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Icehouse is a StarCraft II short story designed to tie-in with Heart of the Swarm. It focuses on the reaper. The story was later collected in StarCraft II: War Stories.


Become a reaper or die trying. Welcome to the Icehouse.

Warden Kejora knows that what the Dominion needs on the frontlines more than anything else is a steady supply of stone-cold killers... and he's more than happy to supply them. In his Icehouse training facility, the dregs of society are transformed into some of the most efficient killing machines the galaxy has ever seen. But what would happen if an innocent man were to be put through the grueling regimen that produces the Dominion's Reapers? Can this man survive with his humanity intact, or will he become just another victim of the Icehouse?


Warden Kejora inspected a group of involuntary reaper recruits to the Icehouse. He noted Private Samuel Lords, a small man who had been severely injured in an attack on the zerg and suffered acid burns, followed by self-inflicted injuries. He also noted Gabriel Feltz, a nervous-looking recruit with virtually no background information such as a criminal record or neural profile. He asked for information from Korhal.

The inmates were given a chance to sleep, but were watched over by combat robots. One of the inmates decided to bully Lords, who stated he didn't know where he was from and was named "The Lisk", then proceeded to beat up the attempted bully.

The inmates were subjected to brutal training, and only given a little food. The inmates were subjected to sim-cages, equipment which inspired emotions directly in their brains such as joy, despair and terror. The process was occasionally fatal.

The Lisk, who never spoke to anyone else, approached Feltz. He noted that Feltz acted scared, but wasn't. He also criticized Feltz for doing poorly in a training scenario, where he had hesitated to shoot a hologram of a child.

Kejora reviewed the drugged meals the inmates had been given when he saw inmates Feltz and Polek brawling. Feltz usually let Polek steal his food but this time fought back. Polek beat him up. Usually Kejora wouldn't interfere in a fight, but he had still not received information about Feltz from Korhal and wanted to talk to him, so he put a stop to it.

Feltz awoke to medical treatment, something that usually had to be earned at the Icehouse. Kejora wanted to know why an intelligent, empathetic person had been sent here. Feltz told him a story about him and his brother taking part in a resettlement program, and how his brother was mistreated. He said he confronted the magistrate about it, who punished him by sending him to the Icehouse. Warden Kejora didn't believe that was possible. However, he would keep Feltz and try to turn him into a reaper anyway. He told Feltz to avoid foolish fights. After recovering, the Lisk kept the others from harassing Feltz.

The inmates were finally introduced to the reaper suits, pistols and explosive charges. The training literally killed several of them.

Kejora continued to watch Feltz. He had learned the orders to send him here were fabricated, and couldn't get in touch with the magistrate. Feltz was progressing rapidly, and Kejora saw him as a future leader.

Graduation day approached, and Kejora had spiked the food with aggression-causing drugs. The Lisk attacked Feltz, who managed to calm him down. Feltz took command of the situation, even ordering Polek around, eventually commanding 40 men. The adjutant ordered the inmates to report to the armories for combat, as the predators that Warden Kejora unleashed began their attack. Meanwhile, the staff hid in safe rooms, safe from the inmates and predators.

Robot zerg attacked as well, but the reapers were able to dodge them. Feltz started taking out cameras, and the data for his suit and some others shorted out. That's when Kejora heard a stimpack. He realized that Feltz was attacking his room. He dodged (although his technicians were killed) and tried to distract Feltz. Kejora's position was bad. Backup had to get through the robots in order to rescue him, and there were no unexposed paths to safety.

Feltz told him his brother, Dennis Staton, had been a reaper recruit, but had washed out. Feltz had spent a lot of money getting that info. Now he wanted revenge for Staton's death. Kejora pointed out that Staton would have been executed if he hadn't been trained as a reaper, and that he wasn't ready for the training. Feltz called this unfair and moved in against Kejora.

Gunfire broke out. Lots of it. The Lisk had shot Feltz down, and he wasn't even sure why. It was simply a product of his training. Kejora considered this a successful experiment. They would seek out better recruits such as Feltz, and Kejora thought about bringing the idea up with Emperor Mengsk.[1]


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  1. Michael O'Reilly and Robert Brooks. "Icehouse" (March 14, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Icehouse. Accessed from Blizzard Short Stories Hub on 2021-10-01.