Thursday, September 1, 2005
Excerpted from a manuscript discovered in a cedar trunk at James Cameron’s estate sale:
Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?
The question cleaves to Hudson—hast thou?
(Aside) The jackanapes disturbs me not, though I,
Unwomanly and hard as whetstone, yea,
Have passions deep as space and not so cold.
I could unman him as the knave deserves,
But this tiger rends the flesh assigned her;
The Corps controls my ev’ry flashing tooth,
And Hudson be my brother-in-arms, true.
A poor relation next to noble Drake,
A goodly frere, whose fury twins my own.
* * *
Talk, pale Ripley, talk ’til Judgment’s trumpet!
One thing needs I to soothe my blood’s hunger:
The beast’s home. Mark my finger for my weapon.
Yo, Vasquez, kick ass!
The hour you choose, the place you name.
Someone said “alien,” she thought they said “illegal alien” and signed up.
Mark well my weapon finger, good my men,
But mark this dog my fuckfinger aloft.
* * *
Flame units only. I want rifles slung.
Do it, sergeant. And no grenades.
All right, sweethearts, you heard the man. Come on, pull ’em out, let’s have ’em. Come on, Vasquez, clear and lock.
(Aside) ’Sblood! What folly then are such entreaties,
To turn our weapons out and ply them not?
A risk of nuclear hell, says Gorman;
Comply our sergeant must, and justice crush’d!
A mere two combat drops has Gorman seen.
He’s but a suckling child, this pendejo.
No more shall Vasquez bow and scrape to him;
My thirst for war trumps fusion power’s threats.
For Drake as well, the matter’s ’neath contempt.
I see my scheme reflected in his eyes …
Yes, these our shots we never shall abjure.
My magazine stays hid. Now, to the hunt.
* * *
Forget him, he’s gone!
Nay, let it not be so!
My soul is carried off within their lair,
Ripped from my cuerpo just as Drake was ripped.
As well the vileness should have robbed my life,
The raging heart pulled from my granite breast.
Drake es muerto! Therein lies my dreadful hope,
That Atropos ne’er cut life’s thread so coarse
To leave a soldier’s chest enspawned of beasts
Whose hideous nature beggars physick!
Mount, my soul! Join gallant Drake through slimepits:
Guide his pulse-rifle and blazing firetorch;
Fight with my fallen one against foul seed,
And die with him, for I’ve no use of thee.
* * *
Little blessed am I with phrases of peace,
But thou, Gorman, hast lion’s blood here shown.
My deadly mien is vanquished in this duct;
Though burn we may, our comrades shall prevail.
Take thou my hand, and pull the pin we both.
Come, Gorman, arsehole as thou ever were.