DK ' 2000
The Story Domain

- Story Sections -

- Reading List
- Story List
- Poem List
- DK's Choice

- Chapter Links -

- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5

- Author's Notes -



- Comments - 

DK - 6.11.00
"Very, very detailed and well-written."


- Link to TSD -

Submit your writings for online publication!


- Intricate Unknown -

Written by: Arian Solberg
Last Updated: 12.26.1999
Word Count:

Chapter I - The Toll of War

The countryside moved. Alive with inhuman determination, a blanket of soldiers swept over hills and rolled through the valleys. Flesh intertwined with cold steel, through loops and back again to create a perfect army. Thousands of bodies moved in unison as they had been ordered - to their salvation, to their pyre. Each human, who only years before was unique and beautiful, now merely existed as a cog in the indifferent game of war. Individually, they were issued a weapon, and thus became machines. They had been twisted and bent into hateful automatons that were forced to decide who had the right to exist alongside them. Their movements now created a morose song that rolled over the countryside and in their wake, was a trail of bitter tears and withered hopes. These men would soon die.

Hours later, the pale moon betrayed translucent heat waves against the brush.
Moving as a panther, the Ghost flowed through the forest and onto the brink of a knoll that overlooked the demons. He suppressed a gag as the binoculars focused in on unheard of horrors. Vile snake-like beasts patrolled the outskirts of a throbbing gray carpet. Bloodthirsty zerglings skittered across their organic home in packs. Zerg drones moved about their business, oblivious to the imminent attack only miles away.
The covert agent's pupils narrowed to pinpoints as he watched his enemy. He began to count the lethargic behemoths floating in the sky - a common way to discern how many enemies there were. But there was something amiss. There were far too few bugs in this colony to necessitate the army he was in. Why would the confederacy order such a full-scale attack on what appeared to be a vulnerable and insignificant target? Not having any answers for such questions, he made a quick mental map of the terrain below him, and prepared to return to his commander.
The wicked hiss of a forked tongue slammed into his ears like a cannonball. He whipped his head around and saw the vicious hydralisk only yards from his throat. He instinctively reached for his weapon and then remained deathly still. While cloaked, it would be next to impossible to be spotted without the aid of an overlord. Still, the powerful jaws and natural scythes wielded by his foe gave him ample reason to be nervous. A putrid smell that seeped from its mouth made the soldier want to retch. It swayed in the moonlight, devising an almost hypnotic dance. For a moment, their eyes locked and the Ghost had to force himself to remain still as he stared into the soul of hell. Then, as quickly as it had appeared, a bony tail carried the Zerg away as if on a magic carpet. The soldier breathed a sigh of relief and took a few moments to regain his composure. He then took one last look at targets below him before moving back into the darkness as silently as he had arrived.

"You sure about this?" The commanding officer eyed his recon agent.
"Absolutely sir, you could send one third of this army and there would be no difficulties in cleansing the entire area."
"I'll be the one to make that decision. Now go find your team."
The Ghost nodded grimly and vanished into a sea of marines. After taking a moment to ponder the new developments, the commander turned to his flank and addressed a lieutenant. "Well, that was certainly good news. Nevertheless, our orders stand. Prepare the troops. We attack in one hour."
He then looked off into the horizon and spoke quietly, more to himself then anyone else. "This land will run crimson before the day is out..."

The famished zergling eyed his prey intently. On the ashen planet, tender meat was hard to come by, and the small rodent would make a fine meal. Keeping a lookout for others of his brethren who might want an undeserved piece, the alien slowly moved closer to his target. Muscles rippled in his flanks as he tried to find a delicate balance between distance and silence. His eyes glinted with greed as he prepared to make his leap. The crouched hind legs quivered with anticipation, ready to deploy death at a moment's notice. But even as temptation was literally yards away from his slathering jaws, instincts would not fail him.
His attention was snapped to the forest half a mile away. The trees swayed rhythmically, not about to reveal their deadly mystery. He sensed something foreign and mysterious but curiosity kept him rooted to the ground. Minutes passed without development and just when he was about to return to his dinner, a white-hot flare screamed out of the leaves and the trees came alive with vigor. From what had appeared to be passive woods streamed hundreds of soldiers; they sprinted towards the center of the meadow where their target lay bare. The terrified zergling fled from the onslaught of marines, looking for the assumed safety of the colony.
The army flew across the field, fueled by their own rage and hatred. Some fired a spray of bullets into the air in anticipation of the slaughter to come. War cries hung in the air like a black cloud, always growing bigger and spurring the men onward. They had been told there would be little resistance, which made them all the more savage. Faster and faster they ran, unleashing all the years of brainwashing and frustration in a tsunami of steel fury.
Suddenly, the earth shifted. A low guttural roar moved over the land and stopped every man in his tracks and ran tension into the air. The ground they stood on groaned and rumbled at the disturbance, causing the over confident troops to stagger back in confusion. The heaving soil pumped fear into their veins like an incurable poison as they struggled to make sense of it all. Some turned their backs to the terror and ran back to the forest, hoping to find salvation. Others stood, too afraid or confused to do otherwise. Soil began to erupt sporadically about their feet and they struggled to keep their balance.
The earth began to boil and churn while the roar increased its intensity. Men fell to their knees at the wicked sounds, refusing to again find their feet. Slowly but adamantly, the countryside released a secret it had been harboring for months. The burrowed aliens tore through the earth in an effort to get free as thousands of beady eyes and slathering jaws leapt from the tainted ground. Within seconds, the marines found themselves pitted against staggering odds. Where once they were the favorite, now they were only lambs to the slaughter. The ocean of hydralisks turned to their prey, eyeing them hungrily. Silence once again dipped over the field until one lone soldier raised his rifle above his head and opened his mouth to the world: "DEATH TO THE ZERG!!!" And so, in a cacophony of wrenching bones and inhuman screams, the battle was on.
No one was spared; the hateful cataclysm was merciless with its insatiable appetite for life. Men were hacked to their knees by the biological terrors and still fired their weapons until every last ounce of strength had flowed from their bodies. Those who were killed immediately were fortunate; many others died a slow and painful death with cries of agony all around them. The once peaceful meadow had been transformed into an orgy of crimson fire. Steel clashed against bone in a bedlam held over fallen comrades and the living envied the dead.

* * *

"Dead! They're all dead!" Lieutenant Shugar towered over the board members with flying hair and bloodshot eyes. "My entire damn army has been slaughtered! They never even had a chance! Those.. those bastards knew we were coming! They knew! And I sent my men right into their waiting jaws!" His voice shook the room while his officers exchanged nervous glances.
A confident sergeant named Troy strode forward and placed a hand on his maddened commander's shoulder. "Sir, there was no way of knowing. They must have been underground for months. You can't blame yourself. It won't help anything. We need your sharp mind. Don't let it become clouded with anger."
"Who dares?!" Shugar whirled around and faced the startled man. His maroon face betrayed a deep primeval fury that consumed his entire being. Bearing white knuckles and speaking through clenched teeth, the lieutenant addressed his officer. "You, leave me to my pain! You cannot possibly imagine the anguish I have caused this day! Thousands fell to the swarm on my orders, many with children and wives who loved them dearly. I woke up a man, but I will sleep tonight as death, the destroyer of lives. Now take your hand from my shoulder! Fall back. For the love of God fall back or I can't be responsible for what happens."
The sergeant shakily nodded his head and took a step back. He then nodded to the rest of the board and made a hasty exit.
Shugar took a deep breath and ran a callused hand through his hair. He once again faced his panel and spoke softly and slowly with great effort. "Reconnaissance. I want twenty-four hour surveillance on that colony, and wire a message to the fleet. Tell them we need more firepower down here. Tanks, ships, marines… whatever they can muster. Those things are up to something, and I'll be damned if we just let them do it. Now move!"
The room came alive as the officers rushed to carry out the lieutenant's orders. Angry as he was, they had all come to trust their commander, as he had a history of intense battles and years of experience. Even under tremendous pressure, he had a reputation of keeping his wits and not always laying all his cards on the table. Even now, his fantastic brain was working fiercely to assess the situation. He continued to brood all through the evening until finally, he fell into a fitful sleep, dreaming of revenge.

Many miles away, a man bled on the forest floor. He stumbled along blindly, gasping for air and trying to endure the stinging branches which whipped across his face. It had been a full day since the massacre, but he still fled from the merciless demons that had slaughtered his comrades. He held an arm to the laceration at his side, trying to assuage the bleeding. Although he felt the reaper's hand already beckoning, years of brainwashing in the army had driven all logic from his head. He ran now because he still could; no purpose or goal in mind for he had no thoughts of again finding safety.
Each second that passed, he swore by the hisses and beady eyes that he felt were close behind. There was no escaping the terrible image of those beasts, ripping into his fellow soldiers like Christmas presents. There was hatred now that welled up with each drop of blood he lost. Hatred for not just his enemies, but himself. He loathed his decision to flee, but there was no hope for anyone. It was instinctive and impossible to deny.
He grimaced with pain as each heavy footstep crashed to the ground. Although the night was warm and he had been running for hours, he was very cold and could feel his limbs hardening as the red water continued to flow. It became a struggle to even breathe, let alone move through a dark forest. Vertigo set in and his sight began to haze and blacken. He tried to scream, but no sound came forth. His knees buckled and he crashed to the ground gasping for air but knowing that the end was near.
As his vision became utterly useless, he heard the movement around him. Leaves crunched loudly under the weight of the foreigners. Even without sight, he could imagine the wretched beasts with their lolling tongues and hungry eyes, waiting for the perfect moment to suck the flesh from his bones. And with his last few moments of consciousness, he felt the jarring of his body as unknown creatures set upon him. Then, he felt the hands. They were good, strong hands that felt safe and warm. As they moved about him in a caring way, his mind slipped into a deep sleep with one final thought: He was with humans.


Chapter II - Awakenings

Shugar was afraid.

His body was drenched in a cold sweat as he stumbled over the rocky terrain. Double suns hung low on the horizon, as the shadows grew longer and twisted over mountains and into canyons. All around him were whispers and movements, muses and observations. His heart slammed wildly against his chest as he continued to flee from the invisible eyes. Dust hung in the air invading his eyes and nose making the journey all but impossible, but still, he pressed on.
Then, as he looked up, his gaze fell upon a hydralisk slithering towards him, slashing viciously at his unprotected throat. Shugar drew his gun and blindly fired a spray of bullets into his enemy. Blood sprang forth from the wounds and the creature cried out in pain. Then, its beady eyes went dark, and it slumped to the ground motionless. The gun fell from the lieutenant's hands as he cautiously moved over to the to the fallen snake. But even as his burning eyes focused in on what should have been the alien's carcass, he saw only the bullet-riddled body of another human. Shugar fell to his knees next to the dying man, not wanting to believe that he was responsible for the pain.
The body was bleeding profusely from several areas, as the color slowly drained from his face. Shugar cradled the man and felt the agony as if it were his own. He pressed his hands against the marine's wounds in a feeble attempt to stop the flow of blood. Into the vortex of wind his voice flew. "Help! Oh God, someone please help!"
A gurgling sound erupted from the man's throat as if he were trying to talk. Shugar looked deep into his eyes and whispered softly, "I'm sorry, I didn't know… I didn't know…" Then, with one final gasp the stranger's head went lax, and he closed his mouth forever.
The lieutenant slowly closed his eyes, and released his hold on the dead soldier who fell to the ground. He again felt the silent observers hovering around him, discussing all that had occurred. Their presence was inescapable, and he again felt very afraid. As he finally opened his eyes, he found himself staring at his own hands, which were covered in the blood of the deceased. He stood up with wild eyes and flying hair, and held his arms outward to the darkened sky as if to be carried away by the wind. Then, his voice erupted into the storm, driven by fury and passion. "This is my blood! Do you hear me?!? My blood!!"
The whispers grew louder and swirled about him like vultures above a corpse. He waved his arms frantically, spraying blood and sweat into the maelstrom.
"Leave me!! Leave me to my blood!!" he screamed through a bitter tongue. He then drew his weapon and began firing sporadically into the air, trying to drive away his tormentors. The wind surrounded him, his knees buckled and his head raged with confusion. The noise became unbearable, he covered his ears, he screamed, he cried, and then… he awoke.
Shugar eyes flew open as he leapt up in his bed. He looked around for a moment in fear before he realized the familiar surroundings. As his heart rate began to slow to a normal level, a voice pierced the silence.
"I'm sorry to wake you sir, but I have the surveillance reports you asked for on the Zerg colony."
Shugar turned his attention to the opposite side of his quarters where light poured in from an open doorway, outlining the silhouette of a tall sturdy man.
"Yes… yes of course, leave them on the desk."
The soldier nodded, dropped the files on a nearby table and left. The lieutenant slowly got out of his bed, and walked over to the file. He laid a hand on the papers as if to retrieve them, but did not. Instead, he moved into to his bathroom, closed the door, and threw up.

It was a dull pain that kept the man wondering; an insistent prodding somewhere on his body which sent messages at a fantastic speed through his nerves. It would come in waves, approximately thirty seconds apart with each break noticeably more powerful then the previous. His eyes refused to open, and his world was silent as a tomb. Indeed, only a faded sense of touch and his groggy sentience would remind him of life. But as his weary body, numb with lack of blood and neglect, slowly recovered, so too did his thoughts and feelings.
The last thing he remembered was crashing to the forest floor fearing the worst from pursuing enemies. But wait… there had been rescuers who used their strong hands to help. Pulling carefully but powerfully, lifting gently but adamantly they had ushered him to safety. They were ones who succeeded where he had failed, giving life to a person who could only die.
Suddenly, the pain once again blasted through his mind, destroying all thoughts and logic in its path and leaving fear of the next break. Slowly, his senses began to return to him, and his mind started to clear. Distant voices invaded his ears, betraying the presence of other humans but his sight continued to malfunction. A cold, damp bit of cloth slid across his forehead, easing his thoughts and releasing much tension. Slowly, his eyelids acknowledged his silent pleas and began to open. The blurry world before him only showed that he was still in the forest. In several directions, he detected movement that could not be distinguished, but could tell for certain that he was under a starry sky.
More pain came, but this time not so forceful - indicating some medical assistance. It was then that he heard a siren voice. "Do not try to move. You are safe here."
The words surrounded him like a warm blanket and he longed to see the women from where it originated, but the mandate could not be ignored. He felt his mind tranquilized by her sweet vocals and was soon asleep, dreaming of living once again.


Read Chapter 3 and 4!


Copyright © DK, 2000.  All rights reserved.

Contact | Top of Page