Night's Black Agents: Dracula Dossier

Episode 8: The Terror at Slains Castle

December 18th – December 20th, 2017

After the firefight that broke out in the home of Hela Cuthbert Singleton, the team had to lay low in London or get out. It was decided that following up an investigation at Slains Castle would be a good way to check on that as well as let the London heat subside. It was decided that Wolfgang Fechtner would drive to Aberdineshire, Scotland, with Ilari Vasyl, Frankie Savage and Cal Morrison as his passengers. Sarah Hester, much to the suspicion of Cal, would meet them there by train with Vincente Rojas.

Upon arriving and checking into the sparsely populated seaside Scottish hotel (a week before Christmas at the off season afforded them great privacy), Cal immediately set about launching his drones over Slains Castle. He found absolutely no activity there which was unusual. However, he discovered that there were signals coming from somewhere in Cruden Bay that were trying to detect foreign objects, like drones. Tracking the signal back, the team determined that the signal was coming from a pub called the Gannet’s Nest. The group decided to work their way to the pub and see what secrets it would reveal.

Ilari and Frankie went into the pub and immediately determined there were several individuals around the pub that were clearly heavily trained men, mixed in with the crowd. Outside, Wolfgang and Cal cased the building and decided to infiltrate. Cal made his way to the top of the building and found their communications network which he quickly shut down before getting into the roof access door. Wolfgang stayed on the street acting as a lookout.

Within moments of getting inside the building, Cal was confronted by a site he was not expecting. A massive computer network was set up as well as a lone agent working on the material who spotted him. Within seconds a firefight broke out and Cal sent a message for help. What followed was a firefight between Cal and the agent as well as as Ilari blocking the other agents in the pub, by staging a bar fight. Wolfgang and Frankie quickly came to Cal’s rescue but not before the agent has hit an EMP pulse that destroyed the entire network and wiped their systems clean.

The three had a short amount of time to scour the rest of the building before more agents, likely Edom would arrive. They found a secret room that contained a variety of clues but were only able to secure a few before making their escape. They discovered a refrigerated room with a corpse who they recognized as the body of Vincent Clay, the deceased photographer from the Heal the Children gala from over a week ago. They made off with some other hard copy documents that they would review back in their hotel.

Upon reviewing the documentation they found, it was a recently prepared file, the Elvis Memo that contained some theories and recommendations from one Duke of Edom to another regarding what to do about some internal investigations as well as what to do about, presumably, the investigators. There were also veiled references to Lord Blakeford Caldwell, Gabriella Vega, Karl Bonnaire and perhaps even Tabitha Holmwood, Lord Godalming and Eloise Buckley, according to the investigators. Strangely, there was also mention of a ‘Dr. Drawes,’ which seemed like an unusual name and it was evidently not positioned in the same way the other worknames were positioned.

The group knew that they had a minimal amount of time to act with regards to Slains Castle before whatever cover the Gannet’s Nest was providing would bring more Edom agents to the scene. If they were going to investigate Slains Castle, now was the time to get in and out.

Getting to Slains Castle, it was strangely uninhabited. The group found a secret basement entrance that was well hidden and well locked but Fechtner was able to breach the door. They went into the darkness below, choking on the stale air until they each brandished a gas mask to aid in breathing.

They quickly discovered this was a long abandoned research facility, likely used by Edom, likely used to house items and conduct vampire research. But based upon some of the torn documents that were left behind, this facility had likely not been used since the 1980’s, possibly abandoned as a result from actions stemming from the Cushing Zeus Transcripts, specifically, 14 December 1981.

The investigators even came across a Red Room which was apparently a part of the research the Edom team was conducting, as well as a strange reference to something called ‘Proserpine’ which could have been a headquarters or some other location. Before they could traverse further, however, they were beset upon by something foul – likely the first of what would surely be Vampires!

The fight with the creature was brutal and almost led to the deaths of the investigators until Frankie was able to take a broken chair leg and through amazing luck, staked the creature through the heart. After laying on the floor exhausted for a few moments from this deadly opponent, they went through the rest of the facility, finding very little until they came to a sealed door.

Upon opening the sealed door they discovered a painting in storage, a lost masterpiece by William Adolphe Bouguereau, a figure whom Frankie had a somewhat personal connection. The painting, presumably called Lust of the Underworld was not known by any modern art expert and would be worth several hundred thousand dollars to the right collectors.

The group determined that the Edom facility under Slains Castle was likely not in use since the early 1980s and the desperate creature they faced off had been left behind to rot either due to accident or not knowing what to do with it. With this information as well as the clues they had gathered, they met up with Rojas and Hester to tell them what they learned and decided to return to London for an important meeting: Pascal Lerue was back in town!

Episode 7: Party Crashers

December 13th – December 16th, 2017

The events following the London Bombing resulted in Cal Morrison, Frankie Savage and Vincente Rojas lying low at the estate of Lord Caldwell for a few days. Then, after the bluster and excitement died down, Cal put out feelers to meet up with Wolfgang Fehctner and Illari Vasyl. Vasyl knew of a safehouse, the flat of a fellow Ukrainian, Mrs. Gordozha. There they would meet and discuss the next course of action. Cal was quickly saddened to discover that MI5 under the direction of Roger Wick, raided the home of Dr. Henry Loughlin, taking the eccentric professor and his wife, Jo, in for questioning in connection with the recent bombings. The noose was tightening.

Upon arriving, moving through the various secret access ways through the back of the building, they filled each other in on what they had learned as it was well over a week since some of them had been in communication. Cal, explained the theories that the mysterious Countess Dolinz was likely a vampire as she was not able to be photographed. He then pulled up her passport and did discover a photo which looked remarkably like her but in studying the image, he discovered that it was actually a well-crafted bust of the woman, allowing her to move through Europe with proper papers.

There were discussions on what to do next, what approach to best take and how to handle Countess Dolinz who was staying at the Hotel Corinthia for an extended London visit. Was a direct confrontation in order or something more subtle?

The topic of the eccentric Dr. Beaufort was brought up and the possibility of him being the target of an Edom raid, similar to that of Dr. Loughlin. However, Beaufort was far less public. But with MI5 kicking in doors and detaining and arresting anyone they could in connection with the London Bombing, there were certainly moves being made and Dr. Beaufort could be too hot to approach.

It was at this point that Wolfgang excused himself to visit Prestige Pawnbrokers and his associate Charles Asante. The Hillingham Brooch was ready, as well as the copy Asante had made for me. Asante assured him that the brooch was made sometime between 1880 and 1900 and was made by a reputable jeweler in Whitby which confirmed what Wolfgang had suspected. With the original and the copy, Wolfgang returned to Mrs. Gordozha’s flat to rejoin the others.

Meanwhile, Frankie had gotten a call from Tabitha Holmwood, the wealthy socialite he had been seen with. She invited him to a party she was attending that evening and wished to bring him along as a date. The party, hosted by none other than noted psychic and cult leader, Hela Cuthbert Singleton, was certain to be a wild affair. Frankie agreed and asked to bring along Cal as a date for Tabitha’s friend, Ginger Smythe.

It was agreed the team would go, if for no other reason than to see if a relationship with Tabitha could be cultivated as a way of getting close to her uncle, Lord Godalming. Besides, Cal had discovered, in his hack of Ginger’s phone, that she and Tabitha were planning on a art buying trip to Munich in a few days. Perhaps it was suspicious, perhaps it was not. It was arranged that Wolfgang would act as the driver and Illari would act as the bodyguard.

Cal went back to his flat to gather a few things he needed. He found agent Tyler Gold inside, looking at a framed photo of Gloriana Ambry. Whereas Cal found this unusual, they got down to business. Gold told him that the package that Cal had requested (Vanderpool Garlic) was something far more difficult to obtain from Chief of Station Eloise Buckley. And due to the attacks in downtown London, Cal was to go through Gold on all future requests. Cal asked Gold to pave the way for what would likely be some requests coming in the next few days, likely weapons but possibly cash or manpower. After their conversation, Cal met back with the others to attend the party.

Upon arriving at the Singleton estate, a party was already far underway. Tabitha introduced Cal and Frankie to the hostess, Hela Cuthbert Singleton and her partner, Fransiska Janis. And as they gazed around the house, they noticed party-goers already well inebriated and becoming very familiar with each other, evident that sexual orgies were likely on the agenda for the evening. Tabitha went off to meet with some friends, leaving Cal and Frankie to their own devices as Illari and Wolfgang waited outside.

Eventually Frankie made the acquaintance of ‘Hilde,’ one of the revelers at the party and was taken to a side room to get more intimate. While Frankie was with her, he noticed a Spirit Board on a mantle in the room, among several other unusual trophies and items. When the Spirit Board began to move and seemingly spell out a word, ‘HENNING,’ he was intrigued.

Shortly after Tabitha and her friends disappeared upstairs, Fransiska approached Cal and stated that Tabitha wanted to see him upstairs, alluding to something more carnal. When he followed her, he got the distinct impression something bad was about to happen, but proceeded anyway. When he got to the room in question, it was not Tabitha waiting for a sexual encounter but instead the infamous assassin Karl Bonnaire and some of his henchmen in the employ of Bichi National Bank. Karl quickly demanded to know where the Dracula Dossier was and proceeded to have his henchmen beat Cal when he did not get the answers he wanted. Cal did not even have the time to ponder what Karl was doing mixed up with the Dossier or even how he came to be aware of it. But when Cal threw down a flash grenade, making his escape, he quickly alerted the others and some of Karl’s agents, hidden throughout the house, sprung into action.

Frankie removed himself from the encounter he was having and grabbed the Spirit Board on his way out of the room, while Ilari came to the house and Wolfgang spun the car around. A massive firefight broke out, with Frankie proving he was the gunman he claimed to be, taking out several of the henchmen before the group turned tail and escaped, leaving Ginger and Tabitha behind.

Upon arriving back at the safe house, they were certainly interested in the Spirit Board but it was the document taped to the back that seemed to get their attention the strongest. It was another of the Cushing Zeus Transcripts, but this one predated the other they had found. The one, 5 May 1981 gave several references to a woman identified as ‘Cinderella’ who was clearly some kind of anthropologist, sociologist or women’s historian with a powerfully connected husband (at the time). When Illari researched the possible identity of Cinderella, using clues listed in the transcript, he deduced it was none other than Lady Zarina Peller-Talbot, noted women’s studies scholar and activist.

It was then decided, based upon some reviews of prior clues that it was best to leave London for a few days and a trip to Slains Castle would be in order to investigate the connections it had to some of the Cushing Zeus Transcripts. There could well be clues found and it would get them out of London and into Scotland for a few days.

Cal learned through MI5 back channels, that MI5 detained and interviewed a large number of individuals at the Singleton party. Tabiatha Holmwood was detained and a drug sweep was conducted. However, due to the amount of wealthy socialites in attendance, most of the affair was swept under the rug but quite likely the identities of Cal and Frankie’s covers were blown. And the corpses of the dead henchmen were taken away and the reports on them unfiled.

Episode 6: The Lady and The Countess

December 7th – December 11th, 2017

After the group left Lord Caldwell’s estate outside of London, they came back to the city and conducted a variety of side investigations on their own, confirming some of the details they had found at the estate. A few days following, Frankie Savage and Cal Morrison met up at Cal’s flat to discuss their next move against what appeared to be an ever widening conspiracy.

They knew Lord Caldwell had invited them to the Heal the Children fundraiser in a few days time but prior to that, they were interested in scoping out the lab of Dr. Oskar Beaufort as well as seeing what role, if any, Tabitha Holmwood played. After all, photos of both she and her uncle were found at Hillingham House some time ago, increasing the suspicion that she was involved in something unusual. Cal checked social media profiles and discovered that this evening Tabitha was scheduled to be at a soft opening for a new London club, Club Carnivale, hosted by club financier, Astor Brownbeck, one of the most influential individuals in the London club scene. Frankie suggested continuing the use of his Luigi Cardellini cover to get in as a possible investor.

Contacting Vincente Rojas to act as backup outside the club, Cal and Frankie made their way to the opening as Cal had put them on the special VIP list to get in and get close to both Brownbeck and Holmwood.

It did not take long for them to get in and using charm to get their way to the second floor where Brownbeck was entertaining some of his special guests, including Tabitha Holmwood. Frankie quickly made a good impression on not only Brownbeck but also Holmwood, who took an instant liking to the charming Italian. Cal, meanwhile, got acquainted with Holmwood’s friend, Ginger Smythe. Cal also noticed several MI5 agents at the club, most likely keeping a watchful eye on the heiress.

Impressing Tabitha seemed an easy task. Frankie was attractive and charming enough to make a solid impression. His flirtatiousness and flattery seemed to result in an invitation to a party with some friends across town after Tabitha grew bored with the scene and Club Carnivale. The group then piled into Tabitha’s limo and Vincente followed behind them in his car.

In the car ride over, Tabitha and Frankie continued their flirting, resulting in something much spicier while Ginger and Cal made small talk. A call from Tabitha’s uncle, Lord Godalming, was ignored, but Cal certainly noticed.

Arriving at the party, it was a mix of heavy drinking and drug use by many of Tabitha’s vapid friends but Cal and Frankie were quickly putting themselves in the social scene they needed to infiltrate. Cal and Frankie later excused themselves but not before Tabitha invited Frankie as her date to the upcoming Heal the Children gala, which Tabitha referred to as ‘pathetic AIDS babies.’

The following day, the group decided to use the credentials provided by Lord Caldwell to pay Dr. Beaufort a visit at Helix Labs outside of London. Taking some time to gain entry, they quickly determined why Dr. Beaufort was in such a paranoid state – he was conducting inhumane experiments.

The eccentric doctor provided them with scant details on his work, thinking they were representatives of Lord Caldwell, explaining that his work was ultimately designed for healing damaged tissue and internal organs, which he quickly demonstrated by strapping down an angry howler monkey and brutally stabbing in in the side and then administering some of his Experimental Serum on the wretched creature. Within ten minutes, the wound had healed. Dr. Beaufort did, however, there were numerous side effects that made it incapable of real human consumption, but there was something about the way he said it that made them believe Dr. Beaufort had, actually, used secret (and illegal) human trials. Cal managed to steal a sample of the serum and tried to convince the doctor that there could be an alternate method of funding if the Caldwell Foundation did not come through. Dr. Beaufort responded that he, himself, was looking into alternate funding which the group most certainly took as something altogether illegal.

Later, Cal’s analysis of the serum determined that not only was it made of numerous compounds (one of which was currently unknown) but required an electrical jolt to begin the operation but also discovered that the serum may have had rejuvenative properties, possibly either reversing aging or arresting the aging process.

The night of the Caldwell Foundation gala for Heal the Children was a grand affair, indeed. Frankie had sent Tabitha some very suggestive undergarments and her favorite champagne in preparation and a car was sent to pick up Tabatha, Ginger, Frankie and Cal, with Vincente following in a car behind them. Upon arriving at the gala, they were shocked to discover that security insisted upon giving up cell phones as only one photographer was allowed in the event. Tabitha made a horrible scene, calling over the Heal the Children director, George Landsley, giving Cal enough time to not only clone Ginger’s phone but to secretly arrange video surveillance so they could take some photos.

Cal met up with Lord Caldwell who introduced him to Countess Margo Dolinz, an elegant and graceful woman from Austria who had recently joined the board of directors. Her grace and charm was the epitome of what Cal expected nobility should be like. Vincente, meanwhile, met up with the sanctioned photographer and convinced him he was a well-known art photographer, impressing the man enough to share some techniques and allow him access to his equipment.

Frankie kept close with Tabitha and was introduced to her uncle, Lord Godalming. and it was clear that she did everything she could to get under his skin by flaunting her foreign date, whom her uncle seemingly was disapproving. Shortly after, Cal convinced Lord Caldwell to introduce him to his peer, Lord Godalming and Cal made a good impression on the conservative politician, convincing him he was an American entrepreneur with contacts in the defense industry, similar to his lordship’s.

While Tabiatha excused herself to the ladies’ room, Frankie made the acquaintance of another young lady at the event, Svetlana Tovorsky, a visiting guest from Russia and the deputy press secretary of Russian president, Viktor Petrov. Ms. Tovorsky explained she was on a visit from Russia to spread some of the Russian federation’s goodwill to the U.K. in the form of charitable events. She noticed that Frankie had been speaking to Lord Godlaming and had hoped he could get a formal introduction for her. Naturally, she had no idea that the two barely knew each other, but something about Frankie seemed impressive. The two exchanged cards and Tabatha returned.

As Cal continued to speak with Lord Godalming and Vincente continued to take photographs from the second floor, Frankie met up with his old associate, Elizabeth Cavanaugh, who was a respected member of the board of directors with Heal the Children. Despite her association with the charity, Frankie assumed that the woman’s tastes were dark and her involvement may have been for reasons other than altruism, and in fact were downright criminal and predatory. Aside from her usual air of mystery and darkness, she did mention, when asked, that her mother, Victoria Cavanaugh, had been ‘off the radar’ for months. As Elizabeth became more erratic, Frankie used his charm and intimidation in equal measures to send her off as he was a distraction for what he was here to do.

Cal, when pressing Lord Godalming on his ownership (though discretely hidden) of Hillingham House found that his lordship resorted to avoiding the topic and then excusing himself from the conversation in order to get away and not address the question.

As Cal was getting ready to approach Ms. Petrov, he got a mysterious phone call (on a phone he was not supposed to have). The digitized voice gave him a dire warning: he and his team were in danger and they should extract themselves from the gala immediately. Cal reacted by gathering the team, Tabitha, Ginger and Lord Caldwell and getting Caldwell’s car to come around immediately. As they quickly left the party, Cal began to explain the phone call (though coded in front of the drunken Tabitha and Ginger) when they all heard a loud explosion. A government building a block away from the gala had just had a bomb detonate inside minutes after they left. Lord Caldwell had his driver get them further out of town. However, the origin or identity of the voice on the phone was still a firm mystery. Was it a friend? A secret ally? Someone who had their own agenda?

As details emerged regarding the explosion, ISIS took credit for the attack, resulting in the deaths of 8 people. Lord Godalming was interviewed and threatened reprisals for the actions as well as joint meetings with international intelligence agencies to identify the threats of action. Unsure what to make of what had happened, Cal, Vicente and Frankie were very doubtful that the attack was exactly as it seemed.

The following day, when reviewing the photos, there were two stunning revelations. First, it was discovered that the photographer whom Vincente had been working with, was found dead in his studio and the studio ransacked, and photos of the party mysteriously gone (the media suggesting heroin addicts) and more troubling, all the photographs of Countess Dolinz did not capture a single image of the woman at all.

Countess Dolinz was clearly, if the legends were to be believed, one of the class of Vampires they sought.

Episode 5: The Caldwell Foundation

December 3rd – December 4th, 2017

The investigative team sat around the Village Garage pondering their next move. It was quickly decided that they needed to get into the Caldwell Foundation in order to see what the group was up to. After all, several leads sent them back here, and several connections seemed to converge here. No matter what other leads were available, the Caldwell Foundation seemed a place as good as any to begin.

Frankie Savage activated a cover, Luigi Cardellini, and was to pose as a wealthy Italian investor in charitable organizations and the others would accompany him as his functionaries and underlings. The plan was to get in and look around the place while posing as prospective donors. Cal Morrison took a few moments to provide a false trail of massive donations Cardellini had provided and Wolfgang Fechtner ensured that the IDs and passports were excellent fakes.

Cal checked some of the members of the board and dis discover one individual in particular that stood out – Rupert Cavendish, who was the Senior Vice President for UK Operations for Bichi National Bank. This was a very suspicious connection, as Bichi was an organization some of them had dealt with before and had numerous illegal connections.

Upon gaining entrance to the Caldwell Foundation, they immediately were introduced to Sir Henry Caldwell, who seemed to believe their story about being potential donors. He showed them around the facility, pointing out some pieces in their museum, referenced their archives and showed them the numerous offices, impressive board room, functioning commercial kitchen and even posh living spaces for out of town members to stay while visiting. Further, he mentioned an upcoming charity event for Heal the Children that The Caldwell Foundation was sponsoring. During a moment alone in the board room Cal managed to bug the area and tap into the Foundation’s security system.

As they took the tour, they were introduced to Reverend Wesley Welker, an Anglican minister who was on the board. Rev. Welker seemed less than thrilled with meeting them and gave of a distinct unfriendly demeanor. Even Vincente Rojas, a man of God, seemed rebuffed by Reverend Welker. However, before Sir Henry could continue the tour, he was called away for an emergency and took them to the offices of his cousin, Lord Blakeford Caldwell to conduct the rest of the interview and discussion.

During the discussions with Lord Caldwell, he clearly was subtly testing the investigators, unsure of their story. However, they managed to say just the right things that set him at ease. When they pushed for what kinds of research he was conducting or overseeing, he mentioned the work of Dr. Henry Loughlin as well as the work of Dr. Oskar Beaufort. However, when Frankie pushed further, working every social angle he had, Lord Caldwell revealed something far more interesting. He alluded to the fact that he was aware of possibly a vampire conspiracy within the UK and the existence of a shadowy organization called Edom. He expressed concern this would send them packing, branding him as a madman but when they remained respectful, he continued. He showed them an article, (the Lord Caldwell Article) which he stated was some evidence that his grandfather (mentioned in the article) was the victim of foul play. He stated that his grandfather founded the Caldwell Foundation as a way of fighting against a vampire threat and that his own great-grandfather was a vampire. Further, he stated that some of the newer members of the board were political enemies who were working on shutting down funding to some of the fringe projects as they felt it was a colossal waste of time. Rupert Cavendish, Reverend Welker and Countess Dolinz were among some of the loudest voices.

This was a great deal for them to take in and they gave Lord Caldwell the impression they believed him but wanted to work on this and get back with him to develop a financial strategy to work with the Foundation. With that, they left, returning to the Village Garage.

There they developed some working theories, wondering whose side everyone was on and did some background investigation, into some of the individuals whom they met. But shortly after dark Fechtner received a frantic phone call on one of his burner phones from CIA agent, Sarah Hester. Agent Hester claimed she was outside the flat of Lord Caldwell and something was happening. Something bad. She stated she had followed Fechtner to the Caldwell Foundation and surmised he had spoken with Lord Caldwell and decided to shadow Lord Caldwell’s activities and as she watched, something bad was about to happen.

In the race over to Lord Caldwell’s home, they called him and discovered he was in true danger.

Upon arriving, mere moments later, they met up with Agent Hester and approached the home where they were immediately beset upon a human-like creature (later identified as a Ghoul). Dispatching the creature was no easy task but they were successful. Reaching the top floor they saw several more and what they assumed was Lord Caldwell hiding behind a closed door. The fight was fast and furious but the investigators prevailed and realized Lord Caldwell was safe but shaken. When the police arrived, he was able to pull his influence to sweep the whole thing aside, demanding he did not want to be bothered by the vulture journalists from the tabloids. He declared that these bodies were drug addled heroin addicts who tried to rob him and the investigators were his security detail. The police seemed to buy the story and the investigators asked if there was a safe place to go. Lord Caldwell took them all to his country estate where he was going to show him more.

Upon arriving at Lord Caldwell’s country estate, he demanded to know more. Fechtner ‘came clean’ with him and stated they were MI5 agents investigating domestic terrorism plots associated with vampires which seemed to build more rapport with the eccentric Lord Caldwell. he then took them to a room with more artifacts and unusual items, including the Cushing Zeus Transcripts as well as the Sickman Memo which seemed to make Edom more of a reality. The Sickman Memo was especially interesting as it seemed to provide Edom codenames as well as a references to a real name, ‘Sigmund Walther.’ Further, Lord Caldwell explained that the evidence seemed to point to the fact that his grandfather was actually a member of Edom and used his considerable resources to fight vampires, specifically his own father. But Lord Caldwell was convinced that Edom had a minor asset but was looking to recruit something bigger.

At this point, much to the shock of the rest of the investigators, Agent Hester stepped in and suggested that she, too, was MI5 and that she was running the operation and would take over as Lord Caldwell’s handler. Before anyone could react, the story seemed set and Hester and inserted herself into the investigation more than they would have liked, especially Cal, who did not trust Hester at all.

The agreement did, however, convince Lord Caldwell that they were on the up and up and he vowed whatever Caldwell Foundation resources he could provided, forging a powerful alliance. The first they were able to forge.

Episode 4: Weird Science

December 1st, 2017

Roughly a week had passed since Cal Morrison’s meeting with CIA Chief of Station, Eloise Buckley. The agents were lying low, not wanting any further entanglements with any authorities or agencies. Of course, they also needed the heat to die down from their recent exploits.

Wolfgang Fectner made his way to Prestige Pawnbrokers to meet with Charles Asante, a contact that knew fine jewelry, as well as the origins of obscure pieces. Showing Asante the Hillingham Brooch, Asante immediately discovered that it was Whitby jet, and well made at that, placing the piece between 100 and 150 years old. Whitby, being a noted location in the novel, Dracula, certainly made the piece more interesting. After some bartering, Asante offered to make a replica piece for Fechtner, promising that the fake piece would look as close to the original as possible, fooling anyone but an untrained expert. Fectner agreed and would come back for the two pieces in a few days.

As Morrison sat in a coffee shop near his flat, pouring over the day’s stories in The Times, he quickly found himself in a clandestine conversation with a fellow CIA agent, Tyler Gold, a man whom Morrison had had a somewhat unique past, as they were both in agency training together and who used to date Gloriana Ambry before she and Morrison began dating. Gold mentioned that he was under orders from Buckley to tail Morrison and they should not make this any more uncomfortable or unpleasant than it had to be.

Meanwhile, Ilari Vasyl again met up with his arms dealer contact, Ethan Willingham to pick up the silver daggers he had ordered.

That night, all the agents agreed to meet up in the theatre district near Picadilly Circus. While Vincente Rojas waited in Fectner’s car, Morrison, Fehctner and Vasyl went out to discuss their options. Of course, Morrison noticed the CIA tail, immediately, sloppy as it was.

It was agreed that Morrison would meet again with Buckley, in order to test the waters of their relationship while Vasyl, Fechtner and Rojas would try to get a message to The Unicorn, through her agent, Yulia Rudyk. It has to be subtle, however, as it was clear that The Unicorn did not want Buckley to know The Unicorn had operatives back in London. But there was a certain connection between Morison and Buckley as he was reasonably certain he had convinced her that the Dracula Dossier, for which she was hunting high and low, had fallen into vampiric hands.

Later, in the secretive meeting with Buckley, they discussed the cryptic organization, Edom. Buckley confessed she did not know a great deal about the organization as they were likely some kind of secretive branch within MI6 or MI5 or both. But it was clear she had a seething, personal dislike of Edom since she had mentioned that their antics, bungling or disregard for anything other than securing a vampire asset, likely Dracula, himself, had not only wasted years of time but also had gotten many of her friends and agents killed over the years. It was not until recently that she had learned of the existence of the organization as a reality and had learned of the possible existence of the infamous Dracula.

For his part, as a sign of good faith, Morrison provided Buckley with the video of the supernatural altercation they had at Hillingham House a few weeks prior. Buckley corrected Morrison when he suggested they were vampires, instead stating that it seemed as if the agents they fought and killed were under the effects of some kind of serum that she had only recently learned about. If the serum was what she thought it was, it was supposedly a compound that included elements of vampire blood, or specifically, the blood of one very famous vampire. In return for the video, Morrison asked if she could get her hands on some Vanderpool Garlic, and she agreed she would see what she could do. In the meantime, meeting with each other was dangerous so she stated Morrison should go through his new handler, Tyler Gold. Gold was not in the loop on some of the major details but could be trusted to relay messages back and forth between the two.

Rojas, Vasyl and Fechtner made their way to the James Hood Gallery in order to meet up with Yulia Rudyk as Vasyl discovered she was soon leaving back to continental Europe. In the clandestine meeting she and Vasyl had, she revealed that The Unicorn had come into possession of the St George Report about a month ago from some mysterious contact (possibly Hopkins) and that The Unicorn had instructions to pass it on to Vasyl or one of Vasyl’s contacts. This put things into a wider perspective. Did Hopkins have this planned from the start? Was Sarah Hester in the CIA instructed to pass on the file on the 77 Mole Hunt to Fechtner weeks ago? Regardless, Vasyl wanted to stay in touch with Rudyk and passed on a burner phone for her to use and Rudyk stated that The Unicorn would provide them a safe haven when in her area if it came to that.

The following day the group got back together and decided to visit the mysterious Dr. Henry Loughlin, the scientist from their encounter at Hillingham House. They quickly introduced to his much younger, Russian wife, Jo Loughlin, who they immediately assumed he met through a service, based on her strange behavior and vast age difference. Upon meeting Dr. Loughlin, they again passed themselves off as members of the Caldwell Foundation and Fechtner was able to convince Dr. Loughlin that he was an enthusiast of the kind of work that Loughlin was conducting. As a result, Loughlin allowed Fechtner to poke around in his attic, examining some of the equipment he set up while Rojas and Morrison asked a few questions of the doctor.

Dr. Loughlin revealed that his funding was under scrutiny. Whereas Lord Blakeford Caldwell seemed enthusiastic about his work a few months ago, new board membership was reviewing some of the grant recipients, specifically a new member, Countess Margo Dolinz. During this time Vasyl excused himself to find Jo Loughlin and ask her a few questions in Russian, her native language. Through casual conversation, he discovered that she was not only an enthusiast of Russian soap operas set in Texas but that her husband had a colleague, later discovered to be Dr. Werner Beaufort, another Caldwell grant recipient.

In the attic, Fechtner began to understand the nature of Loughlin’s work. He was emitting specific signals and frequencies, hoping to capture similar signals throughout London and then, once the signals were discovered, taking his equipment to the location to investigate. It could be that Dr. Loughlin was trying to predict earthquakes. However, when Fecthner began to poke and prod further through the attic further, he discovered some older papers from the 1980’s that suggested that Loughlin was, at one point, employed by a mysterious person named ‘Cushing’ who wanted similar reports. Loughlin, in conjunction with someone named ‘Singleton’ were preparing a variety of reports appropriate for earthquakes. Could this Cushing be the same Cushing referenced by Hopkins? It seemed too much of a coincidence for Fechtner to dismiss.

Back downstairs, Loughlin began to lecture his guests about his work and how there were those ‘crackpots’ in the fringe community who suspected that Loughlin’s research was similar to Ley Lines, powerful occult/magnetic forces, which, Loughlin dismissed, of course. Morrison tried to get Loughlin to report to him on further research but as Fechtner later reported, the entire project was something of a mess and any real work on this topic would need much more funding in order to get any kind of consistent results, especially if one assumed it was an ‘early warning’ system for vampires or Dracula, himself. But Loughlin’s work was certainly worth monitoring.

Eventually the subject of Dr. Beaufort was brought up. Loughlin explained that he was a younger doctor he knew who was also a Caldwell grant recipient. Dr. Beaufort, who was a medical doctor, also had an interest in electrical currents and the two consulted once a week over drinks as Loughlin felt that Beaufort could assist with his knowledge of electric currents.

The group then left, suspecting that the Caldwell Foundation may be their next investigation.

Morrison then received a report from his robotic search bots that revealed some very interesting information. Whereas the ownership of Hillingham House was through a variety of shell companies and covert transactions, the bots determined that the true owner was none other than Lord Godalming, himself, which certainly added to the mystery and complexity of the situation. Were the events of Dracula unfolding again, in some new way?

Episode 3: In From the Cold

November 24th 2017 . . . continued

Still unsettled from the events at Hillingham House, Ilari Vasyl, Frankie Savage and Cal Morrison, still hiding away in Ilari’s flat had to lay low and tend to their physical and psychological wounds. They contacted Wolfgang Fechtner and Vincente Rojas, had them come over, and explained the incredible events of dealing with the Hampstead Wolf as well as the agents who possessed almost superhuman powers. Whereas the tale was difficult to believe, the story made a certain amount of sense to Fechtner and Rojas as they realized they were in the middle of something much bigger than they had expected. For example, Wolfgang showed the mysterious cell phone handed off to him several weeks ago by CIA agent, Sarah Hester, providing small details about the 77 Mole Hunt. Was it merely a coincidence that Hester dropped this into Fectners’ lap or something bigger? Of course, when contacted, Sarah made it clear she needed that phone back.

The group immediately began showing the clues they had to each other. The soil found at Hillingham House was determined, by Fechtner, to be soil native to the Hampstead area. They examined the Hillingham Brooch and whereas they could not tell much about it, Fechtner agreed to get an associate of his, Charles Asante, a pawnbroker and jeweler, to take a look at it.

The conversation then turned to back to Hillingham House as well as the mysterious seismologist they encountered, Dr. Henry Loughlin. Morrison emphasized the importance of staying in touch with the scientist as he may have more valuable information to provide. Whereas the group was committed to checking in on him, they did not make firm plans as there were other pressing matters at their disposal.

Vasyl went through the Dracula Dossier to see if there was any reference to Hillingham House and to his shock, he discovered that Hillingham House had a high probability of being the very house Lucy Westerna and her mother lived, in the novel Dracula. This led to a group discussion of whether or not Lucy was still alive in one capacity or another and whether or not she was the undead creature that lived in Hillingham House, or at least visited.

Still stinging over the brutal fight they had with the agents at Hillingham House, Morrison pushed the need for more protection. Vasyl mentioned an arms dealer he knew, Ethan Willingham who may be able to set them up with sets. Using some of the funds that Pascal Lerue provided, they knew they could get some of Willingham’s high end merchandise.

Cleaning themselves up and heading to the pub Willingham said he would meet, Vasyl did all the talking with Frankie Savage providing the hidden hand of security. However, it was not long before Frankie became distracted by a young lady that seemed to have eyes for him. While Vasyl continued the negotiations, Frankie kept an eye on things will sharing a drink with the mysterious woman. Frankie became somewhat nervous when she leaned in but found that she had placed something in his pocket before disappearing back into the night.

When they left, a deal for body armor with Willingham in place, they examined the papers. A note indicated they were from The Unicorn and the papers, the St George Report, was a detailed report on a British program, seemingly aimed, at creating vampiric agents at St. George’s Orphanage in the 1930’s. The female agent who dropped the papers off was later revealed to be one of the Unicorn’s agents, Yulia Rudyk.

Meanwhile in Piccadilly Circus, Cal Morrison and Wolfgang Fechtner were meeting with Sarah Hester to drop off the cell phone (but not before making a copy of the 77 Mole Hunt files. The sheer amount of cameras – both hidden and open – seemed staggering. When the drop was made, Hester made the comment that they were living in extremely dangerous time but it was unknown whether or not she was referencing the cameras or something else entirely.

The group reconnected back together and examined the St George Report, noting that it provided details of children who had apparently been given some kind of serum and then put in various training regimens to explore abilities that the serum provided. It was evident to the investigators that the serum seemed to mimic powers attributed to mythological vampires. Again, the bigger question was how did the Unicorn, who would have to have put this drop into action several weeks ago, know this would be valuable to the team?

During this discussion a van, not so subtly placed outside Vasyl’s flat was noticed. Cal quickly determined they were his ‘friends’ in the CIA and went out to confront them. The agents inside stated that Eloise Buckley, Chief of Station for the CIA in London, wanted very much to speak with Cal. Cal cautiously agreed and the CIA agents shuttled him off to the meet.

Buckley had, ultimately, been Morrison’s boss before things got sticky with him. While still on the CIA’s payroll, he was living in the shadows. Whether or not this was part of Buckley’s plan was unclear. Now, however, she was offering to bring him back into the fold with several clear, determined points she wanted to make. First, she seemed to know about the Dracula Dossier and knew he was involved with either looking for it or perhaps owning it. Second, she seemed to want he, and the friends she knew he had, to be a greater part of a CIA operation involved with finding the text. Third, and perhaps most strangely, she wanted Franco Draga Selvaggio (Frankie Savage) a virtually unknown assassin, to take on some subcontract work for her and the agency. Cal was non-committal, which was not what Buckley wanted to hear. She released from the conversation but promised him they would speak on this again and she would certainly be hoping for an affirmative answer from him, suggesting that they should be able to help if they were willing to work for her.

Episode 2: The Hampstead Wolf

November 24th, 2017.

The events of the past few days were a confusing myriad of clues and stresses. After watching Samantha Anderson of the Metro PD die, handing off Dracula Unredacted to the team, they were in possession of this unusual text but were not entirely sure what to do with it. Pascal Lerue had slipped back into the darkness, investigating his own line of clues. leaving his assembled team of investigators to see what they could find..

While Cal Morrison, sat in his flat, flipping through his recently purchased copy of Dracula, he was visited by his girlfriend, Gloriana Ambry. They shared some time together but Cal’s mind was on other things, like how much of the Dracula Dossier was true and how much was fiction.

Across town, Ilari Vasyl was in possession of the Dracula Dossier, and whereas he had not had the opportunity to fully go through it, Lerue had entrusted him with the document for the time being in hopes he could find something.

Frankie Savage, in his favorite pub, Hooker’s Boot was relaxing and having drinks with some of the local ladies. When stepping outside for a cigarette in the rain, with one of the pretty young barflies, he noticed a stray dog across the street that stared at him with such a strong and vicious intensity. When he decided to take her back inside, the dog began moving towards him at an alarming pace, stopped only when a car struck it, killing it instantly. Was this chilling scene something with a greater meaning or was it a merely eerie coincidence?

While back in the pub, the young lady excused herself to the loo and Frankie got a text from one of Lerue’s burner phones, asking if he had yet gone through the Anderson police files he had gotten his hands on. This was enough for Frankie to decide to stop what he was doing and begin going through the papers right there in the back of the pub at his own booth. Taking several hours, he found very little of interest in her open cases save for one particular thing that stood out – a house she had investigated three times in the past four weeks. This seemed unusual so Frankie put this aside and contacted Cal and Ilari. This house, Hillingham House was located in Hampstead. The group met up at the Hooker’s Boot and decided to go out and examine the home.

Arriving on the scene, they noticed a large dilapidated mansion with a sole figure on the lawn, next to a van and working on something that was best described as a ‘contraption.’ It seemed that the strange scientific equipment was cobbled together and hardly mainstream. The unusual fellow working on it seemed oblivious to everything around him. Ilari and Frankie decided to approach him and figure out who he was while Cal launched a small drone to perform surveillance. One of the first things Ilari and Frankie noticed was a shotgun near the equipment, within close range of the professor.

They quickly discovered that the professor was Dr. Henry Loughlin and Cal’s quick search determined he was a former geology professor with Oxford who had been released years ago due to some his controversial and bizarre theories. Meanwhile Cal and Ilari spoke with the professor who assumed they were sent by ‘the Foundation’ (later determined to be the Caldwell Foundation). He had them assist in some of his experiments and explained that he was researching strange seismological activity in the area, seemingly centered around the Hillingham House. As to the shotgun, the professor explained there were sightings of a wolf that had been spotted through the area. Loughlin was, of course, concerned, despite his seemingly distracted attitude on most everything else.

Frankie stayed with the professor while Ilari decided to scope out the house. He made a search around the perimeter and found that there was graffiti inside and signs that squatters had used the home. Broken windows and signs of misuse were evident. The most surprising and interesting detail Ilari discovered was the set of cameras that were centered on several trees around the house, pointing inward, towards the home. When Cal checked, he discovered that these cameras did not exist, as they were on no known grid. However, whatever signal they had was being sent back to a server inside the Doughnut. Clearly, someone in Defence Intelligence or another organization had an interest in the house. It was at this point that Ilari realized that he had likely already been seen and called in Cal who approached the cameras and put them on a recurring loop that gather no more original feed. At this point the three agents breached the home to get a better look inside. Cal let his drone fly over the house, watching for anyone who may approach while they were inside.

The search of the home revealed numerous details they were unprepared for, starting with some of the strange graffiti on the walls. References to ‘the Master’ and some other veiled prophetic threats dominated. However, what surprised Frankie the most was a phrase in Latin. The phrase read “Aeternum Vale” which meant “Farewell Forever.” What made this phrase so strange is that it was the favorite phrase of Constantino Jacopo, a former associate of Frankie’s, who had become a serial killer and was a dangerous criminal at large. Had Constantino been here? If so, when and why?

Traversing to the basement, they found some other startling details. First, behind a large sealed door that Cal had to breach. Once they got inside, they were met with something truly terrifying. A small set up in the corner showed the small relay station where the cameras were sending the outside feed but in the center of the room was a large stone sarcophagus, with, presumably, a casket inside.

Naturally, there was great apprehension, but they decided to open the sarcophagus and see what was inside the casket. It took great strength and determination but eventually the lid was removed, revealing the casket within, as well as soil surrounding the entire casket. Opening the casket, it was empty but there was something inside – a small brooch (the Hillingham Brooch). Taking this item, they decided to investigate the rest of the house, but not before taking soil samples of the dirt they found.

They found another sealed door on the second floor and after breaching this, they found a room completely out of place. It was a perfectly preserved room, from the 1890’s apparently a lady’s room that may or may not be in use but the reason it existed was not entirely clear. The one thing that seemed modern in the room was a series of recent photos of two people; Phillip Holmwood, Lord Godalming and his niece, the trendsetting Tabitha Holmwood. Cal quickly made copies of the photos and they slipped out of the room. Cal checked his drone and determined Dr. Loughlin and his equipment was gone.

As the three left the 1890’s room, they came to the balcony to go down the stairs when they saw a massive, almost spectral wolf staring up at them, possibly the wolf Dr. Loughlin had mentioned, the Hampstead Wolf. And within moments, two men came from some of the side rooms, brandishing weapons with silencers. Cal, not certain how they got past his drone, did not have time to think about it now as they were all under attack. The gunmen, seemingly well trained had the additional benefit of having red eyes, indicating they had some kind of supernatural element to them.

The fight was fast and furious with the investigators taking heavy hits from both the assassins and the spectral wolf. However, the investigators eventually took out the two assassin which caused the wolf to simply dissipate as if they were somehow linked to the beast.

They did not have time to stick around very long but they did take the two weapons the men had, both high tech weapons produced by Leutner Fabrichen (seemingly produced with no serial numbers). Further, whereas it seemed certain that the would be assassins were, in fact, human, they did not seem to show up on Cal’s camera, indicating how they were not picked up by his drones.

The agents fled the scene moving back to Ilari’s flat to plan their next move.

Episode 1: Into that Darkness

The night of November 20th, 2017, was a dank evening on London’s East Side. But this was the night Pascal Lerue was waiting for.

The work of over 18 months was coming to a head this night. He had first learned of the existence of supernatural entities known as ‘vampires’ from an associate a year and ago. After spending time trying to deny the existence, he eventually came to terms with it and had slowly been building contacts and a team. The team was unaware of what they were getting into or even that they were being recruited at all. Further, Lerue was in contact with an individual known as ‘Hopkins,’ a figure that not only claimed to have knowledge of what was happening but seemed to have ‘proof’ of what Lerue suspected about vampires. On this night, Hopkins agreed to meet at a cafe in the East End called ‘Rounders’ to provide Lerue and his team with valuable information.

Cal Morrison was positioned across the street in an apartment, using satellites to watch the scene, Frankie Savage was at the back of the cafe keeping watch on the rear. Ilari Vasyl was in the cafe keeping watch on the front. Wolfgang Fechtner was patrolling the streets in his Jaguar, keeping an eye on the surface. Vincente Rojas was off site in case the entire affair was a trap.

As the appointed meet time with Hopkins approached, there seemed to be increased activity and chatter in the area reported by Fechtner and Morrison. Twenty minutes past the indicated time, Lerue was prepared to scrub the operation when Morrison reported that the chatter was issuing the order to converge on the suspect. Morrison and Lerue bolted from Rounders to see a woman atop the parking garage across the street being approached by a team of Metro PD officers while a man on the ground seemed to be directing the operation.

The woman, spotting Lerue, seemed to have a look of calm and acceptance for her fate as she clutched the bag she was holding and took a dive off the top of the garage, resulting in his death as she impacted the car below, her head smashing into the windshield. Lerue bolted into action, getting behind the wheel of the car and speeding off as all the Metro PD officers in the area tried to make sense of what happened but with Morrison taking out their communication, they were briefly in the dark, giving Lerue precious moments to make an escape with Fechtner providing distractions and cover from his car. The high speed chase through London’s East End resulted in Morrison activating a safe house he was familiar with, the Village Garage, a chop shop with whom he had done business. He knew the secret location in the basement would be ideal for them to hide.

Once Morrison had activated the security, the entire team met up to see what the Hell had just happened.

Morrison identified the dead woman as Samantha Anderson, a detective with Metro PD with the Minor Crimes division, a 15 year veteran. The man running the operation on the ground was Roger Wick, an MI5 undercover agent attached with counter-terrorism.

The group quickly reviewed what Anderson had, handcuffed to her wrist. What they found was both horrible yet revealing as it seemed to vindicate what Lerue had been working on for months – something called Dracula Unredacted, a copy of the book Dracula with several generations of annotations that suggested that not only was Dracula a real entity but someone who had been contacted by a shadowy conspiracy group called Edom to be used as an asset in geopolitical counter terrorism. Dracula was not just deniable for the British government but downright fictional is the eyes of most. Along with the text was also the Hopkins Note, a document that tried to make sense of what they had just read.

The team let sink in what they had found and experienced and whereas not all members may have been convinced of the reality, someone had just died over this and a great deal of chatter was dedicated to recovering this document. It was worth a deeper look, for certain.

A quick search of Anderson’s flat showed that Metro PD was all over the area, likely tossing the place. This was not a current avenue of investigation. Instead they had the idea to tag the lead investigator, Roger Wick, figuring his flat would be empty and unprotected. Cal Morrison took the opportunity to toss his laptop as well as place a program on the laptop that would act as spying software. It did seem as if the orders to apprehend Anderson came down from MI5 acting director, Ian Hawlsley. However, the rest of his flat was certainly ‘normal.’ Was Wick a part of Edom or was he merely a pawn, as Hopkins Note suggested as to how Edom operated?

Frankie Savage, with false papers from Fechtner, went to Metro PD where he went through Anderson’s notes and took what he could, picking up Anderson’s hard drive to be analyzed later. What was she investigating? Was she connected to Hopkins? If so, how?

The following night, when Wick was gorging himself at his flat on take out Chinese food, Morrison tagged him with a subcutanious tracker when the drugs in his food kicked in. They wanted to be able to keep an eye on Wick for the future, in case his movements were of interest.

It was at this point that the team realized that Dracula being real or not, they were in the middle of a massive conspiracy that they felt obligated to investigate further, no matter the risks.


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