Krogg stared, mouth working open and shut in speechless rage. Somewhere nearby, an almighty explosion went off and the distinct guttural roars of his mates in the Wreck-Mob rattled across the ruined city block, but Krogg paid no mind to any of this. All his attention was bent on the hulking form of Skabjaw Four-Fingers, who was bracing himself against a shattered brick wall to offset the recoil of the enormous twin-barreled shoota that bucked and bellowed in his hands. Krogg’s fists balled up, and the first proper sound finally escaped his tusked maw; a long, murderous growl.
That was Krogg’s shoota Skabjaw was holding in his thieving hands. Krogg’s.
He’d been looking everywhere for it for at least three days, turning half the camp upside down and beating up several suspicious-looking Lootas in his agitation. A lot of the Boyz were quite nervous of coming anywhere near Krogg now, in case the distraught Nob decided they might have his prize possession hidden under their shirt, and even his fellow veterans in the Wreck-Mob were casting sideways glances at him and muttering about whether he’d ‘gone cracked.’
It was Skabjaw who had done it, the zogger. He’d even offered consolations about the missing gun at the time, swearing that it’d ‘turn up sooner ‘r later, mate!’
Bloody fury washed through Krogg’s brain, and he began stomping over to where Skabjaw still stood braced, his massive and heavily taloned hands flexing in anticipation of the windpipe they were soon to be wrapped around.
‘Oi, Skabjaw! I wants a word wiv you!’
Orks have many talents, those of the Deathskulls klan especially so, but acting was rarely counted amongst them. Skabjaw’s big, jovial grin could not have been less convincing if he’d been actively trying to give away his guilt.
‘Where’d you get that gun in yer hands, eh? Where’d you get that, then?’
Looking down slowly, Skabjaw examined the smoking shoota clutched in his claws, then looked up into the blazing eyes of his accuser. The grin remained in place.
‘Wot, this fing? Got it yesterday. Mek, er, Guzwurr made it fer me, you can ask him if y’like!’
If Mek Guzwurr had made the gun then it would have been a very impressive feat indeed, considering that a big beast with choppas for arms had cut him into bits a day before he was supposed to have made the gun in question.
Krogg had heard enough. Spitting, he went for his slugga.
‘I’ll give yer Guzwurr, you rotten little-‘
The ground bucked and heaved beneath both orks’ feet just then, sending Krogg bowling over with an inarticulate yell and causing Skabjaw to howl as a rock the size of a skull landed on his foot. Something raised itself up from the tunnel it had just created and hissed, unfolding arms that ended in long, sickle- like blades and regarding both fallen orks with dead-looking eyes.
Krogg stared back. So did Skabjaw. The creature reared up, blade-limbs flashing dully in the fiery light of the battlefield, and roared.
It was met with a bellow of defiance in response, and as it plunged down to claim its victims a massive green fist rushed upwards to meet it. There was an almighty crunch, the sound of teeth scattering across the concrete and a pained shriek that almost sounded like a yelp. Wringing his fist, Krogg stared at Skabjaw.
‘Don’t just sit there, you zogger – get ‘im!’
The snake-beast launched itself at Krogg, talons flashing towards him. He caught one of its arms in mid-strike, twisting the creature’s wrist hard and feeling things snap within. Another two scraped off his lucky blue shoulder-plates, scoring the paintwork. The fourth slammed into Krogg’s side, however, biting through the leather and sinking deep into the flesh beneath. Snarling in pain, Krogg staggered back under the thing’s weight as two smaller talons he hadn’t noticed before began tearing at the steel plates on his belly.
Just above his face, the slavering maw of the creature snapped hungrily, the gaps in its jaws where teeth had been knocked out oozing a stinking liquid that splattered everywhere. Skabjaw’s knife slammed into its collarbone and the thing screamed and thrashed, releasing Krogg with a shove. The sound was absolutely deafening, and Krogg cursed as his ears began to ring. As the monster sent a talon flickering towards Skabjaw, who ducked just in time, Krogg saw his opportunity.
Seizing hold of the snapping head, the massive ork wrapped his straining arms around the monster’s neck and began to squeeze. Sudden jolts of pain flickered vaguely in his mind as the thing tried to push him off with its talons, but he ignored them. Alien chitin and sinew strained against hulking ork muscle as Krogg’s grip grew tighter and tighter – and then, at last, there was a particularly sharp and sickening crack.
Dropping the limp body of the monster, Krogg sat down and tried to get his breath back, looking down at the thin trickles of his own blood from the cuts he’d just received on his arms. Standing over the corpse, Skabjaw let out a low whistle before turning back to Krogg.
‘Not a bad job, dat!’
Krogg raised his slugga and shot Skabjaw three times in the face, then shot him again for good measure as his twitching body landed on top of the beast. Reaching across, he picked up his beloved shoota and gave it a quick once-over to make sure it was in one piece, then leered at the pile of bodies he’d just created.
‘Cheers Skabjaw, nice of yer to say dat. Don’t ever touch my stuff again though, eh?’
Pushing himself up off the rubble, Krogg cocked the shoota, looked over to where the fighting was thickest and began to stroll over to get some of the action.
Considering how things had started, this was shaping up to be a pretty good day