(Part 28) For a complete list of this series, please go here.
The bell dinged, announcing the steamboat's arrival at Ratchet. Aly got up slowly, teetering up the steps to the top of the deck. Her face was pale, a reflection of how seasick she felt. She hated riding the boats, but it was best to mix up her modes of travel. It made it harder for anyone to track her, and easier for her to detect any followers.
She squinted into the bright sunshine, feeling the salty breeze brush her hair away from her cheeks. The Barrens were warm, the region of Kalimdor where Ratchet was located, but it was a dry heat. She preferred it over the often humid, hazy days of Booty Bay and the surrounding jungle of Stranglethorn Vale. But she wasn't on the continent of the Eastern Kingdoms anymore. She'd suffered through several tumultuous nights on the high seas to reach Ratchet.
Her home away from home… almost.
Like Booty Bay, Ratchet is a neutral Goblin city. The name of the game is commerce. While Ratchet also sees a lot of traffic in and out of its city, the overall feel is different from Booty Bay. There is still a high amount of debauchery that occurs throughout the night and day, just on a different level. Perhaps it's the difference in town leadership, although both port towns are affiliated with each other. Aly tends to believe it's because Ratchet is nestled within Horde territory, but others do not share her views.
Aly passed several different Goblin merchants trying to peddle their wares and contraptions. Their market stalls were starting to overflow onto the docks, which annoyed Aly for no particular reason. Jamming her hands into her pockets, she lowered her head, avoiding eye contact with the sellers. She marched through the crowd and straight for the bank.
After withdrawing a backpack from the bank, she went to check into the inn. Aly smiled when she saw that Wiley was busy sweeping the front walk of the inn. Aly frequently stayed in Ratchet, and Wiley had been working there for nearly a year. He was the perfect innkeeper: he asked no questions.
Wiley gave Aly a mock salute. “I didn't know you were coming, Darra, but lucky you. Your room is available.” He propped the broom up in the corner of the entry way and went behind the desk counter.
Aly thanked him as she traded gold for the room key. Although Wiley wasn't one to ask unnecessary questions, she never knew if he gave unnecessary answers to others. This is why she went by “Darra” when staying in Ratchet.
Wasting little time, Aly unpacked in her corner room on the second floor. She opened the window, which faced the sea, letting the breeze in. Aly sat at the corner desk, carefully cleaning and sharpening her dagger. She hadn't been able to properly care for her weapon after Krizkix met his demise. The thought of his dried blood marring her blade made her grit her teeth. Satisfied that she eliminated the last traces of him, she took a quick bath before heading out to mingle with the merchants.
(My apologies for today's piece being shorter than usual. It's hard to focus with BlizzCon coming up. Never fear, there will be another installment next Tuesday!)
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