Jan.
27
A Long Cold Winter

Teaser

A Long Cold Winter

Espionage and the occult collide in Cold War Prague

Feb.
03
A Voice on the Radio

Episode 2

A Voice on the Radio

Tanya enjoys some quality family time. Gabe gets an introduction to magic.

Feb.
10
Double Blind

Episode 3

Double Blind

Tanya and the Host make a break for it. Gabe seeks redemption.

Feb.
17
Stasis

Episode 4

Stasis

Gabe pokes into some dark corners. And Jordan gets an unexpected offer.

Feb.
24
The Golem

Episode 5

The Golem

Gabe and Jordan find themselves in grave circumstances. Tanya barges in.

Mar.
02
A Week Without Magic

Episode 6

A Week Without Magic

A visitor from Moscow Center has Tanya seeing red. Gabe baits his hook.

Mar.
09
Radio Free Trismegistus

Episode 7

Radio Free Trismegistus

Gabe makes an elemental discovery. Tanya and Sasha play cat-and-mouse.

Mar.
23
Cover the Silence

Episode 8

Cover the Silence

A party at the Soviet embassy. A showdown at Bar Vodnář.

Mar.
30
Head Case

Episode 9

Head Case

The golem makes its move. So does Joshua Toms.

Apr.
06
ANCHISES

Episode 10

ANCHISES

Operation ANCHISES starts with a bang. The hunter becomes the hunted.

Apr.
13
King’s Gambit Accepted

Episode 11

King’s Gambit Accepted

Sasha plays a pawn sacrifice. But who is the pawn?

Apr.
20
She’ll Lie Down In The Snow

Episode 12

She’ll Lie Down In The Snow

Tanya is out of time. Gabe is out of options.

Apr.
27
Company Time

Episode 13

Company Time

A traitor is unmasked. The gloves come off.

A Long Cold Winter
Teaser

A Long Cold Winter

Espionage and the occult collide in Cold War Prague


Prague, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
January 18, 1970

1

Tatiana Mikhailovna Morozova lay on her belly on the slate roof tiles, trying not to let the cold harden her muscles. She needed to stay limber for whatever came next—if it ever came next. The past few nights had proven fruitless, but she couldn’t let down her guard. She listened to Prague’s nightlife settle around her, from the distant mutter of drunks to the crunch of thin boot soles against snow to the heavy chill crackling in her numb ears, and tried to sift through them for any signs of her target.

But none of the street sounds were out of the ordinary; not a single person was out of place. Her entire operation, so carefully crafted, had been for nothing.

Tanya grabbed the binoculars from the rooftop ledge—KOMZ, dense metal and enviable optics, standard KGB issue—and surveyed Staré Město Square once more. A lone man crossed the square, kicking up a swirl of fog in his wake, but his frowning face was not that of their target. She swiveled her gaze across the night-stained square toward the streetlamp at the northwestern entrance, where a woman leaned against the post. Tanya couldn’t hear the repetitive click of the lighter flicking open and snapping shut, but she could imagine it; she knew the sound too well. Nadezhda was just as bored as she was—knowing Nadia, probably more. If their target didn’t show soon, it’d be another empty night. Another battle lost.

With a growing sense of desperation, Tanya checked each exit of the square once more. Their sources had hinted that their adversaries were working on a new, advanced scouting method, and this was just the sort of night for them to turn it loose. All their analysis indicated tonight was ideal—weather conditions, star alignment, magnetic pull, all those fiddly little calibration elements that operators like her rarely had to take into consideration. That’s what the bureaucrats were for. But if Tanya let another target slip past, too many people would pay the price.

Several of their assets had already vanished, and they couldn’t afford to lose even one more. She had a better chance out here, on the edge of the Iron Curtain, but then, so did the other side. It was difficult to get information when she was back in Moscow, spending her days in the dank basement of the Lubyanka headquarters, pretending she couldn’t hear the screams from the interrogation cells. And her family was better connected than most, better skilled at greasing the ancient gossip machinery that far predated the East-West divide.

The messages they did manage to pass on were always brief, vague, smuggled in via coded newspaper advertisements or a short radio broadcast on a signal strong enough to pierce the censors’ static. We have located one in Burma, the message might read, or One lost to them in Marrakesh. Tanya didn’t know which side was ahead, but suspected it was a little too even for anyone’s comfort.

Something rattled on the roof ledge beside her.

Tanya dropped the binoculars and glanced toward the array of devices lined up on the ledge. They weren't so much devices, really—the largest of them was scarcely wider than a ruble—as charms. Talismans. One was twitching like an electric wire starting to fray; another hummed with a barely visible glow. Some kind of detector slowly coming to life.

Tanya held her breath like a fist squeezing shut. There it was, just on the edge of her hearing: a shuffle and scrape, dry and rhythmic. So rhythmic it sounded mechanical. Close enough, anyway. Tanya raised the binoculars again, and sure enough, Nadia had flicked the lighter to life. Their target had arrived.

Nadia lit the cigarette, but held it aloft, uncertain. Come on, Nadia. Give me a direction. Give me something to work with. The bright cherry bobbed as Nadia scanned the square. Finally, she jabbed it in the direction of a frothily ornate building tiered like a wedding cake of stone.

Tanya swiveled toward the old town hall. There it was, a dark figure, a blur behind the veils of fog. Crunch. Crunch. Each step in slushy snow a labored act. Was the target injured? Weak? Undercharged? They could only be so lucky.

She set the binoculars aside and bounded for the fire escape.


Drahomir was drunk. That was, after all, the plan.

He leaned over the table, clutching his beer with both hands. “And then I could see your friend Joshua to be holding the two pairs—I knew he had them, from his eyes, which are soft as pools. I am an excellent judge of character.”

“You sure are, Drahomir.” Gabe Pritchard raised his glass. “Here’s to your success.”

Smoke and jukebox jazz owned Bar Vodnář after dark. Candles flickered on tabletops. The lamps burned low, and conversation rumbled behind the music, Czech cut with jags of German and French. When the door opened, it drew eyes like filings to a magnet, but never held them long.

“I stayed in, to show him I was not afraid. I could turn the jack or the six, and...

Espionage and the occult collide in Cold War Prague
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