Disclaimer: I do not own Saints Row: The Third. No, really, I don't. If someone could mail me a copy, I'd be one happy camper. Oh, and League of Legends is property of Riot Games or whatever.
"League of Legends: The Obligatory Beach Episode"
by Chronos Astral
"For Movie Night!"
"…-their contracts, sir. They state that-"
The young summoner, Wilhelm, blinked up oddly at his superior, Ferrick. The man was giving him a quizzical look in return (from what Wilhelm could see from the shroud that the other man's hood was casting over his face). "The champion's contracts, sir."
"Whose?" Ferrick asked, still puzzled, brows shooting up from the darkness of his hooded visage (as was an unspoken custom among higher-ranked summoners for them to have an 'air of mystery' for reasons not quite explained to anyone).
Wilhelm looked at him as if asking if the supervising summoner had even heard a word he said previously, which he suspected was the case. "The champions, sir," he clarified. "Specifically, their payment agreements."
"When the devil did we ever give champions payment agreement contractsto the champions?"
"Since you signed an agreement on it," Wilhelm sighed then added: "… sir."
"Lies and slander!" Ferrick vehemently protested such claims.
"It has your signature," Knowing that it would come to this (again), Wilhelm calmly retrieved a copy of said agreement. Sure enough, it was stamped and signed with Ferrick's messy scrawl of a signature, emblazoned in bright red ink no less.
"Ye gods..." Ferrick whispered in horror, legs weakly giving out underneath him as he sat down. He turned to Wilhelm, his face betraying his fear if it weren't still darkened by his hood. "Willy-"
"-tell me we aren't..." the senior summoner had to swallow hard. "aren't actually paying these people...?"
"A hefty sum, as a matter of fact," Willy procured a notepad from his robe. "According to the contract, not only do the champions receive a generous stipend, but they also get a percentage of the revenue we make off their appearances on pay-per-view, as well as merchandise, advertisements, and sponsors." To prove his point further, he showed the astounding figures that were reaped from their latest marketing campaigns. Teemo plushies were apparently a huge hit everywhere, with even the occasional Noxian reviewer praising the product as "Great target practice! Five stars!"
Ferrick choked on his own spit, sinking further into his chair. (Funny how 'chair' rhymes with 'despair'. It's almost like they're interchangeable.)
"-why do we even pay them!?" he cried, ignoring Wallace's rather rude interjection. "Aren't they here for their own reasons!? Country, revenge, fame, glory -all that jazz? It's not as if they need any money! Hell, we have a dozen of these bastards locked up here! I mean some of these guys don't even have proper hands to sign contracts with!"
"Apparently, if we don't pay them for the publicity they do give us, it would be considered a crime, considering how much we profit from it," Wallace calmly replied. "Especially the ones we keep captive. We'd be charged with slave labor if they weren't 'properly compensated' for their efforts." Nevermind the fact that a number of their captive champions are intent on total and utter destruction, among other unhealthy things, or that said champions could even use any of the currency they had earned (with the possible exception of Kog'Maw who is more than happy to add some of the local currency to his diet).
Getting some of the champs to sign the contracts was a challenge in itself. In Kog'Maw's case, they'd settled for the residual gunk that had gotten onto the paper when the little Void creature had tried to eat it (handled carefully with a large pair of tongs and hazard gloves). After multiple attempts, the League had to get the contract for Brand fire-proofed. Nocturne had stamped his with a mark made of pure nightmares, much to the misfortune of the fellow assigned to affirm the signature (after a few months in therapy, he had regained some of his upper-brain functions, at least). Skarner's honest attempts to wield a pen were... abysmal, at best, and they had settled for his stinger dipped in black ink. The less said about Cho'Gath and Fiddlesticks, the better.
"Slave labor?! Slave labor my tush!" Ferrick spat, spittle spraying out from the opening of his hood and onto Wallace's poor shirt. "We're keeping among the most dangerous creatures in Valoran captive and put to good use, and we're worrying about worker's rights!? Who makes these rules anyway!?"
"That would be the Institute of Labor, sir."
The very name had Ferrick clenching his fists. "Those rat bastards!"
Indeed, while the lesser-known institute was undoubtedly of littler importance in the overall welfare of Valoran (a fact that the Institute of War makes a professional point to rub in their collective faces), the Institute of Labor nonetheless retained an important enough standing to uphold workers' rights and fair employment (a fact that the Institute of Labor gleefully imposes upon its war-related cousin). To Ferrick, they were almost as vile and terrible as having to deal with the Institute of Accounting.
"Information that you should have known aside," Wilhelm began anew, sifting through his notepad. "the current problem that I've been trying to address is about the benefits package included in the contracts."
"Yes," the junior summoner cut in sharply. "Which you also signed an agreement on, by the way, sir,"
There came a sound that could only be described as a gross amalgamation of a sob, a whimper, and a sharp intake of snot.
Wallace took it as a motion to continue. "The contract indicates that the champion is entitled to a paid vacation leave as well as access to League-sponsored facilities, should they choose to partake in them. However, the problem lies in this particular provision of the contract with regards to the benefits package: when a champion has not used up any of their alloted vacation time for a while, those hours will accumulate, but the most we can allow are two whole weeks. Should any more vacation time be accrued after that, then the League will have to reimburse those hours.
"In other words, sir, we have to pay them even more, not to mention the fine that we'll be demanded of by the Institute of Labor."
"A fine!?" Ferrick exploded for what had to be the thirteenth time in the span of half an hour, and very close breaking his proud record of conversational eruptions as well.
"And given that none of the champions saw fit to use up any of their vacation time whatsoever," he continued unphased, "we're looking at some ridiculous figures here, sir."
"How... 'ridiculous'... are we talking here?"
"Firstly, to counter some of the costs, we'll have to push back the construction of the Magma Chamber furth-"
"Is that all? Pffsht. And I thought we were going to have a problem-"
"We also have to cancel free movie night."
"UNACCEPTABLE!" Fourteenth time, with a dramatic increase in volume to boot. "I can take forestalling the completion of an eagerly awaited Field of Justice for the fourty-third time, but cutting free movie night!? Wonderweiss, we can't let that happen!"
"That wasn't even close to Wilhelm, sir..." grumbled Wonderweiss.
"This is no time to argue on semantics, Westermarck! We need options! You can't expect me to pay for the next showing of 'Shotgun Wedding: My Wife is a Zombie'!"
"Sir, unless we can force each and every champion to take a vacation for the next two weeks, that's the only plausible option we have,"
Ferrick rose out of his seat, clasping the younger man by the shoulders. "By jove, Watson, that's it! We just make them take that vacation!"
"Really, sir? Really?" Part of Watson's will to correct him, and by extension, his will to live, diminished. "Even in the unlikely event that all champions agree to this, you realize that enforcing that option would mean that we will have to cancel the five League matches scheduled for all of those two weeks, sir? To say that the city-states would throw a massive fit would be an understatement, not to mention that the High Council would highly disapprove."
The senior summoner waved away his concerns. "Don't you worry about those fellows. I have a little somthing I've been saving up that'll solve all our problems!"
"Sir, I really think that-"
"Come on then!" With a confident grin over his veiled face, Ferrick strutted out to make preparations for his grand scheme, dragging his (unwitting and unwilling) assistant alongside him. "There is much to be done, Durwood! For movie night!"
"Now you're just doing it on purpose, sir," so wept Darwood.
My writing muse is incredibly sproadic these days. Between my job and the few bits of free time I have (outside of playing video games), I very rarely get a lot of time and inspiration to write. That said, I am trying, and I'd like to get back into full gear pretty soon.
I've somewhat recently gotten into League of Legends, as many of you might have noticed, and I fell in love with the lore and the characters. So, here's a little crack-ish something for all you other fans out there. Things are going to pick up from here once the champs come around.
I didn't update anything. That disclaimer was always like that. That joke was completely intentional.
Also, I accept digital copies of Saints Row: The Third.