"They went looking for our beginning. What they found could be our end."
Circa 3.2 billion BC. Milky Way Galaxy
The Engineers visited Earth. The Elders chose one of them to serve as a sacrifice in order to seed the planet with life. This chosen Engineers stood over a waterfall and ingested an unknown substance given to him by the Elders. The Engineers's entire body structure dissolved, painfully, into the waterfall, seeding the planet with his DNA. This accelerated evolution on Earth.
2089. Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Doctor Elizabeth Shaw and Doctor Charlie Holloway discover a cave painting of a figure pointing to a number of dots - the same image discovered in other locations around the world and created by cultures who never had any contact with each other across centuries. Shaw is convinced it's an invitation by an ‘Engineer’ race for mankind to travel to the stars to find them – the dots being a starmap.
Dr Elizabeth Shaw begins trying to contact Sir Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, about her discoveries. Weyland funds an expedition for the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223. The ship's crew travels in stasis while the android David8 monitors their voyage.
December 25, 2093.
In the morning, the USCSS Prometheus crew is woken as they approach LV-223 in the Zeta 2 Reticuli star system. Holloway and Shaw brief them on their mission to try and find the ‘Engineers’. Mission-director Meredith Vickers informs them not to make contact without her permission.
By the afternoon, the Prometheus lands on the barren, mountainous surface near a large, artificial structure and begin exploring and mapping a nearby structure. After determining the structure has a breathable atmosphere, Shaw, Holloway, Fifield, Millburn, Ford and David8, discover a large humanoid body (thought to be an Engineers) that has been decapitated by a door. The crew finds other bodies, leading them to surmise the species is extinct. Millburn and Fifield grow uncomfortable with the discoveries and elect to return to Prometheus.
David8 opens the door and they find the body’s head inside a large chamber full of sealed urns.
At sunset, a huge storm approaches and Janek tells the team outside to immediately return to the Prometheus. Shaw and Ford bring the head back, while David8 secretly takes one of the urns, while the remaining cylinders begin leaking a dark liquid. They find that Fifield and Millburn have gotten lost inside the structure and Janek tells them they’ll have to wait out the storm overnight.
By nighttime, Shaw and Ford find that the DNA of the Engineer's head is identical to human DNA. Holloway meanwhile unwittingly drinks some champagne that David8 has contaminated with a black oily substance that he found in the urn. He later has sexual intercourse with Shaw. Inside the structure Fifield and Millburn find themselves back in the room with the urns – that are now slowly flooding the floor with the black ‘oil’. Millburn is attacked and killed by a large snake like creature, while Fifield falls face first into the ‘oil’.
December 26, 2093.
In the morning, Janek leads a team comprising of Shaw, Holloway, David8, Ford co-pilot Chance and security guard Jackson by to the structure to find Fifield and Millburn. They find Millburn’s body in the urn room, but return to the Prometheus when Holloway is taken ill – infected by the ‘oil’ David8 put in his drink. Believing he is beyond saving he encourages Vickers to incinerate him by trying to break ship quarantine. David8 meanwhile discovers a living Engineer in hypersleep.
By the afternoon, a shocked Shaw wakes up in the medical suite to be told by David8 that she is pregnant – which should be impossible. It isn’t however a human child. She breaks out of medical and extracts a squidlike creature using an automated MedPod. A horribly mutated Fifield returns to the ship and kills a number of crew members before being incinerated. Shaw discovers that Peter Weyland who was secretly on board has woken and being taken by David8, Ford and Jackson to meet the last Engineer – despite Shaw’s protests. The Engineer awakens, decapitates David8 and kills Ford, Jackson and Weyland. Shaw narrowly escapes and it is revealed that a huge ship is underground and the Engineer intends to take off – for Earth according to David8. With thousands of urns containing the black oil. At Shaw’s urging, Janek smashes the Prometheus into the Engineer’s ship, bringing it down. Vickers, who escaped the Prometheus, is crushed under the alien ship when it crashes. The Engineer confronts Shaw, but Shaw releases her ‘squid baby’ – now a gigantic tentacled creature – from the Prometheus’ lifeboat, which attacks the Engineer. Shaw retrieves David8’s remains from the downed alien ship.
January 1 2094.
Shaw, the sole surviving human member of the Prometheus, departs LV-223 with a decapitated David8 on another of the Engineers starships, searching for their homeworld. She leaves a message behind warning other ships not to approach the planet.