5 September 2000. Sunset. Radom, Poland. Weapons fabrication plant.
Grant Derek William, sniping with an SVD on the roof of the firearms factory, suddenly had a lot of targets.
The Baron’s American troops were fleeing. In a HMMWV. On foot. Some were running for their ersatz troop truck… a prewar delivery van.
He directed his attention first to those men, firing one shot at each. The party would need that delivery van. [My son rolled two Outstanding Successes.] They each went down.
Then he fired at the two men on foot near the factory. [All the while his dad and uncle were telling him, “No, no! The Humvee!”] Grudgingly, he fired at the US vehicle, KDing the driver, causing the Humvee to crash at low speed into a nearby house. As GDW dropped his empty magazine, and loaded a fresh one, the Humvee driver recovered, and continued his escape. GDW continued firing. [This time a Formidable skill check due to range.] His one hit tagged the driver again, and it was one shot too many for the poor man. The HMMWV coasted to a stop. A wounded passenger bailed out and escaped in the failing light.
Inside the factory, Elizka barked orders in Polish and English, getting the premises secured, and detailing a civilian employee to restart the generator and the outside lights turned on. She was concerned first and foremost with a follow-up assault, but it quickly became clear that the Baron’s 2nd Free Company was totally spent. Those few still mobile outside had already melted away into the darkness.
The wounded were everywhere. Doruk’s team got shot up pretty bad. Some of the factory workers were hurt. Plus wounded Americans from the merc company were inside and outside. Elizka found Doruk in the offices, tending to his men. He gave her his uninjured men to help secure the vehicles in or near the building and gather all the wounded Americans, disarmed and resting on the factory floor.
Barna Aron was sent to the roof to keep watch, and GDW brought down to help speak with the wounded. Elizka [English: 5] and GDW [American of course] told the captured men that they were not prisoners. They could exit out the door now (unarmed) if they wished. Or they could leave with the party, and be given expert medical care and released in a civilized area.
None left out the door.
Elizka planned to clear everybody out soon soon. GDW started talking with the two least wounded Americans. They were Pvt. Smith and Sgt. Jones. [Do you think they were named on the spot? Heh. I drew NPC motivation cards for them, per the rules.]
Pvt. Smith. Spades 10: Very Ambitious. Clubs 6: Moderately violent.
Sgt. Jones. King of Diamonds: Selfish! Diamonds 10: Very Greedy
Sgt. Jones claimed to be from 3-10 Infantry of the 5th Division, second in command under Lt. Butz (still unconscious from his head wound). Jones said he joined Butz’ unit after the debacle at Kalisz, and was front line infantry, unlike the rest who were from a support unit.
Doruk approached Elizka to discuss the elephant in the room: The Reset Device. The Turk was grateful for the party members’ aid and pledged to shelve the question of the Reset Device until later. Elizka outlined a plan she’d been mulling, to make some kind of trade of the device through the Guz, mutually agreeable, and settle the conflict.
They split the hundreds of factory fresh AKs, RPKs, and SVDs: ⅓ to the party and ⅔ to Doruk.
They left in a small convoy. Everybody. Doruk’s BTR, truck, and motorcycle. The party members claimed the HMMWV and delivery van. Elizka radioed Maks (back in Sandomierz, wondering what happened to his people) to let him know they were ok, and heading back. With a bunch of wounded Americans. Maks: “What?!”
I rolled for an encounter on the way back in the dark. Item > Abandoned Farm. My brother and I joked about how there were probably 100,000 abandoned farms in the Polish countryside. Yeah, yeah, I know a result like this means there is something special about that farm. Anyhow, the return to Sandomierz was uneventful.
At a rest stop, Elizka asked Sgt. Jones if any of the Americans in his group were bad apples: psychotic, unstable, whatever. Jones shrugged a No. [I had my brother roll a Difficult: Interrogation to represent a reading of body language. Success. But it wasn’t Jones…] Elizka noted when she asked that question that Pvt. Smith reacted briefly, but said nothing. She’d later find out that Jones himself was the problem in the unit.
Col. Maks, the party leader, met the convoy at an abandoned house outside Sandomierz. He conferred warily with Doruk, his men’s erstwhile kidnapper. Doruk had high praise for Elizka’s leadership in the strife. They discussed the outlines of an arrangement to settle the matter of the Reset Device, with its final destination perhaps the Police Prefect of Kraków, with the Guz brokering the deal. Imperfect, but at least Kraków had no expansionary goals, unlike just about every other power player the party had heard about or met.
Or Maks added, he’d be quite content dropping the nuclear demolition device in the ocean.