This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross

Bad Company

“We were about ten miles from Nottingham – or at least what’s left of Nottingham – when we ran into them. There must have been about ten of them, all wearing Army uniform and carrying guns. Well we thought we were safe. You would, wouldn’t you, if you saw soldiers, British soldiers. How were we to know that they were bandits? They stole everything that we had, our water, food...we didn’t have much, but they took it all, even our wedding rings. Then they took some of the women – one man tried to stop them and they just shot him and left him to die at the side of the road. Then...then they.... they took my wife...took her away with them....I wanted to stop them but they had guns - what could I do? They just laughed...please, will you help me find her?”  

Unidentified refugee speaking to troops from the Leicester Peterborough Milita, May 2000

Made up mostly of former Regular or Territorial Army soldiers, the marauder group known as Bad Company is approximately twenty five strong and under the leadership of Simon Barrett, a former Sergeant in the Regular Army. Though relatively small in number, they represent potent opposition – they are well trained and relatively well armed with a variety of British military small arms (L85A1 assault rifles, L1A1 SLR’s and L2A3 Sterling SMG’s) for which they have a plentiful supply of ammunition. Support weapons consist of two GPMG’s and an 84mm Carl Gustav rocket launcher (for which they only have three HE rounds). They have two Land Rovers – one “Snatch” military model which is lightly armoured and one civilian Land Rover Discovery – and a four ton Bedford truck, all of which have been converted to run on alcohol fuel. They have fought several encounters with various local defence forces, none of whom have been any match for the soldiers’ training and experience.

Bad Company can be encountered in the area to the north of Peterborough. Their normal tactic is to set up a checkpoint at a random spot local roads. The checkpoints are usually manned by six to eight men in full British Army uniform and armed with military small arms (including, usually, one of the group’s GPMG’s) who then demand a toll from anyone passing by. Many people, particularly those travelling from outside the area, are unaware that the troops manning the checkpoints are marauders until they demand payment. The tolls are generally payable in food, water, or other items that have barter value, and generally those who pay the tolls will be allowed to continue on their journey, however anyone unwilling or unable to pay will be at best severely beaten or at worst killed, with their body left by the roadside as a warning to others. As well as goods, Bad Company will on occasion take women stopped at their checkpoints as “payment” for their tolls.

Barrett will also occasionally send s small group of men and women into the Free City of Peterborough. Posing as deserters, these individuals will offer their services to merchants as convoy escorts. Unknown to the merchants however, they will be heading into a trap; the group in Peterborough are in radio contact with the main body of Bad Company who will be lying in wait for the convoy, ambushing it, killing the merchants and looting their cargo.

Sergeant Simon Barrett

Born in London in 1968, Simon Barrett enlisted in the Army shortly after leaving school, joining the 1st Battalion, Royal Green Jackets. By the start of the Twilight War he had been promoted to Corporal, and was serving in Germany with his Battalion, part of the UK’s 1st Armoured Division. Barrett distinguished himself during the British drive to Berlin and beyond, twice being mentioned in dispatches and just before NATO’s spring offensive he was promoted to Sergeant.

Again Barrett’s performance was exemplary during the spring offensive, leading his troops across Poland to the outskirts of Warsaw, where he was seriously wounded when his Warrior IFV was hit by an RPG, at which point he was casevaced back to the UK, where he spent seven months as a patient at the British Military Hospital in Colchester. He was finally passed as fit enough to return to duty in March 1998, however by then the World had changed forever as the nuclear genie had been well and truly let out of the bottle, and rather than going back to Europe Barrett was assigned to internal security and

disaster relief operations in the Yorkshire area, joining a composite Platoon of Regular and Territorial troops and a handful of RAF personnel.

Simon Barrett had changed however – although physically he had fully recovered from his injuries, his mental scars lingered. Perhaps if he had been luckier his symptoms might have been spotted, but both military and civilian doctors had been pushed to the limit and beyond by then. Barrett snapped in November 1998 when a riot broke out while his unit was distributing food and aid in the Mansfield area. Barrett ordered his men to open fire on the rioters, many of whom were starving refugees. When the firing stopped over forty civilians lay dead or dying. Barrett’s unit fell apart in the aftermath – the platoon commander, a twenty year old Second Lieutenant who had graduated Sandhurst early, ordered Barrett’s arrest so he could be taken back to Catterick to face court martial. Barrett shot her himself, following which the unit broke up – some men and women did try to make it to Catterick, but most stayed loyal to Barrett, and have remained so, becoming what is now known as Bad Company.

Barrett tends to be softly spoken, and can be good company, often sharing a joke with his men. He is extremely dangerous however, with his mood able to quickly turn, causing him to fly into a murderous rage without any provocation or warning, particularly if he has been drinking. A skilled mental health professional engaging him in conversation would most likely be able to establish that he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He married at the age of twenty four, to Annelise, a German woman he met whilst serving with the BAOR. She stayed with her family in Germany when the 1st Armoured Division went to War in December 1996; Barrett last heard from her in the summer of 1997 and doesn’t know whether she is alive or dead. He still wears his wedding ring, and unlike most of his troops has never touched any woman Bad Company has taken captive.