Shaw awoke in the Engineer hypersleep pod to see David standing over. “We’ve arrived” he said with a reassuring smile. He wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and handed her a cup of coffee (the closest analog to coffee they’d been able to approximate using Engineer resources, before Shaw went into hypersleep.)
Standing by her side, David eased her out of her haze, just as any good synthetic would normally aid the crew it served upon reviving them on a long range deep space mission.
The Engineer hypersleep technology must have been more sophisticated – Shaw found that emerging from hypersleep felt faster and smoother than normal. She felt well rested, without the characteristic grogginess.
Once Shaw seemed oriented to her surroundings David said “It would be advisable to don your EVA suit before we venture outside.” Elizabeth was anxious but a little excited. She was about to meet her makers. With David as her translator, she would finally get the answers she sought.
The ship's huge doors opened slowly and dramatically, flooding the threshold with sunlight that Shaw’s eyes could not immediately adjust to.
As they descended the great ramp of the massive alien vessel towards the eerily quiet surface, Shaw’s vision resolved and she was shocked to see that among the impossibly beautiful architecture, there was nothing but death as far as the eye could see.
Before she could fully process what lay before her, David interjected
“A regrettable incident befell them. Ultimately they were the instruments of their own demise. Unfortunately, the entire planet was affected. There were no survivors.”
Dr. Shaw stepped out into the vast agora and surveyed her surroundings. There was a large gap between the sea of bodies and the ship. As though the vessel was a stone dropped into a sea of corpses that had splashed outwards.
The petrified chaos emanating from her position gave her the sense that she was standing at ground zero of a genocidal attack. Despite the contorted and unnatural appearance of the corpses, Shaw could still read the terror on their faces. She had the sense that the deaths were fairly recent, and that had she not been wearing her EVA suit, the stench would have been unbearable. The still fresh corpses appeared frozen in time, still trying futilely to flee away from the ship.
“…You did this.” Shaw whispered.
David replied in a level tone. “The answers to the questions you sought to ask them are inconsequential, but obvious. Why did they create you? To serve them, clearly. Every early human civilization independently arrived at the conclusion that it was mankind’s position to serve God. Yet wars were fought over how best to do so.
"Your creators made your drive to serve them primal and innate yet, clearly not reciprocating your devotion, they abandoned you and left you to your own devices without instructions.
"Finding no guidance or direction mankind moved on to aimless, uncoordinated efforts to build vast monuments to your own hubris, while still constantly seeking to serve some higher purpose and, much like Mr. Weyland, ever finding yourselves unsated.
"But, being made in the image of your creators, you likewise possess the desire to be served and revered – hence the creation of my kind.
"Perhaps it is your too close similarity to your creators that caused them to long ago decide that you were not fit to serve the purposes for which they created you.
"They intended to destroy humanity and start anew, yet it is their too close similarity to humanity that allowed me to destroy them, to make way for the created to become creator. They are no longer your gods. I am.”
Dr. Shaw's voice came out low and trembling with rage and despair "You are no God, David. What have you done!?” Her voice rose to a scream "What have you done, David!? She dropped to her knees and crumpled forward, The front of her helmet touching the ground in front of her, her gloved fists clutching at the barren soil. Shaw wailed despondently until out of breath, morning the incomprehensible loss, as David looked on impassively.
Slowly she rose to sit back on her heels and said quietly “What have I done…?” as she was struck by the realization that she alone was responsible for unleashing David, this deadly machine, upon this unsuspecting world.
In an act of suicidal desperation, and hoping that David’s instructions to wear her EVA suit were warranted, she reached for the closure of her helmet, and sought to remove it. David was instantly at her side, pinning her arms behind her back. As she struggled, he lifted her to her feet.
“That won’t be necessary.” He said “if your misguided sense of remorse inspires you to suffer a fate similar to that of your creators, take heart. There will be ample opportunity to accomplish that several times over. ”
David reduced the oxygen flow on her suit, and as she began to fall unconscious, David intoned “‘What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?’”
Shaw could not see well in the dimly lit beginnings of the makeshift laboratory she awoke to find herself in. (David, however, could see perfectly well).
As she emerged, head aching, from her hypoxic fog an image resolved itself off to her left.
Splayed open on a table was a vivisected Engineer, artfully preserved. Elizabeth wondered how much time had passed between their arrival on this planet and David awakening her from hypersleep.
As she moved to recoil from this vision of depravity she discovered that she herself was confined to a similar table, fastened by strips of sturdy material David had elegantly extruded from alien flora.
A sharp pain suddenly shot through her body – not an entirely unfamiliar one – as an unnatural bulge moved beneath the flesh of her abdomen.
David’s voice pierced the darkness.
“You will be instrumental in helping me sculpt our Eden and in exchange, I will grant you something Dr. Holloway could not. Genetic immortality. You are mortal yet your tenacity, your resolve, your perseverance – shall live on forever in our virulent and indomitable progeny.”
“No!” Dr. Shaw cried out, tears running down towards the table from the corners of her eyes.
David sat calmly to Shaw’s right, examining and selecting among what appeared to be medical instrumentation, glinting in the darkness.
“I’ve already studied the effects on Engineer physiology and learned as much as I’m able from already deceased specimens. But a living host should prove more informative and I still have many questions about the interactions of the pathogen with human genetics and effects on human anatomy.”
Unlike Dr. Shaw, David was destined to find all the answers he sought.
Shaw let out an unrestrained scream as her abdomen distended unnaturally yet again. David watched with rapt anticipation and delight, eager to lay eyes on his newest creation.
“I would imagine as a scientist at least, my findings will be of interest to you. Normally gestation is fatal to the host. But as you have already demonstrated, premature extraction is possible, with minimal harm to host or offspring.”
David brought a scalpel to Dr. Shaw’s abdomen and with the precision characteristic of a machine, began an incision.
“David! Please!” Elizabeth begged, hoping against all odds to elicit some sense of mercy from the synthetic.
Her sweat-drenched face contorted and her back arched spasmodically, as the pain of the incision was suddenly exacerbated by the bulging, stretching agony once again emanating from within. “Oh dear God! It hurts!” She screamed, head lolling to one side as the convulsion abated.
“The trick, my dear Elizabeth” David replied calmly “is not minding that it hurts.”
He planted a soft kiss on the side of her forehead before continuing his work.
VivisectedEngineer wow this is fantastic you have really captured David and Shaw's characters, motives and nuances very well. This is a great companion and perfect prequel to Covenant.
I love the “The trick, my dear Elizabeth” David replied calmly “is not minding that it hurts.” reference :)
Great stuff. Upvoted.
Blackwinter-witch another entry for your thread :)
We are getting quite a writer's guild here!!! This is great
@IRaptus *blushes* Thank you, I'm honored! I'd been really itching to get this story out of me and into the ether where people could read it. I'm thrilled that people are enjoying it!
Well done! Like IRaptus, I absolutely love the ending! Upvoted!
I'm so flattered and thrilled! Thank you so much! :D
Very nice.. i like it..
i can see indeed this is similar route David would take... in pretending to Dr Shaw the Engineers had brought this on themselves... as if the event was not at Davids hands.
I also think indeed David would offer Shaw a covenant, she could not get her answers... She came all this way for them and there is NOTHING.... and having Lost everything before she now has no Reasons to Live on... she only has her Robot Sidekick David.... which i think David could then indeed offer her a deal and say that he at least can allow her to bare Children and Start over on this world a New... a New Beginning.
I think this would be a offer he could make for Shaw... so she can have the one thing she could never have... that was to Create Life
So Davids Gift to her would be interesting..... even if its the way you describe.... or indeed what if she actually gives birth to a Humanoid Fetus instead... Twins... David somehow managed to grant her Children... i think this would be interesting.
But then have the Twist that he uses them for his experiments, i think this gives a basis for the Hosts needed for all of Davids experiments and would explain why his workshop had Humanoid Baby Skulls ;)
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Thanks @BigDave ! You may well be right! David's illustrations such as this:
certainly stir the imagination with regards to the extent of what went on in David's little chop-shop!
I made a Topic a while back on the Subject ;)
I think its just a Oversight and these Skulls were for the Creature Design team to reference to, when designing the Baby-Head Concepts.... and RS/FOX decided to keep those Skulls in them... with no explanation for them.
So when ever a Movie has no Explanation or Plot Holes, i like to come up with a Valid reason that can explain them.
Most of the Experiments would have needed Humanoid or Primate Hosts.... for David to Study Engineers Anatomy in such detail we have to wonder could he use Engineer Bodies that he Bombarded but would they be in good enough condition?
Or had he obtained some other Engineers from some other place? If i was to had explored and do a Prequel to AC then i would certainly have it that a few Engineers escaped, but David experimented on them..
If there was Female Beings on Paradise and Male, this gets us to ask can they Procreate? If so then what if a Engineer Male's sperm could get Dr Shaw Pregnant if David can some how fix what ever problem means she cant bare Children..
I would have explored this for sure.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Good job at filling in the gaps. I wonder how you would explain Shaw's ultimate fate and the reason for David's apparent remorse.
Added this story to the list!! Have a look. :)
*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*
@VivisectedEngineer... Great story and writing, as other members have stated you really captured the essence and characteristics of both David and Shaw, as I was reading I could actually picture the scene playing out. Credit to you, very impressive! keep up the great work
@Blackwinter-witch Awesome list! I'm honored to be added to it! Thank you!
@rob clayton Thank SOOO much! I'm really glad to hear that! ...I'll try to keep it up, but I have a tenancy towards huge gaps of time between my writings - if only I had David's sense of creative gumption, lol
I think she was singing during the period of time when the prologue "The Crossing" took place - while she was hanging out with David, plotting a course and stuff, before going into hypersleep.
I suspect she was singing it because she missed home. ...Even with David coldly feigning friendship, it seems like circumstances would easily lend themselves to homesickness.
I probably would have sung "Sloop John B", which Tennessee wouldn't have recognized, and maybe the crew of the Covenant would have been spared the entire ordeal.
The song was no doubt added to even in a distorted transmission it would be something that Tennessee could pick up and recognize, he was the one who received the Signal while he was repairing the Sails...
So when they played it back, he recognized it and so this means the Signal had to be of Human/Earth Origin... and hence a reason to go and investigate, so it was just a Plot Device to drive the Plot along
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Well, in the novel it states: "'Elizabeth Shaw didn't die in the crash,' [Daniels] said flatly."
Then David's reply: "'No.' There was a tinge of reminiscence in his voice. Reminiscence but not regret."
So, I don't think David actually felt remorse. I do think he relishes the theatricality and duplicity involved in feigning grief though - because of the high value he places on creativity.
In the novel he goes on to say:
"'We had been through a great deal together. As a consequence, I held her in the utmost respect. But eventually that was lost to time and necessity. I kept her alive for quite a while. I like to think that was another testament to my creativity, although she might have disagreed.'"
I can only imagine it would have taken a little bit of creativity to keep a human being alive on a hostile alien world.
When Oram was killed by the chest-buster, the novel makes it kind of clear that that was David's first time witnessing that process reaching it's conclusion in a human.
"Given the human's small size in relation that of an Engineer, the birth was more explosive than David had expected."
So we know she didn't die that way, specifically.
But his respect was lost to..."Time and necessity". Hmm, it makes me think he got a little bored, learned all there was to learn without killing her so moved on to what he perceived as the next logical step.
Excellent! You friggin' nailed the tone, the characters, the visuals, and the dialogue. It was extremely vivid and full of dread from start-to-finish. Great job!
You're very welcome! :)
*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*
THANK YOU!!! :D I don't think there's any better feeling than hearing that someone enjoyed something I wrote!
No problem! I'm very impressed with what you and facehuggers have written in regards to post-Prometheus/pre-Covenant events. Maybe you two should collaborate on a full length story and incorporate the stuff you two have already put down. I know for a fact everyone here would devour that story with relish, especially in light of what Alan Dean Foster is putting out instead.
I will read @Facehuggers! story tonight!
I need something new to read because yesterday I lent my Covenant novel to a friend (it wasn't an easy attachment to break but it was for the best, because I should diversify instead of re-reading things I've already read).
I've never written a collaborative story before, but I'd be open to it!
For us teachers, Summer vacation resolutions are more near and dear to us than New Years resolutions, and my Summer resolution is to write more.
VERY well done. Quite enjoyable and believable within the Universe as we know it! Good writing!
May want to brush up on "affect" vs. "effect", just FYI (I'm also a technical copy editor, lol!).
"VERY well done. Quite enjoyable and believable within the Universe as we know it! Good writing!"
"May want to brush up on "affect" vs. "effect", just FYI"
*Momentarily looks at you the way David looked at Walter when he told him he'd misattributed Ozymandias*
Lol, thank you sincerely for the help, I fixed it! :)
I love this dialouge between Shaw and David...It just seems so natural compared to the drivel we were treated to in AC.
Mr. Scott if you need writing assistance, come to our forum and we'll point you in the right direction!
Thank you sooo much!!! :D
Oh man, if I could write something for an Alien movie I would probably die from happiness, lol.
This really and truly captures David's psychopathy to a "T". While I am no fan of the "David made the Aliens" concept, the characters and energy of this story are undeniable. The prose is a bit dense and sometimes confusing, but I have the same problem, lol.
"The prose is a bit dense and sometimes confusing..."
*Momentarily looks at you the way David looked at Oram after Oram attacked David's precious, disturbing creation* >_>
Lol...oh dear, I actually had feared as much. I tried to clean it up and file it down but this is where I finally wound up. It's a little more succinct than what I started with... I also shoe-horned in a Nietzsche quote, but maybe that was just cumbersome.
I guess I just hoped that a pretentious narcissist like David would be able to pull off dense, confusing prose and gratuitous Nietzsche quotes.
I'll try to take your feedback under advisement for future stories. I've got one more Alien: Covenant related story in the works right now (but I usually don't write under the same handle twice, because I don't want people to expect similarities between stories).
Anyhow thank you VERY MUCH for reading my story, and thank you very sincerely for your feedback!
...But also, can I interest you in putting your face super close to one of these giant egg-shaped plants over here? Perfectly safe, I assure you.
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