Sunday, October 26, 2014

Politically Correct Aliens

On October 7th of the year of the illegal immigration surge, 20th Century Fox and Creative Assembly accordingly treated video gamers and sci-fi nerds to arguably the first proper Alien sequel in three decades. Alien: Isolation has been lauded for its suspenseful gameplay design and oppressively atmospheric tributes to Ridley Scott’s horror classic, with the Onion’s A.V. Club warmly declaring it a “stunningly realistic locker simulator”.  In celebration of this momentous occasion, we at The Author’s Files have decided in collaboration with Fox to release a never-before-seen early draft of the screenplay to James Cameron’s glorious sequel Aliens.  Cameron’s original take on the Aliens universe had a much different slant than the undiluted action thriller we all know and love and quote from memory, and we’re beyond assured that it will provoke much debate among fans of the franchise.

Aliens – The Lost Script – Redacted for overtly and offensively P.C. undertones
Starring Sigourney Weaver and Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser
Written by James Cameron
Produced by James Cameron
Nominated for the Oscars by James Cameron
Directed by James Cameron
Retrieved from the memory hole by film historian and archeologist Josephos Rex

[A screen of total blackness recedes as the center gradually pulls back and opens up to reveal a blurry shot of a grated ceiling.  The view shifts to the left and right in dizzy-person-cam as the dazed person tries to reorient himself with his surroundings.  The screen snaps to black momentarily and opens again, this time looking directly at the person’s feet, where lies the pale carcass of a monstrous hand-like creature.  The eyes close sharply, accompanied by the heavy gasping of the unknowing victim, and remain sealed for several seconds until he dares to look straight ahead and finds himself peering down the barrel of a jittery M1A1 pulse rifle.  Still dizzy-cam.  The rifle’s owner screams at him in a forceful but frenzied tone.]

Hudson: Whoa, man!  What the Ω#!$ happened to you?  Stay right there, no quick movements, you hear me!  You got yourself in some deep amp;%# now, man, don’t think I didn’t see!

Shadowed victim: P-p-please, don’t sh-shoot! I don’t wanna die!

Hudson: It’s too late for that now.  You’re (*#)ed, man, %**!ing ♫#*!ed.  It’s game over for you, game over!

Shadowed victim: B-but why?  What happened to me?

[The camera cuts to look over Hudson’s back and reveals the approach of a female person.]

Ripley: Put the gun down, asshole.  You don’t see the aliens busting each other up over a little infection.

Hudson: Well, why don’t you just put them in charge?

[An independent woman of leadership in the Sheryl Sandberg era, Ripley gives him an exasperated look that puts him in his place.  He reluctantly lowers his firearm and retreats to wallow in a corner, suffering from a phallic inferiority complex and embarrassed that he should have been ordered about by the woman.]

Ripley: Sorry about that, Burke.  Don’t mind him.  He’s just a jumpy bastard.

Burke: Where’d he get his background check?

Ripley: I’m sorry.  What was that?

Burke: … Never mind.

Ripley: So, how do you feel?

Burke: I was kind of groggy a minute ago, but now I’ve never felt better.

Ripley: Ah, a typical symptom.  This is most unfortunate.

Burke: What are you talking about?

Ripley: You are currently suffering from Xenoral-Impregnation, a fatal and untreatable condition contracted solely from contact with a young form of the xenomorph parasite.

Burke: What kind of contact?

Ripley: Intimate.

Burke: How dare you?  I haven’t come near one of those, those freaks!

Ripley: You were obsessed with exploiting those buggers long before we set down on this godforsaken world, and our team’s been paying the price of that immoral attraction ever since you led us into the belly of the beast.  All the evidence seems to indicate that you’ve made contact with one of them.

Burke: That’s a bunch of stuff and you know it, Ripley.  I’ve read about Xenoral-Impregnation before and know for certain that it’s not limited to cases of inter-species relations.  That’s a lie perpetuated by xenophobic bigots dead set on blocking research and suppressing awareness that might help those afflicted with the virus.  The most credible studies actually estimate that only 50% of those impregnated have reached that state through unprotected alien copulation.

Ripley: And the same studies will show that 100% of those who engage in voluntary oral copulation with an alien will contract the virus.  You ♦♣♥♠ed around with a facehugger and now you’re paying the consequences of your stupidity.  What the hell did you think was going to happen?

Burke: Why are you being so judgmental towards me?  Hold on.  You must doing it because you’re hiding something yourself.  How do we know you’re not infected?  Huh?

[Ripley groans at the illogic of the conversation, while Burke, feeling he’s struck a nerve, points accusingly and starts talking louder because he wants to sound smart]

Burke: Oh my God, that’s it!  This is your way of coping with your private guilt!  You’ve got one of those creatures growing inside you too and you can only make yourself feel better by taking out your self-hatred on me!  That makes perfect sense.

[In her face, now, hissing with disdain]

Burke: How much mouth you’ve been getting, Ripley?  Huh?  What are you hiding?

[Hicks finally steps out from the background in a presumptuous and misguided motion to defend her from her assailant]

Hicks: Now you’ve crossed the line, dude.  Get away from her –

[Ripley throws up her hand and stops him mid-one-liner]

Ripley: Thanks, but I’m perfectly capable of handling my own problems, Hicks.  It’s 2179.  I don’t need a male to watch my back for me.  Have you ever given birth to a child?

[Hicks stutters and babbles incoherently, grasping for a response. Having sufficiently proven her point, Ripley dramatically pushes Burke against the wall in shaky, action cam.]

Ripley: “Get away from me, you sonuvabitch!”

[Paralyzed by the self-reliant woman’s force, he slumps to the floor in a heap, shuddering with fear.  Hudson inches forward with hands clenched in a submissive, prayerful gesture.]

Hudson: Now, guys, don’t you think we’re taking this a little too far!  I mean, #♪!*ing A!  We should be working together on this $^&!

[Burke weakly rises to his feet and talks with his hands in a corporate manner.]

Burke: He has a point, actually. Look, I know this an emotional moment for all of us.  I know that.  But, come on, let’s not go making snap judgments.  This is clearly a very important issue we’re dealing with here, and I don’t think you or I or anybody has the right to arbitrarily abandon anybody who’s suffering from it.

Hicks: Damn right.   The time for judging is over; now all we can do is try to help Burke with his condition. We need to respond decisively and compassionately to discover a cure for Xenoral Impregnation.

Hudson: Has anyone seen that movie Prometheus?

[Everyone stares at him in uncomprehending befuddlement.  After a time he swallows and recedes into his corner of shame.]

Burke: What we need to do is start a media awareness campaign.  Awaken everybody in the Colonial Marines to the unique prejudices and health defects that Xeno-victims encounter every day, because, as we know, there is no greater weapon of mass destruction than misunderstanding and hate.  If we’re ever going to achieve notable advances in the war against Impregnation, we’re going to have to change the narrative surrounding this life-ruining virus.  First we’ll have to correct the misconception that Impregnation is a natural punishment for deviant relationships, when many people contract the disease from other causes or because xenophobic extremists deny them the education and resources to safely mingle with the other species.  It’s not their fault if they aren’t aware of the risks or how to counter them!

Ripley: There is no way to counter them. You think the xenos are some kind of pet that you can temper to your pleasure –

Hudson: Yeah, yeah, that’s a great idea, man.  And we should make some badge too, yeah, a red badge to show we care about ending Xenorphal-Indignation!

Hicks: I’m on board if everyone else is.  Are you with us, Ripley?

Ripley: … It won’t make any difference.

Burke: You’ll never know unless you try. Will you try, Ripley?  For my sake.  For the sake of all humanity.

[Ripley regretfully puts her right hand into the center of the four-person huddle, recognizing its futility but going along because it’s eminently harder to resist a crowd of idealistic human swine than it is to challenge a race of murderous space alien parasites.  The camera hangs above their brotherly formation to emphasize the strength of the pact they’ll undertake. Burke suddenly coughs heavily and spits blood onto the tangle of hands.  Cut to angled close shot of his chest frothing with blood and finally exploding to reveal a sickly eyeless worm with serrated teeth.  Ripley screams as it scurries up Burke’s arm, crosses to her own, and lunges at the camera in a 3D effect.  Cut to black.]