The Ticking

Joeyray's Bar
Hey everyone,

Been awhile since I did some writing so I figured this would be a fun way to get back into it. If you like it I'm definitely willing to continue the story, so let me know what you think.
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Tick tick tick tick tick

Vince didn’t know where the ticking was coming from. He didn’t know a lot of things at this point: where the rest of his company was, where the dropship was, and what was going to come out of the very large Zerg egg that was writhing and pulsating in front of him.

He was sweating buckets in his combat suit, and he flipped up the faceshield on his helmet. Did Mar Vera even have a breathable atmosphere? Well he wasn’t suffocating now, so that was a good sign. Vince tried to take a deep breath and collect his nerves, but it was impossible to collect what was now frayed and destroyed. Vermillion Squad had spent weeks training for this operation whatever Vince had remembered from all the briefings, the past minute and a half had just obliterated them from his mind.

Tick tick tick tick tick


The ticking continued as Vince stared at the egg, the pulsations increasing in frequency. Was it getting bigger? He couldn’t tell. The fresh air seemed to help Vince focus, and he could now remember Sergeant Colson outlining the size of a zerg egg and the subtype it spawned weren’t correlated at all. Don’t take these eggs for granted at all. Lotsa times on hatchery raids, the Zerg’ll try and hatch some Zerglings. Kind of a defense response, but that’s pretty easy to cleanup. But it’s not always Zerglings, so don’t forget that. Y’ever see a 25 foot high Ultralisk come out of an 4 foot egg? At that point it don’t matter how much stim you pop, yer not outrunning that thing.

It would be helpful to have Sergeant Colson around now, but just like pretty much everyone else on Vermillion Squad, he was a spatter of blood mixed with decaying creep just about now. His eyes might have been focusing on the Zerg egg, but in his mind all he could see was the past minute and a half played in an infinite loop. The dropship flying past the Overlord, Sergeant Colson yelling at them to push on anyway, the drop out of the dropship gravity well, and then touching ground in front of a whole Zerg army that seemingly had massed up within seconds to greet them.

Pop your stim! Marauders focus the hatchery! Marines provide cover! Colson shouted, and that was his last order, as a giant stalk of a spine crawler swung down and decapitated him. Colson fell to his knees, and then to the ground entirely, blood gushing out of the orifice where his neck had been. But that carnage was nothing to what ensued in the next couple seconds. Vince remembered the marauders loading up their Quad K12 launchers and throwing grenade after grenade into the hatchery, while Vince and his marine company fired at basically anything that wasn’t Terran, which meant he was firing at basically anything.

The marauder grenades detonated and the hatchery went down. But that didn’t stop the collection of zerglings and roaches from tearing into them. Colson’s gamble had worked, but the wager required had been Vermillion Squad, and he wasn’t getting that back any time soon. There were only two survivors of the skirmish: PFC Vince Styers, and one very scary looking Zerg egg, which was only getting scarier by the second.

Tick tick tick tick tick
Vince raised his C-14 assault rifle and fired a round into the egg. The rounds deflected off its carapace as if it was pure titanium. Colson’s drawl filtered into Vince’s mind once again. You see one of those eggs, andif yer not gonna run, then you gotta wait. You could blow 200 rounds out of yer C-14 and barely make a scratch on that thing. Wait for that squishy little zergling to appear, and then you let loose with the holy wrath of god.

If yer not gonna run. He could run. That was an option. He still had some stim left over, and besides a nasty acid burn on his left thigh, he was in decent shape. He could probably pop the stim and not risk cardiac arrest when it wore off. Unlike the Vermillion Squad Marauders, who had gotten so frenzied by Colson’s order to focus that they just kept popping their stim over and over again. The Zerg just waited until they keeled over from overstim and finished them off.

Tick tick tick tick tick


Vince felt his adrenaline subside somewhat, and with that brought some extra clarity and determination. I’m not running. There are exactly two survivors right now, me and whatever is coming out of the egg. If I live, then the Terrans win. If I die, then the Terrans lose. But if I run, the Terrans lose too. What if it’s a worker drone? We’ve seen vids of a single drone becoming a Hatchery overnight. Our deaths will not be in vain. My death will not be in vain.

Would it be a worker drone? Vince doubted he would be that lucky. He quickly ran through the subspecies of Zerg he had been brief on. Roach? Hydralisk? Vince didn’t give himself great odds of surviving a skirmish with either of those. Mano a mano, almost anything that could come out of that egg would be bigger, stronger, or faster than him. He considered taking cover, but what would he use? The only thing around for miles seemed to be creep, and even that was dissolving at a very rapid pace.

Tick tick tick tick tick

A crack appeared in the egg, from top to bottom, and then another a few seconds later.

But just as Vince began to wonder if the hatching would be a slow and deliberate process, the egg burst apart, giving birth to a giant monstrosity. Not as big as an ultralisk, but surely bigger than any roach or hydralisk he had ever seen. It was easily twelve feet high and had more limbs than Vince could count. Most of them were used for footing, but two of those limbs were perched on its back like wings, and slashed in the air and back and forth menacingly.

It came to Vince at once. Zerg Queen, he thought detachedly to himself.

He brought his C-14 up to fire and slammed his faceshield shut.

TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
Hello, Terran.

Vince’s body was trying to exert the slight pressure required to pull the trigger, and yet his mind had frozen everything, unable to do anything but stare back at the Zerg Queen in front of him, the Zerg Queen that apparently had the ability to speak telepathically to him.

You are different.


The ticking sound continued. Vince had assumed it had something to do with emanating with the Zerg egg, or what was in the Zerg egg, but in his moment Vince realized the sound was in his mind, and it was only getting louder.

TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK

I sense… you are like… our Queen…

The Queen took a step forward, and then another. At this range two trigger pulls would likely blow this Zerg’s face off, and yet Vince could only stand paralyzed.

… The Queen of Blades…

At once the Queen’s slashing wing came down, striking Vince on the torso and ripping through his combat suit armor. It was enough to knock him out of his funk. He let loose on the C-14, blowing off one of the Queen’s wings and getting a few rounds into its midsection. The Queen recoiled and let loose a deafening scream.

Vince was just about to pump in another several rounds, but the Queen struck again with its other wing, sweeping in to knock Vince off his feet, and then striking again at this torso where he was now exposed, ripping several inches into his flesh.

Vince howled in pain, the sheer agony causing his vision to blur and leaving him unable to do anything except aimlessly fire in the air from his position in the ground. He tried to focus and rip his stim injector located on the upper left arm of his combat suit, but the Queen struck again, knocking his C-14 out of his hands and then pinning his arm down.

This is how it ends, thought Vince.

TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK

That infernal sound! The Queen emoted angrily, scampering up on Vince’s body and lowering its head a mere inches from his staring him eye-to-eye.

That forsaken TICK TICK TICK! It will end NOW!

“It ain’t too pleasant on this side either, buddy,” said Vince, managing to smirk even as his wounds shot searing pains up and down his body. The ticking was entirely deafening now, but Vince decided to embrace it in his last moments, closing his eyes and shutting out everything but the pure sound.

He’d be hard pressed to explain what happened next. The Queen shrieked again, throwing itself off Vince and on to the ground. The louder the ticking got, the louder the shrieking. The Queen writhed and jerked in agony, its motions getting more and more spastic until…

TICK.

TICK.

TICK.

TICK.

TICK.


The Queen seemingly imploded, bones and guts flying everywhere.

The ticking sound had stopped.
Vince continued to lay on the ground, partly trying to decipher what had just happened, and partly trying not to pass out from blood loss. From his position, in the distance, he could see a flying object. Vince squinted as it got closer, his vision alternating between focused and blurring.

Viking?

Viking!


Vince sat up and popped his stimpack. It was definitely a gamble at this point with his injuries, but seizing up and dying while trying to get rescued seemed like a much better option than just slowly bleeding to death. The stim felt great, numbing the pain and heightening his senses. He managed to stagger to Colson’s corpse, rifling through his supply pack and pulling out two flares. Within seconds, the flares were launched. The stim was starting to wear off, and Vince collapsed once again.

The Viking circled back, then switched to assault mode, its retro thrusters firing and letting it touch down softly.

The Viking pilot spoke through his comm. “Holy s---, we didn’t think anyone survived! We gotta get a medivac for you.”

Vince grunted in pain, spat out some blood, and said, “Swell.”

“Who are you, anyway?”

“Vince Styers, Private First Class, and likely the last remaining survivor of Vermillion Squad.”

Vince realized the ticking sound was back.

Tick tick tick tick tick

Who am I?

Thoughts? I welcome all feedback!
0_O Good!
Once again, the troll attacks. Let his words bounce of you, my friends.

*On topic* EPIC!!1!!!1one1!!

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