The Glom Co campaign deserves its own diorama page given the number of them in the works. This campaign, ran by the Superior Intellect was loosely based on the Call of Cthulhu game modified by elements of Aftermath and others. One of my most memorable adventures as you can tell by the number of figures that show up from it.
Set in the 20’s the campaign consisted of three participants:
Captain K – Ran by a professor friend of mine; the Captain was a true-blue type from the Pulp Era. A former British Officer in the African Campaign he stayed on to make a little cash before leaving for the Islands. The person always out in front speaking to the various parties interested to hire Glom Co to solve their little problems, the Captain is as articulate as the man who played him.
Sargent-Major M – Ran by a fellow IT friend who I have known for years and we still hang out as much as we can given the distance between our homes. The Sargent-Major was less true-blue and a little more mercenary. Like the officers who kept the British Army going he was an excellent professional and more of a mercenary than he cares to admit. The Sargent-Major could frequently be found with a female gum-show (picture TBD) who shared his interest, although we never could figure out why.
Trusty Mombutu – Ran by myself, a former Sargent in the British Colonial forces in East Africa, Mombutu was a true hit-man. Excellent with most arms and not very good at small talk he was closer to the Sargent-Major than the Captain in most aspects. With armaments everywhere and carrying his subtle Lewis Gun, Mombutu was the one responsible for educating the various beasties we ran across. However it did turn out that he was a little fonder of cash than thought which led to rumors of embezzlement.
Apartment Life – 4E: The Honorable A Lan is impressed that the summoning of the Mi-Go worked, but why did it delay until breakfast? With the summoning of such a powerful creature his plans can now begin, if only the monkey hadn’t crapped on him during the ritual this would be a moment worthy of the Ancestors. With the morning meal scattered and a chair knocked over, not to mention monkey poop, there will be some cleaning due this apartment – fortunately “The Avenue” offers a cleaning service. Pictures are of Alan Maddux as the Sargent-Major and filling in for Sara Jane my niece Noelle Huber.
Apartment Life – 4F: E. Wesley was happy that the “boys” were able to steal the Crystal of Set from The Holland Institute of Antiquities; how did they pull it off without anyone noticing they were 3000-year old mummies? With his usual tidy habits Mr. E, as he is known to his friends, has left out last night’s tea and dinner; nobody will trip over them though they are up on the safe. Now back to the tome he’s reading about the Crystal, the “boys” will clean up the mess after all while dusty they are also great dust rags. Now where did the Shoggoth go? Photo is of the much missed Wes Taylor.
Apartment Life – 3E: Mr. O was thinking that having Danny O along was a good idea, but maybe a flamethrower in the apartment would invalidate his deposit? Summoning a nameless “flautist” from the dimensions for a future dinner party, the “O’s” are now debating how to keep it contained until 6 P.M. after which they can transport it to the party at their parent’s. It looks like a long day for the brother’s. Photo is of Douglas Osborne in a Pirate disguise as Dougie on a mission.
Apartment Life – 3F: Stewart was happy he brought Phil along to contain the Worm Demon – however now he wasn’t sure if the words were “t’agulla” or “t’agilla” when summoning the dread one. Dressed in stunning Ottoman fashion, the two adventurers are now ready to unleash their demon on the building superintendent; they were done complaining about the lack of hot water in the F-bunker. Photo is of Stewart King as the Captain and filling in for Mombutu is Morpheus.
Apartment Life – The Lobby: The advance scout from GlomCo, Sister Agnes uses the Holy Whip of Corvallis to drive back the Ghoul Doorman; she wasn’t going to leave him a tip. The good sister is impressed with the clean and tidy lobby, unlike the building GlomCo was currently using, she must get the name of the building’s cleaning agency. Now back to getting rid of the Ghoul. No pictures in this one just the usual posting of building rules, a lost and found note along with the mailboxes and telephone.
The Avenue: Front/back of a hotel building, lit with 13 LED lights and placed in an 11x6 terrarium for showcase. Doing a complete diorama like this is pretty tough the one you are looking at is version 2, the first was an abomination. Keeping the walls square and the foam board from not bending required the use of many books (HP Lovecraft included) along with a rethinking of how to do wallpaper, floors and rugs.
If nobody notices the second floor of The Avenue is listed as apartment “4”, this is due to the fact that the building sank two stories at the turn of the century. You can get a real deal on apartments on the first two floors now if you don’t mind having no view, the occasional huge rat and the other things that come in through the drains. Tenants are instructed to not follow the tunnels leading off from floor 1 unless they pay 3 months advance rent and agree to sign over anything left in the room to the building Superintendent.
The Avenue Hotel exterior: The team from GlomCo arrived promptly at noon when the building should be at its quietest. Sending in Sister Agnes first, the team is now ready to follow: Dougie happy for once to be wearing something other than safari clothes, has both guns ready; The Sargent-Major with an unfortunate haircut behind him is in the right mood to deal with critters, good thing the machine gun is loaded with “special shells”; Sara Jane stunning as ever is using a pistol for once, the boys decided they had not recovered from the time her wand backfired; disguised as a police captain the Captain is ready for the team to charge before giving further commands; and finally having loaded his Lewis gun, Mombutu enjoys a cigar before going in. The car is from one of GlomCo’s shell organizations.
In addition three bystanders watch the action: Timmy the paperboy is pretty sure this is going to get him dealer of the week from the Telegram; kindly scholar Akim hopes that these Gangsters overlook the fact that he lives here and intends to just keep walking for a while; and finally the Mysterious Evad overlooks his handiwork; his cat K enjoys the scene too. Where did the pig come from though
Sister Agatha was happy to have the nice young men from Glom Co deal with the little problem in the Rectory.
A front view of the Rectory Diorama, these are Excalibur minis representing the big three – from left to Right, the Sargent-Major, Mombutu and the Captain. The Nun is from the same “sister pack” as Sister Sara – with similar problems in the casting.
The real problem at the Rectory is lurking behind the gate. A Shoggoth (hard to paint all those eyes and get a shiny black skin) waiting for our fearless lads. The figure is from Reaper and fits nicely into the small garden.
Note the garbage barrel next to the gate – this was fun to setup with paper a toothpick and “gunk” created when I stripped paint off an older figure. As one can note the Rector seems to have a drinking problem, but if you had a Shoggoth in your front yard, you would drink too.
The Sargent Major knew it was a bad trade as soon as he saw the book came with the skull of its former owner.
This is a birthday gift to Al, otherwise known as the Sargent Major (early gift). Essentially the scene is set during a trade between the infamous Monsieur J. Tailleur and the boys. Unlike the bell jars this one sits in a mini-terrarium which can be found at certain craft stores. The figures are a mix between Pulp Figures (The Captain, Mombutu, Uncle Billy and Sergei), Reaper (The Sargent Major and his monkey) and Ral Parth (now defunct). The auto is by Lledo “Days Gone By” which has a lot of vehicles from this era and in the right scale.
Hard to get a panorama shot of this diorama as it’s fairly large (but portable, the terrarium has a handle). The scene is set Left to Right:
The exchange between The Captain and the Sargent Major along with the mysterious J. Tailleur and his bodyguard “Roxy”.
The camp itself with Mombutu guarding the truck and a faithful native bearer stacking supplies
The supplies being guarded by Sergei and Uncle Billy (which I only realized later was a nickname for General Sherman).
End view of the exchange itself. Hard to see but the Captain who appears unarmed has his trusty Thompson leaning against the table. Roxy and the Sargent Major are not fond of each other as she is drawing on him and he has both a rifle and pistol ready. The ever impassable Msr. Tailleur with his new possession the “Periwinkle Peregrine”, which as the Sargent noted “who comes up with these names?” is now happy to have the book and skull off his hands.
The Diary of Sargent Major M
Included with the diorama, and part of the gift if an extract from the Sargent Major’s diary from the timeframe. It’s really hard to break this up into a small pamphlet but eventually figured out how to do this using MS Word..
Jan 8 – Quiet day, usual heat and humidity here in Mombasa, nice to have The Captain back from Zurich and those strange eggs broken down into smaller diamonds. Per our agreement the “Glom” company was incorporated with the three of us as the sole owners. The Captain was full of tales about estates in Sussex, Scottish fishing lodges and a place on the Rivera. I joked about buying several pubs and a brewery and retiring somewhere near Newcastle. Oddly enough all Mombutu would say was something about his family in the Belgian Congo and asked The Captain for the names of a few good arms dealers.
Jan 9 - Mombutu informed us of a rumor that the Periwinkle Peregrine is in town, who comes up with these names? This is one of those rumored Ottoman statues covered in lapis with emerald eyes and a gold beak and talons; disappeared from Istanbul during the occupation, was heard of in Athens and then later on in Bombay. Captain K did some checking and found out that it is being sold here, surprising since it was last heard of in a Hong Kong gallery Kenya isn’t exactly the pace to unload fine art.
Jan 10 – Two days of checking out the usual contacts and it appears a certain Khan is selling the bird to Monsieur J. Tailleur. Khan is in fact Rupert Webb who is presently staying at the Hotel Paka, and keeps three guards, a Morrocan, and two really greasy looking Somali. Mombutu is convinced that the Somali are cannibals and after last night I tend to agree.
Jan 11 – Trailed all three guards and was able to make friends with the Moroccan. He thinks Webb is on to something big but may have overreached himself. He keeps talking about some sort of infernal hound baying nearby that they can’t find. Not to mention the problem they seem to have with rats is enough to make anyone nervous. We agreed that for a certain sum that he would return to Casablanca and possibly emigrate to Australia in the next year – we both agreed that Africa may be getting to warm for a gentle soul like him.
Feb 2 – Finally a chance to make an entry – the job went well thanks to me. Captain K go the blueprints to the hotel by seducing one of the maids and opening the safe. Mombutu took care of the two guards and then it all fell apart. Not sure exactly what attacked us but it was something unholy, lucky I had my sawed off shotgun with the silver pellets which slowed it down enough for us to get away. We heard it’s baying a little later but then it got quiet.
Feb 4 – This may not have been a great idea, a couple of my friends at the NCO club are dead and Mombutu says he has lost some informers. Not sure if it’s Webb’s doing or something else but am keeping watch tonight.
Feb 5 – Well at least this one was human. Cold cocked a man coming in a skylight and after some time with Mombutu and his knives he was willing to have a chat with me. Seems he’s a thief hired by a Georges in the old quarter – he was supposed to see if we had some sort of bird and if not make it look like a robbery. I sent him off with a stern lecture and a broken nose. Captain came in later that evening but it appears his only encounter was female.
Feb 10 – Back in Nairobi, Mombasa is getting too hot for us on several levels. After the fourth attempted break in which involved three thugs, one Asian type in a black outfit and two trained apes it’s obvious someone is very interested in our possessions. While the compound is less opulent than the house in Mombasa it is easier to defend. Had a good time catching up with Sergei and Uncle Bobby who reported that it’s been quiet here except for an occasional Earthquake (damn diamonds).
Feb 21 – Well they tracked us down, Uncle Bobby shot three bandits coming over the wall and I shot three with my revolver. The Captain surprised me by shooting another one and finishing off yet another Asian type with a dagger. Captain Blue was annoyed to have to do a report on the altercation but he agreed that “Gentlemen like us” seem to have visitors like this. The Captain offered to look him up at their club and explain it more fully.
Feb 23 - A rough looking American woman showed up today, it appears Roxy T is an emissary from the good M. Tailleur and he is willing to trade for the bird. He claims to have the book of Hamad al’Ibrahaim along with a personal memento from the Mad Egyptian. The Captain said to give us a week.
March 10 – Took longer to find out about the book, but it appears to belong to one of the “boogie boogie” cults that have made our lives miserable and profitable the last couple years. Outside of the usual mumbo-jumbo the book is rumored to contain a couple maps to places these types hold dear. We agreed it sounded like a good investment to trade the bird for the map.
March 15 – The Frenchy made one more attempt last night this time we lost a couple of sentries which will have to be replaced. I saw Roxy T directing the firefight from a distance and they decided to leave when Sergei took out one of their truck with dynamite and three of them with a flame-thrower. I directed the defense from the watch tower and picked off a couple with my hunting rifle. Captain Blue is going to have to get paid, again.
March 20 – It’s decided we will make the trade outside of town in a spot frequented by Lions, Slavers and the occasional safari. Went out with Miss Roxy, who has a nice sense of humor for an American; a former nurse during the War she moved out here to “see Africa” and got a job for the Frenchman. We agreed how the meet would take place, shook hands and drove off. Naturally neither of us trust each other.
April 12 – Today is the day before the meet, M. Tailleur didn’t seem concerned about the trade and will meet at our location with only Roxy in attendance. Of course that overlooks the snipers there will be lurking along with the five lads in the truck that accompanies them. The Captain felt uncertain so we are also taking Sergei and Uncle Bobby along.
April 13 – We are setup and I see their vehicles in the distance. Mombutu is taking one side of the meeting spot and has a BAR with him; seems the Lewis needs another overhaul since the last altercation. Sergei is at the end of the truck with a bundle of dynamite and Uncle Bobby is overlooking the trade along with me.
April 13 continued – The trade went well; like a lot of these antiquity dealers, M. Tailleur has a really strange sense of humor and appears to like the linen suits preferred by businessmen in this climate. He’s out of training and was sweating profusely; if I didn’t know better I would have thought he and Miss Roxy were related they certainly do look alike. We did have some problems with one of the snipers that the Frenchman brought along – he popped up unexpectedly and started firing near the camp. Mombutu was about to open fire when the sniper raised his rifle and yelled something about a snake. Everyone held their position and the sniper and Mombutu went out to the spot – turned out to be something snakelike but didn’t look like anything I’ve seen out here before. With his cover exposed the sniper spent the rest of the exchange standing next to Mombutu. I think they may be related as he stayed behind and has been a pal of Mombutu ever since; odd. When the book was brought out it gave off that usual smell that these things seem to give off and the skull when unwrapped stunned The Captain to silence. “Is that the skull of Arggle-Bargle” he finally stated and all Tailleur did was nod silently. I noticed Roxy had her hand on her pistol during this exchange and was surprised to find that so did I. When it was over Roxy and M. Tailleur backed away and drove off in their Duisenberg.
April 14 – The Captain has been looking over the book with one of his cronies and it’s been quiet today. Heard from one of my contacts that M. Tailleur has taken the steamer to Suez and seems to be heading home. Why do I keep hearing faint scratching in the walls?
A Very Merry GlomCo Christmas
The lads decide to head home to Captain K’s Manor and spend the holiday in a more congenial local. Of course nothing goes as expected as there are several late minute guests along with reporters and various pets. A welcome to the Superior Intellect who ran the Glom Co campaign, we miss you Sir and think of you often.
Captain K’s Christmas Letter
After a lot of discussion with the fellows we agreed to spend Christmas back at the Manor in Midsomer. Mombutu wasn’t keen on visiting England in the winter but I persuaded him which will end up with me having to visit some of his relatives in Kenya over the summer – what cheek. The Sargent Major was lukewarm about the visit as I gather he doesn’t communicate much with his family in Edinburgh however on Boxing Day we will go up to visit his mother.
The trip was uneventful, given our experiences with the “Others” we decided that maybe going by rail was the best idea. We caught a Steamer from Alexandria and made port in Naples without incident – although we were on guard the whole time; we agreed next time we’ll probably take the train to Constantinople and then caravan or fly back to Mombasa. Naples was nice, and we took an express train to Calais the next day. I dispatched several telegrams back home and Phil the Butler will be ready when we arrive; his reply noted that all will be ready and he is planning an intimate Christmas, which is good as I’m not sure the family is ready for the Chaps.
“Mom” found out, probably from Phil and sent me a telegram in Marseilles stating she would be there. I dispatched another telegram to Phil and asked him to have Detective Barnaby be there in case she gets out of hand. I also invited “H” to the party, when I informed the Chaps about this they both looked pained as there is history with both of them and her.
Stopped off in London for shopping and we met at “The Liberal” one of my clubs and had a good dinner. There was some problems at first with Mombutu, however I spoke to one of the Council and it was agreed that as long as he acted as a gentlemen his is a guest of mine. When I told him to “act respectable”, he gave me a funny look and shot one at the Sargent Major who simply shrugged. He’s trustworthy so I don’t think there will be a problem.
The drive to the Manor was nice, once we got settled in Mombutu made friends with Luann the maid and I found them in the kitchen comparing histories. She is West Indian and I think they find each other amusing. From somewhere Mombutu showed up with four cats, I will have to get my cat repellant in order to make it through the holiday. The Sargent Major showed up with a bulldog he got in the village and has stated it will come back with us; Mombutu agreed that that was a good idea and will leave the cats here. Phil is distressed.
The “Observer Obscura” has found out we are in town and the editor known to all as the “Superior Intellect” asked for an interview and pictures. As they have been very helpful in the past we agreed we had no choice – he, along with one of his crack reporters “Carl K” and a photographer will be here also. Phil is more distressed and agreed to send the Reggie and the Rolls to pick them up.
The big day was a success, what with cats, dog reporters and such. The Chaps got me a very nice sniper rifle and several crates of ammunition. Mombutu was impressed with the sawed off shotgun and shells we got him, along with the combat knife – I promised him we will visit the shops we got them at, as he wants a few more for himself. The Sargent Major liked the special Tommy Gun that we got him. We were all touched when the house staff got all of us gifts also. I liked the silenced pistol and Mombutu looks lethal with the Lugar. The Sargent Major found having two Tommy Guns was more fun than one. Good time for all.
Carl spent the interview chatting with us and looking around the tree for “something”. I think some of the trinkets we display disturbed him more than once as he probably really knows where they come from. “H” was lovely as usual and both of the Chaps were gentlemen. The Superior Intellect was in good form and gave us a couple tips on visits we need to make in Russia and another in the Congo. Mombutu stated we will hold off on Russia until the summer as he has had enough snow for a while.
Barnaby tried as best as he could to keep “Mom” out, even drawing his pistol on her. She was unimpressed and pulled a modified pistol out from under her Fox and they had a stare-down on the stoop. Phil noticed the incident and I intervened before someone got shot and “Mom” was admitted. She was in a charming mood and we had no incidents, although I’m not sure if the Pacific Islander statue goes with the room’s décor but it was appreciated.
Phil made it through dinner without any problems although I could tell he had been sampling the Brandy when nobody was looking. We broke out the gramophone and I danced with “H” while the Sargent Major and “Mom” took a turn around the room. Mombutu scandalized everyone by dancing with Luann but other than Carl he really didn’t have a partner.
All in all a lovely holiday after the first of the year we intend to head to the Congo which is going to involve several stops along the coast – good thing I am an excellent pilot. One thing troubles me about this visit, the Superior Intellect mentioned that it may involve both “others” and pygmies. For some reason that worries me – we need to hire a few other lads for this trip I think. Mombutu is excited to be going back after we tour Scotland.
“Mombutu’s sisters were never going to forgive him for this!”. Not all is as it seems when the Captain and Mombutu meet with a Cultist in the heart of Africa!
From Mombutu’s Journal
12 November – I sometimes wonder why I picked up this habit from the Europeans, however reading a few passages from the Sargent Major’s diary I decided it made sense to set the record straight at least for my family.
21 November – The Sargent Major leaves today for a brief vacation in Cape Town. Per the Captain it is a “working vacation” as he is also selling more diamonds along with picking up a few bits of property in South Africa. They presume I sent my share of the disposable income on something primitive (dancing girls, bananas, Gin, etc., however my contact at Aru has informed me that the local tribesman have been purchased and the Belgians are on board with my purchases there and in Uganda. The Brits are looking the other way and the Belgians were handled once a more ruthless Major ended up dead. I had a short meeting at Lake Albert with both governors and got official documents allowing me to purchase several thousand miles of land on both sides. Bribes were less than expected.
23 November – the Captain informs me that he heard a rumor about some nutty African buying land in deepest Congo. We laughed about the rumor, but he gave me a funny look – I don’t think he’s as naive as he appears. We spent the evening in a café in Mombasa and I found out he purchased an estate in England near where he grew up. Something about “reclaiming his inheritance”.
29 November – One of my sisters sent me a letter about a Belgian causing problems near Baraka. It appears that not only is he bringing back some of the old techniques used in the Congo but has some sort of unofficial backing from a “mysterious source”. Sent her some additional money and hired a rough looking Tanzanian to make sure the family is well.
3 December – Another letter from my sister appears that the Tanzanian changed sides, taking the cash with him. She writes more about this person he surrounds himself with henchmen who wear North African type robes and wear gas masks. Why the gas masks nobody knows, but they are very, very well armed. Mother is well however they are staying with family on my new estate near Djugu. The Majo Domo notes in a separate letter that they are worried about my extended family.
7 December – An old friend showed up, we call him Claude as he styles himself as a Frenchie. Claude has made friends with several tribes of Gorillas that were being poached and asked about any thoughts on refuge. I told him about the estate and he agreed to “ship” them to my place in Ese. I dispatched a letter to my manager there and am packing to go now.
15 December – Easy trip to Ese, stopped off at Djugu and got more information about this European who goes by the English name of “Freddie”. Sent an agent to check him out and it appears he and his wife have a large estate near Moba where around 50 servants and henchmen work. The place is fairly well guarded for this part of Africa but the agent was able to give me good maps along with several locals who are not happy with things.
6 January – Claude arrived with his “friends” who are much more human than I thought. Claud thinks they are some sort of “Super Gorilla” and had done his best to educate them in the basics while leaving them to be themselves. Three of them took a liking to me and I find them easier to communicate with than many Europeans. We did some work and they seem to understand some basic gestures and they rapidly got used to the noise from firearms. We marked a couple hundred miles on the Ese estate as their territory and the manager and Claude get along great. When it was time to go back to Djugu three of the Gorillas came along and refused to leave.
19 January – Everyone is settled in; even my Gorilla friends. The Captain is visiting and was impressed with the estate and what is growing and being done here. I have mobilized all of the able bodied men and hired a couple friends from the Army to train them. The Captain suggested an out of work officer he knows to assist in creating officers amongst the men, which is very unusual for a European. We will give the guy a try to see if it works out. We also had a long discussion about dealing with Freddie and it was decided that we are going to just have to “take him out”. The Belgians aren’t going to like this but we came up with a plan that will involve killing the head and then handling the rest. The forger will be here in a week.
22 January – Another agent arrived and it seems that Freddie has taken to sacrificing people to some sort of snake god. The Captain agreed to do some research with the occultists in Mombasa while I talked to the local religious types.
28 January – All paperwork is done, Freddie’s signature and seals were easy to get ahold of so when necessary we are ready to present the Belgians with a done deal (Captain keeps saying “fait accompli” or something like that). We got a special delivery from Mombasa and it appears the snake god is some sort of “booga booga” like we have ran into before. The local religious types (I refrain from using the term “Witch Doctor”) say this is old magic and something to avoid – they gave me a few talismans and blessings to wipe their temple out.
2 February – Everyone likes the plan except my five sisters. These are educated and capable young ladies who run various parts of my businesses – needless to say they are the only ones I can trust to pull off their part of the bargain. Mom’s not too happy either, however the Captain as lecherous as ever loves it; he agreed to the makeup required for the event. A emissary was dispatched to Freddie from a Major Bumpus about meeting to deliver his mining concessions in Uganda. Enough gold and papers have passed hands to make this look real (in fact it is on land I own in Uganda).
7 February – We are scheduled to meet in Moba to do the deed. Everyone is ready on our side. The new drill officer arrived and I like him already; he’s an Armenian who knows a lot about both formal and informal warfare. We had a good talk and he’s going to help at Moba – he considered it a second job interview – to prove his point he is bringing along one of my nephews who he is going to personally drill beforehand. We leave for Moba on the 12th.
14 February – Well it worked out as expected; my sisters are never going to forgive me for this one. Dressing all five up like native bearers and walking food tray got me a good punching and many favors I owe then. The Captain was magnificent sitting there in his sedan chair (good thing the sisters are strong), having them go topless got me a black eye but it was part of the act.
It all started out well – Algol and the nephew arrived in the stall as expected; Algol played the part of happy merchant better than anyone I’ve ever seen – even sold several items. Nobody in the market seemed to pay much attention when I picked out my spot and started to unload my tools. The cloth covering them disguised them from Freddie and his party. I was expecting a double cross so I had my three Gorillas ready to give them a new lesson on “guerilla warfare”. Bad joke.
It turned out that the wife was the real one to worry about; once I got the drop on them all heck broke loose. Tamba got the drop on the guy with a flame thrower so their ambush didn’t work and I got one guard and Freddie with the scatter gun. Before Algol could get his rifle, the Nephew finished off the other guard. It looked like all was well until the wife (later it was determined her name was “Klara”) started throwing some sort of magic and a few more guards arrived. Fortunately, between my BAR and two incendiary bombs all ended up OK. We only had to pay minor damages to some of the shopkeepers and there were no fatalities on our side. With the head gone we raided their estate and released various prisoners and got rid of the remaining cultists; with suitable ceremony we broke the alter and had a local priest (native) bless the place. I sent the bills of sales to Kinshaha for the Belgians to handle and paid a few more bribes to ensure no problems locally.
The only real damage was to the Captain after all was said and done – he sidled up to sister Kadisha and made one of his moves that he thinks “native girls” will like. We think his nose is set OK and the broken finger will heal over time; as for walking funny a little rest will heal that up. I’ve decided that Kadisha will run the estate her at Moba, to which she replied “Damn right” and went to have a drink with the Captain. What is it about that man?
A New Hire or GlomCo gets a Recreational Vehicle
(From the Journal of Dougie O, April 12 192x)
They tell me I should write these things down as the policy of the Partners is to leave journals, even if they present rude comments about the others. The Captain was most insistent about this as was the Sargent-Major; the African seems impassive but apparently he writes them also (I originally figured he couldn’t write, much less speak King’s English).
After the War, I was mustered out in the North near my hometown of Laird’s Bladder in the highlands. Jobs were hard to come by before the War and are the same now – as I never was one to bow to the gentry it made it even harder. Before the war I worked mostly day labor but found my calling in the trenches; who know knife-work was so interesting. However, Mom said that wouldn’t work around here and to look for work down South in the cities.
After a week in Liverpool, I found a job as a bodyguard for one of the labor lads who has occasional problems with the Communists and others. Pay was OK but when the Yard picked him up, and gave me a stern warning to not be seen by them again it looked like time to pick up and maybe check out the Continent. Yes, am I not disclosing what happened in Liverpool, of course, if you want to try figuring out the backstory read the papers; I’m not saying anything else.
While looking for positions in London and dodging members of the Yard I came across the following ad:
Wanted: Limited Partner in African enterprise, a recently formed company based in Mombasa is looking for an energetic person able to deal with problems of both mundane and occult nature. Job entails lots of travel to primitive areas and along with dealing with various business opportunities as they arrive. Need ability to both give and follow orders in rough situations and able to think on your feet. Apply at Box….
It seemed perfect and after apply with a listing of my position in the War and a glossy version of Liverpool I sent off the post and two days later received a telegram to meet a Sister Agatha at a warehouse near the Flatulent Docks. I was met at the door by a seedy looking individual and shown to the back where I met a very small Nun. “Welcome, please follow me I need to show you something before we do our interview.” Promptly following down a narrow hall we made our way into the main part of the warehouse.
“Dark” I noted, “any reason you are doing this here as opposed to in the front offices?”. She mumbled something and out of the dark suddenly appeared three tough guys each armed with a pistol in one hand. The old instincts took over and I rushed the left hand one and in the same motion pulled one of my knives – as I wasn’t sure how serous this was I hit him in the throat and he went down. From the hold-out in my sleeve I popped another knife and lodged in the center guy’s arm – two down. The man on the left hesitated and I dove on him knocking the gun away and braining him on the floor.
“Stop” the Nun stated with quite the air of command. “Tell me sir, what do you think of this?”. She pulled back a covering on a cage and inside was some sort of abomination; it looked vaguely reptilian but even now is hard to describe. If felt a bit of fear upon looking at it and decided to brave it out and walked over for a closer look.
“Won’t deny is gives me the creeps.” I stated the closer one got to it the more you felt both the presence and smell of the thing. It launched itself at me and bounced off the bars of the cage; I noted that there seem to be some sort of glyphs written on the bars. “Does the writing keep it inside? Reminds me of tales my granny used to tell of witches summoning devils”.
She smiled and nodded, “Yes I think you will do nicely, you passed the first test. If you are willing to work for us, there is another task you have to set your mind to and if you succeed you will be a finalist. Still interested?”. I nodded.
“Good, have you ever been to Milan? No, that is good, I need you to travel to Italy and do the following.”
I leave the rest of this vague as the authorities, if the read this might be inclined to contact the Italian police so needless to say I met the good Sister along with the contents of the Flatcar in Marseilles. From there the three of us took freighter to Mombasa. The trip was uneventful, the good Sister had picked up an African servant in France and decided to have me work with him on being a bodyguard. His English seemed acceptable and he was a quick study with the knife and gun. As the trip wound down it became more obvious to me that he was better with firearms than I was but seemed to be holding himself back.
Three days out from Mombasa I decided to test this out and he passed my shooting course quite well – when done I commended him on his skills and noted that his sniping skills were the best I’ve seen in the regular army. “Who are you really?” I asked looking directly into those impassive eyes. All he did was smile and spoke one word in what I took to be some sort of Tribal dialect. Immediately Sister Agatha was there.
“Is there a problem?” she asked both of us eyeing us equally.
“He saw through the disguise” mentioned the African. “He deliberately set the distances on the sniping shots too far and I am confident that the guns for the other targets have been modified to be less than accurate. I made the mistake of compensating . You may call me Mombutu”.
“Yes you did, my good man.” I replied, “not to mention your skills with a knife are much better than a simple servant.” Looking down as the Sister I handed her the rifle he was using on the last test.
“The sights are off, he compensated using natural skills. So to ask the question again”, I turned to Mombutu, “who are you?”
Still smiling he thrust out a hand. “I am your final test, which you passed by the way; welcome to GlomCo; I am one of the Partners”. He paused to see what my reaction was.
“Interesting an African partner, not something you would expect back home”.
“Is that going to be a problem?” he asked, the smile gone and the impassive face returning.
“No, I served with West Indian troops in the trenches and found them to be excellent fellows. First time I have seen an African in charge though. But we are not in Scotland anymore and thankfully not in the trenches either.”
He nodded, “well said, for the moment you are a Junior Partner, so you will have to answer to only two other men: Captain K and Sargent-Major M.”
“Do you use military rank in this business, it sounds like the Captain is in charge?”
“No, we use our ranks from the War, it gives the impression of rank to the authorities and helps reinforce their stereotypes, I was a simple colonial Sargent and they view me that way, considering the three of us as equals would have them view the company in ways we don’t want.”
The remaining days were spent with Mombutu filling me in on the company and what my duties as Partner entailed. As these are secret even in the official diaries I will not go into them here. Needless to say I was impressed with both Mombasa and Africa; I could tell instantly I was going to like it here. We got the vehicle (I will call it that for the moment) put on a fairly new trailer hauled by a new Ford truck. Having experience with Docks, I noticed that the official types were notably absent as was the good Sister.
Mombutu sat on the trailer and motioned for me to get in the truck “Partners ride up front, Sir.” I nodded, ignoring the act and the fact that from somewhere he now had picked up two shotguns along with a BAR.
“Expecting trouble?” I remarked.
“Always, Sir”. We drove for around three hours out of town into the savanna where we met a fuel truck which fueled the vehicle, which was promptly unloaded. Pointing to a tall fellow who appeared to be Turkish, Mombutu ordered him to drive. “We ride in the turret.” I notice the “Sir” was no longer present.
“Do these men work for us?” I asked. The crew appeared to be a mix of mercenaries and several locals. I noticed that unlike what I saw in Mombasa all member appeared to be treated equal. Very military.
“Yes, we sometimes masquerade as the paramilitary arm of a reputable landholding firm. The Brits don’t mind us as we have been useful in suppressing various problems and the locals like us too for the same reason.”
After sitting in one of the seats I noticed that I was in front of what looked to be a 30mm cannon and Mombutu was sitting near the heavy machine gun (that I recognized). “So what is this, thing?”
“It’s a new type of vehicle, think of a truck that has had armaments added along with steel plating overall. It’s not like a tank, as you notice it has wheels so it is much more mobile and weighs a lot less. We are going to drive to the meeting place with the rest of the Partners.” The drive was uneventful, the East African roads reminded me of the Highlands, no paving, with a lot more dust. Mombutu gave me a hat stating that “white folks” need this in Africa and I tended to agree. By the end of the first day I was sunburnt in several spots.
April 29, met the rest of the Partners and Sister Agatha at an impromptu picnic in the middle of the savanna; I can tell I’m going to like it here. The roar of the lions, trumpets of elephants and the rest of the noises tell me I am home. I mentioned this to Mombutu and he grinned for the first time. “Welcome, after you get settled I’ll take you to meet my sisters. Hope you don’t mind they are all taller than you but several have a fondness for short white men.”
As I close this journal the Captain is starting to explain why the two pygmies accompanied them and what the “Witch Doctor” has to report