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Transmissions is an online mini-series comprised of 8 episodes made by Imagos Films and inspired by SOMA. The series focuses on the WAU taking over Lambda with Structure Gel, and the PATHOS-II staff members dealing with the situation.
Characters by order of appearance
- Imogen Reed — Mechatronics Engineer — Theta
- Adam Golaski — Chief Engineer — Omicron
- Vanessa Hart — Dispatcher — Lambda
- Catherine Chun — Intel. Systems — Theta
- Baxter Rogers — Geotechnical Engineer — Upsilon
- Richard Holland — Medical Doctor — Omicron
- Jessica Davis — Structural Engineer — Theta
- Martin Fisher — Wrangler — Theta
- Dorian Cronstedt — Admin. Supervisor — Theta
The episode opens with a scrambled video showing Imogen Reed walking on a beach.
In Lambda, Adam Golaski and Imogen Reed are inspecting storage bay 09B where Golaski noticed the odd appearance of structure gel on the walls. He also notes that the structure gel appears everywhere the WAU can reach.
During their search for salvage, they discover an incapacitated UH-2 robot, hidden under a tarp and speaking intelligible phrases. The robot recognizes Golaski and introduces himself as Harry Halperin, a former co-worker from Omicron. The machine does not realize its current situation, believing to be experiencing the ARK. Adam uses its confusion to distract it while Imogen attempts to pacify it by reaching its tetra cord. The UH-2, confused by the situation, reacts violently and crushes her arm for a few seconds when moving its head to watch her. Adam strikes the UH2's head with a wrench to knock it out, and Imogen places a patch on it.
Once revived, the robot becomes frantic, swearing and speaking in jumbled, faltering sentences, hinting to be a brain scan of the real Harry Halperin performed by Catherine Chun. The engineers determine that further attempts at communication are futile, and remove the patch, deactivating the robot for good. Adam tells his colleague that it was the only infected robot still happy about its situation, but they both agreed that it would have realized the truth at some point. Imogen bandages her injured arm while Adam consults the robot's connection log. After showing no active helper, she suggests to check on the WAU for whoever tampered with the UH-2.
The episode opens with a scrambled video showing Imogen Reed on the surface, smiling at the camera.
In Lambda, Imogen reaches the station's command center to change the bandage on her injured arm, then sits on her desk to rest while listening to Traffic Control. In her sleep, she dreams of being embarked on the ARK, wearing a Haimatsu Ductile Suit. She resists the experience, believing it to not be her place. She then rips her helmet off to drown herself.
Waking up violently, Imogen begins to weep, faced with her own mortality and under severe psychological stress. She calms down at the sight of two whales in the midst of a mating ritual outside of her window, before being interrupted by Adam on the radio, requesting her help.
The episode ends with a scrambled video showing Imogen's smile again.
The episode opens with a scrambled video showing a young woman smiling and watching a butterfly.
In Lambda, Adam wakes up in the station's restroom. He then goes on a routine day, checking crates in a storage bay, when he spots structure gel leaking from a pipe in the wall and forming large clots. He climbs on a crate to inspect the leak and tears away one of clots, causing more gel to pour from this new hole. After using his shirt to cover the leakage, he takes a picture with his scanning device but then slips on the spilled gel and falls to the ground, splitting his forehead open on the crate and cracking the device's screen. Continuing his routine, he locks the remaining bays and takes a sip from his mug.
In another restroom, Adam pulls a gauze sealing a broken tube and uses his mug to keep the structure gel pouring from it from spilling on the floor. Reed arrives, and he reports to her to have found another leak. Reed notes his apparent exhaustion and passes him a tool to seal the tube's hole, but the tool is empty and Adam asks her for a new cartridge. Finding none in his toolbox, Reed goes to get another cartridge for Adam to seal the leak, but he insists instead on covering the hole with gauze, to which Reed reminds him that it won't hold. Reed goes away to check on traffic control and tells him to wash his mug. After making sure she left, Adam picks it up and drinks the gel filling it.
The episode ends with a scrambled video showing a tree branch with a butterfly.
A scrambled video signal shows Imogen Reed filmed on the surface and smiling at the camera.
In Lambda's command center, Imogen meets with Vanessa Hart, the station's dispatcher, who is saddened about the S&S, stating it gave the station's personality. Vanessa explains to Imogen that she came to pair the command center with the station's signal surface in order to double their area of effect and synchronize with the signal's short band, which Carl Semken is using as a guide tether. Imogen doesn't understand it and Vanessa tells her that Dorian Cronstedt asked for a meeting the next hour.
Vanessa then mentions Catherine Chun's worries for Imogen's seizure during her brain scan, saying it was not normal and that the scan might not work, though Imogen responses that it might have not worked from the beginning. Vanessa says her blackbox imprint wasn't enough, to which Imogen claims that Catherine is worried only about her brain scan. Vanessa tells her she isn't, that she said that Imogen might have corrupted the file by resisting the scan and wanted to try again before leaving Theta with the ARK a week before. For Imogen, her scanned version is not her, which Vanessa claims that at least some of her is part of it, that Catherine's offer was like poetry, "eternal bliss among the stars." Vanessa tells Imogen to let go of her old self, to which Imogen glares back and says she will see her back in an hour.
The transmission cuts to Imogen during her brain scan, anxious about the procedure and Catherine not helping to reassure her. After a few seconds, Imogen starts panicking and wants to stop, before having a seizure. The transmission then alternates with images of Imogen before the beginning of the scan, her seizure, several feeds of the room created by the Vivarium with her first scanned personality always waking up and panicking, and finally her removing the scanner's helmet, structure gel oozing out of her eyes and mouth, saying "This is all for you" and screaming at the camera.
Imogen wakes up violently in the command center, an alarm signal ringing and Vanessa calming her down, explaining she just had a seizure and will send her with Jessica Davis down to medical if she needs to. Imogen notices the situation, and Vanessa explains that there are probably ruptures in the feed lines, which have filled up most of Lambda's walls and disrupted the station's pressure. Imogen claims the WAU is behind it, controlling first the robot helpers to build things including the Vivarium she found, and now taking over Lambda, which is also Golaski's opinion according to Vanessa. She opposes Imogen, saying that the WAU, being a complex series of threshold logic gates, can't think for himself, and is only helping them by following its most basic operational premise: to preserve life. Baxter Rogers then enters the command center and complains that the WAU is doing it wrong.
The scramble video signal shows Imogen walking along a wall followed by the camera, and smiling at it again.
The episode opens with a scrambled video showing Lissa Golaski smiling and watching a butterfly.
Adam Golaski and Imogen Reed are sending a shipment of supplies through the shuttle. Adam comments that they will have to spend six more months at Lambda, to which Imogen answers they will be lucky if the WAU does not find a way to kill them by then. Imogen wonders about why the WAU loaded Harry Halperin's brain scan into the UH-2 robot, but Adam asks her if she did the scan too, which she denies. Imogen admits that she came to Lambda, salvaging air pumps and broccoli seeds, to escape from, as she sarcastically calls it, "Catherine Chun's mystical séance circle." Adam interrupts her, stating he hasn't been able to dream since his scan, which he suspects to have fumbled with his brain. He asks Imogen if she dreams, but she does not answer.
Back in the restroom, Adam begins conversing with a voice recording of his daughter, Lissa, who tells in a loop her visit to the butterfly conservatory with her mother. Seemingly depressed, he takes out a thermos filled with structure gel hidden in the ceiling and starts pouring himself a glass, drinking frantically from it. After several playbacks of his daughter's voice recording inciting him to "eat [his] breakfast," he continues to do so desperately.
In a storage room, Adam sets up the last video recording of his daughter, who has been making video messages for him every Tuesday for four years. Lissa thinks the recording won't reach him as she believes that the CURIE was lost at sea, but starts anyway. She says that her mother and her went to the butterfly conservatory once again, though it was abandoned and all the butterflies were dead, with the exception of a glasswing type. She remembers that her father compared her to a butterfly when she was little, but starts asking him why he hasn't been responding to her, considering the imminence of the Impact Event. Upset, she pauses the recording and resumes it later. With tears in her eyes, she uses her father's metaphor to explain her sadness of not remembering him the way she would like to, and pray to come home so she can see him one last time before the end of the world. All the while Adam was sobbing but then stops the recording and swallows the memory disk, finally calming himself. A holo-notification then pops out, warning him of a critical situation in one of the station's junctions.
While investigating the situation, Adam asks the WAU to play the former audio recording of his daughter, but the WAU isn't responding, which upsets him deeply. He then starts hearing his daughter calling him, and follows her voice through a bulkhead door and a steaming corridor. He then finds a hole on the wall through which appears a vision of his daughter, inciting him again to "eat [his] breakfast." Adam panics and orders the WAU to stop this gruesome display. His daughter comes nearer from the hole, mechanical arms in motion behind her, repeating several sentences made up of various recordings, and throws up structure gel on his face. Adam throws up in his turn the gel he consumed previously as well as his daughter's last memory disk. He tries desperately to swallow it back and pleads the WAU for more structure gel.
The episode ends with a scrambled video showing Lissa smiling and a butterfly.
The episode opens with shots of structure gel infesting the walls of Lambda.
In Lambda's cafeteria, deep in thought, Imogen Reed is brought back to reality by the group around her talking about Catherine Chun's expedition to launch the ARK to space. Richard Holland is probing about the status of the Omega Space Gun, which Jessica Davis only knows certain parts of, mainly the rigging, and don't believe it is still operable. Martin Fisher enters and proposes the idea of just leaving the ARK on PATHOS-II instead of launching it. Baxter Rogers, when asked by Martin on his cooking, complains about the food Imogen and Adam did not send from Lambda with the rest of the useful supplies. Jessica wonders if it is still edible, to which Rogers says he will send half of it off Lambda, and they will share the other half. Martin jokes with Vanessa about Imogen's addiction to Miso soup, but Richard remarks Adam's structure gel drinking habit. Martin and Vanessa jokes on it though Richard says it's possible to ingest the gel on a short period without after-effects. Dorian Cronstedt enters in a happy mood, rejoiced by the idea of sharing a good meal and joking about Baxter's cooking skills. However Jessica, who was probing a wall during the conversation, has half her head blown off by a loose bolt covered in structure gel, bursting out of it with high pressure.
Dorian and Richard take action, rushing a badly injured Jessica to the Medical Bay with Martin and Baxter, however they find the door to the Decon. Corridor locked tight and the voice input not working. Martin attempts to unstump the door, urged by both Richard and Dorian. Dorian also orders Baxter to go man the pillar, to get Vanessa to the communications tower and to tell Imogen to prepare herself in case she has to go to Upsilon, whether she likes it or not. The door opens on its own just as Martin is giving up on it, and Richard and Dorian rush inside with Jessica.
The group find the medical room covered in structure gel from top to bottom. Martin tries to prepare the bed and Jessica orders him to get his medical kit. Jessica begins to convulse, leading them to believe her Blackbox has been hit. Richard, now with his kit, uses an Adrenaline Shot on her heart in an attempt to stabilize her. Sadly, his attempts at saving her life fail and Jessica passes away on the operating table, her eyes wide open.
Later on, Richard wakes up in the medical room, a morphine injection in his arm. Dorian is calling him for a breakdown at the MCP and tells hims that they are going to cut off the WAU. Slowly coming by, he realizes Jessica's body is no longer on the table. He enters the Decon Corridor and sees for a split second tendrils of mechanical arms assembling and applying structure gel to a reanimated, Jessica. She appears covered in gel, with metal parts sloppily applied to her head wound. As Richard approaches her, attempting to get her attention, she responds with screaming and hostility, blurting up structure gel from her mouth, before charging at him. Richard reacts by grabbing a nearby fire extinguisher and knocks her down, then smashes her sternum repeatedly in the same place he had provided the adrenaline shot, killing her. Adam Golaski tackles Richard off Jessica afterwards.
The episode ends with a video footage of stars in the vastness of space.
The episode opens with a scrambled video showing Lissa Golaski at the butterfly conservatory, looking in awe at butterflies flying around her.
In the Decon. Corridor of Lambda, Richard Holland is kneeling beside the gel-covered, inanimate body of Jessica Davis. Suddenly Adam Golaski, covered in Structure Gel, appears behind Richard and knocks him to the floor. Adam proceeds to beat him to death, then stands and lets out a scream of anguish. Dorian and Baxter rushes to him and tackle him down.
In a service room, Dorian Cronstedt and Baxter Rogers tied up Adam to a chair, still covered in structure gel and discuss their next plan of action. Dorian tells Baxter that Vanessa Hart is on her way to Traffic Control and that they plan to bring in the CURIE to escape. Dorian also demands that Baxter brings Adam to cargo hold 9B, the only one in Lambda the WAU has not locked tight, and then cut him loose to avoid him dying once they cut off the WAU. Martin then arrives and tells them, much to their dismay, that the bodies of both Jessica and Richard are gone from the Decon. Corridor. Just as Baxter starts panicking, Dorian orders Martin to get into a Haimatsu Ductile Suit and climb the Docking Tower to put up a lead on the CURIE, so that Vanessa can control it. Martin protests, bringing up their lack of control over the whole situation, and tells them they should go back to Theta instead. Dorian rationalizes that only death awaits them back there, and that the CURIE is their only chance for escape. Jessica was the only one they had who knew the Docking Tower, and they can no longer triage medical priorities without Richard. Also, Martin is the only person available, as Baxter will be pacifying the warden, Vanessa guiding the ship, Adam is getting locked up and Imogen Reed is on standby to get to Upsilon in case they need power. However, Martin has to come back in one piece to give the Haimatsu Ductile Suit to Imogen. Martin finally accepts, Baxter moves Adam to the cargo hold and Dorian gets the WAU offline.
In the cargo hold, Adam brings out the Memory Chip encrusted with Structure Gel that he had thrown up, and plays the recording. In the video footage, Rebecca Golaski is stricken with grief and reports during an interview with government officials her husband's domestic violence against their daughter and herself. Adam begins to dress in a discarded shirt and eventually ends the recording, dipping the chip in a cup of Structure Gel, preparing to ingest it again. However this time he rejects it and tosses the Memory Chip away, seemingly recovering his sanity. Suddenly, a looping mechanical noise starts and a blinding light falls upon him. As he tries to discern something in the light, Adam hears the voice of his wife calling him out, followed by his daughter's. He pleads the WAU to stop this new display, and arms himself with a wrench, determined to face his fears. The light fades away, revealing a large construct with what appears as his daughter attached to and manipulated by it. Lissa calls for him to go closer, and Adam struck, begins to walk towards her, telling her how much he misses her.
The episode opens with a series of quick flashes of different shots: Imogen Reed walking in a city on the ARK, Martin Fisher climbing the Docking Tower and being attacked by something after opening a panel, some part of Lambda being flooded and Dorian Cronstedt making a stand in front of blinding lights with a wrench, then wounded and being covered in structure gel.
Back in Cargo Hold 9B, Adam Golaski approaches the construct replicating his daughter who opens her arms to him. He comes to his senses and rejects Lissa knowing she isn't real and accepting that she died during the Impact Event. When he asks what she is, she answers "Family"' and forcefully grabs a screaming Adam off the ground.
Imogen Reed is at an airlock access, an alarm ringing and Martin banging on the airlock door to be let inside. Baxter Rogers and Dorian arrive on the scene and try to open the door which Baxter finds is stumped, just like the Med. Bay door. Dorian demands her to tell them what she did, and she coldly tells him that Martin "is gone," that opening the door now would kill them all. Baxter desperately sees Martin disappears and then rages at Imogen, accusing her of being responsible of this situation and questioning her sanity. Dorian restrains him and Vanessa Hart arrives, telling them that they need to evacuate immediately before Lambda implodes due to the increased pressure caused by the structure gel.
Imogen starts listening to Traffic Control to calm herself down. A series of flashes shows first Martin in his Haimatsu Ductile Suit telling her that "[she] made this possible" and that "[they] are going to live forever." His visor then cracks and structure gel starts filling his helmet. Another video footage shows Imogen's observations of the Vivarium, most notably that it warms up when in contact with a human body and that it was created out of junk parts from all around PATHOS-II. One of the operators warns Imogen to stay away from it. An alarm blares, and Someone can be heard ordering Imogen to close the emergency hatches and to grab on to something before the impact. At Traffic Control, Imogen is woken up by Adam, now infected by the structure gel. He pleads her to come with him and tells her that "It's WAU's plan. Together we will rebuild the world." Imogen protests, knowing that this isn't what Adam would have wanted, and he tries to strangle her to death. Imogen grabs a piece of his outer shell made of hardened gel and uses it to stab him to death and escape. Catherine Chun is then heard asking Imogen to wake up.
Imogen wakes up a short time later, Adam's Structure Gel still on her clothes and face. She then reaches Baxter Rogers and Vanessa Hart who are gearing up with Haimatsu Ductile Suits. They just got back from the CURIE after being attacked by a monster but successfully recovered more suits and plan to reach Theta on foot instead. Baxter and Vanessa asks her if Dorian and Adam will be coming, but she answers they are the only ones left. Martin arrives just as Baxter mentions him, still wearing his suit but with structure gel covering his visor. Relieved, Baxter rushes over to help him, but Martin accuses them of leaving him behind. Baxter asks him if he is safe and hand him over a clean helmet, but Martin angrily repeats his words and knocks him down with the helmet. Vanessa climbs down to help him only for Martin to easily handle her. Baxter tries to stop him, but Martin lifts him with one hand before bashing his head to death against his helmet. He then tries to crush Vanessa as she attempts to escape, repeating Imogen's word "It's the weight of the sea!" Imogen, who has been silently observing the whole scene, finally climbs down and, using Martin's inattention, removes his helmet, draining him of structure gel which pours over a panicked Vanessa. Vanessa tries to convince Imogen to go back with her to Theta and get scanned, to be part of the "paradise" she unintentionally created, to which Imogen doesn't accept.
Imogen travels on foot to Upsilon and, while walking through the main exhaust chamber, leaves her helmet behind. She then proceeds to a makeshift terminal in Upsilon, looking similar to the Vivarium and somehow integrated into the power grid. She removes the rest of her Haimatsu Ductile Suit and etches a mark next to a series of others, then logs into the terminal. Unable to bypass the WAU's control, she initiates the power shutdown of Upsilon and states to the WAU and herself, resolute, that she killed them all. Imogen resigns herself to this with bravery and begins to walk back to where she left her helmet. As she enters the exhaust chamber again, she watches as the ventilation sucks all air in the room. Imogen falls to the ground, suffocating, and crawls to her helmet, but stops short of it, with a recording of laughter and nature sounds heard all around. She turns on her back, looking up, and dies while visions of herself living life in paradise on the ARK appear on the walls. In those visions, Imogen is happy with Adam Golaski and enjoys life like she never could.
Back at the terminal, power slowly comes back as the station's reserve batteries are initiated for 201 days.
Behind the Scenes
- Several shots from Transmissions are used as images for the Item Files.
- It's apparent (by the following statements "Close the emergency hatches! Brace for impact! Reed! Grab on to something!") that, during the Lambda's salvage crew attempt to use the CURIE for escaping the station (as described in Transmission #7 and #8) the ship has crashed. Also, it's inferred by Vanessa stating to Baxter Rogers, "Bax, there was a fucking monster in there!" that they also came in contact with a hostile being onboard the ship.
- The transmissions are not in chronological order, though a few hints can help to place them in the game's timeline.
- With the brain scan of Imogen Reed in Transmission #4 aside, Transmission #3 is presumably the oldest, with Adam Golaski discovering a single structure gel leak in a storage bay, and subsequently slipping and splitting his forehead open. His wound can be seen through all other transmissions. He is seen drinking structure gel moderately but hiding it from Reed.
- In Transmission #1, Imogen Reed and Adam note the increased spreading of structure gel in the storage bay and discover Lambda's S&S UH2 sentient with Halperin's brain scan. Reed's left arm is cut when she attempts to pacify the robot and she bandages it.
- In Transmission #5, Reed still has the same bandage and the WAU starts messing with Adam's head, who is now seriously addicted to structure gel.
- In Transmission #2, the wound on Reed's left arm is still fresh and she changes the bandage.
- In Transmission #4, Vanessa Hart arrives from Theta with the rest of her group (Baxter, Richard, Jessica, Martin, and Dorian). Reed removes her bandage, her arm healed, and Vanessa mentions that Catherine Chun left Theta with the ARK a week ago. At the end of the transmission, Lambda's situation gets alarming due to structure gel being poured on most of the station's walls.
- Transmission #6 through #8 are in chronological order, with the members of the group being killed one after another or turned by the WAU. Reed moves to Upsilon's geothermal plant and shuts down the power, dying with the belief that she has shut down the WAU permanently. However, the WAU's battery reserve is then initiated for 201 days.
- In SOMA, Upsilon's manufacturing plant indicates a total downtime of 143 days, 11 hours and 37 minutes, which would mean the power was cut since December 18th, 2103. Also 2 days later, Dr. Nadine Masters writes a report on Vanessa's medical condition after her long walk and Lambda's last events. This means Transmissions takes place at least between July 31st (Reed's brain scan by Catherine) and December 18th of 2103.
- Since Martin Fisher was scanned at Theta on August 30, 2103, his group must have arrived in Lambda after this date.