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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.

RIPLEY: It's very pretty, Bishop. But, what are we looking for?

Suddenly, a column of blue flame, like an acetylene torch, jets upward from the station at the base of the cone.

BISHOP: That's it. The emergency venting.

HUDSON: Ah, that's beautiful, man. Ah man, that...that just beats it all.

HICKS: How long until it blows?

BISHOP: Four hours...with a blast radius of thirty kilometers. Equal to about forty megatons.

HICKS: We got problems.

HUDSON: I don't believe this. I don't fucking believe this.

HICKS: Vasquez. Close the shutters.

RIPLEY: Why can't we shut it down from here?

BISHOP: I'm sorry. The crash did too much damage. An overload was inevitable, at this point.

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

VASQUEZ: Hudson, give us a break.

HUDSON: Four more weeks. Oh, man.

RIPLEY: Well, we've got to get the other Drop-Ship from the Sulaco. I mean, there must be some way of bringing it down on remote?

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

RIPLEY: I don't care how! But, we'd better think of something. We'd better think of a way.

HUDSON: Think of what? We're fucked!

HICKS: Shutup.

HUDSON: We're doomed!

HICKS: Shut up! What about the colony transmitters? The up-link tower down at the other end. Why can't we use that?

BISHOP: No, I checked. The hardwiring between here and there is damaged. We can't align the dish.

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

RIPLEY: Well, somebody's going to have to go out there. Take a portable terminal and go out there and patch in manually.

HUDSON: Oh, yeah! Sure! With those things running around. You can count me out!

HICKS: Yeah, I guess we can just count you out of everything, huh?

BISHOP (quietly): I'll go.

HUDSON: That's right, man. Why don't you go, man?

BISHOP (quietly): I'll go.


BISHOP: I'll go. I mean, I'm the only one qualified to remote-pilot the ship anyway.

HUDSON: Yeah, right, man. Bishop should go. Good idea.

BISHOP: Believe me, I'd prefer not to. I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid.

INT. MED-LAB: One of the acid holes from the colonists' siege has yielded access to sub-floor conduits. Vasquez cuts an opening into one of the main shafts. Bishop looks into the shaft with a flashlight, nothing. He hands the flashlight back to Vasquez and then sits on the edge of the hole.

RIPLEY: How long?

BISHOP: This duct runs almost to the up-link assembly. One hundred eighty meters.

Ripley passes him a portable terminal and a small satchel containing tools, which he pushes into the constricted shaft.

BISHOP: Say, forty minutes to crawl down there.

RIPLEY: Right.

BISHOP: An hour to patch in and align the antenna. Thirty minutes to prep the ship, and about fifty minutes flight time.

Bishop lies down in the shaft, on his back. Vasquez hands him the flashlight.

RIPLEY: It's going to be close.

Vasquez pulls out her service pistol and hands it to Bishop. He looks it over and gives it to Ripley.

RIPLEY: Good luck.

BISHOP (cheerfully): See you soon. Watch your fingers.

Vasquez and Ripley place the metal plate over the hole again. Bishop turns over and squirms into the shaft, pushing the equipment along ahead of him with a scraping rhythm. Vasquez begins spot-welding the plate in place behind him.

VASQUEZ: Vaya con dios, man.

INT. CONDUIT: Bishop moves on, crawling in a rhythm with his body and breathing. Ahead of him, the conduit dwindles straight to seeming infinity, ending in a tiny white dot.

INT. CORRIDOR: Sentry units 'C' and 'D' are blaring away as the alien onslaught try again from another approach. Their numbers decreasing as they contact the guns.

INT. OPERATIONS - TACTICAL: Ripley and Vasquez run 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: This is unbelievable. Forty meters and closing. Fifteen.

RIPLEY: How many?

HICKS: I can't tell. Lots. D-guns down fifty percent.

INT. CORRIDOR: The guns' fire lash out at the invaders. High-pitch screams of dying creatures echo all around the corridor.


HICKS: C-guns right behind it.

The monitors show the war. There is an occasional visible glimpse of one of the creatures, but it is quickly dispatched by the spray of bullets, throwing acid blood all over the corridor.

HUDSON: They ain't stoppin' 'em. They ain't stoppin' 'em.

HICKS: Hundred-fifty rounds on D.

HUDSON: Come on. Come on, baby. Come on, D!

CLOSE-UP ON SENTRY DISPLAY: showing 91 rounds in D-gun and dropping. The monitors show more scenes of the seemingly-endless battle going on.

Lots of creatures exploding upon contact with bullets, acid thrown everywhere.

HUDSON: Come on! Come on!

CLOSE-UP ON DISPLAY: The word CRITICAL starts flashing and beeping on the screen, indicating the gun is almost dry.

HICKS: D-guns down to twenty. Ten.

D-gun goes empty.

HICKS: Damnit!

Hicks gets up quickly, grabbing his gun, and starts to head toward the battle-raged corridor.

INT. CORRIDOR: D-gun clicks empty and continues tracking. Then the firing from the remaining gun stops abruptly. Both guns' sit smoking, still swiveling to locate any possible targets.

INT. OPERATIONS - TACTICAL: Ripley is watching the monitors very closely. The video image is a swirling wall of smoke. There are black and twisted shapes scattered at the edge of visibility. However, nothing emerges from the wall of smoke.

RIPLEY: Wait! They're retreating. The guns' stopped them.

Hicks freezes where he is and stares at the monitors in disbelief. Nothing comes through the smoke and blackness.

HICKS: You’re right.

The moment stretches. Everyone exhales slowly.

HICKS: Next time, they walk right up and knock.

The digital counters for the two sentry units read '0' and '10' respectively. Less than a seconds worth of firing.

RIPLEY: Yeah, 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.

VASQUEZ: Shut up.

HICKS (to Vasquez and Hudson): I want you two walking the perimeter. Move!

Ripley picks up a cup of cold coffee, draining it in one gulp. She looks shaken and tired.

HICKS (to Vasquez and Hudson): Hey, listen. We're all in strung-out shape, but stay frosty and alert. Can't afford to let one of those bastards in here.

VASQUEZ: Yeah, right.

She hits Hudson on his chest plate.

VASQUEZ: Vominos.

The two troopers head for the corridor. Ripley drains down another cup of cold coffee.

HICKS: How long has it been since you got any sleep? Twenty-four hours?

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

RIPLEY: Hicks. I'm not going to end up like those others. You'll take care of it won't you.

HICKS: If it comes to that, I'll do us both. Listen, let's make sure it doesn't come to that. Alright?

Ripley smiles slightly.

HICKS: Hey, I want to introduce you to a personal friend of mine.

He picks up his pulse-rifle. Lifting it for Ripley to see.

HICKS: This is a M-41A pulse-rifle...10mm, with over and under 30mm pump-action grenade launcher. Feel the weight.

He hands it Ripley. She hefts the weapon. It is heavy and awkward.

RIPLEY: Okay. What do I do?

INT. CONDUIT: Bishop is still inching his way through the conduit lit only by his flashlight.

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.

HICKS: Okay, pull it in tight here.

RIPLEY: Right.

HICKS: Lean into it.

RIPLEY: Uh huh.

HICKS: Alright, it will kick some. Alright, when the counter reads zero here, you...

RIPLEY: I press this up?

HICKS: That's right.

Ripley snaps open the bolt and drops out the magazine.

HICKS: Then, get another one in quick and slap it in hard.

RIPLEY: Right.

HICKS: Now your ready to rock n' roll.

RIPLEY: What's this?

She indicates a stout TUBE underneath the slender pulse-rifle barrel.

HICKS: Uh, that's the grenade launcher...I don't think you want to mess with that.

RIPLEY: You started this. Show me everything. I can handle myself.

HICKS: Yeah. I've noticed.

INT. CORRIDOR: The door to Operations opens and Ripley strides out. Dollying with Ripley walking down the corridor, now carrying her 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?

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