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Dead Space: The Novel

Hey guys!


This will be the official blog post for all my writing concerning the Dead Space Novel. Look to this post for the latest in my writing, as I will be updating this page as I write more material. Don't forget to comment, rate, and leave feedback. I'm always interested in what you guys have to say, especially if it will improve my writing!

So, without further delay, please stock up on ammo, aim for the limbs, and use a save station; here it is:

Mypictr 30x30DisMEMBAH (talk)(blog) 17:43, June 15, 2010 (UTC)






Dead Space Box Art






==Table Of Content ==



Prologue


Chapter 1: New Arrivals



Prologue

“I can’t believe rotated me out but not you.” Nicole Brennan smiled. It had been about the fourth time Isaac had stated this. He was not happy at all. She took his hand as they walked through the transfer bay. Nicole’s shuttle was to arrive in a mere five minutes. “Serves you right for not marrying me. We could have claimed spousal preference.” Besides, Nicole thought. There’s no way Isaac would remain sane with that many Unitologists onboard. Isaac snorted, but smiled. The marriage humor always got him.“Very funny.” “Besides,” Nicole continued “It’s only for about six weeks. Some of the crew has been up there for two years! I’m sure some of them have girlfriends too.”


Isaac glanced at the ground and then back up at Nicole. “Not like you though.” The two paused in front of the loading bay door. It was an exciting prospect to be offered a position on the USG Ishimura, but still… it was hard to leave Isaac. No matter the circumstances. Nicole turned towards Isaac and kissed him goodbye. “I’ll call you soon okay? Don’t worry about me. I love you Isaac.” Isaac nodded. “Love you too.” Nicole stepped into the loading bay. She turned, took one last look at Isaac, then the doors shut, obscuring him from her view. Nicole sighed; made sure her RIG’s log was recording, and then headed toward shuttle no. 214.


***



The vastness of space had always intrigued Nicole, no matter how many times she saw it. But as she gazed out the port window of the shuttle, she always thought experiencing the Ishimura was always different. It seemed to draw her eyes like a dead body in its magnificence The USG Ishimura was the most famous Planetcracker class mining vessel in service. Huge, stellar, and somewhat intimidating, she loomed in the emptiness before the shuttle, Aegis VII serving as a backdrop for the ship.


It was widely known that Aegis was of more importance than it initially seemed. All over the news, reports of an ancient artifact called “The Marker” had been recovered from the planet. This attracted the attention of a religious group called Unitologists, who took the discovery of The Marker as a symbol of divine salvation, or whatever it was. Nicole hadn’t been extensively educated in Unitology, partly because Isaac wasn’t too fond of them. Even more ominous was the “incidents” on the ship since The Marker’s discovery. Reports of workers disappearing were becoming commonplace, even stories of crew members going crazy and killing themselves or others was widely known. Part of the reason why Nicole was assigned to the Ishimura was to lend medical assistance to a regrettably low doctor count. The shuttle pilot’s calm voice came in over the speakers, cutting thorough “Attention, please secures all personal belongings, and secure your zero gravity harnesses. We’ll be docking shortly.” Nicole strapped her herself and her bag into the seat as the Ishimura’s enormous shuttle bay doors slowly opened. “Docking in ten seconds, please secure all belongings. Welcome to the Ishimura folks.




Chapter 1: New Arrivals

CEC Mission ER529




Status Update...




USG Kellion en route to Aegis system...



PRIMARY MISSION ASSETS


Isaac Clarke – Engineering and ships systems specialist...


Kendra Daniels – Computer Specialist...


Zach Hammond – Chief Security Officer...



Directive A: Locate mining vessel USG Ishimura




Directive B: Diagnose and repair communications blackout



Time to contact point: 3 minutes...





Isaac Clarke closed the corporate mission directives page and ran a hand across his face. He was worried. Nicole had promised to call him. It had been 46 hours or so since Isaac had heard anything from Nicole. The unusual blackout aboard the Ishimura hadn’t made Isaac feel any better either. Desperate for info, he volunteered for the emergency mission crew of the USG Kellion, all of which were on deck. Zach Hammond, a dark skinned man overseeing security on the mission. Hammond was conversing with the two pilots Chen and Johnston at the helm of the Kellion. There was also Kendra Daniels, on the port side of the deck, typing non-stop on a datapad she never seemed to put down. Seeing that everyone was busy, Isaac opened his RIGLink and sorted through the database. Soon he came to a video file. Isaac pushed play, the image of Nicole’s face materializing in a square video frame. Isaac instantly recognized the shitty quality from using save stations. “Isaac, it’s me. I wish I could talk to you.” Nicole’s image looked down from the station. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about everything.” She seemed to be on the verge of tears. “It’s all falling apart here; I can’t believe what’s happening…. It’s strange, such a little thing…” The words _end of recording_ flashed at Isaac.


He closed the RIG database and leaned back in his chair. Sorry? Isaac thought. Sorry about what? Why can’t she believe what’s happening? It’s just a routine... “How many times have you watched that thing?” Isaac looked up and saw Kendra glancing at him curiously. “Guess you really miss her, huh?” Isaac nodded. “Don’t worry, we’re almost on board. You’ll be able to look her up when we get there.” Kendra returned to her datapad. “Sounds like you two have a lot of catching up to do.” Isaac opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by a whoosh sound. Looking out of the frontal viewport, a nearby star illuminated the deck with amber light. It was beautiful, but eerie at the same time. Dangerous as well, there was a lot of asteroid-like debris from the recent planetcrack floating about. Isaac felt his stomach flip as one of the pilots switched to manual, navigating the asteroid field. “All right everyone” said Hammond. “We’re here. Synching our orbit now.” “All this trouble over that chunk of rock.” Kendra muttered. Hammond took his gaze away from the window and folded his arms across his chest. “Deep space mining is a lucrative business Ms. Daniels.” Hammond returned his stare to the distant planet. “Aegis VII is a gold mine according to prospector’s reports. Cobalt, Silicon, Osmium…” Isaac knew that resources were basically depleted on earth. The fact that humankind could mine extraterrestrial planets was a testament to humanity in itself. “Now…” continued Hammond. “Where is she…? Ah. There she is. We have visual contact.” Isaac was suddenly conscious he was holding his breath. He exhaled; relieved he could at least see the ship. Nicole was on there somewhere. He knew it.


Kendra seemed to be mesmerized as well. “So that’s the Ishimura.” She said, half to herself. “Impressive.” “The USG Ishimura.” Hammond corrected her. “Biggest Planetcracker in her class.” Hammond glanced at Aegis VII, at the huge crater in its side. “And it looks like they already popped the cork.” “Why is it dark? I don’t see any running lights.” Isaac looked at the ship again. Kendra was right, the Ishimura was completely dark. Ships of the Ishimura’s size were required to have running lights on at all times, as a standard safety procedure. Hammond stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Corporal Chen, take us in closer then hail them.” Chen set some co ordinates and nodded. “Yes sir.” He opened a comlink to the Ishimura and cleared his throat. “USG Ishimura, this is the emergency maintenance team of the USG Kellion responding to your distress call. Come in Ishimura.” There was no response. Kendra tapped her thigh impatiently. ‘You’re going to need to boost the signal if their power is low.” “Yes we know.” Replied Hammond irritably. “Boost the signal.” He told Chen. The Kellion crew listened intently for ten seconds, and still nothing, save for an uncomfortable silence came in over the radio. “Never heard of a total communications blackout on one of these things.” Kendra said, pacing. “You’d think with a thousand people on board someone would pick up the phone!” Suddenly, the control panel lit up. Johnston reached for a knob and turned up the volume. Instead of a human voice, Isaac heard something that sounded like… garbled speech. Except there was something strange about it, something that didn’t fit the regular metallic crackling of communication failures.


Evidently, the rest of the crew was wondering this as well. “What is that?” Chen asked. Kendra shrugged. "It's a busted array like we thought. Sounds like they're having problems with their encoder." Kendra jerked her thumb at Isaac. "You get us down there and Isaac and I can fix it, forty-eight hours max." Isaac knew a great deal about ship systems, and he knew that it wasn't a "busted array" like Kendra thought. The array was fine. Isaac could clearly hear some sort of conversing on the comlink when Chen contacted the ship. It just didn't add up. Isaac cleared his throat. "Hammond..." "Alright, you heard the lady." Hammond straightened and held on to an overhead safety rail. "Take us in, let's see what needs fixing." "Yes sir." Replied Johnson. "Gravity tethers engaged, docking procedures are go." Suddenly, the Kellion lurched forward, as if it was being pulled backwards. Isaac was nearly thrown form his chair, his engineering helmet skittering past him. He managed to grab it with his boot and hold it there. "What the hell?!" Chen shouted at the controls. "Corporal! What's happening?!" Hammond shouted. Johnson grabbed the control yoke. “The ship’s gravity tethers must be offline! I can’t keep control of them!” Isaac new this was bad. Without the tethers guiding them in, it was a big possibility that with a ship the size of the Kellion, they would smash right into the side of the Ishimura. “Corporal! Switch to manual now!” Kendra grabbed onto a system pipe as the ship gave another shudder. “ Inside the magnetic field?! Are you insane?!” Kendra grabbed Johnson’s shoulder. “Abort!” “No!” Roared Hammond. “Corporal! I gave you an order!” The viewport blast shields closed, and Isaac strapped in his harness. At first there was nothing, then suddenly came a series of explosions, bumps and jolts. There was a loud grinding noise, followed by a sudden jerk, causing Isaac’s head to smack against the back of his chair. White lights exploded in front of his eyes, and he felt the ship come to a halt.


Isaac shook his head, trying to clear it. It was dark on the deck, and then the emergency power automatically kicked in. In the dim light, he was Hammond bring himself to his feet and open the blast shield. The metal panels slid apart. Isaac instantly recognized the Ishimura main hangar bay. The ship must have just made it inside. “Is everyone alright?” Hammond asked. Isaac rubbed the back of his head. “Yeah” Kendra on the other hand, was not. “What the hell were you thinking?” she demanded angrily. “Were you trying to get us killed?” Hammond raised a hand. “I just saved our asses Ms. Daniels, if we had aborted at that velocity we would have smashed into the hull for sure.” Hammond opened a toolbox and retrieved an SWS Pulse Rifle. Loading a new clip with flick of his arm, he shouldered the weapon. “Now settle down. We’ve got work to do.” “Corporal! Report!” Hammond barked at Johnson. “Sir, we’re stuck for a while it seems, I’m not getting a reading form the port booster. I could take a while to fix.” Isaac sighed and bent down. He fumbled briefly for his helmet and put it on. The RIG menu displayed and then a loading bar appeared. A second later a blue HUD appeared and relayed his status. Here he could easily access tools and info on the ship he was going to no doubt need with the ships system problems. His biosign monitor wasn’t active, ditto with the bar on the spine of his uniform. Odd. He looked up in time to see Kendra walking towards him. “Hold still Isaac, I’m just synching everyone’s RIG with the ship.” She popped open a panel on a metal plate section and inserted a cord from her datapad. She typed in a sequence of code, and then pressed enter. The spine section of Isaac’s RIG heated, and then cooled as the bio system scanned its wearer. Isaac’s HUD automatically updated inside his helmet, now displaying his body temperature, clearance level, heart rate and overall bodily status. Satisfied, Hammond started towards the back of the ship. “Alright everyone, we’ve got a job to do, we’re moving out.” The others passed him on the way out of the ship, but Isaac hesitated.


Something just wasn’t right. He took a quick look around the empty bay. Empty? Why is it empty? Where is everyone? Where is Nicole? He blinked and pressed the _record_ icon on his RIG. It was time to finally get some answers.


***


Zach Hammond stood outside the flight lounge door, perplexed. It just doesn’t make sense. He thought. Where is the maintenance team? The flight lounge hands? He tightened his grip on his pulse rifle. Whatever’s going on here, I’m getting to the bottom of it. Chen and Johnson took up positions on either side of the wide door, rifles also at the ready. After them came Kendra, then Isaac. Kendra threw him a look of incompetence. “You didn’t lose power to the port booster, you lost the port booster.” She placed her hands on her hips and turned away. “Unbelievable.” Hammond was on the verge of telling her something else they could lose, but stifled his outburst. They were getting nowhere unless they co-operated. Instead, Hammond turned to Isaac and pointed to the door hologram. “Power’s down everywhere it seems. Isaac, hack this door pad so we can take a look around.” Isaac was a systems engineer, and by the look of his mission resume, a dammed good one at that. Sure enough, Isaac had the door open in seconds. The hologram changed from red to a transparent white, then changed to a processing animation as it scanned security levels. There was a grinding noise, and then the door slid apart. Hammond signaled his team to enter the lounge and scan the area. Chen ventured inside, swept the area with his rifle, and then gave a thumbs up. Area clear. Hammond waved and Isaac and Kendra went in as well. Lights flickered on as the team ventured further into the lounge.


Hammond scanned the area quickly himself. It was the flight lounge alright, but something was very wrong. Hammond took a few steps…and almost tripped over a luggage container. The usually immaculate lounge was in a state of disarray, storage crates and passenger cargo all over the floor, knocked over desks, and papers strewn all over the place. It’s like they were forced to leave quickly, or else there was a fight. Hammond thought. Kendra seemed to be thinking similarly. “Looks like they were in a hurry to pack.” Hammond looked over to Isaac, who shook his head and shrugged. Hammond sighed. “This doesn’t make sense.” He pointed to a security booth in the corner of the lounge. “There should be a security detail here.” Kendra looked up from her datapad and glared at Hammond. “Yeah? Well there’s not. I can’t pick up any broadcasts!” Hammond bit back a retort and thought. Their first objective would be to find out that the hell happened. With some information, hopefully they could get some help, and then fix the blackout and get the off the ship. Hammond looked over at the malfunctioning lounge elevator doors. They could use the elevator to get to the maintenance deck afterwards. Hammond gave rapid fire orders. “Johnson, Chen. You’re on point. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I don’t like it. Isaac, that security terminal is still online. Try logging in and getting us some information. Kendra, get that elevator back online.” “The power is dead!” Kendra spat at Hammond. “I can’t!” “Then re route the damn power!” Hammond roared. Kendra opened her mouth, but closed it and resolved to glare angrily at him. The others were silent. Hammond took a deep breath. “Look,” he said in a quiet voice. “If we all co-operate we can figure this out a lot sooner.” Hammond gestured at the security terminal. “Get that display up Isaac.”




Isaac nodded and walked over to the security booth door, his boots ringing on the lounge floor. He opened the door and stepped into the darker security booth. A blue flash caught his eye, and he approached the security terminal. Isaac typed in a long string of security code, and then pressed _Enter_. The terminal whirred as it brought up a holographic display of the Ishimura. Isaac couldn’t believe his eyes. Sections on the display flashed red, symbolizing significant problems all around the ship. Johnson, who was closest, peered through the window at the display. “That doesn’t look good.’ He reported. “She’s taken a lot of damage.” It’s a wonder she’s still in orbit. Isaac thought. Hammond nodded. “The tram system is offline… getting around the ship is going to be a lot harder. But if we-“ Hammond was cut off as the fans above the lounge started, sending loose papers fluttering and particles from the ceiling floating down. “The air seems to be flowing again at least.” He finished. Suddenly, the fights went off. Secondary lights flashed on, casting a red and yellow glow around the room. Isaac blinked as his vision adjusted to the sudden darkness. An automatic quarantine? Why would the ship need this? Isaac stood still, expecting to be sprayed with antigen. Kendra however, was losing it. “What the hell was that?” she shouted over the alarm. “The quarantine must have been tripped by the air flow.” Hammond said calmly. “Everyone relax.” A loud metallic thumping reverberated through the lounge. Isaac instinctively pressed himself against the back wall, staring at the vent across from him. “What was that?” Kendra shouted over the noise. “Not sure…” Hammond said. “Just wait until the quarantine-“ There was a flash as wires were pulled out of the ceiling, then a fan blade dropped out behind Johnson. There was a fleshy thump as something hit the ground. Horrified, Isaac tried to cry out as a deformed creature rose up behind the corporal, and raised sharp arm blades. The creature swung its arm, just as Isaac cried out. The blade stroke went clean though the corporal, his neck erupting into a fountain of blood as his head rolled onto the floor. The former corporal’s RIG flatlined.


The creature roared its triumph, and Hammond whirled. “Jesus! Open fire! Open fire!” Blue pulse bolts streaked through the darkness, lighting up the lounge with intense flashes of light. Unfortunately it was the additional light that allowed Isaac to see another one of the monsters drop from a vent behind Chen. He screamed as the creature leapt on him, his voice fading to strangled gurgles as it tore him apart. “Kendra! Get the power back online!” Kendra was in a corner, typing rapidly on her datapad. “Come on…come on……..” The door next to Isaac slid open. “There!” Kendra shouted. “Isaac! Get out of there! Run!” Isaac tore his gaze away form the window and sprinted toward the open door. He slid down a ramp and rounded a corner. Behind him he heard one of the monsters at his heels, slavering and gurgling. There was a maintenance elevator ahead. Isaac ran into it and pounded a fist through the hologram. Intent on a kill, the creature moved in. The door slid open, and Isaac fell though, whirled around, and punched the down button.


Isaac let out a breath. Holy shit! What in the hell was that? Suddenly, a jarring blow struck the elevator. Isaac lost his balance and tumbled to the floor. As he looked up in horror, the elevator doors ground apart, revealing two razor sharp blades and a gruesome face. Isaac screamed and slammed his fist down on the down button again. The doors snapped shut, cutting the monster apart, its deformed head rolling into the elevator floor. Isaac stared at it. It was a human head. Oh fuck! Oh God! Isaac's head began to spin. He felt nauseous. The elevator came to a stop, and the doors opened. Isaac tumbled out of the door and fell to his knees. Undoing the latches on his helmet, he ripped it off and collapsed. Then he threw up. Oh God. Oh my God. I just killed someone. I can’t believe it. This couldn’t be happening. Where was the crew? Why were these…things on board? What about Kendra…and Hammond? Isaac felt bile rise in his throat again, but he held it back. No, that thing was going to kill me. I had to do it. It wasn’t even human. Standing, Isaac wiped his mouth and put his helmet back on. He was in maintenance shop it seemed. The lights were half out, leaving patches of the room in darkness. Isaac approached a nearby workstation. A Plasma Cutter was lying on the workbench, a body nearby. Yet it wasn’t the tool that got his attention. It was the text written on the poster board above the bench. Written in blood.




Cut Off their Limbs


Shit…this can’t be happening. He tried his best to ignore the corpse and slowly reached out for the cutter. “Hello?” Isaac snatched the cutter and leveled it at the sound. “Hey! You! Help!” The voice said. “I’m trying to hack the door but I can’t!” Isaac lowered the Cutter. Someone is back there! Isaac raised his voice. “Hang on!” Isaac ran to the door…then froze. It was locked. There was only muffled sobbing from the other side of the door now. Then as loud crash. “No. No!” Screamed the voice. “Help me! Please!” Isaac frantically looked around for some way to open the door. He saw a fuse next to the door frame, and drawing back his elbow, smashed the glass casing. The lights in the room went out, but the door unlocked. The voice was positively screaming in hysteria now, and Isaac leveled the cutter at the doorway. Then he opened the door.



Kendra ran top speed down narrow corridor, Hammond at her side. “Hammond! Where the hell are we going!?” “Just run!” he shouted back. Hammond pivoted and sighted the monstrosity behind them. It was a human, but something was horribly wrong with…it. The creature screamed and put on a suprising burst of speed, flailing and galloping towards them.


Kendra backpedaled, then nearly lost her balance as she teetered on the edge of a tram platform.

“Hammond!” she screamed.

“Come on you son of a bitch…”

Not ten feet from them, Hammond emptied a half clip of pulse bolts into the creature’s chest. The monster wailed and fell to the floor, unmoving.

Kendra swallowed heavily. “Is it…dead?”

“Has to be. That’s thirty rounds in a stomach.”

“What the hell. Is that thing.” Kendra said slowly.

“I don’t know.” Hammond replied grimly. “But one thing is for sure, we aren’t going anywhere unless this quarantine comes down.”

Kendra glared at Hammond. “This is your fault Hammond, if it wasn’t for you, we would have never been here! This is crazy!” She started towards him angrily, but Hammond held her back.

“Look, I said it before and nothing has changed since I said it.” Hammond looked down at the creature. “Unless we work together, we end up like this thing here.”

He prodded the corpse with his boot.

Suddenly, the “body” jumped up and flailed its arms with a roar. Hammond caught an arm in the face, and fell back, dazed.

Shit!” Hammond fired the rifle in desperation. The white hot bolts caught the beast in one of its bladed arms, and to Hammond’s horror, the arm completely came off the joint, sizzling as it hit the ground.

The monster wailed in pain and surprise, but continued to jerk horribly towards him. Hammond took aim and fired, this time taking off its head. It fell to the ground, gurgling, blood fountaining from the stump of its neck, covering his boots. Hammond emptied the rest of the clip into the body.

The monster didn’t move.

“God Hammond!” Kendra rushed over and pulled him up. “I thought you said it was dead!”

“It should have been.” Hammond rose and sat on a tram station bench. He buried his face in his hands. “This is impossible...that about of bodily damage should have completely destroyed in the first place…”

“Maybe we just have to accept the fact that these things aren’t human.”

“Wait,” Hammond said, bring his face up. “It seemed to die quicker when I took off the limbs…”

“What? Do you know how insane this sounds Hammond!?”

Hammond stood and shouldered the rifle. “Yes. But we still have worked to do.” He brought up his RIG menu and selected the _logs_ section.

“I’m going to find out what’s going on here. Kendra, find out what’s going on with the tram, and try to find any RIG signatures you can find.”




***



Isaac tightened his grip on the plasma cutter. Taking a deep breath, he touched the door hologram. The voice howled in agony, the door opening wide enough to let Isaac see one of the creatures pounce on the unfortunate individual, tearing into his stomach.

Isaac froze, stricken with fear. The monster kept digging into the body.

Please don’t see me…oh God please! Yet even as he thought it, it turned, blood streaming from its ravaged face and blades. It bellowed, then charged right at him. Isaac fired the cutter, hitting the creature square in the chest. Instead of falling, it continured towards him. The two met and collided, sending Isaac, and the plasma cutter, flying. The creature, stunned, propped itself up on its arm blades and continued towards him, hunched over and jerking horribly.

Isaac fumbled in the dark for the cutter. The monster was feet away form him now, his hands brushed against something metal. Hoping it was the cutter, he brought it up and fired. The shot was way off it’s mark, instead hitting the monstrosity’s bowed leg. To Isaac’s surprise, it howled in agony and fell to the floor. Isaac took aim, and fired again, this time taking off an arm joint. Isaac backed away as the creature bled profusely.

Twitiching, its voice stuttered into strangled growls, then stopped moving. Isaac, the cutter still trained on the thing, picked up a nearby phase scanner and lobbed it at the corpse.

Nothing happened.

He lowered the cutter and walked over to the body. He prodded it with his boot.

It was dead.

Holy shit. What…is this thing? Is it a person? Looking closer, Isaac saw it’s horrifying body structure. It did have the shape of a human, but it had been disgustingly mutated. The arms were now socketed over the shoulders, elongated limbs stuck out from its torso. Deadly blades grew out from where the human palms were. A pair of human-like arms protruded from the crater left in its stomach. But it wasn’t the blades that scared him the most.

It was the face.

Isaac felt a feeling of dread like he’d never felt before when he look upon that face. It still retained a trace of it’s humanity, the mouth, eyebrows, and even hairline still present on its demented visage. The lower jaw was gone though, now sprouting irregular shaped fangs. Isaac shook his head.

What could have done this? This is impossible! I have to get out of here.

Isaac checked to make sure the cutter was still operational, then headed through the door, making sure to not look at the gruesome body before him. He headed up a ramp, then turned a corner. The lighting systems were obviously down, the only light came from emergency power lamps on the floor and ceiling, as well as the faint blue glow from his visor. Pausing, Isaac looked up at a nearby navigation banner above a door.



Ishimura Tram Control


The tram! Thought Isaac. If I can get a tram, if can find the shuttle bay and get out of here. Isaac opened the door, then stepped inside. Looking around, he was nobody was around. Isaac stepped up to the Tram terminal. There was a lound scraping sounds, followed by a harsh metal rustle.

Isaac whipped to his left, cutter raised.

Metal sliders scraped aside, bathing the once darkened room in a bright light. Isaac blinked, instantly recognizing the Ishimura tram station beyond a layer of saftey glass windows. Two figures stood on the platform. Isaac's heart leaped, it was Kendra and Hammond!

His RIGLink window expanded in front of him. Kendra's worried face soon gave way to relief as the connection established.

"Isaac! Isaac! God, I can't believe you made it."

The view shifted, and Hammond's face was now on screen.

"Isaac. We ran into more of them on the way here. You okay?"

"More of what?" Kendra shouted. "What are these things? Is this the crew?"

Hammond raised a finger to his neck and made a slashing motion. "Keep your voice down or they'll hear us!" He sighed. "Whatever they are...they're not friendly, and half the doors are locked down because of the damn quarantine." Hammond looked off into the distance, thinking for a moment.

"We have to get to the bridge Isaac, but first, you need to repair the tram."

What?! Thought Isaac. How can I go back out there! Its fucking suicide!

Hammond must have sensed his hostility, or at least realized the insanity of the request, because his hard features softened.

"Look Isaac, I know it's not easy. But I know that Nicole was on this ship too. If we can get to the bridge, I can look through the personal files."

"You repair the tram...and I'll help you find Nicole."

The video link closed.

Isaac stopped dead. Did Hammond really have the power to do that? Of course, all ships had a record of all personnel stored on file. And he couldn't take the suspense any longer.

He had to know.

Seeing as the tram terminal was fried, he would need a spare data board and reroute the command power to the terminal. The tram maintainance office would likely have one of these somewhat rare parts.

Isaac pulled up his map. The auto updating 3D interface appeared, and he set opened a RIG terminal.

Typing in a few unorthodox commands, the modified his RIG to track non engineer personnel objectives.

He selected ENTER,

His RIG map flashed UPDATING DATABASE, then showed him his next objective. Activating his Locator system, he placed his hand palm down in front of him, at waist height.

A bright blue line appeared on the ground, leading to his set marker.

Isaac exited the locator program and tightened his grip on the plasma cutter.

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