Was this my calling? Was it my responsibility to restore the gnomish race to it’s current form? I didn’t have time to think. I rode straight towards the oil rig, leaving a path of oil and mud in my wake. It’s black plumes of smoke drifted up over the barren, white landscape. As we drew closer, I saw a glint of light from a mining pick. With the rig in sight, I discovered that the area was swarming with mechagnomes mindlessly digging in the hillside.
I dismounted and cautiously approached. “I must not kill them. Underneath that metal armor are my people. They act not on their own will” I told myself. I took the strange looking ray gun from my bag. I decided then, to approach these altered beings in a non-threatening manner. As I walked towards a mechagnome I was startled by a familiar voice. “WARNING! WARNING! INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT!” A rogue sentry bot caught me off guard. Hearing that irritating voice brought be back to the ruins of Gnomeregan. In an instant, I drew my weapon and smashed the bot to bits.
I turned around, and my mechanized brother was running straight towards me with his hammer held high. I blocked his attacks, and knocked him to the ground with my shield. As he picked himself up off the ground I knew this could be my only opportunity. I pointed the gun at his chest and pulled the trigger. In a the mechagnome froze in its place surrounded by a flurry of electrical waves, then the metal appeared to liquify, and change color. In an instant my attacker was a Gnome once again, staring me in the face, completely dumbfounded. “What.. happened? No, that robot! I need to tell Fizzlecrank!” Reality soon flooded his mind. The gnome picked himself off the ground and ran back towards the Airstrip.
Such was the case with many of my attackers. One by one, my Gnomish brethren shed their metal skin and returned to their former selves. As I worked to cure these gnomes, I made my way up the oil rig, fighting off several corrupted robots in my wake. Reaching the highest platform, I let out a long sigh. “This is all too easy”, I thought to myself. Why was it so difficult for Fizzlecrank and his men to return these Gnomes to normal?
At the far end of the oil rig, I noticed a small hut with a large book laying on the ground. Letting my curiosity get the better of me, I entered the room to investigate. The book was written in a language I did not understand, but was filled with some imagery that I found to be very disturbing. There were sketches of mechagnomes, detailing every part of their bodies. Then I noticed an illustration which told the story of the curse of the flesh. I stared at it intensely. My eyes didn’t agree with what my mind came to realize, but it was unmistakable. My people; our very being. We were once nothing more than metal and wires. What does this make us now?
I was startled by a loud clank, as the room was filled with darkness. I turned around to see an enormous mechagnome looking blankly down at me. “So you see, then? You have all been cursed! We are the cure! We are here to help!” It appears I had stumbled upon the writings of Mechazod himself. I picked up my weapons, ready to fight but was knocked to the back wall by an overwhelming force. My bones felt stiff and my body went cold as I felt my insides twist and turn into metal. For a second I did not want to fight it. Why bother fighting the will of the Titans? Why bother going back to my cursed, fleshy body?
My eyes didn’t agree with what my mind came to realize, but it was unmistakable. My people; our very being. We were once nothing more than metal and wires.
In my last, struggling gasp I said meekly “but now we can feel..” I dropped to the ground, and before the metal took over the last parts of my body, I grabbed the ray gun and pointed it directly at my chest. In a second, I was my old self again, and I was furious.
I knocked Mechazod back. He calmly stated, “It is clear that you mind has been corrupted. I do not want to hurt you, as you are my chi..” The robot stopped short, as my weapon made it’s way through his metal skull. With a loud, tinny crash, my savior was reduced to a smoldering pile of scrap metal.
Back at Fizzlecrank Airstrip, I told my story to a cluster of newly transformed gnomes among a few survivors. Their gratitude was obvious, but there was a sense of sadness in the air. Perhaps our fixation with furthering technology was only a distraction from discovering the inevitable truth. We are a race without much of a purpose. We realize now that we are an anomaly, and we are never going to be what we once were.