A bit of halloween fun to mark my first post on this area of the forums in a while. I had fun with it, and hope that you enjoy it as well!
“I tell yer, Zoggob,” Warboss Groblok grumbled, “sumfin's wrong wid me zoggin' armor, an I wants yer ter fix it. It don't walk right, and I'm startin' to fink my trusty mekboy can't fix what he broke fer me.”
Zoggob scratched his scalp with a screwdriver, picking at the scarification around the crude skull plate he'd bolted there. “I gots ter say, boss, I'z already looked at it more'n a few times. But if you fink it's still an issue...”
“It's definitely still an issue, ya git!” the warboss roared, and Zoggob had to duck out of the way of a backhanded slap from a power klaw in mega-armor that would have pulverized him. Well, perhaps not, but he certainly would have had to replace more body parts with metal gubbins. A mekboy's life had its hazards, and an irate warboss was certainly high on the list.
At least this wasn't as bad as what had happened to the last warboss. Old Grubblegok had been in a right murderous mood after the explosion. Groblok's challenge had come at just the right time to save Zoggob's sorry hide. He'd managed to spin the accident as a deliberate sabotage to prove his loyalty to the new warboss, but he'd been in hot water since keeping the small clan's single suit of mega-armor functional.
The truth was that Zoggob was a piss-poor mekboy, and he knew it. He didn't have the feel, the touch, the insane fever-dream that drove true meks—he was just a boy too weedy to fit into any of the mobs who happened to be slightly better at cobbling together woznits and doo-das than the rest.
"Well den," Groblok, grunted, "look in dere and poke around. Do yer mek wotnitz. Make it zoggin' work!"
"Yes, boss. Of course, boss," he mumbled, dreading the coming minutes. Just for show, he threw his screwdriver to clatter in the back, calling, "Oi, Kennik! Get yer lazy hide over 'ere, ya stinkin' greasedrinka!"
Zoggob scurried around behind the warboss and looked with dismay into the bewildering, blackened mess that was the armor's array of inputs and outputs. It never had recovered from the explosion that had crippled Grubblegok's locomotion. The tonnes of armor dead-weight had slowed him enough that Groblok could knock his head in, but when Groblok had insisted on taking the previous warboss's armor for himself... well, that was when Zoggob's limited creativity and repertoire of instinctive head-schematics had run out, and he had found himself in his current predicament. He'd managed one terror-filled stroke of genius to keep himself alive so far, and that was the only reason Groblok could walk around right now, but further inspiration had been desperately lacking.
He picked up a wrench and poked a few rods in a desultory manner, then glared daggers at Kennik, who sneered back at him with as much spite as the grot could get away with. Sure, Kennik was essential to keeping this suit moving, but Zoggob might have to take him down a few pegs soon.
There was nothing to it. He had to make his gamble.
"Er, boss, I'z been finkin'. Ya know how part of yer mega-armor is from one of dem beaky boy 'eavy nobs—Termee-naters?"
"Wot about it?" grunted Groblok.
"Well, dem beaky boyz is always talkin' 'bout dey 'gubbin ghosts' and watnot, finkin' dat dere guns and trukks is alive an' all."
"Well we all know dat beaky boyz is cracked in dere noggins," Groblok said, "alluz shoutin' 'bout honor and crap. Dat don't mean nuffin."
"Well, boss..." Zoggob said, cringing at the stupidity of what he was saying, "I fink one of dem ghosts is in yer mega-armor."
The warboss went utterly still. Whether he was simply trying to get his head around the notion—most likely—or about to lash out and take Zoggob's head from his shoulders for his idiocy—a rebuke Zoggob couldn't discount—was in the hands of Gork and Mork. Eventually, Groblok shifted, blinked, and spoke again in a very low voice.
"Zoggob," he hissed. "Do ya mean ter tell me dat my armor is... 'aunted?" For the last word, his voice rose high and squeaky as a grot's.
"Well, er, yah, boss. Kinda. Maybe."
Groblok took a couple short breaths. "Oh Mork," he moaned. "Ohhh Mork. No wonda I could do in Old Grubblegok—'e 'ad a curse on 'im. And I got dat curse too, an' can't give up dis armor or else all da uvva nobz will be after me right quick." Zoggob just stared. His plan had... worked? Mean Groblok, the toughest ork in the camp, was quaking in his mega-armored boots.
"Ohhhh Gork. You gotta 'elp me, Zoggob, yer da brilliant one 'oo done sussed it out. Is dere anyfing I can do ter fix it? You gotta 'elp me!"
Wheels turned in Zoggob's tiny excuse for a brain, calculating madly. This was better than he could have hoped—and he'd probably even come out ahead after giving Loopy Lobgit the cut they'd agreed on.
"Well," he eventually said, feigning hesitation, "I fink I know a way, but it'll take a lot of teef..."
In the end, Loopy Lobgit rattled his wierdboy staff over Groblok for a while, chanting and moaning. Eventually, a series of sharp, concussive shocks rattled the shack, and Lobgit stepped back.
"You clean now, boss-mon. Dere some powaful spirit dere, but it ain't had nuffin on da powa of da Waaagh, an' I could drive it away. But beware, mon. Dat ghost is verra attached to its armor, and will be back soona den later. When it does come back, well... I'z gonna need to put da fear o' Gork and Mork back inta it."
Groblok grunted assent, trying to seem big and tough after his earlier show. "Dat will be all, mekboy, wierdboy. You dun good today. Jus'... don't go talking to noork 'bout dis, less you want me to be claimin' all yer teef. Wid my fist."
"Course not, boss. Yer da boss, boss."
"Nah, boss-mon, dis strictly tween us tree. Don't fret yer brawny 'ide."
Groblok wheeled with several ponderous steps, and as soon as his back was turned, Zoggob handed Lobgit a small bag of teef—more than Lobgit had initially asked, but it wouldn't hurt to stay in the good graces of the craziest boy on this side of Orkimedes. Besides, Groblok had been decidedly more generous than Zoggob had expected—he could afford the generoity, and would be drinking the finest shroom beer and squig wine for the foreseeable future besides.
"Now dat's a sight," he said of the warboss's vanishing backside. Lobgit giggled in agreement.
In the blackened control cavity of Groblok's armored backpack, Kennik the grot worked frantically, mirroring the warboss's movements to keep the locomotion inputs live. For every step Groblok took, Kennik took one as well, and soon, both of them vanished among the tents.