Warning: Spoilers for the finale of The Harker Intrusion. For the first installment, read my previous post.
The shot cracks the air, the witch crumples into a heap, bloody and lifeless onto the ground. The camp is momentarily frozen before pandemonium erupts.
Using mining explosives found in one of the prefab tents, Beryl throws a stick of dynamite, lobbing it at the cooler of blood. Using the same explosives, Svetlana circles around and blows up the generator.
Chaos engulfs the camp, the trained military SAS maintain discipline, fanning out to establish a hard perimeter of the camp. While the SAS fan out from their position, Beryl uses the cover of the now darkened camp to move towards the lead coffin, sneaking past a technician in doing so. Placing a small plastic explosives payload on the exterior and quickly moving extricating herself from the blast range.
Meanwhile, Svetlana moves to secure one of the digs vehicles in case we need to make a hasty escape. However, she is interrupted by one of the SAS sergeants. Drawing his gun just a fraction too late, Svetlana darts in, making a disarm with her extendable baton, flinging his gun off into the darkness.
Using the chaos as a distraction, Kurt moves from his snipper’s perch and relocates, avoiding the SAS sweeping outside of the camp.
Rushing from the main camp, Beryl gives a three count warning; “3…2…1 Fire in the hole”.
An immense boom follows, not only catching the lead coffin and the personnel surrounding it but also catching the tent with the mining explosives in it. As an unintended consequence, Svetlana and her assailant are hit, getting hit with the blast wave and shrapnel. She rolls with the explosion, taking only minor abrasions.
From his new vantage, Kurt disables the remaining SUV’s of the dig personnel, securing the team’s escape without pursuit.
When we get in back in contact with Harker, he is relieved that we “took care of” the dig in Romania, saying “Thank God, we couldn’t let Edom get another Vampire…” His contact is more paranoid and erratic, believing that Edom is watching him closely and he can’t leave the country. He requests that we meet him in London and that the line of communication we are using might be compromised soon, we are only to use it once more to arrange our meeting when we arrive in London.
After landing at Heathrow, and securing a high-quality Mercedes SUV, we make all due haste to Harker. Our last response to him includes the location to meet: Curch of St. Mary the Virgin in East London. The Church looks gothic but was built much more recently than the architectural style suggests.
An initial casing of the meeting location tells us two things. Kurt’s occult lore indicates that this is a very safe location if Harker is worried about vampires, as the church (holy ground) is situated between three of the rivers of London, the Theme, Lea, and Fleet. Svetlana, on the other hand, realizes that this location is awful as a location for a meet, it’s remote, easily surveilled, is indefensible location against hostile attack.
As we make our final approach, the night is cold without the onset of London fog, very unseasonable for this time of year. The driveway of the church as a single car next to an open side door shining a bright light onto the pavement. Throwing caution to the wind in order to get our answers, we enter the church.
Before us is the gruesome sight of a recently killed priest bent backward over the church altar, blood pooling on the floor. Softly we hear the sound of panicked footsteps moving up a set of stairs, from the main sanctuary to the choral balcony.
A cloud of mist visible coalesces outside the steepled windows of the church’s second story. The rushing individual exits onto the balcony just below the misted windows, we can only assume that the pale mousy middle-aged man we see is Harker, clutching a steel briefcase with all his life. All at once, the mist stretches breaks the glass and manifests into an outrageously tall monstrous figure. The figure brings to mind every depiction of the myth of Dracula, only infinitely more terrifying.
Beside himself in panic, Harker stumbles back, falling over the edge of the balcony, breaking his neck as he impacts the marble church floor. The steel briefcase goes skidding across the floor, wedging itself under a pew.
We act quickly, Beryl dashes for the package, Kurt pulls out a flash-bang from his satchel, and Svetlana grabs Kurt, pulling him forcibly towards the exit. Kurt throws the grenade at the looming figure as it undulates in shadow toward the ground floor. Beryl, slides past the case, snatching it, and sprints towards the second side exit, while Svetlana rushes Kurt towards our SUV.
We can hear the wine of high powered motor engines approaching the church, attempting to box us in. This is exactly the situation that Svetlana warned us about. These must be the Edom agents that Harker was so worried about. Bright lights of military SUV’s illuminate our Mercedes as we peel out, racing towards the graveyard behind the church, our only means of escape.
Beryl, taking possession of Kurt’s remaining flash-bang grenades, uses them to distract and gain distance from our pursuit. Kurt assists Svetlana navigating the streets of London, crossing additional churchyards in an attempt to throw off both Dracula as well as the Edom agents. Our zig-zag pattern keeps our distance, but the Edom agents are difficult to shake. A stroke of inspiration hits Kurt, and he tells Svetlana to take a sharp swerve into a parking garage. The team rushes out of the garage right into the midst of a crowd of football enthusiasts after a game breaks up. Blending into the throng of people, they manage to board a tube train, escaping their pursuers.
Later, at a safe house Beryl secures, we examine the contents of the briefcase. It contains a single item, an old manuscript from century-old paper. It appears to have been bound and rebound many times, it’s most recent binding appearing to be from a 1970’s public library.
The manuscript appears to be an original copy of Dracula, annotated by British agents…