“Knowing a person’s past makes understanding their behavior that much easier” - Daniel James
How did Zoot become Zoot? How were the Locos founded, and why did Zoot call for “power and chaos”?
Zoot, the Locos and their creed of “power and chaos” constantly threaten the Mall Rats’ dream of a peaceful new world and future, as does the Chosen in Series 2, who seek to make real Zoot’s own vision of “power and chaos” and worship Zoot.
This article in Pre-Tribe examines the origins of Zoot, the Locos and Power and Chaos in episode 59-60 of the Tribe (Series 2) and the key factors like the jealousy of Bray, rivalry over the love of Trudy and the spread of the virus that transformed an ordinary boy called Martin into Zoot.
Martin was the youngest child in his family and looked up to his elder brother, Bray, but in his life up until the virus appeared, Martin bore few signs that he would later turn into Zoot.
Unlike Zoot, Martin was kind and generous - shy even - and was popular for his nice nature. He was a normal kid at school and had a wide circle of friends. Martin was innocent and just wanted to do his best at school and to have a nice life with his family. Sometimes his family thought Martin was a bit too nice for his own good as he would lack assertiveness and was often regarded as a soft touch by elders at school who would bully and pick on Martin, who was usually saved by his elder brother Bray, much to Martin’s gratitude.
Content with his friends at school and family at home, Martin had an enjoyable life but things were about to change forever
Bray and Martin - brotherly love?
In the years since he became a teenager, Martin started to feel increasingly jealous at his elder brother Bray. Martin was the shy and quiet one in the family and felt envious at Bray’s confidence and seeming ease in any environment.
Bray was one of the most popular members at school. He was intelligent and excelled at his schoolwork. He was fantastic at sports and was the captain of the school basketball team, leading it to a victorious season in the regional school championship. Martin was happy for Bray’s success, but also jealous because Bray became even more popular.
And Bray was popular with the girls. While he was going steady with girls, Martin in his shyness and innocence found it hard to find a girlfriend. He would blush and not know what to say, unlike Bray, with his confidence and popularity.
At home as Martin grew up, he also increasingly disliked what he considered Bray’s patronizing behavior. If Bray told Martin off for doing something (as older brothers do), Martin would argue back that Bray might be his elder brother but he was not his father and had no right to tell him what to do.
Martin’s jealousy led to a swirl of conflicting emotions in Martin’s head. After all, Bray was Martin’s brother and Martin did love him and felt guilty at his jealousy. But jealous he was nonetheless and increasingly so. This jealousy and rivalry with Bray was to get worse and the two brothers started to drift apart over their love for a girl called Trudy.
A complication - Trudy
In Martin’s class was a girl called Trudy and Martin fell in love with her. He had a crush and would pass Trudy messages in class asking her out.
Martin may have set his heart on Trudy but she had set her own heart on Bray…
The fact Trudy kept ignoring Martin’s constant requests for a date started to annoy Martin - especially when he began to realize this was due to Trudy’s affection for Bray.
This increased Martin’s jealousy and resentment of Bray - especially when Trudy started to go out with Bray. Martin felt double-despair - that the girl he loved did not love him, and that his own brother was the one who stole Trudy from Martin.
Complication #2 - Ebony
A new girl in class, Ebony, had set her own heart on Bray. Ebony deliberately dropped a note from Martin to Trudy so that Bray could read it. Bray realised in the note how much Trudy meant to Martin - and Bray was attracted to Ebony too.
Bray thought it better if Trudy was to go out with Martin, and Bray would go out with Ebony, who started to entice and captivate Bray.
So Martin finally went out with Trudy and she became his girlfriend, and Ebony finally had her man, Bray.
But Trudy still loved Bray and Martin knew it. He felt he was nothing but “second best” for Trudy and that if she had her chance, she would still go out with Bray instead. This fed the flames of Martin’s jealousy of Bray and increased his anger at the way things were going for him.
The virus and death in the family
As the virus spread to the adult population, the first casualties fell and the realisation grew that in the long run, all adults would be affected by it. This created panic and great anxiety in society. Everybody was affected by this situation.
Bray and Martin’s parents were some of the first to fall ill under the virus and they eventually succumbed to it and died. Bray and Martin were totally distraught at what happened.
Bray had the strength of character to survive himself after the terrible loss of his parents.
But for Martin, this was one horrible blow too much. The loss of his parents, their love and the stable family environment he had known was a crashing hammer for Martin.
He became angry and started to hate. He hated the death of his parents and he felt it was so unfair they should be one of the first adults to go.
And one day at school, Martin just snapped. The gradual demise of all he had previously know and loved in life had a cumulative effect that gave him a breakdown.
The increasing jealousy of his brother Bray, the emotional confusion over Martin’s love for Trudy, anxiety at the spread of the mysterious virus, and the sudden death of his parents - these were major factors that drove Martin over the edge.
His hate became all consuming; his anger overcame the last traces of love and kindness in him. Martin as a person was no more - the innocent who had been Martin had been replaced by a burning furnace of hate.
Martin was so angry at society and desperate to strike out on his own. Martin recognised quickly that all adults would perish under the virus, like his own parents. In the near future, the surviving teens and children would be left to own the world. And bitter and full of hate, Martin was determined to be the ruler of that New World
At school, Martin snapped at the teacher and exploded into a rage at the future that would soon engulf them all. He called himself Zoot and wore lenses over his eyes. He would prepare for that future without adults and wanted to lead a group that would dominate the future world free of adults.
Zoot felt the future world would be all about chaos as “normal society” broke down - and whoever had the most power would rule supreme. The slogan “power and chaos” became Zoot’s rallying cry as the virus spread increasingly
The Locos and Zoot’s Queen
Bitterness and hate drove Zoot. Yet he possessed charisma and leadership skills and started to recruit a band of like-minded teens who followed his vision of “power and chaos” and ruling the new world without adults.
Zoot’s group was one of the very first Tribes, and he called them “The Locos” - a name that was fitting because all the Locust insect thinks about is itself and ravages the world to fuel its own needs. This is just what the “Locos” tribe was determined to do under the maniacal leadership of Zoot.
Zoot lived separately from Bray as the virus escalated and changed society. Bray was distraught at how Martin had transformed himself into Zoot. The two brothers were completely different now - unlike Zoot, Bray wanted to build a peaceful new world and to look after others, not just himself.
Ebony had always looked after herself and recognised that the future would belong (at least for a time) to Zoot and his Locos because they were mighty and powerful and positioned to take over much of the city. Ebony stopped seeing Bray and touted herself as Zoot’s woman and the Locos’ Queen, and Zoot was happy to take Ebony as his co-leader
Trudy, pregnant with Martin’s baby after their previous relationship together, refused to join Zoot in the Locos and was helped by Bray as they fled the city, and the Locos and other Tribes moved in.
Brady, child of Zoot
And Trudy gave birth to a girl whom she named Brady, a combination of her name Trudy and that of the baby’s uncle, Bray.
That’s the story of how Martin, a seemingly ordinary boy, encountered key factors that changed his character and temperament and fuelled the anger and hatred in him, transforming him into Zoot, founder of the Locos and the visionary of “power and chaos”.
These twists and turns of fate were to have a huge effect on the future as the Locos and Zoot’s vision threatened the Mall Rats peaceful future - and especially so in inspiring the mysterious “Chosen” Tribe in Series 2.