Chapter 31


Master Chief

Suramar


"Once again, you have proven yourselves to be an invaluable asset to the defense of Suramar." Said Elisande as she addressed Master Chief for his recent service for the people of Suramar. A few of her Arcanists and advisors nodded their approval as they looked at the human soldier, who was currently standing at attention with Thalyssra at his side. "This Iron Horse, as you claim them to be, would have caused irreparable damage to our fair city, killing our people and causing damage to our ability to be of any use to the Alliance and Horde. For that, as well as your feat of swiftly dealing with the threat, you have our gratitude." Chief just took all the praise in stride before addressing Elisande.

"Thank you, Grand Magistrix." Said Master Chief as he looked at Elisande. "The entirety of the invading force was eliminated as revealed by your First Arcanist." With her title being called, Thalyssra spoke.

"He speaks the truth, Grand Magistrix." Said Thalyssra. "I personally oversaw the search for survivors. There were none." Elisande smiled at that.

"Good. I'm pleased to hear." Said Elisande. "Now, for your reward, Spartan. Such actions must be rewarded, even if we are allies. For your valor and service to the Shal'dorei, I gift you several barrels of Arcwine. Our vintners assure us that Arcwine is safe for your consumption. Arcwine is a fine drink, Spartan, I hope you'll be pleased with such a gift." Chief just nodded in thanks. Though he didn't drink, no Spartan does as it was against regulations, if accepting the gift will get him more grace from Elisande, then so be it. Besides, Courier might want to try it when he's off duty, so will Jack and High Elf Archer. "In addition, some gold will be gifted to you. Use it well." Chief once again nodded.

"Thank you." Said Chief. "Now, if it doesn't offend you, I need to get back to my team. I received a request of aid from them along with the Horde and Alliance. They need me along with whatever reinforcements that can be provided."

"I see." Said Elisande, knowing what he was asking. "Very well. I will send forces to help. It wouldn't do if we leave our allies to die, correct?" Chief just stayed silent as Elisande continued. "Thalyssra, take what men you need and assist our allies with these Skaven as you call them." Thalyssra nodded.

"As you command, Grand Magistrix." Said Thalyssra.

"If that is all, then you're dismissed." Said Elisande. Master Chief then respectfully took off with Thalyssra in tow. As they were walking through the halls of the Sanctum of Order, Chief spoke up.

"I talked to a friend." Said Master Chief, causing Thalyssra to look at him. "About your feelings towards me."

"Oh." Said Thalyssra, her heart beating a bit faster upon hearing that. "What did they say?"

"They said that we should get together." Said Chief plainly, causing Thalyssra to look at him in surprise. "She thinks that, after all I've been through, I should be with someone that can be there when I need it. That can give me a family." Though she blushed at that, Thalyssra couldn't help but think of the prospect of having a family with the Spartan. It wasn't a bad train of thoughts, she wouldn't lie. Though she knew that was not meant to be given Master Chief's stance towards the subject.

"What did you say to them?" Asked Thalyssra, trying to not be hopeful at all.

"I said that I can't be with anyone." Said Chief as they exited the Sanctum. "I'm a Spartan. We're trained and made to be soldiers at all times. We're the people that are expected to put the lives of the people they're assigned to protect above themselves, including their wants. Even if it means sacrificing ourselves to do it, we're made to be the selfless soldiers that the UNSC makes soldiers out to be. Both our lives and our ability to have any sort of family." Thalyssra, upon hearing all that, drooped her ears down in sadness.

"I'm sorry to hear all that." Said Thalyssra. 'But hasn't the war with whatever your UNSC has faced ended? What is stopping you from doing what is forbidden in war time if there is no one to left to fight?"

"There is always someone to fight." Said Master Chief. "The Spartans were made to defend humanity from any threat, no matter what it is. Even before the threat you saw became a threat to humanity, the UNSC was facing a war against it's own kind."

"What do you mean?" Asked Thalyssra, surprised at what he just said. This UNSC was fighting against itself?

"Before we came into conflict with the Covenant, the aliens you saw in my head, we were fighting against an insurrection. People weren't happy with how the UEG was operating our systems, so various rebel groups began fighting us, sparking a civil war." Explained Chief, causing some shock to gather in Thalyssra.

"Oh my." Said Thalyssra. "That's horrifying. How long did this civil war last?"

"Over thirty years." Said Master Chief, seeing no harm in telling Thalyssra about the Insurrection. "Millions of lives were lost, both combatants and noncombatants, as battles raged for control of entire star systems." Shocked to hear just loss of life and remembering what she had seen before in Chief's mind, Thalyssra wondered what kind of weapons of war were used in such a war to facilitate such losses of life.

"And I take it you Spartans were at the forefront of this conflict as the one I've seen?" Asked Thalyssra.

"No." Said Master Chief. "The civil war was what caused the Spartan project to be created in the first place. Unfortunately, we couldn't be able to do anything because the enemy you saw before attacked us, forcing the war to end prematurely." Thalyssra placed a hand on her mouth, horrified beyond belief at such information told to her. So much life loss. So much destruction. How can one take such death and destruction and still be themselves?

Looking at Chief, Thalyssra spoke out.

"I'm sorry to hear that your people faced all that." Said Thalyssra in genuine sorrow. She then placed a hand on his chest plate, feeling the cold metal of his armor. "I…I know the Night Elves faced a war before that could have meant the end of our people, but it sounds like either of your wars make the Burning Legion invasion look trivial in comparison. I don't know how you can deal with it all." Seeing the sorrow and sadness in her glowing eyes, Chief spoke up.

"I dealt with it the only way a Spartan should." Said Chief. "Saving who I can and ensuring that they don't have to face whatever I'm facing in order to protect them. That they can live another day in peace before they have to be saved again from threats that mean them harm. To them and the UEG." Sensing the honesty and bravery in him as he said that, Thalyssra smiled before, to Chief's slight surprise, she retracted her hand and smiled at him.

"You have such a brave heart, Master Chief." Said Thalyssra with a bright smile, slightly dimmed because of what she heart, but bright nonetheless. "I shouldn't be surprised. If I developed an attraction to you, it just shows how much of a fine man you really are. It's just a pity that you can't share them." Even if he was a total dunce, Chief could see the sorrow in Thalyssra's posture. For a brief moment, he wanted to comfort her, to say he was sorry and that she'll find another, but another part of him, a more primal side, wanted to take her in his arms and say that wasn't true.

For a tense second, Chief was contemplating hard on what he should do, only to be interrupted by Cortana.

"Chief we have a situation." Said Cortana, urgency in her voice. That caused Chief to spring into action and talk to her.

"What is it, Cortana?" Is the team in trouble?" Asked Chief.

"Yes." Said Cortana, completely serious. "The Skaven you found underground? The ones that nearly killed you all. Well, they just all sprang out from their holes and are attacking in mass at their position. They're swarming everything. Iron Horde. Horde. Alliance. Everything. If you want to help, bring a big gun." Upon hearing all that, Chief asked what the status of everyone on the team. "They're alright for now, John, but you got to get there quick or else they'll all end up as rat food."

"Understood. Send what you can to the Blasted Lands from the base and send a few gunships to Suramar." Said Chief, ending the call as Cortana said that they're already being sent. He then looked at Thalyssra and spoke. "The situation with the Skaven just deteriorated. We have to get there soon if we're going to help. Are you still willing to help?" Thalyssra, upon hearing that, nodded.

"Yes, of course." Said Thalyssra. "After all you've done for us, it would bring Suramar shame if we didn't respond in kind in your time of need. Let me round up what mages I can. I have a feeling you'll want more magic-users rather than warriors." Chief nodded at that as he walked side by side with the First Arcanist. As they walked, John couldn't help but worry for his team and if they're doing okay. Eventually, an idea popped up on his head, which he then relayed to Thalyssra. Upon hearing it, the First Arcanist widened her eyes in shock, stunned at what Master Chief just said to her.


Later

Blasted Lands


"Watch out!" Yelled Courier as he grabbed High Elf Archer and moved her out of the way of a glass globe. Jumping down from the ledge they were one, Courier grunted as he landed on the rough ground beneath. He then watched as the glass globe exploded into several smaller fragments and bombarded where they used to be. Even from where they were, Courier could smell the poison that globe had in it.

"Damn." Said Courier as he looked at High Elf, who he held as they fell. "You, okay?"

"Yes," Said High Elf Archer as Courier let go of her. Dusting herself a bit, High Elf continued to speak. "Damnit, just how many of these weapons did they bring? And how many rats are there?"

"I don't know. You tell me." Asked Courier as he looked towards the battlefield, which was a hectic mess.

Skaven of varying armaments and armor were intermingled with the frontlines of the Horde and Alliance. Meanwhile their artillery, which were giant ramshackle cannons and catapults, were raining down on…well everything, regardless of it hitting their own guys or them exploding in a fiery, green explosion that killed the gun crews and those unfortunate enough to be near said explosions. Unfortunately, those explosions didn't happen nearly as much as Courier would like for them to occur.

Even from where he was, a few hundred meters from all the destruction, he could see the Skaven numbers. Thousands upon thousands of rats coming out of their tunnels like an endless tide. All of them swarming towards the Alliance and Horde lines.

From what Courier could gather, the tunnels had been created through massive drills, some of which exploded underground or after creating the tunnels. And from them, the Skaven came, wielding weapons and armor of questionable condition.

Despite the poor conditions of their equipment, the sheer number of Skaven meant such things mattered little as the rats easily had a ten to one advantage against them. Perhaps even more. And things get even more stacked against them when the Skaven brought out their ranged weapons.

When the battle first started, the Skaven launched barrages of mortar fire from portable launchers, at their camps before anyone can do anything, disorienting and killing a good number of Horde and Alliance soldiers. And while they were down, the Skaven sent forth their hordes against them.

At first, everyone was holding on. The Skaven, despite their numbers, couldn't break through their more experienced and trained soldiers. Just when it appeared the Skaven were going to break, the rats unleashed unspeakable monsters and more powerful weapons on them.

Ranging from what Ikit called Rat Ogres to grotesque lumps of flesh that literally caused soldiers to die from heart attacks just by looking at their misshapen forms, the Skaven regain the momentum as their monsters charged into the frontlines and added their own power to the Skaven horde. And if that wasn't enough, some Skaven assassins had managed to infiltrate their lines and began assassinating important people, like mages and field commanders, preventing them from either coordinating their forces or providing magical support.

The increased momentum from the Skaven assault forced them all back from their initial positions, abandoning the outposts and camps established for the Iron Horde and towards a large open space, where the Skavens numbers are used to their full effect, with a large mountain at their backs, forcing them to make a last stand.

Now things were getting hectic and desperate for them. Their frontlines were under threat of collapsing, their mages were either slain or doing whatever they can to support their lines, and the Skaven keep firing their weapons against them, regardless of the friendly fire or catastrophic malfunctions, while more of them came out of fresh tunnels, made by monstrous drill machines. If things don't change soon, this battle will be lost with all of them dead.

"Come on, Chief." Said Courier as he brought out a sniper rifle, preparing to give fire support again with High Elf Archer. The two had split off from the main group to try and pick off Skaven commanders and their artillery along with several others. So far, nothing has been sent after them, but it was only a matter of time before the Skaven send someone after them. "You better get here quick or all you're going to be reinforcing is a bunch of corpses." Just as Courier was about to snipe a Skaven giving orders to his soldiers from the relative safety of the back lines, High Elf Archer yelled out.

"Courier! Look!" Yelled High Elf Archer, pointing to the battle. Looking at where she was pointing at with his sniper rifle, Courier's eyes widened when he saw what was happening.


Meanwhile


Jack unloaded a full clip from his Wingman onto the Rat Ogre that tried to tackle him. Fortunately he jumped away from the last minute and thus unloaded his sidearm onto the Rat Ogre's head, killing it. Just as he was about to reload, two Skaven tackled him to the ground, sending his Wingman flying away.

Grunting as he held the two Skaven from trying to bite him with their cracked teeth, Jack couldn't do anything as a third Skaven came to try to stab him with a rusty spear. Just before it could, it was sliced in half by a green glowing halberd.

"Slave-things die-die!" Yelled Ikit Claw as he came flying in with his backpack unleashing fumes to make him go faster. Before the other two Skaven could do anything, Ikit sliced one's head off before stabbing the other in the heart, killing him as well. He then unleashed his arm-mounted warp fire thrower on a group of Skaven, laughing with glee as they screamed out as they were burned to death.

With his ally secure, Ikit aimed his halberd at another Rat Ogre ripping an Orc in half and fired, sending a bolt of warp lightning against the Ogre. The bolt ripped through one of it's arms, causing it to scream in pain and attempt to flee, only for it to be attacked by a Tauren who killed it by smashing his club on it's head. With that done, Ikit looked at Jack as he got up.

"Thanks." Said Jack as he grabbed his empty R-201, having dropped it when the Rat Ogre jumped it. "I owe you one."

"Owe me more-more." Said Ikit as Jack reloaded his gun. "Saved you many-many times today. Yes-yes."

"I guess." Said Jack as he and Ikit began to fall back, shooting at any Skaven that got too close. "This battle is going to shit. We either need to fall back now or get reinforcements now." Ikit just grunted as he saw more Skaven arrive from their tunnels to replace those that have fallen already.

"Need to collapse-destroy tunnels. Prevent more Skaven from arriving. Yes-yes." Said Ikit as he pointed towards a tunnel.

"Yeah, I know, but how the hell do we do that?!" Yelled Jack as he saw a Night Elf get dragged screaming to the Skaven lines by a giant wolf-like rat. He shuddered what will happen to her behind their lines. "We can't get close without getting swarmed by your people! And we don't have any long-range guns powerful enough to do the job! And our mages are getting killed or are too busy helping our lines to do anything." All what he said was true. Their mages were too busy either healing or reinforcing their lines with magical augments or killing droves of Skaven to alleviate at least some of the pressure on the frontline troops to do anything against the Skaven tunnels and back lines. Even Jaina was busy wiping wave after wave of Skaven to do anything to the tunnels. "Any bright ideas to rectify that, Ikit?" Before Ikit Claw could say anything, the two noticed a massive rat beast coming straight towards them, smashing any Horde or Alliance soldier that got in it's way. Mages tried to stop it with their magic, but the beast remained undeterred even as it's scared body was scorched black from repeated fireball attacks.

"Oh crap!" Yelled Jack as he and Ikit jumped out of the way of the lumbering beast, zipping past them and heading straight for a group of mages in the back lines, giving much needed magical support to the troops fighting against the Skaven masses. Seeing such a monster coming at them, the mages erected a barrier to protect themselves, but that did little as the beast just slammed it's entire mass on the barrier before, to Jack's surprise, exploding in a massive green light, taking it out along with the mages and anyone unfortunate enough to be in the blast's range. Looking back at the explosion sight, Jack couldn't see anything but lumps of flesh where the beast and mages were.

And that was unfortunate as without that mage support, a section of the front lines crumbled, allowing the Skaven to funnel through it and began attacking their people from all sides. Now things were devolving into an all out fight for survival as Skaven came everywhere, separating everyone from each other, leaving them easy pickings for the rat men.

As all this was happening, Jack saw Varian Wrynn and Sylvanas Windrunner fighting side by side in an effort to both survive and rally their forces before it was too late, using everything they had to keep the Skaven at bay. Seeing where they were, Jack was about to assist them when he noticed Shandris Feathermoon fighting off a bunch of Skaven with two daggers. As she was fending them off, a Rat Ogre came barreling towards her, a prosthetic claw at the ready.

Seeing this, Jack widening his eyes in horror as the Rat Ogre charged right at her. She only had enough time to notice the danger towards her when the Rat Ogre was right on top of her. She barely had enough time to move out of the way when the Rat Ogre leapt at her to kill her with it's claw. When the attack missed, instead of killing Shandris, the prosthetic claw ripped right through the bodies of several Skaven and a few unfortunate humans in it's way.

Roaring in rage, the Rat Ogre tried to attack Shandris again when it's head was blown apart with a loud bang. Stunned at this, Shandris didn't have time to question her good fortune when a Skaven tried to jump her. Expertly dodging the attack, she grabbed a knife and stabbed right through it's eyes, killing it. Just as she was pulling the knife out, another Skaven tackled her to the ground and tried to bite her throat out.

Grunting as she struggled to keep the Skaven back, Shandris attempted to kill it with an arrow when Jack came up and shot it full of holes with his R-201. Kicking the rat off her, Jack helped her up and the two fought side by side as more Skaven came to kill them.

"When the hell are the reinforcements coming!?" Yelled Jack as he fired controlled bursts in order to conserve as much ammo as possible as the Skaven kept coming and coming after them.

"I do not believe that we'll be receiving such aid in time, my friend." Said Shandris as she killed Skaven after Skaven with each shot of her bow. "I fear that, unless our mages teleport us away from this mess, we'll all die here and that will bode ill for both the Alliance and Horde." Jack would call that the understatement of the century. Almost all of the Horde and Alliance top leaders were here, fighting against the seemingly endless hordes of Skaven and their infernal contraptions. If they all fall here, if they haven't already, then both the Horde and Alliance would be thrown into disarray, leaving them vulnerable to either the Iron Horde or Skaven.

Jack then prayed to whatever god existed in this world because it looked like they needed a miracle now or they'll end up as rat meat soon.

Reloading his gun again, Jack prepared to fire again at a group of approaching Skaven.


Meanwhile


"Yes-Yes! Kill-slay no-furs!" Yelled a Skaven clad in metal armor, watching all this carnage from the relative safety of the Skaven backlines. His clean metal armor and the flag on his back confirmed him as the leader of the entire Skaven army attacking right now.

Laughing out loud, the Skaven commander was pleased with everything that was happening right now. Everything was going according to his brilliant plans.

Soon, both the Alliance and Horde will be significantly crippled, enabling the Skaven to rise up and take what they wished from this world. Yes-yes. Their master will be pleased with him. They'll be his chosen champions. No one else. Yes-yes.

As the Skaven was basking in his glorious victory, he noticed that a bright light coming near where the main Alliance and Horde camps were.

Tilting it's head, the Skaven tried to garner what it was, but couldn't. It was only after the bright light dissipated that the Skaven realized what it was.

Mouth gaping, the Skaven watched as several large Pelican gunships and Widow transports, carrying Titans, specifically the Legion variant, came out of the bright light and soon began to open fire on his war machines and weapon teams while also releasing massive bright lights that blinded his soldiers.

Upon seeing the large flying contraptions and the damage they were inflicting, causing discord and panic to settle in his ranks, which will soon appear on the frontlines as well, the Skaven commander realized that they must retreat or else they'll lose many, even more than what they already lost. Though the Skaven are many, they were not limitless. What was the point of sending his people to die when they don't gain anything out of it? Plus, the materials needed to construct their war machines and beasts of war weren't exactly easy to acquire.

With all this in mind, the Skaven decided to cut his losses and retreat. Yelling at a subordinate to sound the retreat, the Skaven leader watched as the gunships did their nasty work to his clan rats.


Meanwhile

Chief


Chief couldn't help but feel a tingling sensation as the effects of the teleportation spell went away. As the stars dissipated from his vision, Chief could see the Skaven coming out of both the tunnels surrounding what used to be the main camps of the Horde and Alliance as well as the Skaven around said camps.

No time to waste, Chief ordered Cortana to lay waste to the Skaven forces as soon as it was clear to him that no friendlies were in the camps. As soon as the words came out of his mouth, the Pelicans and Widow transports opened fire at everything remotely Skaven like as well as their war machines. As all this was happening, Chief gave controls of the Pelican to Cortana, allowing her to control all the transports, enabling him to go check up on the Nightborne. Particularly one female.

Getting out of the cockpit of the Pelican he was on as they started to open fire on what was below them, an indication that there were hostile Skaven below them, he walked to the cargo-bay, where a dozen Nightborne mages were present. Some of which were rather uncomfortable in the seats they were sitting on, even voicing their complaints on such terrible seating. Ignoring them, Chief went over the woman he was looking for, sitting to the seat nearest to the cockpit.

"Are you okay?" Asked Chief as he addressed First Arcanist Thalyssra as she blinked every now and then as she swayed slightly in her seat. Seeing this, he placed a hand on her shoulder to steady her. Soon, Thalyssra stopped swaying and looked at Chief with slightly unfocused eyes.

"Yes." Said Thalyssra as she slowly regained herself. "Teleporting that much mass into one place can be exhausting to do. Especially, if you do it all alone."

"Are you okay? Can you fight?" Asked Chief, not wanting her to get hurt because she was exhausted.

"Yes, I believe I can." Said Thalyssra as she completely focused on Chief. "Just give me a moment to catch myself." Chief looked at her for a split second more until he nodded and grabbed an assault rifle above her and prepared himself for a fight.

Getting here quickly was relatively easy, thanks in no small part to the First Arcanist. It was a bit of a long shot, Chief wasn't going to lie, but it worked.

Master Chief, knowing that they had to get to the Blasted Lands fast, had asked Thalyssra to teleport them the same way that she did when she teleported to save team Sigma from the Skaven. Thalyssra and a few other Nightborne mages felt it was insane and risky.

Teleporting a single or a handful of individuals was something even the most basic of Suramar's mages were capable of doing, but teleporting several massive flying contraptions, loaded with so much heavy equipment and people, was taxing, even to the most skilled of mages. Even Elisande herself would struggle to teleport such heavy equipment all at once without assistance from others or from a magical item to enhance her abilities.

That wasn't the thing that made things risky and insane, no. It was the fact that they were going to teleport into a territory they had no idea where the enemy was, if they're anywhere close or even below where they're going to teleport, and the fact they were going in without knowing where their allies where and if they're even alive or not. It was pure insanity and Chief knew it.

Still, Thalyssra knew that he wouldn't do it if he didn't deem it necessary to do so. Even with the helmet on, Thalyssra can see that Chief was eager to get there in time to save his friends and teammates. Even if it put him and the people he was bringing with in danger of getting killed.

Eventually, despite the protests of some of the other Arcanists and mages, Thalyssra agreed to the plan. To make things even more shocking to all, Thalyssra decided to be the only one that will partake in the process of transporting everything to the Blasted Lands. The reasoning being that they needed all the magical support they can get, so it would be far better that only a handful of mages were exhausted from teleporting them than the majority of them. And Thalyssra, being the First Arcanist of Suramar, was up for the task. In theory at least.

Despite protest from several others, including Valtrois, who was also present, Thalyssra was firm on doing it all by herself. Chief, surprisingly, just asked if she was truly capable of doing it all by herself. It surprised her that Chief was so willing to trust her to this important task all by herself. It was flattering. Even more so when Valtrois told him the dangers of a failed teleportation, all of which were not exactly pleasant ways to die.

When she told him that she was confident that she can pull it all off with all of them and without any magical feedback. It took only a second for him to nod and say that he trusted her to know what she was doing before telling her that she needed to look into his mind first so they can get some heavy-duty equipment to help them in their job, aka the airships and mechs.

And so, Thalyssra, once every mage and Arcanist she could gather was nearby, she looked into his mind to find out what he needed them to go first, which was later revealed to be team Sigma's base of operations. Monetarily stunned at being at the base and home of team Sigma, Thalyssra couldn't enjoy the sight before her, even if it was all dull metal, when Chief had them all moved to the hanger bays. From there, they found several transports loaded up with weapons and robotic constructs on the ground some distance away from what Thalyssra assumed to be team Sigma's home. The reinforcements that Cortana had been preparing to go to the Blasted Lands, all here on orders of Chief so they can all arrive to the Blasted Lands at the same time and in a quick manner. While some of her fellow Nightborne were looking at the massive ships in shock, both at their lack of elegance and rough nature, Thalyssra was walking inside the one Chief was getting in. Once everyone was inside any of those large machines, they all took off and into the air.

With everything prepared, the First Arcanist began to weave the spell required to teleport everything to their required destination.

Casting a teleportation spell was much more complex than what the ignorant believed. They think that, so long as the spellcaster knew the destination and had the magic energy to cast a teleport spell or create a portal, teleporting to a place was easy. Alas, the truth was that teleportation was far more complex than that.

To cast a teleport spell or create a portal, one had to know the general location of where they wish to teleport. And to do so safely, aka not hitting an obstruction the moment they were teleported or be teleported inside something or worse, had something inside them when they were teleported in. Thalyssra had seen such things when novices teleported something or someone somewhere that had a rock, building, or, by Elune, a living being in the vicinity or even right where the teleportation or portal was directed at. The results were never pretty. And that wasn't including all the ways the caster can mess up either technique of transportation. Without sufficient energy put into the spell or the casting was interrupted in any shape or way, those in the process of being teleported or traveling through a portal can die or, arguably worse, by stuck in limbo from a failed traveling of a portal or be horrifically disfigured from a failed teleportation. Yes, teleportation wasn't exactly an easy thing to pull off.

Fortunately, Thalyssra, having trained for over ten thousand years in the arcane arts, was more than qualified to teleport people over long distances. Heck, she can do it all in her sleep if she wished to. That wasn't the thing that her fellow mages were protesting at. No. The problem was the sheer amount of material that she'll be doing all by herself. While everyone was confident that she can teleport over two dozen or so people at once with little effort, transporting over six dozen mages, a human wearing heavy armor, a dozen transports carrying Elune knows how many weapons on them, and teleporting them all to a potential hostile rich environment was causing many to seriously question her decision. Initially the protests were done because they worried, she will be vulnerable to attack after casting the teleportation spell, but now they were done because they were afraid Thalyssra will kill herself for exerting herself too much, such was the price of attempting a magic spell without the proper amount of energy or skill.

Despite attempts by some, including Valtrois, to convince her that it was a bad idea to do this all alone and to let them help her, Thalyssra was adamant on performing it all alone. They needed to get their destination quick and they needed to provide aid for their allies as quickly as well as provide them with as much support as they can provide. Better to have as many mages as possible fully energized to fight the battle to come. Even if it meant the task of teleportation will, perhaps kill her from over exhaustion. Or perhaps kill them all because of her collapsing from exhaustion during the middle of the teleportation transit. So, to her hidden relief, she didn't kill herself and brought everyone safely to the Blasted Lands. Though she'll be unable to help the others much given how exhausted she was, she was confident that the others can do what she cannot.

As Chief was getting out the last of his equipment, he gave Thalyssra a glance to see if she was truly fine before going back to checking his equipment. As he was making the final touches, he received a call from Cortana.

"Chief, I've managed to establish contact with the rest of the team." Said Cortana. "You'll be pleased to know that they're all still alive and kicking as well as the entirety of the Horde and Alliance leaders stationed here, but they've been pushed back to a corner and are about to be overrun."

"Then we have to time to lose." Said Chief. "Do as much damage as you can while making your way there. The confusion we create should help them out until we arrive with the Titans. We'll hold the Nightborne until we're near the Alliance and Horde lines. Relay this to the transports carrying the other Nightborne. I'll do the same here." Cortana nodded at that before ending the transmission. With that, Chief began to speak up.

"Alright, listen up." Said Chief, catching everyone's attention. "We're on our way to the location where our allies are. It's there that we'll be providing magical support and dropping off our mechs there. Once we've relieved them and drive the enemy back, we'll be going to the enemies' tunnels and collapsing them all so they can't gain anymore reinforcements. Once all that is accomplished, we'll be heading to the primary sinkhole the Skaven created and use magic to flood them out, killing them. Is that understood?" Though a great majority of Nightborne nodded to that plan, one asked a question.

"You're asking us to flood an entire people?" Asked the Nightborne with wide eyes. "Isn't that a bit extreme, sir?" Chief then looked at the Nightborne that asked those questions. Though he wasn't an expert on Nightborne physique, Chief could tell that this one was significantly younger than the Nightborne around him due to his slightly higher pitched voice and relatively younger face compared to everyone else.

"It may sound like that, but circumstances demand it." Said Master Chief, understanding the Nightborne's concern for his plan. Not anyone can stomach or even understand the need to commit some things in order to save lives or win a battle, especially something like this. Even more so if they haven't seen what the opposing faction can do and what they're willing to do to win. "You haven't faced these Skaven yet. Trust me, they're a race that you can't face conventionally and win without facing massive casualties. In order to prevent that, we need to do unconventional tactics." The young Nightborne still looked unsure about all this, causing Thalyssra to speak to him.

"I trust this man with my life, young one." Said Thalyssra, catching the Nightborne's attention. "Not only has he proven to be an invaluable ally to Suramar, but he's adept in the art of war. Beyond the skills of our most experienced war artisans. He's also the one with the most experience in facing these Skaven among us. Believe me, young one, he would not so lightly be calling for this type of action if he did not believe that it was necessary." The young Nightborne, upon hearing that from the First Arcanist, a woman he trusted, put him at ease. Seeing that he was satisfied from Thalyssra's answer, Chief looked over at Thalyssra and gave a nod of thanks, which caused her to smile at him. A smile that Chief wouldn't deny was beautiful to look at.

Before he could give it the appreciation it deserved, Cortana contacted him and told him that they're on their way to the Alliance and Horde lines now. She also managed to get into contact with Courier, which caused him to contact the man in order to get a sit-rep of the situation on his hand.

"Courier, this is Sierra 117." Said Master Chief, using his callsign, something that Courier knew beforehand. "What's the situation in your location?"

"Very, very, very fucked!" Yelled Courier as he sniped a Rat Ogre from afar, blasting it's head off. "These things have broken our lines and it's a bloody bloodbath down here. Good news is that your arrival has really shook up their back lines, I can see it from here how you're tearing them up. It's alleviated some of the pressure off us, but the Skaven right on top of us are tearing us apart. It's like they don't care about what's happening around them beyond what's right in front of them. And that's us unfortunately. So, if you can allocate more pressure off of us to you, it would be very appreciated."

"Understood." Said Chief before contacting Cortana. "Cortana, have the Titans unleash everything they have against the Skaven. We're going to conduct a danger close fire support mission and we need to be as precise as possible. Can you link yourself to all of them and the transports at the same time?"

"John, you're kidding right?" Asked Cortana with a smirk. "I'll let you know when I can't do something. Just give me a minute, it shouldn't take too long."

"Alright, once your linked up, fire everything we have left on the Skaven. That should confuse them enough for the Nightborne to provide magical assistance without impairment." Said Chief. With that done, he opened up the hanger bay door and told everyone to get ready. Once the doors were fully open, Chief saw the massive tide of Skaven below them. Somewhat surprised at seeing so many Skaven, Chief nonetheless readied himself as the neared the location of the Horde and Alliance lines.

The Nightborne, including Thalyssra, were shocked to see so many Skaven below them, not believing so many were able to hide underground without anyone noticing. The best guess was that this place was very remote and far away from the rest of civilization, much like the Broken Isles were to the rest of Azeroth. Nonetheless, all of them, aside from Thalyssra as she was still recovering, readied for a fight of epic proportion.

And that fight happened right away, the Skaven nearest to the Alliance and Horde lines, too consumed with their fighting with said super powers, were unable to do anything as the Pelican dropships fired whatever ordnances they had left on the Skaven lines while the Nightborne were preparing to unleash powerful spells befitting a race that spent ten thousand years honing their skills in the arcane arts.

Though the Skaven closets to the Alliance and Horde lines were too consumed in fighting to notice the flying airships coming towards them, the ones furthest away saw them and tried to fight back. The ones manning massive cannons were turning them towards the Pelican and Widow dropships as they approached, unleashing whatever they had on the rat-men, while other Skaven were throwing globes of poisonous fumes or firing at them with spears or arrows of questionable condition.

Seeing the threat coming at them from the giant machines of Skaven make, the dropships focused fire on them, destroying most of them before they could fire. A few managed to survive long enough to aim down at the incoming dropships, however, and fired. Three of them were destroyed, fortunately, by their own flaws, causing them to blow up, taking their crews with them, two others just let loose sparks as they failed to charge up properly, much to the relief of their operating crews. The rest, unfortunately, let loose bright green bolts of lightning at the dropships. Dodging just in time, most of the dropships escaped unharmed from the counterattack, except for one Widow transport.

The transport was hit straight into it's cockpit and one of it's main thrusters, destroying both and sending the transport straight into the ground where it exploded along with it's content of Titans. While this was happening, Chief was coordinating with the Nightborne in his Pelican on what to prioritize after taking the dropships took out the remaining Skaven cannons. Pinpointing areas that Chief could see, through his visor, were either in vital need of their assistance or were vital in breaking the Skaven lines, the Nightborne went to work.

Combining their magic together, the Nightborne weaved several mana storms above the target areas and unleashed all their magic on the Skaven below them, obliterating all that was in range of the mana storms and other spells that the Nightborne casted. Eventually, they created a large hole big enough to land a squadron of Titans there, which were soon delivered there by a Widow transport while the Skaven were disoriented.

Landing on burning, charred Skaven, the Widow's Legion Titan cargo began firing their chain guns at the Skaven, creating a buffer zone between them and the Horde and Alliance people. They were soon reinforced by other Titans once the Nightborne created more landing zones for them to land on.

The Skaven, meanwhile, seeing massive machines tear threw their ranks was enough for them to break. Even the bravest of their ranks had their courage shatter as the machines held firm and annihilated them with their massive guns while also being supported by many flying machines and mages in said flying machines. And now the Horde and Alliance, seeing the reinforcements do so well, got the courage to mount a charge right at them, destroying what courage they had left. So, with their tails between their legs, the Skaven began to run away, abandoning whatever weapons they were carrying in the process in order to save their own skin. Some Skaven even had the misfortune of tripping as they ran, thus they got trampled to death by their fellow rat men.

As all this was happening, the Horde and Alliance soldiers were pursuing them until eventually they stopped.

"Halt! Halt!" Yelled Varian as he tried to get his men under control. Vol'jin, Sylvanas, and Lor'themar were also doing the same thing with the warriors of the Horde. It took awhile, but eventually they managed to get everyone under control. With the Titans creating a perimeter, ensuring nothing get's past them, Master Chief's Pelican soon landed and he soon exited it along with a bunch of exhausted Nightborne, tired from casting spells that required a lot of energy to cast. He searched up and down until he found Jack walking towards him with Varian in tow.

"High King Varian, it's good to see you alive and well." Said Chief as he saw sweat pouring down from the High King's face, indicating how hard he fought. Varian swallowed a bit before speaking.

"And I am glad to see you here." Said Varian as he sheathed his sword, slick with the blood of Skaven. "You've arrived in the nick of time, my ally. Had you've arrived later, I feared there would have been nothing to save." He then sighed as he looked at the piles of dead that were starting to being piled up by his men to prevent them from spreading disease to those still alive.

"Then you should be grateful for the Nightborne, High King." Said Master Chief before giving the floor to Thalyssra, who had been walking with him when they landed. "If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have been here in time to save you all." Varian gave a hum at that before looking at Thalyssra, who looked back at the High King with a stoic expression on her face, unsure of how the High King will react.

"Then you have my thanks, First Arcanist." Said Varian with a small nod of approval and gratefulness. "I owe you a debt for saving me and my people this day. As do the Horde, no doubt. One that we will make sure we repay in earnest." Smiling at that, Thalyssra spoke up.

"Thank you, High King Varian, but that isn't necessary." Said Thalyssra, deciding to be modest. "It's the duty of allies to be there when calls for aid have been solicited by their friends."

"Still, I owe you a great debt." Said Varian. "One that the Alliance will repay in a later date. For now, we have a rat problem." Thalyssra nodded at that before King Varian left to speak with his surviving leaders and officers. Once he was gone, Chief looked at Jack, who stayed behind while Varian left.

The man was a lot worse of wear. His armor and clothing were either shredded or covered in blood and dirt. There were no ammo mags anywhere on his body and Chief could smell the stink from him even with his helmet on.

"Good to see you here, Chief." Said Jack as he looked at Chief while trying to stand in attention, though he had a difficult time doing that considering the circumstances. "Thing were looking grim there for a while. Glad that you made it in time."

"Are you hurt? How many dead?" Asked Chief as he looked at his teammate.

"Eh, I'll be fine. Just a little winded." Said Jack as he breathed in and out. "I don't know how many are dead, but it's not going to be a low number. As for us, we didn't suffer any casualties. Ikit, High Elf Archer, and Courier are fine. I can radio just in case." Upon hearing that, Chief ordered him to do so. With Jack contacting everyone else, Chief looked at Thalyssra, who looked like she recovered enough to speak normally.

"Thank you for coming with me." Said Chief as he looked up at Thalyssra's eyes on account of how tall she was. "If it weren't for you, my team may have been killed along with everyone here." Thalyssra smiled at that.

"It was my pleasure to finally bring sufficient repayment to your people." Said Thalyssra. "It also pleases me that we saved so many in time. And that my decision hadn't costed us dearly." Chief nodded at that, also relieved at it as well.

"I had faith that you would pull through for all of us." Said Chief, causing Thalyssra to brighten up considerably. "I saw how powerful you are at the sinkhole. Plus, you aren't the type of person to act irrational or are overconfident in your abilities. When you volunteered to be the one that will teleport us here, I trusted you to know what you were doing."

"Thank you for trusting me, then." Said Thalyssra, heart fluttering to hear how much he trusted her. It made her feel happy that he trusted her so much. If only he was open to the idea of being in a relationship with her. Chief was about to ask her about the conditions of her Nightborne when Jack came up to him.

"Chief, Sylvanas wanted to extend a word of thanks to you for arriving as well as Thalyssra as well." Said Jack, pointing to dark lady as she looked at Chief and Thalyssra. "I also need to tell you that everyone is fine. Ikit is going around the bodies of his fellow rats, and Courier and High Elf are coming back from where they were." Chief nodded in thanks at that before turning to Thalyssra, who smiled. Without a second thought, he went back to asking her what he originally intended to ask of her. Meanwhile, Jack looked at all this and smiled. Though Chief didn't see it, or rather he did see but ignored it, Thalyssra was clearly happy to be talking with him, showing her affection to the Spartan plain as day for everyone to see. Anyone with eyes that is.

While Jack found it cute that Thalyssra had a crush on John-117, it also made him sad because Chief wasn't likely to return said feeling for her. The guy was all business and focused on the mission of protecting innocents to spend time on trying to get a woman for himself and start a family. He may have allowed Jack to go into a relationship with Vereesa Windrunner, but that doesn't mean he'll start doing it himself. Which was a shame too. Thalyssra was a fine woman that deserved to have someone as a husband.

Sighing, Jack wondered if he should break it to her that Chief wasn't the type to pursue a relationship with anyone and to help her find someone else. Scratching his head, Jack was thinking how to do this when Ikit came straight towards him and tapped his leg. Looking at their rat, Jack widened his eyes behind his helmet when he saw the amount of stuff the rat was lugging behind.

"What the fuck, man!?" Yelled Jack as he looked at the sizable mountain of loot that was behind Ikit. The white-furred rat just hissed before speaking.

"Need slave-pack thing to carry more." Said Ikit. "You big-strong. You help now-now." Jack just groaned, knowing it wasn't a good idea to complain to Ikit lest he wish to receive something awful in his food the next time they eat together, even if they're, dare he say it, friends. With that, the two went to where Ikit wanted to go. As this was happening, Ikit wondered if purple thing talking to boss-warlord of Ikits' was going to breed with him. They make strong bond and many strong children. Yes-yes. Even Ikit could see the strength in such a bond, even though he found it all disgusting.