Night's Black Agents: Dracula Dossier

Episode 48: You Only Die Twice

July 24th, 2018 – July 28th, 2018

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Returning from Budapest with one of the Trinity Seals in hand, the team knew that something had gone wrong. Either the information Elizabeth Bathory had provided was wrong, or it was, at the very least, old. Bathroy had told them that all of the legendary Trinity Seals would have been in possession of the sellers but there was only one. And she seemed to provide no indication of the Werewolves they had encountered. Martin Schule, her field operative, agreed to be the one to provide to her the disappointing news.

En route back to Vienna, the team knew the heat was on and therefore uses several side routes to get back, taking longer than was expected, but it was, after all, the safer option. From their vehicle, they contacted Illari Vasyl and made an effort to meet back with him at Bathory’s resort where they would plan their next move.

Upon returning to the resort, they met with Illari and filled him in on the dangers they had recently faced, and providing him with the information regarding the single Trinty Seal. It was at that point that Cal Morrison seemed hesitant to provide Countess Bathory with the bad news. And in a moment that almost seemed to foretell the future, Illari commented that Cal had been ‘pussy whipped’ by her.

Going with Schule, the team met with Bathory to inform her what had happened. She was disappointed regarding the single Trinity Seal, but stated that she would use her network of contacts to see where the others would be. When they mentioned Werewolves to her, her eyes narrowed, telling them that Dracula had long used Werewolves in his schemes and they were created by magic and the use of his blood. However, the closer they were to his pure blood line, the less effected they were by items like silver. The ones they faced had to be weaker, further removed as silver seemed to impact them. As to the spectral hound they encountered, she suggested that was a non-corporeal manifestation of Dracula, himself, watching them. She indicated that this likely told them that the purchase of the Seals was of great importance to the vampire king.

Bathory concluded by telling them they should relax around the resort for a few days and once she found some information, she would provide it. But there was an assignment she might have for them in the meantime, something that would likely not even cause them the need to leave the resort. But she would tell them when it was needed.

The group took advantage of Bathory’s hospitality, her grace and the many amenities the resort had to offer. But not content with resting, Cal determined he needed to poke around and get a better layout of the place, whereas Wolfgang Fechtner wanted to scope out his options for a vehicle, in case of an emergency. An escape route from a monster like Bathory was a necessity.

A day later they were summoned to Bathory’s lounge where she told them she was working on a lead she had of some individuals who may have one or both of the missing Trinity Seals – a criminal associate of hers, Adelaide LeClerque and her lover and partner, Narcissa Dvorask, who ran a criminal network out of Prague. But she was still running down the lead. In the meantime, she needed them to perform a job for her. Something far more unusual, but, she promised, rather easy.

Bathory took them down a back elevator into a secret sub-basement of the facility, taking particular interest in the weapons Illari had on his person, fascinated by the silver blades that Cal had forged. She suspected that those would have some grander purpose before the night was up. She eventually took them to a theater of sorts where in one of the box seats overlooking the stage was a woman who she introduced as Aria Cardellini. They instantly recognized her as the missing wife of Franco Selvaggio. But she was cold to the touch, and it was quickly evident that she had been turned and brought into Bathory’s fold. They knew Franco had gone off to find her when he discovered she was last seen in the company of Henri Valant, one of Bathory’s agents. They knew they would have to find a way to break the news to him when they next saw him.

However, they would get the chance sooner than they expected.

Bathroy took the entire group down to the stage and ordered her men to bring something out – a prisoner. Within moments they discovered that Franco had found Aria, as it was he who was brought out on stage. He had clearly been tortured and bled. Bathory commented that Franco had revealed secrets about the agents, enough that she felt she could at least trust them. But it was now time to end Franco’s life as he had damaged the integrity of her operation by penetrating some of the defenses. And she wanted the team to kill him. Shedding his blood with the silver blade Illari carried would be symbolic, transferring the weapon into an artifact of great power, such as the spear that pierced Christ’s side or the guns that killed the Archduke or President Kennedy. They were standing on the edge of history at this moment.

Whereas most of the team reacted in horror at this possibility, wanting no part in killing a trusted friend and ally, Cal had a different opinion. He was ready to strike the blade in Franco’s heart without hesitation in order to serve the Blood Countess. Bathory theorized the scene would play out in one of several ways: the group killing Franco in a blood ritual of treachery but putting their souls in danger, Cal killing Franco and then being killed by his fellow agents or all of them trying to walk away.

Which would it be?

In a tense few moments, the team mentally ran down their options. Wolfgang and Illari began to undo the bonds that kept Franco in place. Illari, to his horror, realized that Franco, who having been tortured, was not insane and could possibly recover. This would not be a mercy killing at all. This would be a depraved murder. But the Countess watched, seeing how the scene would play out. Cal balked first, not wanting to miss the opportunity to please the Blood Countess. Before the two allies could take Franco off the stage, he unleashed his spell, The Power of Humanity, onto Franco, killing him, instantly. As Cal turned to explain his actions, desperately, Vicente Rojas turned and shot him in the head, with Cal dead before he hit the floor. This, suggested Vicente, was a mercy killing.

The Countess, amused by what had happened watched as silence fell on the stage, interrupted only by the sounds of Aria lapping up the last moments of life that flowed out of Franco. The Countess turned to the remaining agents and told them if they were gone by midnight, they would have no reason to fear reprisals from her and she would never again bother them. If they were to stay, then she would continue to assist them in their war against Dracula. It was a decision they had to make . . . Soon.

After some tense discussions, the team decided that whereas it may not be wise and that Bathory may or may not be trusted, she was their best option for the time being and she may be the best ally they had. Certainly the most powerful, if not the most ruthless. In the end they decided to stay and see what the Countess had to offer.

The following morning, they met with her and she further detailed that indeed, LeClerqe seemed to have one of the Trinity Seals. They could either attempt to buy it from her, barter with her or steal it. But since LeClerque was a sometimes valued member of her extended operation, she would want whatever was done with subtlety and without her name attached as that was a bridge the Countess was not yet ready to burn. Not yet anyway.

It was at this point that Vicente seemed to recall another agent he had worked with in the past, a woman named Katerina ‘Kat’ DeWein, who had experience in the European underworld and had contacts with the German intelligence world as well as that of The Unicorn. Vicente quickly set up a meet.

DeWein proved to be very familiar, very brass and very capable of what she was doing; clearly a ‘face’ in the world of intelligence gathering. The N Branch Ring that Fechtner wore on his finger, a gift from his new allies, was something that caught her attention. DeWein revealed that she was familiar with the LeClerque organization from some of their arms deals and drug operations in Prague and that the two lovers had the local authorities in fear or on the payroll. Dealing with these two would have to be a careful step. But as fate would have it, she had a former lover upon whom she was still on good terms, Johann Strause, who was an operative in their empire that she may be able to activate. Either way, however, they would need to act fast. The reason the women had the Trinity Seal was unclear but it was unlikely they would be holding onto it for long . . .

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Episode 47: Neck Deep in Werewolves Before the Night is Done

July 20th, 2018 – July 23rd, 2018

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The discussion with Szofia Nadasdy (Elizabeth Bathory) revealed that she had a begrudging respect for the agents as they seemed to have come as far as they did and some of her associates suggested that they were dedicated and worth bringing into her trust. She suggested that the rest of them meet for dinner later as she would have the opportunity to further discuss the Trinity Seals. At that, the group remained in the exclusive spa while she left them, having to deal with more pressing matters.

Upon their return to their rooms, they had a note waiting for them. Written in code, they immediately detected the communication was from Pascal Lerue, suggesting he was at the hotel and staying on a different floor. He beckoned them to meet up with him to report on their latest activities.

Arriving at his room, Wolfgang Fechtner and Cal Morrison filled him in on what had been happening the past few weeks, including why they were in Vienna, specifically their recent encounter with Bathory. This quickly began a conversation where Cal was on the defensive with Fechtner and Lerue, wildly defending a possible alliance with Bathory, whereas his associates were far less trusting of her. It was clear that the exposure to the Bathory Journals may have had a negative impact on him and could have warped his mind. This caused Lerue to decide to keep a close watch on his associate to ensure he had not completely slipped into madness. But one thing was evidently clear – he would not allow for an attack against the Countess and strongly felt she was a worthy ally.

Later they were all taken to a private dining area on a secure floor that was heavily guarded. It was there they met the Countess for dinner (of course she dined on something altogether different than her guests). Throughout the course of the evening, they engaged her in conversation and she introduced them to two of her associates; her majordomo, Janos Ujvary and the leader of her mercenaries, Martin Schule.

The Countess then turned her attention towards the topic of the Trinity Seals. She explained that these seals were powerful weapons against Dracula. If used in the proper way, they would hobble his ability to react to the agents and could potentially weaken him. The Countess told them that she had information that an agent of Russian President Viktor Petrov, Igor Vozich, had stolen the seals from the State Russian Museum in Moscow and had arranged a sale with a likely Edom agent, Jorge Robles. The meeting was happening in Budapest in roughly 48 hours. The Countess offered assistance if the team needed it, in the form of a team of mercenaries and her chief mercenary, Schule. The team agreed and set out to pack their things and co-ordinate with Schule.

En route to Buspast, a couple of days later, Cal examined some of the research he had conducted on the Bathory Journals and made a stunning determination. In questioning why the Countess would be so intent on destroying Dracula, he realized that her likely goal was nothing short of removing Dracula, taking his pre-existing organization, and assuming control for herself. She was a being of ambition and ruthlessness and dealing with her would be something that would have to be taken with even more care than was already being given.

The team arrived in Budapest in immediately investigated the location where the exchange was to take place – a cemetery outside the city. They searched for all possible points of entry and exit and planned out where they would position Bathory’s mercenaries. Meanwhile, Cal set out positioning remote detonated claymores and hunting down an RPG in case things went badly.

The following night, when they arrived, they hid in various positions and placed Vicente Rojas on top of a caretaker’s building nearby. He would provide excellent sniper cover. Everything was just about ready. But Cal had one more plan up his sleeve.

Cal set out to create a dummy account and planned on intercepting the electronic payment that Rojas was going to provide to Vozich. Knowing that the money would likely come from Bichi National Bank, Cal was ready to create a stalling tactic for the deal, hoping the confusion would buy them some time to swoop in and steal the Trinity Seals.

When the met began, the two groups came together from different directions and had a brief discussion. When it was evident that Robles wanted to see the item that Vozich had brought, there seemed to be some kind of initial problem. Based on partial lip reading and partial study of body language, Fechtner determined that perhaps Robles thought it was a fake or perhaps something with the authenticity was in question. But the issue was quickly resolved and the deal continued. It was at this point that Cal executed his scheme.

As soon as the money was being transferred, Cal intercepted it and only allowed 10% of the funds to process. This caused more confusion on the part of the two teams. And they seemed to begin to take some kind of precautionary action but the precise nature of the action was unclear. But within moments, things began to get brutal.

Immediately behind Fechtner and Cal appeared a disturbingly mangy dog that was growling, catching their attention. As it turned out, the creature seemed impervious to physical attacks, indicating it was some kind of apparition or disguised surveillance system. When the shooting began, everyone drew and the bullets were everywhere in mere moments. The most shocking aspect was when several of Robles’ men transformed into werewolves and began savage attacks. But fortunately, the agents were prepared with silver jacketed rounds.

As the firefight continued and enemies were picked off in a short amount of time, Lerue made his way to Robles and Vozich and snatched the item that was being sold and raced it to safety. As soon as they had killed all the guards as well as the werewolves, they quickly escaped, unsure of exactly who would arrive next. But either way, they did not want to be present.

En route back to Vienna to report to the Countess, they opened the satchel that was transporting the items and to their surprise, they discovered that the contained did not have three Trinity Seals, but merely one Trinity Seal. This was certainly something they would have to investigate as there were clearly two others out there they they would have to track down.

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Episode 46: From Prussia with Love

July 15th, 2018 – July 20th, 2018

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Magda Vasilescu stood over the defeated agents, with their lives in her hands. However, she seemed to be willing to negotiate for said lives, but on her terms. Her underlings arrived to take Wolfgang Fechtner, Illari Vassyl and Vicente Rojas to the infirmary while Magda took Cal Morrison to another room to negotiate. With Cal, Magda was very clear – she felt that there was a way he and the agents could assist her and her operation but she was unsure if they were the right people for the job. If she discovered they were not the right people, she would surely kill them. She further explained that while she was an enemy of Dracula, he was a difficult opponent If they were to succeed against him, they would need more resources. And for those, they would need to go to Vienna and meet with her associate, Henri Valant. It was then that she left to allow Cal to clean himself up and she would await for the rest to join her.

Meanwhile, Illari watched as Wolfgang and Vicente laid motionless, close to death. A man, seemingly a doctor, looked over the two of them, mostly taking pictures. Illari realized that Wolfgang’s medical problems were severe and would need hospitalization. He was unsure how they would get out of this situation. It was then that Magda came in and surveyed the situation. Seeing Wolfgang laying on the table, she quietly cut her wrist and fed her blood to him. Illari tried to stop her but she quickly dismissed him with her magic powers. Within a short amount of time Wolfgang was recovering from his grievous wounds.

After she left, Wolfgang came around, amazed that he was back from the brink of death. But when Illari explained what happened, Wolfgang was shocked and suffered a brief mental break, fearing that he was on the verge of turning into a vampire. But when Cal came in, he explained that the Linea Bathory did not turn victims without arcane acts. But shortly after the reunion, they were summoned by some of Magda’s underlings to bring them upstairs for a group meeting.

Upon arriving back upstairs, they were led to the library. Magda was out on the patio, overlooking London. However, collected in the library were many of her vampire servants, suspiciously eying the agents as they approached, hissing as they got closer. But clearly they had specific instructions not to bother them and they approached Magda unmolested. Together, they discussed their options.

Magda was intrigued at the possibility of ending Dracula’s reign of terror as she and her organization were enemies of the Dark Prince. She further explained that she lived in secret, hiding from groups like Edom who would love to try and recruit her to work for them. However, that was against her interests. She suggested that her ally, Henri Valant in Vienna, would provide them with further details if they were willing. She would provide them transportation but there was something they needed to do for her. In Le Harve, France, there was a semi truck waiting for them. All they had to do was, en route to Vienna, take the semi to Salzburg where they would hand it off to agents of hers and then move on to the Grand Vienna Hotel where Valant was waiting. With the fragile agreement in place, the agents left to rest and get as far away from Magda as possible, even though Cal was evidently intrigued by the the woman’s charms.

Over the next few days they gathered their strength, healed and collected the supplies they needed. During this time Illari noticed that there was a dark change in Cal. The war against Edom and Dracula’s minions had finally taken a toll in the altercation underneath Darkest Night. He was developing psychological wounds that would not be easily healed. But Illari knew that he would have the will to move on and continue the fight.

Once in Le Harve, they found the semi as well as the small compact car that Magda had provided. Illari was curious about what they were transporting but Cal reminded them that Magda was clear on her instructions not to open it. In the end, they all came to the conclusion it was better not knowing.

On the way to Salzburg, Wolgang received a call from his former handler, Johan Schmidt. Schmidt was brief and to the point: He had always respected Wolfgang and what was about to happen was nothing personal. It was at that moment that Wolfgang warned everyone to brace for impact as two small helicopters arrived on the horizon. Clearly he had sent a kill team to take the group out. However, a few well placed shots and some tactical driving by Wolfgang took the assassins out, but then they had to pull off in order to conceal their vehicles as the altercation had been messy and dangerous on a high traffic road in Germany.

Upon arriving at the Grand Vienna Hotel, they were immediately shown into a back lounge and not long after, Henri Valant arrived. Cal was concerned he would be holding onto a grudge when when they robbed him several months ago and from when they robbed his storage facility and made off with the Bathory Journals. However, Valant seemed to not even acknowledge the incident. Instead, he stated that Magda stated she highly recommended their abilities for a series of projects. It was then that he referenced something they had not come across before – the Trinity Seals. He stated that the Trinity Seals were not in his possession but knew where they could get hold of them. However, in order to further discuss the specifics, he needed to check into a few details. In the meantime, he checked them into some rooms and provided passes for the exclusive spa on the grounds of the hotel.

When they relaxed in their rooms and then went to the basement where the spa was located, they were shown into a private sauna. However, there was an individual waiting for them. The woman introduced herself as Szofia Nadasdy, but to Cal it was clear who she really was.

Elizabeth Bathory.

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Episode 45: Linea Bathory

July 13th, 2018 – July 15th, 2018

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The next option for the agents involved setting up an operation with Hanna Stasuk in order to get into Darkest Night. They needed to pose as wealthy eccentrics in order to look around and see if there was any truth to what Hanna had to say about the possible human trafficking operations. They knew it would take a day or two in order for her to set it up so they allowed her the room she needed and they used that time to investigate what the Patrescu Travel Agency had to offer. In the meantime Hanna assured Illari Vassyl that she would do her best to set them up right.

The team went to the travel agency which was on a forgotten London street. The smell of curry and the dank air hung like a fog. Upon entering, they noticed a couple older men playing chess and a buxom receptionist seeming disinterested and posters that advertised Dracula and his relationship to Transylvania.. But as soon as they came in, a few words were dropped that caught one of the older men’s attention. But the word that seemed to have the most impact was when Illari mentioned Matias Emerlich. This prompted one of the older men who introduced himself as Ilie Patrescu, to bring them in his back office.

He was cagey and suspicious but before too long he did reveal that he has been working with the CIA and MI6 for years, acting as a middle man between agents in the east and agents in the west, professing his strong hatred for Communism, Stalin and Ceausescu, in particular.

When the topic returned to Emerlich, he explained that he and Emerlich had been associates for years but he was hesitant to admit it but he had reason to believe that the traitor in the 77 Mole Hunt was Emerlich. Further, as the discussion progressed, he revealed something even more earth shattering. He explained that not only did he know one of the annotators of the Dracula Dossier, ‘Van Sloan,’ but that Van Sloan was still alive and in Wales, in his 90’s. He agreed to provide them with the way to get a hold of him as long as they left his name out of it as he did not want Van Sloan’s wrath upon him. But he also warned that Van Sloan was wily and far more spry than a man his age. Of course, he also reassured them that Van Sloan was not a member of the undead.

A this point they left and they waited until the next day to execute the plan to infiltrate Darkest Night. They arrived in a limo with Cal Morison posing as the agent of an obscure prince who would be interested in partaking of the wares Darkest Night offered. Wolfgang Fechtner, Vicente Rojas and Illari waited nearby. They reviewed the numbers for the club as well as the billing, playing the part of the prince’s agents, focusing on whether or not they could perhaps, purchase girls if they so desired. The agent they spoke to quickly turned things over to Magda Vasilescu, the manager of Darkest Night, who assured them that everything was for sale . . .

When Ms. Vasilescu took them on a tour, they met up with Hanna. The entire location seemed lavish and expensive but they were not prepared for what awaited them in the basement of the club.

Ms. Vasilescu opened up a large room filled with BDSM equipment but when she leaned in to whisper a secret to Cal, she instead attacked him, baring her fangs. When Hanna did the same to Illari, they realized that Hanna had been turned. As Vasilescu sunk her hangs into Cal, he also came to the sudden realization that these women were vampires in the line of Elizabeth Bathory, information that had come to him after reading the Bathory Journals. These were not only powerful vampires but also had the blood of witches in them, making them equally powerful sorcerers.

For the agents, the altercation did not go well. They fought valiantly but the sheer power of Vasilescu was overwhelming. Her powerful magic and her vampire followers were almost too much for them. But Cal was a fast thinker and recalled his reading of the Bathory Journals where Elizabeth Bathory was a sworn enemy of Dracula. He used this to attempt to convince Vasilescu that a deal could be made. It was not until the last moment, from a position of strength that she agreed. Certainly, her underlings had been destroyed, including Hanna, but Vasilescu was in complete control of the negotiations to come . . .

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Episode 44: Secrets of N-Branch

July 8th, 2018 – July 12th, 2018

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Laying low for a few days, the team decided that they would leave Exeter and return to London, despite the higher heat and traffic that they were generating. Wolfgang Fechtner pitched his idea to the team of the next stop in their journey – the mysterious N Branch safehouse of which they had found references. Since N Branch was an occult and supernatural investigating agency, they may have answers or they may be nothing but trouble. Since the documents they had uncovered stated the safehouse was located in the Baden Hotel, it was decided that Fechtner would check in, while Cal Morrison and Illari Vassyl would observe nearby and Vicente Rojas would scope out a location to observe, all waiting to spring into action in case Fechtner found himself in trouble.

Fechtner checked into the Baden and shortly after indicating to the desk clerk that he was a member of German intelligence, the clerk immediately changed the room, indicating there was something special for him awaiting. After checking into the room and ordering room service, Fechtner was in for a surprise when the hotel manager arrived, who was actually the chief of station at the facility. The woman, Hansi ‘the Hun’ Wollf, a woman whose reputation preceded her. She came with an assistant, Lothar Kruger. To say they were intimidating, was an understatement.

Meanwhile, Cal and Illari were several blocks away and monitoring the traffic in the area. Cal noticed that there was a massive traffic rearrangement happening and a route to the Baden Hotel was being established, blocking all activity in the area. Something was happening and a massive convoy was coming towards the hotel. Word, Cal recognized the call signs of Tyler Gold of the CIA. Whatever was happening was something involving the CIA as well as N Branch.

Back in the hotel, Wollf was interested in finding out why Fechtner was present in the area and wanted him to stay in his room for the evening, suggesting she had to oversee a major project. It was clear she intended him to be out of her way and that she would have him monitored. Fecthner did, as a sign of good faith, offer up a copy of the Dracula Proposal letter as he felt it was something she might find useful. It was then that they began discussing the Dracula Dossier and the dangers it entailed, especially the danger posed by Edom. Upon leaving, Cal and Illari contacted Fechtner and informed him of the major traffic patterns. Fechtner then informed them that the chief of station, Wollf, was overseeing something major. Both groups immediately decided they needed to know what that was.

That night, as the caravan came towards the hotel, Cal sprung into action, launching a drone towards the truck carrying the mysterious cargo. Further, Fechtner managed to dodge the team monitoring him and went to the bowels of the hotel where the truck was likely headed. As Cal’s drone watched from a distance and Fechtner monitored from the loading dock, Wollf, her team and Tyler Gold all seemed to oversee the unloading of the item. However, disturbingly, the individuals who unloaded the truck all donned aprons with arcane sigils, seemingly protective magic, that indicated that they needed special protection from whatever was inside . . .

The crate that was unloaded was a large item that buckled and quaked, indicating something was inside. The group moved the dangerous item from the warehouse to a side room, locking it up, securely. Upon leaving and sneaking back to his room, Fechtner contacted Cal and the two groups discussed the possibility of opening up, but then abandoned the idea, suspecting it was overly dangerous.

That night, Illari contacted his friend, Hanna Stasuk, an escort with Darkest Night. He suspected that she may have information that impacted their current investigation, especially since there was a connection between Darkest Night and Henri Valant. Illari decided this would be a good opportunity to meet up with her. At the same time, Cal had a conversation with Dr. Oskar Beaufort, asking him where he was in the research process.

The following morning Fechtner met up with Wollf who had some deeper details to discuss with him. She explained that she had significant intelligence on a few different areas of interest to Fechtner and his team. She would need him to do a few jobs for him while he was in the field and she would provide the assistance she could for him. She had information on the mysterious Major Doring and his connection to the dangerous Tuefel Cartel. She also provided him with a special item, the N Branch Ring. The ring was able to protect individuals from potent magic, such as that found at the Scholomance, but would make individuals more of a target from vampire attacks. However, it also would act as a scrying device, allowing for Wollf’s team to watch over him, perhaps even spying on him. But she was very clear that if she were to assist him and he were interesting in being involved with N Branch, he would have to do exactly as she said and follow her instructions, no matter how dire the command was.

When the group met back up, they exchanged information, with Fechtner carefully omitting the deal he made with Wollf. They then decided to meet up with Hanna as Illari wanted to ask her about some of the details at Darkest Night. Upon meeting up with her, she revealed that there were some mysterious activities happening at the escort club. When showed a picture of Henri Valant, she did say that he was present recently but the real problems were that there were several girls who had gone missing in recent months. She was relieved when Illari stated he and his friends would investigate and see what they could do for her.

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Episode 43: Darkness in Exeter

June 30th, 2018 – July 5th, 2018

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The team had several options at their disposal. They were unsure whether they wanted to investigate the Exeter Cannery or conduct a full on assault. Both options seemed as if they would be wrought with peril. But if it would lead to more information about the HMS Proserpine, then it might be worth it. Of course, with Cal Morrison, still conducting his searches on uncovering the ship’s position, they may have that information sooner rather than later anyway. They also questioned themselves whether or not they could uncover information at the London travel agency run by Ilie Petrescu as he seemed to have contacts that went back years in the intelligence community. And then, of course, there was the mysterious Reginald Hillary, the enigmatic law professor who likely had more information, as well.

Wolfgang went through the hard drive of the professor’s he had cloned. He found little of interest other than some important documents he was prepared to send to Parliament, promoting his view of an independent oversight committee over intelligence activities. But in light of recent events, such as those of Laural Dene and the actions at Carfax Abbey, the professor needed more time.

Illari Vassyl decided to spend some time on the streets of Exeter, talking to locals in different personas. He discovered that for many decades some of the locals had long felt that there was some hub of conspiracies in the area, but nobody had any belief that the cannery was in any way responsible. It seemed as if Edom or the rest of the shadowy forces had let the population believe there were conspiracies but wanted them to keep their attention far away from the cannery.

Wolfgang Fechtner, meanwhile, spent time trying to move through the city of Exeter, attempting to observe what he could see, with regards to Edom surveillance teams. His instincts, as a spy, kicked in and he was overcome with a sense of dread. He felt something was wrong. Something big. Something ominous. He was unsure whether he had been made or observed but he immediately decided to get out of the area and make his way to a different safe house he had set up in order to lie low and not take the Edom agents back to his team. Meanwhile, unaware that Wolfgang was experiencing such a traumatic moment, Illari decided to invest his day in going up and down the coast, purchasing a variety of SCUBA pieces in case the team needed to either breech the security of the cannery or breach the HMS Proserpine, assuming they could discover it. They wanted to keep their options open and have as much equipment as possible.

Wolfgang made contact, carefully, with the rest of the team at which point Vicente Rojas took to the streets to see what activity he could uncover. With his strong background in following people and watching the watchers, he determined that the various Edom agents that had been noticed around Exeter the past few days had all pulled back. They were all circling back to the cannery, perhaps protecting something or waiting for something. Either way, the streets were cleared of agents and then the thought occurred to them – perhaps the mysterious Professor Hillary’s home would not be watched and this could be an excellent opportunity to make contact with him to see what he knew.

Realizing this could be an excellent opportunity to speak with Prof. Hillary, Wolfgang created a cover identity and made his way to the professor’s home, with Illari waiting as backup, nearby. Cal continued to search for the Proserpine and Vicente decided it was best to wait with him for protection. Wolfgang made his way to the professor’s stately home, unprepared for the conversation that would soon transpire.

Meeting with the professor’s assistant, she seemed surprised that a visitor would arrive. It was not until he told her he was a reporter with The Guardian that she reluctantly let him in. Soon she summoned Prof. Hillary who could only move by use of motorized wheelchair. The professor, certainly an eccentric, was eager to talk with Wolfgang, but it was evident he was hiding something – or at the very least holding information back. After all, the professor had been under watch by Edom and whether he knew who they were or not, he likely had reason to be cautious with people he did not know.

It did not take too long for them to come around to a similar way of thinking. Prof. Hillary stated that in the capacity of his work, he was constantly reviewing government documents for their legal significance. he had come across some unusual items and strange papers that suggested a shadowy organization. Wolfgang gave that organization a name: Edom. The professor stated that was a name he had seen a few times but assumed it was some kind of society of individuals within the intelligence community, as opposed to a distinct organization. When Wolfgang ‘came clean’ with him and confessed to not being a journalist, but instead a member of MI5, the professor seemed shocked, but believed the tale that Wolfgang was there to root out these conspiracies from within the intelligence organizations. The professor whole heartedly agreed to help. In fact, he had something that he felt Wolfgang needed to see with his own eyes.

Meanwhile, Cal and Vicente were closing in on the location of the Proserpine, or so they hoped. However, as the data was downloading and being mined, there was a brief, but sudden, power outage that impacted their work. Cal, nervous that there was something amiss, immediately decided to pack up and move to a new location.

Back at Prof. Hillary’s home, his assistant brought forth a briefcase and withdrew a glass case from it. There was a letter under glass. The Dracula Proposal. In short, this document was a letter written by an unknown individual, but was thought to perhaps be Peter Hawkins (Jonathan Harker’s old law partner), requesting a meet up with Dracula, himself. Hillary revealed that a friend of his, who wished to remain nameless for the time being, offered it up. Wolfgang took photographs and transcribed what the document stated as he felt this would be helpful for the greater investigation. Wolfgang left Hillary’s home with the promise to be in touch shortly, as the associate of Prof. Hilary’s was intriguing and could well prove useful – if Prof. Hillary were to survive.

Meeting back up, the team finally received the reward they had been looking for with regards to Cal’s investigation into the Proserpine. Through managing satellite images and triangulating ship routes, they discovered the location of the Proserpine. It was a ‘stone frigate,’ or oil rig sitting in the North Sea. This was an alternation, somewhat, to their plans as they had been under the working assumption that it was a more conventional vessel.

It was then that Illari was in for yet another shock. Reports and alerts that he had set up for notifications brought to his attention some disturbing developments. It seemed that several contacts they had made had turned up dead in the past 12 hours. Their bodies found in alleys, fished form the river or involved in seeming accidents. It was likely that Edom or Dracula was hunting them down in a night of torture, interrogation and bloodshed. Among some of the individuals who had been removed from the playing field were: Madame Karolina, Boiko Kostevych, Mrs. Gordozha, Oscar Willingham, Ian Hyde-Cook, Anna Szabo and Daniela Vogel. The noose was tightening and the forces of evil were moving in as fast as the agents were moving in on Edom.

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Episode 42: The Proserpine Gambit

June 21st, 2018 – June 30th, 2018

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The first order of business after dealing with the seance was to finally ride themselves of the cursed Bathory Journals that had been haunting Cal Morrison for weeks. He felt the pull of their evil getting stronger and stronger and suspected that he could accept the offer of Henri Valant’s man, Claude Malinbois. It sickened him to have to surrender them but these evil texts were becoming more trouble than they were worth and Valant’s men were increasingly dogged about having them returned. The group oversaw the hand off and in return Malinbois delivered a small fortune in blood diamonds.

From there, the team contacted their associate, Oskar Beaufort, the mysterious scientist who had been conducting research into vampirism on their behalf. Beaufort gave them the location to his current safehouse in Milan, Italy. It was a quick route outside of London then on to the continent.

Upon meeting up with Dr. Beaufort they were interested in the developments he had made with the various blood samples they had provided the past couple of months. He admitted that his research was in the initial stages. However, he had determined that the blood of more powerful Vampires had a stronger impact on certain kinds of animals, such as dogs, wolves, bats, etc. Also, he discovered, the hard way, that dust from vampires could be brought back to existence when amounts of blood were added. It was very difficult to fully destroy a vampire, apparently. Beaufort also mused on different subjects, including some of the human collaborators, in the same line as Renfield. He would love to have gotten his hands on one of these Renfields.

The good news was that Beaufort had developed a serum, the Beaufort Serum Mark I, which would act as an antidote if someone had been bit, without the side effects of the Blomberg Serum. However, the more powerful the vampire, the less likely it was to be effective. Further, it was very expensive, presently, to produce.

After spending some time with Dr. Beaufort and bringing him up to speed on their cases, they left for Spain, for the Dominican Monastery, where they wanted to put Wolfgang Fechtner through a cleansing ritual. Since one of the brides of Dracula, a lieutenant named Madame St Armand had developed a psychic link with him, they needed a special religious ceremony to break that bond. They spent a few days at the monastery and tried to convince the monks to surrender some of their older relics, which was flatly declines. So instead Cal contacted Bishop Jean-Baptiste Champavier, the head of the Society of St Lazarus of Bethany who agreed to find some relics they could use, for a price.

In determining their next steps, the team decided to head to Exeter where they had a suspicion that they was some connection with the HMS Proserpine. They felt the Proserpine was a key location with important data they needed. Whereas the ship may dock in Exeter, they also knew it might not. Either way, Exeter was likely the best place they could start.

It took a few days of boots on the ground in Exeter to determine the most likely location for their target. The Exeter Fishery was a large location, on the waterfront and would provide excellent cover, much like the power and water plant in Carfax in London. However, according to the Dracula Dossier, this location was likely a training facility for agents and would be difficult to breach. They would need an alternate plan than previous ones.

Cal began to track and monitor the traffic coming in and out of the fishery, suspecting that the Proserpine would not dock there but some of the smaller ships might be acting as a relay point between the Proserpine, wherever that was, and the fishery. It would take him nearly a week to do, he suspected, so in the meantime, Illari Vassyl, Vincente Rojas and Fechtner would do the leg work, watching the facility. They managed to catch a surveillance team, following them. Curiously, they were observing a local resident, a law professor, named Reginald Hillary. When the background of Mr. Hillary was researched, it was uncovered that he was a lecturer at the school of law at Exeter, and was an expert on government overreach and had been requesting countless documents on the post World War II era. Perhaps Edom was concerned about the professor’s research. Either way, they were keeping a constant watch on him.

While Cal worked on tracking the ship movements in and out of the fishery, the rest of the team decided they wanted to infiltrate Prof. Hillary’s home. They found he was an invalid, living in a large stately home with a live-in nurse and personal assistant while he conducted his research. They knew the professor, with his limited mobility would likely not be an issue, but they wanted to avoid catching the attention of the Edom surveillance team. Nevertheless, Fechtner and Rojas entered the house through the basement and found nothing amiss in the house. When they went to his office, they found endless government documents, books, texts and so on. Fechtner also found a file on his old associate Mathias Emmerlich tucked away with the Caliban Letter which he promptly took. It also made reference to an associate in London who ran a travel agency who may have been a CIA operative. After cloning the professor’s hard drive, the team left, ready to pour over the details once they returned to the hotel where Cal was mining data.

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Episode 41: The Dead Talk Fast

June 14th, 2018 – June 17th, 2018

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At a remote bed & breakfast outside of London, the agents met up with Laurel Dene to discuss the next phase of their plan involving the would-be defector from Edom. Dene stated his name was ‘Corsley’ and he had a significant amount of information to provide to the agents. It was designed they would meet up with Corsley at a Catholic church in a small Irish neighborhood 30 minutes north of London. This would be enough out of the way to provide needed privacy to talk with the mysterious Corsley. Wolfgang Fechtner made the arrangements and it was decided that he and Cal Morrison would do most of the discussions with Corsley with Pascal Lerue and Illari Vassyl inside, hiding and Vicente Rojas outside watching the streets.

When Corsley arrived, he was apprehensive, at first, providing very few details about himself. However, he revealed that he was one of Hound’s agents and his responsibilities were executing on a variety of her schemes and operations, stating that he was not thrilled with the way things were headed. He felt as if the line had been crossed numerous times and they were using a monster to fight other monsters, referencing, of course, Dracula. He had hoped that Ms. Dene and her connections with the media would be enough to frustrate the purposes of Edom and begin to set things right. When asked what Hound’s weakness was, he revealed that her arrogance was a downfall for her. He also made reference to a contact of his, someone who was somewhat Edom friendly, but could be a useful asset for the agents. Agost Vambery, a billionaire financier, was someone Corsely had leveraged in the past and someone who may be able to help in the future after he, Corsley, had left town.

Just as Corsley was starting to reveal his terms for further assistance, the church doors burst open and there were attackers, quickly recognized as the Ruvari Szgany, a branch of the Romanian Mafya. They were able to approach under the heavy London fog and were clearly here to execute Corsley. When the massive firefight took place, Corsley was mortally wounded and the rest of the team was banged up significantly. However, with his dying breaths, Corsley begged them to not let his body fall into Edom’s hands, prompting Cal and Wolfgang to recall that Edom had powers of necromancy that allowed them to interrogate the dead. Instead, they had their own plan, where perhaps, they, with some help, could ask questions of the soon to be deceased Corsely. Before leaving they were able to erase some of the CCTV footage that both showed them as well as Corsley’s arrival. This would buy them some time by making their enemies think that Corsley was still alive.

Returning to the safehouse provided by William Hester, the team cleared out as much of the material as they could to prepare for the seance. They did their best to calm Ms. Dene who was understandably upset after being shot at by Romanian mobsters. But Cal devised a plan that would not only hamper the future activities of these mobsters, no doubt agents of Dracula or Edom or both, but would also provide further distractions for the media and law enforcement. He began to engineer the mistrust and anger between the Ruvari Szgany and the IRA.

At the same time, the agents knew they had to make use of a contact, Madame Karolina, an associate of Cal’s who reportedly had psychic powers and whom they had used before. However, the team was increasingly mistrustful and paranoid, making them wonder whether they could trust her or not. But in the end, they knew she was the only person to whom they could turn. They knew with the help of the Spirit Board they had gained from Hela Cuthburt Singleton, they may be able to use it to contact Corsley’s spirit.

Madame Karolina was shown the body of Corsley and reluctantly agreed to help, but upon finding out who he was and what line of work he had been in, warned that there would be dangers as they would be likely dealing demonic entities. The agents had to agree that when she stated the interrogation with the deceased was over they would agree with her.

When Karolina spoke to Corsley’s ghost, it was a terrifying experience as his body bolted upright and the sounds of his voice were marred with a nightmarish sound. They pressed him with questions and he responded with short, curt and ominous answers. He Revealed a number of important details to them under pressure from Karolina’s powers:

  • Heartbreaker was actually Lucy Westenra from the novel Dracula
  • Hound and Elvis are involved in some kind of cold war with one another
  • Showed that Edom was well aware of Dr. Oskar Beaufort and his ‘Frankenstein research’

Eventually, Karolina stated she had to release the bonds of her control over Corsley and the team decided to more to his apartment and ransack it before Edom could do so. In the course of the search, they discovered that Corsley had gathered anough details on Hound to determine a weakness or fear. They found he ascertained she had an ironic fear of being turned into a vampire . . .

It was at this point that the agents decided they would try and pull an elaborate bluff with Hound, suggesting that Beaufort had some kind of anti-vampirism serum, in hopes of using this as leverage with her in the future. But for the immediate future, they decided to meet up with Beaufort to discover what research he had uncovered and inform him he was in far greater danger than they had anticipated.

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Episode 40: On Her Majesty's Sanguine Service

June 8th, 2018 – June 12th, 2018

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The heat of the coming summer was increasing, as well as the heat of increased scrutiny on British intelligence services. The increased media excitement over the revelations that MI5 and MI6 were involved in spying on citizens and maintaining secret black site facilities, allowed for a narrow window of opportunity to breach Carfax Abbey, posing as a water treatment facility. The Edom facility would have a smaller staff and would easier to breach. However, the agents needed something extra to get into the facility.

The agents made contact with Savas Osman who had recently return to London. Savas had a contact in MI5, Ian Hyde-Cooke, who, due to a past relationship, was well-placed in the intelligence community. Savas pressed Hyde-Cooke, who agreed to hand over names and descriptions of agents who would likely be transferred to Carfax Abbey, allowing the agents to take their places. This would provide a brief opportunity for them to get in and investigate before the facility was closed down, permanently.

The agents found proper uniforms and a vehicle and Wolfgang Fechtner forged the proper documents to get them into the facility, posing as ‘new workers.’ Vicente Rojas was assigned to watch over Laurel Dene, the reporter, to ensure that no accidents befell her. The team hoped to be in and out quickly, but could not predict where things would take them.

The team arrived on the grounds and noticed that there was an increased amount of activity around the area, likely intelligence agencies, suspicious of what was going on at the location. With some of Edom’s secrets on the verge of exposure, the clandestine organization was on high alert. The team noticed a Rolls Royce parked outside the facility, which was highly suspicious. But after gaining entrance, they were assigned to speak to The Abbot, presumably the director of the facility.

The team was eventually taken to The Abbot’s office where they waited, noticing that there were numerous monitors, maps, and ringing phones. Before they could gather any real intelligence on the matter, they noticed the increased security and cameras at the facility. Eventually when The Abbot made his appearance, they noticed he was with a striking individual who appeared well manicured and professional. This Dark Stranger seemed as if he had intense business with The Abbot but when he gazed upon Osman, Fechtner and Cal Morrison, he seemed to stare into their souls and hinted at something demonic and truly evil. The agents could not get past his terrible gaze and it was only later that they suspected there was something far, far worse about him than suspected. It was later that they theorized her was perhaps a vampire, perhaps even Dracula, himself. But if so, what was he doing at Carfax Abbey, especially under such high scrutiny.

The Abbot seemed distracted after the Dark Stranger left, believing the ruse the agents had provided, assigning them to an operative in the basement of the facility. Upon arriving and getting their assignment, the agent was in the process of shredding documents, redacting topics from documents and secretly taking photos of some and perhaps sending them to some unknown individual. But the grim task to which he assigned them was cleaning up interrogation rooms where the bodies had been ripped apart and had their blood drained. It seemed as if there was a vampire that had been present that feasted on the victims. It was then that the agents realized they were in very, very deep, but had an opportunity to uncover secrets from the facility.

Savas consulted with his holy symbol and discovered a pair of locations in the basement with great evil. He determined that the main feature they wanted, a Red Room must have been one of them. It was then that Wolfgang enacted a plan to lift the other agents phone, as he was desperate to get whatever was on his phone and the photos he had been taking and sending to some individual.

They were reassigned to a new location and made their way there. The new agent was watching over a bank of monitors and medical equipment and it was determined that the agent was remotely watching and monitoring sleeper agents in London, individuals who were not aware of their involvement. Cal Morrison theorized this program was one where Edom could activate normal citizens into performing unspeakable acts of violence if the situation was needed, perhaps to distract media in giving them a better story. However, the agent assigned them to feeding duty in the next room, an area Savas identified as one of the central areas of evil.

As the agents made their way to the next room and descended into the hatch, they quickly encountered a powerful and evil vampire, Patient X, whose primary role was unclear but was likely a source of mystical blood for Edom. It was the agents’ duty to somehow feed this creature with a special blood bag they were given. They, of course, had to avoid the numerous other slave vampires that were also in the sub basement.

The task was tense and horrific. However, Cal managed to keep his wits about him long enough to take samples from not only the blood pack that was to be administered to Patient X but also took a blood sample from Patient X, himself, knowing that the mysterious Dr. Oskar Beaufort. This would likely greatly advance his research into vampirism and other life-extending measures. But once the task was done, they moved on, continuing the ruse that they belonged.

As the team went through the facility, there were rooms and other areas they avoided even though they suspected there were secrets that could be given up. But they needed to move on and not bring undo attention to themselves. They passed a dog kennel, numerous locked doors and even a chapel. It was the chapel that gave Savas an idea – taking the hosts from the tabernacle in the hopes they would be of some use when they found the eventual Red Room.

They came to an area with several doors but knew their time was running out. The room they determined would likely be the Red Room was near. But as soon as Wolfgang opened it and they saw an unholy alter and the walls dripping with blood, some powerful and sinister force overcame Cal and he attacked Savas, a bloodlust welling up deep inside of him. It took everything Wolfgang and Savas had to fight Cal off and subdue him but the mayhem was too much. Security forces were alerted. Savas had just enough time to lay down the holy hosts around the Red Room, sanctifying it and for good measure planted explosives in the room. It was then that the group made their way out, and took a chance with another mysterious door. As they entered, knowing this could be a dead end and thus, they would be trapped, they hoped for the best. However, they came into a room that they had not expected. A massive sarcophagus with two smaller ones on each side were present as well as mountains of dirt in and out of the coffins. Was this one of the tombs of Dracula? They had no time to ponder the consequences of their actions. hey merely acted quickly and with the best decision they felt they could make. They bathed the room in holy water and found a doorway out. The doorway led into a passage and into the tenement building across the street. This was clearly the way in which several of the agents were able to come in and out of the facility. They quickly escaped after detonating the explosives Savas had planted in the Red Room.

The news that came out of the day was that the water treatment facility was destroyed, through a terrorist act with Edom and their puppets circulating photos of the agents as the perpetrators. Edom used the agents’ attack as a pretext for their own false flag operation, doing their best to frame their enemies in the process.

When they circled back to the safehouse that William Hester had provided, they discovered that whereas there were some suspicious activity surrounding Laurel Dene, Vicente Rojas managed to protect her. Wolfgang investigated the phone they had lifted and discovered that the Edom operative who had the camera had been communicating with someone named ‘O.’ (Was it ‘Osprey?’ Was it ‘Oakes?’ Was it someone else?) The documents that had been photographed were documents dealing with Henri Valant, the Tuefel Cartel as well as the Van Brunt Protocol. It was evident that the information had been gathered by Elvis’ operatives under the order of Hound, showing more splits within the Dukes of Edom.

They then met up with Dene who dropped a bombshell: she had recently been in touch with a contact, someone who claimed to be with Edom and they wanted to defect and provide the team with information.

Was it an Edom trap? Or was it for real?

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Episode 39: Shining a Light

June 1st, 2018 – June 7th, 2018

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Once Cal Morrison got out of the hospital, the team reassembled, as everyone was in better shape, relatively speaking. Pascal Lerue appeared from the shadows to offer his assistance, especially after hearing of the savage attacks the agents had suffered at the hands of their enemies. Cal made sure to mention the strange professor on television he had seen, Memet Lucsai, the so-called ‘Dracuologist,’ as a possible lead – or trap. But the team thought they had a different important lead that was far more pressing – Carfax Abbey.

Upon leaving the hospital and connecting with the rest of the team, Pascal Lerue suggested they they needed a safe house. And when Cal mentioned his idea for creating some UV light related gadgets, they knew they needed somewhere they could not only rest, but work in peace. It was then that Pascal decided to activate his friend, William Hester, an employee of the British Museum (and coincidentally, the father of Sarah Hester, an active agent of the CIA). In short order, William set them up with a artifacts repair station that he had access to that was currently not in use. He met them and left with them keys, assuring them that they would have security and privacy.

The team then began to set out researching Carfax Abbey. The team knew that this location likely had secrets to reveal as this was supposedly the headquarters for Dracula in the late 19th century. More importantly, it likely contained a Red Room. If they could breach the area, they could find any number of clues, leads and details about Dracula. The following day, they began to monitor the location. The question was whether or not to include Laurel Dene, the journalist. For the time being, they decided to keep her in the dark for her own safety.

The initial examination of the neighborhood where Carfax Abbey once stood seemed to be a poor and heavily ethnic area. However, in a short amount of time, they discovered that there was an unusual amount of activity coming from the two government buildings across the street – the water treatment facility as well as an electric substation. It was suspected that the activity was more than simply civil service work. As the team began to follow and place the individuals under surveillance, their suspicions were confirmed and the individuals were likely in league with MI6 and Edom. Over the next few days the agents learned the following:

  • The Edom-backed agents were observing individuals, such as Hela Cuthbert Singleton, individuals in the government and individuals in the business world.
  • They were involved in pick ups and deliveries of human subjects, likely terror suspects, dealing with a military base
  • They were involved in pick ups and deliveries of cash and gold, with the same military base
  • Scheduled collections of unusual items, such as packages from Ginger Smythe, perhaps the same items that she and Tabitha Holmwood had been smuggling from the European continent

The team knew that whatever was inside ‘Carfax Abbey’ was likely more important than they had first suspected. They had to get inside and uncover those secrets. But they also knew they were dealing with professional intelligence men, assassins and killers. The heightened security involved would prevent them from an easy assignment, so they decided they would have to try a different approach. Wolfgang Fecthner suggested getting the journalist involved. At that point, the team concocted a scheme.

They decided to hand over much of the evidence they had collected, regarding the illegal surveillance on PM Ernie Pitt, one of the Parliament members Edom had been spying on. They knew that Pitt would take their bait and make headlines, hurling accusations at MI5 and MI6. This would provide the distraction the team needed to infiltrate the Carfax Abbey headquarters while the location had less personnel. They would have a small window of opportunity as enough light would have been shed on the facility as well as the practices of Edom’s puppet organizations. So they met with PM Pitt who reacted the exact way they expected and ran the first story the next day in The Guardian.

Later, however, as Cal and Vicente Rojas were out picking up food at a local pub, they had an encounter with a man introducing himself as Claude Malinbois, stating he represented the interests of Henri Valant, the true owner of the Bathory Journals. Mr. Malinbois was overly polite and genteel but stated in no uncertain terms that Mr. Valant wanted those journals back and there was a one time offer to provide compensation. When Cal stated he was less interested in money and more interested in an older artifact of some kind, perhaps a crucifix from the 1500’s. Malinbois said he would ask his employer.

The next day the story ran in The Guardian and all Hell broke loose in the media, in Whitehall and all throughout London. But was this the distraction needed to get into Carfax Abbey? The agents were about to find out if their gamble paid off.

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