I thought you would be man enough to understand what needs to be done, Arcturus, but I can see I was wrong. You're still a child and you still think like a child, unable to see the truth of the world beyond your own selfish little bubble.
--- Angus Mengsk
The Exiles and the Long Sleep
The ATLAS was installed into the first of the super carriers, the Nagglfar. The three other carriers - the Argo, the Sarengo, and the Reagan - were programmed to follow the Nagglfar as it was launched into the void of space towards Gantris VI.
Over the course of this journey, which later generations would call "The Long Sleep", ATLAS continued to monitor the humans kept in cryogenic stasis. Evaluating the numerous mutations and enhancements found within the prisoner's gene pool, ATLAS became aware of a powerful mutagenic strain that existed in some of their DNA. While this mutation was found to reside in less than one per cent of the prisoners, it seemed to augment the latent psionic potential within the human brain. ATLAS calculated that, should the prisoners survive in their new environment, many of them might benefit from this psionic mutation within only a few generations. These findings were recorded and relayed back to earth, straight into the logs of Doran Routhe.
Everything went as planned by the young scientist, yet eventually a minor technical failure altered the course of history. Originally scheduled as a one-year trip, the voyage of the four super carriers and their involuntary crews took a turn for the worse. At some point during the journey the navigational systems linked to ATLAS shut down, erasing not only the coordinates of Gantris VI, but those of the Earth as well. The four ships, carrying their hapless cargo in stasis, barreled blindly through space at warp speed for nearly thirty years.
Eventually, the warp-drive engines of the four super carriers reached critical meltdown. In the year 2259, after twenty-eight years of warp travel, the huge ships emerged into real space near the edge of a habitable star system. Some sixty thousand light years from the Earth, their engines destroyed and their life-support batteries nearly exhausted, the ships engaged their emergency protocols and plummeted towards the nearest habitable worlds in the system.
The Reagan and the Sarengo crash landed on the world that would be named Umoja. The Sarengo, which had suffered massive systems failures during its atmospheric descent, smashed into the planet killing all of its eight thousand passengers. The Reagan was more fortunate, making a controlled descent and landing safely. Once the ship had landed, the cold sleep chambers were deactivated and the surviving passengers slowly awakened. The passengers, attempting to discern where they were and how long they had "slept", found that the ATLAS system had somehow erased all knowledge of their journey from their computer banks.
The Argo landed upon the red world of Moria. Its passengers met with the same fate as those aboard the Reagan, as all information regarding their current status was erased. Only the passengers of the Nagglfar could access their ship's computers to discern their plight. They accessed ATLAS directly and confirmed their growing suspicions that they would never see the Earth again, for although they had landed on the temperate planet of Tarsonis, the Nagglfar was damaged beyond repair.
The surviving exiles, now spread across three worlds, began to salvage their wrecked ships in an attempt to find refuge in their new homes.
The Confederacy and the New World
The inhabitants of each planet worked hard to survive in what they termed "the New World". Unaware that their fellows also thrived upon other worlds in the system, the vagabond humans made do with whatever meager resources they could find. Having lost the means to communicate over interplanetary distances when their ships were stripped for essential materials, mankind lived in isolation for decades.
In a relatively short amount of time though, the three isolated groups founded sister colonies upon their respective worlds and each of them grew into prosperous, self-contained communities.
Tarsonis, the largest and most technologically advanced of the colonies, soon developed second generation sub warp engines. This allowed their ships to explore the myriad, barren planets of the surrounding star system and eventually led them to find the other survivors of the Long Sleep.
Once reunited, the three colonies benefited from mutual trade and commerce treaties. Although Tarsonis kept pushing Umoja and Moria to join in a conglomerated government, the two colonies steadfastly refused - the memories of the purification by the corrupt government of their old home, the Earth, were still all too present in their minds. All they desired now was freedom.
Meanwhile the fleets of Tarsonis continued to explore this new patch of space that came to be known as the Koprulu Sector. They founded prosperous colonies upon seven other worlds within their system and eventually the military might of Tarsonis grew by leaps and bounds. To unite their struggles, a new government, christened the Terran Confederacy, was founded by the Tarsonian colonies.
The Morian colony, which had benefited from having the largest resource mining operations in the Sector, began to fear that this new Confederacy might attempt to move in and regulate their lucrative operations. Thus the Kel-Morian Combine was formed; a shady, corporate partnership that would supply military aid to any Mining Guild that was oppressed by Confederate policy.
Eventually tensions rose between the Confederacy and the Combine leading to the outbreak of the so-called "Guild Wars", which lasted for nearly four years, with the Confederacy eventually "negotiating" peace with the Combine: Although the Combine retained its autonomy, almost all of its supporting Mining Guilds were annexed into the holdings of the Confederacy. The Confederacy thus became the undisputed dominating factor within the Terran power structure.
After seeing what blatant abuse the Confederacy was capable of, the Umojans founded the Umojan Protectorate, a nationalized militia, to keep its colony free from Confederate tyranny.
The might of the Confederacy, however, continued to grow as its "prospectors" claimed world after world with their reckless expansionism. Pirate groups and radical militia organizations began to spring up more frequently as Confederate enforcement agencies continued to abuse their citizenry. One of the greatest examples of revolt against Confederate policy was the Rebellion of Korhal.
The Rebellion of Korhal
Korhal was one of the core Confederate worlds originally settled by Tarsonian colonists. A world of affluence and enlightenment, Korhal contributed greatly to the military and technological advancements of the Confederacy. Although the Confederacy benefited from Korhal's continued productivity, the citizens of the colony resented their forced affiliation with the often-corrupt Confederate Senators.
Attempting to retain their independence, the citizenry of Korhal instigated numerous riots against the local Confederate militia. The Confederates responded in kind and declared martial law throughout the colony, succeeding only in agitating the populace even more and thus escalating the already rampant civil chaos.
A dynamic Korhalian Senator by the name of Angus Mengsk took it upon himself to formalize the sentiments of his fellow citizens. Their cry for freedom was undeniable when Mengsk actively declared war against the Confederates. Whipping the people of Korhal into a volatile, patriotic frenzy, the Senator succeeded in capturing all of the Confederate outposts on Korhal. Issuing statements declaring that the Confederacy no longer held any claim over the world of Korhal, Mengsk succeeded in garnering the respect and admiration of many other struggling colonies.
The Confederates feared that other colonies might follow in the footstep of their most treasured and pampered colony and start revolutions of their own. It was thus decided that the crisis on Korhal would be ended by any means necessary. Korhal would serve as a chilling example to all of the colonies in the Confederacy.
The Confederates pulled their forces from Korhal and withdrew their fleet from its skies. Mengsk and the other leaders of the revolt, believing that they had won their independence, celebrated their victory. The Confederacy however had decided to retake the planet through subtler means. A decision that would forever alter the history of the Universe.
The Confederates sent three of their deadliest, psionically gifted assassins, known only as Ghosts, to eliminate Mengsk and his supporters on Korhal.
The Senator's decapitated body, along with those of his wife, Katherine, and his young daughter Dorothy, were found the next morning on the private balcony of his towering, fortress like headquarters. Mengsk's head was never found. While the assassination did much to weaken the revolt on Korhal, it also fuelled the fires that would eventually forge the greatest enemy the Confederacy would ever know ...
Persona non grata
Angus and Katherine also had a son, Arcturus Mengsk.
Arcturus did not have a good relationship with his father, as Angus always urged Arcturus to follow in his footsteps, to use his talents as a gifted speaker to further help the cause of the Korhalian uprising, but Arcturus wanted to be his own man and to follow his dream of being a prospector.
While Angus detested the Confederacy with every fiber of his being and feared its ever-tightening sphere of influence, Arcturus was willing to let history take his course and, unlike his father, who'd inherited his wealth, make his own fortune among the stars. He wanted people to look at him and know that he had achieved his position through blood, sweat and sacrifice.
By 2489 Mengsk had realized his dream and had become a famous prospector. At the peak of his career, Arcturus received an urgent dispatch from Umoja: The Guild Wars had ended - and Angus Mengsk had declared the independence of Korhal ...
Arcturus Mengsk immediately traveled to Umoja, where he received dire news from Korhal - Confederate Ghosts had killed his father, mother and sister.
Their deaths stirred something inside the young Arcturus, leading him to forsake his promising future and follow a lonely path of bloody vengeance. Arcturus didn't hesitate, immediately he rallied the various militant groups that had followed his father against the Confederates, fashioning an impressive, yet somewhat ragtag, army.
Arcturus and his new followers struck boldly at various Confederate bases and installations, costing the Confederacy billions of credits in men, machines and equipment. During one of these raids, Arcturus managed to capture a Confederate flagship - the battle cruiser Hyperion.
The Confederate government had do act quickly now. They decided on a final solution to end the Korhal crisis forever. They launched a salvo of one thousand Apocalypse-class nuclear missiles at the planet of Korhal. Over four million people were annihilated instantly during this savage and cowardly attack. In a single instant, the prosperous colony of Korhal was reduced to nothing more than a super-heated sphere of blackened glass and stirring phantoms.
The news of the holocaust reached Mengsk at a secret base located within the borders of the Umojan Protectorate. With nothing left save vengeance, Arcturus and those gathered with him on that sorrowful day pledged a sacred vow to bring down the Confederacy at all costs.
Calling themselves the Sons of Korhal, Arcturus and his renegade team of volunteers quickly made names for themselves as the most wanted fugitives in the Sector. Striking silently and swiftly, the Sons of Korhal won countless victories in skirmishes all over Conferderate space.
Yet with every battle won in the name of justice, Arcturus was portrayed as a madman and a terrorist by the Confederate-controlled media. Most colonies refused to house or provide services to anyone affiliated with the Sons of Korhal. Yet, despite seemingly overwhelming odds and scandalous public opinion, Arcturus Mengsk never gave up the fight against the Confederates.
Ghosts of the Past
Known to only his closest allies, Arcturus' first priority was to find the assassins that killed his family. Eventually the Sons of Korhal assaulted the Fujita Facility, a secret research center of the Confederacy on the desert planet Vyctor 5. The installation was located within a complex weather system known as the Fujita Pinnacle. The combination of hazardous meteorology and automatic defense system had thus far prevented illicit access to the important research facility. However, with his new flagship, the battle cruiser Hyperion, a small strike force and a brilliant tactical manoeuvre, Mengsk succeeded in infiltrating the installation.
Inside the research center his team stumbled upon elements of the Confederacy's top secret xenobiology research program and - a woman: Sarah Kerrigan. Unbeknown to his allies, Kerrigan was the real reason why Arcturus had wanted to infiltrate the Fujita Facility at all costs. With Kerrigan "secured", the Son's of Korhal planned their escape.
Their operation had not been in complete secrecy however, and upon their exit they were ambushed by the Confederate Army lead by General Edmund Duke in his flagship, the Norad II. Heavily outnumbered, the Sons of Korhal survived miraculously thanks to one of Arcturus' more quirky hobbies: ancient Earth literature. He had read of ancient battles, back on Earth, from a time long past, when men crossed oceans in bulky, cumbersome wooden ships. At that time, when these ships fought, they would position themselves alongside each other and blast away with cannons. The whole nine yards. Now, millennia later, in the boundless ocean of space, Arcturus Mengsk decided to try his hand at naval warfare. He ordered a tank to siege up in the cargo dock, navigated alongside Duke's battle cruiser and opened fire. Duke could only stare in awe as his ship was attacked and his troops taken by surprise as his pray vanished into warp space right in front of his eyes.
Shortly afterward, Arcturus Mengsk, Sarah Kerrigan, and an assault group of the Sons of Korhal attacked the primary Ghost Academy on Tarsonis, with the goal of retrieving Ghost number 24718. The operation almost ended in a disaster, as most of the soldiers were killed. Sarah Kerrigan barely escaped alive - she had found Ghost 24718 however and brought him to the bridge of the Hyperion.
When Arcturus saw the young Ghost, he temporarily lost himself and his desire for revenge overtook him. Without a word Mengsk motioned for the Ghost to sit in his command chair and what was now about to happen would change Sarah's life forever.
Coldly staring at the Ghost, his eyes devoid of emotions, Arcturus told Sarah the story of how his family had perished: "Three Ghosts were tasked to kill my family. You, Sarah, killed one of the assassins on this very vessel not long ago. You, number 24718, were another one of the three. You probably don't even remember doing it. That is why I wanted to tell you before you died." Arcturus fired a single shot into the man's chest.
Sarah felt rage surfacing within her. She was furious that Arcturus had used her for his personal vendetta: "I'm tired of being used. I have been putting up with it my whole life and I'm done. Whoever the third Ghost is, you can find him on your own."
As Sarah turned to leave, Arcturus took a deep breath before completely shattering her world, just as if her world had not been shattered often enough yet: "I already found the third Ghost. A while ago, in a research facility on a dust-bowl planet called Vyctor 5".
Sarah Kerrigan froze. Memories rushed unbidden into her mind as the neural inhibitors the Confederacy used to control all their "Ghosts" were no longer able to keep her emotions in check. Sarah remembered every bloody detail of the murder - and she burst into tears. Arcturus calmly continued: "I planned to kill you, Sarah, but somewhere in the course of it all I came to see you as the singular, incredible person that you are. You gave me hope, Sarah. I forgive you, Sarah ...".
As Sarah turned to face Arcturus, she felt no animosity toward him, no enmity. She felt empty. He had rescued her. He had saved her soul. She would follow him and help him to bring the Confederacy down, no matter the costs!
Copyright: Blizzard Entertainment
- StarCraft Wiki
- Micky Neilson – StarCraft: Uprising – 2000
- Blizzard Entertainment – StarCraft Manual