January 30, 2012
Previously Posted on ModDB: http://www.moddb.com/members/paradigmthefallen/blogs
I’m proud to officially announce Dead Space: Denial of Self. Dead Space is one of my favorite franchises, and the concept of writing a story in its universe has always had a strong appeal. Originally I was thinking of doing something with Ellie from Dead Space 2, but I’ve instead favored a new protagonist and cast of characters, even if it’s in the same setting. Also this is an ongoing story that I am writing, so that means there may be some larger gaps between postings due to the fact that I don’t have the story finished yet. I will still keep posting on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, but the story itself will not always be the subject of the posts. And without further delay:
You curse as the RIG heads up display tells you another idiot is causing trouble somewhere in the lower levels. This has been going on for days, and it’s damn well getting ridiculous. Ever since the Director started that project in government sector, things have been more out of hand than a three-year old with a loaded pistol. That’s what happens when you took half of the security force for “special duties” and didn’t hire any replacements. Hell there’d even been a few layoffs to cut the costs thanks to the damn project.
The Concourse is sprawling with people, and to them you’re nothing more than a faceless suit of armor. They’d sooner hand you their garbage than give a fuck. And the overhead lights are getting so bright that you fight to close your eyes.
You check the time, and it’s still four hours until the shift is over. The crowds seem to be getting even thicker now, a big group coming from the medical levels. While you sigh, you realize something’s off.
Most of the people coming are hurried, and they don’t look like exiting visitors. They’re doctors, nurses, and even a few security personnel. You can see the blood on one security officer. He walks up, his RIG identifying him as #4-2795. The level of armor on his suit is recognizable, even through the blood splatter. So is his broken seeker rifle; its front half torn clean off.
“What’s going on?” you ask.
“Operation Endgame is in effect,” 4-2795 responds.
You know that means something bad is happening. You’re just a Concourse guard, so you don’t get to know all the fancy secrets and inside bits – but you’ve heard of Endgame. The evacuations will be starting any second.
And like clockwork, the Director is talking on the screens. Stores begin to usher their customers out, and you can see the doors to the Medical Deck are locking down.
“What exactly is the situation back there?” you ask.
“Hell. Bloody Hell. That’s what it is. We’re heading to Residential. They should be locked out from Medical deck, and we can get the civies out in time. Once that’s done, we get our asses over to the government sector. The Director’s got everyone moving triple time,” 4-2795 responds, gesturing for you to follow his squad. He’s got three solid armored soldiers with him.
You’ve been crowd control before, but trying to get through the flood of people is almost suffocating. Like a herd of cattle, they meander and cry out in confusion. Barely any of them even seemed to hear the Director talking overhead.
Normally you’d be watching for someone getting trampled or pickpockets taking a lucky gamble, but 4-2795 wasn’t kidding. He just shoves his way through, even smacking someone across the face as he moves towards the lift to residential.
You get inside, and fight off your nerves as the lift rises upwards to residential. All that’s around you is metal walls as the lift drones its motors. You breathe in quietly, and turn to 4-2795.
“What are we walking into here?” you ask, trying to get your mind off of the walls that seem to be coming closer around you.
“Altman forbid… you’ll be seeing things that nearly made me barf in my RIG. Hopefully the emergency locks are working.” he says, taking out a pulse rifle. He rips out the remaining clip from his Seeker then stuffs it into his RIG pack.
The doors open, and the air returns to your lungs. You step out into the carpeted hall, but you don’t see any movement. The overhead lights are working, and nothing’s out of place.
“Why aren’t people moving? This district should be crazier than upstairs,” you mutter, glancing about.
You knock on a door, but you barely hear anything. You enter in an override code, and open the apartment. A hand reaches out, and you nearly pull the trigger of your rifle as you see it’s just a woman. She’s wide-eyed and pale.
“Why are you hiding. There’s a station wide alert in effect,” you say, looking at her closely.
She doesn’t even look at you, she’s still staring out the door. Then suddenly her teeth clench and she looks at you.
“They took her! They took my baby!” she screams in your face, and she runs past you.
“Do we-” one of the other guys asks.
“Let her go. If someone really stole a kid from her, then the looters are already down here and we’ve got to shoot them on sight…” 4-2795 says, stepping forward to take the lead.
Further down the halls, and you’re still seeing no sign of life. Every time you open a door, you hope you see someone, but then there’s nobody. It’s liked waiting for a bad joke to just finally finish. Except it just keeps making that bad taste in your mouth get worse.
“Call in the Government Sector. It looks like everyone’s already pulled out here – everyone who’s sane, anyway,” you say, turning to 4-2795.
“I just tried. The comm feed is apparently too packed as is. I’m beginning to think we’re in the eye of the storm…” one of 4-2795’s men says.
“Or they just got out in an orderly manner and the medical deck lockdown held. Whatever was over there, it’s stuck now. All they need to do is vent the oxygen, and this will all clear over, nice and clean,” 4-2795 says, trying to convince himself as much as you. But he knows just as well as you that people aren’t that quick thinking.
“I say we head to the next residential juncture. Staff quarters will be next. If there isn’t anybody there, then I’ve got to recommend we head back to the concourse, sir,” the soldier from a minute ago says, shouldering his rifle.
“Alright. Everyone get moving. I’ll give the all clear for this sector,” 4-2795 says, pointing down a hall for us to head down.
You start walking down the hall, but one of the soldiers keeps muttering to himself. Suddenly then alarms begin to go off.
“What the hell was that?” you ask.
“Someone just cut power to the bulkhead seals! Someone get command on the comm now!” 4-2795 yells, raising his weapon as the overhead lights turn to red. “Someone already broke down a few conduit panels in Medical. At first we thought it was the things that appeared that were causing it, just random damage from people trying to fight them off, but this is too direct.”
“What’s the plan sir?” a soldier asks warily.
“Government sector will be locking down now and those things will be coming too quick for us to cut them off at the staff quarters… Just give me a minute to think,” 4-2795 says, raising his rig map. “Someone take point, we’re officially in hot water and I’d prefer we not get into the frying pan.”
“My motion tracker’s picking movement up from upper levels. It’s not the crowds sir-” one soldier starts to say.
“I can see it on mine as well. Just let me…” 4-2795 says, pausing then turning his head slightly. He shakes his head for a moment and finally picks a path on the RIG map. “We’ll head through the mines, it’s the quickest way to Earth Gov and they’ll still be evacuating people down there. Those things are still mostly in Medical, so we should be just ahead of them. We can catch one of the last transports. Sync your RIGs people, we need to move now.”
4-2795 starts pressing forward, and you start wishing you had a motion tracker like the rest of his squad. At least you’ve got emergency Stasis, for what it’s worth.
As you reach the next lift, he hits the command panel for the lift to rise. There’s a grinding noise, and then the cables break in the center of the shaft. A body then falls, and you can hear it making a disgusting impact below.
“What the hell?” you say, daring to look up. As you do, something splats on your RIG.
As you fight to get it off, you hear the beeping of someone using the command terminal.
“Sir, what are you doing?” a soldier asks.
“I’m turning off the gravity for this sector of the district. We’ll walk up to the mining tram station. It’s only two floors up, not far,” 4-2795 says as you finally get the muck off your face.
You toss the gunk down the shaft. Your RIG automatically makes a magnetic lock on the floor, as does everyone else. 4-2795 is the first to head out into the shaft, pointing the flashlight on his gun to make sure there were no other inbound objects. As he gives you the thumbs up, you and one of the soldiers jump over to the wall opposite 4-2795.
The other two soldiers jump out and form up behind 4-2795. As you all head up, you notice some static coming over the comm.
“Is anyone else getting interference?” you ask.
“I am too. Sounds like it might be a civilian channel trying to break through the airwaves. I’m going to see if I can ping where it’s coming from…” the soldier next to you says.
“Sir, it’s from the CEC facility in the mines!”
He quickly sets his RIG speakers to play the message.
“All teams, this is Kaleb, Xenogeologist from Langford Shift 1! There’s something in the facility, we’ve lost 3 of our crew and can’t contact Shift 4!”
“Here comes the transport, everybody get ready in case there’s more.”
“We’re abandoning our shift and heading back up. Everyone else is ordered to do the same.”
“Kaleb, it’s more of them! Shoot them! SHOOT THEM!”
“Hold it, I’ve got another coming in-”
“This is Sorenson, Shift 2! Kaleb, what’s going on?! Dead bodies are chasing us! Dead bodies I recognize! It’s fucking shift 4!”
“Just get out of there Sorenson, get out of there!”
“But we’re trapped, they’re closing in all around, which way did you go? Which way is clear?”
“Use the starboard catwalks, we cleared a path, but hurry, they’re closing in behind!”
“We’ll try, wait for us!”
By that point, everyone has stopped moving. The CEC refinery is one of only two possible ways of getting into the mines. The only other way would be from government sector tram station.
“What are we supposed to do sir?” one of the soldiers asks.
4-2795 is silent, turning to look at you all.
“We’re fucked. If those things are already at the mines… then we’ve no chance of making it out. We’re out flanked and outnumbered. We barely made it out of Medical with the lockdown seals helping cover our backs. Our only luck would be if there’s a transport still docked for evacuation, and I’m doubting they’re still waiting around by this point,” he resignedly says, closing his RIG map.
“There’s gotta be something-” you start to say, then another message comes over the comm.
“Audio Log, RIG number 438642. These could be my last words. The monsters are loose, I couldn’t stop them. And now the reactor core is overheating – which will destroy the entire Sprawl if I can’t fix it! So… I hope someone hears this. It means I did that much right, at least.”
“The reactor core? That’s just a few levels below. Why didn’t command give any orders-” someone starts to say.
“We’ll head there then. If the core blows now it’ll kill everyone near the station. Might as well do something useful before we’re all killed,” 4-2795 says, resetting his destination on the RIG map, then proceeding down the shaft with everyone following.
Suicide mission… now you know you shouldn’t have gotten out of bed today.