A Day At The Races, Part VIII. WOW Fan-Fiction

 

Stig watched the Steamwheedle armada shrink in the distance until it was lost in the dust kicked up by the silithid swarm on the horizon.

            Slowly, so slowly we had to take and hold our breaths several times, the dust cloud turned away, following the crates now safely in the hold of the Steamwheedle flagship, the No Credit. And just as slowly, we could all breathe easy again. Except the Thrall’s Angels.

            “What?” Stig asked, looking around in dismay. “You mean that’s it? Pass the eggs off to Nitz’s father as payment for the money Nitz stole, claim Nitz fled, then let the goblins and silithids destroy one another?”

            I shook my head, smiling. How positively Horde of him. “Of course. Did you expect me to be some sort of hero and find an idiotic but oh-so-noble way to beat them both, at the cost of my life for some inexplicable and convoluted reason?”

            Stig shrugged massive bare shoulders. “Well… yeah. That’s how we do things.”

            “Forget that!”

            “Bu-but why all this?” he asked, throwing an arm out to indicate the derrick. Magus Tirth stood ready and sober for once, glowing with the eldritch fire of tried and true combat spells he’d decided to blow the dust off of for the good of the Mirage Raceway. Likewise, Fobeed and Zuzubee flanked him, totems ready to lend magical aid. The Thrall’s Angels had been drinking steadily for the last three hours, building courage, blowing steam, and fortifying the raised work deck of the oil derrick under the instruction of Miglen, Zherin, and I. Now they stood dejected in their warpaint, weapons unblooded, cheated of gory glory.

            I felt a twinge of guilt telling him, “This was our last option, only to be used if the cartel didn’t arrive in time, or the silithids wouldn’t take back their eggs and leave peacefully. Keeping the peace is my job, so looking for a fight is the last thing I’m gonna do.”

            Stig nodded, looking so forlorn I just had to do something. “Aw, hell. Take what’s left of the dwarven fire gel with you when you leave. I promised more explosions, and that’s what you’ll get—provided you never bring it back.”

            My flintlocks were looking Kravel in the face before the clicking of his blunderbuss’s hammers had died.

            “It may be your stock,” I told him mildly, “but it’s my town. And I’ll be damned if I’ll have something that dangerous in it again.”

            Kravel glowered and said, “Yeah, you will,” but wisely chose not to press the point. I’d made an enemy in him, but a friend in Stig. His face lit up like a child’s on Winter Veil morn.

            Letting out ululating victory cries louder than the waiting battle line of bikes below, he started throwing crates down for his boys to catch.

            And it was at that point that I decided it would be a good idea to be far away from unstable explosive containers being chucked from one insane orc to the next.

            “Come on,” I told Miglen, and turned toward the nearest ladder. ‘Let’s see about a cup of coffee before we turn in.”

            “Uhhh, Race Master? The caravan from Freewind Post never made it. Silithids, remember? That means we won’t have coffee until next month at the earliest.”

            My feet suddenly grew too heavy to lift. I knew I’d forgotten something.

            “Gods. Damn. It!”

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