The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -Ch.3

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The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -Ch.3

Postby theCrowe » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:15 pm

The Adventures of Smirking: A Grot’s Life


Chapter 1: Spawning Ground : illustrated :

Chapter 2: Ork Kulture : illustrated :

Chapter 3: Heist : illustrated :

Chapter 4: 'Ere we go 'Ere we go 'Ere we go! : illustrated :

Chapter 5: Minesweepers : illustrated :

Chapter 6: Wot’s a Waaagh!? : illustrated :

Chapter 7: Waaagh! GorGoff : illustrated :

Chapter 8: First Contact. : illustrated :

Chapter 9: Hunters In The Hills : illustrated :

Chapter 10: Waaagh! GrodMek?

Chapter 11: Da Big Gunz : illustrated :

Chapter 12: Waaagh! WazzBad : illustrated :

Chapter 13: One Grot In A Million. : illustrated :


The Grots
Smirking, Fuggit, Runt, Slaka, Nurd, Naff, Snikkit, Smudge, Unki, Fungrot, and Skab.

The Orks
SkagNet- a tired old Runtherd formerly a BloodAxe Kommando

GorGoff NarGrim- the local Goff Big Boss

GrodMek RazNazz- a Bad-Moon Mekboy in the employ of GorGoff

SnazzGutz- a Bad-Moon Painboy in the employ of GorGoff

WazzBad NazzKop- A powerful Snakebite Wierdboy

GogGob- a very religious Snakebite ork and follower of WazzBad

UzKop- a Bad-Moon Flashgit. One of GrodMek’s cronies.


Chapter 1: Spawning-groud


The moons were shining through a gap in the treetops, the air was still but quite cool and the hum of early spring was about the spawning ground. Young squiggly beasts snuffled between the fungus outcrops and munched greedily on the slugs and caterpillars, eager to grow large enough to munch greedily on other larger creatures. Bright winged insects hovered over a bed of pungently scented flowers and were sucked within in the blink of an eye. A bright green, newly spawned grot eyed up these sucking plants with envy. Those bright winged insects did look tasty but they always flew away long before he could catch them.

He devised a cunning plan. Tearing the red funnel off the nearest plant he stuck his lips inside and drew a few practice sucks through it. His lips tingled and itched and the smell was almost overpowering but he was sure this plan would work. He lay on his scrawny little green back in a clearing a few paces from the rest of the plants and waited for his meal to arrive.

It felt like a long wait. He had gotten used to the smell but his lips felt like they were on fire and just when he was beginning to lose interest, there it was. A particularly fat and juicy looking insect was hovering heedlessly toward him, duped by his cunning disguise. As the bug got closer he squirmed and itched in anticipation; or was it the irritation of the funnel flower on his lips? The bug was nearly within sucking range when the over eager spawnling leapt up and made a frantic grab at it. Buzzing furiously to remain airborne the bug weaved clumsily between his grasping fingers until finally with a last desperate swat, breakfast was served.

The little spawnling grot sat on a rotting log and inspected his catch. The insect was shiny and blue and surprisingly weighty. It was dazed but still twitching in an effort to fly. He collected its many coloured wings in one green fist and yanked its only hope of escape away. Casually tossing the crumpled wings behind him he turned his victim over, looking for legs to pull. Grinning with malicious intent he plucked at each leg one by one. Finally he dangled the morsel above his gummy maw by its last remaining limb and devoured it with relish.
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He burped loudly and smacked his lips suddenly realising how swollen they had become. He poked and prodded them painfully with a scrawny little digit and glared angrily at the smelly funnel flowers. The hungry grot took a cursory glance around the edge of the clearing, looking for an easier way to catch more bugs. Briefly he caught a glimpse of something strange; a pair of beady red eyes peering out from the cover of the trees. There was a rustle in the undergrowth behind him but the eyes were already gone. He blinked and rubbed his own eyes and was about to go investigate when suddenly the world went dark.

* * * *
It was herding season. The spawning peak had come very late this year and the hunting had been poor. Old SkagNet was a runtherd and his herd this year was much smaller than last year’s. Now, so late in the season he knew pickings were slim. Despite this he had already captured more grots this evening than he had expected to find in the whole nights hunting. Unfortunately, the only grots left to catch in this spawning ground were the rejects; the weedy runts, the late developers and the wild feral-grots, but SkagNet was desperate. He needed more grots, of any kind. The more he could sell in town when the big-mek market arrived the more teef he’d have to buy better runtherd gear. His trusty grabba stick was irreplaceable but some of his other gear was showing its age. His old net was very worn and frayed and had already let slip his first grot of the evening: a slippery little sneak who he’d been stalking since sunset. He could hardly believe the little grot’s evasiveness, especially given the stock he put in his own hunting skills.

Once, a long time ago, SkagNet had been a Blood Axe Kommando, the sneakiest and most slippery of ork infiltrators; deadly squads of hunters and trackers who could operate behind enemy lines for months setting traps and sabotaging enemy camps. They wreaked havoc and destruction when the enemy least expected it. He had seen plenty of action and had the scars to prove it. More than that, he had the eye patch, the peg leg and more than one missing finger if any more proof be required. He was an old ork, worn out and almost toothless and now his Kommando days were a long distant memory. His old squad was disbanded and the new Boss, a Goff, didn’t like the old Blood Axe hanging around. “Don’ Trus’ Ya!” He had complained. “Any ov you sneakin’, cowardly BloodAxe Boyz. Buncha Snivillin’ Grotz! Why doncha go an’ teach dem ta sneak!”

So here SkagNet was, teaching grots to sneak, and apparently he had nothing left to teach this one. Had it not been for the four other grots he had bagged already he would have felt redundant. He had come across each one while stalking his escaped prey, as if the little sneak had been using these other grots as decoys to distract him while it slipped away. He almost admired its cunning, as much as is possible for an ork to admire a grot.

The old runtherd’s sack was getting heavy and his old muscles needed a rest. SkagNet slung it casually in the bowl of a large tree root and sat cross legged before it. He secured a chain around a loop of protruding root, delved into the sack and removing his captives one by one, clamped them in irons. Four pairs of eyes blinked feebly in the moonlight as each struggled to comprehend its situation. SkagNet considered each in turn noting their character before pronouncing his judgement. The First appeared to have been asleep in his sack and was just now awaking, not yet aware; it seemed, of anything else but the pale moonlight: A sleepy late developer.

“Slaka.”

Another had its tongue up its left nostril, eyes crossed inward following its own progress: a reject.

“Fuggit.”

The third in line just stared back at him, with furrowed brow and clenched fists. It was small, even for a grot, but didn’t seem to realise this: a runt, if a feisty one.

“Runt.”

The last and most recent addition to SkagNet’s herd had the most peculiar bright red lips which appeared to itch irritably and took up most of the grot’s attention with scratching them. He paused a little longer considering this fourth and most unusual grot. “Skrachit? Itchit? Skritchi… . Hmph!” Skagnet had used all these names before. They were common names for grots but this creature was decidedly uncommon. It smiled back at him with its ridiculous mouth, as if to mock his indecision. He grunted a sigh and resolved to come back to this one.

Leaving them chained to the tree, the old ork tramped off into the forest. His grots watched him go and when he was out of sight they began to argue.

“Runt!”

“Fuggit!“

“Runt!”

“FUGGIT!”

“RUNT! RUNT! RUNT! RUNT!”



* * * *
When SkagNet returned carrying an armful of broken branches and three limp squiggly beasts the row had escalated into a brawl. Fuggit was sitting on top of Runt pressing his face into the ground and taking the opportunity to taste inside one of his ears despite Runt’s furious squirming defiance. Slaka slept curled up in the bowl of the tree behind them and the other grot sat up on top of the root to which they were all chained most entertained. SkagNet threw a beast carcass in their general direction and sat down a short distance away. He began to crack and arrange his branches. The commotion of the grots died almost instantly and they all stood around the dead beast prodding and inspecting it. SkagNet glanced around to see four pairs of little red eyes staring at him expectantly.

“Squig” he grunted, indicating the dead squiggly beast.

“Nosh!”

The grots blinked stupidly and refused to understand.

“Nosh!” elucidated SkagNet. He lifted one of the other beasts and dug his five remaining teeth into its flank tearing out a mouthful of flesh.

“Gnosh.” he concluded before swallowing.

Fuggit got the picture immediately and the rest followed suit. Even Slaka seemed to be wide awake now and focused on the midnight feast. Satisfied with their progress SkagNet returned to his sticks and nibbled on a leg of squig while he worked. It was then that he caught a glimpse of a familiar pair of eyes watching him from the cover of the undergrowth. It was his prey, that sneaky little grot. He pretended not to notice and resumed his work. He’d teach that little grot a few lessons in stalking yet. He striped the longest branches of their bark in long fine stretches, and wound the bark strips into a rough rope. Using some of the bark rope he lashed the stripped branches together. By the time he was done the grots had eaten well and were happily bloated with indigestion.

SkagNet had constructed a wooden cage, a length of rope and a makeshift net; or was it a noose? He’d never been too precise with these things; it was a tangle of knots and loops and would suffice for his purpose. It was time to set some traps. He left the grots with a supply of unused sticks and short pieces of bark rope. They may have been watching him work and he hoped they might attempt some building of their own. He plodded off into the forest and was gone for the rest of the night.

When SkagNet returned the sky was pink with the coming dawn. He eyed his rabble of grots with weary hope. Runt was bound with bark rope and looking very displeased. Fuggit, his captor was sitting upon him, squinting inward at his own nose again which this time he was picking with a dry bone. Slaka was asleep and the other nameless grot sat amusing itself with the sticks that SkagNet had left for them. Without the rope to bind them together its attempt at construction had been pathetic. It welcomed SkagNet with the same irritating little grin he had received earlier. SkagNet sighed with dissatisfaction. If only it had shown some skill at construction, some inclination toward one use or another, a penchant for violence even. Yet still there was something odd about this one, and not just those stupid red lips.

“Gobgit? Grotgob?” Still the name eluded him. He paced over to the cage he had built earlier that day and deposited a body in it; Small and green and limp with a wild feral expression still hardening its unconscious features.

SkagNet considered his nights hunting. Five grots, some with promise,.. he caught his breath at a muted tread in the undergrowth behind him which ceased just as suddenly. He wrapped up his mental tally with a sixth on the loose. He slumped down against a hefty tree to sleep through the day, dreaming of the prizes his traps would yield come evening time.



* * * *
As the noonday heat hung heavy on the sleeping camp a silent, sneaking figure emerged. Covered head to foot in mud and rotten leaves it stealthily approached the sleeping ork. Slaka, the only waking grot casually observed the figure’s progress. Slowly and carefully the interloper raised the ork’s left trouser leg and began unscrewing the blots holding his peg leg in place. With a final jolt the leg came free and the ork awoke. As SkagNet’s eye adjusted to the bright light of his surroundings it fell on the startled mud caked creature before him. It appeared to be carrying a large metal club. No sooner had he hefted himself upright when he came crashing down again face first. Now everyone was awake and though squinting and disoriented all eyes were on SkagNet. Slowly SkagNet began to understand. That metal club had looked familiar. He raised his head in time to see the thief turn tail and flee, dropping his heavy leg in its panic. SkagNet’s leg bounced on an attached rubber boot heel and landed next to the cage. The caged grot grabbed one end and dragged it in, pulling it free from the boot which would not fit between the bars. The other grots pointed and laughed as SkagNet dragged himself into a sitting position and cursed the noon day. The feral grot began thrashing crazily about its cage with the old ork’s leg bashing the wooden bars to splinters. Groggy and humiliated, SkagNet sat amidst the uproar. He shuffled over to the cage and waited for his chance. Then reaching in with one swift grab he took the grot by its throat and it dropped the leg with a heavy metallic thud. The wild grot grasped and bit and struggled as SkagNet retrieved his dismembered limb and fumbled to reattach it with his free left hand. Soon the grot went limp with asphyxiation, and giving it a final shake to be sure, SkagNet relinquished his grip. This was the second time he’d had to strangle the creature. It would not be tamed easily.

After a breakfast of squig meat and wild mushrooms he checked that his captives were secure. Runt was now free of both the bark rope and of SkagNet’s chains but he had not run away. He sat just outside of Fuggit’s reach teasing him pulling grotesque faces and crossing his eyes. In the harsh daylight SkagNet noticed for the first time that Fuggit hadn’t been looking at his own nose all this time. He was cross eyed. His marketable value plummeted. SkagNet grabbed Runt with his stick and slung a noose of bark rope around his neck. He jerked the grot away and led him into the forest to inspect his traps. Daylight or not he needed cheering up.

SkagNet was beginning to despair. He had plodded on along a circuitous rout leading back to the camp inspecting each trap along the way. A number had been sprung but held no captive. He suspected his prey had seen these tricks before. Another trap had caught a large squig which he had taken as small consolation. He and Runt had eaten their fill and saved the rest for the others. Runt was becoming adept at slipping out of the rope but still had never run. As they approached the final trap Runt spotted something up ahead and returned to warn the boss. SkagNet crept up to get a closer look and to his great relief found two grots at the one trap. One hung helplessly by an ankle some way above the ground and the other watched from below. The watcher was studying the trap and its victim, attempting to recreate a smaller scale model of its own, apparently with some success. SkagNet stepped out of his cover and approached the watcher openly. The watcher, seeing Runt following obediently behind considered itself in little danger. SkagNet lifted Runt and casually slung him into the new grot’s trap. As Runt hung upside down by one foot SkagNet retrieved his own captive. This new grot he named Naff and dumped him in the sack. The watching grot made a squealing protest as Runt slipped his foot from the grot’s snare and dropped clumsily to the ground. He got to his feet and hid behind SkagNet. “Don’ mind ‘im” Said SkagNet to the other Grot. “E’s a slipp’ry fella. Can’t ‘old ‘im myself fer long.”

Satisfied with this explanation SkagNet set off for the camp. Runt followed and the other grot watched him go. SkagNet turned.

“Oi! Nurd!” he barked. You comin’ or not?”

As the heat of the day faded to a balmy dusk they made good progress back to the camp but returned to find it in uproar. The wild grot was free and was wrestling the other grots for the remains of last nights supper. Wielding a shattered rib bone like a small knife the ravenous little beast was leaping about and slashing at his chained counterparts. Fuggit, Slaka and their nameless grinning friend were blocking the prize from all sides and fending off their attacker with club-like sticks. Runt and Nurd kept their distance as SkagNet waded into the furore. He grabbed the feral grot by the scruff and it flailed wildly as he lifted it. Aiming a jab at his assailants face the grot stuck out driving the splintered end of its weapon into SkagNet’s nose. SkagNet yowled in pain. His thick ork hide was tough enough to take a jab from an angry grot but never the less, his nose was sensitive. He sulkily throttled the wild grot, again.

“Snikkit!” pronounced the old ork, staring into the grot’s fading eyes before its body went limp and he let it drop.

The other grots lay around his feet nursing their wounds. Slaka was unconscious but SkagNet was in no doubt that he was just asleep. Fuggit nursed a few scratches but was otherwise fine. The other grot stood pointing at SkagNet’s nose. That same cheeky smirk was plastered all over its face.

SkagNet grabbed him by the torso with one huge hand and raised him to eye level. He had it. He knew the perfect name for this sardonic little grot.

“Smirking!”
Last edited by theCrowe on Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life

Postby theCrowe » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:31 am

Chapter 2 Ork Kultur


SkagNet gathered his camp and set off at a plod toward his home herding ranch. The grots gawped at the wide open plains that surrounded the woodland spawning ground. They felt rather exposed and crouched furtively as SkagNet drove them on into the night. Only Smirking strolled along with apparent disregard for the strange new world unfolding around him. Of Skagnet’s seven new grots only Snikkit remained in chains. Still too wild to be trusted he skulked at SkagNet’s side as the other grots marched ahead.

SkagNet had left the spawning ground with reluctance. He had not caught his prey. The seven grots before him were easily bagged but none were the one he had hunted. As a runtherd, he had achieved his goal. As a hunter, he was defeated. He felt the sting of old age; the shame of being a toothless old has been. Beaten by a grot. He was furious and he lashed and pressed his charges all the harder for his rage.

After a hard evening’s march the party finally stopped for rest. He tossed a small squig carcass to his grots and let out the chain for Snikit to join them. Their squabbling was vicious but in his foul mood he let them fight it out. It was good for his new group to establish their own pecking order. He slumped in the shadows of a large rocky outcrop and took a minute to himself. Gnawing on a dried bracket fungus SkagNet observed the murky sky. Clouds rolling in from the east spelled a storm. SkagNet considered his options. He had none. Even if he doubled their pace he would still have no chance of reaching his homestead or any other shelter before it hit. He groaned as his aged joints creaked into service raising him to his feet.

Resolved to move on the old runtherd checked his camp with a final glance around. SkagNet’s Kommando training was still second nature and he knew that many a raid had failed because the boys left their bombs behind at their last camp, or had forgotten to lift a vital piece of equipment. Out of the corner of his eye SkagNet thought he saw something: Something small, a squig perhaps, or a large bird. Whatever it was it had darted behind a tall rock on the far side of the outcrop just as he had turned. SkagNet jerked Snikkit from the pack and reeled in his chain. The grot shrieked a feeble protest but was soon silenced by SkagNet’s apparent lack of attention. Snikkit realised that he old ork had not even looked at him. SkagNet’s eye remained fixed on the middle distance, on a rock a few paces away. He held the grot by the throat still eyeing the rock and released the chain from Snikkit’s ankle. SkagNet waited until the grot had a clear sense of what was going on. Something was behind that rock and they were going to catch it. Slowly releasing his grip he indicated his intent with a grunt and a nod and began to stalk toward their prey. Snikkit followed suit in silent complicity gnawing the end of a broken leg bone from the squig carcass to a fine point. The pair of hunters closed the distance quickly and as quietly as they could until they were a few steps from their goal on either side. SkagNet stopped and snatched the weapon from Snikkit’s grip. A baleful glare from his one remaining eye and a stiff nod communicated a surprisingly clear plan of action to the eager grot: This was a capture and hold, not a stab and dismember kind of a hunt. Snikkit was to go round one way and drive their prey toward SkagNet who would be waiting here on the other side of the rock. The diminutive stalker darted behind the rock and a screech went up followed by the sound of scuffling. SkagNet waited a few seconds but soon realised his prey was not about to come running into his open arms. He rounded the rock to find Snikkit astride a beaten and bloody mess pounding away with gleeful abandon. SkagNet dislodged him with a rough back hand and scooped the unfortunate victim off the ground. This was the one, undoubtedly. Covered from head to green-skinned toe in what any self respecting Kommando would call…

“Smudge.” He mused aloud. A word that encompassed any material, no matter how foul that was lying around and could be liberally smeared on an ork’s body as camouflage, and as perfect a name for the grot Kommando that had eluded him until now as he could have hoped for. Snikkit stood and looked mightily pleased with himself as the boss inspected his handy work. SkagNet glanced down at him and grinned wide. He tossed Snikkit his half gnawed leg bone and spun on his heel.

“Gerra move on Snikkit.”

He picked up a skull sized rock with his grabba stick and lobbed it at the rest of his grots with expert dexterity. It landed with a dead thud into the remains of the squig at the centre of the mêlée and showered them all with offal. The grots were momentarily startled to attention. A lash of his whip against the ground tore free a sizeable chunk of turf and the grots were more than motivated. They did not so much march as flee before their master as he drove them on.

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* * * * *

They arrived at SkagNet s stomping grounds wet and dishevelled. The storm had hit and caught them out in the open long before they had reached home turf. SkagNet tossed his last and largest squib carcass into a fenced enclosure and held open a heavy rusty gate as his hungry crew charged inside. He let the latch drop with a clanking ring of metal on metal and disappeared into an adjoining sheltered hut.

Life at the SkagNet’s was simple. The code of ‘size matters’ was a simple one and could be largely applied across all of what passed for ork society. The orks beat on the grots. The bigger grots beat on the smaller grots who beat on the snotlings, and the snotlings beat on anything that moved that was smaller than a snotling. Orks ruled and grots served and snotlings were largely ignored, that was how it was. SkagNet was the only ork on the ranch so he was obviously the Boss. The next largest was a grot named Unki. A larger than average, seasoned and very useful grot who SkagNet had elected not to sell but to use around the ranch. The only other grot around apart from those recent arrivals was an oddly easy going creature named Fungrot. He was chiefly employed in the cultivation of fungus which fed a herd of Squiggly beasts which fed the herd of grots and SkagNet himself. Some grots were called gretchin. Unki and Fungrot were considered gretchin, at least they thought so: the new grots were just grots. SkagNet left the new grots in the tender care of his gretchin and for a couple of nights busied himself in the repair of his gear and the building of cages.

Nurd observed one evening as one by one SkagNet loaded up a stack of cages on a rough two wheeled cart, and counting them out Nurd thought he could see an alarming pattern emerging. Unki leashed a pair of squig-hounds to the front of the cart and sure enough, before the night was much advanced SkagNet was on his way to market with Naff, Nurd, Smudge, Smirking, Snikkit, Runt, Slaka and Fuggit and not much hope of an easy sale. When he arrived at the bustling throng that passed for an ork market SkagNet hoisted his old Blood Axe banner pole, much to the disgust of the mostly Goff crowd. He didn’t care; an ork was proud of his clan no matter how bad it was for business. With his banner on show and his wares, such as they were, on display he considered himself open for business.

Smirking peered out at the chaos of the market passing by his cage. Orks and gretchin alike looked back and laughed at him, he felt glad to be in such a happy place. Nurd was occupied in working out the going rate in teef for a grot like himself of more than average intelligence and was determined to settle for no less than five. Smudge looked terrified, cornered in his cage out in the open and on show. Naff sat and scratched himself. Fuggit was making obscene gestures and insulting anyone who showed anything more than a passing interest in SkagNet’s stall. Runt had slipped his cage and was sitting on top of it and occasionally running errands for SkagNet though he was still on sale. Slaka was asleep and Snikkit was doing his best to try and wake him up with a broken splinter of cage-wood.

“Grots fer Sale!” SkagNet growled over the din. A nearby Snakebite Wierdboy was causing quite a scene spluttering and fuming about Oomans and Waaagh!’s, a sure-fire topic to grasp the imagination of any ork crowd. SkagNet was glad that so many orks were at least gathering in his vicinity even if they were mostly facing the other way.

“Get yer Grots!” he drawled.

“Goin’ cheap!”

“Oi!”

“Shuddup Nurd.”

“Oi, SkagNet!” an ork yelled over the hubbub of the crowd. “Sellin’ snotlings now, are ya?” SkagNet ignored the heckler who had begun picking over SkagNet’s less than premium wares with a critical eye.

“Dis ‘ere one’s cockeyed! An’ wots wif im? E’s ‘sleep!” The stranger shook Slaka's cage roughly.

“E’s a day-grot." SkagNet proposed with an effort of enthusiasm. "Good fer guardin’ an dat.”

“E’s a lazy git!”

“Naff off, yer ould mug!” SkagNet hefted a dirt clod at the ork who laughed it off as he went on his way.

“Boss, Boss!” it was Runt returning from GrubGuts apparently empty handed. “Dey won' take squig teef, Boss. Not dees-uns anyways.”

“Buncha snivilin tightgits!” he grumbled. “Givus dem teef, an’ get back in yer cage!” SkagNet was broke and hungry and down to his last batch of miserable grots and nobody was buying. Smirking smiled at him benignly.

“Grots fer sale, too fer da price a won!”

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Nobody was listening, the wierdboy’s crowd was getting bigger and more and more raucous. It was drawing other stall holders and the market was grinding to a standstill as the throng amassed around the frantic frothing prophet. A large and heavily laden ork clanked into view just off to one side of SkagNet’s banner pole. It was GrodMek the local Boss’s chief-hanger-on who thought himself something of a boss in his own right.

“Oi, GrodMek! Where’s me leg!” Skagnet yelled.

“Wot leg?” the crafty mekboy sniggered on the other side of his face knowing full well that he’d taken SkagNet’s bionic leg, ostensibly for repairs and sold it on to one of the Boss’s Nobs.

“yer cowardly mutt! You gimme back my leg or…”

“or wot yer snivilin grot? I sez oo ‘as da legs an oo ‘as da snazz-gunz an wot-‘as-ya!” he looked the old runtherd over with undisguised contempt and appraised his wares with equal disgust. “look-it-yer, bah!” he spat on SkagNet’s banner and considered that a conclusion to the matter.

Before SkagNet could respond a nearby ork’s head exploded in a shower of green mist and an unmistakable fizzle of pure raw Waaagh! energy. The Weirdboy’s rant was reaching fever pitch and the crowd went berserk.

“WAAAAAAAAAGH!” they screamed as orks clamoured, fought and tore their way out of the crowd in all directions.

“wait’ll da Boss ‘ere’s ‘bout dis!” shouted GrodMek over the clarion. “Der’s gonna be a Waaagh! fer sure!”

Smirking caught a glimpse of something creeping over SkagNet’s gummy maw. It looked, to Smirking like a smirk.
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Re: The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -C

Postby theCrowe » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:03 pm

Chapter 3 : Heist

Smirking trotted merrily along in line behind Unki, Fuggit, Smudge and SkagNet who led the party through the back alleys of what was known as the Mekzone. Slaka was posted in the rear; his daylight senses being best suited to rear guard at the hazy sunlit alley exit. Suddenly Unki stopped and Smirking plodded right into him, bouncing off his more heavily muscled frame he stumbled into a heap of junk. A large empty bullet-holed tin can clattered noisily to the ground.

“Shhhhhhh!” Snapped SkagNet. “Keep da noise down, we’z ‘ere! Dis is GrodMek’s workshop. Slaka, woz we spotted?”

Slaka shook his head.

“Good. Now stick ta da plan.”

Smudge disappeared into a crack in the corrugated metal sheeting of a building on the left while the other four stood and blinked at SkagNet blankly.

“Morka-mighty!” SkagNet cursed, “You lot is paffetic!” He clawed his fingers through his ragged hair squig trying to remember his own plan.

“E’s gone in der ta find da shootas,” he remembered aloud “Wen e’s foun’ ‘em, an’ ‘e gets back, you lot is goin’ back in wif ‘im.” SkagNet paused. He had picked each of these grots for a reason. He eyed them over one by one to jog his memory.

“Unki, you as da unkiest muscles, so you ‘as ta carry da shootas out.” He looked at Fuggit and Smirking, what possible use could have chosen them for? Smirking smiled like a loon as SkagNet stared blankly at the pair. Fuggit stuck his tongue out and was about to blow a rasp when SkagNet grabbed it and suddenly realised the unique qualities for which he had brought these two along.

“You two is da decoys. If ol’ GrodMek spots what’s goin’ on you ‘as ta dis-trackt ‘im while Unki an’ Smudge nicks da shootas.”

Lastly there was Slaka.

“An’ you go keep watch out front, an squeal if anyfink ‘appens.” Slaka nodded and made his way round to the front of the building. Smudge appeared sticking his head out through the crack he had entered.

“Found ‘em.” He whispered and ducked back inside.

“Go on den.” SkagNet ordered. Fuggit dived inside and Smirking followed. Unki looked dubiously at the crack. “Wot ‘bout you Boss?”

“I can’t fit in der! B’sides, sumone’s gotta keepa eye out ere. An’ anova fing. If yous see a leg lyin’ about I’ll ‘av it!” he clunked his peg-leg on the hard dirt ground meaningfully. “Now get in der!”

Unki squeezed in through the narrow crack and Skagnet scrambled over a low wall to wait in hiding.

Inside the mechboy’s workshop was dimly red lit. Smirking stumbled into Fuggit’s back as the grots bunched up inside unwilling to venture much further into the unknown. Slabs of scrap armour-plating, buckets of bolts and various mechanical detritus littered every available space. Narrow paths weaved between piles of rubbish in the floor, around stacks of scrap metal leaning against the walls and occasionally under large vehicle parts and frames slung from the roof. Smirking stared wide eyed at the treasure hoard unfolding before them.

“Wot’s we doin’ ‘ere?” whispered Fuggit.

“Snot-fer-brains!” Unki hissed. “Jus’ look out fer Smudge.”

A metal bolt flew across the room and hit Unki right in the face. It was a little larger than necessary to get his attention but it did the trick admirably. Smudge stood atop a bucket of them with another one in hand almost disappointed at the immediacy of his success.

“Der ‘e is!” shouted Fuggit.

“shuddup ya…” Unki let his hands do the talking as he gagged Fuggit. “Keep quiet an’ follow ‘im. He’s foun’ da Shootas.”

The three grots scampered over to where Smudge was hiding, keeping an eye on a figure in the next room. Flashes and sparks leapt from the work surface where another grot was at work repairing weapons under a green lamp.

“Oi Skab!” a deep and Orkish voice bellowed from a distant part of the workshop. “Where’s me burna?”

Skab flinched and fumbled his spot weld burning his thumb. He stuck it in his mouth and called “I’s gnearly dung wif it bosh!”

“Eh?!”

Skab pulled out the scorched digit. “I’s fixin’ da duff shootas!”

“Well ‘urry up will ya. I needs it fer ova stuff, der is a Waaagh! on ya know!”

“I know dat yer big lug” Skab mattured under his breath “dats why you tol’ me ta fixem!” He continued muttering as he went back to work. Smudge waited until he was sure the Mechboy’s assistant was fully absorbed in his task and then he set about explaining the plan.

Pointing and gesturing in sharp decisive hand signals elicited a trio of blinking confusion from his companions. Unki grabbed Fuggit’s mouth again as he breathed in to ask a stupid question. Unki was quite sure his own question regarding the gesturing grot was entirely sensible.

“As ‘e gone mad?”

Smirking smirked. Smudge’s shoulders dropped in defeat. Fuggit struggled for air.

“Look.” Smudge conceded, “E ‘as da shoota’s an’ we ‘as ta gettem.”

He paused for a ray of comprehension to cross their bewildered faces.

“I fought we wuz jus’ gonna lift ‘em like. Nick ‘em. Boss didn’t say nuffinck abou’ no ova grot ‘avin ‘em.”

“E wozn’t der a-mintago” explained Smudge. “But ‘e’s der now. Sjust bad luck.”

“Yeah, fer ‘im.” Unki squeezed harder contemplating violence.

Fuggit was turning a deep shade of green and his eyes were starting to uncross. Unki thought he must have learned his lesson by now and let him go. His resulting gasp nearly blew their cover. They all ducked as Skab jumped and a heavy spring went flying to ricochet off the lamp shade above the table. The bulb flickered out and he cursed. In the darkened gloom lit only by the red glow of the welding torch Smudge grabbed Unki by the arm and pulled him forward in an effort to grab the only such opportunity they were likely to have. As the four infiltrating grots crept stealthily into the room, Skab laid aside his burner and climbed up onto the table. The green bulb sputtered to life and blinked out again. Skab paused in the dark. Was there really another grot standing on his chair with his hands on the box of guns that he was fixing? The box of guns that he was standing on? He shook his head and gave the bulb an incredulous twist. The resulting illumination did nothing to allay his fears. Unki tugged hard on the box pulling it out from under Skab’s feet and they both landed in a heap on the floor as weaponry clattered around them. A second passed as all five grots took stock of the situation before each scrambled for the nearest weapon they could grab. It was a stand off.

Image

The green lamp swung drunkenly over the scene as they stood, weapons aimed in trembling hands. Competing questions raced through their minds in rapid succession. Smudge hid under the table clutching a large shoota in both hands wondering if it was loaded. Would this grot be stupid enough to be welding a loaded weapon? His opponent was pointing a similar weapon at Unki; would he bother if he knew they weren’t loaded? His muscles twitched under the weight of the thing. It certainly was heavy: maybe it was fully loaded.

Unki pointed a stub nosed slugga at Skab. He had already tried to pull the trigger but it was jammed tight and wouldn’t move. He kept up the pretence and hoped the other grot hadn’t noticed. He envied his opponent his larger weapon wishing he had been the one to grab it first.

Skab stood cornered between three, maybe four strangers. He felt sure there was a fourth grot behind him in the shadows under the table, a totally unknown quantity. He considered his options. He couldn’t be sure which of the weapons leveled at him were ones he had already repaired, and he hadn’t been too particular about checking if any were loaded. Skab envied the bigger grot his smaller weapon. If he had been able to grab it in time he would have gotten the quick draw on him. Skab didn't know any of the strangers but one of them was pointing its weapon at one of its companions. Skab felt reassured even if his friend looked a little cockeyed. And what was that other grot smiling about? Did he know something Skab didn’t?

Smirking held a six shoota in each hand, and another slugga lay at his feet. He was grinning from ear to ear. Things were starting to get interesting at last.

Fuggit wasn’t sure what was going on. He had grabbed a gun and started pointing it at the others just so as not to be the odd one out. He felt his stomach churn with excitement. His bowls twisted in anticipation and then the sheer force of nervous tension erupted as he farted loudly. Five grots squeezed their triggers in unison at the sudden interruption.

Click

Clack



Clickitty clunk

Blam!

Skab’s weapon misfired exploding in his hands. Unki threw his useless slugga at the stunned grot who staggered and slumped in a daze on the floor.

“Skab!” it was GrodMek. “Oi Skab! Wot is you up to in der?!”

Smudge sprang out of the shadows and flipping the box over in front of Unki, dumped his shoota in before gathering some more. The rest followed suit. Smirking slug his brace of pistols in his belted pants and joined the rest throwing in weapons from the floor as Unki struggled to hoist the box onto his back.

“Skab! I wants me burna an’ I wants it now!” the ork’s voice and his heavy metallic boots were coming closer. The grots ducked under the table. GrodMek appeared in the doorway a second later. Smudge wished someone had dragged Skab under the table too but it was too late. A noise came from outside.

“KooooooWaaaaah! KooooooWeeee” a clang and a guttural ork yell followed. The grots recognised Slaka’s warning call and knew that he had been rumbled from hiding and had scarpered.

“eh? Wos’at?” GrodMek paused a few feet from the table then his front door burst open and a voice called in.

“ol Grodders me ol’ chum. Da Boss said you’d be ‘ere’”

The Mekboy groaned. It was SnazzGutz the painboy. GrodMek turned and took a few steps toward the door privately dragging his heels for as long as he could. His attitude underwent total transformation however as he passed the entry into the hallway. With the biggest grin he could plaster all over his face he swept out of the room in a grand welcoming gesture to meet the ork medic. It never paid to offend a painboy and nothing establishes the wealth and status of an ork quite like a healthy set of sharp teeth.

Smudge made a break for the door. He waited until GrodMek was a safe distance down the hall and then signalled Unki and the others to get moving with the swag. Smirking moved up first followed by Fuggit, Unki took a little longer struggling under the weight of the box. Smudge set Smirking to watch the Orks and went back to give Unki a hand. Down in the passageway to the front door the two orks were doing what Bad-Moon orks do best, talking business.

“owright Snazza, Da Boss wants some new toys doz ’e?”

“Yeah, Propa Goff stuff ‘e sed.”

“Da biggr an’ stompia da bettr eh?”

“Dats right, an’ ‘e says you don’ ‘av de expurteez fer dat kind of fing so ‘e sent ol’ SnazzGutz to ‘elp ya out. So you does da worky bitz and I does da ‘urty bits.

“Did ‘e mention my fees?”

“Na! Typikal Goff, Neva talks bizniss.”

“Jus’ wants da stuff now an’ ya neva see da teef.”

“’is boys ‘ll ‘av your teef if ya don’t make good, Grodders me ol’ chum”

“Yours too!”

“Well showuz wotcha got den.” The pair turned and started moving toward Smirking who had gotten so absorbed in the conversation that he had forgotten to hide. SnazzGutz pointed at him.

“Dat yer ‘elper grot izee?”

“Yeh dats Ska.. eh? Angabout, Oower you!?”

Smirking yelped and ran for it. Smudge and Unki ducked down behind the box they were carrying and hoped they wouldn’t be spotted. Fuggit stood in the middle of the doorway to the green-lit store watching Smirking disappear into the gloom and wondering where the other two had gone. It was the alarming appearance of two angry orks that quickly made up his mind to run after Smirking.

Smirking ducked into a stack of scrap iron, squeezing between the cracks and out the other side. He hoped that making a few short cuts between the stacks of rubbish in the storeroom would buy him some time to find somewhere to hide or better yet, wherever it was that they had entered in the first place.

Fuggit ran straight down the middle of the main track between the piles preferring the open ground for speed to the more complicated and probably dangerous gaps in the piles of scrap. GrodMek spotted the cross eyed grot and gave chase SnazzGutz followed the resulting shenanigans with great enjoyment, his grim orkish guffaw resonating through the dusty air of the storeroom. Fuggit ran for his life. He rounded a wide central stack and about-turned as he spotted GrodMek waiting for him to come full circle. He jumped a fallen girder and ducked under an overhanging steel bar. GrodMek plodded over and smashed aside the obstacles with reckless abandon causing a small avalanche of scrap metal parts to dislodge Smirking from his hiding place. Fuggit spotted his friend ducking into a doorway not far off to his left and changed direction to follow. He hopped up on a long armour plate and running the length of it turned to look for his pursuer. He caught a glimpse of GrodMek’s boot coming down on the other end and before he knew what was happening he had been catapulted through the air and landed hard against the frame of the doorway he was aiming for.

Fuggit was dazed and confused. He might have picked himself up if GrodMek hadn’t done it for him.

“Oo do ja fink you is eh?” GrodMek tried to shake the answers out of the already shaken grot. Fuggit couldn’t remember any.

“Avin’ sum trouble wif yer grots Grodders?” SnazzGutz’s smile was especially toothy and dripping with disparagement.

GrodMek’s mind squirmed for excuses, feeling like SnazzGutz was getting the better of him. In Ork business the big teef went to the ork with the big ideas and any other orks involved were little more than tools in the hand of the master.

“Dis one’s fer you Snazza.” GrodMek tossed the shaken Grot at his feet. Fer eksperimentz like.” He added, as if he hadn’t just thought of it. Come ‘ere an’ I’ll show ya wot I ‘az in mind.” GrodMek groped inside the door for the light switch hoping that the resulting illumination would shed some light on what he apparently had in mind.

Smirking blinked as a light came on. He peeped out through a crack in his hiding place and watched as the two orks entered the room. GrodMek appeared to be looking for him. He was looking for something. Smirking’s heart nearly stopped as GrodMek turned and looked right at him. The Mekboy’s eyes lit up.

“Dis is it!” he exclaimed to the somewhat baffled Painboy who was carrying Fuggit by one ankle swinging upside-down like a wet sack of bones.

“Wot? Da can?”

“Da KILLA KANN!” GrodMek bellowed, becoming more enthused and animated than he felt any right to be.

Image

"I s’pose it’ll av shootas an’ legs an’ dat?” asked SnazzGutz looking at a bare half rusty oil drum in the corner with a large cracked dent in the side. Smirking tried to stop his knees from knocking as he quivered inside the barrel.

“An’ dis fella goes inside dozz ee?” he shook Fuggit like a loose engine part. “workin’ da worky bitz?”

“Dat’s it! You undastan’ purfik” GrodMek could hardly believe it. It was the greatest plan he had never come up with. He was impressed at his own genius. “Da Boss’ll want eeps of ‘em, an’ we’ll be rollin’ in da teef!” he enthused. SnazzGutz eyed the old tin can and the raggedy grot in his hand with doubt. GrodMek turned him around and quickly knocked out the light before he changed his mind.

“Snazza me ol’ pal, finkaboutit.” The pair plodded off talking business as Smirking slipped away, forgotten and unseen.

There was no one outside the Mekboy’s workshop to meet him when he got out. SkagNet and the others were gone. If the other’s had even made it out. He had made it out, he thought to himself with some measure of personal pride, and he still had his pair of six shootas slung low in his pants. Smirking played with his long tall evening shadow as he swaggered on back to SkagNet’s place, pulling twin pistol quick-draws at stray squigs and snotlings and blasting imaginary enemies with imaginary bullets. He wasn’t just a grot any more. Now he was armed. Now he was a Gretchin!
theCrowe
 
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