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TIGHT ON SCREEN: Showing an amoeba-like cluster of flashing white dots clumped tightly in one area.

HICKS: Looks like a goddamn town meeting.


GORMAN: Let's saddle up, Apone.

APONE: Aye, sir. Alright, let's go people, they ain't payin' us by the hour. Let's go! Head 'em out! Okay, Frost. Your drivin'.


EXT. ACHERON - TWILIGHT: The APC roars across the stygian landscape toward the Atmosphere Station two kilometers away.


INT. HOLD - APC

NEWT: It's okay. Don't worry. It'll be okay.

Newt sits just aft of the driver's cockpit. Gorman's MTOB is right behind her. She sits, clutching her doll head and talking to it in a caring manner. She stops and looks behind her. Ripley is standing by Gorman, her gaze is riveted to a monitor, which the atmosphere station looms ahead on.


EXT. APC - STATION: The vast structure towers above the personnel carrier as it drives up the access ramp and stops before the door. It opens, sliding up into the ceiling.


The APC drives on into the station, dropping its huge top-mounted cannon down on its rear in the process. If it hadn't, the cannon would have bashed into the ceiling of the narrow corridor ahead.


The APC comes to a halt. Deploying in front of the APC, backlit by its lights, the troopers cast long shadows. The base of the station is a depthless maze of conduits and pressure vessels, like an oil refinery.


GORMAN (voice over, filtered): I want a straight B-Deployment. Second team on the left flank. Advance on axial six-six-four. Tracker on-line. Set the V-gain to filter RF ambient...

APONE: Hudson, tracker on-line. Left and right little buddy.

GORMAN (voice over, filtered): Forty meters in, bearing two-two-one, there should be a stairwell...


GORMAN (voice over, filtered): You want Sub-Level 3.

They descend the stairwell into the dark pit of machinery.

APONE: Let's go people. Hudson, you get the point. Hicks, watch our tails. Nice and easy. Check those corners...


INT. HOLD - APC: We see Apone and the other soldiers from Hicks' P.O.V.. They are still descending the stairwell.

APONE (voice over, filtered): Check those corners.

GORMAN: Watch your spacing.

APONE (voice over, filtered): Awright, you heard the man. Don't bunch up Stay lose.

GORMAN: Uh...your transmission's showing a lot of breakup.

We SEE Hudson from Apone's P.O.V.

HUDSON: Probably getting some interference from the structure.

APONE (voice over, filtered): Watch those lights.


TIGHT ON COMPUTER SCREEN: Showing the ground-plan of the station. The troopers are only a line of white dots slowly moving down the stairwell in the layout.

GORMAN: Next one down. Then proceed on a two-one-six.

APONE (voice over, filtered): Uh...roger. That's a two-one-six.


TIGHT ON NEWT: Watching all the troopers on the monitors. We see the corridor the soldiers have just entered from Vasquez's P.O.V..


The group stands before a bizarre tableau. Over the refinery-like lattice pipes and conduits, something new and not of human design has 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.

GORMAN: I'm not making that out to well. What is that, Hudson?

Hudson APPEARS on Vasquez's P.O.V..

HUDSON: You tell me, man. I only work here.

They enter the organic labyrinth, playing their lights over the walls, revealing a Bio-Mechanical Lattice.


INT. HOLD - APC: They watch the various helmet-camera P.O.V.s' of the wall's detail.

GORMAN: What is that?

RIPLEY (low): I don't know.

GORMAN: Proceed inside.


INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE: The soldiers move on through a corridor, in a broken line. Everywhere they look, the walls are covered with the alien substance. Water drips down through holes in the ceiling.


TIGHT ON VASQUEZ: As they come to a junction and go left. Hudson looks excited.

APONE (voice over, filtered): Watch your firing and check your targets. Remember, we're looking for civvies in here.

Vasquez comes to another junction and points her smart-gun to the left. The team heads that way.


APONE (voice over, filtered): Easy.

HICKS (voice over, filtered): Tighten it up, Frost. We're getting a little thin.

APONE (voice over, filtered): Nice and easy.


TIGHT ON DIETRICH: as she snaps off a piece of alien lattice from a wall.

DIETRICH: Looks like some sort of secreted resin.

HICKS: Yeah. But, secreted from what?


APONE: Nobody touch nothin'.

INT. HOLD - APC

BURKE: Busy little creatures, aren't they?


INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE: TIGHT ON FROST, then Hudson as they come into view.

FROST: Hot as hell in here.

HUDSON: Yeah, man...but it's a dry heat.

APONE: Knock it off, Hudson.


INT. HOLD - APC: Ripley leans forward suddenly, studying the graphic readout of the Station Ground Plan.

RIPLEY: Lieutenant, what do those pulse-rifles fire?

GORMAN: 10mm explosive-tip caseless, standard light-armor piercing round. Why?

RIPLEY: Well, look where your team is, they're right under the primary heat exchangers.

GORMAN: So?

RIPLEY: So, if they fire their weapons in there, won't they rupture the cooling system?

BURKE: Ho, ho, ho. Yeah. She's absolutely right.

GORMAN: So? So what?

BURKE: Look, this whole station is basically a big fusion reactor. Right? So, we're talking about a thermonuclear explosion and adios muchachos.

GORMAN: Oh...ah, great. Wonderful. Shhhit! (into headset) Look...uh…Apone...look, we can't have any firing in there. I, uh, want you to collect magazines from everybody.


INT. ALIEN STRUCTURE: The troopers look at each other in dismay. They all start arguing against the command.

HUDSON: Is he fucking crazy?

FROST: What the hell are we supposed to use, man? Harsh language?

GORMAN (voice over, filtered): Flame-units only. I want rifles slung.


APONE: Sir, I…?

GORMAN (voice over, filtered): Just do it, Sergeant. And no grenades.

APONE: Awright, sweethearts, you heard the man. Pull 'em out. Come on. Let's have 'em. Come on, Vasquez. Clear and lock.

HUDSON: Damn!

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

APONE (voice over): You too, give it up Speedy. Come on. Let's go. Crowe, I want it now. Give it up.

When Apone moves on, Vasquez pulls out two spare magazines from concealment and inserts one in her weapon. She gives the other to Drake.

DRAKE: Right on, Vas.


APONE: Let's go, Marine. Give it up. Frost, you got the duty. Open that bag.

Apone puts all the cartridges in Frost's rucksack and hands it back to him to carry.

FROST: Thanks a lot, Sarge.

APONE: Hicks! Cover our ass. Head 'em out people!






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