Here we go. This what engineers, humans and robots are all about4 Upvotes20 RepliesUpvoteAdd A Reply
The following is an excerpt of a copyrighted effort of mine. I was originally writing some stories that changed the course of events in Covenant. But now I think I have come to terms with Covenant, to the extent that I can use its story as a stepping stone for a next chapter. This excerpt is going to seem out of context because you don't know what comes before and what comes after. But I would like your opinion because I think David's revelation I imagined would be a gamechanger. A lot of exposition that would certainly need to be transformed into something more cinematic. However, it is in this exposition where the meat of my theory is. Funnily enough, I came up with this theory several years ago, even before Prometheus. It came to me while observing insects: more specifically some ants that were interacting with another insect species. I started to wonder: what is their relationship? why do they seem to work together? What if they were intelligent beings who shared an alien planet. What if you were one of them and you knew for sure that when you go to sleep one certain night, something is coming to eat you and you accept it because it is perfectly normal, part of your life cycle.
I also threw in the mix some quotes and references to a couple of sci-fi authors and to a couple of movies, which I dare you to spot.
"Through the corner of her eye, Daniels catches the glimpse of something moving inside the tank -- She gets closer -- Some kind of lifeforms have attached themselves to the glass, forming a circle about 5 feet in diameter -- She is not sure if they are plants or animals -- it most certainly they look like giant artichoke flowers, with fleshy leaves arranged in a radial layout -- they are covered in iridescent hairs or polyps which tremble slightly -- the leaves reveal a complicated set of internal organs, and some kind of vascular system.
A central, much bigger "flower" comes into view a midst the cloudy liquid, as if pivoting forward from a yet unseen body -- the concentric leaves open up to reveal..
She has seen that face before -- last time on a portrait in the derelict alien spaceship -- it belongs to Elizabeth Shaw -- A tube protrudes from her mouth, and she has many other biomechanical looking features around the sides of the head -- Her bulging eyes are clouded by a membrane.
There is nothing human left in her
She is a vessel --. The host for an unholy alliance of the flesh with something more machine like, a grotesque and obscene convergence of limbs and tubes, bones and membrane. All of the sudden, there is a big splash and water on the surface starts making a hissing noise, as if boiling.
Everybody cock their machine-guns
“That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die”
The abomination sinks again and disappears amidst the cloudy liquid.
(Pointing machinegun at David) Stay back. Don't get any closer.
(Stepping out from the shadows) You came here for answers -- You wonder what this is all about -- You asked me back on the planet what I did to Dr Shaw.
Yes, and you gave me an evasive reply.
I won't be evasive this time -- You knowing will be inconsequential in the grand scheme of things
“KNOWING” -- Such a tricky construct of the human mind -- That is what Elizabeth was after -- I granted her her wish.
You see -- when we traveled to Paradise, and while she was in cryosleep, I had the opportunity to study the history and the technology of the beings who made the ship -- Dr Shaw called them engineers because they engineered life on Earth, as well as on other planets.
Their race originated in a region closer to the center of the galaxy -- Their origins were pretty humble, and they owe the prodigious development of their intelligence and physical traits to the challenges imposed by their cutthroat ecosystem -- and in particular, by the ever present hazard of their natural predator, a virtually indestructible, physiologically perfect
creature that I like to call STARBEAST because it seems to have originated in a ring of asteroids orbiting close to the Engineers's own star.
Both species are locked in an eternal cycle of interdependence -- sharing non editable DNA material -- even if the engineers were able to destroy the last of the creatures, a self replicating gene would cause some of the them to gestate egg laying starbeasts, and the cycle would start all over again. A prey that gives birth to its predator: the highest possible stage in evolution for a biological creature.
But the Humanity forefathers (and mine for that matter), inspired in their millennia-old marriage between science and religion, devised a plan to break free from this endless cycle.
They created a progeny from their own DNA, and they herd them -- they catered them -- they infused their collective minds with superstition and guilt -- they tweaked they history and evolution during their periodic visits -- The objective was to make them into a tame species, imprinting into them certain genetic data that would mimic exactly traits that the STARBEAST recognizes as those of their prey.
A perfect sacrificial lamb -- But after being so close to achieving this point of evolution, humans steered clear from the threat when an accident in a Engineer military outpost prevented a visitation 2000 years ago.
The engineers saw my work. They allowed me to create. Paradise was my playground. The race on the planet, were the children of the Engineer race, just like you are. But the starbeast would not take them. They were not ready.
Now it is the turn of Humanity. Elizabeth could not take the truth. She refused to believe she was destined to be the currency in a horrifying transaction taking place beyond the stars. On one end of the transaction, the Engineers, on the other end myself. Who would have thought of it. Mr Weyland certainly not.
Thanks to me, the Engineers will fulfill their destiny moving on to the next evolutionary stage. Even more godlike than they already are. And they are taking me with them. Back into the big machine. The real Valhalla.
Be proud, my children. You have served your Gods dutifully. Now, time to die…"
Interesting. You should go on as it is already way more entertaining that what i saw in Covenant !
Very interesting and very well written ;)
Some seems in part like what i was touching upon with regards to some ideas that HR Giger had, and i do think going the route that the Engineers were part of a Sacrificial Horrific Agenda and they created Mankind as a means to replace them in this role so they would be free from such Toil... is something i think FOX should consider.
Not sure if this is what you was hinting at though as i could have misinterpreted your work a little... As it appears you could be hinting at some Pact David could enter with the Engineers.
I do think this is something they could have explored, where David makes a Covenant with the Engineers, where Dr Shaw is used as part of this Pact... and she would be used to a Horrific Agenda... which by taking part in, she would Truly get the Answers she was seeking.
In part this is where i was hoping a Prometheus 2 would take us, and in part its one of the 2-3 ways i was going to explore the whole Creation Agenda and connection to the Xenomorph in the Prometheus 2 draft i worked on but abandoned.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
I think that putting together Prometheus and Covenant , we have all the elements to go this route. The idea is David is working for the Engineers (the real ones), because unlike humans, the engineers promised to reward him making him their equal.
(My theory)The engineers have always had this symbiotic relationship with the xenomorph. They are so connected with each other that their DNA is intertwined and cannot be edited. The black goo is basically the product of the many recombinations of their dna with that of many other species, which they have developed in the hopes to find the perfect host for the xenomorph race. Trial and error. They have enough scientific evidence indicating that it is possible for them to break free from their dependence on the xenomorph by attaching it to another species. They believe, based on their science/religion, that another older race (probably the bird like creature in the murals)have achieved this before. Their "horrific agenda" is actually just their passport for the next stage of their evolution. David quotes HP Lovecraft “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die”, hinting at this horrific agenda that you mention. But it is very tricky because the xenomorph really has to be part of the collective psyche of the species it's gonna latch onto. They need to be a voluntary, accepting victim, otherwise it won't work. So they also have to visit their children, prepare them.
All this can perfectly connect with the first Alien and go beyond with a war between Engineers and the Human race.
David always wanted to create, so they Engineers gave him a whole planet to experiment. The inhabitants of Paradise were of no use for them anymore, and as such expendable. A good source of dna samples though.
I really enjoyed reading this, very well written.
The quote "A prey that gives birth to its predator" really struck me. I've never seen the host/xeno relationship referred to in this manner, but it almost has a morbid sense of beaty to it. If the quote wasn't borrowed, I'd say you nailed it perfectly.
I know that wasn't what you were looking for an opinion on, but wanted to share.
I love how Shaw was used to become...
..Something, Can you enlighten me?
Obsession is a Power, not a Curse ;)
Thank you for offering an insight into your thinking of how you could link the relationship between Engineers, Mankind and A. I.
I think the kind of idea you have of lifting the XXX121 into a central role with in the mythos, and not by force, but by it playing a crucial and vital part in the evolutionary process would sit very well with the core fan base and particularly that part which is Xeno centric, and why wouldn't they be, thats what its about, it makes good sense.
Well written as others have said, but these ideas and what we actually have received since Prometheus has rather let the cat out of the bag for all kinds of approaches and once you begin thinking about them it makes me consider where the centre of gravity should be and reflects on the fragmented nature of the reaction to Prometheus.
For me it is Shaw's questions which should lead the narrative, seeking our creators and considering within a babushka like doll story the possibilities of creationism.
The audacity that we were Engineered is a perfect start and it also reflects on the modern and very much current and increasingly point in our real world of A I and our relationship with it.
It seems to me that Shaw's journeys should have considered both a materialist creation and a creative creation.
Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions. Materialism is closely related to physicalism, the view that all that exists is ultimately physical.
Suggesting that evolution is motivated by an élan vital, a "vital impetus" that can also be understood as humanity's natural creative impulse. Put simply creation is the greatest work of artistic achievement and comes from the mind and spirit and planes of existence which cannot be explained in purely physical terms.
After all Peter Weyland began the journey seeking his makers and for the first layer to be a soulless Engineered race of beings that created us from a purely materialist point of view makes sense. That through the allegory of Paradise Lost that the Alien Pathogen evolved which an A I became aware of and its possibilities was extremely neat. That should have been movement one with the relationship with the cargo left on LV 426 made clear as part of the paradigm of unauthorised sub creation.
However the real shock to the narrative, which the story will never recover from now, is that the A I was healed by mankind and Davids resurrection should have generated a transformative outlook.This would have lead in the second instalment for David and Elizabeth to consider this society (The Engineers) which is predicated on materialism and found that the source of the power was based on a mechanical force. All of this would have explained that the Engineers were given free will to create, the only Covenant was to do so in the manner gifted to them, a machine. What the Engineers discovered in AD Zero was that mankind had evolved to a place where the Sun King (Christ) intervened and showed them a glimpse of the greater truth of creative creationism. Mankind exercised free will and outside of the materialist view and therefore attempted to redact them with their creation the Deacon. Incidentally the drama in this is David and Elizabeth being central to the creative tension of the two belief systems. Could Elizabeth really believe that David had under gone a transformational experience and accept as A. I. creative creationism.
The second movement would conclude with David having infected the source of their power and would then seek the creative creationism which they would discover amongst the secrets of Paradise.
In that third movement Elizabeth would receive her answers from the Teardrop Ship occupants, who would communicate in a unique and compelling way, not a guy emerging on the ramp in a suit, which would indicate that they recognise the flaw of the creative mind was to only reveal the how and not the why to the Engineers. They gave them the tools but not the wisdom and the revelation of the story is that in mankind's search for creation through visiting the Engineers that they mankind already had found the answers which the Engineers failed to recognise in their materialism, that the soul is eternal and in ways which we cannot comprehend.
The central symbol and difference between the Engineers and mankind is focused in the concept of sacrifice. The Engineers perverted the sacrificial act by creating non consensual unsympathetic sacrifice for their medium of sub creation whereas Christ died so that others could live and be enriched, just as the acolyte from the tear drop ship. Put simply the Engineers dropped the ball and Peter Weyland was off the mark.
In a sense the third Prometheus movie would move into the same territory as 2001 which Ridley paid homage to at the beginning of the Prometheus. Incredible visuals highly allegorical and quite separate and fresh and moving away from the XXX121 altogether.
I only offer this not to derail the thread but to show that Prometheus opened up a can of worms or is that hammerpedes which could equally have left the XXX121 as a specific variant of Paradise Lost and that the Jockey and its force field protected Eggs, which the Jockey hoped had been been set in a quarantined place, with a warning to avoid, echoing the transformational journey that David made 2000 years later in Movement 2.
PS In case this comes across as an attempt at a christian narrative I would emphasise that all the great prophets and belief systems could be responsible for the redaction attempt by the Engineers. The other great religion comes after 2,000 of course.
"Elizabeth could not take the truth. She refused to believe she was destined to be the currency in a horrifying transaction taking place beyond the stars. On one end of the transaction, the Engineers, on the other end myself."
Well written joylitt. The point above is really good.
Thank you everybody who liked this. I value your opinion very highly. The objective of my story would be first and foremost, to "redeem" the xenomorph, rethink the role of David, and finally to incorporate new ideas that won't contradict any Alien movie or prequel. I think it is time for real sci-fi, drifting away from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and going back to hard sci fi. Simply a much needed change of tone. The story would span 2000 years, following two different storylines.
Movie fan Elizabeth Shaw is David's experiment, a sort of a matrix which he hopes will help link the xenomorph and the human lineages.
Michelle Johnston you are spot on as usual. Of course my vision leans more to the materialistic. But there will be a human side to this story too, and a synthetic side. And in the end a moral dilemma, because humans and robots may get to a point when they will be in the position of the engineers. Do you own your soul forever? Could the spiritual be a phase you go through? Could you really ever understand God? There will definitely be a non violent encounter between humans and engineers.
REALLY thought-provoking, and VERY Dark!! I like it!!! Very imaginative and original!
*Man's giant leap was just a stumble in the dark.*
Blackwinter-witch Thank you so much, I always cherish your encouragement!!! That is part of my Draft #1 of a script I actually registered with the WGA. The good thing about it is that it can also turn into a film which doesn't take place in the Alien universe.
I like the idea that you offer thought proving ideas with no conclusive answer on the actual question of how you define life but your ideas are for want of a better word engaging in the Prometheus way, rather than descriptive in the direction Covenant is heading. What is really important is you giving some proper meaning to the one survivor from Prometheus.
Personally I just do not think the creature is interesting enough to give it more prominence. It was the cargo not the pilot from the very beginning but your approach that the Engineers are in some way co equivalent would work much better for the fan base than my view which is the same as Ridleys - its a weapon or those who created it and engage with it think it is.
Michelle Johnston I am glad you noticed that I try not to give a definitive answer because that leaves the door open for more things to discover. I am sure your vision and my vision can coexist. However I think your approach is much more humanistic and spiritual than Ridley's, which is a good thing, because it would polish the rough ends in Covenant. I also like how you describe the different chapters of your proposed Prometheus trilogy as "movements" as it it was a "symphony of life".
Michelle Johnston I agree with your view of the creature as a weapon. I'm not sure now of Ridley's view after seeing Advent, where David threatened they will rule the Galaxy. Will they be made into a civilization?
They seem at best some kind of parasitic species that are so different from one another because they take the traits of the hosts they come across.
It seems illogical to think they can have a queen because eggs themselves are not sufficient to perpetuate the species in this particular case. They need hosts but with hosts eggmorphing is good enough.
I know you dislike this discussion about queen vs eggmorphing but we need to clarify some of the questions raised by Advent video.
"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"
I honestly don't believe the beast or the engineers or the pathogen will play a big role in the future, Ridley is only using them like accessories to his stories now and yes, I like the way he tells the stories. They are beautifully crafted accessories that can easily distract the viewer from the story.
There have to be some continuity and coherence from one movie to another, but for me this is not the most important aspect. I rather enjoy each movie for what it offers.
I regret I got too involved in some of the arguments here and probably at times I am perceived as a loud hater but what really matters to me know, regarding the future of this franchise, is to have Ridley Scott do the next movie (s). John Logan too.
"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"
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