Prayer on the 26th of July
Part 3 of the Kingmaker Arc.
|Prayer on the 26th of July|
|Dates run:||March 23, 2008 – March 24, 2008|
|Read the logs:||Prayer on the 26th of July|
"This is not your cab. It is for a very important man. You cannot take this cab!"
During a trip down to Cuba, Xavier's people get wrapped up in a plot to try and overthrow the Cuban government.
As a thank you from Heather Hudson, Garrison is offered use of a beach house just outside of Havana that is owned by the Canadian government. Kane decides to make good on his promise to Clarice from when they were trapped in Iraq, and offers a short vacation to her and Marie. His girlfriend opens it up to some of the grads who went to Canada with him for the conference, thinking a little reward and some socializing might help.
In sunny Cuba, the sun is warm, the company is friendly, and all the little drinks come with umbrellas in them. Leaving a hotel restaurant in town, Clarice, Jane, Jay, and Kevin get into a cab, and are hastily motioned out of it by a frantic priest. They get out, more puzzled than anything, and are twenty meters up the street with another man leaves the hotel and gets into the same cab, which promptly goes up in a fireball.
Later, Kane points out they shouldn't really get involved, although he agrees to talk to the embassy and make a few inquires. The man killed was a middle level government official, and no terrorist has claimed responsibility. Later, at a beachside cafe, while Garrison and Marie are talking to the embassy, the others discover that they are wanted for questioning in the bombing, since they were seen in the taxi. The same priest as before comes and finds them, giving them safe haven in his small country church. Padre Ramone explains that he is a Jesuit and part of a group called the Christian Liberation Movement; a group dedicated to freeing Cuba from Communist rule and religious oppression. Since they've been implicated, he knows people who can get them off the island. However, he also knows they're mutants, and tells them that there is a DGI camp in which they are training mutants to be weapons. He can lead them to it.
Obviously, none of them are planning to assault a camp, but going up and scoping it out to decide whether or not Clarice should be calling in the X-Men is a good idea. After all, if trouble hits, she can teleport them clear. So they go hiking into the Cuban countryside. Meanwhile, Marie and Garrison can't find their fellow vacationers, and have just heard they are wanted for questioning. Kane finally has to pull out his RCMP credentials and goes talking to the local police. He's put in touch with a DGI officer, Armena Ortega, who explains that terrorist actions against Cuba officials (and a few civilians) have been growing, and they suspect they are receiving a lot of funding, perhaps officially.
Up in the countryside, the others at the camp find themselves in the middle of a firefight, and are pressed into the attack, although they mostly focus on getting themselves out of there. There are no mutants that they can see, instead it looking more like a small training camp for police. They slowly make their way back into the road, and into the city only to almost get nabbed by police.
Clarice makes contact with Marie, who comes to collect them. Their information, especially to do with the size of the men going in, their Jesuit nature and equipment makes the DGI come to the conclusion that this is likely being funding through the church, and starts gearing up for a major investigation and crackdown on the church in Cuba, starting with the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de la Habana.
Fortunately, something doesn't add up with either Kane or Ortega about the details. Kane makes a call back to the mansion, specifically to Farouk. Kane's at the point that he's pretty sure Farouk is more than he seems, and might have some information or ways to get information on the Catholic church. Asking if the Jesuits could be involved in funding a clandestine attempt to help overthrow the Cuban government gives Farouk that pained feeling above his left eye. Seizing on the Jesuit element, Farouk makes some inquires to find definitively that the Black Pope is not involved, and suggests talking to the Catholic Bishop. He also passes along another name, Col Ivan Rodriguez, a former DGI agent who worked in the Middle East prior to his retirement. He was one of the premiere men in moving money in and out of Cuba secretly to terror organizations and such. If there's funds coming in, he'll know.
Marie and the others go to talk to Ivan, who discovers that the funds coming into the CLM are going through an old, thought defunct account of Southern Air Inc, a former CIA front company in the Caribbean. Someone is accessing the funds, washing them through the Archdiocese accounts, and feeding it to the CLM. Passing that back to Kane, he and Ortega confront the only man other than the Archbishop who has access, Bishop Atonio, who reveals that he has been the source.
Atonio believes that if the Communist rule of Cuba can be overthrown, a heavily Catholic influenced democratic government will take over. He reveals that he's been supporting the CLM for years, but it wasn't until six months ago, that he was approached by a man calling himself Kingmaker - Phase 1, who simply asked him what he wanted most, and then provided the means to help him try and achieve it. The account was simply put into his hands.
With this, the others are cleared of any charges by the Cuban government and allowed to leave.
Trivia and Meta