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Old 11-10-2016, 09:17 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Going into a bit less detail from here on, people can ask questions if they need clarification or anything:

Valerian and Artanis talk about Ulavu, Valerian hopes that him being sheltered by the Dominion didn't cause the antipathy that made the protoss not take him back, Artanis says it's not a factor and kinda brushes the issue aside.

The survey team is hooked up with an experimental new 'psi block' gizmo. Essentially a mini psi disruptor in Whist and Dizz's gear that's supposed to make it harder for zerg to coordinate in an area around them. Field test since there have been no zerg to fight past six years.

Matt questions Valerian on whether it's a good idea to send Tanya, not wanting her to get captured and have the zerg start making prokinetic strains. Valerian notes that if the Zerg betray them all and attack that the surface can be wiped stopping them from doing anything with Tanya's genes. Matt realizes that she's kinda bait to test if Zagara's genuine or not and says that's something Arcturus would've done, Valerian denies it and says it's different.

Valerian and Artanis head down, check the air and a dozen other things before finally entering the chamber, no roaches or banelings or anything pop out to murder them, much to their surprise. Zagara and Abathur appear to begin the talks.

Erin is stuffed into a combat suit ala a marine or medic for her protection, it's her first time outside anything other than an SCV so she's clumsy. As they begin walking to the first hill where plantlife radiated from they stumble into a hydralisk which just ignores them and slithers away, but Erin had fallen over when they saw the hydralisk and notices an odd sound 'like machinery or singing' under the ground coming from the direction of the hill they're going to, Ulavu says it's not psionic though.

The psi blocks seem to work (Whist attributes this to the hydralisk leaving and doesn't much trust Zagara) but it also cuts off longrange communications. And they start heading for the hill

Back to Artanis, Valerian and Zagara. The unified zerg are noted to have been responsible for the slaughter of terrans and protoss and devastation of planets, Zagara compares her new reign to Valerian vs. Arcturus or Artanis vs. Conclave. Says the Queen of Blades
"She who was once terran, then zerg, and now xel'naga has through her mercy and grace-"
Artanis cuts her off and walks off to analyze some of the zerg plants, Valerian notes he seems angry and goes after him, asks him what's bugging him.

Artanis notes that Valerian would consider it a 'small and foolish thing', Valerian says Artanis runs the protoss so it can't be that small or foolish, Artanis recaps protoss history with Amon factored in, there's hints he's worried about another aeon of strie if the protoss infight, but the majority of it is about how Kerrigan got an honor that was denied the protoss, to become xel'naga, and now there are xel'naga genes in the zerg plants. Valerian is surprised by this and asks how he can tell. "Just as many terran flora and fauna echo numbers of the Fibonacci series, so, too, does the xel'naga essence manifest itself in numbers of Cuccodujo series." the plants have been altered with xel'naga genes. Valerian asks for a copy of the numbers and says they'll have to ask Zagara about it. Artanis thinks she was hiding things, Valerian thinks she just hadn't had a chance to mention it.

The survey team runs into a gaggle of zerg who attack them, after killing them, Ulavu notes it's possible they ran afoul of a 'balance crossing', a line where two zerg queens or broods brush against each other and so the zerg there act more feral. It's not an issue on battlefields but on planets where not all zerg are monitored all the time it's apparently a thing protoss noticed but terrans never did. Horner and Cruikshank were monitoring from orbit and call Valerian who adds it to the list of things to bring up with Zagara.

Abathur talks when they bring up the xelnaga essence in the plants, Zagara explains Abathur's the only evolution master ever in the swarm, Artanis and Valerian realize this makes him responsible for all the rapid mutations they've seen in the zerg. (Valerian has kind of a "Oh THIS fucker" thinking back to all the times the Dominion would exploit a zerg weakness and they'd mutate in days to have it fixed). Zagara notes he's not responsible for what he did under Overmind, Kerrigan, or her. Responsibility for whatever Abathur does rests with whoever's in charge of the swarm.

Valerian brings up the attack on the survey team, Zagara seems surprised, contacts the brodmothers, says the broodmothers were 'more than merely sloppy', and were disciplined to not allow failure again.

They talk more about Abathur having modified Zagara when kerrigan was around, and if she had Xel'naga essence. She says no, since it wasn't necessary to lead the swarm.

Back to Survey team. The hill is some kinda former lava bubble the zerg repurposed, its got some kinda weird tree palisade set up where the trees are tough to move from outside but easy to push from inside, as Dizz notes by zipping around them. They rig up a few grenades to get inside the tree palisade and dome, there's an odd, constant, notably psionic buzzing inside the domes, and suddenly zerg are trying to get inside and attack them. Survey team defends itself but Tanya blacks out as the buzzing intensifies and a bunch of weird looking zerg, similar to hydralisks but smaller than zerglings and with
'triple lines of bright red spots starting between their eyes and running all the way up their skulls and down the centers of their backs."
The mental buzzing is bad enough that its blurring whists vision and he figures they're all going to die... when Ulavu jumps up, has a pair of concealed dark templar blades pop out, and kills the remaining zerg, then talks whist into helping him stay concealed to avoid hurting Tanya's feelings. He feels bad about lying to her. Whist asks wtf a dark templar is pretending to be a researcher for, Ulavu says it's because the protoss aren't sure how much they can trust terrans so he's studying them. Whist comments that the terrans are pretty sick of war, and agrees to stay quiet for now because they don't have time for drama on the mission but says he'd better still help if another fight happens, they use a grenade to hide the warp-blade wounds on the zerg. Ulavu notes he thinks the buzzing from the newly dubbed "Psyolisks" as Erin callls them, as targetting Tanya since she was the biggest threat since she's a ghost, covertly adds that next fight it'll probably be him unless the psiblock stopped them from talking, atm no one but Whist knows he's a dark templar since his warp blades folded up to be concealed again.

Tanya wakes up, there's still some buzzing so they know there's more psyolisks somewhere.
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