Retreat was not a word Thudboota knew. Then again, Thudboota knew vanishingly few words. Even if the word existed in his limited lexicon, he had no intention of growling it.
They were facing humies. And humies were puny and weak. Thudboota was a nob. Big and strong. His grasp of logic was even shakier than his vocabulary, but big and strong was certainly greater than puny and weak.
Perhaps, if Thudboota’s logical acumen had been stronger, he would have noticed the humies, lead by the skinny ones in white hair and black armor, had surrounded his forces—a move that was neither weak, nor puny. He would have deduced he needed to make a breakout, to link up with the rest of of the ork forces to his rear.
But, lacking the vocabulary and common sense to retreat, would do the next best thing: charged.
“Okay ladz,” he pulled an ornate pocket chronometer from his belt pouch. The hands had long since stop turning. He brandished the timepiece to the assorted boyz and grots under his command. “You see dis? It is a clock. And it tells da time.”
His subordinates looked at him, some hanging on their leaders every word, some baffled, others picking their nose, teef, or both.
“And the time is…” Thudboota made a great show of peering into the dead clock with his beady red eyes. “Krumpin’ O’clock!”
This his underlings understood. A beastial chorus rang out: “WAAARGH” and with that Thudboota, his boyz behind him, the grots at their heels, leapt over the pile of debris acting as a rampart.
Bolt rounds, the big ones, exploded at Thudboota’s feet, but that didn’t bother him. They only made him grin. Heavy bolt rounds meant a good scrap. Not the bright, but questionably lethal lasguns some of the humies carried. These were proper shootas, firing proper bullets.
Thudboota’s unit slammed into a small detachment of the white-haired humies. It was they who fired the bolt rounds, and (vis-à-vis ork logic), where the best scrap would be. He unslung his choppa, swinging towards the humie with the heavy bolter. It would be a shame to dispatch them so soon, since Thudboota was partial to the percussive noise their weapon made, but he figured once he chopped the little humie in two, he could pick up the shoota for himself.
His axe’s downward strike stopped mid-swing, intercepted, sparks showering off its scrap steel head. A white-haired humie in black armor snarled at him, the chainsword eating into his axe.
Thudboota smiled, stepped back. This humie looked like she wanted to scrap. That was always nice.
He swung again, this time at his new attacker. The humie parried the blow, lunged in for a counter. The blade slicking a chunk out of Thudboota’s bicep.
He howled in rage, axe flashing out. Again, parried.
With his third attack, a two handed over hand swing, the humie stepped in close. It’s chainblade caught, not the head of the axe, but the haft, chewing into the braided rebar. Her face was so close to him. There was hate in her eyes, and he appreciated it. Thudboota opened his mouth, intent on biting that face, and those hateful eyes off its stupid humie neck. Before he could, pain. His red eyes welled up with tears.
The puny, weak humie had head-butted him.
He staggered back. All around him, his boyz were being cut down. The steady thump of the heavy bolter had yet to stop. It didn’t sound so good anymore. Some grots had began to run.
This, more than the cut to his arm, more than the headbutt, sent Thudboota into a rage.
He bellowed, raising his axe high above his head—then paused. His axe felt different. Lighter. And looking at it, it was clear why: the humie had chopped the head off the axe, leaving Thudboota with nothing but a handle made from a few feet of twisted rebar.
The humie stood half a dozen paces back, weapon gripped in both hands, eyes as sharp as one of its chainblade’s adamantium teeth. The humie had a plasma pistol holstered at its hip. It could pull it out, finish the now unarmed Thudboota from a safe distance. That was the kind of thing weak humies did.
Not the white-haired, black armored humie. It did not shoot him. It charged.
Thudboota had a moment of admiration for this humie, as it deftly detached his head from his thick green neck. His head landed a dozen feet away from his still standing body.
Disembodied, he watched as the remaining boyz were chopped down. He spent the last few moments of his life wanting to bark a command to his boyz, one last order, but, for the life of him, he couldn’t think of the word for “run away.”
Retreat! Dat was it!
But by then, it was too late.