Alien novelization by Alan Dean Foster
“Dallas’s light fell unexpectedly on a shape that was not part of wall or floor. Moving closer, he used the light to trace its outlines. It appeared to be a smallish urn or vase, tan in color, glossy in aspect. Moving closer, he tilted his head over the jagged, broken top, shone the light inside. Empty.
Disappointed, he walked away, wondering that something seemingly so fragile had remained relatively undisturbed while other more durable substances had apparently withered and cracked.”
Alien novelization (1979), page 75.
Distress Call from the Derelict Engineer Spacecraft
“All seemed quiet and dead, though Dallas had the impression of patient power functioning smoothly somewhere behind those strangely contoured panels. And evidence of mechanical life was provided by the sight of a single metal bar moving steadily back and forth on its grooved track, though it made, according to the suit sensors, not a sound.
‘Looks like it’s still functioning. Wonder how long it’s been running like this’ Kane examined the device….They turned to Lambert…’It’s the transmitter. Automatic distress call, just like we imagined it might be. It looks clean enough to be brand new, though it’s likely been putting out that signal for years.’ She shrugged. ‘Maybe decades. Or longer.’”
Alien novelization (1979), page 76.
“Out of breath again he paused in his descent to run a check of his suit instrumentation. ‘Interesting,’ he said into his pickup. ‘I’m below ground level’.”
Alien novelization (1979), page 80.11
Ash Describes the Facehugger Specimen
“‘The silicate layer demonstrates a unique, very dense molecular structure under the scope. It might even be capable of resisting the laser. I know, I know,’ he said in response to her look of disbelief, ‘that sounds crazy. But this is the toughest chunk of organic material I’ve ever seen. The combination of the way those cells are aligned with what they’re composed of add up to something that defies all the rules of standard biology.
‘Those silicated cells, for example. They’re metal-bonded. The result is what gives the creature such resistance to adverse environmental conditions.’”
Alien novelization (1979), page 123.