Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Night's Black Agents: The Agents Strike Back!

Sunday was Night's Black Agents. Better do the write-up before any more brain cells get eaten by piranha.

Last time, the characters basically got their asses kicked. I've retconned that last bit to indicate the Benbow did not make it out alive, since her player has officially dropped the game, but beyond that, the characters spend a few weeks in hospital recovering and then head to Osijek to hunt down Dr. Radovan Macan.

They get the same flat across the street from his that they had used last time they were in Osijek, and split up the duties. Esse develops a cover as a track coach in the university and watches him while he's on campus, Parker watches him while he's at home, and Gambone follows him on the commute and takes pictures. Hanover, meanwhile, does some digging into his computer and finds communication about his projects. He's still working on the "blood nutrients" thing, and has made some progress in the year or so since the original team was here.

They find that his routine is just as boring as it was, but this time he doesn't have three bodyguards with him all the time. The agents speculate on why that might be the case - maybe he's been turned only recently, maybe Macan's work is done and he doesn't need the protection?

The characters do a bit of research and find that Macan's office is windowless and has that huge fridge in the back. They figure that place will be a good spot to stage an interrogation; nice thick walls, no windows, and he'll be off guard because it's his space.

Gambone and Esse break in, and discover that the collar project he was working on (the thing that inexplicably bombards the lymph nodes with radiation) is still there, and has been made sleeker and lighter. Esse holes up in the fridge and waits, while Gambone takes up position outside the building. He also rigs the door so that once it's closed, it can only be opened from the outside without hitting a hidden kill switch.

Macan arrives on campus the next day as usual. Hanover waits in the van, while Parker tails Macan into the building. He enters the office and Esse puts a gun to his head and forces him to sit down for a chat.

Their first problem is that Macan doesn't speak Swedish or Italian, and Esse doesn't speak Croatian or Serbian. They settle on English, and Esse puts Hanover (who does speak Serbian) on speaker. Hanover doesn't identify himself, and they start to talk. Macan isn't cooperative, however, and when it becomes clear that he isn't going to answer questions willingly, Esse goes to work him over. This proves problematic.

Macan deflects Esse's strike and hits him in the chest, knocking him back far harder than a thin old man should be able to. Esse draw his gun and calls for backup. Gambone enters and shoots Macan in the heart from behind...and Macan opens his mouth and tentacles Esse right in the chest.

Esse shoots Macan multiple times, and Parker heads in. Gambone grabs the tentacles and slices them off (using his MOS). Macan grabs his hand and breaks his wrist, but Parker arrives and shoots the dude again. He collapses, bleeding but alive, and Parker tends to the wounded. They decided to take the tentacles with them, and cut through Macan's jaw to see what the hell these tentacles are. They discover that they're part of his body, attached to sacs that, in turn, lead to tubes that attach to the circulatory system. Macan is decidedly not human.

They do a quick autopsy. They realize that the tentacles curl up under the tongue when not in use, and Hanover notes that when Macan was speaking, his speech was somewhat distorted. This could be a tell. They clean up, dismember the body, and take it with them for disposal. The tentacles and sacs they keep for future analysis, and Parker learns that the fluid inside is a mixture of blood, lymph, and CSF. It makes them think of a "cocktail" that earlier research referred to.

They also find a bottle of nutrient-laced blood in Macan's home, and a bunch of blood bags in the fridge at school. Some are from Paris (Tasse Medical Supplies), some from Budapest Prison, some from Belgrade Hospital, and some from a clinic in Switzerland called the Reineger Clinic. Things to check out!

The agents figure it's just a matter of time before Macan misses a check-in with someone, so they retreat to London, and Parker contacts an old friend of hers who can lend her some lab space. Next time: They continue their investigations.