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- A memo kept in mind by Nova(src)
Nova Terra was born into the Terra family, one of the Terran Confederacy's rich and powerful "Old Families". The family lived in the Terra Skyscraper in Tarsonis City, Tarsonis. She possessed a degree of empathy that was generally lacking in the Old Families, a trait that did not go unnoticed. She also believed strongly in the concept of fair play. She was regarded as the "golden child" of the family.
Unknown to Nova, a great deal of her empathy was due to her telepathic abilities. Her father, Constantino, was aware of her talents, if not the full extent of them. Without training she could only sense emotions and at seven years of age was told that she was "empathetic". Normally, psychic children were conscripted into the Ghost Program by wranglers. However her family hid her abilities from the Program, and her father attempted to prevent Nova from realizing she was psychic.
Betrayal and Flight
The Old Families began planning to send some of their children away from Tarsonis to the relative safety of a resort on Tyrador IX, due to the rising number of attacks against the Old Families and the escalating war the Confederacy found itself in against alien invaders and numerous rebel groups such as the Sons of Korhal. Nova Terra's parents agreed to send her away. Despite her protests, and Edward Peters' support, three days after her fifteenth birthday party she boarded a vessel for Tyrador IX. However, Nova felt her parents' minds as they were killed by anti-Confederate rebels and she quickly disembarked.
Nova returned to find that Edward Peters, Gustavo McBain, and other rebels were murdering her family and their employees. Peters ordered McBain to shoot Nova but now, with her psychic powers elevated by the mental stress caused by the carnage she had just witnessed, she unleashed powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities without any control. A large section of the Terra Skyscraper was destroyed, and all of her would-be murderers, as well as many hundreds of nearby people, were killed. Nova then fled to "the Gutter", as far away from her former life as possible. The trauma of recent events led her close to suicide.
The destructive spectacle was proof enough that Nova Terra would be a valuable addition to the Ghost Program. Director Ilsa Killiany ordered wrangler Malcolm "Mal" Kelerchian to bring Nova in, assigning her the code X41822N even though the wayward psychic was not yet formally part of the Program.
Shortly after Nova Terra arrived in the Gutter, two men attempted to rape her. They were unsuccessful and severely injured by Terra's telekinesis. The goons worked for the crime lord of the Gutter, Julius Antoine "Fagin" Dale. Monitoring her through traffic monitors, Fagin resolved to "acquire" her for her psychic abilities and, deducing from her expensive clothing, a ransom.
Terra was brought before Fagin but, despite being in a fragile state of mind, refused to serve him. Reading minds she realized that Fagin's chief lieutenant, Markus Ralian, wanted him dead. However, Terra was unable to intimidate Fagin nor provoke him to kill her. Instead, Fagin let Terra go and ordered the shopkeepers not to feed her. Fagin was confident that starvation would force Terra to serve him.
Four days later Nova gave up on starvation. While seeking food, she saw a UNN newscast featuring Clara Terra, who claimed that her entire family had been killed. Nova lashed out mentally. Fagin, who was watching through cameras, learned Nova Terra's true identity. Realizing that he would be unable to ransom her, as he would be destroyed by the retaliation of the Old Families, he ordered a reliable enforcer, "the Pitcher", to kill her. Despite four days of starvation and partial dehydration Nova Terra easily killed the Pitcher by destroying his brain with her mental powers. She carried on by stealing food and resolved to go after Fagin for ordering her death.
Fagin responded by acquiring a psi-screen from Confederate Army Supply Sergeant Morwood (the device rendered him immune to telepathy), then surrounded himself with insane heavily armed guards, drug addicts who desperately needed a fix, and children. Although distracted by the thoughts of the drug addicts Terra defeated the ambushing gunmen and confronted Fagin again. Fagin ordered his men to kill the children one by one until she surrendered while he used his psi-screen to torture Terra at range. Unable to bear more, Terra surrendered.
Escape from Madness
- Nova accepts Kelerchain's offer to join the Ghost Program.(src)
Fagin used Nova as a "loyalty detector" and assassin. Those who failed to pass Terra's test were murdered. She was prevented from going outside which made it difficult for Malcolm Kelerchian and his allies to locate her. Over that same time Fagin had become progressively more unpredictable, killing people, even his own children, almost on a whim, due to overuse of the psi-screen. Markus Ralian's desire for Fagin's death only grew, but he could not bring himself to do it. Terra had no trouble reading this from his mind. Terra knew the psi-screen couldn't protect Fagin from her telekinesis, but she never had the opportunity to use it on him.
Meanwhile Agent Kelerchian discovered her location from contacts in the police force. To help him secure Terra, he was ordered by Ilsa Killiany to take with him Major Esmerelda Ndoci and her "Annihilators", a marine unit ill-suited for such a delicate mission but they were all that was available. The Sons of Korhal offensive on Tarsonis' space platforms were not an ideal theater for a ground-based unit like the Annihilators. With ghosts in short supply acquiring a powerful psychic was an "alpha priority" and they were ordered to bring Terra in unharmed.
Kelerchian resolved to bargain with Fagin first, and if that failed then he would "summon the marines". As the wrangler discovered, Fagin's mental faculties made bargaining difficult if not impossible. As the crime lord ranted Terra used her powers, forcing Ralian to shoot and kill Fagin. Kelerchian let Terra scan his mind and she learned that if she went with Kelerchian she would become a ghost. She also learned that a memory wipe was a standard part of the training regimen. This Terra saw as an incentive, as she did not want to remember the deaths and murders.
A satisfactory end to the operation was interrupted by the penetration of the orbital defenses by the Sons of Korhal. Killiany transferred oversight of the operation from Kelerchian to Ndoci, who directed her troops to kill everybody except for Terra (no exception was made for Kelerchian). In the ensuing firefight Fagin's compound collapsed. Ralian was killed, while Terra and Kelerchian were trapped together, and Ndoci was trapped elsewhere in the building.
Terra used her powers to rescue herself and Kelerchian, but the latter was severely wounded. Terra forced Ndoci to summon medical aid for Kelerchian by threatening to reveal her dangerous tactics (nearly killing an alpha priority target) to Ilsa Killiany. Then the zerg attacked, but Terra, Kelerchian, and Ndoci survived.
Nova Terra was taken the Ghost Academy based on Ursa. Despite her considerable psychic power she started at a disadvantage due to the ill-effects of months of abuse and malnutrition and she barely handled Sergeant Hartley's physical training regime. She was the focus of resentment, jealousy and sexual desire from many of her fellow trainees.
Six months into training Terra met Kelerchian again, and discovered (through mind reading) that the wrangler was being sent on a one way mission to Sakrysta Mining Base by Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. They said their farewells and parted ways.
As her training progressed, Nova Terra became part of Team Blue as part of the Academy's curriculum of team-based training. This presented a challenge for Terra as her experiences in the Gutter had taught her self-reliance – a strength that became a weakness in the squad.
One of her first training missions was the Valerian hostage rescue scenario. While Gabriel Tosh directed fellow teammates Kath Toom and Lio Travski, Terra ran off and tried to complete the mission by herself. Her teammates messed up and "died", enabling Terra to almost succeed. "Sparky" and Preceptor Lagdamen both rated her highly, something which Terra herself disagreed with. As Terra headed to her next class, she thought she saw a child, whom she would notice several times during her stay.
Terra was rudely confronted by Dylanna Okyl, the leader of Team Red. While Okyl hadn't scored as highly, she hadn't let her whole team "die". Terra ignored her. Tosh privately tried to convince Terra to display teamwork, but she brushed off his advice. Toom was left upset by the encounter. Terra displayed high competence but a lack of teamwork in other training scenarios. After several encounters with Okyl, in which Terra blamed her team for their poor performance, Tosh shouted at her that if she had worked with them, their poor performance wouldn't have mattered. The lesson finally sunk in.
Terra cooperated with Kath Toom on an assignment and later, upon meeting new trainee Delta Emblock, whose background had left her without schooling (which Terra learned by accidentally scanning her), Terra helped her with her literacy test. Toom was so surprised by this new attitude she asked what happened to the old Nova Terra. While celebrating Emblock's successful literacy test, Toom and Tosh discussed similarities between their backgrounds and Terra's. However, Tosh's comments hit too close to home, prompting Terra to run off. She suffered nightmares that night, which Tosh felt because he didn't sleep with a psi-screen on.
Terra participated in another Valerian scenario. This time she worked with her team, including new teammate Aal Cistler. However, as the scenario finished, Lio Travski suffered a bad reaction from drug abuse. Terra, recognizing the symptoms from her days in the Gutter, called for medical assistance. This brought her to the attention of Superintendent Sarco Angelini, who had been secretly testing the effects of drug abuse on Travski's psychic abilities. He memory wiped Terra and Travski so they would forget that experience. Terra now found herself uncomfortable with the prospect of memory wiping, as she would forget friends like Kath Toom. Angelini watched this conversation through the surveillance system. Meanwhile, Terra was promoted to third-class due to her new positive attitude and high scores. However, Terra's attitude toward the Ghost Program had worsened. She thought they were sloppy about numerous things, such as their psi-screens.
"We're just talking Tosh. We haven't broken any rules...yet."
- Tosh and Nova begin to fall for each other.(src)
Terra's abilities made her Team Blue's "ace in the hole," at least in Tosh's mind. However, despite the teamwork, Team Blue began to fall apart, the reasons including Tosh's admiration for her turning into distracting attraction. This was one of the reasons Dylanna Okyl was so aggravated by Terra; Okyl had a crush on Tosh.
During a training scenario against zerg-bots, Terra detected a "controlling consciousness" behind them—Sarco Angelini—and psychically attacked him. Angelini quickly ended the scenario, but was very impressed. He wished the other ghosts were as powerful as her. As Okyl ranted about their performance, Terra read her mind, learning about her attraction to Tosh. Okyl was humiliated.
Aal Cistler used his father's influence to return to the Academy, and immediately joined Okyl's Team Red. At martial arts training, a bitter Okyl challenged Terra to a "duel", but Tosh stood up for her. Okyl beat him up. Afterward Tosh and Terra kissed while out of the view of security cameras, even though Academy policies forbade dating between students. When Delta Emblock asked her about it, she said she just wanted some happiness now, and they technically weren't dating anyway.
Tosh feared what could happen to them if Okyl found out and reported them. For this reason he rejected Nova's further advances to protect her. An emotionally stunned Terra then ran into Okyl and Cistler; the latter promised to ruin her. Terra then stumbled across the "spirit" of Colin Phash, who was using his astral projection ability to ask for help. He lured her to a restricted area.
Terra warned her other team members about Cistler's plans while meeting up with a newly-confident Lio Travski. Teams Blue and Red were taking part in a "live fire" (but non-lethal) exercise. Okyl arranged for her entire team to focus on Terra, believing her to be the only threat on Team Blue. She wanted to be the one to beat up Terra. Team Blue, except for Terra and Travski, were taken out. Okyl and Cistler skirted a group of abandoned SCVs in order to reach Terra, but Travski used his technopathic abilities to activate them and capture the entirety of Team Red.
The Battle of Shi
Team Purple, overseen by Preceptor Lagdamen, was transported to the star system on the battlecruiser Cyrus, commanded by Commodore Georg Darabont. During the trip, Nova learned from a crew member that the ship was significantly underpowered as the crew were trying to not think about the ship's history. Other trainees also learned that the crew were regarded as "cowards" for retreating at the Battle of Tarsonis.
At The Baker's Dozen star system, the ship diverted to the fourth planet when Lio Travski picked up a distress signal via his technopathic abilities. Darabont was swayed due to the chance to fight the zerg and prove he wasn't a coward, but Lagdamen opposed going into combat on the "wrong" planet. Upon the realization that it was being sent from a mining post by the Kusinis Twins—friends from Nova's life as a child of the Old Families, Nova demanded that she personally take part in their rescue.
The marines landed on Shi but were inundated by waves of zerg from a hatchery cluster south of Mandible Canyon. Darabont ordered the use of Apocalypse-class nuclear missiles. These would be fired by Dylanna Okyl and Aal Cistler and guided by Nova. The mission was a success, allowing a landing zone to be established. Afterward, through her telepathy, Nova discovered that more Old Family scions, Morgan Calabas and Antonia Tygore, were also alive on the world.
As Team Purple and the marines cleared out the remaining zerg from the area, Nova came across the Kusinis Twins while the rest of the troops found Calabas and Tygore. Nova and the Kusinis Twins linked up with the other troops. However, more zerg arrived in force from previously undetected hatcheries on the far side of Mandible Canyon, destroying the transports.
Gabriel Tosh took the opportunity to rekindle his relationship with Nova. He said he had broken up with her to protect her, but realized this had only hurt her. Nova was receptive to his advance. Morgan Calabas, who had carried a keepsake of Nova, apologized for his previous behavior. Nova forgave him. Meanwhile Travski used his powers to track the Cyrus. It was damaged but still "alive", and he believed he could use his abilities to repair it. However, making it there and keeping it safe would require time and protection. Nova Terra's psionic abilities, which could inflict massive damage in a four-block radius, would be useful here. Aal Cistler suggested she lure the zerg, but Lagdamen and Tosh disapproved of the plan. Terra decided to go through with it. She would attack the hatchery cluster. Tosh decided to go with her.
The terrans headed to the Cyrus while they were cloaked by Travski. He then used his powers to begin repairing the ship. Toom used her shooting skills to take out overlords.
As Tosh and Terra headed out, Lagdamen gave the cloaking device controls to Tosh. Along the way they encountered walking spore crawlers, which they had to avoid. The Cyrus fell under attack, but eventually the zerg retreated as Nova Terra was "powering up" her psychic abilities there.
Tosh had to flee the area as Terra was charging up. He ran out of energy for his cloaking device and had to fight zerg. As he struggled to get clear, Terra was also under attack. When she alerted him to this fact, he told her he was clear but he hadn't actually made it out of the blast radius. Terra unleashed her power, frying the zerg and hatcheries. She found a crippled, barely alive Tosh. A distraught Nova kept Tosh alive through psychic healing.
The Cyrus, now repaired, picked up the two ghosts. Tosh's brain was scanned. The Cyrus was able to leave Shi now that the zerg had been reduced in number or eliminated.
For all of Team Purple's efforts however, they weren't to remember it, as per Arcturus Mengsk's orders. Within a few days of the battle, the entire team bar Tosh had been memory wiped, Nova included. In the same period, UNN announced that the Old Family children the ghosts and marines had rescued had been killed by the zerg nearly a year ago during the Great War. Nova, remembering her Old Family friends but not the part she'd played in her rescue, went to visit Tosh. He tried to tell her about what really happened, but Nova was entrenched in the cover story of the "accident" that had injured Tosh and the "delusions" he was having as a result. With each ghost entrenched in his/her own truth, the two failed to reconcile. Tosh said everything would be like before, as if nothing ever happened.
- Nova confronts Cliff Nadaner.(src)
Nova pulled through and completed her ghost training in a record two and a half years, whereas it normally took four years.
Nearing the end of her training Nova Terra was met by Emperor Arcturus Mengsk himself, who gave her a final training assignment: kill Cliff Nadaner, a former anti-Confederate terrorist turned anti-Dominion terrorist. Nadaner had led the group that sent Edward Peters, Gustavo McBain and others to kill her family. Terra was to go to Tyrador VIII alone and kill Nadaner with only her mental powers. She was inserted via drop pod with only some of a ghost's standard equipment. Terra successfully located her target, eliminating the defending troops. She verbally confronted Nadaner for ruining her life and killed him last.
Upon completion of her training, Nova was designated Agent X41822N and received a memory wipe, becoming yet another ghost single-mindedly focused on serving the Dominion and destroying the Dominion's enemies.
Ghosts of the Past
- Nova's thoughts on New Sydney(src)
During a mission against the Koprulu Liberation Front on New Sydney Nova would again meet the Annihilators. Esmerelda Ndoci recognized Nova but due to the memory wipe Nova no longer recognized Ndoci, nor did she particularly care.
Terra conducted a number of assassination missions (including one in an Agrian slum) and even encountered the protoss on the world of Braken. She participated in Operation: Rabid Dog and Operation: Toolbox during this time.
Sometime after New Sydney, Nova was attached to Nova Squadron as part of a mission to Altara to investigate the disappearance of a fellow ghost and a wrangler sent to locate her. She was granted her own quarters on the battlecruiser Palatine. Arriving at the world, it was discovered that a zerg force was en route to the planet as well. Through her telepathic abilities, Nova could sense that the zerg were here for a specific reason, and that their presence was not a coincidence. She informed Colonel Jackson Hauler of this development. Aware that the marines of the Palatine had little experience against the zerg, she requested that she be sent in solo, in order to do reconnaissance and to give the marines time to prepare, to provide support if necessary. Hauler agreed to her request.
Nova made her way across the surface, keeping in contact with Hauler as she did so. She made it to the site of the wrangler's ship, but against her advice, Hauler began deploying ground forces, stirring up the zerg. To make matters worse, the marines had little experience against the zerg and their CO, Lieutenant Chet Ward, was oblivious to the effects this lack of experience could have on the outcome of the battle. He ignored Nova's advice for the most part and the marines he sent to scout the zerg position were quickly overwhelmed by roaches and zerglings. The bulk of the ground forces were hard pressed by the xenomorphs, but Nova was practically unstoppable, her psionic powers and C-20A rifle felling numerous zerg. She turned the tide by acting as bait for the zerg, drawing them into a crossfire. Nova emerged unscathed and the zerg were mowed down in a hail of gunfire. Ward grudgingly thanked her, but Nova brushed him off, ordering him and his men to set up a defensive perimeter while she headed off to find the wrangler.
The wrangler turned out ot be Kelerchian, though while he recognised her, a history of mind wipes prevented Nova from doing the same. She used her telekinetic abilities to get him to safety, though this was a task not made easy by the zerg closing in on her position. During the fighting, a hydralisk damaged the filters of her face mask, which left her exposed to the terrazine gas present. Nova kept fighting, providing a distraction to let the Grizzlies carry the marines to safety, but the terrazine started to rejuvinate her memory, granting her flashbacks of her time with Fagin, her mission to Shi and the death of her family. Nova finished off the zerg with a mind blast, then passed out.
Whispers and Memories
"Maybe so. But I'll always be inside your head now. Me and Fagin and everyone else you hurt. What about all those people you killed back on Tarsonis with that mind blast of yours? Some three hundred of them at once, wasn't it? That's some record right there. Don't think even Fagin killed so many. And since then you've just kept on killing. Joined the ghost program to get away from that and forget, but here you are, a trained assassin, still killing for others. It's what you're good at, ain't it? You might look like an angel, but inside you're empty and dead too, just like us."
Nova awoke in the medical bay of the Palatine, and was greeted by Captain Rourke and Doctor Shaw. The CO explained that her mind blast had erradicated the zerg forces present, saving the Nova Squadron ones. Nova however, still had problems, namely hallucinations and flashbacks—the consequences of her terrazine exposure. Shaw brushed her concerns aside, though was also hiding something from her, aside from his obvious contempt for the ghost, as sensed by her telepathy. Regardless, Rourke took Nova to see Kelerchian and while she didn't immediately recognise him, the flashbacks filled in some of the blanks, how Kelerchian had been the one to recruit her into the Ghost Program. He went on to provide an account of his mission to Altara until the pair were summoned to the bridge for a report on the effects of terrazine and how it had lured the zerg in. During this period, Emperor Arcturus Mengsk contacted the vessel, ordering that he be allowed to converse with Nova and Kelerchian privately. Although aggravated, Hauler agreed and granted the pair the comm. room in privacy.
Nova could sense unease from both Mengsk and Kelerchian. There was good reason for it, as Mengsk revealed that there'd never been any report of a UED cell on Altara, nor had he given the order to send a ghost in to investigate. Mengsk elaborated on the shadow war the Dominion had been waging over the last few months and wanted the perpetrators stopped before the truth was revealed. The pair were ordered to find the missing ghosts and shut down those responsible for the abductions.
The pair's first order of business was to make inquiries in the Altaran town of Oasis. While few of the townsfolk had any useful information, they heard from a smuggler that an Umojan spy had appeared in the town several weeks ago. Kelerchian was feeling the psionic effect of fellow ghosts assigned to help them and Nova began to feel something too, its psionic nature standing out from the rest of the town. It was a spectre, one that supposedly got the best of fellow ghost, Agent X72341R. It was also at this point that she encountered a young telepath named Lila, who had had a brush-in with the spectre as well. Nova learnt of her past through telepathy and developed an attatchment to her, given that her circumstances were akin to her own ordeal in the Gutter (so remembered due to her terrazine exposure). Nova offered to take her back to Korhal, but was slightly uneasey at the prospect, knowing that Lila would likely be conscripted into the Ghost Program.
Nova and Kelerchian returned to the Palatine where they met the assembled ghosts assigned to them and, as per their real names being classified, assigned nicknames— "Bones" (from the surface), "Lethal", "Rook", "the Veteran", "Rip" and "Guns." Along with Rourke and Hauler, they discussed the information that had been gathered on the surface. Despite Rourke's suggestions to the contrary, Nova maintained that the disapearences were related, and that the UED wasn't responsible. Kelerchian voiced his theory that the insurgents were using a mobile base of operations, but either way, the meeting was called to a close as the Annihilators arrived alongside the Palatine, demanding permission to board. It was granted and Nova once again found herself in the presence of Annihilator members, namely Major Spaulding and Captain Vincent. It was a presence that she didn't enjoy—thanks to her terrazine exposure, she vaguely recalled the unit rescuing her from Fagin, their heavy-handed M.O. not exactly endearing them to her. Hauler reinforced the fact that Nova and Kelerchian were in charge, but as Nova began experiencing hallucinations of Fagin and Markus Ralian, it wasn't a position she was in perfect condition to take on. A concerned Kelerchian made her take a return trip to visit Dr. Shaw. Shaw however, had little to offer bar psychiatric platitudes and barely concealed thoughts of fear and loathing. However, he did offer the information that the gas she'd been exposed to was repairing her brain tissue, reversing the effects of her memory wipes. Shaw was clearly hiding something, but it became moot as Kelerchian received an encrypted message, warning them that Augustgrad had come under attack.
Emperor Arcturus Mengsk managed to hide in his panic room and get a message off.
Colonel Hauler dispatched Terra and her ghost team, and would send Lt. Chet Ward and then other forces afterward. The ghosts were dropped off at the outskirts of Augustgrad and took vultures to the palace. On the way, Terra noticed that "Bones" could sense her presence even when she was cloaked. She realized that "Bones" was the spectre who had attacked her on Altara.
Bones was standing by a fountain, and Terra, using her terrazine-enhanced senses, could locate him well enough to telekinetically throw water on him, revealing him more fully. She used a psychic attack to "cook" his brain, killing him. That's when the spectre team led by Gabriel Tosh arrived. Four spectres launched mental attacks which disabled the ghosts' suits. All the ghosts but Terra were immobilized as well. Terra broke the spectres' grip and started killing them. The spectres fled, but the other members of Terra's team were all killed or taken away by the spectres.
Tosh mentally introduced himself to Terra. She wasn't interested and telekinetically threw a statue at him. Terra escaped and entered Mengsk's palace, but another spectre, Dylanna Okyl, was waiting there. Okyl ambushed Terra, cutting her back with a knife and spraying her with terrazine. Okyl mocked her with the words "breathe deep" before leaving.
Terra woke up with Okyl and Tosh standing there. Tosh tried to recruit her, claiming that with her help they could get to Mengsk. However, marines entered the palace, prompting the spectres to flee. Terra waited outside Mengsk's panic room, guarding it. A medic treated Terra's wound.
Emperor Mengsk met with Terra and Malcolm Kelerchian, and threw everyone else out. He was impressed with Terra's loyalty.
The Annihilators leaders boarded the Palatine. They insulted Terra, who snapped back mentally. Spaulding demanded a meeting. They were angered because they had wanted to immediately descend and attack, but Hauler had refused due to the communication breakdown. Spaulding had gone to a meeting with Mengsk in order to gain control of the operation, but Mengsk preferred to leave control with Hauler. Spaulding then accused Terra of being a spectre. He accused her and Kelerchian of hiding evidence and manipulating the situation, such as blowing up the Altara refinery. Ward gave an edited account of Terra's threats against him, making it nearly impossible to refute. Dr. Shaw also gave evidence against her. Hauler was angered at his subordinates Shaw and Ward, as they hadn't spoken to him first. He had Spaulding thrown off his ship. Afterward, Terra asked him for information about Project Shadowblade and the Battle of Shi.
Terra and Kelerchian discussed their next moves. Terra had also come to realize that Kelerchian was in love with her, the reason he had named his ship the November. During their conversation, knockout gas entered the room, knocking them out.
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 Malcolm Kelerchian, being held prisoner on Gehenna Station. Unless Terra agreed to work with him, Hauler would have Kelerchian killed. She agreed, temporarily, to fool Hauler's mind-reading abilities. 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. 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. Terra was able to escape, killing Shaw and slipping away.
Terra remained aboard the Palatine. The November was launched, while Travski shut down the battlecruiser's tracking and comm systems shut down. Benett was fooled.
The Palatine came to Gehenna. Travski announced that he had found the November with one life sign, and had shut down its comm system. Bennett checked the ship but couldn't find Terra there.
Travski warned Terra that her deception had been detected. Terra 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.
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.
Wings of Liberty
- Nova introduces herself to Jim Raynor(src)
During the Second Great War, Nova moved to assassinate spectre Gabriel Tosh and stop his spectre program. This operation was not approved by Dominion command, and was listed as an unauthorized solo operation. Tosh was working with Raynor's Raiders and had so far neglected to inform the rebels of his true nature or intentions. Nova attempted to dissuade further cooperation by sending an anonymous message to the Raiders exposing Tosh as a spectre.
Raynor was prepared to continue working with Tosh, especially as they both had anti-Dominion goals. Nova learned of the operation to raid New Folsom Prison and decided to contact Raynor directly in an attempt to forestall the operation. She revealed the prison held captured spectres, which Tosh wanted to reactivate with the jorium and terrazine the Raiders had procured for him. Furthermore, she claimed all spectres became psychopathic killers, and that Tosh would inevitably crack and betray Raynor. The ghost exaggerated the risk posed by spectres. Finally she warned a jailbreak would inevitably release prisoners better left imprisoned.
Raynor was disappointed by Tosh's secrecy, but was willing to continue working with the anti-Dominion spectre, rather than with a Dominion agent. The prison guards were forewarned of the impending raid by Nova, but were ultimately unable to prevent the breakout.
- Nova assaulting Gabriel Tosh's base.(src)
Raynor was convinced by Nova's argument. The ghost and Raynor's Raiders destroyed the spectre's training facility. Tosh himself was killed by Nova while arguing remotely with Raynor. She told Raynor that she'd be seeing him again. For their assistance, Nova gave the Raiders the material needed to train ghosts. She sometimes appeared in the armory afterward, randomly cloaking and uncloaking. The ghost gave the Raiders Tosh's knife and voodoo doll as trophies.
Heart of the Swarm
Nova led the raid on Research Station EB-103. When Bravo Team failed to report in, she ordered all units to sector six. Once her forces had taken control of the security hub, she called upon Sarah Kerrigan to surrender. Though Kerrigan escaped, Nova managed to capture Raynor.
This following section contains information from concept art that may not be canonical.
At some point, Nova took part in combat against the zerg.
Several years later after the End War, Nova came to be involved in the activities of the Defenders of Man, a terran separatist group. Nova, along with Stone, was assigned to work with the Defenders of Man by the Dominion. During her operation, she set out to plant anti-zerg devices on Antiga Prime. However, she and Stone soon discovered the devices were psi-emitters. Nova and Stone attempted to retrieve their mission files and tell the Dominion of what the Defenders had done, but she was soon captured by her wrangler, Maxwell. Maxwell deferred to the Defenders of Man Leader, General Carolina Davis, who ordered her mind wiped. However before she did, Nova planted a message in her visor stating "YOU ARE IN DANGER. THEY WILL KILL YOU."
Nova, under the command of the Defenders of Man, was later trailed by Michael Liberty. Liberty left tips to Radio Liberty listeners leading them to a secure Defender of Man database, where they discovered her profile and footage showing Nova having assassinated undercover Dominion agents in the base. This caused a stir as this footage leaked to Dominion public, leading Kate Lockwell to ask if Dominion soldiers had gone rogue.
Later, Nova found herself in a Defenders of Man facility, unaware of where she was. A servo, through which a male voice spoke, ordered her to put on her visor for software calibration. Doing so, a message appeared within the HUD, telling her that she was in danger, and that she had to escape. She cloaked, despite the voice's protests. She then attacked the camera, and confronted the wrangler, Maxwell who was running the diagnostic, demanding to know where she was. Maxwell refused, and she killed him.
Nova escaped the facility and contacted Stone, who had also escaped. The two fought their way through the facility, reclaiming her C-20A rifle and pulse grenades and came in contact with Delta Emblock and Theodore Pierce, who had been assigned to Nova's team. Nova's team escaped from the facility on vultures, with Nova and Stone splitting up on their own through the Sharpsburg freeway. They fought through Defender of Man vultures, hellions, banshees, and a Warhawk to reach the spaceport. The two reached the port, with Stone demanding to stay behind for the next ship. Nova left on her own, and was escorted by a Dominion battlecruiser to Borea.
At the Dominion base there, she was confronted by Admiral Matt Horner, who informed her she had been missing in action for months and had been wanted for treason against the Dominion. However, just then feral zerg invaded Borea and attacked their base. Horner said he believed her when she said she had no memory of the past few months, and asked her to help defend their base. Nova took her forces to the hills, and defended the Dominion base, using the canyons to her advantage. The zerg attack was slowed, but just then a Defenders of Man fleet arrived and attacked the zerg, informing the population of the planet that the Dominion had failed them and the Defenders of Man would protect them. The Defenders of Man then contacted Horner, demanding he surrender Nova. In the chaos of their attack, Nova and the Dominion escaped the planet.
Nova met with Emperor Valerian Mengsk, who offered her a Covert Ops Crew and a new ship, the Griffin in return for her loyalty. She accepted, and Valerian introduced her to her new weapons and technology specialist, Reigel. Reigel informed her he could try to make her removed memories resurface by stimulating her neural inhibitor. This was attempted, and she remembered going to Tarsonis City after its fall to the zerg. Nova and her crew moved in to find the Defenders of Man base she suspected was there. Her forces secured garrisons surrounding the base while she infiltrated in. The Defenders of Man discovered her presence, and activated a psi emitter in the base. Nova continued on in spite of the zerg attack, and discovered the command room. Killing the technician manning it, Nova discovered that the Defenders of Man were planting psi emitters to attract feral zerg to planets, and they intended to send the zerg to Tyrador IX to show how weak Valerian's regime was. Nova swore she would put a stop to their operation.
Plots and Manipulations
Nova and her Covert Ops Crew quickly moved to Tyrador IX, but found it overrun by the zerg. Reigel noted that they could not engage the zerg directly, and that there were high casualties. The Defenders of Man fleet arrived, saying they would help shelter any civilians who needed evacuation. Nova decided that she would engage the zerg first, then deal with the Defenders of Man.
Nova arrived on the surface with a group of banshees while Reigel set up her base. Nova and her banshees began engaging zerg hatcheries in the area, but Reigel noticed warp signatures, and thought they were zerg reinforcements. They were not; these forces were the Tal'darim Death Fleet under First Ascendant Ji'nara. The Death Fleet fired on the zerg, then brought down their Tal'darim mothership. Ji'nara contacted Nova's forces, saying they were after the Defenders of Man, and telling the Dominion to stay away from their forces. Nova noted that though the Tal'darim would deal with the Defenders, they would likely kill the civilians they were defending in the process. Nova decided that could not happen, and attacked the four shield projectors defending their mothership. Enraged, Ji'nara sent the mothership after Nova's forces, but without the shield projectors Nova's forces were able to destroy it. With the Tal'darim defeated, the Defenders of Man were able to rally and push the zerg off of Tyrador IX. However, they also took credit for the victory, a fact Nova remised.
Nova returned to the Griffin, but noticed a strange psionic signature coming from the bridge. She leveled her gun to find the Tal'darim Highlord Alarak waiting for her. Reigel stopped her before she could fire, saying he was a guest. Alarak explained the Defenders of Man attacked a remote Tal'darim outpost and fled, and he desired vengeance. He noticed she once worked with the Defenders of Man, and offered her a bargain, Alarak would lead Nova to terrazine to unlock her memories, and in return she would lead Alarak to the Defenders of Man. Nova agreed, and Alarak took her to Jarban Minor.
There Nova found extraction devices set up by the Umojan Protectorate to extract terrazine from the Jarban gliders in the area. However, they were surrounded by the infested remains of the Umojan team. To make matters harder, Alarak allowed Ji'nara to challenge Nova, and she deployed her forces to destroy the extraction devices. Nova rescued the surviving members of the Umojan expedition, and Reigel noted that there were potential technologies in a nearby cave and science facility. Nova was successful in extracting the terrazine before the devices were destroyed by the infested and the Tal'darim. Alarak met Nova, and said that provided the terrazine didn't kill her it would undo her memory wipe. Nova asked she would contact Alarak when she found the Defenders, and Alarak simply said he'd know. With that, the two factions parted ways.
Nova contacted Valerian, who was dealing with protests outside of Korhal Palace. He was trepid about Nova using terrazine, and told her to be careful. Reigel noted that he could prevent the side effects of terrazine if he administered it to her in microdoses, and she agreed. Upon taking one does, she remembered a briefing by the wrangler Maxwell sending her to Antiga Prime. Nova took the Griffin there, and remembered being in the city of New Andasar. Nova and her forces landed in the city and engaged the feral zerg, and Reigel noted that if the feral zerg structures were destroyed it would limit what forces they'd send against Nova. Nova moved through the city, gradually administering terrazine and remembering aspects of her operation, including working with Stone and uncovering the psi-emitters. Nova then remembered that Stone had not wiped the mission files from their operations center, and fought through the feral zerg to reach them. Upon taking them, she took one last dose of terrazine, and remembered that General Carolina Davis was the leader of the Defenders of Man who ordered her mind wiped.
Enraged, Nova reported this to Valerian, and insisted the Davis had to be killed for using her. Valerian stated that he had a plan, and that Nova needed to play her part in it. Nova reluctantly agreed. Valerian later contacted General Davis, saying he was stepping down as Emperor of the Dominion.
This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
Nova was the player character in StarCraft: Ghost. Her appearance shifted from "realistic" to a more "anime-ish" look when Swingin' Ape Studios was purchased by Blizzard and their console design teams were merged. Concept art also depicted her in Nerazim gear.
In the campaign, she was sometimes guided by General Horace Warfield. At some point in the game's storyline, she would come to choose between loyalties to Arcturus Mengsk and Colonel Jackson Hauler.
Nova's psionic abilities included cloaking, psionic sight (which enabled her to see heat signatures) and psionic speed (which quadrupled her speed). She could also use psi blast (knock down opponents surrounding her) and psi stun (stun an opponent by touch).
Nova typically carried an AGR-14 assault rifle and a sniper rifle, and sometimes uses the E-11 lockdown device; however, she could use nearly any terran weapon that she could pick up such as the Perdition flamethrower, C-14 rifle and Torrent SR-8 shotgun.
General Combat Abilities
Nova was capable of a wide variety of combat moves, including climbing and sliding down ziplines. Nova could also kill silently by sneaking up on an opponent, and could use techniques such as "dangle snipe" (in which she hung from a pipe with her legs and snipes an opponent). She could inflict a deathblow on a downed opponent.
Nova had the ability to "call for help"; she had at least six calldowns; Identify, Irradiate, EMP Burst, Arclite (which directs attacks from a powerful siege tank), Yamato Cannon, and the ever-popular nuke.
Wings of Liberty
|C-20A canister rifle|
Nova can snipe an opponent with a psi-charged bullet. It deals 125 damage to a single enemy unit, but cannot target mechanical units.
Nova can dominate an enemy unit. As long as the unit is dominated, she cannot take control of another unit.
Nova can release a dominated unit, returning it to its original alliance status.
Heart of the Swarm
Nova Covert Ops
Heroes of the Storm
Personality and Traits
Skills and Powers
Nova's ghost profile labels her as "the best of the best." She is skilled in all areas of operational performance."
Nova has a good sense of balance. She underwent physical training at the Ghost Academy. She found it very difficult at first, not being accustomed to exercise, but eventually excelled at martial arts, the use of weapons, and driving a vulture. She was given permission to learn some skills earlier than usual, and undertook the four-year program in only two-and-a-half years; a record.
Nova often instills lust and fear in males around her, her physical appearence driving the former emotion, and her telepathy instilling the latter one.
At fifteen years of age, she was considered to be tall.
Nova has a Psi Index rating of 10 and as such, is one of the most powerful ghosts in existence. She is so powerful that she finds it difficult not to read minds. She can even read minds through some types of psi-screens (such as those worn by the Annihilators) but was unable to read or attack the mind of Fagin while he wore one. Nova has the ability to telepathically communicate, at least with other psychics.
Her abilities first manifested as "empathy" at age seven; her parents hid this from her. On her fifteenth birthday she found she could read one person's mind at close range. A few days later she discovered she could read her family's mind from a considerable distance away.
Nova developed a powerful attack which can destroy the brains of up to a dozen opponents while leaving an individual in their midst unharmed.
Nova's telekinetic abilities can slowly lift her (and others), is powerful enough to uproot shrubs, and she was able to briefly hold up part of a fallen building. She eventually learned to focus these abilities, and has frequently "jammed" firearms with it. She once used the ability to physically force someone to shoot another opponent. She could use her power to fire guns "remotely", open and damage metal doors and destroy combat robots. Her telekinetic abilities can improve her accuracy with firearms, her teeking guiding the bullets to an extent. Unlike other teeks, using telekinesis gives her a headache. The more effort she uses, the worse the pain.
Nova's psionic training at the Ghost Academy progressed rapidly, and she found it much easier than the physical aspect.
- Character description(src)
Even through her ghost training (before the memory wipe) Nova's personality generally remained the same throughout her late teen years. She possessed a degree of empathy that was generally lacking in the Old Families (a trait that did not go unnoticed) and believed in the concept of fair play, or at least had an aversion to "cheating" (eg. considered attaching gliders to her shoes at her birthday to walk elegantly to be "cheating").
Although willing to deal death to those she believed to deserve it (e.g. Fagin and Cliff Nadaner), she wanted to avoid harming those who fell outside this definition (she did not want to harm Fagin's associates and regretted having to dispatch the rest of Nadaner's group).
As of becoming a full fledged ghost, after undergoing a memory wipe, Nova's personality became colder. Additionally, although she underwent a memory wipe, Nova remains psychologically scarred by the murder of her family and has trouble connecting to people as a result. Not that she particularly desired to, however—for the most part, she was content to be regarded as a merciless killer and remain isolated from her fellow men, not wanting to forge attatchments that could be broken. Kelerchian noted in their Altaran reunion however that she'd become more open from when he'd last seen her. Nova later noted that Kelerchian himself was "the only man who meant anything to her."
An psyche profile of Nova conducted by a Dominion wrangler concluded that Nova is fiercely loyal to the Dominion, though noted that she had a slight tendancy to deviate from mission parameters based on personal evaluation of the situation. The wrangler noted that this might be due to redisual subconcious memories of her past prior to entering the Ghost Academy.
Blizzard Entertainment employees have stated that they definitely want to continue Nova's story, either in novel or comic format. At BlizzCon 2011, Brian T. Kindregan asserted that Nova is an important part of the StarCraft universe, and that she would be appearing in future expansions and stories. It was indicated that she would have a role in Legacy of the Void as well, though she makes no appearance in the game.
Nova was expected to appear in StarCraft: Issue 9, trailing the War Pigs, a group of outlaws, for unknown reasons. However, the issue was canceled. She was scheduled to appear in the graphic novel that would continue the series, but the project has since been put on the backburner.
World of Warcraft Easter Eggs
Nova's tomb had been spotted at a strange stone in the Netherstorm of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade at location 41, 83. Drysc, a Blizzard World of Warcraft Community Manager later stated that "Some say that under certain conditions you can see her ghost... Pun not intended." A cloaked blood elf figure resembling Nova can also be found near the tomb.
Drysc used the lyrics of Kansas song Dust in the Wind to describe her:
I close my eyes
Only for a moment, then the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind...
- A large statue of Nova can be seen at Blizzard's office in Irvine, California.
- In Wings of Liberty, Nova appears to be left-handed given her wielding of some weapons. Ghost Academy however shows her wielding weapons right-handed. In the cinematic trailer for Heroes of the Storm, she also holds her sniper rifle in her right hand, but in-game she is using the rifle left-handed.
- In a promotional video for StarCraft: Ghost, Nova was designated as "Agent 12-862", and "Nova" was established as her codename This was later changed to "Agent X41822N" in StarCraft: Ghost: Nova, while Spectres solidified that ghosts (Nova included) know their real names under the Dominion, but usually address each other by their alpha-numeric designations.
- Nova appeared in imagery for BlizzCon 2014. In contrast to her usual appearance, she is depicted as having red eyes and red lines moving through the circuitry of her hostile environment suit. A similar circuitry color scheme has been observed for Tosh (a spectre) and Emil Narud when impersonating Sarah Kerrigan's terran form.
- 2UP Nova figures based on her appearance in Heroes of the Storm were released in 2015. A 7" figure was also released.
- Blizzard has noticed that fans have often drawn similarities between Nova and Kerrigan. James Waugh has commented that Nova is indeed different, going on to say "with Nova, we always find ourselves in stories about what it means to be a good soldier...She's an assassin for the military, and sometimes that gets messy.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters of StarCraft#Nova.
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