Starcraft: Queen and Country
By Wanderer D
2504, Koprulu Sector, Corsaire 2 █
"I'm telling you old Warfield is getting paranoid, Biggs," one marine said to his counterpart, as they walked the perimeter of their base and crested the small hill overlooking their base. The pair stopped for a moment to watch the SCVs mining away for resources, and the slow buildup of their bunkers. "He might be a legend, but the man's retired here to Corsair 2 for a reason."
"You might say that, but Warfield's been doing a really dangerous job for a long time," Biggs countered. "'sides, I heard that Raynor was spotted recently. Something's going on in Mar Sara, new's all over the place with reports."
"That sucks, I asked my girl back in Backwater if she'd be interested in formalizing things, you know, make a couple of little marine's of my own."
"Man, you barely even know her."
"I know but… it's not like I know many other girls that would date a military guy like me, you know? They usually aim for higher ranks. With my luck she'll hook up with one of Raynor's pirates."
"Heh, I wouldn't worry too much, Wedge, Raynor's raiders don't go near civilians during their raids, it's us marines you should be worried about."
"Yeah, well, the Emperor has made it very clear what type of man Raynor is, so I'm not going to make any bets on what he'll do or not. When I get back there, then I'll see for myself."
Biggs stopped, tapping his friend on the shoulder to stop as well. "I think I saw something next to the refinery."
The pair turned to look at the building, trying to discern what had caught his attention. After a moment, the other one simply shrugged. "I don't see anything."
"What do you think you saw, mister?"
Biggs turned around, looking at the barren area around them. "Uh, Wedge, did you just hear a little girl?"
"I did but—" Wedge stopped when he noticed the two sharp, blade-like tips protruding from the side of his rifle. He looked down at them stupidly before they were suddenly and violently wrenched to different sides, splitting his weapon into pieces.
Biggs stared in horror at the creature that shimmered into view. It was adorable, for all the chitin, fangs, spikes, insectile wings and blood. "Wh-a—"
The creature giggled, batting away the gun he had tried to bring up. He stared, terrified, as a swarm of zerg emerged from the caverns and from holes in the ground already within the factory.
"What the hell are you?!" the terran asked.
"I'm Sweetie Belle!" the creature said, circling around them. "Nice to meet you! And you're Biggs and Wedge? I was listening to your conversation, sorry, didn't mean to spy on you. Congratulations on getting married, by the way!"
"Uh…" Wedge blinked stupidly under his helmet. "Thanks?"
"You're welcome! I hope it works out, provided she manages to survive long enough to escape!"
"Yeah…" Wedge looked around for help. Biggs was clearly paralyzed with fear. No help from there. "So, uh, wh-what are you doing here?"
"Oh! We're taking over!" Sweetie said with a smile that included pearly white teeth and pearly white pincers, clicking excitedly. "You see, this world is now property of us zerg and well… unfortunately we don't like to share." She gave an apologetic shrug. "I have tried to convince the others to be a bit more harmonious and get along, but well, the Queen doesn't seem to like the idea as much as I do… not that I have fond memories of terrans… you guys experimented on me and tortured me for over a week, after all, but my sister always said to give others a second chance and I figured since I'm getting this world anyway, what harm could it do?"
Both terrans swallowed, painfully aware of the thousands of zerg simply ignoring them as they rushed and overwhelmed the post.
"Calling all units!" Warfield's voice came on the radio, "We've fortified ourselves in the factory in the southernmost section of town. We have civilian airships incoming to pick us up, but we must hold the line for another twenty minutes!"
Wedge looked at Biggs, who gave him a helpless shrug before both looked down at Sweetie.
"Aww, why not?" Sweetie said cheerfully, her wings rustling, just as one of the barracks collapsed, the flames incinerating everyone that hadn't made it out and all the marines were slaughtered by zerglings and ultralisks. "Come on, I'll walk you there."
"Uh… General, this is Marine 155234. 155235 and I are on our way."
"Hurry up soldier, and pick up reinforcements if possible. May the fates be with you."
The trio started walking down away from the base, and towards the town, surrounded at all times by zerglings and other zerg monstrosities. It took them some time, and Biggs and Wedge stayed on edge, expecting to be brutally killed by the zerg at all times, given the bodies and losses both sides should be suffering, but Sweetie Belle seemed to be in a good mood. It took them about ten minutes to reach the edge of the city itself at their leisure pace, and they passed what was left of a couple of buildings, collapsed on the side and bodies strewn about before Sweetie made any comments.
"This is my first time seeing a Terran town!" Sweetie said, drawing their attention away from the zerg violently ripping things apart. "It reminds me a lot of my own world…. well, the cities at least, the houses back home were a lot less symmetrical."
Biggs looked at Wedge, giving him a signal that meant: "Should we run?"
Wedge considered the hungry-looking zerg around them and shook his head. For whatever reason, this chatty little monster was keeping them alive, and he hoped to keep it that way for some time.
"...I mean, who builds a house exterior out of candy, right? But that's the Cakes for you, making a statement about their lives. We had a lot less bodies, of course," she added looking at the veritable pile of dead civilians, zerg and soldiers that littered the street.
Considering this was the most direct way to the factories, it made sense that Warfield would have organized a retreat down the main street, taking as many zergs down as they could.
"You uh… sound like you miss home."
"The swarm is home," Sweetie replied instantly and firmly without looking at them. It didn't take long for her scythes to lower a little. "But I miss a lot of things."
A scream of horror interrupted them. One of the houses had been torn by a large ultralisk, who had demolished one of the walls, exposing a pair of young girls, who were huddled away from it. Biggs and Wedge looked away as the creature's large scythes came down… then looked back when they heard the clash and frustrated roar.
In the few seconds between the scream and the attack, Sweetie had somehow placed herself between the ultralisk and the children, her own scythes holding back the bigger ones with no effort.
For a moment, they thought the ultralisk would attack again, but after locking eyes with Sweetie, it gave what they could only describe as an amused snort before slithering away to casually destroy another—thankfully empty—building.
The younger of the girls stared in horror at Sweetie, who turned to look at her and tilted her head. "Hello!"
The girl didn't dare move, speak, greet or even scream, instead staring in complete horror at the strange zerg, and didn't react until Biggs and Wedge arrived, careful not to step too close to any zerg around them.
"Hey, are you okay?" Wedge asked, aware of how stupid the question was. "I mean, are you hurt?"
"N-no…" the girl said, sniffling. "But my sister…"
Sweetie stepped forth, pushing the girl gently away with the non-sharp side of her scythe, and looked at the injured girl on the floor. Biggs only had a second to pick up the little girl before she tried and attack Sweetie to defend her sister.
"This doesn't look good," Sweetie said, grimacing. "Although the damage seems to be from the building collapsing around you, rather than my zergs… so she's not poisoned at least." She glanced at them. "Biggs, you carry her sister, Wedge," she ordered as her jagged horn lit up with energy, "I hope that you're strong enough to carry this one all the way to the factory."
"I-" Wedge stared as the unconscious girl was levitated from the floor and floated over to him. Was this creature half-Protoss? "Uh, yes, it has servos inside, it can handle her weight, no problem." Fact was, he couldn't even feel the weight at all.
"Good, bring her along."
The group started walking away. By now, there was no combat in that area, just scurrying zerglings and the occasional collapsing building. Sweetie Belle went back to her usual excited look, but Wedge noticed she was not as chatty anymore.
General Warfield took shots from the upper floor of the factory at the mass of Zerg that kept approaching their slowly-retreating marines. There were so few of their boys left though, and he had a feeling that they were just getting herded for the butchery.
"Damn, I wish I had my armor on," he muttered. He narrowed his eyes as the mass of Zerg stopped advancing. "Stop firing! Save the ammo, retreat behind the walls and fortify them! We need to hold on until we get picked up!"
"Roger that, sir!"
He half expected the zerg to rush them when they retreated, but surprisingly, the zerg remained where they had been left behind.
This was a very odd behaviour and one that made him nervous, as there was only one zerg he knew about that would do this kind of thing, and if Kerrigan was here, then his suspicions about being herded were right on the mark… and they wouldn't last long. Not with these weapons, and certainly not in the defensive.
It was then he noticed something and used his rifle to focus on what should be impossible. "What the actual fu—" his musing were interrupted by the beeping of a communicator. He looked down and read the message.
Unable to approach, threat too high for us. I'm sorry, General.
They weren't coming.
"Sir?" a marine asked, voice cracking, "what do we do?"
Warfield was torn. The zerg had parted, opening a way for another of their kind, who was being followed by two marines holding two civilians. He had never seen that kind of Zerg before. Had it somehow controlled them?
Either way, he had to act.
"We stay put. Make sure you give them a fight if they start advancing again." He started walking towards the zerg.
"But sir, what about our rides out?"
Warfield gritted his teeth, not turning to face the multitude behind them. "We need to hold on until they come, son."
The walk to where the zerg were was little more than a block, but it felt like miles. Every instinct in his body was telling him to shoot, or run or take them with him. Once he was halfway there, the curious group started moving forward until he was separated from the monster and its hostages by little more than a few meters.
"Hello!" the little monstrosity said. Well, little in the sense that it was shorter than him, but it did get at least to his chest in height ignoring the horn. "I'm Sweetie Belle! Are you in General Warfield?"
He gritted his teeth again and glared at the marines, who shifted uncomfortably. There was no point in denying it, even if they at least showed some contriteness at revealing his identity to them.
"Oh, don't get angry at them," the Sweetie Belle creature said, drawing back his attention. The fact that she could talk to him, in what he recognized an echoing similarity to the way Protoss communicated, and the fact that she was clearly in command of the zerg here—from zergling to mutalisk—made her a very real monster. This was a Queen, of a kind he had never seen before. Just like Kerrigan.
"I overheard them," she continued, either not reading his mind like the Queen of Blades would or not caring. "So they didn't tell me anything I didn't know! So when I heard you call saying you were getting out of here, I thought I'd walk them over!"
Warfield looked from her to the terrified girl, to the unconscious one. "You know damn well we're not. Not with your mutalisks scaring them off!" His voice was harsh, but he didn't shout. He didn't want the people behind him to overhear him by accident, even as far as he was.
The creature blinked. "Oh?" her tentacle-like hair twitched, as if it had a mind of its own. Then she tapped a hoof to her chin. "I saw your ships, why don't you take those?"
Warfield almost laughed, then motioned at the veritable barrier of Zerg behind her.
She managed to look sheepish. "Oh."
A few hours later, the last of the civilian ships had left, and Sweetie stood atop one of the observations decks, watching the world that now belonged to the swarm.
"My Queen," Sweetie said, knowing her voice would be heard. "I have successfully captured Corsair 2. The planet belongs to the swarm."
"I am pleased. But you let several thousand terrans escape unimpeded."
"Oh," Sweetie chuckled. "You heard."
"I did. Abathur informed me of this."
"Abathur serves me, just as you do. Things will end soon, Sweetie, why would you grant them this mercy?"
Sweetie took a deep breath, considering her reply. "Because it was the right thing to do."
"They would have eliminated you if they could."
"My Queen… they were leaving, they weren't fighting to stay, they were fighting to leave. Less of our swarm died this way—"
"And more of them lived! More for that monster, Mensk to send to attack us!"
"My Queen… they were broken… and there were civilians."
"I see I still have much to teach you. There are no such things as civilians in this war, Sweetie Belle. Do you understand?"
Sweetie cringed. "Yes, my Queen."
"Return to the Leviathan, I am almost done here in Mar Sara."
"Yes, my Queen."
Sweetie waited, but there was no further communication. One of her zerglings buzzed next to her, and she smiled, patting its head.
She had just conquered a world. And it was just the beginning.