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StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres is a StarCraft: Ghost novel. It was published on 27 September 2011.
An audiobook version was published September 9th, 2019, and was narrated by Nicole Parnell.
What terror can haunt a ghost? Nova, an elite stealth operative with exceptional telepathic and telekinetic powers, embarks on a heart-stopping mission that pits her against her own kind and forces her to confront her tragic hidden past. Ghosts epitomize the height of terran evolution and physical conditioning. Born with incredible psionic potential, these individuals are recruited and quarantined for government training from childhood. Like most ghosts, Nova Terra had all memories of her prior life buried when she became a member of this elite group of covert operatives. Unlike most, however, Nova actually wanted to erase her personal history and put all of her painful memories to rest. Now, one of the most powerful ghosts in the Terran Dominion is about to be haunted by her former life when a forgotten friend joins her mission to locate missing members of the ghost program. The shocking secrets they discover will pit Nova against both the shadows of her past and the future of terran psionic warriors: spectres.
Spectres is a novelization of what the game would have been. Spectres also ties into the prequel, StarCraft: Ghost: Nova, the graphic novel series StarCraft: Ghost Academy and the game StarCraft II.
The Battle of Altara
Ghost Agent X52735N was dispatched on a mission to Oasis, Altara, lured by rumors of United Earth Directorate remnant forces being present. X52735N discovered a modified refinery, but despite her cloak, was ambushed by a mysterious attacker who knew her real name, Kath Toom. Toom was subdued.
The battlecruiser Palatine, flagship of Nova Squadron, was sent to investigate and rescue him. Aboard was temporarily attached Agent X41822N, Nova Terra. The commander, Colonel Jackson Hauler, gave the orders to go there.
On the way to Altara, the ship detected zerg, who would make it to Altara first. There would be a battle. Terra wanted to investigate first and alone. Hauler told her she'd have an hour to work.
The zerg descended on a strange green rift, near the site of the distress call. Terra did an initial analysis of the substance. As she reached the refinery, which had exploded before her arrival, Hauler pushed for a landing. Terra's recon of the zerg was interrupted by the landing of Grizzlies. Nova Squadron forces led by Lieutenant Chet Ward landed. Ward had experience in numerous terran skirmishes, but had never fought the zerg before. Terra had, and let him know it. He grudgingly followed her advice, but believed the terrans had the element of surprise. Terra personally disliked Ward, knowing he had murdered a woman on Agria and gotten away with it.
Roaches and zerglings unburrowed and attacked, giving the zerg a tactical advantage. Terra told Ward where to put his men for a counterattack. She baited the zerg, luring them into the crossfire. Terra told Ward to take a squad into rocky terrain near the Grizzlies, on the ground that the zerg would have trouble burrowing there. She then discovered the wrangler's ship. The wrangler, Mal Kelerchian, recognized her, but due to Terra's previous memory wipe, she had no real idea who he was. He was injured, prompting Terra to call for medivac. Meanwhile, the terrans were still in trouble, being attacked by mutalisks. Hauler made recovering Kelerchian the top priority.
Terra brought the ship to the evac point. During the ensuing battle, Terra's face mask was ripped off, enabling her to smell a coppery gas. As the battle continued, the gas had an effect on Terra. She began to remember her family's death, her enslavement at the hands of Fagin, and part of the Battle of Shi. Sending the marines out of the coming blast radius (telling Ward that if she died, she wouldn't be able to reveal his guilt), she unleashed a massive psionic attack on the zerg.
Terra awoke on the Palatine. Dr. Shaw was supposed to treat her, but he was thinking she was a murderer. She admitted to suffering hallucinations from the gas.
In a private meeting with Kelerchian, they compared notes. He told her that ghosts were going missing, and their neural implants had been taken offline, making tracking impossible. The Annihilators, a special forces unit, had taken Toom to Altara, and when she disappeared, Emperor Arcturus Mengsk himself dispatched Kelerchian to investigate. He had been attacked at the refinery by well-armed former military personnel when the refinery blew up.
According to a military scientist, Karl Lee, the gas was similar to vespene, but had some organics and was less flammable. The explosion had lured the zerg, and there had been no record of any mining there.
Emperor Mengsk contacted the Palatine, and wanted a private conference with just Kelerchian and Terra. He told them that he had not given an order for Toom to investigate Altara. He told them of secret attacks on the Terran Dominion, and that the survivors tended to be "brain-panned", suffering an effect much like neural resocialization. UNN believed these attacks were caused by UED remnants. Renegade reporter Michael Liberty was sniffing at the truth, but Mengsk was blocking him. Believing normal channels were being compromised, Mengsk gave them a top-priority assignment—find the ghosts and terrorists, and put an end to the threat. They would enjoy support from Hauler and the Psi-Ops Division.
Meanwhile, Kath Toom awoke on Gehenna Station, in a bed. She was visited by her old friend, Gabriel Tosh. Her memories were starting to come back. He told her about terrazine, a potent gas with numerous effects, which included reverting memory wipes and, enhanced with a little jorium, enhancing psionic power to approach protoss levels. A ghost exposed to terrazine became a spectre, a more potent psionic warrior—this was the purpose of Project: Shadowblade. There were currently about two dozen spectres. Dylanna Okyl, a spectre and former acquaintance of the two of them, arrived during the talk. She was upset about Toom, as she had a crush on Tosh, but Tosh and Toom had been lovers. Tosh turned on Okyl.
The General in charge of the rebellion called Tosh. He complained the refinery hadn't been completely destroyed. However, there was good news—they had left a spy there. The General said that Mengsk was sending every available ghost to Altara as well as Mal Kelerchian. Tosh wanted to recruit Terra there, but the General thought it was too dangerous.
Back on Altara, Terra learned of a Umojan spy and smuggler who had appeared there several weeks previously. She was working with Agent X72341R, a specialist in stealth mind-reading, and could even pull on the subconscious. His dossier showed him to be a veteran of Mengsk's Uprising. He hadn't found any evidence that the UED had been present.
As the two split up and investigated further, Terra found herself the target of telepathic taunts. Working with Kelerchian, whose minor psionic powers enabled him to find other psychics, they tried to locate this hidden foe. Terra was attacked, but when she turned the tables, they fled. They found X72341R at the door, looking beat up. They also stumbled across a strange-acting girl, Lila, who told them that the attack had been performed by spectres and "Shadowblade". Lila had a hard life, having lives years affected by drugs. She was now living on her own.
They brought Lila as a witness to the dropships at Oasis. Hauler told Terra the girl might have been brain-panned. Evidence of the zerg attack was covered up, but the refinery could not be salvaged.
The Battle for Augustgrad
Kelerchian's analysis showed the attacks had occurred from short range in a straight line. The meeting was interrupted by the arrival of Major Spaulding, now the commander of the Annihilators. The major wore a psi-screen. He had previous history with Terra, blaming her for the death of his former commanding officer, Major Esmerelda Ndoci. He brought his executive officer, Captain Vincent. Spaulding wasn't happy with the meeting and stormed off. Meanwhile, Terra was having trouble focusing due to terrazine-induced hallucinations, which included elements of memories that had been previously wiped.
Dr. Shaw told her that terrazine regenerated cells damaged by memory wipes and gave her heightened powers, raising a psychic's PI by a full point or more. She noticed him trying to hide things from her, and he fled from her presence.
They received a message—Augustgrad, capital of the Dominion, was under attack. There was a communication blackout.
Aboard Gehenna Station, Kath Toom had a meeting with Lio Travski, now an AI. He wasn't upset about his current condition, believing it was the fate of all terrans. He showed her the holovid files of himself undergoing neural resocialization at the Ghost Academy. He was interested in the next stage of human evolution, and believed terrazine could show trigger that. He also tried to show her information about her father, but Toom fled, discovering her powers had been enhanced enough to use telekinesis. Travski pursued her, until she had to see the truth—her father had not dealt with the Umojans to sell secrets, and framed for a crime he had not committed, he committed suicide.
Meanwhile, Tosh collected a team of spectres—Dylanna Okyl, Sloan, Caleb, Jara and Karl, all former ghosts. Tosh was going crazy due to terrazine influence, seeing people who weren't there. At Mengsk's Palace, Travski was able to shut down the computerized defenses. Breaking in, Dylanna Okyl suffered hallucinations and began killing guards. Tosh mentally lashed out at her, prompting Sloan (and a hallucination of Grandma Tosh) to stop him. Travski announced that he hadn't been able to prevent a message from leaving through a private line. Mengsk hid in a panic room.
Hauler put Terra in charge of the first segment of the battle. She would take the ghosts with her, while Lt. Ward would follow up, and then heavier forces. They were dropped off at the outskirts of Augustgrad and used vultures to approach the palace. She didn't know that Tosh was already targeting her.
Terra was telepathically taunted by "Bones". He hid, cloaked, near a fountain, but Terra's terrazine-enhanced senses let her detect him. She splashed water on him to reveal him and killed him with a mental attack. That's when Tosh, Caleb, Jara and Karl arrived, cloaked. They disabled the ghosts' suits. Several of the ghosts were grappled. The ghosts were at a disadvantage at first, and Tosh mentally introduced himself to Terra. She rebuked him and eventually was able to drive the spectres away. As Terra entered the palace, however, Dylanna Okyl ambushed her, spraying her with terrazine and stabbing her.
Terra woke up injured. Tosh asked her to get to Mengsk. However, marines began entering the palace, prompting Tosh to flee. All of Terra's ghosts were either dead or taken by the spectres. After a medic treated Terra's wounds, Kelerchian and Mengsk held a private meeting with her. Mengsk told her that Tosh had faked his death previously.
Back on Gehenna Station, the spectres felt like failures. Some of them were killed, and they'd only brought back a few ghosts with them. They hadn't persuaded Terra to come with them. Lio Travski told Tosh that he was treating Toom like a POW and that he was deviating from the path of the experiment. The General, Bennett, was angry at the failure, and told Tosh he should bring in Terra by force. Tosh did manage to connect with Toom.
Aboard the Palatine, Major Spaulding was irate. During the battle, the Annihilators had wished to attack immediately, but Hauler said it was too risky with the communication blackout. Spaulding accused Terra of being a spectre. Dr. Shaw provided supporting evidence of her terrazine affliction, and Kelerchian was accused of manipulating the situation, such as blowing up the Altara refinery, allegedly in order to hide evidence. Lt. Ward gave an edited account of Terra's threat against him on Altara, making it nearly impossible for her to refute it. Spaulding wanted to take custody of Kelerchian and Terra and wanted to run things from his own ship. Hauler, however, threw him off the Palatine.
Hauler acted angrily toward Shaw and Ward, as they hadn't spoken to him beforehand. He knew Terra wasn't involved with the spectres. Terra asked Hauler for information on Project Shadowblade and the Battle of Shi. Kelerchian and Terra studied reports on Gehenna Station, discovering it had exploded over Maltair IV, killing hundreds of marines. The Annihilators, claiming they had fought a pirate ship nearby, had arrived in less than an hour. As the duo discussed the possible treachery, gas seeped into their room, causing them to fall unconscious.
Hauler and Terra talked. Terra realized that Hauler was also General Bennett, but couldn't attack him as he had dosed her with anti-psi neuroleptics and also removed her ghost suit. He told her about the background of Project Shadowblade. He also confirmed the deaths of the Old Family children after the Battle of Shi. He showed Terra a holo of Kelerchian, being held prisoner on Gehenna Station and being threatened by a marine. Unless Terra agreed to work with him, Hauler would have Kelerchian killed. The Palatine would return to Korhal, where Terra would capture Mengsk and force him to deliver a confession which would eventually result in Hauler being put into power.
Terra was handed to Dr. Shaw, in order to remove her neural implant. However, Dr. Shaw intended to slowly kill her, as when she was a child, her powers had killed his parents. Shaw drugged her, but Lio Travski was able to reach her through the electrodes. After proving his identity to her, Travski shut off the drugs. Terra was able to escape, killing Shaw and the marines. She slipped away.
The November was launched, while the Palatine's tracking and comm systems shut down. Benett believed that Terra had escaped aboard the November. Frustrated, he took an ahead of schedule hit of terrazine and ordered Lt. Ward to ready the vikings to capture the November.
The Palatine came to Gehenna Station. Tosh believed Travski had turned traitor and had disabled the Palatine. Tosh had an EMP system which could be used on Travski for moments like this. Once communications were established, Bennett discovered that Tosh was more unstable than previously though. He wondered if they were dosing themselves with terrazine properly, and whether they were using any jorium.
Travski announced that he had found the November with one life sign, and had shut down its comm system. Ward's vikings brought the November in. Bennett checked the ship but couldn't find Terra there.
Travski warned Terra that her deception had been detected. Terra, who had in fact been hiding on the Palatine the whole time, slipped into Gehenna. She ran into a crying Kath Toom. Terra told her what had happened. Toom was still in love with Tosh, however, and the two fought. Terra used her telekinesis to knock Toom unconscious. She then stole Toom's needler gun and spectre suit.
Project Shadowblade began hunting Terra. Bennett discovered the injured Toom. He used telekinesis to destroy her brain, as part of a plot to frame Terra for Toom's death. Tosh learned of Toom's "injury". He ran into Okyl, who told him that Terra had killed Toom. Tosh psionically lashed out, killing Okyl.
Terra slipped into Kelerchian's cell and freed him. Travski told them of the plot to frame her. Travski manipulated the lights, enabling Terra to escape. Outside she fought Lt. Ward, several marines, and two spectres. Terra and Kelerchian eventually won the battle. Lt. Ward admitted to the murder in Hudderstown before Terra killed him. She also learned a little about Bennett's tactics from him.
The station came under fire. Captain Rourke reported that Gehenna's weapons were down. Bennett believed Travski was behind this and ordered Rourke to set off the EMP. Rourke did so. Major Spaulding contacted them; it was his battlecruiser which had begun the assault. Terra had asked Travski to contact Spaulding, and while he was angry, she furnished him with enough proof of Bennett's treachery to convince him.
Terra tried to reach the Palatine, but Hauler intercepted her. He used psionics to daze Kelerchian and tried to use his telepathic powers to charm Terra, but she eventually snapped out of it, remembering he was General Bennett. He cloaked and escaped. Terra noticed Lila aboard the station, and frantically pursued her, but it turned out to be an illusion created by Bennett. Separated from Kelerchian, she was vulnerable to Bennett's pyrokinesis attack. Terra fended the attack off, but Bennett was able to cut her mask and force her to decloak. He then began shooting at her, forcing Terra to throw blast doors at him in order to escape.
Terra found herself among rows of "stasis chambers", many of which were occupied. Bennett told her these were psi indoctrinators, used to modify the brains of people with even the slightest psionic talent to become powerful weapons. Resocialized terrans were being made psychic, and became teeps close to but not at the level of ghosts. Bennett could even control the victims from anywhere. Bennett threatened to release them, but Terra called his bluff. He blew up some of the equipment in order to escape.
Kelerchian arrived at the scene, and General Bennett ambushed and grabbed him. He told Terra to get into an indoctrinator tank, or he would attack her like he had Toom. Terra got in. While there, Travski contacted her. He had survived the EMP attack. She told him to feed footage of Bennett's admission of murder to Tosh.
An angry Tosh barged in. As he and Bennett used their psionic powers against each other, Terra was able to use her own powers to throw a stalactite at Bennett, killing him.
Terra and Kelerchian fled before Spaulding would begin firing nuclear at the station. Tosh stopped them, though, and told them that Toom and Travski were aboard the Palatine, and they could go with him. Terra said that Kelerchian needed treatment, and she would take them into the infirmary. Instead, they escaped on the November. Travski sent her a message, saying he would go into the datastream. She decided to stop off at Altara and give Lila a good home.
Spaulding launched a nuclear attack, destroying the station.
Meanwhile, Tosh took Toom's body into the Palatine, along with six indoctrinator chambers. He didn't realize that Toom was dead. The hallucination of Grandma Tosh told Tosh to travel to his home planet of Haji.
Nate Kenyon was instead selected to write the novel as a Pocket Books editor was impressed with his sci-fi novella, Prime. Kenyon mentioned that he had "just started" writing it in May 2010. With the cancellation of the Ghost Academy series, Kenyon was given the plot details of the missing three volumes so that Spectres could remain consistent with canon. In order to further prepare himself for the novel, Kenyon read past StarCraft novels, browsed wiki sites and brainstormed with Blizzard's creative development team. The original characters he developed for the novel were given Blizzard's blessing.
A few tweaks were made to the novel in light of the storyline of Wings of Liberty. However, WoL's storyline had been solidified by the time Kenyon became involved, and therefore only minor tweaks had to be made by that stage.
- Talen "Bones" Holt aka Agent X72341R
- Karl Lee, scientist
- The Veteran
- Chet Ward
- Leonid Celsus
- Aal Cistler
- Aldeo Cistler
- Julius Antoine “Fagin” Dale
- Delta Emblock
- Michael Liberty
- Kate Lockwell
- Maman Therese
- Esmerelda Ndoci
- Colin Phash
- Corbin Phash
- Markus Ralian
- Grandma Tosh
- Horace Warfield
- StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres (Starcraft (Unnumbered)) (Mass Market Paperback). Amazon. Accessed 2011-09-25. (Parts of prologue and chapter 1 available)
- 2011-09-20. Starcraft: Ghost -- Spectres Teaser #1. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2011-09-24.
- 2011-09-22. Starcraft: Ghost -- Spectres Teaser #2. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2011-09-24.
|The next article in this series is Covert Missions.|