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Readers, Dead Space 2 is apon us.
I have, through the various hints and tips shown about Isaac's new adventure, have writen up a new short stroy detailing Isaac's time at the Sprawl's Mentality Recuperation Facility, and one womans attempts to help him...
Another Day in the Psyche Ward
1 Another Day In the Office
The gaping, blood red mouth, with howls shooting far and wide out of it, was the only thing Doctor Yasmin Samara’s eyes saw on the struggling man strapped to a bed in front of her. Then, her gaze rose to the wide, darting eyes that saw horrors that weren’t really there. Yasmin finally assessed the bound mans hairy, grabbing hands.
“What happened?” Samara asked the orderly just behind her. He wasn’t as frightened as Doctor Samara, but he still took shelter behind the confident middle-aged woman. The orderly snapped to when she turned around suddenly. He’d frozen up. “We have no idea. He was in the Rec Hall at five thirty-two, when he suddenly turned around and punched Karren in the face, and started laying into anyone else close by. We had to use a 30cc sedative to knock him out for transport. I actually thought he would’ve been out for longer, but I guess my math was off.” He stammered.
“It’s alright, you haven’t had to use the sedatives for a while, you’re rusty. But don’t let it happen again.” Yasmin turned and gazed at the orderly. “We don’t want anyone waking up while in transport, do we? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to Security Logs. Go home, get some rest.” The orderly scurried out of the room. The door slid back into place, leaving Yasmin with her patient.
The doctor swung into a spine padding chair, a little way away from the bed where Harris still struggled, and her holographic personal computer sprung to life.
As the Psychologist synched her professional business Suit RIG, or Resource Integrated Gear, to her computer to confirm her identity, she thought about the poor man. Harris hasn’t had an episode in four months. Hell, no ones had an episode for ages! What triggered this one? Maybe it was something in the Rec room… She brought up the Security Camera in the Sprawls Psychology Wards Rec Room, and pulled up five thirty-two this evening.
Dosen’t feel like evening anymore. I still can’t get over living basically next door to Saturn!
Doctor Yasmin Samara had moved to the massive city/space station/port called the Sprawl two years ago. She’d been offered a job as the Chief Psychologist at the Sprawl Mentality Recuperation Facility. She’d been here ever since, but finds the constant lighting of the city, besides in homing rooms, to be a personal problem of hers. Yasmin had grown up in the Philippines on Earth, and enjoyed the bright sunlight that poured over its beaches and harbors. Now, she was confronted everyday with the false sense of lighting that covered the city, everyday, every minute of every hour. Yasmin had almost forgotten what night was like.
The doctors brown eyes refocused back to her computer when the Security Logs opened for her. She chose the camera looking directly at Harris’ face as he had sat at the arts and craft table at five thirty-two. Twelve seconds into the log, Harris, with a look of rage on his face, turned to look to his left at a red-haired woman sitting next to him, Karren, who was making a paper flower. Harris then swung his fist into the left side of Karrens face, breaking a cheek-bone in the process, sending her crashing to the floor, and then moved on to a young man sitting on the other side of the table, throwing himself right on top of the startled man, and began biting and punching him feverishly. Orderlies ran up to the fight, and making sure they weren’t harmed in the process, activated a statis module, a small device that created a field that slowed down objects, and fired a light blue bolt of energy at Harris. The field enveloped him, covering him entirely and slowed the violent man to a snails pace. One orderly then injected him with a sedative, and moved the innocent man out of Harris’ way.
Yasmin had seen enough. She turned her computer off, and pulled out Harris’ evaluation paper from a patient’s folder on her bench.
The doctor still enjoyed the feel or regular paper and ink writing, not the typing favored by the younger doctors in the facility. It gave her a feeling of empowerment writing the words herself.
Doctor Samara’s intelligent danced behind her classical 20th century metal-rimmed glasses as she re-read several notes. She nodded, and faced her now calm patient.
Harris is a schizophrenic. He was diagnosed two years ago, just before I arrived, after his family we trapped behind a malfunctioning airlock. He could only stare and watch as they suffocated in front of him. The report says that a rose had been caught between the airlock door. Harris then went into a rage, and attacked the maintenance crew for that section of the city. We mustn’t have shown him any flower images on his assessment; otherwise the staff would’ve known Karren loves flowers, and the two shouldn’t have been together where Karren would express herself with flowers. It probably didn’t help that Karren looked similar to his daughter.
Yasmin, happy with her assessment, began writing a note to be circulated around the facility about Harris and his connections with flowers, when the office door slid open with a hiss.
The doctor turned around, angry that she had been disturbed. If she had been talking to a patient, the interruption might have sent them into a violent or reclusive episode.
“Hey, you can’t come bursting in here when the ‘Session in pro… Oh.” She ended pitifully, in a whimper, when she saw who had walked into her office.
Two EarthGov representatives, in black and light blue Suit-RIG’s, the duo looked like stereotypical 21st Century body guards, except for their large metallic braces they each had on their left wrist, which was their holographic communication equipment.
“Doctor Yasmin Samara, Chief Psychologist in the Sprawl Mentality Recuperation Facility? Come with us, we need your expertise. Now.” They ordered.
Yasmin, frowning at the strange turn to her day, grabbed a pen and followed the mysterious men out of her office, leaving a sleeping Harris all alone yet again.
2 Leaping Over Red Tape
Sitting in a stark white room, with artificial white light illuminating every inch of his blood encrusted, metal plated Engineering RIG, Isaac Clarke slept. Even when she was several feet away, and behind a five inch, one way glass panel, Doctor Yasmin Samara could see the slight twitches and muscle spasms occurring on Isaac’s face.
He’s either having a really good dream, or a terrible nightmare. The Psychologist thought. “Who is that?” She asked the two cloak and daggers still hovering behind her, in the observation rooms shadows.
“You don’t need to know. We just want an assessment.” One man said plainly.
“And to asses him, I need to talk to him, and use his real name. Either I get the name, or I give you an incorrect assessment. Which will it be?” Yasmin said smoothly. She knew she’d gotten the two officials into a corner they can’t whisk themselves out of.
The men looked at each other for a second, and the left man nodded. The right man activated something on his wrist-brace. The door to the observation room suddenly opened, and in strolled Senator Daniel Tank. The two officials stood at attention, their arms loosely stuck to their sides as the Sprawls Senator walked past their waists.
The diminutive man, in his impressively short three and a half feet, didn’t listen to his appearance advisor, and wore what ever he decided from his colourful wardrobe. Today, Mr Tank wore a black and red baseball cap, tilted to the side, with the Mars Frizzball Team logo slapped on the caps face. The senator then wore a very colourful pink ‘There’s always PENG!’ t-RIG, with a smiling blond-haired Asian woman to the left of the proclamation.
The strange mans face was better kept, however, with his cinnamon wrap-around beard and plump, forever smiling face, made him look like a little miniature Santa Clause. This strange appearance of the Sprawl’s Senator left the city divided on the opinion of their political representative.
Doctor Samara was one who disliked the Senator.
“Hello, sir.” Yasmin said quickly. She wanted this over quickly now.
“You want to know who this man is?” Mr Tank bent his neck up to look at Yasmin. He was quite comical to look at from Yasmin’s point of view. But the doctor, ever professional, stifled a laugh, and nodded.
“He is very important. That is all you need to tell everyone else outside of here. But, I suppose you need to talk to him, so I will let you read his personnel file. But that’s all you are going to be allowed. What I’m doing now is breaking my personal promise in front of the Earth Representatives! So you had better give me something good doctor…” The little man said in his strangely deep voice, and then abruptly turned and exited the room, followed by one of the EarthGov officials.
Yasmin blinked, and shook her head.
What the hell am I supposed to give him? This is gonna go down as my strangest case yet… Yasmin thought as she turned back to look into the patient room, at the man twitching in his personal hell.
3 Terror Treatments
Isaac woke up, throwing his head off the floor, sweat streaming down his face and into his RIG. He’d been having another nightmare.
He panted, out of breath for some reason. Then he remembered his nightmare.
Isaac had been running, running down dark metal corridors, running past piles of slumped bodies, missing heads and limbs, and squirting blood onto the floor, leaving puddles for Isaac to run through. Leaving bloody footprints in his wake, Isaac had turned a corner, and nearly ran into a monumental, crimson obelisk. The massive rock, shaped like two twisting strands, was a Marker, a massive part of religious significance to the Church of Unitology.
Isaac knew this, but he’d also known what was chasing him.
Deformed, twisted, misshapen humans, with bone and flesh appearing over their contorted bodies, these creatures were the remains of the USG Ishimura’s ill-fated crew, transformed somehow by the Marker. And they wanted to kill him.
Isaac had huddled against the blood red pillar, waiting for the creatures to come. By chance, Isaac had looked up at the tip of the Marker. There, he saw a blonde haired woman, in a white doctor’s uniform, crawling down the side of the Marker, towards Isaac. She leaped at Isaac, her jaws wide open, with talons soaring down at Isaac’s head.
Isaac had woken up then. Now, he struggled up off the floor, his legs buckling underneath him. He’d been asleep for a while it seems, and his legs had gone numb.
Or maybe my medication has run out. Isaac thought. During his terrible stay onboard the Ishimura, Isaac had fought many of the creatures called Necromorphs. But he had been wounded countless times. The medication Isaac had used had sped up the effects of his white blood cells near his wounds, but the medication also acted like a pain-killer. The pain-killers must have dispersed by now. Isaac looked around his well lit white room. Bright light was something Isaac hadn’t seen in a while. He also noticed one of the rooms walls had a massive blacked out plane of glass covering it, creating a strange contrast to the stark white interior. Isaac suddenly realized. He was in an observation room, and he was being watched!
A door to his right suddenly opened. An invisible door Isaac hadn’t seen. Isaac leapt to the far corner of the room, just in case. A middle aged Pilipino woman, carrying a small clip-board, walked slowly in, looking around the room. She spotted Isaac in the corner, and then smiled. A kind smile. She wasn’t like the crew that had found him.
“Hello there. I’m Doctor Samara. Who are you?” She said calmly and simply. She wasn’t trying to alarm Isaac.
Isaac said nothing, but he came away from the corner of the room. He inched closer to the strawberry smelling doctor. He hasn’t smelt strawberries for years.
Doctor Samara nodded, understanding.
“That’s alright.” She said. “You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. I understand.”
Isaac nodded in agreement. His eyes narrowed, however, when the doctor jotted something down on the clipboard. Yasmin noticed. “Don’t worry. I’m not writing anything bad. You can have a look later if you want.”
Isaac kept his gaze on the pen however, his eyes fixed on the moving nib. The doctor noticed this as well. “Do you want to write something?” She asked Isaac. He nodded.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t. Not yet.” Doctor Samara said. Isaac frowned. “Are you sure you don’t want to tell me your name?” Yasmin inquired again.
Isaac thought about the question for a second, bowing his head. He raised it again, fire in his brown eyes, his face stern. “I’m Isaac Clarke.” He croaked.
4 Medical Diagnoses
Good, Yasmin thought. I’ve gotten him to open up. Let’s see if he keeps talking. “Hello Isaac. Do you know where you are?” She asked. “No.” He croaked again. He hasn’t spoken in some time it seems. “Do you need a glass of water?” Doctor Samara asked kindly. Isaac’s scarred head bobbed up, then down. Yasmin smiled, happy conversation, of a sort, was beginning. The door opened again, and the EarthGov representative walked in, holding a Styrofoam cup in one hand. He walked over to Yasmin, and handed her the cup, as she had asked. The man then left. “Here you are.” Yasmin said, slowly reaching out to give the water to Isaac. He took it cup, gladly, with both hands and gulped the liquid down his parched throat. “Better?” The doctor asked. Isaac nodded again, slightly more enthusiastic. Yasmin nodded as well. "Now, you don’t know where you are, do you? You’re on the City Sprawl, one of Saturn’s moons, in the Earth system. Does that help?” Isaac nodded slowly, taking the information in. “What happened to the Ishimura?” He suddenly asked. Doctor Yasmin was taken by surprise at his question. “The Ishimura? It’s still in the Aegis VII system, cracking a planet. A pretty important planet now I hear. Why do you ask?” The doctor inquired. Isaac’s eyes widened. He then moved off into a corner of the room, crouched down, and started whimpering. “No, no no. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t fucking know? Why doesn’t the whole universe know!?” He screamed. Isaac suddenly leapt up, crossed the room to the doctor and glared at her. “You don’t know what I’ve been through. I can never, ever unknow what you want to fucking know. I can’t! I can’t get rid of all this, whispering, all of the symbols whispering!” The man screamed. Yasmin was alarmed. “Isaac, please, calm down. We can figure things out. If we can just all calm down, we’ll get through this, okay? Come on, let’s breathe in, and out.” She commanded calmly. Isaac, still angry, with spit slowly forming at the edge of his mouth, just glared at the doctor. But, after watching the calm and collected woman, he began to breathe normally as well. Doctor Samara slowly got Isaac to sit down with her on the floor, his knees curling up to his chest. Isaac grabbed at his knees with his gloved hands tightly. His whole body shuddered as he took a gasping breath. Tears slowly moved over Isaac’s face, dripping onto the floor. Doctor Samara put a comforting arm around the frightened, confused man. “Oh, God, they’re all dead! Nicole’s dead…” Isaac muttered. Yasmin picked up the words. “Isaac, who’s Nicole? Please, tell me everything that has happened.” She asked the sobbing engineer softly. Isaac blinked, removing the tears from his eyes, and looked up at the kind doctor, and realized he had someone to confide in. So he told her his story.
“What the hell are you covering up?” Yasmin demanded. She was standing in Senator Tank’s office. Mr Tank himself was sitting behind a large, rare oak desk, something he had picked up at an Earth Auction. He wore a less descriptive green shirt today, one with a massive yellow smiley face gazing at nothing. “I’m sorry, doctor Samara, but what are you talking about?” He said calmly, appearing confused. For a senator, he was a horrible liar. “Isaac Clarke is whom I’m talking about. Him and what he’s been through on the USG Ishimura in the Aegis system. He’s told me everything about the Man-made Marker and the Necromorphs. He even tried to show me video logs, but you’ve had them confiscated. I want to know what you’ve been hiding.” Doctor Samara growled, a tigress protecting her cub. Mr Tank chuckled. Yasmin frowned. “What are you laughing about?” She barked. “I’m sorry.” The small man said, wiping away a ‘tear’. “But you’ve actually believed this obviously insane mans story? Alright, you want the truth? The USG Ishimura was attacked by Terrorist’s, the same Terrorists who started the Mars Riots, and destroyed the ship, leaving a bloody massacre. The reports of a Marker found on the planet was a ploy by the Terrorists to bring the C.E.C.’s most powerful ship out to then destroy, and strike terror into our innocent citizens. Isaac Clarke was sent on an Emergency team to find the ship, and saw the mighty Planet-crackers last moments before it was destroyed. We picked his ship up after five days without any communication, and brought him here for assessment. I’ve told you what has happened, now what has happened to Isaac Clarke?” The man demanded. Yasmins eyes narrowed. She was a trained Psychologist. Did he honestly believe that she would not see a lie? But she was going to go along with it. For now. “I see. Thank you sir. Well, as you can see from my assessment sheet, Isaac has shown several symptoms, including Insomnia, Dyshinesia, severe Paranoia and many Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors. This leads me to confirm he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that he may never recover. His, uh, delusions appear to be a symbolic manifestation of his fear, anger and sadness of the death of his girlfriend and friends. I would suggest another year of treatment before full social integration. I’d also wait another month or so before I would put the patient in with the other members of the facility. Other than that, he has retained all of his memories and still maintains full bodily skills.” The doctor droned. Senator Tank nodded thoughtfully, gazing at the assessment paper he had received from Doctor Samara. “Good work, doctor. Thank you for your work. Now, I hope you don’t mind that I’ve brought another Psychologist onto the Sprawl to asses the patient. I thought having two opinions would be better than one. I also believe that you know the man, a Doctor Pearsons?” Mr Tank asked. Yasmins eyes widened. She defiantly knew Doctor Pearsons. To be correct, he was Laurence Bartholomew Cieran Charlie Connor Pearsons. Yasmin hated his name more than anything else about him. He’d had it since Medical school. That was where the two had met, and their rivalry had begun. I still hate his guts, even if I haven’t seen him for five years. Yasmin thought. Pearsons had always thought himself superior than Yasmin, because of his ‘Noble’ birth, and his almost genetic hatred of Far Eastern people. He’d once called Yasmin a ‘slant-eyed bitch’ when she won a class debate. Yasmin immediately punched Pearsons in the face, and left him unconscious for three hours. She’d celebrated that day almost every year since then.
“Yes, I know Mr Pearsons.” She said with clenched teeth. “He’s actually with Isaac right now.” Mr Tank said mater-of-factly. “What?!” Yasmin yelled, startled. “You sent another Psychologist in to asses my patient without consulting or even telling me before he was sent in?” She was beside herself. “Well, Doctor Pearsons thought it would be good to see what a surprise to the patient might be like. I also suppose he wanted to see the patient straight away. So I let him.” The man sat back in his chair, and shrugged. “Now, if you don’t mind, I have an appointment now with the Unitologist’s Master May. She should be here shortly, so if you could please leave.” The Senator started sorting through a pile of neat papers on his desk, expecting the Doctor to leave. Yasmin turned and exited the room, angrier then when she had entered.
6 Never Mention the ‘M’ Word
5 Months later…
On the small viewing platform in the Recreational Room of the Sprawl’s Mentality Recuperation Facility, two men stood staring out at the massive gas planet that absorbed the entire window with its swirling mass and glittering ring. Saturn. “I’ve heard there’s another big storm coming out to hit us later this week. Kind strange though. We never have any storms in August, do we?” One man said to the other. “No, we haven’t. But the city will protect us. That and our prayers to the Marker will protect us.” The other said, clutching a small Styrofoam pendant shaped like two twirling strands. “Altman be praised, brother.” Said the first man. Suddenly, a grey blur cannonballed into the first man, tackling him to the ground, and taking the second man with him. “You stupid Rock-Worshippers! You fuckers!” Isaac screamed, raising and thrusting his fist into both of the men with such ferocity, he broke several ribs, one nose, and twisted his own wrist in the fall. The orderlies rushed towards the brawl, one with a hypodermic needle clenched in her fist. “You killed Nicole!” Isaac screamed as a bolt of electric blue energy enveloped him, slowing him down to a fraction of his speed, his face a twisted mask of anger and madness. The orderly swabbed Isaac’s muscular arm, and inserted the needle into it, just above his wrist. Once Isaac speed back up, he would fall asleep straight away. And then he had to deal with Doctor Samara. One of the orderlies had called for her. Yasmin arrived five minutes after the incident, having just finished a meeting with Mr Tank. She walked directly into Isaac’s room, waving her I.D. in front of the front desk attendant’s startled face. She stood outside the room, looking in through the grey doors small observation window. She could see Isaac lying on his side on the rooms rather large beds. Samara had fought tooth and tail for larger, heavier beds so that the patients so that, a, they couldn’t lift them and attack any one, and b, feel they weren’t being badly treated, especially the paranoid ones. Some liked to hide in different quarters of the bed every night, thinking they were hiding from whatever it was they were frightened of. Yasmin cared for her patients.
But I don’t know how much longer I can care for you, Isaac. Any more outbursts and you’ll have to be moved to be under Pearsons control. I don’t know what’ll happen to you then. Yasmin thought. Suddenly, Isaac snapped awake. His light sedative had worn off. Isaac had also developed a slight immunization from sedatives somehow. Yasmin guessed it was after all the med packs he had used on the Ishimura. She slowly opened the door, letting Isaac see her, and let him know it was safe, or, if we still mad, give her enough time for her to close the door before he charged. Isaac just struggled into a sitting position on his bed, his limbs loose and droopy, the sedatives still having some hold on him. Yasmin continued into the room, and gestured if she could sit on the bed. Isaac nodded dumbly, and waved a hand beside him. “Hey, Isaac.” Yasmin said, sitting down. She gazed at the man. He hadn’t changed much since he arrived on the Sprawl. He had lost his Engineering RIG, and now wore a close fitting sleeveless grey RIG, the standard Facility patient drab. “I heard you’d gotten into another fight.” She continued. Isaac nodded slowly, remembering. “What happened?” Yasmin asked. “They were, you know, Uni’s…” Isaac muttered, his mouth twisting into disgust as he mentioned the name, like it was a bitter fruit-shake. “Oh dear.” The doctor muttered. “Isaac, you have to get over this, fear, this hatred of the Unitologist’s. They didn’t do this to you, they-“ Yasmin started, but didn’t finish. Isaac had leapt off the bed, and pointed an accusing finger at Yasmin. “Bullshit! You weren’t there, you didn’t see all the, stuff they put on the walls. All the symbols, all those whispering symbols… And then, there was Mercer! Oh, God there was Mercer… If the Unitologists, and that god damned fucking Marker hadn’t been there, everyone would still be there, everyone would still be alive, be whole! Like Nicole…” Isaac stared at the floor, tears welling again in his eyes. Yasmin looked down as well, but in shame. She had known what the Unitologist’s had done on the Ishimura. But she had forgotten. “I’m sorry Isaac. It’s just; you’re on your last strike. One more outburst, and you’ll be moved to Doctor Pearsons.” Yasmin said. “I don’t want to lose you. I don’t know what Pearsons, and the Government, will do to you.” She said with deep concern. Suddenly Isaac frowned. “Strikes? This is the first time I’ve seen a Uni here. What are you talking about?” Isaac asked, concerned. Yasmin frowned as well. “You don’t remember? You attacked Mr Papoutsis a week ago and Miss Wincher a month after that. Don’t you remember?” Yasmin asked, rising off the bed. Isaac shook his head. Yasmin sighed. Something else to talk to Mr Tank about. “Well, how have you been, besides the fight? Have you been able to get much sleep?” Yasmin asked, trying to move away from the subject. Isaac winched. He hadn’t been able to get proper sleep for three days now. His five minute sedative sleep was the longest he’d closed his eyes in a week. “No, I can’t sleep. And when I do, I have, these things happen…” Isaac said, scared to mention his problems. “Nightmares.” Yasmin ventured. Isaac shook his head. “No, any Hobo can have nightmares. These, these are memories. Memories about her…” Isaac dropped off into thought. “You see Nicole?” Yasmin asked. Isaac had mentioned her frequently in their talks. “No, I see her when I’m awake. The memories are about, my mother…” Isaac said. Yasmin perked up. She hadn’t heard anything about Isaac’s mother before, even in the Personal notes. “What sort of memories Isaac?” Yasmin inquired, reaching for more answers. “Look, don’t worry about her. Just, I need rest!” Isaac turned to Yasmin, obviously angry he had mentioned his mother at all. Yasmin knew their talk was over. As she left, she saw a small squiggle poking out from just behind Isaac’s bed. It was Unitologist. Isaac was scribbling his contorted thoughts again.
7 Knowing Nothing Isaac pulled his bed away from the back wall. His right hand was shaking. He needed to write again. Behind Isaac’s bed was a collection of black squiggles, lines and circles, all of them hidden by the frame of his bed. In the center of the squiggles was one hastily scrawled sentence. “What do the symbols mean?” Isaac still hadn’t figured it out himself. The collection of symbols Isaac had written were written in a strange language the Unitologists used, a language they had created with symbols off of the Marker. Now, after Isaac’s close encounter with the monolith himself, he could write in the strange scribble without even realizing it. The collection of scribble behind his bed was questions and revelations Isaac was trying to make sure he didn’t forget. He’d realized he’d been forgetting some things recently. Like his previous fights. He’d forgotten many things. And they were all after his trips to Doctor Pearsons. Someone wanted me to forget these things. Or whatever it is the Government is doing to me… Isaac thought to himself as he grabbed a small pencil hidden in his bed leg. He had just started to scribble the revelation of his previous fights when his door opened suddenly. Two black suited men with metal wrist bands walked in, followed by a wiry thin doctor with bushy black hair. His traditional scientific outfit, with the tie and white lab coat, was the thing Isaac hated most about the doctor. It somehow reminded him of Doctor Mercer, the zealously crazy Unitologist that Isaac had fought on the Ishimura. “Isaac!” The doctor said with a faked grin, his arms wide open, as if ready for a hug. Isaac just quietly raised himself off the floor, his face a dangerous stare, his hand moving un-noticed to his hips to hide his pencil into a small tear in his Facility RIG. The annoying doctor Pearsons smile faded, and his arms dropped to his sides. “Isaac, what’s wrong, I thought we were friends, mates, right?” Pearsons asked, feigning concern for his ‘friend’ pathetically. Isaac just remained still, staring the doctor down. It was all Isaac could do right now, with the guards so close by. Pearsons gave up on the friend act. “Isaac, you’ve been a bit of a problem here in the Facility recently. But now, we have to move you. You’ll be coming with me to my Dangerous Patients Facility. Oh, and you don’t have any option in the matter…” The doctor said seriously. He snapped his fingers, and the guards raised their arms, and fired a tiny aesthetical dart each from miniscule weapons hidden in their thumbs. Each dart held around 70 CC’s of anesthetic. Isaac fell down to the floor instantly, a lump of flesh heaped at doctor Pearsons feet, ready for his taking. The doctor smiled maliciously.
8 Nothing Left Yasmin sat impatiently in the atrium of Mr Tank’s Office. It was actually a balcony over the Main Pavilion in the Sprawls Central Business District. People mingled around the square. Yasmin spotted several children darting around the square, being chased fruitlessly by their school teachers. Directly above her, a heavily reinforced metal and glass display pictured a massive map of the Sprawl, which also gave visitors a breathtaking view at the mighty Saturn and her rings. Yasmin was gazing at the massive gas planet when Mr Tank walked out of his office. “Doctor Samara, please come in.” The small man gestured a hand into his office. Yasmin was surprised. Usually a secretary walked her in. Mr Tank noticed her confused look. “My secretaries are all home, called in sick. They were complaining about some headache, or something. I can’t remember. Anyway, come inside.” The man gestured, a little impatiently. Yasmin walked inside the spacious, red walled room. She noticed a few boxes in one corner. Only one was packed, but another three lay waiting next to the packed one. “Leaving?” Yasmin asked. She suddenly heard the door lock behind her. Yasmin swirled around, her hand reaching for her portable taser, fearing the worst. She instead found Mr Tank holding his arms up, pleading, a look of desperation in his eyes. “Please, I’m not going to hurt you! I just need to lock the door, keep the place sound proof. Look, something bad is going on here, and I need your help.” The man said. Yasmin blinked, but kept her hand on her taser. “Go on.” She said. “You know that EarthGov owns the city, right?” Mr Tank asked. Yasmin nodded. She knew that, because Saturn has no Government system at all, then the entire city of the Sprawl was an EarthGov city, owned and operated. But the Senator made all the big decisions for the Sprawl, Yasmin had thought. “Well, it seems I’ve got no power here at all. I was ‘allowed’ to stay in power because it suited the Government. But, now they’ve got some sort of experiment going on here, and you and Isaac are central figures in the whole thing.” Mr Tank said hurridly, packing things into boxes. Yasmin began to talk, but Mr Tank raised a hand. “Don’t ask me why, but I think it has something to do with the Church of Unitology. I think they’re declaring war. But now Isaac’s been taken out of the Facility, and Pearson’s got him. I think they’re going to try to use Isaac for something later on. Anyway, I need your help. I’m being kicked off of the food chain, and someone new is taking over for this experiment. I need to go into hiding. While I’m gone, I need you to get ready. And get Isaac ready. His dementia is killing him. I’ve got someone who can save him, however. If you get me outta here, I will get you to her.” Yasmin thought for a second, and then turned to help Daniel Tank. “I’m in.”
9 Everything Falls Into Place “I knew her father. I actually didn’t know he’d had a kid until she turned up five months ago.” Daniel said as he and doctor Samara hurried through an emergency train station. “Spunky kid. She wanted to help her friends as soon as they arrived. Poor guys. Been through hell and back. Anyway, I want you too look after her until we get Isaac back.” The pint sized man said as he hurried up a motionless escalator. He and Yasmin had travelled down a hidden elevator in the Office to a small train stop beneath the Main Pavilion. On the way, Daniel had explained he’d found someone who could negate the affects of the Red Marker in those around her. If she didn’t reach Isaac, he would die after to long, as the Red Marker somehow messed with human brain waves. The two opened a small door near the escalators, and walked out into the warehouse district, where everything for the Sprawls citizens was kept, from food to technology, and guarded. A perfect hiding place. “Now, you should be in storage 8, with all the medical supplies. Food will be in storage 2. If you need anything, I’ve left one of my secretaries RIG Link with the others.” Daniel said, and then turned to leave. “Wait, where are you going?” Yasmin called out to the running man. Mr Tank called over his shoulder. “To stir up the Hierarchy!” He turned a corner, and was suddenly gone. Yasmin frowned. Things were getting worse. So, she turned back to look around for storage 8. She found the massive, steel coloured building half an hour later. Dodging security and trying not to get lost was a long, tiresome task in the labyrinth. Walking up to the security door, Yasmin whipped out the RIG code she needed to open the doors. The doors hissed open, leaving white smoke to wisp out of the chilled warehouse and into the city. Yasmin walked inside, and wrapped her arms around herself. The chilled air was to keep many of the medicines from going off. The doors slid back into place behind the doctor as she walked further into the warehouse. Stacks of medication and medical equipment lined the walls and shelves of the building. Yasmin moved on to the back of the building, towards the warmer medicine cabinets. Suddenly, after passing one row of shelves, a freezing metallic object was pressed against the left side of her head. “Make a move, and your brains will become a frozen mess on the floor I really don’t want to clean up.” A firm, commanding mans voice said, right in Yasmin’s ear. Yasmin swallowed slowly, trying not to anger the man. “I’m a friend. Mr Daniel Tank sent me.” She said evenly; sweat rolling, and then freezing, on her face. “Yeah? Why would he do that?” The man asked. “Because I’m to help you all. I’m a psychologist.” “Fine, but first… McNeil, grab her taser! Who knows what it’ll do in the ice.” The man said to an unseen person behind her. She felt a tub on her belt, and her taser was taken off. Then the gun was pulled from her head. Yasmin breathed a sigh of relief. She looked to her left, and saw a dark skinned man, of Maui decent, placing a standard P-SEC issue pistol back in his holster. She saw he wore a simple blue shirt RIG, with navy pants, but she guessed from his voice and actions he was a Security Officer of some sort. Usually cocky, and ready to do anything to seem important. Another man walked up from behind her, McNeil, and was putting Yasmins taser on his belt. His plain cloths also disguised his security-like stance. He appeared younger that the other man, and had a neatly combed head of hair. She bet the girls fell for the cop easily. “Alright doc, what are you doing here?” The Security Officer asked. “Mr Tank sent me down here to look after you and some girl. He said she could stop the affects of the Red Marker.” Yasmin said plainly. The two blinked, and looked at each other, surprised. “You know about the Marker?” McNeil asked. “Yes, I’ve met someone who was also affected by it. But I need to see this girl.” Yasmin said. The Officer rolled his eyes. “Not likely. I doubt anyone survived that nightmare. But, I’ll take you to who you’re looking for anyway. Come on then.” He said, turning his back and marching on to the back of the warehouse. “Ignore Weller. He’s just grouchy because he hasn’t shot anything for a while.” McNeil said as he guided the doctor onward. They reached the back of the room, and found a locked door. Weller rapped his knuckles on the practically frozen door. “Let us in, it’s us. And, we’ve got a visitor.” He said. The door suddenly unlocked, and opened with a hiss. Warm air flowed out, and mingled with the cold, forming a light mist as a lone figure stepped out. The girl, just shorter than Weller at about 5 feet, walked calmly out. Her brown cargo pants showed off newly tanned thin legs. A blue vest RIG was draped over her arms and shoulders hurriedly, still showing her tanned shoulders and neck. Her black hair was kept out of her face by a red hair band, and her heavily shadowed eyes looked at the doctor with surprised interest. Yasmin blinked. She’s supposed to save us all? She looks like she could barely go without a day at the beach! The girl stepped forward, her hand outstretched, open for a hand shake. She smiled, a sweet, young smile. “Hi, I’m Lexine Murdoch.” She said in an Irish accent. The two women shook hands.
10 Words for the Dead
Isaac struggled helplessly away from the needle being slowly lowered towards his steel-clamped head. The whirring arm behind the needle was connected to a massive computer system, behind which stood Dr Pearsons. He stood calmly, waiting for skull penetration. Then he would get his results, hopefully.
“Don’t struggle.” Pearsons called out simply, like he hadn’t a care in the world. Isaac screamed. The needle had found its mark, and burrowed slowly into Isaac’s cranium. It took a tiny amount of fluid sample, and then proceeded to create a larger cranial hole with a drilling attachment that moved out of the base of the needle. It was a state of the art design, but Dr. Pearsons needed Isaac to be awake during the procedure to get the results he needed. The heartless doctor watched as the needle came out even slower than it had gone into Isaac’s cranium, the small diamond encrusted drill whirring out of the bone and flesh. Doctor Pearsons began a scanning program on the cranial fluid, and moved away from the computer screen to the restrained Isaac. Still in his grey Facility RIG, Isaac was practically the same as when he had arrived at Pearsons Scientific Lab on the far side of the Sprawl. Except now he had an IV drip with an alertness drug flowing into his arm to keep him awake, and he also had a 4 millimeter diameter wide hole in the center of his head. Isaac’s eyes fluttered from the large amount of pain. Pearsons lightly slapped him on the cheek. “Come on, stay awake.” He said absent minded, observing the new cavity in Isaac. The man reached out and grabbed a surgical tarp, and placed it over Isaac’s face, covering it besides the small rectangular hole in the tarp that showed the hole to Isaac’s cranium. Pearsons held the tarp in place with clamps on the side of the vertical medical board Isaac was laying on. The doctor then gathered several glistening clean tools to his side on a movable table. He then went to work, and slowly used a small scalpel and tweezers to slowly cut a sliver of the soft brain tissue off of Isaac’s frontal left hemispherical lobe. The doctor carefully lifted the flesh out of the hole, and inserted it into a green liquid filled container. The pink flesh floated slowly down to the bottom of the container. Pearsons closed the container, put it down on a second bench, and then grabbed a long metallic prod. The doctor, ever careful, slowly inserted the prod into the surgical hole, and placed it gently on Isaac’s brain. He then grabbed a clamp, and wrapped it around the prod. Pearsons locked the prod onto Isaac’s forehead. The doctor sighed. He then moved over back over to the computer, and activated the wireless relay between the cranial scanner, the prod he had just used, and the computer. A tiny blue light on the prod lit up. Isaac’s limbs twitched suddenly, and Isaac roared with pain. Pearsons just looked at the computer, ignoring him. It wasn’t the first time he had used the prod. “Do you have anything yet?” A soft voice asked. Pearsons whisked around. His eyes darted around the empty room. “I’ve just started, give it five minutes sir.” Pearsons said slowly. He knew who was talking, but he didn’t know where his employer was. “Good, call me when you get something.” The voice said.
Pearsons heard a tiny hiss of the labs door open, and then close shortly afterworlds. He knew the employer was gone.
He glanced at Isaac, and saw he didn’t need him awake anymore. He walked over to the shivering man, and reached for the IV drip to his right. He turned the drip off, and pulled the tarp carefully of Isaac, wary of the prod still sitting in him. He folded the tarp, and put it aside to be cleaned.
Pearsons then heard Isaac muttering something. He walked over, and directed his ear at the engineer.
“Ni…cole…! Wha…, come… back…” Isaac breathed, his eyes glazed, his tongue floppy.
“Don’t worry Isaac. We’re going to find out what’s wrong with you. And then we’ll find out where that Marker is…” He said, and then walked off, back to the beeping computer.
Isaac, through his eyes, he could still see Dr Pearsons. But he could also see, crowded around him, and around the room, things. Creatures of nightmare. Creatures of the dead, of bone and confusion.
And standing in front of the swarm, was a blonde haired, naked figure. Nicole Brennan.
“Isaac. We’re waiting for you…” She whispered.
Isaac closed his eyes, and slipped into a coma.