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Marker 3A is a Red Marker thought to have been created by EarthGov (later revealed in Dead Space 3 to be by the Sovereign Colonies) and is central to the events of Dead Space, Dead Space: Downfall, and Dead Space Extraction. It was placed on Aegis VII for experimentation purposes and later put in the cargo hold of USG Ishimura. It was later destroyed following the arrival of the USG Kellion.
The First Aegis VII Incident Edit
- "They reverse-engineered it a couple of hundred years ago from the REAL Marker, a true alien artifact recovered on Earth. They dug it up, studied it, and made it their own. Then they brought it to Aegis VII, and activated it. And you've seen the result. The stuff of nightmares. They sealed the system, and no one would have been the wiser."
- —Kendra Daniels
After the discovery of the Black Marker, EarthGov began researching the extent of its capabilities and structure. The research team, which originally featured Michael Altman, studied the Black Marker and reverse-engineered a Marker for their own use. When the Secession Wars began and the Sovereign Colonies recovered the Black Marker that Altman buried (as evidenced by logs in Dead Space 3), they too reverse-engineered copies of it. One copy, Marker 3A, was sent to Aegis VII for study, research, and experimentation. Through an accident in basic decontamination, the team discovered that the genetic code written on the Marker was the code for the Necromorph contagion. Further experiments also observed that Marker 3A emits a field or "dead space" that prevents the Necromorph DNA from initiating recombination and makes it go dormant.
As time went on, some members of the team, for unknown reasons, became infected and were turned into Necromorphs and were subsequently quarantined. The team members became overrun, and most of them were killed by the Necromorph infection. The remaining team, lead by Dr. Eando Dukaj, created a pedestal that one of the members claimed to have seen in a vision, most likely made by Marker 3A, that could amplify the "dead space" made by the Marker in the hopes of stopping the Necromorph infection from spreading and hopefully giving them a chance at survival. The team succeeded in making the pedestal and sealed the Hive Mind and the rest of the infection with it on Aegis VII.
The Second Aegis VII Incident Edit
- "That thing's got to be man-made..."
- —Sam Caldwell
Discovered by accident by an illegal mining colony on Aegis VII, Marker 3A was hailed among some colonists as proof to their faith's credibility. Shortly after its discovery, cases of insomnia, depression and later dementia began occurring. Despite increasing cases of violence, colony management overrode P-Sec protests and prepared to bring the Marker inside the colony itself. When the Marker 3A was removed from its pedestal, it emitted red light and simultaneously broadcast an across-frequencies scream. Apparently taking the "scream" as a signal, fifty Unitologists committed mass suicide; in a similar event of insanity, an extraction team engineer killed numerous members of his team and other colony personnel.
By order of Captain Benjamin Matthius, Marker 3A was brought to the Ishimura from the colony and a no-fly order was implemented between the colony and vessel. The bodies of all the murder victims were then sent to the ship secretly. The bodies of all the suicide victims were intentionally kept on the colony by the colony manager as leverage to have the Ishimura send him a vessel to transport him to the ship as he felt he deserved to be a part of the Marker's discovery. Days later, Planet Crack was to commence.
Upon initiating the planet crack, a blackout occurred throughout the entire colony. Panic immediately ensued and people quickly started being slaughtered. It was later discovered by a colonist that Marker 3A's inscriptions represented a DNA recombinant code for necrotic flesh that results in the creation of the Necromorphs. With the bodies of the suicide victims as their hosts, the Necromorphs soon began running amok in the colony, killing off and transforming more colonists. The colony soon fell apart and with all the shuttles destroyed in a flight accident, it was soon completely overrun with Necromorphs. In the end, only a few colonists survived, most notably, Brant Harris. He was clearly traumatized by the events and provided rich information for the scientists aboard the Ishimura.
Not surprisingly, the Ishimura soon followed the same fate as the colony and more Necromorphs were produced as a result of the Marker 3A's removal.
Through text logs found about the ship, Isaac Clarke discovers that the Marker is a divine relic of Unitology, a religion that was unintentionally founded by Michael Altman 200 years prior. Unitologists view Michael Altman as a martyr because of his assassination. The Marker discovered by Altman, however, was black and not red like the one found on Aegis VII. Kendra Daniels reveals that Marker 3A is in fact a manmade copy of the Black Marker, the true alien artifact discovered on Earth. Marker 3A was then brought to Aegis VII and test fired with gruesome results. It was decided that the Marker was too unstable and was subsequently buried deep within Aegis VII. The system was then sealed off. Two centuries later, an illegal mining operation by C.E.C. rediscovered the Marker with disastrous results.
For the two centuries it had been buried in Aegis VII, Marker 3A had sealed off "the Hive Mind", a massive creature that controlled the Necromorphs through telepathy. Upon removing it, the creature was released and went about killing off the humans of Aegis VII, the USG Ishimura and the USM Valor with its Necromorphs. The Marker was brought back to Aegis VII by Isaac Clarke in the hopes of once again sealing off the creature as well as the Necromorph infection. Isaac managed to return Marker 3A to its pedestal, causing it to emit an EMP-type shockwave which shut the down the gravity tethers holding the continent sized mass of material extracted by the Ishimura to began falling down to the planet. After Issac begins to move on, Kendra Daniels returns and takes Marker 3A off the pedestal and attempts to escape with it on a shuttle.
She was then killed by the Hive Mind; which was then defeated by Isaac Clarke. Clarke immediately escaped on the shuttle while Marker 3A remained behind on Aegis VII. It was presumed obliterated when the tectonic load the Ishimura had previously removed from the planet (with a mass of roughly a few trillion tons) fell back to the planet with a cataclysmic impact. Marker 3A, however, was not completely destroyed and many shards of the Marker were left on the ruins of Aegis VII.
Post-Aegis VII Incidents Edit
Three weeks after the events on the Ishimura, the USG O'Bannon was sent to the ruins of Aegis VII to complete two missions. The first mission was to find a way to hold the breaking planet together. The second mission was to recover as many shards of Marker 3A as possible. Ships were sent down onto the planet and one of the crewmen, Nickolas Kuttner, found a Marker shard. He recovered it, but it gave him dangerous hallucinations that caused him to kill a crew mate. Only one shuttle managed to make it off the planet before it was destroyed and returned to the O'Bannon.
The Marker 3A shard was examined by a scientist on the ship who became affected by it to such an extent that he unintentionally started a Necromorph outbreak via his experiments. The terrified and hallucinating doctor returned to his quarters where he killed his wife and baby, thinking they were monsters. The shard of Marker 3A was eventually thrown into the O'Bannon's core reactor by the surviving crew members and destroyed. This brought about an end to the Necromorph aboard the ship.
- Throughout the duration of Dead Space, the monitors located throughout the game will become "possessed," flashing red and having the symbols found throughout the game moving about the screen erratically; when Isaac approaches the monitors, they will turn on and start flashing red with the symbols and turn off when Isaac is at a certain distance. It becomes apparent in Chapter 11: Alternate Solutions that this is Marker 3A manipulating Isaac, when Isaac meets up with Nicole after Daniels attempts to escape with the Red Marker.
- The Marker 3A is the only "true" Red Marker in the series, as all other "Red" Markers possesses a dark outer layer with only the Marker symbols being red. Its coloration, however, is subject to several discrepancies throughout the games and movies it made an appearance in.
- In Dead Space, whenever Isaac approaches the Red Marker, it seems to emit what sounds like several people chanting, which could be an hallucination. What the voices say are in Latin "Sumus here muerte, nostra sanctos deus", which means loosely in English "We are here in death, we want our holy god". The meaning of this is unknown, but the word "god" may refer to either to the Marker, Necromorphs or their ultimate goal. The phrase "we are here in death" most likely refers to the Necromorphs or Convergence.
- There are some discrepancies with Marker 3A between Downfall and the game.
- The Marker 3A appears significantly larger during Downfall. In Dead Space, the Marker only appears to be two to three times the size of Isaac whereas in Downfall, it appears to be several stories tall, taking up almost the entire height of the Cargo Bay.
- In the movie, the Marker seems to have the ability to repel Necromorphs approaching it, though most likely for gameplay reasons, this ability is absent from Dead Space. Although at the end of the game, when the Marker is put in place by Isaac, it creates a shockwave that destroys any remaining Necromorph Tissue nearby.
- As of Dead Space: Salvage, the Marker 3A is presumed destroyed as a group of illegal miners found the USG Ishimura, its hull shot full of shards from the Marker. And in Aftermath, they scour the planet's unstable surface trying to stabilize it while also looking for pieces of the Marker.
- According to Cpt. Campbell, EarthGov was willing to pay 2,000,000 credits for a kilo of the Marker 3A fragment.
- The Marker has the ability to monitor the Necromorphs presence, as logs in the game have revealed that when the Marker was destroyed, the Necromorphs degenerated into an "Organic Soup" as put by an EarthGov scientist . At the same time, the incident on the O'Bannon showed that the destruction of the shard, caused the Necromorphs to be reduced to the same organic sludge, as the Marker is what created the Necromorphs and is also holding them together, without a marker signal, Necromorphs can no longer be supported structurally.