Coach Gerdleah enters the chamber and strides up the walkway to the large gold throne that looks down on a small curved table. There sits Coach Whiskey, a crystal ball containing the head of the incarcerated Coach Robowhale and Coach– wait, where’s Coach Ntb?
A trapdoor opens and Coach Ntb scrambles up from, er, from somewhere, a caged canary in one hand and something small and shiny in the other.
Coach Robo’s head rotates to Coach Whiskey, “Did you know that was there?”
Coach Whiskey shakes his head. Coach Robo keeps rotating until he’s looking down at Coach Ntb.
“Please don’t rotate like that, it’s very disturbing,” says Coach Whiskey.
Coach Ntb slides a rug over the top of the trapdoor and turns to find everyone staring at him.
“What’s that?” Coach Gerd inquires.
The hand closes sharply, and whatever it was is shoved deep into a pocket, “Nothing-not a thing man-thing, *cough* man, I mean, Coach, er, nothing at all,” replies Coach Ntb as he climbs up onto his chair. And booster cushion.
“Hmmm. Well ok, but be on time in future, please. OK, order, I call this meeting of the MML Pro Skaven coaches to order.” Coach Gerd bangs a gavel.
Silence. Apart from Coach Ntb who sort of squeaks, his chin now resting on the table edge, his beady eyes furtively glancing over the rest of them.
“I hope you are all well? That you have enjoyed the off-season. Well, apart from you Coach Robo obviously. You’re looking, well, barely alive.”
“Hurry up, you don’t want to know what I had to trade for this airtime.”
“Then I shall move directly to the main event. Coaches of the greatest rat teams this side of the disputed lands, this season, it is decided, it is decreed, that it shall be… the Season of the Rogre!”
Coach Robo smacks his head against the inside of the crystal ball, “I gave it up for that?”
Coach Whiskey looks angry. A deep rage burns in his (slightly glassy) eyes. His bountiful mane and splendid chin cloak appear to go rigid, and not in that good, excited kind of way.
“What? Who decided? A Rogre? Those pieces of garbage? Why don’t I just come round your house, eat all your cheese and kick you in the nuts for two hours? I can charge the same if you really wanna waste the team’s gold?”
No-one notices the sly, little grin that plays across Coach Ntb’s face before he slips under the table.
“I hate Rogres. You know I hate Rogres. Everybody hates Rogres. They’re garbage. They smell like garbage and they play like garbage. In fact, I’m pretty certain their armour is made of garbage too.”
Coach Gerd takes a brief moment to make an ‘M’ shape with his fingers before he replies cooly, “You, of all people, need the raw strength and hitting power of the mighty Rogre,”
“Mighty? Mighty?! My bal–
“Dude, chill. We all know that, but, well, if Coach Gerd says we should get one, we probably should. He is, you know, the King.”
“No. I ain’t gettin’ one. Nope. No way. End of story. Now, can we please move on to why ol’ Hoggle at the end there is cowering under the table with some sort of precious?”
Hoggle, sorry, Coach Ntb peers out and snarls.
“OK.. maybe we just leave him be.”
Coach Gerd rises, the room darkens.
“Coach Whiskey. It has been decreed. You must obey the council’s ruling.” Coach Gerd slams his gavel down, “You must obey the Rat King!”
Coach Whiskey folds his arms, his jaw tightens, and a vein begins to throb in his forehead.
Coach Gerd turns away and yells over his shoulder, “And Brian, please, for the love of Nuffle, can you fix this bloody light!”
What Coach Gerd does not know, is that at the moment he declared himself the Rat King, somewhere across town, a whisker tweaked, two lips curled and four shifty eyes opened and narrowed…
Well, three shifty eyes. One’s all cloudy. Cataracts. Old people problems.