So I’m auditioning an artist I’m very excited about, and if he pans out I’ll be giving him some direction for ten illustrations. He’s comfortable with this level of detail, and can branch out from these descriptions. They are sequential and refer to the example crew from the game. I may change number ten, since that’s a hell of a way to end the game.

Janek and Jadwiga in street clothes are kneeling before the base of a monument, maybe we see a plaque that reads “Zawisza Czarny z Garbowa” but just the feet of a statue – focus is tight on the teens. They’ve just crudely painted the anchor symbol of the resistance, one of them still has a dripping brush and the other a paint can, and their heads are turned toward the viewer in guilt and terror as a man-shaped shadow falls over the scene, maybe with the outlines of helmet and rifle visible.

The kotwica, symbol of the resistance

A checkpoint – sandbags, a striped traffic barrier. A puzzled/bored German military policeman is holding Janek pressed against the wall with one hand while he looks through Janek’s papers with the other. Maybe a basket spilled on the ground, with scattered loaves of bread or flowers or something. Janek is looking out of the corner of his eye at Jadwiga, who has a pistol behind her back.

German police
Jadwiga’s gun

There’s a full-on firefight underway. The focus is Janek, who is dressed in street clothes and firing a home-made submachinegun, a stack of newspapers still bound up at his feet. Flying spent brass. He should look anything BUT heroic – awkward, scared, disoriented, clumsy. Bullets are whizzing by and the only other guy in the frame is spinning, hit by a German round and dying as he falls.

home brew SMG

Janek, Jadwiga, Irka, and Pelikan posing for a photo with a swastika flag they’ve torn down, drunk with pride and excitement. They stand in front of a municipal building pock-marked with bullets, the glass shattered, the ground crunchy with debris. They are all wearing AK red-and-white armbands and somebody has a German helmet, also decorated with red and white bands. They look like soldiers, a little.

Inside a house during street fighting. Up-ended furniture blasted to sticks, a ragged sofa, broken shit everywhere, a portrait hanging lopsided on the wall. One of the interior walls has been blown open with a man-sized hole. On our side of the wall – Janek and Pelikan are crouched, waiting. One has a pistol and the other has a big-ass carving knife. On the other side, a German soldier is carefully poking his way through to their room, clearing away rubble with the bayonet of his rifle, unaware of the ambush he’s about to walk into.

German rifle

Irka (a shy girl) and Pelikan (a boy full of himself) are pressed together in a shelter – we see them at that “lady and the tramp” moment, chest to chest as they make surprised eye contact. They are in a cellar, there is dust falling and rubble everywhere, maybe crashed out Polish soldiers, maybe even Janek and Jadwiga hunkered down covering their asses. The focus of the illo is the electric charge of intimacy and sexual chemistry between Irka and Pelikan.

A buttoned-up German Panther tank is rumbling slowly down the broad avenue. Surrounding it, like plants in a field with their arms outstretched, are miserable Polish women, openly weeping, human shields. Maybe we see it from behind a barricade from the rebels POV as they prepare to open fire, but maybe it is a closer scene, just the women and the tank.


Irka and Pelikan are locked in a passionate embrace, French kissing on their way to more intimacy. Their rifles are stacked against the wall behind them, and they are in a bedroom that is now open to the sky – half blown apart. It is Irka’s old bedroom, and there is a needlepoint on the wall with her name (Irena Dunin, 1937). Maybe we see them from the street level looking up, with a burning Warsaw behind them.

Jadwiga is standing over a raised street grave. A long stream of refugees floods by. A marker says JANEK on it. She’s been hurt herself, she’s obviously haggard and exhausted, and the focus of the image is her face, which shows all the beating she’s taken but also her grim promise of revenge – there’s rage in her eyes.

A desolate landscape of utter destruction, something out of Dante’s inferno. A pair of RONA soldiers (filthy, one wearing a women’s fur coat and burdened with a sack full of silver) have Pelikan and Irka on their knees. They are about to casually shoot the Poles in the back of the head. Pelikan and Irka are looking at each other with love, sadness, and longing.

Some RONA images (mixed with others) and their insignia

Grey Ranks Illustrations
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