicts with the Xenomorphs and Engineers, the disparate group managed to leave LV-223 safely.

Trivia

  • Zeta Reticuli has also been featured in other works of fiction, including Forty Thousand in Gehenna, Space: Above and Beyond, Silicon Embrace, Seven Days, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Space Raiders.[1]
  • It was also supposedly where the UFO involved in the Hill Abduction (also known as the Zeta Reticuli Incident) came from.[2]

Appearances

External links

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stars_and_planetary_systems_in_fiction#Zeta_Reticuli
  2. http://www.nicap.org/articles/hillzeta.htm

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