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The Call of Nature
Iat Blunderbolt sat staring out the window of her tiny room in a dingy little inn room at Gadgetstan. She was supposed to be studying her blueprints and making adjustments. Supposed to be studying. After all, she was a goblin. It was in her blood to tinker up the very best mechanical items and make a damned good profit to boot. Every goblin knew that the bottom line was...well, the bottom line. Nothing else was all too important. Was it?
All those things were true, and yet... And yet, there she sat listening to the wind against the panes and watching the rare rain fall over the desert sands. The land almost seemed to call to her. Preposterous!
"I'm a Goblin! I do not plant trees or commune with the wind. I do not listen to the earth or ....harness lightning. Well, maybe I harness lightning!" that was, if she could get her mind back in the game and finish the work she'd begun on the nanodiscombobulator 3000.
The trouble was, all she could think about was the sound she just kept hearing. It was like a voice telling her things. Things that disturbed her greatly. Things that made her laugh. It seemed to speak of changing lands (as if the lands hadn't changed plenty with the great Cataclysm.) and talking bears. Talking bears?! Well, anything is possible really. After all, we have Taurens and Naga and Murlocs among other sentient creatures, why not talking bears too. But this wind... She was losing it.
"Yer losing it old girl! Totally bananas. Ya tell the other goblins and they'll commit you to the rubber rooms," she raved aloud. "Great! Now I'm hearing talking wind AND I'm talking to myself. That's the trouble these days. Everything. EVERYTHING, seems to wanna talk."
She looked out the window and nodded to herself. That's the ticket. "SHUT UP ALREADY! I'm coming," She shouted out the window into the wind and rain. Only a few goblins and gnomes stared at her as though she'd lost her mind. That was a good omen. "I...think."
Iat paced back and forth. She did it for hours mumbling to herself, stopping occasionally to make notes about this thought or that one, to check a chart here or a chart there. "Thrall!" she shouted. "I need to find the shaman. He'd know what all this whispering wind stuff was all about wouldn't he now?"
The trouble was, she just didn't know where to find Thrall these days. With a final look around, she packed a light satchel and snatched up the keys to her trike and hit the door running. She just had to find some folks who knew where to look, that's all.
((Feel free to chime in. I love a good interactive thread. Some information for you: Iat is my young shaman. Her age is roughly early 20's so she's still young enough to be head strong and stubborn -which she is, but she's a goblin so she's a bit skeptical of anything that doesn't turn a profit. She has blue eyes and a green mohock and various piercings. She's a total technophile and her life's ambition is to be the greatest goblin engineer the world has ever known. Hey, she's a goblin...lofty ideas and profit margins and all! She's about to find out she is destined to be a shaman and isn't going to be too happy about it either I suspect.))
A desert gecko, gold and tan, clung to the mailbox outside the inn in Gadgetzan, pressed into the narrow band of shade in the mail slot. Gadgetzan had been a busy place once, full of iron, gold and silver miners, but now it was a sleepy backwater, with so little activity that a little gecko could safely doze off in the business end of the mailbox.

A sleepy, boring place, where all the flies tasted the same. Dusty. Gritty. Another day, another fly. Rumor had it that tastier bugs lived further south -- silithids. The gecko fantasized about eating a silithid one day. Or a piece of one.

But that would never happen. The little gecko had *tried* to go south, tried his hardest, but had barely made it outside the gates of Gadgetzan before hyenas and red vultures and giant scorpions and who knows what else had *swooped* down on him. The little gecko had hid under a rusty cog half-buried in the sand for a WEEK after that. A WEEK. With only ants to eat. And those were worse, all stingy and bitey.

The little gecko had *tried* to hitch a ride with a traveler, but there were so few travelers these days, and they all moved so fast. Hurry hurry hurry, they were always dashing about. By the time the gecko had made up his mind to jump on a traveler, the traveler was long, long gone, paying for a ride on a wyvern, leaping into the sky, soaring away to the land of tasty, juicy bugs.

And now there were hardly any travelers at all.

A clatter of the inn's door handle. The gecko raised his head. A traveler! The door was flung open and a goblin bounced out, a goblin with blue eyes and green hair. Rattling keys. No time to lose. The gecko leapt toward the adventurer, a little gold dart flying through the air.

He landed on the goblin's shoulder and skittered toward the first dark place he could see: under the goblin's collar.
Completely unaware of her new little 'friend' Iat zipped towards the tree huggingest place she could think of. Mulgore. Hey, the Taurens have green pasture lands, trees, druids, shaman.. maybe one of those folks would know where to find Thrall. She'd heard rumors that those dudes that run the portal system in Orgrimmar had ties to him, but who knew? Thunder Bluff. That was the ticket. Shaman like nature right? Not too many places more natural than Mulgore. Nope. Besides, if all else failed she could always ride the zeplin to Orgrimmar and talk to the portal dudes.

Iat slapped at her neck. What WAS that? Another thing like talking air? Felt just like something was crawling on her neck. She shrugged off the notion. No self respecting bug would dare bite a Goblin of her stature. "I'm just all hopped up on nerves! That's the ticket! Lets git this show on tha road girl!"

When she got to the place where the raceway used to be in the Shimmering Flats, she caught a ferry to Southern Barrens. She thought about what was left of the Barrens. That was going to be a hairy ride but she thought if she stuck to the roads and went full throttle, she could make it through the fighting okay. Just a hop skip and a jump to Mulgore from there.
[Image: EoniaAttaboli.png]
The little gecko's tongue flicked in and out, tasting the breeze. Salty. Tangy. New flavors!

Intrigued, he edged forward on little sticky toes until his nose poked out from under the goblin's collar, followed by his large, gold filigree eyes.

An immensity of water. A vastness, an unendingness of water. Water rolling, water moving, water swelling as far as he could see. No, not quite as far as he could see. Circling them in the distance, on the horizon, stood pale jagged mountains like so many hyena teeth. The mountains were closer on his right. Not too far away he saw a hulk of twisted metal smashed into the side of one of the mountains, just above the waterline, a stunning sight. He bobbed his head up and down appreciatively. That metal would be hot now, but it would be a perfect basking place during the late hours of the day when the air was growing cool but the sun-baked metal was still...

A memory surged up from the depths of his mind. A memory of seeing that very same rocket high up on a cliff face as he trudged wearily below, trudged through an endless parched salt flat, carrying a load of car parts in a backpack on his back. At a dusty gathering of buildings he sold the car parts to a little goblin, and he looked down to see the coins in... a hand. His hand.

The gecko pressed himself against the goblin's shoulder and closed his eyes, pressing his tiny toes against the leather tunic, trembling.

I have a name, but I don't know what it is. I have a history that I can't remember. Everything that I am, everything that I was, is stuffed inside a little lizard, so tiny, so vulnerable, so easy to crush. How do I get out of here? Someone, help me! Help me!

The little gecko raised his head and peeped. Such a tiny noise! He peeped again. Help! But the sound was almost lost on the breeze.

And then it was all over. Consciousness subsided. Memory faded. Lowering his head, the gecko loosened his grip on the tunic. He flexed his toes. His golden eyes, which had shone for one moment with sentience and terror, were once again the mild, flat, button-bright eyes of a little lizard.

He cocked his head to one side. His tongue flicked in and out. Surely, there must be some tasty bugs on this boat.
As she sat on her trike thinking about the journey, Iat lost herself in a trance-like memory. It was as if the wind itself blew past her whispering the secrets of another soul. Did the winds have that kind of power? That kind of sentience? It didn't matter, because at the moment the little Goblin with the quirky green hair was so lost in the most bizarre memories...Yeah, they were memories all right...just not Her memories. The desert sands. Dreadful thirst. Hunger maybe? Gold changing hands. Damn, where were these thoughts, almost words in her mind's eye, coming from? It didn't matter. The fact was, they'd come to her and she had to find out why. Why did the very elements call to her when all she really cared about her whole life had been the bottom line. That gold that changed hands so readily.

She couldn't shake those thoughts from her mind though. They were etched like a plea for help she just couldn't quite hear. No, that wasn't right. She COULD hear it. Sort of. She just couldn't answer. "Who are you? Why are you calling me!?" she screamed the words garnering herself many troubled glances from the ferry's other passengers. She grinned sheepishly at them and said, "Nothin'. Mind your own!" and went back to her thoughts. She didn't know who or what that voice belonged to, but she knew its owner needed the help of the shaman every bit as much as she did.
[Image: EoniaAttaboli.png]
"Who are you?" The goblin screamed. The sound flattened him. "Why are you calling me?" He pressed his body into her shoulder. Her shouting pushed the sounds of from her own mind into his own. He heard the wind calling, the patter of rain on the rooftops dibble dibble dop dibble dop, the sound of her confusion. She, too, was seeking something. Seeking an understanding of the world he inhabited as an animal. The world of earth, water, fire, and air. This much he understood.

Deep in his mind, consciousness stirred. I will help you find the knowledge you seek, if you will help me to be free.

He gulped. They could not help each other if she did not know he existed. He had to make himself known to her. Quivering with fear, he edged his little body out from under her collar. He crawled slowly down the length of her arm, past the elbow, down the forearm, bracing himself at every moment for the scream and shake that would fling him against the wall of the boat with bone-crushing force. Please, please don't hurt me. Please.

At her cuff he stopped. He swallowed hard, then reached down with one tiny, delicate foot to touch the skin of her wrist.

Iat shook her head as if to dislodge a particularly bizarre image. A cute, little golden gecko was staring up at her from the cuff of her shirt. It's golden eyes seemed to penetrate her blue ones with an intensity that couldn't possibly be real coming from a small creature like that. Her first impulse was not to jerk away or fling the creature. She'd always had a soft spot for animals. The thing is, she was hearing things again. Had this small lizard actually spoken?
"I will help you find the knowledge you seek, if you will help me to be free."

Iat laughed at herself. No, maybe she'd simply bumped her head and was hearing things. "Hello." the creature said.

Iat looked around. Someone, maybe Tony, was hiding around here playing tricks. "Tony, come on out. You got me. Talkin' lizards though? You DO have a vivid imagination man."

Then she stopped. Stopped everything. Breathing. Blinking. Moving. She just simply stared at the little creature sitting so demurely on her wrist. She giggled at the absurdity of her next thought. A lizard shaped time piece balanced there to call out the hour. "You really there little guy? I'm not just imagining you am I." she said the last in the form of a question but with a finality that meant she knew the answer. Just like the wind whispering its secrets against her windows at night, the little creature was trusting her with its own secrets.

"H help you to be free? Who you runnin' from little fella?"
[Image: EoniaAttaboli.png]
"Who are you running from, little fella?"

The goblin was looking down at him now, her piercing blue eyes taking in the minute gold scrollwork on his back. The little gecko gulped again. He probed his own memory. His tiny brain was like a lens onto a much larger life. He could only see a little of it at a time.

Who was he running from?

What was his last full-size memory, before he'd embarked on the long years of eating bugs, basking on rocks, and walking upside down on ceilings? His third eyelid flicked over his eyes in the effort of remembering...

Scrambling over slick seaweed-covered rocks. Slipping, falling, catching himself palms-down against a bed of sharp mussels. Stab of pain. His hands were... sooty. The skin of his back was tight; it throbbed with pain, a taste of the burning agony to come.

Before him, a dark cave mouth. Safety! He clambered toward it, glancing over his shoulder, into the sky, running now, plunging into the dim coolness of the cave. Deeper and deeper he ran, footsteps splashing in shallow water, crunching on gravel.

He paused a few dozen yards inside to gasp for breath, hands on his knees, gulping down the cold cave air, unfocused gaze on his feet. The gravel around his feet... glittered. Glittered and shimmered in six inches of water. Wait. It wasn't gravel. He reached down, pulled up a handful of... gold coins and dark silt. And not just at his feet, but everywhere. Thousands of gold coins, half buried in the mud.

He rinsed off a handful and stuck them, dripping, in his pocket. He splashed further in, bending down to grab more, and more. Mud oozed between his fingers. His breath was coming faster now, and it wasn't from running. Mud ran down his arms, dripped on his pants. He rounded a corner, bent double, scooping up more coins.

He saw the feet first. Bare blue feet in six inches of water. Two-toed Troll feet. He looked up. A long, torn robe. A gnarled staff. Totems hanging from the belt. Crossed arms. Tight fingers with white knuckles. A moon-shaped scar on her blue face. Hard, pebble eyes.

He dropped the coins he was holding. They splashed the Troll's knees.

"A dragon!" he gasped. "There's a black dragon outside!"

"Well, ain't that interesting," drawled the Troll. Then she muttered something he couldn't understand, and an eldritch green light glowed in her unblinking eyes.

And then he was falling, falling, his entire being sucked into a tiny body that tumbled through the air until it smacked the water.

Outside, an eardrum-tearing roar. The cave grew dark as the entrance was blocked by a wall of water, water coming, water rushing, water pouring foaming white. He gasped, wriggled his tail, tried to swim. The wall of water slammed his tiny body.

Upside down rightside up tumbling over and over and over burbling blackness.
Iat studied the tiny creature intently. It was obvious that he was thinking. Oddly, at least to Iat, images-a little scattered and hard to see as if through a thick and cloudy mist- formed in her mind. They weren't whole enough to be memories. At least, not her own. Cool water, searing hot pain, extreme fear...falling. Darkness. Did all of this come from the little guy still sitting, as though frozen in time, upon her green wrist?

"Man," thought the Goblin. "I'm losin it. I'm talkin to a little gold lizzard like it can understand me!" But in her heart and mind, she knew the Lizard understood her quite well, and that this wasn't an ordinary little gecko. This was somehow tied to the destiny she was certainly bound for. But how?

"How indeed," she whispered aloud. "How indeed."

It was becoming obvious that somehow she and this little lizard were connected. Was it just a crossing of destinies? A tie to the world they lived in? "Heh, maybe I was a gecko in a former life!" she laughed aloud then looked sheepishly down at the little lizard. "Sorry, I don't mean to frighten ya. Sure my loud mouth is scary to a little fellow like you, huh?"
[Image: EoniaAttaboli.png]

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