I'm going to post three shorts in this thread; they're snapshots of Zibbit's 'life' from her reboot as a plague machine to the time she gets sent to Undercity looking for someone to take her. I'm aware that Goblins aren't part of the Horde until Cata officially, but I figure there's at least a few who were with them in the Icecrown ransacking days...
Tail end of the Icecrown Citadel invasion, just prior to the death of Arthas.
"Bad news, everyone…" Professor Putricide gasped his last and collapsed on the floor of his lab, surrounded by broken glass and upturned tables. The Horde strike team that had been sent in to disrupt his construct production breathed a collective sigh of relief, healers tending to the wounded and the more scavenge-prone members rifling through the wreckage in hunt for anything they could take home. A goblin hunter kicked the wooden table he had been using as a shield aside, scattering note pages and a few stray beakers. He prodded the corpse of the Scourge chief engineer with the butt of his gun as if ensuring Putricide was really dead, and once satisfied the mad genius was really down for the count, stepped over the corpse entirely and squinted at the glassware on some nearby shelves as if he was looking for something in particular.
"Alright everyone, you know the drill. Everything that isn’t nailed down is fair game unless the priests or druids think it’s contageous, everything that is nailed down… talk to Fasthands and get the pry bar. We’re taking it all," said a brawny tauren warrior, hefting his two-handed hammer onto his back as he surveyed his team. Rogues were already stripping anything shiny from the shelves into a sack, two mages were fighting over tomes and a warlock was off swirling various flasks that had survived the brawl. If nothing else, this was virtually guaranteed to be worth the trip to Icecrown and the hassle of working for the Argent Crusade in cash value alone. The tauren smiled to himself.
"Hey, what’s that?" Asked an orc, picking her way through the collateral wreckage to stand at the base of a large glass tube filled with green goop. "Oh, that’s not right. I think there’s someone in there," she cleaned some grime off the surface with her shirtsleeve and peered inside. The goblin hunter jumped over a broken lab kit and bounded to her side, almost jumping on her back to look.
"Let me see!" He nudged his way between the orc and the glass, breathing on it and wiping it down. He immediately backed off in shock. "Zibbit. That’s my little sister! We’ve got to ger her out of there!" He exclaimed, more to himself than anyone in particular. He prodded at the base of the tube desperately, hunting for some sort of control panel. The orc tried to pull him away from the tube and looked around, hoping for help with holding the little hunter back. He squirmed out of her grip and lunged at the capsule again, beating his fists on the glass.
"Grazix, back off. She’s going to be long dead; we need to leave her here. There’s no telling what kind of things this idiot did to her," she attempted to reason with the frantic goblin to no avail. The hunter glared at her and swung his gun butt-first like a bat, shattering the tube and flooding the floor with viscous green liquid. The limp, naked body of a small goblin woman spilled out with the fluid, dangling from a series of hoses and tubes plugged into her like a marionette without a puppeteer. The hunter dropped his gun and hugged the suspended corpse desperately, crying.
"Grazix, this is a terrible idea. I found his notes; we shouldn’t have even broken that glass let alone touched that thing. It’s not your sister anymore," the blood elf warlock approached the sobbing goblin with a sheaf of papers in his hand. "It’s a plague bomb. A walking, talking, plague bomb," he stated factually as he flipped through the pages. He stopped on a diagram and held it at the goblin’s eye height. The hunter shoved the warlock’s hand aside.
"I don’t care, Jarrenth. She’s my sister! I have to take her home," he began snapping tubes out of the corpse, pulling it from the support systems. As the last hose popped free, the corpse’s eyes fluttered open. The warlock’s hand went limp and he took a few steps backwards, the pages fluttering out of his hand and cascading across the floor. He spun on his foot and ran for cover, diving behind a toppled bookshelf.
Grazix’s face went from sad to confused. He backed up a little, holding the corpse at arm’s length. His sister blinked at him, cocking her head slightly. “ENTER COMMAND?” She repeated in a somewhat tinny voice. The tauren in charge of the expedition closed the gap between himself and the two goblins in a blink. He took the small girl from her brother, separating them and shoving the talking corpse back. She fell to the floor, blinking. “ENTER COMMAND?”
"Grazix, are you mental? You can’t just walk her out of here. There’s clearly something wrong with her, and she was in his lab up in a tube. Your sister is gone, you need to walk away!" The tauren’s voice rumbled through the room. The little hunter looked up at him in a rage.
"NO. I’ve already lost her once, it ain’t happenin’ again. I’m not leavin’ without her! Sort it out or go without me, I don’t care, but I’m not goin’ home without my little sister again!" He removed his cloak, slipping it over the shoulders of the naked form of his sister. The automaton corpse stared at him, unblinking.
"Sis…ter?" She asked. Grazix hugged her again, brushing the grimy pink hair that was plastered to her skin from her face with a careful hand.
"See? She’s just loopy from bein’ in that tube. Zibbit will be fine. I just need to take her home, and…"
"Okay, okay. Hold on," Jarrenth slowly rejoined the group from his hiding place, picking up some of the pages he had dropped in his earlier panic as he did. "Look here," he shuffled the papers and handed one to the tauren. "She’s supposed to be some kind of walking plague bomb or something, right? But according to this, she’s controllable. She just needs someone to give her orders. An operator," he pointed at the page in the tauren’s hand. "I don’t think we’re suited for it, but I bet the Ebon Blade’s got someone who would know how to do this properly," he smiled a little, hoping Grazix would be okay with this.
"That’s not a bad idea, actually. Grazix, is that acceptable to you? We could take her to the Ebon Blade’s stronghold and they could help her. You could stay there, or visit whenever you want, I’m sure," the warrior looked to the hunter, his eyes hopeful. He really didn’t want to leave the goblins here alone, but he knew better than taking the plague bomb back to a major city. Grazix bit his lip and looked from his sister to the tauren, nodding slowly.
"Y..yeah. Zibbit, we’re gonna take you somewhere there’s people who can help. Is that okay?" He asked. The corpse stared at him and Grazix sighed. He managed to get himself to his feet and held out his hands. "Come on, if you can walk, we’ll get going," the corpse lifted her arms slowly, the movement jerky and abnormal, and Grazix took her hands in his. "Up we go!" He said, pulling her to her feet. Zibbit tottered unsteadily, but managed a slow shuffle.
"Alright everyone, grab your gear. We’re heading out to the Ebon Blade’s stronghold, then to Dalaran!" The tauren bellowed. Jarrenth stacked the notes on the plague bomb and tucked them under one arm, watching Grazix and his sister shuffle out of the room together. He was certain the death knights were going to need the papers, at least, and if they didn’t… maybe some Forsaken would buy them.
Her skin dangling from her arm and flapping slightly in the breeze as she swung an axe that was twice the size of her own body in a wide arc, Zibbit laughed. The axe struck her target, cleaving a leg from the training dummy and carrying her into a pirouette on the ball of her forward-placed foot by momentum alone. She immediately grinned at the now amputated dummy and smacked it in the chest with her hand. A swarm of diseases puffed out around the spot in a greenish-yellow cloud which immediately forced it’s way into any available open spots. The dummy’s remains began to rot almost instantly, blackened areas spreading out from the spot she had struck. Her foe crumbled from the center outward, leaving a gaping, sizzling hole in its chest. The little goblin smiled and looked back to her trainer, who patted her on the head approvingly. A little ways off, her brother sat with the woman known as Duchess Mynx and watched with a mix of awe and horror on his face.
"She’s come quite a long way since you last saw her, Grazix," the Duchess folded her hands in her lap and smiled a little. "Your sister is quite something, though we’re still not quite sure what," she looked to Grazix directly. He paled a little.
"What do you mean? I thought you guys knew all of this…kind of stuff," Grazix waved his hand at Zibbit, who grinned widely and waved back with gusto, her arm jerking in odd puppetlike motion. Grazix shuddered a little at the sight. He lowered his voice. "What do you know? I mean, can I take her home or not?"
"In all honesty, Mister Twochains, we can’t let you take her from our care just yet. We’ve been working with her for a month now, and while she clearly takes direction well and is quite eager to help, we aren’t certain she won’t just help -everyone- who asks her to. We need to make sure her programming is stable enough to be let loose on the world before we let her leave," Mynx sighed a little.
"Programming… so what, she’s some kinda robot then? And not my sister after all?" Grazix frowned and looked at Zibbit, who was playing with a ghoul’s hair. Mynx nodded.
"An automaton, yes. We’ve looked over the recovered notes from Putricide’s lab and called in an expert on these matters from Dalaran. It would seem that what you brought us is simply wearing your sister’s skin; her interior is a complex ball-joint saronite frame and a network of tubes and containers to pump and house diseases. Her brain, such as it is, is a mechanized network housing a virtual cloud of plague as a neural net of sorts. She’s a magnificent creation, really," Mynx sounded almost enthralled as she watched Zibbit, ignoring the disgusted look spreading over Grazix’s features.
"That sounds…. no, I don’t want anything to do with this anymore, I can’t. That’s not my sister!" The goblin yelled, suddenly turning on his heels and running for the flight master outside the Shadowvault. Zibbit immediately let go of her ghoul-friend and took off running after him. She lunged as he was climbing on the back of a gryphon that had carried him there, pulling him to the ground and landing on him. She laughed.
"I want to play, brother! Play with me!" Grazix immediately panicked and shoved her aside, screaming incoherently as he kicked the Dalarani gryphon into the air and made for the city. Zibbit frowned and sat on the ground, watching him go. Mynx slowly approached, kneeling down and patting her on the shoulder. "Why did he run away?" The little goblin asked, looking at Mynx pleadingly.
"He doesn’t understand you, dear. I think we’re your family now," she stood up and offered Zibbit her hand. Zibbit smiled widely and took it, and the pair walked back into Shadowvault.
Within a howling blizzard in the glacial tundra of Icecrown, a lone goblin sat perched on a ledge overlooking the stronghold of the Ebon Knights. Her legs swung back and forth in opposite times to one another, heels kicking the shelf under her as she watched the snow fall down. The cold never bothered Zibbit; cold rarely bothers the dead and the little death knight certainly counted as dead, if at least skin-wise. Sighing, she leaned back and looked up at a ghoul who seemed to ignore her entirely and stare blankly into space. “Mister Fancy, no one takes us serious. We gotta do somethin’ about this,” she finally said, managing to clamor to her feet in a clatter of armor. “Come on, we’re gonna take some notes and see what we’re missing,” she took the ghoul by his claw and tugged on his arm as she walked away. When his arm was pulled to full extension, he finally picked up his feet and trundled after the tiny girl.
A week later, the knights of Icecrown were more than tired of the little goblin. She had been underfoot (and underhorse) the entire time, scribbling notes in a small book and nodding like some kind of Dalarani scholar. She refused to let anyone else see the book, but questioned them all intently on the specifics of being heroic, a knight, being respected – all sorts of things that children learn about soldiers. At first they had all indulged her questions, but in short order she had become so annoying to the lot of them that they had started to ignore her entirely or throw things at her when she tried to approach. Zibbit, in her infinite wisdom, just kept what they threw and assumed that meant she was doing something right – real heroes got presents, right?
Finally one afternoon she sat on the steps leading to the Shadow Vault and poured over her new store of information with her ghoul by her side. “Okay, so what we got is this. I need better, nicer armor. Something that matches right and fits good. I’m thinking purple would be good; purple is the best colour,” she clanked a fingertip against her spiky black breastplate and sighed as her slime-green shoulderguard slid down her right arm. “And a good cape too, all the best heroes have good capes, right?” She looked at the ghoul, who growled. Zibbit nodded. “Well yeah, of course you need new clothes too. I was thinking blue maybe for you. We can see what the vrykul have; their ladies got all the nicest stuff,” she nodded solemnly, flipping the pages to another set of notes. Stopping, she tapped a page with her finger.
“Also I need a new weapon. This axe is crap and it isn’t mine anyway. We’ll go shopping and get a nice one. Maybe they can match my armor in the city or something,” her face screwed up in concentration. “Elves do pretty stuff, I think. I’ve seen some really pretty elves come through. Maybe they’d be good for armor and things,” she scribbled a note in the margin of the weapon page and snapped the book shut. “Let’s go see what we can get done,” she grabbed the ghoul’s arm and practically dragged him to the flight master.
Admiring her brand new suit of purple armor in a mirror propped against a wall of the smith’s shop, the goblin grinned ear to ear as the shop’s owner attempted to busy himself on the exact opposite side of the tiny store. Zibbit turned left and right, examining the craftsmanship from all angles, flexing and swinging her arms. Everything was perfectly fitted to her tiny frame; plates interlocked and moved fluidly without exposing more skin than was necessary. The laquerwork and detailing on all parts of the armor was beautiful and a work of art unto itself. But most of all, it was very, very purple. “I love it! I love it I love it I love it!” Zibbit exclaimed, jumping up and down and creating a series of loud clanks. She climbed up the ghoul’s side using his new oversized blue bustier for leverage and dove headfirst into a large pack that was strapped to his back. She resurfaced with a big bag of coins. “How much?” The elf looked up sharply from his busywork, paling.
“Well, it was several weeks of careful work and I had to fit it down to a —” he rolled a hand at the wrist while he looked for the correct word. “Petite frame. You understand that makes the cost go up, of course,” he trailed off. Zibbit stared at him blankly. She took a grubby handful of coins out of her purse and shoved them into a side pocket of the ghoul’s pack. She tied the sack closed and dropped the remainder on the counter.
“I think there’s probably five hundred gold there, maybe? If it isn’t enough, send me a mail. I like mail!” She climbed up to the ghoul’s shoulders and sat behind his head. She tugged at his braided hair and he turned, walking towards the door. The elf watched warily before sliding to the counter and dumping the bag. Just as the ghoul was almost over the threshold, Zibbit shrieked. The shop owner jumped and scattered gold across the shop floor. “Stop, Mister Fancy, stop!” As the elf tried to gather the coins again, Zibbit climbed down her ghoul deftly and ran to a weapon rack. Her eyes somehow looked larger as she ran a hand over the haft of a purple-bladed scythe that sparked with magic from runework on the blade. Turning slowly, she smiled what she thought was her most pleasant smile at the shopkeeper. It just succeeded in looking like a hungry animal and unnerving him. “How much is that?” She pointed at the weapon. Shaking his head, the elf waved his free hand at it.
“Take it. Please. For your… good patronage,” he managed, backing up slowly as a beetle skittered out from under the goblin’s breastplate, crawled up her front and ducked into her collar again. He swallowed hard, fighting the urge to vomit on his own wares. Zibbit squealed again and tugged the scythe free of the rack, spinning it around and testing the balance before strapping it to her back and climbing back onto her ghoul mount. She flashed one last smile at the shopkeeper before she drove the ghoul back into the streets of Silvermoon.
“Mister Fancy, this was a great idea! Everyone is nice and this armor is so purple and I…” she stopped and her face fell. “I didn’t get a cape, did I? Darnit,” she leaned back and dug a hand into the pocket where she’d put her remaining coins. “57 silver and a coat button. This is not gonna be a nice cape, Mister Fancy,” she sighed. She spent the rest of the afternoon searching desperately for a cape in the trade stalls with no luck – everything pretty was out of her range. She had consigned herself to not having a cloak at all when she spotted it. The one. Purple, intricately woven and beautifully detailed – it even had a stylish fringe. She was positive she didn’t have the money for it, but when she had tried to pay a nearby elf for it, he smiled at her as he closed her hand around her money and helped her tack it to her armor properly. She never heard him laugh under his breath as she left the city on ghoul-back.
“We can’t keep her here anymore. She’s a menace.”
“She’s always underfoot and I don’t believe she’s ever done anything to advance the cause.”
“I just received word from Silvermoon that she stole a rug – a rug! - from the throne room while she was there on leave. We need to get her out in the world and out of our hands,” the death knights talked over one another in Shadow Vault, one waving a letter at Duchess Mynx. She held her hands up and shouted over them.
“She’s on her way back here now. Just bear with me; I have a plan. Someone find me some parchment!” The other death knights scattered before her, one handing her a quill as several others hunted down parchment and some wax. The Duchess penned a quick note and waved it dry. Folding it carefully she applied the seal of the order to the back and waited. Zibbit would be back soon, and this new ‘quest’ to join a group of undead in Undercity was the perfect way to get her out of everyone’s hair.
Serata: I am desperately stalling and trying to find something to do with myself at work. Posted a bunch of stuff about Sherbourne so y'all know who she is and what she looks like...and I still have 4 1/2 hours left before I can go home and play again. T_T
Aug 31, 2016 6:28:52 GMT
Banshih: Yay for stalling? Yay for rp campaign starting soon!
Sept 12, 2016 23:04:21 GMT
Banshih: Thanks for another great Dance Of The Dead!
Oct 27, 2016 12:23:26 GMT