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The Blood Deserts of Auros IX
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The Blood Deserts of Auros IX: Epilogue
The two armies faced each other across the rocky, blood-red desert floor. On one side was the ragtag horde of Warboss Sho-T BigHed: thousands of slouching, ill-formed Orks, many of them in human uniforms stolen or scavenged from previous campaigns. On the other side were a few hundred battered but resolute Fighting Tigers of Veda in their striped armor. 

Sho-T BigHed nodded to his Biskit, his Banna Wava, and the Gretchin hoisted up a long metal pipe tied with a filthy rag that had once been white. 

Several hundred yards away, Raja Khandar Madu turned to her advisor Zaghnal Maratha, the most powerful psyker among all the Tigers of Brihaspati, or Librarians. He concentrated for a moment, then sighed. “I sense no treachery or overt malice from the brute. It would seem that the wish to parlay is sincere.” 

Raja Khandar nodded, and her Standard Bearer, Rajesh Kumar, raised a triangular white flag.

Sho-T dropped his big shoota onto the gravel at his feet and raised the fearsome power klaw that had killed many a Fighting Tiger. Never taking his eyes off the Marines, he unbolted the gauntlet from his wrist and let it, too, fall to the ground.

Raja Khandar Madu flexed her wrists and the titanium claws protruding from her gauntlets sheathed themselves with a loud SNAKT. As she removed them, her counterpart, Raja Shamshir Talatra, removed the Ebon Blade from his hip and handed it, still sheathed, to his advisor, Talwar Chakram.

Sho-T turned to his bodyguard, eight hulking Nobz in mega-armor. “Spread da word. Anybody who so much as coughs wit’out my say-so is gonna get a mouthful of lead. Got it?”

“Right, Boss,” said Pauli. He was the leader of the bodyguard now that Gurz had went and gotten himself perished a few months ago. “We’ll keep the boyz in line fer yoo.”

Raja Khandar turned to Zaghnal Maratha. “I have sent Jirbu Ghosh back to Veda to investigate these reports of the Dark Eldar’s return. If I do not leave this field alive, she is to take my place. Understand?”

“Yes, Raja,” he said, with a deep bow.

“Monitor the monster’s thoughts and tell me of his intent. Our adversary is as cunning as he is powerful.”

“As you wish, Raja.”

“And you, Raja Shamshir?” asked Talwar Chakram, seniormost of the Tigers of Varuna, or Chaplains. “Who shall take up the Ebon Blade of Vashtar if the parley is a trap?”

He scowled. “Hold my sword. I will return shortly.”

The three leaders—the Ork Warboss and the two Rajas—strode across the desert toward one another. They stopped about ten paces apart.

Inside her head, Raja Khandar called, Zaghnal, are you there?

I am here, Raja, his thoughts answered. No change.

For several long minutes, no one spoke or moved. Sho-T’s gaze shifted back and forth between Raja Khandar’s ice blue stare and Raja Shamshir’s mutated red eyes. 

Finally, the Warboss spoke, in broken Imperial Gothic. “Let's settle dis. Just the three of us.”

“Agreed,” Raja Khandar replied. 

Sho-T opened his hand, revealing an ancient Imperial thaler coin. He flipped it into the gleaming sunlight. 

“Heads,” Raja Khandar announced..

The coin landed between them on the stony red ground, the double eagle showing.

She nodded curtly and turned to go. 

Raja Shamshir stared down at the coin for a few moments, then back at Sho-T. “This is not over, monster. We shall meet again.”

Sho-T smirked. “I’m countin’ on it.”

Raja Shamshir nodded, and turned as well.

Sho-T watched as the Fighting Tigers of Veda left the field. Puzzled, Sprokkits and Sho-T’s bodyguard approached. 

“Boss,” said Sprokkits. “Are we gonna get ‘em now?”

“Nah,” Sho-T replied. “We got udder fights comin’. First thing we’re gonna do is get that li’l traitor Speedo and wring his skinny neck.”

“Hrr. That’s a pretty good trick yoo pulled dere, Boss,” chuckled Pauli. “The ol’ fake coin bit. But what if that redhaired witch had called tails?”

Sho-T bent and picked up the thaler. “Shut yer yap,” he growled, and pressed the coin into Pauli's hand as he tromped past.

"Jeez, Boss, wassamatta wit yoo?" Pauli opened his hand.

The face of the Emperor looked up at him from the coin.

As the Orks began their long march back, they could heard the first of the Tigers’ transports lifting off Auros IX. 
 
 
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The Blood Deserts of Auros IX
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© Copyright Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore, October 2001
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle