Synopsis: Twenty years ago, a smattering of large, mineral-rich asteroids crashed into northern Canada and Russia. At a remote mining outpost operated by Cerberus Minerals in the Northwest Territories, an anomalous, crystalline alien object described as the “quartz” has been recovered from one of the asteroids. The quartz, apparently sentient, cognitively affects humans by transmitting gigabytes of information via bursts of light, influencing them to assimilate organisms to construct it a suitable body to inhabit. One personnel member afflicted by the light (known as “Holebrook”) used the organs of livestock to create such organisms before proceeding to construct a larger creature from the bodies of numerous deceased personnel. The creature proceeded to kill him and eventually all but two of the 98 personnel, absorbing the bodies and memories of the remaining non-synthetic humans.
The two survivors, human security guard John Quinn (Jose Pablo Cantillo), and “Canary Class” synthetic labourer Barklay (Dakota Fanning) prepare to venture to the fortified corporate facility of the outpost, having run out of food and water in their section. Quinn, blinded by an encounter with the alien light, trains Barklay on how to use his rifle. The two make it to the corporate section, but are closely followed by the creature, who has absorbed the necessary biometrics to also gain access. Taking cover in a kitchen, Quinn refuses to go on, concerned that the alien influence from when he looked into the light has compromised him. He reveals to Barklay that she is not a synthetic, but an orphan purchased by the company as a cheaper alternative to synthetic labour, and cuts off his finger so that she will have the necessary biometric to enter the corporate bunker. He is then killed by the creature, which absorbs his knowledge of where Barkley is heading.
Barklay eventually makes it to the bunker while being under pursuit by the creature, but Quinn’s fingerprint is deemed to have insufficient status to gain entry. Confronted by the creature, she opens fire and briefly incapacitates it, then cuts some hands from its body, with one belonging to the former CFO eventually granting her access. Traumatized, and with the creature regaining consciousness outside and attempting to break down the door, Barklay contemplates her next move.