Last thing you remember, you were on your 5th day in Sandomierz. Still some work remained to be done, but after all the action recently, and more yet to come, it was nice to loosen-up a bit. You were shopping in the market, and being hassled by an ORMO corporal who was saying your papers weren’t in order. Everyone was yelling at each other. Suddenly you were attacked from behind by multiple people, one holding a rag over your mouth and nose, it was hard to breathe…
You wake up on the floor. Your feet are hobbled, and hands tied behind your back. You’re hooded; it doesn’t block all vision, but it sure is annoying and denies peripheral vision. The room is small, lit only by cracks through a boarded-up window. There are three of you from the party: Grant Derek William, Barna Áron, and Elizka Madejowa. A Slavic-looking man wearing Russian fatigues stands by the door, fairly clean-cut, watching you, an AKSU-74 slung in a casual grip.
As the prisoners stirred, the guard spoke. “No talking”, the man says in Slavic-accented English.
5 September 2000
The trio take in details. [I asked each of them what they were looking for or limited actions they may take.] They noted that they seemed to be in a room of a a typical Polish rural cottage. The door was ajar. Movement of people and the rumble of conversation could be heard in the room beyond.
There was a fourth prisoner who was also hooded and tied-up like the three from the party. He’s in bad shape. He’s missing a shirt, so burns, cuts, and bruises are visible. A bloody bandage is wrapped around one hand.
Barna Áron attempts to free himself through sheer strength, but is unsuccessful.
After a while, a deep bass voice says from the other room in Polish, “Prepare them for travel”. A man comes into the room, and pulls them to their feet one-by-one and takes them out to a BTR. The party members note that they seem to be in the Polish countryside, but where?
They also spot a Pact 2½-ton truck, and a motorcycle. Several men hoist them up on the APC’s top deck, and down through the hatch. Inside it’s hard to see.
Elizka recognizes the bass-voiced man. When they ran into the Guz’s agent in Sandomierz (Walerian), he was accompanied by what Elizka had assumed was a bodyguard.
Walerian was nowhere to be seen now. The man was large, Middle Eastern in appearance. Maybe he was more than a bodyguard. He spoke in heavily-accented Polish to the crew; they were preparing to leave, and within 20 minutes or so, the small convoy departs.
The foreigner takes a seat behind driver, another guard seated next to him. The large man says in less-accented English, “I am Doruk. No talking. We talk later.”
The Soviet wheeled APC is both loud (engine and road noise), and the armored hull muffles sounds. Vision is difficult through the many vision slits; fatiguing; the driver goes slower than in a civilian vehicle. Prisoners still have their hoods on, hands tied.
The prisoners take in their cramped surroundings, looking for advantage, but there is none to be found. After a couple of hours – it’s hard to be certain – the BTR seems like it’s entering an urban zone, slowing down, it’s less bumpy inside the APC. The driver and passenger are consulting maps. They continue like this for some time. The vehicle stops; you can barely hear the motorcycle continue for a minute or two longer, and then it shuts off too. Everybody waits. Their guard waits in his spot behind the driver, with a clear line of fire into the prisoners. Driver as well. Doruk climbs out the roof hatch, telling the guard, “If they fight, try to keep one of them alive.” He gets out, closes the hatch. Seems like their captors are running an op.
Minutes pass. Some shouts can be heard outside the BTR. The driver starts the APC again, seems to be guiding the APC around the side of a building, then behind. The hatches are thrown open. It’s getting dark out. The prisoners are ordered out, leg hobbles still on, positioned such that their arms grasp the shoulders of the prisoner in front of them. “Heads-down, heads-down!”
They’re being taken in the back entrance of some type of factory, ushered through a Lathe & Grinding room into the hallway beyond. Very industrial place. In remarkably good condition. Lights are on inside. Hallway is lined with die racks on their left. “Heads-down, heads-down!”
Prisoners are placed in the Compressor/generator room. The noisy generator was shut off by workers as the prisoners were brought in. Then the workers are escorted out by captors.
Doruk gestures to the prisoners, “Pull off their hoods.” A guard complies. “Not him.” the foreigner adds, pointing at the fourth man. He seems to be awake now, but says nothing, and his hood remains over his head.
“Where is the Reset Device?” Doruk eyes the prisoners. “You show me where it is; I see you rewarded.”
The prisoners deny knowledge. [Elizka truly doesn’t know, as the party never told her.] Doruk tires of this, and asks again. No response.
“You will tell me, or you will look like him,” Doruk barks out. “Remove his hood,” he says, pointing at the fourth prisoner.
The party finally met Sgt. Cutler in person.
He was in bad shape. He held up the bandaged hand, which appeared to be missing some fingers. “For God’s sake, tell them where the device is.”
Barna Áron first, then William; they both start singing like canaries, spilling their guts to Doruk. …The Reset Device is a tac-nuke, it’s back in Sandomierz, and their CO – Colonel Maks – had the device…
Elizka Madejowa, who’d fled the wrath of Krakow’s crime lord, her former employer and was since earning the party’s trust, was astonished at the cowardice of Áron and William.
Doruk smiled at the revelation, but his pleasure was short-lived. A guard entered the room, and whispered in the leader’s ear. They went outside the room to confer, and Doruk could be heard cursing in an unknown language.
The prisoners were hustled out of the generator room, and through the rest of the factory over to the finished goods area. It was quickly apparent that rifles were manufactured here. AK’s, RPKs, and more. There must have been hundreds racked up.
The prisoners were herded over to where the employees were held captive by yet more of Doruk’s guards. The leader himself was not present.
William noticed that Elizka was shifting her way to a worktable, and made a distraction by stumbling into Áron. It worked too well. [Áron rolled a Catastrophic Failure on Agility.] The big guy fell badly, and injured his left arm.
However, Elizka was able to palm and pocket a cutting knife that had been on the table.
Doruk returned after a while with a guard, clearly vexed and under stress. He was eyeing the trio of prisoners he had from the party, and made a decision.
Turns out, they were in a weapons plant in the ruined city of Radom. The factory was at the far north of the city and had escaped the atomic destruction. The Soviets had maintained a small garrison to keep the gun factory in limited operation. It still had supplies of sheet steel and barrels necessary for limited production for some time.
However, the garrison had been abruptly recalled to Lublin for reasons unexplained. The Guz had informants throughout the region, and Doruk was either ordered to take possession of the facility, or had gone on his own initiative.
But the Guz wasn’t the only oligarch with informants. The Baron Czarny in Warsaw also heard about the Soviet evacuation, and had sent his own forces to Radom.
Doruk had gone to parley, which hadn’t gone well. Just enough to learn that Czarny had superior numbers.
A stony expression on his face, Doruk barked at his guards, nodding at the prisoner trio. “Untie them!”