Journey’s End

The final whistle sounded. Git’s head sank. So close, and yet so far.

2-1. Defeat.

It had been the longest and hardest of seasons for Dead Metal. 10 grueling games (barring the inordinately powerful fireball that had ended one of the games prematurely). The team had walked past the fabled MML trophy on the way onto the pitch vs the Midnight Howlers, but it had proven a bridge too far. The disappointment was palpable for the coach, they had largely been unfancied, but they had slowly won the respect of their rivals. This team, that had began with the most reluctant and unexpected of alliances inside the Royal Rat Authority locker room had come far closer to delivering the dreams of Git than those rats ever could have, and despite them mostly being mindless or spiteful creatures, Git had developed a real lasting bond with them.

The awe inspiring, almost majestic form of Skrakh the Fourth …

The agility and elusiveness of the ghoul, Ratcollector …

The unrelenting guts and persistence of the zombie Bishop …

The idiot-savant Gerhart Steepcaps …

And Blavod the Black.

Blavod had been savaged by the star wolf of the Howlers, Amaris Fangless before half time, and though he had somehow completed the game, he had all-but succumbed to his injuries on the pitch. Git had commanded Skrakh to carry his fallen comrade off the pitch and load him into the wagon set to travel back to the Temple of the Maker – perhaps he would take mercy and grant him another chance …

He stood on the pitch and looked wistfully into the night sky.

*****

The Temple of the Maker, August 26

Git knelt before the cowled, faceless form of his benefactor, flanked by the towering Skrakh & Akhenaten. On the pitch, they are mine to command, but these constructs follow power and power only, Git mused to himself.

You come before me with no trophy, no victory & no offering, and you expect me to restore this pitiful minion?” The words came out in a venomous hiss, all spite and a hint of condescension.

“I have brought you victory, I have brought you a prize greater than the trophy, and I have an offer for you … ” came the reply from the coach. “We have defeated some of the finest teams in the league, our name is known across the land … if the trophy is that important, why haven’t you simply taken it? Why go to this trouble?”

Silence.

Git rose, unsure of the situation. Had he gone too far? Questionning the Maker was downright heresy, and as if to remind him of this fact, a searing pain spread from his right hand – the Hand of Glory. The runes were pulsing, radiating an unbearable cold that reminded the coach all too well of the beginning of this life …

“Good. You are learning. Become what you were meant to be, but first a bargain is to be made. Give him up, what use is a broken servant to you?” Momentarily, the pain stopped, as if it were the judge of the coach.

“I need him … the ghouls obey him, the shamblers fear him, the -”

Wrong. He is just an extension of your will. The power of the Hand bends all to its will, and each victory strengthens that will. Think on this, but first, your offering …”

Git paused. He was unsure if what he was about to say was wise … Steeling himself, he opened his mouth …

“I pledge my service to you for one more season – if I cannot deliver what you require, then my soul is forfeit.”

The Maker appeared to slightly recoil in his throne. He must be considering it – no undead team had ever come so close to glory …

“But first, need him back.”

Very well, a bargain is struck. Rise, place the Hand on him.”

Git obeyed. Rising slowly, never taking his eyes off the seemingly-now interested figure of the Marker ahead of him, he strode forward to the plinth where Blavod’s broken body had been laid down, and rested the increasibly heavy Hand of Glory upon his armour

Read the inscription.”

Git looked down …

 

 

As he read the words, the body of Blavod began to crumble to dust, and a faint blue light was absorbed into the Hand. Git shrieked in despair whilst the room filled with dancing light and shadows

His body was broken & useless, but there are many bodies in this world. You know what must be done, and I have granted you the power to carry it out. Begone at once, and forget not our bargain. A soul cannot be taken, but it certainly can be given. Your words are your bond. Go.”

With that, Skrakh & Akhenaten strode towards the coach, as if to escort him away. Git looked upon the empty suit of armour with sadness and a feeling of loss, but perhaps there was still a way …

“Come. We have work to do.”

With that, Git spun on his heels and strode out of the room, his mummified entourage in tow.

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