Max Q by Steven Jones | Script Revolution

Max Q

Jonny Quest meets Speed Racer. Vroom vroom. :)



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Hammer Family Racing is one of the last independent teams in the International Prototype Vehicle Association, the near future’s hottest sports league. IPVA racers compete in races and rodeos in every style of high-concept transportation in every imaginable location. After a corporate team poaches HFR’s driver Bernard Faber before a make-or-break race, co-founder and bossman Buckpitt Hammer approaches hardscrabble amateur proto-racer Bryan “Risk” Daley about becoming his new driver after watching Daley ditch his mag-luge rather than win at the risk of injuring other racers. Daley’s sacrifice has left him sore but he agrees to discuss Hammer's offer over dinner.

But first Daley visits a med-punkt in his lash-up (a 21st century Hooverville) to get checked out. While the doctor, Aron Vayner, is confirming Daley has bruised ribs, a spiteful neighbor who bet on the mag-luge race slashes Daley's tires. Daley cannot afford new wheels so Vayner suggests he ask their neighbor Max if he has retreads. An apparent orphan, Max (no last name) is a twelve-year-old whizzer (engineering protégé), chick-magnet and scrounger par excellence.

Max has retreads but Daley’s dinner interview is fast approaching, so Max offers to let Daley borrow his 1951 Buick concept LaSabre if the boy can tag along. Daley acquiesces and to his relief Buckpitt, oldest daughter Monnarae, HFR’s Chief Financial Officer and Public Relations Officer, middle daughter Monica, a primo grease monkey suffering from neuromyelitis optica, and youngest daughter Mario (pronounced “Mary-Oh”), a tomboy and whizzer, take a shine to the precocious boy. Daley also discovers that he was recommended to Buckpitt by Henry “Swede” Nelson, an MIT gearhead who served with him in the Marines. Swede and HFR are prepping a game-changing fuel-and-vehicle combo dubbed Trainbolt for the upcoming TransPac Magway Ceremonial. If Trainbolt can at least place then HFR should have investors pounding on their door. If not then Hammer Family Racing will go bust.

Meanwhile Faber is suffering buyer’s remorse at his new company, Competition-Pursuit-Concepts, the IPVA arm of SeaJax Corporation. Faber was courting Monnarae but his lucrative agreement was dependent upon his immediately abandoning HFR, a condition stipulated by Coil Mason, CFO and President of Sports Operations and former suitor of Monnarae's, and Mason's boss Dr. Alexandré Scattergood. Signing Faber dovetails with a scheme Scattergood, an emperor of crime, is prepping for the Ceremonial, but the mastermind is currently more focused on a quantum experiment to verify the reality of time travelling particles. Unfortunately an oversight during his experiment triggers an explosion that demolishes Scattergood’s lab and apparently vaporizes him and an assistant.

The detonation is felt in the neighboring HFR campus followed almost instantly by an explosion in one of its ravines. There Risk and Monica find an insensible eight year old boy lying near a small fulgurite impact crater. Concerned that the boy might be linked to the SeaJax explosion in a detrimental way, Daley enlists Vayner to examine him rather than call 9-1-1. The boy is healthy but has no memory of his identity or how he got in the ravine, so Buckpitt offers to assume responsibility for the mysterious child until his relatives can be located. A decade earlier his wife Myrna, an IPVA legend, was killed during a race before learning she was pregnant with a son. In the meantime the Hammer family settle on a name to call the boy: James-Michael or J-M for short.

Race Day arrives! The TransPac is the first intercontinental magnetic levitation highway, spanning between San Francisco and Shanghai with artificial oases in between. Its central oasis is Laysan Island, site of The Hub space elevator, which connects to Space Platform One, a geosynchronous station and resort. All of this was designed, financed and built by Scattergood’s one-time fiancée Adelene Pilot and her company Neo-Future Tech. Among Daley's competition are Electric Skull, an independent marathoner in a high-tech exoskeleton, Medusa, the IPVA’s masked mystery woman and winningest racer, and Faber. Apparent accidents plague the race but Trainbolt comes in second, however more accidents on SP1 during post-race ceremonies cripple it and send it gradually plummeting to earth. While Faber and Monnarae confront each other and their feelings the HFR team help SP1's crew find a way to skip the platform off Earth’s atmosphere and buy the time needed for rescue vehicles to reach them.

Submitted: May 18, 2023
Last Updated: May 27, 2023

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Steven Jones's picture

The Writer: Steven Jones

I have written over sixty novels, graphic novels, radio scripts and non-fiction books for adults and young adults in a variety of popular genres. My work has been published by companies like Aconyte Books, Actionopolis, Caliber Comics, IDW, MX Publishing, McFarland Publishing, Malibu Graphics, Marvel Comics and Soteira Press, and several of my properties have been represented by major Hollywood agencies including Creative Artists Agency and International Creative Management. Among my credits are the novels Lovecraftian: The Shipwright Circle (horror) and Talismen: The Knightmare Knife (middle grade fantasy), original comics Nightlinger (horror-adventure) and Wolverstone & Davis (... Go to bio
Agency: Caliber Entertainment
Agent: Eric Reichert

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