AN: Good day fanfiction! I know I haven't updated in a long while (almost nine months) but I just couldn't find my inspiration to write what I wanted to. But as time continued and I found out how to view the hits on my story I forced my lazy butt in front of my computer and produced this chapter. I hope you guys enjoy this and I hope I haven't lost too many readers. Special thanks to all those guys and gals who favourited and put this story in their alert lists.
Disclaimer: I don't own StarCraft, StarCraft Ghost and any characters from thoes merchandises. They belong to Blizzard Entertainment.
-Chapter 5: Reclamation-
Nova was hurrying through the corridors of Area 5 while clutching her bleeding side. She had left the Impaler with the dead Hunter-Killer and instead had her sniper rifle readied. It was unfortunate for her that the sensors in this area were damaged or malfunctioned so that she couldn't tell where her enemies' position were until she ran into them... which happened faster than she was comfortable with.
She had been running towards an intersection of the corridor when the sound of big and heavy footsteps echoed through the corridor. Thanks to years of training Nova's reflexes kicked in, making her stop before the intersection when a body as big as a tank crashed into one of the walls. Nova recognized the creature as an Ultralisk but it was unlike any she had seen before: instead of two arms with blades it had four and the flat head with the triangular, lipless mouth was replaced by a head resembling in shape a Hydralisks with a big horn on its forehead and a huge plate of armor springing out of its neck to cover its back. Additionally it's whole body appeared far more massive than the old Ultralisks. The beast roared and turned towards Nova who didn't spare a second and sprinted down the left corridor with the Ultralisk stomping after her. Although far more massive the Ultralisk's speed wasn't reduced by the narrow corridors and Nova was struggling with her bleeding side. I have to get to more narrow corridors where it won't fit through! A quick glance at the image of the map prompted Nova to suddenly burst through a door on her right which led through a smaller maintenance corridor which would lead to the extraction chamber of Area 6. The whole corridor shook when the Ultralisk struck the doorway. Nova slowed down to a light jog in order to catch her breath when the screeching of ripping metal filled everything around her. Her head whipped around on its own and her eyes widened in shock as the Ultralisk smashed through the doorway and came charging at her at a speed Nova hadn't believed possible for a beast this massive. It's four arms were spread and cutting through the corridor walls to allow the massive body to crumble them and it's head was lowered so the tip of the single horn was poised at a point slightly above Nova's own head. The first thought which sprung into her head was Dodge!, the second Where to?, and then the Ultralisk had reached her. Nova knew that that thing would either run her over or run her through if she didn't do something so she jumped and clung to the horn. The Ultralisk at first didn't realize his prey had escaped but then started to shake his head furiously to get rid of the offending human and thrusting his blades back and forth, all for naught though. Nova clung with all her might at the horn and a quick glance forward made her shut her eyes in anticipated dread. The crash and boom nearly shook her off the horn but then the Ultralisk had already smashed through the vault door and was carried into a circular room with a hole in the ground. This caused the Zerg to come to a skidding stop which flung Nova from it's horn into the opposite wall. The impact drove all the air out of Nova's lungs and she had to will her eyes to open. When she managed she was blinded by an intense light which took her a moment to get accustomed to. After the glare was gone Nova saw a violet beam shone from the hole in the ground and traveled all the way up to the ceiling. The light was increased by clouds of gas which shone in the same light. Even through all of her conditioning her first impulse was to take a deep breath to replace the air which had been knocked out of her. Her eyes widened in shock when she started coughing and her mouth, windpipe and lungs were burning. But not only them: her skin and eyes were burning as well as one of the clouds drifted close by her. Vespene-Gas... I'm in the extraction chamber! She knew that being exposed to Vespene-Gas unprotected was lethal over some time, especially in this concentration but she also realized that something was different about it: normal Vespene-Gas was green and didn't fluorescent in such a violet color. She wanted to hold her breath but her body was betraying her again when it continued to take deep breaths to get at least a bit oxygen into her burning lungs. Her head felt like it would split open and she could have sworn that her brain was burning as well. Through her blurry vision she saw that the Ultralisk seemed to be struggling as well. With seemingly super-human effort she pushed herself off of the ground and sprinted toward the extraction shaft. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw that the vault door through which they had smashed had been replaced by the emergency blast door. But her gaze fixed on a point in front and above of her: the control room. If she could use her telekinesis on the controls she could open the second door and get out of here. The roaring of the Ultralisk who seemed to have spotted her reminded her fuzzy mind that she had to take care of it as well. The burning in and on her whole body and mind made it extremely difficult to think and the only thing she could think of was that Vespene-Gas no matter in which form was highly inflammable. She plucked her last grenade from her belt and flung it into the shaft which extended god knew how deep into the bowels of this world. Without thinking she ran to the unharmed door.
The rescue-squad continued down the barren and broken corridors of the destroyed facility. Captain Bock who was walking in the front gripped the gauss rifle he had taken from Milton more tightly. They had already lost two men to surprise attacks from burrowed Zerglings and the Captain was starting to doubt the value of this mission but... the gal had saved him and his men and he would be damned if he didn't manage to bring her back out of here and if it was his last breath. So deeply in thoughts was he that he didn't hear the slithering sound filling the corridor and noticed the shouts of his companions too late. His head snapped up and his eyes were met with a fierce yellow and then all he could feel was pain shooting through his abdomen to his chest and left shoulder when the Hunter-Killer drew it's scythe-like arm through his armor. The symbols in his HUD informed him that he had various suit-breaches and the suit was already pumping StimPacks and analgesia into his blood-stream. He only felt through a haze as his body hit the floor and the deafening roar of the gauss rifle's of his companions and the screeches of the Zerg being pummeled with the projectiles. The gaze of the Captain was directed straight at the ceiling which stayed in focus for only a short time. Only belated did the pained scream of one of the marines reach his ears which seemed to be covered by wool.
The Hunter-Killer growled in victory and pain. These puny humans didn't stand a chance against it's strengthened carapace and acid needles. It pulled it's arm out of the marine which it had just impaled through the chest. Even with their armors humans were such fragile creatures, utterly pathetic. It's searching gaze rested on the last standing human who kept shooting at it's body. The projectiles were starting to irritate it and it could feel that the relentless assault of needle-shaped bullets at super-sonic speed were starting to chip away at it's carapace. It ducked and raised it's neck-shield and with the contracting of several muscles a dozen of acid covered needles were shot at incredible speed into the human's armor. It watched in glee as the needles impact rocked the body back and then smashed into the wall behind him. The body slumped down, blood pouring out of the holes where the needles had traveled through his body and struck the wall. It released another screech for it's victory and turned around to continue it's search for the final intruder.
First was the shock-wave which caused an earthquake. The whole complex and canyon were shaken through. Sergeant Milton had a lot of trouble staying on his feet and a quick glance around showed him that he wasn't the only one: all around him equipment and marines toppled to the ground while those who managed to stay on their feet were frantically looking for the source. Then came the light. It was so sudden that the helmets of those who were unlucky enough to stare at the refinery didn't have enough time to darken and even for Milton and Hauler who were both facing the other direction the sudden increase in brightness forced the visors to darken. Both men whirled around when a roaring so loud that the ground shook even more and marines and equipment were sent to the ground again. Where the column of light had been not a few seconds ago, a raging pillar of green, purple and orange flames stretched seemingly endless into the sky. The monstrosity of a fire existed for only a dozen seconds before it started crumbling in itself and then extinguished. Milton could feel through his suit the raging winds which brought oxygen and air to where the flames had consumed everything. But it was far from over: after the column of fire had collapsed the ground shook once more and all around the facility pillars of green fire shot through the ground towards the sky. Through their com-links both Sergeant and Colonel were able to hear the screams of pain and fear of those unfortunate enough to have been standing where the pillars had erupted or those who got crushed by the debris thrown through the air.
This is an bloody apocalypse! Milton's mind was racing with possibilities to escape this pandemonium but since he didn't know where the next pillar would erupt he had no way of guessing where safe was. And as with the original pillar it was over as quickly as it had begun and an almost mockingly silence laid itself over the frightened humans.
"Wha- what the hell did just happen?" Milton turned to Loster at the sound of his shaking voice.
"The Vespene-Gas... it was ignited and exploded." Now both Loster and Milton turned towards Colonel Hauler who was standing with his back to them and was overlooking the damage caused by the explosion.
"The reservoirs under the ground caught fire and the pressure which built up was so great that it broke through the earth... just like a volcano." The colonel looked over his shoulder at both of them while giving this explanation. With a jolt he swiveled on the spot and shouted towards a group of frightened technicians:
"Get that equipment running again and call HQ! I want a dozen dropships to pick up the injured! And tell them to sent some SCVs with materials. I want a fully operational base at this spot in less than three days!"
Several marines were startled by the sudden outburst from the usually level-headed Colonel but the technicians instantly went to work to get the equipment running again. Milton was still shaking inside from this sudden encounter with death. It was strange: they could face of against a seemingly endless swarm of alien bugs but one reminder of mother nature that she was in charge can sent whole armies cowering like frightened children. Milton was jolted out of his thoughts when he realized that the Colonel was standing right in front of him.
"Sergeant, gather your men." with that he turned around and headed towards a group of medics who were treating some of the injured.
"I've got a bad feeling about this, sarge." Milton didn't respond, instead he set out to gather his squad.
Exhausted, tired, run over by a tank. That was how Colonel Hauler felt at the moment. The catastrophic explosion had ruined the good mood of the marines after the victory against the Zerg. At the moment he was standing behind one of the technicians who was trying to get a signal from the rescue-squad which he had sent into the refinery. But they had lost contact shortly before the explosion. But there were good news as well: HQ had acknowledged their request and was sending in several dropships in order to set up a base and retrieve the wounded. He cast another glance at the camp. He knew it could have been far worse, the majority of the eruptions had happened outside of their perimeter and losses were only few. He could hear as Sergeant Milton and his squad stood in line beside the four medics who already stood behind him.
"Although the probability is almost zero, it is possible that one of the rescue-squad survived this. That's why we are going in." He turned around and looked at each marine in turn.
"We have two objectives: find any survivors if possible and find out what caused this explosion. I don't want any Zerg suddenly streaming out of that hole without my knowledge." None of the assembled marines said a word and since their visors were down he couldn't see their expressions. But he didn't need to in order to know that they would follow his orders.
"Alright let's move out!"
Nova stumbled through the smoke-filled corridor. Each step was shakingly taken and bore a chance of knocking her down. Her vision was blurry and her mind a mess. She had woken up at the base of a wall, sunshine entering the corridor through a million of cracks and making the smoke appear so much blacker than it was. She hadn't remembered a thing and the only feeling inside her was coldness. Slowly she had gotten up and started walking in a direction which was how she ended up here. The goggles covering her eyes were smashed and the lenses broken so the sunlight was the only thing illuminating her way. Her foot missed and she crashed to the ground, too weak to catch herself with her arms. So she laid on the ground taking heavy breaths, sweat running down her sooth covered face. Something was coming. She could feel the vibrations in the floor. With extreme effort she was able to lift her head and through her blurry vision she could make out a single shape: a scythe-like arm hovering above her head. Then the exhaustion took over and everything went black.