- "The USG Ishimura, the most famous of the Planetcracker class starships was flung from orbit around Aegis VII after the disastrous events of Dead Space. It was lost somewhere in deep space and both the Government and a powerful religious sect called the "Church of Unitology" believed that it may still hold the Red Marker, believed to be an alien artifact that promised great power for either side and both would stop at nothing to reach it first!"
- —Amazon's official summary for Salvage
Captain Benedykt Malyech of the Magpie ship, Black Beak was chased in the halls of the Ishimura by a multitude of Necromorphs and subsequently turned into one before waking up. His adjutant, Julia Copland comforted him before directing their attention to a motherload of minerals.
In the meantime, the Earth Government's Defense Secretary, David Chang arrived at the Aegis VII blockade. He was under orders to find the Marker and the Ishimura which they are unable to locate. In addition, they are joined by the Oracles who took control of the situation.
We returned to the perspective of the Magpies who are using a ShockRing to transport eggs (Clumps of minerals) to their Nest (A large storage ship) when they got an odd reading. The Ishimura was shocked into their position and destroyed their Nest with it's captain, Bellevin and damaged the Hunter Moon, a ship commanded by Jessica Li and Stefan Schneider. They managed to use the gravity tethers to hold the Ishimura in position and began boarding.
The Ishimura was heavily damaged with most of the systems nonfunctional or malfunctioning. It was devoid of people or Necromorphs, but was instead full of an organic sludge. Gatura Okeke, Stefan and Jessica explored the ship while Malyech investigated the crystals on the side of the ship which turned out to be Marker fragments, but when he got too close to them, he blacked out and had a nightmare of being chased by an Hunter-like Necromorph. When he woke up, he took the shards and went to the Ishimura.
Jessica decided to salvage the ship for parts and gathered the crew at the Bridge. While they discussed the fate of the crew, Malyech showed them the pieces of the Marker. Li proposed selling the Marker shards which prompted Malyech to assault her. He was brought down after a brief struggle and Venschiff, one of his crewmates locked him up in the brig.
The crew realized that there might be a whole Marker on board, but are panicked when Copland left for the EarthGov blockade with a few Marker shards. Li rallied the crew and gave them all tasks. Okeke went down to Engineering to repair the ShockPoint Drive. She also went to see if Malyech regained his sanity. The rest of the crew kept a lookout for EarthGov. Julia arrived at the EarthGov blockade and was not taken seriously until she produced the Marker shards. Chang agreed to negotiate with her for a deal, but the negotiators are the Oracles. After revealing all of the information, she asked for a "reward or something". Copland received "something": Death.
Malyech was awoke by a hallucination of Bellevin in the brig. It occupied his attention by informing him that he needed to be made whole. Meanwhile, the Necromorph biomass reanimated and consumed him, making him whole. Around the same time, Venschiff lost his mind and attacked Stefan in a paranoid frenzy. He tried to strangle Stefan, but in retaliation, Stefan stabbed Venschiff with a Marker fragment.
After the remaining logs are scanned, the crew realized that the Marker was not on board. They relayed the news to Li who was being stalked by a Necromorph. Just as they heard it's hissing over the communications, Malyech's Necromorph form dropped down and killed Li. Suspicious, the crew decided to head down to Li's level where a large Brute-like Necromorph ripped Thorssen and Gottheddir to pieces in rapid succession. Stefan and Wenbo opened fire on it, but when Stefan destroyed a relay, both the Brute and Wenbo are blown to bits. Stefan survived and warned Okeke to leave, but he and his crew are killed by more gargantuan Necromorphs in the Engine Room.
Both the Oracles and EarthGov arrived on the Ishimura, but the Oracles came on a stealth shuttle. Stefan spoke with the Marines and tricked them into going to the Cargo Bay which contained the Necromorphs. The Oracles realized the trick, but left the Marines to their fate to buy time. They proceeded to activate the quarantine protocols. The Marines led by Captain Amise searched the Cargo Bay for the Marker and Stefan, only to instead find the Necromorphs and death.
Stefan fought through the Necromorphs, but was trapped by the quarantine. While Stefan figured a way out, the rest of the EarthGov team was killed. Meanwhile, the Oracles destroyed the Necromorphs with ease using strange weapons. When they reached the Bridge, they realized that the Marker was destroyed and Stefan was doing a spacewalk. They followed and confronted him, but are interrupted by a Hive Mind. The Oracles dispatched it and they continued their confrontation with Stefan inside. They cornered Stefan, but he threatened to remote pilot the Magpies’ shockring into the Ishimura with a remote control. The Oracles partially revealed their motives, but stopped when they realized that the 'remote control' was really just a radiation detector. Stefan made a break for it and escaped through a hatch. The Oracle with the weapon lost his arm when the hatch shut. Both the Oracles are eviscerated by a mob of enraged Necromorphs.
Stefan used their strange weapon to fight his way through the Necromorphs. His ship was swarmed by them so he decided to use the stealth shuttle of the Oracles in order to escape. He contacted EarthGov and informed them about the Ishimura's location. Chang ordered him to stay, but Stefan insulted him and shocked out to an unknown destination.
- Hunter's Moon crew
- Capt. Jessica Li, the de facto leader and "people person" who ran a tight crew. Li quit the Marines after an embezzlement scandal surfaced that was rumored to involve several million credits.
- Stefan Schneider, the second-in-command who can only be kept in line by Capt. Jessica Li. He gained a deep mistrust of all authority after his legitimate mining business went under from CEC's meddling and EarthGov's capitulation.
- Wenbo, an engineer
- Thorssen, a pilot
- Black Beak crew
- Capt. Benedykt Malyech, a former CEC supervisor and practicing Unitologist. Malyech was fired from the CEC for breach of contract after disclosing corporate secrets to the media.
- Julia Copland, the second-in-command and a lifelong criminal and scam artist. She turned to freelance mining as a way to hide out from the law and found out that the culture suited her demeanor.
- Venschiff, a pilot
- Gottheddir, an engineer
- Sunset crew
- Capt. Gatura Okeke, the resident gearhead and moderate Unitologist. As a commercial pilot, Okeke was fired for insubordination.
- Liberté crew
- Capt. Bellevin, a lifelong Magpie who knew the risk-reward ratio of freelance mining better than anyone.
- Skyrocket crew
- Defense Secretary David Chang, a high-ranking official famed for making tough decisions and his hawkish attitude to the military's role in EarthGov.
- USM Victory crew
- The Captain
- Stealth ship crew
- The Oracles, agents of unknown record
- USM Intrepid crew
- Capt. Amise
- It was originally named Dead Space: Retribution.
- Stefan was the only survivor in Dead Space: Salvage.
- An Ubermorph could be seen aboard the USG Ishimura. This was the second known sighting of the Ubermorph aside from the outbreak on Titan Station.