ambrafoxtrot17
Topic Author
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 17:29

Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Wed 14 Jul 2021, 19:35

This is the right place and the right time to say that throughout this entire Twilight 2000 4th Edition playtest, the behavior of all NPCs has been regulated by a solo RPG device called Mythic Variations II. So I do not decide how the NPCs react to the protagonists. I only decide the actions of the player characters, then each single frame of the NPCs behavior is on Mythic.
On the same note, I do not decide how the story develops. Mythic variation II does that for me as well. So in a way I am as clueless as you readers are before I start writing an installment.


6th of January 1999 Morning shift Weather Fair
Stationary encounter for the day. Refugees, to be dealt with on next shift

“Hand me that parka, will you Sven?” Lieutenant Holtz and the old Swedish militiaman were rummaging among Sven Clothes to find something that the Italian could borrow to put over his fatigues.

“Cute little house you got here for yourself Sven!...There!...I think this one should be OK”. Holtz put on the blue windbreaker and a wool black that Sven gave him, and the two men walked back downstairs where Louise and Ottonese were waiting for them. The specialist looked bored, but his attention level was where it had to be; low grip in his down barreled carbine while keeping a vigil eye on what was going on outside. Holtz holstered his Beretta 92 under the windbreaker, made sure that the safety was on and the four of them walked outside.

“Why the civilian clothes Lieutenant” asked Sven while they were walking towards Mrs. Holmgren’s house.

“For this particular job...trust me old friend, better not to have military uniforms around”.

Sven gave him the puzzled look but didn’t add anything.

When the group arrived at destination, Ottonese was ordered to get lost. “I’ll give you back Miss Berglund when we return to Regimental HQ. If you go there now you’ll find Magli making acquaintance with your first class of students for the A1 module for civilians. Join him; that’s your job for the shift.

“Sir”, Otto chose the shortest formal answer he could give to his officer. Then he turned on his heels and started to walk back to the school.

Louise, Holtz and Ottonese climbed the stair up to the small porch, and Louise knocked at the door. After a while a woman in her thirties opened it.

“Mrs. Holmgren good morning...how are you?”
“How are you Louise...?”
“I am fine Mrs. Holmgren...did Vincent delivered the wood for your stoves that I promised you last week?
“Yes...yes he did” answered the woman with a tired but grateful expression. “He brought it here even earlier than you said he would...thank you Louise”.
“Good, good...I knew he would...I told you he is a reliable fella…”
“Look...Mrs Holmgren...this is Lieutenant Kurt Holtz, the doctor I told you about. He is with the Italian Army. We are here for Vera”.
The expression of the woman went from tired to sad. She looked at Kurt with an indifferent expression.
Louise pressed on...Do you remember?; for that thing we talked about!?”
“Yeah...Louise...I don’t know...Vera is not doing very well these days and…”

Louise put both hands on the woman’s shoulders and looked at her right in the eyes.
“That’s why we are here Emma”, Louis even ditched the Mrs. Holmgren thing, to try and be more convincing. You see, Lieutenant Holtz is specialized in these matters. He’s a military neurologist. If there is somebody that can help Vera, that is him”. Louise pushed the roll, obtaining three successes against Mrs. Holmgren’s one.

“Mrs. Holmgren” intruded Holtz…“I promise you...nothing bad can come to your daughter from this. In the worse case scenario we don’t get any benefits, but nothing bad can come from this. I’ve been working on a lot of similar situation; it always improved things.

With a resigned expression, the woman opened the door completely, letting Louise, Kurt and Sven in. Lieutenant Holtz, quickly looked around to try to understand what kind of family lived there, but didn’t see any particular difference between that home and the others he happened to visit in Stopen: wood stoves going on, modest furniture and that particular countryside smell of the northern farmhouses. For a second, flashbacks of the burnt down farm near Skara danced in front of his eyes, together with the image of the young girl shot in the face and lying lifeless in the snow stained of her blood. Holtz cleared his mind and addressed Mrs. Holmgren again.
“Tell me about your daughter...what kind of changes did you see in her after the incident” asked Holtz feeling a little out of place in defining the group rape of a 16 years old an incident.

“Difficult to say Doctor. She completely retired in an inner word and I have had big problems in communicating with her. The biggest change I have seen though, is that Vera has become very anxious (2 on the mental trauma table). She is scared by everything, whenever she has to come out of her room for anything she becomes very anxious. But I need her to help me with the animals you know. My husband has been drafted in the army and we have not heard from him in months, after the war situation has worsened. The woman erupted in a desperate cry.

Louise immediately took her in her arms, bringing her away from the immediate sight of the two men. Holtz and Sven looked at each other. The Swedish turned his look at the floor. Lieutenant Holtz approached the two women again.

“I am sorry Mrs. Holmgren I really am. We are here to help, and I am sure we can. I promise you…” he looked straight into her brown eyes…“Vera will get better...even stronger than she was.”

Mrs. Holmgren wiped her eyes with a sleeve and she tried to compose herself, Louise still holding her in a hug. “If you want to see her, she is upstairs in her room” said the woman. “I told her that Louise wanted her to meet you. She didn’t take it very well...You know...the anxiety I was talking to you about…”

“You don’t have to worry Mrs. Holmgren” Holtz reassured her. “Like I said nothing bad can come from this” then the Lieutenant turned to Sven. “Please stay with her while we are upstairs.”

Louise delicately knocked at Vera’s room door. The girl who had heard that somebody had been talking with her mother, was expecting the visit.

“Louise is that you?”
“Yes Vera...can I come in?
“Yes”

Louise opened the door just enough to stick her head in. “Hi sweetie, how are you doing ?”
“I am ok...are you alone?” asked the girl perfectly knowing that Louise wasn’t.
“I brought with me the doctor mamma talked you about. He is a very good doctor...I would like you to meet him.”
“I am fine Louise. I am well”
“Oh I know you are Vera” said Louise still peeking into the room. “I just wanted you to talk a little bit with him. You know...he helped me a lot with the war and everything that happened with it, and I thought he could do the same with you. You know...I know what I am talking about. Have I ever given you any bad advice Girl?” Louise gave her friend a roguish smile.
Vera gave her an uncertain smile. “No you haven’t” she said and she slowly got out of bed to open the door all the way.

Behind Louise Kurt appeared and greeted the young girl, unsuccessfully trying to fake a teenager tone that he had actually lost a long time before. Vera went back into the room and sat at her desk chair.
“Hi Vera. I am Kurt...Louis told me a lot about you” Began Holtz trying to make Vera talk.

Vera curled up in her chair hiding her head in her knees a little bit, but said nothing.

“She also told me that lately you had some problems helping your mother with the farm” continued Kurt. “Because you are very unhappy for what happened to you months ago when those soldiers came to take your supply of milk and food for the winter.” Holtz got to the point immediately. No point in going around it. “I am here to help. You see?...all we want is you to be you again, like before”.
“I don’t think I can” answered the girl.
“Oh...I know you don’t Vera...but you know...I have helped many girls who had happening to them what it happened to you, and they didn’t think they could do it either.” Holtz purposely cut the sentence at that point.
“Here?” asked Vera
“No in Africa years ago. You know...there has been a terrible war going on in Somalia. An even older war than this one. I was there at the beginning of the nineties and we had to deal with a lot of girl women and also children who had the same troubles you went through. Like I said, they also thought they couldn’t make it.”

“But I really can’t” Vera started to cry… “it has not been my fault” she started to cry even more… “it was their fault, I didn’t do anything to them” she screamed.

“Shit” thought Holtz, while Louise took her friend in her arms to try and calm her down.

A few seconds after, Mrs Holmgren stormed the room, to see what was going on. She looked at her daughter and then at Holtz and Louise with an expression that clearly meant that the situation had been a common occurrence for months.

Holtz decided to change his strategy and go into patient agitated mode. He prepared his 2d8 persuasion dice and his counseling specialty, which would boost one of those to d10.

“We all know it wasn’t your fault Vera. We all know it was theirs. But we cannot change what happened. What we can do, is to engage you in something that will help you regain the power and the confidence you had before. And if you let me, I will help you doing just that.” stated Holtz very assertively. The girl had cut short any chance of soft approach from the very beginning and it was the time to force the issue. 30% of sessions went like that.

Lieutenant Holtz decided that he had to risk to meet Vera’s reaction head-on. She looked at him, looking for answers, but he hit her with questions:

“Do you feel powerless??” 7-7 Two successes on persuasion
“Yes!”
Do you feel like your confidence had been robbed from you together with your body??” 4-10 Two successes
“Yeeeess!!”

Louise and Mrs Holmgren were astonished but didn’t interfere.

“Do you feel like you want to dish some of that pain back?” 3-5 push roll 4-9 One success
“Yes!” She started to regain composure.

“If you work with me, you will have your ego back, your confidence back, together with you power and I will teach you how not to let anything like that happen again to you or to anybody else you care about...do you think you want to do that?...No more fear, and no more pain. Do you want to get there?” 2-1 push roll 6

Vera looked at him with a firmer expression, tears coming down her cheeks. Her lips were quivering.

“I will try”… “fuck the meager six on my push roll; success but not great” tough Holtz before pressing on.

“You will not only try; you will succeed!!” He looked at her defiantly now. 8-6 Two successes.
“OK” answered Vera.

“There is a friend of mine. He is an expert in self defense techniques. He is a very funny guy”, lied Holtz on all accounts about Ottonese. You will start to work with him; he will teach you military hand to hand combat. At the same time you will be focusing on something specific, which will keep you busy and out of this room. After he is done with you, nobody will be able to lay a hand on you again unless you want them to”. Holtz stopped and looked for her reaction after he implied than in the future she might want to have someone touch her again; a critical element in all cases of sexual abuse.

“OK”

“Then you come to me after each session to tell me how you did” He stopped again.

“OK”

“Then you promise me that you will help mamma again with her things. I’ll be there for you to help too any time I can.”

“YES! OK” Vera projected ahead with her mind and her answers became more assertive.

“And then I have a secret for you. We are thinking about a project to reopen at least one school in town. We will put all the bad things behind us and we will learn to deal with them...what do you think?”

“I will kill you if you have the school reopened.”

They all laughed. And that was a progress already.



Vera on her way to the first session of Mr. Ottonese's Alpine Recon Hand to Hand combat course
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Posts: 55
Joined: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 17:29

Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Fri 16 Jul 2021, 19:07

6th of January 1999 Day shift Weather Fine

At check point “Bus” at the 17th company Headquarter, tension quickly mounted when the two Alpini on watch spotted an approaching party of civilians: two fighting age males at least one of them was armed with an handgun, accompanying three females and three children.
Corporal Bartoli and Alpino Scanna were on duty manning the recently fortified position based on a double rampart on both sides of the road, reinforced with sand bags. The position on the right sported a TOW launcher, assigned from HQ, just in case something heavy showed up in town, but it wan’t be necessary in that situation. What was required in that situation was calmness, equilibrium and a cool head. Armed civilians with women and children were the worst possible encounter in Bartoli’s book. He grabbed the horn.

“MANGUSTA...this is ISTRICE check point east...we have a party of civilians, at least one of them armed. with women and children approaching how copy?”
“Tz a good copy ISTRICE. Stand by we are coming to assist. Stand by and contain, confirm over.”
“WILCO MANGUSTA over ‘n out”

Major Siviglia, rushed out of the classroom he used as his office, bringing AQUILA UNO (Jonna) with him, and exited in the courtyard where Ottonese and Magli were busy with the weapons familiarization course for the civilians. He gave Ottonese the 5 raised fingers, which meant armed civilian at the gates, and ordered him to follow him. Ottonese dropped everything he was doing and followed Siviglia to the VM-90. Before leaving, the Major ordered Magli to suspend every other activity and assume protection of AQUILA DUE (Louise). All the Alpini involved automatically went in weapons and equipment check mode. While the VM was in motion, Ottonese even chambered a bullet in his SCP-70 feeder, secured the weapon and checked his sidearm. Siviglia looked sideways and told him not to get too excited. During the short transfer to check point BUS, Ottonese found the time to wear the flak jacket hanging on the passenger seat back.

The transfer lasted no more than two minutes. When the VM reached the location, there was already a lot of agitation on site. Siviglia rolled his eyes and dismounted from the vehicle.

He saw Corporal Bartoli trying to calm down a woman with zero success, probably because of the language barrier. Mrs. Berglund and Ottonese rushed out as well. Bartoli reported that two armed men managed to make a run for the house that he indicated to Siviglia, and had barricaded inside, taking the occupants hostages. The woman Corporal Bartoli was ttrying to calm down, had managed to run away before being forced to follow them in the house as well. With the two kidnappers there were also the two women, two teenage girls and a male child who came with the party. Mrs. Berglund took the woman head on to understand what was going on. The conversation switched to Swedish.

“They are crazy” the womam told Mrs Berglund “and they are desperate. They were inmate of the Tibro prison. When the bomb hit they managed to free themselves and to came to my neighborhood. They recovered their wives and their daughters. Elsa, Anton’s wife came to my house and convinced me to join them. She told me we would have find a safe place with food and no radiations, but we have already been turned down in two or three villages. Anton said that we would get the food one way or another...Please! Do something! They have my son! He is only five!! Please!” cried the woman who at that point had completely lost it.

Mrs. Berglund tried to calm the woman down and then turned to Major Siviglia to summarize the entire story in English.

“Shit” was first Siviglia thought. “How many people live in that house?” was the first thing he asked Mrs Berglund. The Mayor in turn immediately asked some of the people who had come out of their houses to see what was all the commotion at the Italian guard post.

“Thats’s Ella’s house said one of the locals on the scene. She lives alone with her daughter. Her husband is missing. He worked in a bank in Skovde.

Siviglia tried to do some math: “2 kidnappers and 3 sure hostages and 4 potential hostages. Fucking nightmare” was his first thought. First thing he asked to the men of the 17th company to keep all the civilians at a distance. Not that there was a big crowd anyway.

“Specialist” siviglia turned to Ottonese “I think you should get in the VM and swap your carbine for the PSG-1. Recon around and find the best vantage point were to place a sniper OP. Also call Lieutenant Holtz over the radio, I need him here to see if he can reason with these BRAVOS. Tell him to get Magli here as well, in case we need to assault the house as last resort, God forbid.

Then the Major addressed Jonna again. “Please Mrs Berglund” see if there is any local here who can give us a precise idea of the layout of that house.”

In a few minutes she found a girl who would often go to Ella’s house to visit her daughter and asked her to make a sketch of the house rooms and their layout.

While all that was happening, Magli arrived on the scene trotting with Michael Quincy on tow.

“What are you doing here?” asked Siviglia first thing to Quincy. I didn’t request your presence.
“I heard there was a hostage situation saar. Please let me help with this. I am skilled in this kind of things. I did some jobs in Northern Ireland. I heard there are children involved.”

Siviglia looked at him quizzically. “I didn’t know that British Infantry does hostage rescue ops. Mr. Quincy; certainly it is not the primary task of Italian infantry. I have a recon sniper with me and an infantry man that is particularly good at shooting, but I would not classifying him a direct action guy. Are you Mr. Quincy? Because if you are not I can’t certainly risk the live of those civilians and yours.”

“Saar. I told you I did this before in Northern Ireland with the Green Jaikets. You can trust me. If you have to breach, you can count on me besides whatever other asset you have here saar.”
Siviglia gave him the inquisitive stare for a few seconds.
“Do you know our SCP carbines?”
“Yes saar.”
“Get in the vehicle, arm yourself, and standby.”
“Yes Saar.”

While Siviglia was having this discussion with the Englishman, Holtz arrived on the scene as well.

“We have two armed kidnappers barricaded with 7 hostages, 4 of which are their own relatives. The other two are mother and daughter occupant of the house and a male child. They are looking for food and relief and they are dangerous according to another member of the party that managed to break free from them.”

Holtz comment, was standard: “Shit”
“I say we give them what they want and let them go.” the Lieutenant said.
“Will try to do that Lieutenant. But we also need to be prepared to any other options.”
“I see”
“The Englishman insists that he can be part of an assault team if we need it. I have Ottonese at sniping and Magli as an assaulter. If we run out of option and we need to breach, we might use a second door kicker.”said Siviglia.
“Quincy?”
“Yes, Quincy”
“Is he qualified?”
“He says he is”
“Hmmm”. Don’t worry, we’ll not get to that. These suckers are out of here anyway. It’s not that they can convince us to give them refuge by killing civilians. They will ask for some food and get out of dodge.

Holtz and Siviglia talked again to the woman than was with the kidnappers, to ask her if the guys spoke English, which she confirmed. That would make things easier for Holtz.
If he had to go through a translator, it would be much more difficult.

Before moving out Ottonese went to the VM to get his sky mask and his anti reflection goggles; then started to search for a good position where to put the sniper OP. After sometime and some cursing, he spotted a small hill which commanded two sides of the house. He set up his PSG to proceed to a preliminary check of the location.

While Quincy was checking up his equipment, Holtz approached him. He saw that he was checking a Beretta Carbine he took from the VM.
“Do you know the mechanics of that weapon?” asked Holtz.

Quincy had his sky mask pulled up on his forehead. He turned his head and looked sideways at Holtz.
“It’s a fine weapon saar” He put down the Carbine and started to check his HP-35 sidearm.

Seeing all that weaponry shuffle, Holtz tried to cool off the Englishman.
“Don’t get too heated man. The assault option is pretty improbable. First of all these people just want some food from us, may be some ammo and then they’ll probably shove off.
“I’m not heated saar, just preparing if it comes down to the option of taking down the terrorists”
“Terrorists?” These a just desperate people that nobody wants to help”
Major said they were inmates, plus they are threatening mass violence to reach their goals. They are terrorists to me.”

Holtz gave him an investigative look.

“And saar, I certainly hope we can solve this pacifically, but if we can’t and we have to breach, I suggest you give me the command of the assault.”
“And why is that Mr. Quincy?”
“Well saar; I the old days I fought IRA terrorists in Northern Ireland. I’ve done this before with my old infantry regiment before becoming a security guard.

After ten minutes of preparation, the entire regiment minus the mortar battery was on site dealing with the situation. Ottonese had set himself in position with his backpack as a support for the sniper rifle.

“DARDO in position radio check over”
DARDO this is MANGUSTA...LIMA CHARLIE Sitrep over”
“The windows are obscured at this time. According to the layout you provided me, I command the Living room and the bathroom window. I don’t have eyes on any targets over.
“Stand by DARDO”
“Roger”

Holtz made sure that the area around the building was secured, checked his commos, and finally took the bold step of walking in the open towards the target house. The sunset was on them already, so Holtz proceeded with a torch his hand.

“Anton” yelled Holtz when he was closer to the house. The woman that came with the party told the Lieutenant that Anton was the leader among the two kidnappers and also the most dangerous.

“I know that you speak English...I am Lieutenant Kurt Holtz of the Italian Army. We are responsible for the security of this town. Whatever it is that you want, there are other ways to obtain it than to threaten the life of innocent people. Please; tell me what your problems are.”

Holtz stood for a while in the street in freezing temperature, but got no response. Meanwhile Louise Berglund arrived on the scene and reached her mother at the coordination center that was the VM-90. In the driving seat there where Corporal Bartoli and Major Siviglia on the radio to coordinate everything. Louis peaked from the pintle mount on the roof of the vehicle, from which the MG-42 had been removed in order to place it at check point “Car Dealer”. In the passenger compartment Magli and Quincy were nervously waiting, checking and rechecking their equipment. Finally at the Sniper, OP Ottonese for a change was cursing all the possible deities for how cold he was, despite the thermal fatigues.

“Anton...please can you at least answer me? Give me a sign that the people with you are ok! I am here to listen to what you have to say. I am here to resolve this without anybody getting hurt. I know your family is with you. Give them a chance, and gives us a chance too...please”.

After another minute or so of silence, a light turned on in the living room.

“NIBBIO...this is DARDO...I have eyes on one of one of the BRAVOS. I believe he started a fireplace or something. He’s about to come to the southern window. He has hold of an adult female over.
“Copy that DARDO”

One window of the living room opened and the man that presumably was Anton appeared shielded behind his hostage.

“Listen carefully Italian, because I’m not going to repeat it” he said. “In one hour I want that beautiful vehicle of yours with the following things in it: a full tank, one month of food and water for 6 people, two assault rifles and 10 magazines for each rifle. I want Winter clothes for 6 people as well. If you do that, we will give up the son of that bithc that betrayed us and the two hostages that we have. If you don’t, in one hour we kill the hostages and we kill them all; then you can send your soldiers in, and we’ll try our chances to take some of them to hell with us as well. We’ve got nothing to lose Italian, starving to death of freezing to death are the only alternatives for us. So do your math on how serious we are. There will be no further contacts or negotiations.”

Holtz remained petrified in the middle of the road. Anton didn’t give him much maneuvering room and sounded very determined. Besides the point about the nothing to lose stuff made sense. The tragedy was that he made the decision for all the parties already, included his own.

“NIBBIO this is DARDO. The BRAVO is armed with a revolver...no eyes on the other hostages or on the second BRAVO over”.
“Roger DARDO stand by out”

Holtz didn’t even try to talk to back to Anton. He instead marched back to the VM to confer with Mrs. Berglund and Major Siviglia. They were both very concerned.

“Jesus Lieutenant” said Siviglia, “the requests are crazy...way more than a little bit of food.”
“Yeah this guys doesn’t aim at surviving. They want to be set for a log time”
“There is no way we can accept those request” interrupted Mrs. Berglund. If news that we did spreads, we sill have the refugees of the entire country here in a week.

Siviglia read again that intransigence that had already noticed once in Mrs. Berglund when she dealt with the less belligerant refugees of the week before.

“Mrs. Berglund, do you realize that that the alternative is an assault that would put the hostages lives at risk, aren’t you?”

“I am aware of that Major but what can we do! Do you want to give to those thugs one of your best motor assets, your weapons? Do you even have 20 magazines for the assault rifles? This Anton guy won’t even negotiate on a compromise.

Major Siviglia didn’t know if to admire or despise the attitude of the Mayor of Stopen. In any case warned Quincy and Magli to prepare for action and radioed the same order to Ottonese on the little hill.

“MANGUSTA...here is DARDO” Ottonese came over the air. BRAVO 1 remains in the living room with the hostage sitting on the sofa. One minute ago I’ve got eyes on a second woman entering the room. Could be BRAVO 1’s wife. She left shortly after going through the rightmost door; the one that leads to the bedrooms. Good chances that the other hostages with BRAVO 2 and the NOVEMBERS are in one of those rooms or both.

“Tz a good copy DARDO good update...standby over”

Holtz made a last attempt to soften up Anton, but received no answer at all. The man was really serious about his business, nothing like the hostage situations in the movies. Then he went to consult with MANGUSTA again to exchange opinions.

While the two Italian officers were talking, Quincy tapped the passenger front window of the VM. Siviglia lowered it.

“Given the situation, if you decide to act instead than giving in, we need to move immediately when the fuckers don’t expect it yet. The more we get close to the deadline, the more they will be alert and ready.”

Siviglia exchanged a look with Holtz and they had to agree on that view. The entire op coordination moved in the back of the vehicle to decide how to conduct the operation. Quincy and Magli had laid out a better sketch of the Target house according to the information received by the locals, and updated it with the information given by Ottonese.

“I believe we have only one way to proceed” said Quincy. Oghtowneees is good where he is. He will take a shot at Bravo one, at the same moment we conduct the breaching operation. Now...we are not sure about where the hostages are. We know that they might be in the bedrooms or they might be concentrated in one single room. We don’t have the time to collect detail intel on that. We can only hope that when we approach we’ll be able to determine the exact positions by observation If not, Magleee and I will have to storm both rooms at the same time going through both windows. We don’t have any flashbangs or anything like that, so we have to bet everything on speed of execution, aggressiveness and fire accuracy. Quincy looked a Magli, who had a concerned expression. He was a good shooter all right, but he had never executed such a high pressure operation.

“With the quick sweep we conducted while Holtz talked to the guy we learned that both rooms are alight, so we may assume there are people in both rooms. Like I said we hope to collect accurate intel once we are in our breaching positions. If we do I’ll call an audible on the spot.

“I think that the NOVEMBERS are in one of the two rooms alone, while BRAVO 2 is in the other with the hostages. That’s what I would do if I was the bad guys and it’s also the most logical thing to do. So one of the two bed rooms doesn’t contain a fighting age armed male. The other room is the jackpot for all the money” said Siviglia looking at the sketch of the house.

“Tz a good call” agreed Quincy. And after a moment of reflection he looked at everybody:

“What do you think Gentlemen. If we want to move we need to move now.

Everybody looked at Siviglia and at the Berglund Girls. Nobody had any further objections.

“Ok let’s go...Green Light” Siviglia finally sentenced. He and Holtz took residence in the driving compartment. Holtz grabbed the radio:

DARDO this is NIBBIO...mi ricevi? (do you copy?) over”
“Go ahead NIBBIO”
“Do you have a shot on BRAVO 1”
“It’s a danger close shot; BRAVO 1 keeps the hostage near at all times.”
“When we execute, take the shot FRECCIA...show me those balls that you wanted to display so hard in Skara man”, Holtz violated the radio protocol to pump up his man, under the quizzical stare of Siviglia.

Ottonese took a moment to respond to that call. At the end he sighted in his sky mask
“Roger that NIBBIO. I stand by for execution. over”

Quincy and Magli debated a little big longer if to take sidearms or carbine as dynamic entry weapons. In the end they decided that for the stopping power of the 5.56 caliber over the better handling of a pistol at very close range. They both took a hammer with them to breach the windows, lowered their camo sky masks on their faces and disappeared in the dark, to make the detour which would take them to their staring positions hopefully unnoticed.
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Sat 17 Jul 2021, 13:51

This is the crudest post I have written so far. It reflects the terrible world of Twilight 2000 more than any other posts I have written so far. Discretion is advised especially if minors read this thread, which in my opinion they shouldn’t do in the first place. Of course the moderators are free to delete this post if the think it is in any way inappropriate or too graphic. I would then rewrite it in softer style. The idea is to plunge the reader in the tragedy of a world with the characteristic of the setting depicted in this game. I personally think that a real world Twilight 2000 would be much more catastrophic and grim than any game or any play test could ever depict.


Quincy and Magli turned around the house next the target, in order to approach covertly from the backside. Their starting positions were at the backyard windows of the two bedrooms. With the help of the darkness and of their camo battle uniforms they managed to make it to the target house wall unnoticed. Magli was nervous but confident. Quincy had given him a crush course on the conventional signals he would use to communicate with him, considering that the barrier language would prevent them to communicate efficiently. For that kind of op though, extensive communication wasn’t necessary.

It was an exceptionally quiet night, like most nights in Stopen even before those troubled times. Quincy and Magli glued themselves against the wall, holding their carbines barrels up ready to train them on any target of opportunity. Quincy signaled to Magli to keep low, while he peeked through his designated window. He got a single nod by Magli in response.

Very carefully Quincy applied force in his legs to lift his head above the window sill, but inadvertently he slipped on a rock and caused it to roll down the ditch which surrounded the house on that side. Quincy cursed at the pain on his calf but managed to look in the room. No male in that room, only women standing in the room chatting to each other. They didn’t looked alarmed by the noise he made

Quincy grimaced and signaled to Magli that they would breach the other room. He put two fingers close to his eyes then gestured at the window where Magli was standing; then he pointed at himself. Magli moved just as much he needed to let Quincy join his position. Then the Englishman again raised above the sill level to peek inside the second room. After a 3 and a 1 on the recon roll, Quincy finally managed to roll a 9 on the push. His black sky mask raised a few inches beyond the level of the window. And the imponderable happened: the second bedroom was empty.

Quincy cursed again, this time with real bad intentions: BRAVO 2 with the hostages had to be in the bathroom. “The bastard really dind’t take any chances”. Quincy pushed the transmission button of his radiotelephone. For him Major Siviglia was not MANGUSTA given the pronunciation difficulties. So Siviglia was given a new code name of the execution portion of the mission.

“LIVERPOOL, this is GREEN...the hostages are in the bathroom, I repeat in the bathroom with BRAVO TWO. I will call a different play. Over ‘n out”.

Siviglia cursed silently. At that point the operation was in the hands of Quincy and he could do nothing more to influence it. Nor there was a chance to abort it. All the hostage would have died, included two children. May be the two terrorist could go as far as killing their own relatives.

“EIGHT...GREEN speaking...can...you...shoot...bathroom?” Quincy articulated any single world very slowly. Ottonese needed to understand.

“Negativo GREEN! room no visibility.” Ottonese cursed the lack of batteries for his night vision scope.

Quincy brain started to work at supersonic speed. The simultaneous breaching action was now out of the window. With part of the hostages in the bathroom, they would have to eliminate BRAVO 1 first, go through the living room and then storm the bathroom. In that crucial time, BRAVO 2 would have had the time to shoot the two children who were in the bathroom with him. Quincy stood out of that window for what to Magli felt like an eternity. Than suddenly he raised his head. He looked at Magli and gestured silent entry in the empty bed room and then assault in the living room. Magli again gave him a single silent nod. Then Quincy grabbed the horn again and whispered in it.

EIGHT...you...assault...I repeat...assault...bathroom...get...ready...negative...sniper...I repeat...negative...sniper...you...assault...one target...two hostages...understand??”
“Roger GREEN...I go there...you command execution over”
“EIGHT go...to...position”
“I go to position” confirmed Ottonese

No time for Ottonese to go back to base camp to retrieve his Carbine. He left the PSG-1 in place with his backpack and he checked his sidearm. He chambered a bullet and moved towards the house. He tried to move as obliquely as he could in direction of the bathroom window, in order to avoid detection. When he got to the window, the Alpino Recon flattened himself against the wall holding his Beretta 92 with both hands barrel down between his legs. He froze still and held his breath for some seconds to see if any reaction came from the room. It didn’t. Ottonese punched the horn button.
“GREEN...EIGHT in position...over”
After two seconds his earpiece hit his drum…
“Stand by EIGHT”
Otto didn’t know what stand by meant. So he repeated…
“GREEN EIGHT in position over”
Very slowly Quincy reformulated.”
EIGHT...Wait...my...order...I repeat...wait...my...order”
“Roger GREEN. I wait.”

Ottonese thought that he had to peak in the window to see if the hostages were there. They had to be; there was no other room in the house they knew about, but he needed to be sure. While he waited there he suddenly heard some moaning coming from inside. That confirmed that the room was occupied. The noise was muffled by the window glass, but was definitely a moaning sound.

Ottonese carefully and slowly pushed on his quadriceps, his back against the wall. The slowness of the movement made his legs burn, but the adrenaline pumping tons, made him insensible to that at the moment. He very carefully moved his head laterally to put eyes on the interior. Even though Ottonese didn’t know it, but he had got a +1 modifier on his recon roll because BRAVO 2 was busy in there. When Ottonese pushed his head enough to peek in the room he realized on what. It was dark in the room, but at that distance he could see enough.

A little boy was sitting naked from his waist down on what it looked to be a washing machine, while an adult was on a semi naked young girl sitting on the toilet. Ottonese could swear the man had a hand on the boy’s groin at the same time.

Horrified he let himself slid back down against the wall. He partially lost control of his movement and he landed hard on his bottom. He remained in that position staring away from that window wide eyed

“Shit...Shit...Shit…!!!”. He tried to control his breath and his heart rate...didn’t manage to do either. He threw his handgun in the snow and put his hand on his bayonet sheath located on his chest. He was still breathing heavily. The distance between hostages and captor would require a hand to hand weapon. Then he started to pray for GREEN’s order to execute, his pre action anxiety completely suppressed by other emotions.

Quincy tried to force the window of the bedroom open without making too much noise. Without proper tools it was not easy, but his Tech skill with the locksmith specialty came handy, and he succeeded in doing the job. He and Magli had an entry point into the empty bed room. Slowly Quincy opened the window, and held it for the Alpino.

While the Italian was climbing on the sill, Quincy put his index finger perpendicular to his lips under the mask. Magli slowed down his movement. He was the weakest of the two in recon skill so the roll to get in position unnoticed was on him. With the -1 for one hex distance canceled by the fact that the target was in a separate room, Magli throw the dice. 8 and 2. The Anglo Italian assault team flattened on the two sides of the door between the bedroom and the living room and prepared for dynamic entry. Some light filtered from the living room through the door interstices.

The two men strengthened their grips on their weapons and looked to one another. They nodded at each other. No more time to waste.
“I shoot first...you...reserve” whispered Quincy. Magli gave him a nod.

Quincy pushed his transmission button.
EIGHT...in...position?”
“In position GREEN”
EIGHT execute at my 6...5...4...3...2...1…GO!!! GO!!! GO!!!

Time slowed down to a crawl in Quincy’s world. Magli slammed the door open and the Englishman darted inside walking quickly but calmly, carbine trained in front of him, glued to his cheek. He had surprise and the lower initiative card: a 5 of diamonds which he picked over a 9 of clubs because of his combat awareness specialty. A woman was sitting on the sofa. At the moment Quincy rushed in BRAVO 1 was putting some wood in the fireplace. He turned towards the bedroom door an astonished expression on his face. Quincy instantaneously adjusted his aim, while still moving and double tapped at the target placing both 5.56 bullets in his chest. The target was slammed against the frame of the fireplace and collapsed on the floor. Magli, mouth opened was still at the door in between the two rooms.

Ottonese calculated his movement and threw himself with all his considerable weight at the bathroom window crashing right through it. While he dived on his target, he got a quick glimpse of his red face and his surprised expression. The target raised his head towards him exposing his throat. He was still on the girl who instinctively also turned at him. The image fixed in Ottonese’s brain and he didn’t know if it would ever go away. The girl had a semi unconscious expression, and tears down her face. In that fraction of a fraction of the smallest fraction of a second, Ottonese decided to aim the blow at the man's neck, compensating the aimed shot -2 with the diving attack +2. He rolled the dice and a primordial cry came out of him, but he only managed a superficial cut on the man’s neck. Both ended up prone on the floor of the tiny room. Then, after the initial surprise, they drew for initiative: Otto a 3, the pedophile a 6. “The cards gods of war know justice” thought Ottonese.

Ottonese heard the children’s screams in the background. Couldn’t say which one of them was screaming or if it was both of them. He didn’t have a chance for another aimed blow in the second round, so he simply hit again randomly while on top of his enemy. He and the bastard were both prone so the modifiers balanced. The terrorist didn’t manage to block the stab and Ottonese plunged the blade right in his mouth, scoring a critical, shattering all man’s front teeth and doing three more damages to the back of his neck, which piled up with the two damages scored of the previous round. Blood squirted from the man’s head and he laid incapacitated one the floor.

Quincy quickly checked the entire room with his carbine still smoking; left to right to be sure there were no more targets in sight. Then he screamed...CLEAR!!

Magli took off his sky mask and walked towards the petrified woman, still frozen on the sofa.
“Signora, Esercito Italiano, you...free.”

The woman erupted in a liberating cry. Then she suddenly paused.
“My daughter...she screamed...my daughter is in the bathroom!!”

Quincy sharply turned at her… “your daughter is safe. She’s already out of here”, and he hoped that his statement would come true.

Quickly Magli escorted the woman out of the main house door. They both run those 50 meters which separated the house from the VM.-90, where she was taken care by Caporal Bartoli and Louise, who had a blanket ready for her.

Ottonese took a couple of seconds to recover from the savage fight he had with the Swedish thug. It was the first time he killed a man in such a way. He looked at him with disgust, before turning to the kids. The girl could have been 13 or 14 years old. She was looking at him with a beaten expression. For a moment It seemed to Ottonese that her eyes were asking what else he would do to her. Her dirty face, her shredded clothes, the blood between her legs, and her position, almost lifeless on that toilet, made Otto heart sink to the bottom of hell. He frantically took off his thermal jacket and wrapped it around her. Then he put the hood on her head for good measure. The Boy had jumped down of the washing machine and he was trying to pull up his pants. He was still sobbing for the shock. Ottonese looked at him.

“Tutto finito...tutto finito...go home...go to mamma”.

The kid did not say a word. Ottonese exited the room through the same window he had crashed through and then very carefully extracted the two children one at a time making sure that they didn’t cut themselves on the shattered glass. Once they where safely in the open, Ottonese recovered his pistol still on the ground near the wall and lifted the girl in his arms because she didn’t seem to be able to walk. He started to walk downhill towards the base camp, holding the boy’s hand with his free arm. He decided he would recover his rifle and backpack later.

After a few steps, he saw Holtz running towards him with a flashlight. The lieutenant pointed the flashlight at Ottonese and at the kids. He immediately understood things were no good. When he got close to his man, he saw he had tears coming down his face. Ottonese delicately handed over the girl to Holtz, then he looked at the boy, who was still holding his right hand.

“Another couple of shattered souls for you to fix Lieutenant. The Godless pig who did this...I killed him.”

Holtz gave a compassionate look to his man. Then they both walked back towards the VM. There they found Quincy smoking a cigarette while leaning against the vehicle, after he escorted the relatives of the two terrorists out of the house as well.

“Are the children ok?” asked the Englishman?
“They are alive” was the dry answer from Holtz. “And Quincy?”
“Saar?!”
“Thank you”
“Saar!!”
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Posts: 55
Joined: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 17:29

Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Sun 18 Jul 2021, 20:25

07th of January 1999

Ottonese was advancing carefully from one room to the next, carbine glued to his cheek pointed ahead. All the walls of the ruined building were gray and glowing with moon light reflecting on the wet surfaces. It was dark and rainy. He looked up at the sky. The house didn’t have any roof, and the rain poured down in the house in industrial quantities. He felt wet, cold and miserable. While moving Ottonese looked at the floors covered in glass and debris. He had to be careful not to trip in a place like that; he would fall on something sharp and seriously cut himself. He took one more step towards the door in front of him and then suddenly froze when he saw another combatant entering the room.

It was Holtz; Ottonese could recognize his his particular way of moving. He entered the ruins from the opposite side. The Lieutenant kept his handgun trained in front of him, holding it with both hands, while he advanced in the dark. He walked towards the same wall Ottonese was trying to reach. While advancing tactically and slowly, Holtz moved his eyes on him. He didn’t move his head which he kept aligned with the weapon. He moved his left hand off the pistol grip still holding the weapon pointed in front of him with the right one, his finger alongside the trigger guard.

Holtz gestured him to stop. Then he pointed at the door with his free hand, and shook his head.

“Leave her to me” said Holtz. “She is mine” insisted the lieutenant while giving him a smart ass smile.

Ottonese didn’t listen and resumed his movement. Holtz desperately tried to talk to him, but the specialist didn’t seems to understand what he was saying.

He opened the door and almost immediately saw little Agda, the girl he had saved in her mother house, run towards him from a deep black and gray corridor. She run towards him desperately. Suddenly she was torn apart before she could reach him in an explosion of blood and darkness. Her severed head rolled towards him squirting blood in all directions.

“I can’t feel my legs Luca. You are late!...you are too late!!” the head screamed at him in Italian “Wake up Luca...wake up! Said the girl, this time in English.

The head of Agda disappeared and was substituted by those of Louise and her mother.

“Wake up Luca! Wake up! Louise Berglund was shaking him and Mrs Berglund was holding his head. Ottonese opened his eyes. He had fallen off the sofa on which he slept every night at Berglund girls’ place. Rossi was outside for his routine patrol path around the house.

“Tutto OK...tutto OK” said Ottonese to Louise… “solo un sogno Louise...just a dream.”

“Are you sure you are OK” asked Louise quite worried.

“Sicuro...sure!”

Still concerned, mother and daughter didn’t want to leave him before Rossi returned from his sweep, but Ottonese managed to convince them to to back to bed and that he saw OK.

Once the women were gone, Ottonese grabbed his character sheet from under the pillow. Stress level at four again. The night was supposed to lower it to three, but it wasn’t happening yet. It was the third time that he went to stress four out of his cap of five. Once again he was on the verge of breaking, and once again he stopped just one step from it. He didn’t know how many times he could do that without having his capacity to function compromised. He took a sip from the glass of water that Louise had gave him.

Rossi came back from his patrol right in that moment and saw his boss sitting on the sofa instead of sleeping. He closed the door, shutting out the freezing air and sat besides him.

“You are OK?..It’s two hours till the start of your shift.”
“I’m fine, I just woke up early.”
“Woke up early? That’s not you, but OK!?”

Rossi put the safety on his Carbine and leaned it against the end table; then he changed subject as he noticed that Ottonese was uncomfortable with the are you really OK line.
“I talked to Holtz...he is very proud of yesterday action you know?” said Rossi after having stolen Otto’s glass of water to take a sip himself.
“Yeah...I have been talking with Magli...he told me about the Englishman. Do you know what he said?
“What”
“He said that if the Inglese is a supermarket security guard like he claims to be, then he is a Franciscan monk. He said that Quincy stormed that room, faster than he could blink and that he dispatched the BRAVO putting the second round in the same hole he had made with the first one.”
“No shit!
“Yeah…” said Ottonese “No shit!”

When the morning finally came, the mixed instructors team from 17th coy and from recon platoon began their morning instruction routine with the civilians. Alpini Magli and Scanna concentrated on fire weapons and tactical instruction, while Ottonese dealt with the hand to hand part. Otto’s job was more one to one and had less students than the tactical course. At the moment he was teaching to Sven, Karl Albisson, Vincent Horne and young Vera, the girl Lieutenant Holtz was taking care of. The Lieutenant was dealing with several cases of distressed women in town, but Vera was probably the worse one…“at least till yesterday” he sadly thought. Ottonese was starting to appreciate the Lieutenant work, and also him personally as an officer. Too bad it took a streak of tragic events to have him to start changing his mind about his superior.

***

At Regiment HQ in Frösve school, Holtz was interrogating the Women who came into town with the two inmates who seized Mrs Norin house. Two of really said they where their wives, while the third lady, the one that had her little boy taken as a hostage, was kept apart from the other two. When Lieutenant Holtz confronted the wife of BRAVO 2, with the actions he committed, she just put her head down and started weeping,

“Marrying pieces of shit is not a mistake that only Italian women make” thought Holtz looking at that broken starved woman. When Holtz looked at her daughter expression and demeanor, he didn’t take him more than a few seconds to understand that her deceased father must have been a real monster, and that the women were not accomplices, but victims.

“What and endless pile of horrors” he thought looking at that desperate and emaciated teenager, with not a spark of hope left in her once beautiful blue eyes.

As for little Agda, her mother, and the son of the third refugee woman, they were all hospitalized in the small medical facility that Holtz had established in a wing of Frösve School. He had to anesthetize the girl in order to have her let him treat her physical damages. As far as the psychological damages were concerned, judging from the child’s reaction when he tried to examine her, it would be a long tough job. Holtz had just woke up, but felt already tired. He wiped his face with his hand. He didn’t know for how long he could endure that ordeal. He had to talk to Siviglia. The most involved element of the Regiment could break at any moment. Ottonese for example, was really on the verge. He had gone 3 times to stress four and there was a house rule that said that if a subject went on the verge of mental trauma repeatedly that would have the same effect of going over the threshold. In the case of a strong subject like Ottonese 4 times to stress four, would push him in mental trauma territory, even if he never reached his threshold of 5.

A week in Stopen had made Holtz realize something that you never really read on the history books: how really hard the impact of war on civilians was; in particular on women. He always knew that hostilities had a negative on civilians, but what he had seen in person was really worse than he was taught in school. On the verge of 21th century mankind hadn’t changed at all: humans were worse than animals, for animal had only predictable instincts. Humans on the other hand had erratic impulses which led to unpredictable behaviors.

In another other wing of the school, Siviglia and the Berglund Girls were busy trying to find one or more subject with Tech skill high enough to set up a workshop in town. The order of the day was to build a mill, and then to put enough bodies into wood gathering to be able to start to produce fuel; a valuable commodity to trade with other settlements. The personnel required for the construction of a mill had to have Tech skill, better if accompanied by the Blacksmith specialty. Unfortunately it turned up there was nobody in town with that kind of expertise, which meant that they would have to organize another mission in order to find such personnel somewhere else. Alternatively they could use Quincy and his own tech skill. But he did not have the Blacksmith specialty, plus he might not like the idea to play Michael the plumber. Also, after the latest events, it did not seem prudent to divert any troops from the town defense and send people around on missions. That matter would require hard decisions in the very short term. If the town wanted any hope to survive as a community it had to start producing something valuable and soon.

***

In the courtyard of the school, Ottonese was working with his students. He really put himself all in when he did that. His teaching methods weren’t very orthodox - he had never been a teacher before - but for sure they were in line with the circumstances. He taught his students to kill or incapacitate as quickly as possible through any possible mean, acting on surprise speed and aggression, and than run. The fact that his English was very limited was a good thing; few words and a lot of action.

Holtz appeared on the scene while Otto was having a session with Vera. The Lieutenant waved and smiled at her. She smiled back for the first time since he had met her.

“Mental Vera...mental situation counts most” yelled Ottonese while she hit him; hard. The students didn’t have any punching bags, so they used Ottonese who acted as a moving and reacting bag. He grimaced at the girl’s shots.

“Don’t let ugly face of Lieutenant Holtz distract you Vera...you distract...you die!!”.

He would hit her back with limited but growing force every time he thought she was ready to step up. The point was to accustom her to fight, to get hit and to get hurt; gradually. She was so young! She could take it. For the most lethal blows, they used wooden dummies that the carpenter built for them. On these dummies Vera practiced to shatter legs, arms, testicles, eyes etc. Ottonese realized with satisfaction that the teenager loved it. She wanted to do it more and more and she was the first to arrive and the last to leave class. Once, during her third session, her mother showed up to watch. When she saw what Otto was doing to her daughter, she had a heart attack, but she also saw her daughter reacting and hitting back as hard and then some. Mrs. Holmgren had to resign to the fact that her daughter had found something that allowed her to let go all the negative energy that she had accumulated in months. Coming back home banged and bruised was a worthy price to pay for the return of Vera to some semblance of mental health. She was more active, more assertive and more confident. It would be a journey Lieutenant Holtz had told her. But they would get there.

“Anger and control Vera...anger and control” Ottonese screamed at her, while she was on her way to the D level in her close combat skill. “If anger wins you die; if anger is there but control wins you kill. This is not sport Vera. This is life and death”

the settlement registered no encounter for that day, but would have a +1 to the stationary encounter type for the next one.




Ottonese leading his students in the physical calisthenics (Frösve School Gym)
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Mon 19 Jul 2021, 21:07

8th of January 1999 weather Cloudy

Every man of the 8th regiment not involved in critical activities was summoned to the courtyard of Frösve School. The men of the 17th company, Ottonese and Rossi for the Recon platoon and Sergeant Fré and Alpino Rogua for the 202th Mountain Artillery Battery were all aligned in the area the regiment used for the training jobs. A certain number of citizens stood behind the troops to attend the event. Major Siviglia stood at ease position waiting that Mrs. Berglund began the ceremony. After the Mayor was sure that everything was set and ready, she started addressing everybody in English.

“Citizens of Stopen, soldiers of the Italian Assistance Force” She raised her head from the podium to be sure that was listening to her. “Today we are assembled here to recognize our first militia member to have completed the basic infantry training course of the Italian Army. By being the oldest member, and the first men to volunteer with me for the defense of this town after the sad events of last September, it is only right that he is the first graduate of the Italian training program. I am calling here Mr. Karl Albisson, to officially receive his rank of Corporal in the Stopen armed forces”.

In a silent square, Corporal Albisson marched out of one of the school buildings, escorted by the commander of the Stopen Militia Sergeant Sven Lager on his left, and Lieutenant Kurt Holtz of the Italian Army on his right. The group marched towards the center of the courtyard, and turned towards the troops. Specialist Ottonese was holding the Swedish flag and when Albisson stopped in front of him, he tilted the pole forward toward him. Alpino Rogua started rolling the regiment drum.

Lieutenant Holtz stood in front of the ranks and commanded the troops.

REGGIMENTO...AT……..TEEEEEEEEEENTI !!
All the combat boots clicked on the attention.

Holtz pulled out his handgun. “REGGIMENTO...PREEEEE…..SENTAT…….ARM !!

Assault Rifles and Carbines were raised in front of the soldiers.

Without saying a word Lieutenant Holtz turned towards Albisson and marched right in front of him. He removed the trainee band from Karl’s left arm and violently threw it in a trash bin who had been position there for the occasion. Then he pulled out of his pocket an Italian army mountain infantry badge, glued to a new band and put it on Mr. Albisson’s arm in the place if the one he had removed. Lieutenant Holtz moved back one step and stiffened up in an impeccable military salute.

***

“Do you think that the state of things can influences the behavior of people around here Gregorio?” asked Ottonese to his teammate Rossi.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean humans in a situation like the one we find ourselves in, lose their inhibitions and start doing crazy things?”

Rossi swallowed another spoon of chicken soup and looked at his boss.

“Humans have been doing crazy things since prehistory, war or not war. The hell are you talking about?”
“Yes, but now it’s even worse with command structures gone, civilian authorities gone and all that”.
“This little town seems to be doing OK!” stated Rossi.
“Yeah, but for how long? Have you seen the people coming from outside? The situation in Skara? In Skovde? In Tibro? What about the people shooting at not even knowing who we were in the Ekberg forest!”
“If you are alluding to the reject that you killed the other day, I think a scum like that wouldn’t have behaved differently in peace time. It was an inmate already before the war, wasn’t he?
“I asked Holtz, who spoke with his wife. The woman said that he was in for gang related crimes, but nothing like what he did here.”
“So?”
“So, that’s exactly my point. It may be the collapse of everything revealed his hidden dark nature. May be he didn’t even know that he would be capable of such acts.”
“What are you saying Otto?”

Ottonese paused and held the spoon in mid air.

“I am saying that he could happen to all of us. Jesus it could happen to me!” Ottonese looked at his friend, terrorized. What if after enough exposure to this shit I start to do crazy things too? Who says I don’t have instincts I don’t even know I have.”
“Are you saying that out of the blue, you are going to murder people, burn farms, shoot civilians in the face and raping children?” answered Rossi in a teasing tone.
“It’s not a joke Gregorio” answered Ottonese giving him an angry look. We have been insulated on the battlefield in the previous months, but look at this last week or so. Since we have been involved in this civilian shit, things had become more and more brutal. Sooner or later they will become routine and we will have no problem to act like animals ourselves”.

Rossi put down his spoon, and took a sip from his canteen. He gave an intense glare to Ottonese.

“First of all you are soldier. Being a soldier is something more than serving a flag. To tell you the truth I don’t even believe too much in flag shit anymore. I stopped believing in this nationalistic crap since the nukes started to fly. But being a soldier also means to have good ethics. Ethics which dictate you to protect people and not to hurt them.”

“Yeah, go tell that to the Russians we have killed in Kackestad.”
“That is different and you know it”
“Is it?...I start not to make sense of things anymore”
“They didn’t hesitate to Kill Sergeant Vauro didn’t they?...it’s the war! You are just worn out, you have been operating non stop...and do you know why that is?”
“You tell me!”
“It’s because you are the best soldier in this goddamned outfit, and the brass know it. You get all the shit assignments like the assault of the other day, the recon to Skara the other week, and all the other things before then.
“Well?”
“Well you need to take it easy. Mark my words now! Siviglia and Holts will not let anybody to go astray like you fear. The sense of belonging to the regiment will prevent us from losing our souls in this clusterfuck for as long as we belong to the brotherhood. We are the 8th Alpini Ragiment by God, not a rabble of marauders. All we have to do is to stick together and maintain our military honor intact. If we do that we might go through all this shit with our souls in one piece. We might even manage to get home.

Ottonese looked at his man. “I didn’t know you were a fucking philosopher now!”

“Let’s finish our lunch. Today is maintenance day...let’s make the most out of it.” concluded Rossi.

***

Having rolled no stationary encounter for the day despite the +1 modifier the 8th regiment grabbed the chance to dedicate it to hardware maintenance. Holtz walked to Mr. Tomasson garage, which he had reactivated with the help of Michael quincy. The VM-90 was there and the two man were working on the suspension shattered by the Russian Dushka at the battle of Kackestad. Fortunately the job didn’t require any spare parts. The piston of the suspension was undamaged, only the coil needed to be removed and fixed.

“you’re a mechanic too Quincy?” Holtz asked the Englishman nonochalantly.
“Part of the job I learned as a security guard. I was responsible for the vehicles of my team.” answered Quincy sliding from under the VM on a creeper. He was only wearing his arctic camo pants and an oil stained military sweater.

Lieutenant Holtz looked down and gave him a hint of a smile.
“I’ve been speaking with my men. Magli, the soldier that was with you during the hostage crises, said that you looked more like a S.A.S. operator than a mechanic.”

Quincy burst out laughing.

“A S.A.S. operator? Ah...Ah...you Italians have a taste for drama Saar. But you know what?...may be you are right about one thing.” the Englishman suddenly became serious again.
“What’s that” asked Holtz.
“After surviving one year of operations here, everybody becomes a S.A.S. operator. When I was with the Green Jaikets I got deployed a couple of times overseas. I did multiple tours in Northern Ireland, but a shaite like this war Saar, I ain’t ever seen. This is a terrible war Saar, a dark wicked war; much worse than the last one in which mi Granps kicked your maccaroni arses at El Alamein.

Holtz looked at Quincy with the same serious expression. “I am damn scared you might be right my friend” He gave the Englishman a forced smile and left.

Next day +2 for stationary encounters.


Corporal Bartoli leads men of the 17th coy to their weekly weapon maintenance shift
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Tue 20 Jul 2021, 12:11

9th of January 1999, morning shift Weather Cloudy.

Mrs. Berglund and the representatives Mrs Forsberg and Mrs. Lind were all assembled in the conference room of the Frösve Skola. Sven Lager was there too, representing the militia. Major Siviglia and Lieutenant Holtz participated to the meeting as observers. Major Siviglia made clear that the his force didn’t want to be involved in the community decision making process, but that he would give his opinion if so required. The meeting was conducted in English, as were all the meetings which involved the participation of the Italian Assistance Force.

Joahn Olaffson, the electronic technician who had detected Radio Rebirth West End, had a functioning laptop computer which he used to record all the meetings of the municipal council. So far he was the only clerk in Mrs. Berglund administration.

Mrs Berglund as Mayor of the town opened the meeting. She was kind of frustrated for the failure at producing enough food and not very prone to political formalism anyway. So she went straight to the point.

“Our food situation is far from being adequate. We have a certain percentage of citizens who three days out of seven simply don’t have enough to eat. We need to find a way to raise our stock as soon as we can. In our present situation, the best we can do to achieve that is by trade. The point is what do we trade for and with whom. At the moment we can trade spare parts, and some medicines. We don’t have an abundance of those. Depending on the requests we might trade some military services if the Italian Assistance Forces agrees.” Mrs. Berglund looked at Major Siviglia.

“There is even a more urgent point” intervened Mrs. Forsberg. All the plans to raise our food availability are good and well, but it’s long term project. What we can do now is to implement some regulations to better distribute what we already have. Not all the population as you said Madam Mayor suffer of lack of nutrition, but only those have less to offer in terms of skills; the generic workers and the unskilled farmers who work at the outskirts for those greedy families who own the farms.”

Major Siviglia and Lieutenant Holtz looked at each other quizzically.

“And what do you propose exactly Engla?” asked Mrs. Berglund.
“Very simple: the reinstatement of rudimentary tax system. Whoever produces and exchanges something has to give a part of what they produce to the council, which will proceed to an equal distribution of what is available.”

“Are you crazy?” intervened Mrs Lind brusquely…“our last security crises was two days ago, and if the Italian Force wasn’t here we would have had to give up a considerable part of our food to two, I say two! Armed men. Do you think our militia could have resolved the situation? Are you really talking socialist reforms in the middle of this chaos? What is the farmers refuse to adhere to this...this taxation system of yours.”
“We will use the militia to enforce the law and we will seize what’s due”.
“What if the farmers start producing only what’s necessary for their survival and they refuse to exchange?” asked Mrs. Lind more and more incredulous.

Mrs Forsberg started to lose a bit of her coolness. “In that case we will seize the entire farm and reassign it to somebody willing to produce for us, because we gave them the property rights.”

Mrs Lind found that proposition so ridiculous, that her animosity disappeared, and was substituted by sarcasm. “What you are proposing is nothing less that stealing. Our Russian friends work like that and see what they have done!”

“I am sure that if I summon the population for a referendum on this subject, I would have a crushing majority with me.” Answered Mrs Forsberg with confidence. “it is unethical to have inequalities in the availability of basic good.” she concluded looking Mrs. Lind straight in the eyes.

Jonna gave a good investigative look at Mrs Forsberg.
Before the war she was a divorce lawyer and a couple counselor. She had enough contacts in town so that when the Skovde municipality disappeared in the nuclear blast, she was elected by the Stopen citizens as one of the three emergency representatives for the public health committee still in charge at that moment. Jonna didn’t really know her that well. Now she would have rally liked to understand if she was speaking out of genuine interest for the collective good, or moved by a personal agenda in pursuit of a personal power. Jonna thought it over for some seconds, then as it was her costume, snapped a hasty decision.

“I, am the one” she said “who is immediately going to make a proposal Engla: the proposal is your immediate removal from the council committee, because your destabilizing initiative pose a direct threat to the stability of our entire community”...Jonna looked at her colleague Mrs. Lind who immediately gave sign of agreeing with her.”

Major Siviglia and Lieutenant Holtz went from looking at each other quizzically to look at each other worriedly. Sven appeared to be uncertain as well.

Mrs Forsberg manged to make an effort to remain impassive. She even smiled at the two other members of the committee. “I will have you two unseated on this. I will call for a general representative election again. I will find somebody to run for office with me on the basis of my proposal and you ladies will have to simply step down.”

“The elections are not before August” answered Mrs Berglund.
“I will convince the majority of the people to ask for anticipated elections. You have no right to ostracize me just because I demand more equality among our citizens.”. That said, Mrs. Forsberg simply stood up and left.

After Mrs. Forsberg was gone, Jonna spoke again: “I think we can adjourn this meeting” she said We will reconvene when we find a provisional third representative for the council at which point we will resume our council business.

Sven tried addressed Mrs. Berglund and Mrs Lind about the risks of the move she had just made. A second discussion was about to take place when Major’s Siviglia’s radio pack on the desk next to him started to crackle, until the voice of Corporal came out of the speaker.

“MANGUSTA here is ISTRICE came in over”

Major Siviglia excused himself and grabbed the Microphone.

“Go for MANGUSTA…”

“Sir we have a military column approaching from north. The advanced elements are dismounted infantry 350 meters from our position on the road. I am pretty sure there are a lot of troops behind the leadong unit, over”

Major Siviglia had one second of cardiac arrest, but only one. He manged to sound calm and collected once he answered to Bartoli.

“ISTRICE...identify and standby; we’ll be there in two minutes. Over”
“Permission to prep the TOW launcher. I see vehicles, over”
“Granted...but you are authorized to engage only if attacked until I get there. Over ‘n out”

Siviglia grabbed Rossi and gave him his directives: “See where Ottonese is and summon him here. You two standby in the VM in case I need to activate you. Let me be sure than this column is coming from one direction only.”

“Yes Sir”

“Kurt?!” Siviglia turned to Holtz that was fast walking with him out of the school.
“Sir”
“Contact Quincy and tell him to stand by. I don’t necessarily want him around when we conduct our business, but if things turn south, we might need him.”
“Yes Sir!”

Lastly Siviglia switched on the Regiment frequence, accessible also to the Militia:
“All Stations, All stations...here is MANGUSTA...keep your sector under surveillance. We have military units approaching from the north side. Confirm over.”

the 202ns Artillery battery and the militia guarding the other accesses to the town quickly confirmed in rapid succession.

“Let’s move”. Siviglia said to Holtz and Sven.
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Wed 21 Jul 2021, 16:48

It took effectively a couple of minutes for Siviglia, Holts and Sven to get to check point “Car Dealer” where they found Corporal Bartoli and his men in position and nervous. The advanced elements of the unidentified military column had arrived to the corner looking on the town access at about 170m, and had stopped. Probably they had spotted the prepared position of the Italian Army. Siviglia raised his binocs and scanned the situation with the greatest care. The same did Holtz.

“There is a cavalry scout party in front and…” he scanned further with big effort. “Do you see what is there behind the corner?” he asked Holtz with a certain degree of anxiety but without moving his eyes from the binoculars.

“I cannot see” answered Holtz, also with his eyes glued to the binoculars.
“Tanks...big Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks. I see only two, but they might be more”.
“Holy…” Holtz didn’t complete the sentence.
“Well, at least there are fair chances that they are not Russians” commented Siviglia. “When I saw the cavalry I really feared it could be the Goddamned 1st Guard again ” said the Major.

“Yeah...those are Western helmets” confirmed Siviglia after some further examining with the binoculars. Then he turned to Mrs. Berglund.
“Madam Mayor, do you feel like going with me to meet your countrymen soldiers. I believe there is a Swedish armored unit I front of us right there.”

Mrs. Berglund dind’t seem very happy about the appearance of Swedish military forces in town
“Major” she said…“it is better if I go back to my office. Please see what is their intentions and if they need me for any reasons, please send them to my office.”

Siviglia gave her a puzzled look, but did not raise any objection. “Yes Ma’am” was his brief answer, before exchanging a look with Holtz. Mrs. Berglund started to walk back towards the school, and the staring contest between the two Italian officer was interrupted by Corporal Bartoli alarmed announcement:

“Sir, they are deploying! I count five...no seven...I repeat seven battle tanks. They are deploying on the fields on the rightside of the road.”
“They must have spotted us and they don’t know who we are” said Siviglia now pressed for a quick decision.

“Corporal Bartoli; man the TOW and cover my ass. Lieutenant Holtz; summon the QRF with the VM and the other TOW. I’ll go see what these guys are up to.”

“Sir...I must protest...let me go liaison with the Swedish! You shouldn’t…”
“Lieutenant!” interrupted Siviglia annoyed.
“Sir”
“You have your orders.”

Siviglia left the cover of the check point prepared position and ventured on foot along the road praying God that those troops were under some kind of lawful conrtrol. Such an Armored force of marauders or stragglers would have a been a problem. On the other hand Siviglia doubted that such a force could be still operative without some kind of logistical organized structure standing behind it. And structures like that usually weren’t in the hand of marauders.

Siviglia walked calmly towards those tanks which were still maneuvering, rising huge spurts of snow as they quickly moved to their assigned positions. Getting closer Siviglia evaluated the enemy force at an entire armored company with some infantry support. Walking alone towards the unknown military column was not Hollywood heroism; more simply one single man would have not rattled whoever those soldiers were, and secondly, being in command as he was, Siviglia would have never given the task to anybody else period.

Behind a group of trees a Machine gun was rapidly being deployed to cover the road, and one of the Leopards was training its weapons on the road as well; Siviglia could distinctly hear the hum of the turning turret. He continued to advance until one of the two men who manned the MG yelled at him to stop, when the got at about 40 meters from the position. Siviglia stopped, his hands far from his holstered sidearm.

“I am Major Alberto Siviglia, 8th Mountain Infantry Regiment Italian Army.”

A man sneaked out from behind the trees and gestured something at the MG crew, who didn’t relax anyway. He had ro be an officer by the swagger; Siviglia couldn’t say the age as the man’s face was completely blackened by camo paint. One of the hatches of a Tank opened up and another blackened face jumped out of the gigantic vehicle. Both men approached Siviglia. They didn't wear any visible rank. The first man, who getting closer showed an age not too dissimilar from Siviglia’s, spoke and kept it short:

“Brigadgeneral Alexander Falk Swedish Army”.

Siviglia paused for a moment. Then he military saluted the superior officer. The Swedish General hastily returned the salute. Siviglia tried to assume a martial tone.

“Sir my regiment is guarding the town of Stopen. Skovde is one of the cities that has been razed by atomic attacks. We lost contact with our command which was the 2nd US Marine Division. May ask what is your mission Sir?”

The Swedish genral looked at Siviglia for a couple of seconds, trying to study the man.

“We are not in much better shape Major. The Soviets got control almost over the entire country. The Swedish government has fallen and we are without orders. We heard a rumor of a Soviet guard division directed south from Mariestad and we moved to intercept it. Do you have any further intel about this enemy unit?”

Siviglia decided in that moment to share everything he knew with the superior host officer.

“Sir, I believe the 1st Motorized Guard Division was directed to Karlsborg, where as far as I know there is a Swedish Regiment of some kind.”
“Yes...that is the Life Hussars Regiment” interrupted the Swedish General. “My God” he continued; “if the Russians reach it before we can catch them, they will crush that regiment. Is your unit stationed in Stopen Major?”
“Yes Sir, we withdrew here after a battle against the 1st Motorized Guard Division. They didn’t bother us after that and we heard the that they were directed to Karlsborg...I can almost surely say that there is not much left of that division, although they have a combat helicopter.”
“Mil-24?” asked the General
“No Sir, a transport craft with heavy machineguns.”
“The Russians don’t need to occupy this area.” the Swedish officer changed subject, “they nuked it all. Every single important urban center has been attacked by a small or medium warhead.”
“I can confirm that Sir. The Mayor of Stopen is a former member of Skovde city council and showed us a map with all the probable urban centers razed by the enemy Sir.”
“You said that you have lost contact with the Americans”
“Yes Sir. We depended from the 2nd Marine Division, but we have reasons to believe that their HQ has been vaporized in the nuclear attack on Alingsas. We are certain of the survival of one US Marine Regiment which took refuge in Skara. That town has not been attacked yet”

“How many forces to you have Major?”

Siviglia stalled on that particular question for a couple of seconds. Then he decided to risk to answer such a question as posed by a theoretically allied officer.

“I have an infantry squad Sir, an 81mike mike mortar, and a recon patrol, plus my command section...I also have an antitank platoon armed with a good supply of TOW missiles” Siviglia added with a slight delay to float around the idea that he could engage tanks if necessary.

“Very well Major.” The Swedish general didn’t seem to have noticed the remark about the TOWs. “I will take my armored brigade in Town to give it some rest for the day. I hope may be you have a place where we can continue our debriefing.”

Siviglia quickly thought about what could be the best strategy here, and as usual did it quickly.

“Sir, if you are so kind to follow me, I will introduce you to the Mayor, Mrs. Jonna Berglund. After you have a talk with her, may be we can find a place where to quarter your tanks”.

General Falk turned to the man at his side, who turned to be the captain commander of the Armored company. He told something to him in Swedish at which point the officer left and went to talk to the crew of his tank.

“Well Major; are we walking or would you rather ride on one of my vehicles?”

Siviglia gave another look to the first Leopard lying low and menacing on the road.

“If you will follow me General we can walk together.”

The Swedish Captain, who had not said a word yet, continued not to say anything and joined the party.
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Wed 21 Jul 2021, 23:18

“A Swedish reinforced armored company led by its original brigade commander...over” Siviglia radioed back to Holtz while he was leading the two Swedish officers towards Stopen. “Standard procedure Lieutenant.”
“Roger that...over ‘n out”

General Falk and his subordinate heard Siviglia talking over the radio in that strange Italian language, but they were not too worried since no longer than 30 seconds after the group had started the movement, one of the tanks had began following them. When Siviglia heard the rattling of the tank tracks he turned back and saw the general smiling. He did not saying anything though; he continued to walk calmly and confidently. If the Swedishman wanted to force something would have probably moved the entire circus instead of a single tank.

When the party reached the check point, the 17th company was aligned and presenting their arms to salute the passage of a general officer visiting their post. Lieutenant Holtz marched in front of the two Swedish officers and saluted them with the prescribed form in force in the Italian Army regulations. The tank on the other hand didn’t have enough space to proceed between the two reinforced ramparts that had been erected at the access of the Town, and had to stop, unless he broke through the barriers.

Major Siviglia stopped and militarily turned around to the Swedish officers.

“This works of fortification have been completed by my soldiers with the precious help of the population of this town, in order to defend it from hostile troops. If you really want your tank to enter the town, my men will gladly indicate you an alternative route. All considered though, I believe that it would be more productive for everybody if we trusted each other, since we are after all on the same side...Sir”

That said Siviglia threw his persuasion dice on the ground at the General feet to see how he received the speech.

The Swedish general, not impressed at all by Siviglia being a smart ass, answered with zero hesitations.

“Major…” the general inserted a calculated pause to emphasize their difference in rank; “I don’t trust you more than you would trust a foreign armed force under no established chain of command on your own soil. There is certainly nothing personal here. We are just immersed into chaos and I do not know how you are treating the population of this town and/or if you are organizing an ambush to kill me and attack my forces thereafter. I hope that is clear enough for you Major, and I really hope you understand the issue here”.

Lieutenant Holtz looked at his superior. He nervously passed his tongue on his hips feeling the embarrassment for having his commander lectured like that by a foreign officer; a superior officer in this specific case. Siviglia swallowed the censure by Brigadier Falk without blinking an eye, but taking in one point of stress for the failed pushed persuasion roll. Then he found the spirit to respond:

“I understand Sir. In this case I suggest that we hurry to an audience with Mrs. Berglund, the Mayor, so that you can be reassured about what the situation in town”.
“I will gladly wait for Mrs. Berglund to join us here Major if you don’t mind” responded the high Swedish officer still with his guard very high.

“Skittish son a bitch” thought Siviglia...but without hesitation he climbed on the VM-90 which Ottonese had brought there with the second TOW launcher, and drove away in direction of the school to go pick up Mrs Berglund. The unbuttoned crew of the Leopard didn’t miss any movements and especially didn’t miss the presence of the unmanned TOW launcher inside one of the fortified positions. While Siviglia was gone, the Alpini retained a nonchalantly demeanor even though some tension was palpable among the ranks of both sides. Holtz was a responsible officer though and he just hoped that the Swedish weren’t anything less.

After a certain time that didn’t feel particularly short, the VM-90 reappeared on the scene and stopped right in front of the Italian-Swedish party next to the car dealer salon. Major Siviglia jumped out of the driver door, and Both Mrs. Berglund and Louise Berglund came out of the opposite side of the vehicle. Lieutenant Holts imperceptibly moved his eyes at Louise, but was very careful not to give out any other manifestation of his sudden apprehension. The Berglund Girls walked confidently towards the Swedish officers. The mother was the one that talked first...in Swedish

“Good morning General. My name is Jonna Berglund, and one of the elected officials of this town. This is my daughter Louise. I have been informed that you command a strong military unit camped out of town.

General Falk looked at the women for a second or two to weight the newcomers. Mrs. Berglund then proceeded to obtain an exceptionally positive NPC behavior roll from the general via the Mythic variations II system.

“That is absolutely correct Madam.” answered Falk, also in their native language. “You probably know Madam that Stopen is one of the very few town that is still standing in this area if that doesn’t sound too harsh. We were on the tracks of a Soviet Division that apparently spread terror in the region for some time, but instead we found a company of Italian infantry on our path. Before seeing you so confident and master of the situation as you appeared to me, I didn’t know what to think about that.”

“Oh you are right about the Russian division spreading terror around here general, I can assure you” dig Jonna at the absence of any Swedish military unit from the area for a long time. When she paused, Louise intervened in the conversation to defuse a bit of her mother ill-concealed sarcasm.

“It is a sad world the one in which we have to distrust allies and friends”
“It is indeed my young lady” agreed General Falk addressing Louise graciously.

The general genuinely nice demeanor towards the ladies in the end really contributed to deflate the tension between the various parties, included the local militia represented by Sven. Most of all it allowed Siviglia a breath of relief considering that he was the one who had to deal with the appearance of an armored company at the gates of a town that he had sworn to protect. A company of Leos 2 is after all a very scary thing even in a role game.

“In order to reassure you on all accounts, general” resumed Mrs. Berglund “let me tell you that this company of young Italian men represented a real blessing for us after having received much less pleasant visits from Russian and American stragglers. They are helping us rebuild some of our infrastructure, they provide military training for our able and willing citizens women and men alike. They have provided us with protection from criminals and people uncontrollable out of desperation who tried to take advantage of our community. They have freed hostages detained by the above mentioned criminals, and they have initiated a program of psychological aid for the most fragile citizens of ours who have suffered more than others from the contingencies of war. In exchange for all that we provide them with some of our food and give them shelter in our homes. I will add general, that it will be a very sad day the day that these young men have to leave us, also because some them have established some sentimental relations with some of our young women. It seems that there is no war that can stop these things from happening.” smiled Mrs. Berglund glancing at her daughter.

The speech had a good effect on the Swedish military, because at that point, if the Swedish officers had had any suspicions that Mrs. Berglund was acting under some kind of threat by Italians, they had to think better, especially when the Mayor threw them the last little dig, by pointing out that theirs was the first Swedish military outfit the town had seen in more than one year.

“I was wandering Madame Mayor if you have any little spot left for my men to spend the night while Major Siviglia and I discuss on some kind of common strategy for the future” asked General Falk.

“I guess we might be able to arrange something” answered the Mayor, “even though the southern half of the town is inhabitable because all the windows are shattered and most probably is radiated by the fallout of the Skovde bomb…”
“...besides” added Mrs. Berglund looking at the monstrous Leopard beast stranded on the other side of the check point, “many of our streets are probable to narrow for your things there.”

The Italians had of course not gotten a single word of what the military and civilian authorities were saying to each other, but the vibe was good and so was the atmosphere. Therefore everybody was relieved when at the end of the conversation, Siviglia could invite General Falk and the Silent Swedish Captain to mount on the VM-90 and to move to the regiment headquarters; without the escort of the Leo 2 this time, to which the Nameless and Silent Swedish Captain gestured to wait where it was.
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ambrafoxtrot17
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Thu 22 Jul 2021, 13:30

Once more the classrooms of Frösve school were used for a meeting dedicated to the next political and military moves. Captain Nyberg, that was the name of the Silent Swedish Captain, pulled out a big folded map of Southern Sweden and spread it on four desks linked together in the center of the room. The situation depicted on that map, contained minor variation compared to the version that Mrs.Berglund had compiled in the previous months. Moreover General Falk had an interesting piece of intel from the overall Swedish command before it went dark. According to this information, a Russian division had been airlifted behind Allied lines in Vårgårda, a small private airport which the Russian used to organize an airlift. The information was not confirmed but it was believed to be probable by the 4th armored brigade.

According to other intelligence in possession of General Falk, when NATO started to attack Russian cities and installation with tactical nukes, the retaliation was indiscriminate and not coordinated. The part of Sweden still in NATO hands was heavily attacked and a Russian Airborne Division, which Falk believed it was the 76th, was abandoned to its destiny. The result was that a big number of Russian stragglers were now roaming around behind the lines of the remaining NATO forces in the area. Nobody knew precisely what these NATO units were, so the Swedish 4th armor had decided to move out of Götene to intercept any hostile force in the Skara corridor, gather what could be gathered of the remaining NATO forces, and possibly organize a counteroffensive to free Southeastern Sweden, included what was left of Stockholm.

Major Siviglia stood up from the map and planted both hands on the table.

“There is a US Marine regiment in Skara; that is for sure. Probably there is a free corridor from Skara to the Baltic Sea. We have no idea if any other functional American units is present south of our position. I would think there are some, even rhough we know for sure that the HQ and the divisional artillery have been wiped out by nuclear attacks. So like you said very intelligently, before organizing any kind of offensive operations, you need to ascertain what are the Swedish forces still available and establish a clear chain of command. Also the consistency and the real existence of this alleged Russian Airborne division behind our lines should be ascertained.

Major Siviglia made a significant pause. Then he resumed his analysis:

“Finally lets say that you do all that; after that under which authority you would organize an operation to free the part of country occupied by the Russians.”

“Under an authority that we all will recognize as legitimate by agreement” answered General Falk. Before everything went to hell, the 2nd US Marine Division took its orders from the SACEUR and we took our orders from out commander in chief. Both these authorities I believe are gone, the civilian centralized authorities are gone as well, at least here. We need to reestablish a chain of command among all the remaining NATO and Swedish forces. If we remain inactive, the soviets will consolidate their conques of my country and possibly extend it to this areas as well.”

“Days ago” answered Siviglia, “we captured several Russian combatants. They told us that their chain of command is in disarray exactly like if not worse than ours. There are rumors that the 1st Guard Motorized Division has mutinied during its march to Karlsborg.”
Major Siviglia put his finger on the Ekeberg forest between Stopen and Skara.

“Here, last week, we had a contact with hostile forces armed with Warsaw Pact weaponry. We don’t know precisely who these troops were: may be stragglers from this 76th Airborne Division. But when my recon troop disengaged they did not pursue. If we have enemy troops behind our lines, I believe our first priority is to identify and destroy them.”

“What I am trying to say general” resumed Siviglia “is that if the Russians are in disarray as I have information they are, the war is over and we have to think about other priorities. I mean all of us. In our case we were considering the possibility to clear our rear areas from any enemy presence I order to open our way to the west coast. Once we reach it, the plan is to find a boat to take my troops home.” said Siviglia quite openly.

“This is desertion in front of the enemy” answered quite angry the Swedish officer. “It would be no more no less than the mutiny of the Russian division”. The Swedish officer became considerably animated; he stopped and looked at the Italian officer with a considerable amount of contempt.

“On the other hand I don’t remember last time you Italians honored an alliance to the end”

Holts snapped up his head from the map looking at Falk, but he said nothing.

Major Siviglia instead remained quite unimpressed by the remark of the Swedish officer.

“My dear General” he answered: “We are not allied, and we never were. My government sent us here under the command of an NATO divisional headquarter. That command is now probably dissolved. I do not take orders from you, because your command is not in the NATO organization, provided all that makes any sense anymore, which I doubt it does. My activities in this area and in particular the protection of this town, were based on the last legitimate operative order I received from a funcioning NATO headquarter. I made clear to Mrs. Berglund from the beginning that given the state of affair in Sweden and in particular in this area, we would have provided assistance to this town until it became self sufficient or until a legitimate host nation military force showed up to relieve us, whichever came first. Now I believe that the second hypothesis has materialized. Therefore I shall feel free to gather my forces and to start my preparations for the transfer that will bring my unit to the west coast, which ny the way I do not think it will be an easy task”

“I guess we have nothing more to discuss here” said coldly General Falk.
“I guess we can still discuss the passage of the fortified accesses to the town in your hands if you are interested.”

Lieutenant Holtz would never dare to enter in such a conversation between two superior officers but he looked undoubtedly baffled by the sudden decision of his commander not less than the Swedish officers did. The Berglund Girls did not look happy either.

Then Siviglia turned indeed to Holtz:

“Lieutenant we move our command post to the Base of the 17th company. Prepare an evacuation plan of all the defensive positions and all the check points. We are going to gather our forces, recover our equipment at the Bus station deposit, and leave this town in forty eight hours. Briefing at the new command post at 1400.”

That said the Major excused himself and left the room.
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Re: to honor this wonderful 4th Edition

Thu 22 Jul 2021, 20:45

9th of January 1999 day shift and following ones weather still cloudy

The shift was spent in the preparations to make the 8th Alpini mobile again. 17th company was busy helping Siviglia and Holtz load their stuff, mainly radios and documents. The BV-206, was dig up from the bus deposit, and would soon return to be the mobile TOC of the regiment and its APC at the same time.

The 202th artillery battery proceeded to disassemble its 81mm tube from Mrs. Nylbergs’s courtyard. While Sgt. Fré and Alpino Rogua disassembled the mortar and collected their few personal object from Mrs. Nylkberg’s house, the 94 years old lady cried like a 4 years old toddler, as the last thing she wanted to see was her boys leave. And that was not the only village woman that cried that day. Among the sad ones there were of course Holtz and Louise.

They had been fantasizing about what to do when the regiment finally would have to leave. There was no doubt that sooner or later that would have happened, even though for a short time Holtz tried to sell to himself the story that there was a chance that the situation would require the 8th to remain in the area for a long time. Certainly neither he nor Louise had expected such a sudden and radical change of the situation.

Inside the bus deposit, Siviglia was examining the maps, and the itinerary that the regiment should follow to reach its final destination: Stenungsund on the North Sea; a nice little trip of 180 kilometers of unknown territory and unknown conditions. A mix of main roads and wooden/hilly trails that would put his vehicles to the test. The Major saw Holtz walking into the main office of the bus deposit which served as provisional command post, and raised his head smiling at him.

“I’ve just calculated” he said to his Loeutenant, “that the BV might make it fuel wise to get to Stenungsund, but it will get there dry. And this only if we never have to use it in combat and we keep it absolutely on the roads for the entire trip. With the VM we have more latitude. I calculated it will take 36 liters of fuel out of the 67 still in the tank, to reach destination. One thing is certain though” concluded Siviglia, “if we get in Stenungsund in one piece, there goes our mobility, at least as far as the BV is concerned.

Holtz polished the persuasion dice and the other dice he used for NPC behavior Mythic Variations II, and prepared himself to try to put a wrench in Siviglia’s plan to abandon Stopen.

“Sir I was thinking...are you sure that leaving is the best strategic solution at this time?” That said he grabbed the Mythic Variation II book.

Siviglia has “playfully strong” as personality descriptor and “assist in disputes” as modus operandi. The playfully strong plays at moderating the intensity of his reaction. Holtz rolls 2d10 -2 for the playfully strong attitude of his boss: rolls a 14 - 2=12. Siviglia starts with an active 12 attitude.

The major’s smile became less open.

Holtz rolled for the NPC action for that first exchange. 1D10: 10...ouch that’s a NPC action with a +2 modifier to his attitude, which piles up with +2 already determined for the active intensity of his attitude. Holtz rolled 2D10 to the determine the exact nature of Siviglia’s action: 6+4=10. All considered Holtz has been lucky. The Major is not going to eat him alive. A final result of 10 means NPC acts out of PC interest.

Siviglia turned his smile into a sympathetic stare to his subordinate. “What is it Kurt. Is it your lovely Louise that makes you warn me about the soundness of my decision? We have been at war for more than one year in this place Lieutenant. The regiment is reduced to a scarce platoon to describe it optimistically. No contacts with the command in Italy, Our local command is gone too. No supplies since September, no replacements, no reinforcements. I say it’s time we go home. This campaign is over.” Siviglia paused for a moment and then looked Holtz straight in his eyes:

“Now, I’ll tell you what son. You convince your girlfriend and her mother that yours is true love and you have my permission to take her with us. You and Ottonese help her to stay alive, and I have nothing against it.” (acts out of PC interest)

Holtz gave a very intense look to the back of his superior (while I think how the PC responds to the NPC behavior)

“Sir...Louise is one of the reasons but not the only one” lied Holtz “why I invited you to carefully consider our strategy. The trip is a long and dangerous one for a military unit as small as ours especially because the intelligence on what we could find on our path is nil after Skara.”

The theme of the conversation has not changed so Holtz didn’t roll again for his NPC initial attitude which remained at active 12. However Holtz brought into consideration the nature of the regiment in relation with tactical circumstances, so the general descriptor of Siviglia (Regiment commander) came into play as well, bringing his attitude to 14 which is still only active, but now on the verge of getting aggressive (15). Holtz then rolled the D10 to determine the nature of the second action by Siviglia: 4 (NPC continues current action, if necessary bringing it to the next level).

The Major turned back to his XO and gave him a short glare: I know perfectly what the situation of the regiment is Lieutenant” Siviglia struggled to remain calm (attitude from 12 to 14). “That’s exactly why I believe the moment has come that we try to get back home. If and when we get there we find the same collapsed situation that we have here, and believe me...that is more than possible, at least I will be able to disband the unit and grant the right to the men to go look for their families. Do you understand Lieutenant?”

“Yes Sir I do. I thank you for the opportunity you gave me to talk to Louise and her mother”

(Better not to press Siviglia anymore. At attitude 14 it may ruin the excellent relation Holtz kept with him for the entire game).

Holtz and Siviglia had been invited to dinner at Mrs Berglund’s that night, but the Major had kindly declined for himself at least, for a series of reasons: firstly he was in truth quite busy; he had to supervise the second attempt to repair the MG-42 after the ricochet that damaged it at the battle of Kackestad. Secondly the MG had to be installed back on the VM or on the BV he didn’t decide yet. Thirdly a complete inventory of all the equipment had to be made and divided up among the vehicles. Last but not least, Siviglia wanted to give a chance to Holtz to be alone with the Berglund Girls in case he wanted to really consider the chance of asking Louise to join him.

For all those reasons at the end of the shift Hotz found himself walking alone towards Mrs. Berglund’s home. While walking, he observed some of the Swedish Leopards occupying strategic positions in the key roads of the town. When he got to his destination he greeted Ottonese who was standing guard outside. Lieutenant Holtz smiled at him, and dismissed him as well. The risk that something bad could happen just that night with an armored company in town were quite low and Otto could use some rest.

The Alpino Recon, militarily saluted his superior and walked away towards the Bus Deposit. Holtz waved his hand at him while he was passing by, and then turned towards the house door. It would be an extremely tense and interesting dinner especially now that the readers have seen in detail how social interactions are determined in this play test.
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