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This is a repost of the article which can be found here.
This was a piece I wrote for the Black Library submission windows, but four months on I don't think it's been accepted, so here it is. It's the first three chapters, clocking in at 13,000 or so words. It's about an ork that's just trying to find his way in the world. Hope you enjoy.
As the return to consciousness assaulted my senses, I became aware of alien voices around me. Gruff sounds, grunts and coughs. Low Gothic but with an extremely blunt edge to it. Orks.
Underlying them was the wet, simpering chatter of the lower caste of greenskin known as the gretchin. I felt as if they were close at hand but it was difficult to hear anything over the sharp ringing in my ears.
Where was I? Though I was sure my eyes were open, I could see only blackness.
The air was heavy with the smell of sweat and blood and the stink of burned flesh. I tried to lift my arm to see what was wrong with my eyes, but a strong hand gripped my wrist and forced it back to my side.
"Oi dok, e's awake" shouted an alien voice close to my right hand.
I tried to resist. I would not be manhandled by a greenskin. Eyesight or not, Alaric Valens would take some of the bastards with him before he was killed.
"Haha, dis might actually work. Ere, keep 'im still." This command from a different ork came just before the strike to my jaw. The blow damn near took my head off. I heard something crack, probably a tooth. The blackness I was seeing grew darker still and I struggled to maintain consciousness. If anything I would show these Xenos monsters that I was not afraid. I was a Captain in the Emperor's Imperial Guard. When dealing with the foul alien I was beyond fear. Beyond pain. Their primitive alien minds knew nothing of the strength of my will.
Unfortunately that strength could not fight against the straps I felt being tightened at my ankles and wrists. So I was to be experimented on. What a waste of the Imperium's training and efforts. If this was to be my end, then I must do something to make it worthy of the Emperor.
The ringing that engulfed my hearing was beginning to fade, enough for me to pick up more of the sounds around me. I could hear large guns firing in the distance. A battle of some sort.
Far more close at hand, there was a crackling. Like a welding torch, or loose, sparking electrical wiring. One of the orks appeared to be operating a small motor; perhaps a saw. No doubt intended for me. There was the blinking hum of electrical lighting. I could feel its heat on my face. It was hard to tell whether I was indoors, or if it was merely dark out. When you are blind, how do you tell?
And then I wasn't any more.
Suddenly the light entering the eyes I'd wondered if I still had, began to register something. First the black turned to grey and slowly, a smudgy waterfall of what was in-front of my began to appear.
"There, dat fixes dat," I heard from somewhere behind me. The crackling had stopped but I found it hard to notice. I could see. My eyesight returned, perhaps I could free myself.
I attempted to lift my head, but a hand with dry, gnarled skin grabbed it roughly by the forehead and slammed it back against the metal head rest, again shaking my already clumsy grasp on consciousness.
"Not yet you idyit. We gotta finish first."
Before I could struggle further, a searing pain made me buck against my bonds. As pleased as I was with my newly restored eyesight, the white hot pain I found shooting through the top of my head made me slam my eyes shut, cutting off the one salvation I'd felt since awakening.
I could smell my own flesh burning.
I was surprised several seconds later to find that I wasn't dead. The pain had stopped and I could still hear. I tentatively opened my eyes and I could still see. It was murky, but the more I blinked the clearer things got. Several metres above me were what looked like rusted iron sheets, though it was still hard to tell. A glint of sunlight shining through what looked like bullet holes made me blink.
There was some sort of excited chatter going on behind me. The gretchin were snickering away to one another incessantly. If the straps hadn't bound me so securely, I'd have smashed their pathetic little aliens heads apart like rotten eggs. I relished the thought.
"Dere we go, all dun. Get 'im up."
Once again I lifted my head, but this time it wasn't roughly forced back into place. I was able to raise it enough to see the murky image of an ork standing to my right. He was fiddling with the strap at my wrist. Expecting it to tighten, imagine my surprise when instead it was loosed.
Now was my chance.
As soon as the one hand was free, I drove it upwards, curled into a fist, striking the green monster underneath the chin. It made a grunt at the impact, the sound somewhat drowned out by the snapping of several teeth. It went over backwards and I reached for my other hand, hoping to free it.
"Oi!" said an ork from behind me, but I ignored it. The gretchin were still giggling. Not for much longer if I could help it.
"What ya doin'?" said the voice again, closer this time.
My left hand was free, but the ork was on me. I felt its hot breath on my neck as its huge green arms engulfed my own from behind, pulling them backwards and attempting to pin my back against the table. My training kicked in and I drove my head backwards, relishing in the blunt crack as a I squashed the already stunted nose of the xeno, further into its porcine face.
Its grip on my arms slackened a little and I repeated the gesture several more times until I felt the weight of the creature drop down just behind me; its warm blood greasing my back as it fell.
I reached for my ankles, undoing them as quickly as I could. My vision was still blurry but I was beginning to take in more of my surroundings. As I scrabbled to free my legs I noticed I was lying on a table several feet from the floor. There were others like it near me, each containing the body of an ork in some stage of medical procedure. The glare from the lights above gave them a macabre spotlight that glinted off the metal staples along the stumps of their missing limbs. They all appeared to be unconscious, though most likely they were dead.
The snickering had stopped. Finally freeing myself I jumped to the floor, blinking the final blurriness from my vision. The ork I had hit with a clean uppercut was out cold. I ignored him and turned to my right. In front of me was a pack of six small gretchin, each clutching certain items of crude surgical equipment. They stared at me with fear in their eyes; I'm sure a common emotion for such a pathetic creature.
I smiled and made to step towards them. They immediately shrieked, throwing their makeshift tools in the air and scattered, several of them diving into compartments dotted around the room, others ripping small sections of metal plating from the wall and disappearing outside.
I laughed. The first noise I had made since waking. It was a strange, deep noise. What had these greenskins done to me? I looked over at the table I had moments ago been lying upon. There was a steadily widening pool of dark blood, some of it beginning to drip from the table. The body of the ork lying upon it was leaking everywhere. That wouldn't do in such a fine medical establishment as this.
I reached over and rolled it over on the table. its face was a mess. I was pleased with my handiwork. Even if it wasn't dead, there was no way this ork would talk again, not for a long time.
This was no mere ork boy though. One arm had been surgically removed at the elbow, to be replaced by a strange contraption, one I had not seen in my years fighting the greenskin menace. It incorporated a circular saw blade, perhaps the one I had heard earlier. Mounted above it was a large needle, within which was a viscous green liquid. I hoped this wasn't what they had been using to keep me under. I shudder to think what toxins were in it.
I didn't have long to contemplate this however, as behind me I heard the roaring of a large engine pulling to a stop nearby the facility. I looked around frantically for a weapon and for a second felt a stab of jealousy that I too did not posses a circular saw arm.
Looking over my shoulder to check the entrance, I blindly grabbed one of the cleaver's the gretchin had dropped. Not daring to see if it had my own blood on it, I held it low at my side and stood ready. I would not skulk in the shadows like some assassin. I am a front-line trooper. I'll face whatever ork comes through that door and I'll drive my blade into its skull before it does the same to me.
The seconds dragged by as I heard the engine dwindle no more than 20metres away. I felt sweat running down my sides. I stank. Worse than the corpses around me.
Then the time came. The sheet metal door in-front of me slid open and in-stepped a large ork, one of the ruling caste, known as nobs. It was a huge beast, 7ft tall and extremely broad across the chest and shoulders. It had a large blade in its hand, a crude weapon that was barely more than a hunk of sharpened metal. So this is what it comes down to, cleaver vs cleaver.
I readied myself for its roaring charge – the standard attack pattern of any lone ork – staring into the brutish face of my enemy. It scanned the form of the unconscious ork at my feet and the dead one on the table behind me before swinging its' dumb, unfeeling eyes back to mine. I smiled. It was time.
"What da ell are youz grinnin' at?" It said, forcing me to pause. Why wasn't it charging?
"Look ere, wha' 'append to da dok?" It said, pointing its huge cleaver at the ork next to me.
But I didn't answer. Something had caught my eye and I was struggling to process it.
While my enemy's weapon was surely crude, one side was gleaming and polished sharp. It provided a near perfect mirror and I was able to see a slightly warped version of my surroundings in its surface.
Standing exactly where I should have been. Where I was. Was an ork.
I was dumbfounded. It was if time stood still. Little motes of dust, caught in the sunlight from the holed ceiling, hung suspended as I regarded myself in the metal of the ork's cleaver.
I was never a large man, 5'6 when standing to attention. Now I was probably over 6ft, though my hunched thighs reduced that by a few inches. My skin was green, as you would expect. A lustrous, young green. Wherever this ork body came from, it was not old.
Being a human at heart, I saw nothing recognisable in the face. All orks look alike to me. Still, this one was a little difference, thanks to the steel plate covering the entirety of its skull. My skull. I recalled the incredible burning sensation during the end of whatever procedure I had undergone here. Maybe they were fusing my new head back together. Throne! Was my brain in there? Is that how they'd done it?
Breaking me out of my internal questioning, the nob began to laugh. It was a deeper, throatier sound than my own, the rumble of it vibrating some of the panels of the shack.
"Haha, I know," it began, its shoulders shaking. "Da Dok messed up your voice so you'z killed 'im. Ahaha."
Perhaps it had. I was too dumbstruck to even attempt to talk. That's probably why I followed the nob outside. I should have blown my brains out. Perhaps attacked the other ork as I had intended, sacrificing myself and ridding my human mind of the infernal stink of this xeno body. But the medical shell shock, my mind's sheer inability to comprehend what had happened to me meant I did not.
As I stepped between the rough hewn panels into the sunlight, I looked around me seeing for the first time with my alien eyes the dusty slopes of the Kragline hills. The dusty expanse stretched off into the distance and the name flashed into my mind. I had been here before.
I had no concept of time, so it could have taken place a week before or a year, but I remembered running a patrol through this region. My men and I had scouted the area, an advance force of several light armour squads designed to draw out any ork formations. We knew they were massing, we'd not seen signs of more than a handful of the creatures in the past few months. That meant they were up to something. Had I found a group on my patrol? Had I been killed or captured and transplanted into this thing?
The shack I woke in was one of several others all clustered together. There were a handful of gretchin running around, some with tools and ammunition, others with medical equipment. A shed beyond a few of the ramshackle buildings housed some ork machinery and engines, some sort of workshop. A couple of orks were hammering away at something, presumably in an attempt to create something drivable; though from their haphazard methods, I couldn't see how.
The nob bellowed something indiscriminate and one of the gretchin came running over with an oversized pistol. It handed it to me tentatively before running away, moaning in fear.
In front of me the nob was clambering aboard a rickety construction of metal and wheels, the engine being revved to a loud roar by an excitable ork with red and yellow tattoos on its face and arms. It looked and me and giggled, slapping the crude steering construction in front of it and revving the engine again.
"Oi, come on, get in" shouted the nob, its head and shoulders visible above the armour plating on the rear of the truck's flat-bed.
Still incredibly unsure about anything, I felt compelled to obey. I lumbered my clumsy feeling, green torso to the back and hauled myself up. In front of me, sitting on crude metal benches were 10 or so other orks. They held basic weapons, the kind often seen in the hands of these Xenos. Stabbing weapons, large blades and the crude pistol devices like my own. The kind we had never been able to get working, despite the hundreds that had been captured from ork corpses over the years.
Still holding my cleaver, I took a seat near the rear, wedging myself between the bulkhead and the ork to my left. It ignored me and continued verbally sparring with the ork on the other side. I tuned out their mindless chatter and stared at the floor, my green hands painfully obvious in my field of view.
"Now listen ere," said the nob at the front as the engine roared, catapulting us forward. Despite my new found bulk, I had to steady myself.
Not bothering to do the same, the nob stood easily, the weight of its body and accompanying armour making it practically immovable to all but its own locomotion.
"We's 'eading to da front. Da boyz have been hittin' the umies 'ard, and we'z gonna join em. Its gonna be a propa fight." The malice in the orks voice was clear, despite the lack of volume. I had only ever heard orks bellowing across the battlefield.
“Since you'z all fightin' wiv' me today. You'z the Comed'yun's boyz.” I presumed this is because he laughed a lot. I'd yet to hear him say anything to amuse me.
"So, to get you boyz all fired up," said the nob, reaching down to a bucket at its feet. "I gots you some speed juice."
It grabbed the bucket and lifted a ladle from within it. "Got dis from da mek boyz," it said, as it began slopping ladle fulls of a dark red, viscous liquid into the mouths of the seated orks.
"Make you propa' fighty. Some red in it to make you fasta'"
Eventually, after each boy had had its helping, the nob reached me. "Open wide," it said, lifting the dregs of the liquid to my face.
I couldn't tell you why I opened my mouth.
It was disgusting. The worst thing I've ever tasted. Like oil – which was probably a major ingredient – and fuel and awful As soon as it was poured into my mouth, the nob reached forward with one of its massive hands and pushed my jaw shut, holding it closed.
I did. And amazingly I didn't gag. It went down without difficulty, though it was hard not to wonder what foulness was now resting in my stomach.
Satisfied, the nob returned to its position at the front of the truck, resting its forearm on one of the handrails. It looked over its shoulder into the distance.
"Almost there now boyz. Get ready," it said a few minutes later.
Some of the other orks around me had begun stamping their feet and punching themselves in the side of the head, roaring after each blow. Undoubtedly they were excited by the prospect of conflict, but I suspected they were beginning to feel the effects of the liquid we'd been force fed. I know I certainly was.
It started slowly, as the last dregs disappeared down my gullet. A warming sensation in my belly, growing slowly into a pulsing heat within me. It flowed outwards through my veins, coursing through me and infusing me with an intoxicating excitement that was hard to shrug off. Similar to some of the stimulants that Guardsmen are caught with on occasion, but this was far more raw.
As the biggest adrenaline rush of my life hit me and – Emperor forgive me – I began to enjoy the sensation, the other Boyz around me began standing up and firing over the armour plates of the truck.
We had reached the war zone.
The truck screeched to a halt and the nob gave a huge roar before leaping over the side of the vehicle.
"Follow me boyz."
The orks around me responded in kind, climbing out of the truck, firing their crude weapons as they went. In my excitement, I followed suit. The kick from the blocky, metal pistol was huge, but my new wrist barely noticed it. A spent casing spun away as I hoisted myself over the side walls and dropped to the floor. The other boyz had already begun following the quickly disappearing figure of the nob.
It was difficult to see more than a few metres thanks to the dust kicked up by the conflict. The truck zoomed away as the last of the other orks crashed down next to me, adding to the visual limitations.
The effects of the speed juice were only growing, driving me to move, to use my muscles, to run and tear and destroy.
I began loping forward, aping the other orks around me. It wasn't as quick as I might have run when I was first out of basic training, but it was fast enough. This surge of speed only seemed to increase my growing blood lust and the need to fulfil it. I grinned a snaggletoothed smile at the boyz running near me. What better place to want to kill something than when you're around a bunch of orks.
They never even saw it coming. I raised my cleaver high and without breaking stride, smashed it into the head of the nearest ork. It dropped immediately, its skull dragging the weapon from my hand.
That didn't stop me.
I spun around, raising my pistol and dug my rear foot in the dirt, stopping myself dead before pulling the trigger. Despite my bracing, the shot went wide, skimming the chest of the nearest ork. The look of confusion on its face, became fearful as its eyes met mine.
I fired again.
This time the shell struck home, crashing through its chest and knocking it to the floor.
My wild attack had caused the final ork to stop, but not for long. It rushed me with its axe, the hatchet blade whistling towards my face. Using my sidearm as a knuckle duster, I punched the gun into its flat features before it could complete the swing, halting its forward momentum.
It stumbled backwards and I unleashed a trio of bullets in its direction. Despite the distance, one missed, but the other two struck its torso, leaving ragged holes in its green flesh. It dropped to the floor on its knees, before collapsing face first in the dirt.
I was breathing heavily, my already stinking body oozing more sweat. I had to kill more.
In the distance I heard the random firing of weapons and the roar of xenos. I picked up the fallen ork's hatchet and headed in that direction.
Running through the dust, my vision became tunnelled and I felt bullets whizzing by me as shots were fired off indiscriminately in the haze. All I wanted was to kill more orks. To kill, to maim. I needed to break something, now.
I reached another small gaggle of orks, running towards a struggle that was going on up ahead. As I closed the distance between us, I began to make out the shapes of other creatures firing at us. They were smaller and weaker, their arms seeming slender as they fired their rifles.
Ignoring them for now. I managed to catch up with the small group and set about them with my axe. Despite having never been the greatest hand to hand fighter, I made up for it with my savagery. I brutalised them, slaying them to the last ork. Not all of them died without retaliation and I received several flesh wounds that would have felled me in my human form, but not here, not now.
As I slew the last of them, I looked to the conflict nearby and watched as the Comed'yun nob cut downwards with its great cleaver, rending the last of the small creatures in two. It looked to me and began to laugh again.
"Aahah, you killed da boyz. Dey's betta sport dan dese." It pointed with its bloody cleaver at the mess at its feet.
I heard a cry behind me and smiled in my blood-lust, turning with an outstretched arm in full swing. I brought the axe around in a terrible arc, guiding it towards the source of the sound as it closed in on me.
My head followed my arm and suddenly my bloody fury, the speed juice, the adrenaline, all left my mind in a flash. I watched in painful slowness as my deadly cut, flew with such force into the face of an Imperial Guardsman.
The cut took the man's surprised face apart at the centre, the blade entering just below his ear. It went straight through, severing and sending flying the top part of his head. The body slumped to the floor, dropping the bayonet furnished rifle as it did so and spattering my boots with brain matter and blood.
Whatever that nob had given me, whatever blood lust an ork feels, it had all blinded me. While I had been slaying a handful of orks – and enjoying it no less – the green skin menace had been slaughtering my fellow Guardsman. And now I had joined the ranks of those murderers.
Shame washed over me and I ignored the seemingly greater rate of bullets that flashed past me. Shells erupted nearby and a great moan went up from the ork host that I felt swelling around me in the dust.
"Oi" said the nob, suddenly nearby, "Da 'umies are pushin' us back. We gotz ta go." I didn't move and when it tried to grab at my shoulder I pushed it off. I wasn't going to run. My fury gone, all I felt was guilt for the life I had taken and the death I had been a part of.
"Ha, suit yourself," said the nob, before crashing a monstrous fist into the side of my head. I hit the floor soon after and before I blacked out, felt the nob grab my ankle and begin to drag me through the dirt.
This time I knew I was an ork even before I opened my eyes. The unfamiliar feel of my own bulk sat heavily upon my frame and the weight of my actions upon my mind.
Blinking in an effort to do anything but crush myself with guilt, I looked around and found myself propped against a rock with a dozen or so other orks around me in various states of repose. We were in some sort of rocky alcove, with the sun shining in through the entrance.
Some of the xenos were moaning in pain, clutching forlornly at bloody wounds; the others were out cold. Gretchin were picking over some of the bodies, in some instances administering syringes of gloopy looking liquid and in others looting teeth and metallic items from bodies that were either dead or almost there. Presumably I had been dumped with the wounded. Characteristically of orks, there weren't many.
I looked down at myself, for the first time studying my green form up close. I hadn't faired too badly during my rampage. Some of the minor cuts and abrasions on my arms and hands had crusted over with dirty black scabs. They didn't hurt. My clothes were dirty and still damp with sweat and blood. Not exactly surprising for an ork, but for me it was unheard of. When I was a Guardsman - when I wasn't this thing - I had prided myself on cleanliness. Every man under my command went into battle freshly shaved and dressed with pride. A perfect uniform inspires those around you and shows the enemy that you are meticulous: a foe to be reckoned with.
My current state made me wish for a shower and a change of clothes. A want from a past life it felt like.
Unsure of what to do with myself I stood and shook my arms out, trying to loosen some of the tension in my muscles. I'd felt worse before, but I could tell I'd been in a battle.
The gretchin scattered in front of me as I stepped over the prostrate forms of the other wounded. They ignored me and I made my way to the slight crest that marked the entrance way to our shallow cavern.
As I reached it, I couldn't help but catch my breath. In front of me was something that few humans have ever been privy to: a functioning ork encampment. This wasn't some huge affair like the Waargh camps that grow up around the millions strong invasions of whole systems but a local tribe base.
I had been part of the destruction of several. Our usual plan of attack involved levelling the area with artillery and heavy stubber fire, enough to either make the orks scatter or come to meet us, at which point we would gun them down with disciplined rifle fire.
This however, was something entirely different. Spread before me was a gathering of a hundred or so orks, somewhat sequestered into separate groups. In the distance I could see a handful of trucks and ramshackle vehicles lined up, with green forms clambering over them, a mechanical station similar to the one at the outpost I'd originally awoken at.
In the centre of the encampment was the vast majority of the aliens, haphazardly distributed among a myriad of cooking fires. Presumably these were just the usual boyz, but it was clear from the size differences that a few nobs were mingling with the group.
I could smell smoke from the fires, a dirty acrid odour. Without much wood around to burn, the greenskins were using tyres it seemed.
Near this main area was a couple of corrugated metal shacks. While it was impossible to tell what was going on in them, they were as noisy as the rest of the camp, so presumably some gaggle of orks was inside.
Perhaps the most obvious area in the camp though, was the small rise off of the main group. Atop it was a throne like chair, upon which sat a very large ork. Not a record breaker by any means, but it had a barrel chest that dwarfed even that of the nob I met earlier. It's largest feature however was it's stomach. Counter to the relatively lean but bulky physique of orks, this one featured a huge gut that bulged over its rudimentary belt.
It was yelling at the nobs that stood around it in various stages of relaxation. Some of the larger ones were quite nonchalantly leaning on huge axes and cleavers. The Warboss I could see had no left hand, instead grafted to its wrist was a mechanical claw, crackling with energy.
As I watched, the yelling from the boss seemed to reach a fever pitch. Without warning, it stood and reached out with its one remaining hand, grabbing the throat of a nearby nob. Amazingly, it lifted the heavy creature clear from the ground with ease, the huge ork trapped in its tightening grip, scrabbling to free itself.
With the other nobs looking on, the Warboss snapped its arm to the side, throwing the heavy brute away from its cadre of warriors. It crashed down in the dust a few seconds later and slowly got back to its feet. The Warboss, along with some of the other orks around it, laughed.
I continued to watch as the Warboss sat back down and resumed its discussion with the other nobs, while the lone ork dusted itself off and wandered into the mass of boyz in the centre, clearly ostracised for now.
Fascinating as all this was, the fact remained that I had killed one of my own. Someone I had no doubt trained and fought with during my time as a Guardsman on Verdas Meridian. Was there anything left for me in this life but shame and guilt?
My thoughts once again turned to suicide. Shamed under the gaze of the Emperor, it was hard to see anything in my future that could redeem myself. I fingered the hatchet that was tucked into my belt. I could cut my own throat with the blade, bleeding out this stinking body like a pig. Then again, I could do it far faster, pressing the crude pistol against my temple and blowing xeno brain matter all over this rocky outcrop. As poorly manufactured as it was, point blank range removed all need for accuracy.
And then a thought occurred. It felt selfish to even consider it, since the end result wasn't my own demise. But while my situation revolted me to the core, I realised that I was presented with a unique situation. If somehow I could communicate once again with Imperial forces – assuming they didn't just shoot me on sight – I could relay an amazing insight into ork culture, society and warring practices. Perhaps I could learn exactly what makes an ork tick. Maybe even learn how to wipe them out entirely.
Those were lofty ideas, but this was the speed my brain was operating at. I was excited for the first time since I had awoken in this body. Perhaps I could still serve the Imperium after all. In some convoluted way, did the Emperor himself plan this for me? Was this my test? My chance to prove my worth under his holy gaze?
If it was so, I would do it.
If I was going to accomplish this task though, I couldn't just continue as I was. I would need to infiltrate the orks further. I'd need to be an ork, become one of them. Live with them, eat with them, probably fight with them. I might even need to make further sacrifices to my own soul and my own psyche, but if it was in the Emperors' name I would have to stomach it. My own torment should come second to the needs of the Imperium.
My plan of action decided upon for now, I took a monumental step in my own mind and began to traverse the rocky decline. Stones skittered about me as I descended but no one took any notice. Presumably I wasn't the first ork to get itself away from the clutching hands of the medical orks and their gretchin servants.
Reaching the base of the hill, I couldn't help but feel nervous. I'd been in shock during my truck ride into battle and of course I had little trouble mutilating the other orks that I'd gone into battle with, but stood at the edge of the encampment, I was unsure how to proceed. I had no idea how to be an ork or converse with them. At least the nob had given me an excuse for being silent, though I was sure that my voice would work fine if I tried it out.
Fortunately my indecision was cut short by the Warboss, who once again stood up, this time bellowing an order: "Gastrik want's 'iz squig," it said, grinning and patting its ample stomach, the fat of it jiggling as it did so.
This caused a cheer to go up from the mobs of boyz and I saw those working on the trucks in the distance stop what they were doing and wander towards the centre of the camp. Something was about to happen.
At that moment, the door to the enclosed shack burst open and a gnarled old ork, with dark green , near black skin and huge scars criss-crossing its face and torso stepped through it. In his arms was a strange looking creature. It reminded me of some of the Face Biter squig's I'd seen some orks take into battle, but this one didn't have the usual razor sharp maw that those had. In comparison, this one's mouth was very small, its eyes wide and timid. It was also incredibly fat, its droopy folds hanging over the arms of its carrier.
The old ork, kicked the gretchin close at its heels and with a yelp it turned and shut the door behind it. Then the gnarled xeno began making its way through the gaggle of boys towards the Warboss' plinth. They made way for him, but I could see the want in their eyes, saliva dripping from their mouths. This fat, sad looking creature was food.
While the old ork continued its delivery, I watched as a pair of similar looking creatures ordered a group of gretchin around. They were rolling several huge barrels out of a side building attached to the shack. With great effort they stood these on their end, puffing and panting with the effort.
When the dark skinned ork reached the Warboss, it made a deferential show of handing the giant beast the squig. With exquisite care the boss reached out and plucked the startled creature from its master's hands. Eyes panicked as it realised what was coming, the fat thing's limbs scrabbled in the air. The Warboss eyed his meal for a few seconds, enjoying the fear before it took a giant bite out of the creature's hind quarters. It squealed for several seconds before slowly lapsing into silence, while the Warboss grinned through a dripping mouthful of blood and fat.
This it seems, was the queue for everyone else to eat. The gretchin I'd been observing earlier had now opened up another set of doors on the larger shack. No older orks came out this time, but a horde of smaller squigs, scrabbling over one another. Nothing quite like the size of the Warboss' fat offering, these ones were a bit faster, racing to get outside and away from what their tiny brains knew was coming.
They didn't stand a chance.
As soon as the doors were open a great roar went up from the ork host and as one they charged forward, mobbing the exit of the shack as they all attempted to get hold of a beast.
It was a riot. These orks were undisciplined sure, but they were hungry too. I had seen such behaviour before during a food shortage in the capital, Magna Centrum. With the bi-yearly harvest failing due to an even greater than usual solar storm, food was short and that meant the poorest went without. To protect the nobles as well as the remaining stocks, the planetary defence forces had been called in, as well as neighbouring Guard squads. I'd only been a corporal then, much greener. Though after those few months of protecting food stocks against the very people I had joined up hoping to defend, I felt jaded and cold.
It took a long time to regain my full love for the Imperium in all its workings.
I didn't bother attempting to get a squig of my own. I wasn't quite ready to fully dive into being an ork just yet; besides, competition was fierce. I saw more than a few orks trampled to death in the mad charge and there certainly weren't enough to go around. In most instances, the little creatures were ripped to pieces as boyz attempted to get back to their fires and cook their meagre meal.
The nobs in the mist did far better than their smaller brethren, as there were few that dared challenge them.
They and those that were able to wolf down their squig before it was snatched from them, gradually made their way to the barrels nearby. The gretchin had scattered during the mad rush for squig pieces, leaving the two gnarled looking orks.
Despite their lack of size, they seemed to convey a measure of respect among the orks that approached. Nothing like the fearful timidity the smaller boyz had around the larger nobs or Warboss, but some other sort of appreciation of status. Whether it was age, or the fact that these particular orks seemed to control the food and drink of the tribe I couldn't tell, but it was there nonetheless. There was no mad rush when approaching the barrels. It was far from an orderly queue, but with hunger satiated and the prospect of some sort of beverage, the small horde was quieted for a time.
Unlike the food though, as the boyz approached they each handed something to the old orks. From my distance I was unable to see exactly, but I had read that orks use teeth as a form of currency. Perhaps I was seeing the xeno's retail system in action.
Each boy I noticed, had a tin mug or similar container on its belt. Into these the old orks were pouring a thick, gloopy liquid from a previously corked hole in the barrels. Beer of some kind I surmised.
The Warboss, of course far too important to stand with the rest of the boyz, was glugging great mouthfuls of the stuff from a small keg that had been strapped to the back of the squig bearer. It ran down the sides of its mouth, a foamy residue gathering on its lips as its great throat worked to swallow the viscous fluid.
Realising that I was standing very much alone and eager not to draw too much attention to myself, I hustled forward to the back of the gaggle of orks and milled around with those that had satiated their hunger and thirst. It was hot among the boyz and it smelled worse than I did. I hoped my senses would grow accustomed to the stink, but I suspected not.
After a short while the tribe settled down once again to what I can only assume is the usual level of ork activity when they aren't fighting; or eating. There was a lot of talking, something that surprised me. The Imperium has always regarded the ork race as a savage one – which it undoubtedly is – without culture and discourse beyond when, where and how they want to fight, but I saw plenty of evidence to counter this claim.
During the short time I spent within this ork camp, I overheard conversations on the merits of certain weapon types over others, the preference of squig type for food and a few whispered descenting words that painted the resident Warboss as less than capable in its position.
There was also gambling, with studded bones being rolled in the same fashion as human dice. Teeth were bet, won and lost – leading to a few fights which after running their course, were quieted down by the nobs.
All these simple measures of societal life gave me a chilling reminder of my own Guard regiments. The discussions weren't far from ones I was used to hearing in my company barracks. While there is no part of me that would consider the ork as anything but a hated enemy of mine and the Imperium, it was amazing to see the similarities in the warriors of each species.
My observations didn't last long however, as soon the Warboss was on its feet once again, drawing the attention of all those around him.
"Now boyz, listen up," it bellowed across the expanse, halting all conversations and activity. The deep, rumbling voice echoed off the surrounding rocky hills.
"Dat last fight was propa killy, but we aint got 'nuff boyz for anuva. We gots ta get some more."
There was a general stirring among the masses. They knew something was coming.
The Warboss grinned. "We'z movin' out. We'z 'eadin to da spawnin' grounds."
A Waargh like cheer went up from all the boyz, many of them immediately standing and raising their weapons in the air. Some fired their blocky pistols.
The Warboss and his group of nobs were already on the move, while a group of gretchin struggled to heft the ork leader's throne and follow behind. Some of the larger orks among the boyz began separating them into groups, splitting the horde into manageable squads, and I could hear a revving of engines as the ork transport vehicles came to life.
A small host of gretchin had appeared from inside the squig hut, and began attacking the structure with wrenches and hammers. At first it appeared as if they were destroying it, perhaps to leave no sign of the encampment. Then I realised that they were merely cannibalising the structure, taking with them anything that could be useful in the future.
Again unsure of what to do, I decided to head in the direction of the trucks. If we were heading anywhere, I'd rather do it on a vehicle. Ork physiology or not, a long slog through the drier regions of this world could prove deadly; especially since I had yet to drink or eat anything since awaking in this alien body. I was beginning to regret not getting hold of a squig earlier.
Progress was slow as there was a fair number of boyz with a similar idea to myself. I began to realise that my chance of finding a spot on the small handful of vehicles was looking less and less likely, a prospect I did not relish.
Seeing no alternative, I began to push my way forward, flexing my still aching muscles in a hope that it would be enough to forge a path to one of the waiting trucks.
How naive I was. As one of the smallest orks, the others had no reason to let me past. No sooner had I begun, I was shoved back harder. This led to more pushing and as these efforts added to mine, soon there was the rumblings of a riot. Fists began flying and I heard the crack of skulls as heads crashed together.
Ork voices began calling out threats and challenges and despite the well placed backhands of the few nobs that had yet to embark, the rush of bodies was beginning to disintegrate into a melee.
Still I continued to push. These filthy xenos. I was surrounded by them. They disgusted me. I must get through. I pressed on, ducking my shoulder and charging it as hard as I could into the ork in front of me. It staggered forward, giving me a moment of room.
Suddenly I felt myself lifted from my feet by my ragged clothing. I scrabbled at air, hoping for some sort of purchase but lifted clear of the pack I had no way of moving of my own free will.
That laughter again.
I looked behind me and saw the face of the Comed'yun. He was grinning. "Always fightin' da boyz" he said, shaking his head in mock disappointment. "You can ride wid da buggie boyz, they'z like ta shoot at anyfing."
With that the huge ork, itself chest deep in smaller boyz, threw me over the heads of the orks in front of me as if I weighed nothing. I landed hard against the housing of a small four wheeled buggie.
Shaking my head to clear the blurring the impact had given me, I wasted no time and stood up, hopping aboard the back of the vehicle next to another ork that grinned at my crazily. It was holding the twin pistol grips of a large calibre machine gun, the kind often found arming ork vehicles.
At this point the driver in-front, a similarly excitable looking ork with red tattoos around its eyes turned in its seat and looked at me.
"If you'z gunna ride wid' us, keep dat gun fed."
It pointed at my feet where the belt of ammo for the mounted machine gun lay. I nodded and scooped up the feed. I had served with heavy weapons teams before, I knew how to keep the right balance of slack to prevent jams.
Turning back around, the ork driver revved the engine to life, laughing as it did so. A great cloud of black smoke coughed out of the rear exhaust, filling the air with an oily smell.
The other ork vehicles were doing the same, as the last of the boyz attempted to clamber aboard. Many hung from the sides of trucks, or stood precariously on hastily attached sponsons. It wasn't a question of if they would fall of on the journey, but when.
With most of the hoard embarked and the throne placed upon the roof of its huge wagon, the Warboss took its seat and bellowed out once more.
"Alright boyz, lets get moving."
At this command, the ork vehicles began to trundle forward, making it hard to hear anything as the primitive combustion machines sputtered and backfired.
Despite the din however, I was still able to hear the Warboss clearly yell out: "buggies, scout ahead for 'umies. If ya see any, tell us where da fight is."
This saw the other orks cheer out in their usual Waaargh style, no more so though then the driver and gunner aboard my buggy. Needing no extra instructions the ork in front of me floored the accelerator and sent the buggie careening forward.
Dust billowed up behind our rear wheels as we bounced over the rocky outcrops that surrounded the ork encampment and I dropped one hand from the feed belt, steadying myself against a metal hand rail. However we were soon out into the open dust flats, screaming across the desert, with the rest of the ork horde rumbling at a more sedate pace behind us.
I couldn't help it. The speed, the adrenaline. It felt fantastic.
Whatever fun I had felt when we began our race across the desert to the mysterious sounding "spawnin' grounds" was completely lost by this point. We had been speeding along for several hours, with very little to look at beyond the occasional passing rock formation or dried lake bed.
Verdas Meridian was once a verdant agricultural world, its twin suns allowing for a double harvest every year, meaning it could provide a monumental food tithe to the Imperium and easily feed surrounding systems. However in recent centuries, the increasing number of monstrous solar flares had only increased, leaving the planet far less arable.
I'm told that in times long gone the whole planet was swathed in green fields. Now the greenery was reserved for the more temperate regions in the extreme South of the major continent. Perhaps that’s where we were headed.
It was also blindingly hot, as was to be expected. I was still sweating which was a good sign that I wasn't completely devoid of liquid just yet. I had no idea what sort of intake of water an ork body required, though I was beginning to feel the familiar affects of dehydration. A headache had started pounding behind my eyes and it was making me feel more aggressive than my ork physiology was already championing.
The first bit of interest on our trip was when the ork gunner, named Trigga', spotted one of the world's great eagles. A giant creature with a 10ft wingspan, circling above the dusty plain, looking for prey.
Trigga' had almost lost his grip on the buggie in his excitement to bring his gun to bear. But bring it he had, aiming the giant belt fed firearm into the clear blue sky at the majestically turning bird.
Despite my familiarity with arms and their respective noises, I must admit that I did wince when both triggers of the "big shoota" were depressed. The roar it made as it spat out the heavy calibre shells was huge. It's fire rate was phenomenal as well, the belt feed flying across my palms.
The sheer number of bullets unloaded at the bird was completely necessary tough. Whether from poor manufacturing, or awful gunner skill, so many rounds went wide it was unbelievable. I knew orks were poor shots, but seeing it up close was ridiculous. If any of the men in my unit even fired a few rounds as inaccurately as Trigga' had, they'd have been flogged and sent back to basic to relearn what exactly it means to be a Guardsman.
I was half tempted to shove the ork aside and show him how it was done, but the other half enjoyed his frustration at being unable to hit the bird, despite its size and the seemingly never-ending stream of bullets.
As if unperturbed by the activity of the green figures far below, the eagle continued its slow circles high in the sky, before gliding off into the distance. Trigga' wanted to follow it, but the driver, known as Gitrockit, had other plans.
Lifting its foot from the accelerator pedal for the first time in several hours, the buggie slowly rumbled to a halt, its engine still chugging away, shaking the frame of the vehicle.
"Wot's you stopped for?" asked Trigga incredulously, his unusually high pitched voice grating on my frayed nerves.
"Look in da distance," said Gitrockit, pointing with a green hand stained black from the steering wheel, his finger nails cracked and yellow.
"I don't see nuffing" said Trigga. "Cumon, let's get goin after dat bird. I wanna killit!"
"Will you shut up 'bout dat bird?" said Gitrockit, his thoughts beginning to ally with my own. "We aint 'ere to shoot no birds, we'z ere to scout. Now look."
He pointed once again, this time not eliciting a whined response from our gunner. We all looked down the outstretched arm. I blinked in an attempt to clear some of the dust from my eyes. If Trigga annoyed me much more I was going to kill him and steal his goggles.
It was difficult to make out, but Gitrockit had definitely spotted something. It looked somewhat like the top of a building, just cresting the horizon. Initially I had thought the billowing cloud above it was a dust storm whipping up, but the more I looked the more it seemed like smoke.
That was it. This was one of the continent's many geo-thermal steam plants
While Verdas Meridian might have been heated by twin suns,it was also heated from within. The core temperature of the planet was staggering, far higher than that of most habitable planets. This made it incredibly useful for geo-thermal energy production. A combination of processed waste product and desalinated sea water was continuously pumped into the depths, producing huge steam columns that powered monstrous underground turbines. These provided enough energy for most of the planet; clean energy too, something that is far from common in the Imperium.
Verdas Meridian was once an ideal Imperial world, with technology that could sustain its development and enough resources to be a major contributor to the ever ongoing war effort. Despite never having known the greatness of my home world first hand, I still lamented the waning relevance it had under the Emperors gaze. Perhaps my efforts could help restore that prosperity.
"Humies?" Trigga' asked excitedly.
Gitrockit nodded. "Yea. Wonder what they doin' there?"
"It's a steam plant," I said.
The two orks turned to look at me and I realised for the first time that I'd spoken as an ork. I hadn't used the inflections they had, though my tone was as gruff as theirs.
There was silence for a few seconds as they both stared at me. I slowly, slyly reached for the hatchet on my belt. If these two had any plans for me, I'd do away with both of them, steal the buggie and try and find an Imperial outpost. I'd probably be shot on site, but perhaps I could warn about the encroaching xeno force.
Not exactly the ending I had planned for my Emperor sent mission.
"I 'fort so," said Gitrockit, nodding.
I relaxed and breathed out. Let's try that again. "Dat means they'll be water dere, for da boyz, " I said in my best interpretation of an ork.
"Right," said Gitrockit, without a hint of suspicion. While fooling an ork wasn't something I ever though I'd be proud of, I felt a glimmer of it in that moment.
He gunned the engine and spun the wheel, sending me and Trigga scrabbling for handholds and the truck hurtling back the way we had come. When I finally regained my balance I yelled over the roar of the engine, "Where we goin?"
"To tell da boss. 'e wants to kno when we see humies."
I looked over my shoulder at the diminishing steam cloud. This wasn't good. There were workers there, good men I'd wager. Working in a steam plant in the middle of nowhere was hard work. Emperor's work. Small as it was for an ork force, the hundred or so boys would make short work of the civilians employed at the plant.
There was nothing I could do to stop the place being cannibalised for parts, the water drunk and polluted, the orks would find the place for sure. Perhaps I could give some sort of warning though. But what?
I glanced at Trigga's gun. I could try and fire it at the facility. Riddling the walls with bullets would certainly get some attention, but it was well out of range, even with its ferocious calibre. The sound of it firing wouldn't reach the workers either – steam plants were notoriously noisy. Blowing up the vehicle might create some sort of smoke column, high enough to be seen at a great distance, but what would that say? It might even draw some of the men out to investigate, only speeding along their demise.
The only way would be to somehow tell them in person. I couldn't walk there, it was too far – and getting further by the second – the horde might beat me to it.
My eyes drifted down to Gitrockit in front of me. I eyed the controls he was thumbing back and forth, the pedals, the shifter. It was all basic stuff. Part of my training as a guardsman had included the use of heavy machinery: basic lifters, trucks and APCs. I hadn't had much practice since but controls are controls, they all do something and with the limited number at Gitrockit's disposal, it was clear what did what.
"Oi," I yelled in his ear. "Pull ova' I'z seen summin'."
Over hearing me, Trigga began swinging the turret mount for his great shoota' around in increasingly wide arks, in an attempt to get his gun sights on to whatever it was I'd spotted. Gitrockit eyed me a little warily over his shoulder, but brought the buggie to a stop nonetheless.
"Where?" he said when we finally came to a halt.
As I'd held on tight to ward off the effects of our rapid, crude braking system, I'd weighed up my options. I could attack both of them, cutting them apart with my hatchet like I had done to the orks at the battle the day before. That idea was fraught with danger though. All it would take was for Trigga to engage the firing mechanism on his giant machine gun in my general direction and the spray of bullets would cut me in half.
He was a poor shot for sure, but at near point black range, at least a couple of rounds would hit home.
No, I'd need to use my skills as best I could. I had things no ork could ever have. Intelligence for one, but more than that. Discipline, pride, courage. For all the advantages of the Xeno race, it had many failings, ones that my own had expunged through training. An ork might be born able to wield a blade or fire a gun (albeit inaccurately) while a human babe is merely a crying pink bundle, but we eventually become so much more than these brutish creatures built only for war.
As a Guard Captain I'd had presence, authority. I demanded respect. I would have that as an ork too.
"Neva' mind that." I said, my voice firm and flat. Gravelly in the way orks are and with their crude inflections, but with a tone that suggested my will would not be brokered.
"We'z not goin back to da boss. We'z goin ta take da steam plant ourselves." It was difficult sounding ork like when I'd never heard them say certain words. How would a greenskin phrase such a complex industrial works?
"Da steamy fac'try?" said Trigga, looking confused. At least now I knew how he worded it.
Gitrockit was less reactionary than his gun toting pal. He stared at me for a few seconds. I could almost see the machinations or his primitive brain ticking over.
"Da boss said to tell 'im if we seez anyfing," he said, slower than before. Unsure of himself. Orks could be sly, but it was presumably quite rare for a standard boy to go against the word of a Warboss.
Here was the second part of the problem: what to say to convince them. Do I tell them we're doing it for personal glory? That might work for radical a Guard squad who had something to prove. Orks were different though, simpler. They wanted to kill without being killed. As far as Imperial Intelligence doctrine went, that was it. There was nothing to them beyond staying alive long enough to kill something else.
I had to exploit that. These orks needed to feel like my decision was the right one, because it wouldn't get them killed – and they might get more killing out of it.
"Frak dat. We'z three can take 'em easy," I said, turning to look at Trigga for support. "More killin' for us." He grinned back at me idiotically, easily turned to my way of thinking.
"Yea zog it," he said, the excitement clearly building. "Let's do it. I wanna kill 'da steamy place."
"I sez we go back," said Gitrockit, staring blankly at me when I turned back to face him. "Dis is my buggie, 'n what I sez goes."
I grinned my new fang filled smile. When a trooper stepped out of line, or back-talked to an officer, they were punished.
I lunged forward off the back of the buggie, hooking both arms around the ork driver, my momentum hauling him bodily out of the place where a door should be. We landed hard in the dirt, dust spilling up around us. I could hear Trigga whooping behind. Clearly he loved a fight as much as he did shooting.
I ignored him, instead concentrating on Gitrockit's hand pressed up under my jaw, forcing my head back as I straddled him. I had hold of his right wrist, pinning it to the floor in an effort to avoid the nasty, hardened nails. They looked razor sharp and their cracked edges gave them a serrated look that I didn't fancy testing on my flesh.
With my right arm free, I hooked the inside of the other ork's elbow, freeing my neck from the bone breaking pressure. Had I been in my human form, my vertebrae would have been destroyed by the shove. Fortunately I wasn't, leaving me with strength and endurance even the toughest of Guardsman could only dream of.
Momentarily free from Gitrockit's clutches, I drove a heavy green fist towards his head. It crunched audibly into his face, once. Twice. On the third punch he rolled to the side, my knuckles digging into the dirt. This left me off balance for a split second, enough for Gitrockit to shove me off.
Despite me new weighty form, I was heaved clean off my opponent. I tried to roll like I'd been taught by my combat instructors, but it was difficult with all the extra shoulder mass and the stunted neck of the Xenos' form. I hit the floor hard, break falling as best I could, but it still knocked the wind out of me.
Turning, as soon as I'd got my balance, I found out why they called him Gitrockit. Given a second to collect himself, the bloody nosed ork had stood, pulling a short pistol grip device from one of the many belts across its torso. The forend was strange. Stubby and rounded, with no barrel.
Gitrockit grinned and pulled the trigger.
A whoosh of igniting fuel accompanied a puff of smoke that engulfed his hand, sending the miniature rocket shooting in my direction. I dived to one side but it was hardly necessary. The typical poor construction of ork weaponry meant that the rocket shot way over my head, leaving an oily, black contrail behind it.
I didn't stop to watch where it hit, once again diving forward. I tackled Gitrockit as he stood watching his trump card spiral off into the distance.
This time I didn't give him a chance to get away. I pummelled his face with two quick fists, followed by a nasty short elbow that cut above his brutish eye. Dark blood pooled into the sockets, leaving him temporarily blind. Once again straddling his torso I steadied myself and pinned the creatures arms, making it impossible to wipe away the blood.
There was a boom in the distance as the rocket finally exploded. I ignored it.
We were both breathing heavily, though I was finding it much easier without a 200lb ork on my chest. Stunned and unable to move, Gitrockit's fruitless struggling finally stopped.
Convinced my opponent was done, I looked over at Trigga who was making small, spasmodic jumps of nervous energy.
"Kill 'im" he said. "Go on, finish 'im off." This was followed by a high pitched giggle. He reminded me more of the Gretchin than an ork.
I looked back down at the broken face of Gitrockit. Tempting. Very tempting.
I'd killed many orks in my life. None as helpless as this. It was always best to dispatch them as fast as possible. Preferably at extreme range. The closer an ork gets, the more accurate its shooting and the sooner it can hack at you with whatever melee weapon it has – the type of combat an ork excels at.
The creature beneath me was defeated. It wasn't trying to resist. It was done. Cowed.
I let him go.
Standing I walked back to the buggie and took my place beside Trigga. When the gunner ork eyed me curiously I locked eyed with him, until he dropped his gaze. Patiently we waited, watching as Gitrockit slowly got to his knees, spitting out broken teeth and wiping the blood from his eyes. He stayed like that for a while, groggy, before finally getting to his feet.
When he looked over, we stared at each other for a while. If he was human I'd have said some sort of message passed between us. An understanding. Something beyond words. But he's an ork.
Slowly he made his way towards us. Finally reaching the buggie, he hesitated and looked at me. Knowing what that meant, I jerked my head in the direction of the driver's seat. Gitrockit grinned.
Stepping into the seat a little more gingerly than before, he revved the engine. For a second I wondered if we'd take off back to the Warboss and my attempt at dominance had been for naught. Fortunately the ork quickly pushed that notion aside when he turned in his seat and said three words:
"Da steamy fac'try?"
I nodded. Trigga jumped up and down, his excitement building once again.
Gitrockit gunned the engine, spinning the wheel and sent us hurtling back towards the steam plant. Despite the dust and grit forcing me to squint once again, I couldn't help but notice the ploom of smoke in the distance. The damn rocket. Hopefully it would make the workers scatter, but unlikely. It would probably just make them wary of our buggie's approach.
Perhaps the three of user were soon to die at the hands of determined steam plant workers, but if I played this right, I might be able to get some of them out alive. It was worth the risk. Three orks for a handful of the Imperium's children? I'd make that trade any day.
This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2012/11/13 17:19:54
Didn't think I would but i actually enjoyed this...
Dakka Bingo! By Ouze "You are the best at flying things"-Kanluwen
"Further proof that Purple is a fething brilliant super villain " -KingCracker
"Purp.. Im pretty sure I have a gun than can reach you...."-Nicorex
"That's not really an apocalypse. That's just Europe."-Grakmar
"almost as good as winning free cake at the tea drinking contest for an Englishman." -Reds8n
Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.
Equip, Reload. Do violence.
Watch for Gerry.
While I like it there are couple of fluff things that bug me.
First orks know orks. No assasin or genestealer can ever inflitrate an ork community due to ork WAAAGH! "energy". Even if it just human brain in an ork body I find the premise iffy.
Second thing is orks being inaccurate. I think this is false. Orks love shooting with their guns, hitting something is just a bonus. This is why grots are more accurate than orks. Grots shoot because they want to survive, orks shoot because they want to shoot.
I think you have captured really well the human perspective of an ork community so hats to dat.
Every time I hear "in my opinion" or "just my opinion" makes me want to strangle a puppy. People use their opinions as a shield that other poeple can't critisize and that is bs.
If you can't defend or won't defend your opinion then that "opinion" is bs. Stop trying to tip-toe and defend what you believe in.
Thanks everyone. Glad you enjoyed it. I'll see about doing some more soon
Illuknisaa: I know what you mean, but how the brain transplant worked - whether it was entire or partial - isn't fleshed out, so I think it works.
I do think Orks are inaccurate as well as trigger happy though. Their hardware is awful and they don't have official training - yet - they're a brutal culture. Accurate ranged shooting requires decent equipment and finesse, neither of which orks have.
I do think Orks are inaccurate as well as trigger happy though. Their hardware is awful and they don't have official training - yet - they're a brutal culture. Accurate ranged shooting requires decent equipment and finesse, neither of which orks have.
Orks do have training. Lots of it. It is just coded into their dna.
Grotblastas are suppose be really crappy weapons even by ork standards but grots still manage to operate them like guardman his lasgun.
I think Deff Skwadron really shows nicely that orks can hit things when they want to.
Every time I hear "in my opinion" or "just my opinion" makes me want to strangle a puppy. People use their opinions as a shield that other poeple can't critisize and that is bs.
If you can't defend or won't defend your opinion then that "opinion" is bs. Stop trying to tip-toe and defend what you believe in.
I'm on the fence about this. There's no doubt you're a fantastic writer and the concept is stunningly creative.
The first person bugs me - it makes the writing unnecessarily monotone when I read, "I did this, I did that, then I did this, I thought that, I see this, ect.."
In truth, I don't care about your character, his unfortunate plight, his guilt, or his "stanky Orkyness", because it's made painfully obvious that the novel is all about "him" in a first person narrative. I lack connection to a guy who's name I cannot remember because it's not repeated more than once in a chapter.
I barely made it to the sudden (and delightful) pickup in the first chapter because of this and though the spark of creativity made me eager to see what the rest of the novel had in store; I gave up after reading the rest of the first chapter because I just couldn't stand it anymore.
Call it personal taste perhaps, but I will give you that this a serious contender for an official BL novel if you can get your readers to your hook, and keep them interested after. Though, protip: if you want your work to be recognized by a for profit business, don't give it out for free on a public domain.
This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2012/12/06 00:10:29
Thanks dudes. Working on a non-Warhammer related project at the moment and getting my book up on Amazon. I may selfishly plug it here when it's ready but I'll do my best to get some more of this written soon-ish.
I have a chapter break down of where the story was going if anyone wants to see it. I won't post here as it would be very spoiler-rific.