Oct 29th 2009 1:48PM Thank you for your responses. I'm glad the story was worthy of your time. =)
Fogive my usage of hyphens, but that's a matter of a strong habit. Any tips and comments are, of course, welcome.
I also feel I must specially thank Lisa Poisso for selecting my story. Seeing it on wow.com certainly made my day. =)
Oct 24th 2009 8:42AM Oh, sorry, I forgot the intro =)
Since this particular battle is a rather interesting one, I decided to elaborate, so here is a small story for you from a bit of an alternate standpoint. Enjoy =)
P.S. Thank Goodness and wow.com staff I wasn't limited in length. =)))
Oct 24th 2009 8:39AM Yes, he knew this presence. He felt it only few times before, but beings of metal and lightning did not forget things easily. After all, his body was a masterpiece, one that probably surpassed all of the Titans’ creations left on Azeroth in terms of fine craftsmanship. Not only had he known the appearance of his guest the moment the latter stepped into the Halls, he also was easily reading his intentions. Even if not for his mind sensors, it wasn’t hard to tell that the Spider King came here to kill him. For a being of such ambition, the Lich King was even late to try and eliminate his most immediate rival, the Old God, because both of them were not the type of beings that liked to share power, and the Prime Designate knew that he stood somewhere between them, and that sooner or later he would have to face the forces of the Scourge. And he would defeat them. The mere thought that imperfect beings of flash, moreover, stripped of whatever little order remained in them in life and raised as malformed, wicked beings, would challenge him, the Titan perfection incarnate, was ludicrous enough to make the giant smile. He rose from his throne just as the former Nerubian monarch emerged from the ground before him in all of his savage grace.
- It’s been some time, traitor, - growled the King with an anticipating smile.
- Yes, it has, traitor, - answered the Prime Designate.
- I believe you have declined the offer of my Master...
- Loyalties of beings like myself are not altered easily, Nerubian.
Anub’Arak let out a short condescending laughter.
- I’m sure, your former Lords would find your statement preposterous, - he said.
- And you, a foul twisted being of decaying flesh, would question my logic? The Pantheon had sealed its faith the moment they went wrong enough to let the strongest of them go against them. But you know that very well, don’t you? After all, your own Master too has been created by the power of the Supreme Titan, the future Lord of the universe...
- And yet another traitorous dog, like you. If your Sargeras and his petty Legion would not appear to be insignificant, the Lich King would not seize to serve them.
- Oh, but there are others he can start to serve, there are others. Those, that can see into you, those that have control over your mind, that can touch your fears and bend your wills. Those that can call you, and you would not refuse…
Loken paused for a moment, as if waiting for something to happen, however, as seconds passed, his sensors failed to register the usual fear and sense of loneliness and despair that grew strong within beings being seduced by his Lord.
- What? - questioned the King, - your witless God should have started talking to me by now? Where is your perfect Titan-crafted logic to tell you that I would not have been foolish enough to come here without proper warding from his machinations? Oh, you didn’t think we possessed such technology? - Anub’Arak now switched to an outright mocking tone, - Want me to feed you some input data, little misguided mechanoid?
Loken smiled once again.
- Your attempts to infuriate me are as futile as your petty struggle against forces you cannot even comprehend, - he answered with the calmest possible voice, - In the end you all shall be serving one Great Master or another, and tiny rebels like the Lich King will be inevitably crushed and swept away by beings of higher accord and higher existential status.
The rippling sound of hundreds of small legs finally materialized into a sea of the King’s faithful minions, that emerged behind him and flown around, encasing him and taking battle positions between him and their iron rival.
- Alas, you won’t last long enough to see, - said the King, - but I would gladly bet that you’re wrong. In the end all free beings will serve no masters, but the ones they wish to follow, or they will choose a calm and cold embrace of death. Either way, the servitude of feeble-minded fools is the best thing your so-called Masters can dream of, because they are not true leaders, but a pathetic bunch of voracious parasites that just happened to be born larger and older than everyone else...
- You fool! - uttered Loken, discharging his primary capacitors into a bolt of arced lightning that immediately turned several of the King’s minions into ash and jumped on to hit Anub’Arak himself.
He knew that the rage he suddenly felt was not his own, however his own was his fascination with the Titan technology. Not only they modeled behavior of their creations after actual living beings, enabling them to feel emotion, but also did it accurately enough to make their thinking processes vulnerable to foreign influence. However infantile, such a decision and the quality of its implementation was magnificent, and for a thousandth time the Prime Designate thought that in a world with no evil his former Masters would make for a wonderful ruling race.
In the meantime Anub’ar warriors rushed in to flank the giant, leaving his front open for an assault of their King. Loken backed a little, discharging more lightnings to thin the numbers of his attackers. Their darts and bladed limbs weren’t strong enough to cut through his armor; however the corrosive spit of the venomancers appeared to be melting through his skin mildly, but just a bit too much for comfort. Anub’Arak himself joined the battle, charging at the Prime Designate, slashing against his metal limbs with huge mandibles and letting out swarms of smaller venomous insects to help his warriors gradually melt his antagonist. Precisely parrying the King’s moves with his left hand, Loken continued to easily electrify the flankers with the right. As he activated his Pulsing Shockwave, he noticed how darters and venomancers immediately moved closer to him. He couldn’t help but to smile. His enemies were quite well prepared, and probably would be able to best him if they kept this up for a couple of hours. Not that his Master’s faceless guardians would be that late to claim their prize. However petty his opponent was, Loken felt certain sympathy for the old dead King. It stinged him just a bit to imagine what Yogg-Saron would do to the Nerubian, but he knew that it would be for the best of all. Just as another wave of Nerubian warriors rushed in, he felt how his spinal capacitor cascade came to a complete charge and with a content feeling started to cast his devastating Lightning Nova. He steadily counter-polarized the emitters encircling his chest with ionizing field around him, readying the primary conduits for a monstrous surge of electricity at the same time. He raised his hands, intensifying positive polarization field with additional ionizers in his palms and carefully reading the potential difference between matter of his victims and the tyrannous electromotive force locked in his body. The moment he felt it was enough he connected the primary conduits, letting the radial equi-synchronous relay that he called a heart distribute and channel a storm of unruly electrons into his surroundings, effectively converting his unlucky attackers into a mix of dust, smoke and memories.
The next moment it was over. Only the strongest of his attackers were still barely alive, moaning in agony around the room. Anub’Arak himself was nowhere to be seen. Loken knew that he had escaped, but how far? And for how long? He carefully scanned his surroundings, trying to find traces of his opponent in a hall that he was sure now smelled like ozone. Just as he was nearing a conclusion about the Nerubian’s whereabouts, a titanic spike emerged from the ground beneath him, all but ruining his left leg. Loken looked down with discontent and pity. Repairing this damage would take a day or two after this was over, and a perspective of spending that much time with impaired mobility didn’t seem very pleasant to him. As his sound sensors registered a familiar noise, he turned to face a new wave of tireless Nerub’ar warriors, uttering;
- Is that the new way of Kings? Hiding and sending your vassals to certain death? I thought your understanding of honor was more similar to mine, Nerubian.
Anub’Arak’s laughter came from an indefinite direction.
- And I thought all traitorous dogs favor result over methods.
- You included, I presume, - said Loken, decimating the Nerubians with another wave of lightnings and dodging the King’s spikes. He apparently still retained enough mobility to do at least that.
- Regardless, as far as I can get away with it, - said Anub’Arak’s voice.
Loken was constantly moving, trying at the same time to disengage his damage reporting system that was constantly flooding his consciousness with disturbing signals. As he held more waves of insects back, he once again felt that his spinal cascade is ready for another Nova. He moved himself into the middle of the whirlpool of raging assailants for maximum damage and started to prepare for discharge, however halfway through the Nerubian King that has emerged behind has pounded his back with overwhelming force, suddenly cracking open Loken’s dorsal plating and severing the cascade. Loken fell forward, but he also noticed how the spontaneous discharge from the cascade painfully struck the King, throwing him against the Loken’s throne and incapacitating him. Surely, the power of discharge wasn’t nearly as great as it would be if the target was properly polarized, but it bought Loken some precious time. While Anub’Arak was incapacitated, Loken could afford to redirect all the spare power from movement and defensive systems to auxiliary dischargers, strengthening his arc lightnings quite a bit. This way he was able to quickly overwhelm the gnats and finally turn to face his prey.
- So, - he said, limping toward the still motionless massive body of Anub’Arak, - we are nearing a resolution, aren’t we? I must say, I am quite glad, but you probably wouldn’t understand my fascination with you, inferior beings. You cannot imagine how amusing it is to see fleshlings grow so complacent and challenge immortality and perfect calculations.
- Speaking of complacency... - said the King, suddenly coming back to life.
He sprung forward embracing the giant and making him crash down under the weight of the Nerubian Lord. Loken reached out behind the King’s jaws to grasp his small head and put all of currently accumulated charge through the insect’s brain, but Anub’Arak was stoic enough to suppress the terrible pain until he could deliver his small gift into the sundered opening in Loken’s back. The Prime Designate felt as a burning liquid rushed into his body, quickly subverting his power generators.
- How ironic that behind all of that titanic armor the only thing necessary to crush what remains is a trivial bladder of acid.
Loken let out an agonizing chuckle.
- And what did you just achieve? Even if you take my brain, it’s indestructible for means in your possession, and you cannot make use of it. Sooner or later it will fall back into my master’s hands, and then Mimiron would have me reborn in a matter of hours. However unfortunate, but this is exactly what I mean when I speak of higher powers. Accept it, insect, there are things, like killing me, which you just cannot achieve.
- All until you get the proper input data, mechanoid, - said the King, pulling a small disc out of his mouth, - you may or may not recognize this trifle, but regardless, it proves you wrong.
The Prime Designate didn’t even have time to succumb to helplessness and panic.
- The Gate of Marg’alar... How?.. On this planet?..
- Sleep now, Kronus. Your time has passed, - said the King, touching Loken’s forehead with the disc.
The eyes of the giant calmly closed, as his consciousness swiftly faded away. He now knew that he would never experience this stage of existence again, and sad as it was, but he had to move on because there was still so much to be done. And yes, it was overwhelming, even for his synthetic mind.
- Well, the sand, - said the Qiraji Guardian, casually drawing lines in the sand at his feet with his magnificent halberd, - it’s the most favorite of substances for me. It’s not sticky or characterless like most liquids, but it’s much more flexible than any solid matter. I can’t understand why the soft races don’t like it. Wonder if it has something to do with their physiology. What do you think, Lieutenant?
His superior stood on the other side of the doorway, leaning on his own weapon, looking quite bored, as ever and trying to find a new thing to look on in a terribly familiar small canyon, brightly lit by the reflections of golden sunlight.
- I think, - he said, - you pay too much attention to what the Lessers think. The fact that we’re not going to exterminate them on general principle doesn’t mean we have to consider them that much.
- Well, why, I mean, it is interesting to sometimes take a closer look at other species, they have cultures as well and... What is it?
The Lieutenant picked up his polearm and started to sniff the air uneasily.
- Ast hikar, tze’viah! - he said, and both firmly grasped their weapons, extending upper limbs and assuming battle stances.
The Guardian now too felt heavy approaching treads, too irregular to be familiar and that meant an intruder, and an intruder meant that this shift won’t be as boring as all the others, at least.
Soon the intruder came into view, and the Qiraji saw a large Nerubian Crypt Lord, walking steadily, despite an apparent injury to his left middle leg.
- Sat mar kana’ras! - commanded the Lieutenant and both stood at attention on either side of the doorway.
- At ease, - said the King.
- Your Majesty, you’re wounded, - said Lieutenant, - should I make arrangements for your treatment?
- No time for that, my friend, - smiled the King, - I’m just here to see him.
- Understood, - nodded the Qiraji Lieutenant and silently watched as the Crypt Lord passed into the darkness of the tomb beyond the doorway.
Inside, Anub’Arak approached an old dusty sarcophagus and slowly kneeled before it.
- Another step is taken, - he said, placing a large Ruby Ring on the altar before it, - so far everything is done right.
He rose up and approached the sarcophagus itself, then lowered his head and placed it on the ornamented cover of the coffin.
- I dare not hope for forgiveness, - he whispered, - but I know, you will understand. This is the least I can do for you, - he then paused for a moment and concluded, - farewell, son.
When he exited the tomb the sunlight felt a bit unpleasant at first, but then its warmth comforted the old King a bit.
- Your Majesty, - said the young Guardian, - how can’t Lich King see you when you come here?
- I have taken certain precautions, - smiled Anub’Arak, - besides, we’re too far from Icecrown to be concerned.
- When should we expect your return, Milord? - asked the Lieutenant.
- My time is running short now, but that’s of no essence. You know what you must do if the Scourge finds this place.
The Lieutenant nodded.
- All shall be consumed by purifying flames if that happens, - he said.
- Good, - said the King, - as fragile as our future is, as long as we all know what to do, we can achieve it.
- Milord, - said the Lieutenant, as the Nerubian was walking away, - I’m sure that when he returns, he will understand and forgive why you did to him what you did...
- Oh, he will understand, - said the old King, - but certain crimes are better atoned than forgiven.
- I beg your pardon? - said the Lieutenant.
- You probably know how it feels to betray your own nation, but I hope you’ll never know how it feels to murder your own child.
When the King’s treads died down somewhere far ahead, the young Guardian said.
- He starts to remind me of Buru.
His Lieutenant calmly smiled at him, once again leaning on his weapon to resume his watch.
- Buru was inadequate, paranoid and insane, - he said, - but yes, I think I know what you mean.
Apr 28th 2009 2:15PM Right, poor Thrall. No matter how hard he tries to form peace, there's always a former elven general now bent on killing everything, that would have a funny-faced mad biologist engineer her a new strain of plague, and then just come running to Thrall when her petty apothecaries turn on her and her allies, or an unruly arrogant Mag'har chap, that can disregard Thrall and pick a fight with Varian, and then, when faced with "You disappoint me" argument, just chuckle into warchief's face, because his daddy killed Mannoroth.
In short, there's always gonna be conflicts and bloodshed and wars between Alliance and Horde, simply because nobody's gonna shut down the PVP servers before the WoW is closed altogether, and while there are PVP servers, there will be hostility in lore to back their existence up.
Fortunately, much to dissatisfaction of certain Hordies, as long as the Alliance pays the monthly subscription fee, neither Garrosh, nor Saurfang, nor even Sargeras or Aman'thul will ever be able to "wipe the Azeroth clean of the Alliance". =) Cheers at Blizzard.
Apr 27th 2009 4:59AM Asking Alliance to ally with the Horde is like asking Alliance to ally with Yogg-Saron. This article is the most damn amazing article I ever read on Insider and Daniel is now my favorite author here, along with Chase Christian.
Horde-appologists are doing a fair job advocating their faction, true. What I believe they are not doing is actually looking behind. I mean, put up a quiz for horde players and see how many actually do want any peace. If that's not enough, roll an ally toon on one of the Horde-dominated servers, like Illidan-US, and see how it works out. I assure, you will not be as amused by the frequency of ganking as by the guild names of those who gank you. "Ally Gank Squad" is one of my favorites, for it's unambiguity.
And don't tell me players don't have anything to do with the lore, most of players correspond pretty well to their factions.
Guys, I don't care if anyone considers you good or evil, I don't mind playing in a competitive environment, I don't mind most of you loving to kill Alliance, I even don't mind that T7 undead rogue, whose name says something about mothers and prostitutes in Spanish, ganking my lowbie alt over and over again.
What I mind is that some of you, when put up against an argument, instead of admitting that "ok, most of us want war, but some of us still want peace, and we aren't really the bad guys" (which I won't argue), start pushing ridiculous amounts of bull about how Horde is all nuns and flowers and how treacherous evil Alliance deceives them and forces them to fight.
Here's a math problem: Count the times the word "slaughter" is used in an intro for the Forsaken toons and divide by the times the phrase "peace with Alliance" is ever used by Horde leaders.