The Dark Portal

The Dark Portal

The now-red Dark Portal

“So,” Sgt. Widge Gearloose said, tugging on a pair of heavy gloves and slipping a pair of goggles over his eyes, “Everyone ready?”

“The Naaru know I’m not opposed to a suicide mission,” Baelan Grimaxe muttered, adjusting himself gingerly atop a rocket aimed at the Dark Portal, just visible across the red plains of the Blasted Lands, “But straddlin’ a giant bomb seems a bit much.”

“You can’t argue with the classics,” Widge said. “This worked for Khadgar once, it’ll work again.”

Knight-Captain Ringo Flinthammer finished buckling a deeply unsure Frostmaw onto another rocket. The bear looked as uncertain as Baelan did.

Ringo climbed onto the front of the rocket he shared with Frostmaw, which seemed much less unstable than Baelan’s and like it would be harder to steer.

“There’s not going to be an overt signal to tip off the Iron Horde to what we’re doing. We wait for our troops to engage the Mag’har and get them occupied. Khadgar said he thinks he can get the Horde to attack at the same time — and, there they go. Fire rockets — NOW!”

The passenger rockets thundered to life, sending out sprays of yellow, purple, blue and green sparks as their passengers raced toward the Dark Portal.

“What’s that?” Widge yelled over the roar of the rockets.

“Ah said,” Ringo yelled back, “‘Ah jus’ wish we knew why the bloody portal had turned red!'”

It had been years since Ringo had thought about the Dark Portal. The Burning Legion had tried to invade through it years ago, at the apparent behest of Illidan Stormrage and Kael’thas Sunstrider. But the Alliance — including Ringo and his wife Beli — had helped push them back through and both tyrants were eventually slain, although Kael’thas got as far as Quel’Danas before meeting his end. Before that, it had been dormant for years, ever since Khadgar’s plan had worked the first time.

The Iron Horde Mag’har the Alliance had captured hadn’t been able to explain what had happened to the portal — they had seem baffled by the question, as though they were unaware that the portal had previously been green.

“Ringo, you and Baelan have to just buy us enough time to set the charges on the far side,” Widge yelled over the wind. “We’ll have about 30 seconds after I set the timer, then we have to get back through immediately, or we’ll be stuck in Outland when the Dark Portal gets destroyed — again.”

Which, by itself, would slow the Iron Horde down by a few decades, if history was any guide. And this time, the Alliance would destroy the Dark Portal on the Azeroth side as well, once they had cut off the Iron Horde’s reinforcements and mopped up the few Mag’har who would be trapped on this side of the portal. With any luck, the Mag’har would never be able to reestablish the connection between the two worlds ever again.

The rockets were racing over the heads of the battling forces now and the glowing red portal glowed like an ember beyond them.

“Ah jus’ feel like we’re missin’ somethin’ important,” Ringo yelled. “This blasted portal must o’ turned red fer a —”

And then they passed through the portal, and out of Azeroth.

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