(H)igh(P)riority(S)ituation

There was always something going on within the headmaster’s office. Not a day passed where people heard music, singing, or talking permeating through the walls of the room that didn’t involve Cham making a ruckus. But today an eerie silence prevailed which unsettled the officers; something floated through the room besides the muffled sounds of the Stormwind streets or the inner conversations which the carriers carried through from behind the closed doors.

There was a lot of junk clogging the office and some of the more organized officers decided to move the books and papers into a different room. During the clean-up the rest of the officers arrived and then they all stood or sat in silence for what felt like hours. No one ever had to say anything to get Cham started though someone always had to clear a throat to ensure he did not digress but for the most part it was always him to begin and continue a conversation. Instead of chatter the officers watched as Cham looked over a picture, realizing that he was in a deep trance because it looked like he had no idea the officers were even there.

Many of the notable officers were present in the cramped room. Khaadgrim stood in front of the office doors while Berlshenk and Demura took a place near the corner. It was unfortunate that all of the officers were called because now the room had no more space to occupy and everyone kept squirming, grunting and complaining about it. Some of the lesser officers also realized that some lower-ranking carriers were present in the room but were told they were personally invited by Cham. After another minute passed Cham set the picture frame down and placed it on his desk toward the officers.

Cham looked up and frowned. “Uh, you can open the doors up you know.” He gestured to Khaadgrim and the orc quickly opened the wooden double-doors to expand the space of the office. As everyone flooded backward many of them breathed a sigh of relief; it was a Cham-worthy moment for humor but the headmaster showed no signs of a smile nor a grin. After the officers settled out Cham cleared his throat and moved his fingers ever so slowly over the picture frame.

The picture showed a family with two young boys in front of the parents. The father and older son smiled slightly while the mother and younger son were the opposite, smiling as wide and energetically as they could. Cham glanced at the picture and almost lost his train of thought until Daneth, the decrepit, old, and bitter death knight at the other corner of the office intentionally cleared his throat for all to hear. Cham quickly looked up and around, then nodded and straightened his hood out.

“Um,” he began, sounding at a loss. “I know I tend to act obnoxious. I know I get on your nerves and stuff, but I just wanted to tell you that I don’t mean any ill-will for my actions.” Everyone was caught off-guard by the awkward apology. They looked between themselves for any indication of what was going on but found nothing. Their attention focused back on the headmaster as he continued: “I wasn’t expecting the Freelance Carrier’s Union to become this successful. Heck, I never expected me to even be a fit leader but here I am.” He chuckled nervously. Despite being dead he felt the sting of embarrassment from the gazes of his peers and it made him feel like he was sweating.

“Ah, well, you guys are well aware of the FCU’s intentions. Helping a person in need regardless of origins or standing is the kindest thing anyone could do, especially in such a time of war. You’ve all made me proud of how the organization turned out and I couldn’t ask for better officers.” Everyone was too eager for what Cham had to say. Some were ready to yell at him for wasting their time while others felt moved by his words. Khaadgrim furrowed his brows however, imagining that such an act of praise was not the sole reason Cham summoned the officers. The orc hoped the headmaster would get to the point soon because such an emergency would not have been called otherwise.

Cham kept fiddling with the picture. Some of the officers kept glancing to it because it was certain it had something to do with this meeting. However, when Cham produced Lezmarion’s insignia their attention focused to it. The headmaster gazed over the officers and knew they were looking at the insignia. “I know I ask a lot from you guys just to deal with my personality alone but this is one situation where I need to know I can really depend on you.” The officers gave Cham odd looks. How serious was this problem exactly? To call up all officers itself expressed a great deal of concern but to provide cryptic statements bothered some of them. Airolem, the little Forsaken with a penchant for worry, twiddled her fingers as she nibbled on a piece of spice bread.

“Now,” Cham continued, flipping the insignia over from time to time, “this mission is as dangerous as it sounds. There is little information, the source is incredibly skeptical, and it is unknown what dangers you will face as the mission progresses.” He looked up at the group and assessed their expressions. Some were already set on departing once they found the chance, other faces showed hesitation while a tiny few provided their full attention to him. “I admit, this mission could be some sort of trap or ambush as the lead was given to me by a cultist, but how far would you go to find closure and peace of mind?” The expressions changed. Some had switched from hesitant to full attention, others fully against, some even switched from against the mission to fully for it and vice versa. Despite the changes it was certain for most where their allegiances stood: Freelance Carriers never forsake a person in need.

“I know some of you have families or just believe this isn’t a mission that you can handle. If you want to leave, go ahead, I don’t bear any ill-will towards you, I understand. But if you wish to help your headmaster despite the information given to you just now I will be eternally grateful. As skeptical as the source is and despite the terribly little amount of information this is the only clue to find my brother.”

As Cham spoke he continued to survey the sea of faces that stood before him. Once he was finished those that were dead set on leaving ignited the trickle that turned into a flood of departing bodies. The group of officers faded from around dozens to two handfuls within a minute, and since the office was not too small Khaadgrim was able to close the double-doors and encase the remaining officers within the room. Cham felt a bite of sorrow as he watched the good amount of officers depart from the room but he understood what he said and accepted it. After all it was a fool’s escapade to try and find truth in what resembled a sea of lies; this mission was certainly as dangerous as it seemed and no one should be forced to involve themselves if they wished.

Cham let the silence sink in after the officers left. The headmaster looked over the remaining faces and smiled weakly to them, letting out a sigh afterwards. “Yeah, I can’t blame them,” he said, lowering the picture frame to look at it and then returning it to its upright position. As he glanced up to them he spoke again: “But I can’t help but to ask why you’d help an idiot with a foolish endeavor despite the info I gave you.”

Khaadgrim chuckled spitefully. “You’re an idiot if you thought everyone would support you with such a situation.” The orc then gestured to everyone and continued, crossing his arms as he did so. “But you’re well aware of the risks. I’m sure that even though our motives differ what’s certain is that you’ve helped everyone remaining here to a substantial degree.” The officers nodded in agreement. Cham’s smile strengthened but he lowered his head to hide it. He glanced back up to examine everyone’s faces and he could see they were willing to dedicate themselves to his search.

“I have to wonder though,” he said thoughtfully as he stared at some specific people. Airolem was still in the room and the headmaster’s gaze focused on her first. “Airolem? You know you don’t have to be here, it might prove to be much more than you can handle.”

The little Forsaken twiddled her fingers. Impulsively she straightened her dark robes out and fidgeted with her hat, trying to formulate her words without err. As she spoke she stumbled over her words but their intentions were clear. “I-I may not be as strong as M-Mister or Missus Roark, n-not even like Mister G-Gainsborogh…,” she stopped to think more and put on a face of resolve to emphasize the last words of her explanation. “B-but you’re a nice person, and people don’t understand you because they don’t like what you’ve become, but you accepted me even though I turned into this and treated me like someone who was somebody and not just some sort of person who did a lot of bad things.” She trailed off on the last words of her speech, wondering if she could have phrased it a whole lot better. Cham simply chuckled and smiled at her, nodding.

“Thank you, Airolem. That means a lot.” The Forsaken looked up to him and smiled back, nodding, then took out another slice of spice bread and began nibbling it down. Cham moved his gaze to Orlom and eyed his daughter, Emily, afterwards. “What about you, Orlom? I wonder about you too, since it’s obvious you already have someone to take care of.” Orlom was in a sitting position and his little daughter was sitting on his leg, reading a book. He looked at her for some time before he responded.

“I admit, this is a gambit I am taking.” He petted Emily’s head as he spoke, thinking hard about what he was going to say. “But you’ve helped me gain clarity about our true enemies and opened my eyes to boundaries which I never thought possible to pass. For your acts of humility you have my full support.” He ended with a crisp nod of the head to which Cham smiled at. Cham looked over the remaining members and posed the overall question to them. “What made you stay, if you’re willing to say?”

“Enough’a this!” Mordaeus shouted before anyone could respond. The old Forsaken man rubbed his bald head and grumbled. “At this rate I’ll be dead again before we ever find out what the hell you want! This mushy crap is pissin’ me off anyways so out with it!” True, by the time everyone was done expressing their positions the day would probably be done. Cham chuckled like he was his usual self, energetically and with little restraint, and so he decided to go ahead and explain what was going on to call for such an emergency.

It was noted earlier that Cham’s situation had to do with something about his brother. He showed the insignia once more to everyone and told them about his encounter with the cultist Lezmarion. Upon further evaluation of the insignia it was discovered that several leads to Cham’s brother were scribbled upon the back of it. There was very little information and the writings only mentioned locations without much else to work with.

“Blackrock, Burning Steppes, Icecrown, Felwood, and Silithus.” Cham pressed the insignia back onto the desk and looked over the group. “This isn’t much information to work with but we’re gonna remedy that. As of now you’re all involved with this On-going High Priority Situation and your workloads will be decreased in favor for it. Until we know what’s going to happen and what we’re dealing with I want you all to be on high alert for anything.” Everyone acknowledged the situation. Berlshenk asked if there was anything in particular they should look out for.

“Lezmarion told me to look out for anything that resembles the insignia,” Cham replied, tapping the insignia as well. “I’m not sure what else we should be looking for but should any of you decide to investigate these locations be sure to bring some sort of device or magic that can unveil anything hidden.”

“And your brother’s name?” Khaadgrim asked.

“Nevaeran,” Cham answered, “or Nev, Neva, whatever. Hopefully his name will pop up during our investigation so be on the lookout for it.” Cham ducked a hand under his desk and produced a map. He began plotting out points on it and wrote some memos to the side of them. “I’ll copy the insignia along with all the places of interest. Remember to focus your eyes there while you’re working and report every scrap of info to me.”

Once he finished writing he looked up again. “I’m shooting for a happy ending. Hopefully that’s what we’ll find. My thanks go out to you all for agreeing to help.” He nodded to them and everyone was dismissed. The office fell silent and Reichel popped out into her spiritual form.

“Cham,” she said, sounding concerned and motherly, “you do realize that….”

Cham grunted back with a bitter “I know.” He let out a sigh and rubbed his forehead, wondering just exactly how disastrous this situation will turn out despite his words before. “Pray for me Reichel,” he said softly, rolling up the map and tucking it into a satchel to his side. “If it’s going to end terribly, then at least pray for the lesser evil.”

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About Grim Meteor

Hello. I write, stream, read, dream, and uh, do other stuff. Thanks for stopping by.
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