X-Men Mission: Roller Derby Queen
|Roller Derby Queen|
|Dates run:||May 7-12, 2011|
|Read the logs:||Roller Derby Queen|
“Many have been tested! Many have fought and bled on the track trying to get this far, and all but two teams have failed. Now they stand before you, on the very brink of roller derby greatness. They are-“ Tiboldt spun and pointed.
“The Long Harm of the Law from New York City. A bevy of battling mutant babes from the Big Apple who think they can skate over their opponents and right on down Broadway for the win! Their captain, Cherry Bomb! Southern Hell! Dee Stroyer! Judy Boom! Half-Pint Havoc! Bitchrella! Tinkerhell!”
Called into the FBI by Fred Duncan, Garrison was briefed about an underground mutant roller derby organization used as a front for Kick peddling. Organized crime has been adapting to the new rise of mutation in the populace, some by incorporating mutants into their ranks, and some by making them the target. Regardless of which, the nation’s gangs have been moving into new territories, including moving drugs like Kick, and finding novel ways of recruiting new members. One area that showed up on the underground was mutant roller derby – a no-holds barred full contact league of mutants. The teams in the league were financed by gangs, events were held in secret locations, and the violence and occasional deaths in the ring led to heavy gambling and profits.
In New York, the FBI was successful in a major bust on a gang called ‘The Secret Empire’. The gang was a mix of mutants and humans, mostly involved in drug trafficking and illegal gambling. However, they also had a team in the underground mutant roller derby. The girls, also arrested with the gang, under FBI questioning admitted that they all had been coerced in one way or another into participating in the matches, and that some teams had members that were virtual slaves, who had no choice but to participate. Others had teams who seemed to delight in hurting other mutants in the match and would compete viciously. The Secret Empire’s team had reached the quarter finals and had in invitation to a final tournament in Las Vegas.
Obviously, the FBI was determined to crash the party. Unfortunately, neither the girls nor the rest of the gang had much info about the tournament. There was a significant prize involved, it was going to attract serious high rollers in the underground gambling world, and there were a series of cut-outs used to enter a team. Ultimately, the only way for the Bureau to get eyes and ears into the match would be if they could enter a new team under the Secret Nation’s name and compile evidence. As they didn’t have enough female mutant agents to even consider the option on their own, Fred Duncan turned to Garrison for help.
Garrison met with Charles and Jean to explain the case and it was agreed the X-Men would get involved; one group as the roller derby team, a second group to infiltrate the various criminal elements as members of the Secret Empire gang. Garrison contacted Muir Island after receiving information Alison Blaire, early in her career, had spent a season in a sequined unitard and skates for the SoHo Dancing Queens, a disco based derby crew in the late nineties. Alison had her coach’s old playbooks, but was still in treatment at Muir and unable to train a team. Paige, on the other hand, was available and knew how to roller skate, becoming Garrison's first recruit.
Fortunately, a vague hint from Marie D'Ancato revealed that Bobby Drake was the 1997 Massachusetts Under 14 Year Old Roller Dancing Champion, and with Alison’s old team playbooks, Bobby was inspired to create a new roller derby dynasty. Yvette, Jean, Monet, Angel, Tabitha, Jan and Paige were called up to begin their roller derby training, with various results.
Meanwhile, Garrison recruited Kurt, who knew of one of the European operators, Maynard Tiboldt (also known as the Ringmaster, Tiboldt had run a small sideshow in Europe for a decade, using it as a cover for con games and petty crime before finally having to skip back to the US to avoid charges), Marius (who was reluctant to revisit his European mutant slavery connections again) and Callisto to enlist their aid in going undercover as bikers.
As they entered the tournament, they discovered that it was being secretly sponsored by Arcade, who of course recognized the X-Men right off the bat. Instead of betraying them to the other criminal organizations present, Arcade actually provided a bit of intelligence – the tournament was also a cover for a huge set of negotiations between numerous groups to establish a nationwide criminal consortium for Kick. If successful, markets would be broken up into regions, resources pooled in distribution and production, and each group would manage their own turf. It would be a huge blow to mutants across the US. However, Arcade offered a wager; if the X-Men won the tournament, he would provide a witness whom they can exchange immunity from prosecution in return for testifying against the league and the gangs, giving the FBI the evidence to swoop in and arrest as many representatives there as they can. It would be a major blow against organized crime in America, and break the chances of a coordinated Kick distribution network coming into existence in the future.
While the team fought through the semi-final, the other X-Men were involved in collecting evidence on the negotiations, and stopping potential threats to the team during the matches. It was a tricky job, and one Marius in particular was unhappy with.
For the final match, Arcade had a little surprise for Maynard – the ring is built over a power suppression system – which forced both sides to play sans powers for the final. The X-Men ultimately prevail, despite a last-minute substitution of Callisto for Jan after the latter was injured off, and as they did so, the FBI raided the building. The X-Men quietly slipped away as agents began making arrests and hauled a protesting Maynard off to jail. As a result of the information gathered, the FBI and SHIELD were able to shut down the underground league for good, releasing most of the women that had been forced to compete. Arcade, as always, walked away without any evidence he was ever involved, with a healthy profit from the remote gambling (which he controlled) and his own wager on the X-Men to win.
Trivia and Meta
The X-Men competed under the name Gotham City Roller Girls – ‘Long Harm of the Law’, with the following aliases:
Cherry Bomb - Jean
Southern Hell - Paige
Dee Stroyer - Angel
Judy Boom - Tabitha
Half-Pint Havoc - Yvette
Bitcherella - Monet
Tinkerhell - Jan
Killswitch - Callisto