To many, the night brought terrors, fear and unknown horrors. The dark held so many surprises and Darkmoon island had its share of ghosts, skeletons and things that go bump in the night. But to two druids, stealthed in cat form as they crept towards the still waters’ edge, the night was a welcome shelter for their activities.
Even at night, the Faire was never truly empty. Bright lights shone and it seemed that the inhabitants of the island never slept. Even the games continued all day and all night. Navimie wondered if the other 3 weeks of the month when the Faire was not accessible, did the inhabitants hibernate and catch up on some much needed sleep.
Two ripples in the water were the only giveaway that anything was amiss. As the cats sank deep below the surface, they switched to orca form and sped towards the floating ring that was their target. Navimie stealthed once again to cat form, and emerged very slowly from the water, her cat’s night vision taking in the surroundings. She looked for beacons, guards, carnival folk – the gnome was still there fishing, but she seemed oblivious to them. She swished her tail under water, two strokes. Akabeko saw the signal beneath the water and shifted to tauren form. She had taken a potion of water breathing just before she entered the water, and now could get down to business. Lowering her engineer’s goggles over her eyes , she began to work, affixing small devices to the underside of the ring. Navimie continued to keep watch as her friend tinkered, her green gaze fixed at the Darkmoon sentry that walked along the main road of the carnival . She admired Akabeko’s ingenuity, and wished she was as clever as her friend at creating amazing devices that seemed to her to be a mixture of magic and science. The devices, Akabeko had explained, were paired with another set of orbs which could be worn on the wrists like bracelets and line up so that when you were shot from the cannon they could cause the ring to move to ensure you always landed on target, as long as it wasn't more than a foot or so off course. It only took mere minutes for Akabeko to finish, which was just as well, for less than ten seconds after they completed their mission, a body came hurtling through the air to land with an unceremonious splash inside the ring.
The two druids swam around the corner and emerged from the water, shifting back into tauren form.
"That was close," said Akabeko, shaking out her wet plait.
"It was a human," said Navimie as she took off her cloak to wring it out. "She wouldn't have seen us anyway."
"You sure it wasn't a Worgen?"
"You have a nose too," teased Navimie.
Akabeko wrinkled her nose. "Oh, I forgot about that dog smell." Worgen still had the same lingering smell when in humanoid form. They laughed as they went about to carry out the second part of their "Devious Design".
“Did you set the charges?” whispered Akabeko, a smile threatening to split her face in two. She clutched the detonator in her hand. Navimie could not believe that this bloodthirsty druid was the same one who helped her rescue baby elekks in the Borean Tundra of Northrend.
Navimie nodded and grinned - her co-conspirator's smile was contagious. "There will be chaos, dear sister." They moved unobtrusively closer towards Dubenko's booth.
Two explosions within 4 seconds of each other could be heard coming from the top end of the Faire - the first on the hill, the second from around the tonks booth. People seemed to be frozen at the first sound, but galvanised into action with the second. Carnies and Faire-goers alike ran to see what the commotion was. Flames could be seen in the darkness, licking the trees silhouetted in the moonlight.
Even Jessica Rogers, ran out to help. Dubenko was alone in his pen.
"We'll do it 5 seconds after the last charge detonates," whispered Akabeko. Navimie and Akabeko were in cat form stealthed and they came up behind Dubenko and pushed their head and paws underneath the tail end of his shell as far as they could go. And then they waited.
The smoke charge planted under the steps of the Darkmoon arena exploded with a loud crack and smoke spewed in all directions. More Darkmoon Faire Carnies came running with buckets of water looking for a fire.
4... 3... 2... 1... shift. In unison, the two druids shifted from stealthed cat form to bear form and pushed with all their might. With their heads partially underneath Dubenko, shifting into their more powerful bear avatars was just enough to get them the leverage to try and force Akabeko's nemesis into a vulnerable and humiliating position.
Navimie's rear paws dug deep furrows into the ground as she heaved with all her bear strength. Akabeko's growled low in her throat as Dubenko tried helplessly to stop his assailants with vicious swipes form his tail, but they were more like feeble swats against Akabeko's Dire Bear armour. Dubenko's front feet were scrabbling in the dirt for purchase, his great weight and strength futile against the two bears with a vendetta. The smoke cover was perfect, as the dirt and dust kicked up from the bears and the turtle was masked by the harmless grey clouds from Akabeko's trap.
Time seemed to pass slowly, almost comically, as Dubenko was tipped onto his back and he rocked in the dirt helplessly, his limbs, head and tail pinioning wildly as he bellowed his outrage.
Akabeko and Navimie switched immediately into stealth and tipped a nearby barrel of water into Dubenko's pen, washing away all of their tracks. They sprinted from the pen and ducked behind the Soothsayer's booth and shifted back into their Tauren forms, running to get buckets to help with the non-existent flames.
"Well that was satisfying," said Navimie, her eyes bright with exultation.
"It would have been MORE satisfying if you'd let me take his tail as a souvenir for a victory soup," grumbled Akabeko, as she drew her dagger menacingly. "I had JUST sharpened it too." She made chopping motions with her dagger before she dissolved in elated giggles.
"Revenge is a dish best served cold, Beko-chan," said Navimie in mock exasperation. "Turtle tail soup, as you know, is a hot dish."
Akabeko laughed out loud as they stepped through the portal that would take them back to their ancestral home in Mulgore, the chaos and confusion of the Darkmoon Faire forgotten as they basked in their success.
In the distance, a lone figure regarded them with narrowed eyes. The undead female looked at the chaos around the carnival and the crowd gathering around the Ring Toss booth. Katza clenched her fingers around her staff. Oh, she was going to have a VERY long talk when she caught up with those two mischief makers.