"She's the worst rogue I've ever seen."
I can't blame you. Waking up inside a dark room inside a cage isn't a great testament to my abilities. Saying I've woken up in worse places probably wouldn't encourage you too much, either.
But I have.
I'm the one who came into Silvermoon as a prisoner of war and came out of it having robbed half its nobles blind. I'm the one who crashed a zeppelin into Feathermoon Stronghold during a race around the world. I'm the reason they tell you to lock your doors at night in Orgrimmar. I've killed statesmen, warlords, Alliance, Horde, Cartel, Scourge and Argent.
You may have heard of me.
You're not the only one.
I don't know the voice, but I know the suit. A short, plump, green goblin wrapped in expensive-looking red. His grin is big. His teeth are crooked. And his eyes are big, blue and very, very dead.
"Former priestess, former member of SI:7, former guard," he says, grinning. "Current thug of no notable repute."
"Bomzik," I reply, cool and authoritative as someone in a cage can appear. "Current last name unknown. Former Death Knight of Arthas, current cartel trade baron, disappeared from public life three years ago, whereabouts officially unknown and denied by the Bilgewater Cartel." I click my tongue behind my mask. "Still carries a teddy bear, even though he doesn't sleep."
He stops grinning.
Not because I know that--and admittedly, that's a weird thing to know--but because he, like all Death Knights, hates to be reminded that he was once alive. He turns away, leaning hard on his cane, mutters to a nearby figure--blood elf, tall, blonde, as though that narrows it down.
"Jadoth," Bomzik mutters. "Did I not tell you to remove her mask?"
"I did," the blood elf replies. "She had another one on under it. Stitched to her collar."
Preparation is a talent of mine.
"I trust I'm here for a reason?" I call out from the cage.
"It's good manners for prisoners not to talk," Bomzik snaps. "Or at least, to cower a little."
"I would if this were any sort of novelty to me," I reply. "I've been kidnapped six times in the past three months. This isn't even the nicest place I've been taken."
Jadoth flips through a dossier. "That, uh, is actually true. She was actually just escaping somewhere when we picked her up in Mudsprocket."
I remember Mudsprocket, if nothing else. That was last night.
Mudsprocket. Kalimdor. We can't be too far, then. Orgrimmar, maybe. Or Thunder Bluff?
"So, if we could just hurry to the point here," I say.
"No one in this business has any appreciation for theatre," Bomzik sighs as he settles into a chair far too big for him. "As you may have already concluded, if I wanted you dead, you'd be dead already, Miss Graves. I trust you're intelligent enough to have also concluded that we require your assistance."
"I have an address, you know. You could have just sent a letter."
"One week ago," he says, pointedly ignoring it. "A bomb went off at the Gates of Orgrimmar. Some burden a peon was toting went off, killing four and injuring ten others. The peon was unharmed. Peons are always unharmed. They are resilient and they don't ask questions. My two favorite attributes in a person. Which is why they're very useful when we need to smuggle something into Orgrimmar that Hellscream might not approve of."
He leans forward, pointedly.
"Which is why it's very bad that no peons are being let into the city. Trade has ground to a halt and my business is suffering. It will continue to suffer until we find out who planted the bomb and how it happened."
"Obviously, the peon."
"The peon was Swobu."
The name isn't unknown to me.
Back when Hellscream started militarizing the peons, Swobu was the biggest name next to Thokk. It was Swobu who first went off into the big, scary world to be an adventurer. Thokk was the one that made it big. But if Thokk is the great peon hero, then Swobu was the great peon thinker.
As weird as that sounds.
"He's in prison right now, awaiting sentencing," Bomzik says. "One week from now. If found guilty--and he will be--our trade comes to a halt and we spend another year finding out new ways to smuggle things in. Unacceptable losses. That's where you come in." He points his cane at me. "I want you to clear Swobu's name and get the peons back to work."
"Lovely. And why should I help you?"
"We'll release y--"
"I picked the lock four minutes ago."
Bomzik shoots Jadoth a glare. He settles back in his chair with a sigh. "I came back from the dead to continue amassing my fortune, Miss Graves. I am a goblin of no small means. And I know you're a woman who wants things."