Log Title: Cheap Wheels
Location: Zimbabwe, Southern Africa
Date: 24 September 2013
As logged by Major Bludd
Zimbabwe - Southern Africa
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three official languages: English, Shona (the Bantu language with the most native speakers), and Ndebele (also a Bantu language).
Zimbabwe began as the British crown colony of Southern Rhodesia, created from land held by the British South Africa Company. President Robert Mugabe is the head of State and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Morgan Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister. Mugabe has been in power since the country's internationally-recognised independence in 1980.
Over the last few weeks, Gnawgahyde has been surpisingly helpful. His African contacts, while disreputable, have so far not obviously sold them out, and they've gotten pretty far on foot and in 'borrowed' vehicles.
Gnawgahyde has been cagey about what he knows about Bludd's actions in the past. He's passed off most inquiries with a joke and a smile thus far, but didn't seem surprised that the Henderson farm was empty of the Hendersons.
Major Bludd has decided that, despite his annoying mannerisms and distinct odour, Gnawgahyde's presence has been a boon to his effort to escape Zimbabwe. He's done his fair share of riding in beat-up trucks, and prefers it to crawling about in the mud. Dressed in dirty, well-worn civilian clothes, he sits in the bed of an old Toyota pickup truck driven by a few more of Gnawgahyde's 'friends', bouncing along what passes for a trail headed more or less in the direction of Bulawayo.
Gnawgahyde is dressed far less flamboyantly than normal, trading his trademark hat and furs for less-conspicuous local clothing.
"Hopefully I won't have to tap my Swiss account t'get tickets outta this place," Bludd grouses. "Surely my Zimbabwean assets have been frozen." He makes a show of turning out the pockets of his worn blue jeans. "An' cash I don't have." He smirks at the other Aussie. "Not that I don't have ways o'producin' more," he adds, cracking his knuckles.
Gnawgahyde grins. "Yeah... my own local funds are getting low."
"Might be they'll be lookin' for me t'hop a flight," Bludd says. "But I'd rather take a hack at flyin' out than bounce me arse all th'way t'wherever."
Gnawgahyde nods. "Will you be able to access your moola here? If we can't pay my cobbers, here, it could get ugly and I don't think they'll be given me a Mate's rate, even tho we go way back." He lowers his voice again. "Although, if we're leaving soon, there's no reason not to just kill them and take the ute." He pats his duffel bag, in which his machete is ever at hand.
Bludd smiles slowly and wickedly. "Glad t'know that about you, Gnawgahyde," he mutters, chuckling. "Could be that'll be necessary. 'Course they're /your/ men," he adds. "Reckon th'burden o'payment's yours."
Gnawgahyde shrugs with a wicked smile of his own. "As long as you have no objections..."
Bludd snorts. "I don't care what y'do with yer men. All I care about's gettin' t'the airport an' gettin' on me flight without interference. Ends, means, you've heard it." He settles back in the jouncing truck bed, seeming not to mind the bone-rattling motion.
Gnawgahyde mutters to Bludd, "I'll wait 'til we get closer, but not too close, in case there's trouble."
Gnawgahyde waits 'til they get closer to the airport, keeping a trained eye out for suitable ambush points. He does have a skill for this beneath his obnoxious exterior.
Bludd nods slowly and pulls a map from his jeans pocket. "We passed by Gweru not long ago," he says, unfolding and refolding the map to show the part of it he's interested in. "We should be hitting the outskirts of Bulwayo pretty soon." He grins over at Gnawgahyde. "So if there's somethin' you wanna do, probably y'oughta do it before then."
A half-smile slithers across Gnaw's face like a snake. "Reckon I probably should. Sure you don't want a piece, Major?" He asks like he's offering a treat more than requesting backup.
Bludd shrugs, tucking the map back into his pocket. "Mebbe," he replies. "That skinny bastard in the boonie hat's almost as annoying as you are. An' I like that hat."
Gnawgahyde laughs boisterously. "You're kinda growing on me, Major." He stands in the back of the truck, still holding his bag, and walks carefully towards the cab, rapping his knuckles on the back window. "This is far enough!" he yells. The driver nods, and starts to slow the truck, pulling over to the side.
Bludd makes a face. "Don't say that too loud, mate." He shifts to a sitting position, surreptitiously reassuring himself of the presence of the pistol tucked into his waistband at the small of his back.
The driver pulls over, and Gnaw hops down while the driver gets out of the truck. Gnaw gives them a friendly, if ugly, grin. "Thanks for the ride, Banga. How much do I owe you?" He reaches into his duffel, as if getting out payment.
Bludd climbs down more ponderously from the back of the truck. He brushes dirt and dust from his clothes, but turns his body so as to get a good peripheral view of the truck's cabin.
The driver steps fully out of the truck, and pulls up a sawed-off shotgun as his friends in the truck get out as well with their own rifles. "Why don't you just give us everything you have, and we'll call it even."
Gnawgahyde puts on a look of sad shock. "Why, Banga! After all these years, you pull this on me?"
GAME: Major Bludd PASSES an AGILITY roll of Below Average difficulty.
GAME: Gnawgahyde FAILS an AGILITY roll of Average difficulty.
Bludd steps up to the nearest of Gnawgahyde's 'mate's, drawing the pistol from his jeans and pressing it against the man's throat. "How's about you lot drop yer weapons and bugger off? Unless y'want some air-conditionin'."
Banga merely waves his shotgun in a short, direct gesture. "Can it, Gnaw. The money. In fact, throw over that entire bag." He turns slightly as Bludd speaks, eyes widening.
Bludd clucks his tongue, smiling sadly at the fellow he's threatening with his pistol. "Such bad manners y'have." The smile vanishes. "I ain't gonna ask again," he informs the man. "Drop 'em. Now."
Gnawgahyde throws his duffle at the driver, revealing the machete. This is the wrong move, as the sudden movement causes the driver to fire at him. The third man in the truck, about to throw down his rifle, looks suddenly conflicted.
GAME: Gnawgahyde PASSES an AGILITY roll of Average difficulty.
Gnawgahyde dives to the side, barely avoiding being blown in half. Turns out he might not be quite as good at this as he thinks he is. Twisting as he dodges, he throws his machete at the driver's neck, point-first.
GAME: Gnawgahyde PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Average difficulty.
Bludd sighs, rolling his eyes, as the driver fires his shotgun at Gnawgahyde. He nonchalantly pulls the trigger on his pistol, relieving the man before him of a chunk of his neck and head, before pointing the pistol at the remaining man in the truck. As the man he just killed collapses to the dirt, Bludd bestows a wicked, maniacal grin on the man in the truck. "Be smart, mate."
The driver almost loses his head as well, and looks supremely surprised to have a large knife in his neck. As Banga slowly starts to slide down his side of the truck, blood inconveniently gushing everywhere, the third man throws down his gun and starts to run.
GAME: Major Bludd FAILS a DEXTERITY roll of Above Average difficulty.
"That would be the 'not smart' option," Bludd quips, drawing a bead on the fleeing man with his pistol and snapping off a shot. He frowns as the shot goes wide of its mark. "Losin' me touch," he mumbles, adjusting his aim for another shot.
Gnawgahyde grins. "Want me to get 'im?" he offers, coming around the truck to scoop up one of the rifles.
Bludd lowers his pistol and shrugs at Gnawgahyde. "Sure. But make it quick. I got a plane t'catch."
Gnawgahyde grins, and raises the rifle to his shoulder. He aims slowly and carefully, taking a moment before gently squeezing the trigger.
GAME: Gnawgahyde PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Average difficulty.
- ka-KRACK!* The man drops like a sack of potatoes.
"Nice," Bludd comments, grabbing the rifle from the fallen man and climbing into the truck. "Now get in here an' let's go."
Gnawgahyde bellows, "OK. One moment." He drags the bodies off the road and into the ditch, and strips the shirt off one of the dead men to clean the blood off the side of the truck, and to clean Gnaw's machete.
"If y'made less of a mess you wouldn't have t'spend so much time cleanin' up," Bludd points out.
Gnawgahyde gets into the truck and slams the door. "Too right!" he laughs agreeably.
Bludd shuts his own door and lays the rifle across his lap. He smirks over at Gnawgahyde. "To the airport, Jeeves," he quips.
Gnawgahyde says, "Righto, Mate!"
Gnawgahyde puts the truck in gear, and heads for the airport.