• Published 17th May 2019
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Starcraft: Warriors of Purity - Xarmar13

Bon Bon and Lyra are sent to the Koprulu Sector on a quest for vengeance.

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Stand: Insurrection

The fleet, with a few of Kerrigan’s Overlords in tow, arrive in orbit over Shakuras. However, the ships that were waiting for their arrival still had their weapons powered up and aiming at the fleet. Tassadar tried to hail them, but that was only met with a warning shot that hit the shields of the Gantrithor.

Tassadar tried again to hail the offending ships.

Another shot hits their shields.

Tassadar was still confused about why the ships were keeping them away from Shakuras. The Zerg threat on the surface was growing by the second and someone on Shakuras was keeping them from saving their race from annihilation.

At this moment, Lyra was concerned that something had happened to Sweetie. She didn’t want to believe that someone on Shakuras had captured her marefriend or worse.

Tassadar had enough with negotiating with the ships and ordered the fleet to charge their weapons. As the fleet was about to fire on the ships, an Arbiter performed a Mass Recall to return the blockade ships to the planet’s surface.

Still confused about what just happened, Tassadar, Artanis and Lyra could only look at each other, trying desperately to find some kind of answer that would help the situation make sense of what just happened.

Unable to find any answer, the fleet returned to its course to New Antioch, hoping to find some answers there.

Tassadar, Lyra, Artanis and Zeratul disembarked from the Gantrithor to find themselves meeting with Raszagal. The Matriarch greeted them with a grim expression.

“Your success has brought is the promise of hope against the Zerg,” she said. “However, we face a new threat within our own ranks. In your absence, Judicator Aldaris and an entire legion of Khalai survivors from Aiur have begun an open revolt against us.”

Zeratul was surprised that this situation was happening with the Zerg threat still present. “Why would Aldaris betray us so?” he asked.

“He and his ilk believe that it was wrong to have abandoned Aiur and consorted with our people,” Raszagal said. “Their prejudices have driven them to perpetuate the Conclave’s sins against us! Even now, Aldaris and his loyalist templar forces are preparing to attack our Citadel.”

Artanis was shocked about the terrible news but didn’t want to believe that Raszagal was speaking the truth. However, it was the best explanation as to why the blockade ships attacked them.

“As Matriarch of the Dark Templar and custodian of this world…” Raszagal continued. “...I hereby order you to terminate Judicator Aldaris, and quell this untimely uprising without delay! There will be no dissent among us while the Zerg are poised to strike!”

“Matriarch, do you know what happened to Bon...err, Sweetie Drops?” Lyra asked.

“I do not know of her whereabouts, young templar. If she is not here, then she was either captured or killed by Aldaris.” With that, Raszagal walked away.

Lyra grew worried about Sweetie. Nobody could even feel her presence. She still didn’t want to believe that something terrible had happened to her. She held onto hope that her marefriend was just hiding out somewhere.

“Something is amiss here.” Zeratul mused. “The Matriarch has always been a wise and gentle soul. Though there is some merit in her decision, this is very unlike her.”

“If you ask me, it’s about time my mother said something worthwhile,” a voice spoke from behind Lyra. She looked behind her to see who had just spoken. The voice belonged to a female Protoss with green eyes and severed nerve cord to show her Nerazim status. She also wore a Hydralisk skull on her right shoulder.

“Vorazun, to what reason do you grace us with your presence?” Zeratul asked.

Vorazun cast a withering glare at the Dark Prelate. “You should have known what troubles you would bring by allowing these servants of the Conclave to our world, Zeratul,” she said, uttering his name in a venomous tone. “I have come to inform you that due to the direness of the situation, the taboo on Dark Archons has been lifted. We will need them to match Aldaris’ forces.” With that, Vorazun walked away.

As the Citadel prepared its defenses, Lyra noticed a few Dark Templar performing a merge to form an Archon. However, she noticed immediately the differences between a regular Archon merge and one made by Dark Templar. The energies being emitted carried the terrifying crimson color associated with void energies. The form that emerged from the ball of energy was a figure out of a nightmare. Lyra quickly realized why Dark Archons were known for spreading fear on a battlefield.

A pair of Archons led an aggressive attack with Zealots behind them. The Dark Archons intercepted the group and used the void energies they commanded to addle the minds of the Archons while Lyra noticed the energy shields around the Dark Archons completely fade. What happened next made Lyra’s eyes become like dinner plates. The Archons turned on the Zealots that followed them and obliterated them with psionic energy. Lyra noticed a High Templar also followed behind the Zealots but the Dark Archons noticed him too. One stopped the Templar by stunning him in a void energy field while the other caused the psionic energy within the Templar to violently explode from within him, causing him to burst into light and fade.

Lyra could do nothing but shudder at the terrifying power of the Dark Archons, even more so at the thought of one of them using their power to turn her against Bon Bon or vice versa.

Artanis discovered through the Observers that Aldaris has created two illusory copies of himself and placed them and himself on a series of elevated platforms. Aldaris was always very skilled with his Hallucinations that not even an Observer could identify a real from a fake. Artanis was left with no choice but to guess at the correct one.

In the meantime, Artanis had the Dark Archons bolster their numbers by controlling the minds of the Archons, Arbiters, Reavers and Carriers that Aldaris had been sending at them. Although Artanis continued to concern himself with the ethical implications of Dark Archons, he also knew that they were necessary to overcome their situation.

Soon, they had warped in or taken control of a large force to assault the Khalai forces. Artanis decided to attack the Khalai base directly north of them since Aldaris or a copy of him was farther away from the other two. Lyra could not help but wince as Protoss lives were about to be needlessly thrown away for Aldaris’ rebellion.

Strangely enough, the base was mostly defended by Reavers and Photon Cannons. Lyra was very curious about the odd configuration of the base’s defenses when she was sure that there were better ways to protect a base.

The fleet of warped in or stolen ships began to attack the visage of Aldaris when the image fell apart, leaving nothing behind. The first Aldaris they attacked was a Hallucination.

Suddenly, Aldaris began taunting his enemies from the next closest platform that was more heavily guarded than the others. Lyra facepalmed because Aldaris’ trick was so simple to solve that a smart Protoss or Pony would overlook the obvious answer.

The small fleet went around the next base and attacked Aldaris’ position from behind. However, before too many shots were fired, Aldaris raised his arms in surrender.

Aldaris took one glance at the remaining copy and nodded for some reason. The distant image shimmered.

“Tell me, how well do Zerg regenerate? I don’t want to cause any permanent damage”

~”Zerg have excellent regenerative capabilities. Kerrigan was granted a stronger version of it to increase her chances of survival. Removing a limb will temporarily inconvenience her.”~

“Let’s see how long I can keep her distracted with this method.”

Zeratul, Lyra and Tassadar stood around Aldaris with Artanis hovering over him in his Scout. “It is finished, Judicator,” Zeratul declared. Surrender your remaining forces, and join us in eradicating the Zerg.”

“I would sooner die, dark one, than tarnish the memory of Aiur by joining with you,” Aldaris responded. “Your fate was sealed the moment your Matriarch allied herself with the Queen of Blades! Those of us still loyal to Aiur will never be slaves to Kerrigan and her Broods.”

Something about what Aldaris was saying didn’t sit right with Lyra. She believed that what Bon Bon was saying to him would have made sense to him. Why he would suddenly rebel when there was a bigger threat looming over the horizon was beyond her.

“Aldaris, be reasonable!” Artanis begged. “Kerrigan has changed. She no longer seeks to enslave anyone. Do not force us to destroy you.”

A series of Overlords hovered onto the platform and unloaded Kerrigan and three Lurkers onto it. While everyone was distracted with Aldaris, the Lurkers surrounded Aldaris and burrowed into the platform.

“You can no longer afford to be so naive, Artanis. While you were securing the crystals, I discovered that your Matriarch has been harboring a dark secret! She has been manipulated by--”

“We have no time for--,” Kerrigan interrupted. She raised the claws of her right arm at Aldaris...only to be distracted by an agonizing pain in her right arm where everything below that was completely numb. Kerrigan caught a glimpse of what looked like her right arm flying toward Aldaris. She slowly turned her head to look to her right to find that her right arm had been reduced to a stub with tissue hanging from the gaping wound. The pain came to a head and Kerrigan began howling in pain while clutching her stub.

“Everyone,” a mysterious voice spoke telepathically to Lyra and the Protoss. “Kerrigan is trying to kill Aldaris, stop her!”

Lyra immediately recalled the sound of Sweetie’s voice and trusted it enough to act on her words. Lyra instantly rushed toward Kerrigan and pointed her warp blade at her.

Kerrigan gave Lyra a glare “How did you cut my arm from that distance?”

“I didn’t,” Lyra said. “Most likely, that was Bon Bon who shot your arm off.”

“Bon Bon?”

“That’s Sweetie Drops to you!” Lyra shouted.

Kerrigan growled while a lone Shuttle arrived at the scene. The Shuttle unloaded an image of Aldaris, who walked up to Kerrigan. “You can drop the image now,” it said.

The illusory Aldaris faded away, revealing Sweetie Drops brandishing her smoking C-10 MK VI.

“You were in hiding disguised as one of Aldaris’ illusions?” Kerrigan inquired. “Clever, much as I hate to admit it. But all for naught.” Kerrigan’s eyes glowed for a moment...only to tilt her head in confusion while Aldaris, Zeratul and Tassadar were ferried away in a Shuttle. “What happened? Why didn’t my Lurkers attack him?”

The Lurkers surfaced and skittered up to Sweetie, who was a little creeped out by the creatures obediently coming to her. Kerrigan soon realized that her control over the Lurkers was taken from her. She quickly realized who took them and roared in fury, “Damn you, Sweetie Drops!”

Sweetie laughed for a moment before stopping to make her demands. “Alright, here’s what’s gonna happen: You’re gonna get into your Overlord and you’re going to leave Shakuras and never come back. If you do, You will be leaving again as nothing but a head and torso.”

“Why not just kill me and get it over with?” Kerrigan asked.

“I’m not allowed to divulge that information at this time.”

Sweetie released her control of the Lurkers and allowed them and Kerrigan to be loaded into the Overlords and watched as Kerrigan’s Zerg left orbit.

Now she, Lyra and the Protoss just need to deal with the rest of the Zerg on Shakuras.

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