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The Chameleon Never Gives Up It's Secrets
by Collin Zine
Opening Scene: Antarctica, the dark, dead of winter. The year doesnít really matter down here, yet for the sake of argument, letís assume itís the last great ice age. The endless white is ominous, as is the demonic wind that blows across the wastes. The hellish cold is broken by a large meteor streaking across the sky and crashing into the glacier with a shudder only heard by the ancient penguins and seals in the Ross Sea some 500 miles away. The latent heat of the meteor causes the ice to melt and starts to consume the object. We close in and see that the meteor is not some rock because a hatch blows off of it. A shadow creeps out and tries in vain to escape, only to be felled by the Ė75F wind. It drops into the snow to be encased inevitably by the cold hand of Antarctica.
Scene Two: The not-too-distant future. We approach an Antarctic research station not too far from the pole. The American flag gives away the nationality of the base. The large sign identifies it saying, "U.S. Antarctic Research Station #32, base for Southern Astronomical, Biological, and Geological sciences." From the outside there are a few snow tractors, snow mobiles, dog teams, an MH-53 Super Stallion helicopter, and a SV-22 Osprey VSTOL aircraft. This is a permanent settlement as told by the equipment and size of the base. It spans about 250 yards from end to end. Now the shot moves into the base itself. We move through the halls toward the sounds of human life and mutterings in the galley. Twelve people sit talking over dinner and drinks. Thereís 6 men and 6 women. Now to turn to the conversation:
(A middle-aged, balding, silver-haired, geeky scientist behind thick glasses that weíll call Walter is adamantly backing an argument with one of the women. Sheís about the same age, red-headed, and rather scholastic in her demeanor, weíll call her Jennings.)
Walter: Iím telling you, if ice worms can hibernate or manage to find food in those glaciers, thereís no telling that there couldnít be higher forms of life out there that could do the same thing.
Jennings: Walter, those nematodes are about as complicated a life form that could live out there, end of story. They along with the bacteria they feed off have simple enough genetic codes to not have their proteins, let alone their cells freeze and shatter.
Walter: Damnation, itís that kind of attitude which kept the human genome from being explored until the computer age!
Jennings: Oh come off it Poindexter, just because youíve never been laid doesnít mean you can be crabby about your failing work!
Walter: FYI witch, I lost my virginity at a kegger back in 1990 to a physics major named Suzie Calhoun at MSU!
Jennings: And probably havenít gotten it sinceÖ MSU, hmmmphÖ
Walter: Just because I didnít graduate from Cornell doesnít mean I donít know what Iím talking about!
(Just before Jennings and Walter get into a scuffle, another woman gets into the conversation to break it up. Sheís of Southeast Asian descent, about 30, and comes off as a people person. Letís call her Yang.)
Yang: Jennings, Walter, please try to keep your wits about you. Youíre scientists, act like it. Anyway, I think that the biology community will be more than glad to hear what both of you have found down here. I canít wait to tell my colleagues back at Berkley the things Iíve discovered about meson and baryon penetration through the lack of Van Allen fields at the pole.
Walter: Youíre right, Iím sorry to have acted like a fool Jennings.
Jennings: Iíve been cooped up here way too long. Yes Walter, Iím sorry as well.
(A young man walks in, heís wearing a U.S. Navy flight uniform. Heís blonde, fair-haired, and wearing a goatee thatís grown in on his long stay. Letís call him MacCutchin.)
MacCutchin: Can your borax brainiacs, Iíve got news, weatherís turning sour soon. Nightfall is in 72 hours. If you have any flight plans, tell me and Petrov ASAP. Anybody care for a little hair of the dog on this freaky-cold day?
Walter: Not right now, Iím tea-totaling until I can make some progress with my nematodes.
Mac: Your loss old man. Yang?
Yang: We got any sake left?
Mac: Donít think soÖ
Yang: Shit, pardon my French. Iíll take a nice, warm mug of grog.
Jennings: Iíll join you on that.
(The four belly up to the bar with the others. A dark-brown-haired gentleman also in flight duds is sipping a vodka martini. Heís about 22, this is undoubtedly Petrov. Next to him is an attractive Nubian 20-something drinking Jack whoís uncharacteristically covered in grease. Letís call her Jiles. Next to Jiles is a 30-ish African American gentleman drinking a beer and reading a radio operations manual, letís call him Benjamin. Next to Benjamin is a long-haired gent who looks like heís been getting baked, now drinking Jaegermeister, this is Roper. Next to Roper is another man in his late 20ís drinking Quixonte petting one of the dogs. This is DesCartes. Next to DesCartes is a woman in her 40ís, reading EKGís, this is the physician, Phyllis. Last, but not least is another lady in her mid-30ís, sheís pretty plain in appearance, but as professional as Jennings or Yang. This is Valenz)
Petrov: Hey Roper, Jiles. Whatís the status of de-icing the Osprey and Super-Stallion?
Roper: Well Lieutenant, the birds are as thawed as theyíre gonna get and gassed-up.
Jiles: Pete, youíre not paying us enough for this shit! Iím freezing my ass off out there. The next study-abroad I pick for my chief mechanicís course is gonna be in Hawaii.
Roper: Yeah, hope my stash lasts through winter. Gonna hate to burn it once we get back in U.S. territory.
Jennings: Roper you fucking stoner, youíre on U.S. soil, youíre just lucky Walter let you use the unused hydroponics space for growing that Thai Stick.
Roper: Yep, but the Captain donít need to be reminded. Heís got a stick up his ass about a mile long.
(A 50-ish Naval commander-type walks in. This is Captain Getty.)
Getty: What up my ass Chong?!
Roper: Nothing Cap.
Getty: I thought not. DeCartes, I thought I told you to keep those dogs in the pen.
DesCartes: Sorry Cap, itís just that Zhukov here has a thing for company.
Benjamin: Yeah, he thinks heís a big-old lap dog.
Getty: Benjamin, whatís the status on the weather?
Benjamin: Good for 72, then itís lights out and hello blizzard.
Getty: Valenz, you find anything of interest on that geological survey youíre conducting?
Valenz: I should make this clear to everyone now that Iím sure about it. I was fixing a signal on the Pole to fit a better GPS coordinate for future expeditions when I picked up a strange signal.
(All go silent and turn to Valenz.)
Valenz: Well, I found what Iíve called a magnetic anomaly about 20 miles from here. Itís putting out such a strong signal that I donít know what it is.
Yang: And you kept me in the dark why?
Valenz: It could be another meteorite.
Mac: You mean like the one found in 98í?
Petrov: Didnít that one supposedly have "life" in it?
Jennings and Walter: Yeah rightÖ That rock had hydrocarbon scoring that just looked like bacterial fossils.
Getty: This is still an important find.
Valenz: Captain, I wish that MacCutchin and Petrov would take me on the Super Stallion to that site.
Getty: Let me guess, you need some thermite, dogs, and tools.
Valenz: Right you are. Walter, DeCartes, Jennings, Roper, I want you to go with me on this mission. Doc, are we all good to go?
Phyllis: Your physicals would suggest so.
Roper: Why do you need me?
Valenz: Youíre good with thermite and C-4, donít tell me youíre not trained enough.
Roper: RightÖ Iíll go.
Getty: This calls for a drink, whiskey for me. Hereís to science.
Rest: Weíll drink to that.
Getty: Well, whoeverís going out there, better get some sleep.
Scene Three: The weather seems unfittingly calm for the Antarctic plane. The team is gathered inside the Super Stallion, it takes off and heads for the mysterious objective ahead.
(A few minutes later, MacCutchin comes in on the intercom.)
MacCutchin: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, we are currently witnessing a real phenomenon, if youíll look out the windows all around, youíll find that Hell has indeed frozen over.
(The crew chuckles a bit.)
Petrov: Can it Mac, we got a mission to handle.
(Back to the cargo/seating compartment.)
Jennings: I hope this isnít another sterile chunk of Mars again.
Walter: Well, if it does contain life, at least itíll be long dead.
Roper: What do we have here boys and girls, some tasty thermite, and some plastique. This should do nicely if this suckerís buried in the ice.
DesCartes: This is a worthwhile trip, the dogs needed a change of scenery. They could help pull just about anything on the sled.
Jennings: So Dr. Valenz, how deep is this anomaly going to be stuck in the ice?
Valenz: Canít really say Jennings, all I know is the location to within 20 feet. Yang lent us a Geiger counter set for Iridium and other rare non-terrestrial substances to do the fine-tuning.
Roper: Still, 20 feet could turn to 200, or 2000 very easily around here man.
(Petrov rings on the intercom again.)
Petrov: Okay everyone, stay sharp, ETA is 2 minutes.
Scene Four: The large helicopterís blades slow to a halt. The team and dogs get out and move towards the object. The Geiger counter clicks more and more rapidly with nearness to the alien substances.
MacCutchin: Ever hear the story about outpost 31 Pete?
Petrov: I think so, tell me again, I might remember something.
MacCutchin: Well, the place was the direct predecessor of 32, manned by 12 men. Things go well, but as soon as winter of 82í comes around, all radio communications just end. The brass sends in a SEAL team to see what happened, this is the most fucked-up partÖ The camp looks like it was blown to bits, the helicopters, snowmobiles, and tractors were all ransacked of valuable parts. The only thing worthwhile they discover are 2 frozen corpses. I canít really remember the names, the black guy was Childs I think, and the ex-army contract pilot was MacReady. The report ends there. There was also something about a Norwegian teamÖ
Petrov: I heard otherwise, the brass says there was an accident with thermite and the fuel tanks and no bodies were ever found . Besides, thatís kind of a horror story told to all new Antarctic team recruits, who knows if that place really existed? It happened 28 years ago.
MacCutchin: Think of it dude, most legends have some basis in fact.
Petrov: Youíre full of it.
MacCutching: Eat me.
Valenz: Would you two shut up? Weíve got a job to do.
Roper: Whatís the matter, afraid youíll scare Walter?
Walter: Címon nowÖ
Roper: Walter, youíre scared of your own shadow.
(Jennings chuckles at this.)
DesCartes: How much longer Valenz?
Valenz: About a quarter click.
(The sled team keeps moving, eventually they arrive at their destination. Valenz checks her GPS. There is a large hole melted in the ice. About 15 feet deep or so.)
Valenz: Shit! I think weíve been beaten to the punch!
Roper: Awww, I wanted to melt and blow shit up! That looks like a precision melt-job, only Scandinavians and Russians are that good.
DesCartes: Thatís a huge hole. I wonder whatís in it?
Petrov: Only one way to find out, Mac, how much rope did we bring?
Mac: 60 feet enough?
Petrov: That should do it.
Walter: Oh no, Iím not climbing into that deathtrap!
Jennings: Suit yourself chicken-shit, Iím getting a big chunk of that meteor.
Walter: Is that so? I change my mind.
(The team climbs down into the hole. They are shocked at what they see, even though it has accumulated some ice since the last thawing, there is an inherent shape under the ice. The object is a circular metallic shape underneath.)
Valenz: Mother of God! Do you think?
Jennings: I donít know?
Walter: Woohoo! Scientific goldmine!
DesCartes: A crashed alien spacecraft!
Roper: This is some heavy shit!
Mac: I donít believe it, weíve gotta get this on film.
Petrov: Iíve got the camera right here. Everyone stand around this thing, I need a scale shot.
(Petrov records the team as they do just that. Big homage to the Hawks and Carpenter discovery scenes.)
Petrov: Iím no surveyor, but this thing is huge! Itís about 300 feet across.
Mac: Okay Valenz, say something scientific for the camera.
Valenz: This is Dr. Valenz of the Outpost 32 geophysical survey. My calculations were correct, the object 20 miles from camp was of non-terrestrial origin, in fact, it is an extraterrestrial space vehicle roughly 300 feet across. I will report my findings as long as the survey continues.
Walter: What next?
Valenz: Iím performing a ground radar survey and metallurgical analysis.
(Valenz pulls the strange miniaturized device out of her pack and sets it on the ice. She presses a button. A pulse returns.)
Valenz: Hereís the dimensions, 300 feet in diameter by 50 feet deep. The makeup is unknown! This is some sort of hybrid alloy not found on Earth.
Roper: Thatís all fine and good, but how do we get in it?
Jennings: Good question Roper, who knows what is inside? There could be bodies of intelligent beings in there.
Walter: Most definitely.
Valenz: Whatís that over there? It looks like a doorway of sorts.
Mac: Weíve found our entrance.
(The team climbs into the ship. Petrov finds something that upsets him.)
Mac: What is it Pete?
Petrov: My Ukrainian is a bit rusty, but it does the job translating this Cyrillic plaque.
Valenz: I want to know who stole my thunder!
Petrov: It says, "Alien spacecraft dating back to 200,000 B.C. found by Russian Federation research facility 13 team, September 1st, 2010."
Valenz: Bastards, they mustíve had better satellite resolution to beat me to the punch by 72 hours!
Walter: Letís hope they havenít stolen all the juicy biological samples.
Jennings: That would royally suck.
Mac: Hate to rain on your parade, but letís make this quick, gonna get cold soon.
(The team walks around the ship, it seems almost bare of basic structural facilities like ducting, beams, etc. It does appear to be not entirely uniform in design. The hub leads to the core of the ship.)
Valenz: Iím no aerospace engineer, but do you two pilots realize anything about this ship?
Mac: It seems to have been thrown together with different components.
Petrov: Like it was made in a hurry, but something so large! It took NASA years to design and build the Atlantis series and the S-36 shuttles!
Valenz: Notice something else? No rivots, bolts, or nuts. This thing may have been fused together.
Roper: Thatís impossible man! Even the best welding techniques on Earth donít produce these results!
DesCartes: You forget Roper, this ship isnít exactly from Earth.
Walter: I think weíre getting close to the center.
(The team reaches the core of the ship. A giant tower looms over the chamber.)
Mac: This thing looks like a nuclear reactor.
Petrov: I donít think so.
Valenz: Heís right, thereís no containment around it, no fuel rods either. If it were a fission reactor, this Geiger counter would be going ape shit right now. I think itís an alternative energy source.
Valenz: Could be. Notice those pipes running into the chamber, they could be for drawing water or tritium into the core.
Roper: Then why ainít it working now?
DesCartes: Think Roper, this ship crashed here, there was too much damage to the systems, so no melted water, no fusion.
Valenz: Good work DesCartes.
DesCartes: Even a vet needs to take physics.
Petrov: One thing, whereís the crew?
Mac: I think our Russian friends found whoever was left.
Jennings: Wait a minute, whatís that over there?
(They point to a small counsel, about the size of a desktop computer.)
Valenz: This could be our Rosetta Stone, apparently the Russians didnít even touch this. I think itís a computer.
Roper: That little thing running all of this!
Walter: Yang is going to love working on that.
Jennings: Imagine the information contained withinÖ The knowledge to travel the universe and itís in our hands.
Roper: Even I know youíll have to take forever to decrypt it.
Mac: About time to go, weíre losing our warmth.
Petrov: Iíll get the bird started.
(Petrov leaves, the others search a little more, but find nothing else.)
Walter: Damnation! Not a single trace of life anywhere!
Jennings: Weíve been ripped off all right.
Mac: Donít worry, Iíll get the captain to call those Ruskies up and have Petrov have a go with them.
Roper: Small potatoes man, at least we found the computer.
(The team makes their way out of the ship, DesCartes falls through some thin ice.)
Roper: Hey take a look at this hole, seems to have been done with pickaxes and augers.
Valenz: By the level of freeze stratification, Iíd say it was dug about 30 years ago.
Mac: You mean the Russians werenít even here first?
Valenz: That seems to be what the evidence suggests.
Walter: Whatís this? Jennings!
Jennings: Looks like the Russians missed something else! Everyone, help us dig it out.
(They start to dig, eventually they bring up the remains of some kind of creature.)
Roper: Good lord!
Mac: Disgusting little shit isnít it?
Walter: Amazing, have you ever seen such an astounding life-form, just look at those peculiar markings.
Jennings: Walt, this is our ticket to the big-time.
(They bag the creature up and climb out of the hole.)
Mac: Iím starting to think this goes back to outpost 31.
Roper: That ghost-story man? Did you eat my special brownies by mistake instead of the fudge ones?
Mac: Iíve got a feeling.
(Petrov pulls the Super Stallion into the hole. The team and dogs board it, then they take off. Scene ends.)
Scene Six: The interior of the Super Stallion. The dogs are anxious about something, they keep whimpering and growling, must be the freak-sicle on the floor.
DesCartes: Címon dogs, weíre almost home, that thing wonít bite.
Bennings: Canít wait to thaw that thing out.
Walter: I canít really see what it looks like.
Roper: You couldnít get me near that thing if you gave me a hemp jacket man.
Mac: Almost there.
(The chopper lands at the base. We see the team carrying the block of ice and the strange alien computer. The next scene has the whole team in the lab.)
Getty: Good work people, Iím impressed.
Yang: Iíll get to work on that computer.
Jiles: That is one ugly mothafucker!
Benjamin: You can say that again.
Getty: Yang, work on the machine. Doc, Jennings, Walter, do your thing on our little visitor, the rest of you, get back to your posts. I want reports.
(The others leave, the scientists get working on the de-frag and thawing.)
Yang: Astounding, all I did was wire in a simple power supply and it flipped on!
Jennings: Well Walter, heat guns?
Walter: Yes, thereís not much ice left.
(The team keeps working, pretty soon the creature is thawed out.)
Yang: That thing is hideous!
Phyllis: I think itís thawed enough for dissection.
(She turns her tape recorder on.)
Phyllis: The subject is a 200,000-year-old alien life-form, origins unknown. Odd, the subject seems to have a non-uniform taxonomyÖ Thereís a mouth, numerous eyes, what appears to be tentacles, and 8 arthropod-type legs jutting out. The exterior is a mix of chitin plates and flesh. Performing the cavity incision. What the Deus? This organism seems to have a cornucopia of organ and tissue types, none of them the same. These are lungs, real lungs, odd for such a simple organism! Thereís a liver, intestines, everything seems to be here. A four chambered heart! For such a small brain, there is a high degree of organization. Now closing the incision. Final diagnosis, this life-form is definitely of an order not seen upon the Earth. In my professional opinion however, it isnít possible that this could be the organism that piloted the ship. Dr. Phyllis M.D. outÖ Jennings, Walter, itís all yours, and not too soonÖ
(Phyllis cleans up, the two biologists go to work. Yang is still hacking into the alien computer.)
Jennings: Iíll get a cell culture, you do the gel electrophoresis.
(The scientists keep working, scene ends.)
Scene Seven: Captain Getty is talking with Valenz, Mac, and Petrov. Benjamin sits at the radio.
Benjamin: This is Ice-Station Zebra coming to you live from the coldest of the cold. Iíve got a treat for all of you radio fans out there, a little oldie from Stevie Wonder, hereís Superstition for all of you sitting alone out there.
Getty: Valenz, what proof do you have that it was in fact Russians who beat you to the punch?
(Petrov brings out the Sony handy-cam and plays the footage from inside the ship. Gettyís jaw drops when he sees the plaque and hears Peteís interpretation.)
(Benjamin stops his sideline endeavor when he hears this.)
Benjamin: Hereís something that might ease your pain. Iíve been listening to Ruskieville for the past week, there hasnít been a signal. No satellite, no short-wave, or long-wave. Not a peep.
Valenz: Thatís good for the scientific team.
Getty: Still, we should have Petrov talk to them to see if all is well.
Mac: In the meantime, we just sit around with our nasty little visitor.
Getty: Mac, Valenz, go check on the lab, those three havenít moved a muscle since those samples arrived. Also Mac, see how Roper and Jiles are doing with the birds. Petrov, get Benjamin to call the Russians, need to hear from them before the weather kills the radio.
(The three leave.)
Benjamin: Letís see, Ruskieville, thatís 30 megacycles. All yours Pete.
(Petrov hails the station in Ukrainian. Thereís nothing but static.)
Benjamin: Better tell the Captain.
(The two run out of the radio room and catch him talking to Roper and Jiles.)
Getty: The birds in good shape?
Jiles: Yep, gassed and de-icing.
Roper: You got anywhere to go before the long nightfall and sour weather, nowís the time.
Getty: Iíll keep that in mind. Hey you two, quit running. What is it?
Benjamin: The radio is dead over in Ruskieville.
Petrov: Itís dead as Tombstone over there. Should we take a trip?
Getty: Itís probably temporary. Weíll call them again in the morning. I donít want any unnecessary flight. Thatís all. Dismissed.
(Getty walks off.)
Petrov: This stinks.
Roper: Like dog shit.
(Cut back to the lab.)
Walter: This DNA makes no sense! Thereís no order to it! I see repetition, but itís never one sequence, more like many. This one looks like retroviral RNA, this strand looks like higher order DNAÖ No sense I tell you. The only thing Iíve found was that this organism has 8 base pairs instead of 4.
Jennings: These cells make about as much sense as the electrophoresis data. No single cell type for one tissue.
Yang: This alien code has some repetition, it might be the basis for decoding, Iíll run a decryption algorithm, it should be done by morning.
Walter: Time to put the ugly bug back in the freezer. Oh shit! Where the fuck did it go?!!!
Jennings: What do you mean where did it go?
Yang: That thing was dead! Dead for eons!
(All look at the tray the creature was seated on. The only thing left is a gelatinous trail leading out the door.)
Jennings: Somebody get on the intercom!
(Yang gets there first.)
Yang: Anybody there?
Getty: Yes? What is it Yang?
Yang: Captain, the creature, itís gone!
Getty: What do you mean itís gone?! That little SOB is dead!
Walter: Itís very much alive. It left a trail of goo.
Getty: Everybody, weíve got a little problem, seems our corpse has got a life of its own again.
(Jiles wakes up.)
Jiles: What the shit?
Roper: Oh man, this ainít happening!
DesCartes: The dogs!
Phyllis: Captain, I see what youíre talking about, itís leading to the dog kennels.
Getty: Everybody, get to the kennel, Mac, Petrov, get the guns out.
(The team approaches the kennel. The dogs are barking at and fighting with something. The sight is disgusting. The thing stretches a scorpion-like tail over one of the dogís heads. It coils over and starts penetrating. Needle-tipped appendages and tentacles start ripping into it. The thing merges with the dogís body. What results is a twisted pile of limbs and a mutilated dogís head. The thing squirts a putrid green liquid onto another dog, it then corners the rest in the corner.)
Getty: Open fire!
(Mac and Petrov start pelting the thing with MP-5 sub-machine guns. It gets stunned for the most part, but the edges keep twisting and distorting and attacking the dogs. Roper runs in with a flame-thrower.)
Roper: Gang-way man!
(Roper sets the thing on fire. It starts screaming with a million voices at once. An eye catches the tile ceiling. The main trunk starts twitching and bubbling. A giant claw on a long leg busts the ceiling open. Two projections resembling the long feeding tentacles of a giant squid shoot out and reach into the hole, the thing tries to pull itself up, but Roper torches the thing and it falls to the floor in burning agony.)
Getty: Mother of God!
DesCartes: My dogs, it ate my fucking dogs! Wait a minute, Zhukovís all right. Come here boy!
(Zhukov the Malamute hops over the burning abomination.)
(Jennings grabs Macís MP-5 and fills him full of lead.)
DesCartes: Why the hell did you do that? Nooooo!!!
Jiles: Where the fuck are we, the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits?!!!
Roper: Iím leaning towards The Outer Limits man, this just ainít ironic, itís fucking scary!
Walter: I need a sample of one of those dogs.
(Jennings puts on her gloves and places a piece of alien tissue into a test-tube, then seals it.)
Mac: Fuck Cap, now how about a trip to the Ruskiesí place?
Petrov: Told you this whole thing stank.
Getty: Youíve got your wish. Clean this shit up, get a little rest, weíll need it. Departure in 4 hours.
(The team cleans up. They soon separate. Scene ends.)
Scene Eight: Morning soon comes. The team gathers near the Osprey.
Getty: Phyllis, Valenz, Walter, go with Petrov and get to the Russian base, see if theyíve had the same little problem we had last night.
Mac: Why canít I fly cap?
Getty: Please Mac, you smell like a brewery. Youíre not flying anywhere for at least 24 hours.
Mac: So much for dual redundancy.
Getty: The rest of us will stay here and keep an eye out for anything else creeping around. Benjamin, howís the weather look?
Benjamin: Looks like the front is moving in quicker than we thought, make it quick, 6 hours or so. Nightfall in 12.
Getty: That makes things tenuous, those Russians are 100 clicks away. Better take the Osprey for this one. Take her to full tilt and hug the deck if you have to. I want answers. Dismissed.
(The Osprey climbs to 500 feet, then transitions. Cut to the interior of the VSTOL.)
Walter: The speed with which the thing spread! Good heavens! Thereís just no precedent of this in the evolutionary record. This thing is an alien in the truest sense! The only thing I equate it to is a colonial microbe attacking a food item.
Phyllis: I think you may be right Walter. That was grotesque.
Valenz: How could that crawling puke-bag create such as ship? It boggles the mind.
(The Osprey nears the base.)
Petrov: Jesus Christ! Take a look at this!
(Petrov swings the engines back into hover-mode, he angles the craft towards the Russian camp. The crew is as shocked as Petrov. The place looks like a bomb hit it. The buildings are shattered and burnt to a crisp. The Osprey lands, the blades soon stop. The team disembarks into the smoldering hulk.)
Petrov (Ukrainian): Anybody here? HelloÖ
Phyllis: Holy shit!
(The team looks around a corner to see what Jennings is frightened by. A Russian navy recruit is pinned to the wall with a shovel going right through his gut.)
Walter: Itís a madhouse I tell you, a madhouse!
(They move toward the helipad and motor-pool in back.)
Petrov: What the hell? This is some disturbing shit!
(The Mi-17 Hip-Lights are in shambles, the engines are gone along with other important components. The ground vehicles are in the same shape, some fuel drums are left standing, but most were undoubtedly used to destroy the camp.)
Valenz: No escape. Whatever happened here, it wasnít good.
(The crew moves toward the end of the complex. They check out the dog kennel.)
Petrov: Looks like their dogs were attacked too.
Phyllis: These dogs were burned about two days ago.
(The group heads towards the med-lab in the outer ends of the complex. Walter vomits at what he sees. Thereís a burnt hulk of twisted teeth and tentacles leaking blood, which has frozen recently.)
Phyllis: Jesus, are those human arms and legs?
Petrov: Keep moving, letís check the files.
(The team moves towards the science lab.)
Valenz: The powerís been blown, someone took out the generator. Guess Iíll have to take a hard-drive back with us.
(Walter walks over to by a closet, something pops out. Walter almost shits himself when he sees the distorted frame.)
(Itís another one of those things, this time it has canine, alien, and human attributes.)
Phyllis: Shut up Walter, itís frozen too.
Walter: Thatís what we said about "The Thing" we found.
(The team takes the hard-drive out of the computer. A large shadow looms over them. Petrov takes his MP-5 over his shoulder, but theyíre ambushed! The frozen thing has stirred back to life and has taken a huge form. It looks like a stingray stretching to envelope them all. It bristles with black tentacles, mouths, and distorted faces.)
Petrov: Eat this fucker!
(Petrov empties a 30-round clip into it, the thing is only slowed.)
Walter: Weíre doomed!
(Out of nowhere, a flurry of AK-47 and 74 rounds penetrate The Thing. It falls to the floor screaming in pain. Then a flame engulfs the beast and it starts to die.)
Valenz: What the hell?
(Two Russians step out into the open, oneís a woman dressed in Spetznaz arctic clothes, the other is a man is wearing a parka and glasses.)
Petrov (Ukrainian): Who are you? What the fuck happened here?
(Spetzna raises her AK to fire, scientist stops her.)
Russian Scientist: Niet Sasha!
(She lowers the rifle.)
Spetzna (Russian): Ukrainian, thatís a country-bumpkin language! And an American naval officer speaking it too!
Walter: Does either one of you speak English?
R.S.: Yes, I do. Sasha however, hers is not too good.
Sasha: Dah, is true, only a year worth. Igor, take over.
Igor: I am Igor Vladikov.
Valenz: Professor Vladikov? Of the Zhukovsky Flight Institute?
Igor: Youíve heard of me? I came here to study the ship, then those things took over.
Walter: Weíre familiar with them.
Sasha: And I am Ensign Sasha Debrinin, Russian Spetnaz. Weíre the only two survivors of this place.
Walter: Weíve got much to discuss.
Petrov: Letís get back to base. The weatherís coming in quick.
(The team gets back on the Osprey.)
(Cut to the crew-compartment.)
Walter: What were those things?
Igor: The end result of what weíve picked up from the ship.
Valenz: Why the hell didnít you tell us about it?!
Sasha: The same reason you Americans would not have called us. Top secretÖ
Phyllis: That point is moot. How did that thing copy human beings?
Walter: Iíve got it, the inherent instability of that creatureís DNA is its weapon! It wasnít trying to eat the dogs, it was trying to infect them!
Igor: Dah, that is what our biology team came up with before they were taken by that thingÖ
Sasha: We were fortunate enough not to beÖ Boize moiÖ What nightmareÖ I canít get their twisted faces out of my mind.
Igor: Now now, weíve been saved by our American friends.
(Phyllis and Walter pull up 9mm Berettas.)
Igor and Sasha: What is this?!!!
Phyllis: How do we know youíre not that thing?
Walter: Yes, I was just thinking that!
Sasha: Skeela (Shit)! You want proof, here it is!
(Sasha pulls out her knife and pokes her thumb, she grabs Igor and does the same thing.)
(Igor lights a match and drops it on the blood. It just sizzles.)
Walter: What does that prove?
Igor: Donít you see fool? If either of us were that monster, it wouldíve tried to escape the flame.
Valenz: So thatís the why you torched the base.
Sasha: We had no choice. Monster was controlling everyone.
Igor: That is true. It was also stripping the base for something, we donít know why. Even I, an aircraft designer didnít think it could make a vehicle out of what we had to escape.
Petrov: Well people, base is coming up. Hey! Where the hell is the Super-Stallion?
(Helo lands, Scene ends.)
Scene Nine: The interior of the camp, the base team gathers to meet the newbies. Missing are Roper, Mac, DesCartes, and Jennings.
Getty: Thank God youíre back! Weíve had some serious shit hit the fan in the past few hours!
Yang: DesCartes goes to bury his dog, supposedly itís become one of those things, then it attacks him. Roper sees this and tells the rest of us. It took us an hour to track him down.
(Goes to reconstruction clip: Roper sees a mutating DesCartes steal a snowmobile and run off into the distance. Mac and Getty get on two more snowmobiles and chase him. The thing gets cornered at an ice cliff, it rips from the clothing and crawls through the ice to attack. It bursts through. The thing is like a giant conglomeration of the dog, alien, and DesCartes. Mac lobs a thermite grenade into one of the mouths, it bursts into flames and dies.)
Getty: Next thing we know when we get back, Jennings has gone insane! She starts trashing everything, spouting something about the apocalypse, and then she gets Mac and Roper at gunpoint. She steals the Super Stallion and we havenít seen her since. So, who are these two?
Petrov: Curiouser and curiouserÖ
Walter: Mother of God!
Valenz: Crap on a crutch!
Igor: I am Doctor Igor Vladikov.
Sasha: Ensign Sasha Debrinin, Spetznaz.
Getty: Only two survivors?
Sasha: Yankee captain, this is only beginning!
Igor: Iím afraid she is right, let us tell you what happened with us.
(Captain listens to Igorís story.)
Getty: How is that fucking thing capable of doing this?
Benjamin: I think thatís why Jennings flipped out.
Jiles: Anyone would go crazy around that thing when it gets ugly.
Walter: Poor DesCartesÖ I better get to the lab and read her notes.
Yang: Iíll join you Walter, she put some sort of virus in her system, but Iíve been working on it.
Sasha: Do you have any vodka, I need a drink!
Igor: Dah, weíve been through a lot.
Getty: Jiles, Benjamin, show our Russian guests to the bar. Everyone else, grab a gun or flamethrower, keep on your toes.
(Cut to the bar. Itís just Igor and Sasha. Petrov walks in.)
Petrov: Man, now I know why Mac is such a boozehound, heís always had shit on his mind. Now Iíve got the demon beast from hell to think aboutÖ Hey sweet-cheeks, hand me the Stoli.
(Smacks him in the face.)
Petrov: What did I do?
Igor: Careful, sheís got a short fuse, I think thatís how you Americans say.
Petrov (Ukrainian): Sorry. I just asked you for the vodka.
Sasha (Russian): Again you talk in the country-boy language. Here!
Petrov: Hey Doc, whatís with her and the hate of all things Ukrainian?
Igor: Her last boyfriend was from there, it was a nasty-breakup.
Petrov: Is that so?
(Petrov mixes a martini, he sucks it down quickly.)
Sasha: Americans, you can never drink vodka straight-up!
Petrov: Is that a bet there Miss Spetzna?
Sasha: Dah! Try not to barf Yankee!
Igor (Russian): Oh boy, here it goes againÖ Better enjoy this. (Sips his last shot and moves back.)
Petrov: Hey honey, my academy days were full of vodka-drinking contests. Not this good stuff, weíre talking Mohawk and 5 Oíclock!
Sasha: Then put money where mouth is!
(The two start drinking it up, pretty soon theyíre both smashed. Igor laughs and walks off to his quarters.)
Petrov: UgggggghhhÖ Címon killer, wake up. What?
(Sheís out cold.)
Petrov: Well shit, I won, but sheíll be too proud to admit it when she wakes up.
(Petrov takes Sasha over his shoulder and drags her to his quarters. Scene ends.)
Scene Ten: Sasha wakes up in her skivvies in Petrovís bed. She shakes off the last vapors of vodka. She then sees her situation and gets pissed off. She hears Petrovís shower running and walks in. She rips open the curtain, he jumps and pulls his Beretta off the soap dish.
Petrov: Auuuggghhh!!! Donít walk up on me like that!
(Puts gun down.)
Sasha: Yankee navy man, did you take advantage of me?
Petrov: No, and do you mind?
Sasha: Nothing I have not seen, unisex facilities in Russia you know...
Petrov: Sorry, stupid question. You want something?
Sasha: I hate to say this, but you have beaten me at drinking game. Iíve never seen any man, let alone American beat me. Iím how you say, impressed. Thanks for taking me back, I was out of it.
Petrov (Ukrainian): Think nothing of it. Mind handing me that towel?
Sasha (Russian): Why do you talk to me in such ugly language!
Petrov: Whatís so ugly about it? Itís basically yours with some grammatical and characteristic differences? Is this about what Igor told me?
Sasha: Sun over beach!
Petrov: I didnít really care, mustíve been the liquor and my black mood at the time.
Sasha: Thanks for not diving deeper.
(Petrov turns off shower. Walks out in towel.)
Petrov: All yours Katyiusha.
(Sasha looks this supposedly arrogant U.S. naval officer over. Finds him not to be repulsive on the outside.)
Sasha: One thing they taught us in SiberiaÖ
Petrov: Whatís that? Share body heat?
Sasha (Taking off undergarments): No, never waste hot water, care to join me?
(Cattish look in her eye.)
Petrov (Roguishly.): I see!
(What happens next can be left to the imagination. Theyíre sitting in bed afterwards.)
Sasha: So why does American naval man speak Ukrainian?
Petrov: Well, my momís side used to, so I thought Iíd keep that going. Besides, I needed a foreign language to get out of the academy.
Sasha (Ukrainian): Youíre a pretty good lay.
Petrov: Why thanks, you werenít too bad yourself.
(There comes a knock on the door.)
Jiles and Benjamin: Thanks for wasting all the hot water Petrov. AssholeÖ
Sasha: Boize moi! What time is it?
Petrov: Oh man, youíre right! Gotta report in.
(They get their clothes on and run to the radio room. The rest of the team is gathered there.)
Getty: Glad to see you could make it Petrov. I hope our new guest didnít keep you too busy getting plasteredÖ
Petrov: Sorry sir. Just walked her home and gave her my bed while I slept on the couch.
(Jiles and Benjamin chuckle. Sasha and Petrov blush.)
Getty: No sign of our ugly little chameleon, looks like we got rid of the last batch when we nailed DesCartes.
Walter: I wouldnít be too sure of that captain.
Yang: Tell them Walter.
Walter: Yang killed the virus in Jenningís system and her data was rather startling. The microscopic slides were nothing like she told me of. It seems she put a drop of her blood into that sample and watched the thing go to work. Our alien enemy doesnít just eat or destroy whatever it comes in contact with. It sticks a pili-like structure and inserts some DNA. This cell looks like the victim, but contains the invader DNA, this keeps happening over and over again until the whole invaded organism is no longer itself, but the thing!
Getty: Christ! You mean one molecule of that thing could take one of us over right now?
Walter: Itís not that simple, it takes a very large portion actually to infect a victim. Iíve done this with one of the rabbits. It also takes a fair amount of time to infect as well, about an hour to a few hours for a large mass. I took a burnt piece of Zhukov the dog and placed it near the rabbit, the ugly little piece of shit came back to life and infected the rabbit, what resulted look just like the rabbit, but when I introduced a negative stimuli, in this case a flame, the thing mutated and tried to bust out of the cage. Yang and I torched it until we were sure it was dead.
Jiles: Fuck, theyíre alive when theyíre burnt!
Walter: No, Jennings left a record of this. She said that it wasnít completely burnt through, that a portion of the thing was left alive. I think thatís why she ran.
Benjamin: Fuck, anyone of us could be that thing.
(All start stroking guns.)
Getty: Really, if anyone of us was that thing, we wouldíve seen it by now.
(Helicopter blades cut the tension.)
Getty: Looks like we have company!
Scene Eleven: The Super Stallion returns. The blades stop turning. Mac gets out and drags a wounded Roper on his shoulder. The team meets him inside with flamethrowers sparked and guns cocked.
Mac: Wait a minute, itís me! Roperís still Roper as well! Somebody, please help Roper, heís been shot!
Phyllis: Címon Jiles, give me a hand, weíve gotta get him to med-lab!
(The two women drag him off.)
Getty: Mac, where is Jennings?
Mac: Thatís a long story.
(Jennings puts her gun to Mac and Roper, they warm up the chopper and take off.)
Jennings: Weíre all dead, dead I tell you! That thing
will exterminate all life on this planet!
Mac: I thought we killed it when we completely burned itÖ
Jennings: It canít be killed! Why wonít you listen to me? It could be in any one of us! It didnít want to become a dog, it only did so till so it could get at us!
Mac: Well anyway psychoÖ Where are we going?
Jennings: I thought youíd know, Outpost 31!
Roper: No way!
Mac: Okay, whatever.
(Mac pilots the chopper for many kilometers. He catches sight of a bright reflection.)
Mac: I think Iíve found it.
Jennings: Take us down now!
(He lands. Jennings leads them out at gunpoint. The place is a shambles, it looks blown and burnt to hell under near-30 years of ice.)
Jennings: Get going!
(They get to the remains of the generator shack. Jennings crawls down. The other two watch what sheís doing.)
Jennings: Hereís what Iíve been looking forÖ
Roper: What man?!
(She lights a flare and finds the lost body of Nauls. Itís half-way copied. The flesh is eaten to the bone and it is slightly twisted. She starts to thaw the corpse.)
Roper (Whisper): Mac, Iím gonna take the crazy bitch out! (Grabs pipe.)
(Sneaks into pit.)
Mac: Shit! Fucking idiot!
(A gunshot rings out and knocks Roper down. Heís hit in the leg. The pit starts shaking. The handgun is thrown out. A giant shape busts out of the ice. Itís Jennings merged with the Nauls corpse. The legs have merged into a slithering tail)
Mac: Shit, she was one of those things!
Jennings Rupture: MACCUTCHIN!
(The thing slides across the ice like a snake, but Mac dodges. He bumps into an old flamethrower in the ice. He picks it up.)
Mac: Hope this old piece of shit still works! Címon she-bitch, gimme what youíve got!
(The old thrower screams back to life and torches the mutation. The monster loses strength and falls to die in inferno.)
Mac: Yeah, eat it Hellion! Hey Roper, you still alive?
(Picks up Beretta, goes to pit.)
Roper: Yeah, bitch was a terrible shot, she winged me in the leg.
Mac: Did it touch you?
(Pointing gun at him.)
Roper: No man! Get me outta here.
Mac: Good enough for me.
(Mac lifts him out of the hole. He takes out a med-kit and dresses the wound.)
Mac: Get back to the chopper, keep pressure on that wound.
Roper: What are you doing Mac?
Mac: Tying up loose endsÖ
(Mac runs around the ruins, he dumps the old fuel around to make sure the place sinks deeper in the ice. He goes back to where he found the flamethrower and digs with a shovel. He unearths two bodies. Itís Childs and MacReady. Childs was still holding the flamethrower, Mac is still sitting with a contented grin and the bottle of J&B scotch in his hand. A frozen chess board stands between them. MacCutchin spies something in MacReadyís parka. He pulls out a tape recorder. He then gives the two a Viking funeral.)
Mac: Hereís to the forgotten soldiers. God rest. (Five-fingered salute.)
(He walks back to the helo and takes off.)
Getty: So Jennings was possessed by that thing? Why put on the act?
Igor: The thing is very good at surviving. It would do a song and dance in order to survive.
Walter: I believe youíre right Igor. Itís genetic memory, every method of survival in the book lies in that unstable DNA. Itís the perfect life form.
Phyllis: Youíre starting to scare me Walter. That thing can be killed, just not easily.
Mac: I think Jennings was looking for lost relatives, increasing the mass. Look what I pulled off poor MacReadyís body.
Getty: Everybody, med-lab, now!
(Team leaves for med-lab. Scene ends.)
Scene Twelve: The remaining team meets in the med-lab. Roperís leg has been stitched up.
Phyllis: Youíre lucky that Jennings was a terrible shot and so was the thing inside her.
Roper: Man, Iím gonna smoke a bull as soon as youíre done dressing this scar.
Phyllis: That sounds like a good plan, weíre out of morphine.
Getty: Attention everyone. Iíve got something to say. Outpost 31 did exist, this tape is proof of that.
Benjamin: Tell us something we donít know.
Getty: Furthermore, I knew all along.
Petrov: Youíve got to be kidding!
Getty: Well, the truth is that I was part of the team sent in to 31 and investigate 28 years ago. We didnít find anything, at least we thought so, but now that the truth is apparent, I have no stake in keeping that a secret.
Jiles: What about the fucking flying saucer then Getty?!
Getty: It was hoped that further expeditions would move further away from the object and that this would be kept under wraps.
Sasha: You Americans are not good at keeping secrets lately. Can anyone say Los Alamos and John Walker?
Getty: Iíve disclosed this information to make you more comfortable, I know what youíre all thinking, I might be the next likely host of that thing, but Iím still Captain Horrace Getty. Iíll prove this to you right now. Phyllis, could you get the blood?
Phyllis: Iíve got something to say as well, we can do a blood test, just let me get the what the Deus?!!
(Phyllis opens the fridge only to find the blood spill out onto the floor.)
Mac: Someoneís gotten to the blood! Only Getty and Phyllis would have the keys to that locker!
Roper: This is getting scary again man.
Getty: I havenít been in here for hours! This has been done recently.
Valenz: Take a look at the handle and lock, itís like it was bent out of shape, opened, closed, and bent back again.
Sasha: Only creature would have talent and strength to do thatÖ
Petrov: Hey Igor!
Petrov: Your drip-test absolutely sure?
Igor: Very much so.
Walter: Why not, a couple ccís of blood should function as a complete organism.
Getty: Okay people, one of us isnít who he appears to beÖ Get something sharp and drip into these petrie dishes, weíll see whoís who.
(Passes dishes around. Group bleeds a little into dish and bandages punctures.)
Getty: Since Iím suspect #1, Iíll prove you wrong.
(Getty heats his knife with flamethrower pilot. Sticks it in blood, it just sizzles.)
Getty: Now you can trust me. The rest of you heat a scalpel in the Bunsen burner and dip at the same time. Weíll weed out that thing in no time.
Petrov: This is bullshit.
Getty: You got a complaint Petrov, if thatís really you anymore?
(Points personal Colt .45 at Petrovís head.)
Phyllis: On 3. 1, 2, 3.
(The rest of the team dips the knives in the blood. Benjamin and Valenz are given away when their blood squeals and jumps out of the dishes.)
Mac: Fuck me!
(The two start to pulsate and explode with bloody force. Whatís left of Benjamin is a four-legged, six-armed boney beast which looks like a freakish gremlin. Valenz looks like an evil slug with a giant mouth filled with teeth.)
Roper: Open fire man! Frag those freaks!
(The team opens fire, it just slows the things down.)
Phyllis: Watch out for the blood!
(The Benjigremlin leaps towards Roper and lops his head off with a scythe-like bone projection and starts to absorb his body. The Valenz slug creeps towards Igor, the mouth opens and a huge arm and claw grabs his head and drags him in. It starts eating his body bit by bit.)
MacCutchin: Eat it fucker!
Petrov: Get some!
(The two pilots toss thermite grenades at the freaks, the slug starts frying and falls to the floor. The Benjigremlin runs out in a rage, it busts a hole in the wall and runs into the darkness. The humans give chase. They corner it by the fuel drums and the aircraft. It is still burning, but stops and stares at the team. It draws an evil grin on the pile of faces that make up the head.)
Getty: What are you smiling at ugly?
Yang: Ventilate it!
(The team drills the gremlin, but it just leaps for the fuel drums. The flames lick the barrels and they explode, effectively taking out both aircraft.)
Phyllis: Thatís it, weíre in some pretty shit now!
Petrov: Game over man.
Yang: I think we should clean house.
(The humans enter the lab and torch all the blood and tissue lying about, they put the ashes on the snow and throw thermite on it. They donít notice the Roper head which sprouts legs and extra eyes. The scuttler sneaks out. Scene ends.)
Scene Thirteen: The humans gather what they can from the destroyed lab, mostly the biological samples and laptops. They gather afterwards.
Getty: Shit, who knew there were more of them? I figured thereíd be just one.
Sasha: Poor Igor, just when we thought we had been savedÖ
Petrov: Fuck man, why couldnít we find any bloody, shredded clothing?
Mac: Itís been thinking, planning, wasnít going to be sloppy this time.
Phyllis: One thing, where the hell is Walter?
Jiles: Shit, the radio room!
(They run to the radio room, just to find Walter emptying his MP-5 into the equipment and hacking it up into bits.)
Walter: Fools! You want to let that thing get away?!!! I wonít let you! Muhahahah! None of us is leaving aliveÖ
Getty: Somebody tie his looney ass up!
Walter: Stay back!
(Points his MP-5 at them, pulls trigger, just a click.)
Mac, Petrov, Sasha: Got you!
(The team bound Walter in rope.)
Jiles: What now Cap?
Getty: Throw his ass in the shack.
(They do just that.)
Walter: That thing can do anything. It can have enormous teamwork, or be the most selfish organism in the universe, itíll do whatever it can until youíre no longer individuals, till youíre itÖ
Getty: Youíre staying here until the rescue party gets here.
Petrov: Thatís at least a week Captain, think weíll last till then?
Mac: Yeah, thatís chancing it.
Sasha: I agree.
Phyllis: Time for another test, well now that weíre out in the openÖ
(The team pull out their scalpels, bleed into new dishes, and touch it with hot blades. No monsters, for nowÖ Scene ends.)
Scene Fourteen: Itís been four days, the men are sporting more facial hair, the women have frazzled hair, all eyeís are crowís footed and bloodshot. Sleep is an option not taken very often in the last few days. Jiles sits drinking Jackaccino, Sasha is drinking Stoli and coffee, the rest sit drinking grog or other liquors mixed with sugary, caffeine-laden stuff. All are eating out of cans and chip bags. They eye each other occasionally with hate and fear. Yang is still decrypting the alien files, Getty is cleaning his gun, Sasha sits forlorn, Jiles lights a blunt, Mac is smoking a cigar, Phyllis reads a book, Ironically the close-up shows the title as "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell. The last shot is of Petrov finishing his model airplane by touching up and weathering, it too is ironic, itís an SV-22 Osprey. He sports a pair of eyeglasses to do this.
Getty: Just three days to go. That storm should be gone tomorrow.
Jiles: Not too soon either. Man this is some good shit, alas poor Roper, we barely knew yeÖ
Mac: MmmmmÖ Cuban, those Argentinians know how to hook a man up.
Phyllis: I wonder if that Campbell guy wrote this after going through what we went through?
Jiles: Thatís some good work there Petrov, whatís with the glasses?
Mac: Yeah pal, we went to the academy together for 4 years and you never wore glasses.
Sasha: Explain, now! (Raising Tokarev .30 Cal.)
Petrov: Easy sister, itís the funniest thing, when we torched the med-lab, my disposable contacts went up with it, so Iíve had to dig these out.
(All let out a sigh of relief. Mac reaches into his pocket and pulls out his prize from Outpost 31.)
Mac: Guess what, finally managed to fix this magnetic antique. Hmmph, hard to believe these guys didnít have a shred of digital technology to work with. Anyone want to hear it? (The team nods in agreement.)
(Mac lets the tape play. Kurt Russelís voice is used for MacReadyís "He kicked ass in The Thing, so sue me!")
R.J. MacCready: Me again, freelance pilot R.J. MacCready, Iím sitting here drunk and bored as shit. Fucking electronic chess game! Keeps cheatingÖ Huh, think I see Norris at the door, wonder what that tubby bitch wants? (MacCutchin fast-forwards.) Iíve seen a lot of scary shit in my life, but what was at the Norwegian facility wins the prize. Seems as though that thing they dug out of the crater came back to life and bit them in the ass. One of them escaped the sinister mechanisms of that thing by slitting his wrists, the rest were either taken over or killed in the now-infamous chopper team that we ended up killing. Funny, Norris picked up a little of what the last man saidÖ He said, "That isnít a dog, itís an alien! It takes you over, you touch it, Iíll fucking kill you!" Doc Copper made some comment about when a man becomes so terrified and stressed, he can only think and speak in his own language. From what I saw in the kennel, and what got Bennings, Iím starting to think Copper is right about what happened to Mr. Sweden. Fucking Garry, who lets a guy with that itchy a trigger finger run 31 anyway, guess thatís why I got outta the service. (Fast-forward.) Jesus Christ, turns out that weíve got our unfriendly guest running around inside our group. Thatís why Blair went crazy and trashed the radio room. He knew what was up. We thought we could test the blood, but that damned thing got to it. Fuchs is coming up with a new one. (Fast-forward.) Blair seems to have calmed down a bit, too calm if you ask me. Fuchs, poor Fuchs, that thing tried to get him. Donít know whether it torched him because he knew too much or whether Fuchs did himself in with a flare, poor bastard, he told me before he died that I was the only one he trusted. (Fast forward) Oh God, almost got frostbite no thanks to those paranoid assholes! Iím going to cold-cock that stupid ghettophile Childs for locking me out and maybe give Norris the ass-kicking of his life. (Fast-forward) Turns out the shoe is on the other foot. Iíve kept them all at bay with a bundle of dynamite. Iíve killed Clark, put a bullet through his fucking head, he didnít change or scream in a million alien voices, he just dropped to the floor, looks like if I get through this, Iím a murderer. Norris had a heart-attack, when Copper gave him the paddles, he blew up like a cholera-infected corpse. It was like a vision of hell itself, his head lay on the end of a stalk made of his guts and a few spidery limbs, we torched the fucker good. If Palmer hadnít noticed that Norrisís other head were crawling away like a damned Fiddler crab, more of us wouldíve become that thing, it felt good to torch that ugly piece of shit. (Fast-forward) Copper went through Fuchís notes and found that this thing can be weeded out by burning a piece of it, weíre trying it with blood, Iím leaving the tape going to prove that this thing is real and Iím not a goddamned head-case. (What happens next is the soundtrack of Palmerís blood screeching and jumping out of the dish. You hear the Outpost 31 crew fighting Palmer as he gets up out of the ropes and mutates. You hear Doc Copper buy the farm when the Palmer Freak bites his head off. The battle soon ends.) Thatís it, Copper and Palmer are dead, weíre becoming fewer and fewer, thatís what it wants, to get just a few meat puppets to keep around, makes things real easy. Shit! I donít fucking believe it, weíve left it outside for about a week and we didnít even know it! Blair! (Fast-forward.) Son of a bitch! He went through the floor, if what he said about the thingís elasticity and recovery powers, it could be 30 feet long by now! What? Goddamnit! The generator is out! Itís smart all right, too fucking smart! (Fast forward.) Childs has been gone for too long, itís just me, Garry, Nauls, and Windows. Weíre going to lure that alien bastard here and cook him but good, first, Iím going to town with some dynamite and the tractor. (Explosions from the camp resound on the tape, along with the tractor running over the corrugated iron walls.) Finally killed it, Blair turned into something fiercely ugly, it was 20 feet long or more and had half his body sticking out, along with bits and pieces of whatever that thing was truly made of. Finally killed it, but Garry, Norris, and Windows are nowhere to be found. Iím sitting wrapped in blankets drinking J&B, and waiting to die. Wait, that canít be! Itís ChildsÖ (The tape keeps going.)
Childs: Did you kill it?
MacCready: Yeah, where were you Childs?
Childs: Got lost in the storm, my toes are gone, my fingers are next. Pass the scotch.
MacCready: Guess weíll just have to wait and see what happens, get real cozy by the fire and see whoís really who? You play chess?
Childs: Figure I have no choice but to learn.
(The sound of moving pieces soon stops, all thatís left is the indifferent whining of the Antarctic night, the tape runs out. Scene ends.)
Scene Fifteen: The group is in the new makeshift lab inside a storage room. Yang seems happy about something.
Yang: Looks like the knowledge of the universe is at our fingertips at last. This is a rough translation at most, but bear with me. This information nearly filled the terabyte-drive, the 400 GHz processor was barely able to process this as well.
(She makes a keystroke and a simulation starts to run. A picture of the galaxy runs in brilliant detail, numerous life-forms are catalogued from each star system. A familiar picture appears, itís The Solar System. The outer giants are catalogued. Jupiter is fixated in the next shot. One of the satellites are selected, it looks like Europa. An instrument totally alien to all human technology probes the thick ice, it finds the life that has eluded humanity for so long.)
Getty: My god, itís beautiful.
Sasha: Boize moi.
(It continues to run. The picture showing the biomes turns from blue to red, it spreads quickly around the moon. It becomes all too apparent what this represents. The screen then shifts to another familiar body, the planet Mars. The picture shows most of the life on the planet, nothing of interest beyond bacteria and simple plants. The next picture shifts to Earth, all of the life shown seems to be akin to the Pleistocene era of giant mammals, what is most shocking are the Neanderthals and early Homo Sapien societies filling the screen. A text flashes up and states, "Intelligent bipedal organisms, potential for space travel high, ASSIMILATE AND DESTROY! What is seen next is some sort of warning message and a diagram of the alien ship showing damage to the magnetic propulsion field. The last shots are of the ship plummeting to Earth, then the feed cuts out.)
Getty: Good lord!
Petrov: It couldíve conquered a billion worlds, billions of life-forms!
Yang: That isnít all. Watch. This is some latent programming, I think this is the most disturbing part.
(She flips another switch. The next image is different from the other programming. It is a projection of how the thing works on the microbial level, it shows how it spits out unneeded DNA and how it can expand and contract to mimic other life. The next simulation shows how quickly it can conquer some alien beast. Out of nowhere the most shocking thing the team will see pops up. It is another text that says, "Mesomorphic infectious bio-agent tests complete, ready for use. Impact on domestic DNA-0%, probability of infection on all alien animal life-100%, compatibility with alien DNA-100%, efficiency for transmutation of aboriginal environments for colonization-100%)
Yang: Do you see the true horror of the thing now? (Looking very insane and tired.)
(The whole team agrees with her.)
Yang: Iíve made copies of this on titanium discs, even if we freeze to death, the information of what we found will live on.
Getty: Letís hope it never comes to that.
Yang: Iíll keep working on this, Iíll be back in a half-hour.
(The rest of the team goes to the lounge. Scene ends.)
Scene Sixteen: The team is sitting morosely around more stimulants and liquor after finding out the horrible truth of what the thing is.
Mac: Itís times like this that Iím glad weíve got liquor.
Petrov: I donít fucking believe it! Itís a bio-weapon! Who or what would create such a horrible thing? It makes ebola, anthrax, and mad-cow look like cute, fuzzy fucking bunny rabbits.
Sasha: Pitiful, I guess weíre just nothing but weeds to be exterminated so something else can move in.
Jiles: This is bullshit!
Getty: So much for Drake and his theories. Oh thereís life out there, but it doesnít have to be over war, hate, or envy. It sends the most deadly plague to do itís dirty work for it.
Phyllis: Iím starting to think we should never go back.
Getty: Are you mad, woman? The world needs to know about this. Iíve covered up a lot of things in my life, but Iím damned sure the brass will never keep the lid on this!
Petrov: Besides, this thing is good at surviving, it could just as easily go to sleep, wake up again and have its way with the world if it wanted to.
Mac: Oh Jesus tap-dancing Christ!!!
Getty: What Mac?
Mac: How could we all be that stupid?!!! Weíve made the same mistake that the team of 31 did! Weíve left one juicy meal item out for nearly a week, fucking Walter!
(The rest of the team realizes this in horror as well. Getty goes to the intercom.)
Getty: Yang, Yang, weíve got to check on Walter, weíve given him more than enough time to mature if heís one of those things!!!
(Thereís nothing on the intercom in the lab.)
Getty: Yang, answer me!!!
(A nasty slurping noise seems to register on the intercom. Slithering snakelike noises and dripping follows. All the team membersí faces go ghost white upon hearing this, they gather weapons and head for the lab. Scene ends.)
Scene Seventeen: The team reaches the door to the storeroom/lab. Sasha flips on the lights. The humans soon wish they hadnít. Standing before them is a gigantic rupture that fills up most of the room. It turns to face them for the rude interruption. It is in the process of bashing in the last of the lab equipment and computers and absorbing Yang at the same time. Her head is the last part sticking out of the freakish demon.
Yang: Kill me!!! Aggghhhhhh!!! Grrrrrgggggllllll!!!!
(Those are Yangís last words before she is pulled into the gelatinous midsection. This is a chimera in the most horrible sense. It is arranged like some sort of mangled arthropod spewed from the bowels of Hell itself. It walks on numerous limbs, has sprouted tentacles, eyes, jaws, and human limbs.)
Getty: Open fire!!! Open fire goddamnit!!!
Mac: No use, bullets only slow it down!
Jiles: What the fuck?
Phyllis: Itís splitting!!!
(The beast is doing exactly that. A sharp line forms down between the makeshift head and abdomen. The head grows ostritch-looking legs to stand on while the abdomen rests on the remaining legs and sprouts a gaping maw.)
Petrov: Look out Jiles!
(The abdomen lobster shoots a long, sticky tongue/tentacle covered in teeth around her and drags her in. It cuts her in half and munches on the upper portion of her body. Surprisingly it lets out a huge belch, weird for this inhuman sack of meat that probably never needed the upper GI components that produce such an effusion.)
(She torches the lobster with a wide-spread flame, it screams aloud with the million-being torment too familiar now to the shell-shocked crew. It drops and starts to burn like a charcoal briquette. The ostrich-head grows two spikes and the tissue surrounding them bubbles until they shoot out and impale MacCutchin.)
MacCutchin: Oh God nooooooo!!!! Aggghhhh!!! Fuck!
(Sasha, Phyllis, Getty, and Petrov start pumping the freak with lead until it lies against the wall.)
Petrov: You fucker, Iíll fry you but good! You killed my best friend!
(Petrov sends all the napalm he can into the monstrosity. It catches like a bonfire. A familiar face juts out of the flame, itís Roper, a twisted Roper. It screams like him, but it then turns back into the multiplex screech.)
Getty: Shit, itís Roper!
(The Roper head starts bubbling as the fat starts to burn, but the skull starts to split, something jumps out.)
Sasha: Look out Petrov!
(Petrov jumps out of the way as the thing lands near the doorway. This little monster is just as disgusting as the thing that produced it. It looks like a human brain attached to a spinal column which tries to squirm out of the burning room like an unholy eel.)
Getty: Where do you think youíre going ugly?!!!
(Getty pumps a whole clip of .45 ammo into it and it squawks and squeals. He drops a magnesium-potassium mix flare onto it and it goes up like an over-cooked ham. The remaining humans continue to burn the ostrich until they know itís dead. They turn to MacCutchin. He stirs back to life despite having two huge spikes through his chest. He coughs up some blood.)
Mac: Torch me, Iím already dead! Oh God I can feel it spreading! Itís devouring me cell-by cell! Itís like Iím on fire, oh sweet Jesus it hurts! Petrov, kill me man!
(Petrov burns his long-time comrade in arms. The team lets the fire burn and they set the steel partition in the hall to separate the fire from the rest of the compound. Petrov is reduced to tears, something heís not done in years upon years.)
Sasha: Iím sorry PetrovÖ You know you couldnít do anything for him.
Getty: Suck it up boy! He was a good soldier!
Petrov: Damn your cold hearts! Thatís it, I donít care if Walter is still himself or not! Iím going to fucking kill him!
Getty: Good idea, letís do it while the generator is still running.
Sasha: Arenít we forgetting something Yankees?
Getty ,Phyllis, and Petrov: Oh yeah, right. On three.
(They jab their thumbs and bleed onto the floor, they stick the pilot flames of the flamethrowers near the blood, no reaction, just the hissing, bubbling noise of normal human blood. Scene ends.)
Scene Eighteen: The last four humans hustle to the lonely shack at the end of the compound.
Petrov: Yoohoo, Mr. Alien, get the fuck out here!
(Getty peers in through one of the windows.)
Getty: Heís gone Petrov.
Sasha: Now we know what he is!
Phyllis: Isnít that convenient?
(They open the door and find many of the floorboards moved. An ice tunnel had been dug for some time.)
Getty: Christ! That leads to the generator shed!
(Before Getty can finish his words, Sasha notices something through the blowing snow.)
Sasha: Niet! The lights are out!
Phyllis: Well, that means one and only one thing.
Getty: The generator is out permanently.
Petrov: And it knows weíve found its dirty little secret.
Scene Nineteen: The team comes back into the lounge, they gather all the portable heaters they can, along with dynamite, thermite, and medical supplies.
Getty: Well kids, hereís how it goes, we either kill that thing and use the portable heaters to keep alive for the rescue party or we die.
Petrov: Donít mean shit!
Getty: Where did you hear that expression? I havenít heard that since my younger days.
Petrov: My dad, he went to Nam. Whenever you donít care if you live or die you simply say it donít mean shit!
Sasha: Címon, a Spetzna doesnít need to hear that!
Phyllis: Iím starting to agree with Pete, maybe none of us including that thing should ever leave here alive.
Getty: I want to live, so tough shit to the rest of you. Letís go hunt that thing.
(The team makes its way into the ice cave that leads to the generator shed. Something catches Phyllisís attention.)
Phyllis: So thatís what its doing down here!
Getty: Holy crap!
Sasha: It canít be!
Petrov: You busy little mofoÖ
(A saucer-looking craft stands before them. Itís only 7 by 5 by 5 feet, but is capable of shattering known physical laws. It is made from hunks of metal from the station, the damaged helicopters, and bits and pieces of things throughout the compound.)
Petrov: Good thing we stopped it from leaving.
Sasha: Igor was wrong, it almost did the same thing at our base.
Phyllis: It may not get it off the planet, but it sure as hell could get it out of Antarctica.
Getty: Heís not going anywhere now! Fire in the hole!
(Getty drops two bundles of TNT into the craft.)
Getty: Those are one-minute fuses, donít waste any time! Move!
(They leave the generator room and watch the ice above it get thrown 20 feet in the air and sink down.)
Petrov: Now the only way out is in us.
Phyllis: Or the ice.
Sasha: We will stop it before that happens.
Getty: Letís rock!
Scene Twenty: The team sits in the relative comfort of the portable heaters and their propane goodness. They lie in wait for the inevitable.
Getty: Must be 80 below out there by now. That ugly SOB should be feeling it.
Phyllis: Where is it?
Sasha: Whatís that sound?
Petrov: Stay frosty. This is it!
(A sound like an earthquake penetrates the compound. The floor starts rising and cracking in waves with the approach of the last remnants of the thing. It gets right under the humans.)
(They scattered back toward the hallway. The floor busts open. Two giant claws climb up and grab a torpedo heater. The rumbling stops.)
Getty: Guess it wants to wait in comfort!
Sasha: We wonít give it the chance!
Phyllis: Here it comes!
(A 30 ft. slimy shadow leaps out of the floor. Three red, bioluminescent eyes pierce the darkness. A snarl rings out.)
Petrov: Címon Walter! Itís go-time!
Getty: Quit clowning!
Sasha: Time to die!
(They throw thermite bombs and start torching it. The thing screams in terror, but a huge lump of it manages to break off.)
Getty: Shit, itís pissed off now!
Petrov: Run away!
(The team starts running as fast as they can down the hall, the chunk recovers, sprouts all manner of limbs and takes off in hot pursuit.)
Getty: Now, move the divider into place!
(They pull the huge metal slab into place and lock it. The thing starts bashing at the door. Suddenly, two scythe-like bone projections pierce the steel and cut it like steak. It starts pounding the door and sends a giant piece flying into Getty and knocks him down.)
Getty: Nrrrggghhh!!! Shit, my legs are broken, run, all of you run!
(Sasha and Petrov get running, while Phyllis stays behind.)
Getty: Damn you Phyllis! Get the fuck outta here!
Phyllis: You always were an asshole Getty!
(She hugs him and pulls the pins on a linked chain of thermite grenades.)
Getty: I love you too honey!
(Just as the thing pounces them, the grenades go off with a blinding shriek and temperatures near that of the Earthís core. Sasha and Petrov are in the next hallway.)
Petrov: Phyllis you suicidal bitch, what kind of doctor are you?!!!
Sasha: It has to be deadÖ
Petrov: Letís make sure.
(They get in the still-functioning tractor and break down the rest of the camp. They later dump all the remaining fuel oil, kerosene, and gasoline over the rubble and set it ablaze with the last of their napalm and thermite. It reaches the aviation fuel tanks and the place goes up like a blockbuster hit it. The tractor comes back to the funeral pyre and stops. Inside the heated cab, Petrov and Sasha sit with smiles on their faces.
Sasha: Petrov, you never told me your first name, I told you mine.
Petrov: Oh alright, donít laughÖ Itís Collin, Lt. J.G. Collin Petrov.
Sasha: Donít be embarrassed, thatís a rare and dignified name.
Collin: Now that weíre on a first-name basis, wanna go out happy?
Sasha: Sorry, I donít get your drift. I still canít think right in English.
(Collin puts his lips to hers and she finally gets the point. The tractor windows fog up. Eventually the engine cuts off along with the heater. They get out.)
Collin: I think this fire will keep us going for a while. It wonít die out for some time.
Sasha: Wait a minute, the test! (She looks at her lover in horror.)
Collin: If you could only see your eyesÖ
(He spies a hot piece of metal.)
Collin: Looks sterile enough. OwwwÖ
(Bleeds into the snow and sticks the hot shard in it, no reaction.)
Collin: I showed you mine. Now show me yours.
Sasha: OkayÖ (Does the same. No reaction.) Thank God!
Collin: Makes me think he gives a damn. Now where was it? Oh yeah, here it isÖ
(Digs up a rectangular box and a fifth of Stoli. The box opens into a chess set.)
Collin: You play?
Sasha: Youíre preaching to the choirÖ
(They sit playing and drinking. Eventually they weaken. They look dead, but Collin stirs with a sound breaking those of the indifferent Antarctic night. He pulls out a signal flare and shoots it into the sky. The Osprey lands nearby. A SEAL team walks out. Collin drags Sasha toward them.
SEAL Commander: Who goes there?
Collin: Friend, definitely friend bwana.
Commander: What the hell happened here sailor?
(Pulls out MacReadyís tape recorder and the titanium disc.)
Collin: Four words man, keep watching the skiesÖ