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The Devil of Nkwalini

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  • The Devil of Nkwalini

    Colonel Rogers surveyed the construction site spanning the dry flatlands and across the huge, slow-moving river which had brought both abundance and misery to the broken Zulu people.

    'All this just for a little oil', he thought. England had gotten itself involved in an expanding international conflict, and being stuck on the loosing side had gotten cut off by the exporters of the much longed-for commodity. Europe was being reduced to a moonscape wasteland and England was a shambles. Her few allies agreed to spare some of their limited oil reserves if England could arrange to supply electrical power in return to the various expanding African colonies.

    Thus came about "The Hoover Project". The massive dam being constructed was supposed to be even bigger than the famous Hoover Dam in America. It had to be to fullfill the terms of the agreement.

    However, England was in sad shape after decades of warfare and could not supply the machinery to build the collosal dam. Not surprisingly, the military enlisted the help of the Zulus, all of whom were titled as 'volunteer laborers'. Thousands of workers toiled from dawn to dusk carrying rocks from a quarry quite a distance away to slowly build the dam. Others cut and shaped the rocks into building blocks. While some did the dangerous work of masonry on the dam itself using a crude system of ropes and pulleys to move the rocks.

    The colonel walked past the 'incentive grounds' which provided incentive to the volunteers. A line of cringing, sweating and groaning natives clung to a rope to keep it from dropping a rectangular cement block on the heads of a row of their comrades lying tied-up a couple of meters beneath it.

    Rogers held his head up to observe the laborers toiling. "Hurry up now! They can't hold out much longer! You do want to save your friends and family members don't you? Remember what happened yesterday!" A guardman hollered out, reminding the workers of the day before when the exhausted rope holders had lost their grip and the block had fallen before the day's quota had been fullfilled.

    Sometimes the quota was achieved and the merciful stop blocks were placed under the cement weight and the petrified hostages released. But most times it fell and more hapless innocent Zulu villagers perished in the drive to build the dam. It was cruelty born out of England's desperation. An empire in rapid decay.

    As he continued to observe a shot rang out and a lagging worker stumbled and fell under the rock he was carrying. "Soldier, get over here!" Rogers yelled out.

    The shooter ran up to the colonel and gave a crisp salute. "Yes sir!"

    "Soldier explain to me why you just shot a prisoner!"

    "Sir, the private was trying to set an example to the other workers sir!"

    "Have you ever heard of something called the Ordinance Declaration you mangy rat?"

    "Sir yes sir."

    "And do you know that if we expended one round on every Zulu who kicked the bucket we'd be beating off invaders with spears and rocks?"

    "Sir the private understands and will beat lagging volunteers with his rifle butt from now on sir!"

    "Dismissed!" Just as the the nervous guard ran off another ran up to the colonel and gave the traditional crisp salute.

    "What do you got for me soldier?"

    "Sir a report just came in that says a Zulu guerilla group of 63 members was just massacred in the Mangeni region. We have no units in the area and do not know who carried out the operation. The guerillas appear to have been very well armed with various calibres of machineguns, auto-shotguns and grenade launchers sir."

    The colonel grinned slightly despite the uncertainty of the report. "No units in the area? Are you sure there was no SAS involvement?"

    "No sir. According to Zulu informants, the guerillas were pressing villagers into their ranks. And the report also says there was evidence that the guerillas had fired heavily in all directions. There were bloodtrails from some wounded being carried out. That is all the information we have now sir."

    "Send in 3 patrols to police up the area and make sure they collect all those weapons before more of them hoodlums get them. Maybe it was inter-guerilla rivalry. We should be happy that the Zulus are killing each other off and providing a solution to our problems. Soldier you are dismissed and keep me informed of the situation."
    Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.

  • #2
    Interesting beginning. Looking forward to see how the story will unfold.

    (And the incentive grounds - man, that's tough. Surely, the Zulus will kick some behind for that? )

    PS: I've been wondering for some time now about the "Winds of Change" story. I think it has great potential as well. Are you thinking of continuing it, unscratchedfoot?
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    • #3
      Good to see you writing again, good start and very interesting subject.

      I too would like to see a conclusion to your previous piece but for now Im just glad to see your back in the chair.
      A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


      • #4
        Well for now, the winds of change manuscript is not on my desk. I wanna finish up this one since I got the story all worked out and just need to put it down on paper. This story was another late night adventure when I should have been sleeping.
        Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.


        • #5
          1100 hours Mengani area

          British troops deploy in Mengani

          "Captain Tubbs, the village has been secured and troops placed in defensive positions around it as you ordered. Many of the inhabitants of this tiny village also died in the incident so we have rounded up the survivors in the centre of the village for questioning." a lieutanant reported.

          "Did you plant anti-personnel mines and string barbed wire around the perimeter and make sandbagged bunkers with the heavy SAW machineguns placed in them?" Captain Tubbs stood at 196 cm and his shaved gleaming head shone in the bright morning sunshine of Africa. A small gotee below his lower lip was the only hair on his head. Like his superiors he had no love for the natives and reflected this in his cruel treatment of them. He was also known for his passion for the army and attention to detail which had saved many of his soldiers' lives.

          "Yes we did. And we have a battery of artillery and one gunship hunter-killer team on call. Even Atilla couldn't overrun us. You can be assured that whatever killed these people will not make it in here."

          "Good. Let's go have a pleasant little chat with the barbarians then shall we?" Tubbs and the lieutanant shared a chuckle as they walked over to the distraught group of survivors from the tiny unnamed village. Soldiers in full battle gear kept their assault rifles warily trained on the frightened 'barbarians'. The scene of the slaughter had been a shock even for these veteran troops and they were taking no chances.

          Tubbs stood before them and addressed them. The Zulu people had lived for decades under British rule and had more or less come to speak english. A well-paid, and greatly despised, Zulu informant was kept on hand to help with any communication difficulties.

          "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm glad you could all make it." Tubbs usually spoke in a civil manner which sounded like sarcasm to some. "I know you are all in a state of shock after losing some of your loved ones this morning, but I hope you can tell us what really happened. So, what do you know?" Tubbs wore a small grin as he began the first phase of his interrogation. As expected, no one answered.

          "Keeping quiet are you? Very well then. Boys, line up 6 of them and lets begin shall we?" Tubbs' face radiated the cruel satisfaction he loved about his work.

          Several British soldiers dragged 6 weakly resisting villagers to their feet in a line. "Go ahead. You know the drill." Tubbs ordered.

          The first unlucky villager was mercilessly bayoneted to death by the soldiers while the onlookers wailed in protest. "You don't like that do you? Well then, go ahead and talk so you can return to your village and be free to live as you will."

          At first no one answered and then came a very young girl's voice. "You are bad! The Devil of Nkwalini will kill you all!" A gaunt, raggedly clad woman who could have been 30 years of age was holding onto the child who had spoken. The mother was holding her hand over the girl's mouth to stop the outburst but it was too late.

          Tubbs smiled and looked at them with cruel eyes. "Oh so we do know something then do we? Would you mind to tell me about this uh... devil?"

          The woman just stared back with terror in her eyes and continued to hold her hand over the child's mouth. "Not talking are we? Boys, grab that child and place her head under my boot. We'll see how long I can keep balancing on one foot. I never was good at gymnastics."

          Two soldiers ripped the screaming girl from the mother's arms and knocked the mother back onto the ground. They then placed the squirming little girl's head under the gloating captains raised boot.

          "Go ahead and talk. I'm all ears. By the way, I weigh about 100 kilograms and I'm sure your little girl here would like you to cooperate too. I don't know how much longer I can keep balancing on one foot." Tubbs' eyes twinkled as he waited for the answer which was sure to come. It always did.
          Last edited by unscratchedfoot; October 31, 2002, 22:43.
          Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.


          • #6
            I was right about your darkside wasnt I. Good start and good plot, looking forward to more.
            A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


            • #7
              1300 hours at unnamed village, Mengani region

              The young second lieutenant Chris Maxim stood speechless and started to shake from the frightful sight. "Bloody hell. It looks like a slaughterhouse. Are you sure there are no survivors other than these few villagers?"

              "That's right sir, 120 dead troopers from the 3 platoons sent in to police up the area. Fifteen villagers also went down in the crossfire. The fire base reported that a radio operator tried to call in artillery support but he mumbled something in swahili just before the transmission was cut out. They also reported hearing extremely heavy fire in the background." Corporal Kann reported.

              A small group of villagers huddled together in the middle of the village. Having gone through the ordeal of seeing two battlegroups utterly destroyed in one morning, they were too emotionally spent even to run away.

              Chris stared absent-mindedly at a skinny woman cradling a crying infant girl in her arms and continued asking questions. "Swahili? How many of our soldiers can speak swahili?"

              "Almost none of them can, except for a few stock phrases they use when helping themselves to the female slaves while on off-duty."

              "And you say there's no evidence of any enemy activity? Not even footprints or bloodtrails?"

              "Nothing sir. All we know is one hell of firefight occurred and our boys were firing in all directions with everything they had."

              "Bullocks. An attacking force can't just wander into a dug-in, fully alert and prepared base, kill everyone and then escape without leaving a trace. Not even the SAS could have pulled-off a stealth attack on this scale. I need you to call in a forensics team from Zimbabwe to have a closer look at this. Meanwhile start processing out the villagers and make sure any injuries they sustained are given proper medical care."

              "Ah... sir, shouldn't intelligence be handling this? They'll want those villagers for interrogation, and besides, the forensic teams are over their heads in civilian murder cases. It's not standard procedure for them to handle battlefield cases." Kann protested.

              "These people have been through enough already!" Chris shot back. "It's off grounds to officers, but I know what goes on in those dark, underground interrogation rooms."

              "Well sir. I'm sorry to tell you this, but Colonel Rogers has already ordered in the intelligence team." Kann answered. Chris despised the brown-nosers like Kann who followed the colonel's orders by the book.

              His father had hoped that he would have continued his line of work in masonry, but Chris was lured by the glory of becoming an army officer and help save the nation from the enemy masses. Anticipating the Zulu operation, he had prudently studied Swahili language in college. His language ability, coupled with his knowledge of masonry he had learned while working in the summers with his father, had helped him to get promoted much faster than normal. He was a valuable asset in giving advice on the construction of the dam.

              But the glory of being an officer was lost in the gory sight of his comrades-in-arms strewn across the ground of the tiny village. Ever since he had arrived in Zululand and seen the atrocities committed by the colonel, known as "Jolly Rogers" among the Zulu sympathizers, he had lost his taste for an army career. All he could do was try to help the innocent Zulus in subtle ways like securing better rations for them and think of more efficient ways for them to work. On his free time he liked to write short stories to free his mind from it all.

              The chopper carrying the intelligence team landed and they went to work. Meanwhile, Chris tried to take his attention off of the scene by inspecting the pile of rebel weapons the patrols had gathered up.

              A short while later, an intelligence agent approached him and said, "Second lieutenant Maxim, we have completed our initial investigation. Captain Tubbs, like many of his soldiers, died from being shot at point-blank range with weapons like the CAWS 12-gauge autoshotgun and jacketed hollow point machinegun rounds which is why all you see left of these once fine men is red glop and various body parts. It appears that most of the soldiers died from shooting each other. This led us to believe at first that it was a mutiny."

              He continued, "However, given there are no survivors, we figure you may have infiltrators among your ranks. We've had several cases of the French placing agents among our ranks to try and hit us when we are most vulnerable. Your negligence in releasing the villagers before we arrived has been noted and may affect your chances for future promotion. You may leave now sir. The area has been secured and we have no further need of you here."

              Chris pondered the agent's words as he walked slowly back to the chopper he had come in on. He gazed at the brush surrounding the entrenchments and wondered what horrors had made their way through them less than a couple of hours earlier. If only he could see for a moment what these lost troopers had seen.
              Last edited by unscratchedfoot; November 2, 2002, 23:34.
              Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.


              • #8
                Getting better by the chapter unscratched, keep this coming
                A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


                • #9
                  I'm enjoying this, keep it up and start to dance
                  Weaseling out of things is what separates us from the animals....except the weasel -Homer
                  Who's up for some scroungin'? -Homer


                  • #10
                    One week later
                    1000 hours Babanango Military Base

                    Kann entered the colonel's command tent and after performing a stiff salute, addressed him, "Sir, the SAS recon patrol just reported they may have located a key underground rebel base in the Mfule River Valley. Given the high level of activity in the area they say it may be their centre of operations."

                    Colonel Rogers leaned forward at his desk and frowned deeply, showing off all the deep wrinkles between his bushy eyebrows. "What else did they say?"

                    "They've only been monitoring the camp for the last 15 hours and last night they were able to booby-trap all the main approaches. They avoided contact and are not engaging with sniperfire to keep their position a secret."

                    The colonel got an excited look on his face and stood up. "We need to get on this right away. I want you to recall all the battalions to rendevous at this base and leave skeleton crews to guard each area of operations. I prefer they left the zulu recruits as guards as they cannot yet be trusted enough to participate in an assault. I want 10,000 battle-ready troops in position in 3 hours time."

                    "Sir, that only leaves about 2,000 men for guard duty in the Babanango area of operations. There's a serious threat of rebellion." Kann responded. The colonel, despite his ham-fisted approach to everything, always encouraged his subordinates to question and give suggestions "to improve the effectiveness of the army corp".

                    "True. But we need to snuff out as many of these varmints as we can. Parliament won't authorize any more troop commitments in this theatre because they're so strapped in Europe. We have to make due with what we have. The operation will be over in one day so the risk is not so great. Inform the fire base not to use any ordinance in the Mfule River Valley so we don't give the show away too soon. Tell them we have recon units in the area and don't want to chance hitting them by mistake. And tell the hunter-killer teams to call in all their units and ready-up for a fire support mission."

                    "Roger that sir. Shall we also send a Zulu informant wandering through the area to try and get more information?" Kann continued with his suggestions, knowing he was getting closer to his next promotion.

                    "Kann, what did you just tell me about booby-traps?"

                    "Oh right, sir. I apologize. We won't bother with that then shall we?"

                    "That's okay. You're learning." A glimmer of a smile flickered on the colonel's haggard face and he nodded.

                    1300 hours Babanango Military Base

                    The colonel watched as the ranks of soldiers formed up inside the barbed wire entanglements and fortifications of the base. Armoured personnel carriers and trucks sent up clouds of dust as they delivered load after load of troopers.

                    A captain rushed up to the colonel and saluted so fast it looked like he was swatting a fly on his forehead. "Sir an urgent report just came in from my battalion. We lost a platoon while searching a village in the Empangeni area for weapons and rebels. The villagers said it was the work of the 'Devil of Nwkalini' again. This time we are bringing them all in for interrogation."

                    The colonel looked stressed and answered, "Bloody hell. We can't afford to lose men like this. This time we're gonna hold those villagers in intelligence until we find out exactly what's killing our men."

                    Just then, several uncanvassed trucks rumbled through the base, filled with tied-up villagers and a few heavily armed guards. Some of the villagers appeared to be injured.

                    At this time, Chris Maxim was helping to organize the troops into position when the trucks carrying the villagers rolled by. Sadness filled him, seeing the innocent people tied-up and being carted away like criminals or animals to the slaughter.

                    Then something in the 3rd truck caught his eye. A shiver went through him and goosebumps formed all over him. His stomach knotted with anxiety.

                    After a moment of hesitation, he rushed over to the command centre to find the colonel. He knew he was risking both his career and possibly even his life by protesting against orders, but he didn't want to see anymore bloodshed of either his people or the Zulus. He would be the sacrificial lamb to save the people. Those trucks had to be stopped no matter what it took.
                    Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.


                    • #11
                      The 3 trucks were stopped among the jam of vehicles delivering the troops. Chris knew he only had only moments left to get them turned around and out of the base.

                      The colonel was not pleased. "Second lieutenant, there just happen to be 10,000 battle-hardened troops armed to the teeth standing at attention in this camp and you are telling me I should be afraid of a few truckloads of malnutritious savages? You do realize how we deal with cowards among our ranks don't you?" Colonel Rogers bellowed at Chris.

                      "Sir, if I may be allowed to explain myself."

                      "You've got one minute of my time and that's it!" Rogers roared.

                      "I've noticed that there is a pattern between the attacks. First, the rebels were forcibly enlisting new members from the village which as you know causes considerable distress for the families the members are taken from. Second, Captain Tubbs and his men seemed to have herded the same villagers into a group and we found one villager had been bayoneted to death most likely as a threat. Thirdly, today's lost platoon had been looking for rebels and searching homes which is always sure to upset the locals with their bully tactics. Whenever these people are suffering extreme anguish is when each of the attacks occurred. I believe bringing the villagers into this camp for interrogation will distress them yet again and may bring about another disaster sir."

                      Chris knew he had 'Jolly Rogers' attention by the look of intense concentration on his face.


                      Anyone who can guess what Chris saw in the 3rd truck gets a free autographed unscratchedfoot badge to sew onto your favourite jacket. The badge is a comic picture of a foot with absolutely no scratches on it.
                      Last edited by unscratchedfoot; November 3, 2002, 00:30.
                      Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.


                      • #12
                        Well Im guessing that its that kid the other guy was going to tread on, shes somehow posessed with this Devil of Nkwalini and Chris got a glimpse of something in her eyes. Theres definitley some kind of Zulu witch doctor type thingy magic going on here. He was curious about how these people had survived earlier.
                        A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


                        • #13
                          Yeah the woman and the kid. She was using hypnotism not magic.
                          Last edited by unscratchedfoot; November 23, 2002, 02:06.
                          Here is an interesting scenario to check out. The Vietnam war is cool.


                          • #14
                            Just give it a quick ending and Ill nominate it, its definitely good enough!.

                            Youre dead right though not enough people are responding to the stories, I think the Guitarist is fed up with the lack of feedback. It seems to be the same few of us doing the feedback when there is obviously more people reading from the views.

                            Hey people I know it takes time to read and post, but if you dont want to lose great talent like unscratched and the Guitarist ets then you need to start supporting us a little.

                            It will only take you a moment to say I like this or I dont like this, you dont have to be a litterary critic so c'mon GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK!!!, please
                            A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


                            • #15
                              Yes, not enough feedback is right. Quite a pity, too. A lot of people seem to be going over to the NES side, and not responding to the stories that actually do have an end.

                              But then again, it's always been like that as far as I remember. You post a story, you get a couple of posts in response, and that's it. Oh, well...
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