Big Game V – Chapter Thirty Three: Tortus and Haar

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Warboss Tortus locked his great green jaw in place and let out a low growl. This was the moment of his greatest triumph, a conquest to be written across the stars in a trail of blood and wreckage. Now arrived, his forces would spread throughout this system like the rot in an overripe Noshfruit, laying waste to all in their Orky path with choppa and shoota. The destruction he would rain upon these weedy ‘oomies and panzeez would impress even Gork and Mork, and earn him an eternal place in Orky legends for centuries to come. He should be shouting orders, and plotting courses to the planets and starships that littered the surrounding space, and giving great rousing speeches to roil the blood of the thousands of Orks under the banner of his WAAAGH! All of which, he would be happily doing if Warboss Haar weren’t yammering in his face like an adolescent Grot.

“Oi! Tort, d’ja see dis? Lookit da ‘oomie ships! Dey big! We’z gonna get ‘em!” The Speed Freek gesticulated wildly at the viewport in front of them, cracking his bony knuckles into the meters-thick plastiglass repeatedly and spraying the surrounding area with great gobs of mucousy spittle. “Smash ‘em good, eh? Haw haw haw! C’mon, mate, let’s load up da torpeedoez and let ‘em rip! Vroom vroom, we’z comin’, oomies! Ain’t nowhere to run! WwwwwwwwwWWWAAAAGH!”

Tortus screwed up his face in frustration, and slowly counted to ten – an impressive feat in itself, for an Ork – and let out a great groaning breath. Much as he was loathe to admit it, he needed his brother’s warband, and, even more gallingly, his brother. Since they had been yoofs, the wiry little speed freak had always understood the tactics of the lightning raid in a way that escaped his far more static brain. Still, whatever the strategic demands of his arduous and detailed plotting, the urge to take Haar by the skin of his neck and twist until his constantly babbling head popped off was difficult to stifle.

“Right, then, Haar,” Tortus said, gently leading his brother away from the viewport as a crack team of overworked Grots immediately darted into the room and began to mop up the puddles of drool that were beginning to form on the ground. “We’z gonna get yoo an’ yer ladz out dere right quick, you’ll see. Yooz gonna hit dat big ship dere, rite? Den I come in wiv da Krooza, an’ finish ‘em off, fore dey know wot hit ‘em. Just like we always done, rite?”

Haar’s clapped his brother mateily on the shoulder. “Rite, Tort, good plan dat iz! We’z gonna smash ‘em, we iz. Dey’z gonna be spinnin’ ‘round in circles, den dey’z gonna be dead. Haw haw haw, yooz always haz da best planz, Tort! Gonna smash me some beekeez, den I’z gonna hit dem spiky-lookin’ beekeez extra hard! Haw haw haw, dey’z neva gonna know wot hit ‘em!”

Tortus grimaced, and gently removed Haar’s hamfist from his shoulder, and patted him on the head. “Nar, Haar. Nar. We’z gonna…well, we’z gonna leave dem spikey beekeez alone.”

Haar stared at him blankly. Tortus had to admit, the idea did not immediately take to the Orky mindset. What Ork ever backed down from a fight? Still, something about the idea of attacking the Chaos ladz made him queasy. Besides, he thought, if they were fighting the beekeez too, they might as well make common cause. Ignoring the hundred of synapses in his Orky brain, which fired in stupefied, rageful unison at the decision, he pressed on. “Yer. Dey’z…dey is our allies in dis battle! Yer! Stalwert ‘n brave ‘n stuff. Like we ladz. An’, yanno, summa dem is green, too. Dey might az well be an Ork.”

Haar looked on in silence, the idea percolating in his fungal brainpan. Then, all at once, his warty face split into an enthusiastic grin, and he began to nod furiously. “Yer, yer, I get’z it! Oi, Tort, wodda plan. All strateegic-like! I gotcher, I gotcher. Off I go, den! See ya on da uvver side, mate! Last wun dere’z a rotten pile o’ squig droppin’s!”

With that, Haar shot down the hallway of the Krooza, shouting and wooping orders to no one in particular. As he strode down the opposite hall to assemble and give orders to his Furst Lootenunts, Tortus shook his head and wondered just what he’d gotten himself into.

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