Okay! This is a new idea I thought of. I wanted to try and write a story about the Church of Unitology and delve more into the Unitologist characters in Dead Space. I don't see a lot of stories about the Church, so I thought I'd try and write one of my own. I hope you enjoy this story!
DISCLAIMER: Only my OCs (Riley, Madison, Sutton, Marcus, and Delia) and plot are mine. Everything else belongs to Visceral Games and EA.
WARNING: There are Dead Space 1, Dead Space 2, and Dead Space: Aftermath spoilers throughout this story.
"Have you ever felt like you were meant to be part of something bigger? Then maybe Unitology is for you. Founded two hundred years ago by our savior, Michael Altman, Unitologists believe that one day, all mankind will be united through the power of a sacred artifact known as the Marker. We call this process Convergence. Imagine it. All mankind, brought together. With one purpose. With one mind. With one soul. No war. No fear. No hate. If that sounds like an ideal world to you, then look no further. Convergence is coming. And Unitology…is helping it happen."
February 17th, 2509-Titan News Headquarters
Another long day at the office.
Riley Bennett sighed as she continued to type away at her computer, not taking her eyes off the screen. If she didn't take a break soon, she was going to scream. She glanced down at the corner of the screen and saw it was 4:15 in the afternoon.
Just a little bit longer in this place, and then I can leave, she thought, stealing a glance out the window. It was the same view every time, and she couldn't help but feel bored by it all. She was out in space; things never changed out there. Saturn was still close by, and the sprawling "skyscrapers" of Titan Station greeted her as well.
Suddenly someone knocked on her door, and Riley immediately whirled around and returned to the computer, pulling up a different window. "Come in!" she called out.
The door opened, revealing her best friend, Madison Kincaid. "Hey, Riley!" she greeted, "I just thought I'd drop by and see what you're doing. What's going on?"
"Oh, not much," Riley replied, "I'm almost finished with my article. I just have to run it over to the editing room and then presto! I'm all done." She smiled, thinking about how great it would be to just abandon her work and wind down for a little bit. Although she loved her job, twelve hour shifts every day could be tiring sometimes.
Madison looked pleased. "Really?" she asked, "What are you writing about?"
At this question, Riley hesitated. She wanted nothing more than to share her work, but she knew now wasn't the appropriate time. If she showed Madison her latest project, her best friend wouldn't be too thrilled. "Just about the rise in unemployment for the CEC," she lied, "After what happened on the Ishimura last year, it's gotten bad and it's only gonna get worse from here."
"Right, the Ishimura," Madison said, nodding sagely, "Sutton was telling me about that earlier today before she headed out. Her boyfriend, Marcus, is with CEC."
Sutton Fields was Riley's other best friend, and she, Sutton, and Madison were inseparable. Growing up together on the Sprawl had been a big factor. They had all attended the same elementary school together, hung out together, and supported each other if anything bad happened.
"How's he holding up with all this?" Riley questioned.
Madison shrugged. "He seems to be all right, but he hardly talks about the situation. Only to Sutton." She then brightened up.
"Hey!" she cried, "There's this cool new bar that opened near the Concourse. Since Sutton's with Marcus, wanna go out for drinks with me and Delia after we get off from work?"
Riley wanted nothing more than to just relax and go out with her friend and boss, like they always did, but tonight, she had more important things on her mind. This was the first time she had ever passed up an invitation to go out for drinks. "I'd like to, but I can't," she acquiesced, "I…have some things to take care of at home."
Madison looked slightly disappointed, but then perked up again. "Oh, okay," she said, "We'll miss you, though."
Riley frowned. "I'll miss you guys, too," she replied, "But we'll get together tomorrow night. How's that?"
"Sounds good. I'll see you later!"
And with that, Madison flipped her long, blond hair over her shoulder and left the room.
Whew, Riley thought, wiping her forehead in relief, That was a close one. As soon as Madison shut the door behind her, Riley minimized the article about the CEC and returned to what she was really working on. She pushed some strands of light brown hair out of her eyes as she focused on the screen. It killed her not to tell Madison or Sutton what she was up to, but they would understand in the long run. The only one other than her that knew about this was Delia West, her boss, and she wanted it to stay that way.
Riley printed out two copies of the true article and packed one of them away in her bag. That one was for her own eyes. The other was for Delia. Once she was finished with that, Riley closed down her computer and gathered her things, heading for Delia's office.
"Hello, Riley," Delia greeted as soon as Riley entered the room, "How's it going?"
Riley held out the article. "I got it," she announced, handing it over. She watched as her boss quickly scanned the contents of the paper and felt a little nervous.
"This is good," Delia complimented, "Very good. Sounds like you're prepared to take on this task. Are you sure you want to do this? You know who you're about to deal with, right?"
Riley sighed. "Of course," she said, "I'll be careful. I promise."
"You better be. You've always been one of my most level-headed employees. Just remember that."
Riley took another deep breath. "I'll remember that," she repeated.
"Good." Delia smiled. "See you tomorrow."
Nodding, Riley left the office.
"Titan News," a man announced from the high-tech television in Riley's living room, "The news YOU care about from around the Station, delivered 11 hours a day." A catchy jingle played in the background, along with the symbol for EarthGov. Suddenly, the screen switched over to the news anchor, along with a picture of the USG Ishimura and Aegis VII, the planet the Ishimura had cracked open last year.
"And in our top stories tonight, Dr. Isabel Cho has confessed to being the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the USG Ishimura, Aegis VII, and the USG O'Bannon. She is currently being detained by EarthGov for further questioning…"
Riley leaned back on her couch, taking a sip of wine as she watched the news clip play over and over again. Pictures of Isabel Cho appeared one right after the other, between pictures from her college days and others where she wielded a machine gun in her hands. Her expression was blank, Riley noticed, but this was hardly surprising. EarthGov probably tortured that confession out of her, she thought bitterly, drinking some more wine and resting her arm against the arm rest next to her.
She considered Cho again and was thankful that nothing like what had happened on the Ishimura had happened on Titan Station. She would hate to think of what would happen if she ended up being uprooted from her Titan Heights apartment.
Riley Bennett didn't like change too much. Or EarthGov, despite the fact that Titan News was owned by EarthGov. Great, she thought, rolling her eyes, I'm an EarthGov employee. But it's a job, which I love and appreciate every day.
She'd just love it even more if it wasn't affiliated with the government.
Riley wasn't even sure why she hated EarthGov so much, but she knew there was a reason. She just couldn't figure out what it was yet.
She took another sip of wine as she reached for the article she had written for Delia, the one she hadn't wanted Madison to see. Ironically, there was a break in the news, which switched over to a commercial advertising Unitology.
Unitology. The fastest growing religion over the last two hundred years. Riley didn't know what to make of the New Age religion, but she cast aside her opinions on it for the time being as she read the article.
"Well, today's the day. I've finally heard back from Daina Le Guin, and she's decided that I'm to meet her at the Church tomorrow evening. She wants to go over the…'basics' of Unitology with me, but I think she really just wants to see what kind of person I am. What she won't know, however, is that I'm not planning on joining the Church of Unitology at all. I'll be going in as an undercover journalist to see what secrets her religion is packing. This shouldn't be a problem; nobody outside my circle of friends and family sees me, and as long as I use a pseudonym, things should go according to plan."
Riley finished reading the article and sighed, realizing that she'd left one of the most important parts out: her reasons for wanting to do this. She found herself glancing at a picture of her, Madison, and Sutton that was taken a few years ago. She took in Sutton's medium length black hair and light blue eyes, and she sighed to herself. After putting the picture down, she reached for an audio log and began to record herself speaking in that. She had been doing this for the last year after her therapist had suggested it to her. That was another story in itself.
"Now, anybody who doesn't know me is probably wondering why I'd even want to get involved with Unitology. Well, to tell you the truth…it's Sutton. I know she's going out with Marcus, but other than that, Madison and I hardly see her anymore, and frankly, it's starting to make me worried. Sutton can be…secretive sometimes, and if either Madison or I asked her, she would beat around the bush. We know she's joined the Church, but I have no idea what she's doing with them, so that's why I'm doing this. From what I've seen, all the Unitologists are extremely devout, and highly critical of those who don't follow them. So why is Sutton getting involved with them? She's never shown interest in the Church before, and she's pretty grounded, so this definitely isn't like her at all. I'm hoping to find some answers from all this. Fortunately, I know what times Sutton attends church, so I'll go at a different time so that she doesn't catch on. I just hope I can get her out of there before it's too late. And bring some of the church's secrets to light, while I'm at it."
Riley hit the Stop button and closed her fist around the audio log, feeling better already. Sometimes, she just needed to vent.
And she had a lot to vent about. Her therapist helped, but she was hoping for something…more. Perhaps in understanding why Sutton was all of a sudden flocking to the church of Unitology, Riley would get the answers she wanted.
With that, she retired to her room, trying to get to sleep as early as possible so that she could calm herself down. She had to admit she was nervous; what would Daina Le Guin have in store for her tomorrow?
She'd just have to wait and find out.