Thank you for the amount of response that you all gave from the first chapter, it really helps me push myself to write these chapters. Some people did message me about the amount of time that it will take to get to the full Game of Thrones x Starcraft crossover and my answer is that after chapter six is when the story will really pick up. I don't want to really rush through the build up on how Derrick becomes the leader of a Zerg brood otherwise I believe that it won't be as a significant thing as it should be.
"What the fuck is this shit doing here?" Derrick said as he opened up his hand and allowed some creep to fall in between his fingers onto the ground. Looking around, he saw that most of the area was just stained purple, indicating that creep used to be there and that he stepped in the only creep left anywhere near him. Farther down the hallway he also found the remains of a zergling that looked as though something had been eating it.
Curiosity overcame and forced him to continue to walk down the dark, wide passageway, ever so vigilant. He decided to leave behind his cutting torch so he could have his rifle at the ready in case if there were any Zerg around, he could always turn back around and grab the torch after making sure the path was clear. A confirmation ping went off on his datapad as he marked his location so that even if he forgot what the path he took inside of the ship he had something to fall back on.
More carcasses were littered about along with dried up patches of where creep used to cover the ground and walls. Derrick dug through the corpses, looking for anything of use or a clue as to what happened onboard that lead to the Zerg taking over. After not finding anything he kept moving and came around a corner then immediately took cover behind the wall he just passed. Down the hall was a zergling digging through a hydralisk skeleton, trying to see if any other Zerg left any meat on the bones for it to eat.
Just like most other zerglings, this one was about the height of a great dane and walked on all fours along with two limbs that came out of its shoulders and had a set of claws on each of them. It's back supported two insect-like wings that couldn't support flight but it would help it run faster by lifting some of its weight.
Derrick rose his rifle up and tried to sneak around the zergling without alerting it to his presence. While quietly pacing towards another hallway, he started to notice how skinny and frail the zergling was and how every movement was slow and weak like a stray dog.
'How long has it been stuck out here?' He thought to himself. The zergling started to smell the air around it after not being able to find any food. Derrick's mind brushed against the zergling's unintentionally and seemed very beast-like in nature, unlike the ravenous state they're normally in. It was feral and leaderless, whether it was not under the control of a pack from the Zerg's hive mind or it was alone on the ship.
The zergling felt Derrick's mind and slowly brought it's head around and stared into his eyes but remained still. He flipped the safety off of his rifle and aimed it at the zergling's body and waited for it to make a move.
'Not now, not now.' If he had to fire his weapon it could alert more Zerg to him and force him to leave, making this trip a waste of time. 'Just turn the other way and leave.' He thought nervously with his finger on the trigger. A low hiss came from the monster in front of him while they both locked eyes in a mental battle to see who would make the first move. Derrick knew that he could kill it easily but didn't want to risk making the noise to attract others. 'Don't make me do this.'
The hissing ceased from his opponent as it turned its head to search another skeleton from an unknown animal on board. Derrick took this moment to slowly walk away as he was before while still having his sights fixed on the potential threat in front of him.
He made sure that he was far enough away from danger before allowing himself to slide down a wall and have a seat on the cold ground. "What the fuck am I doing here?" His hands were clenched around his skull and if he wasn't wearing his mask then he would have been ripping out his hair. The pressure from his heartbeat could be felt through his ears and throat as it quickened.
The ideas of what could go wrong that he had on his ship were already ripped to shreds and replaced by the nightmares that he experienced while on Char as a ghost during the fight against the queen of blades. While he didn't suffer any physical injuries, he still had plenty of emotional scars that weren't healed and likely never would.
After about a minute of resting, he started to be able to control his breathing and collect his thoughts. 'If I'm going to run then this is my last chance.' He picked up his rifle again and faced the unexplored, darkened hallway. 'If you take one more step then you won't turn back around until you have your prize.' This was his way of self-motivation; all throughout life he would create small goals for himself to complete that would eventually lead to completing a larger goal.
Thinking back to the zergling he wondered why it stopped the aggression so suddenly; they've never backed down before even when severely outmatched. What stood out to him the most was when he touched it's mind with his psionic abilities and realized that it was feral, leaderless, and seemed to stop after he spoke to it. 'Don't be fucking ridiculous.' He thought to himself, 'They're mindless beast that only follow their brood mothers, not some ghost like me.'
He took a step into the darkness, then another followed by several more until he was back at a steady pace. Checking every room he came across would always turn up empty and would only find dead Zerg and other beasts that were on top of stasis platforms. "Why would the Protoss carry animals onboard their ships?" Derrick thought out loud. While walking around the room he would shuffle some of the dried bone near the stasis platforms to see if anything was buried beneath them. He did this in a few areas around the room until his foot hit something hard and heavy. Getting down on his knees, he began sifting through the pile and uncovered his first prize: a Protoss warp blade used by one of their zealot warriors.
The massive gauntlet that would produce a blade made of plasma from its center when activated, was almost as large as his entire arm and required two to even carry it. Useless for him in combat, valuable at an auction. Before searching more of the room he marked its location on his datapad. He was very thorough while checking every corner of the room and under every piece of debris but still couldn't find anything else of value and decided to move on.
Derrick's motivation was starting to rise after finally finding something of value but yet again he brought his gun up as soon as he exited the area and found two hydralisk fighting each other on who was going to eat who.
The serpent-like creatures always gave him a hard time on the battlefield; last time he had a run-in with one of them was while he was riding passenger in an ATV on char after the battle against the queen of blades was over. They drove over it while it was burrowed beneath the ground and decided to come up as they were overhead and flipped them on their side. Derrick was able to get out of the wreckage but his driver had her leg pinned underneath the vehicle above the knee. He grabbed his rifle and poked his head out from the cover of the ATV and started firing at the hydralisk.
The Zerg warrior returned the favor by firing its own needle spines out of its body towards him, striking him twice in his chest. His armor stopped the first one that hit his gut but didn't have the same results that hit the right side of his chest, the spine embedded itself about two inches into his muscle and bone but didn't pierce his lung or ventral sac. He had to adjust to peeking in and out of cover to deliver his rounds while managing his pain which was provoked every time he fired. After going through two magazines of almost blind firing, the hydralisk finally fell and he was able to turn his attention to his partner.
She was desperately trying to dig at the ground to try to free her leg without any visible amount of progress being made because of the dry, cracked dirt. Derrick wasn't strong enough to lift the large machine off of her and time was running out. More Zerg could be seen on the horizon and they were in a frenzy after their leader was defeated. He hastily grabbed a tourniquet out of his bag and slipped it under the panicked woman's leg then pulled out a pair of trauma shears and began cutting away the fabric surrounding her leg.
As soon as the skin was exposed it was easy to tell that there was internal hemorrhaging in her thigh because of the color. He then ran to the back of the ATV and grabbed the ax that was kept in the back then ran back to her. Derrick started to coach her on what was about to happen. He gave her the count to three but swung on two. Her voice gave out as the limb was separated from it's home and her hands started to tighten around her leg to apply some occlusion to the flow of blood.
The tourniquet was then tightened as high up her leg as it would go until the flow of blood was cut off. Needle spines started to bounce off their cover from incoming hydralisk as they got up on their feet. Derrick had to abandon his rifle so that he could help his fellow medic to safety on her single leg. They started to run as fast as they could, all the while Derrick could feel her strength start to fade with each stride she took but she still kept on going.
Eventually, she started to limp more and more until Derrick was just dragging her over his shoulder while still dealing with the projectiles stuck inside of his armor and flesh. He turned his head around to find that three Zerg roaches were following him and were starting to close the distance between them but he still kept on going.
It wasn't long until they started to spray their acid bile in their direction, the shots were off but were getting closer with each volley. He looked back down at the medic and saw that her eyes were completely void of life along with a trail of blood behind them both.
His tourniquet slipped off a long time ago.
Derrick came to a full stop after he realized what had happened and paused as it sank in that the medic had no hope of recovery. He came back to his senses as he saw roach fire another shot of acid at them and dropped to the ground. Small amounts of the projectile landed on his back armor plating but much more hit his patient. The entire lower half of her body was missing with chunks of flesh and synthetic leather dissolving in the roach's bile.
One of them had already closed the distance and was trying to fit whatever was left of her leg into it's jaws, not paying any attention to Derrick. They weren't Zerg without their leader, they were pack dogs, picking off the weak deer for an easy meal.
Derrick had to leave his partner behind to able to escape that day, but to him it remained as his largest loss of life to this very day. All because of a single hydralisk and a tourniquet that he forgot to lock into place.
Sneaking past the hydralisk in front of him wasn't an option. They both were still fighting each other in front of him with their scythe-shaped blades at the end of their arms.
While aiming his rifle at the two of them he decided to test something out that he noticed after his encounter with the zergling. Reaching out with his mind and spoke two words to them, 'Fight elsewhere.'
They both were swinging at each other for a few more seconds before noticing the command and started to slow down their movements. Pausing for a moment, then turning away from him, they obeyed his command and slithered down the passageway.
'It worked. I can't believe this shit worked.' Derrick thought in disbelief. Suddenly the hydralisk both stood up straight, turned to face the ghost, let out a deathly hiss, and charged him. "This is fucking bullshit!"
His finger slammed down on the trigger and released a steady stream of bullets into one of the assailants while he started moving back to keep the distance between them. The movements of the Zerg were slow and weak because of the starvation but continued with purpose even as one of them fell to Derrick's consistent flow of rounds that struck its torso.
The remaining ammunition in his magazine went into the next one but was empty after only a few shots. The hydralisk was just over two yards in front of him by now and lifted its arm in an attempt to slash at him. He dove down to avoided the attack and jumped across the lower half of its body that would drag across the ground then kept on running to put some distance in between them while he reloaded his rifle.
Derrick looked up at the hydralisk while reloading and saw the Zerg start to stumble while turning around then completely collapse to the ground. The creature used the last bit of it's remaining energy to attack him with only enough left to let out a few pathetic cries of pain and hunger.
The next magazine was locked into place inside of the gun with another round racked into the chamber. All that he had to do was pull the trigger to end its suffering as he walked towards it with his sights fixed at the base of its skull.
Derrick looked into the giant serpent's pleading eyes. Nobody had ever seen a Zerg pleading for death and he didn't even have to connect to it's mind to tell that it wanted to die.
A loud crack came from the gun as he granted its wish.
"I need to use my cloaking field more." Derrick said, triggering the stealth mode on his suit that made him seem transparent.
A part of him felt somewhat sympathetic towards the creature because of the amount of suffering it must have gone through but quickly extinguished it as he clutched onto the thoughts of all of the dead soldiers that he fought alongside with that died to the Zerg. It could rot in hell with the rest of them for all he cared and hoped he could find more of them to send along with it.
Like a gentle breeze he felt the presence of another being's mind but unlike the others, it was trying to lead him somewhere. It wasn't threatening or commanding, it was pleading, begging for him to listen to it. Derrick saw it as a trail for him to find more of them.
The ghost never heard a Zerg's voice or about the Zerg ever being able to speak to a human aside from the queen of blades herself. He was on guard as he made his way to the direction of whatever was calling him.
The cloaking field stayed up the entire way through the powerless Protoss vessel; he already ran into the Zerg twice and wanted to have a better chance of assessing a threat before engaging it this time.
'You will not be harmed.'
There was no reason or desire for him to believe the voice and he had no intention of giving the same courtesy to whoever was communicating with him.
The path lead him into a large open area that looked like the control center of the ship and unlike how most Terran battlecruisers had a smaller bridge compared to the overall size of the vessel, this one was about five hundred feet long with several ramps leading up and down platforms with broken consoles all around the area.
"You are like the queen."
Derrick's attention shifted to the center of the room. Lying atop of the bones and armor plating of all the Protoss onboard was a Zerg broodmother.
If she were standing, the top of her head would be around fifteen feet tall. The body was just as long as she was tall and was supported by six legs that were connected to each other on both sides with a webbed membrane. Towards the front of her lower body, the main torso rose up and appeared almost humanoid in structure with two arms and a head with mandibles at the jaw and without a mouth. And all over her was a carapace armor plating that would be tough for his weapons to pierce.
"There is no need to hide. I can see through your deception." The broodmother said weakly. "Nobody will seek to harm you."
His gun remained leveled with the Zerg leader as he dropped his shield. "If you didn't order those hydralisk to attack me, then I might believe you."
"One by one my children have been dying over the past few weeks, but never have I sensed someone else taking over my influence and giving them commands to follow." The broodmother was out of breath from the conversation already and had to pause before continuing. "I've only looked into the queen of blades thoughts and memories for a short time before becoming trapped her and this is my first time seeing a human in person, but it is customary for us to introduce ourselves is it not?"
'What is she playing at?' Derrick thought to himself. "The Zerg I've met never really wanted to know my name, just what I taste like."
"Does it look like I have a mouth to taste you with?"
"Smartass." Derrick huffed under his breath. "Alright, my name is Derrick Packer. What do I call you?"
"I am broodmother Niadra. And I was made by the queen of blades with the sole purpose to kill all Protoss and I intend to follow those orders until the day I die."
"Quite a goal she gave you, too bad your queen is dead. I was there on Char when we invaded and turned her back into a human. I lost a good friend that day because of bastards like you." He put his sights back onto Niadra and rested his finger on the trigger. "Anything else you want to talk about before I reunite you with your children."
"I was made by the queen after everything happened Char. She is off in the sector reclaiming her broods, but she abandoned us out here because I am not strong enough, which is why I need your help." The brood mother admitted with a sincere tone.
"Explain to me why I would help you? Seriously, what could you possibly use to get me to do what you want? Because from what I can see, you're all just about dead, and the last ones that tried to kill me could only move a few yards before collapsing." Derrick was getting tired of her stalling and decided to flip the safety off of his gun.
Niadra took another deep breath in before turning her head to the side. "She won't."
Before he could even look at what she was referring to, a large purple mass of Zerg struck him from the side and knocked him several yards to the side. The sheer impact of the collision forced him to drop his gun and he found himself staring at what the Zerg called a 'Swarm queen' which filled the role of taking care of the hatcheries and eggs and healing other wounded Zerg.
"You will listen human." The queen commanded while standing her ground in between him and his rifle. Swarm queens shared a very close resemblance to brood mothers in all but two things which were their overall size- which was on average half the height and length- and the amount of brain matter that didn't allow them to have much mental capacity for problem-solving and only allowed them to be able to control a small number of Zerg.
"Enough Ryril." Niadra's word was law within her brood; and just as all the others, no Zerg could disobey a command. Because all Zerg were connected to each other using their hive mind, it wasn't physically possible for any of them to go against an order, most of them didn't have a mind capable of independent thought or personality. "This is Ryril, my personal guard. I made sure that she was well fed so that if something or someone came along then she would be able to protect me."
Derrick wondered if she fed the other Zerg to her or if maybe the queen got her nutrients from the pile of Protoss that Niadra was sitting on.
"listen closely Derrick," She continued. "If I had another option to keep my children from eating each other then I wouldn't hesitate to kill you now, but you are the only one able to fly that ship in the hangar."
Catching his own breath after having the wind knocked out of him he replied, "What, you want me to go on a food run?"
"You and Ryril are going to help us escape this place."
I've also added a progress bar on my profile page that I'll update as I write the chapters so that everyone can get an idea of when the next chapter will be.