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THE DROOP DORK INCIDENT by Intrepid, SSC Competition Entry (re-posted into a separate thread)
Marines of the Judgment Condors Chapter gathered around the holotable.
“I am sorry, Brother-Captain Duvno.” Sergeant Scipio shook his head and gestured at the fortress displayed on the table’s surface. “A Drop Pod assault against those AA defenses? Suicide, it’s that simple.”
Dunvo scratched his jaw irritably. “Johann?”
The cowled Techmarine standing next to Scipio replied, “Suface conditions are equally hostile to any possible ground advance. It seems we are expected.”
“And the fortress is too important for a simple lance strike,” Duvno rumbled unhappily and thought for several minutes. “Eureka!” he announced. “With the Emperor’s light, I have found a simple solution!”
Scipio and Johann traded uneasy glances.
“The Orks of Palistade, in the adjacent subsector!” he continued excitedly. “They’re our next objective anyway. Let’s go there, fill as many Drop Pods with the green tide as we can and use them for our first wave. Once they disable the AA defenses for us, Scipio can launch a second wave and cleanse everything that still moves.”
“Take Orks alive?” Johann asked. “That’s a lot of work.”
“Orks are instinctive looters. We’ll place open Pods on the surface and bait them inside with anything flashy. Pieces of gold, polished bolter shells, Scipio’s cash…silence!” Duvno’s finger jabbed at Scipio preemptively. “You’ve been card-sharking again, and this time for money. Marines need faith, not bling! I shall place those coins in the Emperor’s service and you will accept it as your just punishment, Scipio! Now, then. We lure the Orks into the Pods with cash and Johann closes the doors behind them. Then we return and launch the Orky-Pods at their antiaircraft guns. Rebels dead, Orks dead, Condors victorious.
“It’ll be easy!”
“And I’ll be broke,” Scipio grumbled.
The first Pod wave hit like a stampede of sledgehammers. The rebels shot down many but were swamped by sheer numbers and falling debris. War raged and men died.
“This is great!” Gittastomp laughed, and then coughed. The Ork didn’t mind the smoke but was barely capable of speaking Gothic, his only (verbal) language. “Ride our own bullets to the fight? Genius!”
“Yeah,” grunted his friend, the aptly named Fatgrunt. “Let’s be sure to tell all the boys about this. We can call ourselves the Drop Orks!”
“Sure, sure. Da Drop Orks, I like dat.” Gittastomp choked on the words again and spat. “Da Droop Dorks! C’mon, let’s blow up doze guns,” he pointed at a barrel-studded bunker.
“No wayze, ya squig.” Fatgrunt held up a fistful of coins. “Let’s find some beer!”
“Beer?” Gittastomp’s eyes lit up.
An hour later, watching from orbit, Scipio finally sighed and spoke. “Brother Duvno, we have a new problem.”
“Yes?” Duvno looked up from his command pulpit.
“The Orks…ah, they’re ignoring the antiair defenses, Brother. I think they’re overrunning the taverns instead.”
“They’re winning, too. The rebels have already lost control of most command centers.”
Duvno groaned. “Oh, frak. And we still can’t land our own forces.”
Shadow Captain Kalimantar’s exhaust pipes were against the wall, literally. The skies were raining Orks, also literally. Rocks the size of Drop Pods had begun to rain down upon his otherwise uneventful purge of the greenskins and every rock was full of new targets. The Raven Guard had laughed as half the Drop Rocks impacted hard, with no survivors, but then they kept coming. Then the ground became too rough and crater-pocked even for his elite bike squad, the Snow Ravens, to cross safely. Then a Rock had landed on his squad, maiming two of his brothers. Now desperate to conserve fuel and ammunition, his Snow Ravens had fortified the entrance to a box canyon to create a killing zone. Close combat seemed inevitable.
“By the Thone, it’s ANOTHER wave!” Kalimantar scowled as the sky lit up again. The sight inspired a cheer from the vermin.
“Droop Dorks fo’ Waagh!” The Orks timed their next charge with the impact of a half-dozen new meteors. Kalimantar opened fire, killing as many as possible before the dust cloud from the new arrivals covered their advance. There were too many. The dust covered the Orks. The Snow Ravens drew their chainwords.
The dust settled. The Orks were dead. Behind them, in front of Imperial Drop Pods, were Marines bearing the livery of the Judgment Condors.
“Well met, brother Kalimantar.” Captain Duvno removed his helmet and surveyed the carnage. “I regret we could not prevent their launch in force.”
“Hah! At least today held my interest.” The Raven Guard punted an Ork skull like a scrumball to vent his battle rage. “These Droop Dorks. I’ve never heard of them before, and I’ve never heard of Orks using Drop Pod tactics either.” His eyes narrowed dangerously. “Someone taught them to do this. Some human. Some heretic.”
Duvno nodded and smiled. “I must concur. In fact, I have no doubt that those responsible are erasing all evidence of their misconduct even as we speak.”
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard