INT. HOLD - APC: Ripley, still running on the adrenaline dynamo, spins out of her seat into the aisle, looking all around. She spots Newt, wedged into a tiny space between the driver's seat and a bulkhead. She is coughing, and looks scared, but it's not the basket case catatonia of before. Kneeling down, she looks the girl over.
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. Burke tries to have a look at his arm. Hudson jerks away.
HUDSON: Iím alright. Get away from me, man!
Ripley joins Hicks, who is bent over an unconscious Gorman, checking for a pulse. Gorman has a nasty forehead gash.
RIPLEY: What happened to Gorman?
HICKS: I don't know. Maybe a concussion. But, he's alive.
VASQUEZ: No man, he's dead!
She grabs Gorman by the collar, hauling him up roughly, ready to pulp him with her elbow.
VASQUEZ: Wake up, pendejo man, I'm gonna' kill you!
HICKS: Back off! Right now!
She releases Gorman and moves off to another spot.
HICKS: Someone get me a first aid kit.
HUDSON: Hey...hey, look! The sarge and Dietrich aren't dead, man. Their signs are real low, but they ain't dead.
They turn to see Hudson at the MTOB monitors, looking at the bio-function screens.
VASQUEZ: Well, we go back in there and get them.
HUDSON: Fuck that!
VASQUEZ: We don't leave our people behind. Besides...
HUDSON: I ain't going back in there, man! You can't make me!
Hudson is pale, his voice panicky.
RIPLEY: You can't help them...you can't. Right now, they're being cocooned just like the others.
HUDSON: Oh, dear lord, Jesus. This ain't happening, man. This can't be happening, man. This ain't happening!
TIGHT ON VASQUEZ: wired and intense.
VASQUEZ: Alright. We got seven canisters of CN-20. I say we roll them in there and nerve gas the whole fucking nest.
HICKS: That's worth a try. But, we don't even know if it's gonna' affect them.
HUDSON: Look, let's just bug out and call it even, okay? What are we talking about this for?
RIPLEY: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.
Everyone looks over at her.
RIPLEY: It's the only way to be sure.
HUDSON: Fuck'n A!
BURKE: Whoa! Ho, ho, hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it...
RIPLEY: They can bill me.
BURKE: Okay...look. This is an emotional moment for all of us, okay? I know that. But, let's not make snap judgments, please. This is clearly...clearly, an important species we're dealing with and I don't think that you or I or anybody has the right to arbitrarily exterminate them...
VASQUEZ: Yeah. Watch us.
HUDSON: Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!
BURKE: Look, I'm not blind to what's going on. But, I can't authorize that kind of action. I'm sorry.
RIPLEY: Well, 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. I'm I right, Corporal?
HICKS: Yeah...yeah, that's right.
Burke starts to loose it and it's not a pretty sight.
BURKE: Yeah. Look, Ripley?
BURKE: This is a multi-million dollar installation, okay? He can't make that kind of decision. He's just a grunt! (glances at Hicks) No offense.
HICKS: None taken. Ferro, do you copy?
FERRO (voice over, static): Standing by.
HICKS: Prep for dust-off. We're gonna' need an immediate evac.
FERRO (voice over, static): Roger. On our way.
HICKS: I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
He looks over at Ripley. She smiles slightly.
HICKS: Let's do it.
EXT. APC - LANDSCAPE - STATION: The group file out of the personnel carrier, which is clearly a write-off. Hicks and Hudson have Gorman between them on a stretcher. The others follow behind.
HICKS: Let's go! Pick it up, Hudson. Pick it up, baby. Alright! We'll set him down here.
Hicks lights a flare and throws it to an area visible from the air.
INT. DROP-SHIP - COCKPIT: Ferro sits in the cockpit, preparing for lift-off. She calls to Spunkmeyer over her headset.
FERRO: Move it, Spunkmeyer. We're rolliní.
EXT. / INT. DROP-SHIP: Spunkmeyer runs up the cargo ramp into the ship. As he hauls himself up into the Drop-Ship's hold, he notices that his hand is in some sticky substance that shouldn't be there. He looks all around the hold, but doesn't notice anything unusual.
SPUNKMEYER: Hold on a second. There's something...
FERRO (voice over, filtered): Just get up here!
SPUNKMEYER: I'm in. Ramp closing.
EXT. DROP-SHIP: The ship rises through the spray thrown up by the down blast of the VTOL jets, hovering above the complex like a huge insect. It's searchlights blazing.
EXT. APC - LANDSCAPE - STATION: Hicks throws a few more flares around the site as the group watches the Drop-Ship roar in on it's final approach.
INT. DROP-SHIP - COCKPIT
She taps her headset mike.
The compartment door behind her slides slowly open.
FERRO (turning): Well, where the fu...
An alien stands before her, it's drooling jaws opening with a hiss. Ferro quickly goes for her sidearm. But, the alien lunges forward. A whirl of motion takes places, Ferro claws at the bloody window as the life slips from her. The throttle levers are slammed forward in the melee.
EXT. APC - LANDSCAPE - STATION: They watch in dismay as the approaching ship drops and veers wildly. It's main engines roar full on and the craft accelerates toward them even as it looses altitude.
It skims the ground, hitting a ridge. Tumbles, bursting into flame, breaking up. It arcs into the air, end over end, a Catherine wheel juggernaut.
She grabs Newt and sprints for cover as the tumbling ship rolls by, skipping off the ground like a stone, engulfed in flames.
It roars passed the survivors and crashes into the station. The fireball explodes, throwing flaming pieces of the craft in all directions. The remainder of the ground team watch their hopes of getting off the planet, and most of their superior fire power, reduced to flaming debris. Hicks gets up and looks around.
He sees one of the smoking debris lying on top of the unconscious Gorman and quickly yanks it off him. Hudson picks up another piece of the wreckage as he gets up.
HUDSON (hysterical): Well, that's great! That's just fucking great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do?! Where's the pretty ship now, man!
Hicks grabs Hudson by his chest armor, getting hs attention.
HICKS: Are you finished?! (to Ripley) You alright?
She nods. She can't disguise her stricken expression when she looks at Newt, but the little girl seems relatively calm.
NEWT: I guess we're not going to be leaving, now. Right?
RIPLEY: I'm sorry, Newt.
NEWT: You don't have to be sorry. It wasn't your fault.
HUDSON (kicking rocks): That's it, man! Game over, man! Game over! What the fuck are we gonna' do now?! What we going to do?!
BURKE: Maybe we could build a fire and sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don't we try that?
NEWT: We should get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon and they mostly come at night. Mostly.
Ripley follows Newt's gaze to the AP station looming in the twilight, the burning Drop-Ship wreckage jammed into it's basal structure.