Warcraft Character File: Elise Dawnsinger

Decided to do something a bit different. Since I haven’t been GMing last week or this week due to scheduling issues, I’ve actually been inspired by the pre-patch of World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth to write some Warcraft based items.

One thing I decided to do was write up character files for each of my major World of Warcraft characters. I originally was just going to keep them on my hard drive, but I figured that I may as well post them up here too. The main reason for doing this is because I never put my full background in my Total RP 3 profile (which is a fantastic RP addon for World of Warcraft) and so the finer details are often lost when I revisit the character or have something obscure come up in RP. Writing this all out will help me by having a point of reference for when this does come up and I can accurately track who knows what and how old each character is compared to the others.

The second thing I decided to do is… Well, just watch this space and you’ll find out. I will say that it’s heavily inspired by Battle for Azeroth and the pre-patch event…

Anyway, here is the character file for today. This is my primary RP character (and it’s fortunate that with the new War Mode system I have fallen in love with Outlaw Rogue, because I have never really been much of a melee dps fan).

It’s Elise Dawnsinger.


Elise Dawnsinger

<Wandering Musician and Freelance Scout for the Alliance>

Elise mog

Name: Elise Dawnsinger (previously Lisette Moreau)

Race: Human

Age: 23

Eye Colour: Blue

Height: 5’6”

Body Shape: Athletic

Languages Known: Common (native), Thalassian

Birthplace: Capital City, Kingdom of Lordaeron

Residence: Elwynn Forest

Family:

  • Charles Moreau (father, deceased)

  • Lilyne Moreau (mother, deceased)

  • Alexander Moreau (elder brother, deceased)

  • Kaylin Moreau (elder sister)

  • Jules Moreau (younger brother)

  • Arinella Dawnsinger (mother through adoption)

  • Valendris Dawnsinger (aunt through adoption)

  • Laralla Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Ilareth Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Anatheia Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Lyra Dawnsinger (niece through adoption)

Notable Features / Items:

  • A small, intricately carved flute. The flute appears to have “for the fallen” and a decorative pattern of thorny vines wrapping around the length of the flute carved into the side.

  • A violin that simply features a short haiku carved into the side in Common:
    “Music is a light,
    A light to pierce the darkness,
    Bear your light to all.”

  • A pendant hangs on a delicate silver chain. The pendant features an arrow amidst intertwined, thorny vines that culminate into a flower near the head of the arrow. The flower is encrusted with small, green gems and the design is a flower native to Quel’Thalas.

Brief History:

Elise, born Lisette Moreau, was born into a fairly affluent family in Lordaeron. Her family made their money in high quality tailoring, creating fancy garments for the nobility of Lordaeron, which turned out to be a very lucrative market as the family prospered, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle and good education for the children. She grew up alongside two brothers and an older sister, being the younger of the two middle children. Elise found her affinity for music and the performing arts from a young age and so her parents put her through singing and violin lessons, as well as dance and theatre, which the thrived in.

However, when she was 10 years old, the Scourge came to Lordaeron. Her parents and eldest brother were massacred by the Scourge as they rampaged across Lordaeron, with Elise only surviving as her father hid her away before meeting his untimely demise. However, she was a 10 year old girl in a Scourge infested land. She hid until hunger and thirst forced her out to move. She managed to stay hidden for a time, moving and scavenging what she could to survive. It couldn’t last forever and she was eventually caught while foraging for food. She ran from the ghouls that chased her through the ruined streets of Capital City, unable to lose her pursuers for good as whenever she lost one, another would take its place.

She was fortunate. A high elven ranger was fleeing south from some political troubles in Quel’Thalas and happened upon the chase, taking down Elise’s pursuers and saving the young girl from a grisly fate. The elf, who introduced herself as Arinella Dawnsinger, took pity on the girl and took her in, promising to get her down to Stormwind. They travelled south, moving through Hillsbrad Foothills, Arathi Basin and down to the Wetlands. They kept off road, avoiding chokepoints where possible as Arinella advised that there were people after her and this was the best way to remain undetected.

However, Arinella’s pursuers caught up with her and a pair of elven assassins ambushed her and Elise. Arinella was able to fend the attackers off, but they left her terribly wounded. She disinfected and bound her wounds before pushing onwards. It was a harsh trek across the mountains to Ironforge, as they couldn’t use the roads through Loch Modan through fear of being jumped by more assassins, but the trek proved too much for Elise as she collapsed, the ten year old girl not built for treks across the frigid mountains of Dun Morogh. Arinella carried her, but combining the fatigue of the trip so far, the freezing temperatures and the wounds she sustained in her battle against the assassins, Arinella was unable to make it either, eventually falling unconscious among the peaks of Dun Morogh.

Elise woke up in Ironforge where she learned that some dwarven mountaineers had come across her and Arinella, who was still unconscious and being tended to by a dwarven priest. Aware of the dangers to Arinella, Elise took it upon herself to keep vigil over the elf who had saved her life back in Lordaeron. Fortunately, no attack came and Arinella woke up a few days later, her wounds healed by the dwarves. At this moment, it dawned on them that they would not make it through the Burning Steppes and would have to take the Deeprun Tram. They were surprised to find no one waiting to ambush them, as it would’ve been the perfect place for it. Thankful for it, they managed to make it to Stormwind.

Arinella adopted Elise officially in Stormwind, renaming her Elise Dawnsinger to deter any potential threats following her from Lordaeron; she also quickly took to training her in the skills of a ranger. She taught her survival skills first, so she would be able to live off the land, but also martial skills so she could defend herself. The pair were not rich and opted to live outside the city, taking refuge in the forests outside the city walls so these skills were key to Elise’s development as a young girl. In addition, Arinella insisted on teaching Thalassian, the language of the high elves, to Elise, knowing from her own experiences that being bilingual was a huge advantage in the world. The reasons for this training became apparent very quickly as Arinella was taken in to SI:7 and was quickly dispatched on missions away from home, leaving Elise to fend for herself.

Naturally, the pair spent a lot of time together whenever Arinella was home, with Arinella progressing Elise’s training every time she returned, however Elise started to develop her own skills during this time she was left by herself. She got in with a rough crowd in Old Town and developed into a competent young thief, learning to pick pockets and locks in addition to adapting parts of her mother’s training to urban environments. Thievery was not something she practised all the time, as Arinella quickly caught wind of this and scolded her for it. While she encouraged learning the skills, she kept Elise under control when it came to using these skills, keeping her from crossing the city guard and getting thrown in the stockades.

One way in which this thievery was kept under wraps was that Arinella taught Elise how to play a new instrument. She gave Elise a wooden, hand-crafted flute with the inscription “for the fallen” etched into the side in Thalassian. She never stopped practising her music and made something of a career from it, earning a decent living performing at taverns, considering she did not have the same level of expenses as most in the city due to her living arrangements being outside the city and totally self-sufficient; she sang, danced and played the flute until she saved enough money to commission a violin of her own design.

The real problem came as she got a bit older. When she was eighteen years old, a charming young pirate captain named Leif Stanton was spending some time in Stormwind. Elise was immediately charmed by the young pirate, who in turn was entranced by her music, and she ran off with the pirate, leaving her life in Elwynn behind. She entered a romantic relationship with the pirate and worked alongside her new lover, plundering both Alliance and Horde targets and performing music for the crew during down time. The pair, along with the pirate crew, made a large amount of money over the next two years.

This would not last, however, as the pirate ship was eventually taken down when Elise was twenty, when they attacked what looked like a trade ship, but turned out to be an Alliance naval vessel in disguise. Most of the crew were either killed by the naval troops and cannon fire or simply by execution, however Elise and her lover were spared as he was identified as the pirate captain and she was incorrectly identified as his first mate due to their relationship. The pair were put in chains and hauled back to Stormwind where they were thrown into the stockades and interrogated.

Elise fervently defended her lover and endured the Alliance’s interrogation tactics until Arinella caught wind of what was going on. Arinella got involved as a means of protecting her daughter, both from the Alliance judicial system as well as the pirate she had been involved with. Arinella walked into the interrogation and simply put a file down in front of Elise. The file showed that the pirate had already been released as while Elise was fervently defending him, he pinned everything on her and walked away a free man. When Elise asked why they were still interrogating her, Arinella simply explained that they couldn’t execute Elise without a confession. Heartbroken, Elise would have accepted the execution were it not for Arinella’s advice through the interrogations. Arinella advised that she should come clean, explain the nature of her relationship with the pirate and appeal for national service, as her skills were in high demand with the constant threat of the Horde.

Elise did just so, admitting to her relationship with the pirate and explaining that was the reason she defended him. Her plea for national service was accepted, which she suspected was due to her mother’s influence within SI:7, as she was kept on retainer for scouting jobs, espionage and military support for the Alliance. She worked for the Alliance for three years as repayment for her part in the pirate raids, earning no pay from the jobs the Alliance gave her and earning her money between jobs through performance again. During these jobs she met with one of her adoptive mother’s biological daughters, a paladin named Laralla Dawnsinger who was captured by Alliance troops and she was put in charge of interrogating due to her fluency in Thalassian. Despite the animosity the paladin showed towards their mother, Laralla still saved Elise’s life just before her escape, after an orc from the Horde rescue team almost cleaved her in two.

She suffered another heartbreak when a meeting was arranged between the Forsaken and the Alliance as an opportunity for families to see each other. Elise, who had never had much love for the undead after what they did to her family, only went to re-affirm to herself that her parents were dead. However, she met with her parents, who had become Forsaken. She was unable to chat too much, as Sylvanas ordered the massacre of every Forsaken in attendance and Elise had to watch her parents die for a second time right in front of her eyes.

These days she continues to perform at taverns in Stormwind, especially now that her national service is up and she can actually earn money from assignments she is dispatched out for.


Elise Dawnsinger features in:

 

The Pain of Loss, The Agony of Reunion

It had been a while since Elise had visited the Arathi Highlands. She was working as a freelance scout for the Alliance military and both met her adoptive sister and was almost disemboweled by an Orc with a rather large axe in the same night. It wasn’t a pleasant memory and she didn’t feel ready to be back here, but the opportunity was too good to pass up; it was almost too good to be true. The Alliance had been in talks with the Horde and had organised a meeting for humans and members of the Forsaken who, in life, were previously related. Elise hated the undead. She saw them as abominations that needed to be put down and she needed the closure. The memories of when the Scourge swept across the Kingdom of Lordaeron were forever imprinted in her memories. She was hiding under her bed when she saw her parents massacred by the endless tide of undead. She needed closure. She needed to know her parents had been granted the peace of death. She needed to attend this meet up to confirm that her parents were truly dead.

When they reached the location of the meet up, Elise immediately flared her nostrils in disgust. The Forsaken had gathered near the wall and the Alliance had gathered up near Stromgarde, but Elise could smell the foul stench of undeath on the air. She would hold back her desires to destroy every last one of these abominations for the sake of her King and his orders, but should the Forsaken strike first she was ready to fight, having strapped a sheathed dagger to her belt, though she had left her armour behind. There was some hesitation, as many saw the undead in the same way as she did and it was likely that nobody present on the Alliance side trusted the leader of the Forsaken, Sylvanas Windrunner, to not pull something here. Slowly, but surely, the two sides met in the middle and started to mingle.

Elise wandered through the crowds, seeing humans and undead talking as people appeared to find long lost loved ones. She saw some speaking briefly before parting ways, unable to accept their differences; Elise thought they were the intelligent ones. It was clear that they could not coexist. It disgusted her to see some pairs and groups rekindling long forgotten relationships; these Forsaken were no different from the Scourge that had destroyed their homes in the first place. Nevertheless, she continued to make her way through the crowd, looking for her own parents and feeling rather content that she hadn’t found them.

That’s when she noticed it. It had been so long since she had adopted the Moreau name. She had fully taken on the Dawnsinger name since Arinella, a ranger fleeing from political strife in Quel’thalas, rescued her from the decaying Lordaeron and brought her south to Stormwind. She had almost forgotten what the family crest looked like, but seeing a ring with the crest clearly depicted caused a tirade of emotions to flood through Elise, primarily fear and anger. She took a deep breath, frowning heavily and making her way over to the Forsaken wearing the ring. She reached into her pack and pulled out her own ring that had been gifted to her minutes before the Scourge murdered her family as she stormed over to the pair of Forsaken.

“That ring. Where did you find it?” Elise demanded, pointing at the ring on the undead woman’s hand. The pair looked at her, a brief moment of silence as they looked into Elise’s rather angry eyes.

“Lisette?” the woman asked, her initial offense at the human’s approach melting away in an instant as she looked at the blonde young lady.

Elise’s eyes widened. She had hoped that they were simply grave robbers and that she was going to need to demand that the ring was returned to her. She had always feared this possibility and simply stood still, staring at the pair of Forsaken. She was at a total loss for words.

“Lisette? Is that you?” the male Forsaken asked as well as they both looked upon her. Even though they were dead, Elise could see the hope in their expressions. It tore at her; she hated all undead for what the Scourge did to her parents. She refused to believe that these monsters were her parents.

“It can’t be…” she muttered, taking a step back from the pair of Forsaken.

“You’ve grown so much since we last saw you,” the Forsaken woman said, taking a step towards Elise. “We always hoped you escaped. It was the spark of hope we clung to all these years.

“No, you’re not my parents,” Elise said, shaking her head and recoiling from the woman.

The woman visibly sunk. “I know it’s hard, but-…”

“No! It can’t be. I won’t believe it,” Elise said, looking away from the pair as tears started to flow from her eyes, streaking down her cheek and dropping onto the grass. She refused to believe that these two Forsaken were Charles and Lilyne Moreau, her biological parents.

“It’s us, Lisette,” the male Forsaken said, taking a step forwards and placing a hand on her shoulder. She recoiled from his touch initially, but then let his hand rest on her shoulder as the woman made her way to Elise’s other side.

“Why?” Elise asked, her head now in her hands.

“We didn’t have a choice. The Scourge raised us against our will, but we broke free when his power waned,” Lilyne explained.

“But you’re…” Elise muttered, raising her head to look at the pair of Forsaken through tear-filled eyes.

“Abhorrent crimes against nature? I know, Lisette, but I still believe the Light has a use for us in this world,” Lilyne answered, cutting Elise off.

“How did you escape?” Charles asked, a look of curiosity, but also concern on his face.

“A ranger fleeing south saved me. She took me in,” Elise answered, sniffing and wiping tears from her eyes as she tried to regain her composure, battling an ever rising tide of emotion that welled up inside her.

“That explains the dagger,” Lilyne said with a smile, “you’ve grown into such a beautiful, strong young woman. We’re both so proud of you.”

“This ranger that took you south, I’m guessing she was a high elf?” Charles asked, examining the necklace that Elise wore, an arrow wrapped in a vine, blooming in a flower native to Quel’thalas at the base of the arrowhead.

“Yes. She’s been good to me. Taught me what I needed to survive.”

“You mean elocution and singing lessons didn’t teach you how to defend yourself?”

Elise smiled, chuckling quietly and shaking her head. “No, I suppose they didn’t. Oh, and call me Elise; I dropped the name when I thought you were dead. No sense in getting caught up in politics when our lands and business was destroyed.”

“I agree. Our family had enemies who could still be out there. It’s safer this way,” Charles responded with a nod.

A loud horn interrupted the conversation, originating from the wall.

“Well, that’s our cue. Sorry we can’t stay longer, Elise,” Lilyne said with a smile, “but that’s the signal to return and we dare not disobey the Warchief.”

Elise looked at her parents, tears once again welling in her eyes, until she noticed some undead making a break for the Alliance lines. She turned back to her parents.

“Why not come back with me? You can’t trust Sylvanas, but we can be a family again in Stormwind,” Elise pleaded, holding her mother’s hand as she turned to walk away.

The pair of undead hesitated, looking back to Elise. “I don’t think we would be accepted back in the Alliance, much like you would not be accepted in Lordaeron any more,” Lilyne replied with a soft smile. “I’m sure we’ll see each other again.”

Elise let go of her mother’s hand and watched as the pair of undead started to walk away. However, she caught the sight of a one of the undead running for the Alliance lines collapse, an arrow through his frail form as he lay still in the dirt. Then another fell. More and more started to fall as she saw Sylvanas’s dark rangers open fire on the undead, indiscriminately firing on both the ones who were fleeing as well as those who were returning.

She turned to face her mother and father again and opened her mouth to yell at them to run, but she was too late. Her father took the first arrow straight through his head, the force of the impact knocking his head clean off his body as he tumbled to the ground. Her mother took an arrow to the torso shortly afterwards, crashing to the ground under the hail of fire from the dark rangers. Elise grabbed her dagger and unsheathed it, ready for one to attack her, but nothing came. In fact, no member of the Alliance was attacked at all. Sylvanas was simply slaughtering her own people.

By the time Elise came to realise this, the dark rangers had fallen back and the Forsaken were quitting the field. Dagger in hand, she started to make her way to the Forsaken lines. She wasn’t thinking rationally; unarmoured and barely armed she marched towards the wall, however she almost tripped on her way. Something had grabbed her ankle. She looked back to see Lilyne, barely moving, grabbing onto her ankle.

“Let go!” Elise screamed, wrenching her leg free, although instead of pulling her leg free of the hand, she ended up pulling Lilyne’s arm out of its socket. A look of horror spread across her face as she did and she immediately turned to kneel next to the body of her mother.

“Live,” Lilyne muttered, managing to shake her head in her final moments before she became still.

Elise burst into tears once more, kneeling between her fallen parents. She couldn’t look away from the sight of them.

“Why? They were returning. Why would she do this to her own people!” Elise screamed, stabbing her dagger into the earth in anger. She couldn’t contain the mix of emotions any longer as the mixture of sadness, rage and frustration came to the surface. She looked up to see the Forsaken one last time as they disappeared from sight, her eyes full of hatred. “If I ever get my hands on you, I’ll make you suffer for what you’ve done, Sylvanas,” Elise muttered as she watched them vanish, white-knuckled fists clenched tightly.

 

A Family Shattered – Part 1

Anatheia lay staring at the ceiling in her accommodations in Dalaran. She had not been able to sleep for the past few days and that night was no different; the sun had long since gone down yet still Anatheia found herself lost in thought. It was regarding her little sister, Velurria. She had received word that her father had brought Velurria to the Broken Isles, despite having heard that the Legion had been defeated and driven back. There was one question she could not answer in a positive light: why? What good reason could their father have for bringing Velurria out to this place? No good could come from it.

Regardless, she was meant to meet her two older sisters, Laralla and Ilareth, and her aunt, Valendris, before heading after them. If her father had brought Velurria here in some twisted hopes of teaching her more about fel magic it was entirely possible that they had both become stronger than they already were. Were Anatheia to meet them alone, she would not last long if it turned to violence. Still, she couldn’t help but think about what might have happened to her beloved Velurria. She had run from the problem for too long and felt like this may be the last chance she would have to make amends for her part in Velurria’s fall to darkness. It constantly plagued her mind what might have happened if she had stayed rather than running to Orgrimmar to take on her duties as a diplomat.

This line of thinking was getting her nowhere. She got out of bed and walked to where her robes were hanging. She had chosen her blue and black robes, as she did not want to stand out as a Horde official while here on personal business by wearing her usual red ensemble. She slipped back into her robes, put her boots and gloves on and walked out the door to her room, down the stairs of the inn and out into the city streets. It was chilly and the cold nipped at her ears and fingertips. She was aware she likely looked awful, but she needed to get some fresh air and try to clear her mind. She stared into the sky and took a deep breath as she reached the end of the road. It was a peaceful night, though she could not shake the unease surrounding her reasons for being there.

“Can’t sleep?” came a voice from behind her. She saw Laralla standing in full plate armour, glaive strapped across her back. Anatheia’s eyes lit up as she saw her eldest sister and she rushed over to give her a hug.

“I’m so happy to see you, sis,” Anatheia said as she embraced Laralla, squeezing her tightly before realising she was being rather improper. She released Laralla from the hug and took a step back, clearing her throat. “I know we haven’t always-…”

Laralla held up a hand. “No need. I’m happy to see you too, sister,” Laralla responded, cutting Anatheia off mid-sentence. “Have you seen Valendris?”

Anatheia shook her head. “I haven’t seen her or Ilareth. You’re the first I’ve seen.”

Laralla nodded. “I made my way here with Ilareth, so she’s here too. Haven’t seen Valendris yet, which is a tad annoying as I want to ask what she knows of the situation.”

“I only have the basics and I’m trying to piece it together myself.”

“I don’t think there’s anything that’s up for interpretation. It’s bad.”

Anatheia nodded. “I thought so.”

“However, I will ask that you do not hate our father for what he has done. As you ran away you have not seen the full picture; this was all born of a frustration and a desire to raise a worthy successor for the Flameweaver name,” Laralla said, eyes locked with Anatheia’s, her tone taking a far more serious turn.

“Not sure I know what you mean. He’s always been cold to me,” Anatheia said with a shrug, looking to the side to avoid eye contact with her older sister.

“It’s best you know the truth and I won’t mince around it.” Laralla stepped forward, placing an armoured hand on Anatheia’s chin, gently turning her head to make eye contact once more. Once the two made eye contact once more, Laralla’s hand returned to her side. “Father is a bit of a tragic tale that I have pieced together over the years. Did you know he originally wanted a son to carry on the family name? He finally got one with our little brother, but alas he had no talent for magic and then proceeded to fall at the hands of the Scourge. You were his hope to carry on the Flameweaver name, but you ran away and threw aside your heritage because you did not agree with his teachings; teachings that he was only giving you to make you stronger and give you a solid foundation when you eventually did take over the family titles.”

“Where are you going with this?” Anatheia snapped, folding her arms tight to her chest and looking away again.

“You need to accept responsibility!” Laralla snapped back, a deep frown on her face. “Our father dipped more and more into fel magic after you left. He grew desperate and only had one more chance to train a worthy successor. He set his sights on Velurria who lacked the strength of will you had. She felt sorry for him and was slowly drawn into the darkness that has now consumed him and I fear that darkness will also consume her.”

“We’re done here,” Anatheia replied, hastily walking past Laralla, though she felt Laralla’s armoured gauntlet grab onto her arm. She turned, locking eyes with her older sister once more.

“You think you’re the only one with scars in this family? How do you think this entire situation has weighed upon me? Our father despises the idea of a simple paladin such as myself taking over the family name. When I brought it up after you left, the way he looked at me…” Laralla said, her tone quietening as she released her grip on Anatheia’s arm. “He cares more about the family legacy than his own daughter. How do you think I feel about that? How do you think I feel about living with that every day of my life and still carrying out his will?”

Anatheia stared at her sister for a moment before sighing, her own expression softening. “I’m sorry, Lara. I try not to give the situation thought, but every time something like this happens all the old wounds open right up.”

“All I ask is that you accept responsibility for your part in all of this. Whether we like it or not, we are all tied to this and we all need to do our part to stop it from escalating any further.”

“Well, I’m here aren’t I?” Anatheia answered before turning back and making her way back down the road.

“Rest well, little Ana. You’re going to need it for what we will likely face tomorrow,” Laralla muttered quietly as Anatheia walked away.

Bonds of Family, part 3

It doesn’t take long for someone else to join me in the tent. I turn, looking over my shoulder to see a male human in full armour, though without a helmet. His armour is slightly better decorated than the rank and file troopers, so I assume he is some sort of officer. I don’t even make eye contact, just facing forward in silence again.

“Stand up,” he says, his voice authoritative as he makes his way to my back, detaching the chains that bind me to the tent, but keeping my hands bound. I just sit there; I’m not about to let this human order me around. “I said stand!” he says again, walking over and dragging me to my feet. “With those ears, I would’ve thought you could hear me.”

“I heard you, human. I just didn’t care,” I answer, looking over my shoulder with a grin.

The human grabs the back of my neck and shoves me towards the entrance to the tent. “Just move it.”

The human shoves me out of the tent and back into the pouring rain. I was starting to dry off, but all hopes of that evaporated as I was met by the heavy rainfall of the Arathi Highlands. It was still late, the plains lit by nothing more than star light and the occasional lantern. The human pushes me out of the camp, up a small hill and over to another group of Alliance. My adoptive sister is among them, a longbow slung across her back. I find myself wondering if it was my mother who taught her how to fight. It’s a shame I won’t find out. It’s clear to me what this is; it’s an execution. I spot the stone they will use as a headsman’s block, there’s what looks like a priest and two other soldiers in attendance. If I was armed and armoured I could probably kill all of these pretenders; luck has surely smiled upon them today.

The human shoves me over to the large stone and the priest walks to the other side, his robes muddied at the bottom. He looks me straight in the eye as one soldier walks behind me while the officer and the last soldier flank me. Elise walks just behind the priest, looking at me with a stoic expression. I wonder if she is still conflicted and I cling to the hope that she will help me out of this situation. For all my confidence, I don’t want to die. Not like this at least; there is no honour in being chained and executed. However, I see that is just a fantasy. After all, we’re on opposite sides of this war. If I were in her position, I would likely be the executioner as well as the priest in this situation. She is my enemy as I am hers.

“You call yourself a paladin of the Holy Light, yet you slaughter men and women in their beds,” the priest says, his gaze never leaving my eyes.

“It’s a military target,” I answer, looking straight back into his eyes. “It was not a dishonourable strike. If anything, it was poorly executed. We four met your fourteen in open combat and yo-…”

The soldier to my right punches me across the face, sending me stumbling aside. The officer catches me and shoves me back into position. It’s at this moment I realise how weak I am in my current state. I lost a lot of blood not too long ago and I still ache from the injuries I suffered in the previous battle.

“That’s enough,” the priest says, a strong, assertive tone to his voice. “Now, elf, you have been charged with murder and abuse of the Holy Light. Do you deny these charges?”

“Of course I do. If I were abusing the Light, do you not think it would turn its back on me? Also it’s not murder if it’s a paramilitary operation in a war. That’s called warfare, priest.”

The priest frowns. “You will face judgement for the lives you have taken.”

“I will be judged for the crimes I have committed, but it won’t be by you and it won’t be for what transpired here.”

The priest looks at the guard behind me and nods. I feel an armoured gauntlet on the back of my neck, pushing me down and forcing me to my knees. This is it. They’ve decided to just get the execution over and done with. My main regret is that I feel that I have not yet managed to atone for my sins. Will the Holy Light take that into account when it comes to my judgement?

I feel an armoured boot on my back, forcing me onto the stone, my head hanging over the other edge. I look up to the officer who has pulled out his blade, then to Elise, then to the priest who is saying a typical prayer to the Holy Light. I know the Alliance’s protocol when it comes to executions like these; even for their enemies they recite a generic prayer. It has no meaning and I think they’re just doing it for show.

I close my eyes and face down. There’s nothing left for me. This is the end.

Suddenly, I feel a shift in the air. I open my eyes in time to see an arcane flash from behind the priest and two hulking figures come charging out of it.

“What? We’re under attack! Protect Father Astrior,” the officer yells, turning to face the charging figures. This is the only chance I will get. I spring to life, jumping into the officer and colliding with his armoured form. We both go sprawling to the ground, but I am unarmed, unarmoured and weakened from my previous injuries. We hit the dirt, but before I can react the officer is upon me. He raises his sword to finish the job, but before he can plunge the blade through my chest he brings it up to parry one of the charging figures. I look up to see Uruda slamming into the human, bashing aside his defences and slamming her axe into the human’s chest, piercing the armour and sending a trail of crimson spilling from his breastplate behind his tabard.

“Laralla, can you walk?” she asks, picking up the human’s sword. I nod as she runs over, getting to my feet. She runs behind me and brings her axe down on the bindings, smashing them and freeing my hands. She thrusts the officer’s sword into my hands. “Good. We’re getting you out of here,” she says before charging off to engage another target. I look over to see Elise standing between Argrok and the priest and in that moment I can see that she was trained by my mother. Her fighting style is reminiscent of how my mother fought the Scourge, dodging and ducking beneath blows. She dodges to the side of his overhead swing, moving to slash at Argrok, but he brings his mace back around, causing her to back off to avoid the powerful swing of the Orc warrior. This isn’t a fight she can reliably win.

Lara Ready

Another soldier charges Argrok and Elise immediately disengages, moving to his flank and ready to strike him from behind. I will give these Alliance credit where credit is due, they work in unison far better than our Orc duo. I charge at the Alliance soldier, coming to Argrok’s aid as they seek to outnumber him, bringing the officer’s two handed sword around in an arc. The blade digs into his armour deep, but I don’t have the strength to pierce the plates. He turns, bashing me away with his shield, but in doing so he turns his back on Argrok who shatters the human’s spine with a powerful backwards swing of his mace.

I turn to Elise and the priest, but see the priest’s body burning as Claude hurls fireballs him, his robes aflame as he stumbles about, screaming at the top of his lungs before eventually collapsing to the ground, dead.

“Come on Uruda. Back to Claude!” Argrok yells, starting to bound back to the mage who appears to be starting a teleportation spell to pull us out. I notice Elise out of the corner of my eye. She has taken out her bow, pulling an arrow from her quiver and taking aim at the mage. I get ready to charge. I can’t let her kill my only way out. I won’t be recaptured and put in chains by these human dogs. She may have been nice to me while I was in captivity, but that was her mistake.

Before I can charge, Uruda barrels into Elise, causing her to lose her shot and hop backwards to avoid the axe swing, though she doesn’t hop far enough and Uruda’s axe slams into her side, piercing the lightweight chain armour and carving deep into her body. Elise drops her bow and immediately buckles, gasping for breath as Uruda pulls her axe out and starts to run towards Claude as well. I watch as the broken human struggles to move, her blood mixing with the wet mud beneath her as she bleeds at an alarming rate. She has mere seconds to live.

I look to the others. Their focus is elsewhere, watching for enemy reinforcements as Claude continues to channel his spell. I look back to Elise as she starts to slow. Time seems to stand still as I come to a realisation; the Light is testing me. Testing my will, testing my resolve, testing my honour. This woman had, in truth, put her neck on the line to at least make what she believed were my final moments a bit more bearable. If the Alliance had known that her reports were a fabrication…

RIP Elise

I extend my hand to her, closing my eyes as I channel holy energy into the girl, closing the gaping axe wound in her side. She looks up, locking eyes with me. “Now we’re even,” I say in Thalassian as she collapses to the dirt as shock and blood loss take their toll. With the wound closed, she should live as long as she receives medical attention in the near future, but she will feel awful; worse than I felt as her wound was a lot nastier than mine.

I turn and run for the other three as I see reinforcements coming up the hill. It’s time for us to leave. “We’re all here. Let’s get out of this place!” I yell as I reach Claude, putting a hand up to conjure a barrier of holy energy around us. I won’t have a stray spell or arrow stop us now.

Claude finishes his incantation and we are pulled through the nether, appearing on the dusty planes of Durotar, just outside of Orgrimmar. I collapse to my knees, exhausted but happy to be back in safe lands.

“Can you walk to Orgrimmar, or are you elves so fragile that I need to carry you?” Argrok asks with a big, toothy grin.

“I will be fine to walk, Argrok,” I answer, grinning right back and climbing to my feet. I look at the Alliance officer’s sword before offering it to Uruda. “Hey, you want this as a trophy? I believe he was the commander of that camp.”

Uruda smiled and nodded. “He was my kill, after all. First we show it to our employer, then Argrok buys our drinks for losing my bet,” she says with a chuckle, looking straight to Argrok.

I start to laugh as we begin our short walk to Orgrimmar. Despite losing my weapons, armour and holy symbol, my first combat job in years was a success. I grab the necklace my mother gave to me, partially to ensure that it is still there. Mother is alive and working with the Alliance. She has taken on a human girl as her new daughter. I must find her. I have so many questions to ask her, but if it comes down to it could I really fight her now? Now that I know what kind of a monster Father is.

It seems the Holy Light has more trials for me in the years to come. I will not waver.

< Part 2

Bonds of Family, part 2

That’s why I’m leaving, sister,” Anatheia says as she turned to face me for what felt like the first time during the entire conversation. I can tell she’s upset, that she’s holding back the tears as she speaks.

Father won’t allow it, Ana. You’re the oldest child with a gift for the arcane, you know he has plans for you to take over as head of the house. Besides, what will you tell Vel?” I reply, a firm tone to my voice despite my little sister’s current state of mind. I don’t want her to leave and I always was the more assertive of us three girls.

I don’t care what father wants. His training is smothering me and I feel I can do more good in Stormwind, rather than sitting safe up here in Quel’Thalas. Our allies need us; are we going to just sit up here safe behind our forests?”

I sigh. “No, of course not. But equally you need to think of the immediate ramifications of you leaving. How do you think Father will react? You know what he’s like.”

He’s the main reason I’m leaving. It’s decided; I leave tomorrow and my bags are already packed.”

Please reconsider. You’re going to tear the family apart over this.”

Anatheia’s expression shifted to one of anger. She tensed up, storming up to me. Is she going to punch me? No, I’ve been here before…

You wouldn’t know, Lara! You don’t know the training he puts me through. You haven’t seen what I’ve seen; how dare you assume to know what drives this decision!” she says, shoving me back. I’m shocked, mouth agape at my little sister’s sudden outburst. I look back to her to see the tears streaming down her cheeks.

Then why don’t you tell me, Ana? I want to help, but I can’t if you’re going to act this way!” I answer, keeping my posture non-threatening. I may be the stronger and faster of the two of us, but in her current state of mind I would not want to push her buttons any more than I apparently already have. She’s either overreacting and she’s unstable, ready to start throwing spells at the drop of a hat, or she has seen something that has changed her life for the worse.

I-… I can’t,” she replies, stepping back again and looking at the ground. She appears to have regained some control over her emotions at least.

Why not? I’m not against you, I just want to find a resolution to this that keeps us together as a family.”

I just can’t, okay.” She looks up at me, sniffing and carefully wiping her eyes. “Good bye, Lara.”

I take a step forwards and reach out to pull her into a warm hug, but she disappears from where she stood, appearing outside the room before rushing off. I chase after her, but when I get to my bedroom door, she is gone.

I wake up to the feeling of raindrops on my skin. It has only just started, as I am still dry for the most part. I feel awful. There’s a sharp pain in my stomach and a dull headache pounds within my skull. I move to get up, but my hands are chained behind my back. I turn over slowly to see a chain connecting me with a hitching post and a couple of horses about five metres away; a fresh pile of horse excrement lies far too close for comfort and I roll away from it a little. There isn’t too much slack in my chains, but enough to get me away from the horse droppings. My armour is missing, as well as my weapon and holy symbol. My necklace remains tucked beneath my clothing, my mother’s family crest; her final gift to me after Anatheia and I renounced our heritage on our father’s side, gave up our titles and claim to land and decided to live with the surname of a traitor instead of a madman. I lie there on my back, wearing just my underwear, a thin tunic, thin trousers and a pair of socks, closing my eyes and asking the Holy Light to guide me. It’s cold and the rain isn’t doing me any favours, starting to get heavier and soak me through. I have no access to a mirror, but I imagine I must look like hell right now.

A few minutes pass before I hear footsteps approaching. They aren’t the heavy plated boots of an Alliance soldier and for a moment I assume the best. Perhaps it’s a fellow Horde soldier here to free me? Maybe I have concussion as I see a woman round the nearby tent and walk over. She’s human, with long blonde hair worn loose beneath a blue hood and blue, lightweight chain armour covered by the tabard of Stormwind. I lock eyes with her and refuse to look away. She walks past me and grabs the chains by the hitching post, crouching down and undoing the lock. She stands, holding the chains and wrapping them around her wrist, while pulling out a simple shortsword with her free hand. She makes her way over to me and places her chained hand on the back of my neck, pushing me forwards. I stumble a few steps, but come to a halt, staring at her over my shoulder.

“Move it,” she says calmly, poking me in the back with her shortsword. I oblige, curious where this will take me. Perhaps she is my executioner. Perhaps she is going to question me. Either way, I would like to get out of this downpour.

She takes me to the far tent and pushes me in, following shortly after.

“Sit,” she says, gesturing at the chair. I feign ignorance, turning to stare at her again and pretending I don’t understand Common.

She rolls her eyes, grabs me by the scruff of the neck and shoves me down onto the wooden chair in the centre of the tent. She then walks to the corner and affixes the chain to the piton keeping the tent in the ground. I wonder if I could pull hard enough and bring this tent down on us? It wouldn’t be especially dangerous, but it would probably get me killed so I hold off for now. I am still curious to see where this goes. Inside the tent, apart from the wooden chair I sit on, is what looks like a hastily set up makeshift desk and another chair. These Alliance soldiers probably weren’t expecting to keep prisoners, hence the very makeshift interrogation set up. Amateurs.

The woman sits opposite me. “So, you have a name, Elf?” she asks in Common.

I still pretend I do not understand.

“Don’t pretend. I know almost all of your kind understands Common, unless you’re a ten year old child which I am quite confident you aren’t.”

I still don’t respond.

The woman sighs, rolling her eyes. She stands up, picking up the chair and moving within spitting range. Wonderful; I can spit in this woman’s face as my final act of defiance if it goes that way. However, what happens next takes me by complete surprise. The woman lowers her voice.

“Fine. Let me extend you the courtesy of communicating in your own language,” she says quietly in perfect Thalassian; even her accent is on point with any well-spoken blood elf. I find myself staring in shock at the woman, as it’s a rarity to find a human who speaks our language.

“Where did you learn?” I ask, narrowing my eyes.

“No, no, that’s not how this works. I asked the first question, so I will be more than happy to answer once you have answered mine.”

I smirk. “Laralla.”

“And your family name?”

“That’s not how it works. I answered yours, so now you answer mine,” I respond with a grin. If this is going to lead to execution, I would rather just get it over with.

The woman cracks a smile, nodding. “Fair enough, Laralla. I learned from one of your kin who you cast out for refusing to resort to fel magics to feed their addictions. Now, surname?”

I nod. “Dawnsinger.”

The woman blinks at me, staring for a moment.

“What? Did I get dessert on my nose?” I ask, grinning.

“No. Now, what were you trying to achieve here? Four of you against a camp this close to Refuge Pointe?”

“I think it’s my turn to ask,” I say with a grin.

The woman shakes her head. “No. You asked if you had dessert on your nose. I happily answered that question, so now it’s back to me,” she answers with a smug grin on her face. I can’t help but smirk at her style.

“Bitch.”

“Guilty as charged. Now, my question please.”

“Simple. I was hired to kick your pampered baby squad back over the Thandol Span.”

“So you’re not official military?”

“Nope. Anyway, that’s two you owe me now, so firstly, what’s the name of the Quel’dorei who taught you our language? I’d like to know so I can pay them a visit later.”

The woman hesitated, before smirking again. “Arinella Dawnsinger. You look just like her.”

No. I refuse to accept it. Arinella Dawnsinger? That’s the same name as my mother. The mother who tried to kill my father and then fled. I thought she was dead; she had to flee through Scourge controlled lands shortly after they destroyed the Sunwell. “She’s alive?”

“From your reaction I would say my hunch was right. She is alive and well, yes. I take it you are related? The family resemblance is there.”

I narrow my eyes at the human woman. “She’s my mother. She tried to kill my father and then fled.”

“From what I’ve heard, your father is a bit of a nut-case,” the woman replied, her tone very to the point.

“You couldn’t possibly understand. Anyway, why are you asking me these questions? Aren’t you going to interrogate me for military intelligence and then take me out back and execute me?” I ask, spitting on the ground.

“Because normally I would relish in conducting an interrogation with a Sin’dorei. I hate your people.”

“But this time’s different because you know my mother, right?” I ask, rolling my eyes. “Please, spare me your f-…”

“This time’s different because this particular Sin’dorei is my sister by adoption. Arinella adopted me as a war orphan. I may hate your people, but family is important to me.”

“Then how about you let me go?” I ask, rustling the chains slightly.

“I can’t. You murdered Alliance soldiers and sister or not, you have to face justice for your actions.”

“So where do we go from here?”

“I-… I’m going to say I got everything I could from you. That you have no intel to give and the strike was orchestrated by independent agents. Your fate is in the hands of the Alliance military and that of the Holy Light.”

The woman turns away, her tough exterior melting away. I can tell she’s conflicted with the situation and not an official member of the Alliance military. A contractor? Perhaps something I can use to my advantage.

“Your name, human? I’d like to know the name of my new adoptive sister before I meet the Holy Light,” I ask, softening my voice. If I’m going to get out of here, she’s my way out, so I need her on side.

The human woman turns to look at me, the conflict clear on her face. She takes a deep breath and regains her composure. “Elise Dawnsinger.”

I open my mouth to speak, but Elise rushes out of the tent, leaving me alone, but still restrained.

At least it’s dry in here.

< Part 1 | Part 3 >

Bonds of Family, part 1

As a preface to this, I will say that I have written and rewritten this three times. I just couldn’t get it right! I still don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s by far the best attempt I’ve had at it. So, I present to you, the first piece of Warcraft based fiction I have written in probably around seven years; last time I wrote any Warcraft stuff I was visiting parents during my university holidays. All names are random and not meant to represent any other characters that aren’t mine. It may be the Warcraft universe, but I still prefer to create my own characters.


It had been a while since I had seen active duty for the Horde. I tried moving into the civilian workforce after the Sunwell was liberated, but I was hounded by ghosts of my past; thoughts of guilt ate at my mind every day for what we, the Blood Knights, did to that poor Naaru. We faltered in our faith and the Naaru paid for it. I tried to take to life as a priest, I tried to take up the blacksmithing trade. Neither were difficult, my previous experience with the Holy Light and my responsibility as a Blood Knight meant I had an affinity for both of them, but I didn’t feel like I was on a path where I could atone for what I did. I kept my body in shape with daily exercise and a training regimen I used to abide by when I was an active Blood Knight, so donning my armour and picking up my spear was no strange experience, even after all these years.

Now here I stand, the Arathi Highlands. Reports indicated that the Alliance has used the conflict with the Legion to push advanced scouting parties closer to our borders and we had been hired to attack one of their camps. We will be outnumbered, but we will have the element of surprise if we play our cards right. The team is comprised of myself, a paladin of the Light, Claude, a forsaken spellcaster, as well as Argrok and Uruda, a pair of Orc warriors. I haven’t known them for very long, but it’s clear there is history between Argrok and Uruda, perhaps even a romantic history with the way they interact, though I am not an expert on Orc culture. Perhaps that’s something to ask my little sister about; her position as a diplomat means she has spent far more time around them than I have.

Watching

I can see the target in the distance. Four tents, with no more than four soldiers in each, meaning at maximum we will be facing sixteen Alliance soldiers. However, I have only counted ten so far, though the others could be asleep. I hear footsteps behind me.

“Is that the camp?” Argrok asks, cresting the small mound I had placed myself on to observe the Alliance forces. Argrok takes a knee next to me, observing the soldiers’ movements.

“It is. We wait for their next patrol to leave and then we strike,” I answer, not taking my eyes off the troops.

“Why not just attack now? Those Alliance dogs can’t stand up to us. They’re cowards,” Argrok says with a grin.

I turn to lock eyes with him, a seriousness piercing the calmness of the Highlands ambience. “Do not underestimate them, Argrok. By my count they could outnumber us four to one, and while they are cowards, they aren’t necessarily poor fighters.”

“Maybe by your standards.”

“I won’t argue the point, Argrok. We attack when the next patrol leaves.”

I turn to watch the camp again, hearing a grunt from the Orc as he gets up and walks off to the rest of the group. I wasn’t used to dealing with Orcs, as when I was a Blood Knight I was surrounded by my own people. We are very different when compared to the rest of the Horde and I can see why my little sister feels like we don’t belong, however this is the hand fate has delivered us and unity with the Horde is what we need to survive after the Alliance stabbed us in the back. I find myself lost in thought, considering what could have been if the Alliance hadn’t betrayed us, if we were still a part of the Alliance. That could be me down there in that camp, about to be attacked by a group of Horde soldiers. Also, I had friends in the Alliance military when we were still a part of it, so those people down there could be former friends.

“Hey, shiny,” Claude says with his usual neutral tone, “what are you doing?”

“What do you mean? I’m watching,” I respond, turning to look at the forsaken.

“Then you’ve noticed Argrok and Uruda heading for the camp talking about, what was it? The one who kills less buys the drinks?” he answers with a dry, sarcastic tone. I immediately turn, looking down to see the two Orcs approaching the Alliance camp. We cannot let them attack by themselves as they will be overwhelmed by the Alliance forces.

“Oh for the love of all that’s holy… We need to get down there and help them or they’re going to die,” I say, turning and making my way off the small mound, brushing past Claude who simply chuckles.

“We could always leave them to their fate. It’s their own fault and if they really want to die, who are we to stop them?”

I turn to face Claude, anger burning in my eyes. They may be stubborn and of questionable intelligence, but they’re our allies. “No. We support them. If we are under threat of being overrun, you pull us out of there.”

“Fine, but we will need to move quickly. The Orcs will not wait for us.”

I rush down the side of the hill, keeping out of line of sight of the camp as I dash after the two Orcs, trying my best to catch up with them. Then I hear it.

“The Horde are here! All forces to the east!” I hear someone shout out, followed by the sounds of combat. The pair of Orcs had already attacked. I discard all thoughts of moving stealthily and charge straight for the camp, spear at the ready. I crest the edge of the steep incline leading down to the Alliance camp, almost sliding down the dirt. As I drop down, I see the two Orcs surrounded by Alliance soldiers. They’re fending them off, but they’re going to get cut to pieces at this rate. I grasp my symbol of the Holy Light, holding my spear with one hand and muttering a quiet prayer as I reach the ground and charge at the Alliance soldiers who have surrounded the two Orcs. As Uruda takes a heavy sword blow to her abdomen, her wound immediately glows with holy energy and seals itself. I will not let my comrades die while I still draw breath.

“Someone deal with the elf!” one of the humans shouts, noticing my contribution to the current fight before Uruda plants her axe through his helmet, crumpling the metal inwards. Claude has taken up position on the ridge and starts raining fire down on the Alliance camp. The hit was going okay, considering Argrok and Uruda has screwed up the planned alpha strike. Then I notice how badly outnumbered we are. Fourteen against four were not odds that I felt comfortable with. I grip my spear in both hands and charge the formation around the Orcs, thrusting my spear into the back of the nearest Alliance soldier. He arches his back and collapses to the floor as I withdraw my spear, turning to parry the sword of another soldier.

Another soldier stabs Argrok in his side, causing him to double over in pain. He brings his mace down on the head of the soldier who stabbed him, crushing the human’s head in a single hit, but he falls shortly after. Uruda rushes to his side, defending him as more of the Alliance soldiers encircle the two Orcs while a four of them keep me preoccupied.

“Claude! Get down to Argrok and Uruda and get ready to pull them out!” I yell as one of the Alliance soldiers slashes across my back. My armour takes the brunt of the hit, but I stumble forwards from the impact. If we stay here, we’re all going to die.

“I’d rather not get chopped to pieces!” Claude yells back. I barely hear him over the sounds of battle and my concentration in fending off four soldiers.

“Just do it. I’ve got you covered!” I call back, parrying two of the Alliance swords with my spear. However, one of the Alliance soldiers slips underneath my guard, driving his sword straight into my gut. I cough blood and grit my teeth, my vision wavers as I notice Claude appear in the midst of the melee. I extend my free hand in his direction, muttering another prayer to the Light and enveloping the three of them in a shield of holy energy. Perhaps this is what I was searching for. Perhaps I have been seeking redemption through my own death. It would be a fitting end, considering all I have done, the atrocities I committed.

My vision grows foggy as I see the golden glow of the shield disappear in a flash of arcane energy. Claude teleported them out. My job is complete. I smile through the intense pain in my gut as the Alliance soldier removes his blade. I keep hold of my spear, but drop to my knees as my legs lose all strength. I don’t have the energy to stand. I feel drained. Like hell am I about to let some Alliance filth kill me off without a fight. I press my free hand to my gut, feeling where the sword pierced through my armour. My blood pours from the wound and my hand shakes as I channel holy energies into the wound, sealing it up. I still feel fatigued, having lost a lot of blood and my head spins, but I am at least no longer at risk of bleeding out. I struggle to my feet, my legs barely able to keep me up. I ready my spear and look for the nearest target.

“Oh bloody hell, nobody finished the paladin?”

“Take her alive. She can barely stand and may be more useful to us alive.”

I swing at the nearest soldier, but he catches my spear on his shield and shoves me backwards. I stumble, barely able to keep my footing before I feel a pommel strike me in the face, sending me crashing to the ground. I lose grip on my spear as I hit the dirt, knocked flat on my back. The sky is blurred and spinning, darkness creeping into my vision. I’d rather die than be taken alive by these treacherous snakes. I roll onto my stomach and try to push myself up, but my arms have no power. I can’t push myself up. Then I feel a hand grab my hair, an armoured gauntlet pulling me to my knees and another pressing a dagger to my throat. I stare at a blurry form in front of me, a figure in blue armour.

“Wait, who the hell is this?” a female voice asks as I lose consciousness, the darkness finally overtaking my vision.

Part 2 >

Planning, planning and… ooh, planning!

I was going to write some fiction, I really was. I had a little adventure to send my little Blood Elf on and everything was planned out. It was going to be amazing.

Then I remembered I run a Stars Without Number game every Wednesday.

Then I remembered I needed to make a map for said Stars Without Number game on Wednesday.

Then I realised I would need to make a whole two maps for said Stars Without Number game on Wednesday.

And I like dynamic lighting.

Then I had busy days at work so I couldn’t build maps or write fiction in between calls as they were just constantly coming in. Working customer service in an arguably understaffed department is really not fun on busy days…

Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of my free time planning for this week’s Wednesday game and it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait to run it; it’s going to be fantastic. Now, I know my players are out there, so I won’t spoil anything just yet, but it’s going to be great. Probably a bit less RP than last session, as the job my players have taken on is going to involve combat and last session saw no combat at all. We’ve got all that to look forward to, plus some mysteries of a toxic planet to uncover, some caves to explore and some new people to meet! All to help a psychic nerd pass his finals… and 50k credits.

Also, the last “boss” of the job is both dangerous and utterly useless at the same time. I can’t wait to see how -that- pans out…

However, I would feel bad not giving at least a sneak preview of what I’ve been working on in terms of fiction. Here’s a snippet of the first piece of Warcraft-based fiction I have written in literally eight years! I feel so incredibly rusty since I haven’t really written in a universe or setting that isn’t my own design for quite a while.

Military life is a difficult one to leave. I thought I could do it, I thought I could leave that life behind and join the civilian workforce; maybe I could’ve become a priestess as I wanted to all those years ago, before my little sister left and Father pressured me into becoming a paladin. I honestly tried. I tried to pick up the smithing trade to earn a living. It wasn’t that it was difficult, I understood the basics of it pretty well, however I felt useless. I didn’t feel like this was a way for me to repent for what our order did after the Sunwell was destroyed by the Scourge; what we did to that Naaru.

Watching

Stay tuned to find out what’s going down in the Arathi Highlands and why I have an edgy screenshot of my Blood Elf kneeling on a rock. Also stay tuned to learn of the antics that will go down on Wednesday when my players get into the heart of this job they have taken!

Also still going to try and reorganise this website so it makes sense and maybe update some things (not the 40k tactics. I haven’t played in about a year or two).

I also need to think of a witty sign off… >.>

A Romantic Evening

((This was something I did to explain what my character was doing in her downtime on Valentine’s Day in the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG campaign I am currently a part of. I play a very corporate mother of two))

I step out into the medical district, new waterproof cybernetics ready and raring to go. The air is thick with smog, even here in the medical district, the pollution filling my lungs as soon as I dare to draw breath in this city. It’s early afternoon, nearing two o’clock, and I haven’t eaten since I took the twins to school this morning. I hop on the next bus to the New Harbour Area and grab myself a quick bite to eat, a ready to eat meal; I’ve given up kibble since the graduation and have started buying better for the family too. Since EBM sent us over here, life has been really shitty. Compared to France, America is a real shit hole. No style, no sophistication and no appreciation of talent.

That being said, that gutter-punk who keeps my baby girl awake and jacked in to the Net has the wrong kind of appreciation for talent. H4lf_J4ck, I think his handle is; some cowboy from Northside. He has no idea what he’s fucking with, and I bet he didn’t even notice the trace I put on his connection or the tap on his messages between my daughter and himself. If I have to give the kid a scare, I will. Infect his deck with some mad virus; no black ICE, I don’t want to flatline the little shit, but enough to keep him away from my daughter. Amandine needs to be kept in check too, come to think about it; constantly out late at night with the punks of Upper Eastside. Both of my girls have pistols and have been trained in the proper and safe methods of using them, I made sure of that personally, but it’s a mother’s job to worry about her children. Night City is not safe at night, there are occurrences that even I would not walk away from in the streets and I wish that my two girls wouldn’t court with disaster so much.

I finish my lunch and take a quick detour through the Mallplex. I recently got paid and waterproofing my sockets was cheaper than I originally thought, so I have some disposable income to treat myself with. I still need to buy a wetsuit, some extra bullets and a few other bits and pieces, but that shouldn’t come to much either. I reckon I’ve earned myself some new clothing. As I make my first circuit through the Mallplex I take out my phone, dialling Julien. He’ll still be at work, but considering he’s an office drone and not some covert corporate operative like me he should be able to answer at work. I call him on his personal number.

“Salut, ma chérie?” Julien answers, though I can hear in his voice that he’s keeping the tone quiet. Perhaps his manager is close. A shame, but I will be brief.

“Salut Julien! Are you free this evening? I’d like to go somewhere nice with you before my next job pops up,” I reply, lips curling into a smile as I pass by a really nice coat. I make a mental note to try it on later.

“Ah, yes. That would be great, but I cannot speak right now. Manager is doing performance reviews so I need to be on point!” Julien responds hurriedly, causing me to chuckle quietly.

“Okay. I’ll speak with you later. Kisses.”

“I love you too,” he responds before I put the phone down. Time for some serious shopping.

I eventually make it out at 6pm, another message from Amandine to say that she won’t be home until late, as usual, and one from Isabelle saying the same sort of thing, on my phone as I wait at the bus stop. I keep the bullets hidden, along with the other ‘abnormal’ items, out of sight, only my various bags of high fashion and business clothing on show as I make my way onto the bus back to Upper Eastside, the area where my small, grimy little apartment is situated. Hopefully by the end of the month I won’t have to put up with this crap any more and I can relocate the family to the Corporate Zone. That’s why I do what I do. That’s why I put myself in danger.

I step off the bus and start to make my way home. I cut through an alleyway to get home quicker, as I would like a good amount of time to make myself look my best for the night. As if right on cue, a pair of street punks step out from behind a dumpster. One is armed with a jagged looking switchblade, the other with some sort of heavy pistol.

“Okay lady, we’re going to need to relieve you of your money and all your belongings,” one of them says, a faint sense of giddiness in his tone as he aims his pistol in my direction.

“We caught a good one this time. She looks like she’s got a lot of money,” the other whispered, thinking that I couldn’t hear him. Amateurs.

“Okay, okay. Please don’t hurt me,” I beg in heavily accented English, dropping my shopping to the ground.

“And your purse. Come on, we don’t have all day!”

“Alright, alright. Let me get it for you,” I answer, still with the same panicked expression and tone. I momentarily glance at them. They’re buying the act. Not just amateurs, but morons too. I reach inside my jacket and my combat senses flair to life. Before the two punks can react, I’ve brought my pistol out and around, aiming along the barrel to the pistol wielding one’s chest. Two shots from my silenced HK P9S sends the gin-totting one to the ground as the second one jabs his switchblade towards my gut. I sidestep the thrust, grabbing his wrist and disarming him of his weapon in a brief second. He tries to grab my gun, but I force him to the ground before he can get anywhere near, placing one shot clean through his head as I hold him pinned against the floor. I quickly holster my pistol, scoop up my shopping and make my way out of the alley before anyone can come looking.

“Bon soir,” I say with a smile as I push my way through the front door. Julien is doing some cleaning up, having taken off his suit jacket and tie.

“Bon soir. I see someone has been busy,” Julien replies, turning to me with a wide smile on his face.

“Last job paid fairly well. Saving most of it, but I figured I deserved a little treat.”

“Little?” Julien asks, eyeing my shopping bags.

“It’s all relative,” I answer playfully as he moves closer, planting a gentle kiss on my lips. I trace a finger down his chest. “Miss me?”

“Always. You’re away way more often than I’d like. What’s so important to keep you away from me and our children?”

“You know I can’t tell you. Just trust me, we’ll be better for it in the long run,” I answer, pulling him into a hug.

“I do… Anyway, you should start getting ready. We have a table booked, remember? Even if you refuse to tell me where.”

I grin, quickly plant a kiss on his cheek and weave my way past him. “I know. I’m the one who booked it,” I respond, sending a quick wink his way before getting myself ready for the evening. I sometimes wonder if there are any other netrunners like myself; not from a covert corporate operative standpoint, but from a ‘I am one hell of a charismatic son of a bitch, about to spend the night with my husband, having a romantic meal, worrying about my daughters getting involved with street trash’ angle.

We leave the apartment at about 7:30pm. I drive, as Julien has no idea where we are headed, and I wanted to keep the surprise for as long as possible. On the car journey he asks where we’re heading, but I refuse to tell him. He’s persistent, but I’m an expert on leading people on; for better or worse it’s a talent that I have. I can be a terrible wife sometimes.

We arrive at the restaurant, a fancy place in Charter Hill. We’re far from the only couple and I recognise two others from EBM with their respective partners. We chat, he asks about my next job, I tell him that it’s better that he doesn’t know, as usual. The food is great, especially considering we have been living off of kibble for the past year or so and neither EBM worker comes over to say hello; a blessing in disguise, really. We take a walk around Charter Hill after the meal.

“You say you’re going to be away for a while?” Julien asks me as we round the corner.

“Yes. It’s due to work. You know how it is,” I answer, semi-honestly at least. He turns to me.

“I’m worried. About you and our two girls,” he says suddenly, the worry evident in his features.

“Why?”

“Your work is obviously dangerous, and the girls are always up late.”

I raise an eyebrow. “They’re fifteen, coming up sixteen, Julien. The fact that they’re still in school is a miracle over here in America.”

“It shouldn’t be. Why are we even here? You seem to know more about the situation than me, despite my position in the company.” Of course, Julien out-ranks me within EBM’s corporate structure, but it’s my job to know things.

“The company wants us here. That’s why. I don’t know either, but it’s clear that they don’t want us to know. We don’t need to know, we’re disposable assets to them.”

“I’m sorry,” Julien starts, “but what of the girls? This is a crucial time for them and they need their mother around.”

“This is only temporary, trust me.” I lean in and pull him into a hug. “I hate being away from you and the girls as much as you do. Every time I leave, it hurts more than anything else, but I do it for our future. I don’t want my family to live in some crappy place in a crappy part of town eating crappy food, where every day brings danger in the form of muggers.”

A scratching sound. Speak of the devil. I turn towards the origin of the sound.

“Huh?” Julien looks at me, his worry turning into a look of perplexity, before one of horror as a group of gangers emerge from the alley to our left. My eyes are immediately scanning the environment, looking for the best cover, the best position for me to pull out my pistol and fill these guys with holes.

“All right lovebirds, you’re going to give us your valuables and we’re going to walk away,” the lead gangster almost snarls. A large scar runs down his face, a ravine amongst a desolate wasteland, his skin is cracked and his face malformed. It looks like a really bad attempt at cosmetic surgery. He turns his attention to me and grins. “Well, we might take her with us too.”

Julien steps in front of me. “I don’t think so. You’re going to walk away before I’m forced to do something we’ll both regret.”

The gangsters burst out laughing and I roll my eyes. He’s a corporate worker, so he has to deal with danger and be ready to defend himself but this is not his battlefield. “You against us five? You really think you’re capable of that?”

“You have no idea,” he replies, his voice a rehearsed, smooth tone that seems to unnerve some of the other gangsters in the wings.

“You’ve got balls, drone, I’ll give you that. Maybe I’ll remove them,” he threatens, brandishing a jagged machete. He turns his attention back to me. “Come on sweetheart, I’ll show you what a real man’s balls are like.”

His friends laugh again. I’ve had enough of this shit. I can see that my husband is about to start shooting, having a concealed pistol inside his suit jacket. I can see the gangsters preparing their weapons; one has a chain, the leader has a machete and what looks like a machine pistol at his hip, two have pistols and one has a pair of switchblades.

Once again, my combat instincts kick in. I reach into my suit jacket and pull out my HK P9S, picking out the rifle wielding ganger and firing at him as I dive behind cover. Gunfire erupts from the gangsters, but I can see that Julien has done the same as me, hunkering down behind a wall. I hear the leader shout something at the remaining three, the rifleman now a bloody mess on the floor of the alley. They appear to open fire on Julien, keeping his head down as the gang leader and the one with the switchblades advance on me, the leader firing his machine pistol into the dumpster that I’m hiding behind, keeping me suppressed as well. I wait for the two to emerge and, surely enough, the switchblade wielding gangster emerging first. I grab him and flip him over, throwing him to the ground with a hard thump.

“You’re going to pay, bitch!” the leader yells as he comes as me from behind, grabbing one of my arms and forcing me against the dumpster. I look over to see Julien dispatching one of the two with guns, but the other keeps him busy for the moment. The gangster pushes on my arm again, threatening to dislocate it at the elbow and sending my pistol to the floor. The switchblade wielding gangster makes a grab for my gun, but I hook it with my foot, dragging it away from him before he can pick it up. The gang leader pulls me around and hits me in the face, but my skinweave absorbs most of the blow. I recoil from the hit as he pulls around his machine pistol. I hear the click as he readies the weapon, shortly before unloading a full clip into my stomach, knocking the wind out of me. I fall to the ground to see Julien dispatching the other gang member, turning his attention to me at the sound of the gunfire. A grin, almost proud as he calmly reloads his pistol, drops to one knee and fires through, killing both gang members that were attacking me; he didn’t allow himself to get all emotional until after the fight was over. What a champ.

“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…” he mumbles as he sprints over to me. I can see that his suit took some bullets, but he doesn’t appear to be bleeding. I give him a thumbs up as he kneels beside me; I’m not bleeding either.

“You’re not the only one who dresses practically,” I say through deep breathing, filling my lungs with air once again. Julien stares at me, puzzled once again before drawing me into a tight hug, so tight that he threatens to wind me once again.

“I thought that was it. I thought you were dead. I heard the gunfire and…”

“Settle down, you’re going to suffocate me,” I mutter, catching my breath once more as he releases me from his grip. “And don’t worry about the girls. Who do you think taught them about fashion, and the importance of spending a bit extra for protective, but good looking clothing.”

Julien picked up my pistol and handed it to me. “You’re security, aren’t you?” he asks as he hands my silenced HK P9S back, laser sight still blinking. I turn off the laser sight and re-holster it beneath my suit jacket.

“Yeah,” I reply. A half truth.

“You could’ve just told me.”

“I didn’t want you to worry.” I look around, getting up to my feet with Julien’s help. “We can have this discussion another time. Cops will be here any minute, and I’d rather spend the rest of Valentine’s Day with you, rather than some angry police officer.

He nods and we leave the scene, getting back to the car. He drives this time, taking us home as soon as possible. Fortunately, police response times tonight are not exactly jaw-dropping and we get away from the scene with no repercussions. When we get home, the girls are absent, as usual. I slip out of my suit jacket, kick off my shoes and walk over to the bed, collapsing on it.

“Nothing like a brush with death to get the blood pumping,” I say with a smile. The adrenaline rush has ended and I find myself rather exhausted. “But also exhausting.”

Julien sits on the other side, before suddenly rolling over, his arms either side of me with a wide grin on his face. “I hope not too exhausting.” He leans in to kiss me, his hand running up the side of my body to the buttons on my shirt. A wave of heat rises through me, flushing my cheeks with red.

“Not too exhausting,” I reply with a grin.

I don’t get much sleep that night. The girls don’t even wake us when they sneak in during the early hours of the morning.

Asuka Tries To Do What Is Right

A quick note on this. Yes, it is highly biased because it’s from a certain character’s point of view. A certain character who is directly opposed to the rest of the party on a particular matter. It was from a Stars Without Number session in a campaign that I am a part of that I decided to turn into a brief piece of narrative. Essentially, we have a rat-man who is worth a lot of money welded to the ground. I play a doctor who thinks that his treatment is really inhumane and has been trying to hatch a plan to make it right. Then we get attacked by a guy who wants the rat-man and Asuka, my character, has to improvise with a far from perfect situation. Both plans were basically a betrayal of the party, but not in the sense that she’d kill everyone, but more in the sense that everyone else wants to sell him for large amounts of money and Asuka just wants to do what’s right in her eyes. This does not tide over well with the rest of the group when they find out about plan B. (They never found out about plan A).


Boom! Boom!

I struggle to keep my balance as the ship is hit by two more missiles. I can see on the holographic screen that the turret is a flaming wreck by this point. I hope Kiril got out okay; he may be a psychopath, but he is also a member of this crew. I make a mental note to sit down with him and get a proper diagnostic on his mental state at a later time, but time is not something that we currently have. The Ige-gumi helicopter starts to hover above the ship, armed men rappelling down along with the same man who came for Timmy before, a new cyberninja in tow.

There is no way I can prep these engines for take off in time. These armed men will be inside way before I can do anything useful here.

“I’m heading to the computer room. No way I can prep these engines in time,” I yell in English through the intercom as I pack up my tools and bolt down the corridor. I can see the movement outside the ship. They are getting into position. I can’t believe these idiots brought arguably the largest yakuza clan to our doorstep with an attack chopper. Why? Why couldn’t they have waited twenty four hours? I would’ve had Timmy out of here and in the care that he needs after what the crew has done to him. His mind is damaged beyond my counselling skills. He needs specialist help that I could’ve got him to. I had even planned on taking out a loan to cover the costs. It’s the least I could do now. I should’ve spoken up earlier.

But that plan has gone to hell. I will have to cancel the pick-up tonight. Why can’t these muscle-heads do anything right besides commit murder and inhumane atrocities? I get to the computer room and immediately try to hack into their comms. The security is there, but I easily overcome the obstacles and tap into their network. I hear them going over the plan. My God, they plan on blowing up the radiators once they’ve grabbed Timmy. That would cause the ship to explode and take the entire hangar with it. They want to kill us all, but it seems like they especially want John dead. Also, I get a name.

Reuben Jacobs.

I almost wish I hadn’t. Jacobs is big time in the Jewish mob, which explains why a yakuza clan would be working with a gaijin; he is obviously offering them something in return. Perhaps a share of the profits they’ll get from selling Timmy?

“Reuben Jacobs. We don’t have to do this,” I say into their comms network in English. I just hope that he is still amenable to reason after everything the crew have done.

“Oh?” he replies.

“That’s right. I am the ship’s doctor and I believe that we can come to an arrangement that doesn’t involve violence.”

“The rat-man. Give him to me and I’ll let you live. Hell, I’ll even give you the eight thousand that I promised your captain last time.”

“Done,” I say as I tap furiously at the computer keyboard, exploiting holes in the ship’s security to wrestle control of the doors.

“Nice job getting into our comms, by the way. I wasn’t expecting that,” Jacobs says as I open the ship airlock’s outer door.

“What can I say. I’m a woman of many talents,” I respond with a smile. “I want one of you to step into the airlock. Not you, Jacobs, and not the cyberninja. One of the others. I’ll release the rat-man into his custody and we can both go our separate ways.” I hear the thud of footsteps as John pokes his head into the computer room and asks me what I’m doing. I tell him what I am doing and instantly wish I had lied when he runs into the cargo bay.

“All right,” Jacobs says as he motions one of the yakuza into the airlock. I close the airlock door behind him and transfer comms to my compad, telling the man in the airlock how it’s going to go in Japanese to ensure he understands what I’m doing. I take my monokatana from my belt and leave it in the computer room before I run to the cargo bay and head over to where the rat man is welded to the floor. I fish around in my first aid kit and take out a tranquilliser, which I administer to the rat-man; I can’t risk him biting me while I work. Once he is sedated, I take out my toolkit and start cutting the rat-man loose. The whole scene makes my stomach turn every time I see it. Anything would be an improvement on this. We’re miles south of best case scenario right now, but at least I can save the lives of the crew in doing this.

As I work, John seems to have his own heated conversation with Jacobs as he points the humvee’s turret at the airlock doors.

“Change of plans. I’m going to bring the rat-man out myself. Tell your man to leave the airlock,” I say as I continue to release the rat man, re-opening the outer airlock door and re-iterating the change in plans in Japanese to the yakuza. Once he walks out, I shut the airlock door behind him.

“Hey, we’ve just been locked out here,” Jacobs says, suspicion prevalent in his voice.

“I have to ensure the safety of everyone. I will be out with the rat-man, don’t worry.”

That’s when I hear a click behind me.

“Asuka, if you don’t stop what you’re doing, I will shoot you. You’re getting between me and a pay day” John threatens as he points his spike thrower at my back. If I keep working, I have no doubt that he will pull the trigger. All over a pay day, of all things; he would shoot me over a sum of money, after all I’ve done on this ship, the hours I work. Morality and human decency on this ship are basically dead concepts.

Defeated, I stop what I am doing and pack up my things, leaving the job half done. I turn to John. “Then the deaths of the crew are on your hands, Mr. Mayhew,” I reply, though my tone is low. I make my way out of the cargo bay and transfer control of the doors back to the ship and the rest of the crew.

“Then I guess we do this the old fashioned way,” Jacobs says as he and the yakuza start to make their way around the front of the ship.

“I’m really sorry we couldn’t work this out, but the crew threatened to kill me if I continued. Can’t fulfil my side if I’m dead,” I say into their comms. I keep my link into their comm as I may need it should the crew fail to defeat these people. I slump down into the corner of the computer room and just let it all go. The stress, the emotional trauma, I let it all go, curling up and crying into my knees.

All this because I tried to do what was right. Well, at least I didn’t tell Summer of my plans, so she’s safe from John’s trigger finger should the crew make it out alive.

Character Genning Mood

So, I’m in a Cyberpunk 2020 game every week and, whilst the slightly over-the-top 80s style of it isn’t my exact cup of tea, I’m enjoying it thoroughly and I love my flirty Italian Netrunner so much (she got her first kill -ever- last session. It was a learning experience).

But in case she is hospitalised or killed (hopefully not!), I will need a back up character. So I thought to myself, what sort of character am I going to play…

Inspired from one of my own characters in my own cyberpunk setting, though with modifications to fit the Cyberpunk 2020 setting and rules, I decided that a possibility is that I may go for a burned corporate operative.

Note: I haven’t proof read this. It’s coming up 3am. I need to go to bed. Badly. It’s going to get light soon and I’m a light sleeper. This is bad on so many levels, but I had to at least finish!


Nobody is safe. A message comes through to my mobile phone, a contract. Corporate worker, supposedly leaked company secrets to a rival. I don’t fucking care, they tell me to ice this guy, I ice this guy. There are no questions, no arguments; this is just how the corporate world works.

Nobody is safe.

I pocket my phone inside my jacket pocket, I wear business attire, though my clothing is threaded with kevlar. My line of work is dangerous, though I must also keep a professional appearance in the office. Corporate security is no different in that regard. We all abide by the same dress code. Inside my jacket I feel the grooves of my heavy pistol. Colt. AMT Model 2000 with armour piercing bullets. There’s enough firepower tucked under my arm to dent even the heaviest personal armour; whoever this guy is, I could probably ice this guy through a solid wall.

I trawl through our databases and find this poor bastard’s address. He lives in an apartment in the corporate zone, the building is owned by us so getting into the block shouldn’t be a problem. There will be a maglock on his door, though it’s nothing I can’t crack. This is all routine by now; if all fails, I can probably blast my way in with this hand cannon I’m sporting.

I grab my motorcycle keys and make my way to the parking garage. It’s night by now, but my work often comes in after hours, so I am no stranger to it. I put on my helmet, start her up and drive towards the block where the target lives. I park up, take off my helmet and walk through the front door. The building security are expecting me and let me in. If this keeps up, I should get home in time to see my fiancé. With a grin on my face I make my way up to the target’s apartment and get to work on the keypad.

It doesn’t take long for me to crack it and I’m in. I open the door…

WHAM!

Something hits me in the face. Felt like a rifle butt. My training kicks in and I pull my pistol, firing two shots directly in front of me. Apparently whoever ambushed me wasn’t expecting that. I see the figure, heavily armoured, stagger backwards, one hole in his stomach and one in the middle of his chest. He looks at me through his helmet’s visor and collapses to the floor, blood staining the carpet. There’s a rather effeminate scream that emanates from the target, a wiry man in a business suit. He runs into the bathroom and a second armoured figure raises a sub-machine gun and fires on full auto. I manage to avoid most of the bullets, but a sharp pain digs into my side as one wings me. Fuckers are using armour piercing ammo too.

I place a hand over the wound, blood seeping into my suit and staining my white shirt. I swing around the corner as his shooting ceases; full auto fire isn’t sustainable and I catch him reloading. I raise my pistol and fire. One bullet, straight through the visor and out the back of his head, the contents of his skull spraying against the far wall. I’m about to finish the job when I hear footsteps behind me.

“Security! Drop your weapon!” I hear from behind me. I calmly turn, hold my hands out with a friendly smile.

“I’m with the corp. They want this guy iced.”

The bastards don’t ask again. I see fingers moving for the triggers so I dart to the side, running down the corridor.

“Don’t let her escape!” I hear from behind me, a hail of gunshots forcing me to turn another corner. Fortunately, the stairs are not far and I start a rapid descent. Fortunately, these security are a different wing to our own. These guys are the amateur league by comparison.

I shoot my way through the lobby and get back to my bike. It doesn’t take long to start her up and get out of there. Someone’s after my position, or doesn’t want me taking theirs. The whole thing stinks of set-up. I need to get home. I need to tell my fiancé. We need to get the fuck out of here.

I get home and bust through the door, gun out and ready. I walk into the living room to a scene of horror. My fiancé. His corpse lies face down in a pool of blood, a gaping whole in the side of his head. I am transfixed by the scene, horror etched into my features. I notice a hand in the corner of my eye. I swing around, gun towards this new threat. Too late. My gun flies from my grip and a powerful blow connects with my arm as I block the attack. Crude. Clubs. I grab my attacker’s leading arm and pull him in closer, my knee slamming into his nose with a squelching sound. I flip him over and turn to the next threat. This one has a sword, a freakin’ monokatana. I dodge out of the way of the woman’s swings. She’s fast, but not fast enough. I am about to counter attack when my left arm is grabbed. I swing my fist into the man’s face, sending him reeling backwards, but it’s too late.

The monokatana slices clean through my left arm, severing it just below the shoulder. I scream in pain and stagger backwards. A signal goes out over the net. Trauma Team. Like it will make a difference. I feel another sharp pain as the woman shoves the monokatana through my abdomen. Everything seems to fade. The pain of the solid impacts from the clubs fade to nothing. The woman removes her monokatana from my stomach and I fall to the floor.

Nobody is safe.

I wake up to a faint beeping. My vision is blurry, but I’m in a white room. There is no pain. Am I dead? No. Hospital. The smell of medical drugs is thick in the air. I try to move. I feel groggy. A nurse walks in.

“What happened?” I manage to ask her.

“We pulled you from your house. The left arm is a replacement job; woman around your size came in for cybernetics about a week ago and sold us her original arm to help cover the costs. You’ll have to train it a little, but we think your body should adapt and accept it within a few days.

She pauses. “We managed to save you, but we couldn’t save the other.”

“My fiancé?”

She shook her head. “He was dead long before we got there. No, I mean…”

She looks me in the eyes. The situation doesn’t need words. Not any more. I had a feeling, but… Fuck it. Fuck it all…

I need to get out of here.

I wait for the nurse to leave before I stumble from my hospital bed and manage to sneak my way to the elevator. I almost fall on top of an older man in the elevator as I slam the garage button. He looks at me, though his features are all a blur to me. He gets out at the ground floor. I descend further. The parking garage is largely empty, but I look around for a cheap looking car. With my current condition I don’t think I could break into or hotwire a more expensive model. I settle on a slightly rusting sedan. I get in. I start to drive as the blurriness subsides, albeit only partially. I drive back to my house to find it taped off. Corporate investigation. I avoid driving too close. My bike is parked around the corner. I crack the locking mechanism, a subtle trick I installed for situations like this. I grab my belongings, my phone, a couple thousand in cash, some basic cosmetics, a small holdout pistol. An emergency stash I kept under my bike seat.

I hop back in the car and make my way towards a small medical clinic on the outskirts of the city. Outside of major corporate influence. I walk in and go to the receptionist.

“I need you to set me up with some cyberware and I want it off the record. I’ve got the money. Cash.”

“Please, take a seat and someone will be with you,” the receptionist replies. I nod and take a seat.

A few days of living in the shadows, surviving in the streets of the outskirts of Paris later and I’m on a smuggler ship. I’m headed to America. My former employers do not have as much pull over there as they do in Europe. Then again…

Nobody is safe.