The Alps by Night
A Search & Destroy Play Summary
At the start of this second episode, we find Yuri Ivanovich and his client, Lolina Kosmori, boarding the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, bound for France. Their ultimate destination, Brighton & Hove, England.
Upon settling into their adjoining compartments, they rested for a couple hours, recovering from the ordeal in Budapest. Yuri spent much of his time in a meditative state - a technique he carried over from his Spetznaz training. His heart fell into rhythm with the passing train tracks below.
They arrived late in the dining car and were somewhat rushed to finish their fine meal. Lolina, particularly, was enjoying her wine, when the announcement came that the observation/lounge would be open for cocktails and gaming. She insisted they go for a nightcap.
On her second glass of wine, Lolina was lured to the blackjack table. Meanwhile, Mr. Ivanovich was lured by something else; a tall, graceful woman who was clearly not enthused with her current company at the bar. Ivanovich approached her saying, "The Alps are so beautiful this time of year."
"Indeed, and I believe we could see them better from the observation deck," she replied.
He introduced himself only as "Knight". She was Krystina Nagy. They had chatted for a bit before he noticed his client was getting rather friendly at the blackjack table with a new acquaintance. Schauberlin was the name Ivanovich overheard as he approached. Although not a gambler, Ivanovich closely followed the action at the table. From a few rounds of keen observation [Awareness: major success], Ivanovich suspected that Schauberlin was somehow manipulating the game in favor of Ms. Kosmori. A moments later, Ms. Nagy slapped the older man that was advancing on her at the bar. In a huff, she brushed by Ivanovich and gave him a beckoning gaze as she climbed the stairs to the observation deck. But Ivanovich had his client to worry about, so he remained an interested observer of the card game.
Lolina's inhibitions were dropping like the temperatures on this cold Swiss night. She fawned on Schauberlin as he went on to win the final hand. That is when Ivanovich noticed something, like a sediment in her wine glass [Awareness: superior success]. He moved to whisk Ms. Kosmori away.
Schauberlin countered saying, "The night is still young! And for a price, the bar will continue to serve..." Schauberlin offered his winnings to keep the bar open for another round of drinks. Undeterred, Ivanovich urged his inebriated client from the table and steered her out of the lounge car. Back in Ms. Kosmori's compartment, he placed her on the lower bunk, but he decided to stay to keep an eye on her. Eventually, he went to sleep in the upper bunk.
Ivanovich woke with a start. A hissing sound and an acrid odor filled the room! A layer of smoke filled the lower half of the room. Grabbing Lolina, he shouldered his way into the connecting compartment, only to find that it too was filling with gas! [Equipment check: Intrusion success] He grabbed a grappling line and used it to hoist himself and his convulsing client out of the window. [Athleticism, -1d hindrance: Success with a competency die] It was a struggle with his eyes and nose burning, but he managed to get them onto the roof of the train car. In the wind and the noise and the chill, he tended to Lolina as her body stiffened one last time, and her eyes went blank. Ms. Kosmori was dead. Kneeling on top of the train, Yuri Ivanovich screamed toward the night sky.
Down below, their compartments were being sacked by people in gas masks.