Crazy goings-on here with Smooth Few Films. For months now, we’ve been talking amongst ourselves about the Season Finale and the subsequent break we’d be taking until the Fall to resume Season Two. We’re excited about the projects we’ll be doing in that time between seasons, but The Leet World is like this multi-headed dragon we have to face before getting a much needed rest.
Part One will be arriving sometime in the next few days. Just like assaulting some kind of notorious floating Star de Death, an episode is a multi-pronged attack where several factors have to be aligned just right in order for us to release it. We’ll let you know once we’ve hit that “eve of release” window.
And now, to complete the cast of main characters, we are bringing you the bio of one Cortez Emilio Alejandro Jesus Cardinal. Don’t assume you know everything about our favorite blind avenger…
Name: Cortez Emilio Alejandro Jesus Cardinal
Role: Leader and General Badass
While Benito Cardinal had acquired much in his life — fame, power, wealth and respect — his crowning achievement was the birth of his two sons. Cortez (the older child) and Mendoza (the youngest) were raised to be just like Benito, the esteemed politician and diplomat within the capital city of an unnamed Central American government. They attended various political functions, dining events and even rallies where their father made appearances, appealing on behalf of the people.
When their father was away on his political duties, they received their education in a small village where they lived with their mother. Like much of the rest of Central America at the time, the city was often in political turmoil, under attack from various rebels and guerrilla warriors. As a result, Cortez’s father Benito deemed it much too unsafe for growing young boys.
During their escapades, Cortez and Mendoza grew a close bond with one another. They mixed well with the other local boys, despite the “opulence” that others assumed they grew up with. Cortez also discovered that he was kind of a badass. It didn’t matter what situation he was in, his badass-ness always seemed to show. Cortez tended to rise to the top of any social gathering, up-ending bullies in the neighborhood and solidifying positions of power. Mendoza always followed along, letting Cortez do the talking and the punching. They even learned to fire guns. They always said Cortez could hit any target with his eyes closed.
And then things changed. A sizeable corporation, Lobo Grande, moved into the neighboring territory, digging in the mountains and taking down the trees of the lush Central American landscape. Along with Lobo Grande came a sizeable mercenary force and untold amounts of dollars into the local economy- which ends with intimidation and consequently corruption in the lives of local politicians. In exchange for the co-operation of the local government, the mercenaries don’t cause too much trouble and the politicians get richer.
To his credit, Cortez’s father Benito was one of the last to hold his ground to the demands of Lobo Grande, who wanted zones restructured, impunity and the ability to hire workers at a rate below the country’s average pay, and in some cases, no pay at all. Benito finally caved when the mercenaries came to him during the night and threatened his family.
Afterwards, the man was a wreck. Devastated by the loss of his political reputation, he turned to heavy drinking and carousing with women, spending his untimely wealth gained from the deal with Lobo Grande on anything and everything to wash away the guilt. With the mercernaries running rampant in the city and local villages, Benito’s wife Armandina decided to send her youngest son away for his safety. Thus, Mendoza went south to live with her family.
When Cortez was a teenager, he had a run-in with a band of Lobo Grande’s mercenaries. They were pulling one of his schoolyard friends away from his home, beating him and laughing. Cortez intervened, and one of the soldiers told him to go away, recognizing him as Benito’s son and taunting his lineage. Enraged, Cortez promptly beat the man within an inch of his life in front of his compatriots, removed his sidearm, and then shot the others. He left one alive to run and tell Lobo Grande to leave the people alone and that “el lobo malo” was on his way.
Rousing the men of the town, Cortez lead an assault on the Lobo Grande compound that evening. Many died, but by sunrise, Cortez watched in silence as Lobo Grande burned to the ground, its slaves and workers freed from oppression. While many locals were pleased by the outcome of Lobo Grande’s removal, it was too little too late. Corruption had already taken the government, and it soon collapsed.
Two days later, Cortez left home for good, fearing that the owner of Lobo Grande’s revenge would be swift and terrible, and he did not want his family receiving that on his behalf. After all, they said that the man who ran Lobo Grande was very powerful indeed, and obsessive with those who crossed him.
Cortez trekked south to find Mendoza, who had stopped writing to the family many months before. Eventually, they met back up, but Mendoza had changed. Something was… not quite right.
One day, Cortez was walking Mendoza home from school when the neighborhood boys started chanting his name, again and again. Mendoza told Cortez to just leave it alone, that they always did this while they beat him up. The oldest brother grew angry at this injustice and taught the boys their lesson, kicking the ass of the one he found most annoying. However, Mendoza surprised him when he pushed him out of the way, and then beat the boy to death, shouting that he would never say his name again.
The brothers Cardinal left that night, wanted for murder. After hitch-hiking and surviving on their own for nearly a year, they hooked up with a group of guerrillas deep in the jungles of the south. Cortez impressed them with his knowledge of the baddass ways, and the two were allowed in the group. Within a few months, Cortez was their leader, with Mendoza bitterly playing second fiddle. Eventually, Cortez changed their directives from a disorganized group of violent mercernaries to a team with a purpose.
Down to just 8 members, Cortez called the group the “Ocho Muertos”, and they devoted themselves to up-ending corporations that preyed on local towns, villages and the like. Their tales are great and too numerous to list here. Needless to say, Cortez slaughtered many, including one legend where he escaped from a military compound with just a sharpened razor blade and a body count well in the fifties.
However, all that changed when Mendoza finally acted on his jealousy. The jealousy that grew from his exile from the Cardinal house at a young age, to Cortez always impressing their peers. He had grown tired of it, and knew that deep down he had what it took to lead the Muertos. He was tired of fighting for a cause — he wanted the fame and the money. He challenged Cortez in front of the team one day and got his ass handed to him on a platter.
On their next mission, Mendoza paid one of the Muertos a large sum of money to plant a bomb early at their destination. When Cortez arrived, Mendoza promptly locked him within the room, and listened as Cortez shouted his name while the explosion sounded.
Cortez woke to the startling discovery that he could no longer see. Stumbling his way blindly for several miles away from the explosion, he was picked up by nearby villagers who knew of his legend and nursed him back to health.
Once he was recovered, Cortez was crushed, reliving his father’s footsteps and depressed that his life was in shambles. He had been such a great warrior, only to have it stripped away from him by his own brother. Fortunately for the young terrorist, fate would not leave him alone for long. One day, while Cortez was moping to himself, a local blind villager who was a war veteran spoke softly to the young man about his handicap. The elder man was in his sixties, yet still seemed tuned to his battle senses. Feeling that this old man had something to teach him, Cortez studied underneath him, learning to re-do all the things he used to do when he took eyesight for granted.
Cortez eventually extended this into combat, and trained for months on end to regain his sense of battle, aim and timing, sometimes fighting the locals three-to-one for practice. He relearned how to fight, but only using his ears and his nose, rather than his sight. Eventually, Cortez was able to leave the village under his own power, and began a long and strenuous search for Mendoza and the Muertos.
His search eventually brought him to America, but he hit a dead end on their trail of destruction. After months with no progress, Cortez was ready to call off his search. However, one day, he heard a commercial on TV for The Leet World, a show that might give him back his sense of honor. His sense of self respect. And maybe, an avenue for his revenge…