Arthas grabbed his helmet and jubilantly smashed several Leper Gnomes with it, their corpses littered with sunflower seeds, like oregano on pasta sauce.
"But for you to get into the next expansion, for you to be redeemed, you've got to get back to Northrend."
Arthas paused, mid-helmet bash. "Back? But they laughed at me at the wrap-up party..."
"Arthas. They are all going to die. All of them. That's their job. Only you have a chance at redemption, not them."
"Yeah, that's true..."
"So what you've got to do is march into that party, knock some skulls, tell Jaina to get her scrawny butt back to Kalimdor..."
"Jaina's at the party? Does she still smell nice?"
"She's a lost cause, man. Can't change that."
"Aww... well that's probably for the best. She's cute and all, but I won't have time for a relationship if I'm going to be redeemed and have an entire expansion based upon my travels in search of revenge and justice. I'm going to be a busy guy!"
"OK THEN! Step one, kick some butt at the party..."
"Step one, shower. Then kick butt, get back to my trailer, set the mood with some lighting and psych-up music, and wait for the designers to let me know my instance is ready. Then, let the Horde and Alliance come, beat them down for a few months, eventually succumb, and then... Redemption!"
"I have more soda and "Eye of the Tiger" on my iPod at my trailer. Want to come?"
And we thought about that. Go with Arthas for some bad 80s music and low calorie beverages, or get back to Orlando, write up our interview, and prepare for the WotLK launch? We almost said yes to him, but it just wasn't in the cards.
"Thanks for the invite, but I've got a deadline. My editor has demanded something off-beat and humorous for the Wrath-launch on WoW Insider."
Arthas spit-cleaned his helmet, slapped it on his noggin, and banged it on the sides with his fists twice. Then he brought his sword in front of him with both hands clasped around the hilt, muttered something in a low voice... and the entire Gnomer instance reverberated with his power. The lights dimmed, his eyes glowed, and a hush settled over us, a blanket of foreboding... and extreme danger.
"Well shucks, dude! Alright, I understand. Thanks for the pep-talk, it really helped more than that stupid book."
"But hey, if you make it to my instance, I'm not going to go easy on you, just so you know." The air around him shivered, and in a flash of black light, he was gone.
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
We skedaddled back to Menethil Harbor and caught the boat to Howling Fjord. By the time we jogged off the boat it was obvious that Arthas had arrived, taken names, and basically decimated the place. Jaina was spittle-shrieking to a very naked orc, her arm pointing out the open door, "You think you know what sexified is? You don't know know the half of what sexified is! Now that's sexified! I just may swoon right here!"
The goblins were scavaging what was left of the buffet, while the Four Horsemen of Naxxramas had linked arms and began singing, swaying to the rhythm.
"Hey boys, what happened here?" we asked.
"Arthas is back! Yeeha!" exclaimed Baron Rivendare. "He put his fist through the punch bowl, threw a dish of egg salad at Anub'arak, and declared, "This party is over! We're not here to boogie, we're here to kill Alliance and Horde! Sjonnir!! Have you memorized your loot list!? Well MMO-Champion knows it, you toady! Get those trolls back to Zul'Drak! Get that Siege Engine out of the spinach dip! Move it, people!" It was beautiful!"
"And they did everything?"
"They cleared out like cockroaches with the lights turned on! It's was heart-warming to see the old boy feeling his oats again! Those poor, sodden bastards in Outland aren't going to know what hit them when they get here. But you know what? I just want to know what got into him."
We put our hands behind our back, spun slightly on one foot, and peered at the spinach dip.
"You wouldn't know anything about Arthas feeling randy again, would you BigRedKitty?" purred Lady Blaumaux?
"You know," we said to the spinach dip, "if I just scraped off the oil, this stuff could be saved."