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(DB-901) Investigation

Drogar's picture

The great clock tower of Stormwind slowly counted the minutes towards eleven at night as the city below slowed to a crawl. Shops had long since shuttered, guards shuffled along their lantern-lit patrols, and what noise there was came from the still lit taverns and bars. All about the city was a peculiar sight on this evening, mechanical squirrels flitting about rooftops and trees, barely distinguishable from the real thing in the gloom, save for that the real squirrels were all safe in their burrows and trees for the night. All across the city they roamed, all acting by the dictates of one mind. Situated among the crenelations of the clock tower, that mind received the radio-transmitted data from the dozens of mechanical eyes.

“Quiet… quiet… illegal sale! Scanning… contraband is set of illegal tomes…. Frustration levels rising.” The DB-901 declared to no one in particular, as he received the sensory input from the various mechanical rodent spies his master had provided him. Was it so much to ask for someone to be trading in illegal chemicals, or to perform an attack like the one described so he could make progress in his search? This situation was far more frustrating than simple search and destroy protocols. What illegal activity the robot –had- discovered was nothing interesting, and certainly not fitting the parameters of the cult it sought.

As if eager to please, at that moment unit 7 began to transmit a potential hit. DB-901 reviewed the image, and if it had an emotive face, it might have smiled.

“Analysis: Two leather-clad humans with brass knuckles, and a human in chainmail palming a syringe, hiding down an alley out of sight from another approaching human wearing the armor of a paladin in training. I do believe I have found what I am looking for.” The robot declared, checking its various equipment before jumping off the side of the tower into the canals below.

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Errol Mackay was having a good day. His hard work during training had earned him a nod and a gruff “not terrible” from Sir Gerret, which was as close to praise as the old man ever gave! And at the tavern he’d finally managed to work up the courage to ask the cute barmaid out to dinner, and she’d agreed! His head was swimming with bright possibilities as he walked back through the Cathedral district, before he heard muffled shouting. Dropping low and peering around the corner, he saw the thugs, beating up a man… wait, that was Martin! Errol didn’t hesitate, drawing the truncheon he carried and calling the Light to him as he charged down the alleyway, intent on driving the attackers away from his fellow trainee. The two thugs looked up as the young paladin-to-be charged, and fled like the cowards they were, their footfalls fading into the distance as Errol reached Martin and tried to help him up.

“Have to be more careful Martin, Sir Gerret warned you about keeping your eyes open in a fight eh?” Errol laughed, gripping the other man’s arm.

“Yes, I suppose so. You could use the advice yourself, mind.” Martin said, his eyes meeting Errol’s as Errol felt a pinch in his arm. He looked down and saw the syringe, then everything began to grow hazy.

“M-martin… what… you...” Errol mumbled as he collapsed, the sedative working quickly. The thugs had returned, and quickly set themselves to work wrapping their new acquisition in a burlap sack. It was then that one of them noticed the squirrel, sitting on a barrel nearby… with little pinpricks of green light in its eyes, and an unnatural stillness about it. The thug elbowed his partner, pointing it out, when a stocky figure appeared at the end of the alley. It was a dwarf, wearing spiky armor that had spooky blue eyes. The thugs narrowed their eyes.

“Hey, this doesn’t concern you friend, be on your way.” One of them ordered, standing between his companion and the dwarf as the other finished tying up their prize. The dwarf seemed to consider them for just a bit too long before speaking in an odd voice.

“Declaration: You are the ones I have been looking for. If you surrender yourselves to my custody, you will not be harmed.” The dwarf declared, stepping forward with a clank.

“Some sorta hero then, guess I’ll need to teach you a lesson.” The thug declared, donning his brass knuckles.

“Warning: That course of action will not end well for you, though I have been ordered not to kill if I can be avoided.” The dwarf stated, and the thug realized that the lights of its eyes lightened and dimmed as he spoke. “Query: Do you intend to resist arrest?”

“You tell me, dwarf!” the thug declared, breaking into a run and raising his fist.

“Declaration: You were warned, meatbag.” The dwarf responded, drawing a large bore gun from its back and firing. The thug was struck square in the chest, causing him to let out a choking sound as he fell forward onto his face. The other thug dropped the burlap, and pulled out a pistol, but before he could bring it to bear the dwarf’s gun fired again, a strange muffled sound, and the pistol-bearing thug was knocked onto his back with a similar grunting gasp. The dwarf dropped the gun as the standing paladin stepped up, another syringe in hand.

“Looks like you’re out of ammunition, friend.” The paladin declared in a threatening tone, stepping forward.

“Response: You are correct, I have no further non-lethal ammunition for that weapon. Also, I require one of you to be conscious enough to interrogate.” The dwarf replied, unmoved.

“You should leave, dwarf, before you get hurt.” The paladin growed, advancing.

“Assessment: I find that unlikely, given the circumstances.” The dwarf replied, holding his position next to the first thug he’d felled.

With a shout, the paladin dashed forward, using his free hand to send out a blinding flash of light at the dwarf. The dwarf raised a hand to protect his eyes, giving the paladin the opening he needed, jamming the syringe up into the dwarf’s armpit, where the armor would be weak. Then he heard a snap. Pulling his arm back, he eyed the syringe, broken in his hand, its payload dripping over his fist and the ground. Stepping back, he heard a zapping sound and smelt ozone as the dwarf's gauntleted hand lashed out at his chest, and then everything was pain, and dark.

DB-901 looked down at the stunned human. The voltage was technically enough to be dangerous, so the robot checked the human’s vital signs to ensure the heart was still beating, which it was. The other attackers groaned in pain, unable to move after being shot by the beanbag rounds from the DB’s shotgun. Unfortunately the robot had overestimated the paladin’s strength, and the charge –had- knocked him out cold, meaning there would be no questioning. Instead the robot began to scan the thugs and the paladin, taking samples of the chemicals from the syringe, as well as some bits of soil on the men’s boots. Perhaps these would provide clues. Noting that one of the thugs was showing signs of internal bleeding, the DB stowed the evidence and recovered its shotgun, before loading a flare into it and firing it into the air, and finally, activating its cloaking device, slipped off into the night.

A few minutes later, a pair of guardsmen came running, finding the injured men tied up with their backs to each other, and a short note explaining that the men were criminals and that Lord Shadowbreaker would want to be informed of their incarceration, as well that they would need medical care.