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INDEX

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

Writers WARD/STANLEY/HEWLETT/WAKEHAM ©2006 Eight Eighteen Entertainment Ltd.

SYNOPSIS

2

DRAMATIS

3 - 22

CHARACTER ARCS

23

WORLD

24

STORY

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STORY & WORLD ENCAPSULATED THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

It is now 500 years in the future. Mankind has been toppled from its dominant position and is under attack. The massive, flesh-eating INSECT SCOURGE has devoured the old world and brought down the curtain on what zoologists called the “Mammalian Age”. The human LORD XANGO, an ambitious warlord, has popular support for his continued creation of an elite human-insect hybrid army, known as the GI, to protect the humans from the bugs but his true intentions are less altruistic. He intends to do away with mankind and rule over a population of soulless drones, despite the philanthropic claims of his incessant, insipid personal propaganda broadcasts.

lethal commander of the GI; more insect machine than man; a parasite that feeds off the life force of a human child trapped within its chest. It is only the reappearance of the stranger, who is a reincarnation of ROYCE GRACIE, which saves them from death at the hands of XANGO’S henchman. Their numbers are further swollen when MUTANT guerrilla fighters join them, out to avenge the cruel manipulation they have suffered in XANGO’S dark experimentation. KOMA also enrols for the mission to liberate his young sister only to become possessed by XANGO’S technologically enhanced voodoo mind control. ROYCE reveals his own digital psychic powers to confront XANGO and in doing so is captured. He just has time to disclose that JUNIOR, KOMA and RAMA are themIn this world of conflict and fear, two orphaned brothers and their little selves GRACIE’S and destined to lead the fight for mankind’s existence. sister are being raised by their uncle. JUNIOR is twelve years old and Their battles with LAKWA, the GI, and bugs alike bring them closer an innate martial artist but neglects his training and is distracted by his together and closer to uncovering the truth behind XANGO’s chilling tempestuous relationship with the people and the world around him. hidden agenda. He’s happiest alone, playing online games. In the virtual world JUNIOR fights every day with legendary GRACIE WARRIOR, ROYCE. JUNIOR’s In their final showdown with XANGO, JUNIOR and KOMA discover he’s peace is shattered when his eight-year-old sister, RAMA, is abducted imprisoned RAMA in the body of LAKWA. As the brothers unite to defeat while in his care. KOMA, seventeen and the oldest of the three, blames LAKWA and free their sister, XANGO is forced into combat himself and JUNIOR entirely for the abduction. The two have not spoken since the reveals the powerful mechanical exoskeleton he is using to sustain tragedy. When a stranger, who bears a striking resemblance to ROYCE his decrepit body. ROYCE materialises once more, having broken XANGRACIE, arrives with news of RAMA’S whereabouts, JUNIOR, against GO’S commanding hold over the GI, and confronts the warlord, allowthe advice if his older brother, resolves that he alone must hunt for ing JUNIOR to work alongside him and snatch RAMA from the tyrant’s those who took her. clutches. When ROYCE smashes XANGO’S power-driven armour, a giant insect rips free from inside the evil despot, only to be cut down by the JUNIOR strikes out alone. He is certain that, just like many other young GI’s heavy artillery. Reflecting on the adventure JUNIOR realises he has humans, RAMA has been taken away by the GI troops of LORD XANGO. gained a brother, helped save humanity, rescued his sister and learned He quickly teams up with a troop of CADETS, children of the human to accept responsibility along the way. RESISTANCE who are sworn enemies of the GI and INSECT SCOURGE alike. Their chance run-in with MISS JAPAN, a young village noblewoman, and her sidekick BIG BANG opens their eyes to the true nature of XANGO’s philanthropy. She takes them to her village and they witness entire families being taken away for “genetic enhancing” into the GI ranks. Here they make their first encounter with LAKWA, the

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JUNIOR

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES A year ago, he witnessed the kidnapping of his younger sister, RAMA, and feels responsible. Guilt wracked he relives the experience every time he goes to sleep through unforgiving nightmares. JUNIOR is convinced that his sister can still be saved and resolves that he alone must hunt for those who took her. He an innate natural talent for martial arts but his tempestuous relationships with everyone and everything around him are constant distractions that keep him from focusing on his training, or anything else for that matter. A further barrier is his resistance to the formality of GRACIE JIU-JITSU training; he always wants to push forward faster in to new skills before thoroughly mastering the basics. This lack of discipline is always taking him away from where he needs to be, always searching for new things but never following anything through.

The pressure of expectation and failure weighs heavily on his shoulders, making him the externally difficult and internally tortured hero that he is. A messy, grubby twelve-year-old, he does not speak to his older brother KOMA who will not forgive JUNIOR because it was his lack of concentration and dedication that lead to him neglecting his duty of care for RAMA. Since the abduction JUNIOR spends all his time alone, trying to escape his life by immersing himself in online computer games. In the virtual world, JUNIOR is the sworn enemy of the legendary GRACIE WARRIOR, ROYCE. Their characters fight each other several times a day.

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KOMA

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

KOMA is an orphaned, seventeen-year-old from the under-city of BelloHorizonte. He is steadfast and diligent but at times impetuous. He’s a fantastic athlete, but lacks the natural spark of his talented younger sibling, often resorting to his abundant brut force to compensate for his lack of technique. He believes his eight-year-old sister RAMA, to have been killed but his desire to avenge her is tempered by the everyday need to provide for his brother and to keep him safe. They, however, hardly speak to one another. The brothers will hate and fight each other to the bitter end, unless either one is threatened, when they immediately unite. KOMA is not always the sharpest knife in the kitchen, although responsibility has given him years beyond his age. There is still a child inside him that shows itself prominently when he fights or gets into scrapes. KOMA is full of an anger that is rooted in anxiety and the deep desire to protect his family and secretly he is yearning for the chance to take revenge on those who kidnapped his sister.

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ROYCE GRACIE

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

“Dare to pursue your dreams and have the courage to face your fears.” Royce was a 20th century freestyle martial arts icon, champion and Master of The Gracie Way. He has been re-incarnated 500 years in the future with a mission… ROYCE’s one prime directive with no exceptions is to protect the GRACIE bloodline. The mythical GRACIE WARRIORS had grown in to an awesome and just force in the later quarter of the 21st century they had protected the weak from oppression on a global scale until they were lost in battle during the unforeseen and unheralded horrendous first waves of insect attacks. ROYCE is a reluctant teacher to the brothers JUNIOR and KOMA GRACIE and has his own agenda – to win his own battles to protect the GRACIE bloodline. His re-incarnation will guide the next generation of GRACIE WARRIORS. Whilst the boys will go into battle with ROYCE, he is here to guarantee the bloodline. He would much rather hide the young brothers away and save RAMA himself. In his world, he is seen in a criminal. In our world, he would be a hero. RG believes that: The Gracie Dynasty must prevail – although he may not be sure why. This is hardwired, but through teaching JUNIOR and KOMA by example he in turn learns that no man is an island and that anything can be achieved when you find the strength to accept love. He knows that you can beat any enemy with a good plan. It may not be in the way you first imagine but you can win, and he never forgets that you make your own luck.

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XANGO

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES XANGO wants to rule in chaos. A paradox, he thrives on misery, driven by his desire for adoration and status. He wants to be lauded and applauded. He rules by turning families and friends against one another using this distrust and chaos to dominate and control. He is able to physically possess and control people using repugnant digitally enhanced psychic powers and as his victims convulse and vomit they are then turned to his will. He controls the INSECT SCOURGE and his mutant ‘GI’ half-bug half-human army with this possession technology too. All of this is a build up for his megalomaniacal intentions to do away with free will and be the undisputed leader of a world populated by unquestioning drones. His self-aggrandisement is personified by his sickening recruitment broadcasts calling for young humans to volunteer for ‘enhancement’ in to the GI ranks. Their crude jingoistic tone would be laughable where it not so misanthropic. Anyone foolish enough to heed the call is only making a suicidal sacrifice to XANGOS smoke screen of manipulation and half-truths that serve only his agenda.

way RAMA and ROYCE, who he believes to be the last two surviving GRACIES, will be in eternal pain. He is for the moment, not aware of the two boys, JUNIOR and KOMA GRACIE. XANGO believes that: You can never prevail against the odds. He believes in numbers, losses and cannon fodder. He believes that with shear might you can discount luck and preparation. He believes that justice is a luxury and that he must prevail to rebuild life as he sees fit. He alone is right and no one else knows anything, in the end there is nobody or nothing more important than him. This will be his undoing.

Myths and shadows surround him but the truth is more chilling than anything anyone has dared to dream. XANGO is solely responsible for the giant bug infestation. It was his experiments that lead to unlocking the evolutionary leap for insects that enabled them to inherit the earth. In doing so he inadvertently destroyed the humanity protecting GRACIE WARRIORS who where decimated by the shear numbers of their insect foes, and infected himself with the mutant bug gene, going insane in the process. His on going experimentation that lead to the MUTANTS, the GI’s and LAKWA are in fact an attempt to cure or at least control his own infection. He’s using his combination of technology and the occult to hold his secret affliction at bay and sustain his long decrepit life. Under his rancid flesh a giant king of the bugs is desperate to break out, using his body as sustenance like a walking pupa. The only thing keeping this monster in check is a formidable mechanical exoskeleton. XANGO kidnapped RAMA fusing her with his supreme fighting machine LAKWA, her powerful GRACIE life force fuelling this killing machine. His ultimate revenge would be to keep the semi digital reincarnation of ROYCE GRACIE in his undead archive, tortured and powerless. This

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LAKWA

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES LAKWA is an assassin that kills without remorse and is XANGO’s dread commander of the GI and enforcer of his Lords decrees. What no one has yet realised is that LAKWA is actually more insect machine than man; a further advance on XANGO’S dark alchemy, a parasite that feeds off the life force of a human child, trapped within its chest. This child is RAMA GRACIE. LAKWA is always half covered or in shadow. The hidden part of LAKWA still looks exactly like JUNIORS sister. This henchman is a fearsome cowl that XANGO can hide behind to continue with his Machiavellian machinations against all living things undisturbed.

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MISS JAPAN THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

She is a beautiful but tough young village noblewoman. Born into privilege but with a good father who knows the value of hard work. She has developed into very capable young woman. Well read and articulate, as capable as she is beautiful. Her parents as leaders of the community were the first to have been murdered in a “sanctioning” decreed by XANGO. She believes the INSECT SCOURGE are unwitting pawns in an insidious, deadly game and if things carry on the way they’re going then the bugs days are numbered. MISS JAPAN has been gathering evidence that will prove her hypothesis that only male insects are left and although they’re deadly warriors with out the possibility of reproducing they cannot possibly survive. It was only because she was out searching for the scientific verification to substantiate her claim’s that she was not killed or more likely abducted her self. She will do what ever is necessary to stay alive and she has no doubt that one-day she will taste revenge.

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GI

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES GI’s are XANGO’s perfected, soulless human-insect hybrid army. They are his alleged “solution to save mankind”. These sleek, armored half breads are born of fusing human and insect DNA. XANGO needs human life to energise his new creations. The younger the human that he twists into each new GI the more powerful they are. There is, owever, enough life force in humans who die of natural causes to bring life to a new GI. They are fearsome warriors, unquestioning of command and unflinching in resolve. They stand over seven feet in size yet their strength far outstrips this imposing scale. XANGO found the genetic key to creating these supreme fighters inside the females of the INSECT SCOURGE. They’re now tasked with the total destruction of mankind and bugs alike. LAKWA commands this elite force of GI soldiers under the direct instructions of his master.

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SCOURGE

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

In life, nothing is ever straightforward. Yes, the SCOURGE race is responsible for the destruction of life as we know it but it is life as we know it that is in turn responsible for the rise of the SCOURGE. It is easy to see these giant bugs, marauding over the devastated landscape they have created, as the enemy; as the root of all ills. Inhuman. Evil. This is what XANGO is counting on. His scientific research in the late 21st century first bought the bugs into being. His recklessness, ambition and greed are the genesis of everything that has come to pass. Early on he became victim to his own experimentation, infected with a virulent insect mutation gene that threatens to extinguish his existence and transform him into a bug. Everything post this event can be attributed to his attempts to reverse his self-inflicted state. He’s manipulated the worst instincts of his insect creations to destroy man, all the while pretending to be humanity’s greatest hope. XANGO now keeps all females of the SCOURGE species in his vast labs, splicing these poor creatures with human victims for creation of his GI troops. The males of the species are driven to destroy all in their path by XANGO’S potent blend of technology and voodoo.

Before you shed a tear for this poor, set-upon, beleaguered race of hapless giant insects, let’s not forget that these leviathans, in their gargantuan war machines, have all but destroyed man, our civilisation and our world. They are hell bent on finishing the job too. You might have sympathy for a rabid dog but you’re not about to let it bite you, and you’re sure as hell going to exterminate it. If that dog were towering seven feet tall with the will and know-how to construct weapons of mass destruction and had eaten everything that you once held sacred, and everything else for that matter, you’d be forgiven for doing everything in your power to destroy it.

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BIG BANG

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES BIG BANG’S name holds all the keys, or at least two very big ones. The boy is large and he loves to blow things up. Another orphan left in the wake of the INSECT SCOURGE BIG BANG he was found and raised by MUTANTS. Big Bang has learned well at their hands and is as cunning as he is gifted with machinery, armaments, digital technology; you name it. Any chance Big Bang gets he’ll crack a gag or lighten the mood. He and JUNIOR form an instant bond through their love of mischief.

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MUTANTS

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

XANGO’s initial experimental forays in his black hybrid manipulation of life met with varying levels of success sometimes resulting in the creation of less than perfect half-insect, half-human MUTANT detritus. Most of these “failures” where destroyed but a small number escaped and organised themselves in to a weak but committed guerilla force. Their numbers where soon bolstered by their manipulated insect possibilities for procreation, spawning offspring by the dozen. They believe XANGO has ulterior motives of dominating a soulless human-insect colony of hybrid drones, doing away with the MUTANTS, and humans all together. They’ve been given the slang name “MUSHIES” by their human cousins because of their fleshiness rather than the hardened shell armoring of the GI. Although men and MUTANTS have coexisted since the “MUSHIES” first appeared in the early part of the previous century each have kept their distance from the other, understandable mistrust looming large among Earths surviving ravaged peoples, especially considering the MUSHIES uncomfortable shared genetic heritage with the INSECT SCOURGE.

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SCOURGE VEHICLES

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES It’s all over for the major global automakers full stop. The North American Free Trade Agreement and it’s self serving agenda is no longer worth the paper it was penned upon. From BMW in Germany to Daimler Chrysler, Ford and GM in the States as well as Honda, Fiat, Peugeot and beyond, the last models have rolled of the assembly line and production isn’t about to resume. Not now. Not ever. The wheel is no longer the big deal. The INSECT SCOURGE has taken over the asylum and their vision of the future isn’t a boot stamping on a human face – forever, it’s an insect styled armored vehicle smashing humanity – entirely. H.G Wells only scratched the surface of what a conquering alien race might use to rain destruction down upon mankind. Only it’s not aliens doing the killing and man is half responsible for his own down fall and common cold can’t save us. The element of human consciousness that was the catalyst for the bugs to rise and then smite the hand that created them has also enabled them to build huge attack vehicles that in construction resemble their own physiology. Their towering six legged motorized killing machines, and scurrying bull dozing beetle ‘tanks’ are perfectly adept at covering the ruined terrain that they have created, where wheels would surely falter. Many of their vehicles have the further terrifying advantage of having hidden wings under their metallic armor, these craft fly despite the laws of physics but, like the bumble bee, no one has told them that they shouldn’t.

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GI VEHICLES

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES These lateral advances have had a trickle down effect on how everyone else now travels. The GI, more humanoid than their SCOURGE relatives have taken the best, or is it the worst, of both worlds and made of it what they will. Their squadrons of jets, APV’s, troop carriers, bikes, you name it, all have that insect twist. Their fighter planes have the maneuverability of a hornet, their bikes, though on wheels, have suspension that can see them leap like fleas, their helicopters boast the grace in movement of a dragonfly and their infamous convoys appear like a colony of dung beetles on wheels, mobilized and made large. All of course are armed up to and beyond anything that man had ever conceived of to date.

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HUMAN VEHICLES

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

This leaves man… and where he’s left is making the best out of what has survived from what went before and bolting on what has newly arisen. Adapt and survive. This isn’t Mad Max though. It’s far cooler. Sure there’s a need to keep trucks, big rigs, some of the more effective military antiques and the like simply rolling and there’s also a section of people who have simply acquired discarded transport from battles with both the GI’s and the Scourge but there’s been some more interesting creations too. Mans ingenuity has seen him breakdown and re-appropri-

ate insect advances in to the left overs from his own transport industry and if you’re going to do this, many have reasoned, why not do it with style. A new West Coast ‘chop-shop’ mentality has seen hybrid hotrods concocted from performance vehicles, monster truck wheel bases with bug walking and flight additions (not to mention weapons on top for good measure) Nature will always find a way and part of most young men’s nature is petrol. So here, at least, nothing has changed.

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THE THREE LEAD CHARACTER ARCS THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

The Shadow: XANGO The Hero: JUNIOR JUNIOR is initially unwilling to accept responsibility for himself, his actions or his feelings. Only by learning to receive the gifts of his talent as well as the love and support of the people around him does he achieve his true potential. His story begins in distracted isolation, propelling him in to a lone adventure in the wilderness where he has to learn the value of working with others. With this valuable lesson learnt he is reunited with those who care about him most and he is finally able to face his darkest fears.

The Mentor: ROYCE GRACIE ROYCE is a reluctant mentor and his tutorship of JUNIOR begins in antagonism. He grudgingly takes on the role of teacher out of his instinctual commitment to the survival of the GRACIE family legacy. It is only when JUNIOR learns the value of commitment and sacrifice that ROYCE realises he needs the three children as much as they need him. Only then do they ultimately achieve their goals. In effect his arc moves partly in reverse to JUNIOR’s before ending up in the same place. Their fates are intrinsically entwined. Through teaching JUNIOR and finally allowing him to fight along side him ROYCE moves beyond merely working to his own strengths and leading by strict example to uniting the abilities of the people around him completely. It is in his ultimate harmony with others that ROYCE enables everyone to win through.

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To begin with XANGO’s presence is all pervading; he’s the monster under every bed. He’s at once everywhere and nowhere, existing as an ever-present shadow overhanging everyone. In his intangibility he is unassailable. His manifestation in to a physical form takes place in stages. With each stage something of his menace is stripped away only to have it replaced with a new, unforeseen danger. All of these are only deceptions allowing him to avoid confronting his own worst nightmares. Ultimately he is defeated by his cowardliness and his arrogance. XANGO’s story is a mirror to the arc of our heroes. He’s their equal and opposite reaction, everything they succeed in he fails at. He’s all bravado, his terrorising mask of omnipotence hides his own fears, impotence and inabilities and in the end it is exposed for the sham it is.


Mankind has been toppled from its dominant position and is under attack. Throughout the devastated cities of South America, massive, flesh-eating insects sun themselves and fester. These oversize bugs devoured the old world; rendering paper, concrete and plastic into raw materials with which they built colossal hives. Australasia and old Europe lay decimated as warring termite nations consolidated their hold on Africa and the Americas, and a new skyline arose: vast conurbations of mud spires, mounds and perfectly geometric, utterly inhuman pyramids. The devastation of the planet’s vegetation that the insects have caused makes man’s industrial, consumer and military onslaught in the late 20th and early 21st century look like it was organised by Greenpeace. The resultant increase in global temperatures has turned the once abundant biosphere in to a barren and hostile wasteland. Sea levels have risen with coastlines and islands decimated on a global scale, while searing heat, impenetrable rain and deadly tornados besiege the already beleaguered peoples of what once was luscious Latin American.

THE WORLD

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

The bugs are a massive step up the evolutionary chain from their contemporary predecessors; they are not only larger in size but, more frighteningly, they’re conscious. Their old instincts for rigid militarystyle organisation has melded with their newfound technological understanding and had them building formidable battle craft that bolstered their hard-wired desires to colonise and multiply. The “Insect Scourge” brought down the curtain on what zoologists called the “Mammalian Age”. There now remain less than 100,000 people on the entire planet, besieged on a single continent by the rampant bugs. The human race is on the edge of extinction and will do anything to survive. The human LORD XANGO, an ambitious warlord, has popular support for his continued creation of an elite defence force to protect the humans from the bugs. For the moment, the bugs are being kept at bay by this force, named the GAUCHO INSECT HYBRIDS (GI’s for short). These sleek, armoured half-breeds are born of fusing human and insect DNA. They are fearsome warriors, unquestioning of command and unflinching in resolve. They stand over seven feet in size yet their strength far outstrips this imposing scale. XANGO’s mission statement and electoral manifesto hinges on his promise to save humanity from a horrible demise but his agenda has a far more foreboding reality. The propaganda he wheels out to achieve this end would be laughable, with its rampant hyperbole, if the outcome weren’t enough to make you scream. He needs human life to energise his new GI creations. The younger the human that he twists into each new GI the more powerful they are. There is, however, enough life force in humans who die of natural causes to bring life to a new GI. This is the accepted, official method of their creation. Although XANGO appears to conform to these rules, a blind eye is turned to the occasional disap-

pearance of young people, as well as many other serious injustices. Darker yet than this is the power of control that XANGO seems to wield over those around him, their devotion to the corrupt despots rule going way beyond any call of duty. It is as if he is manipulating their every word, deed and action. More formidable still than the GI force is their officer in command: the dreaded enforcer LAKWA. What no one has yet realised is that LAKWA is actually more insect machine than human; a further advance on XANGO’S dark alchemy; a mechanical parasite that feeds off the life force of a human child, trapped within its chest. XANGO’s initial experimental forays in this black hybrid anipulation of life met with varying levels of success, sometimes resulting in the creation of less than pe fect, half-insect, half-human MUTANT detritus. Most of these “failures” where destroyed but a small number escaped and organised themselves into a weak but committed defiant force. Their numbers were soon bolstered by their manipulated insect possibilities for procreation, spawning offspring by the dozen. They have been given the slang name “MUSHIES” in human circles because they have fleshy bodies rather than the hardened shell armouring of the GI. The MUSHIES believe XANGO has ulterior motives of dominating a soulless human-insect hybrid colony and doing away with the MUTANTS, and humans, all together. A small group of humans, THE RESISTANCE, also holds this entirely accurate view. Some people’s fear runs deeper. There’s a myth, a shadow of a rumour that XANGO’S family were responsible for the betrayal of humanity’s most valiant guardians, the GARCIE WARRIORS. Some go even further, saying that the rise of the bugs and the fall of the GRACIE’s have a single genesis in the dark lord himself. Most believe this to be othing more than a horror story to scare children but in a world ravished by gigantic flesh eating bugs, firstly, who’d need to create a more frightening vision? Secondly, if it is true then what hope is there?

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THE STORY

THE ROYCE GRACIE CHRONICLES

[ACT 1] This is a true story… sort of. Helio and Carlos Gracie created Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ) on the streets of Brazil in the early 20th century. Helio created his version of Jiu-Jitsu so “the little guy could have a chance against the big guy”. It focuses on self-defense. ROYCE GRACIE, Helio’s son, was the most expert proponent of GJJ. He was the ultimate hand-to-hand close-quarters fighter.

causes JUNIOR to immerse himself even further into the escapism of the virtual world. He is wracked with guilt and convinces himself that his sister can still be saved. JUNIOR resolves that he alone must hunt for those who took her.

Exciting news A year has passed since RAMA’s abduction. Having heard nothing, her family have accepted she must now be dead. KOMA, seventeen and the oldest of the three, blames JUNIOR entirely for the abduction. The two have not spoken since the tragedy. KOMA and JUNIOR are the worst of enemies, as only jealous brothers can be. This feud has also bought any hope that their uncle had of JUNIOR furthering his GRACIE training to a shuddering halt as the two brothers can hardly be in the same room let alone grapple on the same practice mat. KOMA, more steadfast and diligent, has stuck to his uncle’s physical regime but lacks the natural spark of his talented younger sibling, often resorting to his abundant brut force to compensate for his lack of flare.

It is now 500 years in the future. The legendary GRACIE WARRIORS had grown in to an awesome and just force in the later quarter of the 21st century, ushering in a period of peace and prosperity previously unknown in our volatile history. It was short lived. They had protected the people from oppression until XANGO betrayed the last generation GRACIE WARRIORS and they were lost in battle during the unforeseen and horrendous first waves of insect attacks. Their crushing demise was a bleak indicator of what would befall their fellow men from then on. Since the GRACIE WARRIORS’ total defeat, the Earth has become unbalanced. Then one night, like many before, JUNIOR sits bolt upright in bed The weak have become ever weaker and the strong more corrupt and screaming as he wakes from the recurring nightmare of the kidnapping, powerful. in which a terrifying shadowy apparition makes off with RAMA leaving Abduction him too paralysed with fear to save her. Terrified and seeking comfort, he rushes In this world of conflict and fear two orphaned brothers and their little sister are being raised by their uncle. Despite the dire situation of the into the halls of his uncle’s house where he overhears a stranger talking human race, the biggest battles these three face are with each other to his uncle. The man seems to be saying that RAMA could still be alive amid the usual maelstrom of growing up. JUNIOR, the middle child, is an and her abduction is something to do with LORD XANGO. excitable twelve-year-old who’s unable to concentrate on anything. He As JUNIOR draws closer, hoping to find out more, he feels certain that is happiest spending his time alone, playing online games. In the virtual he knows the stranger. He can hardly believe his eyes; it looks like his world, JUNIOR is the sworn enemy of the legendary GRACIE WARRIOR, online adversary ROYCE GRACIE. He must still be dreaming. JUNIOR’s ROYCE. Their characters fight each other several times a day which keeps involuntary gasp of recognition reveals his hiding place, and the JUNIOR away from his real GJJ training and just about everything else mysterious figure hurries away. Furious at JUNIOR’s eavesdropping, for that matter. JUNIOR’s attitude is the constant thorn in the side of his his uncle drags him from the shadows and locks him in his room. In caring but stern uncle who has tasked himself with mentoring his gifted the morning, JUNIOR finds his door unlocked. Nothing is said about the but undisciplined nephew in the GRACIE fighting arts. previous night but deep inside JUNIOR knows that it was no dream and JUNIOR’s peace is shattered when his eight-year-old sister, RAMA, is that he must act. abducted while in his care. He neglected to watch her while playing a practical joke on his older brother, KOMA. The trauma of the events

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JUNIOR swallows his pride and asks KOMA for help but his brother doesn’t want to make up and will not accompany JUNIOR on any impulsive, secret journey. He has seen many times, as with their Jiu-Jitsu training, that JUNIOR quickly loses interest most things. KOMA, adding ridicule to reprimand, refuses to take any part in the plan and sternly warns JUNIOR against heading out alone as he’ll never make it. Of course, JUNIOR has to go ahead with it, now twice as determined. He is certain that, just like many other young humans, RAMA has been taken away by the GI troops of LORD XANGO.

[Act 2] Joining the resistance JUNIOR strikes out, a tiny lone figure set against the crushing weight of the volatile elements as the sun blazes down upon him through an inconsistent ozone layer. This frying pan soon becomes a fire when he finds himself over-run by a band of young humans. These children of the human RESISTANCE forces roam the South American wasteland in vehicles that their parents have commandeered from GI troops. None of them is older than eighteen. In a ferocious show down we see the extent of JUNIORS innate fighting talent as he easily masters the leader of this rag tag group, a boy much older and much bigger in stature than himself. JUNIOR’S ballsy attitude wins him immediate respect from the group and he is welcomed in to the outfit. The adults of the resistance have been sucked into desperate wars on two fronts: one with the bug armies on both the Northern and Southern lines; a second covert operation against XANGO’S entirely unhindered GI forces, setting them entirely outside the law. As more and more men and women have been lost in the interconnected conflicts it has fallen to their offspring to take care of home security. Theirs is a harsh environment and kids gain the expertise to crush a giant cockroach, no matter what the unforgiving weather system might throw at them, before they can tie up their own shoelaces. These “CADETS” tell JUNIOR that they are on the trail of a GI convoy crossing territory controlled by XANGO. JUNIOR ups the anti and convinces the CADETS to hijack XANGO’s vehicle train, which is one of many that regularly ship ill-gotten bullion across the barren wasteland. JUNIOR plans to exchange any captured treasures for the life


of RAMA but keeps this information close to his chest. With the CADETS motorcade disguised by the infamous half-human, half-insect skull of XANGO’s GI troops, they set off on their mission.

New information, new friends JUNIOR and the CADETS come across two more stranded teens, MISS JAPAN and BIG BANG, next to a broken down vehicle. In a quick and furious case of mistaken identity MISS JAPAN proves that she is as capable an adversary as she is beautiful and BIG BANG is as cunning as he is rotund. On seeing the motorcade’s GI disguise BIG BANG and MISS JAPAN play possum to lure the CADETS toward their stricken vehicle that BIG BANG has hastily rigged to detonate. It’s only MISS JAPAN’s last minute reading of the situation that gets JUNIOR and the CADETS clear of the inevitable explosion. As BIG BANG and MISS JAPAN bicker about the destruction of their transport and MISS JAPAN’s research equipment the others look on bemused and slightly amused.

MISS JAPAN goes on to tell a story that turns the cadets plans on their head. Genocide is taking place in her home village. Her parents were the leaders of the community and the first to have been murdered in a “sanctioning” decreed by XANGO. It was only because she was out in these vast planes searching for the scientific evidence to substantiate her claims that she was not killed, or more likely abducted, herself. It was here that she met BIG BANG; she has been with him and his family for the past two nights. It is decided that they will make for her village to see if anything can be done. JUNIOR has no argument with the redirection, seemingly entranced by their new comrades, especially MISS JAPAN. BIG BANG has remained tight-lipped throughout, merely piping up to corroborate what MISS JAPAN has to tell.

Witness to a crime

The new allies cover the one hundred clicks to the village beyond the termite bore holes at a good pace under MISS JAPANS direction. Inside the settlement XANGO’s crack GI troops are still engaged in the terror. The violent subjugation is surrealistically staged against a backdrop of politiThe CADETS want to know what these two are doing out here in the cal propaganda pumped from giant erected video hoardings that sell vivid dangerous ranges. This area is riddled with insect bore holes from which lies twenty four times a second. It’s anyone’s guess why the press-gangthe bugs can make their devastating forays into the remaining human ing needs this public relations effort. The blaring fictionalised playback enclaves. MISS JAPAN’s explanation doesn’t make for easy listening; she depicts crude mock-heroism by GIs cut with ludicrously banal images of has a theory that the threat the bugs pose to man is only the tip of a mesmerised smiling pantomime people who the troops are allegedly savmore deadly iceberg. She believes the INSECT SCOURGE are unwitting ing. This all only serves to create a jarring paradox in the face of the true pawns in an insidious, deadly game and if things carry on the way they nature of XANGO’s philanthropy. Women and children are shackled and are, the bugs days are numbered. MISS JAPAN has been gathering evi- crying, the men unable to protect them or themselves as they’re all taken dence that will prove her hypothesis that only male insects are left and, away for “enhancing” into the GI ranks. Those who resisted have been although they’re deadly warriors, without the possibility of reproducing slaughtered. The CADET’s disguise gets them a wave and smile from their they cannot possibly survive. The real enemy are the GI storm troopers enemies and they roll on through the village. JUNIOR is struggling with and XANGO, their master, who she considers to be masterminding the the moment. He wants to step in and help the villagers, but holds himself back. He knows acting now would put too many people at risk. He reentire deception. To what end she does not know. members it is important to pick your fights: to know when to act and not Her pet theories aren’t popular with anyone here, each of the cadets know to react. On seeing a GI bludgeoning a woman to the ground, he forgets grief first hand from death dished out mercilessly at the mandibles of the all this and leaps from the truck and attacks it. All hell breaks loose. INSECT SCOURGE hoards and if what she is saying is true, none of these young soldiers will shed a tear for their enemies’ demise. As for the case The GI’s are not fazed by the CADET’s skills. Things look even bleaker against the GI’S and XANGO, here at least, they’re all in agreement. As if for the young fighters when the GI leader, LAKWA, bursts into the fray. To to underline this point her fried radio emits it’s parting breath. Everyone make matters worse it begins to rain solid cylinders that pound into the stands motionless as XANGOS voice cuts through the heat haze. It’s one flesh upon impact like blunt instruments hurled by an army of unseen asof his jingoistic jingles, a recruitment drive for young men and women to sailants. LAKWA’s presence is unexpected and adds a weight to the GI’S sign up for ‘enhancement’ into the GI ranks. ‘Be more than you can be’ is incursion into MISS JAPAN’S village that should give the CADETS cause his mad, manipulative credo but no one listening here is taken in. A slug to wonder. A truly dark and disturbing figure, LAKWA has awesome fightfrom a hand cannon soon cuts short the duplicitous transmission and ing skills, inhuman strength and intense focus. Uttering a hideous war cry, LAKWA smashes through the CADETS’ ranks towards MISS JAPAN. everyone’s slightly more sympathetic to MISS JAPAN now. JUNIOR realises the danger he has put himself and his new comrades in

and panics. His lack of training means he cannot think clearly enough to fight and their fate seems thus to be sealed. As if from nowhere, ROYCE appears and takes on XANGO’s minion hand-to-hand. Just as ROYCE moves in to land the killer blow, LAKWA manages to escape, sliding away through the ever-deepening mud underfoot. JUNIOR is awestruck. For him, ROYCE’s appearance vindicates his belief that RAMA is alive. He feels that his mission will now be easy because he has witnessed ROYCE’s strength so many times online. The reality is very different. ROYCE appears to be extremely unhappy about being thrown into this new situation, seemingly against his will. He immediately berates JUNIOR, whose response is cheeky and ungrateful. JUNIOR doesn’t know how but this is definitely an incarnation of the online avatar that he’s been fighting with and learning from for as long as he can remember. If he had any doubts before, ROYCE’s familiarity with JUNIOR has cleared them up. This realisation curbs JUNIOR’s attitude and, judging from ROYCE’S countenance, it’s probably for the best. The complexity of this new relationship jars with any two dimensional daydream he’d entertained about ROYCE making JUNIOR realise that this may be another one of those situations that he just hasn’t thought through.

Among the hives Some of the CADETS’ key vehicles have been destroyed in the fighting but with BIG BANG’s apparently extensive mechanical know-how, they patch up the remaining vehicles and get the convoy moving again. ROYCE does accompany them but is not happy about it. Running low on food and water, they drive into a sandstorm and seek shelter. BIG BANG persuades them to make a path for a canyon crammed with ruined ten-storey INSECT HIVES. Among the ruins they encounter a band of MUTANTS, elements of the 23rd Hive Recon. The rebels learn that the MUTANTS are planning to attack the same GI convoy as them. This is part of the MUTANT’s long-term strategic plan to exact revenge for the destruction, litany, violence and cruel experimentation that XANGO has inflicted upon their numbers. However, they also have a goal further to this. The MUTANT’s believe there is a way to reverse the brainwashed state of “enhanced” hybrid GI forces and their ultimate aim is to bring this to fruition. The CADETS instinctively recoil at this notion, the GI representing nothing to them but cold hard killers, dressed up as a benevolent necessity in XANGO’s lies and deception. MISS JAPAN tries to break the growing tension. She confirms the MUTANTS’ suspicions; making a connection between these startling insights about the GI and her own contentious arguments on the future of the INSECT SCOURGE she only succeeds in fanning the flames of conflict. She’s excited when the MUTANTS, hav-

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ing heard what she has to say, inform her that GI’s are created using exclusively female bugs. The CADETS have heard enough, the only good bug for them is a dead bug: male, female, GI or otherwise. ROYCE adds to the growing antagonism that looks as though it might overflow into violence at any minute. He confirms not only what the MUTANTS have to say but validates all of MISS JAPAN’s insights too. JUNIOR really doesn’t know what to think now. His new comrades the CADETS are increasingly uneasy about ROYCE’S presence. The person he thought would be his new mentor seems distracted. He is angry and uncooperative. Among the CADETS, ROYCE refuses to answer questions. It’s only when BIG BANG reveals the source of his mechanical know-how that the tension is lifted. This MUTANT brigade is his surrogate family, having raised BIG BANG as one of their own after they discovered him as a crying infant amid the ruins of a decimated human settling. This gives the CADETS reason to reconsider the MUTANT’s values but they still doubt their intentions.

DET platoon agrees to this and a line is drawn in the sand. BIG BANG, MISS JAPAN and the MUTANTS on one side; the CADETS on the other. JUNIOR and KOMA find their allegiances split down the middle and ROYCE neither intervenes nor gives his guidance to the brothers in this matter. Reluctantly, KOMA and JUNIOR make their decision and enter the CADET transports after saying their goodbyes to their new friends MISS JAPAN and BIG BANG. The CADETS make off across the wasteland toward the GI convoy. That night the party is attacked by one of XANGO’s helicopter gunship sized DRAGONFLY DRONE ASSAULT CRAFT as it patrols the plains. The MUTANTS, who have been trailing the CADETS’ progress, intervene and destroy the DRONE CRAFT and it’s GI pilots. The CADETS are shamed by their mistrust of the MUTANTS and from this action of selfless camaraderie a strong bond is built between the two groups. No one is more pleased about this than JUNIOR, KOMA, BIG BANG and MISS JAPAN.

ROYCE reveals a previously hidden and mysterious element to his new incarnation to confront XANGO and release KOMA from the possession. Using the same comms unit he forcibly took from KOMA, the GRACIE master transforms himself in to a digital consciousness, travelling via the transmission devices wavelength to make direct contact with XANGO’s formidable psychic powers. XANGO is caught by surprise; ROYCE has turned the tables on the soul-twisting despot. Reluctantly, and no doubt in bad faith, XANGO negotiates the exchange of the bullion for the life of RAMA. Upon his return, ROYCE is visibly weakened by the psychic encounter and, as KOMA comes back to his senses, ROYCE has to take his leave to regain his strength.

Fighting on the run

Under cover of night, the remaining CADET and MUTANT groups move at high speed towards SKYFATHER, XANGO’s notorious fortress. Ever darkening skies close in and envelop them as if XANGO, from deep inside his Interlude bastion, can employ elemental forces to further guard him. As they maA secret plan noeuvre through the complex booby-trapped MEGABUG SLUMS, a patrol The pressure is building and the enormity of the task at hand begins to overwhelm JUNIOR. Faced with certain danger and unsure if ROYCE can The new allies finally home in on and prepare to attack the bullion convoy craft hails them and requests to board and perform a search. BIG BANG help him in the way he originally thought, he turns once more to KOMA for that they have all been tracking. Meanwhile KOMA, capitalising on the tries to distract the patrol, using his technological skills to interfere with encouragement and support. JUNIOR uses communications equipment chaotic battle preparation among his comrades, uses GI communication the patrols human detection systems but suspicions are aroused and the that BIG BANG has pieced together from old insect technology to reach equipment he has salvaged from the DRONE CRAFT and kept hidden to CADETS try to make their escape. The patrol craft opens fire so the battle KOMA. He begs him to join their crew and reveals that he knows for cer- make contact with XANGO. He offers to trade his own life for RAMA’s, des- weary MUTANT and CADET brotherhood must stand their ground and detain that RAMA is alive. Having been wracked with guilt for allowing his perate to protect both his younger siblings from any further harm. But he stroy it. Attracted by the battle, twelve BOXERFLEA BIKE FIGHTERS from kid brother to leave on his own, KOMA agrees. He is painfully aware that has inadvertently put everyone in danger as XANGO uses the radio equip- XANGO’s elite band of GI troops converge on the wreckage of the patrol he is in danger of losing not only his sister but his brother too. This is also ment to precisely locate the CADETS. Worse than this, the open frequency and give chase. Also disturbed by the carnage are the carnivorous giant the opportunity he’s been secretly yearning for, the chance to take re- carries his formidable combination of technology and black magic, which cockroaches from deep inside the MEGABUG SLUMS, part of the INSECT SCOURGE that has been man’s undoing. This is now an almighty threevenge on those who kidnapped RAMA. On making contact with the group, takes control of KOMA’s mind. way battle: dog-eat-dog; every man for himself; blood, guts, the whole KOMA becomes a more attentive brother, making it clear that he’s sorry XANGO’s unannounced presence has a surprising effect upon ROYCE. nine yards. The cockroaches blast indiscriminately from within their garfor his past actions. KOMA is full of an anger that is rooted in anxiety and He falls upon KOMA who is clutching the communications device, his gantuan fighting machines, targeting GI’s, MUTANTS and CADETS alike. the deep desire to protect his family. He feels he can’t trust ROYCE and gaze vacant and possessed, wrenches the unit from KOMA’s grip and he can see that JUNIOR is pinning all his hopes on the mysterious fighter. knocks him unconscious. Any hopes they may have had for the element ROYCE, roused from his recuperative sleep, resumes command of the He doesn’t want to see JUNIOR hurt any more. of surprise are destroyed. Battle ready GI troops swarm from the bullion company. Once more under his harsh, uncompromising instruction, they There’s a further unforeseen outcome upon KOMA’s arrival too; an unde- convoy and are quickly reinforced by a swarm of HORNET JETS. ROYCE shoot and destroy many of the BIKE FIGHTERS as their enemies’ confused niable atmosphere between him and MISS JAPAN. JUNIOR can see they assumes command and although JUNIOR and the CADETS find his cold, fire is drawn between their two targets. JUNIOR and the CADETS now like each other but doesn’t understand why they can’t seem to talk or relentless leadership hard to take, their anger turns to respect when they know better than to question ROYCE. They may not like his style of leadlook each other in the eye, come to that. Worse than any of this for him is see the results of his instruction. Their MUTANT brothers in arms soak up ership but he’s more than proved his credentials under fire and everythat he may as well not be around when they’re together. He’s jealous of wave after wave of attack from the GI allowing the CADETS to concen- one’s respect and trust for his authority is tangible. His young charges are the effects of his brother’s presence from any way you care to look at it trate on their objective but the costs are high. alarmed to see ROYCE momentarily physically cut in and out of view, like and also completely unequipped to deal with it. a weak transmission or as if something or someone is causing interferLeaving a decimated GI column behind them, the CADETS make their ence to “jam” him in the heat of battle. None the less his focus in battle escape. Sadly, many of their new MUTANT friends have been lost in the Actions speak steers them all through the mayhem, which escalates as a ferocious torbattle. And although they have the bullion, KOMA is infected by XANGO’s nado surrounds the battle and threatens to undo all forces without care When the time comes for the CADETS to leave the HIVES, BIG possession, fighting for survival. to anyone’s allegiances. Our heroes are hit several times and buffeted BANG’s MUTANT family prepare to join them. No one in the CA-

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like garments in a dryer by the ever-conspiring weather conditions. They become fragmented and their progress grows slower.

Revelations As they draw closer to SKYFATHER, ROYCE has no choice but to reveal his hand. XANGO’S psycho-digital hacking seems to be endangering ROYCE’s very existence, the warlords influence mounting by the second as they approach his lair, ROYCE calls the brothers to him and cryptically asks if they trust him. Before they can answer he uses his psychic powers to join their three minds. The psychic link provides the brothers with a virtual ‘window’ on XANGO. Through this, they can see XANGO and LAKWA. Suddenly, JUNIOR realises that LAKWA is speaking with his sister’s voice. As LAKWA turns, we see that it is RAMA who has been imprisoned in LAKWA’s chest. Using his digitally enhanced powers of possession XANGO has enslaved the still-conscious girl and her life force is providing LAKWA with the energy to exist.

[Act 3] Showdown in the sky Their continued passage into XANGO’s heart of darkness is unhindered and easy. Too easy, MISS JAPAN quips. But JUNIOR is steadfast; playing the hand he has been dealt. At the top of SKYFATHER, there is a terrifying standoff.

XANGO appears to be holding true to his end of the bargain, offering to trade the life of RAMA for the stolen bullion and making great show of being a man of his word. He promises that he will give them one hour to leave his territory after the exchange but this is where his politesse and generosity end. ROYCE’s freedom is non-negotiable and XANGO insists that the original agreement is binding. Either all agree or no one shall The predicament of his sister almost drives JUNIOR to breaking point. leave. A previously unseen division of GI guards make their presence The combination of this shocking revelation mixed with the disorientation known, surrounding the negotiation team of JUNIOR, KOMA, BIG BANG caused by the disembodied psychic experience raises JUNIORS anxiety and MISS JAPAN to underline this point. JUNIOR reluctantly tells his friend levels towards an all out panic attack. Seeing JUNIOR in crisis, ROYCE BIG BANG to the hand over the bullion. attempts to soothe him by choosing this moment to show him the bigger picture. ROYCE has appeared in this world to protect the three siblings There is an awkward pause before BIG BANG makes a shock announcebecause they are the last remaining GRACIES. XANGO’s abuse of RAMA’s ment. There is no money. Instead of bullion he reveals a hand held detolife force was the catalyst that bought ROYCE back into existence. The nater. Their transports, no doubt now surrounded by GI’s, have their cargo mix of technology and voodoo that XANGO has mastered and then mus- holds packed to the hatches with high explosives. He has given the bultered to bind RAMA inside LAKWA has inadvertently invoked ROYCE from lion to his MUTANT tribe to aid their cause. He has betrayed his new deep within what remains of man’s virtual networks. Silicone, carbon associates in favour of his own people, and screams at the GRACIES and spirit have fused to give life to the GRACIE warrior. Now that XANGO to escape while they still can. At XANGO’s word, RAMA’s removal from knows not only of ROYCE’s existence but the intent of the brothers, the LAKWA is halted. The tiny girl squeals as she is once more slammed back dark lord will stop at nothing to either control or destroy them. If XANGO inside the GI commander’s chest.

JUNIOR finally gets through to his brother. Clearing the insidious cobwebs from his mind KOMA rushes LAKWA just as the Frankenstein creation reanimates. XANGO stands back like a coward, leaving his dirty work to his brutal henchman. Strangely, the GI all now stand frozen. It appears that it’s not only XANGO’s hold over KOMA that is fading. JUNIOR joins his brother in a decisive offensive, blending Parkour and Jiu-Jitsu. Their awesome, synchronised fighting seems to be gaining them the advantage until their growing confidence is shattered by XANGO’S surprising and ruthless tactics. Sensing his foot soldier is about to be bested, he makes a shocking move, snatching away the brothers’ upper hand. With a deft movement that belies his feeble frame, XANGO snaps LAKWA’S neck as payment for his failure. As the lifeless automaton crashes face first to the ground the source of XANGO’S unanticipated strength is revealed from beneath his sinister cloak. His body is indeed frail, ancient looking and strapped in rotting cloth bindings but it’s supported and articulated by a cold, hard mechanical exoskeleton giving him fright fight speed and strength. His subterfuge has masked this bleak looking eventuality from everyone but there is a glimmer of hope and JUNIOR grabs it.

KOMA reads the situation and dives at XANGO, giving JUNIOR the window he needs to drag LAKWA’S deadweight carcass toward the elevator that leads to the cargo deck and freedom for RAMA, still inside LAKWA’s inert breast. The body is too heavy for JUNIOR to manage by himself but BIG BANG and MISS JAPAN help out, promising to get RAMA clear of SKYFATHER. BIG BANG hands JUNIOR the detonator. Nothing is said but the intention is clear. In the chaotic blink of an eye that this has taken, XANGO has delivered a colossal body strike to KOMA, spiralling the burly adolescent off of his feet, forcing the breath from his lungs and leaving him in shock. JUNIOR leaps into the path of XANGO’S gleaming, motorized form as the deadly adversary steels himself to strike from within his huge can do so then the GRACIES’ legacy will fade from the world along with all Another devastating blow is dealt to our heroes as KOMA falls under XAN- glowering shadow. Placing himself between the tyrant and his stricken hope for humanity but ROYCE assures KOMA and JUNIOR that his young GO’s control once more, susceptible to psychic attack form his earlier brother, all at once JUNIOR recognises the paralysing spectral form from GRACIE descendants are destined to become a great force for good once affliction. Held in a powerful trance KOMA throws JUNIOR to the ground. his recurring nightmares. more. All the brothers have to do is remain focused and remember their Everyone steps back as the two brothers brawl. KOMA’s eyes are shining training. Holding XANGO in his young steely gaze, JUNIOR acts, now unafraid with the light of XANGO’s possession. JUNIOR hisses desperately into his and brandishing the detonator. He means to end the brothers’ lives and When they return to their physical forms, JUNIOR and KOMA are inspired, brother’s deafened ear to snap out of it and, swallowing his pride, tells XANGO’s but save RAMA’s to ensure a future for humanity. XANGO sees and imbued with new clarity and self-belief but there is a crushing down KOMA that he can’t make it alone and neither can RAMA. The emotional that KOMA and JUNIOR are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice but, side to these events. ROYCE has not returned from the digital spiritual content of JUNIOR replaying KOMA’s own advice back to him, which he in a hideous turn of fate, they have played directly into his hands as he realm, becoming entangled in XANGO’s vast containment servers that gave at the onset of JUNIOR’s adventure, resonates deeply somewhere reveals RAMA who he must have ripped from LAKWA’S body before it hit where primed to trap him behind their secure firewall having been tuned inside of him and gives KOMA the strength to resist the possession. Howthe ground. As JUNIOR presses the button he is killing all three GRACIES. to ROYCE’s frequency. Feeling he has nothing left to lose, JUNIOR leads ever, the brothers continue to fight each other, suddenly overwhelmed by JUNIOR sees RAMA and realises the mistake he has made. the old enmity between them. the rebels towards the warlord’s fortress.

A noble sacrifice

Bluff and double bluff 24.09.06 32


There is no explosion. BIG BANG has played a risky bluff and it appears to have paid off. The CADETS burst through the bulkhead, with BIG BANG and MISS JAPAN leading. Following them are MUTANT fighters and hundreds of GI Amazonian female warriors who have somehow returned to a bewildered normality. With the light of the GRACIE’s returning to the world, XANGO’s dark hold over his minions appears to be weakening. Everybody now faces XANGO, who is using RAMA as a human shield in a truly pathetic and desperate attempt at self-preservation. This is the most Mexican of stand offs. The scales finally tip definitively in our heroes favour when ROYCE manifests in their midst. ROYCE has read XANGO’s move perfectly, feeding him a fake and then striking back with a perfectly timed, decisive move. He’s turned the digital trap meant to ensnare him against XANGO by systematically destroying the digital memory banks that the warlord had created to hold the souls of his GI creations captive. ROYCE wastes no time in tackling XANGO, giving JUNIOR has the opportunity to lift RAMA away to safety. Methodical in his implementation of technique ROYCE snaps each of XANGO’S power-driven limbs, crippling his opponent. As the exoskeleton shuts down, XANGO lets out a series of blood-curdling screams, pleading for help, wild with terror but it’s neither the pain nor fear of defeat that drives these sounds from his lips. The metal rigging that XANGO had enveloped himself in had a more nefarious purpose than merely transporting and supporting him. For centuries he’s been using this animated combination of technology and the occult to hold his secret affliction at bay. Under his decrepit flesh a giant king of the bugs is desperate to break out, all the while using his soft tissue as sustenance like a living pupa. Now ROYCE has shut down XANGO’S imprisoning construction the bug rips through what little remains of the old human husk and attacks.

The path home As the GI open fire on the monstrous beast that used to control them, the GRACIES and their comrades make their exit. The corridors of SKYFATHER are in pandemonium as the remaining freed female bug prisoners carry human families, their fellow captives, away from the fortress in one ecstatic exodus. Today marks an unprecedented shift in human insect relations. The world will never be the same. Back on board their transport, CADETS and MUTANTS sit in stunned silence, their joy giving way to astonished comprehension of all that has happened. JUNIOR looks dazed, hurt and confused too, having been grief stricken when he thought ROYCE his mentor dead, but this final lesson is maybe the most important yet. At last JUNIOR is able to take the tuition. In battle, as in all things, ROYCE explains that there is what he show’s you, what

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you see, and what he does. Reflecting on this JUNIOR realises he has gained a brother, helped save humanity, saved his sister and learnt to accept responsibility along the way.

Royce Gracie Epilogue RG voiceover: “Ordinary life demands courage – sometimes exceptional courage. But being human also requires another kind of courage: the strength to accept what is new and different, and deal with the strange and inexplicable things we may encounter. We also need the strength to accept love when it is offered…” GRAND MASTER HELIOS GRACIE III, himself brought back to life from XANGO’s databanks, presents the heroes to the cheering crowd. For the first time we see RAMA, recovered from her ordeal and no longer inside LAKWA’s shell, her image emblazoned on giant screens. The GRAND MASTER commissions the brothers as black-belt GRACIE WARRIORS. They are no longer students but have become skilled teachers themselves. Their uncle is looks on proudly, taking his place next to ROYCE. Finally, we see BIG BANG, standing along side MISS JAPAN in the audience. Voiceover: “…and, above all, to dare to pursue your dreams and have the courage to face your fears. Even though our victories may be small and go unnoticed by many, they are sure to touch those around us.”


To be continued...

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RGC