Monday, November 28, 2016

Night's Black Agents: Planning & Entrapment

Yesterday was Night's Black Agents. Back to Belgrade!

The agents all entered Serbia using various covers (Gambone made one just for the occasion); their preliminary research showed them that their faces and names were out in the open, probably due to the snafu in Paris. MacAteer entered the country separately, a few days later, and although they let him through, he got the distinct impression he was being tailed. 

Meanwhile, the agents had set up surveillance near the hospital. Ess, using his cover as an orderly (with a little doctoring of records and licensure from Hanover) took a job there, and snuck a bug into their computer system. Hanover looked through records and found a work order for a drawer in the morgue that hadn't been fixed in years, but kept getting bumped to the bottom of the queue. Ess put a camera on the wall facing it, just to see if someone was using it as a bed, but the agents never saw anyone open it. Storage, maybe?

MacAteer contacted the others and told them he was probably made. Gambone got in touch with Janos Strayovich, a cop who'd busted Gambone once (and then let him off after a bribe). Strayovich agreed to help out, but he warned Gambone that someone was gunning for him. 

They set up the fake bust - the cops pulled MacAteer over, MacAteer ran, Strayovich pretended to lose him, and Parker, wearing a disguise and a new cover as a cop, took the van with the guns "to impound" (really to a safehouse to remove the guns, then to impound). Meanwhile, Ess, in the crowd, spotted Ava Kingsilver. He snuck up close to her and listened to her conversation (which Gambone had to translate, since Ess doesn't speak Russian); she was watching for the agents and told someone listening to "check perches." Ess debated stabbing her, but he didn't have any serum and wasn't sure he could take her in a fight. Instead he slipped a tiny tracking device into her hair. Hanover tracked her, and saw that she was staying in a building near the hospital - she was watching for the agents.

Having obtained their gear, the agents moved houses and debated their options. They hadn't been made yet; if they were they'd be dead. Gambone suggested blowing up Kingsilver's building, but a little research revealed it was an apartment building that rented to hospital employees and families of long-term patients - not a safe target, even to take Ava off the board. The agents talked about it; Ess was strenuously in favor of taking her out, but the other argued that Kingsilver was ultimately a pawn - she was dangerous, but low-level, and if they took her out the conspiracy would just replace her. And it would tip the agents' hand. No, better for now to investigate the hospital and the museum.

Gambone and Ess broke into the museum and found that the office of Ograd Bugarcic (the curator) had been left in kind of a hurry; consistent with what they'd seen before. They searched it and found nothing untoward. He'd been running the museum pretty much legit. They did find travel records, and he'd traveled mostly within the Continent, except for one overseas journey a few years back to Shoreham, New York. Looking into that little town, they found it was the site of Wardenclyffe. Maybe a trip to the States is in the offing? Dangerous, though. 

They also found a storeroom protected with a much more serious alarm system and lock. Breaking in, they found an empty filing cabinet, a folded-up bed, a desk, and a chair. Very Spartan and obviously not in use. A safe house for a vampire, perhaps?

Figuring they'd seen all they would see at the museum, they moved on the hospital. Ess pushed Gambone in, covered on a gurney (as a corpse, you see). Parker waited in the lobby with flowers, while MacAteer and Hanover waited in the van and watched the front of Kingsilver's building. Ess opened the drawer and found a "corpse" in a body bag, but it turned out to be a dummy with the torso missing. In its place was a box. Inside, they found six vials of blood, labeled with an alphanumeric code.

And then Parker saw security massing at the elevator. Hanover saw armed men leaving Kingsilver's building. The agents were made.

Next time, we'll see how that ends.