5 November 2000 0100H
Maks and his team asked for their contact Sister Basia at the convent, and she was summoned.
She and Maks updated each other on happenings since last summer. After Sister Basia returned to Kalisz [“ka-leesh” to us English speakers], the Sov 21st MRD and the Pol 10th TD began fighting for control of the city. Kalisz suffered more now than even before. [Going Home, page 17]
The nuns were doing their best to feed and mend the city’s homeless, but it was frustrating. Farmers wouldn’t bring their goods into Kalisz, and townsfolk that took wagons out to trade for food would get shaken-down by the ZOMO thugs coming and going.
Maks told her about what he knew of the stash of MREs here. The nun sent for Sister Magdalena. Turned out Magdelena had been from the Carmelite convent north of town. It had been taken over by ZOMO forces as a northern garrison post, and the nuns got evicted. Their sisters here took them in.
Prompted by Sister Basia, Magdalena said the MREs were buried under the storage shed in the compound. It was a good bet the ZOMO goons had no idea what they were sitting on. So that was one target. Maks assured Sister Basia that if he was able to secure the MREs, they’d share it with the sisters.
The Carmelite convent was almost 4 km north of the city center, so Maks decided to focus on the objectives nearby. Perhaps if headquarters in town were attacked, some of those ZOMO unknowingly sitting on those MREs would be drawn away. Or more likely they’d just be on higher alert. Who knew.
Sister Basia pointed out several headquarters in town at Maks’ prompting. The observer was still with the party, to witness them decapitating the command structure in town where possible.
She had a vague idea where the Polish army HQ was, up to the northwest.
She said the army personnel had mostly behaved correctly. But the citizens of Kalisz had much more contact with the ZOMO riot troops. They were akin to a very well organized gang.
The despised ZOMO had a HQ to the northeast in the former county government office. Maks marked that as the first to put eyes on.
(Sister Basia also spoke of a ZOMO detention center set up in the Theater Bogusławski, to the southeast. That would be explored later.)
In their Polish 10th TD engineer uniforms, the party walked openly up the avenue. They encountered a ZOMO patrol on horse, but Maks gambled on playing an arrogant army captain, and the attitude rebuffed the ZOMO squad leader. The ZOMO had no command authority over the Polish army in Kalisz.
They reached the ZOMO HQ, but couldn’t find any usable observation spots to watch the front of the headquarters. Except for the adjacent church, and Maks was reluctant to risk drawing wrath down on holy ground any further.
They continued in a wide hook to the south, through the park, toward the lockup at the Theater Bogusławski.
The only encounter in the park were a few primitives that fled from what they thought to be a Polish army patrol.
From the opposite shore of the river, the party observed the activity at the theater. The moon was just a bright spot behind the clouds now.
There were soldiers out in the open front drive. Maks tried plan after plan in his head, observing the troop patterns. It was when he saw some ZOMO on foot approach with a prisoner – who appeared to be a civilian – he settled on a plan.
Sniper William would keep overwatch from the far shore. Maks and Wojciech would bring a prisoner (Barna Aron) to the detention center.