DISCLAIMER: ...Wait, what? Why should I have one every chapter? DIDN'T YOU READ THE ONE AT THE TOP OF CHAPTER ONE, YOU JERKS?
...Nah, just kidding, you know I love y'all. ON WITH THE STORY.
Somewhere in an uncharted area of the Stonetalon Mountains sat the Official Fanfiction University of Azeroth. Built to accommodate the Alliance as well as the Horde, the university was something of a mismatched puzzle outside, with the Alliance wing of the school showing a very strong tendency towards human- and dwarfish architecture and the Horde wing tending more towards the architecture favored by the Forsaken – although the Horde side of the school had a significant lack of Halloween-ish décor and much better lighting, possibly due to some meddling by the blood elves in attendance.
Both wings were built in such a way that they each enclosed their own outdoor pavilion, and each pavilion was set up in such a way that the students would (hopefully) have plenty of room to practice the tricks of their chosen trades – as well as an outside area that would not need cleaning-up if a fanbrat managed to accidentally lob off a limb or dismember a fellow classmate.
The two opposing wings and their pavilions were separated by the larger, more unified central wing of the university. Comprised of the indoor classrooms, the offices of both coordinators, living quarters for the neutral residents, the cafeteria, the auditorium, and a very large library, this wing was an odd mix of the styles present in the other two, but due to calmer heads and the threat of having their coffee taken away, the building teams had managed to cooperate with each other relatively well until the project had been completed.
On the inside, the university had a more unified look to it, with stone- and hardwood floors covered with fine (and easily-replaced) rugs and walls that were sturdy and uniform – if uniformly divided along their walls by Horde- and Alliance decorations, creating the sense that every hallway had an invisible line drawn down the center. Paintings, masks, and the occasional stuffed animal head decorated the walls of the bigger walkways, and statues depicting heroes from both factions lined the hallway leading from the front of the university to the big auditorium in the very back of the main building.
Of course, today there was a momentary addition to the main hallway. At the moment, a young human woman made her way through it, hauling under one arm a very large stack of applications and muttering under her breath as she made her way to one of the offices. Her progress was slow and marked with the occasional stop for breath, which indicated the stack of papers she carried was perhaps not as light as it appeared to be.
Well, that, and it was bloody hard to carry so many papers in such a way that none of them slipped free and fluttered to the floor.
Eventually, the bespectacled young woman reached her destination; after coming to a halt and heaving a petulant sigh of relief, she brought one foot back and kicked the closed wooden door as hard as she could manage, then stumbled back and spat an incredibly unladylike word as she regained her balance, losing three papers as she did so.
"SC!" she shouted, effectively shattering any idea of timidity her messy brown hair and prescription glasses might have inspired, "Open the door before I drop these and let you deal with them on your own!"
SC, inside, had been making – er – "edits" to the welcoming letter written by one of the staff, and jumped mightily from his chair when the loud BANG resounded through his office.
Without any need for further information, as the sound of the very pissed off voice was information enough, SC scrambled to the door and threw it open. For whatever reason, his sister was wearing a Brewfest dress and a matching pair of slippers... despite Brewfest being only a little less than a year away.
Without any verbal invitation, the young woman shoved past her brother and made her way to his desk, still muttering under her breath.
"So. The... Brewfest outfit. Explanations are in order, please?" SC asked carefully.
"I've been scouring every auction house and marketplace friendly to humans for outfits," she complained as she dropped the stack of applications unceremoniously down on her brother's desk. "So far I've only found this dress, necrology robes, Darkmoon robes, apprentice's robes, and one of Seryl's old robes – and that last one stinks worse than a wet dog. And these slippers are the only shoes I've been able to find," she added, scuffing the floor with the toe of one slipper. "I'd wear them without the socks, but I'm afraid I'd get blisters if I did." She looked up at SC and asked, "What, you're still in Real World clothes? Warcraft clothes are fun, though! I mean, they've got pants and shirts, it's not all robes and armor and leather harnesses..."
SC looked down at his attire. He was wearing what the Specs and Co. called his "Creator Winter Attire" - it was a white turtleneck over blue jeans and grey boots, with a grey cargo hoodie zipped to the neckline. SC's office was quite chilly, hence the heavier clothing. He had neglected to change into Warcraft garments because he had expressed a slight trepidation at his image in full paladin armor.
SC looked back at Kitty and replied, "What? It's comfy."
"Works for me," Kitty said with a shrug.
SC blinked at the sight of stacks upon stacks of paper now littering both his desk and his floor. Thankfully, past experience with invoicing taught him that, indeed, he was capable of working like a machine when duty called, so he was less worried than perhaps he should have been. Realizing he was still holding the welcome letter, something clicked in his brain.
"So, you're still here. I assume there's another problem to discuss?" SC asked.
"If by 'problem', you mean 'lots and lots of applications', and by 'discuss', you mean 'process'." The young woman grumbled some more and looked around for a chair other than SC's to flop down into. "By the Light, this year's applicants are even worse than last year's."
"I figured as much, Kitty," SC replied, wishing to get to his point, "but I meant this." He waved the letter in her face.
"What's that?" Kitty snagged the letter from him and read it over, frowning as her eyes moved lower and lower down the page. "Oh, he's a dead blood elf," she finally growled, crumpling the paper up and throwing it at SC's head. She sighed, buried her face in her hands, and said, "We'll clear that up with the fanbrats when they get here. And make sure Jaina doesn't get her hands on it, or she'll relocate the entire school to the bottom of the ocean."
SC rubbed his head, wondering why he had received a paper bullet to the temple, and said, "Well, for whatever reason, she seems to enjoy stealing my office out from under my feet when I'm not in it, so I might have a bit of trouble in that regard. I think it'll be safer if I just carry it on me."
SC picked up his suddenly-dwarven blunderbuss and poked the rolled-up note down the barrel, praying he wouldn't forget it was there.
"You forget I have an office, too," Kitty corrected. Then she waved a hand as if to shoo the subject away and said, "Whatever. The majority of the copies he didn't send are probably still with the welcome packages, and those are all locked away in my office, so do whatever you need to keep that one out of sight until the orientation."
"What happens if Jaina happens to find out?" SC asked.
Kitty looked over her glasses at the blurry shape of her brother and said flatly, "We pray."
SC thought of every deity he knew, and made a list of the most important ones. "So—"
"We pray." Kitty sighed again, then grabbed a chair from near the door, dragged it unceremoniously over to the desk, and flopped down, grabbing an application as she said, "Now. We have applications to process. Fanbrats to make miserable."
SC looked at his desk and finally winced as the full weight of his new situation set in.
"Come on, come on," Kitty groused, flapping a hand at him irritably. "Grab about half of these things and start looking them over. I didn't bring 'em all here to do this by myself while you watched!"
With a sigh, SC walked to his bed and produced the pen that had been holding his place in his book, then trudged to his seat at his desk and sat down. "Just please, tell me none of them are trying to sign up as dragon aspects of anything. Light help me if I find anywhere in this, 'dragon aspect of unicorns'."
"Well, I haven't really looked through all of them yet," Kitty admitted, at this point paying more attention to the application she was reading than the conversation she was carrying on. "Although this one apparently thinks dragons are vanity items. Listen to this: 'Favorite good character: Saurfang. Favorite evil character: Saurfang. Favorite neutral character: Saurfang on a red dragon.' This one won't last five minutes in our Dragonology class..."
"I- I have a troll who is made of nothing but Sue colors!" SC exclaimed. "Pink braids? Blue skin? Yellow eyes? Silvery fu- wait, trolls don't have fur!"
"Oh, that one sounds like Iv'ana," Kitty said with a grin. "If I remember correctly, she's the one who likes to think of herself as a trollish Jigsaw. Her whole form's basically one long list of reasons why our staff should murder her on sight for crimes against their people."
"So, she wants to play a game, huh?" SC fought back a snicker at his only half-intentional Saw joke. "Murder won't be necessary, there's better ways of dealing with her type. A Melt Face/Resurrection combo would do quite nicely, I feel."
"I'm all for doing half of what she's done in her fanfictions, but I'm pretty sure the Red Dragonflight might want a word with us if we did." Kitty sighed and grabbed another application from the desk.
"What's the point of having a punishment system if we can't enact sweet justice with it? I'm sure plenty of our sin'dorei staff members would appreciate the notion," SC sighed.
"I think the point is that we aren't allowed to do anything to the students that might cross over into grimdark territory," Kitty reasoned. "That doesn't mean we can't find other ways to torment them, it just means we aren't allowed to... well, I think the nicest thing Iv'ana's ever done to her characters is gut one of them and hang him with his own intestines." She blinked at the application in her hand and threw her head back in raucous laughter.
"What's with you all of a sudden?" SC asked.
"Hee." Kitty grinned again and said, "We have our first-ever female dwarf. Kanza Flameheart – she has 'pumpkin-orange' hair done up in braids down her back, she's an Alliance member (obviously), she likes Thrall, and would like to stab and strangle Garrosh. And what, exactly, is a 'kismesis'? Is that supposed to be fanbrat for 'frenemy'?"
"What- what is th- I don't even-" SC stammered. Even the Specs and Co. made some modicum of sense, contrary to this so-called dwarf girl.
"Oh well, at least I know how to mess with her hair..." Kitty grinned and moved on to the next application.
"Oh, for the love of Aeldra, who I know can not possibly hear me in this realm..." SC pinched the bridge of his nose in pain. "So, we have a freaking HOBBIT in Azeroth."
"No," Kitty said cheerfully. "We have a race-confused gnome."
"Im'ma punt it," SC said immediately, more on instinct. Typically, he played a human paladin in Warcraft when he was able, or a dwarven hunter, but one trip to the Horde as a blood elf rogue taught him to see all gnomes as footballs. It was shameful to admit, as well as hilarious to watch when others actually tried to drop kick a gnome.
"Poor little gnomish fanbrats," Kitty giggled.
They processed the next few applications quietly, before SC burst out laughing at the one he picked up next.
"I think we have a canon-confused fanbrat," SC choked out. "He's apparently a Space Marine of the Imperium of Man, Ultramarines Chapter, and enjoys killing xenos, heretics, and... and screw it, he'll be a human warrior with mining. I don't even care! I can't take this one seriously!" SC continued chuckling in an unhinged manner while Kitty reached over and patted his shoulder soothingly.
"Oh, here we have a gender confused blood elf pretty boy," Kitty said, seeming to brighten despite the fact that this was still a fanbrat. "He has unusually short eyebrows, seems to think Illidan Stormrage is a good character – trust me, honey, he hasn't been good since before he was banished to Outland – and lists his lust objects as 'Everything that's taller than him'." She looked up with an entirely unhealthy grin and said, "Oh, and he's a mage. Rommath will enjoy having this one around, don't you think?"
"What I think," SC said, "is that this kid should really have read up on what he was signing up for before he filled out his application form. Here, take a look at this," SC said, pushing the form over to Kitty.
"Oops, this one might have filed a fanfiction under the wrong category." Kitty thought for a moment, then shrugged and passed the form back to SC. "Well, the learning experience won't hurt them... figuratively speaking. Heck, maybe they'll wind up with a new fandom for it. Although I wonder why they wrote 'Polynesian' for their skin color...?"
"I couldn't tell you. Although it seems like saying you have Roman-colored eyes, doesn't it?" SC replied.
"Er... yeah," Kitty said, moving on to the next application. "Oh here we go, another violent tauren."
"That's possible?" SC asked. Then, thinking for a moment about the Grimtotems, he added, "Well, I grant you it's possible, but very uncommon."
"Pendos, huh?" Kitty rolled her eyes. "With 'electric-blue' eyes, black fur, black horns, and the inability to correctly spell the name of his chosen race. Oh, and his horns 'swepe' forward so he can gouge his enemies." Kitty looked up and commented, "I'm assuming he doesn't realize the horns won't 'swepe' forward when he actually lowers his head to do any goring, considering most other races are shorter than the average tauren bull." She continued reading, then grinned and said sheepishly, "Oh, whoops, this is the same guy who's obsessed with Saurfang. My bad."
"What do you expect? We've been doing this for hours, I'm about to up and pass out on the desk," SC said. From one of his drawers, he protruded what he swore was a soda a moment ago, but which was now a brew of some sort. "Frickin' naturalization. All my items have been Warcraft'd."
"Funny, that doesn't seem to happen with the stuff the rest of the staff swipe from the Real World," Kitty commented, looking over one of the last applications yet to be processed.
"Because they smuggled the stuff across. I brought mine in with permission, and look what happens!" SC shook his head and took a sip of the brew (which was very bubbly, leading SC to guess that it was just the soda in a mug), and then promptly spit it across the desk when he caught sight of the next form.
"Well, it smells like soda," Kitty commented as she swiped her last few applications out of the way and moved to sit in a corner of the room, away from the soda mess.
"Okay, sorry about the spray-and-pray there, but you gotta' get a load of this," SC said. "We have a night elf death knight, with icy blue eyes – I assume they're icy blue like limpid tears – who doesn't seem to realize that even if she is Alliance, she's still Ebon Blade at the same time, so she's basically saying that she favors her allegiance over her allegiance."
"That is not spit-worthy," Kitty said with an imperious glare. "She just sounds a little silly, that's all. A year with us should clear all that up."
"I can't help it, I'm really tired right now. Also, who in the Twisting Nether is Tyriade?" SC asked.
"Uh..." Kitty looked up again with a confused frown. "To my knowledge there's no one here with that name. How's it spelled?"
"It's spelled Tyriade," SC said with a somewhat tired giggle. A purple gel pen sailed through the air and smacked him squarely between the eyes, prompting him to flinch. "Uh, it's spelled T-Y-R-I-A-D-E," he corrected.
"That sounds like... that's probably a misspelling of Tyrande," Kitty worked out slowly. "And gimme back my pen." The pen came flying back, and Kitty only barely managed to catch it before it hit her in the face. "This one right here... This one's silly. Asebe Throatpiercer, who is a speshul blue-eyed orc woman who is somehow 'babelicious'. She has thick, wavy, burgandy-colored hair..." She blinked, then flushed a bit as she said, "Uh, she wrote a threesome between Lor'themar, Halduron, and Rommath – and she repeatedly calls Rommath 'old Rommath'." Still blushing, she looked up and said, "We should keep Miss Throatpiercer away from those three. And from Jaina, who she slashed with Aegwynn, of all people. And Liadrin, who she slashed with herself."
"I'll... I'll inform the headmaster that we might need extra security precautions, shall I?" SC said with a nervous chuckle. Then, looking down, he saw two forms in front of him that he hadn't touched yet.
And he flinched at both.
"Right. So. I'm not much of an oracle, but Andrew I see dying within two weeks. Oh man, if Lor'themar ever finds the kid... And no, by nature, humans are typically not Horde. Besides, I don't think the Horde would accept them anyhow – they've already made too big an, uh, 'impression' with the orcs and the blood elves. And Light save me, Arthas is nothing like Darth Vader. Gods numerous, named and nameless, this kid is going to have a lot of enemies." SC produced a notebook from his hoodie's left breast pocket and scribbled, 'Note to self: practice shield spells. Practice them like crazy.'
"Hee, here's one who wants to show up as a human but thought to make it very clear that she plays blood elves exclusively." Kitty gave a very unfriendly-sounding laugh. "And apparently it's another Scourge fangirl..." She looked up with a frown and asked, "What do people not understand about damned to an eternity of soullessness? And if they do understand that part, why do they still lust after the undead so... rabidly?"
"Anyone's guess," SC said. He shrugged and then moved on to the other form."Oh geez, I can't even begin to comprehend this one. So, we have a human who can't decide whether or not she has skin or fur, is a mage but is trying to have a hunter-class pet – one which I don't even think can be tamed anyhow – and seems to have created our newest mini: Scrouge."
At this moment, a Wrath Cadet, looking rather undead, popped into existence at SC's feet. And proceeded to try and attack his knees.
"Shoo, stop that," SC said idly, tapping the Wrath Cadet with his toe. Scrouge's arm popped off by accident, and he proceeded to shake his only remaining fist at SC angrily.
"Whoops. Anyhow, so she's a fan of the Scourge... but has 'none' listed in her favorite evil category. Oooooo-kay. Whatever." SC processed the two forms, then leaned down to help Scrouge put his arm back on.
"Wait, why in the Nether are the Scourge and Burning Legion even available as factions?" Kitty demanded. "Who the hell wrote these up?"
SC rolled his eyes. He had a few ideas, and one was an oversized, giant sword-wielding Lich King. But he didn't say so out loud – they already had several potential crises without confronting Arthas in person. And besides, he wasn't even at the school, meaning it was probably a blood elf who wrote the forms anyhow.
"Oh my god..." Kitty groaned, burying her face in her hands again for a moment. Then she snapped back to attention, forced her face into a smile that was really more of a snarl, and said, "Well, since I didn't catch that little... problem until just now, let's go back through these stinkin' forms and resort the ones who actually picked Scourge or Burning Legion. Just sort 'em by race; humans, worgen, night elves, dwarves, gnomes, and draenei go to the Alliance; blood elves, orcs, Forsaken, trolls, goblins, and tauren go to the Horde."
"What about the Panderens?" SC asked. "Also: Boo, none of these guys signed up as worgens. I would've at least appreciated the effort."
"Pand-A-ren," Kitty corrected, "And that's the plural and singular form, so don't add an 'S' to it. I dunno... if they signed up as Scourge, toss 'em in the Alliance, and if they tried for Burning Legion, toss 'em in the Horde. And we had worgen sign-ups; they were just generically stupid and speshul."
"Okay, so let me rephrase that: I would have appreciated a REALISTIC effort," SC groaned. "Even my OC Adrin was a hideous monster of an Alpha Werewolf, and you KNOW I hate uglifying my characters if I don't have to."
Kitty rolled her eyes and went back through the giant stack of applications for the second time that day. She could only pray that this was the most excitement she would see today, because otherwise—
From beyond the closed office door, there came the sounds of a sudden and brutal fight, laced with taunts and vulgarities and none too few of the screams of a few noncombatant residents of the school.
—it was going to be a very long day.
With a sigh, Kitty shoved her half of the papers away and stalked outside, calling over her shoulder, "Keep working on those; I'll go attempt to break up Varian and Garrosh. Again." Her hands were already glowing with the makings of a fire spell as she slammed the door shut behind her.
SC, in case the fight burst through to his office, pulled out his own spellbook – he was less of a mage than Kitty, but still practiced basic spells – and for the sake of preparedness, removed the hidden letter from his gun's barrel and packed it with ammo as tight as he could. He then went back to processing, completely ignoring the battle shrieks his sister set up as she joined the fray and the even louder squeals of pain as she was promptly swatted aside by the two ever-feuding faction leaders.
Long day? This looked like it was fixing to be a long school year...
Kitty's Note: There we go, chapter two is complete! It's about two thousand words shorter than chapter one, unfortunately, but I still like how it came out! Next chapter will be the orientation process itself, which means those who don't know what's in the 'welcome' letter will finally learn what's so terrible about it! Yay for drawing things out!
Also, in chapter one, I accidentally described Rommath as having short, spiky hair. I was basing his description off the 3D model on WoWWiki, which is TERRIBLY OUTDATED, because dear old Rommath has long hair. Gorgeously long. That little oops has been fixed; thankies to wanda von dunayev for pointing it out – you're a doll! (And everyone else should go read her stuff. Seriously. DO EET.)
And yes, I be a mage. Because fireballs. Glorious fireballs. (Clearly I am not a good mage, nor am I a good fistfighter. Oh well, the bruises make me look tough...)
Oh, and applications are still open for those who want to apply and didn't get the chance before we updated! You'll even still get the surprise I mentioned in chapter one! Yay!
SC's Note: You know, it's very difficult for me to not give ridiculous amounts of shout-outs to the stuff I write. So incredibly hard. Of course, it's also putting me in a great deal of pain to have to restrain myself and not make my character (SC) his canonically overpowered self.
That does not mean I won't keep his on-the-verge-of-murderous-laughing-insanity attitude, though.
I also love how I'm apparently the only person who is suffering the effects of item naturalization, and it's all effecting me negatively. My blunderbuss is canonically a rifle, the mug of ale was of course a soda, my magic book started out as a book CALLED Magyck (Angie Sage, for those wondering), and my trademark glasses have gone conveniently missing. As in, I haven't mentioned that I'm still wearing them yet, because I'm trying to think of a way that they got naturalized by Azeroth as well.
See? I don't even let up on my own damn author insert!