Tropic of Capricorn
|Tropic of Capricorn|
|Dates run:||February 14-18, 2013|
|Run By:||Dex and Mon|
|Read the logs:||Tropic of Capricorn|
"You make your point eloquently, Joanna. Mutants are a minority; a target. And there are too many who would see them dead for just existing. Not all refuges can be million dollar mansion estates, Mr Kane. And while it doesn't dismiss the sins of my past, I will not bar myself from doing what I can to help for those I can reach. Perhaps I do deserve a cell, but is it worth the cost just to feel a sense of justice?"
Kane and Adrienne are shipwreaked in the South Seas, only to discover that Magneto has seized an island as a mutant homeland, and has professed to have changed his ways.
Adrienne Frost, Garrison Kane, Cyclops, Penance, Polaris, Wallflower, Nightcrawler, Firestar, Bevatron, Roulette, Wolverine, Cannonball, Phoenix, Blink, Wildchild, Pinball, Rocky, Dustbunny, Jennifer Walters
Kane and Adrienne decided to take a much needed vacation, taking advantage of his father’s offer to visit them down in New Zealand. At the last minute, Christian received some urgent news which required him to be in London, and he suggests that Kane try his own hand at sailing while they’re away. Left with his father's much smaller sailboat –Vesper – Kane and Adrienne spend a couple of days in local waters, before heading north on a three day trip that will loop them around to meet his dad on his way back.
However, at the apex of their trip north, a front abruptly changes direction, and they are blown off course. The ship floundered in high waves and winds for hours, until the sstorm drives them into a reef ringing a small atoll. They barely make it to shore, and took shelter in the underbrush the best as the storm rages on. The next day, they inspect the wreck, but find very little is salvageable. Even worse, the emergency beacon was crushed on the reef, losing their best chance for rescue. A
A quick bit of exploration confirms that they are on a small island without any apparent water sources, which is geologically unstable. However, they could see a much larger volcanic island in the distance. They decide to put together a crude raft from the wreckage and slowly make their way over to the other island. After a shark attack nearly scuttles their raft, they are picked up by a small fishing boat and are surprised to find all the people in the boat are European mutants.
On reaching the island, they’re welcomed by none other than Erik Lensherr. The mutant terrorist doesn’t threaten them, and is seemingly open as he explains his presence. Since the fall of the space laser, Erik’s body has been rapidly breaking down due to the immense magnetic forces he commands. He came on the island while doing research into naturally occurring electromagnetic phenomenon as a possible avenue for a cure. The island has a strong, naturally occurring magnetic field likely related to its fairly young history as an undersea volcano and the composition of the metals under it. It disrupts communications and navigation equipment, which is why it has remained largely uninhabited. However, the field drew a secret US military research group to the island following the Second World War, although it only lasted two decades before it was abandoned. It was in those recently declassified documents that he saw its existence.
Erik had taken over the abandoned research base and enlarged it for his own ends. The odd magnetic fields have actually rejuvenated him significantly, and despite his advanced age, his physical body looks like a younger man. He populated the base and a small town at the base of the volcano with mutants of his Brotherhood. While several are from his terrorist group, many of the others were merely supporters with little involvement in his activities. He doesn’t deny his crimes, but he makes clear that he has given up his past; the self-destructive aspects of his powers providing a clear metaphor for his fate trying to reform the world through violence. Because of the magnetic fields, most forms of communications are blocked, but Erik promised that a supply ship will be coming from Fiji within ten days, and they are welcome to take passage from the island and make their way home from there. During that time, he explained that they are guests, and they can choose to comport themselves as they wish. However he warns them that they aren’t trusted, and his base is off-limits without invitation.
For several uncomfortable days, they accepted Erik’s hospitality, finding themselves sharing tables with members of the Brotherhood. While all of them are consistent that all they want for ‘Avalon’ is to be a peaceful homeland for mutants, Kane remains suspicious. He and Adrienne secretly explore the complex, and find an area that has been sealed with a magnetic shield. Inside, near the core of the volcano, is a massive magnetic power amplifier. With it, Magneto can effectively use the local magnetic field to boost his own powers, making the island impenetrable to assault. They also find some small artifacts in the base that Adrienne’s powers confirm are Soviet in original. Slowly, they piece together some information; that the pieces are from the Leningrad, a nuclear submarine that was lost in the north Atlantic in the 80s. The official story is that the reactor was breached, and the ship sank. In reality, it was one of Erik’s first terrorist actions as Magneto – hidden from Xavier, as the sub was secretly transporting a top Russian genetic scientist to a new facility. The sub lay dormant for a long time, until recently, when Magneto and the Brotherhood re-acquired it.
Penetrating further into the complex they find that Magneto has stripped the sub of its ICBMs, and has dismantled the warheads to make hundreds of ‘suitcase’ sized atomic bombs. They are suddenly discovered. Erik confronts them, and reveals that his plan is simple. He doesn’t trust that humans won’t come after Avalon, so he’s going to place the bombs in hundreds of cities. If attacked, he will detonate them and cause mass destruction and tens of millions of deaths. He claims the deterrent is necessary, trying to sway the two X-Men. Surprisingly, Adrienne agrees with Erik and confesses to Kane that she alerted Erik while at the computer of their presence. Kane is locked in a magnetically fielded cell while Adrienne is kept with the Brotherhood, under watch.
Adrienne’s defection is a ruse. Erik is unaware that her powers rend his security system useless. Adrienne’s powers get her through security to the communications system, and she’s able to send off a message to the X-Men. She’s picked up some details, including how Erik maintains the field around the island that protects it. Later that night, Kane’s omni-skin allows him to slip through the magnetic shield of his cell and into the rest of the complex. Adrienne’s attempts to meet with him are interrupted by Mystique, and she leads her on the chase towards where she hopes the X-Men will be.
When the X-Men, responding to the message, arrive on the island and deploy broken into three squads. Fortunately for Adrienne, they are able to approach from the ways suggested in the message to them, and Mystique is forced back. She takes that squad into the volcano, to the amplifier to destroy it. The second squad engages the Brotherhood in a frontal assault, drawing Magneto’s force out and away from the base, so the third squad can slip in. Magneto meets the X-Men at the point that they’ve destroyed his magnetic amplifier, and he swiftly puts them on the defensive. However, he realizes that they are only a diversion, and leaves them alive to reach the other warheads.
Finding that his plan is compromised, Erik moves to evacuate the warheads, only to find Kane waiting for him. Despite the odds against him, Garrison is able to fight Erik to a standstill long enough for the other X-Men to reach them. Seeing himself out-numbered, Magneto flips the bombs over to detonate and moves to escape. In order to stop the bombs from going off, the X-Men flood the warhead chamber with lava, destroying the detonators and rendering the relatively small uranium charges inert. With her Brotherhood in full retreat, Erik goes first to his command centre to retrieve his files, only to find that the squad of X-Men who had been engaging his Brotherhood had broken through during their retreat, and have destroyed his files. An engaged Magneto reacts with brutal near lethal force, only to break off unexpectedly and escape with the rest of his main Brotherhood. Those on the island are forced to flee on fishing boats, and the X-Men notify local authorities to ensure that they will be rescued a short time later.
Trivia and Meta
Magneto recruited a number of new mutants to his Brotherhood, most of whom stayed with the group.
The title 'Tropic of Capricorn' is loosely based on Henry Miller's 'Tropic of Cancer' - an unflinching record of his passionate affairs as a young man in Paris - which alludes to Garrison and Adrienne's return to a similarly passionate relationship.
Magento's apparent 'de-aging' is similar to the canon storyline when he is de-aged by Alpha the Ultimate Mutant in Defenders #16 and returned to his physical prime by Erik the Red in Uncanny X-Men #104.
The names of both of Christian Kane's boats are allusions to his similarities with James Bond. Enigma was a Nazi code device that Ian Fleming - Bond's creator - was credited with salvaging from a German spy boat off the coast while a member of British Intelligence during the Second World War. Vesper was the name of the love interest in Bond's first book 'Casino Royale' and the proper name for his famous 'shaken not stirred' vodka martini.
The 'shipwrecked' plot device is a reference to Adrienne's PB, who became famous playing a shipwrecked woman trapped on an island in 'Lost'.