Stetmann Research Log
Research Entry 2432
Date : November 2nd, 2504
Location : Char
Race : Zerg
Strain : Baneling
Fascinating! Ever since the Xel-Naga artifact has activated and the Queen of Blades neutralized, the Zerg Broods which haven’t been destroyed seem to be in a temporary state of lifeless suspension. Scans show that their vital signs are active, but they seem to be...empty. Almost as if they are waiting for something. I don’t know, maybe I’m over thinking the situation. Better keep these thoughts to myself, because I know exactly what Swann would say if I said the Zerg seemed harmless. He’d yell “Dinner’s on me!” just as he threw me out of the bunker.
I can’t turn down this amazing opportunity I have to study the Zerg up close. As much as I enjoy studying samples in the lab, watching the Zerg in action is much more rewarding, albeit dangerous as hell. As Jim has headed out with a small strike force towards the primary Hive cluster to discover the results of the Xel-Naga artifact, I will see if I can find anyone crazy enough to accompany me studying the inert Zerg species that are still nearby.
* * *
As luck would have it, the success of the mission has lead to the intoxication of many of the troops. I’d probably be with them if I could hold my liquor, but...well yeah. Convincing several marines to come along wasn’t as hard as I thought; they already felt on top of the world. They probably wouldn’t have the aim, but if worst came to worst and I couldn’t outrun the Zerg, at least I could outrun them.
Not far from the Command Center I came across a small force of a dozen or so Zerglings, with several Banelings in the mix. Each stood patiently, eyes looking forward, completely unaware that we were just a sprint away. I had never gotten the opportunity to study Banelings this close! Well, without them barreling after me that is. I was able to notice much more detail about the Baneling’s carapace and structure that I had before.
Due to analysis of Baneling acid, I had previously discovered that the fluids churning within the body of the Baneling were always dissolving the inner membranes of the Baneling’s carapace. Though highly resistant to corrosion, the sheer strength of the acid caused the Baneling to literally eat itself from the inside out. The Zerg however had engineered a trait to the Baneling’s genetic structure to prevent them from being destroyed before they were needed. Using similar regenerative properties contained within the Roach species, the Baneling was able to regenerate itself at a rate proportional to what was being dissolved. This allowed for the potency of the acid to remain strong until the moment of explosion. Amazing how the Zerg works to become extremely deadly
However, while Banelings contained such corrosive acid, it had always been a mystery to me how they could explode even within their ranks and leave all of their surrounding brethren unscathed. Upon close inspection of the Baneling, I was able to notice that grooves were located around every sac of acid. It was possible that upon explosion the Baneling would rupture along these grooves to expel acid into any direction they pleased. I must find a way to experiment!
One of the Marines was kind enough to shoot one of the Banelings for me. Even though he kept drunkenly swiping bullets into the swarm of Zerg, none of them made any attempt to attack. After what seemed like ages, the bullets began to meet their mark. I noticed that every time a bullet would hit an acid filled sac, rather than spewing outward onto the fellow Zerg, the acid would ooze slowly from the wound onto the ground. This was amazing, since those sacs had to be extremely pressurized. The Baneling’s body must work at lightning speeds to correct pressure abnormalities to ensure its potency.
Sure enough, when the targeted Baneling could take no more, it ruptured with a loud pop. I watched as the body detonated, and sure enough, certain parts of the bodies carapace held strong while others detached. The internal acid spewed all throughout the ranks of the fellow Zerg, narrowly missing all, but not hitting a single one. Since the Zerg were not under control of any higher power, this had to have been completely on instinct. It is absolutely amazing that the Zerg have been able to form this species to have such a useful trait weaved directly into the DNA of this creature.
I need to get back to the lab to run more tests! Here on Char, I truly feel like a kid in a candy store!