Auris was very sick of being referred to as a botani heretic, sympathizer, or otherwise. This. This was why she lived in in the wilderness. Animals and plants were much preferable to the company of ignorant people. She’d never thought of draenei as ignorant before.

 

Still, perhaps, they could be taught here as well as they had been on Azeroth about what a druid truly is. Or, perhaps, they had just been forced to accept the idea easier when they were coming to a new planet, instead of the druids coming to theirs.

 

She was stealthily moving around the Templar base. It was quite late, but she had to check on Robin. Auris kept to the shadows and managed to avoid any prying eyes. The gnome was wandering from the barracks to a little building she’d set up as her workshop.

 

The monk looked different to her. There was a determined gleam in Robin’s eyes, but the gnome hesitated at the entrance to the building. Robin was completely unaware of the silvery eyes watching her. After a long moment, the eldest Gyroshock unlocked the door and walked inside, shutting it behind her. No doubt locked again.

 

I should remain and be certain all is well.

 

If the people close to Auris knew just how often she spied on them, she was certain they would be pretty upset. But, a mother must look after her children.  She’d claim the gnomes as quickly as her own.

 

Mei-Lin, dear, may I use your eyes?

 

Auris settled under the shadow of a tree and a building, not many would walk back there, and formed a link with Robin’s more than willing cloud serpent, and watched.

——

Robin stepped into the workshop Arialynn had allowed her to build for engineering. She really needed to up the security now that Zen had access to Draenor. Her tools weren’t meant to be used for his overly flamboyant style of engineering. Her work was delicate and precise. She rarely made more than one error in her initial designs.

 

She opened her old schematic book and flipped to a page she hadn’t looked at in a long while. The device was too big and bulky to be of much use to Kage. She needed something sleeker, more refined, something for storage and for defense. Robin pulled out her sketchpad and set it on the table by her old design.

 

“Mei-Lin, don’t hover like that.” She gently pushed the serpent back a few paces from the table. The cloud serpent complied much easier than usual. “Huh, maybe I’m training you right.”

 

With Mei-Lin out of the way, Robin set to work. She gathered tools, metals, gears, and all kinds of whatnots. Finally, she poured out pieces of metal and bits of wire that she carried in a separate pouch and set the few pieces of the refined crystals the draenei used on the table beside it.

 

Before starting the basic assembly she stared at the last pieces she’d set down. The device that had been shattered by her father, a mage, was to be made again, for the use of a mage. Robin took a deep breath and looked at her schematic. She’d designed, not just a ray, or container. A weapon, as well. A light-weight pistol to help store Kage’s excess mana to be used later.  The crystal was the key, it would help with the entire system, storing, and releasing of the mana, maybe even serve to charge it. She cringed as she picked up the magical crystals.

 

Kage would never misuse this gift. Robin could trust her. She was determined to not shed any tears over this, not to think of her father, but knew it would happen anyway. He was wrong, had been completely wrong about her. She wasn’t weak. She didn’t need magic. She was a brilliant engineer, incredibly quick to learn, and…in some ways much more talented than her younger sister that he had prized over her. She pushed the last thought away. Ciera was intelligent, there wasn’t a need to discredit her.

 

Robin began to immerse herself in her work. She’d promised it be done soon, and she would keep that promise. The hours flew by. It was probably nearing mid-morning when she began to put the finishing touches onto the glinting silver steel of the weapon. She was delicately engraving the image of an adult cloud serpent along the side of the pistol. The crystal was concealed inside the device, but she could still feel it was there.

 

When it was finished, she set it aside and flipped the page of her schematic. There was another design, similar to the one she had now, but it didn’t hold a crystal. Gears decorated the sides and the inside contain a simple, magic-free item to store its energy source, she wasn’t sure what yet. Kage’s idea seemed a little silly. But, still…she stared at the design and the words scrawled in Gnomish alongside it: Chi pistols.

 

Maybe for fun, she’d see if she could do it. It would be a neat project. Dad, what would you think of these? Would I still not be good enough?

 

She’d placed the remaining pieces of her original prototype in Kage’s design. She wanted nothing to do with them anymore. Nothing more to do with that memory. The memory of her father’s rejection.

 

“Mei-Lin…are you still up? We need to be in bed…what’s wrong with you?” She patted the baby serpent on the head and carried it with her to a little cot in the corner where they slept the rest of the day away.

 

—-

Auris took a deep breath and broke the link. She didn’t know what all that was about. The invention must have meant something Robin. It seemed best not to intervene. Perhaps it was time to study the botani more closely. After a nap…

Author Robin
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