Order of Events
18 Jul 2000
God receives the recall order from his scouting mission and crosses the Konin bridge minutes before it is blown by the Soviet 89th Cavalry Division. Heads south to Kalisz under heavy fire from scout units.
The 5th Division is overrun by the Soviet 89th Cavalry Division. Joker follows God towards Pleszew finding themselves behind the main thrust of the 89th. The Crew of the M60A4 "A Whole Can of Whoop Ass" consisting of Captain Beefheart (Armor - tank commander), Sgt. Major Sanders (Armored Cavalry Scout – gunner), 1st Lieutenant Rand V. Daniels (Special Forces – driver), and "Trip" (Armor - Loader) break out to the north.
Whoop Ass scores hits and kills a T-72 and two Soviet APCs before Trip is killed by a hit from another Soviet T-72 during the breakout.
Joker and God camp in the forest north of Ostrow and hear the M60A4 in the same woods. The groups link up and camp for the day in a patch of thick woods, listening to the sounds of the battle raging around them.
19 Jul 2000
The unit skirts Ostrow and is chased south by light armor of the Polish 10th Tank Division. A rolling battle ensues, with Whoop Ass destroying two tanks and a handful of light armor. Beefheart orders the tank to a halt to salvage the wreckage and is hit by shrapnel from a field gun. The rest of the crew, leaving Beefheart for dead, flees south into the woods north of Sycow, where they encounter and are pursued by elements of the Soviet 21st Motorized Rifle Division. Beefheart regains consciousness, drives off some scavengers in a brief firefight and salvages a T-72 tank with working drive train but a destroyed gun. Dubbing the tank "A Whole Can of Whooped Ass" he salvages a Rapira-3 field gun (becoming "Bad Billy") and starts following his M60A4 south. By avoiding the 124 MRD and laying low, he catches up with the rest of the unit as they are camped in the forest to the north east of Namyslow.
Their camp is attacked during the night by more elements of the Soviet 21st MRD, but they are driven off when Beefheart gets Whoop Ass up and moving.
20 Jul 2000
The unit continues south and run out of fuel in a gully 15 clicks west of Zyardow. Decide to camp and distill fuel and perform maintenance.
22 July 2000
Unit is approached on horseback by an armed force from Zyardow who tells them to leave the area. Upon hearing the situation, they agree to give the unit alcohol in exchange for the destruction of a marauder band (formed from the remnants of the Soviet 9th Tank Division) that has been active in the area and currently located about 30 clicks north of Lubliniec. Rest of the day spent in travel and scouting, avoiding elements of the Soviet 21st MRD.
Upon nearing the target area, God and Rand scout ahead & booby trap some of the marauder’s vehicles but are separated.
23 July 2000
Whoop Ass and Whooped Ass attack the camp and destroy the marauder band with help from the "Hungarian Gunner" (a polish man who speaks no English: Whoop Ass needed a loader). Whoop Ass looses a track during the fight and is immobilized, but manages to destroy the force with its main gun. A BMP-B is recovered during salvage efforts, and is christened "the Jalopy" by Rand.
After spending the morning in salvage and repairing Whoop Ass’ track, the unit returns to Zyardow and learns about the Free City of Krakow’s existence confirmed by an intelligence report that Joker scrounged from a dead marauder. The unit picks up fuel from Zyardow with the thanks of the Governor of Zyardow and then heads into Krakow.
The unit set up home in an abandoned freight warehouse to the northwest of the Old City. They are stopped by ORMO who inform them that "proper papers" are required to be in Krakow and tells them to get them from the Rada, a governing body in the Old City.
The unit gets into a brief firefight with some street urchins and robotniki who were mobbing Beefheart. Several of the smaller urchins are shot and killed. The unit is accosted by the local ORMO and escorted to the Rada where citizenship papers are purchased, and then escorted out of the Old City.
An old man walks by the warehouse and introduces himself as Evgeni who is a "local in the neighborhood" who thanks the unit for their presence. "Two tanks in the neighborhood will keep the ruffians away," he says.
The warehouse is attacked by a street gang of grenade-throwing thugs. Whooped Ass is destroyed when a grenade is dropped into its open hatch. Many thugs are killed under the massed firepower of Rand’s PK machine-gun, Jokers’ HK CAW, God’s SMG and Beefheart’s .50 caliber.
24 July 2000
After cleaning up the wreckage and disposing the bodies, God, Joker & Beefheart enter the Old City to check out the scene and look for Medical supplies, but there's none to be had in the city at this time. Beefheart finds a bar called the "Na Zdorowa" on the south side of the plaza and proceeds to get blasted with some tankers of the City ORMO.
God and Joker are introduced to R.P.Bones (Special Forces), Gunnar Bjorsten (GSG-9) and John Phoenix (DELTA) who are currently operatives for the DIA presence in Krakow. Bones takes them back to his second floor flat and introduces them to Lt. Schaefer, a survivor of the Strike Force Zulu ambush (arranged by one Sgt. Cutler - an American marauder posing as a soldier cut off from his unit) outside of Krakow and charged with the recovery of the Operation Reset prototype and papers stolen from the University of Lodz one week ago (July 18 - the same night as the 5th Division was destroyed).
God treats Schaefer who remains in critical condition, and agrees to help. Joker agrees as well, under the provision that he won't be killing Americans. Beefheart stays out the night with his new friends. God and Joker return to the warehouse, after arranging for the sale of some Gasoline to Gunnar. Rand has spent the day working on the BMP-B.
25 July 2000
Early morning Gunnar comes by with a light truck to carry away the goods, delivers some parts for the Bimp and arranges a radio protocol with the characters (15 minutes before until 15 after the hour at 10am and 6pm).
Characters spend the day in routine maintenance on Whoop Ass and the Bimp.
26 July 2000
Continued maintenance on vehicles. About this time, God contracts cholera.
That evening Bones calls with the idea of them pretending to have the papers to "flush out whomever has the papers as well as whomever else wants them." God and Joker head back to Na Zdarowa to do just that. Sometime that night, Major Sanders, the cavalry scout, wanders off into the night.
Joker makes eye contact with the Na Zdarowa singer, Tatiana. Both pretend to get really drunk and blather on about the papers to any who will listen."
27 July 2000
Early in the morning. Beefheart returns long enough with his new friends to drive Whoop Ass through the wall of the warehouse yelling something about partying with his new friends (the ORMO), abandoning Rand to God and Joker.
The warehouse now rendered unlivable, the unit relocates to a new building, an abandoned auto mechanic's shop with doors big enough to accommodate "Bad Billy" (the Rapira-3) and the "Jalopy" (the Bimp).
In the afternoon, Joker, Rand and God return to Na Zdorowa to follow up on any leads. God comes down with cramps and a fever. Joker gets introduced to, and seduced by, Tatiana who later explains that she works for Shabak, Israeli secret service, and is willing to pay for the opportunity to photograph the papers before (and if) they return them to a man named Stark, a man previously unmentioned.
God, Rand and Joker return to Bones' flat to discuss options and spend the evening there. God misdiagnoses himself with dysentery. Rand and Gunnar stay up late "guarding the door" while drinking vodka and telling war stories.
28 July 2000
God, Rand and Joker go shopping for antibiotics and are followed back to the flat by men dressed in ORMO uniforms. Four men in ORMO uniforms enter the building landing while four more remain outside, watching the windows.
God takes a sniper position up on a balcony and John and Joker take up firing positions outside the flat around the corner staircase.
The ORMO who enter the flat are ambushed by Gunnar after they accost Bones and Rand for the location of the papers. Joker and John open fire from behind as Bones dives for cover.
God drops the hammer of the Hand on two of the "ORMO" outside, but they fire a RPG into the flat, killing Gunnar and wounding John Phoenix in the legs.
Joker drops a Willie Pete in the central landing of the building, killing the rest of the ORMO downstairs but starting a fire in the building, cutting off their escape.
Collecting the wounded, (Schaefer and Phoenix) Rand and Bones flee the flat to find the fire in the landing. God bursts through the wreckage of the flat, hefts Rand's PK machine-gun and blows a hole through the floor into the landlord's house downstairs, killing his wife. The unit escapes through a window in their flat, into a back alley and flee for the safety of a room in the Na Zdarowa.
29 July 2000 – 30 July 2000
The unit (God, Rand, Joker, Bones, Phoenix, and Schaefer) stays out of sight in their rooms at the Na Zdorowa and talk about their options while God recovers from the initial effects of cholera. Henryk Hallecki (the proprietor of the Na Zdarowa) gets in touch with Col. Richard Stark (Head of Section in Krakow for the DIA) who comes to the rooms with Dr. Soames, who patches up the wounded and treats God.
Stark presents the unit with some payment options in return for giving him the Reset Papers and discusses tactics with them.
All decide that Sgt. Cutler is the key to finding whoever has the Reset papers and spend the next few days looking for Cutler from a description that Schaefer gives them.
31 July 2000
God, Rand and Joker spot Sgt. Cutler having drinks with some unidentified ruffians in the bar "Nasz Tovarisch". Joker buys them drinks as Rand plays backup and God leaves the bar to stalk the group when they leave.
1 August 2000
Joker leaves the bar with Cutler and his friends, with God lurking outside and Rand trailing behind.
God and Rand ambush Cutler's group, killing his four friends and taking him captive. They carry him off to an abandoned building nearby for interrogation, learning of the location of a cache containing equipment from Strike Force Zulu and the Reset Papers.
Unit piles into the Jalopy and heads for the cache, located in the southern edge of the woods north of Krakow on the river Dyabnia, following directions given by Sgt. Cutler.
The unit discovers the location of the cache and ambushes the guards in a brief but fierce firefight. 7 of the Najezdzcie Warsawskia guarding the cache are killed, and two escape into the woods.
The unit stops to recover the booty and booby trap the corpses. Lt. Shaefer executes Sgt. Cutler for the ambush of his unit and mutiny, leaving his booby trapped corpse with the others.
The unit returns to their warehouse in Krakow. Rand and Joker talk about their options with the Reset Papers and decide to try to make copies of the papers to sell to multiple buyers. They are concerned that R.P. Bones might take offense to selling American secrets to representatives of other countries.
2 August 2000
Over breakfast, the unit confronts R.P. Bones about the Reset Papers. Bones gives the unit until the radio call to Col. Stark of the DIA at 18:00 to try to find some way to copy the papers. At 18:00 he will call Stark, reporting that the Unit has recovered the Papers and will turn them over to the DIA at that time.
God and Joker enter the Old Town looking for a motorcycle with a sidecar to buy to use in carrying the Reset Papers around town. They meet a seller of motorcycles who agrees to take his flatbed truck of motorcycles back to the warehouse to swap a motorcycle for some spare HMMWV parts.
Joker give the merchant both barrels of his sawed-off in the back when the merchant starts to dicker about over the price over the motorcycles. God and Rand decide to offer the truck full of motorcycles to "the Boss" in hopes of letting them use his counterfeiting equipment to make copies of the Reset Papers.
The Unit piles into the flatbed truck and the Jalopy and drive to a shipping office in the outskirts of the Warsawskie district where the meet Koko, the Boss' henchman. He agrees to take the truck and four motorcycles in exchange for making one set of duplicates of the Reset Papers.
R.P. Bones delivers the original set of the Reset Papers plus the prototype to Col. Stark of the DIA.
Rand, God and Joker contact Tanya in the Na Zdorowa and arrange to sell the duplicates. The unit is followed from the bar back to their warehouse by a squad of KGB mercenaries who are on the lookout for Americans.
Sergeant Robert Brass enters Krakow and, while driving along Senatorska Street, is ambushed by the KGB mercenaries, destroying his motorcycle.
The unit hears the gunfight and rushes to the rescue. God drops the hammer on several and Sgt. Brass kills the rest with a well-thrown grenade. Sgt. Brass, it turns out, is another survivor of Kalisz and is an infantryman from the 5th Division, hailing from Corpus Christi, Texas.
3 August 2000
Joker, Rand and God take the papers to Tanya and negotiate payment for delivering the papers. Tanya arranges for her partner, Max the Piano Player, to deliver the merchandise tomorrow at the Unit's warehouse.
Joker spends the night with Tanya. The others return to the warehouse to wait for Max's arrival.
4 August 2000
Joker returns to the warehouse just as Max arrives with some men. Sadly, Rand's request for a plane ticket stateside did not pan out, but Max does deliver on some requests, including some ammunition for God's sniper rifle, some basic medical supplies and a battered but serviceable BMP-C.
Max and his men take the Unit to an old bombed-out house in the Warszawskie district northeast of the Old Town where they find the BMP-C parked inside the ruins. Max's group then departs, leaving the unit in possession of the APC, which Rand promptly dubs "Charlie". The unit then drives back to the warehouse to perform routine maintenance on the two APCs and personal equipment.
5 August 2000
Unit decides to leave the warehouse, fearing reprisals from the Najezdzcie Warsawskia. They booby trap the entrances with claymores and then head south over the bridge to hide in the ruins south of the Wisla River in the outskirts of Debniki and Ludwinow. God and Rand decide to conduct a stay-behind ambush to see who come looking for them. The others drive the two APCs into some ruins and set up camp.
6 August 2000
God leaves their perch and decides to go talk to Koko about the location of the Najezdzcie Warsawskia's main hideout. After some discussion, Koko informs God that the KGB are picking up Americans off the street, and have offered a bounty on all Americans turned over to them, in an attempt to determine the location of the Reset Papers. God negotiates with Koko who decides not to turn God over to the KGB, but instead will help God find the headquarters of the Najezdzcie Warsawskia, ridding Koko of "a thorn in the Boss' side." As further payment, God agrees to split 50-50 all booty recovered in the raid.
Koko arranges to call God between 20:00 and 21:00 on their secure radio on the day he finds out the location of the marauders' headquarters.
Those in the ruins in Debniki hear the sounds of gunfire immediately nearby. Noticing NATO weapons in use, John Phoenix, Sgt. Brass and R.P. Bones head out to investigate, leaving Lt. Schaefer and Joker to guard the camp.
They come across 7 or 8 "opportunists" attacking three figures dressed in U.S. Army fatigues who are pinned down behind a collapsed wall of a building. In the exchange, one of the trio, Cpl. Langley is killed immediately, and one Sgt. Dubro is mortally wounded. Brass fires an RPG into the massed civilians who promptly flee.
Phoenix hunts them through the rubble and kills them all. He keeps one alive long enough to question their motives and finds out that these civilians had heard about the KGB offer and attacked the trio.
The sole survivor of the attack is the diminutive Captain Kathryn "Kate" Lockwood, a (very attractive and fit) intelligence officer attached to the S-3 Intelligence Group of the 5th Division. She fled Kalisz with the two others on foot when the divisional headquarters was overrun. She'd managed to avoid contact and made it to Kalisz, only to be attacked by local citizens.
God returns to their perch and he and Rand continue their watch over the warehouse.
7 August 2000
A group of 7 men approach the warehouse under the scope of God's sniper rifle. Two enter the building and set off a claymore and are killed instantly. God opens fire and kills four more before the rest escape into an alley.
Rand and God leave their perch and take a winding route through town looking for any tails.
Finding none, they make their way across the Wisla river and rejoin the others in camp where they swap stories over breakfast. God reports the KGB plan to catch all Americans and Phoenix tells about the "opportunists" attacking Kate. The unit decides to hole up in the ruins and wait for the radio call from Koko.
8 August 2000 - 10 August 2000
These days are spent in routine maintenance of equipment, vehicles and "Bad Billy" the Rapira-3 gun. In addition, special attention is given to nursing Kate back to mental and physical health who begins to recover slowly.
11 August 2000
Koko calls over the secure radio, informing the unit that he has discovered the marauders' headquarters, located in the Dworzec Glowny station in the Wesota District of Krakow.
He sends two men to ride along in the assault to observe and collect their half of the booty.
The unit relocates to the Wesota district near the train station, while God scouts out the terrain and layout surrounding the station. He discovers the station is occupied by a dozen or so robotniki and their families in addition to the marauders.
12 August 2000
The unit assaults the train station under a cloud of smoke. The two APC's make mincemeat of the train station, while God snipes some armed men fleeing the building.
Rand is killed by a RPG while driving the Jalopy, which is immobilized.
Due to the destruction wreaked upon the train station, a portion of it collapses, burying the main portion of the marauders' arms cache under tons of concrete and steel.
The unit salvages what they can from the slain members of the destroyed Najezdzcie Warsawskia and give half to Koko's two men. They then flee back south over the Vistula river back into the ruins of Zazrzowek to search for another cache, believed to be hidden somewhere in the district.
12 August 2000 - 15 August 2000
The unit will spend the next several days searching through the ruins of Zazrzowek, hoping to come across some clue to the location of the cache. They also spend time recuperating from the attack, maintaining vehicles and nursing Schaefer and Kate back to health. Around small campfires some swap stories and locally distilled vodka while others keep watch for any remnants of the Najezdzcie Warsawskia who might lead them to the cache.
16 August 2000
During a morning patrol with Sgt. Brass, and John Phoenix, Joker hears the familiar sound of an alcohol-fueled BMP-C engine turning over, trying to start. The two head over to the noise and see a dozen or so armed men standing guard in front of an old firehouse. The nose of a BMP-C can be seen in the garage, being worked on by some more men.
Deeming this to be the hidden cache, Joker observes while radioing back to camp for support. God gears up and follows directions given by Joker, while Schaefer and Kate stay back to guard the camp.
The three wait for God to arrive, then they hit the group of men, God from an alley to the rear of the firehouse, and Joker, Brass and Phoenix from the front with grenades.
Brass and Joker open fire with several 40mm grenades, killing many while Phoenix cuts down some scouts with his M16. God cuts down a guard with a silenced MP-5 and sneaks into the back where he interrupts several men loading supplies into the back of the APC.
Back at the front, the marauders return fire ineffectively and are eventually cut down, and Brass fires a magnesium flare into the garage, hoping to distract the marauders away from Gods' entrance from the rear. Joker heads up the driveway to cut off that escape route and shoots a fleeing marauder in the leg, severing an artery and dropping the man.
Inside, God cuts down the mechanic and a few assistants and clears out the ground floor, dodging a hastily flung grenade whose fragments puncture a nearby 1,000 liter fuel tank, that begins leaking alcohol onto the floor of the garage.
God finishes his sweep of the firehouse while Brass and Joker frantically stop the alcohol from spreading towards the flare that burns in the middle of the floor. Phoenix stands perimeter security.
Having spent some time gathering the spoils and getting the APC to work, the unit discovers that they are now in possession of three APCs but only have two drivers to man them. They decide to spend some time stripping the Jalopy of anything of value and scrapping it for parts for the other two.
17 August 2000
The day is spent stripping parts and cannibalizing vehicles.
18 August 2000
God tries to call Koko on a radio, deciding to give him the now-stripped APC and some smaller items in tribute, but there is no response, so Schaefer and God take the motorcycle and head across town to meet with Koko and do some shopping for ammunition.
R.P. Bones calls over the secure link from Stark's DIA HQ in the Old City, informing the unit that a man called Adam Rataj wants to meet with them in the Na Zdorowa with a business proposition. The unit arranges to meet the man in the Na Zdorowa at 20:00.
Brass, God and Joker pile onto the motorcycle to meet with Adam. They arrive at the bar and chat a bit with Henryk Hallecki, but he pretends not to recognize them, speaking to them only in Polish.
The three meet with Old Adam and his deck hand, Tadeuz Roszkowski, a big bear of a man who speaks little English. He and Brass stare at each other through the whole meeting like two giant bears sizing each other up.
Adam's offer is simply to come with him on a day's trip to Nowy Huta so that he can "show them something". He offers to pay anyone who comes with antibiotics.
19 August 2000
Adam and Roszkowski and a third man, a tall stern German named Carl Uller, pick up Brass, Joker and God in front of Nasz Towarzysz and they spend the day traveling by ox cart to Nowy Huta. Along the way he explains a little history about the region and rambles on and on about the beauty of the Visla River.
The six arrive at the shore of the Vistula River and are introduced to the Visla Krolowa, the "Vistula Queen".
Adam puts forth a proposal to hire the unit on as guards and deck hands to accompany him on a trip via the Vistula River to Moscow to help transport his extended family and their community back to Krakow. Apparently these people have been living in the ruins of Moscow since it was nuked back in 1997 or so.
God, Joker and Brass eventually agree to the proposal and in return Adam will help find a way to arrange transport for unit back to NATO units behind the Western Front in Germany. They discuss options for increasing the survivability of the tug on the river and decide to sell the more damaged BMP-C to Koko for arms and armor. Sgt. Brass stays behind to help plan the construction while God and Joker head back to their camp in Zazrzowek to tell the others. They decide to strike camp and head out as soon as possible.
The unit strikes camp, Phoenix driving one BMP-C with Lt. Schaefer to Adam's camp in Nowa Huta while God, Joker and Kate take the other BMP-C to a meeting with Koko. Upon arriving at Koko's warehouse, they learn from the two guards in front of the warehouse that Koko isn't in, but should be returning in the morning. God Joker and Kate decide to park the BMP-C in front of the warehouse and wait until morning.
20 August 2000
A patrol of ORMO arrive, led by a KGB officer who begins to harangue the two guards about Koko's whereabouts, while God watches the exchange from the rear deck of the Bimp, with Kate and Joker still inside.
One of the ORMO troops sees God standing near the BMP-C and asks in an offhand way if he is American. God, forgetting the bounty on American troops offered by the KGB, says yes, causing the squad of ORMO to go for their weapons.
Seeing this reaction, God goes for his own MP-5 and opens fire on the squad, wounding two, and causing them to scatter towards the warehouse, but their return fire manages to hit God several times in the leg, and he drops unconscious, bleeding from the thigh.
Koko's guards open fire on the ORMO squad who return fire. Kate and Joker fling open the rear doors of the APC and open fire with personal weapons, Kate with her M-16, killing two and Joker with his HK-CAW automatic shotgun, killing three. The rest of the ORMO troopers flee around the Bimp, seeking cover.
Joker tosses a frag grenade around the side of the Bimp, which kills the ORMO troopers, the KGB captain and Koko's two guards.
Kate rushes to the front of the Bimp as Koko's car arrives, trying to fend off disaster as Joker rushes to God's aid, applying a tourniquet to his wounded leg.
After several intense minutes of enplaning in heated Polish, Kate explains the situation and gets Koko to fetch a doctor for God. The doctor turns out to be the same squirrely man who helped copy the Reset papers two weeks ago. The doctor operates on God's leg and manages to stabilize him, but he remains unconscious.
Joker and Kate call Brass with their list of arms and armor for the Tug and barter with Koko for the worth of the BMP-C. They agree on selling the Bimp for the cost of the doctor and supplies and restitution for the two guards as well as two KPV machine-guns, ammo for Bad Billy (the 125mm Rapira-3 gun), rockets for the remaining BMP-C, ammunition for personal weapons, sandbags and sheet steel for armoring up the tug itself.
Joker and Kate spend the rest of the day as Koko's guest while they wait for God to regain consciousness.
Phoenix, Brass and Schaefer spend their time getting to know the crew of the tug and learning its operation.
God regains consciousness but remains bedridden for several days.
21 August 2000 - 22 August 2000
The supplies begin to arrive at a predetermined point within striking distance of the tug, which remains hidden in the dead oak grove near the Vistula river. Brass and Phoenix assist in the augmenting of the tug with steel plating and the two KPV machine-guns while Schaefer sets up a small sickbay in the galley.
23 August 2000
God is fully conscious but still mostly immobilized from his surgery. Koko decides to truck him and Joker and Kate back to the tug, where they rig up a sniper's roost for him on top of the pilothouse using some sandbags and a shelter half.
Construction continues on the tug as the crew prepares to get underway. The unit and the tugs crew discuss battle stations and Adam explains some basic navigation hazards on the river that must be spotted, lest the tug's screws or rudder be damaged or run aground.
24 August 2000
Adam sounds the steam whistle, rousing the crew to prepare for getting underway. He informs the Unit of navigation hazards on the river, and gives them a brief introductory course in the operation of the tug.
The Vistula Queen pulls into the river and gets underway. Uller climbs up to the crows nest and has a conversation with God about loyalty.
As the Vistula Queen approaches the shores near Niepolomice, God and Uller spot three figures scrambling down the slope to the river's edge. Three men on horseback appear behind them at the top of the slope and open fire on the three men who collapse into the river.
God returns fire, dropping one of the horsemen and Phoenix fires a burst from his M-16, dropping another, and the third one flees back out of sight.
One of the men in the river is alive but badly wounded, so Schaefer pulls him from the river and goes to work on him in the tug's galley.
After Schaefer completes his surgery, the man is left to rest. Adam decides to anchor the tug in the river until the man regains consciousness.
The man regains consciousness from his surgery. His name is Zygmunt Nycz and he is from the village of Niepolomice. He was fleeing the town to head for Krakow looking for people to help his village with their problem. Zygmunt tells the Unit and Adam that his village has been occupied by twelve marauders who, judging from the remnants of their uniforms, have deserted from the Soviet Army. They are holed up in the Mayor's house where they keep him and his family hostage.
Zygmunt asks the unit for help and Adam exhorts the Unit to help him.
After some tactical discussion, it is decided that God, Joker, Brass and Phoenix will approach the town using the motorcycle to reconnoiter the place.
25 August 2000
The four arrive near the outskirts of town and shut off the motorcycle lest someone hear the noise. God and Phoenix scouts ahead towards the center of town while Brass pushes the motorcycle closer and Joker provides "rear security".
God and Phoenix reach the town square and sees a large bonfire built in front of the Mayor's house in the street. Standing watch out front are seven marauders carrying AK-74s and AKRs. God injects his leg with painkillers to deaden the pain from his previous wound and sneaks around back, looking for a rear entrance into the mansion, while Phoenix waits for Brass and Joker to arrive.
God enters the rear of the house and eliminates three guards with his silenced MP5. Brass, Phoenix and Joker open fire on the guards out front, who return fire. In a murderous onslaught, six marauders are killed with concentrated M-16 fire and 40mm grenades, but one escapes into the house, waking some others. God runs upstairs and kills two more guards standing guard in front of a door. God bursts through the door into a bedroom where he finds the Mayor, his wife and two young daughters chained to a large bed and an open window.
Outside, Joker spots a marauder climbing out the window and down the pillar and opens fire, but misses. The marauder runs back into the house, pursued by Brass into the landing where he is fired upon buy the remaining marauders. Joker and Brass return fire, killing them with grenades.
God frees the Mayor and his family, discovering the Mayor is quite insane. The mayor knights him as a faithful vassal with a fire poker and runs excitedly through the house looking for more liberators to knight. A brief conversation with the Mayor's wife, Elena, determines her to be quite an intelligent woman who had been running this town in her husband's name for several months now, until the arrival of the marauders.
Thinking quickly, God rushes down the stairs after the Mayor and executes him with a bust to the back of the head. He then opens fire on a corpse of a marauder, shouting loudly about "finishing off a wounded one." And then cries out that the Mayor has been killed by a marauder.
Nearby townsfolk enter the square to investigate and find the Elena and her two daughters safe and free of the marauders. A shoemaker invites the Unit and the Mayor's family into his house for some tea and borscht, but as the news of the liberation spreads, it turns into an impromptu block party.
Phoenix radios a sitrep back to the tug, and some townsfolk ride a cart out to the tug to pick up Zygmunt. God and Phoenix pump people for information about the river and learns that the southern shore of the river near Uscie Solne is infested with bandits and marauders following rumors of "hidden fuel reserves" in the ruins of the old oil fields. God also learns that the bridge at Szczucin has partially collapsed, blocking the river. Brass is told to avoid the town of Nowy Korczyn as there's a plague epidemic there.
Joker gets drunk on cheap homebrewed vodka.
The Unit returns to the tug and Adam decides to heave to for the day to let the unit sleep. The rest of the day is spent tending the boiler and performing preventative maintenance. Brass begins instructing Uller in how to use a heavy machine-gun. Kate tends to Joker's hangover.
26 August 2000
Adam blows the whistle and the unit gets underway. Adam warns that the many rivers emptying into the Vistula has made this part of the river treacherous, and all are instructed to stand watch for mud shoals, silt, hawsers and other obstructions on the river.
After avoiding shoals and other river flotsam the unit passes the ruins of Uscie Solne and comes upon four deserters from the Soviet 38th Tank Division sitting on the shore around a campfire. God opens fire with the Hand, dropping one and sending the rest scattering for cover behind rocks and bushes. Joker kills one with a 40mm grenade, Brass kills one with a grenade and Phoenix kills one with a burst from a KPV.
Adam pulls the tug and barge ashore for the night and the Unit keeps watch.
27 August 2000
Adam wakes up the crew and the unit, hoping to get an early start. They spend the day navigating through the obstructions of the river and pass the Dunajec River around midday.
The unit passes the deserted town of Nowy Korczyn and approaches the bridge of Szczucin which has indeed partially collapsed. Adam heaves to about a half an hour away and God, Phoenix, Joker and Brass proceed on foot to blow the bridge with C-4.
God, Phoenix, Joker and Brass reach the bridge and decide to blow the western span, planting charges to drop the span and then to destroy it.
God and Phoenix detonate their twin charges. God's span-dropping charge splits the bridge but fails to destroy his chunk and Phoenix' span dropping fails at the shoreline but is severely weakened by his second charge. The two radio for more explosives and get to work again.
The second set of charges detonate and the bridge is destroyed. Adam decides to pull the tug past the bridge a ways but dark descends and he is hesitant to go any further. They keep a strict watch, fearing the noise from the explosions may attract marauders.
God and Uller hear the sound of a jeep approaching from the east shore. Uller wakes up the Unit and gets the crew of the tug belowdecks. The engine noises fade and some muted conversation can be heard from the eastern span of the bridge. A figure is silhouetted against the night sky for a brief second and then muzzle flashes flare and bullets slam into the sandbagged superstructure of the tug.
Brass fires off an illumination round, God fires the Hand at a flash and misses, Phoenix is pinned down behind a steel plated gunwale and Joker returns fire.
Brass attacks with his "bitch sticks" and kills several of the attackers with 40mm grenades. God snaps off a shot as another silhouette appears for a moment and Joker fires off a grenade that blows a hole in the deck of the bridge.
There is no return fire, but the jeep is heard to be started up. Brass, tracking by sound, lets go with a single grenade and scores an incredible direct hit on the jeep, destroying it.
28 August 2000
Adam sounds the steam whistle and the Vistula Queen gets underway.
After sailing down river through rapids and various river hazards, the Vistula Queen anchors on the shores near Gawluszowic for the night and are soon met by two civilians with hunting rifles who say they are from the ruins of Gawluszowic and heading north to Krakow to try to survive the winter.
For payment in gold, they explain that the eastern bank of the Vistula is lousy with marauders from the Soviet 38th Tank Division who have plundered Gawluszowic, Tarnobrzeg and have settled in Baranow Sandomierski. Apparently, Baranow Sandomierski has been taken over by a madman calling himself "Krol" and that the river at Baranow Sandomierski is narrow and manned with marauders with heavy weapons who extort exorbitant tolls from all river traffic passing through.
29 August 2000
Adam sounds the steam whistle and the Vustula Queen gets underway.
After some discussion of the information that the two civilians provided, it is decided that the tug will heave to within striking distance of Baranow Sandomierski so that God and Phoenix can scout ahead to take a look at ground zero.
God and Phoenix disembark from the tug and head out on foot towards Baranow Sandomierski. Along the way they encounter a group of 8 farmers being watched by three men in tattered Soviet 38 TD uniforms mounted on horseback. God quickly dispatches two of the three with shots from the hand while Phoenix drops the last one with a burst from his M-16. As it turns out, them men are farmers from Baranow Sandomierski who try to convince God to become the next Mowca, or spokesman for the town. It seems that the Mowca is the only citizen of the town allowed in direct contact with Krol and the last eight have died in assassination attempts. The farmers spend some time trying to convince God to become number nine, but God has other ideas.
After getting the layout of the town's defenses, God and Phoenix radio back to the tug to relay this information. They then come up with a plan to unseat Krol and ensure passage for the tug. The plan is threefold: have God infiltrate Krol's manor house and assassinate Krol while the tug engages the gun emplacements along the shore while Phoenix acts as a blocking force between the two areas of engagement.
God and Phoenix sneak into town and head towards Krol's manor, while the tug steams towards town along the river.
Phoenix sets up an ambush along the main road from the shoreline to the manor house using claymores. Joker, on the tug, takes a slug from a bottle of vodka and sets up Bad Billy, the Rapira-3 gun, with Kate.
God sneaks through the overgrown estate towards the back of the manor and evades guards long enough to get into the ground floor of the two story manor. Upon exploring parts of the ground floor, he comes across a large kitchen containing a dozen or so marauders eating lunch. He pulls the pins on two grenades and bounces them off their table, where the resulting explosion rocks the house and sends lethal fragments throughout the men sitting there.
God rushes into a hallway and sees guards running from their posts at the front of the house towards him. He pauses to set up a claymore, and takes a burst from an AK-74 in the back, his body armor absorbing most of the damage but leaving a burning bruise from the impact. He flees down the hall and ducks into a room that happens to be the barracks for the troops. He bursts in on three marauders, dodging fire from the marauders at the entrance to the house down the hall.
Before the three can react, God hoses down the room with his MP5K, dropping the three as grenades sail down the hallway towards him, exploding in the hallway and sending shrapnel through the walls at him, but leaving him on his feet. He sprints down the hallway towards the end of the house and tosses a grenade behind him, catching two more marauders in the blast who were charging down the hall towards him.
Phoenix hears explosions from the manor house and sees two jeeps racing up the road from the shore gun emplacements towards the manor. His claymore and a grenade from his M203 leaves one jeep a burning wreck, but the other runs the gauntlet and heads towards the manor to reinforce Krol's bodyguards.
God, meanwhile has engaged some marauders down the hallway in a fierce gun battle through the dust and smoke left by the grenades. He rushes to another doorway to get a better angle on the marauders down the hall and sees that there's only one returning fire from the corner down the hall. He pulls out the Hand and puts a .50 cal slug through the drywall and through the marauder behind it.
The Vustula Queen rounds a bend in the river and comes into range of the shore emplacements, consisting of three sandbagged machine gun nests and a mortar crew in a concrete pillbox. Joker sends a round from Bad Billy into the mortar emplacement, scoring a direct hit and setting off an ammo explosion. Brass fires a rocket from the BMP that slams into a nearby building, missing the nests.
The three machine-gun nests return fire, splashing bullets across the armored front of the tug and the Rapira-3's gun shield Brass fires off a string of grenades from the 30mm launcher on the BMP, walking them along the nests, destroying two. The last machine-gun fires a long bust, scoring hits on the wheelhouse. Adam is caught in the hail of bullets and his arm is shredded. He collapses at the wheel and Uller leaves his machine-gun to come pilot the vessel. Lt. Schaefer sees Adam go down from his MG post and comes over to see what can be done and starts to operate.
God slings the Hand and runs down the hall into the entrance hall of the manor where he comes under fire from a marauder at the top of the staircase leading to the second floor. The marauder fires off some rounds, but cannot hit the dodging God, who returns fire, scoring hits and dropping the marauder after his AK jams.
At this point, God hears the jeep of marauders roaring up to the house. He runs up the stairs and packs a ball of plastique around a radio detonator and tosses it through the front doors onto the porch. He hears the sound of men approaching and detonates the plastique, bringing down the manor's facade on the heads of the marauders.
Phoenix sees several marauders fleeing their positions along the waterfront, heading up the street towards the manor house and cuts them down with his M-16/M203.
Sgt. Brass fires yet another burst from his 30mm grenade launcher at the last machine-gun nest, totally destroying it.
God checks the northern half of the upstairs and, upon finding nothing, moves south and sees a balcony that runs around the outside of the house. He climbs through a window onto the balcony and around the corner of the manor sees a guard standing post near a machine-gun pointing to the street below. He drops the marauder with a burst from a salvaged AK and unloads the machine-gun back into the manor following it by a grenade that blows apart the office. When the smoke clears he finds a dead guard and an overturned desk with the crushed remains of a man with a gaudy crown near his head.
He scouts through the remainder of the house, making sure it has been cleared and walks through the front of the shattered manor into the street.
Uller docks the tug at a small pier at the southern end of Baranow Sandomierski while Schaefer continues to operate on Old Adam. God, Joker, Phoenix and Kate link up at the front of the ruined manor house and Kate begins to speak to the crowd that is slowly gathering. She tells them that the town has been liberated, Krol has been killed and his men driven off or killed.
She tells them that any weapons from the marauders will be left to the town for its defense. In return, she asks the town for and is granted supplies (fresh food, bandages and other consumables) and permission to tie up the tug along shore for a night or two to undergo repairs.
Uller, as acting captain calls the crew and unit back to the tug for a meeting. He expresses his desire to continue down river as acting captain, but Roszkowski and Grezch refuse to go anywhere until Adam's fate is known.
Schaefer comes up from the galley after operating on Adam all afternoon. He says that he had to amputate Adam's left arm above the elbow and that Adam is in stable but critical condition and doesn't recommend travel for at least 24 hours. The crew and unit disperses, some heading back into town, some staying on the tug to start repairs and maintenance.
30 August 2000
After a night in town, the Unit discovers more about what lies down river by talking to some locals. The town of Sandomierz has been occupied by a marauder by the name of Noz and his band formed from a remnant of the Soviet 38th Tank Division. There is an intact bridge over the Vistula that is guarded and controlled by these marauders, who extract a toll on all traffic crossing the bridge and passing under the bridge.
The town of Tarnobrzeg has been abandoned and burned, however the area is infested with 38th TD marauders from both Krol and Noz with shots fired and skirmishes between the rivals being the norm for the area. No one seems to know why Noz or the now-diceased Krol keep sending patrols into that area, however.
It is decided that Joker, God and Phoenix will borrow a car from the townsfolk to do some scouting down river and gather a bit of firsthand intelligence about Sandomierz.
In a battered but serviceable alcohol-powered Syreny, the three drive north along the Tarnobrzeg-Sandomierz road.
During a pit stop in a shot up rest area just outside the outskirts of Tarnobrzeg, Joker discovers the skeletons of four civilians behind a log in a defensive position against the road. The bodies had been stripped of anything useful.
The trio overtakes a heavily armed convoy of horse-drawn carts loaded with timber heading south. Phoenix hails the group and discover that they are merchants planning on selling their timber in Sandomierz for gunpowder that they plan on selling in Krakow for a decent sum. Apparently, Noz runs a pretty tight ship and his marauder band has become the core of an ad-hoc ORMO force that protects the locals, who are allowed to run things pretty much business as usual. Visitors to Sandomierz must be accepted by the town council and apply for a visitors pass.
The trip arrive at a checkpoint at the Sandomierz Bridge. They are flagged to a stop and a sandbagged emplacement and told that their auto must stay in an impound yard for the duration if their visit. The trio consents and are escorted across the bridge and into town where they are taken to the town hall where they meet a minor bureaucrat who is responsible for issuing papers.
God explains to the man that he needs to speak with Noz about the "marauder problem" upriver. After some cajoling the man agrees to take them to the castle on the outskirts of town that serves as a barracks, prison and headquarters for Noz.
Noz meets with the trio and after some discussion agrees to let the tug pass unmolested in exchange for Krol's demise. The trio thanks him and leaves, returning to their car on the outskirts of town and driving back through the ruins of Tarnobrzeg and back to Baranow Sandomierski.
The trio returns to Baranow Sandomierski to find the rest of the crew hard at work, patching and painting the pilothouse and fore structure to repair the machine-gun damage and loading consumables delivered from the townsfolk.
A car from Sandomierz arrives with a squad of troops from Noz' ORMO. They meet with the new leaders of Baranow Sandomierski in a closed meeting.
Adam becomes semiconscious and is in a great deal of pain. He indicates that Uller is to be acting captain as long as he continues down river and northwards to Warsaw to rescue his family.
31 August 2000
Uller sounds the steam whistle and pulls into the river northwards towards Tarnobrzeg, which had been overrun and burned to the ground some time ago.
The unit sails past the ruined city of Tarnobrzeg as a thick for settles onto the river.
At the unit approaches Sandomierz, they hear the sounds of a pitched battle at the Sandomierz Bridge. At the Vustula Queen approaches within a kilometer, they can see a battle underway between what looks like two groups of the Soviet 38th Tank Division. Uller cuts power and allows the Vistula Queen to flow with the current as the crew tries to figure out what is going on.
After some deliberation and observation, the crew decides that there is a marauder band attacking the bridge ORMO from the eastern shore with small arms, grenades and a small mortar of some kind. As they approach the bridge, Joker opens up on massed troops with Bad Billy, the Rapira-3 gun, while phoenix Kate and Schaefer launch 40mm grenades at the shoreline.
The mortar shifts fire towards the tug, missing several times, but eventually scoring a direct hit against Kate in the BMP in the barge, but is unable to penetrate its armor.
Those on the tug and on the bridge continue to return fire and soon the marauder assault withers under the concentrated fire.
Kate gets on the loudhailer and broadcasts to the ORMO that they have permission from Noz to pass under the bridge unmolested. As the tug nears the bridge, Uller loses control of the tug momentarily in an unknown current and bashes the barge into one of the massive supports of the bridge, damaging the bow of the barge, but it remains seaworthy.
Uller takes the tug as far as the San River before parking the tug for the night.
1 September 2000
Uller sounds the steam whistle and takes the tug out into the river.
The tug steams past many side rivers and Uller manages to avoid all the flotsam collecting in the area.
The tug approaches the Annopol bridge. Again, Uller steers the tug so that it is backpedaling against the current, so that the crew can observe its location. From the crow's nest, God sees that there is a garrison of about two dozen men on the bridge manning three heavy machine-gun nests and standing post on the bridge itself. He also sees that they are led by a man in a Soviet Army uniform who is observing the tugs approach through binoculars.
God slips off of the stern of the tug and swims unobserved to shore, where his makes a stealthy approach to within sniping range of the bridge.
Uller brings the tug towards the bridge where the soldier in uniform signals for him to pull over and prepare to be boarded and inspected. As Uller approaches the shoreline, a squad is dispatched from the bridge to greet the tug.
God opens fire with the Hand at the soldier, dropping him. He then switches fire to the crew of one of the machine gun nests, dropping more. A barrage of grenades from Phoenix, Schaefer and Kate finish off the rest in due order.
As Uller steers the tug ashore to pick up God, he again loses control of the tug and runs into the shore, driving the barge high upon it.
Numerous efforts to free up the barge finally succeed, but the efforts have stirred up the silt off of the river bottom which collects in the engine intakes. The steam engine rapidly overheats and Jozef Grzech shuts them down to prevent further damage. He begins the arduous task of emptying out and flushing the intakes.
2 September 2000
The day is spent in routing ship maintenance and repairing the damage to the barge as Grzech cleans out the engines and puts them back together.
3 September 2000
Adam, still weak from his surgery, takes command of the tug back from Uller and steers the tug into the river.
The Vistula Queen sails past the towns of Jozefow, Piortowin and Solec and are watched by some residents of the towns as they sail by. As they sail, dark clouds begin to gather overhead.
The Tug approaches a burnt-out hulk of a tug in the middle of the river. Adam explains that this ship was the Rzeka Ksiezna, the River Princess, which was the sister ship to the Vistula Queen that was Adam's first attempt to get to Warsaw. The River Princess came under attack by a steam-powered police cruiser with some kind of cannon mounted on its front. Adam explains that this was his first attempt to sail to Warsaw, but did not have the extra firepower he has now.
The clouds darken and lower and a thunderstorm erupts overhead and a rain begins to fall.
The Tug Sails under the wreckage of the Pulawy-Zwolen bridge and through the rain to the south they see a convoy of Polish armored vehicles laagered just on the outskirts of Pulawy. Adam tells the crew that Pulawy is on the road to Lublin, the seat of the Polish government. He also says that Polish and Soviet troops patrol the river east of the river and south of Deblin so they must be very subtle when moving through this area.
Adam sails slowly through the fog and rain on the river, finally parking the tug for the night about 10km south of Deblin. The crew cover the tug in camouflage netting and keep watch for the night.
4 September 2000
The crew packs up camp and sets sail down river.
The tug sails through the Bagno Maciejowice and encounters four men in a rowboat who ask for food and supplies. Adam orders some of the fresh foodstuff from Baranow Sandomierski be given to them. In exchange, they give some information about some river pirates that are terrorizing the area between Warsaw and Wilga.
The tug travels to Maciejowice and heaves to for the evening. The group decides to do some reconnaissance down river and decides to unload the BMP (rechristned "the Frog" by Sgt. Brass).
As the crew unloads the frog, God suits up in an old wet suit and some SCUBA gear that Grzyech keeps for repairing damage to the screws below the waterline. He grabs a piece of driftwood and begins to float down the river with the current, planning to act as a forward scout.
Brass and Phoenix drive the Frog into a position along the river, approximately 2km south of Wilga. God continues to float down river
5 September 2000
After floating down river all night and avoiding the effects of the cold water, God floats the south entrance of the Wilga River into the Vistula and sees four cabin cruisers and an old police boat tied up along shore. On the police cruiser, called the Wislakrew, there is a man standing on the stern, discussing a map with several others. Along the shoreline, there are several tents pitched and several of the boats have men sitting on their sterns, smoking cigarettes and keeping watch.
God swims between the craft and, in the pre-dawn light, affixes scuttling charges to the sterns of several of the boats.
God finishes setting up the charges and swims into the middle of the river. He lobs an antitank grenade at the Wislakrew, sets off the charges and then swims to the bottom of the river as the concussion of the explosion rocks past him.
Phoenix and Brass hear the explosions and motor in that direction in the Frog.
Phoenix and Brass see the smoke from the burning boats and attacks the camp as the pirates flee for the bush or try to get the remaining boats started. Brass opens fire with rockets and the autocannon and makes quick work of the camp.
God crawls ashore and into the Frog and falls asleep. Brass and Phoenix stand watch and wait for the tug to arrive.
Adam pilots the Vistula Queen to the destroyed camp where Joker loots the wreckage. They then continue down river
The tug sails on, links up with the Frog and makes camp 5km southeast of Gora Kalwaria.
6 September 2000
Brass and Phoenix head down river in the Frog as the tug sets sail.
From the crows' nest, God spots a flash of light reflected off of glass on a hilltop near Otwock. Adam holds the tug in a hover in the middle of the river as God bails over the side to check it out.
God approaches the site and sees that it is an observation post manned by three men, a 60mm mortar and a PRC-25 radio.
God destroys the site with grenades and sees that there is a flotilla of boats sailing down the Otwock River towards the Vistula in an ambush of the Vistula Queen. He also sees that, around a bend and partially obstructed from the view from the river that a string of small craft have been chained bow to stern across the river, with the massive chain anchored at either end with posts driven into the river.
As the river pirates approach the junction of the two rivers, they come under fire of Joker on Bad Billy on the bow of the tug, God with the Hand, and Brass and Phoenix in the Frog.
A pitched battle ensues and boats erupt in flames as Bad Billy takes its toll on the pirates. The barge takes a direct hit from a mortar and sinks, forcing Adam to swerve the tug around it. Brass sinks several with rocket and autocannon fire from the Frog but the Krolowa itself takes damage from mortar and machine-gun fire, but the armor plate and sandbags covering most of her superstructure prevent her from receiving more serious wounds. Kate is wounded while acting as loader for Bad Billy, taking shrapnel from a near miss in her back.
The river filled with the burning wrecks of the pirate fleet and with debris from exploded boats, Adam brings the tug against the shore to let the wreckage float down river. In avoiding the wreckage, he fails to spot a sawyer that smashes against the stern of the tug, damaging one of the drive shafts and screws, but manages to bring the tug to shore without further damage.
God rejoins Phoenix and Brass in the Frog as they head down the slope to the shoreline. The wreckage of the pirate fleet floats down river to become logjammed against the chained blockade of boats. Joker and Walter Matusak hop across the chained boats, trying to recover a particularly undamaged cabin cruiser that is on fire from a grenade explosion.
Brass dubs the cabin cruiser "God's Yacht" as God climbs aboard to assess the damage done to his new craft. Phoenix tries driving the Frog over the steel post anchoring one end of the chain to free the logjam, but ends up throwing a track against and pinning the Frog on the post.
Phoenix blows up the chain with some plastique and Uller tows the yacht to shore using a winch from the Krolowa as Grzyech turns on the air compressor and drops overboard with an air mask to inspect the damage to Krolowa's stern. Schaefer tends to Kate's wounds and sets her up in the medical area in the galley.
The rest of the day is spent in salvage efforts of the pirate fleet, and repairing the Tug. Somehow, the tracked vehicle tools have been lost and so there is no way to fix the track of the Frog.
Schaefer and God, standing watch, spot three small boats motoring their way upriver. God challenges them and orders them to stop and state their intentions. It turns out that they are scouts from the Miasto Plywajecy Warsawskia ("Warsaw's Floating City") coming to investigate all the flotsam they've spotting floating down river.
God tells them that the Pirates have been destroyed or scattered and that they should come aboard to swap information.
Two of the scouts, Peotr and Oleg, come aboard and explain that they are part of the "River People" that have banded together at the Floating City for mutual support and trade. They are currently trapped between the River Pirates and the forces of a man called the Black Baron who has set up a headquarters for his marauder band in Warsaw and shoots up any boat that tries to pass it. They invite the tug's crew to come down river to meet the leader of the River People, Komodor Gotfryd Starsinski who might be able to help procure heavy machine tools as a favor for destroying the river pirates.
7 September 2000
God, Brass Joker and Tadeuz travel on the scouts' boats back to the Floating City and meet with the Komodor who thanks them for destroying the pirate fleet. In exchange, he provides the tug with some fresh food as well as sending a party of mechanics and strongbacks with tools to fix the Frog's thrown track.
With work underway on the Frog and the Tug, Adam, anxious for news about his family, decides to head to Warsaw on foot, leaving Uller in charge of the repairs. Phoenix, Brass, Joker and God decide to escort Adam and Walter to Warsaw, leaving Schaefer to mind area security and to tend to Kate. Peotr and Oleg also decide to enter Warsaw, hoping to meet with the leaders of the communities to establish trade and swap information.
On foot, the group walks the remaining 20 clicks to the outskirts of Warsaw through the blasted fireplain, walking in a fine mist. There are low shrubs and wild grasses on the ground, but the blackened trees and blasted buildings stand as relics of the nuclear blasts that destroyed the city in the fall of 1997.
The unit enters the rubble with God scouting two hundred meters in front with Brass, Phoenix and Joker escorting Peotr, Oleg, Adam and Matusiak.
Peotr points out a tall, blocky building in the center of the rubble, viewable even at this distance by the naked eye and says that that is the Palac Kultury ("the Palace of Culture") where the Baron makes his stronghold.
The unit approaches the settlement of Praga and sees many armed men standing watch in the streets. Deciding that this must be a community under the Baron's sway, the group decides to skirt this and any other settlements they come across.
After crossing the Warsaw-Radzymin road the unit skirts the heavy ruins around Kamionek and manages to cross the bridge to the wasteland of Siekierki.
While on point, in the fading light, God blunders into a small camp of six men, three eating near a small cooking fire, one prone behind a sniper rifle facing north, one working a radio, and one standing with binoculars trained north. God steps forward and says, on a hunch, "I'm an enemy of the Baron." Seeing the men scramble for their weapons, he figures they are probably scouts for the Baron and ducks behind the corner of a building and into the deeper rubble along the river avoiding a hail of gunfire.
He radios back the the rest saying that he's in contact, but realizes that, being 200 meters behind, it will take them quite some time to climb through the rubble to get here. He runs and dodges into the rubble, tossing a grenade behind him with bullets ricocheting off of the concrete rubble around him.
He crawls into some deep rubble and hides as the grenade goes off, killing several men. He takes the opportunity to unsling the Hand and subsequently drops the hammer on the remaining three after a cat-and-mouse game ensues.
The rest of the group arrives, and sees God appropriating a nearly mint Dragunov SVD sniper rifle from the man who will no longer be needing it.
The group enters the community of Sielce and are challenged by sentries on duty there. Adam introduces himself, Walter and the Unit and are greeted by Fredryk Elsner and members of his Group South who welcomes them to Sielce. With a cry, Walter charges Fredryk and punches him in the jaw, knocking him down. The two men are pulled apart, and Walter runs off into the evening.
Fredryk picks himself up and Joker explains to Brass about Fredryk marrying Walter's ex-fiance and the bad blood that Walter has been harboring since.
The group is escorted through the dark rubble and farmlands to the old amphitheater that is currently being used to house 800 or so civilians and noncombatants in a rough shanty town.
Members of Adam's family arrive over the next several hours as news of his arrival spreads through the community. Adam's nephew Filip Kizysztof arrives with the rest of his family and an impromptu homecoming celebration erupts with borscht and vodka being ingested by all. God leaves the party and wanders alone into the rubble. Joker has a tryst in the wheat fields with a Polish farm girl and Brass and Tadeusz drink vodka together and arm-wrestle late into the night.
8 September 2000
The group is gathered together at Filip's headquarters and discuss the future. Adam is adamant about bringing the tug into the city, against the advice of Joker and God.
Against their better judgment, God and Joker gather up the remainder of the tug's crew and travel back through the ruins to collect the tug.
Through a haze of rain showers, lookouts on the top of Filip's stronghold spot an armored convoy leaving Muranow and crossing the last remaining bridge near Muranow towards Radzymin. Filip sends scouts into nearby communities to learn the purpose of the convoy.
The group is attacked by marauders and Brass takes a bullet in the knee, but the marauders are driven off or killed. Schaefer stabilizes Brass and the group transports him to the Commodore's Flotilla.
Schaefer operates on Brass' knee and sets it with a makeshift knee-brace. The rest of the group talk about ways to get the tug into the city in the face of the Baron's patrols.
9 September 2000
Day of gear checking and weapons maintenance. The group recruits 6 volunteers from the Flotilla to man any spare heavy weapons on board the tug. It is decided that God will attempt to blow the bridges near the communities of Muranow and Powisle, hopefully separating the Baron's army on either side of the river, limiting their reaction ability.
God begins floating down river loaded with explosives.
10 September 2000
Under the cover of night, God reaches the bridges and sets demolition charges and holes up to wait for the tug's approach.
The Krolowa approaches the bridges. God blows the bridges, destroying some of the Baron's armor. Joker opens up with Bad Billy, destroying more armor, while the gunners from the Flotilla open fire with their heavy machine-guns at troop emplacements along the shoreline. The Krolowa is hit several times with rockets, but the steel-and-sandbag armor of the conning tower withstand the blast.
As the tug approaches the turning basin near the community of Sielce, it takes a direct hit to the rear deck from the Baron's 155mm Howitzer, instantly killing Roszkowski who was taking shelter belowdecks in the hold. The tug immediately begins to sink, but Adam manages to get it close to safe shores before it finally settles on the river bottom, three meters deep, leaving the main deck a meter under the surface.
The group surveys the damage and begins to unload what equipment and weapons that can be salvaged from the wreck.
10 September 2000 - 11 September 2000
The community sends volunteers to help salvage operations on the tug, and Josef Grzyech examines the extent of the tug's damage. The unit also meets with Filip to discuss strategy and how to deal with the Baron.
12 September 2000
Filip's agents return with word that the Baron has sent the convoy to meet with a marauder band who will provide him with chemical blood agent rounds for his howitzer in exchange for gold and supplies.
The unit decides to ambush the convoy at the limit of radio range in the outskirts of Radzymin.
13 September 2000
1st Lieutenant Piotr Rotmistrov arrives in Warsaw on horseback and is challenged by sentries of Group East. He is brought to Filip and the unit and questioned about his presence. It turns out that he is a spetsnaz intelligence specialist who is fleeing the war and is looking for a place to settle down for the winter. He learns of the situation with the Baron and agrees to help however he may.
The unit packs up their gear into the Frog and heads through the ruins to the outskirts of Radzymin, a burnt-out ghost town.
The unit encounters the Baron's garrison in Radzymin. Rotminstrov presents his Soviet Army papers and, mainly through bluster and intimidation, manages to convince the garrison that he and the rest of them are Soviet Army Regulars on deep patrol from the provisional Polish government at Lublin. He learns that the convoy is expected to pass through Radzymin sometime tomorrow.
14 September 2000
The convoy rolls through town and it and the Baron's garrison are ambushed by merciless rocket and autocannon fire from the Frog. Lt. Schaefer is killed when a faulty RPG explodes in his hands, but the rest of the unit emerges unscathed. The unit spends a cautious afternoon destroying the howitzer rounds and looting the convoy, keeping an eye out for any potential threats. Brass manages to get one of the armored vehicles, a U.S. Army M113 working again, despite the giant rocket hole blasted in its side.
Joker buries Schaefer and the unit returns to Sielce.
15 September 2000
Through more rain showers, lookouts of Group North on the walls spot an envoy of the Baron's troops approaching under a white flag. God and Joker approach a strongpoint on the rubble wall with some of Pawel Rataj's men. Pawel is Old Adam's Son-in-law and commander of Group North. God and Joker hear single AK-74 shots and answering shots in the rubble flanking the envoy's approach, but decide to hear what they have to say.
The envoy approaches with an offer for Filip to make the community of Sielce a vassal of the Barony. Pawel rejects their offer, and the envoy withdraws back down the road into the rubble. At this point, fearing a howitzer attack, some of the men in the strongpoint, including God and Joker bail out over the walls just as some of the Baron's men hidden in the rubble open fire with automatic weapons. God is stitched in the side and collapses at the base of the wall and is dragged to safety by Pawel's men. Joker is hit by several blasts from an automatic weapon and is killed, having never found out if his family or Las Vegas survived.
The Baron's forces assault the walls of Group North and do some damage to the wall and strongpoints before withdrawing.
God is operated on by a veterinarian and is stabilized. Kate and Phoenix bury Joker at the foot of the wall.
16 September 2000
God awakens from surgery and, still seriously wounded, takes part in a war council with Filip and the rest of his Group Leaders.
The community of Powisle sends an envoy to Sielce, seeking an alliance against the Baron. With this envoy is an American from the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Sergeant Cody "Red" Miller, who has been hiding in Powisle since the breakup of the 5th in mid-July. He has been teaching his Ranger skills to the community and has helped them wage a guerrilla war against any troops loyal to the Baron who are foolish enough to enter the ruins to the east of Srodmiescle.
Lt. Veliki and Lt. Havlik from the 10th Soviet Guards Tank Division are challenged by Group West at the wall. They are messengers from General Koronev who state that the 10th Soviet GTD has defected and is moving through the area with an intent to link up with pro-NATO forces in the Balkans. The Division is currently camped to the west of Warsaw near the town of Zakroczym. They state that the General wishes to winter in the area and the Baron poses a threat to his troops and therefore must be eliminated.
17 September 2000
The Baron's Howitzer shells Sielce, dropping two shells onto the northwestern strongpoint on the wall. It kills a few people who were working on fortifying the emplacement, but little damage is done, structurally.
The strongpoint is assaulted by several dozen men from the Baron's forces who gain the wall in several places before being repulsed by forces from Group North.
Red kills several by providing enfilading fire from the wall against the assault troops, God takes a few shots with the Hand, and Phoenix and Brass drive the Frog up the wall and clear the area with shots from the 30mm gun.
Filip holds a council of war and decides to accept General Koronev's offer of an alliance. Lt. Veliki and Lt. Havlik inform Filip that it will take 30 minutes to get within assault range of the Baron's headquarters and that they will begin their assault on the Baron upon receiving the signal that the Baron is fully comitted in the assault against Sielce.
The community of Sielce then spends the next several days hardening strongpoints, finishing the harvest and performing drills.
It is decided that the fighters from the community of Powisle will remain hidden in the rubble to the east of the Baron, and will attack from the flank as the Baron moves his troops into the ruins.
17 September 2000 - 20 September 2000
Over the next several days, the Baron's troops can be seen distilling fuel, and the sound of deisel engines can be heard being turned over and tuned up.
The community of Sielce continues to prepare for the impending attack. God and Red move into the rubble and pick a semi-demolished building as their sniper's roost, hoping to get a shot at the Baron when the battle commences. Phoenix and Brass stand post with the Frog, ready to move to a hot spot at a moment's notice.
21 September 2000
The Baron begins his assault on the community of Sielce and begins to send his troops and armored vehicles into the ruins.
The battle begins with the militia of the Community of Sielce rushing toward their positions along the wall as the Barons forces move into the rubble. Shortly thereafter, artillery on both sides comes into play, eliminating the forward elements of the Baron's probe and killing men along the wall.
The Baron's troops reach the heavier rubble and burnt-out buildings in the no-mans land between the Black Fortress and Sielce, but come under fire from troops of the community of Powisle who have hidden themselves in the rubble. The assault quickly deteriorates into vicious house-to-house fighting.
Kate sends the alert message to General Koronev who begins to move his assault troops into Warsaw.
God and Red occupy a ruined building facing the Palace of Culture. Red provides area security, bud God, hoping to get a shot off at the Baron, discovers that the middle windows have all been covered with burlap, wood, or tarpaulins, obscuring his view of activity inside.
The Baron's troops continue to probe the wall with artillery, seeking to weaken the defenses, but the defenses hold despite losses. Artillery falls in the rear of Sielce, striking the top of Filip's headquarters, taking out the radio antenna and the observation crew there.
God takes a shot at someone peering from behind a window, but can't determine who the target was. Frustrated he and Red move out of the area, intending to infiltrate the Baron's compound directly.
As a signal flare rockets up from the Baron's compound, Kate sends a broadcast across the radio network saying that Filip's headquarters is under attack by forces unknown in the rear. (As it turns out, these troops were traitors led by Karl Uller who had turned coat and promised to betray Sielce from within to the Baron.) Gunfire erupts in the distance as she makes the call, and then the headquarters network goes off the air.
The Baron's forces continue to probe for weaknesses under withering artillery fire and direct fire from Bad Billy. A group breaks off from the assault and skirts southwest and makes contact with more forces from the community of Mokotow. More murderous house-to-house fighting erupts.
Elements of Group South call that they are under attack by forces that quickly overwhelm them and scale the wall into the rear of Sielce. At this point, Walter Matusiak appears from the rubble and shoots Fredrick Elsner in the head. Leaderless, the Group South withdraws from the wall to fight a delaying action in the uncleared rubble just inside the wall, but are eventually overcome.
God and Red reach the outer wall of the Baron's compount and see a group of soldiers huddled there. Through binoculars, God spots Peotr Rotminstrov and several recon soldiers from General Koronev's 10th Soviet GTD. They link up and decide to assault the rear of the Palace of Culture in a blitz of grenades and rockets, sending the defending force reeling.
God, Red, Peotr and the recon troops shoot their way into a lobby of the Palace of Culture and come under heavy crossfire from sandbagged machinegun emplacements set up at strategic points.
Outside the Barons forces make good progress from the south and quickly overwhelm the defenders of Filip's HQ. Kate Filip, Adam and the rest of the survivors escape by jumping into the river and hiding in a culvert as the Baron's troops occupy the fortress.
Rather than searching the entire Palace for the Baron, God and the Recondos decide to set demolition charges and destroy what they can of the structure. Under covering fire by Red and Peotr and several troops, God leads a team into the heart of the Palace to set massive charges of plastique. Peotr and several of the troopers are hit.
The Baron's assault of the wall begins to crumble as some of the Free Companies of Warsaw, mostly marauders hired with the promise of loot, surrender and mutiny in face of serious losses sustained at the wall. The Baron's own troops remain loyal and continue the assault.
Some troops from Group West turn their guns around and begin shelling Filip's stronghold and the Baron's forces therein, while the remainder hold off a flanking attempt outside the wall.
God and his team detonates the charges in the rear of the Palace as the rest of the troops take cover just inside the front of the Palace in the pillboxes there. The back half of the Palace collapses in a massive concussion that throws chuncks of debris and soot over the survivors. God and Peotr are overcome by the dust and falling debris.
The assault element of the 10th Soviet GTD enters the Baron's compound through the smoke and flying dust, quickly defeating any resistance.
Many of the Baron's troops, seeing the destruction of the Palace, surrender or disband to melt away into the rubble. Those forces trapped in Filip's old headquarters are shelled into submission and finally surrender. The survivors are rounded up and set to buring their dead.
The remaining assault troops with Peotr link up with their own and tend to Peotr, God and Red who have suffered serious wounds from falling debris.
The captives from Baron's forces are marshalled into the green infront of the burning headquarters, where a gallows has been erected for the traitors who assaulted the fortress during the battle, the corpses of Karl Uller and Walter Matusiak among them.
Brass discovers that one of the Baron's Free Companies is a marauder band comprised of Americans from the 5th Division and begins to question them on their motives and movements since July 19th.
The two-dozen or so troops are remnants of the 256th Infantry Brigade under the command of Major Langley, who survived the destruction of the 5th at Kalisz and broke out to the south. These troops had been surviving by plundering local towns for supplies when they heard about the Black Baron and his call for troops to take over the survivors of Warsaw.
Red asks Langley if he knew of any U.S. Airmen, specifically if he knew of his brother, Captain Benjamin Miller who was shot down over the Czestochowa area. He doesn’t but he says while his unit was moving through southern Poland, they ran across a garrison of U.S. troops, B Troop 1/116th U.S. Armored Cavalry Regiment led by a Captain Molly Warren who have occupied the town of Dobrodzien and have formed the core of the town’s garrison. Langley seemed to thing that Captain Molly had been there for a while and might have the lowdown of the area.
Philip Kryzistoff arrives and informs Major Langley that his troops are to be kept in an old warehouse until he can decide what to do with them. Langley agrees and allows his troops to be escorted to a dilapidated warehouse within the walls of Sielce.
Peotr and God recover from their wounds, although both are moving stiffly. The group discusses their options and enjoys a celebratory meal with the community of Sielce for the victory over the Baron.
22 September 2000
Red wakes early and wanders out into the rubble, looking for a mount that may have escaped the carnage unharmed.
The rest of the day is spent tending to their gear and wounds and talking about whether or not to go back into central Poland to perhaps find out more about Red’s brother or to continue down the Vistula river to the coast, to perhaps link up with pro-US forces in Germany.
Red captures two stray mounts and returns with them to camp. He leaves them with a young boy who will act as a stable hand for them.
23 September 2000
After discussing their options, the unit decides to return to central Poland to look for Red’s brother, hoping to link up with Captain Warren’s troops at Olesno to gather more information. Peotr takes his leave of the Unit, saying that he has finally found the peace for which he has been searching here in the community among the ruins. Wishing the Unit good luck, he disappears into the community.
The Unit takes stock of their supply situation and starts to make arrangements for food, fuel and ammunition to safely take them to Olesno.
24 September 2000
The Unit spends the day arranging for the delivery of supplies and provisions. Asking around, they also discover a man who makes his living with his group of men scrounging in the rubble for usable items. He has a Tracked Vehicle Tool kit that he would be willing to part with for an exorbitant amount of money to replace the toolkit that has somehow become lost out of the Frog sometime since Krakow.
25 September 2000
Kate takes the money that the unit has managed to scrape together and says that she’ll “negotiate” with the Merchant to lower the price for the tools. She leaves the camp alone, against the better judgment of Phoenix and Brass.
26 September 2000
A flatbed truck pulls up to the Unit’s camp, and six men start unloading the travel crates of tools. As they leave, two of the men pull Kate from the cab and shove her into camp. She has been treated poorly, with bruises and cuts all over her face and arms, and it appears that her jaw has been broken.
Enraged, God, Phoenix and Red follow the truck into town where it pulls up in front of a smaller warehouse.
God, Phoenix and Red approach the two men sitting next to the open front of the building. Without further ado, Red blows holes through their chests with his H&K assault shotgun and the three storm into the building, where they find a group of ten men sitting around a long table, eating breakfast.
God steps forward and asks which men were responsible for raping Kate. Two of the men lunge from the table for weapons and are shot at close range by Red with his shotgun and Phoenix and his M16.
Shaken, several of the men point to the three men sitting at the head of the table. God executes them quickly and efficiently with bursts to the chest from his MP5K and the three walk from the building as the men around the table try to figure out what happened.
Fearing reprisals, the unit packs up camp into the Frog and flees Warsaw, without saying goodbye to Old Adam and his crew or any of the other survivors of the Battle for Warsaw.
Phoenix drives the Frog southwest into the forest outside of Warsaw, skirting the towns of Mszczonow, Rawa Mazowiecka and Piotrokow before running low on fuel in the woods north of Kamiensk. Fearing dangerously close to Lodz and the burial ground of the U.S. 5th, the unit lays low and quietly distills fuel.
27 September – 3 October 2000
The next several days are spend collecting forage for Brass who tends the medium still and nursing Kate back to health. Her jaw is indeed broken, so Phoenix improvises a head wrap to keep her jaw immobilized so it can set properly. She is otherwise recovering, but mentally seems unhinged and distant. Phoenix keeps watch over the camp while Brass tends the still.
Red hunts for fresh food and successfully brings down some healthy deer with his bow and forages for some fresh roots and tubers. God ranges out on a reconnaissance mission for several days, but maintains contact through a manpack radio.
Their only contact are three hunters fleeing the Pact forces near Lodz and are heading to Krakow. Otherwise, their camouflage is effective and their camp remains unmolested for the relatively relaxing week spent in the forest.
4 October 2000
The Unit strikes camp and continues their journey to Dobrodzien, but decides to backtrack back into the forest to skirt clockwise around Kamiensk and bypass the exposed roads near the Warta River.
The Unit crosses the Piotrkow-Kamiensk road and heads south and deeper into the forest, traveling parallel to the road.
The unit climbs travels steadily southwards, and stops for lunch. Phoenix stumbles across a small cave nearby containing the remains of a soldier in a U.S. Army uniform. Most of his gear was unusable, but in a rucksack were a diary and a gold chalice.
God reads the final entries of the journal, and discovers that this is the corpse of Staff Sergeant James B. Crenshaw, 1st Battalion, 256th Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, United States Army.
In the diary, entries describe his flight on July 19th from Kalisz and his subsequent journey south. One of the entries is a map that details the location of a supply cache buried by his group during their flight.
His final entries detail his discovery of some tunnels under a monastery on the top of a hill overlooking Czestochowa. According to the diary, the tunnels are inhabited by a squad of animated corpses that guard a medieval treasure horde of gold and silver.
At the mention of Czestochowa, God recounts the Battle of Czestochowa at the conclusion of Operation Rampart, May 24th to June 7th 1997, as part of his first weeks in country as part of SEAL Team Eight.
The Unit decides to check out the monastery at Czestochowa and heads uphill towards where God remembers it to be.
God directs Phoenix towards the monastery through the ruins and rubble of the nuked city. As they travel through the ruins, Red notices some blast craters near some burnt-out hulks of vehicles and, upon further inspection, realizes that they are driving through the fringes of a minefield.
God and Red dismount to lead Phoenix, Kate and Brass in the Frog out of the minefield, at which point the skirt the town to head towards the monastery from another direction.
After further scouting, the Unit finds a cave in the side of the hill that, at dusk, has many bats flying in and out of it. Brief exploring with flashlights shows that the cave is actually the mouth of a tunnel dug into the hillside.
Rather than trying the tunnel at night, the Unit sets watch and decides to enter the cave tomorrow morning after a good rest.
5 October 2000
God, Phoenix and Red enter the tunnel complex. They immediately are swallowed up by the claustrophobic darkness and they light up flashlights and move deeper into the catacombs.
After crossing a subterranean culvert and some extended wandering through the myriad tunnel branches, the trio enter what appears to be a small underground chapel, as mentioned in Chenshaw’s diary.
Along the walls are twenty or so moldering corpses of Polish paratroopers. Fearing some kind of trap, they move forward slowly, checking for booby traps and potential ambushes.
Finding none, they move forward towards a dais in the center of the room. On it rests a painting of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child in a gilded frame. Off to one side, the trio discovers a pile of treasures probably looted from the monastery above.
Ignoring the immediate temptation to fill their rucksacks full of gold and precious stones, the trio stops to remember Crenshaw’s diary, where the corpses came to life and decide to scout the area for any other occupants of the catacombs.
Right about then, a voice booms down the corridor warning them to “begone from these hallowed halls and trouble us no more.”
At this point begins a game of cat and mouse, with God scouting ahead deep into the darkness, and Red and Phoenix standing post at an intersection, and sealing other tunnels with white phosphorous grenades, filling the tunnels with smoke and making breathing difficult.
Several shots are fired from the darkness at Red to no great effect and ultimately, God prevails, shooting the “guardian” in the chest with a burst from his silence MP5. This man was in bad shape and the only identification on him was the name stitched onto his uniform, the name of Filipowicz.
Having filled most of the tunnels with white phosphorous, the trio leaves the catacombs to let the worst of the burning smoke clear and to let Brass and Kate know that they are okay.
God describes what they found down below and Kate recognizes the description of the painting as a famous icon called the Black Madonna, a national treasure and probably the most famous icon in Eastern Europe. According to legend, it was painted by the Apostle Luke on a wooden tablet made by St. Joseph for the Holy Family in Nazareth.
God, Phoenix and Red descend back into the catacombs to loot it, disarming a booby trap and recovering the Black Madonna as well as rucksacks full of gold, silver and other valuables.
The unit breaks camp and decides to follow the map in Crenshaw’s diary to recover whatever goods were cached there.
After following the map deep into the forest, the Unit recovers the buried cache, consisting of a few cases of ammo, some HMMWV spares and some miscellaneous equipment, and then heads southwest through the forest towards Dobrodzien, camping for the night after several hours of hard travel through the thick woods.
6 October 2000
The Unit breaks camp and heads towards Dobrodzien. On their way across the open countryside surrounding the village, they see some armored vehicles race out of the town to intercept them.
Pulling to a stop, God recognizes the armor as American light armor, a LAV-25 and a LAV-75. He waves a white flag and after a brief radio conversation, the armor pulls in to escort the Frog into Dobrodzien where they will meet Captain Molly.
The Unit is escorted under guard by soldiers dressed in U.S. Ranger uniforms into a walled fortress at the center of town.
They are introduced to Master Sergeant Agrim who leads the unit into a small office where they are met by a rather cold and distant woman who introduces herself as Captain Molly Warren.
Captain Molly pumps the Unit for information about their actions since July 19th and in turn gives them the lowdown on Silesia. Apparently there are two forces in the area struggling for control of what historically is the industrial center of Poland. On one side is the Markiz Slaskie, the Markgraf of Silesia, Julian Filipowicz an officer in the Polish 14th Motorized Rifle Division.
In April of 2000, the 14th MRD was ordered to move from their current operation, marauder suppression, and was told to move against NATO troops concentrating on the Baltic coast (This would be the beginning of Operation Archangel, the final NATO thrust into central Poland and would ultimately lead to the destruction of the U.S. 5th Infantry Division). Colonel Filipowicz ignored the order and instead turned the Polish 14th MRD and local ORMO units into the Wojsko Silesia, the Army of Silesia and occupied the area as the Markiz of Silesia.
On the other side is the Soviet 129th Motorized Rifle Division, an active Pact force still operating under orders from Lublin.
Molly explains that the 129th and the Wojsko Silesia are actively engaged along the frontier loosely defined as the Opole-Strzelce Opolskie- Pyskowice Road and on through the forest eastwards to near Zyrardow.
As the briefing winds down, Red asks if Molly knows the whereabouts of his brother, Captain Benjamin Miller an Air Force Pilot shot down in the area several years back. Molly responds that she has no one but Rangers in her command, but the Markiz has been capturing Americans straggling through the area and pumping them for information regarding the Battle of Czestochowa and the Black Madonna. At this point is is unknown how many prisoners the Markiz has. She says that if Benjamin is in the area, odds are that the Markiz has him.
After the meeting, the Unit heads back to the Frog with MSgt Agrim to figure out their next move. After some deliberation, they decide to send an envoy to the Markiz to negotiate for the release of his POWs. In exchange for the prisoners, God will offer up the Black Madonna.
Wasting very little time, God, Phoenix and Kate, accompanied by Agrim, commandeer a 5-ton truck and head south towards the frontier with the intent of setting up a meet to exchange for the prisoners.
With Kate driving, the four head south along the Dobrodzien-Pyskowice Road and, in the forest east of Opole come across a roadblock, a standoff between the Army of Silesia and the 129th. Kate decides to gun it, and almost immediately the truck is engulfed in small arms fire from the woods on either side of the forest.
In an attempt to avoid the incoming fire Kate swerves the truck across the road and accidentally veers into the ditch to the side of the road, but she manages to recover and get the truck back on the road, dodging an RPG rocket that streaks across the hood of the truck to slam into the forest on the far side.
In the back, Agrim launches some grenades from his M203 into the woods, hoping to suppress the incoming fire.
God, working to bandage up Kate as she drives is also hit in the chest by an AK burst that shatters the windshield, but his Kevlar absorbs most of the punishment. Phoenix returns fire with a grenade from his M203 launcher.
Kate, seeing a roadblock of fallen logs obstructing the road, drives the truck full throttle off the road to avoid getting stopped at the roadblock. Another RPG streaks from the forest, this time tearing through the fabric of the rear cargo area, filling it with acrid smoke and setting it on fire. Agrim immediately sets to work cutting the heavy canvas from the frame to avoid further fire damage to the truck.
Kate brings the truck around the roadblock, as soldiers from the Army of Silesia open fire on the truck. As she brings the truck through the woods and around the roadblock, a burst of AK fire penetrates her door and hits her in the side, piercing her Kevlar.
Kate drives the truck down the road out of gun range from the roadblock and then pulls over. Agrim shows a white flag and troops from the Army of Silesia advance with guns leveled.
Kate calls out that they wish to speak with the Margkraf about something of “vital interest to the future” of the Margravate. After a moment of tense diplomacy, she manages to convince the group of men to escort them to Raciborz.
Under guard and still wounded, the four of them are brought into a long hall in Raciborz where they are disarmed and then given an audience with Julian Filipowicz and his wife Marja, where they negotiate the release of his prisoners in exchange for the Black Madonna.
Julian proposes a meet on the road just west of the town of Zyrardow on October 9, where, in exchange for the Black Madonna he will release the prisoners. God also inquires if Red’s brother Benjamin Miller is with the prisoners and the Markiz merely says that if he is, he will be among the prisoners returned.
God, Phoenix, Kate and Agrim are escorted back to the Frontier, but God elects to skirt the frontier by heading east towards the town of Zyrardow, to warn them about the upcoming meet.
The four soldiers finally return to Dobrodzien nearing the point of collapse. The rest of the Unit gears up with Molly to prepare for the meet, providing armor, heavy transports and fuel.
7 October 2000
This day is spent gathering volunteers and prepping three LAV-25s and a LAV-75 for the upcoming meet.
8 October 2000
Molly dispatches the Unit and 30 Rangers with armor support and extra fuel to Zyrardow to wait for the meet.
The Troop arrives in the fields west of Zyrardow and sets up defensive positions.
An armored column from the Army of Sielce is spotted approaching Zyrardow on the road from Bytom. The rest of the day is spent with both parties observing each other and preparing defensive positions.
9 October 2000
Both sides gather up for the meet, which goes off uneventfully. Emissaries from the Margravate collect the Black Madonna from God and deliver 40 Americans in four 5-ton trucks. Red is reunited with his brother after being separated for over two years of war.
The convoy returns to Dobrodzien. On the way back to the fortress, Agrim tells the Unit about Operation OMEGA and how the U.S. is pulling out of Europe.
Molly meets the Unit and they meet with Agrim in private to discuss the ramifications of Operation OMEGA. It is decided that B-Troop and the Unit will try to make it back to Bremerhaven by the November 15th deadline in order to secure a space on the fleet returning to the United States.
9 October - 11 October 2000
Quietly, so as to not arouse the suspicion and potential ire of the citizens of Dobrodzien, B-Troop begins mustering its troops and equipment to prepare for the long voyage to Bremerhaven.
12 October 2000
B-Troop and the Unit leave Dobrodzien at dusk, intending to avoid contact until they reach Wroclaw, where the Soviet 129th Motorized Rifle Division has its Headquarters Unit and Supply Dump. Once in range they will hit the HQ, inflicting as much damage as they can while stealing as much fuel as they can get their hands on before fleeing through the Western Front into Germany.
On the Namyslow-Pokoj road B-Troop is spots an armored column heading south towards the Frontier and elects to attack it.
In a fierce battle, the column is destroyed, but B-Troop looses a LAV-75 and a LAV-25, after quickly stopping to strip the column of easily salvageable supplies and fuel, B-Troop continues its movement towards Wroclaw.
13 October 2000
B-Troop skirts Wroclaw to advance on the town from the southern bank of the Oder river, leaving the soft-skinned vehicles behind as the armored elements move forward to engage the HQ of the 129th.
After sending scouts forward on foot to reconnoiter the HQ and supply dump, and giving time for Molly’s M113 mortar carriers to deploy, the assault element of B-Troop attacks.
The LAVs of B-Troop blaze in, followed by HMMWV troop carriers, quickly destroying the defending 129th. God and the Hand snipe into the compound, eliminating any officers who are seen trying to organize a defense.
Quickly, the 129th is overrun and destroyed and B-Troop has control of the supply dump.
Rangers discover a decent supply of gasoline, enough to give every vehicle in B-Troop about one full tank plus a small reserve. Molly and the Unit decide to convert their vehicles to gasoline to facilitate a quick sprint across the border into Germany.
She deploys her Rangers into a defensive envelope around the fuel dump, while her support personnel get to work on the 8-hour process of converting the vehicles to run on gasoline. God, Red and Phoenix deploy to various sections of the bombed-out industrial park surrounding the fuel dump to stand watch.
Over the next 8 hours, B-Troop, God and Phoenix withstand several uncoordinated scouting attempts from the remnants of the 129th, but no serious attempt is made by the disintegrating 129th to regain control of the supply dump.
Ahead of schedule, the mechanics of B-Troop complete the last conversion and are set to flee Wroclaw running on gasoline, heading west along the Wroclaw-Lubin Road, hoping to outrun immediate persuit buy taking advantage of the increased mobility that running on gasoline gives them.
The Unit and B-Troop blaze up the road, through Lubin, Nowa Sol and reaching Zielona Gora where the convoy gets lost moving through the center of town as they bypass a stretch of bombed out roadways.
Red spots someone observing them through binoculars from the top of a burnt-out bell tower. Without much ado, he shoots a LAW rocket into the tower, blowing off the top in a shower of debris.
The convoy exits the town to the south and heads towards Nowogrod, but approaching it they spot an observation post for the Soviet 132 Cavalry Division. The convoy pulls up and spends some time observing the post and debating their options.
Rather than engaging it, they turn around and head back to Zielona Gora and then further west towards Krosno Orczanskie.
Running low on gas, the convoy heads south deep into the woods southeast of Krosno Orczanskie to hide out the night and sleep, having been awake and moving and fighting of almost two days. Mechanics work in shifts to convert the vehicles back to alcohol.
Before turning in, Captain Molly dispatches a team of Rangers to the roadway as advanced scouts.
14 October 2000
The Ranger scouts report in from the road, stating that a "large force" of troops are massing at the road where the convoy turned off into the forest. They report that it consists of forces from the Soviet 39th Guards Motorized Rifle Division and the Soviet 131st Motorized Rifle Division.
The Soviet soldiers are dismounting from heavy trucks and are moving on foot in a skirmish line on wither side of the forest, flanking the path of foliage knocked down and torn up by the convoy's passage.
The Rangers report that they are trailing the force by 50 meters behind
MSgt. Agrim rouses the troops and the M113 mortar carriers deploy their 120mm mortars to establish firing points in the forest. The rest of the Rangers deploy, preparing whatever hardened firing positions they can.
Captain Molly orders a mortar barrage on where her scouts estimate where the troops are. She continues the barrage for the next 15 minutes, receiving correcting fire from her Ranger scouts.
The Soviet troops attack the camp, which has been forewarned by Captain Molly's scouts.
Lieutenant Brass leads the armor in blazing into the tree line with incendiary and HE autocannon fire, inflicting heavy casualties. The Soviets respond with an RPG barrage of their own and one RPG strikes the Frog, killing Brass instantly and incinerating his collection of dog tags of fallen comrades-in-arms.
The rest of the Rangers engage and repel the attack, flattening parts of the surrounding forest in the process.
The mechanics report that the vehicles are all converted back to alcohol. After evaluating the fuel situation, Captain Molly and the Unit decide to abandon their heavy trucks, since their fuel cargo has been consumed and combat losses have left no need for extra troop transports.
The convoy saddles up and continues their westward movement towards the frontier through the woods towards the Oder River.
The convoy reaches the Oder River and Molly dispatches some Rangers to scout downriver for a ford.
Rangers heading north reach Gubin and spend some time scouting the city. They quickly see that the town is held by the Soviet 132nd Cavalry Division who will be wintering there.
The scouts return and Molly decides to head south along the river to continue their search for a ford.
The convoy heads south along the river until it gets within a few kilometers of Berg Muskam, where Molly again deploys Ranger scouts to get a lay of the land. The rest of the convoy dismounts and catnaps.
The scouts return and indicate that there is an intact bridge at Berg Muskam, but it is held by troops with uniforms indicating that they are from the Soviet 103rd Motorized Rifle Division. Gambling, Molly decides to punch through the frontier at the bridge before the Convoy is delayed distilling fuel.
B-Troop and the Unit rack out for the afternoon and evening, resting up for a night assault.
The plan is to send scouts ahead to get into position and make the initial contact with whatever pickets may be out, and then the armor and the rest of the convoy will advance up the road and over the bridge.
The scouts, plus God, Red and Phoenix depart with some heavy weapons through the forest.
The scouts cross the Oder River into Germany and slip up to the bridge. They can see that there is a sandbagged complex built around a toll plaza on the far side of the bridge with several AFVs.
After radioing back to the convoy to move out, they give God and two Rangers a chance to move behind the complex and perhaps inflict more damage from the rear. The scouts then attack with a barrage of antiarmor rockets and heavy machine gun fire, scoring hits across the front of the compound.
God and the two Rangers move through the back of the compound, killing soldiers and disabling or destroying some vehicles with grenades.
The soldiers manage to return fire scoring hits among the scouts and killing Red with a salvo of autocannon fire.
The Convoy roars up the road and into the action, and the troops of the 103rd, with no remaining armor or heavy weapons to mount a defense are routed into the woods.
Molly orders a quick sweep of the compound for readily transportable supplies and fuel and the Convoy enters Germany, heading south towards Bautzen.
15 October 2000
The Convoy overtakes a merchant caravan camped near the side of the road. After exchanging pleasantries, the merchants tell the Convoy that Bautzen is occupied by the Soviet 21st Guards Motorized Rifle Division and that the forest to the north and the region surrounding Cottbus is patrolled by the 103rd.
For a generous payment of some heavy weapons and ammo stripped from the 103rd, the merchants tell Molly about a ford across the Spree River that should allow the Convoy to slip between the two forces and deeper into Germany.
The convoy leaves the road, following the direction given by the Merchants, find the ford and cross the Spree River.
Molly orders the Convy west through the forest, travelling off- road south of Hoverswarda and Konigsbruck.
After hours of jarring off-road travel, the Convoy finally rolls into Meissen, an unoccupied town on the Elbe River.
Molly orders the Convoy through the town and over the river to halt for some badly needed rest on the outskirts of town.
The Convoy breaks camp and moves north to the Riesa-Rochlitz Road and heads to Altenburg.
Running practically on vapors, the Convoy rolls into Altenberg and is stopped by the 211th German Panzergrenadier Division.
After some discussion with the 211th's CO, Molly agrees to turn over her armored vehicles in exchange for escort to the US VII Corps HQ, which includes the 36th US Mechanized Division, the 1st US Mechanized Division and the 2nd US Armored Cavalry Regiment. All told, it is a force of about 10,000 US Troops with over 70 AFVs and a solid escort to Bremerhaven. VII US Corps are currently in transit between Göttingen and Hildesheim, en route to Bremerhaven.
16 October - 20 October 2000
The Convoy is escorted over the next several days to VII US Corps and link up with them near Seesen.
20 October - 31 October 2000
Now without their armor, B-Troop and God, Phoenix and Kate travel with VII Corps along the Hildesheim-Hannover-Bremen Road to Bremerhaven.
31 October 2000
VII US Corps is met by elements from V US Corps at Bremerhaven, and God, Phoenix and Kate are processed into Task Force 34.
31 October - 15 November 2000
God, Phoenix and Kate spend their last days before TF 34 embarks exploring Bremerhaven, drinking with other NATO troops and generally relaxing and collecting and arranging gear to get under the 100kg limit imposed by Operations Order OMEGA.
15 November 2000
Final muster and boarding of TF 34 by the 43,000 remaining US Troops and their allies. At this point Phoenix and Kate inform God that they will not be accompanying him back to America, but instead will be heading back to Krakow to continue working for Colonel Richard Stark and the DIA.
The last remaining soldier of the Unit, Lieutenant Shane "God" Pendlan, SEAL Team 8 boards the DD981 USS John Hancock of Task Force 34.
11:00 Lima (12:00 Zulu)
Task Force 34 leaves Bremerhaven for the United States of America.
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