Monday, January 9, 2017

Wilting Away (Part 1)

A mixture of noises filled the second floor of Acherus. From the patter of feet, both small and large, against the stone, to the sound of hammer striking metal over the anvils, the floor was positively abuzz with life. Down in the pit was the sound of wood splintering as weapons were tested on dummies, or the occasional grunt of a live target as a demon that had been hauled in from the Isles was used instead. It reminded him constantly of how insect colonies were supposed to work.

Because in spite of all the motion, nothing ever seemed to stop. People were zipping this way and that, going here, there, and everywhere. But there were surprisingly few collisions. Sure every now and then a ghoul or geist would make a faulty turn and run straight into someone carrying a large stack of ore or paperwork, but in the last hour that had happened something like twice. All things considered, he believed that to be some sort of record.

What wasn't a record was how long everything seemed to take these days. Just to get a simple piece of armor made he felt he needed to submit the proper forms two to three weeks in advance. Such was the burden of the Blade being active again. The services of the Siegemaster were actually in demand now, a fact that he let slip no one's attention. Not that being in business again was enough to stop Corvus from complaining. Every single task was rife with bickering over the smallest of details, be it the amount of ore needed for smelting, to how long something should cool off.

Elsewhere the other various vendors that haunted these upper halls were just as busy. Making sure that the various members of the numerous legions of the damned were all outfitted with anything they may need on the field was no small task, and last he had heard just to keep them all stocked was a massive undertaking unto itself. One being carried out by numerous alchemists being assisted by double their number in geist. Which, far as he thought, was a recipe for Acherus to soon have a massive hole blown in the side of it.

Not that any complaint he filed was going to get listened to. The Blade was far past listening to most of its officers. Instead they were listening to some 'Deathlord' he had never met, and was unlikely to ever meet. On top of that, far as he'd heard, the new Lich King had entered the picture. Based on the reports he had read, especially in regards to recent happenings at Light's Hope Chapel, nothing from the past few months left him with any positive light on upper management at the moment. If anything, his opinion had hit an all time low, with little sign that it was going to spike back up any time soon.

Closer to the landing, people continued to enter and exit the floor, the teleporter getting more use than it must have had in years. People from the front coming in to recuperate or retrieve something they had left behind. Others seemed to have acquired new weapons, probably picked from the fallen corpses of demons, and were in the process of applying new runes to them to make them viable for combat. Soon as they were done, it was back to the teleporter, probably to find a gryphon back to the front.

Redamous had had plenty of time to observe all of this. Mostly because he had been waiting here for the past two hours, back leaned against the wall, arms crossed. Because despite of all his early planning, what he had requisitioned was still not ready. It wasn't that long ago that he had submitted the form, but by now everything should have been processed. Hell, it should have been processed last week. But no, his head was going to go unprotected for a little while longer while he waited for Corvus to finally get to his order. Because he had known that helmet was bound to get smashed in. That was just something that seemed to tend to happen with his head. So it had gotten crushed, he had come to finally pick up the replacement, except there was no replacement to pick up.

And now he waited. Standing there against the wall. Watching. Or at least he had been, until some rock managed to hit him square in the head. Blinking, he pushed himself from the wall, squinting about the busy floor, until another rock hit him square in the back of the head. Rubbing the now sore spot with a short grunt, the Worgen turned, squinting into a pile of crates. A hand shot out from behind one of them, beckoning him closer. With more than a little anger, the Worgen slowly approached the crates, only for the hand to shoot out from behind them once more, grabbing him by the collar of his armor and tugging him back behind as well.

Entirely prepared for some sort of conflict, the Worgen raised a fist, ready to strike, though he quickly dropped it. He blinked a few times to make sure that he was seeing things correctly. Far as he could tell, yes, he was. Before him stood a familiar man, one Jeremy Simmons. An old brother-in-arms from the unit he had been attached to during his time in Northrend. A unit that had happened upon a rather unfortunate end, due to unforeseen circumstances, from which there had proven to be three survivors. Simmons was one of them, he was another, and the third was one Elena Wiltmend. Elena being nowhere to be seen. Something told him that that was why Simmons happened to be staring him down with a desperate look in his eye.

"Red," was all the other man could seemingly produce word-wise, staring the Worgen down, gathering his thoughts.

"...Simmons," Red said flatly in reply, after a short pause. There wasn't much else he could think to say. He could ask where Elena was, but something told him he was going to get told anyway.

"She's gone," Simmons said, tone hollow. Redamous blinked, bringing a clawed hand up to motion him on, an eyebrow shooting up as though to say "And?" Simmons took in a breath, "She ran off while we were crossing through Val'sharah."

Even if the name didn't immediately stick out to him, it didn't take long for the place to come rushing back to his brain. He knew Val'sharah well enough, on account of having been stuck there near the start of the campaign. Which had involved far too much time spent walking through far too many marshes for his liking. It was a rather large area, but not necessarily one that couldn't be covered. Which meant something worse.

He nodded slowly, actually speaking to ask his question this time, rather than rely on facial gestures, "...And?"

Simmons took in a breath, blue eyes flicking this way and that in panic, "She ran into that Suramar place. Ran off with some elves or something. Haven't been able to find her since."

Red nodded slowly, considering that for a moment. After that moment had passed, he turned, and began walking straight past the crates. Simmons blinked, following along after him, "Where the hell are you going?"

No comments:

Post a Comment