Player Fiction ("Fan-Fic")   Posted by helbent4.Group: 0
helbent4
 GM, 595 posts
 aka Tony
Thu 13 Nov 2008
at 17:09
Player Fiction ("Fan-Fic")
I welcome any player writing about the story or their characters.

These could be memories, thoughts, even private story narratives.

The first one is by Javier, and I liked it a lot. I hope the rest of the players do as well!

Feel free to post anything that semms to fit this designation, although ooc comments like "great story!" more properly belong in the OOC thread. This thread has been unlocked to allow players to post.

Tony

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:41, Fri 14 Nov 2008.

Javier
Fri 14 Nov 2008
at 07:37
Bella Coola


The Soviet thrust in 1998 was stopped on Highway 1 between Hope and
Kamloops. The 62nd Motor Rifle Division retreated along Highway 20
from Williams Lake while the other divisions retreated further into
the Yukon or to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Most of the Division's
heavy equipment and tanks were abandoned along Highway 20. The elements
of the division entered into cantonment in and around the tiny native
fishing village of Bella Coola.

*   *   *

The combat engineering unit where senior Lt. Taras V. Shevchenko
exercise command and duties was mostly tasked with the recovery of any
vehicles left behind that could be repaired and return to combat
status. While the rest of the units belonging to the 62nd MRD were
licking their wounds and waiting for orders the engineers were always
busy and on the road.

This was not unknown to the Intelligence Officers belonging to the
air branch of the Canadian Forces, the once proud RCAF, now trying to
wrestle from the Soviet forces aerial control over a vast country and
also looking for revenge. In this case the concentration of troops
offered a unique opportunity to strike at the heart of the Bear. Cdr.
MacGuire, as leader of the remains of 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron or
"Nighthawks" (now based in the former civil airport in Kamloops BC)
knew that it would not be easy. A veteran of the CF-18 with a superb
training and experience he felt that the arsenal of Air to Ground
weapons in the inventory of the Canadian Forces was not entirely suited
to this mission. The "Hornet" usually being tasked with Air Superiority
orders, the array of tools with which to strike enemy ground forces
like the 62nd MRD were limited.

Other than the ubiquitous Mk 82 and Mk 83 conventional, "dumb" bombs,
only a lonely AGM-65G "Maverick" could be put into service. Several
problems  with coolant units and batteries left the rest "out of
order" to the severe dismay of the dedicated "gunners" working the
shop. No laser guided bombs could be used since there were no
illuminators in the ground or self designating pods for the planes.
Neither was the inventory complemented by any (much needed) anti radar
missiles. MacGuire decided not to consider using CRV-7 rockets
and instead use the pylons instead to their best extent: the bombs.
Throwing his arms in the air he thought aloud: "and not even a single
freakin' cluster bomb, either!".

- "Sir, the ALQ-162 needs some cards that are still in, ah, Trenton..."
said a skinny Sgt. in his twenties, "...last I heard, that is."

- "Fuck the spook, Sergeant. We're mooning 'em tonight! Fucking great, eh?".



The flight of 4 remaining CF-18 "Hornets" took off in single formation.
Cdr.("Beeker") MacGuire, leader of the pack, was sporting a classic
air to ground configuration with the three fuel tanks in place, the
"Maverick" hanging in the right wing mid pylon and compensating on the
left with a Mk 82. The full complement of 20 mm ammo and wing tipped
Sidewinders completed the combat load. The Sparrow was not considered
because of its poor record and the difficulties to keep it in
operation. This would be a pure punishment mission. Flying low, almost
nap of the Earth. "Brushing Canada" Capt. ""Mich" Michaud used to say.
He was second in Command, French Canadian and carrying 4 "Snakeyes" in
the double ejectors under his wings. Lt. ("Wrongway") Wejr  and Lt.
("Subaru") Forster completed the flight with the casual Mk 82 hanging
under their beloved "Hornets".

The previous briefing was conducted in an almost serious tone. Far
from the happy days of "peacetime" and the ol' good days of Nellis and
the "Red Flag" exercises.

"Gentlemen, this will be a tactical bombardment. I will lead the
attack, looking for their main radar: looks like a P-12 "Spoon Rest",
and I will try to fuck it with the "Maverick". Intel describes it as
seating one on top of one of the mountains that surround Bella Coola.
You guys will come behind me and strike the valley. We are counting on
a dense concentration of armor coming from Highway 20 east and west
into the town. Keep it smart. Lots of SAMs and triple-A down there.
We'll go fast, strike hard and get out of there before they can say
shit-on-a-stick."



Shevchenko's unit was late getting back. After the unpleasant task of
retrieving a TMM-6 bridge layer, the prospect of getting back to
barracks and enjoy a well deserve alcoholic beverage seemed to be
fair. Then the thundering came along...

In honor of their motto, the "Nighthawks" decided to strike in the
last hours of the day. The low visibility paint and expected lower
readiness of the Red Army was their ace up the sleeve. Cdr. MacGuire,
an intelligent man with great sense of situational awareness, quickly
located the radar in the most obvious location, the higher ground. The
powering unit nearby was clearly visible in the IR spectrum and the
launching of the "Maverick" shortly ensued. A powerful explosion ripped
apart the arrays of the surveillance station, the power unit literally
blown apart by 300 pounds of high explosive. Banking left, the courageous
pilot observed a large concentration of vehicles, easily
distinguishable for their rounded turrets and some of them neatly
aligned. The Mk 82 reached the generous target, probably deleting a
dozen or so of active vehicles from the division. A more painful task
would be to replace another couple of dozen of obliterated antennas,
vision blocks, window panes and rubber tyres. The second explosion
gave the rest of the attacking party a good view of targets. A similar
fate ensued for the rest of hardware stationed on the roadsides. The
young Lieutenants did their best. Not having a better weapon to use
the effect of their attack was limited. One of the Mk 82 almost went
stray hitting an abandoned chicken coop, the flying debris ripping
several Zil trucks and setting ablaze a lonely fuel truck that burned
and flickered unmolested for the rest of the night.

Capt. Michaud came last. More ambitious he selected for their 82s AIR
(Air Inflatable Retarders) a collection of domes, tents and reinforced
bunkers nearby the river. Shortly after release of the deadly cargo a
white balloon inflated right behind the body of the bomb radically
transforming the ballistic trajectory of the ammunition and offering a
lower flight profile of attack to the proud Quebecois. Capt. Michaud
already had the entire collection of radar alerts beeping in the
cabin, so a generous supply of chaff and flares were released as well.
Meanwhile Cdr. MacGuire and Lts. Wejr and Forster were heading fast
home. Even though the main radar was destroyed and they didn't get
shot at, there was a possibility to get caught by interceptors sent
from any nearby landing strip. "Where is Mich, anyways?".

Taras watched the fireworks display in amazement. Huge craters
clearly exposed the impact of the bombs. Several vehicles destroyed to
different degree. Fuel burning here and there. A T-62M was literally
"beheaded" and the ammo inside was cooking off like popcorn. The top
of the mountain also lit by a bonfire reflecting in the remains of the
radar grill that once was dominating the valley.

Suddenly he heard an incoming roar from the skies follow by a "swish"
and and big fireball in the sky. Like a grand finale. The entire sky
lit at once and then covered with white smoke drifting in the cold
night at an elegant almost reverent pace.

Hours later the scene was devastating. Several wrecks still burning,
under that sinister light a line of dead bodies was improvised.
Several wounded soldiers were evacuated to the town. The mood was
somber. "Out of nowhere and pants down! Where the fuck are the Migs?
Where was the air defense? Sleeping? Too late!"

Shevchenko felt lucky at least. He turned his head and look at the big
cabin of the bridge layer truck. The pair of small headlights, one of
them burnt out and frontal arrangement reminded him of some comical
character that appeared to him winking like an one eyed accomplice.

The reflection of the burning spectacle in the large windshield
reminded him of the catastrophe neatly averted.

- "Jesus Christ!"

One of his weary engineers looked around in an exaggerated manner and
whispered loudly, "hey, don't let the Zampolits hear you say
that!"

(Written by Javier Mainar)

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:04, Sat 08 Sept 2012.

Javier
Tue 21 Apr 2009
at 07:28
Bella Coola: Hell Night
The role of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) is to guide and direct the World along the road to communism. In fullfilment of what considers to be a historic mission, the Communist Party feels obliged to exert control over all aspects over the revolution and therefore "liberate" Canada...

And that was the mission of the 62nd Motor Rifle Division. The basic all arms formation, the division, comprises three motor rifle regiments and one tank regiment for a common Motor Rifle Division as the 62nd. They also sport  strong reconnaissance elements as well as artillery, engineering and chemical defense troops. Air defense was present as well as command over the air space over their own forces is considered to be essential for the success of offensive operations. Accordingly, the Soviet Army, has what is considered the most comprehensive range of air defense weapons and many of them were previously combat tested in Vietnam, the Middle East, etc.

Captain Vitaly M. Bezhov was a proud member of the air defense element assigned to the 62nd. But while parent units from the Eastern military units like Siberia, Transbaikal and Far East were considered first category (over 75% manned with full equipment scale) and reaping a great deal of fruits from the Chinese air space, the 62nd was a different matter. For the Canadian "front" was considered somehow a theatre of operations similar to that of the Caucasus, the deployment of such type of unit was considered. Regrettably, the 62nd, was a second category unit, that is 50%-75% manned with full scales of fighting vehicles but not necessarily of the latest type. In all: 215 tanks, mostly modernised versions of the T-62 model, 312 combat APCs (curiously being the MT-LB in favor over the BTR series) and less anti tank and AA weapons than expected.



This was the predicament of Cpt. Bezhov the fateful night of the attack that crippled the  Soviet Army presence in the North of British Columbia. The division's logistic tail is true to the principles of lightness and flexibility for such an outside of the USSR and therefore the facilities of the technical support battalion are neither extensive nor are they designed for repairing heavily damaged vehicles or able to conduct maintenance of technologically advance weapon systems. The forward deployment location of the division brought the current status of the air defense network to a very poor combat state. Early Warning detection was relied upon a P-18 radar NATO coded "Spoon Rest-D" this was a somehow upgraded version of the P-12 that the Canadian intel unit thought it was fielded. Against high performance combat jets most of the weapons in the arsenal of the division were pretty much worthless, SA-7 and ZU-23-4 were no match for the "Nighthawks" hornets of the 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron. The number of remaining SAM batteries capable to accomplish a credible air defense were dangerously low due to the above mentioned facts regarding the category and isolation of the unit.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:16, Tue 21 Apr 2009.

Javier
Tue 21 Apr 2009
at 07:32
Re: Bella Coola: Hell Night
The P-18 shares many similarities with the earlier P-12NA that the Intel section of the 409 TFS had erroneously identified. Exactly like the P-12 it is mounted on two Ural-4320 trucks. The P-18 features many improvements over the P-12 including increased performance, precision and reliability. The radar was developed to work independently or as part of a network system directing SAMs and/or aircraft to hostile targets, the truck mounted design provided the radar with high mobility ideal for the mountainous fighting characteristics of the 62 MRD.

Like the P-12 the radar features automatic frequency control with four pre-set operating frequencies, moving target indicator to eliminate passive clutter and active jamming, the radar could also display tracks from another radar it was paired with. This was one of the reasons why the flight of the "Nighthawks" went not undetected at all. The underestimated 250 km maximum range gave the EW operators a window of opportunity to alert the defenses. Flying at more than 500 mph there were only a few minutes left. After losing contact was reported as the diamond maple leaf formation crept under the radar cover, Captain Bezhov alerted his crew and scrambled for the vehicle.


This message was last edited by the GM at 00:05, Sat 08 Sept 2012.

Javier
Tue 21 Apr 2009
at 07:46
Re: Bella Coola: Hell Night
The four steps process by which Air Defense weapons attempt to eliminate enemy aircraft are detection, acquisition, tracking and destruction. By now, the attacking "Hornets", in Bezhov's mind, probably knew that they were painted by the detection emissions and getting into play "Space Invaders" on the radar screens. Now it was up to him to repeat the same litany of detect, acquire, track and destroy them before falling prey of their painful sting. The vector of approach facilitated by the main station and the lack of flight reports involving friendly (air) forces, this last heavily involving the same re-supply problems that plagued the 62nd MRD, left the possibility of incorrect identification discarded. This was not unimportant, back in the Military Academy, a younger V.M. Bezhov, learned that during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 the Arabs fired 2100 missiles and destroyed 85 aircraft and 45 were their own!

Being almost adrift in these thoughts was the Captain when he got suddenly awoke by the creeping roar of the General Electric F-404 series turbofans coming fast and low. Cmdr. "Beeker" MacGuire came in first with the subsequent explosion of the P-18 station while at the same time Lt. "Wrongway" Wejr and Lt. "Subaru" Foster released their deadly cargo upon the valley. Finally a fourth Hornet closed the attack with further thundering echoing through the night. Too fast to react. The three initial traces disappeared in the North East corner of the orange screen with a conventional radar busting technique involving a quick climb and banking maneuvre. But something was missing... Bezhov ordered a quick Track While Scan (TWS) parameter type over the exit corner. This scan pattern is the combination of one unidirectional sector elevation and one unidirectional sector azimuth with nearly equal but asynchronous scan rates.

And it paid off.  Captain "Mich" Michaud was the second in Command, French Canadian and carrying 4 "Snakeyes" in the double ejectors under his wings. Not only that, he was an ambitious and proud fighter pilot. After being a privileged witness of the initial stages of strike by his Commander and buddies, he decided not only to release his "flying snakes" but also make a good use of the 578 rounds of 20 mm in the reservoir of the M61 Vulcan. After all, plenty of seating ducks in the valley will further enhance the possibility of climbing to a possible fast tracked wartime promotion.

The sequence of the gun run or strafing called for a sustained combination of angle of attack, speed and altitude in order to keep the target on the HUD and inside the gun sight. A road to perdition. Now Captain Bezhov enjoyed a clear path and vector in the screen. The enemy was detected, acquired and tracked. Only one step was left...

Even if there is a hit or hits , there is no real assurance that the aircraft will be utterly destroyed. Combat jets are designed and built to last. There are overbuilt actually, with many systems duplicated and even triplicated for safety. It is then somehow presumptuous for a small warhead to destry a +17 tons Hornet, especially when the warhead often is activated nearby. For tonight's account, a combination of effective guidance, above Mach speed, proximity fuze and large warhead spelled the bitter end for the Hornet. A gigantic orange fireball illuminated the valley reflecting in water bodies, metal surfaces and the early morning dew. It was not to be the last triumph and tragedy in the life of the Captain Bezhov.



The aftermath of the strike, instead of glory, almost brought his very own demise. It is being rumored that a close relative of the General in charge of the Div. was killed in the attack and the wrath of the high brass wanted to fall upon the Air Defense troops. Almost in the brink of being court marshalled, Bezhov and a few of the remaining senior Officers had to make a very pragmatic approach to explain how an outdated, under-equipped and personnel starved AD unit confronted a superior foe and even was able to shot down one of its numbers... To no effect. Only the rank and file really appreciated his effort.

Since that day, the Captain thoughts turned around. He decided that this was not the Army that he was willing to fight and die for. Other than defend the Rodina, the invasion of a foreign country has brought the demise of his career and the apretiation of his skill as a Commader. He reflected upon the issue of defecting and he remembered Lt. Shevchenko. He heard of the Ukrainian man dissapearing with a jeep UAZ and some weapons. He even knew him by his name. Taras usually was involved in the preparation of the SAM sites digging positions and conducting other engineering tasks with the speciallized equipment. Taras got a decent reputation as a chess player in the Officer's Club, always using blacks . In one of the games that they both shared they even talked about their disenchantment. In the future, the lambasted Captain will receive news from the "Black King" of Odessa.
Taras Vladimirovich Shevchenko
 player, 288 posts
 Fmr. 62nd MRD
 Senior Lieutenant
Fri 1 May 2009
at 09:38
Re: Bella Coola: Hell Night
The aftermath of the CF-18 Hornets attack left a bitter taste. Not that the wanton destruction was enough material for many volumes of nightmares but the demise of the only response what was got in Bezhov's nerves. The only satisfaction was to be found among his own subordinates. Those common soldiers, rank-and-file, that shared many moments of instruction, exercises, hardship of deployments... war itself. When you share a working space where shoulders are locked together and even the very own breathing under the shadow of the creeping death can be felt, a special bond beyond epaulettes is born.

For lack of a better trophy, the dedicated crew of Captain Bezhov, presented him with a crudely framed picture liberated from an old issue of "National Geographic". Even though the Soviet Army and NATO did have a different way to code name the military equipment it did not come as a surprise that, this time, the reptile got a good shot at his target...


This message was last edited by the GM at 23:58, Fri 07 Sept 2012.

Taras Vladimirovich Shevchenko
 player, 618 posts
 Fmr. 62nd MRD
 Senior Lieutenant
Fri 11 Mar 2011
at 09:38
Re: Bella Coola: Hell Night
Bulat is commenting with Taras some of his past experiences...

...The whole idea of the Stavka was to open a new front in the Pacific Northwest. It was not a primary one like the one in China or Europe but a good sideshow that would give tremendous leverage to the Soviet Union. The Far East Military District was going to invade Alaska and Canada with a gigantic "Hail Mary" through the Arctic and Bering Straight, etc. after strategic attacks fell upon the main targets. The invasion of Alaska went swiftly once the USAF was destroyed on the ground and the rest of objectives quickly secured by the special diversionary groups or Spetsnaz. The long distance to cover for the americans to try to resupply didn't help their cause. By the time their units were licking their wounds and regrouping, the Soviet Army was more than half way down in British Columbia, Canada.



Yes, the poor cannucks did have most the military eggs in the european basket and the little left was barely able to hold the line a few clicks above the Lower Mainland. The nuclear and non nuclear strikes practically wiped out the few standing naval vessels and the exiguos Air Force was all but gone in Alberta. A few counter attacks here and there stabilized the front in BC  but it was already late. The Soviet strategy worked well. A tremendous frontage of great value in natural resources was occupied with an impressive economy of force. The plan called for a mainland ground attack raining down from the Alaskan Highway, mostly classic mechanized units supported by airborne and the occupation of the coastal cities and towns as well as the main islands in the West Coast. This last task was encommended to the Soviet Navy with her ships, aviation and naval infantry. The occupied bases in Alaska provided launching pads for the Air Force to provide air supremacy, aerial resupply, strategic reconnaissance, etc. throughout the North American scenario.



My unit was in charge to occupy the Queen Charlotte islands. They are an archipelago on the top of Vancouver Island. They consist of two main islands: Graham Island in the north, and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands. Our Naval Infantrywas based in force in Juneau but moved swiftly down to Ketchikan. I was impressed of that place. There was a shipyard there and very good airport facilities. As in Juneau, there was no road network so all the traffic was either by sea or air. That place was well run and I could see that there was a good economy. We didn't expend much time there. The Naval Spetsnaz were already at work in the Queen Charlotte islands. Maybe they gor there by boat or submarine, I don't know, those guys are really good. They basically cleared the way and a "Ivan Rogov" class took our entire Battalion to the island and we settled there without a shot being fired. The show of force of our PT-76 revving up the engines to make believe that there was a Normandy in the making wasn't necessary at all.




By the time we reached the island most of the non native people were already gone. It seems that the Canadian Forces didn't have enough strength of resources to defend the archipelago. The vast majority of their assets were commited to fight the ground invasion. The local population was around 3,000 people and I would say 80% were native indians. They were not happy with the Soviet presence but they also felt betrayed by the Canadian Governement. They would continue with their logging and fishing and wanted to be left alone. In fact their chief met with the Major or our Battalion and told him to keep away from their territories or ask permission to cross it.  As a consequence of their negotiations the Soviet troops basically stood ground only in two main locations and contact was scarce. The natives also acknowledge their need to have an economic partner for goods not available in the islands as well as to sell their wares. The Soviets would provide that partner as well as limited development and medical support. Regardless of the new tenant, relations between the locals and the "visitors" would remain similar for the last 300 years.



Anyways, I tell you a little bit more about our operations in the islands...The idea of our HQ or Stavka was to have the Navy to occupy the islands and coastal area in order to create the necessary backdrop for the main ground assault securing that shore flank. Also gain access to the interior through the ports and obtain the required depth for our teather of opeations. Every island was like the bead of a rosary (yours Christian or mine, Muslim) from Kamchatka thrusting all the way down to the very continental USA. But the Geographics were extremely difficult, very long distances to cover and all of that in a front considered as secondary or economy of force!

55 Division Naval HQ in Vladivostok redrew the maps and assigned a Naval Infantry Regiment to cover the coastal area South of Juneau. The AO included our main location moved down to Ketchikan and Prince Rupert and Kitimat. Once the road was cleared for the invasion of the Queen Charlotte our Battalion was tasked to do so and we moved by the mentioned ship. Our Battlion was around 400 troops divided into three companies of about 100 guys each but we were down only to 80 or so. Each Company was divided into three platoons. I was the leader of one of those. In vehicles we were down to 20 BTR-60PB, old but well maintained machines. Also the Battalion had a mortar platoon with 3 tubes of 82 mm. Usually we should have an Anti tank platton as well but that was missing too. I guess that they compensated the missing numbers with  3 PT-76 and 7 BDRM-2 of the Recon Company of the Regiment for the initial invasion. Also there were 2 Kamov helicopters on the deck of the "Ivan Rogov".





Our mission was to take over the main transportation links between the Islands and mainland British Columbia: The Sandspit Airport, the Masset Airport and the BC Ferries terminal at Skidegate. The westernmost leg of Highway 16 connects Masset and Skidegate on Graham Island, and Skidegate with Prince Rupert on the mainland via regular BC Ferries. Floatplane services connect to facilities such as the Alliford Bay Water Aerodrome and Masset Water Aerodrome. One the initial objectives were completed the ship left with the helicopters and the entire PT-76 complement. @ of our Naval Infantry companies were based in Snadspit and Queen Charlotte and the other up in Masset. Shortly after we got some extra help. One radar station was set up at Mount Moresby and a Naval Station at the ferry terminal with 4 "Nanutchkas" and 3 Be-12 amphibious planes and their crews. A further trip of a soviet merchant marine brought us an Air Defense Battery with 1 Platoon of Zsu-23-4 (4 vehicles) and another platoon on BRDM mounted SAM-9 "Gaskin". This battery was eventually reduced in force after the arrival of a S-125 system and more radars associated.



Most of the comings and goings were directly related to the course of the war. The Red Army was now beach-headed in Vancouver Island firmly in Port Hardy. That would be the beginning of the end of the Soviet adventure. At that time there was a ferrous air and sea control of the triangle Ketchikan-Queen Charlotte's-Prince Rupert. The counter-attack in Juneau wrestled away the Alaskan capital from Soviet hands but it will become a Pyrrhic victory as they were under a tight grip. The extensive war losses on each side and the unforgiving weather and terrain conditions brought a quick stalemate that made entire units "go native". There was and still a stalemate today.


--



Javier.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:02, Sat 08 Sept 2012.

Darek Sochacki
 player, 89 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Sat 8 Sep 2012
at 00:09
Re: Bella Coola: Hell Night
The man came to in the back of the upsidedown Hummer. It was dark, and hard to see, but he could smell earth and engine coolant. He was still belted into one of the four stretchers and he could feel his body weight as it put a lot of pressure on his midsection where he was strapped in.

He looked around and realized there was another man struggling to free him from the stretcher. When the man registered he was awake, the standing put his hand over the patient's mouth and shook his head.

"Russians" he hissed, freeing the belt and releasing his grip on the patient's face. The two men helped the patient ease down out of his stretcher and onto the floor of the wrecked amubulance carrier.

It was not hard to hear. What sounded like a squad of soldiers were shouting to each other in a language neither understood but both knew to be Russian. It sounded as if they were getting closer.

"You've got a head wound and I'd bet after the accident your IV has become lodged in your arm" the older man explained in what sounded to the patient like a British accent. "Can you move? I don't know if we should hide or make a run for it."



If you think the two should hide outside the Hummer somewhere, type HIDE

If you think the two should hold fast inside the Hummer, type HOLD

If you think the two should make a getaway, type RUN

If you suggest another option, type OTHER and then state your suggestion

PLEASE POST CHOICES TO OOC THREAD! - Tony
Darek Sochacki
 player, 93 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Sun 9 Sep 2012
at 07:07
Turn 2
In reply to Darek Sochacki (msg # 8):

************************************************************************************

HOLD: 1, RUN: 1

The patient felt the blood trickling down his left arm where the IV had been. He reached up and touched the bandage around his entire head. Getting an idea, he laid half in and half out of the closest stretcher, feigning death.

"Right" the British man said, turning and crawing out of the back of the ruined HMMWV ambulance carrier. The patient, his eyes closed, could hear the other man as he scraped out of the vehicle, even as the enemy soldiers drew closer. He wondered if he had made the right choice.

Thirty seconds later, he had his answer. The metal structure of the inverted ambulance shook as it was struck by a burst of Kalashnikov fire. There was angry shouting in a language the man couldn't understand, and then...silence.

'So many questions' the patient thought.

He remembered growing up working cows in a small east Texas town. Remembered how his mother cried when he got the draft notice. He remembered being able to climb a wall faster than the other Privates in Boot Camp. So how did he get here?

When he opened his eyes, it was light. His neck hurt from the way he slept on the stretcher the night before. Looking around, he saw the Brit sitting where the door on the back of the ambulance carrier used to be. In the light, he could see that the man wore a hospital top, commonly referred to as 'scrubs', which was blood-stained. His BDU trousers were standard British Army issue.

"You're still alive, then?" he asked with a wry smile, getting up and moving towards the patient. He offered the now sitting patient a drink from a very warm silver thermos. "I'm afraid it's not hot, but it's have to do."

"You still here?" the patient asked, more surprised than anything. "I thought you left when the Russians came."

The British man lost his smile briefly as he flashed a look of shame. When the smile came back just as quickly as it left, he sat next to the patient and looked up at what used to be the floor of the HMMWV.

"Different tactics, old thing" he offered, not looking to see how his words affected the listener. "I suppose it reflects our cultural and occupational differences. I am a doctor, not a soldier, you know."

Words like Sir and attention came to the patient's mind. He had assumed the Brit was just an orderly, as doctors don't normally ride around in Hummers.

"Sorry, Sir, thought you were an orderly" he said, stiffening by the man and handing back the thermos. He would have stood, but there was no room in the vehicle.

"Do orderlies normally operate in America, Private Davis?" he said, the wry smile returning as he looked down at his bloody tunic.

"I...I..." Davis fumbled, not knowing what to say. "Just a minute, how did you know my name, sir?"

"Because it was on your combat tunic before I cut it off you, " the Brit answered honestly. "Enough of the 'sir' stuff ok, it gives me a headache. Try Doctor Hill. I don't want to tell you my rank. You'll probably have a coronary."

Private Davis followed Doctor Hill out of the back of the wrecked HMMWV. The lowly American soldier watched as the British officer looked through the driver's station of the destroyed vehicle.

"Who's not here sir....Doctor?" he said, answering the man as he talked to himself.

"White, my orderly" Hill answered. "He was driving when we hit that roadblock. They killed him instantly and I... tried to steer us safely off the road from the passenger's side but..." he trailed off.

"I'm sorry about White, Doctor" Davis said. "I'm sure he was a good..."

"I don't care about that" the Doctor interrupted. "The man had a pistol. I have a feeling we're going to need it."

They found White's body 75m from the ruined ambulance carrier. The way it lay straight after having been flung from a moving vehicle suggested that it had been searched by the Russians.

"Pockets open, gun belt missing his Beretta" Doctor Hill commented as they neared the body. "Yes, I'd say we're quite late."

"What now?" Private Davis asked.

"Don't scratch your bandage, it'll ruin my excellent suture job" Hill said, looking at the Hummer's tire tracks in the mud. When the two men made eye contact, the smile returned.

"We were heading northwest out of..." he hesitated, looking at Davis. "We were heading northwest when we were jumped by the same lads that sent you to me. I'd bet you they were the same unit that smashed our mobile hospital and sent us on the run in the first place."

"So the guys that almost killed us last night were part of that same unit?" Private Davis asked, trying to make some sense out of Doctor Hill's tale.

"No, those guys were just a roadblock" he answered, waving his hand behind him. "I'm guessing they were put there; a passing patrol wouldn't have had time to dig earthen berms on either side of the road."

Private Davis nodded in agreement. The desire to itch the side of his head was intense.

"Right so, following the tracks, I'd say the roadblock is there" Hill explained, motioning to his left. "That makes the Hummer off to the east, so north is that way and south is that way. Now the only question is, which way do we go?"

************************************************************************************

If you think Davis and Hill should go to the north, type NORTH

If you think Davis and Hill should go to the south, type SOUTH

If you think Davis and Hill should go to the east, type EAST

If you think Davis and Hill should go to the west, type WEST

If you have another suggestion, type OTHER, followed by the suggestion
Taras Vladimirovich Shevchenko
 player, 865 posts
 RCMP UBC Detachment
 Staff Sergeant
Mon 10 Sep 2012
at 06:39
Re: Turn 2
RED DAWN, RED WATERS - THE SOVIET NAVAL PRESENCE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

The morning was cold and dreary at the "Mathias-Thesen-Werft" shipbuilding complex  in East Germany but the atmosphere inside the halls was warm and enthusiastic. It was the end of september in 1972 and the designers, engineers and builders were celebrating the succesful launching of the "Bella Coola" cheering with "Little Red Riding Hut" sparkling wine also known as "communist champagne". At more than 16,200 tons GRT an overall length of 176 meters and 10 meters draft the cargo ship of the type OBC (Ore-bulk containers), "Bella Coola" series of Mathias-Thesen-Werft were combined ice-strengthened bulk, general cargo and container vessels. Eventually they will be manufactured from 1972 to 1987 for a total of 28 units in five manufacturing series (I to OBC OBC V). The ships would be used for the transport of ores, shipping bulk and packaged goods, as well as containers. Hence the abbreviation: Ore (O), Bulk (B) Containers (C). Part of the series were built for the German ocean shipping company, and the rest would be eventually exported to numerous, mostly Western countries.

The  first ship and namesake of the series wasn't destined to the almighty Soviet merchant ship or any other socialist country but sold to Sweden." Bella Coola" with the hull number "101". After several transfers and name changes ("Bella Coola", "Foochow IV", "Pegasus Timber" and just "Pegasus") she  was operated until 1992 when she met a tragic end during a voyage from Indonesia to Inchon:  The vessel grounded on a reef off Lu Tao, Taiwan. Following engine failure, broke into two and 2 crew died.



The GDR in 1985 took a creditable sixth  place in the world ranking production of boats with 362 vessels built. In the same spirit, other countries in the socialist orbit also were obtaining outstanding positions: The Polish People's Republic ranked seventh, while Romania and Yugoslavia occupied  8 and 11 positions respectively. Notably, countries highly industrialized, such as France and Italy were in positions 9 and 10 respectively number ranking global production of
ships. Shipyards in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania have been in decline for the
past years only to slightly revamp production before the eruption of World war III. In the former East Germany, up to 52,000 worked in the shipbuilding industry on the Baltic coast. The East German shipyards were considered to be very modern. In West Germany at that time shipyards were forced to close during periods of bad weather, but in the East the production facilities were protected from the weather.

In another unbelievable coincidence the same shipyard during the same year had built and delivered  "MS Mikhail Lermontov"  the last of the five "poet" ships: Ivan Franko, Taras Shevchenko, Alexandr Pushkin,,Shota Rustaveli and Mikhail Lermontov, named after famous Ukrainian, Georgian and Russian writers (Ivan Franko and Taras Shevchenko being Ukrainian, and Shota Rustaveli being Georgian), It would be "A. Pushkin" the lonely survivor of the series, one of the principal protagonists in the red dawn of the British Columbia.


This message was last edited by the player at 06:58, Mon 10 Sept 2012.

Taras Vladimirovich Shevchenko
 player, 867 posts
 RCMP UBC Detachment
 Staff Sergeant
Tue 11 Sep 2012
at 06:48
Re: Turn 2
A pack of cigarettes advertising "MORFLOT":




Standardization was the bread and butter of the Communist ideal. The process did not spare the Merchant Navy. For vessels, this meant not only by mission and areas of operation but also by major components: engines, cargo-handling equipment, and aids to navigation. The results were positive in fuel efficiency, repair and maintenance, increased cargo capacity and derease of operating costs). New ship designs allowed speedier cargo handling and better space utilization and resulted in a higher carrying capacity per ship. Automation and mechanization of shipboard operations increased labor productivity.

Most seas adjoining the Soviet coastline, particularly those in the Northern latitudes, have short navigable seasons. A lesson learnt by Peter the Great if you remember the warmer shores of St Petersburg! To keep the sea-lanes open and prolong the navigable season, a sizable and diversified fleet of ice-breaking vessels was required. The vessels ranged from small harbor tugs to large, nuclear-powered, oceangoing icebreakers, as well as Arctic freighters and tankers of up to 35,000 deadweight tons.

Arctic freighters were especially constructed with reinforced hulls, resembling those of icebreakers, to enable the ships to proceed through ice up to one meter thick and were protected against the severe weather to allow the crew to move from one part of the ship to another without being exposed to cold and ice. Deck de icing equipment allowed them to operate at temperatures ofas low as -50C.



NS "Lenin"


In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union had the world's largest passenger vessel fleet rivalling in grandeur only to the almighty "Aeroflot". One of its major tasks was to provide transportation to the Arctic and Far Eastern coastal areas, where ships were frequently the sole means of travel due to the lack of other infrastructure. Old passenger liners, some built prior to World War II and acquired as war reparations, catered to foreign cruise clientele, generally in nearby waters. Modern and well-equipped cruise ships, however, either were built expressly for Morflot in foreign yards, like we saw in East Germany, or were built chiefly in West Germany and Britain for Western cruise lines and were purchased by Morflot in the 1970s and 1980s. With cabin accommodations for up to 700 passengers, they catered to Western tourists around the world. In the1980s, Morflot's oceangoing passenger fleet numbered some eighty liners with a total of about 25,000 berths. Not unlike the SS "Camberra" during the Falklands conflict they would come to play a priceless role in the logistical support of Soviet forces operations around the globe.

Morflot operated several major ferry lines and they played an important role in the global strategy of the USSR. The lines in the Baltic and Black Sea had been put into service to avoid transiting Romanian and Polish territory, respectively. The Soviet-Bulgarian ferry between Il'ichevsk and Varna began service in 1978. It has used two Soviet and two Bulgarian ships, each with a capacity for 108 seventy-ton freight cars on three decks shortening by six days the delivery time between the two countries.




The Soviet merchant fleet's cargo, passenger, and auxiliary vessels constituted an indispensable logistical component of the Soviet Naval Forces and providing strategic sealift. Morflot ships were fast, versatile, and capable of handling combat and combat support vehicles and equipment. Moreover, the majority were able to enter most of the world's harbors. LASH and RO/FLO ships were capable of unloading their cargo at sea and could thereby support amphibious operations. The original fleet of dedicated ships for amphibious operations was too small to represent a serious threat and it was severely handicapped when compared to the all powerful NATO countries. Nearly half the cargo ships were equipped with cranes capable of lifting the heaviest military armor and vehicles, thereby reducing the dependence on prepared port facilities. The invasion of multiple coastal towns of operational interest in British Columbia were conducted by a combined fleet with minimal support from the Soviet Navy "grey" hulls. Morflot's tankers and cargo vessels were also used for out-of-area refueling and replenishment of Soviet naval vessels operating far from home waters supporting the Aleutian-Alaskan-British Columbian front. Merchant ships were sometimes equipped with sophisticated communications and navigational devices, served as intelligence gatherers, and had NBC protection. Some possessed mine-laying and even torpedo launching capabilities. When hostilities broke out, the Morflot passenger fleet, with a total of about 25,000 berths in peacetime, was capable of transporting several times that number of troops into operational areas. The "Alexander Pushkin" was one of them and her sailing become almost a modern mythological tale as we shall see very soon...
Darek Sochacki
 player, 98 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Tue 11 Sep 2012
at 12:52
Re: Turn 2
In reply to Taras Vladimirovich Shevchenko (msg # 11):

Javier:

Notice how it says 'Cigarettes with Filters', implying that this is a selling point and a rarety indeed. I love it!

J-bird
Darek Sochacki
 player, 99 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Thu 13 Sep 2012
at 08:27
Turn 3
In reply to Darek Sochacki (msg # 9):

***********************************************************************************

NORTH: 1

The two men made their way to the north through the thick woods that obscured them from the Soviet roadblock to the west. After twenty minutes, they came to the edge of the woods.

The treeline was at a 45 degree angle to their route of march. To the north, east, and southeast, well seperated farm plots were high with summer straw and hay. Beyond a wide expanse of wheat to the northeast, a road stretched out of view to the north, and it also extended out of view to the south.

Single family country dwellings unevenly alternated in both directions on either side of the street. Nine in total, they were in various states of repair, but most seemed habited, or at least habitable. Linen on the lines, an occasional dog bark, and the smell of bread let the two know they were just south of a 'modern' Polish country town.

"I'm so hungry it hurts" Private Davis said, stating what the Doctor thought. "Should we check it out?"

"Good question old thing" Hill said, surveying the scene. "Good question."

********************************************************************************

If you think the two men should investigate the western part of town further, type WESTERN

If you think the two men should investigate the eastern part of town further, type EASTERN

If you think the two men should avoid the town and proceed back the way they came, type WEST

If you think the two men should avoid the town and proceed in a new direction, type SOUTH

If you have another suggestion, type OTHER followed by the suggestion
Darek Sochacki
 player, 102 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Fri 14 Sep 2012
at 10:39
Turn 4

********************************************************************************

EASTERN: 1

The two men used the tall wheat in an attempt to make it to the eastern end of the 'town' they saw before them without detection. The closest house had obvious signs of structural damage and was uninhabited. The two men used it evaluate the other houses.

The next house was only 50m away but was obviously occupied. There were clothes hanging on the line, and the sound of chickens could be heard from the open barn. The two men took away their own impressions of the place.

"Chicken mean eggs, and eggs mean food, Doc" Davis whispered in the abandoned house.

"Right, and those clothes on the line might help us blend in a bit better" Doctor Hill responded.

Private Davis hadn't thought about his appearance until just now. He looked down at his hospital-style patient top and bottom. Mass-produced, poorly made, with dirt, sweat, pieces of wheat and blood on it, it was hardly something a common farmer wore.

Davis looked at the other man, who didn't look much better. There was more blood on his 'scrub' top, but it was better made and clearly designed to be issued to doctors, not patients. The only thing military about the man were his trousers, which were dirty and covered with wheat stalks.

"What on Earth is that racket?" Doctor Hill asked, looking around. "Is that singing?"

"Dunno" admitted. "Probably a radio.

"Strange" Hill answered.

"Back to our problem. The question is" Davis said, hearing his stomach growl, "Which do we do first?"

********************************************************************************

If you think the two men should go for the eggs and/or chickens first, type EGGS

If you think the men should go for the clothes first, type CLOTHES

If you think the two men should split up, type SPLIT

If you think the two men should go towards another house, type ANOTHER
Darek Sochacki
 player, 110 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Sat 22 Sep 2012
at 10:30
Turn 5
Turn 5

********************************************************************************

CLOTHES: 1

The singing grew louder as the two men made it to the clothes line. From their new vantage point, they could see why. A religious procession, very common before the war every Sunday in a country that was on paper 98% Catholic, was making its way from the east down the middle of the country road.

Based on their walking speed, Major Hill guessed the two men would be visible in a minute or two.

"Hurry!" the Doctor hissed, pulling clothes quickly off the line. The two men hurried to get their old clothes off and the new civilian clothes on.

"You look real good, Doctor Hill" Private Davis said a moment later, trying to pull back on his combat boots after donning his new clothes. The Major's new long-sleeved shirt was white with colorful hand-made thread designs of red, blue and orange.

"You don't" the Doctor said flatly. The baggy, ill-fitting clothes did nothing to make the casual observer believe that Private Davis was a Polish farmer. The dirty bandages that covered his head weren't helping either.

The Catholic procession grew closer, and it was almost upon the two foreigners. The priest said something, and the crowd answered in unison. This was repeated several times in between the singing. To Private Davis, it reminded him of boot camp.

"Here" the British man said, handing Davis a black cap common to the region. He tried to pull it on, but it was way too small. The doctor grabbed it off his head and pulled at the metal clasp at the back. It flopped open, and the doctor was able to wedge the cap over the bandages on the young American soldier's head.

An old door of the house they were next to opened. A woman in her fifties who was as tall as she was around came out, presumably because of the religious procession. Her ugly face was doing something strange, and the two men realized it was an attempt at a smile.

Davis and Hill were not in direct line of observation to the woman. However, there was open ground in either direction from the clothes line and any attempt to flee would be seen by her. If they stayed where they were, they would be observed by the religious procession in less than thirty seconds.

Suddenly, Private Davis had an idea.

********************************************************************************

If you think the two men should attempt to run toward the safety of the treeline, type RUN

If you think the two men should attempt to convince the religious procession that they live there and that they are merely hanging clothes up by attempting to hang clothes on the line, type WASHING

If you think they the two men should wait until the religious procession is close to the clothes line and attempt to simply join it, walking in the same direction as the rest of the Polish civilians type JOIN

This message was last edited by the player at 10:31, Sat 22 Sept 2012.

Darek Sochacki
 player, 116 posts
 ex-Polish Army (WP)
 Armoured Officer
Mon 24 Sep 2012
at 09:03
Turn 6

**********************************************************************************

WASHING: 1

Private Davis began acting as if he were hanging up the washing. The Doctor caught what he was going, and began doing the same.

Suddenly, shouting started coming from the direction the short squat woman was standing. Davis's plan lasted all of ten seconds before falling apart. What's more, the procession was in the street right next to the two foreign men as the feigned hanging up linen.

The Polish woman moved quicker than Davis or Hill could have imagined. She closed the distance and came over to the two men, swatting them and yelling at them in a language neither understood.

Just then, the tallest Polish man either Hill or Davis had ever seen stepped forward from the religious procession. He was accompanied by a man with a small stature and a huge scar across his face. The second man had his hand in his jacket. Doctor Hill could see the end of a machette, which extended past the bottom of his dirty tan jacket.

The tall man started talking to the woman in Polish, gesturing to the two men now standing by the clothesline. They didn't know what he said, but his demeanor didn't suggest any anger. The old woman that lived here, however, was clearly angry.

He made a gesture with his left hand striking the side of his neck. It didn't look very good to either 'foreign' man, but the tall man's manner of speech and smile didn't change. It was fairly dismissive of the short, old woman's rage.

"...act like you're drunk..." the tall man whispered in between lines of conversation in Polish. Private Davis thought he was hallucinating, but Doctor Hill heard his the first time.

"...Wanna get out of this right?" he said, this time looking right at both of them. "Act like you're drunk."

********************************************************************************

If you think the two men should appologize to the Polish woman in English, type ENGLISH

If you think the two men should try to run, type RUN

If you think the two men should take the tall Polish man's advice and act like they are intoxicated, type DRUNK

If you have another suggestion, type OTHER and describe your suggestion
helbent4
 GM, 1812 posts
 aka Tony
Tue 2 Oct 2012
at 08:13
Re: Turn 6
I am still getting settled in to this area.  I am in Kandahar Province, but close to the border with Helmand Province.  The nights are starting to get colder, and I find myself using the Chigo brand air conditioner less and less.  It still gets quite hot during the day, and winds will come down from the Hindu Kush mountains.  North, all around me for about 45 degrees around the horizon are the igneous, volcanic formed mountains; a testament to the ancientness of this land.  The haze blocks out the sun; that haze being sand as fine as talcum powder.  When one walks through the stuff, is was as though someone upturned a baby powder bottle filled with brown tinted powder, and poured all over one's boots.  It's literally that fine in texture.  For those of you who watch the television show Archer, this definitely wouldn't be the type of sand Archer would want to put into Woodhouse's eyes.

The compound is about the size of a small baseball diamond; perhaps smaller.  We don't have much stand-off from the village we are connected to, but for the most part, things around this particular village are peaceful.  I live in a metal shipping container that has been fashioned into a living quarters, with plywood walls that are insulated, beds, plywood shelves, and even a gun rack that was installed by the previous occupants.  If you look at the picture I attached that shows my horrible excuse for a beard, you can see the gun rack behind me.

Also inside this building is my radio station.  Working in the field of Psychological Operations, part of my job is to influence the population around us with radio programming.  I manage a mobile system that is essentially an FM radio station like back home; only in this case, we only reach out 15-20 kilometers in ever direction.  Our frequency is 95.5 FM, and although we have an official name for it when sending reports to higher headquarters, the radio station is affectionately called "Voice of The Infidel" locally.  To what level that affection is, I cannot be certain, but it's certainly something.  The locals like us around, it would seem.

Since I, along with the rest of the group of different military specialties, just got here, we are still in a settling in phase.  Things should pick up over the next few weeks once we get into a rhythm, and the operational tempo increases slightly.  We are taking things in stride; 9 months has to be taken in stride.  The food is alright.  The Army cook here, a guy assigned to the two squads of 3rd Infantry Division soldiers attached to us, he seems to take a lot of pride in his work, he strives to keep us fed well, and fed in a clean chow tent.  In comparison to my last deployment, this cook will actually eat his own cooking which is a good sign; whereas "Smitty" last year over in Farah Province, assigned to the 1st Infantry Division Cavalry dorks, would serve up what that SF ODA "A Team" commander would call "Another Shitty Shmitty Shpecial."  People would get sick, and my friend, a Special Operations medic who used to be in the 82nd Abn Div, had to eventually put his boot in the guy's ass because of the sickness that started happening.

There is a definite difference in climate here.  It isn't too drastically different, but it is noticeable.  This part of the country is a little more "green," or what poor excuse of "green" this country can produce.  A lot more farmland, and even corn, can be seen around this area.  Water comes from ancient aqua ducts that supply water to community wells.   A well that supplies a town or village compound is called a "Karez."  The necessity and sacrament of water is so important here that whole towns that are at the ends of mountain washouts where the water collects are named Karez in some way or another.  People also enjoin themselves to other communities by a karez in their area just as an American would hail from a city, or a neighborhood, or a county.  As I've said before, folks around the world are all very similar in many ways; we do however have differences, some okay, but some just insane and disgusting.  I won't delve too deeply into that, as some of you I am writing already know all about it, and some of you might not have the stomach for it.

That being said, I am alright, alive, healthy as anyone can be in a place such as this, and I will update you again soon.





So the last week or so has been interesting.  On 22 September, I finally got around to pulling out my camera, starting right after I got off my hour long guard duty in the early morning hours.  Ironically enough, what I thought would be a peaceful day wound up being fairly eventful.  It was almost cinematic in that during the moments I photographed my first official, clear weathered Afghan sunrise in what I thought was a very peaceful moment, Afghan police and Afghan Army soldiers began getting into a firefight south of us across a ridge of rolling hills.  I began hearing automatic weapons fire, and 5 explosions less than a dozen kilometers away just as my camera captured the sun peeking over a mountain range far off in the distance.  Peace that morning wasn't being had for all in this area.  Much of the group where I am went into a reactionary posture to support these Afghans, and throughout the rest of the day, they operated down south in order to clear out any Taliban, or IEDs they had placed.  I remained behind to ensure any PSYOP messaging could be created to be sent across the airwaves in order to keep the locals informed about what all the commotion was in this area.  Being that I am the only PSYOP soldier currently here, I had to stay behind to ensure that, and the operation of my radio station, were maintained.  If the radio goes down, which it has, and I am not here to fix it, we lose a large influence on the overall area...which is obviously bad.

The following pictures have stories behind them...which for the sake of operational security, I will touch on while leaving vital information out of the equation.

Picture #1: This was one of the first pictures I took while standing in one of our guard towers looking east at the horizon.  The sun still hadn't risen high enough to kiss the peak of the distant mountain range, so I figured I would take a shameless self portrait.  You'll notice my poor excuse for a beard is still in the works.

Picture #2: Finally, the sun kissed my sky with its morning greeting.  There is one thing I must confess, and that is that other than the horrible aspects of the violence and ill culture traits of this land, Afghanistan is beautiful in its ancient forms.  The igneous, jagged mounds, hills, and mountains that seem to uproot from the brown powder coated surface; almost testaments of a prehistoric time.

It was also during the two dozen different shots of the sunrise that the Afghan military and police began exchanging fire with each other, breaking the peaceful ambiance of an otherwise gorgeous morning.

Picture #3: During this same time, I turned to my left to take a few shots of the mountain range next to our village.  The dichotomy of the beauty and antiquity of the village and mountains, and the evidence of an uncertain time shown by the concertina in the foreground; they really tied in well, I think, in expressing without words the issues of humanity...at least in this place.

Picture #4:  By the time this was taken, elements of our camp had not yet fully gotten ready to get in the trucks, and attempt to help dispatch the Taliban south of us.  I positioned my camera in such a way as to make the viewer feel as though the 81mm mortar was firing the sun from itself.  Kinda cheesy, I do admit, but a nice touch all the same.

Picture #5:  Later in the day, I was going from area to area across camp now that we had a reduced force for base defense.  I shared a moment having a locally acquired cigarette with a new buddy, a medic in the 3rd ID.  Doc Carpenter agreed to photograph me in front of the only full grown tree in our compound.  I am told it is a mulberry tree.  I suppose other than the Ray Ban sunglasses, pistol on my hip, and Pine brand Korean cigarette, I don't do much justice to myself in trying to look all that butch.  I'm still a goofy kid at heart when I can manage it.  I keep my name tapes, rank, and patches off my uniform about 99% of the time here for security reasons.

Pictures to Follow.
Darek Sochacki
 player, 121 posts
 RCMP Auxiliary Force
 Constable
Wed 3 Oct 2012
at 06:48
Turn 7

***********************************************************************************

DRUNK: 1

The commotion attracted the attention of two teenage boys who had been working in the field opposite the house with the clothes line. Undernourished but still full of youthful energy, they came jogging up still brandishing their farm tools.

Private Davis wasn't sure what was going on but took Doctor Hill's lead and started swaying back and forth. He hung his head down, and stumbled a bit as the tall Polish man attempted to 'steady' him. Glancing over at the Doctor gave him ideas on how to improve his act.

The tall man and the squat woman still continued back and forth, this time joined by the two boys who were openly hostile. This bothered some members of the procession visibly, but they chose to say nothing. The tall man called towards the back of the procession, and some movement and murmured voices could be heard by the two foreigners.

A few seconds later, Private Davis saw what looked like a supermodel carrying a basket. She was also tall, early twenties, with smooth skin and curves that made him remember he was a man. When she turned to stand next to the tall man, Doctor Hill could see that she was eight months pregnant.

After a few words, the woman produced a couple of plastic bags. The fat woman dug through the basket, which infuriated the beautiful woman, who slapped the older one's hand away. The older woman shoved the younger one and swore, which drew anger and shouts from the procession.

The tall Pole, feeling the situation slip from his control, raised his hand and his voice. The crowd quieted down, which help to calm the two teenage boys now clutching their tools in defensive positions. After some more words from the old woman, the tall man reached into the basket and handed two more plastic bags to the older woman. She nodded and spat, turning on her heel and went back to the house.

The two teenage boys rounded the head of the procession and joined her. The tall man said something to the priest, and the procession continued on to the west. The two foreigners stayed close to the tall man. They had little choice, as he had each of them by the scruff of their newly acquired clothing.

"You two idiots just cost me a lot of money" he said in English, nodding toward the Polish beauty now walking just behind the tall man. "Why don't you start by telling me who you are."

********************************************************************************

If you think the two men should tell the tall Pole who they are, type TELL

If you think the two men should make up a story, type MAKE BELIEVE

If you think the two men should say nothing, type NOTHING

If you have another suggestion, type OTHER, followed by your suggestion
Darek Sochacki
 player, 136 posts
 RCMP Auxiliary Force
 Constable
Sat 27 Oct 2012
at 19:17
Turn 8
********************************************************************************

TELL: 1

"Davis, Kenneth B, Private, United States Army, 630-42-6363" Kenneth Davis blurted out without thinking. Both the Doctor and the Tall Pole chuckled out loud, as if they had watched their child pass gas in the tub and then turn in surprise at the bubbles.

"You forgot your DOB" the Tall Pole said, still smiling. "Didn't they teach you anything at Basic, Davis?" he asked in English.

"You sound like you're from one of our Colonies" Doctor Hill said, eyeing the tall Pole suspiciously.

"Oh Jesus, an Uppity Brit still fighting the Revolutionary War" the Tall Pole said, smiling even bigger than before.

"Well?" Doctor Hill asked, still looking up at the tall man. The Tall Pole had released both Hill and Davis as the procession continued to move to the west. Consequently, Doctor Hill was able to turn his shoulders and look up at the taller man as they moved down the small country road.

"Captain Chris Kowalski, loosely associated with B Company, 3rd Battalion, 160th Aviation Regiment" the tall man said with an air of importance.

"In that case, I'm Major Ben Hill, 322nd Medical Regiment, BAOR" the British man said, stretching out his hand. "Pleased to meet you."

The two men shook hands in an awkward display of friendship that seemed strange in the middle of a Polish religious procession.

"So what were you on about earlier?" Major Hill asked. "Drugs?"

"More valuable that that, Major" Captain Kowalski said, motioning the tall, beautiful woman over. He placed a hand into her basket, and brought up a fist full of little plastic bags.

"Spices?" the Brit asked in shock. "THAT was what all the fuss was over?"

"It's the year 2000 in Poland, Major Hill" the American of Polish decent informed the other officer. "Spices bring more than any drug."

"So what are you doing here...Sir?" Private Davis asked, realizing that he would now have to 'Sir' the Tall Pole every time he spoke to him.

"It's complicated" he said, looking at the pregnant woman with a smirk that would make the Major jealous.

"However I WAS recruiting, until you two showed up and ruined that" he said, turning back to Davis.

It became apparent to Major Hill that they were heading toward the Soviet roadblock that killed his driver and wrecked their HMMWV. If he told the Tall Pole about the Soviet Roadblock and Chris Kowalski was who he said he was, he would be informing a NATO ally to a potential threat. If he told the Tall Pole and Chris Kowalski was NOT who he said he was, it might be a problem.

What to do?

********************************************************************************

If you think Major Hill should inform the Tall Pole about the Soviet road block, type INFORM

If you think Major Hill should make an excuse why they should turn back, type BACK

If you think Major Hill should take Private Davis and leave the Polish religious procession, type LEAVE

Any other suggestions, type OTHER and then the suggestion