A Day in the Life of a Zergling

In high school, StarCraft was one of my most-played computer games alongside other online multiplayer favorites like Counterstrike and Worms 2. I can still recall the first time that I discovered the game. My friend and I had been up all night drinking cream soda and playing another Blizzard classic, Warcraft 2, when we suddenly noticed a CD tucked away under a pile of stuff. A strange, alien creature was silhouetted in blue on the cover, and the title was similar to the game we had been binging for the last several hours. “Wait a minute… is this Warcraft…but in SPACE!?!?!” We had to try it out right away. While we couldn’t even win one game by the time the sun started to come out the next morning, little did we know the journey on which we were about to partake. After a short time and several burned copies later, all of our friends were playing StarCraft and we were hooked.

A number of years later after writing my interview with a goomba, a friend challenged me to compose another video game-themed story. Knowing my extensive history with StarCraft, he prompted me to write “A Day in the Life of a Zergling.” Inspiration struck immediately, and below was the result of my feverish typing. I hope you enjoy!

I remember it like it was just a few minutes ago – because it was.

At first, there was just darkness. I could feel myself sort of pulsating, and at the same time, I was growing at an incredible rate. I wasn’t alone. Together, we were heaving against the walls of whatever was encasing us. It didn’t take long before – POP! The case burst around us, and we were suddenly propelled into this strange new world.

Almost immediately, my mind was filled with new information. Within seconds, I knew exactly what I was, and I knew everything that was happening around me. That’s the magic of hive minds. I learned that our race had just formed a new settlement close to a mineral patch that was recently discovered. I could see the drones already hard at work harvesting the minerals and taking them back to the hatchery. High above the hatchery were a couple overlords patrolling over the area. Even though I was far below them, I could still see in my mind what they were looking at. Before I knew it, one of the overlords shifted its direction and started making its way through a black area in the north. I couldn’t explain it, but for some reason I felt like its movement was a little unnatural – almost as if something else decided that the overlord should start moving northward. I thought nothing of it, and continued to observe what was happening around me.

Beside me this whole time was my brother, who came from the same egg as me. It appeared as if we were the first zerglings in the entire colony. Behind my brother was the spawning pool, which we both knew was the source of our origin. Just glancing at it made me feel like I could run faster or attack more aggressively…but I knew something was missing in order to make that happen. Beyond the spawning pool, a drone made its way to the outskirts of the creep. I got that same feeling that it didn’t go out there on its own accord. As soon as it reached the far edge, its body suddenly planted itself into the ground. It began to bubble and enlarge as if it were being filled with helium and sulfuric acid at the same time. I couldn’t really understand what was happening to it. After just a minute of watching this strange transformation, I realized I was no longer looking at a drone, but a full-fledged creep colony. I knew the drone wasn’t dead. It lived on inside the new structure. In fact, it WAS the structure… living and breathing just as every part of the colony does – including the buildings. Just moments later, the creep began jutting out further into the unknown territories beyond us. Our little colony was expanding right before my very eyes.

I heard an explosive sound to my right. An egg had burst and, in seconds, an overlord had floated high up into the air. Immediately after that, two other larvae that were next to us turned into eggs. Something big was about to happen, but I didn’t quite know what. Then BAM – it hit me. The overlord that had flown to the north had seen something, and just as it saw it, I saw it in my mind, too. There were three buildings. The first it saw appeared to be a large gray box. There were two men wearing red-robotic looking suits, and they were holding weapons of some sort. Next to that was a smaller building that appeared to be producing supplies for the men. Further along the way, there was something that looked similar to our hatchery. It was huge metallic building that was rounded at the top. All around it, machines were delivering minerals to a door in the back of it. Suddenly, I felt pain! Through the overlord, I glanced down at the ground. The two men had seen the overlord and were firing at it! I sensed that something made the overlord turn back. It slowly floated towards safety, but the men chased after it. I could feel the pricks of bullets piercing the skin as it flew. I knew it wouldn’t make it very far. Twenty more yards til it’s over the water. The men were relentless. Ten more yards. They kept firing. I could feel the overlord growing weaker. Five more yards. It was slowing down. Then… SPLISH. That was the last sound I heard before that part of my mind was shut off.

Without warning, I found myself running. My brother was with me, and there were four others like us. As I looked behind me, I could see our colony falling back into the horizon, and I just barely noticed the shells of two freshly hatched eggs lying next to the hatchery. I turned back around and focused on our destination. Although I could hardly see anything in front of us, I seemed to already know we were heading toward that area in the north. None of us made any noise as we ran swiftly into the darkness. As we made our way forward, the darkness would dissipate into nothingness and the fog would clear up immediately. It was quite magical the way this worked.

We had only run for maybe a minute, and I could already see the buildings in front of us. It didn’t look like they had very much built yet, but then again, I had only been alive for a few minutes myself and already was on my way to a battle. I felt a hint of red to the right of us and without thinking, we all started running toward it. It felt really strange how uniform our movements were. It was like someone had already decided for us that we should go over there and we were simply obeying the command.

The zergling on the far left was hit first, but it didn’t stop him from running. Moments later, all of us were surrounding the two men and clawing at them viciously. They didn’t stop firing either. The first zergling burst into a slimy green substance, and the men weren’t phased at all. They started targeting a second zergling as we kept on attacking them. One thing was for sure, their red armor was quite strong. The second zergling was hit, but not before getting one last claw attack in at the man who had shot at him. Almost simultaneously, they both burst into a curdling pool of slime and blood. The four of us focused our strength on the last remaining man. He shifted his weight and picked a new target amongst the chaos – my brother. I wouldn’t let him get my brother. I slashed at him viciously, never waning as I watched him unload a round into my companion. The other two zerglings had shifted their focus and were attacking the large building that the men seemed to be originally guarding. It was just me and my brother now – hoping that the man would perish before we did. It looked as if my brother couldn’t take anymore when I unleashed a final furious attack on the man. One, two, three hits and he let out a scream as his body had burst into nothing. It seemed we would be safe after all. Not a moment too soon, though, another man appeared outside the building. He shouted, “You want a piece of me, boy?!” and with that, took aim, and fired directly towards my brother. I couldn’t do anything about it. With no time to heal, my brother was a puddle of slime within seconds. Without haste, I ran straight towards the man. He directed his fire towards me and shouted wildly as he shot. “What do you want!?!” he screamed. I was all over him, slashing as fast as I could. The other two zerglings were dealing with a new problem as the robot harvesters were now trying to take them out. It looked like I was alone for this battle, although somewhere in the distance, I felt a new presence. I slashed, he fired… I didn’t think I could take him on very long by myself. Harder and harder I tried to take him down but it didn’t seem to be effective. I felt like I was at the end of my rope when suddenly, from behind me, I heard some noises. I looked back but saw nothing. When I looked toward the man again, he was covered in a thick, sticky goo. I heard the sounds again and saw more of the goo start to seep into his body. A moment later and he was gone. I turned about again to see where the source of this goo was coming from. There were hydralisks! There were two of them. I knew I had felt something!

They took no time in starting to ravage the buildings. Most of the harvesting machines seemed to be taken care of, and a few were trying to escape. I saw a zergling running after them. Our first target was the building the men were coming out of. It didn’t take long for us to turn it into shambles. With that out of the way, we turned all of our firepower to the hatchery-type building. Just as I had started unleashing hot fury upon it, it suddenly lifted off into the air. I couldn’t reach the building anymore and was abruptly directed to start attacking the other smaller building. Again, I don’t know why – it always felt like someone was making me do the things I did.

The hydralisks continued to shoot at the command center, which was still just barely in range of their venom. I could see that building was heading straight towards the water, just like our overlord tried to do at the start of those whole thing. With no defense, the floating building was an easy target for the hydralisk. Before I knew it, more hydralisk were pouring in and taking aim at the weightless structure. All the while I continued to hack at my building. The flying hatchery was just barely over the water when – BOOM!!! There was a bright explosion, and it was gone. The hydralisks immediately slithered over to me to help finish the job. It took maybe only five seconds and then – BOOM!!! Our building exploded. I thought perhaps it was time to celebrate but instead everyone just paused in their tracks. Then suddenly, the entire world froze. High above me I could see in the air some words:

“You are victorious! Continue playing? Save replay? End game.”

The last thing I remember was a huge arrow floating through the sky toward “End game.”

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Published by erichagmann

Arranger / Pianist / Vocalist / Educator / Gamer

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