Monday, April 25, 2016

Night's Black Agents: High-Grade Belgrade

Last time, the agents whooped a bunch of vampire ass and headed for Italy.

They spent some time outside Florence, chilling out and sifting through their research, and training Dr. Sedillo and Dr. Koltay in how not to get them killed. They also talked through the research that they had.

Dr. Koltay told them that based on specs on the laptop, the conspiracy was designing a collar that would bombard the lymph nodes in the neck with radiation, enough to kill the wearer. He wasn't sure what benefit it would have for the vampires, though.

Dr. Sedillo said she could absolutely help them build a better poison, but she needed tissue samples to do it. And, of course, the agents had used up their stores doing their own research. Time to find another vampire.

They considered their options. They strongly suspected that Dr. Janos Sas at the Budapest prison was a vampire, but he works in a prison, and getting him would be difficult. They wondered about Dierk Essert, and did a little Digital Intrusion to check on his travels - and found he'd flown out of Geneva a day later than he'd been scheduled to, and then into Berlin. They worried a bit about his safety, but didn't have any further info and decided to table that.

Remembering that deaths of transients and tourists had spiked in Osijek while Macan's bodyguards had been in town, Hanover suggested that as an avenue of investigation. They did some digging, and found that when the conspiracy was involved in loud occurrences (the bombing in Budapest, the incident in Bonn, etc.), those deaths spiked after a few days lag. Looking back, the earliest one they could find was in Belgrade in the early 90s; prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall those records weren't so easy to find remotely.

They looked into what was happening in Belgrade at the time, and found a conference on free energy. That particular conference happened in the 90s a few times, and a lot of the same principles the agents recognized in the IFEA. Also, Vilmos Hajnal was arrested in Belgrade during that time, but was released and fled the country before he could be tried. The agents dug into photos of the energy conference, and found a guy involved in the IFEA - Obrad Bugarcic, now the director at the Tesla Museum in Belgrade. Tesla, of course, was known for his work in free energy (among other things).

Belgrade, then, was the earliest known sighting of the vampires, and their base of power was definitely in that part of Europe (none of these "murder spikes" occurred any farther west than Germany). The agents decided to go to Belgrade and see what shook loose.

They smuggled their weapons into the country using Gambone's contact, Ava Kingsilver, and got a couple of apartments. They visited the museum, with Hanover using a new cover. He got to talking with Dr. Bugarcic, and showed him a sketch of the collar. His Bullshit Detector skill, though, picked up that Dr. Bugarcic was shocked to see it. The good doctor asked Hanover if he could make a copy, and went to do so; Parker followed him and heard him make a phone call. She couldn't understand it (she doesn't speak Serbian) but she recorded it.

Bugarcic came back to Hanover and asked him to meet up later in the week and try and verify this sketch as one of Tesla's (which was the line Hanover had opened with). Meanwhile, Esse walked around the building noting security - this place was more heavily surveilled than they would have expected.

The agents met up later and Hanover translated the phone call. Basically, Bugarcic hadn't seen through Hanover's disguise at first, but from the context it was clear that he'd figured it out now. The agents were made...but they knew they were made.

Next time, we'll see where that takes them.