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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

iain_a_wilson

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Part 2



Amongst the peoples of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, Marius Van Moordeenaar was a veritable bogey man. The Boer who hated other Boers, he led groups of British soldiers on murderous retalitory raids against suspected guerilla camps, wiping out all those he found there. Even the women and children weren't spared - the "lucky" ones ended up being dragged off to one of the British Empire's many "refugee camps" where there they faced off against the twin perils of malnutrition and disease.

Marius didn't care. Infact, he reveled in his role, treating his raids like a sporting shoot, and awarding bonuses to those of his men who killed, captured or wounded the most "traitors" in that day's "bag". When asked once by an over-curious journalist what his ultimate aim was, Marius replied that all he wanted to do was to sweep the Cape bare of the Boer guerillas, their families, their culture and everything that could give them sustenance. After this he might settle down on a farm of his own.

With such a reputation, it was therefore rather surprising to find that the "hammer of the Boers" was such a physically uninspiring individual *1. Slight of build and standing barely five foot five tall he gave the impression of a school boy cramed into his father's army uniform. It wasn't until you stared into his eyes (or more likely felt them boring into you) that you realised that all the stories you'd heard about him and what he did was true.

At this moment in time he was in the ruins of the Oranje Vrystaat Commando's camp, kneeling beside its stricken commander. He smiled nastily and drew his service revolver.

"Where are those letters you intercepted?"

Without warning Van Moordenaar slammed the handle of his pistol into the side of the Boer's head, breaking the skin and causing thin rivlets of blood to appear.

"What have you done with those letters?"

The Boer's eyes were wide with fear and when he spoke his breath came in short, frightened gasps.

"We picked up no letters... This is a diplomatic convoy... We're on a diplomatic mission to Bloemfontein."

The Colonel scowled and he pressed his pistol against the man's temple. The Boer's eyes - wide with panic - darted to the side as he felt the cold steel touch his skin before flicking back to stare into the hate-filled gaze of Van Moordenaar. With a slow, deliberate movement Marius pulled back the hammer and the sound of the chamber rotating and clicking into place was almost defeaning to the terrified Boer.

"Please..."

"If this is a diplomatic caravan...where is the ambassador?"

The Boer squeezed his eyes closed and started sobbing to himself - low, animal sounds born out of complete and utter terror. Marius stared at the man for a few seconds before snarling and pulling the trigger. He leapt to his feet - blood, shards of bone and grey matter covering his uniform - and jabbed the smoking revolver in the direction of his officers.

"Captain, tear this place apart until you've found those letters. And bring me the ambassadors - I want them alive!"

Without needing to be told twice the British soldiers set about searching the camp. Marius reached down and tore a strip from the dead Boer's shirt which he used to wipe down the barrel of his revolver and clean the worst of the gore from his helmet. When he had finished he tossed the bloodied rag over his shoulder and marched towards the remains of the camp, whistling cheerily to himself. Off to the side he heard the groanings of a wounded Boer - one of the casualties that hadn't yet been removed by the stretcher bearers and who was lying on the ground in quite considerable pain. Without breaking his stride, Van Moordenaar pulled back the hammer on his revolver, let his gun hand drop to his side and squeezed the trigger. The wet gurgle that followed the weapon's retort caused the Colonel to smile with smug satisfaction. It had been a productive night and now it was time for tea.


The interior of the slavers' wagon was hot, uncomfortable and smelled like a hippo's breath. *2 Seepo sat on the hard wooden bench and tried to stay upright as the carvan bounced and clattered its way across the veld. He raised his manacled hands to his face and rattled them pathetically before letting out an over-dramatic sigh.

"How did we get into this mess? I really don't know how. We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life."

Teeto, who was manacled next to him, gave him a surprisingly cheery grin and a few merry clicks and whistles. Seepo glowered at him.

"Bright side? What bright side?"

Teeto jangled his manacles and let out a series of long, low whistles which caused Seepo to flush angrily.

"That's easy for you to say - you're just a labourer. I'm an intellectual. I'm not designed for toiling in a field or sweeping floors! Manual work is contrary to my nature. I deteriorate when forced out of my comfort zone. I... I..."

Teeto placed a comforting hand on Seepo's shoulder (or tried to at least - these things aren't easy when one is manacled to a bench) and clicked softly. Seepo nodded.

"Thank you my little friend. That means a lot to me. With you to help me I..."

A series of cheeky clicks and whistles interrupted Seepo's reverie. The taller man started and looked affronted.

"What? What do you mean you'll show me which end of the broom to use to sweep the floor with? Why I ought to..."

"Keep it down in the back you bloody savages!" came the gruff shout from the front of the wagon. Seepo slumped back onto his bench and glowered at Teeto who was sitting chuckling at his little joke. He shook his head and studied his feet in silence as the little carvan continued to trundle its way across the veld.


1. Or maybe not - "short man syndrome" is a well cataloged and understood phenomenon...
2. Which is to say, not very nice...
 
Last edited:

AllmyJames

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Good update. Van Moordeenaar (that is a lot of vowels!) is a creepy character indeed. But at least he knows when it's time for tea.

I see a similarity between Teeto and Seepo and certain characters from George Lucas' science fiction epic. :D
 

Johan11

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This van Moordenaar person reminds me of someone.

I like him very much!
 

unmerged(94521)

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this is excellent!

I remember my latest Transvaal game... the ultimate price is always the annexation of the Netherlands into the pan-African republic!
 

canonized

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A wonderful update ! Channeling a little Episode IV perhaps ? XD Nevertheless , potent in its imagery . Well done !
 

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Well, this is unexpected. Tea, so early in the morning!
This man might not be a proper gentleman......
And letting his uniform get dirty in such a way... tsk tsk...
 

iain_a_wilson

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Part 3


Teenagers everywhere frequently complain about being bored.

Everything bores them.

Everything is boring.

There is nothing on God's earth interesting enough to raise them out of the slough of angst-filled boredom and adolescent ennui in which they have allowed themselves to be mired. If a thousand angels garbed in the celestial raiment of Heaven descended in a rain of golden fire and started putting unbelievers everywhere to the torch in true Old Testament style your average teenager would probably stifle a yawn and complain that all that noise was giving him a headache and didn't anyone understand what he was going through? If the ground beneath his feet where then to burst asunder and Satan and all his little imps crawled forth - belching fire and hurling brimstone as they did (1) - the selfsame teenager would no doubt simply shake his head and state that the primal chaos unfolding in front of him was "lame" before going back to his bedroom to write angsty poetry about how his parents are ruining his life.

Of course, in the case of most teenagers this was simply attitude. Underneath the frosty exterior of adolescence they secretly still bubble with the enthusiasm of youth. If it weren’t for the twin demons of peer-pressure and hormones they'd probably be quite pleasant to be around.

Sadly for the few people who lived in the tiny farming community of Groot Slaperig the boredom experienced by the local teenage population was very, very real - and it wasn't confined solely to the adolescents. You see, the "town" (as some longtime settlers grandly referred to it as) was a tiny collection of wooden houses, farmsteads and a ramshackle structure that functioned as general store, bar and post-office and it was slap bang in the middle of miles and miles of desolate veldt. While the soil was brilliant for farming and the lush grassland was perfect for raising livestock on, the sheer isolation of the place was enough to drive even the staunchest fan of seclusion to madness. Nobody ever visited Groot Slaperig unless they were lost or wanted to harm the locals (or sometimes both if they stayed for long enough). (2)

You'd therefore expect that the local teenagers would be amongst the most obnoxious, bored, whining brats you could have the misfortune to meet, but thankfully for the rest of the population of Groot Slaperig there was one thing upon which the local teenagers could agree.

Or rather, one person.

One person that they could rally around.

And mock.

Mercilessly.

And it never got boring.

No matter how much they did it.

That person was Lucas Lugstapper.

We'll meet him shortly.

~~~

Brigader Sir Farquhar Menzies-Carmichael was man with a mission. (3) His mandate as leader of the British expeditionary force to the Orange Free State (or the Orange River Sovereignty as he fondly remembered it as) was to ensure the swift pacification of the rebellion with as little bad press for the Crown as possible. That meant no brutalization of the local population, no civilian casualties and fair treatment of any natives caught up in the fighting.

Unfortunately for the Crown, Menzies-Carmichael was completely and utterly stark-raving mad.

Bonkers.

Screwy.

Currrrrrr-ayyyyyyy-zeeeeee…

Hailing from the Highlands of Scotland Farquhar was not accustomed to the blazing heat of southern Africa (4). Therefore, after being there for a few months and having experienced several bouts of sunstroke that ranged from “severe” to “life threatening” his mind snapped and he went completely mad.

Normally this wouldn't have been so bad - after all, to most Britons (and certainly to all non-Britons) most of the British upper classes appear mad anyway. Farquhar's harmless sun-inflicted insanity would have simply melted into the background amidst the cacophony of chattering-craziness that was your average conversation between the great and the good of the Empire. The campaign against the Boers would have continued as normal, with individual officers making decisions on the ground and ignoring the nonsensical babble coming from HQ.

Unfortunately, the good Brigadier came into contact with Lieutenant Marius Van Moordenaar and everything went downhill after that. The Colonel managed to convince his commanding officer that Farquhar’s ill health had been caused by this "cursed continent" and that as soon as those "no-good Boers" (5) had been decisively crushed the sooner the good Brigadier could return home to his damp, draughty ancestral seat.

It was because of this that Brigadier Sir Farquhar Menzies-Carmichael was hunched over a map plotting a campaign that would end this war once and for all.

It was a cunning plan.

A cruel plan.

An evil plan.

So evil, in fact, that Farquhar was actually twirling the edge of his moustache as he plotted. Occasionally he let out a small cackle.

Yup - that was one evil plan.

And we shall learn of it shortly.


1. They'd probably also be interested in avoiding the thousand or so angels garbed in the celestial raiment of Heaven who were still wandering around (probably with the wind knocked out of their sails a bit by the indifference of snotty teenagers and therefore spoiling for a good bit of righteous smiting).

2. Truth be told, the people of Groot Slaperig were known to occasionally sneak out and rile the indigenous population into a murderous fury, as attacks on the settlement were one of the few bits of excitement the residents got. To your average Groot Slaperigian, nothing beat the blues like gunning down a few spear wielding natives.

3. He was also a man with far too many surnames. Quite aside from the fact that his actual surname was double barreled, his first name could also be used as a surname. It was a curious feature of the British upper classes that they did not consider this to be as patently ridiculous as everyone else did.

4. In fairness most residents of the Highlands would consider a climate that wasn't raining, snowing or blowing a gale constantly to be subtropical - to them this included most places from Glasgow southwards.

5. Farquhar had no idea what a Boer was and assumed with Marius' accent that he was talking about pigs. Had he not been insane he would probably have dismissed the man as being mad and everything would be peachy. Unfortunately the Brigadier now believed that amongst his myriad enemies were crack group of rifle-wielding pigs, squatting evilly in the bush and sniping at British soldiers. He was heard to remark, "Bloody Afrikaaners – they’re even encouraging their livestock to treason against her Majesty!"

 

AllmyJames

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:rofl: Excellent stuff!

How shortly? I want to learn now!

My favourite:

So evil, in fact, that Farquhar was actually twirling the edge of his moustache as he plotted. Occasionally he let out a small cackle.
That's very evil indeed!
 

Johan11

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Oh, the loonies!

I feel at home here!
 

Clydwich

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Humm, as Groot Slaperig means something like Great(er) Sleepy, I wonder where Klein Slaperig (Little Sleepy) would be, and who would want to live there, or be able to live there.....
 

Johan11

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Humm, as Groot Slaperig means something like Great(er) Sleepy, I wonder where Klein Slaperig (Little Sleepy) would be, and who would want to live there, or be able to live there.....
Italian politicians?
 

canonized

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ROFL . The notes on this one were particularly hard on the kidneys . Great job !
 

Eams

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1. Or maybe not - "short man syndrome" is a well cataloged and understood phenomenon...
Quite so, short people are bastards (your wife excluded, of course).

So far, this AAR has been as spectacular to follow as the results of a jet-powered ambulance chasing a burning oil tanker into a combined fireworks and ammunition dump.
 

iain_a_wilson

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:rofl: Excellent stuff!

How shortly? I want to learn now!
I'm glad you're enjoying it, but patience grasshopper- all will be revealed soon!

Oh, the loonies!

I feel at home here!
I'm glad you do, and as always, you're very welcome!

Humm, as Groot Slaperig means something like Great(er) Sleepy, I wonder where Klein Slaperig (Little Sleepy) would be, and who would want to live there, or be able to live there.....
Clydwich, I now dub you this AAR's very own, official "Pidgin Afrikaans to English Translator"! I'll get round to producing you a shiny badge soon.

ROFL . The notes on this one were particularly hard on the kidneys . Great job !
Apologies to your kidneys but I believe you only need one to function. And I'm glad you're enjoying it!

So far, this AAR has been as spectacular to follow as the results of a jet-powered ambulance chasing a burning oil tanker into a combined fireworks and ammunition dump.
Hehe - nice phrasing. And thanks (I think...) ;)

So evil. Using animals... :p
There are more evil ways to use animals, but this is a family forum so we'll put an end to this line of discussion right now... ;)

While you're all waiting for the next exciting installment, here's a little treat for you - this AAR's Official Cinematic (ha!) Trailer (TM). Seems quite a few AARs are doing these, so I thought I'd shamelessly jump on the bandwagon. As you can probably tell sheer MINUTES of work has gone into this...
 

Eams

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Woho, first rating and first comment!

Edit: And yeah, Episode I would have been better had it been named Gimps in a wood.