Apocalypse Rogue

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Shattrath. Shit. I’m still in Shattrath. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in Hellfire. Every day I spend at this inn I get weaker. It’s as if my body is losing it’s agility. I can’t bend as I used to. My work-out isn’t working, probably because I’m in a constant mood of desperation. I drink to sleep. I sleep so I don’t have to wait. See, this is what it’s like being a “temporal operative”. A few weeks ago they pulled me back. I was home, but when I was home I wanted to be over here. When I’m here …

I want to be over there.

My name is Caliss Starshadow. I’m a temporal agent. this is my diary – and I hope no one will ever read it. This is the only way I stay sane. I write. I drink. I stay alive.

Temporal agent … taste those words. It’s like … a wet dream of office speak, deep in the bowels of Stormwinds Old Town. What it means is this: SI:7 is in cahoots with the Bronze Dragonflight and what could possibly go wrong with something like that? Oh, I know there’s a Horde side to it. I’ve met blood elves and orcs in the same game as me. Just like me, most of them are going crazy. Most of them are itching to get out.

They sent me straight into the heart of darkness, hoping that maybe I could find something that could stop what’s happening. To be honest: I’m not smart enough to understand their plan. I don’t think anyone is. Maybe Chromie knows, but I’m pretty sure that Trias has a big question mark above his head.

So I’m here. In Then. In Shit, right. Shattrath. I’m here … pretending that the mercenaries I see and the mercenaries I fuck are all history. Heroes – tales. I slept with a night elf huntress the other night. She was heading for Shadowmoon and was in need of some R&R. Oh, I’m sure she knew I wasn’t from “now”. It’s like I’m walking around in an invisible time bubble. My weapons, my armor – all of it is just too … powerful. It’s to powerful for this world, because this world is already dead.

I hate this place. Send me back, as Grammz, a void walker I once met, said. So I did. A cut through his neck and all that was left was his metal shoulderguards and a echoing whisper – “Back … to the Void!”.

Grammz was lucky. It – I don’t know if rogue voidwalkers have genders – knew already, knew what I have come to realise. Outland is dead. The only thing that keeps it going is violence and sex. I learned that fast. When a world is dying, all that remains are the primal instincts. Kill to live. Fuck to be alive.

I met a goblin the other day. She was on a short stop to my version of Shit. She was on a dragonflight retainer, digging up secrets, all that stuff. She told me about Draenor. She told me about mountains of gold, of beaches made of pearls, layered so thick a handful would make you rich beyond belief. Like Outland, she was full of it. I know that. Still, her tales of paradise kept me going through another set of drinks. She didn’t mind spending the night on a blanket in a tent, with me, in Lower City.

I don’t play by the rules. That’s why SI:7 wanted me. So I didn’t kill her. I should have fucked her, I guess, I could have (she was a “nelfie fan girl” as she said; fuck, I hate that slur – nelfie!). We slept instead, cuddled up for warmth, protection and basic life. You sleep better if you can feel someone’s pulse. She snored, but I don’t blame her. I snored too the first couple of nights. She was jet lagged. Timeline disease, it plays havoc on your system. I slept for fortyeight hours straight when I got here, I didn’t even wake up for a privvy visit (if you tell anyone I’ll cut your damned throat and feed you with your larynx!). Now I’m lucky if I can sleep three hours a night without nightmares. Outland does that to you. There’s three things left in Outland: Sex, death and sleep. I sleep as good as I can. I’m killing anything that wants me dead. I’m visiting “the places”, if you know what I mean. The tents in Lower City, where you can get it on for a silver because people are hungry and frightened. Skin on skin is comfort. If you don’t put up, you’re dead – that’s how it is in Lower City. Might as well get paid for the rape, right?

I’m losing my mind here. I need to get out! I can’t even hear Elune anymore!

We’re dying here, you know. Every day there’s a new story of a chunk of land dropping off. Everyday there’s a story about someone going into a bar or a clinic or a temple, opening up with a heavy caliber in each hand because Death is the only thing that’s left. It’s sort of a sport among the despairing people. Take out as many as possible – maybe death won’t be as lonesome then. Some of the nutjobs I’ve done in – because I’m on contract to do them before they do someone else – have been here for twenty years.

Twenty years of death. No wonder they go nuts.

I’m the sanitation worker of the Naaru. Tell that to your motherfucking draenei friends. Me, a night elf, once called “the scourge of Darnassus”. Yeah … I have a reputation. Deal with it.

I’ve been here six weeks (I think it’s six weeks). I’ve been here, in a world that should not exist. Thanks a fucking lot, Chromie. I need to get out of this place. Killers, fanatics and crazies – this is what the world will look like when it is about to die. I need to see Azeroth again. Some of the people I put down make the Defias look like pre-school bullies. Some of the cults I’ve dismantled over here, in Outland, would make the Twilights blush in embarassment. There’s a broken in Lower City who gorge on filth … let that tell you what you need to know. There’s covens of cannibals. There’s covens of deathspeakers. There’s covens of draenei warlocks … and there’s rumors of an exarch gone mad, hidden away in the bowels of the ruined Auchindoun.

They need to pay me way more than they do if they excpect me to go there. One of the orc beggars close to the temple told me something. I’m not the superstitious kind but his words got to me. He said, he did:

“The dead grows … fearful. Something truly dark … is coming.”

Then he flipped his dreadlocks at me, throwing a handful of scrying bones on the ground, and hissed:

“Prepare yourself!”

See, this is why I drink to sleep. This is why I hope that they will pull me out. FEAR has gotten hold of me. I fear the worst thing possible, for an agent in Outland. I fear … I fear that …

I am not prepared.

Diary of a goblin Niece: Introducing – Spéedy Paddlefeet

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“Look, kid,” uncle Speedy did one of those dramatic sighs. His old chest heaved. He huffed up his green cheeks, then released a stream of kajamite-laced and garlicy breath across the table. I tried not to cough. My eyes were already watering from the cigar smoke, heavy as a Tanaan mist. He took his time flipping off the ashes from the fireweed cigar (most of it was just ordinary tobacco but uncle always tells me it’s important to keep people in the dumb). Then he stroked back his tuft of greasy black hair with one hand and for a moment studied his nails. With a quick glance at me, he gently grabbed the cup of kaffa and sipped. His golden eyes suddenly pinned me to the chair with a hard, businesslike stare. “I’m a businessman, you’re my niece. Can’t have you prancing around. It’s bad rep, you know.”

When uncle Speedy sighs you know the beach party is over. We didn’t even have a beach party. Fucking Booty Bay is all seaweed and weed. Half the enforcers are more stoned than earth elementals. See, it’s the only way to dull the pain from all the beatings. Every time an insane guy or gal comes to Booty it’s clobber time. The enforcers are usually the one’s ending up clobbered. Trust my uncle. He was one of them, before he opened his emporium. That’s why I tried to avoid his breath. There’s no way you can avoid his stare. You don’t mess with a former champ, who once took down a human warrior with nuthin’ but his breath. They still talk about the shade of green the human turned, once uncle was on his chest, trying to resurrect him with some CPR.

“Look, allright, this is the way of the land ’round here, dollface,” Uncle spat a leaf that had caught between his front teeth, once he managed to wiggle it free with his tongue. “Ain’t no relative of mine gonna go down on the pier showing her wares, allright? So … Amma get you a job, sweetie.” He smiled, yellow teeth the size of pebbles, lined with gold. “Awww, don’t look so whorefied!”

“It’s ‘horrified’,” I said. Sometimes a girl have to stand up to her uncle. He’s old, he’s not in line with modern modes of communication. The last one who called me a you-know-what spends his days trying to untie the sixhundred knots at the bottom of the Exodar harbor. Yeah, you read that right. Exodar.

I’m a draenei in spirit. Lucky me that gold is always welcome – even among the fervent believers in the Light. Of course, I should have known my uncle already knew this. His next comment made me rock back in the zebra-pattern chair, gasping.

“They got a contract on you, you know.”

I should have said something, but I couldn’t. I had heard rumours, sure, but I never paid them any attention. Tons of traders in Azuremyst have connections and ties to Booty Bay. You ever wondered where the draenei got those XT-90 heatsinks, that could only be manfucatured by robots in Ulduar (robots that officially was no longer in working order)? Uh-huh. Booty Bay. Exodar is a fucking goblin rocket. No one pretends it is, but it is, you know. Besides, the beaches are nice. I just wish I could fill a cup like them draenei can but I have to wool it up, you know. I’m of small stature. In many ways.

“Beeran,” uncle said. “He’s not very happy with you.”

I should have guessed. Chief Engineer Second Grade Beeran, or as the girls called him, “Horny Smalls”, was connected. Yeah, sorry honey, I know you’re a purebread bluey and I know you don’t want to know what goes on below deck, aight, but that’s the way it is, horney girl. We “guest workers” – night elves, humans, Trizz (she’s a gnome), we see what you don’t pretend exist. Shit, even the redeemed broken are itching for some exotic flesh. Brave new world they come to and all. There’s a rumour below deck that if you lick the space between your index and long finger while looking at a female dwarf she knows exactly what you want. It usually ends up with another broken being maced but hey, you know, Right?

Uh-huh.

So unc’s got me a job. It wasn’t much but it was something. It kept his rep clean and it kept me out of harms way. He even settled things with Beeran; something about chromoflux converters, which could only be obtained in Then, so someone had to Go Back to Tempest Keep and pry them loose from a crystal wall. Weird stuff. Uncle does things like that all the time. He’s got a retainer with the bronze dragons. Like uncle sometimes say, “I got what you want!”. It’s amazing what kind of things people want. Gyrochronometers, ciphers of unimaginable power (some orc was looking for one, we gave him a puzzle box uncle’s scavengers ‘found’ somewhere in Icecrown). Crazy things. Oh, and sex of course. Uncle can get you a hyena bitch in heat if that’s what you want. Uncle can get you Anything You Want.

Chromie is one of my uncs regulars, thought she always cheats him because no one but Chromie can be absolutely sure what ‘an hours rate’ actually is … temporally speaking. Is temporal the word? I don’t know, I went to Kezan HS, and we never actually cared about anything but lipstick and pushing Mixt because she was fatand bounced in a funny way down the stairs. That’s why I … well. Screamed. Like a girl. Not very befitting a goblin bruiser but dammit, she scared the crap out of me.

Mixt, that is. I was doing the night beat. I do the night beat because that’s when things are slow and tired. Pirates on their way back to the ships are too drunk or fucked up to care about brawling. Those insane people, orcs and tauren and what have you, they don’t like fighting brusiers in the dark. So the harbor is quiet. Just me, the sleepy rats and John Slobber (he took a canonball to the head a few years ago and ever since then he’s been talking to Invincible, his invisible horse).

Mixt stepped out of the shadows just in front of me. All black, clothes I mean. Tiny red eyes staring at me from the depths of cloaks and shadows. I noticed the glimmer of steel in her hands.

“Hello, Speeds … ” she said. Well, whispered.
“Uh … Mixt?” I said.
“Beeran sends his regards,” she said.

I nodded, still a bit suprised and to be perfectly honest – too daft to react in a proper, violent way. I’m not a violent girl. Then I said something I probbably shouldn’t have said. Goblin brains don’t always think faster than our lips move, you know. So I smiled and said:

“You’ve lost weight!”

All in all, only my uncle can get away with comments like that. Me? Well, let’s say I was due for some needlework, once the dayshift found me in the morning.

(Credit goes to the commenter Ezria from the daily Blizzard Watch feature “the Queue”, who bravely danced and pranced in Booty Bay despite the fact Ezria belongs to a PvP server.)

T-Day: Fragments from a healer (Tanaan invasion, june 23)

Private Courre couldn’t stop staring at the sign that was painted on the inside of the iron doors. He was in the first row of mariners and soldiers, less than three feet from that sign. As the Hungry Riverbeast rose and dived in the surf just off the coast of Tanaan, that sign was burning a hole in his mind.

STAND CLEAR WHEN DOORS OPEN. PLEASE.

He took a step back – and a hand clamped down on his shoulder. It wasn’t a hard grip, just a soft hand, fingers gently pressing through the cloth of his uniform. He felt the chill from that touch, a chill seeping through his cloth armor, penetrating his skin, turning his bones brittle. Or so he thought.

“Stay behind me … priesss …t.”

The voice was rough, as if unusued for many years. Courre turned his head slightly, as he did he caught a glimpse of other soldiers. All of them stared straight in front of them. Some chewed Fireweed, some grit their teeth, some was pale as ghosts. Most of them prayed. None of them looked at the line of death knights behind them. All those men and women, all of them so young. Courre was eighteen, he was the oldest of his platoon.

The first wave broke across the bow of “the Beast” with a crash of water. Then everything happened very fast. Shrieks in the air, shells landing in water. Detonations of fel grenades sending pillars of water skywards, crashing down in a salty rain. The “pew pew pew” or fel missiles close above their armored heads. A tremendous blast of energy rocked the ship sideways as a fel grenade exploded right in the middle of another transport – a horde one, it was a combined assault.

The rain of sea water turned red.

Thunder rolled in from behind. Dozens of battleships opened up in a single line of fire and smoke. Dumpsters – the guys called the howitzer grenades dumpsters because of their size – rocketed across the burning sky, turning the beach into a thick cloud of smoke and dust. The sound was deafening. It made his teeth clatter.

The cold grip tightened around his shoulder.

“Stay low. Move quickly. Don’t shoot. Find cover.”

“I’m scared … ” he whispered.

“Good!”

Then the metal hull of the Hungry Riverbeast ate the sands of Tanaan and the doors opened. Courre would be hard pressed to remember just what happened then. There was a rain of green things, ripping everyone apart around him. He scampered across soft, bleeding meat as someone screamed “OVER THE SIDE!!!”. For some reason he couldn’t stop staring at the severed hand, caught in the doors now open. Someone hadn’t stood clear. Someone screamed in his own voice.

Then the cold hand clamped down on his forearm. The pain was so intense it closed him down almost completely – cauterized, by frigid Northrend cold.

“MOVE!!!”

The hand pushed him. He stumbled down, fell into the waisthigh water and almost toppled over. He raised his hands, one arm from the elbow down missing, and was about to scream when that cold hand on his shoulder pushed him forward.

“You wanna live forever!?”

He turned his already fading eyesight at her, shaking his head. Then he slumped to his knees, holding the stump of his one arm in his living hand.

“I’m sorry.” he said.

“Waste of fucking space, you are!”

As he slumped forward, that cold hand shot out and grabbed him by his neck. He was barely alive when he finally came to rest against a pile of dead gnomes and tauren. Then the death knight grabbed his head in both her hands and kissed him.

“Rise!”

Courre rose. Twitching, groaning, slobbering – he stumbled forth, sending cascades of holy power in front of him.

He would not speak of his resurrection, not to no one.