Once I was one of the finest soldiers in the Empire until an injury left me hooked on whatever painkillers my Apothecary could get his hands on. The habit left me in deep debt to Goblin Gambling, who kidnapped my family and forced me to coach an “uncoachable” team of Skaven known as the Repulsive Ratlings to pay off my debt.
The first time I met the Ratlings I knew they had to be rejects from their own society. The Gutter Runners were quick but they were not the specialized assassins I had fought in many wars. The Storm Vermin appeared weak and underfed, using rusted bits of scrap metal for armor. The Linerats were little more than skin stretched over weak bones, but there was hunger in their eyes. I knew it would be nearly impossible to bring these loners together into a team. But the team was sharper than I suspected.
It was during this first meeting that they recognized my issues as well. Slinij, the team’s star Gutter Runner, nicknamed me StuffnJunk in reference to the drugs I had been putting into my body. I was enraged that this cast-out piece of rat trash could dare to insult me but he was right on the mark. I have since embraced the name and it remains a bond between the Team and I.
The Company sent the mutant combo of Seek, a stunted Skaven that could barely walk, and Destroy, a Rat Ogre of surprising ferocity and overpowering stench, to keep us in line. As a safety precaution Seek & Destroy were not allowed to officially join the roster: they simply enforced the Will of the Company upon us. We all took many beatings and near-death experiences at the hand of Destroy while Seek cackled madly on his shoulder.
The plan of the Company to keep us in line backfired: it gave us a common enemy. We all worked harder together than any of us could alone. I learned about each of my teammates, their hopes, dreams, and families. One day we would earn our freedom. One day we would see our families again. One day…
Our first MML season (MML Season 4) went better than anyone could have expected. We had a 4W-1L record in the Challenge League before being called up into the Pros, the First Four conference to be specific. We managed to win our first Pro game and our final opponents were “stuck out of town” (according to Goblin Gambling) so we were granted a win. As a team we were feeling amazing! But the Company only cut our funding and rations while placing higher expectations upon us.
The next season is when the powder keg was lit. Nurgre the Lethal, a Linerat boasting of Nurgle blood, was killed during one of our games. The Company refused to pay for his funeral or provide any sort of care to his six ratlings back home. As a father of six I could not let this slide. The Team and I decided to tear down all of the Goblin Gambling sponsorship signs and use them to create a funeral pyre for Nurgre on the pitch. The Company sent Seek&Destroy to the Rat’s Nest with my family in a cage to try to put us back in line. Instead we attacked, nearly killing the Rat Ogre and his companion. We decided to declare war on the Company!
Through hidden meetings in the sewers and propaganda releases we were able to reveal the true reach and influence of the Goblin Gambling Company to the entire League. Some embraced the new openness while others continued to meet us in the sewers where we plotted to end the corruption. Victories were won on both sides. The Greendale Human Beings were dismantled by the Company’s corrupt policies, but the “Resistance”, in an attacked initiated by none other than Seek&Destroy, was able to free Coach More_Shots from his unjust imprisonment in Orcatraz.
The Company eventually seemed to write us off. Maybe they simply readjusted focus, maybe their Patsies on the Coaches Board proved unwilling to compromise, but their influence seemed to lessen. We even had an awesome season with a shot at playoffs! Seek&Destroy had redeemed themselves and were playing on the team! In the final game of Season 6, Seek&Destroy were killed together on the pitch during the first Blitz of the game. I went numb. The Ratlings and I finished the game, played our Bloodweiser Bowl game, and retreated into a season of silence. Together we mourned the loss of our friends who were once our greatest enemies. They were the enemy that caused us to band together. We have spent a full season in silent mourning, wondering if we should even go on in the League, pondering what it means to be a Ratling.
So, when someone asks me what it means to be a Repulsive Ratling I have to tell them this:
We are a team of Outcasts who became Competitors.
We are a team of Enemies who became Family.
We are a team of the Broken who became Fixed.
We are the Redeemed.
And we will not rest-sleep until the Championship trophy-idol sits-stays in our dirty-grimy claw-slashers!