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StarCraft: Ghost: Nova is a StarCraft universe novel, authored by Keith R. A. DeCandido that serves as a prequel to StarCraft: Ghost and introduces main character Nova and her backstory. It was released in November, 2006. It was delayed from its original release date of April, 2006 in order to be released alongside StarCraft: Ghost but the game was indefinitely postponed.
Keith R. A. Decandido has stated that about half of Nova's backstory was material he created for the novel.
Four years after the end of the Brood War, Emperor Arcturus Mengsk has rebuilt much of the Terran Dominion and consolidated a new military force despite an ever-present alien threat. Within this boiling cauldron of strife and subversion, a young woman known only as Nova shows the potential to become Mengsk's most lethal and promising "Ghost" operative. Utilizing a combination of pure physical aptitude, innate psychic power, and advanced technology, Nova can strike anywhere with the utmost stealth. Like a phantom in the shadows, she exists only as a myth to the enemies of the Terran Dominion.
Yet Nova wasn't born a killer. She was once a privileged child of one of the Old Families of the Terran Confederacy, but her life changed forever when a rebel militia murdered her family. In her grief, Nova unleashed her devastating psychic powers, killing hundreds in a single, terrible moment. Now, on the run through the slums of Tarsonis, she is unable to trust anyone. Pursued by a special agent tasked with hunting down rogue telepaths, Nova must come to terms with both her burgeoning powers and her guilt – before they consume her and destroy everything in her path....
The prologue begins two-and-a-half years after the fall of the Terran Confederacy. Nova is a ghost in training, and as part of her graduation exercise, she must kill Cliff Nadaner, the terrorist who ordered the attack on her family. Nova was “celebrating” her 18th birthday during the exercise, and she recalled her birthday party from three years ago…
Constantino Terra, scion of the Old Families, wanted to focus on his daughter’s party at his skyscraper, but it was spoiled for him by two pieces of news; the first was a Sons of Korhal attack on his hoverbike plant – obviously an inside job – and the second was the destruction of the Mar Sara colony by the protoss. Terra decided to evacuate Nova from Tarsonis, after the party.
Constantino’s daughter, November Annabella “Nova” Terra, was psychic, a secret kept even from her. Her empathic abilities expanded at the party, however, enabling her to read the mind of a suitor.
Listening to a false Universe News Network broadcast, Constantino explained to his wife that he would send Nova to Tyrador IX for safety reasons – his family wasn’t safe from the Sons of Korhal or the aliens – over the objections of Nova and some of his servants.
Nova was set to leave Tarsonis when she “felt” her parents being attacked. Rushing from the puddle-jumper, she returned to her skyscraper, where she witnessed several terrorists, some of whom were family servants, executing her parents and brother. The lead rebel pointed his gun at her…
Former Tarsonis Police Force detective Malcolm Kelerchian was now a Wrangler in the Confederate Ghost Program, sent to the Terra skyscraper as a powerful psychic had killed many people there. Examining the evidence, he concluded that Nova Terra herself had unleashed the psychic power unwittingly after seeing close family friend Edward Peters murdering her family. His boss, Ghost Program Director Ilsa Killiany, took him off the murder case and ordered him to find Nova… she would make an excellent addition to the Ghost Program. He sought help from a police officer, Larry Fonseca.
Nova revealed her psychic abilities fending off an assault, which resulted in her being kidnapped by Markus Ralian, the right-hand man to the Gutter’s crime lord, Fagin. Nova refused to serve Fagin as a mind-reader and telepathic assassin, so he threw her out and plotted to make her starve. Nova decided she would rather die than serve him… but after several days she couldn’t take it anymore, and set out in search of food. During her wanderings, Nova saw a UNN report on the attack on her family. Her sister, Clara, survived, but stated several lies such as the death of Nova. Fagin oversaw this display and, realizing that Nova’s family was too powerful to ransom her, dispatched his top hitman, the Pitcher, to kill her. Meanwhile he acquired a psi-screen to protect himself from powerful telepaths… a good move, as Nova easily killed the Pitcher.
Nova sought out Fagin himself, but Fagin had prepared too well; his psi-screen could mentally torture her, and he would (and did) murder children to break her. He succeeded; Nova became his servant.
An End to MadnessEdit
Six months later, Killiany was very upset that Kelerchian still hadn’t located Nova. She ordered him to work with Major Esmerelda Ndoci, possibly a psychopath, and her Annihilators. Ndoci’s regular methods wouldn’t suit the mission because Nova was a class A target; she could not be harmed for any reason. Kelerchian then received information from Larry Fonseca, who believed he knew where Nova was… and also berated Kelerchian for forgetting basic detective techniques.
Meanwhile Fagin had worn his psi-screen for six months and it was driving him insane, weakening his criminal empire. Markus Ralian researched the device and discovered the limitation (the recommended wearing time was not to exceed seven hours), but when he tried to get Fagin to remove it, he was confronted by Malcolm Kelerchian. Fagin refused to deal reasonably with Kelerchian, but was distracted enough that Nova could use Ralian to kill Fagin. Nova was surprisingly gratified to learn that Ghosts were routinely mind-wiped after training… this would remove the troubling memories of the deaths of her family and people she had killed.
Unfortunately, the Sons of Korhal chose this moment to attack Tarsonis, reaching the surface. Major Ndoci was put in charge of the op, and she ordered her Annihilators to kill everyone in Fagin’s headquarters except for Nova. (There was pointedly no exception for Kelerchian.) The destructive attack caused the headquarters to literally collapse on Kelerchian and Nova. Nova rescued Kelerchian using her psychic powers, then forced Ndoci to seek medical treatment for him… otherwise Ndoci would be punished for nearly letting harm come to a class A target.
The New NovaEdit
Watching over Nova determinedly struggling through her Ghost training, Kelerchian met with Arcturus Mengsk and verbally sparred with him. Mengsk sent him on a “final” mission.
Nova trained for two and a half years, graduating faster than any previous Ghost. Arcturus Mengsk (wearing a psi-screen) personally briefed her on her final mission; to kill Cliff Nadaner. Nova accomplished the task, after berating Nadaner for killing her family.
After her mind-wipe, Nova took part in mission against the Koprulu Liberation Front on New Sydney, where she met Major Ndoci again, but didn’t recognize her. Nova’s personality had undergone a significant change.
Characters in StarCraft: Ghost: NovaEdit
- The prologue appeared as a preview chapter at the end of World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred, also by Keith R. A. DeCandido.
- The "22nd Marine Division" is also the name of a top military unit in Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars, a novel by Keith R. A. DeCandido. Several characters in the novel are named after characters in StarCraft: Ghost: Nova, such as Kelerchian.
- Keith DeCandido wrote StarCraft: Ghost: Nova at the same time Hurricane Katrina struck. The government's poor response to the disaster had an effect on the novel's theme of government indifference.
- Keith DeCandido had planned sequels in both novel and graphic novel format. The graphic novel, called StarCraft: Ghost Academy, coincided with the events of chapters 18 and 19 of StarCraft: Ghost: Nova, and the storyline of Nova and StarCraft: Ghost was continued in StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres.
StarCraft Ghost: Nova made relatively few errors, strictly adhering to canon. A short list of errors follows:
A fake version of Michael Liberty made his Universe News Network reports via flat screen. Arcturus Mengsk, who was working with Liberty at the time the first false report was made, said that he always used holographic reports because they were much harder to fake. In StarCraft Ghost: Nova, Liberty's fake broadcasts were available in holographic format. It is possible that Mengsk underestimated Confederate technology, however. In addition, some of the fake broadcasts are nearly identical to the ones in StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade but have information removed; this impacts mildly on the well-connected Constantino Terra's thoughts and words. (For instance, Mr. Terra can't tell his mistress about the protoss, even though, according to Liberty's Cruasade, limited information about the protoss was available to everyone almost as soon as the real Michael Liberty made it to Mar Sara.)
The Annihilators used a "stealth" Valkyrie to assist in their raid of Fagin's headquarters. The Valkyrie was a spaceship introduced by the United Earth Directorate after the fall of the Confederacy. According to Chris Metzen, however, the UED Expedition Force used primarily technology stolen from the Terrans in the Koprulu Sector, so it is possible that the Valkyrie is originally designed by the Confederacy but later stolen by the UED, although this is doubtful. Another possibility is that the Valkyrie used by the Annihilators is of a different type of vehicle altogether (sharing the same name with the UED aerial fighter), since its given description is somewhat different from the Brood War Valkyries.
- Medievaldragon; DeCandido, R. A. Starcraft Ghost: Nova Pocketbook Excerpt (prologue excerpt). Blizzplanet. Accessed 2007-11-25.
- DeCandido, R. A. an excerpt from Starcraft: Ghost: Nova (third chapter excerpt). DeCandido.net. Accessed 2007-11-25.
DeCandido, Keith R. A. (November 28, 2006). StarCraft Ghost: Nova. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0743-47134-3.
|The next article in this series is StarCraft: Frontline: Weapon of War.|
|The next article in this series is StarCraft: Ghost Academy: Volume 1.|