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|StarCraft II: Devils' Due|
Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books) (hardcover)
April 12, 2011 (hardcover)
|ISBN 10 (ebook)|
|ISBN 13 (ebook)|
It was at times like this that Jim Raynor, former marine lance corporal, proud citizen of the Confederacy and erstwhile farm boy, felt most alive. At the speed at which he was urging the vulture, the wind cooled his face so that the oppressive heat vanished. He felt like a wolf hunting down prey, except the purpose of today’s adventure was not the death of a living being but the death of the empty state of Raynor’s and Tychus’s wallets. This was a cargo train, not a passenger train, and inside its silvery innards was—if Tychus’s tip was right, and Jim had every reason to believe it would be—a very lovely, very large safe filled with Confederate credits.
“Why, it’s a rescue mission, Jim,” Tychus had rumbled, his blue eyes dancing with good humor as he had filled Raynor in on the plan. “Those poor creds—they’d just be condemned to lining the pockets of some Old Families who don’t need any more money. Or else put to some nefarious scheme that could hurt somebody. It’s our duty—hell, it’s our calling—to liberate them creds to where they could do something that really mattered.”
“Like buying us drinks, women, and steak dinners.”
“That’s a good start.”
“You’ve got a heart of gold, Tychus. I’ve never met such an altruistic man in my life. I got goddamn tears in my eyes.”
“It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.”
Jim grinned as he recalled the conversation. He and Tychus were behind the train, catching up to it quickly. He stayed right and Tychus veered left. Tychus crossed over the maglev tracks, adjusting the magnetic frequency on his bike to compensate so that he, like the train itself, could cross easily. Jim increased his speed, moving alongside the maglev until the right car came into view. He and Tychus had spent hours analyzing all kinds of transportation vessels over the last few years, sometimes simply from blueprints or images, but usually up close and personal, as they were about to do now. They had “liberated” other credits before—it seemed to them like hundreds of thousands over the years, although the liberated credits never seemed to stay with them very long. That was all right too. It was part of the ride that life had become.
The year is 2494. Almost five years ago, Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay were members of the Heaven’s Devils, an elite Confederate marine unit praised for its nerves of steel and combat expertise. After making a stand against their corrupt commanding officer, the two men were forced to go AWOL or risk being unjustly prosecuted and resocialized.
Now, Raynor and Findlay are outlaws hounded by an unyielding interstellar marshal. Life, however, has never been better. Each day is another chance to pilfer more credits from the Confederacy’s deep coffers. Each night holds the promise of spending their hard-earned profits in bars, brothels, and gambling halls. But a man can only run so far before the law—and his past—catch up with him. . . .
Devils’ Due recounts an unforgettable period of Jim Raynor’s life as he descends into the Koprulu sector’s criminal underworld alongside the street-savvy Findlay. Here, far from his humble upbringing on the fringe world of Shiloh, Raynor will face some of the most trying challenges of his life. The decisions he makes will alter his destiny forever and put his father’s oft-spoken wisdom, “A man is what he chooses to be,” to the ultimate test.
Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay had been crooks living on New Sydney for about five years. They were driving vultures, attacked a train filled with credits. However, things began to go wrong from the start. They nearly didn't make it onto train, the car they boarded didn't hold the safe, and Raynor got distracted by his love of old things—specifically a jukebox. He declared they wouldn't leave the train without it. They stumbled upon a number of guards, but in the close quarters, the duo weren't afraid to use their fists. The guards were quickly defeated. Unfortunately, they found another obstacle at the safe, a Confederate Bureau of Protection of Monies and Valuable Items employee named George Woodley. Despite his situation, Woodley refused to surrender. Findlay nearly killed him, but Raynor pistol-whipped him. They blew the safe and stole the credits as the police sirens sounded. Raynor insisted on taking the jukebox, and as Findlay did most of the work, they loaded it onto his vulture. Seeing how slowly Raynor was now driving, Findlay offered to lure the police away while Raynor headed to their secret cave.
Findlay lured Marshal Wilkes Butler and several other marshals into the badlands while he played "chicken" with the harsh landscape, causing several to crash their vultures. Only two police officers were still in pursuit when Findlay was forced to bail before crashing into a rock wall. He faced down the police, threatening to shoot one to force Marshal Butler to surrender. Findlay even made off with Butler's vulture.
Meanwhile, former marine sniper Ryk Kydd had become a killer-for-hire. His target was Senator Westyn MacMasters. He was in turn ambushed by bounty hunter Ezekiel Daun, who used his cybernetic arm to strangle Kydd to death.
The duo met up and went to Wicked Wayne's, their favorite hangout. Raynor received a message from family friend Myles Hammond—his mother had refused to use the money that Jim had sent her, and was instead being helped by Farm Aid. Hammond told him to return to Shiloh as quickly as possible. Raynor sent a message back though, saying he couldn't go.
Meanwhile Findlay, sleeping with several women including his favorite Daisy (whom he never paid), was woken up by Cadaver, a minion of crime lord Scutter O'Banon's. O'Banon wanted to hire him. Raynor refused to have anything to do with O'Banon however. Instead, they accepted a job offer at Horley Barton Space Station, a task which required them to steal a spaceship.
The duo sent Daisy to speak to the marshal and offer him a "prize" worthy of the two planet-hoppers that the duo had stolen from the Red Mesa County Municipal Enforcement Department. As Marshal Butler was again humiliated, the duo stole a freighter which was carrying 15 cargo crates. They then traveled to an establishment called The Pit on the moon of Hermes. They made contact with the Screaming Skulls. The Skulls loved to party, and made a job offer on good terms. The duo accepted.
Back at Wicked Wayne's, Daisy offered Findlay his own "prize". However, it involved her chaining him to a bed and then threatening him with a needle filled with knock-out drugs. She taunted him, saying she had contacted Marshal Butler. An enraged Findlay broke the cuffs, knocked her out, and without taking the time to put on his clothes, pulled Raynor out of Wayne's. They traveled on Raynor's vulture to their secret cave, finding some poorly-fitting clothes for Findlay on the way.
The duo met the Skulls at an orbital scrap yard, Refurbish and Recovery Station 5034, outside of Confederate space. The Skulls wanted the duo to steal junker logs. The duo were informed by a station attendant, FitzGerald, that the station was suffering communication problems.
Inside the yard, the duo were suddenly locked in a room, where they found a corpse. They were then assaulted with holos of old friends Hiram Feek and Clair Hobarth being tortured. They were then shown the holo of Ryk Kydd. They had all been murdered by Daun, whom the streetwise Findlay recognized. The duo started to panic. However, they were still able to escape the situation with the help (and death) of FitzGerald, leaving an angry Daun to rage at them.
The duo realized they had been set up. Raynor had received another message from Hammond and wanted to go to New Sydney to respond, but Findlay opted to go to Dead Man's Rock instead, where they would seek Scutter O'Banon for protection.
At Deadman's Port, the duo sold their freighter for an insultingly low price, only to be ambushed by the same crooks they had sold the freighter to. They were rescued by "Cadaver" and his crew. Raynor said to let them live, but Cadaver took their money and weapons. The group went to O'Banon's massive complex, one large enough to hold several Old Families mansions. As Findlay set the deal with O'Banon, they had to ask protection from Daun. This put things in O'Banon's favor.
For the next few weeks, the duo tried to enjoy life. They spent a lot of time at The Silver Belle, where the exotic dancers actually attempted to act in a play with a plot which involved lots of simulated sex. At the cost of a bag of credits, Findlay even took over the lead role for a session.
Raynor felt guilty about working with O'Banon and not contacting Hammond. Eventually he arranged for a private encrypted transmission, but this annoyed O'Banon. He sent Cadaver to make his feelings clear. When Cadaver and his thugs tried to beat Raynor and Findlay, the latter fought back hard, injuring the attackers. Eventually O'Banon called the duo to him to give them their first job for him: retrieve a "package". On the way to Halcyon, Raynor insisted on stopping off at Shiloh first to meet Hammond in person. Findlay gave him a day.
Myles Hammond had become the mayor of Centerville since he had last met Raynor, and intended to become a magistrate of the colony of Mar Sara. He informed Raynor that the tens of thousands of credits he had sent for his parents weren't accepted, but Hammond had found a way to get some of the money to them. His mother, Karol, had used Farm Aid instead. However, she was suffering from cancer and would likely die soon.
Raynor met his mother. His father Trace had died some time back, but had left a final message to his son, saying he was disappointed in him and wouldn't accept his "blood money". Karol died that day.
The duo met at Skyway Starport, Halcyon, where they were given the data for their assignment—retrieve Andrew Forrest, a pharmacologist, and the formula for his "miracle" drug, Utopia. They went to Besske-Vrain & Stalz Pharmaceutical Corporation, posing as scientists. The physical security was intense, but the guards didn't take their jobs seriously. Forrest would take a sample of Utopia and most of the formula with him, but would keep part of it in his memory so he wouldn't be killed as soon as he stopped being useful. However, things went wrong when the power went out. Raynor and Findlay moved away from the door, but when it blew open, Forrest was killed. Seeing Ezekiel Daun, they shot him, but just hit a holo. Raynor tried to "surrender" but Daun wasn't fooled. As Findlay retrieved the sample and the almost-complete formula, Raynor threw a vial of acid at Daun's face, forcing him to retreat. The duo ran as the lab blew up behind them and made their escape.
At O'Banon's mansion they gave the data to Cadaver. O'Banon was displeased with them. Raynor stormed off as Findlay complained about his attitude. They finally agreed to leave O'Banon's employ, but needed a plan to do it.
Daun had lost his eye, and his contract to kill the duo had become personal. He arrived on Dead Man's Rock and ambushed Cadaver. He dictated terms through him to O'Banon, saying he wouldn't kill them as long as they were on O'Banon's turf, but would as soon as they left.
O'Banon told them the reason he had hired this duo of robbers—he wanted to rob 700 million credits from Covington Bank on Bacchus Moon. They would work with Ash Thompson, who wanted to dig into the bank from the damaged sewer system. The duo met Thompson and his goons, Rafe and Win, at Jack's Spot, to plan the robbery. Findlay disagreed with their plan. Thompson told them the bank had great security, which made it complacent. Furthermore, there was the huge Interstellar Marshals Convention going on, making it seem safer. Findlay suggested they walk in the front door and rob the place, then gave his plan. Thompson agreed, having little choice in the matter.
The robbers traveled to Bacchus Moon, secretly followed by Daun. They met with an Umojan high-tech criminal named Jennifer. She gave Findlay a quantity of technology which would foil the bank's defenses and deal with the "human factor" there. Unfortunately, as Findlay and Jennifer enjoyed themselves, Findlay and Marshal Wilkes made eye contact. The duo and Jennifer split up and fled. None of them were caught.
The robbers planned a "dry run" at Covington Bank. However the duo's cover was blown when they stumbled across George Woodley. He tried to call for security but Findlay activated his technology—an EMP device, which shut down security and released poisonous mechanical spiders to keep the bank's clients passive. Findlay gave out the threat as Thompson's men hid the evidence. They blew the vault and saw the loads of money. However, Woodley told them the money was due for Farm Aid, and he was surprised Raynor would steal it. Findlay had known about it. During the argument, Thompson had the spiders kill all the witnesses. As one moved toward Woodley, Raynor saved his life. Raynor dropped his money and tried to walk out, but Thompson shot him in the shoulder. Findlay immediately killed Thompson. The duo were forced to finish off the other two bank robbers. The duo then escaped up an elevator shaft, with Findlay pulling Raynor, who often fainted with the pain and had a poorly-functioning arm due to Thompson's shot.
Meanwhile Marshal Butler had spent time deciphering the robbery. He realized the target and was staking it out when the EMP device went off. He tried to call for help but his communications had been shorted out.
The duo made it to the safe apartment, but found a corpse, and many of Daun's holos. As Daun talked, Raynor was able to spot Daun's ocular implant. Daun revealed the name of his employer—Javier Vanderspool, Raynor's corrupt previous commanding officer. Raynor was stunned, but was able to shoot Daun before passing out from the pain.
When he awoke, the police were trying to break into the apartment. Findlay showed them their "escape plan", a single piece of high-tech armor which would make avoiding pursuit easy. While there was supposed to be enough for all five crooks, the sole piece had really been intended for Thompson. Findlay put Raynor into it, and told Raynor he would be doing the only noble thing he had ever done. Raynor jumped and fled. Meanwhile the cops broke in, only to see two bodies on the floor, an angry Findlay, and numerous holos. Findlay nearly defeated the cops but Wilkes was able to arrest him. Recognizing Daun, who was wounded but alive, Wilkes had him collared too.
Seven months later, Raynor had researched neural resocialization until he located Javier Vanderspool on Tarsonis. He got a "job" there as a "resocialized" employee. Raynor found Vanderspool, who was heavily wounded and forced to live in an iron lung. Vanderspool tried to beg for his life and offered money, promising not to attack Raynor. However, Raynor wasn't interested and believed that he would eventually target someone else. He then killed him with his Colt Single Action Army revolver and left it on Vanderspool's corpse. Afterwards, he returned to Mar Sara. While there, he was contemplating his future at a local bar when he met his future wife, Lidya, over a drink of lemonade.
- Main article: Devils' Due characters
- Edward "Cadaver" Baines
- Wilkes Butler
- Ezekiel Daun
- Andrew Forrest
- Myles Hammond
- Scutter O'Banon
- Karol Raynor
- Trace Raynor
- Ash Thompson
- Javier Vanderspool
- George Woodley
In addition to the story itself, Devils' Due features a StarCraft timeline detailing the chronologies of other lore products from 1500 to 2504 and references the timing of a few important events in the series.
The timeline featured in the novel contains the following possible discrepancies with older, generally less clear sources:
- According to the novel's timeline, Tychus Findlay was born in 2464. However, his StarCraft II statue page lists his D.O.B. as being four years later.
- According to the novel's timeline, the Kel-Morian Combine was formed in 2485. However, other sources depict its formation long before, including that of 2376.
- According to the novel's timeline, Arcturus Mengsk carried out an "overhaul" of the Ghost Program in 2500. According to StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Shadow Hunters however, this occurred later (c. 2502).
Golden, Christie (April 12, 2011). StarCraft II: Devils' Due. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). ISBN 978-1416-55085-3
Chapter One excerpt: Starcraft II: Devils' Due. Simon & Schuster. Accessed 2011-04-12 (excerpt).