Watch this …………………………….
“Just tell me one thing Burke. you’re going out there to destroy them”
My hands grip the table, I need to make him listen to me, to take me seriously, to do the right thing.
I know I make people feel uncomfortable, they move away from me, avoid eye contact, no one sits next to me at meal times .
That’s the first thing she took from me, the easy camaraderie of shared spaces, long journeys, bullshit sharing, telling the tale.
I have no real status here in a place where everyone knows their job, their function.
I am the expert, the only survivor of the Nostromo, the lone woman left at the end of an alien holocaust.
And now they want me, need my expertise, my so-called links with her, my understanding of what this alien life form is.
If they could see inside my dreams, they would know that i am not ready for this task
That’s the second thing she took from me, the refuge of sleep, now my dreams twist and torture me. I wake. , cowering. my back against the wall of my bunk, sweat soaking my clothes.
They want me, need me to be there, to share my experiences, to make sure the same mistakes are not made this time. I wish I shared their happy optimism, their sense of adventure, their certainty in the rightness of this mission.
The marines remind me of children, big,healthy,noisy children. They are so sure of themselves, their bodies and the technology, the weaponry they cover themselves in.
I remember at school, watching some ancient film from one of the old European countries, people were being herded into strange old trains, I can’t remember why exactly , but there were children there and some seemed excited, skipping, as if going on some adventure and behind them and beside them are the women, drawn,drained, huge dark eyes, filled with absolute terror.
And that’s how I feel whenI see the Marines playfight, tease each other, run their drills and practises.
I want to shout out “this is not a game”, but I stay silent, on the edges, hoping that somewhere inside me is the strength to face whatever we will meet.
And it is a bad as my dreams, no worse because it is here and now. No chance of walking up, sheets twisted, heart racing, it is real and it is happening.
The settlers ship is empty, just the stench of fear, of death and something else, something both familiar and completely other.
I almost unsurprised when we find a real child, hidden in a dark corner of this dark ship. The Marines cluster around me. I am already Mother. I simply add her to the brood, my brood.
And I am not the only mother here.
Now I carry a gun, a very big gun. That is the third thing she has taken away from me. Once,I believed in life, now I will kill and kill with pleasure anything that threatens what is mine.
The end, when it comes is just as bad as before, they are everywhere and we are nowhere
“game over man, game over”
And I keep moving, keep shooting, keep the child safe, see the others fall.
I am the last woman standing, again.
Finally,I see her, I really see her,I see her for what she is and that is the fourth thing she takes away from me, because knowing makes no difference and I fire and fire and fire.
And at the end, whenI prepare the child for sleep. I realise what she is still to take from me, the fifth loss.
I lie down to rest and feel her gift growing inside me.