"I'll achieve my dream with these fists of mine!"
Chibodee Crockett is the American spirit given flesh. Born in poverty on Earth, Chiobodee never knew his father and lost his mother in a terrorist attack on a circus just days before they were to be allowed onto Neo America. Left on the streets with nothing, he fought through hardship and poverty by becoming one of the greatest boxers of all time. His talents in single combat were scouted by Neo America, and he was ultimately able to go to Neo America to become the pilot of the powerful Gundam Maxter. Chibodee is a flashy and boisterous man known for his moments of outrageous generosity. One of his most famous incidents of largesse was how he recruited his team, a gang of women trying to sneak onto a colony-bound ship from Earth, after claiming to see their inner fighting spirit. Chibodee embodies the American spirit, both its positive attributes (hard work and dedication) and negative attributes (conspicuous consumerism and arrogance). Chibodee tends to see the solution to all problems in terms of how much more force needs to be used to solve them. Chibodee also hates clowns.
Background Information Edit
Transcript of Commencement Speech Given At Neo America University, May, NCA 117
"Hi, class of '17. I can tell by the signs that everybody knows who I am. I think ... yeah, I like that big one you three guys are holding up the best. I like that you got the punching action down with that stick -- yeah, that's cool. I like that. Come up after we're done, I'll sign it."
"I can see way, way back there in the Free Speech Zone a bunch of guys too. You guys aren't booing loud at all, but I figure you've got to be a country mile away! Ha, ha! Sucks to be you. Guess bein' smart don't make you bright now, does it."
"Anyway, let me properly introduce myself now that I've had a little fun. My name's Chibodee Crockett --"
[10 second pause for cheering and applause]
"You guys are great, thanks! I'm Chibodee Crockett, and I was asked to come out here to talk to all of you bright young kids going out into the world now with your new educations. A lot of people think that maybe somebody like me shouldn't be talking to you, that I'm kind of a blockhead -- not like you guys, who've all got degrees and good jobs lined up ahead of you. But I think I can tell you some things that you can take away into your new lives."
"A lot of you know my basic story. I started out from nothin', a poor kid back on Earth. I wasn't a fancy Coordinator or some other kind of rich kid, I was just a poor kid living in Queens with my mom. I never knew my dad, though a lot of old guys looking for money have tried to say they're my old man since. My mom said I got his good looks and his fast right hand, but she loved that desertin' bastard despite himself."
"I was going to be up here on the colony when I was a kid. My mom busted her ass and sacrificed so that she could give me a new life up here. And one day, when I wasn't any older than 5, 6 years old, she got the tickets to ride up on that big, shiny ship up here to Neo America."
"Maybe in some other world, I'd be sitting down in the audience with you with some fancy degree, about to get a nice clean job in an office counting peanuts or sorting papers around. But it didn't happen that way. Instead, a bunch of scumbag terrorists shot up a circus my mom took me to so we could celebrate. They killed a lot of people. I got separated from my mother when one of 'em took me hostage. After the cops put every last one of those sons of bitches in the ground, they tried to find her, but she never turned up."
"After that, I was on the street. Social welfare's something colonies have. Down on Earth, you're on your own. I ran with gangs and did whatever I could to keep from dying out in an alley. A lot of people turned to drugs, but my mother raised me up as best as she could. She told me, Chibodee, your body's a temple, you need to respect it. So I did the best I could. I made myself strong, having nobody to help me but me. Gang members are sometimes called family, but it's rare you'll find somebody else in the world who'll help you just because they're good. Most everybody is hard inside when you push on 'em long enough."
"So the first thing I'd tell you is this. Don't think that just because you're doing okay now that it'll always be that way. Life can change in a heartbeat. We've seen that a lot the last few years. Colonies getting nerve gassed, aliens invading, stuff coming up from inside the Earth -- you've got to always live like tomorrow's not coming. Don't have regrets. Like -- you two down there; you kids, sitting together. That girl next to you, I can tell you're in love with that girl, she loves you back. You told her lately? You told her /today/? You think you're ready to go if five seconds from now this whole place goes up in a big nuclear fireball? Well?"
[5 seconds of cheering and whistling as the couple Chibodee indicates kisses, partial transcript loss]
"-- saved some lives today, I did. Okay, you guys can stop now, these old guys are getting mad at me. Back to speechin'."
"The streets were hard. I pulled my way out with these fists of mine by fighting. I fought on the streets, I fought in alleys, I fought in dirty gyms, and I fought my way up from nothin' to being the world middleweight boxing champ. I didn't have anybody. All I had was my dream of one day being good enough so that Neo America'd see me and take me. And they did, one day. They saw me fight and realized I'd be your generation's hope for another Phia Philadel."
"Now, you sons of bitches in the back, the reason you've got anything is because a badass like Philadel won it for you. You can scream about how the Gundam Fight discriminates against Earthnoids all day and night, but at the end of the day you're able to get a good education and live in a great place like Neo America because somebody used their own fists to win it for you. You're ABLE to sit back there and scream at me because you live in the best, freest society humanity's ever come up with."
"Maybe you ought to think that over before throwing me the finger -- like you, little lady, or don't you think my eyes are that good? -- or writing that article in the school paper about me. Yeah, I read it, I know how to read. I also know how to use Mybook. You /better/ clear out of here before I'm done unless you want me to give my opinion of that stuff you said about me and my girls. You don't even have to come one at a time, I can roll 10 or 15 of you at a time, you vegan moth--"
"Okay, *now* the old guys are mad, so I better stay on topic."
"Since then, I've been training hard and doing matches against the other great mech pilots up here. Neo America's got the best defense forces in all the colonies, and all of their pilots are the absolute best humanity's got to offer. Almost every last one's smarter than me, having gone through military academies and acing tough math tests and all that kind of stuff. But that's the other thing I'll tell you: Smarts isn't heart. I figure almost everybody in this room's got more in their head than me, but that's not going to do anything for you if you don't have the heart."
"I look across this room. I see in a lot of hope in your eyes, and that's good. Maybe it's only hope that I'm almost done --"
[5 seconds of laughter]
"But that's hope! It counts. You've got to hold onto that hope. You've got to grip onto it with both hands. The world's going to be hard on you. Even life on this colony is tough. People are fighting to get in here. You can't sit on your duff and just watch the stars go by. You've got to reach out and fight as hard as you can. /Use/ those smarts you've got. Make a difference. Don't let other people tell you what to do. Go out there, fight as hard as you can, and make your destiny."
"If somebody like me, somebody who started from nothing in a bad neighborhood in Queens, can reach up to become rich, famous and powerful -- imagine what you can do. Just think about it. You've had all the breaks, all the opportunities. You guys can be the greatest people in history. All of you can stand on your own two feet, use your brains and guts, and make life better for everybody. Just imagine that, whatever that dream is to you, imagine it. Don't ever give up on it. Never give up, no matter how hard it is. And if you stick to it, if you work hard, if you've got the guts -- you'll succeed."
"Thanks for letting me talk to you. I'm honored to be in the presence of such awesome people. I'll be sticking around afterward for pictures, signing stuff, and punching bitches in the face. Okay for real I'm done now, thank you!"
Personality Traits Edit
Playboy Interview, November, NCA 115
WITH THESE FISTS OF MINE
[background image: Chibodee Crockett slouching in a plush recliner, his team draped over him in their classic pink suits. Chibodee is holding a lit cigar in his left hand, his legendary right hand packed into a loose fist on the armrest of the chair. Chibodee has a menacing smile on his face.]
- One of Neo America's up-and-coming would-be Gundam Fighters, Chibodee Crockett embodies the classic American success stories. Overcoming personal tragedy to rise up to the top of his sport, Chibodee Crockett now wants to win the Gundam Fight for Neo America. Playboy was privileged to be able to talk to this modern Horatio Alger and his team of lovely ladies.
Chibodee Crockett's penthouse apartment in one of Neo America's most expensive districts is like walking into a model of the American dream; gleaming appliances, fine organic leather furniture, imported Neo Egyptian rugs, a walk-in humidor, a liquor cabinet as large as the average family of four's refrigerator and a striking view of Neo America's Neo Times Square -- all before Chibodee's plush recliner, embroidered with the yellow star that has become his trademark.
I'm sitting in Chibodee's throne room, and the King and his Queens are holding court. Chibodee sits in his recliner, looking at me, his team draped over him in their smart pink suits. They are four of the most beautiful women in Neo America; Janet Smith, Shirley Lane, Cath Ronary and Bunny Higgins. By themselves, they've graced the pages of numerous magazine covers, discussing their lives with this up-and-coming Gundam Fighter.
Chibodee laughs off any suggestion that they might end up in the pages of Playboy one day, crushing the dreams of many of our readers as hard as he's crushed many opponents: "My girls aren't for anyone else but me, sorry." I dedicate myself to not giving up so easily -- a feeling that Chibodee'd likely salute -- but move on to other topics rather than pressing the issue immediately.
A MAN OF HUMBLE ORIGINS
Sitting across from Chibodee makes it easy to make even a tough guy feel inadequate. Chibodee Crockett is one of the greatest boxers of the modern era, known for his rapid-fire knockouts and seemingly limitless stamina. He has a manic, electric presence, a magnetic charisma that pulls people in. Men wish they could be Chibodee; women dream about being with him. But even through all of this adoration, Chibodee just smiles and considers himself to be 'just folks'.
"I got to become me through hard work and dedication," he says. "I didn't get anything for free. I wasn't born a Coordinator or some kind of Newtype or whatever. I'm just a poor kid from Queens who had a dream and the will to get that dream with his own two hands. After I lost my mom, I had to raise myself. I fought up from the streets, and I never gave up on what I wanted. I was going to get up to the colony. I was going to make everyone proud of me."
You can't talk to Chibodee about being a Gundam fighter without hearing about what he calls 'the dream'. It's the center of his life, the core of his being. Hearing him talk about it evokes thoughts of fire-and-brimstone preachers back on Earth before the First Impact talking about salvation. "I fought my way up here to make it so that Neo America can win the Gundam Fight and take back control of humanity from the screwheads who've turned everything to crap," he says.
"I want to be the guy who goes up to the finals and with one punch -- makes the world a better place," Chibodee says. "I want that for me, to show myself that I'm capable of doing it. I'm capable of getting my dream. And through me, everybody in Neo America gets to live their dreams, and then we get to share the dream of Neo America with everyone. We can make this world, this universe, a better, more awesome place. We can do that if I can win. That's why I've gotta win. It's why I bust my ass so hard. It's what keeps me up at night thinking about it, imagining what it'll be like after I drive my fist through the last guy in my way and win the Gundam Fight. I've just got to prove to the government of Neo America that I've got what it takes to be their representative."
THE PEOPLE'S CHAMPION
Chibodee's energy infects everything he touches. It's hard not to be swept up into his enthusiasm. His fighting spirit burns brighter than anything I've ever seen. Chibodee's fans are among the most dedicated in Neo America, following his robot fighting career with a zeal seen only among the most hardcore sports fans. "There are guys who follow me to every fight I go to," he says. "I've heard of guys stowing away on colony ships just to see me do exhibition matches. They write me letters telling me about how I've inspired them, how they're naming their kids after me -- and it, it makes you feel a sense of awe, that you've managed to touch people in that way. I still haven't gotten used to it."
Outside of trying to get the endorsement of Neo America, Chibodee Crockett is known for his appearances in advertisements and the popular media. He has made cameo appearances in a number of comedies, where his embrace of slapstick has helped to spread Chibodee's fame into new venues. His fans are even found on other colonies, though most of them will only cheer for him in the movies.
"I know how to fall and how to take a punch," he says, with a grin. "A lot of guys are afraid of getting hurt, but I'll do whatever it takes to entertain people. The crowd's my life. They give me strength, they're the 11th man. If I don't have the love of the people, everything I'm doing's for nothing. I'm out there for them. When you're in the arena, and everyone's on their feet, screaming for you -- it's the energy, it's indescribable."
Chibodee gives me the grand tour of his penthouse. There's room enough in the penthouse for ten people. There's five bathrooms, each one configured a little differently. "The girls like things a certain way," he says, "and you know how women are in the bathroom. I took out a couple other rooms for them to each have their own bathroom. Otherwise we'd never get out of here in the morning." Chibodee's bathroom is the largest, and is a testament to excess; a jazuzzi tub, a shower that surely isn't designed to conserve water, an enormous bathtub and a marble countertop with a sink that looks to be more at home in a kitchen than a master bath. "I hate bumping my hands on the bottom of the sink when I wash my hands in the morning."
But the centerpiece of Chibodee's bathroom is his infamous gold plated toilet. "I thought it looked cool," he says, with a laugh. "They thought I was kidding when I said for them to plate the whole thing. First time they just sent me the seat, and I said, no way, gold plate the whole thing. And the top? Mink. Sure, the seat's cold in the morning, but I think to myself, Chibodee, you're sitting on five thousand Neo American dollars to drop a log. And then it's not cold at all."
The kitchen is even more outrageous, filled with iodized cookware and the finest set of kitchen knives I've ever held. Chibodee likes his Neo German steel. "I'll buy American for everything except knives," he says, with a big grin. Most people have also been in hotels with smaller refrigeration units.
Opening up the refrigerator to get both of us drinks, I'm surprised to see generics for almost everything except Chibodee's fresh-cut meat. The beer Chibodee hands me is a Budweiser. He drinks his own while showing me the vat-grown Kobe beef he has hanging on hooks in his meat locker. "I'm not used to spending money on basic stuff," he says. "I blow my cash on the good stuff, the things that'll last. Does it matter if the corn flakes come from Kellogg? Nah. But beef's beef, man, my protein is how I keep myself going. My body's a temple, but the foundation's more important than the paint."
IT'S NOT COCKY IF YOU CAN BACK IT UP
Chibodee takes me down a hallway lined with his awards. He shows me his career in terms of knockouts. 100 wins in 100 bouts in his professional career, dotted with legendary 12-round wars and 1 round knockouts. Chibodee's never fallen in combat against any of his opponents in the ring, though he's had some close calls. "I've fought some great fighters," he says, "but it's really more that they've had the chance to fight and lose to me."
He has plenty of reason to believe in his invincibility. Numerous local, regional and colony-wide titles belong to him. He's set -- and broken -- his own records for fastest knockouts in sanctioned matches. But his record is dotted with incidents where Chibodee hasn't taken an opponent seriously enough and almost gotten flattened in return. As tough as Chibodee is, a solid blow to the head will put down even the toughest man.
Chibodee laughs off warnings. "Look, I'm the best there is, the best there ever was, and the best there ever will be," he says. "You can grow a Coordinator to be the Chibodee Killer and I'll beat his ass blindfolded and drunk. Throw ten guys at me and I'll lay them all to the floor. I'd take down Gentle Chapman in his prime, I'll whoop whoever gets in my way when I get to the Gundam Fight ... telling me to be careful, telling me that my fists can't solve whatever's in front of me, that's ridiculous. That's the kind of stuff people who doubt me say, because they don't think I'm good enough to handle it. But I'm the best."
I find myself in front of a giant poster of Gundam Maxter, Chibodee standing on its shoulder with a sprig of mint between his teeth. "I made 10,000 of those posters," he said. "I signed every single one with a gold pen, then had them numbered, framed in vacuum-sealed containers, and those containers sprayed down with UV-blocking film. After I win the Gundam fight, I'm going to give them away to lucky fans. They're going to be worth millions, because there's never going to be more made."
Chibodee grins. "It's the least I can do for my fans. They'll want a piece of the dynasty that I begin."
IT TAKES A TEAM TO LOVE CHIBODEE
There's only one bedroom in Chibodee's apartment. The bed looks like two king sized mattresses laid side by side. The mirrored ceiling catches the lights from Times Square outside, lighting it up with a natural rainbow swirl of the advertisements outside even through the closed blinds. Chibodee offered me no explanation for the bed, apparently custom designed by Neo America's finest interior designers with hand-made silk linens. He just smiles at me with that gleaming florescent smile of his, and I realize at that moment that this kid from the streets doesn't need to tell me what he does with Janet, Shirley, Cath and Bunny. For all of his showboating and boasting, his mother raised a gentleman. Just not a traditional gentleman.
The story of how Chibodee found his team has become an urban legend. They were a street gang trying to break into Neo America. The colony police were about to send them back to Earth, and depending on what story you hear, either was going to put them on a ship heading back to Earth or throw them out an airlock. Chibodee Crockett, however, had none of it. "I saw these women, these girls with that fire in their eyes, and I knew I had to bring them with me," Chibodee says, passing by the pictures on his back wall of himself and his team together through a number of birthdays, holidays and victories. "I fell in love with all of them. It was destiny that we met, and with them, I've only gotten stronger."
Chibodee talks about his life with his team with me while he opens the blinds in the bedroom, giving me another amazing view of Times Square. "Those girls are the center of my life," he says. "They keep me alive. Shirley and Janet keep Maxter up and moving. I don't even know how to change its damn oil, but those girls know Maxter inside and out. Cath knows /me/ inside and out, and keeps me from killing my fool self when I train. And Bunny, hell. Bunny tells me everything I need to know. I don't ask her how she gets it. She just tells me the information and I deal with it then. She also keeps my Mybook maintained. The fans love her blog about me. Sometimes I write an entry or two when I get inspired, but Bunny makes sure I don't spell anything wrong."
"I'm sure you're looking for some wild tales from me," Chibodee says, leaning up against the wall with a cocky grin on his face. "But my momma raised a gentleman, and gentlemen don't kiss and tell."
I know he's got stories. I can see it in his eyes. This is a man who lives life on his own terms, somebody who faces death every time he goes out in Gundam Maxter to fight. One woman's not enough for him. Maybe four isn't even enough. But all he gives me is that grin, leaving us to imagine just what he might be up to after he comes home for the night. Knowing the passion in Chibodee's eyes, it's no wonder that his team is so devoted to him.
A HERO'S JOURNEY
Chibodee's future as Neo America's Gundam Fighter is up in the air. It's hard to say what the next few years might bring. Even if Chibodee doesn't get picked for this Gundam fight, it'd be hard to imagine him not showing up in the tournament one day. A character as bold and interesting as Chibodee is someone Neo America should share with the world. He's what the Neo American dream looks like in this New Colony Era. After talking to him, I'm sure he'll share that dream with the universe.
Talents & AbilitiesEdit
Chibodee Crockett is likely the greatest boxer who has ever lived, being at a level of skill far above the normal human potential. He can knock a man out with one heavy punch, and the ringing impact of his blows has been said to come back to haunt his opponents well after the fact. His strength, endurance, agility and speed are well above acknowledged human peak performance, leading many to believe that Chibodee is actually a Coordinator or augmented in some other way. Chibodee himself does not believe he is a Coordinator, though he knows little about the circumstances of his birth.
Chibodee excels in all forms of athletic endeavor aside from boxing because of his amazing physical talent. He has a love of football and will try to find almost any excuse to play it when he finds enough people around to play with him. Chibodee also loves surfing, though the Jersey Shore isn't really known for its surf. Instead, Chibodee has become very skilled with a Trapar lifter, using his own personal board to get to most places when not in Gundam Maxter.
Chibodee has only a rudimentary formal education, having never graduated from high school. He knows how to read, write and balance a checkbook, but most of what he knows comes from what he's read in the newspaper or picked up from his girls. His team covers the gaps in his knowledge, with Shirley and Janet maintaining Maxter, Cath maintaining Chibodee's own health, and Bunny dealing with computers and intelligence gathering. Chibodee has a talent for management, as he knows how to vet employees to do the things he can't. Chibodee is a good judge of character, and can tell an honest man from a fraud within minutes of meeting someone.
Chibodee is also somewhat proficient in armed combat, though he prefers hand-to-hand fighting. He knows his way around a knife and a pistol, being a reasonably good shot. Both types of fighting are unschooled, learned on the street by means of trial and error. He gets more practice with a pistol these days, as it is part of Gundam Maxter's standard loadout.
Chibodee has a way with women. Some credit it to his chiseled physique, his strong jaw, his thick head of navy blue hair, his conspicuous spending or, improbably for a prize fighter, his gregarious personality. Regardless of the real reason, many women fall all over themselves around Chibodee Crockett, which is likely how he has managed to convince four very willful and talented women to share him. Most people can't help but like or at least respect Chibodee's down-to-earth personality and generous heart, though he does not suffer fools easily.