Natasha Avram, former Russian government assassin. Wears a lot of leather. Driven by money. Possible sociopath.
Sten Brodrington, ace driver who is a bit vague about which specific branch of British intelligence he worked for. He's looking for direction and purpose in life, or at least that's what he says.
Max Fischer, German investigator with a mysterious past. A little twitchy. He's hoping for some sort of redemption.
Carmel Shaked, Israeli break-and-enter specialist with a bit of a nationalistic streak. Carmel has had enough of secrets and lies.
Sten is in a private clinic in Zurich, recovering from his mauling at the
Carmel receives an email from "King Arthur" congratulating the team on their actions in Rotterdam and offering to work with them, while Natasha receives a hefty chunk of cash from "a private collector" for the vampire head she acquired in London; both women claim that they have no idea who their mysterious contacts are.
After a week or so Max and Sten arrive in Munich and the team gets together to plan their next move. There is some brief discussion of returning to Rotterdam to make sure there are no loose ends at the HGD Shipping headquarters, or, as Max puts it, to "level the whole building"; the team decides that this is perhaps too extravagant and besides, perhaps Carmel cannot be trusted with the quantity of explosives necessary to do the job.
Instead the team decides to focus on working out what is going on in the Munich grave yard; they don't fancy a direct confrontation with the security guards at the site, so devise a plan to have the local police raid the cemetery and clear out the opposition. Natasha obtains a sizeable quantity of cocaine and Sten takes some of it to the grave yard to give the police some evidence to find.
The plan is simple: Sten is to stay out of sight and fling a holdall packed with drugs over the fence into the secure area, then leg it and wait for the police to arrive.
Alas, Sten's player rolls 00, so things do not go to plan and Sten is chased away by guards who are not as quick on their feet as they could be, because they are too busy laughing.
Natasha tries next, using a drone to drop the drugs off in a corner of the site, but -- perhaps because of Sten's earlier shenanigans -- the guards have their eyes peeled and spot the machine.
At the same time, the team tries again to chuck Sten's holdall over the fence and this attempt -- with most of the guards distracted by the drone -- is a success.
The second part of the plan goes a bit better. The police are called and when the first officers are rebuffed by the site's guards, events escalate and soon there is quite a mêlée; the guards are arrested and stuffed into vans and the site is locked down.
The Red Line team waits a couple of hours to allow things to calm down and then approaches the site with Max in the lead, flashing his old but valid BND identification to get past the officers on watch. The team discovers the remains of the Dolingen tomb mentioned in the Dracula Dossier, but there appears to be nothing of use to be found there. It seems that all the team's effort has been wasted.
Somewhat demoralised, the team moves on to another lead: "King Arthur" seems to know something of what's going on and although Carmel is convinced that it is a trap, her colleagues arrange a meeting with the mysterious correspondent. Max and Carmel arrive at the meeting point, an outdoor cafe, while Natasha and Sten watch over the scene from nearby.
A middle-aged, athletic man approaches Carmel and Max and identifies himself as their contact. Their discussion is hesitant and lacking in detail but Carmel and Max are convinced that "King Arthur" has important information on the vampire conspiracy, and so they attempt to negotiate some sort of deal. He agrees to meet them again once he has checked some things out and leaves, but not before a tracking device is planted on him and his coffee cup is pocketed.
The team follow the man for the rest of the day as he spends some time seeing the sights of Munich, stops for an evening meal, and then heads to a hotel. Carmel receives another email from "King Arthur", expressing a desire for further conversation, but she is also monitoring the man's hotel internet connection and detects no use at the time the email is sent.
Meanwhile, Max has passed the man's fingerprints to his former colleagues in the BND and calls in a couple of favours in order to get a quick turnaround; the man turns out to be Dieter Gross, a former German army officer with connections to the British military via NATO. His record is clean and he doesn't appear to have been involved in anything shady, although his post-military career as an "adviser" raises a few eyebrows amongst the Red Line "security consultants".
The team is convinced that Gross is not "King Arthur" and confronts the latter, albeit via email. "King Arthur" admits that Gross is an agent but keeps his or her own identity secret; the emails bounce back and forth as this new contact is probed for information but it is clear that whoever they are, they have their own reasons for getting involved and their assistance does not come without a price. "King Arthur" wants Carmel and the team to fight the vampire conspiracy; the team wants "King Arthur" to hand over some useful information on how to fight the vampires. The response is just one word:
They know that word. Ring is the supposed site of headquarters of EDOM, the MI6 division that seems to be somehow involved with the vampires. It looks like the team is going back to England.
Next: a trip to Surrey!