VINDICATION

by April O’Neil

The Kroxigor looked me up and down, as if she was sure she wanted to devour me, but not sure if it was in an innuendo sort of way or if she actually wanted to chew my breasts out of my yellow jumpsuit like melons off the vine. After what seemed like a lifetime (possibly my lifetime), she uncrossed her arms, reached her frighteningly long claws back, nudged open the Kevlar door, and stepped aside. “Smack my Skink Up,” by The Progeny, exploded from inside, through a thick cloud of smoke that changed colors as fast as the rainbow strobe lights could move, but which still revealed the outline of a sultry figure dancing on a small stage. I took a deep breath, steeled my nerves, and entered the notorious Blue Oyster Bar.

Why had I entered one of the most dangerous bars in the world? Because the most dangerous bars are full of the most dangerous inhabitants, and my sources (a brain trust of 4 green masterminds with similar interests) told me that, in this particular bar, I would find Blood Bowl’s most dangerous team, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Lizards. The chance for an interview with the most popular team in the Wicked Forest Conference (Fan Factor 7), who had piled up a 6-0-2 record on the Farm and rebounded from an Opening Day loss with a win against a staunch conference foe this week, was worth the risk, I kept telling myself…but with each step I took forward, surrounded by the sounds of glass breaking, random savage fights, and sexual acts being performed openly on dirty furniture, I wanted to turn around and run out screaming.

I was momentarily mesmerized by the gorgeous green dancer, undulating rhythmically and incredibly flexibly, overcast by a bright neon sign that read, “OOLA.” I’d read about Oola in Hedonism magazine, a publication founded by the Circle of Happy Serenity. Apparently, she was a descendent of a beautiful martyr from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I’m usually not into chicks, but I found myself musing that, under the right circumstances, I might…wait, was that a skink carrying a saurus over his shoulder? Both of them were laughing, and, boy, was he moving!! In my direction…

I had only a fraction of a second to figure out that I was about to get trampled, and by then it was too late. Stars exploded in my eyes, and the next thing I remember, the famous TMNL team captain, Spermadactyl, was pulling me to my feet and escorting me towards the biggest booth in the Blue Oyster, the closest thing one might find to a VIP section in this place. As my vision and hearing slowly started to come back, I recognized several other TMNL players, drinking, laughing, and groping several female reptiles. There was Smashceratops, bouncing a female saurus on his lap…wait, was that…it was Itz Pat, of the new Farm team, the Manhatin Lizbians, also coached by Serious Jest! In fact, I spotted several of the Lizbians surrounding us! It appeared that the two teams were partying it up together!

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“I warned you to watch out,” Spermadactyl pulled my focus back to him, and he flashed me a boyish, even attractive, grin. “Are you okay?” I tried to answer verbally, but my windpipe was still settling back into shape, so I nodded instead. “Who ordered her?” he asked aloud, “because they’re about to get Nuffled.”

“No, I’m not…” I stammered, as he effortlessly opened a slit down the front of my jumpsuit, while locking his golden eyes with mine. “How agile,” I thought. His gaze was almost hypnotic…but this wasn’t why I was here, and my professionalism initiated emergency protocol. Clasping my jumpsuit together with my fingers, I managed a somewhat authoritative tone: “We seem to have misunderstood each other. My name is April O’Neil, and I’m a reporter for Just Score magazine.”

Spermadactyl’s grin quickly faded. “Well, I’m sorry we knocked you over,” he said dismissively as he got up and hoisted who I now recognized as Dozey O’Donnell back over his shoulder while she hissed in delight.

As he started to fade back into the smoke, however, I shouted after him: “29!!”

He stopped dead in his tracks. A loud crash boomed from the floor as he dropped Dozey and turned around. “Excuse me, what?” All traces of a grin were gone. He knew exactly what I was talking about. And suddenly I noticed that it was quiet. Even Oola had stopped dancing.

I swallowed hard, dropped my hands to my side as my jumpsuit spread back open to reveal my fabulous cleavage and great abs. Tyrannosaurus Flex, who had his arm around Queen Laqueefya and Xtina Agiscareya, tilted his head and shifted his gaze down to my comely body, but most were locked in on the words coming out of my mouth: “29 out of 32 in the MML. That’s what they ranked TMNL after Week 1. Even after an undefeated preseason, one loss to a very good team with 3 Str5 players, and they rank you 29. I know it’s bullsh*t…you know it’s bullsh*t…the fans know it’s bullsh*t. I mean, you’re already almost as popular as the Green Tide Titans (Fan Factor 8), and they’ve been around since the league was founded!”

The acoustics were really great in this place when everyone was quiet. “What do you want to know?” Spermadactyl quietly muttered as a he walked back over and reclaimed his seat in the booth. The music kicked back on. Oola started climbing a pole using only her legs and her mouth.

ME: Was this a statement win?

SPERMADACTYL: Yes. The Royal Rat Authority was a solid team, probably built better than anyone else in our conference, besides us. Beating them was a big deal.

ME: Unlike any other skink, you are actually a good passer, but no passes were thrown this game. In fact, you earned no SPP. Why?

SPERMADACTYL: All we care about is winning. The rats were obviously focused on keeping me in check…and they’re fast…but they’re weak. We found that there was no point in taking chances when we were kicking their ass with the run game.

ME: I’ll say. 62% ball possession, with 51 blocks succeeded to RRA’s 24, 15 armour breaks to RRA’s 5, 4 Kos inflicted to RRA’s 1, and 4 injuries inflicted to RRA’s 2. Still, was there an element of luck to the win? I mean, RRA turned the ball over with a very unlikely fumble trying to move an extra space near your goal line.

SPERMADACTYL: Have you met Nuffle? The only predictable thing about him is that he’s going to try to screw you when you are at your most vulnerable. This game is all about swimming under the crushing waves and riding the friendly ones for as long as they take you. We caught a couple of really bad breaks ourselves. The Rats are really dangerous, but so are we. And we’re just getting started. Torpedoraptor just learned to sidestep pushes.

ME: Speaking of that, TMNL’s skinks have played brilliantly and aggressively this season. Are you worried that the league is putting targets on your backs, especially yours?

SPERMADACTYL: They can come get some. I’m right here.

Drew Carrymore suddenly entered our section and slid onto Spermadactyl’s lap, straddling him and laying a long, sloppy kiss on him. “Hey baby,” she greeted him, indifferent to her surroundings or the interview in progress.

“Heya, babe,” he winked at her, redirecting his gaze to me as Drew slid down his chest and disappeared under the table.

ME: I don’t get it. I thought the Manhatin Lizbians hate men…by definition.

SPERMADACTYL: Yes, they hate men…as in humans. I’m male…but I ain’t no damn man. As far as gender, some of these ladies go both ways.

He playfully smacked Big Bertha’s tail as she lumbered by. The Kroxigor flashed him what looked like a grotesque attempt at a sexy smile.

ME: Well, how do you feel about humans? Your home opener next week is against the Gottleib Gladiators, a human team.

SPERMADACTYL: I don’t discriminate.

He didn’t even attempt to be discreet about staring at my split jumpsuit. After a few seconds of silence, he continued.

SPERMADACTYL: The only human team to play us so far was one of the two teams that managed to tie us on the Farm, so we’re not taking them for granted. But we have confidence in our team and in our coach.  And even though we share it with the Hissstory of Violence, Jurassic Park is our home. We need to defend it. Hissstory’s been holding down the home front for the past two weeks, and now it’s our turn. We need this win. We…will…have it.

Just then, Spermadactyl’s eyes rolled upwards, he leaned back in his seat and tipped his head towards the ceiling, and I remembered Drew was still under the table. I directed my next question toward Ornithop0wna.

ME: Walk-off touchdown for your first pro victory. How does it feel?

ORNITHOP0WNA: It feels like…vindication…as a team.

I thanked him, flashed a professional smile at as many as I could of my hosts whose attention was not already occupied with some other, more immediate pleasure, clasped my jumpsuit together with my fingers, got up, and headed for the door. No longer was this place intimidating to me. It was raw. It was primal. It was…beautiful.

Lost in my own thoughts, I bumped into someone again. “Excuse me,” I mustered before my eyes recognized the lovely green skin and supple, curvy figure of the lovely creature whose path to the door I had just interrupted. It was Oola. And she was looking at me the same way I was looking at her.

She smiled at me and said, “I was just heading out.”

I hesitated for what was probably a second but seemed like an hour. “Me too,” I smiled back as I unclasped my fingers from my jumper. And the rest of the story is just for my memories.

Royal Rat Authority vs. TMNL available to view at: https://youtu.be/7a_hp8c0898