One of two habitable planets in the Malichor solar system, Malichor IV was a minor Imperial industrial planet located a long way from any of the primary shipping routes. Despite the regular flow of munitions, vehicles, and recruits for the Imperial Army it was considered of minimal tactical importance because it was out of the way and had been relatively unmolested by any alien menace. The planet has three small moons each of which is equipped with a network of powerful defensive batteries that had been sufficient to ward off any marauders who happened upon them. A ring of mineral rich asteroids ensured that Malichor IV could maintain production with little need for incoming supplies, and Malichor III was able to produce enough food and textiles to support both planets. In short, the Malichor system was remote and self sufficient enough to have been essentially forgotten by Imperial accountants.
When Grottrogg’s space hulk lurched out of warp space without warning it appeared between Malichor III and Malichor IV. Within moments the defensive batteries unleashed torrents of flaming death upon the hulk and the space craft that poured from it. Most of the fleet was destroyed in mere minutes. For months afterward the residents of Malichor III were treated to spectacular night time displays as their atmosphere was pelted with debris. Not a single ork set foot on Malichor III but enough spores survived atmospheric entry to ensure their slow and inevitable demise.
Although the hulk was torn apart by the defensive batteries a single piece the size of a small city building hurtled toward Malichor IV, propelled by the momentum of re-entry into real space. By sheer coincidence it impacted Malichor Prime, the largest industrial hive on Malichor IV and the planet’s capital city. The hulk impacted the hive at the upper habitation levels instantly killing most of the planet’s ruling class and upper military command while simultaneously crippling the spaceport above. A more effective surgical strike could not have been planned. When the stunned survivors spilled out of the hulk they encountered very little resistance and quickly established a stronghold at the top of the hive.
Through a large crack in the hive wall Grottrogg looked out across a polluted wasteland. In the distance he could see colossal building stretching toward the sky. He guessed that the building he was standing in was similar to those he saw scattered across the skyline. “Oy! Dat force field of yours held up right proppa! Where ya fink we are now?”
Ro-twang stroked his chin as he considered this question and scanned his surroundings. They were in a large room with charts and holo-screens lining the walls. In the distance he could hear shouting and short bursts of gunfire as the orks encountered pockets of resistance or fought amongst themselves over interesting trophies. Desks were scattered about the room amidst piles of scattered papers and various small implements. In the middle of the room was a large table supporting what looked like a holographic map of some kind. “I dunno boss. But dere’s a ooman hidin’ under dat table. Let’s ask him…”
At that, the man under the table flinched like he’s been struck. He’d never seen one before but he’d heard enough stories from soldiers passing through the space port to know that these were orks. Now that they’d spotted him his only chance to survive was to prove useful somehow. “T-t-his is M-malichor P-p-prime. It’s a f-factory hive.”
“It’s a mek-town, boss. Looks like a big ‘un too. Wot do you make here?”
“T-t-anks and art-t-tillery, mostly. Each hive has a specialt-t-ty.”
Grottrogg looked through the crack at the other hives in the distance. There were at least a dozen in view (Ro-twang had taught him how to count to twelve,) who knew how many others there were. “Are all of dese mek towns? We could make lots of dakka wif all dis… Ro-twang, can you make dis stuff work?”
“If you d-d-don’t k-kill me I c-can help you. I know who can t-teach you how the machines work.”
“Dat’s a gud idea, boss. We’z pretty high up ‘ere. If even ‘alf dis buildin is shop I ‘aven’t got da boyz ta run it all. If all da oomans is as ‘elpful as dis one we shud keep dem around ta run it fer us.”
As the invasion spread downward through the general hab levels toward the manufacturing levels word spread quickly that surrender would be accepted but all who fought were killed. Very little of the population had been fond of the previous administration and, having never even heard of an ork before this, preferred to give them a chance rather than face certain death. In a matter of months Grottrogg’s forces had secured the entire hive. Throughout the takeover production continued with little operation as most of the workforce had surrendered before even seeing an ork in person. From Malichor Prime Grottrogg’s forces spread like a plague across the planet. Several hives tried to resist and were eventually destroyed but many surrendered. The resistance lacked cohesive leadership and was continually undermined by rumors that those who surrendered were far better off than those who didn’t. Malichor’s orbiting defense batteries stood helplessly quiet, unable to communicate well enough with anyone on the surface to choose appropriate targets. They too eventually surrendered as they learned that most of their families had been spared. In a few short years the entire planet was under Grottrogg’s flag and the ork warbands waged huge armored battles across the wastes to pass the time. Construction of a new fleet began as Grottrogg turned his eyes toward Malichor III.
For most of the human residents of Dakka life is pretty much as it had been before the invasion, if not even a little better. Their orkish masters are no more violent or sadistic than their previous masters, and much easier to distract. Many have found that they can get away with much lower production amounts than before and that the orks are more interested in fighting each other than wasting time on scrawny humans.
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