Sunday, 18 December 2016

Why Vampires? (Night's Black Agents, Dracula Dossier)

Only a short one this week, as my Sunday is packed. At some point before the New Year I want to talk about Cthulhu Confidential, which I'm reading through in fits and starts. Probably next week ...

Vampires exist. What can they do? Who do they own? Where is safe? How much is legend, and what is the truth?

Edom ... reminded MI6 that they already had the perfect asset for retaliation: a superhuman killer who had spent decades of his life at war with Islam. And Dracula was completely deniable - he was downright fictional!

Is that the whole story, I wonder?

At some point Edom had to justify its dark web of batty assets to its paymasters, and if all it had to offer was a killer or killers, I wonder if Edom would have been tapped for the job. After all, killers are ten a penny. Even after you've gone through the official channels and secured SAS wetworkers there's always chancers like the legendary Increment out there, never mind a huge pool of off-the-books talent scattered all over Europe.

Dracula's killing edge is better than most, but you don't need a sledgehammer to crack walnuts and more often than not the 'terrorist cells' you're trying to break are a bunch of kids led on by the promises of senior members. There will be times when the threat's more severe, the plot more complex, but when the plan is 'drive a truck through a crowd' you're not in Blofeld territory any more. In such a world, what's needed?

The same thing the Village always needs: Information.  

Awareness allows Clairvoyance, or psychic remote viewing. It can also allow the vampire to see through the eyes of any human that drank its blood. Infection, according to the main book, leads to Dominance. It can also lead to Plague, but presumably Edom's keeping that bit quiet; no need to introduce bioterror into an already volatile mix. Invisibility is better than planting a bug. The asset just walks in, gets the information, and walks out again. Magic opens up all sorts of intelligence-gathering possibilities. Vampires with psychic powers or which can attack through dreams allow for remote targeting of opfor targets. Possession allows a vampiric operative to attend a clandestine meeting as one of the invited guests. Voice Mimicry allows the user to convince others she's a friend - perfect for telephone conversations or Skype, assuming the vampire can be conventionally recorded or transmitted.

If I were Edom's bigwigs, I wouldn't talk up the wetworking, plausibly deniable or not. I'd present MI6 with at least one and preferably more than one enemy cell all wrapped up, each of them infiltrated and drained by my existing Vampire asset - if I have one. If I don't, I point out prior cases in which Vampires use their abilities to infiltrate intelligence networks, emphasize that Edom already has counterintel techniques to prevent this happening to British networks, and suggest that bringing these superlative intelligence-gatherers on board is the perfect way to get the one thing every intelligence network is starved for: information.

If my Jacks can adopt some or all of these attributes through Seward Serum, I might also point out that so long as I have a source of serum we don't need these temperamental and erratic SBAs when we can do the job in-house. Just help us secure that source of serum, and we do the rest.

Oh, and that Village we've been building in Wales? Don't worry about that. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Talk soon!

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