Each step back up the metal ramp was a struggle; Ringo Flinthammer’s legs were gloriously, wonderfully exhausted. He’d wash up, have a drink at the Golden Keg and buy some fish down at the harbor before heading home. He wasn’t convinced that Beli was convinced that he was going fishing, but he wasn’t ready to talk to her about Brawlpub — not yet, anyway.
Ringo reached ground level and his mouth fell open.
The Stormwind station of the Deeprun Tram was jammed with soldiers of Ironforge in full armor, weapons at the ready. More dwarves, along with Gnomeregan’s finest, were stepping off the tram just as Ringo climbed up onto the platform.
“Knight-Captain Flinthammer!” a voice called out.
Ringo turned around. It was a dwarf he knew from somewhere — Ahn’Qiraj, he thought.
The dwarf, dressed in plate armor that fit him less well today than it probably did a few years ago, snapped off a sharp salute.
“Sir, you’re not in uniform?”
Ringo glanced at Frostmaw, as though the bear would know what was going on, or could explain it to him.
“Ah’m afraid Ah donnae what’s goin’ on, soldier.”
The dwarf straightened up, thrilled to be able to tell a superior officer something important, something he didn’t yet know:
“Ah reckon we know where Garrosh got to, then.”
“Yessir,” the solder nodded. “It’s a new Horde invasion. Someone said they’re calling themselves the Iron Horde.”
Ringo stroked his mustache with one sweaty, grimy hand, trying to conceal his grin.
“Aye, well, Ah reckon Ah better hit the armory up in the District and get some armor and weaponry out of storage. Me country, me Alliance, needs me.”
“That it does, sir. We’ll see you on the front lines.”
“Ye bet yer arse, ye will,” Ringo said, heading for the tunnel up to Stormwind at a sprint, his bear at his heels, both of them as eager as children at the Feast of Winters Veil.