Sunday, December 15, 2013

Night's Black Agents: Not Allergic to Bullets

Last night was Night's Black Agents, wherein the characters attempted the most aggressive, direct action they've undertaken to date and it...didn't go quite as planned.

Recall that they were in Bonn, hunting Renate Bauer, a BSI agent they realized was laundering money for the conspiracy. They decide to follow her for a few days, make note of her routine, and decide on an approach.

She took the bus to work, but her routine wasn't ironclad; one morning, she stopped and got a pastry to go and ate while walking from the bus stop to work, the next she stayed at the shop to eat. One day she stayed in through the day, the next she got lunch with her co-workers. Obviously, she was much better at this than Dr. Macan, who never varied his routine.

On Saturday, Rousseau and Smith were in the van, following her. She went to the library, then to do some shopping, and was walking through a park when she got a call. Rousseau quickly grabbed a shotgun mic and heard Bauer speaking in Serbian (of course she could only hear her half of the conversation): "No, I haven't seen anyone. I'll watch out. No, I don't think we need to recruit yet."

The agents decided that now that she was on her guard, they'd better just take the advantage. Rousseau pulled the van around a corner and Smith set up a rifle and shot Bauer in the head.

The bullet stunned her...and then she jumped forward and landed across the street.

Since she landed parallel to the van (and hadn't seen where the shot had come from), Rousseau took her picture. Bauer opened the door to a shop hard enough to shatter the glass, and Rousseau, figuring that now was not a good time to hang around, drove off. No one had noticed the shot, though, and since there was no body, the police response wasn't as bad as it could have been (though passers-by had still seen Bauer do her mighty leap thing).

Back at the agents' safe house, Lockwood had hacked into Bonn's traffic/security camera system and the agents had seen the action. They looked at Rousseau's picture, and saw something creepy - Bauer had what looked like tentacles under her tongue, jutting out. They looked almost like lampreys. She left the shop after a while, wearing a thin disguise, walked to a cafe, and disappeared again, but at that point Lockwood noticed someone else hacking in. She tried to trace the signal back, but the hacker was apparently better than her, and locked her out - and erased the footage of Bauer leaping over the street.

The agents realized they were probably made, and packed up and went to Munich. While there, they kept an eye on the news. They learned that the night they left, two Italian tourists went missing in Bonn (they figured that Bauer needed to feed and replenish). And, they learned that Father Michel Dumas had fallen to his death in Paris.

Rousseau, disturbed by this news, finally followed up on the lead that Dumas had given her and called up Father Diego de Calderon of the Knights of Malta. The agents met with him, and, when asked who Vasily Avilov might have answered to, he gave them the name Vilmos Hajnal.

The agents all knew Hajnal - he was one of the most powerful men in Eastern Europe, an fixture in organized crime and human traffic. Hajnal was the son of a career criminal, a mobster and racketeer whom the KGB had killed in the 60s. But the younger Hajnal was more into slave trafficking and (it seemed) working for the vampires. The agents showed Calderon the photo of Bauer, and that was enough to convince him that something was amiss. He said he'd look into Dumas' death on behalf of the Church and see what he could find.

The characters called some of their contacts, but both Hanover and David failed their Network rolls, so Klaus Hinkel of the BSI and Ivan Tovarisch, formerly of the KGB were unavailable (strangely, folks weren't willing to spend their Network points to up the rolls - I don't blame them, these folks tend to wind up dead). Rousseau did get through to Celeste Sarabonde, her contact at the Police Nacionale. Celeste told her that Father Dumas' death was officially an accident, but she didn't buy it - there had been signs of a struggle and his neck break wasn't consistent with a fall. But the police had brought in someone named Helene Caron to do the exam - and her last job was with Tasse Medical Supplies.

The characters had set up camera surveillance outside of Bauer's home. Watching that, they saw her arrive there with the two "missing" Italians, go inside, and come out with a duffel bag. But there was no record of her leaving the city, so maybe she was just going to ground there? The characters decided to wait in Munich a couple of days, and then return to Bonn to try and finish her off. It would, apparently, take something bigger than a bullet.

End scene: Smith, walking in Munich on a bridge, and calls his contract Frank Jones, whom he'd asked to look into Ivana Zisek (Rousseau's contact in Sarajevo). Frank answers, "Hello?"

"Hey, it's me."

"Hey, Smith. Listen, I'm not feeling so hot. I think I may have caught something."

This, of course, is code - he's been made. "OK, well, you get better." Smith hangs up, and drops the phone into the river. "Fuck."