EDIT: It took me a while and a lot of copy-pasting, but I got this month's edition of The Annotated AvP looking presentable. Let us never speak of this again.
This month's dissection of that shitty AvP fanfic I wrote as a pretten is going to be extra special. Assisting me in this venture is Riley Byrne, who when he isn't PhotoShopping inappropriate captions onto Renaissance paintings is talking some sense into music at Justifiable Culturecide.
(Warning: The text below contains harsh language only fit for mature audiences.)
Riley: Even though I assume you were writing this mostly to vigorously masturbate to it soon afterwards, I appreciate that you made sure no children would accidentally stumble upon and read through and comprehend what was going on.
Daniel: The website owners put that disclaimer in, actually. 12-to-13-year-old me did not give a fuck.
Location: Lower Levels, Pod 2
Incident: 6 Weeks
Hunt: 5 Weeks
Mission: 10 Hours
R: It’s like the beginning of Rent. I assume everyone dies at the end of this as well.
D: Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred decapitations.
Once again, Harrison dropped out of a vent hatch. He landed behind Swift-Death and Jimrakh, his two very unlikely allies. They were in a large room, with knee-deep water and raised catwalks on either end. In the water, however, were tens upon tens of Alien eggs.
“Why didn’t you tell us we were coming in here?” Harrison grumbled.
“Hey, I only know my way around vents,” Jimrakh replied. “I don’t know where every damn room is located.”
“Damn, this is going to be tough,” Swift-Death groaned.
R: “Damn,” thought the author “these characters are so badass. They get to use whatever cuss words they want. Miss Hamilton wouldn’t even try to give them lunch recess detention”
D: Fun fact: I was morally opposed to swearing until I was 13. Yet there was this guilty part of me that loved—loved—the taboo of it. Sometimes, when no one else was around, I would rattle them all of in a beautiful, profane stream.
“Just follow me. I know how to handle it,” Jimrakh coldly reassured them. He jumped down into the pool, and Harrison and Swift-Death soon followed.
“I hate these things. I hate these things. I hate these things. . . “ Harrison repeated over and over again.
“Shut up and remain calm,” Swift-Death growled. Jimrakh swiftly walked by the eggs and jumped on to the next catwalk.
“See, just walk across it,” the Alien said.
“Easy for you. They can sense you’re one of them. Those little Hell-beasts are just waiting for some human and Predator hosts.
“These little Hell-beasts are my relatives.”
“OK, OK, OK.”
“They can’t sense you because the water obscures their senses.”
“Fine,” Swift-Death said. The two slowly started across. They had barely walked past an egg when one of them opened.
R: You know what everyone loves? ’80s buddy-cop movies. Except in this, they’re aliens! And Eddie Murphy will play all the parts.
D: It’s like a shitty, shitty sci fi version of the barbershop scene from Coming to America.
Better put all of them opened.
D: Yeah, sorry.
“Well. . . damn,” Harrison groaned.
“Run,” Swift-Death responded. The two had just started to sprint when all the facehuggers jumped out of their eggs. Some landed right at Swift-Death’s feet. The two ran like Hell as the parasites closed in on them. The facehuggers were actually faster! Swift-Death had already scraped five huggers off his legs by the times they reached the halfway point to the catwalk.
R: You know, it’s just a typical installation. Grey walls lots of metal. I dunno’, just standard space age stuff. That’s not the point! Listen to these one-liners.
D: “Looks like the tables have turned on the other foot.” *cocks gun*
“C’mon, almost there,” Harrison groaned. Suddenly, Swift-Death tripped. Before he could get up, a facehugger jumped and landed on his back.
“Go!” he shouted to Harrison. The Marine stood there, looking from Swift-Death to the catwalk.
He chose Swift-Death. Harrison did a 180 and ran toward the fallen Predator. He grabbed the hugger off Swift-Death’s back and twisted it’s ‘spine.’ It dropped to the pool, dead.
“C’mon!” Harrison shouted to the Predator.
R: Damn, c’mon!
Swift-Death jumped up and followed Harrison. In a matter of seconds, they were on the catwalk with Jimrakh, catching their breath once again. Suddenly, one of the facehuggers jumped onto the catwalk. Screaming, Swift-Death extended his wristblades and wiped the little parasite off the face of the planet.
R: I mean, the “unreliable narrator” thing has been done to death. I’m going to be a badass narrator. I’ll talk like the older kids at soccer practice do.
D: Hey, I’ll have you know I was into basketball at the time. And then never again after that. So much so that the only players I know have long retired. I mean, John Stockton is still playing, right?
They hurried to a door, opened it, walked in, and locked it shut.
R: Harrison inhaled some air. His lungs exchanged the carbon dioxide in his blood for rich, wholesome oxygen. Then he exhaled.
D: “Okay, Harrison, let’s put that right foot in front of the left.”
R: I love that it’s not even a specific door. Just some door. Whatever. Back to the smarmy alien, already.
D: Yeah, what a carnivorous cock.
As soon as they were out of danger, the Predator and the human glared at Jimrakh.
“Give us one good reason why we shouldn’t kill you right now,” Harrison groaned.
“Well,” the Alien started, “because - “
“We might have to first,” a voice said. The three spun around to face the terror behind them.
Fifteen Company soldiers stood behind them, weapons at hand, and lead by Ivan.
Swift-Death snarled and proceeded to take out his Spear-Gun, but Harrison motioned it to be put away. The three were just too outnumbered.
R: “Damnit,” Harrison thought. “Basic math has betrayed me again.”
“Alright, take their weapons,” Ivan said to the soldiers. As some of the guards walked toward them, Swift-Death shoved his wristblades right in front of their faces.
“OK, OK, OK,” Ivan calmed. “Keep your weapons. There will be no point of using them anyway.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Harrison grumbled as the three allies were told to follow the soldiers. “Can you tell me what’s going on here, and why I was shoved in prison?”
“Orders from the top. You’re being taken to the WY executives,” Ivan explained.
“For what?” Swift-Death growled.
“Beats me. I just take orders. Your convict buddy here is going to face some troubles from the Marines,” Ivan said. “Big time.”
“But I - “ Harrison started, but stopped as a soldier shoved a gun muzzle into his back.
“Come on, let’s get to the cargo hold,” Ivan ordered. He turned toward Jimrakh and Swift-Death.
“I hear you two are very intelligent, so you’ll be able to understand the words possible execution.” Swift-Death nearly roared, and Jimrakh slowly extended and retracted his jaws angrily as they were led away.
R: I would just like to say that I have no idea what’s going on here. It’s wonderful because you can tell that this is all crystal clear in your head, but when you read it, it’s just a ton of talking heads in some place that has a lockable door and a catwalk.
D: So, so many catwalks.
Location: Cargo Hold, Pod 2
Incident: 6 Weeks
Hunt: 5 Weeks
Mission: 11 Hours
R: Our second of three vignettes. It’s like an episode of Mad Men, in that the stories are only somewhat related and sort of take a meandering path to the conclusion.
D: Starring John Mad Man himself.
The group walked into the cargo hold, where they met five more soldiers with guns at hand. Jimrakh’s head darted around, his echolocation searching for someway out. Harrison was even more nervous now as two soldiers removed his jammed pistol and empty pulse rifle. Swift-Death, in old Predator tradition remained calm in the presence of danger. Still, he wasn’t sure that he and his allies would make it out alive.
Ivan, who had finally secured the three captives, turned on his radio. “General Rykov,” Ivan said, “the Alien, convict and Predator are in the Pod 2 cargo hold.”
“Good,” Rykov said over the radio. “We’re sending Dropship 1 over there right now.”
“But, sir, we don’t need a dropship. We can send them down by the lift - “
“Dropship 1, prepare to attack the Pod 2 cargo hold,” Rykov commanded over the comlink.
“Sir! My team and I are in the cargo - “ Ivan groaned as Rykov shut off his radio. As he stood there, silently panicking, Harrison wandered over to Pod 2’s external video camera. In the monitor, Harrison could see Dropship 1 round Pod 1 and slowly fly toward their Pod. It then stopped right in front of the structure and aimed its weapons.
“Damn!” Harrison groaned.
R: I don’t know if the people are picking up on it, but Harrison is a grizzled motherfucker.
D: Is this what I used to think badass was? In an age of Christian Bale Batman and vaguely Bruce Willis-y Joseph Gordon-Levitt I feel kind of ashamed.
R: From here on out, I’m just going to assume there was a disregarded subplot where Nick Nolte had to change his name to Harrison and was transported to the future. It makes it so much easier to read his lines.
D: His perpetual drunkenness would explain half the shit he says in this story.
In a second, gunfire blew a huge chunk out of the Pod 2 cargo hold. Some soldiers were hit by bullets, others shrapnel, and others fell out. Jimrakh, Ivan and Harrison ran for cover behind some crates, but Swift-Death spun around and prepped his Shoulder-Cannon. In a split second, he fired a blue plasma bolt at the dropship.
R: Chekhov’s Plasma Rifle: If a weapon is mentioned in a sentence, it must immediately be fired in the next sentence.
D: Lord knows this was probably the only time I remembered that rule in the course of writing this.
One of its steering vanes was blown apart, and the ship started to veer toward the Pod.
“Dropship 1!” Rykov shouted from his position in the truck below. “Pull up immediately!” The dropship did, but it was too late. It smashed into the side of Pod 2 above the cargo hold. The ship blew to pieces and left a huge tear in the Pod. A hole opened in the cargo hold ceiling, and debris fell from above, narrowly missing the survivors below.
In the truck, Rykov roared at the crash, smashing his radio against the floor. Eisenberg calmed him, “Don’t worry. At least that Marine is dead, along with your Predator and that very annoying Alien.”
“Alright,” Rykov growled. He ordered the truck to leave the gorge and head toward the Hive.
“We must hurry, for a have arranged for the help of some extra-terrestrial off-worlders who will be able to irradiate our Aliens and fellow Marines. He laughed as the truck exited the gorge.
Meanwhile, in the cargo hold, the four survivors got to their feet.
“Daht,” Jimrakh swore in his language while surveying the damage.
“Geez, I haven’t been in an explosion like that since - “ Ivan was cut short as Swift-Death walked up to him, extended his wristblades, and slashed the soldier across his left forearm. The Predator almost took pleasure in the man’s pain.
R: “And you say you wrote most of this section with only one hand? I... guess that’s impressive too.”
D: “I will neither confirm nor deny that.”
“What?!” Ivan cried in pain. “What did I do?!”
“You tell us that,” Jimrakh snarled. He picked the Company man up by the neck and opened his mouth. Harrison pointed a dead soldier’s pulse rifle at the lieutenant, and Swift-Death aimed his wristblades. Surrounded by a three way offensive, Ivan had no choice but to give up.
“OK, so I was ordered to capture you because you killed a Marine,” he said to Harrison.
“What? I didn’t kill a Marine,” Harrison responded.
“They said you did. His name was Harrison, I think,” Ivan explained.
“Harrison? That’s me! Corporal Andrew ‘Frosty’ Harrison!”
R: The thought of Nick Nolte referring to himself as Frosty is horrifying. “Goddammit children, you have to remember the magic of Christmas!”
D: He then chuckles like that uncle no one talks about anymore.
“Then why was I ordered to capture you?”
“Because your stupid Company made up one Hell of a lie to get Harrison rid of,” Swift-Death said…
R: …still grappling with the finer points of English.
D: I like to imagine Swift-Death speaking with a generic Eastern European accent.
“Listen!” Ivan shouted. “I can help you out of this. All I need you to do is get me to Pod 1! Maybe I can find what you’re looking for. I’ve got access to almost everything.”
“Alright,” Jimrakh growled. “But just like I said to this redneck Predator. No funny stuff, or I will see to it personally that you’re dead.”
“Who are you calling a redneck?” Swift-Death asked angrily.
R: Swift-Death was, at heart, a typical southern Georgia Predator. Pro-life, pro-death penalty, he taught Sunday school at the Presbyterian Church he was a deacon at. Sometimes, in the quieter moments of this war, Death would think back to Martha and felt guilty that he wouldn’t be back for the harvest festival.
D: “Martha wrote me yesterday. Seems our youngest died of consumption.”
R: The only reason he agreed to this mission was so that he could afford to hire one of them fancy lawyers with names like “Goldman” so that he could sue the county sheriff’s office that arrested his son.
D: “He’s a good boy! He wouldn’t deal none of that bootleg plasma ammo!
R: You should write a Predator vs. Predator screenplay in the vein of Kramer vs. Kramer.
D: If Dustin Hoffman can play a woman, he can certainly play an extraterrestrial hunter.
R: There’s something off about that Tootsie. She looks way too comfortable around a shoulder cannon.
D: I bet she waxes her upper mandibles.
“Just put me down and follow me,” Ivan pleaded. Jimrakh reluctantly dropped the lieutenant to the floor, who proceeded to climb a ladder to the upper levels of the cargo hold. The other three followed, weapons and jaws pointed always at him.
Location: Living Quarters, Pod 1
Incident: 6 Weeks
Hunt: 5 Weeks
Mission: 11 Hours
As the group entered the Pod 1 living quarters level, Tomiko’s voice came in over a radio.
“Thank God. I thought you guys were lost in Pod 2,” she said, relieved.
“We almost were,” Harrison replied. “We have your disc here.”
“Good. Bring it to my quarters in Corridor 2. I will be waiting for you there,” Tomiko said. The four entered the second hallway, where they saw the words Maurita, Tomiko printed on a doorway. Ivan activated the keypad, but the door didn’t budge. Suddenly, a slot opened in the doorway, and Tomiko’s eyes looked through. She closed the slot and unlocked the door from the inside.
R: Already I feel like I’m there with them. A hall, doorways, all the trappings of a building.
D: I was absurdly dedicated to replicating the dimensions and details of video game levels. See also my incomplete adaptation of the first Resident Evil game.
“There you are. C’mon in, quick,” she said. The group went inside, and Tomiko locked the room shut once again. Unlike other people’s quarters, Tomiko’s room had surveillance equipment from the top of her desk to inside her cabinets. They could see the video monitors she had been watching them from.
“The disc,” Tomiko said. Harrison reached into his pocket and pulled it out. “Thank you. You have no idea how important this is.”
“You’re right, but I have a feeling we’re about to find out,” Jimrakh sneered.
“What is it?” Swift-Death asked.
“The information that will shut the Company down for eternity,” Tomiko replied.
“You work for the Company. Won’t that ruin your job?” Harrison asked.
R: “Wait, if the plant closes down... wait...” Harrison was confused. The pretty lady was talking, but her words didn’t make sense.
D: It’s like everyone in this fictional universe has aphasia.
“No. I have plans back on Earth. This disc is my trip home,” she said. Tomiko took the disc out of its case and slid it into her computer. A sentence appeared on the screen that read: Project Records.
“The records?” Harrison asked. “I’ve been looking for those!”
“Yeah, and you’ve just found them. Oh, I am so going to bust Weyland-Yutani’s butt,” Tomiko laughed.
R: Harrison looked at Tomiko. It wasn’t until just then that he realized that she was a seven-year-old girl.
D: He felt confused in his pants.
“What are you, on stimulants or something?” Swift-Death asked. “Tell us what you need the records for.”
“Six weeks ago, an Alien egg was being transported off planet via the U.S.S. Aurora. Somehow its hatchling brook loose and escaped the ship. In a few hours, it impregnated an officer, was born again, grew, and released every other Alien in the POC, before turning its attention toward the Pods.”
“Hey, that’s me,” Jimrakh said.
R: Are we missing a segment where our leads are lobotomized? It’s like we’ve gone from a buddy cop film to Dora the Explorer vs. Predator. “Swiper, no corporate sabotage!”
D: And like Dora the Explorer, it’ll have you shouting at the screen, though for different reasons.
“Really? Anyways, the POC sent out a distress call to the Pods, but it was never received. See?” she said, pointing at a record entry, “ten hours after the Aliens broke free, Eisenberg cut the transmission before it reached this facility.”
“Well, why would he do that?” Ivan asked.
“Because it was all part of the Company’s Master Plan,” Tomiko explained. “Complete invasion of Lv-1201. They had been planning this for months. They needed to create enough Aliens so to draw the attention of the Marines. They needed the diversion in order for the project higher-ups to get inside the Master Hive.”
“Now, why would sensible people in the Company take a suicide trip into the Hive?” questioned Harrison.
R: For someone who has been repeatedly betrayed by his bosses, Harrison is quite the company man.
D: I can’t even tell if he’s being sarcastic.
“Because the project higher-ups are idiots,” Tomiko said.
“Well, really. Why do they want to get into the Hive?” Swift-Death asked.
“Because they want to get the Empress,” Jimrakh snarled.
“What?” Harrison, Swift-Death and Ivan said together.
“How did - “ Tomiko started.
“I know?” Jimrakh said, finishing her question. “I too intercepted the records the moment I got into the Pods. The Empress was on the top of your Company’s agenda from the start.”
R: I’m starting to really like this because it’s the antithesis of how Wes Anderson writes. Whereas every character in his films is essentially the same person, no one in this story seems to be the same person from sentence to sentence. I hope there’s a plot twist where the pod they’re in is actually a wing in a hospital for people with multiple-personality disorders.
D: It’s like a slightly more entertaining version of Identity. Whoops, spoiler alert.
“First thing’s first,” Ivan said. “Who the Hell is the Empress?!”
Jimrakh slightly smiled and turned toward the group. “Imagine a Queen Alien,” he began. “If you don’t know, the Queen is the ruler of a hive. Well, this Queen is 2 metres taller, 3 times smarter and four times as nasty. She is even more intelligent than me, and is my species’ only worshipped deity. She is the one Alien who brings balance to my entire species. She has lived for over four million years. She is the reason why I am intelligent.”
R: Relatively speaking, of course.
D: Well compared to the others he’s practically alien Richard Feynman.
“OK, OK, pal. Don’t be so dramatic,” Harrison calmed.
“It’s just that your doctor, Eisenberg, wants to capture her. If the Empress was removed from the Hive, it would launch an inter-species war. Aliens versus Predator. My species would attack anyone who wasn’t an Alien.”
“Aliens versus Predators? Where does my species fit in?” Ivan asked.
“Even if your species did kidnap the Empress, my people would surely be blamed,” Swift-Death explained. “The Aliens and Predators have been enemies ever since. . . four million years ago.”
“What’s with four million years ago?” Harrison asked.
R: Harrison’s mind swirled with funny quips. When he got back to earth he would go back to open-mic at the campus pub and this time it would be Tommy Grandt who would be booed off stage. Harrison would laugh. Oh, Harrison would laugh.
D: As would the audience, ideally.
Jimrakh sighed. “It all began like this,” he started. “Four million years ago there was a fourth species: the Pilots. They were the most advanced creatures to ever roam the galaxy.”
Tomiko, who had also found out about the Pilots, chimed in, “The Pilots had warp drive technology, just under the speed of light, which even we wouldn’t get close to thinking of. They could cross the galaxy in a day.”
“Right,” replied Jimrakh. “Anyway, the Pilots were a dying race. Their homeworld had almost been destroyed by a black hole, and they needed to find a new home. They decided to land very close to Earth.”
“You mean, our moon?” Harrison asked.
“Correct. Unfortunately, the life on our satellite had died off when the dinosaurs were wiped out, so the Moon was a dead rock. All except for one thing,” explained Jimrakh.
“What?” Ivan asked.
“Eggs. Thousands upon thousands of Alien eggs. Originated from single-celled organisms, and were already fully evolved by the time. So, being explorers as they were, the Pilots took the eggs with them on their search for paradise.”
R: The moon was originally planned to be an upscale omelette bar.
D: Man, what the fuck was I thinking when I wrote this?
“They found it. A remote world in the Zeta Reticuli system named Lv-1201. One of the two Pilot motherships landed there. The other continued to explore the star system. Unfortunately, the airborne ship tried experiments on their group of Aliens. The test diminished the creatures’ brainpower and made them more violent. They overran the ship and made it crash land on a nearby planet, Lv-426.”
“Meanwhile, the 1201 ship grew the Aliens and did no tests on them,” continued Tomiko. “The Pilots discovered the Aliens would only attack if their way of life was threatened. After a million years, the Pilots died off and the Aliens flourished.”
“How?” Swift-Death asked.
“The double-egg system,” replied Jimrakh. “If there are no potential hosts around, the Queen will lay pairs of eggs, one with a hatchling, the other one empty. The hatchling would impregnate the empty egg and it would grow into a normal Alien.”
R: This is actually the most disturbing part of this entire story. Was this an established Alien practice, or did the young version of yourself spend sleepless nights plotting out the birthing rituals of intergalactic life forms?
D: I wish I could say it was the former. I really wish.
“Well, how do the Predators fit into all this?” questioned Harrison.
Swift-Death sighed. “My species also had flight capabilities, though not as advanced as the Pilots’. We thought Lv-1201 would be a perfect second homeworld. When we tried to destroy the Aliens, they formed an army and attacked. My species’ military was quickly overpowered, and we barely escaped. There was a law made that decreed that all Predators were to remain off Lv-1201.”
“Which you broke,” Jimrakh snarled.
“My species has been hunting here for years. There’s no keeping us off this planet,” Swift-Death growled.
R: He paused. Those hunting trips with his son Jimmy-Death had been the highlight of many summers. Sunny days spent hunting in the woods, starry nights where the two would eat s’mores around a campfire and sing traditional Predator songs like “Hsdmnfaqw” and “Ralksmnf.”
“So, you guys have been at constant war?” Ivan asked. Before Swift-Death could say anything, Jimrakh interrupted.
“The only matter right now is to keep your Company from capturing the Empress. We must enter the Hive.”
“The Hive? Pardon me, but I’m not taking a step into that Hellhole,” complained Ivan. In a matter of seconds, Jimrakh walked over to him and grabbed the soldier by the neck, raising him a foot off the ground.
R: In the first draft of this, were you afraid that people would think Jimrakh walked to Ivan over the course of several hours?
D: He could easily have been travelling at the speed of light. Time gets wacky in that domain.
As his inner-jaw went in and out, Jimrakh whispered coldly, “Don’t insult the Hive in front of me. You’re lucky I’m not killing you right now.” Once again, Jimrakh dropped Ivan on the floor and strode away.
Harrison sighed. This alliance was very reluctant. He only hoped they would be able to work together and protect the Hive.
R: And we’re back to buddy coppin’!
D: Now I really wish I hadn’t used up my “Axel F.” theme quota in last month’s post.
....ah, Hell with it.