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The Shattering: Julica Latchet

Julica's picture

((Weeks late, I know, but better late than never!))

Julica breathed in deeply, savoring the late Autumn air. It was the first time she'd actually bothered to simply... enjoy her surroundings in what felt like ages. She'd always been too busy, been too wrapped up in her "quest for vengeance" along with the rest of the Ebon Blade.

And now? That quest was over. She'd seen what had happened to the Lich King with her own two eyes. She had to glower at that a little; while she knew no one must know the truth of what had happened, there was a level on which she wished she could tell everyone of the insane courage she had witnessed. Compared to anything she had done, what had been involved with the end of the Lich King took bravery the likes of which she was never sure she'd have.

A gust of wind banished those thoughts from her mind. The top of the parapet at the Stormwind gate was simply too enjoyable a vantage point for her to remain locked in dark thoughts. She wondered why she didn't see more people up here - the view really was breathtaking. Of course, the experience was marred a little by a human with what appeared to be a spyglass looking down into the Trade District, occasionally saying things like "oh baby!" and "target in sight!". Julica made a point to stay well on the other side of the tower from the man.

While the wind was too pleasant to allow for gloomy thoughts, Julica was still pensive about something - something related to the mace now on her back. She wasn't part of the Ebon Blade any longer - Drogan Truthhammer had declared that he had nothing left to teach her, and that he too was leaving the Ebon Blade to live out his last few days with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Which meant that Julica was now well and truly free to choose her own destiny.

But what did that mean, she had to ponder. What was she to do now? She was a Meddler, certainly, and she doubted very much that her friends would ever really manage to stay totally out of trouble. But what would she do now? There was no great war to fight, no need for a person who had been intended to be basically a living weapon. She was free to choose her own path... and, to be frank, it was a little disturbing.

She shifted from one foot to the other. There was someone - well, okay, someones - who could help her. But ever since regaining herself, she's always felt a little self-conscious around Mag... a little like she'd let Mag down somehow (partialy by being such a pain in the tuchus for so long after being freed from the Scourge's grip). She knew Mag could use some help trying to get to the bottom of the strange events going on in southern Kalimdor, but she had no idea how to go about helping her.

And the other person...

Julica sighed inwardly. She'd been putting this off for so long because she dreaded how it would go. She knew it was silly of her to put it off for so long, especially with the Lich King defeated forever. But... she still couldn't bring herself to do it.

She couldn't bear the idea that her mother might consider her a monster.

Better to avoid it, she thought, even as another part of her mind called such an idea foolish. It'd have to be dealt with sooner or later, just... not now.

After all... Julica had all the time in the world now. Azeroth was safe.



The tower began to shake a little bit. Julica grumbled; she thought the earthquakes were over. She knew it would pass in a moment, and waited.

It didn't pass.

The ground shook, and shook, and shook; Julica had to grab onto the masonry to stay on her feet. What was happening? There'd never been an earthquake like this!

And then the sound. Like an explosion, coming from the direction of the harbor, but... distant. And on the horizon, a massive gout of flame and smoke, rising from far to the northwest.

A gout of flame and and smoke... that was heading this way.

Julca stood transfixed for a minute... and then, with seconds to spare, jumped from the tower into the Valley of Heroes, barely dodging a massive metallic claw. (The man with the spyglass wasn't so lucky.)

Whipping around and pulling the mace off of her back, she pointed it at the figure on top of Stormwind's gatehouse.

"DRAGON! Surrender and begone, or face the consequences! I'll bring you down myself if I have to! For I am Julica! Julica Latchet! The weapon thaHURBRMRFL!"

Julica's exhortation was cut off by the fact that the large creature stepped on her, having apparently not heard her at all. It walked forward into the Valley of Heroes, retrieving an object hanging from the city gates - a familiar object to many city residents.

With that, it began to beat its wings again, as it seems almost to... chuckle. But then a sound could be heard by horrified onlookers.

"I'm... not... DONE YET, DRAGON!"

Climbing out of the claw-shaped hole in the ground was a certain gnome. While getting stepped on by a dragon would probably be fatal to most creatures, gnomes were better equipped to survive compression than most, being so small to begin with. This was doubly true for gnomes who had been conditioned to be very hard to kill in the first place.

"Alright, you overgrown lizard!" Julica called out, brandishing her mace. "You came back for her head? Well guess who helped take it off! I've still got that talisman made with her blood! I've taken on your lackeys and won, you metal-jawed toad! FACE ME!"

The creature turned its head and looked with one eye at the gnome for a moment. The eye narrowed ever so slightly.

And then the creature whipped its tail.


Some Meddlers and allies were engaged in rescue efforts in other city districts. Some were out at sea, just coming in. Some were at the Keep, trying to keep order. All of them, however, could not help but notice a small, burning gnome-sized missile rise out of the Valley of Heroes, arc over the city, yelling creative obscenities the entire way, and then come crashing down into the crater where the city park used to be.


Days later, rescue efforts in the park turned to simple body recovery. No one was expected to have survived that long. The city guard, the Dragoons, simple citizens, everyone helped with the task of recovering the dead.

What the searchers did not expect, once the removed a rock, was for a gnome-sized hand to punch its way through the dirt, and for a certain gnome to start to pull herself out with the last of her strength.

"Stupid... dragon... get back here... I'll..."

And then Julica Latchet flopped over, defeated at last.

But at least now she had a purpose, as she was spirited away to the Cathedral of Light to recover.


Comments

Drogar's picture

((That was even more awesome

((That was even more awesome than I could have hoped, Julica.))