Night’s Black Agents: A Romanian Rendezvous

Previously, the Agents completed a week-long mission at Inish Medical, a multinational medical corporation that was using the haemocanis serum derived from blood of certain East European dog breeds to give vampiric abilities to their subjects. Inish appeared to have larger, more diabolical plans for the serum application. It was up to them to discover what.

The Agents began a new mission: to gather intel on Romania. Inish took interest in criminal underworld in Bucharest, who helped them acquire special breeds of dogs in Romania before the Heimdall débâcle.

They also had a secondary mission: to extract their ally Vienna “Vin” Cesarescu from Inish’s task force – the R-Team – that had a job to do in Romania. Vin was a Romani woman who displayed vampiric symptoms and abilities even before Inish abducted her and forced her to work for them. R-Team would be arriving in Bucharest on Saturday.

Title image created by GM Kai

The Romanian Orphan Job

DAY 01 Thursday

King Valentin’s Lair

Jacob Novazembla, freshly bitten by Vin several days ago during the Inish mission, had arrived a day earlier at the sea port of Constanța on a solo assignment to King Valentin a.k.a The Devil’s Husband, a leader of a Romanian criminal organisation. (Jacob’s player was absent, so he was relegated to the role of an NPC.) King Valentin’s distrust of Jacob was alleviated when he sniffed his odour. When Jacob refused his insistence, King Valentin’s men grabbed him and pulled down his pants for a visual confirmation. Valentin dropped his own pants as well to show what they both had in common.

Vampiric bite mark at the nether regions, caused by Vin. “The smell is unmistakable,” Valentin remarked.

Then, still pantless, he embraced Jacob with glee and growled happily, “WE ARE BROTHERS!”

Valentin agreed to help the Agents.

Jacob wished his pants were back on.

DAY 02 Friday

Chelaru’s Club, Bucharest

Sami Härkönen, Shiina “Misha” Mikado and Zlatan Kljujic arrived in Bucharest Thursday morning. They had a rendezvous with a French thief named Marcel Clouseau at a grimy dive named Chelaru’s Club, which was owned by Smash Chelaru, King Valentin’s loyal employee. The club was filled with dangerous-looking, rough and tumble individuals in dark glasses, leather jacket and stank of motorcycle oil. The Numa Numa song was playing.

Clouseau confirmed that he had been contracted by two foreigners – both named Jones – to steal puppies from Bucharest Animal Control some weeks ago. The puppies had been taken aboard the container ship Heimdall at the port of Constanța.

The Agents realised that they were very familiar with the Heimdall and the two Jones.

Clouseau agreed to take the Agents to meet his contact Anton B in Constanța.

Upon leaving Chelaru’s they spotted a woman shadowing them. She was easily spotted, so she was not in the business. When Chelaru’s men cornered her and threatened physical violence the team intervened, promising Chelaru that she would be dealt with. The woman, Georgeta Andrea Grigore, was a Romani anti-human trafficking activist. When they were all in the Lada heading out of Bucharest, they convinced Georgeta that she was safe from them. But she needed to stay out of sight and incommunicado.

Voluntari Arms, Voluntari

The Agents put her up at Voluntari Arms, a bed and breakfast in the suburb of Voluntari with resources to hide for two weeks. If the Agents did not return for her in the interim, she was free to go for better or for worse. Georgeta warned them that by working with Chelaru, they were condoning the efforts of human traffickers. The Agents told her that Chelaru was not an ally; just a means to an end: to destroy an even dire threat.

They did not tell her that the threat was a vampire army.

Game and Ball, Constanța

Several hours later, they arrived at the Game and Ball, a decrepit waterfront game arcade at Constanța where Clouseau usually found Anton B. When his ex-wife Nadia yelled out that the Agents were looking for him, Anton B appeared in a grimy chef’s apron and told them to wait as he cleaned up. Sami walked up to the video games with coins in hand.

Anton ran out the back door and hopped onto his scooter, which could not be started up because Zlatan (spent a point of Preparedness and) had disabled its starter motor. A second later, Zlatan emerged from the shadows and his elbow was at Anton’s neck, pinning him onto the wall. Anton was hoping that they had not been sent by his other ex-wife Tatiana.

Meanwhile in the arcade, the Street Fighter game that Sami was playing had ended, the Game Over countdown reflected on his dark glasses ominously.

Sami Härkönen hard at work

Game over

Clouseau burst out the back door and told Anton that the Agents were friends. They needed some information about the last job Clouseau did for Anton. Anton told them that the dogs were needed by a foreign company that brought a lot of money into Romania. This organisation will be back on Saturday to corral stray dogs in Bucharest by working with the Bucharest Park Administration. The operation will be held near Lake Titan in Titan Park.

It was late at night en route back to Bucharest when Chelaru called the Agents. He told them that there would be a job offered by Keller Training that the Agents might be interested about: to capture stray dogs on Sunday. If Keller Training was Inish Medical’s R-Team, the only person who could infiltrate them would be the Clouseau.

DAY 03 Saturday

Keller Recruitment Office, Bucharest

Clouseau’s meeting with the Keller Training recruiters went well in the morning. Two other men were also chosen, the bulky and muscular Drago and Petru, both looking obviously ex-military. An older woman named Doctor Ana who represented the Bucharest City Council performed a physical examination on and cleared all three of them for the job on Sunday at the Harmony Wings apartment complex cluster in Titan.

King Valentin arrived without Jacob to warn the Agents not to do anything rash or destructive to Valentin’s interests, lest both Drago and Petru would snap Clouseau like a twig during the Harmony Wings job.

Bucharest City Council, Bucharest

Keller Training’s connection to the Bucharest City Council was Councilman Emil Ionescu. Misha used her Mary Anne Featherworth cover, a journalist for the London Gazette, for an interview with Ionescu to dig up more details about Keller Training’s plans. Zlatan tagged along as Stewart Cooper, photographer for the London Gazette. Misha secured an interview through Ionescu’s secretary Maria who was taken in by Mary Anne’s charm.

During the interview, Ionescu explained about how Keller Training would help eradicate the stray dog problem in Bucharest, something that had troubled the city since the days of Nicolae Ceaușescu. He also waxed lyrical about current socio-political problems of the city, including Romania’s refugee issue. As Misha conducted the interview, Zlatan took pictures as well as planted bugs successfully in Ionescu’s office.

After the interview was over and Ionescu had to leave, Zlatan decided he needed to go through the files in the councilman’s computer. It was a Saturday and Misha asked Maria out for a coffee at a café down the street.

Sunrise Hotel, Bucharest

Meanwhile, Sami and Clouseau headed to Sunrise Hotel, where Keller Training was booked for a stay after their arrival later today. He planned on scouting the hotel and if possible plant a bug in their rooms.

There was an international trade event at the Sunrise Hotel. It was bustling with activity. Newcomers were checking in. Bus boys were calling out and gesturing. Exhibitors were setting up their booth displays. Security guards were being extra careful.

When Sami distracted the desk clerk, Clouseau flipped through the booking registry book and discovered that Keller Training had booked the entire second floor. He informed the others that from the book that the CEO of Keller Training was Willam Messner.

Clouseau also identified the hotel’s security chief keeping an eye on the hustle and bustle at the lobby.

Sami then went to an office building across the street. He found a small unoccupied office that should be empty over the weekend and set up a temporary base of operations there. Sami noted that every window on the second floor had their curtains drawn.

Before he could cross the street back to the hotel, Sami was faced with a homeless woman with a shopping cart and a pet dog. Sami had the sudden compulsion to go to the store to buy some dog food. But he snapped out of it (thanks to a successful Stability check). The bag lady and her dog sauntered away from Sami.

Or was that “the dog and its bag lady”?

Sami scouted the second floor hallway of the hotel and spotted a Bucharest police officer guarding it. What was a police officer doing guarding this floor? Sami contacted Clouseau via his earbud to acquire intel from his local law enforcement contacts. Clouseau’s contact Lieutenant Dumitrescu informed him of a cadre of policemen who was paid by Keller Training to be their local bodyguards. This group was led by one Lieutenant Julian Dragani from Constanța.

Sami went up to the policeman and played the role of a covert force sent by Keller to check up on the security arrangements of the delegation. “If you knew I was here doing my job, then I would not be doing my job well.” The policeman who identified himself as Gabor was unnerved enough to call in Lieutenant Dragani.

Bucharest City Council, Bucharest

Maria the secretary wasbeing interviewed by Misha at a cafe down the street when Zlatan crept back into Ionescu’s deserted office. Turning on Maria’s desktop computer, he found that the operating system therein was almost as old as his country. He accessed Maria’s email contacts and calendar, and made quick printouts. He then turned to the glass-paned door to Ionescu’s room. It was locked. He tried to hard to wrench it open and the door fell off its hinges, smashing onto the floor with its panes cracked. There was no covering this up before Maria returned.

He quickly planted his covert listening devices. Then a plan formed in his head.

Sunrise Hotel, Bucharest

Dragani arrived with the hotel security chief Mr. John. Sami – who had enigmatically identified himself as “Uncle István” – named names that only Inish would know and causing a big scene. “How is it possible I am able to get this far onto the second floor without security being alerted? Do you know what would happen if Mr. Messner hears of this?”

In the meantime, Clouseau used the distraction to creep into the room that was reserved for the highest Keller personnel and planted covert listening devices. The room was totally darkened by heavy curtains. As if sunlight was forbidden here. When he was done, he saw that Sami’s ruse was still a distraction. He made a quick and silent exit off the floor.

Dragani was unsure what to do. If this “Uncle István” truly was a Keller security representative, it would not be wise to anger him. He made a call, then turned to Sami, “Stay here. With me. Do not move. Mr. Messner’s party is en route from the airport.”

Bucharest City Council, Bucharest

It was the end of the day and Maria wanted to return to the office to pick her things up before going home. Misha knew from comms that Zlatan had broken Ionescu’s door, tried her best to delay her. (I had rolled for Zlatan a Infiltration 6 to leap over and sneak into a building construction site, the rolled a Mechanics 6 to commandeer a tower crane.) Suddenly a great big metal hook assembly from a hoisting jib far overhead swung past the duo and slammed right into the outer wall beside the window of Ionescu’s office, shattering the glass. Maria leapt into Misha’s arms in terror.

Meanwhile, Zlatan snuck away undetected, glad that the broken door would be blamed on the crane accident.

Sunrise Hotel, Bucharest

The Messner party arrived, which included Inish’s R-Team representatives Faris Barrar, Mr. Chow and Vin.

Vin caught sight of Sami, noticed the spot he was in and quickly pulled the lieutenant aside, verifying his story and praising Dragani for doing a good job with security, excusing him from the premises. Then, before Barrar and Chow realised Uncle István had quietly slipped away into the night.

Sami headed out to meet with Clouseau, Misha and Zlatan at their temporary base of operations across the street and prepared for the next day: The Harmony Wings dog hunt at Titan.

To be continued.

Posted in GOKL Actual Play, Nights Black Agents: Agents of KL, Role Playing Games, RPG Actual Play, RPG Campaigns and tagged , , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.