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The Scraplootas Are Far From Finished

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Aug 9th, 2012
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  1. Warboss Urtylug Dursnik took off his cap and scratched his skull with his powerklaw, his tough scalp hardly registering the weapon that he had been eviscerating Chaos Marines with not too long ago. “It’z all a mess. A right zoggin mess.” he muttered to himself, looking out from the Kaptin’s Kwarters of his Freebooter vessel, the Loot-havva. He’d remain locked in his Kwarters all day, and stewing in his own juices. During this time of doubt he was experiencing, it felt good to be surrounded by his trophies. He and his boys had secured the Chaos Titan they wanted, but now he hardly had any boys left. He even had to call off the WAAAGH and retreat back to his ship with his new prize, leaving the Chaos Marines fighting with their loyalist cousins whilst he absconded. If those Chaosboys krumped and killed all of his boys, and that means he lost. But he had successfully looted the titan and lived to fight another day, meaning he won. Was it even possible to lose and win at the same time? The mere thought of such a possibility made his head hurt, so he immediately put it out of his mind, but something still bothered him. Today meant something big for the Scraplootas, he could feel it even if he didn’t know why. Refastening his looted Commissar’s cap holding his hand out expectantly, Urtylug decided to take a better look at his latest acquisition. A gretchin poised on his shoulder quickly grabbed one of the many mugs hanging off of Urtylug’s bosspole and sprayed a nozzle full of brownish black liquid from one of the twin canisters strapped to his back. Most of Urtylug’s trophies are just mugs those humans usually have, alongside a few trinkets here and there. He didn’t know what it was about the mugs, but he liked collecting them. Every major trade vessel they ransacked, every commissar or space marine camp, even some of the eldar and tau boys seemed to have some sort of mug he could loot and take as his own. It all started since he caught a commissar by surprise and rended him apart with his powerklaw right before he could take his first sip of the coffee he had prepared. That commissar had looked so eager to drink his first cup of coffee for the day, to take that away from him with a klaw to the gut made Urtylug feel especially warm and fuzzy inside, especially as he gulped down the commissar’s coffee in front of his dying eyes as the commissar desperately tried to put all his guts back in place. Every time he drank from the mug of a fallen foe, Urtylug felt like he was killing them all over again. Not to mention they lasted so much longer than the heads most bosses collect. However, his most prized possession was a hat that belonged to his former boss. He always envied Waarakton’s style, but it never felt right to wear his hat, especially since he wasn’t the one who killed him. Instead, he just emulated his style with whatever he looted from those he slaughtered. He still needed a proper cloak but aside from that, he felt his ensemble mostly complete. Lost in thought, the warboss absentmindedly took one sip of the murky drink provided to him before spitting it out and pouring the mug over the poor gretchin’s head.
  2.  
  3. “Zog it, Spiggot! I wanted coffee, not tea!” he roared as he smacked the gretchin upside the head with the mug, sending both clattering to floor.
  4.  
  5. “B-but Boss, da fightings are done with today! An’ you’z always be saying how’s tea is for drinking only after a fight!” The sniveling, wretched creature protested, before adding in a barely audible “An’ it’z Tapp, Spiggot is on cleanings duty todays…”
  6.  
  7. “Ov kourse it’z Tapp! Dat’z wut I sed! Spiggot is a smart enuff grot ta know’z wut ‘is Boss wants. An right now I’z fightin me own brain, so I’z be needin’ some zoggin coffee ya git!”
  8.  
  9. During this exchange, Urtylug’s other gretchin, Spiggot, had clambered down off of his boss, retrieved the fallen mug, cleaned it with boiling water contained in his own back mounted canister and left it to dry back on its place on the bosspole while Tapp retrieved another mug, making sure to pick a significantly less jagged one this time, and filled it with an even more brackish liquid from the other canister on his back. They had begun to mutter amongst themselves whilst Urtylug continued his descent to the holding bay of ship, placated but still bothered by that nameless something rattling around the back of his mind.
  10.  
  11. “Next times, I’z gets cleaning duty!”
  12.  
  13. “Stuff it, Tapp, we’s rolled fair an’ square an’ you lost.” Spiggot replied, sticking out his tongue, “’Sides, he’s just in one of his moods agin. He’ll snap out of it’z once ‘e inspects da loot.”
  14.  
  15. Urtylug had always been a Freebooter, so maneuvering around tight corridors and being light on his (as much as any ork was light on their feet) Even back before he was boss, he had worked under his previous boss, Gennarul Waarakton, who himself used to be a nob for Bluddflag, so he had spent most of his time on the inside or outside of ships, swinging about and boarding as he pleased. He had even developed his own personal fighting style based around swinging about and remaining mobile that he proudly dubbed “swashkrumpin”. Due to this long history on claustrophobic warfare and movement, climbing down the long ladder that separated his Kwarters from the holding bay using nothing but his powerklawed hand while his other one held his mug without spilling a drop was a trivial feat for the warboss. Finally, he arrived at his destination, and as the doors opened for him, laid eyes on his prize, being able to truly take in the sight of an Imperator-class Chaos Titan in all its splendor for the first time since he looted it. He could only mutter “It’z zoggin bootiful” as he gazed on. And it truly was a sight to behold, even in its current state of disrepair. Adorned with various spikes and Chaos paraphernalia, the face of the great weapon seemed to angrily glare down at Urtylug in disapproval, only serving to increase his discomfort and even make him feel a little nervous. The giant mech was an obvious symbol of domination, being so large that he had to dismantle the majority of the rest of his ship save for his Kaptain’s Kwarters to even fit the damn thing inside. Not to a mention an honest to Gork castle already built on its shoulders. The castle did not suit Urtylug’s taste in the slightest, being way too ornate and humanlike for him. Thankfully, most of his remaining boys as well as the hordes of grots they still had were working hard on making the whole properly orky. One of the nearby mekboys directing the larger repairs noticed his warboss and eagerly sprang forward to give a status report.
  16.  
  17. “Fings are going great, Boss!” He stated enthusiastically, only to receive a mug to the face.
  18.  
  19. “Kaptin! We’z abord da ship so I’z a Kaptin now, got it!” Urtylug hollered agitatedly, holding out his now empty mug for Tapp to refill it. He let the mekboy recover and continue.
  20.  
  21. “Fings are going great, Kaptin! We’z got da leff arm roight shooty wiff loads more dakka. Dere wuzzn’t much leff of da roight one, though, so we’z been havin ta make dat one mosely from scratch. But don’t worry, Boss” –THWACK- “Kaptin, we’ll have it roight choppy da wey it’z ment ta be afore too long! We managed to skarper off wiv dat big choppy spinna dem spikyboys were lookin ta put on it, so we’z startin dere, but dat’s only da beginning! We’z gonna make it roight orky, from top ta bottom! Dere is wun ish-yoo, though…” the ork trailed off, not wanting to be the bearer of bad news.
  22.  
  23. “I iz havin a zoggin bad day, Bukkragg, so you’z betta off spittin it out afore I beat it outta ya.”
  24.  
  25. “Well, da mekboy who got da whole fing active in da first place, dat Boris boy? ‘E won’t get outta da demmed fing. We’z tried knockin da door down, but ‘e welded it up tight and we’z afraid ta use ecksplo…exerber…bombs ta knock it down on account of damagin da kontrol room.”
  26.  
  27. Urtylug sighed. He did not have time to deal with rebellious gits today. That noise in the back of his mind was getting louder, scrambling about and making a mess of things inside his head. He looked up at the head of the titan and bellowed as loud as he could.
  28.  
  29. “OIY, BORIS!”
  30.  
  31. “…YES, KAPTIN?” came booming back from the titans PA system, making the whole ship rattle slightly.
  32.  
  33. “YOU’Z LIKE PILOTIN DAT TITAN, RIGHT?”
  34.  
  35. “I IZ NO PILOT, KAPTIN, I IZ AN ORKYSTRAYTOR OF DEATH AN DESTRUCTION!”
  36.  
  37. “YOU’Z GONNA LISTEN TO YOUR KAPTIN?”
  38.  
  39. “AYE, KAP’N!”
  40.  
  41. “YOU’Z NOT GONNA PULL ANY SNEAKY MUCKERY ON YER KAPTAIN IZ YOU?”
  42.  
  43. “WOULDN’T DREAM OF IT, KAP’N!”
  44.  
  45. “YOU’Z GONNA STOMP AN’ SHOOT AN’ CHOP AN’ STAB AN’ OTHAWISE KRUMP DA GUBBINZ OUTTA WHATEVA I’Z TELL YA TO WIFF DAT THING?”
  46.  
  47. There was a short pause before Boris responded. The arms of the titan shifted slightly as Boris brought them in front of the head and inspected them. If his Kaptin could see him now, he’d be seeing Boris, the renegade mekboy with his head plugged full of cables linking his brain directly into the titan staring down at his own hands, clenching and unclenching them. Not even Boris would be able to tell him whether or not he was seeing his own hands or the titans, though. When his voice finally did come through, his words were soft. As soft as any voice projected through the entirety of a titan can be, anyways.
  48.  
  49. “IT’Z…IT’Z WUT I WUZ I BORN TA DO, KAPTIN!”
  50.  
  51. Urtylug looked back over at Bukkragg “I’z fail ta see da problem.” and continued his tour, leaving the bewildered and slightly dejected mekboy in his wake. Bukkragg took out his frustration on a gretchin passing by caring a box full of various tools. Now he’d never get to pilot the titan since the Boss wouldn’t order Boris out of the control room. Right at the foot of the titan, Urtylug came upon his trusted Big Mek Tinka Zizzbitz hunched over a box, rooting through various scraps and devices, most of which buzzed with electricity and still spat out the odd shower of sparks.
  52.  
  53. “No, no, no, no, NO!” Tinka lamented, tossing bit after bit over his shoulder in frustration. “Zog it, none of dese titan gubbinz iz good enough! I need sumfin stronga, sumfin wiff as much zazz as zizz to its spark. Nuffin else will do…” He started looking around himself and only then did he notice his Kaptin “Now where’d dat grot git off to?! I’z need someone ta go stuff all dese gubbinz back in da titan! Oh hey, Kaptin. Good ‘elp is so hard ta find dese days…”
  54.  
  55. Urtylug allowed himself a small chuckle despite himself and roped his arm across his trusted First Mate’s shoulders, dragging Zizzbitz along in his gait, a difficult deed for the peg-legged ork. “Dat it iz, old friend, dat it iz. Dat’s why I keep a git like you around. Still werkin on yer…”
  56.  
  57. “Zizzbitz’s Pah-tented Zizzomatic Chainkutlass” the Big Mek said, swelling with pride, “it zaps while it whirrs! It shokks while it kuts! Dere’s nuffink it won’t be able ta do. Once I manage ta make tha damn fing…”
  58.  
  59. “At least ya got half of it down” Urtylug tried to placate his friend, motioning to the Chainkutlass hanging off of Zizzbitz’s hip. “’Sides, shooldn’t ya be workin on dis biggun” he changed the subject, motioning to the Titan.
  60.  
  61. “I already got me boys given da fing da works, as you saw. Been havin a demmed time of it, too, seein as I lost wunnuv me best mekboys.”
  62.  
  63. “Chaosboys got ‘im in da fight?”
  64.  
  65. “Nah, it’z dat Boris git you wuz hollerin at earlier. Dat boy wuz a demmed prodeegee.”
  66.  
  67. “Dat fing jus ain’t right” Urtylug noted in sympathy, gazing up at the titan.
  68.  
  69. “We could always tear it down fer scrap. Attach da guns to da Loot-hava. Be propa Freebooterz again an stop muckin about on da ground so much.”
  70.  
  71. “Nah. Not yet, anyways. We needs da thing, if only ta keep our boys busy. And ta keep dat Boris get calm an happy until I haff time ta properly open up DAT can o’ squigs.” While there was some truth to what he said, Urtylug wouldn’t admit the real reason he didn’t want to scrap the titan. His boys had taken to calling him “Titanloota” and Urtylug liked it. No, he loved it. It felt great. He, Urtylug Dursnik, had become Kaptin-Warboss Urtylug Dursnik Titanloota and he never wanted to be addressed as anything else ever again. If he no longer had the titan, he feared people might forget about it and forget his name of Titanloota. He feared HE might forget after a long enough time. ‘Sides, you knows me openyun on scrappin perfektly funkshinon ekwipment, Tinka.”
  72.  
  73. “Aye, dat I’z do, Kaptin. Well, yer boys iz gonna be busy fer quite a while, den. Dis ain’t no ovanite projekt. It doesn’t help dat dese kommando boys are right gits when it comes ta tinkerin an’ kin ‘ardly help wiff da heavy lifting da way a propa nob can.”
  74.  
  75. Kommandos. The stealthier arm of Urtylug’s Scraplootas. They were also the largest remaining force of orks he had. Well, second to his grots. Kommandos and grots. Something about this combination kept Urtylug coming back to it, mulling it over. It set that rattling in his head all red and flashing and loud the way human forts get whenever you breach them. It was painful, but the good kind of painful that made him come back to it and run his mind over it again whenever he could stand it. Kommandos and grots. Grots and kommandos. He still couldn’t make sense of it.
  76.  
  77. “Sumfin eatin at ya, Kap?” Zizzbitz asked, noticing his warboss’ discomfort.
  78.  
  79. “I’z…I’z dun know wut we’z gonna do next, Tinka.” Urtylug finally confessed, rubbing his forehead again, this time with his regular hand. “Sure, we krumped dose Chaosboys an sure, we looted da titan, but we lost so many boys. Too many. Dere’s no way we kin kontinue da WAAAGH at dis rate.”
  80.  
  81. “Ta be fair, Kap, it neva was much of a propa WAAAGH.”
  82.  
  83. “I outta tear yer eyes out fer dat ya treacherous grot!” Urtylug snarled “I’ll tear you ta gubbinz fer dat one! Darin ta question my-“
  84.  
  85. “Now stick wiff me afore ya get upset, Kaptin.” Zizzbitz retorted, patting a placating hand on his shoulder and using his other hand to refill Urtylug’s coffee and give it back to him, “All’z I’z sayin iz dat ya did da best dat you could unda da circumstances. Ya took what you could of wut was left of Waarakton's old boys after dem spiky eldar krumped ‘im an’ grabbed wut precious few otherboyz you could get yer hands on, but it wasn’t sumfin I could call a propa WAAAGH. Ya still did right fine by us, though, Kaptin. If’n it wasn’t fer you, we’d neva of looted sumfin as flash as a zoggin titan!”
  86.  
  87. “But dat was only on acount of dat intellygenshe from dat Farseer git.” Urtylug deflected
  88.  
  89. “An no ork alive or ded woulda done as fine a job usin dat intellygenshe as you, Titanloota. Look, you’z our Kaptin an’ our Boss. You’z twice as qualified as any ork to be leadin us an ded ‘ard. You’z just in a slump. ‘Ere, let me show you a surprice I’z been werkin on, jus fer you, Kap’n.”
  90.  
  91. Urtylug and Tinka made their way through the titan, taking in the sites of industry around them. Aside from all the working and welding, grots had already begun to set up drink and food stalls for working orks to refresh themselves at for the small price of a pittance of teef. They even passed Rockeata, Urtylug’s oldest kommando in his trademark supa sneeky stelth shawl, a tattered rag painted winter, desert, and jungle camouflage to keep him stealthy no matter what planet they visited, complete with mismatched sticks and vines and even a few pieces of scrap metal sticking out it. With a battle record than Urtylug and Waarakton’s time as Warboss combined and renowned for his ability to wait patiently (a particularly noteworthy skill for an ork), Rockeata had picked up a habit of eating rocks and hard metals whenever he could in order to become dead hard and even more patient after spying on a group of Kroots many years ago and hearing one of them proclaim “You are what you eat”. While he chewed through the scrapheap of titan armor he had collected with little difficulty, his thickheaded protégé Snekkit was only gently gnawing at his pieces and putting them in Rockeata’s pile when he wasn’t looking. After a brief reprimanding from both Urtylug and Tinka for mucking about, the duo continued their ascent until they come across an even worse offender, an ork who had snuck off to a dark corner of the titan in order to take a nap. He awoke with a start to the sharp kick of Urtylug’s boot.
  92.  
  93. “Oiy ya worthless grot! Wut’s yer name!”
  94.  
  95. “F-Fizzgutz, Kaptin! Sorry f-fer sleepin, sah!” The frightened ork stammered
  96.  
  97. “Well quit bein sorry and stop muckin about! ‘Sides, you shuldn’t be sleepin on dis thing. It’z fulla dat Chaos muckery. It’ll turn ya inta a weirdboy afore you’z know it, Fizzgutz.”
  98.  
  99. “Iz dat even possable Kaptin?”
  100.  
  101. ”Does you want ta find out?”
  102.  
  103. “Not especially…”
  104.  
  105. ”DEN GET MOVIN YA GIT”
  106.  
  107. “Yes sah, Kaptin sah! Won’t do it agin, sah!” Fizzgutz gave a quick salute before running off in any direction that wasn’t where the warboss currently was.
  108.  
  109. Before they could continue on, a glowing leathery ball zipped between Urtylug’s legs, drawing a “Wut da zog?!” out of him, before Zizzbitz stepped on it with his peg-leg, putting down just enough force to pin the anomaly without causing any real harm.
  110.  
  111. “It’z…a squig. A zoggin glowy squig!” the Warboss exclaimed.
  112.  
  113. “Aye, Kaptin, we’ve taken ta callin dem WAAAsquigs.” Zizzbitz explained “Zog knows where dey came from or why dey glow, but dey’re roight useful, dese WAAAsquigs.”
  114.  
  115. “Where da zog iz you gonna find a use fer a glowy squig?!”
  116.  
  117. “We’z been attachin dem to da WAAAGHball”
  118.  
  119. “…does I even want ta know wut da WAAAGHball iz?”
  120.  
  121. “Well ya see boss, da reactor of dis ‘ere titan was fueled by wunnuv dem chaosboys’s daemons and when we first got dere, ‘e was makin’ a right mess o fings, killin boys, grots, and squigs alike wiff ‘is brain. So we jus stayed clear of ‘im and let Boris move deal wiff it on ‘is end. Den dese glowy WAAAsquigs started showin up an we noticed dat da daemon kuldn’t hurt dem. ‘E’d yell at dem nice an’ loud, but ‘e kuldn’t kill em. We also noticed ‘e kuldn’t kill us if’n we had a WAAAsquig nearby. So we’z started weldin dese WAAAsquigs to do daemon reaktor an at first it didn’t work so well. Da squigs kept squirmin and da daemon kept yellin. So we’z welded even more WAAAsquigs to ‘im an’ eventually da squigs stopped squirmin and da daemon stopped yellin. Or mebbe we jus can’t ‘ear ‘im anymore’z. Eitha way, we took ta callin it da WAAAGHball.”
  122.  
  123. “…Dis fing just ain’t rite…” Urtylug declared exasperatedly after a brief pause. “Let’s…let’s just continue on ta whateva ya had ta show me”
  124.  
  125. “You’z da boss, Kaptin.”
  126.  
  127. After handing their glowing cargo to the nearest ork, Urtylug and Tinka finished their ascent, ending up on the castle above the titan, still under massive reconstruction efforts in order to make the transition into an orky fort.
  128.  
  129. “Iz dat it? I could see dis mess from da hanga floor, Tinka. An’ it’z not even done.”
  130.  
  131. “Da forts not done, Kaptain, but da most important part iz, folla me. We’z almost dere”
  132.  
  133. The Big Mek took his war boss over to the tallest spire of the castle, visibly guarded all over by anti air turrets and the only thing of the entire fort looking properly orky.
  134.  
  135. “Dere it is, Kapn, yer Bosspire. It’s got firepowa and forty-fakayshuns an’ you kan’t see it, but it’z even got a kustom force field, too. A zoggin strong one. You’ll be nice an safe when yer in there, I’z guarantee it!” Tinka promised as he led the boss inside.
  136.  
  137. The elevator announced their arrival on the uppermost floor with a small ding and Urtylug eyes widened in shock as the doors opened lazily. It was his Kwarters! His beloved Kaptain’s Kwarters! Right down to the polished wood and the rug. He didn’t even want to know where Tinka got another rug from, much less one in the same exact pattern. The only difference was a large window where the viewscreen was in his ship.
  138.  
  139. “Well Kaptin, wut do ya fink?” Zizzbitz asked expectantly.
  140.  
  141. “Tinka, ya lousy git, ‘ow’d you even manage dis wun?! It’z zoggin perfect! It’z got da floors, and da viewscreen, an’, an’, an’ even da rug!”
  142.  
  143. “Well of korse, Kaptin, you can’t have a Kaptin’s Kwarters wiffout da rug. Da rug ties da whole fing togetha. An dats not all Kaptin, da viewscreen works! You’z just lookz around yerself and point at where ya want ta see, an da vyewskreen zooms in on it all nicelike! An’ it kin look every wich way on account of da whole room spins! Dis way, dose sneaky spiky eldar panzees will neva catch us offguard like dey did to Waarakton wiff you watchin ova us.”
  144.  
  145. “I’z…I’z gonna need a moment to meself, ya old git.”
  146.  
  147. “I thot you mite sey dat. I installed a speaky stick at yer Kaptin’s Desk jus like da one in da Loot-hava. It’z got a few more buttons to it, tho. Dis wun lets ya talk ta me persunally, dis wun lets ya talk ta Boris an anyone else he eva lets in dat kontrol room, so just Boris, dis wun lets ya talk ta everygit inside da titan, an’ dis wun lets ya talk ta everygit outside. An dis wun is wen you sez to yerself “Zog it all, everygit everywhere needs ta hear wut I’z got ta sey! I ‘aven’t ‘ad time ta link da Loot-hava to here, yet, so if’n you want ta talk ta anyone off da ship, you’z gonna need ta go back ta yer old Kwarters, though”
  148.  
  149. After giving his explanation, Tinka made his way out, leaving Urtylug once again alone, not counting his gretchin assistants. He sat in his Kaptin’s chair and looked out the viewscreen. He could already imagine fire and destruction all around him, with him directing his Scraplootas from up on high, swinging into the fray when he was needed just like he did in space. He looked around at the walls of his replica Kwarters and noticed all the bare shelves where his original Kwarters held trophies. So many empty shelves, yearning to be filled. So many conquests to be won. So many gits to krump. Urtylug felt new life rush into him. Yes, the Scraplootas still had a great future ahead of them. Thinking of his future led Urtylug’s rambling mind to his past, his time with Waarakton’s Minnitboyz, named so because they could strip a fully working Leman Russ tank to gubbins in a minute flat. They were right proper looters and right proper Freebooterz, living free and going wherever the loot would take them. Eventually becoming Waarakton’s first mate, Urtylug often argued with his old boss, about whether it was more sensible to use a looted item after making it orky or to strip it down into scrap metal and start from scratch. “Why smash a perfektly gud tank if you’z jus gonna build a zoggin nother wun!” he used to always shout whenever their debates got heated. He also thought Waarakton was never properly orky enough. He praised Gork above Mork and held brutal cunning above cunning brutality and claimed he had the personal blessing of Gork upon him, a boast Urtylug lost any belief in once Waarakton was blindsided. The git never even tried to WAAAGH, even when he had plenty of boys. They one thing they did seem to agree on was how to fight and how to dress. “A boss must look da part afore he’ll eva truly be da part” his old mentor used to always say. He was planning on one day killing the old ork and taking his place (and hat) before a bunch of Dark Eldar beat him to the punch, taking most of the Minnitboyz along with their old leader. From the ashes of the Minnitboyz arose the Scraplootas, a tribe so tough and loud they looted while they fought instead of waiting until after the battle was won. After a few years of mucking about and amassing a proper WAAAGH, an Eldar Farseer from one of their Craftworlds pointed Urtylug in the direction a Chaos Titan on a nearby planet undergoing repairs, his for the taking. Though it cost him most of his boys, Urtylug secured the titan and was able to escape with his prize, leaving the Chaos Warband to fight a Space Marine Chapter that happened to chance by. “Mebbe I wuz da wun Gork blessed.” he mused during his reflections. But why? He wasn’t much of a proper ork. Not in the slightest. His WAAAGH failed, he led all his boys into a squigshoot, he bartered with Eldar, and worst of all, he ran from a fight. Even his swashkrumpin that he was so proud of relied on him being springy and hard to hit like an eldar rather than an ork. He could’ve taken the titan and charged the frontlines with it. He would’ve died to those Space Marines, either the Chaos Warband or the Loyalist Chapter, but he would’ve died an ork. He couldn’t even give it another go if he wanted to, as he didn’t have enough boys, just kommandos and grots.
  150.  
  151. Kommandos and grots. There it was again. He’d nearly forgotten the ringing in his head.
  152.  
  153. “All dat came out da otha end of da titan run wuz kommandos an’ grots…” he spoke aloud feeling himself getting closer, the pain in his forehead giving away to…something else.
  154.  
  155. “Kommandos and grots kome out da otha end ov ‘ard fites” He was getting closer! Was it…an idea?
  156.  
  157. ”If’n I only stick in kommandos an grots, den…I won’t ‘ave lost anything when dey come out da otha end!” There it was! The thing that had been assailing him all day! A long delayed epiphany finally set free!
  158. But how? Any ork knows you can’t win any head on fight with just kommandos and grots.
  159.  
  160. But what if it wasn’t head on? The epiphany, now free, whirled gleefully in his head.
  161.  
  162. What if he took his swashkrumpin and applied it to his army? If he kept his army moving and didn’t get stuck in an open battleground, he wouldn’t lose many of his boys. He could sneak his kommandos behind enemy lines under a cover of grots sewing havoc. He had more grots than he knew what to do with and could swear he had even more now than when he made off with the titan, so it didn’t matter how many of them he lost. So long as most of his kommandos came out the other end, he wouldn’t need new boys so often and could stay mobile. Not just any ork could pull this off, either, it would require some kind of tactical genius. And sure, it wasn’t very orky, but he’d win, zog it, and he’d win by any means necessary. And now he even had a titan to back up his main assault! Yes, the Scraplootas were far from finished.
  163.  
  164. Urtylug jammed his thumb down on the ZOG IT ALL button and brought the speaky stick close to his mouth.
  165.  
  166. ”Alright, boys, I jus wanna say fer starters, you’z been doin gud work. We ain’t had da best of luck or da best of circumstance, but we’z made da most of it! We’z servived a full on Eldar ambush, we’z raised a right propa WAAAGH to da best of our abilities an’ now got ourselves a titan ta call our own, an we even lived ta tell of it! No ork worth ‘is dakka kin sey a Scraploota isn’t ded ard an ready ta fite! But things are changin. Things are gonna be different now. Dis iz a new beginnin to da Scraplootas an it’z a zoggin bootiful one! We just don’t have da boyz to fight normal-like. I want every boy here who isn’t already a kommando to go see Rockeata and lern ‘ow ta be ded sneaky. Any git who finks ‘e’z too big an slow ta be a propa kommando iz gonna report a me personally in wun hour! I’z gonna make propa Swashkrumpas outta you gits yet. We’z all gonna be ded sneaky an ‘arder to hit den a tiny eldar. We’z gonna take our new titan an be Freebooterz on da ground as well as in da sky! Now somma you may think dis ain’t very orky an’ dat da boss lost ‘is marbles an’ I ain’t gonna disagree wiv ya, I’z just gonna tell you dis much: no matta wat, Scraplootas iz gonna win! An’ I dare each an every wunna you’z ta come up wiff somefing more orky den winning!”
  167.  
  168. He released the button to sound of uproarious applause and cheers of WAAAAAGH! echoing from every corner of the ship and the titan. He let his speech sink in for a bit before pressing another button on his speaky stick
  169.  
  170. “Oiy Tinka!”
  171.  
  172. ”Wuzzit, Kap’n?”
  173.  
  174. “I’z gonna need dis titan ready ta fite by yesterday, ya got me?”
  175.  
  176. “It’z gonna be a rukuss Kap, especially wiff all dis muck about new kommandos an swashkrumpin…”
  177.  
  178. “Iz you gonna be able to do it?”
  179.  
  180. “Please, Kap’n, I’ll have it rearin and roarin fer action afore ya blink!”
  181.  
  182. “Dat’s wut I like ta heer. Build as many bikes and grot mounted turrets as ya kin wiff any scrap dat izzn’t goin to da titan, too”
  183.  
  184. “Konsider it dun”
  185.  
  186. “An’ a few koptas”
  187.  
  188. “Wut da zog iz you up to, Kap’n?”
  189.  
  190. “You’ll see me old pal you’ll all see.”
  191.  
  192. ”Oh, an’ Boss?”
  193.  
  194. “Yezz, Tinka?”
  195.  
  196. “It’z gud ta have ya back”
  197.  
  198. “Zog it, Boris, I ain’t goin nowhere. Not fer a long time”
  199.  
  200. Urtylug then rushed all the way back through the titan, not even stopping for the WAAAsquigs running amok or even to kick the dozing Fizzgutz again, instead opting to bash his face with a mug as he rushed by. Once he was back in his old room, he mashed a few more buttons on the console that was integrated into his Kaptin’s Desk, bringing up on his viewscreen a face obscured by a smooth, curved helmet, with only a single braided ponytail sticking out of it.
  201.  
  202. ”You hailing me? To what do I owe this so very rare pleasure, Warboss Urtylug?” the voice said, tinny and filtered through the helm and with sarcasm and haughtiness obvious enough for even an ork to pick up on.
  203.  
  204. ”Shut it, ya panzee eldar git! I’z a Kaptin wen I’z on a ship an you’ll address me as such!”
  205.  
  206. “I am truly and utterly sorry, your green grace. What may I do for you, KAPTIN Urtylug?”
  207.  
  208. “Dat’s Kaptin Urtylug Dursnik Titanloota to you, Vray-dree-suh, an you’z gonna tell me where dem spiky eldar iz hidin or I’z gonna show you why’z dey call me Titanloota!”
  209.  
  210. “I wouldn’t dream of standing in the way of the mighty ‘Titanloota’. Consider all my information on Dark Eldar movement in the region yours. Free of charge.”
  211.  
  212. “Zoggin roight it’z free. A Scraploota pays fer nuffin, ya hear!”
  213.  
  214. With that, he ended communications and sank back in his chair, utterly pleased with himself. Things were looking up for him. There was still much to do, the tribe needed a proper emblem instead of the generic Jolly Ork and he was about to have to train some clumsy nobs into proper swashkrumpas, but even still he felt zogging good about himself. He had a titan, a plan, and soon he’d have a proper army to go with it. Tapp even changed to tea like he wanted without Urtylug having to smack him first. Yes, the Scraplootas were far from finished. Best of all, he was going to prove to the galaxy that the orks were the best, even at unorky things like sneaking about. He was going to do the impossible: he was going to launch a sneak attack on the eldar! That’ll show them for killing Waarakton before he had a chance to and become Boss proper, for casting his status as Boss in a shadow of doubt, for forcing him on that march of desperation, and most importantly for being pansy little eldar. He glanced sidelong at his mirror and for the first time in his life saw a proper Warboss staring back. He still needed a proper cloak, though. Maybe after he finished his business with the eldar, he could go pay those Tau a visit. He heard their Ethereal bosses had right fancy cloaks for him to loot…
  215.  
  216.  
  217. ------------------------------
  218.  
  219. “Zoggin roight it’z free. A Scraploota pays fer nuffin, ya hear!”
  220.  
  221. And with that, the Farseer’s viewscreen went blank, communications cut. Farseer Vaedrisa took of her helmet and shook her head, rubbing her neck. Had it not been for her helmet, the thin smile she now wore would have been broadcast as a beaming, toothy grin during her entire conversation with the Orkish Warboss. And no one must be allowed to see that, not even her own craftworld.
  222.  
  223. “I don’t see how you can suffer those filthy brutes.“ her Warlock attendant quipped.
  224.  
  225. “Come now, Zielt, we must treat our greenskin allies with respect. Otherwise, they might not be so willing to be so easily manipulated.”
  226.  
  227. “Filthy brutes” he repeated stubbornly
  228.  
  229. “You give them too little credit, Zielt. You expected them to die back on their raid, did you not?”
  230.  
  231. “When have you ever heard of an ork running from a fight?!” Zielt sputtered in protest “They’re dumb filthy savages that blindly rush at any target until either they or it dies. They were supposed to commandeer the titan and crash it against the tide of humans, destroying that warp tainted behemoth and eliminating all of foes in one fell swoop.”
  232.  
  233. “But they did not.” Vaedrisa calmly reminded him, remaining ever the professional.
  234.  
  235. “But they did not! And now we still have too few of numbers to effect any change in this sector!”
  236.  
  237. “And now, we have a titan.” The farseer corrected him calmly
  238.  
  239. “Surely our wise Farseer isn’t so far gone as to think herself an ork” Zielt retorted snidely
  240. Vaedrisa took a deep breath and sighed.
  241.  
  242. “Who owns the only titan in the sector, Zielt?”
  243.  
  244. “That ugly brute those idiotic orks follow”
  245.  
  246. “His name is Warboss Urtylug Dursnik and he leads the Scraplootas. Let knowledge be your strength, Zielt. Now tell me, from who does Urtylug get his information. Whose is the hand that guides these orks to their prey?”
  247.  
  248. “Y…yours, Farseer. But can we really trust that they won’t turn-”
  249.  
  250. “The Scraplootas have no reason to stop honoring our agreement.” Vaedrisa cut Zielt off before he could finish “We provide them with new spoils and they fight our battles for us. I trust them, and you should trust your Farseer”
  251.  
  252. “Y…yes, Farseer” Zielt relented, defeated
  253.  
  254. “Besides, this is reason to rejoice, wouldn’t you say?”
  255.  
  256. “And why is that, Farseer?” the tired warlock sighed, knowing she would not relent if he did not humor her.
  257.  
  258. “Did you not see what just happened? That was the first time Warboss Urtylug has ever taken it upon himself to hail us. He hailed me. Usually it we who pester the ork.”
  259.  
  260. “So what? Now we get to experience the joy of seeing his disgusting face more? Please excuse me as I spring forth and resummon Slannesh in utter and unparalleled pleasure” Zielt snarked
  261.  
  262. “It means” Vaedrisa explained whilst forcefully pushing her glasses closer to her face, an edge of frustration and anger creeping into her voice “that the Scraplootas recognize the legitimacy of our trade pact and will continue to act as our puppets. Did they not just volunteer to assault the Dark Eldar on their own volition? We had been sitting on that data for quite some time, waiting for the opportune moment to dangle it in front of them like a hunk of bloodied meat and now they freely demand to do our work for us.”
  263.  
  264. “That’s just…that’s…true. I apologize, Farseer.”
  265. “Besides, do you know find a sort of twisted beauty to their ways? They are like a well oiled machine, built only for war.
  266.  
  267. “Farseer…” Zielt tried to interject, having had a variation of this very argument quite a number of times over the past centuries.
  268.  
  269. “And they are not without their intelligence, either! Surely they will never match the cunning mind of an eldar, but this, this ‘Titanloota’” she oozed, enjoying the way it rolled off of her tongue “he shows a certain cleverness most orks lack. I shall greatly look forward to following his exploits”
  270.  
  271. “Trust me, we all know” Zielt sighed once more, knowing she was hardly listening.
  272.  
  273. “Very well then, I shall excuse myself to my private quarters” Vaedrisa nodded curtly and marched off.
  274.  
  275. After the long march to her room, she peeled off her wraithbone armor and let her braided hair fall into a frizzy mess around herface as it always did when she didn’t restrain it. Tired from the day, she then flopped onto her bed with a sigh, beaming widely once again.
  276.  
  277. “He hailed me” she said again, closing her eyes contentedly
  278.  
  279. “He hailed ME” she repeated yet again, rolling over and clinging tightly to a nearby body length pillow
  280.  
  281. “Titanloota…” she gushed once more. It was a powerful name, befitting a powerful ork.
  282.  
  283. “Titanloota…” she loved their species. There was a beauty to their brutal simplicity, and it was especially present in their names.
  284.  
  285. “Titanloota…” it was the name of a great champion with instantly recognized might and reputation whereas Vaedrisa could mean anything. She was greatly intrigued as to what would become of this ork.
  286.  
  287. “Titanloota…” she knew most of her craftworld knew about her…beliefs and she didn’t care. She even knew of their nickname for her. It didn’t matter to her. Despite her biases, she never once led them astray. Besides…
  288.  
  289. “Warboss Kaptin Urtylug Dursnik Titanloota hailed ME!” she squealed silently one last time before drifting off to sleep, satisfied.
  290.  
  291. That night, her dreams were plagued with visions of a green ocean raging violently amidst a hailstorm of silver and yellow. The one image from her dreams that troubled her most for a reason she couldn’t quite place, however, was that of a thundercloud, small, grumbling, and crackling with electricity, colored the most brilliant shade of blue…
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