Night's Black Agents: Dracula Dossier

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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Episode 38: Unsafe House

May 24th, 2018 – May 31st, 2018

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Laurel Dene, the investigative journalist from The Guardian, was intent on showing something related to the Dracula case to Cal Morrison. She began to trust him and felt that he and whomever he was working with, could be a valuable asset. Cal, for his part, felt he was on the verge of an important breakthrough with an important contact. But Ms. Dene could not be scared off. Illari Vasyl followed them on foot and Wolfgang Fechtner followed them by car as she took Cal through the London Underground to some secret location.

Taking a serpentine route through London, Ms. Dene and Cal eventually emerged at the station near Muswell Hill. Illari and Cal spotted and took out a pair of agents that seemed to be following Ms. Dene with her none the wiser.

Ms. Dene took Cal to a storage facility where inside was a mountain of documents and research she had compiled, explaining that she had been in contact with a mysterious figure within the government known as ‘Hopkins.’ She had been investigating the ‘Dracula Case,’ as she put it, ever since a police office, Insp. Samantha Anderson, had been killed mysteriously, back in November. Of course, Cal and the others were well aware as they, too, had been there that night, but Cal kept that close to the vest for the time being. It seemed that Ms. Dene was viewing this as a major investigative assignment for a story, unaware of exactly how much danger she was in.

Curiously, Ms. Dene had more to show and offer. Much to Cal’s surprise, she pulled out her own copy of the Dracula Dossier, explaining that it was given to her by the mysterious Hopkins. Her copy was similar to the team’s as the annotations were written in the same hands but were slightly different as if over the years two copies were made by the analysts. She also showed Cal some other items of great interest that she had uncovered. One document, the Special Asset Action Report, was given to her by a source she did not name but suggested he would be an important individual for Cal to meet if trust was built. This document seemed to be a hit list, likely by Edom, using vampire assets to take out targets. The other document, the Advisory Committee Report, was something she claimed to find in the basement of the Caldwell Foundation, among the papers of the Holmwood family, perhaps once the property of Arthur Holmwood, Lord Godalming.

Further, Ms. Dene claimed she may have had some leads on the location of not only Carfax Abbey but also Seward’s Asylum, both important locations from the novel, Dracula, as well as likely locations of interest in the present day conspiracy they were dealing with. Cal suggested they do something about finding these locations but left it for a future plan they could enact.

Finally, Ms. Dene’s secret storage room was hardly secure but it was secret. Cal estimated there was a mountain of research that could be done but Ms. Dene was hesitant to scan any of it as she thought the government had her under watch. Cal considered some options for her but also knew this location would be a valuable research station for he and the rest of the team. They parted ways but agreed to keep in touch, but would have to do so secretly.

Cal met back up with Illari and Wolfgang and the group made their way to the hotel where they were staying. They began to review some of the information they had found but before they could make any determinations, they were beset upon by British SAS, anti-terrorist forces. Someone had tracked them down! The fight was bloody and brutal as the team fought their way out, killing 5 of 6 of the agents and narrowly escaping the massive dragnet that had been pit out for them, They knew they had to get out of the city and Illari turned to his ally, Marion Moore, knowing they could use her farm house once again, as they did several months ago.

They drove through the night, avoiding CCTV networks and the authorities who were no doubt looking for them. When they reached the farm, which they were hoping to use as a temporary safe house to heal their wounds, they saw Ms. Moore tending to the animals in the early morning. However, when Cal decided to take a picture of her on his phone, all Hell broke loose. She sprung into action, moving at an amazing speed, revealing her turned, vampiric nature. The fact that she was strong, combined with the wounds the agents had taken back in London, made for a lethal fight, with Cal having his neck almost torn out in a flash and Illari followed suit. Whereas they were able to fend her off and eventually destroy her, both Illari and Cal needed not only medical attention, but also needed the Blomburg Serum to fight off vampirism.

Wolfgang took both of his friends inside the farm house in hopes of setting up a small clinic and hospital and creating more serum. However, when he went into the basement, his heart skipped a beat. He discovered the cellar had a whole nest of undead, perhaps awaiting instructions from a more nefarious master. He quickly bolted out, barred the door and set the place on fire after getting Illari and Cal out of the house. This was not a safe location and may have been a well laid trap, instead, by Dracula’s forces.

Weary and hurt, Illari knew of someone 30 km away that might help. He scrolled through his phone to find the address of Oscar Willingham, younger brother of the arms dealer, Ethan Willingham. Oscar, a drug addict in hiding, owed Illari some favors and now was the time for Illari to collect. The group descended on Oscar’s country cottage and paid him to get out for a few hours while Wolfgang began creating more serum. But then he realized that Cal’s wounds were worse than imagined and needed to transfer him to a hospital, claiming he had been the victim of a wild animal attack. But lately the group was no stranger to creating false records and putting people in hospitals under false names.

While Cal was in the hospital, Illari went through many of the vampire documents they had, Edom files and other reports they had taken over the months. He discovered that Edom likely believed in several kinds of of creatures, agents and supernatural forces, focusing their attention on the Linea Dracula, all the vampires that descended from Dracula’s unholy line. There were others, such as the Line of Cain and the Line of Lilith that they theorized existed as well as other foreign programs they had an interest in, specifically, the Van Brunt Protocol, which appeared to be a joint American-German project of some kind.

Finally, as Cal lay in the hospital, some program on television caught his attention. A BBC show, where an interviewer was talking with, what the caption stated was a ‘Dracuologist,’ The professor, Dr. Memet Lucsai, seemed to be an expert on revisionist Dracula lore. His insight and information into Vlad III was astounding. But would this professor be able to provide any insight at all?

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Episode 37: Connecting the Dots

May 20th, 2018 – May 24th, 2018

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Following the events in Switzerland, the agents were on the run and lying low. Making their escape to England as they could hide out from the terrors they had witnessed, as well as engage in more leads, their first order or priority was tending to the serious wounds Illari Vasyl has endured at the hands of the undead horde. They entered him in a small hospital, under an assumed name and made their way to London, keeping a low profile as they knew there were forces that were looking for them. Their very presence was toxic to some individuals and the CCTV eyes of London were constantly watching. Franco Selvaggio said goodbye to Ximena Porte who needed to return to her employer, Omar Shakti in Brussels.

The team continued to lay low for a week, scouring news reports of anything interesting, as well as examining the endless leads and documents they had. In the end, they decided to go with something simple as their next order of business. They chose to investigate the Aytown Galleries to see if there was a connection with either the Van Helsing Cameo they had. That would be a good use of time.

Cal Morrison, Wolfgang Fechtner and Franco Selvaggio decided they would enter the gallery and see the situation, whereas Vicente Rojas would remain outside, acting as a lookout. When they entered, they encountered the owner of the gallery, Vivienne Aytown-Baptiste, the great-granddaughter of Francis Aytown, a background character from the novel, Dracula, and perhaps, a former central figure of the conspiracy. After all, it was Mr. Aytown who created one or more of the cameos.

Ms. Aytown-Baptiste seemed polite and was impressed by the level of knowledge Franco expressed, especially the artwork she had in the gallery, specifically the materials from eastern Europe. Though, both Cal and Wolfgang suspected there was more to her than met the eye. But whether it was a connection to Edom, Dracula, or something else was uncertain.

Outside, as Vicente watched as a lookout, he did notice some suspicious activity nearby. But when he went to investigate, he was intercepted by allies of the stranger who pulled him in an alley and threatened him, stating they were interested in someone else and he was to stay put. Vicente knew he had to handle the situation carefully.

Back in the gallery, Cal managed to convince Vivienne that they were interested in more than browsing and were not agents of the police or anyone else meant to due her harm or interfere with her business. When he showed her the Van Helsing Cameo, she instantly recognized it as the work of her great grandfather, Francis Aytown and offered to let them see something special she had hidden away. At that point she took them to the third floor and entered into a room that was seldom used and clearly out of the way, used for storing junk.

She showed them around the cramped room and one of the first things Wolfgang noticed was a very well done marble bust, intricately detailed, of a male figure. It was similar to the one that was likely used for the passports of some of Dracula’s more potent agents, like Countess Dolinz. The rest of the group instantly took an interest in it. After all, who was this man? Was he still around? Was he a vampire? When asked what it was for, Vivienne admitted that her mother was a master sculptor and simply kept one around after she was done. She even had the marble that was used, stored behind some other boxes.

It was at that point that she pulled from a desk draw a velvet pouch and pulled forth another cameo. This one, she explained, was the Holmwood Cameo. It was part of a set that her great grandfather had made and this one came back into her possession a few years ago (under circumstances she did not get into). However, as soon as more questions were about to be posed, a crashing from the window exploded into the room and there were enemy forces present, having just thrown a flash grenade into the room, stunning most of them. Outside, upon hearing the sound, Vicente acted, instantly getting the drop on his attackers, killing one and quickly maiming the other. He immediately made his way to the building to see what he could do to help his allies.

As the team in the gallery fended off attacks from the assailants, Cal noticed they were targeting him and suggested they wanted the return of the Bathory Journals, indicating they were in the service of Henri Valant, the dealer they had ripped off in Vienna. But how they tracked him down to London was unclear.

They managed to kill the attackers and get out of the area before the police arrived. They left Ms. Aytown-Baptiste behind but took the Holmwood Cameo, figuring it might be of some value later. The team reunited with Vicente and made their way through SoHo and to the Underground before switching, boosting a car and avoiding London Metro police. But one thing was clear: the police were widening their dragnet. Someone was pushing and increasing the pressure on the agents. Due to this, the agents were not sure where they could turn. The tendrils of MI6, Edom and GCHQ were everywhere and they knew they were in the crosshairs of the organizations that were allied with Dracula. Franco turned to his ‘uncle,’ Edward Bentley for help who sent them in the direction of an underground doctor, who also worked for MI6. Dr. Ike Rutherford ran his illegal cash-only clinic out of his vet practice and reported suspicious injuries to his superiors in the government. But for a short time the team could trust him.

It was at this point that the team decided to make use of some other leads they had. Namely that of Laurel Dene, a journalist with The Guardian whose name had come up twice in the past few months. Once with Prof. Donall Scally, in the Vatican and once again in a document where she interviewed an author of a book that had interested them on some related topics. The team decided that she might have some useful information. After all, as an investigative journalist, she was used to poking around, uncovering secrets and getting into places she could not. It was possible she was an ally not yet discovered.

Cal used some pull to get a phone call with her and was able to arrange a meet up, with the suspicious Dene. However, in his brief meeting with her, she was interested in what he had to say and he realized she was bright, capable and onto the same things they were. When she offered to show him what she had, he jumped at the chance, especially when she told him, he wouldn’t believe it . . .

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