So once upon a time I wrote a story about a Gretchin called Smirking. I thought it might be fun to revisit the story in epic poem form and had a lot of fun putting this together.
If you're thinking "oh epic poems aren't really my thing" then I'd ask you to please just give it a shot. Start at the top and see how far you get. I'm hoping folks will at least have fun with this if nothing else.
If you want to see the The Original Prose version of Smirking here on Dakka Fiction
just follow that link.
Hope you enjoy.
The Ballad of Smirking
One night in the spawning ground under the glow
of a bad yellow moon a spawnling did grow.
An old ex-Kommando, came hunting for grots
SkagNet the Runtherd. He hadn't found lots.
He bags up the spawnling and tuning he grunts
"I ain't getting nuffink but rejects an' runts!"
He chooses a name for each one of his charges
Like Nurd who is clever and Unki the largest.
But this little fellow is different somehow
Its lips are all swollen. He furrows his brow.
Smiler or Happy? Those names just aren't working
It takes him some time but he settles on Smirking.
Smirking and SkagNet and all the grot crew
Went off to the market with selling to do
SkegNet would flog all these raggedy ones
To make a few teef and buy a few guns
But nobody wanted his miserable wares
They mocked and abused him. None of them cares
for a washed up old Bloodaxe who tried to sell gretchin.
That look good fer nuffink not even fer fetching.
"Wot you want," laughed GrodMek with his big toothy grin
"Is a smack in the gob fer bringing this rabble in."
"That grot's gone cockeyed, this one's a half wit!"
"Get out of my market you toothless old git!"
Just then came a clamour, there was some kind of show.
A wierdboy was ranting and starting to glow.
WazzBad they called him, he'd come from afar
Bringing news about humans and a promising Waaargh!
The excitement was palpable thanks to WazzBad
Then an ork's head exploded and the place just went mad.
A Waaargh was the very thing every ork longed for
The chance to go fighting and wrecking and more.
The local Boss GorGoff the chief of the lot
Bellowed his orders to all of the Goffs.
"We is going to Waaargh! So gather yer fings,
"Ere we go, ere we go!" everyone sings.
SkagNet took one thoughtful look at his crew
"If I can teach yous to sneak then maybe you'll do.
"You'll be the sneakiest, slipp'riest, deadliest grots,
"My own grot Kommandos with Blood-axe knows wots."
But first we need weapons and I know where from,
That toothy git GrodMek makes shootas and bombs.
His workshop is filled with all kinds of loot.
We'll slip in and steal ourselves something to shoot."
SkagNet sent Fuggit and Unki and Smirking,
into the workshop while GrodMek was working.
They managed to pilfer a bundle of stuff.
But Fuggit got snatched up by Mad Doc SnazzGutz.
They all made their way to the Waaargh with delight
Orks love nothing more than a zoggin' good fight.
No sooner had engines gone roaring to glory
than trukks were exploding all fiery and gory.
"A minefield!" Yelled GorGoff, "that's just what I need!"
"SkagNet, you feth-wit, why don't you take the lead!"
So cautiously tip-toeing into the mines
The gretchin advanced with SkagNet behind.
Three grots went a-flying before they were through.
And many more troopers and bikers died too.
But Smirking and SkagNet and six more besides
of the brave grot kommandos had come through alive.
Now GorGoff went on in the frontal attack,
While SkagNet's kommando-grots sneaked around in the back.
Away from the fighting he drilled his new team,
Teaching them how to be sneaky and mean.
GrodMek the Mekboy, who loitered behind,
Whose army of Deathskulls took all they could find,
Spotted old SkagNet out drilling his boys
And thought he could use them to get some more toys.
"Go down to that house where da Oomies is hidin',
An' draw out those tanks like da ladz like to ride in.
Don't be a wimp with yer cowardly heart,
their's nuthin' my snazzgunners can't blow apart."
They took up position in a shed round the back
Where SkagNet's kommando-grots planned their attack.
Smirking emerged and was making his move
When a zogging great battle tank rolled into view.
Before he could run, (Smirking knew not to linger)
His good buddy Runt was already a cinder.
The only way SkagNet could get out of trouble
Was to try and take shelter inside all the rubble.
So in all the confusion he slipped past with ease
As GrodMek's Snazzgunners turned the tank to Swiss cheese.
They gathered up Smirking all dazed and confused.
And threw him inside where he had a quick snooze.
Now GorGoff was fuming, "I'll rip out his heart!
That Gork-be-damned Wierdboy is wrecking my Waaargh!"
"He's stealing my boyz!" He yelled sounding frantic,
"They all can't resist his mad headbanger antics!"
SkagNet was passing trying not to stand out
But GorGoff yelled "SkagNet, come'ere yer great lout!
"I want yer ta search out that Wierdboy for me,
You'll have to be cunning and downright sneaky.
If he sees you coming he'll blow up yer head,
So make sure its him and not you that gets dead."
SkagNet was happy, at last such a job
Worthy of a Blood Axe Kommando-grot mob.
Up into the hills in their sneakiest mode
SkagNet's Kommando-grots followed the road.
Neither hide nor hair-squig of WazzBad did they find.
He had just upped and vanished by the power of his mind.
But just then a sentinel came round the track,
And a second one following covered its back.
The grots sprung an ambush too little too late
And more than one greenskin that day met his fate.
The ambush had turned into something quite bad.
So SkagNet just legged it along with his lads.
Smirking was terrified, he ran and he squealed.
With the humans in sentinels hot on their heels.
They fled down the valley toward the Mek-yard
Where GrodMek's DeffSkullz had been working quite hard.
They were doing quite well picking up GorGoff's cast-offs.
Now GrodMek himself was a BigMek Warboss.
They heard something stomping and looked up to see
What the SkagNet's Kommandos were trying to flee.
GrodMek, delighted to see such machines
Ordered his lads "Blow them to smithereens!"
The Snazzgunners fired everything that they'd got
At the sentinel walkers which shuddered and dropped.
"Bring me them legs!" Yelled the BigMek with glee
"I've got me a plan, something nice and Stompy."
"I see you there SkagNet! You and yer grotz.
Come out from yer hiding yer cowardly lot!
"I knew it were you, SkagNet comin' our way,
as soon as I saw you woz runnin' away!"
Well SkagNet was livid, his pride was all hurt
He wanted to grind GrodMek's face in the dirt
But GrodMek was right, and what could he do?
SkagNet was a coward and everyone knew.
But still a recalcitrant miserable git
He didn't like orders from GrodMek one bit.
But GrodMek knew just what he'd set them to do
The Big Gunz were busy and needed fresh crews.
Now GrodMek was secretly hatching a plot
To do in old GorGoff and take the top spot.
He'd built a new Kannon, a great Traktor beam.
The plan was a crazy one in the extreme.
The transfer of power is tricky you know,
The trick is, one has to put on a good show.
So GrodMek couldn't just shoot GorGoff dead,
its more entertaining to drop a tank on his head.
It was GorGoff's disciples that he had to fear
But this way the Goff troopers might even cheer.
But just on the off chance they might disapprove
UzKop would do it. (he was GrodMek's chief stooge.)
While SkagNet's Kommando-grots fired the big guns
That hairy goon UzKop was having some fun.
His new Traktor Kannon could lift up a tank.
He went for the power knob and gave it a crank.
A chimera flipped upside down but slipped free.
"I'll need some more practice," he said, "its tricky."
Meanwhile the gun crews were working like crazy
All except SkagNet who was feckless and lazy.
The guns kept on firing, they did their utmost,
But the tanks fired upon them and SkagNet was toast.
The Imperial Armour kept assaulting the Goffs
But then our friend UzKop snatched one tank aloft.
GorGoff and his lads who were thick as can be
Didn't notice it hanging precariously.
And right when he had it above GorGoff's head
UzaKop tried to drop it, but it hung their instead.
He slapped the thing harder, he couldn't believe it,
A sixty tonne tank and he couldn't release it.
The orks turned to look, they'd all finally seen
But none of them knew what the Gork it might mean.
UzKop cut the power, he pulled out his beard!
Still it hung in the air all uncanny and weird.
A nimbus was glowing it lit up the sky
Like an armour clad sun shining greenly on high.
Then WazzBad was on it, he walked down the side,
To stand upside down and look GorGoff in the eye.
focused power caused his head to explode.
It was all WazzBad needed to get his show on the road.
With an almighty Waaargh! the whole place went berserk.
They were already gone when the tank hit the dirt.
UzKop could hardly believe what he'd seen.
WazzBad was now the new Boss on the scene.
And even though technically GorGoff was dead,
It didn't quite happen the way GrodMek had said.
Of all of the Gretchin there were just two survivors,
Who'd lived even longer than their erstwhile slave driver.
Smirking and Snikkit the luckiest two.
Who now fleeced the Runtherd, what else could they do?
GrodMek was passing and angry as heck.
So they followed behind him to see what was next.
He soon met with UzKop who'd not much to say.
He just gobsmacked the bozo then blew him away.
GrodMek then tossed them UzKop's old Snazzgun.
"Alright you pair, take this and get some work done.
That headbanger WazzBad would drive me insane,
But you're only grots, he can't mess with your brains."
They were off on the trail of the Wierdboy once more.
Two grots with a Sanazzgun in the heat of a war.
They still hadn't gotten to grips with the gun,
When a squadron of guardsmen spoiled all their fun.
They ditched the big blaster and ran for their lives,
But try as they might there was no place to hide.
Snikkit was hit, he went down with a yelp.
There was no way at all that Smirking could help.
They thought he was beaten but before they could gloat,
Snikkit sprang up and tore out a man's throat.
The Gretchin was savage the fighting was bloody
Then the sergeant stepped in and dispatched Smirking's buddy.
Smirking just legged it afraid and alone
No way he'd survive very long on his own.
His incredible luck could not last forever,
And what was the point of his whole life's endeavour?
But just when he felt at his life's lowest eb
The strangest of threads hung from fate's storied web
Out of the ether there came a mad laughter
With a fizzling flash WazzBad followed thereafter.
He slaughtered the guardsmen with powerful vomit
Then his eyes fell on Smirking with the power of a comet.
He gibbered and capered and pointed a finger,
It touched Smirking's mind and just blew it asunder.
When Smirking awoke he still couldn't move.
All around him were Deathskulls painting everything Blue.
A Painboy pulled up with a cart full of junk,
He inspected the state of the paralysed runt.
"A very clean head wound, perfect for wiring,
And just the right size for what GrodMek's requiring."
Now SnazzGutz was known to be worse than a nightmare,
Better off dead than be taken back there.
The grot went immediately under the knife.
The pain was like nothing he'd felt all his life
And soon he was jury rigged, fitted and wired
And weary and worn out and sick sore and tired.
They went to the workshop where GrodMek had built,
The very machine he was destined to fill.
Given no training no choice or recourse
Smirking was pressed into service per-force.
It was a terribly mechanised kind of conscription,
With tools of all shapes and all size and description.
They must have used everything under the sun.
They bolted and hammered until it was done.
The Killa-Kan looked something like all the rest,
Just a heap of old junk welded into a mess
A wicked sharp blade spun upon the left side
And the right held a twin barrelled kannon with pride.
Now SnazzGutz' assistant was someone we've met
The cross-eyed grot Fuggit, who'd belonged to SkagNet.
SnazzGutz had used him for all sorts of tests.
He'd seen so much surgery he was a mess.
With Mechanical legs to raise and to sink,
And a lamp that switched on/off whenever he blinked.
He recognised Smirking, how could he not?
There never was such a peculiar grot.
While the orks laboured tireless with many a grunt
Fuggit was painting a glyph for the front.
He painted a giant red maw on its face,
"Smirking" he explained and they fixed it in place.
Now all that remained was a flick of the switch
Then Smirking the Killa-Kan started to twitch.
At once he felt power like never before,
All massive and Stompy and hungry for war.
The Painboy looked pleased with himself, he was grinning.
The Killa-Kan's circular saw started spinning.
With one mighty swipe it was off with his head,
GrodMek just laughed but then he too was dead.
The kannon served GrodMek some dakka for dinner
For the first time in ever Smirking was a winner.
Cometh the Gretchin and cometh the hour
It was time for the little guy to take back the Power.
Amidst all the chaos of fire and smoke,
A light was a-blinking as if it was broke.
Then Fuggit emerged from the corner with glee
the lamp on his head flashing pitifully.
He gathered some tools and some tech and a gun,
Already the Gretchin was having some fun.
There was plenty of stuff for a decent Grot rigger.
He climbed up on top and felt instantly bigger.
They stomped away happily on a rampage,
A quest for some vengeance and righteous grot rage.
And with Fuggit on board to make sure that he's working,
Inside the Killa-Kan he's always Smirking.