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Introduction to the Third Update
It's the last intro I'll do, I promise, though I'm not done with Bed Space. Don't want this to get ludicuous, of course.
So, I'll keep it brief. The new story is because I wanted an excuse to use "Make us Whole Again" in a sexual context. The rest flowed from that.
Also, this is my first foray into textual surrealism (modernism?), and in writing a second-person narrative, so be nice. Yes, the increasing lack of punctuation in the second half of the post was deliberate.
As always, thank you, Haeg.
Introduction to the Second Update
After many months of being lazy, I hereby present to you the next installment - much shorter this time, I admit - of my madhouse Dead Space Romance Collection, a charming tale I have entitled "Allegory of the Pregnant Mind". It's below my first story.
No doubt a few of you have questions on your mind. "Why haven't you given me hot Necromorph sex this time, d2r?" I can almost hear you say. "WHERE IS MY NECROMORPH SEX?!?!" you demand, your eyes fixed hungrily on my throat as you close in for the kill.
My answer to your question is succinct. This started as erotica, it is true. But one can only write so much "hot Necromorph sex" before the formula becomes weary, before, indeed, the reader becomes hardened to the puerile things I describe. What never dies, however, what never becomes "old" is the concept of the romance - perverted, grotesque, distorted almost beyond recognition, but still there. Between rotting flesh, tenderness. Between infected minds, passion. In death and mutilation, finding love. If this isn't the very thing which I am trying to express, what is? If anything, my newest installment is probably even more appalling than its predecessor - and all this without Necromorph sex.
But perhaps I am blowing my own horn. In any case, I dedicate this story - again - to Haegemonia, without whom I would never have had the idea to write something so utterly horrific. Thanks, Haeg!
This is entirely, utterly, 100% Haegemonia's fault. Him and his damn blog was so funny that it led me to make a tasteless joke which in turn wound up with me creating this horrific monstrosity in an attempt to one-up him (and for that matter two and perhaps even five-up him). That and Gorvar basically obligated me to do this when he threatened to leave if I ever did. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW, GORVAR?!
I decided at the outset that I wanted this to be at least semi-serious, so I have put a fair bit of effort into making this a bit more than a simple smut vehicle - in actuality, it's a lot less graphic than I could have made it, because I can only write so much detail without totally grossing myself out. But it's probably even more warped this way. I'm going to update this occasionally (read: whenever I feel like it), so leave a message on my talk page if you want me to alert you for updates - you sick, sick bastards.
So without further adieu, I present to you the first story in the first, and hopefully only, Dead Space erotica collection. Enjoy my work, y'all sick bastards, you.
God, I feel dirty, now.
Story 1: Slasher's Love Song
My name is Paul. I'm an engineer, first-class, on the U.S.G. Ishimura, and that means I solve problems. It's part of my job - fixing broken things, and solving problems.
Would it be entirely tacky of me to say that my life is unfixably broken? Is a problem without a solution? Probably. But I'm not a poet - that didn't come in the job description, and I've never been good at telling stories, so I guess you'll have to forgive me if I make mistakes now and then.
Being dead's kind of a new experience for me; so's being undead. Am I me? Am I still Paul? I don't know. I barely LOOK like Paul. Paul didn't have a distended jaw, didn't have an extra pair of arms coming out of his stomach, and didn't have a pair of blades coming out of his arms. Paul also didn't kill people - hell, he used to be a pacifist. I used to know a lot of these guys and girls, probably, maybe they were my friends, my pals - but now, I just feel this anger, you know? Whenever I see them, I just feel...so fucking angry that they're not dead like me. And I feel this need to get even. I want them to get it, to be like me. It's like a compulsion - it takes me over whenever I see someone that's isn't one of us. And it makes me feel better when I cut them down, when they stop moving and lie still, because I know they'll be like me soon - a couple of hours and they'll be with me, and we'll both understand why I did what I did, and we'll laugh about it together and race through the ventilation shafts - god, that's fun!
You know, come to think of it, there's not a lot of Paul left in me. I don't look like him, and I sure don't feel like him. So, am I still Paul? That's a bit out of my league - that question falls within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy, and that's not what I was trained to solve. I solve practical problems. Being an engineer and not a philosopher and all makes it hard to figure out who I am or what it all means. But fuck it all. It doesn't matter. Not any more.
It's not like my new life - death? - isn't without its pleasures, though. I guess now that I look at it it's only been a day or so since the plague hit, but it feels like I've been like this all my life. And I have a lot more fun now - I never realized how many things there were to do on the Ishimura. Racing through the vents is kind of fun - I'm getting pretty quick, and I can get across the ship faster than most of the others. Trying to find the uninfected's fun too - the ones that are still left are getting really good at hiding, and it feels rewarding when you finally find them curled up in a corner or tinkering with a Bench, creep up on them and TAG! You're it! You're on my team now; once you're back up on your feet, come help me find the others, and when we're all done, we'll start a new game.
I think my favourite thing is zero gravity, though. Drifting around feels so nice. I can relax for a long time in there. It feels nice to drift and not have to think or wonder about myself - engineers were never trained to solve existential crises, and fucked if I'm going to worry about trying.
I was drifting around and relaxing in Zero-G therapy - it's a bit nicer than some of the areas with the broken floors and stuff - when she came in. At first, all I could see was a figure near the door; I didn't know who it was, but I could tell it wasn't one of the uninfected. I was curious, so I kicked myself over off a passing crate to take a look.
I recognized her. God above, I recognized her. I don't remember much about who I used to be - I used to be called Paul, I'm an Engineer, I'm on the Ishimura, and that's about it, aside for a bunch of assorted stuff, like some names for things. I forgot a lot, because it didn't matter. But I remembered her when I saw her.
Cathy. My wife.
I guess she remembered me too, because we looked at one another a while. She was about as much of a mess as I was - blades out of hands, broken jaw, two extra hands coming out of her stomach - the works. For the first time in what felt like forever, I felt sad about how I looked, because I didn't look like the man she loved any more. Neither of us looked like we used to, but we still felt like we used to, I guess. What's that they say in weddings? Until death do you part? Well, I guess we gave death the finger.
We reached out for one another with our arms, wrapping ourselves around one another in a clumsy embrace as we began to drift. I remember she was crying with one eye - I guess the tear ducts didn't work any more in the other one. I remember seeing the tears drift around us in midair like rain on a paused holofilm as she reached behind me and ran her blades down the back of what remained of my Engineering suit, carving the last shredded remnants of my clothing away. I shivered at the sensation - it was crude, it took some of my skin off too, but it felt so right. I reached down as she did it and cut open her outfit from the front, peeling it away to expose the decaying remains of the flesh I used to kiss and caress. I awkwardly stroked her with my two stomach-arms - I didn't want to hurt her with the blades on what were once my real arms as I caressed her ribs and her breasts. We both writhed around as we tried to get what was left of the clothing off - it's hard without your hands - the extra arms are almost useless at doing anything meaningful, so we mostly had to clasp stomach-hands, my head facing her legs, and vice versa, and remove it bit by bit.
It was agonizingly slow, but we kept at it. Being dead makes you a lot more determined, I guess - having both been dead once, we both understand that life is short, and undeath equally limited, and you have to take what you want when you want it, no matter how long it takes. In a few minutes, we were done, and we carefully turned so we faced one another.
I would have thought, too, that death would have freed us of our basic biological imperatives. Or perhaps that the plague would over-ride it. But I guess that sort of thing's hardwired into who we are. I thought that being undead changed that, but no - it doesn't. We're still human, if changed. And we still must obey that basic law of nature.
I drew her close, and she shuddered against me as we both succumbed to the pull of our bodies' basic, irrefutable demand. It was...new. Interesting. Nothing like the last time we had sex - a tired, bored affair in the shower after my shift and before hers. No, this was...exciting. We'd never done it in Zero-G, and it was a challenge - Newton's Third Law means that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and my first thrust was enough to disengage me and send me drifting backward. She caught my foot, giving an approximation of a smile with what remained of her jaw, and pulled me against her again. I felt her move beneath me, bringing up her legs and hooking them around my back, locking herself against me to prevent another drift as I continued my frenzied thrusts into her.
Another new thing was our bodies. We'd both changed a lot - it made it awkward, since our bodies aren't designed for easy intercourse any more, but figuring it out was gratifying in its own way. I remember the way her back arched as I entered her; the way her eyes closed, the way her warm, soft body felt against mine. Our bodies were twisted ruins, hideous, wretched, and yet...they opened so many new possibilities for us; things that would have wrenched limbs in a previous life, positions that weren't even possible for a regular human being with regular human parts and only four paltry limbs and only three usable orifices. And when the end came - and so did we – we held on and drifted together for a while, side by side, and looked up at the lamp that suddenly seemed bright as the sun.
Who says death ends all things? A filthy lie. A filthy, filthy lie. This plague takes from us, but it also gives. We know, now, that love doesn't die a permanent death - like us, all it takes is the right motivation, and it's back on its feet again and burning for more. Just like us. And maybe we can't cheat death forever, but we have one another. Together. Forever. Till death do us part - and beyond.
My name is Paul. And I am a philosopher.
Story 2: Allegory of the Pregnant Mind
When he came back to me, I was waiting for him.
He’s been gone for a few hours. Probably hunting for the survivors – but he can’t help himself, so I don’t blame him. We all do it. Even I do it, sometimes. You might say that killing the uninfected is getting to be sort of a habit with us; a compulsion. I might have called it morbid or depraved, once, before the plague. But since then, I’ve come to realize that death isn’t actually a bad thing, and tracking the uninfected – what few of them still live – is kind of a fun way to spend a couple of hours. Like a great game of hide-and-go-seek. So, I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that I don’t blame him for yielding to that urge. It’s just his nature – same as me.
Besides. He’s here now, and that's what matters. He bows his head slightly as he comes in, his eyes fixed on my swollen stomach. Neither of us speak. Actually, if you want to be precise, neither of us can speak any more, but then, even when we could, perhaps we wouldn’t have at a time like this. And what the hell are spoken words good for, anyway? They’re just remnants of our old lives. When you think about it, they’re just tiny, pathetic little pieces of sound that die as soon as they’re spoken. Spoken words are just illusions – talk all you want, but you can never communicate the true depths of the feelings you’re trying to describe. Spoken words are useless, meaningless things. I’m glad to be rid of them.
Words, for example, can’t possibly describe what’s going on right now. You can never know except by experience – it’s a feeling that men can’t ever come close to knowing. The miracle of life...death?...accelerated a thousandfold in my womb.
I’m rambling. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude.
I was in my first trimester when the plague killed me. I’d learn later that my husband had died, too, a couple of hours later. Maybe it was grief. Maybe he wanted to join me. I don’t know. I’m rambling again.
He walks closer. He’s changed a lot. Like me. I guess now that I think of it, we have a lot in common. Both of us have distended jaws, our tongues and with them our words long since fallen out. Blades protrude, now, from the palms of our hands – although my hands have mostly withered away. I guess the plague isn’t without its downsides. The key difference between us, though, is in our stomachs. His is lean, with two extra arms bursting out of what was his abdominal cavity – I used to know a specific word for it, in a previous life as a nurse. My stomach, of course, is greatly expanded, distended to an enormous size by the expansion of my womb.
I raise an arm and beckon to him, motioning with one long blade. I’m lying down – I should have told you that earlier, I’m sorry – on what was once our bed, resting. He draws close to me, climbing up onto the bed with me and lying down beside me. I let my head drop down to rest against his shoulder, and I remember all the other time’s he’s held me in his arms as we drift off to sleep. To fall asleep against his shoulder would be such a nice, romantic thing to do – I wish I could still sleep, but sleep is hard to come by, now that I’m dead. Come to think of it, I don’t recall sleeping at all since I died. But my thoughts can still drift, and I close my eyes and lie there with him and think back on our life together.
I think of the day I realized I was pregnant, two months before the plague hit – how overjoyed we were, all the things we bought for it – a crib and blankets that still wait silently in a corner of the room for when our son comes, to be tucked away and rocked to sleep. I think of the day we came to the Ishimura – how hard we fought to be assigned to the same ship, how much effort it was having us assigned to the same quarters through all the red tape. I think of our wedding – how awkward and nervous he looked in his tuxedo. I think of the first day we met, in the cafeteria of an old cruiser...
I feel him stir. I open my eyes to see him looking at my stomach. The baby should come any day now. I know what he’s thinking, and I nod slightly and close my eyes as he lays his head on my stomach to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
And I think to myself again. How will my child look, when it comes? How will it feel to nurse it – are my breasts, rotted as they are, even capable of giving suck to my own infant?
The real miracle, in any case, is that even in death, we’re still going to have the baby we wanted. And that child, our baby boy, will be born into a world completely alien to the one in which he was conceived. My child is going to be born dead. He’s going to live dead. And in my heart of hearts, I know my child’s life will be a marvel. He’ll have no words – none of us do – but he’ll learn without them. He’ll grow up in the brave new world of the Ishimura.
And inside me, I feel him kick.
Story 3: Succubus
(Author’s Note: This story presupposes knowledge of the ending of the first Dead Space, with specific regards to you-know-who, and it also gives away a plot twist. Readers who have not completed the game, consider yourselves warned!)
She waited for you. Oh, god, she waited for you. How many weeks was it? Waiting for the next message, longing just to see her face and hear her voice? Worrying every day in between that the separation gave her time to change her mind about the two of you, decide not to wait. And then…
Isaac, it’s me. I wish I could talk to you.
It’s okay. It’s all right. You’re here now, here for her. To talk.
Kendra Daniels. The bitch left you both to die, or tried to. That poor bastard Kyne never had a chance; she just shot him and left him in his gore on the deck as she pulled away. And she left you, you and Nicole, high and dry on the Ishimura. Abandoned you, left you as fodder for the zombies, left you alone.
But she didn’t count on Nicole’s ingenuity, nor your resilience. Teamwork, companionship. She’d forgotten about that. She told you about the remote pilot, and you stopped her cold, dragged the shuttle back to the Ishimura. Kendra escaped on a pod, the coward, but you and Nicole have the shuttle now. You’re bound for Aegis VII, to finish this.
Right now you’re in the cockpit, and she’s beside you. Your helmet’s lying on the floor underfoot where you’ve cast it; you only realize how claustrophobic the suit is when you take the damn thing off. Sweat and dried blood’s made the RIG stick to your body; god, it feels disgusting.
“An hour,” you say. “It’ll be an hour before we get to the colony. Maybe two hours. The autopilot will take us there.”
“Why will it take so long?” she asks. Somehow, she still looks so beautiful. Even after all the blood and pain of the Ishimura, she’s clean, her skin smooth, her hair neat, her clothing unblemished. The smell of her perfume in your nostrils, just like you remember from the last time you saw her. She’s looking steadily at you, her head slightly cocked.
“Because it’s on the opposite side of the planet,” you say. “This shuttle can only go so fast, and we need to go down out of the asteroid field and into orbit, and then around the planet to the colony. But at least we’ll beat Kendra there.”
“Okay,” she says.
“Okay? Is that all?”
“What’s wrong, Isaac?”
“I was hoping we could talk.”
“About us. You said you wanted to talk to me. In your message. You sounded so alone.”
I’m sorry. I’m sorry about everything. I wish I could just…talk to someone.
You suddenly feel her fingers running through your hair, moving down to tickle that spot behind your ear in that way she always had; just like all those times before. She’s right behind you, now, but she was beside you just a second ago, wasn’t she? It doesn’t matter. She must have moved behind you in a moment when you weren’t looking. You weren’t paying attention. People don’t teleport.
Oh Isaac, she murmurs. I was alone. I was. But you’re here now. That’s what matters.
You’re stalling, you say. You mean it as a joke, but you’re so tired, it comes across more aggressive than you meant it to. But she doesn’t stop caressing your scalp.
I want to talk, she says. Just not now. Give me time to think. We’ll talk, I promise; I just need time to think about what happened.
I understand. I saw what it was like in there. I can’t imagine what it was like for you, watching them all die.
It’s strange. Such a little thing. I’ve seen people die before; I’m a doctor, after all. But this…
It’s okay, Nicole, you say. You can see she’s near tears. It’s okay, you don’t have to talk until you’re ready.
A long moment passes. She moves her hands down from your scalp to your cheeks, touching them. You remember your last date on the Sprawl. The smell of her, the touch of her, the taste. That night you spent together, a day before the Ishimura left dock. How long ago was it?
God, I’m tired, you say. It’s not a lie. You’re exhausted after all that running and fighting, no breaks except for the brief minutes you snatched on the tram, travelling from deck to deck.
Go lie down, she whispers to you, her lips close to your earlobe. There’s a couch in the lounge. We can lie there and rest.
Questions, you think as you get up. Questions can wait until after the marker. You’re tired. You’re both trying not to think about what you’ve seen. You understand why she doesn’t want to talk right now.
She follows you out of the cockpit. Her arm linked with yours, hands clasped. She’s behind you, but somehow, it feels almost like she’s leading you as both of you sit down on the couch. It feels so good after all those hours on the Ishimura; so relaxing. You feel her running her hands along your own, her cheek pressed to yours, just like the first time you kissed, at a party so long ago. There was a couch then too.
As if she’s thinking the same thing as you, she inclines her head slightly, leans over enough to plant her lips against yours. A long, slow kiss.
Nicole, you say
It’s okay Isaac
Hold me Isaac
She kisses you again. The feel of her tongue against yours, eyes closed, nothing but the sensation of her.
The feeling of her hands against your RIG finding the clasps Sticky clothing peeling away sensation of relief it’s gone Hers is coming off too you must be undressing her you realize
Make us whole Isaac
Oh god Nicole I’ve missed you
I know Isaac
Make us whole Isaac
You’re lying back against the couch Neither of you have any clothes on Nicole lets the last article fall to the floor before she kisses you again You can feel her warmth against you You can smell yourself the sweat and the blood the stench but you try to focus on her instead
The lavender of her perfume the smell of disinfectant that was always about her part of what made her her
You feel her moving against your chest trying to pull you on top of her
Nicole are you sure
We dont have any protection Nicole are you sure about this
Its okay Isaac
You give in and let her turn you and kiss her again You draw back adjust yourself go down She sighs and holds you close as you move
Make us whole Isaac
up and down like ships used to go you think back in the days when ships travelled between land not stars heaving in time to a neverending pulse youve never been this poetic before in moments like this
no thats not true there was that first time so many years ago a trip through memories thats what this is always something reminding you of what has gone before of her eternal memories of her combined in the here and now like a motif or a recurring theme repeating on a loop manifesting itself in different contexts
what she means to you
her legs locked behind your back her arms running through your hair the feel of her flesh against yours the soft pant of her breath as she moves in time with you how warm she is how perfect make us whole nicole
i really wanted to see you again she breathes into your ear
im here you say
ive loved you she says
ive always loved you
i love you too you say
movement getting faster like ships in terrestrial storms back on earth hundreds of years ago up and down faster and faster ship approaching crisis
hold me isaac
plunging into waves within and without building to an inevitable conclusion past the point of no return its coming inevitable as thunder after lightning in the storm
she holds you close at the end and suddenly youre beyond metaphor or simile no poetics just her only her as you reach the inevitable conclusion last burst of pleasure
a moment paused frozen in tableau
then you roll off of her
theres a moment of awkwardness as you rearrange yourselves then shes lying down in front of you her back pressed against your chest your chin nuzzling her neck
we still have half an hour you whisper
time to rest she says back and settles against you
its strange nicole you murmur
such a little thing
in the end she says smiling drowsy up from beside you on the couch the world going fuzzy as sleep reaches out to claim you
in the end it all comes down to just one little thing