“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?
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.)