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The fate of a protoss legend hangs in the hands of a lowly engineer.
Inspiring awe in their allies and sheer, naked terror in all who stand in their way, few ships are as recognizable as the protoss carriers. Even among these massive warships, the carrier Koramund is exceptional. But when his ship comes under attack by the zerg, a lowly protoss engineer must overcome unthinkable odds to save the Koramund from destruction.
In the space above the planet Vanass, the Daelaam carrier Koramund was being pursued by the zerg, and had started to plummet toward the surface. It had received a distress call from the abandoned colony on the planet, but upon arriving had been ambushed by zerg forces. Iaalu, an engineer of the Khalai Caste, was summoned by Tenzaal to help with repairs. The situation was desperate, as they had lost shielding and interceptors, and mutalisks were hammering the hull of the ship. Iaalu suddenly felt a massive psionic spike from the ship, as the majority of the crew died.
Iaalu pushed his way to fix the psionic matrix on the ship, only to find the khaydarin crystal powering it missing. He noted that the crystal had been taken, as if it had shattered there would have been shards. A mutalisk flew through the ship and attacked Iaalu, but he managed to grab onto its wing and wrestle it so it would hit itself with its own glaive wurm. He found the khaydarian crystal inside of the mutalisk, and grabbed it in spite of the acidic burns of the mutalisk's blood. He placed the crystal in its place, and it shattered. The carrier crashed into the planet, and Iaalu was knocked unconscious.
Iaalu awoke, confused as to how he survived. He looked around for survivors, then realized that there was still a spark within the Koramund. He wandered deeper into the ship, in spite of his heavy acid burns and the planet's heavy gravity. He found the desiccated corpses of his crewmates, consumed by the zerg. However, he did not find one templar body among the remains of the engineers. He wandered back into the main hanger, looking for the spark of life he felt in the carrier, and found the interceptors that had apparently gone missing in pristine condition. He found three of his fellow Khalai, but noticed their wounds were too precise, and done by a psi-blade.
Iaalu was ambushed by three hydralisks, and ducked for cover. He activated one of the interceptors named N'rithaa, and used it to destroy the hydralisks, running out to Praetor Quordas's chambers. He found Quordas locked in a fight with Tenzaal. Tenzaal then turned, saying Iaalu should have stayed dead, then killed Quordas. Suddenly, a hydralisk came from behind, shooting needle spines at Tenzaal, but she killed it. Iaalu then noticed that Quordas clutched the pulse he had felt, a khaydarin amulet that held the heart of Koramund. He took the amulet and ran, with Tenzaal in pursuit.
After a chase, Tenzaal caught up to him, and made her mind open. She had staged the distress signal in the hope of luring and destroying Koramund. She stated the ship was an out of date relic that put protoss lives at risk, as they were weaponless and the zerg already knew their design and weaknesses, and by destroying the Koramund, she would prove to the Daelaam that carriers needed to be retired. Iaalu attempted to use the amulet to restart the engines of the ship, but it did not work. Tenzaal unleashed a psionic storm on Iaalu.
However, Iaalu activated the crystal, and Tenzaal was disintegrated by its power. With the power of the khaydarin crystal running through him, Iaalu himself became the new "spark" fueling the Koramund, its flow of energy synchronizing with his heartbeat. With the rest of the crew dead, he reactivated the vessel and lifted it off the planet to return to the stars.
- This short story is a possible reference to the state of the carrier at the time in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm development, which Blizzard had announced they were removing due to lack of player use, mirroring Tenzaal's plan to convince the Daelaam to remove carriers from the fleet. The carrier was eventually added back into the game, partially due to fan outcry.
- Kogge, Michael. "Carrier" (May 9, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Carrier. Accessed from Blizzard Short Stories Hub on 2021-11-07.
- 2012-09-13. PC Gamer. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta patch: Warhound gets the boot, Carrier welcomed back. Accessed 2015-12-05.
- Author and Editor Tweets