Liam looked out at the rain clouds, as his face welcomed the morning rinse. He felt a particular gust of wind as well, taking a small bit of his hair with it. Yet another lovely effect of being undead, your hair grows but also thins. At least, his did. He gave a click with his tongue and Drake stirred to life, giving a good stretch before standing up. He gave the dog a good scratch but looked up at the Zeppelin tower. “Still think this was a good idea buddy?”
Liam wasn’t looking for approval from the dog. He’d been content with the decision he made three days ago, but now that their Zeppelin was scheduled to arrive he wasn’t concrete on the matter. Leaving the village and the people he had come to know in his Forsaken state was alright, it was the whole flying he wasn’t so excited about. He could hear Kheiro’s reassuring voice, though the Tauren was across town getting some supplies he said they were going to need. The flight was going to take three or four weeks depending on the weather and wind. At least, that is what Kheiro told him. Liam sort of blinked and nodded, yet at least retained the information.
Liam shouldered his bow and made his way to the statue of Sylvanas. Even as cold stone, her eyes were penetrating. He had never met the Dark Lady, but imagined the statue was an accurate portrayal, both in physical appearance and in piercing effect. “Robert chose to serve you, as many Forsaken before us. But it seems fate has something else in store for Drake and I.” With that, he turned and headed towards the tower. He would be meeting Kheiro at the bottom as planned.
Getting there before the Tauren, Liam found himself upon a pair of guardsmen. Decked out in the dark armor and tabard of the Forsaken, the sight of the undead soldiers would be unsettling if one weren’t undead himself. The two men greeted him cordially enough, but didn’t even bother with small talk. They may have been statues themselves for all their animation and exuberance. Drake found a bench to curl up on the end of and Liam sat with him as they waited for Kheiro.
Closing his eyes yet again, Liam tried to remember how he died. But, no matter what he did or how hard he tried, it simply would not come to him. He recalled many other memories, though. On this morning, it was Alistair who came to mind. Without even meaning to, Liam’s mind was taken back to his teenage years. To the boy who was becoming a man, and Alistair who was doing the same. The two were nearly inseparable. They did chores together, went to school together, and delved in mischief together. Liam’s aunt used to say they were joined at the hip. They were closer than any brothers that Liam had ever seen.
It was Liam’s seventeenth birthday that popped up in his head next. Despite the ones before and after, this was the one that he would never forget. He had blown out the candles, and hours later he and Alistair were down along the shore when he asked Liam what he had wished for before the candles went out. Alistair knew something was up because Liam was hesitant to respond and the two had been as carefree as one could imagine. Finally he had gotten up the courage and told Alistair to close his eyes. The other boy had looked at him a bit puzzled, but eventually conceded.
Liam just stood there a moment. Not frozen. Just enjoying the moment. That brown hair enveloped Alistair’s face, creating a perfect portrait affect that Liam had grown more and more in love with every day. His parents had always talked about being soul mates and Liam knew he had found his. What he wished for that day, was the opportunity to show him. It finally happened and Liam stepped forward and pressed his lips against Alistair’s. It was the perfect birthday present.
Or not. Liam could still see Alistair’s eyes open with shock, and then fear. His love literally recoiled from him, nearly falling in the water as he stumbled. Liam’s head began to spin as he realized Alistair did not seem to be reciprocating those feelings. Instead, Alistair just looked at him, shocked, and then ran. All the way back into town.
All these years later Liam remembered crying himself to sleep and for days that followed. He lost the love of his life, which was hard enough. However, things were made even worse by the monster that replaced the boy he wanted to be with. This creature, this other Alistair, was nothing like his predecessor. The way he treated Liam, the vocabulary of daggers flung by his once best friend were nearly too much to withstand. The names, the way he rallied the other boys to join in and the things they were all saying about him. Liam had considered taking his life, and would have if not for Drake. He found the wild dog while hiking up to Llane’s hovel. The creature wouldn’t leave him alone and Liam couldn’t bring himself to perform the task he had set out to so long as the dog was around. They were bonded from that moment on.
Liam blinked and realized Kheiro was standing before him. “How long have you been standing there?”
“A few moments.” The Tauren paused. “I did not wish to disturb your mind’s travel. It seemed to be a mixed journey.”
“It was.” Liam stood up, “and I apologize Kheiro but this is a part of me I will not be discussing with you or anyone else.” He didn’t mean to be abrupt. In that moment he found he was so consumed by rage over what Alistair had done to him so many years ago. But when he looked at Drake, calmness started to set in once more.
“I will not press, rest assured.” Kheiro’s voice was just as calming. “At least not in that regard. We should, however, make our way up the tower. Our Zeppelin was spotted on the horizon.”