5 November 2000 0430H

After a cold start, Grant Derek William found his range from across the river with his SVD marksman rifle, picking off a lone ZOMO sentry with one shot.

Inside the theater, Maks and his team pushed farther into the smelly building. The stench of cooped-up humanity grew more oppressive. Maks and Barna Áron had gone ahead up the hallway on the right. Wojciech and the 21st MRD “observer” brought up the rear. Wojciech had dumped a satchel charge in the work room and unspooled wire.

5 Nov 2000 Detention center map main room Wojciech satchel

Here, my youngest son, 9, learned that you don’t keep peeking from the same place. He looked again at the room beyond the theater curtain. Two ZOMO were waiting, aiming at that area.

Twilight 2000 v2.2, page 196: “Aiming at a target or area also enables a character to fire at any target which later moves through his or her line of sight. This is called opportunity fire. To continue waiting for a target to come into view, merely continue to conduct an aim action each turn.”

The Observer parted the curtain slightly, and the guards opened fire. He got hit in the arm.

5 Nov 2000 Detention center map main room shoot-out

Up the hallway, Maks had seen the ZOMO captain duck back into the center office. He tried to get the door open, but a piece of furniture seemed to be jamming the door shut. Barna Áron chose to watch the door to the office above, which turned out to be prescient.

5 Nov 2000 Detention center map captain capture

Unknown to Maks and Barna, the offices had an adjoining door. When Barna saw the door opening, the big guy kicked it. The captain – behind the door – stumbled backwards into the room and down. Barna leaped on him, trying to wrestle him into submission.

Yay! Grappling rules, page 198.

Meanwhile, from across the river, Grant Derek William waited too long to displace. The PK MG nest opened up on him, but it suffered a jam [Catastrophic Faliure] early into its burst, saving GDW from his lapse in judgement.

It was then when William heard the radio call. OP Foxtrot broke radio silence to report two Humvees with Polish 10th TD troops had been dispatched from the nearest checkpoint. They were moving at high speed, would arrive in 3 turns.

My middle son had a decision to make. His uncle could not comment, as Maks’ team was inside the stout Theater Bogusławski. Out of radio contact.

He considered sending his character GDW over to the theater to tell his unit in person, but there was a river in the way. It’d be slow and hazardous if spotted by enemy forces.

He knew that Maks had established a couple of pre-planned call words to the American troops he’d posted outside the Polish perimeter.

My son invoked the call word, “Dazzle”.

“Dazzle” would prompt Feint Teams 1 through 4 to make cautious probing attacks against communist Polish forces in their sector, and retreat if pressed. Hopefully that’d draw forces away from Maks’ team. In theory, “Dazzle” would also set Maks’ Soviet allies to make similar pushes in their sectors.

4 Nov 2000 Kalisz Maks feints

But Maks knew none of this as he jumped into the room where Barna Áron was grappling with the ZOMO captain. The struggle was already turning against the commander when Maks pointed a pistol at his head, demanding surrender in Polish. The man went limp. The duo zip-tied the man, urged him to his feet, and pushed deeper into the theater.

They passed through a supply room with their prisoner, and Maks entered an anteroom for theater ushers. There were two corpses in the small space, a few days dead apparently.

5 Nov 2000 Detention center map corpses

Maks stepped past the bodies and cracked open the door into the grand hall. The stench seeped through the small opening. It was worse than the corpses at his feet.

The cavernous theater was filled with listless civilians. He saw three ZOMO guards withdrawing out the front.

5 Nov 2000 Detention center map prisoners

Maks was content to let them leave. These ZOMO jail guards were both demoralized and inexperienced. He wasn’t sure what to do about the civilians, many of whom looked to be immobile. A few were dead.

It was then he noticed. [Formidable: Observation since he has no medical diagnosis skill – PASSED.].

The bodies had a few swollen lumps here and there. Plague!

Maks and team pulled back into the storage room, kicked out the board shuttering the window: Fresh air and contact GDW by radio.

Grant Derek William told him two Humvees just pulled up, and communist Polish troops were taking positions. A dozen reinforcements in total.

5 Nov 2000 Detention center map Humvee arrives