StarCraft® II

Check Out Flashpoint Before Heart of the Swarm

Check Out Flashpoint Before Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft II: Flashpoint by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden explores the aftermath of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and the events leading into the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion.

Now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Blizzard Online Store, and local and online book retailers, Flashpoint gives readers new insight into the early years of Raynor and Kerrigan’s tumultuous relationship.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt:

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Nearly all the shots missed them. Only one hit home—a gauss rifle spike ripped clean through Matt's arm. Bright red blood began to spurt wildly. Horner uttered a short, sharp cry, then clapped his free hand over the wound and kept going while Jim pivoted and returned fire. It was the Devil's own luck, Jim realized, and it wouldn't hold. With so much ground between the town and where they left their system runner, they'd never make it to the little ship in time. Which meant, of course, they'd never make it to the emergency coordinates he'd given Swann if anything went wrong.

Which also meant that their time in Paradise probably wasn't going to last long.

They'd not be able to get to rescue. Rescue would have to come to them. He'd noticed that one of the buildings near the edge of town had an abandoned look to it; it would have to do.

Narud stumbled and went down hard. The fall was lucky—another spike struck the area where he would have been a fraction of a second earlier. Without breaking stride, Valerian grabbed the scientist, hauled him to his feet, and kept running.

"There!" Jim cried, pointing to the building on the left. "We make our stand there!"

Valerian shot him an appalled look, but didn't slow down. Jim couldn't blame him—the place looked like a good stiff breeze would collapse it. But it was their only option. To keep running out in the open was to simply invite death, and as long as Sarah lived, Jim wasn't about to check out.

They tumbled inside the prefab home and sealed the door. Jim tossed Narud a pistol and nodded to Valerian. "There's a window on each wall. Start defending," he said. "I gotta take care of Matt and arrange for a way out of this place."

Narud stared at the pistol. "This against all of them?" he said, incredulous. "They'll just drop something on the shelter and we're all dead!"

"No, they won't," Jim said. He slipped a first-aid kit out, tore Matt's sleeve off and assessed the wound. The hypersonic spike had passed through the arm cleanly, but the bright color of the pumping blood told Jim an artery had been hit. Jim sprayed a bandage on and applied pressure. "They want us alive, remember? Which means what they can do to us is limited. And that'll buy us some time."

"What happened, Jim?" Matt asked as his friend worked. Blood was seeping out from under the plastiscab bandage and Jim frowned. To distract Matt from what he was doing as he slipped a hand up past Matt's bicep and gripped a pressure point, he answered.

"Got a message from Swann," Jim said, loud enough for the other two to hear even over the firing. "The Hyperion and the Bucephalus are coming under attack. Your lapdog of a captain is refusing to leave, Valerian," he added. "Swann's trying to get out from under the debris and into open space where he can fight back. We're supposed to meet at the emergency rendezvous."

"If I wasn't so busy firing," said Valerian, suiting action to word as he handled the pistol with a familiarity that surprised Jim, "I'd chew out Vaughn myself."

"If I can raise Swann, I'll tell him you said that," Jim said. "Matt... keep that arm elevated." It would help slow the bleeding. Obediently, Matt lifted his arm. He looked like a kid raising his hand in class. "While you're doing that, you think you can get a hold of Mira? She might be able to get help here faster than the Hyperion."

"I can try," Matt said. "No idea if the line is secure or not."

"Doesn't matter at this point," Jim said. "They've got to know she's going to be alerted one way or another. Right now, we need numbers more than we need secrecy."

Matt nodded, taking out his fone and entering a code with his good hand. Jim rose, wiped Matt's blood off on his shirt, and moved beside Valerian. "Tell your captain to start hauling ass."

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