Ard Griba

Playlist: Blood Diamond OST - Diamond Mine Bombed

Ard Griba Diamond Mine, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Northern USSR, December 10th 1941 10:30

Olga Kuryakina

As the team continued to observe the mine complex for more signs of Abpraller, they speculated as to their nature. There was the question of how they tracked their prey - was it sight, or sound, or smell? Birapeer turned to Olga - who'd spent nearly a month living rough outside the Intsy base - to ask if she had observed anything relevant. As it turned out, she'd been so successful at avoiding them that she'd never seen one hunt, so wasn't able to contribute much. Igor, however, was able to add that he'd noticed them attracted to his cell in the Intsy base while hiding, which confirmed that they used sound at least to track victims.

Finally, reasonably reassured that the site wasn't overrun by hordes of zombiskis, the team cut through the wire and headed into the processing end, slowly and carefully.

The nearest building was the gigantic extraction plant, where huge rock crushers battered the extracted rock to break out the nodes of diamonds. Whether or not any human agency was behind this, the machinery seemed to still be working, producing a constant grinding rumble and a perpetual cloud of dust, scattered across the fresh snow from the previous night. Cautiously, they approached the building, and - with the aid of a maintainance ladder - Joe scaled to the roof and peered in through the skylights. The building appeared deserted. The team met at the front office part, discovering the place closed up as if at the end of a day's work, uninhabited and showing no signs of the destructive presence of mindless undead. An internal telephone of antique design turned out to be dead when Birapeer tested it, whether from electrical failure or lack of an operator was impossible to tell.

The three processing building appeared similar. Joe ventured into the northernmost one, and as he explored the offices he came on a single Abpraller, moving listlessly around in an office - maybe stuck where it had been 'turned'. Stealthily, Joe backed off and left it where it was.

The three processing buildings were for diamond dust (for sanding paper and so on), industrial grade diamonds (for drilling and cutting) and 'other', which included the very few gem-grade diamonds the mine produced. There's something magical in the word 'diamonds' and the team couldn't resist speding a little time on a search for these; a small box was located and quietly abstracted.

Crossing the site, the team entered the Admin side of the mine. Moving cautiously from building to building, they reached a location where they could overlook the area, and settled once more to watch. After some sweeping of the buildings with binoculars, they concluded that two areas showed signs of activity - the hospital to the north had considerable movement visible through the large and largely broken windows; and zombies were wandering in and out from the smashed in north doors to the barracks or police station. As they watched, one wandered a little further from the door. A shot from a heavy rifle echoed across the complex, and the Abpraller sprawled forwards, shot through the chest this time. Again, after a few moments, it shoved itself upright and carried on moving; faintly, they could hear foul swearing in Russian which seemed to be coming from the police station roof. "It looks like he's experimenting," said Cyril, "trying to find a weak spot." "No luck so far then," commented Anné professionally.

Zis5 1940s Soviet Fire Engine.
"It's only a model"

Birapeer pushed on, intending to explore the Fire Station - the idea of a fire engine to make a break for it in appealed. It took him a while to get in, but finally he found a loose window and clambered into the vehicle bay. Not one, but three bright red Zis5 fire engines bulked in the gloom, and the idea of riding out of the site crushing zombiskis under its wheels gained traction. Joined by Francoise, he explored the rest of the fire station, but apart from some heroic-looking axes could not see anything else of much use.

Carefully reaching a location where they could see the police station, they signalled to the sniper, eventually attracting his attention. It occurred to someone that he might actually be a German rather than a Soviet sniper, but when they managed to get a look at him, he was wearing green and not Feldgrau. Joe waved, then gestured to the man to come join them. Even at several hundred yards, his contempt for that idea was clear, even before he pointed pointedly down the face of the building at the Abpraller milling around below. Joe waved his Bren encouragingly, but the sniper was well aware how effective bullets were against these creatures.

A piece of paper and a pencil was located, and a message explaining the evac plan scrawled on it in Russian. It was tied to one of Olga's arrows along with a makeshift streamer, and then shot across the gap to stick in the roof. The sniper waved in acknowledgement, picked it up - and then disappeared down some stairs and into the building.

Session Date: 30th June 2020 - in CyberSpace!