A multiuniverse crossover story
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC. The Zerg are from the computer game StarCraft, which belongs to Blizzard Entertainment.
Part 4: That ain't no Cerebrate!
As Phil rocket towards what he was sure was his doom, he reflected on his life. Mainly, he was focusing on the negative events to power up his Shi Shi Houkodan. He was hoping that the dark energies were of the type required to slay the Cerebrate. He had come to the conclusion that it was a Cerebrate, because the Zerg were too organized to simply be following instinct. They moved in effective packs, with a few Zerglings acting as advance scouts. A Cerebrate had to be pulling the strings, but also was skilled enough to hide much of its energy signature. A deadly foe indeed.
His scanner informed him that the Cerebrate was directly over the next building. He raised his hand to stop the troops at his command. The Physics Militia troops came to halt in almost perfect unison.
"All right men, here's the plan. Load your Short Range Missile Packs with inferno rounds." The napalm would be doubly effective against the biological Zerg. "On my mark, fire them over the building, and we follow. Some of us may not make it, but we do this not for ourselves, but for the very fabric of reality. Now fire!" The missiles flew over the small apartment building. Upon reaching a certain altitude, the missiles spilled their contents, sending burning petroleum jelly flying towards the enemy position. They were rewarded with the screams of dieing Zerg. "GO!"
The infantry jetted over the building. At the apex of their trajectory, Phil noted that they had inadvertently set several buildings on fire. A swarm of Hydralisks waited for them. Some were covered in Napalm, but their simple brains could only grasp one concept: Kill. Pain was almost meaningless for them. The wormlike beasts began spraying acid at Phil and his Physics Militia allies. "Split up!" Using their rocket packs again, the heavily armored infantry leapt into the air, firing their lasers. The massive weapons struck several Hydralisks, but more came to take their place. "The kid gloves come off." Powering up, Phil was relying less on the strength of his armor and more on his Chi powers. He rammed straight through one, blasting through the other side in a shower of gore.
Although the quartet of troopers from the Physics Militia lacked his abilities, Phil noticed that they were doing as well as he was. Another Hydralisk entered his path. However, unlike its compatriot, the worm was not gutted. Instead, it used its bulk to slow Phil's advance. That shouldn't be possible, unless… A Hunter Killer! Like the Torasque he had defeated earlier, this Hydralisk was a rare hero unit. "Kamehameha!" The blue beam of energy incinerated the Hunter Killer before him. Deciding to get some perspective, Phil flew upwards, above the battle. Surprisingly, the Physics Militiamen were ripping through the horde of Zerg between them and the power controlling the aliens. Although their attack created large amounts of smoke, Phil's advanced sensor systems allowed him to see through the haze. And there was no Cerebrate to be seen. A few rudimentary Zerg structures were expanding the toxic purple Creep that fed them to encompass an area the size of a city block, but there was no evidence of the brain-like organism.
The Zerg have been too smart to be operating on instinct, so what's controlling them?
While Phil pondered the source of the Zerg's strategy, the infantry punched through the line of Hydralisks. As Sergeant Jackson vaporized a Zergling, they saw a humanoid being standing before them.
"Foolish humans. Always racing to their death. I should know; I used to be one." In their universe, the Zerg had been in the process of absorbing a new species into the fold: Homo sapiens. These infested humans were little more than living bombs. Filled to capacity with volatile chemicals, these kamikaze troops would throw themselves at enemy emplacements, vehicles and troops. Their single-minded obedience to the Swarm was sickening. These living machines were capable of limited speech, but it was always some rhetoric exalting the Swarm or the Overmind. This infested human sounded too intelligent. The troopers had assumed that it would be an easy enough to use their lasers to detonate the former human. Then, as they closed in to battle the being, they realized their error.
It resembled a human female. To a point. Its skin was a putrid copper green, and looked like a living corpse. Strands of wiry tissue had replaced the hair, and there was a hump on her back. From the hump extended four legs similar to those of the Hydralisks, but somehow sharper. However, most frightening were its eyes. The soulless, glowing yellow orbs seemed to possess a savage intelligence. It had a smirk on its face. Phil recognized it as Kerrigan, Queen of the Zerg.
Once an enemy of the Zerg, she had been captured during an assault on one of their bases. The Zerg Overmind had recognized her Psychic potential, and removed the inhibitors that had been placed in her brain to control her. When the Overmind was destroyed, she had fought a bloody civil war with the various Cerebrates for control of the brood and won. Her presence had not been expected.
Her thick carapace deflected their arm-mounted lasers. They continued their charge, and one trooper fired a missile at her. It was another of the inferno rounds, and the flaming napalm covered her from head to toe. She seemed to ignore the assault. One of talons whipped out like a scorpion's tail. The scythe-like blade found a trooper's armored faceplate. The decapitated soldier stumbled forward as it followed the brain's final instructions to the body, and then collapsed.
Seeing the horrible events below, Phil powered up and flew towards his target. He landed with the intent of rebounding towards Kerrigan. However, the swarm of Zerglings and Hydralisks set upon him. Desperately fighting his way through them, Phil ordered the infantry to fall back. But it was too late.
Kerrigan's eyes glowed even brighter, and a storm of psychic energy surrounded one of the troops. The energy coursed up and down his body like electricity. His body armor reached a temperature higher than that of the sun. Where skin touched metal, his skin burned away, followed by the tissues beneath. As a final scream of agony escaped his lips, the Physics Militiaman burst into flames. Around the smoldering corpse, the armor remained intact, although every circuit had been fried.
Kerrigan sent all six of her blades into the torso of the trooper bearing the missile launcher. "That almost hurt. Now you learn the price for angering the Queen of Blades." Even as his precious fluids leaked through his battle armor, the infantryman was treated to pure agony courtesy of the sextuple array of scythes. Each blade moved in a random pattern, reducing his already mutilated body to little more than slurry with limbs.
While all of this occurred, Jackson shot his laser on rapid-fire mode. He risked overheating it, but he had little to lose. Kerrigan casually strode through the hail of laser beams and stood a foot away. Moving her human arm back, she struck out, grabbing the Sergeant by his armored throat. Although his armor weighed over a ton, she lifted him over her head with little effort. Her blades cut away all of his protection, leaving his dangling as he attempted to find breath. "And you will replenish my energy." Moving her scythes again, she worked them in the manner of an ant's mandibles. Ignoring Jackson's agonized screams, she pushed the bite-sized chunks of flesh into her mouth.
This was too much for Phil. "Monster!" The aura of energy surrounding his body began to simply vaporize the minions around him. The horde of Zerg had stripped away most of his armor. His short-cropped brown hair was pushed upwards by the waves of red energy. Having activated his Kaio-Ken, he pulled an object from his belt. It was approximately thirty centimeters in length and had a variety of switches and knobs adorning it. He pressed one of the studs, and a blade of green energy emanated from the weapon. Good thing I saw this in the gift shop at Skywalker Ranch. Brandishing the lightsaber, he flew directly towards Kerrigan.
The blade came down on one of her scythes. The hard material withstood the blow for a few moments, but eventually the lightsaber cleaved the claw away from the limb. Still flaming from the attack a moment before, she stepped back. "My precious blades! Now you die, human!"
"No, Kerrigan. The Zerg perish today." He launched a deadly counterattack, his saber striking out with impossible speed. The remaining three blades of the infested human blocked each blow, but her strain was obvious. Although his sword cut shallow gouges in the limbs, he was unable to put steady pressure on any one spot, lest her other limbs skewer him. Unable to gain any ground, Kerrigan decided on a different tactic.
"Burn." Her eyes glowed again, and a psionic storm surrounded Phil. Swiftly activating his Reality Checker, the electricity had no effect on him. When the assault subsided, he turned the device off again.
"No, Kerrigan. No more. How many innocents must suffer because of your anger? Your hatred of Mengsk for abandoning you during that assault? Your petty vengeance? Why is your ego worth more than the lives of billions? In the name of the Physics Police, you are under arrest for two counts of attempted genocide, mass murder and genetic engineering without a license. Either you escape in chains, or you don't at all."
"Fool! I can see inside your mind! Your power is reduced, and you cannot raise it again! Whatever that green field was, it cut off your powers!" To illustrate this, she began her counterattack. Phil momentarily cursed himself for trying to be so dramatic. His pause had given Kerrigan as chance to regenerate her lost appendage. Now Phil could hardly parry her strikes, with his single blade against her four. I'm doomed. She's right! That last Kaio-Ken was my last. I'm getting weaker by the second!
Still blocking the blades, he continued to think. You moron! Using all of your energy in your first assault! Now you die, and so does this universe. She's easily twice as powerful as you, and there you went, charging blindly into the fray! Damn it all! The purple aura of the Shi Shi Houkodan formed about him again. My anger is mighty, but I don't have the time to concentrate and form it into an attack! He was forced to use both hands to block a double blow from Kerrigan's remaining left side blades. While he was distracted, she struck out again. With a speed he couldn't imagine, Phil narrowly avoided the assault. Backing away from his opponent, he said, "Whoa. How'd I do that?" Adrenaline is such a wonderful thing.
I need to feel worse! Let's see… Warren! Damned chief's pet! When those demons attacked the Love Boat, who made time with the supermodels? It sure as hell wasn't me! I was too busy fighting for my life! The purple field grew darker as he continued to berate himself. Unfortunately, it left him open to another attack. Kerrigan prepared all of her blades for a final thrust. However, it was at that exact moment that a foreign object flew through the air. It embedded itself in Kerrigan's right eye. In a scream that was both human and inhuman at the same time, she clutched her face and removed the object. "A rose?"
Flamenco music seemed to come from nowhere, and Tuxedo Mask stood atop a smoldering apartment building. "Foul beast, know that you cannot defeat the forces of love and justice!" He leapt down to stand beside Phil. "What were you doing, just standing there? Stupid Gaijin!"
Phil was angry. He didn't care to be insulted by anyone but himself, and the darkening of his aura was an obvious sign of it. "What do you think you're doing, Tux-Boy? I told you you'd be killed if you came here!"
"You aren't doing much better."
Phil gave in. After all, he might just make a good decoy. "All right, you can stay. However, nobody blames me if you get killed. Deal?"
During their conversation, Kerrigan had recovered from her pain. Her lips moved but no sound came from them.
Tuxedo Mask turned towards Phil. "What is she doing?"
"Mars… Fire… Ignite!"
"Jupiter… Thunder… Strike!"
For the second time in less than a week, Sailors Jupiter and Mars were the only Scouts left standing. The nature of their powers, which relied on burning rather than a physical blow, had allowed them to fight off the advancing horde. However, they were swiftly running out of energy. Warren was with them. His laser incinerated another Zergling.
He spoke to them in his thick Austrian accent. "Ve cannot hold zem off much longer. I'm scared! Help!" At first, the girls had found his accent exotic and intriguing. However, the whiny pretty-boy was getting on their nerves. He had told them about the Zerg, and their odds of surviving. However, they had fought anyway.
And now we die because Usagi can't give up. A massive Hydralisk slashed with its claws, cutting away at Sailor Mars' ribbons. But I won't go without a fight. "Mars… Fire… Ignite!" The miniscule tongue of flame burned weakly at the Zerg's thick hide. That last attack had taken the last of her energy. She fell to her knees, awaiting her fate.
The monster rose above her and raised its blades to strike. Just before it completed the killing blow, it cocked its head, as if to focus on a distant voice. It turned away and slithered towards its master.
Surprised to be alive, Mars opened her eyes. The doom she had seen coming had failed to materialize. "Where is it going?"
"I do not know, but ve should get avay fast."
"Mars, I have enough energy to fight a bit more. What about you?"
"I used up all of my fire with that last attack. I can't go on."
"I'll follow those things. Maybe I can get in a strike at whatever is controlling these things. You and the whiner get the girls out of here. They could need medical attention."
Jogging after a massive Ultralisk, Sailor Jupiter briefly considered that Warren might have been right.
Sweat ran down Phil's face. The smoke and dust in the air made breathing difficult. His muscles groaned in agony with every movement. He winced as he was forced to block one of Kerrigan’s strikes. He had long ago abandoned chi attacks, because her exoskeleton absorbed the punishment easily. Tuxedo Mask was even worse off. His cane was missing half of its length, and his body was covered in shallow gashes, as well as a few deeper ones.
I gotta give Tux-Boy credit. He's lasted longer than I thought he would.
"Is this your best? Pathetic!" Kerrigan had failed to notice the purple aura surrounding Phil. She pressed the attack again, and Tux-Boy suffered another wound to his right arm. The limb went limp as he cried out from the pain. He dropped his cane and it clattered to the ground.
Finally! He had gathered enough energy from his sense of inadequacy to fuel a Perfect Shi Shi Houkodan. The powerful assault would (hopefully) be enough to vaporize Kerrigan. Now all he needed was an opening. An idea flashed into his mind. Switching the lightsaber to his left hand, Phil hid the right side of his body from view. He spun around to block Kerrigan's slash. He successfully parried the blow and threw a ball behind her. It narrowly missed her head.
"And what was that supposed to do?"
A Zergling appeared behind her. "Ah, good. The first to arrive." She gestured with her human arms while she silently spoke to it. There was no response. "What? I cannot feel that Zergling…" She realized that it wasn't one of hers when it lashed out with its claws. The blades, miniature versions of her own, dug into her thinner torso carapace. She cried in anguish and eviscerated it with her own blades. But the opening had been provided. However, Phil felt the need to say the line that went along with the assault.
"Damn you, Ranma! This is all your fault! Prepare to die! Perfect Shi Shi Houkodan!" Even larger than the previous attack, the sphere of power dwarfed nearby skyscrapers.
Sailor Jupiter and the group of Zerg arrived in time to see the massive strike. Everybody within a kilometer radius cried out at once as the world disappeared in a blinding purple flash.
To be continued.
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