Cold Hard Dignity
By Alan Mittag
The home to Dignity Incorporated towered over the city around it. The construction was clearly elven, smooth, and plaster white as it twisted into the sky, lined with mirrors of glass windows on every floor. I stared up at it amazed. How tall was it? 100 floors? More? My jaw went slack. Dignity Rocks. That’s what was responsible. “F’orc’n Dignity Rocks.”
Lala took my hand as she stared up at it. A single word escaping from her red, painted lips. “Wow.” Her parents were involved with Goblin Gambling. They were small time, but still involved. From the look in her big dark eyes and the stunned expression between her long green ears, I knew she never saw anything quite like Dignity Tower.
She smiled at me and squeezed my hand. “Let’s go in.”
It was my first time in Dignity Tower. A beautiful blond elven woman waited for us at the front desk. She said something in elven. It sounded real pretty. Then, she rolled her eyes at me because I couldn’t understand her language. “Can I help you?” She said, attitude and all.
“I’m here to see Coach Sestonn?” I said.
She looked down at Lala, then back at me. “And you’re bringing that goblin up with you?” The disgust was obvious.
“She’s my wife.” I said.
The elven woman closed her eyes, and gave the slightest shake of her head. Disgust? Disbelief? Then she said, “Just make sure it doesn’t touch anything.”
It? IT! That stuck up bitch had the nerve to say that right in front of us. I stepped forward. “What did…”
She snapped her fingers. There was a flash of bright blue light, and BAM!
Lala and I were standing in front of an office with a series of Blood Bowl symbols on it, most of which I recognized immediately. The Lizard of The Cold Hard Truth. The Red Lion of Dignity. The grinning spiked moon of What Chainsaw? The Chaos helm of The Seven Deadly Sins. But there were others. Many others. And above the heraldry, engraved in silver and gold, read the words, Coach Sestonn.
“Come in,” came the Coach’s gruff voice.
Coach Sestonn sat behind his desk. The golden chainsaw that hung in his office at the Chainsaws R Us stadium gleamed above him. “Come in, come in.” He said. Standing up from his chair to welcome us. He shook my hand, and Lala’s.
He pulled seats out for us and said, “Have a seat.” He sat down across from us and said, “You disappeared on me half way through last season, Alan.” He looked mad. But it passed almost instantly as he looked at Lala. “I guess, now I know why.”
“This is Lala,” I said. I hoped he didn’t ask how we met. I still can’t remember that night. Judging from the news and the blood I woke up in, I figured it was best left unremembered. I smiled down at her. …she’s been great. A relationship I never would have expected, and never would have tried if I had been sober. The disaster that night was, was the best thing I could have ever hoped for. “She is kind, loving, and stronger than you could ever believe.” Her green skin flushed yellow and she squeezed my hand.
“Then, I’m glad you found each other.” Coach Sestonn said.
I cleared my throat. “So Coach, why am I here?”
“After last season, I learned something from coaching goblins.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“They suuuuuuuck.” Coach Sestonn said.
I second later his face flared red in embarrassment. “Oh crap, I’m sorry.” He said to Lala.
She waved him off. “At least we aren’t halflings” she said.
Coach Sestonn chuckled. “The one team I have no interest in trying.”
We were silent for a moment before I asked, “So who are you bringing for the new season?” Was Dignity coming back? Was The Seven Deadly Sins? Was The Cold Hard Truth?
Coach Sestonn let out a long sigh, and rested his head in his palm. “I don’t know.”
“Dignity is ready to come back. But they’re still shaken. They don’t really want to play without Tenacity. He was such a pillar to their team. So much that, without him, they aren’t even the same team anymore.”
I nodded. That’s about what I expected. He was the team’s big brother, and they are lost without him.
“The season 2 Champions, The Cold Hard Truth, are also ready to come back. I had to make a lot of cuts on them to get them down to the farm-to-pro rating, but they are ready. And they are strong. But it will take a building season to get them back up to pro status. I had to let go of all the established skinks, and start with a new crew. But they’ll grow fast.”
I gulped down my fear as Coach Sestonn talked about the team that still haunts my nightmares. Please. Please no. Not them. Anyone but them.
“Then, there is a vampire team that I have been hired to coach.” Sestonn continued. “The team owner calls himself “The Master”, and even participates on the field. He was a huge Dignity fan back in the day. In fact, he traveled to Ulthuan and had Tenacity’s body removed. Dignity’s Big Brother is a vampire now, and he’s actually doing pretty well. Learning and growing quickly. He has even kept his natural elven agility.”
“Vampires?” I said.
“Sanguineous Dignity, “The Master” named them. An homage to Dignity. And I have to say, he is just as haughty and uptight as Royalty ever was. I can see success with this team.”
“So… Vampires?” I asked again.
Coach Sestonn looked up at me. “Then there is Pustules Repugnant.”
I swallowed hard. “Nurgle?” The word came out as a whisper.
“There is a lot of promise in that team. Their star, Sweetpus Soup, is one of the strongest Nurgle Warriors I have ever seen, and he has already taken on a leadership role. The team is still developing, but wow, there is a lot to see in their future. All of the warriors are growing. And their puppy… It’s so cute! …But I don’t know if they are ready yet. They will need a building year for sure, if I bring them.”
Their puppy is cute? Gah! I’m going to get Nurgle’s Rot. I know it.
“So that’s where I am. I don’t know which team to bring. Dignity. The Cold Hard Truth. Sangineous Dignity. Or Pustules Repugnant.”
“What do you want from me?” I said.
“I want to you to ask your fans. To ask the millions of Dignity fans that still read your articles. Ask them who they want to see, who they want to cheer for. Do they want me to force Royalty and Physique back on the pitch, even with Dignity in shambles? Do they want to see the return of the Seeason 2 Champions, The Cold Hard Truth? Do they want to see The Master’s homage to Dignity, Sanguineous Dignity, and watch Tenacity and Mr. Bitey grow into legends? Or do they want to see Sweetpus Soup lead his Pustules Repugnant and their tentacle puppy to a building season that eventually leads to victory after victory?”
“So you are leaving the decision to the fans, then?” I asked.
“Not necessarily, but I value their input.”
I nodded my head. Coach Sestonn hasn’t been the same since losing Tenacity either. Tenacity was a symbol of hope and stability, crushed in his prime by a rookie wood elf thrower. Some things are hard to get over.
So here we are, readers. Help Coach Sestonn decide what to bring to the new season of the MML.
- Dignity: High Elves. Free Soap. Fruit Baskets. But no Tenacity. A team with its spirits broken.
- The Cold Hard Truth: Lizardmen, the Season 2 Champions, without their veterans and in need of rebuilding.
- Sanguineous Dignity: Vampires. Forged from the loss of Dignity, and the new home to Tenactity, Dignity’s lost star.
- Pustules Repugnant: Nurgle. Their gross, and I don’t want to get sick.
Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments below.
I thank you, and Coach Sestonn thanks you.
P.S. Don’t vote Nurgle.