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March 25th, 2018

 

Club Immortus, London...

 

Late Evening

 

Mr. Murk awaited patiently. He was a patient man. He had all the time in the world, and quite possibly longer.

 

And yet, whilst things were not urgent, he felt the need to act. Something had gone missing, and that something was important. Not merely because that something happened to be an apparently immortal woman encased in ice in a hill in Wales, but because he could forsee some of the web of possibilities that had been wrapped up in this act. It disturbed him. 

 

The rules of the Codex Immortus were far from perfect, he knew, and must always be examined - not just by him, but by wise minds of its members. But he was, for the most part, glad that they were there. They had been used positively from time to time. He was not sure this was one of those times...not sure at all. 

 

So he had sent for Voin and Comrade Frost for help. Dreanought too, was intimately mixed up in this, but he would need awakening...it would be about now, by his timekeeping. 

 

He remembered their favourite drinks and favourite foods, and had arranged for them to be prepared. He knew, after all, when they would be arriving. 

 

For himself, he drank some Gin and tonic. For now, at least. He had a Pinot Noire and Chicken salad waiting, but he confessed to himself he had no particular thirst or appetite today... 

Edited by Supercape

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Though Dimitri was capable of ingestion in limited circumstances, there was little on the menu that would suit the appetites he had tonight. Instead he arrived in the old-style Soviet uniform that meant he was making a statement - not the green of his old NKVD uniform that meant he was fighting Nazis but the KGB Security Troops uniform that made it clear this was no ordinary function. (It wasn't what he'd actually worn, of course, he'd operated in plain clothes) Subtle his works might be the immortal club was no place for subtlety - not when he knew full well who'd be watching him enter the place even if he couldn't actually see them. Once inside he cast a chill through the air as he walked to his destination, an icy flush that matched the chilly weather outside. The Londoners thought they knew the Beast From the East? They had no idea... 

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Mr Murk

 

"Vodka?" offered Mr Murk as Comrade Frost arrived. Whilst Murk viewed the chilly Russian as a cold customer, he also considered him in some ways the most valuable member of the Codus. Comrade Frost appeared cynical and critical of the Codus, and that was precisely why he was so valuable. He scrutinised it carefully and found the loopholes and dangers. 

 

Mr Murk felt strongly that the Codus was better present than absent. But this was an aggregate opinion of net risks. And Comrade Frost was invaluable in refining those risks to sway towards the positive rather than the negative. 

 

"I find myself drinking Gin these days. Been in London too long" he said, his milky blind eyes not looking at Comrade Frost although he could sense him perfectly well. "You will let me know when the timing is right for a Moscow club, won't you?"

 

Mr Murk had been in much chillier climates. But he could sense the cool. 

 

"Now I think about it, you didn't whip up that snow last week did you?"

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Frost took the vodka with a murmured thanks - then lit it with a match. Sitting back, he held the glass in his hand and gestured with it, feeling the heat sinking through the glass into his fingers. "This really is good." Swirling the burning drink in his grasp, he said, "I will tell you again what I have told you before - you are welcome to open any establishment in Russia you desire! The motherland is open for business for investors of all sorts these days. But I cannot guarantee quality of guests, you understand. Hmm." He raised the burning drink to his lips. "No, no, the days of Russia deploying weapons of super-war against Great Britain have gone the way of-" Well perhaps what he had been about to say was too indelicate. "Comrade Dodo!" 

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Voin Zhenshcina

With everything going on the Ministry was a place of bustling activity and Klara with her expertise had been at the centre of it all. Having to deal with one Britannia could be difficult but three at once had been... challenging. And Anne was talking about another six months and Theresa seemed happy to accept, still spry at her advanced years Klara wondered if the rumours about an encounter with She in Africa was true and that Anne should be asked her as well...

 

<"I always liked you better in camo myself"> she slipped easily into Russian  <"It is actually good to see you again Dimitri, and even if you do not agree let us act as friends for the Ancient wanderer.">

 

"I do not believe it was his work, Mr Mirk. The snow was nothing compared to a Moscow winter and Dimitri does nothing by half."

 

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Mr Murk

 

Mr Murk gave a warm deep chuckle. "No, I don't think it was either. But it was a most wonderful snow, I can still feel it in my fingers and on my face". 

 

"Thank you for coming Voin. I hope things are suitably civil between you and my friend here" he said, indicating Comrade Frost. 

 

He sat back drinking a little gin. "You must excuse me for being vague and obscure. It is only a reflection of my foresight, not a reflection of my intent" he said, placating in tone. "I do my best to keep abreast of matters in the here and now, thanks to my contacts. And between my visions of the future and my ears in the present, I have come across something of a mystery..."

 

He put his drink down and interlaced his fingers, thinking carefully. 

 

"There was a woman, many many years ago, a seer of sorts. She fell into an slumber in a hill in Wales, and became known in myth as the sleeping maiden. I have no idea if she is a maiden or not, but that is beside the point. What is more pertinent is that she has disappeared..." he explained. "I am not sure if a man, or woman, in suspended animation could be said to be immortal, although it is an immortality of sorts, I suppose" he ventured. 

 

"At the same time, I am...concerned" he said, more gravely. 

 

"You are aware of Doctor Sin, yes? A mastermind of nefarious schemes and ill reputation. He does, however, a have a history of keeping his word. The Doctor signed the Codex a few months ago..."

 

He carried on, lest vitriol creep in. "I know you may find that distasteful. Let me assure you I would deeply like to have Doctor Sin locked away paying for his crimes. And there is nothing in the Codus that prevents us acting in that regard. We are still enemies, he and me, and I would imagine you have similar if not identical feelings on the matter. Yet, still, he has agreed to prevent the worst atrocities that I have outlined to you both in the Codus" he said. 

 

"I have heard whispers that Doctor Sin is trying to mass produce his strange eastern elixirs, to bring eternal life in exchange for eternal slavery. This, my friends, does not sill well with me..."

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Frost chose not to comment on Sin's membership in the Pact - after all, the fact that he himself was here was evidence that Murk was willing to gather all the cards on the table into his hand. "Strange eastern elixirs!" Well, it was a good reminder of just how old their host was. No doubt the words of one century blend into another with enough time. "Heaven forfend - soon he will be selling opium." Frost hmmed, resting the glass against his forehead. "So you think the woman taken and Sin's hand in it? He has done worse in this country, and recently too." Before Sin's focus on the Ravens he had had a particular hatred for the British, Frost remembered - little wonder what they had done to his country in the days of imperialism! Sin was a man who cared for no man save Sin but he had been forged in the fires of the end of an empire. 

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Voin Zhenschina

Klara had known about Doctor Sin, but he had ended his feud with the UK just before she'd moved to the country. For what she knew of the whole thing she couldn't help but feel that he had legitimate concerns at the time. And she wasn't keen on him joining the Codus, but she had voiced her concerns about this quite verdantly before signing the document.

 

"Doctor Zui concerns were elsewhere I thought, I believe he's less than happy with how his homeland is ruled. Though he's the kind to have many irons in the fire. Do you wish us to put out one of those fires?"

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Mr Murk

 

"It depends what the Fire is" answered Mr. Murk. "The obscured future reveals that somehow this woman on the Hill and Dr. Sin's new enterprise are linked. He wishes to tap and sell immortality. Ah, if there was a freely distributed cure for aging with no strings that would be a fine thing, no? But this is not what is, as they say, on the table..."

 

He brought out a map from his pocket and unfolded it. 

 

"Forgive me, I am not much good with maps" he said with a cheeky smile and blind eyes. "This took me some time and some assistance to make. It is Wales, and it is my best estimation by memory, research, and a little divine intervention, of where Dreadnought is sleeping, and the previous resting place of the sleeping woman. What I propose is that before anything, we get answers" he suggested. 

 

"Shutting down Dr. Sin is hard enough when one has an idea of what is going on. I would not wish to do so blind...."

 

He smiled again. "And on that note, I would not be best lumbering through the forests and hills of Wales. I do not fly, nor teleport or burrow through the earth. I will only slow you down". 

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"Secretly adventuring in British countryside, eh? Ah, brings back memories," said Frost, shooting Voin Zhenschina a winning smile. He'd watched his drink burn down until almost all the liquid was gone, so now he tossed back his fiery drink - and decided it was good. It was of course up to Voin to decide how much of this made it into the hands of British intelligence - for himself he was simply a European metahuman acting on behalf of international accords on a humanitarian mission, and so felt no need to trouble London with this and that of what he might do or observe in the country's interior. If they happen to spy me as I move through their nation, and then spy on me - well, that is their lookout. Aren't we all friends in the shiny new world of the 21st century? "Consider me available to your needs, sir." 

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Mr Murk

 

"I am pleased to hear it, Comrade" smiled Mr Murk nodding at the words. "I confess Wales is a dreary place for me. I understand its rolling green hills are quite beautiful to behold but this of course is of no consequence for me. For me, it is a land of uneven surfaces that seem to conspire to trip me over and break my nose. It is a climate of cold wet rain that does not even have the delicate chill of snow. I am, it must be said, not a fan" he said, frowning. 

 

"But at least a man of your constitution will not mind the cold rain!" he said, more cheerfully. 

 

"And you, Voin? would you go forward with this investigation? I can arrange transport. A helicopter, if you wish? Although you may wish to take road or rail. I understand the train journey is quite pleasant...."

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Voin Zhenshchina

"Don't let the Welsh hear you call it that." there was humour in voice "But really you need to hear Wales, such amazing voices in the valleys."

 

Even if she didn't want to travel with Dimitri, and she was mostly happy to travel with him, right known an agent of the Russian government would set off all type of alarm bells. The Ministry would trust her judgment on such things, but she couldn't guarantee what Six would try.

 

"It will be fun to travel with Dimitri again, and you know I'm committed to the Codus. To ease thing a little it would probably help if we get a Ministry car to take us to this spot, though a helicopter ride across the country will allow me time to set things up."

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GM

 

And so...

 

As it turned out, a car was not practical. Dreadnought was sleeping in a most remote area. A four wheel drive might have struggled across the terrain, but a helicopter was simply more practical. And Mr. Murk has insisted the ministry was kept out as the matter a far as feasible. 

 

The helicopter pilot, Nicknamed "Duchess" was a friendly study woman with a shaved head and extremely cool mirrored sunglasses. She had an enormously powerful laugh, but despite this trumpet in her lungs, she was very discreet. 

 

"Hey, Erasmus Murk has used me for over ten years. He pays well and treats me well. I just fly the chopper!" she explained, and she did so quite expertly. 

 

They were soon over the resting place of Dreadnnought, hovering over the hills. 

 

"Want me to fly off or wait for you?" asked Duchess. 

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Voin Zhenshchina

Klara was not happy at all, not about being overruled she was use to chains of commands and all, no helicopters were not designed for someone of her build whatsoever. Scrunched up in the seat watching the world go by all stooped was not her idea of a good time, she managed to avoid the worse of this most days but this helicopter wasn't giving her the room she wanted. She wished she'd chosen to fly herself, but she was trying to keep Dimitri company.

 

"Appreciate the lift but we all might be too much for this machine." she managed a weak smile "Go to somewhere nearby we'll call you up if we need you."

 

She jumped out as soon as she could, stretching her legs.

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Free from the helicopter, Comrade Frost took a moment to take in the scenery. The quiet peace of the British countryside, a land whose ghosts lay deep beneath the surface. He had never really cared for rural Britain and the passage of decades and its increasing suburbanization had done nothing to change that impression. "Let us find friend," he said, relying on Russian-accented English for Voin's benefit despite her speaking perfectly good Russian. "Say, is Dreadnought buried with any gold or treasures that you know of?" he inquired cheerfully. "Wonder if it is still his after passage of such times. Difference between archaeology and graverobbing is only intent of digger you know." 

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GM

 

Gold and treasures there may have been, but for now, all that could be seen was green hills and grey rocks. 

 

And of course the drizzle of tepid rain. 

 

Murk may have been blind but he had spent years crafting a perfect map of the area with help from scholars scribes and geologists. He had even accounted, by best estimate, for geological shift over the years. Fortunately, the area was undisturbed by urban life, and bar the odd sheep grazing here and there, had not been transformed by man. 

 

And thus, it was easy enough to work out where Dreadnought lay. An cave hidden by a mound of rocks. 

 

 

 

 

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Voin Zhenshchina

"Aye normally I'd agree we thee, but in these circumstances, we're going 'ave to do a little diggin'” she dropped into a thick Yorkshire accent she'd learned from her beloved Tracey

 

She began to move some of the rocks aside to access where this Dreadnought was buried, the weight wasn't a problem she could easily bench a quarter of a ton but stones weren't really designed to be lifted in a handy pile.

 

"Think you could freeze the rocks enough that I could shatter then?" she dropped into her normal English accent "Would make this a lot quicker and we can get out of the rain."

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Dispensing with the witty banter for the moment, Frost put his ungloved hand to the rocks and concentrated. Rocks were harder than steel to freeze solid - but one could do it with the proper equipment. In this case the falling rain was the equipment Frost needed. Flash-freezing solid almost as soon as it hit the surface of the stone, the ice infiltrated the stone, cracking and spreading the cracks further with the sound of ominously grinding stone, until at last what had once been a solid pile of rubble was now a nest of frozen rock and ice that looked ready to fracture with a few sharp blows. Stepping aside, he smiled and gestured for Klara to have at it. It really was very cold now, enough that it was more pleasant for him to be away from the rocks than close to them. 

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GM

 

And a blast of stagnant air hit Voin and Frost as the cave entrance opened. Inside, it was small, cramped even. The cave of a thousand years ago had half collapsed, but despite this, one could see the slumbering enormous giant that was Dreadnought. 

 

One might think he was a statue, or dead, for all he moved. He gave off an aura of calm repose. Whilst there was no danger of falling asleep, one would have the distinct impression that if one did wish to slumber, it would be the easiest and quickest of things. 

 

But now, with the cave opened, the spell was evaporating, and the giant awakening...

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The return to the waking world was always a strange sensation, having been left to delve into his own conciousness for millennia since his last awakening, the return to the sensations of his great weight was most alien indeed, he'd lived several lifetimes within his dreams now.

 

with a grunt of effort he pried his eyes open and blinked out the remains of sleep , taking a breif moment to stare t the dull grey rock ceiling over him before sitting himself upright and setting his eyes on the two people before him, he'd not met either before now but he reasoned that if they knew where to find him they must've been friends of Mr Murk as much as Y'ddren was, or possibly even members of the codex.

 

If they were not he could deal with it when it came up, but for now, no reason to be rude.

 

"Hullo, I'm Dreadnought, pleased to meetcha." he began as he pried himself out of the slight indentation his body had made in the stone.

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Voin Zhenshchina

With a sense of irony Klara couldn't help but notice the newcomers height, it was unusual that she'd met someone taller than herself outside of her home city. Still, it was only for a moment and she was all business, though she couldn't help but smile at having to look up at him.

 

"Pleased to meet you as well, I'm Klara and this is Comrade Frost. Mr Murk wanted us to come and bring you along." she looked around the cold dank cave before adding

 

"I'll be interested in how you ended up here, but I guess that's a question for a later time!"

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Comrade Frost blinked a few times, briefly taken aback at the perfect command of English exhibited by the long-inactive relic. Well, that was something that would need a later explanation - and perhaps he would have questions for Mr. Murk. A well-chosen name! But for now he kept his peace, instead simply smiling and declaring, "Ah, an easy proposition - how delightful. I will take time to contact our transportation," he said, laying his Russian accent on thick as a test, "while you two, get to know each other, as one ought to!" He made a great show of taking out his cellphone, substantially larger than the usual model available to people in 2018, and tapping on the buttons. "Big fellow like you explains why big helicopter was provided!"

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Upon hearing the lady mention Mr Murk and introduce herself he felt fairly comfortable that he was indeed amongst friends as he regarded Klara and Frost both "Its good to be amongst friends again. Klara and Comrade Frost." he spoke aloud to them as he began to stretch and work out the slight stiffness he'd developed from these less than ideal conditions for his long slumber.

 

"it's quite a story, buy to summarize, i am from the digital age, fell back in time some thousand years, threw a rock at a monster that was bothering a tribe and tried to sleep my way back to where and when i am supposed to be." he summarized as much to refresh himself "Lemurian something or other it said." nodding his head slightly as if somehow shaking his brain might make him dislodge some forgotten memory or another before continuing.

 

"Oh right morgan, one of the tribes people took after my lead and used lemurian-ice-demon- juju to go into cryo to see the future too." he was getting awfully used to weird things like that.

 

"Not that I begrudge the company of course but....why have you come and got me?" he asked curiously "I'm Sure as much as i'm missed I've got some job or another to do, right?"

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Zhenshchina-voin

Having lived so long it was difficult to surprise Klara so she happily rolled with the claims, besides she'd done her research.

 

"That would explain why there's someone looking exactly like you running around with Vanguard! I had a frustrating time trying to get anything from that Britannia woman, all of them can be such a challenge sometimes." she grinned mostly joking, she'd been a friend of Anne for a very long time now

 

She then went on to explain everything they knew as explained to them by Mr Murk, so now everyone was on the same page more or less.

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Left without much to say, Frost settled for keeping an eye on the conversation, trying all the while to get an eye for the big fellow. He had no recollection of meeting Dreadnought, which suggested all sorts of interesting things about where the giant might have wound up in ages past. Wonder how many places he sleeps even now. Time travel gives me such a headache. "So, you see situation. Murk thought you might be helpful in uncovering meestery." He shrugged broadly, his phone away, and said seriously, "If you do not know Sin, be mindful of him." He stroked his chin and said "He played the part of a Fu Manchu once because it meant something; now it means young men do not take him seriously. But he is...serious." 

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