Today’s #TeaserTuesday comes from “Torrent,” a science fiction short story.
Merced… Mercen… What had been the word Captain Trafalgar used?
Do you mean to search for Mercedarians?
She answered in the affirmative.
The Order of Mercy was established in the 13th century for the purpose of ransoming slaves. Slavers of Northern Africa [see old Earth map] operated extensively, peaking at one million or more captive Europeans in the 16th through 18th centuries while Sub-Saharan Africans were exported to the New World. The Mercedarians and similar orders raised money and negotiated ransoms for Christian slaves from Muslim masters, though later estimates suggest no more than two to four percent of slaves taken in a year were redeemed, while as many as twenty percent perished annually.
Jenna blinked at the screen. As disturbing as the entry was, it had little to do with Captain Trafalgar today. She had said something about a membership; was there a modern Mercedarian order, offering a sort of pirate insurance?
She looked for associated material, scanning links and references, and confirmed her guess; today’s Mercedarians, no longer affiliated with the church, were an alliance of space-faring crew who paid regular dues with the expectation of ransom should they be boarded and seized by pirates.