Major Septimus Braithwaite leant wearily against the dusty stone wall of the tunnel. Swapping his desk for some fieldwork in Paris seemed like a good idea at the time. Had he known it would involve tramping for kilometres through twisting catacombs, he would have changed his mind – almost. He surveyed his three companions exposed by the dimly flickering lantern. Rainer Hertz, burly arms hugging his knees and rocking slightly, attention inward-focused as usual. Tshilaba Kovacs, also as usual, as far away from Rainer as the cramped conditions would allow. She felt his gaze and stopped rotating the dagger between her fingertips to return a quick smile. And John Shaw – head cocked, crouched and ready with Maxim in hand, staring intently down the tunnel. He stiffened slightly and aimed as a shape emerged from the pitch black. “Boo!” said the shape, now grinning. It was Mouataz, of course. Shaw lowered his pistol and shook his head, causing the grin on the young Moroccan’s face to grow.
“They’re up ahead around a few more turns”, he said. “Maybe three hundred meters. I think we better hurry if we don’t want to miss the show.”
Braithwaite straightened and gripped his cane firmly. ”Quickly then, Felix and John, take the lead. Rainer, the rear. What can we expect, Felix?”
Mouataz’s smile faded now. “They’ve knocked a hole in the tunnel wall that leads to a really large room. I didn’t get too good a look, but I think it’s some kind of ceremony. Some chanting and like that. Fourteen… men. I think. Most of them soldier types, but one of them? Something not right about him. And – they have a pretty girl down there in the middle. Bartards!” His curse was echoed by something in Tshilaba’s Gypsy tongue.
Artwork for this scenario by GremlinLegion