The squall over Booty Bay had passed on, leaving palm fronds scattered about the docks and puddles of water in places the drain systems had failed to operate. The passing storm also brought with it humidity, which at this time of summer, was oppressive to say the least - sending most scurrying for whatever shade could be found.
Denton Jones sat as his desk and shuffled papers around. One small piece he moved to the "in" box, before changing his mind and moving it to the "out" box. Neither box had anything in it of note. Bills, mainly; Unopened for the most part - as per Commander Wilkes.
To say he was bored was an understatement, but there was nothing he could do about it, really. If there was no business, how could he be busy? Something else tickled the back of his mind regarding the lack of business, though it was just out of reach - like an itch in the small of your back that is just off the fingertips.
Using a palm frond, Jones waved it back and forth in front of his face in an attempt to cool himself. Not the most efficient method, it did manage to make him feel better; which was something.
One thing Jones knew about hot and humid days was that it made sailors grumpy - especially those with nothing to do. And when NO ONE had anything to do, well anything could happen. The warehouse was empty, the dockworkers were slack. Even Captain Stealjaw had seen the way of things and sailed off, saying he was going exploring around the outer edges of Pandaria and would be back in a month or so.
It had been three.
So, when the front door to the Company office of the TwinSeas Trading Company was thrown open by a band of nefarious-looking sailors, Shipping Clerk Denton Jones was not shocked. Surprised, maybe (that it had taken this long), but not shocked.
"Gentlemen," Jones said, opening his arms as he leaned back in his chair. "What can I do for you?"
"Oh leave off, Jonsie!" one of the sailors said - a large, burly man with no shirt, no shoes and a red bandana tied around his forehead. "We ain't here ta see you, now. We want ta see Mister WIlkes, we do."
"Ah, you mean COMMANDER Wilkes?" Jones said, crossing his arms across his chest. Best to play it cool, he thought. Lest he end up with a sliced throat.
"Yea," another sailor leered. "Commandah Wilkes. That be the one, it do." He leaned close. "Where he be, Jonsie? And don't give me no lip, neithah!"
"Ah, yes," Jones said. "No lip. Right. Well, Commander Wilkes is indisposed at the moment. Away on business, in fact - sealing new contracts with Darnassus." Jones shrugged and reached for one of the pieces of paper he had been shuffling. Might as well look official.
He looked up at the large sailor, who reeked of rum now that Jones got a good whiff. Not good, he thought. "Perhaps I can help you after all?"
"Away, is he?" the sailor said, looking toward the stairs behind Jones. "Maybe I best go take a look for me ownself, see?"
"Now wait a minute," Jones said, moving to stand. "I said Commander." A massive paw of a hand slammed him back into his chair with a thump.
"No Lip!" the sailor said, one hand on Jones as he turned to face his ship mates. "Watch him and make sure he don't call for no guards."
At that moment, the door flew open again - banging hard against the wood siding. Goblin Bruisers, Jones saw and he sighed with relief. "It's about time you showed up," Jones said, grinning at the sailor who was as shocked as Jones was.
"Yea," another Goblin said, this one following the pair of Bruisers. "I shoulda showed up weeks ago kid. But tha boss said ta give ya more time see?" Jones frowned, looked at the sailor, then back to the Goblin.
"Pardon me?" Jones said. "More time for what?"
"Ta pays ya rent," the Goblin said. "I'm heah to collects, see? Seein youz was a good custamah an all, we gaves ya extra time ta get ya finances in order. Now? Times up, pal. Tha boss wants his doah." A diamond-tipped cane slammed down on the desk, pushing the sailor away from Jones so the Goblin could see the clerk face to face.
"Ya gots the money or don'tcha?" the Goblin said, twisting the cane back and forth, allowing the large diamond to glimmer in the window-provided sunlight.
"Look," Jones said, his gaze snapping between the Goblin and the sailors. "I'm just a clerk here! I don't deal with that sort of thing." He gulped. "You need to take it up with Commander WIlkes."
The Goblin chuckled. "Wilkes is it?" he said. "What happened to tha Commadore? He go and get himself sunk an all? Don't matter anyways, we gots ways of gettin our dough, see?" The cane tucked under Jones's chin and lifted it - pushing the young clerk's head back against the wall.
"Way I see it," the Goblin said. "You're the only rankin officer around, see?" The tip of the staff pushed harder against Jones's throat. "You give me what I want or I'll just have ta take it." The Goblin frowned and pushed harder, cutting off the air to Jones, causing his head to go light and fuzzy.
Suddenly, the Goblin pulled the cane away, allowing Jones to grab his throat.
"Look, pal," he said. "Wez all friend heah, right?" The Goblin looked around at all of the gathered sailors. They were hanging back against the wall and allowing Jones to take the brunt of the conversation. There was one thing everyone knew about Goblin towns: You never messed with them. Ever.
"Right?" the Goblin asked the closest sailor. The burly man nodded, shying away from the fierce Goblin. "Right!" the sailors said as one. The Goblin grinned and looked back to Jones - his voice suddenly sounding very serious as he slowed his speech.
"So why don't you take me upstairs to where Jarington keeps his keys so we can gets this little bidness all settled?" He smiled, cocking his head at Jones. "Right?"
Jones paused, gulped and looked at the sailors - noting they were as scared as he was. The cane slammed on his desk again, this time cracking the wood and leaving an indention in the desk.
"NOW!" the Goblin screamed, baring his fangs. The Bruisers leaped forward, lifted Jones by the shoulders and tossed him toward the stairs. The Goblin collections agent chuckled, then turned toward the sailors.
"I think we're done heah, pal," he said, grinning at the sailors. "Ya best move along."
"What about the TwinSeas?" a bold sailer said, earning looks from his mates. "They owe us pay!" A few nodded, but chose to remain silent. The Goblin cackled, throwing his head back and letting loose with a howl.
"TwinSeas?" he said, taking a deep breath after laughing so hard. "They ain't no TwinSeas, pal! Not in this town, there ain't. Not no more. Boss owns it now."
"Howevah," he said, lifting a finger into the air. "Head down to tha Dockworkah's Union and tell em what happened, see? Ifn ya paid ya dues and kept em up ta date, they'll get ya squared away."
"And if we ain't?" another sailor said. "Then what?"
"Ain't my problem, pal," The Goblin said, waving a dismissive hand. "Now get outta heah, for I send tha Brute squad afta yaz."
"This joints closed!"
Thomas Jarington & Co.