Friday, July 12, 2013

Night's Black Agent, 2nd Op: Paris (by way of Zurich)

So! Last night we played Night's Black Agents. Started by spending some XP, and then moving on to the downtime that the characters spent in Zurich looking into the research facility that's been sending blood samples to Macan in Croatia, Tasse Medical Supply, and the human trafficking ring that "recruits" in Paris.

Hanover wasn't able to find much on the latter, but he was trying to do research remotely, and there just wasn't much online. The research facility, though, is just for animal testing - it's not owned by Tasse, and they're one of several companies that farms their work there. Luc Lemarque is a 20something with a degree in biology, trying to get into med school, and seems to have no unusual online or financial activity.

Tasse was purely medical supply until three years ago, when after getting a lot of money from an unknown source (probably Russian mafia), they started bankrolling research. Their research is all on blood and blood preservation, which seems to make sense. Also of interest is the CEO, Simon Thibault. The characters look into his life and find that he has an ex-wife who lives in Zurich and a son in law school in Berlin...but he divorced his wife, swiftly and seemingly out of the blue, three years ago.

The characters dig a little more and find that Thibault paid his wife a lot of money, seemingly to get the divorce done as quickly as possible. There's nothing in the papers that helps, either. Thibault has always done the "rich-guy philanthropist" thing, but he's not heavily into anything in particular. He's visible, but not prominent. His ex, Marie, living in Zurich, does similar things. He's not pictured with dates - in fact, he still wears his wedding ring, and the marriage was never annulled through the Church.

The characters figure something is up, here, and since they're in Switzerland anyway, they decide to meet her. Hanover calls on Liesel Weiss, a friend of his in high society, and scores a couple of invites to a charity ball. He takes Delia with him (using her Cover as Meredith O'Bannon) and meets Marie. Using their Interpersonal Skills, they steer the conversation toward her divorce, and learn that Simon vanished one weekend, then showed up Monday morning completely different. He was distant and cold, and initiated divorce proceedings.

In talking with her, they learn that Marie is still confused and hurt over the whole thing. Gossip says she got to Zurich and immediately checked into a clinic with a "nervous breakdown," which everyone assumed was a drug/booze issue, but to the characters it looks more like she was just really depressed. They also hear that Francois, Marie and Simon's son, flew into Paris when he heard about the divorce but flew out the next day, reportedly after a confrontation with his father.

The characters tap Marie's phone, and sure enough, she calls Francois after the ball and says that she's just lonely and missing Simon. Francois, interning for a law firm in Berlin, offers to come down for the weekend. The characters keep tabs on him, and see him working at a cafe. Rousseau, using one of her Covers, meets him and gets to chatting (mostly about the law, as her Interpersonal skills are lacking). She mostly confirms what the characters already know - something about Simon and about Tasse in general changed three years ago.

But the motivation? The group (Smith in particular) suspects that this might be Simon trying to protect his family from whatever happened to him by driving them away. It was clumsily done, yes, but that's what it looks like. They need more information, and so now, they're heading to Paris.