"WHERE'S MY 'SSISTANT MANAJA?"
The shout boomed from the workshop - sailing over ten lootas having a fight over a gold chain, deafening three grots who were operating heavy machinery, and still managing to be heard by an Ork stood atop a makeshift catwalk overlooking a bay of tanks that were being dissected by numerous groups of grots and snotlings, his hands on the rails as he watched them go about their work. As the sound reached his wax-filled ears, his head dropped with a sigh. "Zog. Boss wants me." With that, he slowly walked down the walkway, sliding down a ladder as he dusted off his hands. An assistant manager's work was never done.
"Calm down boss!" The offending Ork was quickly backhanded by a metallic hand, crushing his nose into his face. "Don't tell me ta calm down, ya squig! Can'tz be letting kusty-mers finkin' we'z some sorta naff, namby-pamby, shoddy, sekund-rate suppliers can we?! KARGOB GRARTRUK PUTS DA KUSTY-MER FIRST!" The massive Big Mek roared, upturning a workbench and sending the grots sitting on it flying across the room and in the direction of several sharp pieces of operating power tools.
"Ya wanted ta see me, Boss?" The Big Mek turned around. In the doorway stood Lefty - his missing "'sisstant manaja". Kargob's pig-like nostril's flared as his eyes came to rest on him. "LEFTY! GERRIN' 'ERE, NOW!" Lefty did as he was told, stepping over the dismembered remains of several grots as he made his way over to the furious Big Mek, barely getting within reach before a massive arm picked him up by the scruff of his neck. He made no effort to struggle as he was helplessly suspended in the air, dragged over to the garage next door. Three lootas dropped their tools as Kargob stormed in, pulling their goggles off as they stared at him in open-mouthed shock. "You lot. Out. Now." The huge Ork certainly didn't have to repeat himself, all three of the greenskins quickly gathering as many of their bitz as they could and hurriedly exiting. Satisfied that they were now alone, Kargob thrust Lefty face-first into a wartruck. "Wot's dis, Lefty?"
Lefty peeled his face back from the sudden impact, rubbing his head. "It's a truck, boss." "Riiiiiight." The Big Mek nodded, content. "An' wot colour izzit?" "Err... red?" Kargob launched him halfway across the room, his fall cushioned only by falling back-first on a V12 engine. "YES! RED!" The Big Mek yelled, swatting a row of bikes down in fury. "WARBOSS BRAINSQUISHA ASKED FOR BLUE! WOT ARE YOU PLAYIN' AT?!" Lefty frowned, cocking his head as he slowly recognised the vehicle. "Boss, you got my boyz to paint dis red all personal-like only da uvva day." The Mek paused, tapping the front bumper of a buggy that made up his jawplate. "Did I...?" Lefty slowly got to his feet, dusting himself off with a sigh. "Boss, did you'z forget you was colourblind again?" Kargob snarled, kicking open the door as he marched off, mumbling to himself. "Waz jus' testin' you, dat's all..."
Lefty looked at the mess all around him, shaking his head as a group of Orks slowly made their way into the room to see if they could get back to work yet without being crushed. "Oi, you lot!" Lefty pointed to them each in turn. "Clear dis mess up. S'like a squig-sty in 'ere." They grunted and quickly went about picking up all the bits and pieces scattered about the garage, Lefty looking on with his arms folded, supervising. "An' paint dis fing blue when yer done. I gots ta do everyfink 'round 'ere myself?"
An assistant manager's work was never done.
Lefty marched down one of the corridors of the ship, a large retinue of grots and Orks all gathered around him as he gave them instructions on the move. "You lot. Take dat offa dat an' put it on dat instead. Boss wants da engine ta sound like a squiggoth with a sore arse, y'got dat?" The Orks nodded with a grunt, heading off to their work.
"Erm.. 'scuse us..." A group of around six grots carrying a missile weaved through the group in the hallway, very nearly tripping over an exposed pipe but managing to keep upright. "Oi!" Lefty spat, raising his pointy stick at them. "Youz lot drop dat and da next warbuggy on da 'ssembly line's gerrin' Grot-skin seats, ya got dat?" "Yes! Yes! Yes!" All of them cried, hurrying along to the vehicle that was no doubt waiting to be reloaded.
Lefty sighed. It definitely wasn't a bad life - his old job was counting a Bad Moon's teef while he was out fighting. When he got his head removed by a thunderhammer one day, Lefty was scooped up by the brilliant inventor Kargob Grartruk, and eccentric even by weirdboy standards. With the Big Mek's natural ability with machinery and weapons, and Lefty's unnatural gifts of business sense and organisation, the two began gathering lootas and gretchin who were looking for a good set of teef all over the universe. At first, their projects were small but expensive. Kargob thought it was stupid to charge so much money for small vehicles and services, but Lefty - as a business-ork - knew that others would think they were of better quality because of it, and while neither of them knew it - because other Orks believed it, it was true.
Relatively soon, Warbosses from all over started bringing across orders for all manner of things, from "konverted" looted Imperial tanks and aircraft, to shootas that would bring a tear to the eye of the stuffiest Flash Git, all the way to personal gold-plated attack bikes and warkoptas. Quite soon, they found that they had to begin putting out looting squads all over the place, quickly gaining a reputation for being where an Ork could always sell his best bits. Then they began to run out of room.
This situation was quickly solved when a Space Hulk by the name of "Light of Man" was discovered by several different groups of Orks, all engaging in one huge war over who got to be the first to loot it. The genestealers on board were promptly wiped out in the ensuing battles, and Lefty saw an opportunity in it. Having a mobile workstation from which they should deliver their goods by hand while still continuing their work with enough storage capacity to fit even the grandest products of Kargob's imagination was simply too much to pass up, and so when a winner finally emerged they bought it out right from underneath him - his levels of equipment and Boyz completely devestated but the Warboss himself satisfied that he had a good fight and won - and set about making it space travel-worthy. Where the "The Light of Man" was once etched, now were rusty metal beams hammered into the words "Da Chopshop".
With all the teef he had ever dreamed of and the protection of someone no Warboss wanted to snub in case he stopped selling to them, life was good. However, he was always the first to hear about it when something went awry, often even when he was nowhere near the problem on the kilometer-long ship they spent their time hurtling across space inside. But the other bad part about being a Brainboy - an Ork that actually had some semblance of intelligence - was that you found yourself having to think for everyone else.
"Erm. Lefty?" Lefty turned around, eyeing the Ork that had tapped him on the shoulder, his jaw gradually dropping as he did so. The greenskin stood there, with what was very clearly a break lever with the skin from a human's arm as the cover. "'ad this in me 'and all day. Erm... d'you know what it's for?" As if to answer the question, the roar of an engine started up behind them. Lefty span around. "DON' DRIVE DAT YA STUPID GIT!" But it was too late.
Flashboy was an Ork obsessed with speed. No matter how fast Kargob could make something go, Flashboy always wanted it to go faster. Therefore, Kargob had set himself the personal challenge of finding something fast enough for Flashboy's tastes, taking him under his wing as his private test pilot. A private test pilot that was now a stain on the hull wall.
"Well. Zog." Lefty stood there a moment, steadily realising that he would get the blame for this, before vaulting up onto the top of a half-gutted Leman Russ. The smouldering wreckage of Flashboy's vehicle only briefly registered with the rest of the orks before they turned back to Lefty, unimpressed. "Awright boys, listen up, and listen up good!" The few that were still blaring their power tools were slapped upside the head by those standing near them, turning them off with a buzz and looking towards Lefty expectantly. "Lately, dere's been some product-ivity issues an' all dat. Well. Dat stops today!" The crowd mostly cocked their heads at him. "From nowz on - you wantz a break ta muck about, it's comin' outta ya pay! Any-wun wanna argue 'bout it, come see me and I'z can start payin' you with yer own teef when I krump ya and take 'em outta yer face!" He tapped his poking stick on the side of the tank, a Grot recoiling in horror as the bane of his kind almost grazed its face. "Are we'z clear, boys?" There was a murmur of mild agreement, answered with Lefty tapping the side of the tank again. "Da boss may be 'alf deff, but I ain't, an' I can tellz you lot dat dat wasn't loud 'nuff." The chant was louder now, if much more artificial. "Yes 'ssistant manager, sir."
Ask any of the Orks on the floor and they would say Lefty was one of the best bosses they ever had, probably before getting cut in half by Kargob for using the word "boss" for anyone else but him. But for all intents and purposes, it was true.
Kargob was an eccentric, and one that only Lefty truly understood. He was massive and deadly, as well as brilliant and creative - he was also poor at managing his resources and would have been in debt to a thousand angry Warbosses right now had Lefty not been balancing the books. As such, this had been the most stable income many of these Orks had ever had, as well as easy access to the best gear in the galaxy (again, assuming Kargob wouldn't kill them first for touching his things). The only thing they lacked in abundance was fighting, which was for the most part easily solved by a good mug of fungus beer and a brawl down in the Fightin' Pits down at the ship's bottom.
Occasionally though, Lefty had to crack the whip and get them back on task. They were Orks, after all, and all Orks respected at the end of the day was the biggest bloke with the biggest gob.
Lefty certainly had one of those requirements.
Now, what would he do about the Flashboy situation? Kargob would have gone on forever trying to make things fast enough, never realising that the brilliant red finish he was putting onto the contraption was near enough always turning out pink. He stood, tapping his chin with his poking stick, not even noticing the huge and hulking form that had approached him.
"Oi. You're in me bluddy light, you are." Lefty growled, only realising how big something would have to be to tower over him after the fact. "Erm... we'z closed fer orders at da minnit." The Warboss laughed, clacking his power klaw as he did. "After little ol' Skumfang come all dis way... I don' fink you are. See... I'm 'ere for summink speshul-like." Lefty tried to gain his recomposure. "Liss'un. I know you prolly fink you wantin' sumfink ded good an' all dat, but let's just skip dis bit and you can go pick a bike from da line over-" His voice trailed off, more and more Orks wearing the huge figure's colours filtering into the factory floor, right up until they outnumbered the workers. There must have been three hundred of the Warbosses' boyz with him, all, oddly enough, carrying large sacks.
In unison, every single Ork dumped their sacks down onto the floor. Within no time at all, the entire floor was absolutely covered in teef. "I ain' 'ere for one o' your zoggin' bikes, ya squig." The Warboss chuckled again, picking Lefty up by his head. "I'm 'ere to 'ave da best fing an Ork can get to show Gork an' Mork 'is respects while stompin' all da fings 'e can see. Ol' Skumfang 'ere..." He pulled Lefty closer, his claw tightening slightly on his head. "... wants a Mega Gargant".
"'e wants a WHAT?" Kargob nearly dropped the massive wrench he was using to take off a predator tank's main cannon, the Grots below him rather grateful for his mechanical grip. Lefty shrugged weakly. "I know, dat's what I said. S'not like we're short on orders or anyfink, loadsa teef to go 'round already. Dis Skumfang 'as ta play da big fancy Bad Moon an' bring in all 'is teef. Prolly broke now." He snorted, tossing a bolt into the air and catching it. The Big Mek pondered for a moment, frowning.
"I uh... I don't like dat look in yer eye, boss." "Quiet, ya grot. I's finkin'..." A moment of uncomfortable silence passed between them, broken only by the occasional death scream of a grot that didn't notice the faulty positioning of the automatic sawblade beneath the workbench. Finally, Kargob nodded to himself. "I'z say we do it." Lefty's eyebrows went all the way up his bald green head. "What?! Bu-... but... but boss! We'z got loads of orders dat we can only jus' 'bout fill now! We aint'z got time for something DAT big! Plus we'z gotta get all da really good bitz an' gubbinz togevva, an' da manpower, an' da experts..." "Well, suppose you'ze better get 'round ta doin' all dat, haven't you 'ssistant manaja?" They stared at each other, Lefty relenting. "Yes, boss." "An' be quick 'bout it!"
While he couldn't promise to be quick, Lefty could follow up on everything else. It would be the best Mega Gargant ever, or his name was not Lefty Tennant.