Ch. 21: Swiecie to Grudziadz.   Posted by Cap'n Rae.Group: 0
Konrad Bayer
 player, 1926 posts
 Hauptman, Pzg
 the fusilier
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 02:37
Re: Meet and Greet
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker:
He addresses Bayer next, "We're all clear Boss.  Six wanting nothing more to do with us or this guy," he says motioning to Phillips.


Bayer responds with an affirming nod, then gives the approaching riders a glance before turning his attention back to the more immediate issue. "We don't take passengers but we can take on more company." he announces to the unfamiliar faces. "Ours is a free company... Konrad's Kommandos." He then motions to the vessel at anchor behind him and continues, "Our boat... Vistula Queen, under Kaptain Niewiadomska." And then to a pair of the old hands, a brisk wave of his hand, "Sergeant Tucker and Cerny... my NCOs." The rest of the company were equally important of course, but with the approaching riders and missing band of rogues, Bayer pushed to the make the riverside meet short. Some had already been introduced anyway.

The lack of food was disappointing. They'd have to get it one way or another eventually. "Is this all you have?" he asks, motioning to their visible gear. "Any gold? Medicine? Anything like that, or just information and skills?" His tone isn't dismissive of their offer, just matter of fact-like, and open.

Following an answer Bayer notes the progress of the approaching locals and briefly turns to Mariusz, "Meet that man again and see what he wants. Quyen, go with him. Not far."

Bayer then returns his attention to the others, "Right. If you want a ride north and have no issue about falling in with our company, then you are welcome."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:39, Thu 11 June 2015.

Minh Quyen
 player, 717 posts
 SP4, U.S. Army MP
 JinnySong2
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 17:25
Re: Meet and Greet
Quyen accepts Robert's cigar and takes a long drag. She watches the other group and her own people's discussions with them but doesn't get involved. She then puffs away at the cigar a little more before glancing at Robert "What are we going to do when we run out of these?" Before he can reply she answers for him "Find more."

Konrad Bayer:
"Quyen, go with him."


"Shit... that's me." Quyen says quickly and hands back Tuck's cigar. She exhales the last breath of tobacco smoke slowly as she walks over to Mariusz.

"After you."

When she steps off with Mariusz her weapon is held ready but not in a threatening manner towards Big and Little.
Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1207 posts
 Teenaged Partisan
 mark 101
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 18:05
Re: Meet and Greet
Mariusz rehearsed a couple of short jokes and then decided not to. The dwarf could probably hold his own but wasn't for some reason and pushing the advantage seemed to be near to bullying.

As he walked forward with Mihn he said, "If you get a chance to talk with the women more closely," all the women Mariusz had ever know often went off in huddles to discuss dark mysteries, probably about periods, "try to see if they have any herbs and spices or..."

His lips trembled at the thought, "Any new guns I can try shooting, preferably something big or that shoots lots of bullets."

He smiled and sketched a bow to the approaching pair, "Well met, Sir. This is an unexpected pleasure. Having your company so soon is a wondrous treat. How may we serve you?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:10, Thu 11 June 2015.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 3006 posts
 Tour Director
 Narrator
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 18:50
Early Supper

A marriage of convenience is tentatively agreed upon, for the time being at least, but it will take time and effort from all parties for the three groups to fully integrate. For the moment, the space between them is filled with curiosity and suspicion, an awkward, somewhat uncomfortable mix, and the question looms, what next?

Mariusz and Minh meet the two riders a little up the road, within earshot of the others.

"I'm afraid I come bearing bad tidings."
Sir Petr begins. "I beg your pardon for I must retract my earlier invitation. A knight errant by the name of Sir Anders rules the lands nearby. His men-at-arms are looking for what they call an American. They seem to think that this American might presently be among you." he pauses, looking somewhat embarrassed. A slightly bemused smile crosses the dwarf's lips. "As I mentioned earlier, my sheriff has been missing for quite some time. Furthermore, I have no household knights of my own, and Norbert has not yet received his spurs. Sir Anders, on the other hand, leads a free company of two hundred spears. You see my predicament, I am sure." Norbert seems to be taking some pleasure from Sir Petr's discomfort.

The old castellan continues, "I abhor discourtesy, but with all due respect, I must ask you to leave Swiecie as soon as possible. Only a handful of Anders' men are in town at present, but more are undoubtedly on the way. Swiecie has seen enough suffering as of late and I do not wish to compound it by bringing battle here. Surely, you understand."

"I shall not leave you empty handed, however. Since it would be unwise for you to join me at the castle now, I have brought the feast to you. Norbert?"

The dwarf kicks his mount forward and unshoulders a large leathern sack, which he holds out to Mariusz. As Mariusz opens it to look inside, the dwarf removes a bottle of clear liquid from a saddlebag and hands it to Minh. Inside the sack is a loaf of bread, hard as Birch, a grey sausage, about a foot long, a tin of anchovies, half-a-wheel of waxy cheese, and two somewhat shriveled apples. The vodka, however, is a good Polish mark, the kind usually reserved for foreign visitors and high party functionaries.

"I must return to the castle before Anders' men return. I regret that I can no longer enjoy the pleasure of your company. Norbert here can assist you in your preparations for departure. I must bid you farewell." With that, Sir Petr begins to turn his horse around. It may just be his old, rheumy eyes, but Mariusz thinks he can see tears welling up as the castellan turns away. Norbert sits astride his horse facing the boat's compliment, his smug expression quickly changing to one of nervous discomfort.


Your Turn.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:40, Sat 13 June 2015.

Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1208 posts
 Teenaged Partisan
 mark 101
Thu 11 Jun 2015
at 19:21
Re: Early Supper
"That saddens me," Mariusz said, "the honour of feasting with you and your Lord would have been the highlight of my short life. Of course, though we would never do anything to endanger you. I thank you for your hospitality and ensure you that we will leave as soon as we have transferred the salvage to our craft. I wish you well, good Sir."

He hefted the bag of food, he'd avoid the sausage, it might be made of people like Soylent Green. He returned to Bayer and said, "Hauptman, we've outstayed our welcome. He said a man called Anders has about two hundred soldiers out looking for an American. Only a few are in town but there will be more. We've been asked to leave ASAP."
Eric Phillips
 player, 14 posts
 18 Bravo, 10th SFG
 Spartan-117
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 16:20
Just before... Early Supper
After focusing on the riders, Eric turned to assembled group.  ”I appreciate your help,” Eric said to Konrad and the Kommandos.  He stepped forward to offer a hand to Bayer and the others in turn.  ”I would have been lucky to get away with only being shot and killed by the PFL troops.  Captured would have been much worse.  Major Anders' behavior has been growing more erratic.  He tortured Porucznik Mazur as an example to others.  He would have done the same to me I’m sure.”

Phillips sighed then closed his eyes.  The last few months had been hard.  Phillips had a front row seat as Anders had grown more controlling and ambitious.  The Air Force officer’s natural charisma lent itself to what the 2nd Polish Free Legion had now effective become - a cult of personality.  Eric had been part of the inner circle, but Mazur’s slow and painful death was the straw that broke the camel's back.  There wasn’t a lot Phillip’s wasn’t prepared to do to win, indeed Eric’s values were his parents values and they were Washington lobbyists, but torturing your own was over the line even for someone raised in a household where winning and success were more important than how you played the game.  Eric open his eyes and focused on the conversation at hand.

”As a soldier, I am not at liberty to agree to the terms you’ve offered,” Eric said.  It was one thing to chart your own course in the absence of leadership.  It was quite another to desert the U.S. Army in a time of war and in the presence of a Navy Lieutenant Commander.  ”Of course if you and the Commander come to some agreement…”  Phillips voice trailed off as he seems to search for the right words.

”…let’s just say that I won’t forget what you or your crew did for me today.  I owe you guys one.”

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:45, Sat 13 June 2015.

Mark Scully
 player, 6 posts
 E7, USN SEALs
 Dave Ross
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 18:10
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Scully is still standing by the UAZ. Some of the tension has eased out of the Navy SEAL. Some. Not all, far from it. But no one has opened fire on anyone and the indications are that they're not about to. So while he's still watching the other group warily the barrel of his rifle has lowered more noticeably, to something that might be called guardedly cautious rather than openly aggressive as it had been.

He's listening to the conversation between Kane and the guy that hasn't actually introduced himself as such but was presumably 'Konrad' of the eponymous commandos, although he’d given no indication whether that was his first name or his surname. His eyebrow had risen noticeably when the guy had said 'we don't take passengers'. He'd been immediately tempted to come back with a brisk neither do we but instead he remained silent, left it to his boss to do the talking.

After all, her instincts hadn't failed their little group so far.

He just hopes she calls this one right.

In Lizzie Kane we trust.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:11, Sat 13 June 2015.

Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Kane
 player, 6 posts
 Lt. Cmdr., USN
 keys138
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 19:19
Re: Just before... Early Supper
"Mariusz," Lizzie puts in, "please inform the Duke that when we leave that our jeep will be left behind at his disposal.  Should he wish to keep it for himself or offer it to Anders as a peace offering, it his to decide, but the vehicle has seen much better days."  She smiles one more time at the young Pole before turning back to Konrad.  There are a myriad of social strategies she could put into place.  Hell, she had even considered standing on a conveniently located concrete block before addressing the taller man, but Lizzie Kane was relatively certain the tall German would see right through it.  So it would be politeness couched with directness.

"We don't do dead-weight," she says be way of explanation to the disposal of the UAZ.  "Should you need our assistance, we will be happy to offer what help we can," she continues to Konrad.  "Unfortunately, we cannot place ourselves under your direct command.  I have no problem with your freelancers and make no judgement to your choices, but my companions and I are still active NATO forces.  I can promise you that we will do our best to not unnecessarily bring conflict to your vessel and will do our best to ensure its continued survival.  Should you feel that I violate this promise, we will leave at the first opportunity.  Our skills and intel should suffice in return for transit, I assure you, but if you need more direct financial assistance, we have a little of that, too." 

Lizzie looks over at the American dressed in Polish fatigues.  "Sgt Phillips, should you wish to place yourself under my command and still consider yourself a part of the fighting forces of the United States, we would be happy to have you with us."

It is a risk to take up with the Kommando, not just with the crew of the tug, but within her own ranks.  Mark Scully, for all his gruffness and willingness to engage in the decidedly amoral business of killing, has been her moral compass for the last year.  In a the shadow world of dark dealings and choices between the bad and less bad, his steadying presence has kept her from making the easy but bankrupt choice on more than one occasion.  And while Ana might follow her, there is only so much she can ask of her former roommate. Only so much social capital to burn when the lines between CivGov and MilGov are brought to the fore, even when friendship is counted.  Loyalties are what they are.

Instead of asking if the Hauptman finds these term acceptable, she asks another question: "How can we help you load this salvage?"
Craig Sutherland
 player, 711 posts
 Lt., 42 Cdo, RMC
 Cymon
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 19:36
Re: Just before... Early Supper

Once they were back to the Queen, Craig got to work transferring the salvage to where it was needed and then to trying to get an idea as to how to start the process of using it. If he was needed to help ferry the others back to the boat he went back to the Princess and helped with the transfer.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:45, Sat 13 June 2015.

Mark Scully
 player, 7 posts
 E7, USN SEALs
 Dave Ross
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 21:52
Re: Just before... Early Supper
In other circumstances they would never have known each other. They were from different Worlds. He the son of a Pennsylvania steel worker, as blue collar as they come, she the daughter of Massachusetts money, power, and influence.

But these are not other circumstances. How does Mark Scully define his relationship with Elizabeth Kane? How could he define his relationship with her? They had crossed so many lines during these past twelve months, but there were so many more he would never encroach on. Superior and subordinate didn't even begin to come close to describing it. Brother and sister? Sometimes that's what it felt like to him.

Friends? Yes. Something more than that? Something closer? Yes? No? Maybe? A year spent fighting this War together has brought them close. They've joked together, they've cried together when friends have been lost. And they've killed together, without hesitation, without regret for the lives taken. His sleep is untroubled by remorse. He hopes that in some small way he's helped hers to be the same. They've felt the despair that this War has caused, an almost tangible thing that hangs in the air like an omnipresent cloud. And occasionally, very, very occasionally, they've dared to taste the hope.

They've spent long nights together. Not in that sense. No, the nights they've been together have been spent lying in the mud and dirt, or hiding out in some shithole like the factory that they had just vacated, sometimes with Ivans so close he could almost smell them. So no, not in that sense. He'd thought about it once or twice in the early days, about what it would be like. Who wouldn't? But not any more. Because the relationship that Mark Scully finds so difficult to define is far deeper than that now.

Respect. That's perhaps the word that sums it up best. Ana he doesn't know so well. But she knows Lizzie. That makes her good people as far he's concerned. And they're a team. The three of them. He can be over protective sometimes, he knows that, same as he knows that they are both perfectly capable of looking after themselves. They've got each other's backs. Their fates are intertwined.

So every instinct in Mark Scully's mind may be screaming walk away. Now. Leave these mercs to do their thing, whatever that may be, while his team gets back to the business of fighting the War that is still being waged. No harm, no foul. But if Lizzie Kane says they're getting on that boat then that's it. They're getting on. It's that simple.

Because one thing that they've never, ever done is let each other down.
Jan Cerny
 player, 1713 posts
 Sergent Chef, FFL
 Mahatatain
Sat 13 Jun 2015
at 22:21
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Jan listened to the American Naval Officer state her position about following orders and then glanced at Konrad, unsure just how much of a sticking point that was.  They had had a lot of trouble previously with soldiers who wouldn't follow orders and letting another group on board the Queen with that kind of set up could well prove problematic.  That said though he had been accepted into the crew with little more than cursory questioning by Anneka, as she had been more concerned with his skills and capabilities rather than his motivations, but then he had never said that he wouldn't necessarily follow the commander's orders.

He left it to Konrad to decide however as he wasn't entirely sure how much of a serving NATO officer Konrad regarded himself as currently.  Life on the river had tended to revolve around day to day survival and it wasn't a subject he had seriously discussed with his commander.

Instead he wandered over to the dwarf Norbert, taking the opportunity to talk to him in the absence of his lord and master.

"Teraz, Panie Petr opuścił nas i można mówić bardziej swobodnie proszę mi powiedzieć, co tu się dzieje? Jaka jest sytuacja tutaj i kim jest ten człowiek nazywa się Anders? Kim są oddziały on prowadzi i jakie są ich lojalność?"



Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
Now that Sir Petr has left us and you can speak more freely please tell me what is going on here?  What is the situation here and who is this person called Anders?  Who are the troops he leads and what are their loyalties?

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 3009 posts
 Tour Director
 Narrator
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 02:25
Re: Just before... Early Supper

Despite sitting atop a horse, Jan doesn't have to look up too far to meet the dwarf's eyes.

"'Sir' Petr is crazy." Norbert begins, addressing the proverbial elephant in the room. "But he's a good man. His wife was the curator of the castle museum until she died of cholera about two years ago. Petr came unhinged, after that. He moved up to the castle and fell into this grand medieval fantasy. He never breaks character. I was down on my luck at that time, starving to death, so I started to play along. Now I'm his 'squire'. Heh, it pays the bills, anyway."

With that out of the way, Norbert gets to Jan's questions.

"Anders is a partisan leader. He was an officer in our Air Force but he turned coats and started working with NATO. Now he works for himself. He's got about 250 fighters under his command. We give them some of our food, they give us security. We used to have trouble with marauders, but not so much anymore. It's not a bad arrangement but it's getting more... complicated. Anders wants to establish a toll station on the river here in Swiecie, but Petr's not having it. The old loon's going to end up ex-castellan if he doesn't watch his mouth. This situation," he says, pointing at the gaggle of armed men and women standing nearby, "certainly isn't helping."

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:28, Sun 14 June 2015.

Jan Cerny
 player, 1715 posts
 Sergent Chef, FFL
 Mahatatain
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 08:05
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Jan nodded at the dwarf's explanation.

"Dlaczego zatrzymać wtedy?  To brzmi jak Anders może skończyć zabijając was wszystkich i utworzenia własnych żołnierzy tutaj.  Nie ma zbyt wiele ruchu rzeka, ale jeśli zwiększa to stacja opłat tutaj może być bardzo opłacalne."



Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
"Why do you stay then?  It sounds like Anders is likely to end up killing you all and establishing his own troops here.  There is not much river traffic but if it increases then a toll station here could be quite profitable."

Anastasjia Kovac
 player, 4 posts
 U.S. State Department
 Tegyrius
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 13:26
Re: Just before... Early Supper
The negotiations with the boat's command group are seeming less likely to devolve into gunfire, though Ana hasn't entirely ruled it out yet.  Regardless, the decision tree has three branches of any real import: they get on the boat voluntarily, they stay off the boat voluntarily, or she dies and it stops being her problem.  The latter option renders further investigation irrelevant, but either of the other two will benefit from a better understanding of the local situation.  So...

Ana catches Mark's eye and tilts her head toward the side conversation around the dwarf.  When he acknowledges her intent, she turns away and steps up beside the NCO - Cerny, she reminds herself.  Well, that's something she can work with later.  She nods politely to him but keeps her mouth shut while she waits for Norbert's response.  The back of her mind is assembling a profile of this Anders that's in no way congruent with Petr's continued survival.  There's another piece she's not yet seeing.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:27, Sun 14 June 2015.

Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1210 posts
 Teenaged Partisan
 mark 101
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 14:33
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Mariusz had a soft spot for desperate causes but even he was reluctant to take on two hundred and fifty troops.

"Norbert," he said, "I'd like to help. We may be mercenaries but we have tried to do good."

He looked down, "That hasn't always worked but we've tried. We have defeated Soviet helicopters and tried to get secrets away from the Communists back to the Americans. That failed but we lost a lot of good men and women trying. We have defeated the Baron of Warsaw's pirate fleet and his troops with the aid of pro-NATO defectors from the Soviet army and we helped to install pro-NATO leaders in Warsaw an Gora Kalawaria. Since then we've taken out a lot of Soviets just trying to survive. We're not capable of helping you be safe here but if you wish, I can get our Captain to take you and your people away from here and settle you somewhere safe as we've done for other displaced persons."

He shrugged, "We've tried to be a force for good although good people have died along the way," he looked wistfully at the knight, "Sometimes we get things wrong."

He shook his head, "Silly me, I forgot I was speaking in English."

He translated his speech into Polish and added, "If you do want to stay, the Americans say you can use the UAZ for whatever you want. It's not much as you could have done that when they left anyway but it is a nice gesture. They seem like good people and I suppose they could have blown it up instead."


Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
Please remember that Mariusz' partisan training never got to the concept of OPSEC and as a teenage boy he doesnt really understand circumspection.

Mark Scully
 player, 11 posts
 E7, USN SEALs
 Dave Ross
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 17:40
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Scully's rifle is pointed downwards now, at a more or less forty five degree angle.  If there was going to be a firefight he figures it would have happened by now. The SEAL catches Kovac's subtle head movement, returns it with one of his own. Message received and understood. He's close enough that he can hear the exchange between the mercs and the horsemen, although as it's conducted in Polish that is a relatively moot point. Mark Scully isn't on the Polaris team for his command of the Polish language.

So he leaves his female colleague to do her thing, and as she moves in one direction he moves in the other, circling around, measured steps, his movements those of a man who is self assured, confident, his eyes in near perpetual motion. If they do meet the gaze of one of Konrad's Kommandos he'll pause a moment, then incline his head in a brief nod.  A gesture? An acknowledgment that things haven't gone south? A courtesy from one man trained in the profession of arms to another? They can make of it what they will, return it if they wish, ignore it if they prefer.

His circling has brought him to within arm's reach of the man in Polish camouflage, Titan. His right hand lifts off his weapon, the first time it's strayed from the trigger guard since he climbed out of the UAZ.  Slowly he extends that hand to the other man. "Forrest Gump?" There's a hint of a wry grin on the weather beaten face that is under the Steelers cap. His jaw is covered in a five o'clock shadow. "Mark Scully. Chief Boatswain's Mate, United States Navy." Naval enlisted rates being as obfuscated as they are He doesn't know if the dude will know that makes him an E7, equivalent to an Army Sergeant First Class.

Once he's made his manners with the Green Beret the SEAL will turn towards the conversation between his boss and Konrad, listen to the ongoing discussions, casting the occasional glance in Kovacs' direction, making sure it's all good with her.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:45, Sun 14 June 2015.

Konrad Bayer
 player, 1927 posts
 Hauptman, Pzg
 the fusilier
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 19:20
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Kane:
Our skills and intel should suffice in return for transit, I assure you, but if you need more direct financial assistance, we have a little of that, too."


Bayer nods at the final comment, "Good. That's good, because I asked for an important reason. You still have a unit somewhere? A supply chain... cantonment? There is nothing like that on the river. So if you don't have gold or medicine or anything like that, you are going to be faced with hard decisions. Nobody likes hard decisions."

He then glances over towards Mariusz for a moment and adds, "You can tell us about the financial assistance on the boat. Our time here is up. But first, unload your rifles. You may keep your sidearms as they are."

"Salvage goes in the Princess."
he adds, motioning to the tigs's launch.

While the Americans are unloading, Bayer says to the Kommandos, " Let's go."

OOC - might have missed something but I'm on my phone and doing my best. Anything missed I can cover later on the boat.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:52, Sun 14 June 2015.

Eric Phillips
 player, 15 posts
 18 Bravo, 10th SFG
 Spartan-117
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 19:43
Re: Just before... Early Supper
In reply to Mark Scully (msg # 114):

The former quarterback nods when the Navy SEAL mentions Forest Gump.  "Sergeant Eric Philips, 10th Group," the Pantera clad snake-eater said, returning Scully's handshake.  The decidedly un-tactical glint of Eric's hand bling was certainly visible as they exchanged greetings and it was clear that Phillips must have had the rings in his pocket earlier when he was fleeing the Poles behind him.  Of course NCAA rules meant that stones were non-precious as student athletes may only receive $400 worth of gifts for winning a national championship.  Still, the stones gleamed like real diamonds and the polished metals were noticeable against Phillip's tanned hands.

Phillips other gear was almost exclusively Polish issue, though as a trainer and instructor, he was given first pick of what was available for the 2 PFL.  Despite being his only uniform, his wool fatigues were in excellent repair, as was his LCE and rucksack.  The Special Forces NCOs had been treated as honorary officers of the Second Polish Free Legion and had been quartered and provisioned as such.  Phillips pre-war model, Polish Eagle stamped, Wz.35 Vis pistol had, in fact, been a gift from one of the units company commanders; given when Eric saved the man's life almost a year ago to the day.  If the ring were Eric's most prized possession, the pistol was his second.

In reply to Konrad Bayer (msg # 115):

"Roger that," Eric said.  He extended a hand to take back his Vis and Tantal, unloading the later and stuffing the previously loaded magazine into an LCE pouch.  An AKM had replaced Eric's M249 when the SAW ran dry back in 1998.  After the AKM, Eric had an RPK.  Then a PKM.  Hell, for a month in the spring of 99, he humped an LM-60K.  But the Tantal was his favorite weapon system.  Eric had been at the range when Ander's men came for him a few weeks ago.  The six man team  following him had been a nine-man squad originally.  Eric had taken the best of three Wz.88's before he fled, leaving his empty PM-63 Rak on top of the squad leader's corps.  The man had been a fool for not waiting for the rest of his team when he attacked Eric.  The truly terrible part was that Phillips had trained him personally.  It had been like killing a puppy you had raised that eventually turned on you.  Eric loathed the idea of killing more 2nd PFL troops.  But that same feeling didn't apply to Major Anders.  In fact, Phillips very much wanted to cut the head off 2 PFL  and see if the body could be saved.  Of course that might fall to someone else.  For now, simple survival outweighed any expectation of revenge.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:57, Sun 14 June 2015.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 3011 posts
 Tour Director
 Narrator
Sun 14 Jun 2015
at 23:04
Re: Just before... Early Supper

Norbert listens to Mariusz with interest, clearly feeling more as ease every minute. The young Pole is considerably less intimidating than the grizzled Czech.

"Leave here? No, this place is my home. Besides, Petr won't leave for anything. He may be batshit crazy, but I love the old guy like he was my very own deranged uncle. He wouldn't last a week without me. It won't be easy, but I'll convince him to go along with Anders' toll station. Anders isn't a bad guy, at least to us folks here in Swiecie. We'll be fine. Thanks for the offer, though."

At Mariusz's mention of the UAZ, the dwarf looks at it and snorts, "You should be the one thanking me for taking that piece of shit off your hands." The Kommando are starting to disperse, collecting their gear and moving towards the riverbank.

"Looks like you're leaving. I haven't left Swiecie in years, but I hear things." Norbert glances knowingly downriver. "Grudziaz- next big town on the Wisla- is crawling with Russian soldiers. Travelers passing through haven't had anything bad to say about them, though. Sounds like they're behaving themselves pretty well- commander's a right gent, they say. It seems like they're content to pretty much mind their own business. 'Go along to get along', and all, I suppose. I wouldn't go advertising that you've got Americans on board, but you keep a low profile, you shouldn't have any trouble getting past. If merchants can come and go without a hassle there, you should be able to as well. Anyway, good luck boy. You all take care. And I'd stay away from that sausage, if I were you."

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:31, Mon 15 June 2015.

Anastasjia Kovac
 player, 5 posts
 U.S. State Department
 Tegyrius
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 01:36
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Ana chuckles and speaks for the first time.  Her voice is a raspy contralto; her Polish, fluent with a strong hint of another Eastern European tongue in the vowels.  "Now that you mention it, yes.  Thank you for taking that piece of shit off our hands.  If I were you, I'd gift it to someone I don't love and watch the fun.  Does 'white elephant' translate to Polish?"  She offers Norbert a thin but genuine smile.  "Thanks for the downstream report, too.  I'll keep my Americans under a basket."

The smile falls away as she turns back to the assembled group in time to hear Konrad's demand.  She waits for Lizzie to confirm that yes, they're getting on this boat under these conditions.  Then she drops her carbine's magazine, clears the chamber, tops off the mag, and stuffs it into her gear.  All the while, she maintains an expression of sullen compliance, flicking suspicious glances at Konrad's shooters.

Sure.  Clear the rifles.  Whatevarrr.

Inside, she's still grinning.  And she's pretty sure Lizzie's acquiescence is, in part, because Lizzie knows that too.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:51, Mon 15 June 2015.

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1648 posts
 P Sgt., 10th MD
 Corkman
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 02:46
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Konrad Bayer:
Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Kane:
Our skills and intel should suffice in return for transit, I assure you, but if you need more direct financial assistance, we have a little of that, too."


Bayer nods at the final comment, "Good. That's good, because I asked for an important reason. You still have a unit somewhere? A supply chain... cantonment? There is nothing like that on the river. So if you don't have gold or medicine or anything like that, you are going to be faced with hard decisions. Nobody likes hard decisions."

He then glances over towards Mariusz for a moment and adds, "You can tell us about the financial assistance on the boat. Our time here is up. But first, unload your rifles. You may keep your sidearms as they are."

"Salvage goes in the Princess."
he adds, motioning to the tigs's launch.

While the Americans are unloading, Bayer says to the Kommandos, " Let's go."

OOC - might have missed something but I'm on my phone and doing my best. Anything missed I can cover later on the boat.

Frank takes in the conversation between the Navy officer and Konrad.  He continues to smoke his cigar (with Minh) and just plainly says, "I like her!  She's got a set of balls on her Boss.  Thought they may a little bit more hospitable for the ride though since they don't have any way to pay for it other than a unique bunch of skills that the Spec Ops community can only provide.

It'll be nice to have some company on the Queen."

Minh Quyen
 player, 718 posts
 SP4, U.S. Army MP
 JinnySong2
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 03:54
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Konrad Bayer:
While the Americans are unloading, Bayer says to the Kommandos, "Let's go."


Quyen hands Tuck his cigar after drawing in on it one last time. "I can take helm." she says aloud, exhaling the toxic smoke as she speaks. She then walks over to the Princess and boards first, moving to the rear. The others can shove the boat off and climb in afterwards. Quyen will then guide the Princess back over to the Queen... taking it easy on the water considering the added weight of the salvage cargo.
Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1212 posts
 Teenaged Partisan
 mark 101
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 15:28
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Mariusz waited for his turn on the Princess after wishing Norbert goodbye. He helped gathering up the rest of the salvage and asked the newcomers cheerfully enough, "Is there anything I can help you with?"

He reckoned they'd probably want to haul their own gear, he was a stranger after all, but it was polite to ask.
Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 847 posts
 CPO, Polish Navy
 mark101
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 15:36
Re: Just before... Early Supper
Griet watched the strangers through her binoculars as they began to assemble at the Princess. It seemed as if the dark haired woman was calling the shots. The others followed her with puppy eyes, letting her make the decisions.

That could be good and it could be bad. She wouldn't have gotten in that position with out being competent but also she'd probably be a bitch. That was fine, Griet recognised the trait because she possessed it in spadesful. She was wary of powerful Western women, they carried themselves with a casual arrogance that made her uncomfortable, Anneka, Boots: they had carried their power and confidence easily, as if what they had earned for themselves was nothing.

Griet knew that couldn't have been right, no woman could have reached that position without being better than the men around her and harder as well. She knew it herself having clawed and butted her way through the chauvinistic ranks of the Polish Navy to become the first female CPO in a technical discipline in its history, most women had been secretaries, medics or communications specialists, being black crew was unheard of.

She shrugged as the Princess put off, hoping they could get along but knowing that alpha women didn't like other alphas around, she certainly didn't.

It would be interesting. the other woman would be riding on the Princess but she'd be meeting the Queen.
Cap'n Rae
 GM, 3012 posts
 Tour Director
 Narrator
Mon 15 Jun 2015
at 16:27
City Lights

It takes about a half-an-hour to ferry the rest of the salvage and all of the shore party, including the four new additions, to the Queen. When the last boots hit the deck, Gryzyech already has a head of steam going in the boilers. With the cargo and crew safely aboard, the tug starts to crawl downriver on its one remaining good screw, letting the Wisla's inexorable current do most of the work.

The newcomers are shown to their quarters on the open poop, around the unarmored ZU-23-2 canon. The raised quarterdeck just forward, with its sandbag and ammo crate revetment, looms over the main deck aft. Anyone stationed on the quarterdeck (and/or working on the new roof or the gun shield for the aft Dishka HMG there) will be able to keep a close eye on the new guests.

Mariusz visits the Queen's pantry. It's looking rather skint. Sir Petr's parting gift won't stretch the dwindling food supply very far at all.

Swiecie drifts by slowly to port; near its east end, the single red brick tower of Swiecie Castle stands like a solitary watchman. Atop its battlements, a lone, forlorn figure stands between two rectangular crenelations, looking out over the brown ribbon of the Vistula. He raises his hand in salute as the tug steams slowly past.

At a leisurely 5kph, the Krolowa proceeds downriver through mostly empty countryside. There are a few homesteads along the banks, mostly on the east side of the river, but few signs of habitation. The light dusting of snow covers any scars left behind by nearly four years of war. It all looks very peaceful, and more than a little bit sad. The new folks are a bit surprised by how cold it is out on the river, in the absence of any sort of cover or windbreak. Mercifully, it's not raining or snowing. Yet.




At about 1900 hours, the sun dips beneath the western horizon, and a mantle of darkness quickly descends over the landscape. A few minutes later, lights start to flicker into view up ahead, just a few at first, then growing thicker and brighter as you proceed slowly downriver. You've arrived on the outskirts of Grudziaz. The heart of the city fairly throbs with light about 5km distant. This is the largest occupied settlement that you've seen in quite some time.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/...w8YU&usp=sharing

OOC: Note, the A1 bridge on the map does not exist in our timeline.

Is the tug flying a flag? If so, which one? (An illustrated list can be found in the Vistula Queen notice.)



Your Turn.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:42, Mon 15 June 2015.