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Jarayn surveyed the battlefield around him as he walked towards Zeratul's forward base. Nearly seven hours has passed since the Zerg have landed. He shook his head. He was there when Aiur fell. Though the fighting in Aiur was bloody and destructive, what he saw today trumped that.
His eyes wandered aimlessly across the scorched earth. In the distance, a pair of towering colossus continued to fire upon the retreating Zerg forces through the hills. Their beams were a spectacular display in the perpetual twilight of the night.
All that Jarayn saw was the tattered and smoldering bodies of the Zerg that littered the landscape. The broken husks of Protoss machinery also littered the field. The losses were significant, more so for the Protoss. Jarayn closed his eyes again. He saw them wave after wave descending relentlessly and the carnage that ensued as the blade fell down upon the flesh. They have driven them back for now but at what cost?
His eyes opened once more. The colossus made one final sweep of the area and incinerated several hapless hydralisk that were left behind. A strange stillness fell on the land as the silhouette of the colossi faded into the shadows and the last of the overlords disappeared over the horizon.
After so much fighting since the Zerg invasion began, Jarayn's senses became accustomed to hearing the feral screaming of the Zerg and the painful death throes of his brethren as the swarm tore at them. Though he welcomed the calming silence in his times of meditation upon the indigo and mesmerizing lakes, this silence was suffocating.
Edited by smylez on 11/10/2012 7:35 PM PST
Jarayn reached the main base of operations. The encampment seemed to have weathered most of the damage despite the intense fighting. Much of the structure still had its integrity. The beauty and luster of the architecture was still there, a marvelous testament to Protoss masonry.
Yet it was a solemn sight to behold in the camp. Though Jarayn came out of the battle with mere scratches, many of his brethren were not so lucky. They did not emerge unscathed from the battle and their injuries looked grievous. The medics came in droves doing their best but with so many wounded, Jarayn knew that they would it was impossible to attend to them all. The dead were gathered up into piles and burned. There was little time to gather their bodies and perform the necessary rites in such dire times.
Jarayn made his way to the center of the base and saw Prelate Zeratul converse with a group of High Templars around a giant Khydarian Crystal. Although Jarayn had always been wary of the Dark Templar given their mysterious and cold demeanor, such trifle prejudices meant nothing now and he knew it was folly to doubt the leadership of the Prelate when much of the Hierarchy was away.
"Zeratul," began a Preserver as Jarayn made his way over, "Our casualties are immense across all of Shakuras. We cannot fight the Zerg as they are. If this war of attrition continues, it will be more than the lose of this planet. It will mean the extinction of our race. We must retreat!"
Zeratul touched a smaller crystal and the hologram of Shakuras appeared before them. Much of the planet was covered in red and there were pockets of whites visible.
"Your concerns are legitimate if it were not for the situation at hand. We cannot run. We cannot hide. The Zerg and the Hybrids will pursue us to the ends of the earth and we will fall without so much a whisper if we run. This is our last stand in the face of utter darkness."
The other high templars were silent. Jarayn extended the Khala and felt their worries and desperation. The Prelate was right. There was no turning back. They were the last light that flickered in the vast darkness that was all consuming.
Jarayn came up to the group. "Entara Tassadar Zeratul. If I may suggest an idea?"
"Speak quickly commander, we have little time," replied Zeratul.
"We should recall all the others across the planet to this very base. If we are to make our last stand, we must have all able bodied warriors at our disposal. Right here is where we must fight, not anywhere else.
Zeratul nodded in agreement. "Solidarity will improve our chances no matter how minuscule it is. Yes, that is the best course of action. What say you all?"
The high templars nodded too. "We shall stand against the darkness as one. But we must do it quickly lest they are overrun before we can get them."
"Tell the others to recall themselves back here. I fear that this will be our last twilight. Make final preparations for their next attack. I must speak with Hierarchy about their progress."
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