The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -Ch.7

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The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -Ch.7

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 Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:07 pm, edited 6 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
 
Posts: 30
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Re: The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -C

Postby theCrowe » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:58 am

Chapter 4 'Ere we go 'Ere we go 'Ere we go!

Smirking was tired and practically sleep-walking when a vehicle raced past almost running him over. He was coming to his senses slowly and even the noise of more engines approaching from behind wasn’t warning enough to get out of the way. An Ork biker bumped him roughly off the road. Bruised and disorientated Smirking rubbed his side where the impact had hit hardest and gawped as his hand came away covered in red gore. The fact that his own blood was green didn’t cross Smirking’s mind as he staggered to his feet convinced he was making his last mortal stand. An hour and innumerable vehicles later the sun was beginning to set: Smirking was still alive and following the trail of red paint left by the Evil-Sunz cavalcade. Apparently they had been too excited to sleep all day and had not bothered to wait for their vehicles’ new coats of red paint to dry before leaving for the Waaagh!

Vehicles of all shapes and sizes roared by in front and behind, all travelling the same direction. Smirking caught snatches of their repeated chorus of "’ere we go!" as they rattled along to 'Da Waaagh!'. Smirking was heading out to SkagNet’s ranch on the outskirts on the last leg of his lonely evening walk but realising that he had overshot his destination on the red road he now turned against the flow of traffic and headed back to where he thought the road to Skagnet’s must be. As vehicle after thunderous vehicle hurtled past he felt like the only green-skin on the planet going in that direction. Huge trucks with grimacing fenders loaded to bursting with chorusing orks and massive battlewagons bristling with all manner of offensive paraphernalia threatened to crush him, shoot him or otherwise dissuade his progress by sheer weight of mob mentality.

At last, Smirking was tired, filthy and lost. He couldn’t find SkagNet’s ranch, he had narrowly avoided being run over all evening long and the only prospects his miserable life had left was to find refuge or die alone in the wilderness with only brown shrubs and the occasional toadstool for company. Smirking was not smirking. He came across a large rock and decided it was best to climb up and sit on top of it. Any sensible ork driver, if such a thing existed, would steer around such an obstacle. He sat atop the rock watching the vehicles roll by. Occasionally he had to dodge the odd bullet from an exuberant passing truckload of orks but he soon learned not to bother. The combination of their ramshackle vehicles jostling them at speed, their terrible marksmanship and his small stature made for a less than alarming hit ratio. Smirking just smiled and waved them pleasantly onto the Waaagh!

Image

A medium sized truck rolled into sight, not too heavily armoured or apparently well armed. Just a rough covered wagon painted with bright glyphs, dags and squared spirals, moving slowly and being overtaken on all sides by smaller and faster vehicles. It was also being bumped and bullied aside by heavier and more deadly ones. As they approached Smirking’s rock most of the other vehicles moved to one side or the other to swerve around. A couple of big bruisers thought to jam the brightly painted truck between them and as the wave of rolling steel approached his island fastness Smirking thought he could guess their cruel intent. He slipped down behind the rock and crouched low bracing for impact. As two horrendously noisy battlewagons passed on either side the expected crash of metal on stone wasn’t nearly as deadly as Smirking had feared.

Thick exhaust smoke from the passing vehicles mixed with the billowing dust clouds of the slow speed collision covering everything in a dark choking morass. The Ork driver could be heard bellowing instructions to his crew.

“All out an’ push us backabit!” Smirking could hear a few feet hit the ground and scuffle through the scrub to the foot of his rock.

“an’ sumb’dy ‘as ta crank da engine!” He could hear grunting and the scraping of metal as the vehicle was backed up under the considerable power of green elbow grease.

“’ere,” an ork voice grunted. “gizza look in der wouja?”

Smirking began to smirk. Feeling a little more confident in his own continued survival he dared a peek over the rock. The dusty moonlit air allowed a view in silhouette of an ork and several grots assembled around a crippled wagon. One grot and the ork were looking under the bonnet and assessing the situation while another two grots were working an engine crank.

“It’s dat fuel pipe!” shrilled a familiar grot voice.

“’course it’s da fuel pipe!” barked the ork. “Oi, GogGob,” he called to the driver, “I fink it’s da fuel pipe.”

As the dust cleared Smirking beamed a wide smile as he sat on top of his rock throne in triumph watching SkagNet and his pals busy themselves in fixing GogGob’s wagon.
Naff was swinging from an engine crank protruding from the front of the truck and Unki was holding on to his ankles trying to work the mechanism.

“Not dat way!” yelled GogGob craning his neck out the window trying to see over the open bonnet, “Crank it da ova way!”

Nurd had his head under the hood and was bashing merrily at the vehicle’s insides. SkagNet jumped down from the engine and booted the crowd of watching grots aside. “Get on back in der yer useless lot.” He bumped the hood down on Nurd’s head and pulled him out by the leg.

“Ferget dat now, get back der and fix da rest of dem shootas!” He slung Nurd in the general direction of the rear of the truck.

Smirking watched as old SkagNet considered the engine top and bottom. He rubbed his chin and muttered low and broodingly as he looked around for inspiration. His eye lighted on the diminutive grinning grot and twinkled. SkagNet’s gummy maw twisted into something that couldn’t really be considered a smile.

“Oi, Smirking, k’meer and hold dis willya?”

Smirking was overjoyed to be back among friends but a little disappointed at SkagNet’s complete lack of acknowledgment of the fact of his miraculous, triumphant, even heroic escape from GrodMek’s workshop. He jumped up onto the wheel arch and leaned in over the engine to see what SkagNet was showing him. SkagNet thrust a dripping pipe into his hand and stuck the end in where it was meant to go.

“’old it der!” He barked.

SkagNet hopped down and cranked the shaft hard and the engine roared into life. Parts flew up and down and rattled and whirled around Smirking’s shaking hands as he held the pipe in place.

“Awright we iz good ta go!” SkagNet bellowed over the noise.

“You!” he stared at Smirking with his one beady red eye, “keep oldin’ dat or ye’ll get ev’rythin cov’rd in squig oil and maybe da whole engin’ll e’splode roun’ yer ears!” Smirking’s smile dropped.

The wagon began to roll slowly away. Skagnet swung himself into the cab beside GogGob and they were off, back on the road to da Waaagh!

Smirking held on for grim death. His teeth rattled and his arms ached as one hand held tight to the pipe and the other kept a white-knuckle grip on the frame of the wagon. Every bump and jolt brought the heavy bonnet hood down on his shoulders and his legs flailed helplessly in the wind knocking and thrashing against the wheel arch. He hoped this wasn’t the beginning of a long career as a grot rigger.

Inside the cab SkagNet sat mending his nets and wargear as GogGob drove and prattled on as Snakebite orks tend to do about ork religion. It was a no-brainer for SkagNet to figure out how the other ork had got his name. He was what the other orks called an “‘oly rolla” and he never shut up.

“der’s no doubt, Skagers” he continued. “WazzBad NazzKop” he announced reverently giving the now famous wierdboy from the market his full and proper title “is da Mighty of Mork. Mork’zmighty-Morksamazin.” he added without a thought.
“I knowed it soon as dat boy’s ‘ed went boom. I asn’t seen waaa en’gy like dat since I was a pigdok back when ol ZogWort waz round.”

SkagNet rolled his eyes, ere we go again he thought.

“did I eva tells ya ‘bout me’n old ZogWort?”

“Yeah! ‘e turned yer squig-‘ound inta a Squiggoth an’ den only paid ya fer a squig-‘ound.” SkagNet summarised hoping to avoid the full story.

GogGob turned a hard swerve around a broken tree stump and a chorus of complaints erupted from the rear where the grots were being hurled around.
“Keep it down in der!” barked Skagnet.
“We nearly der yet boss?” moaned a tired voice.
“jus’ get dem shootas workin’ an’avago at ‘ittin’ somfink.” SkagNet slumped back into his seat. “Morkamighty, dey’s a mis’rable, useless lot.”
He suddenly remembered GogGob who was a twitch away from slamming on the breaks and kicking them all out on account of SkagNet’s irreverence and he added

“Sorry old Goggers I woz jus’… I mean…” SkagNet squirmed in his seat. He had sold his entire squig herd and ranch to the snakebite ork for passage to da Waaagh! and if he blew the deal now he would be left broke and stranded in the middle of nowhere with a pack of snivelling grots.

“ Sorry an’ all but… well anyway, you woz sayin...? “

Luckily the only thing GogGob loved more than Gork and Mork was a willing ear.

“I woz sayin’ how it’s obvious WazzBad NazzKop is Gork’s Greatest. Gorksagood’un-Gork’llget’em.” he added “cause ‘e’s such a parful weirdboy.”

SkagNet let the confusion slide. Mighty of Mork or Gork’s Greatest, the titles like the deities themselves as far as Skagnet could tell were more or less interchangeable. He knew better than to ask GogGob for the finer details.

“I neva’ seen a boy’s ‘ed go up like dat, an’ on’y down at da market, ‘magine wot it’ll be like at da Waaagh!” SkagNet imagined an entire army of orks; heads exploding one by one as a bunch of humans stood around laughing at them. Waaagh! energy, the psychic force generated by a gathering of bloodthirsty orks and channelled through one such as WazzBad was an unpredictable and dangerous weapon. SkagNet hoped to be very far away on the other side of any battlefield that he might share with the weirdboy.

“An wot ‘bout da Boss den?” asked SkagNet asked, referring to GorGoff NarGrim, the undisputed Goff warlord of the whole greenskin army. The real leader of the Waaagh!

“GorGoff. ‘asn’t ‘e bin chosen o’ Gork an Mork? “

GogGob shot him an evil eye.

“Gorksagoodun-morksamazin.” Skagnet added for good measure instantly regretting his question.

GogGob went off on a massive rant on how GorGoff was a tool, albeit an impressively powerful one in the hand of Gork

“Gorksagoodun-Gork’llget’em”

But not the chosen one partly due to his being a Goff and not a Snakebite but mostly due to the obvious favour of Mork

“Mork’zmighty-Morksamazin.”

bestowed on WazzBad NazzKop da Greatest o’ Gork an’ Mightiest o’ Mork!

“Mork’zmighty-Gork’llget’em.”

As the snakebite ork continued to jabber and rant SkagNet let his attention drift. He could hear gunfire from the back of the vehicle. Nurd had evidently had some success in fixing GrodMek’s old shootas and SkagNet’s runt herd was slowly but surely becoming a gretchin mob.

SkagNet fiddled idly with some orange tassels hanging from the window frame. Little carven boars and bone fetishes dangled on the end of each string of fuzzy orange hair and swung in rhythm to the bouncing suspension as the wagon roared at now considerable speed after the cavalcade of other ork vehicles. A pair of flailing legs hanging out of the bonnet beat a rhythm on the wheel arch in front of him like the war drums in his day dreams. SkagNet’s eyes lighted on a filth encrusted effigy stuck to the dash. It was a typical depiction of Gork and Mork; A squat, doubled orkish figure with thick arms and a grim tusked face on each side. SkagNet guessed it was made of earwax.

“eh.. Skaggers…” there was a tone of discomfort in GogGob s voice. Skagnet slipped out of his reverie. He could see a large assembly of ork vehicles stopped and forming something of a traffic jam in the mouth of a wide valley between two high rocky outcrops.

“bes’ slow down, Goggers.” He suggested.

“das wot I woz sayin’, I can’t! Da breaks is shot!”

SkagNet remembered the last time they had attempted to slow down. They had been riding the breaks for more than a mile before they had eventually hit Smirking’s rock and the burning smell all along the way hadn’t been reassuring. This time apparently the breaks were useless and they were travelling much faster than before.

“No breaks!?” SkagNet wracked his brain for what to do as GogGob weaved a path through the outskirters on the edge of the ork mass.

“Dat’s it! Skagnet yelled, jumping up and banging his head on the roof of the cab.

“Shoot da breaks!”

“Shoot da Breaks?”

“Da Wheels, I mean!” He yelled back to the oblivious Grots in the rear.

“Oi! You lot, we as ta stop! Shoot Da wheels!”

“Boss?”

“Shoot da smeggin’ wheels yer daft gits, or I’ll ring yer paffetic necks! I swear ta Gork I’ll..! he flinched a glance at GogGob who was too busy frantically steering and praying to be much bothered what SkagNet was saying.

“mork’zmighty Gorksagoodun mork’zmighty gorksagoodun…” he chanted under his breath.

A volley of small arms fire erupted in the rear but with no discernable effect.

“Smirking!” inspiration hit SkagNet like a bug on the windshield. He stuck his head out of the window and called to the grot’s flailing legs.

“Smirking! Let it go!” he couldn’t be sure if he was being heard over the roar of the engine.

“Let go da pipe! Smirking!” It won’ blow up I woz jus’ pullin’ yer leg!”

Smirking’s toes struggled for purchase on the wheel arch and his hand slipped out to lift the hood off his aching shoulders. A soot blackened and bruised grot emerged from underneath the bonnet and smiled at SkagNet in utter relief. The engine sputtered out but still they were not slowing down.

After the heat and smoke of the engine the wind on Smirking’s face was like a breath of paradise. Smirking looked around and grabbed a tighter hold of the truck as GogGob swerved and weaved like a maniac between parked battlewagons and dashed mobs of orks aside like a wrecking ball. A few orks shot after them and bullets whistled overhead and ricocheted off the body work.

“dat’s me glyph paint ‘oldin’ out.” Explained GogGob with pride. “Non’a yer old armour guff! ‘s too ‘eavy an fulla rust anyways. Glyphs’ll keep ya!”

He swung the vehicle around a last barricade of parked bikes knocking a row of them over like dominoes before the truck emerged into the open and inviting valley mouth.
Relief. They were out the other side. There were a couple of smoking wrecks ahead but nothing GogGob felt he couldn’t avoid.

Understanding fell on SkagNet like a gargant’s foot.

“Oly-Zoggin-Gork!” he screamed “It’s a minefield!”
theCrowe
 
Posts: 30
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Re: The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -C

Postby theCrowe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:19 am

Chapter 5 Mine-sweepers

Smirking wasn’t sure how it happened but he was back under the bonnet of GogGob’s wagon. He noted with some confusion that the engine was nowhere to be seen only a thorny shrub and some rocky ground underneath. Only seconds ago, he was sure of it, he had been riding high with the wind in his hair-squig. The road was clear ahead and the angry ork mob left behind. The dazed grot struggled to his feet levering the heavy vehicle hood off his back. It fell with a clang that underscored the surrounding silence. Smirking was alone again.

He watched as a detached wheel rolled along the ground still going its own merry way before promptly exploding in a shower of dirt and smoke. Realisation froze Smirking to the spot. There were bombs in the ground! Someway distant lay the upturned ruin of GogGob’s wagon. It looked not unlike the other vehicle wrecks scattered about the valley mouth. Most of the front of the vehicle had been blown off and the cabin was badly mangled. The rear looked to have survived more or less intact and Smirking could make out a few of the other grots starting to emerge from the wreckage.

SkagNet detached his peg leg and slipped himself free of the mangled frame of the cabin. He prized his metal peg free and winced at its bent shape. He had a throbbing headache but was otherwise relatively unscathed, GogGob however hadn’t fared so well. The Snakebite ork had gone to meet his makers. He’d bought the farm afterall, SkagNet joked.

SkagNet did what any ork would expect of a close friend and promptly fleeced the corpse for anything of value. He slipped a Snakebite charm from around GogGob’s broken neck; a string of large yellowed grox tusks and boars teeth all carved with religious glyps and orkish wards, and smacked out a couple of good canines to boot. The only other things worth taking were a pouch of dried squig meat and a reddish brown hair-squig.

“Fanx Goggers. Go wif Gork me ol’ chum. Gorksagoodun.” he added superstitiously. He swung himself out to sit on top of the wrecked vehicle and screwed his wonky leg back on. Stuffing a strip of squig jerky into his cheek SkagNet considered his next move.

Image

The truck hadn’t made it very far into the minefield before it hit a mine. The momentum of the vehicle aided the explosion in pushing it further still into the danger zone. SkagNet’s wreck lay almost a quarter of the way in but Smirking had been catapulted with the engine hood still further right into the centre of the minefield. Behind SkagNet a throng of angry and frustrated orks bayed and kicked their heels, unable or unwilling to go any further. Off into the open valley beyond, SkagNet could see a small signpost about as tall as a grot which he presumed denoted the boundary of the minefield. A warning sign left by the humans to warn other humans not to enter.

”’ere, Nurd. K’mere.” He groaned through his soggy jerky. His grot of higher-than-average intelligence scampered gladly up on top of the vehicle.

“Waddya make o’ dis?” Asked SkagNet not rhetorically.

“Der’s bombs in da ground boss.” Nurd informed his ork of less-than-average intelligence.
“I know dat! But ‘ow do we get fru em?”

Nurd pondered the problem.

“wot way Boss?”

That was a good question. SkagNet looked both ways. On one side he had a mass of maddened orks, pent up and ready to lash out. On the other a free and open country, albeit one mined with explosives. Smirking smiled and waved at him in the near distance.

A large mob of Defkopptas flew overhead eliciting a flurry of gunfire and rage from their grounded kin. One caught fire and went down into the minefield on SkagNet’s left causing a cascade of explosions all along the path of its collison. A roar of approval went up from the mob and SkagNet could see one of GrodMek s Flashgitz grinning from ear to ear in triumph. Nurd had an idea.

“Cud we frow stuff?” he pondered aloud. “’eavy stuff. Chuck it like, onta da bombs?”

SkagNet liked having this little grot around.

“Get da wheels off.” He ordered. “An’ anyfink else ya reckon I can lob.”

Nurd smilled and set about putting his plan into action. Before long SkagNet had, stacked on top of the vehicle three tyres, one of which was already in very bad shape, a crate of small scrap metal bits which on their own wouldn’t have weighed enough but together in a crate made for a sizeable object, and a truck door. Unki and Nurd were still at work on removing the wagon’s tailgate but SkagNet decided to make a start. Taking a well inflated tyre in hand he rolled it in Smirking’s direction and carefully marked it’s path as it went. It rolled for some distance. The assembled grots stared intently as did the engrossed mass of orks behind.

KABOOM!

The tyre was launched skyward and landed with a metallic thunk near another wreck.

“Gorkdammit SkagNet!” called an ork from the mob “you’re a Gorkdammed genius!” It was none other than GorGoff NarGrim the warlord himself. Nurd ground his teeth with resentment at the misplaced compliment.

“K’mon.” grunted SkagNet turning his back on GorGoff. He had never liked the Boss and he wasn’t about to start grovelling for his praises now. He hefted the door onto one shoulder with his arm through the window space, swung another tyre on top and picked up the ragged wheel with his free hand. The grots were impressed at his orkish strength. Nurd gathered up his tools and slung them in his belt, having distributed as many working weapons around the mob as he had fixed he felt this an ideal opportunity to unburden himself of the responsibility of fixing any more. Fungrot carried all their food supplies in a back pack almost as fat as he was himself, and Unki and Smudge struggled with the remaining crate of heavy vehicle parts. Following SkagNet in line they trod the thin path to the newly made crater. Once there SkagNet unburdened his load with methodical care before trying again.

Smirking sat with rapt attention watching his approaching saviour’s gallant rescue attempt. Never before had he felt so valued, so appreciated as to warrant such devotion and downright reckless heroics. He smiled and wept like a crazed buffoon.

SkagNet’s second tyre didn’t travel nearly as far as the first before it went up in a shower of grit and fire. Smudge jumped and dropped his end of the crate spilling vehicle parts all over the place.

“Pick’em up.” Groaned SkagNet, painfully aware of his limited progress and equally limited resources.

He plodded off with his raggedy tyre and door to make another attempt while the grots gingerly tiptoed around sweating and trembling as they refilled the crate. An explosion went off behind. For a second SkagNet thought his grots were toast but it was only another vehicle wreck survivor aping his own genius strategy. He laid his door down carefully and flopped the damaged tyre out in front. It didn’t go very far.

“Oi, where’s Naff?” Nurd slapped the grot in question over the back of the head and directed him toward the ork. Naff plodded innocent and dutiful as ever to his Boss’ call.

“Push dat wheel for uz, willya?”

SkagNet pressed the grot into service without waiting for an answer. Naff pushed hard and the wheel rolled a wobbly windy path which veered to the right and would almost have begun to turn back in on itself if it hadn’t exploded in a shower of green muck. SkagNet felt it a worthy effort for such a pathetic excuse for a grot.

Smirking began to have his doubts. Where were they going? Were they letting Naff take the lead? Had SkagNet and his buddies given up on him after all? He snapped a twig off the bushy shrub and started banging on the truck bonnet with furious desperation.

SkagNet looked up, hearing Smirking’s din he observed that the grot possessed another lob-able item for his service. He hefted his truck door onto his shoulder and moved off.

“Folla me you lot.” He barked. The grots eyed him suspiciously but had little choice in the matter. Unki and Smudge lead the reluctant train with their heavy cargo.

Once in Naff’s crater SkagNet inspected the vehicle door. It’s outer side was a little rounded and after he applied a bit of pressure on the frame it was a little more rounded. He aimed for Smirking and slung the huge improvised discus across the ground, it skipped and skidded and ground to an uneventful stop.

“Hmmmpf.” He mused. “Go geddit ladz.”

Nurd stopped beside him and looked up incredulously.

“Not you.” The ork muttered at him.

Runt made a hop into the skid and tip toed forward followed by Snikkit and Fungrot. Slakka yawned and plodded on like a sleepwalker. SkagNet waited until they had reached the door before proceeding himself. When he arrived he inspected the ground around them. An explosive device was clearly visible sticking out of the ground almost dead centre between them and the eager smirking grot. SkagNet sat down on the door and scratched his chin. Smudge and Unki dropped the crate noisily beside him and groaned with relief of their burden.

“Yeah dat’ll do it.” SkagNet grabbed the crate up and flexed his sizable arms muscles testing its weight.

“Get b’hind da door youzunz.” he suggested without much import.

Nurd was already there and Smudge and a few others soon followed suit. Fungrot simply turned his heavy backpack to face the blast and crouched in its considerable shelter. SkagNet lobbed the crate into the air and held his breath as it landed just next to the device but failed to trigger it. Snikkit drew his weapon impatient for some explosive action and fired a flurry of rounds at it. The resulting spray of shrapnel almost took his head off as flying vehicle parts blattered against both the door and Smirking’s bonnet.

“fanx.” said SkagNet twisting a sliver of crate wood out of his forearm. “I fink.”

Smudge, relieved of his burden and apparently convinced of his own safety proceeded forward. The diminutive dirt encrusted sneak was the first to reach Smirking’s island and reunite the stranded prodigal with his mob. SkagNet was less convinced of the path between them and let each of his grots go first before he joined them with his door. Snikkit picked up a particularly spiky looking shard of crate wood on the way.

Smirking beamed at his hero. His smile dropped slowly as SkagNet passed by without a glance, dropping his door almost on top of Smirking and grabbing up the engine hood. He tested its weight in his hands briefly before tossing it like a boat out into the lake of mines. It went an impressive distance on the now stonier ground before it was launched skyward. It landed some distance away behind them and bounced before setting off another mine. SkagNet’s mob watched it fly again. Smirking imagined it might come to rest back on the front of the wagon but it fell short.

Looking back SkagNet could see the ork mob now fully mobilised in attempts to cross the mines. Wheels and armour plates were being stacked and other gretchin mobs were being harassed into service as mine sweepers. A flurry of explosives erupted all along the length of the valley mouth as the effort began in earnest. SkagNet felt it was time he hurried up before the less timid tactics of the mob caught up with them.

He grabbed up his door and made a dash along the skid trail of the bonnet. The grots followed a bit surprised at his change of tac. No sooner was he at the edge of the crater when he slung his discus door another length along the ground. His last piece of scrap triggered another mine and flew away leaving him empty handed. He plodded slowly the short length of safe road and slumped down to ponder the last leg of his journey. The little human signpost stood not far off daring him to have a go. The grots gathered round and struck similar poses of deep contemplation.

“Oi, Nurd. Where’s me tailgate?” Asked the ork, knowing the gretchin had left it behind.

“We couldn’t geddit loose boss” Nurd snivelled “we didn’t ave da propa tools an…”

“Awright, awright das nuff.” SkagNet huffed.

He knew he could have stomped the tailgate off himself but he had been too eager to get on, out from under the gloating scrutiny of GorGoff and the rest of the other orks. He gazed back at the wagon longingly. A pack of Deathskulls had reached it and where stripping its precious bits with savage enthusiasm.

“Zoggin lootin goodfernuffink…” he muttered under his breath.

He was out of time. There was nothing else for it. If he didn’t just move now he would find himself surrounded by rolling mine triggers and roaming grot mobs and flying projectiles all likely to set off every explosive in his vicinity and put an end to his last Waaagh! before it had really begun.

“Ok fellas.” He sighed “gerra move on!”

He kicked the nearest grot in the behind and it landed clumsily on the virgin turf of the minefield and instantly froze in terror. SkagNet winced; it was Smudge, his best sneaker. He looked at his remaining grots deciding to choose a little more carefully who went next. He unslung his grabba stick from his back, picked up Smirking by the waist and tossed him over Smudge a little further out. Smirking landed in a heap, arms and legs sprawling with a mouthful of grit. The next to fly was Runt. He landed with a little more skill and quickly turned to see who was next.

SkagNet was rubbing his chin and squinting down the line of grots. There wasn’t far to go until the sign. Another stepping stone ought to do it but it was further than he was willing to toss a grot without risking a long skid in the dangerous ground.

“Awright Snikkit, op it!”

Snikkit took a run up. Smudge caught the first hop full in the gut and Smirking got the next in the back. Runt didn’t wait around to be another stepping stone and promptly squirmed to one side. Snikkit kept up his pace none the less and in another bound and a leap was past his intended spot and first to reach the sign. Runt made a leap onto the same approximate spot and followed him to the finishing post which Snikkit had already ripped out of the ground to inspect its pointy end.

SkagNet almost pulled out his hair squig. Typical grots, he thought. A mob of Storm boyz was just passing his position flying overhead. In an oily jet propelled leap they cleared the edge of the minefield and promptly formed an orderly drill line trying to look as officious and orderly as their smug young faces would allow. SkagNet would have spat if not for fear of triggering a mine. A flurry of blasts too close behind for comfort shocked SkagNet into action he glanced back at the oncoming horde. A merciless wall of vehicles belching smoke trundled impatiently behind a huge swarm of snotlings and grots driving them forward in their terror and panic. SkagNet grabbed up a grot under each arm, Nurd and Slakka, and legged it. Smudge narrowly avoided the crooked peg leg which dug into the ground where he had lain. Smirking caught the boss’ boot and rode on his leg as he continued out of the minefield. With another carefully judged vault on his peg and a clamouring, bounding hop SkagNet had made it.

He shook Smirking off his boot and dumped the other two. Safe on the other side SkagNet watched his remaining grots as they worked out an elaborate series or leap frogs. Smudge hopped forward into Smirking’s spot and Unki filled the vacant space. Runt made for the goal opening the way for Smudge to move on. Fungrot moved as soon as Unki had space to go and so the last four made their way one by one to safety. As he waited SkagNet considered his luck; or was it skill? He had just successfully navigated a minefield only losing a single grot; and a weedy pathetic naff one at that. Naff was so useless he hardly counted. As he congratulated himself on his own unprecedented genius his eye lit on a fat toadstool growing in the shade of a rock. His eye naturally wandered to Fungrot who, in the same moment had spotted it too. It was too late. Fungrot hopped off course, eyes glazed with fungus lust.

“Fungers!” SkagNet yelped as time slowed to a crawl. “Noooooooo!”

Smudge dived for safety closely followed by Unki who landed on top shielding him from the spray of green guts and gravel. SkagNet slumped bereft as all around him emerging orks and gretchin roared past in huge battlewagons and trucks, bikes and wartracks with a deafening chorus of engines and chants of “ere we go, ere we go.” He didn’t hear any of it. All he could hear was his tummy rumbling. Fungrot his cook, the stupid fungus obsessed grot had gone and got himself and all SkagNet’s tasty treats blown up. He felt something rummaging in his pocket. It was Smirking. He pulled out a strip of squig jerky, offered it to SkagNet and smiled.
theCrowe
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:00 pm


Re: The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -C

Postby theCrowe » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:42 am

Chapter 6 Wot's a Waaagh!?

Nobody waited for SkagNet. He wasn’t expecting a drive by parade in his honour or some grand gesture expressing an outpouring of gratitude from the massed greenskins who he’d led through the wilderness almost singlehandedly on their way to the promised Waaagh! He didn’t expect to be thrust into the dizzy ranks of GorGoff’s elite cronies for his innate Blood-Axe genius to be better appreciated and utilised in the coming conflict. Nor was even expecting a rousing chorus of “SkagNet, SkagNet he’s our Lad”, but a lift would have been nice.

He picked himself up, dusted himself off and whipped his grots into line. They weren’t the only ones short on transport. Mine fields have a tendency to remove the wheels from under your feet and a steady trickle of stragglers were moving off on foot following the dust trails of the more fortunate. Only a few diehard Deathskulls remained with the stricken vehicles risking their lives for some choice salvage.

The dispossessed greenskins marched slow and sullen, the former exuberance and frenzy of going to war giving way to dusty daydreams and idle minded battle plans.

Image

SkagNet recalled his Kommando glory days: entire months concealed behind enemy lines, the haunting of his foes, the bewildering surprise attacks, the devastating sabotage, the downright lowdown sneakiness of it all!

His wonky peg-leg slipped a thread in its socket and threw his balance breaking his stride and his reverie. Brought back to his present reality SkagNet’s shoulders sagged in forlorn realisation. He was no longer a Blood-Axe Kommando. Now he was just a Runtherd with the sorriest band of grovelling gretchin he had ever seen armed and mobilised. This, he decided with grim dismay was truly to be his last Waaagh! This time he would not be considered an elite, indispensable and highly prized asset, but fodder; the bottom of the ranks, as low as an ork could go and utterly expendable. He stopped marching crestfallen and depressed and slumped down in the dirt to sulk. His motley crew plodded on ahead of him unawares, each equally lost in their own thoughts. Smirking turned. His smirk dropped. SkagNet glanced up and, spying the gloomy look of genuine concern on the face of his familiar little clown quickly made an effort to appear distracted. He fussed and groped in his pockets and emptied a stone from his boot as one by one each of his charges turned and observed. He finally settled with some relief on his wonky peg-leg. In an effort to save face he removed it and made an elaborate gesture of dissatisfaction by throwing it at his gretchin.

“Lousy piece o junk!” he barked. Satisfied that his audience were suitably distracted with the task of retrieving the bent length of pipe that insulted his every stride SkagNet attempted to compose himself.

“’ey Boss.” came a tentative whisper. It wasn’t a familiar voice. SkagNet forgot his troubles for an instant as his beady eye squinted through the sun glare for a face.

“Wot’s it like Boss?” it was Smirking. SkagNet suddenly realised for the first time that he had never once heard a single word uttered from those ridiculous red lips. Nor either that he had believed that Smirking was dumb; he never answered back nor indeed, he now realised, refused or resisted SkagNet’s commands in any way. He had always simply smiled and…

“Boss…?”

“Eh?” SkagNet blinked, bewildered.

“Da Waaagh! Boss.” Smirking insisted. “Wot’s it like?” SkagNet’s eye drifted off into the middle distance. Visions of fire and smoke and blood and violence twisted a gummy grin that spread slowly across his age worn features all the way to the corners of his eyes. Smirking’s face lit up with shear infectious joy.

“Ahh Smirking!” he clapped the little gretchin heartily on the shoulder almost breaking a clavicle. “Wot’s it like?” he enthused. “It’s wot we’re ere for!”

SkagNet guffawed and pulled himself up on one leg using his grabba stick as a walking cane.

“Ya eva wanna just smash sumfink but when it’s all smashed up you jus wanna smash sum more? An’ yer sick o’ smashin’ up yer own stuff so ya get yer mates roun’ an’ dey all wanna jus’ smash stuff so yous all go out an’ smash up sum junk an’ den da owners o’ da junk wanna fight cause ya smashed up der junk an’ den der’s a big scrap an’ ya blast ‘em like…” Skagnet whipped out a slugga with alarming dexterity and unloaded a few rounds at a forgotten boot lying on the ground allowing his pistol to finish the sentence. Smirking didn’t quite follow but was none the less amused.

“Den dey get der mates roun’ an’ it gets a even bigga scrap and dey bring der blastas an’ der trucks and ova junk an’ yer all as a real good scrap an’ stuff’s on fire an’ ye can’t see fer da smoke but den ya can sneak up and blow up der junk on da sly an’ even blame der mates an’ den jus’ sit back an’ laugh at em all scrappin togever an’ sumtimes dey gets smart an’ den dey gets mad acha an’ den dey gets sloppy an you gets yer digs in easy, all like…” SkagNet stabbed at the air with his grabba stick and throttled invisible adversaries with hideous delight before overbalancing and toppling over in heap back down eyeball to eyeball with Smirking.

“D’ye see?” he grabbed Smirking by both arms and stared wildly in his face all crazed and dribbling with enthusiasm.

“Dats da Waaagh!” SkagNet was desperate, almost begging him to understand. Smirking smirked nervously. A gallery of faces had formed a semi-circle around them. Even Slakka looked wide awake paying full attention. Snikkit drooled and his eyes flickered with more than his usual amount of crazy. Beholding his mob of eager warriors SkagNet’s Blood-Axe pride once again mastered his faculties.

He had heard tales of ZogRod WortSnagga and his so called Kommando Runts: An elite force of highly trained gretchin, in the hands of a bumpkin Snakebite. But these; he reviewed his painstakingly hand selected team in quiet self admiration: In the hands of a true Blood-Axe with real Kommando skills.

Smudge, a natural born infiltrator the finest example of gretchin sneakery he had ever trained.

Unky, the powerful physique of an ork, almost. A small ork, a gretchin sized ork.

Runt, small and nifty and a talented escape artist.

Slakka, a rare diurnal operative with superb day vision.

Nurd, intelligence and knowhow, the brains of the outfit, after SkagNet of course.

Snikkit, wild, feral, the untamed violent malevolence of the greenskin race.

And Smirking…

SkagNet turned and realised he had been holding the gretchin by the arms all this time. Awkwardly he released his grip a little dumbfounded. He still couldn’t figure this grot out. He had taken every rotten job SkagNet could throw at him and always came out smiling. Every back handed slap every boot in the rear and every lash of his whip only made the little clown all the more loyal and willing and somehow able. SkagNet just smiled at the little guy, standing there rubbing his arms looking sheepish. He had rekindled a fire in the old Blood-Axe’s belly when it was most sorely needed. Maybe he was special. Maybe even old GogGob’s kind of special, gifted, or charmed or chosen or some-such mystical nonsense.

SkagNet glowed. He truly had it all. This was going to be a great Waaagh! after all: The first of many in his illustrious new career as a runtherd freebooter. He would show ZogRod, He’d show GrodMek, and GorGoff, he’d show them all.

Nurd returned to him his peg-leg. Now a little straighter missing its worn out rubber shoe but with the screw end newly greased. SkagNet didn’t care to ask where he had gotten the grease from. He screwed it back in place noting with satisfaction a grinding sandy texture in the oily muck improving the grip on the threads. He looked around for his boot but finding only the old, shabby, bullet riddled thing presumably discarded by another sore footed ork, he abandoned the search. After all, where they were going there were plenty of spare boots.
theCrowe
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:00 pm


Re: The Illustrated Adventures of Smirking: A Grot's Life -C

Postby theCrowe » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:09 pm

Chapter 7 Waaagh! GorGoff


All the way along the road to ‘Waaagh! GorGoff’ SkagNet spoke to his mob of grand plans and schemes including each of their various roles and specialisations. He schooled them in his favourite ambush tactics and tried to remember any titbits of useful knowledge on the human Imperial Armies they were shortly to encounter and demolish. Tanks to sabotage, tanks to steal, tanks to avoid on the battlefield. Weapons to loot for ammo, weapons that if found should belong to him alone, laser weapons unfit even for snotlings. Names of famous humans and the even more famous orks who had squashed them dead, and any other impressive details he could recall from memory convincingly contrive. He had Nurd distribute what little weapons and ammo they had between them while Snikkit provided a few sharp or heavy objects with which to stab, clobber or otherwise maim the soft and pathetic enemy. Finally Smudge applied the smudge and SkagNet declared them all “Ready fer da Waaagh!”

The first indication that they had arrived was another stricken vehicle crawling with Deathskulls orks. This vehicle however was not of ork design and what was left of it looked to SkagNet distinctly human.

“Dis is it boys” he said, trying to sound like he knew what they were doing.
“we’z goin’ in!”

A couple of grots made for the human vehicle thinking he meant them to start looting but he grabbed them quickly and directed them on past it.

“not in der!” he grumbled, trying not to make eye contact with the fiercely possessive blue-faced orks glaring at them.

“In der! Inta da Waaagh!” He picked up his pace and led his grots at a shambling trot trying to mimic the traditional frenzied war cry and charge of the ork race. His gretchin followed dutifully if not impressively. Trying to discern where or against what enemy they were supposed to be charging. Their feeble high pitched voices combined with their general confusion made a mockery of the waaagh! and the whole thing fizzled out into a lacklustre cross country dash.

SkagNet gave up. He glanced around the supposed battlefield looking for something to battle with but the bulk of the ork army had been through this area long before and had left only wreckage and bodies in their wake. He supposed he could at least use the opportunity to loot some more ammo before the real fighting began.

“Nurd!” he gasped, still catching his breath.

“Boss?”

“Go look fer dakka.”

SkagNet watched as Nurd made for the first ork body he could find. Satisfied that his most intelligent grot could be trusted to find the right stuff he tried again.

“Snikkit!”

Snikkit looked up already plastered in viscera from whatever foul mischief was occupying him.

Find da ladz some proppa stikkas! Real ‘uns dis time, nun’yer junk!”

Snikkit ripped a shard of bone from a corpse and waved it aloft all dripping with gore, before jabbing it in SkagNet’s direction with a vicious little twist. SkagNet marched over drew a blade and dashed it to splinters in a brutally powerful stroke. Snikkit sucked his fingers which stung from the vibration of the impact.

“Arder ones, like dis!” Oomies as ‘em round der bellies on a strap, or in der boots.” SkagNet explained. “course, da orks’s ones is best, so look sharp!”

Snikkit set about looking for better hand weapons for the gretchin mob and SkagNet looked around greedily. He thought he’d push his luck.

“Smirking!” he hollered, but Smirking was already right beside him, smirking as always.

“Find us sumfink shiny. I wants a new blasta, sumfink dead killy.” Smirking made to move away but was arrested by a thick hand on his shoulder.
“not an ork one mind” SkagNet muttered conspiratorially. “gizza big shiny Oomie blasta.”

Smirking wasn’t sure what he was looking for but he felt sure the dead humans around would be able to help. He went to ask them.

SkagNet plodded on leading his gretchin in an elaborate game of creep and sneak, hiding behind cover from imaginary enemies and outflanking their unheld positions. It was all good training he told himself. He passed more and more scenes of recent battle; a couple of still burning ork vehicles and a human tank to match told him they were getting close. The smell of promethium smoke sent a chill of nostalgia down his think orkish spine. He ducked low and led his band in a crouching run against the line of the smoke blown in the wind as if to use the smoke cover to evade enemy fire. The now not too distant sounds of gunfire would have completed the illusion but for the lack of live rounds flying through the smoky air. SkagNet congratulated himself. They were getting it, his kommando grots were coming along well. Smudge was a natural and the rest were learning fast, accepting the three he had on loot duties.

Nurd had a wearying way of looking at him that almost made SkagNet feel foolish. Nurd didn’t much participate in the sneaking and stalking. SkagNet suspected that may change in the event of enemy contact threatening his life.

Snikkit was still as wild and untamable as ever. His new found interest in human anatomy was distracting him from picking up any of SkagNet’s valuable Kommando training, but again, the chance to encounter a living human may help him focus his more malevolent tendencies.

Smirking on the other hand was singularly engrossed in his search for a new toy for SkagNet. He strolled around oblivious to all but the ground in front of him. SkagNet winced to see such total disregard for stealth, tactical squad cohesion and forward scouting in one under his own command. He kept up with the rest of the group but often strayed far out into the open to investigate a promising group of corpses. SkagNet thought that even confronted with a squad of live humans Smirking would probably stumble blindly into them, smile and ask them for a blasta for the Boss.


Smirking thought he could hear gunfire over the crackling of the wreckage fires, but none of the others seemed too worried, least of all SkagNet, who still kept up his games with the other gretchin as he had for most of the night. The moonlight was patchy as smoke and cloud drifted aloft and Smirking kept his eyes down, giving every cluster of human bodies he could see his full attention looking for anything of interest. Already his pockets were full with a few of their rounded knobbly green bombs and a pair of guard issue binoculars. He had also found a length of thin but very strong rope which he had used to help hold his bulging trousers up. He had found lots of their laser shootas, which SkagNet had spat at and a big bulky pistol which the ork had inspected with great interest and then thrown away due to its empty magazine.

He glanced up. SkagNet and the team were still a long way off but they were moving in the same direction. They had stopped to hide behind a crumbling stone wall evidently about to sneak up and ambush yet another abandoned human vehicle. At least he assumed it was abandoned, it was immobilised and deep inside ork held territory and he hadn’t seen any humans alive yet. The gunfire though, was getting considerably closer. A group of Orks not far away were firing off rounds and laughing but they sounded more like they were having a lazy evening target shoot than an actual Waaagh!

Smirking resumed his search looking for more bulky human pistols or the ones SkagNet had described as “like dat on’y bigga.” At this stage anything that wasn’t a laser shoota would do. Along this length of the same crumbling stone wall a group of humans had evidently made their last stand as the ork cavalcade rolled through and crushed them wall and all under their tracks. Smirking climbed the rubble mound and began heaving rocks off the buried bodies. Something glinted reflecting a brief moon light glow. Or was it a green blinking light. Smirking dug deeper and got a skinny hand to it. It was warm; warmer than the bodies anyway. He pulled a small avalanche of rocks free in his haste to uncover the buried treasure and pulled it clear. It was an odd shaped thing. A human weapon; rounded and fat at the business end and all smooth and silvered. It smelled of ozone and he could feel its barely contained energy tingling in his tentative grip and making his hair squig fuzz with static. He felt sure he’d found just what the Boss was looking for.

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Smirking jumped up on top of the wall and waved frantically to SkagNet, arms flailing and capering around in the least covert manoeuvre SkagNet had ever witnessed. A familiar voice not far off stilled his leaping heart.

“Oi, wots dat you got?” GrodMek demanded.

Smirking turned slowly knees quaking, face cringing and smirking in nervous terror. GrodMek was busily liberating a track assembly from a stricken ork wartrack. His trukk and trailer were backed up close by to receive the stripped gubbins and his cadre of Flashgitz stood ready to fend off any over-eager Deathskull looters.

“It’s a zoggin’ Sun-Gun!” GrodMek balked dropping his wrench “Giveus dat ye li’le git fore ya melt yer own face off!”

“Dat’d be pretty funny Boss!” guffawed one of GrodMek’s snazzgun toting Flashgitz.

Smirking did what every good gretchin does when given a direct command by a fully armed ork with lots of fully armed ork buddies and complied immediately without question.

“Wotchoo doin’ wif a sun-gun anyways?” GrodMek barked as he snatched the weapon from Smirking. “Grotz ese days!” he left the statement hanging as he inspected the workings of the weapon.

“Ere UzKop!” he called to a very hairy faced ork “’ave a crack wif dis.”

He tossed the fully charged plasma gun to the ork in question and stood back to enjoy the result. UzKop caught it in both hands but immediately let go with one as if burnt.
“Zoggin-Mork dat’s ‘ot!” he winced before taking aim one handed and one eyed at a knot of small stone buildings they had been idly shooting at.

“Take dis Oomie grunts!”

The resulting blast was blazing bright in the hazy twilight and considerably more accurate than Smirking had expected considering the distance and the race of the marksman. A corner of a facing wall was hit causing a small amount of masonry and roof to collapse in. A brief flurry of answering las-fire fizzled out around them as UzKop dropped the weapon like a hot potato and sucked his scorched fingers in pain. The other Flashgitz roared with laughter.

“Oomie sun-gunz,” GrodMek explained retrieving the gun from the ground. “dey can’t make ‘em right. I’ll fix dis one inta a new snazzgun for GorGoff, he’ll like dat!”

“Nog iff it burngs ‘is fingers ‘e wongt.” UzKop complained through a mouthful of throbbing digits.

Smirking made to move away while they were preoccupied but didn’t get far.

“You onea SkagNet’s are ya?”

Smirking froze on the spot and broke into a cold sweat.

“Oi SkagNet ye lazy ol’ git!” GrodMek hollered. “Yer late!”

SkagNet’s head appeared above the top of the vehicle which he and his band of Kommando Grotz had just successfully out-flanked. He didn’t look pleased to see GrodMek.

Playin’ ‘ide’n’seek wif da grotz is ye?” GrodMek mocked. His cronies chortled loudly on cue.

“Gerrova ere!” he commanded with enough vehemence to both quell the sniggers and to quick-step the pace of SkagNet’s reluctant progress. SkagNet eyed Smirking with undisguised contempt as he approached. Clearly he wasn’t impressed at his grot’s latest discovery.

“Da Boss will be well appy wif ‘is nuu blasta.” GrodMek gloated, indicating the large silvered sun-gun. “I reckon ‘e’ll be dead grateful.” Smirking beamed with hope.
“To Me!” GrodMek snapped at him.

That pompous bullying mek-boy wasted no opportunity to rub the old Bloodaxe’s nose in it and Smirking had provided one. SkagNet just sneered. Smirking wasn’t smirking anymore. The rest of the Gretchin mob gathered around SkagNet’s feet and stood around trying not to be noticed by the other orks.

“Yer all ‘ere den? Good!” GrodMek grinned with malicious intent. “cause it seems ta me you grotz betta get busy. Der’s no slakkin’ off in my Waaagh!”

SkagNet elected not to offer any corrections just yet.

“an’ b’sides…” Grodmek paused eyeing the distant smouldering ruins of their target. “I gots da purfik job for ya!”
theCrowe
 
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