June 9, 2448
Ghost ?–September, 2500
Stukov grew up on Earth, rising through the ranks of the United Powers League alongside his friend Gerard DuGalle. Both men were competitive throughout their youths and constantly played at getting the best of one another. Unlike DuGalle however, Stukov spent most of his military career in top-secret research rather than in actual combat, constantly striving to push the limit of conventional technology and physical theory to increase the effectiveness of UPL troops in warfare. His views on the subject were considered unconventional.
Despite research taking up most of his time, Stukov was not completely unfamiliar with combat, his awards showing this. He won the Crux de Valor with combat tags and for his involvement in the quelling of the Ishanti Uprising, three Bronze Gammadons. Family matters were not unfamiliar to him either, fathering four children.
The Brood WarEdit
A New EnemyEdit
The discovery of alien species in the Koprulu sector changed the UPL's stance to their wayward colonies along with its own power structure. Now serving the United Earth Directorate, Stukov was appointed as second-in-command of an expeditionary force to bring the Koprulu Sector and its inhabitants under UED control. Serving under DuGalle, Stukov departed Earth for the galactic fringe.
Shortly after arriving in the sector, Stukov and DuGalle witnessed a demonstration of the zerg attacking the base of a Terran Dominion colony. DuGalle had released the zerg onto an unsuspecting colony to "observe" them in warfare. Stukov was indifferent, claiming to know "all about the zerg" from seeing tapes "a hundred times" but DuGalle forced him to watch, claiming that the live demonstration would instill a resolve within the Vice Admiral that recorded dissections could not. In this he was correct, Stukov resolving to go "all the way."
Later, Stukov ordered a Captain of the UED fleet, newly awakened from cryogenic hibernation, to assault Braxis and take control of its capital city of Boralis within two standard hours. Unfortunately, the attacking forces were hampered by a lack of vespene gas. When the UED met the Confederate Resistance Forces, its commander, Lieutenant Samir Duran offered his services and skills in return for amnesty. Stukov was initially suspicious, but when Duran said that he could show an alternate route that leads to the rear of Boralis, Stukov accepted his aid – "Very well, Lieutenant. Consider yourself and your men the first colonial conscripts of the United Earth Directorate."
The Iron FistEdit
- Alexei Stukov greets General Duke as battle brews.(src)
Stukov accompanied the UED fleet when it attacked the Dylarian Shipyards. Duran warned him and DuGalle of the impending Dominion counterstrike. The UED forces stole the shipyard's battlecruisers and escaped.
When a Confederate Psi Disrupter was discovered on Tarsonis, Duran convinced DuGalle of the need to destroy the device. Stukov however, believed the disrupter to be a useful tool to the UED and sent his personal guard to relieve Duran after he had secured it. Without telling DuGalle, he had the disrupter secretly dismantled, transported to Braxis, and reassembled.
While the UED pursued Mengsk and Commander Jim Raynor to Aiur in their campaign against the Dominion, Stukov became increasingly perturbed at the increasing number of allies that Mengsk was able to bring to bear against them. When a massive wave of zerg attacked the UED just in time to allow Mengsk to escape their grasp once again, Stukov was horrified. Not only had Raynor and the protoss joined forces with the Dominion, but the seemingly mindless zerg had done so as well.
When Stukov realized that Duran had moved his forces out of place so as to allow the zerg to pass, Stukov finally grasped that their inconspicuous ally had not only been playing them from the start, but likely had been infested by the zerg as well. With this new revelation, Stukov immediately fled back to Braxis, where he activated the Psi Disrupter.
DuGalle was livid, especially since Duran was goading him. He ordered Duran to execute Stukov for treason against the UED, a task Duran gladly accepted. Stukov's personal forces resisted the UED, but eventually Duran located Stukov and shot him. Duran promptly vanished. With his dying breath, Stukov told DuGalle that Duran had been manipulating him from the beginning, was almost certainly infested by the zerg and may have been for a long time.
Stukov's last words were punctuated when the outer walls of the psi disrupter were breached by a massive wave of zerg, triggering alarms and possibly setting off the disrupter's self-destruct sequence. At DuGalle's request the remainder of Stukov's personal forces assisted the UED forces in their efforts to recapture the disrupter from the zerg.
The vice admiral's ignominious fate was hidden by UED propaganda, which claimed Stukov had died in the "final valiant assault on Char" against the zerg. His body was then, supposedly, buried in space.
DuGalle took Stukov's death personally realizing the short-sightedness caused by his pride directly led to the death of his friend. Kerrigan would pick at the wound, taunting DuGalle after the UED victory on Char by declaring that Stukov was "twice the man you are."
Stukov's death, however, was temporary. After being 'spaced', he was captured by the zerg.
The Kimeran Pirates raided a Terran Confederacy installation. According to the stolen data, the Confederates were studying how to revive terrans using zerg reanimation techniques. One subject of these experiments was an infested terran named Morik, who had maintained some of his sanity. When the Pirates left, taking Morik with them, they were followed by cloaked Wraiths...
Stukov hired mercenaries to destroy enemies who had conveniently settled on the same dark planet, including the Kimeran Pirates. The Kimerans were mostly or completely wiped out by Stukov's mercenaries.
Eventually, Stukov gained control of a zerg brood (the New Swarm) and moved to Braxis. The protoss discovered them quickly, while Stukov was still maturing into the role. His weakness was reflected by poor efficiency in the zerg; the suicidal infested terrans were much less potent. Nonetheless, Stukov could rely on a large zerg and renegade terran force. The terran component was not wholly reliable; doubts about Stukov's sanity pushed many toward leaving the infested terran's service.
The protoss developed a nanite serum to reverse Stukov's infestation. Assaulting Braxis and delivering the serum was entrusted to a small joint terran and protoss force led by Jim Raynor and Taldarin, a dragoon. Raynor, a protoss ally, joined the operation at Artanis's request. Once on the surface, Raynor and Taldarin were joined by terran troops defecting from Stukov, including a Skullder pilot. Additional help came by freeing Stukov's protoss prisoners.
- Stukov narrates his experiences.(src)
Joining the SwarmEdit
"Well, we both seem to be zerg now."
"Indeed, and we share a common goal: the destruction of this facility."
Stukov was imprisoned by Doctor Emil Narud and the Dominion at Skygeirr Station. During the Second Great War, he escaped and contacted Sarah Kerrigan, his former enemy, seeking revenge. He told her of his imprisonment and that the base was also used for breeding protoss/zerg hybrids. The two worked together to defeat the Dominion garrison there as well as the hybrids in the facility's lower levels.
Despite this, not all was well. The hybrid dominators in the lab had tried to sap Kerrigan's energy, and she theorized that this was their purpose—to obtain psionic energy to be used to resurrect Amon, Narud's master. It would require a lot, but Stukov pointed out that when Kerrigan was de-infested at Char, all the power she'd wielded as the Queen of Blades had to go somewhere. If there were hybrids nearby when this had occurred, then Narud might have obtained all the psionic energy he needed to resurrect his master.
The pair entered the bottom level, where Narud and a Tal'darim force loyal to him awaited. Narud fired a null zone at Kerrigan, one that she was able to keep at bay with her own psionic powers, but at the cost of her mobility. Stukov led the zerg on the field of battle, defeating the Tal'darim and deactivating xel'naga temples that were feeding Narud's power. With the deactivation of these temples, Kerrigan was able to incapacitate Narud and go on to kill him.
With Narud dead and the lab destroyed, Stukov had achieved his vengeance. He'd assumed that Kerrigan would kill him once the battle was over, but she was willing to let him go his own way. As Stukov pointed out though, there was nowhere he could go, given his status as an infested terran. Kerrigan offered him a place in the Swarm until he made up his mind, which he accepted.
As the leviathan prepared to leave however, Stukov could see that something was wrong. Kerrigan revealed that through her battle with Narud, she'd discovered that Amon had indeed been resurrected, only she did not know where he was. She would take the Swarm to face him, but only after tying up some remaining loose ends in the Koprulu sector.
Searching for RaynorEdit
"You can't go home again."
"I know. I have no place on Earth now."
"I mean I won't let you."
- Stukov and Kerrigan discuss the prospects of Stukov returning to Earth(src)
Raynor was held captive by the Dominion. Kerrigan sought to free him and enlisted Raynor's Raiders to find him. Stukov and Kerrigan conversed about Earth as the Swarm waited. While he remembered Earth fondly, Stukov knew he could not return; also, Kerrigan would prevent any attempt to avoid drawing the attention of the UED. Both agreed that the UED would eventually return to the Sector.
A Return to KorhalEdit
"I don't think it will be that simple. It never is with Arcturus. He thinks around you, that one. He knows where you'll walk before you do."
"But you've been part of so many of his plans—as accomplice or victim. I am sure you learned a trick or two, yes?"
"I did. We'll find out very soon if I was a good student."
- Stukov and Kerrigan discussing the invasion of Korhal(src)
Intent on taking vengeance against Arcturus Mengsk, Kerrigan brought the zerg to Korhal, intent on invading the planet. Once again, Stukov found himself in a command position in regards to assaulting the Dominion throne world, only this time with the Swarm rather than the UED. It was a repetition of history that wasn't lost on him.
The opening attack went to the zerg's favor, as they were able to establish a beachhead on the surface and destroy Korhal's orbital defenses from below. Kerrigan cautioned Stukov that they shouldn't be overconfident, that Mengsk was a suave tactician and would have something up his sleeve. That turned out to be the Psi Destroyer, its field ripping apart zerg through their hivemind connection. Its deployment coincided with a Dominion counterattack, intended to keep them pre-occupied from the device. Kerrigan assigned Broodmother Zagara command of the Swarm and to hold the center, while she assigned Stukov to screen Zagara's flanks. Kerrigan meanwhile went with Dehaka to destroy the device, in which she succeeded.
Finally, all that was left to do was to make a final assault on Mengsk's palace. Before the assault, Kerrigan confided with Stukov, telling him that if she succeeded in killing Mengsk, she would take the Swarm to confront Amon, even though it was a fight that she did not believe she could win. With the only other option being to bow to the inevitable however, fighting was the only choice to make, an assertion that Stukov agreed with, and told Kerrigan that he would stick with her to the end.
The attack was launched. Kerrigan led her forces into the fray, while Stukov, Zagara, and Dehaka attacked the defending force's flanks. However, the defending flank forces were well entrenched, and none of the zerg attacking them were able to break through.
Kerrigan's zerg attacked the entrenched positions from the rear, clearing them out. The way clear, Stukov led a force of infested terrans into the fray.
Alexei Stukov appeared briefly as an invincible enemy game unit in Patriot's Blood and appeared again (infested, also invincible and belonging to an enemy force) in Deception and Resurrection IV post-resurrection. He can be briefly controlled by the player in the latter, in which he has the same abilities as the standard ghost except for the nuclear launch ability.
The Infested Stukov game unit is identical, except for the name, and is treated as a terran unit for game purposes. In Resurrection IV, the unit is simply called "Alexi Stukov" (both before and after the de-infestation).
In all of his forms, the Stukov unit has the same quote set as the standard ghost.
Stukov is playable as a hero unit in the mission "Phantoms of the Void." The player must use Stukov in the mission to deactivate various xel'naga temples around the map. If he dies, he resurrects at the main hatchery in 60 seconds; this is a trigger effect, not an effect of his unit.
Deal 200 damage to target enemy unit or structure. Affected unit or structure takes 50% extra damage from attacks for 5 seconds.
Spawn four infested terrans with timed life. Infested terrans last 30 seconds.
Units in a radius around the caster gain +3 life regeneration per second. Also affects the caster.
Personality and TraitsEdit
As an infested terran under Kaloth, Stukov appeared to embrace his position to a degree. After his initial de-infestation and the subsequent return of the condition, Stukov displayed a more fatalistic outlook on his position, believing that he had no place other than in the Swarm, as no-one would accept what he had become.
In infested form, Stukov possessed/retained psionic abilities, along with a corrosive projectile attack. Unlike most infested terrans, he retained his intelligence, his mind closed off from the rest of the zerg hivemind (at least after his initial de-infestation). In his second infested form, Abathur rated Stukov as being only second to the Primal Queen of Blades. However, Stukov was a product of a specific design, and the interweaving of terran and zerg genetic material was on a level that not even Abathur was capable of.
Alexei Stukov's apparent age varies between the American and German versions of StarCraft: Brood War. In the American version, Stukov was fifty-two years old when the Brood War started, giving him a year of birth of 2448. However, in the UED Victory Report, he was reported to have been born and died in the year 872 (suggesting he was less than a year old, clearly an inaccuracy). In the German version of Brood War, Stukov was born in June 822 and died in April 872, giving him an age of 50, which does not quite agree with the Brood War manual.
While Stukov's official rank is repeatedly given as Vice Admiral, twice in Brood War he is referred to as an Admiral, including one instance where he uses the designation himself. In the real-life military, Vice Admirals are usually referred to as "Admiral" as a courtesy.
Blizzard Entertainment posted random "StarCraft Trivia" question-ads on the Battle.net interface during 2000-2001, such as: "How many sons does Stukov have?" or "Who was infested and brought back to life"?.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters of StarCraft#Alexei Stukov.
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