Shuttle platform, Umojan Research Station...
"Jim!" cried Kerrigan as the bridge between her and Raynor fell, destroyed by the Dominion Archangel. Both of them could only helplessly watched as bit and pieces of the bridge continued its journey down into the crevice deep below.
The Dominion was right behind him and on the other side was Kerrigan. She managed to cross over towards the shuttle platform just as the Archangel launched its barrage of missiles and in the process brought down several Umojan siege tanks and the bridge as well. Between her and his dropship was the Archangel.
"Damn it!" he shouted. "Sarah! I'll find another way to you!"
"Well you better hurry or I'll kill this thing without you." She then turned around and began to engage the Archangel. Despite the dire situation they were in right now, she was confident that Raynor will find a way to her. He'll come. Jim never knows when to quit, she thought to herself.
Raynor watched as he saw Kerrigan began her brawl with the huge mechanical monster. He was quite surprised that despite her return to into human form, not once she lost her edge. In fact, she seemed a lot stronger than she was before her infestation. Feeling a bit better, he turned around and began to run, desperately searching for an alternative way to the shuttle platform. He knew he had to be quick. With flood of Dominion marines and feral Zerg now converging within the research station, meeting any of them would be an extremely bad idea. And despite Kerrigan seems to be able to handle the Archangel by herself, Raynor still can't help but felt worried.
He ran and ran. Turning right and left along the corridor searching for that elusive way back towards the shuttle platform. By now, the power line into the research station had been cut off. Raynor had to rely solely on the emergency lights that lit the pathways and his suit search lamp. That would be the least of his problems though. Now that the power had failed, there was no way he could find a working electronic terminal where he could refer to the map of the station. He was going his way blindly with his heavy assault rifle firmly gripped in his hands, ready to bring down anything that charged to him from the darkest corners of the corridors. From far away, he heard gunshots and more worryingly, the eerily screeching sound that had always signaled the incoming of the Zerg hordes. From time to time, explosions rocked the station as dust from the ceiling floated down covering his armor suit.
Minutes later, he reached a four way corridor intersection. There was no one around. All the electronic terminals were dead and only a few of the emergency lightings were working. Raynor looked towards each of the pathway that would lead him away from that location. Without any maps for him to refer to and with him being unfamiliar with lay out of the station himself, Raynor couldn't decide whether he was getting nearer or further away from Kerrigan. The only saving grace would be that he hadn't met any of the enemy yet. However, he knew that the longer he stayed there, the bigger the chances that he will be found.
"Oh man, I really could use a tour guide right now," he mumbled. Time was running short for him. Desperately thinking of how to get out of the mess he was in, he began ponder on the next step he should take. Moments later, an idea flew into his head. Quickly he turned on his communicator and began to contact Kerrigan.
"Sarah! Can you hear me? I could use some help. Sarah?"
No response. All he got were statics and lots of them. He tried again, "Sarah! Can you hear me? Look I'm lost right now. I need your help." Again nothing.
Raynor sighed. Things had just gone from bad to worse. He was in the middle of nowhere and he was totally cut off from her. He intended to bank on her psionic ability to guide him through the station's labyrinth but since he couldn't establish a contact with her, that idea had to be put on hold. Feeling desperate, he tried to contact Kerrigan one last time, "Sarah? Look if you got this message please find a way to call me back, okay?"
He waited for a few moments before deciding that Kerrigan might had problem answering his call. She might still fighting with that Archangel at that very moment, he mused to himself. Not wanting to disturb her concentration to what she was doing, Raynor turned down his communicator and putting it into sleep mode just in case Kerrigan tried to contact him. Saddling up his gun, Raynor decided to try his luck.
"Well, I've always like going to the right side of things," he muttered. Without thinking further, he then turned into the right hand corridor and began to pace through it, hoping that it will lead him closer to the shuttle platform. He hoped that at some point he could finally reestablished communication with Kerrigan. However, all his hopes were dashed as after fifteen minutes of running, he had reached a dead end. In front of him stood a huge blast door. With that power outage the station was now experiencing, there was no way he could make that door opened. Cursing, he began to back track his steps towards the intersection. However, just as he began to run, a really huge explosion occurred nearby causing the ceiling and the walls in front of him crumbled. Raynor managed to get out way just in time but at this point, he was trapped. In front of him stood rubbles of concrete and steel while behind him, a blast door. It took a few minutes before the dust began to settle and Raynor finally regain some vision of the aftermath. He was lucky that his visor had protected him from choking down the dust but still it didn't save him from the trap.
He went forward and began to inspect the rubbles. It had completely blocked his way out of there and there's no way he could moved that many rubbles. Some of it was simply too large and he couldn't risk more fallen debris. Getting more desperate, he tried to contact Kerrigan, "Sarah?"
"Jim?" came in the reply though a bit crackle due to interferences and perhaps as Raynor had now finally suspected, he was in fact moving away from her. Shaking off that dreaded feeling, he said, "Sarah, you're okay back there?"
"I've neutralized the Archangel but you better hurry up. I think there's another wave is incoming," replied Kerrigan.
Feeling a bit relieved, Raynor spoke into his communicator, "Sarah, I'm cut off. I can't get to your location. Take my ship and go!"
Kerrigan was dumbfounded when she heard this. Feeling a bit angry and disappointed at the same time, she shouted into the communicator, "We had just found each other, Jim! I'm not leaving you behind!"
Suddenly a familiar voice broke into their communicator. It was Valerian, "Raynor? Kerrigan? I'm now on the Hyperion. We're setting course for the rendezvous point! What's your status?"
Raynor cut in just as Kerrigan reached for her communicator, "Kerrigan is taking my dropship! I need extraction!"
"I understand and I'm sending a team for you," replied Valerian.
"Do not screw this up, Valerian!" warned Kerrigan. She had enough betrayal to last her ten lifetimes and she clearly not in the mood for more. Especially not when the life of her beloved was at stake.
Valerian, sensing the dangerous tone within Kerrigan's voice replied," Kerrigan, I'll see you at the rendezvous and… I'm sorry I didn't listen to you sooner."
"It's too late for apologies, Valerian!" replied Kerrigan, still seething from having to leave Raynor behind. Her confidence in him was beginning to diminish. Her inner emotion was practically screaming against leaving Raynor to his fate but then she knew she had no choice. It would be a matter of time before Mengsk finds them both. She knew she had to make herself disappear before that happened. She hated it, but now she had to trust Valerian to keep his words. Feeling despair, she spoke to Raynor through the communicator, "Alright Jim, I'll take your ship but if you get yourself killed, you're in huge trouble!"
Raynor chuckled when he heard that. "Heh, yes'm. Noted." He then began to inspect his weapon, cleaning it a bit from the fallen dust as he awaits for further communication from Valerian. Moments later, Valerian contacted him.
"Jim! Dominion reinforcements are arriving! The Hyperion is taking heavy fire and my team can't reach you!"
Raynor's heart sank as he heard that. That wasn't the news he was hoping for. But still a commander needed to do what a good commander was supposed to do. He knew that the longer Hyperion stayed at the location it was at right now, it would soon be destroyed. He knew that Mengsk wouldn't care less whether his son was still alive or not just as long as it gets him what he wanted. He then replied, "Roger that! Get the Hyperion off to the rendezvous point! I'll find another way off world!"
"I'll see you there! Valerian out."
Raynor looked at both blockages in front of him. Both represented quite a challenge for him. On one side, a huge rubble that would need his utmost strength in digging his way out. Not to mention the danger that more debris could fall right on top of him while digging. On the other side, a huge blast door. With power's gone, plus the only thing he got with him was the rifle, there would be no way for him to have that door opened unless he could try to rewire the power cables and routed the auxiliary power, if he find one, towards the door mechanism. At this point, he started to wish that Tychus was here with him. Deciding that opening the door would be the key to get out of the mess he was in, he began to make his way towards the control panel that resided at the left hand side of the door.
However, just as he reached that panel, the door suddenly exploded. Raynor was thrown backward by the shockwave from that explosion. He wasn't injured though thanks to his armor but his ear was ringing fiercely due to the loud noise. He was disorientated for a few minutes before he heard a familiar voice.
"Well,well. Isn't it the infamous Jim Raynor."
That voice. He knew that voice. But until now he couldn't make out whom the owner was. His head was still spinning.
"Still dizzy aren't you, Jim? Don't recognize who I am? I'll let you in a little secret. You've helped me with my Tosh problem, remember?"
Raynor's eye widen when he heard this. "Nova?!"
Nova smiled. "Good job, Jim. Looks like you still remember me. I really wish we could meet in a much more friendlier way but I got a job to do."
"After I had helped you and nearly getting killed for it?" Raynor shot back. Disappointment began to creep in. He knew a bit about Nova. He knew that like Kerrigan, Nova was Dominion's most skilled assassins. But he had hoped that he could trust her. He had hoped that she will remember the things they had done together.
Nova, sensing what Raynor was thinking, spoke, "Look Jim. I knew and I still remember all the help that you gave me, but I have my orders. A girl just gotta do what a girl gotta do."
Raynor scoffed. " And you take it much more easily than I thought you would be. Trust and confidence never mean anything to you, Nova. It's not for nothing when I said you reminded me of someone I used to know. You preferred to trust that snake than someone had fight along with you!"
At this point, Nova shouted, "Emperor Mengsk is not a snake! He had done more for humanity than anyone else did! Even you!"
"That was what he told you, Nova! All of it were simply his claim with no proof to back them up. Have you saw that broadcast? Have you ever tried to at least listen to the other side for once?" spit out Raynor.
"Why would I want to do that?" sneered Nova.
"Because by then it will enable you to think which is right and which is wrong. Then maybe perhaps you would think twice before becoming a betrayer!"
Nova's eyes reduced to a slit when she heard this. "What did you call me?"
"You're a betrayer, Nova. And you know it!" replied Raynor, now standing up. He knew what's coming for him. From the looks of it, he had finally managed to tick Nova off.
Slowly Nova raised her rifle and pointed it towards Raynor's forehead. Her anger was clearly bubbling inside her.
Softly but with no small amount of poison laced in her words, she said, "Goodbye, Jim."
A shot was heard but Raynor managed to dodge just in time. Nova prepared to take a second shot but somehow her effort was cut short by a screeching sound she heard behind her. She turned around only to see a group of hydralisk making their way towards her. She was stunted at that point of time and her mind suddenly went blank. One of the hydralisk suddenly began to shot multiple poisonous darts at her. However, just as those dart reached her, she was pushed aside by Raynor causing those hydralisk darts to instead embedded inside Raynor's armor. Pushing away the intense pain he began to feel and with Nova who was now protected behind him, he began to gun down every hydralisk that were charging towards him.
Nova saw it. She saw it all. She simply looked towards Raynor in front of her as he continued to shoot towards the hordes of hydralisk. The hydralisk couldn't get nearer but they still put a fight. More and more of their venomous darts were embedded within Raynor's armor.
"Nova! If you still have any of those grenades, I could use one right now!"
Nova quickly reach out for her utility belt and gave one of the grenade to Raynor. He took it and after pulling out the safety pin, threw it towards the incoming hydralisks. A loud explosion shook the place as Raynor turned around and hug Nova, shielding her from the blast. Minutes later he released her and began to look towards the location where the hydralisks once were. All of them were dead. He looked back at Nova who was now staring at him.
"It's done. You're safe now, Nova."
And right at that moment, Raynor toppled backward. The hydralisk's poison had began to take its toll on him. Nova quickly rushed to his side. Cradling his head, she simply looked at him. The green eyes met the brown ones. She knew that her hero wouldn't last long.
Coughing, blood seeping out of the corners of his mouth, Raynor gazed upon Nova and smiled. "Well, I guess you did manage to do what you're supposed to do."
Nova nearly cried. Trying to hold off her tears, she began to search her utility belt. She found a syringe of anti-venom and quickly injected it into Raynor's blood stream. Once that done, again she cradled Raynor's head.
"I'm not letting you go, Jim."
But by this time, Raynor had already lost his consciousness. His eyes had close. And Nova for the first time within a few years of her life, wept for the man she began to have feelings for.
To be continued..
A/n: Just as an information, this fic was written based on what I saw in HoTS mission two and guess what, it's not all my figment of imagination. That hydralisk attack I think did really happen inside the game. If you guys look carefully at the monitor at the left hand side of Raynor, there was clearly a warning of incoming hydralisks. Beside, if Nova really had shot Raynor, why would he still be alive? Anyway please read and review and I'll see you soon.