“Knight-Captain Flinthammer? Sir? Sir?”
“Step aside, soldier, I’ve got this.”
“As you wish, Sgt. Gearloose.”
In the darkness, Ringo found himself getting prodded with something, over and over again.
“Ringo, knock it off, we’ve got work to do!”
Ringo Flinthammer swatted at the poking object, then closed his hand on it.
“What the hell is this?” he snarled, propping himself up on one elbow, looking blearily at the strange weapon-thing he’d taken away from his tormentor.
“It’s a Pandaren spell-sickle,” Widge Gearloose said, snatching it back from Ringo. “It’s not important.”
“More importantly,” said a second gnome, appearing behind Widge in the blue tent, “You’re awake at last!”
Ringo’s next question what drowned out by a high-pitched whistling, a mechanical whirring and the sound of a distant explosion.
“Yes, you’re still in the Blasted Lands,” Widge nodded. “Specifically, the Alliance’s foothold, if you can call it that, on the beach.”
Ringo asked another question, which was drowned out by the sound of another iron star being launched somewhere nearby.
“We can’t,” Vamen D’barr, the second gnome, shook his head sorrowfully. “The Iron Horde has smashed Nethergarde Keep to bits.”
“Ah’m ne’er going to get one of their tabards now,” Ringo muttered sadly.
“Ye’re awake!” a dwarven voice boomed. A black-bearded dwarf on a cot on the far side of the gnomes sat up with a groan. “This time, ye’re the one unconscious longer!”
“Vamen and I were working in Nethergarde when the Iron Horde attacked. Lady Proudmoore wants to re-integrate Dalaran into the Alliance military structure, and we were here to evaluate the magical needs of Nethergarde Keep when the Dark Portal turned red.”
“And I was stationed there,” Baelan Grimaxe said. “Hadn’t gotten my tabard yet, though.”
“They really were nice tabards,” Ringo muttered, turning and putting his feet on the red sandy floor. “Haven’t see ye, Vamen and Baelan, since the war against the Lich King.”
“Nothing reunites everyone like a potential apocalypse,” Widge said, pulling Ringo to his feet. “Come on, let’s go: We’re preparing for a counter-attack on the Dark Portal. We’re going to push the Mag’har back into Outland.”