Playlist: Private Investigations - Dire Straits
Keeper Note: Rather conveniently, the three players we had this week matched rather neatly the three characters who'd gone shopping for the Black Market Bren..

Streets of Cairo, Egypt, 00:56, June 24th, 1940

As Joe watched him rather uncertainly, Marcus scraped a small sample of the beheaded thug's blood off from his severed neck into a small bottle and tucked it away without explanation. Then he turned to help the soldier secure their prisoner.

Keeper Note: Elsewhere, France has completely fallen to the Germans, and an armistice has been signed between France and Italy. The first British Commando raids have been launched. The troopship RMS Lancastria is sunk by German air attack off the port of Saint-Nazaire during Operation Ariel with over 4,000 fatalities. It is the greatest loss of life in the sinking of any British ship in history. Churchill orders that news of the sinking be kept secret from the British public.

Djo Loh's Bar, Cairo, Egypt, 01:08, June 24th, 1940

Birapeer looked between the two bouncers, and squared his shoulders, making the tulwar shift on his hip. "I'm going back in," he said very firmly, "but there will be no trouble." He salaamed. "On my honour." The heavies exchanged glances, then one shrugged and gestured the Sikh inside.

As he crossed the crowded club, he watched the patrons; but though he was given room to walk, there seemed to be no hostility. Reaching the table of Mohammed Shava, he watched the man notice him carefully - was he surprised or afraid to see Birapeer? He didn't seem so. The Sikh reached his table, and Shava smiled. "Nothing wrong with it, I hope?" he enquired solicitously. "No," said Birapeer, "but four yataghawats tried to kill us two blocks away. Omar Shaif, Tarhab al-Samael and I can't remember the other two. Do you know anything about it?" Shava shook his head. "No, nothing. Why would I want to harm you? We did good business." He seemed completely open about it - though being a black market arms dealer it was just possible he was putting on a good act. "Can you find out?" asked Birapeer. "Ah, you want to do more business?" said Shava brightly. "What's this information going to be worth to you?" The Sikh snorted. "One dollar," he said bluntly. Shava spread his hands. "I'll look into it," he said, "and I'll send you a quote. I know where to find you." Birapeer shook his head, and left the club.

Outside, he found Joe talking to the two bouncers. He'd showed the ID of the thug he'd captured to them, and one was just saying "Tarhab? Yeah, I remember him, how is he?" As Birapeer reached them, the other added, "Yeah, wasn't he working for the damned Germans?"

Shepheard's Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, 02:00, June 24th 1940

Bren Gun

After "helping" the unconcious and gin-soaked Tarhab in through the servants' entrance ("He's just had a few too many, haha"), the agents gathered in Joe's room. He and Birapeer did a complete check and clean of all their weapons, including the new Bren - sand, they had discovered, gets in everywhere.

Their requisition via SIME had provided a pretty good supply of ammunition, and they filled magazines for all their weapons. Also new was a Boys anti-tank rifle, not a well-regarded weapon but the best they could get hold of in anti-armour.

Once Tarhab al-Samael recovered, they turned their attention to him. Mixing their attitude and looming with translations by Achmed, Joe and Birapeer pressured him to reveal who had hired him, which he resisted firmly until the point where Birapeer drew the tulwar he'd decapitated Omar with and ran it slowly through a candle flame, the light of which satanically illuminated his dark, bearded face from below. Tarhab cracked.

"We were hired through our fixer, Banitar Zilka," he said in a low voice. "He works out of the Zoutar Cafe. The patrons were two guys; a hulking great German who didn't talk much, and a weaselly, pockmarked little Spaniard or something like that. Looked like he'd done too much. Names? No, I never heard their names. They'd have been false though."

"We were to capture any or all of you, in small groups - we were warned you were dangerous," he eyed the tulwar, "and take you to the al-Assim house on Natara Street. That's all I know."

Keeper Note: Three very well failed Disguise checks, leaving them looking more like the Black and White Minstrels than Omar Sharrif.

He was tied and gagged and stuffed in a wardrobe, where he appeared to slip off to sleep with some relief while the agents discussed their next move. A trip to this al-Assim house seemed a good move, and ideally a chance to catch up with the two German agents. Marcus mentioned a new spell he had researched, which would allow a person to wear the seeming of another - if the original was dead, that is. This, he said, was why he was collecting blood samples from their victims. Joe and Birapeer seemed a little wary of this, however, and Joe and Marcus settled for blacking up rather inexpertly. Marcus' grasp of black magic seemed to be increasing more and more rapidly, and his colleauges were beginning to wonder what he was getting himself into.

Leaving Anné, Jimmy and Cyril to watch the prisoner, Joe, Birapeer and Marcus set off with Achmed guiding them through Cairo's back streets towards the house of al-Assim.

Natara Street, Cairo, Egypt, 03:27 24th June 1940

Natara Street

At the top end of the street, Achmed paused and pointed at a house around half-way down. "Is that one," he said quietly.

All the way there, Joe had been unable to shake the feeling that they were being followed, and his unease had infected the others; all were edgy. The fact that they were deep in the Old City where Europeans seldom dared go was no help. All had weapons readied, and Birapeer had loaned Marcus his shotgun along with some brief directions on how to use it.

Voorish Sign

As they looked at the house, Marcus once more made the Voorish Sign and opened his sight to the supernatural. He became aware of the currents of energy that flowed through the place - as they did through anywhere people dwelled - made of the emotions and spirit of those people and the events that had happened in the place. There were strong undercurrents of the darker side of human nature, which was in keeping with the reputation of this area, but no sign of black magic.

After a moment's discussion, the four walked down the street without stopping at the house indicated. As they reached the far end of the street and began to round the corner, they heard a door creak open behind them. From around the corner they peered back up the dark street but couldn't see if anyone had emerged.

To one side of where they stood, a rough set of steps ran up the outside of the mud-and-papyrus building to the roof. Birapeer swarmed up these, beckoning Achmed to follow, and started out across the roofs back towards the house as Joe and Marcus worked their way along towards the door. As they did, a shadow appeared from the door of the house, and a figure stepped out onto the street. The two hugged the shadows of the wall and lurked slowly closer, weapons readied.


As Birapeer reached the edge of the roof of the al-Assim house, he realized that there was a man on guard at the opening leading down into the building. Quietly sliding his tulwar from its' sheath, he gathered himself and sprinted across the roof directly at the man. For a fatal instant, the spectacle of the onrushing Sikh froze the man in place with shock. Then Birapeer arrived and slashed out with his sword, cutting a deep gash in the side of his target's body. The man twisted to try and get away from the blow, but only succeeded in accidentaly stepping into the hole without using the ladder. He fell with a series of heavy impacts and made no further sound. Birapeer listened intently as Achmed reached him, but heard nothing - from the hole. He did hear sounds from the street, and sent Achmed to look over and check as he reached for the ladder to descend.

A Critical Hit, under Martial Arts and under Silent Kill. 28 points of damage to a 13 point thug..

The approaching figure had got to within six yards of Joe when it seemed to spot him. An arm began to lift, with a pistol at the end of it. With a leap, Joe reached the man and struck with his Mclaggen-Poskett in club mode. His aim and timing were perfect, and the man's skull cracked like an egg. He went down as if poleaxed and Marcus caught the body as he came up behind. He dragged it up to lie against the wall out of casual sight and quietly gathered a blood sample - easy enough as the stuff was everywhere. His clothes were those of a local street tough. A quick check in his pockets discovered a pile of greasy coins and a single, clean new Egyptian Pound note. Much like the attackers from earlier...

They moved to the door and as they did so, two more thugs leaped out, shouting something in Arabic. Marcus, not understanding one word and knowing sneaking was done with his little MAS pistol, wounding both but not preventing one of them from winging Joe - who opened up with his Thompson. He'd added a silencer to the weapon but with the selector on Full Auto that didn't have much effect; the first ten shots were a bit muffled but the ten he directed at the second man were just as loud as ever. Both men were hurled back against the wall in a spray of blood and the two headed for the door into the house.

Looking down the hole into the upper floor of the house, Birapeer could see movement in the dimness, possibly two people; but as the gunfire erupted below, both rapidly moved out of sight. The Sikh dropped down the ladder rather than climb, stumbling slightly as he reached the bottom. Scanning the room he discovered himself in, he saw boxes and crates scattered around and a couple of bedrolls in one corner, and an opening into a room beyond where a roughly-dressed local was just lowering himself onto another ladder to descend to the ground floor. As he did so, a shattering double crash of shotgun fire came from below. Birapeer flourished his blade, hoping to cow the man to surrender, but the thug was made of sterner stuff, and drew a knife of his own.

Sawn-Off Shotgun

Joe jammed his Thompson into the tiny, high window next to the door and unleashed the remainder of his magazine. No cries greeted this so he concluded he'd not hit anyone. Marcus swung around the frame of the door to discover two more thugs waiting for him, weapons drawn. His borrowed sawn-off shotgun was ready and he grinned as he realized the men were close enough that each of the two barrels could cover both. He squeezed both triggers. The discharge was deafening in the enclosed space, and the two thugs stood no chance; his attack smeared their remains all over the back wall of the house. Marcus broke the shotgun, grinning. I like this thing, he thought to himself, but then his grin slipped slightly as he realized Birapeer had forgotten to give him any reloads. Regretfully, he dropped it and resumed his pistol. Glancing around, he saw an opening into a second room with a ladder leading upwards, and an open back door. As joe walked in behind him, a man broke from the far room and dashed towards the back door. Marcus snapped a shot at his retreating back and he sprawled across the threshold, unconcious or dying. Marcus walked to the door and knifed the dying man with a casualness that chilled even the battle-hardened Joe. Both looked up at the clash of bladed weapons from above.

Arab Dagger

Above, Birapeer locked blades with the last thug, then twisted savagely and sent the Arab knife flying across the room to clatter among the crates. His nerve cracked, the man dove for the ladder, and Birapeer lashed him across the back of the head with the flat of his tulwar. The thug missed his grip completely, plunged down the ladder and landed with a crash at Marcus' feet. The professor looked up to see Birapeer's white grin peering through the hole. "Don't shoot; it's me," whispered the pilot.

Searching, they located several sets of rather new-looking handcuffs, small sacks around the size of a head and coils of rope on a nearby table, and two bedrolls in the upstairs room. A few personal effects were with the other, and Birapeer looked at the crushed packet with three cheroots and the oversized underwear, thoughts of "a weaselly Spaniard and a hulking bruiser" going through his mind.

The man who'd fallen down the ladder proved to have had all the fight knocked out of him, and was easily intimidated into talking. He confirmed what Tarhab al-Samael had said - that the captured foreigners were to be restrained and handed over to the two 'Germans' - his descriptions tallied with the previous ones - who he thought had been in the house at the time of the assault. He didn't know anything about Banitar Zilka. Marcus glanced up at Joe who nodded, and the mild-looking professor ran his blade through the prisoner's throat. Birapeer bundled the bodies into some of the crates in the upstairs room, while Joe wrote a message for their pursuers on the wall.

Wir wissen, wo du bist
 Wir kommen für dich

We know where you are - we're coming for you!

Session Date: 15th May 2018