Author's Note: Hi everyone. This is my first ever fan fiction. I know its not about a very popular fiction universe, it being a video game, but I hope you like it anyway. This chapter is rated for teens because of language, a bit of terror, blood, and gore, and a few sexual innuendos. Later chapter may be a bit worse but nothing a mature teen couldn't handle. Spread the word if you like it since "Dead Space" is a rarely written for or read section. Happy reading!
Today is a new day. Noelle told herself this several times. She stood in front of an improvised mirror, a flat piece of metal, and tried to fix her mussed bed-head hair. Having no brush she ran her fingers through her dark, chocolate brown hair and blinked the sleep from her eyes, a brown to match her locks. She had slept in the armored engineer suit she had dawned nearly three weeks ago. That was when the horror of all horrors had unfathomably crept upon the USG Ishimura- the Infection. It turned people to insane psychopaths who assaulted and killed without warning, then turned bodies into reanimated monsters that did nothing but kill and create more of themselves. They swarmed the ship, traversing every hall, occupying every room. Only Noelle and a small group of three hundred had managed to survive.
They now lived in the concert hall of the ship, having secured it with blocks in the vents and guards at the sealed doors. Noelle shared her room with several others, but she was alone for the moment as she stared at her twin in the mirror. She was a few inches over five feet, but her boots gave her an extra half inch or so. She eyed her flat stomach, long tough legs, hourglass shape, all the way up to her small shoulders and clean face. Many would have called her beautiful, but looks seemed like such a ridiculous thing to consider now. She looked at herself critically, feeling insignificant compared to the task at hand. As the commander of the guard team, one of the few medics left, and second in command overall. Having to keep everyone safe and at least alive was her main goal. George was her only superior, but he rarely used his authority as a tool to push his ideas and orders.
She sighed heavily. Hunger made her stomach silently ring with its emptiness, reminding her she hadn't eaten in several days. Food was now a luxury and with it came the necessity to go looking for it outside the relative safety of their secured area. As leader of the guard team she had to lead her team out to look for food on a regular basis, always risking their lives as they dodged and fought the monsters that lurked throughout the ship. She tightened the straps that held the armor to the front of her thighs and lower legs. She then pulled down the sleeves of her spandex-like suit that had hiked up her arms while she had slept and buckled the metal guards along her shoulders and arms. She shifted her spine under the RIG attached to her back with straps crisscrossing along her ribs. She could see from behind her the blue glow of the health bar that ran the length of the RIG, stopping at the small of her back.
Today is a new day. She told herself yet again. Too bad.
"Hey, Noelle. Got a minute?" Noelle turned to see who had spoken and saw Jared standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame.
"Sure. Somebody hurt?"
"No, well, nobody new," the tall, muscled blond man of twenty-five took his weight off the frame and took a few steps in, "But I'm concerned about a few things. I scanned the hydroponics section and all power has been lost to it."
"Great, so the plants are dead and we're out of food," she sighed with frustration.
"That and…well," she noticed he couldn't meet her eyes, "Without the plants oxygen levels will start fall soon."
"Shit." He handed her a data log with information and calculations on it, more than likely put together by their very own tech wizard number two, Merrilee. She was also Jared's long-time girlfriend.
"I know. The only thing we can hope for now is going through the vending machines in the halls."
"Any more news with getting communications up?"
"Not really," he grinned her favorite sheepish smile, but it quickly disappeared, "Something screwed up the signals and receivers so badly there's no way it'll be ready anytime soon."
Noelle chuckled a bit and picked up her plasma cutter and antique sword. The two, one a weapon and one a tool, many centuries apart, looked odd next to one another. "So even the great tech wizard admits he can't fix something. Dear God, I'm surprised the universe hasn't folded in on itself yet."
"Very funny," he laughed then looked pointedly at the sword in her hand as she sheathed it, "Why do you carry that old thing around. It's steel instead of a force blade. Reminds me of something my great grandfather would have used."
"Hey, don't rag on my blade," she playfully shoved him aside as she headed for the door, "It's better than your crappy force blades."
"How so?" he followed beside her as they walked from the makeup room that served as a bedroom and into the main area.
"Well, for one, it doesn't need a power source." Jared took her remark with another laugh. They walked onto the stage of the concert hall, careful to walk around the many people laid on it who were too hurt or sick to move. As a medical officer, Noelle worked to keep them alive and comfortable in the hopes rescue would come and then take over their care. She could hear the groans of the people in pain and her heart clenched in sympathy. She focused her eyes on Nicole, another medical officer who stood across the stae, in hopes of a distraction from the sadness around her. Looking at the blonde only opened another emotional wound. She had a connection with a loved one she feared for.
Noelle's uncle was an engineer. He had had a serious relationship with Nicole, but the two had parted ways. He left the Ishimura for other work, but news had spread that a team had come to repair the ship, after the request for technical help was sent, and that Isaac Clarke was alone on the ship. Noelle could only feel dread now when she thought of her uncle. She hadn't been home in almost a year and could only talk with her parents via a video link. Isaac was her only family connection away from her home, Earth. They were close, had been since she was little, and she knew she had to find him.
"Hey Nicole," Noelle stopped in front of her and knelt down next to the man she was attending to, "How are you?"
"Oh fine," They both could feel the awkwardness of the otherwise normal exchange of niceties, "William here, not so much." The man groaned and opened his eyes to look first at Nicole, then at Noelle. He had large gashes across his chest and shoulders. Probably attacked by a Slasher. She noted mentally.
"William?" Noelle lowered her voice so she wouldn't startle the groggy man, "How're you feeling?"
The middle aged man weakly smiled, let out a whisper that barely resembled a "fine", then closed his eyes and fell asleep again. Noelle knew William. He had broken his arm while mining in the colony and she treated him. Even though he had been in agony he grinned and joked his way through the whole ordeal. She had great respect for him.
"That's Will for you," Noelle nearly laughed, "Too positive for his own good."
"You knew him?"
"He came in with a busted arm. He's got a personality you can't forget easily." Nicole gave an understanding nod and smile. She put her hands on her knees to steady herself as she stood up, "We better get to work." Noelle stood and followed in silent agreement. They spent the next several hours looking over each person, treating wounds the best they could, giving them the last bit of food that was available, and performed the horrible task of carrying out those who had passed away since the last time they were checked.
Noelle did not usually chit chat with Nicole, but when she did they often shared stories of Isaac, trying to assure one another that he was fine and would probably find them soon. Noelle had little else in common with her, and any other form of conversation felt forced. After everything that could be done was, Noelle went off to look for Jared, feeling bad that she had forgotten to say goodbye before she went to work.
She had been so focused on her tasks she had hardly noticed the many people up on their feet, stacking and organizing supplies, pacing in thought, or simply standing in shock. Not everyone was mentally fit to fight for their lives for three weeks. Many slept on the seats throughout the theater, some had even broken off the armrests to allow themselves more room to stretch out. She walked towards one of the secured doors that led to the outside halls. Jerry, a man in his early forties and their unofficial explosives expert, sat on the floor with his gun in his lap and his head in his hand. Anyone else would have thought he was napping on the job, but Noelle knew better.
"Hey, Noe," Jerry looked up wearily, having heard her approach clearly, "We going on a little food hunt today?" Noelle could see the desperate need for sleep in his eyes, feeling his fatigue as her own.
"Are you sure you're up for it?" she asked but anticipated the answer, "You know you need to get some sleep. We don't need to be dragging your ass around when you pass out." She smirked and it provoked a grin from the soldier before her.
"I'm fine," he stood and stretched with a grunt as if to prove his statement, "When are we going?"
"Soon. Jared told me the plants in the hydroponics sections is shut down. Putting it simply, we don't have anymore food that's harvestable from it and oxygen levels are going to start dropping, then plummeting." Noelle watched his face grow serious.
"How long do we have?"
"By Merrilee's calculations we have about a week." She watched him shift from foot to foot nervously as he turned from her and cursed.
"Don't tell anyone yet. I'm going to find Jared and we're having a meeting in five," she put a hand on his shoulder to turn him back towards her, "Sorry, I'm not the best person to be giving out bad news."
He placed a hand on her shoulder as well to mirror her, and a smile returned to Jerry's face, even warmer than before, "I wouldn't have a friend like you any other way. You put on your soldier face and you give it to 'em blunt. And you can be careful and nice. The difference is that you can use both when you need to." That was Jerry for her. He was like her substitute father.
"Thanks Jerry," She started to walk away and turned back as she did so. She put on her best joking face and used her teasing tone to say, "And get some sleep. That's an order!" She kept walking away and laughed to herself as he gave her a mock salute and chuckled to himself.
Okay, find Jared. She forced herself to focus on the immediate task at hand instead of thinking about having to go hunting for food again. Regardless of the equipment them carried, the number of soldiers they had, or the amount of time she had to pump herself up, the thought of going out of the secured room they had and into the infested halls beyond was horrifying. Noelle sighed with relief when she spotted the trademark slouched stance of her friend. He was talking with a woman, the name of whom she couldn't recall, pointing to various lines of text and numbers on a holographic display. She stood several paces away until he was finished and the woman walked away.
"So, what are we doing later?" She gave him a suggestive look. Jared rolled his eyes at her pseudo-sexual comment, closed the display, and said in an equally 'sexy' voice, "Sounds like you want some excitement."
"Oh, you know me," She leaned her weight on his side and dramatically laid her head on his shoulder, "I just live for risking my life by going out to look for food on a ship infested by zombies on steroids."
"Glad to know I'm not the only one that gets off on being chased by something that will most likely kill you." He turned his face to hers with the grin he seemed to always wear, yet it never failed to make her feel better.
She stood on her own and walked over to sit on a large metal crate, "We're getting the team together in a few minutes for a meeting. You game for a round of cat and mouse?"
"Well, we better get going soon," he patted her back in the direction of their improvised meeting room, "Early bird gets the worm."
She sighed but smiled, "Yeah, but the second mouse gets the cheese." They both laughed quietly as they walked.
A few minutes later Noelle sat on a chair at the head of a table with Jared and Merrilee on either side of her. Ten other soldiers, men and women, of various ages and races sat around the table. Noelle could feel the tension throughout the group, even as they chatted casually. Her best friend, Merrilee, was at her side trying to distract Noelle from her worries, but the topics of their conversations were hit and miss in keeping her attention.
"Hmmm?" Noelle was lost in thought. She hated herself for planning to drag her soldiers back into those halls of horror, putting their lives in danger. It felt like a cruelty.
"Yeah?" Noelle was finally broken from her revere and gave Merrilee an apologetic look, "Sorry Merr. Just got a lot on my mind."
"It's okay, love," her thick British accent made her hard to ignore among so many Americans, "I know you're stressed. We all are, but if you keep worrying something will happen to us you're going to go freakin' insane. I know being the leader of the team is tough, but you have to give yourself some slack. It's not your fault when people get hurt."
"It's not that easy. I make the decisions. If I make a bad call and someone is lost or killed… that's on me. Not them. But thanks for trying to cheer me up." Noelle gave her a weak smile for her efforts.
"Anytime, Noe." They shared a quick hug and parted as George strode into the room. A hush fell over the group as their highest leader, a tall lean man of about thirty-five, walked over and sat down in a chair near Noelle, Jared, and Merrilee. He was tall, well-built, and walked with a slight limp. It was a constant reminder of his years in the army. His dark hair shone in the dim lighting and his blue eyes seemed to glow despite the darkness.
"Alright guys," the silence was profound as his deep voice rang out, "Looks like we're going out again. Because we can no longer rely on the hydroponics section, being that it's shut down, we now have no other option but to search the ship for small stores, vending machines, anything we can break into and get supplies from. As usual, Noelle and I will lead with Jared and Merrilee second in command. Do not, I repeat, do not split up for any reason. If any of you do and I find out, the necromorphs may not get you but I sure will."
The hard look in George's eyes that grew as he warned the team softened, then disappeared as he looked them over and sighed. He looked to Jared and said, "What do you have on the stores and vending machines in the area?"
Jared pulled up a display that showed an overhead view of the corridors, "There are a few vending machines in the area and one or two stores, but that's pushing the boundaries. We can hit two vendings that would get us close to the nearest store but it's blocked by a locked door and I have no idea what's behind it. We've weeded out a lot of those bastards from the immediate area, but closed off rooms are a wild card we don't want to deal with."
Noelle watched as he whirled in his chair as he spoke and pointed at dots on the map, "Our best bet is to hit the nearest machines and get back a-sap."
"Sounds good," George put his gun in its holster and tightened the straps on his RIG and armor. This a loud clap of his hands he concluded, "Let's get moving!"
Author's Note:Hi everyone! Hope you enjoyed the first chapter of the story. I know the start is a bit slow but I promise it will pick up in the next chapter. Reviews are greatly appreciated. I'm in school right now so don't expect weekly updates. It will take me and average of about 2-3 weeks to get a chapter up depending on how long it is and how much time I have so please do not leave reviews about my update speed. Hope you enjoy and happy reading!