Having decoded some of the files recovered from Lennart, Irons is led to a report of NATO arms and equipment being smuggled out of Iraq and into Ukraine. Lennart’s source appears to be Donald Carroll, a fixer operating out of the Crimea and a man Irons has worked with in the past.
Irons follows up this lead and ends up taking a job from Carroll to track one of the missing shipments from a a freighter named Yelkenci to a warehouse in Odessa. Irons successfully infiltrates the warehouse, avoiding the guards and locating crates of weapons, body armour and equipment stolen from US bases in Iraq. He takes advantage of the opportunity to tool up and also discovers other crates containing food and blankets, indicating that the Lisky Bratva, the Russian Mafiya group behind the smuggling, is also into human trafficking. A shipping manifest indicates the village of Dragovir in Romania as a possible destination.
Finally, a small number of crates have Arabic markings and on inspection contain government records from the British Mandate in Iraq between 1918 and 1932. They mainly deal with exploration and mapping efforts and several have the word “INTRUSIVE” scrawled in the margins. Irons grabs some pottery fragments from the crates before heading down towards a concealed trapdoor in the warehouse which leads into the catacombs beneath Odessa.
Going through the trapdoor leads into a long stone tunnel down which voices can be heard. At the end of the tunnel Irons finds himself on a small wooden landing overlooking a larger room packed with crates and containing several dozen armed guards and workers. In the centre of the chamber is a US Army coffin containing a corpse, with a lab-coated man bending over it injecting something into the body. Next to him is a crewman Irons recognises from the Yelkenci, and a heavyset trenchcoated figure. The crewman is begging for his life, promising to clean up the problems with the “Baghdad route” but the trenchcoated figure simply lashes out and grabs him by the throat, lifting him off the ground and squeezing…
As the man dies, there is a moment of discontinuity, as if everyone’s hearts skipped a beat, followed by a chorus of electronic beeps as every wristwatch and mobile phone in the room goes off in a bubble expanding out from the murder. In the blink of an eye, the trenchcoated man is on Irons, betrayed by his own phone. Irons shrugs off the shock and unloads his looted M4 into the thing’s face, knocking it back off the balcony and giving him a chance to throw down a couple of grenades to cover his escape.
He flees back down the tunnel and out of the warehouse, scattering a few more grenades as he does so before making it to his car. Some of the guards follow, but some fancy driving and a disappearing act on foot into a shopping centre results in a clean getaway.