Breaking Mekkatorque

Sicco Thermaplugg marched towards Gelbin Mekkatorque’s office.  He carried reports from the field, mostly bad news.  There was determination in his walk.  He had something new to show Mekkatorque today, not that it would make a difference, but it would be an opening the Mekgineer needed to get the High Tinker to listen.

There was a banging on his door, Mekkatorque sighed.  The months of fighting troggs had taken a toll, and he was exhausted.  Thermaplugg opened the door without waiting to be invited in, per usual.

“I have the latest numbers.” Thermaplugg dropped a pile of rolled up papers on the desk.  “It’s not good news.  I did want to talk to you about…” as Sicco spoke Gelbin closed his eyes, ‘Here it comes again‘, he thought, ‘that horror show Sicco had been pushing for months‘, but to his surprize, Sicco’s next words were not what he expected, “…something new.”

Thermaplugg unrolled a large schematic.  “What is it?” Gelbin asked. On the table lay a schematic for a battle armor suit, a huge one. Sicco watched the High Tinker’s face light up, clearly he’d gotten Gelbin’s attention.

The Mekgineer continued, “We haven’t updated the mecha-marine units since the war with the orcs.  They didn’t see much action, so there was not much field test data to work with. I call this rig the ‘Gnome Pounder’.  This new design gives them sufficient power to outclass the largest troggs we have encountered and is still maneuverable enough to pass through the tunnels easily.”

It was a breath of fresh air for Gelbin.  Thermaplugg had always squirmed in his position as the Mekgineer General of the Mecha-Marines.  Could this be a sign that Sicco was done with his endless attempts at one upmanship and finally getting down to the business of his position?

Sicco continued pointing at the schematics and explaining, “I had originally wanted to put a canon on it here, but the recoil was too much and I had to go with a pulverizing arm.”  Sicco turned to face Mekkatorque with a self satisfied smirk on his face.  There was hope in Gelbin’s eyes, exactly what Sicco wanted. “There is just one problem.”

Gelbin felt the brakes clamp down on his enthusiasm. “What’s that?”

Sicco took a deep breath, “We can’t build it.”

“Why not?” Gelbin insisted surprised. His eyes scanned the schematics for something he had missed. “This all seems good Sicco, there is nothing here outside our ability to fabricate…”

“There wouldn’t be, if we had free access to the engineering bay.  With the lock down in place there’s no way to get there from here without a fight.  We’ve slowed down the troggs, but we’ve also cut ourselves off from our resources.”

The excitement on Mekkatorque’s face began to fade.  He knew it was true.  Gnomeregan was built it be incredibly easy to transverse, but once the invasion had begun, the lock down protocol had changed all that.  It had been designed to keep the citizens sequestered while threats were pushed out of the city.  Turning the city into a maze of disjointed rooms and winding passages with ‘defendable’ entrances and exits.

“The engineering bay is in the lowest section of the city.” Sicco stated plainly.

Gelbin turned to look at him with a questioning look on his face that quickly fell into a scowl, ‘here it comes‘ he thought, but this time he was more than just annoyed.  “You are not going to strip my bolts with this again, are you!?  I can’t agree to that atrocity you’ve been planning.  Did you draw up these plans JUST to get me to listen to THIS again!?” Frustration bubbled up out of Mekkatorque’s voice.

Sicco had counted on getting Mekkatorque riled up, but now to see Gelbin like this it occurred to him that he had never seen the High Tinker like this before.  It was a touch fascinating and terrifying.  He really had know idea what this gnome, famous for his cool head and reliability, would do next.  Thermaplugg pushed forward.

“How many gnomes have to die for you Mekkatorque?” Sicco pointed at the reports he had brought in. “You’ve seen the same numbers I have.  This is getting worse, not better.  We used the old kobold shield wall strategies and they failed, because the troggs are too strong.  We used the tanks we built for pushing back the trolls and THEY failed, because they were too big to function under the surface.  We are learning, but not fast enough.  This isn’t a lab, we don;t have time for experimentation.  The consequences are real!”

Mekkatorque began to crack, “Do you think I don’t see that?  I know each time we are forced to change strategies we lose more ground…”

“And we lose more gnomes! Yet you refused to evacuate the city.” Thermaplugg shot back, “Now we have gnomes trapped behind enemy lines.  At our current rate of iteration and development, how many more failures before we get the upper hand?  How many gnome lives are spent while you sit around trying to figure something out?”

Mekkatorque rebuffed, “Every gnome I send out there has a fighting chance of coming home. If we do what you suggest, their blood will be on our hands, MY hands.  Blast it, even the troggs don’t deserve the a cruel death you have concocted.  It’s not a defense, it’s an extermination.”

“You’re worried about the well being of the troggs now!?” Sicco recoiled.

“That’s not what I mean and you know it Sicco.” Gelbin said with a sober tone.

It was true, but Sicco pressed the point anyway, “Ten percent.”

Gelbin finally replied after a pause, “Ten percent what?”

“Casualties to the gnome martial service under my plan.  You may say that those lives would be on your hands if you do this, but I’ve seen these numbers.” Sicco picked up one of the scrolls of the table.  “You’re looking at twice, maybe triple that from any of these alternate solutions.  THOSE are the gnomes whose blood you need to think about.  Gnomes who in the end could be ALIVE because of the decision you make.  Face reality Gelbin.  These aren’t our old enemies, kobolds, trolls, even orcs.  These creatures don’t want our resources.  They are frenzied killing machines.  They will not stop until we are wiped out.  We can’t drive them back into the tunnels they can from and seal them up, we have to eradicate them before they eradicate us.”

Sicco watched Gelbin silently for a long time.  His face was unreadable.  Sicco’s heart was racing, sure this was his last chance to present this idea and keep his position as Mekkatorque’s advisor.

“Bring me the plans and formulas for the irradiator.”  Gelbin finally said; his tone betrayed no emotion. “And start setting up what you need.  Once I give the final approval I want it ready to go.” He turned to look away from Sicco, “Time wasted is lives lost.”

“Right away, Sir.” Sicco surprised himself, he never called Mekkatorque Sir, not in all the years they had worked together had he done so. “Most of it is already set-up. My mephitichemists have been collecting the materials and brewing the fuel.  We just need to cut into the main…” Gelbin held up a hand to stop Sicco.

“Just… bring me the plans and put the devices in place.  You are dismissed.”

Sicco quickly hurried to the door, but paused at the threshold. His face somber he turned back towards the High Tinker, “Gelbin.  I know this was hard for you.  It’s the best thing for Gnomeregan.  We are going to save a lot of lives.”  Mekkatorque kept his back towards him.

Thermaplugg stepped out of the room. Once he heard the door close, his face pinched in to an insidious smile as he hurried down the hall. He had done it. Despite always being one step behind Mekkatorque, he was finally going to get his way.

Faceoff

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Thermaplugg for High Tinker!

It’s been a while since Mekkatorque has been challenged for his roll of High Tinker.  I think it’s about High TIME someone challenged him again!

I’m officially announcing my candidacy for High Tinker!

I have put in a petition with the Tinker’s Council to allow Leper Gnomes to vote, so if that goes through I think I can win this!  I’ve been counting and Mekkatorque’s most recent “Operation; Gnomeregan” has tipped the number of gnomes to leper gnomes in my favor.

VOTE THERMAPLUGG!

Vote

Come on Moira!

A letter addressed to the royal Queen-Regent of Ironforge Moira Thaurissan,

I am the King of Gnomeregan, the Mekgineer Sicco Thermaplugg.  I am sure you know me by reputation.  I had an agreement with your late husband.  I know that you are trying to work more with the Alliance and other Dwarven clans than he was, but I would appreciate it if we could meet and renegotiate the agreement Dagran and I had together.  I am sure you do not want to dishonor your late husbands memory by casting aside his allies.

I heard about what you did with Ambassador Slaghammer.  I never did like him.  He never had an eye for the future.

I will be awaiting your response,

Sicco Thermaplugg

P.S.  I do appreciate that you kicked Mekkatorque and his rabble out of you city.  I take it an a ‘good will’ gesture.

Chromie won’t return my calls!

I’ve got a plan that will fix everything I just need a reliable form of time travel.

I DO have a time travel device of my own invention, but I am the only one I trust enough to do this mission, and the test subjects never returned (fossils don’t count).

I’ve tried contacting the infinite dragon flight, they just keep telling me “Our business has been completed” I don’t remember working with them previously.  Accept sometime they seem familiar? I don’t WANT to work with them because they give me a headache, but at the same time I think the infinite flight is more likely to “sympathize” with my methods.

Chromie, I’m sure you don’t want me to work with them!

CHROMIE!  CALL ME BACK!

inf

Mandatory Apology.

I’m almost done with the things to improve my image.

We’ve discussed how wonderful gnomes are, and I’ve talked about how bad troggs are.

Now the time has come to suck it up, be the bigger gnome, and admit that I did something that…

…some people…

…might perceive …

…as a mistake…

*mumbles* Pull it together Sicco, you can do this.

I apologize … for …

NOT KILLING GELBIN MEKKATORQUE SOONER.  He should be the radiation filled Leper NOT ME!!  You got a problem with that, bring your sorry ass down here and’ll serve you up to a trogg on a grimy plate!

END TRANSMISSION!

 

Ressa I can’t do this anymore.  Tell that IDIOT from the PR firm he is FIRED!  And if he doesn’t get out of here before I find him I’m going to crush him in to another stain on the floor!

A Trogg Solution

I hate Troggs.  They are gross and smelly and stupid.  I can write that because none of them can read.  In my Battlesuit I have personally killed dozens, but like roaches they just keep coming back.  The ones here in Gnomeregan have a “Might makes Right” mentality that has them under my sway.

I say, we call an end to Gnome vs Leper hostilities and focus on our REAL enemy.  The Trogg.  A false retreat of Mekkatorques forces, plus an all out order for ALL troggs, and ONLY troggs to pursue.

Once the troggs are out in the open, we lock the doors behind them!  With no where to run, they can be squashed easily!

Trogg