1479: On-board the USG Arendelle – Chapter 1Posted: July 22, 2016
Hello, dear Patrons!
I’ve managed to uncover a fic from an odd little niche fandom that I didn’t even know existed – a combination of the survival horror video game Dead Space and that feel-good Disney film based on The Snow Queen, Frozen.
Yeah … I don’t know what those two things have in common, either.
We’ve covered fics from both of these canons before in the Library, so I think I can dispense with the in-depth SC-style infodump. I will share the fic’s summary;
Anna has found herself on the USG Arendelle, her and her team responding to a distress signal the planet cracker sent out a week ago… The same planet cracker her sister Elsa was on… Rated T for language and some gore. No ships or pairings, but there is an OC.
This is a very condensed, and rather poorly worded, synopsis of the first Dead Space game; Isaac Clarke is part of a rescue mission sent in response to a distress signal sent by the USG Ishimura, a “planet cracker” ship that Isaac’s girlfriend Nicole just happens to be currently stationed on. Based on the summary, the author has simply swapped out Isaac and Nicole for Anna and Elsa (which doesn’t bode well for Elsa) which is very common in crossovers – the authors take the story and setting from one source material, remove the characters, and just slot in the characters from a different source material without really trying to integrate the two. (See: Nightmare Before Christmas: Bambi style) I’ve yet to find a fic of this type that has managed to do this successfully, most are like reading a very long and badly done Mad Libs.
Let’s see if this one is any different!
“Psst… Anna… Psst! …. Damn it, princess, wake up!”
Random unattributed dialogue. AR’s gonna love this.
Bright orbs struggled to open as Anna slowly began to wake up, her blue-green eyes meeting with…glowing orange?
Ummm … What? I kind of thought those “bright orbs” were Anna’s eyes, but then there’s a specific mention of her eyes and something glowing orange and now I’m confused as to how many eyes are in this sentence.
Letting out a scream, she kicked her leg upwards, smashing her foot into the face of the owner of the eyes, her hands scrambling for her Plasma cutter.
Sounds like a perfectly reasonable reaction to have to anything in the Dead Space universe, assuming that the same situations exist within the fic. Of course, the fact that Anna was apparently asleep argues for the circumstances being different since there isn’t a rest mechanic in the game – largely because falling asleep on a ship crawling with necromorphs would be a supremely suicidal thing to do.
“Ow! Shit! Easy, easy! It’s me, Anna!”
…Did Anna just kick herself in the face?
The strawberry blonde froze, cross-hairs locked onto the redheaded creature before her… that had it’s hands up in surrender.
Two characters with red hair, both named Anna. That’s not going to get confusing.
Anna frowned with a sigh, lowering her weapon before giving the thing a harsh glare.
There’s more emoting going on in that one sentence than most of our fics have in several chapters.
“How many times do I have to tell you to NOT wake me up like that, Ha’e?!” she asked sternly, crossing her arms in a pout.
Does Anna often fall asleep only to be awakened by some redhead with anime eyes? Is this really something that happens on a regular basis? If that was the case, you’d think she wouldn’t have reacted quite so harshly.
The beast chuckled, dropping down on her hands and walking closer to Anna on them.
Huh. That’s a weird way to walk. Is Ha’e paralyzed or otherwise incapacitated?
A fleshy and bladed tail drug behind her,
It’s “dragged”, not “drug”.
Wait a second – she has a tail?
the appendage starting just at her waist, and it seemed to made of whatever was left of her legs.
I do not like where this is going.
Bone and discolored skin jutted this was and that from it, tendons and muscles holding it together like rope. Her ribs were partially protruding from her sides, her spine sticking out of her back in a sharp and pointed line. Claws grew from her finger tips while her jaw was extended painfully, fangs nearly as long as Anna’s hand protruding from the torn jaws…
… Ha’e is a frickin’ NECROMORPH?!?
That … It … What? Just … WHAT!?!
Those of you who know the Dead Space series will understand why this is so very, very ridiculous, but I’m going to explain it for those who aren’t very familiar with the series.
Necromorphs are essentially space zombies; dead tissue that has been reanimated by either the mysterious signals emanating from helical structures known as Markers or by being “infected” by other necromorphs. The operative words here are “dead tissue”; you can be simultaneously killed and infected by a necromorph (it happens at the beginning of the second game and looks really frickin’ painful) or be killed and have your corpse reanimated at a later time, but you cannot be alive and be a necromorph at the same time. The fact that their bones and internal organs are now external features should be a hint that becoming a necromorph is not conducive to life.
And how is she able to hold a conversation? Necromorphs do produce a range of sounds, primarily shrieks and groans, but do not speak in any recognizable language. Their bodies just aren’t capable anymore. If Ha’e really was a necromorph as her description suggests, she should have screamed and tried to eat Anna’s face off, not apologized for startling her.
Yet the girl was undaunted by her friend’s appearance, not even flinching at the molten orange yet dead glow her eyes gave off.
It’s one thing to be blind to a person’s physical defects, but necromorphs are hard to look at even when they’re on a computer screen. And I imagine the smell would be enough to gag a maggot.
“Sorry, princess, but you’re a freaking deep sleeper.” Ha’e replied, words slightly slurred by her misshapen jaw structure.
Based on the description Ha’e is probably a necromorph type referred to as a Leaper, which means she looks like this;
She’s missing most of her mouth and palate and is still able to speak with only a “slight slurring” to her speech? I must cry bullshit on that.
She flashed Anna a grin, the other girl giggling.
:looks back up at Leaper:
“I thought your kicks hurt before, but with that damn suit on you’re like a god.” Anna rolled her eyes, checking to see if her cutter was loaded before she began walking.
Looks like someone invested in RIG upgrades.
“You can’t even feel anymore, Ha’e, I don’t wanna hear it.” the younger retorted, sticking her tongue out at her dead companion before activating her suit’s helmet.
That’s probably a blessing in her condition, but that just points even more to Ha’e being dead and not in a position to be Anna’s bestie.
Orange glared at electric blue before chuckling, Ha’e walking after Anna with a flick of her tail.
I assume the colors refer to the character’s eyes, but if that’s the case then Anna’s eyes changed from blue-green to electric blue over the course of a few seconds.
“Yeah, but I can still imagine how bad it would hurt. You got heavy weight magnets on those things for gods’ sake.”
Both the Engineer and Astronaut RIGs come with built-in Zero-Gravity Boots that contain electromagnets in the soles that are activated automatically when the wearer enters a zero-G environment, so this is a part of the canon. Visually the boots don’t appear much heavier than a sturdy pair of shitkickers, they couldn’t be too heavy or they would be impractical for regular use outside of the zero-G areas, but even non-magnet boots can do a great deal of damage when used properly.
:hands author a redemption scone:
Gumdrop’s been branching out.
Anna laughed, but she quickly fell silent as the duo approached a door, her breathing slowly growing heavy behind her helmet.
So … She’s silent except for the sound of her heavy breathing?
Her hands began to shake, the plasma cutter in them clinking quietly.
If this location is secure, and I presume that it is if she was able to sleep deeply while there, and she’s that scared of leaving said location, why is she leaving it? If I were in a similar situation, with necromorphs crawling all over the place, I would need a damn good reason to leave my sanctuary; to send a distress signal, reach a shuttle, nullify the Marker signal – something that would be worth the risk.
Images flashed through her mind, pictures of dead bodies with mutilated corpses, rotting faces…
A dead body with a mutilated corpse? That’s sounds rather re…
:picks up Xenodoken Gun:
Back in a sec.
That was refreshing! I haven’t had a chance to use Ol’ Bessie in a while.
Those same corpses had chased her all across the USG Arendelle, with unhinged jaws and bladed arms.
It must not have been very hard to outrun them if they were only using their jaws and arms to chase her. That’s not terribly efficient.
Some of them she recognized… Others she wished she didn’t.
Really? I’ve seen many, many images of all different kinds of necromorphs and some variants do retain parts that are recognizable as human but not really enough specific characteristics that would make it easy to identify one individual from another. Part of that is probably to make them easier to code in the game, but even in a real-world scenario it would be difficult to recognize someone after their face has been turned inside out.
She shook her head, flinching at the sudden voice. “You need me to get the door..?” Ha’e asked, looking up at the girl.
That’s a nice gesture, but you use your hands for walking; how exactly would you open the door?
She shook her head again, opening the metal door and cautiously stepping out, weapon raised. Pale flickering lights covered the hallway, illuminating the severed limbs and rotting corpses about the floor.
Housekeeping on this ship is terrible; it’s definitely going to affect their Yelp! reviews.
It had been almost a week since the Arendelle found itself in trouble and infected with beings that seemingly possessed the dead, mutating them into horrible creatures that preyed on the living.
Huh? The “beings” don’t possess the dead; they are the dead. While they look very alien, the physical material of the necromorphs is all of human origin.
Anna had jumped on the first shuttle to the rescue of the planetcracker,
That makes it sound like Anna joined the rescue mission on her own rather than being assigned to it, which isn’t how a rescue mission in a military-like organization like the CEC would be handled. Even if she requested to go along, if she doesn’t have any valuable skills that would be useful (like Isaac being an engineer) she wouldn’t be able to go since space is limited and only vital personnel would be included in the mission.
her sister Elsa and friend Ha’e being on board the vessel when the distress signal was sent out.
I assume Elsa and Ha’e were on the USG Arendelle, but the way this is worded almost makes it look like they were on the shuttle when the distress signal was received so they decided to tag along as well.
When she arrived, she had been expecting anything but this…
I will concede that point; much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects a necromorph infestation.
Her crew and friends dead with her being the only survivor she knew of thus far.
Sweet mercy, is that ever awkwardly worded. And it makes it look like the rest of Anna’s crew, which would be the members of the rescue mission and not those stationed aboard the USG Arendelle, were dead when they arrived. Hopefully that wasn’t the case.
It was a day later when she found what was left of Ha’e.
Question – why was Anna still on-board the Arendelle a full day after discovering the place is crawling with necromorphs? In the game Isaac has a reason to be on the Ishimura, the Kellion crashes into the Ishimura’s docks so he has no other choice, but Anna has no such reason to remain aboard the Arendelle.
Their first meeting was… not the best, ending in Anna cutting off the redhead’s right pinkie finger with her plasma cutter.
…And? I’ve seen necromorphs attack; they aren’t even going to notice a little thing like a missing pinkie. You need to remove several whole limbs to have any affect on them.
It was then the strawberry blonde realized that even though she was, her friend did not convert into one of the mindless beasts that hunted on the ship.
Ummm … What?
Her body was dead, but somehow her mind was not, and it was through careful conversing that the girl survived Anna’s onslaught.
Conversing? They had a frickin’ CONVERSATION during the attack? This isn’t some sword and sorcery fantasy where two opponents trade quips as they cross blades – this is fucking brutal!
Please point out to me the moment when the necromorphs would have halted their savage blitz attack so that they could carry out a rational conversation with Isaac.
Unfortunately, she had not seen Elsa since the outbreak.. Now, six days later, they had still no sign of her sister, but Anna had yet to give up.
She’s been on the ship for how long? Assuming that, like the Ishimura, there’s a Marker nearby, how is she not bat-shit crazy? Isaac spent less than a day on the Ishimura and he became psychotic. At the very least she should be a hallucinating wreck – which might explain Ha’e’s presence, now that I think about it.
“Hold up, I got something…” Ha’e muttered, once again breaking Anna away from her thoughts. The dead woman was crouched low on her arm, tail poised just above her head as her eyes scanned the area.
I’m suddenly picturing Ha’e perched on Anna’s arm like a massive bird.
It turned out that her death had been a blessing, this new body giving her advantages, thermal vision being one of them.
I’ve looked through the Dead Space wiki and can’t find any mention of necromorphs having this ability. There is a mention that they can see neuron strands in a human body, and that it could be theorized that they home in on neurokinetic impulses – electrical activity in the brain.
“What do you see…?” she asked quietly, crouching next to her.
:looks around: Void. Lots and lots of Void. The author did a decent job describing their own OC, and Anna’s eyes and hair color have gotten a couple of mentions, but everything else is solid Void.
“About… five of those things… Three like me, the other two are those slashing ones… And…”
Do necromorphs even produce body heat? They aren’t really alive anymore.
Ha’e blinked a few times, causing Anna to briefly deactivate her helmet to try and study her glowing orbs.
You can do all the orb-gazing you want with your helmet up. Safety first, dumbass.
“And..?” “A human signature… Body temperature is lower than yours, but they’re moving… Fast.
Typically when you’re doing something strenuous, like running fast, your body temperature is elevated.
Right this way.. They’re being chased.”
Damn. How big is this room/hallway/whatever? Five necromorphs an unknown distance away chasing after a human and Anna hasn’t seen or heard anything yet.
Anna had stopped listening at ‘a human signature’, her helmet slamming back down and her cutter blazing.
Please don’t be the set-up for an action sequence.
A suited figure cut the corner just as she did, the form unarmed and clearly injured.
Wait, what? This figure was around a corner? Was Ha’e using her heat-vision to see through the ship’s walls?
Assuming that the necromorphs do radiate some residual heat, possibly from decomposition, how was she able to differentiate the various types of necromorphs through what could be several layers of obstructions? Unless she has a clear view, all she would see is vague blobs.
They paused at the sight of Anna, green lighted visor tilting at her almost curiously before snapping back towards the roars of the beasts after them. “This way, hurry!” Anna called, the figure nodding and running their way.
According to the narration, the Arendelle has been infected for a long time – possibly up to two weeks depending on how you interpret the narration. (“Almost a week” from the time of infection to the time Anna arrived with the rescue mission, plus Anna found Ha’e a day after she arrived on the ship, and then another six days passed while they searched for Elsa, making the total elapsed time approximately fourteen days.) This figure, who I assume is Elsa, has been fighting necromorphs for at least that long and is currently running away from a horde of necromorphs, yet when they turn the corner they actually take the time to stop and do a head-tilt when they spot two figures, one of which is clearly a necromorph, rather than immediately running away or trying to find protective cover or looking for some sort of hiding place.
“Cover them, I’ll take care of these guys…” Ha’e said, charging forward from behind the living girl.
And charging directly at the Mysterious Figure as well, so it’s a good thing they aren’t armed.
The other person froze at the sight of her, a gasping scream getting caught in their helmet.
Someone needs a throat lozenge. I think Swenia might still has some cough syrup left somewhere, if Syl hasn’t gotten into it.
The redhead paid them no mind, launching herself over them with a mighty flex and leap of her arms, colliding with the monsters that had just turned the corner, bladed tail slashing about.
Y’know, the fact that both Ha’e and Anna have been described as having hair in a shade of red makes things confusing when the narration refers to them only by their hair color.
“Come on!” Anna called again, blasting one that broke away from Ha’e. It’s arm was severed but it continued to advance, the other figure back tracking to Anna. She kept firing until the thing dropped to the floor with a gut wrenching gurgle.
… Did Anna just kill the Mysterious Figure?
This is the problem with using gender-neutral language in English; if there’s more than one unidentified character in the scene things can get very confusing very fast.
The two watched as Ha’e made quick work of the rest of the creatures, the once living woman giving out a roar of feral victory before crushing a skull underhand.
I don’t think Ha’e could technically be called a woman, or even a human, anymore given how radically her body has been altered. And crushing a necromorph’s skull doesn’t really do much unless you dismember them first, and even then it doesn’t guarantee a kill.
“Stop showing off before you attract more of them!” Anna hissed, Ha’e flipping her the bird… Well, almost.
Ugh. The phrasing just gets so awkward and stuttery at times.
The strawberry blonde gasped, noticing her friend was now missing another finger, her right middle one to be exact, and a gash was sliced deep in her left side, exposing two broken ribs.
Oh, no? Unless the severed finger reverses whatever happened when Anna cut off Ha’e’s pinkie to turn her into a Suemorph, I don’t see what the big deal is. And Ha’e’s ribs were already exposed, so what is this gash actually revealing?
“Oh, damn… I should’ve help you, I shou-” “Can it, princess, you’re gonna give yourself gray hairs…” the redhead muttered as she began her walk back to the two.
Anna has a point, she really should have done more. She’s armed with a plasma cutter yet only managed to dismember one necromorph while Ha’e killed four with her bare hands in the space of a few seconds.
The other suited figure tensed, backing away as she approached. Anna didn’t let them get far before she grabbed them by the arm. “It’s okay, really. She’s not like the rest of them. Are ya, Ha’e?” The beast snorted as she reached them, coiling up on her tail in front of them.
I’ve looked through many images of Leapers to see if they would be able to do this, but have been unable to find anything. There is some fanart with Leapers in this stance, but most of the “official” images of concept art or gameplay stills show them using only their arms for support and locomotion while keeping their tails curled over their backs like scorpions would.
The redhead blinked, raising a scarred brow.
I’m willing to give the fic this, since the upper portion of the skull is still recognizably human in Leapers. I still call bullshit on Ha’e being able to speak coherently, though.
“You know me..?” “How could I not? We went to CEC school together!”
Great, unattributed dialogue that’s all smooshed together. That’s always fun.
Anna and Ha’e looked to each other before back to the stranger, their voice sounding familiar.
The voice sounds familiar, but is somehow still not distinct enough to give the speaker a definite gender.
“Who are you…?” Anna could barely hold back a cry of relief as the stranger pulled off their helmet,
I thought the helmets retracted back into the suit’s collar area?
revealing a messy braid of platinum blonde hair, pale skin, and sapphire eyes.
Gee, I wonder who that could be? She must be important if her hair, skin, and eyes are described; even Anna only got hair and eyes.
Much shock. So surprised.
The chapter ends on this “big reveal” and the fic hasn’t been updated in almost a year, so I’m provisionally putting it in the abandoned fic pile. Stranger things have happened, though.
See you next time with another fic, Patrons!