Starcraft Queen of Blades pocketbook - Summary Spoiler

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Product Reviews, BlizzPlanet Articles

The Starcraft: Queen of Blades pocketbook was written by Aaron Rosenberg, popular writer of Star Trek books and RPG books.  You can read our public Q&A with him here. The book is focused on Jim Raynor’s perspective. As you read through chapters, you will see a lot of familiar conversations and events of each Starcraft 1 mission in the Zerg Campaign. Specifically at planet Char. There are some flashback memories mentioning events that happened through the Terran Campaign when Raynor was at Mar Sara and when he met Sarah Kerrigan in Antigua Prime, and events of Tarsonis.  The book starts six weeks after Sarah was abandoned in Tarsonis by Mengsk and was overrun and captured by the Zerg.

The following is a summary of each chapter of the book. The book contains 18 chapters and 350 pages. Excuse the lack of grammar in this summary.

CHAPTER ONE

Starcraft: Queen of Blades takes place six weeks after the events of Starcraft: :Liberty’s Crusade.

Sarah Kerrigan awakes within the chrysalis not aware of where she was or who she was. Just faint flashes of distant memories: A battle, monsters surrounding her, betrayal. Though she couldn’t know from whom, or how. Note: Arcturus Mengsk abandoned her in New Gettysburg, Tarsonis. The zerg surrounded her and her troops. Sarah could feel her body changing and morphing Her body was drugged, immobilized. However, her mind could soar. Sarah used her mind to call for help.

The Cerebrate oversaw the mobilization of the cocoon through the eyes of the Overlords as Ultralisks and Hydralisks escorted the prize through the ruins of New Gettysburg. A massive wormhole opened in the sky, and the zerg prepared for warp-travel towards planet Char, leaving the dying planet Tarsonis behind.

During his time with the Sons of Korhal, Jim Raynor had a bond with two of Mengsk’s inner circle: Reporter Mike Liberty and Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan. In Antiga Prime, Mike Liberty reported the latest news. Emperor Arcturus Mengsk’s spokesperson said the New Terran Dominion had been doing anything to contain the alien threat and keep the population protected in the last two months. Liberty had to report news on his close friend Jim Raynor, who had destroyed the Dylarian Shipyards. However, pressed to tell the truth, an arrest warrant was aimed at Jim Raynor for this attack. Raynor stole the Battlecruiser Hyperion and other ships from the Dylarian Shipyards, leaving General Duke without his personal Battlecruiser, marking the first defeat of Mengsk’s New Terran Dominion before self-proclaiming emperor.

It had been six weeks since Raynor deserted the Sons of Korhal, after Mengsk betrayed Sarah Kerrigan abandoning her to the Zerg in planet Tarsonis. This was catalyst for his rage to take over against Mengsk. He still savors the satisfaction of punching General Duke on his jaw when he ordered to stand down. Jim quit. Raynor had no clue what to do next once they stole the Dylarian ships. There was no plan. He quit out of rage, not thinking of the consequences.

Then these dreams that have hit him since Tarsonis. Raynor did not know what the nightmares were. It was Sarah projecting a telepathic call at Jim Raynor. Jim would see through her eyes and feel her own body as his. He felt confined in the chrysalis as did she. An ash-covered ground. Unknown to Jim this was planet Char. On the sky two purple moons, a visible sun and a nearby ringed red planet.

After waking up from his last nightmare, listening to a call of his name, he took a shower and visited the bridge of Battlecruiser Hyperion. Matt Horner – his second-in-command and ship captain was a young man who joined the Sons of Korhal, and later deserted to join Jim Raynor’s men.

Raynor ordered Horner to search on Mengsk’s Nav systems aboard the Hyperion for a world similar to the description he got from the dream. Nothing came up.  However, Horner used an algorythm to make a new search using the two purple moons, the sun and ringed red planet as reference. Three options came on screen, none charted. Raynor identified the one in his dream, and ordered to set trajectory toward that planet under the grounds that Tarsonis survivors were taken there by the Zerg. And so the Hyperion and nearly four hundred men set travel toward planet Char.

CHAPTER TWO

Two weeks later, the Hyperion approached the orbit of the planet. Raynor dubbed it planet Char. Suddenly, a Terran Dominion Warship was on sight orbiting Char. The Norad III (Behemoth class)—General Duke’s warship—accompanied by two carriers, a drropship and a Science Vessel, with no further backup. Raynor thought there was a traitor aboard spying for Duke, but then he realized Duke would have been there with at least half-dozen battlecruisers if it was an ambush to nail him. Note: Behemoth class battlecruisers may carry more than 1,000 men and 24 Wraiths.

Raynor asked Horner to send a hail transmission to Norad III. General Duke showed up onscreen surprised to see Raynor in Char. After a dialogue, it was obvious Sarah had telepathically contacted Mengsk as well. Subconsciously she knew of a betrayal, but did not grasp what it was. Her memories too faint to remember. Duke hinted to Raynor he was here for the same reason. Mengsk had sent Duke here for a mission. After a lot of bravado, Duke rugged Raynor off with threats. Norad III was far superior to the Hyperion and the other three battlecruisers in Raynor’s party. However, Raynor couldn’t take it but as a bluff. Something was amiss. Someone like Duke would have at least chased them or made a couple of warning shots. Easily aboarded the Hyperion. A second transmission was open by order of Raynor. This time the bluff was blown up. Raynor said the scans reported both dropships were more than half-empty. Duke had sent men already at the surface of Char and had lost most of his men. Duke snapped and accidentally revealed what Raynor was hoping to know. Sarah was down there, but no more. Raynor confirmed his dreams were real. She was actually here.

Raynor decided he would recover Sarah at all costs, where Duke failed. Suddenly, Hornet alerted Raynor the Norad III opened its bay door. Raynor feared Duke would attack his ships after all. But then realized a shuttle and three Wraiths were heading to the surface instead. Duke was ignoring Raynor’s ships and making sure to accomplish Mengsk’s assigned mission. Duke wished to find Sarah before Raynor would. With that Raynor ordered Horner to watch the Hyperion while he and the other ships descended upon Char’s surface.

CHAPTER THREE

Upon landing Raynor moved the troops northwest to seek the hidding Zerg Swarm, while Sergeant Lisa Mannix sweep scanned the northwest grid sections. Lisa Mannix had served the Sons of Korhal, but she despised what Mengsk did in Tarsonis … unleashing the Zerg upon a whole world with the psi-emiters and ditching a whole team down there, including Sarah. Chuck Ayers served Duke in Norad II, and joined Mengsk when Raynor rescued the Norad II crew. Now Chuck Ayers left Duke and joined Raynor. Ayers and his partner Ari Patel found a small crater, that could be an entrance. They speculated it could lead to an underground cavern system. The zerg could be hidding deep in. But the crater wasn’t big enough for zerg. Maybe for Zerglings. They kept finding small craters all around along ten minutes of reconnaissance and leaving sensors on each crater to listen to any activity. Lance Messner – from the Nemesis dropship crew – called up Raynor reporting Zerglings. One of the sensors picked the distinguishing noise they emit.

They explored a crevice and saw, far below, zerg movement. Raynor was hit by a daydream vision. He was now seeing the location of Sarah. Feeling himself one with the Zerg, feeling pleasure about the experience. Then returned to his senses. The telepathic visions were stronger here. The nemesis squad and Raynor’s squad joined and walked close to each other searching thoroughfully and inspecting the area, not finding a way to go down the crevice. Suddenly, Captain Matt Horner contacted Raynor through a private link from Hyperion Battlecruiser, orbiting Char. Incoming! The Protoss were here. Raynor knew wherever there were Zerg, Protoss would show up soon or later as exterminators. Purifying entire worlds with flame, not minding other civilizations. They had done this to his homeworld Mar Sara. He had seen it in Tarsonis, but Mengsk had sent Sarah’s squad to Tarsonis Capital World to neutralize the Protoss from interfering their plans with the psi-emiters and the Zerg to annihilate the Confederacy. Raynor thought he could ally the Protoss here in Char, but would they understand or care that he had deserted Mengsk?

Raynor suspected the Protoss might be telepathic like the Zerg. And if Sarah’s telepathy was so strong as to reach Raynor and Mengsk, knowing her visions showed Zerg, would lure Protoss here too. Now he was worried he had brought his men to their doom. Protoss burn any planet tainted by the Zerg. Raynor ordered to watch the Protoss ship and to inform him their landing site whenever they get to descend to the surface. The Protoss could be their easy way to find an entrance to the lower depths of the surface to reach Sarah. However, Deke Cavez and Melinda Squire found a crater bigger than any other they had found. This crater was around five feet wide. Enough for them to descend through. Melinda approached its entrance for reconnaissance when a Hydralisk blade slashed at her. She fell back, missing the blade. Raynor pushed her farther back and trembled before the sight of the Hydralisk. He had met such creature the first time he crossed paths Mike Liberty in Mar Sara. Same day he found Mengsk and Sarah. The Hydralisk that day in Mar Sara made Raynor what he is today. Shrugging off the memory, Raynor used his rifle to kill the Hydralisk. The Squad immediately jumped into the darkness of the crater entrance to access the underground tunnels.

CHAPTER FOUR

The crater was just the mouth of a very long chute, a long fall down. There at the bottom they found themselves on a tunnel with two ways, no corridors. Not knowing which of both tunnel sides to take, he closed his eyes hoping for any hint from Sarah to lead him to her. However this time Raynor’s body in the dream was gray, almost green. Unhealthy. He felt strong, powerful. The dream was stronger. Raynor forced his eyes open to escape the nightmare vision. They led on through the tunnel and found a small corridor above. Ayers was killed by a Hydralisk in the narrrow tunnel, slashing his arm off and puncturing his chest open. Raynor threw a grenade killing it. Now the Zerg would know for sure they were there. Gina Elani(Nemesis Crew) bandaged Ari Patel’s arm. However, minutes later and deeper into more branches of the tunnel a Zergling attack resulted in Ari Patel and Elani’s demise. And many others died. Far deep through tunnels—the crew started wondering how Raynor knew the way to Sarah. Not long after, they finally found a familiar sight in a tunnel … zerg creep oozing off the ground. Suddenly, they saw a giant eye hanging off an arc, with web-like strands crossing the save, many tendrils on its back. A sentry. They shoot it, and now expected company. Zerglings, Hydralisks and Mutalisks overwhelmed them. Squire and Messner didn’t make it. Twenty men followed Raynor past the arch. He could sense Sarah was beyond it. Others who didn’t hear the command to move stayed behind in the carnage. Raynor, Fedders and the other men were astonished at the sight of this huge chamber. Its walls covered with oozing creep. A breeding place with eggs, and over forty zerg: Zerglings, Hydralisks, Ultralisks and Mutalisks. Even a Cerebrate.

Raynor spotted his prize. The chrysalis where Sarah lies within. The Cerebrate commanded the zerg to stop the Terrans from reaching the hatching chrysalis. Raynor reached it, and tried to free Sarah. The figure within didn’t look anywhere close like her shape. Too many limbs. It was hard to see within the chrysalis. Suddenly, the layer came off with two sharp limbs from within tearing it apart. Raynor witnessed the birth of the Queen of Blades. Sensed its power. She looked toward the Terrans crippling the zerg. The Overmind reached out welcoming his daughter commanding that no Terran be left alive. With a gesture on her face, she commanded the zerg to rally against the Terran. Only one survived, immobile before the presence of Kerrigan … the Queen of Blades.

Raynor: “Mother of god … what have they done to you?”

CHAPTER FIVE

The Cerebrate mandated Raynor to be killed, but Kerrigan withheld the Zerg in check, and commanded them to leave them both alone. Kerrigan let Raynor leave alive, asking him never to cross the Zerg. Raynor left behind the woman he loved. He brought his men to death’s den for a woman that didn’t want him be here. On his way out through the tunnels, past the arc, Raynor found Cavez still alive, expecting to get any orders from his leader. Raynor just couldn’t lead any orders just now. He was losing it behind a laughter that caught him thinking of the irony of traveling the galaxy just for nothing except death to nearly 100 men under his leadership. A band of survivors, badly injured is all what remained, making their way back to the dropships. It took them hours to find their way out of the laberynth. Cavez came out of a tunnel announcing daylight sighting coming out of a chute. Most of the men dropped tears of joy, including Raynor. A soldier named Non climbed up for half hour to the rim calling out clear perimeter on the surface. Each marine hardfully climbed up. Ling gave a hand to Raynor helping him up, and Raynor collapsed on the ground and closed his eyes. Too much for him.

CHAPTER SIX

Raynor was once again dragged by his visions. This time he was just an observant unable to move or talk. He could see and feel through Kerrigan. Zasz the Cerebrate and Kerrigan confronted each other tensing up the broods. Zasz reminded her that she was simply a servant of the Overmind, and to not dare cross the Cerebrates. The Overmind asked both to hold off their attack on each other, and not to fear her designs for Kerrigan was bound to his will like any other Cerebrate. Suddenly Daggoth decloaked his presence and offered the best of his brood to the service of Kerrigan. Raynor could see all this in his telepathic vision. Raynor discovered through Kerrigan’s eyes and thoughts that only Cerebrates that have long served the will of the Overmind and been successful earned a name. Other cerebrates were simply nameless. For this reason Zasz snapped at Kerrigan with resentment. She was just born and already kept her previous name and got a new Zerg name (Queen of Blades) without going through the rigurous steps any Cerebrate needs to achieve a honorable name before the Overmind.

Raynor woke up when Cavez interrupted his dream. He was not able to listen to the next words from Kerrigan, her plan to attack a Terran occupied planet perhaps. Raynor was saddened. Twenty-three men remained where three hundred came down upon planet Char along with him. They made their way back to the dropships, when suddenly another vision hit Raynor. This time Kerrigan was on the move with her Zerg inside a terran vessel seeking the Ghost conditioning files. Raynor wondered why would Kerrigan attack the Science Vessel, but not attack Norad III—a bigger threat. As Raynor and the remaining 23 survivors reached the beacons, they noticed the Zerg killed the crew and stole the dropships to reach the Dominion Science Vessel.

CHAPTER SEVEN

Pilot Sanches was cut to shreds, same as other pilots. The two dropships left in the valley were now gone. Taken by Kerrigan and the zerg to reach and invade the Amerigo Science Vessel. Raynor caught an emergency signal on the Communications system from Amerigo. A woman named Sandler was calling out for help. General Duke responded from Norad III. Raynor decided to eavesdrop the signal. Sandler reported it was not an outside attack. It was an invasion. The zerg were inside the Amerigo somehow. The transmission was still open, but only silence was heard. Shandler was no more.

Then it hit Raynor. Kerrigan and the zerg stole his own dropships and possibly Duke’s, using her telepathy to get the access codes from her victims to get entry to the Amerigo. Suddenly, new transmissions were heard on the radio. Warriton from the Chandler ship reported they were under attack by zerg. Lieutenant Physon reported a breach at the Harper ship and their captain dead. Ragay from the Trillium battlecruiser reported the same as well. Kerrigan was taking down all of General Duke’s ships. Raynor suddenly figured out why his own dropships were stolen and called Matt Hornet, his second-in-command still in orbit at the Hyperion Battlecruiser. Matt responded and was calm. He said his dropships were about to dock safely. Raynor ordered to lock down the dropships and not let anyone in and out. Matt was surprised, and couldn’t understand. He thought Raynor was inside the dropships. He was asked to follow orders with no questions. When Matt tried to seal off the dropship bay, he couldn’t. All command codes were overriden. Even Raynor’s.

Raynor thought of the Hyperion’s layout cursing at Mengsk’s ego—those wide stairways with no seal-doors. The zerg could just parade their way through if those dropships landed in the bay. There was only one option Matt could propose. One that could put the Hyperion’s crew in jeopardy. Warp drive. It required hours of warming and preparation to engage warp. A sudden jump could take them millions of years light away, or worse, desintegrate the battlecruiser. Raynor did not hesitate and asked Matt to do it. The Hyperion entered warp and was gone. Raynor felt a relief. But now the other three battlecruisers of his team were in danger. Their warp engines weren’t as powerful as the Hyperion, and could be easy target to the Zerg. Raynor felt useless to help them and worried he and his twenty-three survivors on planet Char’s surface were stuck with no way out of the planet.

Raynor didn’t hesitate and swallowed his pride contacting General Duke’s assistance. He asked him to send a dropship to rescue him and to help his battlecruisers. Duke laughed at Raynor … you want me to help you after making me look like a fool, stealing our ships and to help save those men who betrayed Mengsk and the Dominion, and left Duke walking out on Raynor’s saying so? Boy, you got some big brass ones, that’s for sure, but not a lot of brains!

Duke shoved Raynor that he would have all this deaths on his head. With that, Duke turned around the Norad III and engaged Warp, leaving planet Char’s orbit. Raynor couldn’t but feel sad for the fate of his crew and battlecruisers to the mercy of the zerg. Suddenly, Raynor looked skyward, and saw one of his battlecruisers come alight and vanish from sight. He couldn’t believe it. A protoss ship had desintegrated it. Now that there were zerg aboard his battlecruisers, the Protoss were zealously purifying them with flame to exterminate the zerg. Three of Raynor’s battlecruisers were now destroyed. A light of hope came upon Raynor when he saw a lifepod or dropship entering the orbit. However, another blast from the Protoss destroyed it too.

Leanda Bluth transmitted from the Harrison Battlecruiser, saying she did all she could. Raynor replied she did well. With that farewell, a Protoss vessel destroyed the Harrison, the last one remaining. At least two dropships: one from the Chandler and one from the Graceful Wing Battlecruisers; made it to Char’s surface barely escaping the protoss beams. Raynor and his men ran for fourty minutes to reach the damaged dropship. The Protoss were still beaming down upon the dropship. Raynor ran in for survivors. Lieutenant Abernathy from the Chandler welcomed him. They gathered all supplies and equipment they could spare. Arriving to the second more damanged dropship, they found out it was broken in half in its entry from orbit by one of the Protoss beams. Four including the pilot were still alive. The other forty in the other half section(rear) were dead. Raynor ordered all their gear was gathered.

Raynor found a third crash. This one wasn’t a dropship, but an escape pod that wasn’t damaged by the Protoss. Raynor hesitated. There was no escape pods on any of his own Battlecruisers. This one was an escape pod from one of General Duke’s ships. Either from the cargo ship or the Science Vessel. The pod was opened by four of Raynor’s men. The interior was a mess after the crash. All supplies kits and gear splattered all around. A men and female dead. And a third still alive, but deadly injured in his abdomen. Raynor was quick to offer first aid with a nearby med-kit. However, Raynor knew this guy wouldn’t survive and interrogated him. He was from Amerigo, and aboarded the escape pod before a monster would reach him, referring to Kerrigan. Raynor promptly asked what was she looking for. The man revealed the Amerigo was part of the Ghost program. The man died. Raynor immediately thought of how ghosts are strongly conditioned psychologically and chemicals to implant blocks in their memories to limit their powers and from misusing them. Mengsk had rescued Sarah from the Confederates and helped clear some of her blocks, but not all. It made sense why Kerrigan herself attacked the Amerigo. Once she could repair her mind with the Ghost program files’ secrets, she would unleash her full potential as a telepath.

No doubt she teleapathically got the encryption codes from one of the Amerigo scientists to unlock the files. Raynor feared the Zerg would be unstoppable now.

CHAPTER EIGHT

Once all survivors from the dropships and supplies were secured, they built tents. The teams of Cavez and Abernathy accounted fifty-two survivors total. That’s all what remained of Raynor’s 300 men. Abernathy set up a self-powered beacon that may last three years. However, they had food supplies for merely two weeks. Comm-links were patched through the dropship to keep communication between themselves. However, not enough power to send communication past the athmosphere. Their fate looked grim. Tropper Deslan suggested repairing the dropship. However, Abernathy said they lack the tools and machinery. Even if they repaired it, it wouldn’t take them too far of planet Char. The closest thing was 3 days travel in space. McMurty suggested reparing communications to contact the Protoss in orbit for help. Raynor laughed and asked if he seriously thought the Protoss would give them a ride back home. Raynor did not mention the very Protoss were who destroyed their Battlecruisers.

Raynor promoted Cavez and Abernathy to Lieutenants, and they named sergeants among the team to split into grids and explore the area into dangerous spots and resource spots, seeking food sources or water. Raynor walked about alone. Thinking. Suddenly he heard a humming behind him. He rolled on the ground as a huge shadow covered him from behind, and took out his gun. Amazed he stared at a Protoss Scout ship just mere feet in front of him. The Scout ship landed, and an Iris-like portal opened. A dozen Zealots came out and stood in formation, while a High Templar, they commander set path toward Raynor. He asked Raynor to follow him. Tassadar telepathically forced Raynor to follow him within the Scout vessel. There Tassadar asked if he deserted Mengsk. Raynor was surprised he knew. Raynor had seen Tassadar twice before. In Mar Sara and Tarsonis. Raynor said he was against Mengsk’s decision to attack the Protoss in Tarsonis. Breaking their Alliance against the Zerg. Tassadar sensed anger in Raynor. He admitted to have destroyed his Battlecruisers, but justified the Zerg had overrun them. He had sensed few still alive aboard, but better to grant them a honorable death, than to be assimilated into the Zerg like Kerrigan.

Tassadar ordered the Zealots to seek Kerrigan’s location. Raynor was surprised to be able to understand Protoss language. He knew Tassadar’s telepathy was achieving this, and that Tassadar was letting him in on their affairs. Raynor asked how he knew about the Queen of Blades, to which Tassadar answered he heard the calls of Kerrigan, and knew she would pose a threat to the Protoss. He sent the Zealots to seek her location, not to attack, but to learn from her capabilities before taking action.

CHAPTER NINE

Raynor no longer held a grudge at Tassadar for destroying his battlecruisers, but remembered he had to contact his soldiers to avoid an incident. Tassadar had just sent his Zealots to reconnaissance planet Char in search of Kerrigan and the Zerg. Raynor alerted his soldiers there were Protoss on Char and not to engage them. They won’t attack if they left them alone. They were here for the Zerg. His soldiers acknowledged sightings of Zealots face to face with no incident. McMurty almost wet himself facing one. The soldiers kept searching for food and found a stream and a pond. They would use detox pills and boil the water before drinking it. Elsewhere they found a cluster of giant mushrooms. Deslan sighted some type of rodent, which meant there might be small mammals for meat.

Tassadar arrived on foot at the edge of a massive hill. Once Raynor caught up behind Tassadar he witnessed the biggest crater yet. It was the rim of a volcano. The perfect entrance for the zerg to underground tunnels. Kerrigan sensed the Protoss and asked Zasz if he felt their presence. Kerrigan opened her wings wide and flew upwards toward the rim of the volcano, and landed. She approached Tassadar and said it was a mistake to have come, asking what was his business here. The dialogues between Kerrigan and Tassadar are a match with the gameplay from Starcraft 1: Zerg Campaign: Mission 6 – The Dark Templar.

CHAPTER TEN

Raynor kept exploring Char on his own trying to find the Protoss, who kept changing locations. He found them hidding on high places mounting guard to any movement. The Zerg was sighted in formation, moving toward a crater. The Protoss sneaked in and decimated many, until Kerrigan showed up. Tassadar and the Zealots ran away. By the time she flew toward the top of the volcano, they were gone. Kerrigan promised to find them and annihilate them. Zasz’s Overlord approached Kerrigan to relay Zasz’s message. Raynor watched the battle scene and Kerrigan’s arrival hidden high in the plateau. He wondered now how he would be able to find the Protoss again. They walked faster than him, and would not be found at the same place. Suddenly, Raynor heard a familiar humming. Turning around he saw the ship he saw before, but its structure was different and different color: black marble finish and bronze, ancient. The vessel’s iris-like portal opened and the creatures that came out were like the Protoss, but their appearance wasn’t insectoid. They resembled reptiles, with bone-ridges and horns, and small barbs along their cheeks, like fanged lizards, green glowing eyes instead of blue, purple skin, long strips of black cloth. Their face were dark purple below their eyes, shifting to white, and shading to ivory at the chin. Big epaulets on their shoulders, bigger bracers, and a dark purple energy emanating. Sunlight seemed to be absorbed by them, surrounded by darkness. They were the Dark Templars.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

The Dark Templar walked past Raynor and went down the volcano into the tunnel. Raynor tried to follow them and to catch up. The tall tunnel accessed to a massive chamber full of zerg. Raynor recognized Cerebrate Zasz in the distance. However, he wondered where the Dark Templar had gone. They should be on sight, yet they weren’t. Suddenly, Raynor saw the wall shift. It stroke him that the aliens had camouflaged and taken the visual pattern of the walls. Zasz mood hadn’t lessened yet after Kerrigan moments ago had killed one of his own Overlords. Zasz talked to the zerg that the Queen of Blades wasn’t worth their support and that her temper and impatience was a risk to the swarm. Suddenly, the leader of the Dark Templar squad moved toward Zasz, and his company followed not far behind. His presence was sensed and Overlords, Scourges and Mutalissk rose to the air. Ultralisks formed in front of the Cerebrate to protect their leader, followed by zerglings and Hydralisks.

The Dark Templar introduced himself as Zeratul, and invoked a moment to talk with Zasz. Zasz refused as he was the enemy. Zeratul obliged pointed out they were few and the swarm were many. And even if the swarm defeated them, he still had to contend with the Executor and the zealots. Zeratul said Zasz had to stop Kerrigan from consolidating herself as she would no doubt kill Zasz to acquire his brood and hierarchy position. Zeratul offered Zasz the wisdom and knowledge of an aged being … for he knew the weakness of the Queen of Blades. Zasz and his brood listened with interest anticipating the Dark Templar to reveal this weakness. Zeratul demanded to talk this face to face. The Zerg moved aside on Zasz’s command. Zeratul approached mere feet away from Zasz. The weakness of the Queen of Blades is the same as all of the Zerg … Zeratul moved his hand backward and a flash of yellowish-green came off his lower arm. A blade similar to those of the Protoss zealots. It radiated yellowish wisps of vapor. Zeratul buried his blade deep into Zasz causing the giant slug to scream in agony. The Zerg froze on their spots sharing the pain and agony. Zeratul sunk his blade even more until Zasz went limp. Light and energy coallesed on the hole above Zasz and the yellow energy floated above. The true form of Zasz now abandoning the dead host vessel. Zeratul slashed once more with his yellowish green blade and the light form, split now in half, vanished into bits. Immediately, the Zerg started a rampage on each other, as if they had regained their individuality. Scourges suiciding on Overlords, Ultralisks attacking Hydralisks and Zerglings, Mutalisks launching acid upon the brood. Raynor watched in astonishment, while the Dark Templars abandoned the cave. Raynor kept thinking step by step everything he had witnessed trying to make sense of what had just happened. Why Tassadar didn’t think of doing this to the Cerebrates, he thought. Maybe he didn’t know, or can only Dark Templars kill a Cerebrate?

CHAPTER TWELVE

Raynor explained to Abernathy and the troops there were two types of Protoss out there. And they killed a Cerebrate. Raynor asked them to continue their tasks as scheduled, and to leave him. He wished to find the other Protoss. However, on his way to the mountains, he saw Overlords ahead. With his binoculars he spotted Mutalisks, Hydralisks, Ultralisks and Zerglings in formation, and Kerrigan among them. She wanted revenge on Tassadar. Suddenly, a different Overlord approached Kerrigan. An emissary of Cerebrate Daggoth came to relay Daggoth’s thoughts. Daggoth informed Kerrigan that Zasz was now dead. The dialogue here is the same as in the mission briefing at the beginning of Starcraft 1 – Zerg Campaign: Mission 7 – The Culling. Raynor was spying upon Kerrigan and the Daggoth’s conversation through his Overlord.

Daggoth and Kerrigan agreed, it was strange their link with the Overmind had been severed. As if the Overmind ignored their calls. Daggoth had served the Overmind for countless ages, and for first time he felt emptiness without the Overmind. Without Zasz, his own brood was now amok and had become a threat to the Hive clusters. Daggoth asked Kerrigan to destroy Zasz’s brood. Daggoth asked the nameless cerebrate under Kerrigan’s brood to see that Zasz’s brood was destroyed. Kerrigan growled that Tassadar was hers. However, Daggoth said that both had to take care of the most immediate needs. The Overmind would have chosen this way, was he still linked to them. Kerrigan taunted Daggoth implying the Overmind would have wanted him and Kerrigan to act together against Zasz’s brood—meaning Daggoth could see the same fate of Zasz while separated from Kerrigan’s brood. In the end, she wanted Tassadar for herself after all.

Kerrigan wanted Tassadar at all costs and wondered where to find him. Suddenly, Raynor felt Kerrigan looking his way. Raynor hid, but he felt a pressure behind his eyes. Kerrigan immediately exclaimed she now knew where to find him. Although not explained, it seems she got a tidbit of info from Raynor’s mind—he knew the Protoss hid in the heights by the mountains, while her search has always been in the low lands. Hours later, the Zerg found the Protoss in a plateau. They jumped down to the plateau, and Raynor followed far behind. A hundred protoss awaited the Zerg.

Tassadar invited her to this battleground, a flat rock—this is the confrontation at the end of Mission 7 – The Culling. Kerrigan attacked with her blades, but Tassadar had moved quickly, or so Raynor thought. Kerrigan used her wings to fly fast toward Tassadar and her blades impaled a Hydralysk instead, where she only saw Tassadar to be. She identified this as an illusion. Are you afraid of me, Templar?—said Kerrigan. Tassadar replied: “As long as you continue to be so predictable o Queen, I need not face you at all. You are your own worst enemy.”

Kerrigan flew toward a Zealot, and beheaded him. She threatened to kill another one if he didn’t reveal himself. Tassadar came out of hidding pleaing to stop. Kerrigan slashed at him with her wings, and Tassadar dodged, making wise and calmed moves. However, as the battle progressed, she pinned him with her wings in mid-air grabbing Tassadar. She was ironic asking what she should do with him to make him suffer, for a quick death wasn’t as pleasant for her, while putting a finger on her chin. Looking over her shoulder she glanced at the zealots. She commanded the Zerg to annihilate all of them.

Raynor witnessed everything from his hidding place, feeling useless and cursing not having his combat suit on and rifle. Only his pistol. He needed to move as stealthy as possible while spying on the protoss and Kerrigan earlier, therefore he explored unarmored. Not knowing what else to do to help the Protoss, now almost half decimated, Raynor used his pistol to shoot three times at an Overlord. Raynor recalled the nameless Cerebrate under Kerrigan’s brood was unexperienced in battle, and the formation of the Scourges and some ground zergs in disarray proved it. The Overlord lost control of its flight and knocked another overlord causing them both to aggressively knock onto the scourges and causing an explosion that even shocked Raynor slightly. The explosion caught on a line of scourges unleashing a chain reaction. The zerglings and even Hydralisks near the explosion of the scourges were destroyed, some zerg were wounded. Protoss zealots caught by surprise flew off the plateau smashing on the rocks below. Most protoss survived the explosions with their shields. Kerrigan was full shocked from behind by the shockwave and thrown to the rocks below. Using her wings to protect herself from the rocks—and her prey, Tassadar no longer in her clutches in mid-air like moments ago, escaped taking with him his zealots and any survivor.

Kerrigan growled in rage and yelled to Tassadar he wouldn’t escape for long. Raynor, a bit bruised by the explosion, grinned as he just saved the life of Tassadar and most of the zealots, buying himself a ticket out of planet Char for helping, he thought. Raynor was too tired, and thought of returning to the camp, but changed his mind and kept forth following the zerg and the Protoss.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Raynor followed and finally found the zerg, and Kerrigan . He hid after Kerrigan asked whoever was there to come to the open. He thought he was discovered. However, she called out for a protoss that smelled different. He remembered the Dark Templars. Forty feet away from her was Zeratul standing, cloaked. And his companions not far behind. Zeratul made a salute to Kerrigan revealing they had heard of her coming. She felt flattered, with a evil smile. Zeratul said something strange: “Greetings, o Queen of the Zerg. I am Zeratul, Praetor of the Dark Templar. Your coming has been foretold. You are a part of the culmination, but not the end of it.”

Kerrigan made mock of his words, and slashed at Zeratul. The zerg battled at least a hundred dark templars, while Kerrigan and Zeratul dueled. After a long fight, and a worthy one, Kerrigan pinned Zeratul with the tip of her blades puncturing his shoulders to the rock, and basically neutralizing his movement on the bracers. Zeratul cut that she had flaws, and that she may have won the battle, but next time things might be different. She mocked there would be no next time. As the last vestiges of the sunlight were over, Zeratul simply vanished into shadows, even when she had him pinned. He simply disappear without explanation along with the remaining half of his forces. The nameless cerebrate asked if they should search for the Protoss or for the Dark Templars. Kerrigan responded with a smile they shall both. She rallied all the broods to follow her to search the whole planet, and no one shall remain unharmed. While saying this, Raynor watched Kerrigan turn around to look directly on his way. This stroke Raynor like a cold shower from behind. She knew all along he was spying upon them. And that she just declared war on him and the terran survivors. He had to get out of there asap and alert his boys. However, the noise of claws climbing the hilltop announced he was too late. He was now about to be surrounded.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Raynor used his pistol to dig himself a hole on the ground. The dry ash crust of the surface facilitated it, and Raynor hid underground, praying he wouldn’t be found. He heard the Zerg above him. A Hydralisk seemed to have detected Raynor, but Kerrigan arrived saving him from being discovered in his underground hidding place. Daggoth interrupted through his overlord. Kerrigan reported to Daggoth that the Protoss were not the only ones on Char. There were dark ones as well. Daggoth paused her. They need to figure out what exactly these dark templars had done to kill Zasz permanently, and seek away to counter them. Daggoth revealed the Overmind had been silent since Zasz’s death, studying the matter. Kerrigan agreed, and reported the Gamon brood of Zasz was no longer a threat. Kerrigan requested report on the Protoss vessels. The High Templar and Dark Templar ships were destroyed. Raynor from his underground hidding place became worried. Now his Terran soldiers were stranded on planet Char along with the templar and dark templars. Suddenly the silence was broken. The Overmind reestablished his link to the swarm.

This scene happens at the mission briefing at the beginning of Starcraft 1 – Zerg Campaign: Mission 8 – Eye for an Eye. The Zerg Overmind said: “Behold, my long silence is now broken, and I am made whole once more. The cunning Protoss have dared strike down that which was immortal. For the Protoss who murdered Zasz are unlike anything we have faced before. These Dark Templar radiate energies that are much like my own, and it is by these energies that they have caused me harm.

Yet shall their overweening pride be their downfall. For when the assassin Zeratul murdered Zasz, his mind touched with mine, and all his secrets were made known to me. I have taken from his mind the secret location of Aiur, the Protoss Homeworld.

At long last, my children, our searching is done. Soon we shall assault Aiur directly.”

Daggoth said: “For now we must ensure that the Dark Templar can cause no more harm. Cerebrate, you shall set a trap for our foes. Kerrigan will lead them to you.”

This worried Raynor who was still listening to everything said above him on the surface. Sure the Zerg would leave Terran space, but it worried him if all those Tassdars and Zeratuls were defeated in their homeworld, what would the fate of the Terrans be if the protoss race was no longer there to defend them. Kerrigan requested to her father to be left behind on Char to take care of unfinished business. She wanted Tassadar and Zeratul. The Overmind commanded he wanted her to lead the assault on Aiur. However, her plea ended convincing him and authorized her to remain behind. The Zerg opened a warp-travel wormhole toward Aiur. Daggoth offered help to Kerrigan, but she declined his assistance. She would be more than a match to her prey. Daggoth obeyed and hoped she would join them in Aiur once she was done on Char. Kerrigan stated she leads, not joins. As she moved forth for the hunt, she turned around and pierced on Raynor’s eyes looking on his direction: “My prey will never know what hit them”. Raynor felt she did not simply mean the Protoss. Raynor thought of alerting the Terran camp and to search for Tassadar.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Raynor arrived next morning to the terran camp and fell asleep. He woke up in the evening and explained to both his lieutenants what transpired with the Zerg and the Protoss. The lieutenants wondered if they could simply salvage parts from the damaged Protoss ships, even attach an engine to one of the dropships to get off planet char. Raynor however proposed to search for the Protoss to seek an alliance. Cavez wondered if it would be wise to ally with aliens, but Raynor was sure they would see them as allies if they helped the protoss. It took Raynor a week to find the protoss. Up in the mountains he glanced at a colorful light. It was the glowing shoulders of Tassadar. Climbing up he noticed the protoss were on the move far ahead. He had lost them, but one more caught up. He thought he would be able to ask for help to get off the planet once everything was said and done, but the speed and pose of the Zealots alerted Raynor they were about to battle. Bad timing to ask for a ride.

As Raynor caught up with the Zealots, he spied upon them. Out of nowhere, Zeratul showed up before Tassadar, hailing the High Templar. Tassadar recognized them as the heretics. They were anathema to the High Templars. Zeratul assured they were here as allies to fight the same cause. Tassadar refused to listen, and engaged Zeratul. Zealots charged against Dark Templars as well. Raynor witnessed a dance of swordsmanship. Battle turned into poetry. Blue and green blades striking each other without touching flesh or injuring. Both protoss factions finding a perfect match on each other. Zeratul said to Tassadar that what he knows of the Dark templars is what his superiors fed the population with. Half trues with deceptions. Tassadar refused to be corrupted by Zeratul’s ilk. Zeratul began lecturing Tassadar asking him to fight using his mind—his strongest weapon—rather than attacking in full force with his weapons and fists.

When his mind is locked on his enemy, his fists won’t fail its target, he said. This duel became more a training and a philosophical fight than a duel. Tassadar was now full of rage, and summoned forth blades like those of the zealots. However, these blades were part of Tassadar without the need of bracers and longer than those of zealots. The Zealots and Dark Templars paused their fight to behold their leaders’ epic duel. Raynor was mesmerized, but suddenly his systems targeted an image on the corner of his eye, zooming in automatically. Raynor was alarmed to see the Zerg heading his way. Raynor had to do something to alert both protoss, or they would surely be slaughtered. Their distraction would be their doom.

Raynor moved down to the plateau, and after landing at least a dozen blades welcomed him. He pleaded he was not their enemy, the zerg were, pointing above the plateau in the direction of Mutalisks diving toward them. Tassadar rallied the zealots to form positions, abandoning his duel. Raynor screamed at Tassadar they should move out of the plateau. His call ignored by the templar. Raynor addressed Zeratul then. Zeratul saw the wisdom of retreat for the right moment to resume the battle. Tassadar glanced at Zeratul asking if he would retreat like a coward. Zeratul replied if he would rather sit here until his zealots were slain. Tassadar’s eyes narrowed, seeing truth. They were outnumbered, and won’t last long. Suddenly, Tassadar watched as Zeratul jumped full force toward him. Even Raynor was surprised that Zeratul would attack Tassadar in such fashion, and pointed his rifle toward Zeratul, just to hold his fire. As Zeratul pushed Tassadar backwards, a Mutalisk’s tail sprayed his acid injuring Zeratul on the shoulder and chest. Tassadar was surprised. Zeratul saved his life at the cost of his own. A pool of blood emanating from Zeratul. Tassadar tore a large strip of his own clothing to contain Zeratul’s bleeding. Blue light came from Tassadar’s hands sealing off the wound and stopping the bleeding.

Tassadar agreed Raynor was right. There was no loss of honor in regrouping. They would surely die here and now. As they retreated, they annihilated many Zerg. However, Raynor could sense in his mind the arrival of Kerrigan, who wished to finish both protoss heroes. Tassadar couldn’t see where Kerrigan was hidding, but assured he would slay her for the honor and safety of his people. Kerrigan laughed sarcastically. All the protoss on this plateau are all what remains of the protoss race, she pierced. Tassadar didn’t understand her riddle, which she cared with satisfaction to clear up. The swarm was heading toward Aiur thanks to Zeratul, and by the next day there would be no protoss standing to oppose her. Tassadar looked toward Zeratul’s green glowing eyes accusing him with his blazing-up blue eyes. Raynor cut the grudge asking them to focus on their retreat and regrouping. Tassadar agreed to leave this matter for later, and thanked Raynor for his timed alert of the Zerg presence. Tassadar proposed an alliance with the Terran. Kerrigan mentally whispered to Raynor that he has now chosen sides, and for that she would not be merciful with the Terran survivors on Char.

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