Case 2 - Inexplicable Arson

Various bombings and fires across London (not, apparently, related to the cluster-fuck of the last month).

Mostly abandoned buildings, casualties have been remarkably light.

Often ‘GLA’ graffiti on buildings afterwards.

Asha’s been dealing with this one – apparently they can’t find any trace of accelerant or any explosive devices, yet places’ve still gone up.

Her and Mike Attaway are going to investigate one of the most recent attacks.

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They’ve returned with the corpse of a ‘plant man’ they had to ‘prune’ and a rather warm red feather – Phoenix maybe?

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Analysis of the files in Phibes’ safety deposit box shows that a very similar MO was present for the fire of the Reichstag building in 1933. The ‘mundane’ elements of the fire were apparently added afterwards as part of the plan to blame the Communists.

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A fleeing traitor-vampire, with ties to Nazi Germany, has left us the present of the letters ‘GLA’ written from several people’s blood on a wall by the holding cells at base. Whether this is a red-herring or not is debatable. Though the linking ‘Nazi’ angle may be worth further analysis.

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Borgstein’s Diary gives the full name for the GLA – the Goblin Liberation Army, lead by a ‘Reichsmarshall Emmerich’, which has apparently blackmailed her into co-operation by threatening ‘the Graf’.

Borgstein also went to Phibes about the blackmail, as she was unwilling to go to ‘Everyday’ about it ‘due to his marriage’. Phibes suggested she use the blackmail as an opportunity to infiltrate the GLA, and that he would vouch for her if it went wrong.

As the GLA is commanded by a ‘Reichsmarshall’, the Nazi angle seems a helluva lot stronger. The group responsible for the Reichstag fire could very easily be the same GLA that we’re encountering now.

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As we went to investigate a Golden Dawn / Shadowhand homeless shelter it exploded, in a GLA-related incident. Not sure why. We managed to control the crowd and keep people from harm’s way, but with the place on fire we weren’t sure we’d be able to gather evidence. Then Asha charged in because she detected something still alive in there.

Turned out it was a fire-monkey, another of the Shadowhand’s genetic experiments. Mikey killed it, and we managed to get it out of the building without alerting the public.

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Of course, Asha decided to return to the building in the middle of the night and discover another fire-monkey, though this one was subdued and taken back to base.

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There had to be some pattern to when/where the GLA appeared, and given I’d done some geo-profiling while working for SO15 I decided to give it a crack. I was at it for HOURS, applying every method of analysis I’d ever known, as well as simply making some up! And did it work? Not a chance. Though I DID manage to work out that there was one missing variable, ONE that I didn’t see and that without it I wasn’t going to be able to start predicting GLA appearances with any degree of accuracy, though the incomplete model allowed me to narrow Mikey’s list down from a Top 30 to a Top 15 potential GLA appearance sites.

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So, we went and talked to Carter. Apparently the only thing I’d missed was the 4th dimensional variable. Of course, how could I miss that. Fortunately he was able to give us some leads on finding a magical map of London that should, in theory, let me fill in the blanks and get my analysis working.

It took a while, navigating around the Hellstorm Club, but eventually we found a steam-punk/ant-punk god-knows-what-else-punk computer, which between them the Cap and the Prof were able to get working and spit out a map of the Club. For some reason the quickest way to the Library was to take a short swim and then go through a decontamination chamber. So we did.

Once there, I managed to find the section filled with the personal notes of previous H-Club members and was able to locate the map we needed just as the Cap found the index card telling me where to look. The Prof, on the other hand, found a bookcase that wasn’t there.

Deciding to investigate, we attempted to break the illusion and weren’t getting anywhere until the Cap spotted the components of some Norse kennings among the titles of the books. With a quick bit of re-arranging, the bookcase disappeared to reveal the Grimoire of Morgan Le Fey. Which almost instantly tried to get the Cap to go and pick it up.

Fortunately the Prof and I were able to restrain the Cap and seal the secret room up again.

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As we were there, I also grabbed some copies of Carter’s notes and a look at another of Borgstein’s diaries, while the Cap did some research on Emmerich and the GLA:

Photo shows man in mid-30s, piercing eyes, close-cropped dark hair, aquiline nose. Roughly 6’ tall, broad built. Possibly a scar on the left side of his face?

First shows up around 1950 in files from Dept Q/ MI13

German supremacist + Nazi sympathiser with ties to the occult. Not sure if he was a Nazi party member, though is pictured with High Command.

Probably extra-mortal as he doesn’t appear to have aged.

Seen in Germany / Brazil fund raising / rabble raising.

In 1960s-70s claims responsibility for terrorist attacks in Israel under the KFK (Kobold Freedom Force).

1980s GFK supplied arms to the IRA and Emmerich was spotted in the Republic of Ireland and Boston for meetings

He backs Nationalistic groups in areas where there is a large extra-mortal population where war might disrupt the God Realms

1990s GLA – terrorist with a merc army who will back groups working on a mortal level of groups on an extra-mortal level, but the aim is to destabilise God Realms through chaos.

Since 1996 has dropped off the grid a bit. Got a bit close to being caught during a train bombing in Spain.

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Upon returning to base, we learnt that Mikey had set up some cameras and some bread in our top 15 potential GLA appearance locations. I immediately went and started to plug the magic intel into my analysis to try and narrow it down further.

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IT WORKED!

Now we’ve got a Top 3.

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After a bit of time in the pub that evening, I decided to go and check on our No. 1 Top-Tip for the next GLA appearance.

I didn’t find any fey. I found several suspicious characters having a meeting. With Borgstein. So I did what any good investigator would do. I investigated (ignoring Mikey’s screeching in my ear-piece)

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After we’d got Giles in custody the Prof picked out that the wardrobe in the corner was very nearly a portal into a Fey Realm. That seems to confirm that we’re in the right place. Now just to wait for it to fully form in about two days time and see who we can see at the meeting.

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We’ve pulled together to set up the best trap we can manage, I just hope it’s enough. We’ve got a metal shutter set up and hidden in the roof ready to drop down in front of the portal, and it’s ready to go electromagnetic as soon as the Cap flips the switch. The Prof’s got a lodestone net and is going to hide under the bed (of all places). Mikey’s across the way with his rifle and Asha and I are in the buildings next door. Mikey may’ve given the occupants a couple of nights stay in a fancy hotel with some spending money.

Now we wait. And I go through the Hellstorm Club’s paperwork.

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Right on time the various captains started appearing from various different points, some came via the door, some via the portal and one four-armed bastard came out of the bedroom. I didn’t hear anyone screaming about the Fist of Justice, so I assume the Prof managed not to be seen.

Currently in attendance we have:
A young man in gothic attire, Scottish accent, name of ‘Red Thorn’
A man / fey in his late 30s, business casual, cut-glass accent, name of ‘Lord Irons’
A homeless man / fey with a strange ghostly demon-y figure on his shoulder, Potemkin Ivanovic as the representative for Demon Lord Yaga
A young woman (not human/fey/kobold) with ice-blonde hair, no name as she’s the one wearing the creepy sack mask chairing the meeting
Twins, a male and female who came through the portal, both dressed as butchers with Red Caps, Captain Emmerich and Captain Emmerich
A kobold who turned up with a pigeon and a fire-bird of some form
And the four-armed bastard who bowed, oriental-style at the introductions.

The ice-blonde pulled on a strange sack mask covered in blood that morphed onto her face and gave her a helluva croaky voice. It talked about ‘Operation Anarchy’, which had had some losses in the original Operation as the Shadowhand had insisted on putting a godling at the forefront. This time there’d been some tentative dealings with the One-Eyed One. The world would change in 30 days, but instead in 7 they would do something to speed things up.

Oh, and they were to make sure their nuclear bunkers were in working order.

Well, shit.

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They didn’t really get to finish that mission. We ever-so-slightly jumped in and sent them running. Well, the four-armed creature and Red Thorn escaped in the few seconds after Mikey’s shot had burst ice-blonde’s head open but before the rest of us arrived.

The Prof attempted to capture one of the Redcaps, but only succeeded in getting a cleaver to his shoulder for his trouble. Fortunately, I discovered what ’Omerta’s stiletto does and was able to help take the thing down before it did too much damage. Didn’t quite manage to catch the second Redcap though.

The Cap almost managed to take Lord Irons down peacefully, but then there was a bit of an argument while I was out of the room and she and Mikey disappeared into the Fey Wilds. On their return they mentioned that Cap might’ve been mind-whammied by something. She wears the Green Chord of Might-Be-A-Fey-Sleeper now…

We did manage to recover a few copies of their orders, though, so we should be able to gain something from them.

Oh, and Asha might’ve gained a Phoenix egg?

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My mistake, it’s a Phoenix chick. She’s left her Phoenix feather headdress with it as a nest.

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Apparently, the Headdress might be pregnant

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We managed to decipher the coded messages. One was a shopping list of various building materials, though we have been unable to work out what they might be for. Another was ordering a build-up of soldiers, weapons to be provided at the beginning of the Op.

I attempted to interrogate ‘Old Tom’ / the host for a slightly weird demon thingy, but I didn’t manage to get much out of him, lot of stuff about prophecy there. I’ll leave him to the Prof.

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Apparently, the Prof thought the best way to do this was to provide Old Tom with the moonshine from the still at Tom’s houseboat. Still, he got a few prophecies from him, and only got slightly very drunk off the fumes himself, so I’ll call that a net win.

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We have two Phoenix Chicks.

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After some consultation with the Cap and Mikey, once they’d completed their 24hrs in observation, we realised that there were a few too many Peach Cobbler recipes bouncing around the GLA meeting for it to be a coincidence. Asha remembered that there was an editorial on the back page, so set off to hunt down the exact issue. With a bit of help from that, I managed to crack the code. Then I slightly wished I hadn’t, as the message contained highly classified information on the personnel strength and movements of the HMS Vanguard, one of our ballistic submarines. Apparently it’s heading to a drydock on the Thames Estuary at somepoint soon for no good god-damn reason.

The Cap’s going to get in touch with the MoD and Commodore Garrett, Commander of the ballistic fleet, and try and get some additional intel / put a subtle warning out.

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Sounds like Red Thorn might be acquiring the arms needed to hit the drydock. Then again, it’s guarded by G4S, so 2 competent people and their blind dog could probably knock that place over.

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We’ve started some serious planning for this potential problem now. Further info on this part of the overarching Counter-GLA Op can be found under the section ‘Operation Anarchy’

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With Graf Orlock and his entire line wiped out Prof and Cap’ve managed to remove one of the GLA’s eight major players. Plus between us and Shamrock we’ve bumped of 5 or so ofn their major European Captains as well. We might be making progress.

Case 2 - Inexplicable Arson

Forty Days and Forty Nights Sithe Kit_Armour