"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"ALIENS"

by

James Cameron

FIRST DRAFT

May 28, 1985



FADE IN:

SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE - SPACE

Silent and endless. The stars shine like the love of God...
cold and remote. Against them drifts a tiny chip of
technology.

CLOSER SHOT It is the NARCISSUS, lifeboat of the ill-fated
star-freighter Nostromo. Without interior or running lights
it seems devoid of life. The PING of a RANGING RADAR grows
louder, closer. A shadow engulfs the Narcissus. Searchlights
flash on, playing over the tiny ship, as a MASSIVE DARK HULL
descends toward it.

INT. NARCISSUS

Dark and dormant as a crypt. The searchlights stream in the
dusty windows. Outside, massive metal forms can BE SEEN
descending around the shuttle. Like the tolling of a bell, a
BASSO PROFUNDO CLANG reverberates through the hull.

CLOSE ON THE AIRLOCK DOOR Light glares as a cutting torch
bursts through the metal. Sparks shower into the room.

A second torch cuts through. They move with machine precision,
cutting a rectangular path, converging. The torches meet.
Cut off. The door falls inward REVEALING a bizarre multi-
armed figure. A ROBOT WELDER.

FIGURES ENTER, backlit and ominous. THREE MEN in bio-isolation
suits, carrying lights and equipment. They approach a
sarcophagus-like HYPERSLEEP CAPSULE, f.g.

LEADER
(filtered)
Internal pressure positive. Assume
nominal hull integrity. Hypersleep
capsules, style circa late twenties...

His gloved hand wipes at on opaque layer of dust on the
canopy.

ANGLE INSIDE CAPSULE as light stabs in where the dust is
wiped away, illuminating a WOMAN, her face in peaceful repose.

WARRANT OFFICER RIPLEY, sole survivor of the Nostromo.

Nestled next to her is JONES, the ship's wayward cat.

LEADER
(voice over; filtered)
Lights are green. She's alive. Well,
there goes our salvage, guys.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - TIGHT ON RIPLEY - GATEWAY STATION

She's lying in a bed, looking wan, as a female MED-TECH raises
the backrest. She is surrounded by arcane white MEDICAL
EQUIPMENT. The Med-Tech exudes practiced cheeriness.

MED-TECH
Why don't I open the viewport? Watch
your eyes.

Harsh light floods in as a motorized shield slides into the
ceiling, REVEALING a breathtaking vista. Beyond the sprawling
complex of modular habitats, collectively called GATEWAY
STATION, is the curve of EARTH as seen from high orbit. Blue
and serene.

MED-TECH
And how are we today?

RIPLEY
(weakly)
Terrible.

MED-TECH
Just terrible? That's better than
yesterday at least.

RIPLEY
How long have I been on Gateway
station?

MED-TECH
Just a couple of days. Do you feel
up to a visitor?

Ripley shrugs, not caring. The door opens and a MAN enters,
although Ripley sees only what he is carrying.

A familiar large, orange TOMCAT.

RIPLEY
Jones!

She grabs the cat like a life preserver.

RIPLEY
(cooing baby-cat talk)
Come here Jonesy you ugly old moose...
you ugly thing.

Jones patiently endures Ripley's embarrassing display, seeming
none the worse for wear. The visitor sits beside the bed and
Ripley finally notices him. He is thirtyish and handsome, in
a suit that looks executive or legal, the tie loosened with
studied casualness. A smile referred to as "winning."

MAN
Nice room. I'm Burke. Carter Burke.
I work for the company, but other
than that I'm an okay guy. Glad to
see you're feeling better. I'm told
the weakness and disorientation should
pass soon. Side effects of the
unusually long hypersleep, or
something like that.

RIPLEY
How long was I out there? They won't
tell me anything.

BURKE
(soothing)
Well, maybe you shouldn't worry about
that just yet.

Ripley grabs his arm, surprising him.

RIPLEY
How long?

Burke gazes at her, thoughtful.

BURKE
All right. My instinct says you're
strong enough to handle this... Fifty-
seven years.

Ripley is stunned. She seems to deflate, her expression
passing through amazement and shock to realization of all
she has lost. Friends. Family. Her world.

RIPLEY
Fifty-seven... oh, Christ...

BURKE
You'd drifted right through the core
systems. It's blind luck that deep-
salvage team caught you when they...
are you all right?

Ripley coughs suddenly as if choking and her expression
becomes one of dawning horror. Burke hands her a glass of
water from the nightstand. She slaps it away. It shatters
with a SMASH. Jones dives, yowling. Ripley grabs her chest,
struggling as if she is strangling.

The Med-Tech hits a console button.

MED-TECH
(shouting)
Code Blue! 415. Code Blue! 4-1-5!

Burke and the Med-Tech are holding Ripley's shoulders as she
goes into convulsions. A DOCTOR and TWO TECHS run in. Ripley's
back arches in agony.

RIPLEY
No... noooo!

They try to restrain her as she thrashes, knocking over
equipment. Her EKG races like mad. Jones, under a cabinet,
hisses wide-eyed.

DOCTOR
Hold her... Get me an airway, stat!
And fifteen cc's of... Jesus!

AN EXPLOSION OF BLOOD beneath the sheet covering her chest!
Ripley stares at the SHAPE RISING UNDER THE SHEET. Tearing
itself out of her.

HER P.O.V. as the sheet rises. A GLIMPSE OF the CHITTERING
HORROR... IT SCREECHES.

TIGHT ON RIPLEY screaming, snapping up INTO FRAME.

Alone in the darkened hospital room. She gasps for breath,
clutching pathetically at her chest. There is no demented
horror rigging itself out of her. Her eyes snap about wildly,
slowly focusing on the reality of her safety. Shuddering,
bathed in sweat, she kneads her breastbone with the heel of
her hand and sobs.

A VIDEO MONITOR beside the bed snaps on. A MED-TECH's face.

MED-TECH
Bad dreams again? Do you want
something to help you sleep?

RIPLEY
(faint)
No.. I've slept enough.

The Med-Tech shrugs and switches off. Touching a button on
the nightstand she opens the viewport, REVEALING Gateway and
the turquoise Earth. She hugs Jones to her and rocks with
him like a child, still shattered by the nightmare. Shivering.
Sleep is far off.

RIPLEY
We made it, Jones. We made it. But
at what price?

CUT TO:

EXT. PARK

Sunlight streams in shafts through a stand of poplars, beyond
which a verdant meadow is VISIBLE.

EXTREME F.G. Jones stalks toward a bird hopping among fallen
leaves. He leaps. And smack into A WALL.

RIPLEY (V.O.)
Dumbshit.

WIDER ANGLE as Jones steps back confused from the HIGH-
RESOLUTION ENVIRONMENTAL WALL SCREEN, a sort of cinerama
video-loop. Ripley sits on a bench in what we now SEE is an
ATRIUM off the medical center, still somewhere in the bowels
of Gateway Station. Benches.

Some unenthusiastic potted trees. The sterile corridors
VISIBLE beyond glass doors b.g.

Burke ENTERS in his usual mode, casual haste.

BURKE
Sorry... I've been running behind
all morning.

Ripley seems healthier now, but still a bit brittle.

RIPLEY
Have they located my daughter yet?

BURKE
Well, I was going to wait until after
the inquest...

He opens his briefcase, removing a sheet of printer hard
copy, including a telestat photo.

RIPLEY
Is she...?

BURKE
(scanning)
Amanda Ripley-McClaren. Married name,
I guess. Age: sixty-six... at time
of death. Two years ago.
(looks at her)
I'm sorry.

Ripley studies the PHOTOGRAPH, stunned.

The face of a woman in her mid-sixties. It could be anybody.
She tries to reconcile the face with the little girl she
once knew.

RIPLEY
Amy.

BURKE
(reading)
Cancer. Hmmmm. They still haven't
licked that one. Cremated. Interred
Parkside Repository, Little Chute,
Wisconsin. No children.

Ripley gazes off, into the pseudo-landscape, into the past.

RIPLEY
I promised her I'd be home for her
birthday. Her eleventh birthday. I
sure missed that one.
(pause)
Well... she has already learned to
take my promises with a grain of
salt. When it came to flight
schedules, anyway.

Burke nods, a simpatico presence.

RIPLEY
You always think you can make it up
to somebody... later, you know. But
now I never can. I never can.

Let's get one thing straight... Ripley can be one tough lady.
But the terror, the loss, the emptiness are, in this moment,
overwhelming. She cries silently.

Burke puts a reassuring hand on her arm.

BURKE
(gently)
The hearing convenes at 0930. You
don't want to be late.

INT. CORRIDOR - GATEWAY

Elevator doors part and Ripley emerges, in mid-conversation
with Burke. DOLLYING AHEAD OF THEM as they move rapidly down
the corridor.

RIPLEY
You read my deposition... it's
complete and accurate.

BURKE
Look, I believe you, but there are
going to be some heavyweights in
there. You got Feds, you got
interstellar commerce commission,
you got colonial administration,
insurance company guys...

RIPLEY
I get the picture.

BURKE
Just tell them what happened. The
important thing is to stay cool and
unemotional.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - ON RIPLEY - GATEWAY

She's not cool. Not unemotional.

RIPLEY
Do you people have earwax, or what?
We have been here three hours. How
many different ways do you want me
to tell the same story?

She faces the EIGHT MEMBERS of the board of inquiry at a
long conference table. Gray suits and grim faces. They aren't
buying. Behind Ripley on a large VIDEO SCREEN, PARKER grins
like a goon from his personnel mugshot. His file prints out
next to it. BRETT's face and dossier replace it, and then
the others as the SCENE continues...

KANE, LAMBERT, ASH the android traitor, DALLAS.

VAN LEUWEN, the ICC representative, steeples his fingers and
frowns.

VAN LEUWEN
Look at it from our perspective.

You freely admit to detonating the engines of, and thereby
destroying, an M-Class star-freighter. A rather expensive
piece of hardware...

INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR
(dryly)
Forty-two million in adjusted dollars.
That's minus payload, of course.

VAN LEUWEN
The shuttle's flight recorder
corroborates some elements of your
account. That the Nostromo set down
on LV-426, an unsurveyed planet, at
that time. That repairs were made.
That it resumed its course and was
subsequently set for self-destruct.
By you. For reasons unknown.

RIPLEY
Look, I told you...

VAN LEUWEN
It did not, however, contain any
entries concerning the hostile life
form you allegedly picked up.

Ripley sense the noose tightening.

RIPLEY
Then somebody's gotten to it...
doctored the recorder. Who had access
to it?

The ECA (Extrasolar Colonization Administration)
Representative (ECA REP) just shakes his head.

ECA REP
Would you just listen to yourself
for one minute.

Ripley glares at the ECA Rep, a woman on the ungenerous side
of fifty. Van Leuwen sighs with exasperation.

VAN LEUWEN
The analysis team which went over
your shuttle centimeter by centimeter
found no physical evidence of the
creature you describe...

RIPLEY
(losing it)
That's because I blew it out the
Goddamn airlock!
(pause)
Like I said.

INSURANCE MAN
(to ECA Rep)
Are there any species like this
'hostile organism' on LV-426?

ECA REP
No. It's a rock. No indigenous life
larger than a simple virus.

Ripley grits her teeth in frustration.

RIPLEY
I told you, it wasn't indigenous.
There was an alien spacecraft there.
A derelict ship. We homed on its
beacon...

ECA REP
To be perfectly frank, we've surveyed
over three hundred worlds and no
one's ever reported a creature which,
using your words...
(read from Ripley's
statement)
...'gestates in a living human host'
and has 'concentrated molecular acid
for blood.'

Ripley glances at Burke, silent at the far end of the table.
His expression is grim. Her mouth hardens as a bit of the
old nail-eating Ripley surfaces.

RIPLEY
Look, I can see where this is going.
But I'm telling you those things
exist. Back on that planetoid is an
alien ship and on that ship are
thousands of eggs. Thousands. Do you
understand? I suggest you find it,
using the flight recorder's data.
Find it and deal with it -- before
one of your survey teams comes back
with a little surprise...

VAN LEUWEN
Thank you, Officer Ripley. That will
be...

RIPLEY
(louder, stepping on
him)
...because just one of those things
managed to kill my entire crew, within
twelve hours of hatching...

Van Leuwen stands, out of patience.

VAN LEUWEN
Thank you, that will be all.

Ripley stares him down, glowering at the board.

RIPLEY
That's not all, Goddamnit! If those
things get back here, that will be
all. Then you can just kiss it good-
bye, Jack! Just kiss it goodbye.

Ripley turns sharply away, trembling with frustration and
anger. Dallas looks back at her from the video screen, his
eyes burning from the photograph, as we:

CUT TO:

INT. CORRIDOR

Ripley kicks the wall next to Burke who is getting coffee
and donuts at a vending machine.

BURKE
You had them eating out of your hand,
kiddo.

RIPLEY
They had their minds made up before
I even went in there. They think I'm
a head case.

BURKE
(cheerfully)
You are a head case. Have a donut.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - TIGHT ON RIPLEY - LATER

Van Leuwen clears his throat.

VAN LEUWEN
It is the finding of this board of
inquiry that Warrent Officer Ellen
Ripley, NOC-14672. has acted with
questionable judgment and is unfit
to hold an ICC license as a commercial
flight officer.

Burke watches Ripley taking it on the chin, white-lipped but
subdued.

VAN LEUWEN
Said license is hereby suspended
indefinitely. No criminal charges
will be filed at this time and you
are released on own recognizance for
a six month period of psychometric
probation, to include monthly review
by an ICC psychiatric tech...

INT. CORRIDOR

DOLLY BACK as the conference room door bangs open and Ripley
strides through. She shrugs off Burke's restraining arm and
catches up to Van Leuwen walking down the corridor.

RIPLEY
(insistent)
Why won't you check out LV-426?

VAN LEUWEN
(condescendingly)
Because I don't have to. The people
who live there checked it out years
ago and they never reported and
'hostile organism' or alien ship.
And by the way, they call it Acheron
now.

RIPLEY
What are you talking about. What
people?

Van Leuwen steps into an elevator with some others, but Ripley
holds the door from closing.

VAN LEUWEN
Terraformers... planet engineers.
It's what we call a shake 'n' bake
colony. They set up atmosphere
processors to make the air
breathable... big job. Takes decades.
They've already been there over twenty
years. Peacefully.

The door tries to close. Ripley slams it back. People are
getting annoyed.

RIPLEY
How many colonists?

VAN LEUWEN
Sixty, maybe seventy families.

RIPLEY
(low)
Sweet Jesus.

ELEVATOR PASSENGER
Do you mind?

Ripley's hand slides off the door, strengthless.

TIGHT ON HER FROM INSIDE the elevator as the doors close
like fate on her lost expression.

EXT. ALIEN LANDSCAPE - DAY

A hideous, storm-blasted vista. Tortured rock forms.

Bleak twilight at midday.

PAN SLOWLY ONTO a CORRODED METAL SIGN set in concrete pylons,
which reads:

HADLEY'S HOPE - POP. 159 "WELCOME TO ACHERON"

Some local has added below in spray-can graffiti "Have a
nice day." Gale-force wind SCREECHES around the steel sign,
driving a freezing rain.

The COLONY, b.g., is a squat complex with lots of floodlights.

EXT. COLONY COMPLEX

The town is a cluster of bunker-like metal and concrete
buildings connected by conduits. Neon signs throw garish
colors across the vaultlike walls, advertising bars and other
businesses. It looks like a sodden cross between the Krupps
munitions works and a truckstop casino in the Nevada
boondocks.

Huge-wheeled tractors crawl toad-like in the rutted "street"
and vanish down rampways to underground garages.

ANGLE ON THE CONTROL BLOCK the largest structure. It resembles
vaguely the superstructure of an aircraft carrier... a flying
bridge.

VISIBLE across a half kilometer of barren heath, b.g., is
the massive complex of the nearest ATMOSPHERE PROCESSOR,
looking like a power plant bred with an active volcano. Its
fiery glow pulses in the low cloud cover like a steel mill.

INT. MAIN CONCOURSE - NEAR CONTROL BLOCK

A central space, laid out like a scaled-down shopping mall
with no styling flourishes. We SEE a cross section of the
types of people who have come to live on Godforsaken Acheron.
Tough. Pragmatic. "Grapes of Wrath" faces. Calloused hands.
Not too many interior decorators. Some children race in the
corridor on things that look suspiciously like "Big Wheels."

INT. OPERATIONS ROOM - CONTROL BLOCK

Jammed with computer terminals, technicians, displays...
most of the business of running the colony flows through
here. It's high tech but used and scrungy. Papers piled up.
Coffee cup rings.

DOLLY AHEAD OF LYDECKER, the Assistant Operations Manager,
as he catches up to the harried Operating Manager, SIMPSON.

LYDECKER
You remember you sent some wildcatters
out to that plateau, out past the
Ilium range, a couple days ago?

SIMPSON
Yeah. What?

LYDECKER
There's a guy on the horn, mom-and-
pop survey team. Says he's homing on
something and wants to know if his
claim will be honored.

SIMPSON
Christ. Some honch in a cushy office
on Earth says go look at a grid
reference in the middle of nowhere,
we look. They don't say why, and I
don't ask. I don't ask because it
takes two weeks to get an answer out
here and the answer's always 'don't
ask.'

LYDECKER
So what do I tell this guy?

SIMPSON
Tell him, as far as I'm concerned,
he finds something it's his.

EXT. ACHERON - THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - A SIX-WHEELED TRACTOR -
DAY

It roars across corrugated rock, blasting through soggy drifts
of volcanic ash.

INT. TRACTOR

At the controls, intent on a PINGING scope, is RUSS JORDEN,
independent prospector. Beside him is his wife/partner ANNE
and in the back their two kids are playing among the heavy
sampling equipment.

JORDEN
(gloating cackle)
Look at this fat, juicy magnetic
profile. And it's mine, mine, mine.

ANNE
Half mine, dear.

NEWT, their six-year-old daughter, yells from the back...

NEWT
And half mine!

JORDEN
I got too many partners.

NEWT
Daddy, when are we going back to
town?

JORDEN
When we get rich, Newt.

NEWT
You always say that. I wanna go back.
I wanna play 'Monster Maze.'

Her older brother TIM sticks his jeering face close to hers.

TIM
You cheat too much.

NEWT
Do not. I'm just the best.

TIM
Do too! You go in places we can't
fit.

NEWT
So! That's why I'm the best.

ANNE
Knock it off! I catch either of you
playing in the air ducts again I'll
tan your hides.

NEWT
Mom. All the kids play it...

JORDEN
(reverently)
Holy shiiit!

ANGLE THROUGH FRONT CANOPY ON a bizarre shape looming ahead.
An enormous bonelike mass projecting upward from the bed of
ash. The tractor slows.

Canted on its side and buckles against a rock outcropping by
the lava flow, it is still recognizable as an EXTRATERRESTRIAL
SHIP. Bio-mechanoid. Nonhuman design.

JORDEN
Folks, we have scored big this time.

EXT. TRACTOR

Jorden and Anne step down, wearing ENVIRONMENT SUITS.

Carrying LIGHTS, PACKS, CAMERAS, TEST GEAR. Their breath
clouds in the chill air.

ANNE
You kids stay inside. I mean it!
We'll be right back.

They trudge toward the alien derelict.

ANNE
Shouldn't we call in?

JORDEN
Let's wait till we know what to call
it in as.

ANNE
(nervous)
How about 'big weird thing'?

They pause at a twisted gash in the hull. Blackness inside.

INT./EXT. TRACTOR

Newt has her face pressed to the glass, steaming it.

Watching her parents enter the strange ship. Tim GRABS HER
from behind. She SHRIEKS.

TIM
Cheater!

EXT. LANDSCAPE - NIGHT

The tractor and the derelict are dark and motionless.

The wind HOWLS around them.

Tim is curled up in the driver's seat. Newt shakes him awake,
trying hard not to cry.

NEWT
Timmy... they've been gone a long
time.

Tim considers the night. The wind. The vast landscape.

He bites his lip.

TIM
(quavering)
It'll be okay, Newt. Dad knows what
he's doing.

CRASH! Newt SCREAMS as the door beside her is RIPPED OPEN. A
dark shape lunges inside!

Anne, panting and terrified, grabs the dash mike.

ANNE
Mayday! Mayday! This is Alpha Kilo
Two Four Niner calling Hadley Control.
Repeat. This is...

As Anne shouts the mayday Newt looks past her, to the ground.
Russ Jorden lies there inert, dragged somehow by Anne from
inside the ship. There is SOMETHING ON HIS FACE. An appalling
MULTILEGGED CREATURE, pulsing with obscene life. Newt begins
to SCREAM hysterically, competing with the shrieking wind
which rises to a crescendo as we:

CUT TO:

INT. RIPLEY'S APARTMENT - GATEWAY - DAY

Silence. Ripley, looking haggard, sits at a table in the
dining alcove contemplating the smoke rising from her
cigarette. The place is modest, to be charitable, and there
are few personal touches. Though it's late in the day Ripley
is still wearing a robe. The bed is unmade. Dishes in the
sink. Jones prowls across the counter. The WALLSCREEN is on,
blaring vapidly.

VOICE FROM VIDEO (O.S.)
Hey, Bob! I heard you and the family
are heading off for the colonies!

BOB (O.S.)
Best decision I ever made, Bill.
We'll be starting a new life from
scratch, in a clean world. No crime.
No unemployment...

The door BUZZES. Ripley jumps like a cat. Jones doesn't.

INT. CORRIDOR

Carter Burke stands in the narrow, dingy corridor with
LIEUTENANT GORMAN, Colonial Marine Corps. Young and severe
in his officer's dress-black. The door opens slightly.

BURKE
Hi, Ripley. This is Lieutenant Gorman
of the...

SLAM. Burke buzzes again. Talks to the door...

BURKE
Ripley we have to talk.
(pause)
They've lost contact with the colony
on Acheron.

The door opens. Ripley considers the ramifications of that.
She motions them inside.

INT. RIPLEY'S APARTMENT - A LITTLE LATER

Burke and Gorman are seated, nursing coffee. Ripley paces,
very tense.

RIPLEY
No. There's no way!

BURKE
Hear me out...

RIPLEY
I was reamed, steamed and dry-cleaned
by you guys... and now you want me
to go back out there? Forget it.

We SEE that she's gut scared, covering it with anger.

Burke sees it.

BURKE
Look, we don't know what's going on
out there. It may just be a down
transmitter. But if it's not, I want
you there... as an advisor. That's
all.

GORMAN
You wouldn't be going in with the
troops. I can guarantee your safety.

BURKE
These Colonial Marines are some tough
hombres, and they're packing state-
of-the-art firepower. Nothing they
can't handle... right, Lieutenant?

GORMAN
(cool)
We're trained to deal with these
kinds of situations.

RIPLEY
(to Burke)
What about you? What's your interest
in this?

BURKE
Well, the corporation co-financed
that colony with the Colonial
Administration, against mineral
rights. We're getting into a lot of
terraforming... 'Building Better
Worlds.'

Burke is revealing his early days in sales.

RIPLEY
Yeah, yeah. I saw the commercial.

BURKE
I heard you were working in the cargo
docks.

RIPLEY
(defensive)
That's right.

BURKE
Running loaders, forklifts, that
sort of thing?

RIPLEY
(shrugging)
It's all I could get. Anyway, it
keeps my mind off of... everything.
Days off are worse.

BURKE
What if I said I could get you
reinstated as a flight officer? And
that the company has agreed to pick
up your contract?

RIPLEY
If I go.

BURKE
If you go.
(pause)
It's a second chance, kiddo. And
it'll be the best thing in the world
for you to face this fear and beat
it. You gotta get back on the horse...

RIPLEY
(frosty)
Spare me, Burke. I've had my psych
evaluation this month.

Burke leans close, a let's-cut-the-crap intimacy.

BURKE
Yes, and I've read it. You wake up
every night, sheets soaking, the
same nightmare over and over...

RIPLEY
(shouting)
No! The answer is no. Now please go.
I'm sorry. Just go, would you.

Burke nods to Gorman who rises with him. He slips a
TRANSLUCENT CARD onto the table, heads for the door.

BURKE
Think about it.

EXT. ACHERON LANDSCAPE - NIGHT

As the wind HOWLS through tormented rock, BUILDING IN PITCH
until we:

CUT TO:

INT. APARTMENT

Ripley lunges INTO FRAME with an animal outcry. She clutches
her chest, breathing hard. Bathed in sweat she lights a
cigarette with trembling hands. Do we hear a faint, desolate
wind?

TIGHT ON PHONE CONSOLE as Ripley's hand inserts Burke's card
into a slot. "STAND BY" prints out on the screen and is
replaced by Burke's face, bleary with sleep.

BURKE
(on video phone)
Yello? Oh, Ripley. Hi...

RIPLEY
Burke, just tell me one thing. That
you're going out there to kill them.
Not study. Not bring back. Just burn
them out... clean... forever.

BURKE
That's the plan. My word on it.

CLOSEUP - RIPLEY taking a deep slow breath. It's time to
look the demon in the eye.

RIPLEY
All right. I'm in.

She punches off before Burke replies, before she can change
her mind. She turns to Jones sitting on the bed and her tone
becomes admonishing...

RIPLEY
And you my dear, are staying right
here.

Jones blinks, cynical cat eyes... "count me right out."

CUT TO:

EXT. DEEP SPACE - THREE WEEKS LATER

An empty starfield. Metal spires slice ACROSS FRAME.

A mountain of steel following. A massive military transport
ship, the SULACO. Ugly, battered... functional.

INT. CORRIDOR TO CARGO LOCK

An empty corridor, seemingly miles long. No movement.

The THRUMMING of hyperdrive engines.

INT. CARGO LOCK

An enormous chamber, cavernous and dark. Squatting in the
shadows are two orbit-to-surface shuttles.

DROP-SHIPS. Heavy machinery all around them... cranes, loading
equipment.

INT. BRIDGE

Dark electronic womb. CAMERA DOLLIES SLOWLY among murmuring
instrumentation. A sudden high-pitched TRILLING accompanies
a sequence of lights. An alarm.

INT. HYPERSLEEP VAULT

Blackness, until a bank of indicators lights up.

Hydraulics lift a grid of equipment from a row of horizontal
HYPERSLEEP CYLINDERS. It reaches the ceiling. Locks.

CLOSE ON RIPLEY'S CAPSULE as trickles of water run down the
frosted canopy.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HYPERSLEEP VAULT

Lit up, white and sterile.

The canopies of the row of capsules are raised. Ripley sits
up. Rubs her arms briskly. Next to her Gorman and Burke are
stirring and beyond them the troopers, wearing shorts and
dog tags. They are:

MASTER SERGEANT APONE UNIT LEADER

CORPORAL HICKS B-TEAM LEADER

CORPORAL DIETRICH (female) MED-TECH

PFC HUDSON COM-TECH

PFC VASQUEZ (female) 'SMART-GUN' OPERATOR

PRIVATE DRAKE 'SMART-GUN' OPERATOR

PRIVATE FROST TROOPER

PRIVATE CROWE TROOPER

PRIVATE WIERZBOWSKI TROOPER

CORPORAL FERRO (female) DROP-SHIP PILOT

PFC SPUNKMEYER DROP-SHIP CREW CHIEF

The ship is fully automated in interstellar flight so there
is no crew, except for EXECUTIVE OFFICER (ECA) Bishop, who
supervises planetary maneuvering.

GROANS echo across the chamber.

SPUNKMEYER
Arrgh. I'm getting too old for this
shit.

SPUNKMEYER says this sincerely, though he must have enlisted
underage not long ago. Looking surly, DRAKE sits up. He's
young as well but street-tough. Nasty scar curling his lip
into a sneer.

DRAKE
They ain't payin' us enough for this.

DIETRICH
Not enough to have to wake up to
your face, Drake.

DRAKE
Suck air. Hey, Hicks... you look
like I feel.

HICKS, an older lifer-type who keeps his own counsel, just
snorts good-naturedly.

Ripley scans the group as they shuffle past her to a bank of
lockers. Though not supermen they are lean and hardened...
tough, capable, jaded. They combine the specialized techno-
combat training of the twenty-first century fighting man
with those qualities universal to "grunts" through the ages.
SERGEANT APONE moves down the row of freezers.

HUDSON
This floor's freezing.

APONE
Christ. I never saw such a buncha
old women. You want me to fetch your
slippers, Hudson?

HUDSON
Would you, Sir?

Ripley steps back as the troopers shuffle past nodding cursory
hellos. She feels isolated by the camaraderie of this
tightknit group.

VASQUEZ eyes her coldly as she passes. Like Drake, Vasquez
is younger then the rest and her combat-primer was the street
in a Los Angeles barrio. She is tough even by the standards
of this group. Hard-muscled.

Eyes cunning and mean.

HUDSON
Hey, Vasquez... you ever been mistaken
for a man?

VASQUEZ
No. Have you?

She slaps Drake's open palm and it clenches into a greeting
which is part contest. It gets rougher.

Painful. Until she cuffs him hard and they break with vicious
laughter. Dobermans playing. Conscripted from juvenile prison,
the two of them were trained to operate the formidable "SMART-
GUNS." That is part of their bond.

BISHOP is helping everyone like a valet. As he passes close
to her Ripley notices a strange TATTOO across the back of
his left hand... an ALPHA-NUMERIC CODE.

FROST
Hey, hand job, you take my towel?

SPUNKMEYER
(overlapping)
I need some slack, man. How come
they send us straight back out like
this? We got some slack comin', man.

HICKS
You just got three weeks.

SPUNKMEYER
I mean breathing, not this frozen
shit.

DIETRICH
Yeah, 'Top'... what about it?

APONE
You know it ain't up to me.
(louder)
Awright! Let's knock off the grabass.
First assembly's in fifteen... let's
shag it.

INT. SHOWERS

High pressure water jets and a blast of hot air when you
step out... a drive through car wash for people.

Through the swirling steam Hudson, Vasquez and FERRO are
watching Ripley dry off.

VASQUEZ
Who's the fresh meat again?

FERRO
She's supposed to be some kinda
consultant...
(exaggerated)
...She was an alien once.

HUDSON
Whoooah! No shit? I'm impressed.

APONE
Let's go... let's go. Cycle through!

INT. MESS HALL

An unconscious segregation takes place at the troopers
assemble at one long table while Gorman, Burke, Bishop and
Ripley sit at another. Everybody is nursing a coffee, waiting
for eggs from the AUTOCHEF. Among the troopers dress
discipline is lax... fatigues customized and emblazoned with
patches. Drake's tunic is cut off to a vest and has "Eat the
apple and fuck the Corps" stenciled on back. "Peace Through
Superior Firepower," "Pray for War" and "I've Served My Time
in Hell: Cetti Epsilon NC-104" are some others.

HUDSON
Hey, 'Top.' What's the op?

APONE
Rescue mission. There's some juicy
colonists' daughters we gotta rescue
from virginity.

Apone is stocky, grizzled, with peregrine eyes. He runs it
loose and fair, but only because he knows his people are the
best.

SPUNKMEYER
Shee-it. Dumbass colonists. What's
this crap supposed to be?

WIERZBOWSKI
Cornbread, I think. Hey, I wouldn't
mind getting me some more a that
Arcturan poontang. Remember that
time?

HICKS
(low)
Looks like that new Lieutenant's too
good to eat with us grunts.

WIERZBOWSKI
(glancing over shoulder)
Yeah. Got a corn cob up his ass,
definitely.

Across the room, at the other table, Gorman sits with his
creases perfect... the consummate strack NCO. Bishop takes a
seat beside Ripley, who pointedly gets up and moves to the
far side of the table. He looks wounded.

BISHOP
I'm sorry you feel that way about
Synthetics, Ripley.

Ripley spins on Burke, her tone accusing.

RIPLEY
You never said anything about an
android being here! Why not?

BURKE
Well, it didn't occur to me. It's
been policy for years to have a
synthetic on board.

BISHOP
I prefer the term 'artificial person'
myself. Is there a problem?

BURKE
A synthetic malfunctioned on her
last trip out. Some deaths were
involved.

BISHOP
I'm shocked. Was it an older model?

BURKE
Cyberdyne Systems 120-A/2.

Bishop turns to Ripley, very conciliatory.

BISHOP
Well, that explains it. The A/2's
were always a bit twitchy. That could
never happen now with out behavioral
inhibitors. Impossible for me to
harm or, by omission of action, allow
to be harmed a human being.
(smiling)
More cornbread?

WHAM! Ripley knocks the plate out of his hand, halfway across
the room.

RIPLEY
Just stay away from me, Bishop! You
got that straight?

Burke and Gorman exchange glances.

Wierzbowski, at the next table, shrugs and turns back to the
other troopers.

WIERZBOWSKI
She don't like the cornbread either.

INT. READY ROOM - TIGHT ON APONE - ARMORY

bellowing.

APONE
Tench-hut!

WIDER ANGLE as the troops snap to from their lounging among
the racks of high-tech weaponry. Gorman enters with Burke
and Ripley.

GORMAN
At ease. I'm sorry we didn't have
time to brief before we left Gateway
but...

HUDSON
Sir?

GORMAN
(annoyed)
Yes, Hicks?

HUDSON
Hudson, Sir. He's Hicks.

GORMAN
What's the question?

HUDSON
Is this going to be a stand-up fight,
Sir, on another bug-hunt?

GORMAN
All we know is that there's still no
contact with the colony and that a
xenomorph may be involved.

WIERZBOWSKI
A what?

HICKS
(to Wierzbowski; low)
It's a bug-hunt.
(louder)
So what are these things?

Gorman nods to Ripley, who stands before the troops.

She sets some RECORDING DISKETTES on the table.

RIPLEY
I've dictated what I know on these.

APONE
Tease us a bit.

SPUNKMEYER
Yeah... previews.

RIPLEY
Okay. It's important to understand
this organism's life cycle. It's
actually two creatures. The first
form hatches from a spore... a sort
of large egg, and attaches itself to
its victim. Then it injects an embryo,
detaches and dies. It's essentially
a walking sex organ. The --

HUDSON
Sounds like you, Hicks.

RIPLEY
(controlled)
The embryo, the second form, hosts
in the victim's body for several
hours. Gestating. Then it...
(with difficulty)
...then it... emerges. Moults. Grows
rapidly --

VASQUEZ
I only need to know one thing.

RIPLEY
Yes?

VASQUEZ
Where they are.

Vasquez coolly points her finger, cocks her thumbs, and blows
away an imaginary alien.

DRAKE
Yo! Vasquez. Kick ass!

VASQUEZ
Anytime. Anywhere.

HUDSON
Somebody said alien... she thought
they said illegal alien and signed
up.

VASQUEZ
Fuck you.

HUDSON
Anytime. Anywhere.

RIPLEY
(icy)
Am I disturbing you conversation Mr.
Hudson?

Hudson settles down, smirking. Ripley locks eyes with Vasquez.

RIPLEY
I hope you're right. I really do.

BURKE
(to all)
I suggest you study the disks Ripley
has been kind enough to prepare for
you.

GORMAN
Are there any questions? Hudson?

HUDSON
How do I get out of this chicken-
shit outfit?

Gorman scowls then, thanking Ripley with a nod, takes over
the predrop briefing.

GORMAN
All right. I want this to go smooth
and by the numbers. I want DCS and
tactical database assimilation by
0830.
(some groans)
Ordnance loading, weapons strip and
drop-ship prep details will have
seven hours...

EXT. SPACE - ACHERON

They have arrived. From orbit the planet looks serene...
Pearlescent cloud cover masking the environmental torment
beneath. The SULACO floats, its MANEUVERING JETS FIRING. A
bluish glow. Then twice more, rapidly.

INT. BRIDGE

Bishop is installed in his command seat, hemmed in by
instrumentation.

BISHOP
(into mike)
Attention. This concluded final
maneuvering operations. Thank you
for your cooperation. You may resume
work.

INT. LOADING BAY - TIGHT ON MASSIVE FORKS - CARGO LOCK

sliding into a heavy ordnance rack with an echoing CLANG.
PULL BACK as the rack of tactical missiles is lifted,
REVEALING two powerful hydraulic arms.

Spunkmeyer, seated inside a POWER LOADER, swings the ordnance
up into a belly nacelle of the DROP-SHIP where it locks into
place. As he exerts pressure with his hands against the servo-
controls the hydraulic arms move correspondingly... but with
a thousandfold increase in power. The forklift-style CLAWS
on each arm can crush with tons of pressure. The loader has
an open ROLL CAGE to protect the operator, and is supported
by squat HYDRAULIC LEGS which also move correspondingly with
the driver's movements. You have never seen anything like
this before.

Advanced as it is to us, it's only an old forklift to them...
battered and well used. Covered with grease.

Repainted many times. Across the back is stencilled
"CATERPILLAR."

Spunkmeyer's machine swings out from under the drop-ship and
we become aware of the intense activity throughout the
cavernous loading bay. Troopers on foot or driving TOW-MOWERS,
OVERHEAD LOADING ARMS... all in motion.

Hicks checks off items on an electronic manifest.

INT. READY ROOM - ARMORY

Wierzbowski, Drake and Vasquez are fieldstripping light
weapons with precise movements. Around them, in racks, is an
arsenal of advanced personal artillery.

Vasquez likes the feel of the guns, the weight... the
authority. Her hands move without hesitation. CLACK. CLACK.
CLACK. She swings one of the SMART-GUNS out on a work stand.
Using a body brace and GYRO-STABILIZED SUPPORT ARM, it is a
computer-aimed, video targeted automatic weapon. The
futuristic equivalent of a .30 caliber light machine gun.
Sort of a steadicam that kills.

INT. LOADING BAY - ANGLE ON BURKE AND GORMAN

with pre-flight activity b.g.

BURKE
Still nothing from the colony?

GORMAN
Dead on all channels.

Ripley watches the drop-ship being loaded. A cross between a
Huey Aircobra gunship and the space shuttle might describe
it. An orbit-to-surface troop carrier, heavily armed for the
close support of ground missions.

She watches a six-wheeled APC, ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER,
being raised hydraulically into the ship's belly. Ripley
looks around as Frost wheels a rack of incomprehensible
equipment toward her.

FROST
Clear, please.

Ripley jumps aside, nodding apologetically. She turns. Steps
hastily back. Hudson cruises by with a laden forklift.

HUDSON
Excuse me.

ANGLE ON APONE standing with Hicks, as Ripley approaches
him.

RIPLEY
I feel like a fifth wheel here. Is
there anything I can do?

APONE
I don't know. Is there anything you
can do?

RIPLEY
(pointing)
I can drive that loader. I've got a
Class Two rating. My latest career
move.

Apone turns. A SECOND POWER LOADER sits unused in an equipment
bay.

TWO SHOT APONE AND HICKS skeptical. Considering.

TIGHT ON POWER SWITCH as Ripley's finger punches it on.

A RISING WHINE of power.

TIGHT ON THE HYDRAULICS as the massive machine stirs to life.

FULL, as the loader starts. Ripley is strapped into the safety
cage, her arms and legs inserted in the servo-sensor
assemblies. She takes a step. BOOM!

Two tons of hardened steel takes a step.

Ripley spins the wrist servos. The huge claws swing, open...
slide smoothly into lifting brackets on a cargo module,
nearby. She raises it deftly.

RIPLEY
Where you want it?

Hicks looks at Apone, cocks an eyebrow appreciatively.

INT. READY ROOM - ARMORY

The troopers are suiting up for the drop. Strapping on their
bulky COMBAT-ARMOR... interlocking plates like football
padding. They tape their wrists. Draw on segmented boots.
The sole cleats CLACK like hooves on the deck plates. Lockers
SLAM.

WEB BELTS. PACKS. HARNESSES. HELMETS. COM-SETS.

Their fingers move methodically over the fastenings. It has
its own rhythm... CLICK. CLICK. CLICK.

APONE
Let's move it, girls! On the ready
line. Let's go, let's go.

INT. DROP-SHIP - APC

Ripley, wearing a flight jacket and headset, files into the
ship with the hulking troopers. Inside they pass directly
into the APC we saw loaded earlier and take seats facing
each other across a narrow aisle. They will drop already
strapped into their ground vehicle for rapid deployment. A
KLAXON SOUNDS, signalling depressurization of the cargo lock.

Hudson prowls the aisle, his movements predatory and
exaggerated. Ripley watches him working his way toward her.

HUDSON
I am ready, man. Ready to get it on.
Check-it-out. I am the ultimate
badass... state of the badass art.
You do not want to fuck with me.
Hey, Ripley, don't worry. Me and my
squad of ultimate badasses will
protect you. Check-it-out...

He slaps the SERVO-CANNON controls in the GUN BAY above them.

HUDSON
Independently targetting particle-
beam phalanx. VWAP! Fry half a city
with this puppy. We got tactical
smart-missles, phased-plasma pulse-
rifles, RPG's. We got sonic
eeelectronic ballbreakers, we got
nukes, we got knives... sharp sticks --

Hicks grabs Hudson by his battle harness and pulls him into
a seat. His voice is low, but it carries.

HICKS
Save it.

HUDSON
Sure, Hicks.

Ripley nods her thanks to Hicks. MOTORS WHINE and the craft
lurches. Burke, next to Ripley, grins eagerly like this is a
sport fishing trip.

BURKE
Here we go.

She looks like she's in a gas chamber waiting for the pellet
to drop.

EXT. SULACO

The drop-ship lowers from the cargo-lock on a massive launch
rig. The night side of Acheron yawns below... enigmatic.

INT. COCKPIT

Ferro and Spunkmeyer run rapidly through the switches.

FERRO
Initiate release sequencer on my
mark. Three. Two. One. Mark!

EXT. SULACO - DROP-SHIP

Hydraulic WHINE. Clamps SLAM BACK. The ship drops.

INT. DROP-SHIP - APC

Apone, stalking the aisle, snatches for a handhold.

Bishop, Burke and Gorman groan at the sudden gees.

Ripley closes her eyes... the point of no return.

EXT. DROP-SHIP

It screams down through the stratosphere, plunging into dark
turbulence.

INT. COCKPIT

Beyond the canopy is gray limbo. The craft shudders and
lurches.

FERRO
(icy calm)
Switching to DCS ranging.

SPUNKMEYER
Two-four-o. Nominal to profile.
Picking up some hull ionization.

FERRO
Got it. Rough air ahead.

INT. HOLD - APC

TIGHT ON HICKS asleep in his harness.

FERRO
(voice over; filtered)
Stand by for some chop.

TIGHT ON GORMAN as the ship begins to buck, his eyes closed.
Pale. Sweating. He rubs his hands on his knees repeatedly.

RIPLEY
How may drops is this for you,
Lieutenant?

GORMAN
Thirty-eight... simulated.

VASQUEZ
How many combat drops?

GORMAN
Well... two. Three, including this
one.

Vasquez and Drake exchange do-you-believe-this-shit
expressions. Ripley looks accusingly at Burke.

INT. COCKPIT

FERRO
Turning on final. Coming around to a
seven-zero-niner. Terminal guidance
locked in. Where's the damn beacon?

EXT. DROP-SHIP

It emerges from the low cloud ceiling. From the twilight
haze ahead the distant colony LANDING BEACONS become visible.

INT. HOLD - APC

Stumbling as the ship pitches, Ripley makes her way forward
to the MOBILE TACTICAL OPERATIONS BAY (MTOB), a control
console lined with monitor screens. She joins Burke watching
over Gorman's shoulder as the Lieutenant plays the board
like a video director.

TIGHT ON MONITOR CONSOLE REVEALING screens labelled with the
names of the troopers. Two for each soldier. The upper screens
show images from the IMAGE-INTENSIFIED VIDEO CAMERAS in their
helmets. The lower screens are BIO-MONITORS: EEG, EKG, and
other graphic life-function readouts. Other screens show
EXTERIOR VIEWS.

GORMAN
Let's see. Everybody on line. Drake,
check you camera. There seems to be
a...

CLOSE ON DRAKE as he whacks himself on the head with an ammo
case. A familiar malfunction.

GORMAN (O.S.)
...that's better. Pan it around a
bit.

APONE
Awright. Fire-team A. Gear up. Let's
move. Two minutes. Somebody wake up
Hicks.

A clatter of activity as they don backpacks and weapons.

Vasquez and Drake buckle on their smart-gun body harnesses.

Ripley watches the AP station loom on the exterior screens.

RIPLEY
That the atmosphere processor?

BURKE
Uh-hunh. One of thirty or so, all
over the planet. They're completely
automated. We manufacture them, by
the way.

EXT. SHIP - AP STATION

The tiny ship circles the roaring tower. A metal volcano
thundering like the engines on God's Lear jet.

INT. HOLD - APC

Gorman plays with the controls, zooming the image of the
colony.

GORMAN
(to Ferro via mike)
Hold at forty. Slow circle of the
complex.

RIPLEY
The structure seems intact. They
have power.

On the screen the colony buildings loom in and the low
visibility like wrecks of freighters on the sea floor.

GORMAN
(to Apone)
Okay, let's do it.

APONE
Awright! I want a nice clean dispersal
this time.

Ripley turns as Vasquez squeezes past her.

VASQUEZ
You staying in here?

RIPLEY
You bet.

VASQUEZ
(turning away)
Figures.

GORMAN
(to Ferro via mike)
Set down sixty meters this side of
the telemetry mast. Immediate dust
off on my 'clear,' then stay on
station.

APONE
Ten seconds, people. Look sharp!

EXT. COLONY COMPLEX

Landing beacons sweep harsh light across the wet Tarmac.

The ship roars down, extending the loading ramp. Slams down
on hydraulic LANDING LEGS. The APC hits the ground a moment
later, pulling away from the ship as it leaps up in a cloud
of spray and peels off, circling.

The APC pulls to the edge of the complex. The CREW DOOR opens.
Troopers hit the ground running. Spread out.

They drop behind immediate cover. Apone scans with him image
intensifier visor lowered.

APONE'S P.O.V. through the starlight-scope visor.

Bright as a sunny day, though contrasty and lurid, we SEE
the colony buildings. Trash blows in the street.

No other movement.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(filtered)
First squad up, on line. Hicks, get
yours in a cordon. Watch the rear.

APONE
Vasquez, take point. Let's move.

Sprinting in a skirmish line, Apone's team advances on the
colony main entry-lock. Parked tightly across the doors are
two heavy-duty tractors. Vasquez reaches one of the tractors,
looks inside. The controls are ripped out, as if by a crowbar
or axe. She moves on.

EXT. COLONY BUILDING

Vasquez reaches the main doors, Drake flanking on the right.
Apone tries the door controls. Nothing.

APONE
Sealed. Hudson, run a bypass.

Hudson, all business now, moves up and studies the door
control panel. He pries off the facing and starts clipping
on the bypass wires.

APONE
First squad, assemble on me at the
main lock.

The wind roars around the bleak structures. A neon sign creaks
overhead. Hudson makes a connection. The door shrieks in its
tracks and rumbles aside. It jams partway open. Apone motions
Vasquez inside. She eases over the wrecked tractor, through
the doors.

The others follow.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(filtered)
Second team, move up.

Flanking positions.

INT. COLONY - MAIN CONCOURSE

DOLLYING SLOWLY FORWARD, following Vasquez and Apone as they
move into the broad corridor. A few emergency lights are
still on. Wind moans along the concourse.

Pools of water cover the floor. Farther down, rain drips
through blast holes in the ceiling. Evidence of a fire fight
with pulse-rifles.

ON VASQUEZ moving forward. Taut. Alert. Her smart-gun cannon
swinging slowly in an arc. She studies the video aiming
monitor, looking down rather than ahead.

Their footsteps echo.

INT. APC

Ripley watches as the bobbing images reveal the empty colony
building.

GORMAN
Quarter and search by twos. Second
team move inside. Hicks, take the
upper level. Use your motion trackers.

INT. MAIN CONCOURSE - SECOND LEVEL

Hicks leads his squad up the stairwell to second level.

They emerge cautiously. An empty corridor recedes into the
dim distance. Hicks unslings a rugged piece of equipment.
Aims it down the hall. He adjusts the "gain." It remains
silent.

HICKS
Nothing. No movement.

They pass rooms and offices. Through doors they see increasing
signs of struggle. Furniture overturned. Papers scattered...
floating sodden in the puddles.

INT. APC

Ripley et al watching.

BURKE
Looks like my room in college.

Nobody laughs.

INT. SECOND LEVEL

Hicks' group passes several burnt-out rooms. There are no
bodies. In several offices the exterior windows are blown
out, admitting wind and rain. Hicks picks up a half-eaten
donut beside a coffee cup overflowing with rainwater.

INT. LOWER LEVEL - QUARTERS

Apone's men are searching systematically in pairs. They pass
through the colonists' modest apartments, little more than
cubicles. Hudson, on tracker, flanks Vasquez as they move
forward. Hudson touches a splash of color on the wall. Dried
blood. His tracker BEEPS.

Vasquez whirls, cannon aimed. The BEEPING grows more frequent
as Hudson advances toward a half open door. The door is
splintered partway out of its frame. Holes caused by pulse-
rifle rounds pepper the walls. Vasquez eases up to the door.
Kicks it in. Tenses to fire.

Inside, dangling from a piece of flex conduit, a junction-
box swings like a pendulum in the wind from a broken window.
It clanks against the rails of a child's bunkbed as it swings.

INT. DROP-SHIP - APC

Ripley watches Hicks' monitor.

RIPLEY
Wait! Tell him to...
(plugs in headset
jack)
...Hicks. Back up. Pan left. There!

TIGHT ON MONITOR as the image shifts, revealing a section of
wall corroded almost through in an irregular pattern.

TIGHT ON RIPLEY knowing what it is.

HICKS (V.O.)
(filtered)
You seeing this okay? Looks melted.

Burke raises an eyebrow at Ripley.

BURKE
Hmm. Acid for blood.

HICKS (V.O.)
(filtered)
Looks like somebody bagged them one
of Ripley's bad guys here.

INT. FIRST LEVEL

Hudson is looking at something.

HUDSON
Hey, if you like that, you're gonna
love this...

WIDER ANGLE showing the trooper standing beneath a gaping
hole. Another hole, directly beneath, is at his feet. The
acid has melted right down through two levels into the
maintenance level. Revealing pipes, conduit, equipment...
eaten away by the ferocious substance.

APONE
Second squad? What's your status?

HICKS (V.O.)
(filtered)
Just finished our sweep. Nobody home.

APONE
(to Gorman)
The place is dead, Sir. Whatever
happened, we missed it.

INT. APC

Gorman turns to the others.

GORMAN
All right, the area's secured. Let's
go in and see what their computer
can tell us.
(into mike)
First team head for operations.

Hudson, see if you can get their CPU on line. Hicks, meet me
at the south lock by the up-link tower...

INT. FIRST LEVEL

GORMAN (V.O.)
...We're coming in.

HUDSON
(cupping his mike)
He's coming in. I feel safer already.

VASQUEZ
(sotto voice)
Pendejo jerkoff.

EXT. COLONY COMPLEX

Lights arc across the dormant buildings as the APC turns
onto the "main drag." It trundles down the rutted street,
throwing up sheets of filthy water as the massive wheels hit
pondlike potholes. Windblown rain lashes across the
headlights.

Hicks emerges from the south lock just as the APC rolls up
close to the entrance. The crew-door slides back.

Gorman emerges, followed by Burke, Bishop, and Wierzbowski.
Burke looks back to see Ripley stop in the APC doorway, eyeing
the ominous colony structure. She meets his eyes. Shakes her
head "no." Not ready.

HUDSON (V.O.)
(filtered)
Sir, the CPU is on-line.

GORMAN
Okay, stand by in operations.
(to those present)
Let's go.

INT. APC

The crew-door cycles home with a clang. Ripley sits in the
dark interior, lit by the tactical displays. The wind howls
outside, an incredibly desolate sound. She hugs herself.
Alone. Unarmed. She knows she's in a tank, but remembers the
acid. Leaps up. Hits the door switch.

EXT. APC - SOUTH LOCK

The crew-door opens and Ripley emerges. In time to see the
lock doors rumbling closed.

RIPLEY
(shouting)
Burke!

The wind snatches her words away. The crew door whines shut
behind her. She walks to the exterior lock door-controls and
studies them. She punches some unfamiliar buttons. Nothing
happens. She looks really nervous, alone in the howling wind.
She hits another button. The door-motors come to life and
she relaxes a little. Glances behind her. AND SCREAMS! There's
a face right there! Right at her shoulder. She jumps back,
gasping for breath.

WIERZBOWSKI
Scare you?

RIPLEY
Christ, Wierzbowski!

WIERZBOWSKI
Sorry. Hicks said to keep an eye on
you.

He gestures for her to precede him inside.

INT. CONTROL BLOCK CORRIDOR

Ripley catches up with the others as they move into the bowels
of the complex.

GORMAN
(to Burke)
Looks like you company can write off
its share of this colony.

BURKE
(unconcerned)
It's insured.

ON RIPLEY as they move along the corridor... reacting to the
fact that she is back in alien country. She sees the ravaged
administration complex. Fire-gutted offices.

Hicks notices her looking around nervously. He motions to
big Wierzbowski with his eyes and the trooper casually falls
in beside her on the other side, rifle at ready. a two-man
protective cordon. She glances at Hicks. He winks, but so
fast maybe it's something in his eye.

Trooper Frost emerges from a side corridor ahead.

FROST
Sir, you should check this out...

He leads the way into the corridor.

INT. CORRIDOR

This wing is completely without power. The troopers switch
on their pack lights and the beams illuminate a scene of
devastation worse than they have seen. Her expression reveals
that Ripley is about to turn and flee.

FROST
Right ahead here...

They approach a barricade blocking the corridor, a hastily
welded wall of pipes, steel-plate, outer-door panels. Acid
holes have slashed through the floor and walls in several
places. The metal is scratched and twisted by hideously
powerful forces, peeled back like a soup can on one side.
They squeeze through the opening.

INT. MEDICAL WING

The pack-lights play over the devastation of the colonists'
last ditch battle. The equipment of the med labs has been
uprooted to add to the barrier. The walls are perforated by
pulse-rifle fire and acid. Scorched by untended fires to
bare metal. A few instruments glow with emergency power.

WIERZBOWSKI
Last stand.

GORMAN
No bodies?

FROST
No, Sir. Looks like it was a helluva
fight.

TIGHT ON RIPLEY transfixed by something.

RIPLEY
(low)
Over there.

The others turn and approach, seeing what she sees. She has
entered a second room, part of the med lab area. In a storage
alcove at near eye level stand seven transparent cylinders.
STASIS TUBES. They glow faintly with an eerie violet light
given off by the field which preserves the specimens inside.

They look like jars containing SEVERED ARTHRITIC HANDS, the
palsied fingers curled in a death-rictus.

Structurally they are more like spiders with sickening
translucent skin, a flacid scrotal body, gill-like organs
underneath drifting in the suspension fluid.

Something you definitely do not want on your face, for
example.

BURKE
Are these the same...?

Ripley nods, unable to speak. Burke leans closer in
fascination. His face almost touching one cylinder, is lit
by its glow.

RIPLEY
Watch it, Burke...

The creature inside lunges suddenly, slamming against the
glass. Burke jumps back. From the palm of the thing's handlike
body emerges a pearlescent TUBULE, like a tapered piece of
intestine, which slithers tonguelike over the inside of the
glass. Then it retracts into a sheath between the "gills."

HICKS
(to Burke)
It likes you.

Only two of the creatures seem to pulse with life.

Burke taps the other stasis cylinders but the hand-things
remain inertly clenched.

BURKE
These are dead. There's just the two
alive.

On top of each cylinder is a file folder. Ripley takes a
folder from above one of the live specimens. Inside is a
medical chart printout with handwritten entries.

RIPLEY
(reading)
Removed surgically before embryo
implantation. Subject: Marachuk,
John L. Died during procedure.
(looking up)
They killed him getting it off.

HICKS
Poor bastard.

They are startled by a LOUD BEEP. They turn. Hicks is intent
on his motion tracker, aimed back toward the shattered
barricade. BEEP. BEEP.

HICKS
Behind us.

He gestures at the corridor they just passed through.

RIPLEY
One of us?

GORMAN
(into headset)
Apone... where are your people?
Anybody in D-Block?

APONE (V.O.)
(filtered)
Negative. We're all in Operations.

Vasquez swings the smart-gun to ready position on its support
arm, locking it with an authoritative CLICK. She and Hicks
head toward the source of the signal, the others following.

INT. CORRIDOR

Hicks' tracker is reading out more rapidly. They turn into
the kitchens, a stainless steel labyrinth.

Ripley hangs back. Then realizes there is nothing behind her
but darkness. She catches up to the group.

INT. KITCHENS

The troopers enter, their lights bouncing around the stainless
steel surfaces.

HICKS
It's moving.

Vasquez is scanning, gaze intense. The other troops grip
their weapons tightly.

VASQUEZ
Which way?

Hicks nods toward a complicated array of food processing
equipment. They move forward, weapons leveled.

Ripley shuffles forward in the dark. Wierzbowski trips over
a metal cannister, sending it CLANGING.

Ripley half climbs the wall.

Hicks' tracker beeps steadily. The beeps merge.

Become a solid tone. CRASH. Something moves in the dark,
toppling a rack of stockpots.

ON VASQUEZ pivoting smoothly to fire. In the same instant
Hicks' rifle slashes INTO FRAME. Slams Vasquez' barrel upward.
A STREAM OF TRACER FIRE rips into the ceiling, the rounds
SEARING LIKE LIGHTNING.

VASQUEZ
You fuck!

Hicks ignores her, moving past and aiming his light under a
row of steel cabinets. He gestures to Ripley, who steps
forward. Trusting his judgment. She crouches beside him.

RIPLEY'S P.O.V. lit by Hicks' pack-light... a tiny cowering
figure. A very dirty, very terrified NEWT JORDEN. She clutches
a plastic food packet in one hand, its top gnawed partway
through. In the other hand she grips the HEAD OF A LARGE
DOLL, holding it by the hair. Just the head. Eyes staring.
Newt is pathetically emaciated... fragile-looking as Dresden
china, her hair tangled and matted.

RIPLEY
(soothingly)
Come on out. It's all right...

Ripley moves toward her, reaching slowly under the cabinet.
Newt backs away, trembling visibly, her vision fixated like
a rabbit blinded by headlights.

Ripley's hand almost reaches her.

The kid bolts like a shot, scuttling along beneath the
cabinetry. Ripley scrambles to follow... to keep her in sight.
Crabbing frantically sideways. Hicks makes a grab, catching
one tiny ankle. He snaps his hand out a moment later.

HICKS
Ow! Shit. Watchit, she bites.

The girl reaches a ventilation duct set in the baseboard,
its grille kicked out. She scrambles inside, her tiny body
barely fitting, wriggling like a fish.

In his bulky armor Hicks knows he'll never make it into the
tiny duct. Ripley dives. She squirms into the duct without
thinking. Just ahead she sees Newt enter a dark space and
slam a steel hatch. Ripley pushes the hatch open before the
child can latch it, and crawls in after her.

Newt is backed into a cul-de-sac in the tiny steel chamber.
Ripley shines her light around in amazement.

It is a NEST. A nest built by a child. Wadded up blankets
and pillows line the space, mixed up with a haphazard array
of TOYS, STUFFED ANIMALS, DOLLS, CHEAP JEWELRY, COMIC BOOKS,
EMPTY FOOD PACKETS, even a battery operated TAPE PLAYER. All
foraged from the wrecked colony. Ripley marvels at the child's
incredible adaptability, the ability to functions even in
this nightmarish environment.

Newt edges along the far wall and dives for the hatch.

Ripley grabs her, controlling her in a bear hug. The kid
struggles wildly, like a cat at the vets. Eyes wide, hands
lashing out in a frenzy... but silent. No scream.

RIPLEY
It's okay, it's okay. It's over...
you're going to be all right now...
it's okay... you're safe...

Newt goes limp, almost catatonic.

CLOSE ON NEWT'S TRAUMATIZED, VACANT STARE her lips are white
and trembling, her eyes track wildly and she flinches from
unseen terrors. We READ a dark nightmare world in her eyes.
Ripley's light falls on something amidst the debris... a
FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH of Newt, dressed up and smiling, a ribbon
in her hair. In embossed gold letters underneath it says:

FIRST GRADE CITIZENSHIP AWARD

REBECCA JORDEN

INT. OPERATIONS - ON NEWT - MANAGER'S OFFICE

sitting huddles in a chair, arms around her knees.

Looking at a point in space.

GORMAN (O.S.)
What's her name again?

DIETRICH (O.S.)
Rebecca.

WIDER ANGLE REVEALING Gorman sitting in front of her while
Dietrich watches the readouts from a BIO-MONITORING CUFF
wrapped around Newt's tiny arm.

GORMAN
Now think, Rebecca. Concentrate.
Just start at the beginning...

No response. Ripley enters, carrying a coffee mug.

GORMAN
Where are your parents? You have to
try...

RIPLEY
(sharply)
Gorman! Give it a rest would you.

Gorman stands with a sigh of dismissal.

GORMAN
Total brain-lock.

DIETRICH
(shrugs)
Physically she's okay. Borderline
malnutrition, but I don't think any
permanent damage.

She unsnaps the bio-monitoring cuff.

GORMAN
Come on, we're wasting our time.

Gorman and the others exit, leaving only Ripley with Newt.
Through the window of the office, out on the main floor of
the operations room, we SEE Gorman join Burke and Bishop at
a computer terminal.

Ripley kneels beside Newt, brushing the girl's unkempt hair
out of her eyes in a gentle, maternal fashion.

RIPLEY
Here, try this. A little instant hot
chocolate.

She wraps the child's hands around the cup. Raises it to her
lips for her. The girl drinks mechanically, spilling down
her chin.

RIPLEY
(soothing)
Poor thing. You don't talk much do
you? That's okay by me. Most people
do a lot of talking and they wind up
not saying very much.

She sets the cup down and wipes the child's chin clean.

RIPLEY
Uh oh. I made a clean spot here. Now
I've done it. Guess I'll just have
to do the whole thing.

She pours water from a squeeze bottle onto a small cloth and
gently washes the little girl's face.

Newt's eyes seem to focus on her for the first time.

RIPLEY
Hard to believe... there's a little
girl under all this. And a pretty
one at that.

Newt gazes at her. Ripley smiles.

INT. OPERATIONS

The ground teams are gathered around a terminal in the
computer center. Hudson has the CPU main computer on-line
and reading out.

TIGHT ON MONITOR SCREEN as an abstract of the main colony
ground plan drifts across the screen.

Searching.

Hudson bashes at the keyboard, his fingers dancing expertly.

BURKE
(to Gorman)
What's he scanning for?

GORMAN
PDT'S. Personal-Data Transmitters.
Every adult colonist had one
surgically implanted.

HUDSON
If they're within twenty klicks we'll
read it out here, but so far... zip.

INT. OFFICE

Ripley is washing Newt's tiny hands with a cloth, pink skin
emerging from black grime.

RIPLEY
I don't know how you managed to stay
alive but you're one brave kid,
Rebecca.

Newt's voice is almost inaudible.

NEWT
N-newt.

Ripley leans closer. Feels like she's breathing on coals.
The sound was incomprehensible.

RIPLEY
What did you say?

NEWT
Newt. My n-name's Newt. Nobody calls
me Rebecca except my dork brother.

Ripley grins inanely, not wanting to move or speak... or
break the spell.

RIPLEY
Well, Newt it is then. My name's
Ripley... and people call me Ripley.

Ripley picks up her tiny limp hand, shaking it formally.

RIPLEY
Pleased to meet you. And who is this?
Does she have a name?

Newt glances at the disembodied doll, still clutched in one
filthy hand.

NEWT
Casey. She's my only friend.

RIPLEY
What about me?

Newt's reply is flat, neutral.

NEWT
I don't want you for a friend.

RIPLEY
Why not?

NEWT
Because you'll be gone soon, like
the others. Like everybody. You'll
be dead and you'll leave me alone.

Ripley gazes at her, chilled both by the ominous statement
and by the situation which could have produced this outlook
in a child.

RIPLEY
Oh, Newt. You mom and dad went away
like that, didn't they?

Newt nods, staring at her knees.

RIPLEY
(soothingly)
They'd be here if they could, honey.
I know they would.

NEWT
(with cold certainty)
They're dead.

RIPLEY
Newt. Look at me... Newt. I won't
leave you. I promise.

NEWT
You promise?

RIPLEY
Cross my heart.

NEWT
And hope to die?

Ripley smiles grimly at the inadvertently macabre expression.

RIPLEY
(quietly)
And hope to die.

And because she's a child, the darkest terrors, even the
ones seen and not imagined, can still be banished by a smile
and a single promise. Newt's eyes brim as she gazes at Ripley.
Her lower lip starts to tremble, and her face slowly deforms
into an abject mask. She sobs as she clamps her arms around
Ripley's neck. The sobs come in waves as Ripley rocks her,
tears of suppresses terror and grief and hurt rolling down
her face. It is a breakthrough.

Ripley closes her eyes, hoping that this promise can be kept.

INT. OPERATIONS

Everyone jumps as Hudson cries out triumphantly.

HUDSON
Hah! Stop your grinnin' and drop
your linen! Found 'em.

GORMAN
Alive?

HUDSON
Unknown. But, it looks like all of
them. Over at the processing
station... sublevel 'C' under the
south tower.

TIGHT ON SCREEN showing an amoeba-like cluster of flashing
blue dots clumped tightly in one area.

HICKS
Looks like a Goddamn town meeting.

GORMAN
Let's saddle up.

APONE
Awright, let's go girls, they ain't
payin' us by the hour.

EXT. ACHERON - TWILIGHT

The APC roars across the stygian landscape, traversing the
causeway which connects the colony to the ATMOSPHERE STATION
a kilometer away. Behind it the drop-ship settles to the
ground at the colony landing field.

PAN WITH THE APC TO REVEAL the massive structure.

Like a vast foundry the conical exhaust tower flickers with
spectral light.

INT. APC

The troopers sit, more subdued now, swaying and bouncing in
the heavily sprung vehicle. Wierzbowski is in the saddle.
Ripley and Newt sit side by side just aft of the driver's
cockpit.

NEWT
I was the best at the game. I knew
the whole maze.

RIPLEY
The 'maze'? You mean the air ducts?

NEWT
Yeah, you know. In the walls, under
the floor. I was the ace. I could
hide better than anybody.

RIPLEY
You're really something, ace.

Ripley's gaze shifts out the windshield as the processing
station looms ahead.

EXT. APC/STATION

The vast structure towers above the parked personnel carrier.
Deploying in front of the APC, backlit by its lights, the
troopers cast long shadows. They look ominous. Hulking techno-
samurai.

The base of the station is a depthless maze of conduits and
pressure vessels, like an oil refinery.

Or a Dantean version of one. The THRUM of functioning machine
systems echoes through the labyrinth.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(static)
Forty meters in. Ramp on axial two-
two. Access to sublevels.

The troopers start down the open rampway. Light filters down
through several levels of steel mesh floor, catwalks and
pipes. Below that is darkness.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(static)
B-Level. Next one down.

The thrumming of machines grows louder as they descend.

INT. APC

Huddles around the screens are Ripley, Burke and Gorman.
Newt squeezes in from behind. Gorman is doing his video wizard
bit, dancing on the buttons.

GORMAN
(to team)
We're not making that out too well.
What is it?

HUDSON (V.O.)
(static)
You tell me. I only work here.

INT. COMPLEX

The group stands before a bizarre tableau. Among the refinery-
like lattice of pipes and conduits something new and not of
human design had been added.

It is a structure of some sort, extending from and crudely
imitating the complex of plumbing, but made of some strange
encrusted substance. It vaguely resembles the chambered nests
of swallows on a much larger scale, and it attenuates so
gradually into the original hardware that it is hard to see
where one ends and the other begins.

The alien structure seems to extend far back into the complex
of machinery. The plant thrums loudly, its functioning
seemingly not impaired.

INT. APC

Ripley stares at the scene in dread fascination.

GORMAN
What is it?

RIPLEY
I don't know.

GORMAN
(to team)
Proceed inside.

INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE

They enter the organic labyrinth, playing their lights over
the walls. Revealing a BIO-MECHANICAL LATTICE, like the marrow
of some vast bone. The air is thick with STEAM. Trickling
water. The place seems almost alive.

INT. APC

They watch in various helmet-camera P.O.V.'s of the wall
detail.

RIPLEY
(low)
Oh God...

CLOSE ON VIDEO as it PAN SLOWLY... REVEALING a bas-relief of
detritus from the colony: furniture, wiring, human bones,
skulls... Fused together with a translucent, epoxy-like
substance.

DIETRICH (V.O.)
(static)
Looks like some sort of secreted
resin.

GORMAN
They ripped apart the colony for
building materials.

RIPLEY
And the colonists... When they were
done with them.
(turning)
Newt, you better go sit up front. Go
on.

INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE

Steam swirls around them as the troopers move deeper inside.

FROST
Hotter'n hell in here.

HUDSON
Yeah... but it's a dry heat.

INT. APC

Ripley leans forward suddenly, studying the graphic readout
of the STATION GROUND PLAN.

RIPLEY
They're right under the primary heat
exchangers.

BURKE
Yeah? Maybe the organisms like the
heat, that's why they built...

RIPLEY
That's not what I mean. Gorman, if
your men have to use their weapons
in there, they'll rupture the cooling
system.

BURKE
(realizing)
She's right.

GORMAN
So.

RIPLEY
So... then the fusion containment
shuts down.

GORMAN
(impatient)
So? So?

BURKE
We're talking thermonuclear explosion.

GORMAN
Shit.
(into mike)
Apone, collect magazines from
everybody. We can't have any firing
in there.

INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE

The troopers look at each other in dismay.

WIERZBOWSKI
Is he fucking crazy?

HUDSON
What're we supposed to use, man?
Harsh language?

GORMAN (V.O.)
(static)
Flame-units only. I want rifles slung.

APONE
Let's go. Pull 'em out.

He walks among the troopers, collecting the magazines from
each one's weapon.

Vasquez turns hers over reluctantly.

The three who are carrying them get out small incinerator
units. When Apone moves on, Vasquez slips a spare magazine
from concealment and inserts it in her weapon. Drake does
the same. Hicks hangs back in the shadows. He opens a
cylindrical sheath attached to his battle-harness. Slides
out an old style PUMP TWELVE-GAUGE with a sawed-off butt
stock. Chambers a round.

HICKS
(low, to Hudson)
I always keep this handy. For close
encounter.

APONE (O.S.)
Let's move. Hicks, back us up.

INT. LARGER CHAMBER

The air is thick. Lights flare.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(very faint)
Any movement?

Hudson watches his tracker, scanning.

HUDSON
Nothing. Zip.

Apone stops, his expression changing. They face a wall of
living horror. The colonists have been brought here and
entombed alive...

COCOONS protrude from the niches and interstices of the
structure. The cocoon material is the same translucent epoxy.
The bodies are frozen in carelessly twisted positions. Macabre
image of frozen agony. Many are disiccated. Skeletal.

Rip-cages burst outward, as if exploded from within.

Paralyzed, brought here, entombed in living death as hosts
for the embryos growing within then.

Dietrich moves close to examine one of the figures, perhaps
the most "recent." A WOMAN, ghost-white and drained. The
WOMAN'S EYES SNAP OPEN... They seem to plead.

DIETRICH
Sir!

The woman's lips move feebly.

WOMAN
Please... God... kill me.

INT. APC

Ripley watches the woman, white knuckled. The sound of
RETCHING comes over the general frequency.

INT. COCOON CHAMBER

The woman begins to convulse. She SCREAMS, a sawing shriek
of mindless agony.

APONE
Flame thrower! Move!

Frost hands it to him. Suddenly, the woman's chest EXPLODES
in a gout of blood. A SMALL FANGED HEAD EMERGES, HISSING
VICIOUSLY.

Apone pulls the trigger. Then the other troopers carrying
flame throwers open fire. An orgy of purging fire. The cocoons
vanish in the shimmering heat.

A SHRILL SCREECHING begins, like a siren made from fingernails
on blackboards.

ANGLE ON WALL as something begins to emerge. Dimly glimpsed,
a glistening bio-mechanoid creature larger then a man. Lying
dormant, it had blended perfectly with the convoluted surface
of fused bone. The troopers don't see it. Smoke from the
burning cocoons quickly fills the confined space. Visibility
drops to zero.

HUDSON
Movement!

APONE
Position?

HUDSON
Can't lock up...

APONE
(with an edge)
Talk to me, Hudson.

HUDSON
Uh, seems to be in front and behind.

INT. APC

Gorman is plating with the gain controls on the monitors.

GORMAN
We can't see anything back here,
Apone. What's going on?

Ripley senses it coming, like a wave at night. Dark,
terrifying and inevitable.

RIPLEY
(low)
Pull you team out, Gorman.

INT. COCOON CHAMBER - TIGHT ON SEVERAL WALLS AND CEILING
NICHES

as they come alive. Bonelike, tubelike shapes shift, becoming
emerging ALIENS. Dimly glimpsed... glints of slime.
Silhouettes.

APONE
Go to infrared. Looks sharp people!

The squad members snap down their image-intersifier visors.

HUDSON
Multiple signals. All round. Closing.

Dietrich turns to retreat, her flamethrower held tightly. A
nightmarish silhouette materializes out of the smoke behind
her! It strikes like lightning.

SEIZES HER. She fires reflexively, wild. The jet of flame
engulfs Frost nearby.

Apone spins as the double SCREAM. Can't see anything in the
think smoke.

INT. APC

Ripley watches Frost's monitor go black. His bio-readouts
flatten. The other screens show glimpses of shimmering
infrared silhouettes of the aliens, the images bobbing and
panning confusedly.

INT. COCOON CHAMBER

Vasquez nods to Drake with grim satisfaction.

VASQUEZ
Let's rock.

They OPEN UP simultaneously, lighting up the smoke like
welders' arcs.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(static)
Who's firing? I ordered a hold fire,
dammit!

Vasquez rips off her headset. She is riveted to the targeting
screen, moving ferret-quick in a pivoting dance. Thunder and
lightning. Better than sex for her. FLASH-CRACK! An alien
SCREECH from the darkness.

INT. APC

The battle of phantoms unfolds on the video screens.

Ripley flinches as another scream comes over the open
frequency. Wierzbowski's monitor breaks up.

His life signs plummet. Voices blend and overlap.

HUDSON (V.O.)
Let's get the fuck out of here!

HICKS (V.O.)
Not that tunnel, the other one!

CROWE (V.O.)
You sure? Watch it... behind you.
Fucking move, will you!

Gorman is ashen. Confused. Gulping for air like a grouper.
How could the situation have unravelled so fast?

RIPLEY
(to Gorman)
GET THEM OUT OF THERE! DO IT NOW!

GORMAN
Shut up. Just shut up!

CRASH! Crowe's telemetry cuts off like the plug was pulled.
Flat line.

GORMAN
Uh,... Apone, I want you to lay down
a suppressing fire with the
incinerators and fall back by squads
to the APC, over.

APONE (V.O.)
(heavy static)
Say again? All after incinerators?

Ripley watches it fall apart.

GORMAN
I said...

INT. COCOON CHAMBER

Apone adjusts his headset.

GORMAN (V.O.)
(static)
...lay down (garbled) ...by squads
to... (garbled)

Gorman's voice breaks up completely. A SCREAM.

Apone whirls, uncertain.

APONE
Dietrich? Crowe? Sound off!
Wierzbowski?

Nothing. He spins. Almost blows Hudson's head off.

HUDSON
(freaked)
We're getting juked! We're gonna die
in here!

Apone hands him a magazine. Hudson slaps it home, looking
truly terrified.

APONE
Yeah. Right. Right! Fuck the heat
exchanger!

He FIRES. Vasquez, nearby, is laying down a horrendous field
of fire. Strobe-bright flashes sear the darkness. She pivots,
firing mechanically in controlled bursts. Scoring points in
her own private video game.

She SPINS as Hicks approached laterally. WHAM! She fires
"at" him. Hicks whirls... to see a nightmarish figure right
behind him, catapulted backwards by Vasquez' blast.

INT. APC

Apone's monitor SPINS CRAZILY AND GOES DARK.

GORMAN
(distantly)
I told them to fall back...

RIPLEY
(viciously)
They're but off! Do something!

But he's gone. Total brain-lock.

TIGHT ON RIPLEY as she struggles with a decision. She's
terrified... of what she knows she's about to do. But more
than that, she's furious. Shouldering past a paralyzed Gorman
she runs up the aisle of the APC.

RIPLEY
(in passing)
Newt, put your seatbelt on!

Ripley jumps into the driver's seat of the APC. Takes a deep
breath. Starts slapping switches.

GORMAN
Ripley, what the hell...?

She slams the tractor into gear.

EXT. APC

as the drive-wheels spin on the wet ground. The massive
machine leaps forward.

INT. APC

Ripley sees smoke pouring out of the complex ahead as she
slides sideways onto the descending rampway.

She slams the left and right drive-wheel actuators viciously,
spinning the machine in a roaring pivot.

Gorman lunges forward along the aisle, abandoning his command
center.

GORMAN
(shrill)
What are you doing? Turn around!
That's an order!

He claws at her, hysterical. Burke pulls him off.

INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE

The APC roars down into the smoky structure, tearing away
outcroppings of alien-encrustation. Ripley hits the
floodlights. Strobe-beacon. Siren. She homes on the flash of
weapons fire ahead.

INT. COCOON CHAMBER

The APC crashes inside, showering debris. Hicks, supporting
a limping Hudson, appears out of the smoke.

The APC pulls up broadside and Burke gets the crew-door open.

Drake and Vasquez back out of the dense mist, firing as they
fall back.

Drake goes empty, slams the buckles cutting loose his smart-
gun harness, and unslings a flame thrower.

Hicks pushes Hudson inside, leaps in after him and drags
Vasquez inside, massive gear and all. She sees a DARK SHAPE
lunge toward Drake. She fires one burst, prone. Clean body
hit.

The flash lights up the hideous inhuman grin, blowing open
the thing's thorax. A spray of BRIGHT YELLOW ACID slashes
across Drake's face and chest, eating into him like a hot
knife through butter. He drops in boiling smoke, reflexively
triggering his flame thrower.

The jet of liquid fire arcs around as he falls, engulfing
the back half of the APC.

INT. APC

Vasquez rolls aside as a gout of napalm shoots through the
crew-door, setting the interior on fire.

Hicks is rolling the door closed when Vasquez lunges, clawing
out the opening. He stops her, dragging her inside.

VASQUEZ
Drake! He's down!

Hicks screams right in her face.

HICKS
He's gone! Forget it, he's gone!

VASQUEZ
(irrational)
No.. No, he's not. He's --

Burke and Hudson help him drag her from the door.

HICKS
(to Ripley)
Let's go!

Ripley jams reverse. Nails the throttle. The APC bellows
backward up the ramp. Hudson disappears under a pile of
equipment as a storage rack breaks free. Hicks gets the door
almost closed. Suddenly CLAWS appear at the edge. Newt
screams. Against the combined efforts of Hicks, Burke and
Vasquez the door is being SLOWLY WRENCHED OPEN FROM OUTSIDE.

Hicks yells at a paralyzed Gorman.

HICKS
Get on the Goddamn door!

Gorman backs away, eyes wide. Hicks jams his shoulder against
the latching lever and frees one hand to raise his 12-gauge.
An alien head wedges through the opening, its hideous mouth
opening. And Hicks jams his SHOTGUN MUZZLE between its jaws
and pulls the trigger! BLAM!

The creature is flung backward, its shattered head fountaining
acid blood. The spray eats into the door, the deck, hits
Hudson on the arm. He shrieks. They slide the door home and
dog it tight.

EXT. APC

The armored vehicle roars backward up the ramp. Slams into a
mass of conduit. Tears free. Ripley works the shifters,
pivoting the massive machine. Everybody's shouting, trying
to put out the fire. Pandemonium.

INT./EXT. APC

Something lands on the roof with a metallic clang.

Gorman has plastered himself against a wall, as far from the
door as possible. A latch lever behind his head turns. The
small hatch against which he was leaning is ripped away and
SOMETHING snatches him out the opening. He disappears to the
waist with a shriek, legs kicking. The alien clings to the
roof, pulling him out. Its tail whips over, scorpion-like,
and buries a four inch stinger in Gorman's shoulder.

Hicks grabs a joy stick at the FIRE-CONTROL CONSOLE and turns
it rapidly. On the roof the alien looks up as servo-motors
whir. A remote control turret cannon, a 20mm chain-gun,
swivels toward it in a curt arc.

VOOM. The creature is blasted off the vehicle's armored back
and tumbles away. Gorman, slumped unconscious, is dragged
back inside.

The APC rips away a section of catwalk and heads for clear
air, its flank trailing fire like a comet.

Ripley fights the controls as the big machine slews,
broadsiding a control-room out-building. Office furniture
and splintered wall sections are strewn in the APC's wake.

Suddenly, an alien arm arcs down, right in front of Ripley's
face. It smashes the windshield. Glistening, hideous jaws
lunge inside...

Ripley recoils. Face to face once again with the same mind-
numbing horror. She reacts instinctively. Slams both sets of
brakes with all her strength. The huge wheels lock. The
creature flips off, landing in the headlights. Ripley hits
full throttle. The APC roars forward, smashing over the
abomination. Its skeletal body is crushed under the massive
wheels. It rolls, tumbling... lost in the darkness behind as
the machine thunders onto the causeway and away from the
station.

A sound like bolts dropped in a meat grinder is coming from
the APC's rear end. Hicks eases Ripley's hand back on the
throttle lever. Her grip is white knuckled.

HICKS
It's okay... we're clear. We're clear.
Ease up.

The grinding clatter becomes deafening even as she slows the
machine.

HICKS
Sounds like a blown transaxle. You're
just grinding metal.

EXT. APC

The tractor limps to a halt. A HALF-KILOMETER from the
atmosphere processing station. The APC is a smoking, acid-
scarred mess.

INT. APC

Ripley, still running on the adrenalin dynamo, spins out of
her seat into the aisle.

RIPLEY
Newt? Where's Newt?

Feeling a tug at her pants leg she looks down. Newt is wedged
into a tiny space between the driver's seat and a bulkhead.
She is trembling, and looks terrified, but it's not the basket
case catatonia of before.

RIPLEY
You okay?

Newt gives her a THUMBS-UP, wan but stoic. Ripley goes back
to the others. Hudson is holding his arm and staring in
stunned dismay at nothing, playing it all back in his mind.

HUDSON
Jesus... Jesus... I don't believe
it.

Burke tries to have a look at Hudson's arm.

HUDSON
(jerking away)
I'm all right, leave it!

Ripley joins Hicks who is bent over Gorman, checking for a
pulse.

HICKS
He's alive. I think he's paralyzed.

VASQUEZ
He's fucking dead!

She grabs Gorman by the collar, hauling him up roughly, ready
to pulp him with her other fist.

VASQUEZ
(to Gorman)
Wake up pendejo! I'm gonna kill you,
you useless fuck!

Hicks pushes her back. Right in her face.

HICKS
Hold it. Hold it. Back off, right
now.

Vasquez releases Gorman. His head smacks the deck.

Ripley opens Gorman's tunic, revealing a bloodless purple
puncture wound.

RIPLEY
Looks like it stung him.

HUDSON
Hey... hey! Look, Crowe and Dietrich
aren't dead, man.

They turn to see Hudson at the MTOB monitors, pointing at
the bio-function screens.

HUDSON
They must be like Gorman. Their signs
are real low but they ain't dead!

Hudson is pale, panicky, and his voice echoes around the
tiny metallic space and comes back to all of them as the
near hysteria they all feel, fluttering just at the edges of
their minds.

RIPLEY
You can't help them. Right now they're
being cocooned just like the others.

HUDSON
(sagging)
Oh, God. Jesus. This ain't happening.

Ripley and Vasquez lock eyes. Ripley doesn't want it to be
"I told you so" but Vasquez reads it that way. She turns
away with a snap.

INT. MED LAB

Bishop is hunched over an occular probe doing a dissection
of one of the dead parasites. Spunkmeyer enters with some
electronics gear on a hand truck and parks it near Bishop's
work table.

SPUNKMEYER
Need anything else?

Bishop waves "no" without looking up.

EXT. COLONY - DROP-SHIP

Spunkmeyer emerges, crossing the Tarmac to the loading ramp
of the ship. As he nears the top of the ramp, his boot
slips... skidding on something wet. Kneeling, he touches a
small puddle of thick slime. He shrugs, and hits the controls
to retract the ramp and close the doors.

INT. APC

ON VASQUEZ wired and intense.

VASQUEZ
All right, we can't blow the fuck
out of them... why not roll some
canisters of CN-20 down there. Nerve
gas the whole nest?

HUDSON
Look, man, let's just bug out and
call it even, okay?

RIPLEY
(to Vasquez)
No good. How do we know it'll effect
their biochemistry? I say we take
off and nuke the entire site from
orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

BURKE
Now hold on a second. I'm not
authorizing that action.

RIPLEY
Why not?

Burke senses the challenge in her tone and backpedals
flawlessly into conciliatory mode.

BURKE
Well, I mean... I know this is an
emotional moment, but let's not make
snap judgments. Let's move cautiously.
First, this physical installation
had a substantial dollar value
attached to it --

RIPLEY
They can bill me. I got a tab running.
What's second?

BURKE
This is clearly an important species
we're dealing with here. We can't
just arbitrarily exterminate them --

RIPLEY
Bullshit!

VASQUEZ
Yeah, bullshit. Watch us.

HUDSON
Maybe you haven't been keeping up on
current events, but we just got out
asses kicked, pal!

Ripley faces Burke squarely and she's not pleased.

RIPLEY
Look, Burke. We had an agreement.

Burke moves in, lowering his voice. He takes her aside from
the others.

BURKE
I know, I know, but we're dealing
with changing scenarios here. This
thing is major, Ripley. I mean really
major. You gotta go with its energy.
Since you are the representative of
the company who discovered this
species your percentage will naturally
be some serious, serious money.

Ripley stares at his like he's a particularly disagreeable
fungus.

RIPLEY
You son of a bitch.

BURKE
(hardening)
Don't make me pull rank, Ripley.

RIPLEY
What rank? I believe Corporal Hicks
has authority here.

BURKE
Corporal Hicks!?

RIPLEY
This operation is under military
jurisdiction and Hicks is next in
chain of command. Right?

HICKS
Looks that way.

Burke starts to lose it and it's not a pretty sight.

BURKE
Look, this is a multimillion dollar
operation. He can't make that kind
of decision. He's just a grunt!
(glances at Hicks)
No offense.

HICKS
(coolly)
None taken.
(into mike)
Ferro, you copying?

FERRO (V.O.)
(static)
Standing by.

HICKS
Prep for dust-off. We're gonna need
an immediate evac.
(to Burke)
I think we'll take off and nuke the
site from orbit. It's the only way
to be sure.

He winks. Burke looks like a kid whose toy has been snatched.

BURKE
This is absurd! You don't have the
authority to --

CLACK! The sound of a rifle bolt snapping home truncates his
rant. Vasquez has a pulse-rifle cradled, not exactly aimed
at Burke but not exactly aimed away either. Her expression
is mask-like. End of discussion.

Ripley sits behind Newt, putting her arm around her.

RIPLEY
We're going home, honey.

EXT. DROP-SHIP

The ship rises through the spray thrown up by the downblast
of the VTOL jets, hovering above the complex like a huge
insect, its searchlights blazing.

EXT. APC

The group is filing out of the personnel carrier, which is
clearly a write off. Hicks and Hudson have Gorman between
them, and the others emerge into the wind.

They watch the ship roar in on its final approach.

INT. DROP-SHIP - COCKPIT

Ferro flicks the intercom switch several times. Thumps her
headset mike.

FERRO
Spunkmeyer? Goddammit.

The compartment door behind her slides slowly back.

FERRO
(turning)
Where the fu --

Her eyes widen. It's not Spunkmeyer.

Am impression of leering jaws which blur forward, then a
whirl of motion and a truncated scream. The throttle levers
are slammed forward in the melee.

EXT. APC - LANDSCAPE - STATION

They watch in dismay as the approaching ship dips and VEERS
WILDLY. Its main engines ROAR FULL ON and the craft
accelerates toward them even as it loses altitude.

It skims the ground. Clips a rock formation. The ship slews,
sideslipping. It hits a ridge. Tumbles, bursting into flame,
breaking up. It arcs into the air, end over end, a Catherine
wheel juggernaut.

RIPLEY
Run!

She grabs Newt and sprints for cover as a tumbling section
of the ship's massive engine module slams into the APC and
it explodes into twisted wreckage.

The drop-ship skips again, like a stone, engulfed in flames...
AND CRASHES INTO THE STATION. A TREMENDOUS FIREBALL.

The remainder of the ground team watches their hopes of
getting off the planet, and most of their superior fire power,
reduced to flaming debris.

There is a moment of stunned silence, then...

HUDSON
(hysterical)
Well that's great! That's just fucking
great, man. Now what the fuck are we
supposed to do, man? We're in some
real pretty shit now!

HICKS
Are you finished?
(to Ripley)
You okay?

She nods. She can't disguise her stricken expression when
she looks at Newt, but the little girl seems relatively calm.
She shrugs with fatalistic acceptance.

NEWT
I guess we're not leaving, right?

RIPLEY
I'm sorry, Newt.

NEWT
You don't have to be sorry. It wasn't
your fault.

HUDSON
(kicking rocks)
Just tell me what the fuck we're
supposed to do now. What're we gonna
do now?

BURKE
(annoyed)
May be could build a fire and sing
songs.

NEWT
We should get back, 'cause it'll be
dark soon. They come mostly at night.
Mostly.

Ripley follows Newt's look to the AP station looming in the
twilight, the burning drop-ship wreckage jammed into its
basal structure.

EXT. CONTROL BLOCK - NIGHT

The wind howls mournfully around the metal buildings, dry
and cold.

INT. OPERATIONS

The weary and demoralized group is gathered to take stock of
their grim options. Vasquez and Hudson are just setting down
a scorched and dented packing case, one of several culled
from the APC wreckage.

Hicks indicates their remaining inventory of weapons, lying
on a table.

HICKS
This is all we could salvage. We've
got four pulse-rifles with about
fifty rounds each. Not so good. About
fifteen M-40 grenades and two flame
throwers less than half full... one
damaged. And we've got four of these
robot-sentry units with scanners and
display intact.

He opens one of the scorched cases, revealing a high-tech
servo-actuated machine gun with optical sensing equipment,
packed in foam.

RIPLEY
How long after we're declared overdue
can we expect a rescue?

HICKS
About seventeen days.

HUDSON
Man, we're not going to make it
seventeen hours! Those things are
going to come in here, just like
they did before, man... they're going
to come in here and get us, man,
long before...

RIPLEY
She survived longer than that with
no weapons and no training.

Ripley indicates Newt, who salutes Hudson smartly.

RIPLEY
So you better just start dealing
with it. Just deal with it, Hudson...
because we need you and I'm tired of
your bullshit. Now get on a terminal
and call up some kind of floor plan
file. Construction blueprints,
maintenance schematics, anything
that shows the layout of this place.
I want to see air ducts, electrical
access tunnels, subbasements. Every
possible way into this wing.

Hudson gathers himself, thankful for the direction.

Hicks nods approval of her handling of it.

HUDSON
Aye-firmative. I'm on it.

BISHOP
I'll be in medical. I'd like to
continue my analysis.

RIPLEY
Fine. You do that.

INT. OPERATIONS

Burke, Ripley, Hudson and Hicks are bent over a large
HORIZONTAL VIDEOSCREEN, like an illuminated chart table.

Newt hops from one foot to the other to see.

RIPLEY
This service tunnel is how they're
moving back and forth.

HUDSON
Yeah, right, it runs from the
processing station right into the
sublevel here.

He traces a finger along the abstract ground plan.

RIPLEY
All right. There's a fire door at
this end. The first thing we do is
put a remote sentry in the tunnel
and seal that door.

HICKS
We gotta figure on them getting into
the complex.

RIPLEY
That's right. So we put up welded
barricades at these intersections...
(pointing)
...and seal these ducts here and
here. Then they can only come at us
from these two corridors and we create
a free field of fire for the other
two sentry units, here.

Hicks contemplates her game plan and raises his hand,
satisfied.

HICKS
Outstanding. Then all we need's a
deck of cards. All right, let's move
like we got a purpose.

HUDSON
Aye-firmative.

NEWT
(imitating Hudson)
Aye-firmative!

INT. SERVICE TUNNEL - SUBLEVEL

A long straight service tunnel, lined with conduit, seems to
go on forever. Vasquez and Hudson have finished setting up
two of the robot sentry guns on tripods in the tunnel.

VASQUEZ
(shouting)
Testing!

She hurls a wastebasket down the tunnel, into the automatic
field of fire. The sentry guns swivel smoothly, the
wastebasket bounces once... and is riddled by two quick bursts
of EXPLODING 10MM ROUNDS into dime-sized shrapnel. They
retreat behind a heavy steel FIRE DOOR which they roll closed
on its track. Vasquez, using a PORTABLE WELDING TORCH, begins
sealing the door to its frame, as Hudson paces nervously.

HUDSON
Hudson here. A and B sentries are in
place and keyed. We're sealing the
tunnel.

INT. SECOND LEVEL CORRIDOR

Hicks pauses in his work.

HICKS
(into mike)
Roger.

He and Ripley are covering an air duct opening with a metal
plate, welding it in place, showering sparks in the dark
corridor. Behind them Burke and Newt are moving back and
forth with cartons of food on a hand truck, stacking it inside
the operations center.

Hicks sets down his welder and pulls a small object out of a
belt pouch. A bracelet-like EMERGENCY LOCATING BEEPER.

HICKS
Here, put this on. Then I can locate
you anywhere in the complex on this --

He indicates a tiny TRACKER hooked to his battle harness. He
shrugs, a little self-consciously.

HICKS
Just a... precaution. You know.

Ripley pauses for a moment, regarding him quizzically.

RIPLEY
(strapping it on)
Thanks.

HUDSON
Uh, what's next?

She consults a printout of the floor plan.

EXT. CONTROL BLOCK

The wind has died utterly and in the even more eerie stillness
a diffuse mist has rolled into shroud the complex. Visibility
is low in the fog.

Everything looks underwater. There is no movement.

INT. CORRIDOR

In the barricaded corridor sentry-gun "C" sits waiting, its
"ARMED" light flashing green. Through a hole torn in the
ceiling at the far end of the corridor the fog swirls in.
Water drips. An expectant hush.

INT. MED LAB ANNEX - OPERATING ROOM

Ripley carries an exhausted Newt through the inner connecting
rooms of the medical wing. She reaches an OPERATING ROOM
which is small but very high-tech... vault-like metal walls,
strange equipment.

Several metal cots have been set up, displacing O.R. equipment
which is pushed into one corner.

Newt is resting her head on Ripley's shoulder, barely awake...
out of steam. Ripley sets her on one of the cots and Newt
lies down.

RIPLEY
Now you just lie here and have a
nap. You're exhausted.

NEWT
I don't want to... I have scary
dreams.

This obviously strikes a chord with Ripley, but she feigns
cheerfulness.

RIPLEY
I'll bet Casey doesn't have bad
dreams.

Ripley lifts the doll's head from Newt's tiny fingers and
looks inside. It is, of course, empty.

RIPLEY
Nothing bad in here. Maybe you could
just try to be like her.

Ripley closes the doll's eyes and hands her back.

Newt rolls her eyes as if to say "don't pull that five-year-
old shit on me, lady. I'm six."

NEWT
Ripley... she doesn't have bad dreams
because she's just a piece of plastic.

RIPLEY
Oh. Sorry, Newt.

NEWT
My mommy always said there were no
monsters. No real ones. But there
are.

Ripley's expression becomes sober. She brushes damp hair
back from the child's pale forehead.

RIPLEY
(quietly)
Yes, there are, aren't there.

NEWT
Why do they tell little kids that?

Newt's voice reveals her deep sense of betrayal.

She's seen that the world can be just as terrifying as her
most primal child's nightmare if not more so, and that's a
lot worse than finding out there is no Santa.

RIPLEY
Well, some kids can't handle it like
you can.

NEWT
Did one of those things grow inside
her?

Ripley begins pulling blankets up an tucking them in around
her tiny body.

RIPLEY
I don't know, Newt. That's the truth.

NEWT
Isn't that how babies come? I mean
people babies... they grow inside
you?

RIPLEY
No, it's different, honey.

NEWT
Did you ever have a baby?

RIPLEY
Yes. A little girl.

NEWT
Where is she?

RIPLEY
(quietly)
Gone.

NEWT
You mean dead.

It's more statement than question. Ripley nods slowly.

She turns, reaching for a PORTABLE SPACE HEATER sitting
nearby, and slides it closer to the bed. She switches it on.
It HUMS and emits a cozy orange glow.

NEWT
Ripley, I was just thinking... Maybe
I could do you a favor and fill in
for her. Just for a while. You can
try it and if you don't like it,
it's okay. I'll understand. No big
deal. Whattya think?

Ripley gazes at her a long time before answering... a conflict
between the urge to crush the child to her in a forever hug
and the knowledge that neither of them may see another dawn.

RIPLEY
I think it's not the worst idea I've
heard all day. Let's talk about it
later.

She switches off the light and starts to rise. Newt grabs
her arm. A plaintive voice in the dark.

NEWT
Don't go! Please.

RIPLEY
I'll be right in the other room,
Newt. And look... I can see you on
that camera right up there.

Newt looks at the VIDEO SECURITY CAMERA above the door.

Ripley unsnaps the TRACKER BRACELET given to her by Hicks
and puts it on Newt's tiny wrist, cinching it down.

RIPLEY
Here. Take is for luck. Now go to
sleep... and don't dream.

Ripley walks away and Newt rolls on her side, hugging Casey
and gazing at the hypnotically pulsing function light on the
bracelet. The space heater hums comfortingly.

INT. MED LAB

ECU Gorman, his eyelids slitted open like those of a corpse,
but with the eyes tracking erratically. The only sign of
life.

RIPLEY
(voice over)
How is he?

Ripley stands over the Lieutenant, who is lying motionless
on an examining table. Bishop looks up from his instruments
nearby, the light of a single gooseneck lamp giving his
features a macabre cast.

BISHOP
I've isolated a neuro-muscular toxin
responsible for the paralysis. It
seems to be metabolizing. He should
wake up soon.

RIPLEY
Now let me get this straight. The
aliens paralyzed the colonists,
carried them over there, cocooned
them to be hosts for more of those...

Ripley points at the stasis cylinders containing the face-
hugger specimens.

RIPLEY
Which would mean lots of those
parasites, right? One for each
person... over a hundred at least.

BISHOP
Yes. That follows.

RIPLEY
But these things come from eggs...
so where are all the eggs coming
from.

BISHOP
That is the question of the hour. We
could assume a parallel to certain
insect forms who have hivelike
organization. An ant of termite
colony, for example, is ruled by a
single female, a queen, which is the
source of new eggs.

RIPLEY
You're saying one of those things
lays all the eggs?

BISHOP
Well, the queen is always physically
larger then the others. A termite
queen's abdomen is so bloated with
eggs that it can't move at all. It
is fed and tended by drone workers,
defended by the warriors. She is the
center of their lives, quite literally
the mother of their society.

RIPLEY
Could it be intelligent?

BISHOP
Hard to say. It may have been blind
instinct... attraction to the heat
of whatever... but she did choose to
incubate her eggs in the one spot
where we couldn't destroy her without
destroying ourselves. That's if she
exists, of course.

Ripley ponders the ramifications of Bishop's analysis.

RIPLEY
(rising)
I want those specimens destroyed as
soon as you're done with them. You
understand?

Bishop glances at the creatures, pulsing malevolently in
their cylinders.

BISHOP
Mr. Burke has instructions that they
were to be kept alive in stasis for
return to the company labs. He was
very specific.

Ripley feels the fabric of her self-restraint tearing.

She slaps the intercom switch.

RIPLEY
Burke!

INT. MED LAB ANNEX

In a small observation chamber separated from the med lab by
a glass partition, Ripley and Burke have squared off.

BURKE
Those specimens are worth millions
to the bio-weapons division. Now, if
you're smart we can both come out of
this heroes. Set up for life.

RIPLEY
You just try getting a dangerous
organism past ICC quarantine. Section
22350 of the Commerce Code.

BURKE
You've been doing your homework.
Look, they can't impound it if they
don't know about it.

RIPLEY
But they will know about it, Burke.
From me. Just like they'll know how
you were responsible for the deaths
of one hundred and fifty-seven
colonists here --

BURKE
Now, wait a second --

RIPLEY
(stepping on him)
You sent them to that ship. I just
checked the colony log... directive
dates six-twelve-seventy-nine. Signed
Burke, Carter J.

Ripley's fury is peaking, now that the frustration and rage
finally have a target to focus on.

RIPLEY
You sent them out there and you didn't
even warn them, Burke. Why didn't
you warn them?

BURKE
Look, maybe the thing didn't even
exist, right? And if I'd made it a
major security situation, the
Administration would've stepped in.
Then no exclusive rights, nothing.

He shrugs, his manner blase, dismissive.

BURKE
It was a bad call, that's all.

Ripley snaps. She slams him against the wall, surprising
herself and him, her hands gripping his collar.

RIPLEY
Bad call? These people are fucking
dead, Burke! Well, they're going to
nail your hide to the shed... and
I'll be there when they do.

She steps back, shaking, and looks at him with utter loathing,
as if the depths of human greed are a far more horrific
revelation than any alien.

BURKE
(sadly)
I expected more of you, Ripley. I
thought you would be smarter than
this.

RIPLEY
Sorry to disappoint you.

She turns away and strides out. The door closes.

Burke stares after her, his mind a whirl of options.

INT. CORRIDOR

Ripley is walking toward operations when a STRIDENT ALARM
begins to sound. She breaks into a run.

INT. OPERATIONS

Ripley double-times it to Hicks' TACTICAL CONSOLE where Hudson
and Vasquez have already gathered. Hicks slaps a switch,
killing the alarm.

HICKS
They're coming. They're in the tunnel.

The TRILLING of the motion sensor remains, speeding up.

TWO RED LIGHTS on the tactical display light up simultaneously
with an echoing crash of gunfire which vibrates the floor.

HICKS
Guns A and B. Tracking and firing on
multiple targets.

The RSS guns pound away, echoing through the complex.

Their separate bursts overlap in an irregular rhythm.

A counter on the display counts down the number of rounds
fired.

HUDSON
They must be wall to wall in there.
Look at those ammo counters go. It's
a shooting gallery down there.

INT. SERVICE TUNNEL - TIGHT ON RSS GUNS

blasting stroboscopically in the tunnels. Their barrels are
overheating, glowing cherry red. One CLICKS empty and sits
smoking, still swiveling to track targets it can't fire upon.

INT. OPERATIONS

The digital counter on B gun reads zero.

HICKS
B gun's dry. Twenty on A. Ten. Five.
That's it.

SILENCE. Then a GONGLIKE BOOMING echoes eerily up from
sublevel.

RIPLEY
They're at the fire door.

The BOOMING INCREASES in volume and ferocity.

HUDSON
Man, listen to that.

Mixed with the echoing crash-clang is a nerve-wrecking SCREECH
of claws on steel. The intercom buzzes, startling them.

BISHOP (V.O.)
Bishop here. I'm afraid I have some
bad news.

HUDSON
Well, that's a switch.

INT. OPERATIONS - MINUTES LATER

Everyone, including Bishop, is crowded at the window, intently
watching the AP station which is a dim silhouette in the
mist. Suddenly a column of flame, like an acetylene torch,
jets upward from the complex at the base of the cone.

BISHOP
That's it. See it? Emergency venting.

RIPLEY
How long until it blows?

BISHOP
I'm projecting total systems failure
in a little under four hours. The
blast radius will be about thirty
kilometers. About equal to ten
megatons.

HICKS
We got problems.

HUDSON
I don't fucking believe this. Do you
believe this?

RIPLEY
And it's too late to shut it down?

BISHOP
I'm afraid so. The crash did too
much damage. The overload is
inevitable, at this point.

HUDSON
Oh, man. And I was gettin' short,
too! Four more weeks and out. Now
I'm gonna buy it on this fuckin'
rock. It ain't half fair, man!

VASQUEZ
Hudson, give us a break.

They watch as another gas jet lights up the fog-shrouded
landscape.

RIPLEY
(to Hicks)
We need the other drop-ship. The one
on the Sulaco. We have to bring it
down on remote, somehow.

HUDSON
How? The transmitter was on the APC.
It's wasted.

RIPLEY
(pacing)
I don't care how! Think of a way.
Think of something.

HUDSON
Think of what? We're fucked.

RIPLEY
What about the colony transmitter?
That up-link tower down at the other
end. Why can't we use that?

BISHOP
I checked. The hard wiring between
here and there was severed in the
fighting.

Ripley is wound up like a dynamo, her mind spinning out
options, grim solutions.

RIPLEY
Well then somebody's just going to
have to go out there. Take a portable
terminal and go out there and plug
in manually.

HUDSON
Oh, right! Right! With those things
running around. No way.

BISHOP
(quietly)
I'll go.

RIPLEY
What?

BISHOP
I'm really the only one qualified to
remote-pilot the ship anyway. Believe
me, I'd prefer not to. I may be
synthetic but I'm not stupid.

RIPLEY
All right. Let's get on it. What'll
you need?

VASQUEZ
Listen. It's stopped.

They listen. Nothing. An instant later comes the HIGH-PITCHED
TRILLING of a motion-sensor alarm. Hicks looks at the tactical
board.

HICKS
Well, they're into the complex.

INT. MED LAB

One of the acid holes from the colonists' siege has yielded
access to subfloor conduits. Bishop lying in the opening,
reaches up to grab the portable terminal as Ripley hands it
down to him. He pushes it into the constricted shaft ahead
of him. She then hands him a small satchel containing tools
and assorted patch cables, a service pistol and a small
cutting torch.

BISHOP
This duct runs almost to the up-link
assembly. One hundred eighty meters.
Say, forty minutes to crawl down
there. One hour to patch in and align
the antenna.

Thirty minutes to prep the ship, then about fifty minutes
flight time.

Ripley looks at her watch.

RIPLEY
It's going to be closer. You better
get going.

BISHOP
(cheerfully)
See you soon.

She squirms into the shaft, pushing the equipment along ahead
of him with a scraping rhythm. The diameter of the conduit
is barely larger than the width of his shoulders. Vasquez
slides a metal plate over the hole and begins spot welding
it in place.

INT. CONDUIT

Bishop looks back as the welder seals him in. He sighs
fatalistically and squirms forward. Ahead of him the conduit
dwindles straight to seeming infinity. Like being in the
bore of a very long Howitzer.

INT. MED LAB

Ripley jumps as an ALARM suddenly blares through the complex.

HICKS (V.O.)
They're in the approach corridor.

RIPLEY
(into mike)
On my way.

Ripley jumps up, unslinging a FLAMETHROWER from her shoulder
in one motion, and sprints for Operations with Vasquez. The
sound of SENTRY GUNS opening up in staccato bursts echoes
from close by.

INT. OPERATIONS

Ripley runs to the tactical console where Hicks is mesmerized
by the images from the surveillance cameras.

The flashes of the sentry guns flare out the sensitive video,
but impressions of figures moving in the smoky corridor are
occasionally visible. The robot sentries hammer away, driving
streamers of tracer fire into the swirling mist.

HICKS
Twenty meters and closing. Fifteen.
C and D guns down about fifty percent.

The digital readout whirl through descending numbers.

An inhuman SHRILL SCREECHING is audible between bursts of
fire.

RIPLEY
Now many?

HICKS
Can't tell. Lots. D gun's down to
twenty. Ten. It's out.

Then the firing from the remaining guns stop abruptly.

The video image is a swirling wall of smoke. Small fires
burn, dim glows in the mist. There are black and twisted
shapes, and pieces of twisted shapes, scattered at the edge
of visibility. However, nothing emerges from the wall of
smoke. The motion sensor TONE shuts off.

RIPLEY
They retreated. The guns stopped
them.

The moment stretches. Everyone exhales slowly.

HICKS
Yeah. But look...

The digital counters for the two sentry guns read "0" and
"10" respectively. Less than a second's worth of firing.

HICKS
Next time then can walk right up and
knock.

RIPLEY
But they don't know that. They're
probably looking for other ways to
get in. That'll take them awhile.

HUDSON
Maybe we got 'em demoralized.

HICKS
(to Vasquez and Hudson)
I want you two walking the perimeter.
I know we're all in strung out shape
but stay frosty and alert. We've got
to stop any entries before they get
out of hand.

The two troopers nod and head for the corridor. Ripley sighs
and picks up a cup of cold coffee, draining it in one gulp.

HICKS
How long since you slept? Twenty-
four hours?

Ripley shrugs. She seems soul weary, drained by the nerve-
wracking tension. When she answers, her voice seems distant,
detached.

RIPLEY
(grimly)
They'll get us.

HICKS
Maybe. Maybe not.

RIPLEY
Hicks, I'm not going to wind up like
those others. You'll take care of it
won't you, it if comes to that?

HICKS
If it comes to that, I'll do us both.
Let's see that it doesn't. Here, I'd
like to introduce you to a close
personal friend of mine.

He picks up his pulse-rifle and with the casually precise
movements of long practice he snaps open the bolt, drops out
the magazine and hands it to her.

HICKS
M-41A 10mm pulse-rifle, over and
under with a 30mm pump-action grenade
launcher.

Ripley hefts the weapon. It is heavy and awkward. But there
is an irrational promise of security in its lethal cold steel
lines, to at least the sense that she will be in some greater
measure the master of her own fate.

She raises it clumsily.

RIPLEY
What do I do?

INT. CONDUIT

Bishop is in claustrophobic limbo between two echoing
infinities. The pipe rings with his scraping advance.

He approaches an irregular hole which admits a tiny shaft of
light. He puts his eyes up to the acid-etched opening.

HIS P.O.V. as drooling jaws flash toward us, SLAMMING against
the steel with a vicious scraping SNAP.

Bishop flattens himself away from the opening and inches
along, looking pale and strained. He glances at his watch.

INT. OPERATIONS

Ripley has the stock of the M-41A snugged up to her cheek
and is awkwardly trying to keep up with Hicks' instructions.
The Corporal is standing close behind her, positioning her
arms. It's intimate but that's the last thing on their minds.

HICKS
Just pull it in real right. It will
kick some. When the counter here
heads zero, hit this...

He thumbs a button and the magazine drops out, clattering on
the floor.

HICKS
Just let it drop right out. Get the
other one in quick. Just slap it in
hard, it likes abuse. Now, pull the
bolt.

CLACK.

HICKS
You're ready again.

Ripley repeats the action, not very smoothly. Her hands are
trembling. She indicates a stout TUBE underneath the slender
pulse-rifle barrel.

RIPLEY
What's this?

HICKS
Well, that's the grenade launcher...
you probably don't want to mess with
that.

RIPLEY
Look, you started this. Now show me
everything. I can handle myself.

HICKS
Yeah. I've noticed.

INT. CORRIDOR

DOLLYING WITH Ripley walking down the corridor, now carrying
the newfound friend, the M-41A. Gorman steps out of the door
to the med lab, looking weak but sound.

Burke is right behind him.

RIPLEY
How do you feel?

GORMAN
All right, I guess. One hell of a
hangover. Look, Ripley... I...

RIPLEY
Forget it.

She shoulders by him into the med lab. Gorman turns to see
Vasquez staring at him with cold, slitted eyes.

GORMAN
You still want to kill me?

VASQUEZ
(turning away)
It won't be necessary.

INT. MED LAB - ANNEX

Ripley crosses the deserted lab, passing through the annex
to the small O.R. where she left Newt.

INT. MED LAB - O.R.

Entering the darkened chamber, Ripley looks around.

Newt is nowhere to be seen. On a hunch she kneels down and
peers under the bed. Newt is curled up there, jammed as far
back as she can get, fast asleep. Still clutching "Casey."

Ripley stares at Newt's tiny face, so angelic despite the
demons that have chased her through her dreams and the reality
between dreams. Ripley lays the rifle on top of the cot and
crawls carefully underneath. Without waking the little girl,
she slips her arms around her.

Ripley becomes merely the larger of two children huddling
together in the darkness under their bed.

Newt's face contorts with the externalization of some
tormented dreamscape. She cries out, a vague inarticulate
plea. Ripley rocks her gently.

RIPLEY
There, there. Sssshh. It's all right.

EXT. UP-LINK TOWER - VIEW OF AP STATION

A VIEW OF the processing station from the colony landing
platform. A rising wind is clearing out the low fog and the
silhouette of the station grows sharper. Several systems of
high pressure conduits at the base of the conical tower are
actually glowing dull red with heat in the darkness. High
voltage discharges arc around the upper latticework, lighting
the blighted landscape with irregular glaring flashes.

PAN ONTO BISHOP, F.G. hunched against the wind at the base
of the telemetry tower. He has a TEST-BAY PANEL open and the
portable terminal patched in. His jacket is draped over the
keyboard and monitor unit to protect it from the elements
and he is typing frenetically.

BISHOP
(to himself)
Now, if I did it right...

He punches a key marked "ENABLE."

INT. SULACO CARGO LOCK - IN ORBIT

The drop bay is empty and silent, with the remaining ship
brooding in the shadows. A KLAXON sounds and rotating
clearance lights come on. Hydraulics whine to life. Drop-
ship two moves out on its overhead track and is lowered into
the drop bay for launch-prep.

Service booms and fueling couplers move in automatically
around the hull. A recorded announcement echoes across the
huge chamber.

FEMALE VOICE
Attention. Attention. Automatic
fueling operations have begun. Please
extinguish all smoking materials.

INT. OPERATING ROOM - TIGHT ON RIPLEY - MED LAB

as she awakens with a start. She checks her watch... an hour
has passed. She gently disengages herself from Newt and is
about to crawl out from beneath the cot when she sees
something and FREEZES.

Across the room, just inside the door to the med lab, are
two innocuous but nonetheless chilling objects.

TWO STASIS CYLINDERS. Their tops are hinged open, and the
suspension fields are switched off. They are both EMPTY.
Ripley feels a slow upwelling wave of terror rise through
her in that silent frozen moment... the inescapable certainty
of a lethal presence. Unable to move or breathe, she looks
around frantically, assessing the situation.

RIPLEY
(whispers)
Newt. Newt, wake up.

NEWT
Wah...? Where are...?

RIPLEY
(whispers)
Sssh. Don't move. We're in trouble.

Newt nods, now wide awake. They listen in the darkness for
the slightest betrayal of movement. The scrabble of multiple
legs across the polished floor, for example. There is only
the droning HUM of the little space heater.

Ripley reaches up and, clutching the springs of the underside
of the cot, begins to inch it away from the wall.

The SQUEAL OF METAL as the legs scrape across the floor is
jarringly loud in the stillness.

When the space is wide enough she cautiously slides herself
up between the wall and the edge of the cot, reaching for
the rifle she left lying on top of the mattress. Here yes
clear the edge of the bed. The rifle is GONE.

She snaps her head around. A SCUTTLING SHAPE LEAPS TOWARD
HER from the foot of the bed! She ducks with a startled cry.
The obscene thing hits the wall above her, legs moving
lightning fast. Reflexively she slams the bed against the
wall, pinning the creature inches above her face. Its legs
and tail writhe with incredible ferocity and it emits a
demented, piercing SQUEAL.

Ripley heaves Newt across the polished floor and in a frenzied
scramble rolls from beneath the cot. She flips it over,
trapping the creature underneath.

They back away, gasping. Ripley's eyes flash around the
shadowed room where every corner of space between equipment
holds lethal promise. The creature scuttles from beneath the
bed and disappears under a back of cabinets in a blur. Ripley
hugs Newt close and heads toward the door, moving as if every
object in the room had a million volts running through it.
She reaches the door. Hits the wall switch. Nothing happens.
Disabled from outside. She tries the lights.

Nothing. She pounds on the door. The acoustically dampened
door panel thunks dully. She moves to the observation window,
glancing frantically over her shoulder. The bare floor behind
her is like a screaming threat.

RIPLEY
(shouting)
Hey... hey!

She pounds on the window. Through the double thickness window
we can SEE that the lab is dark and empty. Ripley whirls,
hearing a loathsome scrabbling behind her. Newt starts to
whimper, feeding off her fear. She steps in front of the
video surveillance camera and waves her arms in a circle.

RIPLEY
Hicks! Hicks!

INT. OPERATIONS - TIGHT ON VIDEO MONITOR

Showing Ripley waving her arms. There is no sound, a surreal
pantomime. A hand ENTERS FRAME and switches off the monitor.

Ripley's image vanishes.

WIDER ANGLE as Burke straightens casually from the console.
Hicks is talking via headset with Bishop and hasn't noticed
Ripley's plight or Burke's action.

HICKS
(into mike)
Roger. Check back when you've
activated the ship.
(turning)
He's at the up-link tower.

BURKE
(calmly)
Excellent.

INT. OPERATING ROOM

Ripley picks up a steel chair and slams it against the
observation window. It bounces back from the high-impact
material. She tries again.

REVERSE ANGLE from the med lab side, showing her futile
efforts, the chair hitting with a dull THWACK barely audible
through the double thickness pressure port.

Ripley turns, studying the room. She fumbles through a clutter
of equipment on a counter next to her and finds a SMALL
EXAMINATION LIGHT. Snapping it on she plays the beam over
the walls. Tall assemblies of surgical and anesthesiology
equipment loom in the dark. She hears, or thinks she hears,
movements. The light spins across the room, swiveling and
bobbing frantically. Like an indicator of her growing panic.

Newt starts a thin, high wailing.

NEWT
Mommy... mommmyyyyy...

Ripley steadies herself, realizing Newt's terror and the
child's dependence on her. She plays the beam across the
ceiling. Holds on something. Gets an idea.

She removes her lighter from a jacket pocket and picks up
some papers from the counter. Moving cautiously she boosts
Newt up onto the SURGICAL TABLE in the center of the room
and clambers up after her.

NEWT
Mommy... I mean, Ripley... I'm scared.

RIPLEY
I know, honey. Me too.

Ripley lights the papers and holds the flaming mass under
the temperature sensor of a fire control system SPRINKLER
HEAD. It triggers, spraying the room from several sources
with water. An ALARM sounds throughout the complex.

INT. OPERATIONS

Hicks jumps at the sound of the alarm, finally identifying
its source among the lights flashing on his board. He bolts
for the door, yelling into his headset as he moves.

HICKS
Vasquez, Hudson, meet me in medical!
We got a fire!

INT. OPERATING ROOM

Ripley and Newt are drenched as the sprinklers continue to
drizzle in the darkness. The SIREN hoots maniacally, masking
all other sound. Ripley scans the room with her light, her
hair plastered to her face, wiping water out of her eyes.
She is eye level with a complex surgical MULTILIGHT. She
looks into its tangle of arms and cables, inches away.

Looks away. Her eyes snap back. SOMETHING LEAPS AT HER FACE.
She SCREAMS and topples off the table, splashing to the floor.
Newt shrieks and scrambles away as Ripley hurls the CHITTERING
creature off of her. It slams against a wall of cabinets,
clings for a moment, then leaps back as if driven by a steel
spring. Ripley scrambles desperately, pulling equipment over
on top of herself, clawing across the floor in a frenzy of
motion. In a blurr of multijointed legs the creature scuttles
up her body.

She tears at it, but it is incredibly powerful for its size.
It moves like lightning toward her head, avoiding her fumbling
hands. Newt screams abjectly, backing away, until she is
pressed up against a desk in one corner.

Ripley has both hands up, forcing the pulsing body back from
her face. The thing's tail whips around her throat and begins
to tighten, forcing the underside of its body close to her.
Ripley thrashes about, knocking over equipment, sending
instruments CLATTERING.

Water streams over her, into her eyes, blinding her and making
it impossible to get a grip on the creature's body.

ANGLE ON NEWT as crablike legs appear from behind the desk,
right behind her. She sees it and, thinking fast, jams the
desk against the wall, pinning the writhing thing. The desk
jumps and shudders against all the pressure her tiny body
can bring to bear on it. She wails between gritted teeth as
the second creature gets one leg free, then another and
another. Squeezing itself inexorably onto the desk top...
toward her.

The legs of the chittering thing claw at Ripley's head,
getting a surer grip even as she whips her head from side to
side. The obscene TUBULE extrudes wetly from the sheath on
the creature's underside, forcing itself between the arms
she has crossed tightly over her face.

A figure appears at the observation window, a silhouette
behind the misted-over glass. A hand wipes a clear spot.

Hick's eyes appear. He steps back. WHAM! A burst of pulse-
rifle fire shatters the tempered glass. Hicks dives into the
crazed spider web pattern and explodes into the room in a
shower of fragments. He hits rolling, his armor grinding
through the shards, and slides across to Ripley. He gets his
fingers around the thrashing legs of the vicious beast and
pulls. Between the two of them they force is away from her
face, though Ripley is losing strength as the tail tightens
sickeningly around her throat. Hudson leaps into the room,
flings Newt away from the desk to go skidding across the wet
floor, and blasts the second creature against the wall. Point-
blank. Acid and smoke.

Gorman appears at Ripley's side and grabs the tail, unwinding
its writhing length like a boa constrictor coil from her
throat. All of them grip the struggling, SHRIEKING creature.

HICKS
The corner! Ready?

HUDSON
Do it!

Hicks hurls the thing into the corner. It scrabbles upright
in an instant and leaps back toward them.

WHAM! Hudson gets it clean.

Ripley collapses, gagging. The alarm and sprinklers shut off
automatically. Hicks sees the stasis cylinders.

RIPLEY
(coughing)
Burke... it was Burke.

INT. OPERATIONS - ANGLE ON HUDSON

looking decidedly stressed-out. He grips his rifle tightly,
AIMED RIGHT AT CAMERA.

HUDSON
(intense)
I say we grease this rat-fuck son of
a bitch right now!

THE GROUP is gathered around Burke who sits in a chair,
maintaining an icy calm although beads of sweat betray intense
concealed tension. Only a few minutes have passes and everyone
is still buzzed on adrenaline, as if the whole group is
charged with high voltage.

HICKS
(pacing)
I don't get it. It doesn't make any
Goddamn sense.

Ripley stands in front of Burke, every fiber of her being
accusing him with absolute outrage. Burke tries to break
Ripley's stare, which is like a diamond drill. He can't.

RIPLEY
He wanted an alien, only he couldn't
get it back through quarantine. But
if we were impregnated... whatever
you call it... and then frozen for
the trip back at just the right
time... then nobody would know about
the embryos we were carrying. We and
Newt.

Ripley glances at the little girl, a frail figure sitting
nearby, hugging her knees and watching the proceedings with
somber eyes. She is all but lost in an adult jacket someone
has found for her, and her still damp hair is plastered to
her forehead and cheeks.

HICKS
Wait a minute. We'd know about it.

RIPLEY
The only way it would work is if he
sabotaged certain freezers on the
trip back. Then he could jettison
the bodies and make up any story he
liked.

HUDSON
Fuuuck! He's dead.
(to Burke)
You're dogmeat, pal.

BURKE
This is total paranoid delusion.
It's pitiful.

RIPLEY
(wearily)
You know, Burke, I don't know which
species is worse. You don't see them
screwing each other over for a fucking
percentage.

HICKS
(serious)
Let's waste him.
(to Burke)
No offense.

Ripley shakes her head, the rage giving way to a sickened
emptiness.

RIPLEY
Just find someplace to lock him up
until it's time to --

THE LIGHTS GO OUT. Everyone stops in the sudden darkness,
realizing instinctively it is a new escalation in the
struggle. Hicks looks at the board. Everything is out.

Doors. Video screens.

RIPLEY
They cut the power.

HUDSON
What do you mean, they cut the power?
How could they cut the power, man?
They're animals.

Ripley picks up her rifle and thumbs off the safety.

RIPLEY
Newt! Stay close.
(to the others)
Let's get some trackers going. Come
on, get moving. Gorman, watch Burke.

Hudson and Vasquez pick up their scanners and move to the
door. Vasquez has to slide it open manually on its track.

INT. CORRIDOR

The two troopers separate and move rapidly to the barriers
at opposite ends of the control block.

DOLLYING WITH VASQUEZ as she moves forward with feral steps
in the darkness.

ON HUDSON scanning the med lab and the nearby barrier.

RIPLEY (V.O.)
Anything?

BEEP. Hudson's tracker lights up, a faint signal.

HUDSON
There's something.

He pans it around. Back down the corridor. It beep again,
louder.

HUDSON
It's inside the complex.

VASQUEZ (V.O.)
You're just reading me.

HUDSON
No. No! It ain't you. They're inside.
Inside the perimeter. They're in
here.

RIPLEY
Hudson, stay cool. Vasquez?

ANGLE ON VASQUEZ swinging her tracker and rifle together.

She aims it behind her. BEEP.

VASQUEZ
(cool)
Hudson may be right.

INT. OPERATIONS

Ripley and Hicks share a look... "here we go."

HICKS
(low)
It's game time.

RIPLEY
Get back here, both of you. Fall
back to Operations.

INT. CORRIDOR

Hudson backtracks nervously, peering all around. He looks
stretched to the limit.

HUDSON
This signal's weird... must be some
interference or something. There's
movement all over the place...

RIPLEY (V.O.)
Just get back here!

Hudson reaches the door to operations at a run, a moment
before Vasquez. They pull the door shut and lock it.

INT. OPERATIONS

Hudson joins Ripley and Hicks, who are laying out their
armament. Flamethrowers. Grenades. M-41A magazines.

Hudson's tracker beeps. Then again. The tone continues through
the SCENE, its rhythm increasing.

HUDSON
Movement! Signal's clean.

He pans the scanner. Stops. The range display reads out,
counting down.

HUDSON
Range twenty meters.

RIPLEY
(to Vasquez)
Seal the door.

Vasquez picks up a hand-welder and moves to comply.

HUDSON
Seventeen meters.

HICKS
Let's get these things lit.

He hands one flamethrower to Ripley and begins priming the
other himself. It lights with a muffled POP.

Ripley's lights a moment later. Sparks shower around Vasquez
as she begins welding the door. Hudson's tracker is beeping
like mad now, as fast as their hearts.

RIPLEY
They learned. They cut the power and
avoided the guns. They must have
found another way in, something we
missed.

HICKS
We didn't miss anything.

HUDSON
Fifteen meters.

RIPLEY
I don't know, an acid hole in a duct.
Something under the floors, not on
the plans. I don't know!

She picks up Vasquez' scanner and aims it the same direction
as Hudson's.

HUDSON
Twelve meters. Man, this is a big
fucking signal. Ten meters.

RIPLEY
They're right on us. Vasquez, how
you doing?

Vasquez is heedlessly showering herself with molten metal as
she welds the door shut. Working like a demon.

HUDSON
Nine meters. Eight.

RIPLEY
Can't be. That's inside the room!

HUDSON
It's readin' right. Look!

Ripley fiddles with her tracker, adjusting the tuning.

HICKS
Well you're not reading it right!

HUDSON
Six meters. Five. What the fu --

He looks at Ripley. It dawns on both of them at the same
time. She feels a cold premonitory dread as she angles her
tracker upward to the ceiling, almost overhead. The tone
gets louder.

Hicks climbs onto a file cabinet and raises a panel of
acoustic drop-ceiling. He shines his light inside.

HICKS' P.O.V.

A soul-wrenching nightmare image. Moving in the beam of light
are aliens. Lots of aliens. They are crawling like bats,
upside down, clinging to the pipes and beams of the structural
ceiling, not touching the flimsy acoustic panels. They glisten
hideously as they claw their way forward in silence. They
cover the ceiling of the operations room. The inner sanctum
is utterly violated.

ON HICKS

blasted by fear.

Something moves... he snaps the light around. It's a meter
behind him. IT LUNGES! He drops reflexively, the claws raking
across his armor.

Hicks falls into the room just as the creatures detach en
masse from the handholds. THE CEILING EXPLODES, raining
debris. Nightmare shapes drop into the room.

Newt screams. Hudson opens fire. Vasquez grabs Hicks, pulls
him up, firing one handed with her flamethrower. Ripley scoops
up Newt and staggers back. Gorman turns to fire and Burke
bolts for the only remaining exit, the corridor connecting
to the med lab. In the strobe-like glare of the pulse-rifles
we SEE flashes of aliens, moving forward in the smoke from
the flamethrower fires. They move like nothing human...
leaping quick as insects at times or gliding with powerful,
balletic grace.

RIPLEY
Medical! Get to medical!

She dashes for the corridor.

INT. MED LAB CORRIDOR

DOLLYING BEHIND HER as she sprints, the walls becoming a
frenzied blur. Ahead of her Burke clears the door to the med
lab. HE SLIDES IT CLOSED. Ripley slams into the door. Tries
the latch. Hears it LOCK from the far side.

RIPLEY
Burke! Open the door!

NEWT
Look!

Behind her an alien is moving down the corridor like a
locomotive, a graceful skeleton shape as lethal and inhuman
as you can imagine. Strobe flashes backlight the demented
silhouette. Shaking, Ripley raises her rifle. She squeezes
the trigger. NOTHING HAPPENS.

The creature HISSES, baring its teeth as it advances.

Ripley checks the SAFETY. The safety is off. The DIGITAL
COUNTER. The magazine is full. Newt begins to wail. Ripley's
hands, slick with sweat, are trembling so much she almost
drops the rifle. Panic screams in her brain. The thing is
almost on her, filling the corridor, when she remembers. She
snaps the bolt back, chambering a round. Whips the stock to
her shoulder.

FIRES. FLASH-CRACK! A FLASHBULB GLIMPSE OF shrieking jaws as
the silhouette is hurled back, screeching insanely.

Ripley is slammed against the door by the recoil, blinded by
the flash and deafened by the concussion.

INT. OPERATIONS

Hicks looks up. Fires POINT-BLANK at a leaping silhouette.
SCREEEECH! The fire-control system has tripped, with
sprinklers spraying the room and a mindless SIREN wailing.
Total pandemonium.

HUDSON
(hysterical)
Let's go! Let's go!

HICKS
Fuckin' A!

Hudson screams as floor panels lift under him, and clawed
arms seize him lightning fast, dragging him down.

Another skeletal shape leaps on him from above. He disappears
into the subfloor crawlway. Hicks, Vasquez and Gorman make
it to the med lab access corridor.

INT. CORRIDOR

Stunned, Ripley sees through dissipating smoke the creature
rising to advance again. Flinching against blast and glare
she drills it POINT-BLANK with a BLINDING BURST that carries
the M-41A's muzzle right up toward the ceiling. Newt covers
her ears against the CONCUSSION.

HICKS (O.S.)
Hold you fire!

The troopers seem to materialize out of the smoke.

RIPLEY
(indicating door)
Locked.

HICKS
Stand back.

Hicks snaps the torch off his belt and cuts into the lock.
Inhuman shapes enter the far end of the corridor.

Vasquez hands her flamethrower to Gorman and unslings her
rifle. She starts loading 30mm grenades into the launcher,
like oversize 12-guage shells.

GORMAN
You can't use those in here!

VASQUEZ
Right. Fire in the hole!

She pumps a round up and fires. The grenade EXPLODES and the
blast almost knocks them down. Hicks kicks the door open,
molten droplets flying.

HICKS
(shouting at Vasquez)
Thanks a lot! Now I can't hear shit.

VASQUEZ
(shouting)
What?

INT. MED LAB ANNEX

Vasquez slides the door almost closed, then fires three
grenades rapid-fire through the gap. She slams the door home
as the grenades detonate, the explosion sounding gonglike
through the metal.

Ripley sprints across the room, trying the far door.

Burke has locked it as well. Hicks switches his hand-torch
from CUT to WELD and starts sealing the door they just passed
through.

INT. MED LAB

Burke, hyperventilating with terror, backs across the dark
chamber. Gasping, almost paralyzed with fear, he crosses the
chamber to the door leading to the main concourse. His fingers
reach for the latch. It moves by itself. The door opens
slowly.

ON BURKE his eyes wide, transfixed by his fate. We hear the
BULLWHIP CRACK of a tail-stinger striking as we:

CUT TO:

INT. MED LAB ANNEX

The door dimples with a clanging impact, separating slightly
from its frame. Another crash, the squeal of tortured steel.
Newt grabs Ripley by the hand and tugs her across the room.

NEWT
Come on! This way.

She leads Ripley to an air vent set low in the wall and
expertly unlatches the grille, swinging it open. Newt starts
inside but Ripley pulls her back.

RIPLEY
Stay behind me.

Ripley trades her rifle for Gorman's flamethrower before he
can protest and enters the air shaft, which is a tight fit.
Newt scrambles in behind, followed by Hicks, Gorman and
Vasquez on rearguard. Glancing back fearfully Newt pushes on
Ripley's butt as they crawl rapidly through the shaft.

NEWT
Come on. Crawl faster.

RIPLEY
Do you know how to get to the landing
field from here?

NEWT
Sure. Go left.

Ripley turns into a larger MAIN DUCT where there is enough
room to crab-walk in a low crouch. She runs, scraping her
back on the ceiling. The troopers' armor clatters in the
confined space. They approach an intersection. She fires the
flamethrower around the corner, the looks. Clear.

NEWT
Go right.

They sprint into the narrow connecting duct, the maze becoming
a blur. Ripley fires the flamethrower periodically, as they
pass side ducts covered by louvered grilles or vertical shafts
going to higher or lower levels.

HICKS
(into headset)
Bishop, you read me? Come in, over.

There is a long pause then Bishop's VOICE, almost
unintelligible with interference, comes over the radio.

BISHOP (V.O.)
(static)
Yes, I read you. Not very well...

EXT. UP-LINK RELAY - LANDING FIELD

Bishop is huddled against the base of the telemetry mast,
out of the wind which is now gusting viciously.

BISHOP
(yelling; over
enunciating)
The ship is on its way. ETA about
sixteen minutes. I've got my hands
full flying... the weather's come up
a bit.

Bishop's fingers are blurring over the terminal keys and he
squints, watching the screen as the flight telemetry updates
rapidly.

In the b.g. the AP station has become a raging demon, wreathed
in boiling steam and electrical discharges.

INT. AIR DUCT

HICKS
All right, stand by there. We're on
out way. Over.

The beam of Ripley's light wavers hypnotically in the tunnel
ahead. She blinks, seeing something... not sure.

A GLINTING OBSCENE FORM MOVING TOWARD THEM, filling the tunnel
at the absolute limit of the light's power.

RIPLEY
Back. Go back!

They try to crawl back, jamming together. Behind them, the
way they have come, a GRATING is battered in with a FEROCIOUS
CLANG and the deadly silhouette of a warrior flows into the
duct. They are trapped. Vasquez uses her flamethrower, bathing
the tunnel in fire. Hicks snaps out his hand-welder and cuts
into the wall of the duct. Molten metal spatters him, as
sparks fill the tunnel with lurid light. Vasquez' flamethrower
sputters.

VASQUEZ
(icy)
Losing fuel.

Between eye-searing bursts of flame Ripley sees the glistening
apparitions closing in. Hicks' torch feathers out. Empty.
Bracing his back he kicks hard at the cherry-hot metal. It
bends aside.

Beyond is a narrow SERVICE WAY, lined with pipes and conduit.
Hicks slides through the searing hole, lifting Newt safely
through as Ripley hands her out.

Ripley follows and turns to help Gorman. Vasquez' flamethrower
goes dry. She draws her SERVICE PISTOL.

Suddenly she looks up as a WARRIOR SCREECHES DOWN FROM A
VERTICAL SHAFT, right above her.

She fires with incredible rapidity... BAM! BAM! BAM!

Rolls aside. It lands on her legs and she snaps her head to
one side just as its TAIL STINGER buries into the metal wall
beside her cheek. She fires again, emptying the pistol,
kicking the thrashing shape away.

Acid cuts through her chickenplate armor, searing into her
thigh. She cries out, gritting her teeth against the white-
hot pain. Gorman sees Vasquez hit, unable to move. Sees the
creatures coming the other way... and turns away from the
escape hole. He crawls back to her, grabs her battle harness
and starts dragging her towards safety. Too late. The
approaching alien warriors have reached and passed the
opening. Vasquez sees him, barely conscious.

VASQUEZ
(hoarse whisper)
You always were an asshole, Gorman.

She seizes his hand in a deadly drip, but we RECOGNIZE it as
the "power greeting" she shared with Drake... something for
the chosen few. Gorman returns the grip.

He hands her two grenades and arms two himself as the
creatures are upon them.

INT. SERVICE WAY

RUSHING WITH Ripley, Newt and Hicks as a full tilt run.

The service way lights up with a POWERFUL BLAST behind them
and they stumble with the shock wave. Newt breaks out ahead
and it's all Ripley and Hicks can do to keep up.

NEWT
This way. Come on, we're almost there!

RIPLEY
Newt, wait!

The kid moves like lightning, diving and dodging around
obstacles. If it wasn't clear before it's clear now that we
are on her turf, and she's the ace. Running on and on, their
breathing loud and echoing... the walls a directionless blur.
Newt never hesitates.

They reach a junction with a narrow ANGLED CHUTE which runs
upward at a steep 45 degrees.

NEWT
Here! Go up.

INT. CHUTE

Ripley looks up the angles shaft, seeing light at the top...
an exterior vent hood. The sound of wind booms down from
above. Like blowing across a bottle top vastly amplified.

Ripley enters, bracing her feet on perilously narrow side
ribs in the shaft. She looks down. The chute descends far
into the depths, lost in shadow. She starts to climb with
Next behind/below her, and Hicks, just emerging from the
side duct.

NEWT
Just up there --

Newt slips, a rusted rib collapsing under her foot. She
slides... catches herself with one hand. Ripley reaches for
her, dropping her light. The hand-light goes skittering and
bumping down the chute, around a bend, and disappears.

Ripley strains, reaching, her hand groping for Newt's.

They miss, inches apart.

NEWT
Riiiiipppleee --

She slips. Hicks lunges, grabbing her oversized jacket.

AND SHE SLIPS OUT OF IT. With an echoing scream Newt plummets,
sliding down the chute into darkness.

MOVING WITH HER, the walls racing by in a dizzy blur like a
bobsled ride. The shaft pitches left. Newt bounces, sliding
halfway up the wall. The chute forks ahead. Newt tumbles
into the right shaft, which drops at a steeper angle into
the depths. Just disappearing down the LEFT SHAFT we SEE
Ripley's light.

Ripley looks Hicks in the eye. And kicks free... sliding
down the chute after Newt. Ripley slams her feet into the
side-ribs, bracing herself in a controlled descent.

Ripley reaches the "V." Sees the glow of the light in the
left fork. She goes left.

RIPLEY
Newt!

She hears a plaintive reply, so echoey and distorted it has
no direction.

NEWT (O.S.)
Mommy... where are you?

Ripley reaches the bottom of the chute where it intersects
with a HORIZONTAL SERVICE TUNNEL. The light is lying there,
but no Newt. The echoing wail comes again.

NEWT (O.S.)
Moooommeeee...

Ripley starts down the tunnel, answering. Newt's call comes
again. Fainter? She can't tell. She spins in a growing panic,
starts the other way.

RIPLEY
(to her headset)
Hicks, get down here. I need that
locator.

INT. SUBBASEMENT

Newt is in a low grottolike chamber, filled with pipes and
machines. It is flooded, almost up to Newt's waist.

She looks up, seeing light streaming through a grating.

Ripley's voice seems to come from there.

RIPLEY (O.S.)
Newt! Stay wherever you are!

Newt climbs some pipes, straining to reach the grating.

INT. SERVICE TUNNEL

Hicks joins Ripley, unsnapping the emergency-locator from
his belt. They follow the signal into a lighted area where
the power apparently was not cut.

HICKS
This way. We're close...

Following the signal they come to a grating set in the floor.

NEWT
Here! I'm here. I'm here.

Ripley runs to the grating. Looking down she sees Newt's
tearstreaked face. Newt reaches up. Her tiny fingers wriggle
up through the bars of the grate. Ripley squeezes the child's
precious fingertips.

RIPLEY
Climb down, honey. We have to cut
through this grate.

Newt backs away, climbing down the pipe as Hicks cuts into
the bars with his hand-torch.

INT. SUBBASEMENT

Newt, standing waist deep in the water, watches sparks shower
blindingly as Hicks cuts. She bites her lip, trembling. Cold
and terrified. Silently a glistening shape rises in one
graceful motion from the water behind her. It stands,
dripping, dwarfing her tiny form. Newt turns, sensing the
movement... She SCREAMS as the shadow engulfs her.

INT. SERVICE TUNNEL

Ripley panics, hearing screaming below, then splashing.

She and Hicks kick desperately at the grating, smashing it
down. Heedless of the cherry-hot edges Ripley lunges into
the hole with her light.

RIPLEY
Newt! Newt!

The surface of the water reflects the beam placidly.

Newt is gone. Bobbing in the water, eyes staring, is "Casey"
the doll head. In sinks slowly, distorting, vanishing in
darkness.

Hicks pulls Ripley away from the hole. She struggles
furiously, trying to tear out of his grip.

RIPLEY
No! Noooo!

He drags her back. It takes all of his strength.

HICKS
(intense)
She's gone! Let's go!

He sees something moving toward them through a lattice of
pipes. Ripley is irrational. Hysterical.

RIPLEY
No! No! She's alive! We have to --

HICKS
All right! She's alive. I believe
it. But we gotta get moving! Now!

He drags her toward an ELEVATOR not far away at the end of
the tunnel. Gets her inside, slamming her against the back
wall. Hits the button to go to surface level.

An alien warrior leaps into the tunnel, starts toward them.
The doors are closing. Not fast enough.

The creature gets one arm through, the doors closing on it.
THEY OPEN AGAIN, an automatic safety feature. THE WARRIOR
HISSES, LUNGING. Hicks FIRES, POINT-BLANK. It spins away,
SCREECHING. Acid sluices between the closing doors, across
Hicks' armored chest plate, as he shields Ripley with his
body. The lift starts upward. Hicks' fingers race with the
clasps as the stuff eats its way toward his skin. Galvanized
out of her hysteria, Ripley claws at his armor, helping him
as much as she can. He screams as the acid contacts his chest
and arm. He shucks out of the combat armor like a madman,
dropping the smoking pieces to the floor. Acrid fumes fill
the air, searing eyes and lungs. The elevator stops. The
doors part and they stumble out, Ripley supporting Hicks who
is doubled over in agony.

RIPLEY
Come on, you can make it. Almost
there.

EXT. LANDING FIELD

Drop-ship two descends toward the landing grid, side-slipping
in hurricane gusts. Bishop stands, guiding it with the
portable terminal. The ship sets down hard.

Slides sideways. Stops. Bishop turns as Ripley and Hicks
stumble out of a doorway in the colony building behind him.
He goes to them, helping to support Hicks and they run toward
the ship, buffeted by the gale.

Ripley shouts, her words barely audible over the wind.

RIPLEY
HOW MUCH TIME?

BISHOP
PLENTY! TWENTY-SIX MINUTES!

RIPLEY
WE'RE NOT LEAVING!

The loading ramp deploys and they run into the ship.

EXT. PROCESSING STATION

An infernal engine, roaring out of control. Steam blasts and
swirls, lightning zaps around the superstructure and columns
of incandescent gas thunder hundreds of feet into the air.

We APPROACH, hypnotically. The drop-ship ENTERS FRAME, moving
toward the station. It pivots, hovering in the blasting
turbulence, and settles onto a NARROW LANDING PLATFORM ten
levels above the ground, or about a third of the way up the
enormous structure.

INT. DROP-SHIP

Ripley finishes winding tape around a bulky object and drops
the roll. She has crudely fastened a M-41A assault rifle
together, side by side, with a flamethrower.

A massive, unwieldy package of absolute firepower. Her
movements are curt, precise... determined. She works rapidly,
snatching magazines, grenades, belts and other gear from the
fully stocked ordnance racks of the drop-ship.

Bishop comes aft from the pilot's compartment to help Hicks
dress his injuries. Hicks is sprawled in a flight seat, the
contents of a FIELD MEDICAL KEY strewn around him. He's out
of the game... contorted with pain.

BISHOP
Ripley...

RIPLEY
She's alive. They brought her here
and you know it.

BISHOP
In seventeen minutes this place will
be a cloud of vapor the size of
Nebraska.

Ripley is stuffing gear rapidly into a satchel, her hands
flying.

RIPLEY
Hicks, don't let him leave.

HICKS
(grimacing with pain)
We ain't going anywhere.

She hefts the hybrid weapon, grabs the satchel and spins to
the door controls. The door opens. Wind and machine-thunder
blast in.

RIPLEY
See you, Hicks.

Hicks is holding a wad of gauze plastered over his face.

HICKS
Dwayne. It's Dwayne.

Ripley grabs his hand. They share a moment, albeit brief.
Mutual respect in the valley of death.

RIPLEY
Ellen.

HICKS
(nods with satisfaction)
Don't be long, Ellen.

Ripley runs down the ramp, crossing the platform to the open
doors of a LARGE FREIGHT ELEVATOR. The doors close.

INT. FREIGHT ELEVATOR

The elevator descends. Bars of light move rhythmically across
her as Ripley stands facing the doors, watching the landings
go by. The heat grows more intense. Pipes glowing cherry-red
pass by. Steam hisses and billows.

The lift clatters in a steady beat. Hypnotic.

Ripley removes her jacket and dons a battle harness directly
over her T-shirt. Her hair is matted, and she glistens with
sweat. Her eyes burn with a determination that holds the gut-
panic in check.

The elevator descends. She checks her weapon. Attaches a
BANDOLIER OF GRENADES to her harness. Primes the flamethrower.
Checks the rifle's magazine. Racks the bolt, chambering the
first round. She checks the MARKING FLARES jammed in the
thigh pockets of her jump pants. She drops an unprimed
grenade, trembling, forcing herself to be strong. We SEE she
doesn't know doodley about grenades.

This is the most terrifying thing she has ever done. She
begins to hyperventilate, soaking with sweat. Her fingers
slick and slippery on the rifle. The elevator descends.

The lift motors whine, slowing. It hits bottom with a bump.
The safety cage retracts. Slowly, expectantly, the doors
open.

HER P.O.V. THROUGH the parting doors... an empty corridor.
Dark, swirling with steam, a ruddy glow VISIBLE here and
there. It seems to have been a descent into Dantean Hell.
The air itself vibrates with heat distortion. Couplings groan.
Machinery whines and throbs. Like the beating of a vast heart
the pounding of massive pumps echoes through the station.

INT. CORRIDOR

Ripley moves out of the lift, knuckles white on the rifle.
Her eyes dart, straining to penetrate the lethal gloom. Behind
her we SEE a SECOND ELEVATOR next to hers, its lift cage
somewhere on a higher floor. Ahead the corridor is encrusted
with the alien excressence and not far down the bio-mechanoid
catacomb begins.

She enters the maze, darting glances at Hick's LOCATOR, taped
to the top of her kludge weapon.

A VOICE echoes down the tunnels, calm and mechanical.

VOICE
Attention. Emergency. All personnel
must evacuate immediately. You now
have fourteen minutes to reach minimum
safe distance.

INT. CATACOMB

Range and direction read out in rapid-fire alpha-numerics on
the locator display.

Ripley blinks sweat out of her eyes, moving through the
swirling steam of the alien maze. She approaches an
intersecting tunnel. Flashing emergency lights illuminate
the insane fresco of the walls. She spins, firing the
flamethrower. Nothing there. She whirls back. Moves forward,
trembling and adrenalized.

Skeletal figures drown in the walls, frozen in macabre
tormented positions like human insects in amber.

Steam blasts, blinding her. The locator signal strengthens
an she turns, crouches through a low passage, turns again.
At each intersection she quickly lights a FIFTEEN-MINUTE
MARKING FLARE and drops it.

For the way back. She has to turn sideways, inching through
a fissure between two walls of death... cocoon niches, human
bas-relief sealed in resin.

SUDDENLY SOMETHING SHOOTS OUT, GRABBING HER! A hand.

She recovers, then recognizes the face sealed in the wall.
Carter Burke.

BURKE
Ripley... help me. I can feel it...
inside. Oh, God... it's moving! Oh
gooood...

She looks at him. No one deserves this.

RIPLEY
Here.

She hands him a grenade, wrapping his fingers around the
spoon, and pulls the primer. She moves on.

VOICE
You now have eleven minutes to reach
minimum safe distance.

Ripley moves ahead. The locator signals shows she is almost
there. A CONCUSSION rocks the place, like an earthquake,
jarring her almost off her feet. Then another. The whole
station seems to shudder. A SIREN begins to wail a demented
rhythm. Following the tracker she turns a corner and stops.
The RANGE INDICATOR READS ZERO. She looks down, horrified to
see Newt's tracer bracelet lying on the floor of the tunnel.
All hope recedes, disintegrating into mindless chaos.

INT. EGG CHAMBER

Newt is cocooned in a pillarlike structure at the edge of a
cluster of upright OVOID SHAPES... alien eggs. Her eyelids
flutter open and she becomes aware of her surroundings. The
egg nearest her begins to move... opening like an obscene
flower at its top to reveal something stirring within. Newt
stares, transfixed by terror, as the jointed legs appear
over the lip of the ovoid one by one. She SCREAMS.

INT. CATACOMBS

Ripley hears the scream and breaks into a run.

INT. EGG CHAMBER

Newt watches the face-hugger emerge and turn toward her.
Ripley runs in just as it is tensing to leap, and FIRES,
blasting it with a burst from the assault rifle. The flash
illuminates the figure of an adult warrior, nearby. It spins,
moving straight for Ripley. Firing from the hip she drills
it with two controlled bursts which catapult it back. She
steps toward it, FIRING AGAIN. Her expression is murderous.
AND AGAIN. It spins onto its back.

She unleashes the flamethrower and it vanishes in a fireball.
Ripley runs to Newt and begins tearing at the fresh resinous
cocoon material, freeing the child. She swings her up onto
her back.

NEWT
(weakly)
I knew you'd come.

RIPLEY
Newt, I want you to hang on, now.
Hang on tight.

Groggily Newt hooks her arms and legs through the belts of
Ripley's battle harness as Ripley picks up her weapon. More
warriors are moving toward her among the eggs. She fires the
flamethrower. The eggs are engulfed. One of the warriors
lunges forward, a living fireball. She blasts it in half
with two bursts from the M-41A. Ripley retreats, ducking
under a glistening cylindrical mass. A PIERCING SHRIEK fill
the chamber. She turns. And there it is. A massive silhouette
in the mist, the ALIEN QUEEN glowers over her eggs like a
great, glistening black insect-Buddha. What's bigger and
meaner than the Alien? His momma. Her fanged head is an
unimaginable horror. Her six limbs, the four arms and two
powerful legs, are folded grotesquely over her distended
abdomen. The egg-filled abdomen swells and swells into a
great pulsing tubular sac, suspended from a lattice of pipes
and conduits by a web-like membrane as if some vast coil of
intestine were draped carelessly among the machinery. Ripley
realizes she ducked under part of it a moment before. Inside
the abdominal sac can be SEEN the forms of countless eggs,
churning their way toward the pulsating ovipositor where
they emerge glistening, to be picked up by DRONES. The drones
are tiny scuttling albino versions of the "warrior" aliens
we have already seen.

Ripley pumps the slide on her grenade launcher. She fires.
Pumps and fires again. Four times. The grenades punch deep
into the egg sac and EXPLODE, ripping it open from within.
Eggs are tons of gelatinous matter pour across the chamber
floor. The Queen goes berserk, SCREECHING like some psychotic
steam whistle.

Ripley lays about her with the flamethrower, igniting
everything in sight with an insane fury. Eggs shrivel in the
inferno, and figures of warriors and drones vanish in frenzied
thrashing. Over all is the Queen's shrieking as she struggles
in the flames. Two warriors emerge from the boiling smoke,
closing on her. She pulls the trigger... an empty click.
DIGITAL COUNTER flashing crimson zeroes. She drops the
magazine, grabs another from her belt, rams it home and OPENS
UP.

The creatures vanish in rapid-fire flashes. Ripley backs
away, venting her terror in a sustained orgy of fire as she
blasts everything that moves in one long eye-searing
expenditure of energy. Then she dashes into the catacombs,
navigating by sheer primal instinct.

INT. CATACOMBS

Ripley runs, blindly, with panting intensity verging on
hysteria. Impressions crash upon her... the maze blurring
by, sirens howling, the station rocking with explosions,
emergency lights flashing, steam blasting, red-hot steel
hissing. Reality itself is reduced to a concussive series of
strobe-like instants of relentless forward motion.

She sees one of the flares she dropped and turns. Sees
another, sprinting toward it as the foundations of the world
shake.

INT. EGG CHAMBER

Lashing in a frenzy, the QUEEN DETACHES FROM THE EGG SAC,
ripping away and dragging torn cartilage and tissue behind
it. SEEN DIMLY THROUGH swirling smoke, it rises on its
powerful legs and steps forward.

INT. CATACOMBS - CORRIDOR

Ripley uses the flamethrower ahead of her, firing bursts of
pulse-rifle fire down side corridors at indistinct shapes
and shadows. The weapon is empty when she reaches the freight
elevators. A mass of debris, falling down the shaft from a
higher level, has demolished the life cage she descended in.
She slams the control for the other cage and hears the sound
of the LIFT MOTOR'S WHINE as it begins its slow descent from
several levels up. AN ENRAGED SCREECH ECHOES in the corridor.
Ripley sees a silhouette moving in the smoke... a glistening
black shape which FILLS THE CORRIDOR TO THE CEILING... THE
QUEEN. Her last cartridge is reading zeroes. The flamethrower
sputters uselessly when she tries that.

The grenades are gone. Ripley drops the weapon and looks up
the shaft to the descending lift... then at the approaching
FIGURE. The elevator won't be in time.

She runs to a ladder set in the wall as a horrendous screech
beats in her ears. She scrambles up the rungs.

INT. SECOND LEVEL

Ripley struggles up through a narrow hatch, Newt clinging to
her. She dives aside as a POWERFUL BLACK ARM shoots up through
the opening, its razor claws slamming into the grille-floor
inches from her. Looking down through the grille she sees
the great horrifying jaws directly below her, wet and leering.
She scrambles up, running, as the grille-floor lifts and
buckles behind her with the titanic force of the creature
below.

It hurls itself with insane ferocity against the metal, pacing
her from below as she runs.

INT. STAIRWELL

Ripley reaches an open-grid emergency stairwell and sprints
upward. It rocks and shudders with the station's death throes.

VOICE
You now have two minutes to reach
minimum safe distance.

INT. CORRIDOR - ELEVATORS

The lift reaches bottom, the doors rolling open.

The Queen turns and freezes, as if contemplating the open
lift cage.

INT. STAIRWELL

Ripley stumbles, smashing her knees against the metals stairs.
As she rises she hears the LIFT MOTORS start up. Looking
down through the lattice work of the station she sees the
life cage start ominously upward. She knows there is only
one explanation for that. She runs on, the stairwell becoming
a crazy whirl around her.

EXT. LANDING PLATFORM

Ripley, with Newt still clinging to her, slams through the
door opening onto the platform.

Through wind-whipped streamers of smoke she sees... THE SHIP
IS GONE.

RIPLEY
BISHOP!

Her shouts become inarticulate screams of hatred, outrage at
the final betrayal. She scans the sky.

Nothing.

RIPLEY
(hysterical)
BISHOP!

Newt is sobbing.

The lift rises ponderously INTO VIEW. Ripley turns, backing
away from the doors toward the railing. There is no place to
run to on the platform. EXPLOSIONS detonate in the complex
far below and huge fireballs swell upward through the
machinery. The platform bucks wildly. Nearby a cooling tower
collapses with a THUNDEROUS ROAR and the SHRIEK OF RENDING
STEEL. More EXPLOSIONS, one after another, rocketing up from
below.

Ripley stares transfixed as the lift stops. The safety cage
parts.

RIPLEY
(to Newt; low)
Close your eyes, baby.

The lift doors begin to open. A glimpse of the apparition
within.

ANGLE ON RIPLEY AND NEWT as the drop-ship RISES RIGHT BEHIND
THEM, its hovering jets roaring.

VOICE
You now have thirty seconds to
reach...

Ripley leaps for the loading boom projecting down from the
cargo bay and it raises them into the ship. A TREMENDOUS
EXPLOSION RIPS THROUGH THE COMPLEX nearby, slamming the ship
sideways. Its extended landing legs foul in a tangle of
conduit, grinding with a hideous squeal of metal on metal.

INT./EXT. DROP-SHIP - STATION

Ripley leaps into a seat with Newt, cradling her. Begins
strapping in. Bishop wrestles with the controls. The landing
legs retract, ripping free. Ripley slams her seat harness
latches home.

RIPLEY
Punch it, Bishop!

The entire lower level of the station disappears in a
fireball. The air vibrates with intense heat waves and
concussion. The drop-ship engines fire. Ripley is slammed
back in her seat. The ship vaults out and up, Bishop standing
it on its tail, pouring on the gees.

Ripley and Newt see everything shake into a blur.

EXT. STRATOSPHERE

The drop-ship lunges up and out of the cloud layer into the
clear high night. Below, the clouds light up from beneath
from horizon to horizon.

A SUN HOT DOME OF ENERGY bursts up through the cloud layer,
WHITING OUT THE FRAME. The tiny ship is slammed by the
shockwave, tossed forward... and climbs, scorched but
functioning, toward the stars.

INT. DROP-SHIP

Ripley and Newt watch the blinding glare fade away and they
sit, wide-eyed, trembling, realizing they are finally and
truly safe. Newt starts to cry quietly, and Ripley strokes
her hair.

RIPLEY
It's okay, baby. We made it. It's
over.

INT. SULACO CARGO LOCK - IN ORBIT - LATER

The scorched and battered ship once again sits in its drop-
bay, steam blasting from cooling vents beside the engine.
Rotating clearance lights sweep the dark chamber hypnotically.

INT. DROP-SHIP

Bishop stands behind Ripley as she kneels beside a comatose
Hicks.

BISHOP
I gave him a shot, for the pain.
We'll need to get a stretcher to
cart him up to medical.

Ripley nods and, picking up Newt, precedes Bishop down the
aisle to the loading ramp.

BISHOP
I'm sorry if I gave you a scare but
that platform was just becoming too
unstable...

INT. CARGO LOCK - DROP-SHIP

Bishop continues as they move down the ramp.

BISHOP
I had to circle and hope things didn't
get too rough to take you off.

Ripley turns to him, stopping partway down the ramp.

She puts her hand on his shoulder.

RIPLEY
You did okay, Bishop.

BISHOP
Well, thanks, I --

He notices a tiny innocuous drop of liquid splash onto the
ramp next to his shoe. SSSSSS. Acid. SOMETHING BURSTS FROM
HIS CHEST, spraying Ripley with milk-like android blood.

It is the razor-sharp scorpion TAIL of the alien QUEEN.

Driven right through him from behind. Bishop thrashes, seizing
the protruding section of tail in his hands, as is slowly
lifts him off the deck. Above them the Queen glowers from
its place of concealment among the hydraulic mechanisms inside
one landing-leg bay. It blends perfectly with the machinery
until it begins to emerge. Seizing Bishop in two great hands
it rips him apart and flings him aside, shredded, like a
doll. It descends slowly to the deck, the rotating lights
glistening across its shiny black limbs, dripping acid and
rage. Still smoking where Ripley half-fried it. The Queen is
huge, powerful... and very pissed off. It descends slowly,
its six limbs unfolding in inhuman geometries.

Ripley moves with nightmarish slowness herself, staring
hypnotized... terrified to break and run. She lowers Newt to
the deck, never taking her eyes off the creature.

RIPLEY
(to Newt)
Go!

Newt runs for cover. The Alien drops to the deck, pivoting
toward the motion. Ripley waves her arms, decoying.

RIPLEY
Here!

Without warning it moves like lightning, straight at her.

Ripley spins, sprinting, as the creature leaps for her.

Its feet slam, echoing, on the deck behind her. She clears a
door. Hits the switch. It WHIRRS closed. BOOM. The Alien
hits a moment later.

INT. DARK CHAMBER

Ripley moves ferret-quick among dark, unrecognizable machines.

VARIOUS ANGLES VERY TIGHT ON what she is doing... her feet
going into stirrup-like mechanisms. Velcro straps fastened
over them. Fingers stabbing buttons in a sequence.

Her hand closing on a complex grip-control. The HUM of
powerful motors. The WHINE of hydraulics.

INT. CARGO LOCK

The Queen turns its attention from the doors to Newt as the
little girl crawls into a system of trenchlike service
channels which cross the deck. The channels are covered by
steel grillework and barely big enough for her to crawl
through.

INT. CHANNEL

Newt scurries like a rabbit as the looming figure of the
Alien appears above, seen through the bars. A section of
grille is ripped away behind her. She scrambles desperately.
Another section is ripped away right at her heels. Light
pouring in. The next will be right above her.

INT. CARGO LOCK

The Queen spins at the sound of door motors behind her.

The parting doors REVEAL an inhuman silhouette standing there.

Ripley steps out, WEARING TWO TONS OF HARDENED STEEL.

THE POWER LOADER. Like medieval armor with the power of a
bulldozer. She takes a step... the massive foot CRASH-CLANGS
to the deck. She takes another, advancing.

Ripley's expression is one you hope you'll never see...

Hell hath no fury like that of a mother protecting her child
and that primal, murderous rage surges through her now,
banishing all fear.

RIPLEY
Get away from her, you bitch!

The Queen SCREECHES pure lethality and leaps.

WALLOP! A roundhouse from one great hydraulic arm catches it
on its hideous skull and slams it into a wall. It rebounds
into a massive backhand. CRASH! It goes backward into heavy
loading equipment.

RIPLEY
(screaming)
Come on!

The Queen emerges as a blur of rage, lashing with unbelievable
fury. The battle is joined.

Claws swipe, tail lashes. Ripley parries with radical swipes
of the steel forks. They circle in a whirling blur,
demolishing everything in their path. The cavernous chamber
echoes with nightmarish sounds... WHINE, CRASH, CLANG,
SCREECH.

They lock in a death embrace. Ripley closes the forks,
crushing two of the creature's limbs. It lashes and writhes
with incredible fury, coming within inches of her exposed
body. She lifts it off the ground. The hind legs rip at her,
slamming against the safety cage, denting it in. The striking
teeth extend almost a meter from inside its fanged maw,
shooting between the crash-bars.

She ducks and the teeth slam into the seat cushion behind
her head in a spray of drool. Yellow acid foams down the
hydraulic arms toward her. The creature rips at high-pressure
hoses. Purple hydraulic fluid sprays... machine blood mixing
with alien blood. They topple, off balance. The Queen pins
her. Ripley hits a switch.

The power loader's CUTTING TORCH flares on, directly in the
thing's face. They roll together, over the lip of a
RECTANGULAR PIT, A VERTICAL LOADING AIRLOCK.

INT. LOADING LOCK

They crash together four meters below, twisted in the loader's
wreckage. The Alien shrieks, pinned.

Ripley pulls her arm out of the controls of the loader and
claws toward a panel of airlock actuating buttons.

She slaps the red "INNER DOOR OVERRIDE" and latches the "HOLD"
locking-key down. A KLAXON begins to sound. She hits "OUTER
DOOR OPEN" and there is a hurricane shriek of air as the
doors on which they are lying separate, REVEALING the infinite
pit of stars, below.

All this time the Alien has been lashing at her in a frenzy
and she has been parrying desperately in the confined space.
The airlock becomes a wind tunnel, blasting and buffetting
her as she struggles to unstrap from the loader. The air of
the vast ship howls past her into space as she claws her way
up a service ladder.

INT. CARGO BAY

Newt screams as the hurricane airstream sucks her across the
floor toward the airlock. Bishop, torn virtually in two, his
pasta-like internal organs whipped by the wind, grips a
stanchion and reaches desperately for Newt as she slides
past him. He catches her arm and hangs on as she dangles,
doll-like, in the airblast.

INT. LOADING LOCK

The Alien seizes Ripley's ankle. She locks her arms around a
ladder rung, feels them almost torn out of their shoulder
sockets.

The door opens farther, all of space yawning below. The loader
tumbles clear, falling away. It drags the Alien, still
clutching one of Ripley's lucky hi-tops, into the depths of
space. Its SHRIEK fades, it's gone.

With all her strength Ripley fights the blasting air, crawling
over the lip of the inner doorway. She releases the OVERRIDE
from a second panel. The inner doors close.

The turbulent air eddies and settles.

She lies on her back, drained of all strength. Gasping for
breath. Weakly she turns her head, seeing Bishop still holding
Newt by the arm. Encrusted with his own vanilla milkshake
blood. Bishop gives her a small, grim smile.

BISHOP
Not bad for a human.

He winks.

Ripley crosses to Newt.

NEWT
(weakly)
Mommy... Mommy?

RIPLEY
Right here, baby. Right here.

Ripley hugs her desperately.

INT. CORRIDOR

Ripley limps along the corridor, carrying Newt on her hip.

The ship's systems hum comfortingly. Newt's head rests on
her shoulder.

NEWT
Are we going to sleep now?

RIPLEY
That's right.

NEWT
Can we dream?

RIPLEY
Yes, honey. I think we both can.

HOLD ON THEM AS they recede down the long straight corridor.

FADE OUT:

THE END

Contact | Disclaimer
Copyright © WeeklyScript.com | Scripts Copyright © their respective owners