A problem like Shayari
So, Faranell was still working on his tests when I went to see him. I figured I’d leave him alone so he could concentrate on his work rather than, you know, concentrate on making smartass comments. Anyway.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to finish up these meetings. I had a conference earlier today with Overseer Elaglo about his new duties “helping” Eitrigg with things. Eitrigg didn’t sound to thrilled about the new arrangements, but it’s not like he’s got much to say in the matter. Didn’t stop him from saying a few things on his way out, though. Anyhow, we also had Xorenth in to go over the details of another project I’ve got him and Elaglo collaborating on. Taktani sat in on the meeting – she managed to keep herself mostly reined in, by some miracle – but for the time being I’m going to hold off on posting those transcripts. Most of them, anyway. Some of the operations we were going over are fairly sensitive, so I don’t think I want to go announcing them on the blog.
As opposed to all the other highly sensitive, top secret stuff I casually write about here on practically a daily basis, right? Like, oh, I don’t know, evidently being the surprise dad of a half-draenei teenager, for instance. Pending confirmation, anyway. Oh well. It’s all among friends here, I guess. Anyway.
Speaking of the pending confirmation, though…over to the de-classified part of Tak’s handiwork…
(How about here, Mr. Warchief? Oh good! Now it’s okay to start copying the meeting. I like this part better anyway, there’s not as much talking about the angry fire cave. I don’t think I would like it there. It sounds scary! Oh okay, I guess I’m taking too long to get to the meeting.
I guess I’ll start with the part where Mr. Malkorok came in. Don’t worry, though, he doesn’t stay long!)
MALKOROK – Warchief, you have visitors waiting outside. The elf and the undead want to see you.
GARROSH – Ah. They’re a little early, but whatever. Let them in.
MALKOROK – Yes sir.
(Mr. Malkorok stepped outside, then came back in with Ms. Liadrin and Dr. Zombie.)
LIADRIN – Good morning, Warchief. I hope we’re not interrupting.
GARROSH – It’s fine. We’re close to done here. In fact, I think you guys are set with your orders.
ELAGLO – Yes, sir. I still need to check with the excavation crew.
XORENTH – And I’m fairly sure Kardris and Koranathal wanted to see me about something.
GARROSH – I’ll let you get to it, then. I’ll check in with you later.
(Mr. Elaglo and Mr. Xorenth got up and started to head toward the door.)
LIADRIN – I hope we’re not rushing you gentlemen off. I don’t believe we’ve met, actually. (extending her hand) I’m Lady Liadrin, of the Blood Knights of Silvermoon.
ELAGLO – So you are.
(Mr. Elaglo and Mr. Xorenth kept walking to the door and left. That didn’t seem very nice!)
LIADRIN – Well then.
(Mr. Warchief watched Mr. Elaglo and Mr. Xorenth, then kept watching the door for a minute before turning back to Ms. Liadrin.)
GARROSH – Okay. So, do we have news?
LIADRIN – Dr. Faranell has finished his tests, yes sir.
GARROSH – And?
FARANELL – Congratulations. It’s a girl. (holding out a cigar) Here, have a cigar.
(Mr. Warchief looked at Dr. Zombie kind of funny, then went back to talking. I guess Mr. Warchief doesn’t smoke. That’s good!)
GARROSH – You’re sure?
FARANELL – The results were pretty clear-cut. (shrugs) You’re sure you don’t want the cigar? Seems a shame to waste it, on top of all that perfectly good ichor from the test.
LIADRIN – I must admit, sir, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised.
GARROSH – You kind of had that vibe from Shayari from the start, huh?
LIADRIN – After a fashion, sir.
FARANELL – Good call. Cigar?
LIADRIN – (sighing) No, Doctor.
GARROSH – So that’s that… She’s settled in okay?
LIADRIN – More or less, sir. Though now I suppose we’re left with a few more questions to address about her situation.
GARROSH – Yeah.
LIADRIN – No doubt you’ll have security matters for you and…the overlord to consider.
GARROSH – For the time being, I want to stay pretty selective about who knows…well, who she really is.
LIADRIN – Fairly prudent, I suppose, sir. For now, at least. I would imagine there will be more than a few questions raised as she’s seen around Orgrimmar, of course.
GARROSH – I can deal with those. The questions… (nodding to Malkorok) …and anyone who starts getting too nosy.
MALKOROK – I have ears in many corners of the city, Warchief. I’ll be sure to find out if anyone is…unduly curious.
GARROSH – Good.
FARANELL – Good indeed. Here, have a cigar.
(Mr. Malkorok glared at Dr. Zombie and grumbled a little.)
FARANELL – Cigar? No? No one?
GARROSH – Will you knock if off with the damn cigar!
MALKOROK – If you’ll…excuse me, Warchief, I’ll be outside…
(Mr. Malkorok grumbled a little more and left. Yay!)
FARANELL – Oh well, fine. More for me, then.
TAKTANI – You really shouldn’t smoke, Dr. Zombie! It’s bad for you!
FARANELL – Hello? Already-dead guy.
GARROSH – Tak, just stick to copying down the conversation, not joining it.
(I was just trying to help! =( )
LIADRIN – If I might make a further suggestion, sir, I’ve been considering the matter of Shayari’s ongoing education. As you may recall, she was studying to be a mage in Dalaran when the purge took place.
GARROSH – Huh. Well, we have trainers here, and I could probably have Ureda get her in with the newest shadowmages, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I want her handing around too much down in the Cleft of Shadow.
LIADRIN – It is, I’ve heard, something of an unsavory area, sir.
GARROSH – Among other things. So anyway, you had an idea?
LIADRIN – Yes, sir. I thought it might be preferable to entrust her training to someone more familiar to us. I’ve spoken to Dr. Faranell about the matter, and he’s expressed his willingness to take Shayari on as an apprentice.
FARANELL – You left out the part about my extortionate fee.
GARROSH – Huh. Are you sure you’d be up for a job like that, Doc? I mean, no offense, but you never really struck me as a particularly powerful mage.
FARANELL – I’m not, really. I’m not bad, mind you, but I’m nothing special. Still, for training purposes, especially for the early stage Shayari’s at, high-end power isn’t nearly as important as a good knowledge base.
LIADRIN – Which is an area in which we’re actually…particularly fortunate to have a resource as rare as the good doctor.
FARANELL – Fortunate for the rest of you, anyway.
GARROSH – Uh, why’s that? I mean I know you’re a smart guy and all, Doc, but what’s so rare about him?
LIADRIN – Well, Warchief, as you might recall, Dr. Faranell was blessed with an eidetic memory.
FARANELL – Oh yes. Blessed.
LIADRIN – As such, he has a near-perfect retention of virtually every magic sourcebook he’s read. And that particular capacity was… well… augmented by one of the peculiarities of Dr. Faranell’s personal history.
FARANELL – Is that what we’re calling it now? A peculiarity?
LIADRIN – There aren’t many terms that lend themselves readily.
GARROSH – Are you two going to finish explaining this, or do I have to start guessing what the hell you’re talking about?
FARANELL – The time loop.
GARROSH – I… Oh.
GARROSH – Yeah, oddly enough, I remember, even without the doc’s super-memory. It was kind of a big deal.
LIADRIN – Indeed, sir. As it happens…well, Doctor, I imagine you can explain better than I could.
FARANELL – Yeah, so. You know that while I was in the time loop, I kept reliving the same 11-year period over and over. Only the thing is, each time around, I experienced that repetition individually. So if I went around five times, it wasn’t like I experienced it once and it kept repeating without my knowing – I was aware of each time through, and knew, okay, this is pass #5.
GARROSH – Yeah, I remember that part. And you ended up going around…crap, how many times was it?
FARANELL – 2,734. I was in the middle of number 2,735 when I got snapped out of it again.
GARROSH – Holy shit.
FARANELL – Holy shit indeed. Anyway, though, the point of all this is that every cycle through, I had to repeat all the things I’d originally done in that timeline, obviously, so as not to disrupt history—
GARROSH – Well, other than how you DID disrupt history, and, y’know, almost destroyed the world in the process.
FARANELL – Yes, there’s that, but nobody’s perfect. Even me. One thing that I realized fairly early on, though, was that even though I had to preserve all the things I was supposed to do in those years, there was also an awful lot of down time when it really didn’t matter what I was doing. Nights when I was alone by myself at home, for instance – it really didn’t matter if I spent the time, say, doing a crossword puzzle or playing solitaire, since it would literally affect no one other than me.
GARROSH – Dude, seriously? Crossword puzzles and solitaire? Please tell me that’s not what you really spent your nights doing.
FARANELL – No, but I didn’t think “designing more virulent strains of plague” rolled off the tongue as well. Shall we continue, or are you not yet finished noting how lame I was for not making varsity?
GARROSH – Yeah, fine, whatever.
FARANELL – At any rate… Well, let me put it this way. Have you ever thought, “Boy, there are all these books I’d like to read, if only I had the time to get around to them”?
(I think Mr. Warchief might have thought Dr. Zombie wasn’t finished yet, because he didn’t say anything. He just stood there looking at him for a minute. I hope Mr. Warchief’s ears are okay!)
FARANELL – Okay, silly question on my part. But you can grasp the concept of that, right?
GARROSH – Yeah, sure. World enough and time. Got it.
FARANELL – Well… Thanks to my…circumstances… I had over 30,000 years to get around to them.
GARROSH – Holy… Hang on. How many books did you end up “getting around to”?
FARANELL – Pretty much all of them.
LIADRIN – And again, sir, it bears noting: he made his way, in essence, through the entire repository of written knowledge…with a photographic memory.
GARROSH – (letting out a long, low whistle) Whew. So, yeah, you’re definitely the man for the job here, Doc. And hey, I guess this means you get to be a professor like your brother, huh?
FARANELL – Yes, well, hopefully not too much like him. He sort of jumped the rails there at the end.
GARROSH – Huh. Yeah. Actually, though, this works out pretty perfectly. Shayari can move on over to the Undercity, she can be a little more low-profile there, you can teach her the ins and outs of all that magic crap, everybody wins.
LIADRIN – Well, sir, I hadn’t really meant that Shay should—
GARROSH – We might as well get the ball rolling right away on this, in fact. MALKOROK!
(Mr. Malkorok leaned back in through the door.)
MALKOROK – Yes, sir?
GARROSH – Malk, Shayari is going to be going back to the Undercity with the doc here. I want you to go with him now and help make any arrangements he needs. Transport, storage, whatever he needs. You clear?
MALKOROK – (giving Faranell a disdainful glance) If you wish, Warchief.
LIADRIN – Warchief, might I suggest before we go ahead with this—
GARROSH – No sense wasting time when we’ve got a winner of a plan, Liadrin. Hop to it, Doc. Malkorok will make sure you get whatever you need.
(Mr. Malkorok stood in the doorway and looked to Dr. Zombie while gesturing out the door. He almost looked polite! I wonder why he looked like something hurt…)
MALKOROK – If you’ll…come this way…undead.
FARANELL – (walking to the door) Oh good. I was afraid my day couldn’t become any more delightful.
(Mr. Malkorok and Dr. Zombie left.)
GARROSH – Gotta hand it to you, Liadrin, that was a pretty clutch idea about the doc.
LIADRIN – Well…thank you, sir. Although I can’t say I’d expected you to want Shayari altogether relocated to the Undercity…
GARROSH – Hey, kids her age go away to school all the time.
LIADRIN – That’s true, sir, but most of them are coming from a home that’s fairly stable to begin with. Shayari, on the other hand, has already been uprooted once from a place she’d considered home.
GARROSH – She should be fine with Edwin looking after her. Plus she can always zip up to Brill if she needs some fresh air. Or fresher air. Or, well, somewhat-less-noxious air.
LIADRIN – Yes, sir. Although… If I might ask you something, sir? I don’t mean to intrude into your personal matters…
GARROSH – I think that train left the station when you showed up with a surprise daughter for me.
LIADRIN – Well, sir… Have you gone to see her at all, since the other day?
GARROSH – No. I haven’t. I’ve been busy enough trying to take care of business and tie up all the loose ends that have been coming loose since…I… haven’t been around to un-loose them…
LIADRIN – I understand that you’re a busy man, of course, Warchief. At the same time…she is your daughter.
GARROSH – I’m aware, yeah.
LIADRIN – Don’t you think you should?
GARROSH – When I get a chance to, Liadrin. Worst case scenario, I’ll be sure to see her off before she takes off with Edwin, and…
LIADRIN – I understand that this has been a lot to be added to an already full plate, sir. I’d like to reassure you, though, if you feel it would be helpful to have a sympathetic ear as a new parent — a sounding board, as it were — I would be more than happy to—
GARROSH – Not for anything, Liadrin, but what would you even know about it?
LIADRIN – More than you might suppose, Warchief. A few years ago, shortly after the Outland campaign, I adopted a young blood elf girl from the Shattrath orphanage. She’s fourteen years old now. So, you see, I’m not completely unfamiliar with having no children one day, then suddenly having a grown child the next.
GARROSH – Yeah, well, that’s nice and all, Liadrin, but I’m sure I can handle it.
LIADRIN – I’m sure you can, sir. So does that mean you’ll be going to see her? Well before any possible departures?
GARROSH – This really isn’t any of your business, Liadrin.
LIADRIN – All things being equal, sir, I would agree. Though given that the past several days I’ve been taking it upon myself to help her with her transition, I suppose you might say I’ve developed a bit of a vested interest.
GARROSH – Liadrin, I get what you’re trying to do, and yeah, fine, you’ve kind of got a point about me going to talk to her, but you know what? I don’t know this girl. She shows up out of nowhere, and I don’t know the first thing about her. I don’t know what the fuck I’m supposed to SAY to her.
LIADRIN – (smiling kindly before beginning matter-of-factly) She grew up in Nagrand, and as a child lost her mother to a pernicious disease. She never knew her father, only through stories, and everything she’s heard of him has told her that he’s a monster. (walks to the door, turning back briefly before exiting) I’m sure you’ll come up with something.