Oi Dat’s My Hand

5/5 (1)

‘Oi! Dat’s my hand! Give it back.’ Ugnug barely felt the pain when the choppa took off his hand. He was mostly just annoyed at losing his new shoota, which he’d been holding at the time. 

Feeling that the scrap, which until that point had been a lot of fun, was starting to lose a little of its shine, he barely put any effort into the retaliatory headbutt that sent his opponent reeling back, stunned. ‘I saved up for ages to get that shoota,’ he grumbled, as he halfheartedly slammed his still-bleeding stump into the other ork’s face, knocking him flat on his back. ‘What a waste of teef. Ah well,’ he said. ‘Better start saving again.’

Ignoring the melee swirling around him, Ugnug kneeled down beside the prone ork. With his one remaining hand, he reached inside the other ork’s mouth and started pulling.

+++

‘Dere you go, all sorted. ‘Ow’s it feel?’ The old mekboy stepped back to give Ugnug space as he flexed the newly wired-up power klaw. It didn’t look like much, but the three mechanical digits felt good as they scraped together into a rough approximation of a fist. He eyed the pole holding up the roof of the mekboy’s shack, then gripped it at its thickest point. He clenched, and the pole crumpled like it was made out of tin.

‘Sharper than dey look,’ he commented as the ceiling slumped dangerously and the mekboy winced. ‘Nice.’ Maybe losing a hand wasn’t that bad after all. ‘Still miss ‘dat shoota though,’ he said thoughtfully, as he shook a few tattered bits of pole off his klaw.

‘Eh?’ The mekboy leaned closer, cupping a filthy hand to one ear. ‘Wot was ‘dat?’

‘Never mind,’ muttered Ugnug, turning and stomping out of the workshop.

+++

Ugnug laughed as the tinboy crumpled under the crushing force of his power klaw. The weird green light went out of its eyes and he tossed its mangled body aside, not bothering to check whether it stayed dead or not. Some of the lads didn’t like fighting the tinboyz, not happy when the shiny gits vanished, but Ugnug thought they had it wrong. Chances were, if they disappeared, then they’d be back sooner or later, and any enemy that kept coming back for more was a good laugh as far as he was concerned.

He was winding up for a roundhouse punch when the next tinboy staggered under a hail of high-calibre bullets. Distracted, Ugnug looked over at an ork wielding a multi-barrelled weapon that glowed red and belched smoke. ‘Now dat’s a good gun,’ he said appreciatively. 

Turning back to the tinboy, he flinched in surprise as a beam of green light screamed towards his face. He instinctively raised his hand, and the beam struck his klaw, enveloping it in a shroud of crackling energy. As he watched, the layers of metal disintegrated one by one, leaving behind the scorched stump of his arm.

‘Oi!’ he shouted. ‘Dat’s my hand!’ He thought angrily of another weapon lost. ‘Not again,’ he growled.

+++

‘Wot you gonna name ‘im?’ asked the squigherder, squinting up at Ugnug. 

‘Eh?’ replied Ugnug, nonplussed.

‘You gotta name ‘im,’ insisted the smaller ork. ‘Can’t ‘ave a hound wivout a name, can you?’

Ugnug looked down at the squighound that was mischievously chewing on one of his boots. He gave it a playful kick in return, and it stared up at him with huge, wide eyes. ‘Um…’ he said, giving the question some thought. ‘Hound.’

The squigherder stared at him for a moment, then shrugged. ‘Good a name as any, I ‘spose.’

Ugnug grunted and walked off, dragging Hound behind him on a thick chain hammered into his blackened stump.

Lasfire zipped through the air as Ugnug and a handful of lads jogged towards the humie lines. Ugnug looked down at Hound bounding along beside him, and grinned. ‘Good boy,’ he said, and Hound gnashed his teeth in reply.

‘Oi, Ugnug!’ One of the orks running beside him shouted, and Ugnug looked over at him. 

‘Wot?’

‘Why you spend all your teef on a squig, anyway?’

Ugnug frowned, ignoring the sting of las blackening the thick skin of his chest. ‘Wot’s wrong wiv’ a squig?’

‘Er, nuffink’s wrong wiv’ it, as such,’ replied the other boy, eyeing Hound a little nervously. ‘Most boys buy sluggas or choppas, that’s all.’

‘Ah,’ said Ugnug. ‘Well I has been there and done that, and I’m fed up wiv’ losing me weapons. Figured I’d buy a squig dis time. Learned me lesson, haven’t I?’

‘Er…how’s dat?’

Ugnug looked askance at the other ork. ‘Stands to reason, doesn’t it?’ he said slowly, as though explaining an obvious concept. ‘A squig’s much harder to lose than a shoota. I just have to follow the sound of chomping and there he’ll be!’

A look of understanding dawned on the other ork’s face. ‘Ohh, dat’s smart dat is! Maybe I-’

The ork’s next words were lost in a burst of fire as a landmine erupted beneath his feet. Bits of ork flew in all directions. 

‘Uh oh,’ began Ugnug, but before he could say more, he was thrown from his feet as the world went red.

Ears ringing, Ugnug picked himself up. He frantically patted his chest and legs, then grinned as he realised he was still intact. Apart from one hand, of course. At the thought of his missing hand, he turned his gaze to his stump, recognising that the chain, though still attached, was hanging loosely by his side. 

His eyes alighted on the smouldering scraps of red flesh that were all that remained of his beloved squighound. Anger rose up in him, a great green tide of fury at all he’d lost. All that had been taken from him.

‘OOOOIII!’ he bellowed, and the sound seemed to shake the ground itself. ‘DAT’S MY HOUND!’ Whirling his chain in a blur of iron and squigflesh, he charged towards the humies, who quailed before his rage. 

About the Author

Michael James is a writer, editor and voracious reader of pretty much anything and everything, but especially science fiction. Michael lives in London surrounded by more books than he will probably ever read, but he likes a challenge.