Untitled, Unfinished

By: Damian Lampl - 11/30/2010 9:37:53 PM

Wintergrasp
Just another day in Wintergrasp.

This was going to be my submission to a quasi-recent Blizzard writing contest that I never got around to finishing and don't foresee happening anytime soon.  So just enjoy what's there and don't get pissed that it just abruptly ends.

Untitled, Unfinished --

The sun rises over that frozen water like any other day.  Each cycle a repeat of the last.  Monotonous to some; eerily comforting to a soldier.  Repeating a day means you're still alive.  Well, at least breathing, anyway.  Time to do it all again.

After you wake up but before you're really awake, your mind tends to wander.  You think things you shouldn't think.  You ponder things you shouldn't ponder.  You start to wonder why... snap out of it!  A soldier doesn't question command.  A soldier doesn't question tactics.  A soldier doesn't question orders.  Why do we do this...

"You all know the drill," our First Sergeant barks.  "Those Alliance pigs took back the Keep during the night.  We strike fast, we strike hard, we take back what's ours.  Lok'Tar Ogar!"

"FOR THE HORDE!" we instinctively yell in unison.

Our wyverns crouch, ready as they always are.  We mount up and make the flight we've made so many times before.  The cold air clears the mind of its wandering, forcing alertness.  Every strand of the beast's fur can be felt as an individual fiber, soft but course.  Our hearts eventually sync, beating together as one machine.

By the time we land, it's already begun; craters and bodies everywhere.  Some fresh, some from countless battles before.  Many of those faces used to be known.  Now they're all just landscape.

We take the workshop first.  Five squadrons stand around the pole, securing the goblin services.  Seems like a handful of us could hold the position but a soldier doesn't question tactics.  We all wait together for what seems like days before the workshop is ours.  Then we all but abandon the place.

We head for the main gate to take out their guns.  The archers and magicians do their thing while the rest of us sit back and wait for the inevitable Alliance recruit to jump into the heart of our forces, wasting his life, mistakenly thinking he's a hero.  There are no heroes in war; only those who make it back and those who don't.  One more idealist who figured that out all too late.  Rest in peace, kid.

The ground starts to rumble, letting everyone know our siege engines are approaching.  The cannons are rubble and soon the gate will be as well.  Those tanks make short work of things, and a shallow grave for the recruit under their tracks.  Before we know it we've breached the inner wall and are laying waste to anything and everything in our path.  The smart Allies, the ones we'll see again, have already cut tail to prepare their next assault.  They know we've won this battle.  The last wall falls and the Keep is ours once again.

"FOR THE HORDE!" we instinctively yell in unison.

Preparations for defense begin immediately.  Countless peons swarm from nowhere to rebuild the walls.  Blimps rain down equipment and supplies like hail stones.  Officers grow hoarse from repeating themselves, but we all know what to do anyway.  How many times have we done this?  How many more will we do this?  Why do we do...

"Ro..." is all the poor sap could blurt before that night elf turned him inside out.  And just like that, she was gone.  Medics don't have time to clean up the mess.

Seems like we were just tearing through that wall and now it's up again, protecting the artifact.  Has it really been that long?  Mindless duties don't know time.  "Man your guns!" the Warlord demands.  Cannon duty.  The first shot was fun.  Now it's just another loud noise.  But a loud noise that shreds through the enemy forces like that rogue's blade through orc flesh.  The shells whistle through the air if you can still hear anything, deafening either way when they hit.

"WEST!" informs a Centurion.  We gravitate west.  Not much of an assault but this whole battle has been that way.  What are they doing?  We've destroyed their towers.  We hold the workshops.  This is a slaughter.  We leave the Keep and push the few remaining enemies back to their camp.  Then we lay waste to the camp.

"FOR THE HORDE!" we instinctively yell in unison.

Not one wall has been breached.  Battles like these are rare but there's no time to savor the victory.  We need to prepare for the next wave.  How many waves have there been?  How many waves will there be?  Why do we...

"Fuel, Grunt!  We need fuel for our demolishers!" reminds the engineer.  Those elementals are bad news.  Seems a shaman or mage would fare better against the heat than a simple warrior with an axe, but a soldier doesn't question tactics.  The land has given in to the incessant scorching but orcs don't know how to give in.  Orcs know how to fight.  And fight we do, until the fire no longer breathes or our arms no longer swing.  After what seems like years, its core is ours.  The demolishers fueled.

Before the goblin takes the elemental remains, the enemy is on our doorstep once again.  The First Sergeant makes known our platoon's objective: "Destroy their towers!"  Been a while since tower duty.  Or has it?  What day is it?  Today.

We take out the few brave defenders, most simply trying to distract us to buy their offensive forces more time.  The first tower falls.  We press the middle, picking off stragglers here and there.  They've shorted their defense.  The second tower falls.  Our enemies scramble.  They try to send reinforcements to protect their last bastion of hope, but it's too late.  Our counterattack is too strong.  The third tower falls.  The enemy is demoralized yet they still fight on, now in vain.

"FOR THE HORDE!" we instinctively yell in unison.

Their attacks brought down a few exterior walls, but they never penetrated the courtyard.  Little rebuilding is needed and we all need some rack.  Even orcs get tired.  When you're awake, you don't know if you're dreaming.  When you're dreaming, you don't know if you're awake.  After you wake up, but before you're really awake, your mind tends to wander.  You think things you shouldn't think...

"INCOMING!" yells a Scout.  The shockwave clears the mind of its wandering, forcing alertness.  The outer wall is gone but that doesn't stop an idealist from jumping into the heart of their forces, thinking he's a hero.  Rest in peace, kid.

Before we know it they've breached the inner wall and are laying waste to anything and everything in their path.  We're vastly outnumbered; they've won this battle.  The last wall falls and the Keep is theirs.

A few of them yell something not quite in unison, but it's human language and sounds like mindless babble.

Retreat feels dirty, dishonorable, like desertion.  But it's considered tactical.  Soldiers don't question tactics.  We regroup at our western camp before flying back to Grommash Hold to prepare for our next assault.  Garrosh will be pissed we let the Alliance take the Keep.  Seems he's always pissed.  Luckily High Overlord Saurfang lends his voice of reason.


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