He sat in the corner, knees folded to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, fingers interlocked. He rocked gently back and forth, matching the swells and sways from the boat itself. He listened to two things, the dark voice in his head...which had gotten louder since he had been at sea, and the gently slapping sound of his tether against the wall behind him.
He cradled himself harder, his knuckles turned white from the pressure. He gritted his teeth, trying to keep *him* in check. This wasn’t supposed to be like this. Why had the man with the boney hands, left him with the green skin. He flinched, as he heard the door creak open.
He growled and took another swig from his bourbon bottle. He looked at the pathetic mass of purple hair and quivering blue skin. His anger was creeping well past it’s boiling point. Taking another long swig, he pointed at the cradling troll. “You!!, you worthless, good fer nothing, dumb-assed troll.” he screamed. “You are utter crap, you are not worth a single copper, let alone the gold I shelled out fer you.” he took another a long drink, before sitting down on the edge of the bed.
He sat in silence glaring in anger at the terrified troll. “We are almost to Rachet, and then I can be rid of you. Maybe the goblins will find something redeeming in you, so I can get my damn money back. You stupid retard.” with that he flung the half empty bottle straight at his captive’s head.
He watched the bottle fly through the air, he lowered his head and braced himself for the impact off the top of his head. It exploded in bourbon and blood, showering glass and liquid all about his corner.
Satisfied with the amount of pain inflicted on his pathetic little pet, before flopping onto his back to sleep the last bit of the trip away.
“It has to be now. We won’t survive if you don’t let me out.” The dark voice hissed.
“No, ju jus wan herts. Green-skin, wills be guds to us gains. Ju jus wait” he responded.
“I have waited long enough. How much more of our blood must be spilled, how many bones must be broken before you realize, he wants us dead.”
“Green-skin no wan dat.” he stammered.
Blood oozed down his forehead past his eyes. Tentatively one of his hands left his legs to his head. Whisking blood, and glass from his head, he looked at the small glittery mess, amongst his own dark blood. Rubbing the minuscule glass fragments amongst his own blood, between his fingers. He stopped arguing with himself, and withdrew within himself, totally.
He squinted and glared at the snoring orc. Several seconds dripped by, marked by blood droplets and bourbon. He opened his eyes, and stretched. He found a large shard of glass, and gently picked it up. He turned slightly to give his tether some slack. He grabbed the tether and began to slice away at it with the shard. The tether was reluctant at first, but slice after slice he began to see a reward in his work. He sliced his fingers open as the shard splintered under the pressure and stress. He was not going to die here, not like this, he was no animal to be tied up anymore. The days of collars, leashes, and cages was over. From this moment forward he was Kranik the killer.
The shard broke again, one of his fingers was splayed open making it hard to hold what remained of the piece of glass. Working feverishly still, he began to yank on the tether in hopes of ripping it in half. Finally after what felt like an eternity, was he fully rewarded by the ripping of his tether. The shard was nothing more then a small piece of glass. With an malicious grimace, he rose from his haunches.
Loping across the floor on all fours he leapt up to the orc’s bed. He landed squarely on his chest. His left knee driving down into his sternum, his right foot holding down the left arm at the elbow, his bloodied right hand grasped and clamped down around the orc’s neck and his left arm grabbed the orc’s right arm about the wrist. Even before the orc had time to scream, he lunged forward driving his tusks straight into the orc’s eyes.
Kranik growled as he shoved his tusks deeper and deeper into the orc’s skull. His victim twitched and convulsed underneath him in his death throes. He continued driving his tusks deeper until his tusks became nearly stuck around the orc’s eye sockets.
Kranik left his tusks embedded where they were, until the man stopped twitching minutes later. Holding onto the orc’s forehead and temple he wrenched his weapons free. Sliding off the bed, he reached into the orc’s bureau and removed a shirt. Wiping his bloodied hands, head and tusks clean of gore and glass. He dropped ths shirt to the floor. With one last look around, he grabbed an old dagger and what passed for the man’s fortune. A pouch with several gold.
Creeping out the door, he was in the main galley of the ship. It was still night, so most of the crew was asleep in their bunks or passed out on the tables. He found it easy going to the other side of the galley where the doorway to the outside and his freedom stood.
He walked out into the brisk night air, it was cool. The smell of the salt water assailed his nostrils. To his right a lone man stood peering over the railing, looking into the depths below. To his left he could see the fires, and torches that marked their destination of Ratchet. Fear began to climb its way from his feet, he had to get off the boat, before his deed was discovered. Looking back to his right, past the man, he saw a land mass. It was mountainous, but still close, he could swim to it.
Slithering forward like a deadly cobra, he grabbed the man by his hair and slammed the dagger through the neck driving it upward towards the brain. In the same motion he pitched himself forward, he and his victim catapulted over the side and splashed into the cold seawater below. Wrenching the dagger free, he swam for his life, aiming for the mountains he saw.
Minutes of desperation passed, he only crested the waves to breath, praying he would not be spotted and tracked down. He did not stop his forced swim until the warm orange ground was under his wet feet. His heart pounded in his eardrums, his body ached and yelled at him. He coughed up some seawater as he fell to all fours a moment. Springing back to his feet, he had to get off the shoreline, he could be spotted.
Trudging up the side of the mountain, with the narrowest of paths, was an ordeal. His body yelled at him with every step, threatening to collapse at any moment, but he had to continue. The sun was making its way to morning, he shielded his eyes with his forearm. He hadn’t seen the light of day in weeks. He continued walking forward, he had made it to the top of the hill, he didn’t realize it and took another step.
The fateful step, carried him off balance and threw him forward, tumbling down the other side of the hill. His head, came to rest against a stone with a sickening smack, his body stopped yelling at him, in fact the world stopped yelling at him. He simply drifted away to a pleasant place, some place with dirt much like here, and the sounds of children playing.
She approached him with caution. She was here hunting boars, to prove her worth to the mage consortium in Orgrimmar. However, wet and bleeding trolls was nowhere on the menu.She rose her trusty staff and prodded him. When nothing came forth, she prodded him harder.
He groaned. His body and his head ached, his stomach rumbled, and there was a poking pain in his ribs. Groggily he tried to get to his feet, but his whole body was out of sorts, like an epileptic fit, he flailed a moment and stopped. With half open eyes, he turned to look at the person poking him. It was a woman, maybe a girl with her head on fire. It took him a second to realize it wasn’t on fire, but it was the most brilliant hue of fiery red he had ever seen.
She looked at him a moment, staring at him. She became lost in the pain his eyes showed. They were trying to focus but couldn’t. He was a wreck, surely he was much like her, someone yearning for the grand titles of the consortiums in Orgrimmar. Perhaps the trainers back in the den would offer her a copper or two for returning him in one piece. Knowing she was in no danger, she bent down and threw one his arms over her shoulders and hoisted him to his feet, which dragged behind him. She was surprised in the fact of how light he actually was.
It wasn’t until she had brought him to the safety of the den, that she realized, he wore a leather collar and part of a torn tether. As she talked amongst the trainers, she listened to the grave news that he was sadly not one of the new recruits. He was also beaten and malnutritioned. Given the current supplies, they simply didn’t have enough food and water to bring him back to being healthy.
Her mind wandered back on the man she found, as she picked the cactus apples. They couldn’t or wouldn’t help him. She thought about it as the sun rose higher in the sky. She had the power to save him, she could conjure water and split her food with him. But, was it worth it. She shook her head, that was the problem with power, using it wisely or not. What good was her power if she couldn’t use it. She made up her mind, she had the power in her to save him, she would, no more second guessing, no more plagued thoughts of missed chances. When she returned with the cactus apples, the cook showed her how to make it into a sweet and tangy surprise. Nodding with resolve she walked to where the man lay withering. Secretly, her trainer watched her with approval as the young mage nursed him back to health.
She removed his collar, when he was able to speak to her. He looked up at her in amazement as he drank the water she pulled from thin air. “Ju ‘ave a name?” she asked finally.
Nodding vigorously, “Yeb yeb, imma da kranny” he said back.
“Krannie.” the mage mused over it like one would hearing a child repeat his or her name for the first time. “Im Keishe.” she said back with a smile and offered him more cactus apple surprise.