Ch. 21: Swiecie to Grudziadz.   Posted by Cap'n Rae.Group: 0
Jelena Tamm
 player, 12 posts
 Red Army Deserter
 Silent Hunter
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 16:47
Re: City Lights
Cap'n Rae:
Shaking his head, he slips the bottle out from under his arm and hands it to the woman, "You really scared the shit out of me. Wait, where are you going?"

-


"Out of here", Jelena said as she took the bottle and placed it inside a tunic pocket, "I will not tell you where. That way they cannot torture it out".

She turned to walk away and then gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you", she finished and then started to look for the fire escape.
Ken Takanori
 NPC, 2 posts
 E-4, USN HM3
 Raellus
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 17:09
Re: City Lights

Torture? Ken's completely taken aback by the exchange. For a second, he's torn, tempted to follow the woman, leave Grudziaz, and head... where? The half-formed idea passes beyond the event horizon without reaching escape velocity. Ken watches Yelena turn the corner, his feet stuck to the floor. "Good luck," he whispers, "...you're on your own."

-

This message was last edited by the player at 19:18, Thu 18 June 2015.

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 3016 posts
 Tour Director
 Narrator
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 17:41
New Day Rising

Night falls, the tug swaying gently at anchor about 5km upriver from Grudziaz, most of the city lights slowly blinking out in ones and twos as the hours pass, until Grudziaz is a dark, jagged hump, pricked through by a few glimmering dots, a black mass against the dark sky.

The new arrivals gratefully settle into their new berth below decks. Steam pipes running the length of the ceiling warm the tiny room. Body heat adds to the effect. They run their own watch schedule, two up and two down. One in the narrow hallway just outside the cabin and the other just outside the nearest hatch to the main deck.

Working diligently during the previous day, Craig and Tucker finished reroofing the Krolowa's quarterdeck with the corrugated metal sheets, making the rudimentary shelter completely waterproof. They don't have the technical know-how or skill to fashion a peaked roof, but they do know enough to cant its flat surface slightly aft to make sure that rain and snow can drain properly. Concurrently, Anders used the tug's welding equipment to fashion a sturdy gun shield for the aft Dishka HMG out of two barge hatches and some of the leftover steel pipe. The improvised armor protection turns out to be very heavy, though, and the standard anti-aircraft tripod mount probably won't stand up to the job of carrying it for very long. It'll have to be reinforced or, better yet, a fixed mount will need to crafted- a couple of meters of the remaining heavy steel tubing will probably suffice- and the pintle fixture form the AAA mount transplanted in order to properly mount the gun (this will likely take at least a couple more hours to complete).

The night passes slowly. The city looms like a watching giant in the middle distance. It's not often that you've arrived at an occupied settlement of this size and not been immediately approached by people asking for help, making demands, or attacking without provocation. It's hard to rest well with the uncertainty of the situation; its particularly nervy for those on watch. What will the morning bring?

Dawn breaks slowly, as if the late autumn sun is reluctant to shine its cold light on the new day. The deep blue, early morning sky is mostly clear and the barometer markedly higher than the day before. Although it's still bone-achingly cold on deck, the threats of sleet and snow of the past couple of days may prove to be empty. Tendrils of grey smoke begin to rise from the city as hearth fires are stoked, and breakfast put on to simmer.

The tug is still partially crippled, one screw no longer functional, cutting the tug's speed and maneuverability by more than half. If Gryzyech's knowledge of the area is accurate, Grudziaz is the most likely place to remedy that. Circumventing the city on one screw, if opposed, will likely prove suicidal. In addition, the tug is desperately short of provisions. At best, two day's worth of food remains. Putting in at a Soviet-controlled settlement is hardly anybody's idea of a wise decision, but what choice do you really have?

A new day rises. Grudziaz awaits.


Your Move.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:17, Thu 18 June 2015.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 851 posts
 CPO, Polish Navy
 mark101
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 18:04
Re: New Day Rising
Griet smoothed out the charts of the river from Grudziaz north and then cupped the mug of weak nettle tea she had poured from the battered brass samovar, "Help yourself," she pointed to the bubbling heater, "it's little more than hot water but it helps with the chill."

"If you have any intel about what we are likely to encounter on our way north then now is the time to tell us. Once we've heard that we'll discuss what we do in Grudziaz. I'm thinking that we should go in under our Free City of Krakow flag, I have paperwork that legitimises us as a free trader but as Krakow effectively defected from Communist control it may not be advisable, I'm willing to take advice on that. When we get into the city I'd like to have at least two groups out. Mariusz needs to be in one as he knows what food and domestic material to buy. The second group will need to try and find the spare part we need for the engine and any ammo we can scrape up."

She dropped a note pad on the table, "These are the items we have to trade, also we have several hundred gold bullets, each about thirty-nine grams. I'd prefer to trade gold if we can, the other gear is better to trade out in the wild."

"Any ideas and comments would be most welcome."



Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
Look at the Hold and see what we have spare. Assume you can discuss any of teh items as potential for trade except electronics and medical goods.

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1651 posts
 P Sgt., 10th MD
 Corkman
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 19:03
Re: New Day Rising
Robert will rise the next morning from a fairly decent nights sleep and change into a set of civilian style clothes and put his woodland camos on the side to be washed for another days wear.  He washes up and puts on his shoulder rig that holds his Colt Python, finishes dressing for the weather and then heads up on deck with his M-14 slung over his shoulder.  He heads up to the deck to see who's up and about as he takes in the morning air.
Jan Cerny
 player, 1720 posts
 Sergent Chef, FFL
 Mahatatain
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 21:55
Re: New Day Rising
Griet Niewiadomska:
"Any ideas and comments would be most welcome."

"Do we send patrol on foot first for meet outer sentry posts and see what situation is?  Scout before we take Queen there?  Might find signs saying if merchant welcome in city."

He then glanced at the new arrivals and at Thijs.  "What is intel you know on city?" he asked.  "Even old intel."
Craig Sutherland
 player, 714 posts
 Lt., 42 Cdo, RMC
 Cymon
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 22:17
Re: New Day Rising

Craig rose from his bunk early as was his custom and after retrieving a cup of hot water he relieves the sentry on the quarter deck and spends a long time watching the small town laid out before them. When the original relief comes to take over the watch he retreats to his cabin and after finding some civilian clothes he showers and dresses.

Once suitably attired he makes his way to the galley for breakfast and to hear the plan.
Thijs van Lincklaen
 player, 171 posts
 Sergeant-Majoor, DMC
 DaleN
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 02:28
Re: New Day Rising
Jan Cerny:
He then glanced at the new arrivals and at Thijs.  "What is intel you know on city?" he asked.  "Even old intel."

"Of the city itself," Thijs replies, "I know very little.  When I passed by there some time ago, there was a pontoon bridge across the river, run by PACT troops.  That is one of the few, if any, bridges remaining between here and the Sea."

With a shrug of his shoulders, Thijs shifts emphasis from Grudziaz to the river north of the town. "There are few settlements of significance north of Grudziaz.  Nowe, the first, has a small way station, similar to what the Americans call a truck stop.  There was no military presence there, nor was there at Gniew.  The last settlement along the river is Tczew, which is a Polish cantonment Headquarters. There is a footbridge there, as well as a cable stretched across the river, intended to control traffic.

"East of Tczew, some distance away from the Vistula, but on the Nogat, Malbork is Soviet Baltic Front HQ. There was a cantonment there, mostly Poles but Russians too. There's an airstrip there and reports of functional aircraft present.

"Lastly, there were a couple of large units of anti-PACT partisans on the west bank.  Where they are now, I have no idea."

Anastasjia Kovac
 player, 8 posts
 U.S. State Department
 Tegyrius
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 03:13
Re: New Day Rising
Then:

"With that fuzz, I'm thinking he's more your type," Ana murmurs, but she also parses Lizzie's subtext: I'm feeling safe enough to peel off my security detail, so go gather intel.  Maybe it's the offer of a hot bath and a loaded shotgun, but Ana's inclined to buy in as well, so she makes her way aft.  When she's just outside conversational distance, the face finally resolves for her.  "Well, well.  Ensign Mattson, wasn't it?"  She grins.  "It took me a while.  The beard makes you look older."




Now:

Ana wanders onto the main deck, reveling in the simple pleasure of clothes that didn't go crunch when she put them on.  Spooning up a mouthful of MRE applesauce with a week-old crust of black bread, she looks around and raises her eyebrows as she spots the boat's American NCO and his shoulder holster.  She wanders over and leans on the rail next to him.  "Sergeant Tucker.  That's a serious Miami Vice rig but I have to say I admire your decision to haul around a wheelgun.  Major style points there."  The worn butt of her own Smith & Wesson K-frame is visible at her hip.

In the morning light - and without the Ray-Bans she was wearing the previous afternoon - a couple of old surgical scars are faintly visible around her battered  cheekbones.  Her nose clearly has been broken and re-set at least once.  The sun washes her eyes a pale green as she scrutinizes Grudziaz for signs of activity.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:15, Fri 19 June 2015.

Jan Cerny
 player, 1722 posts
 Sergent Chef, FFL
 Mahatatain
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 13:22
Re: New Day Rising
In reply to Thijs van Lincklaen (msg # 156):

"This is very interesting," he replied to Thijs.  "How long before did you travel by these places?"
Anders Mattson
 player, 134 posts
 Kapteeniluutnantti
 mediiic
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 14:24
Re: New Day Rising
Anders studied the face of the American woman. She looked familiar enough - Anders was better at remembering faces than names, so her name slipped him. Then again, the flashback placed her aboard FNS Karjala during his conscript service, where he had been on watch during a visit by some U.S.Navy officers and diplomats. "It was Reserve Officer Candidate then, now Senior Lieutanant, ma'am", he replied in heavily accented English. Unlike the other Nordic languages, Finnish was completely unlike the rest and though Anders spoke both Finnish and Swedish as native languages, he sounded pretty peculiar. "I am sorry, but I can't combine a name to your face." Even if he was a.bit shabby looking in a naval wooly with only one epaulette (two broad gold bands on both sides of a narrow one), he seemed a perfect gentleman, not to mention a proper naval officer.


After a sleep interupted by a deck watch during the night, Anders returned to working with building the new mount for the heavy machinegun. The new shield would attach to the mount itself, so it would not make working the gun any more difficult. Combined with the sandbags along the railings, the gunner would be well protected from fire coming at him.
Jelena Tamm
 player, 13 posts
 Red Army Deserter
 Silent Hunter
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 17:01
Re: City Lights
Ken Takanori:
Torture? Ken's completely taken aback by the exchange. For a second, he's torn, tempted to follow the woman, leave Grudziaz, and head... where? The half-formed idea passes beyond the event horizon without reaching escape velocity. Ken watches Yelena turn the corner, his feet stuck to the floor. "Good luck," he whispers, "...you're on your own."

-


Jelena found the fire escape, un-shouldered her AK-74 and started to rapidly walk down the steps. She didn't want to shoot anyone, but she would if she had to.

Reaching the doors, she pushed them open, took a quick glance left and right to see if anyone was around. If the path was clear, she'd start heading for the river, hoping to find a boat.

That and somewhere she could apply the peroxide to bleach her hair.
Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Kane
 player, 12 posts
 Lt. Cmdr., USN
 keys138
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 20:38
Re: New Day Rising
"They must have food," Lizzie says by way of greeting to the Captain.  She reaches out a mug of hot water and points at the smoke coming up in discrete columns in the way the wood being consumed as fuel climbs into the sky, not in the dull smudge the signifies atrocity. "Something is getting cooked for breakfast on all that wood."  The prospect of real food makes the agent's stomach rumble in a sound familiar to everyone.  MREs crossed the line from food to fuel many years ago, declared victory over Lizzie's digestive system, and have burned her tastebuds nearly silent.  Or maybe it was just all the tabasco needed to render them edible.

Instead of the faded BDUs she had on yesterday, Lizzie has exchanged them for a pair of insulated denim jeans and the same black sweatshirt.  "If the plan is to go ashore, we can certainly help," she tells Griet. "I'm told my Polish sounds Russian, and my Russian is quite good.  Not as good as Ana's, but we can handle some recon if you need it.  I'll take Phillips, his Polish should be sound.  Mariusz would be good, too.  His charm is both distracting and endearing."

Lizzie takes another drink of the water, grateful to feel heat in her hands an in her stomach.   Almost as grateful as she felt taking the shower last night.  The first real limitless shower she'd had in years.  Literal years.  Her skin was pink now in places she couldn't remember seeing clean.  As far as indulgences went, it used to seem minor.  Now, it seemed like something they all needed, and would have to pay for, one way or another.  The warmth made the contrast with the wind almost pleasurable, something that could be experienced and retreated from, not an implacable wall.

"I had Mariusz wash an old overcoat we found in our bunk.  Smelled like rat shit, probably had some on it, but it might fit Scully.  I can bring him with for the strong silent type, or I can leave him here with you to coordinate our actions.  Might be safer, and he makes for a really good cavalry should everything go to Hell." 


"Of course, if you would rather send out your own recon or shore party, I'd be happy to stay at home or go along.  But this is what we do."

This message was last edited by the player at 21:00, Fri 19 June 2015.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 853 posts
 CPO, Polish Navy
 mark101
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 20:48
Re: New Day Rising
"If you want to head in on your own," Griet said to Lizze, "you're welcome to but I would really appreciate you riding shotgun on Mariusz, it give me more to deploy searching for parts. I'll issue you some trade goods and an amount of the gold we have. If you can, I'd also like to try for some cargo we can trade up north, it's bulkier than gold but we're more likely to be able to trade with it. Food would be best but I doubt they have quantities spare."

"We can haul up to four tonnes of goods but I'd prefer smaller and more valuable as it won't clutter us up."

Mark Scully
 player, 15 posts
 E7, USN SEALs
 Dave Ross
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 21:23
Re: New Day Rising
Scully takes a sip of tea from a battered and chipped mug which he holds in both hands, grins wrly as he hears the Commander's stomach rumble. The Navy SEAL is wearing a fresh set of woodland camo BDU's taken from his ruck, though the jacket has been replaced with a heavy black pullover fleece. Seeing no point in looking a gift horse in the mouth, the ones he had worn yesterday had been deposited with Mariusz for laundry. He'd taken the opportunity to shower as well, spent nearly twenty five minutes under the hot water, cleaned himself from head to toe, had even shaved.  With two of the group on guard at any given time they'd been able to simply hot bunk, so he feels refreshed, having slept reasonably well.

He's wearing his assault vest and kevlar armor over his fleece, not because he particularly feels under threat at the moment but simply because he has been wearing them for so long that it has become second nature, and he would feel naked without them, although he's again chosen to eschew his helmet, attached it to his LBE instead, its place taken by his omnipresent Steelers cap. His G3 is slung over his right shoulder. Unloaded, as per the Commander's instruction. His sidearm sits snugly in its holster, fully loaded. He'd loaded up his Mossberg last night, after they'd been shown to their cabin. He'd also stripped and thoroughly cleaned each of his weapons in turn last night, taking care of them before he'd washed himself.

The SEAL is leaning against the cabin wall, his posture casual, relaxed, his arms folded, as he looks around at those gathered. The mention of gold bullets causes him to roll his eyes, a reminder that the vessel that he's on is crewed by mercs, but he makes no verbal comment. He's actually said very little so far, but it would be a mistake to interpret his silence as a sign that he was just a grunt, on the Polaris team merely to kill people and do the heavy lifting. He wouldn't be there if that was the case. It's the first time he's met the tug's Captain, so it's her that gets most of the attention as he listens to the exchange between her and the Commander. He's not giving her the eye in that sense, it's more that he's trying to get a first impression of her.

He shrugs his shoulders when his own role is mentioned. "I've got a Polish Army parka in my ruck." - he had been wearing the pantera camo parka yesterday -"If you've got a pair of camo pants you can loan me. My Polish is shit though, so I'd have to keep my mouth shut. I wont last five seconds in a conversation with a Pole." Kane knew that of course, hence her reference to the strong, silent type. This was more for the tug Captain's benefit.

His head turns towards the Commander. "Might be better if I stayed here Ma'am. Probably less risk of things going south ashore." In other words, if I go ashore the chances of everyone else's cover being blown increase exponentially. It meant splitting their team, but he didn't want to put the others at risk. And besides, Phillips could keep an eye on the ladies. Not that they needed watching over of course.

He shifts his attention towards Niewiadomska. "If that's OK with you Captain?" Like Kane, he addresses the tug's Master in accordance with Naval tradition. It was the right thing to do.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:23, Fri 19 June 2015.

Jan Cerny
 player, 1724 posts
 Sergent Chef, FFL
 Mahatatain
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 21:44
Re: New Day Rising
"Who is going on recon?" Jan asked Griet and Konrad.  "Do you wish me for go?"

He then glanced at Lizzie and Mark.  "I have clothes I borrow to you that not look American if you go.  Polish, Russian, Czech, Swiss.  I make you look mercenary like us."  The last was said with a grin.  "Many soldiers now wear mix uniforms.  Camo pattern not mean soldier wearing jacket from that Army."

Currently Jan was dressed in Brithish Army issue thermal fatigues with Pact issue webbing and a NATO issue drop leg holster on his right thigh.
Mark Scully
 player, 17 posts
 E7, USN SEALs
 Dave Ross
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 22:11
Re: New Day Rising
Scully turns towards the guy in mostly Brit uniform that talked wierd. He remembered Konrad had indicated that this guy and Tucker were his sub team commanders, but couldn't remember the dude's name.

Even if the SEAL stayed aboard the tug there was a possibility it might be boarded for whatever reason while it was tied up alongside. And whilst the guy's logic could be applied in reverse to mean that just because Scully was wearing U.S. BDU's that didn't automatically make him American, if the guy was offering it wouldn't do any harm to look like he was from somewhere else, although he can't help but chuckle wryly at the comment about looking like a mercenary.

So after a second or so he nods. The guy looked to be around the same size as him, maybe an inch or so shorter, close enough that it shouldn't make any difference. "Ok, that would work." The tall American nods. "Thanks." Then, after a noticeable pause, he extends his right hand. "I'm Scully." No first name, no rank, just Scully.
Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1652 posts
 P Sgt., 10th MD
 Corkman
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 01:39
Re: New Day Rising
Anastasjia Kovac:
Now:

Ana wanders onto the main deck, reveling in the simple pleasure of clothes that didn't go crunch when she put them on.  Spooning up a mouthful of MRE applesauce with a week-old crust of black bread, she looks around and raises her eyebrows as she spots the boat's American NCO and his shoulder holster.  She wanders over and leans on the rail next to him.  "Sergeant Tucker.  That's a serious Miami Vice rig but I have to say I admire your decision to haul around a wheelgun.  Major style points there."  The worn butt of her own Smith & Wesson K-frame is visible at her hip.

In the morning light - and without the Ray-Bans she was wearing the previous afternoon - a couple of old surgical scars are faintly visible around her battered  cheekbones.  Her nose clearly has been broken and re-set at least once.  The sun washes her eyes a pale green as she scrutinizes Grudziaz for signs of activity.

Tucker turns to the voice behind him to see which one of the new girls it is.  "Miss Kovac," he says nonchalantly to her as he goes back looking at the river and what lies ahead.  "I would say more Dirty Harry than Miami Vice ma'am but, it does get the job done."  He leans on the railing near her and certainly not getting too close but, close enough to have a casual conversation.  "Problem I've seen a lot since they went to these high-cap auto loaders and movies, kids want to shoot fast and spray and pray a target rather than delivering more precise, accurate fire with less rounds.  I like my original Belgium Browning hi-power for combat missions or the Mark-23 I picked up ff one of our fucked up crew members that almost killed us.  Some guns just feel right.  Revolvers don't jam either.  Makes you concentrate on shooting.

How come you carry a wheel gun?  Practical?  No choice?  Ammo availability?  Easy to shoot?"

Robert 'Tuck' Tucker
 player, 1654 posts
 P Sgt., 10th MD
 Corkman
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 03:59
Re: New Day Rising
In reply to Thijs van Lincklaen (msg # 156):

"Any chance of getting in touch with some of these anti Pact people?   Maybe our best bet could be our new shipmates having best chances getting something foing, if we can find them. "
Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 857 posts
 CPO, Polish Navy
 mark101
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 07:14
Re: New Day Rising
"Very good," Griet said, "so there'll be two groups. The Lieutenant Commander and the members of her team that she wants to take as well as Jan and Mariusz. You'll focus on getting food, wood and any cargo that's available. I am aiming for a minimum of a week's rations for everyone on board. If you see anything else that we could use, get it, if you double up on something the other team gets we can always trade it later if we decide we don't need it. There are two hundred and ninety nine gold bullets left on board if you need to promise more, radio in to confirm."

"That isn't to clear permission to spend it, just to make sure the other team hasn't spent it already."

"The Parts team will be led by Hauptmann Bayer and be made up of the rest of our team going ashore. Their utmost priority is the part we need to keep the Queen going, anything else is a bonus. I doubt you'll be able to get much for our heavy weapons but if you can, I'll be really happy."

"Also, try to get a feel for what's further up the river, if you need to spend some of the gold on drink to do that, do it but I expect professionalism. The same goes for food, get something to eat if you can."

"Are there any questions?"

Cap'n Rae
 GM, 3018 posts
 Tour Director
 Narrator
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 17:46
New Kid[s] in Town

The Krolowa weighs anchor and begins to drift, under power, towards Grudziaz. Like most large settlements along the river, the outskirts of the city look to be largely abandoned. They likely bore the brunt of the fighting that obviously occurred here, and the badly damaged buildings at the edges of the city have been razed or cannibalized to repair buildings nearer the city center. As the tug creeps closer to the heart of Grudziaz, many of the buildings at the riverside also show signs of battle damage. Shell holes, some the size of a dinner plate, others large enough to drive a lorry through, perforate many of the structures with a view of the river. Some buildings appear poxed from the hundreds of bullet strikes that mar their facades, others are missing entire floors. Still, signs of life abound. It's still fairly early on a cold, late autumn day, but a few civilians are already out and about along the riverside. A rag-and-bone man loudly plies his trade, a dog pulling a small cart full of his wares. A gaggle of children bundled up against the cold kick a partially-inflated soccer ball down a cobblestone street. A particularly optimistic old man prepares a rod and line. Life goes on.

As the tug comes around a slight bend in the river, the rusty remains of a truss bridge stretch from bank to bank up ahead. Airstrikes and/or demolition charges dropped it years ago, and it's never been repaired. Instead, a pontoon bridge spans the river just upriver of the mangled, partially sunken trusses. There's a gap in the pontoons, presumably for security purposes but perhaps to allow river traffic to pass through as well. The missing segment is behind its nearest neighbor on the right (east), ready to be pushed into place to complete the span. The current gap in the pontoon bridge is aligned with a missing truss creating a clear lane about 100m wide through the man-made obstacles. On the east bank, overlooking the pontoon bridge, is the familiar insectoid profile of a ZU-23-2 AAA gun. Somewhat oddly, in your experience, the brown and grey-clad troops on the bank near the pontoon bridge don't seem alarmed by the approach of a large, heavily-armed vessel (no one thought or acted to cover the Vasilek and/or ZU so they are clearly visible from the shore). The Red Army solders mill about and gawk but, to your great relief, no heavy weapons are pointed directly at the tug. Perhaps the tug's snail-like speed indicates a lack of aggressive intent. A soldier bearing traffic control paddles jogs out from the east bank to the gap in the pontoons and starts signaling to the approaching tugboat. She (as you get closer, you can tell that the signaler is a woman) points with a paddle downriver and towards the east bank. It appears as though she wants the Krolowa to put in somewhere on the downriver side of the bridges. Through his binoculars, Walter spots the docking facilities, accessed through a cut in the east bank about 450m past the bridges. He points them out to Griet and the tricky process of docking the severely underpowered tug begins.

Struggling to steer and mitigate against the current at less than half-power and on only one screw, Griet nearly crashes bow-on into the reinforced concrete buttress on the starboard (her right) of the entryway. [rolled 20]. Fortunately, at the last second Walter is able to wrestle the wheel over hard enough to effect a glancing blow instead, tearing off some of the few remaining tires* that serve as bumpers along the starboard bow, but avoiding serious damage to the tug's hull [rolled 3]. Drenched in sweat from the exertion and the near disaster, Walter and Griet finally bring the Krolowa in snug against the sheltered pier and deckhand Luboslaw leaps ashore to tie her off.

The partially enclosed dock is already home to three other vessels, a fishing boat about a third smaller than the Krolowa, a water taxi, and another river tug. This latter vessel is not a twin to the Krolowa; it's slightly smaller and looks significantly older, though it's not entirely decrepit. Based on the previous vessels that you examined at Swiecie (the derelict barges and cannibalized motor launches), these three seem to have been in use up until quite recently; perhaps they're still in use. The place smells like fish and bilge water.

The harbor master, a goateed, tiny-eyed, middle-aged man with a long halo of gray hair protruding from beneath his black watch cap, appears, accompanied by a girl- presumably his daughter- of about Mariusz's age. The man, who gives his name as Jurgen, is not particularly surprised by your arrival, until he learns that you've come from upriver.

"Krakow? That's a first! We get traffic down from the coast, but not much coming from the other direction. I'll bet you've seen some pretty crazy shit along the way."

He makes a little more small talk, while his daughter flirts a bit with Mariusz. In his official capacity, Jurgen comes aboard the tug and performs a cursory inspection. "Don't worry- it's purely routine. I've just got to make sure that you're not carrying any hazardous materials." He looks around, making little tallies on his clipboard. "A ton of guns and no cargo: 'merchants', you said?" he asks, knowingly. "Look, as far as I'm concerned, long as you can afford the docking fee and you don't go causing trouble, you're welcome to stay here. The Russians might have some questions, though, when they see this." he continues, holding up the clipboard and twisting it sharply from side to side. His meaning is clear. A single golden bullet and, with a few additional pencil strokes, "all of the paperwork is in order". Jurgen explains that firearms aren't allowed in the city; even the occupying Red Army soldiers have to keep their guns unloaded within the city limits.

Dressed in civilian garb and non-NATO uniform odds and ends, two shore parties assemble on deck. One is tasked with finding the much-needed spare parts for the Krolowa, the other with securing provisions for the crew and dry goods for trade downriver.

Jurgen points you in the general direction of the business district, located, like most towns in Poland, centrally in and around the town square. "The marketplace won't be open quite yet, but the weather's good today so give it about an hour. A couple of indoor shops and cafes might be open already, though. Good luck with your business and stay out of trouble."

The two groups head towards the market square down narrow streets, most of them quaintly cobbled, of the old town. The terrain slopes gently upward away from the river, most of the city built on a low rise, safely removed from the floodplain. The buildings here are fairly old, some dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and most of them have seen better days. The further from the river you travel, the less battle damage you notice. Attempts have been made, some cruder than others, to repair the wounds caused by past bouts of fighting.

After covering about a half-kilometer, you meet your first Red Army troops. A couple of Soviet soldiers, rifles slung, walk past you headed in the other direction. Their stares are not openly hostile, but they're not at all friendly either. As you glance back at them, you notice that no magazines are currently seated in their Kalashnikovs. You round a corner and continue on your way. A few minutes later, you glance back again and see that seven or eight soldiers are walking in the same direction as you, about 15m behind your party, steadily closing the distance. They too are carrying their rifles slung, although from this angle, you can't really tell if these are loaded are not. The two you saw earlier might by among them but since they're all more or less dressed the same, it's hard to be sure. As you continue on your way, one of the soldiers shouts out (in Russian), "Hey! You! Hold up!" This is repeated two seconds later by a second shout, this time in Polish (the message, however, is the same). Something about this lot tells you that they're not here to give you a welcome basket.

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

*The tug is short of tires, many having been shot to pieces or torn off since Krakow. You might want to add some to your shopping lists.


Your Move.

-

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:31, Sat 20 June 2015.

Griet Niewiadomska
 player, 858 posts
 CPO, Polish Navy
 mark101
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 23:38
Re: New Kid[s] in Town
Griet smiled when Jurgen mentioned a lack of cargo. As she hand him the gold bullet as docking fees she said, "Our last cargo was sold in Torun for gold, I'd have rather goods but the local commander made me an offer I couldn't refuse. We're looking to buy cargo with the gold here though, if you have any ideas on what we might find I'd be very grateful."

he patted the good vodka that the castellan had given them, "If you'd like to discuss any ideas you have more when you get off duty, please feel free to drop in for a drink or two."
Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1216 posts
 Teenaged Partisan
 mark 101
Sat 20 Jun 2015
at 23:40
Re: New Kid[s] in Town
Mariusz looked back to see the Russians on their way toward them. He turned to Bayer and was glad they hadn't split up yet, "My Russian's OK, do you want me to try and talk to them or can someone else do it better?"

He kept his voice low so as not to let the English carry.
Konrad Bayer
 player, 1929 posts
 Hauptman, Pzg
 the fusilier
Sun 21 Jun 2015
at 04:28
Re: New Kid[s] in Town
Mariusz Tokarski:
Mariusz looked back to see the Russians on their way toward them. He turned to Bayer and was glad they hadn't split up yet, "My Russian's OK, do you want me to try and talk to them or can someone else do it better?"

He kept his voice low so as not to let the English carry.


Bayer nods. The boy was his usual envoy, so even with the odd circumstance it seemed the natural course. "Don't get us shot." he says with a quick glance... before turning to Tucker, "Smoke break."
Mariusz Tokarski
 player, 1217 posts
 Teenaged Partisan
 mark 101
Sun 21 Jun 2015
at 07:07
Re: New Kid[s] in Town
Mariusz stepped forward smiling, after years of studying the language he knew that his Russian was good, almost up to the standard of an average native speaker and whilst Russians outside of Russia had a casual superiority over others, they tended to react a little better to those who could speak their language competently.

Mariusz forced down the niggle of worry, tended to wasn't a cast iron certainty.

He assumed that the band was going to try and shake them down for cash or goods if not outright rob them and he intended to try and head that off at the pass without any violence, "Good morning," he said brightly, "this place is much better off than anywhere else we've visited and I'd like to thank you for playing your part in that. Without you and your comrades who fought to protect us we'd be under the capitalist yoke again. Mind you, a little enterprise doesn't do any harm and that's what we're undertaking here."

He looked around, "Hopefully we'll be able to make some trades that leave both of our communities better off and I was wondering if you'd like to help us in that task. If you don't mind, would it be possible for you all to join us for a late breakfast or a drink in the nearest tavern? We would like to talk with someone about the city before we let the merchants gouge us with their prices. A little research into what is available and the usual costs might save us resources in the long run. I know such information won't come cheap and I assure you that we are generous when showing our appreciation. So what do you say, would you like to join us and see what we have to offer in exchange for your expertise or do you have something else that we can help you with?"

Even if they didn't take hi up on the offer which could be beneficial to both sides, Mariusz hoped that his approach would at least soften the blow of whatever the Russians wanted.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:07, Sun 21 June 2015.