“Now now, why the long face, dear?” the first Morinth laughed. “Are you sad after all the effort to reunite with your dear Lilly?”
“Glad ya—liked it,” Xara managed.
She opened her eyes again, and Morinth looked at her for a moment, then moved over to Lilliana and kicked the other trolless in the ribs. Xara winced, but spoke before Morinth could.
“Gonna be like that, huh? This the part where ya try ta blame me for her getting’ hurt even more? Cobrak was right – yer totally predictable.”
Morinth started to laugh again. She continued beating the priestess. “Oh no, it’s her fault... for being born, that is,” the woman said.
“Yer depth of crazy is reachin’ a new record,” Xara said.
Xara shoved away from the night elf, who staggered a little in surprise; but the elf only slung her bow over her back, knowing Xara was no longer a threat. Kallavan picked up Cobrak from the gaggle of Morinths and took him over to a rack, also unconcerned. Xara gritted her teeth as she got to her feet again, putting a hand to her chest. The gaggle of Morinths approached her, their amethyst eyes glowing.
“Now... let’s see what you know...” they said in an off-key chorus.
“Here’s one thing I know,” Xara said. She held out her hand.
From under her mail top, she’d pulled out her hearthstone. It was inert, its magics deactivated by Morinth’s powers, deep inside the base. But with a toss of her hand she flipped it over, revealing that its underside was an engineering device that still whirred and hummed.
“They know exactly where I went,” she said. “Everyone.”
Her entire path through the underground city had been charted, everything heard recorded. And via technology, not magic, it had been transmitted to her associates in Borrowed Time. They would have a map and knowledge of everything that had happened. Xara had known her odds of rescuing Lilliana were slim. But the odds of everyone else being able to rescue both her and Lilliana were now considerably greater than those had been.
One Morinth laughed. It was her response to everything, to laugh. “Let them come,” she said.
“Oh, they will.” Xara smiled. “I’ve called in the cavalry.”
Fhenrir would bring Horde forces. Naheal would bring Borrowed Time. Leyu’jin would bring the Grim. And everyone else who knew and cared about her, Lilly, and Cobrak would soon be knocking on Morinth’s doors. Morinth had picked the wrong trolless to kidnap, because Lilliana had the right sister.
A shadow crossed the lead Morinth’s face. She and the other Morinths spoke in unison. “My machine is ready.”
“Yer a dime a dozen,” Xara said. “We’ll be done with you by next Tuesday.”
Morinth tutted and the night elf stepped forward, swinging a fist into Xara’s chin. Xara staggered, dropping the hearthstone. It fell and rolled near Doisswix, who politely incinerated it.
“So bold...” Morinth remarked. “I’m going to enjoy watching you break.”
Xara raised a hand to her jaw. “Better than you have tried, girly,” she said. “Ya can make me scream and beg—”
The Morinths’ eyes glowed in unison and they emitted a psychic scream. The unholy sound drove Xara to her knees, her eyes watering as she forced herself to not try to cover her ears pointlessly.
“—But the moment I find a weapon in my hand,” she forced out, “I’ll be – after you again.” The scream was growing louder, though the Morinths’ mouths had closed, and Xara, struggling against it, began to fail. “I... never... give... up...”
The psychic pain overwhelmed her. The last thing she heard was the chorus.
“We are Morinth... and soon, you will be too.”