The Cold Hard Truth behind Coach Sestonn’s Dignity
by Annoymous under dictation by Alan S. Mittag
After the devastating Semi-final loss to the Scuttle Butts, where The Cold Hard Truth were rat-handled all game, Coach Sestonn arrived at his usual press conference in a somber mood. Once again, none of the lizards stood by him.
I knew they were here, somewhere. And probably stalking me from the shadows. Gortlaqs was my own personal nightmare. I could feel him watching me. I swore off reporting. It was a dangerous life. But I find myself drawn to Blood Bowl and the players that make it their home. I can’t keep away, no matter how hard I try.
Coach Sestonn was taking questions.
“So Coach, was this really your last pro match with The Cold Hard Truth? They were MML Champions in their breakout year, and Semi finalists this year. Few teams can show that kind of record.”
“That is true. The Truth has had only 2 losses in 20 matches.”
“And you have still decided to let them retire to the farm?” asked the same reporter.
Sestonn slowly nodded. “I don’t have much choice. I guess the guys were ready for it. They seem to have disappeared. I can’t find them anywhere. Not in the training center. Not in the swamp outside the Terrorium. They’re gone. Maybe after this beat down they decided they were done with me.”
Another reporter asked, “Perhaps the team knew that you were already planning to move on.”
“Perhaps.” Sestonn said. “Our time together was special, and I hope that wherever they are they continue with the lessons they learned here.”
Were my ears playing a trick on me? Could it be true? Was the monster that plagued me actually gone? If so, then this was my chance at redemption. This was my chance to finally finish the interview I started so long ago. Or even better, maybe I can start over fresh reporting on Dignity. Somewhat timid, I rose my hand with my question.
Coach Sestonn pointed at me. “Yes, Alan.”
“As sad as I am to see The Cold Hard Truth go, what can you tell us about Dignity?”
Coach Sestonn smiled for the first time of the evening. It was a good sign. “I brought the Stars of Dignity with me. Would you like to meet them?”
The crowd cheered! I cheered. “Yes!”
“Come on up here, Alan. The High Elves of Dignity should treat you with much more respect than you got from the Truth.”
The crowd cheered for me, pushing me on as I climbed onto the risen stage. I shook coach Sestonn’s hand. Then he motioned towards the parting curtain behind him. Dignity’s banner unrolled from the ceiling, a red lion over the purest white.
Four High elves emerged from behind the curtains. They were all tall, taller than me. One was clearly stronger than the others, broad of shoulder, with arms as thick as any orc.
Coach Sestonn took the larger elf’s hand and lifted it to the sky. “Tenacity!” The crowd erupted. He lifted the hand of another elf, this one with the air of a warrior’s authority about him. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he was once a soldier. “Physique!” The crowd roared louder. Dignity already had a lot of fans from their time on the farm In fact, there was a moment when they had more fans than any of the MML Pro teams at the time. He lifted the hand of the third elf. “Eccentric!” The crowd roared again, though this roar wasn’t at loud as the fans were for Physique. Eccentric seemed to have noticed, rolling his eyes and muttering something about the depth of human stupidity. “And finally our thrower, Royalty!” The crowd burst into yet another roar, excited to finally hear from their heroes.
“Go ahead,” Coach Sestonn said. “Ask them some questions.”
I decided to started with the thrower. Before the words could even escape my mouth, Physique had stripped off his shirt and was flexing his body for the crowd. I tried not to let it get to me. “Royalty. You aren’t the first thrower for Dignity. I followed the rise of this team quite closely.”
Coach Sestonn answered for him. “We had to make a lot of cuts to fit into the MML pro cap. At first we cut Royal. I found him overqualified for the position.”
“And you hired Royalty a few games later.” The crowd wasn’t even listening to me. They were watching Physique, cheering him on. Women from all over the Empire had pushed themselves to the stage for a better sight of him, and the elf was milking every second of their attention: flexes, winks, and blown kisses.
“I think I have proved myself suitable,” Royalty said.
“Oh, I agree,” I said. “You show even more potential than Royal did.
“Thank you,” the thrower said, rolling his eyes at me like I had said something wrong. High Elves had a strange culture, I hope I didn’t accidentally insult him.
The crowd was glued to Physique. So I brought my next question to him. He was annoyed with me from my first word. Or maybe disgusted would be a better description.
“Physique, you all but ruled the farm during your time….” He rose his hand to cut me off.
“You think you’re special, don’t you?” Physique said.
I didn’t know how to react to that.
“You think people want to read your stories? Well, they don’t. They want to read My stories. I’m just too busy to write them so you get to step up.” The crowd cheered at his words. “You understand that. Right, boy?” The elves behind me chuckled.
Physique stepped right up to me, his head titled down to look me straight in the eye. I had no choice, I had to look away. He seemed to take that as a victory, pumping his fist to the cheers of the crowd.
I turned around to speak with the larger elf, Tenacity, but a hand on my shoulder spun me around. “Hey! You aren’t done talking with me yet.”
I was face-to-face with Phsyique again. Laughs broke up the crowd’s cheer. My eyes fell to the floor again.
“Look at me,” he said. I never saw the slap that stung me. “I said look at me.” My eyes went back to him, hand rubbing at the sore side of my face. “I like you boy. You write for me now.” I tried to look back at Coach Sestonn for help, but Physique gripped my jaw in his hand and turned my head back to him. “Say it.”
“Say what?” I mumbled through broken speach. My body was shaking. My heart was pounding. I din’t know where I lost control. I din’t know what happened.
“Say, ‘I write for you now, Physique.’ Or I am going to break your arm.” He said it with a smile on his face. The crowd laughed, especially the women that had been swooning over him a few minutes earlier.
“That’s enough, Simenion.” Another hand grabbed Physique’s by the wrist. “You have already frightened the poor child enough.”
Physique released me. The crowd laughed again. “I guess you’re right,” he said to Tenacity. “He knows his place.”
I risked a quick look around. Eccentric was sitting on the edge of the stage, conversing with a few teenage girls. Royalty was signing autographs for a group of kids. And Coach Sestonn was gone. Where did he go?
“Don’t you?” Physique said to me.
“What?” Was the only response to escape me.
“Guess not.” Physique launched himself at me. His shoulder hit me square in the face. I went down to the stage, flat on my back. He was flying through the air, falling through the air, right on me.
The crowd roared again. A thousand voiced in unison, “PILING ON!”
And now here I am, giving this dictation from a hospital bed. Both of my arms broken. I hate to say it, but I already miss both The Cold Hard Truth and my Gortlaqs.