Sign In

A L I E N I I I — Page 2

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Hicks reaches into his left boot and pulls out a small dental probe, swiped from the infirmary while Portnoy was not looking.

"What are you doing?" Ripley asks.

"Getting us out of here," Hicks says as he carefully reaches past the bars of his cell with the odd-shaped instrument. After a few seconds of twisting and turning, the lock disengages with a clicking sound. Hicks pushes open the door and gets to work liberating Ripley.

"Now listen, Rip. I just tripped the silent alarm by breaking out. If these Company guys have access to the bridge, then CISTR's gonna alert them that we've escaped." Hicks says.

"CISTR?" Ripley asks.

"Command Interface and Synthetic Tactical Rendering. Follow my lead and we'll get to Newt."

Hicks breaks through the lock on Ripley's cell. She rushes out and the two share a brief hug.

"Come on, we haven't got much time, Rip."

Hand-in-hand, the two run out of the brig.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

We've reached the 45 minute mark of the movie's runtime. What do you guys think of it so far?

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Hicks and Ripley are running through a corridor towards the infirmary. Emergency lights are flashing, alerting the other crew members that their prisoners have escaped.

Behind the pair, a door slides open. In strides Mack, pistol at the ready. She takes aim, but the two targets rush into alcoves on opposite sides of the hallway. Mack lets loose a torrent of lead that creates sparks on impacting the ship's inner walls. A couple of bullets penetrate vapor lines and let loose rapid jets of pressurized gas.

Hicks urges Ripley, "Go! Get Newt! I'll hold her off!"

"We can't go without you, Dwayne!" Ripley yells over gunfire.

"Just go, Ellen!"

Ripley chokes back a tear as Hicks charges into the open hallway.

There is a lull in the gunfire as Mack reloads her weapon, but Hicks tackles the mercenary before she can complete the task. As the two exchange furious punches, kicks, and throws, Ripley hurries forth towards the infirmary.

Author
Time

Ripley slides open the door to the infirmary. She sees Portnoy standing over a dazed Newt, her limbs no longer tied to the rails of her stretcher. The doctor is readying a syringe of an unidentified chemical when he spots the panicked Ripley.

 

"You're not authorized to be here. Security!" he yells and points with a wiry finger.

 

Ripley tosses the old man onto his side with a single powerful flail. He topples an entire cart of medical equipment and knocks his aged hip bone against the cold steel of the Sulaco's deck.

 

"Ripley!" cries out Newt when she comes to in the midst of the noise and commotion. She gets up out of the stretcher and rushes to hug her protector.

 

"Newt! You're going to be fine," Ripley says with a bead of sweat trickling down her throbbing temple.

 

The little girl turns to her second mother. "Ripley...I don't-," she coughs dryly several times, "-feel so good."

 

Ripley brushes aside Newt's hair and tries to protect her from the the panicked, fast-paced mood of the moment. "You're going to be OK. We've got to get off this ship. Just follow me, Newt."

Author
Time

Cradling Newt in one arm, Ripley rushes to the other door leading out of the infirmary. Portnoy barely recovers his voice as Rodan strides in with his flamethrower. Thinking on her feet, Ripley grabs a beaker full of disinfectant liquid with her free hand.

 

"She's got the girl, over there!" the doctor croaks, aimlessly waving an arm in the general direction of the two escapees, trying not to lose his fragile balance.

 

Rodan clicks his weapon's sparker, causing a small flame to simmer at the end of the muzzle. "Stop right there. You can't escape!" he yells with the roar of a lion.

 

After the door closes behind her, Ripley pries open the insulation on an adjacent control panel and douses the complex innards with the beaker of disinfectant liquid. Sparks fly out of the circuit board and wire bundles. A llight on the door frame changes from green to red, signifying a critical electric failure. 

 

On the other side of the door's viewing glass, Rodan can be seen trying to slide the door open manually. He grunts and brings all of his strength to bear, but the door will not budge. Rodan lets out a curse and exits the infirmary through the other door, determined to find another way to get to Ripley.

 

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Yellow lights flashing. Sirens blaring. Thick clouds of white smoke obscuring the air of the cramped hexagonal corridor. CISTR repeatedly announces over the ship's intercom, "Attention, all Marines. Security breach on deck 4C. All personnel must enter lockdown positions. This is not a drill."

Ripley finally arrives at the opening where the Company ship attached itself to the Sulaco. She leans Newt's head away from her shoulder and she starts violently coughing and convulsing. 

Ripley's eyes widen until they are they are the size of saucers. She is breathless and speechless at the realization of what she is witnessing. Her knees turn to jelly and she drops down to the floor. Newt's head violently jerks back and forth. Ripley sobs.

The little girl's movements threaten to wriggle her body away from her second mother's cradling arms. She squeals in continuous, wrenching pain for close to a minute.

Ripley becomes manic, completely unhinged from reality. "NOOOOO! GOD NOOOOOO!" she screams at the Xenomorph gnawing its way out of the little child. Her protests devolve into wordless howls. Intelligible language ceases to be of any use.

Newt gasps a horrible sucking sound, like the sound of a malfunctioning respirator. One final thrust of her chest leads to an explosion of blood above her solar plexus. Ripley's face is smeared in the visceral bits of her own adopted daughter from LV-426. She cannot bear to hold the body of the little girl anymore, collapsing down in a heaving, sobbing, screaming mess.

The Chestburster squawks in newborn agitation, tiny limbs hanging at its sides like remoras, caked in a bloodied, transparent membrane of human tissue matter. It slithers out of the girl's body, dislodging a few tendons, rib bones, and other parts with a sickening, sludgy sound. The foul thing disappears into the congested, smoke-filled surroundings of the corridor, towards parts unknown.

Ripley sits sobbing on the floor when a nearby door slides open. O'Neill appears followed by Rodan. Ripley's sorrow turns to animalistic rage as she leaps at the portly Company executive and wraps her bloodied hands around his neck. The pair rests against the wall, locked in a mortal struggle.

"Get her- get her off!" O'Neill pleads to Rodan. 

Rodan slings his flamethrower over his shoulder and tries to pull Ripley back away from O'Neil, but her position holds more leverage. She shrugs off his attempt to seize her.

And with one last death-grip of anger-propelled strength, Ripley snaps O'Neill's neck like a twig. The man slumps over dead. She turns around to face her other attacker.

But Rodan has already deployed his weapon at the hip. He lets loose a torrent of fire at the crazed Ripley. She falls back on top of O'Neill's body and manically convulses and screams while fully aflame. Now both she and the executive are burning. Rodan lets out another flame burst and silences her for good. The bodies remain on fire.

Mack strides in with her pistol at the ready. She brings her weapon down o seeing the threat having been burned to death.

Her first reaction is "...fuck."

Author
Time

Author’s note: As this is a pretty rough draft, I am revising the story as I put up these posts. From this point on, I am retconning Ahab the snake out of existence. He had a plot function in another draft of the story, but has since become superfluous.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

DAY TWO

Hours have passed since the birth of the creature. The bodies of the three dead are tumbling through space in sealed burial capsules. 

 

Hicks, Mack and Calvin have holed up on the bridge, the most secure area of the ship. Perimeter-mounted motion trackers, feeding off of the ship's fusion reactor, keenly listen for activity. Rodan and Portnoy are still in the infirmary, treating the old man’s injury.

 

Hicks determines that CISTR has sealed the armory door shut due to the lockdown, rendering the weapons inside completely inaccessible. He does not have the code-key needed to retrieve the weapons. Lieutenant Gorman carried them at the time of his death. As of now the survivors’ only defenses are Rodan's flamethrower and Mack's pistol. 

 

Because she is the highest-ranking official on the ship, command falls on Mack's shoulders. She decides that the original mission has gone FUBAR*. Their priority now is to eliminate the creature and make it off the ship alive so they can expose what the Company has tried to do.

 

Calvin tells the others that in order to defeat the Alien, he has to hack into the locked portions of CISTR’s mainframe. In the absence of Lt. Gorman’s code-key, that is the only way to access the weapons in the armory, as well as directly control the ship’s sub-systems such as communications and navigation.


The bridge door slides open. Rodan helps Portnoy walk into the room, the old man’s arm draped around one of Rodan’s massive shoulders. Portnoy sets himself down on a console chair. He carries a look of remorse for what happened to the little girl.






 

*FUBAR stands for "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Hicks becomes visibly angered and perturbed at the arrival of Portnoy. He holds himself back from physically striking the old doctor, instead shooting the man with an intense death-glare.

“What were you thinking? A child?!” Hicks exclaims.

Portnoy leans his head up and cringes his eyes shut. He seems on the verge of tears. “It was on O’Neill’s orders, son. He was the Company man. You don’t ask questions of the Company!”

Mack eyes the two inquisitively, then settles on a question. “How was that thing supposed to be contained anyway?”

Portnoy sets his head back down and sighs. “Before Lieutenant Ripley rudely interrupted my procedure, I was about to administer an injection to paralyze the girl and slow down her metabolism.”

Hicks asks, “And what was that supposed to do?”

Portnoy exhales sharply through the nose. “Were you out sick for that day in biology class, son? If the girl’s metabolism could be slowed down, then that thing inside her would stay dormant. We’d have plenty of time to lay her in a pod, ship her to our doc team planetside and pull the little sucker out of her safely.”

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Hicks lets out a rueful chuckle. “Well, son of a bitch...when were you going to tell us about that?”

Rodan says, “You were a prisoner, Corporal. Just let it go.”

“‘Let it go?’ I don’t think that’s gonna cut it. Now we’ve got one of those bastards crawling around on a ship that’s headed towards Earth. And you just torched our best chance at wasting it.”

Rodan jabs Hicks’ eyes with his own. “Soldier, if you and the lady were so tough, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place.”

Hicks raises his voice and steps towards Rodan, “Well I’ve got a half a mind to-”

“HEY. GUYS,” yells Mack over the two bickering men. The two turn to her.

“Now’s not the time. You can settle your dick-measuring contest later. We need to start sealing doorways and blocking off air ducts. Whatever it takes to corner this fucker,” Mack says.

Hicks regards Rodan for another tense moment, then settles himself down. “Ok. What exactly is the plan here?”

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Mack turns to the team's engineer, "Calvin?"

 

"Well, CISTR's mainframe's packing some serious encryption. You sure there wasn't another code-key lying around?" Calvin says.

 

"Yeah, I'm sure. They don't issue those to enlisted folk," Hicks says.

 

Calvin clasps his hands together. "Well, then. I've got some bypassing to do. This could take a while."

 

Mack asks, "How long?"

 

"Difficult to say, but I think it might-,"

 

"How long?"

 

Calvin sighs. "It'll be done before we get to Gateway. The system's multi-tiered. A damn fine piece of programming, that CISTR. But once I'm in, we'll have a lot more options."

 

Mack says, "Ok. You do that. Still got that laser torch?"

 

Calvin dutifully hands the tool to Mack. "Here's the plan. We've got to push this thing onto our cruiser. For that we should seal off as many pathways as possible."

 

The group goes over the plan using a schematic map of the various decks of the ship. Calvin says that he can break through the first few layers of CISTR's mainframe by the time they get back, possibly allowing them to send a distress signal to the USS Aimayer, another Marine vessel stationed over Earth.

 

"What about Portnoy?" Hicks asks.

 

"I'm coming," the old man says. He knows that this journey will be his last.

 

Cut to deck 4C. Hicks and Portnoy are carrying motion trackers, jury-rigged by Calvin from two of the stationary ones posted around the bridge. Calvin remains on the bridge while the other four people have gone out. 

 

Hicks and Rodan are on one end of deck 4C, the latter busy shutting a duct opening with his laser torch. 

 

Portnoy and Mack are at a door on the other side of 4C. Mack is focused on sealing the door shut. Portnoy waves the tracker around for any sign of motion.

 

Both pairs of people are in contact with each other as well Calvin over their headsets.

 

Mack switches the battery on her laser torch. Portnoy's motion tracker beeps with the haunting sound of movement. He asks over his headset, "Hicks, are you boys in the starboard maintenance alcove? Over."

 

"That's a negative. We're sealing off the provisions storage room. Over."

 

Mack's heart tenses up when she hears the transmission. She tries to calm herself so she does not accidentally burn her own finger off with the laser torch. She was always better at close-quarters combat operations than welding duty; it was part of the reason she went to W-Y private security.

 

Her tangent thoughts go away when she notices a curious silence behind her. She turns around after having finished the welding job. 

 

Portnoy is gone. 

 

"Doc? Doc? Hello?"

 

Nothing. Just the steady hum of the ship's reactor.

 

"Shit," she quietly mutters. Her teeth start grinding in panic, causing her jawbones to jut out slightly. "Calvin? Got a reading on Portnoy? Over."

 

"Negative, sir. His reading's just...gone."

 

Mack's breathing becomes more and more like gasping. She had never actually seen a creature like this before, but based on Ripley's account...it should be the size of a man by now.

 

"Mack, I've got something," Calvin says, almost causing Mack to erupt in a spasm of tension-fueled surprise.

 

"Fucking Christ, Calvin. What is it?"

 

"Portnoy's back. What in the hell is he doing?"

 

Portnoy's channel switches on with activity. "I can't take it anymore," he says.

 

Calvin stops typing for a minute. "Doc! What's your status?"

 

"I'm finishing what I've started, son. This thing isn't getting off the ship. Good-bye," Portnoy cryptically replies. On the bridge, Calvin witnesses the channel shut off for good. 

 

In the dark depths of 4C, Portnoy ambles through carrying the motion tracker at his hip. He tosses aside the headset and continues in the direction of the Company ship. Small yellow emergency lights illuminate points along the edges of the corridor, but still leave vast swaths of impenetrable darkness. The doctor remembers the bodies that lay here only a few hours ago. He realizes that since he chose to condemn the little girl to death, he has to answer for what he has done.

 

"Newt!" the old man calls out repeatedly. The motion tracker is silent except for its regular pinging sound.

 

"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Portnoy's taunts are interrupted when he steps on something squishy. He tries to free his foot from the floor, but he must pull hard. He kneels down with the caution for his leg joints. He manually pulls aside sticky strands of the filmy material. "My god," he whispers. Sheddings. These must be the sheddings he was briefed about.

 

He pulls his foot away from the material strand by strand. But then the motion tracker rings with a signal a dozen or so meters behind him. Then it is gone. Portnoy did not get a good look at the signal, but there was something about that irked him. Almost as if the creature knew it was being tracked. 

 

Finally it dawned on the old doctor. He was being hunted.

 

He knew it was already too late to run. Even if he wanted to run, he was too injured and frail to do so.

 

Portnoy starts stepping backwards holding the motion tracker out in front, eagerly awaiting the slightest signal. Nothing.

 

"Little girl! Come, Newt!" he calls out again.

 

The tracker emits a beeping sound and Portnoy gets a clear look. The signal is not well-defined, but it looks like a blob that changes shape. Erratically.

 

Now this did not fit with the description in the briefing. Portnoy could not make sense of the tracker reading on the assumption that the creature hunting him was humanoid. It must have a different body shape. But what?

 

Ten meters.

 

The old man picks up the pace as the signal edges closer and closer. He peers around in the dimly-lit spaces and wonder just where it could be hiding.

 

Nine meters.

 

Portnoy has to feel his way around the hallway with one hand while holding the tracker with the other. His steps are hampered by leftover strands of skin shedding stuck to his shoe.

 

Eight meters.

 

A gas pipe lets out a burst of white fumes. The old man nearly has a heart attack from the surprise.

 

Seven meters.

 

The signal is getting more focused. Where once it was a blob, the reading on the motion tracker has now morphed itself into a narrow shape. 

 

Five meters.

 

Portnoy suddenly regrets sacrificing himself. He wants to go back to the safety of the bridge. He wants out. He doesn't want to die like this.

 

Three meters.

 

He sees it. Some kind of creature. A dark looming mass covered in what looks like saliva.

 

The dark shape unfurls itself onto the floor. It was hiding in the mess of conduit piping and feed lines somewhere above Portnoy's head.

 

Portnoy's breathing becomes constricted. All the air has left his lungs.

 

A hissing sound fills the old man's ears. But it is not like any hissing sound he ever heard on Earth. It is at once too mechanical- and too organic-sounding.

 

The shape rises from a bundled position on the floor, rearing what Portnoy can only assume is its head. Sharp, lethal-looking black projections emanate from the beast's back and sides. Its head seems unnaturally elongated, lacking any discernible features except for a terrible mouth filled glistening, needle-sharp teeth.

 

Portnoy is frozen on the spot. He cannot even turn his gaze away from where it had settled, somewhere to the creature's side. Out of the corner of his vision, he sees that the Xenomorph is a giant serpent. One vestigial arm hangs limply off to the side. The torso is thick and muscular. The beast undulates like an angry cobra.

 

The old man starts tearing up. His mouth-breathing becomes loud and ragged.

 

The creature opens its maw above Portnoy's shaking head. The old man relieves himself and starts muttering panicked apologies and prayers. "Why? Why? Why?" he asks himself crying.

 

The small mouth inside another mouth springs out and breaks open the man's skull, eagerly biting into chewy, salty human brain matter. Portnoy screams. Blood flies out and splatters the creature, then runs down the old man's face. He is dead before he hits the floor. 

Author
Time

Cut back to the bridge. Everyone is under more stress than ever. Rodan is itching to battle the creature toe-to-toe. Calvin has to wipe his forehead with a towel so the fear-sweat on his brow does not drip on CISTR's console. Mack supports herself with both hands on a command table, fervently studying the layout of the Alien's last known location. In the back of her thoughts, she is bitten by the realization that their options for defeating the creature are quickly evaporating. Time is not on their side.

 

Hicks is the only one who can control his nerves. He is the first to speak up. "Calvin. Any luck with that mainframe?"

 

Calvin wheels around to face the group. "God, I kill for a smoke right now," he mutters while brushing a hand through his frizzed hair. "The armory's cleared. You guys said you have this thing cornered?"

 

Mack says, "Yes, we do. Now all that's left is to blow this fucker out into space. Some weapons from the armory would help."

 

Hicks asks Mack, "The old man was with you the whole time. Why did you let him go?"

 

"He was delusional! He wanted to see this thing for himself, or something. That fucker always was a little crazy," Mack says.

 

"Well, at least the thing's cornered now. Did you see it?"

 

"No, but whatever it was, it must have been big. I saw the hall where he went through a viewport, and he was just...gone. A little blood on the deck, but no body, nothing."

 

Rodan eagerly brandishes his weapon and says, "Well, what the hell are we waiting for? The armory's open, we can take this bastard down! What have you guys got in there, anyway? Rifles? Smartguns? Grenades?"

 

Hicks says, "Yeah, all that and more. But this ship wasn't made for on-board action. No ship is, really. We can't use the rifles or anything bigger, or we risk punching a hole in the ship's hull. That'd be bad news for all of us."

 

Rodan is flustered. "So what's the fucking point of opening the armory if we can't use the good stuff?"

 

"There's a bunch of sub-machine guns in there. Fully-automatic, forty-round clips, hollow-point rounds. They're not pulse rifles, but they put out a lot of lead and there's no risk of them blowing open the ship's hull," Hicks says.