Flying Tiger Transportation

I was merrily leveling up my noob character and had joined a guild of friendly beings. As I was resting after a near death experience, I took a moment to read guild chat. The following story blossomed from another as he told us of his latest explorations.
    Having just finished work on my newest creation at the Great Anvil in Ironforge, I strode into the city, eager to explore a bit further and hopefully reveal some of its newest mysteries. Ironforge has always held a place in my heart. The sheer magnitude of this city is just mind-boggling. The work put into such an effort is beyond my own comprehension and when looking upon the inner workings of this wondrous city, one can only feel insignificant against its magnitude. My wanderings eventually took me into Tinker Town. This section of the city is home to the ever-inventive gnomes. The sounds of their creations rang through the halls here, and the acrid smell of burning fuel drifted through the air. Not entirely unaccustomed to this smell myself; I decided to press on and try to get a glimpse at some of the new creations that were being worked upon. Before I had a chance to however, my ears caught some bits of conversation issuing forth from down a long hallway. The words “new travel form” caught my attention and being the curious Mage that I am, I just had to find out what was going on. Making my way carefully down the hallway, I spied upon two gnomes talking to each other. Both were dressed in what looked to be some sort of engineering outfit, covered with tools of various shapes and sizes. My intention had been just to quietly listen in on them and not be of any disturbance. Unfortunately, my feet decided not to cooperate and sent me stumbling into their midst. Looking quite the fool I’m sure, I tried to play myself off as a bumbling, absent-minded wizard just looking for a way out of the ‘infernally hot maze-like’ city as I picked myself up off the floor and patted the sweat off my brow. The two gnomes just stood there looking at me, smiles spreading across their faces as they held back from laughing outright at me. As I turned to walk away they resumed their conversation. At this moment I stopped. I decided at this point that I couldn’t embarrass myself any further and asked them outright what this new form of travel way that they were talking about. What I expected was blank stares and tight lips. In reality what I really got was an hour-long explanation of a fantastical new method of travel form that these two gnomes had come up with and spoken to the King of Ironforge about. It seems that these 2 gnomes had decided themselves to come up with a newer, more efficient way of traveling between lands. They quickly explained the hassles and problems of having to take care of Griffons: the daily feedings, breeding, training, the occasional rider being flown off in an entirely wrong direction and taking days to find, not to mention the cost. They showed me graphs and charts and diagrams and something they called a ‘cost analysis’, all of it glaringly pointing out the deficiencies of Griffon Flight Paths. Before I could make heads or tails of all they had showed me however, they pulled out a large set of blueprints and showed them to me. Looking over it briefly I noticed a title at the top: Flying Tiger Transportation Suddenly it hit me. The two gnomes standing in front of me were none other then the famous “Flying Tiger Brothers”. I’d read about them in many of my engineering manuals. They had created hundreds of inventions, many of which I myself had studied. Most famously were the Flying Tiger goggles that many engineers wear to this day. I stood awestruck for a moment, realizing that I was standing in the presence of two of the greatest gnomes to have ever lived. Unfortunately, my awe was cut short as I took another look at the blueprints they had shoved into my hands. After looking at it once again, I realized what their new invention was. The biggest damn catapult you’d ever seen in your life. The size of what they wanted to create was enormous. Easily 100 times larger then any catapult currently in use, this creation would require acres of land to be built upon. It supposed range they said would be in the thousands of miles. Able to reach across the continent, they explained that the flight paths would be direct. There would be no breeding lands needed. No food would need to be purchased daily to feed the catapult. Best of all they explained, flight times would be cut in half and the traveler could experience the wonder of natural unaided flight as they glided through the air to their destination. I stood there dumbfounded for a moment. Were these two suggesting that people be loaded onto a catapult and ‘thrown’ hundreds if not thousands of miles through the air? I knew the Flying Tiger Brothers were getting on in years, but I didn’t think that senility had set in already. Seeing my confusion, they quickly sidelined me by explaining that they had already spoken to the King of Ironforge and had gotten the go-ahead for creating this contraption. Another look of surprise crossed my face as they explained how they made their proposal to the king. I knew now that if the two gnomes weren’t senile, then certainly the King was for approving such a crazy idea. Unfortunately, before I even had a chance to protest such lunacy, they shoved a packet of papers into my hands. Quickly explaining that they needed volunteers to help ‘test’ out the new system once it was created, they urged me to sign up now before it was to late. I read the top sheet of the packet, eyes going wide as I saw “CONTRACT” written out in bold black lettering. I looked back and forth between the blueprints and the contract with a blank stare. Did these two actually expect me to sign up??? Flipping through the contract, I quickly read a few lines and stood with mouth agape, as it only seemed to get worse. “Complimentary Funeral Services in the event of ‘tester’ demise…”, “Death and Dismemberment Clause…”, “Plausible Deniability…”, “Non-Disclosure Agreement…”, “Terms of Service….” The Flying Tiger Brothers had definitely gone off the deep end with this one. What made it even worse was that during this whole conversation, not once had they mentioned how the traveler would actually LAND once the flight ended. The blueprints gave no indication as to how this would be accomplished and when I asked them about this piece of information they explained that the details would be worked out during the ‘Testing Stages”, specifically the Alpha and Beta 1 stages. Then, shoving a writing utensil into my hand, they eagerly awaited my signature on the contract. At this point I politely told them that I needed to read over the contract one more time to make sure. They agreed to give me a moment and excitedly turned to each other in conversation as I feigned reading over the contract one more time. Eager to extricate myself from this situation as quickly as possible, I slowly backed up away from then, intently looking at the contract in my hand. When I figured I no longer held their attention, I began the spell conjurations. Quietly speaking the words, the mystical runes appeared above my head and the portal began to open. The last thing the two brothers saw as I disappeared through the portal was the contract slipping from my hands to the warm stone beneath my feet.
Written by Taren of Scarlet Guardians


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