The Sunburned Bush

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Nitra, Aug 10, 2018.

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  1. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    PROLOGUE
    December 2016

    The blood was all over the room. Drew Stone looked at the corpse. The girl had her face mutilated. Her lower chin and both her eyes were missing. Her nose was broken and she was literally eviscerated. A half of her butt and her left thigh were missing too. While the room was filthy and bloody, the corpse itself was clean. She was sitting face up when she died and Drew looked closer. A part of him was close to puke from the stench of the cadaver left in the hot Natalian midday while a part of him was extremely curious. The cuts on the corpse were clean. He could clearly see the layers on the body, where the skin ended, where the fat started, where it ended, where the muscle started, where it ended and where the bone ended. "And you say he really ate all this?" Drew asked a local policeman. "Yep..." the other man said, barely holding himself from retching. "Ag, man... Its better to have a good braai, not this shite and what what," Drew said again.

    Andrew "Drew" Stone was a young, tall man, being only 23 year old, barely finishing his studies and becoming an officer in the Civil Service. This was his first case to investigate. While is was a gritty one, it was an easy case, as the perpetrator has been caught in flagrant as he was dissecting the corpse of his victim. He was already arrested by now.

    A few hours earlier, the CHP (Central Himyari Police) was on the tail of a mass murdered who seems to be feeling like some sort of a righteous crusader, as he was murdering sex workers, both male and female around Harton. Aviwe Mvovo was his last victim. She was a 17 year old girl who came from the Loda Chiefdom to search for a better life in the Lower Natal and she started working at the brothel of Zandile Nozulu, a famous and expensive brothel in north-side Harton.

    "He paid for the services?" Drew asked Ms Nozulu. "Eish, bass... you ask me that? You can't get past the reception if you don't pay," she said. Zandile Nozulu was a Yao woman of 'traditional build', which white fellas in Natalia simply called obese. She had a round head with fat cheeks and a colour full gown. Drew observed she was wearing a wig, but he wasn't surprised. He knew her, as he was a friend of her. Hell, he even worked for her when he was younger to earn some more cash. "Is it?" Drew asked sceptically. In the days he was activating at this establishment, the standards were extremely low, so he didn't really believed Ms Nozulu, that was until she went behind her desk at the reception and took out a baseball bat, three pistols and two army knives. "It is, my boy," she said with a sure smile. Zandile Nozulu was a maternal figure to Drew Stone. A surprising one. His father died before he was even born and his mother sent him to a boarding school in Harton while she remained to administer a cattle station called Inyanga Creek. He went to work here offering some handjobs and blowjobs mostly because he saw it as an easy work which also gave good salaries. Zandila Nozulu started observing him and in a few months she became as close to him as a mother would be to a 17 and 18 year old. He worked four years, up until he graduated the academy and became an officer in the civil service. Since then, Ms Nozulu was referring to him with both the appelative 'boy', which she used for him during his working days, but also with 'bass', the way she was referring to all persons wearing a uniform.

    "He went as far as to even way the huge sums for this brothel, just to get a close to a sex worker and hack her," said Drew to his partner for this case, the 45 year old Harton-born Meredith Dean. "It seems so... but there are many strange things in this case," she responded. "It is the first time he kills an expensive courtesan, it is the first time he kills a black person," said Drew. "Yeah, we are on the same page, this is someone else," said Meredith. The two detectives went back upstairs and this time, Drew couldn't help it. The sight of the corpse, the heat of the Himyari sun, the flies buzzing around and the general stench of blood and death made him retch. "Well, I thought you might have been stronger that that," said Meredith. "But every first murder case has such an episode. This one is truly gritty. Mine was just a suicide and the guy hanged himself," she continued sighing. "Let's get to work and finish this quick," he concluded, wanting to finish the job as fast as possible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    Friuli, Tiburia, Bergenheim and 2 others like this.
  2. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    The Aspirant - part 1
    Late December, 2016, Harton

    "Catch us a glow, will ya, bru?" said Drew Stone as he was lying on his back on the big ottoman couch placed in the middle of the room. His head was spinning, his movement was robotic, he felt like a fluid, flowing down from the ottoman to the floor. The cold floor was soothing, compared to the warm couch, but he quickly rose up and fell again on the ottoman, before his friend could see how high he was and while the foreigner was searching for a lighter. Sonto Kumalo was a Loda woman, a high school colleague of Drew and one of his best friends. After she escaped from her conservative hometown and family in Nqutu, she started loving the Engellexic laws of the Lower Natal and of the Channel Republic and has started frequenting opium dens and brothels. She finished her degree as a fashion designer, but while her line, mixing traditional Loda and modern western clothing, wasn't that well received, her looks, small nose, sensual lips, her skin tone and her curly hair which she was designing in all kinds of fashions and forms, were better received and thus she ended up as a model to the Ngonadi Fashion House, the biggest in the whole of Himyar.

    She was a regular at "Zandile Nozulu's Establishment for Mental Relaxation". When she told him that he should forget about the gore at work with a visit to an opium den, he took it with a pinch of salt, as he wasn't really that much into drugs, let alone opioids. So while she went for an opium lamp and pipe, he just went Natalia's cheapest and nearly omnipresent drug, cannabis. Though mixing it with alcohol, wasn't his best idea...

    "You Nutters, are all so green..." said the foreigner as he took a match lighter Drew's cigarette. "Ag? Where do you come from?" asked Drew. "Bergenheim, up in the mountainous, snowy, north, though I lived in Himyar most of my life," said the man. Drew still observed that even so, he still retained a german accent. "There are many Bergenheimers in Himyar and Echidna. Mostly mercenaries," said Drew. "And I was one of the best of them all!" said the man boastful. The two made the acquaintances. "Hm... Andrew Stone, you say... I worked for some Stones here in Natalia," said the Bergenheimer, then made a pause for thought. "In the Golden Plateau, in the Rozvi Kingdom, between Mansa and Bisho, there was this cattle station, Inyanga Falls, owned by the Stones," said the foreigner. "Yep, that's my family. Though I have to say that your name, Lukas Schwab doesn't really ring a bell," said Drew. "Ask your mother if she has heard of Lukas "The Mad Bloodhound" Schwab. If she has grown up at Inyanga, during the late '60s and '70s, we have surely made an acquaintance," said Schwab. "The 70s... That's when the dissidence of the Rhinos was the strongest, right in the centre of the Rozvi Kingdom," said Drew. "Yep, that's right. Those crazy Rhinos were semi-demented, hoping to create some sort of heavenly state right in the middle of Natalia, but in reality they were just attacking cattle stations and lorries on the roads, so me and my men were hired by Inyanga to defend the herd and stop the cattle rustling in the region. Those were great days. I'll tell you, the from the mid 70s to the mid 80s, Himyar was a hot ed of activity of all sorts and guys like me could get rich pretty easily. But I'll also tell you that in such times you see things... things that haunt you for the rest of your future to be miserable life. I've hunted the Rhinos in Natalia, fought against the Leninovists in Pelasgia and against world republican dissidents in Tephanon, I hunted poachers and sold them to the authorities in the Southern Constituent Republics, I wore the uniform of the Imperial Army of Loago, back when that shithole was a great country with a huge potential, I hunted communists with the Burgundians in the Peninsular Republic and I escorted caravans along the Seashell Route from Maseru to Propontis and then to Tephanon. I've seen everything nature and man can do in this part of the world," said Schwab boastful again, yet sour. "Why didn't you return to Bergenheim when you retired?"asked Drew. "Those tossers wouldn't understand. They would continuously be on my back nagging me. See a therapist, you've got PTSD, honey it's not normal to sleep with a pistol under your pillow," said Schwab mockingly,
    imitating various voices. "And did you get rich?" asked Drew. "Of course I did, I'm not a lemon. The Loagans were paying me directly in diamonds. The Engells and Burgundians were paying me in Pounds, which are the best and most stable currency to keep around. The Urudoah whose caravans I was escorting, were paying me directly in gold," said Schwab proudly. "And you prefer to waste your time in this shitty joint?" asked Drew sceptically. "I lost much if not all of my wealth in such establishments, boy. They are much better than any therapist in helping you forget the shit you've done and you've seen," said the man sour again. "But I know something for sure. I will die in this shitty sunburned continent and I don't have any regrets for not being now in Midweis freezing my ass off!" he said laughing and then returning to his opium pipe.

    Drew stood again on his back on the ottoman, thinking of 70s Natalia and his mother's life at Inyanga, but the ringing of his telephone interrupted his day dreaming. "Stone," he said responding to the call. "It's Meredith, we found the killer. Meet me at the CHP Station in Wakerley," she said.
     
  3. Natal

    Natal Well-Known Member

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    The Aspirant - Part 2
    March 2017, Harton

    "You sure 'bout this, ma?" asked Drew as Zandile Nozulu was counting some banknotes. "If you and your coppers are so disappointing, bass, of course I am. If the living can't help, I pray to the ancestors and the ngozi and let me tell ya, they do help," she said after she also took out of her cupboard five star anise seeds, a bottle of rape seed oil, two towels and a small capsule filled with a grey dust that has a small label saying "Ground impala horn". "I have two ngozi that help me. One was my sister, which was killed by her husband and she punishes murders and another was a great aunt that was always a victim of thieves. I prayed to her when my establishment got robbed and a few days later, the robber is captures. I want to do the same now," said Zandile Nozulu angrily.

    Drew went outside her brothel, were the police car was parked and Meredith Dean was waiting. Another worker of Madame Nozulu was killed and the perpetrator managed to escape. "She wants to go to a witch to curse the killer..." said Drew sceptically. Meredith chuckled, but refrained from it when Nozulu went past them and let out a short growl. "She really is fuming. But I think so would I. I think that we might start to consider this as some sort of revenge against her. Probably some competitors making sure that Madame Nozulu's is not only disreputable, but also dangerous for bother the employees and the clients," said Meredith. Yet another prostitute working for Zandile Nozulu was killed last night. It was the fourth one already and the Harton Civil Protection just felt that they are every time a step behind the killer. But Madame Nozulu was a resourceful woman. She was very influential in the Federation as she had five brothels, two in Harton, one in Blackmere, one in Parow and another one in Wynyard and a plethora of opium dens scattered not only just in Natalia itself, but legends on the streets were saying that she was a big thing in Pelasgia in Azraq, in the SoCRER, in Port Stanley and especially in Loago. But of course, one couldn't really know for sure what are rumours and what was real.

    "This one isn't a normal killer," said Lukas Schwab who was just coming out of the opium den that was situated right next to the brothel and startles both Meredith and Drew. Meredith looked baffled as to why a hobo would start talking to them, but Drew smiled. "Lukas, you look horrid. Get out of that shit, bru, its really killing ya," he said smiling at the old Bergenheimer. "No, no. Its saving me. And should the gods want me to not wake up from a binge, well... that's salvation for ya," he said cheerfully. "People were talking back there," he said as he waved towards the entrance in the opium den. "They were saying that the killed cut off the mandible of the poor girl... and as I was like, staying there and contemplating, I had something. I remembered that I've seen that sort of thing," he said, with his face illuminating as if he had an epiphany. "I told you I worked before in Natalia, for you, for the Stones, at Inyianga Falls and the Rhinos were rustling cattle," Schwab continued enthusiastically, but was interrupted by Meredith. "The Rhinos?" she asked. "Yeah, not the animals or the rugby team, I mean the ouens insane in the membrane, the cultists," said Schwab. "Ok, tune us in," said Meredith asking for more information. "Well, they had those ritualic killings in which they were collecting mandibles. If you go in the bush, up in the north, you possibly might even find poor sods who survived that shit and are terribly mutilated," said Schwab.

    Drew knew about the Rhinos, as his family's cattle station was a target of the cultists and his mother even said that sometimes she had to take the gun and fire at them when they were getting too close to the homestead. But that was in the 70s, around 40 years or so or even more. But the Civil Protection in the Mbunda State also asked for more reinforcements in its rural police as it said that this season, cattle rustling has spiked. Could it be possible for the Rhinos to make a return? He had to make some calls.
     
  4. Natal

    Natal Well-Known Member

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    The Fake Epilogue
    July 2018, Chama

    Today's Friday ceremony was unusual. It was attended by around 5,000 people. The Friday Ceremony was archaic. It was still kept even if the Loda Chief wasn't a sovereign anymore, and it usually managed to attract around 500 people, 1000 if it was a bank holiday and there were many tourists in Chama. The ceremony consisted in the whole Loda Court, with all the protocol and ceremonial gathering to see if the Chief wanted to go to war that week or not. The ceremony consisted in his appearance in front of the court, from behind of his "palace" which was no bigger than a minor manor house, on a horse. Now, if the horse was white and he was wearing flowing white robes, it was a sign that there will be peace in the next week. Usually, as he came he would throw coins (which would have been made of gold back then) at the court and at the subjects, to show that the peace he kept in the last week brought prosperity. If not, he would appear on a black horse, wearing a highly decorated dark green military uniform which made him resemble more likely a hussar from Krasnislavia, a black fez with a silver skull on it and a scimitar in his hand. This meant that the Loda will be going to war. Should the scimitar be bloodied, it would mean that the wars he fought the last week were victorious.

    Since March last year, the Civil Protection had five more cases where sex workers were killed and mutilated in the same way the Rhinos from the 70s did, by tearing up the victim's mandible. The bodies were piling up, and the CP had little to no elements to move their investigation further. The last of the killings was different. Instead of attacking the sex worker, the killer attacked the client. But this was no usual client. It was Thata Sihle. He was the firstborn son of the Loda Chief. Again, nothing special to build the case on. Suspicions were running rife. Was thins just the beginning? Were the Rhinos reemerging and trying to recreate their ideal Christian fundamentalist state in the Northern Chiefdoms? Was is just a lone wolf who was copying the style of the Rhinos? DNA from the potential killer was found at all the sites, but he wasn't in the database so the Civil Protection was mostly moving in the dark.

    Everything changed in June. "We received a call from Balaka. It seems they have arrested someone who fits our DNA samples," said Drew's commander when he called him to tell him the news. Two days before, in a failed robbery of a jewellery store in Balaka, the Civil Protection arrested a Yao man. They took his DNA and when they ran it through the database and they were shocked to see that he was on the database and linked with a string of horrific murders.

    The man was called Dumisani Buhle. He has been accused of 8 cases of aggravating murder. While in the Northern Chiefdoms, no one really cared that much of the murder of the sex workers, the last victim of Buhle was still the son of a chief. This created a huge outcry when it happened, with Loda conservatives, nationalists and even conspiracy theorists either condemning the Civil Protection of incompetence or some going even as far as calling it a false flag attack on the Chiefdoms. "Destiny truly is a bitch," thought Drew as he thought of all this. He managed to play the Civil Protection, only to be caught in the other side of the country. The CP could make so many mistakes, in fact, too many, but all he had to do, was to avoid one single mistake, and yet, it happened.

    The trial of Dumisani Buhle was a joke mostly, in the eyes of Drew Stone. He knew that he is most likely guilty and he will get punished, most probably with execution, as the trial was taking place in Balaka, the capital of the Loda chiefdom, the smallest yet most powerful and influential of the Northern Chiefdoms, where capital punishment was legal. It was done by hanging mostly. Historically, the Loda were more ingenious and sadistic. The person condemned to death was force fed with milk and honey until he got diarrhoea, then also drenched in honey and then tied to a boat which would be left to float aimlessly on the marshy lake Kashiba. Usually insects would eat the man alive. In the best case some other creature would finish him off faster. But now, they were "civilised". They used hanging.

    Everyone knew the power and influence the Chief had in Loda politics. It was even put into legislation. The Loda chiefdom was literally nothing more than an absolute monarchy. Its legislative all nominated by the Chief. As long as the Loda people were not really that much into changing it, the Federal government kept it the way it is. But today, the Friday ceremony was extremely important. The Chief had the right by native laws to seek revenge. Everything in the life of Dumisani Buhle was literally now to be decided by the way the Chief will wear his clothes. Drew was amused, it sounded extremely absurd.

    It was the day in which the final verdict will be given by the Balaka tribunal and yet, Balaka was empty. Everyone knew that the ceremony is scheduled a few hours before the verdict and in what the judges will say in the tribunal, will only be a a copy of what will happen in Chama.

    The crowd roaring made Drew wake up from his daydreaming. The people started to get agitated. A man came from behind the palace, telling everyone to prepare. The court was seated on the long benches, and the courtiers put their heads down, touching their knees with the forehead. One big parasol made of banana leaves was opened and put where the Chief will come. The man that came running signalling the beginning of the ceremony, probably the Master of Ceremony, thought Drew, started to wave to the spectators to keep silent.

    Twenty men and women wearing black robes and some sort of leather hats started singing in the traditional instruments, drums and rattles. It was something which gave the whole scene a very tribal and prehistoric feeling, though Drew. And there he appeared. The people was shocked. Murmurs started to be heard. The Master of Ceremony, rose his head from between his knees and looked at the spectators like he was ready to kill them for making noises. Even so, the people was shocked. The singer continued to do their rattling music, the court was still kowtowing in their fetal positions in front of the coming Chief.

    "Eish, this will annoy some people," said Drew to Meredith. "Yeah, its... problematic shall we say. I imagine he really wants to have his authority recognised even in the most difficult odds," responded Meredith. "Ah, man... I really wanted to slot that floppie," said Lukas Schwab with a theatrical disappointed sigh. In the last months he followed Drew and Meredith all around, becoming like a comical side kick. Now that the things were starting to end, he wanted to come to the Loda too to see the end of the criminal they searched for so much time. Of course, Drew's first most and holiest rule for this trip, no opium, had to be strictly followed. Which is why also he wanted to return as fast a possible back to the Rozvi at least, where the drug was legal, before withdrawal symptoms started to get very bad. He already started to go cold turkey.

    The Loda Chief came from the back on a white horse, symbolising Unkulunkulu, the God of Peace and the creator of life, wearing large white robes, with a brass ring around his forehead, representing his crown. He was followed by two soldiers, wearing Askari uniforms from the 1920s, when the Loda Chiefdom was integrated into the Federation. Their uniforms were khaki, with puttees wrapped around their ankles and shins, wearing a bright red fez on their heads, each with a bold action rifle on the shoulders. They were part of the royal guard. The Chief rode the white horse slowly up until he reached the shadow of the banana leaf parasol.

    "Makube khona ukuthula kuleli sonto futhi!" yelled the chief with a strong voice. The Master of Ceremony rose and repeated the proclamation, but in Engelsh, "By the order of Nkosi Dingane Sihle, King of the Loda, let peace prevail!". Immediately the Chief turned around and went back into his palatial complex. The people started to disperse. "Well, that was something," said Meredith. "Yeah, but I am still sad that we were just outplayed by that killer and then fate brought him into our hands. We did nothing. We were incompetent and weak. I still can't understand why he killed all those people. Why did he mimic the mutilations done by the Rhinos?" said Drew annoyed. "Don't let it consume you. It's over. It has been your first big case and you will have plenty more until you retire," said Meredith as she patted him on the back. "Yeah, she's right..." said Lukas Schwab. "So ouens, does somebody want a good chibuli? I hear they make great wheat ales here in Chama," said Meredith trying to raise the morale.

    Two hours later, Radio Impala reported: "At the mercy of the court, the punishment of Dumisani Buhle, known as the Mutilator in some circles, has been switched from capital punishment. He has now been condemned to a grand total of 850 years in the Rehabilitation through Labour Program, effectively meaning labour imprisonment for life."
     
  5. Natal

    Natal Well-Known Member

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    Centennial Celebrations
    November 2018, Inyianga

    Drew Stone woke up as he heard some sounds at the window. He opened his eyes seeing the other side of the bed was empty. He looked around and for a moment he had a flashback from the childhood he spent at Inyianga, a cattle station in the Golden Plateau, right at the border between Langfield and the Rozvi Kingdom. Today was an important day for the cattle station as it was celebration a century since it was founded and the Stone family was administering it. It was one of Natalia's biggest stations, with over 10,000 heads of cattle and 9,000 square kilometres of land. It was so big that usually, to muster the cattle a helicopter is used to see where they are and then stockmen were sent either on horseback, motorcycles or ATVs. Andrew wanted to lye in bed some more but it sounded like someone was hitting the window. He decided to wake up and approached the window. He smirked when he met face to face with Umbani, an old horse at the station which he learned to ride when he was a kid. Umbani might have felt his smell and came to the window and was hitting it with his muzzle. He reached out and wanted to pet it, but Umbani snapped and bit his arm. "Eish, bru... you really became a sour old man, didn't ya?" said Andrew, but the second time, the horse responded better. He decided to do out.

    In the kitchen, Cyrus Padden was reading some news about Loago on his iBone smartphone. Drew came from behind, hugged him and kissed him on the neck. "You woke up early," he said. "Yeah, it was just too hot during the night. I couldn't sleep," said Cyrus. Drew observed that too. It was a bit of a shock to go from all the air conditioning of Harton to nothing in the middle of the Himyari savanna. "Goeie more, do you want some coffee or tea? My sister should arrive soon," said Karen Stone, Drew's mother and the main administrator of the cattle station. She was a women in her late 50s, with a dyed blonde hair, to cover her original greying one, tanned from staying so much outside and always wearing khaki shit and trousers and a slouch hat. She was active as ever. Waking up by 6 the latest, feeding the horses, dogs and cats and then riding Umbani around the homestead. Andries made himself a rooibos tea and went outside on the porch.

    Lukas Schwab was outside, on a rocking chair, with an old Burgundian FN FAL on his lap. When he saw that image, Andries went back into the house, without Lukas observing him. "Why is the Bergenheimer rocking on a chair with a rifle on his lap?" he asked his mother. "He's defending us from the Rhinos," she responded, half amused. "The Rhinos have disbanded like... 20 years ago..." said Andries half irritated. "Well, they're dormant, not really disbanded. But look at him," she said as both of them went to the window to look at Schwab. "He's happy and content. He is living his best moments. That's exactly what he did for a whole decade in the 70s when I was a kid. He was always on a rocking chair with the gun in his hands," she continued. "And you really think its safe to give a gun to a senile opium addict?" asked Andries sternly. "He's just an opium addict, not a serial killer... It's not like he's go berserk when we'll go cold turkey. Plus he's on methadone and didn't touched any opioid for three months or so," said Kores joining the discussion. "Your man is right. You need to relax. You really start to sound like your dad," said Karin as she went outside.

    Later in the morning, Sibylla van Heerden, Karin's sister and the Lady Protector of Natalia arrived to the Cattle Station. She was accompanied by James Woodward, the supreme commander of the INTAF and by three Askari for her protection. They joined at the braai organised by Karin, where she booked some beef stakes and served them with corn on cob and roast potatoes for lunch. At some point, when she took a break she whispered to Andries: "I find it strange that she came with Woodward. I understand that she needed the Askari for protection, but I can't understand why that guy is here. This was supposed to be something for the family and the stockmen, not with creepy counterintelligence guy..." she said.

    A few hours after lunch, Sybilla and Woodward approached Andries and asked for a place to have a private chat. "I Just hope I'm not in trouble," said Andries, but he was quickly comforted by Woodward that it wasn't the case. The three went into his room and as they entered he quickly made the bed and closed the window.

    "Does the name Dumisani Buhle ring a bell?" asked Woodward. "The mutilator? It was the first case I had to investigate. He was a guy who was murdering prostitutes and mutilating their corpses," said Andries frowning. "Aye, he was sentenced for like 840 years in prison or something like that," said Sibylla. "And he managed to escape," said Woodward sternly. Andries was revolted. He admitted he started to obsess about the case and now knowing that the monster is out on the street again it will get only from bad to worse. "So he's on the streets again," said Andries disillusioned. "Not really in our streets," said Woodward. "He has been sighted in Loago and it is believe that he is together with the League of Communists or at least allied with them," completed Sibylla. "So he's not our problem anymore," said Andries relieved.

    "Not really. We have received reports when he was imprisoned that made us believe that he is a liaison between the Rhinos and the LLC and..." said Woodward but he was interrupted. "But the Rhinos disbanded themselves in the early '90s," said Andries. "They just said they put their armed struggle on hold, not that they renounce it," intervened Sibylla again. "We believe that the successes of the LLC in Loago and of the RANU in Port Stanley might have motivated the Rhinos to restart their campaign and thus our friend here, Buhle was sent there to befriend those dissident groups and try to provide funding and arms for the Rhinos. Just imagine if those groups ally and create a united front. The Rhinos and Zebras in Natalia, the LLC in Loago, RANU in Port Stanley, DKKP in Pelasgia and god knows what in Azraq and Cabaon. All of it is a recipe for destruction," said Woodward.

    "Okay, so what's my deal in all of this?" asked Andries. "We want you to hunt him down and bring him back to us," said Woodward with a straight face, but the comment made Andries burst into laughter. "Why me? I work for the Criminal Investigation Department in Hartstad, I'm not doing such things," he said. "You hunted him for more than two years. You know how he functions. You know what he wants. You know how he acts. That is why we need you," stated Sibylla. "I wasn't the only one who was investigating his murders. Meredith was working with me and she had much more experience," said Andries. "Maybe, but we trust you. We need someone we can trust, as you will have a partner for this mission," said Woodward. "A partner?" asked Andries baffled. "A bounty hunter. If you remember, before he was captured, Buhle killed the daughter of Nkosi Dingane, the Loda chief. He wants him killed and has bought the services of a bounty hunter to kill him," said Woodward. Andries was surprised and Sibylla observed his faces. "I need to keep the Nkosi content, to keep the federation stable. So I needed to approve his shitty idea, hence you will work in parallel," she said. "The problem is that the Nkosi isn't really that understanding, nor really that rational,"hence, even if I told him that we need Buhle alive, he did not care and just said that he wants to kill him," said Woodward. "But I still work for the criminal investigation department, I'm not a spy slash bounty hunter slash hitman," said Andries concerned. "I already took care of your transfer. From this morning you are on the payslip of the INTAF," said Woodward confidently. "No, no... leaving for Loago, hunting a man it's too much," said Andries starting to panic. "You don't have to kill him, that's the whole point. We need him back in the country. Hence, the only man you might have to eliminate would probably be the bounty hunter, if he is in your way," said Woodward smiling. "And it was mostly an order, not a request of a plea," said Sibylla frowning.

    OOC: With the change from Engellexic to Afrikaans, some characters have been renamed: Drew Stone to Andries van Heerden and Adrianne Stone to Sibylla van Heerden.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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  6. Natal

    Natal Well-Known Member

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    Ovi
    Back to Basic I
    Early March, 2019

    The lock clicked as Drew locked the door to his apartment and he started descending the stairs to the lobby of the building. He was living along Wakerley Road, one of the nice places along the seafront of Harton in the northern part of the city. Just a kilometre more up north, Harton itself ended, and the township of Pearl started. Now that his service with the DER has been completed, he wanted to return to the police in the Republic of Lower Natal, but there were no vacant positions in the criminal investigation corps and during his previous adventure he started to develop a liking for the outdoors, so he decided to try his luck at the rural police. It was a bit strange that a metropolis like Harton had a rural police, but in the Greater Harton Area, past the proper city and its townships there were several plantations and cattle stations that were served by the albeit small Rural Police department of the general ECHP (Engell Central Himyari Police).

    He went outside wearing his khaki shirt and dark green trousers, with a dark green jacket over the shirt. It was a bit too much, for the Himyari heat, but he was told that while in the city, that is the uniform and then when outside there will be a khaki jacket, khaki shorts and a slouched hat uniform. He felt that the field uniform resembles a bit the look of that adventurer Indy Jones from the Sylvanian moves, but it was a bit lamer and more Engell.

    The headquarters of the rural police were only 15 minutes of walking towards the north, and so he went along the promenade. In this part of the city, the beaches were filled with boulders and were all over the place, but after a series of public works, they were set up to separate different beaches. Along the promenade, people were doing their morning jogging while some were already enjoying the warm waters of the Indala Sea. As he passed by Dingane's a well known cafe and bar on the promenade, Drew thought that the ones queuing to get a cup of coffee on the go are surely locals, while the ones who were seated were tourists.

    As he entered the police headquarters, he was greeted by the receptionist and he signed in. He was ready to go to the changing rooms to leave his jacket, as he felt it was already sweating underneath it, but he was interjected by Colonel Hosho Olonga, the commanding officer of the department. "Mornin' Drew, I've got good news for you.You will get a new partner, a cadet, his name is Spencer Williams. He is a nice kid, but behave, he feels a bit naive and an idealist," said the colonel as he invited him into his office. Spencer was already in the office. As they entered, Drew observed he was startled by the door opening as they entered. "Howzit, bru" he greeted him, but Spencer immediately rose up and shook his hand, holding it with both of him. "Sir, I..." Spencer said, but he was interrupted by Drew. "He's the sir," he said pointing towards the Colonel with a short motion of his head. "Ok, calm down, ouens and sit down," said the Colonel as he seated himself at his desk and pointed towards the two chairs in front of it. "I think that with the two of you, the local department can..." started the colonel but he was interrupted by a call on his phone. He quickly forwarded to his hands free and nodded as he listened.

    "Ok, I've got a mission to you. I need you to go to Worster Cattle Station as Higgins, the owner called in to report 5 heads missing," said the colonel after the closed the call. As Spencer and Drew rose from their chairs, the colonel stopped them: "Drew, don't forget, this isn't Cabaon or Loago. In the worst case some zeffy trash from the township stole it. You are back in civilisation, behave!" he said. The two went to the locker and changed into their rural uniform and then went into the garage to their car, a Hartnett Rover and were on their way to Worster.

    "Sir..." said Spencer, as Drew was already driving the Rover out of Harton and into the township of Pearl, before diverging from Wakerley Road towards Worster. He had a way of pronouncing the 'i' in such a way that it resembled an 'a'. Not from Lower Natal, thought Drew. "I'm no sir... It's just two or three years between us, keep your sirs for the colonel," Drew grumbled. He observed that Spencer got a flushed face and didn't continue, and he felt bad for commenting, but he thought that it would make everything more familial between the two. He just needed more time to get used to things, he concluded. "What did you want to say?" asked Drew as the car stopped at a red light in the township. While still on the Wakerley Road, this didn't resemble the glamorous boulevard in downtown Harton at all, let alone the nice middle class part of the city he was living in. They were in the township, one of the many extremely impoverished suburbs of the Natalian cities, where between some old brick houses which were build in old projects of systematisation. laid a huge number of huts build of all sorts of cheap pseudo-building materials, from cardboard to corrugated iron or wood if one had enough money.

    "I just wanted to ask... Drew... if its true that you worked in Loago and Cabaon," said Spencer in the end. Drew looked at him for a bit and started driving as the light turned green before responding. "Eish, it was a complete fuck up, my main job was to send messages from Cabaon back to possie, not something life changing I scheme," said Drew. As he was driving, he observed a spaza shop on the left side of the road and he stopped. The building was very old, mouldy and it probably was never plastered ever. "I'll lus for a zol by the end of the day. Buy me a pack, will ya?" asked Drew as he gave Spencer a blue 50 pound note. After less than a minute, he returned with a pack of Red Suns. "Good stuff, let's roll," said Drew as Spencer gave him the pack of cigarettes and the change.

    As they left behind the township of Pearl, Drew reached a roundabout and he went through it's 3rd exit before ending up a dirt road towards Worster Station. The whole environment changed as they went outside of the town. On their right, the city could be seen with a huge cloud of smog above it, while now, around it, the litter and shacks of the township made way for the golden savanna. The Greater Harton Area was bordered to its east by the Liuwa National Park, but as it was so close to the city, big animals such as antelopes weren't venturing this close. Everywhere there was tall grass, up to one's knees, golden blonde from the powerful sunshine and the lack of rain so late into the dry season. From place to place, small jacaranda and acacia trees were looking as they were dying from the each year long dry season.

    Everything changed as they were approaching the manor house of Worster. Palm trees were planted along the dirt road and they were so big, strong and vigorous that they were surely irrigated. In front of them, the manor house, build from yellow sandstone was mimicking Engellexic architecture from NoCRER. Around it, the grass was a verdant green, with roses and protea flowers planted all over the place. Drew stopped the white Hartnett Rover with the dark green markings of the Rural Police and as he opened the door to get out, he could feel the smell of wet ground which at some point he even forgot, with the wet season being so far away.

    They were greeted by a middle aged man who was watering the flower garden. "Howzit, brus" he said shaking Drew's and Spencer's hands. "I'm Michael Porter. I called you," he said after the two policemen presented themselves. "We do have a recurring problem here at Worster, you see... Since the last six months, we lose cattle. Back then, the neighbouring station, Ellie Station, was inherited by a good for thing, called Kobi Gray, you see... Since he started administering it, he is stealing my cattle, you see..." said the man. "Are you sure, sir," asked Spencer a bit unsure of himself. "Aye, I know that paw-paw is roping me own cows. I usually do recognise all of them, you see... they are marked with the letters WP from Worster-Porter, you see... One day I went through the bush and I found some of my cows in his land and there is no they they got there, as there is a wire fence limiting the land plots," said the farmer. "Mr Porter, you need to be sure that it is your neighbour who is rustling the, as you are making serious accusations," said Drew. "Horseshit is figs, me boy, I know what I'm saying. Yesterday I went to talk to him and his response was to take his rifle and tell me that I have 30 seconds to leave his property. That is when I decided to call you. I know everything which moves here, I am lekker lekker paraat, everything is accounted for in my yard, so I know when something is missing, you see..." said the man.

    Suddenly a gunshot was heard, followed by an animalic roar. All three men were startled. Then another gunshot was heard, this time followed by a man's screams. Spencer started running towards the place the gunshots came from. "Spen... wait!" yelled Drew, but he was too fast. Drew and the farmer started running too after him, with Mr. Porter lagging behind.

    Arriving at the scene, Drew saw a lion wounded after being shot in the hip and a man shot in the left knee twenty metres away from it, with a ranger of the national park and Spencer attending to the man. "Stay da fok doon! Stay da fok doon!" the ranger, a woman in her late 20s, with dark skin and short afro hair, wearing the khaki uniform, with dark blue decorations of the National Park Ranger Corps, was yelling to the wounded man. She was still clearly in shock. "You did hundreds, boet" said Drew, trying to calm her. Spencer started looking at the wound of the poacher. "It didn't touch the kneecap, probably only the tendons," he said. "I called him out, as I saw him. He knew I was there, but he still took the slot, so I slotted too," she said again. As Drew was trying to calm her down, Porter, the station owned managed to arrive too, all flushed out and panting. "You should call your vets to save that animal," he said. "If not, all this was in vain," he continued, as he was gasping for air. As the woman called on the radio for the veterinarian ambulance for the lion, Drew observed that he lost his slouched hat as he run and after a few seconds, he turned towards Porter. "We will have to get this ouen to the hospital and then return, I'm sorry," he said. "It's ok, I will wait for you tomorrow and we can speak with the ouen from Ellie Station," said Porter.

    The three men started carrying the poacher to the police vehicle. "Hey, you doos, I hope you won't fucking bleed all over the car until you reach your destination," said Porter as they put him in the backseat of the car. "We will be back tomorrow morning," said Drew as he jump back into the drivers' seat and preparing to make the trip to the Pearl Hospital. "Good, I will wait you then," said Porter as he waved them with the care making a turn and then leaving the front yard of the manor.
     
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  7. Natal

    Natal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2018
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    481
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Capital:
    Camp Hill
    Nick:
    Ovi
    The Wakerly Division
    Mid June 2019, Harton

    After sorting farming problems, complaints and other issues in the Rural Division of the Harton Department of the Engell Central Himyari Police, Drew decided it really wasn't for him. It didn't took long for Spencer to observe that he wanted to move back to the city and to ask him to pull some strings too and help him move in an urban environment too. His transfer was at first rejected on the reason that there is no need for a detective in any precinct in the city, so he had to pull some strings and called in a favour with some of his colleagues from the DER and they provided. A week later, him and Spencer received the letters of transfer from the Rural Division of the Greater Harton Area to the Wakerly Divison, this time in the city's centre.

    Drew was happy to be back to his old colleagues and friends, as he had Meredith, his old partner how as captain of the precinct, so while he was gone during his mission in Loago and Cabaon and later in the rural divison, there were some changes, with him how replacing Meredith and Spencer replacing him. He was really happy with the way things have finally calmed down.

    As he was writing on his computer a report from a previous day apprehending of a man who was accused of domestic abuse, "amusingly, yet again a Pelasgian," he thought, the whole precinct was unusually abuzz and filled with energy, with Spencer conversing with some other detective over the kettle boiling some water, and close to him, a colleague arguing with a civilian woman in Mbunda. As he didn't know the language, he preferred to stay away.

    In a most surprising turn of events, everyone became quiet as James Woodward entered the lobby and went directly into the captain's office. Drew was surprised but he thought that as much as he enjoyed his first few days back, this might spell trouble. Everyone became very tense and quiet, only with some sounds coming from the keyboards as a few still typed and the boiling water in the kettle could be heard. It was as if everyone was hoping to hear what it was happening in the captain's office.

    Drew went closer to Spencer in the small kitchenette, hoping that from there he could hear too what it was being discussed. It was as if some irrational fear took over him, as Woodward was the one that made him go to Loago and now, a part of him was afraid that his arrival here could spell disaster for his new posting. "Pour me a cuppa too, rooibos, no sugar," he told Spencer, as a way to break this tense spell under which everyone was, but still he said it whispering. "Sure, but what's happening?" asked Spencer, probably in his normal voice, but in the current tense quiet atmosphere, it just felt like he was screaming from the top of his lungs. He was a bit intimidated when so many heads turned towards him in a sly and quiet condemnation, as if he interrupted their attempt to listen on what was happening behind the closed door.

    It lasted for a few minutes, towards the end with people starting to speak very quietly, as if slowly waking up from a hypnosis and it felt like everyone was startled when the door was opened, and Woodward came out, nodded towards the officers and detectives in the precinct and left without saying a word. "Stone, Williams, in my office now," said Captain Meredith Dean as soon as she saw the General leave the building. "The general came to ask us a favour," she said immediately as Drew and Spencer entered her office, before any of them managed to asked what happened. "It seems he already wants to get payed back for a certain favour you asked," she continued, looking insistently at Drew.

    "What does that mean?" asked Spencer with a very confused face. "He wants us to solve a case for him, that needs to be under the table. Don't worry, no one is sending you back to Loago or to the cattle stations again," she said as Drew just took a deep breath, relaxing. "A case shouldn't that that hard to do," said Drew. "I'm happy that you regained your courage, but you know those DER ouens. Nothing is easy or simple with them," she said going behind her desk and handing a file to Spencer. "Does the name Matipa Moyo ring a bell?" she asked. "It sounds familiar," mumbled Spencer as he took the file. "Yeah, she is or was I dunno, some musical theatre actress from Coogee Street," said Drew. "I know her!" exulted Spencer as he opened the file and saw her picture. "She was one of the courtesans that appeared on a series of cards that the soldiers were having when I did my service in the NADF. She was one of the nation's best oriental dancers," he said excited, but his ethusiasm died after meeting the cold gaze of Captain Dean and the half bemused Drew's. "Yes, Mrs Moyo had a certain history. But now is a queen. She is the wife of the Rozvian King..." answered Meredith. "One of the many..." interrupted Drew. "The fifth, more exactly," she finished.

    "The idea is that now, with all the freaks on the streets and with a new campaign to end the monarchies, the DER wants us to do some work for them, to help our institutional brothers. Matipa Moyo disappeared quite some time ago. As you both know, the Rozvian King has quite the authority and what we must do is to find her, order from above. Because he can't send his own goons to do this, as it should show that much of his dealings are outside the institutional webbing of the Federation," Meredith continued. "It's not like whoever criticises him is wrong. Both him and the Loda chief are two cunts who believe they life in the 18th century..." commented Drew, but he was interupted. "Enough!" Meredith said sternly. "I know they are horrid. But It's know my duty to judge them. It's of their own people. In my opinion, the NRA, SDS, CPCH or whatever other acronym appears, can take them, tie them up and throw both of them into the sea. But as we wear the grey uniform of the ECHP, we are bound to an oath and to our orders and our orders are that," she said.

    "What do we do about tomorrow's bust?" asked Spencer. "Tomorrow will go as planned. The smuggling case is too close to finish for us to just push it aside for this. Finish that and afterwards get working on this. Dismissed," she said showing the door to both of them.
     
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