18 August 2000. Krakow underworld building.
Having penetrated as far as the security office on the first floor of the underworld headquarters, the group set about interrogating their prisoners: Their newly-acquired chief of security and also the woman guard they captured earlier.
Problem was, nobody in the assault group was any good at interrogation. After debating questions in front of the prisoners, and a few clumsy threats, the party did at least glean that their objective, Sgt Cutler, was on the second floor, in a holding cell. Maybe.
It appeared their presence was undetected thus far. Wojciech found several pairs of handcuffs along with some small arms in a locked cabinet. Their prisoners fully secured, they returned to the stairs, Wojciech in the lead with the security chief as human shield, and clutching a grenade with the pin removed.
They quietly advanced up the stairs. Somehow, their presence was known. As they approached up the first flight to the landing mid-way, a fragmentation grenade bounced down the tight stairwell.
It exploded, a deafening wave and murderous fragments in every direction. The security chief unwillingly leading the group was killed outright, and took most of the fragments that would’ve threatened the party. Still though, the concussion was brutal. William and Áron were stunned. Pratt and Wojciech kept their senses.
Constitution seemed to be the ability of the day. Wojciech, still holding a live grenade sans pin, may have dropped the grenade due to stun, and could well have been killed by his own grenade.
Wojciech called on his men to fall back. He could barely hear himself with ears ringing. Pratt was conscious, and still holding the woman guard hostage, who herself had been stunned by the blast. He drug her back down the stairs, stepping around his friends who were writhing weakly on the stairs from the concussion.
Wojciech took a position, ready to shoot anybody coming down from the second floor. William and Áron quickly recovered their senses [Successful Con rolls]. Wojciech gestured at them to fall back. William complied, stumbling down the steps.
Áron, with a clarity of mind that could only be ascribed to fury, instead mounted the steps, turned at the landing, hurling a grenade up the second flight of stairs. It was the throw of a career [Outstanding Success]. The grenade landed near their assailant, killing him.
Shouts could be heard from upstairs. They’d lost the initiative. Wojciech had already planned for this eventuality. It was time to retreat. He urged his men to fall back they way they came.
A guard outside with an M-16 entered the front doors. Pratt and he fired at each other simultaneously. A bullet meant for Pratt instead hit the woman he had captive in the leg, and she slumped and cried though her her gag. Pratt’s AKR shots took his opponent down. Áron took a position behind an interior door to get a clear shot at those front doors.
Wojciech pushed out the back door, right into the line of fire of a guard out on the loading dock, who fired a burst from his PPSh-41. Only one bullet connected, going through his helmet, lightly wounding Wojciech. [A good Con again saved him from a stun.]
The resulting gunfight was a comedy of errors. Wojciech fired two shots from his Makarov; both missed. William, ace sniper, came up to assist Wojciech, and also missed.
Pratt, the group’s driver and mechanic – and today’s MVP – heard the gunfire out back. He dumped his captive and went out the back door and engaged Mr. PPSh-41 with his AKR, shooting him through the head, abruptly ending that fight.
However, the shooting was still very much happening from the front door of the building. A man with an SVD joined his comrade, firing at Áron, now the lone rear guard. Two shots went through his door cover, missing the big guy. Áron fired two rounds from his G3, sending his shooter sprawling. The M-16 guard was back on his feet, and shot Áron though the leg. Áron returned fire, killing him.
By now, Schultz and Maks, back in the vehicle a block away, could see fighting out on the loading dock, and knew this could only mean their people were on their way out, whatever that may mean. They started their GAZ and drove up to the building.
Wojciech gestured Pratt and William to the vehicle, then headed over to the fuel tank. He called into the building: “Áron! Fall back!!”
Áron, seeing his SVD opponent returning to his feet, dropped a smoke grenade at his feet, and retreated out the back.
Wojciech armed a thermite grenade, setting it against the tank of ethanol.
The group left in their vehicle, with only a wounded prisoner for their trouble. Just before they turned a corner, the fuel tank caught fire, and could be seen burning violently next to the building.