Review - The Annotated AvP: The Story, part 6

It’s the last Monday of the month, which means two things: 1.) make sure you have enough money for rent, and 2.) aww fuck it’s another edition of the Annotated Aliens versus Predator: The Story. Sit back and crack open a bottle of Thunderbird while we take a look at my grade school stab at the art of adaptation. This month’s chapter takes place minutes after the last, when the worst security system ever designed shut down the defences around Weyland-Yutani’s main lab complex on LV-1201.

Major Dimitri Henson paced impatiently behind the technician. Dunya wanted him for dinner a half-hour ago, and now he had to guard some repairwoman as she slowly repaired a sentry turret.
“It beats the Hell out of me why you worry about one turret. We’ve got nineteen others patrolling the area,” Dimitri complained with a Texan accent. 
Dimitri reserved his French accent for flirting with his wife, and his New England accent for expounding on how sometimes, dead is bettah.

“I’m moving as fast as I can, Dimitri. Not only do I have to set this thing back up, I’ve got to rewrite the tracking code for this unit,” the technician said.
“Cut the chatter and keep working,” Dimitri ordered. He looked around the dark canyon in fear. “I don’t like this place.”
Up on the ledges in the canyon walls, a pack of Aliens waited. In the front of the group stood Jimrakh, thirsty for both blood and information. One Alien, a former captive of the POC, whose name was Morachai crawled down a slope toward the leader.
“Makay, ouy da tsa?” Morachai asked in his language. “Translation: Alright, what do we do?”
In the first edition of this feature, I mentioned how for the purposes of my novel I came up with a basic language for the Aliens. No conjugation, no special syntax, just one for one word substitution. It also serves no purpose that I can think of, for reasons that will be apparent a few chapters from now.

Jimrakh shifted, and spoke, “Hai ta barak. Translation: Here’s the plan. Tsa cra ikfo duak adags. Translation: We split into two groups. Ja poit sevat, tuk poit sevat. Translation: I take seven, you take seven. Tuk poit jamai a dakoma jat ta bakas. Translation: Your group creates a diversion at the bottom. Wheih ta oomans ete damor tha bouch, ja poit tad de ta toj du ta Pods. Translation: While the humans are defending themselves, my group heads for the top of the Pods.”
“Bah barak. Translation: Good plan,” said Morachai. “Takoh onee un kajay. Translation: Though only one problem.”
“Whik ij? Translation: Which is?” Jimrakh asked. 
“Thak ete guhs dut jat ta bakas. Translation: There are guns at the base,” Morachai said, pointing.
I don’t say this enough: I’m really sorry for putting all of you through this.

Jimrakh winced
You and me both, brother.

“Crad! Wa di ton appe?! Translation: Crap! Why did this happen?!” He picked up a rock and threw it against the cliff wall, shouting, “Daht! Translation: Damn!” 

Down on the ground, Dimitri had almost had enough. “Alright,” he said to the technician, “you have ten minutes to fix this thing, and then I’m out of here.”
“You’re just scared,” she snickered. “There, just finished.” She reconnected two conduits in the turret, and packed up her toolbox. “Let’s head back she said.
Just then, the Marines had accidentally cut the security system’s power. All at once, the turrets shut down. The green lights on each console turned red, and the tracking beeps suddenly stopped. All that could be heard were cricket-like insects, Dimitri’s heart pounding, and - clawing. Clawing, as if something almost metal was hitting against rocks. And that clawing sound was increasing by the second. Dimitri gripped his pulse rifle even harder, and the technician slowly started to walk backwards. 
Suddenly, a controllers voice sounded over Dimitri’s radio, “Get inside, now! We’re picking up readings on the long-range trackers!”
“I see them,” Dimitri said, worriedly examining his motion tracker. A sharp, raptor-like scream echoed throughout the gorge, and small, moving shapes could be seen running down the canyon walls. 
“We’re going to die. We’re going to die,” the technician repeated over and over again. 
“Don’t worry,” Dimitri said. “Can you get the auxiliary generators online?” 
“They’re offline,” the Pod controller responded over the radio.
“You’re right. We’re going to die!” Dimitri groaned. “Get to the Pods!” he shouted to the technician.
I have no idea why I made this guy such a shitty soldier. Like, he’s fairly competent in the game but here you have to wonder how he ever made it past basic training. Perhaps budget cutbacks weren’t just limited to the United States Colonial Marines.

Near the Pod 2 cargo lift, Eisenberg and a combat synthetic waited as the technician rushed toward them. 
“Get her one and start the lift,” Eisenberg ordered.
“Sir, the Ground Shelter is safer. I suggest we evacuate there immediately,” the android droned.
“I’m not going underground!” Eisenberg growled, as the technician got on the platform. “Start the lift.” The platform began to rise, and the doctor shouted into his radio, “Major Henson, please evacuate to the Pod 4 lift.”
“I’m going to hold them off,” Dimitri explained. “Tell Dunya I’m going to be a bit late for dinner.” As eight Aliens tore through the security fence, Dimitri emptied his pulse rifle clip. Every Alien dodged the blasts, and continued towards Dimitri. 
Startled, Dimitri did a 180 degree turn and fled. He was busy loading another clip, when, out of the shadows, an Alien, which was a half-grown Queen, charged out toward the soldier. As her jaws closed tightly on Dimitri, the human was snatched off of the ground, screaming. In a second, Dimitri was in two halves, dead.

Emptying a 40 of Colt 45 on Dimitri’s grave, I eulogize the fallen soldier:

"Rest in peace, Major Henson. You were really, really shitty at your job."

Far up, on top of the Pods, the other eight Aliens, headed by Jimrakh, sped across the structure supports. Jimrakh finally found two open fans; one on Pod 2, the other on Pod 4. They split up into two groups of 4, and headed into the facility.
Jimrakh’s group took Pod 2, and the four creatures scurried into the structure. As soon as they got into the Pod, they crawled into a vent to keep from being seen by the guards below. Jimrakh motioned for the other three to split up and cause havoc, so he could find what he was looking for, without being annoyed by pesky humans.
Jimrakh continued down the rest of the shaft, pausing as he came to a junction. One way continued the shiny steel airshaft further down into the Pod. The other way was filled with wires and hatch keypads; a maintenance shaft. He hurried down the shaft, activating keypads to allow him deeper into the Pod systems.
Where’s a damn computer terminal?! Jimrakh groaned. An Alien his intelligence would be able to activate one, and use it. He needed a computer to find what he was looking for.
The reason why the damn humans were on Lv-1201. 
From the start, none of the Aliens knew why the humans had arrived on 1201. It was designated territory for Jimrakh’s species. Well, that was pretty much known only to the Predators. But humans were not allowed here. Jimrakh needed to find out the reason why the humans were terraforming, studying, and altering his species’ way of life. He knew it had to be something more.
Jimrakh noticed a panel, labeled, “Mainframe Systems,” with an arrow underneath it. The Alien turned in the direction of the arrow, and sped off.
I just don’t understand why I’d make his species so intelligent and yet have them get by without clothing or advanced technology. I think it’s because I wrote this around the time Jurassic Park III came out, and liking it at the time I assumed the best way to make the Aliens intimidating was to make them smarter, like the velociraptors in the film. You’d think being remorseless space rapists would be frightening enough.

Dr. Eisenberg paced patiently around his office, occasionally examining notes and records, while taking sips from a flask of Scotch. The Aliens were now in the complex, in his Pod and Number 4. Intercom warnings were heard every five minutes or so, saying things like, “Pod 4 has been placed on Yellow Alert,” or “Pod 2 has been placed on Red Alert,” followed by “All security officers please report to Operations.” He had found out that the Aliens had invaded five upper levels by the time he took another swig from the flask.
I imagine Eisenberg and Major “Jim Lahey” McCain would get along pretty well.

Suddenly, a growl startled him. He turned around to see an Alien, opening and closing its jaws as it looked at him. Eisenberg wheezed a cry, and then ran toward his desk. He quickly reached into a drawer and pulled out a pistol. He was bust loading it when the Alien bounded toward him. He almost screamed as its secondary jaws came out, but it didn’t matter.
Eisenberg didn’t feel anything.
He looked up and around. The Alien was gone. Had it been real, retracting its jaws just before they blew apart Eisenberg’s skull; or was it an illusion, a mirage tricking him into thinking the worst.
The doctor couldn’t stand it. He got up, pistol at its ready. He walked around the perimeter of the room, examining every vent, making sure they were locked shut. As he exhaled with relief, two more snarls could be heard. He turned around again. Sure enough, two Aliens were behind him; one on the floor the other on a wall. 
Eisenberg moaned and ran the other way. Another Alien blocked his path. He turned to his left; an Alien. He turned to his right; another Alien. Aliens lined the walls and ceiling, and the gleaming white room turned into hive substance. 
The doctor screamed, shoved a cabinet in front of the room’s door, and huddled in a corner, as more and more Alien mirages filled the room.
Suddenly, Eisenberg could remember something: screams, shouts and begs for mercy filled the air. The visions of Aliens running around Operations, killing, devouring. He could see images of an Alien clawing at a mangled corpse. Eisenberg could see himself, firing at the Alien. He could see the Alien bleed, but it faced Eisenberg and swiped at him. He could remember the pistol falling out of his hands. Him, screaming in pain. He clutched his right hand in fear. All the death, destruction and carnage. All because of the Aliens. All because of the containment.
All because of him.
“Get away from me, you beasts!” Eisenberg shouted. He was furious. He hated these damn Aliens. These creatures were stopping him from reaching his one and only goal, which only the doctor and a few other executives knew about. “Die! Die!!!!!!!!” He fired his pistol at the mirages, and one by one, they seemed to disappear.

Outside the room, Rykov, Ivan and Dunya approached the door. Ivan noticed that the door was locked, so he knocked. No answer. He tried again and again, with no success. He reached for the intercom.
“Hello, Dr. Eisenberg?” Ivan started. “It’s Lieutenant Smitchuk. I’m here with General Rykov. He wishes to speak with you.” No answer, again. “Dr. Eisenberg, can you please unlock the door so you can let us in? Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?”
As Ivan jabbered into the radio, Dunya groaned, motioned Rykov out of the way, and fired her pulse rifle, gunning down the door. A piece of shrapnel barely missed Ivan’s head, and the lieutenant growled, “Do you always have to rush into things and be the Princess of Darkness?”
“It’s my way of life,” Dunya said, grinning. She shoved open the remains of the door, and stepped over the cabinet. They quickly noticed Eisenberg twitching in the corner.
“What the Hell are you doing?” Rykov grumbled. “Get up!”
Eisenberg slowly got to his feet. “Sorry,” he said. “An Alien was darting in and out of the room here.”
“Alright, who left the liquor cabinet open? Someone better fess up!”

“The Aliens have only invaded the upper levels of Pods 2 and 4. We’ve managed to lock off the other two structures, so our chance to evacuate is now,” explained Ivan.
Eisenberg changed the subject, “How did you lock off the other to Pods?”
“We closed the doors,” Rykov said. “I think it is safe to assume that they can’t activate keypads.”
You can really tell I had just learned about dramatic irony in class that week.

Meanwhile, Jimrakh was storming through the computer mainframe of Pod 2. He sliced a technician in half as he searched for the right computer. The one, which had the agenda for the entire Lv-1201 project. Finally, after inner-jawing a fifth technician, Jimrakh found what he was looking for: Project Agenda.
Jimrakh activated the computer, and used his heightened intelligence to make his way around the system. There were medical files, rosters, inventories, and - what was this? Jimrakh examined a file labeled Hive Siege. Jimrakh opened it and examined its contents. After reading the file, Jimrakh had only one thought in his head:
My God.
If Aliens had eyes, you could be damn sure Jimrakh would be slowly removing a pair of glasses in astonishment right then and there. BUT WHAT ARE THE CONTENTS OF THIS MYSTERY FILE? You may find out next month!

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