The Box on the Vox

Excerpt from some random Ork fiction I did for an ongoing campaign. Didn’t want this getting lost to the ages, it’s kinda fun.

Dis picture nicked from somewhere. Damn lootas.

“Shaddersunz,” Karl sent out the hail, trying to correctly pronounce the Imperial version of the name of his Tau contact, Shas’O Shaserra. Her Tau name was simply beyond the Ork’s comprehension. It was perhaps beyond the comprehension of any Ork, save a select few warbosses from the Blood Axe clan, and some of the canniest of Ork pirates. Karl was definitely not either, though he had killed plenty of both.

“Transmission acknowledged, Kaptain Karl. I understand your mission was a failure?” Shaserra inquired.

“Wot? You’ze sed to get da box. I got da box!” Karl protested.

“We’ve already seen data from the Kai’Korar going through secure channels in the Imperial networks. Imperial fleets have moved into intercepting orbits on all of our secure routes. How could you have the ‘box’, Karl?”

“We went ta Bekurnz, like you said. You said ta go to da crash site. Da box wuz black. And it had wurdz. We found it.”

“Karl, first of all, I was there, and you werent.”

“Datz da troof. Wut goodz bein da boss if ya cant make ya ladz go get ya a box?”

“Indeed.” Shaserra replied, nonplussed. “Karl, if you were there, you would know that there were two crash sites that contained positive relay signatures from the data center”.

“Pozi-wut?”

“Two spots showed signs of the box. Your crew and my own went to the first site. The planetary defense force provided minimal resistance. Another group of B’Gel… sorry Orks… went to the second site with another interested party, and weren’t heard from again. Communications intercepted in the area indicated there were Astartes present.”

“Marines.” Karl replied. He knew that word well. Karl wasn’t much for philosophy, or thinking for that matter, but in that moment he decided that he truly was destined to be a great warlord, if Gork and Mork had desired he prove himself by fighting the greatest warriors the Imperium of Man had to offer. “Gud story. But our ladz come back wif a box. YOUR box. It made da beep. Just like you sed. Box. Black. Beeps.”

Shaserra was intrigued at the Ork’s insistence. “OK Karl. Enable the imaging engines on your vox. Let me take a look at your prize”.

“Da wot? On da wot?”

“Imaging engine? On your vox.”

“Wotz a vox?”

“The device we’re speaking on?”

“You mean da talky whatsit?” Karl’s face contorted, completely dumbfounded by the current conversation. Once a Mekboy tried to get Karl to call the communications device ‘Da Commz’. Karl never liked that Mekboy. From the day he killed him until today, he had never heard the ‘Talky Whatsit’ referred to by any other name.

“Correct, Karl.”

“Vox. Datz an easy name ta say. Vox. Vox-vox-vox-vox-vox.”

“Alright Karl. I need you to put the box on the vox”.

“You wan me to put da box on da vox?” Karl responded in disbelief. Shaserra assured him that she did. Karl set the Tau data recorder on top of the ramshackle communications device, and predictably it crashed loudly to the floor and rolled down the hall clanking loudly on the decking. “Now wut?” Karl demanded.

“Kaptain. I need you to turn on your display so I can look at the box.” Shaserra’s patience was wearing thin with this neanderthal B’Gel.

“Why ya wanna look at da box?”

“How else would I confirm the vali…”, she cut herself off, realizing she was speaking above the brute’s level of comprehension. “How else can I know it’s our data center?”

“It’s your box. It’s got yer panzee wurdz all over it. Who else wud dat box be for? Da ‘Umie Empra? My best squig, Burpz? Where’z my teef, Blueface?”.

Shaserra barely contained her anger. “You want your payment, show me that box. No images, no ‘teef’. Do you understand me now, greenskin?!”

“Skull’ead!!! Get your zoggin gob over ‘ere NOW!” Karl shouted loudly, to nobody in particular, without any hesitation. In a matter of seconds, Skull’ead was standing on the deck at rigid attention. He was shirtless and only wearing one boot. He held a huge spanner in his right hand.”

“Ya bawss?” Skull’ead replied.

Karl pointed at the Vox. “Dis fing needs engines.”

Skull’ead’s thoughts raced at the prospect of adding an engine, and a loud exhaust manifold to the communications array. “You tink I can paint it red too bawss?” Karl slapped Skull’ead hard across the right side of his face, careful to not to hit the metal plate on the left side like last time, which put Skull’ead out of commission for weeks. Actually he did little more than drool and soil himself for an entire month.

“Not dat engine. Da engine so da blue gitz can see dat box right dere,” Karl pointed emphatically. Skull’ead’s eyes flashed, finally getting the idea. He sprung from the floor where Karl had knocked him, and ran to the Vox. He quickly pressed three buttons in sequence and waited. Nothing. He then took his spanner and hit the Vox, twice on the left, once on top, and then hit the same buttons in sequence.

The Vox started to hum, and then make a noise like an old rusty windmill. Thin green beams filled an area of the room. Skull’ead grinned and nodded.

“Dat good?” Karl asked.

“That’s a low resolution video feed of the back of your engineer’s head. He really should get that wound looked at.” Shaserra responded, the humor of the situation completely lost on her.

Karl stared angrily at Skull’ead. Skull’ead, realizing he was about to get hit again, sprang into action. He ran across the room, grabbed the odd Tau ‘box’, and set it in the faintly green glowing area he was formerly standing in. He looked at Karl sheepishly, and Karl stared at the Vox.

“Dat good?”.

Shaserra again found herself fantasizing about severing all of Kaptain Karl’s limbs, and running over his torso repeatedly with one of the Ork’s crude “Trukk” vehicles. She hoped one day that her path would take her to that joyful conclusion. But today was not that day. She was quite pleased that the B’Gel had happened upon the primary datacenter. Thought the Astartes were in possession of data on ship movements, none of the vast Tau spy network had been compromised.

“When we descend on Rheelas, tomorrow an hour past daybreak at the drop point… you will have everything you have asked for, plus further payment for tomorrow’s action. Are you satisfied Karl?”

“I like teef. Teef means dakka. Teef means more ladz.”

“Then it’s settled.” Shaserra said, signing off.

“You’ze roit about dat…” Karl muttered and started off into space. Gubslappa, unnoticed under a makeshift table, frantically drawing diagrams on an old shred of Imperial parchment, let out a brief, delightful snicker.

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