Review - The Annotated AvP: The Story, part 12.0

Hear that synth? It can only mean one thing: the long delayed return of the Annotated AvP: The Story! Please forgive me for being a few days late. I had originally planned to run a review of Mama this week, but Ottawa’s current borderline-Antarctic temperatures prevented me from walking downtown, so that’ll have to wait for next week and now this week’s post is delayed and… eh, fuck it. Here’s some Godawful fan fiction.

This month, I give you my attempt at writing a full-fledged battle scene, which is of course shamefully ripped from The Lord of the Rings movies and a cop-out to boot. Do try to enjoy.

Jones got out of the APC and ran over to the keypad attached to the wall near the huge door. After hacking into it, the lock opened. The APC followed him inside the colony walls, where the APC parked itself.
Truly a level of description worthy of Cormac McCarthy, save for its sci fi setting and being totally crap.

Inside the vehicle, the Marines plus Tomiko and Ivan armed themselves. McCain himself was strapping on armour for the first time in years.
“Hey Major, do you really think you should be putting a hip flask in your pistol holster.”
“Hey Duke, do you think I really care at this point? We just casually chatted with a couple of aliens.”

Tomiko grabbed a pulse rifle, loaded it, and prepared to walk out of the APC, but Johnson stopped her.
“What the Hell is wrong this time?” Tomiko snapped.
“You’re not going out there,” the pilot replied.
“And why are you planning to stop me?”
 “Because you’ll get skinned like a bear,” Johnson explained. She grabbed a set of armour from a nearby rack. “Put this on. It was one of Hall’s spares.”
Hall? Shit, I forgot about her. As her comrades likely forgot as well, given the general lack of empathy that abounds in this story.

“Oh, well, thank you,” Tomiko said. As she put it on, McCain started to explain his plan.
“The first thing we need to do is get access to the flight-control tower in the Northern Landing. There, we contact two ships. One is the Tyrago, which will bring down reinforcements. Fortunately for us, they’re in this star system.”
“What’s the other ship?” Shugi asked.
“It’s confidential. I can only call it down if we really need help,” McCain said. “The next thing to do is enter Operations again. Eisenberg said the Aliens had retreated to the sub-levels of the colony.”
“Yeah, but we can’t exactly trust Eisenberg, now can we?” Duke Jones asked.
“Duke Jones.” Through poor proofreading I inadvertently created the greatest porn star handle of all time.

“He wouldn’t lie to us if he didn’t know we were coming here,” the major said. “In Operations, we hotwire the security systems. We can program the turrets to shoot anything Corporate.”
“In other words, Ivan’s a living Kill me sign,” Duke joked. Ivan gave the private a glare.
“Trust me. This armour will come in handy,” the lieutenant said.
Wait, is Ivan hedging his bets on actually being shot? I thought I could be pessimistic.

“Stop the jokes, Duke. Just for once,” McCain demanded. “Once the two dropships from the Tyrago arrive, we’ll be able to round up the Company personnel here and bring them back to Earth.”
“What about Eisenberg and Rykov?” Tomiko asked.
“They’re not our job to deal with, so don’t worry about it,” McCain replied.
“Don’t think I wouldn’t leave men to die.” The silence that followed was long and uncomfortable.

Skipping ahead, we rejoin our secondary characters in the POC, shortly after they’ve made contact with the other USCM ship.

“The easy part is done. Now it’s going to get a bit trickier,” Duke said as they made their way out of the building. “Jones, we’re going to need your help as much as possible.”
“Hey, when Papa Bear is here, hope is near,” the corporal rhymed. Shugi and Blackwell, who had been patrolling the area, walked up to them.
My racist 12-year-old self: “All large black men have fresh rhymes, right? Anybody?

“The North Lock is open,” Blackwell reported.
“Good, let’s proceed,” McCain responded.
“We locked it before we left here the first time we came,” Shugi objected. “Someone has got here before us.”
“Then stay alert,” McCain ordered. They all readied their weapons and continued for the Operations building.
“McCain, you’re sure there are no Company personnel in the POC, right?” Johnson asked.
“Positive. Jones and I took a sensor sweep before we entered the colony. There will be no surprises.”
“Good, because if you’re wrong, I’m pounding your arse in,” Duke said.
…make that my surprisingly gay 12-year-old self as well.

“If he’s wrong, you won’t get a chance,” Shugi commented. He activated the keypad near the North Lock, and like Blackwell had said, it opened.
“Now that was spooky,” Jones said. “Good thing I’m armed.”
“Just hope that you won’t have to shoot anything,” McCain warned. As they made their way down the darkened corridors, Duke couldn’t help but notice that almost every previously locked room was open.
“Looks like someone has been doing a little house cleaning,” he observed.
“Hopefully it’s just the ghosts of the former owners,” Ivan remarked. After ascending two flights of stairs, the group reached the third level, and Main Operations lay before them.
“Here goes nothing,” Jones sighed. When they entered the room, he pulled out his hacking kit and looked for the Local Nexus, which Harrison had attempted to activate nearly over half a day before.
“Only half a day? Then how has this affair been excruciatingly long?” “Duke, I will fucking cut you.”

As Jones started his work, he realized the circuitry access panel in the Nexus had been welded shut. “What the Hell?” he wondered aloud. “What the Hell is going on?”
“Maybe you should try a cutting torch,” a feminine, Russian-accented voice spoke.

They all turned around to see Dunya, sitting near the darkness in an empty console chair. As they stood in amazement, she got up and grabbed Tomiko in a headlock, shoving a pulse rifle muzzle into the side of the technician’s head.
“Did you really think you were going to get away with this?” Dunya asked.
“No, but we were hoping to. Now, if you’ll put the gun down, you’ll save us some time and maybe even keep you out of jail,” McCain grumbled.
“Seriously, though, you’re going to jail,” he said, taking another pull from his hip flask and lazily cocking his pistol.

He nodded his head to the side, and the rest of the group pulled out their weapons and focused them on Dunya.
“If I remember correctly, there’s a saying that goes ‘If you decide to shoot, I’ll pull the trigger and your little friend will go bye-bye’,” Dunya chuckled.
No, no there absolutely isn’t.

“Damn, there is a saying like that,” Shugi groaned.

“For your information, you Marines should get sensors that aren’t blocked by jamming.”
“Put the gun down, Dunya,” Ivan said coldly. “If you don’t, I’ll swear you’ll pay.”
“Ah, yes, Ivan: a traitor of Weyland-Yutani. Why did you two have to leave us?” Dunya asked.
“Because Tomiko and I were the only ones in the Company who had any goddamn sense.”
“You do realize that if you even attempt to force the gun out of my hands, that I’ll shoot you?”
“I’m willing to take that risk for her,” Ivan said. Tomiko, despite her apparent proximity to death, couldn’t help but smile.
She also couldn’t help but wonder where their mutual attraction had sprung from. Ah, well.

“Fine then,” Dunya laughed. She immediately pulled the pulse rifle away from Tomiko head and emptied its entire magazine into Ivan’s chest. As the rounds entered, he shook without screaming, and once the pulse clip was finished, he dropped to the floor.
Before the others could respond, Dunya pulled out from her pocket a small, metal cylinder, about the size of a grenade. She pressed a button on top, and it sent out an electromagnetic pulse, disabling the Marines’ weapons.
“It seems that I have the upper-hand. You might as well give yourselves up,” she said, looking at the fallen Ivan. “It could save you from his fate.”
“If you don’t allow us to turn that security online, we’ll be sitting ducks if the Aliens attack,” Jones warned.
“Maybe you will be, but my group will be out of here very soon,” Dunya grinned. Quickly, she loaded another pulse rifle clip into her gun and shoved the barrel into the side of Tomiko’s head. “Now it’s time to say goodby - “ CRACK. Dunya winced, letting go of Tomiko, and she fell to the floor, a large cut on the back of her head. And behind her was - Ivan! He had smacked Dunya across the head using the butt of his pulse rifle.
“What the Hell is wrong with this picture?!” Duke exclaimed.
Good question, Duke. I don’t have any idea where to start.

“You’d really think I’d put myself right in front of a rifle barrel? You got to be kidding me,” Ivan said.
“But how did you - “ Tomiko started.
“ - Protect myself?” Ivan finished. He unzipped the front of his body armour, and they all realized that he had worn two more layers underneath it. “I told you it would do me good.”
Yay for Chekhov’s bulletproof vest! Not so much for totally killing your game, Ivan.

“okay, now let’s try to get this open,” said McCain. As Johnson took out her cutting torch, the sound of many weapons being loaded filled the group’s ears. Following it, twenty WY soldiers emerged from the darkness of the room. At the front of the Company men stood two Predators. One was Dark-Hunter, the other was the first Predator Eisenberg had met; Dark-Hunter’s right-hand man Assault.
“You shouldn’t run off on us like that,” Dark-Hunter said in a whisper. “Take them away.” Some of the soldiers came forward and grabbed hold of the Marines and the two traitor Corporates.
“Well, damn, isn’t this just peachy?” Duke complained.
“Move it!” Dark-Hunter commanded. The Company soldiers led the Marines out of Operations and down the halls. Once they reached the exit out of the building, Dark-Hunter switched on his helmet comlink. “Eisenberg, we have the Marines, plus two formerly on your side, from what we hear.”
“Excellent,” Eisenberg praised over the radio. “My team has the Empress in captivity.”
“Your lead soldier’s out cold. What should we do?” the bounty hunter asked.
“You’re in charge, now. Do with the Marines as you please.”
“Thanks, Eisenberg,” Dark-Hunter finished. “Alright, I’m in charge. Once we’re out of this colony, we waste them.” Assault couldn’t help but grin beneath his mask.
A bit difficult, seeing as we previously established the mask is MOULDED TO HIS FACE.

A soldier opened the North Lock and the group exited the Main Operations building. As they made their way to the South Lock, Johnson started to speak.
“So, how are we going to leave the mortal life, eh? Electrocution, lethal injection, or what?”
“We prefer a firing squad,” Dark-Hunter snarled.
“You mean you’re all going to shoot us?” Blackwell asked.
“Hell, my group’s only a small fraction,” the mercenary sneered.
“A fraction of what - oh, crap,” Duke moaned. A soldier had opened the South Lock, and before them stood tens upon tens of WY soldiers, along with the rest of Dark-Hunter’s bounty hunter group.
“I don’t think they’re going to bury us,” Tomiko said.
“Why?” Ivan replied.
“There won’t be enough of us left to bury.”
Dark as it sounds, the idea of a hundred sentient beings emptying bullets into these poor bastards until only mush remains amuses me terribly.

…hey, don’t look at me like that. I was raised on first person shooters, what do you expect?

“Please, c’mon Tyrago, don’t let us down,” McCain groaned. Knowing that things had become drastic, he reached into his pants pocket—

—and pulled out a device Swift-Death had given them.
Oh phew.

He typed in a message and placed the machine back into his pocket. He hoped to God it would work.
As the near side of Lv-1201 began to turn away from its star, the U.S.C.M. ship, the Tyrago, approached the planet. As it neared the coordinates the crew of the Verloc had given them, the ship sent out its two dropships.
Nearby the Tyrago, but far away as so the Tyrago’s crew wouldn’t see it, a Predator ship neared 1201. It was similar in shape to the vehicle Swift-Death had taken to the planet. It cloaked, slipped past the Marine cruiser, and entered the planet’s atmosphere.
Dark-Hunter gave a signal, and the small army of Company soldiers raised their weapons. Assault armed himself with a Spear-Gun, and Dark-Hunter pulled out two, heavily modified plasma pistols from holsters on his supply belt.
“See you on the other side,” Duke said to Jones. But before any of the Corporates or Predator mercenaries could fire their guns, they heard a shrill, reptilian cry. They all turned toward the POC, where they witnessed hundreds upon hundreds of Warrior Aliens jump down from the colony walls.
As some landed in front of the captured Marines, Shugi screamed, “She-iit! We’re going to die!”

Instead, the Aliens raced past them toward the Company soldiers. The Alien in front ran toward a confused mercenary Predator. It grabbed the rival beast by the head, and launched its secondary set of jaws through the back of the hunter’s skull. Ten other Corporate soldiers were killed by a single Alien. In moments, the area was in total pandemonium. The Marines, plus Ivan and Tomiko, realizing they were in no imminent danger, grabbed the weapons from some fallen Corporates and began to fight.
The Third Species war had begun.

This is a long chapter, this first half being about as lengthy as some of the previous installments in this series. So I’m going to leave you all at this impromptu cliff hanger so you’ll have a month’s time to prepare yourself for the sheer ridiculousness that follows. Until then, I dunno’. Drink, or something.

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