4 December 2000 0800H. Taj Mahal Casino, Atlantic City, NJ.
Linda scouts around the casino floor while Wojciech covers Maks as he regains his senses.
She returns with The Indian’s Body Wallet (filled with a mix of precious gemstones: value unclear until open market can be visited, but Wojciech estimates low 5 figures) and rifle (Steyr AUG). Linda reports that the casino floor is deserted.
Marines arrive on scene and secure the floor. Bona fides can’t be established on the spot, so the Marines cuff the trio to stretchers, and they are transported to USNS Comfort hospital ship anchored offshore.
Sent by email
4 December 2000 2100H. USNS Comfort.
Maks, Wojciech, and Linda are convalescing on IV drips and painkillers, still cuffed.
Wojciech tells Maks in fluent English, “We got some work to do, boss. Back in the old country, we were something, you know. All the head honchos at least knew who we were and our reputation.”
“Here, we’re nobodies.”
5 December 2000 0700H. USNS Comfort.
Captain Resper arrives, and clears up their status. Restraints are removed.
Debrief. Resper is visibly impressed. The team was sent in to scout defenses, and instead decapitates the gang’s leadership.
Resistance collapsed after that, with most of The Indians’ men attempting to flee out of the city (instead of retreating into the towers as in the last offensive). Those Punks gang also fractured under the onslaught. MilGov is now mopping up sporadic resistance, taking scores of prisoners.
Resper awards the Purple Heart to LTC Maksymilian (“Maks”) Zając and SSG Wojciech Nowak for wounds sustained in action.
“Sorry about the informal circumstances. In the DIA, we can’t always have ceremonies.”
“How much leave do you need in Cape May before your team is mission-ready Colonel?” [3 days to heal according to rules on pg 212.]
“I’ve got a couple of missions that need doing.” Resper opens a folder.
“Since you’re now my varsity team, I’ll let you choose.”
- “A recon-and-report mission in an urban area. Quite similar to this last op, in fact, but on a much larger scale. Atlantic City was essentially a practice run for all of us, from the brass all the way down to the boots.”
- “A scavenger hunt in a rural setting. Lots of factions to contend with, not all of them hostile. Hearts-and-minds first, bullets second. Further, this would be an inter-agency task force, not a DIA-led op, so initiative and diplomacy are a must.”
Linda (“The Hammer”) Gasparino
Maks notes with surprise that Linda looks quite normal once cleaned up. Her demeanor is not crazy-eyed now that things have calmed down, and more conversational, though she’s still a bit weird.
Linda asks to join the team. I’ll make up a full CS if you take her on.
Downside is she’ll need to learn shooting and other relevant combat skills (except AMA of course). I’ve raised her Initiative to 3 after this experience. Upside is she used to be an TV commercial actress for various ad agencies before the war, and has a wide variety of skills. She looks like a petite, harmless middle-aged lady, but you know otherwise. Few would suspect anything from her until it was too late.
–> I increased W & M’s English to 7 and 8, respectively.
My brother’s reply
Sounds good, Linda definitely showed some grit and Maks is thrilled to have her on. Both missions sound interesting but lets start with the recon. I have some ideas now about better ways to do that.
Yeah they could definitely use a few days medical leave, lets say he requests four days then taking that extra day to see to a few tasks:
- Maks will direct others to prepare some basic defensive measures for our lair: warning signs claiming that there are traps, something like “if you value your hands and feet then stay out of our home”, maybe dangle some grenade pins from it for good measure. We’ll board up windows so its hard to see whats inside, to create doubt about whether anyone is inside at any given time and to make it harder/noisier to get in. I believe we had some limited contact with some nearby neighbor(s). If our place hasn’t already been screwed with we’ll take that as a good sign and pursue any chance to engage in trades just favorable enough to build a friendly rapport without going too far and thus appearing like a wealthy target. But it might be nice to have someone who might keep an eye on our stuff and warn us if there has been problems. I believe you said we had some protected storage space available on the base, if so we’d still want to mostly use that for the bulk of our gear but it would still be nice to have a home to return to that isn’t sacked or turned into an ambush during our repeated excursions.
- Maks is also still very puzzled by sight of Bowen among The Indian’s cadre. On the one hand he seemed to have honored our previous ties as he surely could have outed the pair of them, leading to a pair of corpses floating face down in the Atlantic. Perhaps he did so merely because that would have in some way compromised his own situation, like exposing some important lies he gave about his own story. Otherwise it would seem like he didn’t blow their cover simply out of some genuine loyalty. Its also possible that he was doing some official MilGov undercover work of his own, yet Maks wouldn’t want to ask around or report on his sighting because if Bowen had simply deserted or mustered out to do his own thing and basically just spared the duo it would be ungrateful of Maks to call attention to his activities (assuming he’s even alive still). Anyway given how the city subsequently turned into a shitstorm its possible that any prior affinity would be compromised at this point. Bowen isn’t stupid so surely he could connect the dots in hindsight to see that the pair had some hand in matters that were quite possibly unfavorable to him (but then who knows, maybe the chaos actually gave him some juicy opportunity). Due to the high level of uncertainty Maks will have a meeting among the current group members, explaining to them the questionable status of Bowen, describing him in detail to Linda so she might recognize him, and making sure that everyone knows that while he is quite possibly still a good friend, he might instead be a potentially dangerous to our interests now. If any of them ever see Bowen around they should try to subtly get away from the area to avoid letting him see them, and if they are suddenly approached by him (or any strangers behaving oddly, who might work for him) then they should be very cautious about any dealings with him and at any rate try to find an excuse to break away and report in to the entire group ASAP about such developments.
- He would want to recover that small gear stash he made during their approach to the city (left a nice radio there).