Monday, 24 September 2012

Navigating the Mists - Part 2: A World of Warcraft Short Story

Dr Loxley was lost. The men tracking his boat were drawing ever near, and he could hear their voices clearer with every passing moment.

He thought long and hard, he knew he had to make land, he also knew that he did not know which direction was the best way to go.

Loxley mused over this thought some more. If no direction is apparently better than any other, than all directions must be the right one!

He spun the wheel on the ship causing it to bank in the water before settling once again. This time he had no idea at all which direction he was facing, or even which direction the Alliance ships were in.

In that moment, Doctor Loxley fired his modified engines and the ship lurched forward with a new found speed.

The ice cold mist wracked his old face and he smiled a wicked smile. This was progress! Science never advanced through caution! No! It leaped in bounds with no attention to those around it or whatever stood in it's way.

These thoughts turned Loxley's smile into a grin, for the first time in years he felt like himself again, venturing into the unknown and striving to leave his mark on the world.

It was then however, lost in his own thoughts that the Island reared up ahead of him, a sheer rock cliff easily fifteen feet above his boat loomed out of the mists.

As the boat collided with the rocks and wood splintered and water soon enveloped him, Doctor Loxley smiled once again. At least he had gotten out of those damned Goblin Slums.

It was shortly after that he felt a rough tongue lapping at his face and the faintest whiff of preserving agent on his rescuer's breath. Opening his eyes he saw his faithful companion sitting on his chest forcing the water out of his undead chest.

"Archie!" He called out before gripping the part mechanical cat and hugging it for all it's worth.

His friend had saved his life, and not for the first time. My if the Doctor thought of every time Archie had brought him back from the point if death. Doctor Loxley paused in thought for a moment, he also realised that most of those occasions, it had been Archie who had put him into those moments in the first place...

But still, a faithful companion is a faithful companion, even if it is the cyborg body of a cat housing the still sentient brain of his old Dwarf assistant.

Sitting up, Loxley soaked up his surroundings, on all sides there were thick bushes, tall thin trees and a dense mesh of vines. The whole place appeared to be suffocated by the dense mist.

Readying himself, the Doctor got to his feet and began climbing the incline he had found himself on, even the sandy ground itself had been turned into a type of mud as the water filled air soaked into it.

With every step he felt exhaustion creeping in, but up ahead he saw what he was certain was the end of the rise. As if in agreement, Archie rubbed his furred cheek against Loxley's leg and darted off over the top of the rise.

With a final huff, the Doctor climbed to the top, and gazed in amazement.

Around him the mist had dissipated, and he was surrounded by a dense forrest, scattered around were the strangest of statues, they were reminiscent of the ancient Troll statues he had seen throughout Stranglethorn Vale, but where the Troll carvings were brutal and barbaric, these seemed peaceful and artistic. Ahead he heard the sound of running water, and hurrying through the trees he reached a meandering stream.

Here the water was as blue as the sky of Crystalsong, and reaching down, the clear crisp taste was unlike anything he had ever tasted.

Loxley smiled to himself, maybe he had died in the crash, maybe this was heaven... Beautiful surroundings, wonderful smells and sounds, and best of all, no short sighted Humans!

At that moment Archie jumped out from a near bush, his fur on end, his tail bushy and a high pitched hiss emanating from his throat.

"Archie my boy, whatever is the matt..." His voice trailed off as he looked ahead. Being lost in his thoughts he had followed the stream, and right now was no more than a foot away from the edge of what appeared to be a 100' drop.

Looking down and ahead Loxley was truly taken back, the stream was cascading down in a beautiful waterfall which glistened in the late morning sun, and ahead he saw sights he had never thought possible.

In the distance he saw what appeared to be familiar shapes, but he was clearly deluded, a trick of the light. So turning away from the glorious vista, he reached into his home made Pocket Space Device (TM) and started retrieving everything he needed to make his stay in paradise all the better.

Days passed, and much to Loxley's surprise, he took to living in the jungle surprisingly well. With the aid of Archie and his collection of inventions, there were very few things he had to go without.

Food was provided through fish from the steam and the exotic wild animals in the jungle, and whenever something bigger arrived, his patented cloaking device worked wonders for concealing his camp.

After nearly a week, Loxley was awoken by an all too familiar sound, buzz saws and axes. He raced back to the clearing by the waterfall, pulled out his monocle and set it to zoom mode.

Peering across a glade he saw those same familiar sights he thought he had seem when he first arrived, only now in clear focus there was no denying it.

Large warships sat in a crystal blue lagoon, each one bearing the red and black standard of the Horde. Surrounding the lagoon, what had once been a lush forest much like the one he currently resided in, was now a strip of bear tree trunks, their carcasses being carried away by goblin loggers.

A part of him welcomed this sight. The Horde had always welcomed him, and with hope he may even be reunited with some old feigns, but at the same time his dead heart sunk. He knew that this paradise he was in, the heaven he now called home and sanctuary, it would soon be torn asunder, as wherever the Horde went, it was only a matter of time until the Alliance followed.

Loxley swill owed hard as he accepted the inevitable. War was coming.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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