Operation: Lie Back and Think of England
|Opeation: Lie Back and Think of England|
|Dates run:||September 1-7, 2010|
|Read the logs:||Operation: Lie Back and Think of England|
“Dexter Bennett is dead. Died in Switzerland five years ago. I don’t know who you are, but we can prove dat you not Bennett. Dat goes public tomorrow.” Remy said, flatly. “Doesn’t really matter who you are, honestly. I want to know who is giving de orders.”
X-Force unearth a bewildering conspiracy in the wake of the recent election in Britain.
A contact of Pete Wisdom's inside British Intelligence passes along a tidbit of information following the recent elections in the UK. The British have been concerned with the possibility of electoral fraud, and have launched a secret internal investigation into a wide range of possible voting irregularities which could be signs of manipulating the vote. One area, Rutland & Melton, was the target of scrutiny following the election of Dexter Bennett of the Conservatives. Bennett, who had been born in the region, had spent most of his career as a high level executive in the health and pharmaceutical industry outside of Britain, and only returned two years ago, retiring following a buyout of his existing company and a hugely profitable sale of stock. Bennett joined the Tories, and began to campaign along the further right wing elements of the party’s agenda. Rutland & Melton is a largely rural district with a Tory history, but it remains surprising that it would elect a candidate who was exposed to have ties with the BNP and UKIP. Wisdom's contact wasn't able to find any indications of voter manipulation, but did run across some communications with the candidate and any unknown group about something called The 'Mosley Initiative'. When Wisdom attempts to follow up with his contact, the man has disappeared, leaving Wisdom to conclude he was killed for having access to the information.
X-Force travels over to Britain and launches a quiet investigation along three lines; one group shadows Bennett and his people, looking for any clues to his plans; one group begins to piece together his history outside of Britain and his subsequent return; one group goes looking for information about the Mosley Initiative. Doug, Jubilee, Amanda and Sofia arrive in Melton-Mowbray in England to investigate the election irregularities there; Wanda, Emma and Sarah infiltrate a medical research building and steal some files; and in Switzerland, Farouk sets up a meeting with the head of Agria Research with Remy and Ororo as back up.
During the investigation, the following items begin to appear:
- Bennett's last company, Agria Research, was secretly part of Strucker's corporate group, and it was 'sold' to another company in the group, apparently the only advantage being to pay out certain people, like Bennett.
- Agria recently won a maintenance contract with the British National Health services as a producer of the official anthrax vaccine.
- Bennett's history has significant gaps in the last five years, with apparently no direct personal connections from that time period.
- While Bennett is retired, he has invested heavily in a British medical research company which develops and produces vaccines and retroviruses.
- Three of the men working for Bennett are former Bundeswehr KSK troops, and research into their past ties them into the mercenary units employed by Rumlow.
- Bennett had a significant number of 'volunteers' from outside the district working on his campaign.
Quickly, ties between Bennett and the Strucker group of companies are coming apparent and his campaign obviously had outside help in order to win. However, as far as they can find, Bennett didn't break any major campaign laws (although bent as many as any other politician), so he remains the legitimate elected official. However, as their investigations grow, they begin to find more evidence that there is a wider plot in place. The team investigating his past makes the biggest break in Europe, as they find a local doctor who knew Bennett personally, and more importantly, performed the autopsy on his body.
Bennett had apparently been killed in a skiing accident in late 2005. However, no records exist of the autopsy or his death. In England, investigation of the medical research company turns up secret documentation that shows the vaccine that the government has been stockpiling through Agria is actually tainted, so while it looks chemically identical, it spreads anthrax as opposed to vaccinates against it. Finally, the team on Bennett cracks the plan for the Mosley Initiative; it involves a bio-attack in Croydon, targeting the Indian population there. The NHS response to administer the vaccine would not only spread the outbreak, but undermine the continued use of the vaccine and the government's ability to respond. The medical research company would offer a real vaccine that would be bought at high cost by the government, and stop the outbreak from spreading much beyond the immigrant areas.
Bennett, as an MP, would spend the months before the outbreak decrying the health dangers of Britain's non-white population, famously warning of an epidemic or religious based attack that would one day strike England through them. With his anti-government, anti-immigrant measures tailored as the effective response to the disaster, he would become a heavily powerful voice as the Conservatives bank further right, and also gain immense political power and wealth in the process.
The fake Bennett is confronted with the evidence and given the option of suicide in exchange for information. The potential damage the information could cause, along with revealing that they are searching for his masters means that turning him over to the authorities is not a viable option. Bennett reveals information, and a telepathic scan - with Emma and Wanda working in concert to avoid telepathic boobytraps - confirms that this man was psionically and genetically rebuilt to be Bennett and believe it, but the real Bennett is long dead. He doesn't name specific people, but indicates he reports to a group called HYDRA before committing suicide.
Trivia and Meta
This Operation was Ororo's first as a member of X-Force.
Following having to use her powers in a completely new way, Wanda suffered headaches and nosebleeds for several weeks.