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PITCH: The International Prototype Vehicle Association (IPVA) is the hottest sports league of the near future. Racers compete in every imaginable style of high-concept transportation (e.g., on-road, off-road, motocross, watercraft, submersibles, aircraft, sub-orbital planes and spacecraft, gliders) in every imaginable location (e.g., racetracks, city streets, jungles, deserts, oceans, subterranean rivers, around the moon and back). Hammer Family Racing is one of three remaining family-owned IPVA race teams, and, when their driver is poached by a corporate competitor before a major race, they hire amateur proto-racer Bryan “Risk” Daley. Joining Daley is a twelve-year-old engineering genius and chick-magnet who goes by the name Max Q.
SYNOPSIS: In the near future, an experiment to sustain everlasting life with bioplasmic helixes goes terribly awry for Dr. Alexandré Scattergood, a super-genius and leader of an international criminal empire. Meanwhile, Buckpitt Hammer, the blue-collar owner of the independent IPVA Hammer Family Racing team, hires amateur proto-racer Bryan “Risk” Daley after a corporate team, SeaJax Competition-Pursuit-Concepts, poaches his driver Bernard Faber. Hammer has heavily invested in a next-generation fuel-and-vehicle combo dubbed Slingshot by its developer Henry “Swede” Nelson, an M.I.T. motorhead who served in the Marines with Risk. Slingshot will be HFR’s vehicle in the inaugural TransPac MagWay Ceremonial, and, if it can at least show, Hammer should have investors pounding on his door. If it doesn’t, then HFR will go bust.
Times are tough, and Risk is living in the Kirklington Lash-Up, a 21st- century Hooverville. Max Q, a twelve-year-old chick-magnet and “whizzer” (engineering protégé), lives alone there, too. Risk rescues Max after Max tries to defend an amnesiatic eight-year-old boy from a pack of young Kirklington thugs, then assumes responsibility for the boy until his family can be located. Risk brings Max and the boy with him to HFR the next day so he can begin his training on Slingshot, and that’s fine by Buckpitt, whose wife Myrna, an IPVA legend, was killed a decade earlier during a race before learning she was pregnant with a son. It’s also fine with Hammer’s three daughters: Monnarae, HFR’s formidable CFO and PR chief as well as Faber’s ex-girlfriend; Monica, a primo grease monkey suffering from neuromyelitis optica (NMO); and Mario (“Mary-Oh”), a tomboy and whizzer. As Risk and Monica take a shine to each other, Buckpitt and Mario come up with a moniker for the boy: James-Michael or “J-M” for short.
The TransPacific Maglev Highway spans the Pacific Ocean with artificial oases that include Laysan Island, site of the first space elevator, The Hub, which connects to Space Platform One, a new synchronous orbital station and resort. Other competitors racing from San Francisco and Shanghai to The Hub include Faber, an independent “marathoner” named Phedippides Panic (who is literally running in a high-tech ecto-armor), and the IPVA’s mystery woman and winningest racer, The Scare. Accidents hamper the race, but The Scare holds on to win with Risk and Faber close behind. Hammer’s daughters, Swede, Max, and J-M join Risk on SP1 for the post-race ceremony, but Hammer waits behind with Slingshot. So does SeaJax’s CEO, Coil Mason, another former Monnarae suitor. While Faber tries to patch things up with Monnarae, Panic (who is actually employed by SeaJax, which is part of Scattergood’s empire), uses bioplasmic helixes to explode Slingshot, which sunders The Hub’s tether to SP1. A few helixes come in contact with J-M, jogging his memory, as the platform’s orbit swiftly decays, but Max, Mario, and Swede manage to skip SP1 off the atmosphere to buy time for rescue crafts to reach them. Afterwards, Faber is found dead and it appears Monnarae and Panic were sucked into space through a breach in a corridor. The Slingshot explosion also spoils Hammer’s chances to recoup his investments.
J-M remembers that he is Scattergood and that he was reverse-metamorphed when his experiment went wrong. He also figures out a still-smitten Mason ordered Monnarae brought back to Earth in the Panic armor. In gratitude to the Hammers, J-M sees to Monnarae’s release before attempting to return to his former life. Hammer and his daughters are determined to rebuild HFR, and invite Risk, Max, and Swede to join them.
Jonny Quest and Speed Racer meet Popular Mechanics and Popular Science.
Developed by: Steven Phillips Jones