Warcraft Fan Fiction ❯ The Cronicles of a Spy ❯ Of Bonds and Bones ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Days had passed since she'd returned home, the alarm system removed, and a vase sat on the table filled with ebon roses. Istalri lay on the top of the covers on her bed. She'd been ordered to take it easy, but she ached to be back out on the field working. Her lungs still ached occasionally from being crushed, but it couldn't be helped. She rolled out of bed and sighed, looking out her window. It was a clear day, perfect day to go out to the beach, and the beach sounded like a perfect idea.
A knock on her door shook her from the train of thoughts. She opened the door to find the mage from the trip staring at her, the tabard of the horde in her arms. It was tossed to the rogue, then she turned around and began to walk the other direction.
“Hey…” She looked down at the tabard, then back up. “Thanks…you know you're welcome to come in.”
“Who in the world would want to be seen in the same room as you, half blood?” Her voice traveled back, and with a sigh, the door was closed, she never did get the mage's name. Not knowing who she was, was fine by her, really, she didn't care for the mage. In fact, in her experience most of the alliance mages were too good to be seen with anyone but the noble paladins. Some nerve, really, to think that the shadow shouldn't mingle with the light, come to think of it, the king's like that too…Man I miss the old days when no one was too good to get their hands dirty. That mage probably burns her clothes after going outside too.
Eyes fell on the table, the black roses made her smile, though she wasn't sure why they did, then she read the card, and nearly hit her head on the table, this was bad, very bad. She really did care for her friend, and with the deadline coming up, she'd have to go back to Thrall's court here soon.
“Will he go with me?” It was a question to herself, and she nearly jumped when a voice answered her.
“Will who go where?” the silver haired paladin was looking in her window, arms resting on the sill. She blinked at him, then turned to hide the tabard, there were still some things she had to keep from her friend. “I see you got the flowers I sent you.”
That comment snapped her out of her daze, and she realized she was staring at him. “Westfall beach, just beyond the light house, you and I…today? It is a perfect day for a beach trip, and it's only a few minutes from here if we take a gryphon.” She looked back to the roses, and took one in hand, sniffing the blossom. “And yes, I got them, you know you didn't have to do this, I'm just fine.”
“I wanted to,” he shrugged. “And sure, why not. I've nothing else that requires my attention at this moment, when do we leave?”
“Give me an hour to get ready and pack us a lunch, and I'll see you by the stables.” she smiled as he went to turn away. “Oh, and Vega…?”
“Don't leave your mace behind, murlocs in the area, you know.”
As soon as her friend was out of sight, she squished the blossom between her hands, and threw the rose on the floor. Alright, no talking about this, we just can't put him through it, tomorrow you go and talk to the king, tell him that…that you're going to go back to Thrall and behave there to gather information. Honestly Ista what were you thinking? You can't bring a human into horde territory, and you'll be leaving everything here behind. What's worse is that you'll be proving that mage right. she bit on her thumbnail, changing out of her relaxing clothes into a bikini that tied around her neck and a skirt that covered the bottoms in a Hawaiian print. She packed her usual throwing daggers, and a single small dagger that was easily tucked away in the side of the bikini. She experimented with the look of her hair tied up, but ended up leaving it down and tucking a single ebon rose behind her ear for an accent.
Her thoughts raced while she packed the picnic basket with a blanket and sandwiches as well as a bottle of Noir and two glasses. A finger tapped her chin while she looked over what she'd packed, and removed the noir, replacing it with a peach tea instead. She sat down in her chair and tilted her head back. A groan escaped her lips, this was ridiculous, and yet, she was still going to go through with it.
She picked up the basket and walked out the door, slipping on a pair of sandals before Spooks caught the back of skirt.
“Let go Spooky, got a job to do here.” The growl of the cat said he didn't believe her. “Fine, don't believe what I say, but you're still going to let go of my skirt right now and wait here.” She tugged the skirt, stumbling forward when he suddenly let go, and she continued to walk towards her destination.
At the stables of the gryphon, she found Vega waiting for her. She smiled her sweetest smile, and waved with her free hand. His trunks were a soft blue, and he had a towel around his shoulders.
“Hey, ya ready?” her eyes sparkled.
“Yep, got my steed coming to join us at the landing point too, since I'm sure you left Spooky at home?”
“Mmmhmmmm, nothing's worse than the smell of wet cat when you're at the beach.”
He'd laughed at her and tossed the towel at her. “Yeah, ya got that right, now put that in the basket for me so it doesn't get blown away, I already got us two gryphons for the trip.” As he spoke, he motioned to the stable hands who brought up the reins of two male golden gryphs. He took the reins and set one in her hands, giving her time to strap in the basket to the saddle. Then get into the seat before taking the reins from him, she waited for him to get situated.
“Thank god we're not riding dragons.” She laughed, dug her heels into the sides of the mount and took off towards westfall. It was a short ride there, and they took their time, trading the leader position back and forth, but in the end, she landed first, and basked in the warm sun.
“I win!” Another laugh escaped her mouth, and she removed the basket from the gryphon as she slid down from the beast's back to give the reins to the handler. “Well be needing these two again when we're ready to head home.” Eyes met his while he summoned his mount. The painted palomino stallion stamped it's feet while it waited for it's rider and his friend to board. All of it's armor had been removed, leaving with just a bridle and reins.
“Bareback?” She squeaked, and shook her head, backing up.
“Oh come on, I'll let you sit in front of me so you don't fall off. `Sides, he's just a big puppy, wouldn't harm a fly.”
The ride wasn't bad, not with the paladin keeping his arms around her, one at her waist, the other on the reins. She looked around, and noticed that the horse had his mace within his mouth, while she focused on not falling or dropping the basket. They stayed quiet for the most part, and she looked down at the horse's mane when she wasn't needed to point out an encampment of murlocs or the Defias gang.
“It really is a beautiful day.” He broke the silence. “Though it's very unlike you to not invite someone else along…is something wrong?”
“Does there have to be something wrong for me to want to spend time with my only friend?” A hurt look tossed over her shoulder at him and he pulled the horse to a halt as it reached the other side of the expanse. Istalri looked around, kicking a few rocks out of the way, then digging past the towel in the basket and laid out the blanket and the drinks. “Two packets of sugar in your tea, right?”
He seemed to be lost in thought when she looked at him, but snapped out of it at the question. “Hmmm? Oh, yeah, 2 packets.”
“What's got you zoning out so far?” She raised an eyebrow, stirring the tea and waiting for an answer, then handing the drink to him.
“Oh, just something a friend of mine said…” He took the drink from her, swirling the tea around in his glass before taking a drink.
She rubbed her shoulder, sitting on the blanket while he continued to drink. “Vega…” When she had his full attention, she continued. “You know that I work for the king in Stormwind…and that I'm a spy for him, due to my heritage, it's a perfect cover.” He'd nodded in affirmitive. “I'm going to ask to go back to work tomorrow, since the collar was destroyed I have to go back and get a new one.”
“If he lets you, I'm going with you.”
“No!” She saw the hurt look in his eyes, and her ear hung off to the side. “I want to take you with me, Vega, you're the only one who really accepted me for what I was, and when I'm honest with myself, you're the only being that's able to talk to me that I care about…but I can`t take you with me, it`s not safe for you there.”
“I see….” he looked off into the ocean, eyes closing. “Okay, I understand…you just don`t think I`m good enough to work with you.”
She looked back at the ocean, drinking her tea, and they just sat there until the sun was just a sliver over the horizon, this day seemed to drag on since the conversation with him, though she'd found a few starfish in the surf. Lunch was quite a while ago, so she went hunting for frenzy. Their meat was tender enough that when fried over an open flame it wasn't dry, and it didn't have a strong offensive flavor.
“This is good.” he took another bite of the fish, and when she didn't say anything, he looked over at her. “Ista?”
“Hm?” She met his gaze. “Oh…thank you.”
“You're thinking about something, aren't you?”
“I'm always thinking about something, it's rare for me to not have something on my mind, you know that.”
“Istalri, It's dangerous on that side…I really want to go with you.” He placed his free hand on hers and kept her gaze. “I'll be fine…I'll play any role you want me to; to explain why I'm there.” When she looked away, he dropped the fish and grabbed her chin in his other hand, releasing her hand to keep himself from falling into her as she leaned away. “Please Istalri, last time you had arrows sticking out of your back, you got really lucky. Please…” he paused, and removed himself from the awkward position. “I may be the only person you consider friend, but to me you're more than that…and I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to you.”
“Okay….” she didn't bother to move. “I'll take you with me, if that's what you really want.”
The ride and flight back seemed longer than usual, there were no antics of jostling for the lead or just being themselves, she was glad when she was back in her room alone. She had changed out of her suit and promptly fell asleep on her bed.
When she awoke, the birds chirped on the window sill, and the first thing she realized was that she wasn't alone in the room. She'd grabbed at the throwing star under her pillow and behaved as if she was still asleep. The other person moved, and stroked her face, traced the markings that made her a rogue, and she took the chance, looking up at the person.
“Good morning, Ista.” Vega's smiling face made her release the star, and she slowly sat up. She'd gotten into the habit of sleeping in the undercloth she usually wore beneath her armor, and as he watched her move, he frowned. `Are you sure you're ready to go back to work?”
“I'm ready, if I don't go when I still have some symptoms, they wont believe that I was actually hurt…since I don't need to portray myself as weak to them anymore, would you get the Tier 7's from my closet for me?”
“Hm? Oh, I have them divided by the order of oldest to newest, oldest in existence being the Tier 1's, newest being tier 7's. I've heard rumors about some others that are higher, but I haven't managed to get my hands on them yet.”
“So which ones are…”
“The bonescythe up at the top there.” She pointed, then got off the bed, moving to the table, and began to check and fix any errors on her blades. Aside from a few minor scratches which were easily repaired, there were no problems with the blades themselves, the hilts were loose on a few of them, again, an easy fix. “Council with the king should only take a few minutes, we'll need to be prepared to go before we actually go anywhere.”
“I'm already ready.”
“Were you…up all night preparing?”
“Well, not all night, but some of the night, yes.”
“You'll be falling asleep on the ride then.”
“He can handle it, I'll just tell him to follow you.”
“If you say so, Vega.”
It had only taken about 20 minutes for her to get ready and gotten to the king's castle. Ugh, I HATE market day she mused a little as they walked through the outer chambers of the king's abode. When they were greeted by a guard within the halls, he looked her over and nodded, starting to guide them back to where the king was being heavily guarded. That was enough to make the rogue raise an eyebrow.
“Expecting an intruder, Sire?” Her voice was muffled by the mask, but it got the point across. When he saw her, he looked worried, but then he saw the healadin, and a smile crossed his face.
“No, not an intruder, a group that Thrall sent, no doubt.”
“Ah…speaking of Thrall, Vega has requested to venture with me when I return to work.”
“Good, because I'm returning to work…” She mocked, looking out the window to see the sun's position. “Now, which means, I'll be returning to Thrall's quarters to see what I can learn.”
“Don't worry, we'll be going that route, we'll stop them when they come in, but I do need a set of handcuffs and a chain, think you can get them for me?”
“Planning on bringing back a prisoner?”
“Something like that, just have someone retrieve them for me.” Her ear flicked. “Oh…and you may want to forgive me for this too, it seems our interlopers have entered the castle, I do have to make it look good you understand.”
“Wha-?” but before he could say anymore, she had incapacitated the guards, and even pushed Vega to the ground, adding more pressure when he tried to get up.
“Stay down.” she hissed again, and charged the king, meeting his blade with one of her own. She kicked him back into his seat, where he hit his head and was dubbed unconscious. She cut her finger and added blood to a few old scars and a magnetic hilt to the armor he was wearing, then turned to face the unlikely group that stopped in it's tracks at the scene. “Dead, just checked, now you can go back to Thrall and tell him I'll be there soon.”
The Paladin leading the group stepped forward and towered over her, his red hair and narrowed green eyes looking over her body. “A rogue couldn't do this alone without a scratch, where's your accomplice?” When she motioned to Vega, who was still on the floor, though clearly annoyed with having to pretend to be unconscious; the Blood elf backed off. “A Healadin, I presume?”
“That's right, got a problem?”
“Your collar's missing, little phoenix.” he pushed her back with one finger, and though she allowed her shoulder to move, she herself did not.
“It was crushed upon my last mission in Zul'Drak, I just came up here to finish some loose ends before returning to Thrall with new information.”
“Yes, I believe he shall find this accomplishment as spectacular as I do…”
“Do I get the name of the leader of this party?”
“That would be me…and no, you don't, since you breached the agreement by removing that collar, you and your partner there are coming with us.” He motioned over his shoulder to those traveling with him to pick up the paladin. “Take him to our mounts.”
“We have our own…we'll come quietly.” She walked past the paladin while his counterparts picked up Vega who was doing his best to act like dead weight. Spooky growled when she saw their company, though she scratched him behind the ears. “Seems familiar, huh Spooks?” her other hand reached into the pack and pulled out the crushed collar and held it out for the blood elf to take. Once he'd taken it she got astride her saber, and waited for them to get situated around her, she whistled for Vega's mount for them while they were struggling to place them on one of the mammoths they'd gathered. With a bit of relief, she followed them as they began to move, looking around the town at the loss of life, they hadn't held any discression at all when coming through to get her.