All right, second chapter! Okay, so again no action this chapter, and the events from Dead Space 2 has not transpired yet (probably won't until another chapter or so...). So, again, if you don't like the background stuff, then wait until next time.
Again, I apologize for the long wait, but not as long as two years, right? Haha...ha... ha... Anyway, Hurricane Sandy proved to be a huge challenge with my college work. However, I did have this chapter on the bench when I published the first chapter and had the "New Year" or, rather, story resolve to put out a chapter every two to three weeks. Unfortunately, before I could get back to it, my cat that I've had for 16 years had been taken away from me in one of the cruelest manners possible. Normally when I'm upset, I do turn to this story to vent, but the event that I went through was so... explicit, to put it bluntly, that I could not bring myself to work on this story or even bring myself to look at Dead Space at all as Slashers would remind me of it all. And, it took longer than usual to get over this between school and the lack of support.
I apologize for rambling, this still bothers me greatly. As a result, I really can't promise you guys another chapter that soon, but I promise I won't disappoint you guys with the quality of my chapters. (And, if I don't post the third chapter in time, then I hope all of you guys enjoy Dead Space 3 in February!)
Disclaimer: Most characters and some dialogue are owned by Visceral Games. Vivien, Zillia, and everything else are mine.
Today was one of the busiest days I've had in a long time. This is saying a lot as the busiest times of the year are the Unitologist holidays and the anniversaries of the red Marker's discovery; the day when my world went to hell.
Whenever I think about that day a shiver just crawls up my spine, filled with the memories and fear. I still can't believe it's been more than three years now, it feels as if it happened just yesterday. A nightmare from so long ago, haunting me to this very day... I'll never forget about the creature, the monster that stole its way into my head. I know from what Mercer had written to me long ago, claiming that it was a vaccine, claiming that it would save me. Mercer did save me, but I couldn't help but feel some other underlying motives watching the damned video log he had sent me. A log showing all of the events that had transpired, that he had noted in his little mementos... I watched him lose his sanity to zealotry, I watched Brant transform into a monster, and I even had to watch myself be injected with the virus, with Zillia, and watch the rest of the nightmare unfold within the Medical Wing.
I know what Mercer did was sincerely trying to help me, how could he not with all the information he had passed down to me during his last hour? He could have done something more with the last few moments he had before he became one of them. I am in debt to him for his honesty; where as everyone else fell short.
As a result of the truth being revealed, I set the shuttle's course of action to Titan's space station, the Sprawl. However, on the way to our destination, Isaac and I were picked up by a pleasure cruiser. Sadly, the ride was a bit on the hectic side... Especially while Isaac suffered from hallucinations. Despite us being able to make it to safety, Isaac was having a hard time. I was even having a difficult time, my mind playing tricks on me with its voice resounding in my head. At one point, I even thought I saw her- it, I mean it. I thought I saw it taking over my body and twisting it into a new grotesque form, the same shape and size every time. The first time I was about to see it pounce on Isaac, I shouted but it disappeared; everyone thought I was nuts, but Isaac would take the light away with episodes of his own.
Unfortunately, Isaac and I were soon split up, EarthGov taking custody of Isaac, lethargic as he was from another dementia episode. Meanwhile, I was brought down a different hall; detained in a medical examination room to check on my own mental health.
Before EarthGov could so much as escort me out of the room, the church of Unitology had stepped in, talking to EarthGov outside the room declaring their right to intervene; after all, I was traded away to be the church's property. To my surprise, I saw my father walk into the room, beckoning me to leave with him and the other Unitologists adorned with red, black, and white security suits. I still can't believe that I went with him, the man that would actually trade his own child away for a mere title. Should I have stayed with EarthGov, so that Isaac wouldn't be all alone?
...Or, that's what I would think if it weren't for the fact that I found out that EarthGov placed Isaac in and out of stasis confinement since then. Upon hearing of this information, I've been tracking down Isaac's location ever since. He's located in one of the hospitals near the government sector, but that's as much as I know. I don't even know which hospital it even is, or what EarthGov's planning to do away with him. Meanwhile, I've been living my own life while he's cooped up under their watch, who knows what they're doing with him.
However, this doesn't mean that I've been sitting around idly while this is going on with Isaac. Although, it's been three years since Isaac and I were separated, I finally gained the trust needed within the church of Unitology to have enough connections, even a plan, to break the poor engineer out. Despite the fact that it did took a few white lies to achieve the trust from the select members that I'd chosen for the job, they trust me completely, just like they do for my father. Unfortunately, this plan is still on the bench as we are lacking good opportunity to implement the plan, but we'll get Isaac soon.
In regards to Unitology, I'm still not quite interested in the religion as I make it seem. As the Enigma's daughter, I must uphold a certain image for the sake of the public. In return, my father has given me my own apartment in the Cassini Tower complex; even in the more established end of it, too. He even paid fully to have my biomedical treatment implemented for the sake of my flashbacks and episodes to the Ishimura incident. After all, having an Enigma's daughter acting out in such a way would not be a good view for the public to witness in the least, a plus for me. A further guise was also me going back to med school to become more established as a good, smart, and helpful student. Aside from attending every group, council, and community meetings possible, I'm not seen nor met by any members of the church outside of those meetings.
Well, okay, that was a bit harsh; I have been seen with six people in total. I have been seen with my father, further discussing med school and my paid internship at the Unitology Titan Elementary School. Despite the bitter malice I feel for my dad for leaving me on the Ishimura, taking advantage of his hospitality would better benefit me than leaving and having to deal with EarthGov, perhaps even be hidden from the public. It's because of the separation of the church and state that I'm free and Isaac isn't, after all. I've even sworn to EarthGov that I would declare the Ishimura incident a terrorist attack instead of a Necromorph outbreak; especially whenever others would inquire about my blind eye and the scarred skin.
Regardless, the other person and his parents are the three people that I see outside of church, aside from the two people in my small group of followers to break Isaac out of his stasis-like prison. The other person would be Benjamin Wilbourn, a sweet, shy, nine-year old that I take care of for his asinine, Marker-head parents. He's even over at my apartment now, sleeping in my bedroom while I take the couch in the living room.
The poor kid's normally ignored by his parents, them being far too enveloped by the religion like many others and ignores their only son more often than not. If even presented the opportunity, I would not doubt that his parents would desert him for a higher title in the religion, how sad. As a result, I have him sleepover and take him to the church's elementary school before heading to my internship that's held a few hallways away.
If getting pushed off to the side by your parents wasn't enough, he's also been picked on by his fellow peers... It's horrible to see Benjy suffer from bullying, but the adorable, little guy has been thanking me for being his first friend since I practically adopted him.
A few months back when the internship had started, I would frequently see Benjy come in with bruises and scrapes every other day. The nurse that I worked with informed me that Benjy was a regular and his timid nature; I respected his quietness, as I was myself. As for being a regular, I figured it was a boy thing between roughhousing with the other kids during play time and just being a playful kid. This behavior continued on for some time, with Benjy needing to be fixed up time and time again. To be frank, it disappoints me still that it took this long for me to investigate what was happening to him.
One day, I decided to look up his schedule and left the office to go monitor the third grader's recess time. I didn't even walk into the room yet when I saw Benjy and three other boys picking on him, two of them holding onto each of his arms while the third tore up one of Benjy's drawing in front of his face.
After the first rip, I came up and went to grab the three bullies to bring to the principal's office, but they had darted off. Benjy fell to his knees, crying as he picked up the torn drawing. I knelt beside him, doing my best to soothe Benjy and tell him that everything will be okay. Even telling the kid that, as a nurse, I can fix any wound, even to a drawing. After staying by his side for a bit longer, he eventually agreed to go to the nurse's office and remained there until the school day ended. The other nurse disapproved of my involvement, but I ignored her claims and had Benjy sit next to me at the desk as we worked together to fix his drawing, roleplaying as the surgeon and Benjy playing as the nurse passing along strips of tape.
By the end of the day, the bullying was brought to the attention of the administration and the amount of abuse to Benjy dwindled down thereafter, but definitely not the number of visits he makes to the nurse's office. The kid visits during lunch every day to eat with me, sometimes even faking a stomach ache here and there to see me more often during the day. Then after school, we separate at his apartment while I get ready for the Unitology service during most days. Afterwards, his parents would decide upon whether they'd want me to take care of him for the night or if they wanted to remind me that Benjy was their child and not mine.
As much as I dislike Benjy's parents, I still can't help but feel that they can't declare themselves to have that role while they care for a religion more than their child. Despite all this, Benjy had even stated once before that he wanted me to be his mother, that I'm there for him more. To be honest, I love the kid to pieces back, but... I'm not sure how I would feel if Benjy somehow found out about the Ishimura; sometimes it even incident scares me to death.
I mean, what would happen if he found out about Zillia and how I killed a group of survivors? Would he think of me as a monster? Would he still love me like he does now? More importantly, would the subject ever haunt me again in my new life?
Regardless, I ought to stop thinking so much right now, there's work to do tomorrow and I need to get some sleep. After all, this is my new life now, I just have to get used to it.
I fumble around in the dark until my hands are greeted with a pill bottle and my glowing alarm clock. I place the alarm clock on the covers, swallowing an extra dose of the sleeping aid. It's a quarter past two in the morning, and I've gotta be up at seven. I place everything back on the floor and go back under the covers, waiting for the sleeping pills to take over and bless me with slumber.
On the Ishimura, I was known as Vivien Ding, but here under my father's domain, I'm known to others as Fay "Faith" Zelaya; what a dumb nickname...
I'm in a dark, cold place, breathing heavily as I try to catch my breath, stumbling around and trying my best to move forward. My RIG is red, I'm on the verge of collapse, and I'm trying my best to get away from... something... something that caused my RIG to become red in the first place.
"Hello Vivien," a cold, familiar voice calls out to me in the darkness. I freeze in my tracks, fear instilling my body before I could take another step forward. And that's when I finally noticed it, what I was walking towards. A light flickered on by the exit further on from my part of the corridor, but it wasn't enough to give light to who was in the corridor with me.
The far too familiar sound of the snapping of bones, then dead silence before I finally realized a set of red, glowing eyes were set low on the ground, focusing on whatever was in front of it. An alarm began to set off in the distance, startling me. As a result, the being's head snapped up in my direction, growling low for only a moment.
"You can't keep running from me forever, Vivi," the entity told me, causing me to take a step back as the being's head began to rise. The lights flash for only a moment, but enough to reveal the figure in question...
It was a Necromorph, a familiar looking one at that. The Necromorph had only bloodied, boney blades on both arms, akin to how the infection had shaped Brant. The skin the Necromorph had very few imperfections aside from a number of burns, cuts, and the blood that painted upon both arms, of my arms. The Necromorph before me was in the process of getting up from the floor, their bloodied maw was twisted into a crooked smile with tendrils, akin to Brant's, snaking out in the gaps between my sharp fangs.
I hardly had enough time to look at the corpse torn apart before the grotesque monster. All that I could see was the figure was adorned with a bloodied and tattered blue-grey suit, one of the newer and most expensive suits on the market for Engineers at the current time. It was a man, but I couldn't take a glimpse at the man's face. All I could think of was run, run away from this entity.
Then I woke up.