Chapter 1-Shadowed Blades
(A/N: I wasn't intending on starting this so soon, but the appeal to writing it became too strong, and Leaf Ranger kind of unintentionally got me pushed into it early. Thanks man. ENJOY!)
If there was ever world in the Galaxy that personified the existence of Hell, it would be the volcanic, and fiery world of Char, and as with Hell itself this world was inhabited by demons. These demons were known as the Zerg swarm, which they in turn had a Devil ruling over them, and the Devil's name...was Kerrigan: The Queen of Blades.
The said Queen of Blades, who went by name Terrain name Kerrigan, and was the ruler of the Zerg swarm consisting of numbers that swelled to that of several hundred billion stood watching the chrysalis structure holding her newest prize. She smiled a cruel smile at what would become of this creation while in her hands, as she unleashed this powerful thing upon the Terrains, and the Protoss in the years to come after this power matured under her command. After nearly four long years since the Brood Wars, Kerrigan had been biding her time, sending small scouting forces of the swarm out to different worlds, and seeking out different creatures to assimilate into the swarm. Kerrigan knew that the Terrains, as well as the Protoss would use their time of licking their wounds since their defeat to advance themselves technologically to combat her, and the Queen of Blades knew she would have to do the same with the swarm.
Hence this latest acquisition Kerrigan had acquired less then a Month ago stirring slightly and its power spiking with the urge to be let out into the world. She smiled more, putting a hand on the cocoon, sensing the desire, the urge, and the power to take the Galaxy by the throat before shaking it down to its very foundation.
Oh yes. Kerrigan had indeed found herself something wonderful.
"Soon my child. Soon you will be among the swarm and take your rightful place as my Heir to the swarm. Just as I was the Overmind's favorite child, you will become mine, and will unleash your power upon our foes," said Kerrigan, as she felt the chrysalis now going through another spasm, and the creature inside getting even hungrier to please her.
Taking her hand off the cocoon, Kerrigan began to set things in motion to unleash her son upon the Galaxy, and make every world he touched rain blood. Her foes would tremble, worlds would be consumed, and all would bow to the power of the Zerg like no other in the Universe itself.
(Char Aleph-Unknown Amount of Time Later)
The cocoon rippled violently, as the creature inside wished to be let out of its birthing prison for who knows how long it had been locked away, and called out to its Mother to see its first breathe come to pass. The Zerg swarm assigned by the Queen of Blades to guard this creature became nervous, almost fearful of the creature hungry to be let out into the Galaxy, and the Hive commanding the Zerg on the space platform immediately communicated to Kerrigan of her son's imminent birth.
The Queen of Blades herself disembarked from her Overlord transport, ignoring the slime that came from being unloaded by the creature, Kerrigan walked over to the cocoon she ha moved here for safety reasons, and stood in front of the soon to be broken chrysalis. She watched with pride, as two psi blades cut through the organic life sack apart, the life support juices that had at one point bathed her when being converted by the Overmind now spilled out of the sack, and out with that same liquid also came the figure that was Kerrigan new offspring.
His name? It was Naruto. Uzumaki Naruto.
The once small child had his body enhanced to look like a man in his soon to be late teens, but with a height of 6'5, and built like he was born for combat. His body mass wasn't too overbearing, as the physiology of his body allowed Naruto to be agile in an almost unnatural way, and yet have a physical strength that was unnatural if he were a normal terrain. At his wrist just inches from the back of his hands were holes where the psi blades had come when freeing his body from the cocooned prison and turned them off instinctively just as he had turned them on.
His face looked like a normal terrain's face, but with "whisker" marks deeply imprinted on each cheek, his teeth were much sharper like a wolf while his "hair" was a mix of sun kissed blonde hair, and crimson blood red color in a wild almost untamed state. His skin was not the usual skin of a terrain, but more purple in color, scaled like the Zerg around him with heavy carapace armor around his shoulders, elbows, and the front part of his legs that he could manipulate with a mere thought. In the future, Naruto would realize that through thought and concentration, he could make his armor light or thick depending on the situation before him. The razor sharp claws in his hands could retract into normal human looking fingers and his own "wings" while not as many as Kerrigan just as sharp not to mention he could pull them into his body should they need to be hidden.
In Kerrigan's mind, the boy was perfect, and the ultimate Zerg hybrid aside from herself.
"Mother?" said Naruto looking at the woman before him with his head tilted to the side and looked at the Queen of Blades while sensing she was the leader of the Zerg swarm.
"Yes my child. I am your Mother. While not your Mother by birth, I am by hierarchical design of the swarm, and have brought about your rebirth into my family. Regardless of your birth origins, I am your Mother now, and you are my son. Do you understand what I am saying?" said Kerrigan seeing the boy she had turned into a hybrid like herself nod in obedient understanding.
"Yes Mother. I am yours to command," said Naruto seeing her smile at him.
"Good. Follow me and listen to what I say my child. You have much to learn under my gentle hands," said Kerrigan walking away from Naruto and her new son was instantly beside her ready to learn with the bond between them already strong from the start.
"Mother, why is it my voice doesn't sound like yours?" said Naruto after a time with them walking and Kerrigan stopped to look at him.
"I don't know. Does it matter? Just because you do not talk like me doesn't mean you are any less a child of the swarm. Look at it this way my son, if there was ever a need for a terrain sounding voice to be used in any form of infiltration, I know who to use, and you will do your job well," said Kerrigan sensing his desire to speak in the same kind of way as she did.
To further prove he was indeed one of her children and not just some Terrain in Zerg skin.
"Maybe in time, I could learn to evolve my voice, and speak in a tone worthy of you," said Naruto hopefully seeing the Queen of Blades smile.
"Maybe. Until then, I like your voice the way it is, and find it to be...soothing," said Kerrigan leaving no room for discussion and sensed Naruto was dropping it.
They made their way to an Overlord floating nearby and entered it before the floating creature flew them to Char to be connected to her swarm on the highest level. Kerrigan wanted her child to train himself using only the most deadliest of Zerg so he could fully understand and control his abilities that she sensed would one day rival hers. Normally, Kerrigan would crush anything that could possibly pose a threat to her life, or that of the Zerg swarm upon the realization of such power existing.
However, the loyalty that she had instilled upon the boy's mind when in the chrysalis had made Naruto loyal to the Queen of Blades, and Kerrigan knew that such a power had a much better use in being under her command rather then not being used at all. She still remembered the Overmind's decision to let his daughter achieve the full potential of her mind. About how some of the more "Senior" Cerebrates had been less then happy about the personal pursuit Kerrigan wish to undertake to make herself the strongest among the swarm while being second only to the Overmind.
Kerrigan saw a lot of herself in Naruto, which from what she saw of his memories meant Maelstrom, should be allowed to match the name given, and unleash his namesake upon the Galaxy. Her new son's psionic power was indeed incredible, as the boy's "Father" had no doubt discovered, and tried to teach Naruto how to control it before falling into her ever loving lap. Indeed, it was wise of her enemy to hide the boy, as Kerrigan would have done the same, and prepared the child to be used against her foes like they no doubt planned to do.
Then again...Zeratul would not stain his honor in doing something so dishonorable in merely using the child just to exact his revenge. The Dark Templar would rather use his own psi blades to pierce Kerrigan's heart, then let some Terrain child do it, and remove what purity the boy had in the process.
"Mother," said Naruto sensing his Mother's thoughts wonder to the Protoss.
"Yes?" said Kerrigan, as she sensed him, and what he had picked up from her mind.
"I sensed your thoughts regarding the Dark Templars. Namely the one called...Zeratul. You considered him my...my Father. Is that true?" said Naruto hesitant to enrage his Mother, as he had sensed the lingering hatred for the Protoss, and for the Terrains with a single figure being the core of that hatred for the latter of the two species.
"Yes. Just as I am not your Mother by birth, neither is Zeratul your Father, and you were once a terrain like I was before the Overmind changed me. As I changed you. What do you remember before becoming my son? Before becoming Zeratul's son" said Kerrigan turning to face him, their mental link to the other in perfect harmony, and any kind of lie spoken by her son would instantly be detected.
"I remember...images. Shadows within memories. All of them vague, yet I sense...they were...cruel memories. They were of...anger, fear, hatred...and...and sorrow," said Naruto seeing Kerrigan nod in understanding.
"And what of your time with Zeratul?" said Kerrigan knowing the Dark Templar would never hurt this child if under his care.
"I sensed...sorrow. He was...in pain, yet there were no physical injuries. Happiness came eventually, but the pain was still there, and an...incredible sense of anger aimed at...at you Mother!" said Naruto, as he didn't know what had befallen his surrogate parents to make them hate each other, but it was there, and it confused him.
"Do not concern yourself with such things my son. Now is not the time to think about my past connection with your surrogate Father. For now, training must be done to hone your skills, and contribute to the swarm," said Kerrigan seeing the boy nod his head submissively and followed his Mother deep into the massive Hive.
(Planet Agria-Unknown Amount of Time Later)
Naruto hated keeping his true form suppressed to make himself look like one of the weak Terrains on this planet, as he had been ordered to by his Queen of a Mother to observe when it came to infesting Terrains, and seeing just how far she could go to turning them into loyal pawns of the Zerg swarm. Since his time on Char, the boy had long since been able to harness his power, unleashing his abilities in a fight against multiple opponents, and had a knack for fighting in an unpredictable manner. Something that the Queen of Blades actually nurtured in him, as unpredictability was key to attacking their enemies, and making them guess what was going to happen next instead of knowing what was coming next.
Another thing Naruto learned was that his time with Zeratul in fighting like a Protoss had continued to live on within him while being a hybrid, as the ability to use the psi blades technology given to him by the Protoss had merged with him in a natural way, and could now be used without effort. During his transformation into being the a child of the Zerg swarm, Naruto had mastered the ability of creating psionic storms, and if Kerrigan was honest with herself...were more powerful then her own. In fact, Naruto was so loyal to his Queen of a Mother that he pushed himself in his training to make her happy with his development, and had no problem leading the Zerg into battle against the Protoss along with some of the Terrain colonies.
There were whispers of him among the two races about him now. Whispers of a shadowy creature wielding a power that could rival Kerrigan, yet was loyal to the Queen of Blades nonetheless, and was not capable of betraying her. How he would come upon a world like a storm, unleashing his power like a vengeful God upon all that opposed his strength, and any kind of tactic used against him proved ineffective.
However, Kerrigan didn't want Naruto to catch the eyes of Protoss, or even the Terrains so soon in the new game she was playing with them anytime soon. So after a few planets fell to the swarm under his command, the Queen of Blades ordered Naruto to Agria to oversee the secret infestation of the colonists there while under the pretense of the Zerg planning to take the planet it over, and to mentally absorb the knowledge of the progress he was seeing before transferring such information into the nearby Lair would send it through the swarm to Kerrigan. Naruto would do it via his telepathic link he had with his Mother, but the woman didn't want any possible Terrain psychics, or Protoss to intercept such a powerful psionic bond.
So far, things were going according to plan with the exception of Jim Raynor assisting in the evacuation of the colonists, which from what Naruto learned of the man had a past history with his Mother, and was a threat to the Queen of Blades. While the desire to kill the man was tempting, the telepathic link with his Mother forbid her son from doing so, and for a time...he would obey.
At least until the orders changed.
Naruto didn't know why his Mother even wished to spare the Terrain her son's infinite wrath at the moment, but the boy wasn't going to question the leader of the swarm, and had simply decided to wait for the appropriate time. As things stood, Naruto was to just simply follow the change from one planet to the next while under the disguise of being one of the Terrains, and simply pickup where the plans for these fools left off.
"Be patient my son. Soon we will have all information we need to produce an army of infested Terrains and then we will unleash them on the unsuspecting populace," said Kerrigan to her son via telepathic link knowing such burst of communication would not be detected by the Terrains.
Naruto smiled at his Mother's words. Trusting her judgment in the matter, as she knew how to deal with the Terrains from her many years of experience fighting, and crushing their armies. Looking out the viewport of one of the refugee ships, Naruto saw the large Behemoth-class battlecruiser that belonged to Raynor, and sensed different emotions running through the man's man with thoughts of Kerrigan floating among the many surface ones. Reaching further around the minds of the ship, Naruto sensed other less then honorable people on board, and had to be cautious when he sensed a Ghost on board near Raynor unless the psychic detected him. The hybrid Zerg didn't know how Raynor was able to obtain a powerful Ghost under his command, but Naruto wasn't a fool to try anything that would alert the assassin, and possibly inform Raynor.
When the ship landed on Meinhoff, Naruto disembarked like the rest of the people, but instantly hated the place due to the brightness the world possessed on account of the damn sun, and preferred a home with a lot of shade. Sure Char was bright, but in a dim lighting sort of way, and he simply had to wait until the infestation process could begin with all the infested Terrains waiting to change into their intended design.
Which fucking sucked in the hybrid's mind.
Even more when Raynor returned with his Raiders to help out the populace that was not infested and threatened to ruin the whole plan to turn the entire planet. Oh, how the urge to unleash his psi blades on the man became so overwhelming, and Naruto would have done it had the mental command his Mother gave once again came to the forefront of his mind.
Again, Naruto knew what it meant to obey his Mother, and stayed his hand along with psi blades from making their presence known.
'Mother, why can't I kill him?' thought Naruto to his Mother in the hopes of the woman understanding his plight, and finally giving the order.
"Patience my child. Raynor will not die just yet. He has another part to play in taking down my other enemies among the Terrain race. Besides, the test is only just finished its second stage of the plan, and are now going to move to stage three," said Kerrigan to ease her son, who she sensed was filled with the growing anger for Raynor's constant interference into her plans, and loved how the boy wished to gain his Mother's love in all that he did.
'When Mother? He has just learned our army of infested Terrains can be harmed by the UV light. When day sets in, his forces will burn all that we have created to the ground, and weaken us with each new day!' thought Naruto, as he heard the cries of the infested Terrains when they died, hearing his brothers, and sisters of the swarm dying horrible painful deaths.
"I know it hurts you my son. You feel your powers alone could crush the Terrains, but we both know they have a part to play against another, and if its one thing Jim Raynor has in common with me is the filthy Terrain that we both hate with all our heart," said Kerrigan and felt her son's rage grow since Naruto was told of the history she had with this slime of a Terrain.
'I will look forward to bringing him before you my Mother. I will drag his bleeding and broken body at your feet,' thought Naruto and could almost feel Kerrigan smiling at her favorite son for the unmatched passion filled loyalty he felt for his Mother.
"As do I Naruto. Until then, channel such energies elsewhere, and see to it you get onboard Raynor's ship. I want to know what my enemy plans to do now that he is more involved in fighting my swarm. Should his plans for me become to great a threat, only then will the order to terminate him be granted, and by your hands will the man die," said Kerrigan sensing her son's displeasure, but accepted her command nonetheless, and would do what she asked.
'It won't be easy Mother. Raynor has a Terrain Ghost on his ship. A powerful one. I have sensed him,' thought Naruto knowing such a psychic could detect his psychic energies and the beast inside howling for battle.
Yes. Naruto knew about the Kyuubi.
During the time training Naruto in his psychic abilities, Kerrigan had the boy look back on his memories with Zeratul, and why the young boy became such an interest to the Protoss Dark Templar. As it turns out, from what Naruto could recall, there was some kind of creature sealed inside his body of incredible power capable of matching the Overmind itself in psionic power, and even the rage the large behemoth of monster was capable of reaching in those moments from Kerrigan's own history when she was first turned.
The fox itself had been a factor apparently to Naruto's abduction from his home world from one of the lost fringe colonies long lost ago and the Dark Templar wished to help the boy harness his power should it get too far out of control. As it stood, only the Kyuubi knew every single memory Naruto possessed, but the fox refused to let the boy see them, and wouldn't say why in those moments when it appeared during his times of sleep.
"Stay away from Raynor's pet Ghost Naruto. His powers will no doubt detect your very unusual power and may report you to Jim. We can't have that," said Kerrigan, as she had not expected Raynor to get Ghosts on his side, and wondered what exactly the man had done to get one to join his ranks.
'Understood Mother. I'll use my Blink ability Zeratul taught me should I need to escape from them,' thought Naruto, as he had regained some memories of his time with Zeratul, and one of them was how to use that ability the Dark Templar used called "Blink" to teleport over short distances around him undetected.
"That's my boy. I have trained you well. I am proud to call you my son. Go now and complete your mission in the name of the Queen of Blades!" said Kerrigan sensing the boy embrace her command and knew he would not fail her.
Naruto and failure were never used in the same sentence in a negative way.
With his task assigned, Naruto watched the Terrains under the command of Jim Raynor destroy the infested Zerg, and waited until it was time for them to move out. The woman among the colonist, who was a scientist from the way she acted had wished to study the Zerg biology when it came to infesting Terrains in the hopes of curing such a plague, and not having to wipe out her people if not others should it infestation spring up elsewhere.
Raynor had apparently liked the idea, as he had a strong moral conscious when it came to wiping out the members of his own race, and preferred curing over killing. While Naruto could understand, if not respect that part of the Terrain, it infuriated the Zerg hybrid that the man saw their problem like it was virus, and not the next stage in Zerg evolution to take a race into the swarm.
For the next week, Naruto found things were quiet after Meinhoff, and wondered what Raynor planned next for Raiders. It was even more difficult acting like one of the crew on the Hyperion, as he had to manipulate the minds of those around him to ignore his presence, assume he was "a new guy", and just let him do whatever the hybrid wanted. Again, it wasn't an easy thing to do given how the former Terrain Dominion Ghost by the name of Gabriel Tosh was hanging around, and Naruto sensed the Specter was keeping a close eye on him when at the cantina of the ship. The bridge, armory, and the laboratory were restricted to Naruto on account he didn't have the clearance for them. Even if Naruto could get it, he had doubts it would be without killing some member of the crew with clearance, and getting away with it.
Then the unexpected happened.
The Dark Templar Zeratul had somehow snuck onto the ship, wounded in the arm, but capable of movement, and had a message to give to Raynor.
'Mother! Zeratul is here. On this ship. Wounded!' thought Naruto sensing his Mother's surprise.
"So he's still alive. That old fool. There has been a change in plans son. Do not bother with Jim Raynor anymore. Focus on Zeratul. Kill him before he leaves the ship and bring me his head. It will make a nice addition to the Hive on Char while it slowly rots there among the flames on Char," said Kerrigan feeling anger at the Dark Templar once again getting involved and knowing that the Protoss was here to see Jim for something important meant his plans most likely involving herself.
Grinning at no longer hiding among the shadows of the Terrains, Naruto sensed his once surrogate Father seeking his way out of the ship, and the Zerg hybrid moved to intercept him. It wasn't hard, as the psionic signature was familiar to Naruto from the time he had spent in what felt like another lifetime, and could sense the Protoss was indeed surprised.
"Naruto? So you are alive," said Zeratul a mixture of surprise, joy, and sorrow filled his heart.
"You sound surprised," said Naruto transforming in front of his former surrogate Father and unleashed his psi blades.
"I had thought after what happened on Ulaan when I learned of the ancient prophecy that you were destroyed. In fact, I prayed you had been destroyed, and not transformed into what stands before me. Do you remember? Your life before me? Of the time you spent learning from me? How I saved you from it and raised you...as if you were my own," said Zeratul seeing Naruto narrow his eyes and suspected the boy merely had fragments of them.
"It does not matter anymore. What matters to me is what my Mother commands. And what she commands of me now is your head mounted beside her throne. LIVE FOR THE SWARM!" said Naruto giving into his rage brought about by instinct and desire to appease his Mother by leaping in a spinning in a drill motion with his blades out to close the gap between them so they could duel to the death.
"Stop this Naruto. Please. I beg of you as a Father pleads with their son. Do not obey the one you call a Mother. Remember your honor!" said Zeratul, who despite his right arm being injured was able to hold off Naruto's attacks, and used his countless years of experience fighting to stay ahead of the boy.
But it still wasn't easy. What Naruto lacked in experience, he made up for with intensity, aggression, speed, and savage precision that came from his unpredictability sown in with the training received from both his surrogate parents. While Naruto clearly wasn't able to remember everything Zeratul taught him in how to fight, the boy didn't need to use it in this duel, as the fighting had damaged parts of the ship, and the Dark Templar was certain it was being reported right now to Raynor. Within moment, the area would swarm with Terrains, and their weapons aimed at his surrogate son. All them aiming to kill Kerrigan's prized weapon of a child, which would further cause Zeratul even greater pain over the boy he had come to embrace as a son, and fellow warrior that had earned his right to be called a Blade of Shakuras.
"My honor? My honor is to serve the swarm. To serve my Mother. My Queen. My life is to serve the swarm until the day I die!" said Naruto his eyes glowing crimson red, his psi blades once blue turning the same color, and he let out a howl of rage worthy of an Ultralisk.
"I'm sorry Naruto. I must do what I did with Raszagal. Forgive me," said Zeratul, as he moved into position to strike his surrogate son down, and once more experience heart ache at the loss of someone close to him.
A flash bang grenade rolled between them sending both warriors flying back, blinded by the unexpected interference, and Naruto was soon struck in the side of his face by a large fist before an equally massive foot was planted on his chest with a gun pointed at his skull. Naruto looked up at the man in the blue colored marine suit with the half naked woman with the symbol for spades you would find on a card behind her and the cigar in his mouth.
"You've caused quite a bit of damage here freak," said the man ready to put a bullet in Naruto's head and was surprised to see the hybrid grinning.
"You are one to talk. I know the real reason why you are on this ship Tychus Findlay and its not to help your old buddy," said Naruto having read the man's mind much better then the former Ghost of the Terrain Dominion.
"Give me the order Jimmy. This thing needs to be put down and a message needs to be sent to that bitch that control those monsters," said Tychus when Raynor came into the scene with the other Marines on the ship in battle armor and looking at Naruto.
"No! Don't. Please friend Raynor. I beg of you. Don't kill him," said Zeratul rising from the ground and walked slowly towards Naruto.
"I'm sorry Zeratul. I don't know why you want this kid spared, but he's got to go, and with his death we can find a way to cure the infested Terrains that have been springing up by studying his body," said Raynor, as he turned to Tychus, who grinned at him, and then at the boy.
"Nothing personal kid. Just that your Mother happens to be the biggest bitch in all of the Galaxy," said Tychus, as he prepared to fire, and put the boy out of his misery.
However, before the man could pull the trigger, Naruto launched Tychus into the ceiling of the room with a psychic blast, and then grabbed armored leg before redirecting him at Raynor. The man leaped out of the way, but the large suit covered man thrown at him had hit the team of marines, and Raynor opened fire on Naruto. Unfortunately, the ability to be incredibly agile despite his size gave Naruto the advantage, and the ability to use Blink when moved into a corner was another move the Zerg hybrid was willing to exploit. In fact, Naruto was poised to kill Raynor with his still crimson psi blades, but he was soon tackled with incredible force by Zeratul into a wall, slugged hard in the face twice by the Dark Templar before the Protoss grabbed the side of his slightly bruised face, and now the Queen of Blades favorite son among the Zerg swarm felt incredible psychic pain.
"Zeratul, what are you doing? Kill him already!" said Raynor unable to get a clean shot and yet he was seeing his old ally doing something to the Zerg hybrid's mind.
"No! I told you I cannot kill him friend Raynor. He is my son. A surrogate son, but one I would gladly fight, and die for if given the chance. I will deal with him in my own way. Leave this to me...please," said Zeratul, as he kept the boy restrained for a time, and focused his psychic energy on the bond Naruto with Kerrigan.
"You heard him boys. Give him space," said Jim Raynor, as his men did just that, but kept their guns at the ready, and were prepared to fire should Naruto get away from the Dark Templar.
'Mother! Help me!' thought Naruto, as he tried to reach his Mother through the bond, but Kerrigan's familiar warmth that came with the connection of the swarm wasn't there, and realized Zeratul was somehow blocking it.
"The Queen of Blades cannot help you Naruto. She never could. But through my own powers, I will remove the bond the two of you share, and bring your soul back from the abyss that his her taint!" said Zeratul, as he continued the mental assault on the boy's mind, and with one final push...had shattered the connection Naruto has with the Zerg swarm.
With a howl of pain that shook every man onboard the ship, who heard his cries, Naruto collapse unconscious, and held by his surrogate Father of a Protoss Dark Templar. No one spoke, as an exhausted Zeratul rose from the ground, only to collapse again to his knees, and was caught by Raynor with Tychus along with Tosh pointing weapons at the downed Zerg hybrid.
"Get the kid to the lab and put restraints on him. As for you my old friend, you're coming with me to the medbay, and see if we can't patch you up," said Raynor, as he helped his old ally to their intended destination, and watched Tychus fighting the urge to put a bullet in Naruto's head.
"I should kill him now. Save everyone the hassle should he decide to go psycho like his Mother," said Tychus before putting his gun away and picking up the surprisingly heavy hybrid up.
"That would be a mistake Tychus and we both know it. The Queen of Blades is one bad mojo packing woman on her own, but by killing the boy you would give her a reason to unleash a hatred more powerful then her entire swarm, and that is not something I'd wish to invoke. Killing her son would give her a reason to attack this ship with everything she is capable of unleashing on us," said Tosh, as the made their way to the Lab with the good doctor Ariel Hanson from Agria looking at Naruto in surprise, and Egon Stetmann now interested in having a live specimen to study.
"Don't get too attached to him egghead. Jimmy wants him restrained and untouched until his Protoss buddy can clue us in on what went down," said Tychus seeing the two doctors looking at him in surprise at the order.
"But he's a live specimen! He could be the key to clue to undoing the infestation plaguing my people!" said Ariel, as she glared at the downed Naruto, and part of her suspected he had a hand in the colony's suffering.
"Plus, the data from that could help our research in creating new anti-Zerg weapons, and possibly take down Kerrigan," said Ego after he saw Tosh strap the boy down to a chair with restraints and both men in the room now had their guns ready should the boy decide to make some noise.
"You don't get it, do you?" said Naruto slowly looking up at them and didn't care less that the guns were pointed at his head.
"What do you mean we don't get it? What are you talking about you...you monster!" said Ariel, as she walked up to him, and slapped Naruto right across the face.
A now angry Naruto retaliated with a psychic blast with his mind that sent the woman flying across the room next to the door.
"That's no way to treat a lady," said Tychus pointing his gun at Naruto and aimed for his head.
"She shouldn't have slapped me," said Naruto more calmly, but the hunger for battle was still there, and looked at Tosh before the door opened revealing Raynor.
"Enough! I don't need to be a telepath, a Zerg, or even a High Templar of the Protoss to know something went down in here. Stetmann, take Ariel out of here to the medbay, and Tychus you go with them," said Raynor seeing the "geek" of the group do as he was told and Tychus doing the same with reluctance.
"You should be careful around that one. There's conflict in him," said Naruto when the trio were gone.
"Shut up. The only reason I don't have Tosh put a bullet in your head now is because my old friend believes you can be turned away from Kerrigan's hold. Part of me thinks its just paternal instincts long since surfaced after God knows how long and can't bear the thought of losing his child. So until he gets here, you are going to sit there, and behave like a good boy. If not, Tosh is going to blast your head open, and explain to your old man just what had to be done. Got it?" said Raynor seeing Naruto look at him calmly before the Zerg hybrid let out a cruel laugh.
"Jim Raynor. My Mother talks about you a lot. I can see why. You are every bit the man she claims you to be. She knows all your strength and your one weakness. Would you like me to tell you what or rather who that weakness is?" said Naruto before Raynor had a revolver pointed at his head.
"Say it and I put a bullet through hers weakness," said Raynor making smile even more.
"Me? No. I'm not her weakness. Though in some way I wish I was given our connection to each other. Sadly, my Mother's weakness is you Jim Raynor, and it has been ever since becoming the Queen of Blades. Think about it. She let you live now how many times?" said Naruto seeing Raynor's eyes narrow at him before putting the gun away.
"So there is a part of her that is still human," said Raynor carefully seeing Naruto nod.
"I have felt it within her. I have seen it at times on her face. I never told her that I know out of respect for the private nature of this matter. It was never my place to ask about it. It is still not my place. You still love her. Don't you," said Naruto sensing the man's mind picturing Kerrigan before her change and the sorrow felt when she was left to die on Tarsonis.
"That's not important right now. What's important is dealing with you at the moment," said Raynor before the shadowed form of Zeratul entered the room.
"Greetings Father," said Naruto bowing his head.
"You clearly learned your manners from your surrogate Mother and as painful as it is to admit...she did remarkably well," said Zeratul seeing Naruto grin at him now with those blue eyes.
"Disobeying her was not something one could do when it comes to the swarm. I would hear and obey. Though given what you've just done, I don't think its capable of me to do that, and have been freed from such a connection," said Naruto seeing Zeratul nod.
"You freed him from Kerrigan?" said Raynor in surprise.
"Correct. I did for Naruto what I sadly couldn't do for my beloved Matriarch of the Dark Templars. Raszagal's mind was old when Kerrigan enslaved her and could not be freed unless slain. However, Naruto's mind is young, filled with life, and the creature inside of him was surprisingly helpful in the end," said Zeratul seeing Raynor and Tosh frown at not understanding what the Dark Templar was talking about at the end.
"I always knew the Kyuubi didn't like my Mother, but tolerated her all the same knowing she would make me stronger, and the fox has only cared about one thing. Survival!" said Naruto, as he was going to have a loooong talk with the Kyuubi when this was over, and express his anger on the tailed beast for this betrayal.
"Even so, you must know the truth about what happened before you were changed into this stage, and that you did not become her son willingly. Just as she never willingly became the Queen of Blades at the hands of the Overmind," said Zeratul seeing Naruto in pain at the flashes of past memories assaulting his mind, but they were still jumbled, and had no sense of time.
"I need time to think about your words my Father. Leave me. I promise not to make an attempt to break free," said Naruto seeing Zeratul nod and leave with Tosh nodding to Raynor to indicate his words were truth filled before they left the room
"What do you want to do with him now Zeratul? I can't keep him on my ship because my scientists will want to use him for their experiments and knowing Tychus he'll want to turn your son into target practice," said Raynor seeing the Protoss almost age before his eyes.
"The boy is mixed up more then a scatter jigsaw puzzle. He has terrible power. It rivals the Queen of Blades something fierce and she didn't terminate him knowing his loyalty to her is unmatched among the swarm," said Tosh while making sure his psychic abilities kept watch over Naruto should the hybrid change his mind.
"I will take him with me. To Shakuras. Look at what I gave you Jim Raynor. It is a means to understand what happened not only to my son, but the future that lies ahead should Kerrigan die, and the evil that will befall us should that event ever happen," said Zeratul knowing it would be the safest thing for Naruto now.
"Are you sure? Putting your now Zerg hybrid of a son on one of your sacred worlds isn't what I would consider a good thing for you or your people Zeratul," said Raynor seeing Ariel overhearing this around the corner.
"I am sure. The boy is my burden to bear now. When word reached my people of a male Zerg hybrid like Kerrigan attacking several of our worlds with the swarm, I did not want to believe it was him, but in my heart I knew Naruto was the one, and the probes recording the events during those attacks only proved without a doubt what the boy can do when unleashed on a battlefield. And while its is saddening that Naruto has spilled the blood of the Protoss in the name of the Queen of Blades, he has earned himself the nicknames given to him by my people," said Zeratul, as both his sorrow, and pride mixed together at the end.
"So he is the one the whispers talk about. The one my Brothers and Sisters keep hearing with their powers at the fury this man possesses. They call him 'The Bringer of the Death Storms' and 'The Prince of Shadow Blades'. These two are just some of the names I've heard being whispered," said Tosh seeing Zeratul nod.
"Yes. Names he is indeed worthy of. Also among them, my people have sadly called him 'Kerrigan's Rage, 'The Queen of Blades' Sword', and 'Maelstrom of the Swarm,'" said Zeratul sadly at such named titles for his son.
"My ship Void Seeker will take us back to Shakuras. Thank you for honoring me with your friendship Jim Raynor. You are indeed a man of honor," said Zeratul, as he was glad to know a Terrain that had the heart, and spirit of a Protoss warrior.
"I'm always happy to help out a friend in need Zeratul. Just be careful with your son all right and don't be afraid to discipline him should he get out of line," said Jim hearing his friend chuckle for the first time ever since they had been in a situation like this.
With that said, Zeratul went back into the lab to speak to his son, and seconds later upon the door closing did Ariel come storming up to Raynor looking furious.
"Jim Raynor, what do you think you're doing? That Zerg hybrid could be the best thing to happen to this lab since the samples you've been finding for Stetmann," said Ariel, as she felt a live Zerg hybrid could be the best lead in finding a cure for her people, and didn't want the specimen to leave just because of parental disputes/issues.
"Ariel, you know as well as I do, that boy in there is not going to just sit still, and be your own personal lab specimen. His power is too great to keep him contained on this ship and the only reason he doesn't tear this ship apart is because of his surrogate Father. Without Zeratul here, we could have all be slaughtered, and there would be nothing to prevent it from happening. Besides, any kind of harm we did to Naruto would just bring the wrath of Zeratul down on our heads, and I for one will not compromise that friendship," said Raynor knowing enough about the Protoss to know that rubbing them the wrong way is not a good thing and should be avoid if possible.
"Could I at least get a sample of his blood? Something before he goes that I can study?" said Ariel seeing Raynor sigh knowing she was going for the last ditch effort.
"You can ask. Politely! If either say no, then that's the end of it, and you keep that temper of yours in check," said Raynor before letting her pass to enter the lab.
"She's a real spitfire Jimmy. You sure know how to attract them," said Tychus having come around the corner.
"Well I'd like to think its my charming personality Tychus. Speaking which, I happened to overhear something Naruto said right before he sent you flying, and made your face go pale. What was it?" said Raynor seeing Tychus was twitching slightly even with that suit on.
"Its complicated Jimmy. You know that. Them Moebius boys put me in this suit and you know just how pushy eggheads get when they got your balls in a vice grip. They maybe physically weak, but they can make stuff that will make their other half cry out for their mommies, and right now they've got me at the edge until I pay my debts," said Tychus seeing Raynor narrow his eyes at him.
"Okay old buddy. I'll keep you on to help me with what comes our way with Mengsk and even with Kerrigan. But you betray me and I'll put you down myself. Friendship or not," said Raynor seeing Tychus smile at him.
"I don't have a problem with that so long as its you that pulls the trigger old buddy," said Tychus before walking away while Raynor entered the lab to see Naruto freed from his restraints.
"Its time for me to go," said Naruto seeing Raynor nod since he had kind of overstayed his welcome.
"I know. Just don't be hard on your old man when you leave here kid. Believe it or not, he cares about you, and did what he had to do," said Raynor seeing Naruto nod and the two shook hands though it was a bit difficult for Jim on account of how the kid's hand felt when shaking it.
"Come Naruto. We have much to discuss back on Shakuras," said Zeratul before the to "Blinked" right out of sight and Raynor shook his head.
"So...no sample?" said Raynor seeing the depressed look on Ariel's face.
"No. Naruto said even if he wanted to, his honor, and loyalty to Kerrigan compelled him not betray her since she had raised the boy since his rebirth. Part of me understands that, but another part of me is angry, and just wanted to stab him with a needle to take what I wanted," said Ariel seeing Jim smile.
"Well, it's a good thing you didn't Ariel. Chances are Naruto would have been offended and cut you to pieces. If that happened, I'd have to find another smart scientist to keep Stetmann in line, and chances are one wouldn't pop up like you did," said Raynor, as he left the room, and missed the now blushing face Ariel was sporting.
"Be mindful of her Jim Raynor. She maybe sweet like honey right now, but inside there is an angry bee just waiting to strike, and sting you when you least suspect it,"said Naruto in a psychic message to the man, which made Jim pause, and look back at the lab with narrowed eyes before walking to the bridge to talk to Matt along with Tosh about that message.
Jim just hoped the woman didn't turn out like Kerrigan.
"Do you know why you are here before us Uzumaki Naruto?" said the Protoss figure wearing the garbs of a High Templar standing across from the former pure terrain and Zeratul supporting his son.
"For what I've done while under the service of the Queen of Blades, who I have called, and still do call my Mother," said Naruto hearing the Protoss around him being angry with his choice of words in calling Kerrigan his Mother.
"Yes. While circumstances involving your change in allegiances has been factored in, we cannot ignore the sheer brutality of the damage you've inflicted not only on our race, but that of the innocent Terrains, and worlds you helped destroy. Zeratul has stood up for you, asking us to show you mercy in a way that doesn't involve your death to remove the shame brought upon by your actions, and after much thought on the matter it has been decided," said the Protoss High Templar while narrowing its eyes at Naruto.
"And what is it you have decided?" said Naruto waiting for his punishment.
"We have decided to banish you from Shakuras, from Protoss worlds, from the known Terrain occupied worlds, and forbid you from even entering Zerg filled space. The only Terrain populated planet you may occupy...is the one that you were born on, as our probes watching it have shown they have no means of reaching the stars, and probably never will for another several hundred more years," said the Protoss High Templar, as he saw Naruto reluctantly nod in accepting this decision, and knew it was punishment enough for the boy.
"I understand. I accept this punishment, as I deserve it, and ask that should Zeratul wish to visit me that he be allowed to without protest from his brethren," said Naruto seeing the Protoss around him not like the request, but Zeratul raised his hand, and all were now silent.
"My brothers, do not hate him for making such a request, for this punishment that is to be carried out will also hurt me as well, and my son only wishes to less my pain in being denied my right to see him. My surrogate son maybe a Zerg hybrid, but do not forget that while with us, he embraced the honor of the Protoss, and became worthy of the right to be called a Blade of Shakuras just as we all are here today," said Zeratul seeing his son smile at him.
"Your words speak truth Exulted One. Very well. Naruto will be banished to his home world, as punishment for his crimes against the innocent beings in this sector of the Galaxy, but he will be only allowed the right to see you when you come to visit, and such a right will not be challenged by us," said the High Templar seeing those around him nod in agreement to the decision.
With the decision made, the two made their way to the Void Seeker, and upon boarding their was silence between the two on the long travel to Naruto's home planet. Zeratul wanted to say something to his son, but was unsure what to even say, and how to even express it. His son had become a combination of a warrior and monster all in one with a surrogate Mother turning the boy into what he was now. His Protoss brethren had spoken of Naruto's fury like nothing they had ever seen before since the Queen of Blades, but even the woman herself never went to the front lines of battle unless she was absolutely sure victory was within her grasp, or could withstand the assault her opposition would unleash.
Naruto was similar yet do different from Kerrigan when it came to fighting, as he would fight with fury not unlike her, but unlike the Queen of Blades, he would be in the thick of battle, using his organic carapace armor both to take the brunt of the damage, and use it like a weapon given the situation.
A spin kick with his armored legs was the equivalent of a primitive spiked club with enough force to shatter bone upon impact.
There was also the state of Naruto's mentality, as the boy clearly didn't have any kind of influence from Kerrigan anymore, but his surrogate son no longer had the sense of honor a Protoss may have, and did not embrace it like he use to back when Zeratul trained him. There was still some form of honor in Naruto, of that much the Dark Templar could still sense in him, and the belief in keeping promises was there too. More then once, Zeratul had seen Naruto train himself to limits beyond a Terrain's limitations, and all on a single promise in making his surrogate Father happy. When the boy had been rescued from his home planet, all Naruto wanted was to prove himself, and needed a positive influence that nurtured the boy.
Considering how the boy was rescued from his home planet, Zeratul was unsure to what destiny had in store for the world, or Naruto's place of birth should he return there. At one point, Naruto spoke fondly of some of the people there, but not all of them were nice, as was proven by the way Zeratul had save Naruto all those years ago, and the memories the child possessed before then.
What would become of Naruto's home planet with him in his current state upon the boy's return?
Sadly, only the Void knew the answer, and the Void wasn't intent on revealing the future anytime soon regarding Naruto.
(A/N: YAY! I can't believe I wrote this ahead of schedule. Just so you know the next chapter will be a background on how Naruto was saved by Zeratul, and the event leading up to being captured by Kerrigan before being turned. Until next time...PEACE!)