GLADIATARIST ...so what's that all about then?
Once upon a time....
Deep in our galaxy, far far away, a civilisation exists, the Gorflings; little creatures, not too dissimilar in external appearance to frogs on Earth, but these have evolved on their planet as the apex intelligence, large heads needed to house their massively impressive brains. They built a world of peace, calm and great technical development, until their little planet was discovered by Linbogs, a treacherous and warlike species, regarded by many in the galaxy as space pirates, and often referred to as 'evil boggers', plundering what they conquer. Their large, muscular frames intimidated the Gorflings, who weren’t prepared for such aggressive ways.
However, the Linbogs weren’t all brawn and no brains. Under the leadership of General Hob, they were cunning and needed somewhere to hide out for a while; they were on the galaxy's most wanted list. They infiltrated rather than destroy. Hob convinced the Gorfling council and their elected leader, Lub, that there was a great danger in the galaxy coming their way: ugly evil humanoid creatures and that the Gorflings needed the protection only the Linbogs could provide. The Gorflings dared not argue and were now the subjects of ‘project fear’. More and more, Hob wormed his way to greater authority, knowing the Gorflings were too frightened to speak up and oppose him. While he acted like he served Lub, sitting next to him at the meeting of the council, he knew he could do exactly as he wanted. The Gorflings became little more than than his slaves.
Hob introduced new rules of obedience. Any dissenters were brought before the council, only now the new rules required accused to have someone champion their case, defend them; give them the traditional Linbog sign of a ‘thumbs up’. If they did so, not only would they incur the wrath of Hob, but they would have to fight for justice in the newly constructed gladiator arena. The clever Gorflings had built cyborgs to provide for their needs, but Hob had made them reprogram one to act as ‘justice minister’. The 'gods' would determine the outcome in the arena: defeat the cyborg and you were innocent, lose to it and you died with your guilt; the gladiatorial way of the Linbogs. The Gorflings hated it, but now the Linbogs were so entrenched, there was nothing they dare do about it.
Then someone arrived to their planet, one of the humanoid creatures the Linbogs had warned of. She was Doris, a brave, adventurous space explorer of the new age. Aware of the 'boggers', she hid from them and tried, in secret, to warn Lub and the council - she needed them on her side, but the frightened Gorflings snitched on her, scared to be caught mixing with a human. She was thrown in jail. Hob had to get rid of her quickly before she convinced the Gorflings of the truth of the Linbogs. He ordered a trial for her execution ...and this is where we the video starts.
Doris in jail, guarded by the Linbogs, awaiting her trial
The trial is advertised on the poster. General Hob wanted the Gorflings to witness the gladiator battle as a way of enforcing his 'project fear on them. Here we see Thom dance and skip by some other Gorflings. He is unaware of the poster and thus the event, lost in his little dreamy music-loving world. His constant headphone wearing blocks out hearing anything and he has a lazy eye, so he doesn't see too much either (this may also be a respectful homage to one of my favourite ever singers!).
Here we see the structure of the Gorfling world; their love of the arts and creative architecture as we zoom in on the court. This was initially just the council area and the open nature reflected to openess of Gorfling life. That was before the Linbogs took over, now it's a court room. To the left we see the area that gets transformed into the arena, the rising floor being another great Gorfling invention.
Thom skips passed the courtroom guards. Guards are a very new concept to Gorflings, brought in by General Hob, so Thom wasn't thinking about it and he skipped along listening to his favourite Nepenthes Sloth tracks. The guards, knowing they don't get any trouble from the timmid Gorflings, were bored and chatting, and not watching their post.
Doris is brought before the council and jury for her trial. Lob, a senior Gorfling, is the elected Gorfling chairperson and strugling with the whole concept, but General Hob has made the Gorflings fear that they need his wise and experienced protection; not that they dare question him anyway. The council/jury is made out of 12 Gorflings and the case is put to them only by Hob. Doris isn't even allowed to speak.
After Hob gives his assessment he puts the case to the jury. The system he introduced is the old Bogger way. An accused has to have someone defend them, champion their cause by signalling a 'thumbs up'. No thumbs up and the accused is automatically found guilty. What happens then, as decreed by Hob and his new system of obedience and justice, is that the verdict is then determined by gladiatorial battle that is guided by the Gods and fair justice results. However at this point Thom accidentally stumbles into the proceedings.
Thom is stopped by a friend. Thom wakes up from his daydream and does his usual 'hi dude' peace sign jestures to all. His friend worriedly points him to Hob. Thom doesn't realise his peace sign is reversed towards Hob at this point.
Now it dawns on Thom he's actually interrupted something important. He looks around and there he sees the dangerous human invader the Linbogs warned them about. Thom avoids 'politics' as much as possible, but even he'd heard of the human arrival on their planet. Thank goodness the Boggers were there to save them!
Hob is enraged. He thought the execution could just go straight ahead, now it had to go to a gladatorial decider. He has his guards throw both Thom and Doris into the Arena
The arena used to be just an art display area, but now the Boggers had turned it into a gladiators battle pit. It had never been used before, the law abiding Gorflings had never dared argue with the Boggers. Hob had got the techinically brilliant Gorflings to reprogram one of their engineering & construction cycborgs into a fighting machine; the new 'Minister of Justice'. Out it walked into the arena.
Never fear says Thom to Doris. I know these cyborgs, they were built to never harm anyone and to enjoy the arts. He set about breaking down barriers and developing trust by doing one of his special dance moves; they always work. Doris pleads with him not to but Thom is, as usual, not listening. She tried to say pick up the headphones, she has a plan.
The cyborg lays into Thom, much to his shock. It was a one sided affair. Hob was pleased to see the crowd, made to watch, were wittnessing Bogger justice in action. That'll learn them he thinks.
Thom lies dead on the floor. However, while the focus is on the cyborg celebrating his victory, along with Hob (but not any of the Golflings), Doris slips over to Thom.
Now a side of Doris is revealed. She has special powers that can bring out new forms in life.
Much to everyone's shock, Thom is not only alive but has turned into his alter-ego, the powerful musician. His headphones turn from listen devices into a creative one, the guitar. Doris says 'Go get them Thom'
The cyborg tries to hit out but Thom is now too fast and dodges everything. Here we see the great guitar pose leap Thom does, (which may well be homage to a great legend and inspirational guitarist that recently very sadly passed away).
Thom takes on the cyborg. Thom's audio signals confused the cyborg and then he unleashed the full power of the audio waves and repeatedly knocks back and shorts circuits and burns out the cyborg's electronics.
A rage takes over Thom and he leaps up to deal with Hob. The general, like all bullies do, turns into the shaking cowardly wreck.
However it takes a lot of Doris energy and powers to keep the transformation going, and she can keep it up no longer.
As Hob releases Thom has turned back to he normal little self, he becomes the very angry aggressor once again. Thom is now a little wiser and evades the attack but falls into the arena. Doris begins to panic, not seeing any escape from the arena, knowing the Boggers will now come for her, where she is now trapped. This is where Chairperson Lub finally acts. While Hob can't see him, he points to a way out for Doris, a service corridor, and he activated it from controls in the arena's council box where he is sitting.
Doris sees the escape route and thanks Lub with an ironic thumbs up. She picks up the dazed Thom, rubbing his injuries from the cyborg attack he is now feeling. Still, it's good the be alive ...again.
Doris, carrying Thom, makes for a get away down the arena service corridor
But General Hob and the guards are in hot pursuit. Doris reaches the edge where there is a massive black drop into the unknown, probably a disposal shaft to the outside world. They realise they are cornered and know the Boggers will kill them. Doris suggest the only way out to Thom, and he agrees.
They jump off deep into the dark unknown. Thom even manages one last finger gesture to the watching General Hob. It seems to be a jump to their certain death ...but maybe there is still more to learn about Doris, maybe the story is to be continued?
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