This Fic is a 'novelization' of the events in Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, or at least what I think Heart of the Swarm will be like. I hope you lot enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. It starts during the final mission of Wings of Liberty and will pick up immediately where that game ended. To write it, I used nothing but the currently published materials and whatever trailers were available at the time of writing.
Warning: Massive Spoilers for Wings of Liberty.
All characters, places, things, and what-nots are property of their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended.
Tiberias Cain has only been there for a few hours and he already hated the place. Experiments on Zerg always made the infested Terran uneasy, but the horrors in this laboratory certainly took the metaphorical cake. Mighty Ultralisks chained to the wall, only to be gunned down for sport or left for the abomination that rampaged throughout the facility, lesser beasts locked in tanks, raging inside their cages – an atrocity, if he would say so himself. Reflecting on his previous thoughts, he could not help but chuckle at his own hypocrisy. Terrans in his care rarely fared better. Still, at least he had the courtesy of providing a quick death to those too weak to be remade as a Zerg. What Raynor's Raiders did here was simply, well, inhuman, for lack of a better term.
Even that paled before what the Dominion had done, however. When Cain arrived at the facility with his small complement of Zerg, he found himself face-to-face with a Protoss-Zerg Hybrid.
A Protoss-Zerg Hybrid.
It shouldn't even be possible. The Overmind, the Queen of Blades and countless others tried to create one over the past few years. All failed save, apparently, the Dominion. How was this possible? How could they succeed where beings infinitely their greater failed? Did the humans get help? If so, who would be crazy, or confident, enough to entrust such information to them? The fact that these…these humans, had the hubris to think they could succeed where the Swarm could not was insulting to him. He made a silent oath to shoot every Terran wearing a lab-coat in the kneecaps with his rifle. Fortunately for the victims, he was too late.
As the abomination stomped through the facility, Cain wondered if 'success' might be the wrong word to describe it. It seemed to be consumed by a mindless rage, killing Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg indiscriminately. He wanted to bring the creature in alive for Abathur, the Swarm's chief geneticist, to study it, but it quickly became clear that that was probably not an option. After an hour, the creature had slaughtered half his army and nearly killed him several times. The only way the infested Terran could stop it was by luring it out on a landing platform and pounding it with a barrage of bioplasmid from his Leviathan. "Well, there is no kill like overkill right?", he said to himself as he slowly walked towards what remained of the hybrid with Larry, his bodyguard Hunter-Killer, close behind him. They were terrified it might get up and try to rip their heads off again. He took samples of the few pieces of hybrid flesh not destroyed by the acidic coating of the Leviathan's projectiles and entered the now-empty facility.
Apart from what remained of the small band of Zerg he took with him, the laboratory was utterly devoid of life. At least the computers were still running on emergency power. Cain could use them to get as much information on that thing as he could. Izsha, an infested adjutant and decryption expert, could decode it and present it to the Queen. Hopefully some of it was information on how to kill that thing, other than with orbital fire. If the Dominion could create one, there was no telling how many more existed in other laboratories. Tiberias smiled as he downloaded the data. He might just have discovered the Dominion's new super-weapon before these under-evolved simians even had a chance to use it. He would not return to his Queen empty-handed.
Primary Hive, Char
"Hybrids." The Queen of Blades' heart skipped a beat when she saw the horror through the eyes of her minions. She knew her doom was coming, why she had known since the end of the Brood War four years ago, but she did not know who would bring it or how. Of all beings in creation that had the capacity to be a real threat to her or her Swarm, however, surely the Terrans were the most unlikely. They could not have created this, not on their own. Their technology, in spite of the advancements they have made in recent years, could never match the genetic perfection that was her Swarm. Their weak bodies and frail minds were shockingly easy to break, even with the smallest amount of pressure. The Terrans had nothing going for them save their can-do spirit and never-say-die attitude, one that was bordering on the side of madness in the case of some of them. Why they would continue to struggle against the inevitable was beyond her.
"And yet they keep going, no matter what you throw at them. Since they are getting closer to the primary hive, you could say it's working for them, too" The Queen instantly berated herself for that thought. Her forces were infinite and theirs dwindled by the moment. The Swarm's victory was inevitable. Then she realized the thought wasn't hers. She turned her attention inward, 'looking' at the pathetic remains of the young, human assassin imprisoned there. Her body's previous occupant was not happy with her current position. Neither would the Queen if their roles were reversed, but the Overmind must found little Sarah too, well, human for the task of leading the Swarm. At least that's what the Queen had always though. It did raise the question of why the Overmind didn't simply erase the insect completely, but who was she to doubt her own father? While the Queen sadistically enjoyed the wails of despair coming from her captive, usually when someone she knew from her human life was killed, the former human was becoming a pain very rapidly. She could make the Queen…feel things; weaknesses like regret, despair, and sorrow. Things that were unfitting for a Queen of the Swarm. In a way, she was the greatest threat the Queen faced, even more than the human or the Protoss. At least these foes could be killed. Sarah remained defiant, no matter what.
Now that Raynor was on her doorstep with the greatest army marshaled since the end of the Brood War, the little human trapped inside the Queen's mind had become louder than ever. A liability she couldn't afford. Her distractions have already cost the Swarm dearly. With the army nearing the Char's primary hive, the prisoner's confines began to weaken. It took more and more concentration on the Queen's part just to keep the Swarms coherent, and the Terrans took advantage of this. In spite of the Queen's demands to stop, saying they will both die in the unlikely event that the Terrans manage to win, the former ghost simply did not let up. She had passed beyond the fear of death, no longer caring about what happened to herself. In her mind, all that mattered was that the Queen of Blades died and that her love did not. If the price she would pay was her life, then so be it.
At last, the Raider/Dominion alliance reached the primary hive and began to dig in. The Queen of Blades was puzzled. The Terrans should be pushing, not entrenching. She could replace her forces indefinitely, while the humans couldn't. If they remained where they were, the humans would die and they knew it. But then, they showed her their ace-in-the-hole: the Xel-Naga artifact she was seeking all along. How kind of them to bring it to her. All she had to do now was order her Swarm to overrun the Terrans and…
A shockwave of blue light blanketed the area. The Zerg close to the artifact were incinerated where they stood. Even the Queen, sitting in a structure she used as a throne room, could feel the psychic backlash. What did the Terrans do? Then, she realized what the Terrans were planning all along. As they charged up the artifact, all the pieces fell into place. They never intended to push on the hive. They didn't have to. If a small pulse like that could do so much damage, who knows what it could do fully charged. Its pulse would probably destroy the primary hive, killing every Zerg in and around it, including her. For the first time in years, she feared for her life. She felt the human's presence in her head again. The constant stream of sobbing and woe had…stopped. Stopped, to be replaced by hope.
The Queen did not like this idea very much and didn't want to be reminded of her (potentially) imminent defeat. She moved to the one place where she felt she was free of Kerrigan's distractions: the thick of battle. There, she'd find Raynor and end him once and for all.
As she charged the human lines with her broods, she was greeted by a hailstorm of gunfire, lasers, shells, and missiles. The Queen was, by far, the most dangerous entity in the horde and they knew it. She lashed out with every weapon at her disposal, slaughtering marines with her wings, sinking her claws in the flesh of her enemies, shredding infantry with her storms and even ripping entire battlecruisers in half. But even as their comrades fell, the humans fought on with even greater fervor. Raynor himself had taken the field, bellowing orders and encouragement as loud as his lungs would let him. It would not help him one little bit.
She was the Queen of Blades.
She was perfection made flesh.
She was a creature of martial devastation, psychic fury, and the keenest intellect.
She…would…NOT…be…stopped. Not by him, not by anyone!
But she was not invincible. Eventually the sheer volume of fire the Terrans threw at her was too much, even for her. Despite the fact that she could survive attacks would have shredded a human a thousand times over, she had to retreat. Back in her hive, recovering from her wounds, she found Sarah, 'looking' at her with a grin that would have moved from ear to ear if she had a face to grin with. The Queen couldn't stay here. The former ghost's presence became less tolerable by the minute as the captive tried harder and harder to break out of her prison. It would be biologically impossible, thanks to the Overmind's constraints, but she tried anyhow, hoping to reach out to the attackers and help in any way she could. If nothing else, it would distract the Queen further, giving the humans a better chance.
Eventually the Queen could not tolerate the invader's presence any longer and sallied forth once again. In spite of the devastation she wrought, the humans showed no sign of letting up. Once again, she was forced back to lick her wounds. Another failed assault later, and her anger started to get the better of her. Even Sarah's prison started to crack, and she was able to reach out to her beloved and offer him some form of encouragement. All she managed to get out was "Don't give up" before she was slammed back in her 'cage' by the enraged Queen, but it was enough. By now, the artifact was glowing like a star, becoming almost too painful to look at. And then, it fired.
The Queen could hear the screams of her dying broods as she was sitting in her throne room. An instant later, the pulse struck her as well.
She screamed as she felt her carapace burn off her body.
She screamed as Sarah Kerrigan's prison shattered.
She screamed as she and her broods around her were sent into oblivion.
The Queen of Blades was gone.