Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Me and Aldaris (p18): Wings of Liberty

Aldaris stopped the program.  He'd had enough.  First of all, the converter program that enabled him to see human data was in english, and he hated not being able to comprehend the letters.  He could make the program play and stop, but it was such a hard time trying to fast forward or rewind to a specific point.  That, and for some reason it was only barely light enough to see what was going on.  The Judicator guessed that he probably had an old program, and that possibly Protoss intelligence had already found a better version that was simpler in form.  As it was, he simply couldn't read how to make it work properly.

But neither did Aldaris particularly care.  Starcraft 2 was every bit as terrible as Bethany had claimed, and worse.  Or perhaps humans found it entertaining.  After all, it was meant to be a game, not a film, and it certainly wasn't meant to ever be shown to a Protoss audience.

Aldaris tapped the controls, and the human data disc ejected.  Holding the disc briefly and examining its shiny exterior, Aldaris considered breaking it.  Alas, he wasn't in the mood.  Destroying the thing would in no way erase the images from his head, and what he had seen.  Sure, most of it was just the tedious conflict between Raynor and Mengsk, which Aldaris cared very little about.  He attempted to read Bethany's summary of the plot, but if he couldn't handle the brief english of a video program, then even her failed attempt at brevity was almost entirely a mystery.

Still, Aldaris put the disc back in the plastic cover....and threw it on the floor with the other trash.  Though all those random Earth items had long since been cleaned out (left to burn in Earth's atmosphere), the floor of his engine control room was now covered in piles of Protoss technology.  Nearest to the far window, and the padded seating where a timid Cheonha had sat some months ago, was the pile of things that had to go back into the ship.  The pile in the middle of the floor, and the bigger of the two, was the trash pile; the conglomeration of things that had been shorted out, used up, or were just plain unnecessary.  A third pile, not quite as large as the others, lay at the foot of Aldaris' chair.  It was the stack of things he didn't understand the purpose of, and therefore couldn't get rid of.  About half of it he was almost certain could be scrapped, but without complete certainty he was stuck with the stuff.  No sense in getting rid of anything when the nearest replacement was a universe away.

Aldaris was tired.  Tired of the mess in his engine room, tired of cleaning it up, and most certainly tired of Starcraft.  He didn't understand it at all, and what little he could understand was extremely offensive.  The Taldarim were never so simplistic as they were portrayed in Wings of Liberty.  He'd known a few himself.  Still, a nagging doubt refused to subside.  Them, working with the hybrids?  It was impossible!  But then again, there were those "Protoss renegades" in the secret mission of Brood War that had somehow given Protoss technology to Duran.  They had to be someone, unless that technology was stolen.

After a moment of thought, Aldaris rolled his eyes.  He couldn't possibly take Wings of Liberty seriously.  Not only had they changed Raynor's motivations from the first game -- motivations which Aldaris knew for a fact were accurate -- and made him some kind of rebel leader.

Raynor is no rebel.  Aldaris glowered as though the human were in front of him.  He flees his own kind because he does not believe he can change them.  He is an ineffective coward.

It was an unfair accusation, but Aldaris didn't care.  If Raynor really had kidnapped Mengsk and allied with Kerrigan just to defeat the United Earth Directorate, just like the games said, then what little faith Raynor had earned from Aldaris was gone.  Whatever the Directorate was, Aldaris refused to believe it was worse than Kerrigan or Mengsk.

Of course, I am relying too much on THIS.  Aldaris rose from his chair and stood above the trash pile.  There was the disc, lying right on top.  This detritus that claims the Zerg were "good" all along, and that the carcass of the Overmind would not have rotted entirely in four year's time.  And however cowardly Raynor is, attacking Protoss simply for the sake of artifacts and money is not the least way a part of his nature.

There were so many things about Wings of Liberty that confused Aldaris.  For one thing, why did Kerrigan hide away for so many years?  If those artifacts were so important, why didn't she come and get them right away?  Why didn't Raynor get immediately suspicious when a group of Protoss wanted to defend them? Aldaris had never heard of these artifacts, and was certain he would have done so unless they were specifically Dark Templar in origin, which the game did not indicate.

For a moment, the Judicator was uncertain.  Here he was, in a world where apparently the history of the K Sector was written out with surprising accuracy.  Bethany seemed to know a lot about Starcraft, and Toby was probably finished with the Zerg part of Starcraft 2 already.  John knew something about Starcraft as well.  Simply put, there was no reason why Aldaris couldn't find out anything he wanted to know.

Aldaris, no longer in doubt, retrieved the disc from the pile and took it out of the plastic case.  The case fell back into the pile, and after a snap, so did both halves of the disc.

If the humans that made this do not care, then neither shall I.

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