- "And as far as manners go, I didn't pick them because they play nice with others. There's a reason they call the 163rd the "Reapers". These guys all cut their teeth doing wet work for us during the Secessionist riots on Earth. They're the coldest bunch of killers you're ever going to find and they're my insurance that nothing's going to go wrong."
- —Major General Spencer Mahad
The 163rd Reaper Unit, nicknamed "The Reapers", was a fearsome unit in the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces. They served a major role in the Secession War back on Earth, such as controlling the riots there. At some point they were stationed on Tau Volantis, specifically chosen by Major General Mahad, they were picked as his "insurance" against unforeseen difficulties.
The unit was at first stationed on the Tau Volantis fleet's flagship, the CMS Roanoke, but later half of the unit was taken down to the planet. The unit even got their very own barracks located in the Research Compound, next to the entrance of the Alien Machine, Scenario Five was presumably the reason the unit was sent there.
Some time prior the expedition to Tau Volantis, the Reaper Unit served a major role during the Secession War on Earth, and according to General Spencer Mahad, "cut their teeth for doing wet work" for the S.C.A.F, presumably killing civilians and doing other unethical acts.
The Reaper Unit was sent to Tau Volantis to serve as a safe-guard of General Mahad and his team. He had ordered Marjorie Graves, the admiral of the fleet stationed above the planet, to have the Unit stationed on her ship, the CMS Roanoke. According to her, the officers were rude and didn't do a part for the ship and the crew. Mahad agreed to have half of the unit's soldiers taken to the planet surface once the dig teams dug into the icy surface of the planet.
At some point after their deployment on Tau Volantis' surface, the unit's "water boy" went missing and was replaced by a young SCAF soldier eager to join the legendary "Reapers"; several members of the 163rd harassed the private, giving him demeaning tasks, primarily janitorial duties. The private, one K. Myers, was eventually convinced by a unit member that if he performed his duties without cleaning himself for a week, the unit would consent to him joining the Reapers. His task complete, Myers was instead humiliated and informed that the only way he could join the 163rd was if everyone else in the unit was dead. Private Myers apparently took this literally and subsequently murdered all fifteen members of the 163rd by chopping of their heads in their sleep with an axe. what became of Myers after his killing spree is unknown.
Events of Dead Space 3Edit
After Isaac goes to investigate the barracks of the Reaper Unit in the Paleontology Sector of the Research Compound, Isaac discovers the massacre that Mayers had committed with severed heads laying everywhere. The barracks seemed to be highly infested with Creepers that presumably were transformed from the heads that Mayers cut off 200 years prior.
- The logo in the barracks of the Reapers next to the elevator has an "RIP" graffiti written in blood on it. It is unknown who wrote it as Mayers stated in his log that he "became" the Reaper Unit after he slaughtered the entire unit stationed on the planet. However, it is possible that either Mayers wrote it because he thought the unit was gone or someone else wrote it on the logo as means of honoring the dead soldiers.
- The reason why the Reaper Barracks was located in the Research Compound up on the mountain instead of in the Military Compound on the ground level was possibly because the unit had a quick access to the Alien Machine in case anything went wrong (such as the Necromorphs attacking the dig teams), as Mahad stated that they were his insurance.