by Alan Mittag
A team meeting was schedule for the morning, but I wanted to check in on Tactician beforehand, and see how he was doing after his injury at the hands of The New Orcland Grunts.
After a knock on the door, Tactician answered. “Good morning, Archivist Alan.”
“Good morning, Tactician,” I said. “The fans want to know how you’re doing.”
“How I’m doing?” He settled into the chair behind his desk. The desk was covered in papers and notebooks, many showing Blood Bowl plays, others details on teams and players. “I’m working.”
“You know, with the broken arm?” I said.
Tactician stopped and looked at the cast on his left arm. “Oh yes.” He tapped the plaster. “It itches me whenever I think about it.”
“But you are going to be out for the next game against Just Norsin’ Around?”
“I’m afraid so,” Tactician said as he spread out some pages. “But I will find a decent Journeyman to fill in my position.”
“Are you and Coach Sestonn still considering moving you to a coaching position?”
“We are. But it likely won’t happen until next season. The team is complete at eleven now, but we still need a replacement for me if that’s going to happen.”
“It shouldn’t be hard to find enough money to hire a new lineman,” I said.
“It wouldn’t be. But if we can, we would rather bring in another big name star from one of the farm teams instead.”
Something made a noise above us, in the ceiling. “What was that?”
Tactician stood back on his feet. “I don’t know. Rats maybe? Strange, I have not seen any sign of rats.”
We stood still and listened, but after a few moments of silence, Tactician sat back down.
“Is there anyone you are considering?”
“A few, but this is the most promising.” He spun a stat sheet around so I could read it. It was the record of “Lithe”, the catcher that Dignity had to let go on order to fit under the Farm-To-Pro Team Value cap.
“Lithe,” I said.
The noise sounded again, right above my head. “There it is again,” I said.
We both went quiet. Listening. Silent.
The ceiling exploded inward and Eccentric crashed onto me, dropping us both to the ground in a cloud of sawdust and dirt.
Eccentric jumped up to his feet and said, “You never saw me.” Then he dashed out the door.
I dusted myself off.
“Well, that was unexpected.” Tactician said, looking up at the whole in the ceiling. “I wonder how long he was up there.”
* * * * *
About an hour later the whole team was gathered on the Grandiose Majesty field. The cool winds kicked up Coach Sestonn’s cape as he stood before all of Dignity, silently gathering everyone’s attention.
The High Elves waited, shoulder to shoulder, Dignity’s pros in the front, and the linemen in the back. The linemen had to position themselves to see around their upperclassmen.
“We did a great job against the New Orcland Grunts last week”, Coach Sestonn said. “And other than an injury to Tactician, we escaped unharmed and with great victory.” Tactician nodded from his spot in the back, trying to scratch an itch through the plaster.
“Oh and Eccentric,” Sestonn said, drawing all eyes back to him. “Dignity’s official/unofficial Announcer more_shots said to tell you that trying to give Tenacity a touchdown was a really unselfish move.”
Tenacity slapped Eccentric on the back. “Thank you, Suiônduil.”
Sestonn said, “We’ve come a long way in this season. Dignity is becoming a big name, and its thanks to all of you.” The elves looked at each other, handing out congratulatory nods.
Sestonn continued, “But this week is the big one. This is the week where we truly decide if this is a building season, or if we are going to take the whole thing.” He paused, and his words sunk in. “Just Norsin’ Around is waiting for you. They’re waiting to see what you are made of. They’re waiting to see if you are the real deal, or if this is just another elf team for them to conquer.”
The elves roared in excited disgust.
“It’s up to you to decide. Do we lie down and cower? Or do we stand up and fight? Are you Wood Elves? Or are you HIGH ELVES!”
The team cheered, eleven voices all at once.
“They’re no match for us, Coach!” Eccentric said, his voice cutting through first.
“I’ll remove their playmakers,” Physique said, a promise to his brothers.
“You can count on us, General,” Tenacity said.
“I’m going to break that record for most passing yards!” Royalty said.
The elves agreed with every statement that their stars made. They were ready. This was going to be a war.
Once the cheers had gone soft, Funny said, “I stole their pants. Now they have to play in their underwear!”