Thanks to Haegemonia from DSW, I decided to put my fan book up here.
It tells the story of Brad Mitchell, a CEC Schofield Tools Mechanical Engineer aboard the USG Ishimura. Read as he makes difficult desisions based on luck and survival. Enjoy.
Dead Space: Unaccompanied
Journal Log #15 –
My name is Bradley Mitchell. To any of you still alive out there, I wish you good luck. As for me, I’m a lost cause. I have survived this… nightmare for as long as I could. My only wish was that I could have escaped my prison, and have saved more people. I hope that the ones I lost are still alive and well, but that belief is a waste of energy. (Sigh) If only this could have been different. Why did I have to come? I knew this was a bad idea, to go to Aegis VII, but no one ever understands. Humanity is a lost cause, and I just so happen to be a part of it. Goodbye to anyone who finds this. If my body hasn’t been… changed into one of those monsters, please destroy me. I don’t care what happens to my body, whether it is by fire, dismemberment – anything other than becoming a citizen trapped behind the eyes of a mutant. I close this log saying: Be careful, but quick.
“End log,” I say into my holographic recorder. I reach down onto the floor and grab my flamethrower, thinking steadily about just ending it now. It’d be easy, I thought while I played with the torch; just ending this nightmare and entering complete darkness instead. The ratio seems to be high on the suicide, and –
No, I thought. I can’t end it this way. I have to keep trying.
With the flamethrower still in hand, I stand up slowly; the pain in my asthmatic chest slowly closing in on my oxygen intake. I grab the recently recorded log from my R.I.G. and drop it to the floor. And, without a word of reluctance, I open the Power Node Access door and step into the dark remains of the Flight Deck of the USG Ishimura.
Journal Log #1 –
There has been a malfunction in one of the PFM-100 Hydrogen Torch Flamethrowers. The user, name Greg Dylans, has reported some sort of clog in the hydrogen release valve. I have to find the Schematic for a Flamethrower and take out the valve and replace it with a new one. I currently own such a valve, so I just need to ask the director for Credits for the Schematic and report to the Store in the Control Room.
I place the log in my pocket, and get up from my chair in the Locker Room. I leave the room and head up the stairs. From all directions I can hear everything: a yell from a worker who possible cut himself with a Ripper, the engines’ firing that shake the steel beneath my feet, and the chit-chat of the engineers. The talk isn’t anything special; all they talk about is getting back to Earth and banging their wives. I swear - all these people ever talk about is sex. It’s not that big of a deal.
But who am I to disapprove? I’m a lonely virgin bastard.
I open the door to the Control Room and leave the deafening Machine Shop. I walk over to the director’s little bubble of computers, fixing my grey Schofield Tools hoodie as I stroll into his office.
The man in the revolving chair turned to look at me. Apparently he was busy, for he looked as if he was about to pounce from his chair and completely maul me. But instead of that, he gave me his angry gaze and asked, “Can I help you?”
I stuttered at first, but then I disregarded the idea. I just wanted Credits, and he wasn’t the patient type. “I need Credits for the Store so I can buy the Schematics for a PFM-100 Hydrogen Torch Flamethrower.”
He looked at me for a moment or two. The man was a time bomb just waiting to get to zero. Finally, after I was about to ask again, he responded, “Here. Be sure you don’t spend it on something stupid like booze or porn or whatever.” He reached down with his hand onto a little safe secured inside the wall. I was sure that the safe was owned by the ship, for as he turned his back I saw a wallet the size of a brick that was enclosed in his back pocket.
He turned around, and looking up at his away face from his fat reserve of cash, I saw a sum of about 10,000 Credits. “I won’t tell you again: don’t be stupid.” He handed the cash to me, and I quickly took it from him and left his little cubicle. I saw up ahead the Store, and walked to it.
A kind-sounding feminine voice announced, “Welcome to the Store, Mechanical Engineer - Bradley Mitchell.” I viewed the Store’s items in stock; there were all sorts of things, from a Handheld Graviton Accelerator to a Class 5 Engineering R.I.G. I paused as I viewed the design of the R.I.G., but with the cold eyes of the director staring at my back, I quickly went to the Schematics and selected the Flamethrower. From the receiving slot of the machine came – what else? – a Flamethrower Schematic.
I took the Schematic and turned around. The director was back to working again and paid no more attention to me. I turned to my right, and headed back downstairs through the sound-proof door.
I retrieved the broken Flamethrower from my locker and went down the hallway to my left towards the Bench. There was this giant barred door in the way, however, and it was extremely heavy to move. I sometimes wish that they would tear it down. After a minute of struggling with the door and my muscle-less arms, I finally got through and made it to the Bench.
I laid down the Flamethrower and took the Schematic from the pocket of my blue jeans. I compared the Schematic to the broken torch and unscrewed the device. I took out the valve – which was indeed clogged with melted metal – and inserted the correctly made valve.
“Attention: All CEC engineers in this section are to report to the Flight Deck immediately. This is not a drill. Repeat: All CEC engineers…”
I looked up from my work in process. All around me were flashing red light, people running towards the Control Room towards the tram, and the sounds of people saying, “I heard there’s a murderer on the loose,” or “Maybe now I can go bang my wife back home,” and following that a bunch of sobs or shivering laughter.
I was about to join them, but I decided to complete the repair of the Flamethrower. I returned to the Bench, but my fingers were trembling with curiosity and fear. What if the murderer is here, in this room with me? I need to hurry! The entire Engineering Deck seemed to be abandoned, but I could hear the pitter-patter of footsteps to my left. I looked, but God new I wish I didn’t.
There was a scream behind the door, one of fear and sadness. The door opened, and a man ran through, his arm cut off with fresh blood attached. “Please! Help m- AAACH!” He wasn’t able to finish his sentence. From behind the dismembered man was a fleshy-looking creature. I couldn’t see it well enough, but I knew it was dangerous. The man without an arm was stabbed through the chest with a blade of some sort, and was now gurgling out blood. Another equally-sized blade came to his left side, and chopped right through his mid-section horizontally. I gasped in horror as the man’s legs were dropped to the floor, twitching as it laid there. The same blade that sliced him came around again, and chopped off his head. It rolled to the floor, and the upper torso was tossed aside. The thing on the other side was not a pretty sight.
It was as pale as a baby, but rough all around. It had two large scythe-like blades from its hands – actually, his hands were next to his torn-apart stomach. It hunched over, and stared at its currently mutilated prey. Then it looked up at me, and yelled a terrible screech.
I looked up at it, stupidly admired by how ugly it looked. I luckily lost my trance at it, and continued to work hastily on the Flamethrower. The beast thought the motion as a threat, and came pacing at me, apparently enjoying the game of predator vs. prey.
I backed away, still working on the Flamethrower. It was my only chance. The beast was still admiring me, probably looking for the weakest spot of my fleshy body. I turned the corner towards the heavy door and–
The heavy door! I’m dead! There was no way I could get past it in time. But, once again only by luck, I finished the Flamethrower. I fired the gun and waited to see the red glow of energy, but–
I forgot the hydrogen tank! I’m an idiot! I looked up at the monster, and it was still following me down the small corridor of objects and walls. Suddenly, it charged towards me. I almost screamed, but instead dodged out of the incoming anomaly. It ran into the heavy door, and knocked it down! I’m saved! I leaped over the fallen beast and ran into the locker room. I found Greg Dylans’ locker – which was stupidly left unlocked – and inside found the full tank of hydrogen not used by the clogged valve.
I don’t think he’ll mind if I use this, I thought to myself, giving a little comedy to the currently unhappy situation. I took the tank and attached it to the device. It locked with a “Click!” and was paired with the Flamethrower. I turned around, and the monster was at the door. It charged, and with a pull of the finger, fire emerged from the Flamethrower.
Journal Log #2 –
Something… Something attacked me. It killed a man – I saw it! Whatever’s happening, it’s fucking scaring me! That creature… monster I suppose it is, couldn’t be the only one. Something like that doesn’t cause a ship-wide alert alone. There are more of these things; I can feel it. My Flamethrower took a moment or two to kill until the monster finally went down. (Sigh) I need to get out of here. I heard there were escape pods down in the Crew Deck. I need to get on the tram and get there fast.
“End log.” I get up from under the sink. As I peer into the previously used sink, I see my own bile with chunks of previously eaten ham sandwich. I look away and try not to smell the strong stench of vomit. I turn on the sink, reach my hands under the cool water, and pat the water on my face.
“Pull it together, Mitchell,” I command to myself. “You got to pull it together. The tram is just a minute away.” I grab a paper towel and wipe my face. I grab the- my Flamethrower, I suppose it is now, and walked slowly forward. The stench of burning flesh still hung in the air, but the body was turned to ashes.
As I coughed out of the locker room, I couldn’t help but think of the director. His sour attitude would be a welcome face to me. But unfortunately as I entered the Control Room, he was nowhere to be found. In fact, the entire office seemed to be cleared out of all possessions. Did he know about this? Or did people get greedy and steal it all?
I looked to the door towards the tram, but instead my eyes followed to the Store. I checked in my pockets, and remembered the cash I had left over from the 10,000 Credits the director gave me. Good thing he didn’t know how much a Schematic cost. I still had about 9,000 Credits left over. I entered the Store.
“Welcome to the store, Mechanical Engineer Bradley Mitchell.” The Store seemed to not be as filled with unique items. Even the once beautiful Class 5 Engineering R.I.G. had disappeared from the screen. Someone must have overridden the Store layout so it could only sell certain things. Someone… or something… I looked around a bit more, and they were still selling both Flamer Fuel and Med Packs. I bought a tank of Flamer Fuel. A gas tank came out of the compartment, and I picked it up. It was heavy; maybe about fifteen pounds. If I were to be carrying more of these, I had to get a backpack or something.
I turned the corner into the hallway and walked down. The steam coming out of the valves were a terrible feature, but I guess they were for cooling purposes of some sort. I turned the next corner, my flamethrower swinging around with me, then suddenly–
“I know you! You’re that stupid-ass prick who took my money!” The director was around the corner, and he put me in a headlock. I tried to break free, but his grip got tighter.
“Hey! Argh! What are you–argh–doing? I need to get out of here!”
“Oh yeah? And I need a new tram. I was left behind by my own workers! Why should you get to leave while I stand here and get killed!?”
“Do you even know what’s down here? Have you seen this thing?”
The director released me. His eyes were staring around me, and then said, “Get me out of here. That’s an order.”
I rubbed my mangled neck and answered, “I need a backpack of some sort. Do you have one?”
The director motioned down towards the hallway I just came from. “There’s one over by my desk. Out of my way!” He pushed me out of the way and entered the room. He went over to his desk and opened a second wall panel. Inside, in fact, were some CEC backpacks. He tossed one to me. “What did you need it for?”
“I bought some flame fuel and needed to carry it.”
“Wait… With my money, right?” I nodded. He came walking towards the opening of the hallway where I stood. “Why you little, dirty BASTARD!” He picked me up with his hand, and from the shock I dropped my flamethrower. From his spiny appearance, I was surprised that he could lift me up against the wall.
“Hey!” I yelled as best as I could. “You’re crazy! Let me down!”
“I AM GOING TO KILL Y–”
He wasn’t able to finish his sentence. A giant blade came into his chest, and then pulled out. Dear God, not again!
The director lowered his arm, and I was dropped to the ground. He lowered down, and dropped into an uneven position on the floor. From behind him wasn’t what I expected: it was a lizard of some sort. It was as pale as the other one, and about the same size, but it didn’t stand up. I quickly realized why: its legs were replaced with a tail. It was like a land-based mermaid, but with terribly long teeth that extended out of its mouth.
It looked over at me, and made a screech that sounded louder than the other one. I looked over at my flamethrower on the ground, and so did the creature. It gestured toward it, but I was faster. I picked it up, and pulled the trigger. Flame materialized from the small device, and attached itself onto the beast. It reared and roared, but it couldn’t throw the fire off. It scattered away from the two of us, and ran off somewhere.
I looked down, and the director was still alive. I got up and picked him up. “Can you walk?”
“I… I think so.” He put his arm around my head and I did the same. We strode towards the chair in his small office, and I laid him down. He reached down behind his pants and pulled out his enormous wallet. “Here…” He handed me the wallet. It was heavier than it looked. “I… (Sigh) I won’t make it. You need this more than I do. Do me a favor, will you?”
“Sure– I mean, yes. What do you need?”
He looked up at me. His eyes weren’t full of anger and frustration anymore, but of pain and sadism. “Survive.” And with that, he let out his final breath, and fell lifeless against the chair.
I didn’t cry. Why would I? I barely knew him, and he acted like a dick. But I did feel sorry for him. He was misunderstood, and I only wish he could have had a better life. I looked in his wallet.
Holy shit. His wallet was full of about 100,000 credits! This guy was rich! I looked over my back towards the Store. Time for a shopping spree.
Journal Log #3 –
This is not a good day. I have found the director of the Engineering Deck deceased. I have been received his wallet, and have bought three full tanks of flame fuel. I have also have bought two small health packs. These may come in handy; however I don’t know how they can heal a shank in the chest. I still plan on heading over to the Crew Deck. Those escape pods are my last chance, and I’d enjoy to stay alive.
I looked at the wallet I had received. I was lucky enough to still have about 70,000 Credits, so maybe I’ll find something worthwhile. Can you believe me talking about this? Money; in an alien attack! This is crazy.
Anyways, I took my backpack full of ammunition and health packs and pulled the tethers up to my chest. If I had to run, I had to be prepared and be careful not to lose it. I headed over to the tram and called for a tram.
I tried again, but still no car. I looked right, and then left, as if I were a child crossing the street. There was a car nearby to my left; about a hundred feet or so.
If I could get over to that car, maybe I could get it started and make it to the Crew Deck.
Inside the fissure in the ground, there was a set of ladders. They looked steep, but if I could handle a couple of monsters, I can handle a ladder. I climbed down the ladders with no fear, when all of a sudden, fear struck.
“Where are you going?”
“Do you plan on escaping? Good luck.”
“You killed them: both of them. It’s your fault that you didn’t save them.”
“You’re a murderer.”
“What? Who’s there? Hello?” There was no response. I stayed still on the ladder and tried to hear it again. With no luck, I didn’t here anymore voices. I shook the idea of ghosts out of my head, and continued down the ladder.
I jumped down back to metal and looked to my right towards the car. It was nearby.
As I was walking, I tried to see through the powerless crevice I was in. The only glint of light came from my flamethrower: a light orange. Up ahead, I could see a reflecting light. It looked like a flashlight, and I started to think of the other survivors that could still be here.
I ran. I ran foolishly towards the light. The light was moving up, then right, then left, and etc. I started to slow down to a walk. This doesn’t feel right. I stopped, and looked at my flamethrower. With a pull of the trigger, I activated the secondary fire of the makeshift weapon that shot a fireball. It was aimed at the wall next to the light. The fireball leapt through the air, making a hissing sound while it sprung. Then it landed about a foot or so away from the mysterious light.
Man, I just lost my lucky moments.
The glinting light wasn’t a flashlight. It was a piece of glass. Unfortunately, the glass was pierced through another pale, disfigured monster. The glass was about a meter wide, and it pierced through the entire chest of one of the same monsters that killed the man with one arm. It looked at the flame that was just created next to it, and then looked for the source of it. It found it, because it stared straight at my face.
The creature growled a terrible, screeching growl. It charged towards me; with the glass in its chest, it sort of was slow. I shot another fireball at it. I wasn’t as scared as I was before; this was the third time I came against them, anyways.
The fireball hit, and the creature started to scream again. I shot another one, and once again, it screamed. Then, it fell to the ground, the glass shattering from the force of gravity and metal.
I wished I had a different weapon. Now, every time I killed one of those things, I could smell burned flesh. Flesh… Wait, are… Are these people?
I froze. Are… are these really people? Jesus Christ, this isn’t just an alien invasion; it’s a zombie apocalypse! With a rumble from my stomach, I puked. It was awful. I tried to stop, but I did it again. Now it smelled like burning flesh and vomit. I was still queasy, but was able to hold the rest of my stomach juice in. With a deep breath and a slap on my face, I kept walking towards the car.
I saw the emergency ladder to the broken tram. Putting the turned-off flamethrower in my stuffed backpack, I jumped to it. I missed. Damn this stupid weak body! I tried again, and barely got my right hand around the first bar. With a lot of effort, I pulled my second hand up and grabbed the second step. Then, I opened the escape hatch and climbed aboard the broken tram.
On the tram, there were at least three dead bodies. They smelled awful, so I covered my nose with my hand, trying hard not to throw up again. It was hard to see it without my flamethrower, so I pulled it out of my backpack and activated the small bright object. With the reflection of flashing orange light, blood covered the entire tram. I examined the bodies with the small light and both of my hands occupied. They were all cut apart; slash and stab marks all across their bodies.
I have to get these bodies off the train or I’m going to lose it.
With my gloveless hands, I put down the flamethrower on a bench and dragged the three heavy bodies by their feet and hands to the emergency ladder opening. They dropped to the floor below with a wet “thud.” Then, with sweat and tears, I wiped my hands of excess blood and examined the tram for the power box. There it was; over a bench. I pulled the small door open and examined the mechanism. There was, in fact, a broken fuse. I pushed it back into place, and the tram activated.
It was filled once again with light and sounds of commercial ads. The light reflected the blood, and gave it a bright crimson color.
Great. Now all I have to do is get over to the Crew Deck.
I picked up my flamethrower and walked over to the tram map. And, with no thought about what would be ahead, I activated the tram’s map and set course for the Crew Deck. I sat down on a not-so-bloody bench.
Soon. Soon, I’ll be safe.
Journal Log #4 –
These… These zombies – they’re everywhere. I saw two in the Engineering Deck; one in the tram’s lower repair area. I’m still on my way to the Crew Deck. I hope these things haven’t been down there. If these things are zombies, then I’d better be careful. Hopefully there are still survivors like me. I could use a little more help… Maybe even some company.
“Welcome to the Crew Deck.”
The computer’s voice message startled me as I sat impatiently for it to stop. I stood up, reloading my flamethrower from the last fought enemy down in the tunnels. The door to the tram station opened, so I got to my feet and held my flamethrower against my face. I peered outside at the tram station and…
It’s clear. Get moving.
I moved out of the tram and onto the stable metal floor. Up ahead was an oddly lit room. Travelling through a small glass hallway, I noticed that there were people inside. I ran; my flamethrower dangling in my right hand.
Yes! They were people!
A middle-aged man in a dark blue robe walked up to me.
“Ah, hello young one. Are you here to accept your fate in Convergence? Others here are a bit nervous, but they will choose wisely in a matter of time.”
“What? Convergence? Who are you?”
The man straightened his golden ribbon around his neck. “My name, is Richard Barker; Unitologist priest.”
He extended his hand to shake, but I didn’t take the gesture.
“Don’t you know that there are monsters out there!?” I asked. The people in the room all stared at me, and they all looked frightened or happy. Barker took my shoulder and shoved me towards a hallway. The door closed behind us and he looked joyful.
“Have you seen Convergence yet? Is it marvelous? I have only read about it, but-“
I interrupted him. “Look, I don’t know what you are talking about. Whatever’s happening out there is not marvelous! What is Convergence?”
“Convergence is the power you just saw. The transformation from a lowly human to one of God’s treasured ones.”
“I don’t think God’s treasured ones want to kill us!”
Barker took his hand from his side and wrapped it around my throat. I struggled to keep hold of my flamethrower. “Look, I don’t know who you are, but if you threaten my religion, I will kill you. Those people out there have been waiting for this event ever since they first laid eyes on the Marker, and if you think you can change that you are sadly mistaken. Now, when I let go of you, I want you to get out of my sight. Do you understand me?”
“You don’t understand me!” I yelled the best I could under his tight hand. “I need to get to an escape pod!”
“Ha! We have removed the escape pods from this area, to ensure that Convergence cannot be aborted. Now,” He let go of me. “Get out of my sight.”
Barker opened the door towards the large crowd of people and left my presence. “Nothing to be worried about. This young man has been tainted with evil. He shall now be banished from our area.”
I followed behind him, rubbing my neck. The people observed me again, but quickly turned away as I looked at them. As I stepped out of the large room, I saw the people wrapping their heads with white tape.
Those poor religious bastards.
I was about to enter the tram again, when a feminine voice came from behind me.
I turned around, and it was a woman that was watching me leave. She wore a blue jacket with a yellow shirt. Her black pants matched the color of her eyes and hair.
“Hey, I heard you talking to Barker back there. What monsters?”
“They’re… Are you a Unitologist?”
“No. I just wanted answers. Ever since the captain died, things have gone from bad to worse. So, my job is to find out what those things are. I work on the Ishimura Report Team.”
“Great. Now, I suggest you follow me. I’ll give you details, but you need to listen to me.”
“What do you mean? Why should I?”
“You want to live, don’t you?”
Journal Log #5 –
My plans didn’t work. Apparently, due to faithful priest Richard Barker, the escape pods in the Crew Deck have been fired and are no longer apparent to escape. Although this is lost, I have come across a woman named Angela Romero from the Ishimura Report Team. She has tagged along with me; and away from those Unitologist freaks. She has told me a location of another escape pod somewhere down in the Mining Deck – C Deck. Hopefully we can reach there without any incidents. (Sigh) Wish us luck.
I looked up from my Journal Log and observed Angela. Her Hispanic skin looking dark under the bright tram lights. She was pretty; hell, she was beautiful. Her face had the bone structure of an angel, and her eyes looked as black as space. The rocking of the tram made her chest bounce. I was staring noticeably at them when Angela said:
“What are you looking at?”
I was a little jumpy at her voice, but I calmly answered, “I was just looking at how calm you are.”
“What do you mean? Are you going to tell me what those things are?”
“Well, let’s see…” I began to reimage the thought of the terrible monster that nearly killed me. “They’re zombies. From what Barker told me, they come from dead–or alive–bodies. They have these–” I made hand movements on my arm that made it look like an extended blade coming out of it “–blades of some sort coming out of their arms. But they’re not the arms! The arms are too busy tearing apart the person’s stomach; stretching it out so you can see the gore.” I made more arm movements that resembled me tearing apart my own stomach. Angela looked disgusted, so I decided to stop. “And then there were a different kind. It was like a snake or something. The legs were formed together! It’s like a mermaid from Hell!”
With that said, Angela gave off a little smile. “Are you high or something? What’s in your backpack: medpacks?”
“No. Well… yeah, but I need them. And I’m not high! I’m telling the truth. Look, this is serious, and I would appreciate it if you would–” Before I could finish, she took my backpack and started to go through all my stuff. I sat there patiently, knowing that I don’t need another enemy to deal with.
“Why do you have a bunch of Hydrazine fuel in here?” She picked up a tank full of the stuff and laid it down on the bench next to her. She then pulled out the wallet I got from the director in the Engineering Deck. She looked inside and saw the mining license. Staring up at me with a grim frown, she asked, “Who… Who are you?”
“I’m a survivor. If you want to be one too, you need to stay calm and follow me.”
“I… I don’t know. I’m getting a bit scared.”
“You should be; this is real.” I took my backpack back from her and snatched the wallet from her hands. “Look, you’re trying to get a story, but when you see these things, you’ll want more than the perfect manuscript.”
She started to tremble; sweat running down her face and arms. “I- I- I- I have to get out of here. This… It’s too much for me. I can’t handle this!”
And then she did the worst thing that someone could do in a situation like this:
I sat up straight; a little awkward in the moment being. She kept on wailing her head off. I knew this wouldn’t end soon, so I got up and sat next to her on her bench across from mine.
“Look, I know this is scary, but the best thing you can do right now is to calm down and relax. Think of something you believe in. Do you have it?”
She nodded; her hands still covering her face stopped trembling.
“Good. Now, never let that belief go. It’s a part of you, and if you let it go, you let yourself go. I know this sounds cheesy, but I’m being very serious. When I count to three, I need you to calm down and look at me. Ready? One, two, three.”
She hesitated at first, but reluctantly looked at me. I gave her the “I’ll try not to let you down” look, and she wiped her remaining tears away. Then, after wiping her hands with her pants, she wrapped her arms around me. I tried to back away, but I knew she really needed this. I just sat there and took it like a man.
I looked down at her. Her black eyes were shining with a beautiful glow.
“Thanks.” She closed her eyes and started to fall asleep. I also wanted to sleep; just to end this nightmare with a sweet dream. As I also started to close my eyes, we both instantly opened our eyes to the sound we dreaded to her:
“Welcome to the Mining Deck.”
Journal Log #6 –
We reached the Mining Deck. Oh God; there’s blood everywhere. That’s not even the worst part. We can’t find the bodies. That means they’re down here with us. If they reached the escape pods, I’m not sure. But we have to fight forward. The only way off this ship is by vehicle, and God knows that we need one.
“Hey Brad, I found a Store over here!”
I followed her through a small corridor to the right of the entrance. There was, in fact, a store: a bright orange and blue mirage-like entity.
“Hey, let me see that fat wallet you got in your backpack.”
I undid my backpack around my shoulders and grabbed the opening with my hands. Reaching inside for the Credits, I picked them up and handed it to her. “What do you need it for?”
“Do you expect me to run around here without a weapon?”
I could imagine a fight between us and the monsters. If I was the only one in possession of a weapon, we’d be screwed.
“That’s a good idea. What do you plan on getting?”
She moved the holographic touchscreen left and right; up and down. Then, with a sigh, she replied, “I was about to buy a Ripper; you know, the saw with the–”
I interrupted her. “I know what a Ripper is. What about it?”
“Well, the Store’s malfunctioning or something, ‘cuz barely anything is in here. Not even a Graviton.”
The Store blackout is ship-wide? I wonder what could have done that. Was it a person?
“Anyways, I guess I’ll get this.” Pressing a few holographic buttons, Angela picked up an item that had fallen through the receiving slot. She turned around and in her hands was a Plasma Cutter.
“A Plasma Cutter? Don’t you think those things need a little more firepower than a lousy Plasma Cutter?”
Angela didn’t respond, but instead purchased Plasma Energy and stuck them in her pockets: side and back.
“Do you see a Bench around here somewhere?” She asked.
I looked around. On the other side of the room was a bench. Quite ironic, actually.
“Yeah, there’s one over there.” I walked out of the Store corridor and entered the Bench one. “What do you need it for?”
Angela came over and quickly took out a small, yellow object from her blue jacket’s pocket. Activating the Bench (and ignoring me more), she placed down the Plasma Cutter and pulled it apart.
“What are you doing?!”
“I’m putting a Power Node in here. Maybe I can increase the damage of it.”
“A Power Node?” My mind raced with vast knowledge of Power Nodes: facts about special doors and upgraded tools through my right side; aftereffects and prizes on my left.
I looked down at her Plasma Cutter that she was working on. From the looks over her unguided hands, she was having trouble.
“Here, let me do it.” I put my hand on her shoulder, and with a scowl and a sigh, Angela let me take over the renovation of the Plasma Cutter.
As I took the Power Node off the Plasma Cutter and started to route it into the gun, I asked, “By the way, where did you get this?”
“What, the Power Node? You don’t honestly think a reporter has time to wait and ask people questions, do you? Where’s the fun in that? The whole reason I got this job was so I could snoop around the place.”
“I’m guessing a reporter like you must have more of these, am I right?”
Angela stuck her hands in her pocket and pulled out three more. “You guessed right.”
I was stunned at the appearance of more of the valuable assets. “How many do you have?”
“What’s it to you?”
“No reason, no reason.” I took the Power Nodes and refocused on the tool in surgery. “Ok, you can do one of two things: either you can upgrade the damage, speed of reloading, and speed of shooting; or you can upgrade the damage, speed of shooting, and capacity of ammo. Your choice.”
“Why can’t you upgrade anything else?”
“The Power Nodes have to be hooked up on the mainframe to where it can draw energy from the tool. In other words, it has to be powered up in a certain way. Without it powered, it won’t do anything.”
“That’s kind of stupid. I’ll upgrade the speed of reloading.”
“Are you sure? You can’t take them out if I put them in.”
“Are you kidding me? God, Power Nodes suck!” Angela looked upset, but with another long sigh, replied, “Yeah, I’m sure.”
I got to work immediately. “I just have to open this slot, connect the wires to the mainframe, and… That’s one down. Here–” I handed her the flamethrower. “–just in case.”
She took the flamethrower and looked around the room. I returned to my operation and opened another case.
“I have a question.”
Still working, I asked, “What is it?”
“How do I reload faster?”
I stopped working. Slowly, I turned around and looked at her. “Honestly, I don’t know.” With that, I resumed to my crafting.
“What do you mean ‘I don’t know,’? I thought nerds like you knew everything there was about equipment usage. I mean, does it have less of a grip on the clip? Do I gain a magical ability to replace the ammo quicker? How about–”
“How about you get off my back! I don’t know what it does, but let’s hope to God that you never have to find out!” I didn’t realize I turned from the Plasma Cutter until I was face-to-face with Angela. I straightened my crooked hoodie and returned to the Bench.
“Whoa. I didn’t realize you were so sensitive.”
“Please; don’t get this started… (Sigh) Do you see anything?” I placed the second Power Node in the second slot.
“No, just blood; some dust over the cabinets. Is that a donut?”
I opened up the slot to the fast reload and inserted the third Power Node.
“So, um, do you have any family?”
With the phrase spoken and transmitting into my mind, I couldn’t help but think of the past: a past of lost love; murder; an illness; war. My hands trembled and dropped the fourth Power Node. My mind raced with images of blood, death, loneliness, and despair. A tear fell down my eye. With my finger I drew it away and looked at the salty liquid. Inside the bulb of water was a little red dot. Instantly, the dot grew and took over the entire clear liquid. My mind was playing tricks on me, so I threw the bloody tear away. I got up and walked briskly away towards a chair.
“Hey, are you alright?” Angela strode over to the chair I was sitting in and got down to a crouch.
I shook my head in discomfort and infinite sadism.
Angela grabbed my hand with a slight grip. My mind wanted me to shake it away, but my soul knew it would be better to keep it.
“Brad, I know this is scary, but the best thing you can do right now is to calm down and relax. Think of something you believe in. Do you have it?”
Remembering the same conversation I had with her a while back, I nodded.
“Good. Now, never let that belief go. It’s a part of you, and if you let it go, you let yourself go. I know this sounds cheesy, but I’m being very serious. When I count to three, I need you to calm down and look at me. Ready? One, two, three.”
I looked up. She gave me a small smile, and I tried to return the gesture. All I did was give a small lift of the lip.
“I don’t know what that was about, but I want you to know that that was in the past. This–” She pointed to the ground, which represented the current time period. “–this is now. Please, get up and finish the job.”
I looked at our hands still connected, and squeezed a bit harder. “Can you help me up?”
Angela laughed a little. “Sure.” She pulled on my arm and helped me out of the chair. I looked at the desk behind her.
With wide eyes and a quick step, I grabbed the flamethrower in her hand and let go of the other one. “Watch out!”
I pulled the trigger of the flamethrower and fire shot out of it. The fire landed on a creature that had the most human-like features. It gasped in pain and screeched in anger and frustration. The fire kept coming, and in a few seconds the creature came down. The smell of burning flesh soon came after.
“I thought you were watching my back.” I gave a better smile than before, and handed her the flamethrower.
Seeing her first monster, Angela was both horrified and shocked. Desperately trying to keep sanity, she grabbed hold of the flamethrower and shakily kept it steady.
Angela looked at me quickly after I said the statement. She was seriously shaky.
“No, thank you.”
And with that, I picked up the Power Node and continued on the Plasma Cutter.
Angela calmed down and kept watch.
Journal Log #7 –
Angela Romero has just purchased a Plasma Cutter. I also have figured out that she has Power Nodes. I have asked if I could borrow a few, but instead of a conduit-addition I got a punch to the side and small laugh. My side still hurts… Ow. Anyways, we are now on our way to the C-Deck. With someone to be around with, hopefully the trip won’t be as horrific.
Angela was in the elevator that we called. I walked over from a chair and came over to the elevator.
“Why do you do that?”
“You always make Journal Logs. What’s the point of it?”
“I don’t know…” I thought about the fact that ever since I killed my first monster, I continued to make Journal Logs. “I guess it’s just that I feel comforted by it; you know, keeping track about what’s happened. It sort of makes me braver.”
“Oh…” Angela still looked confused, but disregarded the idea. She just kept to herself. Maybe I could ask her some questions.
“So… Do you have any family?” I pressed the holographic button that led to the C-Deck. We started going down.
“You’re seriously going to ask me the same thing that made you go into a mental state?”
“Ok… Well, I was two years old when my mother died. I had to live with my father who was ok, but he worked at an energy drink factory. When I turned eighteen I finished high school and skipped college. And now I’m here: on this doomed sh–”
“Hello? Please! Help me!”
Angela and I looked over to towards the B-Deck door. A man was running towards the door. A chain gate separated us and him.
“Please! Open the door!”
I immediately ran over to the elevator controls. Pressing the button to go up towards the B-Deck, we started to go up. The chain gate of B-Deck opened, and a man in a military suit ran into the elevator.
“Close the door! Hurry!”
From beyond the chain gate now closing, the three of us could hear the screech of the monsters.
I pressed the button that closed the door, and we all went down again.
“Thank… Thank you.”
Angela walked over to the man in uniform and grabbed his arm. He was toppling over from fear and lack of energy.
“Are you ok?”
“No… They’re… They’re everywhere. I dropped my Pulse Rifle after killing at least five of them.”
I stepped into the conversation. “Do you have a name?”
The man stepped away from Angela and got into the middle of the elevator. “I’m– AAAAAAH!”
Suddenly, a giant tentacle came rushing down from the A-Deck and grabbed onto the unknown man. He screamed in pain. Angela was quick and drew out her Plasma Cutter. She shot at the tentacle right above where it had grabbed him, but it was too late. He was dragged up three floors and out into the large room we just left. A loud moan came from above.
The door to C-Deck opened.
“Angela – RUN!”
Without a second thought about the vanished man, Angela and I ran into the area.
“Can you close the gate, Brad?!”
“I think I can. Cover me!”
I looked around the doorway to find a power box or something like that. I found it on the bottom right of the doorway and tore it open.
“If I do this, there’s no going back. It will become offline and–”
“Damn it, Brad, just do it!”
I shook my head in discomfort. Reluctantly, I ripped the wires necessary for the action. Unexpectedly, the tentacle came back into the room with us. It was about to grab Angela.
Before it grabbed her and gave her the same fate as the other man, the chain gate slammed shut. The tentacle was sliced in two separate pieces. In pain, it ran away up through the elevator shaft, leaving us its tip.
I ran up to Angela and grabbed her shoulders. “Angela? You are alright, ok? You are alright.”
I could feel her shaking. She was still staring at where the tentacle almost killed her.
Then I slapped her cheek. She became serious again, but still had a stutter in her voice.
“We… We’d better get going.”
As she held onto her Plasma Cutter in her left hand, I wrapped my arm around that arm and let my flamethrower hand go around her right shoulder. Then, passing a pillar filled with a bright orange energy, we made our way into the Extraction Room.
We heard a gunshot.
A second shot fired. Angela and I, still bracing each other, walked towards the noise to our right.
“One more… One more…”
A third shot fired.
As Angela let go of me, calmed down now, and walked towards the sound of the shots, she gasped in horror. I walked over with her, and I was shocked.
A man with only one arm, holding a Contact Beam, was lying down on the ground, surrounded by his own blood and appendages. His legs were about a foot away from the thigh they should have been attached to.
“Oh my God…”
Angela broke the ice. The disfigured man turned his head towards us. His face was bloody and weak.
“Looks like you’re too late.” And with that, the man gave off a final sigh and his life ended. Angela ran back to me and fell into my chest. She wanted to cry, but instead just hugged me; sniveling a bit. I hugged her back, forced to look at the dismembered body. I closed my eyes.
“Let’s… Let’s keep moving.”