We had only been in the city for a half-hour when I brought up (rather angrily) the direction of the Cho’thaki.
‘How do you intend to tamper with them when we’re only being kept on in regards to paperwork?’
‘Why do you think I requested supplies?’
‘You have a habit?’ My wry response didn’t help. I’d been angry about the… things since they were revealed in the Lumber Camp. I failed to see how sabotaging them could prove helpful, given the already-abysmal relations between Silvermoon and Orgrimmar and the increasing pressure on Garrosh.
‘Well, I used to…’
‘And you’re the one in charge of this mess.’ My facepalm was palpable. I couldn’t see why the orcs trusted Forestfire of all people with managing this project. Still, I supposed Forsaken were experts in messing with the biological.
‘Congratulations?’ Was he celebrating?
‘If you want…’
‘No. You stated the obvious. Again.’ He seemed… bored, of all things, which only infuriated me more. I snapped back at him.
‘Well it makes sense, give the crazy undead charge of defiling more bodies.’
‘Your support for me is just suicidal.’ I was not in the mood for withering sarcasm.
‘Well, you’re planning to sabotage our chances in the war and undermine our only source of stable support… If I’m suicidal, what does that make you?’ It was bad enough messing with orcish genetics and potentially angering all of those that were less fond of Garrosh, but angering Garrosh’s forces by double-crossing them too was just plain mad.
‘Shut up, lass… Just shut up. I didn’t come crawling back to-‘
I shut off the communicator. The Grom’s Blood project had me angry enough; attacking Aleck further when he wasn’t going to talk would only make me angrier. I shoved it in my bags as my cheeks burned, and continued my slow creep through the Cleft of Shadow. I harboured no friendly feelings for Garrosh’s Horde, but I wasn’t suicidal enough to sabotage ourselves with the eyes of Hellscream perhaps being carried around in our bags.
Maybe it was a test. But why the commendations, rather than the iconography everyone received? Maybe it just imprinted a spell. After Theramore, the Divine Bell… Garrosh could be capable of anything. If it was a test, I doubted anyone else had actually kept the badge. Maybe the others suspected. That was why most of the badges hadn’t made it intact to Orgrimmar. But there was no time for suspicion now – I’d see soon enough if the badges yielded anything or not. I stuffed the things into the bottom of my pocket, silencing the pocket just in case.
From the incense of the Cleft I snuck out into the smoky twilight of the Drag, dodging across from dead tree to dead tree until I found myself pacing along the dark passage to the Valley of Spirits-
‘SCUM! Move, now!’ I pressed myself against the wall until I realised the angry yell had come from Kor’kron inside the Valley and not inside the passage. I moved closer to where the torches danced wildly, exposing the humiliation of the Darkspear.
It was not imprisonment. But it was… containment.
Kor’kron stalked the thin bridges and paths, glaring at trolls, daring them to speak out of turn. Each troll looked more scared than the last, and there was no leadership in sight. Their farms bore the evidence of thievery and trampling, their houses neglected and, in some areas, burnt. A quick glance downstream and the Slums looked little better. The Darkspear huddled in groups, looking malnourished and anxious. They shielded the children and the few out-tribers who had allied themselves to the Darkspear cause years ago.
So this was the Horde I had fought for in Ashenvale, Desolace, Pandaria. I chewed my lip, thinking of those I had lost, those that everyone had lost.
This was not the Horde I wanted to fight for. But I was, fortunately, not going to anymore.
Instead, I was returning to Silvermoon.