“Now remember, you must put people in their place quickly and firmly, every time, or else they’ll walk all over you! You’re a woman, and a Gnome, and you’ll never get respect in this world unless you demand it. Understand?”
“Now, what is your strongest weapon Roxinne?”
“My tongue Mama.”
“The mind it’s attached to.”
“I want those revisions on my desk by the end of the day! It is inexcusable that it’s taken you more than just a couple of hours to finish them. We’re not running some two-bit lower Gnomeregan rag here people! This is Engineering Monthly, the most prestigious journal in Azeroth, and I won’t have anything less than perfection!”
The Gnomes surrounding her, chastised, scattered and started their given tasks. There were, of course, mutterings and curses, names hurled her way, and so on. Roxinne Sproketspark didn’t care. They obeyed her, did as they were told, and not a one of them had the courage to challenge her directly. That was enough for her.
Roxinne walked back to her desk, covered in neatly organized piles of correspondence, and began to sort through this day’s submissions. The submission at the top immediately caught her eye, with a title and content very similar to her own work – work that had begun her meteoric rise to the position she held today.
Unique Applications of Fluidic-Dynamics in Internal Combustion Engines: Making the Most of Existing and Heretofore Unrealized Liquid Fuel Sources. by Pommie Tappet
Roxinne began to read, and felt her throat begin to close up. This was good. This was very, very good. Too good. This could revolutionize the field, and in doing so, completely overshadow her own work. There was no way that could be allowed to happen.
She knew what she had to do, the voice of her mother echoing in her head. “Eliminate the competition by any means Roxinne, before they can do the same to you. By any means!” She wrote one editorial comment on the submission, "Absurd!" in bright red letters, and composed a short letter to this “Tappet” written on her own stationary in her characteristic clipped tone.
Dear Miss Tappet,
Your article is rejected. Your application, your calculations, and I dearsay your creativity are at best amateur, and this work has no place within this publication or any other. I strongly suggest you explore a new line of inquiry, as the finer points of Engineering will likely be forever out of your reach.
Prof. Roxinne T. Sproketspark, Ph.D.
There, that should do it. With any luck, she’d never enter this field again, and this would be the last Roxinne would ever hear of her. Her heartbeat slowed, and she found herself able to relax a little. It had been a productive morning! She smiled, and went to make herself a good cup of tea.
This girl was infuriating! No matter how many time she had told her to leave, to leave “right now”, and to no longer darken the floor of her shop under any circumstances, there she was with each new day, examining her mechanical creations and asking questions. So many questions! Roxinne was very close to "using" one of these devices on the girl, perhaps one of the sharp and pointy ones, if she came back today.
As if on cue, she heard a soft cough behind her.
“If you’re here to ask the same inane questions, I’m afraid I cannot help you today girl. Go back to your castle, or church, or wherever you types hang out. Humans have no capacity for this type of work, and that goes double for one as young and as simple-minded as you! Concern yourself with simpler things, like combat or housekeeping, and you’ll be much happier. Understood?”
She turned, triumphantly, expecting to see the tears, the downfallen eyes, and the girl walking away and out of her life. She was dumbstruck to see the girl still there, examining her new timepiece. Roxinne fumed, and prepared another onslaught, one that no girl could resist with her self-esteem intact. Before she could open her mouth, the girl spoke.
“This gear, here, and this power coupling. I don’t think they’re working like they should. If you reconfigured it using that wiring harness over there, I’ll bet the battery would last twice as long.”
“What?” Roxinne walked over, looking over the device incredulously. “What on earth are you talking about? I built this myself, and…”
And the girl was right. Damn it! She was right! This was bad, really bad. A girl this young, and a human, telling her what to do? She would have to be dealt with, and harshly. Too much of a threat. Too dangerous!
“Listen here missy. I don’t know where you learned those words, but…”
“I know you’re afraid of me,” the girl said, her eyes still on the device.
Roxinne was, for the first time since she was a child, completely struck dumb. Unable to do anything but look at the girl in front of her with eyes open wide. The girl lifted her eyes to look at Roxinne.
“You’re acting like the other Knights, back in Lorderon. They were afraid of me too, because I’m good at using the Light. I don’t want to be good at that anymore. I want to be good at this.”
Roxinne sputtered, and was about to protest when the girl spoke again.
“I’m not a threat to you. I don’t need people to know I’m good at things like this, I just want to learn them. I’ll work for you and let you take all the credit. Will you teach me more?”
A fierce battle was erupting in Roxinne’s mind. Her mother on one side, demanding that she crush this young girl, destroy her, and ensure she would never be a threat. On the other side, a small, scared little Gnomish girl – sick of fighting everyone and sick of being alone. Roxinne could never explain why, but for the first time, ever, the little girl won.
“You will do what you’re told, and start from the very bottom. Any less, and you’re gone from here. Understand?”
“Yes” Said the girl, “Thank you.”
Roxinne nodded. “Begin by reconfiguring that timepiece. I want to see if your hunch is correct. You have one hour, and the tools are there on the table.”
The girl set to the task, and Roxinne watched her for a minute, her eyes softening a little. She turned to walk back to her bench, and then a thought struck her.
“Girl? What’s your name?”
“Suzanna Marris ma’am. You can call me Suzy.”
Last edited by Suzanna Marris on 2015-03-17 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
"HOW DARE YOU! Put me down you Elven bitch! Put me down this instaaaaa!"
wake up roxie
*no. lemme alone.*
Wake up, Roxie.
*pushing, shoving.. go away!*
Come back Roxie! Please wake up!
"So this is how it ends? Hm? Here, in the darkness the rest of your life? You'll never succeed this way Roxie. You'll never have the respect and recognition you deserve!"
"leave me alone"
"Excuse me? I didn't hear you Roxie. Speak up dear! A quiet voice is never listened to."
"Leave me alone!"
"How.. dare you! You will not speak to me that way! I have given you all you have today! All you are, you owe to me!"
"All I am, is alone and unloved! Nobody likes me! Everyone is afraid of me or hates me! Even... even Suzy!"
"Better they stay afraid! People who fear you will not hurt you!"
"I AM HURT MAMA! I'm trapped here in the darkness, with you, and I don't want you here anymore!"
"What are you saying dear? Have you gone mad? I want nothing more than to..."
"I DON'T WANT YOU HERE ANYMORE! I hate you! All you do is hurt people! All you do is push them away! The only friend I have I have is because of me, not you! Leave me, and never come back! GO AWAY YOU HORRIBLE BITCH! I DON'T NEED YOU ANYMORE!"
Last edited by Suzanna Marris on 2015-03-24 12:27 pm; edited 4 times in total