StarCraft® II

Starcraft: Ghost -- Spectres Teaser #2

Preview the final teaser for the latest StarCraft II novel before it's released!


EXCERPT TWO


Kill them all. Like on Tarsonis.

"Where are you?" Ward's voice was strained. "We can't hold much longer."

"Evacuate," Nova said. "Get the wrangler to safety. I'll provide a distraction."

"But how will you—"

"Just do it," she said. "I can take care of myself. Look at it this way: if I don't make it back, there's one less person who knows about what you did at Hudderstown Colony."

There was a brief moment of silence before Ward cleared his throat, and she knew immediately that she had been right about him. "Affirmative," he said. "We're gone. Watch your ass."

I always do. Nova switched the comm unit off and took a moment to prepare. Her entire body was on fire with the need to lash out at something, anything. The first step was to draw them all to her. But how?

The answer came from the very ground under her feet. More of the green gas was seeping up from a hair-thin crack directly in front of her, and she sensed a much larger crevasse just below. The zerg had been drawn to the planet by this gas in the first place; maybe they would respond to it now. She gave a hard mental push, sending out a beacon of psionic power. The rock groaned and split, releasing a thick cloud of gas like a geyser. Almost immediately she sensed the zerg turn their attention toward her, as the mutalisks in the sky whirled and dove and the others on the ground increased their pace, leaping at her with renewed excitement.

For a moment she thought they would be too fast for her. She heard the roar of the grizzlies as they took to the air and the thunder of their cannons, but the distraction had worked; they were clear. That was a good thing for what she was planning to do. It was a very difficult trick, and the chance of collateral damage was high.

She took out three zerglings with her C-20A and was looking for high ground when the rock began to tremble under her feet. Something was coming.

She turned to face the sound as the dust erupted in front of her and an infestor burst forth, spewing a volatile plague. Nova dove to the side to avoid the plague, catching just a glimpse of something larger that had come from the creature's throat, something vaguely human. She rolled and then scrambled to her feet, but the infestor had burrowed back into the ground again and was moving rapidly away.

She might have gone after it, except for what was standing in her way.

What remained of Private Godard had planted its feet and held its rifle in both hands, staring mindlessly through a cracked and dusty visor. Godard's marine suit dripped with the remains of the infestor's bile, and spikes of zerg carapace had grown up over the shoulder plates and the back of his helmet, along with two spiny, insectlike arms with clacking claws. She felt the throb of the zerg mind within his own, and she didn't know whether his voice was still there and lost among the din, or whether he had been extinguished entirely and what remained was nothing more than a zerg-infested shell.

Then he turned his head to stare at her, and she stumbled backward, shocked by a sudden image of herself through his eyes: a female form he had admired just a few hours ago, but now regarded as alien and beneath contempt. Along with it came a vivid memory of a drug dealer called Fagin from her early days in the Gutter on Tarsonis, the way he had looked at her so much like how Godard did now, and her rage at being held like a prisoner and forced to do his dirty work, torture and murders and worse, before a wrangler came to her rescue.

Finally she remembered another zerg battle on a distant planet called Shi, when she had been just a trainee, a place they should never have landed on and certainly a place where neither the zerg nor terrans should have been...

Nova gasped as the images came in disjointed flashes like terrible hallucinations, images she had fought so hard to wipe from her memory forever, and this coppery, foreign thing kept worming its way through her body and burning through her bloodstream until she felt she might burst from the inside out.

Visions of her father, mother, and brother lying in pools of blood, and three hundred people dead around them by her own savage act of revenge.

An act she would play out again now.

As Godard raised his rifle in her direction and the massive host of zerg grew close, she closed her eyes, spread her arms, and crouched in the dust, her rage coupling with her psionic energy and coiling within her belly like a snake ready to strike. As it began to course outward from somewhere deep within her, she felt both a thrill and a terror as she had never known before, along with the urge to crack the very planet upon which she stood in half. She raised her head, opened her eyes, and let out a primal scream.

Nova Terra unleashed hell.

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