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Baptism: Saint Louis Kraal
Timejacker #10A
© 2023 James LaFond
NOV/5/23
January 5, 2615
The Great Kraal of red brick overlooked the old ruins from which it’s materials had been salvaged, down by the river. Some pillars from the ancient bridges were still visible, mostly as islands in the great river. Shaka Supreme, King of Saint Louis, worried, for a floating thing hung over the river just up stream. He did not wish to launch the canoes, for they could do little good against such a thing.
The floating thing was manned by men who could be seen from a distance dressed in blue and gray clothes and hats. A person had been set down by a rope and was being brought up to him by a file of the River Impi [1].
Shaka Supreme turned to Shaka Kraal, the commander of the Royal Impi, “Brother, how will we combat this thing that flies?”
Shaka Kraal was his older brother of the same mother and thought clearly, “In ancient times the Whites once had flying machines that did more than float like an air canoe, such as this. The white air machines dove like eagles and spit death like dragons. The man which flies must touch the ground to gather food and water. Bide your time, brother and conquer this thing and make it your own!”
“Thank you, Brother of brothers, of my Mother. Should we consult the Doctors?”
‘I am old and he is older. Will we still be good at war?’ he doubted within.
Shaka Kraal spoke with conviction, “Elder Doctor of War, call him.”
Shaka Supreme, surrounded at a distance of five strides from the men of the Supreme Impi, held up his Asagi [2] and shook it. This was the signal for warriors to bring the War Doctor, who communicated with the spirits of departed Shakas for advice.
“I do not like this, Brother, it whispers to me from the sky of an ancient evil.”
Even as he spoke those words, Shaka Supreme felt a cold shadow glide down his back.
Shaka Kraal stood firm next to him, his rock, and clenched his jaw so large.
It was ominous that the messenger, for he was merely that, a weak, watery man, arrived at the same time up from the river as the War Doctor did coming down from the Asagi Forge where he blessed every blade, a blade forged for every man new made.
Elder War Doctor shook his rattle club, its head filled with the eye teeth of departed Shakas, and stamped his feet so that the anklets of enemy warrior thumb bones rattled there. He dances so that the skirt of enemy scalps spun and summoned the spirits of war. And about his arms were banded the small rib of every Shaka who had consigned his body to the Asagi Forge for quenching the sacred blade of the next Shaka.
The man before them trembled in terrible fright, being no warrior, which was a shame as he was much darker then any Zulu. This man appeared as if he was free of the ancient rape taint of the white devils who had been driven back to the evil planets where they had descended from by the curses of Doctors.
“You come in parley, man?” demanded Shaka Supreme.
“Y, y, ya—ess, I’z do Sa,” spoke the man.
“Who are you, speaker, messenger or emissary?”
“I’s Nigga Jim, messenga from My Massa James Bowie, called Big Jim.”
The War Doctor shrieked and leapt into the air, shaking his rattle and stamping down with his lean feet upon the icy ground. The Zulu Nation were the strongest nation of New Africa, their warriors even going barefoot in winter snow. Weak infants were exposed on the river bank, weak youths died in training...but their weakest youth was stronger than this withered soul. Shaka Supreme was shaken by this declaration of slavery as if from a page of the books kept by the Mameluke slave scholars of Memphis which he had occasion to see of them their story pictures and hear the words read aloud…
His regal tone, his years of cultivating proper warrior speech, fell away in a slack-jawed instant and Shaka Supreme, blurted, “Say what!?!”
The man fell to his knees, “I a slave sir, to a bad man o’ war, who has freed me to give dis message. Massa Jim knows I would not be trusted ta fight ma own kind on his white behalf.”
The War Doctor screamed, “Enough! Shaka Supreme, do not let this poison enter your ears. This is the White God’s deceiver, the deceptive spirit sent to confuse you with the message of the God so evil that he gave up his own son for murder. I have seen from the forge glass above that there are white men upon the sky boat, that evil and deviltry has returned, brought by this black fool, this goat staked out for the lion—and that lion is You, My Shaka!”
“What do we do, Elder War Doctor?”
The black man on his knees was in a panic, his hat now held in his hand, “Massa Jim says, iff’n ya kill me, he gonna burn ya’ll up! Says he fixxin’ fo a battle down on da bank, dat ya can be knowed dat he will not retreat with the Mississippi to his back, and that he gonna whip the black off all y’all’s back sassin’ backs!”
As these words were said, many ropes were seen dropping men and things down on the river bank below and Shaka Supreme trembled with ominous anger, with aggression, with the lion’s thirst to smite the jackal at the kill. He snarled, “War Doctor, bless us for battle!”
The War Doctor then sneered, “This dog of a slave, this supposed to be free soul who yet calls the white devil what sent him, Master—”
The poor kneeling coward trembled, “It notin’ but a habit o’ speech—I’s free, free at last! I’s here fo da jubilee!”
Shaka Supreme cringed at the craven sight of this debased slave of the returning White devils and gave his commands.
Elder War Doctor, before I assemble the Zulu Impis and form the bull and the horns, what need you for the War Blessing?”
The War Doctor placed his Asagi blade under the chin of the trembling man and snarled, “Four Mexican slaves, a mason and three carpenters, a heavy beam, a light cross beam, and a bucket of railroad spikes. Hammers, of course.”
Shaka Supreme raised his Asagi and whirled it overhead, this being the sign that all impis were to gather for war. And with his hickory club, he pointed to the battle ground, the flat crescent of ground on the river bank below, north of where the Canoe Impi already manned their boats, where the White Devil machine floated and from its underparts dropped devils like dice.
He then gave his close command to Shaka Kraal, “Brother of my Mother, send the Canoe Impi out in the river to land behind the devils. First send three canoes to Memphis and warn the Mameluke, that though I do not abandon my ancestors for his Allah, that the Whites have returned from the sky and we could use some of his muskets and swords, for The Great Satan his doctors teach of has returned.”
Notes
-1. A body of warriors numbering a thousand, commanded by each by one of the ten other, Lesser Shaka’s, with ten bands of 100 warriors each, commanded by a chief and consisting of ten files of ten men each. Only six Impis are statione at Saint Louis Kraal, the four other Kraals each being North, South, East and West of the King’s Kraal.
-2. A short, one-handed thrusting spear invented by the original Shaka come 800 years earlier in South Africa
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