"Da jump be dun. All da shiny bitz be green and da drift be jus' unda fifteen hunderd kay."
"Fifteen hundred is good. Your captain will be pleased."
The pilot waited until the Turian had disappeared into the bowels of the kroozer before speaking.
"I wanna smash dat spiky git."
"'E jus' sed a nice fing, ya squigbrain."
"Ay. 'E sed I wuz gud. Membring ta pick yer teef afta eatin a grot is gud. I be dead gud. 'Sides, I dun like dem kommando types. Dey make me bak tingle."
"Everywun make yer bak tingle, you shud see da dok about dat. Da spikies gave lots of teef for dis shiny new kroozer, dey got a rite to send sumwun to make sure we don' break all da bitz."
"Den why da zog they send a kommando, ya git? Dey shoulda sent sum dum mek."
A new voice cut in, much deeper, growlier and more Orky than the other two.
"'E's gotta point dere. Da kaptin ain't tellin us everything about dat spiky git, I can feel it."
"Gah! Sheppurt, I didunt see you dere."
"Of cors you didunt ya git. Kommando Sheppurt is dead sneaky."
"Zog yourself, weirdboy."
"Oy. No fights on me dekk."
The conversation was interrupted by a voice from the talky-majik.
"Oy Jokka, I wan' reportz sent to Warboss Hakkit before we gets to da kolony."
"You gottit, kaptin. I fink dat spiky git's on 'is way to you."
"'E's alreddy here."
The talky-majik cut off in a blast of static.
"Da kaptin sounds kross. Tell Addumz to keep 'im away from da grots in da enjin room, we need dem in ... intak ... not dead."
"'E always torks like dat to me."
"Dat's cuz you's a whiny grotbrain."
Shaking his head, Kommando Sheppurt left Jokka and Kadun to their perpetual argument, heading back through the roughly fashioned corridors of the kroozer. After a couple of minutes meandering and a short exchange with Prezzly, the nob in charge of keeping the grots manning the bridge in line, he found himself in the bossing room, the area of the ship where the kaptin gave orders to his subordinates. Instead of Kaptin Andazon, Sheppurt found himself alone with the Turian Spectre that had been the source of Jokka's ire.
"Ah, Kommando. I was hoping you'd get here first. It gives us a chance to talk."
"Where's da kaptin?"
"On his way. I'm curious about this colony we're going to. Edun Da Furst Wun is something of a symbol to the Hakkit administration, isn't it. Proof that Orks can not only colonise a planet without destroying its ecosystem but that your species is capable of living alongside others with only occasional violence. But how secure is it really?"
"Frettening an Ork on 'is own kroozer is ten kindsa dum, spikey."
"Not threatening, merely asking."
"Well I'll tell ya dis den. You find me sumwun willin to attak an Orky kolony and I find sumwun who shud be chopped fer da gud of dere spe ... speshi ... race. Wot's dis all about anyway?"
Sheppurt looked round as the Kaptin entered the room.
"I fink we shud tell Sheppurt wot's rilly going on. Dis mishun is more dan a test run. Dere's a Profean beecun on Edun Da Furst Wun."
"Obviously this goes beyond mere Orkish interests Kommando. The beacon should be brought to the Citadel for proper study."
"Proppa study? Zog dat. Kaptin, we found da fing so it's Orky now. Dat's da way it's always been."
"Shut yer zog hole Sheppurt. Boss Hakkit sez we share wiv da spikies, da squishies and da bounsies, so dat's wot we do."
"Dat's not all, is it Kaptin?"
"No. Da spiky is here to eva ... evaloo ... test you. Dey want an Orky Spectur."
"Of cors dey want an Orky Spectur, green is best aftur all. But why me?"
Nihlus took it upon himself to explain.
"Your record speaks for itself. You led the defence during the Batarian attack on Elysium, then went on to serve with distinction during the retaliatory raid on Torfan."
"Hur hur, dat was fun. Smashin' squints is always a gud larf."
"The fact is that you have proven to be an exemplary combatant even for an Ork and unlike the rest of your species you have a basic grasp of subtlety. You are an excellent Spectre candidate on paper, I'm here to see if you really have what it ... takes ... Sheppurt?"
Part way through the Turian's speech, both Orks had lost interest, instead staring intently towards the bow of the ship.
"You feel dat, Kaptin?"
"Yeh. I feel it. Which kinda begz da queschun ... why the Zog is dere a Waaagh! on Edun Da Furst Wun?"
Nihlus glanced from one to the other, confused.
"Get ya gear on, Sheppurt. Tell da boyz to get dere bitz too. Dere's a fight happenin' on dat dere planet and I want to kno why da zog we wuzunt invited."
"Carm down Kommando. Dey's just gas bags. A gud larf to shoot but mostly 'armless."
Sheppurt silently thanked the Ork who had spoken up. He had been about to unload his kustom shoota into the nearest of the floating creatures.
Edun Da Furst Wun was a warzone. Across the colony, Orks clashed with an unknown enemy, hurling themselves into the fray with any improvised weapon they could find. A colossal dreadnought hung over the colony's spaceport, its menacingly insectoid appearance, apparently meant to intimidate observers, having the exact opposite effect on the Orks below.
"Uh, Kommando, dere's sum flyin fings shootin' at us."
"Well shoot bak, ya dum gitz!"
"We is! Dey're hard ta hit!"
Sighing, Sheppurt turned to the slightly smaller Ork beside him.
"Yer up, Kadun."
The weirdboy stepped past him, raising his weirdstikk and waving it in the general direction of the flying drones. The four light aerial units were abruptly shredded by a ball of roiling mass effect energy that appeared in midair and disappeared as soon as it was done. As the mangled wrecks fell to the ground Sheppurt walked up to the one boy they had managed to down, idly backhanding an Ork that failed to get out of his way and sending the unfortunate individual sailing into the wall of the canyon. The deceased was the same boy who had warned him about the gas bags.
"Squigbrain fergot 'is sparky bitz, boss."
If the boy was dumb enough to leave his kinetic barrier generator behind the crew was better off without him.
"Wot a tard. Anywun else ferget dere sparky bitz?"
Three more Orks sheepishly raised their hands.
"Fer zog's sake ... Jus' don' get shot up, kay?"
Without waiting for a reply, Sheppurt led them deeper into the battle. Soon enough the sound of gunfire drew their attention.
"Dat's an Orky shoota! Les go, lads!"
With assorted cries of glee, the Orkish mob ran off towards the sound. Cresting the hill, Sheppurt and Kadun observed a smaller Ork sprinting towards them, pursued by two more of the little drones.
"Hold it lads. Dis shud be dead funny."
To the surprise of the assembled mob, the smaller Ork drew a heavily customised pistol and spun mid-stride, sliding along the ground on his back and taking out both drones with pinpoint accurate shots. As they watched, the Ork slid behind a rock, drawing an impressive looking shoota from his back and preparing to leap out and open fire.
"Well, is you gunna fight or just leave dem all for me?"
With a roar, Sheppurt led his mob down to fall upon the enemies. These ones were slightly more Orkoid in shape, wielding fancy curved rifles that they used to blaze away at the approaching mob. Two of the Orks, both part of the group who lacked kinetic barriers, were cut down before a return volley shredded the hostile automatons.
In the aftermath of the short engagement, Sheppurt approached the Ork who had been firing from behind the rock.
"Wut's your name, git?"
The Flash Git shrugged, the motion making the massive pack containing his ammunition shift over his shoulders.
"Dey calls me Ash, mostly cuz I like burnin' stuff. Who's you?"
"I be Kommando Sheppurt. What's happenin' on dis dam kolony?"
"We's being attaked. I dunno but I fink dey be Geff."
One of the Orks in the back spoke up.
"Er, Boss. Whut be a Geff?"
"Dey're robot boys da bukkits made, now shaddup."
"Yeh, Geff. Dey bring gud dakka but dey aren't gud wiv a choppa."
"Gud ta know. Okays Ash, takes us to where da Profean bitz are."
"Got it Boss."
Ash led the mob further into the dig site, the Orks tearing apart another fire team of Geth on the way. When they reached the location, Sheppurt turned to Ash.
"You sed it wuz here, ya git!"
"I sed it wuz here last I chekked. Da meks musta moved it ta da spessport. It be dis way."
"You betta be rite dis time."
"Yeh, I get da deal."
Just up the ramp, they came to a campsite, the Orky firepits and bedrolls in stark contrast to a pair of Council prefabs. Clearly this was where the Citadel research team were staying.
"Uh, Boss ..."
"We's got a littul problum."
"Wot it it?"
Sheppurt's eyes followed the pointed finger all the way to the Orky bodies impaled on fifteen foot spikes.
The bodies were pulling themselves off the spikes, showcasing the blue-grey cybernetics running through their flesh. Empty eye sockets fixed upon the Orks and as one the reanimated corpses charged, choppas waving.
"Lay some dakka on dem!"
As one the Orks opened fire, a wall of hot lead flying from their guns and smashing into the onrushing corpses. They didn't go down easy however, taking out three more boys before the last one was downed. Kadun looked at a deceased Husk with what looked like admiration.
"Dem's dead killy."
"Boss! Dere be some gits hidin' in dis box!"
Sheppurt made his way over to the prefab, stepping through the doorway after some creative geometry to squeeze his Orkish body through a door made for Asari.
"A bounsy and a squishy. Wunderful."
The Asari seemed not to notice his disparaging assessment, instead gushing her thanks. Bored of the conversation, Sheppurt wandered out again.
"Zoggin' Council gits fink dey's betta den us, but when dere's fightin' ta be dun dey always hide behind da boys."
Kadun nodded his agreement.
"I 'ear ya, boss. Arf da time dey ain't even worth smashin'."
"Alrite lads, les go!"
Now down almost a third of their strength, the Ork mob continued on.
"Ay Dok. 'E's wakin' up."
Sheppurt slowly opened his eyes, growling at the pounding in his head.
"Wut da zog happent?"
Kadun, who had been sitting on the other side of the Dok's room, shrugged inasmuch as he could do so while the dok sewed his arm back on.
"Sum zogged up gubbinz, boss. Ow much does yous 'member?"
"Uh ... Lemme fink ... Oh yeah. Your arm jus' got blowed off by dat proppa big Geff. Dat was a larf."
"Fanks boss, I fort so too. Speschully since I made wun of da boys carry it for me da rest of da way. Afta we did dat, we found some Geff bomms and smashed 'um, den we found da Profean bitz and it did sumfink to ya 'ead. We 'ad ta drag ya all da way bak to da kroozer."
"Fanks for dat. Nex' time sumwun else can carry da Profean bitz. Oh 'ello Dok. Is I gud?"
The dok's cybork eye rolled around in his skull apparently independent of his other one, and the scanner beam only occasionally swept over him. In the end the dok plucked the entire assemblage out of his face, holding the eye still to complete the scan.
"Yeah, you's good Kommando. But you wus out fer five-teen owwers, and it looked like you wus finking in yer sleep. Torking a little bit too."
Sheppurt stood up, rubbing his head.
"I's 'member ... it wus like a Waaagh! but bigger ... like every Ork in da galaxy was all joined togevva in one massive Waaagh! against dose Geff bots. I fink it wus wut happent to da Profeans."
"Dat's dead wikked, Boss."
"It makes me 'ead 'urt."
"I can fix dat."
Just as Sheppurt realised he had made the catastrophic error of admitting he was hurt in front of a dok, the Kaptin walked into the dok's lair.
"I's need ta tork ta Sheppurt. Alone."
"You gottit, Kaptin."
Kadun and the dok left the room, leaving Andazon alone with Sheppurt.
"Dat boy you torked to at da spessport where da spiky got chopped. You's sure 'e said it wus anuvva spiky?"
"You mean dat one 'oo got 'is legs blowed off? Yeah, 'e said da Spectur got dakka in da 'ead from a spiky called Sarrun. Da boy sed da too of dem knew each uvva."
"Dat makes sense. Sarrun is a Spectur also, wun of da best, an' 'e 'ates Orks."
"So does all da spikies. Dey still mad about us kikking dem all da way bak to dere home plannit. 'Ow many of dere kolonys did we burn before da bounsies came and torked to Hakkit?"
"If I 'member gud, it wus five. But Sarrun 'ates us extra speshul."
"Woteva da zog for?"
"I don't give a zog wot for. We shud tell Hakkit about dis."
"Where's we headed now, boss?"
"Ter da Citadel."
"Ah zog. I 'ate the zoggin' Citadel. All dey evva do dere is tork about gubbinz."
"I know, but Hakkit wants us to give da Council a proppa Orky yellin' at, so dat's where we's goin'. Speakin' of yellin' ats, go tell Jokka to get a zoggin' move on."
Teef: 1. Teeth. (Always pik yer teef afta eatin' a grot.) 2. Slang term for currency (Dat trukk musta cost a ton of teef.) Originates from the ancient Orkish practice of using the teeth of slain enemies as currency, still practiced in the Ork-dominated Zakera ward and most Ork colonies.
Zog: 1. Common Orkish curse, meaning unknown. (Zog off!) 2. Orkish slang term for other species's courtship behaviours. (Look at dose spikeys zoggin' in da street.)