The bikers passed by in dust and thunder. Battered and worn choppers with ”PWN!” registrations and bumber stickers, glow-engine tricycles with or without sidecars. Some wore flags, fluttering in the winds, others had adorned their vehicles with bones, horns – and skulls. The bikers drove too fast to get a good look at them but Naz caught long white hair, flowing in the wind, and black leather studded with spikes and bolts.
He moved up to the door, followed the flow of bikers with his eyes as they passed by. As the last one rumbled by he caught a quick glimpse of a dirty black woolen west on top of a crudely fashioned leather jacket adorned with a pale white face cut in half by a stylized shadow and the text LORDAERON MC in a semicircle above the logo.
The bikers rumbled out of sight. Then the stret grew quiet, but not for long. Soon, half a dozen squad cars passed by; blue and gold and white, flashing lights but no sirens. They followed the bikers down the street but kept their distance. All up and down the street people had stopped with whatever they were doing, watching the strange parade.
”Sweet Elune and Exodar crystals,” Speedy said behind Naz back and whistled. ”Ain’t seen forsaken like that in a long time!”
”Yeah,” Naz said and turned around. ”Wasn’t Azora supposed to be a sleepy little suburb?” He chuckled, nervously. Then he walked inside, and slumped down on a chair. ”guys, this is getting pretty f… This is scary, allright!?” He nodded, studying his hands. They were shaking. ”She knew my name … ”
”Wonder’s ‘f dem ghostriders got summ’un ta do witdda babe,” Benny said. His troll accent grew thicker; a lifetime living as a human among the Darkspear of Echo City had certainly rubbed off. ”Ya see ‘er ass din’tcha?” He chuckled. ”Hooo-eee ‘ missus ‘ad on’a doose!”
”Your too old for things like that,” Speedy said. He couldn’t help it, he chuckled. Then he burst out laughing, nodding eagerly. ”But yeah! Damn she was fine!”
”Oh please,” Naz grunted. ”Don’t mind me. Don’t mind a bloody death knight knew my name! Don’t mind a bloody posse of undead bikers going past! Next we know bloody Deathwing’ll walk right through the door or something!”
”Yep, ‘s the curse allright,” old Thrall said. He winked at Naz, chuckling an old mans chuckle. ”Hope dem’s cultist altar is comfy, young man. You on deir list you are!”
Naz grinned. Suddenly all his hasty scared paranoid fantasies seemed silly. He told himself it was nothing but a freak coincidence. He poured himself a Durotar cactuswine and tossed it back.
”Shit, not even ten a.m and I’m drinking,” he said.
”Drinkin’ on the job too!” Speedy laughed. ”Put that bottle away or we’ll be pissed by noon.”
At that very moment the phone rang. The first shrill bell-whistle signal made them all jump. At the second signal, Naz leaned across the counter and picked up the receiver, cutting the signal halfway short.
”Speedy’s Corner, how can I help you?”
”This is miss Kaelthas,” a rather sharp female bloodelf voice said. ”Is a … mr Nightwind there?”
”I’m him,” Naz said. ”Uh, speaking … Uh … Yeah, mr Nigthwind here?” He looked around at the others, thinking ‘this is it! An editor! Agent!’.
”Fine,” she said. ”I’m junior principal secretary at Anduin Wrynn Memorial, are you the father of Garrosh Nightwind? Class One E?”
Naz shifted weight in the seat, plucking the phone from one ear to the other. He nodded. Then he twitched.
”Yahuh,” he said. ”Uh, I mean – yes. Yes I am. Is there trouble?”
”The principal, mr Trias, would like to have a word with you about your son. As soon as possible please.”
”Has something happened!?” Naz straightened up, arms trembling. They always trembled when he got upset or nervous.
”Like I said, mr Trias would like a word with you.”
”You can tell me straight can’t you? What’s happened!?”
”I think it’s better if you talked to mr Trias, sir.”
”Don’t bullshit me! What’s happened!?”
”As soon as possible, sir. Good day.”
There was a click. The line went dead. Naz stared at the phone for a few minutes, then slowly replaced the receiver, not exactly sure about anything anymore. This as one freaky day allright. He looked at Speedy and the others, stood up and said:
”’twas the kids school. I … The principal wants a talk.”
”About what?” Speedy said, looking worried.
”She didn’t say.” Naz looked around, feeling perplexed. Then he dug out his arcpad from the front pocket, flipped it open and hit the speed dial. All he got was a pre-recorded message –”Hi, you’ve reached Thissa-Lee Nightwind, I can’t take your call right now but leave a message and I’ll get back soon!”.
”I need to go,” Naz said, stufing the arcpad back into his pocket. ”Guys, I … ”
”Go allready!” Speedy said, giving Naz ‘get out of here’-gesture with his hands. ”Ain’t nothing happenin’ here anyway!”
Naz nodded, hurried out on the street and hailed a cab. The street had returned to normal now. People going in and out of stores and houses. Cars driving by. Nothing unusual, nothing at all. Twenty minutes later Naz hurried up the steps to the dull, grey stone building not far from the Redrige Bridge and made his way to the principals office. Every time he came here, to the school, be it for meetings or whatever, he never quite could shake the feeling that the building resembled a prison, not a school. The windows were narrow, the doors reinforced with iron and steel. The only thing missing was bars on the windows. The interior smelled of floor polish and sweaty sneakers. Classes were in session so the corridors were empty. Only the faint sounds from behind closed doors whispered through the well lit hallways.
The anteroom to the principals office was just as dismal as the rest of the school. File cabinets, desks, the reception counter – everything looked old and worn. As he stood there, not sure who to speak to, he regretted his own stubborness. Thiss had tried to convince him to enroll the kids in a private school but he had talked her out of it. The pale, slim bloodelf with her explosively red hair and pitchblack dress looked displaced in the worn-down surroundings.
She looked up at him from behind her desk. She did her best not to smirk and managed a short smile but it was clear to Naz she had formed an oppinion in an instant. Poor green trash, her face said. Bad dad, her face said. Bad apples – all that jazz.
”Mr Nightwind?” she said.
”Uh,” Naz said, cleared his throat and nodded. ”Yes. I … I’m supposed to meet with mr Trias?”
”A moment, please.” She hit a buzzer. A door at the far side of the room opened. ”Mr Trias is expecting you, sir.”
”What’s all this about?” Naz said, hesitating halfway through a step.
”Mr Trias is waiting, sir.” She smiled, not a very friendly smile. ”You don’t want to keep mr Trias waiting.”
”Guess not,” Naz said.
He stepped into the principals office with an ever increasing sense of dread.