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February 20, 2013
Frenzy is a StarCraft II short story written by Kal-El Bogdanove, designed to tie-in with Heart of the Swarm. It focuses on the mutalisk. The story was later collected in StarCraft II: War Stories, and relates to the narrative of Project Blackstone.
A small-town marshal risks all to save her family and her home from a ravening horde of winged killers.
The backwater moon of Choss has everything: clear skies, gentle winds, deep canyons. Tourists flock there every summer. But as Marshal Rin Shearon is about to find out, this peaceful little vacation spot isn’t just the perfect getaway; it’s also the perfect feeding ground.
Mayor Haskins told Marshal Rin Shearon of Quijadas, Choss that this was a tourist town. Marshal Shearon had heard this speech many times before, as her job involved covering up anything that could scare away tourists.
Shearon failed to convince the mayor to shut down the canyons just ahead of Inauguration Day weekend. The mayor was aware some zerg had been left behind after Dominion forces had tried to wipe them out, but he thought they were at Bim Battum, another part of Choss. He wanted the death covered up as an accident in any event.
Two days later, a family of three was killed by mutalisks. A local named Dium Flecc used a Torrent SR-8 shotgun to shoot a mutalisk, but lost his arm to the mutalisk's caustic blood. Only now was Shearon able to convince Mayor Haskins to contact their Dominion rep, Strong.
The next day help arrived in the form of Professor Brad Champlain of Special Research Operations, rather than military hardware as Shearon had hoped. He told her that, based on the five spotted mutalisks she reported, there had to be a spire nearby, enough to support sixty of them. Worse, they were only attacking terrans because they had killed off too much wildlife such as game bats they had been living off of. He wanted to study the clutch of them.
The militia moved to evacuate Cliffside Rest. Meanwhile Shearon looked for armed help. Deputy Rita suggested they contact Pearly Bousquette, a member of Raynor's Raiders and an old friend of Shearon's father. Bousquette in turn contacted Breg Shaw, a mercenary goliath pilot. When Shaw arrived, Mayor Haskins told him he had to convince the aldermen to fund his help. Shaw immediately got into his goliath, the Flyswatter I, and stormed toward town hall. He blew the combat horn and attracted a crowd. During the conversation, Champlain appeared and told him he'd located the spire.
Champlain's lab pod was bolted onto the back of the Flyswatter I, while Shearon accompanied them in her LAV. Champlain told Shearon that mutalisks could adapt to their spire mates' corrosive ichor, but not enough to avoid being dissolved when killed and dissected, as they don't live long due to a lack of self-preservation instinct. However, he believe that one mutalisk in millions, a canny mutalisk, was born with a survival instinct and live years long than average. Such a mutalisk might be able to resist its own fluids long enough to withstand being killed and dissected. One could be more likely to found on a world like Choss, where they could be easily hidden. Shaw had been listening to the conversation and sneered at Champlain's attitude.
The conversation was interrupted by a small flock of mutalisks. Shaw easily killed most of them himself.
After wiping out another two groups of mutalisks, the trio finally found the spire, hidden at Anvil Rock. It was laced with mineral deposits, which would confuse radar imaging. There were lots of mutalisks there.
Shaw instructed Champlain to get into the LAV. Shearon and Champlain were to "buzz" the spire and draw the mutalisks away, allowing Shaw to exterminate the spire himself with a planted explosive charge. Champlain had some synthetic pheromone dispersal unit which he could use to lure mutalisks, as it smelled like a hatchery, and mutalisks communicated with scent when cut off from the Zerg Swarm. He'd only perfected the formula last week and hadn't had a chance to test it yet.
They finally reached the spire. The LAV raced by, drawing off mutalisks, including a canny scarred mutalisk which Champlain was able to identify. Unfortunately shortly afterward the scarred mutalisk headed back toward the spire, and the others followed. Furthermore, they weren't "stacked", making wiping out the cloud of them difficult for Shaw. The Flyswatter I was forced to retreat, and Shaw had to admit defeat.
Shaw talked about his past and why he knew so much about mutalisks. He had been the CSM aboard the Hoosier, a battlecruiser, during the attempt to evacuate Mar Sara. They had rescued 4,000 colonists, but knew little about mutalisks, such as their ability to fly in space. Of the over 5000 people aboard the battlecruiser, 63 survived by escaping in a jump-pod. Since then, Shaw had learned things such as the mutalisk sensitivity to the smell of blood.
That night thirteen mutalisks attacked them. They damaged the Flyswatter I's missile pods before being destroyed. Shearon believed the mutalisks had deliberately hunted them, as that was a larger-than-normal group. Shaw disagreed, and ended the argument by shooting her LAV's engine. He would tow her, otherwise she was stranded three days from town. Shearon was convinced that Shaw was insane.
Shaw launched a decoy and attacked again. The mutalisks followed the decoy briefly, but then split into three formations and attacked the Flyswatter I from various directions. Champlain deployed his pheromones in order to draw them off, but it only attracted three mutalisks. In an attempt to escape the attack, Champlain tripped and fell off a cliff. Shearon's hand was damaged by acid as she killed the mutalisks. "Scar" (as Shearon named the scarred mutalisk) finished off Shaw. The Flyswatter was too crippled to serve as an escape vehicle.
Shearon, trapped, came up with a desperate plan. She cut off the fingers off her crippled hand with a laser knife, knowing what effect the smell had on mutalisks. Toting an old AGG-12 grenade launcher with a single punisher grenade, capable of taking out a small group of mutalisks, she sneaked up to Anvil Rock and climbed it. She used her blood now to draw the mutalisks toward her. They stacked and rushed at her as she fired the grenade at them. Shearon passed out from pain.
The next day she awoke inside a clunky goliath. Champlain had survived, though he had broken his arm, and was now using it to return them to civilization. He also had the body of Scar. The two talked about buying missile turrets on the trip back.
- Professor Brad Champlain, Special Research Operations
- Breg Shaw, pilot of the goliath Flyswatter I
- Marshal Katrin "Rin" Shearon
The story borrows much of its plot and character archetypes from the 1975 film Jaws. Several character names are possible references to characters from the film.
Bogdanove, Kal-El. "Frenzy." (Feb. 28, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Frenzy Accessed 2013-02-28..