Alien: Covenant
Prometheus : Theodicy

Prometheus : Theodicy

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Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPAug-31-2018 2:10 PM

As some of you know I have begun working on a literary reboot of the prequel sequence from the point that the Prometheus slams into the Engineer Craft destined for earth towards the end of the movie Prometheus.

The work subject to tinkering and proof reading known as Prometheus:Regained is all but finished but all of the more casual readers who loved Prometheus who have acted as my feedback group would like me to treat the 48 hours beginning on the 25th December 2093 in the same mode.

To begin with I was against writing a novelisation of the movie but some of my work on Regained made me begin thinking about writing the story from a different perspective - Davids. 

I have explained at my blog the advantages I

see in taking this approach so will not repeat them here. 

So during the rest of this year I will complete the work and aim on the 25th December 2018 as a Gift to like minded individuals to share Privately the entire journey from the moment the huge grey craft settles atop the falls until ... well that would be telling. I am acutely aware that the source material is subject to copyright this is merely a conversation between friends.

This work is very much a labour of love and is not intended to stimulate argument and endless comparison or analysis (I have produced a glossary to answer all those sort of questions) but discussion, thought sharing and enable us to breath again "all about everything." 

However to be fair and honest to readers if you like Alien:Covenant then this is not for you and if you did not like the tangental direction Prometheus was intended to go after 2012 you will hate Regained.

If only one person reads the Complete Prometheus, a form of Theodicy which explains how evil exists in an Intelligent Creation I do not mind, for me the most precious benefit is I now have Prometheus back and I know Charlie's death and Ellie's determination to keep going was worth it. In addition I am satisfied we really had only seen a fragment of the android who up until, the 27th December 2093 had been driven by his response to robot apartheid and the reality that he was an extension of someones else's vanity and a someone who lacked morality, conscience and had only one objective - to create for his own benefit survive and test the Gods... the real ones.  


122 Responses to Prometheus : Theodicy

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-22-2019 12:37 AM

I am enjoying your energy for feedback and remarks. I am glad you got the Age of Aquarius I loved the idea of Elizabeth lying back nonchalantly in the couch and making the connection with the 1960's.

On the point of movie climax's I think some movies suffer from director anxiety and the third act lacks that unutterable remorseless build BUT and this is the key, in a focused manner.

There is a moment of high tension when Janek breaks the news to Chance and Ravel that "he's on board." and Janek is completely wound up and just at the moment the two pilots look at each other and decide its not a good time to begin closing out the bet on the reason for the mission (and obtaining credits for a lap dance with Vickers). I liked that and it rounded out that first conversation where they make the bet the old man has come to talk to Martians.

When you are going in search of your creators some of it has to be humorous.      


ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-22-2019 2:30 AM

"Whilst taking his supplement David mulled over what he should do next. Elizabeth he knew must rest, she needed more time to recover, he on the other hand must confront whatever lay in wait now. He knew this was only partially true, there were several reasons why he wanted to take this first step alone."

I hope you don't mind my asking why you frequently use comma splice (three in this quotation). Is this intentionally? To me, it's irritating and destroys beauty somewhat. You write so well so it seems so unnecessary.

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-23-2019 3:45 AM


Thank you for that 

"Whilst taking his supplement David mulled over what he should do next. Elizabeth he knew must rest she needed more time to recover he on the other hand must confront whatever lay in wait now. This was only partially true there were several reasons why he wanted to take this first step alone."

I have taken out the comma's and the repetition of He knew. My comma thing is a hang over from my X partner who said my grammar was bad. 

Feedback like that is most welcome and you have reminded me comma splice is about connecting two independent thoughts or ideas whereas this is a single expression of Davids thoughts. 




ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-23-2019 4:58 AM

It’s not my intention to be rude. It’s just that I’ve become a bit wacky (being a teacher). :) Also, English isn’t my mother tongue so perhaps I’m extra scrutinizing . . .

This sentence is wrong (comma splice): “She sings beautifully, she dances well.”

These two are correct: “She sings beautifully. She dances well.” ; “She sings beautifully and dances well.”

Here’s a grammatically correct paragraph:

"Whilst taking his supplement, David mulled over what he should do next. Elizabeth he knew must rest. She needed more time to recover. He, on the other hand, must confront whatever lay in wait now. This was only partially true. There were several reasons why he wanted to take this first step alone."

There’s a comma after the subordinate clause in the beginning and in the other places there’s a period after a full sentence (subject and predicate).

I've just read Stephen King's "On writing" which I recommend. I also recommend Grammarly.

Anyway, I’ve read it all now and will get back shortly with some thoughts.


ChestbursterMember902 XPOct-23-2019 7:33 AM

chli I don't to be rude but is the right place to dissect every paragraph with bad grammar. I can not suggestion Grammarly strong enough, but could you continue the grammar thing on mail or something?

Sorry I am selfish and I would like to hear more about ideas and the themes .... 

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-23-2019 8:42 AM

Gentlemen I have downloaded Grammarly and as I begin to type this post it is clear it has automatically linked to G. However without extracting the two books out of Wordpress can either of you explain how I enable Wordpress to interact with the programme. Many thanks in anticipation.

On the question of ideas and themes, I always welcome remarks but with several people reading the books at once at the moment I would prefer to deal in generalisations rather than spoil their journey.

Suffice to say Act 1, for the most part, is an extension of the way Prometheus tells its story.

Act 2 Immediately begins the process of being more oblique and this occurs in three ways:-

a)  For the first time, the omniscient narrator makes itself known to the players, though they do not know it for that.

b) The concept of multiple personality traits develops.

c) The story takes place in an environment and with characters which are contraindicative and not through deception simply lack of mutual understanding and shared values.

This tackles one of the themes of the first half of the story. Mankind makes assumptions and argues over the authenticity of various views and none of them is correct.

The reason I make this point is some of what happens in both Act 2 and 3 may appear inexplicable well it is and it is meant to be because I have tried to get into their heads as well as express mankind's view from a grounded point of view.   

There is also a further point I would make about the inexplicable nature of the interactions between the various "factions" This entire story is about misunderstandings and an inability to recognise how others see things. However, whereas differences in Prometheus are dealt with in a classical manner exemplified by Jackson, differences in Book 2 are dealt with first by disconnection and then abandonment. The reason is to show that the soup Mankind was made with uniquely creates a climate in which a species destroys each other. That is why when you see evidence of such behaviour it is so striking and a surpise.    




ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-23-2019 8:46 AM


Yes, you are both rude and selfish. I did this with the best of intentions and strongly suggest that the next time you read something that is not up your alley, just skip it. OK?

My next post will be about the content and if you have nothing constructive to say about it. Just be quiet.


ChestbursterMember902 XPOct-23-2019 9:59 AM

chli In your class room do you do the same? After a test or after correcting homework, do you call your pupils in front of the classroom to go over mistakes so everybody can hear? I highly doubt it. 

If anybody else is interested in grammar talk, I'll say mea culpa and recognize this should not be done via private message but directly on the forum. And now I'll shut up.



FacehuggerMember457 XPOct-23-2019 11:48 AM

Come on, we're all friends here. Time to calm down a bit!

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-23-2019 11:19 PM

I am pleased to report that after closing down and reopening my Mac the Grammarly programme is now embedded in Wordpress as a tool. 

I have screened all of Book 1 and Act 1 of Book 2 in about an hour and will complete the rest today.

Whilst it is important to get everything right so as not to distract, I think the reason it has not been brought up before is that the grammatical shortcomings did not affect understanding.



ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-24-2019 5:34 AM


Spoiler warning for those of you who haven’t read Michelle’s fascinating work. Read it first!

An enjoyable read indeed (rhyme :) ). I like the mystery and philosophical depth as well as the romantic poetry and beautifully described landscapes. It’s an amazing journey that Elisabeth and David do together. David develops in a totally different direction compared to AC (You could say it’s the Beauty and the Beast or the Stockholm syndrome :) ). Anyway, I like the hope it proclaims: There is a God and our soul “survives” death (if we play the cards right, morally speaking).

One problem is concerning genre. Prometheus was on the verge of steering away from the sci-fi-horror that Alien really was. Alien was a Lovecraftian horror movie. Although interesting, it has now become more of a philosophical love drama. Also, there are quite a few bold assertions in the story. Bold since we are dealing with the “Alien Universe”, and its fans, and we’re treading on a minefield :)

It’s an interesting idea that David made the hole to the cargo hold when he and Elisabeth climbed up. That the Space Jockey “suit” is empty is another twist. Good, though, that the incident happened about 2.000 years ago and that it was connected to the outbreak on LV-223: The rebels wanted to wipe out the acolytes (with the eggs) as well as humanity (with the mutagen). The Makers, however, hindered this by initiating the outbreak - so it wasn’t an accident (which Janet thinks).

The eggs are made through copulating Deacons and the female gives birth to small ovoids which are then grown in a cargo hold (or a cavern?) and nourished with mutagen. The mutagen is made from “sacrificed” Deacons (trying to recreate the Earth Element). So, where does the Deacon come from? Is it a species somewhere out there?

Anyway, this has been a most interesting read and you certainly are a very good writer, Michelle!

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-24-2019 7:27 AM


Spoiler warning for those of you who haven’t read the book.


If we look at the financial politics of the decision in 2012 the Alien franchise was dead in the water so to hijack it made sense. But in order for that to work the movie needed to be bulletproof and most importantly give the larger audience more to mull over at the end of it. My reading group were already committed and loved the ambiguity but equally, when I travel and get into a conversation about the film I am surprised how many went to see Prometheus who are not ALIEN hardcore but equally unsurprised how they all said to a man or woman they were confused. If that had not happened and everyone had got it you would still be left with fans obsessing, but P2 would have been greenlit.

The Deacon

"Elizabeth looks on fascinated, entranced by the frescos. She knows, like the storyboards of a Buddhist temple, they are telling a story, a narrative of what had gone on here. Each Engineer appears to have a relationship with a creature that is poring at them. The Engineers are beautiful whereas the creatures that look upon them, that worshipped them, were distorted strange hybrid visions of life. It was then that Elizabeth noticed the Engineers bore scars on their abdomen. These creatures were their offspring, echoing the legends of Hinduism of the mythical birth of Brahma from Shiva’s navel, Shiva the transformer. But where do these storyboards end, was their transformation in this religiosity?  Charlie is about to find the answer."

This paragraph is intended to underwrite Steve Messing's remarks that the Deacon was the summation of all the unholy offspring that had gone before. The people of the Moon over the centuries subjected themselves to these appaling births honoured in the Fresco's until finally, they nailed the design. Once they had achieved that perfect outcome then, to coin a phrase they wanted to bottle it.

The idea of the creatures of the Ovoids being born is there in the movie that's exactly what happens with Elizabeth and her offspring. I simply took that methodology and inspired by unused artwork from Alien grew and harvested them.        

If you look at that paragraph the sanctuary yields more in the book than the film an example of ratcheting up the exposition so what is going on is clearer so the reader will come away primed for more rather than be bemused.  

In order to create a strong thematic quality the way I see it is as follows:-

The overarching story begins (at the end) in A L I E N with non-consensual hosting, it then moves backwards in the second movie P R O M E T H E US and we discover an entire species makes monsters through consensual hosting (another example of giving ALIEN context). At the climax of the story REGAINED we learn where this all comes from and discover it is an echo of the beginning. God annunciates the chosen people. The flaw is not with the hosts who accept a role, it is with those who are created. But the overarching point is this is a creation based on hosted reproduction and gives context to the behaviour of the fallen angels and the dysfunctional behaviour of the ALIEN lifecycle and Elizabeths predicament is an internal metaphor for all. 

Thank you for your witness I am delighted you enjoyed it. I have almost finished the grammar check for which thanks.

I should also like to pay tribute to my reading group who were invaluable in keeping me on my toes and continue to do so.

Chli I might ask for some summary words to add to others endorsement if I may. I will PM you. 







ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-24-2019 9:23 PM

OK, so the Fallen Angels created the Deacon through unholy, consensual, sacrifice? You get the feeling that we are talking about the Devil and his demons here? The xenomorph (or the Deacon) could be the dragon or the serpent - pure evil?

When Elisabeth witnessed the macabre fertility dance between the Deacons, it felt like a black sabbath. Is this the intention? Also, Elisabeth became fertile. Was this an inteciment of evil?

Halloween is around the corner which seems fitting somehow. :)

Of course, you can use “some summary words”. I’m glad if I can be of some help.

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-25-2019 1:01 AM


The Counterfeit Earth Element 

In a sense, this is a cautionary tale about unintended consequences. It began by writing control protocols for their Biomemtically Organic outcomes. That seems reasonable but in order to control these organic machines, they were given a punishment tag. This in the philosophical sense introduced sin into 'The Homeworld'.

From there is a slippery slope and by the time they moved on to subcreation to "improve the model" it was entwined in the matrix of the base sequence of their A.I. So the Deacon was very robust and strong but cruel and heartless a k a, as you correctly state the devil. If the creature is non-consensual creation without a moral compass then the deacon would have become consensual creation ... without a moral compass.

The Ovoids were designed to overcome the most challenging of targets and so their remorseless, non-consensual violence represents the apex of that thinking. But the core A I still included that original punishment tag which goes a long way to explaining the behaviour of the creature we see in A L I E N added to which it is a parasite and picks up the traits of its hosts which are not entirely without fault.      

The Fertility Dance 

Absolutely spot on. I read John Milton's Paradise Lost whilst writing Regained and much of the imagery was inspired by Mr Milton's very poetic descriptions. It's an odd thing because I'm in "the beast is cooked camp." but I hope that moments like that and Elizabeth and Davids encounters with 'it' add some nuances.  


Fertility spot on, a kind of extreme journey from menopause backwards with a rather unusual H.R.T. It kind of turns upside down the notion that external interference will always be unwelcome by the recipient. 

Also, Elizabeth's final state is a comment about lessons learned. Why would an intelligent God not have something to learn?      

The God of the Abrahamic religions know everything and understands the purpose of everything "it is beyond our understanding."Some would argue that's very convenient.  

The Gods of this story have a job description and think and act strategically. So tactically over billions of years, they can make adjustments if they to learn something from their experiences and their intended or unintended creations. I am inclined to think we learn more from our mistakes than our success. It is also noticeable that the acquired learning of the Homeworld is not from the Gods but from the worlds they seeded. 

One conversation I did not add to the narrative was about their holographic capacity for conjuring. I imagined that one very ancient world was now uninhabitable and in order to survive the inhabitants had become non-corporeal and could conjure themselves up at-need an example of shared technology. Rather different to the 'theft' of today haha.      



ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-26-2019 1:02 AM

The outbreak in this story wasn’t an accident. It was rather “nemesis”? Since the Deacon (and xenomorph) picks up traits from its host, is the aggression, hate and evil an amplification of the faults of its host? What would the outcome be if the host was an “angel”? Also, the Deacon was a result of consensual “sacrifice” leaving a scar in the abdomen. Normally, the host dies so was there a cesarean?

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-26-2019 2:40 AM


Many thanks for your questions I wrote a very full answer to this and posted it but the site had a moment and it was lost. 

I will try again tomorrow because I found your questions very stimulating. 

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-26-2019 10:25 AM


Let's try again.




At a philosophical level, the result would be the ubermensch interfering with a platonic idealism. The former is about life now whereas the Angels sacrifice in the name of otherworldly fulfilment.

I think its too cute to say it would lead to Pandominium it would lead to a break down of the consensus. It would lead to Weyland rather than Elizabeth. More specifically the result would probably reject death like Weyland.

Who knows what "it" would look like I decided that was planned ambiguity it gives the Cargo some of their ambiguity back. However, Elizabeth's visions are part of the answer though it may be fake to lure her.

Moving to her, as the author, I wanted the reader to be excited by her vision dreams to share Elizabeth's dilemma by finding it intoxicating and persuasive (our proxy). "This could be interesting and cool." Would that have worked quite possibly but as David said, "if it wasn't so dangerous." one answer appeals to our sense of the exotic and adventure the other a kind of self-righteousness. But this is because those witnessing the story are inside the fall so again we need to place ourselves out of who we are and say what is right in an intelligent creation where we know all the answers and know where we fit in and the problem is dealing with Pandora's Urn.          

The Creature

Is an amplification of its host.

The Deacon

Is the purest form of their counterfeit and determination to improve the model so if the upgrade had occurred they would have been Ubermensch and in a fallen world destroyed their parents.

Deacon consensual

I think David assumed there would be accidents and failures as they move toward perfection (echoing his 8 upgrades) and the process would be brutal and unpleasant but you are correct they were mere hosts and indeed Elizabeth corrects him and rather worryingly says they are all "at it." I also think David had in his mind the sacrificial instruction of the Mural. He guessed, correctly, that was a sacrifice.

Very early on I had the idea the earth acolyte repented and I imagined him being thrown in the Victoria Falls after being forced to take the catalyser but that did not feel right as he was a mover and a shaker and then I wrote the Second Pyramid reveal where they were tricked into sacrifice.

On a separate topic, you mentioned the notion of reward for good behaviour I thought it was a nice allegory that given the currency of what the soul is, it's not about judgement, it's about contribution. To use an analogy if you write a book it goes in the library if you don't add to the sum of the universes knowledge then you do not end up in the library. In an unsentimental world, Elizabeth's hysterical Catholic Doctrine of Heaven and Hell doesn't work. You are in the Erko and will live on inside it or you leave it and cease eventually to exist. So the atheists are half right !!!     




Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-27-2019 12:17 AM


For the first time since I began this project, I sat and watched the movie last night, rather than in lots of small edits for my project.

Three things struck me, two of which are connected with your words 'Meat On The Bones'.

1) I realised how much the omniscient narrator and the ironic telling of Weyland's story had added to our understanding in the book. Whether the book is good or bad is for others but it's not the book of the film. The book has more context but not through invention simply explaining the existing themes.

2) I have noticed this before but it really stands out when Elizabeth says "What killed them" we cut to the Cylinder opening scene a clear message that what's in the cylinder is bound up with their annihilation but a clearer more coherent answer is never offered. There are then two steps Charlies spiking and Elizabeth and Charlies final prophetic positioning conversation and then the crew simply become reactive. The issue of our search for answers is over it's about survival and we do not learn or see anything we do not already know. In the movie, we have already had the Hammerpedes so the audience is ahead of the crew. We are going to watch two acts of mayhem unfold. So we have had this very fascinating premise set up and now people start dying. Ridley would argue we get to see where the craft and pilot come from because of an identical very impressive reveal and I would not argue with that. However, we have these huge questions about our creators and their creators and we have had no sight of Ovoids. So on two levels, the audience is puzzled. I think my second and third acts offer more exposition even if it's just understanding the questions better. 

3) As an aside, the supporting group Jackson, Ford, the bearded hitman, a male nurse and Furdik all begin to pop up in rather random ways.  

In summary, I can see why you as a reader would react that way.



ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-27-2019 12:43 AM

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." :)

The thesis that acquired traits are inheritable is called epigenetics, by the way. If the Deacon and xenomorph is moulded on the traits of its host, what is "the thing" in itself (Das Ding An Sich/Kant :) )?

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-27-2019 3:53 AM


'the thing" is unsurprisingly an attempt to replicate the original trigger. It doesn't have the benefit of the original schematics and it includes the preoccupations of the Moon creatures. The base sequence was as you know used in the fabrication, building and controlling of large elements of the Engineer Craft. So it began life as a straight forward nourishment tool for building organic biomimetic outcomes. No doubt the fallen acolyte tried to breakdown the original creation tool and replicate it but he did not have the schematics available to the Origin Engineers and so made a copy and they were so hell-bent on the thing in itself it lacked the qualities that made this creation special and the path to Widjom. 

In terms of detail the closest explanation we get to it as onlookers is through Charlie.  

Naturally, we can take Kant's view and why not in an intelligent creation. Elizabeth was for it and David against. There is intended irony there on several levels.

I will conclude by suggesting that in an Intelligent Creation there would be more arguments about patents and there use.   



Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-28-2019 5:16 AM


Stockholm Syndrome 

I was very pleased you made this connection. 

To me, there was an obvious dramatic potential in their relationship from the moment that David begins to remove her cross in quarantine. Whilst the Caserean is to come we have reached a crossroads where Ripley's condition in ALIEN 3 can be revisited and recalibrated.

I say crossroads because you can take the trope road, which means someone will have got there before you, or you can go on and further examine the themes of hosting particularly where the person responsible is making a journey next to/with you.

One of my readers quite rightly pointed out the 'birthing machine' riff. The key is to remember the story if you are going to react to that kind of concern. In order to further examine the issue, I deconstructed the component parts.


David has been seeking a solution from the get-go.

David suffers rage at the outcome, quite the opposite of Ash's smugness.

Elizabeth is ambivalent but errs more to the side of being taken in. That's partly a comment on modern woman's preoccupations with Vanity.  

It has a psychological dynamic which eventually reverses everyone's roles.    

The ritual happens once on the page and I take the opportunity to poke some gentle fun at Covenant and then reverse the outcome.       

Mercifully that seems to have worked and no one has suggested I went into birthing machine territory. 

Woman and Robot.

There is a slight sense that they are like the woman with the gay friend, the fantastic company, good looking (once the Lawrence quiff is buried) very caring, respectful but with no 'play' made at the end of the evening.  

However, I also felt their relationship was a comment on how they're so much more to relationships than the sexual dynamic and it turns out in this universe the latter is seen to be driven by very particular idiosyncratic reasons.

In general, I think Ridley from Giger onwards has been very very good at exploring man's hostage to all of that stuff. Giger was himself far from comfortable in his thinking.

Even asking the sacrificial chosen one to wear a monastic cloak airs the sexual narrative. It's like we don't do all the pumping and grinding we are serious we do creation big time and when I looked at the more closely I decided that's how to interpret it.   


In a way, our conversation and others I have had have reinforced the notion that placing the big chap in A L I E N within a story with a profoundly philosophical narrative is a commercial non-starter. If you go to any website connected to this franchise their preoccupations are a million miles away from the above. I understand and accept that but that is not the same as saying it doesn't have value it does and I am really grateful for everything said by others to me about this work just as I love Ridleys Seven Worlds which manages with just a Lizard in the desert.

Two other quick things:

1) the Sugata Valley is as I describe but so is the opening moving landscape of the movie referencing Scott Free and Dune.

2) David is playing the Chopin we hear in the movie.  




ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-30-2019 1:28 AM



I think “The Alien Universe” is big enough for different genres as well as different stories to be told within it. There is, of course, the problem of “canon” but the franchise has become so muddled with books and films pointing in different directions that it’s almost impossible to say that something is “canon”. It’s up to each one of us what we choose to believe.

Intelligent Design

Instead of showing a dystopic future of evil, death and destruction, and a universe saturated of mere chance and blind evolution, an optimistic view (a soul and meaning) is refreshing and encouraging, as long as there is no agenda behind it with organizations wanting to ban the teaching of evolution in schools etc.


ChestbursterMember935 XPOct-31-2019 7:12 AM

Cont . . .

Gender and Robots

Apart from the biological instincts of females to be drawn to men who either radiate or have factual power, a handsome manservant with both intellectual and physical power who fulfils a woman’s every need - without an obligation of nocturnal “payment” must be a dream come true? :)

There is already on the market, I think, a “female”, good looking robot who can fulfil a man’s every dream, and without a shred of nagging. :)

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-31-2019 3:14 PM





I am encouraged by your remarks after all this is a subforum of a science fiction forum which was much more active at one time so it's difficult to tell if it represents the wider audience. I know my contacts outside of this forum went to see Prometheus but not Covenant. I recall seeing a poster on who described the franchise as multi-generational that would suggest to me a broad palette does make sense.            




Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-31-2019 11:00 PM

Intelligent Design.

As the proposition is that hidden within all our myths and belief systems is the truth then concerns about a particular subtext would not be warranted. 

On BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday afternoon the following was played. 

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Carter from the 2019 Lammermuir Festival

Stuart MacRae: Prometheus Symphony for soprano, baritone and orchestra
(Jennifer France - soprano)
(Paul Carey Jones - baritone)

 A new work which I really enjoyed but what fascinated me was the simple introduction of the Myth. The Titan that fashioned Man out of Clay and provided him with the Gift of Fire. So that's in the story through

 1) The transmission sequence of bringing the liquid and earth element together to make Clay. 

 2) The visits recorded in the Pictograms.

However, the passing of the sacrificial bowl by the Origin Engineer to the Acolyte/Chosen one, echos the sacrament.

Just a simple example of how Greek Mythology and Christian ritual in this story refract the truth. One could go on but the proposition is the footprint is a mosaic. As we know in the earthbound religions all sorts of people maintain they own God at the expense of others.

This story is saying your all wrong no one owns him/her it or they, indeed we haven't met God yet and the Gods wouldn't even describe themselves as Gods.




Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPOct-31-2019 11:05 PM

Gender & Robots

If I am completely honest their relationship has never changed from my first draft, though the story and its execution has. The way I wrote it was instinctive. Michael said that Elizabeth fascinated David. The look on his face in the briefing and the Africa scene is a mixture of intense curiosity and awestruck. Once she had shown him more kindness than any other human being he is happy with his role as a super servant and he wanted to be perfect for her on her terms. So I agree with you. 

However, as matters become clearer and clearer beginning in Chapter 8 through to 14 then he becomes the candid friend (Ali) and unknowingly is also being tested. 

The comment I am making here in the story is what better way to deal with an upside notion of everything with everyone involved making mistakes than a machine and one who has been on a journey to neutrality. 

To reach that neutrality you could interpret that it is achieved in "the Prophesy" when he is born again, born anew. The first time he is born The Piero Della Francesca is in the room telling him there is a hole in the roof which will enable him to find heaven. The second time he is renewed the same light comes from the roof above in the "place of connection" and at his feet are the three ghorwa. 

So is he taking upon himself the mantle of Moses, is there an echo in his final act of freeing the Israelites from slavery? I think there are echos but I don't think so, he is simply caught up in his transformative morality tale. So he is a super servant to Elizabeth but grows into a super servant of all. 

To summarise Davids behaviour and her response cover a good deal of ground but it is not the destination it is part of their separate journey. However, I think it is fascinating to look at this enabling relationship where they give each other quite different gifts.

There is a comment within their story about sexuality. From the quarantine room onwards they are engaged in very intimate contact and in both directions, David helps her pre Caesarean and Elizabeth carries him from the downed craft to the operating table. She would have manoeuvred his head very carefully over his torso before making the connections.  

That kind of interaction is carried through into the original work in many different ways and they also pursue two moments of music but by implication, because in his current state he has no reproductive or sexual narrative, it is always defined by the head and the heart but not the hips.

Thank you again for your observations.









OvomorphMember11 XPNov-03-2019 8:35 PM

I would love to read this if it still available, it sounds like an awesome concept

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPNov-03-2019 11:46 PM


Many thanks for your interest. This takes you straight in.

I hope you enjoy it and please bear in mind Michael Fassbender's remarks made at the time of Prometheus that what you see in ALIEN is a small tributary of a much bigger story, so this is a story the creature comes into not a story about the creature.    


OvomorphMember10 XPNov-11-2019 11:22 AM

Just finished reading, amazing stuff!

Michelle Johnston

ChestbursterMember763 XPNov-12-2019 10:58 AM


Thank you for your interest and I am delighted you enjoyed it. 

I am extremely self-critical but I do think it somehow manages to deal with many of the nuances surrounding the subject of what is existence if you look through the telescope marked intelligent creation. 

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