An Ancient's Return

Joeyray's Bar
Disclaimer: Clearly better than Blizzard's work.

“This is Kate Lockwell with a UNN special report. Augustgard has fallen. The capital city of our Dominion has been overrun. I repeat, Augustgard has fallen. We got live footage of the Emperor's Throne destroyed in a gigantic explosion. There is no word regarding the whereabouts of Emperor Mengsk. Some report that he has successfully fled the area, others report he was caught inside the blast. Given the current atmosphere of Korhal, it is hard to say which one is the truth. But if Arcturus Mengsk was really caught in the blast, the reign of succession goes to his son Valerian, who is nowhere to be found. The evacuation of Korhal so far have been relatively smooth and loss of life is minimal, leading to some questioning whether the Queen of Blades is deliberately avoiding them...”

The door opened and Jim Raynor stepped inside the bridge of the Hyperion still suited up, standing alongside Valerian Mengsk and Matt Horner as they continued to watch the UNN broadcast. Matt and Valerian turned around to face Jim.

“Sir, is it done? Is Mengsk really dead? Is it finally over?” Matt asked.

Jim nodded his head curtly. “It's over Matt. Arcturus is dead. Sarah dealt the finishing blow. Our job is finished. What about you Valerian? Do you still stand by what you said earlier?”

Valerian turned around back at the screen. His gaze fell upon the burning palace that his father was so proud of, the palace where his father sheltered himself in.

“My father's crimes has caught up to him. His death was a result of the atrocities he has committed in the past. I will be lying if I said that I felt some sadness over his death. Even though we were never close, he has taught me many useful things. But, what's done is done. I am not my father, nor do I aspire to become the mad man he once was. I will be the man he tried to be.” Valerian answered firmly.

Jim Raynor smiled briefly. There was still hope for humanity in the Koprulu sector. Valerian's convictions were strong. Asking Sarah to hold off attacking the evacuation centers demonstrated that he had a heart, a genuine compassion for his people unlike his father. He was young, charismatic, and could bring great change for the better. Yet if all of this was an act as Arcturus did...

“Listen here Valerian. I hope for all of us, you turn out not to be your father. I hope you truly wish to serve for the benefit of your people. The Dominion needs a leader. I hope you are that leader because if you're not, we'll be back for you.”

Valerian let out a small laugh. “Duly noted Mr. Raynor. But you needn't worry about me. I can handle myself just fine.”

“We'll see about that...”

The three men became silent as they continued to watch the broadcast, now focusing on the massive leviathan hovering over Mengsk's burning palace.. “...experts believe that casualties number in the millions. Augustgard is one of the most populated cities in the sector and a direct headlong Zerg invasion means that collateral damage cannot be avoided.”

Matt shook his head sadly. “So many lives were lost in the course of this war, all to bring Mengsk to justice.”

“These things can't be avoided Matt. We all knew this was going to be a bloody undertaking. We all knew this will change us, all of us." Raynor's eyes focused on the leviathan. It began to ascend upwards along with a host of Zerg flyers.

Matt noticed the sorrowful look on James' eyes. He opened his mouth to speak but thought better of it. The commander needed time to recollect his thoughts and it was a long and exhausting journey to get to where they were.

"Many leviathans are gathering at different parts of the city and the Zerg Swarm are gathering at those location. It looks like they're ascending? It appears the leviathans are pulling away from Augustgrad! Oh my god, the Zerg are in full retreat! This is unprecedented!"

The leviathans in orbit opened a warp portal and entered it, disappearing, their location unknown. Jim wiped his eyes. The women he loved, the woman he would move earth and heaven for was once again out of his reach, this time forever.

"Sir...?" Matt asked hesitantly.

"...It's alright Matt. We'll see her again in the near future. C'mon, we got folks to help down there. Speaking of which, when do you plan to show yourself as successor to the Dominion Valerian?"

Valerian smiled mysteriously. "Soon Raynor. Soon."
Well written. Excellent quality of punctuation and grammar. Spelling, good. Storyline intriguing, more needed. Continue work.
They could have made this an after the credits thing so easily...

+1 Smylez
Disclaimer: This romance no one cares.

Kerrigan was aboard the leviathan and she was alone in her thoughts. She broke free from the shackles of her past. A dark and painful chapter of her life was finally resolved for good and now, she could focus on the true threat at hand, Amon.

If only it were so easy. The past never forgets. She looked at her reflection on the creep. Though there was subtle differences in her appearence between her and the Queen of Blades persona, nearly every sapient life form she will meet will consider her a threat. For she was still the Queen of Blades, a "monster" whose crimes against humanity and the Protoss meant she will always be hounded by the pursuers of "justice". She would have few allies at her side. It would be a lonely journey.

And of course, there was one other thing in Kerrigan's mind. James Raynor. The flames still lingered within her. She closed her eyes painfully.

I am everything you lost.

Are you prepared to sacrifice everything you loved?

What if Jim could see you now?

Yes it was true, she had lost everything she once held dear. She sacrificed a normal life for a life filled with violence. She threw away her past for the present and future. There was no more Sarah Kerrigan. There was only the Primal Queen of Blades. And with Arcturus dead, she could devote herself to Amon's return.

Sarah opened her eyes. This was the path she had chosen. It was too late to second guess herself anymore. Besides, how will she and Jim ever get back together if they even defeated Amon? She was a completely different being.

"My queen?" Zagara's voice filled the room, "The other brood mothers await your command."

Sarah made no immediate reply. She disturbed the reflection of herself on the creep. She was the Swarm. The Swarm needed no one's help. They would devour all in their wake. With Dehaka, Stukov, Abathur, Izsha, Zagara and other brood mothers at her command, it wouldn't be as lonely as a journey as she first thought.

"Goodbye Jim..."

She stood up and telepathically linked her mind to all of her brood mothers.

"This is your Queen. All brood mothers, set your course for Aiur."

"Yes my queen."
Disclaimer: Thought this was dead eh?

"Kate Lockwell here, live from the UNN studio. Several hours passed since the invasion of Augustgard and there is still no sign of the successor, Valerian. Ever since the invasion of Char, he was officially declared KIA and given a military funeral with honors but unsubstantiated rumors did circulate that the Prince of the Dominion was alive. Now, without the Emperor's son in sight, there was been questions about who will take the line of succession. Until a new successor is decided, the military has announced its intention of governing..."

"Valerian, are you sure this is the best way to go?" asked Raynor over the intercom.

"This is the best way. I know what to do. I won't repeat the mistakes of my father," Valerian replied, "It's almost time Commander Raynor, I hope we can meet again under more favorable circumstances."

The image of Valerian disappeared and Matt looked over Raynor's shoulders. "Valerian is going to be crowned Emperor. If I hadn't spend as much time as I did with him aboard the Hyperion, I wouldn't have seen the contrast between him and his father. I...think, no, we've made the right choice."

"...are among our potential new Emperors. Wait a minute...we're receiving an unknown transmission and it appears that it! Breaking news! The Emperor's son lives! Prince Valerian is here!"

"If there's one thing they're similar in, it's that they both love to make an entrance," remarked Raynor with a genuine smile.
Yeah... I'd totally forgotten about this. Thanks for continuing it. totally awesome.
I really want to read this but I don't have HOTS T_T
"I didn't see it, and am happy you pulled it back up. It is interesting. An excellent job and I think you did very well showing the personality of the main story characters."
Watch a walkthrough of the game. That's what I did.
Well done. This could easily be the continuation of the story post-HotS.
I like this.

And yes, I thought it was dead.
"Jim, everyone is waiting at the cantina. Let's head over there," urged Matt. "We can listen to Valerian with my radio along the way."

"Prince Valerian! What a surprise to see you! We thought you were dead these few months!" exclaimed Kate Lockwell.

"Circumstances prevented my immediate return to the Dominion in the aftermath of Char Ms. Lockwell. It is a riveting tale and I am sure all of you watching live would love to know but there are more pressing matters at hand," answered Valerian.

There was a moment's pause before Kate Lockwell continued. "I'm sure you've heard the news then about your father..."

Valerian nodded his head grimly and bowed his head in silence. When he looked up, he wiped a tear from his eyes and straightened himself. "He was a great man with a vision. The Dominion has lost a great defender of humanity today. In time, we shall mourn his passing. But right now, we have greater priorities. The Zerg have ravished Augustgard. We must focus on rebuilding."

"And how will you do that?" asked Lockwell.

"I've organized the fleet to assist in relocating displaced persons in the attack. The Umojans have agreed to send medical aid, personnel, and food and their ships will arrive within the hour. There are other things in motion but rest assured citizens, I, Valerian Mengsk, will not abandon you in your time of of need."

"You've already sound like you've taken the mantle of throne," quipped Kate Lockwell.

"In due time, the crowning ceremony can come later. The livelihoods of my citizens are more important at this time. Ms. Lockwell, I am afraid we will have to cut this short. I must organize the recovery."

The transmission closed. "Well, there you have it! Valerian Mengsk the soon to be second Emperor of the Dominion and son of the late Arcturus Mengsk, lives! It appears he is already hard at work to help those who were impacted by the war! We'll bring you more breaking news in the coming hour!"

The crew of the Hyperion sat around the tables and watched with great interest at the last words spoken by Valerian. The UNN station cut into a commercial break and the crew members burst with a frenetic energy about them.

"Well, would you look at that! Seems like the apple did fall far from the rotten tree!" said Swann.

Matt walked up to Jim. "Valerian will need all the help he can get. We should continue to assist in the recovery efforts Jim."

"Yea, those folks will need our help. Adjutant, continue sending out our message and the search for more distress signals." Raynor motioned for Matt to follow him and they sat at a relatively quiet corner of the room overlooking the crew mates who were in good spirits.

Raynor poured himself a glass of wine and passed the bottle to Matt.

"So Matt, was this the way you envisioned your revolution?"

Matt grabbed the bottle. There was little left, hardly enough to pour so he emptied the contents quickly.

"Not at all Jim. To be honest, I didn't think that Kerrigan would play such a big role in our revolution. Without her, I don't think we would have ever toppled Mengsk. Now that I think about it, were we ever in a position to truly oust him?"

"You're thinking too much Matt," chuckled Raynor. He leaned against the desk and sighed softly. "Fate was kind to us Matt. I'm just glad its over. Arcturus Mengsk, the revolution, all of it. Now, there's no more need to Raynor's Raiders. Our mission is done."

"You trust Valerian wholeheartedly?" asked Matt.

"You spent the most time with him. You trusted him did you not? Sarah also made a conscious decision to avoid as much collateral damage as she could when Valerian asked her to avoid major centers. And I've seen with my own eyes the good he is capable of. So trust yourself Matt. Trust yourself. Our revolution was a success!"

"You're right, but are you serious about Raynor's Raiders not being needed anymore?" Matt asked seriously.

James Raynor looked up to the ceiling and closed his eyes. He knew Rayno's Raiders wasn't over yet despite the fact that his body yearned for this day. There were still things for him and his crew to do before he could officially call it quits.

"Yea, I was serious. But my retiring appears to have been postponed. C'mon Matt, let's help those folks! Break time's over!"
Within the bridge of the destroyer, Garani, the Protoss technician noticed a red light switch on. He furrowed his brow. A distress signal? This was the first in a long time patrolling this part of the sector. He set his fingers to work and began to download the message.

The newly appointed commander of the destroyer, was a promising and aspiring fleet officer but considered young and inexperienced by his much older peers, was resting when he heard the technician's voice in his mind.

"Commander Nalik! We've received a distress signal! It appears to have originated at Xa'ran, a Protoss colony world on the fringiest of Protoss space."

Nalik rose up from his commander's seat.

"Send me the recording," he replied back to the technician.

A light switched on his computer and Nalik flipped the switch on. Within his screen, the hologram of a horrifically injured Protoss emerged. His right arm was burned badly, so badly that it exposed the charred bones. Blood pored profusely from his chest. The look of desperation filled his face as he made several motions with hands.

This Protoss was recording during an attack! And from the looks of it, it seems to have been a complete surprise...I fear for the worst.

The message began to play with the desperate messenger collapsing on his knees:

To anyone who reads this message, the Zerg has launched a surprise attack on the colony of Xa'ran without any warning! We are no warriors and we were promised that no Zerg were in the sector! The few guards that were stationed in this particular colony has valiantly gave their lives for us but I fear it may have been for naught! By the time you received this recording, this colony may have been lost but there are others that may still be saved! By Tassadar, I hope this reaches someone in time! Oh no, I hear them outside the door, they're here!

The Protoss in the recording raised his hand in fear and the video shorted out. Nalik sat back down and relayed a message to headquarters.

"This is Commander Nalik to Headquarters, I've received a distress signal detailing that the colony Xa'ran has been attacked by Zerg forces whose numbers are unknown. I request additional firepower. Can you provide?"

"Xa'ran? But the Zerg were not suppose to be there. As much as I would like to send help, we cannot. What available ships we had have been sent out and it would take another hour before one of them returns. You are on your own Commander. You know what to do. For Aiur!"

"For Aiur!" Nalik saluted before the transmission was severed. Nalik's hands hovered over the ships intercoms system. This was his chance to prove himself! All the glory and commendations he would receive if he succeeded! Nalik let his imagination run a little longer. But...what happened if it didn't? The Zerg were always crafty. It would disastrous if he underestimated them. This wasn't his first encounter with them and he had no intention of letting it be his last.

Focus! I am an officer of the Fleet!

He pushed the button.

"Set course for Xa'ran. Get ready for battle against Zerg invaders."
Very good. Can't wait to see if Kerrigan's forces dropped down on Xa'Ran, or if Niadra attacked them..
Disclaimer: 2 months. What did I do during those two months? Perhaps a mini RP of what's to come? Debatable. Quite debatable.

The destroyer warped in above Xa'ran. Nalik searched through the Protoss network for information on Xa'ran. In the past, it was a telluric planet. As a result of violent earthquakes and constant upheaval of magma from the planet's core, much of its surface reshaped into large, winding, jagged, crevasses that sometimes descended several hundred feet deep into the abyss. Although in time, the planet's violent tendencies calmed down and life flourished on its surface as its climate became much more temperate.

Nalik continued to read the files on Xa'ran. The Protoss there numbered some two hundred fifty personnel; a very good portion of them were from the Furinax Tribe, the craftsmen and skilled workers of the Protoss. It surprised Nalik that so many non-combatants Protoss were gathered at Xa'ran.

The technician spoke, “Commander, I've mapped out the surface of Xa'ran with our long range scanners. They have indicated zerg biomass concentrated in these three locations with sparse amounts throughout other parts of the planet.”

“What of the settlements?” Nalik inquired.

“Of the five settlements that are present on the surface, it appears all but one of them is lost. It's no coincidence that it's also the same place where the Zerg biomass is most concentrated,” replied the technician.

“The Zerg work fast. Save the colonists and then purge the Zerg from the is a race against time then. These are the coordinates to the remaining settlement? Show me the Zerg movement on the screen.”

“Of course,” replied the technician and with a touch of button, a hologram appeared covered in rapidly moving red dots. Three hundred meters away from his destroyer. Nalik's eyes followed the moving dots on the screen. This was a sizable brood.

“They smell blood on the water. It will be very close-”

“We're receiving transmissions from the remaining settlement. Patching the transmission to your desk Commander.”

A Protoss hologram appeared in front of Nalik. The Protoss wore a tight fitting wraparound robe reminiscent of the attires high templars wear that exposed the right shoulder. Nalik quickly recognize this Protoss as a female. Her face was narrow and she had sharp cheekbones and a pointed chin, along with a determined though tired look in her eyes.

“I am the high templar Ayana,” she introduced, “I took control of the survivors when our leader was killed in a surprise attack. The situation is dire down here. The Zerg came after our ships first and everything went to hell after that. I've rallied as much as survivors as I could; there's a little over fifty of us and we've repelled skirmishes but we won't last. We aren't soldiers. We need evacuation.”

“Greetings noble one. I am Commander Nalik, captain of this Protoss destroyer. I am sorry I could not arrive earlier. I will tell you now that there are Zerg forces heading for the settlements. Are your psionic matrixes functional?”

Ayana quickly glanced around. “Barely. The nexus took heavy damage from the last attack. It's leaking energy badly.”

“Can you warp in the survivors to my ship?” asked Nalik.

Ayana paused and slowly began to speak. “No one has built in teleportation suits besides the guards and most of them are dead. I can try warping in through the matrix...but it'll be a slow process. The recharge on the psionic matrix will recover energy slowly necessary for the warp ins and with each warp in, our position to defend is greatly weakened.”

Nalik cracked his neck and was silent. If only the nexus' matrix field was fine! He could easily warp in all the survivors to his ship without any hassle. He looked again at the map. 164 meters away from the destroyer, well within the firing range. Red dots continued to stream in. There was no way the survivors could hold and a single destroyer could not be in all places at once. The presence of flyers would complicate things greatly for him.

But where were they? Nalik saw not a single movement that indicated movement indicative of mutalisks or corruptors. Did this brood not have access to those strains yet? Perhaps there was a way then.

“Ayana, did you face any zerg flyers?” asked Nalik.

“Besides their overlords, no. I have not seen one. If there were, we'd all be dead long before you'd arrive. Do you have a plan in mind?” Ayana replied.

Nalik's eyes shone. A flip was switched on. The birth of an intelligent strategy and the challenge of properly executing it made his blood boil. Taking great pain to steady his voice. “Yes, without their air support, this might just work. I have a destroyer at my disposal but it won't be enough to stem the tide of Zerg. How defensible is your position?”

“It's a good part of the reason why we held on so long,” replied Ayana with some apprehension in her voice, “If you have something in mind, hurry it up! The Zerg aren't waiting all day for you!”

Nalik nodded in agreement. “Yes, they won't be waiting. I will warp in as many warriors as possible to your position. Do your best to stabilize the field. They are seasoned fighters and they will hold the line against the Zerg that break through my barrage. In the meantime, shuttles will head over and pick you and the rest of the survivors up. Once this is done, I'll recall all warriors on the ground. We can discuss what transpired later.”

"Hope that there are no unforeseeable contingencies. I pray that your plan works Commander. Good luck."

The transmission closed. Nalik rubbed his hands together. He looked at a khaydarian crystal and in a flash, his orders were sent out. Protoss warriors would warp in to the settlement and transport would evacuate the survivors at the same time while his destroyer would rain down fury on the Zerg masses below. He saw it all unfold in his mind.

"Weapons systems are all online and ready to go," said a crew member.

Nalik looked at the map once again. The Zerg were some 70 meters away from the settlement now and were converging at multiple sides.

"Fire at will," answered Nalik.
So glad to see this continuing. Excellent update.

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