Saturday, December 9, 2017

Night's Black Agents: The Truth

Last night, Night's Black Agents ended an op (but by no means the game as a whole). Let's watch.

Last session, the characters broke into the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, cracked the secret vault, and stole a bunch of shit. This session, having retreated to their safe house, they watch the news and learn that the museum's first floor was heavily damaged using explosives (which was much more damage than they did). The conspiracy, it seems, is quite will to blow up the place and kill some of the security in order to increase the heat on the agents. The government is involved now, as well as Hajnal's people. They're going to have a problem getting the hell out of Belgrade.

They decide to give it a few days and look over their data. The notebooks are written in a combination of Russian, Serbian, and English (all of which Hanover reads) and a made-up code language. He and Parker get to work cracking it, and meanwhile, the agents watch some of the videos.

The notes in the notebooks appear to be experiment records corresponding to the videos, which is handy because there's no sound. In the first one, a man in a mask brings a dead body into the lab, puts it on the table, pumps some blood out with a machine that resembles a dialysis machine, and then pumps some blood back in. The body twitches and spits up a lot of blood, but then ceases to move. The notes record this as a failure.

The next few entries and videos are more of the same - failures and differing dosages and methods - but then the masked man gets it right. He moves his mask (facing away from the camera) and tentacles snap out and strike a living body, kill it, and then the blood infusion. This, based on the notes, creates what the agents have been calling a "brute." Success.

These experiments continue for a while, and then the video that really brings it home: Vilmos Hajnal enters the shot, following by the masked man...but without the mask. The man grabs Hajnal from behind and chokes him out, and then straps him to the table and sets up the machine. The machine gives Hajnal an infusion from a bottle, clearly biological but not blood. When it's done, the man unstraps Hajnal and inspects his mouth, helping him unfurl his tentacles.

The man is unquestionably Nikola Tesla. The agents have found the first vampire.

They all make some Stability rolls, and Hanover and MacAteer lose the most. The agents decide to back off a little and try and get out of town. They've digitized all of the notebooks and sent the data to Sedillo, but digitizing the VHS tapes has to happen in real time. They figure that maybe that oughta happen in not-Belgrade.

They do some checking around and find a trucking depot. They figure they'll steal a truck, pack the people into the back of it, drive to Montenegro and catch a cruise liner out of Kotor. Traveling as tourists might keep them under the radar. They leave the house severally - MacAteer first, in disguise, carrying the videotapes (Disguise is his MOS, so he's safe). Then Gambone and Ess, and finally Hanover and Parker.

MacAteer enters the depot, disguised, and makes a Bureaucracy spend to get a truck without hassle. The others meet him at a truck stop and start unloading enough cargo to get into the back.

And then another truck pulls by them, turns and blocks the exit ramp. Two guys get out, holding assault rifles. Two SUVs pull into the stop. The agents are made.

They pile into the truck - Parker, Gambone, and Ess in the back, MacAteer driving, Hanover riding shotgun. MacAteer, eschewing subtlety for survival, guns it and smashes into the back end of the truck blocking them. He knocks it out of the way and keeps going, but hears metal grinding metal - this truck isn't long for the world. The SUVs are in pursuit, of course.

Hanover leans out the window and shoots the driver of one SUV, sending it off the road. MacAteer leans out the window on the other side and shoots at the other, dropping it back behind them. The agents in the back, banged up from getting jostled when the truck collided with the other truck, open the back. Parker dumps debris, forcing the SUV to swerve, and Ess shoots the driver, crashing the car. The agents are away...for now.

They pull off the highway, ditch the truck, and steal a lorry. They head for Montenegro, keeping off the main roads. It takes a while, and the stress takes a toll on their Stability, but they eventually make it to the border. Parker, using a cover, rents a car so they don't try and cross the border in a stolen vehicle, and they book passage (using their covers) on a cruise liner bound for Marseille. They leave Kotor apparently ahead of the conspiracy, but still being pursued both by Interpol and Hajnal's people. (We're also now using the extended chase mechanic, which is much less forgiving, but I think it's a good point in the game to make use of it.)

Next time, they'll watch the rest of the tapes and learn of their most recent setback. It's kind of a doozy.