"Live fast, live free!"
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In a futuristic world (circa 2160), what is known as the city of Detroit is a clean, sterile city controlled by the evil millionaire Abraham Kane. He built this city over the original Detroit with promises of a brighter future, but the truth is that the citizens of Detroit Deluxe, the name of the surface city, are anything but free, living in an environment where they are controlled by strict rules and are forbidden from any personal freedoms.
But under this 'new' Detroit, the 'old' Detroit, now known as Motorcity, is still alive and kicking. Kane aims to conquer this last corner of freedom and annex it to Deluxe, but the group of rebels known as the Burners - a group of hot-rod driving teenagers led by Mike Chilton - are his last and greatest obstacle.
Before living in Motorcity, Mike Chilton used to be a citizen of Detroit Deluxe, and also a member of Kane Co. First as a cadet, he later rose to the rank of commander. He was favored by Kane above all others - but soon after the promotion, Mike uncovered the true cruel nature of his leader, when on a mission Kane ordered him to destroy a building, murdering everyone inside it in the process. He prevented the mission from being completed and saved the people, then cut all ties with Kane and traded Deluxe for Motorcity, where we know, after some time, he formed the Burners himself.
Besides Mike, the members of the group are Chuck, a fearful programmer and Mike's best friend, Julie, who leads a double-life and, unknown to the group, is actually Kane's daughter, Dutch, a street artist and great mechanic, Texas, who more often than not passes as a lot dumber than he really is, and Jacob, a kind of mentor to them, an older man who used to work with Kane before he realized what he was trying to do and couldn't stand by him any longer. The group is famous not only in Motorcity as the last line of defense against Kane, but also up in Deluxe, where they were branded by Kane himself as thugs and criminals who want to destroy everything the Deluxians love. Mike himself has a reputation, and he's pretty famous down in Motorcity, but he keeps himself modest about it, and doesn't even think about it, let alone mention it or brag.
Almost a year after Mike arrived in Motorcity, the fusion battery that keeps the east side gate fails, and the group quickly moves to prevent Kane's forces from invading Motorcity. They succeed, but Kane sets up a trap for them, provoking Mike, who, being a hot-headed reckless guy, falls right into it, dragging almost the rest of the Burners along. Their cars are trapped inside pods - only Julie isn't captured, and she's the one to hack into the security system and disable the force fields holding them captive and allowing them to escape.
It's not late after that that they get a distress call from a scientist up in Deluxe, Dr. Hudson, who claims there is a very dangerous weapon they'd been working on, an extremely unstable power core that has the potential to wipe out not only Motorcity, but most of the Michigan state. In spite of Jacob's warning that he could be a spy, they save the scientist, bringing along the prototype power core along with them. Mike wants to use the core to power the most recent weapon built into Mutt, the Blast-o-saurus, and although he doesn't go through with it, he ends up cracking a fissure in the power core, which becomes unstable and, in an attempt to stop the chain reaction that will lead to the explosion, Mike uses it to power Mutt's engine, deciding to drive straight off the Detroit Doom Jump, which is arguably the most dangerous car stunt in all of Motorcity, in order to burn off as much energy as possible before it explodes, then ejects the engine mid-jump into the canyon so that the explosion can burn off the remaining 1% of energy and at the same time propel them the rest of the jump to land on the other side.
No rest for the wicked, though, and soon enough, Kane uses a Climator to cause a huge blizzard in Motorcity. Mike goes missing in the storm, and the rest of the Burners must put aside their differences in order to find and save him. Meanwhile, Mike roams aimlessly in the middle of the snowstorm, and for a moment he's actually captured by Kane's forces. He does manage to escape, which angers Kane to no end, who had never even been warned of Mike's capture in the first place. He takes manual control of the Climator and creates tornadoes in an attempt to destroy the Burners. The group manage to devise a plan to create and redirect thunders towards the machine, and effectively shut it down, stopping the tornadoes and blizzard alike.
It's then that they come across one of the most prominent gang leaders in Motorcity, the Duke of Detroit, who is angry that the group destroyed some old cars, ones he was planning to restore, during one of their battles against an army of KaneBots. He demands Mike kisses his gators as a sign of respect, but he obviously refuses to do so, and in retaliation, the Duke places a bounty on their heads. Eventually the whole group is captured except for Mike, though the Duke refuses to pay any of the gangs involved because he was the one who caught them in the end. Julie creates a distraction and, leaving a holographic projection of herself behind to take her place, escapes the mansion, joining Mike and all the other gangs as they take the Duke's precious cars hostage, and Mike offers a trade: his friends for the cars. Reluctantly, the Duke accepts.
The next gang they meet call themselves the Terra. They were a community that used to live near a dumpsite for Deluxe's chemical waste, and throughout the years the products genetically modified them. The Burners team up with the group in a mission against Kane, but soon enough Mike finds out they intend to destroy all of Deluxe and infect all of the innocent people up there. Texas, whose extreme ideas had been welcomed by the group, refuses to believe Mike. They argue and Texas decides to go through with the plan, only figuring out later on what they really intended to do. Still, it's not too late, and reunited, they manage to stop the Terra, to have them flee back to their territory.
In the meantime, Kane develops a new Safe-T-Suit that is to become standard up in Deluxe, which activates in face of imminent danger. Julie tries to prove herself by using her suit to pull off a dangerous mission alone, but when she heads down to Motorcity with the suit still activated, Kane takes over the suit and tries to turn her against her own teammates, unaware that it's his own daughter. He forces her to ride Mutt up to Deluxe and deliver both herself and Mike to him, but they manage to figure out a way to stop it and destroy a drone factory in the process.
They meet the Duke again when, unaware of it, Mike retrieves a missing part for Chuck's unfinished car from a junkyard in his territory. Mike refuses to give up the piece, and they decide to settle it with a race: Chuck against the Duke's best driver. Mike accepts, not knowing that Chuck can't actually drive, and tries during the following days to teach him, with little success. In the end, Mike uses a remote control to drive Chuck's car, though in the end it's Chuck who has to drive during the last round, winning by some miracle.
When Kane develops a booster than increases physical abilities and eliminates fear, Chuck tries it and things get weird. At first, the group is puzzled by his fearless behavior, though Mike seems to be very accepting of it, but it's when he starts picking fights that Mike figures out there's something wrong, and tries to convince Chuck to stop relying on the booster. Chuck claims his old self was weak and scared, but Mike answers him that they're all scared, and it's not about that, it's about doing everything they do regardless of being afraid or not. In the end, Chuck listens to him, and ditches the inhibitor just in time for them to stop Kane from destroying the Cablers' settlement, a settlement built over a cable that leads up to Deluxe, and set up a grid that prevents him from coming closer to the place again.
After that, a terrible virus is spread across Motorcity, and it turns everyone into mindless monsters, leaving only Dutch, who had been away, unaffected. He runs into Mike, who for a short period is also unaffected, and Mike reassures him that he can find a cure to the virus, just before he turns into a beast himself. In the end, Dutch manages to use his wits and imagination to save his friends and all of Motorcity, just as Kane is about to invade the city, convinced that there is no one left to put up a fight. Obviously, he was wrong.
Perhaps the most mysterious antagonist of all, largely referred to as Red, he makes himself known to the Burners when he sabotages their attempt to stop Kane's latest attack on Motorcity, a swarm of robo-mites that he sends down to the underground city in celebration of the one year anniversary since Mike left Deluxe. Mike wants Red to join them, since he obviously opposes Kane like them, but he says he'd never fight by Mike's side, who he claims ruined his life. Mike feels guilty, and Texas is the one to reassure Mike can't change the past, unless he has a time machine, and since he doesn't all he can do is try to do the best he can for everyone's well being now. They join the rest of the group in disabling the robo-mites, successfully so, as Mike has one last confrontation with Red. He tries to talk to him, and when Red walks back and falls down a cliff, Mike tries to help him, but the man refuses to accept it, letting go and falling into the abyss.
Later on, when two of Chuck's friends from his LARP world go missing, they turn to the Burners for help. In the process of rescuing them, Mike finds himself crowned the new King of the Realm after saving Chuck. He tries to give the title back to his friend, but Chuck tells him the only way he can get it back is by saving Mike's life. Mike struggles once again to reassure Chuck he's brave and strong, and that he wouldn't be a good leader if he hadn't lead his team to 48 consecutive victories. Meanwhile, they discover the kids were captured by the first Utility Bots created by Jacob, and supposedly he was the only one they should answer to, but Kane reprogrammed to capture Motorcitizens and take them to an Interrogator Droid. When they face the Droid, Chuck does save Mike's life, and gains back the crown fairly.
After a few weeks of peace, Mike jumps at the chance to deliver a container of hazardous waste to a containment facility at the end of a dangerous canyon. But the Burners soon realize the job is all a setup by the Duke of Detroit, who tries to take advantage of the Burners' and Mike's current popularity to boost his own by forcing them into a reality show - reality being quite literal here, since the compound is indeed extremely dangerous and unstable, and there's a number of serious obstacles they must face throughout the course. They decide to go through with it, so that the waste could be destroyed safely, but still refuse to give the Duke the amazing reality show ending he wanted, and they jam his signals just as they're facing a gigantic replica of the Duke's face that shoots lasers. Everyone is left in the dark as to how it happens, but in the end they manage to blow off the head and send it rolling through the air and across the canyon.
Mike arrived in Nautilus in late March 2013, along with one of his friends from home, Julie. They immediately settled in at Ground Zero 2.0 where Chuck had been staying since his own arrival, a month prior. He immediately turned to learning how to bend, since that was the only way he could rebuild his car, Mutt, and possibly devise an escape plan. He took a couple of classes but as soon as he figured out how it worked, he decided the only way he was going to learn all he could with bending was by practicing by himself. Being a positive guy with very strong will power, Mike took to bending like fish to water, finding no difficulty in not only simple things, but also the most complex objects like car parts and tools.
Shortly after he arrived, Mike had his first experience with a Reality Storm, and for a week he thought to be a high school student in a private school. Since it was prom week, he was asked by Clover to go with her, though at first he didn't realize she meant it as a romantic date. Clover made it clear to him soon after, and despite not caring for her in that way he agreed to go along with it, if anything just for the prom night.
After things returned to normal, Mike was a little down for a few days, as the fact that he had completely forgotten about Motorcity, their struggle and everything he'd gone through, hit him hard, and how easily the city could manipulate his memories. He's never one to go down easy, and he chose to focus on working to get Mutt back together - also Chuck managed to bend his Spark Staff in the meantime, which was a particularly cool toy to help him get his mind off things.
After a month of quiet and peace, Mike found himself practically clawing up the walls, so he decided to try and find a few sparring partners to distract himself with physical exercise. But before he could meet up with anyone, he was caught by another Storm - the Power Swap Storm, in this case, during which Mike was given Te'ijal's vampire powers. Mike thought of her as far too arrogant and self-important when she tried to get him to apologize for taking his powers from her, which he hadn't, and when he suggested she should be the one apologizing to him for being rude and disrespectful, she refused to not only do that but also help him with his situation in any way. As a matter of safety for both himself and the people around him, since he ha no idea how to handle his powers or how dangerous he was, he locked himself up in his room during the day, and only went out at night to stop himself from going completely crazy.
During this storm, Chuck, who was unaffected, dropped by to visit his friend and make sure he was alright. While hanging out, Mike was unable to stop himself from giving into his hunger and bit Chuck, drinking a portion of his blood. Despite the wounds and the blood loss, Chuck was merely dizzy for a while, and recovered after he ate and slept it off, though Mike blamed himself - and still does - for the harm he had caused his friend.
It was also during this Storm that another friend from home, Dutch, Awoke, joining the group at GZ2. Dutch was from a point in time much more
As soon as the Storm passed and he returned to normal, Mike went on with his plans to meet up for sparring practice with those who had shown interest. During the next week he went out to meet his new sparring buddies, and though most of them were friendly matches, the last one, which was against an on-mode Jaime Reyes, ended pretty badly, as he beat up Mike, managed to dislocate one of his shoulders, break his nose and cover his body in different kinds of cuts, scrapes and bruises, none of them too pretty. He insisted that Mike used bending on the fight, and though he stubbornly refused, in a bout of frustration (and a hint of honest fear), he managed to use his will power to send Jaime flying into the thick forest without even touching him, thanks to bending. He took the chance and went back to GZ2 a fast as he could, where he ran into Julie. Alarmed, she helped him by fixing his shoulder and tending to his wounds, but not before Mike was greeted by another thoughtful gift from Nautilus. As a souvenir from Father's Day, Mike came back to his room to find a denim jacket and an oil can as a reminder of Jacob, and a much less appreciated Kane doll that had Mike burst in a fit of rage in front of her.
Thankfully, Summer arrived, and with it the beach and the ocean. When Nautilus set up a beach party, Mike was there, and hung out with his friends and a few new acquaintances, played a few games and even raced Chuck on a swim on the water. He lost though, which left him to take care of their laundry for the following week. It was also during this party that Mike had a serious talk with Julie, in which he asked her that, should anything happen to him, she picked up where he left off, keeping the Burners together and continuing to protect Motorcity.
There was a reason for Mike to bring up this subject, though. For a while he had been struggling with what Dutch had told him about the future, and he had been thinking about going back home and seeing for himself what would happen. Only a few weeks later, he told the Burners, Lucas and Nott that he'd be going home to deal with it. Chuck and Julie, who were also from an earlier timeline than Dutch, immediately said they'd join him, while Dutch openly expressed his disapproval with Mike's plan. Their argument was the last talk they had before Mike left.
He was the first to return, a few weeks later, finding soon enough, upon visiting her room, that Julie had Awoken and wasn't to come back. To add to this, only one day later Dutch was gone too, before Mike had even managed to reunite with him, and though Mike had memories from back home now, their argument ended up being the last time they spoke in Nautilus. Feeling sad and a little lonely, Mike moved to Chuck's room until he came back, since all the things from his best friend were still around, and it served of some comfort knowing that Chuck would be back eventually. He did so, during the night, to find Mike curled up under his sheets. They reunited happily, though Mike had to brief Chuck on some of the events back home, as Chuck himself had only caught up to Dutch's timeline and had no memories from after that, unlike Mike.
For the next few weeks Chuck spent nights up to finish Mutt by himself, as a birthday gift to Mike. He was beyond himself with happiness and excitement, and immediately dragged him along for a ride. Right now he's planning on getting a Motorcity-style above-ground highway built on Nautilus.
Mike Chilton is the calm, amusing 17 year-old leader of the rebel group The Burners. He's very stubborn and persistent, a guy who would much rather do things his own way, no matter how impractical or difficult, than to consider other paths of least resistance. He's brave to a flaw, and one could say he's very lucky because, despite of all the insanity he gets himself into, he almost always manages to keep things under control.
He's a pretty chill character, and very easy to talk to. He's nice and funny, and gets along with most anybody. Two of the few exceptions would be Abraham Kane, his sworn enemy, and the Duke of Detroit, a sad idiot who thinks his silly limos are anything when compared to Mutt the owner of a large piece of estate in Motorcity. In both cases, he shows an inability to cope with people who live according to standards of oppression or a position of superiority. Mike's all about equality after all, and the notion that no person has the right to stand above others, to control or force them into doing whatever they want, whether it's righteous of them or not. He has no qualms in showing his nonconformist and disrespectful nature when it comes to confrontations with these people, and that, as usual, gets them into trouble more often than not, and, in the Duke's case, makes for a whole new record of constant bickering, grudges and ill intentions on the latter's end.
He takes very little seriously, but does so with great intensity, and besides his mission of taking down Kane and protecting Motorcity there's only a handful of things he truly worries about. One of them is the safety of his friends, as he once stated that if anything were to ever happen to any of them he wouldn't know what to do. The other is his car, whether one thinks of it in a more silly and comedic manner, or looks deeper into it and sees his relationship with the car as an expression of his newfound freedom. He shows moments of some insight, especially when he regrets actions he took, or the ones he didn't - when he almost beat himself up over perpetuating Kane's lies and his oppressive system, for taking so long to figure out he was lying, if only Texas hadn't talked some sense into him. (And when you know Texas you realize how very ironic this is.)
The fact that it took Mike so long to realize just how much of a monster Kane was shows that not only he is capable of great, blind trust on other people but also that he is by nature kind-hearted and, to a certain extent, naïve. This betrayal by Kane revealed how much of a rebellious streak he had in him, as he did not hesitate to abandon the system he stood for until then to join the underground city and almost immediately establish a rebel group dedicated to fighting Kane.
Mike literally lives Motorcity's motto: Live fast, live free. His constant need for adventure shows us that he is, in lack of a better term, wired for action. He's always ready to jump into action at any sign of Kane's attacks on Motorcity, which is something that happens often and that Mike enjoys perhaps a little too much. During the tenth episode, the team experiences a few weeks of harmony in Motorcity, and unlike the rest of the Burners who are thankful for the break, Mike is driving himself crazy at the lack of action, and quickly jumps at any opportunity for a 'mission'. His rebellious and impulsive nature more often than not gets him and the rest of the Burners into trouble, since he acts without listening to what others tell him and without thinking of the possible consequences.
Like the rest of the Burners, Mike owns a car, which he uses in his fight against Kane, not only as a means of transportation and escape but also as a weapon. Her name's Mutt and yes, he refers to her as a 'she', and often calls her his 'girl'. He's a good driver, albeit a bit reckless and, as expected, enjoys very high speeds and the most extreme pathways. He will take immense pleasure out of driving off broken bridges, jump off cliffs and God knows what else - Chuck could probably make a list of all the insane rides they've been on. Mike's a textbook adrenaline junkie, he loves the feeling of his heart beating faster when making a turn at hundreds of miles per hour, or being in the dead center of a storm - something like that actually happens during the third episode.
Though rash and hot-headed, he's trustworthy and extremely reliable. On many occasions it is shown that no matter how insane his plan, the Burners will follow him wherever. Even Chuck, who has a number of phobias and often suffers from panic attacks yet still manages to sit next to Mike while he's driving, trusts him in the most terrifying situations. Mutt's passenger seat is equipped with a safety eject system but it's not used that often REALLY NOT THAT OFTEN, as Chuck trusts Mike to not get them killed. (That's actually really funny.) On a more personal level rather than as a leader, he is a good friend who can keep a secret, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, and who will do what he can to help his friends with anything at all.
Italics indicate cast mate.