Sunday, July 1, 2018

Night's Black Agents: Slouching Towards Konjic

Well, I should be running Alas for the Awful Sea today, but Michelle was feeling sick, so we postponed, and so instead I shall listen to Chopin and do the write-up for the Night's Black game in between World Cup matches.

(My life is somewhat strange.)

Last time, the agents headed to Sarajevo to see if they could find out what had become of Davor Klobucar, the paymaster who'd set up this job to the begin with.

The agents arrive in Sarajevo and do a little digging through the criminal underworld (though not as much as they could, as Hanover is reluctant to hack computer systems as this always seems to get them caught). They learn that there's a Hungarian gangster named Attila Kornai in town, and that Kornai works for Hajnal's organization (though there are a lot of layers between the two). He's rolling deep, he's here for a specific reason, and local color has been advised to stay out of his way.

Firinci, who's basically in the same line of work as Klobucar, takes a meeting with one Ibro Mujic, an arms dealer who's a longtime friend and cohort of Klobucar. He takes Carlsson along in cover as a German underworld-type figure to act as a buyer; Carlsson gives Mujic the list of stuff he wants and then they all have dinner like civilized people. Mujic chats with them, and asks if the folks they're representing are the Hungarians in town. Leaping on this opportunity, they don't confirm that suspicion, but play along, and Mujic asks if there's anything he can do to bring their business to a close quickly "before more violence happens." They arrange to meet tomorrow to buy the gear, and the agents meet back up to do more digging.

Looking into local events, the agents learn that a couple of people have turned up dead in dumpsters, and that is a turn of events they've seen before - it means there are probably vampires in town. MacAteer and Hanover, in disguise with forged papers, go to the morgue and examine the bodies, and indeed, there are big throat wounds and extensive blood loss. This smacks of "brutes" feeding. They locate the burned-out tenement where Kornai and company are staying, and MacAteer goes in disguise to surveil a little. He makes Kornai and four other toughs, but none of them are brutes (Kornai, however, is cold and barely speaks, which leads the agents to believe that he's a "cold" master, to use the late Dr. Sedillo's terminology).

This is exciting for the agents - vampires in the city means, potentially, tissue samples that they can use to synthesize more toxins. The problem is that they need to be very careful about tipping their hand, and of course Firinci doesn't believe that these "vampires" are actually a thing at all. The agents decide to hit the tenement the next day, maybe set up some traps or case the place. They wait until Kornai leaves, and lo and behold, he leaves with the four guys and two more guys that MacAteer didn't see - brutes.

They wait a bit, and then roll up but discover that there are three more guys in the room (taking the total to six human gangsters, two brutes, and a master). Carlsson sneaks in (his MOS is Infiltration) and notes that there's a room with a couple of window air units - that's where they must be keeping the brutes. The agents decide that jumping these guys wouldn't help them, so they back off and reconsider.

The next day, Firinci and Carlsson make the buy, so now they're supplied, at least. Firinci sends his associate Samir to work for Mujic a bit, and a bit later Samir calls with a report that he heard Mujic mention Klobcuar on the phone (but didn't understand the rest of the conversation). Firinci reaches out to Mujic again, turning the conversation to Klobucar, and saying that Carlsson (rather, Carlsson's alias) had worked with Klobucar before. Hanover whips up a forged document to send along to support this, and lo and behold, Hanover gets a note in a long-disused dead drop email from his old buddy Janos Kurchef, saying that Klobucar reached out to him looking for help. Janos says in the note that he isn't sure if Hanover is really dead, but will give it 8 hours before responds, just in case.

Hanover, for his part, isn't willing to compromise his "I'm dead" advantage, but it's good to know that Klobucar is reaching out. The agents arrange with Mujic to meet with Klobucar, who requests an extraction strategy be in place. The agents decide that they'll meet and then drop back to the nearby city of Konjic with him, hopefully able to interrogate him and get back to Sarajevo before Kornai and company leave.

All in all, caution seems to be suiting them.