X-Men Mission: Eric The Red
|Eric The Red|
|Dates run:||April 24-26, 2009|
|Read the logs:||X-Men Mission: Eric The Red|
"Rumours were that they were involved in the virtual annexing of Sri Lanka by India. People are calling it a genocide." David said. "Past that, all we know are rumours. The only positive thing I can say is that the Indonesian Navy has given way to the Indians for the capture, so it will only be one major nation hunting you." He said with a kind of grim humour.
Part 5 of the Imperium Stratagem.
Christopher Summers contacted the mansion with a rather urgent request for help near his operating base in Madripoor. One of Summers' biggest issues has been slavery, and he's been particularly harsh on the trade over the years. As he explains, he's not the only one, and now one of his allies had stumbled on a much larger issues than they ever expected.
For a while now, a few independent crews have been getting whispers about Indonesia secretly turning their mutant population into a profitable resource. Focused on rural and minority elements of the population, the Indonesian government has been 'harvesting' potential young mutants and shipping them into slavery. They decided to strike back, 'pirating' several of the ships, and getting the children to aid agencies they trusted in Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, Japan, and other countries.
During this time, they concealed their identities from others by adopting an ancient Madripoor moniker; Eric the Red. The X-Men sought out the advice of Amahl Farouk about the political elements that they could be running afoul of agreeing to help. As they met Christopher's contact in Indonesia, he explained the dire nature of the situation.
The crew currently under the Eric the Red cover had captured an Indonesian shipment, and had just transferred the mutants back over to their own ship when a naval squadron appeared, and ordered them to surrender. They managed to evade the group long enough to transship the people over to Chris's ship, and then let themselves be tracked to draw them away to allow Summers to get the children to a safe harbour. However, the last communication from the captain mentioned some damage, them trying to hide, and the fact that they didn't expect to remain hidden long.
One of the contacts had passed along the most dangerous secret; that the new 'cooperation' between India and Indonesia actually conceals a pipeline, by which either official or criminal elements in both governments see that India 'captures' the Indonesian shipments as pirate vessels, escourt them back to India, quietly funnel the children into IDF training programs and secretly pays Indonesia. A perfect way to cover a slavery pipeline.
With the Blackbird, the X-Men quickly reached the location of the ship, only find it under attack by a small Indian Naval flotilla. Garrison Kane and Marie D'Ancato were tasked with using a winch and harness system to lift the crew into the Blackbird, while the rest of the X-Men split into teams to search belowdecks for trapped crewmembers and protect those at the bow of the ship while they ferried them back to the stern and their planned escape.
However, each squad fell under attack by the Imperial Guard, who had orders to capture or kill the crew as pirates. Logan and Amara Aquilla managed to get the crew from the bow of the ship, while Kyle Gibney and Lillian Crawley-Jeffries were able to hold off the Guard long enough to check below decks. Kane was nearly felled by a psionic attack and only Rogue's timely rescue kept the evacuation going.
Ororo Munroe and Shiro Yoshida faced an aerial assault on the Blackbird itself, and were able to force the Imperial Guard to retreat and regroup long enough to get clear of the ship and escape from the local waters with the crew.
Eric the Red
Eric the Red had been a famed pirate of the 19th century, a half-Norse opium runner who ran afoul of the East India Company, and his business broken. He settled in Madripoor and began to pirate trade of the company and the other China Traders instead. He was never captured and worked the waters of the South Pacific almost until the turn of the century.
Eric the Red reappeared in the first world war, pirating Germany supply convoys. He disappeared again for a time, and emerged twenty years later, pirating Japanese supply ships, famously avoiding capture. He was known to have run the Korean blockade to smuggle medical supplies for enormous profit into North Korea and China in the fifties. He appeared again during the 70s, savaging American shipping into Vietnam.
The reality, of course, is that Eric the Red is not a single man. At least, not any longer. His flag was co-opted by a former ally after his death, who realized that the superstition of the man would make a useful cover under which to conduct actions that risk greater threat than the attention of shipping companies. Since then, the flag and the secret list of harbours and safe areas was passed along every few decades to a person or a group that was trusted. They had chosen well, mostly choosing criminals with a sense of ethics and honour, in the same vein as Christopher Summers; those people who preyed on those who profited from the suffering of others.
Trivia and Meta
The concept of recurring Erics the Red could be considered to have been borrowed from The Princess Bride's Dread Pirate Roberts.
The events of this plot still occurred in Phase 2, but specifics, such as which characters were involved, remain fuzzy for the purposes of not breaking the world. ;)