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Lens of the Void

By Hugh A. Todd2

The bridge of the Purity of Form shuddered. "Shields holding!" cal ed out the damage-control officer, his psionic voice projected for al to hear. “Request air

cover from Command," Feranon ordered. The bridge

crew had been instructed to speak in a public form

of telepathic address so as to accommodate both

khalai And Nerazim. As commander of one of the

protoss' newest ships, Feranon had a duty to make

sure that the recently integrated groups worked well

together despite their differences. In these dark

times, those who fol owed the Khala and those who

rejected it would need each other if they were to

survive. Feranon himself thought that the

reintegration would bring strength to all protoss.

This attitude, and his stellar record as a leader,

might have been why the Hierarchy had given him

command of the Purity of Form. He was proud of his

posting and would prove to his superiors that they

had made the right decision. From his perch in the

commander's chair, he admired the bridge, larger

than any to which he had previously been assigned.

Protoss worked at rows of terminals, monitoring the

mechanisms that caused the void ray to be one of

the mightiest ships his race had ever created. These

terminals radiated out in concentric circles from his

chair, giving him a clear view of all personnel. Fil ing the air close to his seat were semitransparent

holographic screens, affording him summaries of the

various stations' output.The bridge was not just

efficient, but it was beautiful as wel , reflecting the

aesthetics of the whole ship. Feranon was

impressed with the remarkable abilities of the

protoss who had designed it.

The Purity of Formwas graceful for such a deadly

weapon. Of course, this ship's conceptionwould not

have been possible without the close teamwork of

khalai and Nerazim. Together they had achieved a

pinnacle of both science and art. Astonishing! “Air

cover arriving," reported a communications officer.

Feranon could feel the crew member's satisfaction

through the Khala. It would have been more

economical for al of the bridge crew to be khalai, as

they would have instantly known the feelings and

thoughts of the others without the need to form

words. However, just as the ship had been designed

by 3 the two groups working together, so would it be

crewed. The Purity of Form would be stronger for the


Feranon watched on a floating screen as phoenixes

ripped through the flock of zerg mutalisks that had

been harassing the void ray. "Excel ent. Continue to our attack point with al haste. "Without the zerg

forces to hinder it, the Purity of Form quickly arrived

at its assigned location."Commander, target within


Feranon studied a screen showing a line of ultralisks

lumbering down a stark hillside. Data detailing

everything from their disposition to the very

composition of their skin streamed around the zerg

outlined in front of him. "Bring the prismatic beam online. Deploy one flux field projector," commanded Feranon. Crew members moved to comply. The

Purity of Form vibrated with the energies funnelling

through its frame. "Fire on the ultralisks as soon as the weapon is online. “The vibration intensified until

it attained a pure tone. The bridge was bathed in the

blue light of the energies that arced to the main

crystal. From this crystal, positioned at the mouth of

the void ray, the prismatic beam leapt to the figures

below. On-screen, Feranon observed an ultralisk

staggering as the beam slammed into it, but

remarkably, the zerg continued on, unhurt.

"Commander, their armour is too dense. The

prismatic beam wil not be able to break

through it."

Feranon reviewed the data but didn't contradict the

technician's conclusion.

He swiveled his chair, turning to the area behind his

command post. There, at the

back of the bridge, lay a couch. Heavy cables

spread out from the head of the bench, and

behind it, beyond thick transparent walls, the

prismatic core glowed like a living cauldron

of power. Lying on the couch was a young dark

templar. An ancient protoss stood at the

side of the recumbent figure. Feranon inspected the

teacher for a moment.

Theromos was the oldest protoss he had ever

known. His dress did not match that of

the younger Nerazim Feranon had met. Even the

stylized designs on the clamps that 4

capped his shortened psionic appendages were

distinctly archaic. When Feranon had first

learned about the assignment, he had asked other

Nerazim about Theromos. Every one of

them had told the commander ofthe great respect

that they held for their previous mentor.

Many had remarked how his teachings had changed

their lives.

Feranon turned his attention to the young Nerazim.

The commander spoke softly.

"Althai, we need to bring a second flux field projector online."

Before the reclining protoss could answer, the

telepathic voice of the elder at his

side rang out. "My pupil is not ready. He does not

have the discipline to handle a second


Feranon focused on the older protoss. "I understand that students usual y have

more time to learn how to manipulate the void ray's

power, but we are in a difficult

situation. There are enough ultralisks down there to

rout our ground forces. We were

commanded to eliminate them, but a single projector

cannot break through their armor."

Theromos fairly growled his frustration. "Your second projector may give you what

you need to destroy the zerg, but you run the risk of

kil ing your crewman."

Althai interrupted before Feranon could respond.

"Commander, activate the second

projector. I wil try to keep it under control."

Even though the dark templar were not a part of the

Khala, Feranon could sense the

trepidation in the words of the young Nerazim.

Theromos was quiet for a moment and then spoke."I

have warned you."

Feranon swiveled his chair to face forward.

"Bring a second flux field projector online. Keep the beam trained on that ultralisk."

The tone that vibrated through the ship changed

pitch as a second arc of energy

sprung up, merging with the first at the main crystal.

Once again the ultralisk staggered, but

then the beam began to liquefy its tough skin, and

the zerg was torn apart, consumed from

the inside out.

"Target the remaining ultralisks."

The beam fired,tearing through zerg flesh and bone.

What had begun as an army,

almost two dozen of the towering beasts, was

quickly reduced to ash. The Purity of Form

scoured the battlefield until the last ultralisk fell stil , its body a smoking ruin.5

"Shut down the beam," commanded Feranon.

The vibration that shook the Purity of Formsubsided,

and the bridge dimmedwith

the loss of the arcing energy's glare. Feranon turned

to congratulate the young dark


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