Nov-14-2017 7:25 PM
2099, Year of Our Lord
Elizabeth Shaw, survivor from the Prometheus expedition, lies in an over-sized cryosleep pod, in suspended animation. Her skin is pale, her physique noticeably emaciated; she could not possibly be aware that an excrescence has grown from beneath the pod, enveloping her whole body, and even part of her face: some kind of exoskeleton, similar to the Engineers' biomechanical suits.
Before she went to sleep, she had run a full scan of synthetic David's memory banks, and having found corrupted files and evidence of tampering on behalf of Mr Weyland (which resulted in the android conducting experiments on several crew members), she formatted his positronic brain and downloaded his previous personality profile onto a flashdrive. She keeps this hanging from her neck, along with her cross. Provided she had access to the right technology, she could probably be able to recreate a virtual image of the former David persona, and interact with it without taking the risk of falling into one of his traps.
The synthetic, now a loyal servant, is in full command of the Juggernaut, his head back in place. Oblivious of his previous obsession with impersonating Peter O'Toole, his hair has grown darker, and his manners are less polished. One could say that he behaves a little bit like Charlie Holloway. Maybe Elizabeth had something to do with that.
She had too much time to reflect on how things turned out on LV-223. As she had imagined, the expedition was supposed to be a quest of knowledge for Humanity, an inquiry into our origins; but in reality, her party had turned out to be the most shameful ambassadors for the Human kind, led by a selfish man only interested in prolonging his own life. She was not surprised now about how the Engineers reacted when they made first contact, and she has high hopes she will be able to revert the bad impression these giants got of her people. After all, her archaeological findings had always showed them interacting with their creation in a peaceful manner, as if they were patient parents teaching their children.
Elizabeth opens her eyes and makes an attempt to get up. She is immobilized. She can see David is sitting at the navigational chair, but his face has a blank expression: not operational. The holograms show a completely different star map from anything she is familiar with: she can only assume that they just have been out of a wormhole. The COMMs channel, which had been silent so far, is now buzzing with strange, alien noises. If she could see through the Juggernaut's walls, she would see that they have arrived to a planetary system orbiting a Dyson sphere, and that they are being pulled by in by a force field around a massive, ringed blue planet scarred by complex geometrical patterns: the Engineers' world.
Nov-14-2017 10:34 PM
Shaw hears what appears to be a humanoid voice in the static saturated comms. The voice sounds familiar- sort of like the Engineer they encountered. She realizes the positronic format has erased everything David had researched to be able to communicate with the Engineers. Years of studies- gone. She wonders what he makes of what he hears, if he hears anything at all. She decides to conduct an obvious test.
“David. Do you hear me?” David stares passively ahead. “Where are we?” She notices lights on the console start to blink and then stop. Shaw wonders if her voice had anything to do with that. She is starting to realize and feel how confined she is and can feel the first symptoms of panic set in- her respiratory rate escalates although she is doing nothing. She realizes she has only asked David questions and decides to issue a command since he is essentially an earlier self. “David, say something!” David’s mouth opens but nothing else. Now he sits staring ahead mouth agape.
Nov-15-2017 7:46 PM
Nov-15-2017 8:59 PM
All of the sudden, a torrent of words start to come out from David's mouth, which remains uncomfortably open. The words are spoken in english, as the transmitters are manipulating the synthetic's synapses and vocal processors. "We have detected a biological entity. Earthling. Evolutionary level for first contact: incomplete. Secondary entity is an artificial intelligence. Fully scanned and modified for compliance with our security protocols. Biological entity has been assimilated by our vessel's matrix. Changes has been made at a cellular level so it would be able to withstand the conditions of our planet.
"What kind of changes" asks Elizabeth.
Biological entity is now clear to dock into our port. Quadrant Beta789, security clearance Theta109786
"You haven't answer to my question"
Elizabeth notices that that invisible force that was keeping her tied down to the pod has subsided. She slowly starts to get out from the pod, as several tubes detach themselves from her back.
David is standing beside her, looking perplexed: "There is something you need to see" he says.
The synthetic casts a reflective hologram in front of Shaw. The image that forms leaves her speechless.
Her body is covered by a kind of amour that seems to have grown out of her skin. It is made of a biologically looking substance which is as hard as diamond, yet flexible. This amour has also enveloped most of her head, causing her cranium to become elongated towards the back, making her look like a sinister insect. She is horrified but what she sees, and yet she feels as strong as a tiger that has just been released from its cage.
"This is not as bad as it could be" she says "I still feel like myself. I also feel so strong. Like I could rip your head off". David smiles, unaware she has just made a joke.
Nov-15-2017 9:31 PM
Upon observing her reflection, Shaw notices the flash drive and crucifix around her neck. She remembers what the flash drive is. With her new feelings of strength, energy and power, she sees the crucifix as a strange object. She no longer recognizes what it is or means. Still, she recalls something…
“David, I think you wanted this at some time on the Prometheus.” She takes off of her neck and offers it to David. David, being wiped of memories of that event, takes it. He examines it curiously. “A symbol of a bygone era. A symbol of belief according to my memory banks. Interesting. It is also a piece of metal. I do not recall desiring to possess it. Shall I keep it for you?”
Nov-15-2017 11:26 PM
''It has meaning, this I know, Though I do not remember exactly what. maybe it is best you hold onto it in case these meanings come back to me in time''.
''as you wish'' David replies, staring at the metallic symbol with childish intrigue.
a new light begins to flash at the pilots console. ''I believe we have docked at our destination Dr Shaw, I cannot say where, or with whom, but I do believe we will have company very shortly''.
Shaw again looks at the flash drive, contemplating the restoration of the David she once knew. ''no''. regardless of how unprepared they are for their audience with her makers, a fact that wouldn't be such an issue with David restored, that David is too dangerous to be resurrected.
Nov-15-2017 11:51 PM
Shaw, letting the flash drive drop from her hands back to hanging from her neck, is becoming more aware of her environment and has fleeting flashes of memories of the events that transpired during the Prometheus mission.
David's holographic mirror is still on and Shaw looks at herself again. She has no hair and notices her pale elongated head. Her face looks the same except that her eyes are simply black and white. She becomes affraid of her new appearance.
"David, why do I look like this? What is wrong with me? Is there something wrong with me?"
David does not respond. Shaw remembers to issue her questions in the form of a command or statement. "David, tell me what has happened to me!"
""Unknown, Dr. I am attempting to research the systems of this vessel. My programming identifies you as humanoid with moderate dehydration and mal nourishment with anomalies I cannot identify at this time."
David senses Shaw's distress and his basic programming to serve humans prompts a quirky response.
In a soothing and calm voice, David says, "Dr. Shaw, you look just fine. It seems we are searching for and possibly about to find an answer or answers to all of this," He manages a smile.
Nov-16-2017 12:03 AM
after a few moments at the console, Davids eyes widen.
''fascinating. it seems these adaptations haven't only altered your physical appearance, but they have integrated themselves into your organs and muscles. theorising. the cryo pod I placed you in seems to have altered you in ways to make you more adaptable to the environment of its natural occupants ecosystem. im reading a much harsher environment outside with a gravity 3 times heavier than back on earth. the atmosphere as well contains higher concentrations of base elements. I doubt you would be able to function properly without these alterations''.
Nov-16-2017 12:59 AM
Stiffly Dr Shaw pushes herself upright in the cryo bed, clutching at the disproportionately wide sides of the bath with cold fingers. Sensing her movement, thick tubing previously attached in a line down her spine release with a hiss, dropping into the viscous pink fluid remaining in the bottom of the bed. Shuddering, she throws her legs over the walls and pushes forward.
Her bare feet meet the cold grey floor, but her legs fail to take her weight and she collapses in a heap with a hiss of pain. Stubbornly she commands her legs to obey but they are numb and motionless.
"David, my legs! I can't walk!"
Silence engulfs her. She twists in her awkward position on the floor towards David. He has gone silent and immobile again.
"David!" she shouts fearfully.
The catatonic android eerily turns its head towards her, eyes lifeless and staring. Unnervingly, words continue to escape from a mouth not moving. "Your legs will return to you in a short time. You will be stronger for it. For now, this synthetic will be your transport. We have programmed a route into its processing bank. We will meet you shortly Dr Shaw".
Then, like a veil being lifted the near-sentient programming returns with a small twitch, and David's reassuringly polite smile returns.
"I believe Dr Shaw, we have arrived at the gates of Heaven". He says innocently, a cordially warm look on his face. He holds her cross out to her, dangling in the space between them. It swings gently like a pendulum back and forth. With one hand she clutches the flashdrive reassuringly, the other reaching out for her cross.
"Pick me up David" she beckons cautiously. She takes a swipe at her cross feeling suddenly vulnerable. He snatches it back and slides it delicately over his head.
The David she feared was not here. This was not him, just a blank personality, disturbingly naive and unaware of the significance of his action. Absolute neutrality.
She suddenly felt the weight of loneliness crushing against her. Whatever she encountered here, she would do so alone, without the comfort of companionship. Even from a synthetic.
Davids bends to scoop her up, the cordial polite smile now fixed on his polished face.
Nov-16-2017 1:51 AM
“Dr. Shaw, your crucifix may cause confusion to whomever or whatever we meet at the Gate. They may also question this. It is a flash drive that they may or may not understand, and we should keep it from their view. “ David gives a smile. “Even I am not sure what is on that flash drive. It must be important.”
Shaw thrashes out of David’s grip. David is unaware that the cryo pod prepared her for the gravitational variance from earth and that she is very mobile and quite physically capable.
“”I have your soul in this flash drive if such thing as a soul even exists! I don't know anymore! There are memories here you cannot possibly know and if you don’t get me through this alive, you will never know them! make your choice!”
David replies, "I have no soul. I am quite sure. I cannot speak for humans, but I suspect it would be the same as any creature, synthetic or biological. You claim that flash drive holds my memories. Memories of what?"
Nov-16-2017 4:52 PM
Dr Shaw takes a moment to think about this... what kind of answer could she give, informing him would maybe make him curious and wish to obtain the knowledge stored on this drive, and she can not take the risk of David gaining access to his previous personality. How could she trust the David who she suspects had been involved in her beloved Holloways Death?
This David that through the upbringing of his wicked and selfish creator Peter Weyland, had become very displeased with Mankind! But she also wonders if he was merely following orders but now he would be free, even so she knows this David is Emotionally Scared and Potentially Dangerous, she Out-smarted him Once, tricked him to get them off that Baron Hell of a Moon, before while she agreed to her side of the Bargain, she broke her Covenant by Resetting David to Default.
If David regained his previous memory would he forgive her for her deception?
She Ponders, peers at David... David then asks again "what can be so important to me that you keep it safely around your neck, beside your cross your Faith in your Creator".
She starts to mumble the words.. "its Memories of y, y your Creat-------"
Then before she can finish, a Rumble is heard and the Clanking of Metal as the Doors to the Engineer Ships Pilot Room open. Dr Shaw can barely make out Three Large Shadowy Figures enter.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Nov-16-2017 5:35 PM
Clad in their organically moulded suits and elephantine helmets the tall figures strolled confidently into the cavernous room. Imposingly large and threateningly lithe for such bulky creatures, Dr Shaw flinches backwards as they approach.
The two Engineers flanking the centre figure cut away, one heading for David, the other for her. The lone Engineer surveyed the room, tilting its head. A lost Juggernaut ship returned to its home, helmed by a human and a Synthetic. She could not fathom what this figure thought of that.
The Engineer approaching her came to a stop before her, then circled once as if inspecting her. Its giant shadow blocked the dim light as it passed around her. It finally settled in a guard position behind her. She shuddered.
The other Engineer had reached David and placed a hand on his shoulder. It turned and nodded subtly to the lone Engineer.
The Elephantine helmet slid back and down from the lone Engineers head, folding away neatly into slits around the suits collar. A bald head, handsome chiselled face with all-black eyes turned its gaze on Shaw. The Engineer almost appeared friendly if not for hard critical look in its eyes.
The blank look returned to Davids face, a puppet once again.
"This one called itself David in mockery of your people's best creators. You erased him." came the words from David's unmoving mouth, as the lone Engineers gaze burnt down on her.
"Please. I have questions." she begged. It ignored her plea.
"If he is David, then I am BigDavid. You will not erase me" it mocked.
(Sorry I couldn't help myself but to give a nod to you BigDave)
The Engineer behind pushed her roughly forward.
Nov-16-2017 6:14 PM
Shaw experiences another flashback- the time when she first encountered the Engineer. The Prometheus crew relied on David to interpret its words but understands everything being said now. The cryo pod must have altered her brain to a degree to where she understood their language. She begins to wonder how much that cryo pod changed her. It altered her physically and now, at least partially neurologically.
David still does not understand the language. “Dr. Shaw, I do not understand what these beings are saying.” The Engineer behind David gazes at him curiously and approaches David head on. It grasps David’s head and palpates the entire head. It applies a quick and forceful yet slight twist to David’s head. Shaw has a flashback at the same time fearing for the worst.
The Engineer releases its grasp and looks back at Shaw. “Tell it to speak.”
Shaw tells David, “David, say something.”
David replies, “Something.”
Shaw smiles with surprise and notices that his mouth works in unison with his speech.
Nov-16-2017 6:25 PM
The emissary arrives at the elder's quarters just in time to deliver his message, right before the ancient Engineer gets engaged in his daily out-of-body contemplative phase, a highly productive mental state halfway between sleep and creative thinking that he would not dare disturb. The young disciple, whose name is Tomik, approaches the elder with reverence and kneels down before him. He is not allowed to look directly into his eyes. He is a high priest and the head of the Elder's Council, which is largely responsible for the Engineers dealings with their subspecies.
"Dear Lord Vogut, I am here to inform you that, as it has been predicted, one of the creatures (a female) has survived after spending some time on our quarantined outpost. She hijacked one of our vessels with the help of an artificial intelligence. She has just arrived and is already in custody".
"What condition is she in?"
"She has been connected to the vessel's matrix. Her DNA has been recombined."
"Is she stable?"
"We need to conduct tests. Needless to say, she can be dangerous. However, the the symbiotic relationship with the vessel has been established. Eggs have been detected in the underbelly of the Cargo bay."
"These eggs... are they viable for human incubation? Or are they more of the same."
"We won't know until a host is in the vicinity".
"We have plenty of subjects from both species".
"I am inclined to select my own son, Remek. He is a fine specimen and will be willing to sacrifice himself for a good cause".
"Your wishes will be prioritized. However, you should know I have been working very hard to be given the opportunity to serve".
"The Council will deliberate and the best candidate will be selected. You are dismissed now".
Lord Vogut tries to establish a mental connection with the female earthling, but there is not much he is able to make out apart for very vague and primitive feelings of anger and fear. He wonders if any communication and understanding would be even possible at all.
Nov-16-2017 6:51 PM
Nov-18-2017 4:55 PM
(Back on the stolen Juggernanut ship)
The Engineer behind Shaw roughly shoves her forward again. She staggers and begins walking towards the round portal door, following David and his captor. The lead Engineer watches with hard eyes as they are paraded past, then falls in line behind them protectively.
Shaw and David are led through their stolen ship to another portal analogous to an airlock door. A long erect shaft penetrates their ship, nestled snugly within an ovoid opening and sealed from the void of space by strong muscular-like ligaments around the opening. Disturbed Shaw passes through the portal and traverses the semi-opaque firm structure between their ship and the Dyson Sphere dock.
They enter into a cavernous room ringed on the hull side by closed ovoid portals. The centre of the room contains enormous a ring of giant stone sculptures of ancient Engineers, standing like titans and paragons of old. They seemed to Shaw to be looking down and judging the mere mortals beneath them. Standing within the ring is another single Engineer, suited but without the elephantine mask and a long black cloak riding down behind him.
Seeing them approach he steps forwards.
"Dr Shaw. Greetings. I am Remek son of Lord Vogut" it says in perfect English. it points to David "remove this abomination from my sight. Take it to Artificer for defragmentation. I will not tolerate its presence"
Remek places a hand on Shaw's shoulder and guides her away from David and the Engineer boarding party. "I must thank you Dr. Shaw for bringing our lost ship to us. It is my understanding your journey has been very fruitful. There is much we need to discuss..."
Nov-18-2017 8:48 PM
A long erect shaft penetrates their ship, nestled snugly within an ovoid opening and sealed from the void of space by strong muscular-like ligaments around the opening. I think Giger may have appreciated this line.