Sweltering heat poured into the tin can of a prison bus as it rolled down the highway. The Georgia sun was high up this afternoon and the temperature was easily above a hundred degrees. The bus rocked as it rolled down the highway but inside no one made a sound. Driving the bus was a long blonde-haired man with tattoos covering his thick arms and a dark black baseball cap resting on his head. He rolled down the road with no expression on his face and rarely looked in the rearview at the prisoners under his charge.
He pulled the bus over in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere and opened the sliding door. He unlocked the buses door cage and motioned for the occupants to exit the rig. One at a time the towering green and brown monsters slowly rolled out of the bus. The last ones to leave had skin that was dark and scarred and they could barely fit out of the exit without turning sideways.
The prisoners lined up single file and stood as the lone guard checked their chains and shock collars. All knew that even though they could smell freedom they were not free. At a moment’s notice the guard nicknamed “Celt” could send lightning coursing through their veins or even blow their heads off with his sidearm. They knew however he would not do this unless he was attacked, Celt had always been stern but fair with the greenskins. Each one of the work crew had lived at least five years behind bars and had seen countless tragedies and horrors.
These were hardened Orcs who at one time had ruled the inside of the prison without equal. They had bashed head and broken skulls and were the kings of those stone walls. Other inmates feared and avoided the gang only known as the Goons.
But times change, and no dynasty can live forever. A new warden took over a year or so back and brought with him some new guards and a new attitude to the prison. Guards were to be feared and special rules were to be followed. The Goons had stood up to countless groups, but it was hard to fight against a group that controlled the grounds and the offices. These new guards didn’t need just sidearms or shock collars to control you, they had claws…
The new warden was a mountain of a grey wolf with long claws and sharp teeth. He made promises to the public about higher safety standards and cheap prison labor and then turned around and profited off the sale of drugs and black-market items. He ran that prison with an iron fist and had transferred other members of his race to the facility to control the grounds. Constantly other races were stabbed, shocked or even killed until the resistances quelled and the inmates settled into a zombie like state of just living day today without commotion.
The Goons had been broken, their days of ruling the yard were long gone and most couldn’t see past just trying to survive until their release dates. This was still a limited hope the way things had been going the past year. The smaller orcs used to number in the dozens but now they were just down to two. A group that at one time was thirty to forty strong was now down to just twelve orcs left. The fact they had not been wiped out altogether was due in a large part to their stronger dark skinned enforcers and the guard that currently walked before them checking their chains.
Celt was a simple and quite man, he had worked at the Death Coast Correctional Facility (DCC) for over ten years. He lived not far from the facility in a small house near the edge of the swamps. He enjoyed his work and was respected by guards and inmates alike for years, that is until the new warden arrived. Celt had never minded the violence, politics or even the heat that filled those stone corridors, he viewed it as a place where he could bring order to the chaos and fairness to those society had forgotten about. He knew these were hard and brutal men but even they could show community and loyalty if treated stern but fair.
It had taken him almost a year to get to his breaking point. He had watched the warden lie, cheat and murder his way to power over the staff and inmates at the facility. He saw how the guards would treat any that were not undead, wolves or reanimated and it turned his stomach. They had lost almost a hundred inmates in the past year and most were classified as accidents or riot related. Celt had done what he could when he could, but it just wasn’t enough and a day ago came the final nail in his coffin at the DCC.
Celt was manning the yard with 2 other wolf guards when a small fight broke out between a zombie and a smaller orc. Celt dashed over and separated the two quickly and patted them down finding a shank on the spike haired zombie. Celt awarded him points and was sending him back to his cell when the other two guards walked up. They slowly looked at Celt and the zombie he carried by the collar of his prison uniform and told Celt to put him down. Celt told them what had happened, but they just ignored him and asked to see the weapon. Celt handed it over to the larger dark furred guard who took it and tossed it at the orc’s feet. The Orc stared down at it in confusion while the other wolf guard charged and slit the Orcs throat before he or Celt knew what had happened. Celt stared at the Orc bleeding and took off his shirt and applied it to the wound to slow the flowing blood. The larger guard yanked Celt off and bared his teeth at him. Get away and let nature take its course was all the guard snarled at him. The guard then whistled, and a full blow riot started in the yard with the undead sizing up the few Orcs and humans left in the yard. It was a brutal display and appeared to be one sided. The undead all had hidden shanks, knives and even claws while the others had only their fists. It was going to be a bloodbath.
Celt stared at the Orc and then stared at his bloody hands. He clenched his fists over and over in a rage and his muscles began to swell. He stared at the larger wolf mauling a small bretonnian peasant and licking at its ripped throat. He charged and frenzied into the wolf delivering blow after blow into its midsection. The guard looked up at Celt and snarled and Celt promptly headbutted it in the snout to silence it. He then proceeded to stomp and crush the wolfs skull into the dry hard earth. The other guard looked on and took a step back from Celt. He then drew a whistle and called out a few short bursts signaling for additional help. Guard crews stormed the grounds and separated the inmates. The Guard Commander a mountain of a Golem stepped out and commanded everyone back into their bunks. As the guards and inmates filed back in Celt just stared at the destruction of the yard. He stayed there the final hour of his shift and just gazed at hopelessness scene before him.
The next day Celt clocked in and headed to his assigned unit for the day. He was stopped by the wolf from the day before and two other undead guards. They shoved Celt into a side room and told him he was a dead man walking. They had alerted the warden and he had declared it was now open season on any who sympathized or sided with the ‘lesser’ races. Celt pushed passed them and headed back into the hallway. His mind raced, and he thought on what he could and should do. He then darted into the main security office and took a pair of keys. He then headed into the maintenance wing and grabbed a few items. After that he went to E block and called out loudly ‘Line up for road crew duty’. The Orcs appeared confused but lined up and let Celt apply their chain shackles and collars. Celt then led them out the bays and onto a waiting bus.
Now Celt stared at the crew before him. A group that at one time was fierce and strong but now looked weary and broken. He took in a deep breath and raised his voice “Today is my last day with the DCC. I can no longer work at a place that allows the atrocities I have seen. I can no longer stand by and watch the evil that lives in that place. Today is my last day but I could not let myself be the only one to make it out of that place alive.” With that Celt unlocked the first set of chains and stared into the face of a massive black orc. The orc looked at him and then at the rest of the crew. Celt proceeded down the line and unlocked all twelve inmates. He then removed their collars and stepped back looking at them. The Orcs then gathered and talked amongst themselves arguing and going back and forth on what they should do next. A tall but lean Orc with facial tattoos looked at Celt and said, “My name is MosGhost, we want to know why we shouldt kill du and take da bus’? Celt stared at him for a second and started laughing, then he held up two cans of paint. ‘Because I have a plan!”
After telling the Goons crew of his plan to hide in plain site by painting the van as a travel bus and starting their own Blood Bowl team, the Orcs appeared a bit more confused than normal. Celt went on to explain that they could start new lives and even make money, but this didn’t seem to matter. He then told them about all the fame, the fighting and even the killing they could do and not even get in trouble for…this it turned out swayed them in the right direction.
After a month of training and purchasing a field the Georgia Goons were officially formed. They didn’t know what was in store for them, but they knew it had to be better than lives they had left.
Story written by and published on behalf of ColordoCelt