Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"My Least Favorite Action Figure Accessory, Ever."
A joke stolen from Antz, and I hated that movie. Funny how that works out.
Bit of a random one this week, but click to enlarge anyway.
Which one is thinking in that first panel? Doesn't matter.

This is probably something that's occurred to everyone before, but the Aliens and the Borg both have set storytelling rules, and I think the two could dovetail together nicely for a Star Trek/Aliens comic or something. It's almost like following a recipe, but that's not say you couldn't spice it up a bit:

We'll open as the Federation starship USS Doomed receives a garbled distress call from the refugee ship SS Already Screwed, something to the effect of "infestation." Doomed arrives to find the ship non-responsive and drifting, and scans are somehow muddled but seem to show twice as many lifesigns as they should: the refugees, each impregnated with an Alien chestburster. The captain beams over our human (or Vulcan, Trill, what have you) characters, a security and a medical team, which for convenience we'll just call Team Redshirt. Even if security doesn't wear those anymore, face it: just about all these characters are redshirts in this kind of story.

Random character points, go! One of the doctors ("McDoomed") and the security team (make the girl security, filling in our usual Alien kickass woman archetype, and we'll call her "Weaver") have been seeing each other for a couple of months and are pretty serious but have been keeping it secret. Another one, let's say a doctor, is on the verge of washing out of Starfleet since he's developed xenophobia, which Starfleet frowns upon: on a mission with the Tholians, he had an uncontrollable arachnid revulsion, and may no longer be able to deal with aliens. Lastly (since we don't need the full back story on everyone that gets eaten) the security chief is like the Vulcan Sgt. Rock: older than dirt, scarred, but seemingly unbeatable. Weaver is also Sgt. Vulcan's protege, learning at the hands of the master.

Team Redshirt beams aboard, explores for a bit, and is quickly starting to realize things aren't right. They find a refugee kid, glued to a wall in an Alien cocoon, try to free him, and SPLAT! Chestburster blows out of him. Doc X (for xenophobe) freaks and calls the ship, but that just means there's a risk of infection and quarantine needs to be established. Before Captain Doomed gets to do much of anything, the Borg ship shows up. Boom! End of issue one.

The Doomed isn't a Galaxy-class ship, so it's definitely no match for a Borg cube. But the cube goes for the Already Screwed first, broadcasting the usual Borg drone about adding their biological uniqueness to their own. The captain realises there must be something aboard that ship more interesting to the Borg than the usual refugees or Federation personnel, but his attempt to defend them is hopeless, and the Doomed is severely damaged. The captain gets a last message to Team Redshirt: they will try for repairs, then come back for them.

On tricorder scans, Doc X can see the lifesigns on the ship suddenly drop in half, which means they no longer have to worry about the rescue part of their mission. Right about here is the usual point in the plot where they find facehugger eggs: we'll give Team Redshirt enough credit not to get anyone infected. They phaser down the eggs...causing an acid spill, which eats a giant hole in the deck, and they beat a hasty retreat from the forthcoming hull breach. On the way back to a more defensible position, the Borg arrive.

Panicked, Doc X takes a shot at a Borg, which was probably a mistake: the Borg hadn't acknowledged them as threats yet. After losing a couple of team members, Sgt. Vulcan is able to give the Borg the slip with a makeshift flash-bang grenade. Team Redshirt runs back into the Aliens, losing a couple more and getting separated and setting up some vague goals like disarming the core or whatever: Doc X and Weaver headed for the bridge, and McDoomed and Sgt. Vulcan towards engineering. (Along with a few more team members to get killed here and there on the way.)

Meanwhile, the Borg and the Aliens are beginning to duke it out. Both kill each other pretty readily, but so far the Borg aren't able to assimilate the Aliens: their acid blood keeps eating the implants. The Borg lose a few to facehuggers, but they begin to adapt defenses to them. (Grid-like masks, or maybe knight-like visors.) They keep working at each other, like ants playing chess.

Issue two ends with a cliffhanger...let's say, Sgt. Vulcan fights off a pile of Aliens, but is injected with nanoprobes by the Borg.

The third issue is just about ratcheting up the tension and the stakes for the big finish. Even with seemingly heavy losses, the Borg have finally managed to create implants that Alien blood can't dissolve. But that means they have to try to take Aliens alive for assimilation, which isn't going so great. For the artists, a page of two Aliens pulling the artificial limbs off a Borg, then tearing off his facemask...and lower jaw...before shoving his head into a facehugger egg.

Mcdoomed manages to get in contact with Weaver and Doc X (all the rest of Team Redshirt is lost over the course of this issue) and sets up the endgame: either by reactor failure, Federation trickery, or some Borg thing, the Already Screwed is going to blow up inside an hour. Doc X comments that isn't soon enough: he's already tried to fly the ship into the Borg cube and take them all out, but the Borg tractor beams shut that down. Weaver lets X know she has no intention of dying here.

Sgt. Vulcan is quickly made a full-fledged Borg, complete with an arm cannon he could've used before. Joining him are the first three Borged Aliens, with those laser eyepieces mounted (somewhere) on their eyeless heads and grotesque Swiss-army knife arms. But they aren't the big reveal for the end of the third: with their new troops, the Borg make a big offensive push, all the way to the chamber of the Alien Queen. There's no dialog for the last five or six pages of the issue, until an off-panel voice tells the Queen that capitulation is never easy, but sometimes truces, even lasting alliances, are formed by marriages of royalty. Honeyed words, courtesy of the Borg Queen.

(Star Trek: First Contact is probably my second favorite Trek movie, and I have fond memories of seeing it with a crew of friends in a crappy theatre in the dead of winter. For some reason, the Marilyn Manson song "The Beautiful People" always reminds me of it. And Alice Krige creeps the hell out of me now, even in other movies.)

Crap, I wanted to have a Jeffries tube reference here: those date back to old-school Trek, and would be a nice change from the usual ventilation shafts that are a staple of the Aliens movies. But the Already Screwed wouldn't be a Federation ship...

I'm not going to run down my imaginary plot for my imaginary last issue, except a couple of points I wanted: McDoomed is in a position that he's safe and can see the Borg and Alien Queen summit, but can't get out, and looks at his phaser only to realize he doesn't even have enough power left to kill himself. The Borg Queen, giving an obscene kiss to a facehugger, as she attaches it to her own face. And then the scream of the Alien Queen, as the Borg Queen injects her with nanites.

As I wrote this, it occurred to me how much fun it must have been in the late eighties, or earlier for Star Trek, to be able to work on Alien or other licenses properties without an excessive amount of hassle from the property's owners, or being labelled fan-fiction. Again, both the Borg and the Aliens have set rules, and I think they would be a good match-up. And it would inevitably lead to Alien vs. Predator vs. Klingon.

And I broke poor Zoidberg's leg the other day: not his fault, I dropped him. It'll glue back, and he's not a character that needs a ton of range of movement.

Ridiculously long post today, but I saw something yesterday that I needed to post right now, so it'll be up later today!


Sea-of-Green said...

Brilliant! :-)

And poor Zoidberg! Hope he feels better soon!

SallyP said...

Silly Borg. They really WILL do anything for attention.

Ace said...

I SO need to read this comic. Who publishes Aliens now? Have Avatar bought it yet? Get them and IDW on the phone, set something up.

Anonymous said...

If Star Trek can cross-over with X-Men, they can cross-over with Aliens. I would definitely read your story. Sgt. Vulcan would be a bitchin character.