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It focuses on the zerg.
During the second half of the Second Great War, a broken-horned zergling accompanied Kerrigan through her initial operations against the Terran Dominion. He followed her to Char during the death of General Horace Warfield, and watched her both kill him and order the zerg to fall back.
Later in the evolution pit, Abathur experimented on the zergling, testing the broodmother modifications he would do to Zagara on the zergling. It emerged from its cocoon, now able to comprehend tactics and act on its own will, and Abathur advised to monitor the zergling for what the changes would do. As time went on, Kerrigan noticed the zergling was able to defy her direct orders, and tended to follow her around. She returned, furious, to Abathur, and psionically harmed him for his failure. Abathur stated that the will was part of it having gained more of a mind to think and calculate. It continued to exude behavior of following Kerrigan on its own will, and would also disobey commands unless more will was applied.
Finally, when Kerrigan visited Abathur to confront him on it, her anger at him caused the zergling to attack, wounding Abathur. Kerrigan told Abathur to leave, then pulled the zergling aside. Not sure whether to be angry or happy at the results, Kerrigan gave the zergling a name: Broken Horn.
Kerrigan and her leviathan later approached Angdra, a Terran Dominion world. She prepared for an attack, as she needed to clear a path to a small Dominion government building to gain information she needed. She sent her broods down through the atmosphere, and ordered Broken Horn to follow them. Broken Horn entered the battle, and ran to the government building Kerrigan desired. Kerrigan watched him move through the office, looking through the information he gathered for her, finding the name and map she desired. However, a military convoy pulled up to the building, and though Kerrigan compelled him to retreat, Broken Horn was ambushed by terrans and captured.
In the leviathan, Kerrigan regretted leaving Broken Horn behind, not feeling guilt, but a curious hollowness. She reflected that thousands of zerglings died in the battle, and that she should not feel guilt, but her thoughts ended up reflecting back to Broken Horn.
After the Battle of Angdra, Broken Horn was brought by the Dominion Center for State Security to a secret research lab, with Carl Periwag and Takashi Kurkku discussing its capture as they leave the planet, taking it to the lab of Dr. Phillipa Broadhurst. Broadhurst was promised an expungement of her record if she completed the project, named Operation Blind Devil.
Broken Horn meanwhile woke up in a cell, and assessed his surrounding, battling his reflection in the windows briefly. He tried to figure out where he was, but found himself detached from Sarah Kerrigan, reflecting on his loneliness. He was stunned by a bright light, and the terrans of the DCSS took him to be operated on. After the operation, he was placed back in the cell, only to realize that Kerrigan's whispers had vanished. He was taken into surgery again, but this time found Dr. Broadhurst, and recognized her as someone similar to the Queen of Blades, identifying her as the "UnQueen."
Broadhurst sent a message to command updating them on her progress, stating they had cut the zergling from the Zerg Swarm, and that soon they would move on to implants. They visited Broken Horn in the cell, and he found himself compelled to move through an entrance against its will due to its modifications, though found it could provide resistance. He remembered the terrans slaughtering zerg, and through his own will swore he would kill Broadhurst.
Broadhurst meanwhile played a political game between her direct superior and Nathan Lenski to justify the delay in her status reports, as she discovered that Broken Horn had greater mental faculties than she expected, sending Lenski the scans of his brain. Lenski was dismissive, but gave her two more weeks on the project.
Broken Horn meanwhile was taken in for further surgery and examination, and found he could understand Broadhurst. Bradhurst stated she hooked into his nervous system, and noted that he could comprehend the fact he was being spoken to. Broken Horn could not understand the words, but felt the "chittering" transform into directives inside him. She stated that she intended to find the structural differences within Broken Horn, and find a workaround.
Broadhurst then gave her report to Lenski, and confirmed that the zergling was sentient, and that she wanted to research the zergling for this reason while Blind Devil was done on another subject, but was denied by the highest levels of command.
The experiments went on, with Broken Horn going along with Broadhurst's orders. As they went through trials, the zergling's patience was rewarded when he was moved to a cutting table, and with no lights to harm him if he denied orders. Broken Horn then attacked the scientists, killing the few in the room. He began to break through the protective barrier around Broadhurst, finally shattering it to her shock, and ripped her to pieces.
Broken Horn then tried to hunt down the rest of the scientists, feeling an emptiness still without the Swarm. He escaped the facility, and looked up at the sky, thinking of Kerrigan, but felt a burning in his chest as his vision went black.
- The project to replace zerg nervous systems is reminiscent of that of the Cerberus Program. Tamsen Cauley, who lead the Cerberus Program during its transfer to the Terran Dominion, was head of the Center for State Security of the Terran Confederacy, while the project on Broken Horn was done by the Dominion Center of State Security, implying a connection.
- The filename for the PDF version of the story is titled "Spiritual Journey".