"Khrillian, ease your mind," Moloch said. "I trust the Judicator. With the death of his closest friends, the Zerg still on the loose, and this new threat shadowing us, he needs our aid more than ever." He looked around see if they were being watched. "Come, we should discuss this matter in private."
Khrillian followed Moloch to his quarters. The room was mostly bare, and it was kept dark and cool. In one corner of the room, Khrillian noticed an ancient set of black Zealot battle armor, pre-dating the modern Encounter Suit worn by Turmalis' forces. Next to it was a case lined with various weapons and memorabilia, including a pyramid-shaped trophy emblazoned with Prelate Zeratul's signature and a vyrduk portrait of a female Protoss whom Khrillian did not recognize.
"Khrillian, I am not a master of solving puzzles, but you are well read and have Laurioch's wisdom. Combined with my instincts, perhaps together we can ascertain what is happening here," Moloch said.
"I am willing to try," Khrillian said.
"These pale Protoss that have been attacking us... I believe they are the Baphomet's minions. I recognized some of them. They were with Nannoth/Taeradun when I slew that Cerebrate."
"I see. So you believe that the Archon's reappearance has something to do with the Baphomet?" Khrillian asked.
"More than that, my friend. I now believe that Taeradun and Sevorak were pawns of the Baphomet, and that the Eyes of the Xel'Naga are its servants. What began then is happening again. Sevorak fled to a dark moon called Umbra. I believe the Baphomet is there and he intended to release it. That is why he appears in Laurioch's prophecy. Whoever is behind this will try to do the same."
"This all began with the Psi-Cocoon the Judicator discovered, did it not?" Khrillian questioned.
"Indeed," Moloch said. "Nannoth/Taeradun appeared shortly thereafter. And the attacks by the pale Protoss of Scion began after that."
"But the Psi-Cocoon was Terran, was it not?"
"Terran and Zerg."
Khrillian's skin crawled at that thought. "Could the Archon have made a pact with them?"
"I do not know, Khrillian," Moloch sighed. "I do not understand the Terrans or the Zerg well enough, and I cannot clear my mind enough to see how it all relates."
Khrillian placed a hand on Moloch's shoulder. "Now it is you who should ease your mind. Perhaps we simply do not have enough information to put all the pieces together."
"You are right. Once we have fortified New Antioch, however, I am going to Aiur to find Nannoth/Taeradun. I will wring out the answers from his neck if need be."
Khrillian thought about the warning that the spirits had given him about Moloch being in danger. "I shall go with you when that time comes, my friend. For now, we should take up our positions and do what we can here," Khrillian said.
There was an electronic beep alerting them that someone was at the door. Moloch waved his hand over a crystal on the wall, and the door slid open to reveal a haggard-looking Judicator Turmalis.
"Moloch. Khrillian," the Judicator said with a nod to each.
"Yes, Judicator?" Moloch replied.
"Moloch, I need you to coordinate our forces in defense of New Antioch. Khrillian, I need you to monitor communications."
"Of course, Judicator," Khrillian said.
"Yeah, I want to talk to your head honcho. A Protoss named Turmalis," the Terran said via orbital transmission.
"I must regretfully inform you that the Judicator does not wish to be disturbed," Khrillian replied.
"What is it, Khrillian?" Moloch asked, overhearing the transmission.
"I am receiving a transmission from a ship in orbit. A Terran ship," Khrillian replied.
"Terran?" Moloch asked with surprise, remembering their earlier conversation about the Terrans and the Zerg.
"Wait, there is more," Khrillian said.
"Look, Scale-face... is he available or not?" the Terran asked rudely.
"No, he has retired to the Executor's Citadel and does not wish to be disturbed," Khrillian repeated with a touch of irritation.
"Tell him it's about Mox."
The visage of Turmalis appeared on one of Khrillian's other screens. "A transmission regarding Commander Mox?" he asked, suddenly intrigued.
"It is merely a single Terran in orbit, Judicator. I was about to dismiss him," Khrillian replied with disdain.
"No. Thank you. Patch the signal through to me here," Turmalis said.
Khrillian wondered about the Judicator's dealings with these Terrans. They were trouble, and he was certain nothing good could come from it. "As you wish," he said reluctantly.
The Antioch Chronicles™ © 1998, Eric Dieter & Ruben Moreno. All rights reserved. The Antioch Chronicles™ trademark and associated logos are the exclusive property of Eric Dieter & Ruben Moreno. Characters and distinctive likenesses thereof, character names, item names, place names, named events, artwork and all other related material not disclosed herein are protected under the laws of the United States of America and other countries. Any reproduction, retransmission, or unauthorized use herein is prohibited without express written permission.
StarCraft® is a registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment. All rights reserved.