The Rat’s Nest was a quiet place after the spectators cleared out. The game with Greendale left the team with a tie on the record but there was no reason to celebrate. The Ratlings retreated to the nooks and crannies where they felt most comfortable and safe. Each would mourn Nurgre The Lethal’s death in their own way. Coach StuffnJunk had already learned it was best to let the team go their own way: forcing them into gathering before a “broken man-thing” would do nothing to ease the mounting tension. Besides, they knew what was coming…
The smell hit coach Stuff even while sitting on the sideline next to the still-warm body of Nurgre. Coaching a Skaven team had rendered his nose immune to some of the foulest smelling substances in the known world but there was no mistaking this odor.
“How do you stay on his shoulder day after day with that stench, Seek?” Coach Stuff asked as the footsteps approached.
“Destroy take great pride in his stink-aura. Seek no question him. Seek question why Goblin Gambling Company let man-thing-coach kill more players. Seek question who will pay for his brood of eight rat-pups.” the rat creature atop the Rat Ogre’s shoulder said in a voice that sounded like nails on a chalkboard.
Coach StuffnJunk turned to be faced with what had to be one of the largest Rat Ogres on record: a 9 foot wall of pure muscle and hatred. The tiny creature atop his right shoulder looked more like a wizard’s failed attempt at creating a rat homunculus: bald, wrinkled skin covered the creature from its overly pointed snout to its twisted legs that could barely keep it upright.
“Surely the Company has some sort of life insurance for his family, or at least enough for us to bury Nurgre?!”
The explosion of tittering laughter from Seek was almost as sinister as the burning anger in Destroy’s eyes. “You think Company cares about the rat-players? Or human-coach-thing? Goblin Gambling own the MML! Who you think made ‘big mistake’ in Kru v Dignity? Who you think keep ‘Don Jamaica’ alive in Orcatraz? Who you think paid for Greendale college team to go Pro? You think Company really cares about life of one Linerat with this power? No, you pay for Nurgre arrangements! And Nurgre rat-pups! Never forget what you owe, and who pays if you don’t… StuffnJunk.“
As usual the small Rat used the nickname, given to him by the Repulsive Ratlings players, as an insult. The anger flowing through coach Stuff was nearly enough to make him explode as the Gutter Runner Slinij ran between them at a full sprint. Destroy’s hand darted out after him but was only able to catch air, followed shortly by coach Stuff’s throat while he lifted him from the ground.
“We heard you been game announcing too coach. Hope its paid gig cuz Company wants it cut of that. An extra 100 gold a week now. And get that Gutter Runner under control before we decide you can’t! Next week better be good or you might not walk away…” Destroy dropped the coach from his shoulder level and turned away, most likely to let the twisted Seek report to his superiors. When they left the stadium Slinij returned to stand in front of Coach Stuff.
“Gather the team. We have a funeral to attend.”
The Gutter Runner darted away without question.
Nurgre’s funeral was a quiet experience. His body was burned on the sideline where he lay. The team sat in silence until the last of the flames were gone. The Goblin Gambling sponsorship sign was used as kindling. Coach StuffnJunk knew there would be repercussions: but for now the team would mourn together.