The dusty colony of Guao Kel’or was quiet aside from the steady whoosh and crash of the vespine refineries, not unusual for the outpost but now all the more eerie given the context. For the last few nights the increasingly familiar hiss and chatter of Zerg danced around their borders though the bunker-bound nightwatch had never made long enough visual contact to confirm their numbers – only ever shadows and flashes of claws. The silence was understandable; there was nothing to say. Much of the prepared defences, a pitiful effort really, had been set up a day ago. The guns were loaded and a Dominion carrier was only a few hours at most from providing them much needed back-up.
If only that were enough.
Young as their brood mother was, and without the support of the Queen of Blades, the Zerg forces were formidable to say the least. Even if they didn’t outnumber the Terran colonists the brutal efficiency of their murderous design was not to be mocked, not to say they didn’t try. They were tenacious species, and one with some potential. Unfortunately it was this very potential which put them in such danger – after Kerrigan’s disappearance many of the abandoned broods still desired to advance her plans. Infesting Terrans to exploit their psionic potential and, in this case another opportunity presented itself. The mutagenic gas terrazine was rich in the deposits surrounding Guao Kel’or.
Naturally this flurry of Zerg interest did not go unnoticed, hence the Dominion support now nearly arrived, but a fleet of Protoss was also drawn to the region. The purge was a terrible but, in their minds, necessary measure to halt the swarm.
At least the colony was silent for non-psionics.
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“Godammit, keep your thoughts to yourself!” Yotta chided herself, turning the volume up on the garage speakers despite being half-way across the room from the controls. She paced in that direction as a sort of afterthought, trying to push out the swirl of feelings and thoughts around her. She slumped onto the seat of her Vulture and sunk her head into her hands, letting out a long low sigh. Since the arrival of the Dominion ‘inspectors’ there was already more psychic jargon polluting the place, quite a headache for an advanced psionic like Yotta Yocta. Not that they needed to know that, in fact she had made her best effort to keep these powers suppressed – It didn’t take a genius to work out they were with the Ghost program, or that that new mining site facility wasn’t exactly your standard vespene operation.
Nevertheless, she had refrained from investigating too much, her mind was already enough to keep them on alert whenever she wandered by. No need to mine their thoughts and risk it. Not worth the effort. To make matters worse, the Zerg were venturing ever closer – the mind of the swarm was almost tantalizingly powerful, constantly whispering of horrible things in the background. She maintained composure but her eyes were still hallowed every time she drew near the edge of the colony. It didn’t help remembering the dying thoughts of the last Dominion troop to investigate the Zerg out there…
Yocta, looks like that missile turret at the new pump site’s on the fritz again. One of ‘em Dominion monkey-wrenches is having a crack at it; you better get there or he’ll blow us up before the Zerg get a chance… A familiar voice drifted in Yotta’s head and brought her thoughts back to the present, albeit with radio static at its edges. One of the boons of being a technopath was that her head worked as a radio transceiver: certainly saved pockets. Though her lack of a radio did spark some questions so she was almost grateful for this emergency – it drew attention from the psi-hunt.
Just lovely. I’ll translocate and see what I can salvage… Save me a spot in the bunker, just in case. She transmitted back, just remembering to add some static, continuing the illusion of her needing a microphone and its inherent interference. Yotta smirked slightly; the dominion engineers brought in for the new facility were over-educated fools. Clapping her hands together she grabbed a technician’s kit and headed for the door then stopped a moment – she pulled her P220 to her side with her mind, just in case.
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“Motherfu-“ Zzzzt! Sgt. Chun was nearly knocked off the side of the turret by a surge caused by his ham-fisted repair attempts, not that he’d admit it. No, that Dominion training wouldn’t let that happen, right? Yotta suppressed a chuckle, observing the antics and feeling just that bit more reassured about the quality of her ‘education’. “Congratulations Sgt. Chump, you found the power supply….” The engineer greeted, lazily wandering towards the structure. The other colonists started calling the officer that behind his back however her telepathy made it difficult to gauge if she was meant to say it to his face, so she did anyway, “At least I can read the manual, u-“ Chun didn’t get to finish this sentence however as another surge knocked him clear off the turret, face first in a puddle of mining tailings. For once, it wasn’t his doing. Being a freak had its benefits.
With a sigh Yocta casually stepped over the dazed technician and quickly scaled the turret, completely ignoring the section Chun had been fruitlessly tinkering with. A few measured movements and the turret came back to life. As she descended the tower she relaxed a little, the psi shields around the facility usually made it a dead zone for mental static anyway. However this time it allowed her to read the contemptuous, and even disgusting, thoughts of the Dominion conscripts – She tried to internalise these feelings but instead they latched onto the whisper of the swarm.
Had she been a lower level psionic this might not have done anything but her powers were impressive and still growing –a nearby swarm of zerglings and their hydralisk brethren were already poised to attack, her wave of emotion proved enough to trigger their blood-thirst. With screeching howls they emerged from the ground and descended on the marines. Shaking herself back into reality Yotta promptly jumped from the turret, hitting the ground running with gun in hand. She went for a shortcut back to town near the border of the defences; sensing most of the zerg were at the other side. She was too preoccupied by the whispers she had loudened to check if any were following her. She did sense the shields of the facility weakening, however, and something terrible threatening to escape.