Friday, April 9, 2010

A Moment of Clarity

Decedereful glared at the sweating man in front of her as he dragged a shaky hand across his brow.  It came away shining with sweat and grime.  The Death Knight frowned at that, but kept her burning blue sockets fixed on his beady brown eyes.  The man obviously still had a problem with her kind and Decedereful was going to use that to her advantage.   

"I'll ask you one last time.  What do you know about Bright Runes?" Decedereful growled, the omnipresent tin in her voice seeming more like steel.

"Lady, I already told you.  I don't know what you want from me, I'm just a simple blacksmith!" the man said, throwing up his hands.

"You're lying! Blacksmiths have to work with runes!  Don't you guys runeforge around here at all?" Decedereful asked incredulously.

"No! We don't bloody do any bloody runeforging.  That's a scourge thing, that is," he said, screwing up his eyes and pointing a pudgy finger at the Death Knight.

"Well... you're missing out!" Decedereful sputtered back.

"Look," the man started nervously, "if you be looking after runes, you'd have a spot more luck with Master Nathane.   He were the son o' the librarian 'fore the war made us all soldiers."

"Nathane.  Ugh.  Of course, it'd be him," Decedereful sighed.

Beady brown eyes regarded blue with trepidation, glancing left and right as if searching for some avenue of escape.  Finally, Decedereful drew herself up and waved the man away, "So be it.  Thanks for nothing."

She stared towards the middle of the camp where a colorful tent flew a large flag, white eagle on red background.  She groaned as she saw the man lounging indolently out front, one leg kicked over the arm of a wooden folding chair as if it were a throne.  His eyes were all on her, almost as if he knew he was her only shot at answers.  The mere thought of it burned her up on the inside.  The man chased after her like some sort of nether addled horse handler, trying to corner her in any place one might be cornered, and now he sat there smiling smugly as if he'd won some sort of victory.  Well, she'd show him!  Marching determinedly across the camp, exuding an aura of a woman on a mission, Decedereful clomped in front of the smarmy man.

"Nathane.  In the tent.  Now!" She ordered.

His flashed a slimy smile in response, eyes glinting mischievously, "Whoa there.  Shouldn't we at least go on a date first?"

Decedereful just stood there, hands planted on her hips as he grinned like a fool.  Slowly, the grin slide from his face and then with a resigned sigh, he stood up and held the tent flap aside for her to enter.  "Ladies first," he said, half bowing.

The flap had hardly settled when she rounded on him, "Now you look here.  No more games.  You're going to tell me what you know about Bright Runes or I'll... I'll..."  She didn't know what she'd do.

"You'll what?  Cut me open and eat me for lunch?" he suggested.  "Dece, you and I both know you're not going to do that.  I've known enough of your kind to realize that your murderous rage is directed at one place, and one place only: Arthas.  You're not in the business of killing allies any more than I am."

"Yeah well, I may not kill you, but I can still make your life pretty unpleasant," Decedereful returned, fingering the hilt on one of the two swords at her waist.  "Why do you have to be so damn difficult?  It's a simple question, for a friend."

"If she was as much of a friend she'd have told you the right of it," Nathane snapped back, then clamped his mouth shut as if he'd said too much.

"What?  Out with it!"  Dece pounced.

Nathane sighed and held up his hands in surrender, "Look, Brightrune is not some sort of written symbol, it's a name.  A person coming around here, looking for Brightrune is probably looking for the Captain." 

"The Captain?" Decedereful echoed.

"No, the Strudel Man," Nathane replied irritably. "Yes, the Captain.  That's what I said isn't it?  And before you ask, no, I can't tell you any more.  I stayed here because I didn't want anything to do with the Brigade.  They all went traipsing off after that tart, Jaina, when there were plenty of problems right here in our own land.  If you want to go meddling in the affairs of the Brigade, then you'd best head to Theramore.  That's all you're going to get from me, dear."

"Captain Brightrune, huh?  Theramore? " Decedereful repeated.  "Well, I guess I'd better catch a boat then.  What's the nearest dock?"

"Menethil  Harbor.  And good riddance!" Nathane said with irritation in his voice, turning away from her and making a show of rifling through some papers on a table.

Decedereful blinked.  The man had been all butter to her until now.  Could her leaving really bother him all that much?  She'd been nothing but rude to the man.  Yet, he had helped her.  Despite the usual prejudices against Death Knights that permeated most humans, he had accepted her at face value.  He had made her feel almost human again with his unflappable pursuits.  He wasn't even all that bad-looking, Decedereful admitted now.  She had places to go, and perhaps haste matters, but her frigidity was poor recompense for the warmth this man had shown her.  The world was not all against her.

Before she really realized what she was doing, Decedereful had cross the room to stand behind the man that had driven her batty the last few months.  She would be leaving after this, and who knows where her adventures would lead her.  She refused to leave more burned bridges in her wake.

Reaching out, she grabbed the Nathane by the shoulders and spun him around.  His eyes narrowed to slit and he opened his mouth, presumably to voice his displeasure, but he soon found his lips under assault.  Decedereful twined her fingers through his dark brown hair and forcefully pushed his skull towards her own.  Her tongue battled through his exterior defenses and found his.  She held him there for a good minute as the battle between them raged on.  Finally, when she could feel him on the verge of surrender, she released him and stepped back.

His mouth hung open as he looked at her and she frowned at his astonishment.  The man had chased her relentlessly and now all he could do was gawk?  His hair was mussed on one side, so Decedereful reached out a hand and smoothed it down, pinching his cheek when she finished.  Nathane stood like a statue, dumbfounded.

"Thank you," the Death Knight said.  Then, with a small smile, she turned and strode from the silent room.

"Yep," she muttered to herself, "still got it."

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