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Dead Space: Liberation is a graphic novel in the Dead Space series, written by Ian Edgington and Christopher Shy. The novel was released on February 5, 2013 and is currently the #3 best selling hardback graphic novel on the New York Times best seller list.
- "A prequel to the events of the smash video game hit Dead Space 3, we follow EarthGov Sergeant, John Carver whose wife and son are attacked by fanatics trying to liberate the Marker site where she works. Racing to solve the clues his wife left behind, Carver teams up with Ellie Langford, survivor of an earlier necromorph outbreak on the Sprawl, and EarthGov Captain Robert Norton. Together they unlock deep secrets about the Markers in an epic adventure that will help determine the fate of mankind."
- —Amazon's official summary for Liberation
On the planet of Uxor, Sergeant John Carver is out on patrol around Marker Shroud 4 when he is contacted by his wife, Damara. She’s upset with how poorly he’s been conducting himself while on duty and how much he’s been absent from the family. Carver is inclined to agree with her on his erratic behavior, but remains frustrated that she needs to constantly remind him.
During their conversation Carver discovers a long-sight laser marker locked on to the position of the Marker site. Too late stop what is about to happen, Carver warns his wife and son to get to safety moments before a missile hits the Marker Site. The Marker exposed, it releases an EMP that knocks out all power in the area. Residential is destroyed by a crashing ship affected by the EMP and Carver races to reach his family when they fail to respond to his hails over their RIG transmission. During his journey to Residential he is attacked by misshapen creatures that hinder his path to Damara and Dylan.
Inside the residential area, Jacob Danik, leader of the Unitologist group known as the Circle, is searching for information regarding the Markers. Carver listens in, but a transmission from Damara alerts the Unitologists to his presence, and Danik orders the sergeant be captured. They use a stun grenade to render him unconscious. Afterward they proceed to torture him for information; Carver taunts them in spite of the harm they inflict. One of the followers pulls up Carver’s record and learns that he is married to one of the Marker scientists on the planet. Carver threatens to kill them if they harm Damara; knowing they’ve hit a sore spot, Danik orders his men to find and kill his family. An enraged Carver breaks free and attacks them. He escapes as more of the creatures assault the Unitologists.
Danik, satisfied with the information garnered from Carver’s records, declares Carver a “dead man walking”. He presumably reaches Damara and Dylan first and kills them, leaving their bodies to be infected by the mysterious organism attacking Residential. Carver arrives too late to save his family and forced to put them down when their monstrous forms attack him. He looks at Damara's wedding ring and cries out. Carver suffers a break down and prepares to commit suicide, telling Damara's body that he is 'on his way'.
His attempted suicide is interrupted by the voice of Ellie Langford, a woman he met some time ago when he was stationed on Haven Prime. Ellie explains that she was working with Damara when she discovered Marker experimentation carried out by the Sovereign Colonies almost two hundred years ago. Ellie calls Damara’s discovery “a goldmine of secrets” and “history’s biggest cover up”. She implores Carver help her by getting Damara’s research (hidden in a stuffed doll alongside the communicator Ellie contacted) to her. Captain Robert Norton is waiting for them in high-orbit on the USM Eudora to get them off-planet once they rendezvous at the cargo dock.
Carver agrees to help; suspecting their transmission was monitored by Danik, he uses Ellie as bait to lure the Unitologists out into the open. Ellie is livid once she discovers his plan. He and Danik’s men race to reach Ellie, their paths obscured by the oncoming horde of Necromorphs. Ellie and Carver are eventually cornered by the Unitologists. The Eudora descends from orbit and rescues them. As Carver boards the ship, he swears revenge against Danik.
On the Eudora, Carver demands to know what happened to the people on the planet and why he had to kill his family. Norton declares the information is “need-to-know” only, but Ellie thinks he deserves to know. She elaborates further on Damara’s collaboration with herself and Norton; she was recruited for her specialty as a data archaeologist, she could retrieve and rebuild data from countless redundant systems. To erase any further skepticism on Carver’s end, Ellie plays a prerecorded message from Damara. Created before her death, Damara explains the centuries old information she unearthed on the Marker experimentation by the Sovereign Colonies is the key to saving mankind and it is imperative that the Unitologists are kept from it.
Two centuries ago, the Sovereign Colonies discovered a “Master Signal” that controlled all other signals being perpetuated by the Marker copies created by man. To this end, they created three Markers to work in conjunction with signal triangulation on Ptolemy Station before purging the information. Damara managed to reconstruct a portion of the data and recorded the coordinates to the station. She concealed her work from her husband, knowing he’d try to stop her; she reaffirms the secrecy was necessary for theirs and mankind's future. At Ellie’s request, Carver decides to help them as a way to honor his wife’s memory.
Traveling through a ShockRing they arrive at Ptolemy Station some time later. After docking, they reinstate life support and gravity systems on the deserted station and go to work. Rebooting system, they use the Marker pylons to triangulate the origin of the Master Signal. However, they cannot shock to the location because of the distance. Carver suggests they head for Keyhole Station knowing it contains a ShockPoint facility. Decoupling from the ship, Ellie uses the Eudora’s armaments to destroy Ptolemy Station in an effort to prevent Danik from gaining the location of the Master Signal.
In transit to Keyhole Station, Ellie tries to decipher the files on Damara’s data stick; she has little to no luck. Huge portions of the data contain Marker language and without a primer she can’t translate them. She suggests that they find Isaac Clarke but Norton objects immediately. Ellie presses on, citing they need someone who’s been “touched” by the Marker to help them. Norton believes Isaac’s high profile with the Unitologists and apparent lunacy will bring further trouble to their mission. Ellie believes Norton is merely being jealous and tells him to get over her history with Isaac.
Mockingly, Norton tells Ellie to go check on Carver because she likes “screwed up basket cases”. With the files, Norton believes they don’t need the likes of Carver or Isaac on the ship, Carver is especially collateral damage that can be replaced by any soldier. Angry, Ellie storms off and indeed visits Carver. Beside himself with guilt, Carver invites Ellie into his quarters and tries to make sense of his family’s death. Feeling responsible for the events that led to her death, Carver promises to see Damara’s mission through if it’s the last thing he does.
They arrive to Keyhole Station to find the environment overrun with the Corruption and no apparent signs of life. Carver suggests they proceed through the station without drawing attention to their selves with a firefight, Norton agrees. However, progressing through the station, Norton and his group are eventually blindsided by attacks from Slashers and Pukers who slaughter some of Norton’s accompanying team. Realizing they’ll be overrun, Carver sets off a grenade once everyone is in the clear; Ellie believes Carver perished with the Necromorphs when he emerges from the flames, unharmed.
On Norton’s orders they head through the Main Access tunnel despite the exposed environment; they are attacked by another incursion of Necromorphs. Carver saves Norton from an attack and declares they’re following his plan of action next time. They enter a room full of corpses and a sole Slasher who proceeds to charge them. Outside, the Eudora is being attacked by an unidentified vessel, Norton orders the ship to launch countermeasures just as the station is bombarded by an attack. Carver and Norton are separated from Ellie during the explosion, inflamed by another Necromorph attack, Carver appears to be sucked out into space while Norton and his remaining team fight of the oversized Necromorph that hounds them.
Ellie encounters technician Jennifer Santos and Marker Operative Austin Buckell during her separation from Carver and Norton. Outside, Danik berates his men for destroying half of the station when his express orders were to take out the Eudora. Though his men apologize for their error, he shoots one of them in the head to set an example. Danik, realizing that Norton and the others must have found the coordinates, orders they continue to target the Eudora.
Meanwhile Norton and Carver regroup; Norton apologizes for not listening to him earlier. Carver dismisses his apology, reminding Norton that he cares for nothing except completing Damara’s mission. Ellie contacts them via RIG and tells them she, Santos and Buckell are trapped in the original hangar deck. Knowing Norton has a copy of the Shock-Gate transmission codes, she tells Norton to head for the control room and activate the ShockRing. She plans on taking a Sub-Light flyer to Tau Volantis. Norton and Carver are attacked by more Necromorphs en route to the control room and barely scrape by without injury. Norton and Ellie apologize to each other over the fight with Isaac. Once they arrive, Norton inputs the coordinates; Ellie explains the flyer is up and running and that she’ll take a shock beacon with her, it will help her get straight to Tau Volantis from where she is.
As the ShockRing charges up, Norton activates Keyhole Station’s weapons and fires on Danik. Ellie thanks Norton and Carver for clearing the way. As the Sub-Flyer prepares to enter the ring, Ellie tells Norton to “come get her soon”. Once they depart, Norton destroys the ring before Danik’s ship can reach it. As they exit the station, the structure begins to fall apart around them. Norton and Danik watch as the heavily damaged Unitologist ship floats off into space near the damaged ShockRing unable to cause further trouble. The Eudora arrives in time to pick them up and Norton orders the ship to destroy Keyhole Station. Carver realizes that without Damara, they can’t translate the language of the Markers in her data stick. When he asks if there was anyone else who could, Norton answers, “Isaac Clarke.”
- Norton appears to be capable of killing Necromorphs without the express knowledge of shooting the limbs. This contradicts his later reaction on the appearance of the Necromorphs on the CMS Roanoke in Chapter 3 of Dead Space 3.
- There is no mention of the data stick containing the marker symbols in Dead Space 3. Instead, the premise of Isaac's knowledge of the marker language is utilized in Chapter 4 in the admiral's quarters.