Night’s Black Agents: The Quiet Week At Brentford

I missed the last two Night’s Black Agents RPG sessions.

Since infiltrating the freighter Heimdall in the Irish Sea, Nikolai Kaidanovsky, Sami Harkonen, Shiina “Misha” Mikado, Zlatan Kljulic and Abraham von Helsing the Russian borzoi hound (all wearing keffiyehs – even Abe) escaped and sank the ship killing the vampire hounds in the cargo compartment. They abducted the surviving technician Jones who told them everything he knew about the Emartech Pharmaceuticals‘ and Inish Medical Group‘s plans to use the haemocanis parasite-infected blood from Eastern Europe dogs for nefarious purposes. Before returning to London, Jones had to take a walk with Zlatan because he knew too much and could identify the agents.

It was time to stake out Inish. They rendezvous with Jacob Novazembla – who had returned from Italy – at their headquarters, while Misha had to forego the mission to visit her daughter. Before heading to Brentford in Ealing, Sami put Abe in the care of his dog handler contact out in the country.

The entire town of Brentford was under the thumb of Inish Medical. The Inish headquarters complex was a large building overlooking a golf course. A lot of the local town services were contracted to Inish, such as security, medical and waste disposal. Information out of the town was monitored and filtered by Inish.

The founder of Inish Medical, Donal Inish, had died in a helicopter crash many years ago, leaving a wife. Among the confirmed vampires at Inish were Farris Barrar the Vice President of Safety who was the one that Misha saw tear the small-time mob boss Gary Camon into pieces. They also suspected one Mister Chow of being a vampire as well.

Jacob’s contact at Blackberry Benny Snowden informed him that Inish was installing hardware and software in their servers that would allow encrypted communications for important employees via brand new Blackberry 10s. Jacob would infiltrate the heart of Inish Medical as “Rory Winston” one of the Blackberry employees tasked with installing and configuring the new gear. His real mission is to install a back door to their secured servers which the agents would be able to access.

Jacob, as Rory, got in easily enough. He was chaperoned by Anise, a beautiful Inish employee. While Jacob charmed the IT team over the course of five days, Nikolai, Sami and Zlatan stayed in B&Bs in town monitoring the situation. The IT team loved Jacob. They even went on a pub crawl that led to a brawl with some football hooligans, which the IT team later said they’d enjoyed! Jacob also learnt that Jessica Ellis, Zlatan’s failed date (to put it lightly) and former Emartech employee from the Cardiff mission, was an informal security consultant there as well.

It was during the fifth day that Jacob, escorted by Anise, bumped into Vienna “Vin” Cesarescu, the vampire who was once their prisoner. She had been a member of the Camon Gang who was abducted by Inish Medical after the murder of Gary Camon and destruction of the group. Vin looked pale and anaemic.

In the deserted hallway, Vin hypnotised Anise, clouding her mind while she pleaded Jacob for help. She would meet him in the Rehabilitation Clinic level of the headquarters the next morning.

The pharmaceutical industry has gone to the dogs

Inish Medical

AND NOW THE CONCLUSION!

Day 06: The Penultimate Day

Information From Vienna

The Rehab Clinic took an entire ground floor of the Inish headquarters. It faced the golf course, although there was a security moat that prevented golfers from entering the facility grounds. Sami and Zlatan took up a reconnaissance position from within the bushes in the golf course. Encrypted comms allowed them radio contact with each other. Once in a while, golf balls would zip near their heads dangerously.

Vin and Jacob, without any chaperones or escorts, met in an exercise cubicle in the clinic. She begged Jacob and the team help her escape from Inish. Jacob asked her for information.

Vin told him everything she knew: After she was abducted from the Camon Gang, she was taken to the Inishes’ private residence on Kilin Island in the Bay of Donegal, north of Ireland. She had discovered that the head of the organisation was Donal Inish’ widow Ruth, who was Vin’s long lost sister, whisked away by human traffickers when they were both children. Ruth also possessed Vin’s vampiric characteristics. Upon marrying Donal Inish, she climbed to the top of the organisation and worked to control other entities such as government and criminal organisations. Ruth’s plan was to “unite the world” using the medical technology derived from the haemocanis bacteria and the shadowy origins of the lampir mythology.

The Russian Mafia had refused to submit to her. Vin had been instated as Inish Medical Marketing Division’s Eastern European Specialist. In a week, she would be accompanying the R Team – a squad of Inish troubleshooters – to Bucharest. They would be negotiating for territory and manpower with King Valentin, a Romani smuggling chief in Romania. After that acquiring the Romanian foothold, the R Team would make a push into Russian territory – with extreme prejudice if need be.

Vin would like to escape Inish because Ruth had terrified her; fed on her blood at her home, then transferred her to be held in Inish headquarters. Drugs had kept her docile and weak.

Vin also described Ruth’s fortress on Kilin Island: a modern mansion with ultra-high security, a radar, an armed detachment of Inish Security Division personnel and a pack of security dogs. The latter two had vampiric abilities and unaffected by the sun, thanks to refinements to the haemocanis blood serum.

Jacob thanked Vin for her intel and told her to stand by for new instructions. She hoped that she would be given a Blackberry 10.

Back at his B&B, Nikolai had contacted his former superior General Kerensky using secured communications. The General told him to look for Julian Dragani, their contact and a police lieutenant in Constanța, Romania. Dragani had reported two weeks earlier that there was a police crackdown on foreign smugglers. Were the local smugglers now left unchecked and without any competition, and why?

By Kenneth Hite

Night’s Black Agents cover

Meanwhile, Sami was online checking out armoured personnel carrier that they could buy in Sofia, Bulgaria en route to Bucharest. Zlatan agreed that being in a safely-locked, rolling tin can and running over vampires might be preferable to engaging them in close quarters combat.

Information from Inish’s Servers

At lunch time, Misha arrived from London to meet up with Nikolai, Sami and Zlatan in a local tea house.

She informed them that her neighbour had been bitten by a dog and she had taken the boy to a local clinic. At the clinic the doctor had used a National Dog Bite Analysis Kit as part of the treatment. The kit had been provided to the doctor freely by Inish Medical. The doctor was directed to test dog bite victims and to return the used kit to the Inish Veterinarian Research Centre. Misha had discovered that Inish ignored bite inquiries from most types of dogs. But Inish replied emails immediately when a patient had been bitten by a Siberian husky.

Upon receiving the new information, Jacob broke into Inish’s servers.  He found that searches for “Ruth Inish”, “Jessica Ellis”, various Inish VPs and managers, types of dogs (“borzoi”, “husky”), their projects (“haemocanis”, “dog bite analysis”) and their contacts, such as government offices and organisations were flagged. Sidestepping the flag, Jacob discovered several things.

Firstly, there were training files that briefed personnel without security clearance on the basics of the organisation’s procedures. Files on Security Division revealed that their personnel had extensive military tactics training and experience. Also, there was a file that featured training on handling of deadly wild animals.

Secondly, Jacob found an email chain in which Jessica Ellis was a participant that suggested that the dog bite kit was one of hundreds of thousands that had been distributed by Inish Medical to all NHS and private clinics, vets, Red Cross branches and even to school medical stations. Inish Veterinarian Research Centre, Jacob found, was a small operation in Wadford, run by one Edwin Welch.

Was Inish setting up a nationwide database for dog bites and the spread of the haemocanis blood parasite in the populace?

Upon returning to his room, he bumped into Anise, who told him that Faris Barrar would like to have a briefing with him about the Blackberry upgrades in the morning, on his final day at Inish. Anise professed to enjoying Jacob’s company and hoped that Jacob would join Inish. She would gladly recommend him to Human Resources.

Jacob feared that Barrar had uncovered his true identity and use his hypnotic talents to elicit the truth out of Jacob. He contacted the others for a stimulant to help strengthen his mind against hypnotic interrogation.

Meanwhile, Zlatan followed a Security Division car that left the Inish compound, heading into Brentford. The car stopped to meet what seemed to be a pimp and pick up an eager young, garishly-dressed man at a townhouse. The car returned to Inish with the young man.

Within Inish, Jacob saw Security Division escort the young man to Mister Chow ‘s suite, on his way to meet with the IT Division group before heading out to town.

A Night Out

By the time IT Division was having a lot of drunken mirth at the pub, Nikolai had finished concocting his adrenaline-based stimulant and Misha covertly passed it to Jacob in the rest room. The pub crawl ended without incident.

Upon returning to Inish, Jacob spotted Mister Chow in his underwear, standing proudly and looking refreshed on his suite’s balcony, enjoying the evening air.

The Security Division car was on the move again. Zlatan shadowed it back to the town-house. The young man, who was now barely clothed and appeared weak and pale, was being returned to the pimp.

Day 07: The Final Day

Barrar’s Briefing

The next morning, Jacob took the stimulant and was brought to Inish headquarters Tech Centre. Barrar and four Security Division guards awaited him. He hoped that the vampire wouldn’t be able to dull his senses and ask him incriminating questions.

But the stimulant worked too well. He felt wired and on edge.

Before Jacob was asked any questions, Barrar came close, sniffed him and asked if he was fine. Despite his assurance, Barrar called for the nurse from the infirmary to tend to Jacob. The nurse reported that his heart rate was unusually heightened. Before she could take a blood sample, Jacob told them that they were pub crawling the previous night and he might have taken something inappropriate.

Barrar told him to take the day off and relax. They would try again the next day. Anise was directed to ensure Jacob relaxed all day. Anise took him out for lunch and dinner, and let him nap in between. By evening, Nikolai’s stimulant had been burned out of his system.

A Night Out Redux

As Jacob and Anise were having dinner together, there was another anomalous vehicle traffic at the Inish headquarters. Three Security Division cars with Barrar and Chow left the compound for the Brentford police station. Zlatan tailed them discreetly as usual. Parked from a safe distance, Zlatan used a laser surveillance system to listen in. The duo had been called to identify a dead body. Chow seemed extremely submissive to Barrar. Apparently, the young man Chow had over the previous night had been found dead from blood loss. Barrar chided Chow over the corpse in the police mortuary. Chow needed to be more careful.

Zlatan was not surprised when Barrar and Chow returned to their cars without the police asking any questions.

Somehow the notes there were turned into this blog post

Interior art

Back at Inish, Anise walked Jacob to this room and they bade each other good night. As soon as the door was closed, Jacob sensed that he was not alone in his room. Someone was in the bathroom. Although aware of this, he was unprepared for someone to leap out onto him, knocking him back to the door and slumped onto the floor. It was Vin. Despite her weakened state, the vampire still had an iron grip.

“I got out. Help me now!” But Jacob couldn’t possibly spirit her away from Inish headquarters overnight, not without blowing his cover.

“It’s okay. Let me have your blood. I need to feed. I’m so hungry and weak. Just let me have a bite. I will not kill you. I need you. Please.”

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. It was Anise. “Rory, is everything alright? I heard a noise.”

Jacob whispered in distress, “If you bite me, you’ll leave a mark. I have a meeting with Barrar tomorrow morning. They’ll know.”

Anise kept knocking, “Rory? Are you alright?”

Vienna whispered, “Leave it to me.” In a single move, she undid his belt and pulled down his trousers. Jacob tried pry her hands away but she was far stronger. She lowered her head, put her lips to his inner left thigh and bit.

“RORY?” The banging on the door became louder.

(If he’d failed his Stability check, he would have been paralysed with fear. Thankfully he rolled a 6.)

“I’m fine, Anise. I ate something bad tonight. I’ll be all right in the morning. See you tomorrow.” It took all his willpower for his voice not to quake.

“Good night, Rory.” Anise left.

After some time, the slurping between his thighs stopped. Vin looked sated, her lips smudged blood red. She looked much stronger now. Minutes later, she had patched up the bite wound with first aid gear from the bathroom. If tomorrow was Jacob’s last day Vin would not see him until their Romania rendezvous a week from then.

She told Jacob that Inish was monitoring all Eastern European and Russian dog breeds in the United Kingdom via radio locators. This included borzois. The London Pure and Mixed Breed Society was involved. Didn’t the agents purchase the Abe from them?

She would also be provided a Blackberry 10, so now the agents would be able to track her via Jacob’s back door in Inish’s systems. She could also leave dead drop messages on public webmail services.

Jacob said, “Please leave.” She thanked him for his blood and left silently without any further incident.

Exhausted from a night’s activities, Jacob fell unconscious onto his bed immediately.

Day 08: An Extra Day

Barrar’s Briefing Redux

Morning sun washed over the golf course as Sami and Zlatan hid in bushes, sniper rifle and comms gear deployed.

Sami: “You think he got some last night?” They both looked at each other and together said, “NAAAAH!”

A moment later, Sami: “You think he got bitten by a vampire last night?” Again: “NAAAAH!”

Comms with Jacob was re-established. His morning briefing did not go well. He looked haggard and unkempt, thanks to a combination of Nikolai’s adrenaline cocktail and loss of blood. Barrar did not believe that Jacob was healthy and suddenly insisted the nurse test him with the National Dog Bite Analysis Kit. Jacob was alarmed as Security Division held him as the nurse did her work. It should have alerted them to the haemocanis bacteria in his bloodstream, from the bite the previous night.

But somehow it did not, much to his bewilderment.

The briefing ended. Barrar shook his hand and bade him farewell, thanking him for Blackberry’s services and left. Anise took him to the IT Division where a farewell party was held and a customised beer stein (with “RORY” etched onto its side) was gifted unto him. Anise hoped that he would apply for a position with Inish as she would very much like to meet him again.

Before noon, “Rory Winston” was on his way back to London on a bus while the agents tailed him from a discreet distance in their car.

Driving East

Back at Jacob’s base of operations near University of London. The agents figured that it would be safer to leave Abe at the farm while they execute their new mission: to extract Vienna Cesarescu in Romania and to thwart Ruth Inish’s plans there.

As the began to drive eastward, Zlatan asked, “Jacob, rough night last night?”

Before Jacob could answer, Zlatan and Sami both chorused, “NAAAAH!”

A new mission begins.

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.