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The Black Atlantic is what has become of the heavily polluted Atlantic Ocean. Mega-City One has a vast plasti-barrier wall to keep it out and has the Atlantic Division keeping an eye on it. Mutant lifeforms, lawless floating communities, and pirates abound.

Exposure to the toxic waters is invariably fatal for any normal person.


History[]

The transatlantic tunnel from North America to Europe was built as the Atlantic began to become polluted.[1] By the 22nd century, there were multiple tunnels and services plexes along the routes under the Atlantic, most famously Atlantis.

2087 saw the start of an annual Black Atlantic Swim from Brit-Cit to Mega-City One. Almost everyone died every year. [2]

Brit-Cit Marine Judge Faustus was transformed by a time anomaly in the Black Atlantic in 2089.[3]

In the early 22nd century, East Meg One ran a series of spy vessels under cover of being anti-pollution ships. These vast hulks were allegedly trying to clean the Black Atlantic but their true nature as spy stations was exposed when Judge Dredd effectively arrested a whole vessel. (In the process, he always died from ingesting seawater)[4]

The Sovs would also have a deniable agent, the pirate lord Captain Skank (unknowingly a robot under Sov direction), who preyed on vessels with his sub the Carib. In 2102 he seized the research vessel Hans Hanss to blackmail the scientists into building him nuclear warheads, which he fired at Mega-City One. Dredd and the Atlantic Division took out the Carib and uncovered his Sov masters.[5] The next year or so, in the Apocalypse War, an even greater nuclear attack would topple the sea walls of the city and Sov forces took out the bulk of MC-1's underwater SKUNK force.[6]

Smokers tried to dodge Mega-City One's legal restrictions by sailing out to the S.S. Gasper cruiser, past the city's 500-kilometre jurisdiction. Unfortunately for them, in 2104 the city decided its jurisdiction extended to 600 miles. When they tried to 'ditch the evidence', they set fire to the pollution and the Gasper with it.[7]

In 2111, while assisting in a bust of sugar smugglers, the empathy Psi-Judge Corey detected the dying call of the last surviving humpback whale. When her boat was destroyed, the dying whale saved her life. The psychic trauma from its extinction led to Corey's suicide. [8]

The psychotic billionaire Robert Crush had renovated a Sov factory ship into a floating prison, the "House of Pain", where he tortured the criminals he abducted. The Judges became aware of it in 2128 and raided the House with gunships... and then turned it into their own floating prison, the Barge. [9]

The Luna-2 "godcity" crashed into the Black Atlantic after Bachmann's failed coup and was left to rot underwater. Various groups of scavenger and terrorists went under to control the ruins in 2135, forcing Mega-City One to send a team to disable Luna-2's weapons.[10] In 2141, the Judges finally brought Luna-2 up to the surface using convict labour from the Barge. The site immediately came under attack from Captain Bile's pirate gang hoping to loot metal and equipment, but they were repulsed.[11]

Mongoose RPG[]

In the early 2000s RPG, a supplemental module was created for Black Atlantic games:[12]

  • Atlantic Division comprises of the seaborn Ocean Patrol and its airborne counterpart Black Sky Patrol. Both groups are primarily Judges. Ocean Patrol's vessels go for months-long patrols, ranging from Centaur gunboats to the massive Satyr cruisers and Minotaur-class warships warmed with TAG-Assault Nukes. Black Sky coordinates with Ocean Patrol for sea coverage and is staffed by hothead Judges who are given one last chance as pilots of Kestrel, Hawk Interceptor, Kingfish Bomber, and Sparrowhawk Superiority Fighters. Undersea command-and-control is provided by the mobile MONK station Poseidon.
  • Atlantic stations and operations are backed up by the Atlantis Sea Corps, a professional military force based out of Atlantis. Sea-Corps Mariners are recruited from the best of the Atlantis Aqua-Def soldiers and trained in submersible combat. It is joint commanded by a Judge and a military officer.
  • Black Atlantic pirate kings (commanders of flotillas of pirate captains) are everywhere, though their greatest concentration is in the Caribbean Zone where the various original and post-Atomic War islands give them shelter. Each king has to fear being replaced by an underling, as you become a king by killing everyone ahead. Many pirates are mutants seeking wealth in the lawless wastes. Despite the sheer and gleefully brutality of pirates, they follow unwritten codes - "the Law of the Sea" - on bounty sharing, where the worst crime is to steal drinking water from a fellow pirate.
  • Among the beasts of the sea are the terrifying Black Kraken and the Behemoht, vast monstrosities that can destroy Justice Department craft and have some unfathomable intelligence. They don't appear to be mere mutants, more terrifying beasts that have existed before and the war has woken up...

Notes[]

  • The Black Atlantic was first introduced in prog 128 as if it had always been there. This contrasted severely with the earlier "Mega-Miami" strip from the 2000AD Annual 1980, which featured a stretch of unspoiled water and beach resorts, and in practice the comic quietly ignores that story.

References[]

  1. Harlem Heroes
  2. Daily Star, "annual swim"
  3. Janus: Faustus - Faustus says he was transformed 30 years beforehand
  4. Battle of the Black Atlantic
  5. Pirates of the Black Atlantic!
  6. The Apocalypse War
  7. Daily Star strip, "Black Atlantic"
  8. Leviathan’s Farewell
  9. House of Pain
  10. 1842-44, Scavengers
  11. Megazine 415-7, Plunder
  12. Rookie's Guide to Atlantis & the Black Atlantic
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