The Beginning of the End

Coach Caven sat in the back of the tavern, table hidden in the shadows of the dreary room. Normally a lively and overly crowded place, the room held just a few patrons, a mixture of human, Orc and the odd Norseman looking for a drink. Times had been hard for The Penalty Box, a fan favorite after a Wrecking Kru victory. Those had not come at all this season, until the final match against the Disco Divas, a collection of talented, yet still very young, High Elves. They had played well, but the frustration of a long and difficult season for the Kru had resulted in three injuries and a death for the highborn team, yet it still did nothing for the followers of the Kru. It seems winning had spoiled them. They expected to win, and expected to be in the playoffs. And, if truth be told, so did Coach Caven. This last season had been very trying. It seemed that everything that could go wrong, did. It all started with last season’s Final against the White Owlz. One failed block by a rookie Black Orc had cost the Kru a shot at MML immortality. That poor luck had carried into this season. The Kru constantly faced opposing wizards, Nuffle turning back the time clock to give opponents extra time to score a winner, or failed blocks and tackles where the Kru normally never failed. Coach Caven sat with his drink, contemplating roster moves, possible opponents for season 7, game plans and the human woman across the room. Beautiful dark hair, dark eyes and a very athletic body, the woman could compete with any Witch Elf for looks. Was she looking at him? He glanced down at his drink again, thinking his imagination was running away with him, when a very sultry voice asked “Is this seat taken?” Caven glanced up, and was astonished to see the alluring woman standing at his table.

“No, it isn’t. Please, sit.” he said. The woman sat in the chair across from him. “What can I do for you?” Caven asked. “Oh, there is a lot you can do for me. Starting with buying me a drink.” The woman said. As Caven called the waitress over and ordered a round of drinks for himself and the stranger, he noticed her seeming to talk into the collar of her jacket. Very strange behavior, he thought. Probably why she was alone, and now sitting at his table. He just couldn’t catch a break this season! “Look, lady, I appreciate the company, but honestly, I’ve got a lot on my mind, and a lot of work to do.” he stated bluntly, with the hope that she would be offended and leave. “Oh, yes, I know you have work to do. And I am here to help you with some of that work. In fact, you have more work than you ever imagined.” She replied, in a matter-of-fact tone. “Do I know you?” Caven asked. She looked across the table at him with a slightly annoyed grimace, then spoke. “My apologies, Coach Caven. My name is Natasha Kerensky. My friends know me as the Black Widow. You don’t know me, but I have been watching you. My colleagues and I are very interested in your services. In fact, we are going to have to insist on your services.”  Caven looked at her incredulously. “I already have a job, Ms. Kerensky. It is a rather good one, too. It pays well, and under normal circumstances, it also brings with it a lot of glory. I work with one of the best Blood Bowl teams in the MML. What more could I ask for?”  She again looked at him, as if sizing him up, or perhaps reading his mind. “Well, how about the opportunity to save the human race? What about honor and duty, the kind that only a soldier fighting for the lives of his companions understands? What about having your name in history books a thousand years after you are dead?”  Caven chuckled. Just as he thought. Another lunatic looking for his attention. “Ok, Ms. Kerensky. I am afraid you have the wrong guy. I am a Blood Bowl Coach, not a fantasy writer or a reporter. Perhaps you should try The King’s Blessing down the street. I’m sure you can find any number of guys there that can help you.” As Caven started to look back at his roster sheet, he noticed her reaching into her jacket pocket. He tensed, getting ready to fight off the attack that was about to come. Surely she had to realize that he was more than capable of defending himself, being a former Blood Bowl player himself? Her hand reappeared from the pocket, and she slipped a piece of paper to him. There was an all too familiar image on it, but it wasn’t a drawing or painting. It was a strange type of paper, and it was like looking through a window, with all the colors and details, but not real. No hand could have drawn that. What had?  “I know you recognize that. You see, I belong to a very elite organization. We are highly skilled warriors, trained in many different areas of warfare. We have a very important mission. That artifact is crucial to the survival of the human race, and we intend to collect it. And we want you to help us.” She said, without a hint of sarcasm or a joke. Could she be serious? What was this all about? “Ok, Ms. Kerensky. Say I was interested in helping you get this. How could the I help you do it?” he asked, unsure if he really wanted the answer to that question. “It’s simple, really. You will coach members of my unit as a blood bowl team. It is the perfect cover for our unit. One that will get us close to our objective without attracting unwanted attention.” she smiled as she took a drink of her ale. “I already have a blood bowl team. Why not just work for us as coaches and staff?” Caven asked.  “NO! It has to be us on the field. We have to be able to have access to certain places withing the Capital, and being members of a Blood Bowl team will allow us that access. Trust me, all that I have offered you will be yours if you take this job. It isn’t often that being the savior of mankind comes around. What do you say?” Kerensky asked him, a hint of intimidation in her voice.  Caven looked her in the eyes, searching for some sign of insanity, a hint of a joke, but it was not there. What he saw instead was the cold, hard stare of a woman prepared, and probably more than capable, of killing in order to complete her mission. “Ok. I will coach your team. What do I have to do?” Caven asked, resignation in his tone. “Good.” she said. “Just as soon as the championship game in the MML is over, you will have the Wrecking Kru make an official announcement.”  Caven’s mind started racing as she began with the details, and in the back of his mind, he wondered if he was making the right decision…

 

to be continued.

3 comments

  1. Loved the story! So, we might see one more season of the Kru bashing through the league while bulding the new human team? Certainly hope so. With the Titans gone and my secret love for Orcs I would have cheered for them all the way. Looking forward to read part 2 of the story, very well written aswell!

  2. Wow caven brilliantly wrote piece! Can’t wait now for the announcement from the Kru after their match. Think you should add creative writing to your list of talents.

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