Archangel Michael Jackson Island
Ian O'Connor, a reporter for the Google New York Times, arrived on a Delta United Airlines 797 to the Caribbean island of St. Martin on a balmy late November day in 2024. He made his way to Marigot Harbour and got his first glimpse of Archangel Michael Island, which was once known as Anguilla. He was not on St. Martin to vacation or review resorts, but to try and find his way to this reclusive island nation which had sealed itself off from the world for more than a decade.
Scattered reports had filtered out about a bizarre cult deifying "The King of Pop" Michael Jackson, who died 15 years earlier of an overdose from various prescription drugs. However, no one had been known to try to visit Archangel Michael since an MSN London Sun reporter’s body washed ashore on Baie Rouge in 2019, his legs blown off when he set off a mine.
O'Connor was a veteran of many perilous front line assignments. His infiltration of the South Iraq capital of Nasiriyah won him a Pulitzer but lost him his wife. Karen left him because she said danger thrilled him more than she did. However, this assignment could be far more dangerous than facing Shiite militias or even his notoriously temperamental ex. Archangel Michael was surrounded by a complex network of floating mines, laser trip wires, anti-aircraft guns and other state-of-the-art armaments. Each mile was more heavily armed than the border between Israel and New Palestine.
This defense perimeter, as well as the insulated economy of the island, was financed by Jackson’s ongoing music and merchandise royalties controlled by the leader of the cult, The Mwinyi (Lord) who was born Ayodele Ndulu Ayanbadejo. Through some obscure and convoluted legal machinations involving a questionable interpretation of the Wills of the superstar's parents Joseph Walter Jackson and Katherine Esther Jackson, Ayanbadejo ended up as the sole owner of the lucrative rights from the entire Michael Jackson estate. The Mwinyi's shrewd investments in electric fuelcells and some mysterious energy technologies had multiplied his windfall twenty-fold.
O'Connor turned from the pier to gaze upon the Marigot branch of Banque Des Antilles Françaises, an ornately gilded, massive building housing the only bank branch in the world to serve a single client: The Mwinyi. BDAF did not release financial data for this particular branch, but it had been extrapolated that over eight billion Euros flow through that building every year.
Nearly a million Euros a year for each resident of Archangel Michael. Almost a billion Euros just in annual "contributions" to the Organization of Caribbean States: An insurance policy to ensure that Archangel Michael's neighbours didn't interfere and looked the other way. All through a strategically placed bank branch on stable European Union territory. And all controlled by the elusive Mwinyi.
The same Mwinyi that O'Connor had come here to find. But first he had to penetrate his impregnable fortress.
O'Connor looked to the northeast across the azure Caribbean sea. The darkness on the horizon indicated that Hurricane Irene was right on schedule. He checked the storm track on his Apple iComm PDA’s Weather Channel. Fortunately for him, the track had stayed constant. The steering currents hadn’t taken Irene off course from its projected landfall. The choppy waves would soon become raging swells as the storm surge from this Category Four hurricane blasted across the northeastern Antilles.
He had waited almost a decade for this opportunity. It would have been easier then, when the big four-oh had not taken such a toll on his previously fit body. But you have to take the chance when it presents itself. O'Connor headed to the Marigot Scuba shop to pick up his gear. He wanted to test everything several times. His life would depend on this gear tonight.
Continued In Archangel Michael Jackson Island Part 2