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Chapter 28: 28. The Ork and the One Ring

Deep in the crust of a dead planet orbiting a young blue dwarf was something none sane would expect to see: life. But it was even more exceptional than this; this was no planet inhabited uniquely by primitive single-celled organisms.

Underground were countless tunnels dug by the apex predators at the top of a complex fauna and flora, all of the subspecies one another of both animal and mycelium nature possessing the ability to multiply exponentially via asexual reproduction.

They were an ancient species shaped by the claws of the Old Ones, a hyper-adaptable organism of genetic perfection only rivaled by a select few species of similar ancestry.

But they were far from the high that once upon a time they had, their size, strength, durability, and intellect greatly reduced, with their only remaining trait were their verdant green skin, their resilience to inhospitable environments, their ability to multiply infinitely, their gestalt fields to control reality limitedly and a love for violence comparable to servants of the Lord of Skulls.

Hundreds of thousands of them were doing various things from senseless to somewhat meaningful; some were building, some fighting, some eating, some killing, or the three last together and with euphoric joy, one only an innocent child would have. But that was only a fraction of a plethora more within the hive of activity.

Amidst the green tide of movement were miners, the ones that dug the tunnels for storage, resources, and, most importantly, fun. Their hearts were beating excitedly about the possibility of finding a tunnel from an enemy clan as it led to what any self-respecting Ork loved: krumping but not any krumping, a good krumping. The best kind of krumping.

Friends or foes: it didn't matter that much. Speaking was second, though sometimes it was third and fourth behind hitting, shooting, and smashing. Everything was a nail, and the mind was that of a big hammer. If there were contact, excessive violence would be the first words of both parties, and they would thoroughly enjoy it.

The qualities of a good krumping were not decided on any outside factor but on the act of krumping itself; as such, it didn't matter if it was a supposed ally getting krumped. It was a complex yet simple philosophy that was the source of much conflict in Ork's shambles of an unstable society.

"Diggy diggy 'ole-huh?"

And one of those miners that was singing with his fellow miners an offkey if enthusiastic melody about digging holes suddenly stopped, not of his own volition. His drill, a primitive contraption of rusted metal and rock bits painted blue for good luck, had suddenly stopped working with a sound of metal snapping.

The tip had bent and broken off while the body of the tool shattered into hundreds of random pieces, each more devastated than the last.

"Wot is zogging dis?!" He roared angrily, glaring at what once was his tool with beady eyes full of anger, disappointment, and betrayal of a most trusted friend, breaking all that was sworn upon blood and alcohol.

But before the explosion of frustration, something caught the Ork's eyes, something where he was digging, something incredibly shiny and pretty. It appeared to be of another level of reality, one above all. Something not even the most beautiful trinket of the Boss would ever hope to reach.

It was a piece of junk, but not any piece of junk. It was the shiniest and prettiest piece of junk he ever saw. An immaculate golden ring repulsing all filth in existence, lodged atop it was a gemstone reflecting all light. It was of incredible beauty and ever-shifting color that, as his focus grew, seemed to settle on a prismatic green.

The best of color, as it was reading his mind or knew that it was factually and scientifically proved that this was the most magnificent and noble of color.

Without awareness of what it was or care for it, he grabbed it between his green, meaty, dirty finger, but the ring was far too small to be put on any of his digits. He still tried to force it on his pinky with no success.

Any amount of force used to bend the small thing proved useless, but then an idea flashed in the smooth groove of his brain, an idea worthy of the most cunning of Oddboyz.

If a finger didn't work, then a tooth would.

Not only would it be easier, but it would be far more showy and blinding. And if he recalled correctly from a whisper, the Boss had heard rumors that this type of thingy would be good. How or for what, he didn't know, but that was a problem for the future him.

For now and evermore, it was his and only his.

The ring between his meaty green-skinned fingers was immediately placed on his right tusk; while he did so, a massive childlike grin appeared, and he didn't realize it had shifted to adapt to the teeth.

"Oi! OI! Lookit me, lookit me teef, ya'll buncha ugly gitz! Found meself dis shiny ring fing! All shiny and bestest green shinying wee that pretty stone! I'm da flashiest, and da most handsomest Ork around!" he boisterously exclaimed, jumping on a fallen rock to his fellow miners, who all at once stopped their task to bask in his newly given glory.

All too dazzled by his outstanding handsomeness and beauty brought by the pretty ring enhancing what already was present.

Or that was what he thought, but it soon proved to be only that. A thought, a figment of his imagination that was tragically shared not with the entrancing melodious chuckling voice in his braincase…

'WHO'S IN ME NOGGIN'!? GIT OUT SO I CAN KRUMP YA!' He ordered in his mind, and the chuckle only grew to disappear suddenly, an image imprinting itself into the Ork mind, nay soul replaced it.

It was a great horned shadowy figure with piercing red eyes observing him amusedly, which caused existential dread and the desire to flee, to never come back and hide. A creature incomprehensibly above the Boss or anything else that reawakened primordial instincts long forgotten by the passage of time

A shadowy figure smiling menacingly yet not with a mouth full of pearly white fangs of which two tusks stood out, creating an image of absolute power and one to obey within the confusedly terrified Ork.

-I wish I could, my dear mushroom boy, Kurgal. But I cannot. My situation does not permit me to meet you and suffer your oh-so-terrifying might, but enough babbling. A spectacle will come, Holder of the Key, and your path will be short. Good luck, may the odds be in your favor, no matter how skewered they are.- The dark figure said with a larger grin and a last hearty chuckle before ending the vision to the befuddled Ork, whose list of questions did not see an end or beginning for that matter.

Kurgal did not have the time to process what happened when a fist from his closest fellow miners connected with his belly, causing crimson blood to spurt out of his mouth. He was flung backward against a wall and exploded, all semblance of regal he tried to imitate gone.

"Why ya zogging gitz punched me?!" He exclaimed in outrage, standing back, taking a random pickaxe, and looking around until his eyes locked on the culprit.

Alas, he didn't manage to find the earlier mentioned culprit, but that didn't matter as a massive brawl began, and he was the main target, or more accurately, what was around his tusk. But that, indeed, was because they were jealous and wanted to steal it.

And so…

"Ya ain't eva gonna get it! It's me precious shiny ring, ya git it?! WAAAGHH!" he yelled, his warcry with a mad-eyed gaze, and hundreds more followed in an ever-rising crescendo of ecstatic cries from the violence to come.

The bedlam had begun and rapidly spread, attracting more Orks, who then attracted more Orks in return. Through this way, in a short few minutes, the bloodthirsty inhabitants of the part of the underground exploded into a death match of omnipresent proportion.

Countless light years away and hidden from the sight of all in another plane of existence, the one that had communicated to Kurgal observed the chaos through the Ork's mind with great amusement.

"So that is the descendent of the Krork, the Ork. Built-in genetic degeneration in practice is truly a sad sight to behold." Hoopa said, observing the one who got his ring, punched a fellow Ork and caused a chain explosion with the barrel of gunpowder placed all around as if it was on purpose.

And it very much was from snippets of memories he garnered, a relatively simple act. Though he wasn't snooping around in Kurgal's mind, no, it was far less but far more insidious.

He sends through the ring weak psychic impulses, each ending with a conscious or subconscious response of the Ork. Each response was studied, decrypted, translated, and then, with the others, they were assembled into a comprehensive bundle of data for him to use.

It was remarkably easy with Orks; their memories were excellent, and their nature made it all the easier. But what truly mattered was the lack of defense or understanding from Kurgal about what was happening aside from a mixed bag of fear, confusion, and frustration with joy.

Someone more powerful and experienced could stop some of Hoopa's probing, but that was neither here nor there, and this type of person would have to be rather exceptional. And would not put random, clearly magical, and very likely horrifically cursed artifacts on their person.

If Hoopa wanted, he could overwhelm the wearer's thoughts and, with care, puppet him or her, something he wasn't a fan of, but if it came down to it and there wasn't any option, he wouldn't hesitate. He was stubborn, not self-righteous.

This was why none should act like this Ork and wear it without care; it created a telepathic link between the wearer and Hoopa, which was limited to the surface mind. But creatures like him didn't need much more than that to do their magic. And he was far more slippery than any Daemon with only his brother Cegorach above.

Something that Cthylla, the moment she cursed him, was likely aware, but the curse was more of a prison than anything else. The keys to open his cell were still a part of him, like the cell itself.

In the end, it was memories, sensations, and complex scenarios warped from the owner's points of view and, as such, to be taken with more than a few kilos of salt. Hoopa wouldn't trust the mind of a run-of-the-mill Ork and consider what was within as absolute truth.

And it was an interesting case of psychic biology. The Ork were almost clones of the Krork. But there were key differences, and those were a more blocky body type, smaller frame, lower strength and resistance, and an overall extreme downgrade in intelligence.

The decline of the Krork civilization into those primal green balls of muscles was a tragedy. The Krork had been a militaristic people focused on the art of war and martial arts with honor at the forefront. Still, they could reason and function in other circumstances, a psychically and technologically developed strictly structured civilization.

But now… It was incomparable; their greatest strength was their ability for reflection and understanding, and they were gone, replaced by all basic instincts, giving all that an Ork will need to live to kill, build to kill, and die to kill, and nothing more. It was their only source of enjoyment and purpose in life.

There were exceptions, like in any species, but the exception did not make the rules for good reason.

The rules were that the grand majority of Orks were no more different than social insects, ants working by the strict rules of their instincts to do what they were designed to without any greater understanding of their actions and capabilities. They could not be reasoned with. Violence for Ork was as vital as the touch of psychic power for Aeldari; without it, they shrivel up and die.

Another point of interest was the blurry and confused mention of two 'Gods,' Gork and Mork, one cunningly brutal and the other brutally cunning, or it was the reverse. Two entities born out of all Orkoid psychic gestalt in a never-ending fight and, from what Hoopa could detect, were real.

There was also a third that was far more obscure in Ork Kultur; he got deep into the shared memories pools, and that would surprisingly be him from what he got, though it was pretty dead as of right now beyond a few cult he felt now that he paid attention.

But it had potential. Worship was something he needed, and the Orks could provide. However, it would have to be done smartly.

It wasn't that he didn't like to violently and repeatedly punch things to oblivion. It was one of his favorite pastimes. He was the mage that cast fists in the most literal way with an entire array of spells above mortal comprehension to that purpose for, ironically, the Krork and a few oddballs in the Young Races, but that wasn't all he was.

Back to the two Ork Gods, he couldn't truly gauge how powerful either of them was compared to the Dark Gods or his brethren, and it wouldn't be a case of who was stronger in the grand scheme of things but who was effective against whom.

Ork gestalt field in important enough concentration was an effective countermeasure against Neverborn and Daemons. In any case, they weren't embodying concepts and emotions. The only fuel for their existence was Orks and every subspecies coming from them.

The two Ork Gods' threat level was, as such, relatively low, and if worse came to worse, causing a psychic backlash across the many gestalt fields was feasible, making green heads melt and pop with sterility of spore in bonus.

"Fascinating." was all Hoopa said. It was a point of consideration for the future as those two could be of use, and if not, being aware of them was better than not. Orks were a special case and needed special handling. Like the Krork, they could grow immensely.

The very gifted ones had the potential, under the right circumstances, to rival the best of Krork, at least in resilience and strength. But Hoopa had seen countless such individuals die like flies. That didn't mean there was a reason to underestimate them, however.

'Amusing spectacle aside, I can't let this become too loud. To let my ring land in the claws of a Daemon would be a pain in the ass.' he reckoned, knowing of the rumors the Great Deceiver had spread, 'Let's send a collect team and see how it works out.'

Hoopa could already see the absolute chaos this mission would be, but he didn't have the luxury of waiting with an Ork, having found one of the six key rings. He would have preferred it to be in other circumstances, to have more time, but that wasn't the case, and he had to act to strike fast and efficiently.

*

My P@treon is up to chap 31 if you are interested.

p@treon.com/user?u=60424165


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
The_Bip_Boop2003 The_Bip_Boop2003

Hello, so we can see that in prison Hoopa might be but he is still a God and wearing a part of his body as a trinkets as consequences.

Bye-bye!

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