Next Mengsk struck at Tarsonis, the capital of the Confederacy. To Kerrigan’s horror, he had psi emitters placed on the uninfested and densely populated planet. As the zerg descended on Tarsonis, Raynor began to question Mengsk’s sanity: no measure seemed too extreme for Mengsk if it achieved his goals.
This time the protoss fleet’s leader, Executor Tassadar, deployed ground forces in an effort to save the planet. Mengsk ordered Kerrigan to vanquish the protoss. Despite her misgivings, Kerrigan obeyed and ensured that the planet would fall to the zerg Swarm.
Surrounded by zerg, Kerrigan called for evac. However, in a shocking betrayal, Mengsk abandoned Kerrigan and her troops to their fate. Furious, Raynor rushed to Tarsonis in a desperate attempt to save his partner. Yet in spite of his best efforts, he arrived too late.
With the destruction of Tarsonis and the collapse of the Confederacy, most terran survivors quickly pledged allegiance to the Sons of Korhal, which had become the primary military force opposing the alien invaders. As planet after planet appealed to the Sons of Korhal for aid, Mengsk announced that a new government, the Terran Dominion, was necessary to protect these worlds. Promising victory over the aliens, he declared himself emperor of the Dominion.
Meanwhile, Jim Raynor struggled with the loss of Sarah Kerrigan as he came to the full realization that he had begun to fall in love with her. Haunted by her death and the many other demons of his past, Raynor stole Mengsk’s flagship, the Hyperion, and resolved to seek justice in Kerrigan’s name.
What Raynor could not have known, was that Sarah Kerrigan was not dead.
The Overmind – the supreme consciousness who controlled the zerg – had altered Kerrigan by infecting her with the zerg hyperevolutionary virus. Her subsequent evolution unlocked incredible strength and immeasurably potent psionic abilities. Ultimately she emerged as the Queen of Blades: the Overmind’s loyal servant, an extraordinary entity stripped of human ethics and morality and ruthlessly dedicated to the survival of the Swarm.
Yet the Overmind had suffered a terrible blow: Zeratul, a leader among the protoss’ estranged brethren, the dark templar, killed one of the Overmind’s cerebrates. The zerg brood formerly controlled by the slain lieutenant ran amok and turned against the rest of the Swarm, which was forced to obliterate them.
All was not lost for the zerg, however. When Zeratul killed the cerebrate, he made fleeting telepathic contact with the Overmind. In that moment, the Overmind discovered the location of the protoss homeworld of Aiur. The zerg assaulted Aiur, and although the protoss resisted valiantly, the zerg established a foothold, and the Overmind embedded itself in the planet’s surface.
Joining forces with Jim Raynor, Tassadar rallied the flagging protoss for one final push against their foes, yet protoss forces only weakened the zerg while sustaining heavy losses themselves. In a last desperate gamble, Tassadar channeled the energies of the Aiur protoss, and the outlawed energies of the dark templar through the hull of his ship, the Gantrithor, and steered the vessel on a collision course with the monstrous Overmind.
Tassadar’s brave sacrifice resulted in an explosion that killed the Overmind and threw its minions on Aiur into disarray. The protoss had little cause to rejoice, though, for much of Aiur was left in ruins. Furthermore, the Swarm as a whole was undefeated. Far away on the planet Char, Kerrigan sensed the Overmind’s death and finally grasped the true purpose of her creation. The reign of the Queen of Blades was about to begin.