Ch. 10: Annopol to Solec.   Posted by Cap'n Rae.Group: 0
Dave 'Bones' Stoner
 player, 174 posts
 HM2 (E-5)
 US Navy
Fri 15 Aug 2008
at 01:00
It'a aliiiive!
Feeling somewhat invigorated by the stew Mariusz made him, or maybe the shot of vodka in it, Dave gets up and moving.

"Hey Boss", he reports to Anneka. His face is pale, his eyes are glassy with fever, and the half smile he perpetually wears is missing. But he's got his weapon, chest harness of ammo, and his medic bag even if his boots are untied and the loose ends tucked into the tops.

Looking around and noting the missing party members he asks "We got a party ashore? Where you want me? Portside Dushka? I hate to tell you this, but that ancient aqualung is a combat loss. Ditto that MP-5 I was carrying."
Anneka Soleblume
 player, 726 posts
 Major
 Israeli Medic
Fri 15 Aug 2008
at 03:27
Re: It'a aliiiive!
Anneka couldn't help but smile when she saw Stoner up and about again.
"I think we'll need you on the aft gun for most of the day, but do try to keep your eyes on the countryside and off the workers below won't you?"
That might prove hard for him as she and Griet were likely to be amongst those workers. If her suspicions were borne out, most of them would be pouring with sweat and stripped to the waist in short order.
"I guessed the gear was gone, but at least we've got you back in one piece."
Her delicate hand looked more like a dolls as she briefly rested it on his well muscled arm for a little longer than was perhaps appropriate....
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 463 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Fri 15 Aug 2008
at 13:02
Re: The Fires of Hell
Anneka Soleblume:
In reply to Robert 'Tuck' Tucker (msg #381):

Anneka considered for a moment before replying.
"I think we need somebody in the bunker on the AGS watching forward, somebody in the bow with the Mk-19 supporting the patrol and one at the aft DShK watching the rear. Looks like McCoy has the other bank."
"As long as those positions are filled, everyone else should probably make themselves available to shift stores forward."

With Konrad, Dawid, Jason and Jan ashore, it seemed to make sense to Anneka if Mariusz, Minh, Stoner and McCoy remained on watch while everyone else worked hard to make their current stay as short as possible.
"Can you look after the details Sergeant?"
Tucker scratched his head as he looked at the scrap piece of paper he held with his notes of duty assignments and positions.  "It's not leavin' me with a whole helluva lot to work with Major.  I mean for right now you got the next ground team on the boat for secuirty.  You got Milk & McCoy up on top looking around.  We can put Stoner on the Mark-19 while he tries to get some feeling back into his body.  Keep Mariusz in the AGS bunker and I could start some weapon maintenance on the DShK's while we're waiting.  If you want, we could put Minh on the aft DShK foir the time being?"
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 851 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Fri 15 Aug 2008
at 23:35
Meeting New People

From the bridge roof, Sam watches the small armed party for a few minutes before giving his SALUTE report. Six men, observing the tug, roughly 500m to the east, on the other side of the river in a cluster of brush and dead wood, no apparent uniforms- just dull subdued civilian garb. Two of them are armed with what appear to be WWII era rifles, one carries what is certainly a PPsH submachine gun, one has an AKM, and one is armed only with a long-barrelled automatic pistol- probably an old Tokarev or M1911A1.

In the village, the old man- probably no older than 65- continues to assail the party with a tirade of impassioned giberish. When Dawid shows him the gold crucifix, the old man crosses himself several times, then spits an equal number of times into the ashes at his feet. He looks expectantly at the party for a few seconds before crouching, bent at the waste, elbows cocked to his sides, hands hanging limply at the wrists, and sniffing the air vigorously. Then, he begins to bark, like a dog, jab-stepping at the party in a surreal pantomime. This lasts several seconds. Stopping abruptly, he looks all around as if to reassure himself. Seemingly satisfied, he gestures urgently for the party to follow him, repeating over an over an unintelligible refrain.

Back on the tug, the native crew, now joined by a mostly recuperated Tadeusz, and aided by the newly adopted Indian railway engineer, Sanjay, begin to shift ballast forward. Soon, the Vasilek and the Mk-19 are surrounded by various bits of ship's equipment- ropes, chains, machine parts, crates, barrels, and the like. Even the Ural is trundled forward. This arrangement will likely hamper the effective employment of the tug's main gun should the need arrise.

Slowly, the stern of the Krolowa begins to rise while the bows nose down. Repairs can begin within the hour.

Actions?
Anneka Soleblume
 player, 729 posts
 Major
 Israeli Medic
Sat 16 Aug 2008
at 12:32
Re: Meeting New People
Anneka kicked herself for not realising sooner that the only place to actually move all those stores and shift the tugs balance, was the same place they'd set up their heaviest weapons!
"Minh, Sergeant Tucker and I will give you a hand in a moment to shift the '19 out of the way of this mess," she said dropping her current load of gear as far forward as she could and not have it fall into the river.
"Any suggestions where?"
The answer to that was fairly obvious. Either over onto the barge, or back to the upper deck with the heavy machineguns. Nowhere else was really suitable, even the aft deck where it had been originally due to the ongoing repairs to the stern....
Jason Kasparov
 player, 250 posts
 Warrant Officer 1
 U.S. Army Blackhawk Pilot
Sat 16 Aug 2008
at 13:18
Re: Meeting New People
When (if?) others in the party follow the man-dog, Jason falls into formation, staying on the flank, AK-74 at the ready.
Konrad Bayer
 player, 743 posts
 Hauptmann
 Panzergrenadier
Sat 16 Aug 2008
at 13:55
Re: Meeting New People
Bayer looks at the man sizing him up. Perhaps he'd gone demented and primitive as a result of some drastic, critical stress. Living amongst the dead and ruins for so long. Or maybe he'd been a mental patient of some sort even before the war. In any case, he waves his hand for the group to follow.
Minh Quyen
 player, 274 posts
 Spec-4
 U.S. Army Military Police
Sat 16 Aug 2008
at 14:09
Re: Meeting New People
Quyen nods to Anneka, "Doctor." she replies slowly. She sits down and rests. Having helped move the heavy gear to tip the vessel was hard work. She'd definitely be enjoying what Mariusz would have for them later.

Calling back to Tuck, Quyen says, "Sergeant Tucker. I can go where ever you want to station me. Rear em-gee is fine."
Dawid Waldus Piotrowski
 player, 806 posts
 Ex-Sergeant
 Polish Artillerist
Sat 16 Aug 2008
at 14:20
Re: Meeting New People
Dawid kissed it as he put his cross away, then crossed himself.

"Huh. That worked! Who'd have thought! Maybe it takes one to know one?"

He got hold of the MG in a better grip, then followed Bayer and the rest of the patrol.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:34, Sun 17 Aug 2008.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 856 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Sun 17 Aug 2008
at 20:45
Tea for the Tillerman

1400 hrs.

With the clearing patrol in tow, the old man shuffles off, pausing every so often to make sure that they are following. He leads them to a narrow lane, about 100m west along the main road, and down that another 100m to a small cottage set off by itself. The whitewashed exterior of the cottage is heat-cracked and dingy but otherwise largely intact. Instead of a front door, there is a large wooden wardrobe, charred here and there, pulled up tightly against the frame. Scores of deep, overlapping scratch marks adorn its lower half. The old man squats down and pushes against the heavy piece of furniture, sliding it into the interior of the dwelling. He beckons urgently for the soldiers to follow. The interior of the cottage is well lit due to its lack of a roof. Burned and broken debris have been swept into the corners of the one room house. Various pieces of debris- burned roof beams, a metal bed frame, bedsprings, and the like- have been propped against the small building's glassless windows.

In the center of the house is a pair of wrought iron chairs and a soot covered end table atop which is set a chipped and stained tea service. Sitting in one of the chairs at the small, round table is a skeleton in a singed dress, its hands crossed neatly in its lap. The dead woman's remains are the neatest and cleanest items in the room, if not the entire town. The old man gestures for Konrad to sit down at the table and fills a metal teapot with water from a large tin bowl sitting beneath a tarp angling down from where one end is fastened to the top of the wall. He sets the teapot atop a small wood-burning stove and opens the door to its firebox. He freezes, holding one finger to his cracked lips and cocking his head to one side for a few seconds. Springing to his feet, he rushes to the door, throwing his weight against the heavy wardrobe and pushing it up against the door. Breathing heavily, he looks at the party as if to say "I told you so." He picks up a metal pipe propped inside the door and brandishes it like a club. This has obviously become a routine for the old man.

Snuffling sounds enter the dwelling from just outside the makeshift door, followed shortly thereafter by scratching, whining, and panting. It sounds like about a dozen large dogs (or wolves) are gathered on the other side of the barricade, intent on joining the little tea party.

Meanwhile, from the roof of the Krolowa, Milk and McCoy witness half of the armed party on the eastern shore get up and move off to the south, leaving the other half in the small copse of trees from which they've been observing the tug for the better part of the last hour.

The shifting of ballast continues until the damaged section of the tug's stern plate is several inches above the surface of the river*. The experienced team of Grzyech, Tadeuz, Walter, Sanjay, and Griet begin the repairs while the rest of the tug-bound team keeps watch. Now that the hard part is done with, repairs should take about an hour. Another hour or so will be needed to reshift the ballast and reattach the barge. By that time, evening will be approaching.

Actions?

* I forgot to mention this but the barge has been detached from the tug and anchored nearby. The tug itself has been turned around so that its bows are pointed into the current. This should make the repairs go a little smoother.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:14, Sun 17 Aug 2008.

Dawid Waldus Piotrowski
 player, 809 posts
 Ex-Sergeant
 Polish Artillerist
Mon 18 Aug 2008
at 06:01
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Following the obviously crazy man to his "house", Dawid reflected that his life was almost a gift. So many had died, yet this damaged soul had somehow managed to survive.

Seeing the picked-clean still-dressed skeleton sitting at the table, Dawid felt more sad than repulsed. Perhaps the mans's obviously deranged nature took some of the horror of the scene away, making it more sad and lonely, not horrifying.

Was this the man's home? Was this his dead wife? Had many happy days passed here before the war erased them all, and possibly the man's sanity? This could be something else, perhaps a murder victim and her callous killer, but somehow he didn't think so.

"Konrad, do you want me to see if we can perhaps give this poor soul a decent Christian burial? It may collapse what little sanity he has left, or it may help."

When the dogs came, he unholstered his Stechkin, making sure it was on single-shot. "I don't know if I would shoot my weapon here. Those others by the river may misinterpret it as an attack on this poor man. If they care?"

He made sure he wasn't pointing it at the crazy man, so as not to alarm him.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:24, Mon 18 Aug 2008.

Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 306 posts
 Polish
 Teenaged Partisan
Mon 18 Aug 2008
at 13:06
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Mariusz sat in the tow's bunker and kept a close lookout on the surroundings, fantasising about which big gun he'd use first should the need arise. He spotted the patrol and got on to the intercom. He informed the bridge and understood that the Spec For guy, MCoy, was on to them, he said, "OK, I'll keep a lookout around here, I've moved the AGS to cover that arc, let me know if you want me to fire."

He looked around and paid particular attention to the buildings, he wanted to check if there was a church nearby.
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 464 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Mon 18 Aug 2008
at 15:02
Re: Meeting New People
Minh Quyen:
Quyen nods to Anneka, "Doctor." she replies slowly. She sits down and rests. Having helped move the heavy gear to tip the vessel was hard work. She'd definitely be enjoying what Mariusz would have for them later.

Calling back to Tuck, Quyen says, "Sergeant Tucker. I can go where ever you want to station me. Rear em-gee is fine."
"Yeah that's OK Minh.  Take up the rear MG for now once we get all of this stuff moved around!"
Konrad Bayer
 player, 744 posts
 Hauptmann
 Panzergrenadier
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 01:03
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Dawid Waldus Piotrowski:
"I don't know if I would shoot my weapon here. Those others by the river may misinterpret it as an attack on this poor man. If they care?"


"Good point. I don't think they care. But shooting may have other consequences at this point. They're may be others hiding." Bayer replies. Still sitting at the table, the glass of water in front of him, he diverts his gaze back to the skeleton.

After a moment he says, annoyance in his voice, "How many dogs are out there?"

Then looking at all three says, "Options?"

This message was last edited by the player at 01:04, Tue 19 Aug 2008.

Anneka Soleblume
 player, 735 posts
 Major
 Israeli Medic
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 02:39
Working on the tug
Anneka took a moment and seated herself on the piled up stores currently occupying the bow.
"We'll need to deal with them soon I think," she said to Tucker, indicating the armed party on the far bank with a vague wave of her hand.
"But it'll have to wait until the Hauptman gets back. Too few left aboard with us immobilised."
For now all they could really do was keep them under observation...
Minh Quyen
 player, 275 posts
 Spec-4
 U.S. Army Military Police
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 06:31
Re: Meeting New People
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker:
</quote>"Yeah that's OK Minh.  Take up the rear MG for now once we get all of this stuff moved around!"


"Sergeant." she replies. Heading to the rear DSHK, Quyen sets up at her temporary station. Lying her AK on the deck beside her she checks the machinegun's status and then observes her new area of responsibility. Looking for potential places the enemy can use as cover, she practices estimating the range to each.

The craving for a smoke came on, but she forced it off. Her new found stash didn't mean she could go nuts. The slowly changing angle of the deck was noticable, and awkward.

Hearing some barking in the distance she thinks, hmm dogs. Probably really friendly. Too bad we couldn't take them on board.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:31, Tue 19 Aug 2008.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 233 posts
 Polish Navy - CPO
 Krakow ORMO
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 08:42
Re: Meeting New People
Griet examined the hull carefully, the series of cracks that ran from the outside of the hit around the hole had left a large area of the hull seriously weakened.

The first job was to fill these cracks and then weld a patch into the hole itself. That done, they'd prepared two larger metal patches to sandwich the damaged area. They'd pre-drilled holes in the patches so once the primary repair was done, bolt holes could be cut into the hull where needed and then the patch bolted on, the final job would be a light weld on the outer patch to seal everything and then the tug could be set right and carry on it's way.
Dawid Waldus Piotrowski
 player, 810 posts
 Ex-Sergeant
 Polish Artillerist
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 15:06
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Konrad Bayer:
"Good point. I don't think they care. But shooting may have other consequences at this point. They're may be others hiding." Bayer replies. Still sitting at the table, the glass of water in front of him, he diverts his gaze back to the skeleton.

After a moment he says, annoyance in his voice, "How many dogs are out there?"

Then looking at all three says, "Options?"


He listened to the growling and barking outside.

"Wild dogs won't put up much of a fight before they go. We could probably fend them off with debris, throwing stuff at them, hitting them with sticks."

"If these are rabid dogs... let's not take a chance!"

"Any other survivors here have heard the barking, they will probably figure it out if they hear shots."


Dawid looked at the walls.

"These look thick enough, we could pitch a grenade out where the roof used to be?"
Konrad Bayer
 player, 746 posts
 Hauptmann
 Panzergrenadier
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 15:36
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Still sitting, Bayer annoyingly replies "Ja. Do it. Get rid of them. We can't be stuck in here with this man all day. Things need to be done." After watching the lunatic for a while looks back at Dawid, "Careful Dawid. If you get bit and dey are rabid... we'll have to shoot you."

The last bit was just as much as warning for his safety as it was Bayer's attempt to humour things. He didn't appreciate being penned in by dogs when the Krolowa was susceptible to threats. His intention to scout out the area and then return so that the standing patrol could deploy was interfered by lowly dogs.
Dawid Waldus Piotrowski
 player, 811 posts
 Ex-Sergeant
 Polish Artillerist
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 16:08
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Konrad Bayer:
Still sitting, Bayer annoyingly replies "Ja. Do it. Get rid of them. We can't be stuck in here with this man all day. Things need to be done." After watching the lunatic for a while looks back at Dawid, "Careful Dawid. If you get bit and dey are rabid... we'll have to shoot you."


Dawid nodded, very seriously.

"Rabies is a death sentence. You cannot tell just by looking."

"I will use a grenade. Any surviving dogs will be scared off."


Putting away his pistol, he took out a Russian RGD-5 grenade from his pocket and got ready to pull the pin, giving Konrad the chance to stop him if he didn't want to do it that way.

"Everyone, please cover your ears!"

He motioned for the crazy man to do the same, and for everyone to get to the cottage's far wall.

OOC: is there a gap in the door frame to just flip it out?
Jason Kasparov
 player, 252 posts
 Warrant Officer 1
 U.S. Army Blackhawk Pilot
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 16:27
Re: Tea for the Tillerman
Dogs, thinks Jason, freezing.  It had to be dogs.  They sound like big ones, too.  He had always been uneasy around dogs, especially after being bitten by a Saint Bernard as a child.  He remains in place until Dawid's call to cover ears and motion for everyone to move to the back wall.  Giving himself a shake, Jason moves to comply.
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 858 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 19:45
Dogmeat

Awaiting an objection to his proposal, Dawid hefts the heavy metal orb in his hand for a few seconds before pulling the pin and lobbing it over the front wall of the cottage. The occupants take cover near the back of the building and the grenade detonates with a sharp crack-boom. Bits of sooty plaster and burned wallpaper fall off of the walls and a roof beam slides from where it was propped against a window to clatter on the floor.

From outside, there are a few short, piercing yelps and then the piteous whining of at least one wounded animal. The old man seems a bit shaken at first, but then his face brightens. He pulls against the wardrobe barricade and peeks through the crack along the door jamb.

He shouts a garbled victory cry and pulls the wardrobe the rest of the way open. Five large dogs lie dead or dying around the doorway. A sixth is attempting to drag itself off on its unwounded forelegs. The old man leaps upon the unfortunate pooch, bashing in its skull with his long lead pipe with undisguised relish. Several other dogs watch anxiously from a distance, apparently quite taken aback by the shock of the grenade blast.

The old man holds his bloodstained club aloft and yells in the direction of the dazed canine spectators. Then he walks over to Dawid and embraces him, placing bristly kisses on both of the younger Pole's cheeks. Tears run in dirty streaks down the old man's face. His muttered words of thanks are still meaningless in a literal sense but his immense outpouring of grattitude is obvious even without them.

Those on the tug are taken by surprise by the grenade explosion. They have no idea what's going on ashore. The repair crew pause in their efforts, awaiting some kind of reassurance. If the tug is attacked now, she'll be as vulnerable as a beached whale.

The watchers on the east bank don't budge. They continue their vigil undisturbed by the fading echo of the distant explosion.

Actions?
Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 308 posts
 Polish
 Teenaged Partisan
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 20:05
Meet and Greet
Mariusz finished rearranging things inside the bunker and then put his G3 onto the roof. He clambered on to it and looked at the observers, sitting there playing it cool.

He searched through his jacket and found his tobbacco tin. He looked inside, there were four soviet cigarettes left and to western ones. The other side of the tin was taken up with the dregs of tobacco he'd salvaged from the butt can. Carefully he shredded this up more finely and pulled out his prize book, it was "The Norton Anthology of Poetry" the pages were bible paper thin and the book had been about 3000 pages long. It was substantially less now.

He selected a poem, "Not waving but Drowning" and ripped it out carefully, reading it before using it to roll the tobacco up in it. He made a filter from some scrounged cardboard and finished making his rolly whilst reciting the poem.

"Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning."


"And that was specially for our own resident icicle," Mariusz chuckled, he lit his cigarette and blew extravagant smoe rings. He waved at the watchers and yelled, "Hey, you want to trade, I have cigarettes?"

This message was last edited by the player at 20:08, Tue 19 Aug 2008.

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 465 posts
 Platoon Sergeant
 10th Mountain Division
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 20:40
Re: Meet and Greet
Tucker looks up from his work of cleaning one of the tug's HMG's or GL's and looks towards the shore where the explosion came from.  "Shit!  That can'tbe good," goes through his mind as he tries to see what is going on.  He looks up to McCoy and Clarence, "McCoy!  Might be our boys.  See what you can tell us from there!"

Tucker moves over to his gear to make sure that it's ready to go.
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 859 posts
 Long-time T2K Fan
 First-time GM
Tue 19 Aug 2008
at 22:19
Bridge Roof

Clarence lay on the cold, sand-littered roof of the Krolowa's bridge, intently watching the watchers.

Something about their behaviour was troubling him. They seemed too nonchalant- cavalier almost- about the situation. Their antique firearms posed little threat to the tug while various components of her armament could reach out and harm them with relative ease and impunity. Either they didn't know what they were doing, or they knew something that the Krolowa's party didn't know, something that made them feel safe despite the glaring disparity in numbers and weapons.

Clarence's train of thought is derailed by the sound of a small explosion winding through the devastated village to the indisposed tug.

He picks up the handset to the AN/PRC-77 and squeezes the transmit button,

Sunray*, this is Pitchfork. Just heard an explosion west of here near your location. What's your status? OVER.

*OOC: I can't ever remember if Konrad is Sunray or Starlight. Please assume that Milk is calling Konrad.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:23, Tue 19 Aug 2008.