The Curse of Choice
Disclaimer: I don't own Starcraft nor any of its characters.
Note: Takes place between the first and second mission of Episode VI. I'm also going by the assumption that the player character celebrates of Episodes II and VI are one and the same. Also, this was written before Queen of Blades was released, hence I didn't know that the cerebrate was popped off by Zeratul.
A/N: I've finally changed Celebrate to Cerebrate.
"Well Cerebrate, have you reached a decision yet?"
If Kerrigan had been talking directly to the celebrate rather than communicating via the brood she'd established from her primary hive she would have seen the celebrate heave its massive, bloated form, almost the equivalent of a sigh. Although situated on creep and guarded by numerous Zerg warriors and sunken colonies, its environment still made it feel ill at ease. Tarsonis was a temperate world, abundant in flora and fauna, although the later had been reduced significantly given the destruction that the Zerg invasion had wrought on the planet. Although most of their time and energy had been spent eliminating the Terrans while searching for the source of the psychic emanations (later revealed to be psi emitters, cunning bastards), they'd managed to purify the planet of its lesser creatures, none worthy of glorious assimilation.
Still, the planet was teeming with life for the most part, its nauseating presence nearly driving the celebrate mad. The celebrate would have given anything to be on Char at this moment, although the fact that it was currently occupied by UED troops who'd enslaved the new Overmind made it slightly less appealing. Such a magnificent species under the control of lesser beings…it was nothing short of blasphemy against the cosmic order!
"Cerebrate, you have a choice. And quite frankly, I don't think it's a difficult one."
Ah yes, the matter of choice. Almost funny how Kerrigan was only giving him a choice now after she'd whisked him away to Tarsonis forcefully, having severed his link with the Overmind. The cerebrate wasn't sure whether to be thankful for that or not, given that if he'd been serving the Overmind he would have ultimately been serving the UED, a fate worse than death, or at least that's what his psyche told him. He found it hard to comprehend though, what death actually meant. Death was simply what the enemies of the Zerg experienced as they were defeated, a fact that was completely inconsequential. Zerg warriors died by the millions, but that was of little more consequence. It was the equivalent of cells dying inside an organism-unnoticed, the result of mitosis.
"You're trying my patience cerebrate."
Kerrigan was pushing him and the cerebrate knew that he'd have to speak (technically contact through their brood link) soon. It was just that the concept of choice was as alien to him as death. In his short existence, he'd never been presented with a choice. He was to protect the chrysalis and later Kerrigan, their lives entwined. The cerebrate had never questioned his orders and even if he had, was genetically incapable of ignoring them. Choice was a burden for the Overmind alone.
He remembered from what he knew of human history that choice was supposedly a blessing that everyone should share, a common right. Why did they covet such a thing? Choice was a curse, including the fear of choosing one option over another almost unbearable, almost as terrifying at the fact that he knew that if killed, his severed link with the Overmind would prevent him from reincarnating.
The link wasn't completely severed however-his genetic code was seemingly trying to compel him of declining Kerrigan's offer of serving under her. Doing so would not bring benefit the Overmind, he knew that Kerrigan sought to claim dominion over all the Zerg swarms. Yet if he refused, he'd be forced to experience the phenomenon that was death. The thought terrified him. Fear. That was an anathema too.
The cerebrate knew that he could either confront his fear of choice or confront his fear of death. It was one or the other. Eventually, he made his decision, the first step on a dark road;
"I will serve under you. I shall lead the swarms in your name."
"Good, you've made the correct decision. I'm awaiting an old…acquaintance to arrive. In the meantime, carry out the production of warriors as you see fit."
The cerebrate felt Kerrigan sever the brood link, but it was only a faint feeling. What had consumed him was a far more strange experience. He'd confronted his fear of choice and felt…good, about it. Choice was a curse wasn't it? But if that was the case, why was he obtaining pleasure from the fact that he had done so?
The cerebrate chose not to dwell on it and began to oversee production. He'd experience his newfound comparative freedom slowly.
Yet he was looking forward to doing so.