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For the Greater Good

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Nearo a

For the Greater Good

Scouring the carbon build-up on the inside of the rifle barrel was always so relaxing after a long day of picking off the Forsaken in Stormheim. The smell of gunpowder filled the gnome's nostrils as he scrubbed ever so diligently, inspecting the lands and grooves of the barrel exactly every 17 seconds to acquire a mirror finish needed for precision headshots.

Just as he was beginning to work through the dull carbon fouling, two tall figures walked into the gnome's workshop. They wore hoods and walked with a quiet, dignified demeanor that made it clear that these were not human Marines.

"Agents?", inquired the gnome.

"Sir.", replied two female voices in unison.

"Ah, fantastic! Come in, take a seat! I have data to disseminate!" the gnome replied excitedly as he set the rifle down on his work bench and began wiping his goggle lenses with a filthy rag.

The two hooded figures balanced themselves on the tiny benches across the table from the workbench, patiently awaiting further instructions.

The gnome reached into his overalls and took out a grime-stained letter. It's green wax seal had been broken, but the anchor-shaped sigil was still clearly visible.

"New Orders from High Command. They have reviewed my calculations and concurred with my proposed solution for the problem in Durotar!" he expounded with glee, his large white teeth contrasting the soot that caked his face.

"You are to initiate operations on this at once. I have requisitioned discrete transport for you to Eastern Kalimdor. Upon arrival, you are to meet with these three contacts." As he spoke, he pulled out three photos. One was a tall, long-haired blood elf, the other two were a goblin and a darkspear troll.

"Their names are Liveticus, Gorter and Gambozak. There's a bunch of others, but you know how Troll and Goblin names are. All relevant and pertinent data points are indicated in your Orders. These contractors are expensive, but my evaluation of their capability indicates that they are highly effective. Instruct them to begin gathering information on behalf of the Argent Crusade or similar organization of exalted moralistic repute in order to more effectively conceal the objective of the mission. Figure out the details, you've got two days to come up with a plan before you set sail for Kalimdor." As he finished, he gave his goggles one last wipe-down with the dirty rag before just tossing it to the floor in frustration and pulling the goggles up to his forehead.

"Sir, this will take some time to gather. The Forsaken are quite paranoid about anything relating to their inner workings - and the Royal Apothecary Society takes that paranoia to a whole different level. The information these contacts provide may not be reliable, sir." explained the hooded figure to the right, speaking calmly as she held the open letter in her hand, passing it over to the other hooded figure.

"That is a probability that has already been accounted for!" answered the gnome, somewhat annoyed at the thought that he wouldn't have considered the plausibility of this being the case. "But we have to explore every variable to come to the most effective solution."

The hooded figure nodded in agreement. "And what do we do after they have provided the information we're looking for, sir? Or if they should come up empty-handed?" she inquired, ending her question with just the slightest hint of hesitation.

"My calculations have indicated that optimal results will only be obtainable if your true identities are kept secret. Maintaining a positive business relationship with this contractor must be a priority! We can't squander a capable resource!" nodded the gnome to himself before continuing. "But if there are any anomalies which we had previously unaccounted for, and the variables are such that we cannot come to a favorable solution... we will take care of it. The Captain is making preparations for such an eventuality. No loose ends, agent."

"Very well. With your permission then, we will begin our work, sir."

The gnome reached for the goggles on his forehead, pulled them forward and popped them back over his eyes.

"Indoubtedly" replied the gnome.

"Dismissed!" he exclaimed, saluting the two hooded figures who promptly saluted back and began exiting the workshop.

As the gnome picked up the cleaning rod and propped the gun barrel up toward his face again, he thought about how everything always works so much better after all traces of filth have been wiped away and scoured completely from the surface.
Posted May 8, 18 · OP · Last edited Jul 11, 18
Nearo a
5 days later...

The two Quel'dorei agents smiled at their hosts and graciously made their way out of the meeting room at the Gallywix Pleasure Palace complex. The meeting with Liveticus, Gorter and Gambozak had gone exceptionally well. Though criminals such as these were unlikely to hold any moral reservations on seeking out the information being requested - it was better for everyone involved that the true nature of the mission stay a secret. It didn't seem that they suspected anything out of the ordinary, and it was best to keep it that way.

The storm in the area had just begun, and was quickly intensifying with a fervor that filled the air with the deafening sound of relentless rainfall and thunder you could feel in your belly. Kalimdor was a land of extremes, and this little corner of Azshara was no different. The rainfall was loud enough that Sivianna felt comfortable enough to turn to her sister and speak of the mission as they walked further and further away from their hosts. Their hosts would be unable to overhear anything.

"That went rather well, don't you think?" she said coldly.

"A little too well! Did you overhear my "conversation" with that disgusting little goblin?" responded Visianna, wrinkling her nose in disgust as she recalled the goblin Gorter - who had tried to negotiate ownership of the high elf into the deal.

"Friendly enough for a goblin... I thought he was quite nice in a disgusting little goblin sort of way." remarked Sivianna, following up her statement with a smirk. "You did good. He definitely took a liking to you, though. We need to use that to our advantage."

"Don't even think about it." snapped Visianna, shaking her head.

"No, no.. that's not what I meant! Goblins in his position always have a vast network of contacts... he could prove useful."

The rain intensified as they approached the clearing where the Goblin rocket-propelled transport was waiting for them for the return trip to Orgrimmar.

"Even the Royal Apothecary Society must use outside suppliers to procure some of the exotic reagents. Those suppliers will have contacts throughout the goblin trade cartels." remarked Sivianna, raising her voice just slightly as the sound of the rain started to become even more deafening. "No one's going to provide whatever disgusting or hazardous components they use in the manufacturing process for free!"

"And Gorter may know who's in charge of the trade routes to and from The Undercity." responded Visianna, her sister simply acknowledging with a nod as they approached the Goblin transport. The goblin pilot could now be seen as they approached, so they decided to postpone the rest of the conversation until later.

"Yo! We needa 'ta get outta here! yelled the goblin, frantically trying to get the rocket started. If the two elves had showed up a minute or two later, the goblin would probably had already left them behind. "The lightning's about to start up! Get in there!" yelled the goblin pilot, pointing at the back seat.

The two Quel'dorei promptly hopped into the back seat without another word, holding on tight as the rocket boosters fired up for the return trip to Orgrimmar.
Posted May 14, 18 · OP · Last edited Jun 7, 18
Nearo a
that same day in Northrend...


He looked down at the graveyard which had once been a battlefield. This was the first known site where the so-called "New Plague" had been used by the Royal Apothecary Society to devastating effect. Fire from the red dragons had cleansed the land of the Banshee Queen's poison. Scorched remnants of metal and bone poking through the thin snow cover of early Summer served as a somber monument to the foolish naivete of the Alliance and the typical treachery of the Horde.

"Death to the Scourge! And Death to the Living!"

Those were the last words heard by so many that day, just moments before their flesh was melted away like an icicle disappearing into a boiling hot spring.

Listening to the soft, gentle whisper of the wind passing through his hollow rib cage, he tried to enjoy the eerie peacefulness of this area while he looked around the abandoned camp for anything that might be useful. It had been years since this camp had been abandoned, but Looters and grave-robbers clearly had better sense than to come here of all places.

Next to the scorched debris of what might have once been a cart or a catapult, he noticed a couple of skeletons. Most of the flesh had been burnt off, but brittle scraps of leather covered their entire face, and two glass discs - still intact, had survived the heat from the fire and were still pressed against the hollowed out eye sockets on the two skeletons.

"Blight masks", he thought to himself. Scanning the ground, he noticed several iron rings... he recognized them as barrel hoops, similar to the kind used for storing fresh water onboard a ship. Upon close inspection, a small maker's mark was just barely readable.

"VL" was stamped into the outside of the ring.

The barrel had been made at Vengence Landing, which meant it had also been filled there. The Plague used here had been made nearby... not brought in all the way from Undercity.

Walking over to his mount, he paused to take in one more look at the battlefield behind him.

"So that's what it'll look like."
Posted Jun 7, 18 · OP · Last edited Jun 7, 18
Nearo a
a month later...

The gnome hunched over the wide drawing table shoved in the corner of the workshop. This particular part of the workshop was remarkably clean and far from errant gushes of oil and glowing hot sparks that may soil or otherwise damage the intricate schematics arrayed on the low walls separating it from the work area. Hundreds of rolled prints were neatly organized and color-coded in the dozens of small square storage compartments under the table, each one labeled in a sequence of numbers and Gnomish for accuracy's sake. Gnomes pride themselves on detailed, quality and disciplined engineering practices. It's one of the things that separate them from Goblins who just cobble together failure and explosion-prone contraptions with no documentation to improve on the designs over time.

The door was closed - as it usually is when he was developing his schematics... when he heard a knock on the door.

He ignored the knock, hoping they'd go away. He was busy, damn it!

It knocked again... and again... and again.

"Who is it?! Don't you see the door is in the closed position?!?" barked the gnome in his squeaky voice with the ferocity of a worgen - clenching his fist as he bellowed, surprising and also impressing himself as he heard the pencil in his hand snap in two as he clenched his fist in anger.

"It's us, sir." spoke two soft female voices in unison.

The gnome's anger turned to excited anticipation as he tossed the broken pencil into a trash bin in the corner, the wood pieces bouncing off balls of crumpled drawing paper that almost reached the top of the bin. He rushed to unlock the door before bouncing back over the table back onto his stool.

"Well why didn't you say so?! Come in! Come in!" implored the gnome, now a broad smile on his face as the two tall, slim figures passed through the door and into the tiny office. "Take a seat, please!" he finished, pointing at the two chairs next to the door.

"It is same to presume you have valuable data to share, correct?"

"Yes, sir." responded the two hooded figures, but only the one on the right continued. "We have identified an apothecary that resides somewhere in Silverpine Forest, outside of the protection of the Undercity."

The gnome's eyes lit up.

"Intriguing! And you believe we may be able to extract data from this individual?" inquired the gnome with a combination of anticipation and skepticism.

"We believe so, sir." replied the hooded figure on the left. "The contacts you provided have proved to be less disciplined than we had anticipated, which is working to our advantage. They are tracking down the exact location in Silverpine as clumsily and noisily as expected, so it should draw attention away from our own agents in the area and hopefully draw out this apothecary". She pulled out an old picture from her cloak and placed it on the table. The gnome promptly picked it up and began to examine the picture with a magnifying lens, looking for any signs of forgery.

"And this apothecary's name, agents?"

"Our sources have identified him as Mortignis, Sir. Based on the information we have, it is wise to assume him to be quite dangerous."

"That adds an additional complex variable to the equation... we require him still be "alive" if we are to retrieve any valuable data!." responded the gnome.

"Yes, Sir." nodded the two figures in agreement.

"Continue tracking those savages you hired, but do so from an adequate distance to retain stealth and avoid detection, agents. We may need to sacrifice future use of their services in order to capture this Mortignis. I will inform the Captain and begin making preparations."

The gnome stood back up, the two hooded figures standing up in unison immediately after.

"Rendezvous with our people in Andorhal and make your way into Silverpine. No loose ends, agents. Dismissed!"

The two hooded figures walked out the door, closing it behind them as the gnome opened the drawer under his drawing pencil, pulling out a new pencil to continue his work.
Posted Jul 11, 18 · OP · Last edited Jul 11, 18
Nearo a
Several months after the Battle of Olsen’s Farthing

The Marines had suffered a terrible set-back after the loss at Olsen’s Farthing against the vile Forsaken organization known as the Shadows of Lordaeron. Reconnaissance units had successfully identified and tracked a dangerous Apothecary by the name of Mortignis, who had taken up residence in the area around Olsen’s Farthing. Though his laboratory had been ransacked for information on the Blight, the main objective had been the capture of the Apothecary himself.

The attempt to capture the Apothecary had been an unmitigated disaster.

The undead warlock arrived with a cadre of bodyguards after they had discovered the gnome agent Fizzleplugg - an experienced scout who had been tracking the apothecary. The Undead had then proceeded to Olsen’s Farthing, where they overwhelmed the Marine scouts who had been sent to retrieve information from the laboratory.

With Mortignis’ whereabouts now unknown, and the upheaval which gripped Kul Tiras after the Battle of Lordaeron, the trail had gone cold.
Operation Greater Good was dead in the water.

Boralus, weeks after Katherine Proudmoore abdicated the position of Lord Admiral to her daughter Jaina.

“Come in, Sergeant. Sit.” ordered Nearo, pointing to the chair across the table.


The green-haired gnome stopped to salute, and then proceeded to walk into a small office overlooking Tiragarde Sound. The song of seagulls and the smell of the ocean made it’s way through the small porthole facing the water. In one bound, the gnome found his way onto the chair across from his Captain, who turned to face the gnome with a piercing gaze as he began to address his Chief Engineer.

“We have been authorized to proceed with the next phase of Operation Greater Good. I trust you still have the canister of BGT-106?”

“Sir? Y-y-yes! Yes, we still have it! It’s back at the lab… but all of our scans on the canister were unable to determine the nature of it’s contents or whether it’d be safe to break the seal.”

“Sergeant, if that thing is what we think it is, the last thing we need is an explosion of Blight in the middle of Boralus.”

“Sir, No Sir! We can begin designs on a containment chamber. I have been studying some of the containment technology used by the Titan Keepers in Uldir… we may be able to build something similar, but on a much smaller scale of course!”

“I read your report on Uldir. Didn’t your report include an evaluation stating that their containment technology had failed?”

“It did! But that was over the course of thousands of years, sir! With proper upkeep and additional safeguards, we can most certainly contain a localized explosive no matter the contents!”

“We have no room for error here, Sergeant. Do you understand? We can’t afford another setback.”

“No, sir!” replied the gnome, energetically shaking his head, the antenna on his cybernetic shades wagging.
Nearo stood up and walked over to the port hole. The sounds of Tiragarde Sound grew a bit louder to his ear as he leaned up to the bulkhead.

“I also want you to aquire some of the components listed in Mortignis’ notes. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what you need.”

“Yes, sir!”, the gnome’s voice grew more excited.
The gnome had been looking forward to getting back into the lab and continuing his research, but it had been suspended in order to meet the more immediate threats facing Kul Tiras.

“And Fizzlevolt… we have a couple of new agents in Bravo Company. They’ll be assisting with this effort. They’ll be meeting with you tomorrow at your workshop. Let them know what you need.”

“Yes, sir!”

“Dismissed… keep me informed.”

The two saluted one-another and the gnome turned aboutface, exiting the office at a brisk pace as the Captain continued to study the Boralus skyline.
Posted Dec 3, 18 · OP