Shadows Secrets Kept

The Dogs of War
Dogs, Corky, and dumplings

Our crew finally makes its way to Transnistra, where we are directed to a Chinese restaurant in order to meet with Mr. Happy. It was a swanky joint, albeit in an old school kind of way, and the dumplings were wonderful. When Mr. Happy arrived, it was no surprise to me that he already had a general idea of the trouble we had gotten ourselves in to. Happy was eager to assist us against the Lisky Brava, as he fears they will try to take over Transnistra, but he needed a small favor from us in return.

In two days time his beloved futbol club FC Tiraspol would be playing a match against the much stronger and ridiculously overfunded FC Sheriff. To add insult to injury, Victor Gusan (sheriff’s owner and checkbook) was bringing to town a young Nigerian phenom to play in the game. Mr Happy would enjoy very much if this young man Igvay Nabasole through some random accident did not play in the game, embarrassing Victor Gusan and his club.

Initial information suggests that Nabasole is staying in Gusan owned housing, and is at least moderately guarded. Further research suggests two things. Nigerians are superstitious people, and this young man is taking full advantage of his new found freedom from abject poverty (i.e. drinking, partying, gambling). We decide to dose him at the casino to make him moderately sick to his stomach, and hit him with a handful of evil superstitions from his homeland. He sees a bird indoors, and hits his left leg on a stone indoors the night he gets sick. The next night he hears an owl outside his window. Finally an evil totem was put in his locker at the futbol stadium. Young Mr. Nabasole was too mentally and physically thrown off to play in the game, which ended in a nil-nil draw. Victor Gusan was certainly embarrassed by the over-hyped affair, and Mr. Happy was delighted.

Upon completion of our work, we met again with Happy. He too has no love loss for the Lisky organization. He suggested we go to Dragovir and find some way to disrupt their hub there. Records show Dragovir received a shipment of washing machines every few weeks. Coupled with the fact that Lisky has been known to deal in white slavery, and Dragovir is a town of 24 people, it was obviously a front for the bratva. We thanked the man, had some more dumplings, and went on our way.

Upon driving in to this small town, people eyed us uneasily as was expected. Especially me who sloppily covered my prison tattoos. We checked in to the small boarding house in town, where the lady suggested strongly that we not go to the monastery in town. so, going to the Monastery we were met at the gate by 2 armed guards who also strongly suggested that we turn back. Upon returning to the boarding house to wait for darkness to fall, another townie knocked on our door. Mr. Voritz tells us we should leave town and warns us that the mafia runs the town and we are there at a bad time. The mustachioed old man was trying to help keep us from harm. We thanked him, packed up, paid for the night anyway, and drove out of sight. After hiding the car, we made our way towards the monastery using the little dirt road as a reference point. I continued my sloppy ways drawing the attention of a group of dogs. While they were quickly dispatched, the general alarm had already been raised, and guards could be heard searching the area. As we reestablished our cover, a truck comes riding up the road and stops at the gate. people come and unload washing machines from the back of the truck, only to reveal a group of men, women and children who were shuffled in to a line at the gate as a van/shuttle bus came to take loads of them up towards the monastery. While guard attention was shifted to the movement of slaves, the group swiftly made it’s way over a wall and towards the monastery. That is until I got sloppy again and drew guard attention. while we were in the monastery courtyard, our group was found in a firefight.

Assessing our situation in the courtyard, we see a few out buildings, a well in the center of the courtyard guarded by 4 men (this well is where the slaves were being guided to), the main monastery building which is what everyone was trying to sure up and barricade. On top of this building there was a satellite dish with what appeared to be a modem. While there didn’t appear to be any power lines, Polya had to show off her parkour skills by climbing up and disabling the dish. I redeemed earlier sloppiness by shooting a few guards just below the eye.

We all crashed in to the main building once the Satellite had been disabled. Taking stock of our surroundings, we found a blood stained name plate on a door that read: Dr. Dorjiev. Kicking in the door we found a man in a lab coat with a laptop and assorted files throwing any and everything in to a fire in the corner. This angered me, because that information was useful to us I was sure, so the doc got stabbed where no man should ever be stabbed. We collected all the information we could (laptop and files). I took the doc’s nametag which read Vathek and put it on. It just struck me funny to wear it.

We peeked through a few windows to take note of what was going on outside and plan an escape when the funniest thing happened. I realized why brainiacs aren’t usually sent for wetwork stuff. Another lab coat came barreling through the building pushing an office chair as cover. All I could do was stand and laugh, so luckily Polya had set up a trip wire. Although the noise of his face hitting the ground made me laugh harder. This poor man didn’t fair much better than Vathek.

In the commotion outside, the shuttle driver remaind at his post. he sat smiling while people all around him were running and screaming like was appropriate for a combat zone. We decided to make a run for this shuttle and planned to drive it out of the compound. Once in the shuttle, Corky shut the door and started driving. “gotta say goodbye to mom and dad,” he exclaims as he drives over towards the well. Once there he stops the shuttle and waves. I tried to move him out of the driver seat gingerly. When that upset him, Milosh put a bullet through his face, and Paul hopped in the drivers seat and busted us out of the compound. We got to where we had hidden the car, disabled the shuttle and took off.

Mr Happy contacted me, and asked for an update. I filled him in the best I could. It appears we had some sort of affect on the Lisky operation, but having not searched the full compound especially the well, who’s to say for sure how much we slowed them down. Happy directs us to Hungary and the town of Debrecen. He has a safe house and contact there, a lady named Agi Kozorus, who is a journalist and blogger. Before hanging up Happy tells me to be careful because there is Bratva as well as Serbian gang activity in town.

we get enough of a breather to look through the information we collected, and find:

1. File labeled “Project #4” which notes Dr. Dorjiev has found a way to create Zolozhniye. These Zolozhniye desire to kill people before their natural time. If they do so surprisingly, they become stronger. There were also notes on how to block them. They are repelled by mechanical clocks. Not electronic clocks, mechanical clocks.

2. There was another file on St John and his son Kim Phibly. These Cambridge scholars and intelligence officers betrayed England, and are celebrated by the Soviets. They were debriefed by Arkady Shevlenko.

Mechanically in game we have been given 5 pts for the Philbys and 5 pts for the Zolozhniye. We can spend these points on questions/information about the given topic

There was also a video of poor quality showing Dorjiev creating the first Zolozhniye. There appeared to be odd time stamps and time jumps or edits in the video. There was also video of Dorjiev himself loading one bullet in to a gun and putting it to his head. He pulled the trigger five times, and nothing happened. upon repeated views it appears that there was a weird time jump where a sixth trigger pull could have been edited out. Milosh believes That this edit was not a video edit, but an edit in time itself. Like Dorijev reset time when the bullet was discharged so he could go back to before it went off and skip over it completely.

It’s times like this I wish I was calmly drinking Belvedere and eating dumpling with my friends…

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Darkness in the Catacombs

We descend into the old catacombs, Polya’s knowledge of arcitecture in Odessa is coming in handy. We came upon two gaurds who we dispatched, although not without some noise, but luck was on our side as no one else was alerted. We came to a ledge overlooking a cavern below. We saw Rudek speaking with someone whose face we could not see, attending them was another man, clearly military, the three of them were gathered around a coffin. Several other gaurds were about the large underground space. Rudek was desperately pleading with the unseen man saying he would clean up the Baghdad job. The unseen man waved dissmissively then seemed to lean into the coffin with what looked like a syringe in his hand. Before any more of the scene could unfold the military man moved impossibly fast, lifted rudek with one hand and crushed his throat. We were stunned and horrified…even seasoned agents that we were, none of us had seen anything like that, it’s impossible for anyone to move the way that man did. Before we could do anything, suddenly before us was the military man. Impossible! No human could get to the ledge we were on from below. He grabbed Polya and drug her toward the ledge, but luckily he slipped slightly and lost his leverage, Polya took advantage and broke free and ran. The next few minutes were a blur. We tried shooting this man but he remained standing. Retreat seemed the better part of valor and we all ran. The catacombs were like a maze, we ran and ran, the gaurds in pursuit rained automatic fire upon us, our good doctor getting tagged slightly. We eventually came to a strange theater of sorts which led us to the street level. Boosting a car the good doctor put his considerable driving skills to good use as we attempted to escape. Unfortunately the chase through Odessa was complex even for Karl. Fleeing on foot again we crashed into nightclub. Making our way out the back we had a brief encounter with some gaurds who we dispatched or eluded but in the escape we became seperated. The doctor and I fled to the underground and boarded a train.

Later we re-connected, everyone having escaped. We looked into some of the information we had gathered…but none of it makes much sense at present. The Lisky bratva is clearly involved in the smuggling operation. The rumors we heard indicated there was a “doctor” (Dorjiev) who might be making a play for the top spot in the bratva trying to replace the old man. Nikita Akhroyekov, a Lisky underboss, might be interested in information about that…the enemy of my enemy is my friend? (He’ll still probably try to kill us). Some other tidbits we discovered:
1. Irem seems to refer to the legendary arabic city of pillars, punished by Allah for its wickedness and now buried beneath the sands.
2. Dragovir: city known for it’s monastary
3. The way the military man moved reminded me of tales told to me by my great grandmother of Zolozhniye, creatures who died before their time and now lure others to their death reveling in cutting short lives.
4. Pier Dalman: died in a fire and dozens of clocks were found at his house. (I totally forget what the tie with this guy was)
5. Karl knew of a former doctor Dorjiev who had discovered a chemical compund that stopped cellular decomposition but failed to keep the brain alive.
6. Paul’s analysis is that the money doesn’t make sense. Us discovering the smuggled weapons/blood shouldn’t elicit this kind of response…it doesn’t make sense

What is going on? What holy-hell have we seemed to draw down on our heads? What was up with the coffin and why are they smuggling blood products? We’re on our way to one of Ivan’s safehouse, maybe a good nights rest will bring some clarity.

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Odessa's Shadow

It had gone smoothly, too smoothly really, I should have known it would turn messy…it almost always does. The job of retrieving the info from Brigadier-General Malcom Lennart’s laptop went well. The general was none the wiser who we were, his laptop was wioed clean and the info was on a flash drive. Polya decided to take a look at the info…not in the job specs but what the hell, I was curious why this straight laced Canadian was into. The info suggested 1. NATO blood products being diverted with lists of flight plans from Italy and the Balkans. 2. Evidence of diverted arms stock from phantom missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, suggestive of major fundraising for who knows what. It seems the general had been talking to and American in NATO; Donald Carroll, a known information dealer.

Our snooping had to be cut short as Polya discovered some electronic eyes…someone knew we were snooping…and that aint good. We went to the drop location to turn over the info to Anton Dedopovic who was supposed to pay us. We knew Anton was a bad guy, but we also were pretty confident he would stay bought…not so much. The drop goes bad quickly. Ivan wraps up the firefight with a well placed grenade in their SUV, but Anton has a BMW stashed around the corner and makes a break for it, luckily the good doctor is a hell of a driver…oh and not so lucky for Anton we had a LAW rocket with us…and we hate not getting paid. Afterwards we attempt to contact Georg Rudek who gave us the initial job but it seems he’s gone to ground. With few other leads Paul reaches out to Donald who invites us to a little town outside Odessa. He tells us he know American made arms are being diverted out of Iraq and Afghanistan to Odessa and he suspects one of the Russian brotherhoods is at the center of it all, but he needs confirmation. They’ve managed to RFID tag some crates of weapons that Turkish smugglers have seized and are bound for Odessa on a ship; the Yalkenci. He wants us to identify where the weapons go and who is involved. We take the job…mostly becasue we’re still hoping we can find Georg and get paid. We stake out the docks and are able to identify the smuggled weapons which Polya tracks to a dilapadated warehouse. Surprisingly Georg seems to have arrived with the crates as well and boards the trucks which spirit them away quickly. The warehouse is guarded…like crazy guarded with police looking the other way and old school Russian ex-con mobsters and enough guns to make Charlton Heston smile. Luckily Polya breaks out some architecture plans and finds us an alternate entrance via some catacombs beneath the warehouse. There we find some crates, some with our RFID tags, but they leave us with more questions. The crates and their contents are:

1. Crates with English writing: Full of military supplies (to which we help ourselves). It seems it was taken from Baghadad and destined for the Iraq militia.

2. Crates with Cyrillic writing: Contains food stuffs, blankets and a manifest which indicates to us that the Lisky brotherhood was involved in human trafficing with a possible tie to Dragovir, a village in Romania. We also found a receipt from Baldak shipping, but don’t know if that’s relevant at this point.

3. Crates with Arabic writing: These crates contain plastic wrapped pieces of clay and stone…possibly from an Iraqi museum, they reference a city called “Irem”. We also find some papers in English which seem to be British government records from the 20s and/or 30s. They seem to include some general mappings but also include handwritten notes including and odd notation “Intrusive”. The notes seemed to be smuggled British archives from Iraq.

The crates keep our attention for some time, making our way out, Polya discovers a trap door, through which we hear a snippet of conversation….one of the voices is Georg, he’s going to meet the doctor…I get the impression this doctor doesn’t care if your cholesterol is high, and we probably won’t be seeing Georg again.

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