Types and Origin
Two types of Markers are known to exist: Black Markers and Red Markers. Black Markers originate from extra planetary sources, traveling through space until they impact a planet. Red Markers are artificial copies of Black Markers, created by intelligent civilizations. Both are functionally identical, serving as emitters of an electromagnetic signal that both compels sentient beings to create more Red Markers and reanimates necrotic tissue into Necromorphs.
The ultimate purpose of the Markers is to create a Necromorph Moon, by spreading an alien contagion that reanimates dead cells and kills all life in the area. This results in the activation of the Markers once a sufficient amount of life on the planet has been consumed, known as the Convergence Event, which pulls all of the dead tissue along with parts of the planet into space to create a Moon.
The creation of a Brethren Moon begins with a Black Marker being sent to a hospitable planet. There, the Black Marker emits an electromagnetic signal that appears as a source of limitless energy. Once dominant species of the planet discover it, they are compelled by the Marker to worship the relic and to create copies of the original. Thought to be for the purpose of gaining more energy, the reasoning behind the copies is to spread the soon to be contagion and limit quarantine protocol.
Eventually, the Black Marker and the copies send out multiple signals. Those alive and afflicted, with lower intelligence, begin to experience hallucinations and contract dementia, sending the living into a paranoid state causing homicidal and suicidal actions. This ultimately prepares the next event by creating dead bodies. Those with a higher intelligence, however, are instead given blueprints of creating a Marker directly into their brains.
The signals finally are released to begin the final stage which is the Necromorph infestation. This contagion's genetic code is written in an alien language on the Markers themselves. This signal reanimates dead cells and tissue of all dead species within the Markers' area of influence. These dead bodies are then twisted into nightmarish, monstrous creatures that are built for the purpose of killing other living species and infecting them. This infection occurs not only with the Black Marker, but also where the other duplicate Markers have spread. When the bodies become numerous, they prepare for the ultimate stage of Convergence.
The Convergence Event is when all of the able-bodied Necromorphs gather around the Markers. A final signal is released and the Marker begins to rotate and levitate into the sky. The Marker then pulls in every single Necromorph and dead creature into the sky and stratosphere. The Marker then joins them and pulls the necrotic flesh all around it to create a Brethren Moon, along with fragments of the planet to form the Moon's protective shell of rock. The Moon then feeds off the remaining life on the planet. When it is done, it goes into hibernation and joins its kin in a chain network signal.
When the original Marker or Necromorph Moon was created is unknown, but it is known that a Convergence Event has happened many times to countless other civilizations in space. The only recorded events to species has happened to the Aliens on Tau Volantis and is currently happening to the humans on Earth and other inhabited colonies in space where the man-made Red Markers have spread.
Aliens of Tau Volantis
By the year 2311, Tau Volantis has been frozen over and inhabited by the Sovereign Colonies. After extensive research, Dr. Earl Serrano discovered the events that plagued the planet two million years ago.
Apparently, Tau Volantis was not originally frozen over, but was once an aquatic planet full of life. Eventually, a sentient alien species evolved and built a rising civilization. The aliens soon found a Black Marker on their planet and discovered its limitless energy. Worshiping it, the aliens created duplicates across the planet to harvest its power.
The Aliens were deceived, and the Black Marker and its copies released the Necromorph contagion among their species. Eventually, the infestation reached its limit and activated a Convergence Event, forming the Necromorph Moon from the dead Aliens. During the event, several living Aliens realized the impeding doom of the Convergence Event and built a machine that would freeze the planet and the Moon, halting Convergence. The machine was also built to bring down the Moon, crashing it into the planet. However, the Alien species died before this could occur.
Since this event, the Moon had been frozen along with Tau Volantis, but was fully aware of the situation and called out via Markers to "make it whole" and "turn it off", meaning to turn off the machine and resume Convergence. The Moon was briefly completed in the year 2514 by Jacob Arthur Danik, but not before Isaac Clarke and John Carver completed the machine and sent the Moon crashing down to Tau Volantis. However, this action awoke the other Brethren Moons and set them on a course to Earth.
Humans of Earth
65 Million years ago, the Black Marker arrived on Earth via asteroid, in the gulf of Mexico, which caused the extinction event of the dinosaurs.
By 2214, the Black Marker began affecting the inhabitants of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. A research team, led by Michael Altman, discovered the Black Marker and recovered it from the flooded crater. After doing so, it produced dementia among the scientists and released the Necromorph infestation. However, Altman was able to replicate the signal which culled the Black Marker. Altman then sank the research facility along with the Marker back in the crater. After doing so, two men of the government assassinated Altman and recovered the Marker codes Altman used. His mysterious death and work with the Markers made him a martyr and a figure head of a newly formed religion, the Church of Unitology.
Using these codes, the government wished to not only study the Marker's effects, but also use them as sources of energy following an energy crisis due to overpopulation.
The Sovereign Colonies built three Red Markers, which were located on the classified distant planets of Aspera, Kreemar and Aegis VII. However, outbreaks commenced around the facilities and they were forced to shut down, erasing any knowledge of the Red Markers.
In 2311, the Sovereign Colonies and Dr. Earl Serrano wished to find the source of energy the Markers received. They traced the signal back to Tau Volantis where its source was believed to be. The team uncovered the thousands of Markers made by the Aliens and another outbreak was brought upon the humans. General Spencer Mahad soon issued Scenario Five to eliminate everything and everyone about this entire mission. After Earl Serrano uncovered the secrets of the Alien Civilization, the Moon, the Machine, and the Codex, he sent Tim Caufman and Sam Ackerman to recover the Codex. Unfortunately, the mission ended in the demise of Tim, Sam, Mahad, and eventually Serrano himself.
By the 25th century, the human population had inhabited thousands of colonies across the galaxy, but overpopulation and energy issues persisted. This forced the humans to go into deep-space mining. Forming the Concordance Extraction Corporation, deep-space mining became a reality with the USG Ishimura.
In 2508, with the support of the Church of Unitology, Captain Benjamin Mathius of the USG Ishimura was set to recover Marker 3A on Aegis VII. After the unearthing of the Marker, the planet was also cracked open by the Ishimura for mining purposes. However, this caused a Necromorph infestation in the planetside colony which then spread to the Ishimura. After the USG Kellion and Isaac Clarke arrived on the Ishimura, Isaac's objective became returning the Marker to the planet in the hopes of ending the infestation. He did so, but not before being touched by the Red Marker's influence and having the mined rock destroy the planet.
Isaac Clarke along with Nolan Stross, a scientist who caused another outbreak on the USG O'Bannon using a shard of Marker 3A, was brought to Titan Station to revive the Marker program, now run by EarthGov for the sake of harvesting limitless energy. Eventually creating the Site 12 Marker on the Titan shard, it resulted in another outbreak and the start of a Convergence Event. Clarke, along with Ellie Langford, escaped Titan Station before it and the Marker were completely destroyed.
Unfortunately, the Markers had spread to nearly every major colony due to EarthGov's replication program. Seeing this as a "violation", a radical Unitologist group known as The Circle began unleashing the Markers among the colonies, spreading the Necromorphs to cause a universal Convergence. After Isaac Clarke, Ellie Langford and John Carver uncovered Serrano's work on Tau Volantis, they completed the alien machine and killed the Moon orbiting Tau Volantis. Ellie returned to Earth, believing Isaac and Carver dead. However, Isaac and Carver survived but their actions with the Moon awoke all of its brothers.
- Black Marker, on Earth.
- Marker 1A, on Kreemar - Proxima Centauri System
- Marker 2A, on Aspera - Gliese 581 System
- Marker 3A, on Aegis VII - Cygnus System
- Site 12 Marker, on Titan Station.
- Multiple Red Markers in varying states of production found in the Sprawl's Government Sector. Two of them are seen and destroyed by Sprawl Security in Dead Space 2 Multiplayer.
- A white Marker is seen in one of Karrie Norton's hallucinations.
- Luna Marker, on the Moon.
- Marker Shroud 4, on Uxor.
- Three Red Markers contained in three distinct Marker pilons on Ptolemy Station, an old research station of the Sovereign Colonies. They can be charged and used simultaneously to triangulate the position of the coordinates for Tau Volantis. The station was destroyed by Ellie Langford and the crew of the USM Eudora.
- Two Red Markers in the cargo hold of the CMS Terra Nova. One is half covered by a tarp, the other is just behind it, leaning against a crate.
- A Red Marker seen on the CMS Brusilov which interfered with John Carver.
- A Red Marker found underneath the S.C.A.F. base in Marker Containment, destroyed by John Carver with the aid of Isaac Clarke.
- Hundreds if not thousands of Red Markers seen on the surface of Tau Volantis.
Throughout the series, the destruction of Markers has been a common objective/occurrence. While often shown to be sinister, powerful, and seemingly indestructible, there are a few known ways to destroy a Marker:
- Isaac Clarke and John Carver both demonstrated a unique way of destroying a Marker: by battling and defeating its influence within their own minds. Isaac first demonstrated this on the Sprawl with the Site 12 Marker, and Carver would later replicate it when confronting a S.C.A.F-built Marker.
- Dead Space: Aftermath indicates that a Marker and shards of one can be eliminated by an extremely high temperature, such as throwing it into a star or a ship's reactor. The resulting energy surge will obliterate the artifact entirely.
- Some Markers are vulnerable to conventional weapons fire or a huge force, as seen in Dead Space 2's multiplayer during the Marker Labs scenario. Dead Space: Aftermath supports this, though it also states that destroying Markers in this manner merely fragments them into still-active shards. Not even the initial destruction of Aegis VII (when the extracted piece of crust fell) was able to destroy Marker 3A as it left the remaining shards inactive until interacted with.
The Brethren Moons are aware of Markers' weaknesses, warding off any potential attackers by causing vivid hallucinations to get them stalled then attacked by Necromorphs, killing themselves or each other.
- Markers resembled the double helical structure of Z-DNA, one of 3 helix forms that active DNA could take.
- Dead Space: Martyr and Dead Space: Aftermath show that a Marker is akin to a hologram in its architecture. If one takes a conventional holographic plate and shatters it, each piece still shows a holographic image which is identical to the original; in a similar manner, a single shard of a Marker retains the properties of the whole and is enough to start a Necromorph outbreak.