Jarren raced through the halls of the compound, steam billowing out from the pipes along the walls as explosions sounded farther down. He slammed his hand against the keypad, rushing through the massive doors into the chamber beyond. The room was filled with equipment, monitors displaying systems data, specimen progress, and fluid currents covered the walls, and massive stasis tubes dotted the floor, surrounded with machinery to regulate the development of the creatures inside.

Jarren looked around franticly for Donavan, the man had come here at the first sign of a fight, and he hadn't left since the station had gotten the order from the confederacy to kill the project.

"DONAVAN!" Jarren bellowed, voice barely audible over the sounds of gunfire and grenades, "WE HAVE TO SHUT IT DOWN!"

He raced over to one of the mainframes, fingers flying as he began shutting down tank after tank in the station. He had to work fast, if he could get them all down before the marines could destroy the base, then he and Donavan would be able to re-build, start the program over away from the Confederacy. He heard the click of a hammer being pulled back, and the middle aged scientist froze.

He turned to see who was behind him, and panic hit him like a hammer. Donavan stood with a military rifle in hand, staring intently at his partner.

"Back away Jarren. I told you once, I am not shutting the program down."

Jarren lifted his hands, shaking wildly as Donavan stepped closer. "I cant Jarren," he said softly, staring at the floor, keeping the point on his friend, " I cant kill them."

Jarren saw an opening to convince his partner, and he desperately took it. "They're an experiment, Donavan! The confederacy will destroy this place, everything, now! You know as well as I that the reason they're doing this is because they don't think that a race derived from warriors can bring peace, and if we don't shut it down, they'll destroy everything! If we give in to them now, we can start over, outside their sight!"

Donavan stared at him, grey eyes cold and tired. " I won't shut it down, and it's not because of the project."

Jarren's eyebrows scrunched. To him, it had all been an experiment, a challenge, had it become something else to his fellow scientist?

Donavan turned to the mainframe, keeping the gun trained on Jarren, and he began punching commands into the computer at a breakneck pace, doors slamming shut around the complex, including the one leading to the chamber. Jarren had to get that gun out of the way, he had to get Donavan to see reason!

Jarren rushed forward, shifting to the side as he grabbed the barrel of the gun, slamming Donavan against the keys of the computer, straining against the stronger man. Donavan whipped the gun around, trying to get it free. He slammed Jarren against the surface of a stasis tank, knocking the wind out of the younger man, flinging him across the room with ease.

Jarren leapt forward, wrestling for the gun once again, and the gun went off, a bullet shattering one of the four active tanks in the room. Donavan roared with rage, shoving Jarren back, swiping a needle off of a table, and sinking it directly into the other man's chest, the orange liquid inside instantly rushing into the other man. Donavan shoved Jarren into an empty tank, ignoring the screams of pain, and he started the sequence, a dark blue fluid rushing into the glass chamber.

Donavan rushed to the shattered tank, scooping up his delicate creation as gently as he could. It's little heart was still beating, translucent skin still slick with the stasis fluid. It was waking up, tiny legs kicking, mouth gaping. Donavan rushed to the remaining empty chamber, opening it as fast as he could, ….and the tiny creature's heart stopped beating. Donavan froze, staring at his masterpiece, the perfect blend of Terran and Protoss, gone. He fell to the ground, staring at the small, dead embryo, when the door was cut open by a psy blade.

Donavan slowly looked up, hardly surprised to see the Protoss woman that had been the third member of their team, standing next to him. She rested a four fingered hand on his shoulder, iridescent blue eyes staring at him, examining him.

"It is gone, Donavan." The Protoss said, "We must move the remaining Merges, so that we may bring peace to our peoples. Tassin's death was unfortunate, but there are three that can be kept, and taught."

She helped Donavan up, and the scientist nodded slowly. He had started to think of these creations as his children, and he would not lose his daughters and remaining son.

"Thank you, Cho'Nira," he said quietly, "Help me move the equipment and transfer the program to the ship's computer, we'll set up on Janus 4, the jungle world."

Cho'Nira nodded, striding over to one of the three tanks, closing her eyes. "Few Protoss would trust a Human…" she mused to herself, "But then again," her eyes opened, intent on Donavan, "few humans would find such emotion for a Protoss child."

CHAPTER ONE, ten years later

Kae'Ana raced through the trees, feet folding up at lightning speed with each step. She angled sharply, folding her feet up effortlessly to leap over a bush, proceeding onwards with loud, even breaths. Mother had explained that one of the girl's parent races had evolved on a planet like this, and Kae'Ana believed it, her hybrid toes were perfect for climbing, and leaping through the undergrowth was as easy as breathing.

She put on some extra speed, her Protoss cloak flapping slightly as she ran barefoot through the jungle. At first this area had been home to all kinds of creatures, many dangerous, but Mother and Donavan had taken care of that, making a perimeter of safety for the four young hybrids. Kae'Ana glanced up into the trees, her sister was close, somewhere in the dense foliage.

She waited, listening for the sounds of her older sibling, waiting for any sign of her prescence.

A rock hit her on the head, and she yelped, throwing her hands up. "That's cheating Ahn'Reada!" she screamed, her terran lips forming the words effortlessly, "you said you wouldn't throw things!"

Ahn'Reada poked her head out from behind a tree, a grin spread wide on her face, her own green cloak drapind down to her feet, which were gripping a branch tightly. The two sisters were somewhat alike, with the same light grey skin, human faces, and protoss legs, but they matched in little else. Ahn'Reada resembled Mother, a protoss, with the same black braided hair and amused expression, (though the mouth was different) While Kae'Ana had uncharictaristic blond hair, though it was similarly braided.

"I couldn't help it, you had stopped!"

Kae'Ana glared at her sister, then sprinted back off into the forest, feet pounding into the dirt.