Heresy fiction comp 2010: [Life Twin Linked]
Hi guys this is a rewritten version of the story of my main warboss done speshul for this ere contest. Consequently the main protagonist is named after my screen name as i had the concept and a basic (rubbish) version of the story for ages.
Hope you enjoy it.
Life Twin Linked
Grimzag blinked and glanced around at the shifting terrain before him. Even by wiping his eyes with the gnarled knuckle of his left hand he couldn’t get the blurriness which gathered at the corners of his vision to subside.
Before him stretched a battlefield, the broken bodies of orks and humies alike littered the ground amongst the battered wreckage of vehicles. A solid mist writhed with a mind of its own between the detritus of war. Its form squirmed like a toobsquig on a hot cooking plate and seemed to shift colours between mud brown and fungus blue. He didn’t like the mist much, whilst it didn’t scare him as such he’d not seen its like before and the strange movement made him wonder about how smart it was and whether it was a threat. Just to be sure he squeezed the trigger on his shoota and sent a hail of slugs into it. Nothing happened so the warboss shrugged and tried to remember where he was.
The strange field was completely silent. So much so that the warboss fired his shoota again just to be sure he wasn’t deaf. No boys joked about how they had thrashed the humies, no humies cheered that the greenskins had been sent packing. Even the croak of carrion birds was absent and that fact alone was enough to make him uneasy of the unnatural place which he now stood in. Birds or vermin of some kind were present across the galaxy and the ork could not remember ever having seen a field where this much carnage had been caused but no opportunistic wildlife lurked to take advantage of the free meal.
The colour of the sky and the nature of the surrounding landscape eluded him, obscured as it was behind the ever present fog tendrils which now shifted to a buggy red tone.
Filling his lungs with the dank air the warboss let out a bellow at the top of his lungs and started running through the mist. He had been stood still for too long and now he needed to move. It didn’t matter which way he went, it all looked the same. Sooner or later he would find an enemy or maybe some of his boys and he could get some proper wheels under him again. Until that happened he was on foot and he was going to have to satisfy himself with running as fast as his legs could carry him.
He ran for a good few minutes, not encountering anything living, and was just about ready to believe that he was alone in this bizarre world when s pole swung out from behind the wreck of a truck and caught him just below the knee. The impact sent him sprawling. He crashed like a deffcopta that had strayed too close to a zapgun battery and before the huge greenskin had even managed to roll over, the sound of harsh chuckling reached his ears. Raucous laughter stroked his anger at having been knocked over and with rage boiling from his pores the massively muscled monster gathered his steel-shod boots under him and rounded on his attackers.
The old ork’s blood was boiling when he gaze swept over the yoofs which were now visible and a taunting remark from the nearest one incensed the warboss even further.
“Ah Grimzag, always leapin’ afore ya look ain’t ya. That’s why ya got owned by da umies. “
“Claimed by pinkskinz. You and all ya ladz got well an’ truly skooled.” Piped in the second, still chuckling dryly.
The warboss growled with anger and levelled his custom shooter at these pale skinned grubs which should have been cowering in fear from his massive scarred form. They had earned enough ire that he should just blast them and stomp their bodies into the dust but right now they were the only ones which might know where the rest of the lads might be.
“Shurrup ya pathetic snivvelin’ whelps. Dey caught us off guard is all. We’ll be back and stomp ‘em later but first you’z gonna show me da way back to da mob.”
Instead of listening the yoofs started laughing again, fresh waves of hilarity passing through their frames as though the angered warboss had just made the greatest joke they had ever heard.
That was all he could take. Grimzag squeezed the trigger on his shoota and let out a roar of fury in anticipation of the “Dakkadakkadakkadakka” which would soon issue from the throat of the weapon. Instead he was rewarded with a dry “Clickaclickaclickaclicka” of an empty ammo hopper.
The yoofs laughed all the harder, one of them falling over and clutching his sides as if they were about to split.
Bawling with wordless wrath the warboss threw his shoota aside and charged at the taunting ork which was still stood upright.
Men had been trampled under his weight, orks had been crushed by the force of his fists alone and here was a boy half his size mocking him. The joker looked up and continued to smirk as death steamrolled towards him. Only at the last moment did the boy spring to life, dashing in under Grimzag’s attack and smashing a fist into his face.
The hit poleaxed him. It felt like it had been delivered by a fully fledged ogryn rather than a mere boy and for the second time the warboss found himself laying in the dust with the laughing boys still on their feet.
Spitting out a toof he roared and tried to get up. A heavy boot came down on his chest and forced him back to the ground with a force which didn’t match the size of his opponent.
He tried to bring his choppa up and swing the heavy head of the weapon into this usurper’s gut but found the blade was caught. A glance at the haft of the weapon revealed the thick mist, now a familiar green tone, wrapped around the guard. In shock he realised that the living fog had already entwined his feet and his free hand, there was little he could do to stop it seizing his remaining limb completely and immobilising him.
Turning his gaze back to the yoofs, his wrath was quickly dismissed and something more akin to awe filtered into the slow moving mechanisms of his brain.
Before him stood two massive, gnarled orks. Each was easily 15 foot tall and both were covered in more tats and trophies then he had ever seen. The boot which pressed him to the ground whilst the mist did its work was only marginally smaller than his chest and the weapons which now hung from the greenskin’s hands looked to be made out of beaten tank armour. The mirth was gone from their eyes as they examined him, periodically shaking their head and tutting as if disappointed by what they were seeing.
The one which had immobilised him spoke in a tone that conveyed only menace.
“That’s twice today you’ze dies Gorwazza, we’s really disappointed.” The beast took its foot from his chest before continuing.
“It was all goin’ so well for yer. Ya had da mob, da trukks, da guts and ya wasted it all. Used to be that yoo was so ‘ard that we would watch ya just fer a laff.”
Grimzag felt the mist lift him up and spin him through the green landscape until he faced a patch clear of clouds, through which he could view a battle unfolding.
Greenskins crashed into marines. Armour and flesh was ripped to pieces in the chaos of the battle as the two forces vied for supremacy. Whilst in the distance bikers crashed into a barricade which shielded the heavy weapon marines from damage, he could see himself, albeit a few decades younger, roaring into combat with a group of the rocket marines.
He leaped in amongst them and ducked low, chopping his axe into the commanders neck and stealing the leaders power sword. With a roar of pure bloodlust the greenskin lashed about with the crackling power weapon. Two enemy had fallen to his flourish immediately and two others were dragged down by the rest of his warband before they could recover from the shock of the charge. The last opponent tried to back away from the raging beast in front of him but didn’t ignite his jump pack fast enough. With a quick flick of the wrist the berserk ork gutted the Astartes warrior. A slugga round through the visor of the warrior’s helmet put him down for good. Almost before the corpse had hit the floor Grimzag had dropped the sword and reached into the wound, grabbed a random assortment of organs and pulled them out through the gap. Whilst the rest of his mob chanted, he hoisted the grim trophy above his head and roared in triumph.
“Grimzag “Spleentear” Gorwazza, dey called you after that. Back when you woz ‘ard.”
Grimzag pulled his eyes away from the fading scene and looked towards the mysterious greenskins, his jaw dropping open involuntarily as he witnessed the true nature of his hosts.
Where before they had been massive now they were impossible, towering walls of muscle and scars which would have dwarfed even the mightiest of gargants. The all pervasive mist seemed to clear for the mighty beings and for once in his life the warboss didn’t trust himself to speak.
The ork gods glared down at him and when they spoke now it sounded like a distant artillery barrage firing.
“You woz a bad un Gorwazza, tearing up the universe in whichever direction you aimed but then ya got soft.” The other god spoke now and Grimzag found himself unsure of which god was which.
“Soft and fat and it wouldn’t surprise me if a little bit pink.”
The warboss tried to protest but was immediately shut up by the harsh bark of his gods.
“Shut up Gorwazza, just shut up. Don’t say nuffin until you seen the mucking about wot got ya perished.”
Once again the clouds parted before him and the landscape resolved itself into a dusty desert where his warband careened between rocks and dunes in high spirits. His whole band was whooping and cheering the carnage to come as they raced each other through the treacherous terrain at breakneck speeds.
Grimzag’s plain of vision span again, tearing him upwards into the clouds and giving him a bird’s eye view of the plains below. He found he had a little control and was able to drift along behind his own battlewagon. He remembered the city which loomed ahead of him, a high solid curtain wall surrounded the settlement and would prove to be a real problem for his boys if he hadn’t out thought the humies and shifted the focus of his attack to catch them unprepared. Even as he watched the scene unfurl he felt his blood rise in anticipation of a good scrap. The warning horns of the walls started blaring and a scattering of defenders moving to man the wall guns. The gates were hastily closed and the warboss shouted encouragement as his lads peeled off and started hosing the top of the wall with firepower. The lighter trucks and buggies pulled ahead of his wagon and flew towards the gate, tankbusters in the lead trucks already firing off rockets despite the fact that they were still a long way out of range.
Scattered fire reached down from the wall and Grimzag saw old Funder’s bike take a hit and cartwheel into the air as the front axle of the vehicle sheared through. He laughed with the sheer thrill of battle and shouted for his driver, Spannymek, to give it a bit more welly. The mad mek grinned like a loon and punched a big red button on the centre of the dashboard. The battlewagon responded by lurching forwards as concealed pumps released fungrus-oxide directly into the fuel manifold. Green flames blasted out of the exhausts behind the vehicle and sent a track swerving to the side only for it to clip a rock and come apart.
As he looked forwards again a brief flutter of doubt stroked the grey matter between his ears. The gates in the wall had swung open before them and before his boys could respond massive tank rounds decimated the forerunning tankbuster trucks. A trio of leman russ battle tanks prowled from the gateway, in line formation, three more followed closely behind. The shock of the counterattack threw the leading attackers into confusion. Vehicles and orks were tossed about in the concussive fire and some of the surviving frontal elements tried to pull away from the threat only to drive full speed into a concealed minefield.
Humies appeared up and down the length of the wall and a barrage of heavy anti tank fire roared out from the defenders which had been far better prepared than he expected. His wagon turned and the rest of the warband followed his example as he attempted to find a way out of this trap.
It didn’t take long before he realised that the jaws had already closed.
Loud battle music suddenly burst into life from behind his convoy and with a feeling of disbelief Grimzag witnessed the final nail in the coffin of his command.
Humies wearing black uniforms and sporting huge tats across their exposed arms rode bikes out of the dust cloud which his vehicles had thrown up. Large trucks roared along behind the bikers firing heavy anti personnel weapons. A surprise attack from the rear was something that his boys had never really dealt with before and panic spread like wildfire. Some of his boys veered right, away from the walls, aiming towards a break in the rocky terrain which should lead back to open desert. A concealed trench saw the would be escapee’s vehicles wrecked with anyone who could crawl clear of the damage immediately getting gunned down by fire from the wall.
The frontal attack had been completely blunted and the few boys which still rallied around their warboss were slowly being picked off by the tenacious human speed freaks. It took the bikers only a matter of minutes to locate the weak spot on his personal transport and cause an explosion within one of the Fos tanks. The wagon flipped, sending his bodyguard scattering across the dust as it crunched back down on its side, pancaking several of the unfortunate nobs before they could get up. Grimzag didn’t have time to worry about them, leaping to his own feet and blasting around him with his shoota. Several of the survivors of the wreck joined him and between them they managed to knock a couple of the riders form their saddles as they formed a circle of motorised vehicles but it was painfully obvious that they were fighting a losing battle.
More and more humies made it into the fight and slowly but surely his bodyguard was thinning. Skarskul was the last to go, a couple of bikers swept clear of their circling formation and managed to catch him with a pair of hooked chains. The bikes took the strain and Skarskul was dragged along behind the vehicles. Once the nob had finally been dragged from view Grimzag stood alone, his every attempt to charge the bikers and take the fight to them was met with evasive riding that allowed the skilled humans to stay well clear of his choppa. It wasn’t long before one of the riders fired a shot which found a gap in his armour plates, the round punched through the back of his knee and staggered him. During the distraction a biker swept in and landed a heavy club across his face. Alone the hit would have achieved very little but when combined with identical attacks from the four bikers following the first it was enough to bring the massive ork down. Stars span before his eyes as he saw the dust and smoke clouds climbing high into the perfect blue sky. He was the sihlohette of a human move to stand over him and felt blood running down his face. The bushy bearded man spoke though the warboss couldn’t make head nor tail of the gibberish. Grimzag understood the tone of smug satisfaction but found he couldn’t act on the information before a heavy calibre weapon was pointed at his face and the world dissolved in a flash of pain and darkness.
It took a couple of seconds before Grimzag became aware that he was back on the mist shrouded battlefield. The twin ork gods loomed over him, their skullhammer sized heads shaking in disappointment.
“Didn’t even put up a proper fight. Yer boys got trashed and ya tried ta run away. Those ‘umies were faster, arder and louder then all yer boys put tagevver.”
The second massive being piped in almost immediately after his brother had finished berating.
“You’z dead Grimzag and fanks to da way ya managed to get yerself expired we’re ‘alf tempted ta send ya back as a grot this time.”
Grimzag tried to shake his head but it was heavy and he felt each one of the wounds he had suffered in his last battle start to ache and throb.
With great effort he fought back the pain and let out a bellow of fury.
“I ain’t no snivelling grot and I’ll prove it to yaz.” His energy began to return in a flood and slowly the clouds around him seemed to turn dark and obscure patches of the terrain.
“I’ze Grimzag Spleentear Gorwazza, da fastest, shootiest, loudest warboss in da ooniverse and I can’t be beat.”
In reply the ork gods smirked and simply nodded their heads as the darkness started to encroach on his vision again.
“Prove it Gorwazza, you’ze damaged and we’ll put ya back that way. Make us proud.”
The bump on the back of his head shook Grimzag back into the land of the living.
The world spun on an axis as his senses went into overload with the sudden flood of information.
A pounding pain thumped through his skull as the chill night air seemed to squirm into the bullet hole in his face. He ignored it and focussed on what was going on around him.
Beneath him an engine grumbled and with each breath he took he could detect the scents of defeat. The gusts of air which reached his nose carried the acrid tang of burning flesh. Closer to, he could smell orks and when he opened his eyes it became clear why.
The flat bed truck he was laid on was piled high with ork dead. Body parts were woven into a grotesque tapestry of death which squirmed and shifted every time the vehicle hit a pothole or bump.
Before long the vehicle ground to a halt in a pool of ruddy firelight. Cooked meat smell wafted across the corpses and he prepared himself for what was to come.
Muffled human voices sounded from a little way off and as they started heaving his former warband away the warboss lay perfectly still and waited.
It wasn’t long before he felt hands pull at his limbs and was dragged to the rear of the vehicle, it took several humans to move him and as they rolled him off of the deck plate, he came back to life.
Before the workers had a chance to cry out in shock he had landed on all fours and set about destroying the humans with whatever came to hand. At first he used his clawed hands to tear out jugulars and shatter rib cages, then as he reached the last couple of survivors he realised that he had picked up a rock from somewhere. The last two went down with their heads caved in, the fight having lasted mere seconds and resulting in the deaths of seven labourers without the alarm being raised. Grimzag didn’t waste time in looking for more targets, instead he grabbed the bodies and hurled them one at a time into the pyre he would need to be moving before the alarm was raised and this should buy him some time. Then he returned to the humie truck and searched the dead, scavenging a good sized chopper from the body of Kinggash and a scattering of armour from the other boys. A single blow from his new weapon severed the simple chain mechanism which held the body strewn back board in place and as Grimzag trod on the accelerator in the cramped humie driving space he smiled in satisfaction as the trailer diminished behind him. The gates of the city stood open and with a quick punch the internal light of the cab went out. As sneaky as a kommando, Grimzag Spleentear Gorwazza drove his stolen truck straight past the sentries without them even giving him a second glance.
The Raging Eagle was heaving tonight. Usually at this point in the week the city's resident “tough guy” bar was empty but that had changed now that the orks had been defeated. Many of the guardsmen from the day shift on the walls were now out celebrating their victory whilst others were hunting down any surviving greenskins. With their leader dead the aliens had become nothing more than a disorganised rabble which could be easily picked apart and destroyed. Consequently a lot of the troopers were letting their hair down and Raging Eagle tavern and tarot house was the perfect place to do it.
Dacmin finished pouring a double of Hraffin and placed the drink in front of Old Abe. Waiting as the homeless old geezer fished out a handful of change that he had managed to scrounge from his exploration of the back alleyways of the city. Once he had deposited the little stash on the counter the bearded old goat grumbled a little and wandered off into the corner booth talking to himself.
PDF troopers were playing Emperors bluff at one of the card tables with the rowdy Bargeshian bikers and overall spirits were high. The locals were making the offworlders feel at home and the drink was flowing freely. Bets were being placed, music was playing and brawls were at a minimum. It was a good night to own a tavern mused Dacmin as the gamblers ordered up another round of Hraffin. One of his regulars approached the bar and struck up a conversation but almost as soon as they had got chatting, the barkeep found his attention dragged away by a noise which seemed at odds with the night and was loud enough to be heard over the hubbub.
Over the thumping bass from the Audiobox in the corner, grew a throaty rumble. The sound of a powerful engine being pushed to the limits drowned out all sound within the bar and more than one of the patrons looked up as the heavy vehicle rocketed down the street in their direction. Just as it sounded like the truck would careen straight through the plastiboard walls there was a scream of tortured rubber as the brakes were mashed and Dacmin could well imagine one of the Bargeshian's black painted battle trucks power sliding to a halt outside the door.
For a few long moments the only sound was the music being blasted from the corner, all conversation had stopped as they all listened to the slam of a vehicle closing and the heavy thump thump thump of bootsteps pacing towards the door. General chatter resumed once the threat from the runaway truck had abated but once the door flew wide open and the driver of the speeding carrier was revealed there was a chorus of startled exclamations and the screeching of wooden chairs on the tiled floor.
The massive ork took a handful of steps into the tavern and cast his horrifying gaze over everyone present. Dacmin felt his bladder tighten as he took in the details of the monster which had just arrived. Crimson blood painted its massive torso and arms and the red eyed glare of the beast burned out from the ruin of its face. Just under the right eye socket was a bullet wound which would have proved fatal to most humans. If the barman had been able to see the exit wound which the bullet had blasted from the warboss's skull he would almost certainly have lost his stomach. As it was he could barely contain the panic which began to well within him.
Grimzag looked around at the grotty looking bar which he found himself stood in with a quiet feeling of surprise. He hadn’t ever believed that humans had the sophistication to create a decent bar but here was proof. The heavy battle music which he had heard earlier thumped from the box in the corner and several of the bikers stood around the room. He had seen the bikes parked up outside as he was driving and decided that here was as good a place to start killing the city as anywhere. With a smirk that split his damaged face into a kaleidoscope of damaged flesh and scars, the ork put his newly acquired chopper down and picked up a bottle from the nearest table. The liquid it contained tasted weak compared to Snaggagrod’s fungus brew but it took the edge off of his thirst and increased the tension in the bar to breaking point.
He could smell the potent perfume of fear and anger coming off of the humans present and when he smashed the bottle against the table, dashed a few paces towards the nearest pinkskin and jammed the glass weapon into its face he felt the threat of violence become a reality as warriors picked up stools, pulled knifes and smashed their own bottles to deal with this threat.
The battle had begun, and as Grimzag threw the body of the man he had just killed into a scrum of bikers he realised that this was what it was all about. A knife blade stuck in his arm but he ignored it, picking up a stool in each hand and crashing them together with a well dressed PDF trooper between them. The collision sent splinters of bone and wood flying in all directions and the knife man was distracted when a lump of wood punched into his thigh.
The warboss bit his head clean off and spat it at the barman who was aiming a boomstick at him. The severed cranium ruined the man’s aim and one of the bikers went down in a hail of lead, a look of shock and disbelief plastered across his face. A wail of despair rose from the barman’s throat but was cut short when the rampaging ork leapt the bar and rammed the leg of a stool down it. He caught the shotgun before it could hit the floor, cranking the loading handle and roaring with laughter as he sprayed the inside of the bar with buckshot. Round after round crashed through the room, drowning out even the ever present music.
When he ran out of rounds he vaulted the bar a second time and started laying about with the weapon like a club, smashing teeth from faces and cracking limbs as he whirled like a dervish through his opponents. Occasionally he would feel the impact of a weapon on his thick skin but for the most part it was minor damage, easily ignored. Soon only a handful of men were still alive and with a last look at the carnage around them they lost their nerve.
They never made it to the back exit, the hurled table of the warboss knocked them to the ground and before they could get up the monster was stomping them into the floorboards like roaches.
The smell of death was like a long lost friend in his nose as he savoured the thrill of close combat. Here was a fight that had been worth the effort and there would be many more like it if he was going to take this city for himself and rebuild his warband.
A loud crack punctured his revelry and for the second time today he felt the crash of a bullet creasing his skull and saw the world explode into bright flickering colours. He hit the wall face first and managed to roll himself so that he could see his attacker. The same bearded human which had stood over him earlier, picked his way through the detritus of battle, heavy pistol still raised but now with a scowl of hatred plastered across his face. He said something in the unintelligible tongue of the humans and stopped a mere ten foot away.
Grimzag missed the next thing he said, the world had become dangerously dark and the only sound that he could hear was the pounding music and the slow teasing chant of “grot boy, grot boy, grot boy”, somewhere in the distance.
Inwardly the beast roared, his senses sharpening back to the tavern and his reflexes reawakening with the promise of more bloodshed.
A hole punched through the wall where his head had, until recently, lain as he forced his body to dodge. The biker looked angry at having been made to miss such an easy shot but the look turned to horror as the man looked down at the knife blade which sprouted from his chest.
For a few moments the blood flowed freely form the newly opened wound in his shoulder but Grimzag put it to the back of his mind as he walked over to his opponent, picked up the heavy calibre slugger and executed the man.
The night was still young and there was still fighting to do. With a smile he picked up a bottle of drink from the bar, gathered his chopper and headed out to his waiting trukk.
Time to make some noize.