Probably a smuggler
“Pay’s only good if I’m alive to spend it after! No deal!”
Out at the end of a quiet pier in Dockside, Saul Henning has his messy office. A couple of the windows are broken and never got fixed. Cigarette smoke and old rum stain the air itself. Saul doesn’t keep records and doesn’t remember who he’s worked with—at least, not when the coast guard comes calling.
The only thing you can rely on Saul to do is look out for himself—or, rumor has it, get past blockades and patrols with nigh effortless ease. He may be reluctant, self-absorbed and serious, but if you want to get something the officials won’t like into the city, you better call Saul!
Recently, the smuggling business has been taking off, and Saul’s been doing quite well for himself. Things took a turn when he discovered one of his clients was shipping human cargo, and he reneged on the deal.
The next time Saul took his boat out, he ran aground in a place he’d been safely many times before. The obstruction rose from the water, lifting his boat into the air—it was a massive submarine! Masked mooks emerged from the craft and took him prisoner, dragging him before their leader — the nefarious Doctor Xorbius Brandt!
Xorbius made it abundantly clear to the hapless smuggler—Saul would perform as ordered, and in return he would be remunerated. If he failed to cooperate, his entire shipping manifest would find its way into the hands of the authorities. Without choice and terrified by the technological horrors of the Aqua Dome, Saul begrudgingly agreed. Xorbius instructed him to leave his radio on and await further orders.
Within weeks, Saul received his first order—meet Lenard Hall at the docks and collect one Doris Hampton. He shuttled her out to the bay, where the Submarine collected her. When she returned hours later, she had no memory of what had transpired. For months, Saul received a summons over the radio—his music sputtered out and the insidious voice of Doctor Xorbius’ minions took over, commanding Saul to prepare for another “shipment.”
And then, abruptly, the radio went silent! Saul didn’t hear from the Doctor for several weeks. Just when he thought the nightmare was over, his radio sparked into life. But instead of instructions, it played a lilting classical melody—the same song Saul heard in Xorbius’ fortress! It was a death sentence from the mad doctor! Saul kept a strongbox nearby in case he had to make a getaway, and its time was now! He seized the box and ran to his trusty ship.
All along the beach, transients camping out on the sand leapt into action and gave chase. They were sinister agent placed by Ralzamon, Master of the Unknown, Xorbius’ arch-rival! And when Saul reached his ship, he fell right into Xorbius’ cunning trap—carefully placed explosives swiftly sank the ship! Only by sealing himself into the hidden compartment below decks was Saul able to preserve his life, and even then, the cold waters began to sap the strength from his flesh!
Salvation came in unexpected form—the private investigator John Carmichael and his hulking associate, Ben Grimm. Through means mystical they pried Saul from the cold clutches of the bay. The duo brought Saul back to their office in the Essex Hotel. John urged Saul to atone for his part in Doris Hampton’s misery, and then the smuggler could flee Northport to escape the wrath of Xorbius Brandt.
In a mystical ritual, John forced Saul to relive the experience of meeting Xorbius for the first time. Throughout the entire dream Saul felt that the hungering maw of the Eternal Below gaped just under his feet, threatening to tear asunder the veil of sleep and consume his mind forever! But that didn’t happen so it’s cool. Whatever information John retrieved, the experience left Saul comatose for hours.
What became of the smuggler afterwards is unknown, but it is a strong bet he took his strongbox and executed his contingency plan to get the hell out of dodge!