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Centurion Felix found himself on the ground. There was a warning, turbulence and then everything went dark. He quickly got on his feet and glanced at his surroundings. A field of tall rolling grass, nothing else. He turned around and saw much to his dismay the wreckage of a warp prism. He made his way to the warp prism and brushed aside the broken parts searching for the crystal energy lattice located within.
It was destroyed by the glaive worms and judging by the damage, it was the first thing the mutalisks hit. It was a miracle that the A.I managed to "release" him in time. The same could not be said for the other three's energy signature that were imprinted within. They were lost now.
I need to get to that Protoss settlement. According to my readings, I am within sprinting distance of it. Perhaps I can get there...
Before those mutalisks come around for survivors. I have to hide my presence. How..?
Edited by Animus on 1/7/2014 10:13 AM PST
-Hide under a large or flat piece of debris.-
Felix scanned the area for cover. The warp prism had scattered debris all over the field and several of them were large enough to cover the Centurion. The screams of the mutalisk grew louder and though Felix could not see them, he knew that were closing in quickly.
Finding a relatively intact wingspan of the warp prism resting against a sizable boulder a bit away from the main wreckage, he quickly crawled underneath. He rested on his knees and waited. The wings had covered much surface area, more than enough to conceal him from airborne eyes. Yet the armor of the wingspan itself was not as reinforced as the other parts of the warp prism.
SKREEEEEEEE! SKREEEEEEEE! SKREEEEEEEEEEE!
The mutalisk announced their arrival. Felix pressed himself against ground and withdrew himself from the Khala. It would be disastrous if he leaked out any psionic emanations. The Zerg's psionic sensory was extraordinary.
http://www.hark.com/clips/ccszmwsblx-mutalisk-attack [Play this several times if you want]
The sound of glaive worms hitting the wreckage with such force and speed alarmed Felix. He could see in his hiding spot how quickly the remaining pieces of the warp prism was torn to shred by the glaive worm. The parasites bounced in and out of the warp prism, tearing at what they can before exploding in a gruesome fashion.
At the rate those worms are dropping, there must be a large flock overhead! Curses! Do these monsters have nothing better to do than to destroy already broken pieces of machinery? Is there truly nothing to do but wait and hope for the best? So long as they do not attack here...
Felix felt a dull thud emanating from the other side. There was another. And another and several more. A glaive worm smacked itself against the boulder and began blindly thrashing about.
By the gods, is this truly the end?
What do I do? Fight? Run? Do nothing?! What options do I have?!
Felix scrambled to the other end of the wing, away from the glaive worm that was trashing about. Yet all he heard was more dull thuds and the screeching sound of metal exploding around him. Still hiding under the shadow of the debris, he quickly scanned the skies for the marauding mutalisks. He counted ten of them circling the skies lazily.
He quickly checked his back. The armor was wearing thin and glaring holes penetrated through the wing. Several glaive worms were still alive, voraciously ripping apart at the metal. The wing would last perhaps one more barrage. A single glaive worm took notice of Felix and launched itself towards him. A sickening pop filled Felix's ears as the worm disintegrated midair into a mass of dissolving flesh.
A close one. The problem still remains. There's too many of them! They will swarm me the minute I break cover! But what choice do I have but to run? The grasses...they are more than tall enough to hid me if I am on my belly. But if I hold and they leave...perhaps I can hallucinate a copy of myself. No too risky.
He turned around once more and observed the mutalisk's movement. The mutalisks hovered above the wreckage with bored interest.
Make your move already...
The mutalisks let loose one last screech and fly high into the skies.
Felix breathed a sigh of relief and closed his eyes..
That was extremely close. They found something better to do.
He looked out once more and the color drained from his face. The flock of 10 formed up haphazardly behind one another and they were descending fast onto his position. He saw death approach him. Death's wings were closing in on him and what meager protection the broken wing offered would not last and expose him.
40 feet...30 feet...
40 feet...30 feet...I'll have to make a break for the foliage as they come up! Perhaps they won't turn around in time and spot me!
He got on his knees. The mutalisks were closing in fast.
In his silence, Felix could hear the wind sweeping around him. He felt the wind's unnaturally cold embrace as the first mutalisk swoop past the wing, released its glaive worm. More followed and a glaive worm lodged itself right above his head. Felix grimaced with disgust and felt the wing collapsing on him.
He sprinted towards the tall foliage and sliding into cover tuning his hearing to the surrounding. The distinct flapping of the mutalisk's wings were growing dimmer by the minute until he heard them no more.
They were heading in the direction of the settlement! That means a ground force should be fast approaching. I'd best not stay here lest I get caught by them.
Felix saw movement on the far side of the grasslands. He could their outline matching that of a Zergling.
Scouts. I really should move.
Standard issued communicator, it is integrated into his Centurion Class combat suit, the psionic communicator allows greater and easier access to the Khala. It used for communication between him, his commander, and his subordinates. It is virtually indistinguishable and undetectable by terran scanners sans telepaths with special equipment. However, Zerg can more readily detect these psionic broadcasts.
Centurion Class Combat Armor-
These new power armor are similar to Zealot power armor. However, they made of stronger material and are given to those who demonstrate higher psionic aptitude. The key feature of this armor is they can generate hardened shields, similar to that of the immortals though not as durable. Activating hardened shields will put a strain on the psionic matrix located within the armor and once the hardened shields are depleted, the armor will not assist in generating plasma shields leaving the task solely to the wearer until the matrix has sufficiently cooled.
The rank of Centurion is given to experienced zealots who have demonstrated strong aptitude in combat and a greater understanding of their psionic powers. They are on the cusp of attaining the coveted rank of high templar. They are given more important roles in Protoss society, acting as guards for dignitaries and serving as commandos. On battle, they are more than competent to act as mid level commanders. The human equivalent military rank would be a major.
Centurion Felix is able to generate psi blades without the need for forearm units but uses them regardless as it puts considerably less strain on him. His psi blades have the distinction of being cerulean.
It would take me no more than seven minutes to reach the settlement if I run at full speed. In this sea of grass, there is only so much that will cover me completely. Then again, there's only a scattering of Zerg at the ground this moment. The only thing I have to worry about is if those mutalisk fly back. Perhaps there won't be need to find cover.
Felix started off slowly, always checking his surroundings for Zerg. Before long, he broke into a full run. Speed, he thought, was of the essence and there wasn't much of a Zerg threat in the immediate vicinity. Ten minutes passed without incident and he found himself on a small hill facing towards the settlement.
The settlement was under fire by the very same mutalisks that nearly took his life twice. Photon cannons shot back at them yet the dextrous mutalisks avoided nearly every shot.
I wonder if other relief squads made it. I must communicate with the others.
Felix began to reopen his mind to the Khala when he felt tremors on the ground.
Edited by Animus on 1/8/2014 6:58 PM PST
Most likely burrowed Zerg coming from underneath. No need to waste my time fighting out here when there's a more defensible position within the settlement.
Felix sprinted down the hill. As he ran, he linked his mind to the Khala, feeling the presence of all the other Protoss in the area.
"Felix?" responded a familiar voice, "You are alive? We feared for the worse when you were cut off from the Khala! What has happened?"
Felix made it to the walls of the settlement. He primed himself against the wall and with a swift push against the ground with his feet, he leap over the walls and landed his feet. He took cover against the side of a Protoss colony house as a duo of mutalisk flew ahead.
"Ja'raal! It is good to see you are alive! Our transport was shut down by those mutalisks and they nearly got me too. I had to run my way here. How many made it? What is our situation looking like?"
"Not good. Half of the transport made it. We have a token force of 68 warriors, 28 zealots, 16 stalkers, 10 immortals, 8 sentries, and 6 of those Nerazim. There are some 140 colonists to defend. Our air support are hard pressed against the enemy flyers and they had to break formation to engage elsewhere. The Nexus' psionic matrix has weakened considerably and the pylons that draw energy from it do not have sufficient psionic energy to power any structures besides photon cannons. There won't be reinforcement by warp in."
Felix broke from cover and made his way to the center of the settlement where the Nexus was located at. Here, he found more Protoss, nearly all of them wearing civilian clothing. He spotted Ja'raal, recognizing his trademark insignia of a hydralisk skull painted on top of his armor. He stood by an elderly Protoss who was rather diminutive by Protoss standards, yet exuded a calm demeanor.
"I do like these odds Ja'raal. Feels like a last stand already," said Felix extending his hand.
"Old friend!" exclaimed Ja'raal taking Felix's hand. "Good to see you in the flesh. This is Katau of the Ara Tribe, the leader of this settlement."
"We are thankful you have come Centurion. Your aid is most needed. I take it that you will lead the defense? Have you come up with a plan?" asked Katau.
Felix paused, wondering what the best course of action would be. The responsibility of protecting this settlement rested squarely on his shoulders now since he was the most experienced military commander in the immediate vicinity.
"Can we warp in photon cannons?" asked Felix.
"Not to the other pylons. Only the ones closer to the Nexus have enough power to sustain additional cannons," Katau replies.
"How vexing! What could be the cause for the weakening of the psionic field? I'll take what we can get. Get those probes to warp in photon cannons. We will need to slow the Zerg advance too. Is there a map of the settlement around?"
"I was looking at it earlier. Our position...is less than ideal. Here you go," Ja'raal replies.
Felix checks the map. There were three main entryways to the Nexus along with many other smaller alleys. The north entryway was protected by a wall, destroyed at some parts that stretched the length of a two hundred yards. The southwest entryway gave the Protoss the advantage of elevation. It would be easy to pick off the Zerg as they came up. The eastern entryway only was accessible by a bridge; a river ran underneath.
I will need to use debris to create choke points. The colonist must assist in that task. Sentries at all locations would be useful in further slowing down the Zerg advance and any number of immortals will be useful at any of those main entryways. The question now is, how much goes where. I must decide quickly.
Destroy the bridge. Position an Immortal and a handful of Zealots there to ensure that the Zerg do not try to swim the river.
Fill the gaps in the wall with rubble. Position five of the Immortals atop the debris to punish any attempt to break the wall.
Station the majority of the Sentries at the southwest entryway.
Felix came to a decision. He turned to Ja'raal and Katau.
"I want that bridge destroyed. The Zerg forces won't be swarming at our flanks so easily and should they desire to cross the water, they will have swim some three hundred feet across. A small patrol should suffice once the bridge is down."
"Won't that mean the Zerg will divert more of their forces through the north and south since the bridge is cutoff?" inquires Ja'raal.
Felix nodded grimly. "We can consolidate more of our defenses to the north and south. We will have a much stronger defender's advantage. We cannot afford to defend three fronts with what we have. The northern wall is the most crucial part of this settlement's defense. One small hole and the Zerg will burst through. It must be manned and repaired."
"And what of the south entryway?" asks Katau.
"Since the enemy must converge on this main street and given the rather narrow corridors around the entrance, close quarter combat would be the main attraction. Those buildings can also serve as cover. In addition placing sentries at these locations can impede much of the Zerg movement and cut them off into more manageable portions."
Five immortals on top of the walls will lay waste to much of the encroaching Zerg but they will be vulnerable to mutalisks in the skies. Stalkers should help with that. At least there are some active cannons on the wall at the very least.
"Ja'raal, take an immortal and a handful of zealots with you to the bridge. Get that bridge down before the Zerg gets here. If you need help see if there are any locals willing to lend a hand. Stay there and await further orders when you are done."
Warriors, I have sent you orders. You are to head to these locations as specified. Hold out for as long as you can. We must buy time for evacuation.
Head to the north wall
Head to the southern entrance
Head inside the Nexus
Edited by Animus on 1/20/2014 10:00 PM PST
Felix turns his attention to the Nexus. The mammoth, pyramidal structure casted a long shadow in his direction. It concerned him that the Nexus, a psionic anchor that allowed the Protoss to access the psionic matrix, was failing at such a critical time.
Were it not for this, it would be a matter of seconds establishing a link between the colony's gateway and our ships. Evacuating this colony would be a trivial task. Losses would be kept to a minimum.
He turned his attention to the Elder and motioned for him to follow.
"When did the Nexus' psi matrix begin to fail?" asks Felix as he makes his way inside the Nexus.
"Three days ago. This was around the time a new wave of colonists arrived. Prior to that, the past few months came and went without any problems.'
"That's conveniently timed for a Zerg attack," remarks Felix.
"You believe the Zerg are responsible?" asks Katau.
"I don't know. The timing of it is suspicious but there's no evidence of Zerg sabotage. And with over a hundred colonists, someone would say something if they spot a Zerg organism," replies Felix.
"Where are you going?"
"We should have heard something from the Executor's fleet. It's been far too silent. I'm going to establish a communication link with the Executor's fleet. Every Nexus has a communications hub. I'm heading there. Hopefully, the signal is strong enough to transmit a message."
Reaching the communication room, Felix notes the lack of personnel in the room. Activating a single psi blade, Felix moves towards the main terminal.
"Where is Amot? He shouldn't have left his post," says Katau looking around. He opens a door and heads inside, the door closing behind him.
"There should always be someone here even in times of crisis. At least these chat logs are intact. The last log was with the Fleet a hours and a half ago. There hasn't been any since. Something doesn't add up." says Felix quietly.
"Gaaah!" screams Katau.
His communicator blinks softly and the voice of Ja'raal comes through.
"Felix, we are in position by the bridge and setting up charges. How are things on your end?"
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