Over his career, Ward took part in many skirmishes against other terran forces, giving him an inflated sense of his abilities—at least inflated in the sense that during much of his career, he'd never fought against the zerg. A black spot existed in his record however—there was a rumor that he'd choked a woman to death in Hudderstown in a drunken rage and then fled the scene. A teenaged farmer's son had been convicted for the murder and executed. Ward had, in fact, killed her, and she was pregnant with his child.
In 2503 Ward was stationed on the battlecruiser Palatine, the ship having been dispatched to Altara to look for a missing ghost and the wrangler originally sent to locate her. Another ghost named Nova was also present on the ship and Ward gave her a wide berth, fearful of what her telepathy might reveal about his actions at Hudderstown. The arrival of the zerg at the planet was another reason to instill fear...
...or not, as Ward confidently led ground forces against the Swarm. Nova tried to offer advice, but he ignored it for the most part and instead moved to engage the zerg head-on, believing he had the element of surprise. It was an element that was soon lost, as the token group of marines he sent to scout the zerg position from higher ground were quickly overwhelmed by roaches and zerglings and his main force looked set to follow suit. However, Nova (who had been assigned to his unit) managed to salvage the situation by getting the zerg to follow her, drawing them into a crossfire. Ward and his marines mowed down the zerg in a hail of gunfire. Ward grudgingly thanked the teep, but she brushed him off, ordering him and his men to set up a defensive perimeter while she headed out to find the wrangler. It was a perimeter that he was hard pressed to keep, his armor suffering numerous blows from the zerg. Still, Ward and the other marines made it to the Grizzlies, in part thanks to Nova's psionic powers. Ward saw her again on the bridge after the mission. Colonel Jackson Hauler later reprimanded for his failures in the field.
"I know now she was pregnant with your child, and I'm pretty damn sure you killed her. Just do your job or you won't have to worry about anything anymore because I'll kill you myself."
- Ward and Nova (through telepathy)(src)
Not long after Altara, Shadow Blade spectres attacked Korhal Palace With Hauler's true allegiance yet to be revealed to the Dominion, the Palatine journeyed to the planet. Ward was assigned to lead the marines that would act as support on the mission, and was determined to do a better job than he'd done on Altara. Nova telepathically communicated with him, revealing that she knew of what he'd done in Hudderstown. She warned him to do his job on the mission, or else she'd kill him herself. On the ship's bridge, Ward confirmed his soldiers' readiness. Hauler ordered the marines to be deployed outside Augustgrad while Nova and her fellow ghosts would go in first. Ward protested, but Hauler was having none of it, and reminded the lieutenant that Nova was in charge. The op was a success, but the marines suffered heavy casualties in the process.
Ward later joined a meeting in the Palatine's war room, at the behest of Major Spaulding. He accused Nova of being a spectre and a traitor. Ward provided testimony concerning the events on Altara, claiming that Nova had pressured him into falling back through blackmail (the events on Hudderstown, the truth being a fabrication by Nova according to Ward). Ward's testimony didn't accomplish anything however—Emperor Arcturus Mengsk had given her authority in regards to the investigation into Project Shadow Blade, a rogue Dominion element responsible for the attack on the palace. Hauler ordered Spaulding off his ship, and reminded Ward of the chain of command.
"Not this time."
- The final exchange between Ward and Nova(src)
Hauler eventually revealed his true colors, taking Nova hostage and taking the Palatine to Gehenna Station. However, Nova escaped the battlecruiser and entered a starship. Hauler ordered Ward to prepare the station's Vikings to intercept the ghost and bring her in alive. The Vikings brought the ship into the station, but upon inspection, it was revealed that it was empty. Ward led a group of spectres and marines through the station to find her, and succeeded in this. What he didn't succeed in was capturing her, and Nova was able to kill the soldiers under his command until he was the last one left. The two engaged in hand to hand combat, and while Ward had the advantage of CMC armor, Nova had the advantage of psionic powers and superior agility. After besting him physically, Nova fried his brain through telekinesis, his eyes bursting from their sockets in a shower of gore.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
- ↑ April 6, 2010. "Timeline". StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
- ↑ April 12, 2011. "Timeline." StarCraft II: Devils' Due. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). pp. 248-262. ISBN 978-1416-55085-3.
- ↑ September 27, 2011. "Timeline." StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 393-416. ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.