Escape From Stalag VIIIB

Encounter at the Gatehouse

11 August 1943

Piotr waits until they are outside the town limits before he starts addressing Terry in English. Lorelei looks a little surprised but, as Piotr guessed, she doesn’t really care. Piotr explains who the group are and Lorelei replies in clear English. She explains that she thinks that Hitler is a madman and an embarrassment to all good Austrians. She knows that the war is now starting to go against Germany and the idea of getting to England is a lot more attractive than waiting for the Russians to arrive in Vienna.

She guides them towards the research station, Betty’s engine complaining as she struggles with the gradient.

After a little under an hour, they arrive at the gatehouse. Piotr is ready to go back into SS officer mode but as the half-track pulls up at the gate, they see that it appears to be abandoned. The barrier is down with a Kubelwagen and an Opel Blitz truck waiting to come through, both of which are empty. They then notice a number of corpses littering the ground next to the vehicles.

Piotr gets out of the cab and opens the barrier. Terry parks the half-track next to the main building. Taffy and Lorelei get out to accompany Piotr while the others stay in the half-track ready for a quick getaway if needs be.

Piotr knocks on the closed door of the gatehouse.

“Hallo, ist da jemand drin?” Piotr barks out.

“Ja, ja. Sind Sie ein Mensch? Bist du gekommen, um uns zu retten?” a scared voice replies.

“Natürlich sind wir Menschen. Was würden wir sein? Reden Affen, oder was?” Piotr replies with irritation. “Ja, wir sind gekommen, um dich zu retten.”

The bolted doors open to reveal three scared looking Germans. One appears to be a doctor from his white coat. The others are Wehrmacht privates.

“Wir brauchen Essen und Trinken. Wir haben dort seit einer Woche geschlossen,” the doctor says.

Piotr click his fingers. “Essen und Trinken.”

Haim’s bony fingers emerge as he hands down some rations to Piotr to give to them.

The three Germans eat greedily. As they do so, Piotr asks them to explain what has happened here.

The doctor introduces himself as Dr. Dietrich Faber, a doctor of chemistry and pharmaceuticals who is Dr. Holdst’s right-hand man. He explains that something went horribly wrong with the experiments. The first batch of serum, P-111, had limited effectiveness – it healed injuries for a while, but the effects wore off too quickly for it to be of any use. The next batch, P-112, was a disaster, creating tough ape-like creatures, too stupid to be controlled. The most recent batch, P-113, was worse if anything. It created horrendous monsters, intelligent and uncontrollable. They went on a rampage through the base, destroying everything in the process.

Once they have finished eating and drinking, Piotr asks if they will accompany the party. Dr. Faber agrees, but the two Wehrmacht don’t look too keen.

They head back to the half-track but, as they emerge from the guardhouse, they are attacked by four unnatural ‘things’ – writhing masses of bloody tentacles a little under a metre tall.

The party members immediately let loose at the creatures, but the bullets just pass straight through them. Lorelei skewers one of them with her rapier, but again is doesn’t seem to do anything. One of the creatures grabs Dr. Faber and starts to drag him towards its hungry maw.

Terry backs up Betty while the others carry on shooting. He slams the half-track into first gear and launches the vehicle at the closest bloodlet. The 2.5 tons of half-track does the trick as he squashes the one which is about to strike Lorelei.

Piotr shouts at the two Wehrmacht to get into the Opel Blitz and run over the two bloodlets in front of it. One of them gets smacked unconscious in the process, but the other manages to run down a second one. Unfortunately, he runs into the Kubelwagen in the process.

Dr. Faber manages to get free of the clasp of the bloodlet. Between him, Lorelei and Taffy, they manage to club the thing to death. Lodd manages to take out the last of them with his entrenching tool.

Just when it appears as if the horrors are gone, one of the dead bodies – the one in the driving seat of the Kubelwagen comes to life, terrifying the hell out of everyone once more. It makes a clumsy attempt to gouge Piotr before Lodd manages to cut it in two with his entrenching tool.

The sole remaining Wehrmacht solder makes a run for it. Bob tries to bring him down with his Gewehr 43, but the soldier is too far into the forest now and he misses.

“So, you are English?” Dr. Faber exclaims, having heard the shouts from the others.

“We speak English – this is all you need to know,” Piotr replies, his look telling Dr. Faber not to ask too many more questions.

“We should burn the bodies in case they are capable of regenerating,” Taffy says.

The others agree. Fortunately the two vehicles have full jerry cans inside them and so they are able to pour petrol on the deceased and set them alight.

“So what were those things?” Taffy asks Dr. Faber.

“The tentacle things we have no idea what they are,” Dr. Faber replies. “We didn’t create them in any of our experiments. We call them bloodlets.”

“The creature that came out of the Kubelwagen was a P-113 – one of the clever ones. So this only leaves the P-112’s that you have not seen. They are huge ugly hulks.”

“They look a bit like him,” he says, nodding towards Lodd.

They stay watching the burning remains of the creatures until they are sure that there’s no chance of their regenerating. Everyone then climbs into Betty and Terry sets off once more.

A couple of klicks later and they come to the crossroads. Terry approaches cautiously with Lodd manning the pintel-mounted MG34 looking for any signs of trouble. Here, they find only death, however.

It looks like this was the site of the last battle between the Wehrmacht and the experiments. It looks like the best part of two dozen Wehrmacht died here, although it’s hard to tell exact numbers because the bodies are so mutilated. Even the two Panzer III’s have been ripped to pieces, engine parts strewn around them.

Cautiously everyone emerges from the half-track to investigate more closely, half expecting the bodies to come to life. But fortunately they don’t.

Lorelei and Dr. Faber both pick up discarded MP40’s – not that bullets seem to make too much difference against the foes that they have faced so far. There are also 10 Kar. 98’s, but no one is terribly interested in them any more such is the size of their arsenal.

Bob makes one interesting find though – one of the dead Wehrmacht has a Flammenwerfer. Lodd picks it up and sloshes the fuel about:

“Seems like is half full,” he says.

There is a debate as to who will have the weapon. It’s bulky, but all can see that it is going to be the perfect weapon against regenerating creatures. They agree that Lodd will carry it while Betty is on the move and that Terry will carry it while they move on foot.

“So which way should we go now?” asks Lorelei. “My father is unlikely to be at the munitions factory but we might pick up some useful weaponry there. Or else we can just head straight for the lab.”

Comments

Can everyone update their character sheets with their weapons? There are now ample amounts of Lugers, MP40’s and Kar 98’s for anyone who wants one. The Germans only have two types of ammo and so you have plenty of both. Everyone also has a dagger/bayonet and an entrenching tool.

Are Lodd and Terry going to upgrade to MG42’s from the MG34’s you have been using to date? The only difference is that the MG42 has an ROF of 4 instead of 3.

Bob took one of the Gewehr 43 semi-auto rifles with sniper scope – does anyone want the other?

Taffy’s Kpist m/37 started with 71 rounds and there are no reloads available. Piotr’s Polish pistol is also totally out of ammo but he is keeping it anyway.

Encounter at the Gatehouse
 

Will update tomorrow. Will be an hour(ish) late tomorrow. Will also be awake. Have also reviewed much of the basic rule book. Whoa, that’s a lot of promises, better quit now…

Encounter at the Gatehouse
 

Just a reminder it was Piotr who came up with the idea for the soldiers to drive the big truck and squish the Bloodlets ,Lodd would not be so bright as to come up with that idea.
Will now update the new weaponry.
Lodd can carry 96 LBs worth of equipment and remain un-encumbered. He will carry Terry’s MG-42 and his ammo so that the New Yorker can show these mutant fruitcakes a ‘hot’ time.

Encounter at the Gatehouse
NickPendrell

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