Location: Zimbabwe, Southern Africa
Date: 20 Aug 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.
Major Bludd travels overland through the bush, moving roughly southwest in the direction of Chegutu. Though President Mugabe's forces have not been dispatched en masse to hunt for him, he avoids open country and roads as much as possible.
A very slight sound can be heard downwind. It could be something; it could be the wind... it's hard to be sure.
Bludd stops on hearing the sound, crouching and listening intently. Out here there could be all manner of animals moving about, some of which might be dangerous. His right hand rests on the butt of the pistol holstered at his hip as he strains to hear more, scanning in the direction the sound came from.
An unseen voice with a Western Australian accent suddenly calls out, "Major Bludd! I hear you have a new price on your head..."
GAME: Major Bludd PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Above Average difficulty.
The .45 comes out of its holster. Bludd recognises the voice and remembers the capabilities of the man who owns it. He begins to creep counter-clockwise in the general direction of the voice. "Latest in a long line," he calls in reply. "You here t'collect, then?"
A boisterous laugh echoes over the bush. "Maybe someday, Bludd, but not now, for such a paltry sum."
Bludd comes up to a tall mopane tree and rises slowly to a standing posture, keeping the tree between himself and the sound of the voice. "What d'you want, then?" he asks.
Gnawgahyde rises as well, rifle in hand, but not pointing at Bludd. "Thought you might like some help. And to see a friendly Ozzie face."
A slight smile graces Bludd's lips. "Could be that's true," he replies. He doesn't holster his .45, but seems content to leave his arm at his side. "Assumin' I'm interested in acceptin' yer help," he continues, "what would y'expect in return? I don't expect yer gonna do it merely outta the goodness of yer heart."
Gnawgahyde laughs again. "I'm sure we can work out some sorta financial arrangement. Ta be honest, I was bored shitless. I reckon you got a new price on your head, you must be doing something right." He grins broadly, showing a rather nasty set of teeth.
Bludd chuckles. "Somebody certainly thinks so." He gazes over his shoulder in the general direction of Harare, miles behind him. "I reckon I wore out me welcome with the President," he says.
Gnawgahyde smirks. "With your winning personality? I can't imagine." He laughs boisterously again.
Gnawgahyde starts making his way through the bush towards Bludd's position. He appears relaxed, although as he approaches, his scent cloud precedes him, even against the light wind.
"Oi." Bludd frowns. "They /like/ me in Harare. Or did, anyhow. Only thing I got goin' against me is me skin colour. Could be ol' Mugabe just got tired o' havin' a white man about." He wrinkles his nose as Gnawgahyde moves toward him.
Gnawgahyde chuckles, strapping his rifle back over his back. "Yeah... I can see that. Never been accepted around here, m'self. Prejudice is what it is."
Bludd finally puts his .45 back into its holster at his hip. "Well, t'be fair, blackfellas the world over've been getting the short end of the stick fer ages." He shrugs. "It's almost fitting Mugabe oughta be sweepin' 'em outta his country."
Gnawgahyde chuckles. "I s'pose you're right. Where are you headed now?"
Bludd inclines his head in the direction of his previous travel. "Figured I'd stop by the ol' Henderson farm," he replies. "Some folks there were friendly a couple years ago, though they might not be there any more." He shrugs noncommittally.
GAME: Gnawgahyde PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
Gnawgahyde nods. "Oh, yes," he says craftily. "Had some business there a while back, if I recall." He grins nastily.
If Bludd notices the change in Gnawgahyde's demeanor, he gives no outward sign. "Like I said, Mugabe's keen t'get the whitefellas outta his country." He spreads his hands. "Could be that's all this is -- I ain't had a chance t'check the news since they chased me outta Harare with guns drawn and shouts of 'enemy of the state' and the like." He snorts. "Seems a bit overwrought, if y'ask me."
Gnawgahyde nods, thinking. "If it was just that, there'd be no bounty on ya. They'd want ya to leave, not be dragged back."
Gnawgahyde is brighter than he usually lets on.
Bludd makes a face. "Mebbe," he drawls. "But Mugabe's got a mean streak in 'im a mile wide. He might just wanna make an example outta me. Wouldn't be the first time that's happened." He pauses. "Is it a 'dead or alive' deal?" he asks.
Gnawgahyde grins nastily again. "Nah. He wants you alive. Might be worse."
Bludd nods. "Don't I know it," he says. "If all I gotta worry about is bounty hunters, that'll make things that much easier."
Gnawgahyde looks around. "Plenty of other things to worry about around here." He grins again. "But I doubt there's anything out here the two of us can't handle."
"I know that, too." Bludd starts walking off in the direction he was originally travelling. "'Two of us'?'" he says. "You plannin' on stickin' around, then?"
Gnawgahyde shrugs. "Until ya pay me, at least," he grins. "I'm doing this on credit." It's hard to tell how serious he is.
"An' if I were t'tell ya t'bugger off?" Bludd asks, grinning toothily.
Gnawgahyde smirks. "Eh, I s'spose I'd come along anyway, just outta boredom. Which isn't a great bargaining position, I'm aware," he laughs.
Bludd laughs heartily. "No, mate," he agrees, "no, it ain't. Alright, let's get a move on, then."
Gnawgahyde nods, grinning, and pulls his rifle out again, thankfully moving slightly away from Bludd, and even more thankfully, downwind.
Gnawgahyde is actually very competent at this, and sweeps the area before Bludd, managing to disappear at times into the bush even in his somewhat outlandish outfit.
Fairly confident that Gnawgahyde isn't leading him into an ambush, Bludd follows along, moving as unobtrusively as he can manage.