Review - The Annotated AvP: The Story, part 14

Holy crap, guys. What you’re about to read is the penultimate entry in the now over yearlong critique of my preteen Aliens versus Predator 2 fanfic. I have actually devoted over twelve months of my life to compiling this, which is possibly longer than I spent writing the damn thing back in grade school.

With the morally appalling Predator Swift-Death having accomplished what he set out to do, much to the chagrin of General Rykov and pretty much anyone forced to read this, we track jackass Marine Andrew “Frosty” Harrison and talkative Alien Jimrakh as they attempt to rescue the Empress.

Right about the time when the rest of the Marines entered the POC, Harrison, Jimrakh and the accompanying were making their way down the dark, cavernous tunnels. For the past hour, Harrison’s motion tracker had remained silent. Still, Jimrakh was at his ready.
Not at the same time, mind you. Just right about. Little me seemingly could only give enough of a damn at this point to ballpark it.

“How can you be sure that the Complex is this way?” Harrison asked.
“One of my brethren, who has been fully-grown longer than I, viewed the buildings from afar. He was pretty sure that this tunnel will lead to it,” Jimrakh answered. “If our guesses are correct, the scientist should be bringing the Empress to there.”
“What if you’re wrong?”
“I’m what you call an Alien. My species and I are never wrong.”
“Sure, and you don’t believe that capturing and killing hundreds of lives is wrong?”
“There’s a difference between wrong and instinct. I’m afraid your species has a lot to learn.”
Something tells me Jimrakh is one of those evolutionary psychology-touting pick up artist assholes. Also Jesus dude what the fuck.

“Never mind that. Eisenberg’s going to be at the Landing Complex soon,” Harrison said. “I’m sure you don’t want to lose your ruler.”
“Right, right,” Jimrakh growled. The human was getting tedious, but anyone would be in his position. Jimrakh decided to ignore it.
Does Jimrakh even really need Harrison at this point? After all, Jimrakh has all but flat-out stated he would have no qualms about killing him, anyway. It’s like I was so desperate to maintain this team up that I became ignorant of both plot and basic morality. Thank God rarely anyone wields power at the age of 13 these days, else we would have a Hell of a lot more despots.

Meanwhile, at the entrance to the Auxiliary Landing Complex, Eisenberg and his truck, containing the Empress, drove up to the gates.
It was an El Camino.

“Dr. Eisenberg,” the gatekeeper started. “Thank goodness you’re alive. We thought you. . . ”
“Reports of my impregnation were greatly exaggerated…”
Oh ew.

“…Open the gate, we’ve got company,” Eisenberg finished. The guard stared wide-eyed at the Empress.
“Sir, I’m afraid you aren’t cleared for a specimen like that to be transported through this complex - “ the gatekeeper’s sentence was cut short as Eisenberg shoved the muzzle of his sawed-off shotgun into the man’s face.
“Let me in,” Eisenberg silently demanded.
“Yes, sir,” the guard wheezed. He pressed a button by his waist, which opened the large doors before the truck.
“Have a nice day,” Eisenberg whispered. As the truck drove into the complex, the Empress let out a shrill roar.
Listen, Eisenberg, that guard is probably having a rough enough day as it is. Don’t be a douche.

Deep underground, in the massive tunnels of the Pilot ship, Jimrakh, Harrison and the Aliens continued their adventure deeper into the darkness.
“Geez, Swift-Death hasn’t answered for a bit. Maybe we should contact him,” Harrison suggested.
“He is on a hunt. If he is to be interrupted, Swift-Death will surely loose concentration and his prey will escape,” Jimrakh snarled.
God forbid he should loose his concentration on them. Though it’s probably in everyone’s interest that we never hear from Swift-Death again.

“For Christ sake! Doesn’t your species take anyone’s life into mind?” Harrison questioned.
They are a race of space-rapists no they do not.

“I do, for I will to protect my Empress and my species. I will even go to protecting you and your kind, if I have to.”
“Then why do you think the Predator’s should be left to die?”
Jimrakh paused for a moment, jaws closed. The Aliens behind them silently growled, wondering what their brother’s explanation would be.
“I thought Swift-Death and I have told you,” Jimrakh began. “The long fight between my kind and the Yautja has raged on, even after when my species claimed possession of this world. In other circumstances, I would have killed Swift-Death the first time I met him, but I needed all the help I could get in order to save the Empress. The only time I would admire one of his kind is if a Yautja protected the Empress from certain death.”
“Then why couldn’t you two species just work it out, evolve to become allies instead of enemies. None of this would have happened if you weren’t warring.”
“Who are you to decide four million years of evolution?” Jimrakh asked wisely. The Alien was right; the humans could do nothing to stop this madness. It was the war of the Aliens and the Predators, and no one could interfere.
But that was exactly what Rykov and Eisenberg had done.
That was what 13-year-old me thought what “deep” meant. I’m just going to go and cry now.

Eisenberg opened the door into the Complex’s control room, flanked by two combat synthetics.
“We have the Empress in containment. Radio down a dropship,” the doctor ordered.
“There are currently no dropships in the air, sir,” a controller ordered.
“Then get one in the air, now!” Eisenberg shouted.
“Is there a problem, sir?” a technician asked.
“Yes, the fact that I’m being followed by a pack of Aliens and a sadistic Marine who just won’t die!”
To be fair to Eisenberg that is quite a problem.

“Rig the corridors with turrets,” a soldier commanded. A pair of technicians raced off to the armoury, trying to avoid Eisenberg’s flaming glare.
“How long until the dropship will be able to reach here?” Eisenberg asked, starting to calm down.
“Well, there’s refueling and preparation, plus one Hell of a storm is coming up. . . “ another controller started.
“The time,” Eisenberg growled.
“At least two hours, sir,” the controller wheezed.
Eisenberg stood for a moment, staring out of the window and on to the rust-coloured landing pad. “Keep on full alert. We can’t let any of these lizards to get through.”
“Yes, sir!” the controller replied, as he began to radio orders.
“Time to die,” Eisenberg spoke softly, thinking about the Alien who had caused almost the complete downfall of the Lv-1201 project. In other words, he wasn’t getting off 1201 until Jimrakh was dead.
Well what other Alien could he have been thinking of? Certainly he couldn’t be more reprehensible than Jimrakh.

All the way across the complex, near the primary doors, two technicians set up an arsenal of turrets in the hallways.
“There,” one of them said. “No bug is going to get into this building without their chest receiving two thousand rounds.”
“Good, let’s get back to command,” the other said. As he packed up a tool chest, he looked up to see something behind the other.
“What the - “ he began, “Behind you!” His partner whipped around. Nothing there.
“Geez, you’re on the edge,” the man said. The other was baffled. He could have sworn that something had just poked its head out of a vent nearby.
“I’m positive I saw something,” the first repeated. Again, the mysterious head poked out.
“There! I saw it again!”
“Sure. Right on,” the second said sarcastically. As he turned around to go back to Operations, the head, revealed to be Alien, poked out and stayed there, staring at the humans.
“Oh, my God,” they both said. “Run!” the first groaned.
“I’ve got a gun, just wait,” the second calmed. He slowly pulled out a pistol, but unbeknownst to both, another Alien, Jimrakh, uncurled from behind them. Slowly, he opened his arms wide and snapped them together, crushing the first technician’s head. The second whipped around and screamed. CRACK. He was dead too, his head falling to the ground.
The two Aliens dropped out of their respective vents and made for the turrets. The guns were down as fast as the human. Harrison, pulse rifle in hand, entered through the main doors seconds later.
“Alright, there are a lot of guards around here, so we have to be quiet,” the Marine ordered.
“I’m sorry, but your way is going to get us killed,” Jimrakh objected. “In other words, do what I do: kill anything that moves.”
I’m pretty sure that was already Harrison’s idea, but fine, cool.

“Good idea,” Harrison responded, pumping his rifle.
He made his way forward, Jimrakh and the other Aliens crawling on the ceiling behind him. Harrison activated the keypad near the next large door. Almost immediately, gunfire ricochet off the walls near them.
“Well isn’t this nice,” the soldier said sarcastically. As he prepared to fire a grenade, the Aliens stormed into the corridor, killing the Corporates in half the time. Harrison stared in amazement as the last soldier’s head fell to the ground.
Provided Harrison is only a jackass and not psychopathic like everyone else he’s encountered, he’s going to have some serious PTSD after this.

“We haven’t much time. Your scientists are probably preparing to leave the planet!” Jimrakh warned.
“Your ruler. You better save her,” Harrison grumbled. They ran down identical tunnels, filled with similar Corporates and soldiers. It seemed as if the main landing pad would never be near.
“I’m running low on ammo,” Harrison grumbled. “You’re going to be doing a lot of more work than me.”
“Happy to oblige. It’s almost my job,” Jimrakh grinned. The journey soon became harder. Turrets blasted at the hunters, bullets killing some of the Aliens.
I know there’s a lot of pressure on Harrison to stop Eisenberg from getting to Earth with the Empress, but theoretically he could book it back to his comrades and have them use their military grade arsenal to blow WY’s ship out of orbit. Granted, the Empress would be killed and the Aliens would lose their somehow individuality-enabling hive mind, but it’s clear that he could not give a damn about Jimrakh and his kind at this point. That he’s still tagging along is hilarious, and I think I was wrong about him being the Dennis of the group. He’s clearly Charlie.

“There, we’re near Operations,” Harrison sighed in relief. “The landing pad should be near. I need to shut off the landing beacon and restrict the dropships access. You need to cause some Hell.” Jimrakh and the remaining Aliens nodded. They ran off down another tunnel, and Harrison loaded a fresh clip into his gun. “Let’s rock.”
Meh tse khan, bitches.

Eisenberg paced around the control room. The dropship was going to be arriving soon, but he couldn’t help but worry about the reports of attacking Alien. Rykov hadn’t answered any of the complex’s transmissions in a while. Hopefully the general was wise enough to get to a landing pad or clearing in time.
In which the villain showcases more empathy than two of the protagonists combined. Good Lord.

He looked down at the truck in a nearby garage. The Empress was shaking vigourously; none of the sedatives had worked on her, for her tough, shell-like hide had resisted all forms of drugs. He was worrying even more that the Aliens would soon answer her calls and attack the landing pad.
I can’t help but imagine Eisenberg trying to jab the Empress in her carapace with a syringe like that one scene in Pulp Fiction.

“Sergeant,” Eisenberg said to a soldier over a headset, “what’s the situation?”
“Let me put it this way: it’s weird. A pack of Aliens and a Marine are tearing up the place. They’re nearing your area,” the sergeant replied. Eisenberg’s hand twitched in fear. As he held it still, Eisenberg glanced at a readout screen; the dropship would be here in ten minutes.
“Hold them off as long as you can,” he ordered.
“But sir - “ the soldier started.
“Just do it,” Eisenberg interrupted.
“Yes, sir,” the soldier said weakly.
The doctor locked the door to Operations and made his way down a stairway nearby to the garage. He would wait by the Empress until the dropship came. All he had to do was wait.
Awww, Eisenberg. You almost feel bad for him.

Harrison reached the door to Operations only seconds after Eisenberg left. Locked. He hammered his fist on the steel frame and went back down the stairs.
Downstairs, Harrison realized that the Aliens had caused a lot of chaos. Barely any Corporates were left, their mutilated bodies distributed around the room. Jimrakh, the only Alien remaining, ran up to the soldier.
“What’s wrong?” the Alien asked.
“Can’t get into the control room,” Harrison replied. “We’re going to have to raid the landing pad.”
“Good idea, how about I start it off? Jimrakh suggested.
“No. I need to get some credit,” the soldier said. He opened the nearest door to the landing pad and ran out.
No you don’t, Harrison. Run! Go! Get to da choppah!

“Dumbass humans. They’re going to get themselves killed,” Jimrakh growled.
Out on the landing platform, Harrison searched for Eisenberg.
“Where is that goddamn cretin?” Harrison grumbled.
“Good evening, Andrew,” a voice said out of nowhere. Harrison whipped around, and saw Eisenberg stepping out of the shadows.
“Put your hands in the air or you’re going to lose your head. You’re under arrest for murdering Company personnel for scientific gain,” Harrison warned.
“Harrison, Harrison, Harrison,” Eisenberg grinned. “You just can’t throw accusations at anyone.”
Seeing as you faked his death and threw him in a cell I’m pretty sure he has carte blanche to.

“Oh, I have proof,” the Marine growled. “Now, I said put your hands in the air.”
“You know, nobody told you the truth about the Observation Post 1 incident,” Eisenberg started. “They never told you what really happened to your fiancée.”
“Of course they did. The Aliens got her.”
“No, Harrison. I killed her.”
Harrison was stunned. For years he thought that his fiancée was killed by some unimaginable accident. And now the truth was revealed ever so suddenly.
What a twist!

“Well, indirectly. I was using Company personnel to breed Aliens even then. It’s hard to find bipedal humanoids like us on this planet for hosts. Personnel are often to best way to go.”
What an understated twist!

“You callous son of a bitch. Why did you have to start doing this?”
“Oh, I didn’t start this. Weyland-Yutani has been trying to breed Aliens for years. Why, since 2122, in fact,” Eisenberg revealed. “I used your fiancée as a host. The same with other members of the research team. Still, they’re smart, and it wasn’t long until the remaining members figured out how they had been killed. So, they took me prisoner, in my own research facility. Luckily, I had trained the Aliens to attack when I wanted them too. They raided the Observation Post, killing everyone except me.” Eisenberg flinched. Harrison had noticed that the doctor’s right forearm had been twitching for the last few minutes.
Remember all the foreshadowing I’ve included throughout the majority of the story? Well it’s about to become mildly important.

“Still, those Aliens can’t be trusted. They’re truly animals, doing anything they wanted. They viciously attacked me, and I barely held them off. I killed them all, but I left with a wound that remains on my skin even today.”
“What the Hell are you talking about? You said you don’t have a cut on your body,” Harrison snarled.
“Oh, really?” Eisenberg smiled. He proceeded to remove the glove from his right forearm. Harrison gasped.
Beneath the glove was the worst rendition of a forearm anyone had seen. It was skeletal and made of metal. Thin, plastic tubes pumped white, hydraulic blood through the apparatus, allowing the bony fingers to move. It was like this right up to his elbow.

robo arm oh shiiiiiii

“The X-337 model. The Aliens had torn-up my arm too much. I had the synthetic skin removed in order to not dampen its strength. Why, this could punch a man twenty feet through the air,” Eisenberg explained.
Suddenly, Harrison got the idea. “Oh, shit.” Eisenberg slammed his fist hard into Harrison’s chest, indeed sending him twenty feet through the air. He slammed into the windows of Operations, shattering them. He lay on the Operations’ floor for a while, unconscious.
God bless young me and my then complete lack of understanding of physics. The recoil on such a punch would have driven Eisenberg right through the landing platform. Of course, it’s not like science really factors into anything at this point.

“Piece of cake,” Eisenberg said. As he turned around, he came face to face with Jimrakh, jaws open wide.
“Holy crap!” the doctor exclaimed. He jumped back just as the Alien’s inner set of jaws launched out. While the Alien tried to ‘reload’ his weapon, Eisenberg pulled out a shotgun and some ammo from a holster on his back. He fired two shots at the Alien, but Jimrakh’s quick reflexes had him dodge the blasts.
Eisenberg backpedaled, blasting away at the xenomorph. Each time, Jimrakh reflected the shot pellets off his barbed tail blade. Once, Jimrakh got up close, but was knocked down by the butt end of the shotgun.
Only once, though. Jesus, I couldn’t have written a good fight scene even with a gun to my head.

“For Christ’s sake, what do I have to do to kill you things?” Eisenberg screamed in anger. After he pumped out a few more blasts, Eisenberg heard the inevitable click-click of an empty clip. “Shit!” he groaned. He started a dead sprint for a loading crane across the landing pad. Jimrakh, determined to get his kill. He watched as the doctor opened the door into the crane drive room, got in, and slammed the hatch shut. Confused, Jimrakh screeched in his native tongue, and prepared to ram the crane. Unfortunately, Eisenberg swung the large and heavy crane hook at the Alien. Jimrakh barely got in a snarl before the solid-iron attachment slammed into his body, sending him flying off the platform.
Inside the crane, Eisenberg sighed in relief, assured that the Alien threat was temporarily delayed. Humming to himself, Eisenberg loaded a fresh clip into the shotgun. He was unaware, however, that a swift and mysterious shape had crawled back up onto the landing pad and up the thick chain that had knocked it off. In a flash, Jimrakh pounced at the drive chamber, his inner set of jaws punching through the glass. Eisenberg swore and kicked open the hatch. He high-tailed it out of the crane as fast as a human could run. But Aliens are faster.
Who would have guessed?!? Certainly not the guy who regularly bred them.

Up in Operations, Harrison opened his eyes and crawled back up on his feet. The pain in his chest had dulled, but it was enough to almost make the soldier vomit.
Is his defence, a punch powerful enough to send him flying 20 feet would have shattered his sternum, so I think his projectile vomiting could be excused, even preferred.

He stumbled his way to the window he had flown into and viewed the landing pad below. He was surprised to see that Eisenberg had lasted such a long time against Jimrakh. He looked farther up, past the high complex walls, and saw, on the horizon, a group of blinking lights. It meant only one thing: the Company dropship would be at the Complex very soon.
Harrison needed to think fast. There had to be some way to get the dropship out of the air. Communications wouldn’t work, for WY wouldn’t listen to him. And he had no weapons strong enough to bring the ship down. Then an idea caught his mind. He searched the airwaves for the Tyrago frequencies, and then located the remaining dropship.
“Dropship 2, do you copy?” he asked over a radio.
The faint sound of Johnson’s voice came over the speaker. “Frosty?” she asked. “What the Hell is happening?”
“I’m at the complex. The Company dropship is going to arrive soon for the Empress, and I can’t get it out of the air. I need you guys to do it. Can you help?”
“Well,” McCain’s voice started. “The Company soldiers are nothing but smoking craters, so we can spare some time. Where’s the dropship?”
“As far as I can tell, 50 kilometers north of the complex. You need to work fast,” Harrison instructed.
“Already there,” Johnson replied, and she switched off the radio. The only thing for Harrison to do now was wait.
And scream constantly, seeing as he’s likely walking around with a shattered ribcage.

Back down on the landing platform, Eisenberg was putting up a Hell of a fight against the Alien who plagued him.
“Day after day, after day, for the past six weeks, you - pitiful creatures have been ruining my life. And now,” he began, almost sadistically, “I will rid my being of the darkness you cause!”

Jimrakh stayed silent. Concentration played a large part in this battle. He repelled another shot off his tail and hissed. A small bit of buckshot had blown a chunk off his tail. Eisenberg smiled, but his expression quickly changed to horror as he witnessed the wound regenerating.
“Why won’t you DIE?!” screamed Eisenberg. He pumped more and more blasts out of his shotgun, hoping that it might at least deter the dark beast.
“Dropship 3, this is Eisenberg. When will you be here?” the doctor questioned over his headset.
“We’re at top speed, but it’ll take us five minutes,” the dropships’ pilot answered.
“Well, hurry up, because I can’t keep this fight up forever!”
“Sir, we’ll be there soon.”
Five minutes away, in Dropship 3, the pilot stared uneasily out the front view port. “What the Hell is going on?” he asked.
“Captain, we’re picking up a reading on our sensors,” the co-pilot said.
“What is it?”
“It’s. . . another dropship. What the Hell?” They both stared out the view port. Seconds past, and the other dropship came into view.
“Well what the. . . “ the pilot began uneasily. Just then, both noticed the banner painted across the side of the cockpit. It read Rescue the hostages; waste the enemy. 9th Regiment, 2nd Battalion. Then it hit them like a bullet: it was a USCM dropship.
“Jesus Christ!” the pilot shouted. He tried to bank the ship, but was too slow. Johnson, in the other dropship’s cockpit, unloaded three homing missiles at the WY shuttle. It blew apart in an orange ball of fire.
“Piece of cake,” Johnson said in the Marine dropship. “Now to finish the job.” The dropship did a 180-degree turn and headed for the Auxiliary Landing Complex.
Jesus, what’s with everyone in this story saying “piece of cake”? I was awful.

Now, on the landing platform, everything had gone to Hell. Eisenberg was on his last clip of shotgun cartridges, and Jimrakh was closing in more than ever before.
Finally, Eisenberg saw the dropship appear overhead of the landing pad.
“Remaining soldiers,” Eisenberg commanded over his headset. “Kill the Marine in Operations.”
“Yes, sir,” said a guard over the intercom. Soon enough, five soldiers rushed out of the building and on to the landing platform. Harrison, inside Operations, raised his hands, realizing defeat.
Unfortunately, Eisenberg never expected his own dropship to turn against him. With Johnson and McCain at the controls, the ship hammered minigun round after minigun round into the guards below. Blood spat out of their mouths, and then all was silent, excepting roar of the dropship’s engines. It hovered over to the shattered window of Operations, where it stopped right in front of Harrison. The Marine leaped on top of the dropship, lowering himself down the side. Seconds later, the ramp opened, and Duke and Ivan pulled the Marine into the ship.
Moments passed, and the whine of the engines increased. Its afterburners flared, and the dropship soared away.
“No, no!” Eisenberg screamed. Angrily, he pumped buckshot into the dropship. The ferry’s strong armour repelled the blasts.
Oh that mental image is too funny. I take that back, past me.

“This can’t be happening!” he cried once more. Furious, he growled over his headset. “Destroy the Empress! She will not gloat over me!” But no one answered; all the soldiers had either fled or been killed.
“No!” Eisenberg shouted once again. Blazing with fury, he turned his shotgun on Jimrakh, who had been grinning at the sight of the dropship escaping.
“You!” Eisenberg growled, and he aimed the gun at the Alien. Unfortunately for the scientist, his gun was all out of ammo. He searched the ground for any weapons possible. The only things he saw were the empty shotgun shells strewn about the ground. He picked up the seven shells closest to him, and began hurling the cartridges at Jimrakh.
“C’mon, you want some candy?!” Eisenberg teased violently. It did absolutely nothing to the Alien, who only screeched in anger.
If Eisenberg’s frustrated exclamation seems incredibly out of place, it’s because I cribbed a line from Bill Paxton’s character in Predator 2. Because why not at this point.

Eisenberg made the decision to run for his life.
A pretty good decision, all things considered.

He started a dead sprint toward an open corridor the guards had run out of minutes before. He made it, but the hatch at the end of the hallway was locked, and Jimrakh was now blocking the only exit.
The lights flickered on and off, creating a strobe effect. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
“What? You’re just going to stand there?” Eisenberg questioned maniacally. Apparently, Jimrakh wasn’t, as he began to walk toward the scientist in a raptor stance.
Actually, taking a step back from all this, can we make the raptor stance the next dance craze?

Eisenberg searched everywhere for a way out. He found it: a two-foot long machete, dropped carelessly by one of the soldiers. He grabbed the blade and held it high, his left eye twitching like mad.
If that machete also seems out of place, it’s because I also cribbed this bit from Predator 2, which I must have thought was the acme of cinema at this point in my life.

“Let’s dance!” he screamed. With the knife in hand, Eisenberg rushed the Alien. No use, as the Alien’s spindly right hand caught the scientist across the chest, making him sail down the corridor, landing painfully on his back. Jimrakh strode over to Eisenberg, reaching out with one hand, and grabbing the human’s neck. He lifted Eisenberg so that the scientist was above the Alien’s head level. Eisenberg screamed in terror. Then it was all over as the lights finally went out.
But let’s be absolutely clear: the lights have not gone out on this feature—at least not yet! We still have another month to go before we examine the concluding chapter of my preteen epic. For now: courage.

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