‘We report with deep regret the death of Lord Rothschild and his beloved companion, Gerald the tortoise, in unknown circumstances near Mwambi whilst out butterfly hunting in the Congolese jungle…’
So reads the obituary column of The Times London, 1899. However, our investigators have pieced together the full story of the strange events surrounding the Last Train from Mwimbi, including the latest electrochemical engravings of the action. We recommend you do not allow your manservant to view this shocking material.
An eerie silence surrounds the train, and more worryingly the vultures are already circling. The protagonists arrive:
The RN Inland and Inshore Expeditionary Landing Force disembark form the high speed launch ‘HMS African Queen Empress’. See our special report on this fine force of men on page two.
The even more dastardly Hun and their Klokwerkentruppen.
The dastardly, but less so of course because he is British, Lord Rothschild mounted on Gerald and his renegade redcoats. While Gerald may look like your regular Giant Galapagos tortoise, he has been subject to nefarious genetic modifications that have given him an unusual turn of speed and agility and a really, really bad attitude, as demonstrated by the number of former keeps missing a hand when they were a bit slow with the lettuce.
As the RN close, Petty Office Cochrane is ambushed by two disgruntled locals. While it is touch and go for a while eventually he prevails against a plucky warrior. Talking of disgruntled locals, Lt Leberwurst finds himself tangled in some exceptionally sticky vine; too late he realises it is the lair of the Archana MGMmaximus, the giant Congo Bird/Anything Eating spider. Some highly ineffective swatting with his sword leave him open to attack, the spider strikes and the massive injection of poison kills The Leutnant instantly.
Somewhat later El Shebab has a similar encounter with a large python, fails in his use of his special power to convince the snake that it is on fire (why…?) and so resorts to chopping the snake in half with his sword.
On the upside for the Huns, a well placed gas grenade from the Congreve gun in the arm of a robot drops two of Lord R’s team, despite their gasmasks.
The French seize the engine, the Germans get over excited by the densely packed target and the thought of setting a load of coal on fire under them, and miss badly with their Congreve gun.
As the forces near the train, more challenging problems arise; the abnormal experiment bursts out of the goods wagon, while Arene Idler makes a dash for it. Shortly after Lerbert Hom appears and holds Princess Mwari hostage at the barrel of the train’s maxim gun.
As this point the fighting becomes somewhat confused… though one can only assume that the jungle humidity has gotten into the powder as the shooting dice rolls were universally AWFUL…
The French Professor (and robot operator) is sniped by the RN and so stops the French robot from taking any further part. The Huns discover that both Lord R and the French are armed with armour-ignoring arc guns and two bots cease working while the key-wielding engineers dash forward to rewind them… someone pots Lerbert Hom… RN Flamethrowers play liberally across the train…. Gerald fails to tackle the enraged guerrilla experiment but Lord R shoots the beast squarely in the eye with his pistol and then cuts of the head for later investigation…. It takes four Frenchmen but Arene finally succumbs and Col Baguette rips open her bodice (looking for concealed papers of course).
The deciding fight of the incident shapes up as a repaired German robot clambers up on a wagon, and reaches a whirring metal arm out to grab the Chieftains daughter, when with a unexpectedly lively leap on to the wagon, Gerald and Lord R go head to head with the Hun. As these two behemoths square off against each other, a small voice is heard to say ‘oi clanky, leave the young lady alone’. For it is Able Seaman Jones VC of the RN (spoiler alert – posthumously awarded) who has dashed into the melee.
Scornfully ignoring the interloper, the Prussian war-machine takes a swing at Gerald, Gerald fails to duck his head in fast enough and falls dead. Lord Rothschild has little time to mourn as a large stompie foot lands on him.
Amazingly Jones swings his rifle as club annd rolling a 10 hits the robot. Hitting is one thing but the hit bounces off the Krupp plate. With a scornful wave of its arm, the robot hits and Jones falls mortally wounded. The robot seines the princess and the forces call it a day.
Categorised in: Uncategorized
This post was written by Philip Andrews