Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica: A helicopter is racing across the ice shelf. Inside, Lex is asleep. On her lap folded open is an issue of Scientific American magazine. It features a picture of Weyland and the title reads: Charles Bishop Weyland, Pioneer of Modern Robotics. Staring out the window one seat over is Mechanical Engineer Graham Miller. He attempts to take a picture of himself. The flash wakes her up.
Miller shows Lex a picture of his sons on his camera. He hands her his digital camera to take a picture of him for his kids, then introduces himself. The co-pilot turns and hollers from the cockpit, they have just passed the PSR - point of safe return, which Miller mistakes for a sight-seeing location. Lex fills him in as wicked turbulence shakes the chopper violently. Miller goes pale as the chopper continues to shake.
Ice Breaker Ship Piper Maru, Current Heading Classified: The large vessel cuts through the packed ice of the Atlantic Ocean. The helicopter thunders into view. Its twin rotors chopping through the falling snow. It's dropping in altitude. Headed for the Piper Maru. A storm is looming in the distance.
Inside Piper Maru: Three separate teams are assembled in the briefing area. Team One (the scientists): Lex, Sebastian, Thomas, (Sebastian's right hand from Mexico) and Miller. Team Two (the muscle): Max and Weyland, security personnel Adele Rousseau (sexy, tough and toned), Verheiden (a soldier of fortune), Conners (bearded outdoorsman) and Klaus (a big Dane built like a Viking).
Team Three (the drillers): lead by Quinn (a muscular Texan and third generation driller) and roughnecks Sven, Boris, and Mikkel. Max looks around the room to make sure everyone is there. The room falls quiet as he introduces his boss. A man emerges from the shadows - Charles Bishop Weyland. He looks more like a big game hunter than the billionaire that he is.
Weyland briefs them on his satellite's discovery, a heat bloom in the Antarctica, as a digital projector illuminates a slide show. It's a massive pyramid shape structure buried 2,000 feet beneath the ice, Sebastian chimes in with his expertise on pyramids. Everyone in the room is stunned.
Weyland offers them the chance to explore this unique discovery. An intense ripple of excitement spreads through the room, their minds are made up. However, Lex considers it too dangerous for untrained personnel and backs out of the mission.
Later, Lex is in her cabin packing her things. Max appears in the doorway to inform her the chopper's refueling to fly her home. She's curious who her replacement is, which is Gerald Murdoch. A moment later, she appears in Weyland's office in protest, Murdoch is not seasoned enough. She suggested others, but they turned down the offer.
Weyland is unswayed as she leaves letting him know he is making a mistake. Later, Lex stands alone on the deck of the Piper Maru, thinking and watching. A powerful X-class flare erupts from the sky, accompanied by a halo coronal mass ejection. Lex turns to see Sebastian and Miller. They join her on the deck, one on each side of her.
Miller gives her a nerd description of the Northern Lights. The two men try to convince her to change her mind. Miller's humor and Sebastian's charm is a tough combination. Lex turns to see Rousseau standing there, she informs Lex her chopper is ready. We hold on Lex, still undecided.
Predator Spacecraft, Armory: The camera cruises through the spaceship, discovering three Predator helmets arranged around a computer monitor. The design is distinctly techno-medieval. Suddenly a hologram above the computer flickers into life.
Icons and language are all Predator, but the imagery it shows is recognizable - it's the Pyramid.
A Predator targeting system activates, drawing a line between the pyramid and the surface of the ice.
The spaceship shoots a beam of searing hot plasma down towards Antarctica.
Perpetual twilight: The ship is at a standstill. The pack ice has already begun to reform, creating a solid sheet around the ship's hull. Inside the hold area of the Piper Maru, Lex decided to stay and gives the teams a crash course on artic safety. Sebastian and Miller are part of the audience, as are Thomas, Rousseau and Verheiden. Lex steps forward to address the scientists. She speaks in a simple, low key, matter of fact tone.
Lex breaks the meeting. She walks over to Rousseau who has started to clean her automatic handgun. It's immediately clear that they like and respect each other. Quinn and his Roughnecks are hoisting the drilling platforms out of the hold and lowering them to the ice.
The Haaglunds are being unloaded as Quinn and the rest of his team continue to unload the rest of their equipment. Five tracked vehicles churn their way across the pristine snow. The two drilling platforms and three assorted cargo and people transporters. Their headlights illuminate the threatening, unearthly landscape.
The convoy has already left the Piper Maru far behind and has almost reached the whaling station. Inside the Haaglund Sebastian and Lex are riding, they share a look. Sebastian is fiddling with a necklace that he made out of the Pepsi cap he found in Mexico. He jokes with her about his souveneir and tells her about the Hunter's Moon in his culture.
The vehicles stop, they have reached their destination - Razorback Point Whaling Station. They exit the vehicles and are looking over a plateau. Around them, the snow is falling, slow and steady Lex fires a parachute flare into the air.
It explodes in the air and brightly illuminates the Whaling Station in a cool green hue. A dozen wooden buildings abandoned since 1904. Some of them no more than shacks. All of them encrusted with ice and half buried in the snow. The team drive down to "Main Street," illuminating the bizarre ghost town with their flashlights. It's creepy as hell, but it will serve as their base camp.
A giant black cauldron dominates the harbor. Fifteen feet high, thirty feet across. One of its four feet has been knocked away and it tilts over at a crazy angle. Only the fact that it is frozen solid stops it from tumbling into the harbor below. The 'Separator.' Throw whale blubber in, heat it, separate out the fat. Whale oil was big business back then. The harbor leading to the whaling station is totally frozen over.
As they explore the station, Miller wanders off alone from the group. He enters the frozen mess hall -- the same frozen mess hall that Karl tried to flee from a hundred years ago. It's an eerie sight. Like some kind of frozen doll house. The tables are covered with sheet ice. Cups, plates, spoons and forks are frozen to the spot they were left since 1904.
Miller tries to pick up one of the cups but the handle breaks off into his hand. He takes out a camera, sets the timer. He rushes over to get in place, the camera clicks. The bold flash of light momentarily illuminates the mess hall. And this blast of light has disturbed something. There's movement. The movement stops. And now Miller knows he's not alone. Miller turns, ready to go.
Then the sound stirs again. Moving. Scuttling across the floor. The movement stops. Miller swallows hard. He's a mechanical engineer after all -- easy prey. Then the noise again. Louder now. And it's getting closer. Much closer. Suddenly something grabs Miller's shoulder, he practically jumps out of his skin. Lex removes her hand and lectures him about going anywhere alone.
Miller attempts calm. He fails. And now they both hear it. Something is moving. Lex raises her flashlight, piercing the darkness. And then it emerges from behind a table - a terrifying, deadly...penguin. Miller stares at the Penguin and the Penguin stares back. Inquisitive and unafraid. Lex smiles at Miller. He really is out of his depth.
Meanwhile, Sebastian is also exploring the station grounds. He comes across an unbelievable site and starts shouting for the others. He's flushed and excited. A gaping hole in the snow and ice. Perfectly round. Ten feet across. Sebastian and the rest of the team are gathered around the hole. Quinn lights a flare, then throws it down the shaft.
The flare falls... endlessly until its flickering light is finally swallowed in the darkness. It never hits bottom. He glances at the building closest to the hole. Whatever cut through the ice has also cut clean through the building, vaporizing wooden beams and metal walls. Weyland shows the group a satellite photo - the familiar pattern of interlocking square shapes.
Only this time, a long red line (the tunnel) connects them to the surface of the ice. Weyland replaces the photo with one taken 24 hours earlier. The square shapes are the same, but there is no tunnel. Quinn is perplexed, no known drilling technology could achieve this overnight.
Predator Spacecraft, Armory: Holographic displays, an image plays - it is a live feed, showing something that is occurring far below on Earth. It's our team, and they are being closely watched at the mouth of the tunnel. Metal pieces sliding together to form a Predator spear. A blades cuts through the air. The three Predators assemble their weapons like ancient gladiators preparing for combat. They grab their masks.
A half hour later at mouth of the tunnel. A scene of frantic activity. The team is preparing for a descent into the unknown. Ropes are dropped into the void. A winch and pulley system is being built over the mouth of the tunnel by Sven, Boris and Mikkel. They are racing against the upcoming storm.
Lex pulls open the door to the Haaglund. She thought the cab was empty, but instead Lex finds Weyland sitting there alone. He's struggling, breathing from a portable oxygen bottle. Weyland lowers his mask. His power and wealth are instantly dwarfed by his vulnerability.
She looks him over. Lex advises him there's no room for sick men on this expedition and tells the story of her father dying on Mount Ranier. But Weyland implores that he needs this. She gives no reply and just looks at him as if she was looking at her own father.
Later, the team are rappeling down the ice tunnel. Helmet lights illuminate the scene. Following them are three large sledges being lowered via the winch and pulley. The sledges contain all the team's heavy equipment. Lex is ahead of the group. She pulls out a piton gun to drive pitons on the ice wall. Lex hangs small lights every twenty feet on the pitons. Above the tunnel, the storm has struck the whaling station.
Equipment and tie-downs are being uprooted, as Quinn and his men struggle with the high winds. As a tarp is uprooted, it flies past Quinn and gets jammed in the winching gear. 700 feet below the surface, suddenly the rope that Weyland is on, jerks tight and snaps, he begins to hurtle down the steep shaft.
Max and others desperately try and grab him but they just miss. Lex sees Weyland coming, as we see just how fast her reflexes are. She pins Weyland against the tunnel wall, holding him in place by driving an ice axe into the ice, preventing him from falling further down into the tunnel.