So! Last night we were down one character (Lockwood) because her player got called out of town, so she stayed in Zurich to keep an on Marie and Francois. The others head to Paris, and Rousseau got them a safe house (using Celeste, her contact in the Police Nationale).
Rousseau met with Celeste and asked about human trafficking, and got the named Vasily Avilov. Avilov is third-generation Russian mafia, and reported his grandfather started in the KGB. He's young, but dangerous and ruthless - fled to France to avoid arrest in Russia for murder, assault, rape, etc. He's been arrested here but never jailed, and he's smart and connected. And definitely involved in kidnapping tourist girls, getting them addicted, and sending them east.
The characters did some investigating; Hanover and Rousseau went to the law firm that handles Tasse's business and handled Thibault's divorce. Hanover sneaked off and found a computer, hacked into their system and downloaded the relevant files. Simple op.
That night, Smith and David went to the lab (the one that Tasse contracts to do their animal testing; they'd found the samples sent from here when they were in Osijek). They broke in, and David went through the paperwork and found the relevant experiment. The abstract read strangely - it was talking about using a nutritional supplement to help combat chronic fatigue, but in the context of what the PCs knew (i.e., vampires), it looked more like the supplement was meant to make blood more nutritious as a food source.
Smith noted cameras - too sophisticated for this place. He grabbed on and disabled it, but figured they had been spotted. They left, and everyone met back up at the safe house.
The divorce papers seemed to support what the characters suspected - Thibault was paying a lot more than was probably necessary, and Marie had never asked for more money, only reconciliation. In the event of her remarrying, the money continues, but gets paid to his son. It looked like, for all the world, he was protecting them but keeping them distant.
They had the camera from the lab, so Hanover whipped together a device to track its signal. They followed that to a warehouse not far from the lab...and investigating, they found the place stores Tasse goods. It also has a refridgerated section, which indicated to the characters that going in would be a bad. David, then, noticed that the signal was getting distorted, so they bugged out, taking a circuitous route home.
Rousseau had another contact, a priest named Father Michel Dumas. The characters went to Notre Dame so she could met with him, and she sat down in confessional. She asked about human trafficking, and he didn't know anything about Avilov, but agreed to put her in touch with a member of the Knights of Malta (the Vatican's intelligence arm), who might be able to help.
And then she asked about vampires. Dumas was taken aback, but listened to her and her evidence, and then asked: If this was a serial killer, would you stop it? If so, why was this different? Rousseau considered, perhaps regretting leaving three vampires in Osijek who were killing nightly.
She left, and David (and then the others) noticed a man taking pictures of Rousseau. David walked up on him and stuck him with a needle, and the men took him to the bathroom. His passport (Russian) identified him as Mikhael Golubov. They stole the memory card from his camera and cloned his smartphone, and then the agents separated and met back at the safe house.
The pictures on the phone were all of Rousseau, but they started at the church. Doing some data recovery, they found older pictures of women at the airport. Rousseau ran those faces through some recognition software - several had been reported missing, some had turned up dead. Golubov, apparently, worked for Vasily.
His smartphone confirmed that. Someone sent him an email with a picture of Rousseau, telling him to follow her and find where she went. The photo, Rousseau realized, was taken after she met with her contact in Sarajevo, Ivana Zisek. Ivana, apparently, had been made.
One of the girls on the list was still in France; she'd been arrested for solicitation (Olive Parent). The characters figured they'd better make contact with her, and they needed to find out how Golubov traced Rousseau to the church. So far, it seemed they'd only made Rousseau.
- How did Golubov find Rousseau?
- How did the conspiracy turn Ivana?
- What, if anything, does Vasily know?
I think that Vasily actually doesn't know anything about the conspiracy. He knows to send girls on east, but assumes it's just for prostitution. He did not send the emails to Golubov; that was the conspiracy (which the PCs can discover if they dig into the emails a little more; the ISP is from Sarajevo).
But how did the conspiracy know to send Golubov to Notre Dame? Hmm. Obviously the conspiracy found Ivana and broke her; that's easy. Ivana knows Rousseau's real name and location. Since the conspiracy has footage of the van outside the warehouse (because of course they do), and they know Rousseau is a driver, they focused on that. If the PCs look into how they traced Rousseau, they can find out.
Ivana isn't dead yet; the conspiracy is thinking of making her a puppeteer. Let's wait until Rousseau and company make a decision about what to do with her.
So, next time: I'll want to have Lockwood get into town, which might turn into a thing. And meeting with Olive Parent, as well.