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.
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Feb.
10
Double Blind

Episode 3

Double Blind

Tanya and the Host make a break for it. Gabe seeks redemption.
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Feb.
17
Stasis

Episode 4

Stasis

Gabe pokes into some dark corners. And Jordan gets an unexpected offer.
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Feb.
24
The Golem

Episode 5

The Golem

Gabe and Jordan find themselves in grave circumstances. Tanya barges in.
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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.
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Mar.
09
Radio Free Trismegistus

Episode 7

Radio Free Trismegistus

Gabe makes an elemental discovery. Tanya and Sasha play cat-and-mouse.
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Mar.
23
Cover the Silence

Episode 8

Cover the Silence

A party at the Soviet embassy. A showdown at Bar Vodnář.
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Mar.
30
Head Case

Episode 9

Head Case

The golem makes its move. So does Joshua Toms.
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Apr.
06
ANCHISES

Teaser

ANCHISES

Operation ANCHISES starts with a bang. The hunter becomes the hunted.
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Apr.
13
King’s Gambit Accepted

Episode 11

King’s Gambit Accepted

Sasha plays a pawn sacrifice. But who is the pawn?
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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.
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Apr.
27
Company Time

Episode 13

Company Time

A traitor is unmasked. The gloves come off.
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Double Blind
Episode 3

Double Blind

Tanya and the Host make a break for it. Gabe seeks redemption.
Need a refresher?
Previously on The Witch Who Came in From the Cold


Prague, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
January 26, 1970

1

“We shouldn’t be here,” Josh said. Gabe shouldered deeper into his overcoat, and did not agree out loud.

Prague Januaries ran bitter and deep. Chill wind whistled off the frozen Vltava down narrow medieval streets and over tile roofs. Earlier in Gabe’s career—in Indochina, in Cairo—crouching sunburned and sweating in some perforated awning’s excuse for shade, he’d dreamed of a post where they’d heard of winter. The world had turned since then.

Gabe glared at the dormitory across the road through the Moskvich’s tinted windshield, wishing they could run the engine, or at least the heater, or, hell, drink coffee. Why not wish for an American car, while he was at it? About all you could say for their mid-range Russian clunker was that it wouldn’t raise any eyebrows—which mattered for a stakeout. You never could tell who was watching: StB, KGB. He supposed he should add Agents of the Flame to that list now, too. In the parked Moskvich, Gabe and Josh were as unobtrusive as two CIA officers could be, in Prague’s university district after dark.

“You tailed the mark from her apartment,” Gabe said. “I saw her go inside. She’s there.”

“She is, all right,” Josh said. “Third floor, corner, by the window.”

Gabe checked through his monocular. Their target, Andula Zlata, stood backlit in the window, pale and scared. Behind her, a tall blond student knocked back a glass of vodka, and wound a scarf around his neck. Another girl wrestled with a thick winter coat. “Looks like they’re leaving. You’re sure they’ll go out the front door?”

“All the dorm exits lead to the street. But, Gabe, you know what I mean.” Tension edged Josh’s voice. “We shouldn’t be here watching her at all. Stakeouts on college girls, God. Frank still has a chip on his shoulder about our screwing up Drahomir’s recruitment. If you want to prove you’re not crazy, you’re doing a bad job.”

“I’m the one who screwed the Drahomir op,” Gabe said. “You did fine.”

“That’s not what he implied.”

Gabe risked a glance away from the window. Josh, in monochrome blue like an architect’s pencil drawing, sagged against the car door, his chin balanced on his tented fingers. His right hand smoothed out an imaginary wrinkle in his slacks.

“He lit into you?”

“Not in so many words. But it was clear I had disappointed him. I don’t like to disappoint people, Gabe. Especially not Frank. This girl better be important.”

“The KGB thinks she is. We’ve got nothing on her, no signs of interest, no significant political activity—but Morozova went from approach to pitch in twenty-four hours.”

“Must be nice to move that openly.”

“That’s a crazy pace even for them. This has to be big.”

“What’s she studying?”

“History.”

“History?” Josh turned from the window, astonished. “Why would they be extracting a history student? Grooming one, sure, cultivating, but extraction?”

“Makes you curious, doesn’t it?”

The party emptied. Gabe timed the students’ progress against his resting pulse. Know the target, feel the target: sliding on her jacket, one hand steadying herself against the doorjamb, figure twenty people in that room all walking together. The stair, most likely, is halfway down the central hall, and the building’s about a football field long. Three flights of stairs. Another forty feet to the front door. The average human pace length’s about a yard, walking speed of around five miles an hour unburdened in flats, knock that back a third because they’re in a group and some are wearing heels . . .

“You ask me,” Josh said, “this whole thing’s a put-on. The handler doesn’t want this girl. She just wants to make us jump, waste our time, and boy did she.”

Gabe rolled his shoulders. Too tight—too long in this car. Too long sitting down, recently. “Worst-case scenario, fine, they make us jump, we waste a night’s sleep. We’ll get plenty of rest when we’re dead.”

“Hey, you want to stay up all night just to follow the Prague State University pep squad bar crawl, be my guest.”

And the front doors should open, Gabe thought—now.

Right on schedule. The students shuffled into wet drifting snow, huddled in jackets, flushed with booze and cold. Gabe found the girl: Andula Zlata. At the rear of the pack, eyes wide and liquid despite the cold, pale, afraid, hungry. And there, by her side, tall, angular, unafraid—Morozova.

“The handler is in play,” he said.


Tanya Morozova pulled her jacket close and took Andula’s—the objective’s—arm. She checked the street. A row of parked cars stood across the road, some windows tinted, others not. A man huddled inside a thick jacket at the corner past the bus stop, holding a folded newspaper. Waiting, but for whom? Rooftops clear, and windows. Might be a problem. Might not. Safer to assume the former.

Not so immediate a nuisance, though, as the big dumb blond comrade to her left. Marcel was walking a step too close for comfort, and stank of the vodka he’d...

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