She steeled her nerves as the gryphon flew nearer to the drop zone. She thought she would have more time, but circumstances only gave her a few hours to prepare for the mission. As the gryphon rider took a sharp turn and ascended it jostled her. Instinctively she clutched the satchel under her arm, careful not to drop it. She couldn’t lose it now, not when the target was so close. 

The human gryphon rider in front of her nearly yelled to be heard above the rushing wind, “Sorry about that, haven’t flown this path in a while. Not many people come up here these days, not since the war.”

The war. She remembered it well. Wait, which one was that?

He continued, obviously wanting to make small talk, “What business do you have up here at this time of night if you don’t mind me asking?”

Actually, she did mind.

“Classified,” she replied gruffly.

“I see. Well, be careful. There isn’t as many scourge around here these days but local wildlife can be tough. Bears, wolves, furbolgs. Hope you know how to handle yourself.”

Lei Pan smirked, “Bitch please, I’m a panda.”

Below she could see it – just on the edge of the cliff. It was time. She pulled a few gold from her purse and handed it to the gryphon rider, “Oh, thanks. You could have just paid when we got there. It’s just up ahead.”

“I’m jumping now.”

“You’re WHAT?!”

If the rider said anything else, Lei Pan didn’t hear it as she hopped off the gryphon and started to plummet to the ground below. Hmm, ground. That’s right, it tends to make landings not so good. Oh yeah, she can fly! She concentrated, enveloping herself in chi and slowing her movement until she was floating a yard above the ground. She turned off the aura and gracefully landed on one foot – a perfect dismount. She looked to her left for the scores. 9, 9, and 7. Damn Iron Forge judges and their bias.

No time to dwell on it, she looked at the Keep, it was calm and quiet. She didn’t know if anyone was inside or even awake, but it didn’t matter because intel had said the target had been moved somewhere nearby. She slung the satchel over her shoulder and carefully made her way past the inn, sticking to the shadows. Stealth wasn’t her forte, she preferred to punch her way in, but this mission required finesse. The faint glow of candles shown through the windows of the cottage ahead. Bingo.

She approached the cottage and listened carefully. No voices, no movement. No one awake if she was lucky. She opened the door a crack and slipped inside. It was a cozy little place. Warm, inviting, and looking much like a home. It reminded her of…of…-

She closed her eyes and tapped her fist lightly against her head to clear the thought. The mission! There was a set of stairs leading up so she carefully tested each step, trying to avoid creaky boards. It took what felt like five minutes before she reached the top and she surveyed the room. Pandaren (such a strange race), and two draenei sitting around the room, all asleep, and in the bed at the back a worgen. 

Target sighted.

Lei Pan slipped the satchel off her should as she slid across the floor to the bed, being extra quiet. She couldn’t botch the mission, not now. The worgen whimpered in her sleep but did not wake. Lei Pan reached into the satchel and pulled out the package of cookies. She set them next to the bed and then took one last look at the card to make sure she hadn’t made any made any mistakes in writing it.


I heard you were back. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help out with the rescue. Hope you like cookies.

Feel better soon,

Lei Pan

She set the card on top of the wrapped package and fixed Cael’s blanket so it covered her better, then quietly made her way back outside the cottage. In the night sky, the White Lady shown brightly overhead. Elune was smiling.

Lei Pan scoffed and rolled her eyes, “I don’t want to hear it.” 

She needed something to punch. She looked in the direction of Ice Crown. Yeah, that’ll do.

Author Weary
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