- "There is no hunting like the hunting of a man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough, and like it, never really care for anything else thereafter."
- ―Royce (from Predators)
Royce was an elite mercenary who was kidnapped by the Super Predators and taken to the Game Preserve Planet in 2010. Once there, he established himself as reluctant leader of the group of disparate individuals who were dropped on the planet alongside him. Together, the group attempted to find a way to escape and return to Earth.
After a failed attempt to flee on a Yautja spacecraft, Royce became stranded on the planet along with Isabelle, the two of whom were the only members of the group to survive the encounter with the Super Predators.
While working on a job in the Philippines, faulty intelligence led to Royce demolishing an entire building to kill the terrorists holed up inside, no knowing a grade school was also located in the basement. The final death toll included many women and young children. Despite his outwardly cold, indifferent appearance, the incident in fact scarred Royce deeply. Ironically, it also had a profoundly positive effect on the payment he could expect to receive for jobs following the incident — he noted drily that his typical fee doubled following the Philippines, as many of his employers were willing to pay a premium for a man with no conscience.
- "I want two-thirds up front. Consider everyone dead and gone."
- ―Royce, to his employer (from Predators: A Predatory Life)
Immediately prior to his capture by the Super Predators, Royce was in Africa, where he had been hired by the General in charge of a war-torn state to eliminate rebel leader Ayotunde Kutti and his followers. Realizing his bosses would likely betray him after the job was completed rather than pay him, Royce insisted on receiving two-thirds of his fee in advance. After receiving his money, Royce was dispatched with a "guide" named Bapoto. However, Royce correctly anticipated that Bopoto's real role was to eliminate him after the job was done — Royce killed him and left his body in the jungle.
After four days trekking through the jungle, Royce reached the village where Kutti and his forces were based. While scouting the village, he noticed several Western mercenaries working for the group, including Travis, whom Royce had worked with previously in Pakistan. Despite sniping not being his specialty, Royce began picking off some of the soldiers and mercenaries present to draw the remainder away from the village. With Travis and most of the soldiers now hunting the jungle for the mystery sniper and only a token force left defending the village, Royce infiltrated the settlement, killed Kutti's personal security, destroyed their transportation and set the village alight.
Finally cornering Kutti inside his hut, Royce ignored the rebel leader's speech on the nature of good and evil and shot him dead. When he was subsequently surprised by an unarmed mother, he unintentionally shot and wounded her. Before he could help, Travis and his remaining men returned from the jungle. Instead, Royce used the wounded woman and her crying child to lure the men inside the hut, where he then killed most of them in hail of gunfire. Royce pursued and killed those who fled, until he finally cornered Travis as he attempted to flee in his jeep. After agreeing that the men who hired Royce were no better than those he had just slaughtered, Royce executed Travis. His job completed, Royce left the village, unaware that he was being watched by Tracker from the undergrowth. Shortly afterwards, the Super Predator subdued Royce and transported him to the Game Preserve Planet.
Stranger in a strange land
- "This planet is a game preserve. And we're the game."
- ―Royce (from Predators)
Royce awoke in the middle of a free fall with a strange parachute strapped to his back. After landing safely, he encountered several others from different backgrounds that were dropped off in the same fashion. He then decided to figure out who "threw him out of a fucking airplane" with Cuchillo, Nikolai and Isabelle following him. He later came across a few more stragglers and shot the branch Edwin was snagged on.
After dealing with the Hell-Hounds, Royce mentioned that's something he would do to flush out game. He later voiced his opinion on "rescuing" Cuchillo when he was calling out for help, clearly seeing and then proving that it was a trap. He then started following the tracks of the Hell-Hounds, to find out where they came from and who is hunting the humans, eventually finding the hunter's camp. He noticed that Isabelle reacted strangely to the crucified creature and later yelled to everyone to run, when Royce realized it was clearly a trap to bait Royce and the others to the camp.
After escaping the camp, Royce confronted Isabelle on her reaction to the crucified creature at the camp and demanded that she shares what information she knows about it. Isabelle revealed that she once heard a story of a team of American mercenaries that were decimated by a strange creature in 1987. From reading the debriefing of the incident's sole survivor, Isabelle learned how the hunters could be beaten and gave this knowledge to Royce and the others. Royce then decided to camp out and have everyone take a defensive position to draw in the hunters to a trap. Royce later used Edwin as bait for the hunter, which was sniped while pursuing Edwin. Assuming it to be Isabelle who took down the creature, Royce complimented her shooting only to be told by her that she missed. Royce then heard a voice whisper "over here" multiple times, then "turn around" with an armored figure pointing his weapon at Royce.
After a short discussion, Royce and the others followed the man back to his "home" where he offered them food and remarked to his "friend" how Royce and the others missed the ship at the hunter's camp. Royce, now with a way off the planet questioned the man, whose name was Ronald Noland, regarding the ship. After Royce and the others were resting, Noland attempted to suffocate Royce and the others for their gear. Royce then fired some shots that heated up the hull of Noland's home and drew the attention of the hunters.
Finding a way home
Royce leads the last of the survivors away from Noland's trap and the hunters. As they walk through the jungle Edwin gets injured by a trap Royce says there is nothing they could do for him and that they should booby trap him. Isabelle refuses and stays with Edwin claiming he's one of them. Royce then leaves to find the Crucified Predator. Royce then frees the Predator around the time the Berserker returns. In gratitude, the captured hunter starts up the ship with the coordination to Earth for him to get home and Royce running towards it to get back to Earth before it takes off leaving the hunter to fight with the Berserker. The ship is destroyed by the Berserker with the self-destruct sequence in his wrist band after Royce turns back to the camp.
He later returns and finds Isabelle paralyzed and Edwin feigning ignorance. Royce figures out Edwin's game attacking and crippling him further. Edwin begs to not be killed with Royce saying he won't kill him as he drags the wounded Edwin to the center of the camp. Royce rigs some grenades to Edwin and leaves him for the hunter as bait. The trap only wounds the hunter and Royce then fuels the fires around the camp and cover himself with mud to take out the hunter. He kills the Berserker hunter by decapitating him with an axe and vows to find a way off the planet. He and Isabelle look on as more prey is dropped on the planet.
Two Months Later
After several weeks, Royce continued killing the creatures the hunters dropped on the Game preserve and started salvaging gear for survival. He regretted saving Isabelle and pondered about turning out like Noland without realizing that the decision actually saved his life in the first place since he would be dead if he had boarded the ship that was rigged with self-destruct sequence. Royce also developed a sort of romantic relationship with Isabelle or which now he calls her Izzy, although he decided to go back to working by himself after some time.
After coming back to Isabelle injured from his hunts, Royce slept for several days with Isabelle tending to his wounds. They were later found by a hunter who left Royce a box of hunting equipment tailored to his size. They were ambushed by a four-armed hunter with Royce suffering some injuries. During the fight, Royce started to rethink his solitary way of handling things and worked with Isabelle to take down the modified hunter. Royce and Isabelle are still stranded on the Game Preserve, but they would work together at getting home.
Personality and Traits
Royce seems to be a cold, cynical and ruthless mercenary with no real ideals or causes but himself. He even continues on with his job prior to his abduction not out of loyalty, but to protect his reputation as a mercenary. Although a killer, Royce has a sense of honor and reservations of targeting women and children remarking that it is something only for "psychos and perverts". Despite his reservations, he admitted he enjoyed his job hunting armed men, to the point he was not particularly interested in anything else except maybe survival. He admitted later that he is not a good man, but he's not a monster, either.
Royce's detached nature came in handy while he was being hunted, such as his willingness to abandon Cuchillo when he was "seemingly" calling for help. Another example of Royce's ideas was after dealing with Edwin, Royce booby trapped his body with explosives knowing that one of the hunters would come to take trophies from the body.
Royce is also very intelligent and observational, able to note that the sun on the Game Preserve does not move, and was able to perceive that Edwin was not to be trusted. He was also greatly experienced with rules on traps and knowledgeable about various organizations. He was able to see three cloaked Predators fairly easily and could detect emotions from glances of a person's expression. He also had a good aim, even with knives and shotguns. He was able to cut a branch with his shotgun without really aiming, cut a Predator Hound's head off evenly, and could stab an insect with ease. He was also able to quote Ernest Hemingway off of the top of his head to Isabelle. He was able to figure out that they were being hunted much faster than any of the humans on the preserve, or even Dutch or Billy, who were both able to figure out they were being hunted fairly early in their encounter.
In combat he seems to prefer close quarters with his weapon of choice is a AA-12 Shotgun, which is a fully automatic shotgun for assault purposes. He is also resourceful at laying traps and turning situations to his advantage, such as using his gunpowder to hide himself from the Berserker's thermal vision and bashing him repeatedly. When out of ammo he would draw his bladed weapons rather than the pistol he carried the entire time. He also did not carry any grenades before he picked some up from Noland's hideout, suggesting he preferred guns over explosives.
His weapon of choice is an Auto Assault-12 with a 32-round drum loaded with Frag-12 explosive rounds with an attached Surefire M900 Vertical Foregrip WeaponLight. For his sidearm, he carries an M1911A1 fitted with digital camo grips, Novak sights, a beavertail grip safety and a combat hammer. Royce also briefly used an axe in his fight with the Berserker. He is also armed with a short machete (similar to Billy's machete) and combat knife. Royce also salvaged what armor and weapons he could find on the preserve while hunting the prey dropped on the planet.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 David Lapham (writer), Allan Jefferson (illustrator). Predators: Preserve the Game (2010), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 David Lapham (writer), Gabriel Guzman (illustrator). Predators: A Predatory Life #2 (2010), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 David Lapham (writer), Gabriel Guzman (illustrator). Predators: A Predatory Life #1 (2010), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 David Lapham (writer), Gabriel Guzman (illustrator). Predators: A Predatory Life #3 (2010), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 David Lapham (writer), Gabriel Guzman (illustrator). Predators: A Predatory Life #4 (2010), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), John McTiernan (director). Predator (1987), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Michael Finch, Alex Litvak (writers), Nimród Antal (director). Predators (2010), 20th Century Fox [DVD].