OOC NOTE: For part one, please read here: http://tvcrpforums.forumotion.net/t593-bodikai-the-making-of-a-thorn-part-1#4148"The Deal""I wish I could speak to them. At least tell them... I'm alright"
said Bodikai to the Blood Elf girl on the horse next to him."Don't torture yourself, Bodi, it won't happen"
replied Vanya, wearily, as she glared at the armed humans that surrounded them on their journey. "We are both bait and insurance. By promising our parents a glimpse of us, the 'Shiv' proves that we yet live, and ensures their continued co-operation. He wouldn't risk the chance of us being rescued; we're too valuable. I haven't spoken to my parents since I was taken; same as you; same as the rest..."
Two years had passed since Bodikai and many other Sin'dorei children had been abducted from their homes in the dead of night. Under the command of a vile Goblin known as 'The Shiv', agents of Stormwind Intelligence had executed diversionary attacks in nearby villages, ensuring that Bodikai's was left relatively undefended. His older brother, Fidelis, had fought valiantly to save him from the intruders, but was slain by the Shiv himself. Fidelis' final, dying words still haunted Bodikai to this day: "Forgive me, Bodikai. Forgive me..."
A raspy voice snapped their attention to the front of the group, where a small figure sat upon a fine black stallion. "Halt. Agent Harlowe, set up a camp here. I'll be meeting this one's parents at daybreak,"
the Shiv said, pointing a grubby finger at Bodikai, "so I want strict light and noise discipline until then. Make sure every inch of the surrounding terrain is scouted."
As the group dismounted their horses and began preparing the camp, Bodikai drifted back into his own thoughts.
He recalled the handful of trips like this one that he had been taken on since his abduction. His parents would always be lured to a spot from which they could see Bodikai, but not reach him. This time the Shiv had selected Shalandis Isle, in the Ghostlands. With the nearby coast split in half by a wide river, the Shiv knew he could keep Bodikai's parents guessing as to which side their son and his captors would be on. "Mother looked so frail last time,"
he thought sadly, "even more withdrawn than the times before that."
He worried that the death of her eldest child, and the uncertain fate of her youngest, was taking a terrible toll on her health. Bodikai remembered her standing motionless, cloak wrapped heavily around her, as her husband did the talking. The very thought brought tears to his eyes, but he wiped them away with a stoic grimace, determined not to let the humans see his torment.
As the first wisps of light began to break over the mountains to the east, Bodikai shivered in his dew-covered cloak while he waited. Finally, the Shiv's second-in-command, Agent Harlowe, beckoned him forward and set off with five other guards, leaving the rest of the group at the camp. After a few minutes they reached the coast and stopped. Across the cold water, Bodikai could make out two cloaked figures, and knew in an instant by the difference in height that one was his father, and the other his poor, dear mother. The Shiv appeared near them, as if materializing from the very air, and strode purposefully toward them. Bodikai strained to hear their voices, but couldn't make anything out.
Xavier could barely contain himself as he watched the Goblin trudge toward him. How he longed to tear into the vile creature and pull its heart from its chest with his bare hands! Sadly, he understood only too well the precarious nature of the rendezvous. He looked around, wondering where his son would be this time.
The Shiv reached the couple and gave a theatrical bow. "How are you both, this fine day?"
he teased. "Ah... the lady's condition seems to have worsened since last we met. How unfortunate..."
He motioned to Xavier's wife, who stood motionless behind the proud Sin'dorei. Xavier stepped between them, breaking the Shiv's intent gaze, confronting the Goblin directly."Where is Bodikai?"
, demanded Xavier, "You get nothing until we see him."
The Shiv smiled slowly and pointed across the water, toward the southern bank of the river mouth. Xavier followed his gaze and, upon seeing his son, let loose a deep breathe that he wasn't even aware he was holding. Their eyes locked for what seemed like minutes, before the Goblin interjected. "Wait a second. Your wife..."
He had noticed something odd about the mother... She had not moved to look at her son. In fact, she had not moved at all...
The still, misty air was shattered by the Goblin screaming "ABORT!!!! It's a TRAP!!!"
, and the humans guarding the boy blinked in surprise. Bodikai couldn't quite believe what he was seeing, but it seemed as if his father was preparing to fight
the Shiv. "What is he doing??"
panicked the young Blood Elf. The Goblin lashed out with a whip, tearing the hood off his mothers head, only to reveal a crude wooden mannequin. As the Shiv continued screaming obscenities, his father slowly drew a pair of scimitars and began closing in.
A flash of movement appeared at the waters edge, and before anyone could react, a gleaming throwing axe thudded heavily into the chest of the human to Bodikai's left. As it slumped to the ground, Bodikai looked up and saw his mother; fit, healthy and eyes as sharp as ever, sprinting toward him."Mother!!"
His heart leaped with joy; her apparently poor health had been a ruse, carefully built up over months to lull the Goblin into one crucial moment of confusion! The Shivs agents lurched into action, two of them grabbing Bodikai and dragging him back into the forest, while Agent Harlowe and the remainder drew swords and launched themselves at the female Sin'dorei. There one second and gone the next, she suddenly re-appeared behind the first human, swiftly slipping a barbed wire around his throat and yanking it tight. As he spluttered and grasped frantically at his shredded throat, she kicked him to the ground and spun around to find another target.
Bodikai bit down hard on the hand of the agent dragging him through the bushes. Yelping in pain, the human yanked the boy up into the air and raised his fist to strike him. The Blood Elf lashed out with a well-timed kick, catching the human square in the face with a satisfying crunch. As he staggered backward from the blow, the other agent whipped the back of Bodikai's head with a blackjack, dazing him, then grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and continued pulling him violently toward the camp.
The agent on the beach plunged his sword forward, attempting to catch the Sin'dorei woman as she turned toward him, only to find his hand suddenly empty and his weapon spinning off into the air. Bodikai's mother moved with blinding speed, twin daggers jabbing and cutting at a dozen different points, seemingly at once, then finishing with a deep devastating slice across the mans mid-section, spilling his innards as he keeled over in shock. Just as she was about to turn on Agent Harlowe, a blood-chilling scream echoed from across the water, and she hesitated, turning her gaze toward her husband, just in time to see him fall to the sandy ground, hands clutching his side. The Goblin was nowhere to be seen.
Agent Harlowe took advantage of the distraction and caught the woman with a glancing blow from his mace. Seeing her stagger backward, he pressed his attack, forcing the Blood Elf onto the defensive. Looking back over his shoulder briefly, he saw his remaining two agents disappearing into the forest with their charge. The boy was kicking and screaming, putting up a fight, but they seemed to have him relatively under control. Returning his attention to the woman, Harlowe put his years of SI:7 training and experience to use, and let loose with everything he had.
Several days later, the tattered group limped back through Elwynn Forest on its way back to Stormwind. The Goblin sat on his stallion at the front, snarling all the way, irritated to the extreme at the disastrous outcome of the mission. "The boy's parents were a good source of Horde intel. All lost now... Shaw isn't going to be happy.."
he groaned inwardly. Apart from the men he'd lost on the beach, Agent Harlowe, his most valued operative, had not reported in and was presumed dead. The boy's mother had attacked the group on several occasions since then, each time reducing their number by ones and twos, but eventually her wounds had slowed down the frequency of her ambushes. No doubt her ferocity and determination so far had been spurred on beyond normal endurance by the death of her husband, but his lingering death by way of a deep, mortal wound, had proved effective as a way to slow her down enough for them to escape. This deep in Alliance territory, the Shiv felt confident that they wouldn't be seeing any more of her."So what to do with you now then, you little brat?,"
grumbled the Shiv. He could see the boy was in despair, distraught at the events of the past days. But the Goblin didn't really care about that; his mind was on how to find an alternate way to profit from what would otherwise be a total loss. "You're no good to SI:7 now. There's no way we can trust your mother to deal with us again,"
he thought to himself."Abbroajing Stormbind dow, Thir,"
spluttered the Agent next to him, barely comprehensible through his broken nose and swollen lips. Normally the Goblin would have chuckled at the mans misfortune, but the Shiv had his own wounds to nurse, having struggled with and only just barely prevailed against the boy's father. He then stroked his chin as an idea struck him. The boy had proven to be a nuisance since learning of his father's death, fighting fiercely at every available opportunity, even so well as to cause grievous bodily harm to more than one agent. "If the skill of the rest of the boy's family is anything to go by, he may be of profit after all..."
he said, grinning wickedly, "...when we return to Stormwind, we're visiting an old friend of mine. He's always in the market for a new Gladiator."