Dead Space belongs to Visceral Studios and Electronic Arts. I own nothing, fyi. Thanks for the support everyone. Here's to chapter six!

DEAD SPACE: ON BOARD

Chapter 6: War is Hell

The worried chatter of the mass below Isaac and the others was deafening. The poor engineer could hear nothing else and feared if the creature came overtop of them he'd be unable to hear so. Nevertheless, his Rivet gun pointed the way of the door.

One of Alissa's men pointed to the spanning panes of glass that led straight to the doorway. A blackly mass, hulking and potent in its stride, trudged past and reared itself into the shut door with a sick, heavy thud. All four of them jerked but kept their respective firearms up. One of the guards quickly checked his magazine to make sure it had plenty of ammunition at the ready.

Another thump, this one loud enough to dull half the chatter of the folks down below came again. The door bowed inward some but yielded none of its strength. Alissa motioned for one of her men and Isaac to accompany her to the door to check its durability. As the fourth, nearby officer took a couple steps, the head officer spun her head and pointed her hand like a gun over to one of the panes of glass. The guard regrettably obliged. As they closed in on the door Alissa motioned to Isaac once more. She shouted through the receiver of his helmet to bolt down the base of the door, lest the monster somehow discovers how to open it. He did as he was told and knelt down to begin the procedure.

As the engineer's first bolt rammed through the thick metal of the door one of the windows blew in sending shards into the man where armor hadn't protected him, shortly thereafter, the beast lunged inside as well.

It tackled the unfortunate officer and skidded over the floor with him in tow. A wide streak of crimson fluid followed its path as it careened into a number of tables and chairs set up in the usual manner of a mess hall. A couple souls that had yet to make it to the deck below cried out in frightful panic.

The creature, made up of several bodies of the dead jerked violently. It whipped the shredded remains of the officer across the room where it flopped over line forming barriers like a mere rag. Its head, what looked to be a head, opened with a set of three-jointed jaws. A ghastly snarl erupted from somewhere deep inside it. It sounded to Isaac like four or maybe even five pair of lungs had come together to bellow out such a nasty, deep noise.

Alissa and her remaining aid opened relentless fire on the thing. Each round hardly pierced its ominous, thick hide. It charged the two of them and they disbanded in opposite directions of one another. It continued its rampage toward the nameless officer who stumbled and crashed down to his back as his rifle clattered over the tiling. He looked back up just in time to see his death happen.

A pair of massive, bone crushing arms came down on him like a wrecking ball. The arms, made up of several upon several arms and legs of the worst off people Isaac had ever seen. Horror stricken faces peered out from the bulk of the monster in every which way. The thing, now closer to Isaac decided he was its next target. It slammed its overbearing arms down again and off it went straight for him. Isaac could hear the tile and metal beneath its massive form crack and moan with every blow it sent out as it moved. He was suddenly paralyzed, knowing he had to move, yet knowing he somehow couldn't. The reason was intangible to him and the concept of dodging such a nightmare at that particular moment seemed out of the question. There was no way around it now.

Isaac Clarke was dead.

Alissa Vincent threw herself into him and they both teetered out of the creature's path, but barely. Isaac went to get up but Alissa forced his back against the floor instead. Her eyes peered in through his visor, into his own. They were wild and filled with a fuel he'd never before seen.

"Do you wanna live or do you wanna die, you son of a bitch?"

The head officer had given him a primal ultimatum. Live or die, it was something he never necessarily thought he'd ever have to hear as a CEC engineer, a computer geek. That was when adrenaline soaked his bones and he sprawled out from under her.

In the heat of the moment he'd dropped and subsequently lost the Rivet gun. Knelt down and fidgeting forth with his hands he looked like an old time soldier rummaging through a trench. And now the beast was after him again. This time Vincent was far and away reloading her gun for another round of punishment. Isaac panicked and grabbed the first thing he could manage to his grasp: A standard issue mining Plasma Cutter.

This device made carving rock simplistic as it delivered short quick bursts of hot, searing plasma over minerals. It was like a pickaxe but much more powerful and accurate. It had to be modified to better work against moving targets and the like, but even in this state, in that moment, Clarke knew he could utilize the machine.

With the monster now over him he brought up the cutter and pulled the rigid trigger unleashing a split second burst of rock-cracking fire. The thing yelped but forced its way regardless. It struck Isaac and bowled him over. He would be lying if he proclaimed it didn't hurt, but it was good enough for him it hadn't killed him.

Alissa found her way to Isaac's side and they both brought up their weapons. Simultaneously they opened fire. The rounds from Alissa's P-Sec pistol did little against its armored plating made of what could only be thought of as human bone. It snarled out loud at them and started a new course back at the couple.

Something came to Clarke's mindset then. Like a voice in his very skull he instantly believed he knew what to do. Seeing a speckle of flesh between the beast's armored plating Isaac delivered blast after blast to that one spot. Brown fluid, most likely oxidizing blood, spewed out with every shot that connected. Alissa followed suit and now both engineer and officer aimed for its exposed, deadened skin. As it reached dreadful range of them its arm came unhinged as if it had been connected with nothing more than a peg. It crashed to the floor and flopped mercilessly around like a helpless infant then.

Feeling the deed was done Isaac lowered the cutter. It had only one blast left in its cartridge, luckily enough for him. Vincent wasn't, however. She flung her form over back of the monster and began unloading repeated shots into its back. It shrieked in corresponding pain, or what only could be described as pain, until it was near motionless. Then, without loss of vigor, she brought the pistol to the back of the thing's cranium point blank. With that done the hellish creature fell entirely void of life… or lack thereof.

Isaac undid his helmet, needing to vent rage and terror or simply cooling off his sweat covered face he couldn't answer. The helmet fell neatly into his arched, gloved fingers he threw it as hard as he could into the seeping mass of the now motionless entity. With his hands now on his knees he bent and dry heaved a few times. He wished to vomit if only for the sake of vomiting. He had to release this god forsaken tension somehow, some way.

Vincent made her way to him and patted his back. He couldn't feel it due to the dense nature of his suit in that area but he responded just the same. This response was a violent one.

"What the fuck was that?" he demanded, his voice high in fright.

"I'm not sure… something new, apparently. I've never seen anything like it."

Isaac Clarke attempted to pool his words together but they poured out through some unseen mental crack. He flailed his arms like a madman on drugs but that could only convey so little. At last his lips could match his brain. "Just what in the—how are you so calm about all this-this…Shit?!"

Alissa replenished yet another fresh clip into her pistol before holstering it for good. From the corner of her mouth she blew the vibrant red hair out from in front of her eyes. The headstrong officer then gazed deep and hard into Isaac's tired pupils.

She swallowed a dry lump. "Having to be in the security department we underwent quite the hell of training. Not saying we were ever properly prepared for shit like this, but… call me odd, but I think in a way this is where I shine. Like I'm meant for this or something."

Isaac turned his back to her. What she'd said to him then, adhering to how it was she'd spoken it with little spirit, made the engineer not want to look at her. Stiffened hands, like talons, raked through what hair Clarke still had atop his head. "I can't say I share that feeling," he exclaimed. Why did he feel regrettable in saying that?

Neither the officer nor the engineer appeared to be good in situations such as these: awkward encounters. Ironically enough, it seemed in the heat of battle the two of them were closer than when solace eclipsed them. Alissa broke the bearing silence first.

"I'm still after Kyne," she began. "Someone as improvisational as yourself could be quite the help in the hunt, seeing as I've lost my current help… God rest their souls."

God, Isaac thought mockingly in his brain. What type of role did He play? His train of random thought was broken.

"What do you say, engineer? Want to do more than fuss with wires?"

If Isaac could have laughed he probably would have at that smart remark. But that side of him just wasn't in him then. In fact, at that point in time for that snide slip of the tongue he wanted to deck Alissa Vincent like no other before her. But he wasn't like that. He let the unnecessary remark slide.

"I can't," he said, turning back to face her finally. "There's something I already have to do."

Alissa got close to him; so close, in fact, Clarke could feel her steaming breaths roll over his already sweating cheeks. It felt cool due to that. Then she backed off as if she'd had a suspicion confirmed.

"You're searching for someone yourself, right?"

Isaac didn't respond. Even when all seemed lost it was still none of this woman's business what, or rather who it was, he was after.

"I hope you find them," Vincent proclaimed. "Keep your channels open, though. In case I need help. All things considered in this forsaken place I just may." The head officer slipped one leg out through the opening made by the beast in between jagged fingers of maniacal glass. She twisted her upper body to peer back at the forlorn engineer a final time. "What's your name?" An innocent question if there ever was one.

Isaac Clarke, at last put the Plasma Cutter away knowing he'd still have to wrangle up more ammo from some place. "Isaac. My name is Isaac Clarke."

Alissa motioned a non-specific nod. "I hope we meet again, Isaac." That being said the officer was off and away before the man could muster a reply, not that he could form one. Hearing someone finally call him by proper name was off-setting somewhat.

Like a brainless ghoul Isaac meandered over to his tossed helmet and hoisted it from the tiled floor. An already drying patch of blood was smeared across the forehead of it. Somehow he no longer cared and placed the stifling head piece back on regardless. Some of the other crew returned topside to gaze at the aftermath. They all buzzed with nonsensical talking like bees or flies. A couple times some of them screamed or gasped. The engineer blocked them out. These sheep, this herd, was no longer of any concern to him. There was only one top priority to be had.

Nicole. That was right. His one saving grace was the only thing he could rely on now. Nicole. He hoped with every fiber of his being she was still alive. She just had to be.

Slowly he made his way to the same shattered pane that Vincent used as her escape. "This is gonna be a hell of a long day."