Finished Prologue

When I woke I was sitting hand tied to a broken, wicker chair. What remained of the daylight, seeped through the cracks of the aluminium frame and through what felt like an old ragged towel, which had been doused in kerosene, and left me blind from my left eye and seeing shadows from my right. I could see flickers of flames and shouting militia, who only could have been the 26s arguing amongst themselves as I regained consciousness. The room went dark and voices became quiet and faint. I was scared for my safety, a rose amongst the thorns of the African militia. I sat there for what seemed like months. They had stripped me to my under garments and stripped me of my belongings. I had lost all sense of time, all sense of location, all sense of hope. I wondered how long I had been out of consciousness, where had they taken me and why I found myself tied to a broken wicker chair?

As the questions mounted in my mind, the men who I had originally heard were now back in the room and speaking a language I was unsure of. I could only make out every second or third word of their conversation but they did not seem impressed by what had just happened, I’m assuming at the base camp in Tanzania, where I thought we had just come from. Again, I was completely disoriented …8 men dead…a container stolen…Charlotte had escaped! My heart sank deep into the wicker chair and a tornado of thoughts began to thrash around my mind! Had I left her to her death! What if they were now after Charlotte? I needed to escape and fast, and find Charlotte before these blood-diamond-craving lunatics did.

I knew by the tone of the conversation that they felt like it was my fault and if I didn’t act fast I was next, I reckoned! As I wriggled my way around the ropes that bound my hands to escape from the hold I was in, I felt a sharp blow just below my breast bone that knocked my wind from my lungs followed by a sharper blow to the back of my head. That was the last I remembered before they left the room, again, arguing profusely, tempers flaring and magazines loading! My time was now or never.

I woke again later that evening, this time I was alone. I was certain. All I could hear echoing around outside was the whispering of the wind and all I could feel was a shrivelling cold air that filled the space around where I was sat. I squirmed violently to free one wrist from the restraints, then with a helping hand the other. Removing the horrendously smelling blindfold from my eyes, I almost wished I hadn’t. The room, if you could call it that, was just about square with corrugated sheets of metal for walls and a grubby sheet of ply wood covered the roof. There were blood stained sheets to my right, vice grips, hammers and a set of clippers on a make shift shelf to my left. The floor creeped with mould and the moss roots were breaking through from below. Where on earth had they taken me?

When I stepped through what seemed to be a doorway, guarded only by what would remind you of your grandmother’s curtain, I had stepped into another world! Metal and plastic as far as the eye could see in any direction. My nose almost touching the back wall of somebody else’s ‘home’. The smell outside was deplorable. It was as if someone had taken a shipment of the entire continent’s rubbish and dumped it here in… in… It hit me. I have no idea where I have been left. Was I back in Cape Town? Were the men who picked me up the 26s? If I was still in Tanzania then I was in great danger. I needed to leave before… Damn it! They’re back… I have to get out of here!

I continued on my way, making my way through the narrow patch of mud between houses and all the while I could hear panic stricken militia in the houses behind me ramsacking and terrorising shacks in the hope of finding me! There were screams of terror that could be heard throughout the camp as I scampered hastily through the alleyways. There were now militia filtering from every angle with flashlights glowing and loaded riifles and belts of magazines rattling as the squelch of their muddy boots sounded closer and closer to my ears. They were closing in on my position. I could feel myself still catching my breath still from the blow to my breast bone earlier in the evening. I needed somewhere to rest soon or I was going to meet my death and if I was going to save Charlotte I needed to be at full health the next time I went back into the diamonds mine in Mwadui.

As the flashlight closed on me I saw a lady beckon me from the end of the next junction. She ushered me in as I passed and rushed me into a small hole that led under her shack out into the alleyway behind and covered me with an old dusty sheet. I heard the men that had been chasing me, storm into the shack, beating the woman and her two children into the corner while they ramsacked her home and attacked them with questions about my whereabouts. I feared for my life but even more so for theirs. I had an instant to decide and in that instant my life changed completely. This lady and her two children could not possibly suffer anymore on my behalf. When I came here first 4 years ago, off the plane they were the first family in Cape Town to offer me a place to rest and in return I began tutoring her and her family. They became my adopted family here in South Africa and took me in as one of their own and I became part of their community. It was only about 2 years ago I accidentally became involved with the numbers gang and was never allowed leave. And I still had not left!

The prologue begins…

When I woke I was sitting hand tied to a broken, wicker chair. What remained of the daylight, seeped through the cracks of the aluminium frame and through what felt like an old ragged towel, which had been doused in kerosene, and left me blind from my left eye and seeing shadows from my right. I could see flickers of flames and shouting militia, who only could have been the 26s arguing amongst themselves as I regained consciousness. The room went dark and voices became quiet and faint. I was scared for my safety, a rose amongst the thorns of the African militia. I sat there for what seemed like months. They had stripped me to my under garments and stripped me of my belongings. I had lost all sense of time, all sense of location, all sense of hope. I wondered how long I had been out of consciousness, where had they taken me and why I found myself tied to a broken wicker chair?

As the questions mounted in my mind, the men who I had originally heard were now back in the room and speaking a language I was unsure of. I could only make out every second or third word of their conversation but they did not seem impressed by what had just happened, I’m assuming at the base camp in Tanzania, where I thought we had just come from. Again, I was completely disoriented …8 men dead…a container stolen…Charlotte had escaped! My heart sank deep into the wicker chair and a tornado of thoughts began to thrash around my mind! Had I left her to her death! What if they were now after Charlotte? I needed to escape and fast, and find Charlotte before these blood-diamond-craving lunatics did.

I knew by the tone of the conversation that they felt like it was my fault and if I didn’t act fast I was next, I reckoned! As I wriggled my way around the ropes that bound my hands to escape from the hold I was in, I felt a sharp blow just below my breast bone that knocked my wind from my lungs followed by a sharper blow to the back of my head. That was the last I remembered before they left the room, again, arguing profusely, tempers flaring and magazines loading! My time was now or never.

I woke again later that evening, this time I was alone. I was certain. All I could hear echoing around outside was the whispering of the wind and all I could feel was a shrivelling cold air that filled the space around where I was sat. I squirmed violently to free one wrist from the restraints, then with a helping hand the other. Removing the horrendously smelling blindfold from my eyes, I almost wished I hadn’t. The room, if you could call it that, was just about square with corrugated sheets of metal for walls and a grubby sheet of ply wood covered the roof. There were blood stained sheets to my right, vice grips, hammers and a set of clippers on a make shift shelf to my left. The floor creeped with mould and the moss roots were breaking through from below. Where on earth had they taken me?

When I stepped through what seemed to be a doorway, guarded only by what would remind you of your grandmother’s curtain, I had stepped into another world! Metal and plastic as far as the eye could see in any direction. My nose almost touching the back wall of somebody else’s ‘home’. The smell outside was deplorable. It was as if someone had taken a shipment of the entire continent’s rubbish and dumped it here in… in… It hit me. I have no idea where I have been left. Was I back in Cape Town? Were the men who picked me up the 26s? If I was still in Tanzania then I was in great danger. I needed to leave before… Damn it! They’re back… I have to get out of here!

The Synopsis

The numbers gang of Cape Town made up of members of the 26s, 27s and 28s have gotten wind of a multi-billion investment in Tanzania and incorporate the help of Robert Cooper, an American volunteer with exceptional communication skills, who unwillingly signs what could be his death warrant with the 26s. The numbers gang believed that he had known too much to be allowed free to continue his role in the slums. His first and last mistake may have been befriending some members of the 26’s who had been released from prison. In this situation it was advisable to keep his friends close but his enemies much closer. They would stop at nothing until they successfully mined and smuggled those diamonds for themselves making them the most powerful drug lords and gang in the entire world. Speaking 6 African languages may not be enough to save his fate. The gang are based in an old abandoned World War 2 tower in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, north in Harare, a British representative has been working on a major drug bust in Johannesburg when he accidentally falls upon a scheme to overthrow the drug lords in Harare and become part of the richest members of a cartel in the world by setting on a mission of betrayal in order to gain the trust of those representatives who are guarding the Williamson Diamond Mine in Tanzania with their life. McCoy has important British intelligence that could save his life if it comes to it! There was a leak within Harare and as a result members of the police force became exiled and spread to southern Africa in an effort to get revenge while getting rich and wealthy. The Harare already controlled the majority of drug avenues in the capital Johannesburg but now wanted to extend their control to other parts of Africa and the world by gathering and selling these diamonds at all costs, stopping anybody who got in their way. The Harare has set up intelligence in an abandoned warehouse right in the middle of Johannesburg, in an area they know they can control and survey.

Elizabeth Crane is a native to Cape Town who was holidaying in Hermanus when she stumbled upon what she thought was an abandoned ship. Being an expert historian, when she investigated further she found that the ship in fact was hiding billions of American dollars’ worth of ammunition, armour, weapons and artillery. When she gets caught on the liner she is forced to be the lead guide on the Nuevo Laredo’s expedition to the Mwadui mine and hope that her expertise and knowledge will allow her life to be saved and maybe even salvage a business partnership with the Nuevo Laredo in the future. Getting to the mountain is one thing, but having someone on your side who knows what they are doing is vital and could be the missing piece to the jigsaw. The Nuevo Laredo stop at several locations on the way using their highly advanced technology as a means of surveillance and will not stop until they have reached the base camp in Tanzania.

The plot takes a backseat as the gangs fight to find the services of South African born German, Charlotte Maas who is an expert on expeditions and cave diving and could potentially lead the first arriving group to riches and fortunes beyond imagination. Knowing that she is in high demand, she is informed that there are several groups on their way to a reserve in Kariega where she is based so that they can attempt to kidnap her and force her services in any way possible. She is forced to flee and make her way to the mine to inform the guards at the base camp of the mine but unsuspectingly is kidnapped by African Militia on the way and held against her will in an attempt find the diamonds for themselves first before any of the drug gangs and lords arrive. She is forced to protect herself and the knowledge she carries, in fear of the diamonds reaching the wrong hands.

When these four strangers are forced to put their heads together, will they come out on top as friends and salvage these fortunes for themselves? Will they betray their gang’s trust and flee? Or will they turn on each other in an effort to become survival of the fittest and the richest and wealthiest people on earth?

Lets get organised!

When three gangs are faced with gathering Tanzanian diamonds from under the nose of the Militia. Four young strangers must soon decide, to befriend each other, betray each other or die together. While a liner waits at an illegal port in Hermanus, the young travellers must act fast in choosing their fate before their fate consumes them. Strangers work together to stay alive but when forced to make a choice they fall apart and begin to back stab to survive and become incredibly rich. Greed and jealousy gets the better of these four individuals.

I am hoping to break my first book into 4 acts consisting of 20 chapters totalling about 80,000 words! Each act will tell the story of a different gang with the final act bringing each individual story together to reach the climax of the story!

The setting itself will be based around Central/Southern Africa. It will be set in locations in Cape Town,  Schulphoek in Hermanus, Zambia and Zimbabwe and Shinyanga in Tanzania. With an appearance from Nuevo Laredo.

Below you will find the locations and how I plan to use them in my writing!

**Cape Town** – 26s Gang based in an abandoned WW2 Radar Station.
Complete control over the prisons in Cape Town. Workers on the outside living in slums. Theft, forgery, smuggling. Work as cleaners, keep orders in the prison/slums. Dream of becoming the continents most expensive drug cartel and need the Tanzanian diamonds as a bargaining tool in order to become the deadliest gang in the world. Work with the Harare but do not realise they are being double crossed and betrayed.

**Hermanus** – Illegal shipping from a port in Schulphoek Harbour. The Nuevo Laredo spent three weeks travelling across the ocean to dock beyond the Cape of Good Hope in Schulphoek, Hermanus. They offloaded a crew of 150 men, ex criminals all fully armed with armor, artillery and highly deadly weaopns. There was a convoy of 30/40 armored vehicles for their travels through the continent up into Tanzania.

**Zambia/Zimbabwe** – Gang based in Mufakose working with the officers in Harare. Police officials in Harare have been accused of taking over the buying and selling of illegal drugs and weapons in high density areas of Central Africa and South Africa. They have been exiled by th Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network so now work with connections to run and organise the heist of millions of rand worth of Tanzanian Diamonds and will do everything to exploit the 26s to get their own way. The gang working with the Harare Exiles are the police’s middle men who are not happy about being left out of their full cut and looked for revenge. So they may decide to break off on their own or side with another group.

**Nuevo Laredo** – Mexican Cartel who have docked in Hermanus to make the trip to Mwadui Mine in Tanzania. The deadliest gang in South America will do anything in their power and stop everything in their way to get to the Diamond mine in Mwadui first. They have crossed the police officers of Harare previously so will be extra vigilant with those exiled. However, there may be a leak on the inside they cannot completely trust but the leaders are not sure who it is and are being extra careful within their own camp.

**Williamson Diamond Mine** – Northeast of Shinyanga in Tanzania. – Heavily guarded by members of ex policae offers in Harare and the local Militia.The local Militia in Tanzania will protect their mine with checkpoints set up for kilometres along the road to ShinYanga in Tanzania. The ex-members of the police force in Harare have joined forces with the Militia in the hope they will gain a better cut from the extraction than that of the Ex-Harare militia who are also after the diamonds. So will they remain loyal to the Tanzanian Militia or will they back track to work with their partners in the ex-police force.

I have decided on four main characters for my story which could potentially lead to a series of books!

**Robert Cooper** – American volunteer teacher in the slums in Cape Town
**Thomas McCoy** – British representative working with the police officials in Harare.
**Elizabeth Crane** – South African expert historian on the Mwadui mine picked up in Port Elizabeth by the Nuevo Laredo.
**Charlotte Maas** – German expert in cave diving/mountain climbing.

Development on those characters is to come!

It is just a start but any tips will make a huge helping hand towards the finished product!

For drafts of my chapters and progress watch this space!

Please share your thoughts and comments 😊

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! In the hope of publishing my first standard length novel, I would like to share with you my thoughts and ideas to gather your feedback and your reflections! Any tips or suggestions will go a long way to helping me achieve my goal of writing and most importantly finishing my first book!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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