[A Tale of Two Zealots][Chapter III]

Written by ZeusLegion. Edited by Auspex Turmalis.

Table of Contents

Chapter III

"ZERG!" a Zealot cried out before being shredded repeatedly from behind by a Hydralisk. The attack had begun. High in the air, Guardians began scouring the ground with gobs of explosive acid as rampaging Hydralisks and Zerglings flooded the city grounds below. Dozens of Zealots were running around hacking at the invaders, as High Templar peeked out from the safety of nooks and crannies in the surrounding buildings, casting psi-storms and hallucinations to slow them down.

From the sanctuary of his Arbiter, Judicator Turmalis turned to his guest for advice. "It would appear that the Zerg have tired of feasting upon the Terrans and developed a taste for the flesh of Protoss. I am receiving invasion reports from all of our neighboring provinces. Probes have sighted the creatures' lair at the northeast edge of the city. What do you suggest, Praetor Fenix?"

"I have contacted Aldaris to send reinforcements led by the new Executor," Fenix replied. "With their aid, my contingent of warriors will defend the outskirts and destroy the den of these foul beasts while you defend the heart of the city," Fenix replied.

"Excellent plan. En Taro Adun, noble Fenix," Turmalis said.

"En Taro Adun, Judicator."

Khorun blocked the stabbing bone-arm of the Hydralisk before him with his right blade and plunged his left blade into its belly, slicing across to let its guts spill out in a tangled mass of putrid white muck and red blood. All around him, he could hear the screams of the dying, both Zerg and Protoss. A second later he was tackled by a Zergling and pinned to the ground, struggling to push the creature off of him.

A new blade plunged through the top of its skull, exited from its jaw and sliced horizontally, the beast's severed throat gushing forth a sickly green saliva that poured onto Khorun's chest armor. Its head flopped to the side and hung there from the bleeding neck only by a small portion of flesh, as its body collapsed on top of him. A swift kick rolled the body over, and Nurohk extended his arm to help his brother stand.

"Next time, cut them so they bleed away from me and not all over me," Khorun chided playfully, happy to see his twin.

Nurohk laughed. "Better to be covered in the blood of your enemy than your own."

Khorun patted him on the shoulder plate. "It is good to see you have not lost your sense of humor amidst this chaos."

Nurohk gave him a look of seriousness. "Khorun, do you believe this invasion is the sign we are waiting for?" Nurohk asked reluctantly.

His brother scowled slightly. "No. We will know when the time comes. According to the spirits, this is just the beginning. Come, let us not dawdle in idle talk of spectres. There is more blood to be spilled if our brethren are to survive this onslaught."

The twins joined a cadre of fleeing Zealots under attack by Guardians and Mutalisks from above as the battle raged on.

"This is High Chancellor Priax to all Templar forces. The Zerg invasion has now spread to the provinces of Antioch, Scion, Pisidia and Phaethon. We are sending what forces we can but we are busy dealing with other unwanted Terran and Zerg forces in Aiur's orbit. What the Terrans' purpose here is we do not know — however, you are authorized to slay all invaders without hesitation or mercy," came the transmission.

"Likely, they either want vengeance for the burning of their world, or they want to watch our people fall to the Zerg as the Conclave allowed their own to die," Turmalis thought glibly. He turned to a fellow Templar. "Walan, direct our forces to route the Zerg to the east of the city. We will box them in there where Craylark and his Scouts can hit them from the air, while Jonhak's ground forces surround them from below," he said. His face became dour and he turned again. "Any word from Khorun and Nurohk?"

"None. I am certain they are all right, Judicator. They are young, but they are strong, and well taught in the art of war," Walan offered.

Khorun eviscerated a Defiler he had found burrowed in the ground and quickly moved away, as toxic liquids spewed from a sac within its bowels. He turned to see a Zergling hurtling through the air toward him. In mid-jump, it was lopped in half by a sudden slicing blade. It was Khorun's old friend Tellus, who waved his blade in a friendly sign of respect — before suddenly bursting into a rain of blood and torn flesh, as a pair of Broodlings poured forth from the deep recesses of his chest. As he fought against the Broodlings he heard a chilling call from behind.

"LIVE FOR THE SWARM!" the creature cried out before battering with explosive impact into several Zealots nearby. Khorun watched as the warriors' flesh began to dissolve, dribbling down their limbs in a thick wet paste. It was then that he realized he had become separated from his twin, and panic began to creep into his bones. He dashed out into the fray to find his brother.

Not far away, Nurohk felt a heavy foul breath at his back and turned and looked up to see the armored behemoth of an Ultralisk studying him, perhaps wondering how he might taste. Nurohk broke out of his shock in time to dodge the immense kaiser blades as they moved in for the kill. Coming into a roll that landed him back on his feet and to the creature's side, he began stabbing his blades into the monster and lifting himself up along its carapace with each thrust.

Now on top of the creature and struggling to stay there as it bucked and roared, he struck at one of its eyes. The ball erupted with a loud pop, its contents flowing out of the socket as the thing howled in agony. Shutting off his left blade, Nurohk shunted all of his energy into the right one, extending it twice its normal size and shoving it down into the creature's skull. With all of his strength he twisted the blade, scrambling and charring the organ that served as the Ultralisk's brain. The creature gave out a groan, breathed its last breath and crashed downward, its massive weight turning a passing Zergling beneath it into a red smear.

Khorun finally sighted his twin atop the carcass of an Ultralisk and ran toward him, but was blindsided by a gob of thick green mucous hurled from above, which coated the area and brought him to a standstill. He fought the goo briefly before hearing a roar that made him look back at his brother.

Nurohk had relaxed a bit, his muscles easing down from the fight with the beast he now straddled, and saw his twin spattered with mucous. As he made to climb down the carcass and free his brother, he heard a roar split the air and turned as a pair of kaiser blades clutched him. "Khorun..." was the only word he muttered as the second Ultralisk scissored his body in half. He felt a pop in his gut and looked down to see his blood pouring forth onto the Zerg's blades, and his torso falling to the ground below, his legs still shaking.

Events had slowed down like a strange dream, and his head swooned as life poured from his waist. The kaiser blades retracted back open, and he tumbled down, down, down toward the ground and into darkness, as his brother screamed his name.

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