Writer's note: This is my first attempt at anything too close to a proper creepy tale, but I have done some amateur writing before. I also know it's a bit soon for a creepypasta based off of Warframe, considering how recent it's released. With that said, I've put a lot of thought and effort into this to make it as best as possible. Read to end, make comments/suggestions/etc.
Warframe - InfectionEdit
As an avid gamer, I am always looking for a new experience. A new creative breakout that shows a group of person's dedication and drive to a project, among good gameplay and details. It's why I'm still relatively active in many of the more unique online games, such as Iron Grip Marauders and Firefall, whereas others would have gotten bored after development stagnation sets in. This is where I ran into the game Warframe, a co-op shooter based on an original design of the game Dark Sector. I was fascinated with the game, and when I was allowed into closed beta, I was ecstatic.
For several months, at least a few hours a day, I spent my days running on walls, gunning down enemies, and slicing my way through robots all after the shiny carrot of expanding my play area and powering my characters. Unfortunately, a short break happened, where I was busy with real life obligations, forcing me to shorten my play sessions to a mere crawl whenever I had time. It wasn't until Update 7 hit where I was able to return to my latest hobby. Luckily, during the time I had been away, I had focused on creating another warframe- essentially your character skills and stat dictation- during that time, leaving me with a clean slate of my new Ember warframe to explore the changes.
After a short jaunt through Mercury to boost my combative capabilities and get used to the character's more close-ranged loadout, I decided that, as I was simply trying to grind this character out anyway, I would use the opportunity to gather materials for another new warframe, to pass the time and give me a goal. You have to understand, when Update 7 launched, even those who had been in the closed beta longer then I had was in a similar boat, left with pages upon pages of expensive-to-use Fusion Cores and no actual mods to equip on gear, and a lot of Warframe's power progression desperately relies on those mods to make your character more survivable and damage output skyrocket. As a result, I wasn't too keen on trying my luck with moving to the later sectors with tougher enemies, as even my fully-leveled Volt could do little at his current state.
As a result, I set my sights on a level in the Venus sector, a mission that featured the Infested enemies in a Capture mission type. E Gate, I believe the location was. I also decided to do the mission solo, as I figured that the sheer amount of new players the switch to open beta would bring would be your average 'rush for the exit for end of game rewards' type, instead of the checking of every container my grinding measures aimed for. Besides, Ember was an anti-Infested frame in all regards, right?
Even still, the Infested always... I don't know, creeped me out when I learned of the lore. You get hints of it every so often, but it took to finding a gathering place of lore on the forums to get the true picture. The Infested, otherwise known as the technocyte plague, were a biological weapon created ages ago by the Orokin, the allies of the player race ages ago, but it has gone rouge, infesting sector after sector and corrupting the other two enemies in the setting- the clone-soldier Grineer and the mostly-robotic Corpus proxies- into hellish, monstrous alien life, and seeks nothing more then to incorporate all matter to them.
Even still, in the game, the creepiness of the Infested was only a backseat attraction, and the gameplay was actually more enjoyable when fighting them instead of the other races, which cling to cover as soon as a Tenno sneezes in the wrong octive. And after all, it's just a game, it couldn't really do anything, right?
As I started the mission, watching Ember drop from the convenient ventilation shafts the PCs always spawn from, nothing was out of the ordinary for the mission and enemy involved- corrupted mass of the Infested's work scattered walls, floors, and ceilings, and strange lights flitted about in the area randomly, as if insects were drawn to the various pockets of biomatter. The level progressed as normal, with the infested eventually appearing here and there, swiftly being met into the end of my shotgun or my recently-acquired Lato Vandal. I was being smart about it, clearing a squad that spawned before moving on. I hadn't noticed then, but in retrospect, I believe that there was something... odd. As if the hordes were more intense, but more spread apart. I remember marveling at my good fortune, being able to loot in relative piece, but each fight slowly whittled my health under my shields. My looting habits, however, ensured I ran into a nice supply of health and energy to keep myself alive.
Eventually, I reached my destination- a Corpus crewmember, in his usual room, ready for me to gun him down and, for lack of a better term, download him to the Lotus network for whatever this enigmatic helper wished of him. It was a simple matter- one shotgun blast and he was down, then a quick press of the X key and he was gathered. I prepared for the slow, profitable run to the exit.
And then, suddenly, Lotus's image popped up, stating that the mission had changed, and now I had an extermination orders. That wasn't surprising, however- it's not uncommon for Lotus to suddenly add a second objective, or sometimes change the objective entirely, especially the latter for Extermination. What was odd, however, was two things. First, I heard a great many cries of Infested enemies, more then I was used to hearing. And then, there was the counter for the targets. 'Enemies Left: 666'- by far more then usual for this type of mission, which the most I've seen hitting to around 120 or so.
The next few moments were pure chaos. The room I had found the captive in was a dead end- there was no real escape if that truly was the amount of monsters coming. Gritting my teeth, I started spawning my abilities as the horde began, endless streams of the Infested's trash mobs rushed forward, only to be met by the deadly flames that I conjured, but the horde kept coming, and coming. And coming. Again, my health was whittled down, again and again my shield would deplete, only to get a small reprieve as I busted more spells to give me a short reprieve.
However, that is when the Ancients came- great brute enemies, terrifying for lower-equipped players like I had become. As the counter reached 300, several Ancient Disruptors (those that drain a player's shield and energy) charged into the room, as well as several more trash mobs. It took just one to strike me, draining my energy, my one source of solace in this strange glitch of a zerg rush for lack of a better term, gone. It took only a few seconds before my health reach rock bottom.
And then, the oddness continued. Instead of immediately ragdolling, my character fell back- as if there was others in the game. But that was impossible, I was playing solo, there was noone there to revive me, it shouldn't have downed me. I took the opportunity to keep the attacking going, fighting until my pistol ammo was dry, as the beasts gathered closely around my downed character. It was hard to even see my character at this rate, due to all the bodies and entities in the area. As I watched the timer finally hit zero, I was yet again surprised as the creatures, for no discernible reason, suddenly moved slowly out of the room.
And then, my character started to get to her feet. Not the backflip like when revived, or even getting up when staggered or knocked down. No, she slowly staggered up, movements jerky and body twitching irregularly, as if drunk or injured. As Ember finally got to her feet again, she suddenly convulsed, her model twisting and writing. I watched in horror as the suit that made her frame tore, revealing pale, sickly skin, just like the Infested. Several tears had outcrops of the infection rip out, twisting into macabre shapes as they hung from her body. Her shoulders swelled, leaving her in a hunched form. And then, slowly, she'd grow idle, grasping the shotgun and holding it limply after it had fallen to the floor with her change.
In shock, I let go of the mouse, accidentally bumping it and seeing the camera swivel. I seemed to have control again, but a part of me was wanting to escape the game, to not continue. However, greed got the better of me. My resources and money were low, and I desperately needed to strengthen my characters with the new changes to the game. Trying to hold back my confusion at what just happened, I slowly moved my character out of the room that should have been a death.
As I began to move this... Infested Ember, Lotus once again came with a radio message, claiming the enemies on this ship needed to be purged. The message, however, was garbled with static, an effect I had never seen in the game before- but at this rate that was par for the course, as something specifically wrong was going on. A part of me was trying to rationalize this as some sort of surprise new feature- something that was snuck in with low bravado, like the mysterious 'Shade' that had started showing up after the patch- but it just felt too scripted. Too unnatural in the game's mechanics.
As I moved onward, I was greeted, not by Infested, but by the armored Grineer as I headed on this new mission. Finally, something that wasn't entirely breaking of the game- sometimes in missions, the enemy pallet can swap, leading to a character that particularly overspecialized for the enemies that normally appear to be at a disadvantage- although, it didn't usually happen this early in the solar map. Luckily, whatever plague that happened to my character wasn't inhibiting the character's standard combat actions, allowing me to attack them back.
After the first wave of Grineer, I noticed again, an oddity. Usually when fighting the more humanoid enemies, they will spout various trash-talk or combat quotes, such as announcing that they're reloading, they've spotted the player, or comments that they think they have them surrounded. On this situation, until they spotted Ember directly, they did the same thing. However, as soon as they spotted her, the vocals changed. Upon first contact, one would scream 'Don't let it escape!'. As one ducked behind cover before I mercilessly ran around it with my melee, I heard him whimper 'Oh god...' and as I struck another with my Fireball ability, the usual short pain received grunt was replaced with a high-pitched cry of anguish.
Finally, it was over- the Grineer was exterminated. Lotus didn't state the mission was complete, but the waypoint updated with the exit. Thoughly creeped out by the experience, I set off to the exit, now actively skipping loot as I rushed to figure out just what was going on.
As I reached the deployment zone, the ending scene started as normal, the scoreboard popping up with my experience and I watched the infested Ember climb into the receiver for boarding Tenno on the strange, flat craft they used. And then, suddenly, a Infested's face popped onto the screen where Lotus usually appears- reminding me a lot of the responses when fighting the 'Golem' boss- and a deep, gravely voice filled my speakers:
'Excellent work, Reborn. Now, our influence will flow through the stars. And it is all thanks to you.'
As soon as the game changed to loading, the entire computer cut out, making me jump from the overush of tension. Now, before you suddenly mock this, the reason was actually mundane- my fault for having a rather hard-to-ventilate laptop for my gaming uses. Conviently, my grinding session turned horror story had overheated the device to the point where it had shut down due to overheat. Not good on the device, but at that moment I wasn't sure if that was a bad idea that it did that.
After letting the computer cool itself down, I started it back up, and then almost immediately booted up Warframe to see if anything had changed. Surprisingly, I was greeted by a un-infested Ember on my arsenal screen, and my revive counter had gone down by one, but otherwise everything I had picked up and done during that strange situation had stayed the same.
I eventually would post a thread on the forum, requesting if anyone else had experienced the situation, only to receive several remarks about the grade of whatever I had been smoking and so on. A dev response eventually made it's way to the thread as well, leading to a remark on, while the situation I had described wasn't coded into the game, the premise was 'interesting' and that I should be commended for my creativity.
What really happened? I don't know. I still play the game, and I've never got the same reaction to happen again. But even still, a part of me can't forget the last phrase spoken by the Infested. As if for a moment, I had tred into their world.