tagSci-Fi & FantasyCommander Pinter Ch. 03

Commander Pinter Ch. 03

byMyrnh©

Shattrath City expanded in a wide field of destruction beneath Pinter and Mandala. Once the bastion of Draenei civilization, the hub of all enterprise, philosophy, and religion of Draenor culture, the city was a smoldering heap. Pinter had been here before. She was sure Mandala had been here, too. Alliance and Horde forces had joined Khadgar, Thrall, and other allies in an assault to drive away the Iron Horde and liberate Shattrath Harbor. The Draenei heroine Yrel had led the charge, and Pinter had been in her frontline. She had celebrated their victory when they defeated the Orc warlord Blackhand. That was months ago, and in that time the Sargeri and their Burning Legion masters had moved into Shattrath before the city could repopulate and rebuild. It happened so easily that nobody noticed. Now Shattrath burned once again. Khadgar had called upon Pinter once more, this time to infiltrate Sargeri territory and recover something precious, something that could aid them in their efforts to restore Draenor. Pinter heeded the call, and Mandala followed her into the depths of darkness.

Their gryphons circled deftly away from a line of floating crystals that suddenly flashed and sparked in every direction. There was a crack like thunder, and the sky erupted in little explosions as incoming canon fire burst harmlessly on the outskirts of the city. The gryphons banked and dove to a platform, and they landed easily as a Draenei mount master rushed up with leashes.

"We move fast," Pinter said as she removed her excess gear. "We have a mission and there's no time for distractions."

Mandala stood at the edge of the platform. She gripped the guard rail in her red plate gloves. She stared over the ruins of the once proud Draenei capital. Mandala turned her head away from the devastated sight, and Pinter saw them welling with tears.

Mandala was a Draenei of Azeroth. She had grown up on Azuremyst Isle, and she had never seen the beauty of her race's home world. Pinter couldn't imagine the heartbreak rushing through the paladin's soul now that she had returned to her point of origin only to find it burning and stolen. She put her hand on Mandala's heavy, purple spaulder. "I have to know you're with me," Pinter said.

"I am with you," Mandala said in her rich accent. "The Sargeri will pay."

"There's no time for distractions," Pinter said.

"Then they will have to get out of my way," Mandala said, drawing her huge sword, pulling her axe-blade shield from her back. "They are no longer Draenei."

Pinter wouldn't press it any further. She trusted Mandala, and the paladin was fierce enough to make it through this. Pinter just wanted to spend as little time as possible completing Khadgar's quest. There were dangerous things in Shattrath now, and she wanted nothing to do with them.

They charged past Draenei captains who rallied their troops for another assault. They ran like the wind to the elevator that carried wave after wave of soldiers who charged to meet the dark enemy that pushed their endless attack against the weary defenders. As Pinter ran she noticed a man in red armor at her side, and she saw it was a Blood Elf. He bore no insignia of allegiance to the Azeroth Horde, indicating that he was native to Draenor, but Pinter still felt her blood rise. The invasion of her garrison still plagued her mind, her encounter with the Blood Elf who had nearly slit her throat. Pinter looked away from the young soldier at her side, reminding herself that they fought a common foe for the sake of Draenor and Azeroth. She focused on the elevator straight ahead.

They moved fast and uncontested. They ran deep into Sargeri territory. They cut down Orc mages and Ogre warlocks, and Pinter wondered how deep this infestation of evil went into the peoples of Draenor. Where did this endless scourge come from? She pulled an arrow from the chest of a dying Ogre and kicked his head roughly, breaking his neck. If Ogres had fallen prey to this diseased practice, everything was at risk. The evil in this world had to be stopped, and they had to do it now.

Pinter looked around. Mandala was gone. "Mandala?"

In answer, Mandala screamed a war cry like nothing Pinter had heard before. She turned, and there was the paladin facing down four Draenei Sargeri, two priests by Pinter's eyes and two warlocks. Pinter loaded the gathered arrow in her bow and ran to join Mandala, but as she ran she watched her friend cut one of the priests in half at the waist and slam her shield onto the legs of a warlock. Mandala cut off the second priest's hand that glowed darkly with a half-conjured spell. She swung her sword in a killing strike on the two severely wounded assailants, and finally Mandala threw her shield into the back of the last fleeing warlock. The shield stuck, severing the Draenei's spine, and she fell with a mournful wail that turned Pinter's stomach. The young hunter finally caught up as Mandala raised her sword over the stricken warlock who could only watch as death raced into her with cold steel, crushing her rib cage, crushing her life into the dust. "Mandala!"

Mandala stood cool and calm. She lifted her bloody sword, and she looked at Pinter with her bright blue glowing eyes. Mandala wiped her nose on the bicep of her exposed upper arm. "We're done here," she said. "Where is this sanctum?"

"At the harbor's edge," Pinter said with an inquisitive slant to her eye. "The tallest spire, Khadgar said."

"Then let's go," Mandala said, and they continued.

Their destination appeared as they moved, a round pillar that rose high above the burning city. Pinter and Mandala ran through an open market area, and the loud commotion of battle drew their gaze. Twenty Draenei soldiers surrounded a lumbering demon giant, one of the Fel Legionnaires that Pinter had heard rumors about. The Legionnaire wielded a sword that dwarfed the barrel of the mightiest Azeroth siege engine and raised his hands high in the air, summoning an earthquake of rocky spikes that scattered the Draenei. But they were unperturbed. They fought bravely, and they regrouped every time it looked like the Legionnaire would gain the advantage. "Keep moving," Pinter said. "They can handle it."

"Not our mission," Mandala said, and they ran on to the spire.

The building rose over them ancient and powerful. This was a holy place, something sacred to Draenei and Blood Elf society, now corrupted by darkness. Pinter and Mandala went inside, and they were greeted with deafening silence. Pinter checked the exits of the main hall, two doorways on opposite sides of the room. "Let's split up," Pinter said. "Meet back here in thirty minutes, with or without the stone."

"I'll go left," Mandala said.

And she was off. Pinter watched her friend head for the doorway, her tail sprouting from her plate leggings and bouncing as she walked, her hooves clacking on the sheer marble floor. There was no time to worry about her. They had their mission. Pinter went right.

She poked through three rooms, emptying shelves, scattering books on the floor. She overturned desks and felt along the walls for hidden compartments. But there was nothing. Pinter continued up the hall, and she found herself in what looked like a lounge. Soft velvet chairs sat along the wall, around some sort of fountain that flowed from an underground well. More bookshelves surrounded her, reaching to the ceiling and occupying half of the room.

Pinter's heart beat in her ears. The overwhelming silence hanged thick in the air like cobwebs. She slid a few books from the shelves, and something told her the stone wasn't here. It was almost time to return to the hall. She and Mandala would search the upper parts of the sanctum together. Pinter slid a few cushions from the chairs, finding a hidden sack of gold that she would split with Mandala. She stood, and then the air went frozen all around her.

"Deary, oh, dear," a smooth female voice said behind her.

Pinter whirled around to see a woman with wide bat wings facing her. She wore a slick loincloth around her waist and an even thinner one over her breasts. Her legs ended in hooves much like a Draenei's, but this was not an ally of the Alliance. Pinter didn't know what this was, and she drew her bow quickly. "Stand down, wench," Pinter said. "Or I will put you down."

The woman laughed. "You wouldn't do that," she said. "Not to the one you love."

"What do you mean?" Pinter asked, but her voice trailed off.

The woman transformed before Pinter's eyes. The wings dissolved. The hooves turned into humanoid feet. Her skin went olive green, her head bald with a white Mohawk. Pinter recognized the lines of age on the face even before the features were fully finished. "Kerrak?"

The Orc shaman stood there in the Shattrath sanctum. Kerrak held out her hands to Pinter, and she smiled like a long-lost friend. "It's good to see you, Pinter," Kerrak said.

Pinter dropped her bow. Her conscious thought fled, and she walked on feet that seemed to be hers but moved with a command that came from elsewhere. She didn't resist. She would never resist, not when Kerrak had suddenly returned to her. Pinter smiled in relief. "I thought I would never see you again."

"Don't worry about that," Kerrak said, and they embraced. Pinter sank into those muscular arms. She breathed in Kerrak's scent. And they kissed.

Kerrak took off her scant clothing, revealing her Orc cock that was already rising with arousal. Pinter rubbed it with both hands, squeezing Kerrak's wonderful testicles, and the Orc pulled Pinter to the ground. She removed Pinter's mail leggings. It was all they needed. Pinter was wet, and she sat on Kerrak, wrapping her legs around the Orc woman, sliding down on that thick cock that had fucked her so hard and incredibly over a month ago. Pinter bounced on Kerrak's cock, feeling the organ hot and wild inside her, deep and impossible. She looked on Kerrak's face and saw the familiar strain, the age lines so defined as they both neared their climax. Kerrak welled inside of Pinter. She would come, and she would scream in pleasure and relief, because she was with Kerrak again. She was home.

"Pinter!"

The room swirled in a vaporous cloud, and Pinter realized she was on her knees. She couldn't breathe. Something was around her throat. That woman's hand! She was being strangled! She stared up into the demoness's wicked eyes, and the woman turned her head behind her.

Mandala's shield flew in. The woman knocked it away and hissed at the Draenei paladin as she rushed to attack. Pinter fell on her side, finally able to draw precious breath, and she watched as Mandala fought, as she ducked a whip that had appeared from thin air, as she chopped away the woman's legs and rammed the edge of her axe shield into her neck. Purple light flared, staining the room for a moment, and the woman burst in a cloud of gas. Mandala rushed to help Pinter to her feet. "Are you all right?" Mandala asked.

"What was it?" Pinter asked as she coughed the strength back into her lungs.

"A Concubine of Sin," Mandala said. "A succubus. Are you all right, Pinter?"

"I am," Pinter said as Mandala handed over her bow. "We should get moving and search the rest of this place."

"I have the stone," Mandala said. She pulled the dark blue gem from her backpack, turning it in the light to show off the crazy little reflections that danced all over its surface. "In and out, right?"

"Right," Pinter said. "Let's get back to Khadgar."

They left the sanctum. They ran past the corpse of the dead Legionnaire, and they returned to their flight station. The rumbles of battle were silent for once in Shattrath.

* * *

Zangara was a wetland full of freakishly large mushrooms more akin to the redwood trees of Westfall. They opened wide like umbrellas over the misty blue marsh, a weird forest in which strange floating creatures fluttered like ocean flounder. Pinter scanned the exotic landscape from the plateau over which Khadgar's tower kept watch in Zangara. It was a magical place, the perfect place for the Kirin Tor to base their operations. Magic seemed to generate from everything here in Zangara.

A bald little Gnome wearing a purple robe walked out of Khadgar's tower. He bowed his head in greeting to Pinter and Mandala. "The Archmage will see you now," he said.

Khadgar waited for them in the center of the room. The white-haired mage smiled in greeting as Pinter and Mandala approached. "Commander Pinter," Khadgar beamed. "A pleasure to see you again."

"Archmage," Pinter said, and she laughed startled as Khadgar took her hands and pecked both her cheeks in welcome. He went to Mandala and did the same. Khadgar was so welcoming to everyone that entered his sanctum.

"We found what you requested," Mandala said, producing the blue gem from her backpack.

Khadgar took the gem and held it in front of him. "Ah, good," he said. "It belongs here, away from the Sargeri and anyone else who would pervert it further. Of course now you get what I promised you. You don't perform my instructions merely for my personal gain. We are all soldiers against the Iron Horde, and all of you have sacrificed more than enough for what little we have reclaimed so far. There is much to be done. Hopefully this will assist you further."

Khadgar tossed up the gem and stepped back. To Pinter and Mandala's amazement it floated above them. "This is a rare find," Khadgar said. "A Whispering Crystal. Who knows how it ended up in Sargeri hands? To possess it is to hold the reins of madness itself. Therefore, one must be careful how one ensnares it."

Khadgar went to work conjuring lights and flames out of thin air. Mandala watched wide-eyed as the show unfolded, giggling like a little girl as Khadgar flicked his hands and fingers, spinning the stone to and fro as he crafted something magical.

Pinter would have been equally amazed if her mind hadn't suddenly gone miles away. Her mail chest guard suddenly felt much too heavy, much too hot for this humid environment. Pinter pulled at her collar trying to cool herself. She fidgeted on her feet, and then her leggings felt far too tight. Pinter found her breath again, but she breathed deeply. She couldn't focus. Pinter ran her hands down her chest, over her breasts, and she viciously fought the sudden urge to squeeze them, to grind them inside her top and make her nipples burn, to fall to her knees, to rip away her leggings and masturbate furiously until she came so hard and loud and wet that -

"Excuse me," Pinter said quietly, and she left Khadgar's sanctum.

"Pinter?" Mandala asked, but she was already outside.

Pinter grabbed the rail overlooking the misty ravine and panted heavily. She unhooked her hood and pulled it away, letting a cold rush of fresh air down her back to cool herself. Pinter unwound, and soon her thoughts returned as the marsh restored her mind and body. "What the hell was that?" Pinter said softly.

"Are you all right, Commander?" Pinter looked behind her, looked down at the Gnome mage who had allowed her and Mandala into Khadgar's sanctum.

"I'm okay," Pinter said. "I just came over a little flustered."

"Shattrath is a dangerous place now, Commander," the Gnome said. "There are evil things there, things that shouldn't be on this side of our world. Some of their effects are hard to shake off."

"I'll be fine," Pinter said as she hooked her hood back around her neck. Just then Mandala emerged from Khadgar's sanctum. The Draenei spotted Pinter, and she held two blue stones in her hands.

"Are you okay?" Mandala asked.

"I'm fine," Pinter said with authority, and even she recoiled from the sound of her voice.

Mandala raised her eyebrow and glanced at the Gnome, who glanced back. "Very well," Mandala said, and she offered Pinter one of the stones. "A gift from Khadgar. Our reward."

Pinter took the stone. The Gnome gushed with awe. "Oh, what a treat!" he said. "Two Whispering Crystals!"

"Made from the one we retrieved," Mandala said. "Khadgar said to carry it with us into battle. Give it a listen. We will be too much for any Ogre to overcome."

"Yes you will," the Gnome said. "That is quite a gift."

"Khadgar has my thanks," Pinter said. And she left with Mandala.

Pinter tugged at her collar in discomfort the entire ride home.

* * *

They landed back in the garrison and went their separate ways. Mandala returned to the Testy Talbuk to clean up and have dinner. Pinter made the rounds of her tannery, barn, and mine, after which she retired to her chamber in the town hall. She kicked off her boots and sat on the edge of her bed, but she couldn't pull her eyes away from the wall. The passion on her flight home had dissipated, but it left a tugging sensation in her gut. She felt alone all of a sudden, stranded, and she wanted someone. Anyone. Before she knew it, Pinter had put her boots on and was walking to the Testy Talbuk.

Pinter tapped her knuckle on Mandala's closed door. She prayed that Mandala wasn't already occupied with someone. She didn't know where else to turn, but to Pinter's relief she heard hoof-steps. The door opened, and Mandala stood there in cloth pants and an undershirt, drying her brown hair. "Pinter," Mandala said in pleasant surprise. "What brings you here?"

"Have you eaten yet?" Pinter asked.

"No, I was about to," Mandala said.

"May I join you?"

"Absolutely, Commander," Mandala said. "Let me finish dressing and I'll meet you downstairs."

Pinter found a corner table. She sat quietly nursed the ale that Innkeeper Allison brought, smiling politely at the various laborers who gathered for their supper. Pinter never dined in the Testy Talbuk. She was a curiosity as she waited, a beacon of attention. The isolation that had overwhelmed her in her chamber returned to her then, covering her like a shroud. She nearly got up and left before Mandala came downstairs to join her.

They split a flank of roasted elekk, and they drank to their many victories. Mandala was only a few years older than Pinter by a Draenei's reckoning, but she had seen so much as a soldier of the Alliance. She had been to the Molten Front and defeated Ragnaros in the Firelands. She had joined Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Torr on the Isle of Thunder, and she had laid Siege to Orgrimmar, teaming up with a Tauren druid to kill General Nazgrim. "You killed Nazgrim?" Pinter asked.

Mandala nodded with an eye on Pinter over the edge of her mug. She swallowed, and she wiped her mouth. "Quite the fight," Mandala said.

"I was in line at the Stormwind recruiting station," Pinter said.

"You have done great things here, Commander," Mandala said.

"Don't call me that," Pinter said.

"You deserve what you have created," Mandala said. "These people would run off a cliff for you if you asked them."

"I might as well," Pinter said. "I'm no Commander. I'm no hero. I'm not as strong as you."

"Not as..." Mandala cut herself off with a pang of impatience. "You saved my life. Or have you forgotten the day we met? You killed Gug'rokk singlehandedly while the rest of us died or fled. It was only by the grace of the Naaru that I live, that you were with us, that you came back for me and helped me. I thank the Light that Khadgar sent you to us."

"I haven't really been on top of things since then," Pinter said. "There are so many dangers here in Draenor that could kill me, and all of them find me somehow or other."

"You are upset about the Blood Elf?" Mandala asked.

"I don't know," Pinter said.

"And today," Mandala said. "The Concubine."

Pinter fidgeted.

"Do you realize what your presence meant to me today?" Mandala asked. "I was on the edge. Having you with me kept me from spilling over. The greatest thing I could do for you is return the favor, and I could never repay you for all that you have done."

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