I was blinded for a few seconds by an intense blue light, which revealed itself to be the primal energies of the Nexus itself. I had no idea where I was.
‘Impressive. You resisted the mind magic with that.‘ A disembodied voice clattered around me, and I scrambled, almost dropping the surge needle. It was glowing.
Oh. The surge needle had absorbed the spell! That was why I wasn’t under mind control… It was rather humbling. Wait.
‘Where are the other researchers?’
‘Oh, those pests? I dispatched of them several hours ago. You have been unconscious for quite some time. The needle is fully-charged, though I have no idea how you turned it back on. I thought Kalec had turned most of the complex off.‘
I got to my feet and looked around. The room – I think it was a room, but it seemed circular, without doors – swayed.
‘Don’t look for a way out. These things are impenetrable, unless you have the key.‘
‘Where am I? Who are you?’
‘Ah, mortals, so eager to ask questions rather than discover for themselves. You are within one of the Arcane Prisons that we used during the Nexus War. As to who I am, it does not matter – suffice it to say that I am one of the Guardians of this place. And your people have intruded one too many times on our territory.‘
My head stopped spinning. The place was completely circular, the runes on the walls moving as though they had a mind of their own. I could see no door when I turned round, and I could not be sure that I’d turned full-circle at all. There had to be a way out. I looked at the surge needle inquisitively. Maybe…
I pointed the needle at the wall ahead of me, not entirely sure how to use it. I pressed the top disc in, and it fired a bolt of energy at the wall.
The wall absorbed it and the runes shifted.
‘You’ll have to do better than that. Most mortals usually try teleporting out, or pleading for their lives. It’s quite entertaining when some have a breakdown.’
I bit my lip. She said it was fully-charged. Maybe it worked the other way. I slammed the disc down, quickly expelling all the power out of the needle. The place brightened and I could feel the power as the magic suffused into the air.
‘Well, I don’t see what you hope to accomplish with that-‘ I pulled the disc back, and much like a regular syringe, the needle quickly began drawing magic back. The runes on the needle faltered at the lack of magic, then quickly began to glow brightly. In response, the room dimmed quickly.
The room went black and I felt magic pulling on all sides of me, and for a moment I blacked out. When I awoke, I was laying on a platform above what looked to be an abyss. Slightly above me was an elven-looking woman. Her hair was pulled into a long, geometric array above her that seemed to move at will. She was pale, and shrouded in long, dark blue robes. Her face… was hard to describe. Neither Quel’dorei nor Kaldorei, she seemed to embody a mixture between the two – some sort of distant link following the Sundering. Immense power radiated from her.
‘Well, that was ingenious. Twice that needle has saved your hide. We will have to upgrade th-‘ The dragon cut herself off, as though remembering something else. ‘Anyway, if you’re going to be this persistent, mortal. I may as well use you to send a more… permanent message.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Oh, let me show you..‘ She snapped her fingers and everything briefly went black. Where were we?
Except the dragon was gone.
‘ELF!’A voice called out from the borders of the outpost. ‘WHERE ARE THE OTHER RESEARCHERS?’
‘I… The dragon…’ I found my voice suddenly being much more slow than my mind. What was going on?
The orc and several guards ran up to me. I recognised him as the commander, a foul-tongued Blackrock orc. ‘Speak, wench! What happened?’
‘The… the dragon… through the portal… took them.’ Was I mimicking shock? Was I in shock?
‘Impossible. Take her inside!’
‘TELL US THE TRUTH!’
‘I… I am! There was a- a dragon and we were in the Nexus-‘
‘LIAR! The dragons are all dead! There is nothing living on Coldarra! You did this. We know it. You elves are all the same, traitorous, lying scum, only in it for your own power. Now you have betrayed the Horde!’
I was perfectly calm in my head, but I snapped.
‘And if it was the goblins or the Forsaken, you would say different?’
‘ENOUGH! Take her to the dungeons! I will deal with her tomorrow.’
You have done well.
What are you doing? That wasn’t my voice! How are you speaking for me?
I am a dragon, mortal. I know magic from the dawn of time, magic that will never know the hearts and minds of mortals. Magic that takes centuries to master and centuries more to know when to use. This… this is child’s play.
What are you planning?
For who? I’m going to be killed if this goes further?
Ha. A magician never reveals her secrets. You shall see, in time. Good night.
I woke up. I was shivering, bound in one of the dungeons in the small pits underneath the outpost. The ground was too gold to dig far into.
‘Get her out of the pit! Everyone is to see this.’
Arms dragged me roughly into the sunlight, and I shut my eyes tightly, having been kept awake in the dark all night. I was forced to stand in the courtyard, a crowd of orcs watching. The commander moved closer.
‘Elf. You are accused of treason against the Horde. Do you have anything to say?’
I recognised the words coming that weren’t my own, and braced myself.
‘I am no traitor to my people.’ The orc on my left attempted to rough me up, and the surge needle went spinning from my robe.
What? How is that still here? Oh no. Oh no.
‘What is that?!’ The commander ran over and seized the artefact. ‘By Hellscream! A working weapon! This is all the proof we need. Execute her!’
I felt sick, but words kept coming.
‘And what then? You have no one here who knows how to use it! I am necessary. More necessary than any orc here.’
He turned, rage spreading across his face.
‘You dare insult the orcish race? I will show you, elf, before you die, of just how powerful we orcs can be.’ He began fiddling with the lid. The colour drained from my face and my mouth fell open.
No. Not like that. I summoned up my courage and my magic and lunged forward, pulling the orcs with me before jumping back out of their grip. The commander did not seem to care, eyes wild as the magic flowed into him from the needle.
‘Don’t move, elf.‘ He focused his eyes on me. I was shaking. I needed to get away. I needed to get away now.
As he moved the lid, pulling more magic from the ley lines around us, I staggered back. It angered him, and as I teleported back he jammed the device-