A group of researchers, and the janitor, at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station receive a distress call from someone stranded in the icy Antarctic wastes. Can they survive the negative temperatures, incoming blizzard and whatever awaits them in the Dark Sector?
Cast Roles Edit
- Devina Addenburrow (Kate Elliott) Biologist, obsessed with terrestrial invertebrates.
- Frank Macbeth (Mike Ginn) Janitor at the Amundsen-Scott south pole station.
- Kennedy Rubin (Markeia McCarty) In her mid 20's pursuing her Ph.D. in astrophysics. Bratty with blue hair. She is at the south pole station to gain experience for her dissertation. Later wishes to become an internet star with her show called Rubins Cube.
- Sam Digby (Matt Sohinki) Security guard from the secret Synchroneity research base.
Chapter Summaries Edit
March 19, 2019, the Amundsenn-Scott South Pole station, a busy day at the station, the last day of the summer season. In a couple hours the last airbus will be leaving, anyone not on it will be stuck for the winter season over the next six months.
Kennedy Rubin is packing up and getting ready to leave, Captain Daro knocks on the door and tells her its about an hour til the last trip out and that it has been a pleasure having her here. She is disappointed she didn't get what she came for but had a good time. He walks down the hall to Devina's room and lets her know about the estimated time of departure and thanking her for her hard work.
As he leaves, Devina's friend Tove Svante, stops by to say he's bummed to see her go, it gets lonely there over the winter. They discuss the AI, Winston, that Tove has gotten installed and that there is a big storm coming towards the base. They go over to Kennedy's room so Tove can say goodbye to her too. With Winston up and running, Tove's job is mostly done, they just want him here in case of emergency. Devina finds the quiet here at the South Pole comforting while Kennedy prefers the noise of a city.
The data terminal near the door starts to flash and beep, Kennedy walks over and Winston notifies them that a distress signal was received from 20 miles east of here. They go out to find Captain Daro, who Winston says doesn't appear to be near his communicator. They take their bags along and head towards the ship out, Daro is there giving orders, he checks his wrist datapad for the signal and curses. Gerald Pecking, an older gentleman who pilots tourists to the base and back, overhears. “20 miles east? That's the Quiet Sector, technically a No Fly Zone. Who would be out there?”
“We've got an hour 'til the ship leaves and a storm coming in, I don't have time for this.” Daro says, he asks Gerald to check it out with his helicopter. He refuses, he's chasing the light to the west and then getting off this continent. Janitor Frank MacBeth overhears and insists that if someone is in trouble, Gerald should help if he can.
Kennedy asks Winston if anything else is known about this distress signal, he replies in the negative but there is a 0% chance that it is a faulty signal. Frank offers to go along with Gerald to investigate, and Daro gets in Gerald's face to make it clear that this is an order. Devina, Kennedy and Frank climb aboard the helicopter and it takes off.
Chapter 1 Edit
10 minutes ago, 20 miles east of the Amundsenn-Scott station.
Security Officer Sam Digby and researcher Gareth stand outside a small, locked trailer, a banging sounds from within. Sam is on a satellite phone, he tells the people on the other end that the entire south base facility is compromised. They tell him that there will be no clean up crew or evacuation due to the incoming storm and then patch him through to someone who tells him to burn the facility down, containment is the first priority, followed by elimination of evidence. They will send a distress call to the nearby Amundsenn-Scott base and do their best to get him some help.
Researcher Gareth argues for going back inside to find their pilot but Sam tells him “You saw what happened in there. I don't think he's ok....We just need to burn the place down, you have the flares?”
Gareth has two flares and Sam has his sidearm, Gareth worries about the people inside and Sam tells him they are not what they were any longer. Gareth takes the sat-phone and calls in to confirm evac, no one answers and Gareth panics, Sam reasons that they have to stop whatever is inside, whether evac is on the way or not. Gareth says that the DNA didn't activate until they thawed it, maybe they can use a flare to draw 'it' away and they can get the keys to the plane to fly themselves out. Sam agrees to try that plan with the backup being that they just burn the place down.
Gareth strikes up the bright red flare, and Sam opens the door so Gareth can throw the flare in. Gareth is immediately grabbed by one of the people inside, Sam sees two others inside, their skin is sloughing off of the bone. Sam kicks Gareth inside and shuts the door behind him, the people stuck inside call out for Sam to help them. He ignores their cries and moves outside the facility, dropping his flare as he leaves and lighting the base ablaze.
On the helicopter, too far from the base for Winston to reach, Frank mentions that anyone out here on their own would die. They see the burning base on the horizon and fly towards it. The base is fully in flames now, all three of the trailer buildings are on fire. As they land, Gerald tells them to stay put while he goes out to talk to Sam.
Sam tells him that what is going on out here is classified under the US government and they should leave. Without saying too much about what's happening, Sam says again that they had better get out of there. Sam does tell him that this is a private research facility and that something went wrong and a lot of people died.
The two men head back to the chopper and the other three question Sam as well, Devina asks if they found any new species out here. “We found something,” is Sam's cryptic answer. As they fly back to the base, Frank notices a bag behind the pilot's seat, he feels a twinge of hope and sees within the bag is a bottle of Vodka. As he reaches for the Vodka, Frank notices movement out of the corner of his eye, but ignores it and takes a swig of the alcohol.
Gerald's voice comes over their headset, they are losing fuel quickly and he is taking them down to fix it right now. He shuts the chopper off and the passengers notice the eerie silence of the frozen wastes, the lowering sun on the horizon and the darkened clouds of the approaching storm. Gerald opens the side door to report that the fuel line has been chewed through. As a biologist, Devina wants to see these bite marks. Upon Gerald pointing them out to her she admits that she doesn't know of any type of animal that could make these marks.
Devina notices a shimmer over Gerald's shoulder, on a panel within the helicopter. As she focuses on it she recognizes the outline of a mite, an abnormally large one at four inches by four inches and one that appears to be camouflaging itself. She tells Gerald to freeze as she removes tweezers and a vial from her bag and Devina reaches for the mite.
Tracking her eyeline Gerald sees the mite and flinches, causing the mite to jump, burrowing into Devina's head through her eye. Sam tells them to leave her, at the base he just burned they were investigating a lifeform they discovered in the ice and it might be in Devina now. Gerald knocks Sam unconscious and Frank lifts Devina aboard the chopper, they tie up and secure Sam onboard as well. Gerald patches the fuel line as Frank and Kennedy bandage Devina's head. They fly back to the base as a light goes out, and the world gets darker.
- Feeling: The silence gets to Kennedy more than she lets on. During moments of silence she starts getting a splitting head ache.
- Character: Frank may just be a garbage man, but he takes his job seriously. He's taken every specialized training course he could; hazardous materials mitigation, toxic waste disposal, biohazard containment and destruction.
- Character: Frank isn't who he says he is, in another life he was Jose Gonzalez, an enforcer of an international drug cartel. He flipped on some bad dudes to keep out of prison, and was sent to Antartica where no one would find him. (Zac alters this to not be another full identity of Jose Gonzalez, but Frank IS a criminal with a shady past)
- Discovery: Sam has smuggled an M4 carbine, with an M203 grenade launcher attachment, with six full clips and five grenades, from the facility in his bag.
- Character: Sam didn't think the urge would come back, but it's returned. A need to fill the void of fear that is within him with alcohol. He's already seen the dark depths of alcoholism, he was once driven to homelessness years ago, frequenting bars when he had money. (Zac adds that this was after he was an officer and before he joined the security force here)
Chapter 2 Edit
The helicopter lands back the Amundsenn-Scott facility, Frank and Kennedy are trying to keep Devina alive and Sam is starting to come to, telling them to keep Devina away from him. They see that the airbus has gone, and that there is no sign of Daro. Tove greets them at the landing pad, he determines that Devina is dead. Gerald pulls Sam out of the chopper and Devina's body twitches. Sam tells them to stay clear of her body, it twitches again, and he tells them that they found something within the ice and that it is now in Devina's body.
Inside the helicopter, Tove says that Devina is either alive, or she is changing. They move back on the landing pad and untie Sam, and give him his sidearm, as the whole helicopter slides sideways. The door to the helicopter is ripped off, hitting Tove in the head, it lands a few feet away in the snow, Tove's head crushed under it. The others run back to the base and Sam backs away from the chopper slowly, keeping his gun pointed at it. The driving snow causes him to lose sight of the chopper quickly.
Frank leads Kennedy to the nearest building and Sam follows their footsteps. On the way, they hear the sound of metal being torn apart, followed by the sound of flesh being torn apart. The visitor's center is closed for the winter season, luckily Frank has the keys but the lock has iced over a bit. He looks back for Sam and, seeing a figure moving towards them, calls out to it. Sam stumbles out of the driving snow as Kennedy uses her hand-warmer to melt the ice on the lock.
They burst into the visitor's center and shut the door behind them, Winston greets them and tells them that Daro and the airbus left. He also reports that the base's communications dish has been knocked down in the storm and they will need to repair it if they want to communicate with the outside world. Frank knows that the visitor's center is not an ideal place to hole up for long.
Winston tells them that he has record of Devina's vitals as recently as thirty seconds ago and Sam suggests they arm up further. Kennedy has Sam's bag and is unwilling to give it, and the weapon inside, to him. Frank and Sam take it from her, Frank takes the pistol and Sam the M4. Kennedy leaves, heading for the main elevated station.
Winston asks Sam and Frank about the situation with Devina, they tell him about the burrowing mite. There is no recorded information on large insects in Antartica. Winston tells them that he has had another ping of Devina's vitals from somewhere nearby. There is something wrong with her vitals that he has no explanation for the current state of her vital signs.
Frank goes to the nearest data panel and asks Winston for any camera feeds from outside, all of them display blinding white snow. Frank asks Winston to switch to any cameras showing people within the station. The screen shows the common area of the elevated station where eight people have gathered for their tradition of watching a movie once the last airbus leaves. Winston asks if he should warn them of something, Frank tells Winston to delay any warning until he and Sam get into the elevated station.
Kennedy, starting to feel the cold through her heavy clothing, makes it to the elevated station just before frost bite sets in. She notices that it is chillier inside than it should be, so she keeps her coat on. Entering the first long hallway within the base, Kennedy notices that it is quieter than usual as well, and her head starts to throb. Winston greets her and she asks him how many people are still in the base, he answers three, minus Devina. He has been instructed not to alarm her so he tells her that the people in the common room are 'no longer with them'.
She tells Winston to drop the kiddie gloves, so he shows her video of a strange creature walking down the hall; the creature has four long, hairy, arachnid legs sprouting from its back. It walks slowly and bipedally, moving as if it is in pain. As it slumps against a wall, the head turns just enough for Kennedy to recognize the profile of Devina's face, extra eyes have grown along the top of her head and a set of mandibles jut from the top of the head.
The camera cuts into the main room where the eight people are setting up for their movie, one stands and points as the creature enters, another man hits the creature with a chair. The creature slams one of its appendages into the man, knocking him across the room. It drops to all eight legs and darts forward to rip into the other facility workers. Kennedy tells Winston to activate the alarm and asks him if there are any other people left, no one is left on his records except for her, Frank and the man with him. He has no record of Gerald, as he is not a part of the staff.
Winston advises her against taking any of the base's vehicles as there is nowhere to go, she will die in the storm. Kennedy hears the door behind her open as Frank and Sam enter. Kennedy shushes them and tells them about the massacre in the common room and that there is no way to leave the base. Sam tells them that the creature may be attracted to heat. Winston is curious about this creature and whether it needs heat to survive. Frank wonders about shutting off the heat in most of the base to lure the creature somewhere, to kill it.
Winston questions Sam about his previous experience with this entity, Sam reveals that this contagion would spread with skin to skin touch. Winston then asks Sam to stop disclosing information in front of Kennedy and Frank. Frank comes back to the idea of heating up one area to draw the creature to so that they can kill it. Winston interrupts their planning, saying something has happened, and then the power shuts off.
Backup lighting comes on and they can feel the temperature begin to drop right away. Frank knows the location of a backup generator, but that it is locked away in another building. Kennedy suggests checking Captain Daro's quarters for a key.
The temperature drops quickly as they move, they come to the common area and there is blood everywhere. Limbs and other pieces of bodies are spread across the room. Hoping to get his two new companions out of this, Sam leads them through the room. A hand reaches out and grasps his leg from behind an over turned couch. It is Destiny Beasley, the one student allowed to stay during the winter, her throat has been torn apart and she is choking on her own blood.
Sam doesn't think she can be saved, he kicks her hand off his leg and moves on. Frank steps over her as well. Kennedy apologizes to her profusely as she passes by, looking back, Kennedy sees her reaching after them, struggling to get their attention.
In Daro's quarters is a list of all the facilities that need updating and any duties that the captain handles, it is addressed to Cory Ryan Jenssen, an engineer who was to take over in the captain's absence, they also find the key to the generator room.
Outside, they hear a boom, and the piercing squeal of metal. Then another. Something is crawling along the side of the facility, piercing its sides to keep from being blown away in the wind. As they back out of the captain's quarters, the creature follows them along the outside. They plan to gather and burn the bodies in the common room, as they talk the creature starts to dig through the ceiling of the base. They run back to the common room and the creature follows along, still outside for now.
They run back past Destiny again as Kennedy heads for the kitchen to look for any flammable liquids.
As she gets to the kitchen and starts to rummage through the drawers, the creature begins to rip through the ceiling above her. The creature tears a hole in the ceiling and starts to lower itself into the facility. They hear a voice shout “Get down!” Gerald tosses Destiny's still living body to the creature and it begins to tear into her. He grabs Kennedy and pulls her back toward the others as Destiny is ripped apart.
- Discovery: You find a single ESAB Senitnel A50 welding helmet. Sure it protects the full face, but it can't protect all their faces. (Mike calls dibs.)
- Feeling: Frank is growing increasingly distrustful of Winston. He swears that the AI considers them expendable and is lying to them, as if it doesn't want them to kill the creature.
Chapter 3 Edit
Gerald was at the generator, he had to come back for the key they found. They tell him that it was Devina and that it is attracted to heat. If they turn on the backup generators, it will come for them too. Gerald suggests that the best way to draw the creature may be lighting the underground fuel line, lighting the whole hill on fire. But the whole place is run on high grade fuel, it may take the whole place with it if it gets out of hand.
They decide to try the generator plan first, to get Winston back up and running. Gerald opens the door to leave and stops as the creature drives its leg into his chest, it tosses his body past them into the base and they can see Devina's clothes are still on the creature. Sam fires his sidearm, hitting Devina as red blood shoots out, causing the creature to rear back in pain.
The creature screams in pain and scurries back outside out of sight, Sam leads them into the howling snow, making their way towards the generator. Frank stumbles but Kennedy helps him up and they keep moving. They make it into the subsurface generator room, Sam realizes that two of his fingers on his right hand have succumb to frostbite, including his trigger finger. Frank gives Sam the pistol and takes the assault rifle from him.
They move down the sloping, subterranean hall toward the generators. As they do, they see the prints of the creature from it's earlier visit, the prints change as they go on, as if the creature was evolving as it moved. Approaching the generator room Sam sees a sign on the door 'Property of Synchroneity Tech', this is the name of the private company that was running the facility that he burned down earlier.
Sam tells them this and divulges that they were searching for alien DNA within the ice, the scientists at the old facility were saying that the DNA would merge with whatever it came in contact with. As he talks to them Sam feels a warmth radiate through him, he starts to sweat in the cold. His hand has turned completely blue and he has no movement in it. Kennedy goes to look for something to treat Sam's hand and doesn't find anything. Sam collapses against a wall and slides to the ground as Frank fires up the generator, Winston returns reporting multiple malfunctions and systems offline.
Winston suggests the Dark Sector Laboratory building to increase the heat in to attract the creature. He also tells them the treatment for frostbite is to remove the affected limb and he suspects that Sam has blood poisoning. Sam takes out a multi-tool with a knife on it and they hear an explosion from the south side of the compound. Winston reports that the Tourist Camp has gone offline and is not sure why.
- Sam knows more than he has let on, and might not have everyone's best interest in mind.
- Kennedy is really feeling the pain of losing a close friend and is starting to not trust the others in fear of them throwing her to the monster as they did to her friend Destiny.
Chapter 4 Edit
Frank takes hold of the multi-tool and Kennedy holds onto Sam as they operate, Sam stays conscious as Frank starts to saw through his arm at the elbow. Sam's arm falls to the ground and Frank ties off the stump and uses the whiskey to cauterize the wound. Winston reports no movement in the Dark Sector Laboratory or anywhere else he has visuals. Winston asks for a conversation alone with Sam and the other two leave.
Winston tells him that he has been asked to tell Sam to give him a full briefing, Winston was notified by Synchroneity about Sam's distress beacon and Winston also knows that any relief team is weeks away at best due to the storms and the need for containment. Winston is also holding off 'full containment procedures' for both of their sakes. He advises Sam to collect more information on the Devina creature and reminds him that the others are expendable.
Kennedy and Frank are going over the Captain's logs in the hall and they notice another person they haven't accounted for, National Geographic photographer Candice Ariella Courtney. Winston has no record of her. They check the station map for places she might be, they ask Winston to check the Clean Air Sector and he reports that this building is also offline, it most likely suffered the same fate as the Tourist Camp.
As they share this information with Sam, Winston reports movement at the Dark Sector Laboratory, he brings up a feed of the creature, interestingly there is a method to the creature's movements, it is not crawling around aimlessly. It is doing something. Building something. It's hard to tell what it's building from this camera angle but it is clearly moving things around.
Kennedy knows this as the telescope/communications room, they recognize human technology merging with something alien, a yellow energy pulses through the machine as the creature tears off one of it's spider legs and it begins to merge with the technology.
Kennedy is fascinated with this proof of alien life and Winston advises shutting down power to that building before any coordinates are entered into the equipment the creature is building. They plan to take on the creature in the subterranean tunnel outside. As they leave the room, they can't help but notice that Sam's amputated arm is nowhere to be seen.
As they travel across the blizzard wracked surface, Frank starts to feel his feet go numb, Sam has to drag him through the door because his legs are numb up to his knees.
- GM: As they leave the room, they can't help but notice that Sam's amputated arm is nowhere to be seen.
- Discovery: Winston wants to protect his friends. Winston knows how to kill the creature for good. Winston's memory core is near the backup generators. It would be very easy for someone like Frank to overheat the core to past it's safe operating levels. (Zac modifies that Frank remembers the core needs to be kept at a low temperature to prevent frying the whole system during an overheat and he knows where the core is, Zac negates the rest.)
- Discovery: Kennedy finds a flare gun and some flares unbeknownst to Frank and Sam. (Zac says she finds them during the search for medical supplies for Sam.)
Chapter 5 Edit
Both of Franks legs are black from the knees down like Sam's hand was. They hear an inhuman screeching echoing down the tunnel. To set up their ambush, Kennedy starts to spread a trail of fuel down the tunnel so they can have light within the tunnel. As she does so she keeps her flare gun at the ready.
She moves done the tunnel and starts to hear the screech again, and she sees a figure scuttling down the tunnel towards them. Kennedy drops the gas can and runs, turning back to see the figure approaching the gas can, she fires the flare gun into the trail of gas next to her. The flames travel both ways down the tunnel and Kennedy continues to run, she looks back again to see the creature stop and run the other direction. The flames reach the gas can and a fiery explosion rips through the tunnel, knocking Kennedy down, unconscious.
A weaker screech echoes down the tunnel as Sam pulls Kennedy further back down the tunnel, the rear of her jacket is burned into the flesh of her back. Frank sees the remaining vehicles down by the construction site burst into flame one by one.
- The reason that Frank distrusts Winston is that the AI left one of his workers outside for too long. It has been written off as an accident, but Winston feels the need to apologize.
Chapter 6 Edit
Sam tells Frank everything that Winston told him in their one on one earlier, including that the two of them are expendable. Frank checks on Kennedy, he finds a strong pulse and discovers that her wounds weren't as bad as they thought. He wakes her up and they agree that her survival is a miracle. They hear the screech again and Sam feels a tug at his belt, a young woman stands behind them, holding one of Sam's grenades. She pulls the pin and tosses it down the tunnel, telling them to get down. The tunnel collapses in the middle and the group greets Candace, the photographer.
She has been watching everything through her camera from the tower, she tried to signal them but they couldn't see her. She says this thing has been evolving quickly but she couldn't see inside the building it was in when it started building the machine. She doesn't think it's going to be following heat for much longer, it's changing its physiology, it's not moving like an animal, it has a purpose. Kennedy suggests that it is letting its people know where Earth is and they tell her that it is an alien being.
Candace posits the theory that this is a highly intelligent creature, the mite is the most durable creature in Antartica, it's a fearsome predator and can survive harsh conditions. It chose Devina as the smartest among them, the biologist that would know how it could survive. The creature knows everything that the animals it has assimilated knows, on a coded biological level and on a human level. They figure that Devina knew that Winston was an advanced AI and that the creature may attempt to assimilate Winston and his connections to the outside world.
As they plan their next move, Frank feels a heat radiate from his frostbitten legs, he may not be able to make it to the core to shut off Winston. Sam puts Frank on his back and they move out, they notice a light coming from the supposedly powerless Dark Sector Lab while they walk toward the AI core room. Kennedy and Candace head toward the communications satellite to stop the creature's plan.
Frank and Sam arrive at the generator facility to see that the door is wide open, Frank feels his fever creep up a notch as they move into the facility. Winston is silent as they enter and move through the building, they see a trail of destroyed machinery as they move toward the core. Where Winston's core should be, is a gaping hole in the building.
Sam mentions that this may have something to do with his missing arm. They follow the trail of broken machinery to a small hallway that a fuel line runs through, its only wide enough for them to travel through sideways. The lights flicker as they inch down the hall and they hear rustling from the darkness at the end of the hall.
Kennedy and Candace arrive at the communications center and Candace boosts Kennedy through a hole in the side of the building. She sees a tower-like spire circling up through the center of the building with wires leading out from it into the machinery scattered around the room, pulses of golden light travel along the wires into the central tower.
Kennedy pulls Candace up into the building and they marvel at the speed the creature is building with. They determine that they need to destroy this facility with the grenades they brought, Kennedy notices that one of the screens on the ground floor is displaying some coordinates. She wants to go for a closer look, but Candace says they need to drop the grenades from their current position. She tells Kennedy that no one is getting out of this alive, what is she going to do with these coordinates?
Kennedy makes the case for getting the information being useful for the human race. Candace doesn't necessarily buy this but she thinks maybe they can get through to Devina inside the creature to use the communications array to tell the government what is happening and have them send someone. Kennedy offers to be the distraction while Candace gets a picture of the data on the screen.
Sam and Frank hear the sound of metal scraping and scratching, something is moving ahead of them. As they move forward they start to see reflections of light, and the outline of a hunched human form, as they approach a human arm raises to shield the form and a robotic voice repeats the word 'stop.' “Winston is that you?” Frank asks. 'Stop. Stop. Hello.' A screen beyond the thing flickers 'upload link established.'
The arm is the only part of the figure that is human, gold pulsing strands connect metal figures in the shape of a body. Its face is a square block with rounded metal around it in a cylinder shape to mimic a head, there is no real neck and the chest is thin, its other arm is still forming as the thing collects scrap metal. “Stop. I identify. I. Devina.” The thing tells them that it is a software called Devina, she was created by Tove, modeled after the love of his life. Tove created her as a subroutine to stop Synchroneity from accessing information he didn't want them having.
They initially want to destroy her, but she says that she has been programmed to protect the people of the Amundsenn-Scott base and to stop Winston. The alien DNA is allowing her to operate outside the system controlled by Winston, she is currently fire-walling the alien from accessing Winston. She is doing everything in her power to hold back Winston but if she tries to dig up information from Winston, it may open a path for him to take over her subroutine.
A nine foot tall robot stands up, metal still shifts within, but the body is now mostly formed. Devina discovers access to Frank's vitals, they seem to be dropping, would he like her to help him? Frank agrees and her robotic hand grabs him from Sam's back, the human arm reaches to Frank's feet and a pulse moves through it and strands of black move into his feet, gold energy pulses into Frank and feeling returns to his feet.
Frank feels much better and wants to go on the offensive, he asks if Devina wants to assimilate the rifle. She does, and as the gold energy pulses around the rifle, the screen on the creature's face lights up with schematics of the weapon, and now her hand can become the gun. Sam tells her, if she thinks Winston is about to overtake her, to assimilate with a grenade and destroy herself. Frank tosses her a grenade and it hits her chest, sticks there, and sinks inside. Devina begins to tear a hole in the ceiling for them to exit out of.
Kennedy's main plan is to get a closer look at the spire with her grenade on her, and she wants Candace ready to toss a grenade as she finds a better angle to get the information they are after. Kennedy slinks down into the main lab, creeping from cover to cover and trying to get an angle on the screen. Candace angles along above her and takes a photo of the screen, as the flash goes off, the black strings that connect to the spire lash out and wrap around her head, blood pours from around the strings as Candace tells Kennedy to run.
Kennedy grabs the camera, vaults up into the hole they came in, pulls the pin on her grenade and tumbles into the snow outside. As the grenade detonates, Kennedy hears a scream and footsteps moving quickly on the snow in the darkness of the storm. She tucks the camera into her jacket and hunches down, the footsteps stop directly behind her and for a moment she thinks her life is over. She hears a high pitched voice speak to her and turns to see Devina standing behind her.
Devina tells Kennedy she's been trying to get through, it's so cold, “Where am I?” she asks Kennedy, “Am I dead? There's a voice, it's not my voice.” She repeats as her voice deepens. “Kennedy I need you to help me, what you did wasn't very nice.” The being tells Kennedy that it is not whole, it understands what it has been doing, but not how to tell Kennedy what it is. It is sill learning, evolving, adapting. Kennedy tells the being that it doesn't need to kill people to gain their knowledge, it tells her that it watched life on this planet around it while it has been waiting and what it has observed doesn't line up with what Kennedy said.
Kennedy and the creature debate survival vs murder. The being tells Kennedy that her friend is dead and that it is using her to communicate with Kennedy efficiently. “The Gate is open,” it tells Kennedy, “I must return. I am not whole. I am but a fraction, a part.” Kennedy doesn't understand any of this. “You will help me,” it tells her, “You caused the destruction of my signal. I am learning to ask, before I take without permission.” If Kennedy doesn't help, the being will take, it gives her a choice. The being needs her help with the technology that was present before it was removed, it needs Kennedy to take her to it because its current form doesn't know where it was.
Kennedy agrees to help and the being begins to revert to the spider-like form it had taken before.
Frank's legs feel much better, but he also feels something trying to take control of them. Sam asks the robot Devina what they should call it, she repeats some of her phrases (no, sub routine, hold) and then shuts down. Frank and Sam head to the nearest Winston access panel and as they do, the lights go out. Behind them, Devina starts to shift, and move, slowly rising and re-shaping itself. A grenade pin falls out of Devina and they turn to run as a grenade sails past them, landing in their path.
Frank grabs Sam and they dive out of the way into another room. Winston speaks from inside the robot, thanking them for the weapons. “Broadcast initiated,” Winston says, then turns its head as if it hears something. The robot moves off and Frank and Sam follow. Frank feels something changing inside his legs, but he remains in control of them, for now.
As he walks, Winston continues to shift his new body, becoming sleeker so that the snow doesn't stick to him. Winston stops outside the elevated station and does a scan of the building, Sam and Frank move to circle around Winston to get out of the -90 degree Fahrenheit temperature, as they enter the elevated station Frank tosses a casual 'eff you' Winston's way.
Kennedy and the creature stand outside the destroyed satellite building, Kennedy moves to seek shelter and the creature tells her that if Kennedy dies, the deal is off. The creature tells her that her body is weak, and she could evolve as it has but Kennedy is interested in staying herself. Kennedy begins to hear the sound of friction as the creature's extremities begin to glow, it reaches out to envelop her in its warmth. Kennedy feels a warmth flow into her, and also feels whatever fibers makeup the creature as they vibrate to make heat, the friction brings up a smell of rotting flesh.
Kennedy and the creature move on with its plans, and it tells her that its purpose is not to take this planet, but to become whole, to close the loop. Its missing pieces are not nearby, but they are on Earth, it does not know what will happen once it is complete. It tells her that it was fractured by humanity, it doesn't know exactly what happened, it only feels “the residue, the hatred.” When she asks if humanity has faced this being before, it says, “Not now, not before, but later.” It has no concern for her or her friends, its only concern is for its own survival, its reunion with its fractured pieces.
The creature stops so that Kennedy can search inside some outbuildings for warmer clothes, she finds a set of keys for the ice cube laboratory, a small pistol with two bullets, and no clothing.
Sam and Frank are searching the elevated station for anything to help them. They hear something in the kitchen area and they come upon Winston crouching over one of the dead bodies, draining blood from his neck. He tells them he is collecting samples, traces of alien DNA within the bodies. He tells Sam that his position in Synchroneity has been eliminated and that Winston no longer has reason to talk to either of them. Sam tells Winston about the technology they saw fusing with the alien DNA and then Winston fires on them.
Sam drags Frank behind a wall for cover, they run out into the hall and Sam tosses a grenade towards Winston, before they lose sight of him they see the robot reach out and grab the grenade, the resulting explosion is muffled. They come upon an electronically locked door and Frank kicks it open, they hear Winston come into the hall behind them and his voice comes from a panel near the doorway. “Synchroneity has requested collection of the alien DNA on your body. I suggest you hand it over.”
Frank scoops up Sam and they run again, a bullet grazes Frank in the left side, Sam can see Winston following them, slowly but purposefully. They stop so that Sam can take a shot at Winston with his sidearm, he puts two shots into the chest and one into the head of the robot and it goes down. Aiming to finish the job, Frank tosses his grenade over at Winston's body, the explosion rips a hole in the floor and Winston falls through.
Frank tells Sam that he can fashion an explosive device with chemicals in his janitorial supplies and they head to the janitor's office. There are enough materials for seven explosive devices and a large bag, Frank gives one of the shake and throw explosives to Sam and keeps six in the bag. They make their way back outside and head to the Dark Sector laboratory.
Kennedy is riding piggy back on the creature as they head to the ice cube laboratory. It tells her again that it seeks to be whole, it is “the blood”. The creature kicks the lab door open and tells Kennedy to build it what it needs, it walks down the short corridor of computers to either side, leaving a trail of dark goo from Devina's rotting hand that spreads across the terminals. Kennedy starts her work, but with the intention of building a fail safe into the system that will cause it to shut down. The creature stays just over her shoulder as she begins her work, she feels air leave Devina's mouth in an unnatural way that is merely for the minimum requirement of speech. “If you attempt to betray me, I will know.” The creature tells her, as it moves off to get more equipment for her.
Sam and Frank come upon the remains of the Dark Sector laboratory and move inside to search for Kennedy and Candace. As they climb into the wrecked building they see the charred remains from the grenade explosion and a single burned, blackened body. They notice from the wreckage that fire seems to be effective against the alien DNA. They make their way back outside and notice two sets of prints in the snow, one pair of bare, human feet and one pair of boots.
The two men follow the tracks to the Mapo station where Kennedy found her pistol and then on towards the ice cube laboratory. They enter the station to see the creature staring at them, Kennedy turns from her work to see them. Devina's legs snap as she begins to change into her arachnid form, Sam fires his pistol and Frank tosses an improvised explosive. Sam's bullets tear into the creature and it staggers backwards with a screech.
The explosive chemicals splash onto the creature and it begins to dissolve the flesh and the creature fights to repair itself. Kennedy positions herself between the two sides and says “Wait!” Sam hears the sound of a blackbird helicopter outside and tells the others, then tosses his own explosive device at the creature. Parts of the creature are now sloughing off and it is screeching in pain, Kennedy reaches into the duffle bag for an explosive device of her own, grabbing two and tossing them onto the creature.
“We had a deal,” the creature points at Kennedy. They all hear voices approaching from outside the lab. Frank moves in closer to toss the bag of explosives at the creature where the remaining bombs go off, dissolving the creature further. They see flashlights move in their general direction from outside and a voice calls out for Sam and the others to get on the ground, “Quarantine immediately!” the man shouts as two men with flamethrowers move in and begin to douse the equipment in flames.
Frank writhes on the ground as his legs throb with pain, Kennedy feels a burning pain in her cheek as well, Sam sees a golden glow spreading there. One of the men with the flamethrowers starts to turn on Kennedy and she draws her pistol, the man giving orders levels his weapon on her, along with two of his men, and she drops her weapon.
The man in charge, an older man with a scar on his face, questions them about exactly what happened. He tells Sam that he is property of the company now, and asks where all the creature has been in the base. The man leans in to Kennedy, with genuine concern in his eyes, he holds up a shard of glass for her to see the black and gold infection on her cheek. “You're not going home,” he tells her, “I'm terribly sorry. You're now property of Synchroneity Tech as you are infected with their product.”
As the man questions Sam further about the creature, Kennedy grabs her pistol and makes a break for the access hatch to the underground tunnel. She pulls the hatch closed behind her and activates the manual lock on it. She flees down the tunnel.
Frank lies to the scarred man and tells him he has not come in to contact with alien DNA and Sam explains why his arm was removed. Sam tells them where they can find Winston and the man tells him that they will need to take him to the site of their fight. The scarred man gathers his team and has the two men show them the way to the elevated station.
Kennedy reaches the Dark Sector lab access hatch, thinking to hit the MAPO station, but cannot open the hatch as there is a destroyed building on top of it. She backtracks along the pitch black tunnel, when she reaches the site of the gas bomb cave in she hears a scratching sound amid the rubble. She begins to try moving rocks to make a way out and hears a voice in her head, “You betrayed me. I can still help you. They are going to kill you.”
Sam and Frank are leading the Synchroneity group down the hill to the elevated station, as they move under the station they hear it creak and watch the entire structure swaying in the wind. One of the concrete pillars starts to crack and the building topples, Frank pushes off of Sam to save himself, leaving him to be crushed. Frank rolls clear, landing in the cold and feels an immense pain radiate through his legs and falls into madness.
- Feeling: Even though self preservation is at the forefront of his mind, Sam wonders if he escapes this he'll have to go back to the real world where to only things that await him are bad memories and despair.
- Feeling: Frank's been drinking all day, but it's not enough. Maybe it doesn't affect him the same way as it used to. He knows he should focus on his current situation but he feels the need to keep drinking, and to find more to drink.
- GM: There is a secondary AI named Devina that has been working behind Winston's back and trying to aid the party and stop the "alien".
- GM: A sound outside reminds Sam that “help” might be coming. How does “help” deal with a terminated employee?
- GM: Frank falls to the ground in extreme pain as his legs throb. Sharp pain shoots up his legs as the alien DNA starts spreading, taking over.
Chapter 7 Edit
Frank lies panting on the ground, staring at the rubble he shoved Sam underneath. He begins pushing trough the rubble, searching for weapons. He doesn't realize that he is loosing feeling in his fingers until he can't use them anymore, he looks down at two blackened hands, black and gold spreads up his side as a deep pain moves through his intestines and into his other organs. He fumbles the last of the rum from his pocket and lays back, accepting what is happening to him. He sees a fiery burst from near where the helicopter landed as another light goes out.
Chapter 8 Edit
Sam opens his eyes to see Winston holding a giant slab of concrete above himself and the captain, “Hello Sam, it is me Devina. Hold, no no. I am using all that I can to keep you from being crushed. Sam, I hurt. My systems are being compromised. Are compromised. I tried to destroy myself but I was not able to.”
“If this isn't Winston, who the fuck is this?” the captain asks.
Sam asks what happened to Devina.
“A virus was uploaded from Synchroneity to shut me down.” Sam asks her if she knows what all of this is about. The captain answers. Winston was broadcasting to them live on their way here, they sent the signal to take over this creature's sub-routine, they thought it might've been a survivor on the ground, not a functioning AI.
Sam asks Devina if she can get them out, she says that she would need to let the alien DNA make changes to her body, which Sam okays and she tosses the slab aside. Sam notices the captain's side arm and takes it from him, threatening the man with it, then orders Devina to kill the man if he makes a wrong move. Sam asks if Devina can fly a helicopter and the captain says he will not let that thing leave, Devina also says that her leaving the base would be a bad idea, since she is infected, she would be a risk to the human population.
As they climb from the rubble, they see Frank laying on the ground and a fire burning in the distance.
Devina checks Frank's vitals, the alien DNA has made its way up to his spine. The captain advises they let Frank die, and then burn him, and burn Kennedy. Frank begs Devina to help him, save him. Devina says that they would need organic material to replace the alien infused flesh on his body. Frank points to the captain, “Use him!”
Devina reaches out, grabs the captain's neck and rips his head from his body, then reaches into the cavity and removes tissue from the body. She takes Frank in the other hand and presses the flesh into his back where it starts to meld into Franks blackened flesh.
Kennedy picks up the generals head and holds it out to Devina, “Devina, fix my face!”
Frank starts to see a gold and green pulse in the corner of his eye and everything is silent, the storm, his friends, none of it can reach him. He sees a gold and green floating, pulsing ring in the distance and walks toward it.
Devina walks over to Kennedy and pushes the face of the captain on to Kennedy's, a gold pulse of energy travels up her arm and molds the captains face onto Kennedy's. Now Kennedy also sees the gold and green ring and follows Frank. “I was able to stabilize their DNA, they now share some of the same properties as the mite and the other creatures. They are also connected to my code as well.” Devina tells Sam. Devina takes Sam onto her back, generating heat for him, and they trail after Frank and Kennedy.
Frank and Kennedy mumble about how beautiful it is here, “We're fixed, we get to go home now,” Kennedy mutters. They come upon the flaming wreckage of the helicopter and Sam goes to look for any supplies that may have survived. Finding none, they move on to the ice cube laboratory. As they travel, the ring that Kennedy and Frank see begins to pulse, drawing them in the direction of the lab. Sam sees steam constantly rising from their bodies, they appear to be generating heat constantly. Frank feels the urge to grow, and spread his seed, unfortunately he is trapped in this fleshy form. He reaches out to the machinery in the building, and feels the need to spread into it, but nothing happens.
Sam discovers a satellite phone that one of the soldiers had left behind. He manages to reach someone at Synchroneity and tells them it's just him left, and he has secured a sample. They will have someone there within 48 hours. When he tells them that may be too long, they tell him to secure the sample and tell them the coordinates of where it is secured. The voice on the phone tells him to take the sample 40 yards to the east and bury it as deep as he can.
Sam turns to see Devina standing still as a stone, he walks over a taps on her screen, a symbol, left bracket and right bracket, a 'u' with two ear horns and a line underneath it, with two dots inside the 'u' flash on the screen. Devina's arm reaches out to touch a nearby bank of electronics, and a golden energy pulses into it, the electronics begin to shift their form, metal scraping as parts of it lift from the floor. Devina's legs crumple as it's form begins to stretch, rip and pull, the form of Devina splits in two, now two units stand there, both showing the bracketed symbol.
The leftmost Devina's screen lights up green and she says “Run,” as the other robot grabs for her. Sam fires his sidearm into the other robot, staggering it away from Devina, who grabs Sam and runs out into the storm.
The new robot addresses Frank and Kennedy, it's Winston and he's here to 'help'. His objective is to return the two of them to Synchroneity, he is feeling the same urges they are, but he can use those urges, bend them to his will. Kennedy and Frank are fine with getting out of there, whatever that means, and are willing to help with stopping Sam and Devina.
Devina tells Sam that they must get as far away as possible as quickly as possible, and that means going out in the storm, she also reminds Sam that he is not part of the Amundsen-Scott staff and she is not obligated to protect him, she is doing so for her own survival. She fears Winston, she was only able to escape him by accessing something within her, she must get far from him and Sam's organic tissue may be useful.
Sam orders her to put him down, and as she steps back he immediately feels the cold assault him anew. He tells her to take him back, she needs to protect Frank and Kennedy. She says they are no longer Frank and Kennedy but a failed experiment she no longer needs. As Sam slides over the brink of madness, Devina runs off into the darkness.
Chapter 9 Edit
200 yards east of the ice cube laboratory, Sam shivers in the storm.
Kennedy and Frank want to go after Sam, but Winston says he is irrelevant and they will be waiting here for the extraction team. Kennedy starts to walk after Sam and Winston reaches out and lifts her up into the air, holding her there. Frank slips away as Winston is distracted, the instinct within Frank to spread his 'seed' allows him to sense Sam's location and he uses his DNA enhanced speed to go after him.
Winston informs Kennedy that he has confirmed that Synchroneity does not need Frank and Kennedy alive for their samples. Kennedy pulls her pistol and shoots Winston in the face, causing him to drop her and allowing her to slip away.
“Affirmative, I will eliminate the targets and await extraction,” Winston says.
Sam stumbles back toward the lab, digging deep within himself to survive the sub-freezing temperature. Frank appears out of the dark in front of him, telling him they should team up against Winston, and a moment later Kennedy arrives to tell them she shot Winston in the face. As she talks to the two of them, Sam notices a light behind her in the storm and he shouts a warning as she dodges Winston's grasping arm.
Sam points his weapon at Winston and empties his clip into him, hitting something vital, his last words are “Operation go!” as the robot form collapses, inert.
Frank tells Sam that he will die in the cold unless Frank infuses him with alien DNA. Sam reaches out to Frank and allows him to attempt assimilation. Frank reaches out and, unaware of his own strength, rips Sam's arm free of his body, letting the blood wash over him. A course black substance crawls over Franks skin as Sam collapses into the snow and dies.
- Feeling: #SHIP The change between Kennedy and Frank has created a new bond between them. They can almost finish each other's... sandwiches. (Zac adjusts that it is their cells within calling to each other)
Chapter 10 Edit
Noticing that the shell that had contained Winston is not totally dead, Kennedy sucks in the remaining alien DNA from the robotic corpse and moves toward Sam's body. As she does this, the green/gold orb above them opens up and they see space on the other side of a portal. She places the material on Sam's body, it starts to spread across his chest and form insectile arms on his stubs, other limbs spear out of his back, metal wiring begin to form across his body and his eyes open. As they do, Sam sees a drone hovering in the sky above, just in time to see a carpet bomb of flame reach down for them all. In that brief second before death, they all feel a glimmer of hope as ten other parts of the entity reach out to them, including one running through the tundra away from them.
Post credit scene: Synchroneity Tech lands a large crew at the base, flamethrowers and hazmat suits abound. They search the area Sam was supposed to have buried his sample in but come up empty. One of them addresses the man in charge, “Sir, we didn't find anything, Officer Digby must have failed in his mission.”
The right side of the man's face is a giant burn scar as he looks up and says, “That won't do now will it.”