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re: Rikko's New Ride (Short Story)


((In my opinion, making all mounts account-bound was one of the best "little" features Blizzard put into Mists of Pandaria, as it allows alts to ride mounts they otherwise couldn't get without OODLES of rep grinding, achievement farming or what-have-you.  It's especially great if, like me, you enjoy giving backstories to your character's mounts as much as to the characters themselves.  For instance.....))

“Hello, ladies.” Rikko drawled as he leaned back in his seat.


“What’s that?” one of the mentioned ladies, an orc, asked.


“Oh what this?” Rikko asked as he patted the metal beneath him.  “Oh, this is just a little somethin’ - somethin’ I’ve been workin’ on in my spare time.”


Whenever Rikko Boomsprocket found himself in Orgrimmar, whether it was to pick up supplies, receive new orders, or just pass through to parts unknown, he always made it a point to visit the Orgrimmar Skyway.  As its name implied, the Skyway was the city’s primary aerial travel hub.  It sported two zeppelin towers, Flightmaster Drakma and his fleet of wind riders, and a large stable for adventurers visiting the city to tether their various flying mounts.  For this reason, the Skyway was constantly buzzing with activity, full of adventurers on their way to or from some destination or other.


And it was for that reason that Rikko found this area to be an excellent place to pick up chicks.


“You been workin’ on dat?” the troll girl asked as she pointed at Rikko’s turbo-charged flying machine with a raised eyebrow.  It was a thing to see, the gyrocopter with flames painted on the nose, hovering off the ground with spinning rotary blades and an engine that coughed like a chain smoker.


“Built her with my own two hands!” Rikko replied proudly.  “Custom paint work, eight-hundred wolfpower, adamantite chassis - “


“It’s a gyrocopter.” the third and final woman, a blood elf, pointed out, unimpressed.  “Gnomes fly gyrocopters.” she added, earning giggles from the orc and the troll.


“Hey, listen.” Rikko said.  “I assure you, baby.  Gnomes had nothin’ to do with this fine piece of art.  I built this with my own two hands and the finest parts on the market.  What you are looking at, ladies, is the result of the high-quality craftsmanship that goblin engineers like me are best known for.”


The flying machine’s tail pipe coughed and spat out a few particularly large black puffs of smoke.  The three women all raised their eyebrows at Rikko.  They were not impressed.


It was then that they heard a roar.  The three of them turned their heads and widened their eyes as they saw it approach.  A cloud serpent; a magical creature from the newly-discovered continent of Pandaria.  This one was crimson with dark green hair, beard and mustache.  The golden nose ring did not stop puffs of white smoke from escaping the beast’s nostrils as it gracefully flew through the air as though it were swimming through water.


Riding atop the cloud serpent was a pandaren, one of the Huojin pandaren, the newest faction to sign up with the Horde.  By the looks of his leather armor, Rikko guessed that he was a monk, which made him roll his eyes.  Ever since the Huojin showed up, they’ve been teaching the other Horde races the ‘way of the monk’ and it wound up becoming the latest fad amongst adventurers.  Rikko was proud to say that his race wasn’t nearly gullible enough to buy all that ‘open hand, closed fist’ crap, but unfortunately all of the other Horde races fell for it hook, line and sinker.


The monk leapt out of his saddle and fell to the ground.  Oddly enough, he seemed to slow down as he approached the ground, almost to a stop just as he met the ground, big toe first.  He slowly settled his feet on the ground as his cloud serpent floated down beside him, wrapping itself into a coil and ‘sitting’ on itself.


“By da spirits….” the troll said in awe as she approached, accompanied by her two friends.  “What be dat?” she asked as she pointed to the reptilian creature.


“Oh?” the pandaren monk replied.  “This is my cloud serpent.  His name is Quan.  He was given to me by the Golden Lotus as a reward for my heroics throughout Pandaria.”


“What kind of heroics?” the blood elf asked.


“Yes!  Share with us your tales of glory!” the orc excitedly squealed.


As the monk regaled the three Horde ladies with his adventures fighting mantid, mogu, and the sha, Rikko seethed in his flying machine, grinding his teeth in aggravation.




“I’m tellin’ ya Kark, it’s bullshit!” Rikko ranted as he smelted elementium in the Goblin Slums’ forge.  “Bullshit of the highest order!  You wanna know why it’s bullshit?!”


“Not particularly, but I’m sure you’ll tell me anyway.” Kark Helmbreaker, the slums’ blacksmith, replied as he hammered a piece of metal into a belt buckle in the forge.  Rikko was one of his more frequent customers as, being an engineer, Rikko was always in need of anvils and forges.


“First of all, this guy was fat.  I mean huge.  Had a belly like a boulder.  Meanwhile, look at this!” Rikko said as he gestured to his well-defined torso.


“How can I not look at that?  You’re always shirtless when you’re workin’ this forge.” Kark pointed out.


“I got this bod through the best workout regimen of all; war!” Rikko continued to rant, ignoring Kark.  “War against the naga!  War against the quilboars!  War against pygmies, elementals, demons, undead, and of course how could we forget, Alliance douchebags!  Since when do ladies pass over a six-pack like this for a fucking keg?!”


“Coulda been his mount.” Kark replied as he took the belt buckle out of the forge and inspected it.  “You mentioned that the ladies were really diggin’ it.  What kind of mount did you say it was?”


“One of those flyin’ snake things.” Rikko replied.  “You know, the ones with mustaches.”


“Ah, a cloud serpent.  That would explain it.” Kark said as he dipped the belt buckle into a bucket of water.


“Explain what?” Rikko asked.


“Why that pandaren is getting more play than you right now.” Kark elaborated.  “As the ancient goblin saying goes, ‘chicks dig the ride.’”


“What are you talkin’ about?  My flying machine got me TONS of pussy up in Everlook.” Rikko replied.


“Tons of goblin pussy, sure.” Kark pointed out.  “Trouble is, other races don’t appreciate fine engineering the way our women do.  What they like is something more…..bestial.  Scalier, you know what I’m sayin’?”


“Oh what, you mean drakes?” Rikko asked.


“Hey, drakes have always been a hit with the ladies.  Just ask Frezza; he’s been with the Horde for ten years now and he’s seen all the drake crazes.  During the Burning Crusades, nether drakes were all the rage.  Then during the War of the Lich King, proto-drakes were where it was at.  During the Cataclysm, anybody who was anybody had an elemental drake.  And now?  Now cloud serpents are the latest flying reptilian fad.”


“Yeah well, I don’t follow trends, I set them.” Rikko replied.  “Besides, they’re like any other mount; they crap everywhere.  Seriously, my baby sister collects mounts and pets like they’re fuckin’ stamps and you do not wanna see what their litter boxes look like.  One reason I prefer machines is that they don’t take a raging shit at the worst times.  Don’t know how she puts up with it.”


“Yo bro!” Zido Helmbreaker, Kark’s younger brother and business partner, greeted as he walked up to the forge.  “That Northrend shipment just arrived.”


Kark’s ears immediately pricked up.  “You mean the Ulduar stuff?” he asked with a wide grin.


“Oh yeah.” Zido replied with a nod.  He whistled and a hobgoblin came over, pulling a cart that looked it was meant to be pulled by a kodo.


“Nice!” Kark replied as he walked up to the cart.  The cart’s contents were covered by a large tarp, but the lumps and jagged edges made it clear that there was some wicked-sick shit under it.  Kark reached under the tarp and pulled out a whirring gizmo of some sort.


“Didn’t know you were in the titan artifact business.” Rikko noted as he walked up to the cart.


“The Reliquary over in Quel’Thalas pays top-coin to anyone who can recover titan artifacts.” Kark explained.  “It’s a pie that I’ve been aiming to get a piece of for a while.”


“You said this stuff was from Ulduar?” Rikko asked.  “That couldn’t have been easy.  I heard the Explorer’s League’s been watching that place like a hawk ever since they took out Yogg-Saron.”


“I know a guy in Dalaran, that’s all I’ll say about that.” Kark replied.  Unable to muzzle his curiosity, Rikko took a peek under the tarp and saw a maw full of rusted teeth.


“Hello, what’s this?” Rikko said as he lifted the tarp up to get a better look at it.  Beneath the tarp was the head of a great beast.  Its skin was made out of iron, though coated in a thin layer of  brown rust.  Black veins that once glowed with life ran along its bottom jaw.  The shape of the creature’s head made it unquestionable what it was; it was a proto-drake.


“I see you’ve got an eye for quality as always, Rikko.” Zido said.  “That’s an iron proto-drake, salvaged from Ulduar’s scrapyard.”


“How come it ain’t movin’?” Kark asked as he poked the lifeless creature’s skull with his smithing hammer.


“Back when Loken went crazy and wanted to take over the world or somethin’, he basically turned Ulduar into a factory.  For a while, it was pumpin’ out iron dwarves, iron vrykul and of course iron proto-drakes like they were bombs.  Of course, like bombs, a few of them would wind up being duds.” Zido explained.  He knocked on the proto-drake’s snout.  “This here is one such dud.”


“…..I’ll give you twenty gold for it.” Rikko suddenly said.  Zido’s ears perked up as he turned to Rikko.


“What are you, nuts?” Zido asked.  “This is an iron proto-drake.  It came from Ulduar, one of the largest titan complexes on the face of Azeroth that we know of, built by the titans to imprison an old god.  This proto-drake was forged by Ignis the Furnace Master in the forge of the Makers themselves.  The Makers, Rikko.  Wanna know why they’re called the Makers?  Cuz they literally made Azeroth.  This proto-drake was bathed in flames that are as old as the world itself, and pounded into its shape by the hammer of creation upon the anvil of time.  This creature was carefully crafted by the hands of GODS.


“……Alright.  Thirty gold.” Rikko re-offered.


“….Forty.” Zido replied.


Rikko winced at that.  “You’re breakin’ my balls here, Zido.”  Rikko eyeballed the proto-drake, anxiously tapping his foot as his mind agonized over the decision.  “Alright fine.  Forty gold it is.” Rikko finally relented as he shook hands with Zido.




Rikko drove his trike into Sub Rosa’s garage, the area where the guild’s engineers could be found working on their contraptions and testing out the latest technologies created by the guild’s research division.  Hitched up to his trike was a cart carrying the iron proto-drake that Rikko just purchased for forty gold.  The goblin eventually pulled put to his work station and went about setting the proto-drake down on the lift he used to tune up his vehicles.  He hopped off the trike and activated the lift, lifting the proto-drake just high enough into the air for Rikko slide under it on a skateboard and examine the creature’s belly.


He pried the belly open with a crowbar to observe the inner workings.  After few minutes of rummaging around in it, he pulled out the creature’s large power core, supposedly built by the titans themselves, a dud.  He rolled his eyes as he slid back out and threw the old power core into a garbage pail.  He then walked over to a nearby storage closet and rummaged around for various gadgets.


Rikko never did put much faith in the titans, mostly because they sucked at their jobs.  Rikko was no historian, but from what he understood, the titans built most of the shit that they built to keep the influence of the old gods in check.  Let’s see, the old gods corrupted one of the dragon aspects and created Deathwing, they created several different races with the curse of flesh (including the gnomes), Yogg-Saron made the creations of Ulduar into its minions, and let’s not forget C’thun and Ahn’Qiraj way back in the day.  The creations of the titans had one job.


Incompetence aside though, the titans actually did make some good shit.  This proto-drake was one such example.  It just needed some modification; goblin-style.


Rikko started by grabbing a dozen elementium power cores to replace the titan power core he just ripped out.  Theoretically a few would’ve sufficed, but as the old goblin saying goes, ‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth over-doing.’  He then grabbed some felsteel stabilizers, goblin-machined pistons, salvaged iron golem parts, frost steel tubes, electrified ether, Rikko was planning on more or less rebuilding the proto-drake’s insides from scratch.


He carried whole buckets of parts and devices over to the rusted iron proto-drake.  He smiled evilly as he took the beast in.  It was lifeless now, but soon it will be given new life by Rikko’s hands, and the goblin will be looked upon as a god, for he will have succeeded where the titans themselves failed.


More importantly though, this proto-drake was going to get him play.  Lots of it.


He took a spanner in one hand and a hammer in the other and went to work.



One week later…..



“And so, there I was, staring down Commander Vo’jak, the most ferocious commander in the mantid army.” the pandaren monk said to his three new female companions upon the Orgrimmar Skyway, who were absolutely enraptured by his tale of battle.  HIs red cloud serpent hovered off to the side, evidently bored.  “He dashed at me with his blades, a strike I was just barely able to parry.  His blades spun and spun like an evil - “


It was then that they all heard a metallic roar.  They all turned to its source.


Walking up to them was a massive creature with skin that looked like it was made from rusted metal.  Upon closer inspection, one could see that its skin really was made from rusted metal.  Steam seemed to puff out of its maw as it breathed, the inside of its mouth glowing gold like molten iron, as were runes on its wings and head.  The hunched posture and large, muscular wings made it clear to see that this was a proto-drake, a type of dragonkin native only to the harsh land to Northrend.  Specifically an iron proto-drake, straight from the hallowed halls of Ulduar.


“Sup ladies.” Rikko said from atop his rusted iron proto-drake as it walked over to the group.  “This is my new mount.  Modified her myself.  I call her Clementine.  Say hello, Clementine.”


The proto-drake turned towards the monk’s cloud serpent.  The two mounts eyed each other for a second.  Clementine then opened her mouth and roared, a sound that was a cross between the traditional draconic war cry and the roaring engine of a souped-up mechano-hog.  The cloud serpent shrieked in fright as it flew away.


“Quan!  Come back!” The pandaren cried as he gave chase to his panicked serpent.  The orc, troll and blood elf girls watched as the the pandaren ran away.  They all turned to Rikko’s beast and walked towards it.


“Where did you get this?” the orc girl asked.


“She was originally a reject from Ulduar.  A dud.” Rikko began.  “But I was able to rebuild her with my own two hands.”


“You rebuilt a creation of the Titans themselves?” the blood elf asked, impressed.


“Well, it was nothing that some good ol’ fashioned goblin engineering couldn’t fix.” Rikko said in an attempt to feign modesty.  “I’ve always been pretty good with my hands.”


“You are…?” the troll asked.  She paused as she dug a toe into her foot.  “What else can ya do wit ya hands?” she shyly asked.


“I give good massages.” Rikko said as he wiggled his eyebrows.


“Oh, it’s been months since I last had a decent massage.” the blood elf said.


“Get in line, sister.” the orc said.  “My muscles are still aching after wailing on that training dummy all day yesterday.”


“Me got some oils we could use.” the troll pointed out.



As the three women bickered over who would get touched by Rikko’s busy hands first, the goblin warrior looked down on his new proto-drake mount.  “Clementine, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” the proto-drake grumbled in response.


((Yeah, a while back I did an Ulduar fun-run with the rest of the guild on Jakko, and much to my surprise, I found a Rusted Iron Proto-Drake in the mail from all the achievements we were evidently doing.  Awesome though it was, it didn't really "fit" Jakko persé.  So once account-bound mounts became a thing, you could say Rikko offered to take the little beauty off Jakko's hands.))

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At 02-17-2015 01:00:00 AM
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