Jen and I both enjoy the Black Library’s 12 Days of Christmas short stories. I have a very bad habit of buying them and then never reading them. You know, like my sad comic book habit. But I knew I was going to read at least one of the short story offerings this year, because the first one was an Ufthak Blackhawk short story. When Mike Brooks writes an orks story, we pop up like prairie dogs. So when I saw Mike Brooks wrote “Road Rage,” a short story about Ufthak Blackhawk racing with Drukhari, oh you betcha I snagged that instantly.
Of course, I had to finish the delightful Da Gobbo’s Revenge first, which I can’t wait to discuss this week on the podcast. Then it was time to see what Blackhawk has been up to. I completely forgot that he stole a shokkjump dragsta in Brual Kunnin’. I was too busy laughing about a squig named Princess (who makes a triumphant return in this tale!). But of course an ork isn’t going to let that slight go unpunished, especially if he’s still alive the end of the battle. Which, apparently, this ork was.
While Riptoof is irked about his stolen dragsta, he’s more irked about the lack of a proppa fight. They had been fighting Scrawniez, aka aeldari, who “rarely offered a decent fight in any case: the git’s hit you and ran away again, possibly doing some backflips at the same time, which was somehow more infuriating than an enemy who ran away without fighting at all.” As a Speed Freek, the only thing that will make Riptoof give Ufthak respekt is a race.
Specifically, Riptoof wants a race against the dragsta Ufthak stole. ‘Tis a shame that Ufthak crashed it into the Gargant in Brutal Kunnin’ to take the Titan down. But Riptoof doesn’t care. It’s up to Ufthak to find another ride, which he does, and it’s not what you think someone would race with.
But just when you think Ufthak has enough stacked against him to try to win over the Speed Freeks, a new Challenger appears! It’s the Drukhari, or as the orks call them, Spikiez. They will forever be Spikiez in my mind, no matter who is writing about the dark eldar. Just as I was confused as to why they were called Spikiez, Ufthak enlightened me: “Spikiez tended to be pointier, and liked hooks, and hung out with weird, stitched-together creatures which the most experimental painboy might scratch his head at.”
You know, when orks think that painboys would be confused by the Spikiez’ creations, that’s saying something. I wonder if they would think the same about the Emperor’s Children’s monstrosities.
All I can say is that ork chaos and hilarity ensues.
Seriously, just buy it, ya git.
If I haven’t convinced you yet to spend the $3.99 for this short story yet, there’s nothing I can say that will convince you. If you loved ”Where Dere’s da Warp, Dere’s a Way” or Brutal Kunnin’, you’ll love this. Even if you’ve never read either of those books, you can still enjoy this.
It’s the silly orks vs the overly dramatic Spikiez. Racing. The only thing that could have made this short story better is an appearance by Duke Sliscus. For all I know, he was there and he’s the one who <redacted> <redacted>. Oh that would be delightful if true. That may be my head canon regardless.
Currently, “Road Rage” by Mike Brooks is only available via the Black Library. I’m sure it will eventually grace other eBook outlets.