Grabbit's Story..a Gretchin's Tale
This is part of a backstory for a 40K Ork army which (like nearly all my armies) will probably never see the light of day on ther tabletop, but just putting this out there for enjoyment.
I'm always trying to improve as a writer, so I'd be very grateful for any comments, positive & negative criticisms and suggestions.
As always with my stories, it's 99% inspiration, so it's written as it comes to me and <sinister voice>: "Oh yes...there will be gaps!"<evil laugh>.
Thanks for taking the time out of your lives to read this humble offering,
Grabbit’s Story (Chapter 1)
Casting furtive glances around to make sure he wasn’t being overheard, Grabbit confided in his fellow Gretchin:
“I dunno much, ‘cept wot I hearz around da Drops and Da Boyz Kamps whilst I’s serving CastleSquig XXXXX, but anyways, ’ere’s wot I know ‘bout ‘im:
"Dey say...ee’z as mean as dey come.” Grabbit whispered, as though merely the mention of the Warboss’exploits would bring his wrath down upon their heads.
“Wot? Even meaner than Plonki IV, Boss Fangdeff’s new Cyboar when it malfunktions an’ orange sparks is coming out of it’s eyes?” came the incredulous query.
“Much nastier.” came back the reply, to chorused gasps of breath from his assembled kin.
“Wot? Even nastier than Runtherd Gorzkilla when 'e breaks in a new trukkload of dem Purplefang Squighounds?”
“Even more ferocious” came the response.
This time it was accompanied by wails of anguish...they had all felt the ’eavy kickin’ boots of Gorzkilla and several of them still wore burnscars from his incautiously-applied Grotprod, 'Da Persuadertron freefousand'.
Trying to quantify the horror and ignore the thoughts of iron-shod punishments being handed out, one brave soul enquired: “Well,’ ow big is ‘e then?”
“Bigger dan your hut, Skabgit.” Grabbit replied.
“But, den again, even Gorzkilla’s third-best Squig has a house bigger dan yours!”
Eveyone laughed at the demeaned Gretchin’s expense, as Skabgit was notorious for living in the smallest shack on the entire continent.
“A nice small place means I can keep all my stuff where I can see it and not lying around for thieving fingers , don’t it..?” he sniffed indignantly, whatever passed for his pride obviously hurt.
Everyone knew he had the smallest place because he was the poorest of them all and didn’t have much ‘stuff’ to steal anyway. (Not that such a trivial detail had dissuaded most of them from trying, however).
Leaning forwards conspiratorially, dancing flames played across his face from the cooking stove -a former ‘green Marine’ helmet- Grabbit informed them:
“Bigger even dan Kaptin Badrukk wot visited last monf and nicked all da teef from Boss Grutsmash.”
A series of harsh denials rang out at the tale, but they turned to whispers as -through a partly-glazed window- they caught sight of an Ork sentry looking over and they suddenly remembered that they were supposed to look like they were doing something and didn’t want to draw attention to themselves.
Badrukk was not only infamously ‘hard’ and ruthless, but they all recalled the recent story of Badrukk strangling an Eldar single-handed, whilst simultaneously firing his radioactive belt-fed cannon from the other ham-sized fist.
The audible and olfactory by-products of fear increased in the small shed at the collective remembrances of huge Orks beating the daylights out of their foes and also out of any Gretchin within reach.
Such ‘friendly fire’ was not some mishap, but almost a way of life for them all.
“Is ‘e cunning, just like Mork, den?”
“Nah..!” Grabbit replied with an air of entirely false bravado.
“When e’s not fighting and drinking Wartrakk fuel, ‘e is too busy bellowing and klanking around to notice us Grots wot are sneaky enuff.”
The chittering in the room stopped..even breathing stopped...as realisation slowly began to seep into the audience’s feral brains.
“Did you say ‘klanking’?” one reedy voice exclaimed.
“Course I did. You dead or summat? Of course ‘e’s klanking, e’s got dis ‘uge fusion-powered suit made out of 10 suits of beakie armour, wiv’ two great claws and cannon-guns, ain’t e..?!”
In the corner, the most cowardly of the Grots evacuated himself in sheer terror and another cry of anticipated beatings echoed, shaking the thin wooden walls.
Not yet realising that he probably should have kept some details to himself -and recalling the sheer awesome Orkiness of his leader- Grabbit added enthusiastically:
“Yer, e’s so big and killy...just like Gork...and ‘e makes 'is Battlewagon look like a Warbuggy...!”
Confusion instantly reigned, devolving into a melee of abject horror and panic which washed over the assembled Gretchin.
Now alone in his wooden hut, Grabbit looked around at the various Grot-shaped holes in the flimsy walls and the door trampled into the dirt outside, for now ignoring the almost-catatonic Firkin who rocked back and forth in a corner.
In their panic to get away and hide from their own imaginations, his fellow Grots had left behind pocketfuls of so-called ‘valuables’ and trinkets. Ever the entrepreneur, Grabbit eagerly scooped them all up in a dustpan especially brought along for just such a task.
Totally lost in his accumulation of 'wealth', he didn't notice the visitor until a vast shadow loomed overhead, blocking out most of the light from Grabbit’s roofless shack and also that of the nearest 5 huts in every direction around it.
It's breath laden with petrochem vapours, a metallic voice boomed out: “Lazing around again, Grabbit? Maybe I should have given you to the Squigs after all..?”
Having been bowled over by the sheer volume of air from the Warboss’ exhalation (as well as trying not to look like he was avoiding the noxious fumes), Grabbit picked himself up off the dirt floor. Desperate for self-preservation despite their agreement, he replied:
“No, your awesome Highness-Overlord, sir, just tidying up yer camp and making it better so you’s don’t trip over this ‘uge pile of rubbish wot someone has casually...no, maliciously...left lying around.
“I fink it must be dem fine upstanding Blood Axes wot is trying to do you in, Sir...maybe...perhaps..?”
“Good” the voice rumbled back, huge face glowering at him for signs of deceit, but not seeing the really obvious ones written across the lying Grot’s face.
“Did tonight’s story go well?”
“Yessir, better than ever. They think you is Gork come to teach da humies a lesson they will never forget!”
“An dat's exactly right, innit?!" the voice roared.
"I ‘eard you said I was built like a battlewagon...good words to put the fear of Mork into 'em...but it depends on which one you meant?
"Dat little skinny wagon of da Evil Suns we beat up a fortnight ago?
"Or da big blue one wot I had built last week and wot collapsed as soon as I sat on it?”
Knowing that his next answer would see him reduced to a pale green paste if it was wrong, Grabbit initially tried to choose between the options he had been given.
But then decided to rely upon his greatest weapon -his imagination- and tried to recall various bits he had seen in the workshops and think of the most ludicrous suggestion for a wagon:
“Nah, not like any of dem, your Majesty Boss-ness, a proper big one.
“Extra-wide wheels; wiv tyes for speed and tracks for ‘da muddy bits’; two engines wiv Gnasher-Squig Juice overdrive-chargers; triple- sectioned so you can fit more boyz in; an observashun platform for you to jump off of and squish your enemies flat....and an 'uge big flag, so's everyone knows who it is as is doin' da squishin'."
“Of course, it’d be dead shooty too. I ‘eard dat Mekboss Cogbreff found a secret stash of fighta-bomba Kannons. E's been raving about it all monf, calling it a 'deff arsenal' or somethin'. One of dem will look great on da front, don’t ya think?”
“Sounds dead killy, but I haven’t got one of those, Grabbit!” the voice boomed impatiently and a teeth-rattling, grinding of metal-upon-metal told him of servo’s being fired up inside the Warboss’ huge claws.
“Yer...but...I fink it was an amazing idea of yours to 'ave one of these fast- shooty-and-really-killy-wagons built, oh destroyer-of-cities.” Grabbit grovelled in the muck before his master, praying frantically to both Gork and Mork, hoping his harebrained suggestion would let him see another sunrise.
“Yer, it was a good idea of mine that, wasn’t it..?” the Warboss agreed.
As he turned away, the very ground heaving at his every step, he added: “...and find out who’s been spying on me for those dirty Blood Axes, will yer?”
“Absolutely, oh powerful-one!” Grabbit shrieked and cheered in relief at being spared, already thinking of potential names and grudges soon to be repaid.
Casting a final glance around his demolished former residence as the last wall collapsed, he cursed anrgily at the remains of the first scapegoat he had had in mind, squashed beneath the near-20 tons of the Warboss’ exo-suit.
Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.
"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"
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Last edited by andygorn; 09-30-11 at 04:03 PM.