2010-08-31: Diamonds Mine




August 31, 2010


Somewhere Near Johannesburg — South Africa


“Subtle, clever brain, wiser than I am, by what devious means do you contrive to remain idle? Teach me, O master.” — William Carlos

Lefu Sollier. Though his name indicates that he is of French origin, he is not. His family was once owned by the French who settled near what is now Johannesburg. His ancestors adopted, or rather were given, the surname before the Dutch arrived to lay claim to the same land. Throughout his family's history, the name Sollier has been associated with violence, brutality, and most importantly… blood.

He is a dark giant, dwarfing all he associates with. All but one, at least in height. Jan Kruger, originally his kidnapper as a small child, now his employer. White men aren't very well thought of, not here, but Jan is of a different sort. Cold, calculating, ruthless, and willing to treat black men as his equals where others of his kind do not. His daughter is a colored woman, birthed from a servant turned mistress and more like Lefu than she could ever be Jan. Perhaps it is because the black man had been given the task of grooming her to take over the empire when Jan finally died.

"She is still a white wo-man in my eyes," the swarthy hulk growls. He is cleaning an AK-47, one of the favored and most readily available to the soldiers of the Kruger militia. "A white wo-man who will no longah be a thorn in my side… The plan must be changed. We can no longah rely on the Hungahrian to fulfill his paht of the bahgain. You undahstand?"

Sitting in a little used area of the estate, he sits with another man, a few inches shorter and less bulky than the first to the master of the house. The midday sun pours down on the two of them, Lefu's skin glittering with sweat that hasn't been wiped away.

"She is a white wo-man," Yemmi replies with a small nod. His features aren't as grim as his cohort's, but, like Lefu, he's oversized and dark-skinned. His own eyes narrow suspiciously as they peer about the property, looking for hidden ears. He is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one is listening and so he leans in further.

"Hungarian was just a cog in the ma-chine. I cahn tahake her out. We have contahcts in the prison she's being held." His eyebrows raise expectantly, waiting for the order.

Depending on which party of this conversation you are, or said person's perspective, the fact that Ezra just happens to be making his way outside from his room may seem highly fortuitous or terribly unlucky. Originally, he wasn't making any effort at stealth. Whether or not the two men heard is anyone's guess. His attire is no help; a black A-shirt, utilitarian cargo pants and- for shame -hiking boots. Silence is not his shoes strongest suit.

All he hears is something about a 'white wo-man' and the prison she's being held in, but how many people could that possibly describe? He slows his walk, now taking care to quiet his steps. He rolls his footsteps to soften their falls, but he doesn't creep. He pulls his phone out from one pocket and casually flips between appointments with his thumb, so as to seem less suspicious should anyone come to investigate. His free hand rests in a casual posture, forefinger tucked into the back of his pants near the holster for his Beretta that resides on the small of his back.

Nobody out here in the hallway but us mice…

"She will not leave America wit-out a body bad around her, huh?" Lefu flashes a pearly white smile and lets out a thunderous boom of a laugh. It lasts for a few huffs before it disappears completely, in the blink of an eye. It is as though he never smiled at all. "She will be executed for the murdah of the American scum and his family that invaded our diamond mines." Rolling his eyes, it's the first flash of white visible side from his teeth. "Tourists, huh?"

The rag is wiped over the barrel of the gun as he lovingly polishes the exterior, clearing it of any dust fragments that might have gathered over the course of the afternoon. "No, we will not touch her there, not yet. Watch, wait my brothah. For now, we concentrate on the old man, uh? Without the daughtah to betray the fathah, the plan must be rethought."

"Mahdah you co-mit-ted," Yemmi smirks. He's not as animated as his superior and not nearly as colourful in his actions or words; he is, in all things, a yes-man. "Soon you will be dah man in charge, ja? Wit da dark-haired princess outta dah wey, you will be unstoppable. Eh, brodah?"

His own teeth are exposed in a deliciously wicked grin displaying each and every one of his teeth, white as can be against the black backdrop that is his skin. "Meybe we can find someone else to betray, ja? Someone else to teke credit for 'is death, ja?" His eyebrows raise again, the questions are just ideas, nothing more. Of course, such an upheaval will do great things for Yemmi even if Lefu is going to be the actual man in charge.

Ezra carefully keeps his breathing quiet and even, giving no indication of the sudden pulse of adrenaline injected into his bloodstream or the violent increase in his heart rate. A fantasy of just ripping his sidearm free and taking both Lefu and Yemmi by surprise is discarded before it has a chance to take hold, but not before his hand glides higher to briefly caress the handle of his weapon. He slides another step and leans casually against the wall.

Still unaware that they are being watched, Lefu's eyes slide toward Yemmi and a rather devious smile creeps across his already menacing features. "What about the white man, huh? Ez-ra… He would be quite conven'yant and it would rid us of the plague for good. No witnesses, no whites to tell us what to do." He pauses for a moment, still sweeping that rag over the rifle in firm strokes. "WE will be the ones with the riches, not the white man. Not Kroo-gah."


The jeeps bounce over the dusty plains toward the diamond mine, Jan had sent the men because there'd been a call that it was being attacked by a stray faction. Not a warlord but some small rebellion of locals that grew tired of the tyranny they'd been subjected to over the years. Yemmi in the driver's seat, Lefu sitting atop the back of the passenger seat. His AK-47 pointed straight in the air. For this campaign, Ezra rode in the back, pointed toward the way they came, watching for ambush. Beside him, a small box the size of an orange crate jumps and vibrates with its cargo… Grenades.

Another jeep, more of Kruger's men race up alongside in another jeep and Lefu raises his left hand and waves it forward. "TO THE MINE!! LEAVE NO ONE ALIVE!!"

Yemmi swerves around a mine, the vehicle jerking with the motion as they hit an unexpected bump. His body bounces up from the sit only to hit it again. His body stiffens while his foot presses down on the gas with an unusual amount of force. The jeep snakes the path towards the mine while his fingers tighten along the steering wheel.

Narrowed eyes, snarled lips, and a tightened jaw write the determination across his face. His features harden as the speed of the vehicle increases and the noise of the engine brrrrms at his command. Two hands on the wheel as he trusts the gunmen to do his job as he does his.

"Geet those Am-er-i-can teeves!" His lips tighten into something between a toothy smile or sneer. His face beads with sweat as his cheeks and brows glisten in the South African heat, dust clinging to it in a thin layer of grit. Sunglasses cover his eyes, protecting them from that dirt that flies thanks to the speed and wind of the vehicle.

The jerking of the jeep rocks Ezra- and the grenades -but he just drops one hand onto the box next to him to steady it in place. The other maintains a steady grip on his M-16 (not that cheap civilian AR-15 rip off) that was way more difficult to obtain than would seem worth it. Sweat runs down his forearm from underneath his gloves.

"You falling asleep up there? Try and pretend this isn't your first time behind the wheel." There isn't really much enthusiasm in the shit talking, though, and he doesn't take his eyes off the terrain behind them.

Ezra's complaints are given a haughty sniff from the large black man in the passenger seat. "Mind yo' place white man," the throaty growl may or may not reach the ex-ranger's ears but Lefu doesn't care one way or the other. Hanging on tightly to the rollbar framing the top of the doors, he leans with the turn as Yemmi skids to a stop.


The sounds of uneven sprays of gunfire already peppering the air can be heard for miles around. "GET DOWN YEMMI!!" The giant bellows as he swings his own gun around and begins pulling the trigger in short controlled bursts.

Crying, screaming, fleeing civilians are gunned down without a second thought. Women carrying nothing but water for the miners, children carrying buckets of dirt for disposal, they're all fair game.

Even as he drives, Yemmi sinks into his seat, 'getting down.' It's not the best coverage, but he manages to have some semblance of it while he swerves along the dusty terrain. The jeep skids out, fishtailing as the sand acts like ice, reducing friction thanks to its looseness. Unlike his colleagues he doesn't speak, he just drives, madly drives.

Even with the fishtail he swerves around, regaining control — until…



Simultaneously, the jeep sinks — one of the tires has blown thanks to catching some competing gunfire.

"FUCK!" Yemmi, skids the vehicle into a divot — hopefully it will give them enough cover to be able to change the tire or defeat the enemy — whichever comes first.

Its not the first time Ezra has wanted to kill Lefu; just the most recent. Thats more of an afterthought however as the Jeep slides out of control. Fuck the grenades, Ezra's left hand latches onto the roll bar, and he shifts his weight to stay upright until the thing comes to a stop. He immediately jumps out the back of the vehicle with the kind of practiced ease that just comes with experience. His joints will remind him about it later. He drops into a crouch, staying as covered as possible, swings the sights of his rifle across the rear 180 degree arc. Let Lefu handle the other side.

Anybody carrying a gun or explosive, and he'll take his shot, but women and children that cross his plain of vision get a pass. At least he doesn't say anything about wrecking the Jeep, though.

Reaching down, the mammoth of a man grabs one of the grenades and pulls the pin with his teeth. He gives a rather malicious grin as he spits it out the side of his mouth and heaves it toward the entrance. It misses the mark by a few yards but bounces and rolls until it's just at the entrance and….


"GO NAO!!" The battle cry is given and all of Jan's men race toward the mine itself under the cover of red dust. Only the spark of flame from machine gun barrels can be seen as Lefu charges in, trailing the rest of them, allowing them to fall ahead of him. Let the lambs fall to the slaughter, as long as he breathes, nothing else matters.

Along with Lefu, Yemmi takes the tail, there's no need to sacrifice anything but the sheep for the slaughter. His own hands grasp the AK-47 he'd kept along the floor of the jeep, poised for when they faltered and ready for battle. He doesn't shoot quite yet, only holding his weapon as a defensive measure. While it might seem like cowardice, to Yemmi it's nothing more than street smarts.

But the weapon is poised just the same. His dark eyes scan through the red dust, looking for any signs of life and any assailants trying to take their dollars and cents; more white men taking what is rightfully theirs. His lips purse as the smell of death and dying enters his lungs. The diamond mine already has a sulfuric scent thanks to the various mineral deposits combining into an almost putrid smell. But this is why Yemmi purposely got out of guarding the mine. Between the smells of warm bodies working in the heat, vast humidity filling the air, and the sulfur, the nausea is almost too much to bare.

"Fucking amateurs…" The words come out as an exasperated breath. Now isn't the time to push Lefu's buttons. Way too many variables in play in the mine to deal with that. But the man just lacks… style. Still, Ezra does his job, and since Lefu is his superior, and the last thing he was doing was watching the rear for ambushes, he keeps doing just that. He has no desire to run around and gun down innocents.

He walks backwards in a crouch, M-16's barrel constantly tracing slow lines back and forth along the width of the mine as they descend into what could almost literally be described as a Hellscape.

Slowly, the gunfire fades as Lefu and his men extinguish the tiny blurps of fire one by one. Minutes seem like hours and eventually the dust clears to an orange haze, just enough for Ezra to see Lefu's large form flanked by Yemmi. The man's long legs obscure the vision of six large lumps on the ground, the air forms a heterogeneous layer as the silt falls down, painting everything with that red orange dust.

Those lumps? Six white people, varying in age and gender, one of them seeming much older than the rest. If Ezra is up on his American politics, he might recognize him as Supreme Court Justice Vincenzo Mancini. He's newly appointed and still green on the bench, what he's doing in the heart of South Africa is anyone's guess.


Lefu raises a pistol in his right hand and levels it against the man's temple. There's a vicious smile on his lips as his finger slowly squeezes the trigger.


Two of the white people fall face down into the dirt. To this, the giant black man laughs to his men, "How many bullets does it take to kill a pack of American dogs?" It sounds like the start of a joke and a few of the men let out single barking laughs. That is, until Lefu raises his hand for silence. "So fah, it takes two." With that, he lines the gun up to the side of one of the whimpering women's heads and fires. Her and two more go down, though the other two aren't dead, just wounded and writhing on the ground. Their pleas for mercy go unheard as Lefu finished the job with ruthless vigor. "T'ree, Foah, Five…"

Beneath his gloves, Ezra's knuckles are bone white. An ape couldn't tear his gun out of his hand from the deathgrip he has on it, but still, he doesn't intervene. He allows no emotion on his features, eyes cold. Dead. Any danger apparently passed, he forces himself to watch Lefu kill his countryman without even the slightest wince, not one blink. He lets the image become burned forever into his mind.

Once the massacre is complete, Ezra takes a few steps back towards the entrance of the mine. "You done, or are we gonna sit around and watch you playin' with your dick in your hand all day?" There is none of the fiery emotion he feels inside allowed outside. Its an admirable imitation of his normal self in the field. All business, no bullshit.