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UPRISING

Micky Neilson

POCKET BOOKS
New York London Toronto Sydney Singapore

O

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue ofthe Americas, New York, NY 10020 Copyright © 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 ISBN: 0-7434-1898-0 First Pocket Books Ebooks Edition November 2000 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

POCKET and colophon are registeredtrademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Cover illustration by Roman Tenney Visit us on the World Wide Web: http://www.SimonSays.com

I would like to give my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the people who have been and continue to be instrumental in shaping my life: to my brothers, Sammy, Rider, Eric, and Tony. Thank you always. To my love, Tiffany, thank you for being a pillar of strength. A specialthank you also goes out to: Chris Metzen, for his continued faith in my talent; to Allen Adham, Paul Sams and Mike Morhaime for their endless support; to Marco Palmieri at Pocket; and to all my co-workers, my friends, you know who you are. Thank you. Finally, I would like to thank my father, Shihan Calvin Neilson, for always allowing me to exercise my imagination.

CHAPTER 1

The SEEDS OFREBELLION

THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF EVERY PERSON’S life, a large-scale catastrophe is certain to occur. At some point, fate will hand each of us the ultimate test: a tragedy so profound and so inescapable that it will forever alter the remaining course of the life affected. This event will have one of two outcomes. The man or woman confronted with the catastrophe may be defeated in the test, andlive the remainder of their life as a shadow of the person they once were. Or a person might transform and become strengthened by their experience, transcending all self-imposed limitations and flourishing in a way they had never deemed possible. Arcturus Mengsk was one such man. He had overcome a tragic event in his life, and now it had changed him, forever molded him into a being of single-mindedpurpose and unshakable determination. Lesser men
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would have been broken by the tragedy. Lesser men would have just given up. But lesser men did not take their place in the proud annals of Terran history. During his formative years, young Arcturus would often awake from dreams in which he had seen himself as a figure of importance, a preeminent leader ofmen. Mostly, Arcturus would dismiss the dreams as whims of an overactive imagination. In the waking world, Arcturus did not see himself as the leader-type at all. He didn’t care about the affairs of others; he didn’t care about the Confederacy. All he cared about was serving his time in the Confederate military and how much money he might be able to earn as a fringe-world prospector when that timewas done. He had certainly done his duty, and, lack of desire to lead notwithstanding, had ascended to the rank of colonel before the climate changed; before he realized he was not fighting for what he believed in, and of course, before the tragedy. Now, in the wake of the tragedy, things had changed. Arcturus’s self-perception had changed; the man he once saw himself as seemed no more than adistant relative. Now Arcturus was on his way to becoming the man he was in his dreams. For the most part, up until now, it had all been about preparation: keeping in constant communication with his colleagues in the underground network on Korhal (although they had become so vocal and overt as of late
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that the term “underground” no longer applied);...
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