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Sergeant Joe Tarn is a valiant, loyal solider who would give his life to defend his great civilization. The Zerg have taken everything from this young warrior and he intends to take his revenge against them. But when his division is betrayed and left for dead by one of their own, Joe and a small band of friends and soldiers will band together to hunt down the traitor and return the favor. But easier said than done...

Part One

"The Broken Promise"

Prologue

In the year 2379, 100 years after the first humans entered the space that later became known as the Terran Dominion, many things have happened. The first humans to come to this system of planets had a shaky start. Having ended up in this system by a major accident, they fought for survival on the three plants that they landed on. After a few decades the survivors and their offspring had come across the ability to travel between plants and reunite with their fellow survivors.

Sharing what they had learned with each other they grew to be a prosperous system. Tarsonis, the strongest of the three world planets, explored the other uninhabited plants of the Terran system, allowing them to make leaps and bounds in natural resources and in there military might. The Confederacy was born on Tarsonis and was the main form of government for the colonies. One of the plants, Kel-Moria, which benefited from having the largest resource mining operation, thought that the Confederacy might try to take over there mining facility. This lead to a war which lasted four years ending with the Confederacy winning.

This established the Confederacy to being the supreme power in the system. The Confederacy became power and land hungry. They recklessly expanded their system which angered many people. Pirate forces cropped up everywhere. The biggest of these was an entire planet by the name of Korhal. Korhal was a hot bed for anti-confederate citizens. Noticing this, the Confederacy ordered the annihilation of Korhal. One thousand Apocalypse-class nuclear missiles were fired at Korhal decimating the plant. 4,000,000 people were killed in the attack. This gave birth to the Sons of Korhal. It became the most powerful threat to the Confederacy and they became the most wanted people in the sector.

During the conquest to control the sector a strange alien force know as the Zerg seeded its self on four of the Terran planets. Then without warning a huge alien force identifying themselves as Protoss burned one of the planets that was harboring the Zerg, Chau Sara, to nothing. The Protosses intentions were to destroy the Zerg and the planets they infected, but the Terran who knew noting of the Zerg ordered the defense of the planet that was targeted next, Mar Sara. The Protoss mysteriously withdrew there forces. A short while later the humans discovered the Zerg seeded on the world of Mar Sara.

Having seen this the Protoss moved in and gave a little more warning to the people of the planet before destroying it. The Sons of Korhal continued to fight the confederacy and eventually overthrew it. But in the mean time of this the Zerg had been destroying. Nine of the fourteen planets in Terran control were destroyed. Arcturus Mengsk ,the leader of the Sons of Korhal became the leader of the new Terran Dominion.

But his rein was short lived though seven years after it was formed the Terran Dominion crumbled. Earth forces who had traveled 60,000 light years came to reclaim the wayward human colonies. Ultimately failing in this goal, the Earth forces were all killed by Kerrigan the new Queen of the Zerg, who was once a high ranking officer in the Sons of Korhal. She became infected and is now what she is. She had Arcturus assassinated and doomed the rest of humanity by ordering there planets destroyed.

It seemed like the end for humanity who were scattered, divided, and leaderless. But hope came in the form of a galactic senate. They commanded to remaining human forces to many victories against the Zerg and ultimately saving humanity form a terrible fate. But bureaucracy soon formed in this senate and it became corrupt. Determined not to relive the mistakes of the past and plunge humanity into another civil war, a man came and ended the senate and formed a new government. Joe Raynor became the leader of the Terran Dominion and its future never looked brighter.

It is now 2473 and the Zerg have redoubled their efforts to wipe humanity from the system. Raynor continues to lead the humans in a defense against the Zerg but it is not going well. The Zerg have been being lead by Kerrigan herself. The heroes of the old wars are dead and humanity is starting to panic. But hope smiles on us again with the Protoss joining our ranks. Although many people still distrust the Protoss for burning the human’s worlds, they were welcome in the fight.

It is looking up for the human race now and we are fighting side by side with beings who were once considered enemies. Now our story takes place on a newly constructed Tarsonis the very heart of human civilization. In 2479 we fallow Joe Tarn a hopeful marine recruit who hopes to defending his great civilization.

Joe’s boots clanked on the metal floor of the dropship as he walked over to his seat next to Jon. He was leaning forward with his head on his rifle. “Nervous?” Joe asked, taking his seat and running his armor’s on board computer through its scan of the armor. “A little.” Jon answered in a shaky voice. “It’s natural.” came a voice from the ramp. Joe turned to see Drake standing there. “You ready sergeant?” “Yes sir!” Joe said with a little more enthusiasm than he felt. Drake walked past placing his hand on Jon’s shoulder for a second then moving up to the cockpit. “Pilot we’re ready to move.” “Roger sir.” Drake took his seat on Joe’s left just as his scan reported all good. They were the closest to the ramp. “Well sergeant here we go.” “Yes sir.” Joe said. He pulled his rifle’s power cord into his suits power supply and the gun’s ammo counter flashed “150”. “You’re ready for this Joe. I know you are. This will be a quick in and out mission. No need to lose anyone.” “Sir, why don’t they just bombard the place and kill all the Zerg so we don’t have to risk our lives sticking our heads in their holes to see if they’re there?” Joe asked. “Military is very short on resources here. They're trying to conserver. So, instead of wasting rounds on killing a few Zerg they send in the pros to kill them.” “Makes sense sir.” “Good.” “Ten minutes to drop sir.” came the pilot’s voice from the cockpit. “Listen Joe. You’re my best man. I need you to look sharp out there. Just watch your corner and get all you men back here alive. There’s no need for anyone to di-” Drake was cut off by a huge explosion that shook the whole ship. “Mayday, mayday, we are going down. Repeat. Scourge explosion hit us. We are going down. Mayday, mayday.” The pilot chanted as the ship spiraled out of control. Joe looked up at the damage made by the Scourge. The entire left side of the ship, except the seats closest to the ramp, were gone. “Brace for impact.” the pilot yelled.

The ship slammed hard into the ground and Joe was stunned for a moment. He regained conciseness quickly to see Drake opening up the ramp and yelling, “Come on marines, go go go.” Joe picked up his rifle, grabbed Jon by the helmet, and ran out into the sun.

The sun was so bright it made Joe squint as he left the burning wreckage of the dropship behind him. Explosions were going off behind him and Joe heard the two other dropships fly overhead. Joe noticed just then that Jon wasn’t moving and that Joe was dragging him. He looked down to see a huge gash on Jon’s left forehead. “Jon? JON?!? Wake up!” Joe shouted at him, no response, “MEDIC.” “What’s up?” came a frantic voice from behind. Joe looked back to see Dale standing there in his maroon armor, “Get a medic! Jon’s fucked up.” Joe yelled to Dale. He ran off and Joe looked back to Jon. His eyes were closed and blood was pouring out of the wound. The cut was deep. A sheet of flying metal must have hit him.

Joe flashed back to high school. Heath class. He remembered his teacher saying something about what you should do if someone had a wound like this, but he couldn’t remember. Goddamn it. Why hadn’t he paid more attention. Think, think… apply pressure to the wound! The thought sprung into Joe’s mind. Joe forced his hand over the cut and pushed down. He waited there with Jon bleeding to death under him for about thirty seconds until a medic showed up with Dale at her side. She lifted her visor as she got closer. Her pretty face stood out against her all white armor with a red cross over her chest. She couldn’t have been over thirty.

She knelt down next to Joe and examined Jon’s gash. Her chestnut, brown hair fell over her eyes. She pushed it back behind her ears before moving Joe’s hands away. Leaning more over Jon’s face, her hands went behind her back and she pulled out a sack. Tearing it open, she pulled out two white rectangular pieces of gauze. Placing them both over Jon’s cut she said to Joe, “Apply pressure.” “Yes ma’am.” Joe responded, placing his hands over Jon’s wound again, “He’ll be alright won’t he?” “I think so. It’s a deep cut and it’ll leave a scar if…” she trailed off. “‘IF’ what?” Joe asked worriedly. “IF I can treat it before he loses too much blood.” “Oh my god,” Joe thought. If Jon died it would all be his fault. He pressured Jon into joining the marines. He didn’t want to come to this fucking place. Joe talked him into it. “Take his pulse.” the medic ordered Dale. She had a really commanding voice. Dale knelt down to and put his hand up to Jon’s neck. Shaking his head he said, “It’s weak.” “What’s goin’ on here?” came Drake’s voice from Joe’s right. Joe thought it took Drake a little too long to notice that three people in full body armor kneeling over one marines unconscious, bleeding body. “He took some shrapnel to the head sir.” came the medic’s voice without even looking up to see who it was. She sounded, if possible, annoyed by Drake’s presence. “Will he be alright Tracy?” Drake asked in the same annoyed voice she did. “If you stop asking me questions and start letting me heal…yes.” she replied savagely. Joe sensed some kind of old spark between these two but he paid no attention to it. His top priority would be to get Jon back up and moving before Zerg started coming in.

Drake let off a dark look to her and keyed into his tac-com unit inside his helmet. “Sparrow 1, Sparrow 3, come in over.” “This is Sparrow 3 we copy over.” “Sparrow 3 maintain positions until we arrive at the attack zone.” “Copy that Sparrow 2 we will wait for your arrival.” Joe hardly noticed that Tracy was pushing his hands off of Jon’s head wound. Joe pulled his hands off the wound and looked down at them. They were covered in blood. Stained a bright, blood red. Jon’s blood. Tracy moved a strange instrument over Jon’s head that emitted a ball if light at the end. She moved it up and down over the wound, and it slowly closed up. He was pale. “How’s his pulse?” she asked Dale. “Still weak.” Tracy pulled a bottle from her waist and pulled two bright red pills from it. She pulled open Jon’s mouth and forced them down his throat. “Those are blood replenishing pills. He should wake up in about a minute or two.” she said standing up. She had strange eyes. They were a light blue around the middle and slowly turned to brown. They went with her appearance well though. Joe stood up too, “Thank you.” he said. “It’s my job.” Tracy replied, holding out her hand, “Tracy Calmanes.” Taking it Joe replied, “Joe Tarn. The life you saved down there is Jon Rulli.” Jon stirred a little and opened his eyes. The color had returned to his face. “ What happened?” he asked rubbing his head. “You were hit in the head by some shrapnel. You’re all better now though.” Tracy explained. For the first time Joe looked around the crash sight. Marines were huddled together behind some rocks forming a rough perimeter. A few bodies were on the ground as well and they weren’t moving. Joe caught sight of a marine leaning against his rifle holding his left leg. “Sergeant.” came Drake’s voice. Joe looked over to see him waving Joe over to him. Joe walked over to him. “HQ this is Sparrow 2. We have been hit by Zerg scourge on route to attack zone. Request pick up to shuttle us up to target.” Drake spoke into his comm unit. “Sparrow 2, how far are you from target?” “Three miles sir.” “Negative on the pick up. Sorry you’ll have to walk it. Have you sustained casualties?” “Yes sir. We have.” “What are the numbers?” “I don’t know sir but we have sustained injuries.” turning away from his comm unit he asked Joe, “Joe can you climb back into the dropship and see if the pilot is alright? I haven’t seen him come out yet.” “Yes sir.” Joe said nodding and made his way back over to the crash.

Joe climbed into the hole in the side of the ship. There was blood splattered in random places through out the ship. Looks like Jon wasn’t the only one to get hurt. Making his way up to the cockpit he thought he smelled fuel leaking somewhere. Joe looked through the door and saw the pilot. He was alive and moving. The cockpit windshield was broken and from what Joe saw, most of the pieces made there way into the pilots face. He wasn’t bleeding to badly though. “You alright?” Joe asked. He jerked his head to Joe’s direction and surveyed him for a moment. He finally said, “My legs are pinned under the dashboard and I can’t move it. Please don’t leave me here.” “I’m not going anywhere. Let me see what I can do.” Joe assured him, walking over to the dashboard and lifting it up enough so the pilot could get out. He was in a grey jumpsuit with a brown flight helmet with goggles over his eyes. He calmed down a lot when Joe walked him out into the open. “Thanks a lot man.” He said to Joe. “No problem.” They walked over to Drake who was standing in the middle of the perimeter still talking to his radio. Jon joined up with Dale at the line looking a lot better than he did a few minutes ago. Spotting Joe and the pilot Drake said to his radio, “The count is seven dead, two wounded.” “Roger that Sparrow two. We’ll send a ship down later to pick up the bodies. You start walking to your target.” “Sir, I am requesting a scan of the route from here to there just to be sure there aren’t and Zerg waiting for us.” “Roger on the scan Sparrow two. Hold position for a minute.” Looking up from his helmet Drake turned to Joe, “We’ll be moving out in two. I’m placing the marines under your command and I’ll take the ghosts.” “Yes sir.” Joe replied. “What about me sir?” the pilot spoke up. “I suggest you stay here. No use coming with us, you can‘t fight. Just stay here and wait for the dropship.” Drake said. Joe just remembered, “Sir what’s between you and that medic?” Drake seemed caught off guard by this question, he replied, “Her and I have an…interesting past. But now is not the time to discuss it.” Drakes radio chirped, “Captain, you have Zerg bearing down on you position. Start moving now.” It appeared that the whole team was listening in on Drake’s conversation because everyone stopped. Joe’s heart skipped a beat. “You heard him marines. GET MOVING!” Drake yelled, “Sir what are their numbers?” “Looks like twenty to thirty Zerglings and five to ten Hydras.” “Shit. Sir requesting reinforcements.” As Joe started to rally his marines behind him he heard the reply, “We don’t have any human forces in the area. Your on you own.”

Joe switched his weapon’s firing mode from semi-automatic to fully automatic as he ran in front of the others. He kept running until Drake caught up with him and said, “Sergeant we won’t be able to outrun them. We have to stand and fight.” “Yes sir” Joe said shakily. “Bring your men over there-” He pointed to a trench in the soil, “Dig in and give them hell.” “Where are you going sir?” Joe wondered. “I’m going to hide our ghosts in the rocks to the right and flank them as they come down the hill. “Yes sir.” Joe lead his men into the trenches and kept his sights on the top of the hill. There they waited. In complete silence. Waiting for them. Joe lowered his visor in this calm-before-the-storm. After less than five minutes in the trench, Joe saw the silhouette of a hydra on the hill top. He opened fire. As did the rest of the line. Joe’s tracer rounds were flying off to the creatures left. How could this be? He had his aiming reticule square on the Zerg’s body. Some asshole must have set this things aim up wrong. So Joe compensated for this inconvenience by aiming slightly to the right. It worked! The hydra fell to the ground in a bloody heap, but as it did more Zerg came over the hill to take his place. They were fast little fuckers. Joe and the rest held them off for a while until they came too close for comfort. About fifteen feet away a Hydralisk opened up the chest cavities that contained their deadly arsenal of armor piercing spines. Joe lined up his rifle and sent a burst of hypersonic 8mm Impaler spikes into its soft chest cavities. Little bits of flesh and blood streamed out the other side. It collapsed in a pool of dark red blood. Zerglings started making there way into the trench.

One by one they started to get through. The line was breaking. Where was Drake? Joe could now here screams of marines. A Zergling leapt into the trench right next to Joe and he didn’t stop shooting until it was so full of depleted uranium shells it just lie on the ground, twitching. He was sure it was dead. “Retreat. RETREAT!!!” Joe yelled as loud as he could over the screams and gun fire. Wait. Retreat to where? Well, too late now. Joe jumped out of the trench and waited until everyone who was able to get out, was out. Then he pulled out a grenade, pulled the pin, tossed it, and ran like hell. His servos moaned as he jumped over bodies along the way until he caught back up with his marines. A blood curdling scream echoed across the field. Joe turned to see Tracy on her back and a Zergling tearing away her armor. Joe raised his gun, took aim, and, with one shot, killed the Zerg. “Form on me.” Joe screamed as he ran over to grab Tracy. Joe got to her and killed the Zerg nearest them and looked back.

Five men were running to him and two were running away still. Either they didn’t hear him or they didn’t listen to him. The five men formed and lined in front of Tracy, who was bleeding badly from her attack. The Zerg gave them one last charge. Joe opened up again and so did the line. It didn’t hold them. Then Joe’s weapon stopped firing. It had overheated. He held the trigger down too long and now he lost his best defense. Throwing it to the ground he pulled his pistol from his side and started firing. Putting 5mm holes into the Zergling nearest him.

He shot until all twelve shots were gone. He managed to take down a Zergling and severely cripple a Hydralisk by blowing off one of its scythe-like claws, but the other Zerg had gotten too close. The rest of Joe’s, line except two men, had run for it. But Joe wasn’t just going to abandon the women who saved his best friends life. He would fight to the death to defend her now. Joe fumbled to reload his weapon. Knowing it wouldn’t do anything. Looking up he saw a Hydralisk eight feet from where he stood. Time froze. Joe remembered everything from his life. His first birthday, to his dad, brothers, and sister leaving, to getting there death letters, to mom killing herself, to Jon’s parents telling him what happened, training, meeting Tiffany, their first kiss, to, finally, the last thing that he told her, “I’ll be fine. I promise.”… Joe’s life flashed before his eyes in that moment. Looks like he would have to break that promise after all. He was going to die. Time resumed, the Lisk launched his head at him, mouth open, its red eyes gleamed in the sunlight, and Joe threw his arms in front of his face and closed his eyes. It was all over.

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