Sunday, 24 June 2018

Rats In The ATM (Night's Black Agents, Mumbai)

Only time for a quick one this week as there's a lot on. Among other things I'm directing a play - first read-through today - and making a cheesecake for my birthday, cos I like cheesecake. ;)

This one borrows from Ken Hite's Looking Glass Mumbai as well as this article about an ATM whose contents were devoured by rats.

Now to the story seed:

Making Bank

This broadcast is a one-day silly season attention getter for most media outlets, but for the agents it's a different story. There's enough detail in the Indian press to indicate the involvement of a Bhuta, possibly more than one. Although the Western press have only picked up on the ATM incident it's clear from Hindi outlets that this is the third incident of its type in the last three weeks. It's the first to involve an ATM; the other two were less eye-catching. Interesting side note: all three events have taken place within walking distance of Antilia, allegedly the largest private home in the world. Moreover a 0-point Traffic Analysis or similar discovers that at least one member of the Antilia's staff were near or on the site of each incident moments before it occurred. In fact a senior staff member was the last person to use the ATM before its rodent infestation. Is this Conspiracy action, or something else?

Option One: Unwelcome Guests. It's a curious fact known to few (1 point High Society or similar) but the family that built Antilia don't live in it. They hold parties and events there, but as soon as the last guest leaves so do they. Rumor has it this is because they fear bad luck; experts say the building has bad Vastu Shastra. The experts aren't wrong; the building has become a magnet for Bhuta. In fact the building is so crammed with spirits that some of them are ranging out into the wider world in search of excitement. The staff are very well paid and know better than to tell anyone about what's going on, particularly foreigners; no amount of reassurance or bribery will work on them, though Intimidation mixed with Occult Studies or Vampirology might. It's not the Conspiracy this time - but getting too close might get someone hurt or killed.

Option Two: Shot Across the Bow. The local Conspiracy Node is leaning on Reliance Industries, which is controlled by Mukesh Ambani, owner of Antilia. Reliance is in a range of different industries from petrochem to telecom, retail, and special economic development, so the Director's free to choose which of those lines the Conspiracy is interested in. Reliance also does business with Russian interests, so depending on the nature of your Conspiracy it might be his Russian friends that got him in this fix. Regardless, the Conspiracy is making its position plain: so far we haven't hurt you - but we could. Submit. Rescuing Ambani from this threat could earn the agents a powerful friend, the kind that can grant Excessive Funds.

Option Three: Good Staff is Hard to Find. A senior member of staff (of a total of 600) has drifted too close to the vampires. She might have found a Conspiracy asset or an unaligned bloodsucker, but whichever it was snacked heartily. The staff member didn't quite die, but it was a very close thing. Now her paramour wants to seal the deal - it wants a loyal Renfield at Antilia, and thinks the staff member is ripe for the plucking. However the frightened woman is hiding in Antilia, and there is some Bane or other preventing the vampire from getting in and taking what it wants. The Bhuta are a side-effect of the vampire's presence; it can't get rid of the things, much as it would like to.


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