Saturday, April 6, 2013


So, as we learned last time, Dr. Esteban Vega led an expedition into the rain forests of the Amazon in search of rare, possibly endangered, biological treasures that might be a boon to humanity and an aid in his initiative to make humans more ready for life in outer space.  With him were his then-teenage son, Lucky; and Lucky’s fitness and self-defense instructor, Paloma Reyes.  Accompanying them was one of Esteban’s associates in the space project, Jack Samson.  The world’s greatest health, exercise, and fitness mogul, Samson owned a national chain of gyms and had his own best-selling line of exercise and workout gear and fitness supplements, and was the publisher of Samson Magazine, the men’s exercise bible.  Jack had come into Esteban’s project as a consultant on the aspect of helping space travelers retain muscle mass and bone density in space.  And tagging along with Samson was his own son, Todd, a handsome and buffed young lad learning his father’s business.

The expedition’s guide brought them into an area where few white men or outsiders had ever visited, deep in the forest.  Here, the group’s botanist found a species of plant that she had never encountered.  Before she could study the unidentified flora in detail, the group was set upon by a group of youths who could have stepped right out of a Brazilian edition of Samson.  The youths, led by one named Cabroro, accused the Vega party of trespassing on the lands of the Xiil Tribe and attacked with the intent of capturing them.  In the ensuing melee, Lucky used battle moves taught him by Paloma to knock down Cabroro and get the upper hand over him--until more natives arrived and interrupted the whole tableau.  These were members of yet another tribe, the Paramati, who disputed the Xiil’s claim over this part of the outlying territory in the part of the rain forest that both tribes shared.  Which side was in the right?  Cabroro didn’t care; the outsider called “Lucky” had personally humiliated him in his attempt to defend the borders of the Xiil, and as Prince of the Tribe he would have satisfaction.  

The Xiil withdrew for the time being, with Cabroro’s threat hanging over Lucky.  The Vega party went with the Paramati to the heart of their territory and began to learn the incredible secrets of the advanced societies living hidden in the rain forest.  The Paramati and the Xiil both possessed a command of science that would have done Esteban himself proud, and they owed it all to the amazing properties of the Rumutu plant and how it affected the two rival tribes in mind and body, a heritage passed down over centuries on both sides.  The Paramati and the Xiil knew all about the outside world and had in fact been observing the nations of North America and Europe for years, but they had maintained their isolationism to protect the secret of the Rumutu from possibly dangerous foreign hands.  But now Zavio, leader of the Paramati, judged that it was too dangerous to keep Dr. Vega and his son in the dark:  for the aggressive and headstrong Cabroro would soon seek his revenge on Lucky for daring to strike him down in battle, and the Vegas must know what they were facing.

Sure enough, Cabroro and his father Guldaan, leader of the Xiil, came barging into the Paramati Royal Court, demanding a duel of honor between Cabroro and Lucky--a battle that Lucky would surely never survive.  The Vega party would not be permitted to leave the rain forest until the duel was ended, and if they tried to escape or the Paramati aided them in such an effort, it would end the truce between the two rival tribes.  His back to the wall, young Lucky had no choice but to accept Cabroro’s challenge.  However, Princess Ixia of the Paramati fancied the young American and decided secretly to help him.  She arranged a clandestine meeting in which she served Lucky a Rumutu tea that would fortify him enough to stand a chance against the Xiil Prince.  Lucky spent that night in the Princess’s bed, a fitting “first time” for the brilliant and exceptional boy.

The duel proceeded.  As Esteban and company watched, powerless to do anything else, Esteban gave orders to Paloma:  “No matter what happens, we are not going to let this strutting fool kill my son.  If it becomes necessary, you will save Lucky by any means you must, we will get him out of here, and we will let the Paramati and the Xill fight it out between them.”  Paloma understood and accepted her employer’s orders.  As fate would have it, the Rumutu-enhanced Lucky faced Cabroro in a furiously fought battle with both tribes watching--and in the end, Lucky fell at Cabroro’s feet!  But in a twist, before Paloma could step in, Cabroro himself, battered to the limit of his endurance, fell along with his opponent!  Cabroro had triumphed--but he had not won cleanly and decisively as he vowed!  His Princely honor now stained, Cabroro now had no choice but to accept banishment from his own tribe until such time as he redeemed himself in the eyes of his shamed father!

The Vega party left the land of the Paramati and Xiil, but the fallout of this encounter would go on for years to come.  Esteban took a sample of Lucky’s blood and preserved it before the Rumutu derivatives in his blood could break down; these extracts would be a vital component of the hormone-enzyme cocktail in the Samson-Vega Patch, which would eventually be what transformed Olympic champion Travis Roykirk into the World Champion.  And the fallen Prince Cabroro, with his loyal entourage of young male Xiil courtiers, left the tribe and traveled into the outside world, where he would gather wealth and resources for himself, and plot and scheme and wait and bide his time, until the moment came for him to strike back at Lucky Vega and take his ultimate revenge.  So it is that one night, Cabroro is ready.  He and his followers stand on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles at sunset, and as the sky darkens and the city lights up before them, the vengeful Prince vows, “Before we have departed this city, the accursed Lorenzo Vega shall have learned at last that Cabroro, Prince of the Xiil, is his master!”

Pride and power make a dangerous combination--and never more so than in the person of an angry young Prince.

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