Grukbaz sat on the low hill overlooking the camp and took a long swig out of the bottle of squig brew, before silently passing it to his companion. Bolzog took the bottle without a word and drained it, before throwing the empty in a pile and reaching for another. An explosion sounded, and a small mushroom cloud rose in the distance.
‘What was that do you fink?’ Said Grukbaz.
‘Might be the speedfreaks fuel store,’ said Bolzog.
‘Yeah,’ said Grukbaz, accepting another bottle.
A towering indistinct shape scuttled in front of the wall of smoke and flame that was tearing through the shanty, before launching a spread of missiles with a discordant blast of pipe horns. The projectiles arced high into the air before hurtling down and blowing apart the base of a twisted tower. The minaret toppled slowly as bursts of eldritch fire stabbed out from the platform at its apex.
‘There goes the weirdboy,’ said Bolzog as the tower finally disappeared in a cloud of dust.
‘Never liked ‘im anyway,’ said Grukbaz.
The thing lurched onwards…
Fire split the sky, the thick clouds boiling away as sun-bright lines of light stabbed down into the plains. Hundreds of boyz were vaporised instantly or flung into the air to fall like thick green rain.
On the far ridge, the first humies were coming into view. Ordered ranks lining up to face the mass of the Orks. Squads of beakies in blue, red-robed things with metal faces, smaller beakies in black having a singsong, tanks and stompas, and, towering over all of them, their weird thin gargants. As the greenskins caught sight of them, they began to roar. Individual voices joining together, until the sound was a physical force. Shootas were fired, some vaguely in the direction of the invaders, some into the nearest boyz, most just into the air in a display of aggression and defiance. The hoard began to move slowly at first, as the first boyz had to get out of the way, but it gathered pace quickly. The tide became a flood, the flood became an avalanche. Unstoppable. Impossible. Still, the humies didn’t move.
‘What’re dey waiting for?’ said Grukbaz.
‘One of der humie ships got away,’ said Worldrekka, ‘Kaptin Stardakka said they ran when he started chucking rocks at dem.’
‘Dat means,’ the Warboss continued, ‘dat dey’ll be back.’
‘Dat’s good though, boss,’ said Grukbaz, ‘more fightin.’
‘Yeah, but they’ve made a bit of a mess dis time. There’s a lot of dead boyz. I need you to build somefing. Somefing big that’ll make ‘em fink twice.’
‘Like a gargant, boss?’ said Grukbaz.
‘Whatever you want,’ said Worldrekka, kicking Nudbit on the way out with an armoured boot, ‘it better be good tho, or I’ll rip your face off.’
Grukbaz ducked as a beam of energy cut the air over his head, neatly bisecting the boyz that had been following him. He bellowed at Nudbit, and the grot shoved a rokkit into the launch tube. Shouldering the weapon, Grukbaz took careful aim at the red tank thing that was stalking towards him on spider legs. He depressed the trigger, and the rokkit blasted out, the exhaust knocking Nudbit backwards into the mud and viscera. The missile corkscrewed through the air, veering wildly before disappearing into the open hatch on top of the tank. There was a whumpf, and flames licked out the hole, followed by a burning humie that collapsed onto the hull. The tank sagged to the dirt, crushing an unfortunate ork that had been fixing a bomb to the underneath.
A war horn sounded, and Grukbaz looked around in time to see one of the humie gargants falling, a team of squighog boyz pulling it onto its back by chains they’d looped around its weapon arms. The horn blasted again and sounded almost plaintive as the massive machine smashed to the ground, where it was covered in boyz with choppas.
The battle was nearly over. The humies hadn’t expected the second hoard to turn up behind them, and now all that was left were small islands of furious blue, black and red. Islands that got smaller with every passing moment.
Grukbaz raised his rokkit tube and roared.
‘The boss is gonna be really mad about dis,’ said Bolzog.
‘Yeah,’ said Grukbaz.
‘I fink dat’s ‘im der,’ said Bolzog.
Down in the valley, the gargant thing was facing off against a mob of nobz. Erratic fire from their shootas detonated harmlessly against the energy shield in flashes of blue light. As they watched the gargant brought a massive weapon arm around, the gatling cannon spitting out hundreds of shells that turned the nobz into a fine red mist. Further down the road an armoured figure was running, moving far quicker than something so unwieldy had any right to. The gargant spotted it and swung up the cannon again, but only a handful of shots escaped the spinning barrels.
‘Huh,’ said Grukbaz, ‘he’s run out.’
‘Boss’ll take ‘im down then,’ said Bolzog.
‘Probably,’ said Grukbaz, ‘pass me another brew.’
The gargant fired more missiles, but they passed harmlessly over the head of the sprinting warboss. The massive axe in his hand pumping in time to his heavy tread.
‘’ere we go,’ said Bolzog.
Worldrekka leapt, his trajectory carrying him high into the air, heading straight for the centre of the gargant. His axe swept down, a blow that could split stone ready to carve into the armoured box that held the pilot. It fell with inevitability and…missed. A huge klaw held the warboss where it had caught him mid-air, the axe swinging impotently as Worldrekka was brought closer to the gargant’s vision slit. Then, with finality it snapped shut, splitting the warboss into three pieces.
‘Oh,’ said Bolzog.
‘Shall we go?’ said Grukbaz, ‘brew’s run out.’
‘Yeah,’ said Bolzog clambering to his feet, ‘Why’d you put Nudbit in that fing anyway?’
About the Author
Andy Clark is an avid reader of all things Warhammer having rediscovered the setting with the Horus Heresy series. He’s recently got back into painting models after a two-decade gap and wonders why he ever stopped. This is his first foray into writing 40k fiction.