This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
After half a decade of war some places have been wiped from the face of the Earth – Capital Cities, industrial centres, and towns adjacent to military bases have all been consumed by nuclear fire. On the other hand a number of Cities, like Krakow in southern Poland, have emerged as safe havens, where the war has ceased to exist for those fortunate enough to live within their boundaries. Most of these Free Cities are aware that to open their gates to everyone would result in chaos however, so entry is generally limited, with those who cannot demonstrate useful skills or talents often turned away, by force if necessary. This has led to the rise of the People Smugglers, individuals who specialise in smuggling people into these perceived Utopias.
One such smuggler is thirty three year old Lukasz Sikorski. Based in Krakow, Sikorski travels throughout southern Poland in a former East German Army URAL 375 truck which has been converted to run on alcohol, moving from village to village looking for those who want to try and make a better life for themselves in Krakow and are prepared to pay for passage. Payment is generally made in goods which have barter value and does not come cheaply. In exchange for this payment, Sikorski gets his human cargo past the ORMO checkpoints by bribing the guards (wherever possible he tries to use the same checkpoints to enter the City and has built up a close relationship with many of the guards). He also arranges the required papers to allow those smuggled in to stay in the City, again by bribery.
“We were resting up in some unpronounceable little village about a hundred klicks north of Krakow when we ran into Sikorski. He drove in to the village in this battered old East German Army truck – it looked to me like it was a miracle it was still going. Judging by the way the village’s head guy greeted him it looked like they were long time buddies. Then the head guy brought him over to meet the LT and he started chatting away...I guess they must have been talking for about ten minutes when he said “you are going to KrakOOV?”...that was he pronounced it...he just grinned and said “I have many friends in KrakOOV”.
From the diary of Spec 4 Olivia Greene, 5th Infantry Division, US Army
Sikorski can be encountered as a result of a smuggler role on the group encounter table. He generally stays within a hundred kilometres or so of Krakow and attempts to avoid areas where he is likely to encounter large military units and / or marauders. Several civilians will be travelling with him – see Sikorski’s cargo below.
33 years old, Veteran NPC (LNG: Russian 70, LNG: English 60)
Diamond King (Selfish), Diamond Nine (Very Greedy)
AKR SMG, P64 automatic pistol, Kevlar Vest
Lukasz Sikorski is of average height and build. Dark haired, he has a semi permanent five o’clock shadow. He habitually wears a Polish Army woodland camouflage jacket and blue jeans and a US Army issue Kevlar vest and carries an AKR submachine gun and a P64 pistol. Meeting him for the first time he will come over as a friendly and easy going individual who is reasonably chatty. He will also be happy to share information; claiming to be quite familiar with southern Poland and will be open to the idea of travelling with the PC’s, effectively offering his services as a guide and translator in exchange for the added security to be gained from travelling with the PC group.
If asked what he does for a living, he will be vague, stating only that he is a merchant who is simply trying to make a living for himself. If pressed on the matter (particularly if anyone asks about the civilians travelling with him) he will simply say that he is providing a service for those who need it. He will also play down the fact that he charges a considerable amount for this service (should the PC’s need to enter Krakow covertly Sikorski will be able to facilitate this for them, but they run the risk of being double crossed – see Sikorski’s secret below).
Underneath his outward easy going nature, Sikorski is quite a cunning individual who is always thinking about how best he can turn a situation to his own personal advantage. Extremely selfish, he is focused on making his own life as comfortable as he can. In addition to his native Polish he speaks passable Russian and English. Formerly a Captain in a Polish Army Motorised Rifle Regiment, he deserted in 1998.
Sikorski has a number of contacts inside Krakow, to whom he “sells” those he smuggles in to the City against their will; the majority are sold to factories as forced labourers, although some young women end up in Guz Stanislaw’s brothels and strip bars, whilst some of the men become pit fighters (one of Sikorski’s contacts is the owner of the Basement Bar in Krakow, who organises regular bare knuckle fights). His human cargoes only learn of their fate when they climb down from his truck in Krakow to find their new “owners” waiting for them with sufficient hired muscle to deal with anyone who tries to resist.
Sikorski is accompanied by two employees, who drive his truck and provide added security in exchange for a cut of his earnings.
25 years old, Experienced NPC (LNG: Russian 35)
Club King (Brutal), Diamond Queen (Lustful)
RPK74 Automatic Rifle, Knife, 2 x HE grenades, Kevlar Vest, Steel Helmet
Wysocki was formerly a member of the Katowice detachment of the ZOMO paramilitary police. He saw some action against invading NATO forces in 1997 but deserted from his unit the following year, eventually finding his way to Krakow where he met Sikorski, who hired him to provide some “muscle” when travelling outside the City. Shaven headed, stocky, and muscular he wears a Polish woodland camouflage uniform and a US Army Kevlar vest and carries an RPK74 automatic rifle as well as a concealed knife. He will claim to have been in the Polish Army and has discarded anything that would identify him as a former member of the ZOMO.
Wysocki is an unpleasant brute who says little and likes to intimidate others. He has a habit of openly leering at any woman who catches his eye. Like many bullies he will generally back down if confronted, however he will attempt to get his revenge on anyone that crosses him, even if that means biding his time. He speaks Polish and some Russian.
Dmitri Y Zaitsev
23 years old Veteran NPC (LNG: Polish 50, WVD: 50)
Spade King (Deceitful), Spade Six (Moderately Ambitious)
AK74 Assault Rifle, 2 x HE grenades, 2 x smoke grenades, Flak Jacket, Steel Helmet
A deserter from the Soviet Army, Zaitsev was also recruited by Sikorski after spending some time living rough in the Polish countryside some hundred kilometers from Krakow, and generally drives the truck. Zaitsev wears Soviet Army woodland camouflage and a West German issue flak jacket that has seen better days. Though he appears quiet and unassuming and subservient to Sikorski, little that happens escapes his notice. Sikorski has nicknamed him “Rabbit” as his surname means hare or jackrabbit in Russian.
Unknown to Sikorski – or anyone else – the Rabbit has been on the payroll of Major Malekov, head of the KGB in Krakow, for several months, and reports all that he sees and hears to Malekov.
Former East German Army URAL 375 Truck
Three crew, load 4 tons or up to twenty passengers; Wear Value 6
In addition to towing a 1,000 litre tanker trailer which contains ethanol fuel, Sikorski’s truck carries additional supplies of water, food, ammunition (3 cases of 5.45 Bloc), and ethanol fuel (8 x 20 litre jerry cans).
“The back of the truck was covered with a canvas tarp...after a little while some people got out...they were all civilians, men and women...they all looked kinda nervous...most of them didn’t say much, just hung around the truck... there was this one kid who kept watching us...he was probably about fifteen, or sixteen...”
From the diary of Spec 4 Olivia Greene, 5th Infantry Division, US Army
Sikorski is currently carrying nine passengers, all of whom have paid a considerable amount for passage to Krakow. All are novice NPC’s, and are unarmed. With the exception of sixteen year old Jerzy, they are all relatively unremarkable and are destined to end up in the factories and whorehouses of Krakow.
16 years old experienced NPC (Scrounging 60, Foraging 60, LNG: English 40, LNG: Russian 40)
Hearts Eight (Very Sociable), Diamond Five (Moderately Greedy)
His entire family having been killed during the course of the war, Jerzy has survived for several years on his wits, and has become an extremely adept pickpocket and scrounger.
Jerzy is intended as a possible NPC addition to a PC group.