Mida slowly began to regain consciousness. She could feel the ship rocking back and forth, the creaking of the hull and the crashing of the waves outside. Moaning a little, she felt around herself with one hand to find herself lying on the ground, while rubbing her aching head with the other.
"Putting a bunch together?" A nearby voice shouted, "Are you daft man? Or do you have some super power to weld metal with your bare hands that I am unaware of?"
"I… well…" A second voice said, "Well we need to figure out something. Maldy won't take kindly if he comes down here and finds her like this."
One of Mida's eyes flew open, scanning the room. She was indeed in the brig, but not in a prison cell. She still had her empty belt and clothing; everything with which she had come aboard. Nothing had been taken from her, and she was not confined or bound by any means.
"What the?" Mida thought to herself, confused. She pulled herself up and rubbed the back of her head where she had been struck.
"Blimey!" One of the voices shouted. Mida quickly looked up in the direction of the sound to see two guards, still clad in red armor, rushing towards her with cuffs. Mida hadn't even shaken off her headache, let alone had time to gather retaliation. She was cuffed and bound quickly while the guards dramatically held her down. They knew Mida had escaped the Trade Prince several times before, and were aware of her great physical strength, so they were not about to take any chances.
"What do we do now?" The second goblin asked.
"I don't know." Said the first, panicked.
"The Trade Prince could be here any second!"
"I know damn it! I just need time to think."
"Uh, mind if I ask why I'm not in a prison cell?" Mida asked.
"Shut up!" Both guards yelled simultaneously.
Just then, the door to the brig flew open. The figures of three goblins were seen, but could not be made out by the bright flash of orange light from outside. For a second, Mida caught a glimpse of the rising sun on the horizon before her eyes adjusted. Apparently, she was out the remainder of the night. With her eyes acclimated to the dark jail, Mida saw the faces of the goblins now stepping into the room. Not shocking anyone, it was Trade Prince Maldy with two of his guards.
"What's going on?" Maldy barked, "Why is she not confined… again?"
"Well sir," One of the guards started, "You see sir, there's a problem with the cells, sir."
"Oh really?" Maldy angrily said, "And what might that problem be?"
"Well, sir, you see sir, the cells, sir, are, um, well I guess you'd say…"
"Finish this sentence in the next five seconds or start running!" Maldy shouted.
The guard froze with a whimper.
The second guard sighed, "Let me show you." He hoisted Mida up to her feet and walked her to the nearest cell. The goblin threw the prison gate open and stepped aside, still clinging to the shackled Silvertongue. Looking at the prisoner, then at the cell, it didn't take a genius to figure out what the problem was.
"She don't fit sir." The guard said. "These cells were made for ship transport, so they were made as small as possible to fit the average-sized goblin, and Lady Silvertongue is… well, you know."
Maldy twitched and hissed. "Why is fate against me?"
"Because what goes around comes around." Mida said with a smirk.
"Shut up!" Maldy yelled, "You just… SHUT UP!" The Trade Prince stomped over to Mida, pulled out a key from his robes, undid her shackles and threw her around one of the wooden beams supporting the roof of the poorly constructed brig. Still aching, still grieving, still distraught; Mida did not retaliate, nor could she have even if she wanted with shackles still on her and armed guards in the room. Maldy reached around the beam and pulled her shackles back around, re-locking them. Mida had been cuffed around the beam, preventing her from leaving the room.
"Problem solved!" Maldy shouted, dusting off his hands, "Honestly, I have to do everything around here."
Maldy signaled all four guards to follow him as they left the room. The door creaked shut behind them as Mida examined the beam to which she was tethered. Once the door latched, and a few minutes past, Mida thought to herself, "Creative."
With a swift yanking, Mida broke the wooden beam holding her and slipped her cuffs out of the newly made splinter in the wood. It was just an old, cheap piece of lumber, after all.
"Creative indeed." Mida whispered, "But not too bright."
Freed, unsupervised, but still with hands bound, Mida silently crept to the exit. She reached up with her bound hands to slide open the viewing hole. Outside the door, there were no immediate guards. They were all several feet ahead of the door, all arguing. It wasn't much of one, but Mida decided to take the opportunity. She carefully turned the doorknob. Thankfully, it turned with no key required. Her slender nature once again played to her benefit, and she slipped out the old wooden door after barely opening it a crack. Immediately she hunched down and darted behind a pile of crates and barrels.
The guard's footsteps made loud creaking noises, not to mention their clanking armor, with each step they took on the hull of the ship. The Hulking Hippo, it was called. She wasn't graceful or fast, but she was one of the largest cargo ships in the world, let alone Kezan. Mida knew her well, as the Hippo was one of her father's proudest ships, and also one of the most durable. This ship had lasted a generation of sea-faring, and only recently had upgrades and repairs started on it. Naturally, Mida was the one that headed such a feat of engineering. This played to her advantage; not only did she know the layout of the ship, the specs of the ship, the technology on the ship and how it all worked, but also what parts of the hull had been replaced and fortified. In other words, Mida knew exactly where to step, down to the square inch, to make no noise. Her light weight clothing would only make getting to the engine room easier.
The guards began to move again, two of them heading back to the door. Mida rotated around the pile of cargo perfectly to stay out of sight as she fidgeted with her bindings. Earlier in the week, Mida had done significant upgrades to the main engine, allowing for quicker acceleration and faster sea-traveling speeds. When she finished, she specifically remembered leaving her tool box on a table near engine control. No one has been in the engine room since (except for now, of course), so it was likely still there. If she had her tools she could easily break her shackles and refill her tool belt. Once she has them handy again, nothing would be able to stop her.
But, stop her from doing what? This dawned on Mida as she sat silently. Where were they even going? Did the pilot have a heading? If he did, where could it be? If not, what exactly is Maldy planning? And would there be enough rations on the ship for an extended voyage with hundreds of people aboard? Right now, none of that really matter. Regardless of what she chose to do, she'd need her bindings off. Mida peaked around the corner to see Maldy's two personal guards were gone, likely back to the Trade Prince himself. Two others were standing only feet away guarding the make-shift brig door.
She ducked back down behind the boxes and began to recollect the ship's layout. The room she just got out of was only recently converted into a brig in order to remain in compliance with Bilgewater law that all vessels have some means of detaining prisoners. That is why the cells in it were of very limiting size and the wood cheap and fragile. As a matter of fact, getting a glimpse at the brig from the outside in the early morning dawn, Mida realized just how "patched on" the room looked. It looked like a storage shed that had been built onto the wooden deck of the ship. That's also why the boxes were there that now hid her – it was a cheaper attempt to narrow the path to the entrance of the brig so one would have to approach the guards to get in or out.
There were no other intrusive noises of tromping on the main deck, so the coast was likely clear. She turned away from the guards and tip-toed to the edge of the "brig." She looked both ways, one in the direction of the main deck, which was still clear, and the other around the prison-shed. No one was in fact there, so she quickly snuck off. Behind the shed there were multiple levels of doors ahead. The second floor of doors lead downstairs and split into three ways; the first to the mess hall, while the doors below on the next floor down lead to the engine room in the back of the ship. The other doors opposing the engine room on the lower level opened into the massive, multi-story cargo hold to which the ship owed its fame.
Mida darted around the brig and up the stairs with ninja-like swiftness and silence. She slipped into the dark hallway, which to her surprise was completely empty. More stairs were in here.
"One flight down, mess hall." Mida thought to herself, quietly sneaking through the unusually empty hallway "two flights down and to the left, cargo hold, two flights down and to the right, through the hallway and another door, and down the spiraling stairs… engine room!"
Mida passed down the first flight of stairs, then down the second. Still, the hallway was empty, but she could hear muffled chattering from the door to the cargo hold. Certainly, that must be where the hundreds of goblins were staying. At the very least, it must be where the lower and middle class goblins were dwelling. Knowing Maldy, he's got them locked up in there. Mida didn't have time to think about that though as the doors two floors above her swung open. She quickly darted down the hallway and opened the door. It lead to a narrow, metal, spiraling staircase. She skipped down it, with quiet metal tinks from each hollow, metal step.
Not half-way down, Mida immediately gagged from a horrible smell
"Oh gack!" She screamed in her head, quickly plugging her nose, "What on Azeroth is that stench?"
She crept further down the stairs, and as she did, thick, grey smoke became visible. First it was only in streams floating in the air like oil on water, but then it began to thicken into a cloud. By time she reached the bottom of the stairs, it was as smoggy as it was back home on the streets of Bilgewater Port.
"Did the engine overheat?" Mida thought, "I hope not. We'd be pretty screwed then. Plus, if that were the case, I'd smell burning, not… this!" Mida bravely took another sniff of the air to try and detect what the smell was, but immediately recoiled again. Such a smell was not coming from one of her machines, she knew that for sure.
Off in the distance an orange glow could be seen. It suddenly began to shake up and down as someone let out a horrible, hacking smoker's cough. A throat filled with mucus suddenly groaned loudly in a grungy, deep voice and shouted, "Twating shite! What the bloody 'ell is wrong with this machine?"
Mida winced at the horrible sounds coming from the orange glow. She came to a ladder that led down to the floor of the engine room and walked to the core of the massive machine. On metal scaffolding by the main control panel stood the source of the unpleasant sounds, sights and smells of her engine room. A very, very sweaty goblin stood flipping a switch up and down on the switch board, cursing like a sailor. Wearing nothing more than a dirt-encrusted, formerly white, now brown, tank-top and tattered denim jeans, complete with gut hanging out of them, Mida shuddered in disgust of such a person using, touching, and feeling up her machines. The goblin held in his hand a massive cigar nearly the size of his arm; the source of the plumes of smoke and orange glow. He let out another hacking cough and spat up a horrible blob of green mucus onto the floor below the scaffolding. His clothing, and somehow his skin, seemed to be completely saturated in sweat and was reeking worse than any over-heated machine. Hanging over a rail behind him on the scaffold were his overalls with a badge on them. Squinting through the smog, Mida saw the words "Chief Engineer" crudely splattered on the badge in now dripping-ink from the heat of the nearby engine.
"That?!" Mida shouted to herself, "That… THING is what they put in charge of my ship? Of my engine? Of MY MACHINE?" Mida groaned and stuck her tongue out in disgust, "The moment I take this ship back over, the first thing I'm doing is decontaminating everything that goblin touched."
Of course, such a thought bounced around in her head for a moment. Take the ship over? Well, it was her father's ship, rightfully, and everyone knows that Maldy was not fit to lead his people under any circumstances, let alone such an emergency.
Mida's thoughts were interrupted by the engineer hacking and coughing more after taking a quick drag from his cigar. In frustrated anger he punched the engine with his bare fist.
"Useless piece of shite!" He shouted, rhythmically pounding on the machine "Why won't you work? And which of you unlucky bastards do I have to cornhole to get some water up in 'ere?"
Mida shuttered at such a mental image, almost vomiting.
"Aye sir!" A voice said, likely an assistant engineer. Mida then realized that there were more people in the engine room. What if one of them saw her? The smoke would greatly play to her already natural stealth, but, knowing how fast people run through an engine room, Mida wanted to be safe. An old, oil-stained sheet was wadded up in the corner, below an empty workbench. She quickly picked it up and wrapped it around her shackles. Now if she was seen, at the very least, they wouldn't see her prison bindings. All she had to do was hope no one in the smoke-filled engine room would recognize her as the daughter of Baron Silvertongue, which was a long stretch given her height.
"Cunt head…" the goblin engineer muttered as his lackey ran off to get him some water, "Useless, every last one of the little bastards. As useless as this piss-poor piece of scrap metal!" He quickly picked up a wrench near him and smashed it into the control panel. Mida bit her tongue to prevent her from shouting at the hideous man now abusing her beautiful piece of technology.
"Sir!" The same trembling voice as before shouted.
"What do you want?" The engineer shouted back, "Didn't I tell you to get me a glass of water?"
"Sir, it's… the Trade Prince." The assistant said with a gulp. The engineer dropped his wrench to the ground, but still held onto his cigar. Mida jumped out of the way just in time as the wrench hit the stone floor with a loud ring. "He's here, sir."
"Uh… well…" The head engineer stammered, "fuck!" He whispered under his breath so only he, and Mida, heard. "I'm not ready for 'im yet!"
"Engineer Globberport?" Maldy's words hissed through the steam, "What's going on in here? What's happened to the engine?"
"Uh, nothing really, sir!" He shouted back, "Just a slight technical difficulty."
"I'd call it more than that!" Maldy shouted back. Mida's ears picked up on his tiny foot steps crawling down the ladder to the floor of the engine room, and she quickly darted around to the other side of the engine, out of sight. Maldy, followed by two guards still, crawled up the metal scaffolding to meet with his chief engineer face-to-face.
Immediately upon reaching him, though, Maldy retched at the sight and smell and pulled a pure white hankie out from his robes to cover his nose with. He stared at Globberport, his flop sweat only worsened by the Prince's presence, and said, "We're practically dead in the water up there. The sails alone are barely enough to make such a heavy ship crawl. We need that engine back online! What happened?"
"Well sir," Globberport stammered, "We're having a problem with the…" he gestured to the entire machine, "I mean, there's something wrong in the," he pointed to four specific points, "I mean, the fluid pipes aren't carrying the proper… and the steam. The steam pipes are…" he gestured to the smoke-filled room, "and there's the heating problem, from the pipes and the… steam… and… you know what I mean?"
"Yes." Maldy barked, "You're saying you were a horrible choice for chief engineer!"
"No, sir, I can fix this." Globberport said, hands atremble.
"You'd better!" Maldy yelled, "You're the only one of my guards with any sort of engineering skill, and I'm not about to give such a vital position in the crew to one of those lower-class riff-raff! I need a crew that's far more… loyal. Right men?"
"Yes sir!" His two guards shouted in unison.
"Oh, yes sir!" Globberport shouted, delayed.
"Yes sir!" The assistant shouted from below, coming up the scaffold.
"Get it fixed!" Maldy scowled at Globberport, "Or get a new job!"
Maldy pivoted gracefully, angrily shoved the poorly dressed assistant aside, and left the engine room with his guards in-tow. The assistant engineer got to his feet and dusted off his peasant-grade rags of clothing. While examining himself, Globberport picked up a hammer and smashed him violently in the back of the skull.
"You twat!" He screamed, "Don't ever do that again! Why, how were you so stupid to let him in the engine room when it looks like this!"
The assistant cowered, rubbing his head, "I-I couldn't, sir! He came in himself! I just…"
"Shut up!" Globberport smashed his assistant's hand violently with the hammer, "You wretched, vulgar piece of lower-class filth! You do as I tell you and no one else, understand? I brought you up here because you said you had some sort of engineering skill…"
"I was a mechanic!" He shouted, "I worked in the shipyard!"
Globberport smashed him with the hammer a third time and shouted, "Don't fucking interrupt me you little wanker! I got you up here, and I can just as easily send you back to that hell hole in the cargo room, do you want that?"
Globberport hacked again, "Then get me a damn glass of water!"
The assistant, bruised and bleeding, ran out of the engine room as quickly as possible. Mida crawled back out from the other side of the Machine as Globberport went back to looking over the control panel, examining the flickering lights indicating which pipes were clogged or broken. For a brief moment, she caught a quick glimpse of the assistant. She knew him. He was one of the assistants she had worked with before in the shipyard, but she did not know his name.
"Poor guy." Mida thought
"Shite!" Globberport yelled, banging the display screen again. Mida immediately shrank back behind the engine. Shaking off the near-encounter with Maldy, she remembered why she had come to the engine room. With cloth still in hand, she ran to the far-end of the room, near the storage room of engineering supplies. Stray curse words flew out from the smog every few seconds as Mida searched the work benches and tables in the back of the room for her big red toolbox, but found nothing. She yanked oil-stained tarps off of tables, only to find empty cans and a few loose screws underneath. Making her way to the back of the engine room she reached the storage closet for all the spare tools. Maybe someone had moved it in there? But, upon reaching the door, Mida noticed there was a massive lock upon the handle. Apparently, the new management of her ship didn't like people freely accessing tools.
"Damn it!" Mida whispered. She quickly ran back through the smoke, double-checking each table again for her tools, for any tools, to break her bindings. She reached the front of the room again to find nothing.
Another loud swear and pound on the machinery boomed from above her, drawing her attention. Globberport had just kicked the engine again. Immediately, though, Mida noticed something. Up on the scaffold with the chief engineer was a black toolbox, filled to the brim with tools. It must have been every tool in the engine room.
"Oh no…" Mida thought, as she realized something. The only tools to be used in the engine room were up there with Globberport. In other words, she was going to have to go up there to get them. Shuddering in disgust, Mida approached the steps up to the scaffold and paused, thinking. "Is he going to recognize me? Should I get him down from there somehow first? How am I going to do this?"
"What the?" Globberport yelled. Mida then realized he was staring right down at her, "Who the fuck are you? Why are you in my engine room?"
Mida, acting on instinctual brilliance, shouted back, "I'm the new assistant."
"New assistant?" Globberport yelled at the top of his lungs, "Who the 'ell sent you? Trade Prince shite-for-brains?"
Mida chuckled quietly, "Uh, why yes! You see, he saw your assistant earlier. He didn't realize you had to work with…" Mida winced at having to utter these words, "lower-class riff-raff, and concluded that that's why you were having so many issues down here."
"Pah!" Globberport yelled, "Of course that must be it! I'm an out-damn-standing mechanical genius. It was that blithering sod that kept fucking things up! Who knows what he's done to the engine when he crawled in there?"
Mida sighed in relief for a moment. She almost wiped the sweat off her brow from the excessive, hot steam in the room, but remembered her hands were still bound and hidden under the sheet.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Globberport yelled, "Get your arse up here!"
Mida climbed the steep stairs to the top of the scaffold. The smell only worsened as she drew closer to the goblin. She shook off the disgust and quickly shot up the stairs. Globberport was even more disgusting close-up than at a distance, covered in grease, sweat and the occasional pimple. Behind him, though, was the massive box of tools.
"So, what'd you know?" Globberport shouted, "What kind of experience do you have with machines?"
Mida struggled not to wretch, "Well, I worked in the ship yard…"
"Oh shite," he continued, "Not another one."
"No, no." Mida said, "But I worked on this specific ship. I did a lot of the work on this very engine!"
Globberport raised his ear up to her and shouted, "What? Speak louder twat! I'm nearly deaf here!"
Mida rolled her eyes and shouted, "Here, let me see the control panel."
"Hey!" Globberport shouted as he got shoved aside. He tried to grab his hammer to hit her, but her arms were so long he was held at bay and couldn't reach her. Instead, he stood and watched Mida examine the display monitor. Eventually, he calmed down and got a good look at her.
"I think I see the problem." Mida said.
"You're a tall one, ain't you?" Globberport said, ignoring her comment.
"You see how the pipes keep re-clogging?" Mid asked.
Globberport shook off his thoughts, "Uh, yeah! Yeah, yeah! That's the exact problem with this piss-poor contraption! I clear out one pipe, water, oil, whatever, and it just gets re-clogged again within minutes!"
"And the steam valve?" Mida asked.
"Got overheated." Globberport said, "We were running on that new experimental engine for too long and the damn thing burst on us. The broken section is external though. It's making it steamy and hot in here, but that's hardly a problem. The steam is still getting out of the engine, after all, and that's what the piping was made for."
"That is the problem." Mida said, "part of the fuel for this machine burns up quickly and at low temperatures. I had a feeling this would happen when I built… er, I mean, worked on, this machine."
Globberport stared at her in confusion.
"Uh, never mind. Look, it's so hot in here that the fuel is burning into a scorched foam inside the pipes. That's why it keeps clogging, you've got to fix the steam pipe first to cool it off in here, otherwise they'll keep clogging up again and again."
"Eh!" Globberport yelled, "Don't tell me how to do my job!"
Mida groaned, "Well then, what do you propose we do?"
Globberport took a big drag off his cigar and blew the smoke right into Mida's face. She coughed and fanned the smoke away from her face, when suddenly the chief engineer shouted, "We need to fix that steam pipe first. You know, so the fuel… don't do that."
Mida sighed, "But that's… I mean… brilliant, sir." She reluctantly threw him the victory, knowing that the ship did need to be fixed anyway. "Now, if you give me some of those tools I can…"
"What the bloody 'ell do you think you're doing?!" Globberport demanded. Mida was reaching for his tools, but drew back as the engineer raised his hammer, getting ready to smash her hand. She pulled away just in time and Globberport missed, hitting the side of the railing and denting it. "No one touches my tools, you got that cunt!"
Mida let a low growl and whispered, "So offensive!"
"You go get your own damn tools to work on it, got it?" Globberport shouted.
This was her chance. "Well, where can I get my own tools? I had a box of tools in here, but…"
"What?" He shouted.
Mida cleared her throat and spoke louder, "I said I had a box of tools in here but they seem to be…"
"What?!" Globberport yelled, shoving his wax-filled ears closer to Mida's face, "Speak up!"
Mida, frustrated and offended beyond belief, grabbed Globberport's ear and shouted at the top of her lungs into it at point-blank range, "I SAID I HAD MY OWN RED TOOLBOX IN HERE BUT IT'S MISSING. DO YOU KNOW WHERE IT WENT?"
Globberport snapped back as she let go of his ear. He rubbed it in pain of the loud noise and loudly muttered, "You don't have to shout! Bitch…" Mida clinched her fists, but held back. She was about to get what she wanted and could get the out of there. "Go check the ship storage, on the top-most floor in the stern of the ship. They moved a bunch of stuff up there to make more room for passengers."
"Thanks." Mida said, quietly adding, "moron." She quickly climbed down the scaffold and back into the smoke-filled room.
"Oh, eh!" Globberport yelled, "One more thing!"
"Oh no, now what?" Mida muttered. She shouted back, "yes?"
"Don't be gone too long." Globberport yelled, suddenly changing his tone, "I'd miss such a pretty face." The chief engineer shot her a wink and a blown kiss from his rotted teeth and breath as suddenly all the horrible aspects about him were amplified a million times. Mida almost vomited – that kind of vomit where a little does come up, puffing her cheeks out and she had to slam her mouth closed with her hand. She forced it back down, and sickly waved back up at him, only comforted by the fact she'd probably never have to see him again. She couldn't run for the exit of the engine room fast enough. The door slammed behind her, leaving her standing in the dark hallway again. Mida screamed in disgust, shaking every muscle in her body at the horrible imagery, as she retched and stuck her tongue out as if she'd just seen a dead body. She even wiped herself off, feeling excessively dirty, but quickly made her way back to the main deck.
Not long after she left, Globberport heard the door to the engine room open again. He grinned wickedly and shouted, "Back so soon eh love?"
"What?" A voice called.
"I knew you couldn't be away for long." Globberport flirtatiously shouted. He turned around, but was quickly disappointed.
His assistant called back, "Sir, are you okay?"
"What the?!" Globberport yelled, "What the bloody 'ell are you doing here? Didn't Maldy have you replaced?"
"Replaced? No sir. I just went to get you your water, remember?"
"Fucking shite! Why you little… What'd you do with my new assistant?"
"New assistant? Who?"
"You know! The… the tall one! With the pretty face, and the legs… oh her legs!"
His assistant blinked, "Uh, sir? I think you've been in that hot steam too long."
Globberport growled furiously, "Sod off you little wanker! Now grab your tools and help me get to work fixing that damn steam pipe!"
"Yes sir!" His assistant shouted. Globberport was left rubbing his head in raw confusion. He growled, angry that he had been hallucinating, and violently swiped some tools out of his box as he marched towards the broken pipe.
Mida quickly pressed herself tightly up against the wall under the stairs. Someone went running by into the engine room. Once the door slammed shut, she examined the wrapping over her shackle. It had loosened while she was working on the machine, so she quickly re-tightened it. Thankfully, Globberport hadn't seen her shackles… somehow.
"Maybe he's partially blind too." She thought, "Or just horribly incompetent."
With her iron cuffs hidden once again, she quickly slid up the stairs. Up one flight of stairs, with another to climb, the doors at the top of the stairs, where she was headed, flew open. Mida froze and saw two guards casually walking down the stairs. Pressed up against the wall, they couldn't see her, but the moment they reached the bottom surely they would. There was no hiding place to jump behind, no barrel to crawl into, and she couldn't get under these stairs. The guards were half-way down, when genius struck Mida. The guards were almost to the bottom of the stairs as she unfurled her oil-stained sheet, leapt into the corner of the room and threw it over herself.
"So why do we have to go to the cargo hold now?" The first guard asked.
"Another damn fire." The second guard said, "And more fights broke out among them."
The first guard scoffed, "Again? Lower-class barbarians."
They walked just past Mida, not even noticing the wadded up sheet in the corner. They went down the next flight of stairs and opened the door to the cargo hold. The chattering of the lower and middle-class goblins grew louder for just a few seconds as they slipped inside. Some were angry and shouting, others, mostly children, were crying. Mida gulped, trying to distance herself from them for the time being. Once she had freed herself and gotten some tools, she could help them, so that's what she had to focus on now. With the guards gone, she threw the sheet off, wrapped it back up just in case, and quickly clamored up the stairs back to the main deck.
Once outside, it was just one more flight of stairs up to ship storage. Mida ducked down low climbing the stairs, as the helm, which was surely manned by Maldy loyalists, was just above this top-most level. Stealthily, Mida crawled along the ground, keeping a low profile to prevent detection by the pilot or anyone else at the helm. Upon reaching the door she stood back up and slammed herself up against the wall. With a twist of the door handle, she opened the door just a few inches and easily slid inside the storage room undetected.
It was quite dark inside. The few windows in the room were covered up by boxes, barrels and crates of supplies. Tangled ropes, massive rolled up sails, unused boards of wood, stacks of life preservers and countless other things littered the room. There was only the tiniest path through the room that Mida could barely squeeze past. Tossing the sheet aside, she carefully tip-toed across the wooden floor, bending her body just right to prevent knocking anything over. Just above her was the helm, and a clattering from below would surely get her caught. As she took the first turn to the right, then again immediately to the left, barely wriggling through, her body pressed from both sides, she squeezed through another tower of crates. Right when her head got out to the other side, there, to the left, on top of a pile of boxes and a blue tarp, was her lucky red toolbox. She grinned and cheered in the back of her mind.
Mida threw open the lid of the box and pulled out her old friends, one by one. Buried in the box were some extra fine nails, which she then took out and used to quickly go to work picking at the keyhole on her cuffs. She slid down, back pressed up against a box, and sat. Though focused on picking the lock, Mida got a moment to just sit and relax, hidden by the great towers of supplies. Aside from the faint rocking of the ship and crashing of the waves, the only thing that could be heard was the extremely quiet picking of her wire in the lock.
Clicking, picking, tweaking. Its silence made her ears adjust and become more sensitive. That's why when the door suddenly flew open, she jumped and dropped the nail. She quickly got on all fours and searched for it like a lost contact lens. It was so fine, she couldn't see it in the dark room.
"Put it in there." A familiar voice said.
"Aye, commander!" Two goblins said. Mida froze, realizing the danger in which she was. Still staying low, she peaked through the tiny holes between two boxes to see the red armor-clad goblins hoisting a large, black, iron box into the room. With a heave, they threw it on top of the crates nearest the door. In the doorway stood the goblin Commander, the one that had tried to harness her back in the mansion.
"Maldy told us to make sure no one gets their hands on that box." The Commander said.
"Aye sir," a goblin guard said, "you needn't worry too much Commander Flagg, sir. The locks on this baby would withstand any kind of explosion, the box too! This whole ship could sink in a flaming ball and this box would survive!"
Commander Flagg stared at him blankly, clearly not amused "You think that's funny, private?"
The goblin guard gulped, "Oh, no sir."
"Just do your damn jobs. Keep that box safe. I'd imagine you can handle watching that box, right? It's not like I'm asking you to watch a prisoner or anything."
Commander Flagg glared down at the floor, exactly through the tiny hole Mida was staring through. Immediately she crawled back, condensing herself. Had she been seen? The Commander glared in that direction suspiciously for several more seconds, before one of his guards, disturbed by the silence, started talking again.
"Uh, sir? You needn't worry about that prisoner, Lady Silvertongue. She's under custody. There have been guards posted outside of her room since the moment she was shackled down, and no one has gotten in, our out, of that place yet!" The guard was quite proud of himself and grinned at the commander.
Still not breaking his stare at the gap between boxes, swearing he had seen movement and the white of an eye, the Commander spoke, "Really? Well, if no one's been in there, tell me this bub, how do you know she's still in there?"
The guard chuckled uncomfortably, "But, sir, no one has been in or…"
"Are you questioning my orders?"
The guard, not realizing the Commander had given an order, nervously said, "N-no sir! I just…"
"Are you defying the rule of the Trade Prince?"
"Private." The Commander said, finally looking back up at the guard, "Have you heard of the Pandaren chest-implosion torture?"
With a simper, the guard answered, "No."
"Good, and you still haven't." Commander Flagg said, "Because it doesn't exist yet." The commander glared angrily at his subordinates, "isn't that right?"
"Y-yes sir!" The goblin said.
"Now go check on your prisoner!" Commander Flagg barked.
The goblin guards immediately ran out of the room. Commander Flagg stayed behind, even after the door shut behind him. The room was quite. Mida could hear her own heart beating as her nerves made her breathing rapid and heavy. Scanning the room one last time with an emotionless squint, the Commander pivoted and left the room, but he didn't go far.
After hearing the door close behind him, Mida sighed in relief. She looked back down at her bindings and realized merely picking them wouldn't do, so, she reached into her toolbox and grabbed a battery-powered hammer. It was another one of her inventions; a hammer that would pivot on a ball and repeatedly hammer away so the user doesn't have to swing it. After checking to make sure the battery was still in it, she left the corner and went back to the front of the room. She went up there for the iron chest that had just been delivered. If she rested her shackles on it and held the hammer just right, it would pound away at the shackles and eventually break them. If she used it on one of the wooden crates, the box would surely be smashed to bits and she'd accomplish nothing.
Mida positioned the chain between her wrists and the hammer in her right hand. She flipped the switch, and the hammer began to pound away at the links of the chain. It hammered so fast and so strong, sparks occasionally flew off the black iron box. The pounding was loud, making Mida even more nervous. She kept looking over her shoulder every three seconds, fearing a guard would fly back in any second.
As the hammer pounded, though, she looked at the box carefully. It was all black with strange markings on it. The lock on it was massive, and certainly unbreakable. The markings appeared to be some sort of language or code, but Mida had no clue what it could possibly mean. As the hammer kept pounding, Mida got even more interested by the strange box; particularly when she saw two words and one a name that she knew all too well etched in the side of the box.
Kryll's – HANDS OFF
"Kryll?" Mida thought to herself, "Maldy… what are you planning?"
Just then the door exploded open with a powerful kick. Mida dropped the hammer, it still pounding away at the wooden floor. Mida turned to see Commander Flagg in the door, a goblin only slightly shorter than herself. She tried to turn and run, but the Commander swung his spear and tripped her to the floor. She landed with a harsh thud, but her hammer still overshadowed any noise that was made in the room. Commander Flagg took two steps in and closed the door behind him, latching it shut. Mida stared up at him, seeing only the Commander's stoic gaze staring down at her.
Remembering the incident at her mansion, the Commander only whispered, "Clever girl indeed."
Mida swiftly crawled to her feet and punched at the Commander's exposed head. He leaned back, but still got a nasty cut from the chains around her wrists. Flagg immediately retaliated with a swift punch that stopped just short of hitting Mida in the face, but from out of the cuffs of his armor a blast of pink gas sprayed her in the face. She began coughing and suddenly felt very woozy. Falling back to the ground, her eyesight grew blurry as the Commander towered over her in the sealed room. Just before she lost consciousness, she heard Commander Flagg speak these words:
"You and your father saved the people of Bilgewater Port, doing what you believed was right, fulfilling some unexplainable duty to the goblins of the city." He paused, "But now I'm afraid I've my own duty to fulfill, regardless of the consequences."
Mida lost consciousness as the waves of the sea rocked her gently to sleep.