Hey, guys. I'm sure I'm not the only one still wondering what happened to Nathan McNeill, so I made this little bit of fan-fiction to temporarily fill the void. I was thinking of doing 1-2 chapters a day, just to pace myself, as well as to see if you guys like the direction I'm taking. I'm also willing to take any constructive criticism in order to help make this story as good as it can be. So, without further ado, here's Dead Space: The McNeill Chapters. Hope you enjoy.
Chapter One: Time to Get Out
"…I want the key subjects terminated and the facility scrubbed. This is not a drill." Those are the very first words Nathan hears as he wakes up. "What…what's goin' on?" is all he can get out through the grogginess. His vison is blurred. He can barely move, but manages to sit up. Once he finally comes to, he gets a shocking sight. He's in a patient suit, and sitting on a bloody hospital bed in the middle of an even bloodier hallway. Mutilated corpses litter the floor, blood is splattered against the wall. There's been a massacre here. Through the shock, Nathan is able to study the wounds of the victims. There aren't any signs of gunfire. No bullet holes in any of the victims. They're all torn apart in a way that not even a shotgun could accomplish. No, these people look like they've been ripped to shreds. Torn apart by animals. But what kind of animal could do this?
As Nathan gets off the bed, he hears screaming. Or is it roaring? "What the hell's that?" he asks as he looks down the hall. Suddenly, a Slasher darts from around the corner. It just stands there, its dead eyes staring right at Nathan. "Shit." is all he can get out before the Necromorph charges down the hall, slashing its blades through the air. Nathan knows he won't stand a chance going toe to toe with this thing, and hauls ass in the other direction. He runs blindly around corners, past other doors where he catches quick glances of other Necromorphs tearing unfortunate victims apart. He even catches the sight of an Infector creating more Slashers, some of that disgusting, yellowish bile nearly splashing on him. "What's happening?" is the only thing rushing through his head. "Where did more of these things come from?" he asks himself. Speaking of Necromorphs, he looks behind him. That Slasher is still giving chase.
Nathan looks ahead and spots and open door. He runs as fast he can, faster than he knew he could. But just as he reaches the door, he slips on someone's guts, crashes to the ground, and slides through the door like he was riding a gory Slip n' Slide. As he thrashes around on the blood-soaked floor, struggling to get up, the Slasher is closing distance. Nathan finally manages to get on his feet. He spots the control panel next to the door and bolts for it. He hits a button just as the Slasher attempts to stab him with one of its blades. He barely dodges it, and the door slams shut, severing the Slasher's arm. He can still hear it roaring in anger on the other side. It finally ceases. With that beast finally gone, Nathan lets out a sigh of temporary relief. With that, he continues down the bloody hallways.
As he continues down the hall, he can still hear the distant screams of other victims. He wishes he could help them, but he nearly got killed himself. "This can't be happening. This just can't." he says to himself. But it is happening. He was barely able to escape the Ishimura with his life. Now here he is again in the middle of another Necromorph outbreak. As he nears a corner, he hears footesteps, and stops in his tracks. As they grow louder, he realizes they're approaching him and quickly hugs the wall. He hears two men talking. "See him yet?" one says. "No." says the other. "Maybe we'll find Patient 1, instead." "Nah, they might've already gotten that guy."
"Patient 1?" Nathan asks himself. Suddenly, the guards stop "Wait." says one of the guards. "I hear something." Nathan's heart sinks. They heard him. He just waits there, accepting his fate. "Clarke! Take him down!" At that, Nathan hears gunfire, but it quickly ceases. It's soon followed by the screech of a Necromorph, as well as the screams of the guards. Even though the guards are as good as dead, Nathan still hears someone's footsteps approaching his corner. Without even thinking, he ducks under a table. Waits. The footsteps grow louder. He can even hear the man's breathing. But it's not normal breathing. This person sounds like he's on the brink of death.
Nathan sees the man as he passes by. He looks like he's in his forties, complete with a beard and a graying head of hair. He's in a blood-splattered patient suit just like Nathan, but this man's in a straitjacket. Is he insane? Dangerous? Nathan isn't going to risk talking to the guy and lets him pass by. Once the man's a safe distance away, Nathan comes out from under the table.
He heads over to where he assumes the guards were. He sees one guard's corpse lying in a puddle of blood. This one's been completely dismembered, only a torse and a head is left. To add on, he's been torn open from his groin to his chin and completely disembowled, the only thing left being his intestines. He looks like an empty shell. It was definitely a Necromorph that did this. It tore him apart. Nathan feels a litte sorry for the guy. "Jesus. Poor bastard." he says. It must only be him, but these Necromorphs seem even more vicious than last time.
Nathan spots a Pulse Rifle a few meters away from the corpse. It must've belonged to one of the guards, but since they're both dead, they won't be needing it anymore. Nathan picks it up with his hands. That's when he notices something very strange. His right hand! It's back! Nathan was so panicked, he didn't even notice up until now. "What the hell?" he says, flexing his fingers. They don't feel or sound robotic. He feels his skin, searching for possible circuitries under the skin. It's not rubber, but actual human skin. As a final test, he pinches his hand. He feels the pain. It's like he never lost his hand. It even matches his skin tone perfectly. This can't be real. He had to cut it off back at the Ishimura. How'd it get back? Who did it? Again, what's happening here? Too many questions are rushing through Nathan's head. So, it's time to find some answers.
Armed and ready, Nathan continues down the halls.
Chapter Two: Making a New Friend
Nathan's been wondering these halls for a good twenty minutes and still hasn't found a way out. In fact, he may have just been going in circles. He swears he's passed by the Psychiatric Ward five times now. "This place is a fucking maze." he grumbles under his breath. He hasn't even come across any Necromorphs. In fact, the place has been eerily quiet for quite some time now. That's when he notices something strange. The halls are far too clean; not a speck of blood or a single corpse anywhere. The whole place looks…normal. The walls look newly painted, and signs hang neatly above their respective doors. It looks like nothing's ever happened. How far has Nathan been walking? Have the Necromorphs not come this far?
As he continues down the halls, he passes by an open door. The sign above read, "Emergency Room". As he passes it, a Slasher leaps out of the room. It swipes its blades right at Nathan's throat. He leaps back and trips. His vision flashes a nauseating orange-brown and Unitology symbols flash before his eyes. As he falls to the ground, he hears a voice in his head whispering in a sharp, raspy voice, "Don't shoot". Once he hits the floor, the flashing stops, but he's no longer in the nice, clean halls. He's back in the gore-filled halls of this hellhole of a hospital. Not even paying any mind to the change in scenery, he aims his Pulse Rifle in the Slasher's direction. All he sees is a flashlight shining in his eyes. "Hey, put that away!" shouts the voice of a woman. She sounds like she's in her mid-thirties with a slight Southern accent. Nathan manages to stop himself from pulling the trigger, and lowers his weapon.
"Who are you?" he demands. "One of the unluckiest bastards on this station. You look like the unluckiest." she answers. She keeps shining the light in his eyes. It's starting to make his eyes hurt. "Hey, I'm doing fine." he says back. That makes her chuckle. "Yeah, you must be doing great lying there in somebody's guts." She's right. Nathan fell into a pile of mangled corpses, guts ripped out and everything; more of the Necromorphs' handiwork. He leaps back up to his feet in total disgust. He wipes himself down, smearing blood all over his suit. The lady finally stops aiming the flashlight at his eyes. Nathan's eyes have been so exposed to the light he still can't make her out. His eyes finally readjust, and Nathan can see the woman. She isn't the cutest, more man-like in structure. She's bulky, with frizzy, shoulder-length orange hair. There are freckles on her face, and she could improve her dental hygiene. She's holding a Pulse Rifle, just like Nathan. Must've gotten it from another unlucky guard. She must be one of the doctors, since she's in a doctor's uniformed, albeit splattered in blood. "You still haven't answered my question." "Straight to business, I see? Alright, I'm Rachel." Rachel allows Nathan to enter the room. Nathan doesn't move just yet. There's something about her that just doesn't seem right, but seeing another survivor makes Nathan to oblivious to care. He heads inside the room.
Nathan walks into an E.R. Compared to everything else, this place is pretty clean. There's blood and dirt on the floor and hospital bed, as well as a few dead flowers next to the bed. Other than that, it has the usual stuff; heart monitor, medical tools, the works. Nathan takes a seat on the hospital bed. Rachel closes the door. "What's going on here? What are Necromorphs doing on the Sprawl?" he asks, hoping to finally get some answers. "Necromorphs, huh?" Rachel says. It's no surprise she didn't hear of these things. "That's a pretty fancy name for these ugly fuckers. I just call 'em dead meat. Works better for me. Your guess on how they got here is as good as mine, 'cause I ain't got a damn clue." Nathan sighs in frustration. He looks at his right hand. Maybe she can at least tell him how he got his hand back. She is a doctor, after all. "When I got here, was I missing my right hand?" he asks, again, hoping for an answer. "Yeah, you were. Not much we couldn't fix, though. Just got a cyberkinetic hand and slapped it on ya. We stitched it together so well, you couldn't even tell it was robotic." She has a point there. Nathan was expecting some stem cell cloning, or something, but a robotic hand works too. He looks back at his hand, still in disbelief. Hard to believe that it's robotic. Maybe he should just stop worrying about that, and worry more about
With that info in mind, Nathan thinks it's time to get out of here. "Do you know a way outta here, Rachel?" She perks right up, like she was waiting for him to ask that. "Not many ways out of an infested hospital, but I can think of a few." Rachel says. She approaches a nearby vent behind the hospital bed. She yanks the cover right off of its hinges. She's strong, that much is obvious. It leads into a pitch black ventilation shaft. It's not the safest way, but it's the only route they can take. "This should at least lead out of this area of the hospital. she says. Nathan's reluctant to leave. "I don't know. I have bad experience with vents." Rachel blows him off. It's not like he really has a choice. The halls are swarming with Necromorphs. "What are you? A baby?" Rachel teases. "Come on." Rachel climbs into the vent. Nathan hears her thudding fade as she gets further away. He starts towards the vent. However, before he reaches it, a sharp pain shoots through his head. It feels like something trying to burst through his skull. The entire room flashes orange again. He hears that raspy voice again. This time, it whispers, "Don't trust her." Nathan shakes it off. The pain finally goes away. The room goes back to normal. What's happening to him? He doesn't know, but Rachel might. But if he asks her, that may dampen her trust, and that's the last thing he needs now. Once he regains his composure, he crawls inside the vent.