Authors: Casey Christie
As he crouched over his victim, now blissfully beyond pain, he looked like someone’s nightmare, alien, evil, repulsive.
Having fed, he had sex with the body.
When he was finished he simply opened his door and instructed his minion, Jabulani, to take her to the men so they too could also have sex with the corpse and benefit from the magical rewards of drinking the blood of a dead woman and raping her.
uSathane had been killing, eating, drinking the blood and then raping the lifeless body of one woman a month for over five years now. He did this on the instructions of the witchdoctor who said this would cure him of the HIV and AIDS diseases and increase his magical powers. The women were never taken from the township; his men were careful not to diminish local support and always took them from a neighbouring location or during a house robbery. Sometimes he had them brought in from Zimbabwe and looked after them until he needed to “eat”. Not only did the abandoned mine-dump provide high ground for his snipers but a convenient burial ground for all of his victims.
The witchdoctor had stipulated that the woman must be a virgin and AIDS free in order for the ritual to work. But uSathane had stopped caring if the women met these requirements or not. He thought to himself that some must, some of them anyway. He had so many and on such a regular basis that what did it matter if he raped and killed the wrong woman every now and then, he supposed.
This belief that having sex with a virgin could cure a man of AIDS was tragically quite common in South Africa. Hence the reason that all of uSathane’s men also took part in the ritual after their master. The majority of his gang also had HIV or full blown AIDS. Why wouldn’t they, after all uSathane had raped all of the men as part of their initiation into his gang.
At the thought that he had just drunk good blood and that he would be stronger now for the fight against the police, he lay his head on his pillow and dozed off.
Sergeant Michael Night of the South African Police Force roused himself to the sound of his old alarm clock sitting next to his bed. It was Saturday 0600. He turned off the alarm clock and instinctively felt for his 9MM Vector that he kept loaded next to his bed below him carefully placed in a shoe for quick arming. He pulled himself out of his bed, made his way over to his bathroom and stumbled into an ice cold shower. Over the years he found that this was the best method for recuperating from an energy draining hangover, like the hangover he had now. Though it wasn’t an alcohol induced hangover, the General and he had hardly drunk a lot the night before. Rather it was what he liked to think of as an overdose-of-violence hangover combined with the massive adrenalin dump felt by men involved in gunfights across the world.
He had first experienced this type of morning-after effect as a new recruit of the South African Army’s Special Urban Commando Unit or SASUCU over 18 years ago. They were operating alongside the South African Police and providing them with tactical fire support while the SAPF conducted High Visibility National Crime Prevention duties. They had made contact with a group of armed robbers while they were preparing to hit a cash-in-transit vehicle. The fire fight was brief. The highly skilled commandos dominated the poorly trained criminals within seconds by taking higher ground and applying aggression in action that Corporal Michael Night had never before experienced. It was the day that he had made his first confirmed kills, three in fact.
Although he didn’t remember doing it at the time he had flanked the enemy’s position behind a stolen BMW, that they had planned to use to ram the CIT vehicle off the road, and cut three of the armed robbers down with his 5.56 calibre R4 assault rifle.
His commanders were pleased with his performance and wrote letters of recommendation for his good work and bravery. The next day he awoke feeling pretty similar to the way he felt today although because that was the first time he felt that way it was more difficult to deal with. Through conversations with fellow commandos and police officers he came to realise it was a pretty common occurrence after killing the enemy or being involved in a fire fight. Many men just put it down to an adrenalin dump that follows the high and extra speed and strength that adrenalin provides.
Sergeant Night thought a bit more analytically about it and concluded that it stemmed more from the violent and aggressive energy that is generated while in deadly combat. Whatever it was it was a very real occurrence and the debilitating effects could be three fold that of an alcohol hangover – resulting in slower thought processes, slower movement and an overall feeling of exhaustion and sluggishness.
Sergeant Night gave the effect a name, Violence Over Dose Effect he called it, or VODE, and now he was primed for the morning’s measure that he knew would come after the previous day’s contact with the enemy. He had dealt with VODE many times in his life before.
He stepped out of the cold shower and prepared himself a strong black coffee with three sugars. He put on a khaki coloured pair of Cargo pants and a plain black V-neck. His shoes were brown hiking boots. He picked up his 9MM and pulled back the slide just enough to see that a round was still in the chamber and placed the weapon in an in-holster in his pants on his right side and beneath his shirt. Safety always off. Like most veteran South African police officers Sergeant Night never engaged the safety mechanism of the state issued Vector, on duty or off. For two reasons. One, the safety catch was stupidly situated on the slide of the weapon and if engaged could easily re-engage once the weapon was cocked and two, in Night’s experience operating as a police officer and bodyguard in South Africa there simply was not enough time to disengage a safety mechanism once contact was made with the enemy.
He downed the coffee and prepared to leave his small state-subsidised one bedroom single man’s flat at the bottom of the Norwood Police Barracks. Sergeant Night lived a Spartan life and had little desire for material possessions. The only objects he spent a considerable amount of his income on were tactical accessories, instruments that were essential to him performing his duty at optimal levels -- from extra ammunition magazines, flashlights, tactical knives, bullet proof clothing for his Close Protection contracts to private weapons. Under South African law at the time every private citizen was entitled to own and carry three weapons for self-defence. One pistol in each calibre: 9MM, .40 and .45. He went to his safe and took out his state issued 12 gauge shotgun. He left his personal weapons licenced for self-defence inside the safe.
He had a busy morning ahead of him and planned to end the day sipping on an ice cold Castle Lager sitting in a deck chair looking out over the Vaal River that was about 100KMS out of Johannesburg. First, though, he was going to pay a visit to the Norwood Armoury where he would have the armourer take a look at his state issued shotgun. It had bothered him that it had failed to fire. Usually his shotgun was the most reliable weapon he had, or so he thought. Deeper, though, he wanted to find a mechanical failure with the weapon that would explain the misfire. That would be easier than putting it down to anything supernatural.
He walked out of the barracks to the back of the station where he parked his pride and joy, a white 6.0 Litre V8 Chevrolet Lumina SS saloon. Hardly a vehicle a man could afford on a Sergeant’s salary but an important part of why he moonlighted as a bodyguard and security contractor. He had fallen asleep the night before, looking forward to the drive to the Vaal. He would be able to open up his girl’s naturally aspirated lungs and take her to her limits, or close to them.
“In a short while, baby” he said, looking at her affectionately before entering the station.
“Warrant Officer Van Der Heerden, how are you sir?”
Speaking in Afrikaans the Warrant Officer answered, “Morning Sergeant. I am fine. What can I do for you?”
“She had a failure to fire yesterday” and he put his 12 gauge on the counter of the armoury. “First one I have had with her. And as far as I can tell she shouldn’t have misfired – the ammunition looks good too. I was hoping you could have a look and give me a second opinion or perform some ballistic tests on her.”
“OK Sergeant, leave her with me and I’ll let you know on Monday.”
“Thanks. Have a good weekend.”
Sergeant Night turned and walked away thinking to himself what a great conversationalist the Warrant Officer was.
“Sergeant” called the Warrant Officer.
“They say you saw uSathane last night, is that true?”
“Okay, thanks.” And the Warrant Officer hurriedly buried his head in some paperwork.
Sergeant Night sat in his vehicle and started the engine. She growled to life as only a V8 can and then slowly purred as he let her warm up.
“My baby. How are you this morning, I hope you are in the mood for some speed?” He patted her gently on the dashboard. Just then he noticed a police vehicle pull into the station. He quickly put his phone to his ear and pretended to be speaking to someone. He didn’t want anybody thinking he spoke to his car or was being affectionate. Not Sergeant Night.
Sergeant Night pulled up to his first destination, Lisa van der Westhuizen’s house. She lived with her parents in a high walled, electric fence-protected three bedroomed house in the suburb of Kensington.
As he reached the driveway he pulled out a remote Control for the gate, pressed it and reversed in off the street in front of it as he waited for the heavy security barrier to open. He looked in each direction of the road making sure there were no suspicious people or potential hijackers in sight. He and many other South African inhabitants had trained themselves to always be on the lookout for criminals, fully aware of the fact that statistically South Africans were most likely to have a gun stuck in their face and robbed of their vehicle while in a home’s driveway waiting for the gate to open.
When the entrance was fully open he reversed inside the property behind the six foot high walls and waited for the gateway to fully close once more before turning off his vehicle’s engine. The front door to the house opened and he saw Lisa standing there in the opening through the bars of the heavy security gate as she inserted the keys and opened it.
Then he saw him. An 80KG brandy-brown Boerboel with a black mouth and muzzle. He pushed past Lisa almost knocking her off her feet and came hurtling towards Night.
“Slow down you bloody great big bastard” shouted Night.
Alas, it was too late as the massive canine had already left the ground and leaped at Michael Night’s chest.
He just managed to keep himself on his feet as the animal landed on his upper body while standing on its hind legs. The colossal creature laid its massive tongue all over Night’s face and licked him excitedly.
“Hello my boy, how are you Wamba, my big boy” said Night affectionately.
“He has been waiting for you by the door since last night” said Lisa while walking over to greet her man.
“Ya Lis, he’s as big as a bloody lion but is as soppy as a Chihuahua.”
The Boerboel is a large South African mastiff dog breed, bred specifically for guarding the homestead. The name Boerboel derives from “boer”, the Afrikaans word for “farmer” and therefore translates into “farmer’s dog” or “boer’s dog”. They are extremely powerful hounds and many stories have been told of Boerboels taking on large predators in defence of a farm. Even challenging lions.
Sergeant Night had come across Wamba two years previously while on duty. He was called to a house where dog fighting was reported to take place in Alexandra Township and found the Boerboel tied to a washing line. Next to him lay the carcasses of two other fighting dogs – an American Pit-bull and an English Bull Terrier. The head of the dog-fighting ring who had been arrested earlier by Sergeant Night’s colleagues explained that the dog had been their champion fighter and had never lost a contest.
“I am going to put it down” said one of the Warrant Officers on scene, taking out his service pistol.
In accordance with South African Law a Police Officer could legally destroy a dog if he found it to be dangerous and a risk to human life as long as he had the consensus and agreement of two other citizens of legal standing and of age, or one other police officer.
The Warrant Officer’s crew, a young Constable, nodded his endorsement.
“You can’t shoot my best dog – do you know how much he’s worth?” said the ring leader. He was of mixed race or more commonly known in South Africa as a “Coloured”. He was tall and thin in his late thirties and was wearing blue overalls and a dirty white soaring hat. He had badly kept teeth and the front two were gold capped. His fingers were covered in fake gold rings. “It’s against my human rights, if you shoot him you’ll affect my livelihood.”
“Shut your mouth you idiot, you are a piece of rubbish criminal. You don’t have any rights” said the Warrant Officer.
“Do you know that’s the best dog I’ve ever had! It killed those two just this morning, he fought them one after the other and I made over R5000.00 just off that. Can’t we speak like men, Danie, and work this out?” To “Speak like men” was the commonly used and thinly veiled criminal suggestion for bribe negotiations to take place. He spoke to the Warrant Officer with an over familiarity while using his first name.
The Warrant Officer looked across at Sergeant Night with embarrassment which quickly turned to anger and walked over to the ring leader and pistol whipped him three times until the criminal was out cold.
“Piece of shit” muttered Warrant Officer Danie Cronje. “Now I am going to kill this bloody stupid dog.”
“Wait a minute Warrant. Please just give me a second with him” said Night.
“Why, it’s crazy, no good as a dog any more – it’s just a killer.”
Big Constable Shaka interrupted: “He has a way with dogs, Warrant. He’s like the dog whisperer or something.”
Sergeant Night approached the leashed animal and looking directly into his eyes, started to talk calmly to the dog.