Orders in Secret

 

The ball sailed through the air with targeted precision, as if thrown by a prince of Arioch. Conquaxl never failed to hit his target. But the newest recruit to InGen Apocalypse was not as reliable. The ball hit Dino Eyepet square between the eyes as his arms flailed helplessly about his head. The impact merely changed the direction of its flight and as it now torpedoed towards the ground it was absorbed by a flash of blue as compi caught it with a diving catch just inches from the ground. Knives cursed heavily at Dino Eyepet, why the coach hired him he had no idea. Dino Eyepet was certainly not a good replacement for Knives, who was now serving as assistant coach after receiving a career ending smashed ankle. Still despite their newest recruit providing mostly only comedy value the team was looking strong in training and was riding high after their best start to a season yet. That was one reason Knives wondered why the boss had chosen such an important time in the season to once again leave him in charge and take the day off. Still with the support of the other Lizardmen coaches they were now closely associated with, Knives was teaching the InGen Apocalypse team all kinds of new tricks…

Meanwhile..
The shining blue dome cast a lonely yet beautiful image onto a horizon otherwise dominated by pure golden sand. Against the blue skies it appeared to ripple and flow like pure suspended water. The
Khemri who chose to play BloodBowl at Xanadu had long ago devised the dome as a means to prevent the ever burning desert sun from impeding their passing game. Wyatt wondered if it had ever even once needed to hold off a rain storm or blizzard.. As he drew closer he passed a line of smooth blackened glass in the sand. Smoke arose from it and the entire area was littered with dry animal bones, some partially turned to ash. The inhabitants of Xanadu apparently cared little for what effect their dome had on the surrounding area, as long as it directed the heat from the sun away from them.
As he approached its outermost boundaries it seemed to almost vanish, the water which appeared so solid from afar was but a vaporous mist as he traversed it.
The city of Xanadu was not what he expected. He had once again received a summons to this place by means of a curious flying beetle which seemed to communicate with him telepathically. The message was urgent and charged with authority. Yet Xanadu appeared to be one of the most nonchalant and relaxed locations he had ever visited. As he walked down the main path to the centre of the city and the Blood Bowl stadium he passed many weary looking skeletons indulging themselves in pursuit of the arts. Musicians, artists, athletes, architects and philosophers to name a few. In fact their number seemed mostly to comprise of theologians and scientists. Yet one thing did strike him about these strange Khemri in their ancient city… their wealth was excessive. Whilst most buildings were simple and made of stone, each had its own courtyard or roof terrace or wooden extension and all without exception contained piles of gold and gemstones. Amassed over millennia and now an eerie reminder of how hollow a victory their acquisition had been. As Wyatt approached the Blood Bowl stadium at the centre of Xanadu he had a strange thought cross his mind..

Would he ever actually leave this place? Or might he end up trapped here forever like the tired old bones who pace about the city desperate for the famine of mortality to be lifted.

At the centre of the pitch the tomb guardians stood quietly watching over the skeletons who ponderously marched up and down the pitch changing direction at seemingly random intervals. “I was summoned!” Called out Wyatt.
One of the guardians turned slowly to look down at him. “We need more, previous information is insufficient, you will now deliver the order to us directly. Provide us with the location of the Secret Order of the Lizardmen.” Wyatt was visibly confused and took a step back as he replied, “I-I don’t understand, you said my debt was repaid. Why do you attack the order like this? I believed you were their allies.” A voice from behind him answered the question. “Loyalty is not a quality appreciated by the Khemri Wyatt, but they do appreciate wealth, something we have in common..” Wyatt spun around to see the short, big eared Goblin behind him. Flanked by two heavy looking Blorks. The Goblin continued, “We provide the Khemri with the wealth they so love and they have provided us with the means to bring down the SOL. Thanks to you.” The seriousness of his betrayal was beginning to dawn on Wyatt, “I would help the Khemri, but not you.. Not Goblin Gambling! Why do you even care about the order??!” The Goblin scratched its nose before stepping on its toes and leaning towards Wyatt, “We are currently engaged in a consolidation operation. Furthermore, your order has enemies. Enemies prepared to deliver even more power to Goblin Gambling should your order collapse and your team return its undivided loyalties to them…” “InGen…” whispered Wyatt. “I won’t cooperate!” He continued. The Tomb Guardian waved its arm in his direction, Wyatt fell to the ground grasping his right arm. It began to shrivel up and disintegrate, whilst his face started to blister and crack from extreme heat. He let out a bone chilling shriek. The Guardian waved his arm again and the injuries once again vanished. Wyatt was panicked and gasping for air on his knees clutching his arm. “You won’t sabotage our deal small one” grumbled the Tomb Guardian, “We have still more gold to be delivered to us.” The Goblin approached Wyatt and stood over him as he knelt. “Deliver the order to us, and return to InGen they want their team and its coach to heel. If you do not, you and your entire team will discover just what kind of ending the enemies of Goblin Gambling suffer..”

Wyatt left Xanadu that day once again a broken man. He knew Goblin Gambling and an entire legion of hired Black Orcs would soon descend on the Lizards ancient hideaway. He had been forced to betray his friends to save his team and his life.

Another reminder that the only constant in the universe is greed and that all roads lead to Goblin Gambling.

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