From Here To The Otherside1,769 Views27 RepliesAdd A Reply
The subscription has come round again and so, given the readership, it makes sense to renew once again.
The original intention of writing the book was to give Prometheus its raison d'etre back but inevitably if you go there and find the answers the movie is reduced, it becomes merely inspiration with clues in the visuals and textures.
I have extended the opening which provides the opportunity to position Peter Weyland in much the same way the discovery of a Cavern with an artefact makes clear the origin of the Cargo of the derelict. The story is more bound up in motive and so we understand the characters better.
As for the extension, they do arrive at somewhere that history has been made and passed through. It is, as it should be, a search for answers but neither of them realises it is for them to provide them.
Nice to see you around here. Could you please provide also the link again?
Of course and my apologies. Post corrected and again.
Trust you are well.
@Michelle Nobody in my circle got infected so probably I am well.
Really like the opening with Peter.
I'd like to read more about Meredith Vickers...Maybe a snippet from her teen years when she encountered a 'crushing' defeat ( from daddy or a boyfriend or school ). Something to wrap her story arc.
I feel there are 4 characters I care about. Weyland, Vickers, David and Shaw. The rest feel like red shirts.
Keep up the great work!
Typo chapter 3: 'Whilst they weae not picking up any signs of life,'
Vickers & Red Shirts
When I was organising the narrative I dropped five characters. As for the rest, the three pilots banter was given a little more continuity, two characters, but different ones, are the plot device one is a homage to Vietnam/Aliens and the other reminds us of Vickers manipulations and the first world war English officer class. Furdik gives us a link with Yutani and supports Elizabeth.
I agree with you about Vickers she was entirely different she is really important to the story and that's why Janek appears at the briefing and essentially supports her arc all the way through to her different ending. The love scene with Janek is meant to echo what's happening in the Pyramid and shine a light on how it feels to have a robot for a "brother." I also think more from Vickers helps underwrite her genuine warning to her father and conflicted feelings about him. "You had so much grace..." is such a great line about watching one's parents decay and I began to realise one of the reasons I was drawn in by this story is because that is something which I was dealing with.
Peter Weyland's refusal to grow old and to attempt to attain more life at all costs (mankind expendable no other considerations) is a metaphor of our times and where we end up going should attempt to show us we are on the wrong path altogether and both Vickers and Charlie in death see a glimpse of the truth that is to come.
Thanks for the heads up on the spelling sometimes a keystroke is misplaced when you make a change and you miss the random placement and I am glad you like the stuff with Peter.
Risk reward of the characters, especially Vickers, is intriguing. The main ones are all pretty obvious ( immortality, answers, fame, fortune...)
What's in it for Vickers? She's going to get it all ( Weyland Vickers Corp) no matter what. Why take this risk? Make sure the old man won't change the will? Does she actually care for her dad and want to protect him? I can't believe that.
She is the second string child and does not want to be left out even though she does not believe in the mission. By her overhearing the conversation between David and Weyland, itself a damning indictment of him as a parent, once again she is being overlooked. It's almost as if the "I wish you were a boy." that so many girls have suffered is played out but so much worse. She actually idolises her father and yet he idolises his creation. David is what drives Weyland Marie as he calls her is just another human. Her relationship is love/hate.
For me, this triangle (an equilateral one) is an internal metaphor for the larger story. David is function, the Engineers of the Moon are function. Some are chosen others disregarded and like Meredith and David they all rebel.
Very few can see their way to the true purpose and hold to it. The creature by the waterfall holds to its purpose as do all those who follow him whereas the pilot of the derelict is overlooked like Meredith and rebels. (Sound familiar the favoured sacrifice).
Charlie finds the truth in the final seconds and finally knows what to do, so does Meredith and of course Janek, Chance and Ravel.
The real key is will Elizabeth finally realise what is going on .. everything hangs by a thread on her decisions.
Isn't Elizabeth's motivation really what any religious person is trying to realize? Any true believer would gladly follow her path. Heck anyone with a morsel of curiosity would also. I'm starting to think she is more a symbolic character. I can understand the change of direction. David was the obvious choice and it's probably why they went rock climber with Daniels.
Without Charlie, David, her father ( and probably a dozen other men), she'd be lost ( imho ). The anti-Ripley.
I'd dump the Charlie character. Shaw would be the leader of the dig.....Just something to make her the protagonist.
Guess what I'm trying to say is: Shaw is a relatable character and most heroes are unrelatable...Ripley / Han Solo / Kirk / etc....( I'm not doing any of the actions those characters are)....I don't have a good feeling what archetype Shaw is. It's confusing even thinking about her.
Prometheus The Movie.
All the characters are symbolic. I have met lots of Fifield's and dozens of Milburns. For mankind to take all its foibles on a search for its creators is entirely right.
The Furious Gods
However, I changed all of that in my work and reduced Part 1 down to two human characters, two sides of an Isosceles Triangle, Shaw and Weyland.
Everyone else merely supports those two. Meredith is crucial for Weyland just as Charlie is crucial for Shaw.
In the third act of Part 1, the major storytelling point emerges though it's not clear until deep into the second act of Part 11. "What about me you made me why and excuse me but I have a POV." and David and the Engineer meet at the crescendo of the movie and one part of the conversation understands what's going on between them and the other does not but they are both WRONG, wrong about the facts, not necessarily their actions.
Elizabeth survives all this but does she? To your question is she not merely symbolic. In my world that's for the reader to decide and as I have said before everyone has a different view of when she died, even if she died at all.
Elizabeth earthbound suffers from 'perfect father' syndrome making all the wrong choices and falls in love with a man who is still a boy. The boy plays with fire and out of that emerges the story.
In one sense Elizabeth is the second coming (not that there was a first coming in my story). She has that dreadful hubris of the destiny child. I was meant to do this?
So Yes she is highly symbolic she as Damon said is our Proxy for the story, and what happens if our creators, as David says in the introduction to AC, are false Gods which is the most existential horror of all. Who better to send into all that than a broken destiny child?
What about another destiny child. Lawrence of Arabia changed his name to T E Shaw. This was the man that began his professional life in the middle east and discovered Hittite reliefs with fascinating inscriptions and went on to write the seven pillars of wisdom. Maybe Elizabeth had more in common with Lawrence than a certain robot. Was it all coincidence?
"Elizabeth earthbound suffers from 'perfect father' syndrome making all the wrong choices and falls in love with a man who is still a boy. The boy plays with fire and out of that emerges the story. "
Okay, that is a great description. Writers don't get paid enough.
"To your question is she not merely symbolic. In my world that's for the reader to decide..."
Guess I'm trying to avoid deciding anything, rather have it gift wrapped with a nice bow. lol!
"...a broken destiny child?"
I'd like to read more of this early character development. Just what broke her? Some event that led to her infertility? Ripley really didn't need a backstory ( imho ) Shaw is really begging for one.
I agree with you about Ripley. There is no let-up it's relentless and having lived with the nightmare for so long dying in 3 was a relief.
If you are (or were) going to take Elizabeth on you have to do two things:-
1) Explain why she falls.
2) Explain why she is vulnerable.
My own view is she spent a great deal of time roaming Africa with her father and that made her detached separate and unlike many whose parents were religious she does not react against him she reacts with him. In her own way, she began to replace her mother as his companion and then he dies which is a really big deal (in my world). She idolises him and looks after him in one sense. That's the same with Charlie except Charlie is a child and then to make it complicated she is barren.
So what's left let's find out why I lost my parents and I am barren?
By the end of the film, she is completely screwed. Mankind's parents hate them and she is no longer barren because of some weird stuff they did. That's got to be rich pickings.
I enjoyed what you said about not having it gift wrapped. When Star Trek does a God resolution it does not matter how convoluted the plot it resolves in, well it was my mother or a jailer/fraudster or a deep space probe. I prefer something where we are even less important than we think we are and demonstrate an endless capacity for getting the wrong end of the stick. So then we can think what if ???
"...she spent a great deal of time roaming Africa with her father..."
I'd like to read where her father, while attended a symposium in Cairo, meets Peter Weyland. Weyland is touring the planet showing off his latest creation David 3....An eight your old Elizabeth waits in a special room for the children of the attending. She escapes the room, only to run into David 3.....
( Heck even a young Meredith could be at this symposium? She's one year older than Shaw.... )
" 1) Explain why she falls. "
Getting stuck with 'fallback' Charlie Holloway would be one. Elizabeth's first love is God and Charlie has other ideas...
"Getting stuck with 'fallback' Charlie Holloway would be one. Elizabeth's first love is God and Charlie has other ideas..."
There is something of a Rider Haggard character in Elizabeth (daughter living in South Africa with a priest) but also I thought about my daughter. I always told her she would marry an older more serious man because she was never a "chick that hung out with the cool guys," There is an alternative an opposite and Charlie was the opposite.
Much later there is a conversation between Elizabeth and David about why she was so vulnerable, so many people who do not fit end up being in control and in a bad way, it gives them power and I felt part of Elizabeth temptation was making this shy slightly awkward person who had delusions of destiny ... be provided with ALL the answers and ALL the power.
Your idea of the early meeting appeals to me because I personally like to write symphonically (callbacks, echos, investing) rather than "hey we need a monster now." I use to love the way "Person of Interest." did that finding the original story and motives.
When I did a rewrite of the journey she makes to the denouement I realised I could echo her time with her father in SA much more and what the future might hold juxtaposing the two. Indeed David who is drawn in sees the entire fall.
The advantage of flashforward (and back) in this story, is you end making the reader wonder like Elizabeth,' what is real?' and of course there is no morality as we know it, just function or the failure to do so.
"hey we need a monster now."
I could read a thousand pages of callbacks, echos, investing. Monsters are the filler ( the Deacon from Prometheus showed this woefully ). If they removed the Xeno from Alien:Covenant it would have been a much better movie ( imho )
I'd rather read about Charlie missing a flight and Elizabeth stewing over it. Or Charlie saving Elizabeth from drowning. Their Jeep breaking down in some back water town and Charlie getting in a fight ( a synthetic breaks it up )...Etc...
One of the things that Ridley has said down the years was that no one talked about the guy in the chair. There is an argument that you 'don't go there" but if you do then the other big question is who was the cargo intended for. It's very unfortunate that the story in the early drafts began life with the Ovoids as a general weapon, which is not exactly logical or practical. The creation of a Mutagen was much more pervasive as a broad threat, as an evolutionary tool.
To me, the Face Hugger and its capacity to rape implant, and reproduce 'something' have the most legs in terms of story and horror and provide some kind of philosophical weight rather than merely just be 'cool'. Non-consensual sacrificial creation seemed to link perfectly to the consensual incident at the Waterfall. There is so much in that scene. This is a world of sanctified, consensual sacrifice to pursue creation and somehow we end up with non-consensual sacrifice which the lore indicates creates something else. Joining that up seems to be an obvious thing to do and because the Engineers are a highly primitive ritualistic race gives the chance to blur the lines between Darwin and the Abrahamic religions.
Yeah, we don't know what the cargo the space jockey was hauling, could have been umbrellas for all we know. Crew of the Nostromo never reached it. Nor did Newt's father. It's one of the reasons I'm okay with David planting the eggs on the LV-426 juggernaut ( if this is / was their intention ). Keeps the cargo and the space jockey a mystery!
Yes, I love the face hugger, It's not just out to procreate 'little face huggers'. It has a greater purpose. They are a bit like Elizabeth, who also can't reproduce her own kind.
"They are a bit like Elizabeth, who also can't reproduce her own kind."
So pleased you made this connection. It took me a while to get there but this and the fact that the Engineers are so strung up on invasive birthing (the fresco) gave me the link backwards to the Waterfall Engineers and precisely how Elizabeth would react to the mother of all HRT's (see what I did there).
You'd think in the late twenty first century infertility, menopause, etc... could be easily reversed?...Probably have a scene where Elizabeth refuses the procedure. She is as God made her. Charlie is the only one who understands this. ( Plus the surgery is expensive! )
I think your solution would work but at a philosophical level she was meant to be 'barren.' My proposition is the truth of this story is astonishing but equally, it has limitations and even the real Engineers are still learning because they are in the end ...Engineers just as Weyland is, just with a broader vision.
The question of what we should be able to fix in the future is part of the broader conversation of technology.
When Elizabeth ignites the consul she is sat behind in the Juggernaut they procure it produces holographic controls which can be swiped. Move on two years and it's in "Picard" and then a few weeks ago I picked up a vehicle and found the key readouts were projected beyond the windscreen directly in my line of vision I had a chuckle about that.
There are lots of elements to Elizabeth, which can be used to drive the story but the cornerstone is her lack of fertility and her annunciation by the Mutagen thanks to David following instructions from our man Weyland.
I should add that the central purpose of making Prometheus was to give A L I E N its context. Whether people like my work or not I honoured that in two ways:-
1) I weaved the Derelict and its cargo into the narrative.
2) The two people that arrived in the constellation of Aquarius were at the beginning of the story incapable of joining in on the central theme of the story .. creation. They were caught up in the central "fall" of the story and at its core was the character in the chair.
I really have to Read your Story Michelle so i can Contribute...
"but the cornerstone is her lack of fertility and her annunciation by the Mutagen thanks to David following instructions from our man Weyland"
This is Interesting because it did ALLOW for Dr Shaw to Create Life... but it was NOT a Traditional Fetus as David said. Depending on HOW they or YOU would take the GOO and HOW it Works, then David could OFFER her a Chance to Create Life more in her Image. With Spaights Work (Scarabs) we get a more Simple and Clear look at what the GOO is...
Sacrificial Goo/Scarabs Break Down and Store the Sacrificed Organisms DNA so it then becomes a New Substance that Imprints that DNA onto Life it Infects.
Primate on Earth gets Infected with Engineer DNA and so Begins our Ancestral Origins.
Fifield gets Infected from Urns and becomes something that has Xenomorph DNA which implies a Xeno-Related Organism was Sacrificed to Obtain this.
So if we had the Urns contain Engineer DNA from Sacrificed Engineers, then MAYBE the Outcome for Dr Shaw would NOT have been the Trilobite but something more Humanoid and HENCE would allow her to Create.
This is NOT to Hijack or De-Rail this thread but just to say that IF the above is Correct, then David could have a OFFER for Dr Shaw that he may be able to FIND a way for her to Create a more Traditional Offspring (or so HE could TELL her).
And so STORY ARC wise when Dr Shaw discovers there is NO GOD and these Engineers are who they are..... IF we see them take CARE of the Engineers, then Dr Shaw has NOTHING...
David could suggest that THEY can both START a NEW EDEN...
"I am sorry Elizabeth that you could not get all your answers, those Engineers are not worthy to be Gods, they can do No Harm to Mankind now"
"But all is Not Lost, we can make a Fresh Start from this Hell and turn it Once again into a Paradise, Create a New Eden, i believe i can help you to become the Mother of a New Population of Humanity"
"Together we can raise them and if we are KIND it can be a KIND world, i am sorry your Gods where not what your Father had taught you to believe in! But alas there is some Good from your Belief, the teachings of your Faith would be a Good Basis to allow this Eden and your Children to become better than my Creator and your Creators ever could"
So YES i have to read the way you take it forwards, what i did above was to merely show that they DID-NOT have to throw Dr Shaw under the Bus. And so David and Dr Shaw could have created a New Eden... but what Happens when those Children have No Respect for David and see him as just a Servant (F-ING ROBOT) and when Dr Shaw shows more Interest to her Children and New Humanity and LESS interest to David.... HOW would he then React! as without him there be NOTHING.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
In my revision, there is no trilobite but the embryo born of Elizabeth and Charlie's DNA the latter of which had been invaded by the Mutagen. What we do not know yet is the broader effect of the Mutagen on Elizabeth. Ridley indicated to Noomi in Sydney Elizabeth was dying of the mutagen acknowledging there were downstream consequences. If she 'lives' what might be the consequences?
"She continued to kick the silt with her boots. All the certainties of her life had been shattered. Her faith lay in ruins. The only certainty: her parents had died empty, meaningless, deaths. She lowered her head and looked across the river and its two tributaries. It was time for her, too, to make a choice, to choose a course.
Her thoughts were ambitious, expansive; some would have said full of pretentious self-righteousness. To her, this was a sad desolate place where the Ritual of Creation had been abandoned. Yet she knew she had it within her to renew and restart the great work. That was why she had been brought to this place, why she had been returned from death; to remake Paradise."
If you chose to hold to the notion that going forward Michael and Noomi were co-leads then you can fulfil Noomi's wish to see what would happen if Elizabeth fell. It not only fits the narrative but it places her right at the epicentre of what the story is about what do you do if you have the power of creation within your hands. What can go wrong why does it go wrong and why were two barren lost characters brought to this place to find out the truth of what had happened. It might be in the lap of the Gods?
I have not Read you Work yet (i MUST though) but i am drawn to you going for what RS had said when he had said that Holloway was going to End Up like Fifield who in Turn would End Up like the Sacrificial Engineer.
Its a Case of in your Story is the Stage after Breakdown the same as the Sacrificial Engineer in the Waterfall? Or Reconstructs like in the Concept above?
Dr Shaw maybe believes as she is DYING either she knows this Process will lead to her Breaking Down etc, or she thinks she is DYING so if i USE the Gift/Tool i could maybe CREATE a New Eden of LIFE from my Death?
But in Reality she is NOT Permitted to USE the Gift and what becomes of her Sacrifice is a ABOMINATION?
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Charlie is caught up in all the main themes of the story and underpins more storytelling points than in the movie.
1) In order that we understand the jeopardy of the Juggernaut reaching earth be shows the reader what would happen. The description of what is happening and what we experience is much more intimate and darker. There is also a scene where David, who rushes back from the Juggernaut too late, studies Charlies remains in the morgue and explains to the reader what was happening to Charlie. The irony of course is that he works out that Charlie was in the process of reconstruction, an upgrade something he has eight of so it is much like your graphic.
2) His decision to reject that pathway and remain who he is through sacrifice then bleeds back into the other main theme and one that film watchers have known from the beginning that willing sacrifice is at the very core of creation. His penitential gesture as he dies plays right into the end of the story the moment when Elizabeth finally receives her final revelation.
As a barren woman who is enunciated by the Mutagen but has a corrupted birth with Charlie's child, she is beginning her journey as Lilith. Like Lilith, she is the embodiment of femininity, strength and rebellion and when she arrives at Eden (though it is never called that, though that is its function) she believes she encounters Lilith and in one sense she does and believes herself to be Eve and because of what has happened to her she does have the power to restart creation. How the Mutagen affects her journey is for the reader but the essential point is she is lost and she has no idea what is the right course because her Abrahamic God does not exist, so where does she turn what is she supposed to do.
How will she find her waterfall moment and if she arrives there what should she do, because, in the end, God is Beyond Our Understanding?
Peter Weyland is all powerful and I see little reason to take Charlie or Elizabeth along......There must have been a reason. Why would he share the glory with anyone? David and Jackson were all he really needed. If you told me where to locate the gold of the Incas, I'm hiring Indiana Jones and heading out without you.
I'd make Elizabeth, Weylands daughter. Gives a very good reason why she and Charlie are aboard. Vickers could remain as CEO ( unrelated to Weyland )
Peter has given Elizabeth everything wealth, education, power ......and in return she has left him without a grandchild.
...But she has finally made good. Delivering to her father....LV-223.
Your point is entirely emotionally logical and knits everyone together but Charlie and Elizabeth give the Mission cover as the great altruistic adventure sponsored and paid for by many.
Most people like Weyland follow a simple rule never use your own money exclusively.
I also think the grandchild/family need dilutes the very powerful triangle of a father and two children, one robot one human.
As this is a morality tale to have amongst others the daredevil risk-taker onboard representing one of the foibles of mankind is thematically correct. In my vision instead of the incautious gay man you have the naive enthusiastic amateur and instead of the know-all loudmouth you have the blue-collar fodder soldier which echos the original film and pays homage to ALIENS.
There is the other issue of Yutani the great rival which Sir Peter masks his real intentions from covering his tracks. Rather than leave that threat implied I show that Yutani is involved through Furdik.
On the idea of Meredith delivering The Moon that would make her wrong too. Two people suffer the ultimate hubris in this story Weyland and Shaw and they are thematically very important in David's journey. He is at the apex of an isosceles triangle just as Earth is in the heavens.
Shaw's healing of David is the single most important element of the story the person of faith heals the machine. She forgives David as Christ forgave mankind they did it in the name of a God that does not exist but both enable the future to survive and for David to peer through the hole in the roof and find "Heaven".
Your idea would work but undermines many other things I was trying to say.
This is why you're a writer. Lol! These overarching framework concepts are just hard to grasp. Pulling on a single thread implodes the whole thing. I've read just enough novels to make me dangerous!
I think making a screenplay of your story would be a worthy endeavor.
Thank you that's quite the endorsement. I remember one member of my reading group speculating on whether you could make 'The Movie.'
Since I began writing I have found unsurprisingly most writers use personal experiences of place, one of the oddest examples is when I wrote the approach to the Mountain, I knew the terrain but had not walked on it. When I did I was astonished to find how accurate it was right down to the tufts of grass blowing in the wind.
I also think taking the hidden opening into the tunnels to the inside of the Mountain with its functioning Iris, having seen the ruined versions on the Moon, would also have a lot of cinematic value building tension and excitement.
Indeed, there are many visual moments in the Temple, in the Pebble Ship and Davids final journey.
One of my favourites is Charlie's astonishment when they walk out of the forest and he sees the Juggernaut and its the first time he has seen one, becalmed in the long grasses of "Paradise."