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"That "cowboy stuff" gets the job done and doesn't leave any witnesses."
Nero established a violent pattern in his operations.
Nero led his squad of four reapers – himself, Kern, Rock and Pfaff, in an illegal operation against a Dominion base. Kern asked him not to kill everyone, but Nero said they had to eliminate witnesses, and would shoot Kern if he complained about his orders again.
The plan was to steal some Mark VII hub drives and later sell them to the Kimeran Pirates. Shortly after approaching the marines and goliath defending the base, Nero threw explosives and opened fire. This ended up destroying the base. Kern berated him, prompting Nero to shoot his left knee. However, Pfaff and Rock convinced him not to kill one of their own. Nero contacted the Dominion, saying pirates had attacked, blowing up the base and injuring Kern.
In the hospital, Kern convinced Pfaff and Rock to turn on Nero, as they realized that the Dominion would eventually find out the truth, and they would be implicated for Nero's actions. They would lie, saying they didn't know the orders were illegal until it was too late. The Dominion arrested him, and Pfaff (at least) testified against Nero at the trial, resulting in him being sentenced to Gannemuck Prison, where he would be executed. The other three reapers left the service.
In 2503, the date of Nero's execution, he overpowered the guards and escaped. Shooting out video cameras, he used the guards' own communication system to fool them. He stole weapons and explosives, using the former to kill guards and the latter to set a remote detonator in a vital point in the prison. He stole a ship and escaped, blowing up the prison as he did so.
Nero traveled to Roxara to kill his last target. Unknown to him, Kern had married and had a small daughter, Tiffy. The latter encountered a protoss dark templar, Lassatar, who was there seeking a xel'naga artifact, and offered to walk her home safely. Nero arrived and, surprised that Kern had a wife and child, threatened to kill them both in front of the legless (and nearly helpless) Kern. They were interrupted by Lassatar, who wouldn't let any harm come to Tiffy.
Nero used his jumpjets and demolition charges to great effect, but eventually was crippled by the protoss. When Kern told him to not ask for mercy, he reviled Kern. Nero yelled at Kern to shut up and kill him, and that he never could just do his job. Kern cut him off by shooting him in the head with his own gun.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 April 6, 2010. "Timeline". StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Gerrold, David (w), Ruben de Vela (p), Dan Borgonos (i). "Fear the Reaper." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 4 (paperback binding), pp. 28-71. Tokyopop, October 1, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-81698-6.