The Cold Hard Truth – Part 2
by Alan S. Mittag
After my last encounter with The Cold Hard Truth, I was reluctant to meet with Coach Sestonn and his team of lizardmen. During my last encounter, one the Truth’s mighty saurus kicked me into the mud and nearly bit my head off. My whole head! So yes, I immediately refused when my editor told me to get another interview with them.
But I like money. So, paycheck in hand, here I am once again standing outside the Truth’s Stadium, the Terrorium. The last time I was here the stadium was run down. One could even say it was falling apart. But now the Terrorium is rebuilt and actually quite stunning, with a Royal Box right over the center. The stadium wasn’t in use this week, but I can still see a small cleaning crew moving about the seats, keeping it primed and ready.
Coach Sestonn was waiting for me in the same place as last visit, on a mound of mostly firm earth overlooking the swamp that surrounds the stadium. Unlike last time, the team was out and practicing. Six skinks ran back and forth, picking up a tattered old blood bowl ball and handing it off. They preformed the same drill, over and over. In a separate area, six saurus and the Truth’s Kroxigor, Kro’lotha, were throwing blocks on each other. A few were practicing perfect block technique, and the others seemed to specializing in power and brute force. Kro’latha seemed to have mastered both.
Coach Sestonn noticed my approach and met me halfway. “Welcome back to the Terrorium, A..Al…” He stumbled over my name and amended it with “Reporter,” moving right along. “There’s been a lot of changes since your last visit.”
I shook his hand. “I can see that, Coach. The Stadium is looking great. The team is starting to come together. Other than a rocky start to the season, The Cold Hard Truth is looking great.”
“The loss of that first game still haunts me,” Sestonn said. As he spoke I kept an eye on the group of saurus behind him. They had stopped their blocking drills and were watching me with careful, predatory eyes. “Coach Sacerdotalist is a fine tactician, but I still blame myself for that loss. I was overconfident and stupid…” The saurus started walking towards us and I felt a shiver run across my spine. I couldn’t hear what Coach Sestonn was saying. I couldn’t hear anything but my own heartbeat.
BaBOOM! BaBOOM! BaBOOM! Every beat louder and louder.
Sestonn noticed my nervousness and turned around to see the saurus approaching us. He pointed at them and snapped his fingers with a single sudden motion. The Kroxigor and five of the saurus lowered their heads at his command. But the last one, the one I recognize from my nightmares, roared its defiance and leaped forward into a charge.
I don’t know what happened after that. Maybe Sestonn stopped him. Maybe the monster killed his coach. I don’t know. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me. I don’t need a paycheck if I’m not going to be alive to spend it. The only thing I know for sure is that I will not be doing another interview with The Cold Hard Truth.