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"In the end, there is only one way to stop the impending apocalypse at the hands of these Brethren Moons. The natives of Tau Volantis understood that, for life to continue in this galaxy, their species must die. It is only through ultimate sacrifice that we too will know freedom from the Marker's signal. When Tim arrives with the Codex, I will take it to the heart of the Machine and trigger the final stage. If I am successful, the Moon will be pulled down to the planet and crushed to oblivion. I will not survive. But life will go on."
—Dr. Earl Serrano[1]

Doctor Earl Serrano was the Sovereign Colonies Science Division's Civilian Head of Archeology during the expedition on Tau Volantis from 2311 to 2314.[2]

Two hundred years after his death, many of Serrano's logs were discovered by Isaac Clarke, often depicting the doctor's fascination and excitement about his research. These logs also gave background information on Tau Volantis, the alien species that lived there, the Necromorph ecology, the Markers and the Brethren Moons.


Tau Volantis Expedition[]

"Good afternoon, General. Admiral Graves asked me to prepare this information for you. (clears throat) When the Black Marker was exhumed on the Earth in 2214, it defied our understanding of science. It appeared to generate limitless energy - a trait of obvious importance in our resource-strapped times. There was an effort to replicate the Marker, hoping to understand its technology, thereby acquiring limitless energy for ourselves. Imagine our surprise when we learned they are not sources of energy but receivers of it, via carrier wave from somewhere deep in space. Triangulating this "Marker Signal" revealed a previously undetected planet, now known as Tau Volantis. We hope to find the source of this signal, and finally harness that energy for ourselves. And if this works, it could mean a better future - for all of us. General, thank you for your time."
—Dr. Serrano's briefing to General Spencer Mahad.[2]
Serrano concept

Dr. Serrano's outfit during the Tau Volantis expedition.

After the Sovereign Colonies tracked what they believed to be the source of the Marker signal to Tau Volantis, an expedition was launched consisting of a Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces fleet carrying a large team of scientists and researchers led by Dr. Serrano in an attempt to study the source of the signal and hopefully harness the Markers' seemingly limitless energy.

After arriving on Tau Volantis in 2311 and following an experiment with a frozen Necromorph Nexus, Serrano and his team identified a massive alien city underneath the surface and began excavation. Inside, they found frozen specimens of alien origin and a host of Red Markers, varying in size. The Science Division members began their excavation of the Markers, alien artifacts and remains, with Serrano initially believing that the Tau Volantis natives were responsible for creating the Markers.

Serrano and his team managed to piece together a number of details about the alien city which they came to learn was actually a Machine, aided by the neurological data retrieved from the "Rosetta" specimen. Trying to determine the Machine's function, Serrano and his team created a Codex, a device that would work in conjunction with the Machine.

Discovery of the Truth and Death[]

"Argh! Well, I've gone and busted my knee open. I suppose the Codex is in Mahad's hands by now, and this place is about to be buried, like everywhere else. (chuckles) I remember telling my college professor I wanted to study xenoarcheology. He laughed right in my face. 'There's nothing to study,' he said. 'It's all dead space. No alien life exists out in the universe.' In a way, I guess he was right. There is no life beyond our system, only a trail of extinction, wrought by the Moons. And now it's right on our doorstep. Well, above us lies the means of turning off the Machine, but also the means to complete it. Turning it off will finish our species, completing it will save us. I had hoped to be here to witness the saving part. It would have been spectacular to witness the Moon getting pulled into the planet and crushed to oblivion - a final act by the natives - a sacrifice to save us all. But now, I must rest. Perhaps Tim will be along soon with the Codex."
—Dr. Serrano's final words.

Eventually, Serrano discovered the truth about Tau Volantis and the Markers: the Machine and the Tau Volantis natives were not the source of the Markers as it was initially speculated, but merely an extinct civilization that fell victim to the Markers' compulsions much like humanity. The Machine had, in fact, been built by the aliens in an attempt to destroy the newly-formed Brethren Moon in orbit; however, the Machine was not completed and, instead of crushing the Moon, it merely kept the colossal creature frozen in place. Serrano also came to learn of the Brethren Moon network that spanned the stars, and how they could communicate with each other and with the Markers across countless star systems. This information eventually reached the Sovereign Colonies Council, who promptly decided to invoke a Scenario Five cleanse order in June 2314.[3]


Serrano's corpse.

After Scenario Five was declared, Serrano led Privates Tim Caufman and Sam Ackerman to the crashed ship where the Codex was, contacting them several times and stressing the importance of delivering the device to the doctor, as it was his only chance of reconfiguring the Machine and finally completing its function of destroying the Moon. When Caufman made it back to base, however, everyone was dead and Serrano's whereabouts were unknown.

Two hundred years later, Serrano's body and final recorded message were found within the chamber leading up to the Alien Machine by Isaac Clarke and John Carver.[4] It is possible that he died from either exposure, dehydration or from succumbing to his wounded leg if the infection set in.

Serrano's Logs and Messages[]

""Turn it off." We thought it was the answer. But we were deceived. The Moon is the source of the signal... the madness. "Make us whole," "Turn it off!" These are its cries for help - its call to action... And we are the fools who listened."
—Dr. Earl Serrano
"The misshapen Moon in orbit... that's what controls the Markers. It's the end-state of these creatures... or rather, it would've been. You see, the natives of this planet constructed a Machine that froze the Moon in mid-formation. But it wasn't enough. Even half-formed, the Moon's "Marker Signal" speaks to the Markers back home. And it doesn't end there. There is a network of "Brethren" Moons spanning the stars. As each one completes, it connects to this network, making them aware. If this Moon should complete, its brothers will all come - looking for food. But there is hope! The natives never finished configuring the Machine. It wasn't meant to merely freeze the Moon-it was meant to destroy it! You'll need the Codex. It is the key to unlocking this Machine and re-configuring it! Follow my trail into the heart of the Machine and end this nightmare."
—Dr. Earl Serrano
"It is unlikely that a race as advanced as this one would have remained bound to just one planet. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest their empire was widespread, spanning many star systems. They must have been trillions-strong before falling to the Markers. And perhaps that is the point. Allow a species to thrive until they are so many in number that they can no longer sustain themselves… then descend upon their worlds to feed."
—Dr. Earl Serrano
"The signs are all around me. I don't know why I didn't see it before. Everywhere we look there are Markers; red ones similar to the copies we ourselves have created back home. The Marker signal doesn't just reanimate the dead. It manipulates us into spreading the Markers. And now we too have been unwittingly spreading this galactic virus from planet to planet. The propagation of our species has only served to create a source of food and the means of finding it for these moon-sized entities. It is no wonder Tau Volantis chose self-sacrifice. They eliminated themselves like a gangrenous limb, hoping to keep the infection from spreading to us."
—Dr. Earl Serrano
"The signal projected by the Markers permeates everything and everyone. We are all affected differently. Some are driven to rage. Others suffer hallucinations. And still others fall into a gibbering dementia. But perhaps the most insidious effect it has is when we don't realize it has taken hold of us. Indeed, we show no outward signs of madness. We believe we are following our natural compulsions. And in all likelihood, we will not realize this manipulation until our ill-conceived plans come to fruition and it is too late to reverse our actions. Am I justified in resisting the urge to turn off the Machine? Am I right in believing the Machine must be completed to stop the Markers? Or am I slave to the very forces that conspire to wipe out all life in this universe? Only time will tell."
—Dr. Earl Serrano


  • Serrano is voiced by actor John J. Concado.
  • Serrano's full healthy appearance is never seen in-game, although his was character was fully modeled; the only form he appears in is as an ancient corpse in the Alien City. His full body concept can also be found in the The Art of Dead Space.
  • Serrano's 'alive' version can be found in the game, though the model is used for an unnamed pilot on the USM Eudora. This is likely a simple reuse of an existing model, as it is impossible to clearly see the pilot without using any tools, though the model's existence suggests that Serrano himself was at some point intended to appear in person.
    • The wounded SCAF Legionary that emerges from The Mule in the game's Prologue also appears to use Serrano's head model.


Character Art[]

Serrano's Journal[]