“Thank you for coming here, Madame Ripley,” said Admiral Adama and he waved a hand at one of the stuffed chairs in his quarters.
“Just Ripley, Admiral,” Ellen said with a laugh as she took a seat. “What do you want?”
Adama sat down and he examined her. And then he nodded. “You are the one that I cannot fathom. Burke, I know well his kind. Newt is a child that you rescued. The rest are Marines—there is little difference at their core between them and my own. But you? What is your story? Why are you here?”
“Oh, Admiral. Do you have a few hours? Long story short, I was on a ship that was diverted to LV-426 by the Company—under the excuse of a distress signal. We were the first ones who found the xenomorphs—and everyone except me died. My escape pod malfunctioned and I spent fifty-seven years in cold sleep. To find out that they had put a colony there and no one believed my story. Except Burke, who sent out a message for the colonists to investigate “abnormal mineral core samples” from the location of the derelict ship. He sent them there, he didn’t warn them, he didn’t tell what to expect—and when they lost contact with Acheron, he came to me for help as a consultant.”
“I am aware of that—but the Marines seem to defer to you: why?” Adama growled.
Ripley paused, and she stared at Adama for a moment. “I was the second-officer on the freight—a certified pilot. I took charge when someone had to—they respect that.”
Adama nodded. “So do I, Ripley. I’ve got a problem with your Mister Burke. The man is trying to make deals with ships in this Fleet—trying to basically steal our technology and keep all but a small fraction of us from ever benefiting.” He paused. “I am not going to let that happen.”
Her eyes turned flashed with heat and then turned ice-cold. And then she sighed. “He sees dollar signs and profit margins, and nothing else matters to him. I’ll make sure he isn’t a problem.”
“I don’t want him dead, Ripley,” Adama said quietly—suddenly realizing that this woman was probably the most dangerous of his guests.
“No, that would be bad for all of us. I will make certain he isn’t a problem.”
Adama nodded again. “Will that make a problem for you?”
Ripley laughed. “My life is nothing but problems, Admiral. I’ll live.”