Ch. 2: Nowy Huta to the Wisloka River.   Posted by Cap'n Rae.Group: archive 0
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 169 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2007
at 17:08
Ch. 2: Nowy Huta to the Wisloka River

"It had become a place of darkness. But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land."

-Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:14, Sun 08 July 2007.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 170 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2007
at 17:33
Re: Ch. 2: Nowy Huta to the Wisloka River

Monday, October 2nd, 2000 -0700hrs.
Near the north bank of the Vistula river, southwest of Nowy Huta, Poland
50 F
Light Fog, Visibility 50-200m

The native crew of the Wisla Krolowa work tirelessly in the dawn chill to kedge the tug off of the mudbank against which is was moored and fasten the barge to its bows. Thusly configured, the tug backs away from the shore into the middle of the channel, before turning downstream. You man your station, the cold helping you stave off sleep. The smell of the river fills your nostrils and condensing mist dampens your clothes. It's almost hard to tell where the river ends and you begin.

Fully underway, the boat begins passing Nowy Huta and you all get a good look at the devastation. Half sunken and rusting vessels- dredges, barges, tugs, waterborne cranes- litter the river just of off the shoreline, like giant tub toys cast aside by a careless child. The city itself is a jumble of burnt brick and twisted metal. It is hard to believe that anything but the dead still walks its silent streets.

As the Krolowa approaches the eastern edge of the city, a bridge can be seen through the mist ahead. Its central span is missing, as well as part of its northern base.

Actions?

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:36, Sun 08 July 2007.

Dawid Waldus Piotrowski
 player, 106 posts
 Polish
 Gun Bunney/Grave Digger
Sun 8 Jul 2007
at 20:08
Forward Gun Mount
Sometime after the boat cast off, Dawid realised there was a newcomer on board.  Beforehand, he was too tired and busy setting up the auto-mortar to notice.  When it was convenient, he politely called her over and fetched her a chipped enamel mug of weak but hot tea, without milk.

Sipping his own battered aluminum cup, he said in Polish, "dzhehny dobri.  It is good to have someone along who is knowledgeable about boats.  Are you familiar with the river at all?"

Dawid was wearing the newer Polish army "Pantera" style camouflage battle dress and green beret.  He had artilleryman's branch collar tabs and Pultunowy's (SGT) rank epaulettes over the Polish national flag shoulder flashes. He seemed to be having some difficulty staying awake, and yawned as he rubbed at his eyes.  Setting down his mug, he splashed some water from his canteen onto his farm-boy face.

He offered her a cigarette if she wanted, and a light if she needed it, then lit his own and one for Joost if he was around.

The tug's engines throbbed in the grey dawn.  The devastation on the banks and in the river was only partly shrouded by the light mist clinging to the water.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:53, Sun 08 July 2007.

Griet Niewiadomski
 player, 14 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Sun 8 Jul 2007
at 21:34
Forward Gun Mount
"Dziękuję," Griet said as she took the cup of tea.  The heat seeped through and into her sore hands.  During the outfitting, she'd pitched in as hard as anyone else and hadn't stood around looking smug like a useless Political Officer.  Though no stranger to hard work, she'd forgotten exactly how much there was to do aboard ship.  Her hands hurt, but it was a good feeling.

"Only where it goes.  The Vistula is big, but we never sailed it.  They make enough jokes about us without putting a warship aground," she replied.  When David offered a cigarette, Griet eagerly leaned in and let him light it for her.  She took a deep drag, relishing the bite of smoke in her lungs and the awareness it would bring.  "It's good.  Cigarettes are getting hard to find.  What they bring on the black market is criminal."

Griet smoked in silence for a bit, studying David with no sense of awkwardness.  "So why is it that I, a sailor, work on land for the ORMO and you, a soldier, work on the river for the Captain?" she asked in a joking tone completely at odds with the blasted landscape that moved past them like an unending scene from a propaganda film.
Trevor 'Snowy' White
 player, 107 posts
 Australian
 Customs Service
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 00:06
Pilothouse
Snowy is still tired from the all-nighter that he and Blue pulled to get the various weapons mounted. He stands near the port bridge door, close enough to access the DShKM outside but not in the way should Uller or Adam want to use the door.

Today he is ready for action. He is wearing his flash hood rolled up under his helmet and has his protective goggles on his helmet. He also wears his kneepads and elbowpads. Over his kevlar he's wearing a grey floatation vest with 'customs' written on it, he's been dragging it around in his kit for years. His beloved M4 carbine hangs from his patrol strap as he uses his binoculars to add another set of eyes scanning the riverbanks and the waterway for obstacles and dangers. Snowy's equipment is stowed below. He looks across the banks, noting how Adam and Uller work as a team with a peripheral awareness. Bridge operations involve your senses projected outside the room you are in, but also being intimately aware of the team within. Snowy idly wonders if AFV crewmen operate the same way.

He rubbed the burn he picked up yesterday while cutting an ammo feeding hatch into the forward cargo hatch, it being vital that the Vasilek's explosive ammunition be stowed in a sandbagged locker below the waterline. He and Blue had discussed the pros and cons of having explosives low down where a lucky plunging hit could sink the boat. Blue's comment that anything hitting that ammo would sink the Tirpitz settled it, they stowed it low and gave it all round sand bagging. Anna had told him to leave the burn open to the air and let it dry. Good advice.

Snowy felt suprisingly good, although he didn't want to admit it. The long stint of work had calmed him from the day before's events and he could look at Dawid without being too bitter now. The Poles drank tea, which was possibly the best thing about Poland, or anywhere for that matter, that Snowy could think of. He lowered his glasses and looked around, wishing he'd come here before the war. Too late now. Still, he was on a bridge of a vessel and doing what he did best. You take what satisfaction you can these days.
Dawid Waldus Piotrowski
 player, 107 posts
 Polish
 Gun Bunney/Grave Digger
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 01:01
Re: Forward Gun Mount
Griet Niewiadomski:
Griet smoked in silence for a bit, studying David with no sense of awkwardness.  "So why is it that I, a sailor, work on land for the ORMO and you, a soldier, work on the river for the Captain?" she asked in a joking tone completely at odds with the blasted landscape that moved past them like an unending scene from a propaganda film.


Grinning tiredly, Dawid pulled out a flask and splashed a familiar strong-smelling clear liquid into his mug.  He offered it to Griet and Joost, saying, "ah, wodka... the farmer's breakfast."

She got the sense he wasn't flirting but acting in a comradely fashion after a hard night's toil.  If nothing else, the hard work had helped get rid of the chill of the late afternoon swim in the river after returning from Nowa Huta.  That was to rinse off any fallout particles, not that there should have been any, but he'd badly needed a bath anyways.

"What am I doing here?  My unit essentially ceased to exist after we smashed the invaders up at Kalisz a couple of months ago."  He sighed, remembering the confused battle and the disintegration afterwards.  "Never really made much of an effort to rejoin after, I guess.  So I'm AWOL.  If not a deserter.  I guarded a merchant's caravan going to Krakow, and they paid me in cigarettes.  I got off short of the city; they told me that the Rada would end up making me work for the ORMO whether I liked it or not."

"I'd like to get back home, a little town to the Southeast of Warsaw, called Grzybˇw.  You probably never heard of it.  My folks got a farm.  Maybe it's still there.
"

Looking out over the river, he drew on the cigarette, then flicked ashes over the gunwale, watching as the orange sparks quickly drifted down towards the dark river water rushing by.

Still not meeting her eyes, he sipped his tea and wodka, continuing, "if, ah, Adam isn't going past Sandomierz, then I guess I'm walking after that.  I can find my way, as long as I steer clear of the provisional national government downriver in Lodz; they wouldn't be pleased at all to see me."

Finally meeting her eyes, he then said, "Old Adam is a good man.  Maybe a little too good for this world.  The German is a good officer, even if he is, well, a German, and I will follow him.  Of the rest of the invader mercenaries, probably the Britishers, well, they are really Australians I guess, are the most honour-bound by the rules, or at least the rules as they see them.  At least there aren't any Russians!"  He laughed, as if thanking God for small favours.

"What about yourself?  The Polish Navy is... was up in the Baltic, last I heard.  Long ways from here."

This message was last edited by the player at 07:10, Mon 09 July 2007.

Anneka Soleblume
 player, 27 posts
 Israeli
 Medic
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 01:28
Re: Pilothouse
Failing to stifle a huge yawn, Anneka stumbled upon Snowy near the bridge.
"Let me see that burn again, floodlights are no good for assessing wounds."
Without waiting for a reply, she grabbed his arm, pulled up his sleeve and peered at the reddened flesh through equally reddened eyes.
"It'll do but you need to get some sleep." They all did, especially those of them who had drawn the hardest of the work, lifting and carrying heavy sandbags, metal plate and wooden beams.
"I'll speak to the Hauptmann about a rest schedule, probably two hours on, two off or something like that."
Dropping the arm, she turned abruptly and went in search of Konrad...
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 101 posts
 American
 10th Mountain Division
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 02:57
Re: Pilothouse
After driving the truck back from the burnt out city with the metal they need for strengthening the gun emplacements and the ship itself, Tucker parks the truck near the ship so that the material can be off loaded.  He slides out of the cab of the truck grabbing his rifle/grenade launcher combo, leaving the keys in the ignition so it could be moved when it is time to do so.  He checks in with Bayer to see where he can help out with his injuries.  Tucker will comply willing when he hears that they have to be out on the water by the morning.

His leg being a little sore from a gunshot wound and the work to get the Wisla ready to sail from the day before, Tucker makes his way to get himself a cup of coffee (or something else hot to warm him up) and makes his way to the deck.  He sling his M-16A2/M-203 over his shoulder as he comes out to see where they are.  He will greet anyone he sees with a nod and by raising his cup.  He reaches into his pocket and takes a couple of pills ([1] anti-biotic/[1] mild pain-reliever) he had put aside and uses his beverage to wash them down.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:57, Mon 09 July 2007.

John Yazzie
 player, 47 posts
 Native American
 USMC
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 03:24
Re: Pilothouse
John lies in the snipers nest over the bridge scanning the river banks with his bino's.He feels comfort in being behind the sand bags and the cold metal of the ak that lays by his side. he will be in a constant left right on both banks of the river in a slow movement to keep secuirty up.
Anneka Soleblume
 player, 28 posts
 Israeli
 Medic
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 10:00
Re: Pilothouse
Feet dragging and barely upright, Anneka stumbles into Konrad.
"Hauptmann Bayer, I suggest that you organise rest for everyone as soon as possible," she drawled. "Nobody's in shape to fight off a mosquito let alone a proper attack."
With those words, the fatigue she'd been so bravely fighting took hold. Sinking to the deck, she was asleep almost before she'd stopped moving.
[Private to GM: Yes, I was right - Anneka is utterly exhausted and will be out for a full period (four hours) minimum.]
Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 15 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 13:35
Forward Gun Mount
Rather than taking a nip from the flask, Griet added a splash of it to her tea.  She didn't even bother to wipe the mouth of it first.

"I do not think anyone really cares about being AWOL or not any longer.  Certainly not these dead," she said and moved an expressive arm to encompass the ruined scenery.  "You are still in Poland, and where else does a Pole belong, nya?"

Griet listened attentively to his rundown of the crew.  Such information was worth far more than the cigarettes he'd been paid in, and he was giving it away for free.  Oh, doubtless he didn't think so.  Men always seemed to expect payment in flesh from her for things.  But as far as Griet was concerned that was a bill she did not intend to honor.  Even if he was a fellow Pole and sort of cute.

"Do not make the mistake of trusting the German," she warned with a quiet intensity in her voice.  "They put a number on my Grandfather when they put him in the camps.  Told him Slaven Sind Sklaven, all Slavs are Slaves.  His brother, his sisters, all of his family butchered or starved by the Nazis."  Griet paused to spit forcefully over the side of the tug.  "Don't trust the Germans," she repeated.

"I was on the Warsazwa."  That was, or had been, a large rocket armed destroyer; better known as the Kashin class to NATO.  A shrug.  "She was a good ship but she is no more.  Griet did not seem inclined to elaborate.

"There is no going home."  Was she telling Dawid about her own home or warning him against continuing his trek?  "Krakow is as good a place as any, better than most.  It is safe enough, and the ORMO gives me food, a bunk, a job that isn't stooping to cut rye or carry slops to a pig.  It's good, and helps our people.  Ha, we even give work to the invaders who would starve without us.  It is a proud thing to be in the ORMO, Dawid.  Be proud of being a Pole."

This message was last edited by the player at 14:45, Mon 09 July 2007.

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 102 posts
 American
 10th Mountain Division
Mon 9 Jul 2007
at 14:42
Re: Forward Gun Mount
Robert will walk over to the Dawid and the new woman who was added to the ship yesterday while they were in Nowy Huta getting the necessary metal needed to reinforce the ship.  "Good morning Dawid, ma'am.  I'm Robert Tucker.  Everyone calls me Tuck though," he says to both.  "Nice job yesterday in the city.  I gave your piece to Cap'n Adam yesterday and told him to give it back to you when he was ready."