The Fastest Way Into An Orc’s Hole Is Her Stomach
“This is called… a pinata, one of many cherished items of tradition from Earth. Specifically for birthday parties.”
“But daddy, you said birthdays were supposed to be happy and fun… worshiping a life-sized papier-mâché of my Queen isn’t what I would call either of those things,” 6378 whined, complemented by an orchestra of complaints from other demonic little nuns around the cafeteria. Sisters that all shared the same birthday.
“Well, the point of the pinata is to hit it and,”
Gasps filled the cafeteria before someone screamed;
“I love hitting!”
The pinata was tackled from all sides and torn to shreds in a matter of seconds.
“Well… that was kind of fun I guess,” 6378 said.
“I’m happy to hear that but… aren’t you going to eat the candy?”
6378 and the rest of her handful of sisters all frowned at the floor with confusion.
“But you said never to eat things off the floor,”
“And what’s candy?” A sister asked.
He chuckled, plucking a sucker from the metal floor.
“Candy is a sweet treat, most of the time wrapped in paper that you must peel off before eating. Please don’t eat the wrapper,” He said while giving 6378 an unwrapped sucker. Her eyes lit up from the taste causing the other sisters to hurry and grab a sucker just so he could unwrap it for them, which he did but only once.
“I wish… mmm… there was another paper mache to hit,” 6378 said.
“That was the best part!” Another yelled.
“I figured as much… that’s why…” He waved a hand at the back cafeteria wall. It slid up, revealing a large room full of pinatas of all shapes and sizes. The little nuns, charged up on sugar, roared and screamed as they rushed the stockpile of pinatas.
Una spent the next few moments glaring into the empty eye sockets of 6378. A lightly burning corpse that dissolved ever so slowly with small pops and crackles filling the cabin, adding to the soft whimpers of 6378. There were times it seemed Una’s demonic sister had started burning faster but for a short moment. The last bits of her clothing and skin had finally faded, leaving neither smoke nor smell. Whatever was happening to 6378, the burning was destroying her completely. Una could hear small noises in her headphones but it was hard to tell if it was Sib, Kaida, or just interference. Deciding she was tired of staring into empty eye sockets, Una stepped over to the doorway and peeked out, leaning a little further thanks to the mountain wall directly in front. To the right of the cabin was the guarded entrance of the mountain, a hole just big enough to squeeze in an X12-KnockOut, Una thought. After all the Orc-kin were given the authorization to deploy with something as advanced as a dozen artillery rail guns, she wondered what else these traitors were given; More importantly, why?
“Movement to your left,” Sib whispered.
The fact Sib didn’t scream into her ears was worrying in and of itself.
“Kaida, are you to my left?” Una whispered knowing Sib would transmit.
“Unaaa…” Zaras’s smooth voice whispered, sounding a tad amused. “My green ugly sister, I thought you were dead. You sure smell like a corpse.”
Slowly looking the other way, Una noticed Zaras holding her katana with her blade aimed at her, underhanded. She sheathed her blade with a smirk when noticing Una staring at the new attachment to her rifle.
“A grenade launcher?” Una asked.
“Some people just call it a cunt. I’ll let you try it out sometime since you saved my life.” She quickly stepped inside the cabin and jerked away at what she saw. “Damn Una, didn’t know you were into fourplay.”
“Don’t speak to her. Kaida’s on her way to explain what the hell’s going on here. Some kind of backdoor communication I think.”
“Think your ass out of my way,” Kaida said as she rushed into the room, pushing the two out of the way to get to the burning nun, “I’m 5699 Daughter of Lucy. I’m requesting temporary authorization for 2218 Daughter of Alais and 4273 Daughter of Kimi.”
A reply came in the form of a long breathy hiss as she spoke.
“Accepteeed, 5699 will proviiide a brief sitrep, NOW,” 19836 yelled though her voice was still a whisper. Kaida quickly went through what happened and what was going on before 19836 finally cut her off. “Eeenouuugh, 5699, your orders are suiciiide.”
“Understood,” Kaida didn’t even flinch as she unholstered her gun and pressed it to the side of her head.
“Wait,” Una said, snatching the pistol from her loyal sister’s hand. Kaida’s face exploded with rage but she remained silent. “What were the Captain’s suggestions?”
“Due to his inexperience, the Captain is not qualified to give direct commands.”
“And yet he’s the damn Captain,” Zaras quipped.
“What was his suggestion?” Una asked.
“Apprehend the… opposition… alive. However… if lethal force is required, refrain from damaging the brain.”
“So no explosives?” Zaras asked.
“… Use with extreme cautionnn,” 19836 said.
“What about the infected?” Una asked.
“I bet he wants us to play doctor,” Zaras said.
“… Decommission the infected opposition… only if they’re a direct threat. Lastly, prioritize the capture of an Orc-kin Sergeant… 16409.
“So we hit her with a tranquilizer and destroy the rail guns,” Una spoke to herself out loud before noticing Kaida still staring death in her direction for snatching her pistol.
“5699’s orders have not changed,” 19836 said. “Going against said orders will result in punishment.”
“But not treason, right?” Una asked.
“… Correct,” 19836 said reluctantly.
Before another word could be said, the host body, 6378, started to burn faster. In a few seconds, her body was gone, leaving behind nothing, not even Una’s combat knife.
“What happened?!” Una asked.
“6378’s body gave the fuck out, that’s what happened,” Kaida snatched her gun back and holstered it. “Well, don’t just stand there, what do we do?”
Una did stand there, not because she didn’t understand her orders or… suggestion, but because Kaida, who moments ago was trying to kill her with her eyes, stood there asking how they should proceed. Zaras leaned in and said;
“She thinks you’re some kind of messiah,”
“I do not!” Kaida blurted her face crimson red. “What I see is a piece of shit that refuses to die and to stay dead,” She spat, jabbing an index finger in her sister’s direction. “Any dumb fuck in their right mind can see that’s not normal. The only reason I haven’t tried putting a hole in your head is because I’m afraid of my gun jam or some bullshit.” Zaras snorted. “You on the other hand.”
A familiar chime filled their earpieces, distracting the sisters for a moment.
“All done!” Sib said. “Check it out!” Una’s backpack unzipped itself and pinged a 5.56 bullet into the air. Zaras lazily snatched it out of the air and looked it over for a moment, noticing the clear tip. “It’s a tranquilizer! Normally tranquilizers are used with a specific kind of gun but sadly none of you have access to the good stuff. So while you were talking, I was able to take apart one of your bullets and rebuild it. Less gunpowder and a dissolvable tip packed full of enough nanites to stop any bleeding!”
“Can you make a silent bullet?” Una asked.
“Sure, not!” He laughed. “Well I mean technically I can if your guns didn’t work on gunpowder and no, one bullet isn’t enough to cure the infected.”
“Don’t care about curing, Sib,” Una said.
“Sib, did you make that from a backpack?” Kaida asked while leaning in to get a better look at it. Zaras was still holding it and with a smirk, she placed the tip on Kaida’s lips. Kaida recoiled and spat on the dirt. Though her rage took a backseat as she said, “I’ve never heard of a portable fabricator. So… if you were in my backpack, you could do the same?”
“Well, I’m technically embodying every fabric of Una’s clothing, giving her an unfair boost in speed, strength, and defense but… yyyeah?”
“So you’re like a living vibrator?” Zaras asked, while pinching Una’s sleeve, only for Una to swat her hand away.
“I figured as much, all things considered.” Kaida sighed and straightened her back. “Alight, come on over to me so we can finish this mission already.”
“You mean sit in a bush all damn day, waiting for your target?” Zaras began. “Come on over to me, Sib and while you’re at it, lace my blade with a tranquilizer.”
“Ooou” Sib began with a soft, interested coo. “Hmm… hm-HM! Become a camper or a noob tuber or stay with the big dummy number 1, hmm… I’ll stay with Dummy because she… appreciates me.”
“Isn’t allowing you to live as my panties enough appreciation?” Zaras asked, genuinely confused.
“Or allowed the pleasure to die alongside me?” Kaida asked with her left knuckle to her chin. “I mean, you are artificial so… I’m unsure if you have a soul or not to be reborn.”
“Sib wasn’t born or… created with our home worlds views.” Una began as she snatched the tranquilizer from Zaras’s fingers. “He’s more aligned with… Earth or… something like that.”
The others grimaced at the very mention of the planet.
“Actually, one moment while I adjust my… nerd glasses,” Sib began. “I’m aligned with Poison. The young galactic organization that allowed Prince Adam to become Captain and the flag we all technically represent. I wonder if he’ll be stripped of his command once the higher-ups learn about this.”
“Sib, shut up,” Una began. “No one’s taking his title.”
“As much as I hate to agree with my green sister, she’s right,” Zaras said.
“Besides,” Kaida began. “The Queens would never allow it, no matter what. Even the empresses would,”
“Those old bitches aren’t gonna do shit but sleep,” Una snapped. “Sib shut the fuck up about shit that doesn’t matter. I have a plan for our mission.”
“Oh yeah, sure! Let’s all group up and mumble as the screen fades to black,” Sib said, mumbling to himself. Angry about being told to shut up.
Una didn’t go straight for the entrance into the mountain but instead decided to take a walk around the base. While she didn’t personally like the Orc-kin they did manage to build a textbook base with so few numbers, she had to admit, at least from what she could see. Her adopted Orc sisters were just keeping an eye on their respective tasks, from guarding the rail cannons to the entrance to the base, and the armory. She stopped and noticed there weren’t any guards at the armory, wondering if Zaras got her gun attachment here. Kaida had slipped away to take a position somewhere she had a bird’s eye view. Even though she crossed paths with the “treasonous” Orc-kin and her infected nun sisters, demonic nuns who somehow gained the reputation of having shorter tempers than Orcs, Una couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy with Kaida supposedly watching her through the scope of her sniper. Sib had changed the numbers on her tags as well as her clothing to blend in with the rest of the Orcs so Una was unsure if Kaida would remember her. Kaida assured her she wouldn’t blow her fat head off as long as she doesn’t do anything stupid like breathing or being alive. Zaras on the other hand, begrudgingly stayed in the radio cabin. Upset because she wanted to shoot and blow up everything, but she was “plan B.”
“Remember, first your left foot, and then your right foot,” Sib began. “None of that fancy stuff like moonwalking.”
“I know how to walk, Sib, and what the hell is moonwalking?” Una asked.
“Look, just act casual, you know, like you belong.”
“What do you think I’m doing?”
“Well, it looks like you’ve lost your mind by talking to yourself.”
She’d been counting the cannons lined across the base’s wall, counting ten. They were massive guns almost as big as the cannons found on the ship. Each cannon had an infected nun standing in front of the cannon’s controls with goggles strapped to their faces. A few other infected nuns were on standby just in case. All of them were standing there staring into the blue sky all in the same direction. There were a few nuns that walked aimlessly around the base. Some found a quiet spot to curl up in a ball, while others kept mindlessly walking into the side of walls. Having seen enough she slowly made her way towards the guarded cave, down the middle of the base. The two standing there pretty much looked like twins, then again everyone from the Star Seeker looked like twins while in uniform. Standing out too much got your ass beat and in some cases raped. Although the fighting was normal, psychological trauma was a major taboo, something that both the Chaton Queen and the Captain agreed on, when most of the time they were always butting heads.
“They’re enslaving the nuns to fire the cannons?” Una asked.
“Uhh… It’s still hard for me to see anything you know buuut that sounds about right. They are naturally great marksmen. Given their very limited body strength, they specialize in more covert operations. Operations that require patients last for days if not weeks of hiding and waiting. Unlike the Orcs that overwhelm their opponents with numbers, the daughters of Lucy, find that less is more. What I’d like to know is how in the heck they’re being controlled. They’re supposed to be mindless carnivores, ugh, the most boring zombies I’ve ever seen.”
“Boring is good in this line of work.”
“Mmm… I don’t think so but here, I got something for you. Uhh… right pocket,” Sib said.
She reached back towards her backpack, fumbling her fingers into a hole that was just below her hip. It was a tad hot, perhaps hot enough to burn if she didn’t have on gloves. When she pulled her hand out, she was holding two thick meal bars, made by the Captain himself, winning not only the hearts but the stomachs of Orcs all over the ship. Granola on the inside, that expanded to make you full all day, and jerky on the outside to provide flavor like no other. They were big enough to beat someone over the head if they were frozen. They didn’t need to be heated up but somehow they tasted better that way. As much as she wanted to take a bite, she said;
“Thanks but I’m not hungry,” She lied.
“First off, yes you are. Second, they’re not for you. They’re for those two, pointing their guns our way,”
“Hey, back the fuck up,” The Orc guard on her right said followed by the Orc on her left saying;
“No one enters until the swap, Sergeant’s orders.”
Although Una was half Orc, she could tell a starving Orc when she saw one. Aside from their increased irritability, it was mostly because they kept glancing at what she was holding. Much better than the basic slop that Orcs were fed by the higher-ups, so Una got an idea. She ignored the guns for a moment as she came to a stop. Her eyes fixed on the tunnel behind the two filled with guide lights that went deeper into the mountain. Even from there, Una could tell that the wall was so smooth she was sure they dropped with a tunneler.
“I’ll trade you. Let me in and you both can have the last of the Captain’s meal bars.”
The two glared at Una for a few moments longer before glancing at each other.
“Why,” The left Orc asked while squinting her gaze in suspicion. The two lowered their rifles but kept them aimed in her general direction. After all, no Orc in her right mind would trade her Captain’s meal bars. “What the hell do you want so badly?”
“What I want…” Una began. “Is to kick your ass, what I need… is to get inside.”
The Orc on her right glanced at Una’s tag numbers before seeming to relax a little further by taking her hands off her rifle, letting it hang across her chest. She reached out and took both bars with a grin only for the grin to drop from her face in surprise.
“Damn, they’re heated? You must be pretty damn desperate.” The right Orc-kin said before flinging a meal bar over to the guard on Una’s left. “Fine, whatever, it’s your ass if you get caught away from your post. Ha, that piece of shit Captain did at least one thing right, cooking these babies.” Una commanded her body to take her blade and slowly sever the Orc-kin’s head from her shoulder; however, not only did she lose her knife a little while ago, but her clothes prevented her from moving at all. The Orc-kin had peeled the meal bar and was about to take a bite when she noticed Una standing there like a statue, staring. “What, you wanna watch me eat and shit it out later? Get the fuck out of my face.”
“Ooookay,” Sib began. “Let’s get moving grumpy. Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot.” Sib repeated as he moved Una’s body. Her boots went from matted-down grass to dirt and to smooth stone as she was moved into the cave that seemed to slope down. “What are you crazy, you almost ruined our chance! Don’t be greedy, you have like… ten more meal bars I hope you know. Here, have one, I even prepared water on your left side.”
“No,” Una said softly with repressed rage.
“I can literally see inside and outside your body, Dummy! It’s like a desert… but drier… and smelly, very smelly. So eat or I’ll sing the eat song!”
Everyone who knew Sib knew he didn’t make threats lightly and that they were very effective. Una even recalled Sib pissing off the Queens, making their studies and tests for second in command extra difficult. Males in their culture were second class unless acknowledged otherwise, like the Captain. And yet Sib was a boy that was childish, fearless, and unable to be controlled thanks to his lack of a body. While she studied the smooth, dimly lit walls around her, her stomach growled, joining Sib’s cause into getting her to eat and drink. She conceded and began pulling out her own meal bar.
“These walls, they were carved out by a tunneler,” She said while biting into her meal bar. Like biting into a huge, well-seasoned, and rectangular steak, that got even bigger after it hit the pits of your stomach. For the sake of not getting distracted, she repressed a memory of her father as she chewed her first bite. “Why,” She swallowed, “was the Orc-kin allowed to drop with rail cannons and a tunneler?”
“Unknown!” He sang. “But that’s a very good question. Perhaps it even has something to do with me also being down here. Normally I’d project my consciousness from the ship but… as far as I can tell, I’m completely here, which is kind of scary!”
Una listened while she ate, eventually reaching into her other pocket for something to wash down her meal. It was cold and when she pulled her hand out, she was holding what looked like cold eyeball-sized marbles,
“What the hell is this?” She mumbled while still chewing.
“They’re water balls, Dummy!”
Looking it over, she finally placed one in her mouth and it popped instantly. It was both an odd and refreshing feeling. Once again Una was surprised by what Sib could do, far surpassing the technology she was trained to use but never allowed to touch.
“How damn deep did they go?” Una asked before taking another bite.
“Probably deep enough to bury an Orc’s bad mood,” Sib laughed.
“Good one,” She smirked, feeling a bit better either because she wasn’t hungry anymore or because Sib said something funny for once.
After about ten minutes of walking, down the smooth sloped stone ramp, a dark opening came into view.
“I see something,” Una said as she picked up the pace, her footsteps echoing off the smooth walls.
“Oh wow, congratulations, you have eyes,” Sib complained.
“Can’t you just fabricate your eyes or something?” She asked.
“Sure but, that’s an expensive material that,”
“I don’t care, just do something about it. Wait, it’s not gonna fuck me over will it?”
“It better not. Don’t know why you need it in the first place. You helped me dodge Kaida’s sniper rounds.”
“That’s because Kaida’s sniper rifle was stolen from a Sergeant. That means it can track targets, and I can… track… trackers… tracking!” He laughed, amused by his wordplay.
Una’s gaze widened to a chasm that filled her vision the closer she got, able to see hundreds of Orc-kin with pickaxes. Coming to a slow stop on the tunneled-out ramp, Una said;