Monday, June 15, 2015

Night's Black Agents: To Vienna and Back Again

Saturday was Night's Black Agents, so I should do the update. Whee!

Last time, our ragtag group of freelancers tracked Wolfgang von Hanover to Austria, but weren't sure where exactly to look. Fuchs contacted his buddy at the German tax agency and had him look through some accounts and see if Hanover had any activity in Austria, and yes indeed, he'd emptied an account in Vienna. They found that the account had been closed out - looked like run money. Checking the area, though, they found the Liechtenstein Museum was nearby, and held a collection of Baroque art. Knowing that Hanover was an art lover, they decided to investigate further.

Parker used a cover as Jessie Stephens, a Montana oil baroness, and got herself a pass to see the artwork; Gambone went along as her bodyguard. While "Jessie" distracted the guides and staff with her inane Americanism, Gambone slipped off and chatted up a guard watching security, and planted a device to let them hack in.

Later, Fuchs and the others reviewed the feed, and found, a few days ago, Hanover meeting with another man. They hugged and were obviously familiar; the characters identified the man as Fritz von Hanover, Wolfgang's brother. Wolfgang was aware of the camera and shied away from it, but Fritz didn't have enough tradecraft to know, and so the characters were able to watch his expresion some - he seemed emotional and worried. They also reviewed the security logs from the day. Hanover had used an alias (Hans Brent) to get in (the characters didn't dig into the alias, but I'll note it for later).

Wolfgang handed his brother an envelope, probably full of cash, and Fritz handed back a key fob for a car. Fuchs used Traffic Analysis and identified the car leaving the lot, and tracked the sale of it from Fritz to Hans. The video footage showed the brothers embracing before they parted, and Fritz said something about "visiting you in Berlin."

(Cue some facepalms from the characters.)

They talked it over and decided that if Hanover had run to Berlin, they didn't have much of a trail to find him. Their best bet was Fritz, since Hanover obviously had some regard for his brother. Digging into Fritz a bit, they found he was an opera lover, and Die Fladermaus was playing that night in Vienna. Parker adopted her Jessie Stephens persona again, and Benbow created one of her own (Gemma Stephens, Jessie's British cousin). Gambone went along as security again, and Fuchs set up across the street to monitor their comms and lapel cameras.

The Stephens cousins met up with Fritz and charmed him, and they wound up in his box watching the opera. Fuchs, watching the feed, noticed three people watching Fritz, but Fritz didn't seem to be aware of them...apparently the characters weren't the only team after Fritz. Gambone struck up a conversation with one of them (in Russian, as the man didn't speak Italian or English, but answered initially in Croatian), and learned that they were going to be taking Fritz for a "meeting he doesn't know he's having." The man bribed Gambone to stay out of the way, and gave him a number to call if he was looking for work.

Realizing they had a good opportunity, the ladies went with Fritz to a cafe after the opera, and then told him of the danger. He didn't believe it until they mentioned his brother, at which point he got nervous. They got him into a cab (Fuchs following in his car), and as they got into a less populated area, a car with the three unknowns pulled up. Two men got out, smashed in the driver's and rear windows, and demanded Fritz get out.

Gambone, riding shotgun, stomped on the gas and floored it. Benbow shoved Fritz down to protect him, and Parker shot out the rear window and put a bullet in engine block of the pursing car. Fuchs pulled up and the characters loaded Fritz into the other car, and paid the cabbie to drive the other way, quickly.

They headed to the train station, and convinced Fritz that they needed to find Wolfgang quickly, before these other folks did. Shaken, he agreed, and they boarded a train.

Parker contacted Davor Klubocar, the guy who gave them this job (and who, incidentally, was also Croatian). He claimed to know nothing about the second team, but admitted it was possible the job had been double-booked. He told Parker to keep him updated.

They also analyzed the number that the Croatian agent had given Gambone. It was a burner, of course, but it had made calls to...Klobucar. He had known about the other team. So what was the angle? Why double-book the job and not inform folks?

The characters are heading back to Berlin. Next session, they get to meet Wolfgang.