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Author's note: I got this from the series of video games Dead Space, along with the movie Dead Space: Downfall. I highly recommend the games, Dead Space and Dead Space 2, as well as the movie.
“All of my friends, gone. All of my family, gone. My whole world, gone. If you’re watching this, then you probably know more than I do.”
“I have to stop. I hear something.”
I finish recording and turn off the microphone. I reach behind me and slowly draw my Plasma Rifle from its holster that’s leaning against a wall. I check the ammo and place the gun on my shoulder. Its pitch black in the store, save for a few lights hanging from the ceiling. I flick on the laser sights on my gun, the three dots appearing in front of my gun.
Ahead of me, I hear something fall to the ground. I gasp and tighten my finger on the trigger a bit. I began to realize that it isn’t a Necromorph, as it would already have attacked me, unless the monsters have evolved and gotten smarter.
Still, looters can be just as bad as Necromorphs.
I hear scuffling in the darkness ahead of me, followed by whispers.
Yep, definitely humans.
They hear me by now, as when I get closer, I hear a female voice hush her companion. I silently move to the end of the aisle, anticipating a firefight. I spin out of cover and aim down the aisle. Nothing.
A blast from a plasma pistol sizzles past my ear, which I dodge. The shots continue, agonizingly loud in the small corridors of the store. I run back the way I came and flank my attacker. I run up to them, their bodies mere shadows in this darkness. “Please stop,” I growl at them. I see the shooter place his gun on the ground.
“I’m not your enemy,” I say as I point to a Necromorph patrolling the street outside, “They are.” “How do we know that you’re not the enemy as well?” the boy asks. “Because otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now, would we?” I hiss. I pull my gun away and flick on my flashlight, exposing the newcomers.
A boy and girl, about my age, stand there. The girl is shaking in fear, while the boy tries to look brave but is obviously shaken. “Well, now that you’ve made a fantastic mess out of my hiding spot, we should clear out,” I growl. “What? Wait, what do you mean?” the girl asks.
“Your boyfriend here created a hell of a lot of noise when he started shooting. I give it twenty seconds until this place is completely overrun with Necromorphs,” I sigh. I look out the window and see dozens of the things gathering. ‘Make that ten,” I say wearily.
The glass from the skylight above us explodes. Shards of glass fall down onto our heads as a Necromorph descends upon us, causing absolute chaos. It doesn’t help that the girl is screaming her head off.
“Get down,” I yell as I open fire. The Necromorph screams as I sever its arms and head. I twist and fire at those entering the store. Necromorphs of all sizes are running at us, from the tiny yet disturbing Lurkers to the hulking Brutes, we accumulate a massive dinner party.
“Go go go!” I roar over the horde behind us. They frantically look around. “The exit!” the boy says. I follow his gaze and nod. “It’s our best shot, now MOVE!” I yell. We run and throw open the door to the outside, blazing bright sunlight almost blinding me.
My vision returns, as I shoot from the hip at the oncoming undead. I toss a plasma grenade, which incinerates scores of Necromorphs in a searing blue flash. “Up here,” the girl says. I see that they are climbing up a fire escape ladder to the roof.
I sprint up after them, feeling pain in my ankle as a Slasher cuts my foot with its scythe. I collapse on the roof, gasping for breath, feeling adrenaline pump through my veins. Sweat pours off my forehead.
I hear something clanging behind me, and I groan, as I know that it is a Necromorph climbing the ladder. I walk over and do a double take.
A female Necromorph is trying to scale the ladder, and I recognize her, despite the horrific mutations created by the Necromorph virus. Lauren, the girl that I had shared a relationship with for maybe ten minutes before she was killed and converted into this monster that climbs below me. Her once beautiful features marred by the virus. Her lips, which I had once kissed, stretched to accommodate a mouthful of teeth, with bits of meat from a previous meal still embedded in the fangs.
“Oh my God,” I gasp and plop to the ground. I can hardly believe that this is what has happened to Lauren. I look over the railing and see that she has become stuck on the railing. “I’m sorry, Lauren,” I choke out, “No one deserves this, especially not you.” I choke back a sob as I attach the plasma grenade to the back of her head and set the timer for ten seconds. “I’m so sorry,” I say as I kick the Necromorph that used to be my girlfriend in the head, sending her down into the horde below.
Three seconds later, the grenade detonates.
“Girlfriend?” the girl on the roof asks. I nod. “It’s hard to see a loved one turned into one of those things, isn’t it?” the guy asks. “Yeah,” I say before pulling out my gun and aiming it at the two of them, “Now, who the hell are you guys?”
They are obviously taken back by my show of force. “A-Abby,” the girl says. “James,” says the guy. “And what the hell where you doing in that store,” I demand. “Scavenging for food,” Abby says. James nods. I sling the gun over my shoulder.
“I say we go east, to the Northern Penitentiary,” I say, pointing in the general direction of the prison.
“Wait a second, hold up. Who made you the leader?” James huffs. I smirk as I twist and punch im in the mouth. He is stunned, and falls to the ground. Abby gasps. I drag James over to the edge and dangle him over it, just out of range of the surviving, legless Necromorphs below.
“Because I’m willing to do whatever I have to survive,” I hiss as I let him drop a few inches lower, “The question is, are you?” I hurl him up and onto the roof. “Any more disagreements, you can take them up with the Necromorphs down there,” I said, pointing to the alley below.
“Why the prison?” Abby asks. “It’s got a garden, a library, guns, and a massive wall,” I reply, “All of which we’ll need.” “The garden?” James asks. “Food.”
My two companions nod in approval. “There’s only the problem of getting there,” I say as I scan the street below for a potential ride. I look at James and say, ‘you know any car dealerships around here? Because it’s gonna be a damn long walk without a ride.”
He shakes his head. “Well, damn. Looks like we gotta walk,” I sigh. “What weapons do you have?” I ask. They each show me a plasma pistol. “Hmm,” I say, “Here, take these.” I give them each a plasma grenade.
James snaps his fingers. “Wait,” he says, ‘I think I know of a dealership a mile or so form here, past the mall. It’s got some pretty heavy duty stuff.” I nod in approval. “Just tell me what direction to walk,” I say.
We cut through the streets of the Sprawl as silently as possible. Corpses litter the streets, staining the asphalt a muddy crimson. The sights horrify me, seeing corpses of bisected corpses of mother clutching the half-eaten bodies of their young children while the corpse of the husband and dad lies in pieces a few feet away.
As we walk, the only thing on my mind is Lauren, and our last moments together, before I left her to scavenge. Before she died and was turned into a monster, which I had to destroy.
After a few minutes, I ask, “How do you two know each other?” “We go-went- to high school together,” Abby says. “And, we’ve been dating for a year,” James says with a smile as he intertwines his fingers with Abby’s. I merely nod, knowing that the chances of them surviving this ordeal are astronomical, let alone staying together.
I see a shuffling ahead. “Contact, ten meters out,” I hiss as I squat to a crouch. I aim down my sights and recoil. A Lurker, a disturbing Necromorph baby, is feasting on its mother, tearing at her intestines and gnawing on an eye. I spit in disgust as I blast the monstrous demon baby in half. Bits of gore are splattered across the wall, and I hear the clang of spine on cement.
“All clear,” I whisper. I look at Abby and James and say, “I wouldn’t look at the body if I were you guys.” They wisely listen.
“The mall’s just up ahead,” James says. I nod.
We walk up to the doors of the mall. “Five minute break,” I say as I sit down on the hood of a car. James looks at his watch and reads the date. “Hey, it’s your birthday,” he says to Abby. She looks at the date. “So it is,” she replies. They move into each other and kiss for a few minutes. When they part they hold each other close. “Happy birthday,” James says softly.
As they hold each other, I look down the sights of my weapon. On a roof across the street, I see a shadow move. I adjust my sights and see a female Slasher standing there, convulsing. She gags, and finally spews something out of her mouth.
I jump off the car just as the blob of acid splashes all over the hood and melt it. “Run into the mall,” I yell as another glob falls onto the pavement. Abby and James quickly sprint into the mall.
The first thing I notice is that the air is a sickly green and has a toxic smell to it. From the air ducts I hear a terrible wheezing, and decide that I do not want to meet the source.
“What is that?’ Abby asks, pointing to something in a corner. I shine my light on it. A Necromorph, looking almost exactly like a human, sits there, coughing and wheezing. It gives off a horrible smell, which turns my stomach. Protruding from its back are two lungs, now engorged to the point where they cover the entire back of the creature. Without hesitation I shoot it until it dies. Once it is dead, I notice that the air smells better and has lost a bit of the green color.
James walks into a nearby florist and grabs a bouquet of flowers, which he presents to Abby. She blushes and gives him a quick kiss. “Thanks. They’re beautiful,” she says. “I love y-“ she says, right before the plasma bolt hits her. He head snaps back, eyes rolling into her head, as she falls to the floor with a large scorch mark on her face.
“Looters,” I yell as I fire my weapon. I hear a scream as one of my shots tears a man’s head off. James drags Abby’s body behind cover with a horrified look on his face. I continue shooting at the men firing at us until I run dry on ammo. “I’m out,” I yell to James. If he hears me, he doesn’t show it, as he just cradles her limp body and sobs.
I hear a hacking sound, and a glob of acid falls onto a looter, who screams as his flesh peels off his body. I hear a shriek and a splat, which turns out to be a Lurker blasting its tentacles through the head of a woman. Several Slashers come up and begin hacking at the terrified group of looters, all of whom are screaming and pleading for mercy.
Their pleas fall on deaf ears.
James and I drag Abby’s body outside, where James buries her under a tree. He carves her name into the bark while I place the bouquet of flowers over her makeshift grave.
“If it helps, they got what they deserved,” I say, “ The Necromorphs slaughtered them, the looters.” “James just stares at the grave. “What am I going to do now? She was the only reason I kept going through all of this,” he whispers. “Get to shelter. Survive. It’s… It’s what Abby would have wanted you to do,” I say in soft tones.
James rounds on me. “How do you know what she would have wanted? You didn’t know her at all, I did! You didn’t save her from the Necromorphs, I did! You didn’t love her, I did,” James is sobbing by the time he finishes.
“I just want to die,” he says. “If you die, then her death will be in vain. Live, and her memory lives with you,” I say. He looks up. “Now, I’ll give you a moment to say your goodbyes while I go find you a weapon,” I say as I walk away.
I walk into the mall and see that the Necromorphs have finished their meal. I wipe blood and bits of tissue off of a Plasma Rifle and scavenge ammo for it, even reaching into a dead woman’s destroyed chest cavity to get a pack of ammo.
As I turn to leave, I see a woman run towards me, screaming. A massive Brute chases her. I open fire, but my bullets ping harmlessly off the thing’s armor. The beast’s massive fist plows through the woman’s chest, almost tearing her in half. She drops a baby, wrapped in cloth, to the floor. I see an Infector swoop down and, before I can react, show its proboscis through the baby’s forehead, splattering brain on the pavement. I rip the baby’s body and the Infector to pieces with my gun before hurling a plasma grenade at the Brute.
I run back to James, who is finishing his goodbyes. “Hate to rush you, bro, but we’ve got a bunch of uglies about to start chasing us,” I gasp. He holds up a finger. Behind me, I feel the ground begin to shake. Something huge is walking towards us. “Dude, we REALLY need to go,” I say urgently. James ignores me.
Something roars behind us. I turn, and gasp. A massive, hulking Necromorph, about ten feet tall, walks towards us. It’s like a Slasher in proportion, but completely alien in all other ways. It’s bulky torso sports seven limbs, ranging in size from massive claws to tiny hooks. Its head is almost completely attached to its body, with it’s glowing eyes glaring at me.
I open fire at the creature, blasting off two arms. It roars and sinks to one knee. I shake James, but he doesn’t respond. The Ubermorph, as that’s what I call it, roars as two limbs grow out to replace the ones I shot off.
I adjust my fire and blast off the thing’s head, but a new one grows back. “How do you kill this thing?” I ask myself.
I spend another fifty rounds ripping off limb after limb, to no avail. It just kept regenerating. “Damn it, this thing’s tough,” I gasp. I prime and hurl a plasma grenade, intending to blow this thing away. It’s legs and three arms, plus a head, fell to the ground, but all regenerated in a matter of seconds.
I heard the click, and knew that my gun was out of ammo. “Damn,” I say, pulling out Abby’s Pistol. I opened fire, but the thing just seemed to laugh as I shot at it. Small arms fire did absolutely nothing to halt the Ubermorph’s progress.
James ran up behind the Ubermorph and plunges a Plasma Knife into its neck. It screams, and rounds on James. It plunges two arms into his chest, lifting him up and then violently stabs him twice. With another arm it severs his legs and left arm. James lifts his right arm, as if pleading to the monster. He gives me one look, and I knew what he wanted. The Ubermorph slices James’s head off, and finally tears him in half.
I shove a plasma grenade down the thing’s throat, and hack it apart. It takes me an hour, but finally I kill the creature. I walk over and gather James up, piece by piece, and carry him over to the tree. I put him back together as best I can before burying him in the ground next to Abby. It was what he had wanted.
I look up. Up above, I see explosions lace the air. Something is destroying The Sprawl. I feel a shiver of fear run down my spine before it happens. An explosion that ripped a massive gash down The Sprawl. I feel the air rapidly decompress, and I screamed. Blood runs out of my nose, my eyes, my mouth, and my ears. I feel one eye implode, then another, then my other organs, followed by my bones. I barely have time to scream before my brain is crushed into a fine red mist.