the hilarious, but short, story of Kap'n Gutrippa and his boyz, who discover just why some humiez are more important that others...
"damn this planet..." he muttered to himself. they had been sent to Triton by General Gambit. Gambit was a decent man, but Ivor couldn't bring himself to like the General.
Ivor, through his frustration and anger, felt like something was watching him.
High up in the trees, eyes were indeed watching the guardsmen. small, red, beady eyes belonging to a massive ork. his lower jaw was entirely encased in ramshackle metal that had been clumsily welded together to form a crude second jaw. the ork's teeth were massive, jagged spikes. there was a ring through his nose and his beady eyes had cat like pupils. the ork had green skin, as all orks did, and massive, bulging muscles. a clumsily made claw was fastened over the ork's left hand. his right hand gripped a branch firmly. he had two crudely made shotguns slung in holsters over his back, and a meaty chain axe was hung from his hip. all in all, Gutrippa was a rogue trader's worst nightmare.
Beside Gutrippa sat another ork. smaller, but still pretty big. this ork was Buggachucka. Gutrippa had named him accordingly. Buggachucka was named thus because he chucked stikkbombs, and whenever he used them, he would always shout bugga.
right now the two orks were listening in on the humans, as Buggachucka carried a note pad and a set of clumsily made headphones. Buggachucka's cybork eye constantly whirred as he listened.
"well, Buggachucka? wot'z da humiez sayin?"
Buggachucka ignored Gutrippa, his headphones were clamped on to tightly.
"oi!" shouted Gutrippa, ripping the headphones off with his massive claw.
"what da bleedin' zogg!" roared Buggachucka, turning round. the insult he was about to shout died on his lips as he saw which of the orks was sitting behind him. "oh, sorry kap'n."
"you'z betta be!" hissed Gutrippa in his deep booming voice, "or i'z gunna gut youz like da squig herder you iz! now den, wotz did ya get from dat?"
Buggachucka shrugged, "lotz o' humiez sayin' lotz o' humie swear wordz."
"but wot'z 'ave yer got down on yer pad?" asked Gutrippa, pointing to the smaller ork's notepad.
"oh." said Buggachucka, "take a look, kap'n."
Gutrippa snatched the notebook from Buggachucka and flicked through the pages. on every page was a picture of a crudely drawn stick figure representing a humie with different weapons stuck in it's back.
"gooooood." chuckled Gutrippa, "very goooood."
"tar very much, Kap'n." said the smaller ork.
"keep up da good work, Buggachucka." said Gutrippa, letting go of the tree and dropping for a long time before hitting the jungle floor below.
Commissar Ivor Kane slugged through the knee deep, sucking mud, spurring his guardsmen on. he still had the nagging feeling that they were being watched. in the west he saw the sky reddening. Ivor didn't feel tired. he was still running on Culexa's timestream, but he still knew how important it was to adjust to the local time. the fact that Triton's day was three hours longer than standard imperial time didn't help either. they came to a small patch of ground that rose from the sucking mud of the swamp.
"we'll set up camp here for the night." he declared.
his sergeant, Egant, frowned slightly. "sir, maybe we should consider-"
"don't question me, sergeant!" shouted Ivor, "the men are tired, and so am i, we set up camp here!"
"do you see this hat, sergeant?" Ivor roared, pointing to his cap, "well?"
"yes s-sir." stammered Egant.
"what do you think this hat means, sergeant?" Ivor shot at Egant.
when Egant didn't reply, Ivor leaned in close and shouted in his face.
"it means that if you question me, then i will shoot you!"
he stalked away, letting sergeant Egant oversee the construction of the camp.
Ivor didn't dislike the sergeant. in fact, they were normally good friends, but this damn jungle was getting to him. he longed for the hab blocks and leisure districts of Culexa Primus.
he would apologise to Egant later, after he let his temper cool.
under the shade of a tree not far from the imperial guard camp, Buggachucka wrenched his headphones off his head and slid down the trunk of the tree. he ran over to where Gutrippa stood along with roughly sixty ork boyz and threw his hands in the air, shouting.
"kap'n, kap'n! i know why some 'o da humiez iz more imp...impor...import.....betta dan otherz!"
"den spill da beanz, Buggachucka!" roared Gutrippa.
Commissar Ivor Kane sat down on one of the tree stumps that had been dragged in front of the camp fire. many of the guardsmen shot him distasteful glances, but he ignored them, warming his hands in the light of the fire. this planet was almost too much for him to handle. to hot during the day, too cold during the night. he realised he had to boost his men's morale if he wanted to ensure they didn't rip each other apart.
"well, lads." he started, "it's been a rough couple of weeks, and i know tempers have been running high."
most of the guardsmen stayed quiet, save for a few doubtful whispers. Ivor continued, unperterbed.
"but we're only three days away from the outpost. once we're there we'll check that the vox channels are working then get the valkyrie out of here."
his words were met with a few reassured nods and praised words.
"i know haven't the most likeable person in the imperium these past two weeks, and i know i've shouted at a lot of you. so for that, i apologise. i know this planet has been getting to all of us, but a few days from now we'll be sitting in a cathouse and chugging down shots. my treat."
at this the guardsmen broke into applause. Ivor couldn't say he would keep his word, but morale was crucial if he wanted to keep his men on the same side for the next three days. sergeant Egant even got up and shook the commissar's hand.
it was a miracle, thought Ivor, that they hadn't been attacked yet.
little did he know he would be eating those words by morning.
Gutrippa stood beside Buggachucka, in front of a crudely constructed chalk board. on the board, four stick figures were drawn, meant to represent humans. three of the stick figures wore helmets, whilst the fourth wore a crudely drawn hat and had a speech bubble above it with the words 'blah blah blah' scrawled in it.
"now den," Gutrippa shouted, grabbing the attention of the sixty odd orks around him, "we'z been studyin' deze humiez long and 'ard, and we thinkz we know why some 'o dem iz more important dan otherz."
"iz it coz dey iz bigga, like da orkz?" yelled out one of the larger orks.
"shut ya gob, gobshut!" shouted Buggachucka.
Gobshut had been given his new name after Gutrippa, along with several other orks, had once wired his jaw shut for being too gobby. after that, Gobshut had shut up whenever someone told him to.
"right!" shouted Gutrippa, "az i woz sayin', we'z think we has figured out why some humiez iz more important dan otherz." he took out his meaty chain axe and pointed to the stick figure with the hat.
"dis humie wearz an 'at, alright?"
"and why'z dat, kap'n?" shouted a rather small ork with metal plating covering half his face. he carried a massive cannon in both hands.
"it meanz, scrap'ead, dat da humiez wot wear hatz iz more important dan humiez wot don't."
"and?" asked Scrap'ead, who was the mek boy for Gutrippa's kill krooza, commonly didn't understand anything but the inner workings of a ship or the construction of a weapon.
"well, scrap'ead, derez a humie down dere in dat camp who'z got a hat, and i wantz it!"
"so wotz da plan, kap'n?" asked Buggachucka.
"we'z gonna wait till mornin, so we'z can se wot were stompin, den we'z gonna storm dat humie camp an' getz me dat hat!" roared Gutrippa.
Commissar Ivor Kane got up. he couldn't bear sleeping rough in these blasted tents anymore.
he clambered out of the tent, already fully dressed. he clapped his hands loudly.
"right lads, up and at 'em!" he shouted. we're not losing any more time today.
half an hour later, the Guardsmen were in the process of packing up the camp, all of them dressed, washed and armed. just as they were packing up the last few tents, Ivor heard a deafening sound come from the trees around the camp, and it was a noise that struck fear into the heart of every soldier.
a horde of yammering orks came loping from beneath the cover of the trees.
"take up position, severus pattern!" roared Ivor, "let's show these greenskins how we do things on Culexa Primus."
the guardsmen immediately moved into position, flanking the commissar. the splutter of lasguns could be heard as the guardsmen fired concentrated blasts of lasfire into the orks.
Ivor turned as he heard a loud roar. a large ork, larger than the rest, charged at him, knocking him off his feet and slamming him into the ground. he jumped to his feet, his head spinning, and drew his chainsword. the massive ork lunged at him again, bringing it's massive power claw down to cruch him. Ivor ducked under the blow, and hacked his chainsword into the greenskin's thick hide. the massive ork let out a roar of pain, and brought the massive meaty chain axe in it's other hand round to hack the commissar's torso off.
Ivor wrenched his chainsword free and brought it up in an arc, cutting right through the haft of the axe. the massive ork threw away the ruined remains and attempted to grab the commissar in his massive claw, Ivor tried to jump over the claw, but the ork caught his leg, slamming him down to the ground. the ork lifted it's huge fist and slammed it into the commissar's face, knocking him senseless. the ork then proceeded to pluck the hat from the commissar. it stood up and, through the haze of pain, Ivor heard it shout.
"we'z got wot we came fer, ladz, time ter go!" and with that the orks retreated.
Ivor climbed to his feet, and was about to order his men to give chase, when he saw one ork unhook a number of crudely made bombs from it's belt.
"BUGGA!" the ork roared, then threw the bombs. Ivor dived to the ground, but the impact of the bombs lifted him and slammed him head first into a tree. the last thing that Ivor heard before he blacked out was the savage laughter of green skinned aliens.
Gutrippa, pleased with his prize, gently lowered the small hat so that it fit snugly between his two vaguely cat like ears.
"now i iz really da kap'n!" he roared triumphantly.
he turned to Scrap'ead, grinnig broadly.
"beam us up ter da kill krooze, Scrap'ead."
the thirty-something orks that were left from the engagement immediately dissapeared in a flash of blue light, leaving no trace of their passing but a small clearing full of the bloody corpses of guardsmen.
Commissar Ivor Kane climbed to his feet, wincing as pain lanced along his leg. he didn't think it was broken, but he was no medic.
he saw Sergeant Egant hobbling over to him.
"we're in a bad way, sir." he said grimly.
"how many are left?" asked Ivor.
"out of the thirty, sir, nine including you."
Ivor swore violently, kicking the stump of a nearby tree.
"plan of action, sir?" Egant asked.
"we're going to continue to the outpost. from there we'll get a valkyrie back to Culexa Primus."
"i don't think a valkyrie could make the journey, sir."
"i know, sergeant," replied Ivor, "but by the emperor, we're going to try. those bastards took my hat and the lives of my men, they won't go unpunished!"
"aye, sir!" shouted Egant.
the remaining guardsmen broke into a run, slogging through the mud once more, their hearts lifted by the commissar's promises of revenge.
"and" he muttered to himself, "this promise is one i'm keeping."