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Fall of Tarsonis, Part IIEdit

The chill in the room was very pronounced. No one there liked to displease the honorable Daniel Travincal, and for more than one reason.

"Well, erm," stuttered James, "Sarah is doing a bit of that..."

"Just Sarah? She's preoccupied with fighting the Others! Surely you don't think that's going to help save anyone! The Others could very well be our allies! What are we doing to lessen the casualties?" Daniel wore an angry expression on his face.

"Nothing, sir, the guys at the top expressly forbid us to defend the civilians, and we don't dare question them."

"Right, well we have to follow the rules," he replied sarcastically with a glare. It was certainly immoral to have a mobilized force out here far away from any civilians or military forces and simply waiting while thousands of civilians died every second elsewhere across the planet. It seemed particularly conserved and selfish - something he attributed to Mengsk, the leader of the Sons of Korhal. Mengsk, he reasoned, had outstayed Daniel's welcome. "James, do you sometimes get the feeling that we're not acting humane anymore? That we are fighting the wrong way, against the wrong enemies?"

He nodded resolutely. "I think we ought to abandon the Sons of Korhal, Daniel. And I'm saying this because I mean it, even though by saying this I could very well end up court-martialed."

"Good. Where are the others?"

"They're all off dictating the course of battle elsewhere."

"Right. Have Chris and Sarlena return here. Also bring back to me their remaining men. Don't alert Kerrigan, or Mengsk, for that matter."

James snapped off a salute, then went off to do as he had been ordered. Daniel meanwhile made temporary home inside the makeshift command center.

A few minutes later, a dropship returned from the distant battlefields, bringing with them Daniel's most trusted friends and their faithful soldiers. These two "important people" met up with Daniel, who for his part was gazing at an improvised supercomputer depicting the forces across the capital world with multicolored blips. The Zerg dominated an entire hemisphere; between them and the Sons of Korhal, the defending Confederates were losing ground. Also, in the non-Zerg hemisphere, were yellow blips. Daniel called for James. "What are these yellow blips representing?"

"Oh yes, those. I forgot to tell you about them. They're another race of aliens. They've got--"

"Yes, Yes, I know," Daniel replied irritatedly, a response which took Sarlena by surprise. "Sorry; that was a rhetorical question. I met them already. Let them fight the Zerg. We're moving out."

"Sir?" said several of the commanders.

"I said, we're moving out. If Mengsk and Kerrigan prefer to indulge in exacting their pent-up revenge against the Confederacy, well it's not up to us to stop them. They'll meet their fates eventually, or see the error of their ways, waging this war of revenge on fellow humans."

"Colonel, sir! Incoming message from the Confederates. It seems that their last lines of defense are folding. They seem most desperate for any aid that can come to them."

"Oh no..."

"We have another incoming transmission," said the adjutant.

"This is colonel Kerrigan reporting. Our forces have been routed and we are on the run. Need immediate evac. Repeat: need immediate evac!"

"Kerrigan's forces have been located. They are not too far from where our fleet is positioned. However, none of the Sons of Korhal vessels are being dispatched to rescue them, however."

"This is an ignominy!" roared James. Daniel listened, dismayed.

At that point, Mengsk interrupted. "At long last, the Confederacy has been punished. The seeds of a new Terran Dominion have been sown, and--"

An outraged Raynor dared to interrupt the leader of the Sons of Korhal. "I don't care what seeds have been sown, what I know is that you've sent Kerrigan in there without any backup and I won't stand it!"

Mengsk was stunned for a moment. "You'll know you had better not cross me, Raynor. I have undergone way too much to see my plans fall in front of me. You shall not stop me." Then, a furious Arcturus terminated the connection.

Daniel turned furiously to James. "Okay, Jim, I understand that you are on my side on this issue, but what you just did was stupid. Now the Sons of Korhal and the Zerg have something in common." His leer clearly indicated he was referring to their mutual desire to eradicate Daniel's forces. Understanding dawned on James's face, and he grimly kept his mouth shut.

Daniel sighed as he looked away and stared off into nothingness. They would just have to wait to see the consequences of James' unpremeditated action...

"Adjutant, has the Sons of Korhal begun to move against us?" asked Daniel. If they did, Daniel and everyone else on the surface would be doomed. They had few naval forces under their direct control, whereas the Sons of Korhal were a sector-reknowned force with a sizable fleet in the vicinity and with a leader known to be crafty and insightful.

"Colonel, General Duke has armed the Ion Cannon on platform two. I fear they may be planning to use it against us if we attempt to abandon them and flee the planet. The weapon must be disabled before any attempt at escape is to be made."

"What! Why would they fire it at us?" questioned Michael.

"Because we've just crossed him, duh, and he's no idiot; he realizes we're planning to abandon him, and without us and our forces, he can't win Tarsonis," replied Sarlena.

"Well, what are we waiting for?" asked James. "Get ready to fight the Sons of Korhal platforms!" The other commanders began shouting orders. Outside, Daniel knew that the few starfighters under their direct control were getting their new instructions and preparing for take-off.

"Wait.. what's this about the ion cannon? Brief me on the ion cannon, someone!" shouted Daniel amidst the roar of multiple people speaking.

Christopher did so. "The Ion Cannon is a misnomer. It's an MD device."

"Err... what?"

"Intelligence reports a body of Zerg moving toward our ground position. ETA five minutes."

"MD. Molecular disruption device, a secret Confederate weapons plan that Arcturus Mengsk believed may have been stored in the supercomputer at Jacobs Installation."

"The heck is that? Why have I never heard of it?"

"Like I said, it's formerly a secret weapon."

"Well, so do we have its blueprints?"

"Alas, no. When it's fired, it completely obliterates its target, and becomes more effective with increasing mass of the target. Its effects can also jump from object to object, if they're too close together. The most effective target is a planet, and attacking anything close to the planet will result in the destruction of the planet and everything on it. Because Mengsk has the majority of his forces on Tarsonis, he won't be planning to use it against any of our ships that are too close to it."

Daniel groaned.

"How long does it take to recharge?" asked Daniel, referring to the wrongly-named "Ion Cannon".

"There's only one charge as of present, since it's so hard to make; and it's inside the ion cannon already, ready to fire. The problem is that since all the Sons of Korhal ships are currently in geostationary orbit right on top of us, and we don't have much in terms of naval military capability, we won't be able to get past them unless we concentrate our forces and try to make it out at one particular point. Such a concentration will be entirely wiped out by the cannon, and that's hoping he decides not to pursue us."

"Mengsk is such a bastard," Daniel concluded. "He ought to shoot it at Tarsonis! That'll kill off more Zerg than anything else."

"He still has illusions of taking over the planet and defeating the Zerg and the new aliens," replied Michael.

"Well, then, time to spring into action," Daniel spoke to no one in particular. "I'm going to ally myself with Mengsk. Raynor, get out of the room and don't say anything. The rest of you, he's dead." The others looked at him as if he were crazy, while simultaneously trying to digest what it was he had said. Meanwhile, Daniel had transmitted a request to speak with Arcturus. Mengsk's portrait appeared on the screen.

"What is it, Daniel? I don't think you're going to tell us that your underling didn't mean what he said."

"No, of course not. We have already disposed of the disobedient Raynor. We left him in the middle of space. Since we are now leaving the planet, I would like to make amends by having anyone you wish board all our dropships to make sure that he is no longer around any more. What do you think about that?"

Arcturus pondered this for a moment. "Hmm... interesting proposition. Fine then, I shall arrange for each of your crafts to dock with ours so that they may be checked. Adjutant, send our colonel the docking coordinates." The screen winked away.

The rest of the crew, which had been quiet for the duration of the transmission, suddenly tried to ask Daniel a host of questions, questions which he couldn't very well answer. Instead, he went back to the Red Wolves' dropship. "I'll give you all plenty of credits if we carry out our mission successfully," Daniel bribed them, and soon the dropship was lifting off, leaving a brilliant trail of ruby-gold flame in their wake. Elsewhere around their position, the other dropships and starfighters launched upward from the nearby avenue, leaving behind their makeshift command center amidst a sea of metallic debris and municipal ruins.

When they had reached geostationary orbit along with the rest of the fleet, the orbiting Sons of Korhal battlecruiser Hyperion docked with them, its crew members clueless as to Daniel's true intentions.

"Arm yourselves! We are going in to take the battlecruiser."

Once docked, Daniel gave the signal for their side of the twin doors to open. As soon as it did, the Red Wolves rushed into the atrium, weapons at the ready and all suited.

But their luck ran out just as they began their operation. Three times as many guards were lying in wait, weapons trained, and these fired their tranquilizers, knocking out all of the Red Wolves. Then they turned their guns on Daniel, who swiftly raised his hands in surrender and was escorted, captive, to the on-board prison.

Daniel was captivated by the ship's internal appearance. Daniel had never been aboard a battlecruiser before, much less a state-of-the-art one like the Hyperion. She was beautiful. Polished floor tiles and ornamental carpet, sleek white walls and ceilings, and ostentatious brilliant white lights filled out the wide hallway. Bands of gold and silver plates stretched across the walls and floors with style. On both sides were rows of frosted-glass doors. Plants in flower pots paved the sides of the halls, exuding fresh air. Even the prison room was spacious and made comfortable with considerable furniture, polished a dark cherry color. Elevators to the deck above and below had shiny, polished-metal door panes for doors, and had golden handles. It was difficult to imagine how much wealth went into the production of such a wonder.

Soon after he had been secured within, Daniel tried his telepathic powers once again. Using his mind and his new-found abilities, he sought out a slumbering crew member, and tried to enter into his dreams. May God not damn me for this, Daniel thought.

<Greetings.> Daniel strained from trying to formulate his message.

Wha! Who is this? asked the crew member in his sleep.

<God.>

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anything you request of me?

<One of my servants has been unjustly imprisoned in cell number three. Free him, or else.>

The crew member awoke with a start. Tapping his head and yawning, he recalled what had transpired in his dream--he had met God!!! And God had told him to do something, so he remembered... And he rushed to the battlecruiser's prison, and gave the message to an enthusiastic guard, who rushed to free Daniel. Just like that? This is getting too easy, Daniel thought as he walked away from the ecstatic pair of befuddled people who were thinking they were getting a definitive ticket to heaven...

Harbinger(T) :C | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55

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