Subsubsection: 3 June 2015 (the fight at Tabriz) Up Subsection: Cassandra File 89: The Fatal Tanks Subsubsection: 22 July 2015 (Nagara Goods Factors) 

17 June 2015 (The Road to Khartoum)

David finds a minor border crossing into Azerbaijan, and with a certain amount of pointing and rough Arabic (the guards speak a little) reasonably neutral relations are established. They make a phone call and ask the team to wait, and around 90 minutes later a Hind helicopter lands; the man in charge is wearing a senior officer’s uniform, though the team last knew him as Father Gravanov on the Orient Express. He invites them aboard – the blind nun is now dressed as a military aide – and they take off for Baku. It seems that the Institute of Psychic Research is working on detectors for the possibility-rated, though for the moment they’re just telling the border guards certain signs of weirdness to look out for. Gravanov, or Colonel Ondarev as he’s now known, feels some gratitude to the team for saving his life, and is happy to do them a favour.
They explain their current task, and he contemplates the possibility of filling the next shipment of tanks with Spetsnaz soldiers. However, the enemy may well be alert to that.
On the ground, he gets hold of a Japanese translator, and they go over the documents Diamond removed from the warehouse. Clearly another warehouse could be set up more or less anywhere along the route with suitable bribery and corruption, but there’s an address in Khartoum (central Nile Empire), Nagara Goods Factors, which seems to be the primary administrative site for the operation. (It also seems that someone thought quite carefully about hardware which would just barely not work under Nile Empire axioms. And considering that the plot would work just as well if the governors were replaced on the original tanks, there’s clearly Nile Empire thinking involved in the construction of this plot.)
Ondarev introduces the team to an informal network of FTP sites and bulletin boards where information is being shared among Storm Knights: it’s assumed that this is being infiltrated, particularly by Kanawa, but many of the invaders are ill-equipped to deal with the Internet in its early-1990s form. They set up some basic code phrases.
From Baku, the team flies to Istanbul, then back to Tel Aviv: on the Saudi passports, and unsurprisingly Benny meets them off the plane. They settle down with beer (and Martinis for Diamond) and discuss the situation; he will coordinate with the Russians on the matter of security, but meanwhile the team might look into this office in Khartoum?
They head to Alexandria by sea, changing ships at Cyprus, and David picks up a French Resistance connection among the back streets of Cairo; they get hold of a Fokker Ramses, a common utility aircraft not unlike a smaller version of the classic Trimotor, and fly up the Nile.
Nagara Goods Factors has a warehouse and office in the centre of Khartoum, close to the airport and the main railway yards, and convenient to the Nile for water transport. The office looks as though about twenty people might work there. There are no obvious shipments of tanks in the rail yard.
 Subsubsection: 3 June 2015 (the fight at Tabriz) Up Subsection: Cassandra File 89: The Fatal Tanks Subsubsection: 22 July 2015 (Nagara Goods Factors)