October 6th, 2018 – October 14th, 2018
Prior to leaving Marseilles, Aiden Tobias continued his research into Le Dragon Noir. There were still secrets to be found and he was hellbent on uncovering them. For the team knew this was a powerful weapon in their fight against Dracula. But the book continued to take a toll on his sanity and mental well-being. But as fate would have it, luck was on his side and his educational background paid off in the form of unlocking the special ritual that the book contained. Now they had access to some kind of geological magic that could counter not only vampires but Dracula, himself. Further, references were made to a Vordenburg Diary, another item that may have some aid within.
However, the delay could not take up too much of their precious time as Pascal Lerue reminded them. They had to quickly move to Montreux, Switzerland and act upon the information provided to them by Odessa a few days prior. An auction, of sorts, was being conducted where the mysterious Colonel Kabeava would be unloading the last of the Trinity Seals. So the team quickly made their way to Montreux which was hosting an annual beer and wine festival.
Upon arriving in Monterux, the team followed the instructions Odessa had given them. They were to check in to a specific hotel, using the covers they had established linking them to Henri Valant, and speak to the manager about having specific flowers sent up to their rooms. The manager would then make arrangements to have a car come for them in a couple of days, taking them up the mountain to Schloss Karnstein. It was there they would stay for a few days as the auction was underway. They would get the opportunity to make whatever deals they could conduct with the mysterious Colonel.
Not content with sitting through the next day or two, the team decided to scope the area. Naturally, various intelligence agencies likely had some kind of a presence here, especially if such dangerous and notorious figures would be present to conduct illicit transactions. But the team wanted to know specifics and who they were dealing with. As a result, Aiden and Kat DeWein posed as husband and wife, moving through the festival with Illari Vassyl trailing behind them, seeing if they could spot agents or danger. Lerue stayed in the room, coordinating further efforts.
During their exploration, they noticed some suspicious activity, including an Axel Logistics truck that was in the area. However, any investigation was cut short when Illari was approached by a mysterious agent who led him, by knife-point, behind a beer tent and into the back of a truck where he came face to face with Sarah Hester of the CIA as well as some of her operatives. It was clear she wanted to talk and was willing to use force to set up the conversation.
They discussed tangential matters through an icy conversation but it did not take long for Aiden and Kat to double beck, detect the ruse Hester had set up and gain access to the truck. It was then that the reason for Hester’s involvement became much more clear.
She wanted to know what they had been doing in London, chiefly their reason and involvement with Luther von Heiss and the theft of his Spear of Longinus. Obviously, this caused agent Tyler Gold, who was present, a great deal of embarrassment. Hester revealed that things in the CIA London office had become stressed as the events surrounding that had led to COS Eloise Buckley becoming for less trustworthy and paranoid about her agents. Through the conversation, the team could tell that Hester was on the outside, looking in, trying to get back into Buckley’s good graces. What they could not determine with any sense of accuracy was whether Buckley was shoving Hester out due to Buckley having something to hide from her agents or Hester being truly untrustworthy and potentially working for Edom or other sinister forces. The shadowy politics of the CIA was showing its ugly side.
However, Hester did suggest that she had the potential to be friendly with the agents and felt that they, as a group, could work together. DeWein was, it seemed, skeptical of the partnership, recalling many of the somewhat rambling and obsessive notes taken by the late Cal Morrison in the past year. Whereas Hester and DeWein did not seem to hit it off well, Hester did, at least, explain herself.
Hester stated that she ran the best CIA operations in Europe and as a result, had agents everywhere and had access to resources, often at short notice. Illari confirmed this by telling the team how he had gotten them out of a tight spot some months ago by evacuating them from the top of a Cathedral in Amsterdam. In return, they would fill her in on some of their operations, especially how it related to the Dracula Dossier and the activities they were undertaking, in addition to dealing with projects that came up she needed doing.
Specifically, one particular operation that was needed was surveillance on one Lord Cecil Delapole. Delapole would be attending the same auction they were attending at Schloss Karnstein. As his jacket explained, Delapole had his own unusual past.
In 1997, while attending a church ceremony, Delapole attacked Princess Diana, near fatally. It took several bodyguards to fend him off and restrain him. He was, of course, exiled and the entire affair covered up. Nevertheless, Diana was dead several months later. Subsequent to his exile, Lord Delapole went to France and set up a successful vineyard. The ensuring investigation from MI5 and the CIA suggested that there was a ‘mysterious foreign woman’ he had been spending time with prior to the incident. The woman, later identified as ‘Helen Pierre-Rocher’ was unable to be found, even with the many ties of the agencies involved. But the one unusual thing found was a note on Delapole’s person after the attack that read ‘He will not let this go’ and no explanation was ever provided as Delapole had no knowledge of the note.
Agreeing to help Hester, at least on a conditional basis, the team went back to the hotel where the manager stated the car would be arriving for them shortly. The car arrived and took them up the mountain to Schloss Karnstein where they were assigned their rooms. However, at the cocktail hour where they were be introduced to some of the other individuals at the auction, they were shocked to find one of the guests, a Helen Pierre-Rocher who was, in reality, someone they recognized – Countess Margo Dolinz, a bride of Dracula!