‘Krang, there is no problem.’
Captain Traquel eyed the huge muscle-bound Ogryns surrounding his small squad with no little apprehension. Though his men were well armed, the sheer size of his would be charges always made him a little nervous and this was not aided in any way by the extremely poor reception he had been welcomed with. He cursed the Pyran Dragoons. Nominally, it was their duty to recruit the Monglor Auxilia, but they rarely dirtied their hands, preferring others to do the work for them. So it came down to him. Really, an officer of the Noctan Strike Forces had better things to do.‘Haven’t we been good to you in the past? We have fed you when your herding was poor. We have given you battle. Isn’t that what you want?’
The massive hulk that formed Krang, the chieftain of the Dead Axe tribe shifted its weight as the Ogryn fingered the gigantic club that was nearly as long as Traquel. The Captain did not like this. Something was wrong.
‘We dun good for you days back,’ Krang barked, with noticeable venom.
Days back. It had been over four years ago since Traquel had last recruited any of the Auxilia. Did the Colonel hate him that much to repeatedly send him to Monglor?
‘We get heavy for da big guy on urf. We like that.’ Traquel frowned slightly as he tried to follow the Ogryn leader’s slow guttural tone. ‘But you not kind to us now. We like Monglor. You take us far away, to bad place.’
The mood of the two dozen or more Ogryns was palpable and their imposing presence squeezed something tight in the pit of Traquel’s stomach. He had often pitied the officers sent to recruit the violent brutes on Krourk and whilst he knew his mission here was really a second rate duty, he believed he could be far worse off. For nearly eleven years he had been assigned to draw forces from Monglor and Traquel always thought he had grown a certain kinship with the powerful abhumans. But he had never seen them like this before. There was trouble here. Had someone else been speaking to the tribes? Who?
‘Krang. . . I know nothing of this. I am only here because your Emperor needs you. He likes you. He knows you fight well.’ Traquel’s voice broke slightly as he saw the angered Ogryns shuffle forward. He cleared his throat and forced himself to speak in the most simple of terms. Nothing else would penetrate the dull intellect of these monsters.
‘You want to fight. That is all we want. We will not move you. This world is yours.’
‘You lie!’ roared Krang. ‘You take Monglor from us! You take us all to bad place.’
The deep bass rumbling of the other Ogryns muttering their assent of the Chieftain’s words drove vibrations straight through Traquel’s body. He noticed his own men surreptitiously readying their weapons as the Ogryns, towering over them all, moved closer still. One brute swiped the air with a huge metal axe. A Guardsman raised his Lasgun. Traquel saw what would happen next.
‘No. . .’
He caught a sidelong glimpse of Krang’s massive club whistling through the air before it crushed his skull to a pulp.