Starcraft: Purity of Innocence
Disclaimer: This will be a Starcraft fanfiction which will have a heavy dose of humour/comedy hence leading to possible character OCC. Also, as I have only known the Starcraft games and none of the other media other than by wiki so this fanfiction will be inevitably different from canon after the Brood War. With that said, I hope you enjoy my literary contribution (Note: This fanfiction will take elements from other series).
Chapter 0: A Different Choice
"My Queen, I may have found a solution to the high failure rate of successfully creating intelligent infested humans."
Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades and supreme ruler of the Zerg Swarms, turned her attention to a Cerebrate, the last of its kind. Ever since the Brood War against the new Overmind two years ago Kerrigan had been feeling increasingly uneasy due to some unknown yet terrible presence from beyond the Koprulu Sector, a presence which seem to be growing stronger by the day. Seeking to prepare herself for the inevitable confrontation Kerrigan had been searching for ways to improve the Swarm, including replacing the dying Cerebrate breed with a replacement strain of Zerg, preferably intelligent infested humans like herself. Creating infested humans which are more than the simple suicide bombers the Zerg have created during both the Great War and the Brood War would certainly be an improvement to the Swarm regardless. The fact that a recent genetic mutation allow zerglings, the most basic and numerous of Zerg warrior breeds, to quickly morph into suicide bombers called banelings made the use of infested terrans in the same manner all but obsolete at any rate. However, creating intelligent infested terrans was for more difficult than initially thought for nearly all of them ended in failure, Amanda Haley being the most recent one.
Glaring at the Cerebrate in charge of the infested terran project, Kerrigan asked, "And what would it be, Cerebrate?"
"As it is apparent that utilizing our hyper-evolutionary virus has been all but ineffective of late, I believe a different approach is recommended."
Feeling impatient, especially after the disappointing results from Amanda Haley's infestation, Kerrigan demanded, "Stop wasting my time and tell me now!"
While terrified of her wrath, especially considering her disdain towards his kin, the Cerebrate nevertheless continued to speak, "Before the use of the virus, the Zerg once acquired new strains by infesting them with larvae which bear the closest resemblance to the original parasitic Zerg. If we could capture human infants or children and then infest their spines with larvae, I believe we will be able to obtain the desired results at a much higher rate. Of course, the infestation process will be slower but it should be more easily controlled hence the higher chance of success. As a bonus, the humans would not require to possess any telepathic capacity for successful infestation."
Kerrigan's frowning expression was thoughtful as she considered the Cerebrate's suggestion before asking, "Will there be any complications, Cerebrate?"
"Unfortunately, yes. The infestation process would require the subject of to be calm or unaware of the infestation during the early stages of the infestation period. While non-sapient animals are easily enough to manipulate a sentient being such as a human would not."
"In other words, a resisting adult will only end in failure and since I'm the Queen Bitch of the universe no sane human will willingly let themselves be successfully infested by our larvae."
"Correct, my Queen, hence the reason why infants or at least young children will have to suffice as they are easier to manipulate or at least subdue."
While Kerrigan found the idea to her dislike, not because of the terrible moral implications despite the human portion of her psyche begging her not to go through with it but rather because of the inconvenience and attention it will inevitably bring, Kerrigan decided to at least let the Cerebrate try. At worst the project will end in failure while at best she may gain potentially powerful loyal servants. "Very well, you may proceed with your plan. However, this will have to be a small skirmish as we cannot risk incurring the full wrath of the Dominion just yet. Pray for your sake that it succeeds."
Pleased that the Queen of Blades had accepted its suggestion, the Cerebrate replied, "Understood, my Queen. I shall not fail you."
"Sir, have you heard of the attack?"
James Eugene "Jim" Raynor, leader of an anti-Dominion rebellion group known as Raynor's Raiders, nodded in confirmation as he replied, "Yeah, I have, Matt."
Matthew "Matt" Horner, second in command of the rebellion group and caption of its flagship, the Hyperion, asked, "Do you think the Zerg are on the move again?"
"Hard to say, the attack might be just another skirmish at the Dominion's fringe worlds. Besides, the Zerg didn't even establish a permanent hive on that planet."
Wearing a doubtful expression, Matt argued, "Are you sure about that, sir? While they have certainly attacked civilian outposts before, the place they attacked wasn't within the borders to Zerg space territory. Attacking a populated planet outside their borders only to make a full retreat so quickly with minimal losses on both sides just doesn't seem to be their normal style no matter how you look at it. The fact that they didn't even leave behind a functional hive there only makes it even more suspicious."
"True, but so far that is the only place they specifically attacked beyond their borders so far and, judging from the lack of response from the Dominion, isn't even vital to either side." Frustration was evident in Jim's expression as he asked, "So the question would be why?"
"Maybe it's to test a new strain of theirs? I'm sure at least Egon would agree with that possibility."
Jim's frown did not soften as he spoke, "There is certainly that possibility. Are there any notable details about that skirmish?"
Turning his attention to a display console, Matt said, "Well, there is the fact that the city happens to possess an orphanage that was…"
Jim raised an eyebrow as he asked, "An orphanage?"
"Yeah, the city has an orphanage for orphans from the last two wars as well as the numerous skirmishes ever since. However, the orphanage is quite infamous for its rumours such as child abuse and even child-labour. From what I heard, the purpose of the orphanage was just to collect money from the Dominion and send the occasional telepathic child to their military's ghost program."
Jim gritted his teeth at the thought of children being used in such a way, reminding him all too keenly about a certain manipulative bastard of a Dominion Emperor. Jim then wore an expression of horror and disgust as he came up with a thought, "Matt, what did the Zerg do with the orphanage?"
Quickly catching on, Matt was equally horrified as he replied, "Reports are not clear at the moment but from what I know, the Zerg strangely retreated soon after they raided the still-intact orphanage."
Covering his grieving face with his hand, Jim silently though, "Sarah, what have you done…?"
"Well, how is the progress of the infestation?"
It has been a week ever since the raid at one of the Dominion's fringe worlds. By attacking a small orphanage at the edge of the civilian settlement, the Swarm was able to quickly capture six young children and then leave long before even the local Dominion forces even knew what exactly happened. While Kerrigan would have preferred to capture more, much more in fact, she would have to do with six, three boys and three girls to be exact, as they were the only young children left in the rundown orphanage. Most of the older children have been sent to the Dominion's military recently to bolster their forces apparently.
Hearing Kerrigan's impatient demand, the Cerebrate replied, "It is proceeding even better than expected, my Queen. Due to the lack of attachment these children have to their past lives, their infestation is proceeding so very smoothly. However, there were some unexpected complications in the infestation."
Displeased, Kerrigan growled, "What kind of unexpected complications?"
"For some reason, accelerated mutations cannot proceed further from their current stages of infestation without risking the mental destruction of the subjects. While their loyalty to you will be without question, they will be unfit for combat until they develop further which will have to be at a slower pace. I'm assuming that the underdeveloped or human nature of their bodies to be the main causes of these issues."
Glaring at the six suspended cocoons that contained the kidnapped children before her, Kerrigan then said, "How slow will the mutations be?"
"While they will certainly grow and develop faster than a normal human, the exact speed of their growth is impossible to tell."
While not pleased by the unexpected complication, Kerrigan at least managed to figure out one reason why the hyper-evolutionary virus usually failed which is the uncontrolled nature of the accelerated mutations. As long as the rate of mutation can be controlled, mental destruction can be prevented thus ensuring a higher rate of success in creating intelligent infested terrans. Besides, while the new infested children are useless for now they can still be of use to her at a later date once they are fully developed. "Very well, cease the accelerated infestation and let them out. I would like to see them for myself."
"You wish is my command, my Queen."
After the six suspended brown cocoons before her opened Kerrigan's eyes narrowed in disdain at the six pitifully naked forms lying before her. While certainly healthier and stronger than before their infestation, the infested children that appeared between the ages of five to seven were currently less useful to her than even the Cerebrate. In fact, with the correct clothes, they can even pass for perfectly normal human children if not for the worm-like Zerg carapace growing over their upper backs. "You clearly understated an obvious issue, Cerebrate."
Had the Cerebrate possessed a human sense of humour, it would have probably made a poor joke about it only to be killed by the Queen of Blades. As it were, it simply apologized, "My apologies for failing to inform you the exact extent of the mutations."
Sighing in frustration, Kerrigan simply focused her attention on the children and said, "Arise my children, and embrace the glory that is your birth right. Know that I am the Queen of Blades, the eternal will of the Swarm, and that you have been reborn to serve me." If she was to have these brats serve her as a part of her Swarm, preferably in the very near future, she might as well as make an impression on them.
Six pairs of wide eyes gazed upon her imposing form in response to her words. She was half-expecting them to suddenly burst into tears like the brats they are when all six faces suddenly wore bright innocent smiles and cried in unison, "Mama/Mommy!"
Meanwhile, within the darkness of space in the Koprulu Sector, a certain Dark Templar named Zeratul suddenly felt an odd sense of satisfaction as though a small yet satisfying degree of justice had been committed somewhere in the universe. "Strange, I could almost swear by the Void that something… satisfyingly amusing had occurred upon the Queen of Blades."
Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, supreme ruler of the Zerg Swarm and undisputed Queen Bitch of the known universe was, for once in her admittedly short life as a unique infested terran of the Zerg, dumbstruck to the point of gaping like a fish. The fact that all six infested children were currently snuggling against her like puppies only magnified her current state of shellshock. Having absolutely no experience in raising children, both before and after her infestation, Kerrigan was at a complete loss for words while her mighty psychic mind had to metaphorically reboot from the shock they gave her, thus temporarily halting all Zerg activity throughout the Koprulu Sector. Upon recovery from its own state of shellshock, the Cerebrate responsible for the creation of these children was so terrified by the obvious failure that it actually voided its equivalent to human bowels and bladder, not that the Queen took notice of it at the moment.
After five full minutes of being frozen in place, Kerrigan finally asked, "Cerebrate, explain this."
Still terrified, the Cerebrate hesitantly replied, "I-it appears that their… human minds… or instincts… were more… resilient than expected."
"I can see that!"
Before the terrified Cerebrate could reply, one of the six children, a boy with tanned skin, spiky sun-blond hair and cerulean-blue eyes innocently asked, "Hey mommy, can we get something to eat? I'm hungry!" As if sharing a common mind, the other five asked the same question. Normally the Queen of Blades would have killed the six children for their impudence but the other side of her psyche, the human side, actually managed to regain more control than it normally could ever accomplish in an act of both kindness and desperation. As such, the children were still alive, looking at her with wide expectant eyes like any ordinary human child.
Unable to lash out at the children, Kerrigan resigned to glaring at them furiously and growled, "You want to eat? Eat creep."
Tilting their heads, the children asked in unison, "Creep?"
Resisting an urge to smack her face onto her palm, Kerrigan sighed in defeat and said, "Cerebrate, you created them, you teach them how to be Zerg. I did not get infested for this shit!"
All too eager to somehow please or at least placate its infuriated Queen, the Cerebrate almost happily complied while Kerrigan left the hive at the fastest walking pace she could muster without looking like she was fleeing from a losing battle. She also made a mental note to finally allow the creation of the Broodmother Zerg strain as it was apparent that the infested terran project is a failure for the short-term. As for the incompetent Cerebrate, she would leave it alive for now to deal with the brats. "Perhaps the still-living remains of that Amanda Haley could be put to use as well…"
Seeing their mother figure walk away, the six children looked at each other in confusion for a moment before the Cerebrate spoke, "As it is apparent that the Queen of Blades has left you six under my care, I shall be the one to teach you all the ways of the Zerg."
A young girl with short dark hair and dark lavender eyes raised her hand in response to the Cerebrate's statement. While not expecting the gesture, the Cerebrate nevertheless understood the meaning as it asked her, "Yes?"
Shyly pausing for a moment, the girl then asked, "What's your name and why can't we see you, mister?"
If the Cerebrate had human eyes, it would have blinked in surprise before it regained its composure and explained, "For your first question, you may simply call me Cerebrate. As for your second question, while you can hear my thoughts, I am not necessarily within visible range of your sight as telepathic communication can occur over great distances and through most physical barriers." Noticing the confused and blank looks on the six children's faces, the Cerebrate almost sighed and said, "In other words, I can talk to you just fine even if I can't see you."
The children's response was immediate as many exclaimed in understanding while the blond boy excitedly said, "That's really cool! Can you teach us?"
"Unlikely, you're not nearly developed enough to even face a mere drone much less learn to give commands like an overlord."
Irritated by the Cerebrate's disdainful scoff, the blond boy argued, "Oh, yeah? We'll see about that! I'll be an even greater leader of the Swarm than even mommy one day, believe it!"
Normally such a childish outburst would have surprised and amused a normal human being but, in the case of a Zerg Cerebrate, making such a statement was nearly outright treason. The only reason why it had not immediately ordered its loyal Zerg minions to destroy the boy is because he actually held no malice for the Queen even as he so honestly made the statement. "How can the child actually think of becoming greater than the Queen one day without becoming treasonous? It makes absolutely no sense!"
Suddenly, a girl with fiery-red hair and sapphire-blue eyes lightly smacked the blond boy by the back of his head and said, "That's not going to happen because I'll be the new Queen of the Swarm!"
Angry, the boy glared at the girl nose-to-nose and growled, "Oh yeah, why's that?"
Matching the boy's glare with her own, the girl deadpanned, "Because you're a boy. Boys can't be queens, dummy."
Stunned by the revelation, the boy seemed close to comically despairing when he suddenly argued, "But guys are better than girls!"
"Says me!" replied the grinning blond, who was then quickly tackled by the infuriated girl.
Needless to say, the blond boy and the redhead girl quickly ended up fighting with one another. The other four children, including a boy with short black hair and dark-brown eyes, another boy with gold-blond hair and eyes and a girl with albino-white hair and red eyes, quickly tried to pry to two apart only to end up getting dragged into the fight as well into an all-out brawl resulting in bruises, pulled hair and tears.
Dumbstruck by their actions, the Cerebrate for once wised that someone, if not anyone, else could take its place. "I did not survive the Brood Wars and outlive my brothers for this…"
In case you haven't noticed, the six children are based on characters from the Naruto, Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Deadman Wonderland and Full Metal Alchemist series. Hope you like this chapter despite the dark beginning and the outright silly ending.