That was how long she’d been waiting in Ironforge after the job in Darkshire fell through. No word. Mav didn’t like worrying – everything was off. She hadn’t worked even messenger jobs in nearly that long, which she knew would cost her in reputation more than money.
Not to mention she’d been stuck with a hyperactive snow leopard for that long. The innkeeper was ready to send both of them packing at this point, but a bit of smooth talking on Mav’s part had secured their housing for a little while longer at least.
At the moment, she was sitting on the railing outside the leatherworking shop, absently watching the goings-on below her.
She barely heard Lexa growl, then felt a tug on her sleeve. She swatted at whomever it was, hearing a tiny “oof” from behind her.
“Hrmph, well, that was quite unnecessary,” said a small voice.
Mav turned to look behind her, spotting a blue-haired gnome getting to her feet. Before she could react, there was a letter on the railing beside her and the gnome took off quickly towards where she had come from. The letter was well-weathered, hastily written and nearly unreadable, but she knew it was Mikos’ – an apology for leaving her behind, but no explanation. At the bottom, someone else had written that he’d last been seen five days ago.
She jumped down from her perch, Lexa not far behind as she ran toward the flightmaster. People don’t just disappear, she thought, panic settling in, right? Not paying attention, she tripped over her feet. She got up, handing over some money to the flightmaster. ”Menethil Harbor,” she said. Lexa trundled up to her and looked at her almost sadly. ”I promise I’ll come back to get you.” The cat simply nuzzled the girl’s hand. Mav sighed – there had to be some way to not leave her behind.
“Miss, are you going?”
“N-no, I’ll find another way.” She knelt down in front of the big cat. ”Think you can be a riding kitty for awhile…at least until we find your stupid owner.” Lexa flopped down and rolled over, batting at the night elf’s hair. ”I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”
Their original intent when they were done in Darkshire was to go to the Badlands. There was a Reclaimers dig site that they were supposed to have provided security and support to, so she headed there first. Knowing her friend, that was what made the most sense.
What she saw when she got there made her slightly ill. People whom she had worked for and with during her time in SI:7 were there, going through the campsites and areas that were being worked on. She waved Lexa off , then moved slowly toward the activity, trying to stay hidden as best she could.
The site had been torn apart – the normal organized chaos that would be expected was now a haphazard mess of personal belongings, artifacts and equipment. She inched closer, coming to a stop at the edge.
She had been so focused on the goings-on in front of her that she missed the footsteps coming up from behind her. ”Shadowrunner, right?”, she heard a man’s voice say. Pausing a second too long, she made an attempt to backhand him, but he caught her arm a few inches away. ”Nice try.” Mav took advantage of the opportunity, kicking him in the side. She scrambled back and cocked her head to the side, a smirk crossing her face when she saw who it was.
“Long time, no see, Barrett. How ya been?” Barrett got up and took a step toward her. She held up a finger silently, asking him to wait. He charged at her, finding himself flat on his back, staring dazed at the sky.
Mav came over, sitting down next to him, leaning back and resting an elbow on his chest. By now, she had unsheathed one of her swords and was holding it casually in front of his face, occasionally letting it drop a little too close. ”I told you to wait. You’ve always been impatient. That might get you in trouble someday, y’know?” She glanced down at him, then looked back toward the site to see if anyone was heading their way. ”So, what’s going on here? Need money or just bored?”
“Wouldn’t you love to know?” Barrett made a grab for the sword’s hilt. When Mav tried to swat his hand away, he caught her arm and forced her off of him. The weapon fell off to the side. ”Not so tough now, are ya?” He grinned wickedly at her. “Nothin’ to say for yourself now?”
“Get off of me, damnit!”
“Doesn’t sound like much fun to me, and you haven’t told me why you’re here yet, either, ” Barrett said, easing his hold slightly. ”Give me a good enough reason and I might let you go.”
Mav sighed inwardly, angry at herself for what she was about to do. ”Looking for a friend. He went missing a bit ago.”
Barrett nodded, knowing who she was talking about. He let go of her wrists and pushed himself to his feet. The confusion was clear on the night elf’s face. ”Get up.” When she didn’t comply, he grabbed her by the arm, pulling her roughly to her feet. ”Turn around and go home. I can’t guarantee anything if you’re running around sticking your nose in where you shouldn’t.”
“So, he’s okay?” Barrett started to head back toward the site. ”At least tell me he’s still alive?!” She saw him nod slightly, then continue to walk away. Mav leaned down, picking up her sword, eyes never leaving him. Once he was out of sight, she turned around and started off in the opposite direction. For the second time, she didn’t hear movement coming toward her; this time, all she felt was a sharp pain at the back of her neck and then nothing.
Barrett and another man, this one older, stood over her. The newcomer nudged her, making sure she didn’t stir, then looked at Barrett.
“Take her somewhere – if I see her again before we need her, she’ll be buried right along with that friend of hers.”
Barrett nodded silently, picking up Mav and hoisting her over his shoulder. Once his boss was out of earshot, he whispered, “I’m sorry,” before carrying her over to one of the carriages they’d brought, laying her down in it, then getting on the horse and heading off for the nearest town.