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The Engineer Mythos

Creation and destruction… when the Engineer awakens from his aeonic slumber he immediately re-kickstarts his mission to wipe out humanity.

When Dan O’Bannon was twelve years old he stumbled across an old anthology of stories in a book store. He paid the nickel and took it home. Inside was a story titled The Colour Out of Space, by HP Lovecraft. “I stayed up all night reading the thing, and it just knocked my socks off,” O’Bannon said.

In Lovecraft’s fiction the universe is a source of both awe and terror. Humanity’s dominion over the world is illusory. Revelation is destructive and victory is often paltry, if attainable at all. Humans are beleaguered by demons, devils, minor and major gods, and chthonic beings. Lovecraft would go on to inspire O’Bannon’s creative life, with HR Giger telling Cinefantastique in 1988 that Dan was “definitely one of the greatest Lovecraft experts around.”

In 1979 Giger and O’Bannon brought their own form of Lovecraftian terror to the screen with Alien, which according to Dan, “went to where the Old Ones lived, to their very world of origin … That baneful little storm-lashed planetoid halfway across the galaxy was a fragment of the Old Ones’ home-world, and the Alien a blood relative of Yog-Sothoth.” Whilst Lovecraft’s influence on Alien was expressed as a very palpable undertone, in Prometheus Lovecraft’s notions of alien creators would be embodied further through the daemonic Engineer race.

Both of Lovecraft’s parents were at one point in their lives confined to mental asylums, and the writer himself suffered from frequent bouts of severe illness, semi-invalidism, alienation and eremitism. These difficulties apparently influenced and cemented his dim view of humanity. His fiction married supposedly dichotomous Enlightenment (reason) and Romantic (the irrational) ideals. Most, if not all, of his protagonists are investigators, professors, and scientists who happen to stumble across the Infernal. Other influences included the macabre writing of Edgar Allan Poe and Lord Dunsany; the latter of whom wrote of a slumbering god (Mana-Yood-Sushai) who creates before he sleeps and destroys upon waking, with existence being merely an endeavour to let sleeping gods lie.

Lovecraft’s interstellar gods were no kinder. Arguably at the top of Lovecraft’s hierarchy of gods sits Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth. Azathoth is a being of cosmic immensitude who lies beyond understanding: he is unseen, unspeakable, and ultimately unknowable. In addition to this, he is completely inimical or indifferent towards our existence. Yog-Sothoth, called “the lurker at the threshold,” is equally beyond human scope but, unlike Azathoth, makes contact with humanity, if only to guide their destinies, to demand devotion and worship, and sometimes to breed. Most famous of Lovecraft’s dark gods is of course Cthulhu, the submerged, dreaming god whose inspiration can be drawn back to Dunsany’s likewise sleeping Mana-Yood-Sushai. Though Prometheus’ title and central metaphor points towards Greek myth, it also parallels, perhaps even more strongly, the work of Lovecraft.

“They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult […] hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu should rise and bring the earth again under his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready…”
~ HP Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu, 1928.

An example: in Prometheus it is revealed that an ancient race of alien beings, the Engineers, inhabited the Earth in its prehistory and were responsible for the creation of its first life-forms. Humanity owes their existence to the Engineers, who created them for reasons unknown. The Engineers also created an amorphous, tar-like substance to manipulate life and death; this substance is deadly, and is essentially a form of bioengineered weaponry. However, the Engineers are ultimately annihilated by their creation. The characters in the film muse on ancient gods who came to Earth to create and instruct mankind for purposes unknown.

In At The Mountains of Madness, it is revealed that an ancient race of alien beings, the Elder Things, inhabited the Earth in its prehistory and may have been responsible for the creation of its first life-forms. Humanity may owe their existence to the Elder Things, who created them to be slaves or playthings or for consumption. The Elder Things also created amorphous, tar-like creatures known as Shoggoth to serve as a slave race; the Shoggoths are deadly, and are essentially a form of bioengineered weaponry. However, the Elder Things were ultimately annihilated by their creations. The characters in the story muse on “Great Old Ones who filtered down from the stars and concocted Earth life as either a joke or mistake.”

The Elder Things & Engineers: one key difference between Lovecraft’s Elder Things and Prometheus‘ Engineers is that, despite being the creators of Mankind, the Elder Things remain completely alien in shape – we were certainly not made in their image. The Engineers by comparison are anthropomorphic.

Both Prometheus and At The Mountains of Madness dispel the notion that Man is a divinely inspired creation. We are not “Creation’s pampered favourites”. Instead, we are simply the experiments of god-like creatures with little interest in our spiritual or physical well-being. If anything, Man is an accident, a mistake, or perhaps even a joke; subject to arbitrary extermination for little or no reason at all.

In At The Mountains of Madness, the expedition team find the remains of their creators, the Elder Things, within the bowels of an Antarctic ruin. Also lurking in the ancient city are the black, amorphous Shoggoth…

In Lovecraft’s The Nameless City the narrator uncovers an ancient pre-human city on the Arab peninsula. “It must have been thus before the first stones of Memphis were laid, and while the bricks of Babylon were yet unbaked.” The narrator enters and deciphers the history of a long-lost civilisation through their remaining murals and hieroglyphics. In the end, this shrieking, apparently human-hating race returns from the bowels of the Earth to snatch him.

Ridley Scott frequently referenced Erich von Daniken, rather than Lovecraft, as an influence on Prometheus, with Lovecraft being an inheritance from Dan O’Bannon’s unfilmed Alien material. It’s somewhat ironic that the work of von Daniken, whose books were referred to as exercises in “sloppy thinking” by Carl Sagan, is purely a pseudo-scientific pilfering of the fiction that Lovecraft jokingly referred to as “Yog-Sothothery.” In The Cult of Alien Gods: HP Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture, author Jason Colavito writes: “To add a layer of reality to his story, Lovecraft drew on existing pieces of myth and legend as well as the sensational claims of amateur historians and philosophers. Here he threw in a bit of the myth of Atlantis, there a dollop of Theosophical philosophy. He never believed in any of it himself, committed as he was to science, reason, and materialism. However, he recognised that dropping in bits of dark legends made for a sensational story.” Von Daniken also could not resist these same literary flourishes.

Prometheus can also lend itself, interestingly, towards Gnostic creation myth. The Gnostics had a simple solution for solving the problem of evil: the Creator of the world was himself evil, or at least imperfect; not a God, rather a Demiurge. Whilst the Supreme Being (God Itself) exists within the Absolute (the world beyond the tangible), the Demiurge exists in a plane where he is unaware of both the Supreme Being and the Absolute, and concludes that he is the only thing in existence. With this in mind, he creates the physical universe as we know it. Because this Demiurge is not God (though he may consider himself so), his universe is intrinsically imperfect. The Demiurge, essentially, has usurped the name of God. The Engineers can be seen as a race of Demiurges who colonise and seed planets with life, utterly ignorant of their own Creator, or perhaps in defiance of him. These creator-beings seem benign, but as the characters of the movie find out, they are in fact interstellar warmongers with an apparently atavistic tendency towards violence. The Prometheus research crew “find an establishment which is not what they expected it to be,” according to Scott, continuing: “it’s a civilization, but what we find in it is very uncivilized behaviour.”

As we see in Prometheus, the Engineers are not, or were not, annihilators per se. The aptly-named Sacrifice Engineer donates his body to a young planet (not necessarily Earth, according to Scott) and seeds the waters with DNA that presumably goes on to form that particular planet’s first cells and creatures. The notion that “to create, you must first destroy,” is also tied into cyclical creation myths. According to the Rigveda, an ancient Hindu scripture, Creation is unknowable, even to the gods: “Who really knows, and who can swear, how Creation came, when or where! Even the gods came after Creation’s day …”

“It’s everything…”: Whether the Engineer creates all life or simply human life is a muddled and murky affair; it does not make sense biologically nor narratively either way—though the film wants to play at science, it comes completely unarmed; mythology is its stronger suite. Shaw however does note that, “it’s us, it’s everything,” and Arthur Max stated that humanity in particular were further enhanced and modified -made distinct from other life, as it were- throughout Earth’s history post-seeding. None of this is implicit in the movie, however.

Indian mythology posited that the Universe is subject to a constant cycle of death and rebirth. Where Lord Dunsany’s wicked god creates, sleeps, wakes, then destroys, the Hindu conception sees the living Universe as Brahma’s day: when Brahma slumbers/dies, the Universe ends, only to be born again once he awakens/is reborn (reassuringly, Brahma’s day/lifespan lasts many billions of years according to the text).

Of course, though a direct line can be traced from the Engineers to Cthulhu to Mana-Yood-Sushai, the parallels to Gnosticism and Hinduism are largely speculative. Ridley Scott himself invoked the fallen angels of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. “If you look at the Engineers,” said Scott, “they’re tall and elegant … they are dark angels. If you look at Paradise Lost, the guys who have the best time in the story are the dark angels, not God.” (The allusion to angels personally evokes the opening line of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Second Elegy: “Every angel is terrifying …”) Scott drew on the art of William Blake to illustrate the Engineers, along with a dash of Greco-Roman sculpture to suggest nobility, power, and empire. Blake, famously, provided illustrations for Milton’s epic poem, and his images of the Adonic, alabaster-skinned fallen angels were referenced for the unsuited Space Jockeys.

William Blake’s rendition of Milton’s Satan, who is calling upon the other fallen angels to raise their parliament in Hell. “[Ridley] wanted the aspect of the naked Engineer to recall the characters of William Blake’s work,” revealed creature prosthetics supervisor, Conor O’Sullivan. “The other main references for these characters was Michelangelo’s statues, like his famous David.”

Scott had invoked myth and demonology in regards to the Alien before. In an interview with Don Shay in the early 1990’s, he stated: “We’d always talked about and played around with the idea of the absolutes – of good and evil. And if the Alien was really … what was it? Was it the face of the Devil; was it the face of the demon? Because if you look at historical manuscripts, engravings, and pictures, from wherever they come from, whether it’s China, whether it’s Europe, whatever the nationality, there’s a kind of continuity of the idea of the demon, as there is about the dragon. So, [Alien was] like taking off the mystical aspects of it and saying it’s nothing to do with [myth]; it’s a biological fact, it’s a biological creature, and it’s been here before.”

Whether the Engineers are genuinely heavenly outcasts or awakened gods is not revealed in the film. Arthur Max, in Prometheus: The Art of the Film, did note that the Engineers “play the role of God in the universe” and “have visited Earth many times over the millenia and given Mankind genetic upgrades, both physical and intellectual.” The Engineers then, with their advanced technology and knowledge of biology, are simply playing at god. Their “upgrades” may settle the debate on why humans are so close to them in physiology, and yet other life from their colonised worlds (dogs, cats, birds, our ape cousins, etc.,) are not. They seed worlds with life and then craft select organisms in their image. Presumably.

When Lord Dunsany learned of the Greek Pantheon, he felt pity “for those beautiful marble people that had become forsaken.” Though mankind had discarded these gods in favour of new ones, in Prometheus it is humanity that is forsaken, and the Engineers strive for unknown cause to destroy us, just as the gods of innumerable mythologies condemned and attempted to destroy mankind before. Whatever their motive, we can ascertain that the Engineer culture revolves around the notion of sacrifice. “All he’s doing is acting as a gardener in space,” explained Scott when describing the actions of the Sacrifice Engineer in the movie’s beginning. “And the [resulting] plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself. If you parallel that idea with other sacrificial elements in history –which are clearly illustrated with the Mayans and the Incas– he would live for one year as a prince, and at the end of that year, he would be taken and donated to the gods in hopes of improving what might happen next year, be it with crops or weather, etcetera.”

The didactic nature of the Space Jockeys as arbitrary creators and destroyers remains the film’s most intriguing element. Though Scott raised the thought that humanity was due punishment for the crucifixion of Christ (a thankfully deleted element) a more haunting prospect could be the proposition that we are due to die for nothing at all, but are merely caught in an impersonal cycle of death and rebirth. To invoke Percy Bysshe Shelley: “Worlds on worlds are rolling ever/From creation to decay/Like the bubbles on a river/Sparkling, bursting, borne away …”

“The primary take away from the myth of Prometheus is that the Gods were nervous about mankind. They were nervous about what they would be capable of if they had fire. Fire was a big piece of technology that they would build off of. And the story of any creation is eventually a child will try to destroy its parents. It’s a very paranoid world view, mythologically-speaking it pops up a lot. Especially for us Star Wars aficionados. So the essential story is: I don’t want to give my kid this toy because eventually he will develop it into a weapon that will kill me. So I will therefore withhold it from him. And what is the price I must exact on somebody who betrays me?”
~ Damon Lindelof. Collider, 2012.

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Engineer Architecture

“And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
~ Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1817.

“There are inspirations for Alien,” said Dan O’Bannon in 1979. “I had a lot of second thoughts about Dark Star, that was one of them. Well, another source was that I met Giger when we were working on Dune, and I’d looked at his picture books and when I got back to America I was still haunted by his work.  It was on my mind and when we sat down to do Alien. I ended up visualizing the thing as I was writing it, as we were thinking it out and I was writing it.  I found myself visualizing it as a Giger painting.”

Giger’s biomechanic style was so pivotal to the look and feel of the Alien, the Space Jockey and his derelict aircraft, that O’Bannon would later state, “without him I don’t think we would have had much of a movie.” Ridley Scott famously stated that upon see Giger’s Necronomicon art book he had “never felt so sure of anything” in his life – Giger had to design Alien. When the producers resisted, Scott threatened to walk. He got his way. Thirty years later with Prometheus, Scott was more reluctant to return to Giger’s signature biomechanical style. “I don’t like to repeat myself,” he stated.

“At first the Giger element was almost inexistent, because we really wanted architecture that looked as if it was Giger stuff but had been ‘kidnapped’, as if we had arrived many thousands of years before, and the Engineers place was clean, spotless.”
~ David Levy, Prometheus concept artist, 2012.

“One of the first things you start to think about when you’re working on a movie like this is, ‘how much are we revisiting that [Giger] look?’” said Prometheus concept artist, Ben Proctor. “I mean clearly if we’re showing the society of these Engineers, which is Ridley’s new take on where that Juggernaut ship came from in the first movie, we’re going to be seeing a lot more Giger, right? And that was our assumption going in, but our geek fan presumptions were not necessarily shared by Ridley and Arthur [Max]. So there were ideas about Engineer architecture and the style of that civilisation that initially were quite far from Giger, much more monolithic and much more heavy and simple and brutal, but in a totally different way.”

Production designer Arthur Max claimed that they “didn’t want to be like any one of those [original Alien designs.] We wanted to be new and fresh because, I hate to admit it, otherwise it really dates us. We decided to make it less biological, in terms of the styling of the alien planet, and more mechanical … The people who inhabit this planet, called the Engineers, and their technology, is beyond anything we’re able to know or understand, but it has to be visually interesting. That’s, I think, the hardest challenge, too, because we have to compete with the most iconic science fiction creature ever. Trying to come up with something that’s going to rival that is the real trick.”

The Space jockey's chamber in Alien and its equivalent, the Orrery, in Prometheus.

The Space jockey’s chamber in Alien and its equivalent, the Orrery, in Prometheus.

Steven Messing, the film’s visual effects art director, and the other artists tried to shoehorn in Giger’s aesthetic wherever they could, usually bartering with Scott and Max to include more of a Giger influence on the Engineers’ technology and architecture. The artists took everything they had designed thus far and infused it with more of a biomechanic coating than they had included previously.

“I think he [Scott] just didn’t want the Giger style to be necessarily the driving force behind the look,” said David Levy, “there had to be more, something smarter in the terms of what’s the background of those Engineers – and then we infused them with the Giger style.”

As a result the planet no longer resembles LV-426 as it did initially, and the interiors of the derelict craft, now named the Juggernaut, is pristine, almost sterile. Whereas Alien‘s derelict drips and glistens, the new ship is sepulchral but static. The former is the belly of some great dead carcass. The Juggernaut is a piece of machinery awaiting activation.

“The Juggernaut might look like it has come from the same factory as the one in Alien,” Richard Stammers told Cinefex, “but it is not the same ship. The exterior shape is similar, but it has way more detail; and inside it had a little less emphasis on bones and organic shapes  than were present in Giger’s work.”

“Ridley was very attached to the biomechanical aspect,” explained prosthetics supervisor, Conor O’Sullivan, “but in Prometheus, the biomechanical details on the walls and ground [of the derelict] are much finer, better defined, because this environment is meant to be in almost mint condition. There is no sign of decay, of rust, nor of translucent slime as in Alien, because time yet hasn’t had its effect.”

The Juggernaut then, is an almost fresh-from-the-factory aerial destroyer. Perhaps in time to come the walls will tumble and reveal bone-like protrusions, ribbing in the walls, and decaying biomechanical innards, as the technology of the Engineers (or of the Space Jockeys as represented in Alien, at least) is a cross between genetics and mechanics.

“In Prometheus,” explained production designer Arthur Max, “this [Engineer] technology is in perfect operating condition, while in Alien you could only see the ruins of it.” Biomechanics, he explains, “is at the root of their culture and technology.”

Ridley himself had always kept an idea of the ship’s back story in his mind. “I was amazed that no one asked me about this mysterious element of the film,” he said to French magazine L’Ecran Fantastique, “but if you would have asked me in 1978, I would have gladly explained that, in my mind, all this alien ship could be was a battleship.”

Ridley himself had always kept an idea of the ship’s back story in his mind. “I was amazed that no one asked me about this mysterious element of the film,” he said to French magazine L’Ecran Fantastique, “but if you would have asked me in 1978, I would have gladly explained that, in my mind, all this alien ship could be was a battleship.”

There are traces of biomechanical flourishes throughout the film’s designs. The decapitated Engineer’s helmet was to be like “cracking open an oyster” according to Neil Scanlan, and was sculpted with “castings from organic textures, including cabbages, cauliflower, and lichen. When the helmet opened, Ridley wanted the interior to be velvety and soft like the lining of a stomach, as if the helmet had nurtured the internal head with life-giving material.” One of Spaihts’ early scripts describes the Space Jockey’s suit as being welded to his body, flesh and machinery as one.

The production also chanced upon the work of Russian artist Alex Kozhanov, known as Gutalin, whose ZBrush art pays homage to Giger – some pieces even feature the Alien itself, and others feature the impressions of facehuggers. Steven Messing printed off Gutalin’s work and left it lying on his desk in the hope that Ridley would chance upon it – he did, and Gutalin was hired from afar, working on the textures of the Juggernaut. “Bit by bit with these kinds of sneaky interventions we kind of got some of the Giger back in. When [Ridley] saw something that was clearly Giger-esque, but had a fresh take on it, it piqued his interest.”

For the Engineer temple, or pyramid, the production drew on Giger’s work on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s aborted Dune. For that film Giger had designed the Harkonnen Castle: a mobile fortress made of bone, studded with spikes and surrounded by a storm of dirt, gore and faeces. At the pinnacle of this structure sits a monolithic head.

Giger’s Harkonnen Castle. Image copyright HR Giger.

Harkonnen reimagined as the Engineer temple.

Harkonnen reimagined as the Engineer temple.

Initially, the production drew on O’Bannon’s original Alien screenplay, and the Engineer temple was a pyramid in design. In the movie, it is still referred to as a pyramid by the crew, despite being ovoid in shape.

This wasn’t the first time that Giger’s Dune designs found themselves cast as an alien/Space Jockey structure. In several of Scott’s Ridleygrams for the original Alien, the temple/egg silo containing the Alien spore was derived from Giger’s work:

Spherical temples based on Giger’s Dune and Alien conceptual pieces. In the background we can see several other silos passing into the distance, just as they do in Prometheus.

At the summit of these silos sits a dessicated head. Kane was to enter the egg chamber through here.

The interior of the temple in Prometheus is cavernous, rocky and wet. Flowstone walls. We find that it functions as an atmosphere processor, cut into the shape of a near-natural formation. Further inside is the ‘head room’, also known as the ‘ampule room’, where the crew of the Prometheus make the find of the century – the decapitated corpse of an Engineer; the ampules containing their biological weaponry; the monolithic carving of an Engineer’s head; and the murals of this ancient race, adorning the ceiling and far wall.

The murals hint at some history between the Engineers and mutated, deformed beings. The Alien/Ultramorph mural on the far wall hints at the Engineers’ reverence for some supreme being. “The Xenomorph in my mind was the descendant of the Ultramorph,” explained Steven Messing, “in my mind it was the pure form of this kind of virus that the Engineers had created.”

“They’re a lot about sacrifice,” Messing continued, “so in my mind there was [in the past] an Engineer who sacrificed himself to this virus and it created this horrific creature. This being, that was gonna eradicate planets, it was like a parasite that would destroy the planet and then they [the Engineers] could start over and rebirth it. And they kind of worshipped it and you see this relief sculpture where it’s almost a religious sculpture  As the virus spread and got polluted the Xenomorph was an evolutionary descendant that was not as pure.”

“Another set that I worked on was known as the ‘Head Room.’ This was a ceremonial room that contained hundreds of ampules beneath a giant sculpture of an Engineer’s head. Julian Caldrow did an amazing job of working out all of the details for this environment and created the set drawings. The final set was built at full scale and was incredible to walk on. I also sculpted an altar area for this set that paid homage to Giger – it is a relief sculpture hanging from the wall and has the impression of an alien form with flowing structures surrounding it. There are a lot of easter eggs in this sculpture – including several hidden Giger motifs that were not used in the original film.”
~ Steven Messing, i09.com, 2012.

Essentially, what we can infer is that the Engineers created a life-creating substance that acted as a virus – it could break down and reconstitute matter: living beings are broken down and mutate. An Engineer at some point, somehow, created the first Ultramorph during a sacrificial rite, perhaps like the one we see at the beginning of the movie. The Ultramorph is vicious, and wipes out entire planetary populations. The Engineers, who travel from world-to-world, arbitrarily creating and destroying as they go, come to worship or revere their creation. Somehow, this Ultramorph leads to their eventual demise, or at least the demise of the Engineers inhabiting their installation on LV-223.

One problem with Messing’s interpretation is that the derelict in Alien is eons older than the installations in Prometheus – ergo, the Alien eggs predate the urns, and the Xenomorph predates the Ultramorph. We can probably settle the discrepancy by concluding that the installations on LV-223 are in fact older, but were maintained until only 2000 years ago; the derelict is younger, but has not been maintained for a longer span of time. Later movies may decide the issue.

The monolithic head, once rumoured to be the pilot of the Juggernaut ship, seems to testify some sort of blank, terrible power. Whether it signifies a god, a particular Engineer, or the Engineer race as a whole, we don’t know. “The idea there is that it’s part of the culture of the Engineers,” said Arthur Max, “this race of interplanetary visitors who have given us upgrades –mentally and physically– over the millennium.” The head is inscribed with glyphs on its front and sides. One idea thrown around production was to have the Engineers bearing facial, tribal tattoos. The glyphs on the giant head resemble those on the structure’s walls, doorways and on the deadly ampules.

Ethiopian statue of Benito Mussolini, and the Engineers’ ‘God-Head’. Testaments to power and worship. Mussolini was gunned down, hoisted to the girder of a garage, and his corpse pelted, shot, and spat on. As Percy Shelley wrote in his poem Ozymandias, great and terrible leaders die, and the monuments to their reign topple and crumble, left to gaze over a buried empire. The legacy of the Engineers has fared no better

The headquarters of Benito Musolini and the Italian Fascist party taken in Rome in 1930.

Palazzo Braschi, taken in Rome in 1934. The Engineer head monument is an allusion to worship and power, perhaps even fascistic power.

Statue in the Boboli Gardens, Florence.

Statue in the Boboli Gardens, Florence.

A monolithic Moai statue.

A monolithic Moai statue.

The lone surviving and hibernating Engineer lies within the depths of the alien earth. Tesselated pathways lead to the pilot’s chamber. The sleeping pods are a new addition to the pilot’s chamber, as is the command seat and the orrery light show. The sarcophagus-like shape of the cryo-pods evoke, somewhat, Giger’s painting known as The Tourist IV, which depicts a strange, sleeping biomechanoid creature in stasis.

The Engineer’s shipmates are all dead – their chests punctured and corpses long ossified. “The dead Engineers decayed where they fell and became part of the environment,” explained Scanlan. Whatever sprouted from their bodies is long gone, perhaps dead, and completely unknown. They may have given birth to a host of Ultramorphs who proceeded to wreak havoc on the installation. The awakened Engineer, freshly roused from his aeonic slumber, strangely has no concerns for this, and proceeds to resume his mission to destroy the Earth before falling victim to the fruits of his peoples labour. A new Ultramorph is thus born.

“Dear to me is sleep; still more to sleep
in stone while harm and shame persist;
not to see, not to feel, is bliss;
speak softly, do not wake me up, do not weep.”
~ Michelangelo Buonarroti .

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