Dead Space: Mausoleum
By Rac Ward
Siting down at a panel and pressing a button. A holographic screen appears, the disheveled figure looks at himself in the camera feed. Hungry eyes sunk into the back of his skull, face covered in rough stubble with the occasional cut. Clothes ripped and smeared in blood, the bright blue reflect of his RIG emits a soft light in the dark room. He opens his mouth and says, "It's funny, I never thought it would have come to this. If you had told me a week ago that I would be in a living nightmare and have seen things that no human should see I would have laughed. I guess I should follow proper protocol when starting a log..." The man smirks at the absurdity of following rules in this mess. The trappings of societial conduct and procedure seems like a joke that only those who have been where he is now can appreaciate. "My name is Corporal, Jack Darte I was a member of P.S.E.C Security here at the Aegis Seven Colony. I think I am the only one left, it's been several hours since the screaming died away. All that remains is utter silence, it's driving me insane. I miss the lively noise of the colony but now the silence of this tomb makes me want to shout so those things will find me." Jack slids out the last clip of ammo from a pouch on his belt and jams it into his sidearm. He then places the gun on the desk top making sure it is within reach. "I don't know how any of this started, with the mass suicide in Union Square I figured I had seen the worst this colony had to offer. Boy, was I mistaken. All of this shit started with the Marker, that damn thing is the cause of all of this." Jack feels a massive pressure that has been building in his head finally burst. He leans over the monitor clutching his forehead feeling his sweat dribble down. As he looks up he swoons and looks at the blank screens overhead, for a second he thinks he sees the face of his wife. He shakes his head and the vision disappears, "I thought that my experience as an ex-Marine would allow me a sure fire way of getting hired by CEC. After the Resource Wars were over I retired from the military. I got tired of shooting some poor bastard for little or no reason. When your a soldier you are taught to obey orders even though they might not always make sense.
But the face of that child has kept me up most nights. My unit was on patrol near a small village, headquarters had recieved word that enemy movement had been sighted in the area. As we entered the village we were ambushed, the enemy had been waiting for us. Weapon fire was coming from all sides, the Colonel was hit in the first barage and the Captain who was his second in command was killed fifteen minutes into the fight. The civies of the village were caught between my unit's gunfire and that of the enemies. Some of the enemy had taken cover in a two story building overlooking the main road. From there they were shooting us to pieces, some of the men had tried to lob frags into the upper stories of the building but only one went off. The other was thrown back out into the street, I volunteer to lead three other men to sweep the building of any resistance. The firing from the roof and windows came to an end and everything seemed still. Our comms were being jammed so we couldn't call in an airstrike or reinforcements. As the small squad with me leading it made it's way across the street the firing resumed. One of of the men was shot through the head and he fell to the ground. Most of the enemy had fled into the upper floors and we found only a few of them on the ground floor. As we made our way upstairs the weapons fire came from all directions. I could hear the hiss of the bullets then watched as they smashed into the wall behind me. As I ran up the stairs the other members of my squad were killed. I tossed a grenade into a room to my right then entered a room to my left. A man held a gun to the head of a child using him as a human shield. The terror in the childs eyes haunts me to this day, those wide eyes like black pits gazing at me. Well I ended up killing the man and the rest of the unit took out the men on the roof. We lost half our unit in that fire fight but the horror of that fight was nothing compared to this. This place, this colony is hell.
When I signed on as a CEC security officer I figured that I would be sent out to some remote colony at the ass end of the universe and sit at a desk. You should read the fine print more closely when you sign up for jobs like this. You might get more than you bargained for.
This all started with the Marker, the vid logs spread like cancer throughout the colony when Jen Barrows dig team found it. Then all the Uni's go real excited when it was brought into the colony. After a meeting with Neumann I overheard one of them saying, "It was the dawn of a new age." What a load of bullshit! A new age, more like the beginning of a nightmare, people around the colony started to change. They couldn't sleep, when they walked down the hallways they just shuffled silently along the skin under there eyes sagging from the lack of sleep. Also many of the colonists started to loose their shit. Carthusia said it was nothing more than the stale air in the place, but that was a bullshit. People were freaking out and the bodies were pilling up. Neumann and I both knew sooner or later the Uni's would loose their shit, and we all would have hell to pay.
Well, this statement proved to be rather prophetic, it was on the day that the first planetcrack was scheduled. Despite the recent Union Square suicides, everything ran smoothly. I had met with McNeil earlier that day, we discussed the recent murders committed by Sam Caldwell, a engineer who slaughtered his entire dig team. I was also surprised to learn that a team from the Ishimura had been dispatched planet side on sometime of high level priority mission. Leading it to my surprise was Gabe Weller, a buddy of mine from the War. I guess when it comes to teaching old dogs new tricks, the phrase is wrong in this case. Weller had only joined the Ishimura crew only a few weeks prior. I was glad to see him again, I hoped that after our respective duties were up that him and I along with McNeil could talk about old times. But that would have to wait, planet crack was about to start and I had other places to be. I watched on a monitor as the countdown started, 10,9,8,7,6,5,....I wondered when I would ever end,....3,2,1. As soon as countdown reached one the whole colony shook as the gravity tethers kicked in lifting a massive ton of rocks into the air. But as soon as that happened, the power went out. Commander James wondered what the hell was happening? I too was a bit concerned that the emergency generators hadn't kicked in by this point.
Then over what little comms we had, reports started coming in of colony wide panic. People were kicking the shit out of each other in the streets. Bodies were pilling up again, and this time there wasn't enough of us to stop it. It is one thing for PSEC to answer to a few calls but the sheer amount of them coming in was staggering. I was order by Commander James to take Jones and Ryan to secure Carthusia's office. As we made our way towards Carthusia's office we found our way blocked by large crowds all panicking and some even trying to strangle one another. Just then from one of the vents burst open on the other side of the lobby. From it came out this twisted looking thing, the clothes covering it's sking were shredded and you couldn't make out whether the thing had once been a engineer or nurse. Regardless it waded into the crowd cutting down all those it's path. I pulled out my sidearm and fired a few shots at the thing.The bullets slammed into it's head and for a moment it paused. It then turned and roared, anger in it's eye. It charged at us and only under a barrage of gunfire did the thing finally fall dead about twenty feet from us. It took quite a few rounds to put the thing down, I wasted half a clip into that thing. But before we could check out the body more of the things poured out of the vents.
The people in the lobby started to scream and ran towards the nearest exit. The few PSEC officers mixed into the crowd opened up onto the creatures, a few of them fell to the ground but there were just too many. I tried to grab Jones but he was frozen in his place, when I shook his arm he turned and fell to the ground. A large gash across his side had opened up and his entrails were hanging out. Ryan continued to fire at the creatures but seeing that we could do nothing we fell back into a nearby hall way. After the door closed we barracaded it. From the otherside of the door we could hear the screams of the people as they were killed by those things. As I turned back to Ryan he was gone, I don't know if he had lost his shit and decided to make a run for it but it wasn't like that mattered anyway. The colony PSEC force couldn't fight those things since it seemed like bullets bounced right off of them.
Fucking Carthusia, he's the reason behind all of this! That bastard should have listened to Neumann and I. But instead he brought that fucking rock into the colony and everyone lost their shit...." The vent behind Darte bursts open and he fires a few shots into the creature, one of the bullets hitting it in the head the other severing the spine. The creature falls down dead. "Shit, the bastards know I am in here, it's only a matter of time before they continue to come in here. There's no way I can hold them off, I only have a few rounds left. I don't even know the point of why I am making this video? I don't think anyone will see it and if anyone has any sense they would level this fucking place to the last screw. I guess I am just making this for myself." Darte can hear faint roars and scratching in the walls, "Well I guess it's time to rock..." He turns back to the console and says, "End recording." The screen stops and a query pops up asking whether the video should be sent. Darte hits send just as the creatures burst through more of the vents, he screams and fires his weapon. Then everything grows still, frozen in the moment. Dusty silence envelopes the colony, the video transmits a thousand times a second racing through the air.
On Earth, an old man awakes to find his video monitor picking up a coded message, it reads, "Video Log, Aegis Colony, Code 01273659, from Darte, J." The man walks over to the monitor and presses play, he listens in stunned silence as Darte rambles. The old man wipes the sweat from his brow. A few thoughts race through his head, "Can this really be the proof the Church has been looking for? A life after death?" The man places a small disk into a slot and makes a copy of the video. He then sends a message saying, "Recieved from Aegis Colony. Proof found of life hereafter, enclosed is a copy of the video I received. Please pass the findings to the Overseer. From Dan Darte, Vested Member."