- "You can kill the prophet, but you can’t kill the god! Your chance to warn the Earth has come and gone. We are coming. We are hungry. We are here."
- —The Brethren Moons to Isaac Clarke and John Carver, Dead Space 3: Awakened
The Brethren Moons (or Brother Moons and Blood Moons) are gigantic, space-faring Necromorphs which have been discovered to be the source of the Marker signals. They are believed to be the final life cycle stage of the Necromorphs. Due to their agenda the Brethren Moons are the central antagonists of the Dead Space franchise.
Source and ConvergenceEdit
The Brethren Moons, though their origins are unknown, are a series of moon-sized creatures throughout the galaxy that consume all organic life that they encounter through the use of their Markers.
The Moons consume new worlds by sending out Black Markers, which travel through space and impact upon planets; in the case of Earth, the Black Marker was carried inside an asteroid that struck the Yucatan Peninsula around 65 million years B.C. It is unknown if the Moons specifically target worlds that show promise for intelligent life, or, as theorized by the Unitologist leader Jacob Danik, if the Markers are actually responsible for encouraging the evolution of intelligent species.
The Markers broadcast an electromagnetic signal, originating from the Moons themselves, that mentally affects intelligent beings. This signal manifests either as dementia or as a compulsion to replicate Markers through artificial means. Because of this, along with the fact that the Markers' signal represents a source of apparently limitless electromagnetic energy, intelligent species are driven to create Marker copies—Red Markers—that are then inevitably distributed throughout their territory. However, the signal has another function: it can alter necrotic tissue on the molecular level, causing corpses to reanimate and become Necromorphs.
After a Necromorph infestation has claimed the majority of a planet's population, many Markers on the planet will initiate a Convergence Event—the birth of a Brethren Moon. Once the Convergence begins, the necrotic flesh of both Necromorphs and dead tissue within the Markers' reach are flung into the stratosphere, where they begin to form together into a new Moon. The Moon not only absorbs organic material, but appears to absorb fragments of the planet as well.
The creature is only finalized once the creators of the Markers are absorbed along with the planet's entire biosphere. Once the makers have been absorbed as well as a large portion of the biosphere, the Marker itself gravitates to the central heart of the moon, so that it can broadcast telepathically to the rest of the formation as well as release broadcasts to other nearby Markers. It is currently unknown what happens to the Moon once it has absorbed all life on its birth site, but it is assumed that the mass travels to the next nearest source of organic life to continue feeding.
Earl Serrano speculates that all life between the origin of the Moons and humanity's home system may have been extinguished because of the Moons, which would have mixed up countless species in their uniform biomass. The game proposes here an uncommon answer to the Fermi paradox: Humanity never had the opportunity to contact any aliens because a giant species of apex predators absorb all organic tissue within the universe, leaving much of our galaxy in a state of "dead space". Serrano also discovered that the Moons form a network spanning the entire galaxy; this network enables them to communicate with each other. The Markers influence the affected races to build more Markers, which in turn trap and assimilate other species, expanding the Moon network.
Events of Dead Space 3Edit
During the events of Dead Space 3, Isaac Clarke comes to realize that the signals that Markers receive are a distress call from the incomplete moon of Tau Volantis, which was forced into hibernation when the alien race it was attempting to assimilate built a machine to flash freeze the entire planet, preventing the monstrosity from becoming "whole", and continuing on in the galaxy. As a result, the Moon began deploying distress signals through its alien Markers (like Make us Whole or Turn it Off), hoping to lure new organic beings to disable the machine preventing its growth, which would allow it to continue its assimilation of the galaxy into more Moons.
The faux Markers that Isaac had been facing were attempting to continue the "Brethren Chain" of Moons by circumventing the problem of the Tau Volantis Moon in hibernation. He also realizes that if the moon is freed from its frozen hibernation, any location within the galaxy with a still active Marker will begin the ultimate Convergence, continuing the growth of the Tau Volantis Moon.
The Moon's completion would also awaken the other completed Brethren Moons which would subsequently head for the Marker locations and devour all organic life present, resulting in the inevitable destruction of humanity and possibly all life in the galaxy. In the final chapter, Isaac manages to reconfigure the alien machine and destroy the Tau Volantis Moon. The Moon's destruction causes all the Markers to apparently cease broadcasting their signals, ending the danger they pose to the rest of the galaxy temporarily.
However, during the Tau Volantis Moon's reawakening, it somehow managed to contact the other Brethern Moons, even though the Moon wasn't fully completed. When Isaac and Carver defeated the Tau Volantis Moon, the Brother Moons awoke and began converging on the last source of human life in the galaxy; Earth.
Events of Dead Space 3: AwakenedEdit
- "We are all awake now. Awake and hungry. But where is it? Take us home, Isaac. Make us Whole."
- —The Brethren Moons "talking" with Isaac Clarke.
After the destruction of the Tau Volantis Moon, Isaac Clarke and John Carver somehow survived their fall from orbit. The two made it to the surface and noticed the fallen Moon out on the horizon of Tau Volantis. Isaac believed that after the Moon's destruction, the Marker signal would cease and therefore there wouldn't be any more Necromorphs. When Isaac and Carver reached the nearest Suit Kiosk and Bench, however, they suffered a brief vision from the Brethren Moons, realizing the Necromorphs were still active.
The remaining Unitologist soldiers on Tau Volantis start to lose faith when the Moon was destroyed, believing that there would be no Convergence or Rebirth, only death. However, a Unitoligist fanatic heard a "voice" from the awakened Brother Moons, saying: "We are coming, we are hungry."
His faith in Unitology reaffirmed, the Circle member began to gather all the remaining Unitologists into orbit into his new, fanatical cult of mutilation and sacrifice. Only a few Unitologists resisted; either mentally broken by the Moon's signal and repeatedly chanting "They are hungry, they are coming" as a mantra, or outright attempting to resist and escape their insane, former brethren.
Isaac and Carver reached the Terra Nova, all the while subjected to painful visions of the Brethren Moons. Isaac began to suspect that the Moons were manipulating them; by taking the ship back to Earth, they may well end up leading the Moons back with them. Isaac decided to destroy the Shockpoint Drive and trap them at Tau Volantis forever, leaving the Moons without direction. Carver, seeing that Isaac is growing more paranoid, threatens him, determined to recover the drive and return to Earth.
The pair fight the Cult Leader after a tense hallucinatory confrontation, and after his defeat, learn that the Moon's visions were themselves another ploy. They already knew where Earth was, and only turned Isaac and Carver against each other to prevent them from warning Earth in time. Knowing they have little time, Isaac and Carver install the salvaged ShockPoint Drive on the Terra Nova and overload the ancient reactor of the ship to power it up, shocking out just before the ship breaks down entirely.
Arriving at Earth, Isaac and Carver tried to contact the authorities (EarthGov, CEC, etc.) through several channels to relay their warning, each time being met with static. After several tries, a transmission breaks through: the gurgles and snarls of many Necromorphs. The two are shocked when they see Brethren Moons rising from the other side of Earth, already scouring the surface of the planet with their tentacles. The scene ends after a Brethren Moon begins to rise in front of the Terra Nova, crashing the ship and leaving the fate of the two protagonists unclear.
Appearance and BehaviorEdit
- "The Earth draws near. Even now we can feel it. Teeming with life. Teeming with Markers. From each world we devour, a new brother will rise and be made whole. Our network will grow and we will live forever."
- —The Brethren Moon about their nature.
The Brethren Moons are colossal Necromorphs, far larger than any aggregate form previously encountered. The surface acts as a protective casing, concealing a writhing mass of tentacles that can reach thousands of miles in length. Within the midst of the tentacles lies a circular maw, capable of ingesting massive quantities of matter. Hanging at the entrance of the mouth is an irregular mass of tissue consisting of multiple eyes, tentacles, a fang-lined slit and a circular sucking mouth. This "head" is capable of interacting with smaller objects about to be ingested, breaking down raw materials and engaging any stubborn living prey. It also has another, far, far larger "head" which is located at approximately the front and center of the organic portions of the Moon. This head has two colossal yellow eyes and two long, pointy protrusions on either side that resemble the lateral horns of a rhinoceros beetle.
Research notes from Dr. Serrano speculate that the Moons are drawn to species that have grown and spread throughout the galaxy, and have become overpopulated and starved of resources. He speculates that this is how they discovered the Alien race of Tau Volantis, who once were an empire trillions strong however the aliens were resourceful and froze the entire planet with the Machine at the cost of their own lives.
This theory is backed up by the limitless energy the Markers radiate, encouraging species with a desperate need for resources and energy to focus on building more Markers across their systems. This would make the species less able to enact quarantines effectively.
The moons are sentient organisms, able to communicate via a form of telepathic signal, as with Isaac and Carver. They are also capable of causing hallucinations via their telepathy. During the hallucinations where they speak to Isaac and Carver through their "Prophet", The Cult Leader they display a kind of hive mind mentality, referring to themselves in the plural. The moons appear to regard themselves as invincible, omnipotent and divine, at one point referring to themselves collectively as a "god". The Brethen Moons also seem to speak rather with a polite and calm form, a strong contrast to their general nature.
They also seem lack any real emotions as they did not appear to be sadden or angered by the death of their own kind.
- Like Dead Space, Dead Space iOS and Dead Space: Extraction, the first letters in each chapter of Dead Space 3 spell a phrase. The phrase: "BROTHER MOONS ARE AWAKE", suggest that the chain of Brethren Moons are awake despite the destruction of Tau Volantis' Moon, which is confirmed in Awakened.
- During a Convergence Event, it is possible that the Moon is able to craft Markers in this manner, or it simply re-envelops Markers that the civilization it is absorbing had already made.
- The Hive Mind and the Nexus were thought to have been the conduits for the Necromorphs, channeling the Marker's signal through them, acting as ground commanders. However, the larger, more powerful Necromorphs were commanded by the Brother Moon stationed above Tau Volantis.
- The Brethren Moons are the largest Necromorphs in the Dead Space games thus far.
- Disturbingly still, during one of the hallucinations Isaac had in Awakened, the one where Earth was shown, the Moons themselves mentioned, "Take Us Home, Isaac. Make Us Whole"—suggesting that there may be an even greater and more catastrophic event than the initial Convergence Event which created the individual Moons, possibly one in which the Moons might merge after feeding to form the one final, gargantuan Necromorph.
- The Moons are a clear reference to Lovecraftian Horror; a monstrous, intelligent, devouring godlike entity that seemingly cannot be stopped by the protagonist alone.
- They especially show striking similarities to Yog-Sothoth, an Outer God in the Cthulhu mythos, that appears as 7 glowing spheres, and as a mass of writhing tentacles.
- If this is intentional. It is entirely possible the Moons represent one entity, seeking to be Reborn through the process of Convergence. This is backed up when the Moons themselves state, "You can kill the prophet, but you can't kill the God."
- The existence of the Moon network is hinted at throughout the series, prominently in Dead Space 2. Especially in architecture and artwork found in The Church of Unitology on Titan Station. In certain audio logs towards the end of the game, and some dialogue: such as Nicole saying: "I'm growing cold Isaac. It hurts…" This could be foreshadowing of the Tau Volantis moon being frozen by the Alien machine, taunting Isaac through the Site 12 Marker's signal.
- The Brethren Moons are very similar to Atropus of the D&D franchise, as well as the Reapers of the Mass Effect franchise and the Graveminds of the Halo franchise.
- In Chapter 10 of Dead Space, on the Ishimura's Crew Deck, there is a poster for a movie titled "Rancid Moon", which shows a James Bond-esque protagonist being chased by a group of shadowy, tool-armed figures accross the surface of the moon. This may or may not foreshadow the Brother Moon's appearance.
- ↑ Dead Space 3: Chapter 14: Everything Has Its Place
- ↑ YouTube: The answer to Convergence?
- ↑ Dead Space 3: Chapter 18: Kill or Be Killed
- ↑ Dead Space 3: Chapter 16: What Lies Below