DEAD SPACE: MASSACRE
-Detailing the events aboard the USM Valor
All rights belong to Visceral and EA Games
"USG Ishimura Pod 47, this is USM Valor, responding to your distress call. Please respond."
"Damn it! Is anyone even alive in there?"
Cortez shrugged and returned to speaking into his headset. Graham just turned around and walked into the armory.
"This is Captain Cadigan. Prepare for pod retrieval. I want squads 3 and 5 to head down to Airlock D-7. Be prepared for armed conflict. ETA to Ishimura, around four hours."
"Two full squads?" Lieutenant Jessie McKenzie chuckled and tossed Graham's SWS Motorized Pulse Rifle to him, as she grabbed her own Seeker rifle. "I think Cadigan's off his rockers. How much damage could one pod do?"
"We do as we are told!" Gunnery Sergeant Frederic snapped, loading his pistol and shoving it in his belt before grabbing his own pulse rifle "Now get your ass down there or someone's on waste recycling duty until we get back to Mars!"
"I thought we were just going to blow the damn thing to hell…" Corporal Michael Jefferson grumbled "They made me load all that ordinance for nothing?!"
The pod registered as Pod 47 from the planet cracker USG Ishimura. It carried a distress call, an automated one. "Whoever was in there, they aren't anymore." Cortez said into Graham's earpiece. He was still up at the communications station, sending messages to the Ishimura. "I'm reading zero life signs. Some unusual power fluctuation though…"
"Yeah, well your job's still a whole lot better than this shit. What are we doing out here anyway?"
"Didn't you here what Cadigan said?"
"Umm…lowly Gunnery Sergeant, anyone? I'm not senior staff. Why are we out here?"
"Okay…this isn't one of those sci-fi shows you watch. You really need to check the chain of command. And I didn't hear him per-say…I overheard him talking about those nuclear warheads they loaded us up with and the Ishimura. Guess we're blowing it sky-high. That, and Jefferson's comment earlier."
"Good. That wreck should have been blown a year ago. T'ain't right having something go on beyond its expiration date. That's just asking for bad luck."
"I thought it was going to be decommissioned in a year?"
"Whatever…the pod's coming in."
As a cargo crane set the pod down on the bay floor, the marines closed around the hatch, forming a semi-circle. "Weapons ready…" Frederic murmured. He motioned for McKenzie to open the hatch while Private Lewis and Corporal Jefferson prepared to enter the pod. Nodding, McKenzie unsealed the pod and Lewis and Jefferson ran to either side of the hatch before glancing in.
"Empty…" Jefferson said uncertainly. Frederic nodded for the rest of the team to provide cover as he and the two marines entered the pod.
"Power's out." Jefferson muttered as they entered the pod. Two rows of seats ran along each side of the narrow walkway. Panels had been ripped out, and the lights were flickering. Something distinctly looking to be blood splattered the wall. Frederic shuddered involuntarily.
"Got a body." Lewis said, bending down beneath the seats. "Someone get me a light…"
Outside the pod, the marines heard Lewis's frantic shriek, followed by gunfire and the sound of shredding flesh. McKenzie dived back from the hatch, and then Jefferson's upper torso came flying out, knocking over three marines. His legs followed, bashing into another marine, causing him to fire and strike the man to Graham's left, blowing his head apart.
"Open fire!" Graham didn't realize the high-pitched voice was his own until he was pumping rounds into the pod. The marines reformed their semi-circle around the hatch and let loose with their rifles. Blue pulse rounds and seeker beams blasted away at the hatch, and a good number ended up cratering the wall around the pod hatch. Only when their ammo clips ejected did the marines stop.
Lewis stumbled out, holes ripped through his armor and his helmet torn to shreds. Part of his helmet had been incinerated, and the skull bone underneath had been shattered, with some brain matter dripping down. His intestines peeked shyly from the dozens of puncture wounds in his abdomen. They could see through him in his left shoulder and right lower torso. With a gurgle, Lewis wobbled and pointed behind him before collapsing. His RIG went dead a few seconds later. Graham's jaw dropped as the sudden realization of the murder of their colleague kicked in. They had just killed him…
What came out after him was something of a nightmare, and quickly drew Graham from his state of shock. The body was human, but that was where the similarity ended. Two extra arms extended from its shoulders, with wicked blades at the end. The limbs of these arms resembled the inner muscular-skeleton of normal arms, with ligaments covering alien bone wrapped with utterly haphazardly-stacked muscle. Two arms poked out of its abdomen, almost as if from the intestines themselves.
The thing was hunched forward, and its lower jaw was gone, with a bloody maw spewing blood at the marines. The skin was pale and ripped all over, with muscle exposed as well as the spine and rear part of the rib cage. The legs were twisted and the bones of the ankles inverted. There were several small frog-like creatures clinging onto the thing.
"What the hell-?!" McKenzie had her neck slashed open as she fumbled to reload her rifle. The next marine opened fire, but missed, and the monster grabbed him and swung him around, his wild firing taking down more of his colleagues before ripping him apart. His head went one way, his body the other, and his arms to the floor. The Marines panicked; they were cut down one by one as they tried to reload their rifles, the creature closing the distance before they could bring them up to bear.
Graham gave up on reloading his rifle; it would gut him by the time he did, and fired his Plasma pistol at the thing, but even though his firing tore a hole through its chest, it didn't go down. His second shot blew off its left bladed arm, and the thing recoiled. It bowled over a Marine, slashing open her chest, before ramming the cargo bay entrance door open and disappearing down a corridor.
"Derby, Sharon, after him…her…just go!" The two Marines dashed after the thing. Graham turned to see the remainder of the two squads. Out of forty odd marines, eleven were left standing, not including Derby and Sharon. Graham ran into the pod, and found Frederic rolling around, clutching his mid-section. Blood was pouring from dozens of wounds, and most looked infected. Yellow foam was forming around his mouth and he was making strange retching noises. Several of the smaller monsters were clinging onto him, stabbing him with little proboscis. With a roar, Graham ripped them off and tore them to pieces. He noticed yellowish fluid coming from the proboscis.
"Frederic?" The marine looked at him pleadingly. His eyes were blood-shot and had that look that all marines dreaded to see on one of their own: Please kill me, end the pain.
"Not today, soldier." Graham shook his head "Hazelle! Jackson! Get Gunny Fred to the Infirmary ASAP!"
"This is the USM Valor, widecasting on all frequencies to USG Ishimura in response to your SOS signal. We've picked up your escape pod number 47 and are en route to your position. This message will repeat every thirty seconds until you respond."
Cortez set the transmitter to continue repeating the message as he checked the security cameras. Odd…Frederic and Graham should have reported in by now…
Graham arrived in the Infirmary, McKenzie over his shoulder, fireman style. Amazingly, the soldier was still alive; but just barely. He didn't know how long the stasis would hold, but she was still losing blood, and all the stasis patch had done was just force it to collect at the wound, not stop bleeding. If he didn't hurry, she would drown as her throat filled with her own blood. As if to reinforce his point, she retched and a bloody ball of spittle splattered all over him.
Frederic was already lying on a bed. Doctors had already cut off his damaged Advanced Military RIG, but all they succeeded in doing was revealing more of whatever infection was spreading throughout Frederic's body. He was coughing violently, and a nurse was hovering over him, trying to keep his vitals stable. Graham plopped McKenzie down on the nearest bed, before two doctors began to operate on her.
"Punctured carotid artery and severe lacerations to the abdomen…" Graham managed to wheeze out, out of breath from running so hard. "Managed to slow blood loss to abdomen wounds, but neck injury is still…we did all we could…"
"Thank you…now please, let us do our work." One of the doctors said urgently "suction, somebody…"
"Are they going to be okay?" Graham asked, glancing over at Frederic. He heard the steady beep of the marine flatlining. Someone ran over with a gurney.
The same thing.
"Keep trying, damn it! Charge to 500…"
"Sir, I need you to leave now!" A doctor grabbed him roughly and led him to the door, before pausing and loosening his grip. Graham realized he saw the blood splattered all over Graham's suit; the blood of his fellow crewmates. The doctor shook off whatever revulsion he was experiencing at seeing the aftermath of the massacre and continued pushing Graham towards the door. "We're doing all we can to help…"
"Doctor Collins, get over here, stat!" The doctor released Graham and ran over to Frederic.
Graham walked out of the med bay before sending a message to Cadigan through his RIG. Surprisingly, the captain's image showed up immediately after he sent the message.
"Have you eliminated the hostile?" Cadigan asked; frown lines etched deep across his face. So he knew about it. Graham wanted to ask the question, but duty came first. THEN he would verbally throttle him.
"Unknown sir. Sir, what the hell was that thing? It tore through most of my squad and all of Frederic's in less than ten minutes! If you knew about this, you bastard…I…" He let out a breath and calmed down "…sorry sir."
"Continue, Sergeant Graham."
"It ran off after attacking us, but we're tracking it. Sharon and Derby should have reported…" Graham stopped when he heard screaming from the infirmary. The lights flickered and then went out, but just before they did, he saw blood splattered the windows of the infirmary. The amount suggested it was from more than one victim. After a few moments, the emergency lights kicked in, basking Graham in an eerie yellow-white glow.
"Graham? Eleven RIG signals just hit rock bottom. What's going on down there?"
"Sir…I think I've found our bogie." Graham whispered, listening as the screaming continued. Someone was slammed up against the window, but whoever it was, they were blurred by the blood.
"Acknowledged…" Suddenly, there was the sound of gunfire on Cadigan's end of the RIG link. Shouting men and women could be heard in the background.
Cadigan switched to the ship-wide intercom "This is Commander Cadigan! We have hostiles onboard! This is NOT a drill! Hostiles are alien, repeat, ALIEN and extremely dangerous! All personnel have weapons ready and fire at will!"
Just at that moment, Sharon contacted him through his RIG. "We had it sir, but it tricked us. Played dead." Damn it; that was where the thing went.
"Derby never stood a chance…wait…did Cadigan just say we have hostiles, not a hostile?"
Graham froze, and then drew his rifle, filling the pulse rounds while making sure his pistol and blade were secure. "If that thing was with you, then what the hell is in the infirmary?"
"Infirmary, sir…?" Graham was about to answer when the link went dead. Rather, a shower of small sharp objects slammed against his RIG, damaging the communications device. Glancing down the hall, he soon realized what had hit him. Several of the emergency lights gave out, exploding in a fiery mess of glass and fire. He plucked a few shards from his armor and they shattered on the ground.
At that moment, the windows were smashed open and something leaped out. It was the doctor who had made Graham leave. Dr. Collins…at least, it looked like him. Two blades extended from his arms, and two small arms burst out of his gut, ripping through his uniform. Without warning, his face split open to reveal a maw of mini-tentacles and a bloody skull. He looked almost like that thing that killed Graham's squad. Was it masquerading as the doctor…?
Graham managed a glance over its shoulder to see something large and bat-like hovering over McKenzie's corpse. It extended some sort of probe into her forehead, before turning around. With a jolt, Graham realized it was Frederic. The only reason he knew was because it still had the ragged remains of Frederic's uniform. But other than that…it was like something out of the horror movies. He couldn't even tell it had been human; the thing was all skin and bones. It looked like a bat, with the leathery wings instead being the skin of Frederic's torso, arms, and legs stretched out. The bones of its wings were his arms and legs. What had happened to him?
The Slasher rushed Graham, and the marine kicked into automatic drive. His friends back on Earth always jeered at his insistence on carrying a modern version of the ancient Japanese sword, the katana. This version was energized and the middle of the blade was hollowed out, allowing for more aerodynamic strikes.
Graham sliced the Slasher from shoulder to waist, before swinging again, taking out its left arm and decapitating it. The thing struggled for a few moments and then went still. Wincing, Graham realized the thing had managed to clip him in the shoulder. Blood dripped from the wound as he gritted his teeth, sealing it with a bandage. That was when he heard the growling.
Looking up, Graham saw McKenzie stumble out the door. Blood dripped from her once-pristine blonde hair, and her eyes had a deadened look to them. She began jerking violently, and two sharpened blade-like bones ripped through her hands. Her skull cracked and morphed, twisting her face beyond recognition. Behind her, the bodies of the infirmary staff rose up and began twisting and jerking as they too were changed…
The new Twitcher moved toward him, seeming to jump insanely fast from spot to spot before coming at him. McKenzie's face was the only thing that didn't move. No, her cold dead eyes stayed constantly fixed on his as she crossed the length of the corridor in seconds.
"Drop sir!" Graham dropped, more out of instinct to the sound of rifles cocking then as a response. A storm of pulse rounds blew what had been McKenzie apart, with some seeker blasts destroying two of the infected doctors behind her. The rest of the medical staff hissed and disappeared into the vents.
Glancing up, Graham saw Sharon and a handful of marines with rifles raised. "You alright sir?" One of them asked. Bernard Ray, if Graham's memory served him correctly.
"That thing disappeared into the vents. Cadigan ordered us here; said something about a biohazard."
"Was that Jessie?" Private Compton asked. "Dear god…what happened to her?"
"You tell me…" Graham picked up his rifle and checked it for damage. Nothing permanent. Good. "We need to get up to the bridge. Find out what the hell's going on."
"Dismembering seems to be the only way to take them down…at least, incapacitate them…" Sharon reported. Her RIG was scuffed and covered in blood splatters. She had discarded her helmet, and judging by the scratch marks on her neck plates, Graham could guess why.
Cortez winced as he dragged himself towards his service weapon. It had been knocked from his hand during the fight. The call from Cadigan came just as the Slasher from the pod had jumped out of a maintenance panel, killing or severely wounding the other bridge personnel. No one was piloting the ship. They were going to crash into the Ishimura. He desperately tried to crawl over to the control station, but he quickly realized the effort and distance would kill him before he made it halfway.
The comm was blinking. Groaning, he dragged himself towards it. That, at least, was reachable. He heard someone talking on it. It was a woman's voice. He didn't recognize it. It must have come from the Ishimura.
"USM Valor, this is Kendra Daniels of the USG Ishimura, come in! Do not open the escape pod! USM Valor, this is Kendra Daniels of the USG Ishimura, come in! Do not open the escape pod!"
Cortez managed to grab ahold of the chair and get into the range of the camera. He saw the woman, and a smaller screen of someone in a miner's uniform. They both looked over his shoulder. Too late, Cortez saw the gleaming blade that ended his life in one swift blow.
"Warning: Approaching vessel at unsafe velocity. Please activate standard docking procedures…Warning: Approaching…" The voice droned on. But there was no one to hear it. The bridge crew lay dead, and the Slasher had reentered the vents. From his position inside the turret, Isaac Clarke watched as the Valor sped towards the Ishimura. He had seen the Slasher tear apart that marine. Why, why did they have to open the escape pod?!
Graham and his team had been chasing down shadows when the Valor collided with the Ishimura. Ray had been thrown up as the gravity plate beneath him buckled, and it was only thanks to Compton's stasis of him that he wasn't dead. However, the young man was now trapped on the ceiling, moaning incoherently. Graham grabbed one of the marine's Seeker Rifles and ended Ray's misery with one blast. "Keep an eye out for the grav plating." Graham warned them in a hollow voice "You get stuck in that, you're either dead or you'll wish you were."
Compton made to comment when suddenly, the vent behind him was smashed apart, and something with human-like hands grabbed him and dragged him back into it. "Ryan!" Graham roared, diving in and grasping the private's left foot and left arm. Sharon ran to help, along with three of the remaining marines. The other four had their weapons raised, ready to let loose once Compton was out of the line of fire. Compton was screaming obscenities now, as his struggles became more and more desperate. A second pair of arms grabbed him, and the private began screeching at the top of his longs as Graham saw him firing wildly behind him into the darkness. His shots briefly illuminated the head and shoulder of a grotesque human-like creature that stuck out of a vent that shot off to the side. It roared and lowered its head to Compton's neck. The other arms grabbed his firing arm.
A spray of blood splattered Graham's helmet and Sharon's face. They finally pulled Compton's body out…minus his head and right arm. "Open fire!" Graham said hoarsely, shocked at the private's sudden end. The marines emptied their clips into the vent, but the creatures had already sped off.
"Dear god…" One of the marines puked as he looked over Compton.
"Sir, we're down to nine marines, and we just used up a quarter of our ammo, which wasn't very much to begin with." Sharon said, tearing Graham's gaze away from Compton's dismembered body "We need to get to the bridge and find out what the hell is going on."
"And how are we going to do that?" Graham argued "I'll tell what I know is going on; those things managed to eliminate more than 20 people in less than an hour; that's a little under a third of our crew. ONE of them managed to do that and infect our fellow comrades, and god knows how many more of those things will eventually find their way into the ship. We managed to take out FOUR of them, and that was only because we took them by surprise. They can hit us whenever they like, and as you pointed out, we're low on ammo!"
One of the marines, Casey Hendricks, an engineer, began working on Graham's damaged RIG. Graham stopped his rant while the marine began replacing the crushed circuitry. "We know they don't respond well to dismemberment." Sharon reasoned "We have that advantage. If there's no one on the bridge, we take whatever we need and take one of the Ishimura's shuttles and get the hell out of here."
"If that thing came from the Ishimura, there's a good chance the ship's swarming with those things. Probably already boarding us." Hendricks muttered "Okay, that should do it." Graham's RIG communicator sprang to life. As much as it pained him, the Valor was lost. They had to get back to Earth and report on the situation.
Graham took the Seeker Rifle from Compton's body. "Take whatever supplies you find along the way. I have a feeling we'll need them…"
They made it to the second floor of the mess when they saw the killing. Dozens of the creatures were ripping apart the marines and crew of the Valor. Others…they were mutating into more of the creatures that McKenzie had become.
"Don't fire…" Graham warned his squad "We can't help…" Hendricks screamed as something resembling a mutant merman leaped over the guardrail and ripped his chest open. The Leaper then turned its attention to the rest of the squad.
Privates Marcus Donavan and Charlie Brent blasted it back with their Seeker Rifles, but Brent was decapitated from behind as a Slasher, whom they believed to have been dead, leaped up and swung at him. Donavan managed to dive away as Graham and Peterson dismembered the thing. Lieutenant Rebecca Lee grabbed Donavan, but the thing that killed Hendricks grabbed her and began tearing into her face. Her RIG flatlined after it reached her brain.
"Move!" Graham barked. The remaining six marines dived through a door, sealing it behind them. Caroline Walters, munitions expert, lobbed a grenade through the door just as it closed. The outline of a Slasher as it slammed into the door from the blast gave them all the frights.
"We have to…" Graham glanced up. Through a glass window, he could see a dark-skinned muscular man with a Pulse Rifle climb out of a vent across the chasm that was the cargo bay below. The man didn't look like anyone from the Valor… "Hey!" Graham banged on the glass, but the man didn't notice them. He seemed to be talking to someone on his RIG, as he blasted through two Twitchers. He disappeared around a corner.
"Incoming…" Sharon barked. The Slashers broke through the door. Two grenades lobbed by Caroline blew apart three, but they just kept pouring through the door. "Retreat!" Graham barked. He slammed his fist down on an emergency bulkhead panel, and the large slab of metal slid shut, bisecting a Leaper as it came forward, but cutting off all but two of the Necromorphs. Private Cecily Damien ran over and tried to activate the lift door once the last Necromorph fell, but it wouldn't respond.
"I'll have to override it!" She tore off a panel and began rummaging through inner switches and consoles.
"We should be…" Donavan's sentence trailed away as something big slammed against the door. The sound of something backing away and then slamming into it again caused all present to back a few inches.
"Cecily…get that door open now…" Graham muttered, reloading his rifle. The others did the same.
"I'm trying." The bulkhead was stretched inward as a huge first slammed against it. It wouldn't hold for long.
"Something's wrong! The system's not responding to my override!" Cecily called back. She tried another combination. No success "I'll have to hotwire it!" She tore off a panel and began ripping through circuitry.
Peterson ran over to her. "The system's showing this room on lockdown!" He called as Cecily succeeded in something, judging by her victorious chuckle.
"By whose authority?!"
"…Captain Cadigan's, sir!"
Graham opened his newly-repaired RIG communications link to Cadigan in the armory. "Sir, why have you locked us in!?" Cadigan backed into view, firing at something beyond the edges of the screen.
"I can't risk you bringing this thing back to Earth. We're all going to die!" He snarled. He swung at a bladed arm and resumed firing.
"DAMN YOU!" Graham roared into the screen "My men are dying-…" He stopped when Cadigan began screeching as he was overwhelmed, the things just piling on top of him. The communications cut out. If Cadigan had only locked down their room, it meant they were probably the last survivors…
The bulkhead was stretched even further, with a small hole ripped through. Through that, they could see a grotesque face and a hideous clawed fist of something the size of a black bear smashing into the door. With a roar, it slammed into the bulkhead again, this time, ripping another hole through it.
Sharon and Donavan shoved their rifles into the breaches and opened fire. The creature recoiled, before dashing itself even harder against the bulkhead. A hand smashed through the larger hole and grabbed Donavan. He screamed just before it crushed his chest, spraying everyone with blood and gore. The Brute roared and slammed its head against the bulkhead. The sound of metal straining beyond its limits echoed inside Graham's helmet.
"CECILY AND PETERSON, GET. THAT. MOTHER. FUCKING. DOOR. OPEN. RIGHT. NOW!" Donavan was tossed aside, and the creature succeeded in smashing a hole larger enough for the Slashers to begin pouring through, though one at a time. Sharon, Caroline, and Graham kept them bottle-necked at the opening. The Slashers tripped over their fallen kin, making easier targets, though there was no end to them.
"Got it! I got-…" Cecily began, just as the Lurker that sprang from the lift speared her through with its barbed darts. She fell to the floor. Two Slashers followed the Lurker, ripping through Caroline's spine just as she got a grenade out and armed it. Paralyzed, she silently glanced at the grenade with terror in her eyes, as it exploded, taking out the Slashers, but also her.
Graham elbowed the Slashers aside as he, Peterson, and Sharon dove into the lift and slammed the doors shut. "Screw…the bridge. Cargo Bay!" Graham said through labored breaths "We…pant…can get on the hull and space-walk to the Ishimura from there!" Peterson activated the lift. He cursed as a red warning light turned on.
"Shaft's been blocked. We'll have to go through the Armory." Graham nodded and the lift descended before stopping at their destination.
The doors opened to reveal the three marines with their weapons raised. The only one to see it was the eviscerated body of Cadigan. Half his head had been shorn off, and both arms were missing. Recoiling in revulsion, Graham nodded for them to continue. He stopped to open a blast shield covering a glass wall. "We get through to…" The sight of dozens of Slashers pounding against the bullet-proof glass put an end to whatever thought he had. What was more, the glass was cracking.
"Run!" They tore down the hallway, running past the operating room where McKenzie had become one of the creatures. Suddenly, Peterson screamed. A malfunctioning medical laser had shorn his right leg off at the knee. His momentum had carried him forward, and, holding the severed limb, he dragged himself into the next room. Graham hesitated, but when he heard the glass shattering, he turned around and ran, ignoring Peterson's desperate cries for help.
Sharon and Graham raced down hallways, and stumbled past more Necromorphs. Their escape came to a sudden end when Sharon was grabbed by an Infector and stabbed through her chest before it extended its proboscis into her head. Crying out and unable to speak through his shock, Graham fell to the ground, stumbling forward and running, firing blindly behind him. Sharon, now one of those things, was chasing him.
"Hey!" Graham entered a corridor. To his left, a man in an Engineering RIG stood with a Plasma Cutter. Controlled by his panic and terror, Graham slammed the bulkhead between them shut. He saw an elevator up ahead. If he could just reach it…
It was dead. The power unit was blown. Roaring in anger, Graham shoved his rifle aside and yanked it out of the wall. The resulting explosion blew him back, and his RIG flatlined with one long BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. The Sharon Necromorph glanced at his blackened body before trudging down the corridor.
Several Hours Later…
Isaac Clarke entered the elevator, glancing at the fallen marine behind him. The singularity core was with him. The unlucky marine must have tried to remove it without Kinesis. Had Kyne not warned him, the same fate might have befallen him. Replacing the power unit, Clarke hurried into the elevator, just as explosions began to rock the ship…
Please R & R
I will probs be writing another Dead Space Fanfic.
For those of you who are my Darth Revan: The Prodigal Knight Fans, YES, I am still writing, though with college, it is much harder to find the time. But I WILL HAVE ANOTHER CHAPTER out by NEW YEARS 2012-2013.