CHAPTER 17.4

Approx. 5400 words

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015   SJ

 

The Ork Situation:

The Warboss

 

written by  SJ

 

 

    Lana piloted the shuttle and explained to Gannon and Bull who Nabzorg was and what they were going to do. When it looked like they were going to complain, she spoke firmly, "...and don't give me no, oh, LuLu's. I have to do this. It's the only chance we have to stop this war." She paused, then continued. "After Nabzorg and I get out, leave the shuttle on stealth and fly it back to Fort Marathon...got that?"
    There was a pair of big sighs, then one last, "oh, LuLu."
    The shuttle stayed in the sky as the forest below them lit up with the morning's first rays of sun. As Gannon took over the pilots seat, and as Nabzorg tied a heavy-duty rope around Lana's neck, holding the length of it, they both exited the shuttle.
    Nabzorg had to tell her once they met other Orks, he'd have to treat her roughly, like a real prisoner. She nodded her understanding.
    ******
    They had only walked a short time, a few minutes, following a path through some rocky hills, when Nabzorg mentioned something. She didn't understand, but understood his next action, even thought she didn't like it.
    The big Ork yanked the rope hard, up, left, and right, the coarse rope scraping her neck as she cried out in pain and grunted. Just when she thought he was done, he pulled her forward making her fall face first in the dirt, then dragged her several meters before pulling her up to her feet.
    Her neck was sore and she was dirty. Nabzorg looked her over and spoke. "There...now you look more like prisoner."
    She staggered, sighed, then tried to smile back. "Thanks."
    However, just before they started walking again, two Orks jumped up on some rocks in front of them. They looked down, staring angrily. They were dressed like Nobz, with heavy metal shoulder pads and horned helmets, their clothing marked with black and white checkered trim. The first one had a large, slugga pistol and a sharp-looking choppa axe. The second one, who looked like he was senior to the first, had the same type of pistol, but was equipped with a power claw on his left hand.
    Nabzorg took the initiative and spoke first. "I capture Space Marine...need to show to Warboss."
    "You give us." The senior Ork spoke, demanding. "We take to Warboss."
    "NO!" Nabzorg responded angrily and stomped. "I want Warboss see me with prisoner. Then you can take."
    The two Nobz could've taken the prisoner by force if they wanted, but the Orks had a simple code. If an Ork had captured what could be an important prisoner, he was allowed to let the Warboss see him at least once before turning him or her over. Both Nobz jumped off their rocks and onto the path, then the senior Nob told Nabzorg to follow him.
    Lana was put in front of Nabzorg, and made to run with them along the rocky, mountain, trail. After about five minutes, they came out into a concealed clearing, into an area populated with Orks and Gretchen, an obvious headquarters. Nabzorg pushed Lana in front of him and she fell down, after which he yanked her back up by the rope, apparently, and unfortunately, for her, keeping up the Ork-prisoner routine, the small woman literally like a rag doll in the hands of the big Ork.
    She had wanted to put on her full Scout fatigues, but couldn't find her shirt in the shuttle. She had to settle for wearing one of her old, blue-grey, t-shirts, one of the smaller ones Bull or Gannon had picked out for her in their haste.
    In the distance, she spotted one Ork bigger and taller than the rest. She watched as he suddenly raised his hands in the air and shouted orders to a couple Gretchen handling communications, who began relaying those orders into a com box. The big Ork was armored similar to the two Nobz. He wasn't armed with any weapons, but it was obvious he had access to a large rack of weapons, one which looked like a large, over-under, double-barreled shoota. He walked left, shouted some orders, then walked right, and shouted another set of orders before turning to spot Lana with her Ork escorts.
    The Warboss was dressed in a little more colorful clothes than the rest, with the same Nobz trim. He had on heavy, leather, dark-brown, boots that were, of course, toeless. After heaving in a deep breath, then letting out a long sigh, he stomped over to where Lana was being held. As she stood, her heart beating a little faster, she thought, mockingly to herself, "oh, yeah...this was a good idea."
    Once the Warboss came to a halt, Nabzorg shoved her down to her knees, then spoke. "I bring Space Marine prisoner to Warboss."
    He was about to leave, when the Warboss spoke, asking, his voice not as deep as he looked, but very loud. "Where you find Space Marine?"
    Nabzorg pointed behind him. "I find in hills one hour walk away."
    The Warboss narrowed one of his eyes and leaned closer to the woman, one hand ready to grip his bowel-rippa knife. "You look like spy to me."
    "Not think she spy." Nabzorg mentioned calmly. "She not have weapon or com box. She look lost." He nodded formally and saluted as he spoke. "I turn prisoner over to Warboss." Then he let the rope drop down in front of her just before turning to leave quickly.
    The Warboss continued to stare. When he noticed the two Nobz, he waved his hand and they took off back to their assigned guard post. Then the Warboss spoke, looking her over. "You really little for Space Marine."
    She sighed once, but didn't speak. She noticed a mature-looking Gretchen dressed in an important-looking outfit standing right next to the Warboss, watching her with suspicious interest, apparently the Warboss' personal assistant.
    "What you do here if you not spy?" The Warboss demanded.
    The woman stood tall. "I'm here as an emissary from the Terran Warboss, Colonel Dempsey. They want to speak to you. You need to call them so they can talk--"
    The large Ork became enraged. He grabbed the woman by the neck and forced her up against a rock with his left hand. She notice something shinny in his right hand then felt the bowel-rippa knife pressed against her belly button. He shouted as the knife cut into her flesh. "You want--kill Warboss. If I use com box to call Terra leaders, they spot Warboss and blow us up."

    “WAIT!” Lana started to feel pain on her lower abdomen, but continued to shout. “Terran leaders don’t want to blow you up. They want to talk to you.” She reached in her pocket and tried to hold out the statue-shaped communicator she had. “I have a communicator you can use that can’t be tracked by satellites.” She was too busy to feel much pain, and continued. “Please...just talk to them...you can gut me afterwards!”
    When the Gretchen grabbed the communicator out of Lana’s hand, the Warboss let her go, dropping her so she was on her back, partially propped up against a rock. As she tried to sit up, she continued to speak. “They have proof of the existence of Savage Orks. They believe you now.”
    “This not com box.” The Gretchen shouted, showing the statue to the Warboss.
    Lana barely noticed her injury, a deep, vertical, cut right thought the center of her belly button. It wasn’t very deep, but started to bleed.
    The Gretchen began using something that looked scanner-like, then he corrected himself as the Warboss listened. “Wait...this device of some kind. Not know if com box.”
    “Please...Warboss.” She started to get up, staggering. “Let me show you how to use that to contact the Terran leadership.”
    The Warboss took the device away from the Gretchen, looked at it, then dropped it on the ground, where he immediately stepped on it, crushing it to pieces.
    Lana sighed.
    The big Ork then began looking at Lana, frowning. She stepped back and found herself back up against the large rock. She had no more options and didn’t know what to say as she watched the Warboss advance with his bowel-rippa knife.
    The bowel-rippa knife came in all shapes and sizes, but the design was always the same, to literally cut and then rip the living cuts out of an enemy. Lana stood and waited for the inevitable.
    From behind the Warboss there had been two Gretchen, obviously com box specialists. They had been speaking to him all along, trying to get his attention. The Warboss hesitated a couple seconds, like he was listening, then continued toward Lana.
    She instinctively held out one hand to stop the Warboss as she gasped. It was a futile act, and when the Warboss reached her, instead of using his knife, which he put away, he grabbed her rope, yanking hard, causing her to fall to her knees as he dragged her over to a line of chairs where the Gretchen com box specialists sat waiting to receive and give orders. To the two Gretchen that had been trying to get his attention, he shouted responses to their questions, then they ran to their respective com box stations, replying to unknown parties on the other end.
    The large Ork wrenched the rope Lana was attached to and held her dangling in the air, choking her as she grabbed for the rope to prevent herself from being strangled. Then he dropped her, but, still held onto the rope.
    Lana sat on the ground coughing, her neck scraped and bleeding.
    When she finally looked up, The Warboss glared at her and started bragging, something he obviously seemed to like doing. “I’m gonna show you what I got to destroy Terra’s with. A big surprise.” He grinned, then an Ork soldier stepped into view.
    He looked like a normal Slugga boy, armed with slugga and choppa...plus a leather helmet. However, on his back, it looked like he had a large, thick, stubby, rocket attached.
    “Stormboyz!” The Warboss declared, then pointed down towards the Terrans. “I got Stormboyz hidden and ready. They gonna fly in and destroy Terra’s big guns.” He let out one loud, “HA!”
    Lana slowly became amazed. She thought out loud. “Jump troops.” She stood up and looked at the Warboss. “You’ve got jump troops?”
    “HA!” The Warboss laughed again. “Yeah...they gonna jump alright...right on Terra’s big guns before they shoot.”
    The Warboss’ personal Gretchen stood next to him, repeating, “yeah, they gonna destroy big guns.”
    The Warboss seemed to take great pleasure in gloating. She sighed and wondered what he was going to do once he was done.
    Lana had noticed that all the com boxes had heavy cords attached to them, all going down in different directions, disappearing into the forest. The Orks had solved their communication problem without going wireless. She was amazed again.
    Then she noticed another Gretchen com box specialist talking to the Warboss, getting his attention. He listened, then threw hands up in the air an shouted, “WHAT? You sure? WHAT THEY DO THERE?”
    The com box specialist’s station was nearby and the Gretchen sat back down, using the com box to talk to someone, the Warboss standing next to him listening, then shortly afterwards, getting mad. “WHAT? What you mean they not hear--”
    Then suddenly he stopped speaking as he glared at Lana. He pointed at her, slowly taking a step. “I know what Terra’s up to.” His voice began to crescendo. “You put civilians in middle of battlefield. You want Orks to shoot them...then you say, LOOK, Orks monsters...they KILL civilians.” He threw up his hands and began enraged. “WARBOSS DON’T SHOOT CIVILIANS! We NOT monsters. Terra’s the monsters!”
    Lana stood with her mouth open listening to the Warboss. She couldn’t believe what he was saying...in more ways that one. When the Warboss settled down and stop ranting, she looked him in the eye and spoke softly. “I know you’re not monsters.”
    The Warboss made a face like he was surprised. But, then, his Gretchen assistant started talking to him, whispering.
    She stood and waited...wondering what was up...
    The Warboss kept nodding...agreeing. He stood, grinning while the Gretchen ran over and pointed at Lana. “She do it. She talk to civilians...get them to use com box. Then...”    The Gretchen laughed.
    “What civilians?” Lana was confused. “What do you want me to do?”
    The Warboss pulled on her rope gently, getting her to come over to the Gretchen com box station, where the Gretchen there spoke to someone, an Ork by the sound of it. After he was answered, he turned to the Warboss. “They not run away. They say Ork there, too.”
    “WHAT?” The Warboss started to get mad again, then settled down. “You say Ork AND Terra’s there?”
    The Gretchen got up out of his com box seat and nodded, being respectful to the Warboss.
    “Terra’s be tricky.” The personal Gretchen suggested...then the Warboss agreed.
    Lana was standing right next to the com box, listening. Then she asked, “are you saying there’s civilians right in the middle of the battlefield?”
    “Next to channel on shore.” The com box Gretchen answered Lana’s question, but, actually spoke to the Warboss.”
    “On this side of the channel?” Lana wanted verification.
    The Gretchen nodded, then all of them heard over the com an Ork response. “Okay...I here now. I give civilians com box.”
    Lana sat down in the com box chair to talk. The Gretchen was going to sit, but was preempted. He looked at the Warboss as if to say, “hey, that’s my seat.”
    From over the com box, Lana started hearing a familiar voice, but couldn’t believe it.
    The Warboss leaned forward trying to be subtle so Lana would get out of the seat. “Little Space Marine comfortable?”
    When he got ignored, he sighed and looked around at the others.
    Then Lana heard a voice over the com box, someone she easily recognized in the distance. It was Shyva: “We not go...we not go. We stay...”
    “SHYVA–-Is that Shyva?” Lana was shocked beyond belief.
    “We’re here too?” Now she recognized Ian Cottrell’s voice.
    Then in the background, she heard more voices: Daphne, Trundo, Gabba, and finally, Whiley...”
    The Warboss sighed again, still frustrated, but, joking. “You want me order pizza for little Space Marine while you sittin’ in Gretchen’s chair?”
    She shook her head no, and the Warboss leaned back and sighed again.
    “What are you guys doing there?” Lana exclaimed. “Do you know you’re in the middle of a battlefield?”
    “Get Terra’s to use their com box...” The personal Gretchen suggested. He then spoke to the Warboss. “When Terra’s use com box, they get blown up, not us.” He snickered. “They get blame for attack civilians.”
    Lana only partially heard the Gretchen, but, he gave her an idea. “Ian, do you have your phone?”
    “Uh, yes.”
    “YES!” Lana exclaimed. “Ian, dial this number. It’ll connect you directly to Colonel Dempsey’s HQ.”
    Lana started saying the numbers while Ian dialed, then she turned. “Warboss...Ian’s going to call the Terran leadership. You can talk to them though his phone. There’s no chance they’ll spot you.”
    The Warboss stood and listened. He turned to look at his personal Gretchen, who was still smiling, thinking his plan was working.
    Then Lana heard Colonel Dempsey answer though Ian’s phone. “Hello--is this, LaFong?”
    “Colonel, I have a connection to the Warboss.” Lana was excited. “He’s listening right now.”
    “The Warboss?” Dempsey couldn’t believe it.
    “I Warboss Nazoreg.” He frowned, wondering. “Is this Terra Warboss?”
    There was a delay, then Demspey continued formally. “On behalf of the Terran Planetary Guard of Epsilon Eridani 3, I greet you Warboss Nazoreg ug Urdgrub. This is Colonel Demspey. I wish to talk peace with you.”
    The Warboss thought a second, then responded. “Yeah, this Warboss Nazoreg ug Urdgrub. I recognize you. You Terra Warboss. You still think we attack civilians--eat people?”
    “No, Warboss. No we don’t. We have absolute proof of the existence of Savage Orks, now.”
    In the background, Prime Minister Lancaster’s voice was heard. “Oh, my God...is that the Warboss. Oh, my God...she did it.” The woman composed herself. “Warboss, this is Prime Minister Marylla Lancaster.” She had to composed herself again, the sound of her voice like she was getting ready to cry. “Warboss, we’re sorry. Like Colonel Dempsey said. We now have irrefutable proof of the existence of Savage Orks. And if we can stop this war, I promise we’ll try to work together with your people so that we can both solve the Savage Ork problem.”
    There was a delay while the Warboss thought...
    Demspey had been talking to several other people in the background, like he was giving orders. Then he spoke up. “Warboss, I know you can see that my artillery is in position to fire. I just ordered them to pull back. I am pulling them out of the battle to a rear line position. I am also going to pull back my tanks...”
    In a few seconds, the Warboss got confirmation of the pull back. He grunted and snorted. Then, he began giving his own orders just before speaking to Dempsey. “HA! I order pull back my tanks, back into mountain. I order dissemble of channel rafts, and they go back in mountain.” He shouted, bragging. “And I bet I pull back faster than you.”
    “I’m going to order my mechanized infantry to pull back, also,” Demspey countered. And I’m going to pull back my gunships. You watch. I’m sending them to a rear line city.”
    The Warboss growled. “I pullin’ back all Trukk boyz; Gretchen say they fix to cross water. And look at this, HA! I pull back Stormboyz. I bet you not know we have those.”
    Lana sat listening to the strangest battle she or anyone had ever heard. She eventually got the Warboss’ attention. “Since there’s not going to be a war, can I get out of here?”
    The Warboss pointed at one of his Nobz and gestured.
    “If you could give me a lift out of here, that’d be--”
    He pointed at the Stormboy, then at Lana.
    Soon, the Nob had cut the rope off her neck, and the Stormboy was offering her a ride. She looked at the jump pack and wondered if it was safe. If it was anything like a Terran jump pack there would be a place for one person to hold on while the jump pack flew, in this case, only large enough for a Gretchen, just about her size anyway, but she found a place to hold onto just before she said, “ready to go.”
    ******    
    Lana had asked the Stormboy to take her down to where the civilians were. After letting her off, he flew away, back the way he came. When the civilians spotted her, they walked to greet her, Shyva speaking first, excited. “Look...it Lana...”
    They were all together, Trundo, Gabba, Shyva, Whiley, Ian, and Daphne. Lana looked back at them and had only one question. “Who’s idea was it for all of you to plant yourselves in the middle of a battlefield?”
    None of them spoke right away. As they all started looking at Shyva, Trundo spoke up. “Shyva stubborn...just like Gabba. She say she got Ork and Terra parents now. Not want to lose because of war. She say we go...block war.” He shrugged. “So...we all agree.”
    “Does she know how dangerous that was.” Lana smiled, but was serious.
    “No more dangerous than walking up to the Warboss with a communicator, hey?” That was Whiley, grinning. Then he noticed her injuries and the blood. “You’ve got a nasty cut there. Are you alright?”
    She had forgotten about it. When he mentioned it, it started to hurt, but she grinned back. “The Warboss was a little grumpy when we first met.”
    She pointed at Whiley’s boat. “Why don’t we all head on across the channel. If I could use your phone, I’d like to call a couple buddies of mine to pick me up.”
    On the boat, Shyva had to ask, “what about war...is there still war?”
    “No...I don’t think so.” Lana smiled. “Thanks to you...I don’t think so.”
    “That good.” Shyva turned to tell both her parents. “You hear...not war. That good.”
    ******
    Lana sat tired on one of the tables in the medical section of Fort Marathon, leaning backward resting on both elbows, her injury exposed and ready for treatment. The doctor had already treated the injuries on her neck and he had gone to get something for her cut.
    Bull and Gannon didn’t want to think how close she came to being disemboweled. Eventually, it was Gannon that joked, “that bellybutton’s never going to be the same.”
    She joked back. “No...it just has a vertical smile, now.”
    The doctor returned. “If you and your bellybutton will be still for a minute, I’ll fix you both up.”
    Afterwards, the doctor told her to wait about fifteen minutes for the liquid sutures to dry, then she could take that shower she’d been wanting.
    Later she sat down to a nice breakfast with her buddies, during which she got a call from Colonel Dempsey and Prime Minister Lancaster, both thanking her for what she did.
    Eventually, Marylla had to mention to Lana. “You know, I told the Warboss we’d give them concessions. And,” she almost laughed, “one of the things he asked for was, a whole bunch of frozen pizzas.”
    “Did he mentioned what type?” Lana was curious, half joking.
    “I didn’t ask.”
    “I’d make it supreme pizzas...with everything.”
    The Prime Minister laughed. “Okay...pizzas with everything it is. I’m just glad we stopped this war.”
    Lana and the Marylla talked a little while longer, then Lana told her she had one more task she needed to do, and both the Colonel and the Prime Minister could help, a favor.
    They agreed.
    ******        
    Lana landed her shuttle at Eridani Base, where she was met with Executive Commissar Palmer and a couple of his staff. It was obvious he wasn’t happy about the war being called off, but tried not to show it. Lana had used her favor with Colonel Dempsey and Prime Minister Lancaster to set up a meeting with the Executive Commissar, something, at first he wasn’t going to do until the Prime Minister threatened a full Planetary Counsel meeting.
    Once Lana and the Executive had sat down at a fancy table, one of his staff members turned on a video screen, where another, more older man sat waiting, a virtual member of the meeting and someone Lana had asked to be there, introducing himself as Eldar Executive Brooke. She sat and stared suspiciously at both of them. She took a deep breath before speaking. “The Eridani Corporation used to be located on the eastern continent, way back...how long ago was that?”
    “That was almost one hundred years ago.” The virtual Executive explained, remaining cordial.
    “Back then, I think it was called, the Daedalus Corporation, right?” She maintained her suspicion, like a detective grilling a suspect.
    “Yes.” Brooke seemed a little surprised the Space Marine knew that. He sighed. “It was renamed over fifty years ago...it had to be. The Corporation had to be restarted anyway--”
    “And yes it did get restarted.” Lana continued. “In fact, that was about the time it introduced its most lucrative product: Cameleoline.”
    “We are not a liberty to reveal any information on that product.” Brooke sounded formal.
    “Why, it’s your number ONE...claim to fame, isn’t it?” Lana grinned like she knew something. “Other Corporations have been trying to reproduce that product for years. All have failed.”  Lana paused before speaking again, asking suspiciously, “what do know that they don’t?”
    Neither of the Executives answered.
    Lana pursued the Cameleoline subject. “Ork skin has a chemical in it that can do basically what Cameleoline does. But, once the chemical has been removed from the Ork, or the Ork dies, it loses the ability. No one has been able to figure out why.”
    She looked carefully at Executive Brooke as he sat poker-faced.
    Then Lana made her move. “I’ve seen a Savage Ork–-close up! Their skin naturally makes them blend into the background of the forest. It can even fool bio-scanners...it does it even better than Cameleoline can.”
    The man on the video screen frowned. “What’s your point?”
    “My point is that the Daedalus Corporation, way back then, must’ve had access to Savage Orks,” Lana almost stood up, her voice crescendoing, “and that you KNEW about them, and even today, still know about them. And you didn’t say anything! You let people continue to believe they didn’t exist and we almost had a war over it!”
    It was obvious Executive Palmer had no idea about the knowledge of Savage Orks; he was just repeating what we was told to say. But, Executive Brooke looked shaken. He frowned, then spoke seriously. “Look...you’ve might’ve stop the war for now. But, if the Orks and what you are calling Savage Orks are working together, then this conflict is not over--”
    “So, you KNEW about the Savage Orks?” Lana demanded an answer.
    “NO!” Brooke shouted. “We knew nothing! And that is all I have to say on that subject. Now...if you have no more questions, I am needed elsewhere.”
    Lana knew there was nothing more she could do. All she had was speculation. But, she had to mentioned, talking directly to the man in the video screen. “I think you guys are holding back some kind of deep dark secret...something that happened way back during the Daedalus Corporation days.” She frowned. “And one of these days I’m going to find out what that was--”
    The video screen winked out...
    Executive Commissar Palmer sat looking kind of vulnerable sitting across the table from the angry Space Marine. When she looked at him, he remembered. “Oh, yeah, the Catachan. You said you wanted me to set up a meeting with the Catachan personnel that escorted the last Special Ops Marine into the Ork Territory.” He used his hand-held computer, looking, then saying. “His name was Officer Dietz, right?”
    Lana sat calmly, listening.
    When Palmer told her the meeting would be at the previous place she visited, she questioned him, telling him about last time. But, he assured her that’s where she was supposed to go.
    ******
    When Lana arrived at the Catachan HQ, the place looked the same, except the cordial man at the computer was not there. Neither was the female sergeant. However, the heavyset sergeant was. He was with another sturdy-looking man, plus two more standing behind them in the distance, like they were all waiting for her.
    She took a great big breath, sighed, then asked straight forth. “I think you’ve been told why I’m here. I would like--”
    The Catachan sergeant, like before rudely stepped forward to get in Lana’s face, but quickly stepped back, surprised!
    “Give the lady some room, pal.” Sergeant John Bull Hodge stepped up next to Lana, on her right side, staring the man down.
    The other Catachan, a corporal, stepped forward also, a menacing look on his face, but had to step back.
    “You need something, chum?” Sergeant Gannon Shannon stepped up and took a position on Lana’s left, frowning at the now retreating Catachan corporal.
    One of the men in the background stepped forward, quickly putting an end to any more male posturing, ordering his men to sit down. Even though Lana didn’t see a rank, he seemed like an officer. He pointed at the man standing behind him, a Catachan sergeant, who stepped forward. The officer spoke gesturing toward him. “Sergeant First Class Morgan was in charge of escorting your man on his mission. He can tell you everything that happened.”
    The officer stepped aside...
    Then Morgan began. “Officer Dietz asked us to take him into Ork Territory for a scouting mission. We told him the Orks had vacated that area several days ago. But, he wanted us to take him anyway. When we got there, like before, no Orks were there.”
    “How about Savage Orks?” Lana frowned suspiciously. “Did you spot any Savage Orks?”
    Morgan and the Catachan officer looked at each other, not knowing how to answer. They talked to each other, whispering, then the officer answered. “To us, an Ork is an Ork. If the Sergeant says there were no Orks there...then, there were no Orks...of any kind.”
    Lana held her phone in her left hand, manipulating it in her hand. The Catachan had one big dread: A meeting with the Planetary Counsel. They seemed to know, one call from her, and it would happen.
    When the officer nodded at Morgan, he continued. “There were no Orks. And like my officer says, an Ork is an Ork. If we spot them, we kill them.” He sighed and frowned. “It’s just that some are harder to spot than others, I’ll have to admit.” He paused...
    “Okay, go on.” Lana requested.
    “To us, it was obvious that the Orks had left the area.” Morgan continued. “We told your Ops officer...they’d probably be back, and to us, they were up to something. But he wanted us to press on, right up until we reached the mountains. We looked around there for awhile until we spotted a cave.” He sighed. “We told him there are many openings into the mountains. That’s where the Orks hide. But, he wanted to go in.” He frowned folding his arms stubbornly. “We tried to tell him, we don’t go into the mountains. Everyone that has--has never come back! But, he wanted to go anyway. That’s when we told him he’d have to go alone.”
    The three Space Marines began frowning.
    Morgan continued, speaking emotionally. “Look! We told him we’d wait there for twenty four hours. We waited longer than that! HE NEVER CAME OUT AGAIN...”
    “But, his DNA was found in Ork poop outside the mountain?” Lana mentioned strongly.
    “So, some Ork ate him and took a crap outside the mountain...where we found it.” The Catachan officer countered.
    “Hey, you wanted the story, that’s the truth.” Morgan spoke out, in his mind, ending the account.
    Lana stood, thinking.
    Gannon then had to mention, his voice loud. “Hey, LuLu has been inside the mountain--and she came back!”
    She sighed, not knowing what the Catachen men would think about the name, LuLu. She glanced at Gannon and almost sighed again. In her mind, she had obtained what she wanted: The Orks had obviously seen Officer Dietz with the Catachan, enemy soldiers they hated. Once he went into the mountain, he was doomed. The Orks would kill him on sight. It was possible, with his Special Ops training, he survived an attack, then escaped, possibly wounded...then was caught by Savage Orks outside the mountain and eaten.
    “You went into the mountain?” The Catachan officer found it hard to believe.
    “She was in there for a couple days...right, Little Sister?” That was Bull, bragging.
    She sighed one last time, then looked the officer in the eye, speaking to all Catachan in general. “Look! You bozos kill Orks on sight. If I were you, I wouldn’t go into the mountains either. I went with an Ork escort. That’s the difference. It’s why I came out again.” She smiled, little miss sweetness herself. “I want to thank you for your cooperation. This concludes our business. Thank you very much.”
    The three Space Marines quickly left the Catachan HQ.










 

 









 

 

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