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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Company Time
Episode 13

Company Time

A traitor is unmasked. The gloves come off.
Need a refresher?
Previously on The Witch Who Came in From the Cold



Prague, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
March 2, 1970

1

The CIA pilot readied his plane in the cold before dawn.

Whatever you’re imagining, he didn’t quite look like that. Higher-ups in his line of work frowned upon people who looked like anything in particular, and he conducted himself so as to minimize any form of notice, including frowns. He took no risks. He turned in early. He smoked, but never more than three a day. He did not drink outside his home. He last had a hangover in 1959. Whatever derring-do was, he daring didn’t.

The pilot walked slow circles and reviewed his checklist. No ice on the wings. Wheel well: free of detritus. No rivets loose. He reviewed two checklists—the one on his clipboard, and the one in his head. The checklist in his head featured a few select, secret, Langley-mandated items the one in his hand did not. For most people, this would defeat the purpose of a checklist. The pilot was not most people.

The fuel truck came. He exchanged nods and broad gestures with the crew; when they needed to speak, they used broken German. The pilot’s German was perfect, as was his Czech, but he did not want the crew to know he spoke either language well. He waved thank you to them. They waved back. Any description the flight crew later offered would be muddled by his gloves and hat and scarf and coat.

The sky above the airfield blued.

Prague winter morning cold crystallized the air. The pilot’s breath sparkled with ice. He stood before his plane’s nose, stared up at the featureless glass curve of the cockpit windshield, hands in his pockets. He rose onto his toes and settled back down again.

He relished waiting. He liked the pause, the tension like a coiled spring. Everyone the pilot knew thought about flight differently. For him, its magic consisted of suspension: the coyote magic of moving through air unfallen, so long as you kept to the plan and didn’t think too much. So long as you did what needed doing, when it needed doing.

The sun threatened the horizon. The pilot checked his watch. Not late. Not yet.


Gabe Pritchard ran a stop sign, skidded over a dusting of snow, and slammed the brakes, bringing the Moskvich to a sudden stop by the steps of a gray apartment building. Alestair Winthrop, smoking on the sidewalk and so swathed in slick fur and black wool against the cold that he looked like a pomaded werewolf, revolved toward Gabe with the disdain of a man roused far too early for far too little cause. “Gabriel. I was about to leave. Surely your emergency can wait until morning.”

“I need your help, Alestair.” Gabe climbed the four front steps in a jump, tried the door—locked, of course—took a knee, and pulled lockpicks from his inside jacket pocket. Hands shaking. That would be the heartbeat. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and tried not being furious, without much success. Not enough time.

“Apparently, if you’re willing to do that in full public view.” The Brit ran up the steps and spread his jacket wide like wings to shelter Gabe.

Gabe doubted the sail of Alestair’s coat would help them avoid attracting attention, though maybe well-dressed men flashed closed front doors in Prague on a regular basis. He’d run into weirder local customs in his travels. Distraction. That was the adrenaline, messing with him.

“What, pray tell, brought you to such a state?”

Gabe’s second attempt almost broke the pick. Adrenaline, again. No one on the street, no open windows. Maybe talking would help. “Dom’s cover’s blown.” Alestair said nothing—he was monumental and impassive, playing out the beat for more information. “The Flame had someone in the safe house before the Soviet raid. They know Dom’s fallback plan—they could jump him and snatch the target before they reach the plane.” So exposed, saying this stuff out loud. Hell. No time. Focus. Exhale. Tension, rotate, rake. The lock slipped, the knob turned, the door opened, and he ran inside, Alestair following.

“Your man won’t be home.” Running upstairs after Gabe didn’t seem to hurt Alestair’s composure any. His voice barely shook. “Not after what happened last night.” Not after the raid, he didn’t say. Not after an all-out KGB attack broke a CIA safe house that should have been impregnable, not to mention a secret. Not after a months-long plan to run a defector came to fuck-all because of what looked like the machinations of a cabal of—Christ—cultists. Because in spite of their precautions against the KGB, they hadn’t guarded against bedtime stories.

It was Gabe’s fault, again. His fault Dom was on the run. His fault Dom might already be dead, from magic or from a more prosaic bullet, and Maksim Sokolov, defector and elemental Host, in the hands of the Flame.

“You can help me find him.” Gabe turned a circle on the fourth floor, scratched wood floors sandy with snowmelt grit, walls long grayed from their former white. Dom’s apartment lay behind the stairwell, facing the street. Gabe ran to the door, which...

A traitor is unmasked. The gloves come off.
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