|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Followed by||Liberty's Crusade|
StarCraft: Uprising is a StarCraft fiction e-book (ISBN 0-7434-1898-0) written by Micky Neilson and authorized by Blizzard Entertainment, the same company that created the hit video game StarCraft. It is a prequel to the events in the game StarCraft, and was released in December 2000 by Simon & Schuster.
Korhal IV, an important Terran Confederacy world, has rebelled against its parent nation. The Confederates attempted to impose martial law and even assassinated the rebel leader Angus Mengsk, but the revolt continued under the leadership of his son, Arcturus. Arcturus Mengsk went to visit his ally, Umoja, leaving Korhal under the control of Colonel Acton Feld. There he met another ally, Pollock Rimes.
Rimes was a battlecruiser captain whose vessel crashed in Umojan territory "but well out of range of Confederate hailing frequencies". He's known as not being scared of anything; he's also very competent and a fierce warrior. Rimes was bald and scarred, with a mostly missing left ear, a previous-broken nose, and an indentation on the left side of his skull.
Arcturus Mengsk bribed the crew to serve him.
Sons of Korhal
Korhal rebel leader Arcturus Mengsk greeted twenty Umojan recruits to his organization. Beside him stood Lieutenant Pollock Rimes. As he spoke, his eyes fell upon Somo Hung, an Asian man dressed as a low-level prospector who watched from outside the room.
An ambassador from Umoja, Ailin Pasteur, interrupted, bearing news from Korhal. Pasteur's life had been saved by Angus Mengsk and was made a voting member of the Ruling Council, and to repay the favor, upon Angus' death, he voted in favor of making Arcturus Mengsk leader and general of the Korhalian rebellion.
Mengsk watched Korhal from the Spy Deck, along with the Ruling Council of the Umojan Protectorate. They had received an anonymous tip, probably from the Confederates, telling them that something was up. Twenty battlecruisers orbited Korhal. The battlecruisers fired 1000 Apocalypse-class nuclear missiles at Korhal. Mengsk didn't break down, however. He summoned the rebels, and a new voice joined in ... Somo Hung. Mengsk told him that he had noticed Hung watching him, and believed his indecision could cause harm, but Hung was determined to join. Mengsk welcomed him into the group, which he renamed the Sons of Korhal.
Mengsk took the time to visit the crashed battlecruiser. Removing the tracking beacon, he renamed it the Hyperion.
We are introduced to Sarah Kerrigan, a young Terran Ghost, who is being forced to participate in an experiment involving xenomorphs and Creep, which can spread from just a few spores. She has apparently been drugged. During the "experiment", she discovered that she could control the Zerg. Outside the room, Dr. Flanx commented that she was the best of their test Ghosts at controlling them. The other Ghosts had been sent away.
The First Item
Somo Hung was born and raised on a Fringe World, part of a belt at the farthest reaches of the Galaxy's inhabitable worlds. Fringe-worlders tended to keep to themselves, and were frequently uneducated. They were used as a source of cheap labor. Some had revived or created new religions.
Despite their poverty, Somo Hung's parents were determined to make things better for him. They saved up all their credits and sent him off to Umoja when he reached his eighteenth cycle. Unfortunately for him, they died two cycles ago due to cholera.
One day he was reading a digi-tome called The History of the Guild Wars when he was accosted by "warp-rats", engineers who maintained the battlecruiser's warp engines. They mocked his reading, as they knew many "fringe-squibs" couldn't read. Rimes intervened, but took the side of the warp-rats. He didn't like Hung - fringe-squibs are unpopular with the Umojans, Confederates, and rebels.
We are introduced to Lt. Sela Brock, the pilot of the Hyperion and also a skilled Wraith Pilot. Sgnt. Forest Keel is an old soldier who gets trained to use a Siege Tank. All-together, Mengsk had gathered 46 recruits.
One of Mengsk's first missions is to retrieve something from Vyctor 5, a planet in the Koprulu System. The objective, the Fujita Facility, is a scientific facility built before the Guild Wars. It sits in a stable weather pattern (like a hurricane with an eye) called the Fujita Pinnacle and is further surrounded by four missile turrets. Getting an aerial assault force down there is impossible because of that, and getting a land assault force there is also impossible - the subway system from Lockston had "more guards than Council headquarters on Tarsonis", and, of course, any attempt to travel through the Fujita Pinnacle was suicidal. In fact, getting the Hyperion there without drawing attention is effectively impossible.
However, the Umojans has an immense intelligence network, and fed this information to Mengsk. Somehow they found out that a pleasure cruise was supposed to be there at the time of his assault, but its trip had been cancelled at the last minute. So Mengsk undid the cancellation and replaced it with his battlecruiser - at a long range, it looks a bit like a pleasure cruise ship. Even so, he'd have to act fast before someone saw through his trick. Worse, a Confederate Mammoth-class carrier was in the vicinity, cutting down on their time. The carrier was the reason why the cruise had been cancelled. It's route would take it to Lockston, but it would pass the Hyperion on the way there. It would arrive in an "interval" (a day).
Second, Rimes, Hung, Keel and another soldier were packed into a Siege Tank that was fitted with an experimental gravity generator. It could hold itself onto the ground and actually drive through the weather formation... slowly, without being blown away. The tank's armor could resist the storm. They hoped. The tank's job was to get to the installation, destroy the four missile turrets, then allow Sela Brock's Wraith, accompanied by troop-filled Dropships, to fly down and retrieve whatever was in that secret base.
The tank got there, but its engine blew. It was only able to destroy three of the missile turrets, and it couldn't move to destroy the last one. So Hung, Rimes and their cohorts had to leave the tank and fight off a squad of about twenty-five Confederate Marines, led by Sergeant Mitch Tanner, before they could destroy the missile turret. Hung hesitated in combat, drawing a withering rebuke from Rimes, who doesn't know the meaning of the word "fear".
Brock was running out of time. Mengsk contacted her, saying the Carrier had arrived, accompanied by a battlecruiser. She was ordered to attack the last missile turret with her Wraiths. Mengsk predicted her vessel would survive the missiles.
Fortunately Rimes was a good tactician, and with support from the tank they were able to kill most of the Confederates. Meanwhile Brock's Wraith flew down just ahead of the dropships to take any incoming fire. As most of the Confederates were killed, the dropships landed, disgorging more rebels. Her Wraith got shot down by missiles and Mitch Tanner. Brock's Wraith went flying into the weather formation. Rimes then shot Tanner, forcing him into the Pinnacle.
A Pair of Discoveries
Inside, the Sons of Korhal apprehended Doctor Flanx (the main researcher there), retrieved a young woman and Rimes killed the xenomorph larvae. The young woman, Sarah Kerrigan, was the best of the resident telepaths at influencing them. In fact, she was the only one there, since the rest had been removed and sent back to the Terran Ghost program.
The Universe News Network reported on the Vyctor 5 attack (against an "environmental facility"), but it was filled with Confederate propaganda. On board the Hyperion, Dr. Flanx became a ship's doctor, and examined Lieutenant Brock, who had been retrieved from the Pinnacle. Brock was still alive.
Umojan professor Helek Branamoor examined the xenomorph larva, convincing Mengsk it could transform into anything, even a biological weapon.
Mengsk called in Dr. Flanx for an interrogation. Flanx was still loyal to the Confederacy, but tried to hide this.
When asked about the creatures, Flanx said they had been discovered nearly five cycles ago on a fringe planet in the Koprulu Sector by a local marshall. The only thing the Confederates knew about these creatures were their staggering proliferation potential. Then they were discovered on other planets ... the infestation was extensive.
They tested the creatures with telepaths, in an attempt to control them. The only telepath who succeeded at it was Sarah Kerrigan. The rest were probably killed. The original planet the creatures were found on was depopulated by "cholera".
Kerrigan was standing by, reading his mind and ensuring he was telling the truth, but she didn't realize he was disloyal to Mengsk. She did read Rimes' mind, which was nearly inaccessible to Kerrigan (she read his thought "I'll have to remember that little ability of hers"). Rimes didn't like the way Mengsk took to her.
The Hyperion travelled to Umoja and spent five planetary days there. Mengsk discussed the situation with the Umojans, while he allowed rumors about the Confederates and the xenomorphs to spread.
It then left Protected Space and was about to cross the border into Confederate space.
In the mess hall, Kerrigan, Somo Hung and Forest Keel conversed. Only Keel and Kerrigan had shown any real kindness to Hung, as he was a "fringe-squib". Kerrigan told Hung that the cholera that wiped out his family was a Confederate biological weapon, and Hung nearly broke down. Rimes, seeing them, intervened. He told Hung it was time to do some training, but Kerrigan told him that Hung just found out his family was killed by the Confederacy. Rimes tried to remove Kerrigan to drag Hung away, and they started fighting. Unfortunately for Rimes, Terran Ghosts receive advanced combat training, and can enhance their strength, speed and endurance through the use of psionics. He lost. Rimes felt fear for the first time in his life. He accused her of "attacking a superior officer" but no one wanted to be a witness. Realizing he couldn't win, Rimes retreated, telling Hung to be at training in five ticks. Kerrigan noticed he was trying his utmost to hide his thoughts from her, but she didn't try to reveal them.
After the altercation, Mengsk called her in. He didn't treat the brawl as serious. He revealed that the Umojans knew of her transfer to the Fujita Facility, and she realized she couldn't read his thoughts.
Mengsk said that he had two more targets to retrieve, as well as launching such a large attack against the Confederates that they would have to stop ignoring the Sons of Korhal and pretending their attacks were just isolated sabotage.
Kerrigan's mental treatment had clouded her memory, and removing her implant only retrieved part of her psionic ability. She slowly recovered her memory during the story.
The Second Item
Mengsk decided he had to get item #2, so his ship showed up openly in Confederate space. As he did so, he told Kerrigan that he didn't just retrieve her for any old reason - not because he knew of any secrets of the Fujita Installation on Vyctor 5. He took her because she knew details about the security of the Ghost Academy on Tarsonis, even if she couldn't immediately remember this.
"Colonel" Edmund Duke just happened to be there (with item #2 onboard) ... someone knocked Lt. Brock out and a transmission was made, alerting Duke to their presence. Specifically, they told Duke about Kerrigan, whom the Confederacy was (quietly) on the lookout for - this could make him a general.
Mengsk had a plan for the action already, even though he apparently hadn't expected an open confrontation. The Norad II emerged from warp space right beside the Hyperion (amazing accuracy) and positioned itself so that its side faced the Hyperion's bridge, a maneuver that would prevent the Hyperion from going back to warp (which it did try to do - Mengsk really was surprised by this). However, battlecruisers are poorly designed (apparently) since they can't shoot sideways. This meant the Norad II couldn't shoot the Hyperion. Duke's Wraiths emerged from his ship and could attack the Hyperion's sides, however. Figuring Duke would try to board, Mengsk told Hung to gather seven comrades and hide in docking bay 1 - this group didn't include Rimes, Keel or Kerrigan; the latter was acting as Mengsk's bodyguard. He then called Sgnt Keel... Meanwhile, a dropship dropped off ten Confederate Marines onto the Hyperion. Now that this had occurred, Mengsk ordered his ship turned slowly to the left until eventually the armed front end of the Hyperion was facing the Norad II's vulnerable flank.
On board the Hyperion, Rimes (not wearing armor) stepped out of a lift... immediately after Dr. Flanx did. Both were trying to intercept the Confederates on their own. Dr. Flanx immediately told the Confederates not to listen to anything Rimes said; they took Rimes' weapon. Mengsk saw this on his monitor but didn't seem upset by this.
Sgnt. Keel was now in the docking bay, where they stored the modified siege tank. However, there was little point of using a tank in space, especially since he'd have to shoot through his own ship to do it.
The Hyperion accelerated; it looked like it was going to ram the Norad II! The rebels ambushed the Confederates onboard the Norad II, giving Rimes a weapon. Dr. Flanx went insane, grabbing a weapon from a Confederate...
Mengsk aligned the two ships side-by-side again, only this time the Hyperion was facing the other direction. Now the two couldn't trade fire (although the Wraiths were damaging the Hyperion) and the Hyperion might be able to escape.
Flanx killed a rebel. Hung killed Flanx. Rimes was (for obvious reasons) taking cover and firing at the Confederates.
The docking bay holding the siege tank opened - the tank was anchored by its gravity generator. Mengsk ordered him to fire. The reactions from Duke's bridge were ... shocked.
The two ships were able to draw apart (with the tank still firing, though Wraiths were sent to destroy it), giving the Hyperion room to escape.
Inside, the rebels were taking cover in a dark room and firing blindly. The Confederates would occasionally poke a rifle into the room and fire, then move away before they could get hit. The next time this happened Rimes grabbed the rifle with both hands (it was pointed right at his unarmored chest) and pulled it away. The Marine screamed "I'm unarmed!" rather than dodging... Rimes put a quick end to him.
The Hyperion jumped into warp, but Duke wasn't too worried. He had implemented a protocol that was announced (quietly) just a day earlier.
Resting from their victory, the rebels started to die. All of a sudden one had a huge hole in his chest, then another got shot... there was another Ghost onboard!
Kerrigan was sent to find this Ghost, a dangerous proposition considering that if she died, Mengsk would lose her information. He gave her his sidearm. She didn't even have a cloaking device, but she activated the fire control systems, hoping the liquid would reveal the Ghost's position. It did, barely. The Ghost had entered the kitchen, where the fire suppressant wasn't flowing, but he still had a little bit of the stuff on him.
The Ghost knocked the gun out of her hand. Fortunately the kitchen had some big knives, one of which Kerrigan grabbed. The two engaged in melee. Eventually Kerrigan's battle anger faded, and she was able to inform Mengsk that the other Ghost was dead.
Mengsk promoted her to Lieutenant, and furthermore gave her the now-repaired Ghost suit. Mengsk told her he believed he had been sent to retrieve her. Nonetheless, Mengsk thought to himself that all that mattered is that he got "another one of the three". When Kerrigan read this from his mind, she asked about it. Mengsk promptly blanked his mind and refused to talk about it.
Attacking the Academy
Mengsk's plan to attack the Academy required him to send twenty rebels. That was the number of miners to be sent from Pridewater, a fringe planet with rich mineral resources. Attacking the Academy would force the Confederate media to stop ignoring the Sons of Korhal.
The Kal-Bryant Mining Conglomerate had taken the side of Umoja during the Guild Wars, and even now was disloyal to its putative superior organization, the Terran Confederacy. The foreman had given the information to the Umojans, who had passed it to Arcturus Mengsk, and even now was hiding the Hyperion there.
Every day, a cargo ship would leave the Conglomerate's orbital station and travel to Tarsonis, carrying miners and mineral resources to a station orbiting Tarsonis. Usually the miners would descend to the surface for several days of revelry. The cargo ship always carried twenty miners, and the rebels would replace them.
As the rebels spent a day at Pridewater, Somo Hung and Sarah Kerrigan became close.
The Third Item
Mengsk took Kerrigan aside to discuss another plan with her.
To retrieve the third item, Mengsk wanted Kerrigan to attack the Terran Ghost Academy on the Terran Confederacy homeworld, Tarsonis, a difficult task for such a small terrorist organization as the Sons of Korhal. In addition to the psychological victory this would inflict on the Confederacy, he also wanted her to retrieve a Ghost for reasons he kept to himself (even though she could read his mind).
In order to locate this Ghost, she needed to get a locator from the Academy's commanding officer ... Major Rumm, her former trainer. Kerrigan had been in the academy before and had some familiarity with it.
The rebels approached Tarsonis in the Giant-class Homage, taking almost a day to get there. In the meantime, Kerrigan recalled her former antagonistic relationship with Mr. Rumm.
Her own, private, plan, involved getting revenge on Major Rumm and destroying any xenomorphs at the Academy.
Once on Tarsonis, the rebels had to act like bored miners looking for entertainment. The pilot of the Homage had not been informed of the true purpose of the mission, and Lt. Brock had to distract him. (Her method of doing so did not earn her boyfriend's approval.) Unlike the other rebels, Brock had to remain, as she would pilot the transport away.
As the rebels "partied", Kerrigan slipped away and entered the Academy. As she infiltrated the structure, she overheard a conversation with some soldiers indicating that xenomorphs were in the facility, being kept secret from most of the people there.
Hung and his teammate, Tibbs, were accosted by a drunken man who came very close to blowing their cover. They realized he was from the Terran Academy, and had memory problems because of his Ghost implant. After getting a message from Kerrigan, telling them where to find the armory and the xenomorphs, they tricked the drunken Ghost into leading them to the Academy, then broke in.
They quickly stole uniforms from guards they overpowered, but as the rebels ventured within, Rimes said he would stay at the sentry post.
While the rebels headed to the armory, Hung went back to check on Rimes. Something about his behavior didn't make sense to him. Rimes was no longer at the sentry post, and apparently had gone to the Security Level. Somo Hung now believed that Rimes intended to sabotage the mission.
He was right. Rimes had intended to betray the Sons of Korhal to the Confederates who had boarded the Hyperion, but Dr. Flanx had interfered, leading the Confederates (inadvertently) right into the rebel trap.
Kerrigan made it to Rumm's quarters, only to find a note saying he was in the training area.
Somo Hung stumbled upon Rimes, who looked very surprised to see him, at the same time as the other rebels entered the "Recreation Area' where the xenomorphs were believed to be hidden.
Rumm had received a warning from a traitor warning him of an attack by a renegade Ghost, so he left the note there to lure Kerrigan into an ambush. It worked. Kerrigan detected his thoughts too late and fell into a high-gravity chamber. Her cloaking device exhausted itself, revealing who she was to Major Rumm.
Rimes quickly began shooting at Somo Hung. The two quickly grappled...
The rebels found the xenomorphs, but it was also an ambush by Terran Ghosts. The Ghosts were cloaked, so they had the advantage.
Rimes shot Hung at close range, injuring his rib cage and leg, but Hung persevered. Indeed, Hung blinded Rimes during the battle, and eventually took control of Rimes' gun, shooting and killing him.
The rebels were dying, and the door to the next room was locked. Somo Hung had taken a security card from Rimes and used it to unlock the door the rebels were trying to enter. He also discovered Major Rumm and Kerrigan, but could do nothing to help her from there.
The rebels found themselves in the power core of the Academy. The Ghosts didn't dare fire, and after a short while, they decloaked. Forest Keel didn't attack the Ghosts, however. Instead, he destroyed the reactor, shaking the entire installation, and deactiving the high gravity chamber. Hung reached the room and tried to attack Major Rumm, but was quickly killed. Rumm fled to a lift. Kerrigan escaped, only to run into a Ghost loyal to Rumm. Defeating him in hand-to-hand combat, she used his weapon to lock down the lift.
Then she approached close enough to use her psionic power on him. While it had been weakened, it was still effective. Rumm was killed by the very ability he had tried to control and suppress.
Kerrigan used his tracker to find the Ghost (item #3) and found him, unconscious, in the "Recreation Area". He had been shot in the head by one of the Sons of Korhal rebels, but was still alive. All of the other rebels who had entered the facility, however, were dead.
Kerrigan and Brock took the Homage away from Tarsonis. The Confederates tried to send Wraiths to stop it, but the Hyperion appeared, attached to the transport, and quickly warped away.
On board the Hyperion, Kerrigan brought the Ghost to Mengsk. Mengsk explained to the Ghost that he was one of the three Ghosts who had killed his parents and young sister. The Ghost probably couldn't even remember that he had done so, but Mengsk wanted him to know this before he died. Then Mengsk drew a pistol and shot the Ghost in the chest, killing him.
Kerrigan was outraged. The entire operation against the Ghost Academy seemed to be about Mengsk's personal revenge. Sick of being used, first by the Confederacy and now by Mengsk, she started to storm out. As she left, Mengsk informed her that he had found the most important of the three Ghosts, the one who had cut off his father's head ... on Vyctor 5. Kerrigan now remembered killing Angus Mengsk and cutting his head off.
Mengsk informed her that he first intended to use her to kill the other Ghosts, but along the way he saw what an incredible person she was. She gave him hope. Kerrigan broke down in tears, saying that was something worth fighting for.
On the news, Mengsk was shown taking credit for the attack on the Ghost Academy. His words were mainly unedited, although his references to the xenomorphs had been cut. The Sons of Korhal were now a well-known terrorist organization. The report was made by Michael Daniel Liberty, who is a main character in StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade.
Canon, Errors and Final Comments
- StarCraft: Uprising is frequently seen as canon, as information contained within appears in StarCraft: Hybrid, a short story published by Blizzard Entertainment in Amazing Stories magazine. Micky Neilson has collaborated on the StarCraft storyline.
- The battlecruisers are described as "roughly two leagues long", making one about six miles long. The battlecruisers in the cinematic (especially the one at the beginning of Brood War) are far smaller.
- Some pieces of military technology, such as powered armor and Siege Tanks, have their own miniature gravity generators for use on space platforms. Most platforms, however, have their own gravity generators.
- A few parts of the novel contradict the StarCraft manual. According to the novel, the missiles fired at Korhal emerged from battlecruisers, but in the manual, they were fired directly from Tarsonis.
- Furthermore, the Terran military space vessels are equipped with Protoss-style shields in the novel, but not in the manual or game. A reference to battlecruiser shields are made in the Blizzard map Deception.
- Korhal lost "4 million people", according to the manual, but in the novel Mengsk says "35 million people" were killed.
- Edmund Duke is quoted in StarCraft as being a general for 15 years.
- The novel says that Umoja and the other two original colonies were settled "just a few millennia" ago, but the manual says it was much more recent (after 2229).
- Forest Keel said he served "seven cycles" in the Guild Wars, but in fact the Guild Wars only lasted four years. However, time units like "cycles" are likely related to each planet's rotation and orbit, and this difference may reflect different points of reference (ie, "standard" years versus a certain planet's cycles).
- Somo Hung
- Sarah Kerrigan
- Arcturus Mengsk
- Pollock Rimes
- Sons of Korhal
- StarCraft: Hybrid
- StarCraft Terran Prehistory