Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Actual Play Double-Whammy: Night's Black Agents/East Texas University

Sunday we played Night's Black Agents, yesterday we finished up our story arc in East Texas University. Today I am home a bit early following POTS flaring up at work because the insurance company randomly decided to refuse to fill my script, so I've been without meds for nearly a week.

Anyway! First one, then t'other.

You're no fun anymore.
Well, actually, this game's still a lot of fun.

So! Last time the agents were in Belgrade, having a spot of bother. They were in the hospital; Parker in the waiting room as lookout, MacAteer and Hanover in the van across the street, and Gambone and Ess coming up the elevator. And four dudes with large rifles came out of the building across the street, while security starting rushing the elevator.

Ess and Gambone rigged the elevator to go up one floor, then tossed a flashbang down the stairs to disorient the security guards and made for another stairwell out. Parker headed for a side exit, but one of the dudes saw her and gave chase. She flung a knife at him and hit him in the chest (non-fatally, but certainly enough to slow him down) and she kept moving.

Meanwhile, outside, MacAteer started the van up to go meet the others...and then it lurched and died, with a bullet hole in the engine block. The two of them piled out and noted the sniper in the window of a building across the street, while the dudes with the guns took up positions in front of the parking lot, forming a kill box. Hanover snapped his own rifle together and took out the sniper (tell you what, every group should have one agent with Shooting as their MOS), but the other folks were still boxing them in. MacAteer snuck away and jacked a car, and Hanover piled in. They left out the back of the parking lot and started heading around to the back of the hospital, using the labyrinthine streets to best advantage.

At the back of said hospital, though, bad things were happening. Ess and Gambone came out one door to find Kingsilver and a flunky taking cover behind a car; as soon as the agents clear the door, the started shooting. Gambone dove forward and got clear, but Ess took a hit. Parker came out a side door, took aim, and shot Kingsilver in the head. Gambone, lying prone, shot her again after she collapsed. Parker approached and took a shot from the flunky, but nothing major. She stepped out to deliver a coup de grace...

...and then Kingsilver stood up and tentacle'd her in the chest. Parker collapsed, unconscious, and Ess approached, brandishing his dart gun, containing the very last of their anti-vampire coagulant serum. He shot her in the neck and her face swelled up, her left eye exploded, and she looked very much on the verge of death.

The flunky, seeing this, gunned Ess down, nearly killing him. Gambone shot the flunky and downed him, but Kingsilver wasn't dead. With both Ess and Parker down, Kingsilver pointing her gun at them and told Gambone to back off. He agreed, if she'd get in the car and go. She shot her flunky dead and lit out, leaving Gambone to tend the wounded.

MacAteer brought the car around and they loaded Parker and Ess in and took off. They made it to their safe house and stabilized Ess (Parker was mostly just stunned), who would need some major medical care. Gambone, who had no wounds and no medical training, kept an eye on the criminal underworld and the news, and found that the agents' pictures were all over the place as terrorists, and that rumor on the grapevine was that Vilmos Hajnal had put word out that he'd cover legal fees and extraction for anyone who shot the agents on sight.

Nothing to do, though; Ess was wounded and wasn't going anywhere for a week, so the agents went dark. During the downtime they did some analysis of the blood vials they'd stolen, and found the blood to be human but contaminated. Obviously Kingsilver had baited them; the op was for naught.

Figuring that they needed to get the hell out of Belgrade, they got their boat ready (yay Preparedness!) and had MacAteer cause a distraction a few miles away, using his Disguise MOS. They got on board and headed up the river, then disembarked and headed into Croatia to Zagreb. From there they caught a flight to Tuscany; they want to get back to the villa and regroup, and maybe see if there's anything in the blood that they can use.

One more session in this op, I think, and it won't be pretty.

And now...

East Texas University!

We pick up on Friday at the concert. Lula is running the merch table with her friend Kelly (who so desperately wants to bang the lead singer of Low Shoulder), and Doug is hanging out with them. Dante is in the crowd dancing with his date, Chrissey, and Josh is in a different part of the crowd with his frat buds.

Chrissey mentions to Dante that she promised a friend she'd give them a ride home, but perhaps she could come by later? Dante is down for that, naturally. Josh glances over into the trees and sees people moving, which strikes him as odd; why skulk? There's a concert going on. Perhaps making out?

Over at the merch table, on the other side of the crowd, Lula and Doug notice folks in the trees, too. In fact, Doug recognizes one as Peter Lopez, the campus cop that Lula was all smitten with...but he's with the dude that Dante tackled in the Sociology building Wednesday night, and a third dude that Doug thinks is familiar but can't place. How odd.

The concert winds up and Dante asks Chrissey if, perhaps before she leaves, they might find a tree under which to neck? And then his player rolled like four raises on the Persuasion check, so Chrissey does him one better - there's a pier jutting out into the lake.

Josh, meanwhile, crosses over to his friends and tells them about the people in the woods. Lula leaves the merch table with Kelly and Doug and goes into the trees herself, and finds the dude that Doug kinda-sorta recognized. She asks him about Peter, and he claims not to know him (but is clearly lying, because Doug saw them together).

The line continues to die down. The band disassembles the stage, and Kelly takes the cash box over to Nikolai and gets invited into the van. (Don't worry, she's fine. Low Shoulder isn't booked to hit Devil's Kettle, Minnesota for a few months yet.) The other characters finish up and head to the parking lot, and find more cars there than they'd have expected...including one that Dante recognizes as Chrissey's. Doug, too, notes a campus security parking pass in one of the cars - perhaps Peter's? Josh takes the opportunity to grab his gun out of his car; this is getting weird.

The group quietly heads toward the lake, and sees a campfire burning on the water's edge with people milling around it. They sneak into the woods (and all made their Stealth rolls, amazingly), and see something horrific. A group of people is standing around the fire, and two big strong guys are holding a woman (that Dante and Doug recognize as a Sociology prof) and dunking her. They're apparently doing this on the say-so of the dude that Doug recognized; he's holding up a book bound in leather. A half-dozen other folks are standing around looking on...including Chrissey.

Lula flings a rock at one of the guys holding the prof, and he drops her - she runs. The dude with the book screams at them to get her, and they give chase. Josh tries to tackle one, but misses and gets punched (though not hurt). Dante sprints out and intercepts the guys, letting the woman run, but the guy with the book raises his hand and shouts something unintelligible, and a horde of mosquitos appears and swarms around Dante, the prof, and the two cultists.

Doug runs out, grabs Josh's gun, and holds it on the book-guy, ordering him to stop. The book guy laughs and points his hand at Doug, firing some horrible bolt of energy. Doug turns away, vomiting up mosquitos.

Lula, meanwhile, keeps to her plan of throwing rocks from the forest. She downed Peter with a shot to the eye, and downed one of the other cultists with a rock to the face. Josh took a punch to the face and a broken nose, and Dante tackled a cultist but got kicked (ineffectively) in the shoulder for his trouble. But during all this kerfuffle, the prof made it to the parking lot, and the dude with the book, apparently thwarted, dove into the water and swam away. Shortly thereafter the sheriff arrived, and everybody got hauled in for questioning.

Doug and Josh needed some medical attention, and Dante, who had been bitten by a shitload of mosquitos, needed a bucket of calamine lotion, but no one was seriously injured (well, Peter lost an eye, but fuck that guy. Also I decided that gave him enough character to be a Wild Card going forward). The prof told the cops that Dante and his friends had saved her, and Dante told the cops that Chrissey hadn't been part of the cultists, so she got off with no real trouble. Everybody else got arrested and, where applicable, expelled.

The guy with the book, whose name was Michael "Mikey" Suez, was never found, but Kestrall Lake is 70 feet deep, so the police assumed he'd drowned and become catfish food. We'll never see him again.

And for now, we're taking our leave of East Texas University, but we might well revisit at some point. Go Ravens!