• Published 13th Apr 2013
  • 8,919 Views, 356 Comments

Dead Space: Friendship is Decayed - Edmar Fecler



Twilight and Issac try to survive the horrors aboard the USG Ishimura

  • ...
19
 356
 8,919

Chapter 1

Twilight, Isaac, and the rest of the crew had gathered together at the main deck to discuss the events that had transpired. After the initial confusion and explanations from the unicorn of who and what she was, where she came from and how she had ended up with them, the mood had lightened a little bit.

"So let me get this straight..." Isaac raised his hand. "You lived in a place populated by magical ponies."

"Yes."

"You were going to attempt a spell to teleport across realities."

"Well, more of a spell that allows me to passively observe what happens through realities, but yes."

"So you botched up, and you somehow landed in our storage room."

Twilight grinned sheepishly, rubbing the back of her neck. "Well... yeah."

The engineer sighed again and rubbed his forehead while Chen and Johnston glanced at each other, exchanging doubtful looks. Kendra leaned forward, muttering something about impossibilities, while Hammond simply stood beside her, a bemused expression upon his face. Suddenly, Kendra's head perked up again.

"So you say you can perform magic too?"

Twilight nodded vigorously. "Sure! Here, let me show you." Her horn started glowing purple and several tools were levitated in the air. All the humans looked on with fascinated expressions at the display.

"Impressive," Hammond noted. "That's like a mind-controlled kinesis tool!"

"You know you could just call it telekinesis, Hammond," Kendra scoffed.

The officer shot her a glare before continuing. "So, what are you going to do?"

Twilight shuffled her hoof across the floor. "Well... as much as I would like to stay and study about this place, I bet my friends will be getting worried about me right now. I need to go back, I'm afraid."

Isaac raised an eyebrow. "You'll be doing it right now?"

"Yes," Twilight replied. "The sooner I do it, the better." She shot them an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, I really would have wanted to talk a bit more."

Isaac simply cocked his head to the side. "Uh, well, don't worry. We'll... um...” What was he supposed to say in a situation like this?

Without warning, a beam of light formed around the unicorn's horn as she began to attempt the spell that had sent her here. Everyone covered their eyes when the beam grew even brighter. Twilight prepared herself, the magical power growing even stronger...

...And then it fizzled out. Twilight blinked in surprise while the rest of the crew simply stared in confusion.

"Wh- What? I can't do it!"

"Are you alright?" Isaac asked.

The mare began pacing around frantically, her mind desperately searching for an answer to her problem. "But... there shouldn't be any problem with that! Star Swirl wrote that the only way to fail except for losing one's concentration is to not be in the reality you were supposed to teleport to..."

Something clicked in her mind. She raced between the puzzled humans towards the viewing port of the cockpit before realizing that she was not staring out into space; at least not what ponies perceived as space. The craft was moving through some ethereal haze, blue rings occasionally passing around the ship. It almost looked like they were traversing a tunnel.

"That can’t be normal."

"Not technically, no," Isaac answered her. She turned her head around. "We're in hyperspace right now. It's our means of traveling quickly across the galaxy."

He almost could have sworn he saw a light bulb appear above Twilight's head.

"Of course," She finally said. "If we are not in the normal reality I teleported in, it would be impossible for me to go home unless we go back to normal space... Ugh, this hurts my brain." She rubbed her head before turning towards Hammond again. "How long will it take until we return to normal space again?"

Hammond sighed and leaned against the wall. "We're on a repair mission right now to the fringes of our territory, so we will be traveling in hyperspace for a week."

Twilight gasped; it felt like a kick to the stomach to hear that. "What? Oh no! They will be worried sick about me at home."

Hammond shrugged before giving her an apologetic look. "Sorry Miss Sparkle, but we cannot abort at this time. You will have to wait until we arrive at destination."

She sighed in defeat. "I understand. I'm sorry for all this."

Hammond smiled. "Don't worry. You have nothing to apologize for." Kendra nudged him in the back to gain his attention.

"So how are we going to organize everything then? Our oxygen and food supplies should be enough for one extra passenger, but she has no place to sleep."

"No problem," Twilight reassured. "I could just sleep here in the..."

"In the cockpit," Isaac clarified.

"Right! What a strange name, by the way." Her eyes darted around the 'cockpit', taking interest in all the navigational equipment. "I don't suppose you have any kind of non-fiction books here? Well, fiction is fine too, but I'd like to know more about how stuff works around here, if you catch my drift."

Kendra turned towards a nearby computer monitor and began working on it, attracting Twilight's interest. Her hands skillfully sifted for information before finding something that might please Twilight.

"We have access to any kind of handbooks or factual literature you could ask for, anything from how Shockpoint and spaceships work to guides about our history and culture. Is that good enough for you?"

Twilight eyes widened. "You have entire libraries in these glowing things?" Kendra chuckled.

"Well, it's really just information stored in an interesting way. See here?" She swiped her hand across the screen. "You look through the database like this, and when you want to read something you just press on it..." Twilight slid her hoof across the image, watching in fascination as the current page slid away and a new one took its place.

“…This is fascinating!”

- - -

Several hours had already passed. Twilight Sparkle felt like a school filly, plowing through the databanks and swallowing information like Pinkie Pie gobbled up cupcakes. She had already read about what had happened in human history since the time Star Swirl had visited the planet; everything from humankind leaving Earth for the stars and the construction of the USG Ishimura, to the foundations of the Church of Unitology based on the preachings of Michael Altman, all the way until now, one of humanity's golden ages. She then decided to turn her attention to the more technical and practical aspects of everyday life, from the gargantuan constructions like Titan Station, to the technologically impressive powered suits soldiers and engineers like Isaac bore, which she found to be especially extraordinary. Finally she decided to read up about society and how EarthGov, the CEC and the Church operated.

Twilight shook in excitement. So much knowledge was at the tips of her hooves!

She composed herself. These humans had gone through quite rough times. Unitology unsettled her the most; she shivered when reading through the bloody riots that had occurred when Altman had mysteriously died, and the message of "transcendence after death" they preached about did little to alleviate her mind. Another thing that had stunned her was the planet cracker ships: behemoths in space capable of ripping through the very crust of a world and lifting it into space. She had found recorded footage of the Ishimura cracking open a planet, the demonstration of industrialized force leaving her fascinated, shocked and quite frankly scared.

She gulped. 'Imagine one of these ships removing Equestria from the map-'

"Are you feeling alright?"

She turned towards Isaac, a concerned frown upon his face.

"No! I mean, yes, I am feeling okay. It's just... I saw One of those planet crackers rip up an entire planet, and its power startled me a bit. Nothing serious." She dismissed with her hoof. Isaac shrugged.

"Okay then."

"Out of curiosity, where exactly are we going, and what is your group planning on doing when we get there?"

"We lost contact with the USG Ishimura a few weeks ago," Isaac explained. "We've been sent to help repair whatever went wrong, and then we'll return home. Simple as that."

Twilight couldn't help but notice the sad frown upon Isaac's face. "You look worried."

Isaac's shoulders fell. "Well; my fiancee, Nicole, is working onboard the ship as a medical expert. I just hope she's alright." Twilight gave him a reassuring smile.

"Don't worry, I'm sure she's fine."

Isaac chuckled. "Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm probably over-thinking this, you know?"

He caught Twilight staring at him attentively. "I know I'm good looking, but I already told you that I'm engaged, remember," he joked. A slight blush colored the unicorn's face.

"N- no, it's not that," she sputtered. "I'm just observing your suit, that's all."

"You like it?"

"They're fantastic!" She exclaimed. "So much stuff built into them... I'd love to have one for myself, if its possible!" She shook her head. "Oh gosh, I shouldn't say that. I just thought that maybe since I'm staying here for a while, I could bring something home to show to the princesses and my friends."

Isaac raised his eyebrow and scratched his chin, pondering on the topic for a while. "You know, I think we might have a spare suit somewhere."

Twilight's head shot up immediately in excitement. "You do?" She then calmed down a bit. "Oh, well, I am grateful, but you really shouldn't bother."

Isaac chuckled again. "Nah, it's fine. It's an older model anyway. Besides, while I accommodate it to fit your size it should give me something to do; remove my worries of Nicole from my mind for a while."

Twilight flashed Isaac a radiant smile. "Thanks Isaac. You're a good friend." He was a bit surprised to already be considered as such, but he let it slide.

"Sure. I'll start right away if you want."

- - -

The days passed quickly. Twilight spent most of her time reading from the computer (she had discovered the wonders of the galactic extranet and was both amused and dumbfounded by all the news and stories she could find), checking on Isaac's progress on her RIG, small talking with the rest of the crew or occasionally playing chess with them. She had warmed up to everyone on board, but she still counted Kendra as her best friend; they would both spend most of their time with each other, discussing several topics and laughing together. Kendra even taught Twilight some very basic programming, which the unicorn eagerly learned, though she had a bit of trouble practicing because the keyboard was hardly compatible with hooves.

On the fifth day, Isaac had completed the modifications to Twilight's suit. It was a slightly up-armored variant of the grade 1 maintenance suit, with a few metallic segments covering the body and arms and the underlying fabric covering the tail; the helmet had been slightly elongated to fit her muzzle (something that the engineer had struggled with for a while), and the top had been changed to fit over Twilight's head, including her horn. Twilight was very thankful towards Isaac when she tried it on, to which he replied that it was simply her idea from the beginning. The suit fit her tightly, but the engineer simply shrugged and said "you'll get used to it."

On the seventh day, they arrived at destination.

- - -

The Kellion exited hyperspace, the normal universe appearing like a light at the end of the tunnel. Twilight, still dressed in her suit, gasped at the beauty of the scene. The system's sun was partially hidden behind the planet Aegis VII, the bright rays illuminating the crimson surface. Large pieces of debris spun lazily around it in orbit, while a gigantic crater scarred the surface of the red world, which Twilight guessed was where the Ishimura had mined. "Wow," she whispered.

If only the rest of her friends at home could see this...

"Alright everyone we're here," Hammond announced. "Syncing our orbit now."

"All this trouble over that chunk of rock," She said with a sigh.

"Deep-space mining is a lucrative business, Miss Daniels," Hammond responded, his tone suddenly very serious."Aegis VII is a gold mine, according to prospector's reports. Cobalt, silicon, osmium... Now where is she?"

The Kellion made it's way slowly towards the debris field. Twilight could see something appear from behind an asteroid.

The USG Ishimura was revealed to them in all its glory. It was a massive construct, like a huge metallic ribcage, with oversized quadruple engines installed behind it. Four appendages stuck out of the underside, which Twilight had read were the gravity tethers that could pull up the planetary crust were located. She felt excited; finally she would step inside the first planetcracker ship to have been built by the humans. Behind her, Isaac simply stared at it, deep in thought into something.

"There she is, we have visual contact."

"So that's the Ishimura?" Kendra asked. "Impressive."

"The USG Ishimura," Hammond quickly corrected her. "Biggest planetcracker in her class. And it looks like they already popped the cork."

Kendra approached the viewing port and squinted. "Why is it all dark? I don't see any running lights."

"Corporal take us in closer and hail them," Hammond ordered Chen. "And stay clear of that debris field, we're here to fix their ship, not the other way around."

While the pilot navigated towards the larger vessel, Johnston began recording their message. "USG Ishimura, this is the USG Kellion responding to your emergency distress call. Come in Ishimura."

"You're gonna need to boost the signal if the power's low."

"Yes we know," Hammond interrupted. "Boost the signal. More."

Twilight approached the window to get a better view. They were drawing nearer to the exterior hull now; she could see that the ship was indeed completely dark, the entire thing absent of any movement. It felt a bit unsettling.

"Never heard of a total communications blackout on one of these things," Kendra mused. "You'd think that with a thousand people onboard, someone would pick up the phone."

The dashboard lit up and played the Ishimura's response, although it was completely intelligible.

"What is that?"

"It's a busted array, like we thought," Kendra answered. "Sounds like they're having problem with their encoder. You get us down there and Isaac and I can fix it, 48 hours max."

"Alright you heard the lady," Hammond ordered Chen again. "Take us in and see what needs fixing."

The asian pilot pressed in a couple of commands on his screen, the ship shaking slightly and being surrounded with a blue glow. "Gravity tethers engaged, automatic docking procedures is a go."

The ship was suddenly rocked violently and something to their starboard exploded. Alarms blared across the ship while everybody desperately tried to hold on to something.

"What the hell?"

"Sir, the autodock-"

"What is it?"

"We're off track! We're gonna hit the hull!"

"Activate manual control. Hit the blast shields!"

Chen desperately maneuvered the Kellion across the Ishimura's hull, trying hard not to crash into the ship. Twilight clung herself tightly to a hold, her heart pounding in her chest with fear. "Their guidance system is damaged," Hammond said. "Switch to manual now!"

"Inside the magnetic field? Are you insane?!" Kendra shouted. "Abort!"

"NO! We can make it inside! Corporal, I gave you an order!"

The cockpit sealed itself to protect the occupants from any potential crash while a holoscreen appeared up. The pilot desperately typed out commands to somehow break their descent, but to no avail.

"Agh, the field's too strong!"

The Kellion shook violently as it crashed into the Ishimura's loading bay, throwing around its passengers. Twilight lost her grip and was flung against the wall, smashing her head and falling unconscious.

After an untold amount of time in blackness, Twilight woke up with a dull headache for the second time in a week. While she had slammed her head pretty hard, she was relieved not to feel any more severe injuries upon her person.

Isaac was pretty shaken up, but had thankfully not hurt himself in the crash. He shook his head and panted out, the adrenaline slowly settling down.

"You okay Twilight?"

"I think so."

They were relieved to find the rest of the crew to be okay, although they were coughing heavily from the smoke that had settled in the air. Hammond straightened himself up.

"Is everyone okay?"

Kendra looked around for a bit before confronting him. "What? What the hell were you thinking? Were you trying to get us killed?"

"I just saved our asses Miss Daniels," Hammond retorted. "If he had aborted at that speed and distance we would have smashed right into the side of the Ishimura. Now settle down, and let's get to work." He turned towards Chen again while Isaac stood up and donned his helmet along with Twilight. "Corporal, report."

"I'm not getting any readings from the port booster and we've lost comms and autopilot. It'll take some time to fix."

"Alright, let's get some extra hands from flight deck to help us out."

Kendra approached Twilight and Isaac. "Hold still, I'm syncing up everyone's RIGs to the ship." She proceeded to activate both Isaac's and Twilight's suits. The health bars on their backs activated while their RIGs booted up, feeding them live info and the others heart monitors through their helmets. Twilight couldn't help but feel electrified at this. Her suit was actually working! "Okay, we're done. Clean bill of health for everyone."

"This is fantastic," Twilight stated enthusiastically.

Kendra smiled gently. "Glad you like it."

"All right everyone," Hammond commanded, "we've still got a job to do. We are moving out."

As everyone exited the ship, Twilight couldn't help but stare at the size of the hangar bay they had crashed into. Humans sure liked to build big.

The suit was a bit bulky, but it was far lighter than Twilight would have expected from what was basically body armor for engineers. She walked around a bit to get used to the feeling before following the rest. She noticed Kendra scowling at something. "You didn't lose power to the port booster, you lost the port booster. Unbelievable."

They continued to walk down the hangar. The place was strangely quiet, except for a screen that had lit up and was broadcasting a pre-recorded message that welcomed them onboard. The crew gathered around a locked door.

"You sure it will be wise to bring her along boss?" Johnston pointed towards Twilight. "I don't know how people will react to her."

Hammond turned towards her. "I think he's right, miss Sparkle. Sorry, but you will have to step aside for a little while here."

Twilight huffed, but didn't press the matter further; she could see the logic in it. She sat down onto a bench and waited patiently while Isaac opened the door and the rest stepped into the flight lounge.

The place was suspiciously empty. Kendra waved Twilight in so that she could see; not a single soul could be seen anywhere. Random luggage was scattered everywhere on the floor, and they noticed that there was a faint smell of dust in the air.

"Seems like everyone was trying to pack in a hurry," Kendra observed. Hammond eyed the surroundings suspiciously.

"There should be a security detail in here."

"Yeah? Well there's not. There's nobody here. I can't pick up any broadcasts."

Hammond discovered a console behind the window of a checkpoint.

"That security console is still active. Isaac, get over there and see what you can find. Kendra, get that elevator back online." Twilight decided on a hunch to follow Isaac.

"Power's dead! I can't!"

"Then reroute the damn power!"

Everyone stopped and stared at Hammond. He drew out a long sigh. "Look if we all cooperate, we can get through this. Isaac, get to that console."

Isaac nodded before opening the door to the security checkpoint with Twilight in tow. As he brought it up, the entire screen expanded and showed a representation of the Ishimura, with several areas highlighted in flashing red. Johnston approached the screen from his side of the glass.

"Huh. That doesn't look good. She's taken a lot of damage."

"The tram system's offline," Hammond remarked. "Getting around is going to be difficult."

The fans suddenly came online.

"The air seems to be flowing again. That's a start."

All of a sudden the alarms began to blare out of nowhere, the room losing all lights except for the orange warning lights spinning overhead. Everyone tensed, the security officers bringing up their pulse rifles.

"What the hell was that?"

"Quarantine must have kicked in once the ventilation started working," Hammond reassured. "Everybody relax."

The sound of something crawling around overhead reached their ears. Isaac fidgeted nervously while Twilight gulped, subconsciously shifting closer to him. The rest looked nervously around the room. Kendra was frozen in place, her eyes darting around everywhere.

"What was that? Did you hear that," Johnston asked, a concerned tone in his voice.

The sound of a vent breaking overhead reached their ears. Isaac tried to determine the location of the noise. Trying to see anything was hard in the darkness; he could barely make out the silhouettes of Johnston and Chen, and he knew Kendra and Hammond were in the corner. Twilight was behind him, nervously pacing around.

Something caught his eye. A vaguely humanoid shape rose from the floor, yet something felt very wrong with it. Like if it wasn't fully human. The figure slowly approached Johnston's silhouette in the darkness and raised its arms. There was a glint in the darkness.

In horror, the engineer realized that those were not hands at all, but sharp, wicked-looking blades.

Before Isaac could shout out a warning, the thing burrowed its appendages into the unsuspecting Johnston. He could hear Twilight cry out in fear as blood splattered the window and the poor man's vitals flatlined, the grotesque thing still carving up his body with its blades.

"Jesus Christ! Open fire!"

Hammond and Chen spun around and held down the triggers, pulse rounds ripping through the torso of the creature. It did not seem particularly affected though, and with a roar it pounced at Chen.

"Open the door Kendra!"

The pilot did not stand a chance. The creature sliced him in half, blood and intestines pouring across the floor. It roared again and turned itself towards Hammond and Kendra.

"Kendra!"

"I've got it! Go!"

The door behind them opened. Hammond let out a final burst of his rifle before escaping through with his colleague. Isaac and Twilight realized in horror that the thing was looking directly at them.

"Isaac! Twilight! Get the hell out of there! RUN!"

The engineer frantically opened the door behind the counter of the security checkpoint, him and Twilight frantically running for their lives as the alarms whined. They could hear more creatures pouring out of the vents behind them as they ran, but neither of them dared look back. Isaac finally sighted an elevator and ushered Twilight in.

"In here! Go!"

He literally punched the console to the elevator, the creatures failing to catch them in time before the doors closed. Both of them were hyperventilating, the shock and terror still controlling them.

Without warning, a pair of blades pried the elevator doors open. Twilight and Isaac both screamed in terror at the apparition before them. It looked like the decaying body of a human, with black, glossy, soulless eyes staring hungrily at them, and arms raised high in the air with sharp, bloodied blades ready to cut them apart. It emitted a guttural roar from its jawless mouth, bile raining out of the exposed throat, before pouncing at them.

Before any harm could befall them though, the elevator doors snapped shut, crushing the monster's body and sending body parts and blood spraying everywhere. One of the claws barely missed Isaac's head, while the head rolled off in the direction of a traumatized Twilight, who quickly scurried away in the corner from it and started sobbing in uncontrolled distress. Isaac shakily got to his feet and crouched to one knee besides the unicorn and held her in his arms, trying to comfort her.

"It's okay, Twilight," he whispered. "It's dead now. It’s not gonna hurt us anymore... It’s not gonna hurt us anymore."