GHIDORA has been adding brainwashing signals to music released by pop sensation Magdalena. Magdalena’s next album will be released soon and will be preinstalled on millions of smartphones, exposing nearly everyone with a mobile device to the signal.
The Dragons make their way to Romania, Monte Carlo, and Dubai in their attempt to uncover the truth behind these mysterious signals.
Agent 47 infiltrates a secret military listening post in the mountains of Romania. From computer files in the base, he learns of three names which have been identified as voices on the mysterious Russian signal which has been transmitting since the late 1970s:
- Katerina Voloshyn – A Ukrainian scientist
- Emir Mešić – A Bosnian audio engineer
- Anatoly Timokhovich – A retired Russian General
Only Anatoly Timokhovich, the retired Russian General, is still alive.
Dick Manly is loud and boorish, but Brick spends some time with him, learning that Ed Masterson has been reporting security breaches at the Manly Steel Mill in New Mexico. Brick sends Dick to the bar with Fletcher and introduces himself to Alessa Ferragni.
With a little help from Agent 47, Brick makes a good impression on Alessa and the two retire to her room at the hotel. On the way to her room, Brick receives a call from Julie Li in Hong Kong, which he lets go to voicemail.
He learns that Alessa Ferragni has been dating an older man, and that she will be joining him in Dubai at a charity ball in a week’s time.
The next day, Brick speaks with Julie Li, who tells him that Gordon Chan, Natalie Chan‘s widower, has filed to adopt Toto, the child wounded in the attack which killed Natalie. Brick tries to deceive Julie about who he’s been meeting in Monte Carlo, but she doesn’t seem to buy it.
At the Atlantis, The Palm hotel in Dubai, the Dragons attend a charity ball sponsored by the Global Health Initiative, an environmental charity run by Ma Yujun, who is also a board member of pop icon Magdalena’s record company. Magdalena is scheduled to perform at the ball.
Brick and Fletcher go undercover as security, while Agent 47 adopts a disguise and the identity of Jean-Pierre Polnareff, a French pharmaceutical investor. Mitsu is Jann Lee, head of a smithing and metallurgy concern.
Agent 47 is surprised to see Rose Yang, the owner of Gold Star Studios, in Hong Kong. The Dragons previously encountered Ms. Yang when they stole the device which adds brainwashing signals to Magdalena’s music. She greets him and introduces Ma Yujun, a bald Chinese man with an unusual prosthetic covering his eyes, with a signal lens in the center.
Inside, Ma Yujun speaks to the crowd, telling them Magdalena’s app will be launched on every mobile platform in the world and will include ways for people to contribute to the Global Health Initiative. Then he introduces Magdalena, who begins to perform a song.
Leaving So Soon?
Agent 47 and Mitsu spot Alessa Ferragni with the Russian General in the ballroom. Claudine and Sophie leave their post outside and cross the ballroom toward the General. They poke a gun into his ribs and the foursome slowly walks out front of the hotel.
Alessa Ferragni puts up a struggle, when Claudine shoots her in the gut and she collapses. Fletcher immediately fires two arrows into Claudine’s throat, killing her instantly.
Sophie screams and takes the General hostage. Agent 47 shoots her and she falls to the ground, dropping the General. Mitsu follows up and slices her severely with his katana. Then Brick performs an elbow smash and knocks her out.
General Timokhovich tells the heroes he’ll help them if they can keep him safe. Security guards approach from the hotel lobby and a helicopter flies overhead with a mounted machine gun.
Brick commandeers a vintage muscle car parked in front of the hotel, and they load the unconscious Sophie into the muscle car with Brick, Fletcher and the wounded Alessa Ferragni. Agent 47, Mitsu and General Timokhovich take a brand-new Aston Martin.
In the car, Fletcher performs first aid on Alessa Ferragni and saves her life.
The helicopter pursues the two cars down the highway, strafing them with the machine gun as it goes. The Dragons are able to lose the helicopter when it veers out of the way of an oncoming truck and fails its evasive maneuvers to avoid a plane taking off from the airport. The helicopter crashes into the ocean and the Dragons reach the General’s boat.
Brick drops off Alessa Ferragni at the hospital and the General takes the boat out to sea with the Dragons. He checks carefully for listening devices and then tells the heroes what he knows.
The General was part of a project when he was much younger, to create a signal that could brainwash enemies from a distance. He and others recorded words, phrases and sequences of numbers which were coded into a radio signal as subliminal messages. He doesn’t believe that the project reached its final stages but after he was no longer part of it, work continued.
Katerina Voloshyn, a Ukrainian scientist who was involved in the project, had approached him recently, telling him she’d been diagnosed with brain cancer and had only weeks to live. She had been trying to find out what was done to her, when she learned details of a location in the Ural Mountains which don’t show up on satellite images or radar scans of the area.
She was intending to go there and look for more information. She was killed in a car accident the next day.
Timokhovich also tells the Dragons that he had been approached by a reporter named Lakshmi Chopra, who was investigating the mysterious radio signal as well as links between random outbreaks of violence and Magdalena’s music. He didn’t tell her anything but she was extremely persistent and had clearly already uncovered a lot.
Sites Attuned: 4
Sites Burned: 0
Failed Advancement Rolls: 0
Advancement Roll Modifier: 0
Advancement Target: 4
Agent 47 rolled a successful advancement roll, so the heroes attained their fifth advancement.