Private First Class Vasquez was a smart gun operator in the United States Colonial Marine Corps. In 2179 she was a part of the platoon of marines dispatched aboard the USS Sulaco on a rescue mission to the Weyland-Yutani owned terraforming colony, "Hadley's Hope" on Acheron LV-426. Vasquez was good friends with fellow smart gunner Drake.
Mission to LV-426
She is one of several marines selected to go on an investigation of a Weyland-Yutani colony that recently lost contact. Vasquez, like the rest of the marines, assumed the mission was going to be a bug hunt. Vasquez and several of the marines cracked jokes during Ripley's briefing of her encounter with an alien creature from the moon 57 years earlier on the USCSS Nostromo. When the marines landed on the planet to find the colony abandoned, they began their interior search to find that there was a struggle in the facility. During a sweep, several marines came across a survivor in the colony, a young girl named Rebecca Jorden, or as Rebecca preferred, "Newt".
Newt was being interviewed on what happened in the colony, when Hudson came across the trackers surgically implanted in the colonists. They were inside the atmospheric processor. So the marines mobilized to the processor and proceeded to the location. It was discussed in the APC that using the M41A Pulse Rifle and the M56 smart gun could rupture the processor's coolant systems, causing a nuclear explosion. So Lt. Gorman ordered Sgt. Apone to have the rifles and smart guns slung and use flame units only. Drake and Vasquez kept spare power supplies, and readied the smart guns behind the Sergeant's back.
While investigating the now infested processor, Cpl. Dietrich came across a cocooned woman who was still alive. The woman begged to be killed when she started having convulsions and had a Chestburster erupt from her. Apone then torched the body and creature only to anger the adults for killing one of their offspring. The creatures struck, causing the deaths of Frost, Crowe, Wierzbowski and the capturing of Apone and Dietrich.
Vasquez managed to survive the Marines first encounter with the Xenomorph menace in the atmospheric processor, which lead to most of the Marines being killed or captured by the creatures. Unfortunately, Drake was one of the ones killed when the Marines were evacuating the processing plant and a Xenomorph was about to ambush Drake. Vasquez called out to her friend and destroyed the creature with her smart gun but the acidic blood splashed on Drake, making him an easier target to be carried off due to the stunning pain. During the skirmish, Sgt. Apone was taken by the creatures and Lt. Gorman was knocked out by some loose containers on the APC, leaving the Marines with their commanders and now looking to Ellen Ripley and Cpl. Hicks to lead them.
Surviving the Colony
After making a getaway from the processor and waiting for a pick up from Ferro and Spunkmeyer in the drop ship, the survivors readied the flares to alert Ferro to their position and to enact acting CO Cpl. Dwayne Hicks' of leaving the colony and nuking it from orbit after the evac. Little did anyone know that a Xenomorph stowed away on the drop ship, attacking and killing both Spunkmeyer and Ferro while in flight, causing the drop ship to loose control and crash on to the planet's surface. This stranded Vasquez and the few survivors with the creatures and mounting problems.
Another attack by the creatures was inevitable so Hicks sent out Vasquez and Hudson out to fortify their position with what few supplies were left from the drop ship crash. In the mean time, The android Bishop noted that the reactor at the processing station was venting signaling the inevitable destruction of the colony. The group managed to send Bishop along a tunnel to the processing station's transmitter tower to send a signal to the second dropship back on the mothership to rescue them, but it would take several hours, so they would have to survive until then. Another one of the problems the marines had to deal with was company rep Carter J. Burke's plan to smuggle a couple of xenomorphs back to Earth through implanting Ripley and Newt. Burke's plan also involved sabotoging the surviving marines' cryo chambers on the trip home. The marines were about to kill Burke when the aliens cut the power to the building.
The marines waited in anticipation with Hudson using the motion tracker and noting that the creatures got past the barricades the marines set up. Hicks then took a look in the ceiling to see the creatures making their way to the survivors. A firefight broke out which resulted in Hudson being taken. Vasquez and the others tried getting to Burke through the locked door. Luckily, Newt knew the way out of the building via the air ducts. Vasquez covered the rear during the escape taking out several of the creatures that came at her. As she protected the rear her pulse rifle ran out of ammo, so she discarded it and pull out her Smith & Wesson 39 sidearm. As she continued moving in the air duct one warrior alien got up close when it ambushed her from above; she then emptied the clip from her pistol into the creature's head. Vasquez then suffered acid burns on her legs from the carnage. Lt. Gorman came back to get Vasquez when the group realized she had fallen behind, but several creatures surrounded Vasquez and Gorman. Out of ammo, Gorman pulled out a grenade and triggered it to prevent them from being taken and cocooned by the Aliens and to save the others, who are ahead of them, in a courageous act of self-sacrifice. At the last minute, Vasquez also puts her hand on the grenade. The resulting explosion killed them and also decimated the Aliens in the tunnel.
Personality & Traits
Vasquez was known to crack jokes regarding mission objectives with a dry sarcastic humor and was more than capable to throw the comedic Hudson's jokes back at him. With her good friend and fellow smartgunner Drake, they often encouraged and egged each other's humor on. Vasquez was greatly affected by Drake's death and wanted to go get him after he died but was restrained by Hicks, who knew it was too late for him.
Vasquez was an emotional person, who showed a lot of anger as the mission dragged on and was more then willing to direct it at her commanding officer Lt. Gorman after the disaster in the atmospheric processor. She would even let him know that he was an asshole at the time of their deaths. Vasquez also had a habit of disobeying orders, such as when she and Drake where ordered to empty their smartguns, but she kept back up power cells for the weapons and then proceeded to fire her weapon inside the atmospheric processor. After Gorman was knocked out and Hicks took command, Vasquez followed orders on fortifying structures to keep the creatures out and deploying sentry guns.
As a Colonial Marine, Vasquez was proficient with many types of firearms, but preferred the M56 Smart Gun when going into combat. She would lose the Smart Gun during the first battle in the hive. Vasquez used a M41A Pulse Rifle when she was defending the command module of the colony. She carried a Smith & Wesson Model 39 pistol with ivory grips as a personal sidearm.
- The graffiti on her Vasquez's smartgun is "Adios", which is Spanish for "farewell/goodbye", and the graffiti on her armor reads: "El Riesgo Siempre Vive", which means "The Risk Always Lives", which is both a line from a Spanish poem and Vasquez's personal motto.
- In the comic book continuity, she has a sister named Carmen.
- Vasquez was an early inspiration for the Star Trek The Next Generation character Tasha Yar
- Vasquez's pistol is found in the game Aliens: Colonial Marines during the mission "No Hope in Hadley's.
- Her locker can be seen covered in blood in the Aliens: Colonial Marines mission "Distress".
- Vasquez was the inspiration for the character Taz in the 2011 Starkid musical Starship.
- Nemecek, Larry. 1995. Page 318.