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shanejayell
09-28-2007, 10:14 AM
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from StarCraft, I’m just borrowing them for a while.

StarCraft: Battleline

The dusty winds of Mar Sara buffeted Catherine’s face as the brown haired young woman collected some ration packs from the depot and walked along the battered industrial complex that was the location of what might be their last stand. All around her construction units desperately collected more precious vespine gas and construction materials, desperately trying to build more vehicles and arms before the end.

The abandoned factory buildings were sealed up, gleaming blocks of metal as Catherine walked up the wide street to the improvised barricades the marines were manning. Vulture cycles, one or two bunkers and marines waited, looking up the road to the wastelands, and where a probable zerg hive was waiting to overrun them.

They knew the Zerg were out there, of course. In the past few days several installations had gone dark, not answering their hails. They couldn’t afford to send troops out to look, but it was pretty clear to the colonial magistrate that the people were gone. With the Confederacy dragging it’s heels sending help the magistrate had made a hard decision, accepting a offer from the Sons of Korhal to save the surviving colonists.

“Thanks,” the redheaded officer said gruffly as she took the ration pack, stubbed her cigarette out and ripped the ration open.

Catherine smiled as she watched Susan Killiany drink down the bitter nutrient enhanced fluid then chew on what many called a ‘rat’ bar. As a SCV pilot Catherine wasn’t someone who would normally meet a marine, but the circumstances of this crazy war had thrown them together on more than one occasion. Tentatively, Catherine had reached out to the hardened warrior, and surprisingly Susan had reached back.

“Susan?” Catherine hesitated, looking out at the rocky plains out past the gorge.

Finishing chewing her mouthful Susan answered, “Yeah?”

“Do you think the Zerg will attack here?” Catherine asked quietly. “I mean, there are other stations left...”

Susan finished off her meal, stuffing the packaging back into the ration bag. “Sorry,” she said regretfully, “but yeah, they’re coming.” The visor of her marine helm shielded her eyes from the dust as she looked out at the rocky terrain, “We sent a scout group out earlier, they radioed in that there’s a big Zerg colony out there, a couple of miles away.”

“That close?” Catherine asked, eyes widening.

“They have to know we’re here, and that we’re forting up,” Susan said as she lit another cigarette, “which means they’ll hit us. It’s just a matter of time.”

Catherine looked at the makeshift defenses, the marines that were slowly being added to the defensive line. “Can we hold them off?” she asked softly, not wanting the other troopers around them to hear.

Susan drew on her smoke, the end glowing red in the fading sunlight. “If we’re lucky, they’ll hit us with probing attacks, first,” she mused. “We beat them back, and we might last until the Sons get here.”

“And if we’re unlucky?” Catherine nearly whispered.

“If they hit us with a full on Zerg rush,” Susan was eerily calm as she continued, “they’ll run right over us.”

There was a long moment of silence as the wind blew around them, then Catherine sighed as she said, “Thank you.”

“Eh?” Susan looked surprised.

“Everyone has been trying so hard to be reassuring,” Catherine smiled slightly as she said, “promising that we’re going to get rescued in time. It’s nice to have someone honestly say what our chances are.”

Susan flashed a grin, “Then you’re welcome.”

“You know, your whole face changes when you smile,” Catherine noted after a moment or two. She added, “I was wondering...”

“Yo, Cat!” A voice called, “Your break’s over!”

“Damn,” Cat cursed softly. She gave Susan a apologetic glance, “Sorry, got to go.”

“See you later,” Susan murmured, her eyes lingering on the jumpsuit clad girl’s body as she watched the smaller woman race away.

One of the other marines chuckled softly, the older man looking grizzled and tan beneath his armored helm. “That kid know you wanna be more than friends?” he leered.

“Oh shut up, Kowalski,” Susan said, ignoring the teasing comments of her fellow officers. Still, she found herself thinking, ‘Why am I doing this again?’

One upon a time Susan had been part of THE Killianys, a powerful family in the Confederacy both by wealth and political ability. Her cousin headed the Ghost Program, her mother was on several boards and her father was in the highest reaches of political power. All of it created a world of privilege for Susan, but she eventually found the limit of her power when she embarrassed the family by falling for another woman.

Her parents gave her a few choices, once the scandal died down. The first was to agree to behavior modification surgery to “cure” her, which she refused out of hand. Next was to agree to enter a secluded order, a nunnery, effectively. Once Susan had finished laughing at that prospect, they finally suggested she take a off planet posting with a allied company. Using the opportunity she got off Terra, landed on Mar Sara and promptly horrified her family once more by enlisting in the marines.

‘I thought I was done with all this,’ Susan mused as she scanned the wastes with her eyes, ‘so why did I let Catherine get close to me?’

Over the past week of chaos following the initial Zerg attacks Susan had found herself tossed time and again in to the company of the engineer and SCV pilot, a woman she only casually knew before then. But not, whenever she saw her Susan felt her heart race, and Catherine’s rare smiled warmed her heart.

‘Idiot,’ Susan thought, ‘she’s just being kind to the grunt, trying to keep my hopes up, or something. I’m reading more into this than there is.’

“Hey, you see that?” Matthew asked, the wiry former farm boy squinting off into the distance. “Looks like a swamp rat, maybe...”

Susan tensed slightly, her eyes scanning the terrain ahead as she registered her comrades’ words. For a moment she couldn’t see anything, then her eyes picked out a shape moving in the rubble out past the bridge.

“Lock and load,” another marine muttered, swinging his rifle around.

“Wait,” Susan said flatly. As everyone looked at her in surprise she said, “We have limited ammo, remember? Don’t shoot till your sure you can make the shot.”

After a moment they began to scuttle at the edge of their vision, A odd brownish color, the insect creatures crawled over rocks and jumped back and forth restlessly, as if waiting for some cue to strike.

“Zerglings,” Kowalski murmured, “easy kill, but they breed like rats, man.”

There was the sound of clicking off of safeties on their Gauss Rifles, then the first shots went out, splattering a zergling but making the others speed up. Dozens swept around the rock formation towards them, keening that irritating noise that they all seemed to make.

‘Too soon,’ Susan thought as her rifle’s armor piercing iron spikes tore into zerglings nearly fifty feet away, ‘the Sons aren’t due for minutes yet...’

The weapons fire splattered Zerg, sending green internal fluids flying, but the creatures kept coming, scrambling over the bodies of the fallen to try to get to them. From forty feet to thirty the Zerg advanced, uncaring about their losses as the Terrans fired away.

“Damn it,” Matthew yelled, using the bunker for partial cover as he fired away, “why won’t they stop?”

“They’re not wired like us,” Susan gritted out as the Zerg closed the distance to ten feet, “they don’t care about losses!”

“I’ll show ‘em losses,” the vulture pilot muttered, revving up his cycle. Boosting the engine a moment he vaulted over the bunkers to land before the Zerg, firing his bike’s grenade launcher wildly.

“No,” Susan yelled, “we needed you for back up!”

For a moment the Vulture had a real impact, the grenades splattering dozens of Zerg then, in a second, it was overwhelmed. The pilot had a chance to scream before the Zerglings tore him from his seat and ripped him apart, turning on the bike and destroying it in seconds.

The Zerg pushed up to near the bunkers as the marines fought to hold the line, rifles heating up in their hands from overuse. Hissing and biting the creatures swarmed over each other, leaping for the marines in a desperate need to kill.

“Jammed,” Kowalski desperately fumbled with his rifle, then the Zerg were upon him.

“Fall back,” Susan welled as wet gore from Kowalski’s dismembered body splashed against her helmet. ‘Sorry, guys,’ she thought as the men in the bunkers fired out desperately, the Zerg pounding at their shelters.

Helmet radios crackled as they heard from the other barricade, “They’ve broken through! Zerg ground and air units, incoming!”

“**** this,” Matthew turned and bolted, rushing back towards the command center and supply depots they were guarding.

“Get back here, you,” Susan started then cut off. If the Zerg had broken through the other side, too, he’d be getting his just deserts momentarily. Firing away Susan felt like she was being stabbed as she heart the bunkers explode, the men inside dying.

“Ma’am, what do we do?” a young marine looked over at her desperately as the Zerglings swept before them.

“Buy some time,” Susan scowled as she drew her side arm, firing it and her rifle at the same time.

“Susan!” a alarmed voice yelled as a SCV barreled beside her, the lightly armored vehicle ramming a Zergling before it could pounce. Deploying it’s wielding torch the SCV burned it, even as the thing shredded the armor.

“Catherine?!” Susan rushed forward, firing to give the woman some cover as she climbed out of the wreckage of her vehicle.

“Heh,” Catherine smiled up at her, blood from a cut in her scalp running down into her face. “They took out the vespine refinery,” she explained, “figured there wasn’t much point in mining any more.”

“Got a point,” Susan said, realizing her marines had scattered as the Zerg swept in from all sides, destroying technology as they went. Missile launchers on each side of the open lot fired at the flying Zerg, taking some down as more swept in while the rag tag marines killed Zerg on the ground until they were overwhelmed.

“How long till the Sons arrive?” Catherine welled, using Susan’s pistol to shoot a Zergling, wincing a bit at the recoil.

Swinging her rifle up Susan fired to bring down another zerg as they backed towards the command center. “I lost track a while ago,” she admitted.

Painful cries and screams of men and zerg as they reached the massive structure as a few others took positions and fought to survive. Picking up a fallen troopers’s rifle Catherine fired into the circling zerg, knowing that soon they would be closing in for the kill. “Susan?” she asked as she fired,
“You hear that?”

“What...?” Susan started as a zergling grabbed at a nearby man and she coolly shot it in the head, splattering them with goo. Then, off in the distance she heard them, the low rumble of transports. With renewed hope she opened up with her rifle, trying to drive the zerg back from the landing zone.

With a rumble the drop ship came down, others finding places around the command center as they hurriedly hustled the survivors inside, escort ships strafing the zerg forces to keep them back.

“Susan, what...?” Catherine started as Susan pushed her into one of the open doors.

“Everyone get on!” Susan yelled, using her rifle to lay down suppression fire until all the nearby survivors were on. She grabbed at the door as the ship lifted, then smiled as she was pulled in by Catherine and the others.

“I thought you were going to do something stupid,” Catherine murmured as they collapsed tiredly together, “like stay to fight to the last or something.”

“I’m not that stupid,” Susan looked down at her brown eyes, “besides, I think I have something important to do.”

“What’s that?” Catherine asked as she smiled warmly at her.

“If we lived through this,” Susan said simply, “I promised myself I’d do this.” Cupping Catherine’s face she bent closer and kissed her, her lips lingering on the smaller woman’s. For a moment the other woman stiffened in surprise, then returned the kiss eagerly.

“I’ve been waiting for you to do that,” Catherine sighed happily, not caring at the looks they were getting from the other survivors. She smiled, “Are we going to have to be in another life or death situation before you do it again?”

“No,” Susan chuckled in relief and kissed her again.

End.


Notes: I have NOT read the novels, nor played the prelude stories, so if this is off please forgive me. Loosely based off of early parts of episode 1, first game, as well as reading the Wikipedia entries on StarCraft. Heh

Varney 2
10-05-2007, 09:38 AM
Love and bullets: classic.
Oddly sweet. And chaste.

I'll have to read more of your fic.

shanejayell
10-06-2007, 08:38 PM
Thanks much.

I wanted to tell a adventure story with a bit of romance, sorta.