He could hear himself breathing… there was a hint of an echo as he inhaled and exhaled, but all he saw was darkness. The echo and the darkness must mean he is in some kind of chamber - a cave perhaps?
Agent Fizzleplugg could feel his eyes were open. He consciously opened and closed his eyes, blinked in quick succession, making sure his eyes were actually open.
And the pain… the excruciating pain in all his joints. He tried to move his arms and legs… but nothing happened. He wanted to look at his arms and legs, and see what injuries he had sustained, but there was nothing but darkness and pain.
He remembered the mission. He could vaguely remember following the Apothecary Mortignis and his bodyguards. The Captain had ordered that their movements be tracked… but they had caught him as he tried to slow their march.
The Marines would need more time, he had thought… he had to create a diversion.
But the diversion failed, and the gnome’s body had been torn apart by the vile Forsaken known as the Shadows of Lordaeron just before the disastrous battle at Olsen’s Farthing. In their haste to reach Mortignis’ laboratory, they had assumed the gnome agent to be dead. It’d been a few months since that day, but to Fizzleplugg it just seeemed like he was waking up the next day.
“Sa… Salu…tations? Is… any… one… there…?” he asked in a faint, squeaky voice. He was very weak, struggling to gather the strength to breathe with each word.
Fizzleplugg could hear a muffled voice.
“Sir! I heard something!”
Fizzleplugg then saw bright light as a hatch opened, revealing that he was in Chief Engineer Fizzlevolt’s workshop. A couple of assistant Engineers from the Marine Corps of Engineers were frantically running around checking an assortment of instrumentation and sensors as the agent looked around in confusion.
“How did I get here?” he thought to himself, still unable to gather the strength to speak.
“At ease, Corporal! Don’t try to move… it’ll just make the pain worse!” spoke the familiar voice of Chief Engineer Fizzlevolt.
“I know what you’re thinking. What happened?! Well, Agent Fizzlesocket found you and brought you here… or what was left of you, anyway! She’d been worried sick! Boy, she sure will be glad to see you’re awake!”
“Sir…? What’s… happening…?” squeaked out Fizzleplugg.
“We’re still attempting to heal your body, but those damned deaders ate your arms and legs! Not to worry though, we’ve got a plan!”
Fizzleplugg seized in horror. He had been trying to get up, but couldn’t reach up to pull himself into an upright position. As he looked to his shoulders and legs, he realized why he was in so much pain. They were all missing - apparently.
As he looked to the left, he saw a table with a panicking goblin strapped down to it.
“We’ll have you all patched up and good as… well, no, not good as new, but better than now at least! Haha!”
“Sir…? Wh… What are… you… going… to do?”
“As soon as your vitals stabilize and we can discern a regular breathing pattern, nominal blood pressure and a lapse in your current state of shock, we’re putting this beaut to work, Corporal!”
Fizzleplugg looked over to the machine, Engineers still making adjustments as they bolted and unbolted various instruments and gizmos from the housing.
The label plate identifying the machine read “Fractal Arrangement Corporeal Exchanger / Oscillating Facial Features”
“This is the experimental F.A.C.E./O.F.F. machine! It should buy you the time we need until we can build you some limbs that won’t introduce unacceptable levels of toxicity and rapid blood loss, Corporal!”
Fizzleplugg had no idea what that meant, but as he looked back over to the terrified goblin and saw his green face turning white, it began to dawn on him.