With all the reports of attacks by the Alin on the fringes of Vinci territory, the last thing he was expecting to find was shimmering hollow sphere. Giacomo raised his hand as a sign to halt his Fusiliers, 31'first infantry platoon. A royal captain he didn't know well asked, "What is it?"

It was a fair question. "It a portal, but I never seen anything like it. It clear that the portal is the source of the trouble."

"How is it possible that you are a veteran of fifteen separate wars including the war of the eclipse and have no idea what this thing is?"

"That maybe the case soldier, but in all my days I never encounter somethings like this." His voice fell silent, the orb began to shimmer and radiating blast of intense light. He fell back blinded and as the blurry image came into focus, he was staring at a dog like creature. It was bizarre looking neither insect nor mammalian nor reptilian with mantis like appendages; with fur covering an exoskeleton. He approach it cautiously deciding to take a closer look but regretting the decision. The creature reacted to his presence by lunging at him. His men reacted instinctively shooting the creature. He was stunned by the sight of thing and wondering where in his world did it come from. Suddenly something got his attention, he looked up scanning the horizon for the source of disturbance. Sure enough, more of the creatures could be seen on horizon heading for them. "Make ready for battle."

...

Even in another reality torn apart by war, Kerrigan was watching. Boundaries meant nothing to her. She was staring at Giacomo, but not yet knowing his name, through the eyes of her hellish spawn.

"Who is he," Shequier asked in telepathic message that seemed more like bizarre beeping noise. But to Kerrigan, it felt like a gentle wave washing over her.

"I do not yet know," She said as her lip curled into snarl. "But he dares to defile my kin. The bigger question is what is this portal. What is the place beyond it."

"You never encountered it before?"

"It's strange that even in my human life, I have no recollection of anything like this. Nor is it been written in our DNA memory. It remain a mystery. The brood had discovered it on Mar Sara."

...

The sound was deafening as Giacomo's men volley fired into the creatures chitinous hides. Instinctively the men wanted to break the line, but their training prevented it. Giacomo couldn't believe what his eyes were telling him. Even with the men firing, the creatures kept advancing through the hail of rounds. The line of his men was slowly crumbling up against the creatures' onslaught. As the battle progressed there were soldiers knocked down or shredded by the creatures charging the line. His father had taught Giacomo how to be a leader; to stick to sidelines and keep order. He had no choice now though, he had to join his men in the brutal mêlée that had broken out between them and the monsters. He fired a round from his own musket splintering the head one of the creatures, leaped over its body, and clubbed another one over the head with his rifle. Then he stood his ground back to back with one of his men, going as far as holding one of the creatures off in a hand to hand struggle while the soldier reloaded his musket. "Fall back," Giacomo ordered at last. At the sound of the order the men broke formation and retreated away from the orb, while other stayed and bought them time to retreat.

"Halt," Giacomo ordered the remaining soldiers. "We are done running. We will make our stand here." Giacomo said to his remaining soldiers. The soldiers were lined up in a grove blocked off on both sides by trees. He wondered what remained of the men guarding the portal, but there was no time to think about that. So many lives of good men were extinguished in a blink of an eye. Giacomo vowed that someone would pay for this. Off in the distance he could see the scattered remnants of the creatures approaching. "Get ready," Giacomo bellowed. "Wait for my order to fire." Giacomo waited untill they were just about on top of them to fire. "Fire," he screamed with fury buried deep within. The creatures fell mid stride as they charge through the confine space of the grove. The volley fire continued stopping the creatures in their tracks. When the creatures finally closed the distance, Giacomo ordered, "Fixed bayonets. Charge!" The soldiers met the creatures's charge with a charge of their own. The two combatant collided like two opposing waves. The resulting fierce fighting was the worst Giacomo had seen in years. Finally, the creatures lay slain at Giacomo and his army's feet. The death toll for Giacomo army was horrendous. "Is this a victory," one of surviving men asked Giacomo?

He replied reluctantly, "What do the dead tell you?" Finally he addressed the rest of his men, "We have suffered a victory this day, but we can't stop here. We can not allow this evil to go unchecked. We must reunite to retake the orb. We likely march to are doom, but if doom is to befall us, then so be it. We will not let are legacy be forgotten."

...

Carthian hated being out on the frontier. It was boring too often, and way to hectic out of know where. He thought he spotted a wild animal out in the wilderness. It happened from time to time. It was never a concern though. Then he saw it again and just as quickly it was gone. He was starting to become interested, so he kept a lookout for it. A few seconds later it reappeared. This time it brought company. It looked like a large dog with praying mantis arms. It headed toward the outpost, then turned and ran back into cover. How odd Carthain thought. Suddenly there was three of them roaming around. Then there was five, six, seven ... He lost count. Suddenly they had surrounded the outpost. Then the mantis dogs uniformly formed up and charged from all sides. Carthain screamed, "Incoming." Several men joined him on the high walls wondering what was going on. When they looked out at the horizon, they froze. The creatures had formed a wave of bodies heading straight for them; an alarm bell range out. Carthain and several other men took aim at the wave while waiting for the order to fire. "Screw this," Carthain said to the man next to him. Carthain took aim and fired at one the creature scoring a confirmed kill. Several other musketeers took after his example and started firing. Soon everyone on the wall was firing. Carthain stopped firing when he heard footfalls behind him. He turned to see more imperial musketeers climbing up the stairs leading up to the walls. Among them was a Vinci officer and he was angry. "Who gave the order to fire," he screamed trying to be heard over the sound of gunfire. Carthain stood up, "It's my fault Sir. I didn't think we could afford to wait." The officer looked him up and down, "What is going on?" Carthain nodded his head at the swarm of creatures. "Skirmish formation," the officer ordered forgetting about Carthain discretion. Carthain prayed as he reloaded, and took a place along side the other Imperial musketeers. In minutes he watched as the sea of bodies enveloped the outpost. The creatures were for the moment kept out by the high walls, but the advantage was slipping away. The creatures somehow had begun piling up their own dead and were climbing on top of each other. Suddenly Carthain was staring face to face with one of the creatures. It curled into an offensive posture, ready to make the kill; Carthian raised his rifle in defense. The creature leaped forward with a killing blow, but was suddenly knocked away. A clockwork man, giant mechanical golem, suddenly had appeared. Along side it, Fusiliers had arrived from deep within the outpost. Carthain had completely forgotten the outpost had a few Fusiliers. He watched as the fusiliers mounted their bayonets and charge on to the walls. The fighting had been going on for hours since the 'official' order to fire had been given and Carthain was tired from all the fighting; he could hardly keep his eyes open. He and the rest of the musketeers were desperately low on ammo. He picked a target climbing up the wall of bodies and fired. The creature was hit and rolled down the wall joining the rest of the bodies. He then slumped against the wall tired and frustrated. He reaches for his canteen and puts it to his mouth, but it's empty. One of the musketeers picks him by his arm and hulled him to his feet. He was too tired to care. The fighting wore down his Psyche. He lost the will to go on. Damn these creatures he thought to himself, taking one last look around. Then he noticed the guns went silent. He was now waiting for the inevitable. He didn't care though. He would welcome the end.