Review - The Annotated AvP: The Story, part 3

It’s the end of the month, which means another sample of and commentary on that terrible Aliens vs. Predator fanfiction novel I wrote in late grade school. When we last left our Predator protagonist, the accurately named Swift-Death, he had just disposed of several questionably intelligent human soldiers and was about to pursue those who had incapacitated and captured his fellow hunters. Let’s see where this takes him, shall we?

Swift-Death peeked out from beneath the ledge he was crouching under. There they were: the Forward Observation Pods. The Pods were a unique structure; they were four tall metal cylinders, Pods 1-4. Pod 5 was lying half-buried in the gorge ground, a victim of bad structural integrity. The Pods were held to the steep cliff walls by two ‘layers’ of supports. The first layer was attached to the top of the Pods, leading to the canyon walls. The second layer was halfway down the Pods, and as the first layer, leading to the canyon walls.
I’m struggling to rationalize this building’s architectural design—a detail I lifted straight from the game, Aliens versus Predator 2—because the utter lack of lower supports is boggling. I understand that the Weyland-Yutani scientists don’t want to give the Aliens easy access to their primary research facility, but when the species they’re observing can already climb walls it’s kind of a moot point.

At the moment, though, Swift-Death’s attention was focused at the gorge ground. In the center was a small sniping tower, surrounded by sentry turrets, guards, and a fence.
“This is going to be tricky,” he thought. “Tricky but nonetheless entertaining. The fence was no big deal; he could just climb over it. He could cloak to get past the guards on the ground and in the sniping tower. It was the turrets that bothered him. They were laid out in a circle formation, almost directly behind the fence. He would have to improvise a plan once he got to them.
He made his way down the canyon wall, making sure to avoid even the smallest crevice. As soon as he got to the bottom, he cloaked. He got to the fence and began to climb, until he heard the familiar beeping of the turrets. It wasn’t until then that he realized how close the turrets were.
He quickly climbed to the top of the fence and crouched. After a minute of careful aiming, Swift-Death leaped ten metres, right over the turrets.
With the exception of a few syntactical quibbles, I actually truly like the above few paragraphs. While I don’t know exactly what I was thinking all those years ago I know for certain I wanted Swift-Death to be more than just a hulking, heavily armoured space-brute, and his tactical assessment is, I feel, effective at getting that across. It’s showing rather than telling.

Though I don’t know what inspired me to have him leap 10 metres. 10 metres, and without a running start. You couldn’t even do that in the game!

The guard at the lift didn’t even notice the crystalloid figure coming at him. Swift-Death jumped on the lift and decloaked right then. The guard, dumbfounded, could only shout.
“Dammit! Start the lift! Now!” the man cried. As the lift started to move upwards, Swift-Death extended his Wristblades and ripped the skull from the man’s head. He ducked behind some crates to avoid sniper fire, and loaded his Spear-Gun. There were probably going to be a lot of guards up there.
Guys, I think this shit’s about to get real.

“What is it?” the voice asked angrily over the radio.
“An intruder, like the ones we killed out in the wild,” the guard explained hurriedly.
“A Predator?”
“Yes! What do we do?”
The man over the radio scoffed. “Shoot it!” 
The guard turned around to look at the advancing lift, and commanded some men nearby. “Use your EMP grenades! Stun and we’ll see if we want to take it out.” The guards loaded the electromagnetic bombs into their grenade launchers. The sound of the approaching lift grew, and the men stood at their ready.
Finally, the lift came up and locked into place. There wasn’t any Predator on it at all.
“Do you think it’s cloaked?” one guard asked.
“It doesn’t look like it,” the commander said. Suddenly, a burly figure jumped out from inside an empty crate. It soared through the air until it landed on the platform. It was Swift-Death, armed to the teeth with his Disc. Before the humans could react, he threw it, killing every person in the room.
Again, I genuinely like the setup here. As goofy as the dialogue is, I can look past it and see the potential for tension as the human soldiers lie in wait for their intruder… only for Swift-Death to propel himself across the room with froglike lower-body strength. Seriously, you can tell my favourite show in the world at the time was Dragonball Z.

Swift-Death looked around the now almost lifeless room. His four mandibles grinned.
That’s actually really hard to imagine.

Peace of cake.

As Swift-Death climbed the stairs, he passed five doors, all of them locked. They were only storage closets that were probably not useful. The sixth door was labeled ‘Pod 2 Generating Station.’ This was where the entire Pod’s electricity was created. In there, steam, carried by pipes from the hot springs to the Pods, was used to turn turbines. And steam was what he needed. Combined with a cloak, steam would render him completely invisible to humans. And with himself running out of breath from killing guards, he needed all the concealment he could get.
Wait, wouldn’t the steam simply flow around him and create a pseudo-silhouette for everyone to see? Man, grade-school-me really knew next to nothing about physics.

But enough about my poor scientific comprehension. HOW ’BOUT SOME FIGHT SCENES?!?

Just then, something caught Swift-Death’s eye: twelve, tall and muscular humans, with bald heads, white skin and red pupils. These were combat synthetics, androids designed solely to fight. 
“Damn,” Swift-Death groaned. “This is going to be tricky.” He decloaked and ran out of the steam, killing a surprised guard on the way. Soldiers jumped to their feet, and Swift-Death could hear the robotic android voices saying, “Target acquired.” Sniper fire from above hit the ground near Swift-Death’s feet. He scrambled out of the way. Just then, four guards came running his way. He sprinted toward the center column and ran up the side, somersaulting off. He landed behind them and swung his Combistick, decapitating them all. Still, sniper fire was coming down hard. Summoning all his strength, Swift-Death leaped all the way up to the third level cutting down a sniper rifle guard. Jumping up, he kicked two more in the face, sending them falling to the turbines below. CRACK. The sound of splattering gore echoed throughout the room.
Grade 7 Me: (spoken through braces) “Shnipersh? Check. Robotsh? Check. Decapitationsh? Four timesh the check! And gore. Sho much gore! Mrsh. Wilkinshon will love thish!”

Ah, the follies of youth.

Now the only enemies left in the room were three androids, each armed with sniper rifles. The closest one to Swift-Death was an android on the platform across from him. The Predator leaped forward, grabbing on to a hanging chain. He swung toward the android, knocking it off the platform. It fell down towards the turbine. Its white synthetic blood sprayed everywhere, marking a successful kill.
The next one was sniping from a hovering platform, which was used for maintenance. It flew low over Swift-Death, firing as it went. Swift-Death ducked under a thick conduit. Steam sprayed in his face as a bullet hit the pipe above him. He roared in confusion, swinging his spear everywhere.
Corporal Bill, injured but not too worse for wear, limps in front of his newly assembled troops.

“Men, today we face an enemy stronger and more advanced than we ever could have feared. Thankfully, you have me to command you in the field. And as my first act as company leader, I will have our towering, near-invincible and non-sentient android killers stand safely in the rear while firing sniper rifles while you throw yourselves at what can only be described as a ‘space samurai’. Have I made myself clear?”

“Sir, do the android killers kill androids or are they killers of androids, sir!”

“I refuse to dignify that with a response.”

Then the hovering platform came down again. This time, Swift-Death jumped upwards. Landing beside the android on the platform. He put away his Combistick and extended his Wristblade. He punched the synthetic in the face, disabling its mobility systems. It bent over backwards, the upper half of its body hanging over the platform edge. Swift-Death slammed on the throttle, pointing the platform toward the center column. He, the platform, and the android’s upper body slammed into it, crushing the android to death. White blood poured down through the rafters, staining the floor.
Now it was time to deal with the third android. Swift-Death leaped off the now-broken platform, right in front of the last robot. Now he wish he hadn’t. The android was armed with two, three-barreled miniguns, one in each hand. He swore and backed up, thinking of a new plan. Once again, he pulled out his Combistick. He feared it was getting dull, but he wasn’t going to start worrying about it. On the floor, he found a splintered pipe, about the same length and width as his spear. He picked it up and faced the android, which started to fire.
Swift-Death ran around the synthetic for a bit, dodging the bullets. He then jumped over the robot, slicing with his two weapons. The spears hit the miniguns and bounced off, not even leaving a scratch. “I hate you droids,” Swift-Death mumbled. He spun around, like a living razor blade. The spears bounced off the miniguns, again with the same results. With every slice he did, the android kept using the miniguns to block the swipes; and with every six spear slices, Swift-Death had to flip himself over the synthetic, to keep from being hit by minigun rounds.
Finally, he got an opening. Swift-Death jumped up, dodging another burst of gunfire. As he landed, he swung both Combistick and pole at the droid, cutting off its arms. It ran around for a bit, confused by the damage. Suddenly, it savagely kicked Swift-Death in the stomach. The Predator stumbled backwards, retracting his Combistick and falling over the platform edge. He managed to grab onto the side just in time. He grumbled, “Why won’t you die?” As the android was about to step on the Predator’s hands, Swift-Death launched himself over the synthetic. He landed behind it and plunged the pole deep into the droid’s back. It staggered for a bit, then tumbled over the edge, tearing up as it fell on top of the turbines.
Honestly, I think this is fucking awesome. I mean, it’s the most infantile action scene written outside of an Axe Cop comic but man, he fights a robot that’s wielding a Gatling gun. In either hand! Tell me you’re not impressed.

In all seriousness, of the three chapters I’ve examined so far I truly enjoy this one simply for being the action sequence my grade school friends and I always wanted to see. There’s no youthful pretension or ham-handed characterization, just space-balls-to-the-wall fighting on par with a drunken Mortal Kombat competition.

So of course, I spoil it.

He climbed a ladder up to the fourth level. The only thing on it was a temperature regulator and entrances to two lifts. One was locked; the other had its doors wide open. Naturally, he chose the open lift. As he made his way into it, the doors automatically shut. He thought this was normal, until the doors locked shut.
“What the Hell is going on?” he thought aloud. Suddenly, the onboard computer spoke, “Warning, intruder alert. Electromagnetic stunners operational.” He looked up; ten stun blasters, teeming with electromagnetic energy, emerged from the elevator ceiling. It was a trap, one that the humans had planned out for him all along.
“Oh, damn,” he groaned, as the blasters knocked him out cold.
Oh damn indeed, though to give credit where credit is due I lifted this pretty much straight from the game, with the exception of my pseudo-badass dialogue. Regardless, I must have been able to end that chapter on a better note—

“OK,” the nurse said. As she opened her med-pouch, Rykov signaled for her to halt. He bent down to further examine the creature. He noticed that near its left shoulder, there was a scar. It seemed to have been made by bullets of some kind. Judging by the shape, pulse rifle rounds. He wondered if. . . 
“Nurse,” Rykov started, “can you test how old the scar along the left shoulder is?”
“Well, general, since their physiology is different than ours, it would be hard - “
“Just do it!” the general growled. The nurse took a needle and did a tissue test on the Predator. She looked up at Rykov.
“The scar, relative to us, is nineteen years old,” the nurse said.
Rykov glared at the creature. So, this beast was the one that almost killed him close to twenty years before. This was the creature that had almost ruined his life.
Wait. No. What?

She picked the Predator up and put it on a gurney. As she carried it away, Rykov whispered, “I’ve found you, Predator.”


…sigh. Tune in next month.

1 comment:

Jo-Anne said...

Glad you saved this....