Dude, I don’t detect any life forms down here, but you’ve got to see this hatchery. It looks like the adults of this species hid all their kids in this cave. Man, looking at the acid damage and mangled blast doors, that must’ve been the last thing the parents did before they were blown away. We can’t just leave their babies here to die. It ain’t right. Let’s bring the all these eggs up to the ship. The guys in xenobiology can figure out what kind of weird ass alien baby formula to feed them while we try to find some other grownups of the species. This is just tragic.
That’s the last known transmission from the Arkadia. We’re not entirely sure what happened to the crew between that scrap of audio and the ship succumbing to explosive decompression. Before they died, they also sent us some priority coded confusing still images, including the ones at the top and bottom of this broadcast. We can only deduce that they were trying to tell us what they fed the alien hatchlings, just in case we find more survivors. Today, your xenobiology lesson is to try and reproduce this fairly simple dish. It might save a life some day.
2 large cucumbers
4 large eggs
6 bags of black tea
1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Start by preparing simplified Chinese tea eggs. To do so, simply put the eggs, tea bags, Five Spice powder, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves in a medium saucepan and fill it with cold water. Gently bring the eggs to a low boil. You don’t want to put the eggs straight into boiling water. If you do, you risk either having the shells break like a ship hull rupturing or the exterior white turning as rubbery as an android’s guts.
Once the water comes to a gentle boil, leave the eggs in place for 8 minutes. Carefully fish them out, using a slotted spoon. Your white eggs will have turned brown from the tannins in the tea. Run the eggs under cold water. This is mostly to protect your own hands. If you don’t, they’ll burn like an unexpected spot of acid. Once the eggs are cool enough to touch, use the back of a spoon to gently crack the surface. You want to inflict as many cracks as you can without actually breaking the egg. If done right, every crack you see on the exterior of the shell will turn into an ethereal brown line traced across the surface of the boiled egg.
Put the cracked eggs back into the boiling tea. Reduce the heat and leave the eggs to simmer for another half an hour.
Take your pot off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. You can pull the eggs out now, but letting them steep longer means brighter and more intense lines running along the surface of your egg. When you’re ready, peel the eggs. You’ll see the shells now have a darkly lined interior that matches the paler lines impressed on the surface of the eggs. The pattern makes us wonder whether the alien young were exposed to a harmful or toxic outside influence, or perhaps whether some kind of predators tried to attack this species’ young before they could be born. We may never know.
To properly mount the egg, cut off one end of a cucumber. You want it to be about an inch longer than the egg itself.
Next, make two vertical slices in the cucumber. You want to create the illusion of the protective flexible organic shell that appeared to surround the eggs. Stop cutting about an inch before you reach the bottom of the cucumber.
Very carefully use a peeling knife to cut away the white interior flesh of each quadrant. You should end up with an inch of solid throne for the egg to rest upon plus four wide tentacles to hold and nurture the egg itself.
Now gently slide your egg into the cucumber mount. Arrange these on a dark plate in order to create a diorama of the alien hatchery. Our still images from the Arcadia appeared to include coarse salt and sriratcha hot sauce, though one of our analysts jokingly suggested it looked more like the eggs were dressed in briny tears and fresh blood. There may have been some unexpected trauma when the eggs hatched.
Share these alien eggs with your fellow crew members and the colonists of LV-426, which they have apparently decided to rename Acheron. Remember, if you see anything like this when scouting the best sites for the first colonial drop, do not approach. Summon one of the ship’s androids, as they can neither be infected nor spread disease to the innocent young of a new species.