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|“||It kills on sight and is generally unpleasant.||„|
|~ Andrews, about the Dog Alien.|
Xenomorph Runners (also called Runners) are alternate breeds of Xenomorphs that birthed from quadrupedal hosts.
The most infamous Runner called The Dragon serves as the main antagonist of Alien 3. Inherently, it wanted to kill everything in correctional unit at Fiorina 161. Once having Ripley on its mercy, it spared her so the embryo Queen inside her would erupt and create another new hive on the planet.
See The Dragon main article.
BiologyThe Runners possess all basic characteristics of a Xeno, however their physiology is different in a way that allowed it to move faster than the average Warrior or Drone. In particular, they have a preference for walking on all fours and their legs are shaped in a more digitigrade way for this purpose. Dog host-based Runners lacked the dorsal tubes and spines of Warrior caste and as a chestburster it was born with all of its limbs.
When a Runner is far enough away from a target, it can lunge toward it at tremendous velocity. The Runner commonly leaps at its victim's neck, which it strikes viciously on impact. This causes damage that is often unexpectedly severe from a creature of the Runner's size.
While all Xenomorphs have an aversion to fire, Dog Aliens are particularly affected by it. The heat causes them to expand internally and explode, showering nearby enemies with damage shrapnel.
Thanks to its abnormally high-output metabolism, Xenomorph Runner can conjures images of a rapid terrestrial cheetah - but one that never tires and can leap onto prey with the force of a sledgehammer.
In addition of Canine Xenomorphs which The Dragon belonged to, there are other variations of Xenomorph Runners
Feline Xenomorphs are a type of Xenomorph Runners that are spawned from feline hosts such as cougars and jaguars introduced by Kenner Products. In addition of sharing some colorations with hosts in question, they possess less ornate-looking Praetorian-esque head crests which endows durability. Notable feline xenomorphs include Panther and Night Cougar.
Also known as Bull Alien. This is a type of Xenomorph runners spawned from cattle (cows or bulls). They possess more muscular body than average Runners and a pair of bull-like horns to ram enemies and potential host alike with. They are noted to be very strong, resilient, and fast, able to outrun Stinger XT-37s, smashing through military vehicles that stood on their path without breaking a sweat, and capable of taking a rocket to the face without even flinching. Bovine xenomorphs usually operate in herds and susceptible to fire as with other breeds.
As with human-spawned xenomorphs, they have Drone and Warrior variant.
Spawned from a rhinoceros or a similar creature (like rhynth), this Runner variant possesses muscular statyre and a pair of large horns akin to its host for attack or defense.
Xenomorph Runner variant of Praetomorphs, also known as David 8's Xenomorphs. Unlike the rest of this variant, these are evolved stage of Praetomorph's adult state.
Also called the Defender, is the next step of a Runner's lifecycle attained once its Hive has been well established and has found a steady supply of hosts. As with aged Warriors and matured Drones, they developed harder and ridged carapaces which improved their durability along with dorsal tubes. At this point, they acted as sort of security force in the hive while Warriors wage war against the threat, protecting weaker siblings in the hive. Sentry's are attuned to their Queen and will attack and retreat at her command.
The Crusher, also known as the Charger, is evolved form of a Sentry that is exposed to Royal Jelly and being force-fed with raw materials for weeks. Its most notable features are its large head crest, which is said to be completely bulletproof, and its tendency to charge towards preys to inflict massive blunt force trauma. It acts as something of a heavy unit for the Xenomorphs, able to bust up even armored vehicles with some success.
They have been seen in various sizes, but are always considerably larger than common Warriors counterparts, standing around 10 feet tall when on all fours. The Crusher's head is topped with a thick, bony crest, larger even than on some Queens, that it lowers into a vertical position before charging its target like a bull. This crest is incredibly strong enough to repel most forms of gunfire (including even the M56 Smartgun), and when lowered into the charging position it effectively shields the Crusher's more vulnerable body from frontal damage. The force that the Crusher can impart with its charging attack is so tremendous that the attack propels an M577 APC sideways some good distance, or throw an individual Marine several meters through the air (no doubt every bones in her/his body are shattered).
However, this unique mode of assault leaves the Xenomorph virtually with many blind spots and dead angles whilst charging, meaning it is often unable to alter its course should its target move out of the line of attack. Furthermore, if an aggressor is agile enough to sidestep around a charging Crusher (not an easy feat but doable), its less resilient body will subsequently be exposed and left vulnerable. Even so, the creature is still incredibly tough, able to soak up significant amounts of damage before dying.
However, a P9 Sonic Harpoon Artillery Remote Projectile Rifle can be used to kill a Crusher. A full magazine of ammo (10 harpoons) shot at a Crusher's weak spot (its back) is enough to kill the beast. Unlike most Xenomorphs that can stand on two legs, the Crusher is only able to run on all fours.
Concept and Credit Controversy
Originally, H. R. Giger was approached on July 28, 1990 by David Fincher and Tim Zinnemann, and was asked to redesign his own creations for Alien 3. Giger's new designs included an aquatic face-hugger and a four-legged version of the adult Alien. Giger said in an interview; "I had special ideas to make it more interesting. I designed a new creature, which was much more elegant and beastly, compared to my original. It was a four-legged Alien, more like a lethal feline – a panther or something. It had a kind of skin that was built up from other creatures – much like a symbiosis." However, when Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis of Amalgamated Dynamics told Giger that they had their own design, Giger expressed himself as "very upset" and that the creature he had especially designed was his "baby". Even after the production severed contact, Giger continued to fax suggestions to Fincher, and made full-scale drawings and a sculpt of the Alien, all of which were rejected.
"David Fincher neglected to inform me that Woodruff and Gillis were also contracted to take care of the redesign of the Alien – I found out much later... I thought I had the job and that Woodruff and Gillis would work from my plans. On their side, they were convinced that it was their job and accepted my 'suggestions' with pleasure. They believed that all my effort was based on a huge love for the matter, because I worked hard even after my contract was over."
Giger would later be angered by the end credits of the released film presenting him as merely the creator of the original creature, and the fact that ADI personnel gave a series of interviews that minimized Giger's contribution. Fox eventually reimbursed Giger, but only after he refused to be interviewed for their behind-the-scenes documentary of Alien 3.
The Academy Awards overlooked Giger's contribution to Alien 3. However, Ridley Scott included Giger's name along with nominees Carlo Rambaldi and Richard Johnson. Fox, at the time Alien 3 was released, pointed out that studios are precluded from submitting nominees in the effects category directly to the Academy. This upset Giger so much that at one point he sent Academy president Karl Malden a fax with this closing comment: "I am under the strong impression that my contribution to the visual effects of the nominated movie has been intentionally suppressed", signing the letter with a large black pentagram.
Giger however would comment that he thought the resulting film was "okay" and that the Alien was "better than in the second film."
In the Alien vs. Predator: Extinction video game, Xenomorphs Runners serves as the scout unit of Xenomorph Hive. Their primary function is to explore the areas both around the hive and battlefield to search the potential hosts' territory so other xenomorph units better prepared for hunting more hosts. Xenomorph Runners can also produce spores like some Xenomorph breeds in the game which not only capable to detect organic foes, but also functions as sort of organic "probe" to easily tracking down fleeing host and enemies alike. The creature's volatile skull make it an ideal kamikaze unit against enemies with flame-based abilities and weapons (ex. flamethrowers).
Upgrading Runner endows the unit numerous, subcutaneous stinger-tipped venom sacs across its extremities. On contact with a victim, the stingers inject high concentrations of Alien spores that multiply in sufficient quantity to turn bodily fluids black and soupy, sickening and nauseating the host organism in the process. This ability is highly useful to weaken the formidable hosts' fighting capability so it's fellow Xenomorphs can both track and weakened said hosts without much problem.
The Runner has an unusually high speed metabolism that enables it to heal at truly astounding rates. This regeneration does not occur when the Runner is being attacked, as its body must cope with the internal system shock produced by penetrating wounds. This coping period is short, however, after which biological repair happens so quickly that it is observable with the human eye.
The while effective, Xenomorph Runners are ill-suited for prolonged combat due to lack of exoskeletal armor unlike Warrior caste and talons that not sharp enough to cut through durable armor. Radioactive materials can also hindered it's regenerative capabilities as well.
To create Runners, the required hosts are Kurns and Kriltics.
Aliens: Ice Storm
Lance Bishop returns from his reconnaissance mission to the Xenomorph-infested dome at Terraform 3's lunar base badly damaged and his left arm totally severed. He reports that the Rhino Xenomorphs there are totally impervious to both gunfire and flame, but suggest another course of action. He is hard-wired into a Power Loader retrofitted with weaponry, including a freeze jet. After shattering the roof of the dome to allow the freezing exterior atmosphere inside, Bishop immobilizes Rhino Xenomorphs with his freeze weaponry while ATAX dons his Bio-Boost Disguise Armor and heads into the Hive to rescue the colonists. Once inside the nest, ATAX destroys the Queen, her Eggs and her royal guard, before rescuing the cocooned colonists. The survivors reunite with the colonists' daughter, the Alien infestation on Terraform 3 and its surrounding bases finally checked.
While enjoying some down time at a Wild West-themed colony, the Space Marines are found by a local cattle rancher who tells them of a lucky scape from a xenomorph born from one of his livestock. The Bovine Xenomorph arrives and destroys the rancher's vehicle, and shrugs off all the firepower the Marines can throw at it, but is ultimately killed when Corporal Hicks detonates the destroyed vehicle's fuel cell with his rocket launcher, incinerating the creature. Realizing the Bovine Xenomorphs are susceptible to fire, the Marines load up on flamethrowers and head out to destroy the rest.
The Space Marines head for a settlement that has failed to respond to warnings of Xenomorph infestation following the Bovine Xenomorph rampage, a definite sign of trouble. Sure enough, upon arrival they are attacked by a herd of Bovine xenomorphs. They cut through the malicious creatures with flamethrowers, and set off in pursuit of those that flee. They track the Xenomorphs to a nearby ranch, where Bishop's sensors detect more than 50 of the creatures within. With little alternative, Lt. Ripley leads the Space Marines inside to confront the creatures.
Continuing where Stampede left off, marines have tracked the remaining Bovine Xenomorphs on Earth Colony Terraform 3 to a ranch, the marines head inside to eliminate the creatures. The squad discovers a Power Loader before being confronted by the remaining Bovine Xenomorphs and their Queen. Marines open fire with their flamethrowers, but are forced to retreat outside when the automated sprinkler systems activates and puts out the flames. Marines then realize that Lt. Ripley is no longer with them. The surviving marines are surrounded outside by the creatures and seem doomed when suddenly Ripley reappears in the Power Loader and joins battle with the Queen. The Marines regroup and prepare to finish of the creatures once and for all.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
The Crusher is one of Xenomorph caste that was encountered by Colonial Marines from the USS Sephora on Acheron (LV-426).