5 September 2000
A stony expression on his face, Doruk barked at his guards, nodding at the prisoner trio of party members. William. Áron. Elizka. “Untie them!”
Doruk had tried to combine two complex missions. Grab the party members for questioning. Arrive in Radom just after the Soviet pull-out. The rifle factory was there for the taking.
It had gone poorly for him. Trying to impress the Guz was going to maybe get him killed. The Baron Czarny’s recently-arrived lieutenant also wanted the plant, and he had more men. The parley disturbed him on multiple levels.
His idiot driver in the BTR had already popped his hatch and surrendered. Now Doruk’s APC was just sitting out there, out of reach.
“They have couple dozen soldiers,” the foreigner said aloud. Doruk looked over at the civilian workers. “I have six. Their leader say we leave with only sidearms. I do not like the look of him,” he mused aloud.
Elizka nodded. “We’ll never make it off the lot alive, not most of us anyway.”
The Turk warned the former plant employees, a distinctly deep voice, “When they come in shooting, they not careful about who soldier, who not. You can hide, you can help us, or you can fight.” Doruk pointed at the racks of hundreds of AK-74s, RPK-74s, and SVDs. “Take one. I know ammunition here for test-firing; please bring that now.”
Doruk looked over at his former captives. (Well, not Cutler, he was still tied up.) “You three, something more I learned…”
A man shouted outside over a megaphone in accented Polish, “This is the Baron’s 2nd Free Company. We have you surrounded. Come out now! Or we come in after you!”
The speaker then clearly cursed in English before he turned off his megaphone.
Doruk looked uncomfortable. “I believe they are American. The CO, his name, Lieutenant Boots,” he said in gravelly, broken English.
2nd Free Company of the Baron Czarny’s army: “This unit has a mere 20 marauders, mostly U.S. soldiers from the 5th Infantry Division (Mech).” – Ruins of Warsaw, page 17
The Turk fixed Sgt William with a glare. “You are American. They are American. If you going to betray me, let’s do this now.”
William laughed. “No, wait. You said his name is Lieutenant Boots? Or was it Lieutenant Butz?”
“Yes, that is correct. Is hard word for me.”
William probably knew him. Before the meltdown at Kalisz, he’d had a run-in with Lt Butz. He was in charge of the division’s mail, among other things.
William’s sister had wrote increasingly desperate letters that she wasn’t receiving anything back, despite Sgt William writing her a letter every week.
He’d asked Lt Butz about the missing outbound letters. The lieutenant said he’d look into the problem if William donated to his “Feed the starving children” charity. William left with the strong feeling that Butz was holding back his mail. A couple of other guys in his unit had been burned by this supply lieutenant. It was symptom #3932 of the sorry state of the US Army in the year 2000.
Rumor had it that the man’s first name was Seymour, as in “See-More Butts”.
Sgt William had rounded up some guys, slipped into the supply company camp, and gave Lt Butz a blanket party one night. Turned out this guy was dirty as a rat, was using the donated food to buy the favors of local women. Butz had pleaded for the beating to end, told William where all his letters were stashed.
Lt Sy “Seymour” Butz.
Motivations: Queen of Diamonds (Lustful). 7 of Clubs (Moderately violent).
William waved his hands at Doruk in a placating gesture. “I know this guy. He’s a REMF.” He walked over to the personnel door where one of Doruk’s men kept watch. Doruk nodded, and the man stepped aside. William cupped his hands and shouted at the top of his lungs, “HEY, SEE-MORE BUTTS, COME ON IN AND WE’LL GIVE YOU ANOTHER BLANKET PARTY!!”
William ducked back in. It was quiet for a moment, then a single bullet ping off the metal doorframe. Butz megaphoned more threats, this time in English.
Doruk grinned. “Great. Grab guns. I think they no use explosive. He want the whole factory.”
Elizka asked. “Do WE have any explosives?”
Doruk spat. “Yes. In the BTR.” Which might as well be on the moon.
Elizka closed her eyes briefly, rubbed a temple. She pointed at Cutler. “I know he will surely betray us later. But right now we need each other. Give him a rifle.”
Doruk looked at Cutler, snorted, and gestured at one of his men to untie the American? Russian? Whatever he was.
Elizka organized the defense. There was a large bay door at the south end, and several personnel doors around the perimeter of the building. Elizka had those chained shut. She had William ascend the roof access ladder with an SVD, and scattered everyone else around the building. With all the machinery and supplies of coil steel everywhere, there was plenty of cover.
Up on the roof, William spotted several 3-man teams moving around the outside perimeter. He harassed them with rifle fire. He also spotted Lt Butz in the factory’s parking lot, standing behind a delivery truck the marauders had used as troop transport. It was a tough shot, with little of the CO visible. Butz was waving his arms around, yelling at different units. William’s shots missed, but the man comically scrambled for cover.
A couple of the Americans were trying to start the BTR but gave up in frustration.
William saw the marauder’s HMMWV driving for the building, but he had no way to communicate it. The Humvee crashed into the bay door, and continued through to the factory floor. Several soldiers in American uniforms followed.
They began trading fire with the defenders, with the assault team getting the worst of it. It was strange: The party finally encountered fellow Americans, and they were shooting at them.
Cutler, unable to use his ruined right hand, clumsily fired his RPK-74 with his left. The bipod helped. He sprayed the Humvee with the automatic rifle, with no clear result. Except to draw fire from the vehicle’s .50 heavy machine gun.
My brother joked that Cutler was like the Terminator. And the dice played right into that.
The .50 burst completely missed Cutler, and instead hit [danger zone] one of Doruk’s men, who went down, gravely wounded.
On the opposite side of the building, and explosion rang through the building. One of the marauder teams had used a grenade to get through a chained door. Doruk and one of his men were in position in the factory offices, waiting.
On the roof, William continued harassing the teams circling around the perimeter. He spotted another team heading for the ruined bay door.
[Continued next session…]