A Walk in the Shadows

Lee's After Action Report - Out in the Cold
Operation: End Game

=BEGIN SECURE TRANSMISSION==

Everything has gone to shit.

After the infiltration of the Ring and the capture of Hound and D, we returned to our safehouse. It was one of the better ones that Quinn had come up with, almost up to my standards for digital extrusion. It was a small cottage in an open field, located a bit outside of London. Good lines of sight, a soundproof basement, and due to a anomaly in orbital patterns, just a sliver between areas of satellite coverage. Fairly close to ideal actually. Even DuBois seemed to approve of the choice.

We arrived with our captives in tow, and DuBois broke out his chemistry set and began interrogating the pair, separately of course. For all his faults, Felix knows his techniques. We got Holmwood to explain to us the current operational scope and mandate for Edom. As we expected, they were once again in contact with Dracula, supposedly to assist with the Islamic threat of terrorism today, but with a real agenda of getting blood samples from the vampire in order to design their own version of a vampire. One with the powers derived from Dracula and the bacterium that powered him, but severed from his communication and control capabilities.

We questioned him about the three serums we had recovered from the Ring (blue, gold, and clear), but although he knew the operational plan to build super-soldier/vampires, he did not have the technical knowledge we sought.

Holmwood further explained that Edom’s results with genetically engineering Dracula’s blood had been hampered by not having “fresh” samples, which the vampire was seemingly loathe to provide when previously asked, so they were going off old blood stains that could be traced back to Dracula. Their efforts had paid off in the form of Nikolai Limrovich and two others, both of which were dead in the field after demonstrating poor emotional choices (i.e. rage) that led to their demise. I guess in a sense you can say the same thing happened to “Bucky,” but he seemed more in control than the others that Holmwood mentioned.

We moved on to Hound, which presented me with an issue considering our previous correspondence. She stayed quiet, at least at the time, and was able to give us further details on the serums we had found. The blue serum, as we knew already, was a working solution for an Edom Supersoldier/Vampire like “Bucky.” The gold serum was an experimental enhanced version of the blue formula, but had not been extensively tested yet. Hound was not familiar with the clear serum (which DuBois later identified as a compound with silver nitrate and apitoxin (honeybee venom), that seemed to be particulary efficacious against the telluric bacterium. Though toxic and likely physically damaging, it appeared to be a quick “anti-vampire bite” solution.

It was at this point when everything went to hell.

Hound asked me point blank, “Are you going to do anything about this?”

DuBois immediately was on the offensive, pulling his piece and advising Oliver to do the same. The old man moved to flank me, as I tried to talk some sense into Felix, but my words fell on deaf ears.

Something was not right about all of this.

But I had no choice, so I made my move as both of them tried to restrain me. I had my trusty collapsable baton with me, and easily put some distance between us, but Felix was out for blood with his gun. I tucked and rolled out the door and up the steps, hitting the panic button on my phone. Hopefully, Perse had gotten my message earlier and was waiting outside.

And she was there! Both of the my partners were now throwing lead my way as she pulled up on her motorcycle and we made to split.

Have I mentioned that DuBoix is a fucking good shot?

We lost our tire and went into the dirt. I hear shouting and gunfire and the next thing I know I see Quinn driving a car right into me. I dove but he still caught me and sent me flying again. Went I came around, the fight was still ongoing, but knowing that Perse could handle herself ( as well as the fact the boys didn’t realize it was her), I made my way back into the safehouse, freed Hound and “D” and cut my losses.

I don’t think that freeing “D” was the best choice, but I had to get some trust back from Hound, especially after the violent turn of events from my former teammates.

We made our way back to town, “D” leaving us on the underground, and we made our way to one of Hound’s safehouses. Now I had to figure out what was going on with my team. Clearly, Dracula was influencing one or both of them. As much as I hated to admit it, Edom was not the only problem here and not even the biggest one.

Luckily for me, no one thought to check on my surveillance feeds so I had direct access to all of their electronic devices, the entirety of London’s camera system, and much more, so I was able to eavesdrop on their conversations over the ensuing hours…

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So, they decided to destroy the Edom serums. But that didn’t stop what happened next.

Lightning strike burns down church in San Diego area:
church_lightning_strike5_1489436023654_8962997_ver1.0.jpg


Gas explosions in France also destroy small park and cabin:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEraIpuE_cE


Fire destroys old Irish pub:
https://db4sgowjqfwig.cloudfront.net/campaigns/140617/assets/738069/Pub_fire.mp4?1495217843


All of our places of Safety. Destroyed.

This has Dracula’s hand all over it.

View
DuBois' After Action Report - Hendon
Operation: Tempest

My attempts to reason with the Lucy creature went unanswered. Perhaps we erred in our conclusion that Dracula himself is in direct and constant communication with his “turned” minions. Either that, or she is independent of Dracula’s control, and the telluric current communication is limited to just that. This does not explain the alleged control vampires are supposed to exert over those they infect with their bacteria, if we are to believe the words of Bram Stoker as truth. Either way, she is currently not interested in working with us as allies.

But I digress. We were currently huddled in the old crypt of Lucy Westerna, having just roused her from her undead sleep in the hopes of getting her to speak with us under the threat of our assembled weaponry. Unfortunately, this was another one of Quinn’s poorly crafted plans, and she had used her mental abilities to turn Quinn against us while she made her escape from the tomb.

After patching up Quinn as best as I could in the dark, we set out to make our way from the cemetery. Lucy’s laughter let us know that she was still lurking nearby, and Lee and I hung close to Quinn as we made our way to the nearest exit. And, as expected, the vampire Lucy immediately rushed us.

Lee was quick with some UV flares, which made her balk at approaching us further. I took the opportunity to try to talk some sense into her. I assured her that we had the same intentions as her master, and that we intended to put an end to Edom once and for all. I explained we had previously discovered the Edom facility at the Ring manor, and that we were on our way to destroy the house and shut down Edom’s core.

Our talk with Lucy broke down, and we allowed her to escape back into her tomb. Quinn left a calling card on a nearby tombstone in case Lucy wanted to chat later? (Sometimes I am positive that Quinn is showing signs of advanced Alzheimer’s disease, although his lucid periods are significantly longer than the median recorded in the literature.)

Heading out of St. Mary’s Cemetery, we decided that a public place would be our best bet for a breather. We found a quaint little shop, called the Waffle House, nearby and over coffee and waffles discussed our next move.

The Waffle House:
Wafflehouse.jpg


First, we reviewed what we knew at this point concerning Dracula, Edom, and any possible connections to the IMF. We knew that from the moment we encountered Nikolai Limrovich in Dubai that we had been targeted by Edom, but still did not understand why. Dracula, although apparently in league with Edom over the centuries, also was being undermined by their efforts to create their own breed of vampire, based on the evidence we had been collecting over the past few months. He clearly had no love for them, and wanted them removed as much as they wanted us gone from the play. What was Dracula’s ultimate motive? We were unsure, but we both were opposed to Edom at this point. The enemy of my enemy?

Regardless, we were certain as possible that Jason Shaw, and the “real” IMF were not involved in the conspiracy of Edom, and could be trusted. Mostly.

The ultimate question that we wanted answered was why exactly was Edom trying to kill us. After the events of the past few months – the destruction of their oil rig, the chemical plant in Germany, etc. – we know why they were still on our trail, but what led them to trying to eliminate us back in Dubai?

After further discussion, we returned to the point at hand – the destruction of Edom. Removing them from play would cut the heat from us, as well as remove the impetus to keep using Dracula as a covert asset. What Dracula’s agenda was in this instance was secondary to removing the major threat of Edom. To that end, we started planning our S&D mission to the Ring. Our previous surveillance provided us with a substantial amount of material concerning the defenses of the area, most of which appeared to be anti-vampire in nature – hawk mews, beehives, and the like. Electronic surveillance, while present, was minimal in nature, again likely reflecting the known qualities displayed by vampires.

The Ring surveillance photos:
AerialRing.jpg


The_Ring.jpg


We knew that there would likely be armed assets inside, and spent the next two days prepping for our assault. Luckily, even without agency assets on our side, we had sufficient connections to put together the arms and equipment that we required. We acquired two cars that were similar to those we had seen parked at the Ring, and set off on our night assault the next evening.

Our infiltration was successful. We avoided the few electronic hotspots and made our way into the manor proper. There were some guard patrols, but the estate seemed mostly deserted. All the better for us.

As expected, the guards, while clearly competent, were not expecting an incursion by humans. We quietly eliminated six, and were able to gain access to an underground laboratory as well as “D’s” private office, which cinched our theory that this was indeed the central HQ of Edom. Quinn used his explosive expertise to destroy the lab, and on our way out, we lucked across two rooms containing high-ranking Dukes of Edom – Hound and “D” himself – one Lord Godalming.

We efficiently neutralized the pair, and left the grounds with them in tow.

View
Quinn's After Action Report - Hendon
Operation: Tempest

MEMORANDUM FOR JASON SHAW

FROM: Oliver Quinn

DATE: January 11, 2017

SUBJECT: Continued Surveillance of EDOM/Dracula

OPERATION: Tempest

TEAM: IMF Alpha Team.

DEPLOYED LOCATION: London, England

After the ambush at the cold storage facility, we were determined to get to the root cause behind Edom’s ability to stay one step ahead of us. First, we wanted to ensure that Dracula and his minions were not active as a part of this, so we planned to deploy the magnetotelluric sounder that we stole from Arizona University to check locations around the city. Our first locations was naturally the Government Communications Headquarters of MI5/MI6.

The Doughnut:
The_Doughnut_The_Government_Communication_Headquarters.jpg



We were able to find a local bakery that was within the effective working range of the magnetotelluric sounder equipment, so we prepped a generic delivery van for clandestine work via a removable floor plate to allow us to deploy the sounder while parked outside the location in question.

Claire’s Cakes:
The_Doughnut.JPG

Once deployed, it took approximately one hour to determine that either there was no discernable vampire presence in the Doughnut or we were woefully unable to utilize the equipment to track the magnetotelluric disturbances created by vampire presence. Hung-Ke Lee assured me that the latter was not the case and that the location was uncompromised by Dracula.

At this point, I recommended that we retire to our safehouse to see what Edom’s next move would be. On day 5 of our self-imposed retreat, Lee got a hit on his Edom SIGINT surveillance. There was something going down at the church of St. Mary’s in Hendon, and it appeared to be Edom moving against Dracula. We suspected another trap, however, and decided to focus our efforts on the Holmwood estates in the Ring instead. We arranged for a day-long surveillance of the area, and found little activity in and out of the facility, but an array of security measures clearly designed for something other than human presence. The amount of electronic security was clearly inadequate even for a large civilian estate, but the addition of hawk mews (who are known bat predators in England) as well as a large number of beehives (which we suspect are affected by the magnetotelluric energies of vampires) make this an obvious location for an Edom facility. There were also at least a dozen large guard dogs freely roaming the grounds, as well as a manned guard station at the front entrance.

Holmwood Estates:
Holmwood_estates.JPG



I decided that direct action was warranted, and drove us up to the main gate, intending to bluff our way inside. However, an armed spec ops soldier approached us from the guard house and my attempt to incapacitate him with a tranquilizer dart was foiled by his obvious military-grade armor. Felix and I then exchanged gunfire with him, and although wounded, he was able to alert the main building to our presence, and as I was myself incapacitated by a wound from his assault rifle, Felix had to drive us quickly to safety so he could tend to my wound.

After this initial setback, we retreated to a safe location to look for more intelligence. As far as Lee could tell, there was no sign of underground tunnels in the nearby area allowing for clandestine access to the location, and I asked him to focus on creating an ultrasonice dog repeller to assist us when we infiltrated the Edom stronghold, however, this proved to be a dead end.

After that setback, we instead focused our attention back to the St. Mary’s church in Hendon. Dr. DuBois suggested we check for fault lines in the area, and indeed found that a local fault line, the Hendon fault, did exist. Apparently, these lines are susceptible to vampiric activity, at least as related by Stoker in the Dracula Dossier. It was good intel to have in hand.

When we arrived, we once again deployed our magnetotelluric sounder, and in Lee’s vernacular, “It went nuts!” Clearly, we were on to some kind of strange activity.

St. Mary’s Church, Hendon:
St_Mary_s_Church_Hendon_exterior.JPG

St_Mary_Church.jpg



The intel we had received from Edom indicated that they were planning to “take care of Him.” We assumed they meant Dracula himself, and our intense readings seemed to indicate that there was indeed intensely strong magentotelluric interference in this area.

We entered the church and were introduced to the local priest, a Vicor Clement, who gave us a tour of the church area and grounds, and who revealed that the cemetery in back was infamous for it allegedly being the burial site of Lucy Westenra from the Dracula novel.

Given that we are now convinced that Dracula was indeed real and that the novel was an attempt to cover up a covert op by Edom, we lent more credence to this story and decided to investigate the cemetary. Sure enough, we did find an older crypt that bore the name “L. Westenra” upon it.

We set to opening the crypt, and were surprised to find not an emaciated skeleton, but a beautiful woman.

Lucy_Westenra.jpg


I convinced my teammates to wait until the fall of night to question her, but when she awoke under the threat of our brandished weapons, she did something to my head, apparently causing me to attack DuBois. He responded in kind, but not before curiously trying to convince the woman that he was in league with Dracula himself and that they both working for “the Master.”

???

Meanwhile, as my companions struggled to get me back in the game, the vampiress simply disappeared and could be heard outside laughing.

Somewhere in the cemetery.

In the dark.

View
Lee's After Action Report - USA
Operation: Desert Rose

Hey bae!

Thank you for supporting me today. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be lost.

Love ya.



=BEGIN SECURE TRANSMISSION==

As the Monkees [ed. Beatles] said, back in the US of A [ed. USSR].

We arranged for transport out of London, via Canada, and made our way via car down into the US, headed towards Tempe, Arizona and a meeting with Kayla Incovino to acquire her magnetotelluric sounder.

We were almost to Phoenix when we noticed we were being tailed. A black sedan, dark sunglasses, suits. Where do they get these guys from, a Jason Bourne movie?

Quinn attempted a few of his patented car tricks, but these guys were good and were soon back on our tail. Luckily, they had a newer car, and I was able to try that Wired hack and get into their remote onboard computer system. The security was crap as was the interface, but I was quickly able to get control of their brakes and steering, and a few seconds later, the pursuit was over.

There was a bit of collateral damage.

Collateral damage in Arizona, USA:




We arrived in Phoenix shortly thereafter and, after changing cars, headed to Arizona University and a meet with Kayla Iacovino.

Kayla Iacovino:
kayla_epic_lab1.jpg



Quinn spun a tale about military cable laying or deep water pipes or something similar, and she bought it! The old man still has a few cards up his sleeve after all. And then we decided to break into the Geology Department that evening to steal the equipment? I think DuBois was as confused as I on that point.

The late night infiltration was a success and we found ourselves with a cherry magnetotelluric sounder. Much more portable than the cell tower tracker I had jury-rigged in London.

Magnetotelluric sounder:
Sounder.jpg



We made quick return arrangements and were soon boots down in England once again. We wanted to implement a plan where both Dracula would be convinced that we were in league with Edom, even in the light of other evidence, and that we were working together to put and end to him.

SIGINT suggested that our ruse was working, as we caught wind of a planned Edom-led op moving to investigate another cold storage warehouse in nearby Hampstead.

Cold storage warehouse:
chilly.jpg

We decided to crash that party and found ourselves surveilling the MI5 crew that they had roped into raiding the warehouse. We tapped into the monitoring equipment in the support vans, and were not surprised when the signals indicated a firefight and then radio silence. Vampires are tough in our experience. The monitoring crew foolishly abandoned their posts and went after their team, and silence fell again. We didn’t expect them to last much longer, but gave them a few minutes head start before we headed in ourselves.

Another similar warehouse and sure enough, a sub-basement with storage lockers. Blood was everywhere.

It had clearly been a trap.

Unfortunately, it was a trap for us.

Four squads fell out in ambush and pinned us down with automatic fire and grenades. The fight was furious, but we were armed to the teeth also. Although more suited for. fighting vampires, our weapons were also devastating to humans. DuBois got pinned down in a storage locker and was briefly out of action, but Quinn and I were able to take down 3 of the 4 teams, and the last hastily retreated after the explosive battle.

We were battered and bruised, but had taken no casualties.

Now we had to find out how they had turned the tables on us.

=END SECURE TRANSMISSION==

View
Hound's After Action Report - London

GCHQ (“The Donut”):
GCHQ-aerial.jpg

[Secure call transcription]

DATE: December 26, 2016
FROM: Hound
TO: D

After the fiasco that Ian created when I attempted to acquire the IMF team, I returned to our Whitehall safehouse. The IMF effectively avoided the clumsy intentions of the local constabulary, as well as our active countermeasures. It’s clear that Hung-Ke Lee is as good as his reputation allows. We surveilled the usual locations and safehouses, but there was no sign of the team. I have no doubt that Dr. Felix duBois was able to break Ian. He never was as tough as he pretended to be. In all likelihood, our London operations are completely compromised, and I have already started the steps necessary to wrap up all current operations and go deep for the duration.

I made all the calls necessary to turn up the heat on the IMF team, which would hopefully hamper their ability to leave the city unnoticed. They would have to have some kind of movie magic face-cloning technology to be able to pull that off, so I’m confident we’ll have them in custody before the month is out.

[D response redacted]

We did get a hit on the Cross Angel Cold Storage site. Someone had broken into the cold storage warehouse, and from the police chatter, had messily killed someone via decapitation in a secret storage room underground that was filled with human corpses. Dracula’s work.

I can’t stress enough that we still do not have any assurances on his part in all of this, and now we discover he has a giant larder in the city? How did we not fucking know this, pardon my language sir?

[D response redacted]

Christmas eve was marked by what the weatherman called a “storm to end all storms.” A giant thunderstorm “the likes of which hasn’t been experienced in London in decades.” Another gift from the Count it seems. And curiously it coincided with another brutal murder and headless corpse in the old Albemarle Hotel tenement. It goes without saying that we both know the significance of that location. I suspect that the IMF is making inroads against the Count at this point as well as against us.

Perhaps we can use this to increase our level of trust with Dracula?

[D response redacted]

And now we get reports from the police that the warehouse guards were attacked by Winston Churchill? Seriously? Do they fucking have that movie shit sir? How the fuck can we do our job if they can make up false faces whenever they fucking please?

[D response redacted]

Yes, sir. I’ll get some agents on it immediately. There’s only so many places they could have as a destination around that time. I’ll report again once I have boots on the ground, sir.

[D response redacted]

Goodnight to you sir.

View
Quinn's After Action Report - London
Operation: Albion

MEMORANDUM FOR JASON SHAW

FROM: Oliver Quinn

DATE: December 21, 2016

SUBJECT: Edom connections

OPERATION: Albion

TEAM: IMF Alpha Team

DEPLOYED LOCATION: London, England

After meeting with our handler Jason Shaw, we had proceeded to a safe house for the IMF organization. Not the International Fund, but an intelligence agency dating back to the 19th century. Jason explained that their mandate was to eliminate the threat of vampirism from the world, and that they had evolved along similar lines to Edom but were opposed to their use of Dracula as an asset, tracing their lineage back to Abraham Van Helsing himself.

Felix was immediately interested in their level of support and asset availability, but Jason painted a sad tale about the organization that had reached it’s heyday in the 1960’s when they apparently used the cover of the television series “Mission Impossible” as a plausible cover story for their activities. They had a number of connections in the entertainment industry at the time, so this seemed to them to be a spread disinformation about their existence and goals. Unfortunately, it seems that this black agency ran afoul of the excesses of the 1980’s, and was almost completely mothballed in the 90’s, losing their funding and most of their assets. Jason had just come aboard at the time, and elected to stay on and “keep the lights on” as they say.

He further explained what he knew about the vampire threat and Dracula, which was sketchy at best. The only solid piece of evidence they had was an old portrait of Dracula, which confirmed our earlier suspicions on his identity. We had met him previously in our training mission at Sprechenhaltestelle in 2014. At the time he was playing the role of one of the missing energy technicians Alexei Petrov. Jason stopped us at this point, however, and went on to explain that he had specifically assigned that agent the role and had based his identity mask on the portrait of Dracula, being that no other means existed that could capture his visage. Apparently, the identity mask technology in the Mission Impossible series actually existed and worked? It was a double down on his part to associate his face with our training and simultaneously assess if we had previous dealings with Dracula and were attempting to infiltrate the IMF. It seemed a bit of a stretch to me, but Shaw had always had a bit of a theatrical streak.

Shaw concluded his soliloquy by explaining that we were now the latest recruits for the IMF. In fact, along with Shaw, we were the entirety of the IMF. Shaw stated he had financial resources and some business contacts, but that our personal assets, network, and contacts were all that we had on the intelligence side of things. Not the best footing on which to base operations, but not the worst I’ve experienced either.

We were at a standstill as how to proceed, and after much discussion decided to focus on the Edom assets within MI6. Lee used his backdoor access into MI6 and was able to trace a recent phone call to one of the Dukes of Edom we had previously identified from the records on the H.M.S. Prosperine, one Hound by name. The loss of their secure satellite network from the rig had made their activities that much easier to follow, so a win for us.

A meet was scheduled to go down between Hound and “Him” in two days at the historic London Bridge after midnight in two days. We decided to crash that party, and made plans to be in place to observe and identify the targets involved.

The night of the meet, we were entrenched on either end of the bridge. Felix was in an unmarked panel truck, as were Lee and I who was running his monitoring equipment. Just after midnight, a man and a woman appeared on opposite ends and moved towards the middle. Assuming that the man was in fact, Dracula, we could only surmise that the woman was the one known as Hound. Lee was able to record her side of the meet, but as seems to be the case when dealing with a vampire, he was unable to capture video or audio of the man. The (one-sided) discussion seemed to center around us, and whether or not we were working for Edom?

London Bridge meet:
londonbridgeatnight.jpg



Hound:
Hound1.jpg

After the meet ended, we decided to follow Hound and interrogate her. In retrospect, this was a poor choice. We tailed her back over to the north side of the bridge and joined back up with Felix and continued to follow her, but it seems she made us. Halfway down a street, a large black BWM came flying out of an alley and t-boned us. We could make out the driver through the shattered glass, as he pulled a pistol and began shooting at us. He was a decent driver, I’ll give him that. I quickly moved to counter him, sideswiping his car as he reversed down the alley and Felix returned fire. Lee apparently was pinned under a bunch of wires and tools in the back of the truck and was no help at all.

Felix shot out the driver’s tires and he crashed into a wall as he continued back down the alley, and I slammed our van into the car side as he flung himself out of the opposite door, still firing at us. I pivoted around the car and clipped him with our bumper, knocking him out. We loaded him up and were preparing to leave when a slew of police cars appeared in the road and alley, obviously headed towards us. Of Hound, there was no sign. She had set us up, well and good.

We were definitely pinned in, so decided to run for it on foot, heading into a nearby office building with the unconscious driver over Lee’s shoulders. Felix dropped a previously prepared tear gas grenade in our wake, and we quickly moved through the borough, avoiding the police presence and the ever-watchful London camera system, making our way back to our safehouse, where we interrogated our captive.

Felix, being the master interrogator that he is, soon got him to talk. He was a Duke of Edom known an Ian, and we soon found out that Edom was hot on our trail, especially after we destroyed their lab sites in Germany and on the oil rig. They were indeed attempting to “build” their own vampire super-soldier, based off of the inert blood of Dracula’s vampiric minions, as they had been unable to convince Dracula to contribute directly to their cause. It seems they were keeping him in the dark as to their intentions also.

Ian:
Ian1.jpg



It also seems that Edom had turned up the heat on us, as the local news station interrupted their broadcast to show pictures of the three of us, saying we had committed acts of terrorist and were armed and at large in the city of London…

Our plans now turned around tracking Dracula and his minions, and Felix discussed building a device to track the Earth’s telluric currents and possibly identify or follow the vampires by their interactions with them, but we didn’t have the engineering knowledge to know where to start.

Then Lee found this gem on the internet: North Korean Volcano Provides Rare Chance For Scientific Collaboration

It looked like we were headed to the States.

View
DuBois' After Action Report - London
Operation: Albion

Taken from a voice recording:

After the events that occurred on the HMS Prosperine, we regrouped in London and I immediately set to the task of analyzing the blue serum that we recovered from the laboratory on the oil rig. Luckily, I was able to use my medical credentials and had Lee pull a few strings to get me access to the hardware I required, and was able to run some tests. The results were less than satisfactory, however, as the material in question was quite beyond my ability to thoroughly decipher.

There was a unique bacterium suspended the serum. While structurally similar to most terrestrial bacteria, I was able to determine that this particular strain was of unknown origin. Unlike other life on this planet, which is based on carbon molecules, this bacterium contains no guanine, adenine, or thymine. While cystosine appears to be present in it’s DNA, the other bases appear analogous to normal pairs but are missing carbon molecules. Instead, these new bases have a copper component, which should not support life in any known way. Yet, I am faced with irrefutable evidence that this is so.

Merde!

I don’t even know where to begin. I could get a Nobel prize for this discovery, if it wasn’t somehow wrapped up in this whole vampire conspiracy that’s trying to kill us.

Alright. On to what we can know at this point.

The bacteria seems to emit a curiously strong electromagnetic field. Over time this field seems to sync itself with local EM fields and builds a symbiotic relationship with it, exerting some level of awareness and even possible interaction with those fields. I can only theorize that this effect increases in proportion to the amount of bacteria in a host. As the only specimens in the serum that we recovered were inert, dead, material, this is only a theory. However, I did notice some peculiar visual anomalies over the course of the week I studied this organism, which makes sense as our sight is dependent on “seeing” a range of the EM spectrum. If this organism can disrupt the EM spectrum sufficiently, it could affect visual or even aural acuity. This would help explain the phenomenon of “invisibility” that what we are calling vampires exhibit.

This may also explain the strange hypnotic effect we experienced in St. Paul’s cathedral, though how a human host can tap into and collectively control these electromagnetic fields to create and manipulate our senses is beyond my current ability to explain.

The bacteria also exhibit strong regenerative powers, even in a “dead” state as they are in the serum. Their ability to revive depends on the presence of blood, which seems to fuel their abilities, thus explaining the blood-thirst of vampiric legend. Otherwise, the bacteria is remarkably resilient and strong.

Since we are dealing with what seems to be the origin of the vampire legend, Quinn insisted that I investigate the use of alleged vampire banes as well.

Waving a crucifix at the bacteria did not seem to do anything. Nor did holy water when mixed in solution. Although we are using the unredacted Dracula dossier as a reference, these did not seem to work as Harker reported.

Garlic was another story. When introduced into solution with the bacteria, it seems to inhibit it’s ability to absorb nutrients and even disrupts it’s connect to local EM fields.

I also noticed that the bacteria develops a familiarity with local EM fields over time, and when it is exposed to another strong field in succession, that initial connection has to rebuild over time. Anything that blocks EM fields also strongly inhibits the abilities of the bacteria, so a Faraday cage or large volume of water would effectively cut off the bacteria from those sources. If the bacteria interacts with the ""telluric currents":https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluriccurrent" present in the earth, this also leads me to speculate that foreign EM fields would present problems for the bacteria, although our current supply of extraterrestrial minerals is woefully nonexistent. Another side effect of these currents is that they are diurnal and are affected by the strength of the sun. This may account for the vampire legends that they are nocturnal creatures, as there would likely be strong interference during the day that impacts their connection to those currents. _

Finally, when exposed to a strong ultraviolet light, the bacteria clearly reacts. It seems to migrate away from that exposure, although it doesn’t appear to do significant damage. How this UV light would affect an infected individual is unknown, but it does appear to have some potential as a deterrent.

In conclusion, we are dealing with an organism that is clearly of extraterrestrial origin. How this bacteria came to Earth is speculation, but we can assume that this is the genesis of the vampire legend. Further speculation… if we assume that the dossier is indeed true, then Dracula may have been the genesis of the legend as we know it today. If he is indeed the same person as Vlad Tepes, who ruled Wallachia in the 15th century, we are dealing with a creature that has been alive for almost 600 years. If my theory of the interaction with and familiarity to EM fields holds true, it is impossible to know the true extent of this man’s… this creature’s… power.

< Recording ends >




After Action Report – DuBois, December 2016

After discussion we have decided to contact Jason Shaw once again. We cannot be 100% certain that he is not involved in this conspiracy, so we are attempting to lure him to a dead drop at a place of our choosing.

HMS Belfast:
HMS_Belfast_1_db.jpg


An old museum ship, the HMS Belfast is a museum ship, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser, permanently moored in London on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum. The Belfast was the first Royal Navy ship to be named after the capital city of Northern Ireland, and one of ten Town-class cruisers. Her construction began in December 1936 and she was launched on St Patrick’s Day in 1938. Commissioned in early August 1939 shortly before the outbreak of the World War II, the Belfast was initially part of the British naval blockade against Germany. In November 1939, she struck a German mine and spent more than two years undergoing extensive repairs. Belfast returned to action in November 1942 with improved firepower, radar equipment and armour. Belfast saw action escorting Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union during 1943, and in December 1943 played an important role in the Battle of North Cape, assisting in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst in December 1943. In June 1944m the Belfast took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy landings. In June 1945 Belfast was redeployed to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet, arriving shortly before the end of the Second World War. Belfast saw further combat action in 1950–52 during the Korean War and underwent an extensive modernisation between 1956 and 1959. A number of further overseas commissions followed before Belfast entered reserve in 1963.

Few people know that HMS Belfast is one of only three remaining vessels from the bombardment fleet which supported the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. The other vessels are the destroyer USS Laffey, part of the historic ships grouped at Patriots Point, South Carolina, and the dreadnought battleship USS Texas at San Jacinto, Texas.

The HMS Belfast makes an effective Faraday cage, and our early recon showed that few people or attendants were around during these winter months. We chose a forward battery compartment for our meet, and added some additional anti-EM and monitoring support should we have any uninvited “guests.”

We set the meet time for 2:00 AM, and arrived at the ship for the last tour time, remaining on board after the ship had closed for the evening. We set up our watch on the bridge and waiting for Shaw to show.

Punctual as always, we saw a vehicle approach the dock around 1:55 AM. However, a second vehicle soon appeared, and pulled up next to Shaw as he exited his car. A figure emerged, and it was the same man who had accosted us at St. Paul’s Cathedral before we were kidnapped. He seemed to coerce Shaw into his car, and they drove off into the night. Lee was already at work tapping into the London camera system, and we set off in pursuit. We found Shaw’s cell phone on the dock where he clearly dropped it upon entering the car. Luckily for us, Shaw had been keeping fit, as his phone was tied into his Fitbit which was still active. He also had seemed to disappear off the grid earlier today in the vicinity of Highgate Cemetery in London, reappearing a few hours later in the same spot?

Meanwhile, our trace of the car with Shaw continued, and it appeared they were headed out of London to the south. We were barely able to keep pace, but it appeared that they were headed toward the town of Hellingly, and in fact seemed to be headed to the abandoned mental hospital there.

Hellingly Hospital:
Hellingly_hospital.jpg

It became clear that we had erred in our earlier suspicions of Shaw, and that he was now likely being interrogated by the Edom group, their Russian cronies, or worse. We quickly infiltrated the abandoned complex, and neutralized a couple of local heavies. Something clearly was going down here, and we made our way into the basement area. We quickly found the location where they had stashed Shaw, and were starting to work him over questioning him about our whereabouts. A few more local thugs and a big blonde bruiser – an Aussie from the sounds of it. It was close to dawn now, so we were counting on his abilities being lessened by that fact, if he was indeed one of the vampires.

Realizing that the vampire was the greatest threat we moved to neutralize him immediately, but although he took a number of rounds to the body, he did not go down or even flinch from the wounds. (Were we wrong about the currents?) Luckily, we were able to bring him down with concerted firepower and some paint ball rounds filled with garlic (Thanks to Quinn’s armory skills earlier in the day.)

We convinced the locals to scram, and led Shaw back to the car, only to be ambushed by that bastard from St. Paul’s. He tried to ambush us, but we caught him dead to rights and blasted him with garlic paint balls. As he moved to attack us, the UV lights started to affect his wounds, as they burned and his blood appeared to boil off under the beams. It clearly hurt him, although not to the extend we would have liked. He rushed Quinn, moving so fast we could barely register it, grabbing the old sod and throwing him like a rag doll. Quinn was flung a good 20 meters by this thing, and he landed hard and was still. I switched to armor-piercing rounds and popped off a number of rounds, hitting him squarely in the head. He dropped and lay unmoving, but we were taking no chances with this one, so we decapitated him before checking on the old man and Shaw. Quinn was barely conscious and definitely out of action for a while, but didn’t have any life-threatening injuries, so we gathered him up and headed out of town and back to London.

Shaw directed to to the Highgate Cemetery, and we arrived just before 8:00AM. He led us over the grounds to a gravesite.

Karl Marx’s grave:
Karl_Marx.jpg
Shaw took us around the back and opened a panel and a bloody secret door opened in the thing. Old rusted spiral stairs led down into what appeared to be an old-style British bunker. It looked like 70’s decor met 90’s technology down there.

And then Shaw turned to us, pointing at a nearby crest and said, “Welcome to the real IMF.”

IMF coat-of-arms:
IMF.jpg

View
Lee's After Action Report - London
Operation: Dark Waters

Louis,

Here’s that crop report you wanted. I encrypted it in case Mr. Beeks tries to get a hold of it again.

- Billy Ray

Orange Juice Crop report:

=BEGIN SECURE TRANSMISSION==


After the events in Berlin, we decided to focus our attention on the MI6/Edom connection, if there was one. We flew into London and arranged for a meet with our handler, Jason Shaw, although we apparently were no longer a part of the UNAD or IMF or whatever group anymore. He had gained access to the MI6 firewall information, and would be passing that along to us for a ghost infiltration of their network.

In the meantime, I went ahead and hacked into their administrative system and discovered some strange anomalies. There was a surprising amount of information in their financials that definitely indicated that there was a group within MI6 that was operating at an even higher level of black than their regular ops. I couldn’t yet verify that this was the “Edom” group that we were hunting, but it seemed like a good place to start. I found records of a number of deliveries assigned to a location that didn’t seem to be on the books – an HMS Prosperine.

Here’s what Felix had to say about that.

Named for the queen of the underworld and consort of Pluto in Roman mythology, no such ship exists on the Royal Navy’s official rolls. The last HMS Proserpine was a Pelorus-class cruiser laid down in 1896. Built for independent patrols, the Proserpine served on the Caribbean station. Upon the cruiser’s return to home waters, it collided with a Dutch mail ship off Sheerness in 1901, and remained in the Chatham Dockyard until it was scrapped in 1919. The Admiralty transferred the name to a stone frigate: Lyness Naval Base in Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. (The Royal Navy commissions its shore bases, or “stone frigates,” with ship names so that naval personnel remain subject to shipboard discipline while on base.) Lyness Naval Base was closed in 1957, and that ended the HMS Proserpine’s service. Officially.

We thought it unusual that there would be any expenditures for this, let alone pay checks still being drawn by a number of agents who were deceased – killed in action in Afghanistan and other locations. Not sure why dead guys would need to keep getting paid, so that seemed suspicious.

Looked into the shipping records, and all of this was taking place somewhere off the coast of Scotland. Did find records of an old oil rig that was mothballed in the area, so that seemed likely, but Oliver wanted to check out the old Lyness Naval Base anyways. Drove out to it and it was a total waste of time. Oil rig for sure.

By the time we got back to London we had a meet setup with Shaw for the next morning, so we headed there in the morning:

St. Paul’s Cathedral:
viator-exclusive-small-group-london-sightseeing-tour-including-guided-in-london-331327.jpg


London-St-Pauls-MAP.jpg


There was a dead drop in the south transcept near the crypt entrance, and we successfully recovered a flash drive, but spotted an asset actively surveilling us. We attempted to lose the tail, but he was apparently one of the super soldier types like our old friend Nikolai Limrovich, as he was suddenly in front of us. Somehow. And he hypnotized us. I realize how this sounds, but one second he was a 100 meters behind us, and then he’s in front of us and there was this electric sensation like thousands of bugs crawling on our skin and everything spun and we went down and were out and found ourselves in a metal room. We couldn’t tell where we were or how long we were out, but most of our items had been confiscated and outside of some water and snacks, we were in a featureless room like that old D&D module.

We discovered that there was another prisoner in the cell next to us – apparently an Al-Qaida terrorist named Akmed. He had been abducted in the field and had no idea where we were or what was happening.

Luckily, Oliver had a pencil of thermite stuck in his boot (WTF man?), and we were able to open the door in our room. We discovered that we were being held on an oil rig. Not sure if it was the same one we had suspected earlier, but what were the chances?

It was night and we had the advantage so started to reconnoiter the rig. Found our suppies and free Akmed. The enemy of our enemy and all that. He had been tortured for an indeterminate time and was apparently targeted for being AQ.

Ran into some resistance, but we had surprise on our side and were able to take out a number of guards without raising an alarm.

We found a number of disturbing elements as passed through the rig. First was an odd room furnished like a set from That 70’s Show and containing a coffin, like a bad Hammer film. It was legit with dirt inside. Even weirder was the fact that the entire room was rigged to drop into the ocean below. Yes, a submersible room. WTF?

Cue weird laboratory on the oil rig also. Found some samples of what appeared to be the blue stuff that the Winter Soldier was shooting up in his veins, so Felix took those with him. Interrogation rooms, check. Weird sick bay for apparently converting people into “vampires,” check. Two sets of explosives wired to bring down the whole complex like a Bond film, check.

Seriously, what was up with this place? Who would set this up to torture and experiment on people and then have a backup to kill everyone (crew included)?

We found the computer room and I was able to use the flashdrive to get into the files. (Thanks Shaw!). Found a list of Edom “Dukes” in a number of secure communications as follows:

  • Elvis
  • Fort
  • Hound
  • Ian
  • Nails
  • Oakes
  • Osprey
  • Pearl
  • Prince
  • Tinman
  • Tyler

They apparently reported to someone called “D” who had offices in the Ring and at Vauxhall Cross as he or she was the Director of the Section for Research Operations at MI6. Lee FTW!

Oliver scuttled the rig as we left.

HMS Prosperine (Persephone?):
hqdefault.jpg


oil_rig_22.jpg


=END SECURE TRANSMISSION====

View
An Interlude...

After the shocking events in Ludwigshafen, Germany at the BASF plant, the team regrouped in their hotel rooms. There was much to discuss, but more importantly, Lee’s hack of the BASF VP, Martin Creasey, was still open and active. Lee immediately began to sift through the data, also noting that he still had control over the hardware itself, which included the built-in cameras and microphones.

The team crowded around Lee’s monitor as he toggled on the equipment. There were a number of BASF security moving in and out of the office, but then something peculiar happened. Creasey walked into the room, clearly having a conversation with someone else who was not in the room. Assuming it was a phone or secure transmission device, the team listened in on the conversation which seemed to revolve around their capture, escape, and subsequently how much they knew about “events.” Disturbingly, Martin was gesturing and reacting as if the person he were talking to was actually in the room himself. Like he was almost standing right next to him.

At the same time, DuBois was looking once again at the original Dracula dossier that had been delivered to him from his bartender friend. There was no way to trace from whence the package came, but it was decidedly an original copy of the manuscript, and whereas the electronic copies were missing many of the notations made in the work, here they were clearly evident, as was a largish stain that seemed to correspond with the notations that did not appear in the scanned copies. Lee confirmed that this appeared to exactly match what had been received in emails previously, but that the notations simply did not appear to have scanned. At all.

Even more disturbing, when viewed in a mirror, the notations simply did not appear on the screen either. There was a vague smear in the same area as the notation in the book, but it in no way resembled the actual writing.

Meanwhile, in Dubai the following was posted on Craigslist under Missed Connections:

CLDubai.JPG


The hit on “Sprechenhaltestelle” set off an old trigger in Lee’s network of connections. This was the method of dead drops that Jason Shaw instituted he ran the team on their first missions back in 2014-15. Quinn sent off a quick response: "Well you know the old man’s favorite saying. “When you are a hammer, all problems start to look like nails.” and soon a rendezvous was set up with Shaw in the Volkspark am Weinberg in Berlin, Germany the next day.

The meet went off without a hitch. No tails. No signs of surveillance.

Jason had questions for the team, as did they for him. He seemed skeptical of the idea that MI6 would kill to stop a copy of Dracula from being found, as the very idea of vampires was ridiculous fiction. He did acknowledge that the whole “Winter Soldier” scenario was clearly not normal, but the team was reticent to reveal too much information to Shaw. For his part, he revealed his belief that UNAD had been infiltrated at the highest levels, and he did confirm that he had rumors for years of a secret section within MI6 that was called Edom, but had no actionable intel on that one way or the other.

After the meet, the team was at a crossroads. There were still avenues to follow in Germany with the BASF connection, as well as other ties to the petroleum industry in Malaysia. Alternatively there was the MI6 connection and the chance to find out why they wanted the team dead.

In the end, it was London calling…

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Quinn's After Action Report
Operation: Falcon

MEMORANDUM FOR JASON SHAW

FROM: Oliver Quinn

DATE: October 17, 2016

SUBJECT: BASF Chemical Plant Fire

OPERATION: Unknown

TEAM: IMF Alpha Team?

DEPLOYED LOCATION: Ludwigshafen, Germany

After deploying our honeypot in the Lilos Internet cafe, we tailed the unwitting courier back to the main BASF headquarters. Lee’s hardware trace worked fine, but the signal was lost once the courier entered the main building. We set up a quick recon and determined that the level of security for the chemical complex was substantially higher than would be needed for a standard commercial operation. The guards were highly trained, likely military backgrounds, and were disciplined and thorough. Additional security was provided via electronic measures. All in all, it was military-grade security.

BASF Main HQ:
BASF_Visitor_Center.JPG
P2090943.JPG

We returned to our rooms at the Rene Bohn, and made plans to reacquire the laptop. We would need some time in the main building to locate the laptop, and given the tight guard presence, would need a diversion. I made some arrangements with a few locals and soon found myself in possession of some aluminium, magnesium, and iron oxide and set about to make some small thermite pencils.

Thermite Test:

Our working plan was to plant the thermite in a small device via a remote-controlled drone in a non-critical area of the plant. The resulting fire should be of sufficient size to occupy the security forces for a expanded window of time, allowing us to infiltrate and extract the hardware.

We had acquired some false credentials, and would be entering the main HQ under the guise of local firefighting coordinators, thus ensuring access to the main security center in the HQ. Once the local firefighting equipment started to arrive, we would approach and enter the complex, hopefully having sufficient time to find the laptop.

That evening we enacted this strategy, and all initially proceeded as planned. We were able to bluff our way into the main HQ building after the fire started, and quickly found our way into the R&D development area of the building, following intermittent pings that Lee was able to isolate and triangulate.

Eventually, we discovered that the laptop was in an executive wing in the R&D area, specifically in the office of a VP. We entered and discovered a laptop in the inner office, however it proved to be the personal PC of the VP and not our honeypot machine. Lee thought it could provide us with additional intelligence, and quickly made small work of it’s security and installed some custom software of his own. In the meantime, we discovered our laptop powered on and transmitting from a closed drawer in a bookcase. That set off our internal alarms, and we moved to exfiltrate.

At this point, DuBois entered the room, having been on guard in the outer office. A brace of guards were making their way down the outside corridor to our room. It was obviously a trap. Moving quickly, we disabled the guards, but we could see more on the way. We headed away towards a nearby exit, a dozen or more guards hot on our heels. Unfortunately, as we entered the stairwell, we ran into two more guards. These were dressed in bespoke suits, and were clearly not the typical security forces. This point was hammered home when we put a number of clean shots into one and he barely noticed. Shades of Bucky Barnes – more terminator-types. One of them caught me in a clinch lock, and we struggled while Lee and DuBois tried to free me. We were able to down one of the men, but by that time the guards behind us were there as were additional reinforcements from the stairwell. We had no option but to surrender.

We were led to a holding area. Strange for a R&D department in a chemical manufacturer to say the least. As we waited, we heard a series of loud booms. Explosions from the plant outside? Maybe the thermite reaction was a bit too potent?

Eventually, we were greeted by a man with a heavy US accent. Texas, I believe? He introduced himself as Martin Creasey, the man whose office we had recently searched.

What happened next was the strangest interrogation I have ever "it, on either side of the table. He invited us into his office and offered us drinks, and proceeded to ask about the “item” we had. It turned out he was looking for a book that he assumed we had, although he did not specify which book or what it allegedly contained. He seemed almost desperate to get his hands on it, but wasn’t intimidated by us, although we were alone with him in his inner office.

We were still in discussion when he received a call and left the room. A few minutes later, we spotted a Airbus H160 helicopter maneuvering for a landing at the nearby helipad, while clouds of thick black smoke poured into the air from the plant nearby. Once it touched down, a number of heavies emerged as did a well-dressed figure from our past. It looked like Alexei Petrov, the “target” from our initial team run in the training facility at Sprechenhaltestelle. What was he doing here?

We could see Martin Creasey moving towards Alexei, bowing to him and pointing in our direction. I suddenly had a very bad feeling about this. Luckily when we were taken earlier, the guards did not do a thorough job of patting us down, and I still had a thermite pencil left. It proved enough to melt through the glass window, allowing us access to the outside. We high-tailed it over the grounds to the copter, overpowered the pilot, and I flew us out of the facility.

There was indeed some collateral damage from my device, as noted below.

Collateral damage:
ludwigshafen-basf-brand-4.jpeg
Chemical_fire.jpg

At least two dead in explosion at German BASF chemical plant



We were able to safely ditch the copter in the woods nearby Ludwigshafen, and made our way covertly back to our rooms for a debriefing of our operation.

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