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Aliens - Can I dream? artwork by Tarlan

Can I dream?

Yes...I think we both can now.

The year was 2035, And Ellen Ripley was fast asleep in the Sulaco for her the nightmare was over. The Aliens that had stayed in her dreams for fifty-seven long years were gone for good. Now Ripley was dreaming of Earth, not about how much it changed but the things she was looking forward to doing once she reached there with Hicks and Newt. In a strange way they were a family. They had survived and they were all together, and Ellen Ripley, the woman known to be stern and cold looking, had a new spot for that young girl and that handsome man.

Before she did lay herself into the sleeping chamber she set a timer on her pod and Hicks. She wanted to check on his burns before they reached Earth.

The top of her chamber slowly rose above Ripley's sleeping body. Machines clicked and flashed in the background and slowly her eyes opened looking up at the white ceiling. She then slowly worked herself in a sitting position and rubbed her arms up and down from the thin, cold air in the ship.

Her eyes tracked the pods. First was Bishop. She really couldn't tell if was him by the way she wrapped him up but she knew once they reached Earth they would fix him up good as new.

Next to her was Hicks, or Dwayne as he asked her to call him. There he lay sleeping, looking so peaceful. She studied his handsome face, with his short spiky blond hair, and his closed eyes. Under those lids were the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen. Everything about him was flawless. She felt like she was falling in love. Yes, Ripley was falling in love with a soldier.

She let out a slight sigh and then looked to her other side where Newt lay. Their beautiful little girl. Sure she was not her own daughter but whenever she looked into Newt's poor scared blue eyes she could still see her little Amy.

Ripley then stood up and dressed. As she did so Hick's Pod slowly rose. She turned and smiled as she saw his good eye slowly open and close. Soon he was awake. Ripley moved to his side and placed her hand into his smooth, cool palm. She watched over him until he talked in a dry hoarse way.

Hicks : Ripley...

Ripley shushed him and then brushed some of his hair that was in the way of his eyes. She smiled.

Ripley : It's all right now...It's over.

Hicks spoke again.

Hicks : Newt...Did you find her?

Ripley gave a nod and pointed over to his left. Hicks moved his eyes a little.

Hicks : She's all right?

Ripley : Yes,...she's safe.

Hicks : What about the aliens?

Ripley : I took care of it...they're dead.

Hick's eyes grew a little wide, and his hand held hers tighter.

Hicks : You killed them?

Ripley : Yes.

Hicks : You're an amazing woman, Ripley.

She smiled.

Later Hicks was able to stand up. Ripley watched him close and he said he felt fine. She led him over to a table and told him to sit down so she could check his burns. While doing this they talked about what happened. Hicks looked down away from Ripley when she finished her story. Ripley saw for the first time a scared and ashamed looking man in Hicks.

Hicks : I should have been there. I should have helped you.

Ripley smiled and softy touched his face. He looked up.

Ripley : You did, Dwayne. You did.

Their eyes locked, and there was stillness in the ship. Hicks soon looked way and Ripley said his burns were fine. So they sat there, talking, mostly about how long it would take to get to Earth and such. Then Hicks looked over at the sleeping Newt.

Hicks : What's going to happen to her?

Ripley looked over and smiled.

Ripley : She's mine now, Dwayne. I'm making sure no one hurts her again.

Hicks smiled.

Ripley : What about you?. What's going to happen to you once we land?

Hicks looked down at his hands.

Hicks : That's the thing. I don't know.

Ripley then saw Hicks had no one. His life was his team, and now they were all dead. His dark green eyes locked with hers again but this time they did not feel strange. They both looked over each other's faces as if they were the most beautiful things in the world. Hicks then reached over and touched her soft cheek. She felt her heart jump just by his touch.

Hicks : I have to be the luckiest man ever.

Ripley : Why's that?

Hicks : Meeting you Ellen. Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to know that?

Ripley felt her body shake. She didn't know what to say, So she just looked. Hicks bit his lip. She could tell he was having a hard time coming out with this.

Hicks : You're the most beautiful, brave and amazing woman I ever met...and I love you.

Those last words stuck with Ripley, Her eyes went wide.

Ripley : You what?

Hicks then moved close their lips were but an inch away. She felt her whole word spinning.

Hicks : I love you, Ellen.

Ripley wanted just to cry from those words. They came from a man she cared about so much too. She then spoke with an uneven voice.

Ripley : I love you too, Dwayne.

Before she could finish his hands reached out and took her lips to his, hard. Their mouths opening and closing, tasting each other. Ripley and Hicks groaned. For Ripley this was the first man she had been with since... well a long time. He held her tighter as they kissed, each one seemed to get better and better.

Soon his arms started to rub her up and down and before they knew it they were on the floor, both kissing like mad people. Ripley didn't know what she was doing. She knew this was wrong but the truth was she loved this man, loved him with all of her heart. He soon started to pull up his shirt. Once his shirt was off he kissed her softer, with love and care but Ripley wanted to take this a step closer so she came close to his eyes and told him what she wanted. At first Hicks just looked at her, and then said.

Hicks : You're sure?

She smiled and kissed him harder. Before she knew it his beautifully built body was on top of her and she was screaming his name each time he thrusted into her. After it was done she laid in his arms, her head on his chest, hearing his heartbeat. He then bent down and kissed the top of her head and then asked her something.

Hicks : Will you be my wife?

Ripley at first didn't say anything. She didn't look up. She then smiled and looked up at his puffy, handsome face and kissed his soft lips.

Ripley : Yes...I will.

Hicks kissed her harder and then smiled handing her something.

Hicks : I guess it's better than the tracker, until I get a ring and all.

She looked at what was laying in her hand and they were Hick's dog tags. She smiled putting them over her head. She then kissed him again telling him she would never take them off and just like that they slept for an hour.

When they woke he made love to her again. Ripley kissed every inch of his body and he told her he loved her each time. When they finished they were out of breath and sweaty. Hicks kissed her neck and both of their bodies just laid there catching their breath.

After that they dressed...together...smiling at each other.

They then walked over to Newt's pod and both watched her sleep for some time. Then they both walked back to their own pods. Ripley set the times on them when Hicks was there. He held her in his arms tight and she smiled.

Hicks : Come into mine...I don't wanna be away from you ever again.

Ripley stood on her toes and kissed this strong soldier's face. He smiled and held her tighter.

Ripley : The pods are built for one. Anyways, I`ll be with you every minute once we wake up.

He kissed her hand and then kissed her hard and fast. She felt like he was going to bring her to the floor again but she stopped him and kissed him softer. Then slowly they walked to her pod. It broke her heart seeing Hick's face as she started to get into the pod.

He then got into his and he faced her as the tops were lowered. They locked eyes and Hicks lipped the words 'I love you'. They tried to keep hold of each other's eyes until sleep came, and darkness.

The next time when Ripley woke up she was in a hospital, on a different planet with a strange man. Her body was sore and felt like it was on fire. She looked up at the man watching her.

Ripley : Where am I?

Clemens : You're on Fiorina 161. You're inside our hospital. We found our ship on our shores. It crashed.

Ripley felt like everything in her small little life was just thrown up into the air. Was that whole thing with Hicks just a dream? She looked around the empty room and then felt fear rush inside her.

Ripley : What about the others?

The man put on a stern looking face.

Clemens : They didn't make it.

Ripley then felt her heart get torn in half. She then just wanted to die. Ripley then started to move out of the bed

Ripley : I have to get to the ship...

That's all she wanted, just to check the ship and to make sure what happened was true. It had to be a lie...she knew it. As Ripley dressed she felt like she was about to break down. This just was not happening. Her nightmare was over. God had given her a husband and a child. He wanted her to be happy and this would just end up being a nightmare. She would wake up in Hick's arms when she woke up but until then she had to kept strong and kept her mind blank.

The man called Clemens filled her in on how long she had been there and such, but Ripley did not care. She walked as fast as she could trying to reach the ship.

Later Ripley was taken to what was left of the ship. The place was torn apart, with pieces of the ship, glass, blood and water were everywhere. Ripley felt her heart racing. Clemens told her that Bishop was torn apart, that Hicks was impaled by a safety bar. She felt herself want to faint when she looked at Hick's pod. The thing was smashed and full of blood... Oh so much blood.

Also to make matters worse Clemens told her Newt drowned. So Ripley sat there saying nothing. In a matter of two hours her life had changed. Everyone she cared about was dead and here she was like always.. alive.

Ripley : Where did you take the bodies?

Clemens led to her to the freezer where they took all of the bodies. It was dark and cold. First he showed her Newt. Ripley just wanted to die looking at her poor sweet baby. Clemens told her she died in her sleeping pod but she was still asleep. Ripley looked down at the little girl and touched her face.

Ripley : It's all over, Newt. It's all over for you.

Clemens watched and then asked her if she would like to see the man's body? Clemens then slowly took out the long table. Ripley saw the body was covered with a sheet. She tried to calm herself down, and she tried to tell herself that, maybe, just maybe, it was not Hicks.

Clemens parked the table in front of Ripley and he took the clipboard out.

Clemens : Name, Cpl. Dwayne Hicks. Age 26, 132655. Died from crushed ribs, and internal bleeding from crash.

He flips the chart down. Ripley then looked down at her hands and saw they were shaking. She slowly shoved them in her side pockets. Clemens locked eyes with her before lifting the sheet. Ripley gave a nod and Clemens' hands slowly took down the sheet.

Ripley watched. Her heart racing.

Clemens stopped lowering the sheet at the man's waist. He then stood back and Ripley came closer.

There laying on the cold metal table was Dwayne Hicks, the once strong, handsome soldier that had helped save her life. The strong distant man that had come out and tried to lead the team. The same man that had flirted with Ripley and made her start to have feelings for him.

But now all of that was gone.

This Dwayne Hick laid on the table. His skin was no longer the light tan color, now it was a dark gray. His lips, hands and patches of him were a dark blue, also under his eyes were a dark black. His face seemed to be frozen, looking like he was trapped under ice for a long time. His eyes were open, and no longer the beautiful shade of green but now blank looking gray eyes that looked up at Ripley with no feeling at all. Also Hick's mouth was open a little, his small blue lips led down into a dark hole which must of been filled with water. Small purple nicks were all over his body, and even his face a little. The burns were now a thing of the past for him. They now looked liked ugly purple red scares lined on his left cheek. His chest was the worst. Ripley could tell the men had tried their best to clean the blood but she could still see light red stains on his now flat chest. Also where the safety bar had hit him and killed him was now a long...maybe five inches long scar of stitches. They looked like they were done in a hurry.

Ripley did nothing but look at his poor body. She then felt all hope and loss spill out. Everyone she ever cared about, anyone she ever touched was dead. She was now all alone, without Newt or Hicks. Her lover and her daughter in many ways were gone forever and once again here she was standing looking at the ones that did not make it.

Ripley then felt tears rush inside her eyes.

Clemens watches her slowly wrap her arms around Hick's chest. The cold feel of his body made her cry out even harder. She just wanted him to wake up, look at her and hold her back with his strong arms. She sobbed over the dead man's chest for what seemed like an hour, then very slowly, Clemens' hand touched her. Ripley looked up with raw looking eyes.

Clemens : These people? Were they your husband and daughter?

Ripley at first did not say anything. She closed her eyes trying to remember them once full of life and happy faces but she could only find one for each. For Newt it was when she had saved her and they took off into the ship, just hearing her sweet little voice saying 'I knew you'd come'.

For Hicks it was a toss between when she had told him she loved him and they shared their love together...and when he first told her his name.

But these were all things of the past. Ripley then answered.

Ripley : Yes...They were.

Clemens : I already told the others that we will burn the bodies tonight. I'm sorry for such a rush but there might be disease still left in their bodies.

Ripley : Burn them?

Clemens : I'm sorry. There really is no other way. I wish I could help, Ripley, but the most I can just say is...I'm sorry. I'll give you some time alone.

Clemens then turned around and started to the door.

Ripley called out

Ripley : Clemens!

He turned.

Clemens : Yes?

Ripley : Did I come here with any dog tags?

Clemens : Yes. I put them away in the safety box.

Ripley : After this can I have them.

Clemens gave a nod and then left.

Ripley was then left all alone. She looked down at Hick's body and just wanted to die, though seeing Newt was worse. Maybe because she was younger. Now, the man that just seemed to say to her how much he loved her was gone.

She then touched his cold cheek with her hand.

Ripley : I love you, Dwayne. I'll always love you and it would have been an honor to be your wife, but I guess this happened for a reason. I'm not mad you left me. All I wish is for you and Newt to look in on me once in a while. I need it.

Then there was nothing else to say. Ripley slowly bent down and kissed his soft, cold cheek and then closed his eyes forever.

An hour later the inmates and Ripley had gotten to know each other. Some nice, some shitty but she pretty much stayed by herself and just sat in her room crying. Clemens then came in an hour or so later with her dog tags. Ripley held them tight and Clemens told her it was time.

They were taken to the fire pit. The heat smell made Ripley sick. She stood close to Clemens and a few others as they took Hicks and Newt's wrapped bodies. Ripley looked at the bodies and felt tears come from her eyes but Clemens hand was there and held it tight.

Dillon then spoke.

Dillon : Why? Why the innocent, punished? Why the sacrifice? Why the pain? There aren't any promises. Nothing certain. Only that some get called, others saved. She won't ever know of the hardship and grief of those of us left behind. We commit these bodies to the void with a glad heart. For within each seed, there is a promise of a flower, and within each death, no matter how small, there is always a new life. A new beginning."

Dillon : Ashes to Ashes. Dust to dust.

Ripley watched two other men slowly dragged Hick's and Newt's body to the edge. She just wanted to scream stop but she knew better. They were dead and now they could rest in peace. She lipped the word 'Goodbye'.

The men then threw their bodies over, and nothing was left.

After the funeral Ripley came back to her room, feeling all alone and lost, but just then there was a slight knock.

Ripley : Come in.

The door opened and there stood Bishop, dressed differently, but it was Bishop. Ripley's eyes went wide. How could it be?

Ripley : Bishop?

Bishop : Ripley?

Ripley then didn't think, she raced over and held him as tight as she could. He gave her a soft pat on the back and then Ripley looked him over.

Ripley : I thought you were destroyed?

Bishop : That's what everyone is saying...but I guess you can't break me, huh?

Ripley tried to smile but nothing came.

Ripley : Bishop... Newt and Hicks...

Bishop : I know. I'm so sorry.

Ripley bit down on her lip and shook her head.

Ripley : I just can't hack it.

Bishop led her to sit down.

Ripley : I know the aliens are dead. I know it's over. These people here are nice and said if I work around I can stay... and I might just do that. I'm not scared of being alone. It's just...they're dead, and there was nothing I could do about it. How can I remember them? I have nothing! Nothing to remember them by.

Ripley then broke down crying and Bishop held her. Soon she stopped crying and Bishop tried to smile.

Bishop : Are you going to stay here?

Ripley : Yes. I don't think I belong on Earth.

Bishop : Then I'm staying too.

Ripley shook her head and smiled. Bishop then stood up and looked around the place.

Bishop : My place looks better than here. I think you might have to fix it up a bit?

For the first time Ripley smiled. Bishop took her by the hands and let her to her bay window. He pointed out.

Bishop : See. It's not that bad.

Ripley looked out and saw that the cold gray sky was now turing a beautiful pink as the three suns rose. She smiled again and knew, maybe, just maybe things were all right.

For the next four weeks Ripley became known to all of the guys. Everyone got along with her and she made friends. It was a simple place and Ripley started to like it. They taught her different things and everyday she would visit Bishop. She worked in the docks, like always, but it was an easy job and each night she went to bed feeling happy and good about herself... as if someone was watching over her making sure she was safe.

Time passed and she stopped crying. Her and Clemens became rather close. She lied him and all but did not want to get too close.

By her third month there she found she was pregnant with Hick's child. At first she was scared and came crying to Bishop but he took her into his arms and told her now she had something to remember Hicks by.

Word spread fast and all of the men seemed overjoyed that this would be the first baby born here.

Ripley was given time off work and she seemed happy. Clemens would come to visit all the time and make sure she was feeling well. He even made her a crib. Time passed and each night Ripley would stand by the fire pit talking to Hicks as if he was still alive.

Soon the time came and Ripley gave birth to a baby girl. Clemens delivered it and Ripley cried as she held her daughter. The baby was so beautiful looking up at her. She smiled and kissed her, then Clemens walked over looking just as happy. They seemed to look at each other and ever since then, Clemens lived with her serving, as a father to her baby which she named Rebecca N. Hicks.

Bishop was just like an uncle to her. He made her laugh and giggle. Ripley loved watching her little girl grow. Each day she thanked God and Hicks for giving Rebecca to her.

Rebecca grew her mother's dark hair, and had her father's green eyes. She was always a happy-go-lucky girl and made Ripley and Clemens proud.

Years passed and Ripley one day did tell Rebecca about her real father. She told her that he was a brave man who had saved her life... in more ways than one.

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